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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. 201
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Tom Scharf says:
    16 February 2010 at 12:31 PM
    AGW has been a media darling for a decade.”

    You know, it’s really sad when the dittos feel they can’t manage a new idea themselves.

    Didn’t we just have a half-hour session with another doofus saying the exact same thing?

    I wonder if this one here is the american branch.

  2. 202
    Jeffrey Davis says:

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

    Similarly, South America could have been inhabited entirely by squirrels. Lack of data.

    Can’t argue with that.

  3. 203
    dhogaza says:

    Jacob Mack says:

    Still Phil Jones admits to large uncertanties and does not support the statement: “The debate is over.”

    What Jones says:

    H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

    The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing

    I – Would it be reasonable looking at the same scientific evidence to take the view that recent warming is not predominantly manmade?


  4. 204
    GSW says:

    Apparently Phil Jones has just done an interview with Nature where he clarifies further.

  5. 205
    grzejnik says:

    Jones is a very sloppy scientist. So much “lost” data, then the email where he says he would delete it rather than send it to the Canadians. You can argue every last point but why stand by a scientist who is so sloppy/lazy/incompetant whatever he is? I feel sorry for him but why is somebody so disorganized getting such a defense here? Skeptics, deniers, liberal, conservative, commies who cares, you guys have gone round the bend and this blog seems delusional. If I were a scientist on this blog I would begin fresh and rebuild what has been broken down and not deny that anything has been broken down. If you are right then a revamp that is transparent without “lost” data and a sloppy desk will show that you are right. Gavin you are smarter than this, stop wasting your energy defending things that obviously went wrong, no matter how smart you all are nor how much you polish this terd, its still a big floater.

  6. 206
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Similarly, South America could have been inhabited entirely by squirrels. Lack of data.”

    Who will enslave us to work in their nut mines.

  7. 207
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Journeyman says:
    16 February 2010 at 3:10 PM

    The lack of warming or cooling should be easy to define… In this case, there has been warming since 1995, and not since 1998.”

    And for some, so easy to get wrong.


    2005 warmest. Warmest January on record. Warmest decade is the decade AFTER 1998, if you think a month is too short.

    Unless you’re agreeing that the CRU data is not fiddled and is the true record, despite the calumnies piled on the CRU by the purveyors of climategate?

  8. 208
    K-Bob says:

    RE @79 K-Bob says:
    15 February 2010 at 11:03 PM

    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]

    Reply to Mike’s Response – The referenced Mann document provides data to support a historical record of temperatures, which further makes a correlation with the PDO, AMO and El Nino. It does not provide any arguments for what caused these temperature anomolies in the past. I don’t think anyone would disagree that there is some degree of correlation between the global temperatures (especially regional temperatures) and PDO, AMO, El Nino, etc. Rather, as pointed out by Phil Jones in his interview, that the rate and duration of the recent warming is not unprecedented. My question remains: What caused past warmings or coolings, or better yet, what caused past El Nino’s or La Nina’s?

    [Response: Volcanoes, solar, and maybe nothing. That is to say, there are clear correlations of coolings with volcanic eruptions – or groups of them, and there is some evidence of a solar signal, and there is plenty of evidence for just the internal variability of the climate system playing a role. Specific El Nino’s are not generally thought of as being caused by something specific and external (though there is some evidence that you get an El Nino slightly more often after a big volcano). However, attribution of the changes in the last 50 years have nothing to do with whether they are ‘unprecedented’ or not. With just the changes in solar and volcanic and with really very generous contributions from internal variability, you cannot explain the recent trends. However, including anthropogenic effects does provide a good explanation. And you are misreading Jones’ statements – the recent century is exceptional in the rate of change of global temperature (as far as we can tell) over the last 1000 years or two. That in itself is not an argument of attribution, but it is interesting, don’t you think? – gavin]

    [Response: Read the paper more closely. We compare the observed patterns with results from forced (volcanic and solar) coupled model simulations. This is what allows us to draw conclusions regarding the role of solar and volcanic forcing of both El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation. It is those comparisons that allow us to interpret the dynamical changes in the context of forcing mechanisms. – mike]

  9. 209
    Completely Fed Up says:

    D Talling says:
    16 February 2010 at 2:47 PM
    So, where is the distortion?”

