A brief roundup: the BBC and OMICS

I guess the big news yesterday was the BBC Radio 4 Today show interviews with Al Gore and Nigel Lawson. If you want to listen, the broadcast is here. Al Gore is on at about 1h10m and Nigel Lawson is on at 2h33m. Al Gore was on to promote his new movie (an inconvenient sequel) which focuses on climate change and why it’s an issue worth addressing. For some reason, the BBC thought that balance required having someone who disputed mainstream climate science and doesn’t think it’s something worth addressing. If they really wanted someone to comment on the accuracy of what Gore said, they could have invited a climate scientist.

If you want to know more about what Lawson got wrong, you can read this Carbon Brief factcheck. The main criticism I’ve seen about what Gore said was that he said extreme weather events had become more numerous and destructive. Technically this is true – there has been an increase in the intensity and frequency of events like heatwaves and extreme precipitation events. It is, however, a complex topic and there isn’t evidence for an increase in the intensity and frequency of all extreme events. My preference would be that people make this clear. However, I also appreciate that this can be difficult when you only have a short amount of time.

On a different note, I discovered (via Russell) that OMICS are not happy with my blog post suggesting that they’ll publish anything, which referred to a paper claiming to overthrow the climate greenhouse theory. The Editor of Environmental Pollution and Climate Change has published a note on contemporary publication ethics, claiming that he and the journal came under vicious attack.

If he thinks my post is a vicious attack, then he has a pretty thin skin. Also, claiming that he was attacked is a little odd, as I didn’t actually mention him at all. I also did not criticise the fees as if they were unique and/or excessive, and my comment about publication timescale was partly based on my own experiences and was partly a suggestion that one might take more care if a paper is claiming to overthrow a well-established paradigm. So, his criticism of my post seems rather inaccurate. Of course, given what they seem willing to publish in the first place, accuracy probably isn’t one of their strengths.

Anyway, that’s a brief roundup of some of the recent news. Some relevant links below.

Links:
Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel could just make climate rift worse.
The BBC and its balance.
The BBC and its balance, again.
FTC Charges Academic Journal Publisher OMICS Group Deceived Researchers.
Editor of New ‘Sham Journal’ Is Climate Science Denier With Ties to Heartland Institute.

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69 Responses to A brief roundup: the BBC and OMICS

  1. It’s also worth recording that later in the day the BBC, after an outcry on Twitter, published a defence of Lawson’s claims: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40889563

    The BBC’s defence was as error strewn as Lawson’s interview—although we can perhaps put it down to ignorance, rather than denial in the case of Lawson.

  2. john,
    Indeed. Didn’t they end up correcting their defense because their justification for the last 10 years having experience cooling being a paper (or something) that was 10 years old?

  3. An addition to the above, @BBCr4today covered Lawson’s interview before 7am today by interviewing Roger Harrabin (BBC Environment Correspondent) and Peter Stott of the Met Office: https://soundcloud.com/carbonbrief/bbc-radio-4-today-roger-harrabin-and-prof-peter-stott

  4. john,
    Thanks. Peter Stott’s comment is pretty straight: we are indeed seeing more extreme weather as a result of climate change.

  5. That’s what I read on Twitter. The BBC used a 2008 article to defend “no warming for the last ten years” claim, and also the 2003 IPCC report re “extreme weather bit impacted by climate change”.

    It also seems that the BBC have surreptitiously corrected their article overnight when they realised from Twitter comments they’d screwed up.

  6. Harry Twinotter says:

    So the OMICS wrote that letter on their own sham journal? Well they would say that, wouldn’t they? 🙂

  7. For the lurkers, I would suspect that Steven’s enjoy is meant ironically (or, is meant as a “here, have a laugh at this”).

  8. yup. I went to read his paper that heat flux from the oceann floor was the cause of warming
    and I found that one instead.

  9. andrew adams says:

    The BBC are right to cover Al Gore’s new movie given the impact which the first one had, but we should expect them to apply the same kind of skepticism to his claims as they should to the claims of climate change “skeptics”, given that he’s not a climate scientist himself. But inviting someone like Lawson to contribute is really not the way to do it – even if one views Gore (as skeptics do) as an extremist crank, the way to provide balance is not to have another extremist crank with opposite views, it’s to have an actual expert on the issue presenting the mainstream view.

    Unfortunately the BBC’s approach to “balance” is often to present two opposing views and leave it to the viewer to judge who has more credibility, when often the viewer is not qualified to make this judgement and want an objective view from people who know the subject to help them make up their mind. This was the problem with much of its Brexit (and general election) coverage.

  10. @andrew adams: if BBC should treat Gore as skeptically as they would a climate skeptic, “because he’s not a scientist”, (1) you would need to treat all science journalists the same way, (2) you are ignorning the facts that climate skeptics are systematically *making things up*; that many of the prominent ones, and the “think tanks” they front for, are subsidized in this activity by the owners of coal mines and oil wells; and that this applies even to the handful of “climate skeptics” who are actual scientists.

    It’s not a question of whether or not the individual communicator is a scientist. For the BBC to treat non-scientist “climate skeptics” and Al Gore in the same way would be like treating, as equivalent and representing two sides of a scientific “debate”, shills of the tobacco lobby sowing doubt for a living, against public health officials trying to reduce smoking.

    Ultimately, all of us are depending on the evidence of a large and scattered climate science project. Personally, as a non-scientist (or, most strictly, an economist) I have confidence in those scientific results because (1) there are so many different bodies of evidence on climate change, from different scientific disciplines, (2) those funding research (largely, governments) clearly would rather not hear the advice they are getting – it is the opposite of the kind of bias you get in a lot of research, (3) the bodies funding “skepticism” are so plainly self-interested and anti-scientific – willing to support all sorts of arguments that are just logical or statistical nonsense – that their contributions arrive with no credibility. Finally, (4), granted there is a great deal of uncertainty in the understanding of climate feedbacks, to say nothing of future technological trajectories, uncertainty is not our friend, and we need to pay for some considerable insurance.

    I don’t think you need to be a climate scientist to understand and accept any or all of that – it does not require understanding the fine points of atmospheric physics or the biological productivity of oceans – and if one puts together a good enough understanding of it (as Al Gore has), one might become a good climate communicator. It is not reasonable to suggest that the BBC should treat Gore’s contribution as they would that of a climate “skeptic”.

    Finally, I would attach zero weight to the view of climate “skeptics” that Gore is an extremist. Gore has been given the same treatment in this regard as, say, Michael Mann or Phil Jones: a systematic campaign to brand effective climate communicators as “controversial”, and thus requiring balance.

  11. Magma says:

    For some reason, the BBC thought that balance required having someone who disputed mainstream climate science and doesn’t think it’s something worth addressing. — ATTP

    I’ve followed media coverage of climate science for many years now. My strong impression is that such blunders have two main, not necessarily exclusive, sources:

    1. Ignorance on the part of the print or broadcast journalist, leading to a failure to check sources, lazy reliance on past guest commenters, and a kneejerk impulse towards falsely balanced coverage; and/or
    2. A deliberate behind-the-scenes effort by a senior manager, producer, editor or publisher holding contrarian beliefs to slip ACC-denying claims on air or into print.

  12. Willard says:

    I submitted this comment on OMICS’ editorial:

    > All published materials are accepted on the merits of their scholarship and there is no deception, favoritism or fraud on the part of this journal. To say otherwise would be, at best, misinformed, and at worst, unethical.

    For this counterfactual to be relevant except for victimization effect, dear M. Viterito, it might be nice to provide an example. We both know that your citations don’t substantiate that claim. Your CAGW meme may hint at your editorial lines, however.

    Resorting to a tu quoque to justify your pay-for-publish scheme looks cheap to me.

    Their comment tool tells me it should appear soon.

  13. Frederick,

    Finally, I would attach zero weight to the view of climate “skeptics” that Gore is an extremist. Gore has been given the same treatment in this regard as, say, Michael Mann or Phil Jones: a systematic campaign to brand effective climate communicators as “controversial”, and thus requiring balance.

    This reminds me that during the interview he was asked whether or not he regarded his presence in the debate as counter-productive because of how often he was mentioned in articles skeptical about global warming. There’s also this article suggesting that Al Gore’s inconvenient sequel could just make climate rift worse.

    I haven’t given this a huge amount of thought, but I found the general argument odd. Someone sticks their head above the parapet and publicly advocates for some kind of action related to a controversial topic. They become a target. People then suggest that maybe he should avoid commenting to somehow improve the public dialogue. It just seems fundamentally wrong, given that it basically seems to be giving in to bullies. If he’s getting things wrong, then please criticise his errors. Maybe there are occasions in which individuals might decide that they’re no longer playing a positive role, but I do think that suggesting that some should be silent because of how they’re perceived by others is a dangerous argument to make (without good reason, at least).

  14. Matt McGrath, the BBC’s environment correspondent, pulls no punches in a BBC article, “Anger over ‘untrue’ climate change claims”, now on line. [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40899188 ]

    Interestingly the sub editor saw fit to put inverted commas around ‘untrue’ in the title. One wonders why. Was it because the BBC thinks there’s a legitimate dispute about whether Lawson’s arguments were true?

  15. Magma says:

    @ johnrussell40

    For reasons lost in the inky history of print newspapers, common journalistic practice is to use inverted commas (aka single quotation marks) for paraphrased remarks, and for direct quotes if in a headline. The use of ‘scare quotes’ to connote skepticism or disbelief is much less common. And, naturally, there are variations between organizations and American/British/Australian usage.

  16. andrew adams says:

    Frederick Guy,

    My point was that journalists, when faced by someone making strong claims on an issue, whether it’s “Climate change could have disastrous consequences” or “we don’t need to worry about climate change” should not take such claims at face value but examine objectively how those claims are supported by mainstream scientific opinion. And I would expect that having done so they would conclude that Gore has much more credibility than most skeptics.

    So I didn’t mean to imply moral equivalence between Gore and most “skeptics”, or that non-scientists can’t be well informed about the science. If it were necessary to be an expert to express a view on climate change and take part in the debates on the issue then I certainly wouldn’t be involved. It’s also fair to say that non-scientists can ear the right for their views to be taken seriously and to be seen as credible commentators on the issue. Also the opposite is true and the likes of Lawson have earned the “right” to be seen as cranks and not given any credibility. So I would add that caveat to my earlier comment, and also that given that the mainstream scientific position is so well established it’s fair for journalists to be more skeptical towards those views which more strongly depart from it.

  17. BBD says:

    I’ve a feeling, no more than a hunch really, that the BBC will not be interviewing Lawson about climate again soon. The complete and utter wrongness of his claim about temps falling slightly over the last decade is easy for anyone to grasp. No science background necessary. And once it is grasped, the conclusion is inescapable: Lawson is either incompetent or dishonest or both. So not worth the loud public push-back of having him back in the studio any time soon, because he’ll do the same kind of thing again.

  18. Roberto says:

    I haven’t watched the show in question. But my own training is physics and data analysis projects affecting tens of millions of dollars. My general impression is that it’s surprisingly hard to find any of the high-content skeptic commentators receiving ANY notable funds from any companies (although central websites and universities do get some money). A number of these plutocrats had to stop while they were looking for another day job. And unless the satellites are out to lunch, not much warming is happening, If that is true, it won’t be too long before the whole thing blows over in one way or another. I have lived several places with well-established histories of floods that we haven’t even thought about yet.

    Concerning consensus, it’s dreadfully over-rated for discovery-heavy fields like research science. “It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas.” – Einstein

  19. Roberto,

    My general impression is that it’s surprisingly hard to find any of the high-content skeptic commentators receiving ANY notable funds from any companies (although central websites and universities do get some money).

    So, I don’t think anyone said anything about this at all.

    And unless the satellites are out to lunch, not much warming is happening, If that is true, it won’t be too long before the whole thing blows over in one way or another.

    The satellites don’t measure the surface and I think you may be slightly out of date with respect to how much warming the satellite datasets suggest. For example, this.

  20. Magma says:

    “It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas.” – Einstein

    My hobby calls… An anodyne, vaguely noble-spirited and faintly intellectual remark, attributed to Einstein but with no date or citation to be found?

    Not Einstein.

  21. Willard says:

    Try this, Magma.

    Just be thankful for our guest’s concerns, please.

  22. Roberto says:

    ATTP, since you opened those topics a little wider, please let me say a bit.

    Frederick Guy: “(3) the bodies funding “skepticism” are so plainly self-interested and anti-scientific – willing to support all sorts of arguments that are just logical or statistical nonsense – that their contributions arrive with no credibility.” Are you sure nobody is thinking that?

    Concerning the various temperature records, I have had a fair amount of experience correcting data collection problems and finding useful signals in the noise. That is not what I see happening here. It doesn’t smell right for that.

