Honesty in Blogging
Posted by Jeff Id on September 28, 2010
Tamino’s wrote a quick reply to Dr. Loehles vindication post at WUWT. The post ended with this comment.
Gee. When compared honestly, Loehle’s so-called “vindication” becomes an indictment. What a surprise.
Below is the first graph from his site which Dr. Loehle used to point out the amazing similarity of a new article by Ljungqvist in comparison to his own work. Work he was excoriated for by the flat handle hockey team members.
The vertical alignment (offset) of these anomaly graphs is basically an arbitrary thing, but they should match each other. Scientists try to make a match to current temperature in recent times but the data is very noisy. The instrumental ‘red’ line Tamino overlaid gives all the information people need though to see the truth of what Tamino did in his indictment post. This is all the information scientists have to align any reconstruction – the measured temperature ‘anomaly’ which also by no coincidence has its own arbitrary offset. When comparing two plots of allegedly the same temperature anomaly it is of course reasonable to offset according to the series mean, but in the case of a temperature reconstruction it might also be reasonable to make only the calibration period match. The calibration period being the timeframe for which we have reasonable temperature measurements.
Tamino makes the claim that an ‘honest’ comparison makes the new work by Ljungqvist an indictment of Dr. Loehle rather than a confirmation. So let’s talk a bit about honest.
Grant Foster AKA tamino, is a PHD with an extensive mathematical background, he has published in climate and is fully capable of understanding simple mathematical points – which this represents. He is fully aware that anomaly offsets are determined by the base period in which the anomaly is taken. He is also fully aware that it would be reasonable to compare the series by offsetting each graph to zero according to the full dataset mean or a calibration period mean, either is completely fine. What is not fine, is to simply take the graphs from two different methods and assume they have identical offsets. Grant is very very aware of this. When Grant saw that the original alignment shown in the second plot above didn’t match his red line well, did he wonder about the offset? He declared victory and indirectly accused Dr. Loehle of dishonesty.
After writing the above, I received an email and Zeke did a post on this issue and realized the mistake at the end. Nice post altogether but it leaves questions about how offsets were done for all curves.
Dr. Loehle answered at WUWT where the original thread on this was started. The post is worth a read.
I see that Lubos has also made a similar point.
There is not much worse than a dishonest writer, Tamino demonstrated that characteristic pretty badly and due to the stupidity of his claims, boldly.