Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another big problem over at Steven McIntyre's ClimateAudit...

... is his, and his supporters obsession with obscure data processing and modeling issues.  Issues that by all rights belong with the full time experts.  

In fact, a cute analogy occurred to me while reading the comments over at ClimateAudit today. Back in the day, I was decent at keeping my cars alive and maintained... in a simpler world... 50s,60s,70s models.  Haven't forgotten any of that knowledge, but I'd be nuts trying to go at my '99 pick up, let alone a friend's 2010.  It requires a level of training and expertise and tools I don't have, and if my ego didn't let me recognize that, my attempts to do-it-myself would result in expensive disaster after disaster.

McIntyre makes a big deal of statistical proficiency and the lack of top tier statisticians among climatologists - he never mentions that climatologists learned from early mistakes and lessons, and have long taken expert statisticians on board as collaborators.  {They really are trying to get as accurate as possible!}  

For instance, McIntyre won't tell you about the "Geophysical Statistics Project" and NCAR's collaboration
- check it out yourself -  it shows how seriously improving statistical capabilities have been taken. 
{Incidentally, Professor Mann was at the inaugural Geophysical Statistics Project Workshop in Boulder, when he was a graduate student, so to claim he isn't concerned about statistical accuracy is groundless character assassination, rather than a reflection of the truth.} 
for more information see: 

On the other hand, Mr. McIntyre seems oblivious to his own profound lack of serious climatological understanding.  Believing that his background in geology and mineralogy and investor wooing gives him sufficient background to pass absolutist judgement down on full-time expert climatologists.  

He acts as though he believes he's got the right to intrude on his chosen scientist du jour's super busy schedule with an attitude and questions that make clear, he never did his homework, and has hostile intentions to-boot.  

If rejected McIntyre gets angry and the crazy making kicks into high gear with his slick high octane website financed by who knows who {wouldn't we love to read your emails Mr. McIntyre  :- |   }, but that's ancient history and for another time and place.

This brings us up to the present, Mr. McIntyre continues to refuse to accept one expert review panel after another.  Endlessly flogging his dead horse with paranoid and conspiracy ideation in calculated disregard for the realities of Earth Sciences and willfully ignoring advancing scientific knowledge... instead the McIntyres/Watts'nKochs have their political battle to wage utilizing Science-In-A-Vacuum and a mega PR-megaphone - all the while seemingly uninterested in any constructive learning process.

To finish, I want to share the exchange over at ClimateAudit that started this little rambling.  Then a link to some GHG education... followed by the latest news from the Mann v. Competitive Enterprise Institute / National Register court case.  It's a stark reminder of the kind of dishonest game McIntyre and his pals have been engaged in.  Seems to me McIntyre deserves to be one of the defendants - considering all his malicious mischief.

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From the comments section at the ClimateAudit thread "Results from a Low-Sensitivity Model"

