2010-10-10 00:03:36Advanced 132: DMI shows Arctic cooling (and GISS Arctic values are suspect)
Peter Hogarth

peter.hogarth@geoacoustics...
86.152.121.48

Hello,

I thought I'd kick this one off hoping for some feedback to make the article more useful or pointed.  It started running away with itself.  Jim Hansen may revert with some comments so I'll wait for this before it goes live.  Any other thoughts on improving clarity?

There's also an intermediate and basic version.

2010-10-10 02:42:13Where?
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.40.134

1) There's no text for the Intermediate & Advanced versions; and

2) The language and intricacy of reasoning in the Basic version is way too high. In fact, as commented there, I'm failing to follow what you're saying at the beginning.

I recommend that you write the Advanced version first, so you can develop something that is clear without worrying about constraints; ; and only then work on the Basic & Intermediate. You will have a better idea of what you can afford to cut back.
2010-10-10 12:26:33comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.16.193
Peter, if you like tomorrow I can use the GHCN Processor that Joseph at Residual Analysis developed to download and combine all stations north of 66 or 80 or whatever number you prefer so that you can show a third verification, i.e. if you just randomly combine all stations above that point you still get a similar result (i'm assuming).

Either way i'll do it for my own interest, I just have it on another computer so I cannot do it now.

Also a sidenote, how does one compute per decade changes like your 0.4/decade or a 0.7/century


Cheers,
Robert Way
2010-10-11 01:26:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.44.161

OK, I found and looked over the text for the Advanced version.

From my point of view, this is still "more than I wanted to know about penguins". If the essential point is that the misleading articles are focusing on a subset of the data that are hitting the ceiling for a range that applies whenever there is ice, and ignoring the rest of the data that could be logically expected to reveal actual climate trends, then that can be said a lot more briefly and clearly. 90% of the article seems to be material primarily of interest to the people who want to know about DMI (i.e., graduate students in climatology) rather than readers who might have been intrigued by the articles by Lanser (or whatever his right name is). You will lose the rest of the audience.

My suggestion is that you focus first on deciding what essential points need to be understood, and then write something that expresses those clearly and convincingly. Then if you want to add anything else, decide what it really adds to the comprehensibility and credibility of the article, for people who are NOT graduate students in climate science (who are in a position to get their information at first hand, anyway).

 

2010-10-11 04:11:23
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Peter,

Here's an example of what happens when you just simply combine all the data north of 66 with a linear combination method as outlined in the ghcnp software.
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/ArcticTemperatures.jpg



2010-10-11 05:43:01
Peter Hogarth

peter.hogarth@geoacoustics...
81.157.15.17

Robert, thanks for that.  It is interesting, it sounds from Neal like I may already have more detail than necessary though.  This looks very like the GISS data (which is no surprise as GISS uses the GHCN land stations above 75N).

The gradient/decade is simply the annual gradient multiplied by 10, provided you have more than a decades worth of data in the first place.

Neal, you posted your first comment before I'd loaded the text (too quick for me), and sorry if you don't find the detail interesting or to the point. Your comment about losing the audience is entirely valid, but it is essential (at least to me) to understand what the DMI data is and what GISS is before comparing them, and then analysing why Arctic data sets seem to give different results when taken at face value, or why DMI summer values might vary with time. 

The original point of the post was to answer the "Arctic is cooling" claim, but it was so tied up with the ongoing GISS criticism theme on WUWT and in Lansners article I tried to wrap it all into one bundle in the two higher level posts.  I considered dividing them up, and still could.  Of course what I write reflects what I find convincing and interesting and also what I have learned or read over the past twenty odd years... but it is a draft version and this is my first attempt to get feedback from other authors on this site (apart from John) rather than from other scientists. I'm on a learning curve here too.

I terms of the tiered posts, what are we aiming at?  I admit to not being sure. I make a point of passing interested parties to the most recent peer reviewed work where possible, in volume (or rather with independent lines of evidence) if possible. Some nuts need sledgehammers. At the end of the day this has been relatively successful in dealing with some of the more scientifically oriented points I have tried to counter on various posts here.  However a lot of this material is difficult for non-scientists to absorb, and my take on what a site like this tries to do is to put this often esoteric information across in a reasonably clear way.  I think this is where the intermediate post should be aimed.  What is clear to me may not necessarily be to others however. 

In my view the advanced section should be a reference point for some of the very latest data sets and peer reviewed work relating to the topic in hand, and could try to anticipate some of the responses that a science educated skeptic might produce. However it is always possible to counter comments at any required level of detail as they arise.

2010-10-11 06:12:21comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.16.193
Peter, I agree with you. This is an advanced posting and should be available for a reference. In terms of intermediate and basic, obviously those are more aimed at general audiences but the advanced rebuttals should be there to show all there is to show.

Thank you for helping me with my gradient stuff.
2010-10-11 06:26:07
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.44.161

Peter,  the question of level is always a difficult one; especially because if you're trying to explain something you're interested in, you're likely to miss the possibility that someone else may not be as interested in it.

In the case of the Basic-level explanations, I think we are generally in agreement that we're trying to reach people with limited (or no) experience in science, and limited amount of time. The appropriate reading level should be about 8th-grade: about newspaper level (and I'm not talking about The Economist).

The Intermediate-level explanation can take up more time, and make more demands on reasoning complexity - but still probably no mathematics.

