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Discussion > Evidence, confidence and uncertainties


I wasn't expecting you to comment on the emails. I haven't noticed you in any of them, not that I've looked for that. Again, I apologize if I unintentionally diverted this thread.

Dec 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip


Thanks for the Lovejoy & Schertzer link. Will try and skim (at least) today and would be very interested on your views as and when. No rush though. I shudder to think how much of your 'free' time this must use up.

Great thread though. And let me add my apologies to Philip's for the various diversions. I just can't help myself ;-)

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

How I wish you would not get your 'information' from WUWT.
Yes, I bet you do.
But some of us are able to go further than one website and I have actually read Soon and Baliunas and drawn my own conclusions.
Now I fully understand that these must be wrong since they differ from yours but nonetheless I happen to believe that the paper was perfectly legitimate and that is the end of it.
Naturally you don't want to believe that von Storch was leant on but in the light of events at the time and subsequent reading of the climategate emails my suspicions then have simply been reinforced.
So that's my view.
It's not your view.
Get over it.

And I will continue to get information from Watts Up With That when I consider it appropriate. It tends overall to be a damn' sight more reliable, readable and understandable then your abbreviation-riddled polemics and manages to do it with being offensive to everyone that disagrees.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson


If you want a broader perspective on the work of this group, then you can get more here. As far as I can tell, they are not pushing any particular agenda, and have been mining this area for the past few decades. I think there is a large literature in this area, not yet explored by me anyway.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip


In my previous comment to you, I made a case and referenced it. In response, I get aggressive, content-free waffle. Dull.

You have nothing, I think.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


SOrry - in a tearing rush today.

Linking to Desmoblog? There's some awful piffle on that.

I know. But the Mashey piece is not piffle. And every entry on the spreadsheet is hotlinked to the relevant CR paper in pdf. So you can check the facts. A disturbing picuture emerges.

Trying to deligitimize the source because you don't like the message is a weak argument and (worse) tantamount to self-deception. Which is to be avoided.

So. This is a clear a case of sustained pal review. Two things stand out:

- many papers de Freitas accepted are weak scientifically BUT

- fit within a pattern of tactical publishing supporting a corporate-political agenda

- S & B 03 was the catalyst - once it was contested everything changed

In the light of this the reaction of the Team is actually understandable. In the case of S & B, their dubious connections are absolutely relevant given their contrarian stance.

Perhaps you can look at this as I do: imagine this was everyday business and somebody's asking for your money. Forget the climate angle. Just look at the facts.

Does it smell? Yes, like a week-dead cat.

Citing the backgrounds, affiliations and interrelations of Chris dF, Soon and Salli Baliunas as reasons to reject the actual results is pretty poor form, BBD.

No. It's necessary. Due diligence. I've never looked at this before. Of course I should have done it at the outset, at the first whiff of controversy. Just as I would have done if this was business as usual and my money was on the table.

The verdict is clear: S&B03's conclusion is not supported by the paper itself. Add the context, and it suddenly becomes a very big problem indeed. A bigger picture emerges. CdF is part of the larger problem, but it goes all the way to the Heartland Institute, SPPI, CFACT etc and all the money behind these fronts. It's the same old same old.

I've been bloody sloppy with the background checks and very slow to wake up to what's going on here - but at least you can learn from my mistakes.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Yesterday (Dec 6, 2011 at 10:01 PM) I asked:

An aside, not intended to get in the way of your question to RB, but do you argue that modelled projections of centennial trends are in some way invalidated? Could be me, but it's not clear from what you say

I've only speed-read this, but it looks as though not. From Lovejoy & Schertzer (emphasis added):

Similar conclusions for the control runs of other GCMs at even lower frequencies were found by (Blender et al., 2006) and (Rybski et al., 2008) so that it seems that in the absence of external climate forcings, the GCM’s reproduce the low frequency weather regime but not the lower frequency strongly spectrally rising regime which requires some new climate ingredient. The aim of this paper is to understand the natural variability so that the important question of whether or not GCM’s with realistic forcings might be able to reproduce the low frequency climate regime is outside our present scope.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I see what you mean, but I also think a key phrase here is "with realistic forcings". Rather than try and second guess Richard's response, would you mind if we waited to see what he has to say, before discussing this in too much detail.

Dec 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

"In the light of this the reaction of the Team is actually understandable."

Whenever I see stuff like this, my brain hurts. Is there no end to this torture? Why are you junking up this thread with this crap?

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Yes, everything you don't agree with is content-free waffle these days.
Go and have a look at this.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson


Thank you for your reply and for wading through my lengthy post.

While preparing to make the post I found Kennedy 2011, did not read it at once and forgot about it. I ate my own homework.

I can see that there is care in Kennedy but I think it had to be, dealing with Folland's mistaken initial adjustment.

In Kennedy there is a statement made that: "In the nineteenth and early twentieth century wooden and, later, canvas, buckets were used." There is nothing I can see to support this claim. Of course, McIntyre was doing his own research. He mentions Brooks (Weather Review 1924). The use of engine inlet measurements by the Canadian Meteorological Service in NW Pacific is discussed. No mention of wooden buckets is made here at all.I am unsure how Kennedy reaches his conclusion.

McIntyre's questions about how appropriate are the assumptions underlying the adjustments made in Kennedy remain unanswered.

Also, Kennedy makes it clear that uncertainties remain to be identified: " It should be noted that the adjustments presented here and their uncetainties represent a first attempt to produce an SST data set that has been homogenized from 1850 to 2006. Therefore, the uncertainties ought to be considered incomplete until other independent attempts have been made to assess the biases and their uncertainties using different approaches to those described here."

I have had a look at Folland and Parker 1995. The correction of 0.3C is based on James and Fox 1972 or Kent 1993 . It was on the basis of the incorrect assumption by Folland that there had been an abrupt shift to the use of inlet engine measurements in 1941 that an early study by Paltridge and Woodruff 1981 was rejected by Folland and Parker. this from Folland and Parker 1995:

" The realisation that SST data require systematic adjustments stemmed from studies such as James and Fox (1972). These authors found that engine intake (inlet, injection) SSTs, which have been common since the 1940s, were systematically warmer, by several tenths °C, than SSTs measured using uninsulated buckets, which were in common use in the early 20th century and before. On this basis, Folland and Kates (1984) improved on the uncorrected SST analysis of Paltridge and Woodruff (1981) by applying an adjustment which was 0.15 °C up till 1930 and decreased linearly to -0.1 OC in the 1970s (their reference period was 1951-60). However, comparison with NMAT suggested that the change in instrumentation took place rather suddenly around the Second World War, so Folland et al. (1984) added 0.3 °C until early 1940, 0.25 °C thereafter through 1941, and nothing subsequently."

Paltridge and Woodruff said:

" The main problem with SST data is that there have been changes in observing technique over time. The change which has been most investigated is that from bucket to condenser intake observations – the latter supposedly yielding temperatures higher on average by about 0.3 K (James and Fox 1972). Fortunately the basic source for the present work (the Historical Sea Surface Temperature data) is based only on bucket temperatures so that until 1960 at least the problem does not arise. The years after 1960 are an unknown mix of bucket and condenser-intake temperatures (at least for the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea FCDS information) and are a problem. Note, however that a change to condenser-intake temperatures would presumably lead to the recording of higher temperatures. There is no evidence of any sudden apparent rise in temperature (or even a change of slope) which occurs at or after 1960 and which is common to all the curves discussed here. Indeed the NH summer temperatures fall dramatically after that time."

And this is what Kennedy says:

"If a linear switchover is assumed which started in 1954 and was 95% complete in 1969, the middle of the James and Fox study period, then the switchover would have been completed by 1970. Based on the literature reviewed here, the start of the general transition is likely to have occurred between 1954 and 1957 and the end between 1970 and 1980."

I don't see Paltridge listed in the review of literature done by Kennedy on this topic.

I confess to being on very uncertain ground when I wonder why adjustments are made anyway.

Also, the adjustments proposed by Folland and Parker were made to over 30 million observations made between 1951 and 1980. It is not known which method was used for the observation provided. It is unknown and unknowable what are the actual uncertainties of the measurements themselves. The uncertainties we have are based on the study methods.

Dec 7, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commentersam


para 6
"Also Kennedy makes it clear that uncertainties remain to be identified." Please ignore this.

Dec 7, 2011 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commentersam


Whenever I see stuff like this, my brain hurts. Is there no end to this torture? Why are you junking up this thread with this crap?

Well it's encouraging that you are approaching this with your usual open mind.

Dec 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


The facts are plain. It's all upthread. I don't care if you are as sunk in denial over this as you are about everything else. Nor do I care if SM wants to join the party. Soon and Baliunas are discredited by their association with Right-Wing front organisations and oil money. These are matters of fact. The rest is waffle.

Dec 7, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Soon and Baliunas are discredited by their association with Right-Wing front organisations and oil money.

Just popped by to see that BBD is back to blatant ad hominem attacks.

Dec 7, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu


You should check the facts before mouthing off about ad-hominems (again). You have a habit of being flat-out wrong which fact-checking would do much to correct. I'd hoped you might have learned something recently, but clearly not.

Remember - check the facts.

For example, which right-wing 'think tanks' (aka front organisations for vested corporate interests) have S & B been associated with over the last two decades? (Time-Saving Tip - several are listed in my earlier comments).

Or are you denying these facts? Actually, can you explicitly confirm this: yes or no?

Dec 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Never let it be said that I'm not willing - even eager - to help you learn.

Here's the detailed Greenpeace* investigation into Soon's funding and affiliations.

Over a million dollars since 2001 - all from Big Oil. As you would say: wow.

Plenty in there about Baliunas and Michaels as well.


*It doesn't matter if it's Greenpeace or Kroll doing the digging. So long as the facts are correct. As usual in circumstances like these, I take the absence of legal action by Soon as absolute confirmation that they are.

Dec 7, 2011 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD - you make the same invalid argument over and over again.

In this case, the facts you cite aren't relevant. You cling to the idea that someone's association or funding should discredit their science.

Almost as if UEA's science should be discredited were it found that they had been funded by Goldman Sachs or were somehow associated with BP.

Dec 7, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Sam, "I wonder why adjustments are made anyway."

Take a look at email 1254108338.txt from climategate 1.
"It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip".

Dec 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterfrodo


In this case, the facts you cite aren't relevant.

So you do deny the facts. Thought you might. Unfortunately, the facts here are far too serious to be brushed under the carpet. And your attempt to claim equivalence with BP or GS funding of UEA is a joke. Hint - they are bit players. Soon is entirely funded by the fossil fuel industry. Read the evidence instead of denying it.

Just because you apparently cannot cope with the truth doesn't stop it being real.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD - you seem to take pride in your inability to draw a correct inference from a simple statement.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu


It looks as though there is a lot more to be said about Soon, Baliunas, and the rest. Would it be a good idea to start a new thread to discuss these issues, and leave this one open to Richard to respond to the various scientific questions that have been put to him?

Dec 8, 2011 at 3:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip


Good call. This has gone off thread. Start that one.

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy
Dec 8, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip


Good call.

Dec 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD