From Russia, with love

Oh, it just keeps getting better. As the Copenhagen conference collapses, word comes from Russia that the Moscow-based Institute for Economic Analysis has found evidence of skulduggery and fraud in the CRU’s treatment of Russian climate data.

This story from Kommersant, via Novosti, seems to be a close to a primary source as we can get in English. Here is the relevant part (emphases mine):

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.

Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.

Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.

On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.

Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.

For those coming in late, we’re not talking about tree-ring measurements and paleioclimate here. These are the surface-temperature measurements that the IPCC relied on most heavily in its apocalyptic we’re-all-gonna-fry projections.

And now it looks like the “team” and their allies have been caught playing fraudulent games with that data. No surprise to me; reports of cherrypicking and suspiciously convenient “adjustments” have been coming in from Australia, New Zealand, and China over the last week.

Climategate isn’t over. Oh, no indeed – these reports strongly suggest the most damaging revelations are still to come, when people start doing serious auditing of the “homogenized, value-added” data in comparison with raw datasets from real stations.

I think we’re going to find that the scale of active fraud by the AGW-alarmist crowd will dumbfound almost everybody. Well, almost everybody except me. I’ll be the guy cackling madly and yelling “I told you so!”

150 thoughts on “From Russia, with love

  1. The Deltoid guy is out of what passes for his mind. For his own graph to support his interpretation of the 19th-century trends, the blue and red lines would have to be reversed, with the smaller station set indicating higher temperatures. This disinclines me to trust anything he claims about the graph’s rendition of the data in the 20th.

    There’s also the curious fact of both of his alleged datasets wandering outside what he claims the maximum error bars are. Huh? Er, this graph is crap – even in its own terms.

  2. Lawl.

    So deniers think global warming is a socialist scam, and their trusted source of information is… Russia??

    Not to mention that the CRU hack may have been done by ex-KGB officers.

    Denial makes strange bedfellows.

  3. >Apples and oranges. Reread the article.

    I assure you, I’ve reread it several times. It makes less sense on each iteration.

  4. # esr Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    There’s also the curious fact of both of his alleged datasets wandering outside what he claims the maximum error bars are. Huh? Er, this graph is crap – even in its own terms.

    Also curious, the divergence between the two plots in the 19th century, then such tight convergence in the past 50 years. Without an explanation (e.g., “hide the decline”), I’d also vote “crap”.

  5. Let’s suppose that human caused global warming is real. What would be the libertarian position about it?

  6. I believe that the error bars on that graph have nothing to do with the red or blue lines. Rather, he has put the new lines onto a graph that shows us some 3rd “smoothed” dataset.

  7. At this point, the credibility of ANY scientist on the subject of climate has fallen to zero as far as I’m concerned. I will no longer trust anything they say unless they publish ALL of their raw data, the complete details of their research methodology, and every line of code they use in their models — and even then, I’ll want to see their results replicated multiple times by independent researchers before I believe a word of their claims.

    Sorry, climatologists, but this is what you’ve earned.

  8. Oh, god. Now you’re sinking to the level of quoting Novosti. Next, are you going to quote Pravda about the merits of Capitalism? Are you kidding?

  9. # Andrew Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    >Oh, god. Now you’re sinking to the level of quoting Novosti. Next, are you going to quote Pravda about the merits of Capitalism? Are you >
    >kidding?

    Ni pravda Tass. Ni tass Pravda.” “There is no truth in Tass and there is no news in Pravda.

    :-)

  10. >Next, are you going to quote Pravda about the merits of Capitalism? Are you kidding?

    These days, I might. It’s less left-wing than the New York Times — recovering victims of communism tend to be, on the whole.

  11. # Gary Strand Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 11:19 am

    >On the other hand:

    >http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/russian_analysis_confirms_20th.php

    Oh goody! Tiny Tim Lambert strikes again with more proof!

    Lets see he rebuts the argument from the IEA report using that graphic which he claims disproves the Russians claims. Where does this come from? Why its from those unbiased people at the Hadley CRU.

    Then he says we should download the data the data and see for ourselves and he thoughtfully provides us a link to this “honest” data. http://hadobs.metoffice.com/crutem3/ Now what does the first sentence from this download page say? “CRUTEM3 is a gridded dataset of global historical land surface temperature anomalies. Data are available for each month since January 1850, on a 5 degree grid. The dataset is a collaborative product of the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.”

    Ah yes, those purveyors of clean, unbiased date, The Hadley CRU. How could I of ever doubted.

    I shall now be forced to write a stern letter to those pesky Russians for using their own raw data instead of that wonderful, pure as the wind driven snow, CRU adjusted data.

    A thorough tsking shall be sent forthwith.

  12. Something about this situation feels wrong.

    There’s too much obvious agreement, with too much obvious glee, coming from too many major sources all at once. This is basically the pattern of a fraud being uncovered, rather than data being overturned, as expected — but is it usually necessary to have quite this much independent confirmation of fraud? And don’t fraudsters generally admit quickly to what they’ve done?

    The whole thing smells more like political maneuvering than scientific controversy. I suspect that either the evidence of fraud was faked, or else the truth of the situation was deliberately suppressed by the anti-AGW faction until a strategic moment, or possibly the whole reason that the fraudulent studies were run in the first place was to discredit someone or something when the fraud was eventually revealed.

  13. @Gary Strand:

    The IEA guys, as far as I understood, do not claim that global warming is not occurring, or that humans are not responsible, but attempt to prove that CRU cherry-picked data in order to overstate the warming; my opinion is they have a point.

    As far as I understood the Russian document (not very good at Russian, and had no patience to read the whole 20+ pages with a dictionary for the long words … there you go, full disclosure), their argument was that CRU selected only the stations that had the highest temperature raise gradient, even if quite a lot of those stations had frequent changes in location or type of instrumentation, and ignored stations with a higher quality of data if those stations showed less warming. Check the pages 14 and 15 in the IAE document ( http://iea.ru/article/kioto_order/15.12.2009.pdf ), figures 5 and 6, which show data held by Roshydromet (the original source), and data published by CRU … it seems CRU ignored some high temperatures in the ’30, and even inserted some temps. for years around 1940, when one of the stations did not exist, besides picking only the higher temperatures recorded during the ’90s.

    The graph in the article you link to compares apples with oranges: CRUTEM3 shows adjusted data, while the IEA data was generated from _raw_ data, not adjusted for the urban heat effect. Even the official adjusted and smoothed data from Roshydromet (http://www.meteorf.ru/pub/get-file.aspx?OT=Document&PN=DocFile&ID=85b9ce6c-9ba1-4671-8669-70bde16c0a61&FN=Strategic%20prediction_Engl.pdf&CT=application/pdf … see page 7) concurs with what the amateurs at IAE tell: Hadley CRU overstated the temperature increase.

    If you suspect that the Russians are “in the pay of the big oil”, you should probably read the whole report from Roshydromet (the second link) …

  14. @esr December 17th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    “There’s also the curious fact of both of his alleged datasets wandering outside what he claims the maximum error bars are. Huh? Er, this graph is crap – even in its own terms.”

    The “error bars” belong to the Hadley CRU data, the red and blue lines are drawn by the IEA guys from the raw datasets from RosHydroMet.

  15. > Something about this situation feels wrong.

    Skepticism directed towards all of the parties involved is not only warranted, but generally required of scientific inquiry. I tend to believe more the folks that say, “don’t blindly believe me, please check my work, if I made an error of logic/statistics/hygiene please let me know.”

  16. Pavitra, I’m going to make a guess and say your fairly young. Research “Watergate” and “Richard M. Nixon”. Using your logic President Nixon was wrongfully accused and unfairly hounded out office. Notice the reference to the Watergate hotel, this is the “gate” all other scandals up to and including Climategate. You think this is bad (so, far. its showing signs of becoming much worse) you should of seen the months long train wreck of Watergate.

    Yes there is much sound and fury at the present moment but it will force all evidence from both sides of the argument out into the open. The main cause of the rhetorical explosion is the climate scientists using the “we’re right because we say so” argument while refusing to supply the meaningful data to support their claim. The dog ate my data (deletion or destruction of the original raw data) excuse by the CRU made it much worse because good scientists NEVER throw away any data.

    We aren’t likely to see any definitive answers for a long (maybe two or three years) time because any investigations are going to be very certain of their data and proof before they jump into the frying pan.

    Oh by the way Watergate lasted from 1971 to 1974. http://watergate.info/chronology/brief.shtml

  17. > Let’s suppose that human caused global warming is real. What would be the libertarian position about it?

    Well, first I would guess that we would need scientific evidence… something involving hypothesis, observation, prediction, experimentation and repeatable results. Once that happened, we would find ourselves dealing with the one major flaw in Libertarian philosophy… selfish humans. Of course, the current Progressive reality has that same flaw, its not accounting for the selfishness of humans… (on the other side of the argument).

    Individuals who were truly libertarian would consider it their personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint and would likely become extremely picky about the companies they worked with/for or purchased goods and services from. While the Conservatives will continue to sit by and apparently presume God will fix whatever is wrong… the Progressives will continue to drive crap cars, but will attend rallies and scream for the Government to fix the problem.

    Libertarians however, would apply the ‘personal responsibility’ maxim… though I think such an experience would separate those who claim to be libertarian and those who actually believe in personal responsibility. I once met a Libertarian that shouted all day about personal responsibility, until it came to his own life… all of his problems were someone elses fault.

    Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
    Chatterer of the Words of Eris
    Muncher of the ChaoAcorn
    POEE of the Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal
    Rational Anarchist (occasionally)

  18. Nixon was unfairly hounded out office.

    Or, perhaps more accurately Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson were unfairly NOT hounded out of office for similar crimes. Especially Wilson.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  19. OTOH, Jerry Pournelle would offer the ‘war-time-president’ defense for all these men, including Nixon, and apply it to Lincoln as well.

  20. Nixon broke one of the basic rules of politics-don’t get caught.

  21. Pavita said: And don’t fraudsters generally admit quickly to what they’ve done?

    Cap’t Caveman pointed out – using Watergate as an example – of how reticent fraudsters are to admit wrongdoing. Also, more ambiguous situations allow this process to drag out further. However, I think there is a deeper point here.

    What struck me most about the CRU files was that these people, by and large, deeply believe they are right. They aren’t knowingly perpetuating fraud. (Of course, it’s possible – even likely – that there are a few folks that are perpetuating fraud on purpose. I believe that if such people exist in the climate science arena, they are in the vast minority. And without stronger proof, one has to give them the benefit of the doubt.)

    When Michael Mann or Phil Jones or whomever chides or attacks another researcher for straying from the narrative … well, I get the sense that this criticism comes from the idea – the deeply held belief – that the consensus view is solid and correct. They are worried not about “the truth” coming out, but rather that inconsistent results will undermine what they believe is true.

    I think it very likely that they are not committing fraud on purpose. What they have done is clearly fraudulent: hundreds of tiny changes and biases that ‘fix’ minor pieces of the story. It all adds up to seriously flawed science. But they are also victims of this fraud, and thus unlikely to admit to it.

    Of all the skeptical blogs and work being done, I think Steve McIntyre has the absolute best approach. He never really attacks the big picture. He generally takes one small piece and fixes it. Then he moves on to another small piece and fixes that. Bristle cone pines aren’t robust as a temperature proxy. The Yamal series isn’t robust in terms of scope of the trees chosen. Here are four distinct examples of successful attempts to prevent publication based on message rather than content. This proxy data was used upside-down. And etc.

    Note how, in the end, the only criticism of McIntyre that holds up is: these results are replicated elsewhere, so removing this or that flawed piece doesn’t make much difference. But when they make this argument, they are in effect admitting that McIntyre is right. They have to, because he is, and he has proven it beyond doubt.

    And it’s true that most of these victories are tiny, in comparison to the totality of the AGW argument. What we need are more McIntyres … more people picking one or two pieces to look at dispassionately, and show a flaw (if there is one). Just as hundreds of minor biases and flaws add up, hundreds of corrections will also add up, putting the picture right again.

    The AGW strategy of saying over and over, “This doesn’t matter, because of all the other evidence,” is fundamentally flawed. But that’s because, to the AGW folks it’s not a strategy … it’s what they really believe. And that’s the solution to this whole mess, because researchers who believe themselves to be honest, and are held to high standards of honesty, won’t be able to dismiss tiny but solid pieces of research done right.

  22. >Individuals who were truly libertarian would consider it their personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint and would likely become extremely picky about the companies they worked with/for or purchased goods and services from.

    What Ratatosk says is true (Hail Eris!). But I think questioner was looking for an answer at social scale, not just individual choices. That part of the answer goes like this: a society of libertarians concerned about AGW would pour investment capital into nuclear fission, SPSS, MHD generators, and other forms of “green” energy that could actually produce at scale, unlike the kinds the environmentalists are pushing now.

  23. The Deltoid guy is out of what passes for his mind. For his own graph to support his interpretation of the 19th-century trends, the blue and red lines would have to be reversed, with the smaller station set indicating higher temperatures. This disinclines me to trust anything he claims about the graph’s rendition of the data in the 20th.

    The blue line is evidence for AGW, because it is “hockey stick” shaped. The red line would provide more evidence for global warming, because it’s got a greater overall slope, but less evidence for anthropogenic global warming because it’s not “hockey stick” shaped.

    There’s also the curious fact of both of his alleged datasets wandering outside what he claims the maximum error bars are. Huh? Er, this graph is crap – even in its own terms.

    The red and blue lines are Russian temperatures, the black line is for all land north of 30N. On top of that the black line is smoothed. So there’s nothing suspicious about the read and blue lines wandering outside the error bars.

    I think we’re going to find that the scale of active fraud by the AGW-alarmist crowd will dumbfound almost everybody. Well, almost everybody except me. I’ll be the guy cackling madly and yelling “I told you so!”

    Given the sort of errors you’re consistently making, it’ll be a stopped-clock sort of I-told-you-so.

  24. That part of the answer goes like this: a society of libertarians concerned about AGW would pour investment capital into nuclear fission, SPSS, MHD generators, and other forms of “green” energy that could actually produce at scale, unlike the kinds the environmentalists are pushing now.

    How would they make these investments efficiently without putting a price on carbon?

  25. >How would they make these investments efficiently without putting a price on carbon?

    Carbon already has a price. It’s called “inefficiency”. Any time you move from a lower-density, more polluting power source to a higher-density, less polluting one, you gain efficiency. In a free market, the prospect of efficiency gains translates into somebody’s going to make a profit and attracts investment capital.

  26. >>How would they make these investments efficiently without putting a price on carbon?

    >Carbon already has a price.

    I meant a price on carbon which reflected climatic externalities.

    As it is, you’re relying on libertarianism to “solve” the problem based on a coincidence between pollution and efficiency. How would this work if we were deciding between say high-density high-pollution gasoline and low-density low-pollution ethanol?

  27. >As it is, you’re relying on libertarianism to “solve” the problem based on a coincidence between pollution and efficiency.

    It’s not a coincidence, it’s fundamental. What is pollution other than a failure to convert desired inputs into desired outputs?

    >How would this work if we were deciding between say high-density high-pollution gasoline and low-density low-pollution ethanol?

    That’s a false dichotomy. Ethanol isn’t low-pollution when you look at all the life-cycle costs, which is why libertarians concerned about the environment – including me – have condemned ethanol subsidies and mandates.

  28. “What is pollution other than a failure to convert desired inputs into desired outputs?”

    Who says pollution isn’t desired by the entity doing the conversion?

    When producing pollution and passing it off for someone else to deal with is the most efficient path, producing pollution is a desired output.

  29. I have been reading the russian paper, and I am unable to see where the big scandal is. The re-calculated graphs show the famous hockey stick. The latest decades are specially similar. No “hide the decline” artifacts are shown.

    Most of the you seem to believe the hockey stick is false, just data manipulation, but still give credit to this paper?

  30. >It’s not a coincidence, it’s fundamental. What is pollution other than a failure to convert desired inputs into desired outputs?

    I think I know the argument you think you’re making.

    If I take an input (say a hydrocarbon, plus O2 from the atmosphere) and try to produce an output (in this case energy) then everything else I produce (CO2 and H2O) is a “failure to convert desired inputs into desired outputs”.

    It is therefore in my best interests to produce less CO2 and H2O and produce more energy, because then I’ll make more profit selling that energy.

    But the CO2 is pollution and the H2O is not. So your definition of pollution is incomplete.

  31. >But the CO2 is pollution and the H2O is not.

    Sez you. Plants need CO2. Without it, we wouldn’t have food.

  32. We can cackle together – I’ve been a skeptic since 1991 when I worked on the UARS spacecraft program with the NASA atmospheric section. The junior scientists didn’t believe in the “warming” scenario but couldn’t say anything because they didn’t want to lose their jobs and careers (their words – not mine).

  33. >>But the CO2 is pollution and the H2O is not.

    >Sez you. Plants need CO2. Without it, we wouldn’t have food.

    Are you being deliberately disingenuous or do you just have a short attention span?

    If CO2 is not pollution, how does your pollution==inefficiency argument show that a society of libertarians could deal with AGW?

  34. Serg asked: Let’s suppose that human caused global warming is real. What would be the libertarian position about it?

    Well, he might say that free-market dynamics are already addressing the problem, and have been for over 150 years.

    We have continually moved from wood, to coal, to oil, to gas, and as we have done so, the ratio of carbon to hydrogen has decreased. Here is one graph (second graph on this page) that illustrates it, but I originally got the information from one of Michael Crichton’s speeches, found here.

  35. >If CO2 is not pollution, how does your pollution==inefficiency argument show that a society of libertarians could deal with AGW?

    The point is, nothing is a “pollutant” per se. It’s all in whether the CO2, or H2O, or hydrocyanic acid, or whatever, is in a place where it’s doing good or doing harm.

  36. esr @7:17pm >It’s not a coincidence, it’s fundamental. What is pollution other than a failure to convert desired inputs into desired outputs?

    esr @8:00pm >The point is, nothing is a “pollutant” per se. It’s all in whether the CO2, or H2O, or hydrocyanic acid, or whatever, is in a place where it’s doing good or doing harm.

    I agree with 8pm eric.

  37. Ted Carmichael:

    I think you have your finger on something key. There’s a similar problem that affects prosecutors.

    The worst example I know of was here in the Chicago area, about 25 years ago. 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico was snatched from her family’s house in suburban Du Page County, raped, and murdered, Three low-lifes (Cruz, Hernandez, and Buckley) were charged with the crime. The evidence against them was thin, but the DuPage state’s attorney pressed ahead, and won convictions against Cruz and Hernandez. Both convictions were eventually overturned on appeal.

    Meanwhile, one Dugan, charged with two other sex murders, confessed to the Nicarico slaying on condition of not getting the death sentence for his other crimes. The prosecutors ignored this, and retried Cruz and Hernandez. By this time the weakness of the evidence was becoming obvious, Cruz was convicted, Hernandez got a hung jury. Cruz’s second conviction was overturned as well. The prosecutors tried a third time. Cruz was acquitted. Hernandez was convicted, and again won an appeal. Finally the prosecutors gave up. Dugan has since been convicted of the Nicarico killing and sentenced to death.

    This case has been a political disaster for Illinois Republicans. DuPage County is a Republican bastion. Former DuPage State’s Attorney Jim Ryan became state Attorney General, then lost the governorship to Rod Blagojevich in 2002, in part because of the Nicarico case. His successor as State’s Attorney, Joe Birkett, lost the Attorney Generalship to a weak Democrat for the same reason.

    OK, why did the prosecutors stay with this case when it was clearly going down in flames? Because they believed in it. This was a heinous crime, and they were highly motivated to find and punish the killer. Once they had decided who that was, they focused on getting those suspects convicted. A prosecutor has to do that. In many, many criminal cases there is confusing and ambiguous evidence, and absolute proof is lacking. The defense can (and should) bring out conflicting evidence, submit alternate explanations, and cast doubt. The prosecutor has to cut through all this, and not doubt his own case – because if he doubts, the jury will acquit. (At the same time, if the prosecutor finds exculpatory evidence, he must present it, which creates a conflict of duties.)

    The Du Page prosecutors became committed to their cause; rather than admit it was weak, they massaged their evidence to make it support their position, and explained away every flaw. This led to indictments of three prosecutors and four cops for conspiracy (but they were acquitted too).

    Like those prosecutors, the AGW advocates have become committed to their cause. Like them, they believe in its importance (punishing brutal murderers of the innocent, averting a global catastrophe). As with the prosecutors, the fraud is not falsifying evidence. It lies in concealing the quality of their evidence and then lying about what it proves. AGWists have asserted repeatedly that “the science is settled”, when clearly it is not.

    At this time, given the state of the evidence, and the state of the interpretive science, AGW is no more than an interesting speculation. Yet immense costs have already been imposed as part of purported remedies. (For instance the $billions devoted to “carbon credits”: fraud in the EU carbon-credit market already is known to exceed $5B.)

  38. >I agree with 8pm eric.

    But both things are true. It is both the case that pollution is unwanted outputs implying a process inefficiency, and that the substance of those outputs can be benign in the right place.

  39. >It is both the case that pollution is unwanted outputs implying a process inrefficiency.

    How does producing CO2 imply a process inefficiency when extracting energy from hydrocarbons?

  40. @Tom:

    OTOH, Jerry Pournelle would offer the ‘war-time-president’ defense for all these men, including Nixon, and apply it to Lincoln as well.

    On the gripping hand, Jerry Pournelle thinks intelligent design is a falsifiable hypothesis.

  41. How does producing CO2 imply a process inefficiency when extracting energy from hydrocarbons?

    Carbon dioxide is a byproduct (waste product) of hydrocarbon combustion. The purpose of hydrocarbon combustion is to generate heat (energy), in order to drive, for example, an internal combustion engine. Anything produced secondarily to that energy is an indication of the inefficiency of the process. CO2 is not the only byproduct: carbon monoxide is another one, along with other waste products.

  42. >Carbon dioxide is a byproduct (waste product) of hydrocarbon combustion. The purpose of hydrocarbon combustion is to generate heat (energy), in order to drive, for example, an internal combustion engine. Anything produced secondarily to that energy is an indication of the inefficiency of the process.

    I think you’re confusing secondary with essential. Or maybe you’re arguing that we shouldn’t be oxidizing hydrocarbons for energy?

  43. We should be putting greenhouses on every power plant roof anyway. Convert the co2 back to o2. Not because it’s the perfect response but because it would tell us what to try next.

  44. > Or maybe you’re arguing that we shouldn’t be oxidizing hydrocarbons for energy?

    The important part is the production of energy. As oxidizing hydrocarbons has waste in the form of H2O and CO2, it does not have 100% conversion efficiency and as such is sub-optimal.

  45. Ok, I get it. A society of libertarians would be so awesome that they would invent direct matter to energy conversion.

  46. >invent direct matter to energy conversion.

    Works great in L. Neil Smith novels. Which I love.’ Probability Broach’ anyway: SO AWESOME.

    A greenhouse on a power plant roof is a quick easy win.

  47. > As oxidizing hydrocarbons has waste in the form of H2O and CO2, it does not have 100% conversion efficiency and as such is sub-optimal.

    Someone is very (very very) confused about mass->energy and basic chemistry. Mass is conserved, remember?

  48. >>invent direct matter to energy conversion.

    >Works great in L. Neil Smith novels. Which I love.’ Probability Broach’ anyway: SO AWESOME.

    Works great in Schlock Mercenary, too. Everyone should have little bitty teal-blue spheres they can get power that’s too cheap to meter from.

    Until then, we gotta use every power source we can get our grubby little paws on. The alternative is artificial, economy-wrecking scarcity.

  49. These days, I might. It’s less left-wing than the New York Times — recovering victims of communism tend to be, on the whole.

    Make sure you include references to the articles about Flying Saucers. You may also want to include the ones from Novosti.

    I find great irony in your care-free and careless quoting of leggless sources to support your case against a cause you claim to have been careless with data.

  50. Jeff Read says

    lawl.

    So deniers think global warming is a socialist scam, and their trusted source of information is… Russia??

    Not to mention that the CRU hack may have been done by ex-KGB officers.

    Denial makes strange bedfellows.

    My first thought on reading this article was “I wonder how long it’ll be before someone makes the snide Russia/communist link”.

    Pity I was too late to say “I predicted this”.

  51. “I agree with 8:00 PM, Eric”

    Great stuff. Robust debate. Small scale peer review before our very eyes. Too bad the CRU folks spent so much time and energy (no pun) trying to corrupt the scientific method.

  52. Despite my serious concerns with the climate science community, I am pretty skeptical of the Russian report and I won’t take it seriously until somebody else validates it.

    Which, of course, is how science is supposed to work.

    You may think AGW is wrong, but that doesn’t mean that every report that casts doubt on it is automatically right.

  53. pete Says:
    Ok, I get it. A society of libertarians would be so awesome that they would invent direct matter to energy conversion.

    Cmon pete you can do better than that.

    The obvious interpretation is that a libertarian society is pushed towards solutions that have a higher efficiency of matter to energy conversion because you’d get the same energy output from less input material. Hence less cost for the same revenue. It’s not necessary for it to be perfect, simply enough better to justify the transition costs.

    ESR says: This is both correct as stated and phrased in terms a libertarian would naturally use.

  54. A slight tangent: following links on the business interests of IPCC chairman Pachauri are interesting: at James Delingpole’s
    blog .

    And at the EURefendum site and again here.

    And there was at least some direct contact between TERI and East Anglia CRU: search TERI and Pachauri here.

    One interesting email thread from a search.

    This does not look good.

  55. @Jake Fischer:

    Someone is very (very very) confused about mass->energy and basic chemistry. Mass is conserved, remember?

    Someone is very (very, very) confused about basic physics, Jake. E=mc^2, remember? Einstein says in that equation that energy and mass are equivalent. In theory, it should be possible to convert all the mass in some matter to heat and light. In reality, it isn’t. Any mass left over is wasted in the matter to energy conversion process. Internal combustion is an attempt to convert the matter (hydrocarbons and oxygen) into energy. It doesn’t convert all of the energy, so some mass is left over. That left over mass is (mostly) CO2, CO and H2O.

  56. @Jake: BTW– what do you think all of those “environmental systems” on your car are for, anyway? Example: your car’s EGR valve (exhaust gas recirculation) sends exhaust gases back into the engine so that it can be reburned. This extracts a little bit more energy out of it, causing a reduction in fuel consumption! It’s an attempt to convert some more energy from the leftover mass.

    Back to high school physics with you.

  57. I think I know why the AGW-ers and a large number of the ignorant public are so adamant about AGW. They don’t really know whether or why any warming is happening. Who could, with so little real data and so many dubious “models” out there it’s like a Tiger Woods love reunion?

    But they are deeply freaked out about old-fashioned pollution and think they’re all going to die of cancer and other diseases from that, even though death rates keep going down. I said they were ignorant. And they think the only way they can enforce “regular” anti-pollution is not to give any ground on AGW. I think they’re hurting themselves unnecessarily, since the rich nations have made amazing strides in halting and preventing “real” pollution in the last fifty years and that progress continues. But some people just go by emotion.

    Of course, I’m only talking about the AGW-ers who are sincere.

  58. Someone is very (very, very) confused about basic physics, Jake. E=mc^2, remember? Einstein says in that equation that energy and mass are equivalent. In theory, it should be possible to convert all the mass in some matter to heat and light. In reality, it isn’t. Any mass left over is wasted in the matter to energy conversion process.

