Tag Archives: climategate

Chris Mooney interviews Michael Mann on “climategate”

This is an interesting interview (download MP3). Michael Mann has been vilified by climate change deniers. His work on the so-called “hockey stick” graph  is still being misrepresented despite being validated by the US National research council and other researchers.

He’s a bit of a lone voice at the moment but really worth listening to. Point of Inquiry recently interviewed him and describe the interview this way:

“In response to growing public skepticism—and a wave of dramatic attacks on individual researchers—the scientific community is now bucking up to more strongly defend its knowledge. Leading the charge is one of the most frequently attacked researchers of them all—Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann.

In this interview with host Chris Mooney, Mann pulls no punches. He defends the fundamental scientific consensus on climate change, and explains why those who attack it consistently miss the target. He also answers critics of his “hockey stick” study, and explains why the charges that have arisen in “ClimateGate” seem much more smoke than fire.

Dr. Michael E. Mann is a member of the Pennsylvania State University faculty, and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. His research focuses on the application of statistical techniques to understanding climate variability and change, and he was a Lead Author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report. Among many other distinguished scientific activities, editorships, and awards, Mann is author of more than 120 peer-reviewed and edited publications. That includes, most famously, the 1998 study that introduced the so called “hockey stick,” a graph showing that modern temperatures appear to be much higher than anything seen in at least the last thousand years. With his colleague Lee Kump, Mann also recently authored the book Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming. Finally, he is one of the founders and contributors to the prominent global warming blog, RealClimate.org.”

via Michael Mann – Unprecedented Attacks on Climate Research | Point of Inquiry.

Download MP3

See also:
Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”
Climate change deniers’ tawdry manipulation of “hockey sticks”
Freedom of information and responsibility

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Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”

Dr Michael Mann, Penn State University

I have read the full report of this inquiry Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann and find the whole business interesting. Here are my reasons – quotes are from the report:

1: No specific charges for Mann to confront

Instead the University had received:

“numerous communications (emails, phone calls and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the progress of scientific discourse around the issue of anthropogenic global warming from approximately 1998. These accusations were based on perceptions of the content of the widely reported theft of emails from a server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.”

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I thought the award for mistakes was mine!

Glacier-gate – the current feeding frenzy for climate change deniers brought back memories.

Any publishing scientist will have experienced the problem of errors getting through the review and checking process. Of course you notice them immediately when you proudly read through you masterpiece in the print journal.

However, I burst out laughing when I read this  post by a local blogger - IPCC: Earning the award for greatest number of errors per page. Because I was convinced I won that award years ago!

One of my old papers has far more errors than the IPCC reports. These were all misspellings of my own name in the reference list.

Bloody spell checkers!

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Lynch mob mentality

We have seen a wave of anti-climate change hysteria in the last few months – coinciding with the stealing of emails from the East Anglia Climate Centre  and the UN Copenhagen Conference. Posts and comments on internet blogs and forums have been particularly extreme. And for many scientists, who usually don’t have to involve themselves in such irrational debates, the hostility, even hatred, towards scientists and scientific finding has been somewhat of a shock.

We are so used to debating, even emotionally debating, evidence – not personalities. But in this global debate personalities have been demonised and defamed. Mud is being thrown – and of course mud has the problem that it sometimes sticks. While most of this hysteria has been coming from the usual conspiracy theorists and conservative political activists many of the non-aligned public may be left with the feeling that there is something wrong in the scientific community. Or that scientific findings should not be easily accepted, perhaps they should even be rejected because they are scientific. Science itself is being demonised.

It’s an ongoing battle, I guess. These sorts of conflicts are inevitable and just have to be fought out.

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The global warming debate summarised

The debates around climate change have hotted up of late. Obviously this is related to the Copenhagen Conference, the “climategate” theft and release of emails in the UK and the attacks on our NIWA scientists by the local “denier” groups the Climate Science Coalition, the Climate Conversation group and a number of local bloggers.

It amazes me how often the same arguments come up, how strongly proponents of these are so adamant about them, and how little they have actually researched the issues – except to confirm their own biases.

Often, but not always, those arguing most furiously have only a rudimentary understanding of the whole subject of climate change. So, they may benefit from exposure to even the most simplified counter arguments.
Recently the Information Is Beautiful blog produced a very effective summary of the arguments and counter arguments (see Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus). This includes most of the arguments I have heard lately so I reproduce it below. I think it is very effective because it avoids the jargon and technical detail (although I think the simplification may be a bit misleading in parts).

Hopefully readers will find this summary useful. Click on each image to view a clearer version which is also suitable for printing.

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New Zealand’s denier-gate

What’s good for the for the goose is good for the gander. Right?

Well, we have local climate change critics charging our NIWA scientists with fraudulent manipulation of temperature data. They question the scientists’ presentation of the temperature changes over time in New Zealand. They even demand the right to scrutinise minute details of this science.

So let’s be fair and demand the same transparency from these critics. I have asked them some specific questions and the answers I got show it is the critics’ “science” which is faulty. Some might even say fraudulent. The critics’ analysis of New Zealand temperature data was unscientific. And their “research paper” criticising NIWA scientists was not even checked by a scientifically competent reviewer who would have picked up their mistakes.

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“Climategate” – the smoking gun?

Some of the more extreme climate change deniers, and others who have an anti-science agenda, continue to dredge through the domestic debris of the emails stolen by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. Their conclusions are, of course, predictable.  Meanwhile, the balanced media summary oif this fiasco is probably well represented by George Monbiot in the Guardian: “The leaked exchanges are disturbing, but it would take a conspiracy of a very different order to justify sceptics’ claims.” (see Global warming rigged? Here’s the email I’d need to see ).

I particularly liked his depiction of the email that the climate change deniers and their allies would dearly love to find. It’s a great satire and portrays some of the silliest conspiracy theories promulgated by deniers. Continue reading

Those “climategate” emails

The current “scandal” erupting around the hacking of servers at the University of East Anglias’ Climate Research Centre is rather predictable. The public release of stolen emails has been seized on by climate change deniers as evidence for their claims of manipulated data and faulty peer-review. Even more dishonestly they have been used to attack the integrity of science, and scientists, in general – quite apart form any climate change issue (see for example WarmingGate, The scientific community and self-criticism, Climate scientists caught lying and How the Global Warming Scientists Really Work at four local religious apologetics blogs). On the other hand, researchers and many newspaper commentators say the emails show nothing more than frank discussion between scientists around the world and details of their collaboration on research projects and journal articles.

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