Recursive climateball

I noticed on Twitter that Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has got people talking, again, about controversies based on emails from almost 20 years ago. Rather than delving into it too much myself, I thought I would just post the video below, in which Michael Mann explains the issue, and why it really isn’t one.

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117 Responses to Recursive climateball

  1. Since I posted this, maybe I should add some kind of clarifying comment. There are a couple of aspects of this that are worth clarifying. One is that some interpret “Mike’s Nature trick” and “hiding the decline” as one and the same. They aren’t; they’re completely seperate issues. Mike’s Nature trick simply refers to adding the instrumental temperatures onto the paleo reconstruction. This was partly done to compare the two, and partly because the reconstructions end in about 1980, while the instrumental temperature extends beyond. The “hide the decline” refers to a completely different issue, which was that a reconstruction done by Keith Briffa using tree ring density, rather than width, tracks temperarture well until about 1960, and then diverges. Given that the instrumental temperature shows that temperatures continued rising, this would seem to indicate some issue with this proxy beyond about 1960. Hence, there was a case (I think mainly for a figure used on the cover of a report) in which the reconstruction beyond 1960 was left out and replaced with the instrumental data.

  2. Joshua says:

    Gotta give Adams some props for calling a fundamental argument (perhaps THE fundamental argument?) of many of his supporters “bat-shit crazy.”

  3. Joshua,
    Indeed 🙂 Also, he seems to not quite buy the typical “skeptical” arguments about this issue.

  4. Joshua says:

    Don’t mess with “hide the decline.”. How many “skeptics” point to the use of that expression during “climategate” as the event that woke them up to the hoax?

    If he ever makes a video where he applies the exact same (obvious) logic to Schneider’s comments about the dilemma facing climate scientists when communicating about climate change, many “skeptic” heads might just explode.

  5. Steven Mosher says:

    “Hence, there was a case (I think mainly for a figure used on the cover of a report) in which the reconstruction beyond 1960 was left out and replaced with the instrumental data.”

    “On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a „trick‟ and to
    „hide the decline‟ in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of
    intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic
    significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third
    Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was
    misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at
    some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures
    should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly
    described in either the caption or the text. ”

    Muir Russell

    My sense is that not a lot has changed. some people will see this as a capital offense
    and some will not. Some people will give it a pass because its not an actual science paper,
    and some people will condemn it for the same reason.

    The shit still lives on almost 10 years later.

    I recall maybe 1 paper written on the divergence problem since 2009.. Are there more?

  6. Nick Stokes says:

    “They aren’t; they’re completely seperate issues. Mike’s Nature trick simply refers to adding the instrumental temperatures onto the paleo reconstruction. “
    Not really. This is something Steve McI goes on about. It’s more subtle. Mike didn’t actually do that in Nature; he shows the two curves on one plot, but distinct. SM’s complaint is that Mann smoothed the paleo to the end time (1980), using the instrumental as padding.

    To smooth to the end, you really need an estimate of future values. That is the padding. It is often made by reflecting past data in some way. Mann used instrumental. That actually sounds more justifiable, but it does have the effect of bending the end of smoothed paleo toward the instrumental.

  7. dikranmarsupial says:

    IIRC the decline was hidden, in the journal papers where the people making a fuss about it wouldn’t find it ;o)

    The fuss over the word “trick” is one of the more ridiculous aspects of this and shows the adversarial (rather than objective) “auditing” of the stolen emails. “Trick” is widely used in maths and sciences in this case, I even have a paper with “trick” in the title (although I am from UEA ;o).

    For example, “In its simplest form, the kernel trick means transforming data into another dimension that has a clear dividing margin between classes of data.[1]”

  8. Nick,
    I wasn’t aware of the padding, but it’s still the case that “Mike’s Nature trick” and “hide the decline” are two completely different issues. Also, what you refer to as padding, is that the calibration that was done using the instrumental temperatures, or is it something else?

  9. paulski0 says:

    Steven Mosher,

    Seems an odd conclusion, being dependent on events which happened after the fact which the authors had no control over and couldn’t have anticipated.

    LMGTFY

  10. Did anyone ever show the reason why the tree ring data diverged as a proxy for temperature around 1960?

  11. Nick Stokes says:

    ATTP
    “calibration that was done using the instrumental temperatures, or is it something else?”
    Something else. It’s just a general problem in smoothing. You’re usually using a symmetric filter, so to go to the end, you need values beyond. Often extrapolation formulae are used. I guess Mann’s logic was that it is better to use known values (instrumental). But they do influence that part of the paleo curve. It’s a minor effect.

  12. verytallguy says:

    Did anyone ever show the reason why the tree ring data diverged as a proxy for temperature around 1960?

    From teh Wiki:

    The explanation for the divergence problem is still unclear, but is likely to represent the impact of some other climatic variable that is important to modern northern hemisphere forests but not significant before the 1950s. Rosanne D’Arrigo, senior research scientist at the Tree Ring Lab at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, hypothesises that “beyond a certain threshold level of temperature the trees may become more stressed physiologically, especially if moisture availability does not increase at the same time.” Signs suggestive of such stress are visible from space, where satellite pictures show “evidence of browning in some northern vegetation despite recent warming.” [5]

    Other possible explanations include that the response to recent rapid global warming might be delayed or nonlinear in some fashion. The divergence might represent changes to other climatic variables to which tree rings are sensitive, such as delayed snowmelt and changes in seasonality. Growth rates could depend more on annual maximum or minimum temperatures, especially in temperature limited growth regions (i.e. high latitudes and altitudes). Another possible explanation is global dimming due to atmospheric aerosols.[2]

    In 2012, Brienen et al. proposed that the divergence problem was largely an artefact of sampling large living trees.[6]

    I have no idea how reliable Wiki is on this.

  13. Nick,
    Thanks.

    vtg,
    My understanding is that the wiki explanation is a reasonable description of what people think about the divergence problem. May have changed in the last couple of years, though.

  14. Steven,

    My sense is that not a lot has changed. some people will see this as a capital offense
    and some will not. Some people will give it a pass because its not an actual science paper,
    and some people will condemn it for the same reason.

    We know (from the instrumental record) that the divergence problem indicates an issue with that particular proxy when it comes to using it to estimate temperatures beyond 1960. Putting this data in a figure that goes on the front cover of a report would seem silly, given that it would not properly represent what was being indicated. The idea that finding a way to properly represent our understanding is some kind of major offense, just seems odd, especially given that this issue had been discussed in the literature.

