Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Who ya gonna call? Pausebusters!

Powerline: "Climate 'science' rocked by another scandal."


Anonymous said...

The problem the climate change deniers face in 2017 is this: scientists and science reporters have learned through hard experience not to sit back and let the bullshit percolate, roaming unimpeded through the news coverage, before responding.

Mark Twain wrote, “A lie will fly around the world while the truth is pulling its boots on.” Today, climate scientists sleep with their boots on.

From mainstream press to the science community to snarky blogs, they're savaging David Rose’s latest opus:



Here’s why the “Climategate 2” scandal is bunk
On Saturday, a feature in the U.K.’s Daily Mail on Sunday by David Rose makes outrageous claims that were already disproven as the paper version hit stands, and that he has already had to in part correct. Rose, who has a history of inaccurate reporting, spins a scandal out of a letter by a former NOAA employee published on a climate change denial blog. The letter makes accusations of wrongdoing in the methodology and data archiving procedures used in the study. These accusations have already been shown to be faulty. Even if they were true, the implications have been blown out of proportion by Rose.

Rebuttals were published in record time, as within minutes there was a tweet describing the story as “so wrong its hard to know where to start”:
[List of the falsehoods and errors in the charge]
If there were substance to the claims, they would have been published in the peer-reviewed literature. The original study was published in Science, perhaps the most highly regarded academic journal in the world. That these claims are found on a blog and a tabloid should be an indication of their veracity.
The former director of NASA-GISS: "The misimpression, that there might be a substantial flaw in climate change analyses, was predictable and surely was realized and even encouraged by those who brought forth this attack. The only censure should be on the heads of those who pretend that there is some significant new revelation and those who aid in the promulgation of this falsehood.”

Anonymous said...

Climategate 2 Falls at the First Hurdle?
For the moment at least it looks to us as though the nth iteration of “Climategate 2” barely made it out of the starting gate. However Mr. Rose’s loyal army of “rebloggers, retweeters, plagiarisers and other assorted acolytes” and that “Republican-led House science committee” may of course have other ideas?

Anonymous said...

David Rose's alternative reality in the Daily Mail
Peek-a-boo! Joanna Krupa shows off her stunning figure in see-through mesh dress over black underwear

Bottoms up! Perrie Edwards sizzles in plunging leotard as Little Mix flaunt their enviable figures in skimpy one-pieces

Bum's the word! Lottie Moss flaunts her pert derriere in a skimpy thong as she strips off for steamy selfie

Sorry about those titles. They provide the fitting context right next to a similarly racy Daily Mail on Sunday piece of David Rose: "Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data". Another article on that "pause" thingy that mitigation skeptics do their best to pretend not to understand. For people in the fortunate circumstances not to know what the Daily Mail is, this video provides some context about this Murdoch "newspaper".
We have quite some irony here.

Rose never mentions that the adjustments make our estimate of global warming smaller; that would not have fit into the conspiracy he is trying to sell.

The "pause" is based on bad statistics and cherry-picking a specific period, which is bad "science". With good statistics, there is no evidence of any trend change.

The "pause" hype assumes that climate data is perfect. I have warned against that over and over again; for example in 2013. Well before the Karl and colleagues (2015) paper showed these uncertainties indeed cannot be ignored for such a short period.

With the last 2 years of data in it is clear that there never was any pause, you no longer need any statistics to see that.

Recent new evidence makes the case stronger that the new ERSST.v4 dataset is an improvement.

Still Rose sees a scandal in these minute updates and dubs it Climategate 2; I thought we were already at 3 or 4. In this typical racy style he calls data "wrong", "rogue", "biased". Knowing that data is never perfect is why scientists do their best to assess the quality of the data, remove problems and make sure that the quality is good enough to make a certain statement. In return people like David Rose simultaneously pontificate about uncertainty monsters and assumes data is perfect and then get the vapors when updates are needed.
For David Rose this is naturally mostly about politics and in his fantasies the Paris climate treaty would not have existed with the Karl and colleagues (2015) paper. I know that "pause" thingy is important for the Anglo-American mitigation skeptical movement, but let me assure Rose that the rest of the world considers all the evidence and does not make politics based on single papers.

[UPDATE: Some days you gotta love journalism: a journalist asked several of the diplomats who worked for years on the Paris climate treaty, they gave the answer you would expect: Contested NOAA paper had no influence on Paris climate deal. The answers still give an interesting insight into the sausage making. What is actually politically important.]

Anonymous said...

Sorry, climate change deniers, but the global warming 'pause' still never happened
Another day, another series of ridiculous and incorrect claims about global warming getting far more air than they deserve.

The latest comes from none other than David Rose, a man who has serially misunderstood climate change so consistently that if he told me the sun would rise tomorrow, I'd be more inclined to believe the Earth had stopped rotating. He writes articles for the Daily Mail —it would be an insult to the fish to wrap them in this tabloid — and he uses a lot of typical techniques wielded by deniers, including cherry picking and misdirection. While he doesn't always deny global warming is happening, he does think it's not as bad as scientists say. I'll also note he has claimed the world is cooling, too, despite all the evidence (and I do mean all of it).
In the (accurate and well-done) research paper that started all this, the scientists show the buoy measurements are better than ships because the water measured on ships was first pumped into the ships' engine rooms, warming it. The whole point of the paper was to correct for that artificial warming.

There are two ways to do this. One is to correct the ship measurements down, since the water was warmed up. Another way is to recalibrate the buoy temperatures up, to match the ship measurements. Now pay attention here: If you were looking at absolute temperatures — graphing the actual water temperatures, like, "the water from this part of the ocean at this time was at this temperature"— then you'd probably prefer to calibrate the ship temperatures down. That makes them more accurate.

However, climate scientists don't usually look at absolute temperatures -- they look at relative ones, what they call temperature anomalies. In other words, they use some baseline (say, temperatures from 1951 – 1980), take the average and measure everything relative to that. So if that average is, say, 10°C over that three decade range, and you measure the water temperature in 2005 as 11.8°C, you'd say the temperature anomaly in 2005 is +1.8°. Scientists typically do this to make it easier to see changes in the temperature, which is, after all, what global warming is.

Here's the fun part. Ships have been measuring water temperatures for a long time and are generally used as standards. So the scientists decided to recalibrate the buoy data up to match them. Remember, if you're measuring absolute temperatures then that gives you the wrong numbers, but not if you're measuring relative changes. If you add to the cooler temperatures or subtract from the warmer ones you get the same relative change. So it doesn't matter which way you do it.

Rose, however, quotes his whistleblower as saying, "They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and 'corrected' it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that's what they did – so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer."

As I show, this is wrong. Since they weren't interested in absolute temperatures it didn't matter which way they recalibrated. Also, they didn’t "throw out" any data. They simply adjusted it.
Science is based on facts — real facts, not "alternative" facts — and reality will continue doing what it does whether politicians believe in it or not.

Anonymous said...

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015
The 'whistle blower' is John Bates who was not involved in any aspect of the work. NOAA's process is very stove-piped such that beyond seminars there is little dissemination of information across groups. John Bates never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) mis-representation of the processes that actually occured. In some cases these mis-representations are publically verifiable.

Anonymous said...

Article names “whistleblower” who claims that NOAA manipulated data
Allegations in a Daily Mail article seem more office politics than science.

On Sunday, the UK tabloid Mail on Sunday alleged a seemingly juicy (if unoriginal) climate science scandal. At its core, though, it’s not much more substantial than claiming the Apollo 11 astronauts failed to file some paperwork and pretending this casts doubt on the veracity of the Moon landing.

The story’s author, David Rose, has published a great many sensational articles over the years, falsely claiming to present evidence undermining the threat of climate change or the human cause behind it. But this latest article is noteworthy in that it appears to reveal the supposed “whistleblower” who has been cited by the US House Science Committee in its ongoing clash with climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The committee’s Twitter account, as well as the account of Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-Texas), has gone hog-wild tweeting about the story. For example, the committee account tweeted, “@NOAA obstructed the committee's oversight at every turn. Now we know what they were hiding.” Rather than engage with the science behind this paper, Rep. Lamar Smith has, without any evidence, accused the NOAA scientists of doctoring their results to exaggerate recent warming.

There may also be something beyond simple “engineers vs. scientists” tension behind Bates’ decision to go public with his allegations. Two former NOAA staffers confirmed to Ars that Tom Karl essentially demoted John Bates in 2012, when Karl was Director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Bates had held the title of Supervisory Meteorologist and Chief of the Remote Sensing Applications Division, but Karl removed him from that position partly due to a failure to maintain professionalism with colleagues, assigning him to a position in which he would no longer supervise other staff. It was apparently no secret that the demotion did not sit well with Bates.

Office politics aside, the claims in the Mail on Sunday article that the Karl paper exaggerated the warming trend fall down when you examine any of the other surface temperature datasets. In a paper we recently covered, a team led by Berkeley researcher Zeke Hausfather compared the updated sea surface temperature dataset to shorter but simpler and independent sets of measurements made by satellites and automated floats. That analysis confirmed that the updated dataset is more accurate than its predecessor.


Anonymous said...

Mail on Sunday’s Misleading Claims on Climate Change
The climate denier engine is revving up again. Last weekend an article in the Mail on Sunday attempted to cast doubt on the strength of climate science. It’s now been taken up by the U.S. House Science Committee, which has been prone to promoting more climate denial than sound science in recent months. The news article doesn’t just misinform; it is not grounded in facts… While the Chairman of the House Science committee cited Bates’ blog post as proof that NOAA played “fast and loose with data,” Bates flatly refuted that in an interview with E&E, saying this “is not an issue of tampering with data.”

The Paris Agreement on climate change was not based on one study. It was built upon years of negotiations, drawing on a mountain of research from the scientific community. To say that achieving the Paris Agreement was due to one scientific article being published months before the negotiations commenced is to discount decades of work by thousands of scientists and policymakers around the globe. By the time negotiators reached Paris, 188 countries had already submitted national climate plans. The idea that this study prompted countries to overcome lingering doubts about the science defies logic.

Anonymous said...

Retired NOAA scientist feels slighted, sets world afire in revenge
David Rose has a long history of writing discredited articles for the Daily Mail for years attacking climate scientists. The UK National Weather Service has been forced to repeatedly debunk his claims. Columbia Journalism Review describes Rose’s work as “outrageous” “pseudoscience.” Rose is so known for this garbage that Discover Magazine dubbed an award for bad science reporting the “David Rose Award, thanks to his “flawed and distorted climate reporting.” In 2013, Media Matters named the Daily Mail “Climate Change Misinformer Of The Year,” noting that its claims had been repeated by U.S. Congressmen and dozens of U.S. news outlets.

The highly respected American Geophysical Union, on whose board Bates once sat, rebuked Bates for taking his data management concerns to a tabloid, refuted some of Bates’ and Rose’s claims, and linked to two of the above scientific rebuttals. Rose is so delusional he managed to find validation in the AGU’s response, tweeting “AGU is taking John Bates's revelation that NOAA breached its own data rules with Pausebuster paper seriously.”

Anonymous said...

Political Assault on Science, Climate, Facts Ramps Up with Tabloid Smear of Karl ‘15
Memo to deniers: Stop trying to make Climategate 2 happen. It’s not going to happen.

With Trump in power, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for a full-scale assault on climate and the environment. This weekend, it looks like that assault has begun. …The main course comes thanks to fake news favorite David Rose. On Saturday, a feature in the UK’s Mail on Sunday by Rose made outrageous claims about the now-infamous Tom Karl Pause-buster paper published in Science.

But despite the allegations being easily debunked, we should take notice. All at once we see the WSJ attacking NASA, Rose attacking NOAA and Smith attacking the EPA. With ExxonMobil’s CEO running the Department of State, fossil fuel lackey Pruitt likely to run the EPA and god knows who to run NASA and NOAA, the political world is sure to use these attacks as justification to fulfill the fossil fuel industry’s dreams of gutting federal climate science.

So let’s take a look here. Rose spins a scandal he tries to dub Climategate 2 out of a letter published on Judith Curry’s blog by John Bates, formerly of NOAA and now starting a consultancy.The piece levels charges that Karl manipulated data to influence the Paris Agreement. This was already disproven as the paper version hit newsstands, and Rose quickly had to correct a questionable graph.

The letter makes accusations of wrongdoing in the methodology and data archiving procedures used in the study. These accusations have already been shown as faulty. Even if they were true, the implications have been blown out of proportion by Rose.

