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Discussion > Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought

@BB do you mean it challenges my ideas on what is right and what is wrong? No it doesn't I'm afraid - fabricating data and calling it evidence is always wrong!

Dec 25, 2012 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Maybe it is you who has these 'preconceptions' - that a paper being criticized here must somehow be better than what it is being made out to be.

Every thread becomes grounds for guessing others conceptions, preconceptions and worldviews ... for whom?

Dec 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Registered Commentershub

FarleyR, "Fabricating data" - that makes it sound fraudulent, which it would be if they didn't make the method plain. But since the essence of the paper seems to be, "look, here's an incomplete dataset; we've used various methods to fill in the gaps and here's what we get", that sounds as harmless as filling in the colours of a paint-by-numbers painting. The reader can make of it what they will; there is no fraud or misrepresentation involved. Seems to me like it is a slow news week and you need a fix of something to get upset about.

Dec 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I think the key question is that: if this was a prospectus for an investment of our hard earned cash would we invest? Personally I wouldn't touch a business plan like this with a bargepole; unfortunately the MSM and politicians the world over want to or actually will invest our hard earned cash into schemes based on fairy tales like this.


Dec 25, 2012 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

This contrasts with some here who need to reject that which they have not even read because it challenges their ideas reason.

Dec 26, 2012 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin


This is the summary on the front page of the Journal's website:

A complete temperature record for Byrd Station in cental West Antarctica, spanning from 1958 to 2010, establishes West Antarctica as one of the fastest warming regions globally

More of "The science is settled" mantra without a mention of fabricated data! There's nothing innocent in this at all and that the bbc continues to blindly peddle this nonsense is the biggest disappointment of all.

Dec 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Ignoring 28gate and the dishonesty of some in the MSM for the moment, many at the BBC, other media organisations and the man in the street think "scientists" and "experts” don't have an agenda. I worked with a very clever but naive guy who thought that all research was done by neutral and honest people who never looked for data to backup their theory which they'd thought of before starting the research. What finally convinced him otherwise was the Ancel Keys Seven Nations study which is still controversial even though the study was done in the early1960s up to the 1980s. It uses selected data ignoring that which goes against the theory, and then ignores subsequent data which throws doubt on the already shaky evidence. Despite him finding stuff on the internet to back up the original study the seeds of doubt had been planted and he at least accepted that some might have an agenda before starting research. I'll keep my opinion on Ancel Keys to myself as it is not the subject under discussion here. Interestingly this same person was convinced that not all police/bankers/estate agents/adverts were honest and upright all the time.

Like a lot of things in life, what starts as a simple matter of ignoring the inconvenient or erroneous (millikan's oil drop work for instance), is then taken forward one step at a time by others. So we have Mann using highly selected data, models which include guesses, and so on and so on. So using made up data from unproven models as indisputable fact is not a great leap from the previous situation, it's only when someone actually says can you prove it with real data can some neutral people seen what has happened.

Dec 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

FarleyR, you are winding yourself up about nothing. The public doesn't read Nature Geoscience. The readership were almost certainly aware of the Byrd station data and knew it was incomplete. They are quite capable of understanding the problems with the temperature reconstruction. As for your collective vendetta against the BBC, I'm not in the slightest bit interested.

Dec 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


"Evil flourishes when good men do nothing", asEdmund Burke is quoted as having said. It is our duty to make waves even if they are small seemingly insignificant ones here at grass roots level.

I work in a highly specialised branch of finance where my daily business involves hundreds of millions and often billions through the income statement. As you can imagine the burden of proof is always very heavy especially when concerning important concepts such as measurements and proof of completeness and accuracy. The methods the climate clowns employ here mean I wouldn't trust them to do anything that involved real numbers.

Dec 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

So coming from a branch that nearly destroyed the world economy, you are lecturing scientists about the reliability of their work. You've got some cheek, I'd say.

Dec 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


Your Christmas spirit has obviously run out already :)

Dec 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Registered CommenterDung


How very prole of you.
Just like not all climate scientists are subsidy-grabbing alarmist frauds, not all banks and bank employees are bonus-grabbing crooks. I'm a gamekeeper rather than a poacher, which is a role sadly lacking in the world of 'hide the decline'.

But I suppose if you can't play the arguments then play the man!

Dec 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

BB - As I have asked before...

What made you so bitter and twisted?

(Or perhaps it was a BB joke?)

Dec 26, 2012 at 7:57 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

As a scientist/engineer I would much rather certain, "very certain" people find other other professions to defend, the "certainty" from within has spread untold damage. I can assure you that the last thing we now need now is "support" from those that think they know better.

Dec 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Martin, no joke, no bitterness, no twist. FarleyR is part of an industry that has caused huge damage; he might say it was just a few bad eggs and he evidently dislikes being tarred by the same brush as them. Yet he is happy to tar the paper's authors, of whom he has no knowledge, with a similarly broad brush.

Dec 26, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

It seems to me, in my innocence, that a lot of people are missing the point — starting with the guys that wrote the paper, or at the very least who compiled the press release with the probable aim of simply ramping up the panic levels.
Ahead of AR5 no doubt.
The crucial point is that sea-level has been doing what it's been doing for .... well, as long as it's been doing it.
We know, or at least we think we know, what the rate of sea level rise has been and changing the temperature numbers doesn't change that.
So if, to take some very simplistic figures, up till now we have believed that the West Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by one degree and the sea level rise has been 2mm, but that now we are told that the warming has actually been two degrees for that same 2mm rise, my submission (m'lud) is that things are not worse than we thought but better than we thought.
And as any fule kno who has even sniffed at 'O'-level physics, there can be no increased melt (regardless of increased temperature) until that increase not only brings the temperature up to 0C but then takes it over that great hump between 0 and +. Experts in latent heat will know better than I do how long that would take.
As usual I stand to be corrected by those who know better than I do.
I doubt that anything in this paper points towards any sort of significant rise in global sea levels inside the next 100 years — at least!

Dec 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Seeing as how it was the financial industry which got us from the Dark Ages to 2008,we're currently in a step back caused by that same industry, albeit a large step back; and it's the climatologists who want to put us back in the Dark Ages it's a moot point as to what industry is doing the harm.

Dec 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

BB has his way. discussion of this junk paper has ceased. The dishonesty of Steig and Realclimate is no longer under scrutiny. The incompetence of climate scientists is no longer discussed.

Dec 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

When I first came across BH I was a little shocked that scientists like Mann and Jones could be labelled liars and cheats. Talking with MartinA and the Yin (two people who I find generally well balanced and agreeable) I was almost inclined to believe there might be something in it. But the more I read and found out the more I was aware that the whole sceptic attack is based solely upon accusation; not upon evidence but upon accusations of fraud, corruption, nest feathering, incompetence, and worse (see Delingpole recently). Now I'm not naive enough to think that scientific misconduct does not occur, but the depth and breadth of the alleged malfeasance is so staggering, I find it incredible that any sensible person could buy into it.

The response here to this new paper fits this pattern of condemnation well. The paper goes against sceptic orthodoxy and therefore the authors must be crooked, the data fraudulent, the publishers corrupt etc. It could just be another paper to be digested, accepted or rejected in the course of time. That is the sensible approach, as Mike points out. It should not matter to a true sceptic whether this paper is right or wrong. But you have to reject it as lies and incompetence because that is what you do. And that in itself labels you for what you are.

Diogenes, you haven't read the recent paper, and my guess is you haven't read Steig or even O'Donnell. But go ahead and "discuss" these issues further; I'm sure you've got a lot to contribute.

BTW if any of you are inclined to defend the finance "industry" because some of its members happen to be sceptic friends, then you've almost hit bottom. There's almost nowhere lower to go.

Martin, before you ask again, the answer is, "life".

Dec 27, 2012 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Complete and unmitigating trolling. Almost zero connection to the Nature paper. Shameless stuff.

Dec 27, 2012 at 3:02 AM | Registered Commentershub

Please keep to the discussion of the West Antarctic ice sheet. O/T comments will be cut and I would prefer to be doing something else at the moment

Dec 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Dec 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A


Relax sir because you earned it. Even with BB in less than festive mood the blog will be fine when you return :)

Dec 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Registered CommenterDung


This has been one of your worst performances and considering the general good spirits I really do not understand?
In Dec 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

You claim that fabricating evidence is fine as long as you tell people up front that you made it up.

In Dec 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

FarleyR points out that the front of the paper does not explain that it is fabricated:

A complete temperature record for Byrd Station in cental West Antarctica, spanning from 1958 to 2010, establishes West Antarctica as one of the fastest warming regions globally

In Dec 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

You again try to make the point that the public do not read the magazine and that those who do read it understand that it uses made up data. After this you start to criticise FarleyR because he is in the finance industry.

You have totally destroyed any hope I ever had that at some stage it might be possible to have a reasonable conversation with you. This is after a whole lot of people wished you all the best at Christmas.

Dec 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Registered CommenterDung

It doesn't really matter whether "the people who read the paper" understand that the data are not pure readings but interpolated assumptions or deductions or projections or simply plain guesswork.
The alleged results of the paper have been handed to the MSM on the basis that it is "worse than we thought", at which point the reaction of "the people who read the paper" became irrelevant and the important people became the people who read "the papers" (or watch the TV).
And as far as they were concerned the data were true and accurate readings. Which we know they were not. So they drew the conclusions that they were meant to draw. Which were not the conclusions they were entitled to draw from the paper itself.
Right or wrong, BB?

Dec 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson