Quote Of The Week – AGW statistical futility

Here’s a quote related to the McShane and Wyner discussion brought to light thanks to Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann at RealClimate that I happen to agree with. Yes I know, that’s a shock to some. This quote is from L. Mark Berliner in discussion here (PDF) and speaks powerfully to the whole of climate science:

The problem of anthropogenic climate change cannot be settled by a purely statistical argument. We can have no controlled experiment with a series of exchangeable Earths randomly assigned to various forcing levels to enable traditional statistical studies of causation. (The use of large-scale climate system models can be viewed as a surrogate, though we need to better assess this.) Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.

That’s a keeper.

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91 thoughts on “Quote Of The Week – AGW statistical futility

  1. A question Anthony; How would you define “Climate Science”?
    James
    [Note: questions like this to Anthony should be posted in Tips & Notes, where he is sure to read them. ~dbs]

  2. From M.L. Stein’s editorial:
    “More broadly, statisticians need to engage the entire climatological commu-
    nity in questions of what raw data to collect and in how to process
    these data into forms that can be broadly used.”
    When I conducted industrial process experiments, this was the issue of prime concern. Not what I hoped to find nor what I was expecting but rather how to devise the experimental “bite size” and what data to collect so that the relevance of the information would prove useful. Climatologists have been massaging data (not unlike many other practitioners) rather than analyzing them. It may appear to be a fine line but it is a critical one.

  3. Irrelevance of the CO2 global warming hypothesis
    Theory of CO2 heat absorption and re-radiation is well understood. What appears to be bone of contention is the extent of it. One thing is clear that on any relevant time scale the CO2’s heat retention (storage capacity) is insignificant.
    If solar 1368 W/m2 was more or less constant during the last 150 years , question is:
    Is CO2 effect capable of causing the observed temperature variation either regionally or globally?
    I think the answer has to be clear NO.
    Some pro-CO2 agenda scientists ( e.g. Dr. Andrew Lacis) argue openly that if the AMO, PDO, SOI are excluded than temperature rises tracks the CO2 emissions increase during the last 150+ years.
    That is not only misleading but a fundamentally wrong. The above indices are de-trended, by the process of calculation; pressures or temperatures differentials will automatically eliminate any common either positive or negative gradient.
    Urban heat islands are another matter.
    Solid surface (ground and ice) heat absorption and radiation can be calculated taking into account seasonal effects of ice and snow coverage.
    The oceans’ heat absorption and retention capacity in comparison with the atmosphere are enormous. While absorption and retention are calculable, re-radiation is not, it is affected to a great degree by currents circulation variability from one year to the next.
    Any change in the circulation parameters will affect heat realise and consequently temperature and pressure differentials.

  4. As the late C.G.Jung put it: “Statistics is the science which demonstrates that in a pebbles beach, the average pebble has a weight of, say, 250 grams, but you will NEVER find a pebble of such a weight”
    And…That´s the problem. However, some statistical correlations are obviated, as the Gleissberg cycle, which approximately correlates with human life duration.

  5. I don’t find that argument compelling. If statistical analysis isn’t the ultimate measure of expected outcomes, what is? What are climate models but modeled expected behaviors with calculated margins of errors? We have no way of looking into the future other than by projecting what we know now. But even that is based on a level of confidence in our current findings that is less than 100%. That whole statement is mush.

  6. We have come quite a long way with observational cosmology with a combination of observation and statistical analysis.

  7. When the sea level has gone up near 100 meters in the last 15,000 year’s or so, engineers call the last few meters, measurement error. And trying to figure out measurement error with no instruments over 500 years old of any accuracy, that’s just dumb.
    And another gem, computer models with no way to validate, well that’s just fun in computer class futility.

  8. Interesting then, that they rely on poor statistical arguments to hang their hat on instead of good raw data directly from the planet.

  9. Yes, but the problem is that one half of this statement (the science) isn’t settled and judging by the debate on Judith Curry’s blog, even the basics can’t be agreed by the experts. Check out her blog for a fascinating debate/argument on CO2 radiative forcing and a number of threads about the models.

  10. OT – I am pleased to report that despite the testimony of James Hansen a jury in Nottingham has today convicted twenty climate change activists of conspiring to commit aggravated trespass.
    Those convicted were part of a group of over a 100 who intended to close down a coal fired power station for a week. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-11992969
    Hansen had claimed that closing the power station would be justified because their actions were designed to prevent immediate harm to human life and property from climate change.
    His sworn statement of evidence contains a lot of rather questionable opinion presented as fact. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2010/dec/14/james-hansen-evidence-ratcliffe

  11. Translation; “What we have been doing does not appear to be working”. Co2 does not drive climate. We are a long way from distinguishing mankind’s signal from natural variability.

  12. That quote about being unable to test the theory is true, but a lie at the same time. how often in science are they unable to go out and induce a change to get the statistical observations they need to prove a theory?
    Are any astronomers able to induce a change to determine the legitimacy of their theory? What about Jane Goodall? She learned by observation. Her theories were supported by observation. Many very robust sets of empirical relationships have been developed for engineers that are used regularly. I suppose using them is proving them, but they were learned by observation.
    Saying that they need to test their theory to prove it is bogus. Much of science is about data collected by observation only. That statement is the same as Nancy Pelosi saying “you have to pass the bill to find out what is in the bill.” There are some very creative ways to observe if the effects are real or not, they would rather use their models that are the only thing showing catastrophe.
    John Kehr

  13. Vukcevic wrote: “Theory of CO2 heat absorption and re-radiation is well understood. What appears to be bone of contention is the extent of it.”
    I would argue that the major bone of contention is what sort of atmospheric feedback mechanism, positive or negative, and to what extent, would be triggered by additional CO2 forcing.
    Without positive feedback mechanisms, even the most modest IPCC temperature rise estimates cannot be met with CO2 forcing alone.

  14. Translation: “If you don’t perform Mann-type statistical test (i.e. trick) and you are not a climate scientist… buzz off, you have no argument.

  15. “Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.”
    I’d agree with that statement until I realize that climate science is essentially statistics. Other than determining values and the weights of the values, what does a climate scientist do? We all know CO2 absorbs heat and re-radiates it, but the question is how much? How much does the nitrous oxide and H2O render it redundant? Temp analysis? Yeh, that’s numbers, too. Sea level rise? Again, just numbers. Albedo and percentage of clouds? Yeh, more numbers. Again, the question is, what does a climate scientist do, other than a poor job at statistics?

  16. Thatcher-Right says
    Quote
    We have come quite a long way with observational cosmology with a combination of observation and statistical analysis.
    Unquote
    And got it completely and utterly wrong.
    Not bad

  17. Same questions emerge for me:
    1 – What is “climate science”? – totally lacking in SCIENCE, to me, and getting worse.
    2 – Why must most everyone insist there is a “climate change problem”? – all a created crisis in my mind. There are “climate events” which require whatever SCIENTIFIC prediction and human mitigation we can INTELLIGENTLY apply. And there are sensible and required measures to protect our environment, for the benefit of ALL LIFE, even HUMAN BEINGS.
    3 – Re-radiation – REALLY? Come on, scientists! Is there not heat exchange at work here? Does the coffee in the thermos actually GET HOTTER as the insulated walls “re-radiate” head energy?
    4 – When will EVERYONE stop saying that CO2 is CAUSATIVE, and a pollutant?

  18. This quote isn’t bad either (from the discussion paper by Nychka and Li 2nd para.)
    “Although Section 2 of this paper is lively reading, we feel that the viewpoint is not balanced and emphasizes statistical correctness over the broader issues of scienti c understanding.”
    Statistical correctness gone mad?

  19. I think many of you are missing the point that Anthony is making.
    Yes, much statistical analysis can be performed on the weather record. The problem is that we only have ONE weather record. In other words, we only have one data point.
    This is the same problem quantitative modelers have with the stock markets. There is only one stock market history to use.
    What would make statistical analysis better is if we had 20 to 100 weather records or 20 to 100 stock market histories.

  20. RR Kampen says:
    December 14, 2010 at 6:27 am

    This proves we can also do away with the theories of evolution and continental drifting.

    Nope. Continental drift has been measured. No need for anything “statistical” there.

  21. I am wondering why you cannot run a controlled climate experiment to test the CO2 hypothesis?
    Why couldn’t you fit a football stadium (I understand the Metrodome recently became available) with a infrared neutral roof, flood 3/4’s of the field with saltwater (just like Earth) then fill it with a couple of thousand ppm of CO2. You could control temperature, CO2 concentration, air and water circulation, and surely if it was as big as a stadium you should see measurable changes if the theory is correct.
    As an added bonus, if AGW is right, you should go well over the tipping point and the temperature should rise to 50 degrees centigrade.
    All you have to do then is rig up some heat pumps and Bingo! you can shut down every coal powered plant on Earth and replace them with free CO2 powered football stadium heat generators solving global warming!
    Seriously though, does any one know if large scale climate (physical) models have ever been attempted?

  22. Quote
    The problem of anthropogenic climate change cannot be settled by a purely statistical argument… Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.
    Unquote
    I think that means that if the statistics don’t give you the answer you want, you have to fiddle with the results a bit.

  23. RR Kampen says:
    December 14, 2010 at 6:27 am
    “This proves we can also do away with the theories of evolution and continental drifting.”
    Not so. There is ample physical data that has been collected, and can be statistically analyzed, to support these to theories.
    For continental drift, there is magnetics, plate motions, paleo, and radiometric dating to support the theory.
    For evolution, the entire field of cladistics centers around statistical methods for testing osteological characteristics to identify primitive and derived forms in similar organisms. Don’t forget DNA analysis.
    Climate science is quite different, and as the quote points out we are yet to sort out cause and effect making statistical analysis difficult. That’s a biggy!

  24. During my first seven years after graduating (physics) I took part in the statistical analysis of a very complex industrial problem. The science was based on some Nobel prize winning work and was thought to be well understood – but the results did not always correlate with theory. The project involved about 50 engineers and scientists over this period so we were not short of resources. Moreover we were able to measure thousands of variables related to the process and the product with great accuracy.
    I won’t go into the detail (although I think it is fascinating) but the fact is that the thing that stopped us discovering the truth was our belief in where the truth lay. We were measuring things we thought should be important and not measuring things that happened to correlate with what was actually happening. In other words the science got in the way of discovery.
    Half way through the project we adopted a technique called variation analysis developed by Shanin. His approach was to ignore preconceptions and just look at the data and learn to read the story it told. In discussions no one was allowed to make any statement without having the data at hand to prove the conjecture. It was very frustrating but, at the same time, stimulating and instructive.
    For this to work the data had to be relatively niaive.
    For example in our case we had many batches of products made in lines built of many machines run continuously. His first question would be “where do we find the biggest variation?” Is it :-
    Within a piece
    Piece to piece
    Batch to batch
    Time to time
    Machine to machine
    Line to line etc.
    Even this simple approach was not without its traps. It was two years before we realised that one of the dependent variables we were trying to optimise was actually varying within the product by more than the amount it varied between products. This stupid oversight was caused by the fact that when it varied within the product we called it a blemish!
    There are two reasons for recounting this experience.
    The first is that all the breakthroughs came from the statistics alone. Only when we had good data showing clear correlations with things we had not expected could we turn on the search light of experimental science to determine the cause. Only after that could we use our theoretical knowledge to explain the causes. Climate scientists try to do this in reverse and it is impossible.
    The second point is one I have made before. If I were doing research in climate I would use variation analysis to try and generate more data to inform the debate about mechanisms.
    We already know that the variation is not the same in every location but by taking an average we throw away the information that comes with that distribution. We then throw away more information by taking the average temperature during the day or month or year.
    I feel all this smoothing and averaging is using statistics to produce pretty pictures and not to generate insight.
    The problem is that we already know the main variations.
    We know that the biggest variation are: within the world, within the year, within the day. We also know of other variations like the Milankovitch and ocean cycles. Trying to determine even the reality of a long term drift in the face of these huge effects is daunting. I do not think it has been done yet. If we do find a trend I believe we will find it strongest over land or over sea, during winter or summer, during the night or the day. These facts will inform the cause and not the other way round.

  25. That’s an OK quote and if interpreted literally and carefully, I subscribe to it, too.
    However, in reality, this kind of quotes is used for something totally different than what it actually does. The quote is used as a synonym of the following argument:
    “If you find errors in our statistics, it doesn’t matter because we’re also climate scientists. If you find errors in our climate science, it doesn’t matter because we also have some statistics.”
    In other words, this kind of an argument is used to deflect any criticism and incoherently change the focus of any discussion whenever it becomes inconvenient. Needless to say, people like Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann are as lousy climate scientists as they’re lousy statisticians so the equal treatment of the two approaches is legitimate, indeed. 😉

  26. I agree with the statement and I suspect that nearly all climate scientists would as well. Everyone knows that experiments provide much better certainty of interpretation than observations. In medicine, ecology and other fields, experimental studies have brought the most rapid progress. However, since we have only one earth and no controls or replicates, we need to due the best that we can with observational data. The situation is comparable to understanding the role of smoking in cancer. We can’t do a randomized, controlled experiment, but at some point the observational/correlation data become convincing.

