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« STUDY: Antarctic ice collapse linked to newly-discovered wave patterns, not melt | Main | NIWA's David Wratt defends this? »

Comments

Ian Wishart

Yes, and my point was that the dried up Amazon claims have been overstated as to their likelihood, and that it is wrong of climate pimps to keep exaggerating the significance of various 'what if' scenarios.

CM

Bob D said:

"...even though the alarmists have trumpeted that sound-bite continually for the past 4 years:

And now says:

"It isn't a direct quote. Someone may have said it, I don't know; nor do I care."

Bit of a difference between a whole lot of people saying it over and over again for four whole years.

>>>But it's used as a summary of a reaction sceptics received whenever they asked legitimate questions.<<<

It's a meme that denier trot out day after day until they believe it themselves. If you actually looked at the papers and the IPCC documents, you'll see uncertainties clearly marked.

>>>Like it or not, it'll go down in history (along with 'only peer-reviewed sources can be valid' and '2,500 scientists') as a tactic used by the AGW crowd to try to close down debate before it even began.<<<

There were 2,500 expert reviewers (and 90,000 review comments) across the the three volumes. That's not in dispute. They're all there (along with authors' responses) in the public record.

I take it by this that you're not interested in reality.

This is just another example that what we really have is a group seeking truth through the scientific process being assailed by another group that’s turning this into a political debate (some would say a pro wrestling show), with more than a little help from the clueless or complicit media.

This scenario is akin to the TV character Frasier Crane trying to talk his way out of a fight in a biker bar. The two sides are playing radically different games with different goals.

Ian Wishart

Re Leake. I wasn't there, I can't comment, but what I can say is this.

In the media, sometimes when we pursue someone's yes/no answer, the person being asked won't necessarily like the interpretation the journalist makes of it.

But that's the same in any controversial area, such as a court case or police investigation. There are baseline facts, and then there are interpretations based on those facts.

In Leake's view, what was said would have reinforced the facts he already had, and he was entitled to beat the IPCC around the ears with it regardless of whether his interviewees felt comfortable with that.

There might be a million reasons (tenure, future study grants) why a scientist would not publicly want his words to be used to attack his colleagues.

But facts are facts. The IPCC cited the wrong sources, and even the right sources, I venture, are not strong enough to base their case on.

Spam
Ian, you know full well that 'Amazongate' isn't about that at all. The issue is the IPCC document had the WWF document as a source instead of the actual primary soouce (Napstad's papers).

Right answer, wrong reasoning == bad science.

Right answer, wrong citations == bad process.

Bob D

"But our observation systems aren't able to comprehensively keep track of where all the energy is going. Consequently, we can't definitively explain why surface temperatures have gone down in the last few years. That's a travesty!"
Yup, agreed. They have no clue what's actually going on - a travesty indeed. At least, it wouldn't have been a travesty normally - it's quite OK for scientists not to know things. The travesty for me is that they allowed (and aided) politicians to skew and abuse the science and never spoke out about the unknowns, the inconsistencies, the lack of knowledge. Why would they? They were already on the gravy train.

But the original issue was about Phil Jones admitting there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, I believe. That was my point. He's known this for a while, yet only now has he spoken out. Unless you can point me to a time when he publicly told off alarmists, for example the MSM, spouting nonsense on a daily basis about 'global warming - it's worse than we thought!'

CM

>>>In the media, sometimes when we pursue someone's yes/no answer, the person being asked won't necessarily like the interpretation the journalist makes of it.<<<

Ian that's quite different from relevant people writing to you before you publish and giving you their opinion, and you going ahead and printing something which says the opposite regardless. That is dishonest and deceitful journalism. We can give people the benefit of the doubt, but as you basically said yourself recently, that benefit only extends so far. Three examples in one article is too much. It's a pretty clear case of sensationalism ahead of accuracy. A lack of professional standards. And Leake is showing form - it's not an isolated incident.

>>>But facts are facts. The IPCC cited the wrong sources<<<

They did. And those beating them around the head for it display their own level of rationality. And can rightly in turn expect to get beaten around the head for their IPCC alarmism.

CM

>>>The travesty for me is that they allowed (and aided) politicians to skew and abuse the science and never spoke out about the unknowns, the inconsistencies, the lack of knowledge. Why would they? They were already on the gravy train.<<<

Yeah if only papers mentioned uncertainties and those uncertainties were carried across into the IPCC documentation. Oh no, hang on, wait.....

CM

>>>But the original issue was about Phil Jones admitting there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, I believe. That was my point. He's known this for a while, yet only now has he spoken out. Unless you can point me to a time when he publicly told off alarmists, for example the MSM, spouting nonsense on a daily basis about 'global warming - it's worse than we thought!'<<<

How is it meaningful by itself?
If others show that key indicators are moving faster than predicted, how is relevant that he says 'hey but hang on, the last 11 years have been so cold that they've skewed the 35 year trend by 0.005, thus proving you're all just liars and in it for the money'.
Yeah that would make a lot of sense.

CM

Tamino explains how deniers are unable to engage honestly on this very issue, and concludes (in relation to the trend since 1995):

"Therefore we need at least 14 years of GISS data (from 1996 to the present) to draw a confident conclusion about the most recent trend. In fact, since we have additional unaccounted-for uncertainty (such as the parameter estimates for our ARMA(1,1) model), we actually need a bit more. Let’s say that less than 15 years of data allows no confident conclusion about whether the trend in GISS data is warming or cooling.

That does not mean that there’s been no warming trend in those 15 years — or in the last 10, or 9, or 8, or 7, or 6 years, or three and a half days. It only means that the trend cannot be established with statistical signficance. Of course, it’s another common denialist theme that “there’s been no warming.” This too is a fool’s argument; any such claims are only statements about the noise, not about the trend. It’s the trend that matters, and is cause for great concern, and there’s no evidence at all that the trend has reversed, or even slowed."

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/

Fluffy

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-234092--.html

AGW / climate change hysteria is a gone-burger. Can we resume normal service now Mr. Wishart ?!

CM

Nice new collection of distortions and misrepresentations Fluffy.

e.g.
"DutchGate – The IPCC also claimed rising sea levels endanger the 55 percent of the Netherlands it says is below sea level. The portion of the Netherlands below sea level actually is 20 percent. The Dutch environment minister said she will no longer tolerate climate researchers' errors."

Own goal from the Dutch - it was the Dutch that gave the info to the IPCC.
Where is that mentioned in the article? Huh?

This guy is just another plonker writing for people who don't know any better. And you're all just uncritically gulping it down. Such is your desperation.

Falafulu Fisi

CM quoted Tamino:
In fact, since we have additional unaccounted-for uncertainty (such as the parameter estimates for our ARMA(1,1) model), we actually need a bit more.

Aha! ARMA modeling again. Look CM, if you're going to quote something make damn sure that you understand what you're talking about. Don't just cut & paste without understanding, because you wouldn't know whether your argument is relevant or not.

ARMA is a linear uni-variate modeling technique. In other words, it is an (single) output with no external inputs, ie, no drivers. Real climate dynamical system is non-linear multivariate with many inputs and many outputs, ie, a MIMO. So, anyone who relies on the result of ARMA(1,1) for climate system analysis, must be put in the same box as guess work.

Climate scientists, including that of Tamino, always talk about ARMA of order [1,1] , ie, ARMA(1,1). This is a question that I raised at a discussion at RealClimate about 3 years ago, which Gavin Schmidt appeared to confuse between best fit as a least error ARMA order (no prior knowledge of the system's internal dynamics) from a system identification (Sys-Id) point of view (in which he or anyone at RealClimate knew or understood Sys-Id) and best fit based on a prior climate model knowledge. I meant I asked about a box of oranges and Kevin tried to answer by describing a carton of apples (complete different). The question that I asked at RealClimate that why they think that ARMA(1,1) is valid and not ARMA(2,1), ARMA(3,1) ARMA(3,2) ARMA(4,1) or any order of ARMA(p,q), where 'p' and 'q' are integers where p>=q.

The implication that the system is of order [1, 1] definitely, ie, ARMA(1,1) is at best guess work, ie, it is assumed as a priori, but the reality is, we have no clue to the true internal dynamics of climate system. If it is true, then ARMA(1,1) used by climate scientists would be right on the dot, but this is not what we witness today, inconsistencies is everywhere.

The author of "Black-Swan" book, Taleb Nassim had criticized a similar model in econometrics called GARCH, which he said that anyone using GARCH for financial risk analysis, is no better than anyone just doing guess work. Well Taleb is correct here, since the record showed that all those finance companies that relied on GARCH for risk management did no better than companies that didn’t use GARCH. Actually it is GARCH(1,1) that is popular with finance companies. GARCH and ARMA are different variants of same models. Taleb had appealed to the King of Sweden in recent years to scrap the economic nobel prize because the domain is littered with questionable & unworkable models.


In the domain of Sys-Id, you get the data and then run it using SysID techniques/algorithms, where it then gives estimation of the best orders for the system (ie, least errors) using a technique called AIC. It could come up that AIC finds that ARMA(8,3) is the best. This is the appropriate way of doing it, when no one knows what causal connections between input variables and the output (temperature, etc).

I alerted Dr. Judith Curry about the topic of SysId subject at a discussion at ClimateAudit 2 years ago, since most climate scientists have never heard of it. There is no surprise there since it is a domain of "feed-back control system engineering" and this was the reason that Gavin Schmidt was confused when the asked that question at RealClimate a few years back. He confused between systems parameters as a priori eg, ARMA(1,1), which is a contradiction, and system parameters as best fit estimations from the data itself , ie, no prior knowledge - because it avoids one force fitting the data into a pre-conceived idea. The data simply speaks for itself.

Climate feed-back system’s dynamics can be best analyzed via SysId methods. The best book on the topic (if any climate scientist here is interested) is:

System Identification: Theory for the User

This is a final year text book for "Control System" engineering degree program at most Universities around the world. Copies of this book can be found at Auck Uni Engineering library. The algorithms described in the book can be implemented for software applications.

Fluffy

Jeez, CM. It's over. Start getting used to it.

CM

Thanks Falafulu. I certainly admit to knowing only a little about the modelling systems.

So are any climate scientists using SysId methods? If not, why not? What would it show?

Did you get a copy of this one?

"Modelling greenhouse temperature using system identification by means of neural networks”

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/09/friday-roundup-3/

CM

>>>Jeez, CM. It's over. Start getting used to it.<<<

"Suppose you have a child, a son — he’s 10. You want to know whether or not he’s growing normally, so every day you measure his height with a tape measure. You’ve done so since he was 5. You even plot the data on a graph, and notice two things about it. First: the measurements show a fair amount of jitter, sometimes they’re a wee bit higher, sometimes a wee bit lower, there’s noise in the data. Second: there’s also a trend. Your kid is a lot taller at 10 than he was at 5, in fact the trend over the observed time span is upward and reasonably steady. You even do a statistical analysis, estimate the growth rate, and determine that it’s definitely statistically significant — so it’s not a false trend due to noise in the data, it’s real. Your son is growing normally.


Then you’re interviewed by a reporter from the Daily Mail. He asks, “Can you prove — with statistical significance — that your child has been growing since last Tuesday?”

You reply that no, even though the trend over that time span is upward, it’s not statistically significant.

The next day you read the article in the Daily Mail which is titled, “Growthgate U-turn as parent admits: There has been no growth since last Tuesday.”

You protest. “I never said my child wasn’t growing! I just said that the data over such a short time span didn’t show it with statistical significance! That’s only because on such a short time scale, the noise obscures the trend.”

Alas, it’s too late, the damage is done, because 3500 blogs have repeated the article from the Daily Mail and child protective services has been asked to investigate your fitness as a parent.

Sound familiar?"

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/growthgate/

CM

Ian said

>>>In the media, sometimes when we pursue someone's yes/no answer, the person being asked won't necessarily like the interpretation the journalist makes of it.

But that's the same in any controversial area, such as a court case or police investigation. There are baseline facts, and then there are interpretations based on those facts.

In Leake's view, what was said would have reinforced the facts he already had, and he was entitled to beat the IPCC around the ears with it regardless of whether his interviewees felt comfortable with that.

There might be a million reasons (tenure, future study grants) why a scientist would not publicly want his words to be used to attack his colleagues.

But facts are facts. The IPCC cited the wrong sources, and even the right sources, I venture, are not strong enough to base their case on.<<<

Leake was up to the same tricks in his story that claims that the IPCC "wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters". Leake implied that Muir-Wood thought that the IPCC report was wrong. But IPCC report did not omit these caveats, and Muir-Wood confirms the IPCC got it right.

http://www.rms.com/Publications/2010_FAQ_IPCC.pdf

ANOTHER case of a journalist saying the IPCC got it wrong when the actual authors of the assessments confirm that the IPCC got it right.

Leake has a previous history of doing this, even before the latest round:

http://www.rationalistinternational.net/article/20040608_en.html

Journalismgate?

Falafulu Fisi

CM said...
Did you get a copy of this one?

"Modelling greenhouse temperature using system identification by means of neural networks"

Yep, I got a copy sent to me by one of the co-author/s (at the time of the request). I see that there is a free copy which is now available on the net.

There are 2 types of sys-id algorithms, which are linear and non-linear ones. The model used in the paper is a non-linear one (ie, neural network).

Linear ones (eg, ARMAX and its variants) are popular with engineers (electronic) for designing circuits, because they already have a prior idea of what the intended circuit's system functionalities are, eg, as in digital filtering circuits. This means that the design functionality is pre-specified as a priori, which it should be, because you got to know what you're building instead of connecting electronic components at random which is guaranteed not to work at all.

Non-linear sys-id (eg, neural network ARMAX or NNARMAX and it's variants) are popular with modeling of more complex systems such as biological system (i.e., population dynamics or cell molecular dynamics), economic system, climate system and so forth, for the reason that one doesn’t fully understand (or have prior knowledge) the inner mechanics/dynamics of the system being modeled. See, a paper by Dr. William Rossow of NASA (which I have posted a link to it here previously on TBR before Christmas) where Rossow proposed to use neural network for correct & better identification of climate feed-back system dynamics.

As of today, I’ve yet to see more research work and publication on Sys-Id and Feed-back control methods being applied to climate dynamic modeling, since the work of Dr. William Rossow and colleagues about 6 years ago.

PS : When I have some free time, I will put up a Java applet on the net that will have these models available (including certain pre-loaded publicly available climate data), so that people can use it to experiment and play with inputting various model parameters, then click a button and see what's happening so that they can get a better idea of how modeling is done. They can make their own decisions when they see what's happening graphical-wise (with different scenarios) by playing with the applet. It will also be helpful to me and others, when I try to explain certain models to whoever I debate with on the subject, since a picture/graph worth a thousand words.

Ross

So CM -- are you saying that Jones did not say anything that was significant ? ( or should I say statistically significant )

Australis

CM: "Interestingly the period since 1998 .. has made almost no difference at all in the longer trend since 1975 (0.166 versus 0.161).

Nope,Jones says the cooling was only about 3%. But that's certainly not warming is it?

In fact, Prof Jones says there's been no detectable warming since the second IPCC report in 1995.

The warming contention will lose all credibility if scientists start relying on claimed movements of a few-hundredths of a degree - esp over periods longer than a month. The instruments themselves are accurate to only two-tenths of a degree, are randomly and sparsely located, need continuous and controversial adjustments, and then are expressed as averages of averages of averages.

The alleged warming during 1975-98 was seventeen-hudredths of a degree (Jones figures)!

CM

Thanks Falafulu. Good to know.

Falafulu (and Ross, and Ian), would you agree that the BBC question was essentially the same as 'Have you stopped beating your wife?'?

Would you agree that agreeing that the warming since 1995 is not 'statistically significant'
(a) is not the same as saying "it's not warming"
(b) simply reflects the fact that in that time frame NOTHING (or close to it) would be statistically significant because it's not long enough to filter out noise.

I would be interested in your responses to that.

>>>So CM -- are you saying that Jones did not say anything that was significant ? ( or should I say statistically significant )<<<

Hahaha. Nice. But in all seriousness, that's what I'm saying. It was a trick question. He could only honestly answer it in one way. And people are then using that answer in a completely dishonest way. The Daily Mail (one of Ian's favourite 'sources') even had the headline: "There has been no global warming since 1995".

Where are all those who scream and holler about 'alarmist' media headlines? Are they ok with patently misleading headlines in the opposite direction? Do they just sit back and enjoy the show? Or defend them?

The comments to this entry are closed.