Allow me to head off some of the accusations of “whitewash” that are certain to show up. The following link is to a post that shows how unlikely it is that a tier-one research university like Penn State would risk their reputation for any researcher, even one with the reputation of Michael Mann:
Hopefully this means that the myriad untrue and unfounded allegations against Dr. Mann will cease. I suspect this will not be the case, but it’s a shame that a scientists reputation has to be put on the line through blog wars rather than through the accomplishments he has achieved within the institutions of science (the peer-reviewed literature, professorship, scholarly conferences, etc).
After going through the document, I am curious as to why Dr. Lindzen appeared for questioning. He has no expertise in paleoclimatology and the issue of conflicted interests should have been known to the panel, unless a “skeptical voice” of someone who actually has credentials in the field was wanted for balance.
How nice to finally see the curtain come down on this plot-thin Kabuki theater. Doubtless we’ll see some attempts at revivals by rural amateur theatrical troupes but clearly this script was never ready for wide acceptance by discerning audiences.
Chris C – I’m sure that “skeptics” will claim that the panel was too afraid of interviewing McI or McK and so they went for someone who wasn’t an expert (Lindzen) to give the whitewash a high gloss. But as you say, the Ms don’t have credentials in the field, while Lindzen does.
Isn’t it about time that Mike’s accusers are named and charged with harassment.
It is all very well the University court finding him not guilty but the mud will stick, and the verdict claimed to be a whitewash.
It is time scientists realised that they are in a war. There are no rules in love and war. The sceptics know that. So long as they can get away with their lies and false accusations scot-free, then the battle for the future of the planet will be lost.
Yes, we have. Dr Mann’s success in proposing research and obtaining funding to conduct it clearly places Dr Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession. Dr Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career has been recognised as outstanding […] clearly, Dr Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of the accepted practices in his field.
I cannot overstate this: nobody should have to go through this inquisition for the simple act of doing their job and doing it, by all accounts, in a world-class manner. Congratulations seems the wrong word, somehow, so I express my hope that the conclusion of this final investigation grants Dr Mann and others the freedom to continue their vital research in the environment of privacy and professional respect that most of us take for granted.
My hat is off to you guys. You are at the top of your profession and even with what some of you are going or gone through you may have found that being a good citizen has more burdens than you thought. But keep going because the world needs you.
“I’m sure that “skeptics” will claim that the panel was too afraid of interviewing McI or McK and so they went for someone who wasn’t an expert (Lindzen) to give the whitewash a high gloss.”
They did appear to take input from McI. It also illustrates the frivolity and inanity of McIntyre’s qualms. He’s nothing more than a noise-maker. Sadly, there’s ample demand for that noise among part of the general public.
“The next question for Dr. Mann was posed as follows: “What is your reply to the email statements of Dr. McIntyre (a) that he had been referred to an incorrect version of your data at your FTP site (b) that this incorrect version was posted prior to his request and was not formulated expressly for him and (c) that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the incorrect version, now deleted, did not infect some of Mann’s and Rutherford’s other work?” Dr. Mann responded by stating that neither he, nor many of his colleagues, put much reliability in the various
accusations that Dr. McIntyre has made, and that, moreover, there is “no merit whatsoever to Mr. McIntyre’s claims here.” Specifically, Dr. Mann repeated that all data, as well as the source codes requested by Dr. McIntyre, were in fact made available to him. All data were listed on Dr. Mann’s FTP site in 2000, and the source codes were
made available to Dr. McIntyre about a year after his request was made, in spite of the fact that the National Science Foundation had ruled that scientists were not required to do so. The issue of an “incorrect version” of the data came about because Dr. McIntyre had
requested the data (which were already available on the FTP site) in spreadsheet format, and Dr. Rutherford, early on, had unintentionally sent an incorrectly formatted spreadsheet.”
#8 Welcome back Alastair, Here here! I second your statements, But who will investigate the accusers? By the way who are they? Let us know, let everyone know…
Professor Mann, the results of your hard work and colleagues show on the top of our planet by a new vast summer ocean of water. No accuser, nor arm chair tyrant contrarian can change that. All we have to do is show the world, and carry own with some action. I admire your courage and persistence! I am sorry for us all, incapable of foresight, mired by the lunacy of waiting for the abyss before we do something…
[Response: Thanks for the kind (and sobering) words Wayne. -mike]
1. Decision 4 appears to contradict the title of the report. The aim of the this band of extremist contrarians is to have an unending series of semi-judicial inquiries so that they can avoid having to confront the science.
We all hope for the end of this series but the chances are that there will be yet another stunt followed up another orchestrated campaign of libel.
2. How many people will even hear of this verdict? In the UK last Monday, Panorama preceded their very brief interview with Michael Mann by repeating some of the allegations against him. There was no mention of the initial exoneration of him or of the fact that this report was on its way. The programme ended by suggesting that the BBC will really be able to get to the bottom of this when the next CRU report comes out. They hardly bothered with the last Oxburgh one and have not yet (?? as far as I know) reported this one.
It would be interesting for pollsters to ask people about their knowledge of all of these inquiries. On second thoughts the propagandists may already have done this privately to check up on their own efficiency.
3. The closest this gets to the substantive science is the mention of the paper by Wahl and Ammann which Michael Mann showed to a colleague. When discussing this, it may be worth mentioning its relevance to the maths i.e that it helps to show Wegmann’s conclusions (in the Senate appointed inquiry) about Mann’s stats were misleading and that the UK’s version of the echo chamber including propagandists like Nigel Lawson, Melanie Philips and Christopher Monckton who go on and on about statistical fraud were always wrong.
By the way the BBC’s versions of the allegations often include the assertion that Jones and Mann have exaggerated future climate change. That would translate into large estimates for the climate sensitivity. I have never seen such high estimates. Have I missed something?
Not surprisingly, the comments at CA are almost all *unanimously* devoted to attacking the integrity and structure of the investigation committee now. There always needs to be a conspiracy or someone being dishonest in order for the blogosphere and the universe to exist in harmony. Though, I think it speaks volume when the only point Dr. Mann was really criticized on was distributing an unpublished document to close colleagues, yet even this was followed up with agreement for said papers authors concerning implicit permission for distribution. I agree with comment #12…”climategate is so last year”
Hopefully Dr. Mann can now rest easy and grace us with more posts at RealClimate.
