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« Parched earth policy | Main | In the news today - Josh 370 »

Gav loses it - Josh 371

When Steve MicIntyre writes "In the past few weeks, I’ve been re-examining the long-standing dispute over the discrepancy between models and observations in the tropical troposphere." you might think you were in for a bit of a technical post - which, of course, it is - but it is also also very funny and well worth reading. It also inspired the cartoon below.

Click image to enlarge

H/t commenter 'See owe to Rich' for the 'hide the gap' phrase.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (155)

Here is the final version of my Gavin Schmidt poem.

GAVIN SCHMIDT -- I Got The Data In Me
(most sorry Kiki Dee)

I got no troubles at NASA
I'm a rocket nothing can stop
Survival's always the first law
And I'm in with those at the top

I heat up
I cool down
A site I don't like I discard it
The high and the mighty can frown
So say what they want they reward it

Man is the measure
Of all things that be
And Post Normal Science
Is funding compliance
So I got the data in me

I work in the mists and the fogs
By methods that none can review
To hide like a fox from the dogs
The premise of all that I do
The thermometers all want skilling
If their readings are not alarming
As the early ones all need chilling
So the later ones all need warming

Man is the measure
Of all things that be
Protagoras said
What to Nietzsche led
So I got the data in me

The truth's a consensus of thought
We agree to agree about
A joy for so long we have sought
Our minds ever free of all doubt
We are born uncertain of heart
And live in fear of things unknown
Consensus is truly the start
Of our souls becoming our own

Man is the measure
Of all things that be
To Socialist drums
The Superman comes!
So I got the data in me

I heat up
I cool down
A site I don't like I discard it
The high and the mighty can frown
So say what they want they reward it

Eugene WR Gallun

Apr 23, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterEugene WR Gallun

Classic McIntyre - Gavin's objections were that Christy/Curry thought it ok to 'hide uncertainties, error bars & exaggerate differences to make political points'

McIntyre completely ignores this and whines on about baselines, a significant flaw - but he completely ignores the lack of confidence intervals/error bars in the graph or the way observational datasets had been crudely averaged together amongst other issues.

And he calls himself an Auditor. Heh.

Apr 23, 2016 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Poor old nag.

Has to pause for breath

Look it can only use its mouth, so avoiding the stench of hypocrisy.

Apr 23, 2016 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Classic Clarke - ignoring Schmidt's first tweet.

Apr 23, 2016 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Schmidt sounds as ludicrous as a manager who loses 5-0. Claiming that makes it look a lot worse than it was, as it was only 1-0 at half time

Apr 23, 2016 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Schmidt will go down in history alongside Hansen, Mann etc as pseudo-scientists and political propagandists of the worst kind. Collectively they have cost, and will continue to cost societies around the world trillions of $s or £s and have caused untold misery and death.

Apr 23, 2016 at 7:43 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

As usual Phil is the master of disinformation. Gavin's graph's do not show "uncertainties, error bars". What it does is show the range of 102 separate models, with the mean of the models also marked. There is a major difference between the words and claims.
As for your whining about baselines, Roy Spenser points out the moving of the baselines is just done by Gavin to hide the fact that the model trends are way too high.

Apr 23, 2016 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

"exaggerate differences to make political points"

Which refers to the baseline issue. McIntyre has addressed this and may address the other issues in other posts.

Clarke = idiot.

Apr 23, 2016 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

As usual Phil is the master of disinformation. Gavin's graph's do not show "uncertainties, error bars".

McIntyre:Schmidt showed a grey envelope representing the 5-95% confidence interval

Apology accepted in advance.

Forcing both the model and observational plots to zero in 1979, when the observations are at a local peak is a blatent cherry pick, as any competent 'auditor' would spot in a heartbeat.

Apr 23, 2016 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

It is also interesting to note in the comments of Judith Curry's blog on the graph issue that Steve McIntyre could replicate John's graph, but couldn't do Gavin's, commenting "I haven’t been able to replicate the grey envelope of runs. I get a narrower envelope." and "Gavin’s use of envelopes and histograms also disguises the distributions and the improbabilities. It’s very cheeky of him to make accusations about Judy and others, when his own diagrams are so subject to the faults that he accuses others of."
That sounds like just the type of work an auditor would do.

Apr 23, 2016 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

I do like the logic used with these models: “We know that none of these models are correct, but the average of all these incorrect models must be correct!” It is almost like having a multi-choice exam – while none of your answers were correct, if you average your incorrect answers, you pass the exam. I wish my exams had been like that – I would have quite few PhDs to my name!

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

You were very selective in your quoting yet again. You left out the following line "instead of showing 102 runs individually, Christy showed averages for 32 models. Schmidt seems to have used the 102 runs individually, based on his incorrect reference to 102 models(!) in his caption."
What Gavin showed was the 5% to 95% range of the 102 individual model outputs, That is not the uncertainties or error bar of any particular model.
Nice of you to apologise Phil

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

Phil Clarke says:

Classic McIntyre.[yadayadayada]
But then, Phil, you'll have said all this to SMc at CA - and debated it with the 'auditor'. But as I can't find your name in the comments on this post I guess you post under a pseudonym.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

just look at Gavin Schmidt’s history in Communication -

"I was fortunate to be awarded the Inaugural AGU Climate Communication Prize in 2011. (AGU Press release, NASA press release)"

"I was also named EarthSky Science Communicator of the year in 2011. (EarthSky release, podcast)"

" I am a contributing editor to the website which tries to provide context and background on climate science issues that are often missing in popular media coverage (not an official NASA blog)."

this guy is the best Science Communicator or as Phillip Bradley above might say "political propagandist" since the role was inaugurated back 2011, say no more.
wonder who that mantle belongs to now ?

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Hockey Team Science wins everytime according to the models they approve.

That is why people don't trust the Hockey Team, or their science, or their models. Their consistency in being wrong, is something that 97% of people can depend on, even though the Hockey Team say that 97% of people say they are right.

The Hockey Team remain convinced that Ed Miliband is the UK Prime Minister

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Forcing both the model and observational plots to zero in 1979

Look closely at the graphs, Phil. Neither of the observations, nor the mean model line, are at zero in 1979. The baselining used does not rely on a single year data set value in any way, and single years being up or down are neither here nor there. I've accused you of innumeracy before Phil, good to see you are continuing to support my claim with evidence.

If you want a good look at his plots, check here. Look closely at the values in 1979, not zero. The baselining he uses does not depend on a single year from the data sets, it is based on *all* years in the data sets. Whether any one year is high or low makes no difference.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Oh Phil, you're being eviscerated, again. Whoops.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

dougieh, according to records held by the Hockey Team, Schmidt is Climate Science forecaster of 2017, but he needs to wait until 2018, before submitting his entry form dated last year.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

BASE-Jumping, parachuting off fixed structures or landscape features. Highly Dangerous.
Mainlining, injecting drugs directly into blood vessels. Highly Dangerous.
BaseLining, rigging statistics, for no scientific reason. Highly Lucrative. (unless found out)

Apr 23, 2016 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke is correct and all of you are wrong (confidence interval 100%). Live with it. Schmidt, like Hansen and Mann, are modern day geniuses. Would president Obama trust a handful of charlatans to solve the most dangerous threat humanity has ever faced? And after Paris, would every country on the planet? You are just desperate to keep your BigOil welfare checks. Pathetic.

Go planet! Boo you!

Apr 23, 2016 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Gavin's graph's do not show "uncertainties, error bars". 

What Gavin showed was the 5% to 95% range of the 102 individual model outputs

One of these things is not like the other. Ho hum.

McIntyre cuts an increasingly sad figure. There was a time when he might have made a useful contribution to arguably the most important debate in modern science, but nobody in the real world takes him seriously these days. All the efforts he put into discrediting the Hockey Stick are now undone by its repeated replication, his modest contribution to the literature is long discredited and his true motives have been laid embarrassingly bare by his numerous blog examples of bad faith, selective quotation and lying by omission.

Michael Mann recently published a new paper, making 160 or so in the literature, McIntyre is applying his obsessive nitpicking to Did McNally Inflate One Football in the Washroom?'

'Nuff Said. Time will tell.

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke 11:03 "There was a time when he might have made a useful contribution to arguably the most important debate in modern science"

When did this most important debate actually occur, and who else was invited? Who decided there was a need for a debate, and how was it decided that one side actually won? Nobody seems to know. Do you have any Minutes?

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Spence - the two datasets being compared are pinned together at the start of the comparison, that is, the difference between them is set to zero, they are 'zero-ed'. The resulting comparison is affected by the fact that the observations peaked in that year. Not difficult.

Or do you deny that the subsequent comparison - for example whether or not the observations remain within the 95% range of the models - is sensitive to the choice of baseline? And that Christy/Spencer cherry-picked?

Now that would be innumerate. ;-)

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

It's certainly not one of the most technically challenging posts at climate Audit, except for people like Phil Clarke who apparently needs to obscure the issue before launching into standard climate-bolleaux in an attempt to discredit any critics.