  15. dikranmarsupial says:

    Not easy to make a cover that is completely immune from any suggestion that it may be in some way misleading. ;o)

    The thing that isn’t at all funny is the effect this has had on the people involved. FWIW IMHO Prof Jones is a pretty good sort of egg, and I always found him very helpful, thoughtful and willing to listen.

  16. vtg,
    I’m just thinking here, so this may be wrong, but if we’re building an increasing planetary energy imbalance, then we’re adding increasing amounts of energy to the ocean. That might suggest an increasing difference between the temperature at the sea surface and the temperature in the lower atmosphere.

  17. An irony here, is that one of the sources that many quote is Andrew Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion. Since the hockey stick is clearly not an illusion, this would seem to be a highly misleading book title.

  18. Dave_Geologist says:

    The idea that finding a way to properly represent our understanding is some kind of major offense, just seems odd

    Not odd at all ATTP. Not if the offence is confected, and the “offended” want to misrepresent our understanding because, to coin a word, they find it inconvenient 😉 /

  19. Willard says:

    > Gotta give Adams some props for calling a fundamental argument (perhaps THE fundamental argument?) of many of his supporters “bat-shit crazy.”

    Scott is adamant on the right usage of the label words:

  20. Joshua says:

    …. and this was the first step in the destruction of my academic career.

    Victim playing never gets old. I guess they’re must be a shortage of big boy pants.

  21. Steven Mosher says:

    “We know (from the instrumental record) that the divergence problem indicates an issue with that particular proxy when it comes to using it to estimate temperatures beyond 1960. Putting this data in a figure that goes on the front cover of a report would seem silly, given that it would not properly represent what was being indicated. The idea that finding a way to properly represent our understanding is some kind of major offense, just seems odd, especially given that this issue had been discussed in the literature.”

    Its more than that. It calls into question its ability to reconstruct the past. It
    calls into question the uniformitarian assumption In 2009 it was was a growing concern because a few papers suggested that failure of treering series to continue to track warming was not restricted to high-latitude sites : D’Arrigo 2008; Martìn-Benito . 2010; Zhang and Wilmking, 2010

    As for being silly, Muir Russell disagrees.
    My main beef is that these reconstructions were given too much weight in the pile of evidence.
    or as Gavin said, HS really doesnt matter.

    As for being discussed in the literature.. go ahead and pull up briffa’s commentary on it.

    Thankfully this stuff has been retired from being an icon. It always struck me as the weakest link in an otherwise great case for AGW. Kinda like the glove in the OJ case.

  22. Steven,
    Yes, I agree that the divergence problem could indicate a problem with that proxy, but that’s not a reason to doubt millenial reconstructions in general.

    My main beef is that these reconstructions were given too much weight in the pile of evidence.

    Fine, but this is a judgement. Others disagreed. It’s not as if the weight they were given has lead to the public understanding of this topic being flawed in some way (i.e., it really is warming, it is probably doing so faster than it’s done in ~1000 years (probably longer), and it is now probably warmer than it’s been in ~1000 years (again, probably longer)).

  23. entropicman says:

    On the post-1960 divergence observed by Keith Briffa.

    After the Clean Air Act 1956 was passed inthe UK, a new generation of power stations were built inthe UK and western Europe. These were built outside cities and had high chimneys which injected their smoke into the atmosphere above the boundary layer.

    Pollution, especially sulphates, which previously affect the local area was carried away and washed out as acid rain thousands of miles downwind. This was observed to stress forests and lakes in areas including where Briffa took his samples.

    I don’t know if this has been properly researched, but it seems a possible hypothesis.

  24. Steven Mosher says:

    vtg.

    rob wilson probably has a good list

    “The divergence phenomenon, whether for RW or MXD is complex. To date, no one cause has been implicated and it is likely that the divergence issue is a phenomenon which is related to multiple factors over different regions and species. I could quote you as many studies that show no divergence as those that do.

    Some possible hypothesised causes are: (1) non linear effects – e.g. there is a thermal threshold (i.e. it is getting to warm and some other parameter (e.g. precipitation) becomes limiting to growth; (2) anthropogenic affects (e.g. effects of pollution etc); (3) increasing CO2 may not result in fertilisation but the opposite effect as it may reduce the water use capacity of the tree and result in moisture stress; (4) issues related to the statistically processing of the tree-ring data – i.e. end effect issues when the TR data are detrended to remove biological age biases in the series; (5) Urban Heat Effects. If there is a positive bias in the instrumental data, then this could affect the calibration with tree-ring data; (6) wrong target season – some studies at large scales target annual temperature when in reality tree-ring data portray a summer temperature signal. Reconstructions also calibrate against mean temperatures although the bulk of cambial activity is in the day time. Day time maximum temperatures might therefore be a more realistic parameter to target. Increasing temperatures are observed more at night than the daytime.”

    Tingley did a paper also..

  25. Steven,
    Quite a few of those possibilities suggests that there are regimes in which this is a reasonable temperature proxy.

  26. entropicman says:

    For example Luong et al 2013 show a correalation between lower pH of precipitation and lower rates of tree ring growth. See Figure 4.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21580103.2013.839278

  27. Willard says:

    > this stuff has been retired from being an icon.

    Contrarians never retire an icon. They’re still discussing MBH98, a paper written in 1998, along with Adipose Al’s documentary, Jim’s testimony, and other icons. Most have no idea what they’re talking about. Even I do not recall most of the details, like how the MBH icon ended up on the cover. It’s a crescendo of cacophony. It doesn’t matter.

    The same year saw the creation of the Global Climate Science Communication Plan. Does it matter? Hard to tell. Here’s one thing that doesn’t matter:

    If anyone got a chance to watch Bill Murray Stories, drop ClimateBall for a bit more than an hour and do it.

  28. Dave_Geologist says:

    (5) Urban Heat Effects. If there is a positive bias in the instrumental data, then this could affect the calibration with tree-ring data;

    Well, at least we now know that one has been convincingly ruled out Steven. The positive instrumental bias, that is. In that unhomogenised data show even more warming than homogenised data. So researchers can focus on non-instrumental, biological causes.

    Oh hang on a minute, it hasn’t in contrarian LaLaland. Unfortunately, in that forsaken place, stuff never gets retired from being an icon, no matter how zombified it’s become.