Not guilty? Yep, good news. But for the record, I still think Mike is a little guilty when he (and the other authors) allowed the IPCC reports to put an unnecessary amount of emphasis on his temperature reconstructions.
This finding is exactly as I understood the issue except for one minor wrinkle. While I agree that publishing code in FORTRAN77 is a bit iffy, Matlab is hardly more accessible. It’s an expensive proprietary product. Nonetheless Dr Mann is not a computer scientist so this is an understandable misconception.
I particularly like the way they have paid attention to the change in standards over time of data and code publication. Many people forget that in 1998, it wasn’t practical to set up a free repository for a large data set. Even if you had the server to do it, only those in very well funded research groups could afford to download it. The fact that you can buy a terabyte of disk today for less than $100 and fast broadband to the home is commonplace are very recent developments in an industry that has sustained exponential price-performance improvement over decades.
For those with a computer science background, it’s been pretty obvious all along what this is: a denial of service attack.
Meanwhile AMSU-A near surface layer still shows 2010 as a breakout year, as I described in my blog in April.
Perhaps worried about the melting condition of his magnum opus examining decades-old emails and thus its premature consignment to remainders tables or heating plants, Pearce is currently promoting McLean’s ginned-up controversy over failure to be published, which is (un)hinged on the premise of a conspiracy.
So Mann isn’t merely a competent researcher. He is one of the leading climate scientists in this country, which of course is precisely why the anti-science crowd has gone after him, much as they have with other leading climate scientists, including Hansen and Santer.
And that’s one more reason why the major media outlets who smeared and defamed him owe him an apology and a retraction.
Alastair says: “It is time scientists realised that they are in a war. There are no rules in love and war.”
While there are no rules in love and war, there is strategy and there are tactics. Some bring victory and others defeat. The one weapon our opponents can never weild against us unless we allow it is the truth. Do not underestimate that weapon. It has never lost in the long term.
I’m wondering if impressionists have shot themselves in the foot with this whole thing by becoming so loudly hysterical about it, thereby making the anticlimax all the more obvious. Here’s the counterpoint to Mann as delivered in the NY Times:
The e-mail messages led climate-change skeptics to accuse mainstream researchers…
Like the earlier report from Penn State, the new one was assailed Thursday by advocacy groups skeptical of the case for human-induced climate change.
“Advocacy groups.” Pleasantly accurate and marginalizing language there.
The quoted advocacy group was the Competitive Enterprise Institute which is funding important exploration of stamp-licking by “Senior Fellow of Presort First Class Bulk Postage Research and Visiting Mail Room Clerk” Chris Horner.
But there are also some interesting details in the report, beyond the obvious rejection of specious accusations.
For instance, Richard Lindzen was interviewed (in the context of data sharing practices) and expressed shock and surprise when informed of Mann’s exoneration on previous charges of misconduct. We get a glimpse of accusations from McIntyre that frankly border on delusional, as well as insight into the very real concerns of Mann and other scientists that the “legitimacy of the peer review process had been subverted” at the journal Climate Research.
Indeed, this report points up once agian that greater scrutiny is needed – of the climate science critics and the complaisant media outlets that trumpet their egregiously false allegations.
Like everyone here, I had no doubt Dr. Mann would be found innocent. Still, I’m happy to hear about this last official finding in the proceedings.
But don’t think for an instant that this will slow down the deniers. Their only goal is not to “win” this ridiculous non-debate, but to prolong it, and therefore delay action on climate change, as long as possible. Some of them are in business tied to continued use of fossil fuels (ff businesses directly plus associated industries like the railroad, which earn a huge chunk of their revenue from hauling coal all over the US), and some are ideologically opposed to the kind of solutions needed to deal with this gigantic mess we’ve created.
I fully expect this situation to get even uglier and more bizarre.
“Do not underestimate that weapon. It has never lost in the long term.” – 26
How long did the Dark Era last?
America has entered into one of those periods. Hence it’s decline.
You can’t reason with the unreasonable, the unthinking, the faithful, or those who reconstruct their world view to justify their political ideology.
There are people who simply can not be reasoned with. American Conservatives – who are now comprise the largest block of voting Americans – are such a group.
It is most probable that the next president will be a 2 term Republican. If so expect another decade long delay in response to the unfolding global crisis.
Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 2 Jul 2010 @ 1:56 AM
“I fully expect this situation to get even uglier and more bizarre.” – 30
Of course it will. Continued denial of reality must, as more and more excuses must be found for the failure of the opposing ideology.
This is a PR war of well funded PR firms, and hundreds of millions of ideologically driven “Ditto Heads” against a few thousand scientists who seemingly have no interest to fight back against the ongoing campaigns of slander and disinformation.
Ultimately Science will win. But that won’t be for several decades at least.
Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 2 Jul 2010 @ 2:02 AM
Congratulations! But what a sad waste of time, tax money, and brainpower. I’m curious what steps Penn State has taken with regard to the real issue here, namely to protect one of its faculty from politically orchestrated smear campaigns and cyber-stalking, apart from clearing the victim of misconduct.
Well, Mann was lead author on TAR ch. 2, so hopefully he had some influence over what was written about paleo-reconstructions. Just to mention it, not to agree with anything else implied by Isotopious #20.
Oh, I am not sufficiently naive that I don’t thing there will be dark times, but dark times do not preclude the truth ultimately triumphing. And, if, indeed the majority of American voters are sufficiently deluded to reject truth, then certainly there will be dark times in the US. Dark times end. Perhaps not when we’d like or without great sacrifice, but they end.
As Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth, you’ll eventually be found out.”
Please correct the false impression left on your website. The item in the Texas A&M student newspaper was based on short interviews by phone. While there was no error in fact, the impression left is false. In the interview with me, I was referring to the temperature changes of our planet over the last century (about 0.7 deg C). The author switched abruptly to an interview with Professor Andrew Dessler who was not talking about the temperature over the LAST century but instead the IPCC prediction for temperature over the NEXT century (averaging over models about 3 deg C). I would not have known about this error except that my email box has been unusually loaded with hate mail today.
I’d hate to think about what sort of garbage lands in Dr. Mann’s in-box!!
[Response: Well, you can get a taste here. – mike]
[Response: thanks Edward. please just keep doing what you (and so many others here) are doing, that is: correcting the misinformation/disinformation about climate science where it appears, and helping out down in the trenches. It significantly leverages our own outreach efforts w/ RealClimate, and it really does make a huge difference! Thanks again for all your help :) – mike]
Ah, but the political right is trying to rehabilitate McCarthy, right, so it’s all good. Every day when I listen to the news, I think of H. L. Mencken saying, “Democracy is the theory that the little man knows what he wants…and deserves to get it good and hard.”
Like the others, I am happy to hear that you have been exonerated, Dr. Mann (no surprise there). I am also happy to see that the report highlights the extraordinary caliber of your contributions to climate science.
This entire climategate episode has been a disgusting exercise in McCarthyism. I can only imagine the stress this has been causing you (not to mention others like Phil Jones). I can also imagine you will be happy to be able to spend more time doing the science and not having to deal with inquiries.
[Response: Thanks very much for the kind words Charles. I hope that my colleagues in the UK, too, will be able to return to doing science full time soon. – mike]
Lo and behold, Marc Morano of Climate Depot has come through right on schedule, even comparing Mann to disgraced investment fraudster Bernie Madoff and calling Mann the “posterboy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber” . And, the denialosphere’s star scientist, MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen, has weighed in right behind him, echoing Morano’s “whitewash” characterization.
Can the rest of the denialosphere be far behind? Oh, the sad – and presumably unintentional – irony of it all.
This is the sort of thing you expect from Morano; after all that’s what he gets paid for. But the continual unsubstantiated and unfounded accusations against climate scientists from academics like Lindzen and Patrick Michaels are outrageous. You’d think there would be something about that in university codes of conduct, but maybe no one thought that profs would stoop so low.
And make sure to read about Lindzen’s past escapades – including coaching Anthony Watts on the finer points of rhetorical statistics.
Congratulations to Mick Mann and I hope you can get back to concentrating on what you do best : research. Shame about the waste of time and money, though.
I have seen some Denial sites concentrate on the bit about FORTRAN not able to be used on different computer systems – some self-proclaimed ‘computer experts’ are claiming that this cannot be the case because…they say so. Seems they will be concentrating on this aspect because they have nothing else. Sad but typical when you want to deny the facts.
The journal has now published a riposte from researchers whose emails were stolen from the University of East Anglia last November.
[links removed , italics added]
The phrase in italics is the latest media cliche adopted also by the BBC. It is irrelevant noise. If we filter out the gossip this is the outstanding question:
Have de Freitas et al managed to justify the use of their ‘filtering-trick’ exposed in the Foster et al paper?
If yes, please explain; I would read such an article. If not then why should they be allowed to sew confusion? Not everything is a matter of opinion. There are such things as errors. They have now failed to convince three referees. They also have the freedom to continue on the web. I followed the story about a year ago at Open Mind and think that this would be a good area to publicise and on which to make a stand. It may be a bit technical for a lay audience but there are many scientists,engineers ,mathematicians and school children who would follow the discussion and who might otherise think that the contrarians have had their ‘opinions’ censored.
Serious journals are not the same as newspaper blogs which can be followed by trolls who never give up.
Fred Pearce claims the role of special investigator. If so he must make it clear that he has read and fully understood the papers concerned. If not the New Scientist needs to appoint someone with the necessary skills to do it for him.
Yeah, the Contrarian reaction to the Fortran is annoying – both because it misses the big point, but also because it misses the small point: I remember _hating_ the process of upgrading to a new computer system because I had to rejigger all my scripts and makefiles and fortran libraries etc. I’m sure that if I had been a full-time programmer, instead of a full-time scientist with just enough programming know-how to get by, that my code would have been written in a more platform independent fashion (or that it would have been easier to transfer)…
but, now that I think about it, all the people I knew who _were_ programming experts used to spend hours and hours every weekend installing, re-installing, and generally tinkering with their Unix systems, so yes, I think that maybe it should be expected that code compiled on and for one specific system will need work to compile on another system. (and also, it won’t give exactly the same answer, either: different systems round differently and have slightly different subroutines… usually only matters for the nth digit, but when dealing with chaotic systems, a difference in nth digit rounding will quickly yield macroscopic differences too)
Just reflecting on the post & comments, it is perhaps not surprising that the vitriol–“scam,” “fraud,” and all sorts of dehumanizing names, we’ve all read this crap–that has routinely been directed toward climate scientists has had its effect. From this perspective, I suppose I ought not to be shocked that at least one person has felt the need to travel with bodyguards, at least on some occasions.
Yet I am shocked, and saddened. It shouldn’t ever come to that. May it come to no worse ever, and may it come to better–soon.
You hit the nail on the head. As a professional systems software developer for 25 years, these sorts of problems were endemic when moving a program to a new system, especially if the author of said program was not aware of the issues involved in porting a program to a new environment. This does not even begin to address the issues involved in porting numerical code in the days before floating point processing was standardized by the IEEE, a process which thanks to Intel really was not complete until the late 1990’s. And of course the problem involved with having the correct 3rd party libraries.
I can certainly see why Mann might have been reluctant to supply code to someone who was looking for accuracy right down to the last digit. It wasn’t a question of getting the code to run and produce reasonable results in this case, it was a question of having the code run and produce identical results in the face of someone who was hostile to you and your results and would grasp at any straw to try and discredit you.
Just as an aside, one of my jobs in a small shop was integrating changes from new drops of USL/AT&T System V code drops and building a new release for other engineers. Part of this process was using the old compiler to build the new compiler and then building the new compiler to build the new compiler. Only then was the output of the compiler considered stable enough to build the system. Compilers do make a difference, as does the choice of optimization and other switches — something which garden variety makefiles do not usually take into account (in fact, the only system which did this even passably well was the GNU automake stuff, and even that was occasionally less than perfect). Mann had a very good point here and I don’t see how self appointed experts quoting “The Devil’s DP Dictionary” (which by the way is pretty funny) takes away from that.
Congrats, Mike…not that the report comes as a big surprise. Hopefully you will be able to relax now and get back to your work – it looks like it’ll be an exciting year in terms of temperature and sea ice.
Keep up with all the great contributions you make to science and science communication, we are very much indebted to your hard work. Don’t let the desperate deniers get to you!
Well I’m glad for this result but really, the whole thing has been ridiculous. Whitewash? There is nothing to whitewash.
But watching the way some people reacted to the email attack, I decided that I have some advantages. Keep reading.
1. I was already very familiar with quotation abuse aka quote mining. See quotations and Misquotations and The Quote Mine Project. So my reaction to the email “revelations” was What? Is that all from 13 years of private emails that can even be made to sound bad out of context? These climate guys must be saints!
2. I was also familiar with Denialism as a defined term referring to a particular set of rhetorical tactics. If you are not technically familiar with the term, take the time to learn now. Read the Denialists’ Deck of Cards and also this recent discussion. Denialism does not require any one psychological state, and does not require explicitly denying something. It is a set of tactics.
“I’ve written some awful emails.”
Good! I’m glad to hear it! What I hope for is the release of a few hundred emails saying “So and so is being an idiot again, and here’s why.” The email thieves must already have seen them. Let the rest of us in on the fun.
Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Jul 2010 @ 10:16 PM
It’s what I get for having an eidetic memory and being a fan of quotable authors–Twain, Mencken, Dorothy Parker, Wilde” – 50
Here is a quote for you…
“We need to manufacture an crisis in order to assure that there are no alternatives to a smaller government.” – Jeb Bush – Imprimis magazine 1995
“You hit the nail on the head. As a professional systems software developer for 25 years, these sorts of problems were endemic when moving a program to a new system, especially if the author of said program was not aware of the issues involved in porting a program to a new environment. This does not even begin to address the issues involved in porting numerical code in the days before floating point processing was standardized by the IEEE, a process which thanks to Intel really was not complete until the late 1990’s. And of course the problem involved with having the correct 3rd party libraries.”
Yes, indeed. Practical portability has made huge strides in the last couple of decades (and the more or less universal adoption of the IEEE floating point standard has had a lot to do with this for numerical computing).
But it goes beyond that. Modern open source software comes with an auto configuration script which probes the hardware/software platform and configs the compiler commands with the resultant information, but this is quite recent, and generating such config files is a bit of a PITA. I’d be amazed if a scientific group like Mann’s attempted to provide the kind of portability that a team writing some generalized software utility would do, even today, with modern tools. And given the legacy nature of their home-brewed code, if it were truly portable as the Fortran 77 worshippers claim it should be … they should be admitted to some kind of software engineering hall of fame, regardless of the scientific merit of the code.
This is the attack vector to use against the Denialists. Expose them as the Lying Traitors they are.
Economists have sought fit to insinuate themselves into the Climate Debate. It is long past due that scientists insinuate themselves into the Economic debate.
I remember an article in the 1979 issue of Scientific American (when it was a real science magazine), in which Martin Gardner took supply side economics to task. It was a powerful critique, but didn’t reach a wide enough audience.
I never thought that Mike had anything to worry about. I was actually quite surprised that university administrators would give academic weight to spurilous allegations from the popular press, and I truly hope that this does not become a trend. This is precisely what tenure is supposed to protect us from.
RE: denial, truth, etc…
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that relates…a quote from Arthur Schopenhauer: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
As for the amount of time(or pain and suffering of proponents like Dr Mann)it takes to get from stage two to stage three, hmmmm…
Don: I think you are misinterpreting this and perhaps underestimating the PSU administration. [I still know some Deans, and talk to people there regularly.]
They are not dummies, and PSU (like most good schools) has regular procedures to follow. Think some more about what you’d want a university to do…
Veidicar Decarian: “No government” would leave the corporations in charge. The answer is that corporations are quasi-governments. As is obvious from the BP oil volcano and the GW crisis, governmental regulations are required to maintain civilization.
Veidicar Decarian (74), What on earth does a push for smaller government have to do with climatology? For that matter how does Krugman mocking that concept enhance ACC? Krugman’s climatology credentials (peer reviewed papers e.g.) are what exactly? I’m afraid you will drown in your own foam before you get anywhere near Norquist’s bathtub!
If you are simply trying to say climate scientists ought to get more involved in politics and economisc per recent RC threads, I would agree (though not all — some are not very good at it.) But it’s hard to see the light through all of the fire, smoke and brimstone.
Long time lurker. Thank you all for what you do. Even the Canutes (my name for “climate sceptics”) do us all a service by planting their feet in the sand here. You guys wash over them every time, while educating and informing to boot. Congratulating Dr. Mann seems rather redundant. While we’re at it here’s a medal for crossing the street. Unfortunately I expect the harrassment will continue. I think the best solution might be a team of aggressive lawyers to do for science what the ACLU does for civil liberties. In any event thanks again. I can’t imagine I’ll have more to say but please keep up the good work.
Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 3 Jul 2010 @ 1:57 PM
Is there an equivelant of something like Richard Alleys “The biggest control knob” presentation to the AGU for the past 1000 years reconstructions? I have found things like that, Peter Sinclares videos and Potholer 54s youtube videos very usefull when debating climate online.
I am looking for something that covers what proxies are used, how the reconstructions are put together and what the error bars and things like that are?
Why did the review besmirch the fine reputation of FORTRAN-77 for portability?
Or does all the scientific fortran-77 on the web only work in the hands of its myriad of authors, and on only their own machines?
[Response: It takes substantial effort to maintain portability of fortran code across different compilers and platforms, and without that effort, it probably isn’t instantly portable. The main issue is how strictly the compiler you use sticks to the standard – many have obvious extensions, which are nontheless not universally supported. Some uses of library functions – like NAG for instance – are proprietry and would need to be installed on each new platform. Plus, if it is important to you, the code will not be bitwise identical. Your point? – gavin]
What on earth does a push for smaller government have to do with climatology?
Well may you ask. A lot of people confuse the two issues.
Some guy called Willis Eschenbach argues that IPCC “often” resorts to “propaganda” from Greenpeace and the WWF (World Wrestling Federation? No.) citing statistics from NoConsenus, self-appointed “auditors” of the IPCC who have neurotically sifted through all 18,000 cites in the IPCC 2007 synthesis looking for Communists, closet Jeffersonians, etc.
Although it turns out after a little calculation that “often” in Eschenbach’s mind equates to something like 11/100ths of 1%, what I found really interesting were the supplementary materials at “NoConsensus”, where we may read that people with environmental concerns are like murderous Stalinists, asking questions will be illegal in the future, politicians who don’t bow down to the IPCC will be jailed. The list goes on. Turns– out according to NoConsensus– the IPCC is the smiling public face of Totalitarian Rule, an organization that will bring us under the boot heel of faceless UN bureaucrats who will never rest until “free speech and other democratic rights have disappeared.”
Just a wee bit conflation of climate science and politics, like the “old” Luntz except with a case of rabies progressed 45 days.
This must have been a serious distraction to Michael Mann’s work and even though he knew he was innocent still a real worry.
I keep on seeing truth will out, but will it out in time or will Kurt Vonnegut be right. You here at Real Climate will be able to rest easy, despite heavy work loads you have taken time to inform us all.
I think one can disagree about the role and size of government and still agree that civilization should be preserved and policy should be driven by good science. If we pit ourselves against all conservatives, we will lose. If they insist on allying themselves with the anti-reality faction that now dominates much of their party, we will all lose.
What is needed is to come together and agree on intelligent policy driven by evidence-based science and appropriate risk assessment. We know what needs to be done. The difficulty lies in each side wanting to vanquish the other in the process.
Another form of attack is to say “We did it first and those Climate scientists screwed up royally way back then.” Meaning that climate scientists’ predictions are no better after 40 years of improvement. http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/07/nixon-was-told-sea-level-would-rise-by.html#more
is a confabulation about Nixon and GW. I remember the Nixon administration well, and there was no news about GW then. I was working for the US government then. Does anybody remember anything I don’t about Nixon administration climate science? I did attend the first Earth Day.
82 Rod B: By “smaller government” they mean “no regulations on whatever crime I want to be legal.” You have to decode.
“As is obvious from the BP oil volcano and the GW crisis, governmental regulations are required to maintain civilization.” – 81
To a Libertarian, what do you think the word “free” in “free market” means?
Don’t expect to be able to reason with the ideologically driven. They will simply reject logic.
Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 4 Jul 2010 @ 1:02 AM
“If we pit ourselves against all conservatives, we will lose.” – 86
IF that is what you think then you have already lost with ZERO potential to win.
You might as well quit complaining and resign yourself to the loss.
Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 4 Jul 2010 @ 1:06 AM
Edward #87, dunno about Nixon, but in the mid-1970’s there was some scientific speculation about a sudden collapse of West Antarctica that crossed news tresholds. This would be in the ball park for ten feet.
This Moynihan memo looks weird. His doubling sensitivity would be some ten degrees centigrade… perhaps a naive inversion of the glacial/interglacial relationship? But of course he wasn’t a scientist.
So Mann is completely cleared of any research misconduct… But who will actually know about it? People who read RealClimate and Deltoid, and those who read Climate Audit (who will be told it was all part of the global conspiracy anyway).
But the impact of the media coverage surrounding the CRU hack went way beyond people who read climate science and sceptic blogs, the allegations of fraud were plastered all over front pages of mainstream newspapers. Now that those allegations have been investigated and (again) are shown to be baseless do we see equally prominent pieces in those publications stating that they were wrong and there was no scandal? Of course not.
> Moynihan, Nixon Library news
And Moynihan got this reply from the Office of Technology Assessment: http://nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/documents/jul10/55.pdf
It’s a useful reminder, as these letters were only recently released, that much history is hidden for a long time. Note the use of ‘silent majority’ (a term that Nixon’s team found very useful in asserting support from anyone who didn’t disagree).
I did not see anything in the CRU files that suggested any kind of scientific wrong-doing. I remember that some people were taking issue with words like trick, but it was all nonsense.
Although Mann was cleared by PSU, I don’t think anything will change. Global warming is not about science in the minds of most skeptics; instead, I think it is a mixture of politics and greed. To them, this report will be another example of a conspiracy to raise taxes.
Re #100 – Things will change eventually. In the USA there is great reticence amongst the more libertarian minded economically via the political process of lobbying and disinformation institutes and individuals to attempt to prevent action on ACC/AGW. Some of the media alos have a libertarian right wing intention and that means only stories on denying ACC/AGW mainly. Clearing Michael Mann of any wrongdoing (like we did not know that anyway)is very good news and one that means that the next IPCC report in 2012 should turn the tide finally. It has to!
Personally I find it quite amazing that staff running this website (all who are heavily peer reviewed in climate science or a related subject and both) are actually conversing in public with the public and even so called skeptics post here and mainly get a response and often many replies. Thats pretty special to me.
The main push now is in the seminal prediction of ACC/AGW from CGMs in the 1990s (I have read) that speaks of amplifications warming effects in the northern latitudes. The effects of which are in the receeding Arctic summer sea ice, its thickness (fy/my) and its overall volume which changes the albedo feedback, might cause methane release via permaforst melt to be increased which is another feedback and change the AO perhaps (guesswork here) that might drag more ice out of the arctic (feedback) as well as effects on the vegetation in the Arctic etc. All known feedbacks to amplify and not dampen the Arctic warming.
The present evidence is quite compelling that this is indeed hapenning.
Dr. Phil Jones accused of wrongdoing resulted in 64,700 hits in the first two weeks after the story broke.
Dr. Michael Mann accused of wrongdoing resulted in 39,000 hits in the first two weeks after the story broke.
When Dr. Jones was exonerated there were only 22,700 hits in the first two weeks after exoneration.
When Dr. Mann was exonerated there were only 17,700 hits in the first two weeks after exoneration.
Dr. Phil Jones accused of wrongdoing resulted in 263 headlines in the first 42 days after the story broke.
Dr. Michael Mann accused of wrongdoing resulted in 143 headlines in the first 42 days after the story broke.
When Dr. Jones was exonerated there were only 24 headlines in the first 19 days after exoneration.
When Dr. Mann was exonerated there were only 27 headlines in the first 25 days after exoneration.
To see the charts and more details go to the blog post. Truly sad how this whole thing panned out but at least Drs. Mann and Jones can continue doing the science.
The sign of a true pioneer is the number of arrows in his/her back
“The main push now is in the seminal prediction of ACC/AGW from CGMs in the 1990s (I have read) that speaks of amplifications warming effects in the northern latitudes.” pete best — 4 July 2010 @ 1:44 PM
I think you mean the 1890s –
Svante Arrhenius “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” (excerpts) Philosophical Magazine 41, 237-276 (1896)
“A glance at this Table shows that the influence is nearly the same over the whole earth. The influence has a minimum near the equator, and increases from this to a flat maximum that lies the further from the equator the higher the quantity of carbonic acid in the air. For K=0.67 the maximum effect lies about the 40th parallel, for K=1.5 on the 50th, for K=2 on the 60th, and for higher K-values above the 70th parallel. The influence is in general greater in the winter than in the summer, except in the case of the parts that lie between the maximum and the pole. The influence will also be greater the higher the value of ν, that is in general somewhat greater for land than for ocean. On account of the nebulosity of the Southern hemisphere, the effect will be less there than in the Northern hemisphere. An increase in the quantity of carbonic acid will of course diminish the difference in temperature between day and night. A very important secondary elevation of the effect will be produced in those places that alter their albedo by the extension or regression of the snow-covering (see p. 257 [omitted from this excerpt–CJG]), and this secondary effect will probably remove the maximum effect from lower parallels to the neighbourhood of the poles.”
I don’t understand the continued disparagement of FORTRAN, particularly in the light of the alternatives (perl/python/ruby). Compiling with SunStudio/xlf/fort90 and then with gfortran catches just about all incompatabilities and possible problems. Xemacs, ftnchek and a little time is all that is really necessary to move a FORTRAN program between architectures. As for bitwise comparisons: How can a program compiled on a Sun Ultrasparc-IV+ be bitwise comparable to a SGI R10K? The demand for a bitwise identical binary is carnard.
[Response: No one is disparaging fortran, I use it all the time. But like all languages it is neither perfect, nor useless. Discussions that assume either extreme are not particularly interesting. -gavin]
And thats not all. He got the logarithmic relationship between concentration and forcing, and the rough law that the relative humidity should be independent of temperature thus producing positive feedback. I think he also stood his ground when he was challenged by Angstrom’s son (that could have been obstinacy but is sometimes a sign of superior judgement).
To that you have to add the ground breaking physical chemistry for which he got one of the first Nobel prizes. (I added that ‘irrelevance’ because some deniers have tried running the line that he was an obscure nonentity!).
Re: 111 I don’t know what RC thinks of this tendentious crap from ‘Fact-free’ Fred Pearce, but it had me spitting my muesli out at breakfast this morning. Judith Curry is presented, straight-facedly as “the climate scientist most associated with efforts to reconcile warring factions…” and then quotes her as saying “the idea of IPCC scientists as self-appointed oracles, enhanced by the Nobel Prize is now in tatters.” Torch those straw-men Judy, baby, you great reconciler, you… While, Roger Pielke Jr, Hans von Storch and Jerome Ravetz are given a free-run as ‘honest brokers’. Apparently the blogosphere are the heroes here, and we should applaud the rise of the “citizen scientist”. That would the likes of Anthony Watts, Steve Milloy and “Lord” Monckton then… Jeeezuus… I gave the Guardian another chance after Pearce’s initial twisted Climategate nonsense last year, but it’s not getting another one after putting this egregious crap on the front page.
No, Geoff Wexler, just for the record , it was pointed out that Arrhenius’ climate science was pretty much pooh-poohed, ignored and a near obscure nonentity at the time. Arrhenius himself, as a scientist, certainly was NOT an obscure nonentity.
#112 Bill read #85 and #109. Unfortunately Damien has exactly the wrong solution (python)
Comment by yourmommycalled — 5 Jul 2010 @ 10:26 AM
Since I have been and remain critical I must point out that:
Roger Harrabin and Richard Black’s latest offerings on the BBC web site have been more reliable than Fred Pearce’s in the Guardian. But there is news that the former web site is in line for cuts.
For some interesting further reading:
Ge, Q.-S., J.Y. Zheng, Z.-X. Hao, X.-M. Shao, W.-C. Wang, and J. Luterbacher. 2010. Temperature variation through 2000 years in China: An uncertainty analysis of reconstruction and regional difference. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L03703, doi:10.1029/2009GL041281.
Perhaps the committee should have done a little more of its own research.
Barry Woods asks: I wonder what RealClimate’s position/response to this front page Guardian article (Fred Pearce) is.
Pearce clearly wants us to view him as a journalistic hero, and he trots out the usual suspects to back him up: Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr. He’s declaring victory for denialists (also, buy his book).
Rod B #114: surely that would be why in Asimov’s “intelligent man’s guide to science” from 1960, Arrhenius’s greenhouse work is extensively presented? I read it in Dutch translation as a schoolkid. Obscure my foot.
Re #113, this probablu belongs more at climate progress rather than here. Of course RC could comment on that article but its not really about the science, more its reporting and false theories with no peer reviewed backup.
1) For integer-only program, it is quite plausible to insist on bit-identical output.
2) For floating-point programs, it is possible, but only with great expense, far beyond what makes sense for research efforts. Here are two related examples:
3) Most of he readers use computers whose CPUs were designed with the SPEC CPU benchmarks as input. This has been going on for 20+ years, and SPEC has a fairly extensive set of run rules, which shows what even that takes…. years of effort by software engineers working for profit-making companies.
Various posts in the past have sometimes expressed surprise that compiler options could make a serious difference … but this is all too possible when dealing with high-optimizing compilers that rearrange floating-point computations. For some programs, it is a huge win if you can get away with single precision (32-it); at the other extreme, for some codes, people really wanted quad (128-bit).
From the very first SPEC benchmarks we did in 1989, the output of each benchmark had to be validated by comparison with known “good” output:
a) Integer-only codes: bit-for-bit.
Computer integers are actually integers.
b)_ Floating-point codes: comparison with “fuzz”, i.e., allowing for the low bits to be different.
Computer floating point numbers are *not* real numbers.
Many floating point codes give perfectly *useful* results across a wide range of systems, but with slight differences. With IEEE floating point, it’s better than the days when every product line had slightly different floating point, but some people still have to deal with that.
