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« Could Greenpeace go bust? | Main | BBC apologises to CRU »

Does Ross McKitrick sleep?

Ross McKitrick has been getting through a power of work. In recent weeks we've had a paper on the quality of the surface temperature record, and now there's the forthcoming paper on the trend in  tropospheric temperatures. The latter looks as though it may drive a coach and horses through the IPCC's position on fingerprinting studies.

And now there's this, a detailed report on the UK inquiries into Climategate. I'm not sure I can keep up.


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Reader Comments (27)

This is a very big one, assuming it is confirmed. There is nothing wrong with models in general as aids to science, and to climate science in particular, but what this is appearing to show is that none of the currently available models, or at least, the use made of them by the IPCC, are useful.

You can draw two conclusions: one stop using models. This would be wrong. Two, start using accurate ones. This would imply not averaging runs of models which have failed on various parameters, seriously winnowing until you get to ones that do perform.

Now, you may not find any in the current crop. This would not be surprising, since they are all heavily AGW theory laden. But that would tell us something significant.

If this paper is verified however, we are now at the point where using the current models as predictive in public policy is really misconduct in public office, its so obvious they are wrong. We would never tolerate the use of this level of stuff in something like accident prevention.

In fact, its ironic that in the health and safety culture, we could find ourselves doing something so patently unsafe as to use provenly inaccurate models to make predictions which are then used as a guide to public policy. Surely, doing this must be a health and safety violation of the first order?

Aug 10, 2010 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

The Inquiries Report - how very useful!

Aug 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Add to these papers the work Steve McIntyre has been doing on Mann 08 and you have a pretty devastating three pronged attack on the whole underpinning of the consensus. Now we need to try to get policymakers to understand that, to a large extent, their decisions have been based on fiction, and after that, as Michel says, the question will be: what do we put in the place of all this discredited climate "science"?

Aug 10, 2010 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S


Yet more evidence that we are a carefully coordinated bunch of sceptic attack dogs!

Aug 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

An excellent report. I'm sure the Bish's report will be as thorough and revealing. That will make two reports for the BBC to report on in its headline news.

Aug 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I'm sure that John Humphreys would find Ross's report riveting reading.

Aug 10, 2010 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

These are necessary and important commentaries on the various enquiries. In particular I think his Response to Climategate Enquiries is particularly useful in identifying and unpicking the several issues they appeared, but failed, to deal with.

Aug 10, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

michel said:

If this paper is verified however, we are now at the point where using the current models as predictive in public policy is really misconduct in public office, its so obvious they are wrong. We would never tolerate the use of this level of stuff in something like accident prevention.

Politicians and bureaucrats are either ignorant of what the IPCC models are doing or conniving to ignore it. Their misconduct has been ongoing for some time.

Kevin Trenberth has previously been quite clear about the IPCC models:

I have often seen references to predictions of future climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presumably through the IPCC assessments (the various chapters in the recently completedWorking Group I Fourth Assessment report ican be accessed through this listing). In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.

In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models.

Politicians are given projections based on a number of assumptions. They repeat these projections as predictions. The scientists choose to largely keep their mouths shut about that sleight of hand.

I don't think it is conspiracy but cowardice and the stupidity of crowds. The scientists have become advocates in need of funding. The politicians can talk about saving the Earth. No one will vote them out for that will they?

There are many arguments to be made for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that have nothing to do with the AGW hypothesis. The cost of them for a start. The politics of the regimes we support because they are sat on reserves. The self-evident correlation between wealth and energy use - cheap and plentiful energy built the developed world and more cheap and plentiful energy is needed if poor nations are to lift themselves out of poverty. The relative inefficiencies of combustion processes.

Political, developmental, social and technological arguments that do not need an artificial and fraudulent 'consensus', nor gobs of taxpayer money being thrown at science advocates to continually say 'there is lots we don't know, give us more money'.

Aug 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

So, erm, what do we have now?

(1) a report, Panel and Multivariate Methods for Tests of Trend Equivalence in Climate Data Series, written with Steve McIntyre and Chad Herman, about to be published with peer-reviews, that proves, with sound, checkable statistics, that all the models have been estimating temp increases that are way OTT compared with actual temp increases

(2) a report, A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products, that shows surface temp records have been exaggerated (cumulatively since 1960 or whenever) by around 0.5 degrees C.

(3) all the proxies need re-calibrating in the light of this report - and this report will throw the models even further out of synch

(4) a report, Response to the Climategate Inquiries, that highlights the inquiries' serial avoidance and failure to deal with the core science issues

(5) an article, Circling the Bandwagons: My Adventures Correcting the IPCC, which shows the hostile attempts to prevent legitimate peer-reviewed publication.

To this add Gavin's admissions on Tamino's review of HSI, and, following this, Steve's current work:

(6) deconstructing Mann 08, with Gavin's tacit admission that Tiljander cannot justify either itself or bristlecones being included, and, following this, the logical but tacit admission that a warmer MWP is no longer disproved.

Ross sure seems to be bursting forth to re-accompany Steve in the public domain. Score:
MWP +1;
CWP -1;
Woodward & Bernstein +6;
IPCC, the Team, and the Reviews - disqualified

Bishop, I know the pressure's up but do us a favour, write a piece on all this like Caspar and Jesus Paper

Aug 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

ah, forgot, the url for Circling the Bandwaggons

and sorry Bishop, I should have added
(7) Montfort's upcoming report on the Inquiries

Aug 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

It's worth looking at the whole of Trenberth's posting on the Nature Climate Feedback blog and the comments that follow.
It puts him in a slightly different light and from three years on gives some perspective on the IPCC.

Aug 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

Attention should turn to broader issues revealed by Climategate – devising a new universal protocol for openness and transparency in science that is adequate to manage potential conflicts of interest. Web-based publication of data, methods and results would clearly be involved.

A well-devised protocol might be something that reputable institutions and funding bodies can voluntarily adopt. This sort of strategy has been used by the environmental “Talloires Declaration” with some success.

Aug 10, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobin

He also published this:
"Atmospheric Circulations Do Not Explain the Temperature-Industrialization Correlation", showing that the urbanisation (which I read as the Urban Heat Island problem) pollutes the offical temperature data.

Aug 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Figures 2 and 3 of MMH 2010 will no doubt feature in forthcoming IPCC publications and may well become

And VS has returned to the fray.

Aug 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Now, all we have to do is get the press to notice.

Aug 10, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I have been reading Ross's latest "Response to Climategate Inquiries" (half way through). It is must reading for everyone. The high competence of McKitrick is beyond belief.

Aug 10, 2010 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRalphieGM

I should have provided the link to CA

And VS has returned to the fray with only a passing reference to a unit root.

Aug 10, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Don - sadly it's not a case of "notice", but one of "act". It is clear the BBC know what the issues are - they just don't have the b*lls or integrity to do anything about it. Imagine John Humphrys backing off from the difficult but obvious questions in a political debate.....

Aug 10, 2010 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

It is almost biblical:

"And the Canadians shall show us the way."

Figure 2 and 3 are doozies. Well done MMH!!

Perhaps we can now move on to building cheap safe Thorium reactors and stop all this scaremongering.

Aug 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

I didn’t notice any reference to the Stringer grilling of Rees in perhaps the Reactions Section of the Ross report. The official minutes have been published on the parliament web site starting at Q75.

Aug 10, 2010 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

VS is back because MMH is a time-series analysis of climate science (TM) model vs data using econometrci approaches.

Contributions like this will move climate science forward. Santer can play with his bodyguards

Aug 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Yr grace, thank you for asking. I admit that lately I have had a few late evenings, less time practicing the whistle and smallpipes than I or my session mates would approve of, and I even had to postpone a scheduled flyfishing lesson. But I wanted to get all these papers out of the way (not to mention finishing my new textbook) before this week, allowing me to forget about them as much as possible now that we are on holiday at our cottage in the beautiful BC Gulf Islands. Since I am on a slow dial-up, and the weather is fantastic, I am unlikely to be able to follow matters online until September.

Aug 11, 2010 at 5:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss McKitrick

Robin wrote:

Attention should turn to broader issues revealed by Climategate – devising a new universal protocol for openness and transparency in science that is adequate to manage potential conflicts of interest. Web-based publication of data, methods and results would clearly be involved.

I would argue that not only should data and methods be archived on the web, but that the papers should be too. I think the usefulness of the journals has finished. They are no longer providing a third-party check on the credibility of papers, but simply rubber-stamping those from favoured sources.

In addition, I have a rooted objection to having a paywall in front of research that I have paid for. Any research that has received one penny of public funding, either directly or via use of facilities that have received public funding should be openly and freely available, not become essentially the property of for-profit organizations.

Aug 11, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJP

There you go,...
In addition to writing those papers, Dr McKitrick also finished a 384-page textbook.

Aug 11, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

No sleep at all ... Dr McKitrick the has started a new blog

Aug 11, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

Thumbs up for Lucy Skywalker's summary and I also beg a big review for the recent series of terrific and lucid analysis Ross McKitrick and colleagues have presented to the world where sanity of mind is still anticipated and cherished.

Bishop, I know the pressure's up but do us a favour, write a piece on all this like Caspar and Jesus Paper

(7) Montfort's upcoming report on the Inquiries

Aug 14, 2010 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterdahuang

Great week for M&M! 4 references in an interesting statistical paper.

Aug 14, 2010 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

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