In principle, the Advanced-level is open-ended; but still, let's consider the target audience. This can certainly be expected to include scientifically trained skeptics, but not professionals in climatology: Such people may be useful to validate the article, but to write for them is to waste everyone's time, because they can read the peer-reviewed literature on their own. Even at the Advanced level, we are trying to select topics and ideas that are relevant to the issue of climate change, and that may have been used to mislead people already. I don't think it's reasonable to try to provide a complete education in climatology.

2010-10-11 17:27:59Advanced rebuttals
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
When we started the 3 levels, someone expressed a concern that we were dumbing down Skeptical Science. On the contrary, by having basic explanations, it frees us up to write advanced rebuttals with great detail with impunity. So I think Peter's advanced rebuttals are worthwhile doing, provided there is an easier version available also. It makes for a great resource and I don't think it's such a hard level that non-climate scientists can't understand it. It's hard work, sure, but that's advanced for you. Peter is ideally suited to advanced level rebuttals.
2010-10-11 18:20:53
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
192.84.150.209

I  find the advanced version really excellent. As for the basic version, I'm not sure it can be easily simplified. If you drop that bit of explanation, people may think that it makes sense anyway to use just summer data. It's not that seasonal trends make no sense in general; it is in this particular case that it doesn't and you need to explain why (at a basic level).

I think they're ready, if/when Peter is happy with them.

2010-10-11 18:55:14
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.105.82

As it is now, the TECHNICAL level of the Basic is about right, in fact you could add the graph (Figure 2 from the Advanced) I mentioned earlier. However, I believe the WRITING level could be streamlined to 8th-grade.

I'm afraid I don't feel the same about the Advanced: There is just too much information, and it doesn't seem well focused on what is being rebutted. It strikes me as line-feed after line-feed of data. It seems to me that if I were pointed to this article by curiosity about the skeptic argument, I would lose interest pretty quickly and go on to something else. 

Sorry to be so critical, but I think you're "stepping on your own line": stealing your own thunder.

2010-10-16 08:04:37
Peter Hogarth

peter.hogarth@geoacoustics...
86.169.134.254

I see we have some alternative views, I have altered the basic version a great deal, (thanks Neal) and now think it much improved.  The intermediate version is now corrected for some minor typos I spotted, and the opening is changed thanks to Doug, and the advanced is changed so the opening line is a title, more typos have been corrected, links have been corrected and verified, and some text changed for clarity.  The advanced version is a little experimental as it tries to include the data resource links in the "narrative" rather than append them.  This is what I might like in a basic data resource as well as an extended explanation.  I admit this is a personal preference, and accept Neals points.  If we modify these in the light of experience we could move all the links into "notes".  If some are not interested in the text or details on the sensor calibration etc (which we get a lot of comments on, and I'm afraid there is some legitimate mileage here, but this is honest stuff) they can at least follow the charts, which really sum up the arguments in my view.  I also admit to the bias of overfamiliarity.  I'm losing ability to see wood for trees after staring at them so much.

I'm not sure the spacing between charts and captions works consistently, but I'm basically good to go as I'll ever be.  Any last comments?

2010-10-17 02:28:59couple comments
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.148.215

There's no text in the 'what the science says' box.

I would define SkS - don't want to confuse any new or infrequent readers. 

'For example' is 'e.g.' not 'eg'.  There's a couple of those.  Sorry, I'm anal about stuff like that because I think it can be a bit distracting and detract from the article.  And as long as I'm being anal, "satellite-based" in place of "satellite based'.

Your reference to Rigor 2000 should be in parentheses.

Holy cow that's a detailed article though.  Which is good for Advanced.  Most of the same comments apply to the Intermediate version.  The Basic looks good.

2010-10-17 07:21:00punctuation
Peter Hogarth

peter.hogarth@geoacoustics...
86.171.33.159

Thanks Dana. I've added the parentheses for Rigor 2000, I'm not sure how to get into the "what the science says" box (sorry to be dumb! I'm not an experienced blogmeister) and for eg etc we've been using a variation of open punctuation in my organisation for about 20 years with no mishaps or confusion, so this is just habit now. It is commonplace in many electronic documents and I now have to admit I prefer it, though I'm also normally a stickler for detail.  I'm happy for this to be changed if this is the convention here.  I'm not sure on the hyphens but the current movement (UK as well as US) is away from them on many compound words, again especially in electronic documents.  This is to the extent that the OED has not only removed the hyphen, but the space as well on words such as leapfrog.  This stuff has changed a lot in my professional career, I have been known to use a mix...  in this case I've added it in as you have suggested!  I blame climate change.

The hyphen is unlikely to disappear altogether though :-)

2010-10-17 09:22:44what the science says
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.148.215
When you go in to edit the rebuttal, at the top of the page there should be a 'summary' box.  That's the "what the science says" box.
2010-10-17 11:51:49hyphenation
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.112.216
The general rule is that if the group of words form a functional adjective, they should be linked by hyphenation.
2010-10-18 08:36:59
Peter Hogarth

peter.hogarth@geoacoustics...
81.135.138.223
Strange trivia, looking up satellite-based radar recently, the hyphen is still universal.  Look up ground based radar, and we see the insidious encroachment of minimal punctuation.  I even found a few "groundbased" in peer reviewed works!
2010-10-18 11:15:34
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.117.45

Here is one reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphen#Compound_modifiers