Courtesy of Flickr user TalkMediaNews
I’ve been a little unsure how or when to discuss John Mashey’s and Deep Climate’s yeoman’s work on uncovering the depths to which Edward Wegman stooped in attempting to discredit the work of Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes.
But the ScienceFair blog at USA Today has posted on it, so it’s probably going to reach “mainstream” status soon. Wegman’s university is formally investigating him for plagiarizing (at the very least) Raymond Bradley.
I’m curious to see how far this will go. There’s certainly enough circumstantial evidence to consider investigating the full extent of Reps. Barton and Whitfield’s offices involvement in this farce.
For those of you who don’t have a clue what this is all about, DeSmog Blog has a good backgrounder here.
As an aside- many of the champions of the Wegman Report (e.g Steve McIntyre) took up Wegman’s claim “Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science” as a sort of incantation, chanting it as though it might somehow dispel the fact that reality appears to have a hockey-stick-shaped bias. I am sure that these same people will maintain their integrity and immediately disavow the Wegman Report and its conclusions.
I’ve been an outspoken critic of Keith Kloor, but please give him deserved respect for at least covering this, unlike so many other “climate journalists”.
Posted in blogs, Climate change denial, climate legislation, Paleoclimate, politics
Tagged academic misconduct, Climate Audit, Deep Climate, Ed Whitfield, Edward Wegman, George Mason University, hockey stick, investigation, Joe Barton, John Mashey, Malcolm Hughes, Michael Mann, Office of Congressional Ethics, plagiarism, Raymond Bradley, scandal, Steve McIntyre, Wegman Report
If anyone needs evidence that the “reporting” crutch of He Said, She Said is still being employed by stenographers masquerading as journalists, here’s Fred Pearce in New Scientist.
No serious effort is made to inform the reader which of the parties is actually supported by reality. Note the weasel wording and false balance throughout, e.g.: “some of the researchers involved take issue with a suggestion that greenhouse gases are not primarily responsible for global warming”; “Foster’s team concludes… But de Freitas says”; “The vitriol continues”; etc. It’s a stereotypical example of the “on the one hand, on the other” style that has so distorted the public’s understanding of the issue of anthropogenic climate change.
It’s 2010, FFS. This article should be held up as a model for how reporting should not be done.
Of course, this is hardly the first time Pearce has done crap reporting, though it should be noted he’s an equal opportunity offender.
Boykoff, M.T. and Boykoff, J.M., 2004: Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press. Global Environ Chang., 14 125–136 doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.001
Foster, G., J.D. Annan, P.D. Jones, M.E. Mann, B. Mullan, J. Renwick, J. Salinger, G.A. Schmidt, and K.E. Trenberth, 2010: Comment on “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” by J.D. McLean, C.R. de Freitas, and R.M. Carter. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D09110, doi:10.1029/2009JD012960.
Posted in Climate change, Climate change denial, media failure
Tagged balance as bias, Bob Carter, Boykoff & Boykoff, Brett Mullan, Chris de Freitas, Comment on "Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature", El Niño, ENSO, FAIL, Fred Pearce, Gavin Schmidt, Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, James Annan, James Renwick, Jim Salinger, John McLean, Jules Boykoff, Kevin Trenberth, Maxwell Boykoff, Michael Mann, New Scientist, Phil Jones, Robert Grumbine, Southern Oscillation, Tamino
It’s odd how some (sticky? viral?) memes propagate through the denialosphere. The classic example is how “hockey stick” lost all of its original context, and soon there was very little that was not a “hockey stick” according to the denialosphere: from the temperature projections in the AR4 to pre-industrial vs. current CO2 levels. And through an apparent belief in sympathetic magic, all it took was the labeling of something as a “hockey stick” in order to discredit it in the eyes of a certain audience.
The SwiftHack “scandal” is proving to be no different. “Hide the decline” has metamorphosed from the truncation of certain dendro proxy data post-”divergence” into a fraudulent artificial inflation of, by turns:
- the global surface temperature record
- the US surface temperature record (occasionally with unrelated graphics of real NCDC adjustments)
- GCM projections of future warming
And so on. They’re not really sure what it means, but they’re sure that it’s undeniable evidence of fraud and the global Gore-Commie conspiracy. It’s humorous to watch this spring up repeatedly in comment sections of forums and the like, as the reality-based community seems to be all over it. You can still see it popping up, but its “juice” has been diminished incredibly.
The latest (I’m sure as I write this something new is coming down the pike) meme concerns two nearly identical snippets of code in “briffa_sep98_d.pro” and “briffa_sep98_e.pro”, e.g. at RealClimate here and here, and addressed at Deltoid here. The code comments talked about “arifical” [sic] adjustments and “fudge factors”, and as such it is being taken as undeniable proof of Something Nefarious.
The code in question appears to “test the sensitivity of certain calculations to the presence or absence” of the post 1960 divergence problem in Briffa’s MXD archive. It does not appear to have been used in any published paper, figure, or data set. [Denialists can feel free to set me straight on that- you've got a fixed range in which the publication had to occur, the name of at least one coauthor, the archive it supposedly en-fraud-ulates, and a pretty good idea about what this adjustment will look like] In spite of this, if you’ll find claims that this bit of code is in fact:
- “Mike’s Nature trick”
- Phil Jones’s use of “Mike’s Nature trick”
- fabricated warming in the global surface temperature record
- fabricated warming in the US surface temperature record
- fabricated warming inserted into the projections of GCMs
And so on.
I’m guessing that we can expect to this sort of thing repeated over and over and over again for weeks if not months to come. A line in an email, some snippets of code, etc. will be trotted out (completely excised of content) with no grasp of what it actually means as the newest Proof That Definitely Shows Global Warming Is Fake And We’re Serious This Time. The supporting evidence will be non-existent, the explanations of what the “proof” does will be incoherent and self-contradictory, but the confidence with which it will be paraded around will be unshakable. It will be the final nail in the coffin of radiative transfer the hippie scam.
Until the next one.
Posted in Climate change denial, Paleoclimate
Tagged climategate, Deltoid, hockey stick, Keith Briffa, Michael Mann, Mike's Nature trick, nontroversy, Phil Jones, RealClimate, SwiftHack
One of the most common and easily debunked claims by denialists is that there is a massive global conspiracy on the part of the climate science community to deliberately and fraudulently overstate the severity of present climatic conditions (e.g. temperature, CO2 levels, etc.) relative to the paleoclimatic record in order to make the (non-existent in their minds) threat of anthropogenic climate change more frightening to the public.
The climate community is doing this presumably to continue their grant-funded lives of obscene wealth and debauchery. Or to cripple the American economy by destroying capitalism [ha!] in order to further a UN-run, communist world government. Or something. In any event, among their frequent targets for such ludicrous conspiracy theories are Jim Hansen (who they believe in his spare time has single-handedly “fabricated” global warming by altering the GISTEMP temperature record; presumably his free time and mendacity are so great that he has been able to similarly propagate this faked warming signal throughout the biosphere), Phil Jones (likewise, but for the HadCRUT record instead), and perhaps most of all Michael Mann- for his temperature reconstructions of North America over the past two millennia. The steady blast of fetid hot air directed at Mann for his imagined attempts to exaggerate current climatic conditions relative to the past could, redirected through a turbine, easily comprise a stabilization wedge all its own.
So it is with much amusement that those in the reality-based community note papers like the one published in today’s issue of Nature here (or here) entitled “Atlantic hurricanes and climate over the past 1,500 years” by one Michael Mann- along with coauthors Jeffery Donnelly, Jonathan Woodruff, and Zhihua Zhang. The Mann et al. paper is a relatively straightforward attempt to reconstruct Atlantic hurricane activity over the past 1.5 ka, employing multiple (although admittedly sparse) regional overwash sediment records in an attempt to create a basin-wide record of landfalling hurricanes. This reconstruction is then compared against statistical modeling based on reconstructions of several climatic (sea surface temperature, Nino 3, and North Atlantic Oscillation) records.
Naturally Mann- no doubt twirling his mustache and laughing manically- has determined through premeditation and statistical voodoo that recent Atlantic hurricane activity is completely unprecedented in the paleoclimatic record, in furtherance of his dastardly fearmongering agenda. Wait- what’s that? Mann et al. actually found that around 1000 AD hurricane activity may actually have equaled and possibly exceeded that of today?!
But that doesn’t fit conveniently into my demonization of Mann or preconceived notions about the global climate conspiracy at all! No fair.
In all seriousness this is an interesting paper as despite some very serious caveats, it seems to indicate that we’ve got a decent grasp of the main drivers of hurricane activity for the region. Obviously it would be nice to increase the number of overwash records used, especially for the southeast US, the Gulf coast, and the Caribbean- for which we only have a single record per region.
The peak in medieval hurricanes is associated with persistent La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific and warmer tropical Atlantic SSTs- conditions that also notably produced a series of megadroughts in the US southwest and Mexico. Has anyone done comparisons between modern Atlantic hurricane activity and southwest drought conditions?