2010-10-22 04:44:39Final draft of GISP2 article
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

 

I'm removing this material for the same of brevity on the thread.  Working on a complete re-write.

I can repost this version of it if someone requests it.

 

Thanks for everyone's help reviewing! 

2010-10-22 06:25:04
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223
Made some minor edits...
2010-10-22 06:43:28Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Figure 1 seems to show the graph ending in 1905 whereas figure 5 ends in 1855... the reason I ask is cause we know the actual temperature change from 1850-1905 from hadley for the Northern Hemisphere... im sure you could do some sort of ratio between the data from 1855-1905 (how much it changes) then compare it to the actual NH temp data and then rescale the data from 1905 to present... anyways, that sounds like a lot of work. It looks good I think!~

Figure 4 is mislabeled I think?
2010-10-22 06:43:43
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.185

So: What does Fig. 5 look like when you go all the way to 2009?

That's the $64,000 question.

Depending on what that looks like, I will have further recommendations on tone & pace. 

But I would not rush this into publication yet.

2010-10-22 07:16:52
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Robert...  Good catch on Fig 4.  Thanks.

Neal...  I'm considering trying to approach the gap from 1855 to 2009 in another article.  It's a whole other kettle of fish to pull that off. What I want to get out of this piece is just that GISP2 is being used in a totally inappropriate manner.  It's not a global record.  It's not even a hemispheric record.  If I get what Richard Alley was saying it's just a record of central Greenland.  But even there I would need address the whole idea of how O16 and O18 ratios are measured and what they are a measurement of.  That might be a tad beyond my own skill set. 

2010-10-22 08:09:11
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
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Rob,

If you're going to do that build-up and then leave it hanging, then I think this article is very ill-advised: The vast majority of people will simply conclude that there is some minor technicality that you're pointing out, but that the argument is basically right: "Recent heating doesn't look like much, in the context of the last 10,000 years - barely noticeable." 

That's what they're going to conclude. Is that the message you want to send?

If not, you need to re-shape this article drastically.  If you're main point is that it's one location on Earth, then get to that point right away, and hammer it home.

Cut out ALL the build-up and save it for another article, when you are ready to cap it with a last-minute surprise. 

Otherwise, the joke will be on you - and on SkS.

2010-10-22 08:20:08
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.80

Also, "it" does not take an apostrophe of possession.

So "its glory", not "it's glory" etc.

 

 

 

Minor anal stuff, but looks more professional.

2010-10-22 08:22:07
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.88.4
But even there I would need address the whole idea of how O16 and O18 ratios are measured and what they are a measurement of

Rob, the oxygen isotope ratios are a reflection of the relative temperature of the oceans. At its most basic, warmer climates lead to higher O18 deposited in the ice cores and cooler climates favor O16. A easy to read, non gobbledegook, treatment of the subject is here:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Paleoclimatology_OxygenBalance/

That might be a tad beyond my own skill set.

Rubbish. I have no scientific background, but then we're not trying to be wannabe climatologists are we?. We're trying to make the science more accessible and comprehensible to the general public, so that maybe, just maybe, humanity gets the message - troubles a brewin' and we better get our act together!. (sorry for the rant - I feel better for though).

2010-10-22 08:32:59
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...  I'm not sure I completely agree with you here, but I definitely get the gist of what you're saying.

I think that stylistically it hangs together for anyone who reads.  It will probably get lost on someone who just looks at pictures. I mean, literally, you'd have to completely miss the tone of humor in the writing.  You'd have to not look past Fig 4.  Is that the audience that comes here?  I don't think so.

I believe the tone and humor of the writing actually draw people into the story line.  It feels like a pretty strong piece to me, but then I'm in the middle of it and might not be seeing it well.

I'd really like to get other opinions before abandoning this to another complete rewrite. 

2010-10-22 08:41:09
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.185

Rob,

The problem is that the humor quits just when you establish the 10,000-year perspective. That's when people will drop off. People have a very limited degree of patience and attention span: The more internet-connected they are, the less they have. As soon as they think they've gotten the point, they'll shove off.

And the last thing they'll hsve read was: "The sockey stick is fully unraveled.  This is proof positive that there really is a huge cabal of scientists all conspiring with the UN to create a new world order and take away the livelihoods of honest, hardworking fossil fuel industry CEO's.  Ken Cuccinelli is the hound dog who's caught the scent and is on the trail of the perpetrators.  It's as clear as the sock on my foot.  It's those gal-dang socialists!  "Switch the channel and salute the flag, ma!  Glenn Beck is coming on Fox!"  Oooo, say can you see through the dawns...."

Own goal.

Just like "10:10", but without the bloody mist.

2010-10-22 08:44:03
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Robert Way...  I forgot to mention, and maybe I should mention this in the article, these charts are one of the presentations I found on the web.  This one I believe.  This ended up getting reposted on WUWT and then ended up on about a dozen or more youtube videos.

Their numbers seem to be erroneously referenced to 2000. 

2010-10-22 08:47:57
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...

Really?  You don't read any humor in that?  It reads to me like the height of sarcastic humor.   

2010-10-22 09:07:43comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.23.57
You should probably point out why it was warmer in the past 10,000 years (i.e. insolation, milankovich orbital cycles)
Mention what a hypsithermal is too maybe
2010-10-22 09:09:01
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.185

Rob,

Have you noticed that most conservatives that happen to see the Colbert Report think that he's a conservative? They tend to be a bit shy of the sarcasm-sensing gene.

People are not reading articles on the internet with rapt attention. They're also looking at TV, listening to the radio, listening to music - or all together. Don't flatter yourself, you're not getting 100% of anyone's attention. 

You print it like that, WUWT will throw a party. They'll excerpt the article: about 80% of it anyway...

You might get a free bottle of champagne out of it.

2010-10-22 09:17:46
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...

I hope you understand that I'm not trying to dismiss anything you're saying.  I believe I understand your concern.  But I also believe there is a stylistic way to approach this that bridges the gap between the first half and the second half of the piece.

There are three distinct voices in the piece.  1) The opening voice that progressively sees the sockey stick falling apart. 2) The converted denier voice calling for ma to turn on Glenn Beck.  3) Then the rational voice looking to make more logical sense of the picture.

Maybe there is a way to have the 3rd voice guide the reader through the progression of first two.  Like that rational you that is always whispering in your ear.  I'm thinking of this old comic called Deathloc (the original cyborg) that was always talking back to the computer voice inside his head.

The one thing I really want to avoid is writing a dull paper on why GISP2 is a poor representation of global temps.  I'd rather just bag the whole thing than do that.  Other people can do that far better than me.  What I do well is create a more fun, readable experience. I want to grab the reader and maybe shed a little light on a complex topic of science.

2010-10-22 09:22:06
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...

Ah!  I have an idea.  Let's see if this works....  give me a few moments. 

2010-10-22 09:33:43
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.88.4
Hmmm.........I think the whole thing misses the mark. It's difficult to read past the heavy handed sarcasm too. Emotively loaded content in articles is the sort of thing one expects at denier blogs isn't it?. Not saying it should be deathly dull, but you seem to have gone to the other extreme.                                                   
2010-10-22 09:34:03
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...

Okay, here's an attempt to bridge that gap between the voices.  I could maybe even create a small "WHOA!" graphic to go in the middle there to break the spell of the first half.

It would be great to throw in a bunch more red flag statements in there. 

2010-10-22 09:52:00
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Dappled...

Yeah, but that is part of the point here.  It IS overboard.  But like I say near the end, on one hand it's a sarcastic caricature but the really scary part is that... it's... really... not.  I'm quite honest in saying this, almost exactly this, is what I run into on the internet almost continually.  

I believe what I'm trying to do in this article is get deeper into how the GISP2 data is being used.  Not just that it is being used incorrectly but that it's almost being brandished like a weapon.  So, I'm saying this is the tragedy taking place and bring it back down to a rational SkS worthy plane.  

2010-10-22 10:17:07
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223
Let's try to see how it reads without that one paragraph...
2010-10-22 10:22:21
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.185

Rob,

- Some of the red flags don't say a great deal to me: You might be making too many assumptions about what people could be thinking

- Like one's tongue continually searching a gap in the teeth, I keep wondering, "Why isn't he showing what happens after 1855? What's he hiding?"

- The material after Figure 5 is still too long and too slow to read. Tone shift: It's like riding a bicycle from concrete to sand, and you just hit the sand a couple of paragraphs after Figure 5.

- Too much quoting of Alley. I understand you'd like to incorporate his direct response to you for this article; but why the extensive quotation from Revkin's article? You'd be better off just summarizing the message.

 

So the red flags should at least make it harder for WUWT to skewer you by a block quote; but some of them need some work as well.

Until you come clean on the temperatures in the post-1855 time frame, it's going to overhang whatever point you're trying to make. Like the elephant in the dining room.

"Science doesn't do simple, science does accurate." Rob, that's true, but we're not DOING science here: We're trying to convince a reader, who we hope is open-minded, of the IMPLICATIIONS of science. We have to keep it honest - but if we drown the reader in facts & qualifications in order to make sure that every tree is seen, guess how much of the forest s/he will grok?

We ARE marketing something: the scientific truth. The first gateway we have to get the reader to enter: Understanding the point. If the conclusion of the article is, "Well, I know it SOUNDS like this global-warming stuff is just swamped by the 10,000-year record - but it's all just complicated, so don't think that." then this is a non-starter, that dog won't hunt.You're making the reader an offer that he can't understand, and he won't buy it, won't even go in the door.

John Wheeler (a great physicist) had a "moral principle": "Never do a calculation until you know what the answer is." In other words, don't just go off into calculation: Know how you expect it to turn out, on the basis of your physical thinking. If this is true for doing calculations, think of how much truer it is about writing articles for the public. You can't shoehorn the main conclusions into a pre-conceived framework. You need to find out how the story works out before you frame the article, that has to inform the framing of the article. They have to fit together.

2010-10-22 10:37:41Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Personally,
I think the article is missing some things in order to be effective.

1) Until you've got a way figured out to plot the temperatures for the GISP2 core with the instrumental then you will have trouble with your audience not seeing the humor in this.

2) You need to explain the "why" in the record because we can't just say, oh yeah its chaotic and stuff happens. You have to point out why times were warmer than present when insolation values were highest and so on.


2010-10-22 10:42:15
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...  The red flags were just a first shot.  Just an example of how to bridge the gap.

I agree.  The cut from the Revkin article could be cut to a line or two at most.

But I'm struggling with the post 1855 thing.  My first inclination when I wanted to address this a month or so ago was to try to put the "real" blade on the hockey stick.  But what I'm beginning to understand (I think I understand) is that it's a little more problematic than just taping another temperature graph onto the GISP2 data.  

The more important point is that GISP2 is a single location with lots of noise and often irrelevant data.  Like Alley said, some of the movements are things like snow drifts.  It may not make much sense to paste even a NH record on the end of it.  A NH record is still going to be heavily influenced with tropical temps and going to be much less than you might expect from the local GISP2 site itself. 

It seems to me to be the more honest approach to say that GISP2 is a single location and can't be compared to global temps in any way.  It would be rather like a dendro guy asking us to take the record of one tree as representative of global temps. 

2010-10-22 11:13:54
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Okay guys....

I'm going to make the good ol' college try at this post 1855 thing.  I'm not going to bother Richard Alley any more.  I have a couple of other folks that I'm peppering a few questions with.

Oh, also, if you didn't catch this from the other thread, John Kehr has changed his header graphic now to a different ice core.  Funny. 

2010-10-22 11:18:22
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.185

Rob,

If the answer is, "The GISP2 is just one location on Earth, and you can't extrapolate to the entire globe from that location," then that's the story. Then all the stuff about the missing period 1855 - 2009 is completely beside the point and should be left out: Save the material for an article where you can build up to something. Right now, you have created a joke that has no punchline:  So it creates an expectation that it doesn't fulfill; and anyway, the joke is completely irrelevant to the point that you eventually have to make: 1 location is NOT the globe.

Save the comedic material for another article. Focus on the message that the science supports, prune away the distracting material. If you want to do something creative, fine; but build it around the message, don't distort the message to fit the joke. It's not going to work.

2010-10-22 11:32:13Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Rob,
If you ask a paleoclimatologist about using an ice core from one spot he'd tell you its a much better proxy than a tree... I think you have to consider that ice cores like the Vostok one and such are actually pretty darn good for a lot of things, including measuring ice cover which in turn tells us about things like hemispheric temperature...
2010-10-22 21:54:13
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.127.187

Rob,

I came across a statement by John Cook on another thread, that i believe to be very apropos to the current situation:

"To be honest, I'm a little annoyed with myself that I made the tiny error of omitting the "land" in my caption. It enabled Goddard to go on a big rant completely missing the point of my post, which was about proxy data and climate sensitivity. Instrumental data was irrelevant to the point I was making. The lesson here is to be aware that climate skepticism is at it's heart cognitive dissonance. When you write a blog post, skeptics will seize on any tiny detail to distract themselves from the main point you're making. I've seen it happen time and time again with my own blog posts. So when you write your material, and proofread others' content, try to anticipate what will distract skeptics from your take-home point. Endeavour to remove as many stumbling blocks as possible.

that's why this forum is such a blessing. Having a bunch of friendly eyes who can scrutinise our articles is a wonderful resource."

2010-10-22 22:05:30Anticipating cognitive dissonance
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
Actually, I was also thinking of Rob's post when I wrote that bit about cognitive dissonance. I think the issue of adding the instrumental temps will be a great source of distraction in your post and will dull the major point, that GISP2 does not = the globe. So I'd either address it by saying you'll address it in a later post, or make the end date less of a big deal, or word it someway to defuse that talking point.
2010-10-23 03:15:21
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Thanks guys....  I'm going to drop this entire version and do a rewrite.  (Tough editors here.  Whew!)

I'm going to continue to try to explore the potential of appending modern temps onto the GISP2 data but I don't think it's going to create a result that is going to be moving in any way.  (Though, I might be wrong.)  I think you'd have to see a full 3C rise in temps since 1855 in order to have any impact relative to the entire holocene as measured by GISP2.

I believe this is a really important topic because of how many places this shows up in the blogosphere.  I would really like to do a good job on this and create a piece that both stylistically and in content will get real traction. 

2010-10-23 03:36:42
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.127.187

Rob,

I'll be hoping you can turn it into a knock-out story - somehow.

2010-10-23 05:13:53For what it's worth....
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.190.233

....if the thurst of the post is going to be that GISP2 is data from just one place on earth, couldn't a map of the world with "dots" for all the other data-points help? With the way the post currently focuses on showing more and more of the GISP2 data - going back in time as more is revealed - that thrust is not readily apparent. Could perhaps a map of the world be created with "thumbnails" for the various temperature-reconstructions and reveal more and more of those?

I don't really know how feasible such an approach would be and if it could serve the purpose better, it's just an idea about how to perhaps visualize something like this.

Cheers
Baerbel

2010-10-23 05:52:33
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Thanks Baerbel...  That's a really good idea.

I also just read Alley 2004 Ice-Core Evidence of Abrupt Climate changes where he clearly states why ice cores are local temperature records.  

I'm also reading up on the "insolation" (related to axial tilt) during the holocene.  I think that explains a lot of why NH ice cores show such higher temps.  

 There's a lot to piece together. 

2010-10-27 05:02:41Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Here's an idea, why don't you tag on the temperature they measured at the GISP site itself in 1990 when they were drilling it

I don't know the exact details of when they cored and everything so excuse me if i'm off in this graph but let me know what you think?


2010-10-27 07:41:32
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Robert....  That is amazing and simple.  I'm working on pulling together a bunch of other data and general information on ice cores.

My own work just got very busy this week so I'm trying to squeeze this research in on the side right now.  

 

Thanks Robert! 

2010-10-27 09:59:27In case you're wondering
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Good luck with that. In case you're wondering...

The temperature is from december 1st 1989 to November 30th 1990

unfortunately 1990s december was incomplete so I just used the average from 12/01/1989 to 11/30/1990

The value was -29.3°C

So you can just plot it in if you ever feel like using it.
2010-10-27 10:33:19To think we have 20 years of warming since that 1990 value
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
Wonder where GISP temp is in 2010?
2010-10-27 11:10:48Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
I don't know if they kept their station open until now, it doesn't appear they did.
2010-10-28 07:18:11
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

It might be a stretch to even add in the notion of what is anticipated to happen over the coming 100 years.  If you top that with another 3C to 5C of temperature rise... it becomes a very scary picture.  But that might be a little too much like An Inconvenient Truth and become a major target for the denier crowd.

So far it's feeling like the two points should be

1) "Hey look, here is what the temps are at the GISP2 site now." Backed up with Alley's statements of GISP2 being a record of local temperature.

2) GISP2 is only one line of evidence that should be taken in context with the 37 other ice core projects around the planet as well as the many other forms of proxy data in order to form a complete picture of the holocene temperatures.

Just looking for that moment of inspiration in terms of a metaphor that will make the piece hold together.  (One that is less "in your face" that the piece above. ;-)