2011-04-28 12:30:05Designed Obsolescence: Final version for publication
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Dr. Box is making a last round of revisions to his blog tomorrow, at which point this will be ready to go.  The only changes I anticipate possibly affecting this article is the caption for Figure 3.


 

Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels 2011: Obsolescence by Design?

Posted on 2 May 2011 by Daniel Bailey

We know the planet is warming from surface temperature stations and satellites measuring the temperature of the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. We also have various tools which have measured the warming of the Earth's oceans. Satellites have measured an energy imbalance at the top of the Earth's atmosphere. Glaciers, sea ice, and ice sheets are all receding. Sea levels are rising. Spring is arriving sooner each year. There's simply no doubt - the planet is warming.

And yes, the warming is continuing. The 2000s were hotter than the 1990s, which were hotter than the 1980s, which were hotter than the 1970s. In fact, the 12-month running average global temperature broke the record 3 times in 2010; according to NASA GISS data (2010 is tied with 2005 for the hottest year on record for GISS and tied with 1998 using HadCRUT).  Sea levels are still rising, ice is still receding, spring is still coming earlier, there's still a planetary energy imbalance, etc. etc. Contrary to what some would like us to believe, the planet has not magically stopped warming.

Humans are causing this warming

There is overwhelming evidence that humans are the dominant cause of this warming, mainly due to our greenhouse gas emissions. Based on fundamental physics and math, we can quantify the amount of warming human activity is causing, and verify that we're responsible for essentially all of the global warming over the past 3 decades.  In fact we expect human greenhouse gas emissions to cause more warming than we've thus far seen, due to the thermal inertia of the oceans (the time it takes to heat them).  Human aerosol emissions are also offsetting a significant amount of the warming by causing global dimming.

The Original Frozen Tundra

In October of 2010, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the Arctic Report Card. The report contains a wealth of information about the state of climate in the Arctic Circle (mostly disturbing).  Especially noteworthy is the news that in 2010, Greenland temperatures were the hottest on record. It also experienced record setting ice loss by melting. This ice loss is reflected in the latest data from the GRACE satellites which measure the change in gravity around the Greenland ice sheet (H/T to Tenney Naumer from Climate Change: The Next Generation and Dr John Wahr for granting permission to repost the latest data). 

 

Figure 1: Greenland ice mass anomaly - deviation from the average ice mass over the 2002 to 2010 period. Note: this doesn't mean the ice sheet was gaining ice before 2006 but that ice mass was above the 2002 to 2010 average.

Additionally, Tedesco and Fettweiss (2011) show that the mass-loss experienced in southern Greenland in 2010 was the greatest in the past 20 years (Figure 2 below).

Tedesco

Figure 2: Greenland melting index anomaly (Tedesco and Fettweiss (2011))

The figure above shows the standardized melting index anomaly for the period 1979 – 2010. In simple words, each bar tells us by how many standard deviations melting in a particular year was above the average. For example, a value of ~ 2 for 2010 means that melting was above the average by two times the ‘variability’ of the melting signal along the period of observation. Previous record was set in 2007 and a new one was set in 2010. Negative values mean that melting was below the average. Note that highest anomaly values (high melting) occurred over the last 12 years, with the 8 highest values within the period 1998 – 2010. The increasing melting trend over Greenland can be observed from the figure. Over the past 30 years, the area subject to melting in Greenland has been increasing at a rate of ~ 17,000 Km2/year.

This is equivalent to adding a melt-region the size of Washington State every ten years. Or, in alternative, this means that an area of the size of France melted in 2010 which was not melting in 1979.

Selective Science = Pseudo-Science

Into this established landscape comes a new paper which presents a selective Greenland melt reconstruction. During the review process the papers’ authors were urged to, yet chose not to, include record-setting warm year 2010 temperatures. Had the authors considered all available data, their conclusion that ‘Greenland climate has not changed significantly’ would have been simply insupportable.

They write:  

“We find that the recent period of high-melt extent is similar in magnitude but, thus far, shorter in duration, than a period of high melt lasting from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. The greatest melt extent over the last 2 1/4 centuries occurred in 2007; however, this value is not statistically significantly different from the reconstructed melt extent during 20 other melt seasons, primarily during 1923–1961.”

Designed Obsolescence?

Their selective ‘findings’ were obsolete at the time the paper was submitted for publication in December of 2010. In the review process, the authors and journal editors were made aware that important new data were available that would change the conclusions of the study. Unfortunately, the paper represents not only a failure of the review process, but an intentional exclusion of data that would, if included, undermine the paper’s thesis.

Dr. Jason Box has chosen to share for the record a timeline of important events associated with this article’s publication:

  • 26 August, 2010, I was invited by Dr. Guosheng Liu – Associate Editor – Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) – Atmospheres to review the article. Sara Pryor was the JGR chief editor ultimately responsible for this paper’s review.
  • 27 August, 2010, I accepted the review assignment.
  • 22 September, 2010, I submitted my review, in which I wrote: “The paper may already be obsolete without considering the extreme melting in 2010. I would therefore not recommend accepting the paper without a revision that included 2010.” I post my review posted verbatim here. At this time, I indicated to the editors that I did not wish to re-review the paper if the authors chose not to include 2010 temperatures. It was clear by this date, from the readily-available instrumental temperature records from the Danish Meteorological Institute and other sources such as US National Climate Data Center and NASA GISS that the previous melt season months were exceptionally warm.
  • 16 October, 2010, a NOAA press release publicized record setting Greenland temperatures. The press release was linked to this Greenland climate of 2010 article, live beginning 21, October 2010.
  • 27 December, 2010, I was invited to re-review the paper. I again stated that I did not wish to re-review the paper if the authors chose not to include 2010 temperatures. By this date, it was more clear that 2010 temperatures were exceptionally warm.

Another very important point: the excuse that the data was not available just is not reasonable given that both the Tedesco and Fettweiss 2011 and  Mernild et al 2011 papers each managed to reference this 2010 data in publications that came out prior to that of Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels.

Dr. Box:  

"The Editor’s decision whether or not to accept the paper would have been made sometime in early 2011. This paper should not have been accepted for publication without taking into account important new data."

Figure 3:  Positive Degree Day reconstruction for the Greenland ice sheet after Box et al. (2009). The "regression changes" presented here are equal to the linear fit (dashed lines in the graphic) value at the end of the period minus the beginning of the period, for example, the 14-year change is the 2010 value minus the 1997 value. The blue Gaussian smoothing line is for a 29 year interval. The dark red smoothing line is for a 3 year interval.  PDDs are the sum of positive temperatures. A PDD sum of 10 has twice the melt potential as a PDD sum of 5. Note that not only is the recent melting convincingly distinguishable from that of the 20th Century, but that summer and annual average temperatures in recent years are increasingly above values in the 1920s-1930s. (Courtesy Dr. Jason Box)

Greenland’s past temperatures

Including year 2010 data reveals (as seen in Figure 5 at bottom), in contrast to the message of the Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels paper, that recent Greenland temperatures are warmer than at any time during the 20th Century for the summer, autumn, and annual periods. The 1925-1935 spring season was warmer in 1930 than 2010, but not warm enough to make the corresponding annual average exceed that of the recent times.  Important for a melt reconstruction, what Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels neglected to include, was that recent summer temperatures exceed those of any time during the past century.  As a result glaciers in southern Greenland have retreated far behind their meltlines from the early 20th Century.  Evidence of this can be seen in Mittivakkat Glacier (Figure 4 below):

Mittivakkat Glacier

Figure 4: Mittivakkat Glacier in Southern Greenland.  Note the red line indicating the 1931 extent of the glacier relative to the yellow line depicting its position in 2010 (Mernild et al, 2011)

One thing to remember is that the regional warming that Greenland experienced in the early 20th Century came at a time when the world overall was colder than it is today.  And that the warming then was a result of multiple forcings (in which GHG warming played a role) and is thus fundamentally different than the anthropogenic global warming of the most recent 30 years (in which GHG warming plays by far the predominant role).  Additionally, the global cryosphere (the parts of the world covered in ice) has experienced much greater warming (in terms of volume and global extent) in this the most recent period than in the time of supposedly similar warming (the early 20th Century).

Given the thermal lags of oceans and ice, it is clear that Greenland has yet to fully respond to the warming forced upon it, so a reasonable approximation of another 1-2° C is yet in its pipeline.  This will translate into yet greater mass losses to come, which evidence indicates may be experienced in non-linear fashion.

2010Anomalyvs1923-1961

Figure 5: Where 2010 ranks relative to the warm period observed from 1923-1961 by Frauenfeld, Knappenberger and Michaels (Source)

Two lingering questions remain:

  1. Why did Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels not include year 2010 data when they were asked to and when the data were readily available, yet the other papers containing the 2010 data published before theirs did?
  2. Why did the journal publish this paper without the requested revisions?

Climate Warming is Real

Dr. Box:  

"Multiple lines of evidence indicate climate warming for which there is no credible dispute. No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion. I personally have found no credible science that disproves that human activity significantly influences climate.

An enormous and overwhelming body of science leads rational thinkers to the conclusion that humans influence climate in important ways. For decades, the science has indicated that human activity has become the single most influential climate forcing agent."

National and international science academies and scientific societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular on recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position of January 2001 which states:

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system… There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

Acknowledgements

  • Dr. Jason Box, Assoc. Prof., Department of Geography, Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA for his invaluable assistance, advice, knowledge and patience
  • Dr. Mauri Pelto, Professor of Environmental Science, Science Program Chair; Director, North Cascade Glacier Climate Project, Nichols College, Dudley, MA, USA for his timely insights and suggestions

Without the expertise of these two fine climate scientists this article could not have come to pass.

