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« Top 10 global warming myths exposed | Main | Newsflash: animals killed by climate change »

Comments

Andrew W

Neither the Wegman report nor the NAS report suggested Mann's graph was "fraudulent", and the NAS report finding was that the only important error in the Mann et al paper was that too much confidence was placed in the temperature reconstruction of the earlier period the reconstruction covered.

As you point out the Wegman investigation was politically initiated, instigated by capable politicians with an agenda, such people select those conducting the investigation and the terms of reference for the investigation to get a final report that supports their original position, that's politics. It's a strategy Clark used more than once.

Ross

Add this to the two papers by Mann et al using the Tiljander data, where he inverted the data to suit his conclusions and we can cinclude that Mann must be running out of credibility.

Ian Wishart

Yeah, if you read carefully I don't suggest Wegman went as far as to find it "fraudulent". He gave Mann the benefit of the doubt and left it at incompetent.

I'm calling it fraudulent because Mann is not an idiot in my view. However, Wegman found the graph to be utterly misleading:

"While this error would have been less critical had the paper been overlooked like many academic papers are, the fact that their paper fit some policy agendas has greatly increased their paper's visibility...

"As statisticians we were struck by the isolation of communities such as the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods, yet do not seem to be interacting with the mainstream statistical community [in other words, they are dabbling in areas they don't understand].

"The public policy implications...are financially staggering, and yet apparently no independent statistical expertise was sought or used."

Yes, Andrew, the Wegman investigation was initiated by Congress, but I've read the report: Mann's work simply didn't stack up, and as Wegman pointed out the "peer reviewers" were all in Mann's pocket, making peer review of his work a joke.

I would add that this point has been confirmed in spades by the Climategate emails.

BammBamm

" too much confidence was placed in the temperature reconstruction"

hmmmm

CM

"The 2006 report was the work of a mysterious “ad hoc” committee led by George Mason University statistics professor Edward Wegman, along with David Scott and Yasmin Said. With its near-veneration for putative hockey-stick destroyers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, and its scornful denunciation of Michael Mann and his “social network” of like-minded researchers, the report has been a touchstone for contrarians.

But then I started thinking about something that had always bothered me. How could a trio of statistical experts, all on their own, hope to write a report on a field, climate science, of which they had no previous knowledge or experience?

Part of the answer lies in the close examination of the Wegman report. Surprsingly, extensive passages from Wegman et al on proxies have turned up in a skeptic text book by contrarian author Donald Rapp. And at least one of these common passages on tree ring proxies closely follows a classic text by noted paleoclimatologist Raymond Bradley, but with a key alteration not found in the original. Moreover, Wegman’s section on social networks appears to contain some unattributed material from Wikipedia and from a classic sociology text....."

Well worth reading on.

http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/17/wegman-report-revisited/#more-1273

And then:
http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/22/wegman-and-rapp-on-tree-rings-a-divergence-problem-part-1/
And:
http://deepclimate.org/2010/01/06/wegman-and-rapp-on-proxies-a-divergence-problem-part-2/

Pamela Gray

When I was in grad school, scientists were required to take one graduate level stats class (like me). That does not make one a statistician. Yet I have witnessed scientists playing loose with data, using analysis inappropriately, or even coming up with their own special brand, to force the data to say what they want it to say.

The statisticians who worked on Mann's temperature reconstructions along with surface station data must still be ralphing in the toilet.

CM

"Michaels also flagged an e-mail in which Mann discussed a reference he was writing for Jones. In that, Mann misstated a number called the "h index," which measures a scientist's productivity and influence.

Mann said it was just an error in a hastily typed private e-mail, in which he meant to say 52 but instead said 62. He produced a copy of the official letter, in which he got the number correct.

He said he was surprised that Michaels would castigate him over a typographical error. "They've sunk to a new low," Mann said of the e-mails. "This shows they've given up legitimate debate.""

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20100109_Climate_expert_in_the_eye_of_an_integrity_storm.html?viewAll=y

The correct number was in the official letter.

Just another example of the desperation snowballing.

John Campbell

I'm an AGW agnostic. It seems to me that, with so many questions arising about the truth or otherwise of the "science" (including statistical methodology) underlying the IPCC Summaries for Policymakers, what's needed now is an independant, balanced and public review of the said science. As things stand at the moment, I cannot trust the IPPC, and with so much scorn being poured on the "contrarians", I cannot fully trust them either. And hence I'm certainly not going to vote for anyone who plans to tax me to death because of some quite possibly wrong theory.

CM

>>> And hence I'm certainly not going to vote for anyone who plans to tax me to death because of some quite possibly wrong theory.<<<

The fact that you believe you'll be 'taxed to death' suggests you're not an 'agnostic' at all.

Rather than not "fully trusting" the contrarians because so much "scorn" is being poured on them, why not do so because they continually peddle misinformation, cherry-picking and nonsense.

>>>what's needed now is an independant, balanced and public review of the said science.<<<

Who would do the review? Shell? BP? Exxon?

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