Rose’s story and Bates’s letter were so full of holes that both were rebutted multiple times in mere hours.

Just like Climategate was a manufactured scandal that was debunked by eight multiple independent agencies, this attempt at Climategate 2 is FAKE NEWS which will serve as cover for attacking the multiple lines of evidence and overwhelming consensus of the reality of human-caused climate change. The original Climategate story broke over the Thanksgiving holiday and just ahead of the Copenhagen COP. This time, they dropped it on Superbowl weekend, just ahead of Lamar Smith’s hearing on “Making EPA Great Again” this week.

If there were substance to the claims, they would have been published in the peer-reviewed literature. The original study, which was published in Science, perhaps the most highly regarded academic journal in the world. That these claims are found in the WSJ, a blog and a tabloid should be an indication of their veracity.

Anonymous said...

Factcheck: Mail on Sunday’s climate data scandal falls apart under scrutiny
This past weekend the Mail on Sunday said it uncovered a gigantic scandal of misbehavior by US climate scientists.

But it hadn’t.

Reporter David Rose – a notorious climate skeptic – claimed he obtained evidence that the esteemed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had “manipulated global warming data.”

Except he didn’t.

The source of this explosive allegation – former NOAA scientist John Bates – has since clarified that he didn’t actually say this.

…In the days since the Rose story was published, reports have come out challenging everything from the science, the politics and the significance of Mail spread and the claims of its whistleblower.

But despite glaring errors in the article, longtime critics of climate science – such as Congressman Lamar Smith and Senator Ted Cruz – have seized on it, using it as an excuse to gut the agency.

The NOAA study at the heart of this scandal – dubbed the ‘pausebuster’ by its critics – shows that there was no slowdown in global warming in the years since the turn of the century.

Released in the June 2015, it came out six months before the UN summit in Paris but after many countries had already penned their carbon commitments.

One of the key charges in the Mail piece is that this NOAA study – which it calls ‘flawed’ – shows higher temperatures than its ‘verified’ equivalent from the UK Met Office.

But, as NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt points out, the graph illustrating this discrepancy is wrong; the baselines were different.

Since Dr Bates was really talking about NOAA protocol, and not some bogus spiel about doctored climate data, let’s look at that.

Basically Bates had concerns about the way data was handled, documented and stored — legitimate but nuanced criticisms.

According to an Arstechnica report, it was essentially an engineers vs scientists dispute, with Bates arguing that the methods used by the satellite data collecting team should be replicated by the surface data collecting team.

But Bates’ satellites use software that’s impossible to tweak once it’s in the air — and so it undergoes time-intensive testing before launch.

Data accumulated from weather stations on the ground, however, is more straightforward — it’s far easier to spot and fix mistakes. Which is what they did.

The Mail claims the NOAA study was “rushed to publication” in order to back President Obama’s push for a climate deal at the UN climate summit in Paris later that year.

The journal Science, which published it, doesn’t agree with that, pointing out that it was reviewed for 6 months, which is actually longer than your average scientific paper.

Anonymous said...

'Climategate 2' allegations don't stand up to scrutiny
A 2015 paper finding that there was no 'global warming hiatus' has been verified in independent studies.

The Mail on Sunday used a "fake graph" in a story claiming to challenge the validity of a scientific study that found the global warming hiatus of the early 2000s never happened, climate scientists say.

Climate scientists say that they have both been able to access the data used in the study and have verified it using independent methods, after it was made available on a NOAA ftp site.

"As someone who works on and develops surface temperature records, the data they provided would be sufficient for me to examine their analysis in detail and see how it compared to other groups. In fact, I used the data they provided shortly after the paper was published to do just that," wrote Zeke Hausfather, climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, in a blog for CarbonBrief.

Hausfather published a paper in January finding that the 2015 study's results were backed up by independent methods including satellite radiometry and data from robotic floats. The findings in the 2015 paper were found to agree with other datasets such as those at the Met Office's Hadley Centre in the UK.

After publication the caption of the graph in the news story was updated to remedy the "previous inadvertent omission that NOAA and [the Hadley Centre data] use different baselines", its author David Rose tweeted. However, at the time of publication of this article, the graph had not been replaced with one reflecting a shared baseline.