How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies Santa Fe Institute

From Eurekalert

Public Release: 14-Dec-2018

The history of our climate is written in ice. Reading it is a matter of deciphering the complex signals pulled from tens of thousands of years of accumulated isotopes frozen miles below the surface of Antarctica.

When making sense of the massive amount of information packed into an ice core, scientists face a forensic challenge: how best to separate the useful information from the corrupt.

A new paper published in the journal Entropy shows how tools from information theory, a branch of complexity science, can address this challenge by quickly homing in on portions of the data that require further investigation.

“With this kind of data, we have limited opportunities to get it right,” says Joshua Garland, a mathematician at the Santa Fe Institute who works with 68,000 years of data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice Core. “Extracting the ice and processing the data takes hundreds of people, and tons of processing and analysis. Because of resource constraints, replicate cores are rare. ”

By the time Garland and his team got ahold of the data, more than 10 years had passed from the initial drilling of the ice core to the publishing of the dataset it contained. The two-mile ice core was extracted over five seasons from 2007-2012, by teams from the multiple universities funded by the National Science Foundation. From the field camp in West Antarctica, the core was packaged, then shipped to the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility in Colorado, and finally to the University of Colorado. At the Stable Isotope Lab at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, a state-of-the-art processing facility helped scientists pull water isotope records from the ice.

The result is a highly resolved, complex dataset. Compared to previous ice core data, which allowed for analysis every 5 centimeters, the WAIS Divide core permits analysis at millimeter resolution.

“One of the exciting thing about ice core research in the last decade is we’ve developed these lab systems to analyze the ice in high resolution,” says Tyler Jones, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Quite a while back we were limited in our ability to analyze climate because we couldn’t get enough data points, or if we could it would take too long. These new techniques have given us millions of data points, which is rather difficult to manage and interpret without some new advances in our [data] processing.”

In previous cores, Garland notes that decades, even centuries, were aggregated into a single point. The WAIS data, by contrast, sometimes gives more than forty data points per year. But as scientists move to analyze the data at shorter time scales, even small anomalies can be problematic.

“As fine-grained data becomes available, fine-grained analyses can be performed,” Garland notes. “But it also makes the analysis susceptible to fine-grained anomalies.”

To quickly identify which anomalies require further investigation, the team uses information theoretic techniques to measure how much complexity appears at each point in the time sequence. A sudden spike in the complexity could mean that there was either a major, unexpected climate event, like a super volcano, or that there was an issue in the data or the data processing pipeline.

“This kind of anomaly would be invisible without a highly detailed, fine-grained, point-by-point analysis of the data, which would take a human expert many months to perform,” says Elizabeth Bradley, a computer scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. “Even though information theory can’t tell us the underlying cause of an anomaly, we can use these techniques to quickly flag the segments of the data set that should be investigated by paleoclimate experts.”

She compares the ice core dataset to a Google search that returns a million pages. “It’s not that you couldn’t go through those million pages,” Bradley says. “But imagine if you had a technique that could point you toward the ones that were potentially meaningful?” When analyzing large, real-world datasets, information theory can spot differences in the data that signal either a processing error or a significant climate event.

In their Entropy paper, the scientists detail how they used information theory to identify and repair a problematic stretch of data from the original ice core. Their investigation eventually prompted a resampling of the archival ice core — the longest resampling of a high-resolution ice core to date. When that portion of the ice was resampled and reprocessed, the team was able to resolve an anomalous spike in entropy from roughly 5,000 years ago.

“It’s vitally important to get this area right,” Garland notes, “because it contains climate information from the dawn of human civilization.”

“I think climate change is the most pressing problem ever to face humanity, and ice cores are undoubtedly the best record of Earth’s climate going back hundreds of thousands of years,” says Jones. “Information theory helps us sift through the data to make sure what we’re putting out into the world is the absolute best and most certain product we can.”

###

0 0 votes
Article Rating
187 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
saveenergy
December 15, 2018 2:18 pm

It was fine & interesting …then Jones spoiled it with –

“I think climate change is the most pressing problem ever to face humanity,”

Proving she has difficulty thinking.

David Bidwell
Reply to  saveenergy
December 15, 2018 2:35 pm

Too often scientists these days are extrapolating beyond their field and drawing grandiose conclusions. Reporters should be vigilant and nip that in the bud.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Bidwell
December 15, 2018 3:13 pm

Interesting that you think journalists should do this. Is your expertise journalism? Or are you extrapolating outside your feild?

ATheoK
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:01 pm

That is a personal attack.

Graeme#4
Reply to  ATheoK
December 15, 2018 8:04 pm

It’s also a fallacious Appeal To Authority.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:45 pm

Mosher,
As an end-consumer of the product of journalists, I think that he is qualified to comment on what kind of writing he wants to have. His field is a consumer of the product of journalists.

rbabcock
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 6:48 am

Journalists, like scientists, used to have code of conduct they needed to follow to publish anything. Today not so much.

All you have to do is read the Climategate emails to understand what is going on behind the scenes in your field and look at all the fabricated stories on TV (Dan Rather) to understand today’s journalism.

Like to be a carpenter all you need is a hammer, to be a journalist all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

Reply to  David Bidwell
December 15, 2018 5:26 pm

“Too often scientists these days are extrapolating beyond their field and drawing grandiose conclusions.”

WOW – I’m not sure you realize how prevalent this is, even at the highest levels. I’ve dealt with top scientists at IUCN, NSF – even Sherwood Rowland – where they could only see their shoes though answers they were searching for – though thru a different lens, a different knowledge base (in this case socio-economic & land-use solutions) were right in front of them. FOR SOME REASON, THEY HAD NO ABILITY TO CREATE BRIDGES INTO OTHER METHODOLOGIES FOR SOLUTIONS – AND WERE VERY COMFORTABLE GOING THERE (made me laugh – if people only knew!).

mike the morlock
Reply to  David Bidwell
December 15, 2018 9:00 pm

Steven Mosher December 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

“Or are you extrapolating outside your feild?” Good question.
By asking the question you answered it.
journalists are not schooled in the areas they report. They rely on the professionalism of the individuals informing them..
So no, not their job.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  saveenergy
December 15, 2018 3:10 pm

Interesting personal attack.
Didn’t Tim ball just write a post about personal attacks.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:08 pm

Irony is lost on this one.
The majority of your posts are nothing more than personal attacks.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 4:15 pm

“The Dansgaard-Oeschger events described in Sect. 2 are climatologically
important and scientifically interesting, but their mechanics and dynamics are
not completely understood. During the early stages of the collaboration that
produced this paper, the geoscientists on the team conjectured that these events
would inject new information into the time series. As is clear from Fig. 4, however,
that is not the case. That is, while DO events may reflect changes in the
dynamics of the climate (cf., recent work on “critical slowing down” [7,14,17]),
they are not associated with changes in the information production of that system.
Rather, they appear to be just part of the normal operating procedure of
the climate system.”

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 5:50 pm

Another tendency of yours Steve, when caught doing something stupid, you answer with a post that is completely non-responsive to the point being made.

ATheoK
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:05 pm

“MarkW December 15, 2018 at 5:50 pm
Another tendency of yours Steve, when caught doing something stupid, you answer with a post that is completely non-responsive to the point being made.”

