the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on April 18, 2009

Having or projecting anomalous characteristics. Is that a word?

Several of us have been wondering what the point of including Campbell and Macquarie were included in the RegEM reconstruction. Look where they are located.


Now remember RegEM has no idea these stations are half a continent from any land mass at all so it relies on correlation to determine weighting of the trends. It doesn’t make sense to use this data. There are 6 smart guys working on this paper, yet nobody thought…. hmm why would a sane person include those stations? Heck why not throw in a couple from NewYork? Enough ranting but it is nuts.

My guesses are getting better with these guys. I guessed – I bet they have high trends because every other error in this paper is toward increased warming so why wouldn’t this one be the same.

Here they are. Trends are calculated for pre-1982 anomaly becasue that is the portion used in the RegEM reconstruction.


macquarie-island-stationI’ve got no idea what it does to trend of the reconstruction so I need to redo a bunch of reconstructions again but you just can’t make this stuff up.

131 Responses to “Anomalosity”

  1. TCO said

    Yawn…finish something up, before getting so breathily excited.

  2. Jeff Id said

    Is there some form of reality where use of these stations might make sense?

  3. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Psychology 101 question: Why would a bored person and, a repetitious one at that, be so insistent on letting us know they are bored and not just go away – or fall asleep?

    Of course, with the proper stimulation, natural or otherwise, they might have been intrigued by the following, and particularly following on the reconstruction sans the Peninsula.

    Now remember RegEM has no idea these stations are half a continent from any land mass at all so it relies on correlation to determine weighting of the trends.

    These “sensitivity” tests are important to me in their own right.

  4. Ryan O said

    #2: Hey, if you don’t like the trend, just flip it. Everyone else is doing it . . . :)

    Also, when you get a chance, you might want to try it with Grytviken and Signy removed as well. They’re closer (off the tip of the Peninsula), but they’re entirely surrounded by 500+ km of water. The idea that they would have meaningful correlations to the continent (or even the Peninsula stations) defies logic.

    I also got your email with the Matlab run. Unfortunately, all I have here is dialup, so I’ll get to that on Monday.

  5. Page48 said

    “Is there some form of reality where use of these stations might make sense?”

    Sure – in the cyber reality of climate statistics. LOL

  6. John F. Pittman said

    jeffID this post is not for you.

    Hate to say it…no I don’t, there is a reason that TCO gets banned! Even worse than being wrong, he is BORING!!. JeffID we could take it, if he added something. Or let us read his works, and let us judge him. He always judges us without reciprocity, you have more than enough data on this. I know my publications are not publicly available. I do have several proprietary publications for companies. I don’t know if I can “”legally” publish anyway. They gave me or my employer money for results. I don’t turn on those who paid me. I submit, that TCO turns on those who pay him. We all are here and trying to help. He either throws sand or insults posters. Heaven knows what the readers think. He says “yawn”. He says “”You’re conflating two different issues here. And note that we have been VERY critical of trend matching in the past that lacked high freq correlation.”” But he offers nothing for all his “”ROYAL use of WE””. So, truthfully this is a challenge for TCO and it has been offered before, converse with us honestly.

    Jeff this post is not for you.

  7. timetochooseagain said

    TCO, go flog the “HEY GUYS HOW BOUT, I DUNNO, PUBLISHING ALREADY?” horse somewhere else. Your whining is so irritating it is unbelievable.

  8. timetochooseagain said

    I think I just figured something out about TCO. I think he is an LGF snob. He might even be Charles “Hi, I’m God, F- you.” Johnson himself. I would like a clarification though. Because if you aren’t him, you could be is double.

  9. Andy said

    I think this (and the other stations mentioned above) may be the key to the warming antactic.

  10. Hal said

    Hey Guys

    TCO is just doing his job. He works for Gavin (RC) and is supposed to sound like he is an unbiased critic, so that the few warmists that check these “evil” sites can be satisfied that the arguments made against the team are without merit.

    I think he is Grant Foster (Tamino). (I hope this isn’t libel)

    All part of your NASA taxpayers funds at work.

    I kind of enjoy his meaningless barbs, and I’m sure Jeff doesn’t mind his presence.

    Guess what, I am just another unpublished engineer, so I have no pedestal I can be knocked from.


  11. TCO said

    You little monkeys. I’m not scared of you. You want to throw dung and shreik at the border of the territory at the other monkey tribe in the next trees. Then you want to go back and groom each other. Well I will take on all of y’all. In a heartbeat.

    (Ken, you are actually half decent. Half.)

  12. TCO said

    ON topic: I’m not crazy about including those island stations. If done, they should have also included Tierra del Fuego as well. And ther could be a case for using them if there is teleconnection and all and iff the extra data allows seeing modes of weather (analagous to El Nino) which if happening more frequently would give an effect on the interior. You just need to make sure that your algorithm works properly and converges to the trivial case (no teleconnection) if there is no shown correlation in the calibration period. I’m concerned about the 3 PCs…as being way too simple.

  13. curious said

    Hi Jeff – re: Macquarie etc. this did come up at CA.
    Geoff Sherrington: March 29th, 2009 at 4:26 am comment 15 on “RegEM Impact on Peninsula Correlations” noted:

    “Finally, BTW, the high quality data for Macquarie Island show essentially no temperature change to max or min over the last 40 years. While there are reasons for excluding it from the Antarctic dataset, there are also strong needs to explain while it has remained of uniform temperature in the face of relentless warming from omnipresent GHG.”

    so I’m a bit surprised by the trend you have. These off continent stations were mentioned on other CA threads too.

    Good stuff on the peninsula free work!

  14. Ryan O said

    Curious, look at the Macquarie plot. It is flat from about 1970 onwards (Geoff’s last 40 years). It’s distinctly positive pre-1970, though, which gives it the high positive trend in the pre-satellite period.

  15. timetochooseagain said

    TCO, you could have just confirmed or denied my suspicions. Now what I want to know is, why are you so ridiculous about the whole “don’t talk about it, hush-hush, please, nananananaIcantheryounanananananananagetpublishednanananananananananaanna” thing, anyway? Qiut flogging the horse and I won’t throw dung at you. Trouble is, you are so dang full of your self with fake righteousness that you can saying nothing but “shut up and go publish”-give us a break, seriously-since when did they make TCO God and give him the power to tell people how to conduct their blogs and research? No real right winger could possibly be such a control freak.

  16. curious said

    Thanks Ryan – my mistake! It stuck in my mind as Geoff’s posts come across as being based on good data. Sorry for the oversight.

  17. I agree that it doesn’t make sense. However to avoid cherry picking why not create a rule for which stations you will use. I would suggest only stations within the continental area. You could set a limit for miles offshore. Do the screen, eliminate those stations regardless of trend, and then rerun the analysis.

  18. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    Andy said
    April 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I think this (and the other stations mentioned above) may be the key to the warming Antarctic.


    Nicolas Nierenberg said
    April 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I agree that it doesn’t make sense. However to avoid cherry picking why not create a rule for which stations you will use. I would suggest only stations within the continental area. You could set a limit for miles offshore. Do the screen, eliminate those stations regardless of trend, and then rerun the analysis.

    YES YES!!

    make some rules now…. then use the same rules for reconstruction of the USA temp. trends.

    sorry for the ramped copy paste! :)

    Think this way… not to use any temp stations at X distance to the ocean. for example, none from the Florida keys.

    humm…….uh ha……..

    good work men!

  19. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    if only #12 post were like that one ALL THE TIME!

  20. Jeff, Campbell Island was discussed at CA: and passim

    Also the present Campbell Island version differs from the version used by Steig which had errors in it. Here is an error report from May 2008 from GISS to BAS that BAS did not act on (though Super-G got them to delete “bad” data within minutes.)

    CAMPBELL ISLAND : in the old file 1988 and 1989 were complete, in the current one, 6 months are missing in 1988, 6 months are missing in 1989 and the Jan. 1989 value was changed from 10.2 to an unbelievable 1.0 .

    Unfortunately, the BAS version of the “old” file presently online does not appear to be the “old” file as it doesn’t have the “unbelievable 1.0″.

  21. TCO said

    Timetochoose: you missed, [snip]

    If you don’t have anything to add don’t add it. I’m back from a great night of Red Wings hockey and don’t feel like pretending to be dad.

  22. TCO said

    Ryan seems good too.

  23. John F. Pittman said

    TCO, although you meander (actually you ponticate about peer reviwed), you give no “beef”. Go google “”where’s the beef”” if you “aint” net savvy. FOR those who know, TCO “”TAINT”” NOTHING!!

    Give us your peer reveiwed articles, TCO. The problem is that TCO CAN add to a discussion. He CHOOSES otherwise. WHY?? I admire your tolerence JEFFID, this is to TCO.

    JEFFID, ignore TCO. Myself and others are more than willing to play TCO’s game as long as you keep plugging away.

    Truthfully, truth (not a single fact, unless it advances his agenda) is not TCO’s lexicon. Just keep doing the math. Ignore TCO, except for laughs. Remember, and I do not ask you to check, TCO cherry picks both his data and his arguments. (male pronouns, adjectives are not necessarily indicative of sex, just easy.) TCO always wants to confuse the easy with the hard, if he can detract you.

    DAMMMM He is winning!! I want you to continue, and here I am promoting TCO’s agenda! Jeff, you know that I and others post revelant comments without TCO. Makes one wonder why TCO has been banned so often.

    My last comment on TCO (may god help me with my weaknesses!).

    TCO you are TAINT.

  24. Jeff Id said

    #20, I remember when you first brought it up including some of the thread comments. Sometimes it takes a while for me to figure out the meaning. You were on top of these issues from the moment the paper was released.

    It’s another example of the reasons that I look at the data myself. It’s hard for me to get the meaning of the data from reading about it, I need to process it to understand.

  25. #24. I like to look at the data as well and find it interesting. At the end of the day, the 1957-1982 portion of Steig is built on about 13 or so surface stations and there is negligible QC information on these surface stations. Are there interruptions? Changes in methods? etc. Anthony Watts type of things. This definitely seems to be the case with the ice sheet AWS station, some of which have moved considerable distances. This is a two-edged sword as inhomogeneity can work in both directions.

    One of the frustrating problems in the field is, as we both know, the rush to weird multivariate methods with so little attention to verifying the data or testing the method.

  26. timetochooseagain said

    TCO, in the words of Robin from the fake anime Teen Titans “I already have a father!” (fade to scene of bats in a cave…) Unfortunately, I have no idea what was snipped, so I can’t say anything about it, but I just wanted to articulate that you are way to full of yourself and need to take something for that ego. You yourself seem to have things to add to discussions whereas I don’t always, so if you could perhaps learn to just discuss the issue at hand rather than flogging your favorite dead horses, I’d get the heck off your back. #12 was a legitimate, constructive comment. The other 90% of stuff that I have seen you spot is crap. AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM, THE TCO IS SO GREAT YOU CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE HOW GREAT I AM SHOW-your humble news monkey that brought you this emergency bulletin is going back off to the tree to have a civil discussion and pick ticks off of friends over some hot pomegranate tea.

  27. Page48 said

    TCO = Terrible Child Online

  28. TCO said

    My peer review accomplishments or lack thereof are not the issue. There are many simple reasons for publishing science papers. Wegman, Tufte, Katzoff, Wilson, etc. give several of them. When I see a contrarian view, combined with refusal to write normal publications…the whole enterprise starts to sound like Cold Fusion.

  29. Page48 said

    Actually, TCO, the Cold Fusion dudes issued press releases to the mass media in advance of their publication; they didn’t exactly blog their way to notoriety.

    Blogs are just internet conversations – sorry you have such a problem with them. Nobody forces you to tune in.

    Take care.

  30. Jeff Id said

    Posts on this thread not at least loosely related to the topic will be snipped from here out. Sorry, a good mosh pit is fun but there are better places.

  31. willnitschke said

    It’s a peculiar phenomena I’ve noticed on many occasions now. Certain comment posters (such as TCO) who are deeply fearful and derogatory of specific quality blogs, and who would prefer that scientific discussions be limited to scientific journals — where the appropriate level of gate-keeping may be maintained — yet oddly, these same individuals are compelled to insessantly read what they hate and are usually among the first to repeatedly post comments. ;-)

  32. John F. Pittman said

    Jeff, it would interesting to see what it did if you could find a negative trend. I believe that several have been posted on WUWT. I imagine that it would use the negative to in-fill data. If you could find several and use these, I wonder what you could show.

  33. timetochooseagain said

    Jeff, please don’t snip comment #31. Its too bloody brilliant to destroy!

    On Topic-Is there any basis whatsoever to suppose that those distant islands can tell you anything about the continent of Antarctica? Any known teleconnections? It seems baffling that something like this would be done without even an arm waving attempt to justify it.

  34. Ryan O said

    #33 I don’t think they tell you squat about the continent. Correlations to the nearest gridcells are absolutely awful. In fact, even the stations on the South Shetland Islands have a poor correlation to the nearest gridcells. Any correlations out as far as Campbell and Macquarie will be spurious.

  35. Page48 said

    Jeff, on visual inspection, the peninsula of Antarctica appears to be more related geologically the tip of South America than to the rest of Antarctica (not that that necessarily means anything in terms of climate). I realize the tip of SA is much farther north, but it appears to be closer to the peninsula than the two islands included in the original study. I was wondering how the temp at the tip of SA stacks up against the tip of the peninsula and particularly against the two islands. Just curious.

  36. TCO said

    I don’t mind conversation. I don’t mind exploration. What I react to is the drawing conclusions, hectoring for political slants and the like…when “our side” is VERY VERY deficient in finished work. And finished work forces one to think things through better, forces one to quantify if kvetches are significant or not. And finished work allows all (including opponents) to engage with the points.

    I’m well supportive of Jeff, Ryan, and Ken thinking through issues and doing trial analyses related to the algorithm. It’s great. It has the possibility of adding to knowledge. But when Jeff wanders off the reservation and starts coming to conclusions, starts making generalizations…than (if this is an open discourse), it is reasonable if I am allowed to reply.

    And I don’t give a …….[snip] if you think I’m arrogant…guys like TimL who fulminate because I speak out are nothing. Like curs to be kicked.

  37. timetochooseagain said

    Ryan O-I suspected as much, because it seems intuitively obvious. But does anyone actually have an excuse given by these guys for doing this? You know, a testable claim as to why there should be any connection? Do they make no attempt to justify this nonsense at all?

  38. It did occur to me to ask why 2 far-flung islands had been included in the original paper, I thought they must be off the tip of the peninsula somewhere, not virtually the other side of the continent and nearly part of New Zealand!
    From Wiki’s page
    “During World War II a coast guard station was operative at Tucker Cove at the north shore of Perseverance Harbour. After the war the facilities were used as a meteorological station until 1958, when a new one was established at Beeman Cove, just a few hundred metres further east. This station was manned permanently until 1995 when a fully automatic station was established. Today, human presence is limited to periodic visits by research and conservation expeditions”
    So we’ve a station change or two also (Probably explains the data gap)
    Macquarie’s claim to fame is a big earthquake (mag 8.1) and an infestation of rabbits.
    Looking at this map
    Tierrael Fuego’s closer to Antarctica itself, let alone the Peninsula than these islands!
    I was prepared previously to give Dr Stein the benefit of the doubt and just put the warming he claimed to see down to the vaguaries of the maths he used, this looks more like a deliberate attempt by someone within his team to bias the results.
    High time to summarise your findings and stick them in a letter to “Nature”.

  39. Jeff Id said

    #36, Please answer #2.

    I think I have shown myself fully qualified to make conclusions from the data. It’s a bit ridiculous to assume otherwise. Getting a bunch of politically biased pro-agw climatologists to recognize shortcomings in the tools and papers by peer review is not a requirement for understanding.

  40. Kenneth Fritsch said

    What I think is relevant here is simply the pointing to the far flung islands and the few percent of land area that the maritime Peninsula represents when talking about the Antarctica. I suppose that Steig et al. can use whatever they want in an “Antarctica” reconstruction, and leave it to others to note the climate differences in what is included.

    Even more relevant to our analyses is brought out when the media and climate scientists reference the Peninsula and it’s warming as if it is the dominant feature of Antarctica and in some cases presented, by way of omission, as a good representation of it. It takes detailed analyses such as those done here and at CA to allow a thinking person a better perspective.

    I also have been inclined, since my first reading of the Steig et al. (2009) paper, to judge that the authors were very much interested in concluding that the Peninsula was not an isolated feature of the Antarctica by showing a spreading of warming from the Peninsula to, at least, West Antarctica (look again at the front cover of Nature). That is why I think it has been an important part of the analyses here and at CA to determine whether that spreading is real or an artifact of the methods used.

    The flexibility of these analyses to look at these separate aspects of the Steig paper, while probably not amenable to getting a paper published, are certainly appreciated by me and others interested in understanding these subtle points better – and no way can they be considered boring.

  41. TCO said


    “#36, Please answer #2.”

    12 was in response. If not adequate, ask a follow up.

    “I think I have shown myself fully qualified to make conclusions from the data. It’s a bit ridiculous to assume otherwise. Getting a bunch of politically biased pro-agw climatologists to recognize shortcomings in the tools and papers by peer review is not a requirement for understanding.”

    You have shown yourself capable of doing a few analyses. You have not proved yourself as that much of anything special yet in terms of really taking things apart, understanding them. We don’t see finished work (even irrespective of peer review, we don’t have an organized white paper, but a meander of good analyses, bad ones, dead ends, etc. And conclusions are not well organized into those that are firmly supported and those that are tentative. I don’t think you are nescessdarilyu incapable of doing some decent work. While you’re not a genius, you’re all right. and the material is very tractable and amenable to picking apart. However, if you stick with the slacker example of McI and the Heartland group, you will never know or experience what it means to really do good work.

  42. Ryan O said

    #37 The easiest explanation is simply that they are included in the READER database and are lumped in with the rest of the Antarctic stations. However, that is an administrative grouping, not a physical one. I think it would be hard to justify including them on a physical basis.

  43. TCO said

    40. I agree with about 98% of your statement. Just at the end I disagree. I think pushing to publication, would actually sharpen all the disconnected examinations and really allow us a better idea as to whether the method did do the smearing or not.

  44. Bright Overlord said

    TCO you make some good points about publishing.

    But, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.

    AFAIK, you haven’t published anything, and from your persona on the Air Vent it seems that you only criticize but have offered nothing of your own.

    How about it? Show us some of your completed work. You seem like a bright guy, though cranky and coarse at times. Surely you’ve got something published to show us?

  45. andy said

    TCO sounds scared to me.
    And strangly enough a dumbass.
    He also uses the fallacy that good science is only found in “peer review”. Given the state of Steig’s work I think we can lay that fallacy to rest, the state of the science revealed at climate audit only confirms this view. Would that be the cold fusion that Nature also published?

    Good science is just good science wherever it appears.

  46. #42. They went to the trouble of excluding READER stations Gough and Marion Island (which are further away), so they applied some assessment and decided to keep Campbell and Macquarrie but not the others.

  47. timetochooseagain said

    #42 I don’t understand. They “accidentally” threw in those stations because they happened to be in the same database? Or did they do it on purpose? And explicitly? If both of the latter, then the question arises, why would they not even attempt to give an excuse?”

    TCO-Where exactly is it that you get off talking of the “Heartland crowd” having a bunch of “unfinished analyses”? True enough, some stuff there was not up to my own standards, but you paint with far too broad a brush. Many at the last conference have published many papers and are continuing to do so. Spencer’s latest work has, I believe, been submitted to JGR-he was at the conference. So was David Douglass, and he also has publish papers on his view points. SM has even recently submitted a comment with Ross McKitrick on Santer and the Team’s “rebut” of Douglass et al. which is getting a “special decision”-and of course this:

    McIntyre, Stephen and Ross R. McKitrick (2009) “Proxy inconsistency and other problems in millennial paleoclimate reconstructions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences February 2, 2009. 106:E10; doi:10.1073/pnas.0812509106

    What’s more, I don’t understand your opposition to putting WIPs on the net-it actually offers a pretty good alternative, though not a substitute for, peer review. It gives ~you~ a chance critique the work Jeff is doing. Instead you demand he publish. Well, what if he has made a mistake, and oh so brilliant TCO decided to encourage publishing rather than search for any mistakes which would pretty much preclude publication? Is there anything wrong with Jeff trying to figure out what was done, and letting us look at his progression through it, really? Doesn’t it offer a great chance for you to participate in the process of getting it all into the publishable quality? Don’t you think it would be nice to have a little blurb of thanks at the end of the final paper saying, not in these exact words, but something like them “I would like to thank TCO for such helpful discussions on the content of this paper” instead of “I would like to thank those who did offer constructive comments during the writing process, but TCO didn’t so screw him”?

  48. TCO said

    I choose to remain anonymous, sorry. Also, I am not claiming personally to have done great work. But I can send you to a bazillion basic books that tell how to write a science paper. And can send you to the Notices for Authors. It is amazing how often those with controversial opinions also want to blow off clear exposition.

    I would add that there is a tendancy of many in “my camp” to claim that peer review is holding them back. That there is a consipriacy of rivals or the like. But when asked, “show the papers that were rejected”, they almost always refuse to do so. and the reports that we do read in blogs are meandering, poor science writing. The stuff published at EnE is not merely suspect or controversial science, but actually poorly done science that usually needs severe revision afterwards. It’s evident, that in addition to having a different opinon wrt global warming, denialists also have low standards for technical reports.

    Please, someone. Just show a brilliant, clear white paper that is being killed by the TEAM! I have not seen one yet. Until I do, I call bullshit (don’t snip) on the “peer review” meanies argument.

  49. Jeff Id said

    #42, I’m sure that’s what happened. Why they didn’t remove them is beyond me. These stations had poor correlation in RegEM – near zero. I’ve plotted the correlations for all the stations here:

    You can see Campbell and Mcquerie are both near zero correlation.

    TCO – “You have not proved yourself as that much of anything special yet in terms of really taking things apart, understanding them.”

    It’s pretty clear that you don’t understand the work as well as I do. It’s hard for me to understand your belief in a superior viewpoint on my conclusions. If you take some time to plot some of the data or run a few calcs, you can learn a lot more than reading a blog. Also, I don’t know why you’re so focused on how smart you, me and others are either. It’s not healthy.

    Regarding the teleconnections in 12, I didn’t realize that was a serious reply. I actually loath that particular answer, there is no real reason in the world to include Florida stations in a Canada temp measurement. IMO, it’s a form of global warming insanity. An early sign of globaliswarMannitis.

  50. TCO said

    45. “He also uses the fallacy that good science is only found in “peer review”. Given the state of Steig’s work I think we can lay that fallacy to rest…”

    Andy, draw a Ven diagram of the logical argument you made here. It will show you the error in your logic.

  51. Ryan O said

    #46 Good point. I had forgotten about that.

  52. Ryan O said

    #49 Yep . . . seems like a pretty clear-cut decision to exclude Campbell, Macquarie, Grytviken, Signy, and Orcadas. The correlations are crap and a physical reason why the correlations are crap is easy.

  53. TCO said


    I agree that there are gradations of silliness within the Heartland crowd. Yet, I think generalizations can be made and are useful on both the general level of the group as well as the social phenomena involved (cf. preaching to the choir).

    Steve’s PNAS was not a paper, it was a teensy comment. He has a bazillion blog posts and has tried to push a community along, but has only one real science paper (of more than comment length and in an abstracted journal), which was all the way back in beginning of 2005.

    The othere have a bit more work, but I’m still not that generally impressed. I have read a lot of papers in a lot of different fields and learned to be able to discriminate. Douglas and Spencer are marginal. Christy a bit better. But I would point to guys like Zorita or Huybers or as a class well above them.

    I don’t object to showing the WIP. Sheesh, I just posted that a while ago. Why can’t you all read more carefully? What I object to is the jumping to conclusions, when all we’ve seen (and in general all we produce) is WIP. And if you all don’t like the journals or fear peers spiking papers, LET’S SEE THE POLISHED WHITE PAPERS!

    As far as constructive suggestions…I can participate in this discussion without merely doing work or such. I’m basically too lazy for that. But I am reacting to the comments of a lot of the hoi polloi (and even Jeff) when they wander off the reservation and start making grand claims which lack good (i.e. finished) work to back it up. I see this activity as purely internet based activity. Not worthy of a notice on Jeff’s paper.

  54. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    I agree with this.

    Page48 said
    April 19, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Jeff, on visual inspection, the peninsula of Antarctica appears to be more related geologically the tip of South America than to the rest of Antarctica (not that that necessarily means anything in terms of climate). I realize the tip of SA is much farther north, but it appears to be closer to the peninsula than the two islands included in the original study. I was wondering how the temp at the tip of SA stacks up against the tip of the peninsula and particularly against the two islands. Just curious.

  55. TCO said


    Jeff, I agree that you know much more than I about these recons. I can’t really keep a lot of the AWS, AVHRR and the like straight actually. This DOESN’T prevent me from judging your level of knowledge and more importantly of issue disaggreagation. That judgement is based on observation and on similar analagous situations. It’s really not always required to understand a machine better than the mechanic, in order to evaluate the mechanic’s level of knowledge of his gear. It helps sure. But not needed for gross judgements.

    Yes, the comment was a serious effort to communicate. If you want to engage, do so on the specific subissues in my comment. A generic comment like Florida-Alaska is not sufficient for me to reply back.

    I agree that statements about how smart you or I are, are probably not ones that I should make. I need to find a more suitable way to tell you not to count your chickens and to drive you to more cautious hypothesizing. You need to watch out for the rumsfeldian unknown unknown, which at it’s simplest occurs more in those who jump to conclusions.

  56. timetochooseagain said

    TCO, you say “Douglas and Spencer are marginal. Christy a bit better. But I would point to guys like Zorita or Huybers or as a class well above them.”

    Wow. You have just lost all credibility in my book. For someone who claims to be able to discriminate good work from bad, you seem to have a very clueless view of who’s work is good and who’s is bad, which you seem to base not on a paper by paper basis but your prejudice against people based on how “extreme” they are.

  57. timetochooseagain said

    I would also add that journals often use the fact that information was disseminated online as a grounds against publishing. So maybe you don’t see the “POLISHED WHITE PAPERS!” because they still hold out hope they can get someone to publish it.

  58. Jeff Id said

    #55 I’ve never heard a good argument for teleconnections. Proxies and thermometers measure where they sit nowhere else. It hurts my sensibilities to discuss much further but I’ll try.

    Nearby areas of earth show similar weather patterns due proximity and typical air/water currents and such. But let’s put it this way. Tenths of a degree in trend become meaningless thousands of miles from the thermometer. Even having this conversation hurts my brain.

    It ain’t possible and until someone does a ‘real’ paper proving they can accurately predict thermometers in Canada from one in Florida…. This part of the paper is bad science. The fact that people can make undemonstrated assumptions ‘in other papers’ based on teleconnections and those get through review is telling by itself.

  59. andyd said

    Err no TCO, the diagram will confirm what I have stated.

    And its a “Venn” diagram.

  60. Jeff Id said

    TCO, I think that CA has a particularly good example of peer review in the latest post.

    Here’s a clip of the result of the review:

    Reviewers were violently opposed to the article, stating on the one hand that the statistical analysis was “fraudulent” and on the other hand that the results were already well known in the literature. (I think that Holland of UCAR, whose work was criticized) was one of the reviewers.) The editor, Famiglietti, said that there was a consensus and rejected the article without offering any opportunity for remediation.

    Most of us have read SteveM’s blog there’s one thing for certain, nothing was fraudulent in the work. Without even reading the reactions, you can clearly see the ugly side of the consensus from the quotes.

  61. andy said

    Oh and its quality not quantity that matters my deluded reference obsessed little friend.

  62. TCO said

    56. No. I can recognize good/bad papers from a single author while also recognizing the differing general level of quality in different people’s work. That’s fascinating that those guys have a gradation of controversiality. But that is correlation, not causation wrt my observation.

  63. TCO said

    59. You’re right on the spelling nit, wrong on the logic. The prescence of bad science within the peer review circle does not prove that good science can be out of the circle.

  64. Layman Lurker said

    Steve, Ryan, Jeff: In the final analysis I don’t think it matters too much why Steig excluded Gough and Marion but included other island stations. The case for excluding these islands can easily be made and demonstrated on the basis of: 1. simple geography; 2. showing the lack of correlation with the continent; 3. showing how sensitive the reconstruction is to excluding them.

    There are so many issues with Steig’s reconstruction that one of the challenges will be choosing a theme for publishing (which I, and I’m sure others, hope to see) – and which criticicms fit with that theme (Ryan’s suggested theme of method and data issues should be considered along with other possible themes). It may not yet be time for that however, as I think there are more questions to be answered yet particularly wrt cloud masking data quality and methods. If the authors are not forthcomming, then some deconstruction and reverse engineering might be worthwhile in this area.

    Once you have your angle for publishing, then you can develop a framework and refine your analysis, flesh things out, and plug the holes. I’m sure that you guys won’t have any problem following through with this at the appropriate time.

  65. TCO said

    58. Teleconnections may or may not be significant, but they are at least rationally concievable. Talking about how they hurt your brain or dismissing them outright is no way to examine them. Instead include them in the solution scope, but do the work to see if they have an impact or not.

  66. TCO said

    60. It’s not unusual for authors to complain about reviewers. Before taking Steve’s word for it that the reviewers are baddies, read the actual paper, all you are geeting from Steve is snippets cut his way.

    BTW, if the reviewers are REALLY blocking well done, lucid papers, Steve or the like have nothing to lose by self publishing. Instead, what we do have are blog posts. and they are very uneven quality and very poor writing.

  67. TCO said

    Lurk: “Once you have your angle for publishing, then you can develop a framework and refine your analysis, flesh things out, and plug the holes. I’m sure that you guys won’t have any problem following through with this at the appropriate time.”

    I agree that deciding the scope of paper(s) is a bit tricky here. I disagree with the confidence that there will be follow through to finished technical reports in the archived literature. I’ve seen a HUGE tendancy for playing with stuff and moving on by our little community.

  68. timetochooseagain said

    TCO-Come on! I why are you being paranoid? Assume good faith. When you have reason to doubt Jeff, you can. Right now you have no standing. Just ideological profiling.

    And there is simply no way you can have read any of Christy or Spencer’s work and say what you said. Or Douglass’ for that matter. Only RC spin mastery could convince you of your bizarre notions.

  69. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    And I don’t give a …….[snip] if you think I’m arrogant…guys like TimL who fulminate because I speak out are nothing. Like curs to be kicked.

    speak out = good
    acting up = bad
    simple but hard for TCO to follow !
    TCO if you do not want to be kicked like a dog( a mongrel or inferior dog ), then act like a human being!

    One entry found.

    Main Entry:
    1cur Listen to the pronunciation of 1cur
    Middle English, short for curdogge, from Middle English *curren to growl (perhaps from Old Norse kurra to grumble) + Middle English dogge dog
    13th century

    1 : a mongrel or inferior dog
    2 : a surly or cowardly fellow

  70. TCO said

    Douglas had a fundamental logical error in hypothesis testing and McI did not call him out on it. This is symptomatic of the “community” stuff where a lot of time is spent on blog posts with friends. Same thing goes on with Watts not getting called on for his silliness by McI, EVEN WHEN it is an area of McI’s specialization like stats analysis of temp trends.

  71. TCO said

    57. You make no sense. If Steve is incapable of getting published, because of peer review, he has nothing to lose by showing white papers. And he has not gotten anything out since early 2005 (no comments DON’T count). In the past, he would even admit that he was not writing stuff. The bottom line is the skeptics aren’t bringing quality finished work to the game. That sucks.

    Show me…show me…show me…

  72. TCO said

    Oh…and the whole thing about journals not wanting pre-published stuff is crap. You can circulate drafts. You can use Arxive. Etc. Etc. This is just mouse in the pocket bullshit.

  73. TCO said

    I mean if you were really trying to keep stuff under wraps for publication, why do we have the blog posts?

    It’s been four years, guys. It stinks. Big time.

  74. TCO said

    Interesting the timing of that post by McI though. You almost might get the impression he is trying to stick up for himself and responding to my comments. Well I’ve followed the guy for 4 years. He doesn’t do finished work. He self publishes. He controls the debate. His work is not archived. the axes are messed up. It lacks footnotes. It is a morass of randomw stuff. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call the blog a scratchpad and a lab notebook…and then call it publication. And clearly (read some papers) the blog posts are far from the quality of even a white paper.

    If the guy can write, clear finished, quality work, he’s had a million incentives and 4 years of time, to just do so…and just show it on his website. All we see is the crappy blog posts instead. and God I remember his posters and presentations and such. What a fucking mess.

    Sorry, if you want to advance a controversial theory, that’s fine. But when you can’t write it down clearly, that’s not fine. That shows you in the lazy nutter frings.

  75. timetochooseagain said

    TCO-You have given one (vague) example of a gripe with one(count em) paper of which Douglass was a coauthor. From that you conclude all his work is bunk. DISCRIMINATE! Jeez…

    “The bottom line is the skeptics aren’t bringing quality finished work to the game. That sucks.”

    Its your god damn broad brush again. DISCRIMINATE! I mean really, you were speaking of SM, who is at the most agnostic to believer about AGW. Skeptic? No, not really.

  76. TCO said

    I can’t remember if it was one or two Douglas papers I’ve looked at. Seems he had an EnE in there (but maybe that’s the same one). In any case, sure, I haven’t read all his stuff. But I haven’t read all of Burger or Zorita or Kosina or the like. But what’s come across my transom shows better stuff than Douglas. I mean I’m not just here to rate the guy in general. If there’s no good stuff of his being touted in the deniosphere, that’s enough for me.

  77. timetochooseagain said

    Wow, that’s the worst excuse for being a judgmental ass I’ve ever heard.

  78. TCO said

    It is what it is.

  79. Vernon said


    Love you blog. You do some really good stuff.

  80. TCO said

    The other thing that is bizarre is that he got rejected and then took 2 years off and is thinking about resubmitting. What an effing joke! If he doesn’t care about publication chops and it’s such clear good work, just put it up as a white paper. Or better yet, why not resubmit elsewhere. The whole thing is pathetic and no excuse for lack of pubs. You cranks need to start packaging your stuff flawlessly so that the debate can be on the merits.

    I mean Volokh lawyers have very unpopular libertarian law views. And they have a blog. But they can write like ninjas. And they can bring it on all the normal channels (briefs, articles, etc.)

  81. Page48 said

    From #55 by the ever babbling TCO, emphasis mine:

    “Jeff, I agree that you know much more than I about these recons. I can’t really keep a lot of the AWS, AVHRR and the like straight actually. This DOESN’T prevent me from judging your level of knowledge and more importantly of issue disaggreagation (sic.”

    This is a nonsense assertion, TCO. BTW, please don’t bother to explain how you judge what you admittedly don’t understand. Most of your arguments belong in freshman year philosophy class.

  82. TCO said

    Sheesh. I spelled it out. Read the part about the mechanic and the machine. Cur.

  83. Page48 said

    RE# 82

    Geez, I reduced you to one sentence, TCO; I’m giving myself a major pat on the back!

    I’m glad you blog here, TCO; you give the space much needed comic relief!

    Take care

  84. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I suspect that many of you with science and engineering backgrounds have had a non- or less-technical administrative superior that so wanted to contribute to a project in a tangible and meaningful way that they often entered technical discussions that were either over their heads or for which they did not bother to prepare. Instead of asking good questions they tended to want to lead by their self-assumed innate abilities to direct without understanding. They could waste a lot of time that would have been better spent with them administrating and certainly in letting the scientists/engineers do their work.

    The good administrator would require the timely and well written review of the project’s progress at a technical level that was written for the layperson’s understanding. A well written technical report could allow the scientist/engineer and administrator to all shine for their respective superiors.

    For the administrator who wants to learn the technical stuff she can start by asking a few of the right questions and paying good attention to the answers and then staying out of the way of progress.

  85. Ryan O said

    This one’s for TCO. :)

    Personally, I don’t mind your little rants. I have a pretty thick skin from about a decade in the Navy. However, I’d like to take a moment to explain a few things.

    Though your favorite refrain of “get published” has a lot of merit (and it’s not a bad thing to keep pushing), it falls flat in two main ways:

    1. You are not published.

    2. We are not scientists.

    I have a regular job – which has nothing to do with climate science – at which I spend somewhere between 40 and 65 hours a week. I also have a wife and two children. My academic pedigree is a Bachelor’s in Physics. The last time I did a linear algebra problem was in 1996. Prior to February of this year, I vaguely remembered something called principle component analysis because that we had a 1-day lecture about the general concept a decade ago.

    This climate stuff is a dorky hobby.

    This description applies to many skeptics in the blogosphere. I am not a paid climate scientist. Jeff is not a paid climate scientist. Lucia is not a paid climate scientist. We all have other jobs. We don’t spend our lives doing this. We spend most of our time just trying to learn what the hell it is that the latest paper published is saying (or even whether we care what it’s saying) in between coffee breaks or putting kids to bed.

    We are attempting to understand published work by people who do this for a living; people who get paid to teach and publish about a subject they spend their lives researching. We are a bunch of rookies attempting to understand a very specialized field that has little toleration for rookie mistakes. We find something and pursue it, often to dead ends. We think we see something wrong, only to find out we misinterpreted. You wonder why so much of the blogosphere is disorganized . . . that’s because this is where we try to get input from each other to see if we’re pursuing the right thing.

    So substantive comments that something has been misinterpreted, miscalculated, or otherwise appears to be wrong are appreciated. They help us take another look and reconsider what we’ve done. Kenneth, Geoff, Nicolas, Nic L, Steve, Roman, and others all do this and I greatly appreciate it.

    But comments that something is incomplete or not in publishable form . . . well, they don’t help that much because we already know that. And given that we are amateurs at this, a little over-excitement at times should be something that is understandable.

    Like I said in the beginning, I’ve got a pretty thick skin. So what you say doesn’t really bother me.

    The problem is that the unhelpful comments tend to overwhelm the helpful ones you make, and many people end up tuning you out.

    Anyway . . . not trying to tell you what to do. Just trying to help put what we are doing in context.

  86. TCO said

    Ken: I agree. But to start with let’s get a good technical report done. We don’t even have that. Remember how the Space Shuttle commision ripped NASA’s cherry asshole for not writing real technical reports.

  87. TCO said

    Ryan O:

    Bravo zulu. I respect that you don’t pay attention to me, that you restrict yourself to actual analysis, and that you don’t run off all half cocked with conclusions. Furthermore, that you have enough self-awareness to make the post above.

    I don’t mind if everyone wants to play. But when they lack your self awareness of their limits, when they start spouting off how much they’ve shown and what frauds the Team is…I will drag them back to earth.

    BTW, point one is irrelevant. I’m not framing the issue as to who has more balls, but how much the denialists do. And there are a gazillion arguments I have made and have been written by very sound practiced scientists and writers on science method as to the benefits of publishing.

    I would urge all the people here, any WSJ reporters reading, or George Will, and any practicing scientists including those like Steig, to not bother engaging with those who refuse to publish.

  88. TCO said

    Hey Jeff: In the comments, Steve is ambivalent about submitting to other journals. So I don’t buy the whole “man is keeping him down” argument. And the guy has had since early 2005 to put up organized well done white papers. And he hasn’t. And the blog posts are crappy. And presentations are miserable.

    Denialists do crap work and lack the balls or the gymption to write proper reports that are readily able to be efficiently evaluated. If they don’t want the pub chops that’s fine. But when they can’t show the same thing in a white paper….when they self publish blog posts, but don’t get real papers wither into a journal OR on the internet…then I say they are full of shit and just playing little Heartland games.

    And then we have a bunch of amateurs that lick it all up without skepticism. Sad.

  89. TCO,

    You really aren’t a very nice person are you? At least you’ve dropped the pretense of being interested in what is being written on this site. You remind me of those silly people who post on the message boards of public companies. Don’t you think you have had your say at this point?

  90. mondo said

    Re #85, Ryan O: Bravo Ryan. So well said. And it particularly applies to Steve McIntyre as well! It is fantastic what he has achieved, notwithstanding TCO’s continuing petty accusations. And lately the work done by the others you mention is so supportive of the sceptical position.

    Actually, someone upthread made the suggestion that TCO could really be a persona adopted by a warmer pretending to be a sceptic (he suggested Grant Foster – Tamino, but I think that unlikely – for no good reason) with the objective of running interference on the sceptic position. He has certainly never let up in pouring scorn on CA particularly and WUWT.

    I know of a sceptic who loves to adopt a persona at AGW sites berating them for not responding to the sceptics, arguing that their refusal to do so is destroying their cred (which of course it is). I think it highly likely that TCO is the reverse.

  91. andy said


    “The prescence of bad science within the peer review circle does not prove that good science can be out of the circle.”

    Who ever said it did? I said “Good science is just good science wherever it appears.”, after pointing out bad science does get into the peer review. The latter does not confirm the former and no one made that claim.

    Try and keep up.

  92. andy said

    Oh and I assume you mean presence not prescence.

  93. TCO said

    Andy, no, this is what you said: “He also uses the fallacy that good science is only found in “peer review”.” You then attempted to refute that by noting bad science (per you) that was peer reviewed.

    Do the Venn diagram. And man up and admit when you’re wrong.

  94. TCO said

    Thanks for the spelling catch.

  95. TCO said

    Nicolas: Agreed.

  96. andy said

    “He also uses the fallacy that good science is only found in “peer review”, so the counter view none fallacious view is that good science is found outwith peer review.

    Not that “The presence of bad science within the peer review circle does not prove that good science can be out of the circle.” I did not say that it did. You have confused yourself with this.

  97. TCO said

    WRONG. Your statement was this:

    “He also uses the fallacy that good science is only found in “peer review”. Given the state of Steig’s work I think we can lay that fallacy to rest…”

    The fallacy is that the stat of Steig’s work peer-reviewed work is irrelevant to the prescence of good science that is not peer reviewed. Draw the Venn diagram!

  98. Jeff Id said

    Ok TCO,

    I get it. You’ve beaten it to death. You’ve actually tired out the scientific types to the point nobody cares. That’s where it becomes a problem.

    There is an important message in this post for people who understand the math. You have in fact missed it completely. Your arguments regarding teleconnection are moot and you missed that too. What’s more is you seem like a smart guy so I’m not sure if you missed that little detail on purpose or are completely lacking in math skills.

    I don’t agree with you on the fairness of the peer review process but there isn’t another option. Because of the nature of funding for AGW by leftist government, publishing a critical article is like pushing an evolution article through the catholic bishops for publication. Surely if you were actually a conservative you would understand that not to subtle a point. Again, it’s like you’re missing it on purpose.

    You say publish, publish but I ask why? What’s the point. I’ve been published before and gained little from it. I’ve held back the math I use at my business for lens design which is highly publishable. There’s no point sometimes. Say I publish some article on the antarctic, assume it’s perfect and somehow proves that the world is saved, do you really think it will get any recognition by those who need AGW for funding purposes?

    If I were to publish anything now it would be to the hideous math used in the Mann08 hockey stick. It’s pathetic, and in my opinion done with intent. I think also that paleoclimatology is very aware of the fact that the math they use is faulty, for those of us who do math the faults are too obvious to conclude otherwise. I noticed the hockey sticks in the latest EPA report show the characteristic shape of the same bad math I’m referencing –They’re still doing it.

    I don’t mind criticism or disagreement if its honest. It’s occasionally entertaining but come on.

  99. andy said

    Ay keep telling yourself that TCO.

    I think you mean state.

  100. andy said

    Keep telling yourself that TCO.

    I think you mean state and presence…again.

  101. Carrick said

    TCO: “If you don’t have anything to add don’t add it”

    Sounds like excellent advise.

    You should follow it.

  102. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff, don’t underestimate the impact that a published refutation of Steig ’09 would have. The “team” would have to come to it’s defense. If they do it by arguing that black is white then many will see through that.

  103. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Ryan O @ Post #85:

    I think you speak for many kindred souls who participate at these blogs. Analyzing, as opposed to publishing, papers is fun and allows one to cover more ground and learn more aspects of the science, statistics and math involved.

    I would not attempt to convince any non kindred souls or those who might not comprehend.

    By the way, I can remember several well written technical reviews for the layperson that saved the day for projects in my former life. Jeff C has written a couple of good ones on various aspects of the Steig reconstructions. Ross McKitrick consistently does an excellent job in this area.

    PS I was not the writer of the technical reports that I referenced from my former life as you can already probably appreciate, but I still know a good technical report/summary when I see one.

  104. Jeff Id said

    #102, I think if it adds something to the science it will be worthwhile and actually it would be interesting just to get my own take on AGW peer review. It’s a lot of work though.

  105. Jeff Id said

    #103, For sure, there’s a lot to be learned. Allocating a few weeks of free time for a publication kind of hurts. Something tells me that whatever catches my interest next will be the same story as this one.

  106. Matt Y. said

    #102 — there might be something to that. Their defense of the hockey stick is what turned me. I don’t know jack about climate science (nor do I care to) and will be one of the first to admit it, but like most engineers one thing I know very well is math. You don’t have to know climate science to know shoddy mathematics when you see it.

    On the other hand, I don’t blame Jeff at all for not publishing a formal paper for the exact reasons Ryan O listed. I wish my wife was so understanding, I get alot of crap for the amount of time I spend reading blogs. I would be strung up if I tried to start my own. Keep up the good work Jeff. The vast majority of us here appreciate it.

  107. TCO said


    You tell me to give it a rest and then fire off a rejoinder. Since you don’t want me to respond, I won’t. Other than to say that you are reiterating points rather than responding to what I said versus your points.

    Now trundle off and compute. I’m all for that. I just respond on the places where you go off the reservation. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other things you do…


    The point is trivial, but your refusal to admit wrong is not. Be like me. I conceded the misspelling. You should concede that finding a bad peer-reviewed article has no implication on a statement that the only place good sciece can be is within peer review. Instead it has an implication on the statement (different) that all peer reviewed articles are good science. IOW you need to note that the issue of some peer reviewed articles being bad is different than the issue of some non peer reviewed articles being good. I’m amazed that you don’t see the difference here. I think it must be just a very, very typical internet trait of no one ever yeidling a point on the internet. The sad thing is that if this is the case, I can’t discuss issues with you where we disagree. That’s because we can’t even bake down what we agree and disagree on. Since you are being intellectually dishonest.

  108. Kenneth Fritsch said

    In my post at #103 above I do not mean that others have not done good jobs of summarizing what they have done because I think they have and particuarly so with the Steig reconstructions. I did mean to mention RomanM who has helped me personally understand some of the more advanced statistics (for me anyway) involved with several topics discussed here and at CA and with R.

  109. Layman Lurker said

    #104 & 106

    I would go ditto for Matt’s comment in appreciation of your (and other’s) work. While the investigation and deconstruction may not yet be complete there have been many substantive issues already established through your (collective) work:
    1. Eigenvector / spatial trend weighting artifacts due to autocorrelation
    2. PC3 artifact
    3. k=3 cutoff combined with disproportionate peninsula and island (warming) input prior to 1982
    4. rank 3 AVHRR data as input for reconstruction
    5. High frequency vs. linear trend correlations
    6. Spurious distance correlations in the reconstruction
    7. Proper confidence interval determination
    8. AVHRR inter-sattelite data homogeniety issues
    9. Ground truthing and calibration issues of cloud masked / infilled AVHRR data

    I hope my understanding of the above is correct.

    All of these factors conspire to overestimate warming and/or spatial and temporal smearing of trend. Instead of a modest warming mostly concentrated early in the 50 year period we get significant warming through the majority of the period.

    Notwithstanding the work and sacrifice, this is worthy of publication and should be pursued.

  110. Ryan O said

    A couple of things to point out in terms of any potential publication:

    1. Cost. We don’t have academic institutions to pay the page costs, and publication can be quite expensive (especially if you include color – which, to communicate something as complex as what we would be communicating, is damn near a requirement). I certainly don’t have spare $$ just lying around, so before I’d be willing to pay for such a publication, I would have to be convinced that my work was both important and fairly unimpeachable.

    2. Validation/verification. We would have to have someone with a detailed theoretical knowledge of the statistics we use and the analysis we perform be willing to take the time to audit our work. To do this, we would need to get the analyses into an easily-auditable format, which will take time and effort. As we are doing this as a hobby, the work required to get to this point may or may not happen. Along with that, we’d have to have someone much more knowledgeable than ourselves check us – in detail – to make sure our conclusions aren’t the result of erroneous use of methods or statistics. So there would have to be willingness by someone who is a true expert in these kinds of things to spend a good deal of time explaining to us where we f-ed up.

    In short, I would be unwilling to attempt to publish anything if I an unconvinced of its general importance (beyond simply Antarctica) and if I do not have the backup of someone who is truly knowledgeable in the statistics and analytical methods used. We are rookies; unknowns in climate science, and I would not be willing to pay real $$ simply to make a bad first impression.

    With all that being said, my personal opinion is that it would be worthwhile to get the investigation everyone (from Roman to Steve to Hu to Kenneth to Jeff and several others) has performed into a publishable work because, quite simply, the conclusions of the paper are supported by a shaky foundation consisting of questionable use of tools, incomplete correspondence analysis (more on that later), inappropriate raw data selections, poor quality checking of the raw data, and insufficient correction for spatial and temporal autocorrelation.

    This would be the main point, IMO: Sloppy or incomplete analysis on major papers will not go unnoticed. If we make that our goal (and ensure that we don’t commit the same kinds of errors we point out of others), then I believe the publication could have an impact.

    Otherwise, it would just be another forgettable 1,500 word exposition in a sea of thousands.

  111. Layman Lurker said


    Well spoken and correct as usual Ryan. Wouldn’t blame you for just sticking with your hobby. (You guys are victims of your own good work :) ) Bottom line, if it is not right for you, Jeff’s, Roman, Steve, Hu, etc. then we should all respect that.

    Maybe you could approach a climate scientist, like Dr. Pielke Sr., who might be willing to collaborate and able to provide support through his institution.

  112. Jeff Id said

    Ryan makes several good points, although I don’t know how many journals charge page fees. I suppose if enough others were interested I would volunteer the time. Like Ryan said though, only for something worthwhile.

    I stopped by Roman’s statpad site and encouraged him to consider a post on expectation maximization. If any others are interested, perhaps a little more encouragement would be helpful.

  113. Ryan O said

    #112 I put in a good word at statpad as well. ;)

  114. Jeff Id said

    For others, I put my comment here.

  115. TCO said

    Ryan: Jeff is going to kill me. But some obvious rejoinders:

    1. most journals don’t have page charges. I never paid one (of course you don’t know if I ever published). You could pick a journal with no page charge. Could go to Climate of the Past (online). This is a really new (and I think weak) counterargument.

    2. If page charges are a hurdle, you all can make white papers that are the equivalent of a publication. That has never been done. Instead we have half finished analyses, blog posts, and to quote the Dutch “shooting from the side of the road without exposing yourself”.

    3. Regarding the verification: That’s fine. But then you can’t draw good conclusions on the papers you are criticizing. ?Alpha: you are not getting to the rigor that you would if publishing. Bravo: any insights you do have (and I think there are times when there might be additive points) are too difficult for others in science to access. Because you are doing crappy presentation…when the world is awash with new information and even was in 1950s when Wilson wrote his seminal book…it becomes encombent on you to make points easy to evaluate. And you may complain of lack of funding…but some additional impriuimatur also goes against you since you have contrarian views. Net, net: combination of new science with refusal to use normal forms is a bad combo. It screams nutter. It is in the upper right box on an MBA 2-2 quadrant.

    4. I think there is a very REAL possibility that the refusal to do good work (even white papers) is due to a form of sophistry. Of sniping from the sidelines. Mixed in is laziness, having fun with people on the net, and wanting to advance a policy objective.

  116. Ryan O said

    #115 I have one published paper (Astrophysical Journal in 2000) and there were page charges. :) Fortunately, they were paid by the academic institution.

    The remainder of your points are apt and I don’t disagree with most of what you say. What I would point out is that I got into doing this because it was enjoyable – not because I had any real intent on changing the world. I ended up getting deeper into it than I originally anticipated, but at the end of the day, it’s still a hobby for me, not a job (I already have one of those).

    So if you wish to perceive non-publication as laziness, that’s okay. Until (or unless) I publish something, feel free to chalk up another one to laziness.

    At the same time, I would ask that you understand the amount of effort it takes for a complete outsider – especially one unfamiliar with much of the mathematics involved – to even get to the point where the arguments can be presented in a publishable form. Rather than having the luxury of spending time doing the analysis, many of us have to spend most of the time figuring out what to analyze in the first place – and then figuring out what tools to use – and then obtaining a working understanding of the limitations of the tools – and then figuring out how those limitations affect our results – and … (well, you get the point).

    Now I have an off-topic question for you: What branch of service … or did you just grow up around military?

  117. RomanM said

    You guys drive a hard bargain. I don’t have time to discuss this tonight, but i will be back in the morning.

    Ryan O: Yes,a version of EM is implemented on R – will discuss that as well.

  118. TCO said


    It’s ok. I don’t mind if we don’t publish, because it is an avocation. I just will speak out against conclusion being drawn. I mean it’s like….I donno…claiming the reduction gear is broken, when you have not stripped the engineer of all metal and had it opened so he can inspect it…but just have a noise…and maybe coming from a bearing…or even the lube oil pump.

    Shiskey Tango Foxtrot Interoggative. What makes you think I know any military stuff. I might just be good at googling. Might be a wannabe.

  119. TCO said

    Whiskey…not Shiskey. Sheesh. Too much Tanqueray.

  120. Ryan O said

    TCO: Right. ;)

  121. Ryan O said

    BTW, WTF is the engineer doing in the reduction gears anyway? If there wasn’t babbit in the strainers before that, there sure as sh!t will be some in them afterwards.

  122. TCO said

    I think he needs to be there while the MMC dives it per the De Levalle tech manual. Or the SOP. Or SORM or something.

    Anyhow…quit making we strain so hard to put on an act.

  123. TCO said

    me not we. Damned snipe.

  124. Ryan O said

    The good engineer stands outside the drape looking important and takes MMC’s word for it. He pokes his head inside the drape for effect when the CO walks by.

  125. Jeff Id said

    #117, Good news. THX.

  126. TCO said

    I wonder what it looks like in there. I mean since all I do is google and such…totally wannabe.

  127. joe-h said

    TCO has some good comments to make on technical matter when he is not in ‘courtier of the establishment’ mode.

    I’ve paid page charges and they are not insignificant if you have limited funding. It is much easier to write papers when you have a support staff and all expenses are paid. Those who are fully funded sometimes have a hard time remembering that.

    Is TCO offering to edit your paper after you write it up?

  128. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    Ryan O said
    April 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    That is exactingly what is happening with me.

    and #106 here too. I wish my wife was so understanding, I get alot of crap for the amount of time I spend reading blogs………… she just complained today about this lol.

  129. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    IF OUR TEAM came up with a white paper, publish QC, I think I would donate money; others would too, just to see this get out into a different arena . but what to publish? and to be careful of lawsuit type arguments etc.

    I am an engineer/technician that has been publish at an university journal/paper but had the help of the publisher whom has a masters degree in of the subject.

    The support of the liberal publishers is going to be very negative to be sure.
    well that was not helpful just ignore the rambling on.

  130. Boris said

    Gee, Jeff (99), eventually it does boil down to a conspiracy theory, even with you, huh?

  131. Jeff Id said


    Visiting from Tamino land I assume. You’ll have to look hard to find anything but reality here.

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