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« UNexposed | Main | Voodoo correlations »
Saturday
Apr162011

Skeptical Science on the divergence problem

Richard Muller is taking flak from both sides, which I guess was inevitable when such a prominent figure enters the climate fray accompanied by a great deal of media attention. The latest set of potshots has come from Skeptical Science, which has posted a new article this morning looking at some of the things it says Muller got wrong in his widely reported lecture on "hide the decline".

A couple of things interested me about the Skeptical Science article or, more precisely, its companion piece published at the end of last month. In this piece, I'm going to discuss the article's consideration of the divergence problem:

...the decline in tree-ring density is not a hidden phenomena - it's been openly discussed in the peer-reviewed literature since 1995 (Jacoby 1995) and was also discussed in the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) and Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

I think the characterisation of the discussion of the issue in the Third Assessment Report as "open" is not a reasonable one. Here is what the report had to say on the issue

There is evidence, for example, that high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature in recent decades, associated with possible non-climatic factors (Briffa et al., 1998a). By contrast, Vaganov et al. (1999) have presented evidence that such changes may actually be climatic and result from the effects of increasing winter precipitation on the starting date of the growing season (see Section 2.7.2.2).

"Variation in response" hardly characterises the decline very well, does it? Would a reader of this section have understood that these tree rings were headed off in the opposite direction to that expected? Were the implications discussed? And there was no discussion of the truncation of the record in order to hide the change in response (i.e. the decline) either. I don't think Skeptical Science has got this right. 

But there was also this:

it bears remembering that other research finds tree-ring density is reliable before 1960. Briffa 1998 finds that tree-ring width and density show close agreement with temperature back to 1880. The high-latitude tree-rings that show divergence after 1960 also match closely with other non-diverging proxies going back to the Medieval Warm Period (Cook 2004). This indicates the divergence problem is restricted to modern times.

Now this is a bit naughty. Cook did indeed suggest that the divergence was restricted to modern times, a paper that reasonable people can probably agree is not a firm basis for disposing of such an important question. But even the Fourth Assessment report quoted D'Arrigo et al saying that the divergence problem might be a manifestation of a non-linear response to temperature, something that would undermine the whole of the tree-ring approach to paleoclimate.  And a still more recent paper describes the evidence restricting the problem to the twentieth century as "limited". For Skeptical Science to pretend otherwise seems to me to be...a problem.

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Reader Comments (78)

They're also ignoring Steve McIntyre's recent findings.
http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/21/hide-the-decline-the-other-deletion/
Where a similar, pre-1550, divergence was completely ignored.

Apr 16, 2011 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

A good example why Skeptical Science should be ignored.

Disagreements, different interpretations? Fine.

Deliberately misleading and dishonest spin and bold, unsupported assertions?

OK, maybe, in an argument between friends about who caught the biggest fish last month.

But as part of the framework supporting the policy of spending trillions on non-solutions to a non-problem?

Not only tendentious nonsense but morally disgusting.

Septic "Science", that's more like it.

Apr 16, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Hide means Hide !!!!!!!

Simples

Apr 16, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Isn't it John Cook who blogs on Skeptical Science? Is he by any chance related to the Cook 2004 mentioned above? Another interesting thing about this mis-named site is it's Simon Singh's site de choix for his entire knowledge about climate science.

Anyway back to the "decline" the question still remains, that if it was well known, if not well understood, why would Jones have to "hide" it, and when he "hid" it why didn't he mention the problem in his papers? The only reasonable explanation to that is that Jones and the others who are taking part in this nefarious science are/were trying to present the information on past climates in a way that suggested the current bout of warming is unprecedented, because if it isn't unprecedented the current warming needs a better explanation than CO2 emissions have gone up, temperature has gone up, therefore the CO2 must have caused the increase in temperature.

Apr 16, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Followed that link and noticed he linked to an article where accused Muller of "confusing Mike's trick with hide the decline". He then basically proves this by saying - Mike had his "trick" of grafting real temperatures on the end of his proxy data - , and Briffa had his "hide the decline" technique of not telling us about the decline. See? Doh! Silly Muller!

