Monday, November 30, 2009
Moving to True/Slant
Please join me there, and update your bookmarks and RSS feed.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The word "trick"
In one e-mail from 1999, the center's director, Phil Jones, alludes to one of Mann's articles in the journal Nature and writes, "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."
Mann said the "trick" Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. "It's hardly anything you would call a trick," Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.
An elementary example of what might be considered a trick is converting from Euclidean (x,y) coordinates to polar (r,θ) coordinates where a calculation simplifies. A more complicated example is dimensional regularization in quantum field theory, where, since some observable factors are calculated to be infinity, you instead do the calculation in 4+d dimensions and then in the end let d go to zero, and the answers are finite. (No, there is no good mathematical basis for this, as a mathematician will tell you, but as a physicist will tell you, it works.)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wolves in Oregon
Friday, November 20, 2009
The CRU Hack
A few comments:
- Can we assume all this is genuine? Some of it certainly seems to be, from what people have said. And there's surely too much to totally invent. But all of it? I don't know. It's easy to imagine the hackers making word changes and sentence additions, etc., before releasing it back out.
- Nothing I've seen so far gets me very excited. I don't see any evidence of a worldwide conspiracy to enslave us all into gray, communist conformity, nor any type of scientific collusion. What I see it just the ordinary exchange that takes place among...people, scientists included. They have their own inside language, thoughts, and jokes, and words that some conspiracy theorists are picking at are clearly just inside language that scientists use and that laypeople are not going to understand. They say things imprecisely and informally and off the cuff, like all of us, and don't imagine their emails are going to be splashed across the Web any more than you imagine your own emails will be for endless scrutiny by your enemies. Which of us could not be made to look completely evil if anyone were given access to all the emails we sent and received?
- Nor do I have any concerns about inside groups peer-reviewing other's papers. For any subspecialty in science these days, there are only a few people/groups who are going to understand it and who are potential peer-reviewers. When my advisor and I wrote our first paper together when I was in grad school (on using jets to detect quark-gluon plasmas), we got the (anonymous) reviewer's comments and immediately knew who they were -- one of the few groups to be able to properly evaluate the work and put it into context. We had read all their papers and knew all about their work. Graciously they suggested ways in which we might extend our results, but we went ahead and published without doing that and sure enough a few months later this reviewer and his student published the augmentation he had suggested. We weren't surprised at all. Nor did I feel like he did us any favor. In fact, in such small specialities there is often more competition than usual, and you have to work even harder to impress your colleagues (especially when they get the chance to be somewhat anonymous). Scientists love to tear one another down, as anyone who has ever attended a Friday afternoon department seminar knows. Then afterward they go out on the patio and have a beer together.
- I saw that my name popped up in a few places in the emails. I don't have much to say about them (which is neither a confirmation or a denial of whatever was claimed) except I do not at all recall ever threatening Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen (editor of Energy & Environment) with "litigation" (mail file 1068239573.txt) I can't imagine doing that as a journalist, and even if I wanted to I don't know what I'd threaten, unless it was to tell her I was going to file a FOIA, which I certainly did not do in this case since (a) I didn't think that that any of her internal journal correspondence was subject to a FOIA, as it was unrelated any government function, and (b) I don't even know if an American can file whatever the equivalent of a FOIA is in Britain. I do, though, plead guilty to having called her multiple times, whether it annoyed her or not. That's my job.
- The Arctic is still melting, glaciers are still receding, sea-level is still rising, tree lines are moving north, and both land and sea are getting warmer.
New Email Address
It will be good until either Google or I go out of business.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- Willie Soon and David Legates compare themselves to Galileo..... OK, sure.
- We're told that there's no chance for any agreement at the Copenhagen Conference -- and, let's be honest, there certainly isn't much hope in here in the US. But environmentalists won't give in and insist there's still hope. Right. Like any "agreement" at Copenhagen is going to force the US Congress to do whatever they say. We've been there in the past. What was the vote in the Senate over the Kyoto Protocol, something like 97-0?
- But more than that: who actually believes that any nation that sets a CO2 cutback goal will reach it? We have seen goal after goal for the last 10 years, and still these countries are failing to make their targets (and the state of carbon modeling is such that who believes them anyway?) The only REAL metric is CO2 levels in the atmosphere. They're still rising at historical levels, ie. whatever anyone thinks they're doing is having on effect.
