Mojib Latif slams Daily Mail

David Rose

In comments, several readers suggested that I examine a recent report from the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail that attempts to tie the research of modeller and IPCC author Mojib Latif to the current cold spell in Europe.  Now that Latif has responded to this latest distortion of his views in an interview with the Guardian, I’m happy to oblige.

And, while I’m at it, I’ll also take a look at the short and dubious track record of newly-minted contrarian climate “investigative journalist”  David Rose, whose very first climate change article was an overview of Climategate “research” from Steve McIntyre, with generous assistance from Ross McKitrick.

David Rose’s article in the latest Mail on Sunday gets right to the point:

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Of course, this is exactly the sort of distortion that Latif has been subjected to before, most recently in the wake of his presentation at the World Climate Conference in Geneva last October, as I noted in my post Anatomy of a lie: How Marc Morano and Lorne Gunter spun Mojib Latif.

Perhaps ruefully reflecting on that sorry experience, Latif has responded to this latest outrageous exaggeration in no uncertain terms in an interview with the Manchester Guardian.

The Mail on Sunday article said that Latif’s research showed that the current cold weather heralds such “a global trend towards cooler weather”.

It said: “The BBC assured viewers that the big chill was was merely short-term ‘weather’ that had nothing to do with ‘climate’, which was still warming. The work of Prof Latif and the other scientists refutes that view.”

Not according to Latif. “They are not related at all,” he said. “What we are experiencing now is a weather phenomenon, while we talked about the mean temperature over the next 10 years. You can’t compare the two.

“The natural variation occurs side by side with the manmade warming. Sometimes it has a cooling effect and can offset this warming and other times it can accelerate it.” [Emphasis added]

The Mail also characterized Latif’s research this way:

He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.

However, the referenced Keenlyside at al paper projects reduced warming (not cooling) for the coming decade 2010-2020 relative to previous decades, as I explained previously. And as Latif makes clear above, his discussion with Rose was limited to the “mean temperature over the next ten years”. All that is a far cry from a “global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years”.

Rose also attempts to contrast Latif’s views on attribution of twentieth century warming with the well-worn canard of the  supposed conventional IPCC view of 100% anthropogenic attribution over the last century.

The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise.

However, Latif spiked this as well:

Latif said his research suggested that up to half the warming seen over the 20th century was down to this natural ocean effect, but said that was consistent with the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “No climate specialist would ever say that 100% of the warming we have seen is down to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Despite the obvious distortion – or because of it – this latest travesty has been reverberating in the echo chamber, with over 2000 hits so far and counting. So it might be good to look at the short career of this latest star of contrarian journalism.

David Rose made his debut as an environmental investigative reporter with a rambling, um, analysis of Climategate. A large part of this piece was given over to Steve McIntyre’s absurd explanation of the implications of CRU head Phil Jones’s “hide the decline” email.

However, the full context of that ‘trick’ email, as shown by a new and until now unreported analysis by the Canadian climate statistician Steve McIntyre, is extremely troubling.

Derived from close examination of some of the thousands of other leaked emails, he says it suggests the ‘trick’ undermines not only the CRU but the IPCC.

Rose summarized McIntyre’s post, stating that the true “context” of the emails leading up to Jones’s, was an attempt to pressure Briffa to produce a “tree-ring” chronology that would show a reduced Medeival Warm Period and enhanced warming in the 20th century.

Rose wrote that in September 1999, IPCC author Michael Mann was pressuring CRU dendrochronologist Keith Briffa to change a tree-ring based reconstruction to be used in a key IPCC chart, but that at first Briffa’s “conscience was troubled”. Eventually, though, Briffa  “changed the way he computed his data and submitted a revised version” with significantly cooler “earlier centuries”. But that created “another, potentially even more serious, problem”:

According to his tree rings, the period since 1960 had not seen a steep rise in temperature, as actual temperature readings showed – but a large and steady decline, so calling into question the accuracy of the earlier data derived from tree rings.

This is the context in which, seven weeks later, Jones presented his ‘trick’ – as simple as it was deceptive.

All he had to do was cut off Briffa’s inconvenient data at the point where the decline started, in 1961, and replace it with actual temperature readings, which showed an increase.

On the hockey stick graph, his line is abruptly terminated – but the end of the line is obscured by the other lines.

As I explained in a previous post, this absurd account simply does not stand up to scrutiny. First, McIntyre’s  explanation in its original form was contradicted by key passages  that were deleted from the referenced emails. Not only that, but in another email passage that McIntyre conveniently omitted, Briffa pointed to a previously published reconstruction that he considered to be more appropriate, one very similar to that eventually published. And Briffa’s 1999 chart already contained the truncation after 1960, along with a separate instrumental curve post-1850 – just like the later IPCC chart.

The main noticeable difference is that Briffa’s IPCC version went back to 1450 instead of 1550. So clearly, on top of everything else, Briffa’s discussion of the MWP also had nothing to do with his contribution to the IPCC chart.

Even Chip Knappenberger (of Climate Research News fame) stopped by ClimateAudit to say McIntyre had it completely wrong (and Gavin Schmidt had it right):

So, upon my read, the IPCC’s “trick” amounts to the original authors [i.e. Briffa and Osborn] feeling uncomfortable about their own results in the post-1960 period and not wanting them included in what was to become IPCC TAR Figure 2.21. Hardly much of  a “trick.”

In an extraordinary series of comments at ClimateAudit, David Rose related further details about his auspicious start as a climate journalist with the scoop of the previously “unreported analysis”.  First, he stopped by to pay homage to the master:

As a veteran member of the MSM (Vanity Fair and the UK’s Mail on Sunday) may I state for the record: Sir, I salute you. Bravo!

Then, after ClimateAudit covered his article, Rose explained how it all came about:

I am honoured by the kind comments on my article. For the record: without Steve’s brilliant work and this magnificent website, it could not have been written. May I also pay tribute to Ross McKitrick, who gave me several hours of his time on Thursday and helped clarify the issues in my mind.

I am not a scientist, but an open minded investigative journalist. I have not written on climate before. For the record, the article appeared in the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail’s Sunday stablemate. It sells well in excess of 2 million copies a week. I hope to return to this subject in future.

And so he has. Thus does another contrarian star journalist burst onto the scene. Indeed, it becomes harder and harder to “hide the decline” – in climate science “journalism”.

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115 responses to “Mojib Latif slams Daily Mail

  1. One thing I found in some of my experiences with contrarians and deniers is that some of them don’t really understand the articles they hold up as proof that the IPCC is wrong, or AGW is wrong etc. In one example, at a forum dominated by “skeptics”, this fellow posted a link to an article about polar bears, claiming that it showed they were increasing when a close read of the article suggested quite the opposite. Yet only I challenged this fellow because everyone else was too busy attacking me and lauding him to check. When I pointed out that his reading was wrong, he had no response and they quickly moved on to some other canard.

    Some contrarians/deniers are merely parroting what they’ve read at their favorite contrarian website or the talking points they’ve been given and have no real understanding of the material. Note this fellow was not just a kid who simply got it wrong, but a grown man who had a lot of weight in that forum.

    It’s really shameless, and the problem is that contrarians/deniers pass on this tripe on contrarian websites and blogs and it gets repeated with no challenge.

    [DC: There's also the "telephone game" aspect, where small distortions and misunderstandings keep getting exaggerated in the wrong direction as time goes on. That's a big part of what happened with Latif back in October.]

    • A reference would be interesting for the polar bear bums.

      [DC: OK with me - as long as it's a short reply to this, and then we move on.]

    • Sorry, but the forum where I had this debate and where the link to the journal article was posted has long since deleted the archives. I wasn’t able to find it through the wayback machine. This was a couple of years ago.

  2. Contrarian blogs are full of nonsense and misattributions. Right now at WTFWT they have a press release summary from NCAR – but the text is from one press release, the graphic at WTFWT is from another one that has nothing to do with the first.

    They’re so stupid they can’t even be wrong right.

    [DC: OK - but the less said about WUWT the better. Now can we talk about this post? Or have I said it all perfectly? (Just kidding).]

  3. Along with a revealing Fox News quote, I wrote down a partial transcript of Dr. Latif’s remarks from the Geneva conference here, in case anyone needs it for quotations:

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/10/finally-fox-news-admits-it-isnt-really.html

    What you see here is just the globally averaged temperature during the 20th century, and you can clearly identify the long-term warming trend, and we all believe that this long-term warming trend is anthropogenic in nature, is man made. However, you see a lot of fluctuations superimposed on this trend, inter-annual as Tim has pointed out, but also decadal.

    Now people who know me, at least my German colleagues, know that I do a lot of media work. There is almost no day in the year when I am not called by some media person. And so they basically think about global warming as a kind of slowly evolving process, and monotonic process, so each year is warmer than the preceding year.

    However, we all know there is variability, okay, and this variability may look like this [graph]… And the two of course superimpose. And the real evolution of say globally averaged temperature would look like this [graph]. And then you see right away that it may well happen that you enter a decade, or maybe even two, you know, when the temperature cools relative to the present levels, alright.

    And then, I know what’s going to happen, you know. I will get millions of phone calls, you know, “what’s going on? Is global warming disappearing? Have you lied on us?” And therefore, this is the reason why we need to address this decadal prediction issue.


    [DC: I too have a transcript I posted back in October, along with my email exchange with Latif. They're the automatically generated posts at the end of the above post and before the comments. ]

  4. Ah, I’d missed the links where you’ve already transcribed the key remarks from the Geneva speech. My bad :)

  5. It is a form of statistical illiteracy to NOT know that a trended time series with yearly noise 5-10X greater than the yearly trend, MUS exhibit substantial periods counter to the trend. Likewise, it is illiteracy to think that you determine a trend by connecting the endpoints, ignoring the interior points. Finally, it is illiteracy to not understand that one needs long-enough series to have trends make sense.

    Now, someone may honestly not know these things, OR
    they may not know, and do everything they can not to, OR
    they know, but they say this junk anyway.

    Some of us keep trying to educate those who don’t know, but might learn. tamino does great work (and he’s a professional)..

    Some of us try to help modestly, as in this post, and the animation it references.

    Alternatively, see this dicussion @ Grumbine’s, or just the relevant Fig.1 and Fig.4.

    These graph the real SLOPEs (regression lines) of temperature by different time periods. When a point is above zero,m it means that the N-year SLOPE ending that year is positive. Most of the 20th century has been positive. From ~1980 onwards, HAdcrut data shows *no* 10-year-period with negative SLOPE. 5-year periods jump all over the place, of course.

    I suspect one could cover this stuff in one lecture.

    • Using WFT (1) and
      WFT (2),
      I get one 10-year period (87-97) with a (just) negative slope in HADCRUT3v

      (With WFT, the “From” year is included but the “To” year is not.)

  6. Similar points have been made here before, although admittedly less professionally. Here’s a plot of 8-year and 20-year slopes in GISS (comparing the same *end* points for the last 20 years ). Notice the occasional excursion below zero or up to 0.4C per decade for the 8-year trends, even though the medium-term trend is relatively steady.

  7. I wonder what Rose would make of McIntyre’s strange, rambling narrative of what he sees as some sort of plot between editors and reviewers?

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/05/climategatekeeping-the-nature-intervention/

    Seems like a risky place to hang one’s professional reputation.

  8. Yes, I’d missed that here.
    One of the reasons for plotting (in essence) a kind of first derivative, is that humans:

    a) Do not easily compute regression in our heads, i.e., we not estimate real SLOPEs very well.

    b) Have visual systems drawn to extrema.

  9. You quote Prof Latif as stating:

    “The natural variation occurs side by side with the manmade warming. Sometimes it has a cooling effect and can offset this warming and other times it can accelerate it.”

    You appear to be suggesting that my article did not reflect this. In fact it states:

    “The work of Profs Latif, Tsonis and their teams raises a crucial question: If some of the late 20th Century warming was caused not by carbon dioxide but by MDOs, then how much?
    Tsonis did not give a figure; Latif suggested it could be anything between ten and 50 per cent.”

    Just how are these two statements meant to be incompatible?

    As to my comments on Climate Audit: if the CRU had put all its data into the public domain and not required McIntyre et all to resort to FOIA requests, a large part of this row need never happened. As it is, I know intellectual bullying when I see it, and I am happy to applaud those who stand up to it. The emergent claim that McIntyre and his friends “harassed” the CRU, so justifying its more obnoxious responses, is, in my opinion, risible.

    PS. I’m not “newly-minted”. If only.

    [DC: I'll answer in greater detail when I have time. For now, I will merely note that I clearly stated you were "newly-minted" as a "contrarian climate 'investigative journalist'".]

    • Correction: “As to my comments on Climate Audit: if the CRU had put all of the data that it had received under NDAs with national MET agencies that normally sell their data to others into the public domain…”

    • Nice to see David Rose responding, not nice to see he decides to ignore the most important distortions in his article:
      1. that Latif predicted cooling
      2. that the IPCC blames all warming since 1900 on CO2

      And “distortions” would be a kind word for these howling mistakes.

  10. Don’t sell yourself short, DC, that last plot is a nicely concise way of illustrating the point.

    RC superimposed the information on the temperature history like so http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

    but that chart would get cluttered quickly if you tried to show trends of different durations at the same time.

    [DC: Exactly - that's one reason why I went with the "first derivative" type graph. ]

  11. A small nit: ‘The Manchester Guardian’ became ‘The Guardian’ in 1959 and moved to London in 1964. It has been a “London” paper for a while!

    [DC: Oops! Sorry about that.]

  12. “As to my comments on Climate Audit: if the CRU had put all its data into the public domain”

    So David Rose is one of the crowd who either does not know, or dismisses, the fact that CRU *has no data to put into the public domain*.

    That statement assumes ownership of the data by CRU, when, of course, it’s not CRU that owns the data, but the various met offices in countries around the world which gather it.

    David Rose – be honest, now … when you typed that statement, were you aware that CRU doesn’t own the data and, therefore, is not able to decide which can be released in the public domain, and which can’t? If you knew this, why are you suggesting that CRU should’ve released the data contrary to the contract under which they’ve received the data? If you didn’t know this, why didn’t you ensure that you were being told the truth before making this statement?

    As it turns out, roughly 95% is released to the public domain by the individual countries which own it, and McIntyre – or you – can go to GHCN and download it to your heart’s content.

    The roughly 5% which is held to be proprietary by the individual countries which own it, can only be released under the terms and conditions set by those countries. There’s an international agreement that allows most of this data to be released to recognized academic institutions and researchers. McIntyre does not fit that category.

    This is why McIntyre’s FOIA requests were denied, not by Jones et al, but by the FOIA reviewing officer, including on appeal. However, the response (which McIntyre himself publish), clearly stated that CRU was working on getting permission to make that data available.

    It involves getting each individual country involved to agree to such release.

    Answers, Rose, we want answers …

  13. As it is, I know intellectual bullying when I see it, and I am happy to applaud those who stand up to it.

    So do I. Kudos to those climate scientists who stand up to McIntyre’s bullying.

    The emergent claim that McIntyre and his friends “harassed” the CRU, so justifying its more obnoxious responses, is, in my opinion, risible.

    McIntyre knows that he’s asking for data that CRU has no legal right to release. He’s asked his followers to flood CRU with requests for this data that he knows CRU has no legal right to release.

    That’s harrassment in my book.

  14. David Rose,

    You need not have placed “harassed” in quotation marks, they (McI et al.) have been harassing climate scientists for a long time now. It is a known fact, and had you looked at both sides of the story then you would have done that.

    Your “articles” smack of bias and agenda, ironically the very things that you interestingly accuse those at CRU of.

    You got your facts wrong about Latif. If you have any integrity as a journalist then please issue a correction, on the following:

    1) “The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years”

    Latfis’ work, specifically the decadal forecasts discussed in the Keenlyside et al. (2008) paper do only provide forecasts to 2025. Moreover, they do not state that global temperatures will cool. They say ““Thus, in the near future, natural decadal variability in the Atlantic and Pacific may not only override the regional effects of global warming, but temporarily weaken it”. They also state that “global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade”. Nowhere do the state that the globe is going to cool for the next 20-30 years.

    Regardless, global temperatures in December 2009 were over +0.3 C above average (from satellite data, NASA GISS have yet to release their December 2009 numbers for surface temperatures).

    2) “According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.”

    Ugh, this old myth. Yes, it has increased from a record low in 2007. But, you are using at most two data points to makes inferences about long term trends, that is wrong. The long term downward trend is still downwards and is accelerating. Long term rate of loss until 2002 was -7.3% per decade, until 2005 -8.3% and until 2009 -11.2% (up from -11.1% in 2008; see http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice.html). You also forget that the Arctic has been losing multiyear sea ice is huge amounts. Whereas in 1980 thick ice accounted for well over 30% of all Arctic sea ice, by 2009 that portion was <10%. The min sea ice extent in September 2009 was the third lowest on record, and the ice remained more than two standard deviations below average for all of 2009. Data from the GRACE satellite show that ice loss from Greenland is accelerating.

