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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Remember the weather at Rutherglen? BoM was right all along, of course!

Sou | 6:31 PM Go to the first of 80 comments. Add a comment

Do you recall all the kerfuffle a short while ago about the temperature record for Rutherglen? (Graham Readfearn wrote about it at the time, too.) It was pretty obvious to anyone who looked at the data that something changed a few decades ago. The record was adjusted - I should say, straightened out. It was corrected because the data record showed there had been a change at the site.

It didn't stop disinformers kicking up a stink complaining the data had been adjusted and not just adjusted but adjusted "up".. They even roped in Graham Lloyd at the Australian.

Well, they got what they wanted only it's not what they want, I suspect. A diligent BoM researcher did a lot of digging. A lot more than I did. (I only made a couple of phone calls and looked at some BoM data and other stuff on the internet.)

While deniers were chastising BoM for not having someone on hand to hop in a time machine, go up to the research station and look at where the weather station was in the 1950s, one of their people was busy doing the next best thing. Getting records from various different archives.

You can read the result of their efforts here. It's a beautiful little glimpse into history.

Oh. Needless to say, there is very strong evidence, I'd say incontrovertible (don't you love that word) evidence of a station move before 1966. And indications of a change in the weather station in the 1970s. As BoM states:
The need for the adjustment made to Rutherglen data for the period prior to 1966 was determined from an objective statistical test that showed an artificial jump in the data during this period.
While it is not necessary to have supporting documentation to justify correcting a statistically determined artificial jump in the data, it is of interest that the change at Rutherglen is very likely associated with a change in the location of the weather station.

Graham Lloyd will no doubt have an article in tomorrow's Australian, profusely apologising to BoM and chastising Jen Marohasy, Bill Johnston, Anthony Watts and other deniers for (further) besmirching the reputation of the environment section of The Australian.

Don't you think?

[Update: for the answer, see below. Sou: 19 Sept 14]

Congratulations to the scientist at BoM who went above and beyond the call of duty. That is such a lovely account, not just of the history - with photos and maps and records, but an illustration of how back in the 1950s weather was weather and weather stations were used for weather, not climate so much. This example also demonstrates that the science works. That the statistical tests are robust.

It also illustrates how difficult the task must have been for people like Phil Jones and his colleagues at CRU in the early days, trying to put together a climate record of the entire world - on a shoestring budget. They would not have been able to visit every weather station in the world even if they had the funds. They would have been painstakingly putting together a record of the world's temperature trends, based on handwritten records of weather stations all over the world. And all the people in weather bureaux everywhere who've entered data from hand written records into computers. The mind boggles just trying to imagine the humungous task that people have quietly gone about doing back over time, without complaint and without the honour and glory bestowed on them that they deserve.

If you're not careful, you'll find your blood pressure rising, thinking about how carelessly and callously deniers accuse these people of "getting it wrong", cherry picking one example out of hundreds - and deniers don't even get that right as this example shows.

You'll notice, no doubt, that despite all the aggravation heaped on BoM without any reason for it, BoM responded without a trace of snark. Scientists are gracious people, aren't they.

Unlike bloggers:)


Update:


For Billy Bob, disinformer and uber conspiracy theorist. He wanted some information to eyeball. He is one of those people who thinks that a single station at a single site is representative of the entire world. If it hasn't warmed in Rutherglen then it disproves global warming is the gist of Bob's argument.

A single site will show much more variability than a region. A region will show much more variability than a continent. A continent will show more variability than a hemisphere. Global land only surface will show more variability than the entire global sea surface. The global land and sea surface combined will show least variability of all. Averages tend to smooth.

Some places in the world are cooling. Some show no overall trend at all. The vast majority of places on earth are warming, as evidence by the large rise in global surface temperature. At Rutherglen research station it has been getting warmer recently.

I have plotted the max daily temperature for Rutherglen for two periods - the entire history and the period since 1966 (after the break in data). Note these past few years in particular, and how warm even the coolest years were, compared to the past.

Data source: BoM

Data source: BoM

80 comments:

  1. Very comprehensive response from BOM, so the challenge has been met. I haven't read the BOM claim in detail, but I shall be most interested to see the response from Jennifer and Jo Nova.

    Just out of curiosity, if we consider that it is only since 1975 that the current instrument at Rutherglen has produced a reliable record, what trend can we see for the most recent 30 years of temps at that station? I have cast a mk 1 eyeball over it, looks pretty flat to me...

    Anyone?

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    1. Anyone? No.

      Why should anyone (from a global climate point of view) be that interested in the temperature record of one weather station? Oh yes, you think that "proves" something?

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Billy Bob, why did you make a flat statement about unreliability of early records when there was absolutely no evidence to support it. I'm curious, were you being deliberately mischievous or did you really believe what you wrote? Making up stuff is one of the things that annoys people here and why actions like that get a strong response.

      The station is at a research institute. They require reliable records and would have kept them. There is nothing at all to suggest the records prior to 1958 are unreliable. They are probably as reliable as you'll find anywhere.

      The new web page is describing station moves, not suggesting that there is any question about the reliability of the records.

      As for your other questions, I think I looked at the max min etc over time. I'll see what I can dig up when I get home. Or you can look yourself if you have a spreadsheet app. The data is on the ACORN-SAT website.

      PS Excuse any typos. I'm on a tablet and it not only autocorrects, or thinks it does, the typeface is tiny. :(

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    4. Billy Bob. That's enough nonsense from you for the time being. Take some time out to read, learn and listen. Before your next comment, think what you are writing. Check to see if it is consistent with and supported by facts.

      The whole point of this is that deniers made false allegations despite the data indicating the contrary. BoM went out of its way to show the deniers were wrong. It should have taught a salutary lesson. Deniers are incapable of learning it seems. Either that or you are being deliberately deceitful. I don't want to think that of you. So shape up.

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    5. Billy Bob, I believe the mark 1 eyeball was about 540 million years ago in trilobites. I understand there have been about 18 more versions of eyes which makes mine mark 19 or something like that.

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    6. Why await "responses" from the incompetent Nova and Marohasy, both of whom also have a history of (apparently deliberate) disinformation?

      Do you hope that after all of their extensive failures to demonstrate that their theories (e.g.) of deliberate data fudging are even plausible, that maybe *this* time they'll rework their conspiratorial ideation into a charge that actually sticks? Did Charlie Brown *ever* manage to kick the football held out for that purpose by Lucy?

      Or are you simply interested in (say) the tactics Marohasy and Nova will use to wriggle out of the latest evidence of Marohasy (and others) inability to make a competent argument about this kind of topic, and the mental gymnastics their respective band of sycophants will employ in order to swallow whatever tripe they cook up? That kind of thing is interesting the first dozen times you see it in action, but it starts to pale rapidly after that ;-)

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    7. "Anyone?"
      Billy Bob, you don't know what you don't know.
      You've cast a "mk 1 eyeball over it, it looks pretty flat to" you because you're not looking at the anomalies.
      Hence your "mk 1 eyeball" is fooled by the scale.
      I'd suggest that you might want to convert the temperatures from celsius to kelvin and then you'd have an absolutely (there's a science pun in there for you) flat graph.
      And, don't stop there. Convert the time scale from years to centuries and, voila, you'll reduce your absolutely-flat line graph to what is essentially a single point. Nothing to worry about then.
      But don't take my word for it, try it yourself, if you're capable. You can use this example of Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent September 1979 to 2010 to get an idea of the process I've described above.
      But seriously, Billy Bob, if you've got the time, use that arcane program Excel to plot the anomalies from 1975 to 2013 with their trend line and your "pretty flat" line will no longer look, well, "pretty flat". You can even report back with the gradient of that trend line. Marks will be deducted if you use the incorrect units.
      Do it, Billy Bob. You know you want to.
      GM

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    8. I'm not interested in plotting the anomalies GM. GM... 's funny, those are my initials too, if I were to admit to not being Billy Bob.

      But here's the thing. For the temperature to get hotter, it's gotta get, well, hotter. So.... is Rutherglen on average hotter now than it was in 1975? What is the trend in the actual temps for that station over the past 30-40 years? I am genuinely curious but I can't even spell Excel so no chance I'm gonna try it for myself. I thought one of you brainy types could do that, seeing as you are so confident it's getting hotter.

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    9. That Denial Depot post is a classic, GM. I was going to link to the same one, but you beat me to it.

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    10. Sou I wasn't questioning the reliability of the records directly. I may have chosen my words poorly. I was observing that both sides would agree that data since 1975 is essentially unaffected by any station issues, and thus should be reliable for assessing any trend. That trend appears to me to be flat. So if it is flat for a period in which warming is at its most significant, it could call into question the BOM's argument for an overall warming trend.

      In terms of the BOM adjustments, they have argued that their adjustments of earlier data may be valid on the basis there is evidence of site issues such as a possible move. The argument against that as I recall is that there has been no such move.

      If I get time today I'll have a read of the BOM page. But I am interested to see how Marohasy et al respond to that because at a first reading BOM is still making an assumption on slim evidence.

      For me as a layperson looking at this with insufficient time to delve deeply, I'd be wondering if the dip at 1966 is really due to siting issues. What does additional background information of the day tell us? For example, are there newspaper records that might indicate a significant rainfall at that time, or some other local conditions that may have contributed to the temp spike.

      It might very likely be that the data does indicate a siting issue, but surely you'd do some additional research before assuming the statistical anomaly implies an instrument issue.

      Of course, I have no expertise in such matters so I accept that BOMs approach is backed by an understood methodology. However, on the face of it I can see Marohasy's point.

      So, I will be interested to see what the response is to the Bureau's investigation.

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    11. Billy Bob, when I asked you to take time out I meant at least a few days. You have not taken the time to read, think, listen and learn.

      For example:
      For me as a layperson looking at this with insufficient time to delve deeply... and If I get time today I'll have a read of the BOM page

      Reading the BoM account is not "delving deeply". You could at least have read it before spouting crap. There are at least two lines of evidence that the station moved. The first is statistical. That is what BoM uses to detect a break in the record and make adjustments accordingly. Where available, this is supported by station records documenting a move, which were not provided to BoM in this case. Probably in part because the research centre itself was rebuilt during the period. The other evidence for the move is strong and provided by BoM. They went out of their way to investigate, which they don't normally do for a single station. You could have done them the courtesy of reading before badmouthing them.

      You wrote: Of course, I have no expertise in such matters, which is patently obvious. Therefore I ask why you even comment rather than learn. Why do you reject science in favour of known disinformers? Why are you such a conspiracy theorist, assuming that scientists are up to no good and that the disinformers are the "heros". The people who go out of their way to try to discredit professionals who devote their careers to explaining the world around us.

      From your comments you demonstrate a very nasty streak. You are not just a denier, you set out to spread disinformation, making bald statements contrary to all evidence.

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    12. Billy Bob is making up stuff again. He wrote: " I thought one of you brainy types could do that, seeing as you are so confident it's getting hotter."

      Yet I don't see a single comment, other than Billy Bob's that expressed any opinion on the trend in the temperature recorded at Rutherglen.

      A single site cannot be extrapolated to the entire world, despite what the idiots at WUWT and elsewhere will tell you (eg their "The Greenland Summit is a proxy for the entire earth" nonsense.

      It turns out it has been getting hotter at Rutherglen these past few years, as I discovered when I plotted the data. I'm not surprised, because that's what the locals here will tell you, too. Though I've recently been admonished by a scientist for casually expressing an opinion based on what I observe from living here, rather than looking at the data. And rightly so.

      The data is up there at the bottom of the main article.

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    13. "...they have argued that their adjustments of earlier data may be valid on the basis there is evidence of site issues such as a possible move.

      No, they have not.

      They've argued that their adjustments are valid because their published peer-reviewed methodology produces those adjustments for the reasons that the methodology does - based on various statistical and algorithmic tests on the available data.

      They've also tried to explain to laymen who are being deceived by an (apparently deliberate) campaign that station moves are one example of factors that produce the kind of data issues the methodology detects and responds to, one that might even apply in this case.

      But what they haven't done is argue that their adjustments are valid because there might have been a station move.

      If you can't understand the difference between what they said and how you rephrased it, then you are not intellectually equipped to pass judgement on their arguments - and you will prove to be easy fodder for people who want to deceive you. (No, that's not the BoM.)

      And what they actually argue is why:

      "The argument against that as I recall is that there has been no such move."

      would be an invalid argument even if those making it had actually demonstrated that there actually had been no move. The fact that they didn't even demonstrate that their claim was accurate invalidated that argument from another direction, as was immediately obvious to most readers.

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    14. Billy Bob said he didn't even bother reading the BoM article before he spouted off. I don't think he even read my article about it before he spouted off.

      He's just another disinformer or, at best, a brain-dead denier, who is rapidly wearing out his welcome here.

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    15. Well Billy Bob, using the raw data from Rutherglen, the trend line indicates that over the last 40 years, the average yearly temperature has gone up by 0.8 degC. Which doesn't seem too bad, does it? After all, in Rutherglen the daily difference between maximum and minimum temperatures can be as high as 20 degC, right? But we're talking averages, not differences. And why is that important? In simplified terms, when averages are calculated, your calculation is carrying all that 'dead-weight' of colder temperatures from past years along with the newer warmer temperatures from contemporary years being added to them.

      As an illustration of the 'dead-weight effect', Billy Bob, take the computer game Solitaire as a simple analogy. If you've won or successfully completed 368 games out of the 446 games that you've played, you've won 82.5% of games. By how much does your winning percentage change, if you continue playing another 184 games (half of 368 games) and win all of them. It changes by 5% to 87.6% (552/630 x 100). Even if you had played another 368 games and won all of them, your winning percentage would only have changed by 8% to 90.4% (736/814 x 100)!

      Now change winning at Solitaire to higher temperatures, Billy Bob, and you'll see how variations to the average don't come easily. I'll leave you, yourself, to make the connection with average global temperatures and the variations on the theme that come with that.

      I'm running short on Christian charity, Billy Bob, so this will hopefully be brief.

      "For the temperature to get hotter, it's gotta get, well, hotter." My interpretation is that this statement implies that you haven't noticed it heating up. Think of a frog in water that is being warmed ever so gradually. That should do it for you.

      "I thought one of you brainy types could do that, seeing as you are so confident it's getting hotter." Ditto the frog thing again. And, it's just a personal view, but no one here, who has engaged with your comments, should ever feel embarrassed that their IQs are so high that not even your dog could hear them; metaphorically speaking that is, Billy Bob. Finally, think of all those heatwaves and all those unseasonally hot days that were needed to raise Rutherglen's annual average temperatures, raw data not even homogenised, by 0.8 degC since 1975. Remember your Solitaire average. That should do it.