  27. The whole McShane-Wyner “Rejoinder” is worth reading. Rather like a firm swat-down of an unruly student by a tolerance-limited teacher.
    Fundamentally, they show temperature proxy data possess little signal and much noise, especially tree rings (duh). When Schmidt, Mann, and Rutherford (SMR) select 59 proxies from 95, McS-W “can only be skeptical of such improvisation” because “the application of ad hoc methods to screen and exclude data increases model uncertainty in ways that are unmeasurable and uncorrectable”.
    McS-W also note SMR’s use of RegEM code (rather than simpler, more tested stats code) is questionable. “RegEM appears to be a classic, improvised methodology with no known statistical properties” and “we cannot rule out the possibility that RegEM was tailor-made to the specific features of this simulation”.
    Wow. Cherry-picked code used on cherry-picked data. That must be what Rosanne D’Arrigo meant about making cherry pie.
    In the end, McS-W conclude “climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy-based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models”.
    Class dismissed.

  28. vukcevic says:
    December 14, 2010 at 4:55 am
    Irrelevance of the CO2 global warming hypothesis
    . . . . . One thing is clear that on any relevant time scale the CO2’s heat retention (storage capacity) is insignificant.

    I believe this is the first time I have seen this “heat retention” of carbon dioxide characteristic (or lack thereof) expressed. I guess I’ve missed important contributions to the research literature.

  29. That sounds awfully similar to the 2nd paragraph of my “An Atheist’s View of Global Warming” where I state:
    “The most basic tenet of AGW is that correlation must equal causation – because carbon dioxide has increased at the same time temperature has increased then one must be causing the other. Unfortunately, correlation has never and can never prove causation – the only way to establish causation with regards to global warming would be to take a few identical planets, alter their CO² levels and then measure the effects. This is clearly beyond our current means and since such a scientific experiment is not possible, the AGW hypothesis cannot be disproved which makes it completely at odds with the scientific method.”
    I’m happy to see a high-level statistician agree with me since, while my statement was based on statistics, I’d only taken a few courses in it.
    If anyone is curious then here is the rest of my article:
    http://pediawatch.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/atheist_global_warming/

  30. Really?
    I wasn’t aware that there was a resonable way to divorce climate science from the statistical sciences. How would one do that? How can you have a versus when you are dependent, one upon the other. Large data-sets and dBases, smoothed station data, etc.
    The “bone” has been that those people who make a livelyhood (spent their professional lifetime) in the statistics field have gone over the methodologies, and data, of the climate scientists: they found their conclusions inappropriate and their methods wanting, according to accepted, proven, verified methods of statistical data analysis.
    The “bone” was picked by climate scientists when they diputed the statisticians results were “flawed” because they couldn’t appreciate the “nuances” of climate science. Numbers are numbers, period. The same numerical/mathematical laws apply to climate science data analysis as they do to particle physics or any other scientific discipline that deals with large data-sets.

  31. When I read comments like the original quoted material, I wonder if these people are even scientists at all. There are two ways to determine the validity of an hypothesis: perform experiments or make predictions and verify their accuracy.
    Obviously while verifying Wegener’s and duToit’s hypothesis of “continental drift,” there was no way to perform experiments on the Earth’s crust. But predictions were made of what to look for in crustal sediments, and the discovery by the Glomar Challenger of the geomagnetic reversal striping at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are considered the definitive evidence for plate tectonics.
    Verifying the theory of evolution proceeded in much the same way, by predicting structures and fossils that should exist if that mechanism was at work. I see no reason why climate science can not function in the same mode. The problem I do see is that when predictions are made, and then fail to materialize, the lack of evidence is handwaved away and more tweaks and exceptions are made to the “theory.” Epicycles come to mind when I see this taking place.
    Until climate science becomes dominated by people who are seeking the truth, and not looking to validate their personal agendas, it will remain the Lysenkoism of earth science.

  32. “Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.”
    What about a statistical analysis of some climate science such as
    CO2 going up steadily http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ and now at 390ppm. No let-up or pause.
    Ocean heat content remains stable since 2003 http://www.climate4you.com/
    Global sea ice remaining steady within natural variation (N/S combined)
    Falling sea levels now http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    No statistically significant atmospheric warming since 1995. Dr Jones and Dr Spencer
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
    How long before the penny drops amongst the AGW supporters that perhaps CO2 has less of an effect than the “alarmists” will have us believe. To my simple mind these indicators, ocean heat, sea ice, sea level and atsmospheric temperature are the real indicators. All steady now or heading down. Getting ready to showel snow again Thursday here in Scotland.

  33. Gaylon says:
    December 14, 2010 at 9:48 am
    I wasn’t aware that there was a resonable way to divorce climate science from the statistical sciences.

    I don’t think anyone is claiming otherwise. The claim is that it’s difficult to use statistics to prove/disprove global warming since we only have ONE set of historical temperature data (for the one planet on which it was recorded). Ideally, statisticians prefer to have large number of data sets in order to compare.
    Obviously, this will never be possible since there is only one earth and earth only has one history.

    This is the same problem quantitative modelers have with the stock markets. There is only one stock market history to use.

    I’d like to add something to my above earlier comment. Stock market modelers are still capable of being successful in predicting market movements by “creating” multiple stock market histories by comparing multiple segments of history to other similar segments of history. This is possible because of the huge amounts of accurate data (which doesn’t need to be “adjusted”) related to the stock market. But good luck using the pathetic excuse of a weather record that exists in the world to make this work for climate predicitions.

  34. Patrick Hadley says:
    December 14, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Hansen had claimed that closing the power station would be justified because their actions were designed to prevent immediate harm to human life and property from climate change.
    His sworn statement of evidence contains a lot of rather questionable opinion presented as fact. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2010/dec/14/james-hansen-evidence-ratcliffe

    I wonder if an action for perjury would be possible? A legal opinion would be “interesting”!

  35. L. Mark Berliner is absolutely correct. I am a statistician working with a group of materials scientists. Statistics cannot tell you to violate a physical law. If Galileo had used regression analysis on his data, he would not have come up with the law of the pendulum. Statistics alone can lead you into confusion unless you have an understanding of the process.
    I had hoped this was an opportunity for committed researcher to work through a difficult physical / statistical problem and arrive at at least a solution. I think the discussion on RealClimate has been much more reasonable. Finding nothing here but a strange triumphalism (over what I cannot divine?) and a willingness to pursue trench warfare, I will take my leave.

  36. thegoodlocust says:
    December 14, 2010 at 9:37 am
    That sounds awfully similar to the 2nd paragraph of my “An Atheist’s View of Global Warming” where I state:
    “… the only way to establish causation with regards to global warming would be to take a few identical planets, alter their CO² levels and then measure the effects. This is clearly beyond our current means and since such a scientific experiment is not possible, the AGW hypothesis cannot be disproved which makes it completely at odds with the scientific method.”
    As has been pointed out in some of the other replies, this view is a misunderstanding. Of course you can establish causation based only on observation without having to do an experiment. Many branches of science (geology and biology has been mentioned) is based on this as well as much of the legal system and indeed basic common sense. You *can* prove causation beyond anything but the most absurd counter arguments without having to do an experiment, but it requires meticulous collection and analysis of data.

  37. To me, it seems statistical analysis of physical observations/measurements rule the day. I agree with Cal at 9:05, having helped implement Statistical Quality Control in IC manufacturing beginning in 1980 at a large US firm. Measuring and minimizing the correct variable(s) was paramount. The most counter-intuitive things can be found out through rigorous data collection and analysis. The bulk of what I’ve seen supporting a dramatic affect from CO2 doesn’t come close to what is the daily routine of scientific diligence in IC manufacturing.
    dixonstalbert says: December 14, 2010 at 8:58 am
    I am wondering why you cannot run a controlled climate experiment to test the CO2 hypothesis?
    […]dixonstalbert says:
    December 14, 2010 at 8:58 am
    I am wondering why you cannot run a controlled climate experiment to test the CO2 hypothesis?
    Why couldn’t you fit a football stadium […]
    Seriously though, does any one know if large scale climate (physical) models have ever been attempted?

    I think that is a great idea. There are some big dirigible hangers too, one along 101 in CA, south of San Francisco, IIRC. I heard they are big enough to have weather inside, at least to the extent of cloud formation.

  38. Jim Cole, 12-14 9:24 am;
    “In the end, McS-W conclude “climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy-based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models”.”
    Translation:
    Climate scientists express totally unwarranted confidence in nearly meaningless data, and are talking through their simulated hats.

  39. Some great comments here. I’ll mention cal and also JamesS, but there are a lot of others that hit the nail on the head, like GregR. JamesS said:
    “Until climate science becomes dominated by people who are seeking the truth, and not looking to validate their personal agendas, it will remain the Lysenkoism of earth science.”
    Given the way the field has developed, the corruption of major science and MSM publications, and the amount of tax money still being poured into AGW propaganda, I don’t look for a lot of truth from climate science for another ten years, minimum. This is going to be a long haul.

  40. John F. Hultquist says:
    December 14, 2010 at 9:36 am
    I guess I’ve missed important contributions to the research literature.
    Maybe you have not.
    When a CO2 molecule absorbs radiation energy at its ‘specific wavelength’ its kinetic energy is increased which would then , due to the Brownian motion law (valid for all gases), increase possibility of a collision with another molecule, most likely oxygen or nitrogen, since there 3000 of these for one of the CO2, a very small likelihood of hitting another CO2.
    In such case absorbed energy will be transferred to a non GH gas.
    Alternative is re-radiating the absorbed energy. I have tried to find out ratio of re-radiation against collisions with no success.
    Question is: is the chance of immidiate re-radiation greater than chance of a collision with a non GH gas?
    In either case the CO2 absorbed energy retention is at best of order of fraction of a second.
    If you or a molecular / gas physicist can be more precise on any aspect of the above, I will gladly accept corrections.

  41. pax says:
    December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am
    “You *can* prove causation beyond anything but the most absurd counter arguments without having to do an experiment, but it requires meticulous collection and analysis of data.”
    No, you can imply causation but you can’t prove it. The only way your statement works is if your “meticulous collection and analysis of data” includes every piece of information in the universe and then properly analyzes it in relation to the question.
    In any real sense, data collection and analysis always has the potential for holes, of pieces of data you didn’t collect or didn’t think to collect, and those unknown variables could easily be the real causal factor of both your supposed cause and supposed effect.
    This is why experimentation is key – it lets you directly test a variable to see if it is truly the causal factor.
    The problem is compounded by various definitions of “causal” and from a legal (and other) perspective I agree this is too strict – but science is not law. Again, we’re talking about true causality, not whatever practical definitions are required for specific fields.

  42. AP (American Politburo) – 14 December 2010
    Mann, Bozo, et al release new Greenland Bristlecone pine study disproving alleged “Medieval Warm Period”
    Cancun, Mexico – In an unscheduled announcement on the steps of the Sacrificial Hall just outside the Cancun Climate Conference, Michael Mann (renowned author, top government funding recipient, esteemed blogger, who also does occasional government funded political research) revealed his latest startling findings to glassy-eyed breathless throngs of believers, almost all slowly milling about, their clothing tattered, and their arms stretched out in front of them (unlike traditional zombies, virtually all of them had their palms up, and were mumbling something about UN grants).
    Using temperature proxies laboriously dug up from beneath thousands of feet of ice in Greenland, Mann, Bozo, et al were able to successfully debunk the myth of the Medieval Warm Period. “Our data show that contrary to the deniers claims, temperatures were significantly colder during the Medieval time period — in fact, all of the trees we found from the Medieval time period and were buried, and I mean buried, under tons of ice. Using the latest developments in advanced statistical methods pioneered by Stieg, (his new time/temperature/location adjusting algorithm), called ‘Statistics SMEAR’ (Spreading Metadata Everywhere Annuls Results), we were able to make an actual mathematical proof that between 2000 BC and 1500 AD, the average Greenland sort of area temperature was no higher than it is today, on average, mostly.”
    He went on to say “Besides that, the sudden die off ferns, parrots, crocodiles and virtually all other forms of sub-tropical life on Greenland simultaneously, which we pinned down to somewhere between 1200 and 1300 AD, just clinches it. If that doesn’t prove how cold it was in that averaged out time period, then frankly, I don’t know what will.”
    In a shocking, but not surprising second announcement, given by Mann’s esteemed colleague (and frequent peer reviewer) Bozo (aka “The Clown”), the Team announced that in unearthing their new Greenland proxies they also stumbled upon a colony of over 275 frozen prehistoric cavemen. In an appeal for an emergency UN research and security grant of some 30 billion dollars, Bozo was quoted as saying “Normally, a couple hundred cavemen thawing out and rambling about wouldn’t be a big deal. But if they gather together and choose a leader, a “Captain Caveman” so to speak, well, then WE’VE GOT A REAL CRISIS ON OUR HANDS!!”

  43. toby says:
    December 14, 2010 at 10:43 am
    Why did he even bother to post? One more troll “scientist.”
    Use regression analysis on a pendulum?
    Galileo was first and foremost a dedicated observer of the universe. He took measurements and analyzed them. He didn’t invent models and then change measured data to fit them. Interesting that he’d whip Galileo out and then charge back to RC.
    Yep, lots of “real science” over there.

  44. vukcevic says: at 11:19 I have tried to find out ratio of re-radiation against collisions with no success.
    I have read and saved many articles over the past few years and a quick search doesn’t reveal an answer to the question as you have just phrased it. I did, just now find this comment by Dr. Roy S. and it is relevant:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/faq-271-if-greenhouse-gases-are-such-a-small-part-of-the-atmosphere-how-do-they-change-its-temperature/
    Here is a site I’ve looked at before. Again, I don’t find the answer to the ratio question. Still, it helped me understand what was going on with IR and it might help others. It might also lead to other searches so I’m putting it here:
    http://www.wag.caltech.edu/home/jang/genchem/infrared.htm

  45. Although Berliner has a good point, he is still off point on watts the real problem with our understanding of AGW, a point that Anthony Watts has nailed in the past: the absence of attention to accurate measurement of temperature. If a small fraction of the current CAGW-related grants simply went to improving the data: more weatherstations better sited, more satellites, more and better ocean temp measurements, etc., and we would be further along. Without good data, statistical analysis will always be suspect, and climate models will not be usefully testable.

  46. Is it possible that the Team has created and relies upon a hybrid co-mingling of margin of error and errors of margins?
    I’m not really sure what I just asked but does it make me sound smart?
    I wanted to further elaborate but I didn’t want to sound ignorant.

  47. Hello Everyone:
    So let’s ask ourselves a question. What if there isn’t global warming? What if the most reliable source (take your pick) said, “Hey no global warming” what then? Does this discount the failing hydrological system that ravishs the forests in EVERY part of the world. (Forget about drought ridden places that will probably experience this for many more hundreds of years or for good like the Gobi Desert) No global warming? Will a “no” change the smog and the uninhabitable places that are becoming more of a threat to us all and most prominent in China. Will all that change with a “NO!” What about that fact that the global ocean is becoming MORE acidic because of human activity therefore the photoplankton is dying. When it dies, we die. Breath in, breath out. CO2 is nonconvertible, in other words, once attached to the carbon, there’s no getting it back. Oxygen isn’t coming from outer space. Trees? nominal only produce about 10% Bacteria about 3% and the rest photoplankton, 87%. We’re so overpopulated that human activity will kill us. Hey even Jesus called Peter “Satan” Why? Not because of some silly-horned demon but because Peter was showing the material side too much. I don’t think Jesus, an ancient man, could supercede the “academia” of those times but surely he was on the right track. Will anything bring us closer to hell than the material world, the things we want which is destroying the planet. So I ask again what if the answer is “No” what then? Shouldn’t we be doing what we need to do no matter what the answer. Isn’t it for the most part quite irrelevant. If what I write sounds so….than how? Einstein didn’t tell us to find the world a friendly place, he just wanted us to ask the question! Cheers.

  48. No, Acee is right, we need to do what needs to be done. Tell us, Acee, what we need to do and why.
    ============

  49. Acee,
    Stick around here. You’ll learn something. It might help with your apparent terror. We’re not going to be asphyxiated through lack of oxygen. As with CAGW, “Ocean acidification”, the scare, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and it’s phytoplankton, not photoplankton.
    If you still feel the need to be fearful, be fearful of the next ice age ….. ermmmm yeah, chill out.

  50. Acee,
    I’ll ignore your numerous misconceptions about the world and answer you with this:
    We should, as we have been doing, protect and preserve our environment – wasting time and energy worrying about global warming does nothing to solve the real problems that we do face. In fact, the myopic focus on the fantasy of global warming has distracted the environmentalist movement from some very real issues because they are under the misguided impression that global warming is the most important issue in the world.

  51. JamesS says:
    December 14, 2010 at 9:57 am
    When I read comments like the original quoted material, I wonder if these people are even scientists at all. There are two ways to determine the validity of an hypothesis: perform experiments or make predictions and verify their accuracy.
    Yes, since when does the Scientific Method need a bunch of indentical Earths? And the truth instead is that ipcc Climate Science doesn’t need the Scientific Method. It only needs the Political Science of a classically pure Propaganda Operation.

  52. Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.

    This is a truism. A worthless statement.
    All study of climate is by definition statistical analysis of large amounts of data. To the extent that climate modeling can be called climate science, it too is totally dependent on the aforesaid statistical analysis for calibration and verification and for the analysis of the output of the models.
    What is altogether astounding is that up until now this task seems to have been given to people with NO real knowledge of statistics.
    What McShane and Wyner state in very clear, objective language is that Mann et al are just making it up as they go along.

  53. JamesS says:
    “Yes, since when does the Scientific Method need a bunch of indentical Earths?”
    Ever since the scientific method started using experiments – in other words, since its inception.
    Sure, there are other experiments one can do, but they are grossly inadequate for something as vast, chaotic and poorly understood as the climate.

  54. It IS possible to measure CO2 forcing on another planet
    Unlike Earth, Mars has significant seasonal changes in CO2 content of its atmosphere. Part of the polar caps are made of frozen CO2. In addition, because Mars is rather lumpy, the seasons are uneven, so different amounts of CO2 are frozen at different times.
    Mars also has water vapour. Water will quiet happily change from ice to vapour and back in the right conditions (e.g. freezing fogs) – Mars has those conditions.
    Interestingly Mars has a higher CO2 content in its very thin atmosphere than Earth, but its climate inertia is very low.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Mars
    Interestingly, recent warming has been occurring on Mars – the Martian South Pole appears to be giving up some of its CO2 permafrost. But this is nothing to do with solar heating. really. really and truly. Its just a regional effect, like Hansen says the Medieval Warm Period was. So they say.

  55. John Peter says: December 14, 2010 at 9:59 am
    “What about a statistical analysis of some climate science such as [ocean heat, sea ice, sea level and atmospheric temperature] … All steady now or heading down.”
    Hi John. From a statistical perspective it is risky to assess ocean heat content, sea level and atmospheric temperature over short time horizons. It might be worthwhile applying standard trend analysis techniques on each of the above to estimate the magnitude of the trend as well as its confidence level. I think you’ll find that “steady now” or “heading down” may be optimistic assessments.
    On a more general note, a driver can apply statistics to their vehicle usage, noting the gas utilized and miles travelled. Plotting them will yield a correlation, without implying causation. Statistics is a view from the outside in. An engine expert on the other hand understands the vehicle from the inside out and can explain causation well (though may not be able to estimate fuel consumption for a particular vehicle accurately). Both views are valid and complimentary.

  56. John F. Hultquist says:
    December 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm
    Mr. Hultquist, thanks for the links. Obviously Dr. Spencer knows his stuff. Most of climate people deal with classic thermodynamics. This is fine if you have an enclosed container of homogenous gas. I have some knowledge of the Brownian motions, very important to what happens in real world, climate, solar wind (even the other Dr. S. fails to appreciate its function, first major work by A. Einstein).
    Molecule collisions are reason why the CO2 GW hypothesis is ! irrelevant ! Any energy absorbed by CO2 would be transferred to the non GH gases.

