Seen elsewhere
The calendar

Click to buy!

Support

 

Twitter
Buy

Click images for more details

Recent comments
Recent posts
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Smoking gun? | Main | Willis on CRU and FoI »
Thursday
Nov262009

Fiddling in the Antipodes

New Zealand Climate Science Coalition finds evidence that temperature records in that country have been adjusted to show warming. It never rains, but it pours eh?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (37)

I hope that Jeff Id at The Air Vent doesn't mind if I repeat what I said there:-

Moving a measurement station uphill by about 400 feet would make quite a difference in many climates, perhaps especially in a notoriously windy city like Wellington. But once you start “adjusting”, you have to justify the size of every adjustment, including the “zero adjustments” i.e. the ones you didn’t make.

If they won’t show, just say “no!”.

Nov 26, 2009 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Bishop,
Many thanks for your('s and the other guys working on the files) hard work on the CRU leak.

"Adjustments" seem to be showing up all around

Firehand has a post about fudging of sea level rise and a link to a Torygraph article:
http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-my-my-isnt-this-interesting.html

I sincerely hope that there is sufficeint momentum building up to allow the scientific method to triumph, here at least, over pet theories supported by cherry picked data, manipulation, subterfuge and a compliant or even biased media.

In one field that I am partiularly interested in, pseudo science, propaganda and outright lies appear to have ruled supreme since around 1920, and the majaority of the mainstream media seem to be happy to repeat the myths.

The field: civillian ownership of firearms and its (apparently inverse) correlation with armed and violent crime.

Legal owners of guns are, like you guys, familliar with having “critical theory” used to be-little or dismiss our criticisms and we are painted by the MSM as “illiterate”, “racist”, “bitter”, “industry funded”, “mentally deficient and therefore susceptible to right wing conspiacy theories” …insult de jour…

Researchers such as Prof John R Lott, are dismissed as "right wing" and therefore their work is apparently meaningless (regardless that he began his researches from an anti gun viewpoint, and found that the evidence was actually strongly the other way).

Others such as Gary Kleck, whom I gather holds liberal to left of centre personal views and was apparently a card carrying ACLU member - are conveniently ignored.

in the run up to the 1997 British general election, the magazine "Guns Review" disappeared from the newsagents, the rumor (which I can't find proof of googling it today) was that the publisher had been bought out by Michael Heseltine's Haymarket Group, to silence its' criticism of the Tory Party.

I don't want to distract anyone from working on the CRU files, but for anyone who is interested in a look at the myths peddled to support gun control, there is a very good paper by Gary Mauser & Don Kates titled "Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide?"

It is about third down Mauser's papers page: http://www.garymauser.net/papers.html

John R lott has a conrovesial and amusing Blog, and Alphecca.com still covers media bias of firearms coverage.

Keith

Nov 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

In all the excitement of the past few days, I'd forgotten, I found your site through a link posted by John Lott!

Keith

Nov 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Hi Bishop,

Just been looking at this and then a "defence" of the NZ - NIWA on the alarmist site Hot Topic.

Sadly everyone has got the stats wrong (including the NIWA). They take the daily averages of TMax and TMin to get a daily average. Then they average these again to get an annual average. Then they average again to get a "normal" temp.

So this is an average of an average of an average. Sorry no-can-stats-do. Do this in my class and you will have to sit at the front and clean the blackboards every day for ever.

Nov 26, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Your Grace,

That there are adjustments is not, of itself, an issue. TOBS (Time of Observation), site moves, equipment changes, even the simple fact that the screen containing the thermometer has been repainted can make a massive difference in the raw record. The example of Wellington being moved from coast inland and uphill is given and is valid.... so far as it goes.

The problem is HOW have the adjustments been made and can they be supported. This is not at all clear. In particular, the various, differing, attempts to correct for encroachment/Urban Heat Island effects are wobbly to say the least.

This is where the metadata and documentation of all such adjustments are so vital. SMcI did a whole stack of stuff on precisely these sites when he was trying to piece together the number - and qualtiy - of sites that go into the global surface temp records. Was perhaps a year ago but can't get access to CA as server is swamped. One for the blogswarm to look up perhaps.

Do we know why the raw NZ data has suddenly appeared/why there is such a fuss about this now? I thought the raw data and size of adjustments was known about for some time? Is there anything new here?

Nov 26, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

TPG,

No. The "adjustments" are of the same order of magnitude as the "trends". This makes the whole cooked output invalid for trending.

Nov 26, 2009 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Theres an article linked on Drudge that claims that this story is a fraud. Its a piece by Tim Lambert on his Deltoid blog: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co.php?utm_source=sbhomepage&utm_medium=link&utm_content=channellink
Claims the CSC is lying, and treating all stations as if they are one... He seems to be a dedicated warmist...

Nov 27, 2009 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Lorrey

P-G

"The problem is HOW have the adjustments been made and can they be supported. This is not at all clear."

But what is abundantly clear is that the 'Climate Science Coalition' blatantly lied when they stated that the reasons for the adjustments were not provided. This is so regardless of whether you think the adjustments are correct.

It is also abundantly clear that there is no support for the claim of 'fiddling' here, nor that the readings were adjusted 'to show warming', rather than adjusted to correct for station moves, i.e. the actual reasons given, and something that you clearly have to do if you want to estimate the real trend.

I still hope for the day when the combined might of the 'skeptics' picks up on one of these little 'mistakes' from their side of the aisle. There is surely no shortage of them. Maybe they'll get around to correcting them one day.

(Perhaps they will do it after they post their own private emails in the interests of 'transparency' )

Nov 27, 2009 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,

Despite what you may have read elsewhere, and despite what Dr Wratt publicly asserted yesterday in his media release, the NZ Climate Science Coalition has never received data from NIWA on the adjustments to NZ temperature readings. That is what we seek. You are correct in stating that NIWA have given reasons for adjustments, but they have simply refused to hand over the actual data. Therefore it is impossible to examine or to validate their work. This is not as science should be performed. Please see today's media release, below.

Have you read the paper? You will not find in it the word "fiddle" in any form. Though we allege adjustments have been made, that is only a statement of the obvious, which NIWA have themselves confirmed.

We use vigorous language, yet we don't make a single uncorroborated statement. Saying that readings were adjusted "to show warming" simply acknowledges that warming appears only after the adjustments are made. It does not speak to the motives of the adjuster.

In the statement copied below (and I apologise for its length, but I didn't know what to snip) I draw your attention to the penultimate paragraph, which directly addresses your criticism.

27 November 2009

Climate Science Coalition welcomes NIWA commitment to ‘robust information’

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition welcomes the commitment yesterday from Dr David Wratt, Chief Scientist (Climate) at NIWA, to, in his words, provide "robust information to help all New Zealanders make good decisions," said Coalition secretary, Terry Dunleavy.

"Our coalition would be happy to assist NIWA in making this information widely available," said Mr Dunleavy. “Nothing released by NIWA so far allows their methodology to be replicated easily. So in order to not waste valuable NIWA staff time, we suggest NIWA release the procedures and allow others to replicate the work. The coalition is quite happy to post the procedure and its replication online to allow public audit.

"In the spirit of his commitment yesterday, we call on Dr Wratt to answer the following three questions.

"1. The graph of the New Zealand temperature record on the NIWA website is based on just seven weather stations. What, precisely, gives NIWA confidence that they are representative of the whole country?

"2. What, precisely, are the adjustments made to the temperature readings at each of those seven stations and when were they each made? We request access to the raw data involved in the making of these adjustments.

"3. What, precisely, are the reasons each station was so adjusted?"

The Coalition says Dr Wratt's release mentioned specifically that NIWA climate scientists had previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections are made. Mr Dunleavy comments: “We disagree. We have no record of receiving an explanation. NIWA has in fact refused numerous requests over the years to disclose the corrections. The most recent one was a written request to Dr James Renwick - over a month ago - still unanswered. So we would be grateful to hear what Dr Wratt is referring to, when the information was sent and to whom.

“We further note that access to this information is necessary for others to examine and replicate NIWA's results, but in any case, it was gathered on behalf of New Zealanders and we are all entitled to see it,” Mr Dunleavy concluded.

Some observers might note that it has taken a political earthquake, in the form of a Minister's question in Parliament, to begin to prise this information out of NIWA, after years of simply ignoring valid requests from respected scientists. They still have not handed it over, but we are starting to imagine considering entertaining the possibility of optimism.

I hope this might substitute some light for the great heat being generated.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold,
Convenor,
Climate Conversation Group.

Nov 27, 2009 at 4:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Treadgold

Richard,

"You are correct in stating that NIWA have given reasons for adjustments"

And your paper is incorrect where it states they have not.

"Have you read the paper? You will not find in it the word "fiddle" in any form"

I have.

Have you read the title of the post to which you are responding?

"Saying that readings were adjusted "to show warming" simply acknowledges that warming appears only after the adjustments are made. It does not speak to the motives of the adjuster."

Oh I see - so it's all a horrible misunderstanding? You see, it would appear that a lot of people including His Grace here have read (about) the paper and, for some reason, have come to the conclusion that you are making an accusation of scientific fraud. I cannot imagine why.

I am sure you will rush to issue a correction and an apology to the scientists concerned. Otherwise people may think you meant to give the impression that you clearly did give.

Nov 27, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,

It is also abundantly clear that there is no support for the claim of 'fiddling' here, nor that the readings were adjusted 'to show warming', rather than adjusted to correct for station moves, i.e. the actual reasons given, and something that you clearly have to do if you want to estimate the real trend.

I think the truth lies somewhere between the two.

For clarity - I am agree with you that:
- the main post is not helpful:
- that there are perfectly valid reasons to make adjustments in general
- that some/many of those perfectly valid reasons apply in some/many cases in the NZ data
- that the CSC is being disingenuous in its approach to this
- that the motive for applying adjustments is not necessarily to introduce warming.

But where we disagree is as follows:
- the metadata for these stations is not readily available - SMcI has been after it for ages.
- any such adjustments applied as a result of metadata need to be rigorously documented and heavily justified and, I would submit, it is incumbent upon those producing the temperature series of record either to do that or to allow others to do so in an open and transparent manner.
- whilst it may not be a premeditated intention to apply bias to introduce warming, there is a LOT to worry about in terms of confirmation bias kicking about here both in adjustments and in the station selection itself.
- If the warming trend is - as is undeniably the case here - almost exactly equal to the sum of the adjustments, then any error in estimating the size of the adjustments directly impacts the trend. The trend is the adjustments, yet the empirical science to justify the adjustment say for a change of TOBS is woefully lacking and this sort of problem is rife.

Does that help?

Nov 27, 2009 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

Frank,

Not quite sure why you are arguing with Richard? Is not the issue here the fact that NIWA hasnt released their data to show how they arrived at their conclusion?

Untiil NIWA fronts up and provides their data, the accusation of fraud will remain...simply because their findings cannot be verified. I would have thought that even you would understand that?

Mailman

Nov 27, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

P-G,

Thanks for the response.

"- the metadata for these stations is not readily available - SMcI has been after it for ages."

What metadata do you need beyond the station histories? Which must be available as the CSC claim that there is nothing in them to justify any adjustments (a claim that is blatantly false).

"it is incumbent upon those producing the temperature series of record either to do that or to allow others to do so in an open and transparent manner."

What's stopping anyone from taking the raw data and making their own series with appropriate adjustments (which we can all agree are necessary to account for station moves etc - the disagreement is presumably over what size the adjustments should be). Anyone who claims to be competent to replicate/criticise the results should be able to do this. They don't need NIWA's help.

But they don't do this, I wonder why. Or maybe they have and they just don't publish the results because I suspect that any reasonable method results in pretty much the same answer: warming.

"If the warming trend is - as is undeniably the case here - almost exactly equal to the sum of the adjustments, then any error in estimating the size of the adjustments directly impacts the trend. The trend is the adjustments, "

In the case of station moves it would be easy to check this assertion by looking at the trends before and/or after the move, separately. For example in the case of Wellington if the trend is present in the latter half of the data, as I expect it is, then it cannot be an artifact of the adjustments.

Nov 27, 2009 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

I suspect that any reasonable method results in pretty much the same answer: warming. - Frank O'Dwyer
Frank,
Does this mean that any method that does not give warming is therefore unreasonable?

Nov 27, 2009 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Tony,

Why don't you try some reasonable methods and see what they tell you? Too simple?

Nov 27, 2009 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Not an answer to my question, Frank.
Would you care to try again?

Nov 28, 2009 at 2:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Frank,

"But what is abundantly clear is that the 'Climate Science Coalition' blatantly lied when they stated that the reasons for the adjustments were not provided. This is so regardless of whether you think the adjustments are correct."

What we say in the study is true. NIWA stated one reason for a single station (Wellington) but they have not given reasons for any of the other six stations, nor have they disclosed the ACTUAL adjustments for any station. That is what we ask for, plus we wish to know what gives them confidence that just these seven temperature stations are properly representative of the whole country.

Surely, attempts to ascertain the correctness of the adjustments will fail while they remain undisclosed?

Please remember that NIWA have been asked numerous times for this data over many years by properly-qualified scientists working in the field and they have always refused. We hope that is about to change.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold,
Convenor,
Climate Conversation Group.

Nov 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Treadgold

Richard,

"What we say in the study is true. "

No it is not. This is what you wrote:

What did we find? First, the station histories are unremarkable. There are no reasons for any large corrections.

Since the histories show station moves that statement is proven false.

Furthermore despite your claims not to know the reasons for the adjustments you claim they are 'disgraceful'.

You should be correcting your study and apologising to the scientists you have smeared, instead you are here defending it and pretending it is true. Why?

Nov 28, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

By the way Richard, please send me the data and tools you used so I can replicate YOUR results.

frankodwyer AT netscape dot net

Many thanks.

Nov 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,

I'm afraid Tony is right. It is not enough to create your own temperature series: if it differs - no matter how sound your reasoning - from the one created by NIWA, it will be dismissed by the gatekeepers (and we now know that, yes, the alarmists do indeed have a stranglehold on what is or will be considered to be acceptable science) as wrong.

The approach that SMcI and others use is the correct one: you - NIWA/GISS,CRU whoever - hold yourself up to be the record of source. Fine - release the data and let the rest of us:
- reconstruct your work so we can verify that your data and your methods do generate your results. If they don't, we can dismiss your results because you haven't demonstrated that your method actually does what you purport it does. Replication is essential and is currently denied.
- Once you have replication, and only once you have replication, can you then pick apart either the method or the selection of stations to demonstrate why it is weak.
- ONLY once you have the replication AND the demonstration that the method was wrong (and why) can you then move on to correct the method and get a BETTER reconstruction. Until you have done this, you merely have COMPETING reconstructions, not better.

With the warmist strangehold on both what is considered acceptable/publishable science AND the political landscape, it is fanciful to suggest that a totally separate reconstruction can get airtime, especially if that separate reconstruction shows a less alarming picture, because it will then "not fit with the overwhelming consensus (tm)"

Do you agree with this diagnosis of the issue?

Nov 28, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

P-G

"if it differs - no matter how sound your reasoning - from the one created by NIWA, it will be dismissed by the gatekeepers "

If this argument has any validity it applies equally to any replication, so it's nonsensical to use this an excuse not to do as I suggested, while insisting on pursuing the current approach (which differs only in apparently being vexatious and never attempting any actual science).

Anyone can attempt replication using the same (or any reasonable) methods from the raw data, it's pretty simple. If it 'differs' you can publish your results and get people to check them, can't you? You claim it will not get into any peer reviewed journals, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. And besides, it's not like that happens now or you care about or even attempt that now.

But it won't differ in any significant sense, will it? Not unless you use a braindamaged approach like that of the CSC. And no amount of quote mining is going to change that.

Nov 28, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

"If this argument has any validity it applies equally to any replication"
No Frank: absolutely and entirely not. This is spectacularly obtuse of you.

You use the published method and data to demonstrate that you understand completely and correctly precisely what has been done. THEN you use your understanding to demonstrate, unambiguously, where that method has flaws.

Unless you can replicate EXACTLY, you cannot demonstrate that understand the existing method absolutely correctly, and your demonstration of any error in the existing method can therefore - and you can guarantee that it will - be arm-waved away on the basis that you don't understand the original method correctly, therefore your objection to the method has no solid foundation.

It is simply ludicrous that you can even consider maintaining such a fiction following this leak.
It is so monstrously disingenuous that one has to begin to question whether such obfuscation is deliberate.

"You claim it will not get into any peer reviewed journals, you can cross that bridge when you come to it."
No. That will not stand. Not now.

Nov 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

To be absolutely crystal clear, here is the position:

If I can replicate your results exactly then demonstrate a/the/some flaw(s) in the method, I can correct those errors and produce a BETTER reconstruction.
If I do not replicate your results exactly first I can only produce a COMPETING reconstruction.

I need you to confirm whether you agree with the following statements:
1. A BETTER reconstruction is not the same as a COMPETING reconstruction.
2. A BETTER reconstruction is what we are after
3. A COMPETING reconstruction will be dismissed out of hand.

Straight yes or no please.

Just so we're clear. Then we can get back to CSC.

Nov 28, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

P-G,

There is no difference - *anyone* can replicate results exactly, by simply parroting code and data they've been given. Anyone's *computer* can do that. This would demonstrate no understanding at all of the underlying method, and your argument (if it is valid) also implies that any 'flaws you demonstrate' thereafter would be dismissed. Possibly even correctly. :-)

Replication of results is more than simply running the same code with the same data. It needs to be independent (which in the case of temperature records has, of course, already happened, further undermining the 'skeptic' case).

People don't replicate experiments in physics by using the exact same equipment. Auditors don't verify accounts by running the same spreadsheets as the company being audited.

Those who genuinely want to try to reproduce results should go to the raw data and the literature and do so. Those who want to debug models, they've been available for some time and no 'skeptic' has contributed anything of signficance.

The following comment at RC is one I agree with:

I hold a degree in computer science and have been a software engineer for 20yrs. All the talk about making code available to reproduce the reults is utter nonesense.

Sure it’s nice to have the code but the code itself is irrelevant to the science. Software configuration practices and OSS are not particularly usefull for reproducing results in the scientific sense since the same code will always produce the same results and you will be stuck with the impossible task of demonstrating the code is bug free.

Reproducing the same results with the same data and different code is a much more powerfull test because it provides confidence that the results are independent of a particular implementation of the methods.

I find it more than a little ironic that climate scientists have to educate programmers on the benifits of multiple independent source trees. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, double entry bookeeping works on the same principle and even an accountant can do that ;)

Nov 28, 2009 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

I agree that a much more powerful test is to replicate the results with the same data but different code, but this skips the central problem: that the code is goosed, that the proponents know this and are not prepared to admit it (publicly) and that it is not therefore possible to replicate the results with any working code.

We are left with the central issue that anyone trying to create their own result set either creates a competing replication - which we know will be dismissed simply because it challenges the orthodoxy - or as Steve McI has found to his cost - ends up in a ridiculous reverse engineering task to unravel something that is goosed at source and therefore very very difficult to approach rationally.

That is why code transparency IN THIS CASE is so important. The proponents must either justify in great detail the individual adjustments applied OR release the code that applies those adjustments together with the data files used OR, preferably, both.

Which is why this is bollocks:
"since the same code will always produce the same results and you will be stuck with the impossible task of demonstrating the code is bug free."

It has been amply demonstrated from the Harry Read me file that the code is simply littered with unjustifiable and utterly undocumented assumptions and adjustments.

The code reveals the real actual detail of the method employed. Currently, any reconstruction, using as similar a method to published papers as is possible given the paucity of detail provided, is going to be different. If the real scientific method were being followed, this would cause the ORIGINAL paper to be rejected or withdrawn. In climate science, it invalidates the attempt at replication. Can you honestly not see that this is a massive humdinger of a problem?

Nov 28, 2009 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

"There is no difference - *anyone* can replicate results exactly, by simply parroting code and data they've been given."

Bollocks. Show me an instance of code being released. Then show me an instance of code being released without an FOI. Then show me an instance of code being volunteered prior to publication. Then show me an instance of code AND data being released contemporaneously with the paper. IIf code release were common, this wouldn't be such a massive issue. Have you not read Climate Audit at all over the last 5-6 years? It's practically all that is talked about.

Nov 28, 2009 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

P-G,

A quick response on this bit:

"There is no difference - *anyone* can replicate results exactly, by simply parroting code and data they've been given."

Bollocks. Show me an instance of code being released. "

You misunderstand my point here. I mean that if you had the code and the data, you would run it and you would of course get the same results. That would prove nothing.

You wouldn't even have to understand the code - it would be like me downloading the source for openoffice and compiling it. I'll get the same binary, probably. Does that prove the program works? Not really. Does it make any bugs I claim to find in it more credible? No.

But nevertheless climate model code and data are out there for anyone to look at. See RC's post today which collates a lot of it. Skeptics have done nothing of any interest with it. I conclude they either have no interest in doing so, or they are unable to find anything wrong of any significance.

Nov 28, 2009 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,
Still wondering if you would be willing to answer my question.

Nov 28, 2009 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Tony, your question is both a strawman and insulting. I've never suggested throwing out methods because they don't show warming. You've no reason to ask me that question.

Now will you answer any of mine?

Nov 28, 2009 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,
re:
Tony, your question is both a strawman and insulting. I've never suggested throwing out methods because they don't show warming. You've no reason to ask me that question.

Frank you wrote - ..'I suspect that any reasonable method results in pretty much the same answer: warming'.
I replied - 'Does this mean that any method that does not give warming is therefore unreasonable?
You replied - 'Why don't you try some reasonable methods and see what they tell you? Too simple?

Which part/s do you find insulting?

I was asking the question in an attempt to a priori determine if we could agree on what may/may not be reasonble methods and what may/may not be reasonable results.

Also you write ..'You've no reason to ask me that question'.
The question was a matter of clarification. I accept that is difficult to convey precisely what we mean all the time. When I am unsure about someones comment I have found it better to ask questions rather than assume.

Nov 29, 2009 at 1:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

"Skeptics have done nothing of any interest with it. I conclude they either have no interest in doing so, or they are unable to find anything wrong of any significance."


Jesus Frank - are you really that blinkered? Have you read the FOI thread? Have you looked at any of the stuff that Steve McI has been doing for the last 5-6 years? Does you know what the "Upside Down Tornetrask" issue is? And who found it? And whether it has been corrected yet?

Are you really actually that willfully blind?

Let's stand back from this, again, and I'll repeat the question:
Do you agree that highlighting and fixing a bug in the code will produce a BETTER result, rather than simply a competing result?
Do you agree that a competing result has no chance of being accepted because Mann et al have closed down the debate?
Do you agree that we will not be able to get the AGW camp to accept the BETTER result unless complete mastery of THEIR methods has been demonstrated?

These are not difficult questions.

Nov 29, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

"You misunderstand my point here. I mean that if you had the code and the data, you would run it and you would of course get the same results. That would prove nothing."

And no, you misunderstand mine. It would prove lots, because it would reveal just how poor it is, just how many unjustifiable and unjustified assumptions and fudges are in and that it doesn't work properly.

That, we now ACTUALLY KNOW, is the reason code is not released.
As for the RC release, there will now be a huge swathe of avid CA readers crawling all over it. Expect to see results shortly. But bear in mind these critiques will be at CA or WUWT: there has always been ample evidence that RC censors skeptic comments. We now have PROOF that that is the premeditated intent.

You are going to have to admit some of these basic truths Frank. Denial does not become you.

Nov 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

Tony

"Frank you wrote - ..'I suspect that any reasonable method results in pretty much the same answer: warming'.
I replied - 'Does this mean that any method that does not give warming is therefore unreasonable?"

The part that is insulting is the innuendo that my test of reasonableness is whether the 'right result' is given. Nothing I wrote suggested that.

If you need help in parsing basic English, look up the word 'suspect'.

You could perhaps have asked 'Does that mean that you suspect that any method that does not give warming would be unreasonable'.

The answer to that is not only yes but also bloody obvious. I do suspect that! I have no doubt that you will parse this incorrectly, again, so let me clarify: I am merely making a prediction. The proof of 'unreasonableness' would not be the result.

A more useful activity would be to apply some reasonable methods and see what happens, wouldn't it? So far everyone who has done this has found a warming trend, in multiple independent data sets. CSC tried splicing data together in a manner that we can all see is braindamaged, and got no trend. (Well, so they claim, no verification of their results has yet been done, though for some reason Watts and His Grace rushed to publish them and the deny-o-sphere got busy promoting them as evidence of fiddling anyway. I've asked for their tools and methods, so far nothing. A scandal, right?!)

But anyway, why don't you try something less dumb than CSC tried and see what you get?

Nov 29, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

P-G,

"Have you read the FOI thread?"

Which one? What's the relevance of it to the fact that many other models and data *are* available and the skeptics have done jack of interest with any of them? The CSC 'study' and indeed the emails leaks themselves are sadly pretty good examples of what the majority of 'skeptics' do with the data they get: misunderstand it and misrepresent it.

"Have you looked at any of the stuff that Steve McI has been doing for the last 5-6 years?"

Yes. Has any of it altered our understanding of physics, the temperature rise, the sea level rise, the migration of species, the ice loss, or been of any significance in the big picture at all? I know that he found, for example, the so-called 'Y2K' error. That's a minor contribution but it doesn't alter the bigger picture at all. There are observations from space that show CO2 trapping heat much as you'd expect from all that CO2 we know we put there. Has anything the skeptics done changed that?

"Does you know what the "Upside Down Tornetrask" issue is?"

No and had not even heard the term until a day or two ago. The deny-o-sphere mustn't have trumpeted much. I assume they would have if they thought it mattered much. They have in the past trumpeted things that were not even true or logical, as long as it appeared to contradict AGW.

So, does THIS 'issue' alter our understanding of physics - or is it as I suspect yet another quibble that may or may not be true, and may or may not be important, to some conclusion at the edges of some old and redundant paper?

Nov 29, 2009 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

P-G,

"It would prove lots, because it would reveal just how poor it is, just how many unjustifiable and unjustified assumptions and fudges are in and that it doesn't work properly."

LOL! Confirmation bias? You seem to think you aready know the result of the experiment you have stated you cannot do.

And you're wrong because having and running the code would NOT prove that. You'd replicate their results or not. You'd still be left to explain why the results were wrong, and your arguments against my suggestion (analyze the raw data yourself) apply equally to any such explanations. You would, according to your own argument, only be able to convince the choir and therefore, according to your own argument, there is no point.

Besides, what do we see the skeptics actually do when they think they have the code? At the time of writing, a crack team of skeptics have some code that they incorrectly identify as a 'model'. They claim that some commented out code in it has fraudulently introduced a warming trend into the last 10 years data - the same data that one half has been telling us for months show cooling for the last decade, and the other half has been telling us shows warming caused by the sun.

Meanwhile other independent sets of data and lines of evidence show warming. If CRU was fudged then either this evidence has been fudged also, or the CRU data is redundant. And yet we have years of emails between the supposed fraudsters and they forgot to mention any of that. Indeed these people, who supposedly know the whole thing is a scam and that it's not even warming at all, in private express the hope that the science will be proved correct and clearly think that the world is warming due to human influence!

Sigh.

I'll skip to your questions:

"Do you agree that highlighting and fixing a bug in the code will produce a BETTER result, rather than simply a competing result?"

No - it will produce better code. It may or may not be a better result.

"Do you agree that a competing result has no chance of being accepted because Mann et al have closed down the debate?"

No. The deny-o-sphere will apparently accept anything, for a start. Look at how the CSC study was welcomed with open arms and, ahem, minds! Certainly any defensible analysis will not go away regardless of whether it makes it past peer review or not. Reality generally doesn't accept being ignored - as I think you will find over the coming decades.

"Do you agree that we will not be able to get the AGW camp to accept the BETTER result unless complete mastery of THEIR methods has been demonstrated?"

No - and this question is loaded almost to the extent of 'have you stopped beating your wife?'. It presupposes that there is an 'AGW camp' and that they use some arcane and secret methods of their own, whereas in fact there is a scientific community using mathematics and writing about their results and methods in the open literature.

Nov 29, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank,

We are, it seems, really very far apart indeed.
Although I do wish to continue, I'm afraid real life intrudes. I think you deserve very great credit for arguing your case forcefully, but always politely in a forum where you are clearly not on home ground.

I also get the distinct impression that your views are not mere dogma: you are open to persuasion from the opposite camp and that makes this discussion not just important but productive for all of us and I hope I am not alone in being grateful to you for standing up and forcing US to justify our position.

I'll try to reply - do get in touch direct on the pedant general (with no spaces) at gmail dot com

PG

Nov 29, 2009 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

P-G

"Although I do wish to continue, I'm afraid real life intrudes."

I understand - it is difficult to get the time to really thrash these things out properly.

Thanks to you also for the polite discussion.

"you are open to persuasion from the opposite camp"

Ironically my acceptance of AGW stems almost entirely from checking out the claims of the opposite camp, and finding that they don't check out - or at least the ones that check out (or where it is a draw) are vastly overblown and insignificant in the big picture.

I mean I assume that you start off with your best arguments.

Nov 30, 2009 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>