    3) "The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise."

    Just wrong. Who said that all the warming was from CO2. What about NOx, CH4? What about internal climate variability, solar forcing? A large portion of that warming, especially since 1950, can be attributed to the increase of anthro GHGs. Read the recent paper by Murphy et al. (2009)

    4) "He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September."

    Wrong, read Keenlyside et al. (2008) and read the transcripts from Latif's talk in Geneva. Stop misrepresenting the truth.

    5) "As Europe, Asia and North America froze last week, conventional wisdom insisted that this was merely a ‘blip’ of no long-term significance."

    That conventional wisdom would be correct. Look at what the global temperatures were doing in December. Not to mention that you have one data point by only considering a single December! The AO has been increasing significantly in recent days, and warmth has once again returned to the lower 48 States.

    6) "For Europe, the crucial factor here is the temperature of the water in the middle of the North Atlantic, now several degrees below its average when the world was still warming."

    Wrong. In December SST anomalies in the central N. Atlantic were near normal, with a tiny area (smaller than Ireland) with SST anomalies lower than -1 C, and that is probably b/c of a gyre in the Gulf Stream. There is a relatively large area with SST anomalies near -0.5 C. Look at the map here:

    Now look at all the warm colours around the globe's oceans on that map. Globally, the long term trend in oceanic heat content is up.

    OK, I got as far as your misrepresentation of Tsonis et al. (someone wish to tackle this?), but don't have time for more now.

    Mr. Rose, I wold love to give you the benefit of the doubt that all of the above mistakes (there are more) were made in ignorance. Alas, your track record, and mistake of making reference to standard denialist myths makes that neigh impossible. Another journalist seems to have joined the dark side in the affront on science.

    What passes for "journalism" these days is disheartening and depressing. I would feel very differently about you if you were to write a follow up article in the next day or two to set the record straight based on what Latif and other scientists have told you you got wrong. Do you have the credibility and integrity to follow through on addressing that reasonable request?

    • Yes, thats comprehensive enough. All the stuff that popped into my head when I was reading Rose’s article.

      So Mr Rose, where are these climatologists blaming all the rise in tempts since 1900 on CO2?
      Can you quote them?

      Are you aware that this cold spell is weather caused by a very strong negative phase of the arctic oscillation:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/6/822520/-Freak-Current-Takes-Gulf-Stream-to-Greenland

      [DC: ... and that the AO cooling effect is largely regional, balanced to a great extent by warmer weather elsewhere.]

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      The GISS land only data for D-N 2009, the meteorological year has 2009 in third, behind 2005 and 2007. The land+ocean data for the same period has 2009 tied for third with 1998 and behind 2005 and 2007.

      I would expect that the GISS J-D data will be released in the next couple of days. I don’t think that things will change much.

  15. Sir, I salute you. Bravo!

    I guess have to go buy a six-pack of Molson’s. If I could only get Stock Ale…

    • From a previous comment by Deech56 (from the McIntyre “fodder” thread):

      … I hope to patent a CA drinking game in which the cues are comments containing the words “Sir” and “salute” directed towards the host. Extra swig if the writer describes how McI is finally getting the notice he deserves.

      Two bonus swigs if the writer is actively helping get that notice.

    • How about a few more? I particularly like “Reverend Anthony”. Yes, Watts is leading his worshipful flock to the promised land…or something.

  16. “However, the referenced Keenlyside at al paper projects reduced warming (not cooling) for the coming decade 2010-2020 relative to previous decades, as I explained previously. And as Latif makes clear above, his discussion with Rose was limited to the “mean temperature over the next ten years”. All that is a far cry from a “global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years”.”

    Dave Rose would salvage his journalistic integrity by correcting the various clearly false statements and misrepresentation made in his article, including the inane title. Of course, that would result in less attention and promotion for him.

    Actually, since almost the entire article is factually incorrect, a total rewrite and apology is in order.

  17. In observing societal trends in the US over the past decade or two, I believe I am seeing a significant shift in attitudes towards the ideas of truth, opinion, and reality. Specifically, it seems the division between fact and opinion is being blurred in an increasingly large segment of society. Worryingly, that segment of society seems to include a high proportion of the ruling elite, including the business class.

    I can only speculate on reasons for this apparent shift. It seems to me that there has been a large shift towards fundamentalist forms of religion. It is common within the leadership of fundamentalist religions to disapprove of reason, rationalism, and logic within their flock as these things reduce the power of the leadership by encouraging church goers to think for themselves. In some interpretations, religious adherents should look for truth from God, not from reason, logic, and observation of the Physical World. Such religious views are not new. What is new I believe is the widespread dissemination of such views through both the middle class and the ruling class.

    Why has this happened? I can only speculate. In my mother’s generation, to graduate from a prestigious university you needed to be familiar with Greek and/or Roman literature. The mark of an educated man was to have read Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Study of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Sophocles, Cicero was fairly widespread amongst the intellectual elite. The framers of our society were well versed in such literature, and were familiar with Greek and Roman history. Many, perhaps most of our intellectual, legal, economic, and political traditions were inspired by Greek traditions. Democracy, logic, and skepticism are Greek words.

    Amongst academia, the vacuum left by the disappearance of classical traditions has been filled by modernist empty valueless constructionism/relativism. Perhaps many in our society have sensed this shift. Where Socrates “unexamined life is not worth living”, and the Greek unending search for Truth and Justice may have inspired them, cultural relativism has produced an abhorrent reaction. Perhaps they are instead turning to more fundamentalist views of the world instead.

    [DC:There is a plausible relationship between fundamentalist beliefs and refusal to accept climate science. But the fault lines are not as clear as in the biological sciences (i.e. evolution).

    Your reference to the "business class" is perhaps germane. I think the conspiracy theory of AGW "scientific fraud" or "hoax" is treated as legitimate in the mainstream press because it happens to be a point of view supported by a considerable portion of the business and political elite. Other conspiracy theories don't enjoy that currency in the elite, even if they are held by a depressingly large number of people.

    I'm not sure I agree with all your comments about education. But I would say that the typical business education path is sorely lacking in ethical grounding.]

    • “…I believe I am seeing a significant shift in attitudes towards the ideas of truth, opinion, and reality. Specifically, it seems the division between fact and opinion is being blurred in an increasingly large segment of society.” I think if you go back in history, you’ll find people saying this same thing in every time period. Humans have a remarkable capacity for believing one way or another based on very little real evidence or rational thinking about the matter. They mostly look at what the person next to them is saying, and then adopt that viewpoint. Not a new development in society.

      [DC: In other words, there is variation, but no trend.]

  18. RE MapleLeaf

    They say “Thus, in the near future, natural decadal variability in the Atlantic and Pacific may not only override the regional effects of global warming, but temporarily weaken it”. They also state that “global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade”. Nowhere do the state that the globe is going to cool for the next 20-30 years. (emphasis mine)

    “Regional effects” – that sounds like what we are seeing now. Mr. Rose had wonderful opportunity to get the viewpoint of Dr. Latif and really get the full picture – and wasted it.

  19. carrot eater:
    re: cluuter, yes, it’s hard, but try those two figures I mentioned:
    Fig.1, temperature, and 25,30,35-year SLOPEs.
    and Fig.4, which has just SLOPES for 5,10,15,30-year intervals.

    Static graphics are always difficult. My programming skills are long-rusty, but I would suggest that the *right* thing is a little interactive applet in which the interval size is a slider below the graph, and as you move it back and forth it changes the SLOPE curve. I vaguely recall someone did one like that, but I can’t find it. At SGI 15 years ago, we had some great little 3D demo programs like that (related to the Jurassic Park workstation scene).

    • One more example: if you take the trend from 1980-2000 and extend it to 2010, the slope actually increases.

      [DC: I did that too for RSS - posted it at Lucia's but never used it in my own blog. The previous graph I showed for GISS shows the same thing in a different way (it's the 1979-present trend curve, which has risen since 2000.]

    • John,

      I think I’ve found it, thanks to a comment by Hank Roberts at Deltoid.

      It’s at Hot Topic. Very informative. IMO it would be even better if more datasets were options and if it were bigger, increasing the time resolution.

  20. > neigh impossible

    A hansom piece of hack work?

    Sheesh.

    As of December:

    “Warm air keeps ice extent low–
    December air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean region, eastern Siberia, and northwestern North America were warmer than normal. In contrast, temperatures in Eurasia, the United States, and southwestern Canada were below average. The strongest anomalies (more than 7 degrees Celsius/13 degrees Fahrenheit) were over the Atlantic side of the Arctic, including Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, where ice extent was below average.”

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Why aren’t science journalists screaming about the amazingly warm Arctic? No advertisers from there?

  21. Catch22

    “Reason is the enemy of Faith”

    I used to have it on a bumper-sticker on my truck, but I sold the truck.

    Anti-intellectualism is rampant in the U.S. Eight years of Bush, Sarah Palin, etc. Enough said.

  22. With regard to the earlier Climategate piece and fawning over ClimateAudit: when it comes to misplacing his trust, Mr Rose has form.

    • And yet the article makes one or two sensible points. Is it the same Mr Rose?
      Perhaps he would like to explain how he got from there to here?

  23. John Mashey: yes, that sounds like a nice interactive way to show the idea.

    It would also be useful to show a plot of temperature output for a model with zero changes in external forcing, just to show the stochastic sort of wiggles produced by the models in the absence of any trend.

    As for Mr. Rose, conflating the decadal predictions of Latif with the AO simply betrays a lack of comprehension. Which is all the more remarkable if he actually interviewed Latif. As somebody elsewhere said, he heard what he wanted to hear.

    [DC: "Somebody" is very wise :) ]

  24. Carrot eater:
    re: stochastic wiggles
    That’s what my simple Excel spreadsheet was intended to illustrate, i.e., as mentioned by Capital Climate, and the 3rd comment suggests exactly that, i.e.., with large enough random noise and no trend, you easily get short sequences. “Steveo” suggests using a more realistic noise distribution. I’d avoided that because I wanted the simplest possible example, doable by a trivial spreadsheet whose workings anyone could see, with no possibly-mysterious FORTRAN code.

    Akin to the interactive applet I suggested for the other case, one could easily do an animation (like CapitalClimate did), but where one could have sliders for trend and noise, and buttons to choose the type of noise. If one then animates, you see the effect from watching an ensemble of simulations, which are *not* year-to-year predictions, but which together provide a good envelope.

  25. DC: Aha, it was you. Well, that makes attributing the quote easy.

    John: That’s pretty good, I hadn’t looked at that before (though you may have directed me there). It’s simple and easily programmed.

    I’d say that any improvement go whole hog, though, and use a full climate model. Beyond the simple point of noise around a trend, one has to get back to the statistics of climate, and demonstrate to people that models do not spit out monotonically increasing temperatures.

    The reason I suggest doing a model run with zero forcings is to demonstrate that the climate shouldn’t wander off all that far on its own, with only internal unforced variability. It’ll vary quite a bit, but it’ll stay centered around the same mean. People these days say “PDO”, not know what that means or how it’s calculated, and just imagine it can explain anything and everything under the sun. Get these people to think a bit harder about what they’re saying.

    Then again, I get the idea that many sceptics don’t grasp there is a difference between natural forcings and unforced variability, so one has to define terms constantly.

  26. re CM’s “…when it comes to misplacing his trust, Mr Rose has form” – that is a fascinating article – a confessional from Mr. Rose of his Operation Mockingbird-type reporting in the runup to the Iraq war. He was a Judy Miller, and he comes clean about how it worked.

    (an example of his pre-war reporting is here)

  27. carrot eater:
    When it comes to pedagogy, and sometimess actual work, I’m a big believer in hierarchies of models. Grumbine had some material on that a while ago. I come to that view from multiple disciplines where computers simply weren’t fast enough or had enough memory to run the most complete models, and people just had to make approximations. Back when I was helping design computers, we always had several levels of simulators.

    SO, I’d be happy to see actual climate models. The spreadsheet model was geared to be the simplest things I can think of to illustrate the point, and ideally should have had a well-commented spreadsheet on a website somewhere to download and experiment with. Its benefit would be that there can be no arguments about physics or hidden code, or bad data, or anything like that.

  28. David Rose writes,

    “I am not a scientist, but an open minded investigative journalist.”

    Don’t flatter yourself, Mr Rose. You are neither.

  29. Or maybe we should open betting on how the next article from Mr Rose will adress our concerns about the current one?
    What are the odds of:
    1) He accuses us of witch hunting and being nasty to him, and thus executes a journalistic flounce, never mind the severity of the topic and its massive implications.
    2) He admits this article is a load of rubbish and agrees to learn more about the topic so as to avoid making such mistakes in the future.
    3) He ignores this article in all future ones.
    4) He never writes on climate issues again.
    5) He writes an article in which he tries to be correct whilst ignoring that this article is rubbish, trying to appeal both to the scientifically illiterate Mail readers and the scientifically literate.

  30. On McI and the hide the decline: http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/

    McI says “The hiding of the decline was made particularly artful because the potentially dangling 1960 endpoint of the Briffa reconstruction was hidden under other lines in the spaghetti graph as shown in the following blow-up: http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/fig2-21-blowup.gif?w=243&h=271

    Now the point that seems to have escaped him and his echo chamber is that the plot shows other reconstructions and the temperature that show that decline too. Why would they make a big fuss about Briffa and leave the other lines in?

    [DC: McIntyre's point appears to be that if the Briffa curve were plotted on top of the other reconstructions, the truncation would be more apparent. I highly doubt that a pixel or two more would be apparent at normal viewing resolution.

    The curves were rendered in reverse order from the listing, so that the Mann et al is on top, and the instrumental on the bottom (i.e. "covered" wherever any of the the others cross it). Imagine McIntyre's outcry if the rendering order were reversed so that the instrumental curve was on top, with the Briffa reconstruction next. You can't win with a McAudit.]

  31. More climate shuffle. For anyone of discerning intellect it is quite clear to see what is going on here. Latif makes honest and open remarks to the media concerning his research which unequivocally shows a reduced importance of c02 based warming.

    The article is published and the truth starts to come out. Next latif is bombarded with e-mails and phone calls from those in the global warming religion to recant his statements even though they are an accurate representation of his research. No doubt his grant funding and position on the IPCC is next put in jeopardy. The next day Latif emerges and tries to whitewash his own scientific research and downplay the message.

    A good example of this is deep climates harassing e-mails to latif.

    Good Job Mr. Rose keep the Truth bandwagon on track and don’t let it get derailed by those with an agenda to pervert the science and push AGW at all costs.

    [DC: Somehow the phrase "in denial" just naturally comes to mind. At least, it was on topic. But let's not feed the trolls too much.]

  32. Maybe Rose is building up to a Sokal moment? I mean, isn’t the whole thing just too over the top?

  33. Guthrie, my guess is that he was a drive-by and won’t return to read any of the follow-up.

  34. Based on my experience with the media in recent years (The National Post in particular and Mr. Rose has demonstrated himself to be of the same cloth as Corcoran et al.), the chances of #2 are practically zero.

    The chances of them printing a correction and/or retraction or an apology to Latif are also close to zero. I do hope they prove me wrong. Are you reading this Mr. Rose?

  35. There is a need for a list of newspapers that are both deeply anti-AGW and liable to distort stories!

    The (UK) Daily Mail is one of these. A populist newspaper, appealing to the right working class/lower right middle class.

    Poor Latif!

    Anyone in the UK who is familiar with things would have warned Latif not to touch the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday with the proverbial bargepole.

    [DC: That's a good idea for a future post. And I would include electronic media as well.]

    • Basically all UK newspapers are not to be trusted.

      The only ones which try a bit to get it right are the Times and the Guardian and the Herald.
      The others can be written off, although they have occaisional sparks of honesty.

  36. Again on the Daily Mail.

    I came across David Rose’s article, as I had deliberately gone to the Daily Mail website to see what (dis-informative) story they would be running due to the cold snap that the UK (but not Greenland) is having at the moment.

    There were AWG dismissive columns in two other UK newspapers bases on the present (oops, now passed) unusual cold snap. (The Sunday Telegraph, the Sunday Times). David Rose’s article was just what I would have expected to see.

    The (UK) Daily Mail is the Fox News of UK print journalism.

    The Daily Mail is written by intelligent people – but to read by idiots.

  37. Note for Lady in Red:

    Please read your comment and my response carefully, especially this part:

    I’ll dignify your despicable speculation with a response, on the understanding that you will never comment here again (unless it’s to proffer an apology).

    Thanks!

  38. Latif is not the only questionable thing that David Rose wrote in his article.

    In David Roses article in the Mail on Sunday, there is a – partial – copy of a quote from Dr David Viner, a climatologist, from the UK newspaper, the Independent, in March 2000

    Rose’s article reads:

    “In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious ‘Warmergate’ leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain, and that ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’. ”

    BUT, but, but…

    The Independent article also said – but David Rose did not report (or perhaps did not even read) – thus:

    “Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.”

    And snow has caused modest chaos in the UK, as the country is unused to heavy (or even moderate) snowfall these days.

    Mr Rose, your pants are round your ankles.

    ……

    And should David Rose be interested, I am old enough to remember the two really serious winters the UK had – in 1947 and 1963. I know what real snow chaos is like .

  39. On UK newspapers.

    The Daily Express is another populist right-leaning newspaper that prints biased rubbish on AWG.

    Put it on the list of papers that no climate scientist should grant an interview to.

  40. Oh God. I need to post even more on David Rose and the Mail and Latif. :-(

    Go check the article by clicking on the link to the Mail on Sunday at the begining of this thread.

    Go look at the graphic – a key part of the Rose article, and probably being a strong image, what the reader remembers. Look at all the “cold spots”. But, where, oh where, is the “hot spot” in the middle of Greenland? Nowhere!

    The average temperature during December right in the middle of Greenland was 8c above normal.

    By not showing this, the graphic is a lie.

    I’ll shut up now.

  41. More climate shuffle. For anyone of discerning intellect it is quite clear to see what is going on here. Latif makes honest and open remarks to the media concerning his research which unequivocally shows a reduced importance of c02 based warming.

    The article is published and the truth starts to come out. Next latif is bombarded with e-mails and phone calls from those in the global warming religion to recant his statements even though they are an accurate representation of his research.

    An interesting hypothesis, Cam, exploded by the fact that Latif has been complaining for months about people lying about his work.

    He’s *never* made the “20-30 years of cooling” from now claim (or even “of lack of warming”).

  42. Part of the problem here is latif himself.
    1.English is not his first language, it bay not even be his 3rd or 4th.
    2. The comments he makes can only be interpreted in the way that David Rose accurately portrayed them. He made similar comments in October of last year to an audience which was reported on by Terrance corcoran.
    3. My own belief is that Latif tells whomever he is with what they want to hear.

    [DC: Last October's "comments" were in a presentation to the World Climate Conference in Geneva. I don't think Corcoran was there, so if he "reported" on it, it was probably third-hand at best. The presentation at the WCC (hardly a venue that "wanted" to hear contrarian nonsense) was misreported by New Scientist, then distorted and lied about by Marc Morano as I showed in excruciating detail in my Anatomy of a Lie post.]

    If you read his research it has a wide margin of error and can be interpreted as very close to the IPCC view or a complete refutation of how they look at global warming and their climate models.
    One thing about his research is that it if you read his paper it does question the prevailing wisdom that C02 is the primary driver of climate.

    [DC: No. It suggests that natural (unforced) variation at the decadal level may be greater than most scientists posit, but the underlying upward trend from AGW is not questioned. Latif has stated this many times.

    His projection of reduced warming post-2000 (about 0.1C/decade) already looks considerably under observations. But that's not the point here - the point is his work has been misinterpreted by the contrarian press once again.]

    Whenever you get issues like AGW where the stakes are so high you will get misleading articles on both sides, that is inevitable. David Rose has done nothing wrong here, if you want to blame someone ask Latif why he keeps contradicting himself.

    [DC: He doesn't "keep contradicting himself". Rose got it completely wrong.]

    My own suspiscion is that his research is not 100% on board so he then recants himself to stay on the IPCC and to keep hiself within the AGW crowd to keep his grants.

    @ dhogza

    I think my theory fits nicely as scientists continually get harrased by AGW advocates. Remember when another scientist made a similar prediction about the PDO.

    “Professor Tsonis said he was flooded with ‘hate emails’ after publishing his work in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. “People were accusing me of wanting to destroy the climate, yet all I’m interested in is the truth,”

    Looks to me like Latif is under the same scrituny.

    [DC: Good grief. Latif talked to a newspaper with millions of readers and that newspaper got it completely wrong because the writer had preconceived ideas. It's David Rose and the Mail who are under scrutiny and deservedly so.]

    BTW Deep Climate, decent job on covering this issue for your team.

    [DC: I'm on the side of the scientists, but not on any "team" (as I am not a scientist myself).]

  43. If, for some, what Rose printed passes for the ‘truth’, then those claiming that really need to give their head a shake. The terms “delusional” and ‘Dunning-Kruger effect” come to mind when trying to describe such individuals.

    Those in denial are spreading lies and misrepresenting the science again, and the denialists are gobbling it up like candy. I wonder if certain trolls have even bothered to read Keenlyside et al. (2008). If they had, then they would have a hard time explaining how this figure

    is meant to show “global cooling”. Trolls, look at the predicted temps after 2010. …

    I’m sure the acolytes at WUWT and CA, and AirVent and ClimateDepot are all absolutely convinced that Watts et al. are only interested in the truth? Er, no. They are primarily interested in misrepresenting and/or distorting the truth to support their ideology. Case in point the recent fallacious claims on denial blogs about the “airborne fraction of CO2″.

    Sorry, I’ll stick with the reputable climate scientists and DC when it comes to the pursuit of truth concerning the science of climate change and AGW.

    [DC: Yep, I showed that one last October, as well as this one that eliminates the overlapping projections, and just shows decade by decade.

    It is depressing to have to keep repeating this stuff over and over.]

  44. Someone spouted “3. My own belief is that Latif tells whomever he is with what they want to hear.”

    Actually, I have been following what Latif has said very closely since last fall, and he has been very consistent in his message.

    So let me get this right, the trolls (incorrectly) lap up Latif’s research as proof that radiative forcing of GHGs is overstated, and then in the very same post essentially accuse him of lying and playing loose with the facts?! OMG. So they think he has a credibility problem, but are only too happy to distort his science to support their ideology. The mind boggles.

    Climate researchers have been aware of internal climate modes and their impact on global temperatures for quite some time now. For example, the super El Ninos like those observed in 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 can perturb global annual temps. by up to +0.2C. Latif et al. are now tackling the incredibly difficult job of making decadal projections, a temporal scale which is notoriously difficult to forecast b/c of reasons that I will not get into here.

    Denialists need to understand that AGW does not translate into a monotonic increase in global SATs, and it certainly does not translate into warming everywhere all the time.

    And once again, b/c it apparently needs to be stated over and over again, the AO and NAO do not teleconnect globally. The associated indices are used to describe anomalous atmospheric circulation patterns on a sub-hemispherical scale (i.e., they are regional phenomena).

    PS: I’m wondering whether CamMackay goes by Ron Cram over at the “ThePolicy Lass”?

    [DC: I very much doubt that last guess.]

  45. Cam Mackay defends Rose’s lies by spewing a few of his own.

    Color me unsurprised …

  46. Deep climate;

    This is off topic but I just have to ask because the readers are dying to know.
    How much money does Bird Killing windpower or Dirty solar throw your way to come up with these interpretations?

    [DC: Well what do you know - here's another accusation that I am on the take. The answer is still the same: I have not received one dime from anyone for writing this blog. But thanks for making it easy to say goodbye to you.

    Clearly, some folks out there are getting upset with me. I must be doing something right ...]

  47. The new denialist tactic:

    1. Grossly misrepresent the work of a scientist.

    2. Use that misprepresentation to claim the scientist is contradicting himself.

    Do these folks have any shame?

    On a slightly different note, how often does anyone grossly distort the views of climate skeptics to make them appear to support the consensus? I understand there are few qualified skeptics to begin with, but how often are, say, Lindzen’s views misrepresented as such? It seems the misrepresentation is almost entirely in the other direction – skeptics distorting views of scientists to make them appear skeptical. They argue much like lawyers badgering a witness to support a pre-determined conclusion.

    [DC: There is also the related "lukewarmer" strategy. You know how that goes - there is some effect from CO2, but skeptics and AGWers disagree on how much. Thus Lindzen, Lucia and Monckton can all qualify as lukewarmers since they believe climate sensitivity is positive. Never mind that the usual estimate of ~0.5C is ridculously low and unsupported by the evidence.]

  48. There is also the related “lukewarmer” strategy.

    Ah, yes, Luke Warmer and his father, Denialist Vader … may the farce be with them.