Schmidt’s primary dispute, as best as I can understand it, was about Christy’s centering of model and observation data to achieve a common origin in 1979, the start of the satellite period, a technique which (obviously) shows a greater discrepancy at the end of the period than if the data had been centered in the middle of the period. I’ll show support for Christy’s method from his long-time adversary, Carl Mears, whose own comparison of models and observations used a short early centering period (1979-83) “so the changes over time can be more easily seen”. Whereas both Christy and Mears provided rational arguments for their baseline decision, Schmidt’s argument was little more than shouting.

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Schmidt’s primary dispute, as best as I can understand it,

Well, there you have it.

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

The resulting comparison is affected by the fact that the observations peaked in that year. Not difficult

Nope. The centring does not depend on the data set values any one year. If you looked at the graph you would see it is not zero'd where you think it is. Funny to watch you being wrong though. Keep it up.

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

FFS, GC, read the papers.

About 170 countries gathered at the United Nations for a ceremonial signing of the landmark Paris agreement on Friday, in a powerful display of global efforts to fight climate change.

A dozen countries – mainly the small island states at risk of being drowned by rising seas – said they would take the additional step on Friday of ratifying or granting legal approval to the agreement.

The renewed commitments, and the personal appearance at the UN by about 60 heads of state, delivered a sense of momentum to efforts to bring the agreement into force far earlier than had originally been hoped.

The agreement reached in Paris by 196 countries still needs formal approval from 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to come into force. In some cases, that means a vote in parliament.

The US, China and India - the three biggest climate polluters - have all committed to join the agreement, possibly as early as this year.

There was a debate. You lost. Apparently you didn't even notice.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Spence - just to pin you down - you believe the comparison between observations and models is insensitive to the choice of baseline?

Yes or no will do.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"Funny to watch you [Phil] being wrong though. Keep it up." – Spence_UK

Only if funny is a synonym for pathetic.

Phil - dumb question. It depends on the comparison being made. If you're comparing trends, the choice of baseline is clearly irrelevant.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

they all speak the blahblahblah but we are in champions league, with Secretariat !

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterVenus

Phil Clarke
If your arguments are so "sound", and your so bright.. get on to climate audit...should be a breeze for you to dice Steve Mc.
Whats that I hear......"your too busy "
How handy...Sort of guessed...
So it was all false bravado and bollocks..
Mc wins again..

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrapetomania

McIntyre cuts an increasingly sad figure.
… arguably the most important debate in modern science …
Well, there is not much debate (’cos the science is settled, donch’a know?), and there really is not a great deal of science involved, either; it is mainly politicking. Which is where we come in, yet again.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:46 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

> 1979, when the observations are at a local peak is a blatent cherry pick

What do you mean by local peak? As far as I can see 1979 is lower than 8 of the next 10 years in GISS, 6/10 NCDC, 6/10 CRU, 6/10 RSS, and 5/10 UAH.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Phil Clarke, so when was the debate that I lost, and that I was never told about or invited to? Was it when Ed Miliband said the science was settled? Or was it when Michael Mann and his Holy Hockey Stick were ordained by the IPCC? Or defrocked by the Nobel Panel?

I presume from your previous answer that you don't know, and that the whole concept of democracy is lost on you.

Maybe it was all based on Guardian articles, and Skeptical Skience propaganda ghostwritten by the Hockey Team

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

To spell it out in very simple terms that even you might understand, Gavin complained that the Christy graph "hide uncertainties, error bars", then he puts up a graph as an alternative that has neither error bars or uncertainties on it. Comprende? Or do you want to argue the meaning of words?
Considering how obsessive you are about Mr McIntyre's perceived faults, but never challenge him on his own blog, as others have noted, one is left with the distinct opinion that you are the one that cuts an increasingly sad figure.There was a time when he might have made a useful contribution to arguably the most important debate on Bishop Hill, but nobody on the blog takes him seriously these days.

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

Phil Clarke, to spell it out even simpler than ChrisM, Schmidt was wrong. Again.

Has anyone else noticed that Hockey Team credibility is represented by a mirror image of the Hockey Stick Graph? It is independently proven too.

I don't hnow what else the Hockey Team have been using the Hockey Stick for in the Men's Locker Room, but some of them have very red cheeks. It is amazing it has withstood further beating.

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:53 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Having read quite a bit of Gav's output and viewed quite a lot of video the primary take-away for me is the man's constipated peremptoriness - it is truly epic.

It's almost as if that peremtoriness is a substitute for engaging in discussions about the actual predictive power / skillfulness of Gavin's models - and a big warning sign... like the substitution of vehemence and volume for evidence is in any debate.

That supposed TV debate between Schmidt and Roy Spencer was an utter disgrace.

Roy Spencer's take on it

That this issue continues to be a point of contention, quite frankly, astonishes me. All I can think of is that the defenders of the climate models cannot allow any significant criticisms of the models to survive, even when the model shortcomings are staring everyone in the face.

Can somebody nettle Gav a bit more? - he might explode - which would be satisfying.

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:56 AM | Registered Commentertomo

The Gavin was deputy to outrageous political extremist James Hansen who supported criminal damage and endorsed a book contained '"The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization"

He also set up RealClimate. Not the act of a decent or honest scientist.

Apr 24, 2016 at 6:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorrissey McSmiffFace

The debate seems to be about whether to base line the models against measurements comparison at the start of the period under investigation or the middle of the period.

I propose a third option.
Put the base line at the end of the period under investigation.

This will remove any discrepancy all together. And still have no impact on the trends of the models and measurements.

Now you might ask "Why would we want to hide the discrepancy?" But I would ask "Why would we want our findings to be made as clear as possible?"

Science doesn't progress through clarity and understanding.
It progresses through peer review™.

Apr 24, 2016 at 9:19 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

I knew Phil Clarke reminded me of someone...

Apr 24, 2016 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

Phil D, you should remember that Phil Clarke represents the climate science expertise of Greenpeace. Mocking Phil Clarke, is the equivalent of mocking Greenpeace and all it stands for.

It rather brings into question the legitimacy and honesty of everything Greenpeace has ever done or stood for, let alone spent millions of donated money publicising. People may start asking Greenpeace tough questions like "Are you a bunch of clueless, lying, deceitful thugs,, taking advantage of the impressionable and gullible nature of the population, in order to destroy their lives, for greed and selfish interest?" You know, that sort of thing.

What else do Greenpeace lie about? After all, what has the industrial revolution ever done for us?

Apr 24, 2016 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

he puts up a graph as an alternative that has neither error bars or uncertainties on it. Comprende?

So what does the grey shaded area represent Spencey? Your hero thinks it is the ' 5-95% confidence interval'


Apr 24, 2016 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Sorry, that should have been a response to ChrisM, you Deniersaurs all look alike to me ...

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Ayla's last utterance was, for her, unexpectedly long and detailed. Furthermore it made a sort of sense. Very worrying, the Delphinicity must be at a very low ebb, suggesting flow levels of the vision-inspiring methane are below norms. Ayla needs frakking again!

I wonder if, during her final unprecedented rallying cry, she wore pom poms? If so what a sight she must have made cavorting in her cave with its coconut outbuildings. Oh! to have been there to offer salutations.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Good one Phil, but let us remind you that Deneirsaurs eat Carbonophylls for breakfast. Some carbonophylls are also difficult to speciate, notable examples being the Mann and Schmidt genera and the increasingly similar Hansen plants. All sport'naked bracts and hairy sepals.

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

If you're comparing trends, the choice of baseline is clearly irrelevant.

Clearly, but they weren't, were they?

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, color me unconvinced by your new found low-level interest (interest, not concern) in the uncertainties and errors of cli-sci. They appear to match that of the IPCC. When it became undeniably clear that reality was diverging from the models, they changed their working definition of 'confidence' so they could go on expressing 'increased confidence'. As with Mann and Schmidt such a display of minimal competence, good enough to rule out complete ignorance and utter incompetence, is quite telling.

But in real science or engineering that gets you laughed out of the room when it is spotted. Or your academic committee gives you a failing grade, maybe with the option to re-submit.

Of course the same interest in error bars and uncertainties isn't expressed when Gavin Schmidt's ilk trumpet a new temperature "record" from the walls of the palace. As a full time administrator, it is maybe forgiveable that he should forget some of the things he learned when he was a practising scientist. To apparently not care about things he cannot possibly have forgotten is not so forgiveable. He makes me feel embarrassed for NASA.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Greenpeace have bet their future, using money extracted under pretentious false pretences, on the Hockey Stick. The Decline and Fall of the Greenpeace Empire, once thought to be all-powerful, is not going to have tragic consequences for 97% of the population.

Who knows, even climate science might get something right by discarding the Green crap.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The point of Christy's graph is to compare the rate of change of temperature over time. That's why the baselining is on the trendline and not directly on the individual values in the dataset as you incorrectly think. In order to determine if the trends have diverged, climate scientists claim you need at least 30 years - what the graph clearly shows is that there is no sign of predictions improving at the 30-year timescale, in fact they are worse at 30 years than they are at 10 years.

Shorter version: Phil Clarke is wrong in just about every way imaginable.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

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