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Earth Science

Michael Mann Vindicated (Again) Over Climategate 961

Posted by Soulskill
from the arguments-that-cannot-be-won dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University, was one of the central figures involved in the 'Climategate' controversy, which saw many private email conversations between researchers posted publicly. Now, an investigation (PDF) by the National Science Foundation has found "no basis to conclude that the emails were evidence of research misconduct or that they pointed to such evidence." Phil Plait points out that other investigations have found similarly that claims of Mann's misconduct took his statements out of context. 'A big claim by the deniers is that researchers were using "tricks" to falsify conclusions about global warming, but the NSF report is pretty clear that's not true. The most damning thing the investigators could muster was that there was "some concern" over the statistical methods used, but that's not scandalous at all; there's always some argument in science over methodology. The vague language of the report there indicates to me this isn't a big deal, or else they would've been specific. The big point is that the data were not faked.'"
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Michael Mann Vindicated (Again) Over Climategate

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  • AGW (Score:3, Informative)

    by polar red (215081) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:54AM (#37208220)

    1:CO2 induces the greenhouse effect, TEST THIS YOURSELF.

        -->here is the wikipedia article on the greenhouse effect:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect [wikipedia.org]

        -->and here are the youtube links showing HOW to do an experiment showing CO2 induces the greenhouse effect

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge0jhYDcazY [youtube.com]

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo [youtube.com]

    2:Humans emit a LOT of CO2 (oil or coal + O2 + ... = energy + CO2 + soot + ...

    1+2 = default position is AGW, you need to provide proof of NOT-AGW

  • Re:The data is were! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:00PM (#37208292)

    "Data" is a plural word. "Datum" is the singular form.

  • Re:The data is were! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:00PM (#37208296) Homepage Journal
    Really. When you take one datum and put it together with another datum, you get data. Plural. You get this little detail of Latin grammar drilled into your forehead in first-year biology, and if you screw it up, it is graded more harshly than any other grammatical error.
  • Re:AGW (Score:3, Informative)

    by kenboldt (1071456) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:00PM (#37208300) Homepage

    You've got science backwards. AGW is the hypothesis, natural variation is the null hypothesis.

  • The Brick Wall (Score:1, Informative)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:01PM (#37208314)
    More facts won't sway those who willfully ignore facts. T-bags like Rick Perry and his followers will never be swayed by evidence, only Faux news propaganda.
  • Oblig XKCD (Score:2, Informative)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:06PM (#37208400) Homepage Journal

    http://xkcd.com/808/ [xkcd.com]

    Are insurance companies selling flood insurance on coastal homes? If they are, are they making a killing on them? ^_^

  • Re:AGW (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdgeorge (18767) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:14PM (#37208568)

    CO2 released by human activity far outpaces volcanic CO2 release. [usgs.gov] Looking for a citation for a claim helps people avoid saying things that are easily proven to be incorrect.

    From the USGS article:
    "....not only does volcanic CO2 not dwarf that of human activity, it actually comprises less than 1 percent of that value. "

  • Re:AGW (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:14PM (#37208570) Homepage Journal

    "Volcanoes emit more CO2 in one explosion than all of humanity in one year."
    in the off chance you weren't kidding:
    Volcanoes 65 to 319 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
    Human 69 Billion tonnes per year.

    Fossil fuels emissions numbers are about 100 times larger than maximum volcanic CO2 fluxes.

  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Layzej (1976930) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:18PM (#37208672)

    After the most recent exoneration, Fox was holding out on this NSF report as the last word on the issue: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/06/climate-gate-michael-mann/ [foxnews.com] They felt that the NSF was the "only independent government organization with the skill and tools to investigate effectively"

    Their findings are not surprising. Mann's research has been replicated using different methods time and time again. Here are just a few examples:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n6/full/ngeo865.html

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5945/1236.abstract

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009JD012603.pdf

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL044771.shtml

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/9059018f4606597f20dc4965fa9c9104.html

  • Re:AGW (Score:4, Informative)

    by Swarley (1795754) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:20PM (#37208710)

    1. Considering CO2's IR absorbance is extremely easy to test and the information is vital to the accuracy of medical equipment used all over the world, I'm guessing that you read this somewhere and never fact checked it. Provide some primary sources.

