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« Matt massacres Malthusians | Main | Atlas mounting »
Tuesday
Sep202011

Cooking the books

Skeptical Science and its host, John Cook, have been much commented upon recently, the site's grubby treatment of Roger Pielke Snr having caused considerable disquiet. I'm grateful to reader PaulM for pointing me to another example of the way things are done on John Cook's watch.

Take a look at this page on the site. It's an older article, dating back to 2008, and it covers the vexed question of whether Antarctica is gaining or losing ice.

Skeptic arguments that Antarctica is gaining ice frequently hinge on an error of omission, namely ignoring the difference between land ice and sea ice.

This is not a straightforward area of science. As the article goes on to explain,

One must also be careful how you interpret trends in Antarctic sea ice. Currently this ice is increasing and has been for years but is this the smoking gun against climate change? Not quite.

and then expands on this by pointing out that in Antarctica,

sea ice is not the most important thing to measure. In Antarctica, the most important ice mass is the land ice sitting on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

...which of course is shrinking, we are told.

So there you go, simple enough even for a sceptic to follow. Or perhaps not simple enough - take a look at comment #3 from AnthonySG1:

OK smarties. If Antarctica is overall losing ice, then how do you explain the data?
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.south.jpg

The Arctic doesn't seem to be doing so bad anymore, also:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg

This particular scurvy sceptic is sent packing with a rapier-like thrust:

Response: It's somewhat discouraging that the first point I make is that people often fail to distinguish between sea ice and land ice. They are two separate phenomena. And yet you repeat the error. To clarify, Antarctica is losing land ice at an accelerating rate. Sea ice around Antarctica is increasing. The reasons for sea ice increasing in a warming Southern Ocean are complex and described in detail above.

And then there's comment #5 from PaulM himself:

The misinformation on this site is astonishing. Antarctic ice is increasing.
In addition to the cryosphere link provided Anthony,
This is confirmed by NSIDC,
http://nsidc.org/data/smmr_ssmi_ancillary/regions/total_antarctic.html
by NCDC,
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2008/apr/global.html#seaice
and by numerous scientific papers, including
Cavalieri and Parkinson, J. Geophys. Res. 113, C07004 (2008),
Comiso and Nishio, J. Geophys. Res. 113, CO2S07 (2008).

You have managed to find one paper that finds a decrease - but that only covers a 3 year period! Obviously you cannot get a significant trend from 3 years data.

These sceptics! How do you get through to them? Send 'em packing again:

Response: Please, people, pay attention! Sea ice is increasing. Land ice is decreasing. Read and reread the post above  until you realise they are two separate phenomena.

The exchange is, apparently at least, a damning indictment of the behaviour of what are sometimes referred to as "so-called sceptics".

Well, damning of the sceptics, that is, until you examine the same page on the Wayback Machine. The archive version is dated 3 February 2009, nearly six months after the comments were posted.

And its completely different!

While East Antartica is gaining ice due to increased precipitation, Antartica is overall losing ice. This is mostly due to melting in West Antarctica which recently featured the largest melting observed by satellites in the last 30 years. As well as melting, Antartic glaciers are accelerating further adding to sea level rise.

Astonishingly, more than six months after having their errors pointed out to them, the denizens of Skeptical Science rewrote the article and then inserted comments suggesting that their commenters hadn't read the article properly.

I'm simply flabbergasted.

And it's even more amazing when one recalls that Skeptical Science was recently the recipient of an award from the Australian Museum for services to climate science.

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Reader Comments (253)

"20 years of estimates, 'validated' over a period of 8 years." -

I think I just cut my brain.

Sep 21, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

No harm done then.

How about a substantive response to what I am actually saying? Namely that Antarctic sea ice is increasing; net ice mass loss is also increasing, and absolutely nobody here seems to think that this matters/is real in the first place.

Which is really rather worrying.

Sep 21, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

dana1981 Your free to idolized MR Cook as much as you like , but its a delusion no one else shares .
The irony your free to make you posting here as you like , but that would never be extend to skeptics on SS and that tells you all you need to know about which site as real value.

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

BBD


Wrt the Bevis et al. (2009) study that Patagon references: this is another red herring.

This paper deals with a potential long-term bias in the way Antarctic ice mass balance changes are interpreted from GRACE data. The argument is that if post-glacial rebound (PGR) is under-estimated, ice mass loss will be over-estimated.

The point is that if there is an error in the PGR modelling, it will be constant over the short time scales examined in papers attempting to estimate recent changes in Antarctic ice mass loss. It will not significantly influence estimates of changes in the rate of ice mass loss.

I beg your pardon, "A Red Herring"

That study is not about long term, but about year by year discrepancies between GRACE PGR model and measurements, which go up to 12 mm PER YEAR.

at a surface of 13.72 million km^2 ice covered, that is a huge error.

If GRACE PGR model suffer from such a extreme deviation from reality and both Rignot's models agree (GRACE and perimeter measurements), the accuracy of his second method is claiming for a revision.

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

WINGHAM and others, 2006 give this estimate of Antarctic Ice sheet trend:


Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992–2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5 ± 85 Gt/yr.

Note ± 85 Gt/yr. Any one identifying a clear accelerated loss from those error bars must be joking.

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Greenland, West Antarctic Ice Caps Melting At Half The Speed Previously Predicted:
Xiaoping Wu, Michael B. Heflin, Hugo Schotman, Bert L. A. Vermeersen, Danan Dong, Richard S. Gross, Erik R. Ivins, Angelyn W. Moore, Susan E. Owen. Simultaneous estimation of global present-day water transport and glacial isostatic adjustment. Nature Geoscience, 2010; 3 (9): 642 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo938
David H. Bromwich, Julien P. Nicolas. Sea-level rise: Ice-sheet uncertainty. Nature Geoscience, 2010; 3 (9): 596 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo946

"the warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature
record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades."
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf

Greenland (and Danmark) temperatures
http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/klima/klimaet_indtil_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm

The antarctic is only warming with Steigs statistics
http://junksciencearchive.com/MSU_Temps/RSSSPol.html

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim

@BBD

The rate of ice mass loss is significant and accelerating. The fact that it is small relative to the size of the whole Antarctic ice sheet is barely relevant.

It can't be 'significant' and insignificant in successive sentences.

WUWT?

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

BBD,
Firstly, you ought to be a bit taken aback at yourself, for jumping into this thread with whatever's left in your sack of red herrings ("Antarctica is melting. Run for the hills. Keep focused on the melt. That is called science").

You appreciate John Cook, at this point? Why I'll appreciate John Cook too - good for him that he keeps his mind open enough to come and post responses here. But that does not change what he did. His explanation - just doesn't add up. I am not swayed by a facetious explanation just because it is offered sincerely.

You have not a word to say.

Instead you post small passages from a peer-reviewed publication.

We don't have a baseline for evaluating "rates of melt" in the Antarctic continental ice. Certainly not in the paper you listed. It is a fricking continent covered with kilometers of ice.

If you have an intellectual conscience, the phrase "20 years of estimates, 'validated' over a period of 8 years." should be enough for you to be confronted with the fact that, as a science person, one ought not to make any kind of categorical claims about "melt rates" and the like, with the paper that you linked to.

Even someone with half a brain can see from the Rignot et al 2011 paper that, most of the Antarctic "melt" occurred between 1992 and 1994. A lot of CO2 must have sunk to the South pole then, or even better, the Ozone hole must have let a lot of UV heat then, I guess.

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Dana said,


“Okay, one more comment, because this is incredibly absurd.”


“Those of us residing in the real world react in utter disbelief. Frank repeatedly correctly points out the utter juvenileness of the commenters' behavior.”


“Frankly very few SkS readers visit this site. If John were the nefariously evil person you seem to think he is, he would have just let the whole issue pass unnoticed by most people, and soon forgotten. But he's a very honest person [ . . . ]”


“ [ . . . ] the people on this blog, who apparently project their own dishonest behavior onto others. Bishop, honestly, I would suggest you take some steps to get your house in order. If this sort of behavior is the norm for your blog [ . . . ] “


------------------


Dana,


I do appreciate, as I am sure others do, that John Cook came here and that he brought one of his member staff (you) with him.


Your hyperventilated rhetoric (bolded) in your remonstrance toward BH conforms to what has been suggested here and elsewhere about the SS environment. I do not think John Cook himself demonstrates to such a great extent these behaviors that you have shown.