    Yes. Someone is indeed very confused about basic physics. If you’re going to make an appeal against science, turning to science fiction for your rational seems pretty dubious.

  59. How did the scientific method allow such a big error to continue for so long?

    Speaking as a non-expert, why is it so hard to determine the average temperature of the Earth? Can’t we just publish databases of temperature readings and prove or disprove Global Warming? Why is there any controversy at all?

  60. Morgan, calm down. In a non-nuclear reaction, mass is conserved. Every atom that went into a combustion reaction still exists afterward.

  61. Tom, no, a society of libertarians is not an oxymoron. Libertarians aren’t loners; in fact we’re usually even more socially oriented than socialists. What we are is individualists; meaning that all relations between individuals should be voluntary. Socialists think that it’s acceptable for some relations to happen at the point of a gun. Note that someone may hold individualist and socialist ideas; while they may think of themselves as pragmatic, compromising towards a worthy goal; instead they’re just confused. You can’t compromise on a principle, otherwise you lose it entirely. For example, it’s wrong to kill; thus it’s wrong for a group to kill; thus it’s wrong for a government to kill; thus capital punishment is wrong. At best it’s a cheaper method of life imprisonment — but when you compromise your principles to save money, you are not principled at all.

  62. techtech,

    Where do you put the thermometer? The earth doesn’t have a tongue under which to place it. I always measure my temp for four minutes. I never do it out in the cold or the heat. How long do you measure the earth’s temperature. How do we go back in time to measure a couple of thousand years ago? Although if you are looking man made climate change, I think you have to go back before domesticated herd animals and agriculture.

    I’m not being silly here. We could get a very good average if we placed a thermometers one meter apart in the three dimensional biosphere – under the ocean and up in the atmosphere. We couldn’t afford it, but it would be a very good average. This stuff is expensive, and it can’t go backward in time, which is why sceptics like me insist so strongly that the models must not make any failed predictions, and that they should do better than the naive model which simply uses last years data as a predictin for this year.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  63. techtech

    Right now, the ‘baseline temperature’ for the Earth is based off of a 30 year average from land based and ocean based temperature readings from 1950 to about 1970; some sets base the baseline from 1960 to 1980.

    Everything else is measured as a deviation from this baseline.

    The problems come when the temperature readings get ‘noisy’ – the thermometer that used to be on a pole over a grassy sward is now over an asphalt parking lot with the exhaust vent of an air conditioner near it. Because of this, the average strongly weights the temperatures in favor of those running between 10 PM and 4 AM, but it still takes the average weighting over an entire 24-hour period.

    Even changing the height of the pole from 1 meter to 2 meters can cause a variance in the weighted T-minimum temperatures by upwards of 2 degrees C.

    On top of this, not all of the temperature readings are done for continuous areas, and the temperature sensors get moved over time.

    And we don’t have temperature records going back with much reliability before about 1830 to 1860. It’s hard to spot a trend line without knowing what you’re baseline checking against.

    My answer to this is “Find ways to reduce the error set in the noise for future data gathering going forward” and to treat the past data records with some suspicion. CRU’s answer is to filter the noise out of the past data set. The controversy stems from whether or not those filters to remove noise are imparting a warming signal that’s exaggerated; different filters make that warming signal all but disappear, for example. Much of the text of HARRY_README.txt is a programmer grinding his teeth over the massage that the data has to go through to merge incomplete data bases. Some of it is pretty bad…

    Coupled with this is that there are several proxies for past climate data around; ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, coral bores, tree rings, and bore holes. Each of these has different aspects that can introduce noise into the data set. All of them suffer from ‘small data set multiplication’ errors to some degree or another; for example, the Briffa dendroclimatology set loses its hockey-stick shape if you use a larger set of trees on the Siberian peninsula of Yamal, the Mann hockey stick graph loses its hockey-stick shape if you don’t include one data set from the bristlecone pines of Yosemite.

    Both of these ‘If I exclude one data set, what happens to the shape of the graph’ experiments indicate that, charitably, there’s something wrong going on. For people not willing to extend charity, it’s a sign of out and out fraud.

  64. Tom DeGisi Says:
    > Where do you put the thermometer?

    But if we have hundreds or thousands of temperature sensors all over the world, which judging from the nightly news in every town I’m assuming we do, we’d be able to at least say “the average temperature across all the sensors was X degrees last year and is Y degrees this year”. I’m surprised we don’t hear more about the un-massaged averages.

    Ken Burnside Says:
    > it’s a sign of out and out fraud

    What about the ice caps? Isn’t eons-old ice supposed to be melting like crazy right now? If true, that’s pretty strong evidence of some warming going on.

    ———-

    If the community behind climate science was as open as it should be, all the data would be publicly available and all of the reasoning and formulas used to reach conclusions would be publicly available and then there would be no question of a conspiracy. The scientific method requires open review.

    We should be arguing “method A says the Earth is warming” vs “method B says the Earth’s temperature is steady”.

    Not “CNN says we are Warming” vs “FoxNews says business as usual”. Not “Democrat” vs “Republican”. etc. etc.

  65. The whole thing smells more like political maneuvering than scientific controversy. I suspect that either the evidence of fraud was faked, or else the truth of the situation was deliberately suppressed by the anti-AGW faction until a strategic moment, or possibly the whole reason that the fraudulent studies were run in the first place was to discredit someone or something when the fraud was eventually revealed.

    You and me both, Pavitra. As soon as “Climategate” broke my gut told me that this was some sort of “false flag” operation. I’m still not willing to concede that the stolen data was not either cherrypicked or very slightly tweaked to cast a sinister pall on the internal workings of climate research, to bolster the denialists’ case — especially since before November 2009, the denialists didn’t have a case.

  66. I assure you, I’ve reread it several times. It makes less sense on each iteration.

    Be careful. We don’t know if reading that too many times will leave you permanently dumber or if the effect is just temporary.

  67. I long predicted this house of cards would come crashing down due to some sort of “deep throat” leak. The culture of secrecy around these weather wizards was so slimy and their forecasts were so out of whack with the shrill propaganda being shoveled around that someone eventually had to crack. It was also only a matter of time before the adults would step in and say: “Okay, that’s quite enough out of you.” That is starting to happen now, too, especially among particle physicists.

    As for Mr. Gore, I don’t think any of us would have to be a master prognosticator to know that he would eventually destroy himself with his own arrogance. This latest Chicken Little nonsense about the polar ice cap has the potential to be the sound byte that digs his grave. It’s probably the closest thing to a positive, falsifiable scientific claim I’ve ever heard that charlatan utter, and the timing of it is such naked fear-mongering that its sliminess will seep down into the monoculture: “People aren’t scared enough! They are beginning to think rationally about this situation!! Quick, dig up a half-assed claim to terrify them into obedience!”

    People are now going to take a second look at “Al Gore, Eco-Terrorist.” You don’t have to have a background in the physical sciences to see through this sort of strident scare tactic. The end of Gore is nigh, and Gore’s very public media death will precipitate the death of this ridiculous branch of pseudoscience. The snowstorm in Copenhagen is just icing on the cake.

    Hansen, Mann et al could not predict decadal weather trends with a handful of variables and some incompetently programmed IDLs? Who would have thought that?

  68. The question here is adjustments that seem to always make the current temperatures higher. People who maintain databases of raw surface temperature data always make adjustments. There are valid reasons for adjusting temperature data in certain circumstances. If a temperature station has been moved and there’s a clear offset since the move, then obviously you should investigate the reason and perhaps adjust.

    Russia is alleging that of the data they had, only a small portion of it was used by Hadley (yes, Hadley, not EA CRU), and the data that was used was primarily stations that required adjustment, even though there were PLENTY of stations that had continuous records and needed no adjustment.

    Now this Deltoid guy says the russians are claiming that the data was “altered” to show a warming trend. However, his defense of the data shows two series, one with 96 stations (red), and one with 152 (blue). He is claiming that the Red line is actually more “skeptical” because it shows warming in the 19th century whereas the blue line does not. He is using this to demonstrate that the data was not manipulated.

    What he doesn’t talk about are endpoints.*** Why are the blue and red lines offset at the beginning of the plot?? *** The only difference was the number of stations, and yet everything seems to line up perfectly at the end of the graph, not the beginning. This is a huge problem for him, because it demonstrates careful selection of how to align different series on his plot to show what he wants. If you instead line up the red and blue line in the 19th century, you see something very different between the series. If that were done that way it would be far more obvious that the smaller number of series shows a higher overall rate of increase over the 20th century.

    And of course, we’re somehow stupid for being skeptical.

  69. jrok, you’re talking out of your hat. Mann doesn’t do decadal prediction, and the IDL scripts are mainly for dendrochronology studies and CRU’s work in creating observed temperature data.

    Climate models aren’t written with IDL, and there’s no such thing as “decadal weather trends”. There’s a difference between climate and weather.

  70. >CRU’s work in creating observed temperature data.

    Nice Freudian slip, there. Yeah, “creating” is what I’d call it, all right.

  71. >my gut told me this was some kind of ‘false flag’ operation.

    Putin to Commie Gestapo: ‘Brief me on climate change! Is fraud by West, or is serious problem?’
    Commie Gestapo: ‘Al Gore is boss. ”Hockey stick’ statistics are worse than Lysenko. Carbon dioxide risk estimates leave out existence of oceans, and-’
    Putin: ‘You had me at ‘Al Gore is boss’. Well, he’s fucking the wrong chekist! Start with a simple
    false flag, but remember: We break this mafiya or they break Russia’s industrial base! Will you stand by like that drunk who let Harvard loot Russia’s Treasury?’
    Commie Gestapo: ‘Sir, no sir! The Rodina’s hackers will triumph! Climate scam remegades will end in basement across from Children’s World!’

  72. What Ratatosk says is true (Hail Eris!). But I think questioner was looking for an answer at social scale, not just individual choices. That part of the answer goes like this: a society of libertarians concerned about AGW would pour investment capital into nuclear fission, SPSS, MHD generators, and other forms of “green” energy that could actually produce at scale, unlike the kinds the environmentalists are pushing now.

    Yep. It’s really rather straightforward. In fact, if the Progressives were smart, they would be beating the hell out of this tactic instead of focusing solely on government rules/laws/treaties. It’s amazing how easily you can motivate Americans through profit, lower monthly energy expense and a challenge to solve a problem. IMO the debate shouldn’t be “Is Global Warming True/False?” It should be “Hey, how can we get/make cheap energy that is closer to 100% efficient than fossil fuels?”

    Because, AGW or not, the Middle East is not a great place to bank our future on and oil costs are beyond stupid at this point. Besides, I’d much rather live in a society that has lots and lots and lots of cheap energy [more energy == more toys] and I like toys.

  73. >In fact, if the Progressives were smart, they would be beating the hell out of this tactic instead of focusing solely on government rules/laws/treaties.

    Exactly. Their behavior doesn’t make any sense under the theory that they’re actually concerned about “the environment”, so they must actually be after something else for which “environmentalism” is a convenient cover. No prize for guessing what it is, that’s too easy.

  74. Tom DeGisi says, “Where do we put the thermometer?”

    Op Al Gore’s ass, right next to the hockey stick?

    Just asking

  75. Another thing that doesn’t make sense to me: the warmists seem to be focused almost exclusively on CO2, even though by their own models it’s only about half the problem. The other half (methane, HFCs, soot, etc.) seem like an easier and more cost-effective target:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-climate-emissions14-2009dec14,0,4164470.story
    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/001864.html

    But then, controlling CO2 would require a more pervasive control regime, which I suspect they see as a feature and not a bug.

  76. @tentech:

    What about the ice caps? Isn’t eons-old ice supposed to be melting like crazy right now? If true, that’s pretty strong evidence of some warming going on.

    It’s strong evidence of warming, which no one is arguing about. It’s not evidence (strong or not) of human-caused warming.

    @Russell Nelson:

    Morgan, calm down. In a non-nuclear reaction, mass is conserved. Every atom that went into a combustion reaction still exists afterward.

    That’s true, but it ignores my main point that the substances that emerge from combustion aren’t the point of combustion. We don’t burn fossil fuels for the hell of it, we burn them because it produces motion. Anything produced besides the motion, is, therefore, a by-product of the intended result and, hence, waste. Why does everyone have to attack an argument that I fully admit is entirely theoretical?

    Okay, let me put it another way: do you eat so that you can produce the appropriate waste products to be flushed? Or do you eat so that you can convert carbohydrates (hmmm….kinda like…hydrocarbons…but backwards…coincidence? I think not!) into energy? (Yes, I know that every atom in the chemical reactions are conserved, but that misses the point entirely.)

    Climate models aren’t written with IDL, and there’s no such thing as “decadal weather trends”. There’s a difference between climate and weather.

    Tell that to the climate scientists using data weather stations to model climate.
    icee
    Weather stations aren’t designed to provide accurate, repeatable results over the decadal temperature trends we’re talking about.

  77. > Tell that to the climate scientists using data weather stations to model climate.

    What would you suggest be used? Yes, weather data isn’t ideal. But that’s what’s available.

  78. > What would you suggest be used? Yes, weather data isn’t ideal. But that’s what’s available.

    What a great example of the logic of these frauds. If GCMs don’t use weather data and proxy reconstructions to predict future changes, then what were are all those jackasses in Copenhagen meeting about? Now that the cat is out of the bag, will the tactic now be to pretend that these apocalyptic claims were never actually made? Talk about being a “denialist!”

  79. And you know this how?

    You seem to think Mann does decadal “weather” prediction and that climate models are written with IDL.

    I’m dubious that your bluster is truly supported by knowledge, what with those two gaffes.

  80. Stran, jrok has a point. Global Climate Models don’t work.

    Among other things, I am in expert in math-based computer models and simulations. First thing you need to understand is that no model — whether we’re talking about a simulated wind tunnel for an aircraft, an electronic circuit simulator, etc., provides a perfect replication of the system it is simulating. Even given all the computing power in the world, it’s just not possible within our current technology (or, more likely, the human brain to conceive of such a system).

    In any case, simulation models can be useful. One problem with models is variability — as the number of variables increase, the complexity of the model goes up. As the complexity of the model scales, the amount of computing power needed scales. The other thing that affects the model, and this is the thing, is the variation, range and randomness of those variables.

    Any mathematician can tell you that if you get too much variability, range, randomness and model complexity — the reliability of that model is going to go down.

    Here’s the problem with predicting the climate: weather patterns, on which climate models are partially based, are chaotic by nature. The fact that you can turn on the TV weatherman and find out that sometimes, well, he may as well be predicting the weather with a dart board, pair of 20-sided dice, or tarot cards, shows you that.

  81. I wrote “Mann et al”, meaning Mann, Hansen, Schmidt, Solomon and many, many more. Yes, that means I am tarring them all with the same brush. The bunk reconstructions were used to present ever more harrowing “worst case scenario” predictions that went well beyond simple trends in average global temperature. Hurricanes, floods and, frankly, every sort of imaginable disaster short of swarms of locusts were in their forecasts.

    But this is all beside the point, Strand. You are being disingenuous about the application (if not the stated intent) of climate modeling. I’m not sure why. No one else here is trying to play a semantics game. Are you honestly claiming that the models have nothing to do with the forecasts? If your concerned that anyone thinks you were directly involved in the fraud, well, I don’t think that. I think you probably programmed your game as well as you could, given the parameters.

  82. Caveman, thanks for the link to that excellent post at strata-sphere.com. I think all this debate has a purpose, to elicit data and arguments for people to make up their minds. For example, the recent debate about medical reform has apparently convinced a majority that medical insurance is not a federal responsibility for the first time this decade, which was great to see, though it has to be taken with a grain of salt as it’s only a poll of 1000 respondents. Also, I’d like to see how much of the shift was due to the more centrist “leaners,” as opposed to the partisans simply hunkering down. One would hope that we wouldn’t have to waste time on these obvious scams like AGW alarmism or pie in the sky medical reform fantasies but given the great ignorance out there, it is somewhat reassuring that people are coming around when given more information.

  83. jrok – there are two parts of climatology that you’re conflating.

    Historical recreation (Mann, Briffa) and computer simulations (UCAR, etc.)

    One attempts to establish the historical baseline. The other attempts to model a complex and dynamic system.

    I hold out hopes that the latter is amenable to outside corroboration and making falsifiable predictions at some point. It may take a few more churnings of Moore’s law, and some very tight coding to get there.

    The current weather data is a large chunk of what we’ve got to work with. Weather is to climate as bunts are to a 162 game baseball season. It takes a lot of accumulated data to know anything, and that data is exceptionally noisy.

    I am starting to regard historical recreation of climate as being about as rigorous as the SCA is on historical recreation of a specific time period at an event: Enthusiastic, but likely to exaggerate the parts that appeal to the people organizing it.

  84. Burnside, if I am conflating them, it’s only because they are part and parcel to the same crooked application. Minus the application, any number of models would be innocuous. But (as has been apparent for quite some time, even before the release of these emails) the collusion between those doing proxy assessments and those dabbling in climatic forecasts is well established. I’m not conflating them, I’m paying tribute to the blatantly obvious intersection of them.

  85. Burnside – By the way I don’t think that what you are attempting to do is without merit. I think it is downright plucky, in the best sense of that word. But I also suspect that swishing around the water in a poisoned well probably won’t do much to purify the waters.

  86. > Here’s the problem with predicting the climate: weather patterns, on which climate models are partially based, are chaotic by nature.

    Weather can be chaotic; climate is not. If it were, then we could book June vacations to Antarctica and have a fair chance of a pleasant time outdoors.

    For one difference, numerical weather prediction is sensitive to initial conditions; climate models are sensitive to boundary conditions. Climate models aren’t just weather models run for a long time.

  87. All right, here’s the latest climate scare:

    We need to stop emitting H2O into the atmosphere, because the H2O molecule is polar, so it has a net electrical charge, and there are asteroids in near-Earth orbit that are made out of ferrous materials. So if we keep emitting this dangerous chemical, then we’ll get hit by asteroids that are attracted by electromagnetic interaction between them and the water in the Earth’s atmosphere. Must impose intrusive regulatory regime on watering outdoor plants! Make de-humidifiers mandatory!

  88. Ken Burnside said: The current weather data is a large chunk of what we’ve got to work with. Weather is to climate as bunts are to a 162 game baseball season. It takes a lot of accumulated data to know anything, and that data is exceptionally noisy.

