the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009

Well the emials keep producing.  I just randomly click and find this stuff.  From the ancient annals of Hide the Decline, this is science at its best.   Ed Cook questioning the difference in a polar urals series by Briffa.

At 04:11 PM 7/14/99 EDT, you wrote:
>Hi Keith,
>What is your take on the Vagonov et al. paper concerning the influence of
>snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in Siberia? Frankly, I can’t
>believe it was published as is. It is amazinglly thin on details. Isn’t Sob
>the same site as your Polar Urals site?
If so, why is the Sob response
>window so radically shorter then the ones you identified in your Nature
>paper for both density and ring width? I notice that they used Berezovo
>instead of Salekhard, which is much closer according to the map. Is that
>because daily data were only available for the Berezovo? Also, there is no
>evidence for a decline or loss of temperature response in your data in the
>post-1950s (I assume that you didn’t apply a bodge here). This fully
>contradicts their claims,
although I do admit that such an effect might be
>happening in some places

bodge [bɒdʒ]


1. Informal to make a mess of; botch
2. Austral informal to make or adjust in a false or clumsy way I bodged the figures
And the reply:
From: Keith Briffa <>
To: “Edward R. Cook” <>
Subject: Re: Vagonov et al. Nature paper
Date: Fri Jul 16 16:57:47 1999Ed
to be really honest, I don’t see how this was ever accepted for publication in Nature. It is a confusing paper that leaves me asking what actually have they done and what is the so-called testable Hypothesis of which they speak. Why didn’t they do the testing? Yes Sob river is the Polar Urals site and I don’t know why they get the results they do for it. Thei precip. trends are dubious and our detailed regional response functions do not show a significant effect of high precip. in winter. I really have not had time to fully digest their message but I can’t see why either they or Nature did not ask my opinion of it. My instinctive first reaction is that I doubt it is the answer but we do get results that support a recent loss of low-frequency spring temperature reponse in our data that may be consistent with their hypothesis of prolonged snow lie in recent decades. I have not spoken to Iain yet about the isotope data but I will. If you get any detaied thoughts on the Nature paper please let me know, as I don’t know how to respond , if at all.
best wishes
Bodge – How’s that for a perfect description.  Apparently nobody told the other experts that the ‘decline was hidden’.  — even when they asked!  Well from reading Briffa’s papers, I’m surprised he’s at a loss for words.
Update:I missed it a little bit – He doubts but doesn’t “know” if this is the answer so he ignored the results and the bodge question.  Maybe the title should be Dodgin’ the Bodge..

27 Responses to “Bodge”

  1. stan said

    In other words, a dodge which serves to botch up the results so that no one can figure out what you did. A bodge.

  2. Jeff Id said

    #1 It appears that Ed Cook may have been the first to discover the hidden decline.

  3. matthew h said

    Page 212 shows:

    Figure 4.17 Time series of measurements at Halley (76°S) of (top) total ozone averaged over
    October of each year, and (bottom) temperature at 100 hPa averaged over November of each
    year (courtesy British Antarctic Survey). Although there is a lot of variability in the
    temperatures, they are now about 10°C colder than in the 1960s and 1970s, with the
    exception of 2002.

    So it is 10˚C colder (in the realm of -75˚C), and the melting will occur when?

  4. boballab said

    AP is reporting that Phil Jones is stepping down temporarily while the investigation is conducted.

  5. matthew h said

    page 241:

    The sea ice extent shows a positive trend of 0.9 ± 0.2% per
    decade for the Southern Hemisphere for the period January 1979 to December 2008. This is
    consistent with the 1.0 ± 0.4% per decade reported by Zwally et al. (2002a) for the 1979 to
    1998 period. The trend in ice area is slightly more positive at 1.6 ± 0.2%/decade, in part
    because of a positive trend in ice concentration at about 0.93 ± 0.13%/decade.

    I’m not sure why the paper is lauded as further evidence that AGW will melt the South Pole and drown us all.

  6. stevemcintyre said

    Jeff, the original Briffa “bodge” was a forced upward adjustment of a density decline at Tornetrask and which is incorporated in many multiproxy studies used by IPCC. The programs that are causing much of the recent controversy seems to contain a very similar bodge for a very similar purpose.

  7. matthew h said

    Sorry! my last two comments were for the “War on Reason” post.

