Monday, February 15, 2010

Climategate's Dr. Phil Jones: The Recent Global Warming Similar to Others, Stopped 15 Years Ago

In November the world of climate science, which includes parts of geography, was rocked by the Climategate e-mail scandal. The world renowned University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit was discovered to be involved in a conspiracy to hide data, slander those who disagree with their predictions of human-caused global warming, and interfering with the peer-reviewed process of scientific journals to create the false appearance of scientific agreement. The scandal just recently took a new turn as the "gold standard" Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report was found out to be based on unpublished student papers, environmentalist's press releases, and random made-up facts.

The man at the center of the scandal, Dr. Phil Jones has both greatly helped damaged science. His lies and dishonesty have revealed the irrationality of the current wave of global warming alarmism which was based on secular religion and politics. However, his actions have hurt anyone currently trying to honestly figure out the current state of the global environment as Jones' "crying wolf" has hardened the hearts of much of the public.

Dr. Jone is staring to come clean. He has said some surprising things in a recent interview with the BBC. Jones discusses many interesting things but there are some surprises coming from him. He admits that the Medieval Warm Period (the hot period around the year 1000, a time when England made wine and Greenland was green in the south) was a global warm period, that the warming trends such as 1860-1880 and 1910-1940 were similar to the recent warming period, and that there has been no statistically-significant global warming since 1995!

Developed countries can afford the cost of many environmental programs. As a society we should invest in a clean and healthy future but we must allow science to be practiced openly free from the influence of whose those who take their positions as dogma which must be defended at all cost.

Now with "skeptical" sceintists being revealed as victims of an elite, I wonder if Dr. Robert Chrsitopherson feels differently...

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stick to mapping and geography, please. Stay off from posts where you write about things you don't understand and make a fool of yourself.

He does not admit that the medieval warm period was global. He discusses the complexities associated with evaluating it on a global scale.

As for the 1995-2009 period, he says the following: "Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods." Please read every sentence, especially the last one.

The point he is trying to make is that over short timescales, weather plays a big role. For the climate signal to stand out, one needs to average out the weather signal over long periods. Too complicated for you to comprehend? Just wait until they come out with a new estimate at the end of 2010.

Catholicgauze said...

Anonymous, that wasn't nice.

If you read his previous statements on the Medieval Warm Period you see Jones has backtracked from there was no warm period to the warm period occurred everywhere where there were records at least.

His answer for the 1995 to 2009 period was a yes. Plus, under his earlier models there should have been clear warming not a pause or even a statistically significant cooling.

Anonymous said...

Right, yes, sorry for the initial tone (yes, I'm the same Anonymous above), but I get rather annoyed by fact free assertions about global warming having stopped, or it is all a hoax, or the IPCC report has been discredited, or conspiracy theories about how science works, etc. Before you succumb to that again, I strongly urge you to look at the actual science.

If your point about the Medieval Warm Period is that Dr. Jones has changed his tone about what he says about it over a decade, well, whoop de doo. Besides, the point about science is that it is neither static nor unchanging. So he has gone from dismissing the relevance of MWP to saying there is no evidence for an equivalent southern hemisphere warming. And?

As for the 1995-2009 bit, it was a "yes, but." The point here is, don't be fooled by weather. Climate is not weather, and the Earth is big. Note that this is the same time period when we have had seven of the top ten warmest years on record, despite having had an El Nino event AND had the Sun going into an extended minimum. So instead of thanking our lucky stars at the rare breathing space that Nature seems to have given us to get our act in order, what do we do instead? We tar and feather the very people who are ringing the alarm bells. Bah. Sometimes I wonder whether the species is really as intelligent as we all pretend it to be.

Anonymous said...

er.. correction: La Nina event was operating for about 2 1/2 years until 2008, not El Nino.

Catholicgauze said...

Hi Anonymous,
No problem, thank you.

I understand your frustration. Let me make my beliefs clear to you: anyone who says that global warming was a hoax, that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, or climate has not changed in different times is wrong.

My problem is Dr. Jones who violated many rules of science with his cover ups ("hide the decline"), scientific dishonesty (pressuring researchers to punish journals who printed opposing scientific papers), and questionable actions ("losing" data, "losing" data sources, and continuing to use sources without confirming them after they have been called into question).

The IPCC has some very serious challenges to it. The Himalayan Glacier's claim, African food claim, and hurricane's relationship with the recent warming trend are now being dropped or seriously reexamined due to complaints coming from inside the scientific realm.