fsb  Posted Jul 31, 2013 at 11:56 AM: 
CC writes: “We have increased our planet’s atmospheric insulating ability by over a third”
Really? got a cite for that?
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fsb, good catch, 
my bad - I misspoke - sorry, let's try that again. 
I meant to say: 
"we have increased our atmosphere's insulation 'medium' by over a third." 
For our planet's atmosphere 280 to 400ppm is a radical increase in such a short time span.  
Exactly what that translates to in actual increased heat retention down here within our global heat distribution engine remains to be seen.  
What the last few decades have taught us is - this increasing matrix of insulating GHG components has produced an increase in temperatures/energy.  Exact number is ?, so what?
Even the little warming we have experienced these past few decades has already resulted in a radical upswing in extreme infrastructure and food-supply damaging, people killing/dispossessing weather events.  Who cares about exactly what speed it's coming, we already know it's way the blazes too fast. 
And why that juvenile attitude implying every scientist is trying to scam us?                                                                                                                                                                                           
Greenhouse gases are for real; and scientists do have a detailed and reasonable understanding.  Nothing totally exact, fuzzy around the edges for sure, but that's how the real world and real life are.  That's why I believe what I see around here at CA is quite disingenuous... and a disservice to your/our children.
What is the point of the endless hostile contrived picking apart of inconsequential details while ignoring the gorilla in the room? 
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CO2 a greenhouse gas is roughly analogous to "insulation" cloaking our planet.  Or do you reject that?  Sources? 
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Increases in the abundance of atmospheric greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are largely the result of human activity and are largely responsible for the observed increases in global temperature [IPCC 2007]. However, climate projections have model uncertainties that overwhelm the uncertainties in greenhouse gas measurements. We present here an index that is directly proportional to the direct warming influence (also know as climate forcing) supplied from these gases. Because it is based on the amounts of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this index contains relatively little uncertainty. 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate forcing as “An externally imposed perturbation in the radiative energy budget of the Earth climate system, e.g. through changes in solar radiation, changes in the Earth albedo, or changes in atmospheric gases and aerosol particles.” Thus climate forcing is a “change” in the status quo. IPCC takes the pre-industrial era (arbitrarily chosen as the year 1750) as the baseline. The perturbation to direct climate forcing (also termed “radiative forcing”) that has the largest magnitude and the least scientific uncertainty is the forcing related to changes in long-lived and well mixed greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and halogenated compounds (mainly CFCs)
Atmospheric global greenhouse gas abundances are used to calculate changes in radiative forcing for the period beginning in 1979 when NOAA's global air sampling network expanded significantly. The change in annual average total radiative forcing by all the long-lived greenhouse gases since the pre-industrial era (1750) is used to define the NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), which was introduced in 2004 [Hofmann et al., 2006a] and has been updated annually since.
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As an aside; here are some legal findings in two decisions regarding the game that's been going on.  The court case "Mann v Competitive Enterprise Institute, The National Review and Steyn" moves forward.  Reading them, it almost seems as though McIntyre deserved to be on that list of defendants.  

DC Court affirms Michael Mann's right to proceed in defamation lawsuit against National Review and CEI 
 Two decisions handed down July 19 in DC Superior Court affirmed climate scientist Michael Mann’s right to proceed in his defamation lawsuit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review Online for their statements accusing him of data manipulation and fraud. The Court is not buying the Defendants arguments in their Motion to Dismiss that their statements are protected speech under the First Amendment, mere “opinion,” “rhetorical hyperbole,” or “fair comment.”
Full text of the decisions: 
On the National Review's Motion to Dismiss
On the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Motion to Dismiss  
Posted on July 19, 2013 by Climate Science Watch  
"... The Court is not buying the Defendants arguments in their Motion to Dismiss that their statements are protected speech under the First Amendment, mere “opinion,” “rhetorical hyperbole,” or “fair comment.”  
Full text of the decisions:
We quote below several excerpts from the CEI decision (underlining added):  
"...  In this case, however, the evidence before the Court, at this stage, demonstrates something more and different that honest or even brutally honest commentary.” [at 14-15]"  
To call his (Dr. Mann) work a sham or to question his intellect and reasoning is tantamount to an accusation of fraud (taken in the context and knowing that Plaintiff’s work has been investigated and substantiated on numerous occasions).” [at 15-16]  
“Having been investigated by almost one dozen bodies due to accusations of fraud, and none of those investigations having found Plaintiff’s work to be fraudulent, it must be concluded that the accusations are provably false.  Reference to Plaintiff, as a fraud is a misstatement of fact.” [at 19]  
“There is sufficient evidence presented that is indicative of “actual malice.” The CEI Defendants have consistently accused Plaintiff of fraud and inaccurate theories, despite Plaintiff’s work having been investigated several times and found to be proper.{...} Thus, given the evidence presented the Court finds that Plaintiff could prove “actual malice.”” [at 23]

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