  57. The comments and expertise on thsi post have been so interesting, thank you.
    Bender posted Dec 14, 2010 at 7.14pm
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/14/mcshane-and-wyner-discussion-2/
    ‘ ..they either do not know what they are applauding, or do they do not really care as long as the policy momentum is sustained. This has been addressed in dozens of posts by Steve M over the years’
    While I do not follow Rapaport’ view on peace his work on information dissemination is of interest :-
    Around 1962 Anatol Rapoport wrote ‘we live in an age of belief – belief in the omnipotence of science. This belief is bolstered by the fact that the problems scientists are called upon to solve are for the most part selected by the scientists themselves. …Today in a greater measure than ever before, scientists sit at the decision-makers’ elbows and guide the formulation of problems in such a way that scientific solutions are feasible. Problems that promise solutions generally tend to go unformulated. Hence the faith in the omnipotence of science.
    The self amplifying prestige of science among decision-makers has been further amplified in this period by the popularisation of the scientific aid to the task of decision making itself. This is game theory – a mathematical technique for the analysis of conflict …………’
    Judith Curry now wishes to ‘engage’ with others. http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/24/engaging-the-public-on-the-climate-change-issue/
    Curry minimises her field of respondents to ‘climate researchers, academics, technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists and the interested public’…… what do these proffered parameters in sampling reveal?
    Scientists who inform politics exempt themselves from the primary producers who have had years of observation and experiment at hand and more recently choose scientific data to maximise THEIR produce. However they are now increasingly under the direction of government regulations and policy shifts.
    Curry states ….’The CRU emails revealed a MODE of communicating climate science, whereby consensus and peer review and the media were used in an attempt to stifle what they viewed as misinformation being purveyed by merchants of doubt.’
    As I understand, we now have an argument (a new hypothesis NOT previously put forward) that is debating ‘communicating science’ vs ‘science’. Or should I say what is marketed as ‘science’ to now be communicated [to the masses]. And to top this, it is stated by J Curry that only the hierarchy based on [her] invitation and thus sampling and therefore bias, can respond!
    Is this not feedback of a kind?
    Monbiot dissected Bellamy (5/2005) and is used by the media and communication specialists:- http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/musings/climate.php#conc
    We are speaking on communication rather than science. Was it Shannon or Nyquist, following a seminal paper on noise, that wrote of the pseudo social-scientists’ confusion?

  58. Sorry…
    ….’comment and expertise on this [thsi] post..
    My grammar was erroneously literal – affected by the kook NZerlander!

  59. wobble says:
    December 14, 2010 at 10:23 am
    Gaylon says:
    December 14, 2010 at 9:48 am
    My comment stems from last sentence, quoted from the storyline, below:
    “Rather, the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, rather than versus, climate science.”
    The implication here being that statistics and climate science *already* exhibit a ‘versus’ relationship. In other words: they are already *divorced*. My apparently obscure point was that the AGW crowd has manipulated the SPC of climate science (as many have shown) to make inappropriate claims and report results unsupported by the data. These were the people (CAGW) that *divorced* the two disciplines and then prostituted the statistical analysis to get it to say what they wanted it to say.
    As stated elsewhere above, the first sentence of the story is a truism and therefore meaningless. The last sentence, IMHO, is a close second and also meaningless due to the fact that most people here have been persuing legitimate SDA to establish how much weight should be put to the climate data. When that finally happens we then find out that the answer is: no weight at all. Products, projections and predictions that are no better than random noise. And what are the next logical steps that our political leader’s want to continue to take? Spend more $billions$.
    After 10 years of trying to get these guys to fess-up/own up to blatant “mistakes” they come back with this, “…the issue involves the combination of statistical analyses and, *rather than* versus, climate science.” The first and last sentences he should have just left out, the rest is common knowledge but is too little, too late. That does not, however, degrade the substance or import of the comment IMO.
    This guy also said in the report,
    “…If achieving these goals requires that we do not continue with questionable assumptions, nor merely offer small fixes to previous approaches, nor participate in uncritical debates, so be it…” Read: we offered questionable assumptions (duh), small fixes (as a faux attempt to placate criticisms), and refused debate, so be it…
    and later,
    “…Second, even if we accept the “no-hockey” conclusion, is it critical to the climate policy debate? I believe not, though I acknowledge that some policy makers and a portion of the general public do not understand the issues…”
    Well, I have to disagree for all the obvious reasons: namely that the Mann’s et al paleo-products were the foundational kick-off of the global money laundering scheme kicked off by the Al Gore and the IPCC. And the numbers are showing that a growing portion of the general public does understand the issues as support for AGW continues to wane.

  60. thegoodlocust says:
    December 14, 2010 at 11:06 pm
    In fact, the myopic focus on the fantasy of global warming has distracted the environmentalist movement from some very real issues because they are under the misguided impression that global warming is the most important issue in the world.
    ————————————————-
    ….. and while distracted, they’ve let in the ugly face of capitalism and allowed vast swaths of previously beautiful land to be ravaged by industrial pollution on a massive scale:
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/4568/windturbinesyorkshire.jpg

  61. PhilinCalifornia,
    Windmills are certainly not capitalism [a term popularized by Karl Marx]. They are simply fascism – state control of industry, as opposed to the free market.
    If not for the heavy subsidies, those windmills would not exist. Also, this country has never had a president who unilaterally appointed the majority of the Board of
    Directors of a major auto manufacturer, arbitrarily replaced the CEO with no authority to do so, and cheated bondholders by putting them behind unions in seniority, and extorted $20 billion from a company in an essential industry that he demonizes, based on no existing law.
    Those things are what totalitarians do, and the phony “environmentalists” cheer him on. Conservatives and JFK Democrats are the only true environmentalists left, while groups like Greenpeace, the WWF and the rest export pollution to other countries. They don’t give a damn about the planet, or the fools who send them millions in contributions. Their true motives are money and political power.

  62. PhilinCalifornia says:
    December 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm
    “and while distracted, they’ve let in the ugly face of capitalism and allowed vast swaths of previously beautiful land to be ravaged by industrial pollution on a massive scale:”
    That has nothing to do with capitalism. It is the result of the Renewables Obligation levy, which not only means that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidise wind farms and other forms of renewable energy, but also,
    the government subsidies did not even require that they be put up where the wind actually blows.
    Not only that, taxpayers are on the hook to pay energy firms “thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/7840035/Firms-paid-to-shut-down-wind-farms-when-the-wind-is-blowing.html

  63. Smokey and Zeke, I was being a little sarcastic there with the “capital” being provided by the taxpayer. Yes, I could’ve said “fake-socialism”.
    One thing for sure is that the guys who are creaming off the wind turbine profits will have everyone convinced that they’re “lefties” at cocktail parties.