- Here's a way to defy a court order and get your way with your neighbors: claim your actions will reduce global warming. Even if actual calculations show that your tree will only sequester about 120 lbs of carbon, that is, your grove of 37 trees will absorb about 9.3 tons of CO2 -- while you yourself emit 22 tons CO2/yr.
Sex and race, because they are easy, visible differences, have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The World is Heating Up
Thursday, November 12, 2009
NY Times on Climate Talks
In the absence of a global deal to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, energy consumption will soar over the next decades. This would result in a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, according to the International Energy Agency, an adviser to industrialized nations that is based in Paris.First of all, can we please get rid of this notion that carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption are inexorably linked?
Comment on debate with Tim Ball
Here's a comment left on AlGorelied.com about my debate with Tim Ball. It's so classic that I just have to include it here. Naturally, the author didn't have the cojones to sign his real name to his opinions:
Author: Daryl MComment: Mr. Appell, I listened to the debate with Dr. Ball and if I were you, I would be embarrassed and humiliated. As a supposed scientific journalist, you have a remarkable lack of understanding of the issues. Your claim that we should listen to journalists who "talk to experts" rather than blogs is the height of arrogance. After listening to you dodge and evade legitimate questions raised by Ms. Taft and Dr. Ball, you have zero credibility as a journalist and given you apparently have written articles for Scientific American, I guess that is one rag that I will skip in the future. WRT your claim that you have spoken with many scientists about the hockey stick and none of them agree with the M&M analysis, that further emphasizes my point. The hockey stick was thoroughly debunked, not just by M&M, but also by Wegman. It is a proven fact that if red noise is fed into Mann et al's algorithms it will produce a hockey stick. Further to that, Mann et al did their best to withhold their data and algorithms, obviously trying to obfuscate their claims. More recently, with Briffa finally being forced to disclose his Yamal data years after the fact, we can see that he cherry picked tree cores to utilize only the ones that supported his claims. In fact, some of the proxies were inverted to further support the claim that recent temperature changes are "unprecedented". Your claim that no one agrees with M&M's claim leaves me frankly stunned. Jones is on the record as having refused to release his data and now it is claimed that the data are lost. How convenient. Hansen at GISS is widely known to take liberties with the data, again we can thank heros like Steve McIntyre who take the time to audit and attempt reproduce their work, usually uncovering gross mistakes in their methodology. Anthony Watts has also tirelessly reviewed the surface record and proven beyond any question that it is fraught with inconsistencies that contribute to a gross overstatement of the surface temperature. Do you not think it is significant that in the early 1990s, a large percentage of the surface stations (e.g., from Siberia) were taken off-line? I really laughed at your deflection to Dr. Ball that he should write a paper about the issues he raised. The peer-review process that underlies the IPCC report as well as the hockey stick is clearly a joke. It is widely known that of the supposed 2500 scientists who back the IPCC report, many submitted comments in disagreement that were ignored by the editors. The claim that 2500 scientists back the report is scandalous. The reality is that a small cadre of editors, many of whom are not even scientists edited out comments that did not support the desired conclusion that global warming is caused by man-made CO2. The reality is that the supposed peer-review process of papers like Mann et al is a case of you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, rather than a broad support. If you had any balls as a journalist, you would write about the peer review process, or M&M's work or Anthony Watts' work, or the blatant withholding of data by Mann, Briffa and Jones, yet you hide under the protective wing of the supposed consensus. All I can say is that you are in good company. You are no less a fraud than Mann, Briffa, Jones, Hansen and Al Gore, and the rest of the cowards who accepted the Nobel. You should be ashamed. See all comments on this post here: http://algorelied.com/?p=3044#comments
How Skeptics Lie
I was also a key researcher involved with the recent discovery of and publications regarding Calligrapha verrucosa, a previously unknown beetle a colleague of mine discovered in Nevada.Well, frankly I am not impressed. I gather she's a 22-yr old just out of college. When I was a 22-yr old BS, I didn't know squat. Did you?
Having spent hundreds of hours in various laboratories, entomological and otherwise, I can tell you with certainty that I do indeed understand the type of hard work and dedication scientific discovery requires.
- NOAA is reporting that, in the US over the last decade, the number of record daily high temperatures is about twice that of the number of record daily record low temperatures. What's more, the ratio is increasing fast. So far, no mention of this here or here, thought strangely they always seem to have plenty to say when a record low temperature is set in Backwater Falls, North Dakota.
- About 90% of first-year college students at CUNY can't do "basic algebra involving fractions and decimals." (And "fractions and decimals" aren't even algebra, but just arithmetic.) My God, how can you even live if you can't use fractions and decimals?
- One of the Mars rovers has been stuck in sand since April 23rd. Kinda ironic that, after running for over 5.5 yrs on what was expected to be a 90-day lifetime, this is how it would come to an end.
- Why is it that some of the oldest civilizations in the world (ie China and Japan) seem to value societial cohesian more strongly than do the middle-aged societies (ie Europe, which is increasing socialist), and it's the youngest societies (ie the US) that [seemingly] most value individualism?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Will Twitter Replace Google for Journalism?
Today's Deep Thinkers
Newt Gingrich: "I believe the most important question in the United States for the next decade is: 'Who are we?' Are we in fact a people who claim that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights?" Or, are we "just randomly gathered protoplasm -- and lucky for us we're not rhinoceroses...
James Inhofe, on health care reform: "I don't have to read it or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways."
Monday, November 09, 2009
Kazakhstan's radioactive legacy
Hadley: 4th warmest Sept ever
Friday, November 06, 2009
UAH Oct temperature anomaly
"I can almost remember when a suspect being human was a given, not an option."
-- Agent Broyles, Fringe, "Bad Dreams," S1E17
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Archive of Debate with Tim Ball
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Earthquake off the Oregon Coast
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
R Pielke Jr's Open Invitation
- 9. In their political enthusiasm, some leading scientists have behaved badly
On the other hand, I estimate that about half the time I contact "skeptics," they come back as brash and truculent and bordering on impolite, sometimes even before you ask them a question. Many seem, frankly, to already have a chip of their shoulder, or ticked off at something I wrote earlier (usually this, or this), or angry for some reason I can't really tell (though I have my suspicions). I too often have to just stop communicating with them out of frustration, and even then some of them hound me with emails for days and weeks until I put my foot down. I have never, ever reached that point with a scientist who, if you want to apply labels, would be labeled as accepting the AGW hypothesis.
I don't see any "scientists" behaving badly.
Boxer and the Absent Republicans
Is Al Gore Conflicted?
- "Al Gore" with "Fred Singer"
- "green" with "conventional"
- "wind" with "coal"
Monday, November 02, 2009
Is Phil Jones supressing data?
No one, it seems, cares to read what we put up on the CRU web page. These people just make up motives for what we might or might not have done.
Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center [seehere and here].
The original raw data are not “lost.” I could reconstruct what we had from U.S. Department of Energy reports we published in the mid-1980s. I would start with the GHCN data. I know that the effort would be a complete waste of time, though. I may get around to it some time. The documentation of what we’ve done is all in the literature.
If we have “lost” any data it is the following:
1. Station series for sites that in the 1980s we deemed then to be affected by either urban biases or by numerous site moves, that were either not correctable or not worth doing as there were other series in the region.
2. The original data for sites for which we made appropriate adjustments in the temperature data in the 1980s. We still have our adjusted data, of course, and these along with all other sites that didn’t need adjusting.
3. Since the 1980s as colleagues and National Meteorological Services (NMSs) have produced adjusted series for regions and or countries, then we replaced the data we had with the better series.
In the papers, I’ve always said that homogeneity adjustments are best produced by NMSs. A good example of this is the work by Lucie Vincent in Canada. Here we just replaced what data we had for the 200+ sites she sorted out.
The CRUTEM3 data for land look much like the GHCN and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies data for the same domains.
Apart from a figure in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) showing this, there is also this paper from Geophysical Research Letters in 2005 by Russ Vose et al. Figure 2 is similar to the AR4 plot.
I think if it hadn’t been this issue, the Competitive Enterprise Institute would have dreamt up something else!