Point right on target, MarkW!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 6:47 pm

MarkW

“Wrong” 🙂

KaliforniaKook
Reply to  MarkW
December 16, 2018 12:11 pm

+10
Tim Ball was right, although he appeared to limit it to climate scientists. Here on this site we often resort to it. It is so easy to do with some (like Griff) because we frequently repeat the same arguments which have not been rationally refuted, or they are using unsupported data. It is not just an expression of frustration that we can’t come up with refutation, but that the refutation is ignored or entirely misunderstood.
Sometimes ad hominem attacks are cathartic – but not a winning strategy. And do we really feel better after using them?
Mosh – did you note that your original post was an ad hominem attack?

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Hardly a personal attack, Mosh. Jones made the comment which has nothing to do with the substance of the article, i.e. the value of high resolution, long period data records and the associated issues. There was no need to introduce such a partisan, politicised perspective. If the comment had been along the lines of ‘the climate change debate must have accurate, precise data sets from which to base the scientific discourse’ then that would be quite reasonable and an objective comment. What was said was apartisan take. It sounded like a ‘science communications’ sexing up of the topic for msm consumption.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 16, 2018 11:37 pm

quote was

“proving she has difficulty thinking”

A non personal attack would be : “She is wrong, here is why”

This isnt that hard.

Time for Raising the bar on comments at WUWT

ATheoK
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:04 pm

“saveenergy December 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm”

Provided a direct belief or religious quote made by the researcher. It is called “Conflicts of Interest”.

Making your assumption the personal attack.

lee
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:24 pm

Interesting. in a piece in the West Australian 3 climate scientists involved in SR5 were talking about sceptics misrepresenting the science. And that when SR5 misrepresents Marcott. 😛

nw sage
Reply to  saveenergy
December 15, 2018 5:16 pm

It IS the most pressing problem ever to face humanity — if you listen to the popular press and the politicians who respond to that press. It doesn’t mean that they are correct only that they have fooled themselves into believing they cannot be wrong.

Leo Smith
Reply to  saveenergy
December 15, 2018 6:18 pm

Have you not heard the phrase ‘A sop to Cerberus?’

That was the throwaway line that gets next years funding.

She has less difficulty thinking than perhaps you give her credit for…

KaliforniaKook
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 16, 2018 12:13 pm

‘A sop to Cerberus?’ You may be right. and being a purist gets nobody anywhere.

Wrusssr
Reply to  saveenergy
December 15, 2018 10:03 pm

Naw. Just more careless spin/unskilled slant/crude hangout/experts say/ etc., etc.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  saveenergy
December 26, 2018 1:33 am

Proving she is in bad company.

R Shearer
December 15, 2018 2:19 pm

Most pressing problem to face humanity? I think trying to unsubscribe from some magazine emails is more pressing.

Trebls
Reply to  R Shearer
December 15, 2018 5:08 pm

Most pressing problem? What about the price of cable?

R Shearer
Reply to  Trebls
December 15, 2018 6:01 pm

Try rope instead.

MarkW
Reply to  R Shearer
December 15, 2018 6:46 pm

I tried getting internet over a rope once.
Baud rate was awful.

Max Dupilka
December 15, 2018 2:27 pm

“I think climate change is the most pressing problem ever to face humanity, and ice cores are undoubtedly the best record of Earth’s climate going back hundreds of thousands of years,” says Jones.

It sounds very much like, with most climate research, they first have their minds made up as to what they want to show and then tease the data to justify that preconceived notion. It would be refreshing if they said they would just let the data take them where it leads. But that may not lead to further grants.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Max Dupilka
December 15, 2018 3:16 pm

Data is never pristine. Empirical fact. There are always data problems and data processing problems.

Greg K
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:40 pm

Data are never pristine. Fact

Roger Knights
Reply to  Greg K
December 15, 2018 5:30 pm

Although it’s conventional in scientific publications to treat “data” as a plural, it is not incorrect to treat it as a collective singular. This is well-settled in the finicky-grammarians’ world. (E.g., see Fowler’s century-old usage guide.)

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:09 pm

However pretending that fancy statistical methods can take problematic data and make it pristine is not scientific. Heck, it’s not even rational.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 4:22 pm

Who is pretending that?

Not me. Not these authors.

had you read the paper, you would see that.

Had you read the paper you’d see they were testing assumptions made by others who processed the data first

‘It is worth thinking about whether the preprocessing step outlined in the
first paragraph of this section—which is the standard approach in this field if
one wants an ice-core data set with even temporal sampling—could have disturbed
the information mechanics of the data. The ramps introduced by linear
interpolation introduce repeating, predictable patterns in the π of Sect. 3, which
could skew the distribution of those permutations. For long enough interpolations,
this should lower the overall WPE value, but the time scales of this effect
are all but impossible to derive.

To explore whether this WPE shrinkage was at work in our results, we carried
out the following experiment…..

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 5:51 pm

Doesn’t take much to convince you. So long as the answer is correct.

R Shearer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:02 pm

Hardly.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:53 pm

Mosher

Definition of pristine

1 : belonging to the earliest period or state : original the hypothetical pristine lunar atmosphere
2a : not spoiled, corrupted, or polluted (as by civilization) : pure a pristine forest
b : fresh and clean as or as if new used books in pristine condition

Data may have problems, but the original data are pristine, whereas data that have been changed are not pristine.

LdB
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 16, 2018 5:51 am

If you guys want to go at it technically

Data is direct measurement of observational outcomes under experiment.
Interpretation and modelling is what you may do with data and it becomes a product, meaning the product either or both of those steps.

Look at any scientific organization and they will call any modified data a “product” or “dataset product” to make it clear it isn’t direct measured data.

In real science outside climate fantasy there is only data and products and you guys have conflated the two.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 16, 2018 11:52 pm

“Data may have problems, but the original data are pristine, whereas data that have been changed are not pristine.”

Sorry all data is mediated unless you believe in errorless observation

LdB
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 17, 2018 4:27 am

All data is not mediated it is not permitted in science, products are data this mediated.

I haven’t looked but I am betting that all major temperature, sea ice and sea level sets are called products if they are produced by a scientific organization because that is the correct term.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 9:56 pm

You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Reprocessing old flawed data just cannot reveal any new information. Try and try as you will, what they wrote down is all they wrote down, and all you and yours are doing is demonstrating your fundamental misunderstanding of the word “MEASUREMENT.”

Tell all your friends.

But, somehow, I feel that you will probably continue with your attempts, as you can fool some of the people all of the time….

SMC
December 15, 2018 2:38 pm

Sounds like they’ve developed a new way to cherry pick data.

Latitude
Reply to  SMC
December 15, 2018 2:46 pm

…exactly what I was thinking

“the scientists detail how they used information theory to identify and repair a problematic stretch of data from the original ice core.”

…beat that data into submission…how do you “repair” something…you’ve never seen…unless you have a preconceived agenda of what you want it to be

I’ll guarantee the highs will go missing

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Latitude
December 15, 2018 3:19 pm

Conspiracy thinking.
But here is a challenge. Make a prediction about what they adjust. A testable prediction.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:37 pm

Let’s hope that they publish their methods and data. Until then, it is guessing, not a science.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:44 pm

Justified by the fact 5that we are dealing with conspirators.

Figures don’t lie. Liars figure.

Sheri
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Wouldn’t it be more effective to just look at what they have adjusted and note what directions and what amounts the changes were—if the data is publicly available. There should be copious notes on why the changes were made, so if there is a conspiracy, it will show up. So, is there a data set of adjusted and unadjusted temperatures with copious notes on why the changes?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 4:16 pm

No Sheri

It is easier to throw rocks at a 2 year study without reading it

“The Dansgaard-Oeschger events described in Sect. 2 are climatologically
important and scientifically interesting, but their mechanics and dynamics are
not completely understood. During the early stages of the collaboration that
produced this paper, the geoscientists on the team conjectured that these events
would inject new information into the time series. As is clear from Fig. 4, however,
that is not the case. That is, while DO events may reflect changes in the
dynamics of the climate (cf., recent work on “critical slowing down” [7,14,17]),
they are not associated with changes in the information production of that system.
Rather, they appear to be just part of the normal operating procedure of
the climate system.”

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:29 pm

Steven Mosher

Here we go again, the Mosher “prove I’m wrong” method.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 4:37 pm

Funny.

quoting the paper is somehow a challenge to ” prove I am wrong”

mr. anonymous will need a new game.

MarkW
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 5:52 pm

Once again, Steve proves that he doesn’t know the first thing about the scientific method.
You can’t refute a criticism by merely repeating the argument being criticized.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 7:33 pm

All Mosher is saying is that the climate scientists couldn’t find any guilty evidence of CO2 in that study. There have been many studies as to the causes of pink noise (ubiquitous) as regards to climate and no definite conclusions have been proved. Extreme care must be taken when attempting to use Empirical Orthogonal Functions on chaotic non linear system time series data. Too many climate scientists do not have a good basis in statistics to properly analyze their data. They need to employ professional statisticians on their team. Michael Mann’s work being a prime example.

HotScot
Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 2:45 am

HotScot

It’s your persistent MO.

And there’s something wrong with being anonymous on the internet?

For all I know you might not be Steven Mosher.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 6:00 am

Mosher won’t even answer basic question about Berkley Earth which we have put to him and after he made various interesting claims. So I would not hold your breathe expecting any answers anytime soon.

OweninGA
Reply to  Latitude
December 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Latitude,

That is the problem with ice cores anyway. They tend to be an average of a ten to one hundred year period while the firn turns to ice layers. Their isotope measurements are not high resolution, to the peaks and troughs are always going to be missing. Ice isn’t much good for time periods less that a quarter century.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  OweninGA
December 15, 2018 4:24 pm

“The study reported here involves data from the 3405 m long West Antarctic
Ice Sheet Divide core (WDC), which was gathered and analyzed by a team
involving authors Jones and White [21,22]. This core, which covers a period of
roughly 68 ka, is the highest-resolution and longest continuously measured record
of its kind ever recovered from Antarctica. The high accumulation rate at the
WAIS Divide—about 23 cm/yr in recent times—results in annual isotopic signals
that persist for the last ≈ 16 thousand years”

OweninGA
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:33 pm

I believe they are over-estimating resolution again. That is a constant problem in climate science. 23 cm gives a good long ways for the trapped air and dust to migrate within the layer and still be in the layer, but there is still 10 years or so before the firn is ice. This is a high resolution core – meaning 10 years at best.

What does a 10 year running mean filter do to your data? It smears out peaks and valleys that are less than 10 years long.

KAT
Reply to  OweninGA
December 16, 2018 2:29 am

“For the same time period, about 7,000 to 8,000 years before the present, two types of proxy estimates of CO2. The ice core data from the Taylor Dome, Antarctica, which are used to reconstruct the IPCC’s fficial historical record, feature an almost completely flat time trend and range, 260 to 264 ppmv (Indermuhle et al. 1999).
On the other hand, fossil leaf stomata indices show CO2 concentrations ranging widely by more than 50 ppmv, between 270 and 326 ppmv ( Wagner et al. 2002).
This difference strongly suggests that ice cores are not a proper matrix for reconstruction of the chemical composition of the ancient atmosphere.”

Ice cores? Mosh’tly wrong!

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Latitude
December 15, 2018 4:12 pm

“A very interesting feature here is the large jump in WPE between 5–8 ka. As it
turns out, an older instrument was used to analyze the ice in this region. The
WPE results clearly show that that instrument introduced noise into the data:
i.e., every measurement contains completely new information, unrelated to the
previous ones. As can be seen from examination of the red and grey traces in
the figure, that noise was not visually apparent in the δD data itself, so the
instrument issue was not detected immediately by the laboratory team. The
fact that WPE brings out the disparity between the two instruments so clearly
is a major advantage. (Indeed, that revelation has caused author White’s team
to re-examine the data in the depth ranges where the blips occur in the WPE
results, near 17, 26, and 30 ka.) Another interesting feature of Fig. 2 is the rise
in δD WPE from 62–68 ka. This may be due to geothermal heat at the base
of the ice sheet, which causes water isotopes to diffuse in that region, thereby
injecting new information into the oldest section of the time series. This matter
is discussed at more length below.”

Leo Smith
Reply to  Latitude
December 15, 2018 6:24 pm

That is in fact exactly the point of information theory techniques. To identify what you really don’t expect to see and look at it more closely.

It’s a finer line then to be drawn between discarding it as anomalous or allowing it to refute a preconceived position.

Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 2:44 pm

This work makes no sense to me. Ice cores by definition have limited time resolution. The time to firn closure varies with annual snow accumulation amounts, and hence depth. There is distortion, since ice flows.
As one easy to understand (and readily googlable) example, Glacier Girl ditched on Greenland in 1942, exact lovation known from the pilot recoverynoperation. She was relocated in 1992 and recovered in 1993 at a location 2 miles away (ice flow) and 264 feet down (ice accumulation over 50 years.
Just because something can be done (40 data points/year) doesn’t mean that it logically should be done.
Or, to paraphase the great physics mind Ernst Rutherford, if you need complex statistics (or complex information theory) to get your experimental result, you should have done a different experiment.

Latitude
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 2:48 pm

+1………..

tty
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 3:10 pm

In the shallower part of a core annual resolution is possible for the ice and dust, but of course not for enclosed gasses that can’t have better resolution than the time to closure.

In the deeper parts the annual layers get very compressed and also smeared out by diffusion.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 3:22 pm

Personal incredulity is not evidence.
When something does not make sense to you, the wise course and skeptical course is to suspend judgement.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:48 pm

Mosh: Glad to see them ignoring you. Exactly what you deserve.

Sheri
Reply to  Brett Keane
December 15, 2018 3:51 pm

Is he trying to be antagonistic, but that’s what I’m picking up.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 4:01 pm

Saying that a paper doesnt make sense to you is not evidence.

Rud knows me. We just had lunch.

Now it would appear to me that on a site devoted to evidence that one can point out what is evidence and what is not evidence, regardless of who makes the claim.

HotScot
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 4:32 pm

Steven Mosher

Rud knows me. We just had lunch.

Is that supposed to impress or something?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 4:41 pm

“Is that supposed to impress or something?”

No all humans eat.

But the supposition that I my purpose would be atagonizing Rud by pointing out a fact ( personal incedulity is not evidence) is rather funny. Do you also think Rud would be atagonized by healthy debate? Huh?

You can ask him. go ahead.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 6:38 pm

Personal incredulity is evidence.

The question is, of what?

The second question is of course why one would choose to ignore or discredit it…

There is, there can be, no truly objective view of the world.

Despite protagonists on all sides claiming the One True Worldview.

Science should be the means to correct the most erroneous. But it can never demonstrate the truth.

Only the grosser lies.

Personal incredulity is evidence that either the worldview is incorrect, or the data does not mean what you think it does.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 7:03 pm

Mosher
Rud offered more than just personal incredulity. He offered a physical reason why the data should be suspect. You did not offer a counter argument as to why he would be wrong, except to point out you had lunch with him.

Steven Burnett
Reply to  Brett Keane
December 15, 2018 7:51 pm

His point is correct.

If you don’t understand study until you do, or suspend your input.

