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

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Tuesday
Jul272010

Stringer grills Rees

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee questioned Martin Rees today, and Graham Stringer chose to use his time to ask about the effect of Climategate on confidence in climate science. Some highlights of Rees' responses:

  • CRU scientists exonerated
  • IPCC procedures need to be modified to restore confidence
  • Need to have protocols to ensure that data is made available to anyone who is able to analyse it. [Check that wording carefully]
  • Lessons have been learned and Rees expects that scientists will share their data with genuine inquirers.
  • Stringer asks if the science should be looked at. Rees disagrees that science not looked at.

There are two things to take away from this. Firstly, it is quite clear that Oxburgh did not look at the science, because he said so. It is extraordinary to see Rees telling the panel otherwise. Secondly, if one reads between the lines it seems clear that Rees is going to put the Royal Society's weight behind a shift away from the scientific method, so that data becomes available only to those who will not rock the boat.

Video is here and Stringer's questions start at 37:25.

Monday
Jul262010

HSI in NWT

I've also uncovered a review of The Hockey Stick Illusion in Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, the Dutch popular science magazine that played such an important part in bring McIntyre and McKitrick's work to prominence. I'm grateful to Marcel Crok for arranging this translation:

Assuming that the climate is changing due to human activities and that quick and substantial global policies are necessary to counter what many scientists characterize as a catastrophically changing climate, one might think that the transparency in climate science has the highest priority. Nothing is further from the truth.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul262010

David Holland in Quadrant

Also from Quadrant, John Abbott discusses David Holland's quest to release IPCC-related information from British government bodies.

Link.

Monday
Jul262010

HSI in Quadrant magazine

John Dawson reviews The Hockey Stick Illusion in Australia's Quadrant magazine.

The Hockey Stick Illusion is the shocking story of a graph called the Hockey Stick. It is also a textbook of tree ring analysis, a code-breaking adventure, an intriguing detective story, an exposé of a scientific and political travesty, and the tale of a herculean struggle between a self-funded sceptic and a publicly funded hydra, all presented in the measured style of an analytical treatise.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday
Jul252010

McIntyre on RC on BH

Steve M weighs in on Tamino's review of the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Sunday
Jul252010

A brick wall

Scott Ott from the Daily Caller tries and fails to get meaningful comment out of Michael Mann.

Sunday
Jul252010

Hoskins: climate models are lousy

The quote is at 4:30.

Saturday
Jul242010

Zorita on Smerdon

Eduardo Zorita has a must-read post up at Klimazwiebel, discussing a new paper by Smerdon et al. Michael Mann fans will be amused to read of geographical problems uncovered in some of Mann's papers, which will instantly bring to mind favourite episodes from the Hockey Stick story, like the Rain in Maine (falls mainly in the Seine) and the documentary records of East African climate from the medieval period (Mann et al 2008). Here's a sample:

In one case, when interpolating the climate model data onto a different grid, the data were rotated around the Earth 180 degrees, so that model data that should be located on the Greenwich Meridian were erroneously placed at 180 degrees longitude; in another case the data in the Western Hemisphere were spatially smoothed, while the data in the Eastern Hemisphere were not.

Ouch.

As Eduardo points out the implications are rather interesting, since Smerdon's findings imply that Mann's stress-testing must have been too weak to actually demonstrate what they purported to do. Fascinating stuff.

Saturday
Jul242010

Booker namechecks man of cloth

Christopher Booker's latest article namechecks your humble host while discussing the selection of papers for the Oxburgh report.

Friday
Jul232010

Josh 28

 

More cartoons by Josh here.

Thursday
Jul222010

Josh 27

More cartoons by Josh here.

Thursday
Jul222010

Tamino on the Hockey Stick Illusion

Tamino has a rave review of the Hockey Stick Illusion up at Real Climate. I'm reading it now.

A few initial observations - there is a lot of discussion of proxy selection rules in Tamino's piece. This is complex for those who aren't embedded in the nitty gritty of the science, but stand back and ask yourself this: if you have over 100 series in your database, and one of these is the fourth most important pattern in the tree rings of a couple of closely related tree species in one area of the western USA, how comfortable are you that this series should form the basis of the temperature reconstruction for the northern hemisphere? The idea that you can reconstruct hemispheric temperatures in this way is deeply unsatisfactory.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul222010

McIntyre in Die Weltwoche

Steve M has been interviewed by Swiss newspaper, Die Weltwoche. A translation has been posted at GWPF.

Thursday
Jul222010

Hobbits and hockey sticks

Matt Ridley discusses the importance of rebutting your opponents' actual arguments, citing examples of failure to do so both in the case of the Hockey Stick and the fossil "hobbit", Homo floresiensis.

Thursday
Jul222010

More media

 

GWPF have responded to the Times' silly "sceptics funded by big oil" story, pointing out that their articles of association preclude them from accepting oil money. Despite this the Times have tried to link them to big oil and have refused them a right of reply.

Richard Black discusses global warming scepticism alongside consideration of neo-nazi attacks on Stephen Schneider. Nice.

Adam Corner, writing in the THES, says that the CRU scientists were exonerated (H/T Doug Keenan) and argues that peer review is still effective. Doug Keenan has written to him putting him right. There is an accompanying editorial which repeats the central theme but at least seems to think there are lessons to be learned.

Dear Dr. Corner,

Your article asserts that researchers at the Climatic Research Unit have been exonerated of wrongdoing. I dispute that.

I have alleged that Phil Jones committed fraud in his work on the 2007 IPCC Report. My allegation was published in a peer-reviewed paper. It was also widely publicized, including in a front-page story in The Guardian. Yet neither the Russell Review nor the Oxburgh Review considered any of the evidence for the allegation.

Other people have also had their allegations against researchers at CRU not properly investigated. David Holland’s allegation, for example—where the Russell Review just asked CRU researchers and their supporters if the researchers were guilty, and then accepted the replies without question, or asking Holland for comment.

The Reviews were plainly not attempting to reach justice. That, however, is not the problem. The real problem is that the lack of systemic accountability. The reviews were ad hoc responses and should never have existed. There should be some general mechanism in place whereby allegations of improper behavior are dealt with.

There are tens of thousands of scientists in the United Kingdom. As far as I know, none have been convicted of research fraud in at least twenty years. That is not credible. What kind of society would we have if there were no police, judiciary, or prisons? That, in effect, is the system in place in science today.

The result is a culture of impunity. The main problems with the peer review system are consequences of that culture. There are many other consequences: bogus research is widespread.

Sincerely,

Douglas J. Keenan