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Discussion > Soon, Baliunus, de Freitas, Etal

I don't give a stuff what you think of me.

Just answer the questions at Dec 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM.

Or is there a teeny problem here? A bit stuck are we?

Dec 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

DNFTT = "I can't handle this so I'm going to slam down the shutters and run away".

I'm laughing at you again matthu.

Dec 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The real question is whether the MWP is relevant here. This presumes equivalence with the present. Can we assume this?

- If you argue yes, there is a condition. The MWP seems to have been caused by increased TSI. So is there credible, widely-accepted evidence that TSI is the main driver of modern warming?

- A substantial body of work points to increased radiative forcing by CO2 as an energetically sufficient cause for much recent warming. Has it been refuted or even seriously challenged?

Dec 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM | BBD

"seems to have been caused by increased TSI"

" points to increased radiative forcing by CO2"

"Has it been refuted or even seriously challenged?"

"seems to", "points to". That's a really scientific conclusion from the guy who wrote that a hypothesis that warming was due to CO2 was in fact proof of it happening. Must have been playing truant when they covered that particular lesson on scientific method at scool. There again, must forgive him for his scientific illiteracy.

"Has it been refuted?", Of course it has, how many times has research challenging this theory been highlighted on this blog and argued against by you?

You're not a climate scientist, I'm not a climate scientist, but I've had a lot more scientific training than you've ever had laddie.

Silly question answered?

Dec 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

RKS

1/. "seems to", "points to". That's a really scientific conclusion from the guy who wrote that a hypothesis that warming was due to CO2 was in fact proof of it happening. Must have been playing truant when they covered that particular lesson on scientific method at scool. There again, must forgive him for his scientific illiteracy.

2/. "Has it been refuted?", Of course it has, how many times has research challenging this theory been highlighted on this blog and argued against by you?

3/. You're not a climate scientist, I'm not a climate scientist, but I've had a lot more scientific training than you've ever had laddie.

4/. Silly question answered?


Your points:

1/. Evasion, without reference. Ad-hominem.

2/. Assertion, without reference. Incorrect. Please cite paper(s) that refute the theory (not hypothesis) that RF from CO2 contributes to the so-called 'greenhouse effect' that causes energy to accumulate in the climate system.

3/. It's not evident from your writing.

4/. Absolutely not. Try again. Here's a tip: take each question in order and address it directly.

'Silly questions'. How very revealing. Now try answering them properly.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

2/. Assertion, without reference. Incorrect. Please cite paper(s) that refute the theory (not hypothesis) that RF from CO2 contributes to the so-called 'greenhouse effect' that causes energy to accumulate in the climate system.

3/. It's not evident from your writing.

'Silly questions'. How very revealing. Now try answering them properly.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM | BBD

"2/. Assertion, without reference. Incorrect. Please cite paper(s) that refute the theory (not hypothesis) that RF from CO2 contributes to the so-called 'greenhouse effect' that causes energy to accumulate in the climate system."

Point taken, the following post by you shows you believe a hypothesis to be a fact:-
Much discussion of paleoclimate.

A point that's often made, but bears repeating, is that the causes of the MWP are not those of modern warming. The current hypothesis is that increased TSI and reduced volcanism might have triggered the MWP, and a persistent, teleconnected La Nina and positive NAO may have stabilised and maintained it.

Observed changes in TSI and volcanism in the C20th do not explain the pattern of climate change post-1950.

We aren't having a re-run of the MWP. So something else must be causing energy to accumulate in the climate system.

The only plausible candidate is CO2.

Dec 2, 2011 at 3:08 PM | BBD

Sorry son, that's your opinion, not a proven fact!

"3/. It's not evident from your writing."

You have no scientific training so how would you know?

Now stop being a pest and go and learn some basic physics, before debating with educated grown ups.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

RKS

We aren't having a re-run of the MWP. So something else must be causing energy to accumulate in the climate system.

The only plausible candidate is CO2.

Sorry son, that's your opinion, not a proven fact!


What you claim is my 'opinion' is a near-universally held position among the real specialists - the atmospheric physicists - and right across the entire multi-disciplinary spread of Earth System Sciences. So really, it's a great deal more than my 'opinion', isn't it?

I didn't say it was a proven fact. I said CO2 was the only plausible candiate. Two serious misrepresentations in a single response.

"3/. It's not evident from your writing."

You have no scientific training so how would you know?

Now stop being a pest and go and learn some basic physics, before debating with educated grown ups.

If you are capable of answering the questions I pose, please do so. If not - as appears to be the case - then silence will be fine.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Matt
Could you look up page 132-137 from Pearce's book?

It becomes the source for this claim in Wikipedia: "When Mann presented a preprint of the Eos rebuttal of the Soon and Baliunas papers to the members of the Climate Research editorial board several allegedly took his side against de Freitas, partly because they found out that the four reviewers of the paper had recommended rejecting it."

This is directly contradicted in the Climategate emails.Searching for 'de Freitas' in the FOIA grepper should throw up an email from de Freitas himself in August 2003 (I think)

Curious to learn what exactly Pearce's written in his chapter.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Let's have them up again for the new page:

- The real question is whether the MWP is relevant here. This presumes equivalence with the present. Can we assume this?

- If you argue yes, there is a condition. The MWP seems to have been caused by increased TSI. So is there credible, widely-accepted evidence that TSI is the main driver of modern warming?

- A substantial body of work points to increased radiative forcing by CO2 as an energetically sufficient cause for much recent warming. Has it been refuted or even seriously challenged?

- Have observations revealed any energetically sufficient alternative?

- If they did, the effect of increased RF from CO2 would still have to be taken into account. If 'something else' is responsible for modern warming, it should be warmer than it is. How do you explain the missing heat?

- S&B and the small group of energy-industry funded, right-wing contrarians they belong to has deliberately and successfully distracted attention from the central issues. For example, if the hockey stick is debunked, what effect will it have on the laws of physics that cause RF from CO2 to heat the climate system?

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Troll baiting over for this evening, have to take the wife to a chrismas concert.

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

oops - Christmas!

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

BBD @ 5:43 PM

MWP may have been TSI, I'm sure, although again there is Svaalgard's suggestion that the solar background is flat (don't know how far back that would be likely to remain true). If TSI did cause MWP, then what caused RMP (also visible in Ljungqvist's reconstruction)?

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

matthu
I'm afraid I've decided that I don't really have the brain for statistics and at my age it's a bit late to try to develop one, so I tend to believe what you guys tell me! especially those with decent degrees in relevant disciplines,
I'm not sure that Mann et al understand statistics all that well. Or alternatively they do and decided to (ab)use them to produce a pre-determined result. After all it was already well-established that to prove the existence of CAGW "we have to get rid of the mediaeval warm period".
Which they did.
Until somebody came along and proved otherwise and someone else came along and proved their statistical methods were crap (I believe that's the current technical word in climatology).

Dec 10, 2011 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Shub

Pearce's book says:

When Mann presented his alternative peer review of Soon and Baliunas to the 10-man editorial board of Climate Research, however, a number took fright. They took Mann's side against their own editor. This was partly because they discovered that de Freitas had ignored the anonymous advice of four reviewers who wanted him to reject the paper. The board was in revolt. Their chief editor, von Storch, who had been with the journal for a decade, wrote an article saying the Soon paper shoudn't have appeared beacuse of "severe methdological flaws". It amounted to the retraction Mann had demanded.

There is also an earlier paragraph:

Persuaded that the paper could not be ignored, Mann assembled a group of colleagues to pass judgment on it - effectively commissioning his own private peer review. The group included regular CRU emailers Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Tom Wigley and Kevin Trenberth. They sent their findings to the jounral's editoral board, arguing that Soon's study was little better than anecdote. They charged that it had cherry-picked data showing warm periods in different places over several centuries, followed by a global cold little ice age, and had provided no evidence that demonstrated any overall warming of the kind seen in the 20th century.

This is interesting, isn't it? Doesn't exactly tally with the emails. I've had some friendly email exchanges with Fred Pearce, so I'll see if I can get some info on his source. My guess is he has been misled.

Dec 10, 2011 at 6:05 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

pp134-135

When Mann presented his alternative peer review of Soon and Baliunas to the 10-man editorial board of Climate Research, howver, a number took fright. They took Mann's side against their own editor. This was partly because they discovered that de Freitas had ignored the anonymous advice of four reviewers who wanted him to reject the paper. The board was in revolt. Their chief editor, van Storch, who had been with the journal for a decade, wrote an article saying the Soon paper shouldn't have appeared because of "severe methodological flaws". It amounted to the retraction Mann had demanded.
But the journal's publisher, the 80-year-old Otto Kinne, refused to publish von Storch's article without making revisions. He said "Chris de Freitas has done a good and correct job." Mann responded angrily in emails to his colleagues, repeating his earlier entreaties to boycott the journal, saying: "I think that the community should... terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels - reviewing, editing, and submitting, and leave it to wither away into oblivion and disrepute."
That never happened, because von Storch and four other board members resigned and Kinne himself backtracked a few weeks later, admitting that publication had been an error and promising to strengthen the peer review process. He wrote in the journal that autumn that the "major conclusions" of the paper, specifically the claim that "the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millenium" cannot be concluded convincingly from the evidence provided in the paper. CR should have requested appropriate revisions of the manuscript prior to publication ... There was insufficient attention to the methodological basis of statements that touch on hotly debated controversies and involve pronounced political and economic interests."
It was a single sentence in the paper that went too far. But of course it was the sentence that mattered. Mann had won his argument. But the blood-letting involved in that victory ensured that this became a hugely divisive issue in which the personal often seemed more important than the scientific.

Climategate? "The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming"
Fred Pearce

(any typos are my own!)

Dec 10, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

One wonders what the situation would have been had Soon et al's paper simply stated

the claim that "the 20th century is probably the warmest and a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millenium" is not supportable at any statistically significant level.

Dec 10, 2011 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Bish, and matthu,

Thanks for this.

This is what de Freitas wrote Otto Kinne (copied to Mike Hulme) (emphasis mine)

The criticisms of Soon and Baliunas (2003) CR article raised by Mike Hume in his 16 June 2003 email to you was not raised by the any of the four referees I used (but is curiously similar to points raided[sic] by David Appell!). Keep in mind that referees used were selected in consultation with a paleoclimatologist. Five referees were selected based on the guidance I received. All are reputable paleoclimatologists, respected for their expertise in reconstruction of past climates. None (none at all) were from what Hans and Clare have referred to as "the other side" or what Hulme refers to as people well known for their opposition to the notion that humans are significantly altering global climate." One of the five referees turned down the request to review explaining he was busy and would not have the time. The remaining four referees sent their detailed comments to me. None suggested the manuscript should be rejected.

There is obviously a mismatch between what Pearce writes, and what actually seems to have happened. The full de Freitas email is available in 3265.txt, and was available in Climategate I

There is another quote from Otto Kinne courtesy Andrew Revkin's New York Times article that doesn't seem right as well. Given Kinne's overall thrust was that there may or may not be problems in the Soon and Baliunas paper but they should be addressed via the medium of peer-reviewed journals, rather than editorial decisions, and given that Revkin was a willing conduit for the Team, this would be worth looking into as well.

when Kinne's email to de Freitas supporting his position, found its way to Mann and Wigley, this is what Wigley had to say to Mike Mann:

Mike (Mann),
I agree that Kinne seems like he could be a deFreitas clone. However,
what would be our legal position if we were to openly and extensively
tell people to avoid the journal?
Tom.

Dec 10, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

This was partly because they discovered that de Freitas had ignored the anonymous advice of four reviewers who wanted him to reject the paper.

Could this be interpreted to mean that four 'unofficial' reviewers had somehow gained access to the paper and had sent unsolicited advice to de Freitas?

Dec 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

RKS

I said:

If you are capable of answering the questions I pose, please do so. If not - as appears to be the case - then silence will be fine.

You responded:

Troll baiting over for this evening, have to take the wife to a chrismas concert.

So you cannot answer the questions. Thought so. Good to have confirmation though.

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Matt
That meaning is unlikely...I cannot get my head around it.

An interesting related bit of information:
The reviewer who backed out claiming he was busy was Ray Pierrehumbert. Phil Jones, who on reading that reviewers at Climate Research did not reject SB03, says this:

It is clear from the differences between CR and the ERE piece (sic-E&E piece) that the other 4 reviewers did not say much, so a negative review was likely to be partly ignored, and the article would still have come out. I say this as this might come out if things get nasty.

This refers to the fact that it wont look good on the Team that they went after a paper and its editorial handling (rather than address its contents in a reply), if it ever came out that the CR reviewers had recommended publication. So Jones knew.

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

That likely was Ray Bradley, not Pierrehumbert.

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Philip @ Dec 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Dunno. TSI? Why not? What I want to know is what is causing modern warming if not CO2? Because it certainly isn't TSI. And why is the mystery forcing completely invisible to all our instruments in both source and operation? And why do we not get positive interference with the increased CO2 forcing which would push GAT higher than observations? Little things like that. Things that absolutely nobody on this thread will discuss properly (or at all).

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD @ 7:11 PM,

The response of non-linear systems to forcing is not straightforward. Many people think it's likely that a portion at least of 20th C warming is due to some non-linear response. This is why it's interesting to try to understand what caused past variations. Obviously, some at least of modern warming is very likely to be down to the straightforward effect of more CO2.

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilipp

Fred Pearce has responded to my email. He says he is in Durban and can't get at his files, but will do so when he returns.

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Judging by the tweets from Durban, that won't be anytime soon!

Dec 10, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

I don't remember if anyone has examined the editorial von Storch wanted to publish at Climate Research. It portrays the thinking of von Storch on the matter. It can be summarized as follows:

SB03's conclusions may be correct. But since it does not confirm to a (purported) majority view of how paleoproxy evidence be characterized and handled, its methods can be considered flawed. Formally, the review process at CR is in order. But in view of the majority opinion, it can be faulted as it failed to stop a paper with non-majority opinion from being published.

On the other hand, the review process at CR was formally in order.

The whole editorial is available in email in 2106.txt

My question is: what would von Storch think today, if he realizes from the Climategate II emails that the Mann Eos article and the opinions and questions of so many Team climate scientists contained much material in private or hidden form, which they unequivocally criticized publicly?

Dec 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub