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Stick to the Science

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Editor’s note: The following is a response by climatologist Michael E. Mann to a Q&A article that appeared in the June 2011 issue of Scientific American, which became available to readers in May.

Last month, Scientific American ran a disappointing interview by Michael Lemonick of controversial retired University of California, Berkeley, physics professor Richard Muller.  As an undergraduate physics major at Berkeley in the mid 1980s, I knew about Muller—and his controversial, now generally discarded, theory that a “death star” was responsible for major mass extinctions.  Later, as a graduate student studying climate, I became aware of Muller’s work attempting to overthrow the traditional Earth Orbital theory of the Ice Ages—that, too, didn’t pan out. To be clear, there is nothing wrong in science with putting forth bold hypotheses that ultimately turn out to be wrong. Indeed, science thrives on novel, innovative ideas that—even if ultimately wrong—may lead researchers in productive new directions.

One might hope, however, that a scientist known for big ideas that didn’t stand the test of time might be more circumspect when it comes to his critiques of other scientists. Muller is on record accusing climate scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit of hiding data—a charge that was rejected in three separate investigations. In his interview, Muller even maligned my own work on the “hockey stick” reconstruction of past temperatures. Muller falsely claimed “the hockey-stick chart was in fact incorrect” when in fact the National Academy of Sciences affirmed our findings in a major 2006 report which Nature summarized as ““Academy affirms hockey-stick graph.” Scientific American itself recently ran an article “Novel Analysis Confirms Climate ‘Hockey Stick’ Graph” (November 2009 issue).

Rather than providing a platform for Muller to cast aspersions on other scientists, Lemonick could have sought some introspection from Muller. How, for example, have the lessons learned from his past failures influenced the approach he has taken in his more recent forays into the science of human-caused climate change?

More than anything else, the interview was simply a lost opportunity. Not only can Scientific American do better. It will need to.

 

Michael E. Mann is a professor in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences at Penn State University, and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. He is co-author of the book Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming.

 

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.






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  1. 1. Chris G 2:23 am 06/26/2011

    What alternative reality are you living in? None of the global temperature records can legitimately be construed as supporting your statement about cooling, and the rest is Mad Hatter babbling. Ice melts when it gets cooler, really? If there were less heat being transported to the poles, arctic sea ice would be on an increasing trend; the opposite is happening in reality.

    Thanks for the demonstration that you know more about physics than anyone else ever has. Not.

    Link to this
  2. 2. Chris G 2:35 am 06/26/2011

    So, nearly 100 comments in and there is a lot of rambling, but has anyone noted that, so far, Muller’s results are very much in agreement with others’ works, and they all show a strong warming trend?

    Link to this
  3. 3. Trent1492 2:56 am 06/26/2011

    Gswoo Says: Having not asked "the question" they found no evidence. funny huh? They didn’t find any evidence because they avoided looking for it.

    Trent Says: Now we know why you guys are called Deniers. The question is right there on page 92 and you refuse to recognize it.

    Gswoo Says: If you are going spout to cr*p at least do it having read ALL the documents. Not just the bits highlighted for you in crayon.

    Trent Says: The fact is that I have liberally quoted from several reports and all exonerate the science. Something you just can not even admit too? Shall I give a few more examples?

    "20. Finding: This simple analysis and the comparisons in figures 6.1 and 6.2 give rise to the following findings:

    Any independent researcher may freely obtain the primary station data. It is impossible for a third party to withhold access to the data.

    It is impossible for a third party to tamper
    improperly with the data unless they have also been able to corrupt the GHCN and NCAR sources. We do not consider this to be a credible possibility, and in any case this would be easily detectable by comparison to the original NMO records or other sources such as the Hadley Centre."

    Page 48

    "6.7 Conclusions and Recommendations

    39. In summary, with regard to the allegations concerning the temperature data, the conclusions of the Review Team are as follows:

    Regarding data availability, there is no basis for the allegations that CRU prevented access to raw data. It was impossible for them to have done so.
    Regarding data adjustments, there is no basis for the allegation that CRU made adjustments to the data which had any significant effect upon global averages
    and through this fabricated evidence for recent warming.

    We find that CRU was unhelpful in dealing with requests for information to unable detailed replication of the CRUTEM analysis.

    Crucially, we find nothing in the behaviour on the part of CRU scientists that is the subject of the allegations dealt with in this Chapter to undermine the validity of their work."

