Monthly Archives: February 2011

The thread to end all threads – Judith Curry vs. Gavin Schmidt

Yesterday Judith Curry posted an article regarding the controversial ‘hide the decline’ statement made in the climategate emails. Curry explained why she felt that some scientists were being dishonest and misleading. Many of the following comments focused on her using the term dishonest, but I think the real important quote is here:

I infer then that there is something in the IPCC process or the authors’ interpretation of the IPCC process (i.e. don’t dilute the message) that corrupted the scientists into deleting the adverse data in these diagrams.

In otherwords she feels that the IPCC pressured scientists to present a uniform message, and as a result data was distorted and people were mislead. I don’t know exactly what time this was posted, but the first comment was at 7:06pm. There were 5 or 6 comments in the next 25 minutes. A fairly typical blog post.

Then Gavin dropped in. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


What would an accurate survey of climate scientists look like?

I recently criticized the study Doran and Zimmerman 2009 because of poor phrasing in their survey questions. I’ve looked at some other attempts at surveying the climate field, which I may write about later, but I haven’t found a satisfactory survey yet. The problem is that while the surveys ask if human activity has influenced climate, they don’t ask how significant it has been. For example, if a climate scientist believed that human impacts have increased the global mean temperature by one tenth of one degree, then they would answer yes and be considered ‘part of the consensus’. I verified this by asking several famous ‘skeptical’ climate scientists to answer the questions used in the Doran 09 survey, and they answered in the positive.

This led me to consider what kind of question would be sufficient to determine just how significant climate scientists believe human activities have warmed our planet. I put forth this as a question:

Do you believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were the primary factor (50% or more) in the observed mean global temperature increase since the mid-20’th century?

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


Study claiming '97% of climate scientists agree' is flawed

Perhaps the most common argument used when urging action on climate change is the appeal to scientific authority. Previously this was accomplished by pointing at the IPCC, but since they have lost a significant portion of their credibility recently it has become more frequent to point out the scientists themselves. The most common claim that I encounter is a variation on this claim:

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

I recently heard this claim on my own threads. I looked at the source (the study Doran and Zimmerman 2009), found some problems, and then wrote back on my threads. However, I have seen this claim so many times that I believe it would be good to make a post about it. I also e-mailed several prominent climate scientists who would be considered ‘skeptics’ to get their opinions on the study. Their responses are displayed at the end of the post. In this post I briefly comment on past responses to the study, then break my post into three sections. The first will focus on the flaw in the study (the second question), the second will look at the motives of the researcher, and the third will be posting responses from prominent ‘skeptical’ climate scientists.
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Uncategorized



Steig vs. Steig

Update 2/9/11

Ryan responded and told me that he sent the preprint on Dec 5th or early on the 6th, and then learned that Steig was Reviewer A later on the 6th. So Ryan sent a preprint before he knew Steig was a reviewer.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Eric Steig’s role in reviewing the O’Donnell et al 2010. That paper reviewed Steig et al 2009 (SO9), and Steig himself was a reviewer. O’Donnell and Jeff Condon, authors of the paper, both feel that Steig was dishonest about his role. It is now known that Steig was Reviewer A, and the review process is all online here. I decided to take a quick look at his comments to see if I could find anything interesting. I found several seemingly contradictory statements.
Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized