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The Bore Hole

Filed under: — group @ 6 December 2004

A place for comments that would otherwise disrupt sensible conversations.

2,017 Responses to “The Bore Hole”

  1. 851
    John Whitman says:

    “One could even ask whether the effort that we have put into RealClimate has been in vain.”

    RC did have a major impact. It spun off a great many really high caliber skeptics and that had a significant impact on the current trend toward a more balanced discourse in climate science.


  2. 852
    thespam2.0 says:

    Propaganda costs huge sums of money to be successful in changing views unless no free counter views are available.

    If the truth is cheap to disperse then propaganda becomes ever increasing more costly to counter the simple truth.

    Censorship is a must for propaganda to stand a chance. The best censorship is the half censor where one cuts some of the piece and then makes an argument against the half thought that’s left.

    “A recent paper by Brulle et al (2012) also suggests that the provision of information has less impact than what opinion leaders (top politicians) say. ”

    I would say this breaks down into the simple sociology reality of the collective vs the individual. Or more commonly called the left vs the right.

    Collectivist(the left) live for the group. A leader of the group says something the group listens and believes. It doesn’t matter if its true or even makes sense. Doomsday cults, religions, oppression, belief in global warming. All based on the collectivist ideology.

    The individual(the right) tend not to believe much of any leader. They look at the arguments presented. They then check those arguments for themselves. This means that they do often research into what a “leader” says and decide for themselves based on what a “leader” says and what they find themselves.

    In between you have “the center”. The center swings around based on its views. “The center” will believe a leader they trust unless they have a reason not to believe them.

    This of course is where “are steered by big events” comes into play. If the big event causes a loss of trust the center will stop believing a leader. Loss of trust can be a result of many things. One of the most common is that people suddenly take interest in the event and the supposed reasons for the event. This results in them doing their own research on the event and causes. When they however do their own research they find that it doesn’t confirm what was claim by say the media/leader/etc.

    This results in a loss of trust because the public became so interested in the event that they find the simple cheap truth.

    In many respects its a bit of an irony in propaganda that by drawing people in to support the cause via propaganda, it in turn results in more research done by the people and thus in turn more people are exposed to the free and cheap truth of the non-propaganda side. This means that the only way for propaganda to ever be successful is to shut down all truth and counter views or the propaganda reaches a tipping point, to where so many people are talking about the issue/event that the truth comes out to the public at large and overwhelms those producing the propaganda.

    The global warming debate is a text book case of this process. As more money is being spent to produce propaganda for the public, those that produce the truth need only exist for the information they have to be spread to the public… because the public is seeking information on the topic. The truth spreads quickly and normally the propaganda side needs to create another big event to suppress the truth, regain trust or create a “new” issue which is still the same issues.

    A great display of that change is of course the cycle of the population bomb then global cooling, then warming, then etc. Changing the issue but its really all the same issue.

  3. 853
    Logan says:

    Katrina and the Russian heat wave are both examples where it was later demonstrated that there was not a correlation to AGW. Hence, is it possible that the entire proposition centers around people ultimately finding out what is true versus what was predicted? World freezing predicted in 1993, didn’t happen. Population bomb ending world as we know it by 2000. Didn’t happen. And, currently, the world is melting, yet the Arctic ice extent has significantly returned.

    This doesn’t require falling back to Jung or Brulle. It’s just a matter of basic cognitive dissonance. Reality versus AGW alarmism ultimately catches up with people over time.

  4. 854
    Adam Gallon says:

    Well, well. What did you expect?
    When Katerina hit, it was touted by the “Warmists” as being but a shadow of things to come, yet since then, despite rising CO2 levels, global ACE has declined to historic low levels.
    There’s been no significant increases in global temps for 15 or more years, Antarctic sea ice is increasing, Arctic sea ice is showing no signs of disappearing over summer. Snow & cold are back with a vengeance in Europe (Probably the USA too), we’ve had no hot summers in the UK, we’ve seen Mann’s Hockey Stick shown to be an artifact of the mathematical & statistical treatment, combined with inverted lake sediments & “Hide the Decline”. We see you lot denying any errors & wrong doing about it.
    We see Antarctica isn’t heating up, outside of the peninsula, again the paper much touted as “proof” of warming (Steig et al) owes much to faulty data manipulation.
    None of these errors are admitted by the authors, their scientific supporters or their political masters.
    What’s the chances of this post being censored, like most critical ones being posted here?
    Climate change is happening, it’s always happened. We certainly do contribute to it, to a small degree (ie under 1.5C per doubling!)by various gaseous emissions.
    “One could even ask whether the effort that we have put into RealClimate has been in vain.”
    Yes, it has.
    We’ve come here, saw how dissenting views are suppressed, seen how you’re so rude and encourage rudeness by your cheerleaders & left!

  5. 855
    Utahn says:

    Happy to help, Jim, I feel good about the impending cooling too…

  6. 856
    vukcevic says:

    #17 Daniel Bailey says:
    vukcevic’s comment above is quite off-topic on this thread. At a minimum, please consign it to the open thread and delete this comment.

    Yes, I agree, indeed it is off topic, but it may be of a fundamental importance to the climate science and geophysics.
    – fact that (as it appears) fluctuations in the intensity of the geomagnetic field are synchronized with solar magnetic activity, to a degree of two orders of magnitude greater, is totally unexpected and eventually may lead to redefining of the sun-Earth link.
    – from practical and more immediate concern to the climate science are the interpretations of the Antarctica’s 10Be data from the Dome Fuji ice cores, which are widely used for various assessment in numerous academic papers (see graph no. 3) in
    Finally, there are strong indications that the GW may be experiencing either plateau or a possible decline in the near future, in which case the above discovery may provide some of the answers.

  7. 857
    Relucticant says:

    Appeal to authority is always a fallacy in scientific pursuit. I think we all agree that in the end the scientific merit of a theory or fact, that is its predictive power or agreement with observations, and what can be inferred from them are what matters. If an authority’s claims are based on ‘true’ premises his expertise is not needed, otherwise it is fallacious. Wikipedia’s definition might not agree, but that article is bad (and an authority ;-)), just read the “talk” page for some convincing arguments. Appeal to authority can be justified under strained circumstances e.g. if there is no time to evaluate the arguments. In such cases, the argumentative portion should be forfeited and the appeal to authority made clear.

    @Ray Ladbury (#71):
    “Appeal to authority is NOT in and of itself a fallacy. The fallacy of appeal to authority occurs when the said authority is not an expert on the question being considered. We would not consult Stephen Hawking on jumpshot technique, for instance.”

    I argue that it is. Expertise is irrelevant when the facts themselves can be examined.

    “The fact of the matter is that an expert’s opinion of the evidence is more likely to have value than that of a layman. Appealing to valid authority is a perfectly valid technique in rhetoric.

    I doubt most people would proscribe to the view that a layman’s opinion is more likely to have value. However, why do statistics with perceived truthiness of opinions instead of the factuality of the claims themselves? If you take rhetoric to be the art of convincing then sure it is allowed, however, so would be ad hominem and the straw man.

    @robert (#74):
    “Relucticant (#61): Dan H’s “appeal to authority” argument is misapplied. Citing the overwhelming consensus of a rather large expert community is not an appeal to authority — it is an “appeal to the conclusions of a rather large expert community.”

    This is semantic juggling; it is a very clear case of appeal to authority. The point of “appeal to authority” being a fallacy is that by doing so you devaluate the absolute importance of facts if you proscribe to expertise itself as being important.

    Scientific data, as you request,is discussed — by the rather large expert community. But detailed discussion of this data among the lay public is pointless. We have expert communities because they are needed. Can you imagine Ed Witten and Steven Weinberg having a detailed discussion of the ins and outs of string theory with the lay public (policymakers, the Heartland Institute, your skeptical uncle)? An “appeal to the overwhelming consensus of a rather large expert community” is entirely appropriate for complex topics, and is not equivalent to an “appeal to authority” as envisaged by our beleaguered Dan H.

    That the “general public” does not have the time or capacity to evaluate the facts does not make it less of a fallacy. They can decide based on authority, but then lose the claim to truth. The only way of using “appeal to authority” to criticize Dan H. would be if he said something along the lines of: “Not counteracting climate change is the best policy option because Freeman Dyson said so”, you could use your own even more authoritative authorities, but even then, without examining the facts can you really weight experts?

  8. 858
    Mickey Reno says:

    It’s ironic and strangely fitting that a supporter of CAGW hypotheses should argue on RealClimate in favor of a proposition that the sad fate of the Titanic was chiefly due to the inactions of the stupid people aboard another ship.

    Susan Anderson wrote: …with the doubting and delaying efforts of [climate alamism skeptics] [climate change] is in the process of becoming a much bigger disaster.

    Ah, you must be talking about the Hanson temperature projections? But they were wrong, too high. Ah, so you must be talking about the polar bear extinctions. No? I’ve got it, it’s the 50 million climate refugees from two years ago. No, that didn’t happen. It must be the shrinking alpine glaciers in the Himalayas. No, wait, is it the rising sea levels?

    Clearly, the need for actual Real [tm] disasters is why there is such a big push from your side to suddenly link weather tragedies and deaths to climate change, That’s funny, too, because up until now, there at least seemed to have been a gentleman’s agreement that short term weather and long term climate should not be conflated, lest we begin to delude ourselves for emotionally satisfying, but inaccurate reasons.

    Now, it would seem, your side NEEDS this specifc delusion so that the tragedy of tornado or flood deaths, which have been occurring to humans since they’ve existed, can keep alive your silly and unsupported assertions of impending global doom.

  9. 859
    Mike Flynn says:

    Ray Ladbury,
    You have not contradicted a single thing I have said.
    You have made a series of irrelevant assertions – Earth has been here rougly (sic) 4.5 billion years, Planck and Stefan Boltzmann Laws, ” . . . we can . . . measure the energy. . .” and so on.
    Precisely what do you mean by “. . . put us 33 degrees cooler than we are.”?
    This is a New Age Non Science statement. You are not talking about the Earth’s surface. You may be implying that the near surface air temperatures serve as a proxy for surface temperatures. Unfortunately, the exposed land comprises but a small proportion of the Earth’s surface. Most of the surface of the solid Earth lies under water.
    So once agin, what is your definition of the “surface” whose temperature you so confidently assert is 33 degrees higher than what you also confidently assert to be theoretically correct?
    You are not talking about the temperature of the Earth itself, average or otherwise. The average temperature of the Earth can only be guessed at, given the current state of scientific knowledge, although even would treat Al Gore’s quoted “millions of degrees” with a certain amount of scepticism
    Someone who obviously has not read Fourier, has totally misinterpreted what the great man actually wrote. I commend his work to you, and suggest you read the original French, if you are lucky enough to be fluent in that language. Fourier supports my observation, whether you want to believe it or not.
    Please do not take offence, but you have provided nothing that contradicts the alternative explanation that you asked for. You are right in one respect, albeit indirectly. Yes, there is heat being radiated away from the Earth surface which emanates from the Earths hot inner regions.
    If this is not a definition of cooling, you observe physics from a different perspective than I.

    In the meantime,

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  10. 860
    James Buiten says:

    This article was very well written. I wish there were more articles like this on this site.
    I believe we should take whatever steps necessary to reduce our co2 footprint, that being said, I dont think climate scientist have met their burden of proof when it comes to global warming.

    I think I am with #59, sometimes it appears that climate scientists want to prove their point by insulting deniers.

    Like most of the general public, I dont have the scientific background to argue the theory of AGW. But the AGW crowd would be naive to believe that this field of science hasnt thrown up all kinds of red flags when it comes to credibility.

    I agree with # 59 that a scientist criticizing the way Heartland operates is calling the kettle black. I dont think warmists should run around calling those who disagree with them “anti science”, while justifying the fraud Gleick commited.

    Warmists’ arguments are very similar to skeptics. It is easy to claim that “organisations like the Heartland make dismissive claims about any connection between big events and climate change”, but the agw crowd makes the same dismissive claims for events that dont support their theory.

    I clicked on the link about the “republican war on science”, and I landed on a site selling a book about how the conservative agenda put politics ahead of scientific truth. But what the liberal agenda ? It is no coincidence that what scientists tell us we should do to save the planet, is no different than what liberals tell us we should believe. Liberals will claim every negative event is now caused by global warming, and failing to subscribe to their agenda makes you now responsible for the next big event.

    Climate scientist have allowed their science to be used as a vehicle to advance the liberal agenda, and now cry foul when theyre not taken serious by conservatives. Can Republicans be blamed for thinking that the reason Democrats want to raise taxes has very little to do with their concern for polar bears or Kenyan rainmakers ?

    At this point I think, climate scientists can not tell us if the polar bear population has decreased or increased in the last 15 years, yet they can tell the temp in the inlands of eritrea in 518bc down to 1/10 of a degree.

  11. 861
    Mike Flynn says:


    Your blog. Your rules. Allow, or don’t allow. I never become upset or offended, if it makes any difference to you.

    Here’s the thing. You have a rather large mass of mainly molten rock (the Earth), floating hundreds of millions of kilometers from the nearest external source of heat (the Sun.)

    Now someone says that you can raise the temperature of the mass by changing the composition of the gaseous mixture surrounding it.

    It doesn’t sound quite so feasible when you express it that way.

    Anyway, good luck with that (as my wife says on occasion.)

    For now, I bid you adieu.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn

  12. 862
    vukcevic says:

    This is addressed to Dr. Eric Steig (expert in the polar climate matters)
    Are you aware of strong correlation between the TSI and the Antarctic magnetic field’s decadal variability?
    see also: and

  13. 863
    Fred Magyar says:

    Chris G @7
    “… but I think it comes down to, if you don’t have a firm understanding of the hard sciences, you can’t know. It all boils down to which voices you choose to listen to.”

    I personally have a difficult time grasping how people parse reality and let peer pressure and emotions override their rational thinking.

    Suppose you are diagnosed with a heart murmur and decide to seek a second opinion.

    Would you: A) consult a Heart special_ist with 30 years experience, B) consult a Neurologist, or C) consult an Engineer who has a specialization in hydraulic systems?

    You’d think that would be a no brainer… In the same vein (no pun intended) why does the average person prefer to take the word of engineers and rocket scientists at NASA over the word of a James Hanson?

    Note: to moderators, it seems the word special_ist is being flagged because it contains the name of a certain forbidden product?

  14. 864
    vukcevic says:

    Apparent strong ‘correlation’ (correlation is not necessarily causation) between the solar magnetic output as represented by the TSI and the decadal variability of the Earth’s magnetic field in the Antarctic, until now was not known to the solar science or the geophysics, may be worth of a closer examination in considering the climate’s natural variability.
    Some of my initial work is shown here:

  15. 865
    Dan H. says:

    Well, Duh! Warming is the effect, is that all that is agreed upon? No wonder people here think there is a consensus. The rest of us are concerned with the magnitude of the warming.

  16. 866
    Steve says:

    Mann’s “solid” reconstruction without tree rings was a mirage: it depended on Mann’s use of contaminated Tiljander data, used upside down. In the SI to Mann et al 2009, Mann conceded that his no-dendro reconstructions did not validate without contaminated data (but, unfortunately, did not notify PNAS or retract the earlier paper). Nor did Mann notify Revkin of the then pending admissions, instead allowing Revkin to continue to believe that the Mann et al 2008 no-dendro reconstruction was “solid”. In his recent book, Mann made no reference to the apparent concessions on the invalidity of Mann et al no-dendro reconstructions, instead claiming that Mann et al 2008 had used “objective” methods to validate the contaminated data.

  17. 867
    Dan H. says:

    As Jim stated, Hadcrut4 is not up to date. CRUT3 was trending higher until the last year. This is just nitpicking. Maybe Fred’s question would be better stated as, “how long would temperatures need to show no increase, before scientists reconsider their theory. My answer is 30 years, which when combined with 2000-12 is another 18. In reality, some scientists would rethink the theory long before then.

    Also, the 17 years was for tropospheric temperatures, particularly RSS data, which shows no significant warming over the past 17 years.

  18. 868
    timg56 says:

    RE this:

    Whether a major event like hurricane Katrina or the Moscow heat wave changes attitudes towards climate change is determined by people’s interpretation of this event, and whether they draw a connection to climate change – though not necessarily directly. I see this as a major reason why organisations such as the Heartland are fighting their PR battle by claiming that such events are all natural and have nothing to do with emissions

    Is there evidence that the two events cited were caused by emissions and are not natural?

    Is it part of an honest debate to claim Katrina is an example of extreme weather events we can expect to see more of due to increased concentration of CO2? The Texas heatwave? What then happens when we go a record period without a major hurricane making landfall with the US or have the research tell us frequency has been falling and intensity increase is insignificant? Does there not become a credability gap?

    The risk in accepting the position that what counts is how the public perceives something and scripting your message around that is you lose your position as honest providers of imformation.

  19. 869
    Salamano says:


    Looking forward to the RC post on this subject. There have been subsequent responses to the original RC post concerning Yamal that have pointed out inadequacies (or perhaps not direct responses to the direct claims made by folks like SM)…

    It would also appear that the ICO disagrees with the idea that McIntyre’s reasons for being entitled to FOI materials are “unclear”.

    Further, even though the “Hockey-Stick” idea has been borne out in many other varied studies, it would be nice to concentrate on just this Yamal incident and the surrounding plurality of regional cores that are apparently available. It seems it shouldn’t matter what is being said/shown elsewhere if this is an independent data location with independent analysis.

    btw… first captcha word: “obscurior”

  20. 870
    vendicar decarian says:

    I note that the comments here are becoming increasingly vitriolic with regard to Libertarian groups like Heartland, CEI, CATO, etc.

    We all know which side will ultimately win.

    What do people here see as the end game, and when? What are the events through which science ultimately wins?

  21. 871
    Tom Scharf says:

    @242, @245, @246

    Where to begin…shooting fish in a barrel here…

    I’m sure you guys have been around the block enough here that you could write my responses for me. Clearly the op-ed was deceptive on multiple points, and you know it.

    A NYT reader’s perception of long term is likely to be a 100 years, not the more likely 50,000 it will take for sea levels to make that kind of change, if it did happen. This is Al Gore smoke and mirrors climate marketing and to my mind, intentionally misleading.

    The tone of certainty that Dr. Hansen uses with linkage to recent extreme events is misleading and borderline dishonest, clearly the recent IPCC EREX(?) report disagrees with this conclusion and other peer reviewed papers (NOAA) state there is no linkage to the stated recent events. He is in the minority here.

    The biggest problem is lack of qualifiers. There are no “some scientists say”, “further study is needed”, etc. His minority opinion on future attributions is stated as scientific fact, and his title at NASA and exposure at the NYT allows it to carry weight it does not scientifically deserve.

    It is carefully written to be defensible on a detail scale, but yet overall gives the reader a view that is in fact, not scientifically valid.

    One specific case in point is when he points out that when CO2 levels where last at these levels, sea levels were 50 feet higher. But he isn’t technically saying this CO2 level will in fact result in this sea level increase now, is he? No, but he intentionally leaves this obvious conclusion dangling out there for the reader to grasp and fear. Intentional deception to my mind.

    This op-ed is pretty over the top alarmist stuff, I hope we can mostly agree on that, he even states it is apocalyptic himself. He clearly believes it, so fine. Freedom of speech is good for all.

    But my objection is NASA allowing him to use their hard earned and deserved reputation as a platform for this and the failure of the climate community to set the record straight and allow this stuff to stand. It is an embarrassment for all of science.

    I love NASA, you will not find a bigger supporter of the space program than myself, but I cringe at this. Others should as well.

  22. 872
    Laws of Nature says:

    Hi Gavin,

    in your reply to comment #1, you write
    “[..] whatever judgement calls that Briffa et al make (on the level of coherence necessary, significance levels, magnitude of common signal, statistical method etc.) they will still be accused of fudging it to produce a desired result – because that is so easy for the ‘critics’ to do. Every analysis involves judgement calls – even McIntyre’s.[..]”

    To me these judgment calls seem to be the key items in the whole evaluation process. Aren’t they the real targets of McIntyre’s efforts?
    And he did serve some purpose there in the past as he was pointing out some over weighted trees or data used upside down – which seems to have happened due to a failure of them judgment calls!

  23. 873
    Mickey Reno says:

    @ #7 moderater eric said: “What’s at issue here is whether McIntyre is actually interested in science progressing, or merely in stopping it from progressing.”

    Wow, that’s creepy! I want to address the meat of this issue, but can’t let this sort of crap go without a response, so I’ll do two posts.

    No, McIntyre’s motives are NOT what’s at issue, eric. I’ve seen this kind of crap before, from Scientologists. It’s the old “we’re right, by definition, and anyone who disagrees is an ___SP___ [fill in the blank]” ploy. A little hint for you: this thought-stopping ploy never works for long, and if you keep at it, you’ll end up being thought of as a thug and a cultist, and no one will like you. Furthermore, such feeble attempts to control how people view your opponent(s) are an insult to the noble history of scientific inquiry, a history which should be respected most by people claiming to be scientists.

    People who’s scientific work is being criticized should NOT lie in judgement of the internal motivations of the critic. Under that system, corruption would build so fast it would make your head spin. So, let’s give McIntyre the benefit of assuming his motivations to be noble, of wanting to show where a bit of debateable theory has gone astray.

    My new RC posting sig:
    Weeee! Hey I really like this new ejector slide from “authorized” RC threads to the Bore Hole. ;-)

  24. 874
    SirCharge says:

    Here’s this issue, as I understand it, in a nutshell:

    There is a divergance problem with tree ring analysis of temperature wherein they generally don’t display a modern temperature increase.

    Briffa produced the Yamal series data using a small sample of trees from a single site which did show a 20th century temperature increase and this series has been used in nearly every temperature reconstruction since showing a “hockey stick” shape. In addition a second paper was produced, using the same Yamal trees data, that did not have a “hockey stick” shape by the Russian team that actually acquired the Yamal data. In addition, it appears that a number of trees that were available to Briffa were not used.

    McIntyre complained that he believed the Briffa reconstruction came to its conclusion as a result of “cherry picking” data and then attempted to find out what data Briffa had available when he selected the trees that he had used and what statistical analyses he had used to come to his conclusion.

    Dendro-climactic reconstructions are important as they give most of the “hockey sticks” that nice long and flat handle and lack the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that skeptics contend should be present. Briffa’s Yamal trees were a bonus because they were a rarity: A set of trees that also displayed a Modern Warm Period.

    This whole discussion brings up a significant issue: When there is a question of “cherry picking” the only way to prove or disprove the accusation is to make all (used and unused) data available and explain why data was determined to be acceptable for the study. Normally, this would be ethically expected behavior in any scientific study. Briffa contends that he is going to produce this data at a later date, however it has been 13 years since the initial Yamal study and 4 since the most recent release and nothing has been produced.

    Having said this, the arguments of dendro-climatology seem rather ludicrous. Tree rings seem to be poor indicators of temperature and excellent indicators of precipitation/water availability. Most tree ring reconstructions do not accurately represent the temperature of the past 100 years (the only time period where we have accurate measurements with which to compare them.) This should, logically, invalidate them as worthwhile indicators of temperature reconstructions.

  25. 875
    Salamano says:


    McEnttire’s continued fixation with this data seems utterly pointless to me. What is he trying to show? That the planet isn’t warming? That the land surface, sea surface and satellite data are also wrong? That the cryosphere isn’t melting?

    I think he’s trying to show the exceedingly low robustness of the dendro-record of Yamal in relation to the fuller set of regional cores in depicting the same temperature picture as indicated elsewhere– and perhaps the wider issue of using tree-rings at all to indicate a non-divergent global warming signal without having to resort to ‘epistemological judgment calls’ about what cores are worth more than other cores. I think such a conclusion, if allowed to take root, would be interesting, regardless if the Global Warming fingerprints are manifested in a litany of other sources, the literature would look differently if it became known that original way-back papers that discovered such a climate signal through dendro were in fact not good enough for science work regardless if they were subsequently confirmed by other studies in other areas.

    There seems to be a lot of fight to simultaneously keep the viability of Yamal conclusions alive while attempting to minimize their overall relevance, and it could go back to keeping alive the methodology of the original papers and their use of yamal and/or bristlecones, etc. (again, even if other papers/data sets more satisfyingly/robustly verify a HS signal).

    And does he think that the results of this dendro analysis will prove the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist? Seriously, what in the world can he hope to accomplish?

    I actually don’t think SM is out to disprove GW or AGW … I think he’s just out to disprove the robustness of various (some) tree ring analyses and the use of them in generating temperature reconstructions. It is incorrect to say this is ‘uninteresting’ or ‘unworthy’ of being in the literature because it would represent a forward motion in establishing quality standards and statistic robustness as it comes to tree-ring data, rather than purely relying on judgment calls that elevate some data over another that’s bound to create the obvious kerfluffle. Even if the HockeyStick is validated in 100 other places it doesn’t automatically mean that only trees that show it as well are ‘worthy’ for whatever reasons, and the others unworthy. It’s a complicated thing though– because it also stands to reason that dendro work should be able to tell us ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’. If research like this is supposed to evidence science that informs policy of such a great economic consequence, I agree that the standards for robustness and obviousness should be pretty high (and presumably SM agrees).

    No one wants to let go of this though, because it goes back to some of the original publications on the HockeyStick, even though the HS signal has been subsequently borne out in other places in studies that followed.

    Though I wonder, if it just came out that “Yes, Yamal signals are muted in regional chronologies and does not look as impressively hockeysticky” it would be like the Red Sox winning the world series in 2004… A lot of folks all of a sudden had a whole lot less to talk/complain about, even though the world went on the same way. But I doubt giving the inch is in the cards.

  26. 876
    Bernie says:

    Would it not make more sense for those with first hand knowledge of the Yamal and related data sets to comment on Steve McIntyre’s recent post, especially the disparity in the number of cores available and the number of cores apparently included in the construction of the proxy?

  27. 877
    Three says:

    The problem those here have is that Steve McIntyre is widely respected by those without an axe to grind. He may or may not be right, he may or may not be qualified, but most people consider that he is undoubtedly an honest man asking honest questions. If reading this you disagree that doesn’t matter as your mind is already made up. Steve is more influential than you (as he is probably the most influential single person in this field). You may complain that he doesn’t publish – get over it he doesn’t need to. They way you do or don’t address the challenge he presents reflects much more on you. I am not an expert in this field but I do know how to read a case and counter case and can tell you that Steve is making his much more credibly (to a non expert) than is being made here.

  28. 878
    Jeff Id says:

    Sophistry boys and I’m not impressed.

  29. 879
    Bob C says:

    Gavin what is the problem with this statement, Too honest for you and RC.. The problem those here have is that Steve McIntyre is widely respected by those without an axe to grind. He may or may not be right, he may or may not be qualified, but most people consider that he is undoubtedly an honest man asking honest questions. If reading this you disagree that doesn’t matter as your mind is already made up. Steve is more influential than you (as he is probably the most influential single person in this field). You may complain that he doesn’t publish – get over it he doesn’t need to. They way you do or don’t address the challenge he presents reflects much more on you. I am not an expert in this field but I do know how to read a case and counter case and can tell you that Steve is making his much more credibly (to a non expert) than is being made here.

  30. 880
    Rogerio Maestri says:

    In the first place, apologize for my English, but go to what really matters.

    I work in hydraulics, more specifically, I search turbidity currents, of course I am not a climate expert, I have not the minimum debate whether condition that if Mr.Peter or Dr.John are correct or not. But, whatever comes to my mind is a very serious ethical question.

    The matter is easy, if the CRU investigators believe in they are doing are playing with the destiny of the world for personal whims.

    Explaining better: If the phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming will bring disgrace to the world that the IPCC provides, with millions of deaths, and it is necessary cease the CO2 emissions as fast as possible, what is the benefit of maintaining some information to take just the privilege to publish an new work.

    If I had valuable information regarding the future of humanity, would not think twice to open all my data and my sources, sharing my knowledge with the larger number of researchers to avoid the death of many people. To be more exact, to save one human life, I would drop my ego and my personal vanity.

  31. 881
    Mike M says:

    So why are the regional reconstructions taking so many years to publish given the potential weight of their results?

  32. 882
    Sven Hansseb says:

    The Yamal series make part of a series of studies used to claim that we are experiencing unprecedented warming and that we need to spend extremly large sums on investments to counter this. Making such claims therefore require the highest levels of transparency as regards e.g. the Briffa studies. Not least it requires extraordinary care in making data and code available fore others to replicate the results. Not doing so, or defending not doing so, is utterly unscientific and paves the way for fraud.

    [Response: Yet the data for the local Yamal reconstruction have been available to McIntyre since 2004 (8 years ago!), he and others have replicated the original calculation, it has been tested to the inclusion of other nearby data (and will be further tested once the full regional reconstruction is published). Moreover, the whole basis of your concern – that you think that the a) modern warming and b) the basis for concern about the future, is predicated on tree ring reconstructions – is just wrong. The warming in the 20th C is unequivocal – and based on dozens of independent lines of evidence. And concern about the future is based on the known radiative properties of CO2 and the inexorable increase in its concentration in the atmosphere etc. (See here for details). – gavin]

  33. 883
    Richard T. Fowler says:

    “By the way, what ‘multinational government bureaucracy’ are you talking about? Whoever they are, if they indeed exist, the folks at UEA certainly do not work for them.”

    I was referring to U.S. government funding British research, and attaching conditions to it, such as release of information to them which could then be potentially accessible to the public, albeit against the British scientists’ will. But at the present, it is the opposite. The U.S. executive branch is resisting release, so there is a common purpose between payor and payee. There, then, is your “multinational bureaucracy” at work. Of course you will probably now claim it is simply a coincidence that they happen to agree. I, on the other hand, think that the existence of a common purpose makes it far more likely that they will cooperate on policy, rather than be truly independent of each other.

    Thank you for your interest in my thoughts.


    [Response:I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about, and I’m sure that the U.S. ‘executive branch’ doesn’t either.–eric]

  34. 884
    Salamano says:

    “The US FOIA has a very clear precedent that official records are records determined to be related to official duties and are under the control of the agency themselves. It simplifies proceedings amazingly. If you want to ensure that people do not use private email accounts for official work, then the way to do that is to mandate it – as in the Presidential Records Act for all White House related communications.”

    Is it only the stuff of tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists to think that, for example, the White House uses private channels to communicate various thoughts and things that they do not want to see the light of day until they are ready for prime time? “Records management” has at times been an issue in US political office as well, no matter how clear the directives were/are.

  35. 885
    t marvell says:

    Roberts (137). As I have often said, there is research in the climate community finding cointegration. All I am saying is that the climate scientists don’t seem to understand its importance.

    tamino – the econometric techniques are good for any time series, and are used on all kinds of data. What are you saying? That temperature and CO2 are not cointegrated? That cointegration is not important? That you are annoyed because I criticized F&R?

    Wandering all over the place – that’s a red herring. Cointegration applies whether there is a lot of wandering or a little, just as long as the two variables tend to wander together.

    You all believe in your models, but you have done a poor job of getting the public and policy makers to believe in AGW enough to act. You blame the public and policy makers for bowing to the energy interests, and disclaim any responsibility for your failure. Many climate scientists are public servants, and they should act in the public’s good. Instead they seem to be territorial, defensive against any other field’s contribution.

  36. 886
    t marvell says:

    I responded to tamino’s nasty comments, and my reply was put in the borehole. I should have a chance to respond on this very important topic.

  37. 887
    Mike Lewis says:

    #149 – Quite to the contrary, I see SM trying to reproduce results from published papers, requesting the data to do such work, but being stymied by refusals to release data to which he is legally entitled. That’s what scientists do – they check, cross check, and validate their own and others results.

    As for “the truth of AGW”, the fact remains that the earth is not warming anywhere near as much as the GCM’s predicted, which indicates they are wrong and need to be revised. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a human component to the warming, just that the CO2 sensitivity isn’t as high as what’s used in the models. Finally, your claim of conspiracy and deception is laughable – do you have facts to back up such claims?

  38. 888
    Mike Lewis says:

    “science”. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-16. “3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena”

    “RealScience”. a: Antonym of science. b: A laughable website where opposing viewpoints are relegated to the “bore hole” (how cute) while sycophants are allowed to slander, demean, and otherwise make fools of themselves.

  39. 889
    Richard T. Fowler says:

    Ray Ladbury,

    I agree at least that it is still possible for an individual persons whose work is paid for by government to, in some cases, remain independent in one or more senses of that term. I just think it’s a matter of fortune (what some might call luck) and I don’t think it’s very common these days. If you are one such person, I commend you.

    To others, I didn’t come on here to provoke discussion of those other topics. Had I known the conversation would veer there, I probably wouldn’t have even posted here. So hopefully you’ll understand if I do not fully answer you.

    To whoever it was who called me a monomaniac, I am not. I admit I do get upset at times due to things that happen in the world. I make no general apology for that. But that is not monomania.

    I love and respect science that is done properly and for good purposes. But I no longer let it define me to the extent I once did.

    To whoever brought up making money from criticism of climate science, I am not and have never been paid for my online comments, nor (as far as I can recall) for anything I have ever written or said about climate. (If there was anything, it was quite small, far too small to justify doing as a job, and I didn’t ask for it. But I don’t remember anything.) I do agree that there has been too much profiting going on from contrarian criticism of GW science. I am fortunate I have not had to ask anyone to be paid for such activity, but while I recognize there may be some who have had to, I do not think it should be an actual career choice for anyone.

    Eric, I appreciate your desire to keep the comments impersonal, and also the liberation of my comment.

    To John Reisman, that is not even close to what I was saying. There is logical fallacy in what you wrote. But the fallacy was composed by you, not me.

    4 pi r^2 is, indeed, not subject to conspiracy. But there are other things in science that are. No, I will not give examples, so please don’t ask me for them. I didn’t come on here to do that.

    I will not name the individuals or the university. They were not defenders of what has become the mainstream view within climate science, and I have every reason to believe they would not want their names publicized. I don’t care whether you believe my account, because the information was given to me in confidence so I cannot disclose the identities you seek.

    Regarding Craig Nazor’s “But I have always been able to find allies and support for my best work.” Good for you. Not everyone is so fortunate. Furthermore, once I understood how that game worked that I had signed up for, I lost interest. I found other opportunities outside of research before I was ever able to find a reasonable opportunity within research.

    Regarding “I have never allowed someone else’s opinion of me define who I am or what I do.” Perhaps you would if you found yourself disliked by a very large number of people for what you perceive to be no good reason. Think it through. Try to see the world through the eyes of someone who has had different experiences. I see that even Eric has tried to do that.


  40. 890
    ferd berple says:

    People generally try something, find something wrong, try something else, fix one problem, test something else, deal with whatever comes up next, examine the sensitivities, compare with other methods etc. etc.
    There is a basic rule in statistics that you never do this. You choose your method ahead of time, otherwise the temptation is to simply cherry-pick the methodology until you get the answer you are looking for. No matter how un-baised the researcher, our subconcious directs us to obtain the results we expect, unless we are very careful in the design of our analysis.

  41. 891
    ferd berple says:

    Scientific American
    An Epidemic of False Claims


    “The best way to ensure that test results are verified would be for scientists to register their detailed experimental protocols before starting their research and disclose full results and data when the research is done.”

  42. 892
    Dan H. says:

    Not sure why you are attempting to downplay the spurious cooling in the RSS data that Steve mentioned, nor your insinuations about inaccuracies. If you really want to graph the difference that is being reported in the past decade, you should really seperate the data into those two intervals.

    Of course, if you are serious about using “all the data,” then you should compare your graphs to the following:

  43. 893
    ferd berple says:

    Replication (and failure to replicate) of results is one of the cornerstones of science. Unless the data and methods are archived and available to other researchers, no replication is possible. If results have not been independently verified, by someone that is actively trying to disprove the results, they have little credibility.

    The best allies scientists have in the search for the truth are other researchers that are actively trying to question and disprove their findings. When findings cannot be disproven, when they hold up under scrutiny regardless of the methodology, then the results are solid.

    However, if a finding holds for only one statistical method, and fails when tested using another method, the finding itself must be regarded as weak.

    Otherwise, researchers could simply pick and choose the statistical method that showed whatever it was they were trying to show, and ignore all contrary evidence that showed otherwise.

  44. 894
    Dan H. says:

    Not sure why you are attempting to downplay the spurious cooling in the RSS data that Steve mentioned, nor your insinuations about inaccuracies. If you really want to graph the difference that is being reported in the past decade, you should really seperate the data into those two intervals.

    Of course, if you are serious about using “all the data,” then you should compare your graphs to the following:

  45. 895
    Dan H. says:


    “Off-the-cuff” referred to some previous posts on this thread, not the articles. More recently, the Texas drought coincided with a strong la Nina.

  46. 896
    Dan H. says:

    All the studies are short-term, hence the large variation from one year to the next. Predictions far into the future based on these limited studies seem questionable, which would account for Twila and Ian hedging their bets on future ice mass loss.

  47. 897
    fred emmer says:


    Even if you believe McI is a jerk, and you have no legal obligation to hand over the paperwork,
    wouldnt it still be better to just give it to him ?

    Wouldnt handing over unpublished work do less damage than the internet riddled with denied FOI requests ?

    If I believed I was involved in a science that might save civalisation, I would probably deal with this differently.

    I would have just called him to my office and showed and explained it to him. Wouldnt that be more productive than having both sides make up crazy stories about each other ?

  48. 898
    Mertonian Norm says:

    Eric, to clarify I am referring specifically to recent events at McIntyre’s site, not to Gavin’s excellent kickoff to this thread. Hantemirov sent in Yamal data, McIntyre quickly produced some graphs and attached the code (though not in a timely or detailed enough manner, he self-critiqued) and Hantemirov responded angrily: “horrified by your slipshod work,” that the graphs were, essentially, no good. These are the graphs that need to be addressed, or not. Perhaps they will be.

  49. 899
    BaitedBreath says:

    Right, so as both Eric and Ray say, the atmosphere is indeed *warmed* by the LW absorbed by CO2. And if the ocean warming we now see is the result of CO2 LW capture, transferred to the ocean, we would need to see warming of the atmosphere too. ie, ocean and atmosphere warming would be coupled.

    However – returning now to my original point, what we actually see is warming oceans but roughly unchanging atmospheric temperatures. Which suggests the ocean warming must be due to something other than atmospheric warming. ie, it cannot be due to CO2 LW absorption.

    [Response: No. The atmosphere is warming on multi-decadal timescales. So is the ocean. But on shorter timescales, there is decadal variability in the ocean<-->atmosphere heat exchange. Timetimes more heat goes into the ocean (leaving a deficit in the atmosphere) and sometimes less (leaving a deficit in the ocean). It really is about that simple.–eric]

  50. 900
    BaitedBreath says:

    And re Ray’s comment “re-radiaton of IR occurs for only a minority of IR captured” :
    Does this then pour cold water on the so-called “back-radiation” effect, sometimes invoked to explain how CO2 could be warming the oceans without first warming the atmosphere ?