Also, in one of your comments you suggest you have finally arrived at a collegial/professional relationship with Roger Pielke Sr. Sincerely, I hope it is a valid observation on your part. It can be rather easily verified. Sincerely, after some initial highly uncivilized treatment of him, he deserves much better treatment on a so-called science site like SS; which SS so proudly advertises itself to be.


In two cases now recently we see initial unprofessional scientific behavior by SS with immediate disapproval voiced widely across the open and independent blogosphere, and then instead of gracious dialog on the matter we see defensive maneuvering by SS leadership and spin-back.


I hope this is the beginning of SS becoming finally an open and un-censored blog in the full spirit of the wonderful tradition of the scientific process. NOTE: the BH dialog would be impossible on the current SS blog which you in part control, against the spirit of open science.


John

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

That which you cannot control you patronise...

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I demand a full apology from dana1981 for his continuous denialism of the evidence, namely the erasure of the original reply to commenter AnthonySG1, a detail that invalidates the story convoyed by the SS bunch to extract themselves from this impossible hole.

You can inadvertently reply to old stuff. You cannot inadvertently delete the old reply and inadvertently insert a new reply at the same time. Not unless you're mightily drunk, I suspect.

PS given the writing style, the whining new replies must've been written by arch-hater dana1981, rather than the more civilized Cook

Pps funny how Frank has refused to convey any content to support his statements

Sep 21, 2011 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Convoyed=concocted

Oops

Sep 21, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Shub, spot on as ever ;-)

BBD, thanks for replying. Please don't expect too much of me, after all I am only a cartoonist. But at least I know where you are coming from now.

Sep 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

@Jason F

"lol, maybe they can do a Dana and just shout "all of your blog are belong to us"

Beautiful.

Sep 21, 2011 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

BBD, in case you missed it in the rapid fire part of this thread, I did respond to you, at the bottom of page 4

Don Pablo, when I left this thread earlier, I thought I had left the seat up, in anticipation of some people p1ssing about

Sep 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Shub

We don't have a baseline for evaluating "rates of melt" in the Antarctic continental ice. Certainly not in the paper you listed. It is a fricking continent covered with kilometers of ice.

If you have an intellectual conscience, the phrase "20 years of estimates, 'validated' over a period of 8 years." should be enough for you to be confronted with the fact that, as a science person, one ought not to make any kind of categorical claims about "melt rates" and the like, with the paper that you linked to.

As far as I know, all observations show the rate of net Antarctic ice loss increasing. Of course there are uncertainties, as Patagon points out but only about the exact scale of what is happening. And in that respect, all agree that ice mass loss is substantial and the rate of loss is increasing.

Earlier, I asked Maurizio to produce some recent published studies that show that Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening. His response:

BBD - I have not responded to you and I have no intention to do so. Please do move on.

Your position is basically: 'all the science is crap and we can't say anything here'.

It's a good argumentative stockade in an area like Antarctic ice mass loss, where there are plenty of uncertainties. But the studies we're talking aboute (and others) compare different methods and nothing implodes. There are uncertainties, yes, but not about the fact that the Antarctic ice sheet is shedding mass at an increasing rate.

On that point, 'ice mass loss' is not synonymous with 'melt'. Ice sheets are just slow-motion water. Glaciers 'drain' them into the sea. Gravity, not temperature, is the important factor. Antarctica doesn't have to warm at all for ice mass loss to accelerate.

The major glaciers draining the West Antarctic ice sheet are impeded by permanent ice sheets and/or frozen to submarine rock formations. Warming subsurface waters appear to be unpicking the ice sheets and loosening the grip of glaciers on subsea rock.

That's why ice mass loss is accelerating. The interesting thing about the whole process is that because it is driven by gravity, it cannot be halted. Once the impediments at the snouts of major glaciers are removed, they will flow faster.

This is where some of the more disturbing estimates of abrupt sea level rise come from.

Sep 21, 2011 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

golf charley

BBD, in case you missed it in the rapid fire part of this thread, I did respond to you, at the bottom of page 4

You're right. Thank you. My apologies.

Sep 21, 2011 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD "all agree that ice mass loss is substantial", have you got a link for that?

Sep 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Josh

I always seem to have to do the footwork ;-) Normally, I'm happy to oblige, but just this once, I'd like others to answer a question for me.

Which published studies show that net Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening, not accelerating and not significant in terms of future SLR?

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

What the Rignot paper makes are claims. Based on findings.

Whether "net loss" is happening is a question of judgement. Which requires a long-resolved history, at the least, to be able to make the judgement.

We don't have that.

Of course, speculating in the face of a lack of any firm evidence base - that seems to happen frequently. Just as you have done in your post.

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD, the only time I had a dig at you was over your frustration during the "duck" thread, and you responded with humour, so I have no axe to grind with you.

With qualifications in surveying and engineering, I am a trouble shooter, where observation is frequently the key to defects diagnosis, not reference to what something should be capable of withstanding.

As a non-racing yottie, I have watched with alarm as computer models have allowed more high tech keel designs to appear on racing boats. Engineering computer models say they will work, but real life observation proves they don't, boats capsize, and people die.

My maths is not upto yours, and many others on both sides of the AGW arguments, but when someone says black is white, and I can see it is black, I prefer to trust my observations.

I am unable to prove or disprove the AGW theory, but by observation, there is nothing to support the theory, and as a yottie with an interest in nautial/naval history, stuff about rising and falling sea levels always interests me, especially because in the Med, I have sailed using chart data not significantly updated since the 1800's. Any updates limited to what you can see on the land from the sea. Hence my involvement in the duck thread!

That the good Bish does not moderate this site as per RC and SKS does allow for good debate, though sometimes I think you might be better off taking some of your points to Lucia's, CA and The Air Vent. I offer that as a suggestion only, and look forward to your future posts here

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

BBD:
Let me understand. You are saying a 0.03% loss in one hundred years is substantial?

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

BBD - I asked Maurizio to produce some recent published studies that show that Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening

Feel free to ask whatever. We're discussing one topic, I am discussing that topic, and all of a sudden you jump in asking questions about a completely different topic. No, thanks: yours is not a honest way to participate to a discussion, it's just a continuous attempt at hijacking a thread.

I'll stick to the topic at hand: namely, the most-likely-deliberate tampering with old comments at SS in order to make skeptic-commenters look stupid. Something that somehow is of little interest in your egocentric world view.

In your case, I doubt the Bish would need to tamper much anyway. Keep going!!

Sep 21, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I think that once a thread has reached a certain number of posts, its not going to generate any more light.
I'd say we have reached that limit.

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

Eddy

Agreed.

Although it would be useful to have some published studies that show that net Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening, not accelerating and not significant in terms of future SLR.

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

After all the comments, we are still left with the crucial question not being answered and that is: how can you inadvertently think that a comment is new when it already has a response from someone at SS attached to it? Without a reasonable explanation to that point, the reasonable person will smell a rat and no amount of calling people immature or suggesting they must be dishonest because they see dishonesty in others (how does that work for judges?) can hide that simple reality. If John Cook can give a reasonable explanation as to how he could delete one SS response in order to replace it with another without realising that the existing response must mean that the comment was to the earlier version then I'm sure we'd all give it a fair hearing.

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

When I saw'd the comment count at 226, I figger'd the perdictable was happening. I looked at the last page of comments, and the perdictable was happening. ;)

Andrew

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Eddy - agreed.

But it would be useful if there was any evidence of increasing Antarctic temperatures.

http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm#The%20Antarctic%20Scientific%20Bases

http://junksciencearchive.com/MSU_Temps/RSSSPol.html

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

BA

Yup, somebody was avoiding answering a direct question. As per.

Your turn:

Can you find any published studies that show that net Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening, not accelerating and not significant in terms of future SLR?

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

When I saw'd the comment count at 226, I figger'd the perdictable was happening. I looked at the last page of comments, and the perdictable was happening. ;)

Andrew

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM | Bad Andrew


=========


Bad Andrew,

By any standards of an open climate blog, this is indeed a very short thread.


: )


John

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

I think I see where the problem at SS lies...

...Bishop, honestly, I would suggest you take some steps to get your house in order. If this sort of behavior is the norm for your blog, I don't see how you can possibly expect anybody to take it seriously.
Sep 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM | dana1981


Bishop, I'd like to request that you update the original post with John's explanation of the events....

Oh, and please stop telling people how to run their websites.
Sep 21, 2011 at 5:42 AM | dana1981

Clearly, the staff at SS just don't remember their previous blog posts/comments. In this light it should all be forgivable. They must have some strange new syndrome where what they posted before just doesn't occur to them, so every page on their sprawling website looks new to them every time they open their browser. Why else would Dana forget twice that he did the very thing he has asked Bishop not to do? We should apply for a grant to study this new issue, are there any sociologists that read here?

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

lapogus

But it would be useful if there was any evidence of increasing Antarctic temperatures.

It's not surface temperature that's at issue. It is ocean heat transport and its effects on the West Antarctic ice sheet.

'Ice mass loss' is not synonymous with 'melt'. Ice sheets are just slow-motion water. Glaciers 'drain' them into the sea. Gravity, not temperature, is the important factor. Antarctica doesn't have to warm at all for ice mass loss to accelerate.

The major glaciers draining the West Antarctic ice sheet are impeded by permanent ice sheets and/or frozen to submarine rock formations. Warming subsurface waters appear to be unpicking the ice sheets and loosening the grip of glaciers on subsea rock.

That's why ice mass loss is accelerating. The interesting thing about the whole process is that because it is driven by gravity, it cannot be halted. Once the impediments at the snouts of major glaciers are removed, they will flow faster.

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"Can you find any published studies that show that net Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening"

BBD,

Who cares?

Andrew

Sep 22, 2011 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

"published studies" aren't gospel. Any scientific-minded person knows that. To appeal to them just means you haven't done the science yourself and don't understand the issue.

So Dana is a guy? ;)

Andrew

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

"Can you find any published studies that show that net Antarctic ice mass loss is not happening"

BBD,

Who cares?

Andrew

And, IMHO, more to the point ... what does the question have to do with a thread in which the topic of discussion is the dishonest posting games played by Smearers n' Sneerers 'R Us?

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

And, IMHO, more to the point ... what does the question have to do with a thread in which the topic of discussion is the dishonest posting games played by Smearers n' Sneerers 'R Us?

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:19 AM | hro001


-----------


hrooo1,

: )

John

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

>ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5 ± 85 Gt/yr

i.e. no defined trend.

This must have been an early entry in the:

'Grand Climatology Closest to Zero Correlation Coefficient Challenge' (tm)

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Why don't you all post comments at threads where you think SS gets it wrong. Keep a copy so we can know if they did any editing, like at RealClimate, and post to rcrejects.wordpress.com

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

A little more evidence:

By working through the Wayback Machine's copies of the page, you can see that the change to the Land/Sea ice argument occurred between 7th March and 14th April 2009, whereas John's belittling responses to the original comments were not added until somewhere between 12th September 2009 and 4th January 2010 - a gap of 5-10 months.

This means three possible scenarios:

(i) Nefarious. John Cook notices the comments invalidate his argument, so he updates the article then sets a calendar alarm for 5-10 months hence, at which point he comes back and responds to the comments in a caustic manner.

(ii) Opportunistic. John Cook notices the comments invalidate his argument, so he updates the article and ignores the comments. Then 5-10 months later he comes back, notices the comments are now irrelevant, remembers why and unfairly takes the opportunity to suggest that the commentators are idiots.

(iii) Incompetent. John Cook notices the comments invalidate his argument, so he updates the article and ignores the comments. Then 5-10 months later he comes back, completely forgets the entire history of the page, even to the point that he thinks his original response is wrong, and drafts new, caustic responses.

Given the time-line, I think the likelihood of these arguments increases as you go down the list.

Sep 22, 2011 at 4:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMr Potarto

The southern ocean isn't warming:

http://i52.tinypic.com/6f46sn.jpg

from: http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/may-2011-sea-surface-temperature-sst-anomaly-update/

Sep 22, 2011 at 5:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim

Lies of course are reprehensible. But it is particularly reprehensible when a "scientist" lies. Then lies again to cover up his lies, instead of apologising.

Seems to be an epidemic among "climate scientists".

Sep 22, 2011 at 6:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Thanks eddy.

I find the attitudes some people have toward proper scholarship and attribution to be far removed from how I was trained or how I trained my charges.

