JoNova

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Pattern Recognition Journal to be relaunched

Over a week ago Christopher Monckton sent this letter below to the Editor of Copernicus Publications, suggesting they reconsider their hasty decision to close the journal, and informed Martin Rassmussen that unless he heard from him about that or about copyright issues within 7 days, Monckton would take over the title Pattern Recognition in Physics and relaunch the journal. There was no response from Copernicus, so Monckton is now free to pursue this. I think it is a good development, and hope it will lead to a dispassionate discussion of the scientific ideas that were raised.

The scandal remains that Copernicus did not close the journal because of any scientific flaws. They first and foremost closed the journal because it “doubted” the IPCC, as they baldly declared in their original emails and official statement. That Copernicus then post hoc claimed there was a fault with the reviewing process doesn’t change the fact that a major scientific publishing house took the extraordinary decision that the IPCC can not be questioned and naively admitted it, as if it was acceptable. It reveals the utterly unscientific mindset of the gatekeepers of Peer Review.

My position is that Peer Review is a bureaucratic process so corrupted with this poisonous attitude, that the most important aim of any skeptic is not to try too hard to play an inherently crooked game, or to pander to its dictats, but to tell the world how crooked it is.  Peer or Pal is not the point.  The point is that science is done by evidence and reason not by private review.

Whether or not the papers lead on to fruitful developments in our understanding of the sun is another matter entirely. It was no concern of Copernicus Publication when they terminated the journal.

On another point, curve fitting (as speculative as it is) is a form of pattern recognition, and thus speculation about curves is would seem appropriate in a journal called Pattern Recognition. Most new theories in science, both the successes and the failures,  start out as curve fitting. (Some later progress to a model whose elements are based on physical observations or theories, and some finally progress to a further stage where the curve can be calculated from the known physics of the elements of the model.)

Monckton also makes the rather savage point that while the journal was axed because it doubts the “accelerated warming” of the IPCC, the IPCC itself doubts the accelerated warming it once predicted, and no longer predicts any acceleration in the next 30 years.

- Jo

Selected excerpts below, Monckton’s full letter here.

From: The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley                                                                  20 January 2014
Martin Rasmussen, Esq.,
Copernicus Publications.

Dear Mr. Rasmussen,

Closure and reopening of the learned journal
Pattern Recognition in Physics

My kind friend Professor Niklas Mörner of Stockholm, who in close to 50 years has published approaching 600 papers in the reviewed and general scientific literature, is an internationally-renowned expert on sea level and is one of the most gifted instructors of students I have ever had the pleasure to work with, has copied me in on your sad and, indeed, bizarre decision to bring to an end the excellent learned journal Pattern Recognition in Physics, less than a year after its first publication in March 2013.

Professor Mörner, who is usually the most genial and even-tempered of scientists, is plainly furious not so much at your decision to axe this promising journal, which was already galloping towards the forward frontiers of research in the physical sciences, as at the extraordinary reason you have given for your decision.

The Professor, who is highly active in the worldwide scientific community, attended the Fifth Space Climate Conference in Oulu in June 2013 and realized that the hypothesis that the relative positions of the major planets of the solar system may influence solar activity in accordance with a detectable pattern was now ready to be elevated to a theory. In his own specialism, sea-level rise, the question was of more than purely academic significance, since the influence of the major planets not only influences the Sun but causes perceptible variations in the period of the Earth’s rotation (i.e. the length of the day) and hence, via the Coriolis force over time, in global sea level.

***

 

I quote you verbatim, enumerating four passages selected from your two emails of 17 January 2014 to Professor Mörner, arranged in accordance with the sequence of events you describe:

  1. “Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics.” And why should taking part in scientific debate debar an editor?
  2. “Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics.” It should be a platform for science, wherever it leads.
  3. “Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).” On what scientific ground, if any, do you dare to dispute their scientific conclusion?
  4. “While processing the press release for the special issue “Patterns in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”, we read through the general conclusions paper published on 16 December 2013. We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. And why were you alarmed? What scientific reason for alarm was there?

There is only one reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the above passages, all taken from your two emails of 17 January 2014 to Professor Mörner: that personally you have – for whatever reason – adopted so fervent a position on the catastrophist side of the climate science debate that you (or, more probably, the shadowy figures behind you) are regrettably intolerant even of the mildest, passing question – however well supported scientifically by the very latest evidence from outside the climate sciences – as to whether the IPCC’s previous predictions of very rapid and potentially catastrophic global warming may perhaps be incorrect, at least in the medium term.

So, how much of the special issue was devoted to the question of global warming? Here is a summary of the issue’s contents:
Preface: nothing on climate, except in the reviews of the individual papers.

***

In reaching the decision I now call upon you to reverse, you may not have been aware of some relevant factors.
First, mainstream solar physicists have themselves been predicting an imminent and sharp decline in solar activity. A physicist at NASA contacted me about this as far back as 2006, pointing out that there had been a recently-unprecedented slowing to walking pace of the magnetic convection currents beneath the solar surface. When a solar cycle is much prolonged, as the last one was, records of previous solar cycles show that subsequent cycles tend to be pronouncedly inactive. What is interesting, therefore, about the papers you have tried to kill is that they posit an admittedly unexplained link between cyclical variability in the planetary orbits and cyclical variability in solar activity, which in turn may have an impact on the climate.

Secondly, though you may consider it implausible that the gravitational influence of the great planets on the Sun could be at all significant, for gravity attenuates as the square of the distance between two mutually-attracting astronomical bodies, it is possible that very small influences exercised over very long timescales may establish harmonics – they have been called “the music of the spheres” – that might have detectable effects.

Thirdly, it is now known that small influences can exercise disproportionately large influences over time in any object – such as the solar system – that exhibits chaotic behaviour. You may care to read Edward N. Lorenz’s landmark paper of 1963 (in a climate journal) that founded chaos theory, and also Sir James Lighthill’s paper of 1998 on chaos in the oscillation of a pendulum. It is not altogether impossible, therefore, that – for instance – the 60-year planetary cycles mentioned by Scafetta and the 60-year cycle of the Pacific and other ocean oscillations may be more than merely coincidental.

I do not know whether any of these three points may eventually be proven, but there is evidence for all three of them in the literature.

Fourthly – and this may well come to you as a great surprise – thee IPCC itself, though it still predicts a “continued” warming, is now, in effect, no longer predicting an “accelerated” warming for at least the next 30 years.

The IPCC’s graph from the pre-final draft of the Fifth Assessment Report comparing its predictions with those of the models is shown above, together with its heavily-revised graph from the final, published draft, where you will see that it has substituted what it calls its “expert assessment” for the models’ extravagant predictions.

You will see just how drastic has been the IPCC’s downward revision of its previous projections: indeed, its current best estimate of near-term warming, at 0.13 Cº/decade, is its lowest ever, by a comfortable margin. Inch by inch, the skeptics against whom you show such hateful prejudice are being shown to have been correct all along. For they, unlike the canting profiteers of doom, have no financial or other vested interest.

You must appreciate the gravity of what you have done. You have killed a learned journal in a field only peripherally connected with the climate because you have decided – or you have cravenly obeyed others unknown who have decided – to take a lamentably unscientific and aprioristic stance on the global warming question, a stance so uncompromising that you will not countenance even a single, passing question about whether the IPCC’s previous predictions are likely to prove correct, even though the IPCC has itself now abandoned its former predictions. And you will not – indeed, cannot – offer a single shred of scientific justification for your viewpoint.

***

Your challenge to a surely temperately-expressed but serious and by no means illegitimate doubt about the IPCC’s near-term predictions is not itself expressed in the usual scientific manner by a reviewed paper or comment responding to the scientific conclusion that – on no stated ground – you purport to dispute, but by a petulant and irresponsible decision to shut the entire journal down.

This decision of yours, taken without the slightest regard for the scientific method or for the usual canons of disciplined enquiry, logical discourse or peer review, is one too many of its kind. It is not acceptable. I do not propose to accept it or to tolerate it.

Let me tell you, therefore, what will happen next.

First, I shall give Copernicus seven days to reconsider its ludicrous decision to abort the journal for a nakedly political reason and without offering anything that even makes a serious pretense at being a scientific justification.

Secondly, if after seven days I shall not have heard from you that the journal is to continue, I shall invite all of the contributors to the special edition to participate with me in a relaunch of Pattern Recognition in Physics, to take effect immediately. If you or Copernicus object to this course of action on copyright or any other grounds, you will no doubt be sure to let me know within the next seven days. Otherwise, you will be presumed to have forfeited all interest in producing the journal and you will leave the journal to me.

I shall invite Professor Mörner to be the lead editor. The journal will be published online and, I hope, may eventually be taken under the wing of one of the scientific publishing houses with which I have connections.

Thirdly, the first editorial in the relaunched journal will perforce have to address the reasons why Copernicus decided to try (unsuccessfully, as you will by now have realized) to kill the journal. You will come in for some justifiably severe personal criticism in this editorial, for on any view you have not behaved as a senior executive of a reputable scientific publishing house should have behaved. You have taken a corrupt, anti-scientific decision, inferentially because you believed (or perhaps were menaced into believing) that if you did not toe the Party Line on the climate you would be financially or socially disadvantaged.

Fourthly, as the editorial and the press release relaunching the journal will have to point out, you have also, through ignorance, put yourself outside the emerging mainstream of climate science. For, as far as global warming is concerned, that mainstream is now flowing in a far less catastrophist direction than ever before. As you have seen above, even the IPCC, after many strongly-worded representations from expert reviewers such as me, has been forced to abandon its former naïve and imprudent faith in the expensive computer models that have so relentlessly failed to predict global temperature with sufficient conservatism since the 1980s.

In the Fifth Assessment Report, between the pre-final draft reviewed by us and the final draft, the IPCC cut its best estimate of global warming by almost half, from 0.7 Cº over the next 30 years to about 0.4 Cº. That rate is equivalent to 0.13 Cº/decade, or little more than a third of the 0.3 Cº/decade near-term warming the IPCC had predicted in 1990.
In the past 30 years, 0.14 Cº global warming per decade was measured, so the IPCC’s new prediction of 0.13 Cº/decade entails no “accelerated” global warming over the next 30 years. And that, as you will now realize, is in line with the scientific conclusion to which you object so strongly on partisan grounds that you have attempted (and failed) to shut down this promising new journal of rational thought.

Fifthly, if you are determined to allow a disgracefully narrow-minded and rankly partisan political view to dominate the editorial decision-making at Copernicus, I shall send out worldwide a warning that Copernicus is not henceforth to be regarded as a scientific publishing house at all, but merely as an arm of the international political and environmental-extremist academic cabal, unworthy to be considered a truly scientific publishing house at all. Copernicus will henceforth be boycotted by all serious scientists, who will snigger at it behind their hands, and will regard it as a publisher not of science but of children’s comics.

Sixthly, if within seven days you have not notified Professor Mörner that your decision to attempt to stop the journal – a decision that is the modern equivalent of book-burning – has been rethought and withdrawn, copies of this letter will be circulated widely. This is not the early Middle Ages: it is the 21st century. Your attempt at scientific censorship will, therefore, be widely publicized and universally condemned (except among true-believers in the New Superstition, who on this as on all else will tend to put extremist politics before sound science).

For the time being, to spare your blushes, I am not circulating this letter beyond the recipients of Professor Mörner’s email to me. After seven days, however, I shall without hesitation circulate it widely. I shall then be entitled to assume that neither you nor Copernicus have any objection to my taking over the journal without fee, whereupon it will be administered and edited on scientific principles only, and not on the basis of any mere superstitious, anti-scientific, catastrophist, Druidical credo.

Whether you like it or not, this is not the Dark Ages: it is the Age of Enlightenment and Reason. Get used to it, and withdraw your silly and intellectually immature decision to shut down Pattern Recognition in Physics on the most fatuously insubstantial ground ever advanced by even the most vicious of dictators as a pretext for suppressing the freedom to think and to write.

You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

Yours faithfully,
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

———————————————-

 Monckton’s full letter here PDF

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226 comments to Pattern Recognition Journal to be relaunched

  • #
    Popeye

    Fantastic news Jo.

    I read through Monkton’s letter last night on Tallblokes site but have been flat out today so didn’t get a chance to link to it here or anywhere else.

    “For the time being, to spare your blushes, I am not circulating this letter beyond the recipients of Professor Mörner’s email to me. After seven days, however, I shall without hesitation circulate it widely.”

    Bet they’re BLUSHING now!!! :-) :-) :-)

    Cheers,


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    • #
      Bones

      Popeye,I don’t know whether the Copernicus management will be blushing,but this may put a serious dent in their arrogance and with any luck also in their bottom line. ” You will come in for some justifiably severe personal criticism in this editorial, for on any view you have not behaved as a senior executive of a reputable scientific publishing house should have behaved”.


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    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      We all know, Christopher knows, Jo knows, that actions based on the method of “if you do not reply within 7 days, we will presume…..” are full of danger, because it is not uncommon that the presumption was incorrect for reasons that could not have been discerned in the absence of prior good will.
      However, if resort must be made to the last resort, so be it.
      We would all be better served by a scientific community – let me restate, a climate scientific community – with more good will than we have at present.
      I’ve never been ashamed to state that I am a scientist, but I do wonder at the processes that lead some other scientists to an obstinate refusal to accept what is correct, correct as shown by many examples in history.
      It is not correct to censor science simply because of a belief that there is an accepted view that should not be challenged.
      That way lies madness.


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  • #

    [...] 30-1-2014: Jo Nova has posted an article on the relaunch of PRP proposed by Lord [...]


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  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Peer Review in Climate Science is indeed a bureaucratic process, as a process intended to be impartial and open must in part be. However, I suggest that the process has been suborned by special interests to become one of gate-keeping which is designed to perniciously reduce scientific endeavour to remove all challenges to one particular hypothesis, that of Dangerous Anthropomorphic Global Warming, misleading labelled “Climate Change” by the politically motivated IPCC. Technically, the abusers of peer review are possibly in breach of the UN-sponsored Human Rights Charter, which is supposed to enshrine the right to free speech in the law of all signatories. Realistically, the chance of getting the UN to sanction one of it’s own sock-puppets is nil.


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Peer review has become the last resort of fools and the dishonest. It has therefore lost all relevancy in any context. Is that what you mean, Kevin? :-)


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      • #
        Radical Rodent

        For those devout believers in the infallibility of “peer-review”, let me direct you to this case, once again. “Peer-review” does not necessarily mean that it has anything to do with reality. All you need to do is read the caption under the photo: “…published fabricated data in 30 peer-reviewed papers.”, to realise that peer-reviewed papers can be completely and utterly WRONG. Knowing that, one has to wonder about the thinking behind the reviewing “peers”.


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  • #
    dryliberal

    If you or Copernicus object to this course of action on copyright or any other grounds, you will no doubt be sure to let me know within the next seven days. Otherwise, you will be presumed to have forfeited all interest in producing the journal and you will leave the journal to me.

    Isn’t this a somewhat strange course of action? Copernicus are the copyright owners. If Viscount Monckton fails to hear from them then I fail to see how this “forfeits” anything – perhaps someone with a legal background can explain this further?


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    • #
      observa

      Came across this wrt copyright law which I presume Lord Monckton knows about-

      III. Equitable Defenses

      A. The typical equitable defenses also apply to copyright infringement.

      B. Abandonment is a defense since proof of abandonment counters P’s claim of ownership.

      1. As in trademark law, overt acts indicating intent to abandon are required.

      2. Prior to Berne adherence, an example of intent to abandon copyright was thought to be the circulation of a large number of copies without a copyright notice.

      3. Today it would likely take an announcement that the copyright owner is abandoning the copyright in a particular work.

      C. Other equitable defenses include acquiescence, unclean hands, estoppel, etc.


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    • #
      observa

      Isn’t this a somewhat strange course of action? Copernicus are the copyright owners. If Viscount Monckton fails to hear from them then I fail to see how this “forfeits” anything – perhaps someone with a legal background can explain this further?

      If you read that ‘Equitable Defense’ criteria (and assuming it’s a valid summary) then it’s easy to see how and why Lord Monckton has challenged Rasmussen to deny within 7 days that he(ie Copernicus) has effectively abandoned the copyright to ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ and as Rasmussen has not done so, Monckton is taking it up himself on behalf of many scientists who have an equitable interest in it continuing.

      Notice how he establishes their equitable interest in the Journal and its continuance and flays Rasmussen for ignoring that. Basically put up your ongoing interest in any copyright or shutup. Rasmussen, after his email explanation to cease the Journal can hardly backflip on it now and hasn’t apparently, so Monckton assumes the copyright abandonment is final and any future claim would be ‘estopped’ as a result. I have a hunch Lord Monckton has had some very good legal advice in couching that letter to Rasmussen and consequently left Copernicus between a rock and a hard place wrt any residual copyright claim and rightly so.


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      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        7 days!

        A welcome change to the interminable waffle that is so characteristic of the habits of our legal system.

        Get on the front foot! Call them out!

        This should speed up the rotation of the planet!


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    • #

      If you look at any of the papers at
      http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/prp-special-issue/
      You’ll find they are marked
      “© Author(s) 2013. CC Attribution 3.0 License.”

      So we can republish them elsewhere.


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      • #
        Ian H

        So copyright is absolutely no problem then. Creative commons licenses are wonderful. I wish all journals would use them. That just leaves the trademark in the title. But Copernicus has announced they are abandoning the title and Monckton has told them he plans to take it up. In those circumstances unless they defend their trademark in the title immediately by objecting they will lose it. Hopefully they won’t object.

        Good Luck Tallbloke. And Best Wishes for success.


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      • #
        The Griss

        Roger,

        iirc these articles have been available for download for a few weeks now, haven’t they.

        Have you got any feedback on the actual papers from responsible scientists ?

        (or has it all been from muck-rakers arguing about the peer review)

        I’m only a very out of practice maths graduate, and haven’t studied much about the solar system,
        but over the next few days I may be able to try to look at the maths at least, see if I can make sense of it.


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  • #
    GregS

    Hear, Hear!

    Kudos to Lord Monckton.


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  • #
    Peter C

    What is Peer Review for?

    I have asked academics, who have advised me that the peer review process helps keep all the rubbish papers from being published!

    That seems to be just a form of censorship to me.

    Does it have any other purpose, useful or otherwise?


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    • #
      Ian H

      Yes it does have another purpose.

      For better or worse (most think worse) papers have become the main measure of academic output. The more papers a scientist publishes the easier they find it to get a job and get promoted. The pressures on scientists to publish papers in peer reviewed journals have become immense; hence the phrase “publish or perish”. Peer review has evolved into a mechanism to stop people from getting credit for publishing lots of unoriginal rubbish.

      Many people think it would be much saner to simply publish everything and evaluate work AFTER publication, and there are a few journals around which use this kind of post publication review process. However great pressure is put on academics to use primarily peer reviewed journals, because those are the only ones which count for academic ranking purposes.

      Most scientists think the system sucks, but they are trapped in it and have no option other than to play the game unless they want their careers to come to an unfortunate early end.


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      • #
        Ian Hill

        ” … for publishing lots of unoriginal rubbish.”

        What about original rubbish? :)


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        • #
          Vic G Gallus

          The reviewing of papers is not thorough. A quick check that its not complete jibberish, is dotted and ts crossed, labels are correct and about 30 min to decide whether the paper has any merit.

          I can’t remember who told the story, but a professor in aeronautical engineering told of designing a new surface to reduce drag. It worked, according to his indirect measurements of drag. A lot of new experts popped up soon after, all repeating his work and getting the same result. It was the professor who noticed, while peer reviewing, that some papers measured drag directly and they should have concluded that he was wrong. He ended up having to redo his work measuring the drag directly, proving his original paper was wrong.

          He is an exception, not the rule.


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      • #
        Richard of NZ

        Might I suggest that you read “Systemantics” by John Gall. This small volume gives all of the information necessary information required to “understand” the world we live in.

        p.s. The Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemantics give a good overview.


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      • #
        Philip Shehan

        Ian H, I’m not sure on what basis you say that most scientists think the system sucks.

        Scientists understand that there is no point is doing science unless you tell people about your results. And yes, the number and quality of a scientists publications in peer reviewed (quality controlled) journals is major measure of their professional output. Science, like any other career, is essentially a competitive enterprise as far as career advancement goes. Those with the most successful track record get ahead.

        To paraphrase Winston Churchill (on democracy as a form of government)

        Peer review is the worst method of assessing the quality of a manuscript prior to publication except for all the others.


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    • #
      Philip Shehan

      So newspapers, magazines, book publishers etc. who do not publish every piece of work sent to them by anyone are guilty of censorship?

      All commercial non scientific publications have quality control mechanisms. If they did not no-one would be able to wade through all the rubbish, not to mention the sheer impracticability and cost of every manuscript being published. The blogosphere can accommodate the opinions of everyone, regardless of their level of knowledge of the subject.

      Science has become so specialised that even the most scientifically knowledgeable journal editor and staff could not possibly evaluate all the manuscripts sent to them. So they consult a database of people who have a strong publishing record in the area of the manuscript in question – experts who independently and without financial recompense evaluate the manuscript and recommend to the editor whether it is sound in terms of experimental procedure, results and whether the conclusions follow from the results, and whether even if the science is correct, the results are important enough to warrant publication.

      There is no committee.

      The referees (usually three) do not know who else is doing the refereeing. They do not know what the other referees have said in their evaluation. The authors do not know who the referees are, unless the latter give permission to the editor. All communication between the authors and the referees is through the editor.

      The referees work is diligent and detailed because (a) They take the responsibility seriously and (b) Their own professional reputation is on the line if they give a rubber stamp powder puff report on a manuscript the other experts have torn to pieces.

      I can tell you from experience on both sides of the refereeing fence that referees reports can run to pages of extremely detailed comments, questions and soften demands for further experimental work. Most manuscripts do not make it through on the first pass. They may go through several drafts and resubmission to the referees before they recommend publication, or not. The editors usually require a unanimous decision on the part of the referees for publication.

      The reputation of the editor and the journal depend on the quality of the papers they publish. Scientists want to publish in and read papers published in credible journals with a rigorous peer review process.


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      • #
        Winston

        So newspapers, magazines, book publishers etc. who do not publish every piece of work sent to them by anyone are guilty of censorship?

        Strawman. No one is saying that, so why assert it except to put words into people’s mouths?

        Science has become so specialised that even the most scientifically knowledgeable journal editor and staff could not possibly evaluate all the manuscripts sent to them.

        Specialisation when carried to its logical extreme carries with it certain inherent risks and provisos which are not vetted by peer review, given that niche specialties invariable end in pal review, which cannot therefore be independent. This is especially true in nascent fields of science without a hard empirical basis, such as climate science. Wegman’s statements regarding a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing social clique are particularly germane -“One of the interesting questions associated with the ‘Hockey Stick Controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published. Indeed, a common practice among associate editors for scholarly journals is to look in the list of references for a submitted paper to see who else is writing in a given area and thus who might legitimately be called on to provide knowledgeable peer review. Of course, if a given discipline area is small and the authors in the area are tightly coupled, then this process is likely to turn up very sympathetic referees. These referees may have coauthored other papers with a given author. They may believe they know that author’s other writings well enough that errors can continue to propagate and indeed be reinforced.” In the case of the Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” paper, Wegman and his team found the “clique” of gatekeepers to be no more than just 43 scientists, the majority of whom were wholly inter-dependent and inter-related.

        The referees work is diligent and detailed because (a) They take the responsibility seriously and (b) Their own professional reputation is on the line if they give a rubber stamp powder puff report on a manuscript the other experts have torn to pieces.

        This also works in reverse. In any field there is a hierarchy of researchers who hold positions of greatest authority. Those who have the heavyweight reputation, and enforce the greatest influence in the field can instantly shred your reputation with an unfavourable or critical review, even when they are on demonstrably on shaky intellectual ground. Most reviewers in that situation will not rock the boat and fall into line by letting contentious issues pass, thereby allowing them to continue to put food on their table and pay their mortgage. Most people do not have the courage or the selfless dedication to the truth to cut their nose off to spite their face.

        The rest of your points assume that selection criteria for referees are apolitical, unbiased, even handed, transparent and totally above reproach. Clearly that is not the case for most journals in most disciplines, particularly in those with bones of contention or highly politicised ones. “Credible” journals are almost certainly as politicised and corrupt as less “credible” ones, and no less prone to groupthink and entrenching dodgy paradigms of prevailing “wisdom”, as the Jan Hendrik Schon case amply demonstrates.


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        • #
          Philip Shehan

          Winston.

          My comment was a reply to Peter C at comment 6. I put nothing into his mouth.

          Your assertions regarding the conduct of reviewers and editors in over 3 decades in research and from both sides of the peer review system is at variance with my own direct experience. What is your direct experience with the process?

          As for your comment on the behaviour of authors, that referees fear retribution if critical of powerful authors. In the first place the default position is that the author does not know who the referees are.

          Moreover, I have been at many, many conferences where “powerful” scientists presenting their papers in front of an audience of scientists are subjected to exactly the kinds of probing questions routinely asked by referees. An awkward silence at the end of a talk when questions are asked for is considered an embarrassment all around. If no-one asks a question , the chairman of the session will ask one to (hopefully) get the ball rolling. In fact asking tough relevant questions gains the questioner brownie points among his or her peers.

          I modestly add that I (a mere “post doc” at the time)once got the answer “I don’t know” from Richard Ernst. This was shortly before he was awarded the Nobel prize and before the later discovery of functional magnetic resonance imaging, the basic principle of which was the point of my question. I am as proud of that moment as of any published paper I laboured over for months. It did my career no harm whatsoever.

          http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1991/

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_magnetic_resonance_imaging


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            Winston

            To suggest functional magnetic resonance imaging is in any way analogous to climate science is laughable. For a start, I don’t recall any UN directives suggesting that MRI technology represented a grave planetary emergency. Secondly, I don’t recall any suggestion that functional MRI was the reason for massive economic upheaval and wealth redistribution from the developed world to the UN (under the pretext of sending it to developing countries- who will see none of it). I don’t recall anyone suggesting that MRI machines should be converted to being powered by wind turbines that only work some of the time, and make MRI scans cost 3-4 times the amount they would otherwise cost. And I don’t recall any emails between functional MRI scientists who were suggesting hiding data or manipulating results of studies, or colluding to give governing bodies politically appropriate spin on their findings. I also don’t recall any functional MRI scientists having to seek the input of Greenpeace activists or the WWF when formulating policy pursuant to their technology. I also don’t recall MRI technology suggesting that anyone with a contrary view was a “denier” who should be tattooed, or that dissenting voices were to be shunned because the debate was over and the science was “settled” (even before anyone had a debate at all). And I don’t recall anyone in the MRI field who is marginalised or ridiculed like a Richard Lindzen or a Roy Spenser, or a Nils Morner, even though they are actually highly regarded objectively in their respective fields until they raised concerns about some of the alarmism being propagated

            No matter whether you believe in CAGW or not Brian, it is highly politicised, it is highly contentious, deals with data that is highly contaminated by adjustments and homogenisation, has many variables in the unknown category which are unquantifiable, and the predictive accuracy of computer modelling over any decent time frame is equivalent to throwing a dart at a board with a blindfold. Meanwhile alot of people stand to make alot of money if a falsehood is perpetuated, from multinational corporations like GE, to investment banks and hedge funds, to governments playing economic games at their own taxpayers expense. So I ask you, Brian, where is that comparison valid?


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              Philip Shehan

              Winston, the question is about the peer review process.

              Yes, the question of AGW is highly politicised. It has been politicised by the activities of free market think tanks and neo-liberal anti-regulation politicians who have attacked highly distinguished scientists, universities, research institutes, research academies of science, journals, reviewers, referees etc etc because they conclude on the basis of empirical evidence that AGW is real.

              We are to believe that scientists involved in the study of climate are somehow different from all the others in terms of integrity. As are editors who are less rigorous in their quality control processes when dealing with these authors. There is a giant conspiracy to fool the public.

              You can give no evidence to back your assertion that somehow the peer review process is different in climate science than any other branch of science.

              Climate science articles submitted to the most prestigious journals Science and Nature, which publish important papers in all fields of science, are subjected to exactly the same review process as those in any other field.

              You have not answered my question as to what actual personal experience you have with the peer review process.

              And you got it clearly wrong in asserting that anonymous referees had anything to fear from aggrieved authors.

              Your attacks are unsubstantiated mud slinging.


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                Winston

                You can give no evidence to back your assertion that somehow the peer review process is different in climate science than any other branch of science.

                *Enabling “groupthink”/manipulating and artificially aligning opinion -
                #0714 Phil Jones – on finding authors for the IPCC AR4 report-

                “Getting people we know and trust is vital, hence my comment about the tornadoes group.”

                #4133 Johnathan Overpeck – IPCC review. Doing what is necessary for the IPCC

                “Synthesis and Implications for Climate change combine ideas from the different time periods – it gives paleoclimate studies more of an unified feel, as if it were a real discipline rather than a bunch of people doing their own time-period thing. That’s necessary for IPCC, and necessary for the outside community to see as well. So I would vote for keeping the general order, but eliminating the overlap and inconsistencies in ways that seem most reasonable.”

                *Politicising science-
                #2009 Keith Briffa – writing draft of paleo IPCC AR4 chapter-

                “I note that my box on the lapse rates was completely and utterly ignored which may explain to some extent my reaction, but I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”

                *Lack of objectivity/healthy skepticism-
                #1656 Douglas Maraun – on how to react to skeptics.-

                “How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think, that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest.”

                #2009 Keith Briffa – draft of paleo IPCC AR4 chapter.

                “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here”

                Kevin Trenberth -

                “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” –

                *Dubious Methodology-
                #3234 Richard Alley
                “Taking the recent instrumental record and the tree-ring record and joining them yields a dramatic picture, with rather high confidence that recent times are anomalously warm. Taking strictly the tree-ring record and omitting the instrumental record yields a less-dramatic picture and a lower confidence that the recent temperatures are anomalous.”

                Phil Jones- on cherrypicking how data from disparate sources were grafted together to give the most desired result to confirm the picture most persuasive to their conclusion-

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

                #4133 Johnathan Overpeck – IPCC review-

                “..what Mike Mann continually fails to understand, and no amount of references will solve, is that there is practically no reliable tropical data for most of the time period, and without knowing the tropical sensitivity, we have no way of knowing how cold (or warm) the globe actually got.”

                Bullying journals/peer review system failure-
                Michael Mann – part of Penn State’s renowned climate scientist Michael Mann’s apparent campaign to delegitimize the journal “Climate Research” and, by extension, any doubt over his side of the debate-

                “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.”

                Phil Jones – suggesting to Michael Mann the lengths Jones was prepared to go to in order to keep papers out of the IPCC report that exhibited evidence or conclusions contrary to the consensus-

                “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

                Enough evidence for you. My personal peer review experience, or lack thereof, is irrelevant to the discussion, as merely observation of how some journal peer review is conducted is sufficient to draw conclusions about what is wrong with the process. You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

                I must say Brian, that you are very selective about what you decide to emphasise in a comment of an adversary and what you ignore and gloss over. My objective observation as a student of human behaviour, therefore, is that you are rather “economic” with the truth, are disingenuous to a fault, and overall my appraisal is that I doubt your motives are as pure as you pretend. Feel free to take offence.


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                Philip Shehan

                Winston,

                Getting back to the peer review question, the irony is that the publishers of Pattern Recognition in Physics discontinued publication partly out of concern for the integrity of that journal’s peer review process.

                In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.

                Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP.

                http://www.pattern-recognition-in-physics.net/

                The other concern was that the journal was not supposed to be a journal of climate but a journal for all realms os physics and that this agreement had been breeched:

                the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

                All power to Monckton or anyone else starting a journal where skeptics feel they are particularly welcome to present their science. The credibility of the journal will stand or fall on the quality of the science. There is however no need to appropriate the name of another journal and which does not represent the scope of the intended papers.

                I think it is rather typical of Monckton to use the ‘If I don’t hear from you in 7 days I will do whay I like’ ploy, rather than actally gain permission.


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                Philip Shehan

                P.S. Regarding Trenberth’s “travesty” comment. I recall another group of conspiracy theorists fighting the establishment quoting Gus Crissom sitting atop Apollo 1 (in which he was later to die in a launch pad fire) complaining about a communications problem: “How are we ever going to get to the moon if we can’t even talk between buildings?” Thus demonstrating the moon landings were a hoax.


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                PhilJourdan

                He gave you evidence. Then you move the goal posts.

                next time think about what you are saying before you say it. Then you will not fall into such an easy trap.

                You lost on that one.


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              Philip Shehan

              Winston, The context of the comments you provide are unclear, but on the face of it many I find entirely unremarkable:

              “Synthesis and Implications for Climate change combine ideas from the different time periods – it gives paleoclimate studies more of an unified feel, as if it were a real discipline rather than a bunch of people doing their own time-period thing. That’s necessary for IPCC, and necessary for the outside community to see as well. So I would vote for keeping the general order, but eliminating the overlap and inconsistencies in ways that seem most reasonable.”

              Some of them are simply scientists engaged in entirely routine and non-groupthink differences of opinion:

              For example:

              “..what Mike Mann continually fails to understand, and no amount of references will solve, is that there is practically no reliable tropical data for most of the time period, and without knowing the tropical sensitivity, we have no way of knowing how cold (or warm) the globe actually got.”

              and

              “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here”

              Some are simply all too human bitching in what they thought was private converstion:

              “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

              The papers appeared in the report.

              Those that I am aware of demonstrate how skeptics give misleading interpretations of comments when removed from the context. For example, on the matter of the reliability of tree ring data, “Mikes Nature trick” and “hiding the decline”.

              This stems from the fact well known fact discussed in the literature that tree rings are a reliable proxy measurement of temperature up until 1960. The apparent temperature relative to measured temperatures and other proxies according to the tree ring data then declines. The reasons for this decline in tree ring growth relative to temperature are still unknown but many point to atmospheric polution and acid rain.

              When the “climategate’ emails first breathlessly burst upon the stage and had not been properly sorted to give the “best” spin, I recall reading a bunch of these emails about tree rings on Andrew Bolt’s blog, including some which gave further context but which the climate “skeptics” beating up the hacked emails have since decided not to highlight. I remember thinking “So what”?

              The scientists were discussing what use should be made of data that is known to be unreliable. Include all of it and rely on the many other sources of proxy data? Delete the known unreliable tree ring data only and retain the reliable tree ring data? Put up the entire tree ring data and asterisk and reference the known problems with post 1960 data?

              Mann in a publication in Nature had previously used proxy data up until (more reliable) global instrumental data became available and the instrumental data thereafter with the different sources of temperature data clearly indicated in the graph.

              Jones recommends using “Mikes Nature trick” (Trick can simply mean a neat solution to a problem). The referees for that paper rightly saw nothing whatsoever wrong or misleading with this procedure. Thus Mikes nature trick hiding the decline in the inaccurate tree ring proxy data. (SHOCK HORROR!)

              The real scandalous conduct was the subsequent presentation of these remarks by “skeptics” as hiding a decline in the actual instrumental temperature data. And this was the closest “skeptics”could come to a smoking gun after trawling through thousands of emails going back years. No wonder, if this was the worst the “skeptics” could come up with, the many independent inquiries into “Climategate” found any evidence of scientific fraud.

              As for Trenberth:

              “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” (My Bold)

              How many times have I heard and made similar statements of frustration by scientists trying to get reliable data, usually because of experimental/technical/instrumental limitations.

              Trenberth had been doing an accounting job adding up all the global heat and had come up short. The “missing heat”. At that time temperature data for the oceans had been limited to the first 700 metres. That leaves a lot of unexamined ocean.
              Later measurements to 2000 metres found much of the missing heat. Furthermore to the extent that the non-stistically significant pause in atmospheric temperature is real, recent data shows that ocean temperatures to 2000 metres have accelerated over that period.
              Click figs 2 and 3 below.

              http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html


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                There is no excuse for mikes trick to hide declines. This is not a trick to get a photocopier working, it’s a trick to hide that the data inexplicably doesn;t measure temperature accurately after 1960. That means either tree rings are useless, the trees were the wrong trees, something else was going on, or the thermometers have been adjusted incorrectly. One way or the other it was deceptive, and no number of whitewashing committees pronouncing this is “standard” practice means a thing.

                I will just keep quoting the quote direct, and let people make their own minds up.

                If the tree rings are so inaccurate after 1960, why are we 95% certain they work before then?

                A trick to hide something has deception written all over it. These people are liars by omission. You “trust” them. We don’t.


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                Winston

                It’s because, Jo, those post 1960 trees didn’t show what Mann, and what Brian would like them to show, but prior to 1960 they did, so therefore they are valid before 1960 and not valid after. They are probably not a valid proxy for temperature at all, but they proved “fit for purpose”.

                The fact that Brian thinks it is perfectly appropriate to graft modern temperature record, highly adjusted (or even or not), onto a tree ring proxy, speaks volumes for his advocacy for “real” science. Someone coined the phrase “frankengraphs” and I think it is perfectly appropriate to label them as such. To draw conclusions based on such a hodgepodge of different data sets is patently ridiculous, IMHO.


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                Philip Shehan

                Ms Nova. The fact that someone uses the word “trick” in an email does not mean an attempt at misrepresentation. A neat trick is often simply a clever and entirely legitmate solution to a problem.

                If people wish to keep quoting this and the “hide the decline” remark, they should not omit the real meaning and context and worse, deliberately say this was an attempt to hide a decline in the real instrumental temperature data rather than anomalous proxy data. This really is lying by omission and outright lying if the person making this claim is aware of the distinction.

                Proxy data is just that. Data which is used in place of actual temperature data which became available around 1850 include tree rings, corals, ocean and lake sediments, cave deposits, ice cores, boreholes, and glaciers. Collectively they are the best way to reconstruct global temperature data before the instrumental period.

                Before 1960 tree ring data are consistent with actual temperature data and other proxy data. This has been widely discussed in the literature. It is no secret and everyone accepts it as an anomoly in need of explanation. The most likely causes given are anthropogenic effects on tree growth due to atmospheric pollution but this is far from “settled”. Whatever the cause, it would not be sensible to prefer proxy data which depends on factors in addition to temperature over actual temperature data.

                I don’t know where anyone has said that temperature reconstructions from these proxy sets are 95% certain. You may be thinking of Mann’s original paper and subsequent hockey sticks by other groups which show 95% confidence limits. These do indeed show that the uncertainty in the proxy temperatures increases the further one goes back in time, and are very large before 1600. No deception there.

                McIntyre did not object to the use of proxy data in conjunction with instrumental data. His complaint was that the use of principle component analysis made the hockey stick shape inevitable.

                A re-examination of the data by the National Center for Atmospheric Research at the behest of Congress using other statistical methods and reconstructions of past temperatures by other groups found no essential disagreement with Mann’s original findings.

                http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=1

                It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of whether the results stand up to scrutiny and are in agreement with findings by other groups. They have repeatedly done so.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                In the military, on both sides of the Atlantic, the phrase, “A trick”, refers to “non-standard” ways of getting around an obstacle or problem in achieving an objective, usually by subterfuge. By definition, using the “a trick”, is unorthodox, unexpected, and probably non-repeatable.

                By the way, the phrase, “neat trick” has entered into common discourse since the publication of the Climategate emails, by I digress.

                I could produce any graph you wanted, simply by “grafting” together selected segments of unrelated data sets, adjusting for scale, and smoothing over the joins. For example, I could use selective segments from data on tree rings, corals, ocean and lake sediments, cave deposits, ice cores, boreholes, glaciers, the price of fish, and the accuracy of the Indian railway schedule, to mention but a few.

                What I would then need to do is to produce a rational reason why each set of data has been used. This is a matter of creative thinking and semantics.

                Creative thinking and semantics, in fact, that are very similar to your argument with “Ms Nova”.

                But you are wrong in stating that, “it is not a matter of trust”. It is exactly a matter of trust. Your counter statement is nothing more than a classic “Diversion by reversal”. It is Propaganda 101.

                Of course it is to do with trust. The research on tree rings got “The Team”, out of a hole, by “demonstrating” that the “Medieval Warming Period” did not appear in this new reconstructed historical record – yea! But the question then, is how to quieten those pesky skeptics, who won’t believe the spin?

                Answer: get all of the “experts in the field” to verify the veracity of what has been done, and then drown the skeptics out, by the weight of references.

                The trouble with that answer though, were those people with a statistical interest, who demonstrated that the graph was inevitable if component analysis was used, as it was. Thus the “evidence”, was unlikely to be evidence at all. But no matter, because the underlying propaganda message had been received by the political classes, and taken on board.

                Philip, you are entitled to your opinion, and you are entitled to state that opinion. But likewise, the people who come here, many of whom are practising scientists and engineers, are also entitled to theirs. For that is what this debate comes down to: opinion, but opinion does not constitute proof.

                I can think of no other field of non-commercial science that refuses to openly publish its data and methods for scrutiny by other interested parties. Does that not appear strange to you?

                Is there some disquiet in the ranks that some grubby engineer, somewhere, who happens to know a bit about computer modelling, and fractal maths, might expose some critical errors in the way the models are constructed and used?

                Interesting questions. They make you think.


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                Winston

                In Brian’s world, plausible deniability is equivalent to unshakeable belief.

                Further up the thread I impugned, perhaps unkindly, Brian’s honesty. Perhaps that was a bit harsh, because having read his comments since I can’t help but think that perhaps the person he is lying to most is himself. Just because one can construct a rationalisation that something might be true, doesn’t make it so.

                You are not being objective Brian, because if you were you would have to say that those in the field demonstrate collusion with manipulation of their data to a preconceived concept of what the results should be, have been less than forthcoming and transparent about that data so it can be verified independently, and have expressed doubts privately when publicly they have expressed certainty about the validity of their conclusions.

                My default approach to any unsolicited, unsupported and un-validated assertion is to ask for clarification and evidence. For you, it is clearly sufficient to merely assert one’s authority in the matter and fall into compliant line behind it, and then perform enormous feats of self-rationalisation to maintain an unshakeable belief.

                Castles made of sand, Brian.


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                Philip Shehan

                Rereke. (and Winston)

                Your representation of the temperature reconstruction process is fanciful. There are no selected segments of unrelated segments adjusted for scale with joints smoothed over. There is no inclusion of fish prices or railway timetables.

                Each proxy data set, whether tree rings, corals ocean sediments etc is independently taken in its entirety and calibrated with the known instrument period where they overlap. There is no cutting into segments and no scaling.

                Rereke:

                “What I would then need to do is to produce a rational reason why each set of data has been used. “

                And Winston:

                “My default approach to any unsolicited, unsupported and un-validated assertion is to ask for clarification and evidence. For you, it is clearly sufficient to merely assert one’s authority in the matter and fall into compliant line behind it, and then perform enormous feats of self-rationalisation to maintain an unshakeable belief.”

                A critical assessment of the use of proxy data and the statistical methods used in data analysis is given in the 160 page report made by National Center for Atmospheric Research at request of Congress. (link above). Each proxy method gets its own chapter. Feel free to read the whole document. Chapter 11 provides a good summary.

                The subheadings of Chapter 11 are:

                EVOLUTION OF MULTIPROXY RECONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES

                Criticisms and Advances of Reconstruction Techniques

                STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS OF LARGE-SCALE SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECONSTRUCTIONS

                OVERALL FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

                I quote a section from the conclusion:

                Large-scale surface temperature reconstructions yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium, including relatively warm conditions centered around A.D. 1000 (identified by some as the “Medieval Warm Period”) and a relatively cold period (or “Little Ice Age”) centered around 1700. The existence of a Little Ice Age from roughly 1500 to 1850 is supported by a wide variety of evidence including ice cores, tree rings, borehole temperatures, glacier length records, and historical documents. Evidence for regional warmth during medieval times can be found in a diverse but more limited set of records including ice cores, tree rings, marine sediments, and historical sources from Europe and Asia, but the exact timing and duration of warm periods may have varied from region to region, and the magnitude and geographic extent of the warmth are uncertain.

                It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.

                Rejecting this kind of exhaustive analysis by a national body under the auspices of congress simply because “skeptics” do not like the conclusions is a long way from being “objective”


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                Winston

                Rejecting this kind of exhaustive analysis by a national body under the auspices of congress simply because “skeptics” do not like the conclusions is a long way from being “objective”

                Unbelievable misrepresentation, Brian.

                It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies

                No one here debates at all that it is warmer now than the last 400 years, so why do you imply otherwise? The LIA, commencing in the 1600′s post the Maunder minimum was almost certainly the coldest period globally since the last glacial period 11,000 years ago. I am especially grateful that we are not suffering such an inordinately cold and inhospitable climate throughout much of the northern hemisphere as then, because if so there would be a massive death toll through crop failures and cold related deaths due to fuel poverty, a condition only likely to be made worse under the auspices of your fellow travellers at the global genocide branch of the UN. Shouldn’t we be incredibly grateful that this is not so, regardless of wicked man’s influence?

                The more fundamental question is whether that warming is related to mankind’s activity in part or in toto, or was some or all of that warming a consequence of natural solar and even galactic influences super-ceding or even overwhelming any putative impact from mankind. Pre 1945, man-made CO2 is acknowledge to have been insignificant in amount to influence planetary climate in any meaningful way. There is certainly an influence of UHI on any increase in global temperatures (whether you like to acknowledge it or not- the only question is how much), as is an impact from deforestation and land clearing, agriculture practices, irrigation, diversion of watercourses, etc which alter the climate through cumulative impacts as we increase our population- none of which has anything to do with CO2 so should not, in the interests of intellectual honesty be conflated together as affronts to Gaia.

                Subsequent to that we had some warming from 1979 till 1999 some of which (in the surface temperature record at least) can be accounted for by incredibly dishonest adjustments of GISS temperature data at least in part, as well as a positive PDO and AMO which are now turning negative. This has then been followed by a substantial decline in the degree of warming to a level below statistical significance for 13-20 years depending on the data set, a “plateau” or “pause” or even the beginning of a decline remains to be seen. Solar influences are likely to be underestimated as causes of warming (since TSI really only tells part of the solar influence- ignoring solar magnetic influences, EUV influence on ozone, height of atmosphere fluctuations, ENSO) and now these influences are waning, awaiting a lag in ocean response to kick into full negative mode, with the result remaining to be seen.

                Don’t you think, therefore, that you should pause in your butt covering exercise to reflect on the catastrophic social cost if you are wrong? It is clear that exponentially rising temperatures are not likely by the IPCCs own admission for the next 20-30 years at least in the face of a flagging sun. So that being the case,shouldn’t we be more circumspect in our energy policies and not risk economic ruin and possible trickle down effects on the economies of poorer nations, pushing the most marginalised over the edge into hunger and deprivation? I suppose if you don’t really look at the damage you are doing, then you don’t really have to acknowledge it,do you Brian?


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Philip [ref: 6.2.1.1.6]

                Your representation of the temperature reconstruction process is fanciful. There are no selected segments of unrelated segments adjusted for scale with joints smoothed over. There is no inclusion of fish prices or railway timetables.

                I didn’t say they were. I was you that said:

                Data which is used in place of actual temperature data which became available around 1850 include tree rings, corals, ocean and lake sediments, cave deposits, ice cores, boreholes, and glaciers.

                I just added fish prices and railway timetables to be fanciful, because I knew you would accuse me of that anyway (you are very predictable Philip).

                But then you went on to say:

                Collectively they are the best way to reconstruct global temperature data before the instrumental period.

                Which is a very frank admission that the “best” proxy for any time period was chosen, and then smoothed into the whole. So I thank you for your honesty in sharing that information.

                As a one-time modeller, it is good to know that, at least some, of the old tricks are still used, when there is a need.


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                Philip Shehan

                Come off it Winston.

                What you and Rereke were criticizing me for was allegedly accepting the use of proxy data which according to you is unvalidated and unsupported, a feat of self rationalization to maintain an unshakeable belief, merely asserting my authority on the matter etc etc etc.

                I referred to the critical assessment of the use of proxy data and the statistical methods used in data analysis in the 160 page report made by National Center for Atmospheric Research at request of Congress. This document contains all the validation and support for my viewpoint required.

                And the thing is I originally linked this document which you could have examined before your writing your last lengthy criticisms.

                It is you guys who are dismissing temperature reconstructions and the validity of using them in conjunction with instrumental data based on nothing but your own prejudices in the face of the evidence supplied in the report.

                I quoted that section of the summary that supported this central point at the beginning and the end:

                Large-scale surface temperature reconstructions yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium…This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.

                The material in between was also of interest because of the remarks about the medieval warm period and little ice age, which contrary to Rereke’s comment are supported by the proxy data, but with certain caveats as to regional timing and extent.

                Your post concentrating on the statement about temperature rises in the last 20th century compared to the last 4 centuries and the paragraphs following are irrelevant camouflage designed to hide the fact that your assertions about the reliability of proxy data and your criticism of me for supporting them based on nothing but self rationalization , assertions of my own authority etc etc etc are thoroughly busted.


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                Philip Shehan

                Rereke, neglecting produce prices and railway timetables, where in the reconstructions are the:

                “grafting” together of “selected segments of unrelated data sets”, the “adjusting for scale”, and “smoothing over the joins”?


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                Winston

                “Come off it”, Brian.

                This document contains all the validation and support for my viewpoint required.

                Just a few choice quotes from your link that I previously wasn’t bothered to post after reading such a waffling apologist confection for the terribly imprecise “science” of proxy reconstructions, so I just highlighted a few choice lines suggesting your interpretation of the document is highly fanciful. Wishful thinking I expect.

                Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.

                Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time periods.

                The main reason that our confidence in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions is lower before A.D. 1600 and especially before A.D. 900 is the relative scarcity of precisely dated proxy evidence. Other factors limiting our confidence in surface temperature reconstructions include: the relatively short length of the instrumental record (which is used to calibrate and validate the reconstructions); the fact that all proxies are influenced by a variety of climate variables; the possibility that the relationship between proxy data and local surface temperatures may have varied over time; the lack of agreement as to which methods are most appropriate for calibrating and validating large-scale reconstructions and for selecting the proxy data to include; and the difficulties associated with constructing a global or hemispheric mean temperature estimate using data from a limited number of sites and with varying chronological precision. All of these considerations introduce uncertainties that are difficult to quantify.

                Borehole temperature measurements and glacier length records can be converted to temperature time series using physically based models with a few key variables. For all other proxies used for the reconstructions discussed in this report, statistical techniques are employed to define the relationship between the proxy measurements and the concurrent instrumental temperature record, and then this relationship is used to reconstruct past temperature variations from the remaining proxy data………………There are variations in the way in which these methods are applied to different proxies and variations in the way that different research groups apply these methods.

                Although calibration against instrumental data is a necessary step to determine how well proxies reflect climate, proxy records are not perfect thermometers; that is, the true relationship between the proxy and the local surface temperature is not known exactly. Furthermore, all proxies are influenced by variables other than temperature, and it can be difficult to account for these confounding factors. The use of linear regression in the calibration step is also a concern because reconstructions derived from linear regression models based on the method of least squares exhibit less variability than the instrumental records they are calibrated against. Additional variance can be lost if the individual proxy records within the reconstruction are not spliced together properly. Finally, in applying these methods it is assumed that the correlation between the proxy data and the instrumental record will hold up over the entire period of the reconstruction, but this assumption is difficult to test.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Philip [ref: 6.2.1.1.9]

                … where in the reconstructions are the: “grafting” together of “selected segments of unrelated data sets”, the “adjusting for scale”, and “smoothing over the joins”?

                Which is the point to which all these debates regress. That is your back-stop response, isn’t it?

                You well know that Climate Science is the only field of non-commercial, non-military, government sponsored, scientific research, that has consistently refused to release details of its methods, data, findings, and areas of uncertainty, to anybody other than a select group of people – the group known as “The team”.

                Since Rereke, under any of his many aliases, is not a known member of The Team, it is a safe riposte to use. Except, of course, that by using it, you indicate that you really have no other argument that you can safely put forward..

                So I will restate your question in a different form, and ask you: “Where is the single source of raw contiguous, unadjusted, and validated, temperature data covering the period of study of climate variation, from paleolithic times, to the present day?”

                I think we can agree that there isn’t one?

                So we are working with diverse data sets, from multiple overlapping sources, many of which will be unrelated by geography and time, and with varying accuracy, that need to be put in a form that can be used by computer models. Now, you explain to me, how that can be done without “tricks” to join them together, and without “smoothing” the result.


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                Philip Shehan

                Winston and Rereke, you guys are backpedalling at a million miles an hour. As I wrote:

                What you and Rereke were criticizing me for was allegedly accepting the use of proxy data which according to you is unvalidated and unsupported, a feat of self rationalization to maintain an unshakeable belief, merely asserting my authority on the matter etc etc etc.

                I rebutted this criticism by pointing to one comprehensive document (and there are others), a critical assessment of the use of proxy data and the statistical methods used in data analysis in the 160 page report made by National Center for Atmospheric Research at request of Congress, on which I base my assessment of temperature reconstructions.

                At least I got Winston to actually look at the document,(although I think his qutes all come from chapter 11. And as I pointed out the subsections of Chapter 11 are headed “strengths and weaknesses” and “limitations” of proxy reconstructions.

                Of course he focuses on the limitations and weknesses, one of which I specifically mention in my response to Ms Nova:

                I don’t know where anyone has said that temperature reconstructions from these proxy sets are 95% certain. You may be thinking of Mann’s original paper and subsequent hockey sticks by other groups which show 95% confidence limits. These do indeed show that the uncertainty in the proxy temperatures increases the further one goes back in time, and are very large before 1600. No deception there.

                Yet having exhaustively examined the limitations and strengths of proxy reconstructions, the document concludes:

                Large-scale surface temperature reconstructions yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium…This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.

                If you want to argue over the details of the document that is fine by me, but my central point is that your accusation that my opinion on proxy data reconstructions is based on nothing more than “unsolicited, unsupported and un-validated assertion” and that I “merely assert [my] authority in the matter” “then perform enormous feats of self-rationalisation to maintain an unshakeable belief” is not “objective” and is a “castle made of sand” is clearly BUSTED

                And Rereke I really don’t know what to make of these sentences:

                “Which is the point to which all these debates regress. That is your back-stop response, isn’t it?”

                Asking yo to substantiate your claims is not a back-stop response, it is the first one.

                and I am mystified by this one which has you apparently discussing yourself in the third person:

                “Since Rereke, under any of his many aliases, is not a known member of The Team, it is a safe riposte to use. Except, of course, that by using it, you indicate that you really have no other argument that you can safely put forward..”

                If you mean by this that my asking you to justify your claims is somehow illegitimate, – well like I say, I am mystified. If you are asserting it is the only argument I can safely put forward: Have you actually read my thread of comments on this? I thought I put forward quite a number. And here are some more:

                There is no “grafting” of different proxy data on to each other. They are superimposed for comparison. Each data set is looked at in its entirety so there is no “looking at segments” or “smoothing over joins”. The data is calibrated against instrumental data but there is no “scaling”.

                .


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                Winston

                Brian,
                You are really funny.

                No matter which way you slice it, you lost the argument here. The arm waving about “backpedalling at a million miles an hour” shows you lack a sense of proportion, and are sailing up the river of denial with spinnaker fully deployed.

                Firstly, you suggested that “We are to believe that scientists involved in the study of climate are somehow different from all the others in terms of integrity.” I then gave you ample evidence from their own mouths that demonstrated that climate science doesn’t hold itself to the standards most of us would consider appropriate for a legitimate field of scientific endeavour.

                Then you provide a link which you assert purports to show that using low resolution proxy data and grafting selected variations of it upon the modern high resolution temperature record is somehow a valid thing to do, which actually acknowledges the opposite, as quoted above where at least they acknowledge the fact that they are a poor substitute for thermometers, yet then the document performs “feats of self-rationalisation” as to why we should then treat them as gospel, and conclusions derived from them as sacrosanct!

                I invite everyone to read the chain of comments between Philip (aka Brian) and myself and Rereke. When you do you will draw the conclusion that there is NOTHING that anyone can say to persuade Brian of any doubt in his faith that CAGW is real, proxies are accurate thermometers, adjusted and cherry-picked data doesn’t have to be open and transparent to be believed, and that any statement from “authorities” should be accepted and any caveats or provisos should be ignored, overlooked or swept under the carpet.

                I can see I’ve stung you with the “feat of self rationalization to maintain an unshakeable belief” comment. Glad I gave you food for thought. Perhaps now you can grasp the slightest hint of the anger I and others here feel at the misuse of scientific method and authority by activists which has drawn us into such a well of ignorance that threatens hundreds of years of enlightened rational thought.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Winston [ref: 6.2.1.1.14]

                Hear, Hear.

                Nicely said, except that you should probably have spelt “spinnaker”, with an “m” in place of the second “n”. :-)


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                Winston

                Just a few more climategate quotes regarding the Hockey stick, which show there was absolutely nothing untoward about the reconstruction and the use of proxies, and that confirmation bias couldn’t possibly be a factor influencing the end result:

                ◾Michael Mann

                It would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “Medieval Warm Period”.

                ◾#300 Bo Christiansen – on Hockey stick reconstructions

                All methods strongly underestimate the amplitude of low-frequency variability and trends. This means that it is almost impossible to conclude from reconstruction studies that the present period is warmer than any period in the reconstructed period.”

                ◾#0886 Jan Esper on his own reconstruction – also hidden decline

                And the curve will also show that the IPCC curve needs to be improved according to missing long-term declining trends/signals, which were removed (by dendrochronologists!) before Mann merged the local records together.

                ◾#4007 Tim Osborne

                Also we have applied a completely artificial adjustment to the data after 1960, so they look closer to observed temperatures than the tree-ring data actually were”.

                ◾Tim Osborne #2347

                Also, we set all post-1960 values to missing in the MXD data set (due to decline), and the method will infill these, estimating them from the real temperatures – another way of “correcting” for the decline, though may be not defensible!”

                ◾#3234 Richard Alley

                Unless the “divergence problem” can be confidently ascribed to some cause that was not active a millennium ago, then the comparison between tree rings from a millennium ago and instrumental records from the last decades does not seem to be justified, and the confidence level in the anomalous nature of the recent warmth is lowered.”

                Yep, those treemometers are looking more and more like precision instruments to me.


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          Philip Shehan

          PS. I think a colleague of mine (actually my boss at the time of my own meeting with Professsor Ernst) may have blotted his copybook with Richard at a conference shortly thereafter.

          David had been allocated the Professor as a room-mate at the hotel. Returning to their room “tired and emotional” after a heavy session no doubt discussing matters of scientific importance and waking Richard from a sound slumber at about 3 am, the Professor had a question for David. “It’s a little bit late to be getting in isn’t it David?”


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            Vic G Gallus

            Seriously? Most people here with an engineering or science background have a story about meeting a big name in academia. Mine would of a professor who leads a large research group in a major European university (and yes, he has a name and is not just called professor) who balled me up at the bar in Jupiter’s to tell me that he and (soon to be second wife) had picked up a gorgeous girl together.


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              Philip Shehan

              Vic: Another story about David and myself. We were doing a tour of British Universities courtesy of the British Council. I think I was there mainly to carry the Professorial luggage in and out of hotels and B and B’s. David had made Professor at a very young age. We were both in our mid thirties at the time.

              One night in Nottingham we went to do our washing in a laundromat. There was bottle shop (liquor store) next door. To pass the time watching the spin dryers we bought a few cans of overproof German beer. One thing led to another and we called it a night back at the hotel at 3 or 4 am when we were having trouble hitting the ball with the pool cues.

              Early next morning we are in the office of someone at the university feeling very seedy. I was feeling so tired I needed match sticks to keep my eyes open. It was a battle to stay awake. I was roused to startled consciousness by David saying, “Please excuse me for a moment, Dr Shehan will continue the discussion.” I had not idea what the discussion was about. (I found out later that David had gone to throw up in the toilet). I don’t remember how or if I successfully carried on the conversation. They probably just put it down to sterotypical behaviour regarding antipodeans in line with Monty Python’s Philosophy Department at the University of Woolloomooloo.

              Fun trip though. We drove from Lands End to John O’ Groats and tried to organise our visits to give ourselves long weekends.


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            Philip Shehan

            Vic. Like your story. Mine is tame by comparison.

            I might add that getting (thus far) three don’t likes for this innocuous anecdote simply reinforces my opinion about people who simply see a name they have identified as an ideological enemy and in a mindless knee jerk response give it the thumbs down.

            This has even happened when I have genuinely simply thanked a skeptic here who answered a question I posed.

            Morons.


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              Rastuz

              Now it’s 4. And one more for the moron comment moron.

              Bwahahahaha


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              Vic G Gallus

              You were name dropping. I wasn’t (for a couple of reasons).

              With regards to Michael Mann: Do you know which tree rings he used as proxies? Do you know that these trees were chosen for proxies of growing conditions for the native Americans in the region before Michael Mann selected them, like a good ovinedic would? They are highly dependent on a long warm and wet growing season. A hot and dry one, like 1934, shows up like a cold year.


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                Philip Shehan

                Vic, Sorry, did not realise that your post was a complaint. Thought you were just sharing another friendly anecdote. Ok, if snark is in fashion. Did you also tick the “don’t like” box like the those I mention?

                (Not everyone Rastuz. Again, not sooking, just pointing out how brainless so many of those calling themselves “skeptics” here are. It brings a wry smile to my face.)

                I would not have mentioned names either if the person involved had been trawling for threesomes.

                I will point out that my original post was in response to this complete load of bollocks from someone who has very firm opinions on peer review without having the slightest idea of how it actually works (Not exactly Robinson Crusoe here):

                In any field there is a hierarchy of researchers who hold positions of greatest authority. Those who have the heavyweight reputation, and enforce the greatest influence in the field can instantly shred your reputation with an unfavourable or critical review, even when they are on demonstrably on shaky intellectual ground.

                Far from anonymous referees feeling inhibited about challenging heavyweights, people are not the least inhibited about challenging them to their face. It is more likely to enhance your reputation than damage it. (My supplementary anecdotes were intended to be a light hearted comment on methods of actually damaging one’s professional standing, the second one posted before I realised your own story was intended as criticsm.)

                Why not mention Richard Ernst by name rather than give a coy reference to “a future Nobel Prize winner” as an example of the heavyweights we are supposed to be intimidated by? He is a real gentleman and I am happy to draw attention to his achievements.

                As you say, most professional scientists meet heavy hitters on a regular basis. It did not occur to me that this is in any way a claim of special standing. I’m not sure I am game to mention this but Richard Ernst is not the only person – (How can I put this so as not to name drop) – “Been to Stockholm”. So what? (And in contrast to Professor Ernst I have heard one of them described as a… no, better not use the term even with asterisks.)

                It did not occur to me that this simple fact could in any way be counted as self agrandisement. Just looking for another mindless whinge at a “warmist” aren’t you Vic?

                If you want to get stuck in to me for self aggrandisement you should have pointed to my immodest remarks about the prescience of my question to Professor Ernst. Guilty as charged. But it’s true which makes me an immodest person who clearly has very keen scientific jusdgemnt.

                Go sook about it.


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                Vic G Gallus

                Nobody sooks when you hoe into them, Philip. They just shake their heads at the dross.

                Many of the people commenting know what really goes on. Its so easy to deflate the over-sized ego of some of those at the top of their field, the ones that are there for the wrong reason and there are many.


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        Mark D.

        The reputation of the editor and the journal depend on the quality of the papers they publish

        That might be why I would never be in the business of publishing a journal. Think about what crap you might have to hang your hat on to survive?


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    Thanks Jo for posting this. Until we can get all legals sorted out we will run a temporary repository site at

    http://solarsystemscience.org

    Please bookmark and visit again once we’re up and going in a few days time. Busy life!
    And yes, the supplementary material linking sources etc will be there.

    Cheers

    Rog


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      Geoff Sherrington

      Rog,
      Some of us with possible credentials to publish might be interested in helping the effort by submitting new papers for publication. This is not always an act that can be done without some weeks-months of preparation, so it needs to be focussed. Are there particular areas of interest about which a relaunched journal would be keen to receive more submissions?
      Of course, this information is available and can be gleaned, but if an easy invitation to submit on defined topics was issued, you might just catch some authors with distaste for censorship on the rebound and have a JATO.


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        Andrew McRae

        > ” have a JATO.”
        I had to look it up. Air show example here.
        There’s also a less spectacular but more authentic instance of a JATO in Antarctica.

        Of course I find the figurative meaning equally exciting.


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        Philip Shehan

        Geoff, If you are submitting a paper on original research, the design and carrying out of the experiments and the analysis of the data can take many months or years before you even start thinking about writing the manuscript.


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          The Griss

          And if you look at all of the authors of these papers, they have been at their work for quite a long time.

          Like any scientific venture, there have been many other papers along the way, otherwise their names wouldn’t be known.

          It is highly likely that there are other papers from other authors in the pipeline that could be bought up reasonably quickly.


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    Peter C

    At one point in his full letter Christopher Monckton says:

    Does your authors’ conclusion mean that the IPCC has been wrong? Yes, it does, to the extent that the IPCC has undervalued the potential impact of the decline in solar activity on terrestrial temperature, so that the warming to be expected in the coming decades may well be less than it had formerly predicted. Your authors’ conclusion does not, of course, challenge the greenhouse theory itself, which is well established.

    I draw attention to the last paragraph:” the greenhouse theory itself, which is well established”.

    Clearly, in this context, Monckton is not expected to defend the Greenhouse Gas Effect Theory. However I challenge the view that it is well established, except in peoplle’s minds, including his.

    Christopher Monckton has presented a calculation here on this blog, which supposedly supports the theory, but there is very little, perhaps no direct evidence for it.

    Tomorrow I will post a proposed experiment, which I hope (if iit is performed) will help to validate or refute the theory.


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      Peter C

      Since a few people have expressed interest I will stick my neck out a bit further and explain my experiment.

      DR Jim Petch in a recent article at Principia Scientific International expolores the process of scientic reasoning by inductive and deductive argument and some of the ideas of Prof Karl Popper.

      He concludes::

      “And the question for us is not ‘can Climate change theory be validated?’ (that asks for inductive reasoning). But should be ‘how do we design tests that will show climate change theory to be wrong if it is?’”

      The nature and cause of the atmospheric thermal gradient has been the subject of conjecture and is linked to the Greenhouse effect.

      The simple observation that the atmosphere of Venus has a thermal gradient has been proposed as proof against the GHGE by both Joseph Postma and Doug Cotton.

      The idea is that the atmospheric temperature gradient is created by gravity. Combine that with a radiation surface located in the upper atmosphere, approximately at the top of the troposphere. Then the sums all work out. Solar energy in equals Earth radiation out. The surface is hotter that the top of atmosphere (TOA) by the required amount and the GHGE is not required to explain the surface temperature.

      However, there is an alternative view, put by Dr Rob Brown at Duke University, which is that the atmosphere (at equilibrium) would be isothermal from bottom to top. The atmosphere however is not in equilibrium (according to Brown). It is heated at the bottom by the surface which is warmed by back radiation (GHGE). The atmospheric temperature gradient (lapse rate ) is not caused by gravity but represents a thermal gradient between a heat source (surface) and a sink (outer space).

      To resolve this dispute I propose a simple experiment. The observation of planetary atmospheres is not adequate because there are confounding factors. A simplified and controlled experiment is required.

      My proposal is to create a tall insulated air column in a vertical pipe. Insulated plastic hot water pipe would do. Thermometers at the top and the bottom and compare temperatures. Insulated pipe is required so that outside atmospheric conditions do not impinge( eg temperature inversions, hot winds etc).

      The apparatus is not too expensive (prelim estimate $5-10,000) Not much by the standards of high energy physics. I have identified a possible site ( a disused Omega radio tower) which is 430m high. A temperature difference of about 4C is expected under the gravity hypothesis and 0C according to Brown. That should be sufficient to be conclusive.

      Post Script: Joel Shore has advised that the thermal gardient I am trying to investigate corresponds to a heat loss of a few milli-watts/sq m. On reflection 10C per kilometre is not a very strong gradient. So he may be right. The experiment seems simple. It is, but it may not be practical with the apparatus I was thinking of.


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        The Griss

        Similar things already exist.. They are called cooling towers.


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        The Griss

        or you could go down a mine.


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          Peter C

          Yes , a mine seems good. And they apparently get warmer as you go down. Do you have any info on the vertical temperature profile in a mine?


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            The Griss

            Only anecdotal..

            I read somewhere that a vertical shaft does get warmer with depth.

            Do we have any mining engineers in the stalls ?


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              Ian H

              The deeper you go the closer you get to the magma. You’ve also got forced air circulation and a lot of powered equipment operating in a mine.


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              Rereke Whakaaro

              I asked one of my business partners, who is a Mining Engineer, and a Geologist, and a lovely lady [who is standing right behind me].

              She has provided me with the following:

              “A measure of how fast the temperature increases for a given depth is called the geothermal gradient. Gradient is a mathematical term that just means how fast one number (temperature in degrees) changes as you move a certain distance (depth in meters). The geothermal gradient for the Beatrix Gold Mine is about +29oC/km. This means that for every kilometer of depth, the temperature of the rock increases by 29o Celsius (+52oF).
              http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/Insight/Insight10.pdf

              General comment from a blog post:
              As you go deeper in a mine it gets hotter. How much varies tremendously depending on where you are and what is under you. The normal gradient ranges from 10-50 C/Km of depth with ambient being about 12 deg C near surface. So if your mine is in a nice old thick crustal zone its fairly cool. If you mine in an area of thin crust, volcanic activity, geothermal vents, etc its gets much hotter.

              At the Creighton Mine in Sudbury the rock temperature at 2100M is 43C . The Red Lake Mine in Red Lake is around 30C at 2000M.
              http://agoracom.com/ir/Noront/forums/discussion/topics/389445-temperature-gradient-with-depth-of-mine/messages/1292708

              Researchers are looking at the generation of geothermal energy from decommissioned mines….
              The technology has been successfully demonstrated in Spring Hill, Nova Scotia, where geothermal energy from a decommissioned coal mine is used to heat an industrial park. And Ghomshei is currently working on a feasibility study for the city of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to produce up to 10 megawatts of heat from the Con Mine, a gold mine within city limits that was decommissioned in 2000.
              http://www.sudburyminingsolutions.com/dmrc-studies-geothermal-energy-options.html

              The Quincy Mine was North America’s deepest during its hayday–and it reached more than 7000 ft below the surface. The temperature down there was 100 degrees Fahrenheit, far above the surface temperature. Earth’s temperature rises with depth because of natural radioactive decay, something that happens in all rocks.
              http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~raman/SilverI/MiTEP_ESI-1/Geothermal_Gradient.html

              The geothermal gradient ranges from roughly 10 degrees Centigrade per kilometer of depth in stable old continental interiors to 30 degrees Centigrade per kilometer of depth along active plate boundaries. (10 degrees Centigrade per km equals roughly 29 degrees Fahrenheit per mile). So, for example, if the surface temperature of rocks is about 60 degrees, then the rock temperature at a depth of one mile is about 89 degrees in a continental interior.

              The geothermal gradient is important for several reasons. On a practical level, some gold mines reach depths of 3.9 kilometers (2.4 miles) and have geothermal gradients that average 30 degrees C per kilometer. The implied temperature at the deepest levels of the mine (3.9 km x 30 degrees C per km) is 117 degrees C + 20 C (the surface temperature) = 137 C.
              For comparison, water boils at a temperature of 100 C! Air conditioning enables work in these deep mines; however, even the chilled air has a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and has typically humidities of 100%.

              The common mineral quartz makes a transition from brittle to ductile deformation at temperatures of roughly 350 Centigrade when water is present. If we assume a geothermal gradient of 30 C per km along an active plate boundary, then quartz-rich rocks will, in general, fracture (fault) at depths above 11-12 km (=350 C/ 30 C per km), but will flow at lower depths. We should thus observe a transition from faulting to ductile deformation at depths of roughly 10-20 km, depending on the geothermal gradient that applies for a particular region.
              http://geoscience.wisc.edu/~chuck/Classes/Mtn_and_Plates/rock_deformation.html

              End Quote.

              That is probably more information than you wanted to know.


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        wayne, s. Job

        Experiments have already been done by an old german gentleman, it is not an easy experiment as convection needs to be stopped. He invented all his equipment including very sensitive thermocouples. His experiments showed warming at the bottom as per a gravity induced lapse rate.

        He is a very old but spritely man, if you go to tallblokes site and search history about a year or to ago you will find all about it.


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        Vic G Gallus

        You should always confirm with experiment but the idea that the thermal gradient is due to gravity has theory on it side (One of my old lecturers once said that there are only two theories in Chemistry, Thermodynamics and Molecular Orbital Theory. The rest are just fairy tales. I’ll be referring to Thermodynamics here.)

        If the energy (enthalpy, H) is even throughout the atmosphere (or close to) the chemical potential energy and work done is equal throughout the atmosphere. The gravitational potential energy will increase with altitude and the work done to expand the gas will mean that the thermal kinetic energy (vibrations and moving around of molecules) has to drop to keep the overall enthalpy equal ei. the temperature has dropped not because it has lost heat but the energy is used for something else. Even without convection, this would still be the case.

        Here are the calculations from wikipedia. In dry air, there should be a 10°C drop in temperature with every increase in 1 km of altitude, surprisingly similar to both Earth and Venus. Maybe if you were Prince Charles you would have an excuse for ignoring it, but a scientist?


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      It does not matter how you word it but the experiment makes no sense when it assumes that there is a surface within the atmosphere which is a gas. Solids and liquids have surfaces but a gas can not have a surface. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation by definition applies only to surfaces. By making assumptions one can make all sorts of mathematical relations but that does not make them physically relevant or correct.
      The use of the S-B equation to describe a difference in the calculated average temperature of actual earth surface and what some calculation assumes the surface temperature to be without a atmosphere is a nonsense mathematical construct. The whole greenhouse alarmist theory fails at that point.


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        Peter C

        Thanks Cementafriend,

        The experiment does not assume any surfaces. Nor does it invoke the Stephan Boltzmann equation or make assumptions about how S-B should be applied.

        The experiment is devised to distinguish between two alternative views about the cause of the atmospheric temperature profile, with empirical observations In a controlled environment.

        I did not explain it very well, especially in the post script. I think the concept is sound. A long length of pipe is necessary to get sufficient temperature difference to be definitive. A difference of 4 degrees C should be sufficient to convince any doubter.
        The reason the experiment might not work is the the proposed insulation may not be adequate to prevent very small amounts of heat leaking from the environment over such a long length of pipe. An intermediate result would not be definitive.


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    Andrew McRae

    Monckton’s bankrolling of the refloat will be PR poison initially, but after the initial kneejerks have stopped twitching the journal will fare according to how widely its papers are critiqued and how the journal handles that criticism.
    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    I hasten to add that the new PRP will have to define and adhere to some kind of review standards and filtering process. Separating the wheat from the chaff is not censorship. Filtering out the noise provides a valuable service in an era of information overload. Three heads are better than one. Peer review, or something like it, has a place in the practice of science for those two reasons if no other.
    Mr Monckton, Dr Morner, and Roger, all have a chance to do it right this time, so I hope they take that opportunity instead of just repeating the same process as before and expecting a different critical response. Because “same old, same old” is exactly what their numerous detractors will be hoping for.

    And now it’s time to review their predictions.
    William “The Stoat” Connolley said:

    Prior to this fuss, the journal had languished in well-deserved obscurity. In July 2013 scholarlyoa.com pointed out a foreshadowing of the reasons it got shut down.

    And a week from now you’ll have forgotten all about this and we’ll never hear about it again.

    Never say ‘Never’, young William. :-D


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      > And a week from now you’ll have forgotten all about this and we’ll never hear about it again.

      I confess, you’ve done better than I expected. Kudos to our host for trying to keep the flame flying and the fire to M’s toes. But I’m a little puzzled by her headline: “Pattern Recognition Journal to be relaunched” she says, but I see no signs from M; all that seems to have happened is that a week has passed. Did I miss something?


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        Yonniestone

        Not very positive William, maybe you could debate this when Lord Monckton when he’s on tour next…oh wait I forgot the real deniers never do.
        Now that’s a pattern we do recognize.


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          > maybe you could debate this when Lord Monckton

          Here I am, all ready to talk, if M wants to show up. He doesn’t seem much interested in debate with the cattle in comment threads, though.


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            Yonniestone

            Correction “with Lord Monckton” (early starts) I believe the vast majority or say 97% of AGW proponents simply wont front up and debate Monckton at one of his presentations because of the massive failure and public humiliation of those that tried during his 2011 tour.
            Since then it’s been mostly sniping from behind the media or playing internet warrior to take him on, this signals cowardice in my opinion and I have no respect for it, will you debate Monckton William?


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            bullocky

            WC.-

            “> maybe you could debate this when Lord Monckton

            Here I am, all ready to talk, if M wants to show up. He doesn’t seem much interested in debate with the cattle in comment threads, though.”
            -

            Nevertheless, William, it’ll be really interesting when you finally corner him!


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        The Griss

        “Did I miss something?”

        Almost certainly.. were you too busy hacking Wiki pages again ?


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          I’ll take that for a No then: there really is no news, other than a week passing by.

          Over at Scottish’s place (http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/the-journal-of-citizen-science/), I offered to bet (with real money, woo!) against anyone who actually believes this puffery from M will actually lead to a real journal arising phoenix-like from the ashes. Terms and conditions would apply, naturally.

          If you want a good laff, follow the link to Scottish’s place for how a good “skeptic” responds when asked for references to support their asssertions.


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            The Griss

            Oh wow.. a whole week..

            No wonder the intelligence and knowledge quotient of any topic drops by 40 or more IQ points whenever you get involved in it on Wiki.


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              Mattb

              Do you see the irony in complaining “wow a whole week” when that is precisely how long he gave the Journal’s publishers to respond to his baloney threats to set up his own of the same name?


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                The Griss

                Dopey drawers.. it takes a quite a while to get a journal to publication.

                Only a few seconds to answer LM’s email, even if their conscience is troubling them greatly, poor dears.

                And how the **** can it ever be construed as a threat, to set up your own journal or to have it published elsewhere.

                You truly do have the mind of a child.


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                The Griss

                ps.. A comment like “you need a good clip behind the ears to make you wake the **** up”

                is not a threat..

                its a recommendation.


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            bullocky

            -
            WC.-
            ‘……If you want a good laff, follow the link to Scottish’s place for how a good “skeptic” responds when asked for references to support their asssertions’
            -
            -
            It’s all good fun, William, while we wait for the next big burst of global warming!


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            PhilJourdan

            You can take it anyway you want – but you are not free to interpose your own interpretation on it. So as Griss says, almost certainly. Which except for a few politicians still struggling with the meaning of IS, means you did.

            Now I can see why you are a failed editor – and Wiki is such a poor site.


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      ianl8888


      Mr Monckton, Dr Morner, and Roger, all have a chance to do it right this time

      Genuine question, Andrew:

      What would you suggest they do so they get it right ?


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        Andrew McRae

        I thought that was obvious. Adopt a process that their detractors can’t fault without being hypocritical. Something without the perception of pal review. They have to realise that while Science may be empirical and logical, on Earth it is practised by humans and that means it is subject to social complications. They aren’t just trying to objectively measure some phenomenon and publish it. They can sit in their room and do that all day (and have done). When you start a journal you’re trying to convince other people that what was measured was what you believed you measured and that what was found was indeed discovered not invented. It’s tough to read through a complex document and understand someone else’s arguments, and people don’t like wasting their time. I guess other people want to see that some best effort process at the journal has tried to check the scientist hasn’t fooled themselves prior to publication. Scientists will pay more attention to results that have been through a process they have confidence in. Mimic their existing process and you can hit the ground running. Use a different process and you have a marketing challenge.

        At the very least, listen to the market. What kind of process do scientists want a Journal to go through with other people’s work before that scientist gets a chance to read it. I don’t know what most physicists would say to that, but I’d guess some sort of non-pal review on math, techniques, experimental design, and adequate referencing of critical points would all be part of it. Oh, and all model parameters, data, and code should be archived and made available for reproducibility auditing. They didn’t do that for all the papers in the special edition – one of the most useful papers (IMHO) was missing some critical parameters which I had to dig up from elsewhere on the web.

        It would seem on their first go that pal review was an easy ‘out’ for critics of the planetary hypothesis. Sure, their politically incorrect message is what got them shut down, but the perception of Pal Review is what allowed the perps an alibi. If the new journal is perceived as a place of Pal Review then it will again “languish in well-deserved obscurity”. That’s just market forces at work. It’s because this is predictable that it’s so maddening that it was allowed to happen the first time.


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          ianl8888

          Thank you for your reply, Andrew but I’m afraid there’s nothing obvious in any of it. I had been hoping for some detailed response … oh, well

          The credibility argument will not be resolved. I do wish them well though


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            ianl8888

            Sorry, I meant to add that my best guess is to avoid peer review completely (just edit for typos etc) but with an inviolate publishing rule that complete data + code + programme(s)are published and accessible to anyone. The Senior Editor decides if the paper is interesting enough to publish

            The problem with my suggestion is that academics are sometimes reluctant to publish all raw data because original data collection is expensive and they may wish to publish further papers down the track using it – they really don’t want someone else jumping all over their patch. Whether that attitude is justifiable or not, it’s reality. Same with their own developed code – IP issues


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            Andrew McRae

            Few thanks for your reply, Ian, which I cannot interpret as anything other than nasty.

            As for the “credibility argument”, we can’t rule that out yet. It depends on what a lot of other people think, which over time can be changed. PRP will never be the next Nature or Science. But if they cater to scientists with a review and publication process which is in some way “better” than the establishment then they have a chance of climbing up a few rungs within their chosen niche. I can’t give many more details than that because I’m not a published scientist and different scientists may even have different ideas about what “better” means.

            It doesn’t matter if the reviews were unscrupulous, nobody will believe the reviews were unbiased under that arrangement. This adversely affected the journal’s brand value to both its owners and contributing authors. Tallbloke knows the solution already, but when finding outside scientists to perform reviews got too difficult they just went ahead with pals anyway. That is what created the alibi for the take-down.

            Now that LM is (in theory) going to run it, it’s even more important than ever that the process is defined to maximise expert scrutiny of techniques and is executed as transparently as possible.

            There were a couple of papers in PRP which had nothing to do with the planets or climate, but indeed were about pattern recognition such as in computer vision and AI. There’s plenty of pattern recognition stuff self-published in Arxiv.org which could migrate to PRP. There is room for PRP to grow in topics and authors.

            The success of any new journal will probably depend on a smooth and fair review process, decent standards of argument, the benefits their web site offers to authors, reviewers, and readers, and publishing a broad range of application topics to cross-pollinate techniques between different fields of study.


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      Roy Hogue

      What ever the implications for Monkton, he’s certainly one energetic guy to want to take on what must surely be a heavy additional load for quite a while.

      I wish him good luck and ultimate success.

      For any naysayers: you come and you disappear again much like flies with the warm weather. Neither Lord Monkton nor anyone who knows even a little bit about the whole debate will pay you any serious attention.


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      handjive

      W Connelly, who’s reputation is frauduently altering information at wikipedia, sticks his head up here because it’s one of the few places on ‘the net’ where he gets a ‘fair go‘.

      Yet, name-calling how the Stoat’s ‘settled science’ rolls.
      Deniers.
      What is denied here at Jonava, Mr Connelly?

      Quote: “For a “skeptic” – many of whom are on display at JoNova – peer review is a process about which they know nothing, except that it produces answers they don’t like (note: for those who read my previous censorship post and didn’t see the update, I’ll say that I was wrong about her site: I’m being allowed to comment freely). What’s probably most striking about that post is the level of ignorance on display:

      We deny. We are ignorant.
      Yet, here you are.
      Welcome to the club.

      What is denied at Jonova, Mr Connelly?


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    Tim

    Congratulations to Christopher Monckton. This is a great and positive step in calling to account one of the (many) politically-motivated ‘science’ journals.

    I fear the ‘shadowy figures’ behind them may find a legal-weasel reason not to comply. After all, they have more at stake than one journal and crushing dissent is their specialty.

    However, the very best of luck to the Viscount with his courageous move towards freedom from the climate thought-police.


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    I’m very pleased to hear this. I was seriously considering either volunteering to help put this journal on line or perhaps more realistically, creating an entirely new kind of journal called “The Citizen Scientist.


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    Jaymez

    Despite the Earth having a long history of periods of cooling, warming and stable temperatures, the IPCC believed that most of the post industrial warming was caused by human emitted green house gasses. They settled on this theory decades ago despite having many unanswered questions about our dynamic climate system. There were dozens of computer models developed which predicted accelerated global temperature increases and the IPCC also made predictions about accelerated sea level increases, increased and more severe extreme weather events, less snow, less global sea ice, declining crop yields and so on.

    On just about every count those predictions have proven unfounded and the IPCC have in fact amended what we were firmly assured was ‘settled science’ years ago.

    The team at PRP produced a special edition of papers which postulates that the relative positions of the major planets of the solar system may influence solar activity and therefore global temperatures. The author’s of the papers provided substantial evidence in support of their theory. Their objective was to do what scientists have done for centuries. That is to have the theories considered and to give others the opportunity to extend the work done or indeed to disprove their theories.

    The editorial drew the obvious conclusion that the work presented in the PRP special edition papers brought into “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.

    Martin Rasmussen considers this ‘doubt’ a primary reason for closing down PRP. Furthermore, he considers it such a clear breach of scientific and professional integrity, it requires no explanation or justification. To simply doubt the IPCC is sufficient sin enough.

    That is what was wrong with the decision to close PRP. It doesn’t matter how much anyone cares to argue about whether the peer review process at PRP was adequate, or whether there had been sufficiently weighty or good quality papers published to date, those matters were thrown in as afterthoughts to the primary stated and unexplained crime of simply doubting the IPCC.

    And as Monckton quite rightly points out, the IPCC themselves have backtracked on their own predictions of continued accelerated growth in global temperature. Martin Rasmussen’s position is indefensible!

    I have no idea whether anything will come of this new area of enquiry raised by the PRP special edition. When we have spent decades and hundreds of billions of dollars supporting the IPCC’s failed theory, it is not in the interest of climate science or humanity to simply dismiss this out of hand. And it is an extremely unscientific thing to do!

    I congratulate Monckton and Morner on their stance, and Jo Nova too for keeping us informed.


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    [...] reading about the likely relaunch of “Patterns Recognition in Physics” on Jo Nova (which I thoroughly endorse) I was reminded that there is a glaring hole in the [...]


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      Philip Shehan

      The world climate widget featured on your page and promoted at WUWT

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/widget/

      uses a common misleading trick. It superimposes the CO2 atmospheric concentration on temperature data with entirely arbitrary scaling to give the impression that the temperature rise has not kept pace with rising CO2. (See my remarks on D. Boem/Stealey below for another method of presenting visually misleading graphs. Boehm/Stealey not only regularly doctors graphs but posts vituperitive abuse of others on WUWT without letting on that he is also a moderator there.)

      Here is the data with alternative scaling:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1958/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/normalise/scale:0.5/offset:0.02

      Of course on a graph the data could be scaled to give almost any relative slope, but what is independent of any graphical representation is the mathematically calculated slope of the temperature vs log CO2 plot from the raw data.

      Since 1850, the slope with the doubling of CO2 concentration has been 2.04 ± 0.07 °C.

      http://oi46.tinypic.com/29faz45.jpg

      Since 1958 when Muana Loa CO2 data began being collected the slope has been 2.01 ± 0.38 °C. Since UAH satellite data began being collected in 1979, (the data used in the widget and the WFT graph perented above) the slope is 1.80 ± 0.91 °C (The error increases with shorter time scales because of the signal to noise ratio for the temperature data.)

      There is therefore no evidence whatsoever that the temperature rise has not kept pace with CO2 concentration.


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        bullocky

        -
        ‘There is therefore no evidence whatsoever that the temperature rise has not kept pace with CO2 concentration.’
        -
        ……….especially if you ignore the global temperature pause – another misleading ‘trick’.


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    ” Copernicus will henceforth be boycotted by all serious scientists, who will snigger at it behind their hands, and will regard it as a publisher not of science but of children’s comics.”

    I reckon that the noble Viscount has been really nasty to publishers of childrens’ comics worldwide.


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    PhilJourdan

    As many have pointed out, the best “review” system is the widest possible disbursement of the paper so that many can review it and find the flaws. Even in areas where controversy is not as heated as climate change, peer review has become a rubber stamp for some, and a hindrance to others. Science is not being served when suppression of new ideas is the modus operandi of the establishment.


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    I heart Agenda 21

    Terminating the journal was the right decision. We can’t have the climate naysayers muddying the scientific debate by talking about the Sun and Planets affect on the climate – thats already been debunked. The consensus is like 99% that carbon is to blame for climate change and that’s good enough for me. I’m not a scientist myself but when I am sick I go to the doctor, not they guy down the street who thinks fluoride and vaccinations are bad for you and smoking is good for you. I mean, even if they are wrong the precautionary principal says we really should be doing something to tackle climate change. It’s the same as buying insurance. The problem is with democracy and free speech that we end up having to hear from professional misinformers that are funded by big oil and such. We need to decarbonify our industries and switch to green energy for the sake of our children and grandchildren.


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      Kevin Lohse

      You forgot to add /sarc. Climastrologists are already suggesting that a cool sun could be a factor in the cessation of warming.


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        Peter Miller

        It is such an obvious spoof.

        Even the sad little people don’t think like this any more.


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        The Griss

        “Climastrologists are already suggesting that a cool sun could be a factor in the cessation of warming.”

        Yet they have put themselves in a deep hole.

        If they want to use the cool sun as a reason for the current cessation of warming and the coming cooling, they must also accept that the rather active sun over the second half of last century was almost certainly the cause of any very small amount of warming (after discounting for a myriad of adjustments) that may have occurred in the 20 odd years before 2000, on which the whole CAGW saga was built.


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          Vic G Gallus

          Yet they have put themselves in a deep hole.

          at the bottom of the Grand Canyon but still two thirds of the population can’t see it. I don’t think that they are too concerned.


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      James

      Yeah green energy sure is the way to go. Except in North America where there is an uncomfortable cold snap freezing wind turbines and blanketing solar panels with snow.


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    Manfred

    On the settled side of the barnyard at The Conversation, a search for Pattern Recognition in Physics yields nix.

    Strange? Bizarre? No. This is the run of the settled. When the IPCC is mentioned it is always accompanied by the dull thunk of a knee hitting the floor in genuflection. When global warming is referred to, the sine qua non silent accompaniment, is anthropogenic. The unpredicted pause is well, inconvenient, as are the downward adjustment of sensitivity and unpredicted temperature rise.

    What is strange and bizarre is that this political soundstage of academic liberal progressives who chant against Heartland and just adore homogenising Big Tobacco with Big Denial (whilst conveniently sidestepping one of the biggest societal lies, that second hand smoke is a problem (J Natl Cancer Inst (2013) doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt365) have remained deafeningly silent over the travesty of academic freedom at Pattern Recognition in Physics.

    Were their spleens on the same side as their hearts we might have heard a cacophony of noise, an angry outcry in support of academic freedom. But no. They’ve had a collective splenectomy. They’ve nothing to vent and in so doing, they have betrayed not only the absence of their spleens, but their settled, invertebrate nature.

    The price of being a funding sychophant – your academic soul – and they don’t even realise it. By rights they’d be in a right royal stink over this, defending the right of academic freedom, the right to express, whist disagreeing with the content. They should be at the ramparts, toppling to their death over this.

    Not a squeak. Nada. Zip. Silence.

    Not a dmaned soul in sight.


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      Vic G Gallus

      On the smoking bit, about a year ago I was wondering why was denying that smoking gives you lung cancer equated with climate denial (and a flat Earth) so I did some checking. Its gone now but one of the cancer institutes let the cat out of the bag. Its not known why 7/10 women who get lung cancer are smokers and 9/10 men who get lung cancer are smokers. A smoker is someone who has smoked 20 cigarettes in their lifetime. Hardly anyone under 50 gets lung cancer. If we only had stats for the percentages based on gender of the older generations who tried smoking, we would have evidence that, despite the rubbish that goes into your lungs when you smoke, it actually doesn’t.

      I have never been anti-vaccination but I am now scared as to what I’m going to find out.

      PS – I receive no funding from Big Tobacco nor Big Oil. I’m just curious.

      —-
      Passive smoking and first hand effects are quite different. The study Manfred refers too is about passive smoking. “The incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in current smokers and four times higher in former smokers than in never-smokers, and the relationship for both current and former smokers depended on level of exposure. However, among women who had never smoked, exposure to passive smoking overall, and to most categories of passive smoking, did not statistically significantly increase lung cancer risk.” Though there are hints that living with a heavy smoker for years does increase the risk… The relative risks RR for heavy direct smoking are large. RR=13 is very unusual in medical studies. – Jo


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        Peter C

        Relative risk of 13:1 is indeed high by the standards of say pharmaceutical trials . Consequently I would never deny that smoking is a cause of lung cancer.

        However to my friends who do smoke and who might worry about contracting lung cancer I refer to the following excerpt from the paper ( thanks for the link):

        Investigators from Stanford and other research centers looked at data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). Among 93,676 women aged 50–79 years at enrollment, the study had complete smoking and covariate data (including passive smoking exposure in childhood, adult home, and work) for 76,304 participants. Of those, 901 developed lung cancer over 10.5 mean years of follow-up.

        We see that a mature woman (50-79) who is a current smoker has about a 1% chance of developing lung cancer over the next 10 years. The absolute risk is quite low, particularly given the outlook for a woman aged say 60-79. That might be some comfort for those who can’t or do not want to give up smoking. Even if they do give up now their risk is only reduced by about half.


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        Vic G Gallus

        I am not trying to promote smoking, Jo. I am just wondering why things like a flat Earth, that was very well known to be intentional slander rather than a myth, were used as examples.


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    Steven Mosher

    The Professor considered that a 2013 publication date would be valuable, though that would
    leave him just a few months to produce the special issue. What he describes as “a very, very
    intensive editorial work” started at once. To save time, the 19 authors of the 12 papers – all of
    them pre-eminent in their various fields – reviewed each other’s contributions, though
    additional reviewers were also consulted. The process of peer review was thorough and
    meticulous.”

    Monckton has joined the dark side of excuse making for shoddy/suspect processes.

    To save time, Jones didn’t keep track of the data.
    To save time, and make the Ar4 deadline, Ammann’s paper was rushed through the review process. See the jesus paper.

    “Professor Mörner tells me that the key general conclusion, co-authored by the 19 researchers
    of undoubted eminence, ”

    Undoubted eminence? Did Monckton review the basis in fact for this appeal to authority? I’d say the seven dwarves but these fellows number 19.

    ‘all of
    them pre-eminent in their various fields”

    Really? the 19 gnats?

    more black ink from the moncktopus


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    Oliver K. Manuel

    Thanks, Jo, for this update.

    The Pattern Recognition Journal is only one of several indications that opinions on the Climategate fiasco are now converging on a common solution:

    Instead of cursing the darkness, turn on the light !

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/akhenaton-i-think-i-like-this-guy/

    “We must assume behind this force [in the atom] the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.

    This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

    –Max Planck, accepting the
    Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918

    When you can see the reality of matter and energy, you can see the reality of GOD.

    God is not some omnipotent dude in the clouds. GOD just IS. Physics and psychics are connected. pg

    [Snipped link to own comment posted on another site - Mod]


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    The Griss

    Really quite hilarious actually.

    The mere mention of these papers, and there’s moshpit and billcon, trying to deride them.

    Anyone would think they were scared of something.

    I wonder who else will get dragged in to try to bury the papers. ;-)


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    Roy Hogue

    Just an off the wall comment to be sure but in computer science the term pattern recognition refers to something much more complex than can be described as curve fitting. Example: how does your nice new digital camera find and focus on a human face in the complicated image it sees through the lens and manage to do that even if the face is tilted or isn’t anywhere near the center of the image?

    Answer: pattern recognition on a quite sophisticated scale.

    Computer vision is coming. I don’t know when something more useful than facial recognition will be here. But it will be here. That’s not to say there’ll be human like intelligence in the machine that can make use of it. But that may eventually be here too.


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      llew Jones

      Roy off topic. I mentioned to you some time ago that the Bikies who bashed our son Stephen were to be sentenced in Jan 14. Five years is a fair time but the law finally got around to it. Happy to see justice done. Reports below were in the two major Melbourne Papers today.

      http://tinyurl.com/n4rem3f

      http://tinyurl.com/l7pgrnl


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        Roy Hogue

        Llew,

        I remember it and I’m glad to hear that the culprits have been dealt at least adequate justice, although it’s hard to not want it to be at least 10 years instead of 5 for such a crime.

        I’m noticing that not wanting to let you out once you’re in is a hallmark of both insecurity and arrogance, not to mention being power hungry. Fortunately most don’t resort to the kind of violence your son had to endure.

        And that leads to the important question — how is your son doing after his ordeal?


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    Neville

    Anyone for abrupt Climate Change? From Gail Combs at WUWT.

    Gail Combs says:
    January 30, 2014 at 11:36 am
    dbstealey says: @ January 30, 2014 at 11:26 am
    …..The temperature fluctuation over the past century and a half has been an amazingly steady ±0.8ºC……….People just do not understand how good the present climate is.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes! Dansgaard-Oeschger oscillations, Bond events and Heinrich events that cause global temps to change 16C and 8, 10C in dramatically short times.
    Richard B. Alley of the U.Penn. chaired the National Research Council on Abrupt Climate Change. for well over a decade. In 2002, the NAS (alley chair) published a book “Abrupt Climate Change”:

    . From the opening paragraph in the executive summary:
    “….Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age….”

    In his book, The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future Richard Alley, one of the world’s leading climate researchers, tells the fascinating history of global climate changes as revealed by reading the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland. In the 1990s he and his colleagues made headlines with the discovery that the last ice age came to an abrupt end over a period of only three years….


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    J. R. Ford

    Jo!

    You should contact people you know and make sure a list of all Copernicus publications is conspicuously present with all publications of Monckton’s letter. Updates to previous posts should also be made. It is important that scientists know which other journals might be as susceptible to political influence.

    By the way. I am from the US and read blogs of a wide variety. Your blog is one of my favorites. In fact, it is the only one where I feel disappointment when I don’t see a new post. Well, you and Popehat, but he cracks me up while you bring new perspective and sanity to an overheated debate.

    I love science when practiced by scientists. When practiced by politicians dressed as scientists, not so much.

    Keep up the good work. If you write it, I will read it. Then as usual, sit back in my chair and think for a while. You really make me think and, I guess, that is what I like about your writing.


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    Off-Topic:

    Speaking of patterns, there’s an article on Germany’s EIKE web site about how wind power has become a threat to grid stability. There’s an interesting graph showing a sudden dip in mains frequency as measured in the Ruhr region in November 2006 to help illustrate the issue of grid response.

    The grid can take minutes to respond to a change supply if it isn’t “prepared” for it. The primary regulation takes about 30 seconds to be effective but that isn’t enough time to ramp up other large generators when a big source suddenly drops off grid (such as wind).

    The total of the renewable energy supply in Germany on the 11th of December, 2013 i illustrated in figure 6 (“Bild 6″). A lot of the time it was less than 2GW of the 62GW “installed”.

    A final obscenity is revealed in the spot market prices of electricity. The energy exchange shows negative prices at times (as low as -0.06€/kWh) of “renewable” energy glut because the electricity suppliers are, by law, to buy the very expesive renewable stuff whenever it is available. So they have to dump the “excess” that they produce by keeping their equipment ready to respond to unpredictable, sudden lulls in supply from the renewables.

    Consumers pay for it all; eventually. Which is one reason why there are about a million homes a year in Germany being cut off from electricity because they can no longer pay for electricity. Ordinary people with wage/salary incomes are also having problems paying for “energy” due to the inflation of prices caused by mandated consumption of sporadically-available electricity at mandated prices.

    Conventional generators will try to shut down what becomes uneconomic to operate. Not only do they have to buy “renewable” electricity from outside at perhaps 0.19€/kWh, they have to top it up with a direct loss of 0.06€/kWh leaving nothing in the price to pay for grid operations. The price was close to zero or negative for all of Christmas Eve. So no surprise that the generators have applied for a permanent shutdown.

    The consequences of renewable energy’s price perversion were predictable and predicted. Their impact has been accelerated by Germany’s irrational exit from nuclear power generation; for which taxpayers will be paying at least 3 times over.

    Once again, Germany pays dearly for its embrace of collective mania.


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      Graeme No.3

      Bernard:
      too true. The “dumping” of electricity when renewables start generating has caused many “fast response” operators to shut down (pumped storage, open cycle GT). The renewables cause a sudden supply surge (but get their guaranteed price) which shuts down the short term solutions to supply variations, so the operators are using old coal fired stations running near flat out to supply when the renewables aren’t working. When there is a surge then the operators have to dump the excess onto the european grids, making the price negative etc. It takes time to shut down (or start up) a coal fired station, so the chances of disruption increase.

      The net effect of this “green” solution is to INCREASE carbon dioxide emissions, not just in Germany but elsewhere e.g. Denmark where these surges cause all the small CHP to stop producing electricity and waste heat up the chimney.


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        Exactly as Graeme No3 explains above, just try explaining how that when wind power especially fails, the cost of electricity spikes.

        Green followers say that has nothing whatever to do with the trooly rooly cheap (all but virtually free) cost of renewables, because they argue with blinkers that if renewables aren’t delivering, then how can expensive electricity costs be put down to them.

        Those green pinkos have absolutely zero comprehension of what I’m saying that this backup power is usually horrendously expensive, and is only required when wind power fails.

        Then, add on the CO2 Tax to that, and again, I get dumfounded replies, mainly out of ignorance of the facts.

        Consider this.

        You have a small scale power plant, only called on line when absolutely needed most, say a couple of hours a day at most. Their CO2 emissions are calculated across the whole year to be X, in accordance with their average run time, and they pay the cost for their total CO2 emissions.

        If they exceed that limit for their CO2 emissions, they have to pay for the amount of CO2 Tax to be made up to their actual emissions total. On top of that, they are then fined by an amount equal to 1.5 times the cost per ton of the extra CO2 emitted. Then, on top of that the excess from this year is then subtracted from their allowance for the following year.

        There have been days recently, in South Australia where these plants instead of running for 2 hours or so, have actually been running for anything up to 14 hours for three and four days on end.

        Note the costs for electricity for S.A. and Victoria on the chart at this link.

        S.A. also buys power from Victoria at time like this, expensive cost, and virtually all of CO2 emitting brown coal generated power.

        Victoria also buys power from Tasmania, supplied via BassLink, also at a premium cost, and nearly all of that Hydro Power.

        How expensive?

        Again, look at that same chart and that tells you how expensive, because on those days, Tasmania, also with high consumption because of the heat actually has a negative cost for electricity.

        All of those costs have to be paid, and all of it is sheeted home directly to the failure of wind power to supply when it is needed the most.

        Try telling that to the green pinkos.

        Nothing to do with wind mate!

        Incidentally, as you look at those prices, coal fired power can supply huge, nay, humungous, amounts of power at around $30 to $35 per MWH, CO2 Tax inclusive.

        Tony.


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          Peter C

          A lot of the problems of back supply seem to be related to central power generation and grid distribution.

          Is there a place for micro generators, say at household level which switch on when required?

          Natural gas seems like an ideal energy source.


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            Graeme No.3

            Peter C:
            such micro generators are available as CHP units (Combined Heat and Power although some think of them as Ceramic H&P).

            NOTE the word combined.

            They produce some electricity and lots of heat, and overall are very efficient, but you have to use both outputs. Typically they generate 20-25% electricity and 40 – 60% heat, so the overall efficiency runs 60-80%. A modern coal fired station would only make 45% and lose about 10% of that in the lines (most of that in the last few kilometres).

            They are very good if you live in, say Copenhagen, with an annual temperature of 8ºC, so you use the heat for most of the year. So much so that there are suburbs in Denmark built around a (larger) CHP unit which supplies them with electricity and heat (as circulating hot water). It becomes less useful if you live in Qld. where you may only want the heat bit at night for a few months a year, so you burn fuel to send hot air up the chimney (hence comment above about wind turbines increasing emissions).

            Note: these still have to be connected to the grid.

            If you want a stand-alone system then you will have to pay out lots and you will discover that everything Tony says about the cost and inconvenience of backup is right.


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              Thanks Graeme.

              CHP is in fact pretty much a dinosaur technology which has been considerably upgraded to modern usage.

              Originally, CHP dated back to the 1880′s, nearly 140 years old, and used in Manhattan. In those days, they were small coal fired power plants, and the waste steam was then used for heating purposes through pipes in the tall buildings to those old heater units. Unwittingly we have all probably seen an image of CHP. Perhaps the most iconic of all is Matty Zimmerman’s image of Marilyn Monroe, advertising her latest movie The Seven Year Itch, with her white dress billowing out, shown at this link.

              Note the grate Marilyn is standing on. This image was taken in Summer and the dress is billowing out because of the escaping steam blowing out of the grate. The steam is cooled somewhat and is not white and fluffy, as this image was taken in Summer. Some Winter images of Manhattan show steam billowing from street level in a number of places. That is cooling steam similar to what can be seen billowing out of cooling towers of large scale power plants.

              Nowadays, it’s usually referred to as Cogeneration, and can even be further adapted for Trigeneration.

              Now it uses Natural Gas to drive a turbine which drives a generator, producing electricity. The heat from the turbine exhaust is then used to boil water to steam to drive a smaller turbine/generator unit which adds further to the electricity being generated.

              Trigeneration would then use the waste steam in a heat exchange unit of an air conditioning unit, for warm in Winter and cool in Summer.

              Cogen units can range from small units in the KW range right up to larger units of around 2.5MW to 3MW, typically around the size of, say, one or two shipping containers.

              The fuel source of choice these days is Natural Gas, so for these units to come more into play would need a ready and constant supply of that NG.

              There are small units capable of running the average home, around the size of a small refrigerator, but again, you need a ready supply of NG.

              The larger units could feasibly be even retrofitted into tall buildings, but again, the constant NG supply here is problematic.

              Tony.


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                Graeme No.3

                Tony:
                I should have added that after the Oil Shocks (1971-75 for you youngsters) the fad for new skyscrapers in North America was for diesel generators in the basements and the exhaust heat was used in circulating hot water.
                This avoided the grid blackouts then common in the North East, and the combined efficiency of fuel use ran to 80-85%, giving lower overall fuel use (hence lower electricity/heating costs and lower emissions, although no-one worried about them then).

                O/T but some efficiencies
                You burn (hydro)carbons for energy so the higher efficiency means less fuel used and lower emissions.

                diesel 26-28%
                old cold fired – black coal 37-39% brown coal 32 – 37% (depending on grade)
                OCGT – about 35% but improving slightly
                new coal fired – black coal 45-46% brown coal almost as high if treated first
                CCGT – about 55% and improving overall

                wind turbine (at base of tower) roughly 35% of the power in the wind, then there are at least 10% transmission losses. But when not operating must be backed up with OCGT or diesel.

                So if wind power increases the use of the least efficient generating methods, it cuts its supposed emission savings quite considerably. New coal fired stations would cut emissions more than wind will ever do, and be cheaper. See http://joannenova.com.au/2013/03/upgrade-coal-power-and-cut-15-of-emissions-will-the-greens-consider-coal/


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    Mattb

    Lol 7 days notice informing of intention to adopt a publication title that the owner most likely has registered, owns, still owns all the IP and web naming rights etc. lol. He’s a crack up this Monckton.

    When will he be writing to TV folks letting them know that since they’ve not made a movie for 7 days he’ll be making his own Star Wars Episode VII or a new season of “Friends”. He’d be dashing as a new Magnum PI the Lord would.


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    Paul Vaughan

    – Joanne wrote: “[...] utterly unscientific mindset of the gatekeepers of Peer Review.

    My position is that Peer Review is a bureaucratic process so corrupted with this poisonous attitude, that the most important aim of any skeptic is not to try too hard to play an inherently crooked game, or to pander to its dictats, but to tell the world how crooked it is.”

    – Words by which I live.

    Sincerely


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      Paul Vaughan

      http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason/

      • “My real problem is with scientists who make out that Peer Review is gospel [...]”

      • “Peer review should not be raised on a pedestal [...]”

      • “[...] the more we force science to fit a bureaucratic regimen, the less science we’ll get.”

      • “The Peer Review Game works as a gatekeeper to silence critics, so pandering and bowing to it is exactly what the unscientists want.”

      • “It’s death by committee.

      • “Bureaucratized Peer review is highly flawed, doesn’t prove a thing scientifically and works to the advantage of those who are already in the game.”

      • “Some people seem to have lost sight of this, and think that skeptics ought to be trying to play the Peer Review Game according to the fine print of arbitrary rules dictated by unscientists who hate skeptics and who don’t even play by the rules themselves. The game belongs to them – they set, change and break the rules, and they decide who gets an invite to the clubhouse. But in the end, the review game is a sideshow, and it is usually used to lock out those who question a consensus.”

      • “Anyone who claims that science only exists on official approved pages of anointed publications is a Gatekeeper of Dogma. (How many trolls respond to a valid point by saying “why don’t you publish it in the peer review?”) Real scientists know that the truth is not dependent on where it was printed, nor who reviewed it. It’s time to rise above the Gatekeeper’s Rules, not fight over them.

      • “In the peer-pal debate there is no win worth achieving. Peer review is a weak system anyway”

      • “It’s not a bun-fight we need to waste time on.”

      • “[...] the real high ground is another level entirely [...]”

      • “Anything that shows that there is nothing rigorous about peer review is a good thing for independent thinkers.”

      • “Let’s help independent scientists continue to push the bounds of knowledge.”

      • “Current journal reviewers are not crucial to science [...] If their pal-review system blocks the truth emerging in their journals, it will emerge somewhere else. So be it.”

      • “Let’s not get lost fighting in the bureaucratic maze, when what matters is the rest of the universe.”

      • “[...] the hallowed “Peer Review”. Fans of establishment science want us to believe it’s a gospel part of the scientific method, but it is neither intrinsic nor essential, and skeptics should not be fooled into thinking it is.

      ▬▬▬ Joanne Nova razing maliciously invective argument-from-authority. ▬▬▬


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    Blessings to Lord Monckton! Pattern recognition embraces military and civilian driverless vehicles and pilotless aircraft. On the copyright issue, my understanding is that the content of a publication is subject to copyright; the name of the publication not necessarily so.


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    Gee aye

    Speaking of pattern recognition, I have a feeling that the posts on here about the pink lattice’s letters of outrage appear about every 3 months. Anyone feel like auditing whether the threatened action from the last few was followed through with?

    Anyone here believe that anything will have happened by the time Jo posts his next?


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      Dave

      Gee Aye,

      ?

      I have a feeling that the posts on here about the pink lattice’s letters of outrage appear about every 3 months.

      Wrong, the detection or derivation is harder than feeling.


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    crakar24

    OT

    DANGER HEATWAVE APPROACHING……………..or so they say, here in the back blocks of nowhere (Adelaide) it has reached about 40, 33, 37, 37 and tomorrow and Sunday it will reach 40 – 42. The media are going nuts, the CFS are handing out “how to die in the heat” cheat sheets at the airport.

    I can feel another false record claim about to be broken


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    Eddie Sharpe

    Monckton has the determination, the tough hide and wherewithal to break the mould of scientific publishing if he wants to. (Not to mention the background)

    Expect the howls of protest and dismissals to mount to crescendo.


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    It seems to me that PRP’s editors ensured that the objectives of peer review were satisfied by the review process; to ensure that outright garbage wasn’t being published.

    Some perceive peer review as somehow deigning papers to be worthy of reading; which engages the fallacy of authority in science.

    Scientific ideas must stand on their own legs. Not propped up by the reputation of journal, author or reviewers.


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    Anton

    Bad time to launch a paper journal. Scientific publishing will all be online in 20 years and, given the exorbitant cost to universities of either page charges or journal subscriptions, that’s no bad thing. As for peer review, it’s like democracy – lousy but can you find something better? The shift to online will have knock-on effects for quality control that aren’t clear yet. As for Monckton’s letter, it is one thing to fight back against bullies, but it is something else to sound as arrogant.


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      Gee ayeeee

      Wrong Anton. They are ALL online now and universities do not fill their shelves with them. Indeed they are retasking the space where printed journals once stood. The costs of subscriptions are not low but now come as bundles so there is access to a far greater number of journals.

      [Snip. The ad hominem is not required -Fly]


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        Anton

        Dear Gee ayeeee

        Perhaps I wasn’t clear; to the extent I was ranting it was against publishers who charge academics enormous sums to republish their own work, even expecting those academics to do their own typesetting nowadays. At least we have to sign away the copyright on our own work less often nowadays, although it still goes on. All the publishers provide is a referee (who is from the same academic community), and with the advent of www we should be able to reorganise ourselves to do quality control in some other way and save large amounts of money. It is distressing that professional bodies such as institutes of physics, chemistry etc in various countries, who are meant to represent their members’ interests, are in on this profiteering nowadays via their publishing arms. The argument between ‘green’ and ‘gold’ publishing methodologies was out of date before it started and I am involved in this debate on another blog by a scientist who is taking action by starting an online-only freeview journal at a very low charge per article (few tens of bucks) to cover admin and refereeing. Bundling is part of today’s ripoff, forcing us to buy lousy journals along with the good ones.


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    James McCown

    Chris Monckton is a good man. I love the way he is taking the debate right back at the warmists.


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    Given the recent events surrounding this publication, which rapidly sunk it to the PR status approaching a comic, it’s only a matter of time before it’s quietly buried deeply…


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    Guys and Gals,

    Its very simple they do not like things that work. I’ve been using Pattern Recognition for a long time and even used it to create a math model of the climate back in 09. It was so simple a HS honers student could do it. I decided to post it on my blog today. The equations are posted in the “Issues with the IPCC Methods, Part IV” although it would be best to start at the beginning of the series.


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    Paul Vaughan

    I’ve stirred the frequently stagnant waters of Climate Etc. by introducing towering products of Joanne Nova’s intellect:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/01/open-thread-7/#comment-446286


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      And nicely done it was too – well done,

      I particularly liked the circular argument (from Joshua?) that implied that you shouldn’t be allowed to publish in the literature, unless you are qualified, but you only become “qualified” by having multiple papers published in the literature. Whether a person has something useful to contribute, or not, simply did not enter into consideration.


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    > Pattern Recognition Journal to be relaunched

    But it hasn’t happened.

    > And a week from now you’ll have forgotten all about this and we’ll never hear about it again.

    Two weeks then ;-?


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      PhilJourdan

      Sorry billy, but a journal is not wiki. They have standards, something you are not familiar with.


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      The Griss

      You stupid ******* idiot.

      How long you think it takes to get a journal together. The will probably re-checck all the papers again as well. Maybe add a couple of extras.

      Its not your type of climate science, where a paper can be passed in a couple of days.

      So why don’t you take your smarmy, slimy comments elsewhere, you worthless PO*.


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    > a journal is not wiki. They have standards

    Doesn’t look like it. They’re back, ahem, “run on private founding” [sic] http://www.pattern-recognition-in-physics.com/pub/prp-2-27-2014.pdf


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      MaxL

      OMG!!!!!!!
      William has found a typo.
      The publishers and the subscribers and the readers and the authors and the…
      should all be hanged, drawn and quartered.

      On another note William, I’m glad you have found your true calling – spell checker to the stars.


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      PhilJourdan

      Non sequitur billy. NO one said anything about private funding. The discussion was about “standards”. Given your alienation with that term, I can see your confusion.


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    Don’t get too distracted by the spelling. The point is that they don’t have a publisher.

    The spelling is only an question of their editorial standards. Without a publisher, they’re policing themselves. There’s another in the very first sentence of the abstract; in which same sentence they also get MR’s title wrong. And another in the last; and there aren’t very many sentences in the abstract. The abstract is also blatantly self-serving. So if you’re interested in care, and rigour, and objectivity, this is clearly a “journal” to avoid.


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      MaxL

      Oh come on William,
      Did Ford get his first car absolutely perfect?
      Did Edison get his first phonograph to work properly?

      Give ‘em a break, I mean, what was Wikipedia before you came along?


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        Give ‘em a break, I mean, what was Wikipedia before you came along?

        LMAO It was a semi decent reference pedia, then William got his mits on the edit button. (WILLIAM YOU NAUGHTY BOY)


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          PhilJourdan

          Actually, he exposed the problems with Wikipedia. It was still trash before his tenure, and it still is nothing more than a starting point to learn the truth. Note I said “a”, as it is clear it is not any sort of comprehensive web site. Just a PR site for the small minded bigots.


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      PhilJourdan

      Still sniping at the heels – because no one will let you in the front door any longer.


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    Gee Aye

    This article needs a comment posted today.


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