Even loyal commenters seem to be shuffling their feet and saying he should drop this because of the enquiries. It is heartening to see them banging on this subject. These guys really don't get how bad they look defending this. I think comments along the lines he should drop the issue are really for that very reason, not because they have been exhonerated.

Apr 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The Leopard In The Basement, is that as in "beware of"?

=)

Apr 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterdread0

dread0, Yes, the it's the official mascot of red tape and bureaucratic obfuscation :)

Apr 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

My take is that the purveyors of this bilge are deliberately dissembling - they know they're in the wrong but are going on digging deeper and deeper because they *believe* that they hold some kind of moral high ground. How moral high ground deliberately and endlessly deploys such deliberate deceit is beyond me.

The other explanation is entirely Orwellian - these Inner Party members are fully trained exponents of doublethink - cognitive dissonance in current parlance - or blackwhite.

@geronimo - Cook, as in 2004, is Ed - the only Inner Party member to have understood the true value of dendrochronology as a proxy for historical temperature records in Climategate in my view - i.e. none whatsoever, expressed forcefully in his comment "what we know for certain is that that we know f***-all"

Apr 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers

I became sceptical about AGW some years ago. It wasn't the Science that disturbed me then, I didn't know much about it, it was the mocking and superior attitude displayed by the majority of pro-AGW'ers.
Certainty does not need sarcasm!
I'm not impressed with the verbal contortions, employed by the SS article that attempt to defend the indefensible. I know when I've been deliberately misled. No Science needed for that.

Apr 16, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Cook deliberately gets an awful lot of stuff wrong. This is a good example of it, but his site is filled to the brim with misdirection and misinformation.

Cook is, really, a master of propagandising. He's also prolific, which makes correcting his lies an arduous process. I use the word "lie" because I am satisfied that he knows there's a significant difference between what he presents and what is factual.

Apr 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

You know I have found the whole "hide the decline" episode so very useful in raising the awareness of the uncertainties in climate science. The more sites like Sceptical Science try to defend the indefensible, or otherwise refuse to admit when their case is weak, the easier it is to suggest to open minded third parties that the beneficiaries of climate science funding will do anything to avoid facing up to the scientific weakness of the case for CAGW.

Keep up the good work Sceptical Science!

Apr 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddieO

My run-in with Skeptical Science was with the Amazongate issue. Same approach. They had some guy who had no clue whatsoever of the literature, defending the indefensible.

Apr 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

It does bespeak a certain level of integrity that Briffa et. al. didn't find a heretofore unnoticed teleconnection with something like the decline in the proportional population of manual gear selectors in automobiles starting in 1960 and add that as a coefficient to their calculations such that the "decline" would not appear in the first place.

Has anyone found a thoughtful consideration of the possible causes of the variabilities in the tree ring messages that is a bit more than soto voce?

Apr 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Manual gear selectors are like Tiljander, then must be inverted.

Apr 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

They've also been ignoring actual research on the decline:
http://climateaudit.org/2005/10/10/upside-down-quadratic-proxy-response/

Apr 16, 2011 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermt

Hid or not is one issue, but it appears the “Dendroclimatic Divergence Phenomenon” has been known about for a long time (Steve McIntyre's latest) and I wonder when somebody will scientifically explain it? Because if not then surely all dendro data is "unexplainable"?

CRU has the following project headed by Keith Briffa underway since Dec 09 thro to May 12

“The Dendroclimatic Divergence Phenomenon: reassessment of causes and implications for climate reconstruction”

There is a description of the project at:-

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/research/

(scroll down the list)

Apr 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

The approach never varies. It is done so that anyone asking can be directed to the post as proof that Muller has been 'rebutted'.

Apr 16, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

Muller is no fool and these attacks from the warmistas might annoy him so much that, much like Dr.Judith Curry, he might enter an open discussion with the sceptics scientist who prevail open and honest discussions.

The AGW clique is hopelessly forced into the defense and is getting more and more deperate.

Apr 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi "Bodge" Polloi

j ferguson:

I have read that the preponderance of young trees in modern samples is to blame. A more parsimonious guess would be nitrogen pollution.

Neither would explain the divergence at the beginning of the curve in the 1500s.