  49. Peter Sinclair

    For David Rose:
    Dr Latif says, in effect, that you are a liar, which is a bad thing for a journalist to be.
    To avoid future embarrassment, refer to Climate Denial Crock of the Week on the Mojib Latif
    nonsense:

    Helps to know who your real friends are.
    People that lead you to write embarrassing nonsense are not your friends.

    [DC: I'm not sure Latif clearly implied that Rose was a liar, in the sense of being deliberately misleading. But he certainly made it clear that Rose got it completely wrong.

    BTW, that was my favourite Climate Denial Crock of all - I featured it in an update of my original post back in October. It's funny - that original post got only one comment. And I had to delete it anyway as it contained a bunch of wild accusations against climate scientists.]

  50. “There is also the related “lukewarmer” strategy.”

    See my discussion with shewonk here:

    http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/climatologists-under-pressure-nature-editorial/#comment-346

    In practice, “Lukewarmers” remind me of someone saying they don’t really believe the Moon landing was a hoax…but…we “don’t really know decisively”. After all, the government has been hiding information and NASA scientists have been clearly lying. Almost all have sought to deny honest requests for information to those acting in good faith and wanting the truth. The evidence (the types that have not been fabricated, as stolen emails reveal, which is almost none of it) does not substantiate the Moon landing. Why utterly destroy our economy investing further in space missions on such flimsy evidence?

  51. Hey DC chill out, don’t you have a sense of humor? Of course you not on the take, I thought that was quite humorous. Bird Killing wind power. LOL

    (No need to post this one , but honestly even though I think you barking up the wrong tree, I appreciate the due diligence you throw into you articles. I have read your blog for quite a while.)

    [DC: Whatever you say. If only you also didn't mean the rest of what you wrote. Let's take a long break, shall we?]

  52. Talking of “lukewarmers” etc. So where the heck does McI stand then? This is what he said to the Edmonton Journal a while ago,

    “While McKitrick said he’s dubious about the threat of climate change, and thinks his research has helped cast doubt on such fears, McIntyre – despite the demonization of him by his opponents – said he really doesn’t know what to think.

    “I honestly don’t know whether it is a big problem, a little problem or a medium problem,” he said.””

    OMG, wow. McI has forgotten making this statement, “James Hansen and his disciples have a more jihadist approach”. McI is also clearly demonizing scientists here. Poor, poor maligned McI. How unfair the world is to those in the pursuit of the “truth”(sarc).

    So McI expends huge amounts of time and energy to fight a problem he can’t even quantify and isn’t even convinced is NOT serious. News to McI, AGW is in the “big problem” category. Obviously not a “big problem” for him, he is in his sixties, but rather for my children and their children. Me thinks McI is being less than honest with the media. Surprise, surprise.

  53. Uh, MapleLeaf, it’s a *tactic*. If you think about it, McI’s approach makes the “delaying action” position appealing to politicians. “I don’t know, therefore, let’s sit on our ass”.

    Of course, his recent decision to abandon any pretense of “science” in favor of “proving fraud and misconduct” dissecting of stolen e-mails should provide all the evidence you need to understand his true motives:

    Make sure nothing happens.

    He’s obviously now banking on the “science is a fraud” tactic, rather than “I don’t know, so sit on our collective ass” one.

  54. Dhogaza, I agree, I should have been more clear that this is all clealry a ruse/game/tactic on McI’s part. Yes, stalling to maintain the status quo.

    I’ve stated this before, but CA reads more like WUWT these days now that he is busying himself with the hacked emails.

    Anyhow, I’d better shut up about McI and let people talk about our “friend” David Rose.

    Rose is doing just a dandy job of printing misinformation and lies to muddy the waters on an already complex subject. What is sad is that Rose and others who choose to misrepresent the truth probably know they are doing so; one an only play the “ignorant” card once, and if you are ignorant about AGW why the heck are you pontificating about it? No, it would be naive of us to think that, they know very well what they are doing and how to manipulate public opinion. The National Post does plays that game very well. Their motto for reporting on AGW must be “distort, discredit (using fabricated allegations), confuse and never, never, capitulate (unless lawyers get involved)”.
    They know that once that myth/lie/misinformation about the science is out there, that it sticks like mud.

    My hypothesis as to why this is so prevalent nowadays is the seemingly complete absence of accountability or consequences for printing lies or libel in the mainstream media. Heck, their ratings probably even go up after doing so!

    All print and internet media should be required by law to register with an ombudsman or press council, and to make their code of conduct publicly available. Then editors and journals can be held accountable for their actions. And I do not mean a rap on the knuckles, I mean real/hard consequences– suspension, fines. And then a three strikes and your out rule perhaps? Now crackpots will try and abuse those rules to get rid of good journalists, so I’m not sure how you counter or prevent that happening. One way is that you cannot report the journalist, but have file a complaint against the paper. So if the journalist becomes a liability/embarrassment for the paper, then they will, hopefully, be cut. Another option is to go after people who frequently advertise in that paper, and advise them what their money is being used for. Anyhow just some thoughts.

    If The Daily Mail is a member of a press council then Rose and his editor need to be reported. Or, if the rules are the same as in this part of Canada, the paper itself needs to be reported.

    Maybe someone can start a blog providing scientists and concerned citizens with the resources to follow though on such complaints and to advise when a complaint is or is not justified– we do not want to get into the business of harassing people like the McFraudits love to do.

    I also encourage scientists reading this blog to request Op Eds in their local and/or national newspapers, to help educate the public on the science of AGW, climate change and meteorology.

    [DC: Don't underestimate the power of ignorance and bias. They can go a long way towards explaining what's happening in the media.]

  55. On a scale of moral and ethical accountability, journalism runs towards the bottom of the scale of professions. Not very well respected.

    On a scale of relative intelligence and education, well, journalism majors on my campus don’t normally take courses like organic chemistry. They tend to stick to the easier courses, and their major requirements are “college-lite.” Journalism lies just above communications in difficulty as a major, and for reference, a good number of our football players are communications majors. Not that we don’t have a kick-ass football team, just sayin’, if you’re looking for a bid in the NFL, you don’t need to waste your time with hard classes.

    [DC: Many top journalists have a background in another field of study (say political science) and then gravitate to writing. There are some fine Master's programs that expect a certain level of achievement. Having said that, I don't doubt that undergrad journalism programs are often easier or less rigorous than most.

    I can assure you there are many journalists (especially full-time career reporters and editors) who have high moral and ethical standards and are upset with the sullying of what they (and I) regard as an honourable profession. That's on top of the pressures of being in a changing industry in difficult economic times.

    Personally, I find it more useful to avoid sweeping generalizations, and concentrate on the most egregious lapses. At some point, I also hope to highlight some largely unsung, but worthy, efforts in Canadian reporting and commentary in climate science.]

  56. dhogaza:
    ‘He’s obviously now banking on the “science is a fraud” tactic, rather than “I don’t know, so sit on our collective ass” one.’

    And it’s working, to some extent.

    This:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/05/climategatekeeping-the-nature-intervention/

    leads to this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/ cwire/ 2010/ 01/ 13/ 13climatewire-insurance-group-says-stolen-e-mails-show-ris-91554.html

    For whatever reason McIntyre has enough credibility spin a story about corruption out of thin air and then get it injected into the flow of policy discussion.

    Mass hallucination is after all the main area of expertise in the doubter camp so I suppose it should be no surprise.

  57. The analysis of citations, quotations, references, hat tips, hand waving, phone calls or emails will always be a better indicator of an author’s network (allegiance, tribe, whatever) than his or her personal declarations. What one does is a better testimony than what one says, as we get to a more natural meaning.

  58. DC, I have a post about this post (warning – WUWT) pending over at Micheal’s place and had to take a swig with my lunch (scroll to adamskirving (22:42:23) : 1/13/10). Left off a comma, though.

    BTW, Tom Fuller’s version of journalism is interesting to watch. He had an interesting exchange with Micheal Tobis earlier this week.

    [DC: Fuller is a blogger, not a journalist. He doesn't seem to understand the difference.]

  59. DC,

    I just don’t see many honest journalists showing outrage at Rose’s kind of reporting, and there few if any editorials either. Even formerly respectable newspapers such as the NY Times have sunk into the squalor of FOX News level of reporting.

    [DC: It's hard to know what is going on in the U.K. But at least the Guardian was willing to call a spade a spade and expose another newspaper. Here in Canada, and I gather in the U.S., there is very little of that sort of criticism - with the exception of complaints in the right-wing media about "liberal" bias. I agree that needs to change.