      Memo to self: Probably too much maths. Should have left it at E = mc^2 and moved on.
      GM

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    16. Just to be charitable myself (even though you haven't been - conspiracy theorist??? When did I ever suggest a conspiracy?) I'll thank Sou for actually going to the trouble of responding to my tongue in cheek request.

      I'll have a good look at this when I get a chance but my backwoods denier brain is heavily overloaded as it is. Plus, Mrs Bob is annoyed with me for spending so much time on the computer instead of watching with her Silk and Inspector Softly or whatever that silly show on the leftist ABC is that she insists on watching and thereby introducing marital disharmony to our hitherto blissful household.

      By the way, I did spend quite some time reading the BOM page last night and doing some detailed Google Earth studies - not because it's especially important but I wondered at the extent to which their largely circumstantial evidence held water. Of course, the simple answer is that I can't tell from what evidence is available, but if the question of a site move is so critical, I think on balance the evidence to hand from BOM is more significant than that offered by Jennifer.

      The best answer to that question would be some clear witness accounts or documented evidence of NO move.

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    17. Scene: Some weather station in 1850 or so

      Weather station monitor "We didn't move the weather station today Sir"
      Chief meteorologist: :"OK, good. Better file a report to that effect"
      Weather station monitor "OK Sir, I will do that without delay"

      Scene: Some weather station in 2014 or so

      Chief meteorologist: :"Has the weather station moved?"
      Weather station monitor "No Sir, not as far as I know"
      Chief meteorologist: :"Have you checked all the weather station not moved records?"
      Weather station monitor "Yes Sir, and none of them record a move"
      Chief meteorologist: :"Excellent. Excellent. So where haven't we moved from?"
      Weather station monitor "Er, from where we weren't before Sir"
      Chief meteorologist: :"Excellent. Excellent. Lucky we keep such good records of what didn't happen?"

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  2. I await the front page apology in tomorrow's Australian with a sense of anticipation!

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    1. The sound you're not hearing is anyone here holding their breath...

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    2. You are being too harsh on The Oz. I have enormous respect for Rupert Murdoch. So much so that I fantasise about having the extraordinary honour of being at his bedside during his final moments in this world.

      I have even rehearsed the words I would whisper in his ear as he passes.

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  3. Billy Bob

    "I haven't read the BOM claim in detail..."
    "Granted I don't understand the science ..."
    "I shall be most interested to see the response from..."


    You do not appear able to make much effort of your own to think and you rely on professional disinformers for your information and points. Perhaps you should take some time out to sharpen up your act before you think you can make such pronouncements. Or are you happy to act as someone else's parrot all the time?

    I think you should be able to do it with about 3 years effort. I know effort is difficult for deniers but it is worth it in the longer run.

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  4. "...thinking about how carelessly and callously deniers accuse these people..."

    I'd have said deliberately and with malice. Climategate showed us that much. Ever seen a denier apologise for that one?

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  5. The hallucinations were an early hint as to where this story would end up.

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  6. Indeed.

    Special thanks to Jen Marohasy for an #OwnGoal tip-in assist of a Goddard flub, which I documented here:
    http://contextearth.com/2014/09/16/using-tidal-gauges-to-estimate-enso/

    Marohasy was one of a group of bloggers who questioned all the Australian tidal gauge records purporting to show sea-level rise.

    I took the data she suggested that people look at -- the tidal gauge data in Sydney harbor -- and I ran with it. It is actually helping to unravel the mysteries of El Nino.

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    1. An early example of scientific corruption in the service of fossil-fuels was an Australian report on sea-level rise in the Western Pacific which chose the massive El Nino of 1998 as its end-point. As we know, sea-level falls in that region during an El Nino, sometimes quite dramatically.

      Also : Goddard. What a dipstick.

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  7. Sigh. The tactics of the professional deniers work, they spread uncertainty and at the same time have honest people running around proving their good faith.

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  8. ==> "so the challenge has been met."

    Interesting way to frame it. So being accused of "manipulating data" = a "challenge."

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  9. Can we not expect WUWT and/or the potty peer to claim those scanned images have been manipulated?

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    1. i'm sure that right as we speak, Monckton is busy proving that the probability of the scans being genuine is eleventy bajillion to one.

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  10. You guys are extraordinary… the Bureau have not actually provided any documentation for a site move. But let me be generous and consider that one might have occurred… as the Bureau suggests… between paddocks… how could this account for a change in the magnitude and direction of the temperature trend. More here

    [Link to denier site redacted and replaced with a link to the archived version:
    https://archive.today/Vl9N4 Sou 19/9/14]

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    1. BTW Jennifer is wrong when she wrote:

      HotWhopper haven’t actually examined the data, or thought about whether moving a weather station between paddocks in a relatively flat rural terrain could cause a change in the direction and magnitude of the temperature trend. They are just celebrating that the Bureau could publish on the Internet claiming a site move.

      It's Jennifer who hasn't bothered reading the material provided by BoM.

      I have looked at the data. Unlike Jennifer and her "colleague" with a grudge, Bill Johnston, (a denialist colleague now is he? interesting!) I don't start off with the conspiracy ideation that all scientists are trying to hide something. Nor am I a professional disinformer like Jennifer. In fact HotWhopper exists to demolish the sort of nasty disinformation she peddles.

      Nor do I particularly care what happened at Rutherglen. A single site is inconsequential in the context of global surface temperatures - and continental surface temperatures. It's the aggregate picture that's important.

      Jennifer goes further than most disinformers, professional or otherwise. She wants to put scientists in jail for doing their job. She disgusts me.

      I talked at some length with someone at Rutherglen Research Centre. (When I was driving home in the wee wee hours of this morning, I was looking at the outside temperature on the dash, and thinking how interesting it is that just a few meters difference can hike temperatures up to 3 degrees Celsius and then they'll drop back down to zero or minus one degree, when the terrain or vegetation changes slightly.)

      Jennifer's also wrong about what I wrote. The documentation suggests a site move. From where I sit it's virtually categorical proof of a site move. Scientists don't make mistakes like saying that the ground slopes up when it slopes down. Most of them would know where North is. Jennifer can rant and rave all she likes, no-one except perhaps the "Billy Bobs" of the world will pay her any attention. Oh she might get quoted by Maurice Newman - but everyone knows he's a clown when it comes to climate science.

      If people like Jennifer had a streak of decency in their body, they'd be working with the scientists not calling for them to be jailed. She'd be thanking the Bureau for going to the extra trouble they did, when it goes beyond their duty. Not Jennifer. She's nasty. In any case, working with scientists has never been her intention. She's not interested in adding to knowledge. She's a disinformer who doesn't want the world to mitigate global warming. That's what drives her.

      I'll add that when I first came across her blog, I figured it was a long-standing Poe. I couldn't credit that anyone could be as half-witted and ridiculous. I expected that one day someone would pop up and shout "fooled you". You only have to read the comments to see how "highly" she is regarded. She's not a denier nutter. She's a hard core denier disinformer of the most unscrupulous kind.

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    2. I've spent more time on Jennifer than I hope I ever will again. I will add one thing though - the few meters changes I noticed was in relatively flat terrain with sloped probably no different to the slopes you'll find at Rutherglen Research Station.

      When did Jennifer visit Rutherglen I wonder? She acts as if she knows it intimately but I wouldn't mind betting she's never set foot on the place.

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    3. "You guys are extraordinary… "

      I know. But thank you anyway.

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    4. "But let me be generous and consider that one might have occurred"

      Huh? How is that being generous? Isn't that what any reasonable, fair minded person would naturally do?

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    5. One more comment and hopefully I'll then stop. Jennifer talks about her new "colleague", ex-scientist Bill Johnston, and links to a discussion supposedly about how he "forensically examined" the data. Daily minimum that is, not the mean or max. Sadly, he does not provide or link to the data he used.

      He apparently has a full record of all years and presumably all days, which he says he got from BoM. But he's keeping it a secret. Jennifer and her new friend Bill provide no data, no data source and no code, just a chart and a few words of description. Unlike my articles. Some scientists they are, huh?

      That's right. Jennifer expects a peer reviewed paper on the subject within two weeks. She's not happy with this peer reviewed paper or more likely is deliberately ignoring it. Nor with all these reports on the methods.

      And all she has is a blog article and some words from an old disgruntled chap - no data, a chart and a few words. Wondering Willis wouldn't like that, would he :o

      BTW - here's a link to Rutherglen Research Station at BoM - raw data AFAIK. There are gaps. I don't know where Bill found the missing years. He doesn't say.

      I've already provided a link to the ACORN-SAT data.

      PS As for Jennifer claiming I didn't do this or that, at least I spoke to scientists who know about this stuff. Did she? Did she talk to anyone at BoM before coming out with her wild allegations and her calls for jailing scientists? She doesn't give any indication that she did. Did she talk to anyone at Rutherglen Research Station? She gives no indication that she bothered. She found someone who wasn't ever based at Rutherglen. Someone who collaborated with scientists there on a some research project years ago. Someone who she could use as a puppet because he carried a big chip on his shoulder.

      That's not how you do science.

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    6. Sorry about this, but I can't resist one more dig at Jennifer and her retired mate. You may recall how Bob Johnston relayed the story told to him by someone at Rutherglen how a local politician got the research centre to install another (unofficial) weather station on site, because the one that was there was in a bit of a frost shadow and the minimum temps announced by BoM were too low. He was scared they would drive away the tourists. The new station wasn't ever official, but it was sited so as to avoid the extreme lows.

      Then she has the cheek to ask how a change in location from one side of a hill to the other, quite a distance looking at the map on BoM, could make a difference in the recorded temperature.

      She should talk to Evan Jones and Anthony Watts about that, shouldn't she.

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    7. "You guys are extraordinary … the Bureau have not actually provided any documentation for a site move."
      No amount of documentation i.e. photos or video of the actual move, requisition forms, meal vouchers, fingerprints, logbooks, personal diaries, soil samples, blood samples, faecal samples … would satisfy Jennifer.
      The Bureau provided more documentation than Jennifer who hasn't provided any documentation for NO site move. Now that's "extraordinary".
      Jennifer needs to understand "It is the beginning of wisdom to say, I don't know" Monkey Narrator Quotes TV Series 1 Episode 7
      GM

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    8. "...how could this account for a change in the magnitude and direction of the temperature trend?"

      Perhaps you should have asked the scientists who work in this field or competently performed a literature survey to educate yourself first, rather than jump straight to conspiratorial ideation about nefarious intent that is apparently based on the Fallacy of Lack Of Personal Imagination or Knowledge?

      Also, you might want to rid your reasoning of the other fallacy that you appear to rely upon (and if Bill Johnston did the same he'd lose most of his headline claims in one foul swoop.)

      You can't form valid arguments about climate-scale trends derived from data sets that aren't validated as being suitable for deriving climate-scale trends. This applies to the raw data (or in many cases data subsets) from most stations. That principle automatically invalidates any comparison that relies on the implicit assumption that the trend derived from the raw data is valid - let alone the assumption that it is more valid than the trend derived from appropriately processed data. Without those invalidities most of your claims of nefarious intent and incompetence collapse - and that suggests that (at a minimum with respect to incompetence) the boot is on the other foot.

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    9. What's funny is that Jennifer dismisses so easily Anthony Watts' heroic efforts of the past six years in that one short sentence. I wonder if he'll copy and paste it? That'd be a lark ;)

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  11. If Sou et al. are so sure they have the truth on their side, why don't they provide a link to my response? Omission is a worst form of rebuttal. My evidence and argument are here..

    [Direct link redacted]

    [Sou: I did provide a link. To an archived version. You must have missed it. Here it is again https://archive.today/Vl9N4.

    As for why? Check the comment policy. There's already too much rubbish in cyberspace.]

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    1. Do I detect a note of defensiveness? Or maybe Jennifer is just wanting to generate some traffic to her anti-science anti-scientist blog. Or maybe she really did miss the bit where I wrote: "and replaced with a link to the archived version:"

      She does make a habit of missing the bleeding obvious.

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    2. Yep, and all that 'sign-in security' you have to ' "fight" ' to post here; pretty telling, eh?

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    3. Ha ha. I know it's a pain, but I removed captcha for half a day just a few days ago. The amount of spam was huge, and got me to put it back straight away. I don't have the time or patience to wade through mountains of spam on the off chance there is a comment from a living person that got caught. Nor do I have the time or patience to constantly monitor the blog for spam. Time that would otherwise be spent researching and writing blog articles, or doing some paid work, or cleaning the oven, or walking the dog, or sleeping, or ...the list goes on :).

      Delete
    4. Jennifer, that's not a response that's a blatant plug for your site.
      And one really has to wonder at your scientific expertise and general computer skills if you have to "fight" the sign in security here.

      Delete
    5. Jennifer, since this is the comment essentially complaining that the link to your blog post was ignored if not actually suppressed, here are some responses to that blog post. There's so much material that it practically deserves its own post, and it's so poorly structured that I reckon I've missed a bunch, so a series of comments will have to do. Quotes in this font in separate paragraph are from the archived blog post unless otherwise indicated.

      "...there are maps and photographs and conclusions, just no actual documented evidence."

      That's a piss-poor mischaracterisation, especially coming from a scientist who by definition ought to know better. The maps and photographs are documented evidence from which the most plausible inference has apparently been drawn, just like scientists (are supposed to) argue from the full set of evidence to the best inference. You have most unscientifically not advanced your own plausible inference from the documented evidence presented and tried to make a case that it is more plausible, you've simply denied the conclusion drawn.

      This suggests either an impressive inability to see this inference from evidence at work here, or contempt for your readers by expecting them to fall for that claptrap. Take your pick.

      Delete
    6. "Indeed it doesn’t seem to have occurred to Lotharsson and rest of the HotWhopper cheer squad, that if the Bureau was able to find inspection reports, requests for replacement equipment and more, that there should also be documentation if the station had actually been moved!"

      It doesn't seem to have occurred to me because that would be particularly stupid! It would require me being completely unable to imagine a scenario where the former evidence came down through history, but documentation of the supposed station move did not end up doing so. I and just about everyone else can easily imagine that occurring.

      But wait, wait - you can imagine it too! You contradict yourself in the very next sentence!

      "Of course it may have been moved, and the documentation may have been lost...".

      Maybe you should do more thinking and editing and even apply a bit of self-scepticism to your own argument before posting?

      Delete
    7. To avoid confusion, I did link to an archived copy of Jennifer's latest article twice - and to her earlier article once. For what they are worth. Which as you show, Lotharsson is nothing but a silly whinge full of contradictions..

      Delete
    8. Jennifer, your blog post shows astonishing lack of self-awareness to snarkily note that the BoM's station history investigation page is not peer-reviewed, when your allegations of deliberately exaggerating warming and calls for heads to roll are based on your own non-peer reviewed "analysis", and it would have been a hell of a lot more appropriate to dispute within the literature first to establish the plausibility of the argument according to experts.

      And if you had attempted that before you even thought about shouting "Fraud! Throw them all in jail!" you would have needed to demonstrate that good quality methods were deliberately eschewed or subverted by the BoM in order to produce a particular result. And that means showing that good quality methods were NOT used, which I'm pretty sure you haven't done yet. (One strong hint is that the continent wide climate-scale trends from the BoM that is allegedly merrily exaggerating warming are much the same as the continent-wide trends from most of the other major near-global temperature reconstructions. If you were the tiniest bit skeptical about exaggerated warming you probably would have checked that first, and wondered why if the BoM was so piss-poor in perpetrating its alleged fraud that it can't even distinguish itself by producing a stronger national trend than most of the rest. Alternatively you would have alleged that they're all doing it, just that the BoM is mediocre at it compared to the rest. I'm thinking presenting the comparisons of other reconstructions to the BoM in your half hour with a lawyer might prove both instructive and an awfully good risk mitigation investment for you.)

      In particular, to demonstrate fraud you'd really want to show that the methods published by the BoM in the literature were not used or were subverted, because how embarrassing would it be if you were alleging fraud when they were doing precisely what their publicly available peer-reviewed papers said, right? And you'd probably need to show that all other good quality methods produced results significantly differing from the BoM's results as well. Of course all of this would require demonstrating a familiarity with the literature in this field, and some non-trivial work to determine the kind of results the good quality methods produce.

      A cynic might suggest that you avoided doing any or all of that for reasons that include difficulty getting your current level of "analysis" into any half decent journal, the strong likelihood of it being savaged by post-publication peer responses if anything like your recent non-journal arguments did manage to get published, an apparent lack of familiarity with the relevant literature, and your apparent motives being served rather effectively by lazily throwing mud without bothering to do the hard work to establish a decent scientific case.

      Instead of that I say why should the recent station move analysis be peer reviewed in the first place? The objective statistical tests are apparently entirely unaffected by the move analysis, and that analysis was only done because ineptly argued but muddy allegations were being loudly thrown around. Implying that it should have been peer-reviewed is yet another indication suggesting that you have a flawed understanding of the reconstruction process, or worse.

      Delete
    9. You write:

      "In fact statistical tests cannot show “artificial jumps”."

      I rather suspect that will come as a major surprise to pretty much the entire set of researchers in this field, especially the ones that work on methods to detect (e.g.) "artificial jumps" due to station moves or equipment changes, perhaps using (e.g.) objective statistical tests. I also suspect some of them have even published peer-reviewed papers that (if my suspicions are correct) you should have understood before you began alleging fraud. Of course, if that will surprise them all then perhaps you should publish a paper to that effect and turn the entire field upside down! That would be an awfully big feather in your research career cap, right? And if not you'll be able to produce a citation to a quality paper or textbook that hasn't been rebutted that demonstrates that, right?

      Similarly:

      "Importantly, the Bureau is not claiming any breakpoints in the Rutherglen data per se, but rather that the trend at Rutherglen is not consistent with its neighbours at about the times..."

      Well, the BoM did say:

      "Note that the 1966 and 1974 dates match the two breakpoints in minimum temperature identified at Rutherglen through a statistical comparison of its data with other site data in the region."

      Apart from (apparently) conflating trends and breakpoints which I have an inkling are not the same for this purpose, perhaps you might explain how the best methods for breakpoint detection and homogenisation work when there may be breakpoints in the data, and to what extent those methods rely on comparisons with neighbouring data sets? Do you have any evidence that supports your "importantly" - an implicit claim that we should not use data from neighbouring stations when detecting breakpoints? Maybe a citation that says "those guys using neighbouring stations in their breakpoint detection tests are doing it all wrong, it's far more robust to use this method that just looks at the station itself"?

      Or are you simply pulling claims out of your nether region?

      Delete
    10. And finally there's this:

      "...but that still doesn’t justify a change in the magnitude and direction of the temperature trend for Rutherglen. "

      That's wrong and invalid and a red herring, all at once! No wonder your case seems to fall flat on its face.

      Wrong: the "change" is not to the trend. The trend emerges from the reconstructed data. Also, see the next point.

      Wrong: there is not even any "change" to the raw data. Instead, there is a reconstructed data set that is computed by reference to the raw data and to a bunch of other station data.

      In that light, if we want to be as charitable as possible for the rest of this comment, we can reinterpret your statement to mean "that still doesn't justify the difference between the reconstructed data and the raw data". That formulation is more of a mouthful (so "change" might indeed be useful shorthand) but the more precise formulation lays bare a number of your other confusions.

      Invalid: "change in trend" cannot be validly asserted unless the source of the comparison is valid. The source of the comparison is the raw data which is not valid for the purpose of computing climate scale temperature trends until it has been appropriately processed. One cannot validly compare the trend between reconstructed and raw data sets unless and until one demonstrates reason to believe that the trend calculated from the raw data is a valid representation of the real trend. I have not seen you or anyone on your bandwagon do this. As far as I've seen you've all simply presumed that to be the case.

      Red herring: it is true, but not particularly relevant that a plausible inference of a station move from non-temperature data evidence "doesn't justify" the difference between the reconstructed and raw data sets. See next point.

      Invalid: But the BoM's methodology does not assert that a station move must be so inferred in order to justify such a difference - in part because returning to my first sentence, that would be particularly stupid from a scientific perspective. And in part as they tell you, it is the objective statistical tests that form part of the reconstruction methodology that "justify" it, not records of a station move. And also in part because non-move factors can generate those kinds of differences when forming a reconstructed climate scale record from raw records. Both Anthony "Maybe it's all down to UHI" Watts and the BoM on the page you find so unconvincing ("It is possible that the 1966 'move' could instead have been a reconfiguration of the instrument enclosure in situ") tell you that.

      And you don't do much better elsewhere in that post:

      "It is in fact disingenuous and illogical for the Bureau to suggest that what could only be considered an insignificant move,..."

      You appear to be rather disingenuously and illogically asserting facts not in evidence ("insignificant"), and unfortunately that appears to be a common feature of your non-journal discourse.

      If you want to be more convincing (at least outside your blog and Mr. Murdoch's media) you have to do a much better job of mounting your case. However, that has a potential downside - it rather limits the cases that you can plausibly mount in the first place.

      Delete
    11. While we're at it, Jennifer cites Bill Johnston's "work" in her post, despite him directly contradicting some of her claims in places and appearing to contradict himself in others. I'm not at all sure that strengthens her argument, nor that it enhances her limited reputation for sifting scientific gold from dross.

      It's probably worth reading the subthread starting about here at The Conversation, especially the conversation between Bill and Mark Lonsdale (starting with "I have now looked more closely at Bill Johnston's work.") And there's even more from Bill (and Jennifer) outside of that subthread if you want to slog through it.

      It becomes clear in the subthread that Bill is basing his opinions that the BoM are "cooking the books" on his own special analysis methodology that has not yet been published having been rejected by one journal, and in which he refuses to use data from neighbouring stations in the analysis. (Maybe Jennifer bases her opinions on Bill's argument? That would explain the cite but I don't know for sure. They certainly appear to be birds of a feather when it comes to their respective styles of poor argumentation.)

      It also looks pretty likely that Bill doesn't actually know what he is doing (like so many people who apply statistical methods to physical systems whilst ignoring the physics). It looks like he is arguing that his statistical method finds "artificial breaks", which would contradict Jennifer's claim that statistical methods can't find "artificial jumps", although ironically Mark Lonsdale's assesses that Bill "...simply looks for breakpoints in data, and if he finds them, assumes them to be artificial".

      There are a bunch of other critiques of Bill's methods and argument which sound a lot like the ones made about Jennifer's methods and argument:

      "...until you know how BOM have processed this data you cannot possibly comment on whether or not it makes sense."

      "Further, you have not repeated any of the techniques that the meteorological agencies try, in order to critique them, which is about as unscientific as you can get."

      "Met agencies do not look for inhomogeneities in the raw data timeseries, and Bill does not repeat their methods to confirm or deny whether they are doing the analysis correctly."

      And the same kind of observations about the hubris of alleging "fraud" etc. based on the poor argument & evidence profferred.

      There are also comments that apply specifically to his methods, which to his credit are more amenable to analysis than Jennifer's argument from personal incredulity:

      "Basically, you are arguing that running a breakpoint analysis on the raw data is meaningful. No one else in that field seems to agree with you."

      Outside of that sub-thread, Bill says the data show the station moved, whereas IIRC Jennifer's initial argument was that it had not. Mind you, Bill also refuses to support the claim by The Australian that the station hadn't moved even though it cited his name in support, then falls back to correctly stating that there were no documented moves, then later morphs that (using the kind of logic or comprehension fail Jennifer seems to experience) in to a claim that BoM says it has not moved. He also asserts that because there's no documented move and his method says there was one that the BoM has been "deceiving" us, which is quite a staggering piece of bullshit. (And most ironic, given that Jennifer is now protesting the inference from the BoM that the station did move.)

      If the commenters there who look at Bill's methods are even half right, it says a lot...

      Delete
  12. The other person Jennifer calls on to support her attack on science is Ken of Ken's Kingdom. Unfortunately, Ken's numeracy skills don't stretch very far.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How Marohasy can summon the brass to defend her absurd conspiracy theory after loudly humiliating herself over the "Australian Broadcasting is plotting against me" episode is hard to understand. The only thing slightly more unfathomable is why anybody would lend credence to her unhinged speculations over Rutherglen after having her unreliability so amply demonstrated by the ABC comedy. 360 degrees of oblivious, truly. Truth stranger than fiction, build on fiction.

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  14. So after running a whole thread on "who will be sacked from BoM" is Marohasy now going to resign as an adjunct professor at Central Qld University (CQU)? One of the shoddiest episodes from Australia's most hysterical denier. Someone who knows the answers before doing the analysis or seeking out any metadata. And more fool the Australian by being suckered into it.

    But she has form attempting to get climate credentials via sneaking some dreadful forecasting papers into the literature. Audit Marohasy and CQU's role in supporting junk science not BoM.

    ReplyDelete
  15. OK - "adjunct Research Fellow"

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    1. I think you mean "a junk Research Fellow"

      Ag

      Delete


  16. Sou, I mentioned over on the John Cook thread the idea of a challenge. Here it is. You have argued very strongly against the claims by Marohasy, Nova and so on. Most of your arguments appear to be largely rubbishing them and simply shouting hurrah for BOM. However that kind of strategy might work in the echo chamber that is hotwhopper but I doubt will fly with the sceptics. After all, just saying that BOM is right will hardly be effective against a claim that BOM is wrong. Indeed, this current post simply refers to the BOM offering some circumstantial information that the site at Rutherglen has moved. There's little of real substance.

    Now, also over on the John cook thread you and others have speculated about how you'd go meeting a real denier like Marohasy or Watts.

    Soooo... how about we kill two birds with the one stone? What if you, Sou, engaged with Marohasy and seriously considered her claims regarding Rutherglen? I don't mean so that you can criticise her, make fun of her, or go all out to prove her wrong. I mean, treat it like a serious research matter. Establish a real human dialogue.

    Get her facts, listen to her argument, including those of the others she is working with, and see if you can work through to a satisfactory conclusion that you both agree to. I know you believe you shouldn't give the denier argument oxygen, but this is an opportunity to engage in a serious way that actually transcends the petty tribalism of the respective camps.

    There are three likely outcomes if you make the offer in good faith.

    1. One or both of you refuse due to the risk, or because you really can't work together.

    2. You show the world that the whole Rutherglen thing is a beatup by people with an axe to grind, and Marohasy has to acknowledge that fact. Now there's a coup.

    3. You find that Marohasy is right and that BOM's process is flawed. You admit this and show the world that you can be objective.

    What do you think?

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    1. You know, Billy-Bob, anybody can actually scroll up and read the OP and, say, Lotharsson's detailed responses above.

      Just because you don't bother to actually read anything before unleashing your opinion, doesn't mean everyone else is similarly disposed. (Yours is, of course, precisely the strategy that plays well with - *cough* - 'skeptics'.)

      Your attempt at 'can't we all just get along?' concern trolling is simply risible. After all, NASA is under no obligation to endlessly 'engage' with Moon-landing conspiracists...

      Delete
    2. This is what I say, Billy Bob.

      First, foremost and last - I don't agree with everything that Richard Dawkins says, but this I do agree with.

      http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/119-why-i-won-39-t-debate-creationists

      Also, see my comments above. Jennifer has not got a leg to stand upon. The evidence points to a break in the records that anyone can see. (see the chart in my previous article). This is confirmed by BoM. The historical documentation uncovered by BoM strongly suggests a station move. Jennifer is the one who rejects the notion, unlike most people including most deniers, that a station move won't affect the actual temperature recorded. (Refer Anthony Watts' focus on weather station changes as part of his argument to reject global warming.) Jennifer hasn't provided any hard evidence to support her claim. One cannot argue when there is nothing to argue against, more than "but someone should go to jail".

      Finally, two inconsequential bloggers tussling over nothing at all means absolutely nothing to anyone. My time is more valuable. I prefer to spend it with people I have some respect for. In fact, I'd rather wrestle with a real pig.

      Also, what Bill said.

      Delete
    3. Fair enough then. Bill, I have read all of the responses above. My point is that it won't gain much traction because the tribalism simply gets in the way. And who the hell is Lotharsson?

      But a joint effort with a serious assessment of both sides would presumably come to a conclusion. That's way more effective than long winded posts on respective blogs. I don't particularly care whether anyone 'gets along'.

      Sou, your blog isn't science as you note. But neither is yours or Jennifer's or Jo Nova's inconsequential. Plenty of people read them. You argue for people like me to learn, but many of us don't have the time to dig more deeply. In this case, I can see both sides. I tend to side with BOM's version because they are the experts. But the counter argument is certainly out there and gaining traction with some.

      I'm suggesting a collaboration, not so you can all get along, but so the claims are subject to a serious consideration. If that consideration finds the sceptic argument to lack substance, then you have a huge win.

      Or, against all the odds, you find they have a case.

      I for one would almost pay real money to see how that kind of joint effort would turn out.

      I'm not suggesting peer reviewed science. I am suggesting that two notable bloggers with a sizable following collaborate on a matter that has actually had national media exposure.

      Delete
    4. It doesn't matter who Lotharsson is. What matters is what he wrote. (He has an excellent grasp of climate science and has been around climate traps for many, many years.) Did you read it? Did you understand it?

      And there you go making up stuff again with your "Sou, your blog isn't science as you note". I didn't say my blog isn't science. Of course it is about science. What the heck do you think it's about?

      Your stubborn refusal to acknowledge that everything that needs to be said has already been said here and elsewhere, and your wanting to have some sort of further face off with a known disinformer who can't keep her story straight - is typical of deniers.

      There is no "case". Save your money. All you would "see" is a gish galloper (Jennifer) spouting conspiracy theories vs someone sticking to the facts. You'd be swayed not by what was said, but by whoever you regarded as the most entertaining.

      That's how Christopher Monckton works. He's a professional entertainer. I don't know what Jennifer's style is or whether she would appear more entertaining than I. It wouldn't be hard. My style tends to the dry, when public speaking.

      Delete
    5. Judith Curry mentioned Daniel Dennett’s book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.

      In a section on Rapoport’s Rules, Dennett lists some guidelines on how to compose a successful critical commentary:

      “1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”

      2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

      3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

      4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.”

      Of course Dennett immediately follows this by saying, "Some targets don't deserve this respectful attention ..."

      When JM calls for someone to go to jail based on nothing more than she lacks the statistical knowledge to infer a station move, I think she probably loses the right to respectful attention.

      Delete
    6. "And who the hell is Lotharsson?"

      And who the hell is Marohasey?

      Delete
    7. "After all, just saying that BOM is right will hardly be effective against a claim that BOM is wrong."

      You've put the cart before the horse.

      But putting that aside momentarily, I totally agree with you. It won't fly with the "sceptics" . But even if (as has been done) glaring holes in the argument that "the BOM is wrong" are pointed out, that doesn't fly either. That's because they're particularly good at rejecting robust conclusions from the full set of evidence when they don't like the conclusions, and they're impressively unsceptical when someone such as Marohasy makes a claim they like the sound of. Or as you put it, "the tribalism simply gets in the way". Hence getting it to fly with them is not my goal.

      Google "epistemic closure" and "Morton's Demon", and if you get that far "Dunning-Kruger Syndrome".

      But back to horses and carts. Just saying "the BOM is deliberately ignoring all scientific knowledge in this area and making numbers up" will also be completely ineffective with anyone who has an ounce of critical thinking capability in their body. So what to do? Is there any kind of process we could use to help weed out dodgy claims and retain the ones that have good support from the evidence? If so, what would that process look like, does it already exist and if so does it have a name? ;-) And would that process not think so much in terms of "wrong vs right", but rather "more or less supported when we consider all the evidence"?

      To be continued...

      Delete
    8. "Get her facts, listen to her argument,..."

      She appears to have very little in the way of fact or plausible argument in her corner, and from what I've seen of her blog posts they show little sign of the kinds of skills one expects to see on display when mounting a convincing argument about scientific matters. Responding (above) to her last post was a bit of a challenge because it was partly incoherent and partly lacking in the kind of substance you'd expect to be behind such a claim.

      She's also had years to make this argument now, and she knows the right place to make it is in the peer-reviewed literature where pre-publication peer review at least weeds out most of the obviously poor arguments. Even after years she has not done that. It's time to admit that she is unlikely to ever be able to make this argument convincing to anyone who knows what they're talking about.

      Delete
    9. "There are three likely outcomes if you make the offer in good faith..."

      This analysis ignores the well known benefit to contrarians who are arguing in bad faith to non-scientists of engaging with scientists representing the consensus in good faith. The contrarian goals are served by the engagement, because their bad faith does not require them to change their mind when the paucity of their argument is demonstrated, and it allows them to use all sorts of bad arguments and deceptive tactics to deceive the non-scientists. (Google "Gish Gallop" for one example.)

      And Marohasy gives a lot of indications of arguing in bad faith as indicated in many comments here. Speaking of which:

      "...and Marohasy has to acknowledge that fact."

      Your optimism is touching, but she has already made a number of claims that evidence indicates "she has to acknowledge". Instead she has doubled down on those claims.

      Delete
    10. Comment in two parts:

      See, there are three basic problems with Marohasy's charge that the BOM is committing scientific fraud at the moment:

      1. Marohasy has clearly not done her scientific homework. If she had, she would be able to demonstrate some evidence about what the high quality climate-scale reconstructions should produce for any station whose reconstructed data she questions. Just alleging "well, it can't produce that" is a naked assertion free of any evidence that no-one should find convincing (but sadly they do) - especially when she implicitly invokes the fallacy that the raw data is valid for computing climate scale trends, as she does all over the place.

      To clarify, "what should be produced by high quality methods" is a broad concept here, as there are a bunch of different techniques and scientists argue fiercely about which ones are best for different purposes. However, they tend to converge (roughly speaking) on an agreement that this bunch of methods are high quality, and that bunch are not. If Marohasy wants to persuade anyone who is actually scientifically sceptical, then she needs to:

      a) First show she has basic competence in the field. Since she has precisely zero peer-reviewed papers demonstrating this (unless I missed some), this requires doing - and understanding! - a literature survey and then demonstrating that she has successfully done so in her argumentation (by summarising what the state of knowledge of the field is as far as it affects her claim).

      b) Then analyse what results the high quality techniques can produce. She can do this by demonstrating the results that arise when the set of high quality techniques are applied (e.g. by applying them, or referencing existing work that applies them and is not seriously challenged as being flawed) and/or mounting a scientifically convincing argument that characterises the set of results that high quality techniques produce in some way (e.g. one might be able to show by analysing the methods themselves that under certain kinds of conditions the results MUST all fall within some kind of envelope).

      Note that "high quality techniques" must include the application of the BoM's peer-reviewed published techniques, if only because she alleges the BoM is not following them.

      c) Then demonstrate that it is implausible that the results the BoM gets are produced by one of those high quality techniques. (You can't do this without either reproducing all of the techniques, or mounting that scientifically convincing argument I mentioned and ALSO showing that the BoM results fall outside of that characterisation.)

      There is no evidence I'm aware of that she has met any of these three prerequisites.

      Delete
    11. Part two:

      2. Claiming that results can or cannot be produced by a high quality reconstruction method is a scientific matter. The forum for testing scientific claims is not blogs and denialist newspapers and policy "think tanks" such as The Sydney Institute, it is the peer reviewed scientific literature, and untested scientific claims carry pretty much zero weight with anyone who cares about science.

      Marohasy shamelessly lays charges of a scientific nature outside of the scientific literature. Given that she is a published scientist in her own field and knows the appropriate forum, and that her CV indicates that she is capable of getting a peer reviewed paper published in the literature in fields where she has appropriate expertise, her avoidance makes it very difficult to conclude anything other than she either:

      a) already believes that her charges will fail under peer review (before and after publication), or
      b) isn't trying to make a scientific case because her goals do not require convincing scientists, or
      c) both of the above.

      There might be still other explanations, but none of them will avoid the implication that she doesn't particularly care about having her scientific claim tested by scientists or she would have made it happen. And any of those reasons is enough to merit great scepticism of her claims, as they indicate she is trying to use an untested scientific claim to bamboozle non-scientists who don't know that untested claims are basically worthless. One does not need to understand the ins and outs of the scientific process to realise that.

      3. If she had done her scientific homework and made a convincing case that the BoM results did not come from a high quality method, then establishing "fraud" is a whole 'nother challenge which Marohasy (AFAIK) hasn't even attempted. To establish fraud that you have to show good reason to believe that accidental error or incompetence or best effort under resource limitations or any number of other explanations do not explain the variation of results from high quality methods, and that only deliberate intent does. This requires a whole bunch more analysis or another entire layer of argument which she has not even attempted. And again, you don't have to understand the scientific process to see that. You simply have to note that she apparently has not considered or rejected out of hand plausible alternate explanations, let alone demonstrated that they are much less likely than "fraud!", and she has remained fixated on that explanation even after people have pointed out all the problems with her claim.

      Can you see yet how she's failed on all 3 points above? Do you see just how staggeringly far she is from establishing her claim of scientific fraud? Is it obvious even she doesn't think her claims are good enough to stand up to scrutiny by actual competent scientists in that area of science, an area in which she herself has not published any work?

      One useful rule of thumb for non-scientists assessing claims that go against a solid scientific consensus is this: if the person making such a claim has no published peer-reviewed work in the area that is still considered valid after other scientists had a look at it, then they have not demonstrated basic competence (see (a) above) in area, and there's almost zero chance their contrarianism is justified. Any contrarian who actually has a good case for their contrarianism can demonstrate competence.

      Delete
    12. "He has an excellent grasp of climate science..."

      Thanks Sou, but I would say I only grasp some parts, and those are the easier parts ;-)

      On the other hand, just doing that much is sufficient to see how most of the faux scepticism is constructed and where it fails to pass scientific muster. 95% of evaluating denialist claims comes down to detecting dodgy logic (most people can learn to do this) and detecting obvious manipulations of "facts" such as cherry-picking or citing papers that have been superseded by subsequent research or claiming they support one argument when they say otherwise (also learnable skills). You can make this process even more effective by learning some of the easier parts of climate science which make you more efficient at spotting a lot of the dodgy logic or "facts".

      If they had a good case on their side - or even a much better constructed case - it would easily go beyond my scientific abilities and knowledge. The fact that it almost never does is a major giveaway.

      Delete
    13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  17. I thought it would be interesting to look more closely at JM's "paper" on the topic of temperature series. This was effectively her presentation to The Sydney Institute.

    Available at:
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Changing_Temperature_Data.pdf

    Fairly extraordinary when you think that 3 PhDs were involved in its writing. A couple of weeks back I thought it would be fun to do a faux 'peer review' of the paper as if it had been submitted to a journal. It certainly becomes very much smaller if you take out the polemic.

    However, after an hour of redlining and comments, I came to my senses. What on earth was I doing wasting my time on this?

    But the paper does give a glimpse into where she's coming from. There is no attempt to understand homogenisation methodology - which she seems to assume is there simply to introduce warming trends. It is of course much more suitable for her 'argument' to take individual stations where homogenisation changes the trend upwards and say "hey - the raw data has been manipulated to up the trend."

    An example of the paper is in the following para regarding the Bourke temp record:
    "There is even a peer-reviewed paper that justifies the scratching of the record set on January 3, 1909 in the new Stevenson screen installed in August 1908. But to explain how this very hot day was reduced to a clerical error in the peer-reviewed climate science literature would require more words than we have for this paper, because we would have to work through temperature records for a long list of ‘nearby’ stations."

    So - she can devote pages to polemic but not get hands dirty trying to really understand what BOM have done. Until she does, all she's left with is nit-picking about station moves and meta-data.

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    1. Yes, she's just "another utter nutter". Lazy, preferring conspiracy ideation to research.

      How much time has Jennifer devoted to working out why lots of locations have had the temperature data corrected downwards? None? What a surprise.

      http://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/adjustments-sometimes-warm-sometimes.html

      Delete
  18. Marohasy is an experienced anti-environmentalist campaigner. And far from nuts,it's full out wedge tactics, and far from a search for any real truth. Regardless whether she's right of wrong she's made it all the way to the national newspaper. It's echoed across the denialosphere. I imagine she's most pleased.

    Any press is good press. As long as your name is up there. And it's slick marketing too . Note the unnecessary picture of high fashion Marohasy with red umbrella in the rain. So cute and so utterly irrelevant but great page 3 propaganda.

    And the rhetoric about corrupting raw data. Alas they're still there. We're discussing "an" analysis of those data.

    So we're all running around chasing her numbers, her sites, and site metadata. Another way to answer the issue is stop cherry picking individual stations and do another full national analysis without homogenisation?

    Move the goal posts and the argument along. Nick Stokes !

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  19. Submitted this over at JM's blog.

    In a perfect world homogenization would not be necessary. All stations would have been located several hundred years ago in ideal locations that, with crystal ball foresight, would remain essentially unchanged over the ensuing centuries so that future scientists would have pristine data to work with. Sadly, that is not the world we live in.

    Instead we are faced with numerous confounding factors - uneven distribution of stations, differences in Time of Observation, changes to local microclimate, different instrumentation, changes to instrumentation and station relocations come immediately to mind. As Menne (2009) write: "Unfortunately, changes to the circumstances behind a series of climate observations are practically inevitable at some point during the period of record. For this reason, testing for artificial discontinuities or ‘‘inhomogeneities’’ is an essential component of climate analysis.Often, the test results can then be used to adjust a series so that it more closely reflects only variations in weather and climate."

    Now, one could just take the raw data, ignore all the known errors, and produce a graph and call it a day. That would be the easy way out. Of course comparing one year to the next, especially as the distance in time grew larger, would be comparing apples to oranges. The result would be of little practical use to anyone. Those who rail against homogenization are asking us to accept seriously flawed comparisons as the best we can do.

    Science doesn't work that way. Sometimes one can take flawed data and make it better. Homogenization of scientific data has been around at least since the 1850s (Kreil). The various methods of homogenization used to produce temperature series have withstood peer review and numerous ad hoc studies. The peer reviewed literature is vast. Math works. Homogenization works.

    Does this mean the resulting homogenized data is perfect? Of course not. Expecting it to be perfect is unrealistic. And despite the fact that pseudoskeptic usually only cite stations where the homogenization lowers past temperature data, it doesn't work that way. many stations see past data increased as Nick Stokes at Moyhu has ably pointed out.

    Those who have complaints about homogenization ought to devise a better method and submit it for peer review.



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    1. I don't see your comment Kevin. Was it on her latest article?

      Delete
  20. I suggest reading this

    http://cawcr.gov.au/publications/technicalreports/CTR_050.pdf

    which is detailed analysis of homogenised vs raw Australian temperature data.

    To the average denier, homogenised data is not to be trusted. Raw data is best. Those at the BOM have been subjugated to the warming religion, and any data that shows cooling must be subject to a Stalin like purge. (Well that's the impression I get from the cacophony of anti-science blogs.)

    Of course, the reality is quite different. It doesn't matter if you use raw or homogenised data, the warming trend is still there, much to the chagrin of the professional misinformer. Instead of publishing their own detailed analysis, they use the tried and tested technique used by defence lawyers. Introduce doubt. For instance in the O.J. Simpson trial, despite the damning evidence trail, the defence lawyers tried to introduce doubt first against the DNA evidence, that it was somehow contaminated, and later about the racial prejudices of the investigating officers.

    Of course we all know that the Australian climate trends are not determined by a single temperature recording station at Rutherglen, but what they are trying to do is to introduce doubt on the entire Australian homogenised dataset. The techniques used by the BOM are not secret, but have been journal published and peer-reviewed. But this is not enough. Nova, Marohasy and Watt's have been railing against homogenisation for years now, it's one of the many barrows they push, not because it's been peer-reviewed, but because it shows there has been a warming trend, consistent with AGW.

    This whole Rutherglen saga has been a storm in a teacup. What I've been waiting for is the 'real reason' for the warming trend, worthy of a Nobel prize.

    ReplyDelete

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