Apr 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJit

The real problem with "hide the decline" is not the original act (or rather acts, as there seem to be many subtly different variations on this theme) but rather the bizarre insistence by parts of the scientific establishment that it didn't happen, or doesn't matter, or (worst of all) that this sort of thing is standard scientific practice. I think Muller gets a few tiny details wrong, but he is absolutely right that declines were hidden, that this was significant, and that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable scientific practice.

"Hide the decline" is just shoddy science. It's bad, but it's not all that unusual, and it could and should have been addressed by normal scientific processes. Hiding "hide the decline" is the real scandal, and the people who keep trying to maintain this pretense are not doing anybody any favours.

Apr 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones

phenomena = plural
phenomenon = singular

I find it hard not to be sceptical of "a hidden phenomena"

Apr 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

skepticalscience.com is neither skeptical nor scientific.

But then, they don't like me either.

Apr 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Owen

A quick question for the genii here:

When constructing a hockey stick... err sorry... paleo-climate reconstruction, the team give greater weight to those trees, (or tree), that match the early twentieth century crutemp or gisstemp bodge. Does anyone know if those trees given less weight in the reconstruction also exhibit a decline or is divergence merely an artifact of the mann-ipulation of the proxy records which only affects hockey sticks, and thus needs no complicated explanation.

I seem to recall a McKintyre post which deconstructed Mann's hockey stick and showed the individual trees, but I can't seem to find it now.

Apr 16, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin B

"Richard Muller is taking flak from both sides, which I guess was inevitable when..."

Could be the start line in a competition. Err ... "you attempt to play both sides against the middle" would be my entry.

I really don't understand why anybody is trying to defend this guy. Like Chamberlain he attempts the middle way. He has already stated that the world is warming and his "new" analysis can come to no other conclusion regardless of reality.

Let us assume, just for the moment, that there never was any reason to "hide the decline", the decline was real. Muller and his team develop each "module" independently using the very best science. But, as he plugs the "UHI module" into the stream the output develops a Briffa decline from 1960. Does anyone seriously think that Muller will accept the new output and not "re-design" the offending module PDQ?

While we wait for and discuss the new openness in climate science (yea right) the carpet baggers make another billion. Muller would make a first rate politician, his speeches are everything to everyone but his deliverables are nowhere to be found. Meanwhile with every appearance he becomes higher profile and more grant money flows in. I find it impossible to be too cynical.

Apr 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Why would anybody believe anything posted on a site that calls itself "Skeptical Science" when it clearly isn't? SS has bought into the CAGW lie 100%, clearly has not a skeptical bone in its body, and has taken the full Flavor-Aid* physic.

* In communist Jonestown, the cyanide was actually administered in "Flavor-Aid."

Apr 16, 2011 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Kevin B

The best source I know on the detail behind the Hockey Stick paleoclimate reconstructions (MBH 1998; MBH 1999) and the other 'independent' studies that 'confirmed' Mann et al.'s findings is our host's book.

It's a complicated story, but an interesting one.

If you want to get a firm grip of the Stick, that's the place to start ;-)

Apr 16, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

When Mr Singh announced that Sceptical Science was his go-to web site for science, I knew then that Singh is not a science writer but an apologist for the AGW scammers. To be a 'science writer', I imagine one would require some knowledge of science. And to be a science writer published by the Grauniad, the AGW message must be advocated loudly and firmly. Science is optional.

Apr 16, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

3x2

are you seriously denying that the world is warming?

Apr 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

From http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/13/george-mason-university-climate-change-communicator-of-the-year-where-only-one-viewpoint-is-allowed/#comments

"
kalsel3294 says:
April 13, 2011 at 10:17 am
skepticalscience.com is an organisation in the same way the mafia is. The moderators operate with total lack of transparency, communicating by disappearing anyone who seriously challenges the “family” with rational and logical argument.
Whilst the insiders increasingly communicate amongst themselves how clever they are, due to it’s recent change of direction led by the said enforcers, it should now consider a name change to Political Science to complete the transformation."

Apr 16, 2011 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnother Ian

3x2

I really don't understand why anybody is trying to defend this guy. Like Chamberlain he attempts the middle way. He has already stated that the world is warming and his "new" analysis can come to no other conclusion regardless of reality.

Let us assume, just for the moment, that there never was any reason to "hide the decline", the decline was real. Muller and his team develop each "module" independently using the very best science. But, as he plugs the "UHI module" into the stream the output develops a Briffa decline from 1960.

A few things:

- I'm not sure if you are confusing the 'Briffa decline' (change in tree growth patterns) with a decline in temperature...?

- If UHI has a large effect on surface temperatures, then they should diverge from satellite measurements of the troposphere (14,000ft/600mb). They actually match up very well. I don't want to clutter the thread up, so I've posted a detailed comment about surface vs satellite temperatures on the Discussion thread.

- Muller can be entirely correct in critisising the methodology behind the Mannean Hockey Stick (and others) and in preliminary findings that global average temperatures are rising.

- This doesn't make him a fraud; it makes him a good scientist. And a brave one for criticising the consensus whitewash of the Hockey Stick.

Apr 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Ah, John Cook our very own Oz sceptical scientist. Forever linked to Alena Composta, one of Australia’s greatest Green commentators. Alena (may she rest in peace) had a blog called Verdant Hopes. This unfortunate woman was an agoraphobic with genital warts and although house bound and on social security she managed via the internet to get her message across. She was first noticed when she commented repeatedly in the MSM about the nasty Liberals (read Tories) referring to the (now defeated) NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally as a moose. Suggesting that this was a Canadian insult for female genitalia. <Stay with me this is true>

Alena Composta (anagram = moose placenta) came to the notice of many and her strident views about carbon pollution and climate change deniers were also noted. So much so that the ABC (read BBC over there) allowed her to write a lengthy opinion piece on their website lambasting deniers and just about anything else you could imagine. Of course her website was then swamped by disgraceful comments from evil climate deniers so she turned to academia for assistance. Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a psychologist at the University of Western Australia answered her call. Professor Lewandowsky is researching the reasons for climate change denial and appears quite frequently in Climate Science debates. He responded in part–

Hi Alene, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, I know all about those abusive comments and it is brave for you to reveal as much personal detail as you do on your blog. Alas, for some people that is an invitation to rip into you and get a laugh out of that—they are like the school bullies whom no one really liked and who didn’t really have close friends, only followers.

But despite such support, including a letter from the wife of a prominent barrister, it all became too much and she unfortunately put an end to it all. Her two gay sons found her, sadly deceased, with her head in the oven. Which they found strange, because it was electric. Happily, Mr Lee from the nearby Chinese restaurant arrived and agreed to take away and look after her cat Snuggles. The two grieving boys found the email from Professor Lewandowsky and it also appeared he was so concerned that he asked for John Cook’s opinion on the demonisation of Alana. John Cook obliged –

The fact that deniers are going to the trouble to attack her means she's making a difference. That may be scant comfort but there will always be people vehemently opposing action on climate change and the greater the perceived threat, the more intensely they attack. The other saying that comes to mind is "for evil to triumph, it only requires good people do nothing" - it's inevitable we invite attack if we campaign for climate change and try to make a difference. … deniers attack everyone indiscriminately from the lowly blogger to the most imminent climate scientists in the world.

In fact, the level of attack that the climate scientists receive are the greatest - death threats, dead rats left on their door, legal harassment from conservative lawyers and ad hominem attack after ad hominem attack. No one is worthy of more respect than climate scientists who are the preeminent experts in the world, spending decades researching this stuff, and yet their name is mud to deniers. As all the science and evidence points to climate action, the only recourse deniers have is to attack the messenger.

One can see by his empathy with Alene that John Cook is a good man; compassionate, humanitarian and a sceptic as his website suggests. One thing he is not of course is gullible. Links here and here

Apr 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

The second link didn't appear. Here it is again. And her name was Alene not Alena or Alana.

If John Cook, academics, left wing media and our unbiased national broadcaster can fall for such obvious tripe, is it any wonder that fewer and fewer people take them seriously on the issue of "Climate Change (tm)".

Apr 17, 2011 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

3x2 are you seriously denying that the world is warming?

No. I'm just having trouble with the idea that you start a fresh look at the historical record (BEST) by stating that you know what the result will be. I can't really see how "knowing" the outcome in advance will not feed back into the individual modules that deal with the data. Having developed a module that attempts to deal with UHI for example, how would you assess its "correctness" except by reference to what you "know" should be the result? Seems like a poor way to approach a problem.

BBD : - This doesn't make him a fraud; it makes him a good scientist. And a brave one for criticising the consensus whitewash of the Hockey Stick.

I'm fairly sure that I have not called Muller a fraud. I'm sure he is very good at what he does. If you took away the term fraud from what I wrote then apologies.

Apologies to the Bish for wandering way OT.

Apr 17, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

3x2

3x2 are you seriously denying that the world is warming?

No. I'm just having trouble with the idea that you start a fresh look at the historical record (BEST) by stating that you know what the result will be. I can't really see how "knowing" the outcome in advance will not feed back into the individual modules that deal with the data.

They didn't say they knew what the final result would be. They said their preliminary finding was warming. This is not surprising given other findings. See 11:00pm.

You seem to be suggesting either confirmation bias or misconduct. There is evidence for neither.

Apr 17, 2011 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

KevinB, hockey sticks are built in different ways. Some give weight to hockey stick shaped proxies. Some filter out the proxies that don't correlate to temperature(weight=0). Divergence isn't as much of an issue here because the diverging proxies are less likely to be used. It is a proxy that diverges in the other direction, showing lots of modern warming, that is more likely to be used, such as Yamal. Polar Urals with a smaller incline is disfavored.

Apr 17, 2011 at 3:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

To my mind SS (they like to use the initials SkS) is a seminar site like RC. The main difference is that it is run, for the most part, by nonscientists and they can grant themselves more scientific certainty (i.e. complete certainty) than the scientists at RC can. They allow a great deal of debate without censorship and normally only censor off-topic posts by skeptics. RC censors with much less consistent criteria and has been known to reword posts. When RC does not censor it is often to allow off-topic "rantings" so that skeptics can be portrayed as off-topic ranters. RC definitely will censor contrary scientific opinions that are on-topic and SS will not.

SS is designed for links from non-climate fora to quickly "debunk" popular skeptical arguments. In fact they duplicate every topic with an alternate link that has no comments (i.e. no critiques). That way the debunking can appear unchallenged. There is some useful debunking at SS and I have occasionally linked to it. The problem comes when they constantly post stuff written by Grant Foster and that shoddy study showing an increase in record highs over record lows that does not account for UHIE, ignores the 1930's, etc That is not much more than propaganda masquerading as science.

The biggest problem with SS however is their rule about off-topic posts. It is true that keeping the threads to one topic makes them more useful to debate that topic. However it also leads to a divide and conquer approach to warming and attribution. At SS, warming can only be due to CO2 because it is not due to anything else. Not solar changes (which can only be represented by TSI otherwise debunked in a minor thread on cosmic rays), not ENSO, PDO or any terrestrial weather patterns since those are "cycles" and cycles don't matter and there is always a thread that shows that the particular cycle in question is not nearly large enough to cause the observed warming. Even a simple challenge to what observed warming is or isn't is pigeonholed to various threads. If sensitivity is questioned in any way there are threads with a dozen or so analyses showing that sensitivity is 2-6 or 3-5 or something similar. Sensitivity can also can be flexibly defined to debunk a non-CO2 factor on one thread while being calculated more strictly on the sensitivity thread.

Apr 17, 2011 at 3:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric (skeptic)

You know the more I read this stuff the more I think about the bible let's see us evil people will burn but not in hell in the earth but this time on the earth if allas we do not repent!! Anyone else starting to see this stick.

Apr 17, 2011 at 3:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterLorne50

3X2,
...." Like Chamberlain he attempts the middle way".
I had visions of someone disembarking, waving a piece of paper, and proclaiming "Warming in our time!"

Apr 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

BBD

" They didn't say they knew what the final result would be. They said their preliminary finding was warming. This is not surprising given other findings. See 11:00pm."

Wrong.

In the NPR interiew, Dr.Muller said " It's us " stating clearly that the warming was anthropogenic. Now how did he arrive at that conclusion after sampling 2% of the dataset and clearly stating that the work for analysing the whole dataset has not been completed? That already shows he's made up his mind about AGW that human beings are at fault. Now how do you expect him to do an objective analysis and arrive at any other result other than what he already stated in advance?

Apr 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

...it's inevitable we invite attack if we campaign for climate change...

-John Cook

There you go... from the horse's mouth.

Apr 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Venter

Please do not put words in my mouth.

My comment stands. You are distorting it.

Apr 17, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I was disappointed too by Muller's "yes it's us" comment. If I've understood correctly the comments on the temperature record by experts in time series analysis (e.g. Cohn and Lins), it would be surprising if BEST were able properly to establish the significance of the surface warming, let alone prove that human activity is responsible for it.

Apr 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

I too was made rather uneasy by Prof Muller's readiness to claim that Man is the cause of global warming; watching Prof Bob Carter's recent excellent video lecture on the subject convinces me that the warming since the LIA is yet another unremarkable temperature rise that mirrors past such events in the history of the planet as evidenced in various ice core records.
In my view, Prof Muller is a salesman who is selling Prof Muller.

Apr 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Wishing to act like luke warm water here -between fire and ice- I think we should all agree that Muller is higher on the credibility spectrum than Cook ;)

Looking again at the thread where Cooks only critique of Muller is basically only a grammatical one, Cook is saying Muller has conflated two different techniques - the "hide the decline" technique and the "trick" technique.

We should all remember Jones said:

"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."

So Cook says:

"Unfortunately a prominent source of 'hide the decline' misinformation Professor Richard Muller from Berkeley."

I am not a grammarian by any measure but that last sentence from Cook makes no sense. It is not out of context, because there is no context around that sentence. Have a look at the thread. Can anyone tell me what is missing from it?

Yet Cook has the temerity to talk about "blurring". Reading every sentence, and clause and sub clause seen in that thread of his you see an excercise in pure deliberate de-emphasis of information, and emphasis of obfuscation.

It is apalling by any standard of honesty, and this is before we get to any science , in fact the whole piece is working a linguistic sophistry with some muted rueful admissions of bad science practice, to kinda give an honest sheen.

The only positive to me is that Cook is still talking about the whole subject. But I dont think he is asking for clarifying debate, it is rather an attempt at suppressing the threat of the "authority" of Muller?

Which brings me back to my first point, where do you put Muller and Cook on the Credibility spectrum ;)

Apr 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The final nail in Briffa's story with "hide the decline" is Briffa's behavior since he discovered the divergence. He said he had no explanation at that time. Today, more than two decades later, he has offered no explanation. Case closed.

Apr 17, 2011 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

The Leopard etc; IMHO Cook has nil credibility.

Apr 17, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

fwiw I strongly believe that uhi is a myth. Just based on my car thermometer readings when I travel in and out of London centre. Yes, central London is always 1-2 degrees warmer than Herts...but the overall trend is the same in both places.

Apr 17, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

BBD

I did not put words into your mouth. I stated what exactly Muller said in the NPR interview. Are you saying that he did not say it?

Apr 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

Venter

BBD

" They didn't say they knew what the final result would be. They said their preliminary finding was warming. This is not surprising given other findings. See 11:00pm."

Wrong.

In the NPR interiew, Dr.Muller said " It's us " stating clearly that the warming was anthropogenic. Now how did he arrive at that conclusion after sampling 2% of the dataset and clearly stating that the work for analysing the whole dataset has not been completed? That already shows he's made up his mind about AGW that human beings are at fault. Now how do you expect him to do an objective analysis and arrive at any other result other than what he already stated in advance?

What exactly am I 'wrong' about?

Where did I so much as mention anthropogenic attribution?

You even quote me not saying it. You are putting words in my mouth so you can disagree with them. Now you are denying it while trying to twist this exchange around even further. It's transparent and tiresome. Please stop.

Like others here, you appear to have a problem with BEST's preliminary finding being warming. I don't because it's obvious from other temperature records that this is what BEST will find.

Anyway, what do you really object to - the confirmation of a warming climate or the attribution to AGW?

Apr 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If BBD and Venter could put their purses down we might see some real engaement with my *cough* point about grammar and science - where do they meet?

The fastest smoothset shave is the winner...

Apr 17, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

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