  29. verytallguy says:

    Thanks Steven.

    I think that’s an all round “don’t know”

  30. Willard says:

    Here’s an example where recursion stops:

  31. Russell Seitz (@RussellSeitz) says:

    Adams’ shift to the side of science speaks for itself, – here he is reaing the riot act to the denialati:
    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2019/01/when-dilbert-speaks-denialists-tremble.html

  32. A slight diversion – Has anyone ever figured out who conducted the computer break-in at Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia? Or did the powers that be simply stop looking? (all’s fair in love and war and political deception for profit, and all that)

  33. citizens,
    No, I don’t think source is known.

  34. Dave_Geologist says:

    It was Putin IIRC. Or rather his minions. IIRC it was traced to Fancy Bears, who also hacked the athletics drugs-testing people. At the time it was known to be the same organisation, but Fancy Bears were only definitively tagged to the GRU when they interfered in the US elections, and the NSA/FBI/CIA took a close interest.

  35. There was not hack. It was an internal source who sorted emails within the internal domain and leaded an already organized folder.

    GeoDave is making stuff up.

    Putin. Yeah.

  36. dikranmarsupial says:

    And your evidence for that is…?

  37. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    To quote Willard quoting Bill Murray – It just doesn’t matter!

    Releasing private information such as e-mail messages is illegal.
    How they were obtained is irrelevant.
    A slight diversion, in fact.

  38. dikranmarsupial says:

    TVRJH well said.

  39. BBD says:

    [Chill, please. -W]

  40. Willard says:

    > There was not hack. It was an internal source […]

    Ah, the Miracle Worker theory.

    I bet we won’t see CGIII before the Dude comes back:

    Can’t be living in the past, man.

  41. Russell Seitz (@RussellSeitz) says:

    Stay tuned for for the next exciting episode of Wikileaks:

    The Great Putin Dump:

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-time-its-russias-emails-getting-leaked?ref=home

  42. Joshua says:

    What is the expression to use when same old same old no longer effectively describes the extent to which certain behaviors are redundant, boring, irrelevant, and annoying?

  43. Steven Mosher says:

    “Contrarians never retire an icon. ”

    my bad I was not specific enough. of course contrarians use it, abuse it.

  44. Steven Mosher says:

    “Well, at least we now know that one has been convincingly ruled out Steven. The positive instrumental bias, that is. In that unhomogenised data show even more warming than homogenised data. So researchers can focus on non-instrumental, biological causes.”

    Not really, Wilson is talking about individual stations. I know for example that he has on occassion done his own local temperature field rather than use CRU.

  45. Steven Mosher says:

    “Steven,
    Quite a few of those possibilities suggests that there are regimes in which this is a reasonable temperature proxy.”

    yes.

    Also I just watch scott adams. he makes some excellent points about marketing

  46. Steven Mosher says:

    “A slight diversion, in fact.”

    yes.

  47. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “What is the expression to use when same old same old no longer effectively describes the extent to which certain behaviors are redundant, boring, irrelevant, and annoying?”

    Long discredited cliche’ ?

  48. Steven Mosher says:

    willard

    https://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/themiracleworker

    love it. The who dunnit is always a great story.

    once upon a time folks also thought I hacked Gleick.

    I may be a genius, but I’m not dumb.

    There are some updates on the whodunnit. maybe more will be revealled in an upcoming documentary. maybe not.

  49. Steven Mosher says:

  50. Susan Anderson says:

    This keeps it simple:

  51. Philip Clarke says:

     As the subject line states, Phil Jones was talking about the cover art of a short brochure on the climate of 1999 released by the World Meteorological Organisation.

    The caption for the graph – displayed on the inside cover – clearly stated how the graph was made

    Front cover: Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records. The data are shown as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961–1990 normal. Uncertainties are greater in the early part of the millennium (see page 4 for further information). For more details, readers are referred to the PAGES newsletter (Vol. 7, No. 1: March 1999, also available at http://www.pages.unibe.ch) and the National Geophysical Data Center (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov). (Sources of data: P.D. Jones, K.R. Briffa and T.J. Osborn, University of East Anglia, UK; M.E. Mann, University of Virginia, USA; R.S. Bradley, University of Massachusetts, USA; M.K. Hughes, University of Arizona, USA; and the Hadley Centre, The Met. Office).”

    If you follow the PAGES link it takes you to a discussion of the divergence problem, which would be an odd tactic if their aim was to ‘hide the decline’. Arguably Jones could have shown the instrumental data in a different colour, as MBH did, but hey -this was just a figure for the cover of a brochure, not a peer-reviewed paper and presentation choices are hardly deception if they are clearly labelled.

    McIntyre says at WUWT that this spliced figure ‘had relatively limited circulation’. He’s not kidding! Prior to achieving fame in a leaked email, this obscure diagram was not mentioned online by anyone ever. It is impossible to claim with a straight face that anyone was materially misled by the graph, in my view.

    BTW at WUWT, Anthony W asserts:

    “It is important to note that in the above cartoon, Josh focuses on the “near present” part of the hockey stick, and it’s not the entire graph with the long flat blade going back to the Medieval Warm Period and before. It focuses entirely on the fact that the tree ring temperature proxy data in modern times (from about 1980 onward) didn’t cooperate with the viewpoint of the Science paper authors (it went in the wrong direction) so they truncated it and used an entirely different dataset in it’s place – surface thermometer readings.”

    This is untrue, pure and simple. The proxy data simply ended in 1980, no datasets were truncated and instrumental temperatures were plotted separately in a different colour to the proxy reconstruction. (MBH99 Fig 3(a).)

    Either Watts is lying or he doesn’t have the first idea of what he is writing about.

  52. Dave_Geologist says:

    To quote Willard quoting Bill Murray – It just doesn’t matter!

    In the UK it’s called “stealing by finding” or something similar. And releasing the emails publicly, which presumably includes some personal information covered by the Data Protection Act unless they were very carefully redacted, is also an offence. Possibly trouble for UEA if they were sloppy, but I think also for subsequent handlers. I seem to recall the various players around Cambridge Analytica facing jeopardy, although that is slightly different in that the information was taken legitimately then passed on illegitimately, rather than stolen.

  53. Willard says:

    My bet is on the lather, PhilC.