  64. ….. also, I’ll wait for Lord Monckton’s paper on the cost-benefit ratio of taxpayer dollars in to wind turbine-derived ppm CO2 out in, for example, the UK before commenting further, but we all know how it’s going to look.
    Which is the worst pollution of those huge swaths of previously beautiful countryside – the sh*t that is the wind turbines, or that extra fraction of a ppm of CO2 coursing harmlessly through the atmosphere over it ?
    I think we’re on the same page.

  65. Anthony, I’m not sure why you like the quote so much. I’ve read it three times and gotten four different meanings from it.
    Read one way, the quote seems to be an attack on statistics and statisticians. Read another way, it seems to be an attack on climate science and scientists. Read another way, it reminds me of Rodney King “Can’t climate science and statisticians just get along!” And in all three readings, he seems drunk and the words are a semi-literate plea for help.
    I will try reading the quote in context to see if that helps.

  66. thegoodlocust says:
    December 15, 2010 at 12:52 am
    JamesS says [no, that was me, JPeden]:
    “Yes, since when does the Scientific Method need a bunch of indentical Earths?”
    Ever since the scientific method started using experiments – in other words, since its inception.
    Sure, there are other experiments one can do, but they are grossly inadequate for something as vast, chaotic and poorly understood as the climate.

    locust, all you are doing is rebegging the original question, which unfortuneately leaves you once again with the a priori postulate that it is impossible to do any real, Scientific Method, science with reference to the Climate. So that, according to you, there is and can be no such thing as actual Climate Science! Ever!
    I, and JamesS, think you are manifestly wrong about the impossibility of using the Scientific Method to understand the Climate, and, likewise, about the necessity for anyone alleging to be a Climate Scientist to use the principles of the Scientific Method in order to make their statements have an objective meaning. I don’t think Climate Science statements can make any sense at all – or say anything more than “whatever happens, happens” – without any reference to the use of the Scientific Method to try to make its statements, including the predictions, objective and its hypotheses, therefore, falsifiable – that is, tied to the real world of physical principles, events, and data, of which there are and will continue to be plenty as the Earth, enc., goes about its own way in actually giving us a perpetual experiment to work with in order to try to understand it.
    But since you apparently think Climate Science statements cannot be made in any meaningful way [scientifically] objective, then you are actually helping to make my claim about the actual nature of Climate Science as demonstrated by its m.o. so far, that it has nothing to do with real science, because its really only a classical Propaganda Operation!

  67. I agree with James Sexton, Cal and P. Sola. Climate science is intrinsically and inevitably statistics. Most of the fundamental science is known and relatively simple. The problem is integrating it in such a complex system over space and time.
    The quote is nonsense.

  68. JPeden says:
    December 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    “locust, all you are doing is rebegging the original question, which unfortuneately leaves you once again with the a priori postulate that it is impossible to do any real, Scientific Method, science with reference to the Climate. So that, according to you, there is and can be no such thing as actual Climate Science! Ever!”
    That is essentially correct, but I wouldn’t want to let my lack of imagination hard code the statement. If we ever create quantum computers that can completely replicate our solar system in a digital simulation then that may be one method of there being real “climate science.”
    As it stands now it is simply statistical masturbation – fun to play around with, but not to watch.

  69. A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO ALL!
    Hey case in point folks this certainly isn’t all about me when I say look again to what’s happening in this blog. After a few entries after I had made mine what happened? Hasn’t it basically gone back to technical deciphering or to scientists and whether we trust them or their experientmental process. And again: what then???? In other words, And? So Mr. TomRude, buddy you chill on a glass of wine. I think after you become informed you’ll need the glass, until then watch some recent Ted Turner videos. What does he need a glass all also. Do you communicate with a lot of uncomprised experts and have shown the same (on a global scale) efforts to help the environment. I certainly am not someone who jumps on some celebrity bandwagon. There is no gain for Mr. Turner to give almost all of his wealth away, it has left him in a position where he cannot count on his weath anymore. This is where his urgency lies. Mr. PhilinCalfornia, if ONE letter: phytoplankton instead of photoplankton (my apologies?) is worth mentioning, you don’t deserve to be on this active, progressive site. Acidification of the ocean (one big body of water) is not all it’s cracked up to be? Define that for me. Give me some concrete numbers. There are barren places in the ocean, an aqueous world of the “Old West”. What there aren’t? What about the tour all the kids must experience. Adult issues have gone to far!!! The tour isn’t a pretty ride through some amusement park, lets save those days for the ideal time until then don’t be fooled. Even still how about we minus all those animals held in reproductive captivity. Here’s the tour Mr. Philin: On a good size boat, open-faced, we NEED them to see it all. Around the corner and to those big metal pipes. Wide they are and out comes no not flowers…. but our muck! Yes we do poo and we use things. And while with the more current water systems SOME is reused, but not so fast, tons upon tons are dumped into the ocean. Again I can’t implore more, stay on track. So the ocean isn’t acidic enough for you? Well now the phytoplankton is still dying. What it’s not? Asphyxiation? Save that word (again the all or nothing) for hands around the throat, malady of the body or high altitudes. How about…will add TREMENDOUSLY to the already existing problems with the air. Let’s not forget of the three: water, air and land, water is the most important go figure aren’t we terrestrial beings? In comparison to air and water, you could kick land right off the planet. Surely! So, where else is the oxygen coming from. Where? Can you dispute my particulars? Step by step now Sir: 8-10% trees (disprove that), 2-3% from bacteria (and again), nothing from outerspace or someone needs to call NASA. So what produces the rest? Do you have some machine we don’t know about, if so hand it over, people want their children to live. Nonconvertible, breath in, breath out. And sir if you come across some scientist who tells you that oxygen can be removed from the moondust, I want you both to go up there and hang out a while….might sort both of you out. Oh and wear a helmut, please! Having written all this, I must say I have not lost faith in you….you mentioned the iceage. A mini-one not the Huronian kind, understood. Did I say one shouldn’t worry about this? Are kidding me, big in my thoughts. Excelerated natural disaster… a mini-iceage if following suit will be in 400 years, part of the Western Hemisphere’s experience. You betcha!!! And one that could come within 200 years, why not?! Oh the flecks of diamonds on the ruff. Nothing to shine later for lots of cash. The flecks of diamonds?..permafrost. Nominal, the cold winters getting colder. The summers, now we’re talking. Won’t be hot enough to melt the cold ground and therefore permafrost and nothing will grow, forget about the ice that will build around highrise building that have not been infrastrutured for this type of pressure!!!! Some have been infractured in a manner that sturdies them against earthquakes and high winds and would stand to reason then could possibly be able to stand the test of tons of ice building around it but very few…. NO Raised beds, greenhouses, canned food….will last long enough. And then major mass exodus’ to the South. Wow, they with their fragile economic env. and proverty and natural disasters, what are they going to say, “Come on over, we got lots”. Iceage sir, we’re on the same page. This is more a generational issue having said that look at your child, have no doubt while your child won’t see this disaster ( I say disaster now… at one time when the logistics were possible, people like the Mayans, deeked their drought-ridden environment, they assimilated into other societies, too many of us, not at all possible.), one of your great grandchildren will without a doubt have the Southern border doors slammed in their faces. Of course, could you expect anymore? Kim, rock’n’roll stick around there’s more… Mr. thegoodlocust, while I’m with you all the way, I have absolutely NO misconceptions. Because the science doesn’t add up? Consider, isn’t most dialogue conjecture, scientist to layperson. What is conjecture? A proposition unproven. How often do scientist use the word “suggests” rather that “proven”, ‘coure if you’re real lucky you’ll hear “Strongly suggests”. And when “proven” hasn’t it often be disproven. My point: What do scientists really know that we don’t? What? Come on now, for the love of a good brain and some snazzy eyeballs. If those eyeballs aren’t in good working order, bless your heart, life would not be so grand without admiring a beautiful sunset, but just smell the air. Even most roses have lost some of their scent (broccolli tastes bad and roses don’t smell as good, they want to! he- he-he. Look at lawn activity, oh that’s right, there is none. What happened to the one frog on the lilypad. Sure you’ll once in a while see a frog or a lilypad but together? Call me a sap but… why not? If someone only 20 years ago were to say to you, “Hey you see that frog on that lilypad, have a good look, look really hard, soak it up, nature’s beautiful signature will never be part of your common experience near the “waters” again.” Would you have believed them? Jump back and forth between then and now. When I pray to the universe, I don’t say Amen, I say from the child who loves your tadpoles. We know what we need to do… the rest is a bunch of numbers and scientists who need jobs. (And I know some numbers, that’s why I’m writing this because at some point, it became: SELF-EVIDENT) What do we need to do… DOWNSIZE. No assimilation with so many people, too much disconnect and controlling powers to guarantee any smooth transition of technology. If an alarmist is someone who is concerned and feels the urgency yee-hah! I’m an alarmist other than that, read about the Jews. After 100,00o had been deported, they stayed. After the first 400,000 in the camps, the rest stayed. Now there was no chance of leaving. The next 400,000, they just sat and stayed…they didn’t have a choice. Cheers.

