2011-03-02 10:55:06Responding to J Storrs Hall response on WUWT... comments please
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Dana pointed out to me today that J Storrs Hall posted a response to my first Crux of a Core article.  It was really quite a lame attempt.  But we thought it would be a great opportunity to take another poke at him.

Here's what I've written.  Please comment. 

Note:  I put on thinner boxing gloves for this one.  I kind of what to drag him over to the comments section. 

2011-03-02 11:53:46
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.102

Nice.  I would suggest to convert each of your points to Heading 3 sizes to make them stand out more.  Microprocessor (I believe) can be used as 1 word or hyphenated.  Two words without a hyphen is (again, I think) wrong.

All I saw. 

You used kid-leather gloves.  I favor the Lead Pipe (in the Library). 

Youdaman

2011-03-02 12:08:30
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I just added a tad bit more and bolded each of the points.  See if that helps.

2011-03-02 12:32:19comments
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233

Toward the beginning when comparing Hall to Alley, I would point out that Alley is the one who collected the GISP2 core (right?), analyzed the data, and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers on the subject.  He's one of the world's foremost ice core experts, while Hall is just some yahoo who re-plotted Alley's data (though you can phrase it more nicely than that).  Hall may not be "a lesser scientist", but it's worth pointing out who the ice core expert is here.

Point 1: I would point out that since Gore is just illustrating the correlation between CO2 and temperature, it makes sense to use data for both variables from the same source (Vostok ice core, I believe).

Point 2: I'd just give a little summary of what Hall did before launching into what the quotes actually mean.  For example "Dr. Hall has provided some quotes from abstracts of GISP2 studies..."

Point 3: Same thing.  I'd start out by saying exactly what Hall did (plotted GISP2 and Vostok on the same axes...) then launch into why it's wrong.  Also he only altered the Vostok data, right?

Additional error: did Hall simply ignore this point in his rebuttal?  It's not clear if you're critiquing something he said in his rebuttal, or just criticizing his failure to address this point.

In the second-to-last paragraph I think you mean to say "disprove unprecedented warming".  And that sentence needs to be reworded.

Overall it mostly needs more info about Hall's rebuttal so the reader doesn't have to keep going back and forth.  Don't want to give WUWT all those pageviews anyway ;-)

2011-03-02 12:36:39
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Thanks Dana.  Will do some tweaking.  

2011-03-02 12:39:39Couple points...
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

- I cannot find a reference in either the article you linked to for Box's data, or Alley 2000, that gives the baseline for the temperature anomalies.  You say that the data from Box shows the temperature is 2.4˚C above the end of Alley 2000, though it is not clear that this is indeed the case.  It may well be, but I personally like to be assured that they were adjusted to the same baseline before being compared.  The modern value in Box's data is surely ~2.4 above the 1850 value, though again in his own data.

- I think, regarding Point 2 in your article, that if you're going to refute his usage of the quotes of the abstracts, come right out directly and refute what he implied: you never said they were insufficient records of temperature, you said they were of local and not global temperatures.  You seem to be talking around that critical point, that he had tried to bring up a Straw Man.

- As a small detail that might be a zinger too: did Gore ever try to mix the EPICA Dome (was that what he used? I don't think it was Vostok, what he used extends past 440,000 years if I'm not mistaken) with modern global temperatures?  I can only vaguely recall part of what he used it for before, which was to show that modern *CO2* levels were high (and that CO2 and temperature were highly correlated).  This is a somewhat more valid comparison as CO2 levels don't vary drastically globally, as temperature anomalies can between the poles and equatorial regions.  If Gore did not use the core data as Hall used it for, perhaps that could be brought up (another Straw Man).

2011-03-02 12:43:30
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

Also, add in a link to Hall's rebuttal, perhaps with the first "respond" in the post.

[Or, going along more with Dana's thinking, perhaps some quotes to avoid the page views.  Either way.]

2011-03-02 12:48:18
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

I also think that the "epic no-no" could be elaborated on more, besides pointing out the temperature ranges.  Maybe an analogy, like if Jones had made the same "error" there would have been statistically significant warming during the past 15/16 years ;)

2011-03-02 13:48:51Response
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.77

Consider plotting up the borehole temperatures here:
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/borehole/huang2008/huang2008temperature.txt

For the last 20,000 years and it is a GLOBAL record consisting of 600+ boreholes.

2011-03-02 14:10:47What I would love to see in this post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.91.135
Would love to see a plot of Vostok vs GISP over just the Holocene. If it's true that there are cases of GISP warming counterbalanced by Vostok cooling (eg - a polar seesaw effect), this visually deconstructs Hall's entire argument of comparing the two records over a glacial/interglacial timescale and shows how he tried to bamboozle people with his graphs.

I haven't looked at the borehole time series but perhaps you could go from showing the Holocene ice core graph to asking, okay, what does a global record look like? Here's one...

Lastly, this whole argument from Hall is wrong headed. His logic is "climate changed dramatically in the past, therefore current warming is not unusual therefore we don't need unusual explanations". This logic is so flawed, I wonder whether it's worth knocking down his foundation without distracting from your major point. This is his most egregious error. Increased CO2 is trapping heat, this is well understood and well observed. The only "unusual" explanation required is how Hall can explain why all this extra greenhouse heat is not actually causing warming, a warming which happens to display all the patterns of greenhouse warming.

2011-03-02 14:21:43
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.189

"I would never assume to question Dr Hall on issues of nanotechnology, AI or microprocessor design."

=> "I would never presume to denigrate Dr Hall's expertise on matters of nanotechnology, AI or microprocessor design."

 

Because I would never promise to never question someone about anything; in fact, if I were talking with an expert, I'd be inclined to question him more!

2011-03-02 15:11:24
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223
Thanks everyone. I'm in daddy mode at the moment (homework and reading) and will have pick up further edits in the morning.
2011-03-02 15:17:55comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.204.98

Here is the Huang et al 2008 graph It is a global borehole reconstruction. Notice the Holocene Hypsithermal, the MWP and the CWP

2011-03-02 15:40:49John's point
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233

Good point by John.  Hall made the same argument I've seen from skeptics on the MWP - that if past temperatures were higher, it means current warming could be natural.  As John says, that's wrongheaded.  Of course current warming could be natural, but we know it's not natural. 

Robert, what year does that borehole graph end?

2011-03-02 16:16:28
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

The site that Robert linked to before stated that the borehole records extended from 20,000 years ago to "present."  They end at least at the end of the twentieth century.

 

Here's the paper:

http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/~shaopeng/2008GL034187.pdf

 

Question though: is the last spike in the reconstruction the instrumental temperature record?  The curves follow very smooth patterns up until the mid twentieth century, where they take a sharp turn up.

2011-03-02 18:31:39
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.211

Yes, the last spike is the instrumental record. They have integrated the instrumental record for the 20th century, so the last year covered is AD 2000. They use notation "BP" (which usually has zero-point in AD 1950) there in non-standard manner, though.

2011-03-02 18:56:27GISP vs Vostok
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.91.135

I've downloaded the GISP2 data and already had the Vostok data so I put them together on the one graph shown below. However, I think it would be a good idea for someone like Robert to have a closer look at my graph to make sure all is kosher. Does the GISP2 data need to be normalised so it's on the same scale as Vostok? I just made sure both Y-axes spanned 6°C. Here is a link to my Excel spreadsheet (which includes the GISP2 link):

http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/gisp_vostok.xls

2011-03-02 20:30:58
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.80

I think it could be written a bit better for the general audience.


Sure, 'conflating' sounds sciencey, but why not just hammer in the point that Greenland is Greenland. Greenland is not the entire World, which is effectively what he's arguing. It would make him look pretty silly if you also drop in that 'obviously it isn't the world, because the world isn't at -20 C'. That perhaps fudges over some important points (Greenland is a part of the world so obviously it is linked...), but his argument is pretty silly and that makes it clearer to the general audience.

 

 

And I think the apology paragraph goes on for a little too long. Maybe something more like this?:

"In my original article I steered clear of ad hominem remarks, which was not reciprocated in Dr Hall's response.  Any perception that I cast him as a lesser scientist than Dr Alley was unintentional. Dr Alley is one of the most respected scientists working in the area of paleoclimate with over 170 relevant published papers.  He is, probably without exception, the world's most eminent authority on this specific topic so I considered him a useful source"

2011-03-02 23:04:22
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.189

MarkR,

"He is, probably without exception, the world's most eminent authority on this specific topic so I considered him a useful source"

=>

He is one of the world's most eminent authorities on this specific topic, so I considered him a useful source"

 

You may be right, but it is presumptuous of a website run by non-specialists of climate science to be awarding crowns. Also, we don't know who else we may be slighting unintentionally.

2011-03-03 03:13:53
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

This has turned into a rather large response to his response.  But that's fine.  Let's do it good.

Regarding the Vostok and GISP2 reconstruction, we should probably be a little careful there.  Alley states that a number of the jumps in the the GISP2 record are non-temperature related events.  Things like ice flows, etc.  (if I remember correctly.)  Plus in Crux of a Core 2 I go into how Grootes 1993 compares GISP2 and GRIP data saying, "The Holocene is a period of relatively stable climate in both cores with mean O18 values of -34.7 and -34.9 for GISP2 and GRIP respectively.  The small Holocene O18 fluctuations of 1-2 occur too frequently to allow an unambiguous correlation between the cores."

I wonder if that chart might be better if the two records were separated and we pointed out the anti-phased events within the holocene.  This would put a nail into the idea that you can just look at the jumps in the GISP2 record and think that represents periods of "unprecedented warming."

A bunch of these updates can probably carry over to Crux of a Core 2 to reinforce the points there.

2011-03-03 03:26:04
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

MarkR...  Regarding the apology paragraph, I want it to be a bit of an apology with a jab.  In the first piece it was unintentional.  In this piece I am making the case that Dr Hall is a lesser scientist with regard to climate.  That was the undertone intended in the repeat of the apologetic statement at the end.

2011-03-03 03:45:12
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I've posted some updates.  Looking for comments.  

2011-03-03 04:58:26better
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

It looks much improved.  In point #3 it would be good to include the plot John provided, as long as we're confident it's accurate.

I think it would still be worth going into John's earlier point too.  Look at Hall's closing statement:

"The 20th-century warming was hardly unprecedented, and doesn’t call for unusual explanations."

This isn't the point.  Whether or not it "calls for unusual explanations", we know the current warming is anthropogenic.  Trying to use temperature variations in any paleoclimate record to argue about the causation of the current warming is fundamentally flawed.  We don't think the current warming is anthropogenic because it's "unprecedented", we think it's anthropogenic because that's what physics and climate science tell us (i.e. see my recent Climate Sensitivity post or how we know recent warming isn't natural).

The entire reason Hall is engaging in this misguided and convoluted use of GISP2 data is to make this "it's not unprecedented" argument, so I think it's important that we spend a couple sentences pointing out that it's misguided.

2011-03-03 06:14:11data
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Robert Way has requested that I post this plot of temperature data from pollen analysis from Viau et al. (2006) if you want to use it, Rob.

2011-03-03 06:21:32Thanks Dana
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105

Thanks I couldn't upload for some reason.

2011-03-03 06:25:26
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Okay, this has gotten quite long.  I think it's time to post.  

Last chance to comment...

2011-03-03 06:31:07
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

If you guys don't mind, I would like to pull in all these other pieces of information into Crux of a Core 2.  This response is getting a bit too unwieldy.  There's SO much wrong with what Hall says that it's hard to compile it in one place.  

2011-03-03 06:47:54good idea
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

I think that's a good idea to incorporate more proxy data into Part 2 rather than 1B.  I made a few formatting changes to pretty up the post a bit.  I think it's probably good to go, unless you want to email John and see if he wants to take one last look at it before going live.

2011-03-03 06:51:01
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

John said earlier in a private email to go ahead when I get approval from the forum.  Trying to keep this from getting too moldy.  

Strike while the iron is hot, you know!

2011-03-03 10:43:32
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.103

A general comment on the use of single ice cores as a proxy for global temperature. The peculiar geographical and climatic location of Antarctica makes the ice cores drilled there, especially those in the deep interior like Vostok or Dome C, good proxies for global temperature when scaled by the polar amplification (about a factor of two). The same does not apply to Greenland or any other place on earth.

2011-03-04 11:26:27
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I've been tweaking John's GISP2/Vostok data and come up with something here.

GISP Vostok with trends

2011-03-04 12:43:21Riccardo's point on Antarctica = good global proxy, Greenland != good proxy
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.229.6

This is an interesting point, could be relevant for Rob's next ice core post:

The peculiar geographical and climatic location of Antarctica makes the ice cores drilled there, especially those in the deep interior like Vostok or Dome C, good proxies for global temperature when scaled by the polar amplification (about a factor of two). The same does not apply to Greenland or any other place on earth.

Any references for that, Riccardo?

Re Rob's plot of Vostok vs GISP, what exactly are you saying here? That Greenland shows a stronger cooling trend than Antarctica therefore the global trend is likely to be not as strong as GISP indicates?

I thought it would be interesting to take an average of Antarctica & GISP to see whether they cancel each other out and provide a less noisy signal. However, this would require interpolation techniques - I'm not exactly sure how you'd do that, would require some Excel skills. Anyone know how to do that?