    In the U.S., there was certainly a "dark age" post 9-11, where even the NYT was cowed and gave the Bush administration a free pass, or even co-operated (a la Judy Miller). I think they are still climbing out of that.

    The NYT missed a golden opportunity in its recent profile of Fox head Roger Ailes. There was minimal reference to the horrendous collapse of journalistic standards at Fox.

    Here in Canada, there has been similar silence concerning the National Post, and other outrages specifically wrt climate change issues. I believe all that will change this year. Already, Climate Coverup (by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore) is a national bestseller. Call me wildly optimistic, but I think the seeds for a backlash against ignorance and greed are being planted. We'll see.]

    • ‘The Independent’ might be doing much the same (I don’t know), but ‘The Guardian’ has a long record of supporting science. Ben Goldacre and George Monbiot both write for the Grauniad.

      Oh, and the Grauniad is one of very few dailies to not carry a (eugh!) horoscope.

  60. Fuller is a blogger, not a journalist. He doesn’t seem to understand the difference.

    And before visiting his examiner.com blog, remember he gets roughly a penny per page view.

    I, at least, refuse to visit.

  61. Thanks for the info dhogaza, I won’t be going there either.

    Have people read [James Hoggan's] analysis on the most recent MacLeans diatribe attacking the science? A must read at:

    http://desmogblog.com/truth-out-there-and-they%E2%80%99re-trying-keep-it-out

    I am willing to launch a formal complaint, if possible, and it would be nice to have some backup. DC, others?

    [DC: I edited the comment to point to James Hoggan at DesmogBlog, the true source. (Greenhoof is some sort of aggregator trying to redirect folks from the actual source). There should be a post here that touches on Coyne in a week or so, and will add some relevant information.]

  62. The Tobis/Fuller exchange is pretty revealing. Tobis first specifically called out Fuller’s claim that he “believes” there’s no positive feedback from water vapor. Not a surprise, instead of responding to this, like you’d expect a reasonable person, interested in a good faith discussion, to do, he goes off on a totally unrelated rant. It isn’t later, after being asked again, that he responds with a series of assertions, not supported with any citation.

    “1. There is not nearly as much agreement on water vapor as a forcing as there is on other aspects of climate change.

    2. I find the plain language explanations by scientists who highlight this uncertainty to be more convincing. I can follow the science, pace your team here, but have to be walked through it.

    3. The non-scientific question that arises, why was a tipping point caused by water vapor not caused by previous warming, seems to me not to be absurd.”

    Deconstructing these arguments is not difficult.

    1. Water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing. Fuller would call me “arrogant” for stating this so confidently.

    2. Fuller appears to determine whether or not an argument is scientifically valid by how nice or simple it sounds.

    3. We’d have to ask him what he means by “tipping point”, but if it’s “runaway warming”, as one might suspect, this is a strawman. Water vapor feedback is not expected to cause runaway warming.

    Fuller finally ran away in a huff after Tobis said Pielke Sr. is capable of being a scientific hack. Fuller did not ask why Tobis’ view is such, but said such an insult is “unwarranted” (how would he know?) and he wants nothing more to do with him. Ironic. This is coming from someone who “trusts” sources that regularly disparage and slander climate scientists, for reasons that truly are “unwarranted”. I guess it’s different if one insults one of Fuller’s cult leaders.

    I’ve had a run-in with Fuller on his blog before. He claimed that RC (in contrast, as he claimed, to WUWT, which he claimed does not censor) doesn’t allow any contrary viewpoints, referencing a blog that claims certain posts were removed. When I calmly referenced a post on RC that has many contrary viewpoints (this is the case with most of their posts), pointing out one specifically, he got angry with me and refused to admit error. This is indicative of the contrarian (or “lukewarmer”) movement. It’s certainly not about good faith skepticism.

  63. “And before visiting his examiner.com blog, remember he gets roughly a penny per page view.”

    …and if he covered the science accurately and honestly, my guess is he wouldn’t get as many hits. Our society rewards inaccuracy. There’s a media demand for global warming denial, as there is for material on alien abductions (found in the checkout aisle of your local supermarket). It’s a huge challenge to have a society that rewards accuracy instead of nonsense.

    [DC: As far as I can tell, Fuller really came to attention in sensationalizing the Yamal kerfuffle. Then he was onto ClimateGate. Now he and Steven Mosher have written a book about it. Look for his Examiner blog to become an opportunity to shill for that book soon.]

  64. DC,

    “I edited the comment to point to James Hoggan at DesmogBlog, the true source.”

    Interesting that you just posted that. I wandered off to DesmogBlog today (after reading Greenhoof), and the exact was posted there. So thanks for clarifying where the analysis originated and for correcting the link.

    This is sad, I often watch “the panel” on CBC on Thursday evenings and thought Andrew to be pretty reasonable and balanced, for the most part anyways. Now I am forced to view him in an entirely different light. Ugh!

  65. DC (off-topic),

    You are one of two people that I know on this planet who have ever used the word “kerfuffle.”

    The other is a sort of nerdy sociologist on campus whom I like very much.

    [DC: It's widely used in climate blogs for some reason.]

    • Indeed. I must say that I haven’t heard it much elsewhere recently, except in ‘Little Britain’ (UK BBC comedy).

    • LOL. It seems it’s been going on since at least 2007. Must have picked it up from somewhere.

    • Little Britain started on BBC Radio 4 in 2003 and quickly transferred to TV.

      The word is not new. I’m sure I heard and used it some decades ago, but it’s ‘Little Britain’ that revived it.

    • I have known the word since being a child, which is over 20 years ago. In Scotland. Or maybe I’ve always had an over sized vocabulary.

  66. Fuller was a big proponent of Alan Carlin, the EPA economist who tried to rewrite climate science mid-2009.
    See Alan Carlin, and Fuller picked it up in:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m6d26-Comment-on-EPAs-stonewalling-the-global-warming-report

    and also went to RC to battle with Gavin.

    Regarding journalists, and having had a fair amount of experience with them, I suggest they are normally (or maybe lognormally) distributed like many other things, including programming skill.

    In any case, see what to do about poor science reporting for some practical hints, including amusing discussion of WSJ OpEd in the comments.

  67. John,
    I’d forgotten about Fuller’s role in the Carlin kerfuffle (there’s that word again).

    In fact, I went over there to inform him of the, um, attribution and source problems I discovered in Carlin. Also, to set him straight on his misunderstanding that climate sensitivity was a model input.

    It seems like a long time ago now …

  68. Its good to see this issue being put into perspective.

    Does anybody have a reference to some reading on how Latif concluded this ocean oscillation will be limited to 10 more years?

    Or did I misunderstand the response? Is that 10 years from now or is that 10 years from the last temperature peak?

    Historic annual temperature records and proxies suggest periods of natural temperature variation varying chaotically over varying lengths of time from annually to centuries.

    Sounds like Latif has a handle on it and that would be very interesting reading.

    [DC: It doesn't turn on a dime. But interpolating between the various decadal projections indicates resumption of strong warming as early as 2015. Look at the difference between 2005-2015 (centred on 2010) and 2015-2025 (centred on 2020) in the key chart from Keenlyside et al 2008.]

  69. Ack! Hate paywalls. You have to be a big budget institution to follow any of this stuff.

    A better legend on that graph would be helpful I am sure but it sure looks like rapid warming is projected to resume next week.

    Any good stuff on how he arrived at these projections and why he selected a relatively short term oscillation versus the longer “LIA” type one?

    [DC: Try this statement from the authors.

    So far the predictions have been under the observations. The 2000-2010 looks set to miss by a full 0.1C.

    As to motivation - in his presentation to WCC, Latif essentially argued that it would be good to get near term decadal projections right, so that no one could use natural variations to make false arguments against AGW. Then his remarks got twisted to do just that. Ironic, isn't it?]

  70. As to motivation – in his presentation to WCC, Latif essentially argued that it would be good to get near term decadal projections right, so that no one could use natural variations to make false arguments against AGW. Then his remarks got twisted to do just that. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Totally, on many levels, at least as I understand it.

    Physical models don’t try to get near term decadal projections right, but rather generate an envelope of possible outcomes, with individual runs generating ENSO-like effects, etc, but not with any expectation that they’ll match what happens. Ensembles are built to put forth what can be expected on timescales long enough so such variations between individual model runs (including the “real model” called planet earth) can be ignored.

    Latif etc essentially built a statistical model hoping to better characterize near-term natural variability given recent past history and the underlying trend. (the “underlying trend” part being totally ignored by the denialsphere, i.e. the fact that they *assume* that the long-term trend exists).

    And, as you say, denialists are twisting his work to insist that the warming trend, which is *assumed* in his work, doesn’t really exist.

    Weird.

    Among other things.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Actually, from reading the abstract, it seems as though Keenlyside initialized an existing mode (HadCM3?) with actualy SST measurements and ran it to see what happens.

      So it is not a statistical model, as far as I can tell. But then again, I can’t afford the $200/yr Nature sub and I can’t really justify the per article cost either. If anyone knows of a purloined copy…

      On the otherhand, this is an interesting approach and bears further investigation…

      [DC: Possibly, although so far it doesn't work very well.]

    • R. norvegicus, a pdf is available here.

  71. The graphs speak for themselves. Its unclear what year Latif thinks it currently is. He speaks to the press like he has been living the last 5 years inside of his model and thinks the year is 2000.

    Pretty clearly the decadal means of all scenarios start sharply climbing in in 2010.

    Last I checked it is 2010.

    [DC: Don't forget, though, those are centred decadal means; that is, the 2010 figure represents 2005-2015. However,

    I do agree that Latif should be crystal clear about the period of the projection, as well as the fact that observations are running ahead of the projection so far. Not to mention that the projection for the subsequent period is for strong resumed warming. All this is especially important when dealing with those who have a propensity for distortion and bias.]

  72. Rose has form for mis-representing people’s views – in his last piece on climate change he did it to Roger Pielke jr.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/12/requested-correction-in-daily-mail.html

  73. “If The Daily Mail is a member of a press council then Rose and his editor need to be reported.”

    The Daily Mail is governed by a code of conduct that is supervised by the Press Complaints Commission. Good luck getting a complaint upheld however, Paul Dacre (the Daily Mail’s editor) is also the chair of the PCC.

    Regards
    Luke

  74. “The Daily Mail is governed by a code of conduct that is supervised by the Press Complaints Commission. ”

    Thanks Luke, anyone in the UK willing to take on this challenge. Ranting here is all good and fine, but as I mentioned above, the papers seem to be resistant to printing corrections, so then we are forced to do it the not so pleasant way.

    They will only learn if there are consequences for their unprofessionalism.

  75. The PCC is essentially useless, as has been demonstrated time and time again.

    In this case I think we would have to get Latif on board as the person misquoted, because the PCC has strange ideas about exactly who has standing in complaints.

  76. The onus is on Latif to complain if he was misquoted. The only problem is that he made these same statements to a room full of people in october.

    [DC: That's false. Have you not read the transcript of his talk or better yet watched the presentation and remarks side by side (see the Climate Crock video above)? It bears little resemblance to what Morano, Will, Gunter and Rose wrote.]

    Tough to call all of them liars and the press liars as well. Not much Chance Latif will complain or file a lawsuit.

    [DC: Different outlets reported it differently. Mistakes can be made - but those who clearly distort, and even lie or perpetuate falsehoods, and refuse to correct the falsehoods should be held to account. That includes Morano, George Will/Washington Post, Lorne Gunter/National Post and David Rose/Daily Mail.

    I agree a formal complaint from Latif himself is unlikely. But at least he is now complaining loud and clear to the responsible press.]

    I guess the only thing us eco- activists on the fringe of society can do is grin and bare it while the “denial” or rather truth machine gets stronger and stronger.

    [DC: We'll see.]

  77. Another problem with trying to get a complaint about the Mail’s coverage dealt with effectively by the PCC stems from their funding structure. Y’see the PCC is a voluntary/internal regulator set up by the industry itself in order to provide a fig-leaf excuse for there being no external/statutory regulator – as such it is funded by subscriptions from the regulated newspapers and those subscriptions are based upon their circulation figures. The Daily/Sunday Mail have the biggest circulation figures in the UK market, which means their subvention is the largest income line item for the PCC’s budget.

    So not only are you hoping for the PCC to find against their chair, but you are also hoping they’ll find against their golden goose.

    Like I said before, good luck with that…

    Regards
    Luke

  78. [DC: Sorry, this post is about Daily Mail coverage of Mojib Latif and CRU hack. There are other venues for putting forth unrelated contrarian talking points. Thanks!]

  79. RE: Bill Hunter and DC – yes, Dr. Latif seems to be his own worst enemy when it comes to communicating. He appears to be trying very hard to make amends though with recent interviews. As Cam illustrates, his flippant words can sometimes confuse. I agree; his article’s prediction of stable temps till 2015 based on a negative PDO and some other oscillation is rapidly expiring.

    The snippet of Dr. Latif’s talk which I watched on Crock of the Week includes graphics that well illustrate the conclusions of his article, but his words fail to bring home his message. Which I read as shifts in ocean circulation can sequester a lot of heat (or give it up) and slow down (or speed up) the upward climb of global temps. His admonition, that climatologists need to explain to the public that we won’t see steady increases in temps, is very strongly spoken and can easily be mistaken for a mea culpa by one who isn’t used to the typical mode of speech used by some scientists.

    And my question: is it conceivable with the polticization of climate science that Dr. Latif’s message can be effectively communicated to the public?

    IMO the news media have conditioned the public to percieve any serious discussion of the drunken upward climb of global temperatures (versus a steady upward acceleration) as a trial balloon whose ultimate story is that scientists aren’t so sure about AGW.

  80. Is there another David Rose-lie? Or do some scientists need to be fired?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html

    Considering Rose’s track record, I believe it is the first option. If so, I hope someone finally takes him and the Daily Mail head on.

    [DC: It does seem that a mistaken and unverified claim about the rate of melting of Himalayan glaciers was included in the WG2 report. Tim Lambert (Deltoid) has a good discussion of the whole affair..

    The significance of the error has been greatly exaggerated. One should also be aware that there are three IPCC reports from three different working groups:

    * Working Group I: The Science of Climate Change
    * Working Group II: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability
    * Working Group III: Mitigation of climate change

    As far as I can tell, Rose's long and detailed article failed to mention that the mistake occurred in the WGII report, which is much less publicized and less widely read. ]

    • I was actually referring to Rose claiming that Lal said they included something they knew was incorrect just to pressure the governments.

      I am well aware of the glaciers issue, using a non-peer reviewed (and as it turns out, wrong) report as a source was simply wrong. But to claim it was included even though they knew it was wrong…hmmm….

      [DC: I haven't had a chance to look at the direct quotes carefully, and evaluate the likelihood that Lal was quoted out of context, or even mosquoted. I suppose it's up to Lal to set the record straight if Rose got it wrong. I'll try to look into this more when I have time.]

  81. Joe Romm has an article on it. He called Lal. Looks like Rose shenanigans again.

  82. Regarding the UK Press Complaints Commission, the experience of Bob Ward of the LSE Grantham Institute following his complaint about an article in the Telegraph is informative:

    http://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NjE4OQ==

    It confirms that the PCC is toothless.

  83. Gavin's Pussycat

    Lal was misquoted:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/01/25/un-scientist-refutes-daily-mail-claim-himalayan-glacier-2035-ipcc-mistake-not-politically-motivated/

    Badly.

    Lal’s phone number is easy to find online, and I called him myself, even though it was after midnight in India (I hoped he was on travel), but he answered it immediately.

    He said these were “the most vilest allegations” and denied that he ever made such assertions. He said “I didn’t put it [the 2035 claim] in to impress policymakers…. We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature.”

    He told me:

    Our role was to bring out the factual science. The fact is the IPCC has been very conservative.

    One top climate scientist associated with the IPCC speaking to me off the record today said, “I know Murari Lal to be a straight-shooter. I take him at his word.”

    Lal said to me, “I was a lead author for the second assessment, third assessment, and fourth assessment and this is the first time in my life that I’ve been attacked like this.”

  84. As expected, David Rose making things up again:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/01/25/un-scientist-refutes-daily-mail-claim-himalayan-glacier-2035-ipcc-mistake-not-politically-motivated/

    (Lal’s comments are somewhere in the middle, Romm often needs a long introduction before getting to the point)

  85. Not to be outdone by Rose’s antics, Delinpole has really crossed the line this time!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot

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  88. In this universe, the BS that the Daily Mail article spewed about this alleged U-Turn is called “a lie.”

    What Professor Jones said, in response to the BBC vis-à-vis their question regarding if there has been “no statistically-significant global warming”, was that:

    “Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

    For those who are not sociopathic liars and actually care about facts: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/daily_mail_caught_in_another_l.php

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