    The distortion is in quote mining.

    There are plenty of other cases where they didn’t even bother with that level of sophistication, relying on the converted to lap it up:

    And did you ever lap it up…

  10. 210
    Didactylos says:

    grzejnik: the data isn’t lost. It is where it should be: with the data curators.

    And as for Jones’ suspicion of the motives of self-proclaimed “sceptics” – he seems to be totally vindicated on that point. They have been thoroughly exposed as mounting a nuisance campaign of FOI requests, and clearly they are not acting in good faith, nor do they want the data for academic purposes.

    As for the data handling: I think everyone agrees that it didn’t reach “best practice” levels, but so far there is no credible claim that normal data handling practices weren’t applied. Who knew, back then, that ridiculously paranoid data retention and tracking was needed, to answer all the spurious claims from unqualified nobodies?

  11. 211
    Hank Roberts says:

    >why stand by a scientist who is so … whatever he is?

    Weight of the evidence, careful reading, and attention to detail.

    > if the entirety of the so-called ‘conservative’ mass media
    > were literally a wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil,
    > how would its behavior be different …?

    Regular use of spellcheck.

  12. 212
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Peter Whale says:
    16 February 2010 at 2:38 PM

    I am confused, can anyone state what weather/climate denotes global warming and what weather/climate would denote no global warming?”

    When it’s warmer, it’s warmer, when it’s colder, it’s not warmer.

    Do you want to retry that question?

    Trend? Or difference?

    Climate? Or weather?

    Global warming is a climate product. Weather is not climate.

    So let’s remove “weather”.

    Climate is about trends, so let’s put that in specifically.

    Lastly the second half isn’t an “and”. So let’s change that and remove it, replacing it with “shows no global trend”.

    Your question is now:

    “can anyone state what climate trend denotes global warming and what denote no global warming trend”.

    30 years is about the minimum you can expect the natural variations around the mean of climate to be less than the expected rise in temperature from warming given the AGW theory over that same period by a margin great enough to ensure there is minimum confusion between the two.

    Random variations cancel out over long enough timescales. Long term trends do not, they accumulate over long enough timescales.

    Therefore we can see, a priori, that 10 or 15 years of data is not long enough for any determination of a trend.

    Neither are two years 30 years apart, because, although there has been 30 years of accumulation of trend, there has been no concomitant removal of variation by the well understood mechanism of random errors canceling out (as epitomised by the random walk model any schoolchild should be familiar with once graduated from school).

    Such trends have a variation that allows an assessment as to whether the model and the measurement agrees.

    If the model results remain within 3 standard deviations of the running mean of a 30 year data set around the same period average of that dataset, then the models and measurements are not proven incorrect.

  13. 213
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Andy Lacis says:
    16 February 2010 at 1:53 PM

    This episode is a reminder that the Miranda warning has broader applicability than is normally credited. ”

    Didn’t the US change the miranda rights? They’re no longer read to you, but restated very similar to how the police here in the UK do it:

    Anything you don’t say now but rely upon in your defense is not admissible.

    Or something very like that.

  14. 214
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Ken W says:
    16 February 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Hogwash! For years the MSM has gone out of it’s way to appear balanced.”

    Actually, they’ve gone out of their way to be imbalanced, but still give the appearance of balance.

  15. 215
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Jacob Mack says:
    16 February 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Still Phil Jones admits to large uncertanties and does not support the statement: “The debate is over.” ”

    A statement that only you have made, so you can knock it down.

  16. 216
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Tom Scharf says:
    16 February 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Ray Ladbury has twice stated “if they publish, they get included”

    This is particularly laughable given the extent of manipulation of the journals and suppression of dissent shown in Climategate.”

    You mean where

    1) someone asked about a paper and whether it should be included said “it’s a load of cack”?

    It still got printed.

    2) someone says that a journal has failed the standards of publishing in the scientific areas therefore they should be shunned

    cf Pielke’s and others’ here proclaiming that Pachuri should leave merely because, as a man with money, he’s invested it.

    And isn’t this merely the same as consumer reports? Where some people report that “Product X keeps failing and needs to be returned to supplier. DO NOT BUY” and this is accepted as WANTED?

    How else do you keep the highest levels of objectivity and rigour if you don’t allow punishment of those who profess no objectivity (E&E has stated categorically they have a non-objective role) and exhibit no rigour?

    Shout “Stop! Or I shall say ‘Stop!’ again!”


  17. 217
    David Glas says:

    Jones stated that there are very few palaeoclimatic records of the Southern hemisphere yet somehow he and Mann are able to reconstuct the temp record for the SH with an incredible accuracy of .1 Deg C going back almost 2000 years. Where did he and Mann get the data come from?

    [Response: You could try reading the paper and downloading the data, or even just looking at the figures. Then you could apologise. – gavin

  18. 218
    Completely Fed Up says:

    grzejnik says:
    16 February 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Jones is a very sloppy scientist.”

    Really? Then how do you know what his emails contained, if he’s so sloppy?

    “So much “lost” data, ”

    I’m glad you used quotes.

    I expect you mean that they weren’t really lost by Jones. However, the truth is they were never lost. It just wasn’t Jones to give.

    “then the email where he says he would delete it rather than send it to the Canadians. ”

    No, ONE canadian who conspired to lie in a FOIA request to a foreign government.

    If you’re a UK taxpayer, why do you want YOUR taxes spent by a DoS by canadians?

    If you’re not a UK taxpayer, then you have no right to ***OUR*** data. Get your own.

    And I would rather sit at home and type up a few astronomy CCD drivers for my machine.

    This doesn’t mean this is what I do.

    Got any proof of your accusations?

  19. 219
    Rod B says:

    Ray Ladbury (182), I’ll quote from the comment: “…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.”

    That sounds damn close to ‘we now know it all’ ala Physics, circa 1900. Closer than your 95%.

    I was simply commenting on the posters “80/20” rule comment. He did not mention the 95/5 rule, which would have maybe caused a different response.

  20. 220
    GSW says:

    Following on from #205 grzejnik’s post and hopefully not OT:

    He’s right, its not worth fighting and defending every point and alleged wrong doing – pick your battles. After a while these defences do start to look desparate and delusional (beyond reason). I read Dale Carnegies book years ago, summary here.

    See Part Three. Win people to your way of thinking

    3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

    (and move on ) – I appended this.

  21. 221
    Paul A says:

    @ grzejnik #205. “Jones is a very sloppy scientist. So much “lost” data..”
    You are comparing Jones to whom exactly? What over scientists have had their emails hacked and have been bombarded by FOI requests from self-appointed ‘auditors’ (most of them time-wasting). What is happening to Jones and a few of his colleagues is without precedent. Would the practices of other scientists stand up to this kind of scrutiny? These are scientists, not a librarians or archivists. His records might not be well organised, but his results do stand up to scrutiny and compare well with results of other independently working scientists.

  22. 222
    eric says:

    Minutiae aside, can we build public policy on the quality of science we presently have ?

    [Response: Of course. First off, public policy needs to be made with whatever information is at hand, and secondly, the body of work on the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions is vastly higher quality than the basis of most social or economic policies. – gavin]

  23. 223
    Andrew Adams says:

    It is possible to quote someone’s words accurately and still completely misrepresent their meaning. Jones is saying that IF there was evidence that the MWP was global AND that overall it was hotter than it is now then that would indicate that it was, er, hotter than it is now. It is an entirely hypothetical argument as we don’t have the any such evidence. So the distortion is the Mail’s claim that “Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.”

    In fact there is double distortion because even if the MWP was warmer that still would in no way suggest that global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. This is typical of the whole article – a mishmash of factual innacuracy, wilful misrepresentation and logical fallacy.

    [Response: Well said. – gavin]

  24. 224
    Fred Magyar says:

    Undecided @ 58

    Just a personal perspective from a layman, I’m sure you’ll all correct me in your usual manner.

    Let me, a layperson, attempt to try an analogy that might help make it a bit clearer.

    General practitioner tells you, you have a brain tumor. You need to go to an expert in the field.

    Choice A: Neurologist

    Choice B: Proctologist

    Side show: Your bartender at the local pub has heard that the gardener at the Proctologist’s golf club is not sure that the Neurologists really know all that much about neurology.

    So you go and ask the bartender (another layman) for advice on how to extract your cephalic protrusion from your arse?!

    If you wish to debate science with any scientist then go get your advanced degree, then do some research, get your data and then publish your findings in the appropriate peer reviewed journals.

    Otherwise you esteemed opinion is worth about as much as a steaming cow pile, Now why is that such a difficult concept for most laypeople to grasp?

  25. 225
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Rod B “That sounds damn close to ‘we now know it all’ ala Physics, circa 1900. Closer than your 95%.”

    And so what have we learned about pendulums that we didn’t know before 1900?

  26. 226
    Jeffrey Davis says:

    David Glass (217) hasn’t replied so I’ll post the last sentence of the Abstract from the paper cited. The Abstract is the first paragraph of the paper.

    “Conclusions for the Southern Hemisphere and global mean temperature are limited by the sparseness of available proxy data in the Southern Hemisphere at present.”

  27. 227
    David B. Benson says:

    Completely Fed Up (224) — Keeping inverted double pendulums aloft:
    Now we just need to control the cilmate. :-)

  28. 228
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Peter whale asks:”I am confused, can anyone state what weather/climate denotes global warming and what weather/climate would denote no global warming?”

    Wrong question, if you are confused about the recent manufactroversy. It should be “Can anyone state what is statistically significant and what is not statistically significant?”

    Dr. Jones’ answer for 1995-present warming is 0.12 degrees per decade (important part coming next!) plus or minus 0.12 degrees per decade. In other words the short term data could be consistent with a rate of 0 (neither warming nor cooling) or a rate of 0.24 (pretty darn rapid warming). The proper approach is to take a longer set of data, to reduce the plus or minus part. Did you ask yourself why the number 1995 was asked as the start point? Why not 1990? 1985?

  29. 229
    grzejnik says:

    Completely fed up, to your points:

    1. Yes really, he said so, and did not/could not provide the data. I don’t care if he doesn’t wash or how he has the data but if he’s putting it in papers…

    2. I say “lost” in quotes to imply he “lost” it on purpose, or like he said its unorganized.

    3. If this data used in published papers were available online for any and everyone there would be no issue and no cost to the UK taxpayers. His witholding it for whatever reason appears to be (and is) bogus.

    4. Proof of my accusations? Jones said he didn’t release data because it was sloppy or lost, I’m paraphrasing look up the interview if you need to. Lost data? This is in the realm of common knowledge which is part of my point: climate science is in trouble and its not because of skeptics or the media. My appeal is to Gavin who I think is one of the smartest people on this blog but misguided into being a PR person when he should be doing science, of this I have no proof only opinion. Do climate science a favor and take this blog offline and get back to work is my other opinion. The internet is great but is a big waste of Gavin’s talent.

    TO GSW – you get it, but I’m saying all of this catastrophic shocking activist stuff. These guys need to get out of activism and back to science.

    TO Paul A – I’m comparing Jones to Jones and what is needed of a leader in his position. Maybe he is unqualified for that position, maybe he is. I don’t know. I agree that having your thought of as private emails be public is a tough one that few would come out unscathed, but remember first of all the taxpayer money and while it was the case the expectation of privacy is wrong and many or most public scientists and other public employees have no expectation of private emails on their work account. Plus you just can’t ignore what is said. Or maybe you can. I can’t. Thats also what I’m saying, move on. Hire some librarians and archivists if that is whats needed, get that information lined up in a row. Make your temperature graph. Show exactly what went into it. Make it true and make it verifiable. This is so easy, so much has been damaged here and this blog is defending it. I’m sorry but its true. I want whats best for humans and my kids and grandkids. This global warming movement I’m afraid is not whats best. As GSW says, admit what is wrong, and not as a whitewash. Correct it. If Steve McIntyre is right then he’s right. If he’s wrong but you can’t produce the data that shows it, then shame on you. This is a barking mad blog, everyone is so righteious and indignant about skeptics yet there are gaping holes in this science. Open your eyes, its time to wake up.

  30. 230
    Undecided says:

    Nice one fred Maygar – you completely underline my point with your holier than tho attitude. And your analogy doesn’t quite fit if you really think about it. Firstly the neurologist has many years of actual data that can and has been proved over and over again. Secondly, we don’t have public debate on his expertise, he’s trusted & proven.

  31. 231
    BobFJ says:

    There have been various references to the ‘interview’ between Roger Harrabin and Phil Jones. However, here is an extract from the BBC website; my bold:

    “…The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics. The questions were put to Professor Jones with the co-operation of UEA’s press office…“
    It is interesting to read this carefully in full, and to note who is asking the questions.
    Elsewhere it is clear that these were written exchanges over a period including updates.

    In the update in the lead-n to this thread, the following link is given to a CRU statement:
    It is interesting to compare in full, a news item in Nature and what else has also been commented:

  32. 232
    Jim Shewan says:

    I would think good evidence regarding the temp of the MWP is the glacier above La Paz which recently vanished completely after haveing obviously survived the MWP intact. It was 18,000 years old.

  33. 233
    Theo Hopkins says:

    Is there stuff available anywhere that discusses ideas around the (as yet?) unexplained divergence between temperatures and tree ring density that has caused Phil Jones’ problem?

  34. 234
    Theo Hopkins says:

    I know this is not science, but looking at the mug shots of Phil Jones on the net I somehow feel he is an honest man. :-)

  35. 235
    Stuart says:

    “Dr. Jones’ answer for 1995-present warming is 0.12 degrees per decade (important part coming next!) plus or minus 0.12 degrees per decade. In other words the short term data could be consistent with a rate of 0 (neither warming nor cooling) or a rate of 0.24 (pretty darn rapid warming). The proper approach is to take a longer set of data, to reduce the plus or minus part. Did you ask yourself why the number 1995 was asked as the start point? Why not 1990? 1985?”

    Essentially by cherry picking a start point recent enough in data with any amount of variance you can always force a scientist to say “we aren’t sure”. Essentially it is similar to instead of asking what the result of a fair dice roll would be over thousands of iterations (i.e. ~3.5), you ask what the single next dice roll will be, and then complain that the statistics isn’t up to the job of predicting dice rolls, so it must be useless.

  36. 236
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Re #179 BPL

    We should note, with regard to the Solanki solar article, that the reporter almost certainly did not write the stupid headline–editors usually do that.

    In that case the editors forgot to stop when they got to the end of the headline. Otherwise how did Krivova and Solanki’s :

    “We show that at least in the most recent past (since about 1970) the solar influence on climate cannot have been significant”

    Advances in Space Research,2004 vol.34 (2004) p.361.

    get reported as

    “The truth about global warming – it’s the Sun that’s to blame.
    Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.

    A study by Swiss and German scientists suggests that increasing radiation from the sun is responsible for recent global climate changes. [my bold]

    “The Sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently – in the last 100 to 150 years.” ?

    Daily Telegraph 18th July 2004

    It is true that this was followed by a fairer account. i.e. the DT has “balanced” complete misrepresentation which was quite prominent, with a better version which is less prominent. What is worse is that both versions are run together making for complete confusion. Which will the rapid reader remember , the headline and the first four paragraphs or the remainder of the article which may never be reached?


  37. 237
    Hank Roberts says:

    > is there

    Google; you know how to do a site search? Google finds:
    about 371 from for “tree ring density” divergence

  38. 238
    Leonard Herchen says:

    Gavin: Questions: Jones suggests (more or less) that there likely was a MWP in parts of the world, but it is not seen in areas where there are few palaeoclimatic records…

    The obvious question is, if the MWP is clearly expressed in NA, North Atlantic and Eurpoe adn parts of Asia, why does the reconstruction of MBH98 and afterwords not have a MWP in the data?

    Part 2, have you done a subset of the reconstruction that overlaps (NA, parts of asia, europe, atlantic) to see if the MWP si present in the data?

    Final, If the reconstruction (of all or a relevant subset) cannot show a MWP, doesn’t that suggest the conclusions of MBP98 et al become significantly less certain?

    Thanks so much

  39. 239
    Riesz says:

    Re “176
    A little OT but here goes: Having spent time on both sides of the campus and a lot of time off it, I feel that the fundamental problem isn’t just that there’s a misunderstanding of the science, there’s a lack of understanding of the scientific method. I challenge those of higher academia to go across to their brethren in non science disciplines and ask them what it is. I predict 50 percent will give the correct answer. And these are the smart ones. In the real world there’s probably a lot fewer. So what’s the answer? Educate. But don’t assume they know the basics. KISS apllies. Give them the choice. The blue pill or the red pill(why did I take the red pill?)
    Here’s a link. Feel free to substitute Phil for Morpheus and Climate for the Matrix

  40. 240
    Deech56 says:

    Seems that a lot of people are having problems understanding Dr. Jones’ remarks about the Medieval Climate Anomaly, and are unaware of a paper published last year in Science. Maybe an update on millennial temperature reconstructions is in order. Be nice to have a good science discussion.

  41. 241
    Ray Ladbury says:

    I was looking at records recently. The period from Tambora (1815) to Krakataua (1882) was remarkably free of large volcanic eruptions. Moreover, the end of the period looks to have a very large spike in the data, perhaps indicative of an El Nino. I think the trend is largely explainable in terms of these two factors.

    The period 1910-1940 was also largely eruption free, and solar irradiation was increasing. Moreover, greenhouse gasses were increasing with some rapidity in this period. I think these are plausible explanations.

  42. 242
    Jerry says:

    Mr. Bradbury:
    You wrote that it’s not as if there are no proxies for southern climate but the ones you have don’t indicate that it experienced the same warming.

    Therein lies a problem. It seems that there is legitimate debate as to the confidence in those proxies to state with certainty that there either was or was not a concomitant southern warming for the Medievel Climate Optimum.

    Whom to believe? What degree of reasonable certainty do you have? Compared with professor Jones? Compared with me?

    We all hold different standards for everything. My problem is that the same lack of data (or presence of sufficient data to you) leaves me scratching my head. The MCE (or MWP) isn’t shown on the hockey stick. Why not? because the data isn’t there to suggest it was global – and was not there to suggest it was not.

    Think of it this way. It’s like a criminal court. If presumed innocent then the prosecutor would have to produce enough evidence to overcome that presumption. If presumed guilty, then the defendant would have to produce evidence to refute it.

    Thus, any global paleoclimate history would operate from a base presumption. Scientists presume, too.

    Frankly, I’m fascinated by the differing subjective requirements for proof on all sides – because reasonable minds can differ. Even Bohr and Einstein – both unquestioned geniuses – differed.

    But I appreciate the response, sir.

  43. 243
    jonesy says:

    Re #153
    Your update Update 2/16/10 link is wrong – this refers to the allegations made by the Guardian. Not the Daily Mail.

    [Response: Thanks. Fixed now.]

    It still goes to the Guardian story message.

    There doesn’t appear to be a CRU message regarding the Mail story.
    See CRU statements.

  44. 244
    OSC13_4_xmas says:

    Bernie thanks for speaking Klingon. Fed, Thanks for the Anand and Hargreaves reference. Great point there about belief systems with priors so rigid that the prior and posterior are the same. Also their finding that thinner-tailed priors having thinner tailed posteriors across the board is probably earth shattering among the Gibbs sampler crowd. I have posted a set of pretty pictures that show modest MWP, recent AGW, and several DCD’s* using 20 year scaled averages of Mann 2008 compiled proxies.
    But back to my point. They also show the need for time varying and most likely spatially varying parameter estimates. Even oblations to the Right Reverend Bayes do not buy you the degrees of freedom necessary to accomplish that task.
    Ray L you can just look at the pictures you will get the point.

    *(darn cold decades)

  45. 245
    Leo G says:

    How about this response from Dr. Svalgaard to a question I asked him on another blog regarding solar output –

    Leo G (14:52:37) :
    Could you please let me know which, if any version is correct?
    {The sun’s output varies very little. Solar activity seems to have an ~100 year ‘cycle’ [the past 300 years], so what little variation there has been has gone up and down a little bit:
    My best guess of the output looks like this [red curve]:
    The ups and downs are on the order of 1/1000 of the whole.}

  46. 246
    harvey says:

    Re: grzejnik @229
    Stop feeding this troll. He really doesnt want the right answers, he only wants the answers that map to his world view.
    Let him post all he wansts, it’s just a waste of time to respond to him.

  47. 247
    Didactylos says:

    jonesy: the link description was wrong, not the link. Read the update again….

  48. 248
    Colour me confused says:

    Any thoughts on this paper? Apologies in advance if it has already been covered here.

    [Response: Nonsense. -gavin]

  49. 249
    flxible says:

    “2. I say “lost” in quotes to imply he “lost” it on purpose, or like he said its unorganized”
    “4. Proof of my accusations? Jones said he didn’t release data because it was sloppy or lost, I’m paraphrasing look up the interview if you need to. Lost data?” [bold mine]

    So I did look up the interview [the Nature version linked here]. Apparently it’s your reading comprehension and interpretation that’s “sloppy or lost”, what he actually said was more like “the record of where the Chinese data stations were located was lost” [the stations, not the data, because they came via a 3rd party, and yes], “allowing that to happen was sloppy and shouldn’t have happened.” But also “The science still holds up though. A follow-up study verified the original conclusions for the Chinese data for the period 1954–1983, showing that the precise location of weather stations was unimportant.”
    Yet you purposely imply he purposely did someting wrong. And make your take on the person trump the science.
    “Open your eyes, its time to wake up.”

    Also “My appeal is to Gavin who I think is one of the smartest people on this blog but misguided into being a PR person when he should be doing science, of this I have no proof only opinion. Do climate science a favor and take this blog offline and get back to work is my other opinion”

    My appeal to Gavin, who I believe is the most well spoken among the group of exceptionally intelligent bloggers here [commenters aside] would be: please carry on with the most excellent public face you’re putting on science and scientific integrity. Your choice to keep the public up to speed on the leading edge of the science is appreciated and valuable. Sorry your being so knowledgeable on this important topic results in being a crank magnet!

  50. 250
    jimt says:

    “The automatic answer to your question is “natural variability”. The question was a fair one. What falsifiability criteria are there? You can do better!”

    Had the warming predicted decades ago not actually occurred, AGW would have been falsified. But it did happen, and AGW stands as the only coherent scientific theory that can explain all of the observed changes in earths climate. “natural variability” does not meet your own “falsifiability” criterion for a valid scientific theory – it predicts nothing and explains nothing. Its just wishful thinking.