    Speaking of choices, and related to the auditing biz, let’s recall this old comment of yours for the younger ClimateBall players:

  54. Dave_Geologist says:

    Not really, Wilson is talking about individual stations. I know for example that he has on occassion done his own local temperature field rather than use CR

    Golly gosh Steven, one station out of how many thousands? That unretired icon doesn’t even qualify as a zombie. It was never really alive. At least not among those of us who can count.

  55. Dave_Geologist says:

    I wasn’t making stuff up Thomas. I was relying on memory, hence “IIRC”. Probably remembering this: Russian email hackers keep playing us for fools. Which is suggestive but stops short of an actual claim, I now see

    It was an internal source who sorted emails within the internal domain and leaded an already organized folder.

    Are you guessing that, making it up or do you have inside information? A search just finds links to propaganda on unreliable sources like wattsuppia or conservapedia. Which rather suggests there’s no primary information in the public domain. If you have inside information, have you passed it on to the police or the IInformation Commissioner’s Office? They probably have a whistleblower’s facility if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. Did you inform the various enquiries which exonerated the researchers? If only so that better security procedures could be instituted.

  56. Willard says:

    > They probably have a whistleblower’s facility if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Hence why one the first things the Auditor wrote after words got back to him:

    Some actions by whistleblowers in the U.K. are protected under the U.K. Public Interest Disclosure Act which is summarized by Wikipedia as follows: […]

    https://climateaudit.org/2009/11/21/uk-whistleblower-legislation/

    Even if our Miracle Worker could claim that protection at the time, which remains doubtful considering the legal text, it may not be possible anymore. Another reason why the identity of the Miracle Worker doesn’t matter.

    Not sure it’d be wise to speculate about the origin of the miracle that happened without paying due diligence to the concept of hacking in the first place. Not sure it’d be wise to pay due diligence to the concept of hacking either. It may not matter.

  57. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Either Watts is lying or he doesn’t have the first idea of what he is writing about.

    On a planet whose surface is over-populated by useful idiots, that disjunction is an interesting one.

    Harry Frankfurt, “On Bullshit”…

    It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.

    This philosophical distinction should be kept in mind by battle-scarred ClimateBall players, because it elucidates so much tactical behavior – including even some apparent miracles – for example, that The Donald has never told a lie.

  58. Joshua says:

    It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth.

    Suppose I say that I’m sure about something when I’m actually not sure?

  59. BBD says:

    If the true state of your knowledge is uncertainty about X, and you profess certainty about X, then you are misrepresenting your position 😉

  60. Willard says:

    > Suppose I say that I’m sure about something when I’m actually not sure?

    I think that Harry’s point is that the speech act of lying presupposes truth-telling, something that spouting BS does not. Under that light, a possible interpretation that captures that intuition would be:

    [J1] I know I am actually not sure.
    [J2] I still say I’m sure.

    It may not be possible to say that J2 is a lie if J1 wasn’t true.

  61. BBD says:

    I’ll buy that for a dollar 🙂

  62. Steven Mosher says:

    dave you miss the point rob was making.
    i will leave it to you to figure out.

    hint. there maybe a paper you have not read.

  63. Steven Mosher says:

    dave with regards to the whodunnit. we know when he stopped and pretty certain he stopped when he got a particular document.

    thats all.

  64. GeoDave, I do have inside information that leads me to say what I said. It is not dispositive and it is in any case confidential. But I do have information that has not been made public. Pretty sure Steve has it too.

  65. Dave_Geologist says:

    But do the relevant authorities have it Thomas? If not, why not? And if it was indeed an inside job, did you consider the possibility that you were dealing with an unreliable source, who might have selectively included and excluded material to intentionally mislead? Or that the intermediary may have done so? Not that it matters hugely, since enough context was left to show that the whole thing was a nothingburger of confected outrage.

    Thanks for the legal link Willard. Clearly, the content of the hack or leak, whichever it was, fails to meet 43B(1) so does not qualify for protection under UK whistleblower legislation, and if it was a hack or a leak which involved illegality (which, any hack would, and which could in principle could be extended to stealing a UEA USB stick to take files off the premises, as well as Data Protection Act violations), it would fall foul of 43B(3) and so also fail to qualify.

  66. Dave_Geologist says:

    Link to the paper please Steven? Your claim, your onus. Otherwise you’ll convince precisely one other person on the thread. The one you don’t need to convince.

  67. dikranmarsupial says:

    thomaswfuller2 wrote “[transparent bluff”]

  68. BBD says:

    Ice caps on Baffin Island are now melting and revealing land that was continuously frozen for at least 40ky, which does rather suggest that the millennial reconstructions are essentially correct. Whatever the contrarians claim.

  69. Joshua says:

    I don’t think I know the truth about whether Thomas is lying… but I say…

    Thomas made up a story about having evidence of a whistle-blower.

    (I didn’t say, “I know Thomas made up a story about” …although that is implied)

    Did I lie?

  70. Dave_Geologist says:

    It does raise an interesting moral and legal question if you know that someone broke the law, or know how the law was broken but don’t know precisely who did it, but are reluctant to report because it was done in a cause you support. The UK whistleblower legislation takes a very tight view, in line with UK legislation on paying ransom fees. If it’s illegal, it’s no defence to say you did it in a good cause, not even one of the 43B(1) good causes. Creationists who “lie for Jesus” would answer that they are serving a higher cause, putting God above Man’s Laws. The people trying to block pipeline or fraccing-site access would argue that the law is morally wrong, and there is a long and honourable tradition of disobeying unjust laws. Where does ClimateBall fit in?

  71. Dave_Geologist says:

    Thanks again for the link BBD. I see it’s an update and extension of a previous paper I have, Unprecedented recent summer warmth in Arctic Canada.

    Paleotemperature reconstructions from Greenland and Baffin Island show that the most recent time prior to the Holocene with temperatures similar to present was during the Last Interglaciation, suggesting that that these landscapes are now ice-free for the first time in ~115 ka and that modern temperatures represent the warmest century in 115 ka, despite relatively low local summer insolation.

    Dang, that hockey-stick sure has a long shaft!