The sins of Dr. Jones and others are ones that have hurt the scientific realm in the eyes of the public. Now it is a lot more difficult for those who wish to study climate, climate change, and the potential for human caused climate changes without being negatively associated with Dr. Jones et al.

Anonymous said...

Actually, most of your objections to Dr. Jones have been actually quite adequately explained as either a reading out of context or a misrepresentation.

My problem is Dr. Jones who violated many rules of science with his cover ups ("hide the decline"),

He didn't hide any decline in the global temperature record. It was about messy tree-ring data which started showing sensitivity to some as yet unexplained driver in the 1960s. And he was just trying to make a clear and understandable graph, hardly a crime.

scientific dishonesty (pressuring researchers to punish journals who printed opposing scientific papers),

The scientific dishonesty was actually on the other foot, when one editor refused to do the right thing by peer review and rushed a badly researched paper into print.

and questionable actions ("losing" data, "losing" data sources, and continuing to use sources without confirming them after they have been called into question).

No idea what this is about.

The IPCC has some very serious challenges to it. The Himalayan Glacier's claim,

Jeez. This was one sentence that got in by mistake in a section that didn't deal with glaciers in the first place. If this is enough to discredit the IPCC, what about all the lying liars who are lying their heads off about everything by just throwing s**t at the scientists and hoping that something will stick?

African food claim,

an example of the aforementioned s**t.

and hurricane's relationship with the recent warming trend are now being dropped or seriously reexamined due to complaints coming from inside the scientific realm.

Like this, do you mean? http://www.rms.com/Publications/2010_FAQ_IPCC.pdf

Anonymous said...

The sins of Dr. Jones and others are ones that have hurt the scientific realm in the eyes of the public. Now it is a lot more difficult for those who wish to study climate, climate change, and the potential for human caused climate changes without being negatively associated with Dr. Jones et al.

Look, every time we go to the source, the alleged controversy vanishes. Why is the burden on the scientists to constantly disprove allegations made up out of whole cloth from the same people who have been discredited again and again and again? If the public is getting misinformed, whose fault is that, the scientists who are trying to explain things, or the media that insists on lending credence to every bit of ridiculous rumour mongering by people who clearly have a vested political interest in seeing climate change legislation fail?

Sometimes the messenger does deserve the blame.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to me that whenever you talk about man made climate change, you are always talking about the common man having a barbeque in his yard, an SUV in his driveway and keeping his house warm or cool.

Why don't we talk about man made climate change in terms of HAARP, or chemtrails, or depleted uranium, or constant war, or countless government programs that do nothing but waste resources. Don't bother to tell me these are all conspiracy theories. That's a cute label that avoids the real issue: you're not going to bite the hand that feeds you. You have no credibility to me unless you address the full spectrum of human activity.

Catholicgauze said...

(First Anonymous),
Check out Dr. Jones' e-mails where he talks about "hide the decline" and "Mike's Nature Trick" to purposefully skew numbers with statistical tricks. If you can show me scientific articles showing the controversy disappearing over issues like the pause in the previous warming trend, African food, etc. please do and I will retract the offending parts of the post.

Catholicgauze said...

(Anonymous from comment 8),
I hope you are not the same anonymous I have been discussing with.
Anonymous8, you're head is out in space, buddy. HAARP got its start in 1993. Clinton-Gore power in power then and it continues today under the Obama administration. Think about that.
As for conspiracy theories. Yes, that is. If I do not get your respect because I'm not surfing the wave then I suggest you find a LyndonLaRouchegauze geography blog.

Bill said...

anonymous--

man made climate change is over, my friend. common sense prevails. how many frauds have to be exposed? how many more to come? the havoc this non-science has created is immeasurable: indoctrinating school children, banning light bulbs & taxing cow farts. this is your lucky day, become part of the solution to saving this economy and this society. if you need a religion try something less destructive.

Ishmael said...

Catholicgauze, I am the "First Anonymous". Call me Ishmael. I don't know when you asked for the references, I surfed by just today, sorry for the delay.

Check out Dr. Jones' e-mails where he talks about "hide the decline" and "Mike's Nature Trick" to purposefully skew numbers with statistical tricks.

As has been made abundantly clear by many of the principals involved, there was no attempt by anybody to skew the numbers with statistical foolery. "Trick", in the context used, means "neat method". The "hiding" refers to tree-ring data, which had been a good proxy for paleo climate until around 1960, and since then has not been such a good proxy. See Nature article by Briffa et al., http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html
This means that the proxy is suspect, not the actual measured temperatures, and certainly not the reconstructions (like the Mann et al hockey stick) that do not use it. Not to mention, the full quote from Phil Jones is: "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (emphasis mine) So accusing him of skullduggery even fails the internal consistency check -- have you considered what he could be hiding if he is actually showing the real temperatures? And more to the point, what does that say about all the people you have apparently been listening to who are carrying pitchforks on such a flimsy device?

If you can show me scientific articles showing the controversy disappearing over issues like the pause in the previous warming trend,

Well, this is a tricky one (in the "stop beating your wife" sense, not in the "ooh, neat trick" sense) because there are no scientific articles in the first place showing pauses in the warming trend. As I pointed out in my second response, decadal summaries are subject to various weather related systematic noise, such as El Nino events, extended solar activity minima, etc. So this is really a fake controversy generated by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and fellow water carriers. Nevertheless, the good folks at RealClimate had a lengthy discussion about it, and you are welcome to click through all the links they provide in support: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

In any case, even in Phil Jones' own words, even with conservatively accumulated data (that excluded areas of greatest warming -- the arctic), there was a 0.12 deg C trend over the decade, it just wasn't statistically significant at 95% (that is, there is a 1 in 20 chance it could be obtained through statistical fluke -- d'ya feel lucky?)

African food, etc. please do and I will retract the offending parts of the post.

This is a clear instance of Leakegate. Jonathan Leake, a journalist, simply making stuff up. Would you care to apply the same standards that you are holding the IPCC and Phil Jones to this fellow?
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_how_jonathan_leake_c.php

There is also a detailed rebuttal (see the section titled "Some other issues") at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/ipcc-errors-facts-and-spin/

As for the etc., let me just point you to the Nature editorial on the subject, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7273/full/462545a.html

ishmael said...

Something from the very same CRU hacked emails themselves that might tell you more about Phil Jones than you may want to know:
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1044&filename=1255095172.txt
and here's the relevant quote --
"The sad thing here is that Phil Jones is one of the true gentlemen of our field. I have known Phil for most of my scientific career. He is the
antithesis of the secretive, "data destroying" character the CEI and Michaels are trying to portray to the outside world. Phil and Tom Wigley have devoted significant portions of their scientific careers to the construction of the land surface temperature component of the HadCRUT dataset. They have conducted this research in a very open and transparent manner - examining sensitivities to different gridding algorithms, different ways of adjusting for urbanization effects, use of various subsets of data, different ways of dealing with changes in spatial coverage over time, etc. They have thoroughly and comprehensively documented all of their dataset construction choices. They have done a tremendous service to the scientific community - and to the planet - by making gridded surface temperature datasets available for scientific research. They deserve medals as big as soup plates - not the kind of crap they are receiving from Pat Michaels and the CEI."


So enough already. Phil Jones is being unfairly maligned, and you are contributing to it.

Dan tdaxp said...

"(that is, there is a 1 in 20 chance it could be obtained through statistical fluke -- d'ya feel lucky?)"

This is typical of the scientific ignorance of those who loudly support anthropogenic global warming, and declare the debate over.

From the abstract of Cohen (2004) -- which has the delightfully snarky title of "The Earth is Round (p < .05)":

This article reviews the problems with this practice, including its near-universal misinterpretation as the probability that Ho is false, the misinterpretation that its complement is the probability of successful replication, and the mistaken assumption that if one rejects Ho one thereby affirms the theory that led to the test.

Ishmael's comment makes all three errors. Further, his statement that there is an effect size, just not a statistically significant one, perfectly reverses the sensible interpretation of these findings.

ishmael said...

ahem, @Dan tdaxp, I think you will find that you have completely misinterpreted both what I said, and in what context.

Sure, there are many problems with interpreting a p-value as a probability that H0 is false. If you will deign to notice, I didn't do that, I actually wrote the opposite.

Furthermore, I was merely interpreting the jargon in Phil Jones' answer, which had already been sufficiently misinterpreted that some people seem to think that he is saying the opposite of what he meant.

You can nitpick all you want, and I most definitely do not want to get into an unproductive discussion about the differences between hypothesis tests and parameter estimates, but short of writing a technical paper, the basic takeaway is: there is no real evidence for a pause in human caused warming.

ishmael said...

Guys, I respect your work on geographical matters. That's why I come over to read. But it is pretty clear that (a) climate science is not your thing, and (b) somehow you've gotten yourselves brainwashed by the denialist kooks. Just, please, stop it.

Or rather, on second thought, perhaps you should check this out: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/

Dan tdaxp said...

Ishmael,

"Sure, there are many problems with interpreting a p-value as a probability that H0 is false. If you will deign to notice, I didn't do that, I actually wrote the opposite."

You wrote "that is, there is a 1 in 20 chance it could be obtained through statistical fluke." This is incorrect. The correct interpretation is a p value is that, given that the hypothesis is true, (1 - p) is the likelihood of the observations given that the H0 is true of the sample they are drawn from.

" I was merely interpreting the jargon in Phil Jones' answer"

Indeed. You were interpreting it incorrectly. Jones failed to reject the null hypothesis of any change. That is, the sample size was so weak that he could not even get to the p < .05 level (which is commonly used in social sciences, but almost never in hard sciences. A more typical p level where data does not involve human subjects manipulation is the p < .01 or p < .001 level).

Catholicgauze said...

Ismael,
The reason I ask for your citations is that you make claims that much of the ClimateGate controversy has been debunked. I have not seen anything that says that from any reputable source.
The "kooks" and "Just, please, stop it" are part of the problem. There is an effort to immediately discount any dissent.
Dr. Jones has been shown and admitted to being unscientific and dishonest (dumping data and denying data access) and claims in the IPCC report about the dangers of GW are in serious doubt with some have even been withdrawn.
"there is no real evidence for a pause in human caused warming." Umm, even Dr. Jones said there is one. Plus, it is still hard to tell just how much a role humans have played in the warming trend that started with the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 (pollution output then couldn't even register compared to today's).

ishmael said...

@catholicgauze,

Dr. Jones has been shown and admitted to being unscientific and dishonest (dumping data and denying data access) and claims in the IPCC report about the dangers of GW are in serious doubt with some have even been withdrawn.
"there is no real evidence for a pause in human caused warming." Umm, even Dr. Jones said there is one. Plus, it is still hard to tell just how much a role humans have played in the warming trend that started with the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 (pollution output then couldn't even register compared to today's).


I took you seriously when you asked for references and gave you plenty. I see now that I was mistaken, and you didn't really care to follow through on the request.

Every one of your allegations there has already been shown to be wrong and malicious, and in fact a simple google search would lead you to it if you really care to know the truth.

The "kooks" and "Just, please, stop it" are part of the problem. There is an effort to immediately discount any dissent.

And after ignoring everything I had to say, you wonder why.

You are maligning a good man and a good scientist in Phil Jones. Take a good look at the company you are keeping.

Global warming is not about belief. Physics doesn't care what George Will and James Inhofe thinks. When you realize in the coming years how wrong you have been, I expect to see a public apology.

Until then,

*shrug*

ishmael said...

@Dan tdaxp,

You wrote "that is, there is a 1 in 20 chance it could be obtained through statistical fluke." This is incorrect. The correct interpretation is a p value is that, given that the hypothesis is true, (1 - p) is the likelihood of the observations given that the H0 is true of the sample they are drawn from.

oy, I really shouldn't bother, but really..

"it" == "likelihood of the observations"
"H0" == the null hypothesis of no warming
5% == chances of obtaining observed data when the null hypothesis is true. repeat, when H0 is true.
5% == 0.05 == 1 in 20.

So what have you achieved by creating this useless semantic digression of what I may or may not have misinterpreted from what Phil Jones said that has already been multiply misinterpreted? Did it help you in figuring out what Phil Jones actually said? Did it help you in learning any more about a very serious subject that is being swift-boated in front of our eyes (not my words -- see http://www.juancole.com/2010/02/advice-to-climate-scientists-on-how-to.html and links therein).

ishmael said...

PS: @Dan tdaxp,

I may have misread your comment. If you meant to say that the significance of the trend did not exceed 95%, OK, I agree, and that also means that the "1 in 20" is not a good way to summarize that.

But again, I ask, so what? His point (and the point I have been making here all along) is that this period of time is too bloody short to be figuring trends. There was a La Nina a couple of years ago. There is an El Nino now, so when the significance rockets up at the end of this year, will you eat your hat? No, and I wouldn't expect you to, because it would still be a weather related effect. Not to mention, the data he was looking at ignored the arctic, which showed the greatest sensitivity to climate change. Did you not hear about the imminent opening of the Northwest Passage? So, no, there is no real evidence for a pause in human-caused warming.