    Of course the satellite record is not all the way down to the ground. And it doesn’t go back a century, either. But on the other hand, it has some crucial advantages. It covers the entire globe, land and sea. It covers the same thing the same way, with the same treatment, the same weighting, and the same math, every single time. The adjustments are minor, one-time-only, for time of day and satellite height, and height is becoming a non-issue with more maneuvering fuel. It’s the self-same instrument set, used one way, by one crack team apiece. And it continually matches the independent samples from the weather balloons and from cold space. That’s what I call straightforward, transparent, surprise-free, and dependable. You can hang your hat on a record like that. At least until you start messing with it.

    I am aware that there are several versions of that record. I am referring to the UAH version. Why wouldn’t I?

  23. Roberto,

    Concerning the various temperature records, I have had a fair amount of experience correcting data collection problems and finding useful signals in the noise.

    Let’s be quite clear about something. You appear to be taking a minority position. Appealing to some kind of unverified authority isn’t particularly convincing, or relevant.

    Your understanding of what it takes to generate a satellite temperature record seems woefully ill-informed. It’s getting late here and I haven’t had a chance to find the various reports about the required adjustments and how often they have been adjusted, but I’m hopeful others will post some links. If they don’t, I’ll try and find them tomorrow. Maybe you could try reading them before commenting further?

  24. Okay, before I go to bed, here’s a couple.

    Zeke Hausfather major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998 (which I posted upthread).

    Steve Mosher Surface and Satellite discrepancy.

  25. “My general impression is that it’s surprisingly hard to find any of the high-content skeptic commentators receiving ANY notable funds from any companies (although central websites and universities do get some money).”

    It is not known to the public who the dark money donors of the global warming policy foundation are. So I am surprised that you seem to be confident that they do not get notable funds from companies. Lord Lawson does not need to be paid to spread propaganda, he makes money from coal mines directly.

    But the main funding from companies goes to politicians (campaign donations) and the media (advertisements). Politicians then willing to claim not to accept the science and pretending that zombie myths are credible counter arguments make it easier for the media to present science as politics and invite climate cranks.

    There is no need for direct funding of cranks. A flat-Earther would also be very happy to appear on radio and television, but they do not get invited. A real crank is a more convincing messenger than a lobbyist who knows he is spreading misinformation.

  26. Willard says:

    > since you opened those topics a little wider, please let me say a bit.

    See how peddling starts?

    Perhaps we could address the individuality thing:

  27. Roberto: “The adjustments are minor”

    Interesting. How do you know that? Do you have a plot comparing the temperature estimates without any adjustments and the final product? I would be much obliged. I know a little bit about this topic, but I have not seen it.

  28. izen says:

    @-Roberto
    ” My general impression is that it’s surprisingly hard to find any of the high-content skeptic commentators receiving ANY notable funds from any companies”

    That is not how it works.
    Companies, and individyals contribute to funding trusts. They pay money out to Foundations, think-tanks anf institutes. The foundations and councils then pay fees for ‘advice’. There is usually at least two cut-outs between company and skeptic. W Soon might be an exception.

    Where public records are available it is possible to estimate the minimum size of this investment by companies.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/DonorsTrust_and_Donors_Capital_Fund_Grant_Recipients

    “In 2015, DonorsTrust distributed a total of $64,720,050 and Donors Capital Fund distributed a total of $62,131,014 for a combined total of $126,851,064 “

  29. Roberto says:

    Thanks for the resources. And have a good night.

    I hear the 140% thing, all right. It sounds like a lot when you say it that way. But the piece just describes a one-time adjustment of 0.2 degrees or so. It’s mainly just an offset, not a trend, and it only amounts to 0.2 degrees after a third of a century. We’re not projecting that difference to grow and grow for the next century, are we? And what if it did? I never said that there is no warming, and I don’t think this changes what I originally said at all. There isn’t much, and old Mother Nature has some much bigger shots in the locker than this. You might enjoy looking up 1861, the year California went bankrupt because there were so few cattle left to collect taxes on. (The 1861 ark flood, and there is no reason it shouldn’t happen again any time.).

    Concerning my own authority, I was merely trying to be brief, not vague. All I am saying is that I have hands-on experience at doing these things to important data, both the right way and several wrong ways. As Bohr said (probably depending on your translation), “An expert is a person who has made every mistake that can be made in a limited area.” So I’m not as likely to figure someone else knows data adjustment way better than I do. (You can agree or not. If you want to hear more about it, all you have to do is ask.)