  70. Okay, I read the paper and got the context. What Berliner writes in the same paragraph just before the quote is this:
    “Second, even if we accept the “no-hockey” conclusion, is it critical to the climate
    policy debate? I believe not, though I acknowledge that some policy makers and a
    portion of the general public do not understand the issues.”
    Here’s what he’s saying: “Okay suppose Mc&S are right, it is not the end of global warming theory. Statisticians shouldn’t be trying to refute the science anyway. Statisticians should be working WITH climate scientists to get the science right. That’s what I would do.”
    Evidently, it pains him to admit Mc&S are right and Mann, Schmidt et al are wrong. But he doesn’t want to be thought of as a bad guy! It seems like a very understated plea for business. Hey guys, let me look your papers over before you submit them. I can save you some embarrassment.
    Might not be a bad idea at that.

  71. thegoodlocust says:
    December 16, 2010 at 12:38 am
    JPeden says:
    December 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    “locust, all you are doing is rebegging the original question, which unfortuneately leaves you once again with the a priori postulate that it is impossible to do any real, Scientific Method, science with reference to the Climate. So that, according to you, there is and can be no such thing as actual Climate Science! Ever!”
    That is essentially correct, but I wouldn’t want to let my lack of imagination hard code the statement. If we ever create quantum computers that can completely replicate our solar system in a digital simulation then that may be one method of there being real “climate science.”

    locust, as I’ve already said, I disagree. I’m pretty sure that if “we ever create quantum computers that can completely replicate our solar system in a digital simulation” we will have to have already known all there is to know about our solar system, including Earth’s climate, to begin with. And it is only by using the Scientific Method that we can currently/ever? come to know what we would need to know.
    How would you ever know how to “completely replicate our solar system in a digital simulation” without using the Scientific Method? What else is there?

  72. JPeden says:
    December 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm
    “How would you ever know how to “completely replicate our solar system in a digital simulation” without using the Scientific Method? What else is there?”
    The point that I’ve been trying to drive home is that climate science, by and large, doesn’t use the scientific method. Experimentation is a key component of the scientific method and it is a rare oddity in the field.
    Put more simply:
    observation + statistics != science
    If you are still determined to disagree then look up the scientific method and then tell me the top 10 experiments in the field of climate science that were conceived and carried out by climate scientists.

  73. Not even quantum computers can be expected to replicate the solar system without a huge amount of input information, and either a perfect (excellent, at least) AI architecture or a very sophisticated set of rules representing our best-guess-generalities, AKA ‘natual laws’. And even then outside influences (galactic and beyond) might well interfere, requiring a replication of the cosmos.
    The Scientific Method is following the data, as Feynmann said, and giving it authority to cancel theories. Data quality? The best of whatever’s available, however obtained.

  74. Brian H says:
    December 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm
    “Not even quantum computers can be expected to replicate the solar system without a huge amount of input information”
    True, and I had considered that, but any solution I could think of was too fanciful to be taken seriously.
    “And even then outside influences (galactic and beyond) might well interfere, requiring a replication of the cosmos.”
    I qualified my statement about such simulations with a “may” precisely due to that point.
    That being said, it is my feeling that a wholesale replication of the cosmos would be both unnecessary and impractical. I would imagine that the input from the galaxy into our solar system would be relatively uniform (from our temporal perspective) due to the immense size of the surrounding “architecture” – the biggest variances occurring due to interactions between the sun (e.g. heliosphere, magnetosphere) and the interstellar medium.
    In other words, such outside variables would only really change in effectiveness due to the quicker cycles found within the solar system itself, which means that such a solar simulation would only need to track the relatively constant input of energies.
    Of course, I lack any real education in astronomy and so my thoughts on this may be completely wrong.

  75. Trying to blame statisticians for not offering their help is a howler! Professional statisticians, programmers, systems analysts and designers, modelers, hydrologists, forecasters, physicists, and any others who might have interfered with the DIY TinkerToy model fun the CRU etc. were having were carefully and vigorously excluded and rebuffed, and continue to be so.

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