Not sure why you guys have an issue with Mosher. As far as I can see his pokes are literally aimed at swatting the stupid on our side of the debate. This endeavor isn’t just rational, it’s literally one of the main skeptic critiques of the alarmist camp.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Burnett
December 16, 2018 8:28 am

He didn’t say that he didn’t understand the study, he said their results make no sense.
Until you can understand the difference perhaps you should suspend your input?

PS: Others have answered the second paragraph of your post. And they did so before you posted.

Steven Burnett
Reply to  Steven Burnett
December 16, 2018 3:24 pm

Actually, he said the work makes no sense, not the results make no sense. thus its the study itself he has difficulty understanding not the outcomes. If you want to play semantics games try harder.

As far as I can see the responses related to my second paragraph are nothing more than antagonistic tripe. Mosher is making valid critiques.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:11 pm

In other words, when presented with garbage, Steve would recommend that you just accept it.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:20 pm

I was taking a course from the late Dr. Herbert Landar (Cal State LA, then) back around 1964. One day some students came in asking about one of the items on his collateral reading list (Benjamin Lee Whorf, it was). His reply was that his reading list was not confined to what he agreed with, but included work that was important, for various reasons. He admonished us that if what we were reading seemed to be so much nonsense, “…I beg of you, consider the possiblity that it may be so much nonsense.”

commieBob
Reply to  Juan Slayton
December 15, 2018 7:51 pm

Benjamin Lee Whorf

He proved that an autodidact, working full time in another field, could do work of great scientific worth. On the one hand it’s encouraging. On the other hand even just reading the wiki article shows the amount of work he did and it’s daunting.

There are autodidacts posting on WUWT, and they deserve our respect and encouragement.

commieBob
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:23 pm

The way they use ‘information theory’ makes me think they aren’t particularly familiar with it. We’ve seen way too often that people dump a data set into Matlab and play around with modules until they get something that looks interesting.

One of my heroes is Burt Rutan, an acclaimed engineer with vast experience analyzing data. I can’t find the quote but it’s something like, “If someone has to analyze the crap out of the data to get a favorable result, their work is almost certainly bogus.” link

Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean you should suspend judgment. If it doesn’t pass the smell test, you should become all the more skeptical.

My knowledge of history told me that Dr. Mann’s hockey stick was wrong. I didn’t have to understand the statistics involved. The result was absurd.

There’s also the old adage: BS baffles brains.

Throughout my career, I noticed that the people with the most complicated explanations were those with a tenuous understanding of the subject at best. The senior engineers and scientists almost always communicated simply and clearly.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  commieBob
December 15, 2018 7:39 pm

Feynman said if you can’t explain something to a 8 year old, then you don’t understand it.

Graeme#4
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
December 15, 2018 8:20 pm

I believe Warren Buffett said something similar, along the lines of: “I’m a simple man, so tell it to me simply”.

cerescokid
Reply to  commieBob
December 16, 2018 8:46 am

Most complicated explanations

Bingo. I couldn’t agree more.

mike the morlock
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 9:27 pm

Steven Mosher December 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm
Thank you for being civil. To all be civil.
I am still looking through the paper.
I may in the end disagree totally but I want to give the people who worked on this their due.

michael

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 4:51 am

Yeah and neither is your personal credulity! The the wise course and skeptical course is to suspend judgement! And yet, here you are, all over this paper offering nothing of substance except your dance card!

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 4:09 pm

“To create evenly spaced time-series data for δD, δ18O, and dxs, we first used
the age model described at the end of Sect. 2 to convert depths to ages, and
then re-mapped the data to a constant temporal spacing of 1/20th of a year
using linear interpolation. The effective resolution of the data is 0.005 m. In the
upper portions of the ice core, annual layer thicknesses are about 20 cm, so there
are roughly 40 data points per year. At greater depths in the core, an annual
layer may only be 4 cm thick, yielding eight data points per year. The accuracy
involved in interpolating these unevenly spaced data to a uniform spacing
of 1/20th year varies over the depth of the core; this matter, and its potential
effects on the results, are discussed further at the end of this section. The specific
age scale spacing of 1/20th per year was chosen because it preserves the structure
and amplitude of the data—that is, there are no instances of significantly
reduced amplitude in the signal, or losses in spectral power.”

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 15, 2018 6:59 pm

Rud,
Yes, that extra temporal resolution is likely to just be noise and that may be why they are finding ‘anomalies.’

Graemethecat
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 16, 2018 3:06 am

The information content of the ice cores is limited by the factors Rud describes. The techniques in the study seem to promise to recover information which has been lost forever.

John K. Sutherland
December 15, 2018 2:46 pm

I hesitated when I saw how the mathematician spoke of ‘tons of processing power’. Sounds like what we had back in the late sixties.

RicDre
Reply to  John K. Sutherland
December 15, 2018 4:21 pm

“Sounds like what we had back in the late sixties.”

I worked on some of those machines; IBM 360 Model 30s and IBM 360 Model 40s. Some of those beasts (like the IBM 360 Model 91) had so many lights on the System Console that we used to joke that just pressing the “Lamp Test” button to light up all of the console lights so you check for burn-out lights would draw so much power that it would dim lights throughout the neighborhood.

HotScot
December 15, 2018 2:47 pm

So that’s what polar ice is useful for other than a good G&T. Thousands of scientists employed to disappear up their own arseholes with infinite levels of data analysis.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

HotScot
December 15, 2018 2:55 pm

The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. To explain — since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation — every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake. The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Tom Graney
December 15, 2018 2:56 pm

We should all welcome better resolution and better understanding of ice core data.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom Graney
December 15, 2018 3:08 pm

It depends on what the agenda is.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Tom Graney
December 15, 2018 3:24 pm

Yes tom. If your goal is understanding you always welcome more data and better methods.

Some folks want to reject this before looking at it.

Weird

OweninGA
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:00 pm

From signal theory, that lost data is forever gone. If we “know” something about the underlying signal origin we can construct a theoretical reconstruction of the signal. If there is anything “unexpected” in that stretch of signal, we don’t reproduce it because we reproduce what we “expect”. This effort is no different and thus of no scientific value due to the circular reasoning involved. It works fairly well when the signal is something like human conversation, but compressed data signals are not worth trying on.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  OweninGA
December 15, 2018 4:35 pm

Actually not.

“A very interesting feature here is the large jump in WPE between 5–8 ka. As it
turns out, an older instrument was used to analyze the ice in this region. The
WPE results clearly show that that instrument introduced noise into the data:
i.e., every measurement contains completely new information, unrelated to the
previous ones. As can be seen from examination of the red and grey traces in
the figure, that noise was not visually apparent in the δD data itself, so the
instrument issue was not detected immediately by the laboratory team. The
fact that WPE brings out the disparity between the two instruments so clearly
is a major advantage. (Indeed, that revelation has caused author White’s team
to re-examine the data in the depth ranges where the blips occur in the WPE
results, near 17, 26, and 30 ka.)”

In general when commenting on a paper. It helps to read the actual paper RATHER THAN the MSM blurbs about the paper.

or you can read the blurb and react to the Blurb using any set of standard skeptical
responses. These responses ( raw data Rules!, they used models! ect ect) are not really thinking. They are just kneee jerk skeptical talking points.

On your point. A change in the entropy of a signal bears investigation.
All they did was calculate an entropy metric. When entropy increases that is a CLUE
to look deeper.

In this case they found an instrument problem.

Helps to read the paper before forming a conclusion.

This observation does not require a science degree. But those who have science degrees who commented before reading the paper, should be more diligent.

A blurb written by MSM is basically an adjusted and filtered vesion of the actual science.

read the paper first.

its a good policy

LdB
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 6:29 am

Always fun when non science peeps start using entropy, I suspect I understand what you are trying to say but it is really badly worded.

The problem is entropy in a signal is directly proportional to the amount of data but it is also directly proportional to noise and bandwidth. So high entropy data can be just noise. So for a good information signal you want a bit of entropy but not too much 🙂

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:13 pm

In other words, if you don’t like the methods that Steve likes, you have proven that you aren’t a scientist.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 4:27 pm

MarkW

I wasn’t aware Stephen is a scientist.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 5:08 pm

I dunno Scot.

That’s the title employers gave me. I don’t care much. In the end there are two kinds of people. people who rely on the authority of titles ( he’s a lawyer, he’s a doctor, he’s a marketing puke, he;s a scientist) and people who actually check the work and never check the title.

So take Willis. I like willis because I can check his work. it would never occur to me to check his past. Doesnt matter. Same with Rud. It would never occur to me to check his science by looking at his law degree.

In fact it would be hilarious to say Rud and Willis were wrong merely by the fact of their past.

HotScot
Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 3:02 am

Steven Mosher

Establishing credentials is essential enough that governments do it before employing people.

Your employers may have given you the title of scientists in which case they are either frauds or fools unless you have a science qualification none of us are aware of. Indeed, it’s incumbent on you to inform them you can’t accept the title of scientist as you would be misrepresenting yourself and them.

Doesn’t Willis openly state he’s a self taught science enthusiast? So what would be the point of checking his background? And checking Rud’s credentials wouldn’t be important unless he were to represent you, then it becomes pretty essential.

Nor do I wan’t to misrepresent your background, you’re a clever guy with an English qualification, it doesn’t mean you know anything about science. You cut and paste a lot, quote other peoples work but I don’t suppose you have ever undertaken credible, published science yourself.

Your a marketeer Stephen, a noble pursuit in itself, but please don’t try to pass yourself off as knowledgeable about science, far less climate science, that just makes you less credible than me, and I have no qualifications, just two thirds of my life in marketing.

I can smell BS a mile off.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 5:04 pm

mark

I don’t recall ever saying anyone was or was not a scientist. That’s largely a social label and not an inherent property of folks.

For myself I use the label employers give me or my co authors give me. not a big deal. what matters is does you method work and can others replicate your results

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 5:55 pm

I was commenting on your tendency to dismiss anything that comes to a conclusion you don’t like, and to defend any method that you do like. Usually without understanding either method.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 11:40 pm

“I was commenting on your tendency to dismiss anything that comes to a conclusion you don’t like, and to defend any method that you do like. Usually without understanding either method.”

Really, The job is to evaluate methods. let’s take nic Lewis on sensitivity

As an example Mark, lets’s take his method in his papers with Judith Curry

What do you think my opinion on this was?

Guess?

be careful you better read his papers start to finish.

Garland Lowe
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 5:42 pm

When reading a statement such as “I think climate change is the most pressing problem ever to face humanity,” it is difficult not to believe the “scientific” interpretation of the data will find the global warming that is being pursued.

There was a study showing that rapes and violent crime will dramatically increase as temperatures rise.

Do these “scientist” ever tire of crying “wolf”?

When I read or hear “climate models predict, hottest year ever, CO2 footprint, global warming, we must act now to save the planet, climate scientists predict, etc., etc., etc.”, whatever follows is not worth listening to or wasting time reading. “Climate Scientists” have lost all credibility, they wouldn’t know real science if it bit them in the rear end.

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 4:17 pm

Yes tom, If your goal is understanding – the Flying Teapot – you will always welcome more data and better methods.

Some folks want to reject – the Flying Spaghetti Monster – before looking at it.

Weird 😉

December 15, 2018 3:05 pm

“A spike in entropy from 5,000 years ago.” What? they never even said what they were measuring other than “Isotopes.”

This report contains little if any information…

Reply to  Michael Moon
December 15, 2018 3:42 pm

Did they lift “the spike in entropy” directly from Star Wars? It sounds like that kind of science.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Curious George
December 15, 2018 4:53 pm

It’s related to shannon entropy, they use WPE , weighted permutation entropy.

you can think of it as a way to identify pieces of a time series that are “unpredictable” given the prior history of the time series.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-permutation-entropy

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:12 pm

Steven, thanks. I found an amusing sentence in your reference: “All references and original papers seem quite new. Instead of calling it an emerging topic, it might better be considered embryonic.”

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Curious George
December 16, 2018 11:43 pm

Every once in a while people attempt to apply information theoreci metrics in new fields

it’s been around a long time. Here’s a hint, I was using Shannon entropy to evaluate
stylistic shifts in texts back in the 80s.

LdB
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 17, 2018 4:19 am

It’s actually a rehash of some very old work circa the 70’s or 80’s, sorry I don’t remember the exact timing. It was picked up and used with EEG and it’s use was patented for anaesthesia monitoring in the early 2000’s.

The C code for the technique was published and infact converted into VHDL code for use in FPGA there are dozens of variants kicking around on the net. Someone from that background obviously worked out it might work on ice core samples. It won’t magically fix your data but it does help with monitoring a signal.

I guess the positive is finally some of the more advanced signal processing techniques are creeping over to climate science which is long overdue.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Michael Moon
December 15, 2018 7:14 pm

We have had a spike in something from the IPCC lately. Not sure if they are scientists.

LdB
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
December 17, 2018 4:37 am

Were they also activists?

tty
December 15, 2018 3:06 pm

The most remarkable thing about the WAIS Divide ice core is that drilling was deliberately broken off before reaching bedrock. Officially this was to protect the unique bacteria that might be living under the ice from the drilling fluid, but I have a strong suspicion that they were afraid that the basal ice or the sediments under it might be older than the last interglacial which would have killed the whole WAIS Collapse narrative. Also note that according to the party line there can’t even be any unique bacteria there, since the area is supposed to have been deglaciated just 100,000 years ago.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  tty
December 15, 2018 3:27 pm

Suspicions are not evidence.
Wait.
Yes it was popper who said science was judged by whether tty had suspicions.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:15 pm

In his first post on this article, Steven took another poster to task for issuing insults rather than dealing with the arguments made.
Once again Steven indicates that he has no intention of living by the standards that he demands of others.
Typical warmist.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2018 4:44 pm

tty is wrong

Suspicions are not evidence.

if you think it is an insult to have your mistakes pointed out mark, then leave.

Now if I called tty a name, or insulted him personally, you’d have a point.

I am sure tty is intelligent and fair minded.

he happens to wrong about this issue.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 5:57 pm

If you had merely whined “you’re wrong”, like you usually do, that would have been the end of it.
The rest of your post was the insult.
Sorry you aren’t man enough to admit your own hypocrisy.

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 3:10 am

Steven Mosher

A hypothesis is a suspicion. Suspicions lead to evidence.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 9:53 am

Mosher
If an “ntelligent and fair minded” professional has suspicions about the veracity of data or a claim, only a fool or egotistical person would dismiss the concerns out of hand without considering the stated reasons for the suspicions.

Ridiculing tty is the same as insulting him personally. I would think that you would understand that. Do you not understand it, or are you purposely being disingenuous?

If you think it is an insult to have your mistakes pointed out Steve, then leave.

tty
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 12:40 pm

“Ridiculing tty is the same as insulting him personally.”

Not to worry. Being insulted by Steven Mosher is virtually a compliment.

Incidentally I never claimed that my suspicion was evidence. However it seems to me that the excuse given for failing to obtain the scientifically most important part of the ice core after a five year effort is extraordinarily weak. Any number of ice cores have been drilled straight through to bedrock previously both in Greenland and Antarctica, with much of the scientific yield coming from the basal ice and the sediment under the ice.

The only other case where this was deliberately avoided was when drilling over Lake Vostok. In this case the the wish not to contaminate a unique environment that has probably been isolated for tens of million years is understandable and reasonable, particularly since some of the penetrated ice was frozen water from Lake Vostok, so a great deal of data could be obtained without penetrating into the lake. However this would not apply when drilling just about anywhere else in Antarctica.

tty
December 15, 2018 3:20 pm

“A sudden spike in the complexity could mean that there was either a major, unexpected climate event, like a super volcano, or that there was an issue in the data or the data processing pipeline.”

Or it might be a melt layer. They are unusual in Antarctica but they do occur.

Having done a fair amount of time series analysis I can state with some confidence that the best way to find anomalies in time series is to use the Mk I Eyeball. However our brains have an inveterate habit of finding patterns where there aren’t any, so the finds should always be verified by statistical analysis.

Sheri
Reply to  tty
December 15, 2018 3:54 pm

Our brains created the statistics. How can we know we didn’t write a pattern into the stats because we thought it should be there? (Not being contrary. It’s just that people often think we can somehow avoid prejudice in probability and circumstantial analysis. I don’t see that we can.)

OweninGA
Reply to  Sheri
December 15, 2018 4:05 pm

We can if the math was not applied with an apriori bias in the construction of the method. If we do a straight dependent-independent variable analysis to test the null hypothesis of no relation we don’t know what the result will be. However, if we devise a method that will always pull the shape we want from red noise, then we can say the math was bogus.

tty
Reply to  OweninGA
December 16, 2018 12:44 pm

” if we devise a method that will always pull the shape we want from red noise”

Incidentally a pretty good description of Bayesian statistics where the unavoidably biased choice of prior probability can do just that.

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Sheri
December 16, 2018 5:41 am

Sheri
I like the classic chessboard illusion:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion

which shows that once the eye-brain system fixes on a pattern in what it sees, then auto-corrections of for instance light level are made to preserve and emphasise that pattern.

December 15, 2018 3:29 pm

No matter what the subject is, just remember to utter the magic words “Climate change” and our highly qualified politicians will twitch and send more money.

M<JE

Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:39 pm

https://www.santafe.edu/news-center/news/predicting-unpredictability-information-theory-offers-new

One anomaly is traced to an old instrument.

People who worship raw data forget that all data comes from instruments. And no instrument is perfect.

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:15 pm

Steven Mosher

People who worship raw data forget that all data comes from instruments. And no instrument is perfect.

Nonsense. Data is derived from observations, instruments are convenient tools.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 5:01 pm

‘Nonsense. Data is derived from observations, instruments are convenient tools.”

do you think folks look at the ice cores with their eyes? and observe

Nope.

do you think we measure temperature with our skin?

Nope we use instruments

Do you think UAH observes the temperature in the troposphere?

Nope.

Methinks you have never worked in a lab or taken test data

R Shearer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:10 pm

Mr. Mosher is ignorant of this topic. English majors that can’t spell or construct a logical or grammatically correct sentence shouldn’t involve themselves in pretending to understand scientific matters.

Alex
Reply to  R Shearer
December 15, 2018 8:03 pm

nonsense

MarkW
Reply to  R Shearer
December 16, 2018 3:10 pm

And the prize for the best Mosher imitation goes to Alex.

Alex
Reply to  R Shearer
December 16, 2018 7:05 pm

Mark W
Did you think that RS’s comment deserved more than one word? It was a highly insulting comment to anyone who ever read a textbook or learned something. I was not necessarily agreeing with Mosh’s comments. However, I disagree with a comment that insults practically everybody in the world.

MarkW
Reply to  R Shearer
December 17, 2018 8:00 am

Yes

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 3:22 am

Steven Mosher

do you think folks look at the ice cores with their eyes? and observe

Don’t be such a pillock Steven. What did man do before instrumentation?

tty
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 12:56 pm

“do you think folks look at the ice cores with their eyes? and observe”

That is exactly what they do:

http://www.iceandclimate.nbi.ku.dk/research/strat_dating/annual_layer_count/

ttps://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783662553060

http://epic.awi.de/12321/

Steven Mosher
Reply to  tty
December 16, 2018 11:46 pm

Seriously the instruments used are mass spectrometers, scanning electron microscopes, and gas chromatographs. Not your eyeballs

unless you have calibrated eyeballs

mike the morlock
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 9:44 pm

Wrong wrong ,, wrong
If an instrument has failed, at some point and you cannot locate the point of failure ALL data is suspect.

michael

LdB
Reply to  mike the morlock
December 17, 2018 4:57 am

That is definitely how it is treated under normal science norms. If you want to exclude data based on a systemic failure you have to be able to identify the failure otherwise you are cherry picking data.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:18 pm

Once again, Steven demonstrates that he has no intention of arguing with honesty or integrity.
Nobody worships”raw data”, what we do is object to the methods certain people utilize in a vain attempt to draw more meaning from the data than the data contains.

If the data is corrupted by bad instruments, then you have to use it with increased error margins. It is not scientifically valid to “assume” that you know exactly what the “error” is, and remove that error without telling anyone.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MarkW
December 16, 2018 11:50 pm

Mark.

Look around here and see how many people believe that observations with eyes is all science does.
Explain to them that people use instruments, and they will argue.

Further, once they identify a bad instrument they have choices:

1. Reprocess with better instruments ( which they are doing)
2. disgard
3. Adjust

Nobody is removing error without telling you

LdB
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 17, 2018 4:49 am

I have no issue with those options although I am taking some faith on 2, and for your options you have terms

1.) new data
2.) rejected data
3.) product dataset

Rejecting data is always problematic because it can be viewed as an attempt to filter problematic results. So long as there is a clear systemic fault that makes the data inconsistent then I am fine with rejecting it.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 17, 2018 8:02 am

If they aren’t removing error, why aren’t there error bars on the graphs they produce?

It’s not so much that they don’t tell us they are removing error, it’s that they don’t tell us how they removed the error.

Regardless, you can’t remove error, you can only account for it.

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Steven Mosher

PS

Your link doesn’t work.

And if you want evidence of crappy instrument derived data just examine the data from the mid 19th Century on land and sea surface temperatures that you yourself quoted to 1/10 of a degree the other day. Utter nonsense.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 6:57 pm

“People who worship raw data forget that all data comes from instruments. And no instrument is perfect.”

My thermometer works pretty good. I don’t need to manipulate the data it shows in any way, to tell what the temperature is outside.

I can write that temperature reading down and in 50 years it will still be the same number and just as accurate as it was on day one. No amount of manipulation will make it more accurate..

If I turned that data over to Climate Alarmists they would tell me I didn’t do it right, and that’s not the correct temperature for that day, so they have to modify the data to correct it.

What a scam!.

Serge Wright
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 1:46 am

People worship adjusted data, not raw data. That’s why AGW is know as a religion. If the raw data doesn’t fit the belief system, then it gets adjusted until it does or it gets rejected.

cerescokid
Reply to  steven mosher
December 15, 2018 3:57 pm

Since I’ve been reading for the last 60 years about one time airtight science being rejected and improved upon decades later, I don’t get excited by what is purported to be the last word. Good for them in making these advancements. But in a few decades a new group of scientists with even better technology will be saying “ Do you remember what that team did in 2018, yeah well, here is what we’ve learned since then”

Bank on it.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  cerescokid
December 15, 2018 5:10 pm

‘A First Step Toward Quantifying
the Climate’s Information Production over
the Last 68,000 Years”

Note the hubris in their title

cerescokid
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 1:56 am

I didn’t take exception to them. It’s the idiots who will believe this is the last answer. They are the politicians and media and the warmist activists who treat every weather event and every study as evidence of AGW or whatever agenda they have.
With a few exceptions, the actual worker bees, the on the ground scientists are just doing their best and an honest days work.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 15, 2018 3:52 pm

Mosher doth protest too much, methinks…

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 15, 2018 5:18 pm

This is funny.

John Bell
December 15, 2018 3:57 pm

The bottom line is there is variation, due to ice ages and many other reasons, change is constant, we already know that and more data does not change that fact.

Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 3:57 pm

https://www.santafe.edu/news-center/news/predicting-unpredictability-information-theory-offers-new-way-read-ice-cores

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-46349-0_30

http://b-ok.cc/book/2803949/6ce377

For guys who like Shannons work.

“This paper is about one piece of that question: what the Shannon entropy
rate of the water isotope signals in a specific Antarctic ice core tells us—about
that data, about the past conditions at the core site, and about the overall
climate. In an ice core, layers capture information about the local conditions at
the time of deposition. A depth-wise series of measurements of some chemical
or physical property of the ice, then, is effectively a time-series trace of those
conditions. Water isotopes are a particularly useful property to study because
they are good proxies for temperature and atmospheric circulation that result
from variability in the hydrologic cycle. The time scale is unknown, though,
and understanding the specific form of the relationship between the measured
quantity and different aspects of the climate system requires forensic reasoning.

….

The Shannon entropy rate is a potentially useful way to carry out forensic
reasoning about the climate system. It measures the average rate at which new
information—unrelated to anything in the past—is produced by the system that
generated the time series. If that rate is very low, the current observation contains
a lot of information about the past and the signal is perfectly predictable. If that
rate is very high, all of the information in the observation is completely new: i.e.,
the past tells you nothing about the future. Calculated over time-series data from
ice cores, this quantity—described in Sect. 3—allows one to explore temporal
correlations in the climate, which are critically important in understanding the
underlying spatiotemporal mechanisms of this complex dynamical system. The
results of these calculations, described in Sect. 4, are quite promising; they not
only corroborate known facts, but also suggest new and sometimes surprising
geoscience, and pave the way towards more-advanced interhemispheric entropy
comparisons that could elucidate some of the deeper questions posed above about
the larger climate system.

…..

“Modern ice cores, from which data sets like the one in Fig. 1 are derived, cover
timespans of up to 800,000 years. These can reach over 3 Km in length and are
typically analyzed on a scale of cm—and, for some properties, mm. Each sample
may involve dozens of measurements: different kinds of ions and isotopes, dust
levels, conductivity, and so on. Some of the more useful of these are the stable
and radiogenic isotopes, the amount and type of dust (which are correlated to
the energy and humidity of the atmosphere), and the conductivity. The dynamic
ranges of these measurements can be huge: sulfate levels go up by a factor of
1000 when a volcano erupts, for instance. Noise levels vary greatly across the
different measurements, but those levels are not well established—and indeed
are the subject of some important arguments about how to distinguish signal
from noise. And of course the analysis equipment affects the data, sometimes
without leaving any visually obvious trace in that data. That issue will return
later in this paper.”

….

“The study reported here involves data from the 3405 m long West Antarctic
Ice Sheet Divide core (WDC), which was gathered and analyzed by a team
involving authors Jones and White [21,22]. This core, which covers a period of
roughly 68 ka, is the highest-resolution and longest continuously measured record
of its kind ever recovered from Antarctica. The high accumulation rate at the
WAIS Divide—about 23 cm/yr in recent times—results in annual isotopic signals
that persist for the last ≈ 16 thousand years, ”

….

“In this paper, we focus on the water isotope
measurements in this record: specifically δD, the ratio of 2H (deuterium, D) to
1H, and δ18O, the ratio of 18O to 16O. Their values are reported in mille (parts
per thousand, or “per mil”), relative to a calibrated standard of the isotopic
composition of fresh water [1], and are generally negative for glacier ice. A δD
value of −250 mille, for instance, means that that water sample is depleted in
deuterium by 250 parts per thousand, relative to that standard.

……

All of those measurements are on a depth scale; to do any kind of time-series
analysis, one must convert them to an age scale. This requires an “age model”
for the core: a mapping of depth to age. Constructing this mapping requires a
subtle, complicated combination of data analysis and scientific reasoning. Layers
can be counted, for instance, but only to a maximum of 40–50 ka because the
upper layers compress the ice underneath, thinning the layers to the point that
they are unrecognizable. The measurements in the core play a key role in agemodel
construction: the astronomically based “Milankovitch” theory of ice ages
predicts how δ18O should vary through time, for instance. But ocean δ18O also
depends on the total volume of land ice on Earth1, so this quantity is also a
useful climate proxy. And near the base of the ice sheet, the ice often melts
and/or deforms, making dating—or any kind of data analysis—very difficult.”

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:18 pm

Steven Mosher

You are a marketing bod, a salesman, who cuts and pastes.

You pretend to understand science, you might even believe you understand science, but you don’t.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Thank you for your concerns Hot one.

Lets assume that was true. ( my co authors thought otherwise– )

But lets assume you are right.. just a marketing guy

People should find it embarrasing that they are shown to be wrong by someone with no training who merely reads the actual papers.

Thats too funny. Some marketing body can show that the other commeters are wrong.
How?
he reads the fricken paper.

DOH!

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 3:36 am

Steven Mosher

Thank you Steven, I’ll have the courtesy to refer to you by your adopted title on WUWT.

Your co authors may have been misled by your employer awarding you the title of scientists and you not having the common decency to turn it down.

And you should find it equally embarrassing to be challenged by someone with no meaningful qualifications whatsoever, that would be me (“Hot one” according to you).

Reading, and cutting and pasting papers does not demonstrate an understanding of science, I mean, even I can do that.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 11:34 pm

“Your co authors may have been misled by your employer awarding you the title of scientists and you not having the common decency to turn it down.”

Err, they gave me the title after proving myself by working with them.
You seem to think that the co authors and employers are two different groups.

And the second employer also looked at the publications and decided that the title
fit.

here is the thing, the Only person who cares about titles is you.

Employers, Co authors, Other readers? they care about the work. They look at the work and choose to refer to me as they wish.

you are free to use whatever title you want. or not.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
December 17, 2018 5:08 am

Sorry to break it to you Stephen but if you don’t hold a degree in the science area you can’t really be called a scientist. You also can’t win the Nobel Prize for Sciences no matter what you discover, except if you name is Marconi but there is a special reason for how an Engineer came to win the Science prize.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
December 17, 2018 5:30 am

I would add I am surprised that people in the Climate Science field haven’t objected to you being called a scientist or is that an internal title in your group?.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
December 17, 2018 9:20 am

LdB said:

“Sorry to break it to you Stephen but if you don’t hold a degree in the science area you can’t really be called a scientist.”

scientist

noun

A person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.

But good luck with your attempt to redefine the word.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
December 17, 2018 10:18 am

Sure and a doctor is someone who heals people, no degree required so I shall just hang a sign up and start treating people shall I.

Just because layman use words in stupid ways doesn’t mean they can be used in that way in a discipline.

Hence why I said I am surprised other climate scientists had not complained because he doesn’t have the qualification to be called a scientist.

cerescokid
Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 1:44 am

With all the appearances here, Mosher must be agitated about the pathetic record of the 49ers. But, there is hope for the Frisco fans. After going 2-14 in 1979 they followed Joe Montana to the promise land and won a bunch of Super Bowls.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  cerescokid
December 16, 2018 11:35 pm

hate the 49ers

why would you assume I liked them?

be more skeptical of your own intuitions

Bruce Cobb
December 15, 2018 4:04 pm

Climate lientists often make a show of being objective. But Garland gave herself away at the end. The agenda is, as always, to prop up Climatism.

Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 4:08 pm

“For the WAIS Divide core, the construction of the age model required several
person-years of effort. The top 31.2 ka of the core was dated by four different
individuals and one HMM-based software tool [24]; this procedure entailed visual
identification of annual fluctuations in several different chemical traces along
thousands of meters of core, followed by cross-corroboration between different
proxies and different daters [20,21]. From 31.2–67.8 ka, the age scale was based
on stratigraphic matching to “gold standard” Greenland ice cores and cross
referenced using uranium/thorium ratios from cores drilled from cave features
[5]. This represents the state of the art for data analysis in this field.”

For folks who dont know an HMM is a hidden markoff model.. same kinda model one can use for Speech recognition for example. Or if you were studying literature ( say english literature) you can use entropy measures to detect Stylistic Shifts. Some day you can ask me how I used Entropy to figure out it was Glieck who forged the heartland document.

“The rate at which new information appears in a time series has been shown to be
an effective method for signaling regime shifts: e.g., epileptic seizure detection
in EEG signals [6], bifurcations in the transient logistic map [6], and recognizing
voiced sounds in a noisy speech signal [3]. Estimating that quantity from an arbitrary,
real-valued time series can be a real challenge, however. Most approaches
to this problem use the Shannon entropy rate [15,19] and thus require categorical
data: xi ∈ S for some finite or countably infinite alphabet S. This is an issue
in the analysis of the type of high-resolution data produced by an ice-core lab
because symbolization introduces bias and is fragile in the face of noise [4,13].
Permutation entropy (PE) [3] is an elegant solution to this problem. It symbolizes
the time series in a manner that follows the intrinsic behavior of the system
under examination. This method is quite robust in the face of noise and does
not require any knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of the system. Rather
than calculating statistics on sequences of values, as is done when computing the
Shannon entropy in the standard way, permutation entropy looks at the statistics
of the orderings of sequences of values using ordinal analysis. Ordinal analysis of a
time series is the process of mapping successive elements of a time series to valueordered
permutations of the same size.”

HotScot
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 3:47 am

Steven Mosher

Some day you can ask me how I used Entropy to figure out it was Glieck who forged the heartland document.

Now that’s something I would be interested in hearing from you Steven. Why not do an essay on it for WUWT. Far more credible than your claims of understanding climate science.

Signed.

Hot one.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
December 17, 2018 12:04 am

“Now that’s something I would be interested in hearing from you Steven. Why not do an essay on it for WUWT. Far more credible than your claims of understanding climate science.”

Why? so you can make more personal attacks? It would be foolish of me to spend any considerable time doing a post. In the past, yes, when commenters spent more time challenging the actual claims.

maybe if the bar gets raised with regards to comments

tty
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 16, 2018 1:07 pm

“this procedure entailed visual identification of annual fluctuations in several different chemical traces along thousands of meters of core”

Just as I said before. The Mk I Eyeball is still state-of-the-art when it comes to pattern recognition.

GeoNC
December 15, 2018 4:28 pm

Reading that summation is like being cold and hungry and being served a bowl of steam for dinner.

Kevin A
December 15, 2018 5:11 pm

“But imagine if you had a technique that could point you toward the ones that were potentially meaningful?”
And who determines meaningful? Like the IPCC determined only CO2 should be studied?

markl
December 15, 2018 5:27 pm

Mosher usually seems to be playing the role of devil’s advocate to me. I believe he is more interested in promoting discussion than trolling (sometimes hard to separate the two). Just my $.02 since so many posts on the subject of where his loyalties lie in with AGW.

December 15, 2018 5:31 pm

Wonder what fine scale with show re: temp proxies lead CO2 measures.

December 15, 2018 5:50 pm

“When that portion of the ice was resampled and reprocessed, the team was able to resolve an anomalous spike in entropy from roughly 5,000 years ago.”

By “entropy,” I assume they mean what cultists today call “climate weirding”?
(Where things seemed to go haywire for a period in the weather.)

That “weirding” probably happens at all times scales, depending on the resolution of the data.
Extremes Happen. 5,000 year tail end probability events happening about every 5,000 years.
1,000 year tail end probability events happening about every 1,000 years, etc.

So who is the culprit who was driving SUVs and burning coal 5,000 years ago?

astonerii
December 15, 2018 6:13 pm

Climate “science” meets Complexity “science”.
Complexity science is much like google. Humans make a bunch of algorithms that tease out small things from millions to billions of points.
Didn’t google start something recently where they use complexity “science” to tell us which news is legitimate and which is fake?

Gamecock
December 15, 2018 7:45 pm

“It’s vitally important to get this area right,” Garland notes, “because it contains climate information from the dawn of human civilization.”

Wut? There is double ought zero connection. Humans didn’t even get to Antarctica for millennia.

From the West Antarctic ice shelf. One point in 500,000,000 square kilometers. It’s not vitally important at all. It’s not even important at all. It’s interesting, and curious, but not important.

To the extent that the ice cores are a decipherable proxy for weather, they tell us about one point on a vast planet. Useless.

BWTM: the temperature was below 32 degrees forever. Else not ice. Since most of the earth is NOT covered with ice, what is a non-typical ice covered area supposed to tell us?

John Robertson
December 15, 2018 8:25 pm

Interesting concept,so information theory modelling of data may be useful in detecting signals the eyeball misses.
Time will tell.
That thin slices of Antarctic ice can give detailed information of the worlds? climate in days past?
Just what is the signal to noise ratio?
Awful lot of speculation in that.
Mark Twain would love modern science.

mtvessel
December 15, 2018 9:46 pm

Ah. I see.
Entropy as in, not the thermodynamic kind.
silly me

Crakar24
December 15, 2018 10:06 pm

Interesting how every site needs a village idiot, WUWT certainly had theirs. You tell who they are they are the ones rambling nonsensical with everyone who cares to engage

Global Cooling
December 15, 2018 11:42 pm

Insight from the economic modelling given by Mervyn King in his book “The end of alchemy”:

Optimizing over a false model is in many instances worse than the use of a coping strategy that works in your particular environment. Rather than attempt complex statistical calculations, it is better to make investment decisions using a choice of heuristics that reflects a sensible narrative

Rather than investing in climate models and limiting CO2, we should be prepared to a variety of weather incidents

Forest management is a good coping strategy for wild fires.

Global Cooling
Reply to  Global Cooling
December 15, 2018 11:49 pm

Bolded is mine, not part of the quote.

Tasfay Martinov
December 16, 2018 2:05 am

Too funny!
They’re still keeping up the pretence of being interested in palaeo-climate.
But only denyers deny that the world was created in 1850.

KAT
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 16, 2018 2:45 am

+1

E J Zuiderwijk
December 16, 2018 2:12 am
Solomon Green
December 16, 2018 10:34 am

“I think climate change is the most pressing problem ever to face humanity,”

Why disagree? So long as politicians continue to believe that the earth is warming, and will continue to warm disastrously, as a result of humans using fossil fuels, the economic cost of their idiotic attempts to drastically reduce CO2 (and CH4) emissions could eventually lead to civil unrest on a global scale.

But perhaps this is not what she meant and the phrase was only included to ensure publication and maximum publicity.

%d bloggers like this: