Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stunned by a Judith Curry Post

I'm sorry, but I simply cannot understand this kind of thing from a scientist.

Judith Curry writes:
This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others. This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 yr ‘pause’.
I simply cannot fathom why any scientist would make such claims about short time periods - they are not representative of climate, but of natural variability.

I try, I really try when I write my articles, to include alternative voices. But anymore the (so-called) skeptics are getting increasingly ridiculous: this quote by Curry, Roger Pielke Jr's claim that Marcott et al bordered on misconduct, or John Christy's flogging an Anthony Watts blog post in front of Congress a mere couple of days after it appeared on a blog and before it was submitted for peer-reviewed. (And where, can I ask, has this finding yet appeared in the peer-reviewed literature? Nowhere, that's where.)

I have the utmost respect for the values of science and want to believe that all scientists are coming from an intellectually honest place.

But when I read things like this, I am simply stunned.


MikeR said...

I'm not stunned by your comment, but I am bewildered. Did you bother to really read the post before slashing out? Or the Lucia post that it was based on? Neither one in any way made any "claims" about ten or eleven-year time periods. Nor are the lines you quoted making any claims (they are basically talking about media reactions). What they did do was write posts that called out Trenberth for a dishonest article.

I was once in a business where you had to "sell" your product, which involved accentuating its good points and glossed over the less-good points. It's not that pretty. Scientists can't afford to do that; it ruins their brand. You should be calling out Trenberth as well.

I saw that Curry has already responded to your comment on her blog there, wondering what in the world you thought she was saying.

David Appell said...

Mark R: I don't see any comments here by Curry, and I have idea about any Lucia post, so I don't know what you're talking about.

Curry's statement seems pretty clear to me.

MikeR said...

Your comment there:
Her reply:
"Where did I say an 11 year trend is climatologically significant?"

In other words, she never meant to say that. Her statement seems pretty clear to me, too, and the situation: "I don't like this person much, and I don't think much of her way of thinking, so when I see her say something that sounds dumb to me, I naturally assume that it is. _Unbelievable_ what a dumb thing she said!"
"I like this person a lot, and respect her way of thinking. So when I see her say something that sounds odd to me, I naturally assume that I need to take a step back, and try to see what she actually means to see. Turns out she's really making a good point!"

If you meant to write that you have no idea about the Lucia post(s), then you really have no way of understanding what Curry (or I) am talking about. Read the whole post over there. Trenberth is the one who should apologize for trying to snow people. The others are just riffing off his post.

Since you mentioned Pielke's claim, that also seems to me to be a case of jumping to conclusions. There the misunderstanding was explicit: He was interpreting the events on publication of Marcotte in one way, and you in another. You should also agree that if Pielke's version were right, then Marcotte and co. would indeed have been guilty of something close to misconduct. After all, his version had them intentionally hyping a new hockey stick from their calculations, telling the media about it world-wide, then quickly switching their story when they realized that their hockey stick blade was never going to work out.
So again, I don't know why you're upset with Pielke. Wouldn't you also have called out scientists who had done that? You and he were arguing about parsing various phrases they used in their paper and elsewhere. According to his interpretation (which actually seemed to me a lot closer to the interpretation of pretty much every media outlet till their correction came out a couple of weeks later - everyone was saying they had found a new hockey stick blade, and they did not rush to squelch that story), he was right to call them out. He isn't responsible for your reading of the situation, even if you're sure he's wrong, and even if he is actually wrong.

David Appell said...

Mike: Your 2nd paragraph isn't worthy of a response.

I don't think nor act that way. My interest was in what Curry wrote.