4) As an example of spending huge efforts to get *identical* results across a wide range of systems, SAS Institute has long had immense software architecture and Q/A efforts to do that, including across platforms like IBM S/360 and VAX, neither of whose floating-point is IEEE. Doing this right involves having complete control of the math libraries, for example, in some cases wanting source. To be willing to do a port, they wouldn’t use dynamic-linked math libraries, because the vendor *might change* them after they’d done their validation. Since they released each new product mroe or less at the same time across platforms, they had a massive Q/A team.
I have never seen research efforts anywhere that could possibly do the SAS approach, and even the SPEC approach is likely hard to justify.
You remind me of a UK listener, in this case a contrarian, who phoned up BBC Radio 4 to ‘contradict’ someone who had just been speaking about climate on the programme, “Any Questions”. He proceeded to read out a load of well known history which did not in fact contradict the speaker. But neither the listener nor the presenter appeared to realise the absurdity and irrelevance of it.
Not quite harmless, because the rest of the numerous listeners might have been persuaded by this rhetorical trick into accepting another kind of agenda i.e. if it could be suggested (by trickery if necessary) that the original speaker was rather ignorant, then his conclusions could not be trusted.
Alistair, thanks for posting this;
“It is time scientists realised that they are in a war. There are no rules in love and war. The sceptics know that. So long as they can get away with their lies and false accusations scot-free, then the battle for the future of the planet will be lost.”
Comment by Alastair McDonald — 1 July 2010 @ 3:51 PM
I’m posting this one far & wide, on blogs of all sorts, to show just how crazy and power-hungry you fools are. Scientists work for humanity, not the other way around.
As a highly-recognizedand if you don’t have access to different environments, it is environmental scientist, I must warm RC against encouraging this type of incendiary, hate-filled bile. Your positions in society are not nearly as secure as you seem to think they are. We are in an environmental emergency, but you don’t seem to understand that you only have the powers that society gives to you.
> Unfortunately Damien has exactly the wrong solution (python)
Not my intended point, but my original comment was badly written :)
My point was that someone, somewhere, for some motivation of their own has re-written a bunch of FORTRAN code (GISTEMP) from the original papers themselves in Python (of all languages!) and gotten the same outcome.
Result: Let researchers use whatever they’re comfortable with. It’s what’s in the paper that counts and whether the description of the methodology if sufficient to repeat the results found in that paper.
Ray, you say in #26, that, “The one weapon our opponents can never weild (sic) against us unless we allow it is the truth.” Do you mean that you must fight hard to prevent your opponents from telling the truth? Just checking.
Rod, can’t agree with you @ #114 (though Martin V. has probably made the point more forcefully already.)
Arrhenius’s climate science was, as far as I can judge, a subject of fairly lively debate for the better part of a decade–“On The Influence Of Carbonic Acid. . .” came out in 1896, and it was in 1908 that he presented “Worlds In The Making.” Note that it was intended for a mass audience, and that German, French and English translations of the Swedish original were published (I’m not sure about other languages, but probably others, too.)
On the more scientific side, his defence of CO2 theory was in Annalen der physik in ’01 (in two parts.)
While the periodicity of the Ice Ages and Angstrom’s criticisms lead the balance of opinion to downgrade the likelihood of Arrhenius’s theories being correct–ie., Arrhenius “lost” the debate in the immediate context–those theories were not forgotten or ignored throughout the following years. Those theories always had to be mentioned under the heading of “other notable theories.”
Rod B #130, very true, and I expected you to bring that up ;-)
My point is that obscure by 1898 would mean forgotten by 1960 — unless something had happened inbetween to prevent oblivion. Nothing that I am aware of: detectable greenhouse warming was still decades in the future. The only change I can think of that mattered was IR remote sensing developing to the point of essentially vindicating Arrhenius’ theory; but that didn’t happen until after WWII.
Re #111 Barry Woods, yes I am also wondering why, and if, RC still wants to be a part of the Guardian Environment Network after all this. I mean, it gives the Guardian free respectability — or should I say, the appearance of respectability — in return for what? Frankly, all the membership does is make RC look ridiculous. Time for consequences?
John Mashey (#122) is on the mark for floating point numbers (For floating-point programs, it is possible, but only with great expense, far beyond what makes sense for research efforts.) For integers it is, shall we say difficult, to get a little-endian integer to match BIT-FOR-BIT with a big-endian integer. You can of courses “call swab”, use HDF or netcdf, but that would only provide fodder for the denialist crowd who already think there is BFM ivolved.
Comment by yourmommycalled — 6 Jul 2010 @ 10:45 AM
There is some parallel with Wegener & Continental Drift, as I noted here.,
“Case 3: multiple hypotheses arise and persist for some time, gathering support, being modified, sometimes combining, or failing to accumulate evidence. An issue can stay open decades, and then quickly be resolved if the right new data or explanation appears.
Example:Geologists argued fiercely for many decades over Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift, but when enough new kinds of data appeared following World War II, most geologists quickly accepted it.”
and then in that thread:
“2) But it changed, after WW II, when new kinds of data arrived, as Naomi writes (p.308):
“A new era in geology was ushered in not by the elucidation of the ultimate cause of crustal motions, not even by the mechanism by which they occur, but by the availability of a new kind of evidence.”
3) It’s a good illustration of one flavor of paradigm shift, in this case, where plausible hypotheses were identified early, but evidence just didn’t get strong enough for a long time, but when new kinds of evidence popped up, the discipline pretty much changed views in a decade.
But indeed, the evidence for AGW is (by now) immensely stronger than the evidence for continental drift in 1920. After all, Arrhenius was talking about Greenhouse Effect over 100 years ago, and that wasn’t accepted instantly either :-)”
Ron@128, What I mean is that we must always be the first to tell the truth. Our opponents have shown no propensity to tell the truth to dat, but if they started, I would surely welcome it. It can only help the side that cleaves most closely to the evidence.
re: #135 (this is all OT, but since we’re here)
I’m one of the designers of the MIPS architecture, one of the very few that could be run in Big-Endian or Little-Endian mode, and I managed the operating systems work to deal with the various combinations, so I am slightly familiar with the issues.