  72. Dave_Geologist says:

    And when I went to the page it suggested this: Reduced carbon cycle resilience across the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. They find carbon cycle instabilities in the run-up to the PETM which suggest a “tipping point” phenomenon rather than the deus ex machina I don’t like (one Chicxulub is enough, thank you very much). Of course a slow deus ex machina, like the million-year outpourings of an LIP, leading to a tipping point elsewhere in the system, could satisfy both (heh heh, I also like the idea that the KT extinction was so big because life was already stressed by the outpourings of the Deccan Traps). Kinda like our emissions, nice and linear temperature increase… until it’s not.

  73. BBD says:

    Yup, the authors were properly cautious, but it does look as though the shaft goes all the way back to MIS5e.

    Just for fun, here’s the conclusion of MBH99 (emphasis in original):

    Although NH reconstructions prior to about AD 1400 exhibit expanded uncertainties, several important conclusions are still possible. While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous: the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium. More widespread high-resolution data which can resolve millennial-scale variability are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached with regard to the spatial and temporal details of climate change in the past millennium and beyond.

  74. Willard says:

    > Did I lie?

    Just to make sure, you would have lied if you don’t believe what we must presume you believe when you say that our fellow luckwarmer made up a story about having evidence of a whistle-blower. A lie implies insincerity regarding truthtelling. Pure BS disregards truth altogether.

    ***

    Speaking of inside information, mine are that the Miracle Worker’s linguistic background makes him write slightly disjointed emails, and that opening up a bitcoin address killed the wistleblower theory for good.

  75. Dave_Geologist says:

    Hmmm… Was thinking last night, Tom’s explanation sounds suspiciously like the cover story/squirrel/distraction that alt-right websites were pushing when the DNC emails were hacked. Of course we now know that story was false, and it was indeed the GRU. Which has landed some of the US players in rather hot water, no doubt with more to come. IIRC an “expert” claimed to have forensically detected use of the Linux/Unix cp command to copy the files (not sure how – Magicians don’t have to explain themselves I guess). So of course it was an inside job, carried out by someone who hijacked a PC using a bootable Linux USB stick and copied them onto the stick or an external hard drive. Which ticks all the Matrix-y boxes among people whose computer knowledge comes from movies. Linux/Unix, scary green on black command-line terminals (the VT120 has a lot to answer for…) with scrolling shell scripts, hackers, black hats, and Magicians who can do anything.

    Trouble is, it only took me about 90 seconds to work out that it was a stupid and probably impossible way to do it (I was probably ashamed it took me longer than a minute). The bootable stick approach only works if the emails are already on the hard drive of the machine you’ve hijacked. How did they get there? Presumably you copied them from a Windows server while logged in as a Windows user. Why not just copy the files to a stick directly from Windows? You’re far more likely to get caught from a server log that shows you copying a zillion files to your PC, than from a log on your desktop or laptop showing you copied files to a USB stick. Does Windows even log that?

    So maybe you broke into the server room and rebooted the mail server into Linux, then copied the files. Assuming that boot from USB/CD was not disabled or password protected, which it should be on a server if not on client PCs; in good practice with a different password to the administrator password. With a laptop in your hand if it was a headless server. For many hours in the UEA case, because you were allegedly cherry-picking, choosing and sorting files, not just doing a quick bulk copy. And no-one noticed that the mail server was down, or that an unauthorised person was in an unauthorised place.

    Or maybe they ran a mixed IT environment with a SAMBA server linking Linux and Windows (virtually certain in the case of UEA, unlikely in the case of the DNC). The SAMBA server works by tying your Linux login to your Windows login, and your Linux permissions to your Windows permissions (perhaps with tweaks), and emulating the host environment to the client environment (actually I think it’s one-way, Windows thinks it’s talking to Windows, whether it’s sending or receiving). So if you do the copy logged into a Linux client, there is still a server-log audit trail leading to you personally. How about installing a SAMBA client on the bootable stick, with the appropriate protocols? Same problem: assuming they don’t have additional security protocols like a fingerprint of their installed Linux system, you still have to log in as yourself.

    Or maybe someone did it the sensible way. Hacked the system, perhaps by phishing, perhaps by brute force or technical means, perhaps with inside help from a sympathiser or someone they’d bribed or blackmailed. Done a bulk download, then done all the searching and sorting somewhere safe, where they had plenty of time. perhaps in a Linux environment. Hey, maybe UEA or the DNC ran a Linux mail server or gateway, so it would be immune to any Windows malware passing through.

    Now we know that the GRU was involved in multiple attacks on enemies or rivals of Russia (strictly, of Putin and his oligarch chums), and that the cover stories and distractions were false. We can take two approaches to assess likely culprits. Cui Bono: perhaps a petrostate whose non oil, gas and metals economy is a basket case, and which has the demonstrated power to do it. And Occam’s Razor: Just one more attack of the many that benefited Putin; or an unidentified Magician who needed administrator rights (which narrows it down to a select few, who’ve presumably been questioned). Same-old-same-old, or unicorns. I know what William would think.

    Perhaps Tom should reconsider the reliability of his inside informant? Lies and misinformation are the stock-in-trade of intelligence services, in addition to espionage.

  76. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    do have inside information that leads me to say what I said.

    Have law enforcement authorities questioned you about that information? If not, given that there are questions of criminality, don’t you think they might be interested?

    But I do have information that has not been made public. Pretty sure Steve has it too.

    You aren’t sure whether your co-author has that info? You have very important information related to potential for criminality that you haven’t discussed with him? That seems a bit unusual. Why haven’t you discussed that critical information with your co-author?

  77. Steven Mosher says:

    “But do the relevant authorities have it Thomas? If not, why not? ”

    as Tom said, not dispositive.

    Short version: Start with Motive. that will lead you to a couple people.
    Move to opportunity: the overlap is clear.
    Look at testimony in the investigation: shocking fact
    There is a short list, one person long.
    So years ago I shared this with Tom and Mc. Mc disagreed strongly that this was a solid enough
    case. I was on the fence leaning away from Mc. The problem is if you say the name and are not sure you ruin someone. Not a good idea.

    Now if this were as clear as the Glieck case, I’d just say what we thought at the time

    :ater some more facts pop up. I’m more on Mc’s side now.

  78. Steven Mosher says:

    “The bootable stick approach only works if the emails are already on the hard drive of the machine you’ve hijacked. How did they get there?”

    this is funny,
    https://climateaudit.org/2011/12/20/eudora-and-the-briffa-attachments/

  79. Phil Clarke says:

    If I may sum up; a crime may have been committed, the coauthors of a cash-in-quick book on the material released by the possible criminal have deduced who he or she may be – but are unwilling to share their reasoning with the police because their evidence they have is not ‘dispositive’.

    Hmmmmm. I am pretty sure the Norfolk Constabulary would be grateful for any and all assistance, case closure notwithstanding and ‘dispositive’ or not. Indeed IANAL, but assuming this is not just baseless conjecture then I would have thought keeping it to yourselves is contrary to the spirit, if not the letter of the law.

    Occam.

    The problem is if you say the name and are not sure you ruin someone. Not a good idea.

    I think the problem is more that if you say the name, that is, accusing someone of a crime, and you are wrong, then you are in a world of legal pain.

    Just time for an oldie but goldie…

    I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission. Nor do I believe men of honour would select portions of the email that don’t correspond to the entire message.

    Thomas Fuller.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20151018235353/https://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/01/tom-fuller-and-senator-inhofe/comment-page-1/ (Comment =92)

  80. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM wrote

    as Tom said, not dispositive.

    Short version: Start with Motive. that will lead you to a couple people.
    Move to opportunity: the overlap is clear.
    Look at testimony in the investigation: shocking fact
    There is a short list, one person long.
    So years ago I shared this with Tom and Mc. Mc disagreed strongly that this was a solid enough
    case. I was on the fence leaning away from Mc. The problem is if you say the name and are not sure you ruin someone. Not a good idea.

    Now if this were as clear as the Glieck case, I’d just say what we thought at the time

    :ater some more facts pop up. I’m more on Mc’s side now.

    That is not consistent with what Tom wrote

    GeoDave, I do have inside information that leads me to say what I said. It is not dispositive and it is in any case confidential. But I do have information that has not been made public. Pretty sure Steve has it too.

    [emphasis mine]

    Deducing (guessing) things from publicly available information is not “inside information”.

    Personally I think it is a bullshit bluff. Email is generally not stored in a way that other users of the system have access to other peoples emails.

    I can see however how some might want to talk about that rather than the disingenuous misrepresentations of the contents of the stolen emails on the cover of a certain book. ;o)

  81. Dave_Geologist says:

    Very funny Steven. I presume that is the Mc who “disagreed strongly that this was a solid enough
    case”? Funny link to support Tom’s claim that the case is dispositive. Or were you not supporting Tom, but just setting a squirrel running?

    Are you suggesting that the emails were obtained from some third party’s laptop, who’d been copied in on the messages? By said third party? In which case my logic-chain wrt the alt-right distraction story still applies. Why mess around with a bootable Linux stick (the C: partition name implies it was a Windows machine)? Why not just copy the files in Windows? Or did someone else hijack the laptop when it was unattended? In which case it wasn’t an inside job.

    Start with Motive. Petrostate sees its sole reliable income stream threatened by climate action. that will lead you to a couple people. Vladimir Putin (through his puppet Medvedev if necessary, but I bet the GRU would have taken orders from Vlad whoever was nominally in charge), King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz Al Saud. Move to opportunity which state has a large, internationally active intelligence service with a proven track record of hacking non-military targets like political and sporting organisations, as well as James Bond stuff: the overlap is clear.

  82. Phil said:

    “the coauthors of a cash-in-quick book “

    All interpretations were made in about a month of research and writing.

    This is what they think is the context:

    Science is hard. Climate science in particular appears to be a very frustrating endeavor, as no real breakthroughs have arguably been made since the 19660’s. And even one breakthrough, that of identifying the Lorenz butterfly, has probably stifled advances. There will be lots of false alarms and dead ends in the research. That’s the real context.

  83. Dave_Geologist says:

    I haven’t read the book as I refuse to deal in stolen property. However “in context” can have two meanings. The first is to show the full email trail, and non-cherry-picked quotes of external matter referenced, for example a paper which is disparaged. The second is to provide the authors’ chosen interpretation of the external context at the time the email was written. For example, ahead of an IPCC meeting or a grant-funding round, in response to a criticism in a newspaper, before or after a job application, etc. The second meaning is of course entirely compatible with cherry-picking the emails and distorting their true context. Indeed, false context may be a requirement to ensure that the reader is led down the correct garden path.

  84. dikranmarsupial says:

    I think the context also includes this sort of thing:

    Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    I suggest that interested readers can participate by choosing 5 countries and sending the following FOI request to david.palmer at uea.ac.uk:

        Dear Mr Palmer,
    
        I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested]
    
        1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;
        2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;
        3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”.
        4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,
    
        I am requesting this information for the purposes of academic research.
    
        Thank you for your attention.
    
        Yours truly,
    
        yourname
    

    If you do so, please post up a copy of your letter so that we can keep track of requested countries.

    Yes, that’s right, Steve McIntyre encouraged the readers at ClimateAudit to submit FOI requests. It is difficult to see how that isn’t some sort of harassment (a bit like a distributed denial of service attack).

  85. dikranmarsupial says:

    Sorry messed up the tag near the permalink thing.

    [Mod: fixed, I think.]

  86. dikranmarsupial says:

    Mod: It is fixed, much appreciated! looks like the pre tag worked out a bit oddly, but people can go to the orginal.

    Note that the attempt to coordinate which counties data people requested only came later in the discussion, which suggests that the original intention had nothing to do with actually using the data for some science.

  87. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    It seems that Tom must be busy, and hadn’t seen that questions were addressed to him. Meeting you can help a bit.

    do have inside information that leads me to say what I said.

    Have law enforcement authorities questioned you about that information? If not, given that there are questions of criminality, don’t you think they might be interested?

    But I do have information that has not been made public. Pretty sure Steve has it too.

    Tom isn’t sure whether you, his co-author, has that info. He had very important information related to potential for criminality that he haven’t discussed with you.

    That seems a bit unusual. It also seems a bit at odds when you say this:

    There is a short list, one person long.
    So years ago I shared this with Tom and Mc.

    But regardless, since your co-author has critical information about the potential for criminal conduct that he hasn’t shared with you, are you going to request that he discuss that information with you, and also make sure that he contacts legal authorities to make sure they have information that is pertinent to their investigation?

  88. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Phil Clarke:
    Just time for an oldie but goldie…

    I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission. Nor do I believe men of honour would select portions of the email that don’t correspond to the entire message.

    – Thomas Fuller.

    To which we may add:

    To be clear, I have no objection for asking for data, models, calculations. But emails between scientists? No. That way lies poorer science.

    – Thomas Fuller.
    https://thelukewarmersway.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/too-much-climate-news-a-tale-of-two-ice-caps-cuccinelli-redux-and-halloween-zombie-climate-denier-justifications/

    Scruples. We got lukewarm ones.

  89. Dave_Geologist says:

    Unscrupulous types it would seem, those lukewarmers. And contemptuous of their readers: assuming, it would appear, that they never click through on links. Like this one from the Antarctica’s-gaining-not-losing-ice spiel: Gains in Antarctic ice might offset losses; sub-headed “Thickening in East Antarctica does not lessen worry about rapidly thinning glaciers elsewhere”. You’d never have guessed from the blog post.

    Of course now we’ve got them nifty GRACE satellite thingy’s, we know that Antarctica is indeed experiencing a net loss of ice: Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017.

    it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017

  90. Dave_Geologist says:

    Ironically, Zwally predicted the misuse of his results when he was interviewed for the Nature News piece:

    Zwally notes. “I know some of the climate deniers will jump on this, and say this means we don’t have to worry as much as some people have been making out,” he says. “It should not take away from the concern about climate warming.”

  91. Willard says:

    > Scruples. We got lukewarm ones.

    It’s worse in context:

    Scientists should be able to communicate via email without re-reading every word they write with an eye on future investigations. Stupid, because witch hunts don’t increase your stature, reputation, amount of information or even the size of your… big toe.

    […]

    Update: Sorry for those in the comment thread. I just booted ATTP and yanked his posts.

    Vintage 2015.

  92. I’d forgotten about that post of Tom’s. He ended up deleting all my comments, even though I was mentioned in the post. Good thing he doesn’t complain about the moderation that happens here. Oh, hold on …….????

  93. Joshua says:

    Too bad that you’ve banned him from commenting here, ’cause I was hoping he’d answer my questions and other people’s questions about his inside info.

    …. oh, hold on….

  94. Revisionist history at its finest. How… amusing.

  95. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Scientists should be able to communicate via email without re-reading every word they write with an eye on future investigations. ”

    seems to be revising his attitude to scientist’s emails. For instance, should they worry that a joke about reinventing peer-review might be misinterpreted, or the use of the word “trick” to mean “clever technique”?

  96. Joshua says:

    Hey Tom –

    Oh, so you ‘aren’t banned here?

    What then, might explain why you haven’t answered questions above about the legal implications of you having inside information on the question of leaker vs. whistle-blower?

    Oh, and why haven’t you discussed your inside information with your co-author.

    Your silence on these questions might be seen, by some, as suspicious.

  97. Joshua says:

    An essay on Sam Harris as a model for understanding climateball?

    –snip–

    There’s an irritating thing that some men—and let’s be honest, it is nearly always men—tend to do. They enjoy telling other people why those people’s opinions are daft, delusional, and irrational, and promise to explain how things really are and what you would notice if you weren’t so blinkered by bias and sentiment. They expound upon the importance of shedding ideological presuppositions and examining the world using cool reason. Yet they are so wrapped up in telling everybody else why they are wrong that they cannot actually hear what anybody else is even arguing to begin with. Sometimes this produces comical levels of obliviousness, e.g., My brain-dead, slanderous opponents do nothing but resort to ad hominems or My new bestseller is about how liberals took away free speech.

    –snip–

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/10/being-mr-reasonable

    Those italics are in the article, but Jesus, I would HAVE to put that segment in italics if it weren’t already so.

    How many times have we seen those exact arguments in climateball and the related Xballs?

    There’s much else in the article that his the daily double in illuminating Sam’s habits and climateball tactics simultaneously.

  98. Joshua says:

    Here’s a test:

    In Croft’s words, Harris “says things which, if approached with strict analytical rigor and the most generous of minds, can be given a shield of deniability against criticisms of Islamophobia,” but “rarely takes sufficient care to ensure that his arguments don’t casually reinforce negative attitudes about Muslims, and makes it extremely easy for right wing extremists to laud his remarks and for his right wing supporters to see the Islamophobia they want to see in them.”[7] This is too generous a characterization, though, because it grants that “strict analytical rigor” produces results that favor Harris. According to this perspective, Harris is being careless; while the meaning of his words may be defensible, he hasn’t thought about how they come across, or what their effects on listeners might be. But while it’s true that Harris does not think about how he sounds, his indignant replies suggest that much of the fault rests with the audience (If my critics cannot be bothered to figure out what I mean, so much the worse for my critics). The more important point, however, is that Harris’ thoughts are not merely framed badly, but are mindless and collapse under the application of analytic rigor.

    Methinks we could substitute the climateball arena in for the Islam arena in that excerpt, and just about eveyone here will come up with the same Climatball player’s name to substitute for Harris’ in a parallel climateball universe, although indeed, many climateball players’ names would fit quite nicely.

    Although, I must say that in the unnamed but all too obvious climateball player’s case (and perhaps even in Harris’) , I think the lack of analytical rigor and mindless criticisms don’t apply.

  99. Joshua,
    Certainly some people in the climate arena who seem to regularly say things that are often interpreted as supporting arguments against climate action, but who get very cross if anyone points this out, and who also complain about the tone of the discussions while – at the same time – calling people they don’t like names.

  100. I’m here to ask a question: Would anyone here know the first time the PDO was incorporated into climate models? Yes, it is slightly off topic, though it’s dealing directly with contrarian campaigns of fact manipulation, in order to confuse rather than clarify.

    I’m asking because I’ve been sent recent OP from the Pacifica Tribune that states “Climate models do not incorporate the PDO’.

    I can imagine (if true) that perhaps long-term models may not incorporate the PDO because it’s actually irrelevant to what they are looking at (since the PDO only pushes heat around). But, that’s personal guessing.

    It seems to me the PDO has been studied a great deal and that the accumulating information would have been plugged into climate models – and if not, there’s probably a good explanation that I would love to learn about.

    But I don’t know, I’m no scientist, though I do try to keep up with their findings, with a little help from my friends.

    Can anyone add any clarifying details? Please.

    Thank you

  101. Joshua says:

    Anders *

    Certainly some people in the climate arena who seem to regularly say things that are often interpreted as supporting arguments against climate action, but who get very cross if anyone points this out, and who also complain about the tone of the discussions while – at the same time – calling people they don’t like names.

    Yes, methinks that while that’s a general description that could fit many combatants in the climate wars, and if decontextualized would fit many combatants pretty much in any social media battlefield, anyone here who reads that description will think of one particular climateball participant.

    Which can mean (if I’m right) that particular individual is very unfairly judged and the misjudgement is advanced widely, or it could mean that person might benefit from a rhetorical style adjustment (I won’t hold my breath on that one).

    Thanks!

  102. Dave_Geologist says:

    https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=pdo+in+climate+models

    Lots of examples, and you can filter by date. I would think it depends on what you mean by implement. It’s an emergent phenomenon, like cloud, convection and poleward heat transport. A major reason why different realisations, even of the same model, have different average global temperatures in the same year, so you have to look at ensemble averages. That they do so without being forced to is a feature, not a bug. It shows that they’re getting (some of) the physics right. If you mean explicitly force models to replicate past PDO phases, or predict future ones, no, they don’t. Nor should they. It would be like expecting a weather forecast to predict a particular cloud at a particular time at a particular location. The important thing is that they generate PDO-like conditions in the ocean and atmosphere, but with timing which is stochastic or chaotic. AFAIK they do. If the author thinks that equates to ‘Climate models do not incorporate the PDO’, and represents a weakness in climate models, the author doesn’t understand modelling or the climate.

  103. Joshua,
    Do you mean “if you’re right about them being unfairly judged” or “if you’re right about why they might be”?

  104. Joshua says:

    I meant “If I’m right that the same person comes to pretty much everyone’s mind…)”

    Then the assessment of that person is a widely shared misjudgement…which of course is one of the possibilities.

  105. Joshua says:

    … Or that the widely shared assessment is in fact accurate and a natural and outgrowth of that person’s conduct.

    Of course, it could well be some from column a and some from column b. Maybe that’s the most probable scenario?

    Even still, if it’s true that the impression is a widely shared misjudgemenr, it would seem to me that the best response would be one strategically oriented to correct the misjudgement.

    In other words, this mystery person could, perhaps, take steps to proactively reduce the extent to which people misinterpret what s/he says as supporting arguments against climate action, broadly speaking. (e. g., maybe actually just against specific arguments for specific action).

    Or this person could just repeat the same behaviors that have led to misinterpretation in the past. Which is always interesting.

  106. Joshua,

    Or this person could just repeat the same behaviors that have led to misinterpretation in the past.

    I’ll go for this one.

    Which is always interesting.

    Gets irritating and tedious after a while.

  107. Joshua says:

    Gets irritating and tedious after a while.

    Sure. But I think it’s an interesting pattern of human behavior. Why do people repeat patterns of behavior that produce sub-optimal outcomes – especially if there are (faiely obvious?) alternative pathways that remain largely unexplored?

    These patterns are ubiquitous and play out across a variety of contexts. I think it’s interesting to explore why that’s the case.

  108. Thank you Dave, your details are very helpful !

    The OP author has a long history of diligently misunderstanding climate studies and climate modeling. Heck he professes that CO2 science is a politically hoax and wildlife studies prove it. Climate change is all landscapes and internal cycles in his world. (yeah, that’s a hint ; )

  109. Joshua,

    Why do people repeat patterns of behavior that produce sub-optimal outcomes – especially if there are (faiely obvious?) alternative pathways that remain largely unexplored?

    I’ll venture a thought. The alternative pathways could end up making some individuals appear to be presenting views that are very much the same as many other people and would mean that they didn’t stand out quite as much as they would like to. This may, of course, not be the reason why these alternative pathways remain unexplored.

  110. Willard says:

    an alternative explanation starts at 1:25

    that scene gets our seal of approval

  111. Dave_Geologist says:

    Here’s an old review citizen, with then-current GCMs and references going back to the 1950s (but I guess not full GCMs in those days):

    Sea surface temperature anomalies, planetary waves, and air‐sea feedback in the middle latitudes

    They also talk about models with prescribed SSTs, either to force the model into an interesting response, to to match historic data (like in assimilation/reanalysis studies, or weather forecasting), and see how the rest of the model responds. I suspect the OP of the quote is Not Even Wrong. Assuming of course, that the claim was made in good faith.

  112. Thanks Dave, I’m going to post something about it, can I cite these quotes, or you rather I leave your name out of it?

  113. Dave, I’m assuming you don’t me crediting your comments which I’ve used. If you do, let me know, I’ll take it down.

    Steele’s ‘What’s Natural?’ Dissecting libertarian deception, a fishy tale.
    A study guide to “What’s Natural?” by Jim Steele, as featured in the Pacifica Tribune.
    https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2019/02/steeles-fishy-tale-gop-selfdelusions.html

    (also at WUWTW)

  114. Dave_Geologist says:

    No problem quoting or linking citizen. And looks like a site I’ll revisit 🙂 .

  115. Cool. For what it’s worth, here’s a very good response I received from a guy who’s helped write the book (so to speak ;- )

    Hello Peter,
    Yes, I don’t understand that statement either. The PDO is essentially just a statistical pattern of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the North Pacific.

    For well-known physical reasons, it is fairly common for the SSTs to “look” like the PDO (we call it the “dominant” pattern, since on average it is makes up a fairly large part of month-to-month variations of SST).

    Typical changes in surface winds in the North Pacific tend to cause surface warming and cooling of the sea surface in a PDO-like configuration, because these winds are related to the Aleutian Low, which is typically present in most of the wintertime and is often impacted by El Niño and La Niña events in the tropical Pacific. Additional change in SSTs related to changes in deeper ocean temperatures and currents (which are also often forced by the surface winds) also tend to “look” a lot like the PDO at the surface as well.

    The thing is, this physics is all in the models, based on the (very well-known) equations that describe how heat, mass, and momentum move around in the ocean and atmosphere. The models do not simulate the PDO perfectly, of course (no model is perfect, and actually solving these equations is not a trivial task), but they simulate it reasonably well, and they’ve been getting better over the last two decades.

    The remaining errors in the simulations are interesting (to me for sure), so one could say that the models could do still *better* at incorporating the PDO (which my 2016 paper goes over*) but to say it’s not there at all is just wrong.

    Hope this helps,

    Matt Newman
    Senior Research Scientist
    CIRES/University of Colorado
    & NOAA/ESRL/PSD

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