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The Last Word for Now…

Filed under: — group @ 25 February 2005

Of possible interest to our readers, there was an interview yesterday on the BBC (“Today Programme”) regarding the supposed controversy about the “Hockey Stick”: A climate scientist Professor Michael Mann suggests global warming is caused by mankind (mp3 file). Also available on the BBC website is the real audio file of the interview.

How rapid-response works

Filed under: — group @ 24 February 2005

Nature this week published a letter from Dr. Huang (U. Mich) highlighting how this ‘brave new world’ of science blogging works. He writes:

I was concerned to find that … [a figure] included an outdated and erroneous reconstruction of borehole data. … In my view, the website should have used a later version … To be fair, the authors of the website added a correction after I drew their attention to this.

In an early post, we used a figure that contained a minor error regarding how a borehole temperature reconstruction had been scaled. This mistake had been properly corrected in the literature, and so this was indeed an oversight on our part. Dr Huang was kind enough to remind us of this and we amended the caption immediately to point this out and direct readers to the correction should they be interested. Since this mistake was not central to the point being made in the post, we left the original figure in place.

The Internet is nothing if not flexible, and unlike in journals where mistakes can persist an awfully long time, we are able to correct such problems very quickly. In this respect, Dr. Huang’s letter seems to indicate that things are actually working quite well here.

We would like to take this opportunity to re-iterate our commitment to getting the science right, and as importantly, getting it right in real-time. We welcome all corrections or clarifications and we will endeavour to fix any errors, great or small, as quickly as we can.


Why looking for global warming in the oceans is a good idea

Filed under: — gavin @ 23 February 2005 - (Français)

A lot of press and commentary came out this week concerning a presentation and press release from Tim Barnett and Scripps colleagues presenting at the AAAS meeting (The Independent, John Fleck ,(and again) David Appell…etc). Why did this get so much attention given that there is no actual paper yet?

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Dummies guide to the latest “Hockey Stick” controversy

Filed under: — gavin @ 18 February 2005 - (Français)

by Gavin Schmidt and Caspar Amman

Due to popular demand, we have put together a ‘dummies guide’ which tries to describe what the actual issues are in the latest controversy, in language even our parents might understand. A pdf version is also available. More technical descriptions of the issues can be seen here and here.

This guide is in two parts, the first deals with the background to the technical issues raised by McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) (MM05), while the second part discusses the application of this to the original Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) (MBH98) reconstruction. The wider climate science context is discussed here, and the relationship to other recent reconstructions (the ‘Hockey Team’) can be seen here.

NB. All the data that were used in MBH98 are freely available for download at (and also as supplementary data at Nature) along with a thorough description of the algorithm.

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People in, people out

Filed under: — gavin @ 18 February 2005

This is just to note some personnel changes at RealClimate. Amy Clement is unfortunately too overcommitted to be able to participate as much as she would like, and so is dropping out of the team. She states: “I fully support what the contributors of RealClimate are doing. It is a real service to both the community of climate scientists and to the general public”. To balance that, we welcome aboard paleoceanographer Thibault de Garidel (Rutgers) , who some francophiles may have noticed has been helping organise the French translations of some of the posts. And of course, if there are any other scientists out there who’d like to contribute, we would love to hear from you.