SPEC checks the ASCII output of programs, which for pure-integer programs *better* be bit-for-bit compatible, and no one ever had trouble doing that, unless there were compiler bugs.
Programs may keep purely-intermediate datasets and internal data in whatever form they like, but if several different CPU types need to read/write those datasets, they have to match, bit-for-bit, and *they do.* An obvious case is networking, but big collections of shared network data have the same issue.
Thanks Ray, and I agree when you say, “It can only help the side that cleaves most closely to the evidence.” May I offer the further suggestion that it can certainly help all of us (partisans and non-partisans alike)if both sides concentrate on discovering and sticking to the evidence.
Re 136: The difference for AGW (compared with continental drift) is the amount of money at stake. Fossil fuel companies have a huge financial interest in keeping AGW from general acceptance. That will continue even after the worst effects of AGW become obvious. Why? The potential financial liability for those effects. The denial machine will go on, and on, and on… There will alwys be other explanations that sound plausible to the general public. Also, it will always be the case that one of the most effective ways to deny the science is to discredit the scientists.
Congratulations, Mike, for the overdue satisfactory conclusion of this affair, but it probably is not the end of this sort of thing. The inherent imbalance of evidence versus sound-bite falsehoods makes it all too easy to mount such attacks, especially with media no longer capable of or interested in exploring these issues in depth.
However, stick to the evidence and believe that, somehow, the truth will win out in the end. It is still the only way. And God bless you, Phil Jones, Jim Hansen, and so many other here at RC, for the courage to do so.
CRS, somehow methinks that the sorts of sites where you will be posting, all you will accomplish is feeding already healthy deluded paranoia–much like your own.
Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 July 2010 @ 7:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been at this game longer than many of you (biomethane mitigation at University of Illinois, 1979). I certainly share your concerns about warming, although oceanic acidification is far more immediate and likely to impact humanity before the deleterious effects of warming take place. I rarely see this discussed on sites such as RC, and my associates at Scripps Institution share my frustration.
This “us against everybody else” attitude serves all of us poorly. Declaring “war” against skeptics is very unprofessional and unnecessary. Not all skeptics are lay people nor poorly trained in these sciences. Our job is to sell the public on vast and painful changes that need to be made.
Mine is not paranoia, but a realistic reading of how public opinion has changed dramatically. We need technological and political fixes for mitigation and control, and the public must be engaged and sold on the many sacrifices this will entail. This blog is widely viewed as a legitimate forum for thought of like-minded individuals skilled in the sciences, so please know that your words here carry much weight.
Battle for the future of the planet? A lofty cause, but one likely to be lost unless we change tactics. Despite the various reports of the CRU emails, the public remains highly skeptical not only of the facts and science, but now of the scientists themselves. The recent posting on RC about how to explain this to the public is a very good first step, but the lay public is very confused, and the bickering back & forth doesn’t help.
Scientists do not live in a vacuum, and we work to serve humanity. If humanity doesn’t listen, it’s our failing, not theirs. Learn to communicate to your peers and stakeholders, otherwise we will lose the tiny bit of progress we have already accomplished. Peace.
Unfortunately, the BBC article continues the media’s unfortunate tradition of giving airtime to incompetent hacks (Benny Peiser).
The excerpt shown below, however, is revealing. The CRU investigators obviously became quite disgusted with the CRU’s critics, and they let it be known very clearly (without naming names).
We find that CRU was not in a position to withhold access to such data or tamper with it,” it says.
“We demonstrated that any independent researcher can download station data directly from primary sources and undertake their own temperature trend analysis”.
Writing computer code to process the data “took less than two days and produced results similar to other independent analyses. No information from CRU was needed to do this”.
Sir Muir commented: “So we conclude that the argument that CRU has something to hide does not stand up”.
Asked whether it would be reasonable to conclude that anyone claiming instrumental records were unavailable or vital code missing was incompetent, another panel member, Professor Peter Clarke from Edinburgh University, said: “It’s very clear that anyone who’d be competent enough to analyse the data would know where to find it.
“It’s also clear that anyone competent could perform their own analysis without let or hindrance.”
Well, CNN’s demoted the story and while the article title hasn’t changed, the link text on the website to take you to the story now reads: “Climategate Scientists mostly cleared”. So now what all the deniers will grab and hang onto is the word “mostly”. Thanks, CNN.
#138 John we are now getting into the arcania of formats. Obviously if you output your results in ASCII the results will be bit for bit compatible, but how often do you see a WRF/CCM3/ELDORA/SPOL/DRAS/ECMWF data set written in ASCII? Doppler radar UF and DORADE format files are written with header that allows the user to determine the endian-ness of the data. Hence any code written to read a UF/DORADE/DRAS format file MUST read the header to determine what the endian-ness of the 32-bit int’s is. Reading a 32bit int written on a little-endian machine on a big-endian machine will give you garbage. The same problem occurred with MM5. Researchers ran the model on one endian-ness machine and tried to analyze the results on a different endian machine much to their frustration. Hence a raft of utility programs to convert endian-ness. WRF solved the problem by using NETCDF which self-described the endian-ness and automagically does the conversions. Back in the early 80’s when we were creating the UNIDATA program, then endian problem was significantly worse as DEC/SUN/IBM/SGI were commonly used machines by members of UNIDATA, but they all had different endian-ness, but none the less had to exchange data. NETCDF was the solution. NOAA solved the problem with the GRIB format, which again is self descibing and allows easy conversions
Comment by yourmommycalled — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:21 AM
RC gets a shout-out in this article:
“So what’s the answer? Well, at the very least climate scientists need to be more upfront with the public about their methods, data and conclusions. Science—especially when you’re dealing with an issue as vital to the future of the planet as global warming—has to be done in the open now, transparently. (Blogs like the great RealClimate, which feature actual climate researchers talking to the public, are a step in the right direction.)”
I just listened to Dr. Lee, the chemistry Nobel prize winner speak at the International Sociology Conference in Gotoborg, Sweden. He doesn’t think it is a hoax. He is greatly concerned. I suggest that the skeptics try to counter the evidence in Book 1 of the free ebook series “In Search of Utopia” (http://andgulliverreturns.info) with heavy evidence of their own. Doubting and spouting the words of the oil companies does not prove that warming is a hoax. By the way, this is the warmet year on record.