"Mosher,

It depends on what the text is for. If it's for a record of events, then yes, everything has to be detailed properly. "

As I said I think Neal and I come from different worlds. I some from a world where you acknowledge every one who helped you form your ideas, even and especially your opponents. With the technology we have we really dont have to make the distinction that Neal defends. Further in an online debate, in a compendium of arguments the twists and turn of the argument "is" the event you want to record. When you think that arguments are things that are finally "settled" you, of course, like to create a clean record. When you think that science is a dialogue, a long dialogue between uncertainty and knowledge you want to keep the entire record. The internet was and is a game changer because of the interaction. Now, you can come on line engage in dialogue and then clean up the record and pretend that the dialogue had nothing to do with the outcome, but most folks will look at that as pre historic behavior.


In the end I think if writers recognize that their articles have been shaped in any way from the criticism or interaction with commenters that they owe the commenters an acknowledgement when they rewrite an article or expand it. If you want better engagement with opponents, if you want constructive engagement, then you can definitely encourage that by acknowledging people. yes, even and especially your enemies when they force you to work harder or be clearer or dive deeper into a subject.

Mc said it first

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQgd6MccwZc&ob=av3e

Sep 22, 2011 at 6:40 AM | Unregistered Commentersteven mosher

BBD - I know all that (gravity, glacier snouts impeded by ice bound to rock etc). But don't buy it. I live in a landscape carved by glaciers. Ice is elastic and a when glacier meets a particularly obstinate mountain it just bends round it. I could see how your concerns could have some validity wrt dodis (dead ice) which is on a incline. But the idea that because sea temperatures have risen half a degree, the whole WAIS is going to suddenly unstick and start sliding into the ocean is just alarmist bollocks.

The average temperature on the continent is about -30C? Even an average temperature rise of 5C or 10C will not make a big difference to the dynamics or resulting ice-scape. The WAIS survived the MWP, RWP, Minoan WP, and Holocene optima, all times when when it was warmer than today. You seem to give far too much credence to the alarmist scientists.

btw - I never got back to you on the Santer thread, sorry, been busy. The Evans&Puckrin paper was interesting thanks, and it was good to see some climate science based on observation and not models. I am not convinced by it, but am prepared to accept that increased CO2 may be responsible for about 0.25C of the 1C rise in the last century. I still contend that H2O is by far the main player, and that the potential negative feedback from increased cloud cover and reduced insolation over the tropics and mid latitudes soon dwarfs any forcing from any extra CO2.

Anyway, I apologise to others for this digression from the subject of the thread. (on which I should say am in full agreement with those who suggest that Cook's explanation for his malfeasance is not credible or acceptable).

Sep 22, 2011 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

BBD and others

Yes, can we keep this thread to discussing events at Skeptical Science rather than the state of Antarctic ice.

Thanks.

Sep 22, 2011 at 8:03 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Mr Potarto - even more likely:

4) Rampaging - John Cook takes on the criticisms (without admitting it openly, but still). After a few months, working in his spare time he updates the post but leaves the comments untouched. Still more time passes, dana1981 is given more control of the site, so he scours it for opportunities to male evil skeptics look like fools. And when the opportunity is too tempting, he cannot resist the urge to rewrite history. When he's found out, an emergency War Cabinet sees John volunteer to take full blame with an excuse that is 90% good (he can afford it, he's just won an Award). Serial character assassin dana1981 is privately told off and immediately starts a search on how to remove pages from Waybackmachine.

Sep 22, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

"to make", not "to male"

Sep 22, 2011 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Maurizio

This proving that Dana1981 is a sceptic double agent working within the AGW camp?!

Sep 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Ibrahim

The southern ocean isn't warming

Bob Tisdale would be most disappointed that you don't understand the difference between sea surface temperature and ocean heat content

See here.

BH has spoken - the science discussion is now OT - but I couldn't leave that particular 'misunderstanding' uncorrected.

Sep 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I am trying to redeem myself by adding something topic, but it is only a repost from Roger Pielke Sr

He says of SkS:

"While there have a few constructive interactions, many of the comments are not only not constructive, but demeaning. I also spend considerable time repeating myself in answering their questions. I am disappointed as I was hoping that Skeptical Science was a weblog where a diversity of views can be discussed constructively. However, the moderators on that weblog failed to adequately police the comments.

With the negative tone of their weblog, only those who are committed to the perspective promoted on their weblog will likely regularly read it. Its an opportunty lost, unfortunately."

See the link for his last comment at SkS.

Sep 22, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

The solution to John Cook's problem can be found here.

Long live the Soviet Encyclopedia!

Sep 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

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