    2. Humans produce 100 times as much CO2 per year as volcanic eruptions do. Volcanic eruptions have been shown over and over to usually result in net cooling of the climate from sulfer dioxide emissions.
    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php [usgs.gov]

    It's ironic because I consider ignorance to include reading shit off a blog and not looking for primary sources or fact checking, which coincidentally seems to be exactly what you did.

  • Re:A little late (Score:3, Informative)

    by Raenex (947668) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @01:15PM (#37209740)

    You have Phil Jones to blame. The graph he produced when talking about the "trick" was, in fact, deceitful, even if Mann's original graph wasn't. Phil Jones was also the one recorded in email saying that he'd rather delete data than release it, and also the one to ask other researchers to erase email.

    I don't think there's a vast conspiracy among climate scientists, but the science was definitely politicized and oversold.

  • Most deniers do now admit that the earth is warming. Just not that human activity is causing it, and therefore, there's no need to do anything about it ;)

    See, it's, uh, the sun! Or volcanoes! Or space radiation interacting with the upper atmosphere! Not the greenhouse effect though, that's highly questionable.

    (actually I don't know what excuse they're on these days, all of those have been disproven. They may have fallen back to their weapon of last resort, The Global Socialist Conspiracy theory)

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @01:42PM (#37210158) Journal

    LOL, did anyone actually READ the report?

    Quote:
    "As part of our investigation, we attempted to determine i f data fabrication or falsification may have occurred and interviewed the subject, critics, and disciplinary experts in coming to our conclusions. As a result of our interviews we concluded:
    1. The subject did not directly receive NSF research funding as a Principal Investigator until late 2001 or 2002.
    2. The Subject's data is documented and available to researchers.
    3. There are several concerns raised about the quality of the statistical analysis techniques that were used in the Subject's research.
    4. There is no specific evidence that the Subject falsified or fabricated any data and no evidence that his actions amounted to research misconduct.
    5. There was concern about how extensively the Subject's research had influenced the debate in the overall research field.

    Analysis and Conclusion
    To recommend a finding of research misconduct, the preponderance of the evidence must show that with culpable intent the Subject committed an act that meets the definition of research misconduct (in this case, data fabrication or data falsification).
    The research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the Subject's data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the Subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results. Much of the current debate focuses on the viability of the statistical procedures he eniployed, the statistics used to confirm the accuracy of the results, and the degree to which one specific set of data impacts the statistical results. These concerns are all appropriate for scientific debate and to assist the research community in directing future research efforts to improve understanding in this field of research. Such scientific debate is ongoing but does not, in itself, constitute evidence of research misconduct.
    Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct, as defined under the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation, we are closing this investigation with no further action"

    BASICALLY, they're saying that vague claims of misconduct are vague. Lacking specific allegations and further lacking a mandate (according to their rules) over his research, they simply closed the investigation.

    That's a far f*cking cry from exoneration.

    Is #2 even true? My understanding is that the raw data is missing.

  • Re:AGW (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:00PM (#37212172)

    But I think AGW itself is falsifiable. It's just not immediately falsifiable. If it's going to be falsified that might take another 20 or 30 years (not that I think it will be).

    Then in 20 or 30 years AGW might be science. If we start now. You can't just short circuit the normal methods of science because the DOOM! factor is so huge. Doesn't work that way, just the opposite in fact. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    > Pray-tell, what specifically tells you Mann's original "hockey stick graph" is wrong just by looking at it?

    Uh? He removed the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period to get a flat line leading up to the 'hockey stick' part of the graph. When caught out on it he admitted it but them weaseled an explanation for why. There is no why as far as I'm concerned, he altered reality to make a more compelling infographic for the mass media. Anyone working at a level high enough to have been involved with the IPCC should have caught that before they published it, because any fool with even an outsiders interest in science in general knows about those two historical climate events. Which is what leads me to suspect the whole lot of em as either fools or knaves.

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