Science Magazine

We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial—scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of “well-established theories” and are often spoken of as “facts.”

Read the whole letter… it’s only one page. Now get ready… start arguing.

Found by Misanthropic Scott on Cage Match.

  1. Shubee says:

    I agree with #1.

  2. Somebody says:

    RE: Integrity Change and the Climate of Science

    Yes, we all found out that scientists are human too.

    They are perfectly capable of lying to enhance their influence and prestige. Granted, the MSM created a gigantic moral hazard by forming a lucrative market for bogus science but that does not excuse the behavior of the disgraced climatologists.

    The writers of the article act as though getting caught corruptly skirting FOIA requests carries no implication pertaining to the character of the perpetrator.

    They also seem unfazed by the stated reason for the evasion: that the original data in the hands of infidels could be used to support the opposite conclusion.

    While I can accept the concept of “values-free” science, I find “values-free” scientists disgusting.

    “We also call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues…”

    What a wonderful innovation that would be! You did mean to extend that to the skeptics as well, right?

    BTW, granting that the term “McCarthy” is sure to galvanize leftists the world over, it is still an ill-advised choice. After all, McCarthy was right about there being traitorous communist agents in the State Department.

    And really, you don’t object to prosecuting fraud conducted at public expense, do you?

  3. Uncle Patso says:

    Them collidge boyz think ther so smart! Ther awl a-lyin to yez… Why, fer awl yew know, we maht not even be speakin English! They maht have secretly bin teachin us Chinese our entire lives! ‘At’d be jist lahk ‘em!


  4. Buzz says:

    There are several cubic feet of unseasonably cool environment inside a box in my kitchen–proof that global warming is a myth.

  5. Buzz says:

    There is an area of harshly elevated temperatures above an appliance in my kitchen that empirically demonstrate how global warming is simply a temporary local phenomenon.

  6. #42 – Somebody,

    Actually, there was one misunderstood quote from a single email that was stolen by (and potentially doctored, though, if so, not very well) an admitted thief.

    The “trick” in question was a valid scientific kluge for dealing with the fact that in a certain region in the northern forests, trees have already evolved for the new climate there.

    Get that?

    The trees already evolved for a new climate.

    So, exactly what did that one phrase from one person’s email prove exactly about the integrity of the thousands of climate scientists in the world?

    Or, more importantly, what does the tree evolution say about global warming?

    Here’s the real scoop on the CRU hack.

  7. MikeN says:

    Bobbo, that was the impression I had of Bjorn’s writings. If you’ve read up on him ad seen differently, then I stand corrected.

    I do link occasionally, but you’re right, not that often.

  8. MikeN says:

    I see two authors of the Copenhagen Diagnosis are Michael Mann and Rahmstorf, so I wouldn’t give any weight to that.

  9. MikeN,

    The fact that you refuse to link should give you pause. Here’s what it means to the rest of us:

    * MikeN spews a bunch of garbage everywhere he goes without ever backing up a claim.

    * MikeN expects to win a debate by having his debate opponents do his own work for him.

    If you can back up what you say, people may start to take you seriously. Until you can though, We’ll go with one or both of the bullet points above.

    As for ruling out reading a very well thought out and well documented summary of around 300-400 recent peer reviewed papers on a wide variety of subjects under the heading of climatology because the summary was written by 26 people including two you don’t trust is really rather childish, in my opinion.

    Did you get past the authors page at all to even look at the wide array of topics covered by the paper, including:

    Surging greenhouse gas emissions: Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2008 were 40% higher than those in 1990. Even if global emission rates are stabilized at present –day levels, just 20 more years of emissions would give a 25% probability that warming exceeds 2oC. Even with zero emissions after 2030. Every year of delayed action increase the chances of exceeding 2oC warming.

    Recent global temperatures demonstrate human-based warming: Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.190C per decade, in every good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases. Even over the past ten years, despite a decrease in solar forcing, the trend continues to be one of warming. Natural, short- term fluctuations are occurring as usual but there have been no significant changes in the underlying warming trend.

    Acceleration of melting of ice-sheets, glaciers and ice-caps: A wide array of satellite and ice measurements now demonstrate beyond doubt that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass at an increasing rate. Melting of glaciers and ice-caps in other parts of the world has also accelerated since 1990.

    Rapid Arctic sea-ice decline: Summer-time melting of Arctic sea-ice has accelerated far beyond the expectations of climate models. The area of summertime sea-ice during 2007-2009 was about 40% less than the average prediction from IPCC AR4 climate models.

    Current sea-level rise underestimates: Satellites show great global average sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr over the past 15 years) to be 80% above past IPCC predictions. This acceleration in sea-level rise is consistent with a doubling in contribution from melting of glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland and West-Antarctic ice-sheets.

    Sea-level prediction revised: By 2100, global sea-level is likely to rise at least twice as much as projected by Working Group 1 of the IPCC AR4, for unmitigated emissions it may well exceed 1 meter. The upper limit has been estimated as – 2 meters sea-level rise by 2100. Sea-level will continue to rise for centuries after global temperature have been stabilized and several meters of sea level rise must be expected over the next few centuries.

    Delay in action risks irreversible damage: Several vulnerable elements in the climate system (e.g. continental ice-sheets. Amazon rainforest, West African monsoon and others) could be pushed towards abrupt or irreversible change if warming continues in a business-as-usual way throughout this century. The risk of transgressing critical thresholds (“tipping points”) increase strongly with ongoing climate change. Thus waiting for higher levels of scientific certainty could mean that some tipping points will be crossed before they are recognized.

    The turning point must come soon: If global warming is to be limited to a maximum of 2oC above pre-industrial values, global emissions need to peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline rapidly. To stabilize climate, a decarbonized global society – with near-zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases – need to be reached well within this century. More specifically, the average annual per-capita emissions will have to shrink to well under 1 metric ton CO2 by 2050. This is 80-90% below the per-capita emissions in developed nations in 2000.

    Did you note that there are 7 pages of references to peer reviewed articles in the full document?

    As for Michael Mann in particular, as I have shown you on previous threads, the hockey stick paper has been repeatedly vindicated. So, you have no reason to distrust his work.

    Note the last paragraph on the wikipedia page below.

    In a paper on 9 September 2008, Mann and colleagues published an updated reconstruction of Earth surface temperature for the past two millennia. This reconstruction used a more diverse dataset that was significantly larger than the original tree-ring study. In this work, they again claimed that recent increases in northern hemisphere surface temperature are anomalous relative to at least the past 1300 years, and that this result is robust to the inclusion or exclusion of the tree-ring dataset. In a PNAS response, McIntyre and McKitrick point out a number of perceived problems, including that Mann et al. used some data with the axes upside down. Mann et al. in reply assert that McIntyre and McKitrick “raise no valid issues regarding our paper” and the “claim that “upside down” data were used is bizarre”.


  10. Oh, and MikeN,

    Here’s the full text of the 2008 article.

    Hey … the graph in Figure 3 … still looks just like … a hockey stick!!

  11. MikeN says:

    The 2008 Mann paper is arguably worse than the original hockey stick paper, mathematically. He took 1200 proxies, then filtered out the ones that look somewhat like hockey sticks, about 400 out of 1200, averaged them together, and said look here, these 1200 average out to a hockey stick!

    Then there are problems on top of that, some of the proxies aren’t real proxies, but rather actual temperature records. On top of that, Mann actually used some proxies upside down so they looked like a hockey stick. The original Tiljander proxies showed ‘cooling’ in modern times because of farming activities, so Mann flipped it to make it look like warming. This had the effect of taking the warmest period on record from 1000-1200 look like the coldest.
    At least Dr. Kaufman corrected this is his Arctic warming paper when it was pointed out to him by Steve McIntyre. Mann is too arrogant to correct these things. The Arctic warming paper also didn’t try to use the modern cooling as warming, only using the proxy until Tiljander said they were valid.

  12. MikeN says:

    >well) an admitted thief.

    Really, when did he do this?

    >The “trick” in question was a valid scientific kluge for dealing with the fact that in a certain region in the northern forests, trees have already evolved for the new climate there.

    No, it was a scientific technique designed to trick you into not seeing the decline, as John Stewart said.
    They chopped off the inconvenient part, and then replaced that part with the temperature record, making it look like the proxies agree with modern temperatures, when in fact they do not. They didn’t want any inconvenient questions being raised by their graphs.
    You see a similar thing in another ClimateGate e-mail, from Mick Kelly to Phil Jones in 2008.

    Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used
    to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a
    longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you
    might expect from La Nina etc.

    Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.
    Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
    give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
    and the recent cold-ish years.

  13. MikeN says:

    You’ve previously said you are not interested in the bad math produced by some of these climate scientists, but since you’ve requested some links, see for yourself. Feel free to ask questions at RealClimate if you like. I did so, and their responses, when they didn’t just delete the inconvenient questions, just made me more skeptical.

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    The trick is to hide the decline from the audience who isn’t likely to read the papers in detail to see the discussion of divergence. You claim evolution is the answer, but perhaps the answer is that the trees are not good proxies to begin with, it used to be warmer, and the same effect that is causing divergence now caused divergence then as well.

  14. #51 – MikeN,

    Steve McIntyre’s blog??!!? That’s the best you could do for refuting the peer reviewed hockey stick graph? McIntyre isn’t even a climate scientist. He’s a career employee of the mineral business. He has a personal financial interest in global warming being false.

    Climate Audit is his personal blog.

  15. #52 – MikeN,

    >well) an admitted thief.

    Really, when did he do this?

    Um … when he said … oooh look at all these pretty emails I stole when I broke into the CCU computer. Where did you think that the admitted thief got the email?

    Here’s an article about the divergence problem that is being accounted for by “the trick”. Note that it is not a global issue, but is instead circumpolar. So this is not a planetary phenomenon. The tree ring data for northern latitudes agrees for a century or so then begins to diverge in the 1960s.

    So, there are a few questions to be asked:

    1) Do you have a problem with using actual temperatures when available?

    2) Do you really think that the trees in this region invalidate the wealth of data from around the world?

    3) Did you note that as the data set increases, any one piece of data, such as localized tree ring data, becomes far less central to the issue?

  16. Here’s the peer reviewed response to McIntyre’s most recent peer reviewed criticism.

  17. It’s funny, the graph on McIntyre’s blog page makes it appear that the hockey stick graph consists of a mere 3 data sets. Why is it that, in the actual published paper by Mann, et. al., there are eight data sets.

    Is this because McIntyre was unable to dispute the majority of the data and thinks that by cherry picking just a few data points he can make a better lie to the general public?

    I guess this is the result of looking at non-peer reviewed data on the blog of someone with a financial interest in producing disinformation about climate change, perhaps someone in the minerals industry.

    Here’s the real graph from Mann, et. al.

  18. (Dang! I was doing so well about remembering the links issue … until that last post.)

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