A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pointilism and Global Warming

Unless you are fractal, scale matters.  Percival Lowell thought he saw canals on Mars.  Partly, this was because he wanted to see canals on Mars; but partly too it was because at the scale his telescopes could resolve a bunch of otherwise unconnected dots seemed to form lines.  

Consider Seurat's Grande Jatte.  Since artists were beginning to consider themselves intellectuals, the paining was intended to show the banality of bourgeois life (in this case, the Sunday promenade).  

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
(Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte),
Georges Seurat, 1884-1886.

But what it does show is technique.  From a certain distance, we see a solid picture.  But now focus closely on the dog.  Look at the location just above the dog, at the edge of the shadow.  Look closely.  
Grande Jette, detail edge of shadow above the dog.
Now look closer still at the actual paint:
and what was one a solid picture resolves into teeny points of individual color.  

So what has this got to do with statistics?

Here is a long-view of temperatures and carbon dioxide running back to nearly 450,000 years before present (ybp).
Red is CO2 and blue is temperature in °C.  The horizontal line is the baseline temp for 1960-1990 used in global warming climate change analysis.  The two lines track each other rather well.  

Here is a closer look at a dot: Greenland ice core data for only 11,000 ybp:

The upper chart is temperature and shows (vertical green stripes) the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and Modern Warm periods.  In between are the collapse of the pristine states, the Dark Ages, and the Little Ice Age.  Interestingly, except for the Warm Period spikes, the overall trend since Minoan times has been down.  Each Warm spiked cooler than its predecessor; except possibly the current one.  

The bottom chart is atmospheric CO2 from the ice cores.  This began increasing in what looks to the eyeball like a logistic curve starting about 7000 ybp -- at the same time the temperatures were cooling off.  There is no appreciable correlation with the Warm spikes.  

A closer look still -- at 32 ybp scale -- and the temps once more seem to match the CO2, if you discount the current flattening.  These are the usual charts you see presented.  

The question arises: which scale is the right scale for considering these things?  Look too close and random fluctuations loom as stupendously important; look too broadly and you see canals on Mars. 


  1. Well? ! Just for not feeding me the answer I will complain this is truly" paining" me

  2. One question that comes to mind...

    There's a lot of up-and-down in the data. What are the error-bounds on each point? What underlying data drives the values on the chart?

    On another point...on chart 2, there are apparently five major peaks between 8000 YBP and 4000 YBP. Not knowing what drives the pattern, I can only guess whether that pattern will return.

    Or am I seeing canals on Mars by looking at this?

  3. Did you pull those charts straight from some denialist website? I'm just curious if you are being duped or deliberately deceptive. No other reasonable third option comes to mind for acting as if carbon dioxide is the sole reason these temperatures should rise and fall, or that 11000 years in Greenland, specifically, (as opposed to globally) is something other than a point in and of itself.

    Regarding climate change, the longer, broader perspective is correct.

    By the way, the "current flattening" is wearing off. 2010 was a record year, and it took a stronger-than-usual La Nina to cool down 2011 to only the 9th-highest in the era of modern measurement.

    1. I made no statement one way or the other as to which scale is appropriate, only that scaling seems to have an effect. Yes, Greenland is a single location. So is one tree in Yamal. A single location is adequate or inadequate depending on which cheering section one is bundled in.

      What do people who claim the Holocaust never happened have to do with pointilism in art?

      A separate issue for a future post is the manner in which actual measurement data is adjusted and weighted for averaging. For those who would like to bone up, prereading assignment is W.E.Deming's The Statistical Adjustment of Data.

    2. A single location is adequate or inadequate depending on which cheering section one is bundled in.

      Since knowledge of climate change is the result of science, not partisanship, the cheering section one is bundled into is irrelevant. In particular, overall global temperature increases/decreases may not affect local temperature, or even cause local swings in the opposite direction. One example from Al Gore's film was global wamring is expected to acutally make it cooler in Europe, due to various secondary and tertiary effects. For someone versed in statistics, your apparent mishandling of this idea again leads me to think you must either be duped or deceptive.

      Denialism is a style of argumentation. I regularly see it applied to denying that Holocaust happened, that slavery was a primary cause of the Civil War, evolution, the connection between smoking or tobacco, vaccine safety, and climate change; I doubt that is the limit of it's scope.

      I agree that the keeping track of the manner in which the data is adjusted and weighed is of paramount importance in any science whose primary evidence comes from observation as opposed to experimentation. Any comparison of temperatures from the 1850s to today needs to carefully moderate their conclusions based on the different averaging methods required; this is done by climate scientists making the comparisons.

    3. The term "denialist" was coined specifically to refer to those who denied the Holocaust ever happened. It has been used recently as a rhetorical trick to create a subliminal connection in the listener's mind between That Which We Don't Like and Nazi atrocities. Much to the ire, I might add, of Holocaust survivors.
      + + +
      Al Gore's film was decried even by those who believe in global warming. But you must admit that a theory that explains both warming and cooling, at least after the fact, is a puissant theory indeed.
      + + +
      You are correct that we must distinguish between science based on observations and science based on computer models.
      + + +
      Those well-versed in statistics have been somewhat skeptical of the abilities of physicists to do the statistics adequately. (Michael Mann's "trick" is a case in point: he did not properly interpret the significance of the correlation failure between thermometer temps and tree rings in recent decades. The proper response was not simply to replace the surrogates with the thermometer readings, but rather to call into question the validity of the correlation in past centuries.) I have heard that computer scientists are likewise skeptical of their ability to write, document, and control their computer code. (Their own internal emails confirm this. They would never pass a software audit, it would seem.)

    4. If you find the appellaiton offensive, feel free to substitute another for the use of those tactics. However, since I first came across the term "denialism" in reference tro evolution, and secondly to vaccines, I did not make such an association. As such, I did not realize it would be taken as an insult. I apologize for my carelessness, and will try to be more careful in my use of the term in the future.

      Certainly, many did not like Gore's film. I am unaware that means any specific prediction in it was inaccurate.

      Boyle's Law and the theory of gases around it explain why it is cooler inside my refrigerator and warmer outside of it when the refrigerator is tuened on. There are a variety of other theories that can explain why temperature increases in one location while decreasing in another. I don't seen anything particularly puissant about that. If you were not such a scrupulously honest debater, one might think you were taking some sort of cheap, inaccurate shot by deliberately confusing a specific prediction of local heating in one set of locations and cooling in another set of locations with unspecific claims that something might heat or cool. That would be a common tactic of _________ism.

      Since I compared science done by observations versus experimentation, and you responded by saying I compared observation to computer models, I am amused that you compare theories like herd immunity in humans, astrophysics, and tectonic plates (none of which can be the subject of direct experiementation) to "science based on computer models". Again, it might lead one to think you were not being an honest debater. After all, I do not see you expressing doubt about the need to vaccinate, how stars form, or the causes of earthquakes.

      I'm sure Mann has made a couple of errors. The fallibility of scientists is one reason we look at scientific consensus, not the word of scientists. One scientist's mistake gets corrected by others in the community. By contrast, _________ism typcially tries to make the debate about the individuals, not the science.

    5. Seems to me the original post was wholly on-science. At which level do we see canals on Mars?

    6. I also posted this on the author's linked site:

      I commented on Fred's the Way the Future Was site last week when he observed that GOP candidates didn't know science, particularly in the areas of evolutionary biology and AGW aka Climate Change.

      Since my threshold of rejection regarding claims of AGW stem from my training as an evolutionary biologist at MIT, especially when one looks at the roughly 2°C higher temps at the post-glaciation kick-off of the Holocene [unlikely to have been caused by Megatheria and Giant Ground Sloth charcoal barbecue socials], I observed that I didn't have much respect for either major party's reps' grasp on the sciences.

      Heck, I don't have much respect for soi-disant scientists' grasp on science OR math who publish on the subject and I'm merely a lowly layman when all's said and done.

      On that note, here's a recent popular news media article on grants and medical research:


    7. ... especially when one looks at the roughly 2°C higher temps at the post-glaciation kick-off of the Holocene [unlikely to have been caused by Megatheria and Giant Ground Sloth charcoal barbecue socials],...

      Do you think that is a properly sketical way to look at the evidence?

    8. I was in the middle of an elaborate reply when Blogspot ate it.

      [Incidentally, Michael, this is why I prefer not to post here, because Blogspot cooperates like a wet cat with my browser.]

      I'll reproduce my first sentence, One Brow:



    9. JJBrannon,

      If you think that discussing the lack of barbecues among giant ground sloths is exhibiting proper skepticism, I suggest you may have confused skepticism with emotionalism.

      If you think a lack of technology in era A, when a 2-degree rise in temperature is observed, means that a much faster 2-degree rise in era B is not connected to technology, I suggest you do not understand implications.

      Of course, in the eatne post, you may have clarified that answer, and not intended to say those things at all. So, I make no judgements for the moment.

    10. a much faster 2-degree rise in era B is not connected to technology

      This is a useful illustration of the point(ilism). I rolled some dice once and immediately after rolling a 3 I rolled a 9. This was an incredibly rapid rise in dice results.

      IOW, over a 30-year time scale, which is what we see on most press releases these days one might expect to see more dramatic fluctuations than on the long term. Smaller samples have larger estimation variances than do larger samples, to the tune of SQRT(n). In fact, the more rapid increase from ca. 1970 to ca. 2000 very definitely shows what happens when a cycle rides on back of a trend: in this case, the MDO riding aback the rebound from the LIA. During other periods, the increase was much slower or even reversed, as during ca.1940-1970 when the MDO was swinging down while the LIA rebound was still moving up.

      There was a huge upswing in temperature today, from last night.

      Hence, the importance of scale. Look too closely and you see dramatic paint splots, not the actual picture. This does not apply only to supposed global temperatures; but to any data. Look at the newspapers someday and see what they consider to be "long term." If you're lucky, they might compare the murder rate or the stock market this month to "same month last year."

    11. While the thirty-year time scale has the most dramatic results, and contains the averages most easily compared, you can see similar results going back much further. We also have predictions that may not hold up year-to-year (and are not designed to do so), but have done pretty well looking at the next ten or twenty years.

      However, you point out that there was a rapid rise on the back of one trend, and a much slower increase, or even a very mild increase, on the back of another trend. Can you apply your mathematical skills to the overall results of having sixty-year-cycles of rapid increases for thirty years followed by plaeaus or slight decreases for thirty years? What's the net effect after a couple of hundred years? How about when the upward driver gains in strength, while the cyclical factors stay the same?

    12. The linear trend is about 400 years old, so the cause must be something that began about 400 years ago and is still operating. (There is no guarantee that the linear trend is truly linear. Many curves can be closely approximated as linear on short time scale; a parabola, for example, when one is well away from the inflection point. For all we know - and likely so imho - the trend is probably the central part of a logistic curve, or perhaps a decaying exponential. Few things in nature continue indefinitely in one direction.)

      The timing suggests that the upward driver is whatever started the rebound from the Little Ice Age. This has generally been supposed to be solar factors. (Not direct insolation, mind you; but something in the sun-earth system. Surely it cannot entirely be coincidence that the recent warming matched up with a solar grand maximum while the LIA matched up with a grand minimum.)

      Then net effect when all is said and done may be to return us to normal Holocene warmth, at least as temporarily in the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval Warm periods.

    13. The Minoan, Roman, and Medieval warm period were all local to Europe, from what I recall. The earth overall did not return to Holocene levels.

      Also, I don't recall referring to the trend as linear. Weighting factors are linear, but if the underlying variables are cyclical, exponential, etc., than the results will be an well. For any values of A and B, A*sin(x)+B*cos(x) will still have a period of 2*pi.

    14. One Brow, Seriously??
      If you knew the slightest thing about either past or present world climate change you would know that the entire thing is internally linked, the values from the Greenland ice cores have a very real and direct link to global temperatures, please see (Alley 2012) for an excellent example of how we can look at world temperatures thanks to Greenland ice cores (there are more but that will do for now. Anyone who cannot see a natural change throughout past climates is either not looking at the evidence a tad slow beyond the climate events mentioned we have the 8.2ka event, the Younger Dryas, the 4.8ka event and other not quite so extreme incidents. All of these were Global phenomena but all intimately linked, and more importantly measureable from one place (try typing in google scholar “climate change in the holocene”. i do not deny for one moment that human actions are damaging the environment, nor do i think we should be pumping the amount of CO2 that we are into the environment, what i do KNOW though is that climate change is something far bigger than human interaction, it is a nonstop continues cycle that has been present since the Big Bang, and just because humans decided to drop in on the party does not mean anything is going to change
      Thank you for your time

    15. Outdoorkit,

      I was responding in the specific context of the original post using the temperature of Greenland as a proxy for global temperature, and pointing out that this was as much of a "point" in the data as a 30-year global period. I'm not sure why you think this means I believe all data from Greenland is useless, that global temperatures would not hve an impact on the materials of the Greenland ice cores, or or that the ice cores can't tell us about global conditions. What I did not see in the abstract was that the temperature, specifically, in Greenland was a good proxy for global temperatures. Did I miss that somewhere?

      I appreciate and respect your bringing evidence to the discussion, by the way.

  4. Incidentally, One Brow, "denialism" is not a style [or school] of argument nor argumentation,l and smoking has always been causally linked with tobacco -- no one has denied it.

    Perhaps you've lost sight of the large distinction between denial and skepticism?

    Also, while The O'Flainn and I quibble over the fuzzy boundary of value imparted by consensus science [see Clarke's First Law], we both agree that the consensus of scientific community is ultimately a chimera: one person being right outweighs everyone else being wrong.

    You're also confusing metrics. Standing in one place in a hurricane zone [or a worldwide climate change] may demonstrate variations in the wind velocity from another such spot but not wish away the hurricane. Sometimes a cigar is just a smoke and sometimes the pattern of change in one location over a long period [>100k-years] *is* a global snapshot.

    Conversely, plate tectonics are subject to direct measurements [laser & satellite telemetry] and experimental prediction. [You must employ a different definition of experiment than I.] One such experiment, repeated successfully over decades, is that if plate tectonics reflects reality, one should find evidence of seabeds on mountaintops and the same kinds of fossils on eons-separated continental boundaries. Likewise, investigation of material erosion rates also adds to the picture.

    These observations of experimental investigations lead to *relevant* computer models of a constrained nature which lead to other *successful* predictions.

    When models are simplified in input assumptions so that the models cannot successfully predict or retrodict independent investigatory data, then the models AND their basis must be rejected. Unfortunately, the business of science and the understandable desire for personal prestige drives -- in a positive feedback fashion -- sloppy science and the researchers' obsession with "pretty graphics" and "elegant explanations".

    Damn all those "ugly facts"! :>)

    Climate Change-ism is the same sort of silly, arrogant ecological teleology -- freshly repackaged -- that foisted the concept of "climax community" in the BSCS curriculum upon unsuspecting students when I was beginning high school. I rejected that nonsense then and continue to do so now: it's not scientifically productive and certainly should not drive public policy anymore than the Dean Drive or other perpetual motion will o' wisps.

    Insisting that because Anne Frank's diary includes entries in ballpoint implies that the Holocaust was *largely* a PR hoax is Holocaust denialism [AKA fallacious reasoning AKA fanatical stupidity] is different from questioning whether 6 mega-persons were killed instead of only 5 mega-persons or 17 mega-persons.


    1. JJBrannon,

      ...smoking has always been causally linked with tobacco -- no one has denied it.

      No one has denied it recently (for some 10-15 years now). Denial of the link, and casting doubt upon the science, was a core strategy of the tobacco companies for some 30 years.

      No, I'm well aware of the difference between skepticism and ______ism. The skeptic follows the evidence, the ______ist does not. The skeptic looks to the data as a whole, the ______ist relies on anecdotes and mini-data sets. The skeptic downplays the importance of the people involved, the ______ist focuses on the people.

      ... we both agree that the consensus of scientific community is ultimately a chimera: one person being right outweighs everyone else being wrong.

      Ye old Galilwo Gambit. If you are talking about who is right, instead of what is right, perhaps you should not be worrying about my understanding of skepticism.

      Conversely, plate tectonics are subject to direct measurements [laser & satellite telemetry] and experimental prediction.

      We may indeed have a different notion of experiment. I'm not opposed to learning more about what you mean by it. However, is this supposed to distinguish climate change from plate tectonics as a science? Are you saying climate conditions are not subject to direct measurement and experiemental prediction?

      Are you claiming predictions of climate have been unsuccessful? I've seen thirty-year-old predicitons that, aside from overestimating the effects of aerosols, were reasonably accurate. More recent predicitons have been even more accurate. Again comparing plate tectonics to climate change, are you expecting climate to predict weather, and how is that different from expecting plate tectonics to predict individual earthquakes?

      I agree with you that Holocaust denialism is nto the same as disagreeing on the precise number. I am not sure why you thought that was relevant to the discussion.

    2. No, One Brow, you are wrong and missing the Big Picture: no one ever in some 400 years denied a link bring smoking and tobacco.

      As a perfect example of what I've been trying to convey, you are so caught up in your mindset that you've mentally glossed over essential details -- missing the forest for the trees -- so that a reasonable person [such as myself] should commonsensibly conclude that you intended to argue a causal link between cancer and smoking or cancer and tobacco consumption.

      Galileo Gambit? Again, you misapprehend and by doing so reveal the weakness of your approach. You confuse "cult of personality" with "advocate of relevant evidence".

      Glad that you've seen such predictions that *you* state are "reasonably accurate". I've seen no largely-relevant, substantially-accurate predictions from the climate change partisans. Those that have been successful are largely irrelevant, and those which are relevant have been wildly inaccurate. Even the relabeling of the movement from AGW to climate change is an admission of such: weather -- and climate -- is subject to change. No evidence has been submitted that mankind has trumped Nature to the substantial degree of that change. Sadly, my "highway hypnosis" reply above was eaten.

      That you are unable or unwilling to see how the distinction between real Holocaust denialism and disagreeing upon accurate -- **not** precise -- number of deaths due to the Holocaust, both of which are commonly knee-jerk grouped by a majority of anti-denialists as denialism, applies to your lumping of AGW skepticism in with Holocaust denialism [your original post above which also bemusedly missed the obvious strong connection that The O'Flainn had to underscore].


    3. No, One Brow, you are wrong and missing the Big Picture: no one ever in some 400 years denied a link bring smoking and tobacco.

      Dang, I hate it when my brain does that. I hoped you laughed as much as I did. Although, there are many who smoke and never touch tobacco. :)

      Despite your claims of my confusion, it is nonetheless you who continues to bring personalities into this discussion. Even in the very next paragraph, you betray this mindset by referring to "partisans", as if one could be in favor of human-induced climate change.

      Please describe your standard for a largely-relevant, substantially accurate prediction from climate change scientists. I'm curious if it is meetable. Nor am I sure what you mean by triumphing, when mere prediction of a large-scale trend is the goal.

      I don't "lump in" two different sorts of ______ism; I just note some similarity in tactics. I could make a comparison along the lines of percentage contribution versus the claims on no contribution/effect, but would rather not detail it.

    4. a)Cigarettes were being called coffin nails since the 1880s. I think you are confusing a "link" with a "causal link." Not unusual in these days, when statistical correlations are so often confused with real causation.

      My late boss took stats at NYU and his professor, a chain smoker, reviewed studies of tobacco-cancer links for the tobacco companies. He always found errors in methodology, sampling, analysis, etc.

      Then one day he came to class and the students noticed he was not smoking. One of them finally asked: "Professor, why aren't you smoking?" and he answered, "I finally was given a study that was valid."

      Now, that's a scientist.

      b) How about James Hansen's 1988/89 prophecy that in twenty years [i.e., by 2008/9] "The West Side Highway [in NYC] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change."

    5. I agree that with observational sciences, you have to be careful about confusing correlation and causation; you agree that this burden can be overcome. Good enough for me.

      How about James Hansen's 1988/89 prophecy that in twenty years [i.e., by 2008/9] "The West Side Highway [in NYC] will be under water.

      How about the effect of unicorns on cloud cover?

    6. Well, no.

      Your unicorn allusion and the article are both inappropriate. It's not an "Internet myth" nor a myth of any sort. It is, indeed, a fairly accurate reproduction of what Robert Reiss told the Salon reporter.

      So, for the sake of your argument, are we halfway there? Has atmospheric CO2 increased in 2008 by 50% or even 41% if taken logarithmically? Have the tree and bird populations changed? Except for the recent hurricane, is the river encroaching on the highway?


    7. So you're admitting you simply fabricated the timeframe and also posted a response ignoring my statement that crocodiles have altered significantly during the correct time-frame.

      Here's my problem -- you keep asking stupid questions.

      When I point out that crocs have changed during that period, you double-down and ask the same uninformed question again.

      Let's go back to my first objection: why did you formulate an ignorant question regarding crocodile evolution in reply to my example that one ice-core station in Greenland could represent a global metric for CO2?

      We have about four long-term CO2 monitoring stations now and Mauna Loa itself is considered fairly representative of all of them. That's a more apt comparison without you trying to drag irrelevancies into the picture [especially irrelevancies that allow you to fabricate numbers from thin air and rely on the invention of the non-evolutionary changes in crocodilians when crocodiles *have* evolved].

      What you seem to be doing is employing a favorite Creationist ploy: "If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?"

      How many different ways must I state that your question[s] is meaningless and irrelevant to the argument at hand?

      If AGW enthusiasts can point to Mauna Loa as a single-point benchmark for CO2 why is a Greenland ice-core invalidates because it's "single-point"?

      I'm not the one dodging. I'm standing on the same issue when I spoke of taking a representative sample of wind-speed within a hurricane zone. You're the one dancing around the subject.

      So, it's not permissible for you to drag in evolutionary rates among various species -- a subject on which you betrayed an astonishing level of ignorance -- as an attempt to dodge my central question regarding single-point atmospheric metrics.

      Will you please man up and defend your attempt to sneer away the validity of the Greenland ice-core results.


    8. It's not an "Internet myth" nor a myth of any sort. It is, indeed, a fairly accurate reproduction of what Robert Reiss told the Salon reporter.

      If it's not an accurate representation of what Hansen said, and it wasn't a scientific prediciton of Hansen to begin with, the notion of it being a prediciton of Hansen is a myth, regardless of what Reiss told a reporter. If I were to try to discredit Spencer based on what an author told a reporter, when the author got it wrong, you would absolutely call me out on that, and correctly so. Can you apply the same standard to this argument?

      So, for the sake of your argument, ...

      I don't recall making any argument except that this was not a real scientific prediction by Hansen. The facts are that both CO2 and water levels are rising, but without some sort of graph/function, there is not nothing to make a comparison too.

      If one station is preferred as the most representative station for monitoring CO2 over the other three, that means the other three are considered less good overall representatives; which means not all locaitons are equally valid. As for why one is most representative, I have not followed those discussions. Such a designation needs to be justified, rather than randomly assigned. Are you claiming the justifications have not been made?

      However, I see now that I less than completely clear in my original objection (Apr 12, 2012 06:46 AM), and wish to apologize for that. While it is true that CO2 levels in Greenland may not reflect global CO2 levels, I originally meant to refer to the upeer graph, the temperature in Greenland, as being a point, as opposed to medium-range view.

      Still, by making a parallel argument, you have implicitly agreed to my point (using the tempretures in Greenland as a proxy for global temperatures was wrong). I would never expect an explicit agreement from you.

    9. If it's not an accurate representation of what Hansen said, and it wasn't a scientific prediciton of Hansen to begin with, the notion of it being a prediciton of Hansen is a myth, regardless of what Reiss told a reporter.

      How is it not an accurate? It's not *precise* but we've observed you make that mistake of distinction previously.

      The only thing Reiss misreports from the 1988 interview of Hansen to the Salon journalist in 1998 is the scale is 1 decade rather than 3 in the future. Core of prediction =/= myth. Relatively small change of scale =/= myth.

      The thing Reiss omits in conveying the story to the Salon writer degrades rather than enhances Hansen's ability to predict which tacitly [I haven't read Reiss's book] includes from Hansen's work it's reasonable to assume that a doubling of CO2 will occur within the time-frame and lead to the Westside Highway flooding.

      Events only confirm that in 2012 -- 24 years into the 40 year span of Hansen's actual, personally affirmed prediction -- a bare, nearly-linear rise in atmospheric CO2 of ~9%. Also, no flooding.

      Why are you, One Brow, **denying** -- in the face of all evidence -- that Hansen said what he emphatically said he said. Why must you reduce it to "an Internet myth".

      By your very lights, by test of substitution, you're practicing denialism.

      One Brow: "This is no scholastic quibble over 10 or 5 mega-deaths [40 or 20 years]. There is no Holocaust [Hansen prediction including CO2 doubling & Westside Highway flooding], period. It's a myth, I say! A myth propagated by money-grubbing, self-serving, unctuous Jews [oil companies] and their gulled or paid shills!"

      Boy, did that test by substitution FAIL in flames.

      Are you sure you want to insist that it's an "Internet myth", One Brow? That insistence groups you with a very unsavory crowd.


    10. JJBrannon,

      You are in danger of enteriing Poe territory.

      Hansen has consistently discussed different levels of CO2 being possible based on different actions and events that may or may not occurred. For example, his Congressional testimoney where he presented three different CO2 scenarios based on various actions and events. To pretend there is a single prediciton about a specific CO2 level goes beyond reasonable disagreement.

      As for "no flooding", perhaps you tell that to the inhabitants of Kirbati?

      Why you think I confused accuacy and precision, I'm not sure. Based on your other posts, I think it may have little to do with what I posted.

      I'll end with a quote from the site, and see if you understand the nature of an implication and what the failure of a hypothesis means, the difference between speculation and prediciton, and again, if I applied similar tactics to a scientist like Spencer, whether would you find them acceptable.

      Bob Reiss reports the conversation as follows:

      "When I interviewe­­d James Hansen I asked him to speculate on what the view outside his office window could look like in 40 years with doubled CO2.

    11. Been a fan of Poe for years. Brilliant man.

      The inhabitants of Kiribati do not reside on the West Side Highway.

      Your end-quote and its source illustrates your problem with dealing with partisans and evidence.

      While the press has often misquoted me, my experience is that when I have said a "worst likely case is A", the journalist will then ask, "What would the consequences be in worst likely case A?"

      In other words, for someone who seems to be purposely oblivious to motives except when you want to "O-so-delicately" derogate skeptics, when an interviewee is asked to speculate on circumstances, typically the interviewer is following up on the interviewer's last previous remarks.

      Plainly, then, since you're practicing your obtuse, Hansen suggested the likelihood of CO2 doubling, leading to the graphic implications Reiss could use for his story. [Again, this is a very strong inference -- which is why I stated that I had not read the context of Reiss' books].

      Here's Hansen saying much the same sort of thing in another interview:

      It's not a myth of any sort that Hansen made the prediction.

      Yes, you don't understand "precision" and "accuracy" -- when it's suiting your purpose of being deliberately obtuse -- because the Internet report is an imprecise yet fairly accurate rendition of Hansen's intent.

      ["O, but it wasn't a **scientific** prediction!" I hear you protest. Of course, it wasn't, One Brow. That's what we've been saying all along. That is irrelevant to when you asked The O'Flainn for a prediction the warmists have made that's been refuted. Instead of accepting that Hansen -- one of the main warmists fiddling with the key data -- is an extremist with an agenda demonstratively false in its direction, you raise your Denial Shield˜™ and move the goal-posts.]

      You falsified the crocodile example -- not the making up the numbers, which was an example of being imprecise -- but the **inaccurate** supposed "fact" that crocodiles haven't evolved in that time when I stated twice that by the best modern science has determined they had. Instead, you blithely whistled past your mistake.

      The difference between "speculation" and "prediction" is the former doesn't cause one to lose one's paid position doing harm to national space data.

      It's always only speculation when one is wrong and "prophetic warning" when one stumbles into being right for the wrong reasons.

      Kiribati is sinking because of bad civil engineering projects going back over 150 years. They're littoral atolls. Ever seen channel records from the Delmarva/NJ littoral islands going back 4 centuries? Littoral islands shift!

      It doesn't take global-warming to sink a sandspit [especially when idiots build houses over leaching and settling backfills].

      You've been sold a bill of goods, One Brow. Why don't you demand your money back from those who hustled you?



    12. Well, I've never met Nathan Poe, so I'll take your word for it.

      Kiribati is not on the West Side Highway, but it is flooding, so flooding does exist. Or, are you denying sea levels has risen some 3-4 inches in the last 60 years, and parts of Kiribati are extremely flat and near sea level? I agree that sandspits can sink even when the seas are not rising, but the seas are rising, sandspit or not.

      While the press has often misquoted me, my experience is that when I have said a "worst likely case is A", the journalist will then ask, "What would the consequences be in worst likely case A?"

      So, extrapolating, Hansen has just laid out a doubling of CO2 in the next 40 years as a worst case scenario, and is responding to that question.

      Just out of curiousity: when a reporter asked you for a result fo the worst-case scenario, and then the worst case did not happen so your predictions based on that did not happen, was that a failed prediction on your part? Did make what you said wrong? I would not say it was wrong, I would say it was moot. I wonder if you hold yourself to the same standard you are holding Hansen to. Although, when you whined about being misquoted, that was a pretty good clue. When Hansen make a speculation based on a worst-case scenario, it's a geniune prediction that can be right or wrong. When you make a speculation based on a worst-case scenario, it's you being taken out of context. At lest, that's how you are coming across.

      What did Hansen suggest as the magnitude of the likelihood regarding the doubling of CO2 levels? Are you saying there was zero chance CO2 could have doubled between 1988 and 2028? On what do you base that determination?

      Your attempts to portray me as being in denial are amusing. If this were a public debate, that would be a great tactic, becasue you are again focusing on the person, not the evidence. I don't mind. I'll just keep going back to the evidence. For example, the evidence that Hansen made various predictions dependent on not only CO2 levels, but also other events such as volcano eruptions, all of which has been documented.

      Being based off of a single report, the internent myth can't be precise (you need multiple attempts at a target for precision), and was as accuate as any two-fold error missing a worst-case precondition can be (not at all). See TheOFloinn's post on precision and accuracy.

      The first time you corrected me on crocodiles, I reduced the time frame from 100 million to 10 million years, which was more than enough to illustrate the example. I acknowledged the error, accepted the correction, and avoided making that mistake again. It's interesting how you feel to the need to bring it up repeatedly. It's almost as if you are right so seldom you need to savor every little victory, long after others would have stopped chewing. However, that really has nothing to do with this discussion, or who is corect about what Hansen did or did not predict.

      If we agree it was not a scientific prediction, then why offer it as an example of scientific predictions from climate scientists?

      While it's not my handle, but I notice you seem to consistently type "The O'Flainn" or something similar, when our hosts handle is "TheOFloinn". Is that deliberate?

      I only buy evidence. Why should I hand that back?

    13. The O'Flainn, The O'Floinn.

      Sounds the same to me.

      I keep returning to the crocodiles because you continue to get the lesson wrong: humans cannot not be said to be any more evolved than crocs over the same period, except in a negligible way. In fact, modern crocs demonstrate more diversity from that arbitrary 10 million year-ago mark than humans from that same start. Again, you keep making the same ignorant error regarding the biology because of the blinders you where to evidence. Crocs diversified, humans became a monoculture. Clearly you weren't trained as an evolutionary biologist.

      Only by my third post mentioning it, the last quite emphatically, did you realize that you had insisted that people had denied a causal link between smoking and tobacco and that example of the evidence-blinders you wear was incontrovertible!

      To your credit, you acknowledge the touch, but you failed to learn the lesson that you are inclined to such Mr. Magoo scrunched-eyesight. [At least here on this board.]

      Sure, 4" +/- 0.8". The seas have risen, on average ~4000 m since the lingering end of the last age about 7000 ya [mean ~0.6 mm/y] and ~1000 m in the last 4000 y [mean ~0.25 mm/y], so the roller coaster slowed a bit a while back and is speeding up a bit now.

      Here's the thing. The rate from 8 kya to 7 kya was 10.0 mm/yr and again this was not due to the Megatheria and Giant Ground Sloth charcoal barbecue socials.

      Recall: I have no prejudice against global warming. What I discount is that the AGW has any kind of persuasive evidence that it's NOT Nature in charge but rather primarily a product of mankind.

      So Kiribati's flooding is not any kind of good evidence to AGW. It was improper [and purely an emotional appeal] for you to include it. The only man-made cause one can unambiguously attribute to the need to relocate the population are the 200% increase in people from 1950 to 2010 [33 kp to 99 kp] who chose to live on the sandbars after they degraded their stability by over-development and poor civil-engineering.

      Yes, I'll bite and retrodict that from 1988 until 2012, the CO2 level wasn't going to double nor will it have doubled from 1988 to 2048 and I base it on the grounds -- barring broadly-engaged nuclear conflict or asteroid-colliding cataclysm -- that only a deluded individual [likely from Scotland] bereft of any **real** comprehension of biology would thinks so.

      Edgar Allan Poe is the only Poe worth the single eponym. Please do try to muster some distinction.


    14. I keep returning to the crocodiles because you continue to get the lesson wrong: humans cannot not be said to be any more evolved than crocs over the same period, except in a negligible way.

      What does that have to do with one undergoing more dramatic physical changes than the other in the past 10 million years? Why would I say anything is more evolved than any other thing on that basis? Both are very well evolved for their environments. You are either not making your point clear, or you are arguing against some strawman I never offered.

      Crocodiles diversified into species. Apes diversified into genera. Am I really supposed to believe that crocodiles diversified more?

      Am I supposed to equate the mistaking mis-association of a specific phrase with some unwillingness to accept evidence? Is that worse than a claim the sea used to be 4km below what it is now 7000ya, as opposed to about 4m? I mean, should I be using that as evidence that you are so partisan you will throw up ridiculous numbers, or do we give each other the benefit of the doubt regarding such things?

      If you want to argue rising seas are not connected to AGW, that's one thing. But to say the problems of Kibarti are not connected to rising seas, but must be bad engineering, is pure nonsense. If the seas are rising, they won't be losing their land.

      I didn't know you were from Scotland.

      Edgar Allen Poe has no internet laws named after him. Please do try to learn to apply context.

    15. How can you be wrong on nearly everything? And why do you persist in moving goal-posts?

      You did not state "dramatic changes" originally and I specifically dismissed "gross morphological changes" as a minor diversionary matter from someone who apparently lacks an adequate grounding in evolutionary biology. That was the whole point of the example of Gould's Cerion land-snails.

      Jeesh, you're slow on the uptake! Three posts to figure out that no one denied a causal link between smoking and tobacco and now nearly a dozen exchanges where you still haven't learned the lesson regarding evolutionary development.

      Goalpost move: One Brow set the original terms between modern crocs and **humans**, not apes.

      Humans are a monoculture species, one of the most genetically uniform species known, arising from at least one founder-effect bottleneck in the last 100 k-years. There are very good reasons why I've been slamming you on framing your question in such a naive and misleading fashion, which I've addressed. The most important is that your little diversion was exactly that: non-germane to my example of single-point CO2 measurements. It's a tactic of Creationists and Holocaust deniers to reframe the issue of hand.

      When I handed Duane Gish his head during a radio debate, it was only after he ginsued a couple of other evolutionary science proponents with his patented chop & dodge tactics. I simply continued to hammer on the same point, revealing his ignorance of modern molecular biology, genetics, and taxonomy, reminding the audience that the man had done no science since before the Moon landing.

      No, it didn't take me three posts of someone calling it to my attention to see that the "mm" I meant to type -- which was in both cases preserved in the units of the mean rate, if an honest person were to admit to same -- instead of the "m" that I typed.

      I have not corrected every jot and tittle of your typos, One Brow: I specifically drew attention to a critical word substitution you persistently employed that underscored a sloppy, non-critical fashion of reflex thought-processes germane to the topic at hand -- weighing evidence.

      Of course, if you're afflicted with some cognitive disorder that makes you prone to associated-word substitutions as I am afflicted with a degenerative muscle disease of the flexor muscles of my forearms that routinely scrambles my typing by stuttering, transposed, and elided letters, then naturally I'll give you a pass for not being able to read my first two posts correcting you on the smoking gaffe.

      The difference -- when you finally woke to the fact [with sheepish good grace] that I was addressing something significant regarding the smoking snafu and still have not quite grasped over your prolonged evolutionary science mistake -- between my actual and your hypothetical affliction is that you routinely ignore when you are flat out wrong and I at first response check if I am.

      End Part I. [Length error requires breaking here.]


    16. Resume Part II.

      If you want to argue rising seas are not connected to AGW, that's one thing. But to say the problems of Kibarti are not connected to rising seas, but must be bad engineering, is pure nonsense. If the seas are rising,

      they won't be losing their land.
      -- One Brow

      Wow! That was wrought so badly, I'm not sure how to respond. Since there's no reliable evidence of the A in the admitted GW [remember, has been since those giant mammal charcoal barbecue socials 8-10 kya].

      [I am treating the opening conditional clause of your last sentence in the negative, otherwise it's nonsensical.]

      If you have so little grasp of the civil engineering of riparian and littoral islands that you believe the sea has to rise for the sand-bar and coral atolls to degrade and wash away, then you have no business posting on the

      subject at all.

      Do you have any experience at all growing up around river or barrier islands? I grew up in South Jersey and on the Delmarva Peninsula [aside from globe-trotting in my military-dependent childhood].

      Go look at what extending one groyne can do to littoral drift or the history of Assateague Island's separation from Fenwick. Then consider the impact of a two-fold increase in population and numerous poorly thought-out

      civil engineering projects on the Kiribati atolls. One need not multiply entities by positing space tourists to Mayan glyphs any more than one need to posit AGW to account for Kiribati's disastrous land-use development.

      Do I wonder why I have trouble taking you seriously? I may have left college to try my hand at writing [dumb, no question] but I left a very good engineering school where I studied evolutionary mol-biology/genetics and

      biophysics/biomeidcal engineering. I also had worked for my uncle, an electrical engineer and master electrician, since I was twelve so I have a smattering of how things actually function in the world than those closeted

      academics who have become smitten by their computer models.

      Mens et manus.

      Scotland? No, I was trained in evolutionary biology by Salvador Luria, so that excludes me. [My paternal family -- a bunch of mongrels all -- hail from West Africa. I have the papers to demonstrate it.] Did you miss the

      gently-ticking logical fallacy allusion or are you simply resorting to arch?

      EAP needs no eponymous Internet Law. I see this Nathan upstart is being credited with a reformulation of Schwarz's Caveat. My exposure to the Internet began in 1977. I say three times: there's only one Poe worthy of

      the mononym.

      I have to wonder why you would want to suggest that I'm edging into Nathan Poe territory since his warning is against earnest advocates treating sarcastic, non-serious posters as seriously offering their contentions.

      Are you, then, describing yourself as not seriously in support of AGW and all your posts here merely a provocative , satirical jest? Because I'm certainly earnest in what I have written, even if leavened with ironic humor

      and derision against idiocy.


    17. Nota bene: above previous post formatting problems result from the necessary copying & pasting of the severed text.

      Author is weary and must abide under his respirator for a time. Deleting, reposting, reformatting the new insertion, and republishing seems a Herculean task at this remote time.

      For the nonce,

    18. JJBannon,

      Out of respect for weariness, I will keep this short.

      My original illustration, while wrong in time scale, did say "crocodiles have not altered significantly..." and used the same phrase regarding humans. I'm not sure why you see that as being different from "gross morphological changes". My entire point was that this type of argument was fallacious. Go back to the post of Apr 13, 2012 03:43 PM and that should be plain. You seem to have gotten twisted up in the number, and began assuming I meant things I certainly did not say.

      As I said, it took three posts for me realize that, while I had been thinking "smoking and cancer", I had typed "smoking and tobacco". Once my brain made that association, it took some time for me to realize it's error. At least get the error correct. By the way, you only mentioned it in two posts, and only clarified the error4 in th esecond rather while simply repeating the phrase in the first. I don't know if that tendency of mine is a disability or not. I don't feel the need to classify it one waqy or the other. I recognize it and try to keep up good humor about it.

      Humans are apes. If we talk about how much humans have changed in the past ten million years, comparisons to chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas seem inevitable.

      Rather than a poster repeating the same thing back at you, you had one reword the error so it was obvious. For example, I could have let you go on for pages about elements of biology that I agree with you about and knew about, having fun at your expense while you continued to proceed on the same ill-founded notion. I could take that typo and use it claim you will believe any rediculoous thing to deny AGW. I prefer not to engage in such tactics. I prefer to find out what people actually mean.

      So, what is the evolutionary science mistake you think I am making? Hopefully you are not going back to that "more evolved" nonesense.

      I asked you earlier what would constitute evidence of AGW for you. You did not respond. Dismissing all evidence while presenting no standard is not skepticism.

      Since I have not said bad engineering alone could not be responsible, I feel no need to defend myself on that point. Since we agree the seas are rising and the islands are littoral, saying the problem is only bad engineering is dismissive of an obvious contributory factor. You made a good case that there is no evidence the current sea rise is connected to recent warming. Why throw bad apples in with good? If AGW is not connected to rising sea levels, then despite the connection of rising sea levels to the problems of Kiribati, AGW would not be connected to those problems via that mechanism.

      Since I've set standards for what I would regard as a predicition, and they seem relevant to me as to what a prediction should be, I did miss the reference. I'm still not sure why you think it applies.

      I'm saying your reaction and position is so extreme it makes it difficult to believe you are serious.

      I am saddened to hear of your physical condition. I wish you well.

    19. Since we're not going to debate the meat of the subject -- misleading aspects of scale -- further, let me only address your one persistent perception difficulty.

      By the way, you only mentioned it in two posts, and only clarified the error4 in th esecond rather while simply repeating the phrase in the first.

      The reference to **cancer** studies was my first obviously too subtle hint in response to your gaffe. You still missed it in your count at this late date.

      You see my conundrum? If I state a condition for the A of GW that requires the *absolute* non-involvement of natural -- i.e., non-human-caused -- fluctuations and you have difficulty seining through the simplest of evidence before your eyes [such as the existence of three posts instead of two], how am I ever to persuade of less obvious evidence or inferences from them.

      We obviously must drop the subject.

      However feel free to send our host, The O'Flainn, a modest check in 16 years when the West Side Highway remains above the Hudson. You may even claim some copies of his scrivenings in compensation. :>)


    20. JJBrannon,

      I have no problem debating the misleading aspects of scale. In my first post on the thread, I was pointing out that looking at the temperatures in Greenland were themselves just a point, as opposed to indicative of a global trend, and that it was misleading to indicate otherwise. Outside of that, I'm nort sure where I and TheOFloinn, or you and I, are supposed to disagree on the subject.

      Subtlety often seems great from the side of the writer. Putting too much burden on some readers leads to misreadings, and occasionally paragraphs of attempted rebuttal based on that misreading. However, the conundrum you perceive comes from equating different sorts of subtlety, making it false.

      I see no need to say a prediction which relied on a worst-case scenario, when that worst-case scenario did not obtain, is failed.

  5. By the way, One Brow, how is waving away everything of a critic of a scientist's work [Mann, forex] where the scientist is mistaken and dismissing everything of a scientist under a critic's scrutiny where the critic is mistaken, not both forms of what you define as "denialism".

    The key criterion must lie in evaluation of "substantial, relevant" mistake.

    Models that rely upon linear fit and teleological strait-jackets instead of cyclical patterns and endless change are by definition going to be wrong, regardless of the degree of precision a "consensus" of scientists bring to the programming.


    1. JJBrannon,

      I was unaware that acknowleding Mann may have mad an error was waving that claim away, and unaware that I was dismissing anything of the work of the scientist or the critic (not sure whom you meant I was dismissing). Ultimately, we are all three out of our depth when it comes to determining the specific solution to any lack of correlation in that analysis, because the proper method of determining the correct solution requires a detailed understanding of the science involved. Ultimately, climate science does not rise and fall on the shoulders of Mann and one specific set of calculations.

      ... sometimes the pattern of change in one location over a long period [>100k-years] *is* a global snapshot.

      So, if a person focused on the (very minor) change in crocodiles over the milennia, and used that as evidence that populations changing over time was really a matter of perspective, and not the description of a real phenomenon, you would agree that was a valid method of examining evolution?

    2. Yes. In fact, it is.

      See the recent update on Darwin finches and the work of Gould & Eldrige.

      Much of what was considered evolution of traits was merely neutral population allele-clustering creating trivial differentiation of phenotypes. Your use of "perspective" and "real phenomenon" indicate a profound misunderstanding of the subject matter.

      Gould's work on Caribbean land snails [genus Cerion] demonstrated this very point, that what was once considered 600 varied species were, in "real phenomena", one interfertile species.

      So, in short: Hell, yeah!


    3. Yes. In fact, it is.

      I just want to double-check, because I believe I may have been unclear.

      If a person were to say that "crocodiles have not altered significantly in the past 100 million years, so it is impossible that humans have altered significantly in that time frame", you would agree that is valid reasoning?

      Assuming your answer is "no", why is it valid reasoning to say that the temperature in Greenland may not have been responsive to changes in CO2 as casting doubt on the effects of CO2 regarding global temperatures over that period?

    4. This is fairly typical. You were clear and suited up for football on a basketball court.

      Famously, an umpire once declared, "A pitch may be a ball or a strike but it's neither until I call it."

      My answer is: Your "not standing in the hurricane zone" query is irrelevant to my "standing in a hurricane zone" example?

      It's a common rhetorical trick and a bad assumption on your part.

      As a clue to why you're so far off base, you [and biologists] have little to no evidence that crocodiles have not altered significantly in the past 100 million years except in a gross morphological manner and of course they have altered significantly during that time. Modern type croc species differentiated only 50-60 Mya.

      The point is, your grasp [or what you've shown of it here] of what is substantially relevant in these matters and what is not casts doubt on your ability to weigh the value of evidence.


    5. JJBrannon,

      I think your diversion into the accuracy of the time frame (which I pulled from thin air), and away from the general illustration, makes it clear who relies on rhetorical trickery. Whether it is 100 million years or 10 million, crocodiles have not changed siginicantly over a period of time during which humans diverged from Pan and changed a great deal. The question you dodged, rather than responded to, was whether it was permissible for a person to use the lack of change in crocodiles over a period of time to say humans did not change over that time, and if that is not permissible, explain why I should take a lack of change in Greenland as indicating a lack of overall change. However, I no longer expect you to respond to that.

    6. I replied here but this crazy interface posted my answer above.


  6. Also, One Brow, it wasn't that Mann made "a" mistake and that by trivializing it that you waved it away.

    It was that Mann deliberately chose to alter data representation in a substantially, relevant manner while ignoring relevant contrary data that poisoned the legitimacy of much, if not all, of his work on the subject. That you could wave that away as something minor is, yes, dismissing something important to the debate on the evidence.


    1. JJBrannon,

      If Mann deliberately chose to misrepresent data, than by now he has been discredited. On the other hand, if he represented the data in a way not to the liking well-funded minority, then quite possibly his error was minor or non-existent. Either way, it does not change the consensus.

      Why are you so worried about what Mann did, specifically?

    2. Wow! Your reply is so heavily fraught with distortion and prejudice!

      Did you even bother to read my linked article on the 90% of legitimate yet irreproducible cancer treatment studies?

      I sell to scientists in the biological, medical, and biochemical disciplines materials to perform their research. Specifically, planar chromatography products and accessories. Science is messy and it is driven, as most human endeavors, by prestige, whether personal or institutional. [Any individual researcher my be driven purely by curiosity but the funding for one's department is almost always tied to quality of publication and trumpeted results.]

      There are really very few core climate-change scientists swapping data back and forth. All of the largely-perceived climate-change rests on Mann's hockey stick. If Mann's misrepresented graph-model is discredited -- and it was! Many times over! -- than AGW advocates everywhere are chasing a will o'wisp.

      The hugely-funded minority [AGW advocates or Climate Change Fundies] are disproportionately reported in the media.

      There's a huge industry in AGW. Gore and various politico-insiders are making a killing on the carbon-trades.

      What Mann did was perfectly legitimate but -- like the cancer researchers -- bad science. Unfortunately, sloppy and slanted science that's widely published earns universities and research hospitals acclaim, which translates into donor and grant dollars.

      Don't be a naif.


  7. JJBrannon,

    What did you think the result of reading yopur article would be? Was I supoosed to be surprised at publication bias? Was it supposed to rock some faith you think I have in scientists? Scientists did what scientists do: check results and question previous findings.

    All of the largely-perceived climate-change rests on Mann's hockey stick.

    No. Honestly, that's such an unrepresentative state of climate science that I struggle to think why you talk about climate science at all.

    If Mann's misrepresented graph-model is discredited -- and it was!

    Possibly. I find it difficult to take your word on this, based on your previous statements.

    Models that rely upon linear fit and teleological strait-jackets instead of cyclical patterns and endless change are by definition going to be wrong,

    Models that apply linear fit to cyclical random variable will exhibit cyclical patterns. However, i am curious what sort of "cyclical pattern" you want to apply as opposed to a linear fit. You mean some sort of time-dependent sine curve for the effects of compound A in the atmosphere? How would that work, and why would compound A have less of an effect, or more, at time t1 as opposed to time t2, for no other reason than the passage of time?

    1. The Multi-Decadal Oscillation (MDO) does not, alas, show signs of being caused by a compound in the atmosphere.

    2. No, One Brow, you drew the wrong lesson from the article about the non-reproducibility of valid cancer papers written to satisfy grant and career requirements.

      Each of those papers were widely cited as landmarks as the basis for other research, which is precisely how the Hadley/Jones/Mann exchanges tainted almost all of current research, by fostering illusion of self-reinforcing data. Nothing illegitimate, as the investigation found, yet bad, sloppy science.

      However, so much money can be made by establishing the illusion of a man-made global-warming that can be reversed by humans that those who cling to such hubris -- "We're so influential and important that we have to immolate ourselves upon an altar of economic-suicide to Save the World™" -- are readily gulled to the moneymakers goals.

      You don't need to take my word on anything. I prefer you didn't.

      But of the two of us, I wasn't the one "pulling numbers from thin air."

      That's the typical work of the AGW crowd. :>)


    3. TheOFloinn

      The Multi-Decadal Oscillation (MDO) does not, alas, show signs of being caused by a compound in the atmosphere.

      I agree. The MDO shows every sign of being based on cyclic features, which when modeled by linear weights, produce a cyclic effect with the system.


      It's curious how you draw an example of reseachers going back to question landmark papers in cancer research as proof that landmark papers are not being questioned in climate research.

      The rest of your post was more emotional screed than reasoned argument.

    4. Dang, then those Chinese papers about the medieval warm in China were also local? Same as studies of sediments in Lake Titicaca and elsewhere? How did the local conditions in Europe affect China, South America, and Africa? Oh well, when someone announces well beforehand in an email that we have to "get rid of the medieval warm period" we are entitled to be a tad suspicious when they later do exactly that.

    5. One Brow it is very difficult to discuss matters with when you turn a blind eye to the evidence before you.

      The article about the study was not on how widely accepted landmark papers "were questioned" but how landmark papers were **refuted**.

      Thank you for when I ask cui bono, you dismiss it as an emotional screed. You're the one who originally alluded to a minority distorting -- I won't contend "falsifying" -- the evidence for money's sake. You're right -- except it's the pro-AGW crowd who are writing the grants for the researchers to change public policy in an unsustainable, racist manner.

      Are you even aware of Climategate?

      You asked for falsifying predictions and we have the IPCC/UN report on the bareback Himalayas. No such phenomenon as described is happening. The meltback was minimal. The latest report is that the glaciers are growing.

      Shrinking Arctic ice? What about the increasing Antarctic ice?

      Where's your admission that the Hansen prediction was not a "myth" [or unicorn] as you wrongly stated, but that the time-scale was misreported by the original journalist?

      Where's your answer to my question about how far we've progressed in the 24 years of the 40 toward the inundation of the West Side Highway?

      Do you intend to acknowledge that you were wrong about crocodilian evolution and apologize for "making up numbers out of thin air"?

      Do you intend to address the congruence of a representative single-station monitoring model such as Mauna Loa with that of the Greenland ice-core?

      [The interesting thing admitted in the glacier article was that glaciation was much more variable and complex than climate scientists had allowed for in their models.]

      Why isn't the cancer paper comparable to AGW warming when the recent [last decade] refutations of Hansen's **landmark** hockey-stick by: 1] identification of bad calculation software revealing the majority of the top ten warmest years were during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl era; 2] refutation of the 10 [or 12] proxy trees by the other 100 or so non-cherry picked [by Biffra]; 3] ocean temperatures, after correcting for the change in sampling procedures [e.g., wooden vs metal buckets] lower than land temperatures; 4] the cherry-picking of Australian weather monitoring stations for only the highest results; 5] the number of confirmation of urban heat-sink monitoring stations vs. earlier rural stations?

      Around the turn of the century, I sent Flynn the Friis-Christensen graph. More recent work about the magnetic currents in the Sun as they apply to sunspots and effective energy output with its effect on upper atmospheric particle formation has provided more causal mechanism rigor to the correlation.

      However, when early graphs of the Hockey-stick were issued, they included temperature swamping error bars. A mathematically-educated person could draw just about any line one wanted through those.

      Central tendency lines can induce a form of highway hypnosis [part of my missing post] where people become obsessed with the symbolic demarcated median and lose sight of the reality of the road.

      Which illusion The O'Flainn sought to discuss with his journal entry.


    6. JJBrannon,

      Naturally, it was about how they were refuted. If they had been confirmed, would it have been news? Prior results routinely get confirmed, and occasionally refuted.

      Throwing up questions of benefit means little. Demonstrating actual benefit would be more meaningful. Yes, it was an emotional screed, regardless of contents.

      Yes, I'm aware of Climategate. I've also read about all the investigations into Climategate by various officals, many of which were opposed to acknowledging AGW, that nonetheless said no wrongdoing occurred. The only reason to use Climategate is to make the discussion about people, not evidence, and even then it doesn't work.

      I agree that relying on bad informaiton about the melting Himilayan glaciers was poor science. However, it did not come from climate models.

      When I called the prediction a myth, I linked to a source that reported the actual prediction. When an actual 78-inch lumberjack fells a tree quickly, that a story. When someone says the lumberjack was 120 inches tall and it took one blow, that's a tale. When the tale gets repeated by others and becomes part of a collective mindset, that's a myth.

      Since Hansen's comment did not mention a rate in increase for CO2 or any other mollifying conditions, it's basically unfulfillable and unrefutable. Even if the West Side Highway is covered, it won't make Hansen correct. Conversely, if it is not covered, it won't make him wrong.

      I will happily admit again I was wrong about crocodilian evolution. Give me a number of time that will satisfy you, and I can get that out of the way in post, instead of doing over multiple posts.

      I did address the use of a single-staion monitoring in my Apr 16, 2012 06:58 AM comment.

      I have no doubt adding in the complexities of glaciation willl be a worthy effort.

      As I have said, refuting one paper or method doesn't refute all of climate science, anymore than refuting some papers on cancer research means chemotherapy is now useless.

      I understand the error bars on past temperatures are quite large.

  8. The O'Floinn,

    Are you claiming that the earth, as whole, was warm during the Medieval Warm Period, compariable to what we have today?

    Other regions in the northern hemisphere did have some warming, but not to the same extant, and many regions in the Southern hemisphere were cooler than usual.

    If the email, in context, is discussing a climate phenomenon, you shold be suspicious. If it is discussing a propaganda tactic by climate change ______ists, then not particularly.

    1. It is difficult to know the temperature of the earth. Where does one stick the thermometer?

      The email was received by David Deming shortly after he published a paper in which he determined that borehole temps for North America showed increased temperatures over the previous 100/150 years. At the time, he remained anonymous, fearing repercussions on his career, but mentioned it to Lindtzen, who wrote about the stifling effect on free inquiry of this institutional fear. Later, his identity was revealed.

      In 1995, I published a short paper in the academic journal Science. In that study, I reviewed how borehole temperature data recorded a warming of about one degree Celsius in North America over the last 100 to 150 years. The week the article appeared, I was contacted by a reporter for National Public Radio. He offered to interview me, but only if I would state that the warming was due to human activity. When I refused to do so, he hung up on me.

      I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published. I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change. He said, "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period." ....

      In 1999, Michael Mann and his colleagues published a reconstruction of past temperature in which the MWP simply vanished. This unique estimate became known as the "hockey stick," because of the shape of the temperature graph.

      Normally in science, when you have a novel result that appears to overturn previous work, you have to demonstrate why the earlier work was wrong. But the work of Mann and his colleagues was initially accepted uncritically, even though it contradicted the results of more than 100 previous studies. Other researchers have since reaffirmed that the Medieval Warm Period was both warm and global in its extent.

      -- Statement of Dr. David Deming, geophysicist, Univ. of Okla.
      U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Hearing Statements
      Date: 12/06/2006

    2. The same Dr. Deming that said global warming was "officially over" in 2008?

      Did he publish the email from the major researcher? Name the NPR reporter?

      Why would a temperature increase in North America during the industrial age jeopardize Deming's career? Lindzen has been just as vocal, has his career (as opposed to reputation) been damaged?

    3. Yes, I believe that it may be the same Dr. Deming.

      Now when will everyone realize that there's no basis for your kind of AGW hysteria and that the AGW-Elvis has left the building over a decade ago.


    4. JJBrannon,

      What is my "kind of AGW hysteria"? Is it related to what you have claimed is my understanding of evolution, or is it based on what I actually think?

      Do you think Dr. Deming was correct? Are we no longer warming since 2008? Or, did Dr. Deming try to use a two-year trend to claim warming was over? Do you support that usage?

  9. TheOFloinn,

    Since you haven't come up with an acceptable-to-you alternative, and haven't corrected other when they used the term, I'll just go back to using "denialism".

    1. Leave it to the French Hard Left to have a better description of the problem than a prescription for a solution:

      “There is no “environmental catastrophe.” The catastrophe is the environment itself. The environment is what’s left to man after he’s lost everything. Those who live in a neighbourhood, a street, a valley, a war zone, a workshop – they don’t have an “environment”; they move through a world peopled by presences, dangers, friends, enemies, moments of life and death, all kinds of beings. Such a world has its own consistency, which varies according to the intensity and quality of the ties attaching us to all of these beings, to all of these places. It’s only us, the children of the final dispossession, exiles of the final hour – the ones who come into the world in concrete cubes, pick our fruits at the supermarket, and watch for an echo of the world on television – only we get to have an environment…

      What has congealed as an environment is a relationship to the world based on management, which is to say, on estrangement. A relationship to the world wherein we’re not made up just as much of the rustling trees, the smell of frying oil in the building, running water, the hubbub of schoolrooms, the mugginess of summer evenings. A relationship to the world where there is me and then my environment, surrounding me but never really constituting me. We have become neighbours in a planetary co-op owners’ board meeting. It’s difficult to imagine a more complete hell.” –

      L’Insurrection Qui Vient

      This "problem" gave up trying to be scientific long, long ago. Welcome to the Humanities Department.

  10. OK. The comments have drifted way too far from the original post -- which you may recall had to do with the effect of scale on the values plotted. It has become essentially a monologue with responsorials.

    1. As you wish. I will try to be more circumspect an on-topic in the future.


      Should you desire to continue this, or discuss aqnything else, feel free to use any post over at my blog to comment upon.