  8. Harold Vance said

    What in the heck is a “bodge”? Botch and fudge?

  9. stan said

    Dodge and botch

  10. Jon P said

    If you can bodge a decline you can bodge a theory.

  11. DaveJR said

    “Bodge” is a quick fix with implied quality problems ie “a bodged job” would be one which was done quickly and cheaply and is probably none too reliable. “Applying a bodge” would refer to a carrying out a quick and dirty repair job to make something work.

    “Botch” is to make a mess of things ie “a botched job” is one you screwed up.

    “fudge” is to cover up an error or inconvenient result ie “to fudge the numbers” means you make sure that the “correct” result is obtained.

  12. Ed said

    The use of the word “bodge” is interesting in light of explanations for “trick” and “hide the decline”. From

    Bodge\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bodged.] To botch; to mend clumsily; to patch. [Obs. or Dial.]

    Bodge\, v. i. See Budge.

    make a mess of, destroy or ruin; “I botched the dinner and we had to eat out”; “the pianist screwed up the difficult passage in the second movement” [syn: botch]

    And the reference to “budge”:
    1  /bʌdʒ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [buhj] Show IPA verb, budged, budg⋅ing. (often used negatively)
    Use Budge in a Sentence
    See web results for Budge
    See images of Budge
    –verb (used without object)
    1. to move slightly; begin to move: He stepped on the gas but the car didn’t budge.
    2. to change one’s opinion or stated position; yield: Once her father had said “no,” he wouldn’t budge.
    –verb (used with object)
    3. to cause to move; begin to move: It took three of them to budge the rock.
    4. to cause (someone) to reconsider or change an opinion, decision, or stated position: They couldn’t budge the lawyer.

  13. Duke C. said

    bodge [bɒdʒ]
    1. Informal to make a mess of; botch
    2. Austral informal to make or adjust in a false or clumsy way
    “I bodged the figures”
    [changed from botch]

  14. Hoi Polloi said

    Life’s a bodge….

  15. Chris S said

    I fully expect to hear over the next few days that a “bodge” is actually an innocent and widely used term that describes a valid Scientific function.

  16. crosspatch said


    Yeah, comes from a different meaning of the word with the root in people who make chairs. “Real” Climate will try to spin it as “bodge” meaning “supporting data” 🙂

  17. David Jay said

    If it’s a “C” function, the syntax is:


  18. Joe NS said

    Before we get too excited here, the replacement of an unvoiced dental/palatal stop (t-ch) with a voiced dental/glottal stop (d-g) is a regularly observed dialectal phonetic variant. “Bodge” may simply be a variant of “botch” that over time attracted another connotation to it. Of course I could be wrong.

  19. Dave Dardinger said

    #17 But if it appears at Real Climate shouldn’t it be bodge(float); ? Which fits in well with what they assume we’ll all be doing about 2100.

  20. dearieme said

    I adjust
    You bodge
    He hides the decline.

  21. Ed said

    I think its in R also
    bodge (data_vector, adjust_vector )

  22. stan said

    “I fully expect to hear over the next few days that a “bodge” is actually an innocent and widely used term that describes a valid Scientific function.”

    It’s the same type of a “function” that my dad used to talk about. Whenever he’d had beans and beer, we kids would eventually complain. He’d always say the same thing — “it’s a perfectly natural body function.”

    Just like bodge is a perfectly natural climate science function.

  23. MikeN said

    I think it was Cook that talked about core counts in one of the e-mails to Briffa.
    Could this have influenced his non-revelations with regards to Yamal, or his decision to take himself off of the paper with the Russians(see sfnote2)

  24. Craigo said

    “Bodge” is a widely accepted term in climate science for highly technical adjustments that are well understood in the community of peerreviewedpublished climate scientists. Non peerreviewedpublished bloggers couldn’t possibly understand the subtle nuances between terms like “bodge” and “hide” and will no doubt conclude that some “chicanery” was afoot without knowing that indeed “chicanery” is also a widely understood statistical term that accounts for all late 20th century warming.

  25. […] The term “bodge” also occurs in Climategate correspondence, as pointed out by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009 here. […]

  26. […] The term “bodge” also occurs in Climategate correspondence, as pointed out by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009 here. […]

  27. […] The term “bodge” also occurs in Climategate correspondence, as pointed out by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009 here. […]

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