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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. 101

    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.

    In my opinion it’s very refreshing to see clear, factual and honest answers without any additional ‘communication’ as to how we shold understand the answers.

    If journalists and readers aren’t able to ‘get’ the virtue of that, if all they want is some kind of simplified, less real version of reality, then I think the journalists and readers should change, not the Phil Joneses of the world :)

    P.S. Thanks for your comments here and on other blogs, dhogaza, I like reading them.

  2. 102
    Leo G says:

    Way, way, way off topic, but my God, first Jones, now Watts…

    Has hell really frozen over?


  3. 103
    CM says:

    Color me confused #88,

    “you all are saying that more than 15 years makes a trend?” – People are saying that for global temperature, *less* than 15 years doesn’t.

    “if you have over 1000 years of data to work with, why would you choose such a small sample [15 years] to determine the trend?” – Well, 1,000 years is beside the point, since we’re interested in the trend over the much shorter period (essentially the past century or so) when the warming from man-made emissions should begin to show up.

    Otherwise, you have a good question that you should address to the BBC and the “sceptics” they’ve consulted when drawing up the list of questions for Dr Jones. To be sure, there are valid reasons to be interested in recent developments over as short time scales as possible. But in the context, it looks like a loaded trick question: focus on a period calculated to be just short enough, and the recent warming will just fail a significance test, even though it is in fact part of a longer warming period that is unequivocally significant. The scientist’s answer can then be spun into a spurious “U-turn”.

    “Where is all the data published that goes back 1000 years?” – for a quick glance at reconstructions from those data, try Fig. 6.10 from the IPCC AR4 WG1 report. For more paleo-climate data than you can shake a stick at, try the links under “Data sources” at the top of this page.

  4. 104
    Toby says:

    Amazing how Phil Jones was a liar, fraud and cheat according to the Daily Mail, until he said something they could twist to suit their own line.

  5. 105
    Marion Delgado says:

    It is absolute bullshit to ask a question of a scientist, get an answer in terms of science, then ambush him by reinterpreting it in non-science terms. This is not a mistake, it’s a lie.

  6. 106
    Edward Greisch says:

    You shouldn’t expect a good journalist to understand the term “statistical significance.” It is a mathematical term. Mathematics is not taught in journalism school. The branch of mathematics called statistics is certainly not taught in journalism school. Do not use mathematical terms when talking to journalists. If you are asked a question that you know a journalist or the general public can’t understand the correct answer to, it might be better to say nothing. As for bad or malicious journalists, just try to stay away from them.

    So what should you do? First, wait a few million years for some more evolution to take place. Then, make sure all college students get B.S. degrees in physics before specializing in anything else. It is going to be really sad, depressing, etc. etc. for quite a while.

    In the old days, we hid out in our labs and just avoided the outside world. That doesn’t work any more either. There is no good answer to the dilemma on whose horns we currently reside. We might try to create a new specialty called science spokesperson. And we might just accept that a whole lot of very bad things are going to happen in spite of the fact that we are going to do everything we can to mitigate and reduce the, dare I say it? Nope, I don’t. There is just too much room for disinterpretation. In fact, I’m reducing this comment for that very reason.

  7. 107
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

    Nobody is saying the MWP doesn’t exist.

    But it wasn’t a global phenomenon.

  8. 108
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “He’s famous for his work building a surface temperature product that is likely less accurate than GISTEMP”

    Less ***complete*** not less accurate.

    If the concerns about the paucity of polar stations are correct, then the GISS dataset could be the less accurate one, with the truth somewhere in the middle (since they agree well enough where they coexist).

  9. 109
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

    More exactly, there’s no data providing evidence that there is a global phenomenon of MWP.

    If you find some, put it up for review.

  10. 110
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Colour me stupid says:
    15 February 2010 at 11:59 PM

    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?”

    It works because we’re not in the medieval period.

    Hence there’s no reason why 1000 years ago has any bearing.

    We also didn’t have a WMO in the medieval period. This makes a difference to the temperature records.

  11. 111
    Completely Fed Up says:

    I think Anton shows one reason why the IPCC and this teacup of a problem is being blown into a “perfect storm”: there are lots of people out there who hate science.

  12. 112
    Completely Fed Up says:

    mircea: “Come on… this sounds like the answer of a creationist (argumentum ad ignorantiam).”

    Except it isn’t ignorance being used. You even quoted it (without reading, now THERE’s ingorantiam for you):

    “rising GHGs for the observed statistically very significant temperature rise over the last century would”

    If you have an idea, saying it’s that doing it is not ignorantiam.

  13. 113
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Edward Barkley says:
    15 February 2010 at 11:09 PM

    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”

    Yes, because you only get significant statistical numbers about a crisis when you’re already well into it.

    You have ZERO statistical significant data saying that truck bearing down on you is going to run into you, because most trucks have avoided you before.

    So do you wait..?

  14. 114
    The Ville says:

    Pete@14 said:
    “The Daily Mail is a mini version of the Daily Telegraph and hence moves along the right handside of politics.”

    You are being far to generous!

  15. 115
    Gilles says:

    Tamino : “Of course “not statistically significant” is not the same as “not warming.”
    Here’s a post about how long it takes to establish of a statistically significant trend.
    If you remove the influence of volcanic eruptions and el Nino, it doesn’t take as long.”

    I think you should distinguish “warming”, “statistically significant warming” , “and statistically significant unprecedented warming”.

    The warming from january to june of any year IS statistically significant. It is not statistically significantly unprecedented. Why? because “unprecedented” means with respect to some larger time interval, and you have first to assess the “normal” variability on this interval, that is basically the amplitude of the Fourier component at this frequency. Which requires a calibration period much longer than the time interval itself to which you compare your data.

    To my knowledge, there is NO time interval on which the warming can be shown as “statistically unprecedented”, compared to the variance estimated at this frequency (again, that must be estimated on a much larger period). which can be mainly explained by the fact that if the CO2 has an effect, it is not much larger than the other causes of variability.

  16. 116
    NigelW says:

    As far as I can tell from all this, the relationship between CO2 levels and temperature has not been found wanting. Doubling CO2 still gives the expected temperature increase; no leaked emails or messing by the Monktons of this earth have changed that.

    To help us preserve some perspective on all these mostly extraneous diversions about scientists, the fact that scientists are human, emails etc; could RealClimate please post a say weekly update of one simple figure, viz.; the level of CO2 in the atmosphere as say a running yearly average (to get over the diurnal and seasonal variability) .

    That ever-increasing figure is what tells us (regardless of the rights and wrongs of the rest of the blogisphere) where we are headed and how fast. ON a daily basis I guess CO2 is increasing by about one hundredth of a ppm per day – say 3ppm per year. So this week say its 385.01ppm, then next week its probably about 385.07ppm.

    If its higher next week (as it surely will be) then we are loosing the battle. If its lower (by some miracle) then we are blessed indeed.

    That simple bit of data constantly before us (it should be on the top of every newspaper’s front page, every day too) is the only measure we need of our success or failure in addressing The Climate Issue.

    Please. Just a number. Just THE NUMBER. 385.07ppm, and counting…



  17. 117
    mct says:

    Much as I’ve admired Jim’s posts in the past, I think that as a moderator, Jim, you make a damn fine poster.

    What this site does NOT need right now is a snarly aggressive moderating style.

    As a relative newbie here, I can only say again that this aggressive (perhaps even ‘holier than thou’) approach will (and deserves to) lose the battle, even if we can confidently rely on the climate being the winner in the long run.

  18. 118
    Marion Delgado says:

    I am also so very tired of the talking down crap. If I build a wall, and someone from the Daily Mail says I ought to have built it 100x larger, and made it a corkscrew pattern, when I tell them it’s a lot of work and that you can’t do it that way, am I talking down to them?

    Here are some rules you can take to the bank:

    1. These things are a lot of work, by more than one person or team or facility. And the people doing it are not just educated, but practiced.

    2. If you ask a question, get an answer, see a superficially shrewd objection, get another answer, and so repeat, at no point are you being talked down to. If you ask what 2+2 is, a scientist won’t try to guess whether you prefer 3, 4 or 5 as an answer.

    3. There’s an 80/20 rule – you’re going to get 80% of the point from 20% of the science. If you insist on dragging each question and objection out to fundamental physics and chemistry, every degree to which you do that represents years of education for people who are educationally and scientifically inclined. Scientists face this kind of problem, too, for instance now in physics. Most of our model of the cosmos came very cheaply and quickly. Getting that last bit done is overwhelmingly expensive, unbelievably complex, and takes forever.

    4. If you have an objection or alternative hypothesis, the odds are outrageously high that in the 100 or so years scientists have been analyzing effects of Man on climate, it’s already been brought up, considered, accounted for, or rejected. To expect otherwise is almost always Dunning-Kruger or base-rate neglect. Moreover, very often that objection, counter-theory, etc. is very old, and has been recycled and debunked repeatedly over the decades.

    5. Neither blogs nor mainstream journalism nor the verdict of the market are as good at correcting errors as the scientific process is. Science has both cultural, built-in error correction and conscious structured governance and policing. Its strength rests mainly on its ability to filter out claims, not adopt them. Conversely, that’s why scientists won’t waste inordinate amounts of time on highly unlikely, unpromising, debunked, poorly formulated or crank community ideas. Your personal model of what science is spozed to do doesn’t put obligations on scientists they did not sign up for.

  19. 119
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    Thank you for your blog. I can see that some journalists and deniers are lying because they distort and mischaracterize what the scientists say, but you explain it so much better.

    I think the BBC and Guardian writers are trying to be fair, but that Delingpole is a horrible person.

  20. 120
    P. Lewis says:

    Yes Ray … the initial comment was not really directed to you, but to whom you were responding and any others of that person’s ilk.

    In the IPCC Assessment Reports, there are lots of citations (well, certainly more than I’ve listed) to publications that are removed from the “consensus” position (both near and far). It’s a lie that there isn’t that has to be nailed.

  21. 121
    Tom P says:

    I made this point earlier, but this is a more relevant thread:

    Although Jones’ responses in the BBC Q and A are on the whole quite reasonable:

    However, II can’t see how he identifies a statistically significant warming period from 1860 to 1880 comparable to twentieth-century and recent trends. The HadCRUT adjusted global mean trend is 0.109 C/decade for that period, and is not statistically significant:

    I can’t get an exact match to any of the other trends Jones’ states in the BBC piece, though the errors are quite small. Can anyone offer any insight here?

  22. 122
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    The remarks attributed to ICO official GRAHAM SMITH–that the CRU breached the FoI regulations–are not posted on the ICO website, so we only have the media’s account/interpretation of what Graham Smith reportedly said.

    That denialist Telegraph writer Christopher Brooker wrote about this IOC official and called him GORDON SMITH.His name is GRAHAM Smith.

    If you read the ICO rules, there are also a lot of regulations about what is protected Environmental information and does NOT have to be shared. The CRU doesn’t have to tell everything. Here is a document about the exceptions. I think CRU would contend that the hackers broke some ICO rules.

    I can’t remember how I got this link. Hopefully it is the most recent regulation.

    The Telegraph said that the IOC could not prosecute the “people involved” because it was too late. This sounds wrong to me, because I think that the University would be fined–a person wouldn’t be prosecuted.
    British organizations often get these fines.

    If you write the ICO and ask them what Graham SMITH actually said, they don’t respond. For a bit they just posted a newspaper article on their scrolling newsfeed about the ICO and CRU, but that didn’t seem to be an official press release. That just seemed to be showing recent media coverage. They have another place for official press releases.

    The news article about what Smith allegedly said was in the “scrolling newsfeed,” not the press releases.

    Now the scrolling newsfeed has been disappeared and is “undergoing maintainance.” Sort of what used to happen to churches in the USSR.

    The CRU also posted a press release that said they only heard of what the ICO said about them breaching the regulations through the media.

    England has a fair legal system. They would not just declare someone had breached the regulations in the newspapers. This would not give the accused the right to defend themselves in the legal arena.

    Here is the ICO site.

    Someone’s in trouble, but it may not be the CRU.

  23. 123

    Dane Skold,

    Precisely what data and methods do you think are being withheld, and why do you think so? All the data you need is already in the public domain–are you, personally, going to duplicate the analyses? I’ll be waiting. Let me know if you want URLs to the publicly posted data.

  24. 124
    The Ville says:

    Dane@36 said:
    “To date, your conclusions have been hidden in obscured and obfuscated data and methods, and thus found wanting in transparent data and methodology.”

    Welcome to science.
    It tends to be complicated to understand.
    Maybe Dane can point to another field of science where methods and data are more transparent?

    I think the reason why Dane doesn’t have the same discussions about commercial research, is because big corporate companies are not transparent. I don’t know any other field of science where someone can pick up the data, draw graphs and then start a blog about it!

  25. 125

    Syl: 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.

    BPL: You need 30 years to establish a climate trend, pal. That standard was decided on in the year 1935, long before AGW was an issue. If you want to know why, and how they did it–that is, if you’re genuinely interested in learning, and not just sniping at people for political reasons–try here:

  26. 126
    Bill says:

    This is the same ‘Daily Mail’ that has, in the past, produced ‘Armageddon’ warming headlines with photos to match. Dont spend time refuting on here, there are better scientific topics to discuss.They go with such headlines to sell papers and there is a sceptical view from the general public along the lines of ‘ if the Mail says it , it must be true…..NOT!, whatever side of the fence thet take to sell their papers.(PS. sceptical of the Mail, not in the sense of deniers or warmists…)

  27. 127
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had posted this update:

    Statement from Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia

    Thu, 28 Jan 2010

    The University of East Anglia has released the following statement from the Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton.

    “The University learnt yesterday that the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) had made a statement to the media regarding the University’s handling of requests under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). We have not received any further information from the ICO although we are urgently trying to contact them. The ICO’s opinion that we had breached the terms of Section 77 is a source of grave concern to the University as we would always seek to comply with the terms of the Act. During this case we have sought the advice of the ICO and responded fully to any requests for information.

    “Sir Muir Russell is currently conducting an Independent Review of the issues surrounding what has become known as ‘Climategate’ and we very deliberately made our handling of FOI requests part of the terms of reference. I look forward to receiving his report and as I have said before it will be published and I will act accordingly if he finds there is indeed substance in these allegations.”

  28. 128
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Its not just misrepresentation ; its bullying. Bullying is a growing behaviour pattern of the press and is not restricted to GW. The idea is not so much to produce new insights into recent trends, but to portray Phil Jones as an inconsistent authority who can’t be trusted.

    Jones has also been deserted by some people whom he might have thought of as allies. This reminds me of the McCarthy witch hunt which revealed that your friends could sometimes desert you.

    Re #91

    “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.”

    Not good taste, considering that he is receiving death threats (so is an environmentalist whom I know). Perhaps you should change your target to someone who is not the focus of bullying? Perhaps a journalist or two? or another well meaning scientist who is bad at PR ; they are not hard to come by. There was another one on BBC Radio 4 yesterday Would you prefer it if researchers were selected and promoted mainly for their skills at PR ?

    What I find frustrating is that so many people including scientists have no idea about the intensity and sheer power of the misinformation campaign. They confuse deliberate misinformers with nice anti-authoritarian ‘skeptics’ who deserve to be heard (of course a few such people do exist) . This is a welcome article by RC because it fulfils a need.

    By the way, the press rarely gets it right on climate; I used to think that this might be because of its technical nature . But the inability to correctly report a few simple remarks takes this to another level. When Solanki did some work on solar forcing , the Daily Telegraph reversed his conclusions with a headline “Global Warming , its the Sun thats to blame.” What are reporters for?

  29. 129
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    The article formerly linked on the ICO site about the alleged CRU breach of regulations was from from the Telegraph (1-28-10).

    As I say, the scrolling newsfeed is now “under renovation,” so you have to trust me on this.

    This was on an official site:

    “While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit, we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues, in relation to criminal investigations.”–NETCU

    This is case is not about someone who breached a regulation.

  30. 130
    RobM says:

    Ian in #87 says,

    “Equally of course, the lack of data provides no evidence that it [the MWP] wasn’t a worldwide phenomenon.”

    Which is exactly what has been said all along about the period by paleoclimatologists. It’s why Jones said there was a lot of uncertainty about the extent of the MWP, which nobody had been denying existed; what was and is at issue is how extensive it was. That’s why Jones said if better data is found for the SH that also shows the same kind of warming as in the NH (it doesn’t as of yet, btw), this would indicate that the MWP was as warm or possibly slightly warmer than at present. It’s all hypothetical, but now the so called *skeptics* are using his carefully worded answer and twisting it to mean he thinks the MWP was warmer than now. As if it was his field of study to begin with.

    I find it amusing to see *skeptics* pushing proxy data that has not been collected and may not even exist while on the other hand rejecting proxy data that does actually exist and that has been shown to be consistent with each other despite the independence of the methodologies used.

  31. 131
    Julien says:

    Thanks a lot for your work. Unfortunately you need to spend time answering these journalists and skeptics, despite their dishonest methods and arguments. Thanks again. Now Jones suing this tabloid would be a very good thing to fight back in the real world and not only on the web ;)

  32. 132
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    I want to clarify that the Telegraph article disappeared from the ICO scrolling newsfeed was NOT the one by Christopher Booker, that called the ICO official Gordon Smith when his name is actually Graham Smith.

    Here is the Telegraph article that was formerly posted on the ICO scrolling newsfeed:

    Here is the article Booker wrote:

    Booker senses that something is not adding up, but I don’t agree with his legal analysis. That he is unfamiliar with the name of the official he is allegedly citing, he probably doesn’t have a clue.

  33. 133
    pete best says:

    ITs not just the Daily Mail – its WUWT, Cristy etc and the Times casting possibly valid doubts on the term global temperature.

  34. 134
    Completely Fed Up says:

    mct: “As a relative newbie here, I can only say again that this aggressive (perhaps even ‘holier than thou’) approach will (and deserves to) lose the battle,”

    As a holier-than-thou newbie, you mean.

    Were you here earlier when Pielke slated others for conflicts of interests in a “i’m holier than they” way?

    Funny, he doesn’t seem to be losing his faithful.

  35. 135
    Donald says:

    “Completely Fed Up says:
    16 February 2010 at 4:25 AM

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

    Nobody is saying the MWP doesn’t exist.

    But it wasn’t a global phenomenon.”

    The first line was a quote from another poster. Sorry- I forgot to put in quotation marks.

  36. 136
    Ray Ladbury says:

    OK, let me get this straight. You are saying that because there is no evidence that the MWP was global, this invalidates any analysis that suggests it was not global?
    I mean after all, it is not as if there are no proxies from the Southern Hemisphere–and those we have show no concurrent warming during the European MWP. The best illustration of this is actually the snowjob that the Idsos created that purported to show a global MWP. Although there were warm periods in all the graphs, and the graphs were small, if you blew them up enough to read the dates, you could tell that many of the other MWPs were several hundred years too late or too early! It was a rather precious own goal.

  37. 137
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Gilles: “To my knowledge,..”

    We know how well that’s worked for you in the past, Gilles.

    Argument by personal ignorance.

    Have you looked?

  38. 138
    Ray Ladbury says:

    BullDust says, “I trust I shall see you out there waving the flag for media honesty when all the pro-AGW garbage gets printed too? ”

    You mean like this:
    “The correct answer–the one we have indeed provided in previous posts (Storms & Global Warming II, Some recent updates and Storms and Climate Change) –is that there is no way to prove that Katrina either was, or was not, affected by global warming. For a single event, regardless of how extreme, such attribution is fundamentally impossible. ”

    from this RC post:

    Amazing what you can find when you actually look around this site, isn’t it?

  39. 139
    Bernie says:

    #89 OSC13_4_xmas
    Well stated. There is way too much certainty being expressed by all sides. It is also interesting that your comment did not receive a response.

  40. 140
    Completely Fed Up says:

    JCH says:
    16 February 2010 at 1:37 AM

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

    Only if a massive difference were seen.

    If the year-to-year variability is +/-0.5C to 95% confidence, then you need a 3C difference (sig sigma) to show that the change is outside the bounds of natural variability.

  41. 141
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Jerry: “So, it appears that there is not sufficient confidence in the data record to support a large portion of the handle on the hockey stick”

    Uh, where are you reading that?

    There is no record that the southern hemisphere had a warming extent as far as the northern hemisphere.

    Just because you haven’t measured my height doesn’t mean I must be taller than you.

    There is sufficient confidence in the data collected to support a large portion of the handle of the hockey stick and that handle has within its reach (in other words “contains”) the MWP seen in Europe. Averaging over the entire globe rather than Europe with all the data shows little MWP because it would seem from the extensive record that this warming was regional not global.

    However, it is not IMPOSSIBLE that someone can find a temperature record in southern hemisphere proxies that when added to the rest of the data heightens the MWP into significance compared with the current modern temperature record.

    However, just because it’s not impossible, doesn’t mean it’s certain.

  42. 142
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Bulldust: ” trust I shall see you out there waving the flag for media honesty when all the pro-AGW garbage gets printed too?”

    Care to point it out?

    There’s piles of the denialist “dust” out the back.

    Got more than a handful of pro-side stuff?

  43. 143
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “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.”

    When you have measurements of how the entire system worked in the past.

    Annan, J.D., and Hargreaves, J.C. (2009) On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity, to appear in Climatic Change. (pdf preprint (

    Just like Einstein didn’t need to know what general relativity looked like to know that it couldn’t create a change into an r-cubed law for gravity.

  44. 144
    Zinaida Zalyotchik says:

    Fox News commenters are further mischaracterizing Jones based on the tabloid’s distortions.

    The tactics being used by some global warming skeptics remind me of the dirty tricks of Russian political operatives. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (2-5-10) describe the tactics of political consultants for the ruling United Russia party in Saratov, Russia.

    President Medvedev is the former Chairman of the Board of Gazprom. A lot of former KGB have important roles in Gazprom. Russia is now like a “company town.” Gazprom also owns a lot of media.

    The hackers could be anyone who represents powerful energy interests, but the propaganda tactics remind me of the Russians; and after they reportedly couldn’t post on your site they went right to the computer in Tomsk. Why did they know that would work? Were they comfortable there? Tomsk hackers have a history of going after people who antagonize the Kremlin.

    RFE/RL wrote:

    “The United Russia party machine uses a noxious slurry of dirty tricks, illegal activities, and domination of the media to discredit and destroy any politician, businessperson, or anyone else deemed an enemy of the Saratov Oblast United Russia party boss and Duma deputy speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.”

    The authors of “The Black PR Practitioners Of The White Bear,” a forthcoming book on the tactics of political consultants for the ruling United Russia party explain:

    “At first when a person is identified as a personal enemy of Volodin they initiate a series of negative articles in the mass media. Next those representatives of the public who only imitate the feverish activity of building civil society are activated. These pseudo-activists create paid-for articles in the media that create the necessary public outcry. Or their activities become the excuse for new paid-for articles and television reports. When the number of publications reaches a critical mass, local deputies begin flooding the state organs of the Russian Federation with official inquiries and letters from residents of Saratov Oblast demanding decisive action be taken against the target of Volodin’s attacks, although they produce no real facts that the person has violated the law, because there are no such facts. They merely cite the numerous publications in the media.”

  45. 145
  46. 146
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Bernie says:
    16 February 2010 at 9:05 AM

    #89 OSC13_4_xmas
    Well stated. There is way too much certainty being expressed by all sides. It is also interesting that your comment did not receive a response.”

    What is amusing is that Bernie expressed that “no response” with such great certainty.

    And was wrong.

    Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

  47. 147
    Ron Taylor says:

    Bulldust, my experience with RC is that if you bring a link or quote from something you think is questionable, they will give you an honest answer. The RC people are full time scientists and run this site as volunteers on their free time. They do not have the time to chase down every possible misguided article. But an article like this one, which is a gross misrepresentation and undermining of the science in an influential publication has to be challenged.

  48. 148
    flxible says:

    Marion Delgado@118 – most excellent points, well stated – the blogosphere really is excellent evidence of Dunning-Kruger re metacognition, or the lack of.

  49. 149
    joe says:


    1995 to 2010 is not enough time to determine “statistiically significant” warming. You say it takes 30 years…fine.

    On Taminos site you stated the following:

    “Human civilization will collapse complete some time in the next 40 years if we don’t make a massive switch to renewable sources of energy some time in the next ten years. Remember, you heard it here first”

    Are these positons in conflict?

  50. 150
    Gilles says:

    “Gilles: “To my knowledge,..”
    We know how well that’s worked for you in the past, Gilles.
    Argument by personal ignorance.
    Have you looked?”
    As you repeatedly showed that you simply misunderstood what I was saying or questioning, I think wiser to simply ignore your judgements.

    I think that the burden of proof is for those who claim that the warming is unprecedented. I never saw any evidence that it was statistically significantly unprecedented. I precise that this doesn’t mean that CO2 is not anthropogenic, is not increasing, or is not producing greenhouse effect. It only means that its effect are not significantly higher – yet – than the natural variability on any timescale on which you can have a reasonable estimate. Show me the opposite if you think it’s wrong.