Essential work at not appreciated by some

On May 22 I posted “Australian hockey stick – whatever happened to the Great Barrier Reef coral time series ?”. On June 8 following some earlier analysis at CA Steve McIntyre posted – Gergis et al “Put on Hold”.

This got me thinking again about why there were no GBR coral proxies in Gergis et al – so on June 13 I put in a FOI request to University of Melbourne (UniMelb) and on 18 June an FOI request was sent to the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) for emails to and from Gergis et al authors and the AIMS coral expert Dr J M Lough – going back to 1 Jan 2010.

Late last week AIMS sent me these two pdf’s with emails & replies between Dr J Gergis (pdf ~1MB 60 pages)
and Dr R Neukom (pdf ~0.5MB 22 pages) – and Dr Lough. Nothing as yet from UniMelb.

This was the stand-out quote for me – here I was thinking for years that Steve McIntyre deserved a Nobel Prize for his years of hard work improving climate science – I needed a cup of tea after reading the quote below.

As with these FOI productions – there is a fair bit of duplication.

I have listed the main points that stood out for me but I am hoping other people will find others worthy of adding in comments.

First the Gergis emails oldest first –

  • p 45 – Fascinating ref 3 Sep 2010 out of left field to this ppt by the staffer at Qld Govt water Dept DERM. Maybe some keen soul can see if the PowerPoint presentation can be found by FOI.
  • p 41 – ref 27 Oct 2010 to funding by Fed Govt Dept.
  • p 36 – ref to Hunter region 19C weather data.
  • p 31 – another ref 3 May 2011 to possible Fed Govt funding.
  • p 3 – ref at end of 13 June 2012 mail to UniMelb Public Relations Dept.

Second the Neukom emails –

  • p 19 – mid July 2010 – numbered comments by Dr J M Lough –

In points 1 & 5 there are refs to certain coral proxies not revealing a “temperature signal” or “climate signal”. I wonder if this means the signal is “not what we expect”.
In point 5 – does anybody have more info on the Frank et al “noodle” paper?

Over to readers.

17 thoughts on “Essential work at not appreciated by some”

  1. My advice to Gergis et al? It matters not what McIntyre’s motives are; if you don’t want your work discredited, don’t do discreditable work.

    Their attitude speaks volumes about the kind of “scientists” they are; perhaps now they might wake up and actually learn the Scientific Method.

  2. Joelle’s enthusiasm for activism has never been in doubt

    Having the recent paper punctured at CA must be a little irritating, since this momentarily puts activism on hold

  3. Well the Gergis’ mails show that she was well aware of Climate Audit, and that they magically found the detrending error on the same day Jean S did.

    Also the resubmitted paper will show both detrended and non detrended results in the SI.

  4. The email sent from Gergis on June 13th to a long list of data contributors is quite shocking. It claims that ‘our team discovered an error’. Also ‘When we went to recheck this on Tuesday 5 June, we discovered that the records used in the final analysis were not detrended’. Of course June 5 was the day that Jean S found the error and announced it at CA.

    To paraphrase a climategate email from Maraun, Gergis’s reponse to the errors found in her work is not especially honest.

  5. I don’t really like reading through other people’s e-mails. So, I haven’t read the pdfs you posted properly. But, the Frank et al “noodle” paper is most likely Frank et al., 2010 – “A noodle, hockey stick, and spaghetti plate: a perspective on high‐resolution paleoclimatology”.

    It’s paywall, but Eduardo Zorita has a copy on his website:

    It’s one of the more reasonable paleoclimate papers.

  6. This from twitter:

    @ScotClimate: Scottish Government found to have lied on key figure. Is the Scottish Climate Bill dead?. Will the minister resign?

    The Scottish government lied to politicians about key financial data which was central to the argument for the bill when they passed the Scottish Climate Change Bill. The government citing Stern said that the economic cost of a 2-3°C rise would be “between 5-20% of GDP”. In fact Stern suggests there may not be any net economic harm quoting figures of 0-3%

    The figures are so key to justifying the bill, that it really is difficult to see how this bill could withstand a legal challenge.

    … but the scandal gets worse. The Scottish paper (The Courier) which broke this story seems to have been lent on to remove the story. Presumably by someone in government.

    This is about as bad as we can get. It appears the world’s most enthusiastic government for climate change is now embroiled in lies & cover-up.

  7. Thanks Blog Lurker, have not always agreed with posts at klimazwiebel (too lukewarmer and acceptance of misinformation about science/technology they do not understand) but this is useful.
    My comment at 3. refers to the Hunter data in the Gergis’ emails. The data is actually from the New England NSW area -note very large files.

  8. Cementafriend,
    I think a serious problem with many scientists is that they have too much faith in the peer review system. Peer review can often improve the quality of an article, but it’s not a panacea. Just because an article passed peer review doesn’t mean it’s reliable, or its conclusions robust!

    I think von Storch and Zorita (of klimazwiebel) are genuine scientists with an open-mind. Climate science would be in a far better state if there were more like them. But, sometimes they act like they need to find some way to accomodate ALL the claims of contradictory “peer reviewed” papers. It’s like they have to find some way of saying that BOTH Mann et al.’s 1998/99 hockeystick and McIntyre’s (peer reviewed) criticisms of it are correct, since they were all peer reviewed!

    The Belfield-Hunter records you point to would indeed make for a useful project. Are you familiar with the “Old Weather” project in the UK: Some groups are trying to do as you suggest for old ship weather logs. I think they should be doing the same for weather stations on land, i.e., records like Belfield’s. There just aren’t enough long, complete rural station records for the type of global temperature analysis that Jones, Hansen, et al. have carried out.

    But, I don’t think simply digitizing measurements is enough. A major problem with weather records is that changes in microclimate and/or instrumentation can have as big an effect as genuine climate change, but they are hard to separate. More effort into identifying the non-climatic changes is necessary, e.g., Anthony Watts’ surfacestations project or Warwick’s debate with David Parker over the history of Stevenson Screens in Australia. In other words, we need to find more station histories and documentation as well as the raw temperature/precipitation readings…

  9. Question: From the emails, it should be possible to track the time they went out
    and correlate with time of the Postings on the web, corrected for timezone differences
    of course.

    That is a question for which it is desirable to know the answer.

  10. Re-submission of Gergis et al. (2012) has been pushed back, possibly toward end of Sept. They may be wrestling with more serious statistical problems than the Gergis letter acknowledged, else why would they miss the IPCC’s end-of-July deadline which was a trumpeted goal of the paper? (inclusion in the IPCC’s AR5 has been stated as a key goal for the project repeatedly by Gergis)

    Meanwhile, some interesting discussions at Climate Audit, and there is an email exchange between Phil Jones and Raphael Neukom re a previous SH reconstruction which seems to refer to a rather dodgy approach to assembling paleo proxies:

    Climategate emails in which Phil Jones and Raphael Neukom discuss possibly dodgy statistical methods for another SH reconstruction

  11. Thanks very much Skiphil for that Phil/Ralphi email exchange.
    I was tickled that Phil wrapped it up by quoting his 1986 work – marvelous. I really enjoy the way Climategate just gives and gives. Phil knows the GHCN is a not-to-be-trusted error ridden shambles.
    Phil tells Ralphi what to read

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