the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

RC Wants the Code – No Kidding

Posted by Jeff Id on December 17, 2009

So I’m sittin’ there staring at the most unusual thing. A Real Climate post where they are upset that someone (Nicola Scafetta) didn’t get them the code for his paper. Well, clearly we’re not un-supportive of their plight. After all, the data and the code should be released no matter what the result says. I left them a comment to that effect in their thread.

You have my support on his release of code.

I’ve even personally emailed him to release it, to no avail. It will be quite a bit simpler than some of the other code but as you said the 11 and 22 year cycle issue is not obvious.

Lars Kamél

Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

One of those rejected papers about Siberian temperatures may have been by me. The time is about right. I got it rejected because of nonsense from a reviewer and the editor saw it as an attack on him when I critized the quality of the review. After that, I gave up the idea of ever getting something AGW critical published in a journal.

The boundary issue could have been caught but the rest is not apparent and shouldn’t require you to waste your time divining an algorithm from text. As a fellow non-psychic, I hope you succeed on this front.

At the time this conflict happened in blogland, I wrote to Dr. Scafetta to encourage him to release his code, several times in fact. He refused saying something like – it’s too simple to worry about. At RC they make this point:

A replication in general doesn’t require full disclosure of source code because the description in the paper should be sufficient, though in this case it clearly wasn’t. So to both save having us do it again and perhaps miss some other little detail – in addition to using an algorithm that Scafetta is happy with – it’s worth getting the code with which to validate our efforts.

It’s rather jaw dropping to read after spending months trying to guess the methods of Steig et al. I was able to get a very close approximation early on (with the help of several others) but it wasn’t until Ryan guessed that we needed to take the PC’s from a covariance matrix that we were able to get a good replication – try and find that in the paper.

Therefore, it was particularly amusing to read this:

I’m no psychic, so I couldn’t have guessed that all this was needed to reproduce his result. But since Scafetta has lost faith in my ability to repeat his work, I think it’s even a greater reason to disclose his code so that others can have a go.

This is not a further complaint about Steig, we have resolved all the issues, however, I wonder what the purpose is of Scafetta not releasing his code to these guys. Perhaps it’s messy, or lost, or incorrect. It doesn’t really matter, if Scafetta’s result is real, he should release the code, especially on request of interested parties.

Since RC has apparently started to see the light, perhaps some of the readers here, should stop over there and offer our support for their newfound openness.

LINK HERE

27 Responses to “RC Wants the Code – No Kidding”

  1. Jeff Id said

    also from the post — It should be a common courtesy to provide methods requested by other scientists in order to speedily get to the essence of the issue, and not to waste time with the minutiae of which year is picked to end the analysis.

  2. G Howe said

    Holy Antarctica, batman

  3. boballab said

    @1

    Jeff I agree the code should be released but the whole time I was reading this I kept hearing in my head Jon Stewart’s voice going “Ooohhhh the Irony”.

  4. RajeshGilja said

    Some thoughts that come to mind:

    Scafetta described his algorithm in his paper. Handing over code is bad for science as it can lock in a bad algorithm. It is better if people were to develop their own code.

    It is not Scafetta’s responsibility to hold the hands of other people who want to replicate his paper.

    If Scafetta responds to this inquiry, the people who asked will come back for more and more, taking up too much of his time and keeping him away from his real work.

    Perhaps you guys who want his code should take a course in Matlab.

    Why should Scafetta hand over his code, when you are just trying to find something wrong with it?

  5. Paul Linsay said

    #4, RajeshGilja, is at the beginning or the end of your comments?

  6. Paul Linsay said

    Whoops that should be ” is /sarcasm …”

  7. G Howe said

    Rajesh- thanks alot. I now have milk in my nose.

  8. Jeff Id said

    It’s a crazy world, absolutely crazy.

  9. G Howe said

    Interesting times, Jeff, interesting times…
    Have a restful Merry Christmas

  10. It should only be released on the basis of some kind of hostage exchange deal. What can anyone get from them in exchange?

  11. Mark T said

    Since RC has apparently started to see the light

    No they haven’t. Ideologues not only maintain multiple standards to apply when and where necessary, they do so openly and unapologetically. Whatever further’s their agenda, is how they respond.

    Mark

  12. Steve McIntyre said

    Is it April Fools’ Day?

  13. G Howe said

    April fool’s day eve, maybe, unfortunately.

  14. taboo said

    #4 RajeshGilja, it truly is a shame that RC gatekeeps their comments before publication.
    It would be highly amusing to see that posted there, if only for a short time….and to hear the sputtering in Gavin’s office as they rush to delete it.

    Off topic….you owe me a new keyboard. :)

  15. RajeshGilja said

    #12, no but lately I’ve been thinking that their actual April Fools Day post is coming true.

    Farewell to our Readers

    We would like to apologize to our loyal readers who have provided us so much support since we first went online in December 2004. However, after listening to the compelling arguments of the distinguished speakers who participated in the Heartland Institute’s recent global warming contrarian conference, we have decided that the science is settled — in favor of the contrarians. Indeed, even IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri has now admitted that anthropogenic climate change was a massive hoax after all. Accordingly, RealClimate no longer has a reason for existence. The contrarians have made a convincing case that (a) global warming isn’t happening, (b) even if it is, its entirely natural and within the bounds of natural variability, (c) well, even if its not natural, it is modest in nature and not a threat, (d) even if anthropogenic warming should turn out to be pronounced as projected, it will sure be good for us, leading to abundant crops and a healthy environment, and (e) well, it might actually be really bad, but hey, its unstoppable anyway. (Can we get our check now?)

  16. Jeffery said

    of course, youse guys wouldn’t see the “tongue in cheekiness” of it all, would you? I understand McIntyre has been after this same code for eons – April Fool indeed!

  17. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Well, Jeff ID, perhaps I better understand your attraction to RC now. You guys have some things in common.

    Was not Scafetta the guy who came onto CA and went into some looney tunes guessing game about what he was doing? When we are confined to reading scientific papers in the peer reviewed literature this silliness gets filtered out, but is it so bad to be exposed to the eccentricities of the peer reviewed authors.

    In my youth I had an image of Albert Einstein as some gentle old scientist who let the world come to him – until I read the personal letter exchanges between Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger on quantum physics where my images got a role reversal.

  18. Jeff Id said

    #16, McIntyre was after different code.

    #17, RC is a great spot to see the ‘scientists’ interact. Without RC there would be nothing but papers, no colorful personalities to pick on, no crazy statements about apoliticalness followed by support for global socialism.

    Pielke said something like if Michael Mann didn’t exist, skeptics would have to invent him. I love that line.

  19. boballab said

    #18

    Jeff did you see the article in the Washington Post where Mann threw not just Phil Jones under the Bus again but other members of the team? Here is a link to it, the first sentence is a whopper.

    “I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682.html

  20. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Boballab @ #19:

    Mann was not throwing any of his warming associates under the bus. He made one arm waved general statment. In the article he generalizes and does a little bulls……. just like the partisan politician he is. He even attempts to make an argument between himself and Sarah Palin. He is not all that concise when is attempting to be a scientist, but his WP article could have easily been written by a political hack.

    And by the way when we wonder at RC being able to, with a straight face, demand data and code, would we wonder if a partisan politician used an argument against an opponent that could have just as easily been applied to him on another subject matter and do it with a straight face. That’s what politicians do. Once you determine who it is that is talking to you, the rest makes sense.

  21. [...] RC Wants the Code – No Kidding So I’m sittin’ there staring at the most unusual thing. A Real Climate post where they are upset that [...] [...]

  22. Sordnay said

    “and anyone could download the data we plotted.” usefull indeed!

  23. Jeff Id said

    #22, Actually that seems to be a false statement. The data in question was asked for, for some years by McIntyre. I see no presentation or explanation in MBH 98 and am nearly curious enough to email SteveM for his take on the comment.

    If MBH98 is the paper, there is no disclosure I can find that the Briffa MXD data was truncated or anything else.

    It’s another climate mystery.

  24. boballab said

    @23

    Jeff, Phil Jones email is from 16 Nov 99 and the only other paper that fits in that time frame is MBH99

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MBH1999.pdf

    However that paper was in GRL not Nature. So the only paper that I can find that fits the topic, timeframe and the right publication is MBH98.

  25. Jeff Id said

    #24, I think you’re right. What else could it be? Neither paper discusses the truncation of data or elimination of the decline.

  26. RajeshGilja said

    On ClimateAudit, they explained that it is actually Mike’s GRL trick. Posts at RealClimate kinda sorta confirm this.

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=1853#comment-143623

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2177#comment-147567

  27. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    Absolutely O.M.G. !!!!!
    RajeshGilja said
    December 17, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Some thoughts that come to mind:

    Scafetta described his algorithm in his paper. Handing over code is bad for science as it can lock in a bad algorithm. It is better if people were to develop their own code.

    Will Nitschke said
    December 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    It should only be released on the basis of some kind of hostage exchange deal. What can anyone get from them in exchange?

    It is not Scafetta’s responsibility to hold the hands of other people who want to replicate his paper.

    If Scafetta responds to this inquiry, the people who asked will come back for more and more, taking up too much of his time and keeping him away from his real work.

    Perhaps you guys who want his code should take a course in Matlab.

    Why should Scafetta hand over his code, when you are just trying to find something wrong with it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers

%d bloggers like this: