Sunday, December 6, 2009

Climate Audit - Blog of the decade (even before Climategate)

Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit blog has been taking on the AGW scientific establishment for almost a decade, and has on multiple occasions uncovered errors, sloppiness and outright deception, even before the "Climategate" emails from CRU were leaked. McIntyre's initial primary contribution was investigating the MBH 98 paper results and showing the MBH98 'hockey-stick' was based on poor statistical methods and debunking its implications. In busting the Mann 'hockey stick', McIntyre up-ended the claim that recent warming was unprecented, and busted a figure that was prominent in Gore's "Inconvenient Truth".

In doing so, he forced the IPCC to back down on some bold claims, but the "Hockey Stick team" didn't take kindly to that and pressed on to save Mann-made Hockey Stick. "Caspar and the Jesus paper" narrates the attempt by the team to salvage the Mann hockey stick that M&M busted, an amazing journey of multiple self-referencing Wahl and Caspar Ammann papers that attempted to reconfirm the Hockey stick. McIntyre's response: "Rather than disproving our results, at first blush, Ammann's results confirmed them.... the seemingly high RE statistic (99.999% significant) was an illusion from inappropriate benchmarking." The pesky details that the authors pushed to Supplementary Information got released much later - which McIntyre dissected in a Tour de Force, noting that their analysis confirmed his own - "the results are completely at odds with their representations."

A third attempt at recreating the hockey stick was tried, and this time McIntyre uncovered the culprit - the trends were relying on a mere 12 trees in corner of Siberia by tossing out trees that 'diverged' from the non-desired answer: Declining proxies when temps are rising. JoNova narrates what happened there as well. Well, that and Putting proxies in upside-down. All the climate scientists trying to "Hide the decline" have been unable to put Humpty Hockey stick back together again.

An appreciation for McIntyre on the Climate Audit blog explains what happens to those who dare expose the 'consensus' climate science as flawed:

I remember having an office down the hall from John Christy in the late 1980’s. He found something interesting in that no one had been looking at satellite temperature records that were stored on tapes, measured by NASA satellites. Dr. Christy took the time to look at this data and reduce it to a paper.

This paper took issue with the computer models of the time showing a dramatic global warming. Most people today don’t remember that the old models from the 80’s projected much more warming than the current ones. Dr. Christy’s (and I think McNiter) paper showed that the actual measurements from satellites and balloons diverged from what the models were saying. I don’t think that he had any motivation other than to help improve the science and that the result would be better models and more data collection.

Very quickly this paper was attacked and seized upon by various interests and before long Dr. Christy was hauled before non other than Senator Albert Gore to be personally pilloried. This began a completely new era for Dr. Christy, that has helped to lead where he and others are today. He, and others like him, are still pilloried, claimed to be shills of big oil, et al. but his work back then has led him to amazing places.

The same is with you Steve. I don’t think that you ever thought when you began this interest in the arcane details of the statistics related to temperature reconstructions, that you would end up being in the position that you are today. Take pride in this, realize that what you have done, are doing, and hopefully will do, will be of material benefit to billions of people, by helping to bring clarity to a topic that has been hijacked by the political class for their own ends.

What "Climategate" has done is confirm the suspicions of the baises and errors in the climate science community. internal emails acknowledge more errors and 'hide the decline' fixes than are admitted publicly, and the effort to hide data and information and confront rather than work with auditing skeptics is clear. Steve McIntyre has been the whistle-blower on the errors of climate scientists pushing flawed statistical representations that made AGW look worse than it is. For that, his blog is the "blog of the decade" in my humble opinion.

1 comment:

Julie Simpson said...

As usual, financial interests of those in higher powers and large corporations trumps everyone else and even common sense. We live in a dog eat dog world. There is no righteousness. We normal peon folks may just as well cower into a corner with our teeth grinding in total submission.