    I generally agree with you here. However, I would say instead: Weather is the noise; climate is the signal.

    I am starting to regard historical recreation of climate as being about as rigorous as the SCA is on historical recreation of a specific time period at an event: Enthusiastic, but likely to exaggerate the parts that appeal to the people organizing it.

    Hahaha … sure. Why would the SCA want to recreate bad teeth and lack of port-a-johns?

  89. I think all of you are missing the major scientific points here:

    1) you are stuck in a human timescale viewpoint of a process that is multi-millenia in the making, eg 1860 – 2000 [wtf? = that's a gnatfart event]. Climate is geologic in scale and we have the attention span of a flea. We do NOT have the rigor required to use standardized science of this type for the millenia required, ergo, we will not GET ANY OF THIS “SCIENCE” SETTLED.

    2) AGWists are attempting to measure average temps with a precision of .1 – .5 C when our instrumentalities are historically only accurate to at best 1-2 C based on a totally flawed experimental design (weather stations are not random and do not reflect a ‘full’ range of possible sites). In addition, DAILY temperature fluctuations are often EIGHTY TIMES the level of precision required and annual fluctuations HUNDREDS of times required precision. One can only conclude that any ‘signal’ will be lost in the noise unless far more scientific rigor is involved in data recording than has EVER been the case.

    3) Proxy data is only really useful when compared with itself rather than against any absolute values. Ice cores CAN tell us that certain periods were likely warmer than others, but I remain sceptical that they can tell us it was 17C at noon on 23 May, 1100 AD /sarc

    4) THIS Climate Science is neither !! {LOL}

    Observations and analysis of those observations is not what we have come to call science in the purest sense. There is NO possibility [yet] that we can construct climate hypotheses, design climate experiments, and then repeat the climate experiments for the periods reqd {millenia} until each hypothesis is proven false or still withstands the ultimate test of science.

    “Observational science” is only anecdotal, not definitive, as interesting as it may be. Anecdotal science with BENT observers are just plain lies ! Hoist a brew to the snake oil salesmen of CRU.

    In conclusion, this is ALL bullcrap up down and sideways.

  90. Ken Burnside Says:
    I am starting to regard historical recreation of climate as being about as rigorous as the SCA is on historical recreation of a specific time period at an event: Enthusiastic, but likely to exaggerate the parts that appeal to the people organizing it.

    HA.

    Actually a better example is probably historical re-enactment groups.

    From what i’ve seen of the SCA they tend to be a fine representation of the “hollywood medieval” time period. Which is to say mix everything together until you can’t tell what the original time period was and then pull out the things that look the coolest. They don’t intend to be accurate, ultimately it’s about camping, drinking and hitting one another with boffers.

    Historical re-enactment groups attempt to portray a specific time period and get large bits right. But then no-one really wants to be a camp follower or a groom or a peasant or a porter and so a good 2/3rds of the support staff in a medieval camp are missing. Also they’re working from generally noisy pictures. I’ve seen arguments as to whether something is poorly drawn chain mail, poorly drawn brigandine or poorly drawn padded armour. Eventually of course group politics rears its ugly head in the documentation process (the “evaluation” of a group portraying pirates being told they needed to sing more “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum” (which i’m told is a disney song) was one of the more amusing examples).

    A different metaphor that strikes me is the speaking of dead languages(or languages that go dead for a period of time before being resurrected). Sure given the phonetics of the various european languages, thats as good a way to pronounce latin as we can come up with. However we don’t really know and we can’t really be sure if our set of “corrections” (e.g. ‘v’ in latin pronounced like ‘w’) are complete.

  91. Biobob said:

    you are stuck in a human timescale viewpoint of a process that is multi-millenia in the making, eg 1860 – 2000 [wtf? = that's a gnatfart event]. Climate is geologic in scale and we have the attention span of a flea. We do NOT have the rigor required to use standardized science of this type for the millenia required, ergo, we will not GET ANY OF THIS “SCIENCE” SETTLED.

    I may have made this point on another thread before and I’m pretty sure others have, too, but you’re right about one point. Paleoclimate models created by using tree growth rings, ice cores, etc., may lack sufficient rigor. The thing is the models showing the 1860 to present aren’t based on paleoclimate models: they’re based on actual measured temperatures. One the thing that many find disturbing is that climate scientists tend to believe they can just splice the modern temperature-based climate models onto the end of the paleoclimate models and then ‘normalize’ the whole thing. Of course, you say that later in your post: proxy data is only useful when compared against itself, rather than against absolute values.

    Biobob further said:

    AGWists are attempting to measure average temps with a precision of .1 – .5 C when our instrumentalities are historically only accurate to at best 1-2 C based on a totally flawed experimental design (weather stations are not random and do not reflect a ‘full’ range of possible sites)

    I’ve definitely made this point before in this thread, but I did not address the specifics of why the use of weather stations is inadequate for climate models. The data from the weather stations is available in tenths of a degree C, of course; however, since the temperature readings needed for weather forecasting don’t require that level of accuracy, the data is really only good to 1-2 degrees C.

    Additionally, as you point pout, weather stations are not random. If you were trying to get good climate global models, you would need very accurate weather stations spread out over random, but representative locations over the globe. Meaning that about 80% of you weather stations wouldn’t even be on land, they’d be out at sea.

  92. biobob, these point have been made several times over, here and elsewhere, but it is always welcome to hear them again. The blood and guts of the monster is that observable data accounts for roughly 0.00000002% of the entire history of Earth’s climate. Everything else is based on proxy reconstructions, which as we have seen often do not self-agree, and also point to inconveniences like the MWP which must be “gotten rid of” for the causality to make any sense. In the end, the AGW phenomena will probably be studied more by sociologists and psychologists than by meteorologists and geologists. It is Mass Delusion 101.

  93. jrok, about 4.65 billion years ago, the surface temperature of our planet was at least 1,000 degrees F.

    So that means we don’t have to be concerned now. Right?

  94. Strand, reconstructions of the Middle Ages were 1-4 degrees warmer than 20th century instrumental counts. Back then, the highest concentrations of carbon were emitted out of the rear ends of donkeys. So by all means, the free world should whip itself into such a hysterical panic that we empower the autocracies responsible for the majority of the world’s pollution. I suppose that’s what they would have done during the MWP, when priests, sorcerers and soothsayers influenced the policies of power hungry monarchs.

    Perhaps we should plot irrationality against global warming trends. I have a feeling the causal relationship there would be glaring.

  95. Thanks, Morgan and jrok. As you indicate, these points HAVE been made to some extent before.

    However, here we are with hundreds of posts failing to recognize that AGW is NOT science and that it’s premise of ‘science-ness’ is utter horse-pucky. THAT can not be said enough times and ALL of these discussions about gnat-farts require it’s restatement at the outset, and frequently when argument becomes ‘heated’ {LOL}

    Morgan, I will take some issue with your point about temp data available to .1 degree precision for even a “majority” of the period under discussion (seemingly 1860 – 2010). Continuous recording temps to that precision have only been available since digital temp instruments have been in place, which is certainly not more than the last 40 years out of 150 = 25% of this tiny period of earth’s 4.5 billion year epoch. Let us not discuss exactly how often such instruments are periodically calibrated for the .1 C accuracy (hardly ever), moved from one site to another, encroached upon by temperature modifying alterations etc since these have been discussed elsewhere (eg surfacestation.org) Let us NEVER forget that such stations are NOT and NEVER WERE created to measure such precision and that such precision resulting from their data is total BS. This is not science, it is a magic sideshow.

    I just sit here laughing and consider that global warming could just as well be the result of DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME. /sarc

  96. I get it, jrok. Proxies and reconstructions that show the putative MWP as warm or warmer that today are correct, those that don’t show that, or show that the MWP was a regional phenomenon only, are wrong.

    Anyway, the whole “it was as warm or warmer at some past time so the current warming doesn’t matter” argument doesn’t show that the current warming isn’t being caused by our CO2 emissions. It’s rather like pointing out that the plague caused millions to die in the past, so cancer can’t be causing millions to die today.

  97. biobob Says:
    > In conclusion, this is ALL bullcrap up down and sideways.

    So true.

    But…

    The timing of:
    1) The rise of human industrialized civilization.
    2) The sudden, rapid melting of ice caps that have been frozen for at least 700,000 years.

    Strongly suggests that we are ruining our planet somehow!

    (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_shrinkage for the 700,000 year number.)

  98. > Anyway, the whole “it was as warm or warmer at some past time so the current warming doesn’t matter” argument doesn’t show that the current warming isn’t being caused by our CO2 emissions.

    But, you see, in REAL SCIENCE, the burden of proof is on the positive claims themselves (such as can be extracted from the current miasma of AGW theory.) In forensic chemistry, if my reports contained the number of serious omissions, phantom coefficients, fudged corrections and zero R2 reconstruction skill that comprise the platform upon which catastrophic carbon warming theory is built, then every single one of my cases would be reversed on appeal, and I’d be looking for a new job and a good lawyer.

    This level of rigor is exactly as it should be when the science has the potential to directly screw with people’s lives. And that’s exactly what James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and the rest of this ridiculous cartel should be doing…. looking for a new job and a good lawyer.

  99. jrok, are you familiar with the radiative properties of CO2 and the other GHGs?

  100. > jrok, are you familiar with the radiative properties of CO2 and the other GHGs?

    Other GHGs? You mean, like water vapor? Methane? Nitrous oxide? Sulfur hexafluoride? Yes, I am. Are you aware of how much absorption is due to water vapor? Does that mean restricting water vapor will be the next item on the agenda of Copenhagen diplomats and AGW “scientists”?

  101. I noticed this quote at the top of the page:

    If it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion. —Lazarus Long

    Maybe hypothetically we should reduce our society’s emissions by force of law, maybe not, I honestly haven’t decided myself. But if we use force of law we shouldn’t claim that science made the decision when only mere opinion was involved.

  102. jrok, now compare the “mixedness” of H2O in the atmosphere as a whole (not just the troposphere) as well as its residence time.

    Explain the differences (if any) between it and the other GHGs.

  103. > jrok, now compare the “mixedness” of H2O in the atmosphere as a whole (not just the troposphere) as well as its residence time.

    No, why don’t YOU do that, Strand. You’ve made many comments here without making a single specific claim. So, go ahead and make one. Also, don’t forget to mention the half-life of atmospheric CO2 when (if?) you do so.

  104. Making claims is one thing; supporting them with facts and evidence is another. You do the former a lot, the latter, not so much.

    Because it’s well-mixed in the atmosphere (compared to H2O, which is confined to the lower parts of the troposphere), and because the residence time of CO2 is far greater than H2O, the efficacy of CO2 as a GHG is larger than that of H2O. Besides, H2O is a feedback, not a forcing.

    On a slightly different subject, this year is the 30th anniversary of the Charney Report, aka “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment”. It can be found here:

    http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/download/charney_report.pdf

    Interesting reading.

  105. Climate models aren’t just weather models run for a long time.

    You say this as if it wasn’t something to be ashamed of. Using a fine enough grid to accurately predict weather (or at least to give results that fall on the same attractor), then applying forward uncertainty propagation to tease out climate, would be fantastic, if only a computer existed which was fast enough to do it. Throwing away fine scale data, then trying to get the same effects back through non-physical closure models, is a risky substitute. We don’t get great results for millimeter*second-scale turbulent mixing that way, and applying the process to kilometer*hour-scale mixing is only going to do worse.

  106. Well, that depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Simulating climate doesn’t require getting the weather just right, any more than a Physics 101 lab requires using equations incorporating Einstein’s modifications to Newton’s Laws of Motion.

  107. Atmospheric temperature, obviously, does not increase in linear proportion with GHG concentrations. It is a logarithmic relationship, meaning the curve of absorption is convex. And while it is true CO2 is well distributed, how much warming does it “actually” account for versus water vapor? The number given by the IPCC is disturbingly vague, mostly because the “feedbacks” in the system outweigh the “forcings” by several orders of magnitude. Ignoring water vapor because it isn’t as “well distributed” is like ignoring the 800 gorilla in the room because it isn’t as “well distributed” as the potted plants.

    And, of course, the models suggesting that carbon dioxide plays a significant role in warming either appropriate or discount factors of solar variation, urban heat islands and the buffering effect of oceanic CO2 whenever it suits their hypothesis. The idea of scrutinizing the details of an inherently unfalsifiable theory is missing the forest through the trees. Still no replicable science here, just a hodgepodge of highly selective and disputable data.

  108. > Well, that depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Simulating climate doesn’t require getting the weather just right, any more than a Physics 101 lab requires using equations incorporating Einstein’s modifications to Newton’s Laws of Motion.

    Yes! Yes, this is the heart of the matter!!! This is “Climate 101,” indeed! Strand, you have made wonderfully truthful and accurate analogy. The absence of rigor, the unaccountability of error, the fudge factors, the oversimplifications, the flawed methods of observation, the unpredictable results… The current state of climatic modeling is indeed in its infancy. Thank you for admitting as much.

  109. Furthermore Mr. Strand, simulating climate should require getting the weather just right if the simulations suggest that there is man-made global warming and that CO2 is the cause and that therefor it must be reduced by upending the economies of the most prosperous nations on earth to compensate the most corrupt dysfunctional economies on earth.

  110. > techtech
    > The timing of:
    > 1) The rise of human industrialized civilization.
    > 2) The sudden, rapid melting of ice caps that have been frozen for at least 700,000 years.

    > Strongly suggests that we are ruining our planet somehow!

    LOL — the thing is: we check under the glaciers that have recently melted and what do we find ? bronze age humans caught in some “bad luck”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/09/26/world/on-ice-4000-years-bronze-age-man-is-found.html?pagewanted=1

    we check under receding glaciers on Greenland, and what do we find ? Farms and graves of Viking settlers !!
    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

    We are in an interglacial period. What the hell do you expect ?
    http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3553

    [b]The point is that all this AGW bullcrap is a matter of historical framing, not science.[/b]

  111. roystgnr said: Using a fine enough grid to accurately predict weather (or at least to give results that fall on the same attractor), then applying forward uncertainty propagation to tease out climate, would be fantastic, if only a computer existed which was fast enough to do it.

    Unfortunately, computers will never be fast enough. Literally. Weather is a chaotic system and there are simply too many variables to account for. Extend Moore’s law for 100 years and there still won’t be a computer fast enough.

  112. > The number given by the IPCC is disturbingly vague, mostly because the “feedbacks” in the system outweigh the “forcings” by several orders of magnitude. Ignoring water vapor because it isn’t as “well distributed” is like ignoring the 800 gorilla in the room because it isn’t as “well distributed” as the potted plants.

    “Several orders of magnitude”? You exaggerate.

    Water vapor isn’t “ignored”, nor are solar variations or the dissolution of CO2 in the oceans. UHI aren’t that important on the scales of climate models.

    Seems to me you’re confusing the analysis of weather data for the climate signal, and climate models themselves. The two are quite distinct.

  113. jrok, Newton works just fine on for nearly all kinds of motion. Likewise, for scales of importance to the earth’s climate, one doesn’t need to simulate weather *per se*.

  114. > I’ll be the guy cackling madly and yelling “I told you so!”

    I wish I could say that, but I’ll only be able to say that I objected to their trivialization of the holocaust by tossing the word “denier” around.

  115. > jrok, Newton works just fine on for nearly all kinds of motion. Likewise, for scales of importance to the earth’s climate, one doesn’t need to simulate weather *per se*.

    Fair enough, Strand. It was perhaps quite a bit more than “gilding the lilly” to compare the abysmal state of climate science to Sir Newton’s reproducible laws of motion and attraction. Current models are perhaps more akin to those of 6th century Ptolemaic Geocentrists: reams of coefficients and fudge factors in pursuit of an desired socio-economic theme.

  116. > UHI aren’t that important on the scales of climate models.

    They’re not? Why, then, do the data corrections place so much the emphasis on station moves?

  117. jrok, I suspect you dismiss the science because you fear what policies may be enacted to deal with the problem of global warming. That’s a different issue.

    And you’re still confusing analyses of observed data with climate models. Two different things.

  118. > jrok, I suspect you dismiss the science because you fear what policies may be enacted to deal with the problem of global warming. That’s a different issue.

    Strand, I suspect you of ignoring all of the massive flaws in this research because you support the policies that may be enacted to deal with the non-problem of global warming. That’s also a different issue. Hell, maybe you are simply afraid of being wrong.

    And no, I am not confusing instrumental analysis with climate models. I’m pointing out how both have been used in concert to draw predictive conclusions. And I’m noting that those predictive conclusions have largely failed the minimum acceptable range to be considered anything but deeply flawed science.

  119. I still haven’t heard an answer about why “UHI aren’t that important on the scales of climate models” yet instrumental analysis is heavily weighed based on station moves. The corrections based on station moves is FAR out of whack with the apparently uniform, single variable adjustment made for UHI. There should be a meaningful relationship between the two, but there isn’t. That’s because UHI is purposefully simplified and virtually discarded so that a more extreme warming trend can be plotted. This bias can be seen in a number of measurements that form the core of the IPCC’s findings.

    But again, MISSING THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES. I suspect that those personally invested in this Doomsday cult will continue trying debate the fine points of their astral coefficients, in the hopes that the larger pseudoscientific claims will vanish inside the math. No it won’t. You still have to make valid, reproducible predictions. The scientific method still applies to you. Surprise!

  120. jrok, GCMs operate on the scale of roughly ~100km per edge of each grid box, horizontal resolution-wise. Cities just aren’t that big.

    Why should station moves and UHI have a “meaningful relationship”? Explain.

    And you still don’t act as if you’ve truly read IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 8.

  121. Last chance on this comment:

    I’m a libertarian, and not in favor of cap-n-trade. I prefer a straightforward revenue-neutral carbon tax. Sorry to deflate your eagerness at making me a blood-red socialist, jrok.

    You previously claimed to have read IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 8 – yet you insist that climate models are “doggerel”, or something like that. Why?

    ESR says: This landed in the spam bin. I’m approving it manually.

  122. > Why should station moves and UHI have a “meaningful relationship”? Explain.

    So, when instrumental readings are adjusted due to station movements (i.e. stations moved away from urban heat sources), those adjustments should have no meaningful relationship to UHI? Are you even serious?

  123. > And you still don’t act as if you’ve truly read IPCC AR4, WG1, Chapter 8.

    Hahaha. Yes! I have. It is sheer nonsense. Again, this is a purely political document. There is not one shred of science in it. It is absolutely surreal that this is the portion you keep referring to.

  124. On a tangential note, I wonder how many and which emails Jones and Briffa deleted that were relevant to AR4, as they discussed in their leaked communications. How damaging were they? And to whom?

  125. Some Guy Says:
    I wish I could say that, but I’ll only be able to say that I objected to their trivialization of the holocaust by tossing the word “denier” around.

    Does that count as a Godwins by proxy?

  126. Well, that’s funny. Surely temperature is a by-product of many things. I mean, is it not the result or sign of many things? The human body heats up for a variety of reasons…illness or exertion or too much sun, or all at the same time. Seems to me, and I am not a scientist needless to say, that measuring temperature is only the first step in the effort to make a diagnosis.

  127. Gary Strand said:
    > I’m a libertarian, and not in favor of cap-n-trade. I prefer a straightforward revenue-neutral carbon tax.

    So, just so I understand you correctly: You believe the worst case scenario that the human species is spiraling toward an apocalyptic extinction because of carbon emissions, and your solution is……. a tax? Libertarian, my eyeball.

    I was operating under the spell of AGW alarmism, my prescription would be an across-the-board emissions ceiling, enforced with a rigorous inspection process backed by the threat of violence. In other words, violation of the caps would be considered an act of war! Fortunately, we don’t have need of such drastic measures, since the science is absolute junk.

  128. >So, just so I understand you correctly: You believe the worst case scenario that the human species is spiraling toward an apocalyptic extinction because of carbon emissions, and your solution is……. a tax? Libertarian, my eyeball.

    Now, let’s be fair. He may be a minarchist libertarian, rather than an anarchist, and there are versions of minarchism in which Pigouvian taxes like this one are the preferable way for the minimal state to raise revenue. I think this position is mistaken, but it’s not utterly crazy.

  129. > Now, let’s be fair. He may be a minarchist libertarian, rather than an anarchist, and there are versions of minarchism in which Pigouvian taxes like this one are the preferable way for the minimal state to raise revenue. I think this position is mistaken, but it’s not utterly crazy.

    Well, that is a fair statement. But a corrective tax seems hardly logical if the market is believed to be trafficking in the rapid destruction of mankind itself. Considering the risk-reward involved and the ludicrous schedule of reductions that have been proposed, the tax would have to be so onerous that it would be consistent with establishing a virtual emissions ceiling anyway. And further considering the sort of immoral world actors that would subject to this regime, I have a feeling we would be talking about a council of war soon enough anyway. A Green War. Jeez, imagine that.

  130. A revenue-neutral carbon tax, jrok. Fix the price of carbon to reasonably match the as-yet-unpriced externalities it causes, and then let the market decide how best to accommodate thost corrected costs.

    Besides, not all libertarians are dogmatically opposed to all taxes – if they were, they’d be more properly called anarchists.

    You keep asserting that “the science is absolute junk”, yet I’ve not seen any indication that you understand the science at all. Lots of handwaving; little demonstration of knowledge, and no specific criticisms.

  131. The state won’t be raising revenue – the tax is revenue-neutral.

  132. Gary Strand said:
    > You keep asserting that “the science is absolute junk”, yet I’ve not seen any indication that you understand the science at all. Lots of handwaving; little demonstration of knowledge, and no specific criticisms.

    Nonsense. First of all, I’ve given several specific criticisms, even though I am not required to (Remember! The burden of proof is on those making the positive claims!). Hell, I didn’t even need to be as specific as I was, considering that the theory in question seems to have an allergy towards making specific claims (and when they have actually done so, the claims have been wrong.)

    I think I’ve been pretty fair. I could have been a real party pooper and brought spectroscopic artifacting into this mess. But, why? There is no need. At this point in the development of this theory, there should be a slew of accurate predictions that these poeple can point to and say “See? We said this would happen and it happened.” There aren’t. So, what is there to debate?

  133. For example, I asked if you’d read IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 8, and you handwaved that it was a political document, not one whit of science in it.

    The positive claim is yours, so please support it.

  134. > For example, I asked if you’d read IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 8, and you handwaved that it was a political document, not one whit of science in it.

    And round and round we go!

    > The positive claim is yours, so please support it.

    Wait, which is it? Is it “handwaving” or is it “a positive claim?”

  135. It’s both – a handwaving positive claim, with no evidence or support other than your say-so.

    Do you even know what the topic of that chapter is?

  136. The state won’t be raising revenue – the tax is revenue-neutral.

    Now you are being willfully stupid.

  137. Gary Strand said:
    > You keep asserting that “the science is absolute junk”, yet I’ve not seen any indication that you understand the science at all. Lots of handwaving; little demonstration of knowledge, and no specific criticisms.

    To which Jrok replied:

    > Nonsense. First of all, I’ve given several specific criticisms, even though I am not
    required to (Remember! The burden of proof is on those making the positive claims!).

    This is stupidity masquerading as philosophy of science. That the burden of proof is on those making positive claims does NOT mean that a valid tactic for their critics is to ignore such proof until they are somehow forced to look at it! The burden of proof is on the claimant; the burden for criticism of that proof is on the critic. “I don’t want to listen so it ain’t true!” is a plea of insanity, not a contribution to debate. If claimed proof is presented and you won’t look at it then you are out of the debate – it’s that simple.

    As for Jrok’s claim that he has given criticisms, the only one I found was his argument that the Middle Ages were warmer than the C20th, thus AGW could not be true:

    > reconstructions of the Middle Ages were 1-4 degrees warmer than 20th century instrumental counts. Back then, the highest concentrations of carbon were emitted out of the rear ends of donkeys. So by all means, the free world should whip itself into such a hysterical panic that we empower the autocracies responsible for the majority of the world’s pollution. I suppose that’s what they would have done during the MWP, when priests, sorcerers and soothsayers influenced the policies of power hungry monarchs.

    This is firstly an admission of ignorance on his part. NW Europe and some other regions were warmer for a century so, but this was balanced by lower temperatures elsewhere – the global temperature seems to have been constant. (I.e. it wasn’t the “Mediaeval Warm Period” that Jrok seems to think so as much as the “Mediaeval EUROPEAN Warm Period”.) If he had done minimal fact checking, rather than receiving a standard anti-AGW argument as unchallengeable wisdom, then he would have found this out.

    Secondly and even more seriously, he demonstrates an utter lack of grasp of cause and effect: that an event A can happen without cause B being present does not mean that B will not cause the event! To give an example that I hope Jrok will understand, turning up the central heating will raise the temperature in his house. Or trailer. Whatever. This does NOT mean that setting it on fire will not do also make the temperature rise!

    Whether AGW is correct as a hypothesis or not, Jrok’s logic is – well, not logic. Just as his facts aren’t facts.

  138. This is stupidity masquerading as philosophy of science. That the burden of proof is on those making positive claims does NOT mean that a valid tactic for their critics is to ignore such proof until they are somehow forced to look at it! The burden of proof is on the claimant; the burden for criticism of that proof is on the critic. “I don’t want to listen so it ain’t true!” is a plea of insanity, not a contribution to debate. If claimed proof is presented and you won’t look at it then you are out of the debate – it’s that simple.

    The problem is, the people making the ‘positive claim’ are essentially making multifarious and repeated appeals to authority, along the lines of ‘the science is settled’. I haven’t seen anyone here actually explaining why anthropogenic CO2 emissions are in the process of causing catastrophic climate change; they take it as an axiom, for which the burden of proof is on the skeptics. This is not true. There’s a double standard here; skeptics are expected to make ‘specific criticisms’ of science that has not been specifically stated in the context of the discussion. The believers are allowed to simply lazily cite papers they’ve never heard of with phrases like ‘all the scientists agree’, while the skeptics are required to actually dig through these papers and criticize their conclusions. Most of the actual elucidation of the AGW position that I’ve seen has been by the skeptics.

    Secondly and even more seriously, he demonstrates an utter lack of grasp of cause and effect: that an event A can happen without cause B being present does not mean that B will not cause the event! To give an example that I hope Jrok will understand, turning up the central heating will raise the temperature in his house. Or trailer. Whatever. This does NOT mean that setting it on fire will not do also make the temperature rise!

    The problem is that much of the evidence given for global warming is, in fact, of the form “it’s warmer now than it’s ever been”. If that is, in fact, not true, then there’s a real problem with the evidence so far put forward.

  139. umptious said:
    > To give an example that I hope Jrok will understand, turning up the central heating will raise the temperature in his house. Or trailer. Whatever. This does NOT mean that setting it on fire will not do also make the temperature rise!

    “In his house. Or trailer. Whatever.” Lovely!

    Look, this person’s silliness aside, the Medieval Warm Period (such as it has been currently reconstructed) was not simply “European” in nature… unless Greenland, Russian and Australia were somehow annexed by Spain during the Middle Ages. That is why Mann and Wigley had to “get rid of MWP,” and why the Yamal series was dropped down the wishing well after Mann’s Stick went the way of the dodo.

    But of course, umptious himself, perhaps recognizing that MWP probably did happen, attempts to make some tortured schoolboy analogy about causation. Perhaps it would have been easier to say “correlation does not equal causation,” which is a more graceful way to surrender a point for someone as science-illiterate as umptious.

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