  30. Roberto: “If you want to hear more about it, all you have to do is ask.”

    Yes, please, you claimed that “The adjustments [of satellite warming estimates] are minor”. I would love to see your evidence for that claim.

  31. Joshua says:

    As for appealing to my own authority, it’s OK because I really am an authority and in fact I’m more authoritatively an authority than certain (unnamed) authorities.

    And you can trust that because I’m an authority, and so it is an authority who is guaranteeing my authority.

  32. izen says:

    I am calling Poe.
    The dodgy Einstein quote was a nice touch, but then name dropping –

    @-“As Bohr said (probably depending on your translation), ”

    Just pushes it too far to be credible.

  33. izen writes: “I am calling Poe”

    Well, given that this excerpt from Roberto has not one true sentence in it, it’s either a Poe or someone badly informed on the subject.

    It covers the entire globe, land and sea. It covers the same thing the same way, with the same treatment, the same weighting, and the same math, every single time. The adjustments are minor, one-time-only, for time of day and satellite height, and height is becoming a non-issue with more maneuvering fuel. It’s the self-same instrument set, used one way, by one crack team apiece. And it continually matches the independent samples from the weather balloons and from cold space. That’s what I call straightforward, transparent, surprise-free, and dependable.

    To me it reads little different than the typical pseudoskeptic nonsense I’ve seen so many times. They’ve been TOLD that the satellite record is all these things and uncritically accept that as fact. Anyone that spends 10 minutes actually investigating the subject quickly realizes that’s a load of horse-puckey being sold. Dr Roy wouldn’t even try to sell that paragraph as ‘truth.’

    Which of course makes one quickly question Roberto’s ‘authority’ status since he obviously lacks a B.S. detector.

  34. Willard says:

    No more piling on, please.

  35. izen says:

    @-“You might enjoy looking up 1861,… ”

    I did ‘enjoy’ reading about the 1861 Ark Flood in the Western States of the US.
    It was caused by more atmospheric rivers, from a warmer Pacific ocean surface, than usual hitting the west coast of the US, combined with a meandering jet-stream that pushed these heavy rain belts further South and caused rapid changes from snow to rain and melting. Paleoclimate evidence puts such events at 100-200 year incidence.
    Physics, a warmer Pacific, wetter atmosphere and unstable jet-stream are all elements already seen in AGW.

    So the visiting ‘skeptic’ suggests we consider a likely impact of climate change, a big increase in extreme flooding events like the 1861 disaster as a distraction from the impact of AGW. (?)

  36. Willard says:

    AndyS responded:

    I just love RichardA so much he could turn me into a Republican.

    Oh, did I ever tell you that RichardA was a Republican, Roberto?

  37. Roberto says:

    Well hush my puppies, that’s a whole lot of different topics asked about, from a lot of different lives. Sorry, but I’m not going to attempt to answer everything at once, for there be regrettable food fights and headaches. But I certainly thank you all for those questions.

    Let me just start with authority. I never claimed any, and I don’t expect any. Science and authority have their proper place, but it can be a deplorable mix when pushed too far. That is not the case for multiple other fields, so I honestly can’t expect everybody to understand or agree.

    I am not offering vague bromides about this, just the lovely quotes of experience. It was a live question for working scientists like Einstein and Bohr, and it is for me as well. Daily. Oh, daily. . .

    If I don’t claim authority, why did I bring it up? I don’t think I did. What I brought up was expertise and experience, which I said comes from hands-on experience with doing various things the right ways AND the wrong ways, in a given field. If I have that under my belt, I’m not so quickly impressed with simple assertions. I want to know more about them. As do many of you, and rightly so.

  38. What I brought up was expertise and experience, which I said comes from hands-on experience with doing various things the right ways AND the wrong ways, in a given field. If I have that under my belt, I’m not so quickly impressed with simple assertions.

    The point was that those who work on the various datasets also have this kind of expertise, so if you want to promote satellite datasets over other datasets then you do need more than just I have some relevant expertise.

  39. This article may also be worth reading.

  40. Willard says:

    > What I brought up was expertise and experience,

    Behind a pseudonym, Roberto.

    You said something about simple assertions.

    Oh, and I’m a ninja.

    ***

    > It was a live question for working scientists like Einstein and Bohr […]

    Indeed, as it has been shown, that question might not imply what you may want to imply with your quotes.

    ***

    > for there be regrettable food fights and headaches.

    I doubt there be food fights.

    You must be new here.

  41. Joshua says:

    Roberto –

    If I don’t claim authority, why did I bring it up? I don’t think I did.What I brought up was expertise and experience,…

    My interpretation was that you referred to your expertise and experience as a way to appeal to, and proclaim your own authority. And the problem is that your expertise and experience do not lend authority to your views any more than anyone else’s expertise and experience might lend authority to theirs. In holding a minority view among the set of those who are expert and experienced, not only does your logic seem faulty to me, it also seems like you’re employing a losing strategy anyway (for anyone not inclined to value your expertise and experience, and thus authority, more than others).

    I’m guessing that you and I would never see eye to eye on that. And I don’t want to rely on an argument from incredulity. Perhaps others might accept your explanation of what I see as justification of a distinction w/o a difference. But I kind of suspect that wouldn’t happen, certainly not with those who aren’t already inclined towards agreeing with you on the science.

    So maybe you should just move on from that and stick to the technical questions.

  42. Magma says:

    @ Willard, that well-rated biography — which I haven’t read — prompted me to do more digging (I did say it was my hobby). It is an obscure but genuine quote translated from German from Einstein’s hand-written notes for a dinner talk in March 1952.

    http://alberteinstein.info/vufind1/Digital/EAR000020162#page/1/mode/1up
    (middle of second paragraph)

    “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it.” — Abraham Lincoln

  43. Joshua says:

    To illustrate (I won’t complain if it is deleted, willard – I’m just indulging my “Someone’s wrong on the Internet” self):

    As for appealing to my own authority, expertise and experience, it’s OK because I really am an authority an expert and experienced and in fact I’m more authoritatively expertly and experientially an authority,
    experienced expert than certain (unnamed) authorities experienced experts.

    And you can trust that because I’m an authority, experienced expert, and so it is an authority, experienced expert who is guaranteeing my authority experience and expertise.

  44. Willard says:

    > It is an obscure but genuine quote translated from German from Einstein’s hand-written notes for a dinner talk in March 1952.

    Thanks, Magma. That’s the kind of thing that makes ClimateBall worthwhile to me.

    ***

    > To illustrate […]

    Alright. Unless we can make our excursions fruitful, let’s return to our topic, please.

  45. Roberto says:

    ATTP, you suggested a couple of articles. I have thought about them for a day and slept on them, and I have some reactions.

    I have to go there by way of the subject of expertise. One more time. You could say a lot about expertise, but my intended point has been that because of it I ask a different kind of questions than most. I know how easy it is to get it all wrong, and I instinctively look for signs of that happening..

    Illustrate that! Clarify that! I hear you saying.

    [Snip. But polar bears. – Willard]

  46. Roberto,
    My own view is that however much experience/expertise, it’s pretty easy to fool oneself, especially when considering a topic about which one has little actual expertise. It’s quite common that I will find myself questioning something in a seminar only to discover that the problem was that I didn’t quite understand what they were doing, rather than them having made a mistake.

  47. Oh, as far as polar bears go, I don’t have any specific expertise. However, when I see things written by those who actually study polar bears, they seem to suggest that they are potentially in trouble (at least partly due to changes in Arctic sea ice). The main person I see claiming that they’re fine is someone who studies dogs. For the moment, I’ll go with those who actually study polar bears.

  48. Willard says:

    > I ask a different kind of questions than most

    I have yet to see that, Roberto:

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/

    Welcome to the Contrarian Matrix.

    No more peddling, please.

  49. Steven Mosher says:

    “I haven’t watched the show in question.”
    Not a good start for someone who claims to be an analyst.

    ” But my own training is physics and data analysis projects affecting tens of millions of dollars. ”
    Notice the illogical step. The first sentence is just an excuse for the second. What Roberto wants to discuss is his but.
    But I am trained in data. I will add that I am trained in data analysis projects affecting billions of dollars. That was DOD.
    Climate data affects Trillions of dollars. Yikes. Dollar for dollar
    Mines bigger!!!. Sadly today I only deal with data that is worth about 5 million a day..so hundreds of millions.
    Ya’ll see how silly this is I hope.

    “My general impression is that it’s surprisingly hard to find any of the high-content skeptic commentators receiving ANY notable funds from any companies (although central websites and universities do get some money). A number of these plutocrats had to stop while they were looking for another day job. ”

    It’s hard to find any high content skeptics. .period.
    The simple fact is skeptics don’t want to do any work.
    I know. I give them code and data and they still ask me to do
    Their homework.

    “And unless the satellites are out to lunch, not much warming is happening, If that is true, it won’t be too long before the whole thing blows over in one way or another”

    Wrong.

    “. I have lived several places with well-established histories of floods that we haven’t even thought about yet.”

    That there is some rigorous sampling! Hire that guy!!
    No wonder they only trust you with a few million.
    Lemme know when you get ready for the big leagues.
    I’ll let you shine my shoes.

    Roberto. ..Nobody cares about your attempts to self certify. Nobody cares about any claims I make about myself.
    This is the internet. Some one in the room is always smarter or more experienced.
    So.
    Show your work.

  50. Roberto says:

    [Cut to the chase, Roberto. – Willard.]

    So ATTP, here is my honest reaction to two of the articles you referred me to, after some consideration.

    1. Zeke Hausfather’s article sounds big. Hey, 140%! But it doesn’t amount to a very high number of degrees, especially depending on your starting spot..Since 2001 is just 0.1 degrees. Going back another 20+ years, the total comes to 0.2 degrees, but I’m not sure anybody is worried about that.

    What I originally described was adjustments for time of day and satellite altitude. The group didn’t seem to think that was right, Hausfather says the reasons for adjustments are time of day and satellite altitude. How about that? Hausfather and the UAH team seem to disagree somewhat about precisely how big those adjustments are, but not about what they are.

    2. John Abraham’s Guardian article says that errors have been made, but it is quiet about how big any of them are now, or how they are spread. The big additional concerns now include the non-pinpoint nature of the measurements, not being on the surface, sloppy calibration, and especially sloppy calibration for one particular satellite. My question is what any of that has to do with trends. Other than the one satellite, I think these are offsets, raising or lowering the entire record as a unit. It’s no steeper, just higher or lower.

    The money graph shows multiple problems with the UAH record, and the resulting adjustments. But those adjustments were already made, years ago. I think these were all reported, evaluated, and corrected by the UAH team in the first place. But if you are suspicious enough, I suppose you might have other theories.

    Again, I’m not a specialist, and all I know is what I see in these articles. As ATTP points out, I could well be missing something. But at first glance, this is what feels weird here. If you still care about my reaction.

  51. Roberto – upthread I quoted a paragraph from you in which every sentence you wrote was incorrect. I never saw a response from you.

    Let’s start; you wrote: “ It [satellite] covers the entire globe, land and sea.”

    No, they don’t. For instance, UAH coverage area from wikipedia:

    Data are available as global, hemispheric, zonal, and gridded averages. The global average covers 97-98% of the earth’s surface, excluding only latitudes above +85 degrees, below -85 degrees and, in the cases of TLT and TMT, some areas with land above 1500 m altitude. The hemispheric averages are over the northern and southern hemispheres 0 to +/-85 degrees. The gridded data provide an almost global temperature map.

    Go read Robert Grumbine’s most recent post and then maybe you can try your hand at rewriting that paragraph. More Grumbine Science: Satellite Data, June 27, 2017. Of course he’s just a lowly climate scientist that actually has to work with the data day-to-day.

  52. Marco says:

    Roberto, regarding your points:
    1. People clearly do care about 0.1-0.2 degrees. Just see how the much smaller(!) changes in the surface record by e.g. NOAA (NCEI) repeatedly lead certain people to proclaim fraudulent data handling.
    David Appell put up some interesting charts and tables here:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2015/04/some-big-adjustments-to-uahs-dataset.html
    (this is not the finally published version, however)
    David rightfully points out that the huge changes made to the satellite data sets do not lead to the same howling as when much smaller changes are made to the surface record(s). But somehow you still trust the satellites (and then primarily the UAH record) more than anything else.

    2. No, just no. The changes, as Zeke’s article shows, *do* affect the trend.
    I have this strange feeling you seem to think the satellite record is some kind of average of several satellites, rather than a patchwork of different satellites that measured over different and often only partly overlapping time periods. Roy Spencer put up the following graph some time ago which shows this patchwork:

    Note also the “MSU or AMSU” – there has been a change in instrumentation, too.
    Add corrections for the degradation of the calibration, the diurnal range (the satellites don’t measure the same spot at the exact same time every day) and orbital decay, and you *will* find changes in trend. This is just one of many reasons the satellite record, with just about each revision, shows changes in trend that are much larger than any modifications of the surface record.

  53. izen says:

    @-Roberto
    “Concerning the various temperature records, … It doesn’t smell right for that.
    That’s what I call straightforward, transparent, surprise-free, and dependable. You can hang your hat on a record like that. ”

    So surface measurements that have been subject to small incremental adjustments that have REDUCED the trend derived from the raw data don’t ‘smell right’. (a mathematical judgement based on extensive experience?)
    But a record (UAH) which has had multiple large adjustments, from a negaticve trend to increasingly large positive trends you charaterise as ‘dependable’.

    A few minutes with a search engine will reveal that the mainstream view of the surface and satellite records is exactly the opposite of your assertion. But the only justification you have presented for disputing the general view of the data is your eperience and expertise with millon dollar projects.

    I am tempted to conclude that your expertise [No need to conclude anything. – Willard]

  54. Roberto,
    A few comments to ponder.

    1. Determining temperatures from satellite data is not simple. It requires models and there have been some real issues that have had to be resolved (drift, for example).

    2. Many of the satellite datasets have been adjusted substantially, quite a number of times (see the Figure in John Abrahams’ article).

    3. The satellite data now shows a warming rate that is quite similar to that shown by the surface datasets (RSS v4 TTT, for example, shows about 0.18K/decade since 1979).

    4. A more interesting question is why they don’t show even faster warming than the surface (e.g., tropical hotspot). You could read this, especially the bit by Steven Sherwood.

    5. We, in my opinion, should consider all the data.

  55. John Hartz says:

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I find the following article a tad hard to follow — perhaps because the first chain of tweets are truncated. Did the GWP actually admit that it used a false temperature graph?

    Climate Science Denial Group GWPF Admits It Used False Temperature Graph by Kyla Mandel, DeSmog UK, Aug 14, 2017

  56. JH,
    As I understand it, they did. They got it – AFAIA – from a website run by Ryan Maue, who appears now to be very upset that they’re using. The GWPF are partly suggesting that he should have been clearer about the issues with the data in the first place.

  57. Willard says:

  58. Susan Anderson says:

    You might want to be sure your workstation is clear of things you can spill before you look at this (the leading photo might cause your jerk-antennae to vibrate). Judith Curry is not a million miles removed from Weatherbell and that lot.

    Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists: A network of pundits and scientists is consulted about stopping release of “Merchants of Doubt,” a documentary film that exposes their work

    I thought I could find something I vaguely remember about Dr. Curry’s husband’s career in professional weather advice being a prime motivator in her shift towards the profits of unskeptical “skepticism” but it’s eluding me.

  59. Willard says:

    > it’s eluding me.

    It might be better to wait before you find your stuff back before issuing your vague recollection, SusanA.

  60. Eli Rabett says:

    Tu cuckoo clocking again Willard?

  61. Willard says:

    You call that a tu quoque, Eli?

    That is a tu quoque:

    I’d rather say it’s basic decency.

  62. Susan Anderson says:

    Here you go

    That year [2014, the year she, she also launched with her husband, Peter Webster, also a professor at Georgia Tech, a company called the Climate Forecast Applications Network. The company provides climate and weather forecasting for the energy industry, according to its website.
    Curry said she uses income from her company to fund her research, which has liberated her from having to agree fully with the IPCC on global warming. But it also opens her up to criticisms of conflict of interest, given that her company gets business from the fossil fuel industry.
    http://www.cfanclimate.com/omnicast.php
    https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060006489

  63. Magma says:

    Curry said she uses income from her company to fund her research, which has liberated her from having to agree fully with the IPCC on global warming.

    Huh. Who knew that the IPCC had veto powers over NSF and other granting agency decisions… Is funding pro-rated by level of agreement? (Jones agrees 100% with us, so fund him fully. Smith had some quibbles about oxygen isotopic ratios, so cut her back 15%. And send Curry the usual empty pizza box.)

    And from the EE News article,

    Curry thinks paleoclimate proxies “are garbage. Not all of them, most of them.” She referred to the writings of McIntyre of Climate Audit for a better explanation and then snapped, “I don’t know why we are talking about tree rings; I’m bored with tree rings.”

    Steven McIntyre is a retired mining consultant with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in economics, and a single-digit number of publications in peer-reviewed journals. Something of an odd choice for a tenured university professor to cite as a reference.

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  65. Pingback: Economic denialism? – wmconnolley: scienceblogs.com/stoat archive

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