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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Remember The Antarctic Warming That Recently Hit The News?

SEARCH BLOG: GLOBAL WARMING and ETHICS

This just arrived in my email, so excuse the formatting. For those of you not familiar with the cast of characters, Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist who administers the alarmist blog, RealClimate. Steven McIntyre is a retired statistician with a nose for phony science who administers the skeptic blog, Climate Audit.

The upshot is that McIntyre was skeptical about the sudden warming of Antarctica that was all over the news, so he did some data analysis... his specialty. What he discovered was that the story was basically Alarmist hot air. Read the rest of the story....

Alert: Real Climate Woes: Pielke Jr.: 'Gavin Schmidt admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre'
Morano, Marc (EPW)
show details 4:53 PM (7 minutes ago)

Alert: Real Climate Woes: Pielke Jr.: 'Gavin Schmidt admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre' – February 4, 2009
Excerpt: This is not a hypothetical example, but a caricature of real goings on with our friends over at Real Climate . . .Due to an inadvertent release of information, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt (a “real scientist” of the Real Climate blog) admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre (not a “real scientist” of the Climate Audit blog) and then representing it as his own idea, and getting credit for it. (Details here and here.) In his explanation why this is OK, Gavin explains that he did some work on his own after getting the idea from Steve’s blog, and so it was OK to take full credit for the idea. I am sure that there are legions of graduate students and other scientific support staff who do a lot of work on a project, only to find their sponsor or advisor, who initially proposed the idea, as first author on the resulting paper, who might have empathy for Gavin’s logic. […] But lets be clear, in science, the ethical thing to do is to give full credit to the origination of an idea, even if it comes from your arch-enemy. Gavin’s outing is remarkable because it shows him not only stealing an idea, but stealing from someone who he and his colleagues routinely criticize as being wrong, corrupt, and a fraud. Does anyone wonder why skepticism flourishes? When evaluations of expertise hinge on trust, stealing someone’s ideas and taking credit for them does not help.

Gavin's "Mystery Man" Revealed - by Steve McIntyre on February 4th, 2009
Excerpt: On Monday, Feb 2, Gavin Schmidt explained some "ethics" to realclimate readers as follows: [Response: People will generally credit the person who tells them something. BAS were notified by people Sunday night who independently found the Gill/Harry mismatch. SM could have notified them but he didn’t. My ethical position is that it is far better to fix errors that are found than play around thinking about cute names for follow-on blog posts. That might just be me though. - gavin] As readers know, I was interested in who was the scientist that, unbeknowst to me, had "independently" identified the problem with Harry - a problem overlooked by BAS, NASA GISS for a year or so anyway; and a problem which had been missed by his realclimate coauthors, Steig and Mann, during their preparation of Steig et al 2009, and which had been missed by the Nature peer reviewers. And remarkably this had been "independently" identified just after I had noted the problem at Climate Audit and Climate Audit readers had contributed ideas on it, even during the Super Bowl. Yesterday, I inquired about the identity of Gavin's "mystery man"? Today (Feb 4) the British Antarctic survey revealed the identity of Gavin's "mystery man". It was… GAVIN.

Schmidt’s Antics Prompts Laughter Scientist ‘“How am I supposed to get any work done when I am laughing so hard?”
Reaction By Climate researcher Dr. Craig Loehle, formerly of the department of Energy Laboratories and currently with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvements, who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
“How am I supposed to get any work done when I am laughing so hard?”

Report: Error in Antarctic Warming Paper? Warming trend 'arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together' – Australia’s Herald Sun – February 4, 2009
Excerpt: But Steve McIntyre, who did most to expose Mann’s “hockey stick”, now notices a far more embarrassing problem with Steig’s paper. Previous researchers hadn’t overlooked the data. What they’d done was to ignore data from four West Antarctic automatic weather stations in particular that didn’t meet their quality control. As you can see above, one shows no warming, two show insignificant warming and fourth - from a station dubbed “Harry” shows a sharp jump in temperature that helped Steig and his team discover their warming Antarctic. Uh oh. Harry in fact is a problematic site that was buried in snow for years and then re-sited in 2005. But, worse, the data that Steig used in his modelling which he claimed came from Harry was actually old data from another station on the Ross Ice Shelf known as Gill with new data from Harry added to it, producing the abrupt warming. The data is worthless. Or as McIntyre puts it: Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in “New Harry” arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It’s a mess.
Read this link and this to see McIntyre’s superb forensic work. Why wasn’t this error picked up earlier? Perhaps because the researchers got the results they’d hoped for, and no alarm bell went off that made them check. Now, wait for the papers to report the error with the zeal with which they reported Steig’s “warming”.

Prominent Scientist ‘Appalled’ By Gavin Schmidt’s ‘lack of knowledge’ – ‘Back to graduate school, Gavin!’ – Climate Science Blog – January 29, 2009
By Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, and an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes. Tennekes is featured in U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
Excerpt: Roger Pielke Sr. has graciously invited me to add my perspective to his discussion with Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. If this were not such a serious matter, I would have been amused by Gavin’s lack of knowledge of the differences between weather models and climate models. As it stands, I am appalled. Back to graduate school, Gavin! [...] Gavin Schmidt is not the only meteorologist with an inadequate grasp of the role of the oceans in the climate system. In my weblog of June 24, 2008, I addressed the limited perception that at least one other climate modeler appears to have. A few lines from that essay deserve repeating here.” [...] From my perspective it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about the potential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future.
[Note: for more analysis of the warming partisans at Real Climate, see these links from Israeli Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv’s website: “The aim of RealClimate.org is not to engage a sincere scientific debate. Their aim is post a reply full of a straw man so their supporters can claim that your point ‘has been refuted by real scientists at ReaClimate.org.’” Shaviv, who calls the website “Wishfulclimate.org” noted that the “writers (at RealClimaet.org) try again and again to concoct what appears to be deep critiques against skeptic arguments, but end up doing a very shallow job. All in the name of saving the world. How gallant of them.” ]
#
Marc Morano
Communications Director
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Inhofe Staff
202-224-5762
202-224-5167 (fax)

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February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
http://www.reuters.com/

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
fed_rate_moves_425_small.gif
[Image from: CNNMoney.com]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)