    Page 53

    "9.5 Conclusions

    40. In summary, we have not found any direct evidence to support the allegation that members of CRU misused their position on IPPC to seek to prevent the
    publication of opposing ideas."
    Page 84

    And that is just one portion of one report. All of them fully exonerate these scientist in this farce of a controversy. Get over it.

    Link to this
  4. 4. R.Blakely 4:40 am 06/26/2011

    Fake temperature records seem to be "climate science" now! A real average temperature relation can be obtained by using sea level measurements.
    Climate scientists have their thermodynamics mixed. For example, a steam engine that has more heat applied to its boiler has more water forming in its condenser. The Earth’s condenser is at the south pole. Since we are getting more ice at the south pole this means the Earth is cooling! Which part of the logic is wrong?

    Link to this
  5. 5. GSWoo 4:48 am 06/26/2011

    Trent, your interpretation of this finding from the HoC Select Committee report would be most useful:

    "89. We are concerned that the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review did not
    fully investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of e-mails. We find it
    unsatisfactory that we are left with a verbal reassurance from the Vice-Chancellor that
    the e-mails still exist. On the basis of the ICO’s announcement made on 7 July 2010, it
    is reasonable to conclude that there was a breach of EIR by a failure to provide a
    response within 20 working days. On the allegation that e-mails were deleted to
    frustrate requests for information, a firm conclusion has proved elusive. "

    For you, this is a ringing endorsement of CRU and the scientists. For others – that was what the "Independent" review was supposed to be looking at, wasn’t it?

    That was the whole point, SURELY!

    Just to refresh your memory

    “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”

    "Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.We will be getting Caspar to do likewise. I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper."

    They did nothing wrong, nothing unusual here, this is how good science works, a testament to the integrity of climate science.

    OR

    Just a bunch of seedy guys "rigging the system" just so they can push us any old cr*p and we have no option but to buy it.

    Go on tell me again it just ain’t so!

    Link to this
  6. 6. Timothy Chase 10:53 am 06/26/2011

    R.Blakely wrote in 85: "The Earth’s condenser is at the south pole. Since we are getting more ice at the south pole this means the Earth is cooling! Which part of the logic is wrong?"

    He was responding to where you wrote in 81: "We have proof that cooling not warming is still occurring…. Since oceans are rising and less ice is forming at the poles, this indicates less heat transporting towards the poles, which occurs as the Earth cools."

    However, now that you have joined the rest of who are of the view that he melts ice may I direct you to an earlier issue of Scientific American:

    "Ice loss from the massive ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating, according to a new study….

    ‘I don’t think we expected ice sheets to run neck-and-neck with mountain glaciers, which basically sit in a warmer climate, this soon,’ he said. ‘At the same time, the mass loss on the ice sheet is not very large compared to how much mass they store.’"

    Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster Than Predicted, March 9, 2011
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=polar-ice-sheets-melting-faster-than-predicted

    Link to this
  7. 7. Paulotv 10:58 am 06/26/2011

    Trent1492 says: "Why Bishop Hill should feel compelled to bring this up here is curious. A distraction? I think so."

    It is not a distraction, indeed Bishop explains why it is relevant, that is Mann introduces the topic:

    "Muller is on record accusing climate scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit of hiding data–a charge that was rejected in three separate investigations."

    Link to this
  8. 8. Timothy Chase 10:59 am 06/26/2011

    Correction. I meant to say,

    "However, now that you have joined the rest of who are of the view that *heat* melts ice may I direct you to an earlier issue of Scientific American:…"

    Link to this
  9. 9. Timothy Chase 11:09 am 06/26/2011

    "In the context of the sharing of data and methodologies, we consider that Professor Joness actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community. It is not standard practice in climate science to publish the raw data and the computer code in academic papers."

    Page 3, House of Commons Science and Technology
    Committee: The disclosure of climate data from the
    Climatic Research Unit at the University of
    East Anglia:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/387/387i.pdf

    So anyone else think Mr. Bishop is giving a credible account of the findings?

    Link to this
  10. 10. Trent1492 11:11 am 06/26/2011

    Gswoo SaysL: Trent, your interpretation of this finding from the HoC Select Committee report would be most useful:

    Trent Says:The funny thing is you will not give us links to this "report". I wonder why? Now onto why you have decided to ignore the Russel Inquiry report and all the other reports. Why is it you have decided to ignore all of the various way the the Hockey Stick has been replicated? Inconvenient? I think so.

    Link to this
  11. 11. Timothy Chase 11:13 am 06/26/2011

    PS

    The bit of mine that was somehow trimmed from comment 90

    Trent1492 says: "Why Bishop Hill should feel compelled to bring this up here is curious. A distraction? I think so."

    Paulotv (88), since we are now rehashing comments 1,2 and 3, in Trent1492′s comment 2 he quotes:…

    Link to this
  12. 12. caerbannog 11:35 am 06/26/2011

    Deniers here have been obsessing over the fact that one or a few climate scientists, after untold amounts of provocation and harassment, lost their cool and possibly violated FOI rules in the face of all that pointless harassment that.

    And pointless harassment it was, as can be seen in the complete FOI dump that I linked to earlier in this thread.

    But what deniers have been completely ignoring is the fact whatever FOI infractions occurred have absolutely bearing on the actual science.

    But instead of addressing the science and substance, the deniers here insist on spending all their time doing the equivalent of sniffing the CRU’s underwear.

    I pointed out earlier in this thread that the CRU’s global temperature work (the subject of most of the harassing FOI demands) can be independently verified by anyone who is scientifically/technically competent at the college freshman/sophomore level. Yet the deniers here have completely ignored that very important fact.

    Either that, or they don’t understand the science well enough to have any idea of what freshman/sophomore-level competence even means.

    It turns out that the Muir-Russel report says the exact same thing regarding the replicability of CRU’s results that I said earlier in this thread.

    Here is the relevant excerpt from that report:

    "Any independent researcher may freely obtain the primary station data. It is impossible for a third party to withhold access to the data. It is impossible for a third party to tamper improperly with the data unless they have also been able to corrupt the GHCN and NCAR sources. We do not consider this to be a credible possibility, and in any case this would be easily
    detectable by comparison to the original NMO records or other sources such as the Hadley Centre.

    The steps needed to create a global temperature series from the data are straightforward to implement. The required computer code is straightforward and easily written by a competent researcher.

    The shape of the temperature trends obtained in all cases is very similar: in other words following the same process with the same data obtained from different sources generates very similar results.

    A researcher can evidently produce a study which would test the CRUTEM analysis quite precisely, without requiring any information from CRU to do so."

    Link to this
  13. 13. Trent1492 11:35 am 06/26/2011

    I am now looking at the House of Commons Report now. Apparently Gsoo1 is not aware that I have already expensively have quoted from this report. Shall we look at some of the report?

    "51. Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available–which they mostly are–or the methods not published–which they have been–its published results would still be credible: the results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified."

    Page 18.
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/387/387i.pdf

    Now notice that Gswoo1, has given us the impression that the House of Commons report was a condemnation of the science and its legitimacy. I think it bears repeating the House of Commons Report defers to the Russel Inquiry report on the substance of the E-mails. The Russel report is what most of this thread has been concerned with. What Gsw001, has decided to do is bring up an earlier report and its remaining unanswered questions and pretend that it was the last report with still un answered questions. Can anyone believe that Gsw, has an ounce of credibility on this subject?

    Link to this
  14. 14. Trent1492 11:43 am 06/26/2011

    Here is are the conclusions from the House of Commons Report:

    "Conclusions
    22. The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer
    codes, we consider that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community. We have suggested that the community consider becoming
    more transparent by publishing raw data and detailed methodologies. On accusations relating to Freedom of Information, we consider that much of the
    responsibility should lie with UEA, not CRU. (Paragraph 136) 23. In addition, insofar as we have been able to consider accusations of dishonesty–for
    example, Professor Jones’s alleged attempt to “hide the decline”–we consider that there is no case to answer. Within our limited inquiry and the evidence we took, the
    scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”. It was not our purpose to examine, nor did we seek evidence on, the science produced by CRU. It will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel to look in
    detail into all the evidence to determine whether or not the consensus view remains
    valid. (Paragraph 137)"

    Page 50.

    I wonder why Gsw did not mention this? I wonder.

    Link to this
  15. 15. Trent1492 11:50 am 06/26/2011

    Caerbannog Says: But what deniers have been completely ignoring is the fact whatever FOI infractions occurred have absolutely bearing on the actual science.

    Trent Says: This can not be repeated enough. They want to ignore the science and wallow in the details of a manufactured controversy. They do not seem to realize that the science is vast and has many lines of evidence.

    Link to this
  16. 16. GSWoo 12:10 pm 06/26/2011

    So you accept the FOI "infractions" (breaking the law) did occur?

    Link to this
  17. 17. coneill 12:21 pm 06/26/2011

    Booked it in yet?

    Link to this
  18. 18. caerbannog 12:36 pm 06/26/2011

    Trent1492 and I (to a lesser extent) have been spending quite a bit of time here, and some may think that we are wasting our time.

    But it should be pointed out that this comment thread will likely be high on the list of hits that a "Michael Mann" Google search will return for quite some time to come.

    The last thing that any sane person would want to see are "Michael Mann" Google searches returning links to unchallenged denier bilge on reputable web-sites run by organizations like Scientific American.

    So it really is important for pro-science folks to "step up to the plate" and challenge denier junk that gets posted to reputable web-sites like this one.

    So to the pro-science lurkers out there — although it would be a complete waste of time to respond to deniers at, say, freerepublic.com, it is not a bad idea to spend some time challenging them from time to time when they show up on respectable web-sites like this one.

    Denier garbage will linger in Google searches long after the respective discussion threads have faded away, so your well-thought-out challenges to that garbage will continue to do some good long after you’ve forgotten all about what you posted.

    Link to this
  19. 19. GSWoo 12:42 pm 06/26/2011

    Thought it was you Chris ;)

    Link to this
  20. 20. GSWoo 12:46 pm 06/26/2011

    Trent you are still avoiding this so here it is again.
    Oh BTW, the report you quote from is the wrong one – you seem to be totally aware of the existence of the second report – You came across as being so well informed on them as well ;)

    Trent, your interpretation of this finding from the HoC Select Committee report would be most useful:

    "89. We are concerned that the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review did not
    fully investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of e-mails. We find it
    unsatisfactory that we are left with a verbal reassurance from the Vice-Chancellor that
    the e-mails still exist. On the basis of the ICOs announcement made on 7 July 2010, it
    is reasonable to conclude that there was a breach of EIR by a failure to provide a
    response within 20 working days. On the allegation that e-mails were deleted to
    frustrate requests for information, a firm conclusion has proved elusive. "

    For you, this is a ringing endorsement of CRU and the scientists. For others – that was what the "Independent" review was supposed to be looking at, wasn’t it?

    That was the whole point, SURELY!

    Just to refresh your memory

    "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think Ill delete the file rather than send to anyone"

    "Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. Hes not in at the moment minor family crisis Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I dont have his new email address.We will be getting Caspar to do likewise. I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper."

    They did nothing wrong, nothing unusual here, this is how good science works, a testament to the integrity of climate science.

    OR

    Just a bunch of seedy guys "rigging the system" just so they can push us any old cr*p and we have no option but to buy it.

    Go on tell me again it just ain’t so!

    Link to this
  21. 21. Trent1492 12:55 pm 06/26/2011

    @GSW,

    I wonder how after reading from the reports such quotes as "On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their
    rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt." means the science is fraudulent? Is it that you have a mental block on this or are you a paid shill?

    Link to this
  22. 22. Trent1492 1:04 pm 06/26/2011

    I think it is time we all do a chronology check. The House of Commons, March 31, 2010. The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review, July 2010. How could the House of Commons Report be commenting on a report not released for over four months? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Link to this
  23. 23. Trent1492 1:26 pm 06/26/2011

    @Gsw,

    Actually the most important thing should be concerning the science and that has come through with flying colors to spite the monumental effort of septics to distort and engage in false allegations. But it was never about the science for you lot was it? The whole manufactured controversy has been to create unfounded doubt. This explains why you refuse to engage or acknowledge the science.

    Link to this
  24. 24. R.Blakely 3:42 pm 06/26/2011

    Correcting my last comment: Fake temperature records seem to be "climate science" now! A real average temperature relation can be obtained by using sea level measurements.
    Climate scientists have their thermodynamics mixed. For example, a steam engine that has more heat applied to its boiler has more water forming in its condenser. The Earth’s condenser is at the south pole. Since we are getting LESS ice at the south pole this means the Earth is cooling! If more ice was forming then we could say the hockey stick is correct, but we cannot.

    Link to this
  25. 25. Trent1492 4:35 pm 06/26/2011

    R.Blakely Says: Correcting my last comment: Fake temperature records seem to be "climate science" now.

    Trent Says: When are you going to learn that you making unsubstantiated claims simply deteriorates from your already low credibility?

    R. Blakely Says: real average temperature relation can be obtained by using sea level measurements.

    Trent Says: Gee, most people would say that it was thermometers. You know the instrument used to measure temperature.

    R. Blakely Says: The Earth’s condenser is at the south pole. Since we are getting LESS ice at the south pole this means the Earth is cooling!

    Trent Says: That is absurd. The only reason you can have less ice is that it if you high enough temperature to melt ice.

    Link to this
  26. 26. GSWoo 4:49 pm 06/26/2011

    Trent, can you just stop this?

    Fake temperature records seem to be "climate science" now.

    I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but that is why Muller (even though Mann et al deride him for it) is going off to do his own. Case Closed.

    I know the answer already but, are you a qualified scientist? (I is)

    Also, I take exception to being called a septic as in
    "monumental effort of septics" in 104, at least I would if I didn’t have a sense of Humor. ;)

    Link to this
  27. 27. Trent1492 5:24 pm 06/26/2011

    Speaking of paying attention, Did you notice that I was quoting R. Blakely?

    Gsw Says: I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but that is why Muller (even though Mann et al deride him for it) is going off to do his own. Case Closed.

    Trent Says: Speaking of confusion. Mann dd not deride Muller for his modern instrument work. He took him to task for saying that “the hockey-stick chart was in fact incorrect”. Subsequent science has validated the Hockey Stick now half-a-dozen times.

    And in regards to Muller’s modern temperature work he too has said it is accurate.

    I Stick to the Science:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=muller-hearing

    "Our results are shown in the Figure; we see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups"

    Link to this
  28. 28. GSWoo 5:33 pm 06/26/2011

    Yes I did.

    Does that mean I have to go thru again?

    Link to this
  29. 29. GSWoo 5:38 pm 06/26/2011

    BTW, the Chairman of the select committee you are so fond of quoting is on record as saying that the Muir Russell Unquiry (typo obviously) mislead the science committee on the oxburgh Inquiry. As informed as you are, know that did you?

    Anyway, one more time ……

    Link to this
  30. 30. GSWoo 5:40 pm 06/26/2011

    Trent you are still avoiding this so here it is again.

    Oh BTW, the report you quote from is the wrong one – you seem to be totally aware of the existence of the second report – You came across as being so well informed on them as well ;)

    Trent, your interpretation of this finding from the HoC Select Committee report would be most useful:

    "89. We are concerned that the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review did not
    fully investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of e-mails. We find it
    unsatisfactory that we are left with a verbal reassurance from the Vice-Chancellor that
    the e-mails still exist. On the basis of the ICOs announcement made on 7 July 2010, it
    is reasonable to conclude that there was a breach of EIR by a failure to provide a
    response within 20 working days. On the allegation that e-mails were deleted to
    frustrate requests for information, a firm conclusion has proved elusive. "

    For you, this is a ringing endorsement of CRU and the scientists. For others – that was what the "Independent" review was supposed to be looking at, wasn’t it?

    That was the whole point, SURELY!

    Just to refresh your memory

    "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think Ill delete the file rather than send to anyone"

    "Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. Hes not in at the moment minor family crisis Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I dont have his new email address.We will be getting Caspar to do likewise. I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper."

    They did nothing wrong, nothing unusual here, this is how good science works, a testament to the integrity of climate science.

    OR

    Just a bunch of seedy guys "rigging the system" just so they can push us any old cr*p and we have no option but to buy it.

    Go on tell me again it just ain’t so!

    Link to this
  31. 31. caerbannog 6:18 pm 06/26/2011

    To keep things in perspective here…

    Even *if* the CRU scientists (and this is a hypthetical *if*) actually were guilty of FOI violations, that does not negate the following two indisputable facts.

    1) The CRU’s global-temperature results can be independently verified without *any* assistance from the CRU — a competent analyst does not need *any* of the CRU’s data or code to perform a complete and independent verification of the CRU’s global temperature computations.

    2) The independent verification can be performed in a few days at most by any analyst with reasonable math and computer programming skills.

    The following is very strongly supported by the evidence provided in the denier posts in this thread.

    3) None of the deniers here are competent enough technically to conduct, let alone understand, the analytical procedure that would verify the CRU’s global-temperature results.

    Link to this
  32. 32. Trent1492 6:37 pm 06/26/2011

    Gdwoo Says: BTW, the Chairman of the select committee you are so fond of quoting is on record as saying that the Muir Russell Unquiry (typo obviously) mislead the science committee on the oxburgh Inquiry. As informed as you are, know that did you?

    Trent Says: That would be a neat trick since the Muir Russel report came out four months after the Oxurgh Inquiry.

    Link to this
  33. 33. Trent1492 6:50 pm 06/26/2011

    I think it is telling that you have repeatedly cited not a report or a finding but a statement of concern about FOIA requests investigation. Tell me, again about how the science is in question because of this?

    I keep on asking and you keep on dodging the questions. What science do you think was compromised? What paper? What data? Please provide primary evidence. You keep on dodging this and I keep on asking.

    Link to this
  34. 34. Trent1492 7:00 pm 06/26/2011

    Once Gsw you are repeating yourself. I have already pointed out to you that these particular E-mails were addressed in the July 2010 report. Once again from the report:

    "28. Deliberate actions to avoid release. There seems clear incitement to delete e-mails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made. Two e-mails from Jones to Mann on 2
    and

    February 2005 (1107454306.txt) and 29th
    May 2008 (in 1212063122.txt) relate to
    deletion ."

    I want it to be noted though that you still have not told us what papers and databases are corrupted. I am not going to be satisfied with vague accusation. What paper? What database?

    Link to this
  35. 35. coneill 9:51 pm 06/26/2011

    Nothing gets past GSW. What a livewire.

    Link to this
  36. 36. Cramer 10:50 pm 06/26/2011

    ignoratio elenchi

    Link to this
  37. 37. Chris G 12:08 am 06/27/2011

    So, I noticed a couple of comments:

    R. Blakley
    "CO2 has no effect on climate because CO2 already stops all 15-micron photons."

    PabstyLoudmouth
    "I cannot get one person to rationalize this argument that carbon dioxide is heating the Earth at such a miniscule amount."

    I was wondering if we could get Loudmouth and Blakely
    to reconcile their differences.

    Link to this
  38. 38. Trent1492 12:59 am 06/27/2011

    Chris,

    We all know that the Law of Denialism prevents two contradictory thesis being debated. For those of you who are unaware of this iron law allow me to define the Law of Denialism as: The repulsion of two mutually contradictory memes as long as they serve the purpose of casting doubt on the science. This is why in the same thread two different people can either insist that the Earth is warming but it is the Sun/oscillation flavor of the month/ volcanoes etc, and the other peron insist that the Earth is cooling and heading to a new Ice Age; and never ever engage in argument with the other septic. I have never seen it happen.

    Link to this
  39. 39. GSWoo 3:06 am 06/27/2011

    Trent, you appear to be confused about dates, events and reports. Nevermind I’m sure you will work it out.

    In answer to your question, which papers are dodgy? You could start with the Chinese UHI paper from Jones and others, the one that Keenan is always harping on about and claiming Fraud!

    The climategate emails are quite informative on how a dubious verbal defense was constructed.

    Link to this
  40. 40. GSWoo 3:07 am 06/27/2011

    Trent as I have done you the courtesy of answering your question, perhaps you would address mine.

    Still totally unaware of the second HoC report I see. Thought you were informed on these issues etc ….

    Anyway here goes….

    Trent, your interpretation of this finding from the HoC Select Committee report would be most useful:

    "89. We are concerned that the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review did not fully investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of e-mails. We find it unsatisfactory that we are left with a verbal reassurance from the Vice-Chancellor that the e-mails still exist. On the basis of the ICO’s announcement made on 7 July 2010, it is reasonable to conclude that there was a breach of EIR by a failure to provide a response within 20 working days. On the allegation that e-mails were deleted to frustrate requests for information, a firm conclusion has proved elusive. "

    For you, this is a ringing endorsement of CRU and the scientists. For others – that was what the "Independent" review was supposed to be looking at, wasn’t it?

    That was the whole point, SURELY!

    Just to refresh your memory

    "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone"

    "Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I dont have his new email address.We will be getting Caspar to do likewise. I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper."

    They did nothing wrong, nothing unusual here, this is how good science works, a testament to the integrity of climate science.

    OR

    Just a bunch of seedy guys "rigging the system" just so they can push us any old cr*p and we have no option but to buy it.

    Go on tell me again it just ain’t so!

    Link to this
  41. 41. caerbannog 9:42 am 06/27/2011

    Reposted to keep this getting buried by filibustering…

    To keep things in perspective here…

    Even *if* the CRU scientists (and this is a hypthetical *if*) actually were guilty of FOI violations, that does not negate the following two indisputable facts.

    1) The CRU’s global-temperature results can be independently verified without *any* assistance from the CRU — a competent analyst does not need *any* of the CRU’s data or code to perform a complete and independent verification of the CRU’s global temperature computations.

    2) The independent verification can be performed in a few days at most by any analyst with reasonable math and computer programming skills.

    The following is very strongly supported by the evidence provided in the denier posts in this thread.

    3) None of the deniers here are competent enough technically to conduct, let alone understand, the analytical procedure that would verify the CRU’s global-temperature results.

    In particular, I suspect that if you were to ask GSWoo to describe in his own words the basic procedure for computing global-average temperature anomalies from temperature station data, all you would get is a blank stare.

    This bears reiterating yet *again* — A college undergraduate with decent (and I mean decent, not exceptional) programming skills could perform an independent check of the CRU’s work even if the CRU hid every bit of its data and every line of its code. All of the temperature data, documentation, and software development tools needed to do this are freely available on the Internet to anyone who wants to download and use them.

    Link to this
  42. 42. caerbannog 9:54 am 06/27/2011

    Additional note:

    The CRU does not own or control the temperature data that it processes to compute its global-average temperature estimates. The CRU couldn’t "hide" that temperature data even if it wanted to, because so many other independent parties have their own copies of the same data!

    So if the CRU refuses to give you, say, Australian temperature data, then you are perfectly free to contact the Australian weather service yourselves and get the data directly from the Australians (you may need to sign a license agreement or whatever).

    If the deniers weren’t so incompetent and delusional, they would have been able to figure this out *years ago*. (And it’s not like all this hasn’t been explained to them, over and over again!)

    Link to this
  43. 43. angliss 11:33 am 06/27/2011

    Actually, Nik, it’s copy/paste spam. Your data has been shown to be inaccurate and your logic to be flawed.

    You claimed that the "Thermometers" image proves that the "hockey stick" in the Northern Hemisphere is false, yet you don’t have anywhere near enough data points to support that claim. Two thermometers along the Atlantic coast of North America, three thermometers in central Europe, one in England, and one by the Great Lakes is not sufficient spatial coverage to make claims about the temperature of the Middle East, India, China, Japan, Mexico, etc. Your claims are not supportable by your data and you have continued to repeat your unsupportable claims even after this was pointed out to you.

    Your "Oceans" image shows raw tidal gauge data for certain cities around the world, and you claim that sea level rise and acceleration are disproved by those few gauges. However, you neglected to do any data analysis, claiming that "eyeballing is very useful when the signal overwhelms the noise since the noise is only monthly and yearly but there is not much noise decadely, which there isn’t." You’ve also failed to use the data properly and haven’t corrected the gauge readings for post-glacial rebound, land build-up due to silt deposition, land elevation changes due seismic events, or subsidence due to ground water pumping or soil compaction, all factors that the PSMSL (your data source) says must be corrected before using the data. Your claims are not supportable by your data and you have continued to repeat them even after this fact was pointed out to you.

    Looking at your "Ice" graph above shows that you are continuing to make claims that are not supported by the data and that you feel "eyeballing" data is still a sufficient substitute for actual data analysis.

    Retract your incorrect claims, Nik, or modify them to accurately represent the caveats present in the data as you’re using it.

    Link to this
  44. 44. Trent1492 12:22 pm 06/27/2011

    Gsw Says: In answer to your question, which papers are dodgy? You could start with the Chinese UHI paper from Jones and others, the one that Keenan is always harping on about and claiming Fraud!

    Trent Says: The China manufactured accusation is addressed in the July Muir Russel report and notes that an investigation from the State University of New York found no fraud (Page 52). For someone who keeps on harping on how familiar they are with the investigation/s you are displaying and astonishing amount of ignorance.

    Any more false allegations? Btw, as C keeps on noting all of the surface data is free for download from NOAA. People have done just that and keep on finding the same results as CRU, NASA, NOAA, and Berkeley Temp people have found. The warming is real. That you have studiously ignored C’s challenges is worth noting.

    Link to this
  45. 45. GSWoo 4:58 pm 06/27/2011

    Trent, are you still there?

    Link to this
  46. 46. Cramer 6:53 pm 06/27/2011

    ignoratio elenchi

    It’s a matter of investigating if data was manipulated or suppressed, not incriminating the CRU with respect to the FOIA. That is the function of Information Commissioner’s Office. The July 29th email was being investigated by the ICO. Nobody is defending the July 29th email or similar emails. There would be no scandal without those emails.

    Phil Jones was obviously trying to keep data from Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick who were never a part of the climate scientific community. Was he attempting to hide data that would prove that global warming was a fraud? That is ridiculous and conspiratorial. Is it possible that he was simply trying to impede the efforts of his non-scientific adversaries. Yes, that’s what the evidence suggests.

    Here are the objectives of the Muir Russell review:

    1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at the Climatic Research Unit to determine whether there is any evidence of manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.

    2. Review the Climatic Research Unit’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.

    3. Review the Climatic Research Unit’s compliance or otherwise with the University of East Anglia’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) for the release of data.

    4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management, governance and security structures for the Climatic Research Unit and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds.

    Link to this
  47. 47. Cramer 6:55 pm 06/27/2011

    False Dilemma

    GSWoo said,

    "They did nothing wrong, nothing unusual here, this is how good science works, a testament to the integrity of climate science.

    OR

    Just a bunch of seedy guys "rigging the system" just so they can push us any old cr*p and we have no option but to buy it."

    Do all climate deniers, creationists, conspiracy believers, and other extremists only view everything in black and white or good and evil?

    Link to this
  48. 48. GSWoo 3:33 pm 06/28/2011

    The whole Black/White thing is a fair question Cramer.

    Quick answer:

    Some things are shades of grey; Politics, Economic policy, best mobile phone deal etc

    Some things aren’t:

    Would you play poker with me if I only cheated sometimes?

    Would you undergo a medical treatment where results of the trials were lost, deleted or hidden from "adversaries".

    Would you accept a paper as final conclusive proof that AGW was a hoax if the numbers had only been fudged a little bit?

    For these things it is "Black and White", one thing or the other. Surely!

    Either you have confidence in the work of CRU or you don’t. Rightly or wrongly, Muller (for one) is in the "I don’t trust these guys anymore" camp, no matter how much UEA try and shore up the damage with "Independent"
    Inquiries.

    Link to this
  49. 49. Cramer 7:51 pm 06/28/2011

    Your anecdotes are not relevant. CRU:AGW is not equal to cheater:poker game. The same is true for your other anecdotes. Just because you cheat at poker, does not mean I would stop playing poker with everyone else (couldn’t anyone else also cheat?).

    I also did not say there is nothing in the world that is not black and white. Your either-or choice was simply a false dilemma.

    Your premise seems to be that all of AGW science should be discarded because Phil Jones wrote a few emails about wanting to delete some emails so some non-scientists deniers (Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick) could not access the info. First, we have no evidence that any emails were lost (due to server back-ups; Mann and others did not delete his emails; etc). Second, we have no evidence of his motive (e.g. was he trying to cover up fraud). Third, all AGW science is not solely based on Phil Jones and the CRU.

    I would never accept any paper as the "final conclusive proof" of anything. All theories should be independently verified, many times over (depending on their significance).

    Regarding confidence in peoples work, I do not trust anybody. I am skeptical of everything where uncertainty exists. Unfortunately, corruption and incompetence is an ubiquitous part of our world. That’s why people independently verify the work of others.

    Link to this
  50. 50. Chad.English 3:42 pm 07/4/2011

    @Baron. Please tell me you are joking.

    Supposing we start at 200 ppm naturally. Year 1: 4% of 200 ppm is 8 ppm, so 200 + 8 = 208 ppm. Or, to simplify, 200+200*0.04 = 200*1.04 = 208 ppm.

    Year 2: 208*1.04 = 216.32 ppm
    Year 3: 216.32*1.04 = 224.97 ppm
    Year 4: 224.97*1.04 = 233.97 ppm
    Year 5: 233.97*1.04 = 243.33 ppm
    Year 6: 243.33*1.04 = 253.06 ppm
    Year 7: 253.06*1.04 = 263.19 ppm
    Year 8: 263.19*1.04 = 273.71 ppm
    Year 9: 273.71*1.04 = 284.66 ppm
    Year 10: 284.66*1.04 = 296.05 ppm
    Year 11: 296.05*1.04 = 307.89 ppm
    Year 12: 307.89*1.04 = 320.21 ppm
    Year 13: 320.21*1.04 = 333.02 ppm

    Of that 333 ppm CO2, 200 was the starting amount, 133 ppm was added (at a rate of 4% per year). Of the total after 13 years, 133 added/333 total = 0.40 = 40%. The "naturally occurring" amount is 200/333 = 60%.

    This works no matter what the starting value, I just used 200 ppm as an example.

    But this is the problem with deniers, they don’t understand climate, they don’t understand science, and they don’t even understand basic high school math. Actually, I take that back. The problem is that they are confident in their assertions despite the fact they don’t understand these things.

    Link to this

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