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Daily Mangle

Filed under: — group @ 15 February 2010

Yesterday, the Daily Mail of the UK published a predictably inaccurate article entitled “Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995″.

The title itself is a distortion of what Jones actually said in an interview with the BBC. What Jones actually said is that, while the globe has nominally warmed since 1995, it is difficult to establish the statistical significance of that warming given the short nature of the time interval (1995-present) involved. The warming trend consequently doesn’t quite achieve statistical significance. But it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a time interval as short as 15 years–a point we have made countless times at RealClimate. It is also worth noting that the CRU record indicates slightly less warming than other global temperature estimates such as the GISS record.

The article also incorrectly equates instrumental surface temperature data that Jones and CRU have assembled to estimate the modern surface temperature trends with paleoclimate data used to estimate temperatures in past centuries, falsely asserting that the former “has been used to produce the ‘hockey stick graph’”.

Finally, the article intentionally distorts comments that Jones made about the so-called “Medieval Warm Period”. Jones stated in his BBC interview that “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia” and that “For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.”

These are statements with which we entirely agree, and they are moreover fully consistent with the conclusions of the most recent IPCC report, and the numerous peer-reviewed publications on this issue since. Those conclusions are that recent Northern Hemisphere warming is likely unprecedented in at least a millennium (at least 1300 years, in fact), and that evidence in the Southern Hemisphere is currently too sparse for confident conclusions. Mann et al in fact drew those same conclusions in their most recent work on this problem (PNAS, 2008).

Unfortunately, these kinds of distortions are all too common in the press nowadays and so we must all be prepared to respond to those journalists and editors who confuse the public with such inaccuracies.

Update 2/16/10. Phil Jones has confirmed to us that our interpretations of his comments in the BBC interview are indeed the correct ones, and that he agrees with the statements in our piece above. He and his CRU colleagues have also put up an response to some of the false allegations in a previous piece in the UK Guardian. We’ll report further such developments as they happen.


493 Responses to “Daily Mangle”

  1. 51
    caerbannog says:

    Dane Skold (15 February 2010 @ 6:30 PM) said:

    When that blessed day comes that a “skeptic” is given your actual data and methodology and reproduces your results and conclusions, then, sir, we will believe you.

    All I can say is, the skeptics are halfway there! They have access to all of NASA/GISS’ data and methodology. All they now need to do is roll up their sleeves and reproduce the results.

    It’s not like that’s an impossible task or anything. After all, “JohnV” did it. The clearclimatecode folks did it (and they did it less time than many “skeptics” have spent demanding data already available to them).

  2. 52
    Didactylos says:

    Dane Skold: sceptics have had gigabytes of data for years. When they do anything with it, we will (after we have picked ourselves off the floor having collapsed from shock) be happy to discuss their results.

    We’re waiting.

    And waiting.

    I suppose it’s a lot easier to demand data that you have already than it is to actually do anything with what you have.

    Is science too complicated for you to understand? Then you have to deal with the layman’s dilemma. Trust the conclusions, or not? Trust scientists who made one mistake in a thousand page report, or trust fringe scientists who make huge numbers of schoolboy errors in everything they write….. your choice.

  3. 53
    Ian says:

    There seems a fair amount of angst in the comments regarding the recent press coverage that is more critical of the AGW cause than has previously been the case. As AnnoyedReader accurately points out, there is little comment here of the IPCC blunders and apparent (note the use of apparent) carelessness in reporting. I read the transcript of the BBC interview and in fact posted on this on RealClimate several days ago. Professor Jones does quite clearly say that the warming seen from 1860-1880 (21 years) and 1910-1940 (31 years) is statistically indistinguishabe from that seen from 1975-1998 (24 years). He then qualifies this with comments on volcanoes and a quiet sun but doesn’t discuss these in relation to the other periods he mentions. Neither does he comment on the role of the oceans. He is correct in saying that it is not possible to determine if the MWP was global but it is equally impossible to state that it was not. Overall Prof Jones gave a balanced view which is a lot more than can be said for Al Gore. For years MSM has unquestioningly accepted that AGW is proven and has spun stories that reinforce that view. Now that MSM is a little less certain of the “science is settled” arguments of the proponents of AGW it is querulous of the posters at RealClimate to complain so vehemently. Convince the sceptics with incontrovertible facts and real life observations not based on the output from computer models which are, however you like to slice it, dependent on the data fed in. Explain why the increase in CO2 since 1975 to 2009 has not lead to a statistically significant warming of >than 0.12 degrees C per decade from 1995-2009. This is about 40% less than that seen from 1975-1998 and the volcanoes and sun are probably a constant In view of this how can you state so categorically that lowering CO2 emissions will reduce global temperatures?

    [Response:
    These questions have all been covered many times, in many places. Start reading.–Jim]

  4. 54
    Didactylos says:

    Syl: climatologists have preferred 30 year trends since the very first IPCC report, so far as I am aware. They sometimes use 20 years, but never less as far as I know.

    Further, if you read Tamino’s post linked at #1, you will see that there is a statistical basis for choosing 15 years as the absolute minimum to say whether it is warming or not.

    CRU isn’t the data store of the climate world. That’s just what you want to believe.

  5. 55
    P. Lewis says:

    Hang on Ray, the TAR certainly included reference to M&M, and AR4 has mention of Lindzen and his iris hypothesis and of Svensmark and his cosmic rays. I’d call that minority opinion being published in the literature and in WGI.

  6. 56
    Richard Brenne says:

    Under the Wikipedia entry for Daily Mail they list at least 15 libel lawsuits where the Mail admitted lying when paying libel damages.

    Evidently lying is part of their business plan.

    They should be ashamed, mocked and marginalized – not only by the Beatles in paperback writer, but by Elton John, Hugh Grant, Rowan Atkison, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman and Keiri Knightly who won libel suits against them.

    “Abortion Hope After Gay Gene Finding” is an infamous Daily Mail headline that illustrates the level of their caring for humanity.

    I don’t think any reputable scientist should agree to speak with them, nor with others who use the same tactics. “When you stop lying and misrepresenting facts and science, then the scientific community will speak with you again” would be a good response, and I can see that happening about the same time pigs fly
    F-16s.

  7. 57
    DavidCOG says:

    > Finally, the article intentionally distorts comments that Jones made about the so-called “Medieval Warm Period”.

    This assertion is made but not explained. How have they distorted? What was written? It would be nice if it were detailed here to save us having to visit the Daily Fail!

  8. 58
    Undecided says:

    Perhaps you should begin to engage the layman rather than, from what I can see, talking down to them. Get real – the press including the BBC use doom and gloom headlines for one reason TO SELL MORE ADVERTISING, TO GET MORE CLICKS. Why does the nature of their reporting surprise you? I’ve followed RC for a while and it seems that if laypeople have a dissenting view they are shouted down. Just a personal perspective from a layman, I’m sure you’ll all correct me in your usual manner.

  9. 59
    AnnoyedReader says:

    Just curious–y’all are saying that a lack of statistically significant warming doesn’t prove it’s not happening. Well that’s cute and all, but any idiot knows that you can’t prove an “It doesn’t exist/it’s not happening” statement. So my question is, have any scientists actually made explicit predictions (e.g., global temp. as measured by such-and-such a network will rise by 5 degrees by year XXXX) that, if they fail to occur, will offer strong evidence against a global warming trend? Basically, I want to know what y’all could learn that would cause you to change your minds, since the lack of a statistically significant warming trend hasn’t managed to.

    [Response: That there is some better explanation for the reason that the earth sits at 288 K instead of 255 or so, and that there is some better explanation than rising GHGs for the observed statistically very significant temperature rise over the last century would probably do it. Do you have that?–Jim]

  10. 60
    Syl says:

    54:Didactylos

    Personally, 15,30 or even 100 years is no enough to even call anything a trend. 100 years is the equivalent of 22 msec of a 24 hour day in earth time. I have serious doubts of any claims that AGW is a proven fact. There is just not enough knowledge yet to make any claims from either side of the argument.

    [Response: That is incorrect. The balance of all available evidence is clearly in favor of human causes.–Jim]

  11. 61

    re 36 Dane Skold says

    “You are quite wrong about [They’re]. We are absolutely interested in the truth, to whatever conclusion the true data leads.

    To date, your conclusions have been hidden in obscured and obfuscated data and methods, and thus found wanting in transparent data and methodology.

    When that blessed day comes that a “skeptic” is given your actual data and methodology and reproduces your results and conclusions, then, sir, we will believe you.

    Until then, your tantrums and pounding on the table do not make your arguments or opinion any more persuasive. Instead, you appear more and more to be the boy who cried wolf.”

    What is it with your delusional “arguments or opinion?” Only an uneducated person would say this. Science is not done with arguments or opinion…It is done with evidence that does or does not hold up over time in the mainstream, peer reviewed literature. Are you even a journalist? Who would pay you a cent for the total lack of research and total lack of understanding of one of the most basic functions of our society? This is extremely disturbing for the United States’s future that reporters have dropped to your level of incompetance.

    It doesn’t matter what scientists say, and never has, never is and never will be…it is only their opinion if they talk…what matters is what holds up in the peer reviewed literature over time.

    Did you even bother to notice that the Himalayan error was picked up by an *****IPCC scientist****** just like it should have been…it did not stand up over time. This is how science is done and has been since the 1600s.

    What matters is what is in the world-wide peer reviewed literature that stands up over time. I do not believe that you are are a real journalist. READ THE LITERATURE FROM 1824 that stands up over time that is in the world-wide peer reviewed journals!!!!!! THAT IS WHERE SCIENCE IS DONE AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN done since the 1600s. Don’t you even know this???? Your actions are deeply disturbing if this is the level to which reporting has sunk.

    Read this before you dare claim to be a reporter: Your ignorance is dangerous and appalling.

    Fourier, 1824
    Arrhenius, 1896

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  12. 62
    John E. Pearson says:

    36: Dane Skold says:

    “When that blessed day comes that a “skeptic” is given your actual data and methodology and reproduces your results and conclusions, then, sir, we will believe you.”

    Horse puckey. Then you will claim that the “skeptic” is just a normal working scientist rather than a blessed “skeptic”.

  13. 63
    sam says:

    To whomever posted this article: You have officially gone off the reservation. Interview (why were you afraid to post this?):

    Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

    He said yes to the question! Yes he had some caveats or excuses thrown in after that, but he said yes! I realize this must be a huge bombshell and it will be quoted over and over…. but trying to deny what was actually said is absurd. You have no credibility left. You are living in denial.

    When one of the heads of your movement straight out comes out and says that the warming catastrophe you guys have been blaming everything from shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, and genetic changes in squirrels (per Dana Milbank) is not even STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT….. I don’t know how you can go on.

    [Response: Then maybe you should ponder on that question for a while.]

    I am amazed and extremely pleased by the speed of which the whole AGW scam is imploding. The shabby way you “scientists” and activists have conducted yourself during this whole affair will not be forgotten. If you are not already ashamed you really should be. History will not judge you kindly at all.

    [Response: Thanks for telling us how we should feel Nostradamus. The extent to which you people can twist and misinterpret things is truly amazing. Come back when you actually have an argument.–Jim]

  14. 64
    Ray Ladbury says:

    P. Lewis, As I said–if they publish, they get included. Problem is when it comes to advancing understanding of climate, they have precious little to say.

  15. 65
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    19.I think Jones has a good case for suing the Daily Mail. Their lie has done substantial damage to his reputation.” – whomever

    Excellent idea.
    Someone pass it along.

  16. 66
    Hank Roberts says:

    DavidCOG, you can rely on the echo chamber to find the distortions:
    Google finds: Results … about 35,300 for
    comments that Jones made about the so-called Medieval Warm Period

  17. 67

    DavidCOG #57: Jones made the point that the MWP is well documented at isolated locations, and there is no evidence that it was a worldwide phenomenon because of patchy temperature reconstructions of that era. There’s a site out there (CO2science I think they call themselves) that has helpfully collected together a trove of MWP publications, purporting to demonstrate that the MWP was worldwide. I took a look at the papers they claimed represented the best data, and the peaks varied by as much as 600 years. If you take temperature records from any subset of worldwide locations, you are very likely to find some at extreme variance with worldwide trends.

    Support climate scientists against abuse by signing my petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/clim4tr/petition.html

  18. 68
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    “When there was no warming for 5 years, the warmists would say that it takes at least 15 years to make a trend. Now, 15 years is not enough. ” – JimboWimbo

    If you want a trend… Here it is…

    1992 14.12 *************************============o
    1993 14.14 ****************************===========o
    1994 14.24 **********************************=====o
    1995 14.38 ****************************************o***
    1997 14.40 ******************************************o**
    1998 14.56 *******************************************o************
    1999 14.33 ****************************************===o
    2000 14.33 ****************************************====o
    2001 14.48 *********************************************o*****
    2002 14.56 **********************************************o*********
    2003 14.55 ***********************************************o*******
    2004 14.49 ************************************************o**
    2005 14.62 *************************************************o**********
    2006 14.54 **************************************************o****
    2007 14.56 ***************************************************o*****
    2008 14.44 ************************************************====o
    2009 14.57 *****************************************************o***
    —————————> Temperature

    “*” = Data
    “=” = Left space

  19. 69
    Leonard Weinstein says:

    I keep seeing your comments on skeptics as not wanting or understanding truth, etc. I have followed both sides of the discussion for quite awhile and state that you have it exactly backwards. I would appreciate it if you could supply real supporting claims on evidence that are both necessary and falsifiable for CAGW to be true. Don’t use the modest and unremarkable heating rate of the last 150 years or the fact of the CO2 increase. Those are facts, but in no way make the argument.

    [Response: Start reading–It’s all out there. Choice is yours as to whether you want to find what you claim to want or not.–Jim]

  20. 70
    MR SH says:

    Thanks. This is a good example what low-quality media wants and reprocesses the scientific comments. But it is also sad that some “scietists” without correct knowledge often join the above.

  21. 71

    <>

    Whoaaa dude. Not so fast. There are already two major RealClimate posts dealing with the IPCC errors and RealClimate did not have to post them if they did not want to.

    RealClimate has a history of going for days without posting a new post and has already done two posts for the IPCC errors. For RC to post two posts is unusual for covering an event twice.

    It would have been just as easy to just ignore it.

    This is also a *****nonevent**** being promoted by people with political motives that does not in the slightest undermine the evidence of human caused climate change.

    You could, (arguably) take away fully *** one half*** of the studies done on human caused climate change and it is so robust and has stood up for so long under such massive scrutiny (probably millions of dollars payed out to any scientist to produce contrary evidence from the energy industry), it is not going to threaten the conclusion that humcan-caused climate change is going on and will continue and that we are going to be screwed royally eventually unless we stop burning oil, coal and gas, drastically increase energy conservaion, stop deforestation and move to clean energy technologies.

    A body of evidence has been built up up by thousands of multiple studies supporting each bit of evidence or shooting pieces of them down over decades, for God’s sake.

    One study means nothing (unless you have political motives)…it has to stand up over time and have multiple challenging studies challenging it over tens to hundreds of years.

    The IPCC error was discovered by an IPCC scientist.

    Just show me what evidence that human caused global warming is going on is undermined? You would have to (arguably) take away 1/2 or more of the published peer-reviewed studies to show this. The human caused global warming evidence is based on a body of thousands or more of world-wide confirming studies (and many contradictory studies-which don’t undermine the basic evidence) dating back to 1824. So where is the beef?????

    Only people whose work does not hold up over time in the peer review have problems with this.

    As a peer review publishing author whose work holds up over time – Andy Pitman, said the mistake did not affect the veracity of the UN body’s conclusions.”

    “He said the criticism of the panel report related to the section that assessed impacts of climate change, not the section responsible for reviewing the observations and theory underpinning global warming, which have to be peer-reviewed science.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-ipcc-is-not-infallible-shock/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/ipcc-errors-facts-and-spin/

    Read a Publitzer prize winning author’s book on the politics involved in deceiving the public on the global warming science: (The Heat is On) Gelbspan-probably available at Amazon.com.

  22. 72
    Andy says:

    Re #17 Mr. Edlund: Very cool slider. Thanks much. Thanks also for the climate dashboard link AndyB.

    And Mr. Sagacious: you are arguing that one trend which encloses the years of another one is somehow offset by that within it? Think Man!! There must be a few good synapses left up there.

    For what it’s worth, this year will be the one that makes Mr. Jones’ almost significant become significant. Or if you prefer the more global GISS data set, the trend from 1995 to present is already significant.

  23. 73
    Doug Bostrom says:

    I love the title of this thread. As an alumnus of The Daily Mail I’m sure Evelyn Waugh would approve.

  24. 74
    Lamont says:

    When that blessed day comes that a “skeptic” gets up off their couch and heads down to the library to investigate the data and methodology…

    …well, hell will have frozen over by then…

    …so much easier to complain on the internet about how the science of global warming is shrouded in errors and secrecy, than to do any actual work to learn about it…

  25. 75
    David B. Benson says:

    Well! Rather than read all that, try instead “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
    where a physicist turned historian has condensed it for you.

  26. 76
    ADR says:

    [Response: They’re not the least bit interested in finding the truth. They don’t even have any concept of it–which is why they prefer to buy into lies and conspiracy ideas. The inmates seek the keys to the asylum—Jim]

    Jim — Were you saying that about the media when they weren’t questioning the theory of man-made global warming before this whole “climate-gate” stuff started? I really doubt it…

    [Response: It doesn’t just apply to the media, nor does it apply to all the media. And when were some in the media ever not questioning global warming?–Jim]

  27. 77
    Zach says:

    For what it’s worth, I did a quick test and generated 1,000 15-year time traces with a slope of 2 degrees per century and normally distributed random error with the same standard deviation as the actual temperature record (0.11C). 20% of the time, a linear fit doesn’t provide 95% confidence that warming is occurring.

    The only thing about this that’s difficult to figure out is whether it’s more ridiculous than the “hide the decline” nonsense.

  28. 78
    Didactylos says:

    AnnoyedReader: Tamino explained what would be needed to determine whether warming had stopped. This isn’t the only way to do it, but as you can see, scientists are well aware of what significance the word “significance” has.

    Do you want to take Tamino’s bet? He wrote this at the beginning of 2008, and 2008 and 2009 both fell into the “still warming” zone, but didn’t fall in the “warming wins” zone.

    AnnoyedReader: the fact that you are still talking about a “lack of statistically significant warming” means that you have failed to understand everything you have been told today. It isn’t significant because the period is too short, not because the warming magnitude is too small. If you take a statistically significant period (say 20 years) then calculate the 20 trends ending with every year in the last 10, you will see that all the trends are warming trends. And that is the best we can do without the ability to see into the future.

    Just look at Tamino’s graph, and it’s trivially easy to see that all the data since 1995 falls neatly into the “still warming” zone. This is why scientists are confident that the planet is still warming. The underlying physics is certain, and there is no data that is inconsistent with the planet still warming.

  29. 79
    K-Bob says:

    If Phil Jones contends that the recent warming is similar to warmings in the past, why doesn’t he (or others) explain the reasons for the warmings of those other periods. I’ve yet to hear a reasonable explanation.

    As a side note: Why do both sides of the debate get so worked up over the change in global temperature over the last 10 years or so. Of course it has not warmed any additional degrees of consequence, but at the same time it is too short a period to jump to any conclusions.

    [Response: Don’t know–ask the ones who keep bringing it up as hoped for proof of something. –Jim]

    [Response: This this paper of ours and numerous others cited therein. -mike]

  30. 80
    Edward Barkley says:

    The layman, even one who regularly reads RC, still sees no “statistically significant” evidence that Global Warming is a crisis – and “crisis” is the operative word. Despite all of the spin, to him, Jones’ statements simply admit that the data since 1995 (if not 2002) is not significant enough to put a check in the empty box next to the word “fact”. The data is clearly not definitive enough for that layman to write a gigantic check in your name. Sorry. Keep up the good work. Maybe, next year.

  31. 81
    mircea says:

    Jim answer at comment 59
    “[Response: That there is some better explanation for the reason that the earth sits at 288 K instead of 255 or so, and that there is some better explanation than rising GHGs for the observed statistically very significant temperature rise over the last century would probably do it. Do you have that?–Jim]”

    Come on… this sounds like the answer of a creationist (argumentum ad ignorantiam). The automatic answer to your question is “natural variability”. The question was a fair one. What falsifiability criteria are there? You can do better!

    [Response: I guess you can explain that to us then.–Jim]

  32. 82

    I read Mr Jones BBC interview with dismay, he was giving details like a Uni professor, which he is, without elaborating on details supporting his conviction about AGW causation. RC has been at the forefront of warning scientists to present themselves more clearly without giving tabloids a chance to distort. I am disappointed with presentations which are not resonating
    thoughts (not just facts) with the common reader. If the scientist leaves room to speculate, contrarian journalists will fill this thought void vacuum in no time. I wish Mr Jones well though, and I believe he has been severely misrepresented once again. BBC is cool, they will probably allow him to elaborate and kill the propaganda mongers, at least I hope its the case.

  33. 83
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Sam @63.

    I think you left out the sheep albedo feedback there.

    Just had to make sure that you had all the jokes cited in your post.

  34. 84
    Anton says:

    It has been a bad—make that dreadful—few weeks for what used to be called the “settled science” of global warming, and especially for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is supposed to be its gold standard.
    [edit]

    [Response: If you want to read the relevant post on that topic and come back and actually contribute something other than regurgitated nonsense that you haven’t even thought about, you are welcome to do that.–Jim]

  35. 85

    #78, I would add Arctic Ocean ice sheet basically thinning out of existence as a much more vibrant example
    than simple statistics. The concept of a one Pole with ice planet Earth will eventually sink in well before the stat mangling stops.

  36. 86
    Annabelle says:

    Donald @ 15 February 2010 at 5:41 PM
    “Jones was clear to point out that the causes of past warming could not explain present warming (indeed they should have caused cooling) and he said ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not.'”
    What were the causes of the Medieval Warm Period? Now that we’re allowed to admit there was one.

    [Response: Ummm. Nobody was ever contesting that there is a Medieval Climate Anomaly (the scientific term with which paleoclimatologists now refer to this period). The question is, what is its pattern? Where was it warm? Where was it cold? (hint: it appears very much now that the MCA was characterized by prominent “La Nina” conditions–cold over large parts of the tropical Pacific). There has been decades of work on the problem of establishing the pattern of the MCA–you might want to acquaint yourself with what the actual scientific literature says before making silly statements. Start with this paper of ours and then look at the numerous others cited therein. -mike]

  37. 87
    Ian says:

    Philip Machanick #67

    You state that “Jones made the point that the MWP is well documented at isolated locations, and there is no evidence that it was a worldwide phenomenon because of patchy temperature reconstructions of that era”.

    Equally of course, the lack of data provides no evidence that it wasn’t a worldwide phenomenon.

  38. 88
    Colour me confused says:

    So the Medieval Warm Period was over 1000 years ago, but you all are saying that more than 15 years makes a trend?

    How does that work? Obviously, if you have over 1000 years of data to work with, why would you choose such a small sample to determine the trend?

    Where is all the data published that goes back 1000 years?

  39. 89
    OSC13_4_xmas says:

    It is so choice that you are all in a tizzy arguing about the significance of parameters that do not even have large sample consistency. Heck half the the RC team has gone to ridge regression and other biased estimators. Hence giving up on the unbiased estimation of the confidence intervals in both proxy and instrumental measurement. There is a big black box that spits out a global average based on models that have “ill conditioned hessians”. You all could start with Hoerl and Kennard. It isn’t Gaussian, it isn’t linear. It isn’t homoskedastic. The errors are not iid.
    It is y+e=b*(x+e) + e where y and x suffer from massive selection bias. x’oxx’oy=b where o is estimable, but edgy and cannot be done without arbitrarily specifying a lag structure. Then you allow o to have time varying coefficients–mostly because you don’t like the results the fixed ones give you. I cannot even fathom the the error prorogation problems at this point. Help me out here Ray L. and Jim B. Explain how significance works when you have arbitrary zero restriction on parameters known NOT to be zero in models with negative degrees of freedom.

  40. 90
    dhogaza says:

    What were the causes of the Medieval Warm Period? Now that we’re allowed to admit there was one.

    Jones didn’t say that, as evidenced by your own post, which simply states Jones as saying “there is much debate”.

    And Jones, of course, doesn’t specialize in that sort of research. He’s famous for his work building a surface temperature product that is likely less accurate than GISTEMP. Not Paleoclimatology.

    Jones was clear to point out that the causes of past warming could not explain present warming (indeed they should have caused cooling

    This is actually mined from his comment regarding the 1910-1940 period, during which we do have data regarding volcano eruptions and solar output. Annabelle’s paraphrasing it as though it has anything to do with the MWP which might not actually exist is … vile.

  41. 91
    Donald says:

    Annabelle says:

    What were the causes of the Medieval Warm Period? Now that we’re allowed to admit there was one.

    The following page is from 2008, so it’s not Jones who’s allowed that a MWP exists.

    “The reconstructed amplitude of change over past centuries is greater than hitherto reported, with somewhat greater Medieval warmth in the Northern Hemisphere, albeit still not reaching recent levels.”

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

    As to the causes: solar and volcanic activity, atmospheric pressure systems and ocean circulation patterns.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16892

  42. 92
    dhogaza says:

    I read Mr Jones BBC interview with dismay, he was giving details like a Uni professor, which he is, without elaborating on details supporting his conviction about AGW causation.

    You’d think that being the subject of such intense attacks he’d be more careful in his interview, but apparently the man can’t learn.

    Good scientist. Abysmal public figure. If so-called “ClimateGate” were to ever reach trial, a defense lawyer would shoot him dead rather than put him on the stand in his own defense.

    Come on… this sounds like the answer of a creationist (argumentum ad ignorantiam). The automatic answer to your question is “natural variability

    Natural variability accounts for why the planet is something like 70F warmer than we’d expect it to be without our atmosphere?

    Good luck with that.

  43. 93
    mircea says:

    Comment 81 [Response: I guess you can explain that to us then.–Jim]
    No need. Didactylos gave a good answer in comment 78. There should be experimental data which if not matched means the theory is refuted without the need of another theory to explain the respective data.

  44. 94
    Bulldust says:

    “Unfortunately, these kinds of distortions are all too common in the press nowadays and so we must all be prepared to respond to those journalists and editors who confuse the public with such inaccuracies.”

    Couldn’t agree more that the press should make a concerted effort to report the truth. I trust I shall see you out there waving the flag for media honesty when all the pro-AGW garbage gets printed too? I have seen everything from earthquakes, bush fires, sinking Maldives and weekend weather reported as being signs and portents of AGW doom. I trust you find this equally distasteful Jim…

  45. 95

    AnnoyedReader: “who found the error in the IPCC report? Who corrected it?”

    It is openly published/corrected in the peer reviewed, juried open Science Journal (like its been done since the 1600s) and you don’t need a subscription: Dude, your paranoid, delusional attitude should disturb people.

    The published correction shows:

    1) The IPCC glacier problem is revealed by actual publishing scientists whose work holds up over time using the “scientific method” in a major scientific journal in an open (no matter how embarrassingly scientifically way to the public[they didn’t have to, but were scientifically obligated to]): Science Journal the same way it has been done since the 1600s. Cogley, Kaser, Kargel, van der Veen.

    2) The real publishing scientists whose work holds up over time who find the IPCC error state in the same letter that:

    “The IPCC Fourth Assessment, particularly of the physical science basis for the changes, is mostly accurate.” Read it yourself.

    Science, Cogley, Kaser, Kargel, van der Veen, 20 January 2010(link below).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/326/5955/924

  46. 96
    Jerry says:

    >>>>Jones stated in his BBC interview that “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia” and that “For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.”

    These are statements with which we entirely agree, and they are moreover fully consistent with the conclusions of the most recent IPCC report, and the numerous peer-reviewed publications on this issue since. Those conclusions are that recent Northern Hemisphere warming is likely unprecedented in at least a millennium (at least 1300 years, in fact), and that evidence in the Southern Hemisphere is currently too sparse for confident conclusions. Mann et al in fact drew those same conclusions in their most recent work on this problem (PNAS, 2008)

    [edit–take your nonsense elsewhere]

  47. 97

    (a comment previously made at initforthegold.blogspot.com:)

    BBC’s question B and the answer by Jones:

    B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

    To prevent this sort of manipulation, it might be better to answer such a question in a slightly different way. The rigid application of ‘statistical significance’ is not something the general public is familiar with. An attempt:

    B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Well, the trend for the period 1995 to 2009 was rising temperatures. The trend (0.12C per decade) is quite in line with expectations. However, over such a period, there is always a chance that the increase would be due to given natural variability. To be really sure that it’s not, statisticians often demand that this probability be below 5%. In this case that chance is just over 5%, leaving almost 95% chance that it is significant.

  48. 98
    JCH says:

    Just curious, but how close is close? For instance, if 2010 is slightly warmer than 2009, will the trend reach statistical significance?

  49. 99
    Leo G says:

    I thought the Q&A of Dr. Jones was brilliant. I really liked the way that he did not spin his answers. He just stated the truth as he knows it. Kudos to Dr. Jones!

  50. 100
    jb says:

    I think the burden of proof being asked by the deniers is so high that they’d be underwater before they believed the water was rising. I’m not just being sarcastic here, you have to consider what we are talking about – this isn’t just obscure academic minutia – we’re not arguing whether Pluto is a planet (sorry planetologists). The debate is whether our own planet will become inhospitable while the climate readjusts. So do we wait for 100 years of stat. significant warming? What’s the line here, skeptics? I know the science will simply go where it goes. If the global temperature has dropped in twenty years, then scientists will continue on with their jobs, collecting and reporting. If the temperature is warmer, will the rest of us do our jobs?


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