2011-04-28 12:33:15Suggestion from John
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

What would be ideal is if we could plot Figure 2 from the Frauenfield 2011 graph with 2010 added to it. Perhaps ask on the forum, see if an SkS data junkie would be up for it. It would require finding online data for observed ice melt and mapping it onto the following graph:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Frauenfeld_GRIS_melt.gif

http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Frauenfeld_GRIS_melt.gif

2011-04-28 14:26:29comment
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

It's a good post.  I'm just wondering if the beginning is a bit much, since the paper is exclusively about Greenland, not global temps and ice.

2011-04-28 14:58:10
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

A very compellign intro Daniel, but maybe just a bit too much.  I would focus more on the implications of excluding the 2010 data, and flesh that part of the essay quit a bit.  I am reticent to place so much focus on the comments made by Box-- but that is me-- he seems to be quite emotional and that may, unfortunately, detract from him making a compelling scientific argument, at least for now.

We all know why this paper has been published-- now the denialosphere can point to it the next time someone remarks about the accelerating ice loss from Greenland.  The paper is already out of date, and will probably very soon be refuted,m but we know trhat does not deter the deniers and contrarians.  The word smithing and narrative in the paper is designed so as to play down the current events (when we have much better data than in the window they are so focussed on), plays into the myth that "it has happened before", which is part of the memes that "it is not us" and "it won't be bad".  Keep people focussed on the past and they are less inclined to think about where we are heading.  Also, that spell of warmer temperatures and increased melt was a blip, it was transient, and probably related to some internal climate variability-- that is not what we are facing now and down the road with steadily increasing radiative forcing from from anthro GHGs (and natural release of GHGs).

I think that the aforementioned may be additional reasons why Box is furious.  

Also, I thought that there were some mass balance data from way back when that suggest the GIS was in mass balance until quite recently?  Additionally,is there any firm evidence in the literature that indicates the warming in the between 1923 and 1961 was regional in nature (i.e., primarily limited to the GIS and surroundings?  Sorry being lazy here.  But my point is that the accelerating loss of ice from GIS is part and parcel of a long-lived and global phenomenon (whereas before it may not have been).  

Ironically the increase in melt observed between 1923 and 1961 (they seem to have exaggerated the length of that window IMHO) shows that the GIS is indeed sensitive to relatively small increases in temperature, and if they thought that was bad, well we aint seen nothin yet....

I have not looked into the details, I'm assuming that they did not screw that part up!  Maybe Mauri would be willing to weigh in?

Anyways, just some brain storming Daniel-- hope you don't mind.

2011-04-28 15:19:09
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Here is the image that I was thinking of:

 

[from here]

The current error bars do not overlap with those in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when the mass balance should have been especially low after a period of "prolonged" relative warmth.  No?

 

Hmmm, can you say regional warmth....?

Versus

2011-04-28 15:54:24
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
Good points from Alby regarding natural transient local warming in the early century vs global co2 driven prolonged warming now. May be worth discussing in the post.
2011-04-28 17:39:04
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.202

It might be better to not put that much weight on one year data. For example, I would rephrase this:

"Had the authors considered all available data, their conclusion that ‘Greenland climate has not changed significantly’ would be impossible to make."

with something like this:

"Had the authors considered all available data, they might have had to revise their conclusions."

"Why did Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels not include year 2010 data when they were asked to and the data were readily available?"

And why did the journal publish this paper without requested revision?

 

2011-04-28 21:01:21
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.125

Good stuff Yooper, I think you were headed in the right direction with the intro but that it should focus on the cryosphere and be placed at the end of the post, not the beginning. 

So what if the warming on the GIS was greater than now?, the rest of the global ice was not in a rapid melt, as is the case now. The Tibetan Plateau glaciers were gaining ice throughout the late 19th century, at the time the GIS was shedding ice, now they're both losing ice big time. The Swiss Alps?, greater ice loss since 1980 than in the earlier 1920-1960 period.......and so on and so forth, the big difference today is that ice virtually everywhere is melting.  

The surface temperature record clearly shows that the early part of the 20th century was a time of rapid warming, so we shouldn't be surprised that areas responded to that. 

I disagree with others here, this needs to be put into context with what's happening to the global ice, a dry technical discussion without reference to the "big picture" is only going to play into the hands of the disinformers (the authors of that study). It's five minutes to midnight on the Doomsday Barometer, let's not beat about the bush.

2011-04-28 21:53:10
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

I like the article as it stands: the topic of global warming as established science is introduced, then: "Into this established landscape comes ..."

This reads like a good courtroom argument: first the background of what is known as fact, then the suggestion that the opponent's evidence does not fit into this picture.  In terms of a flow of logical argument I give it 10/10.

 

However, feeling it my duty to show at least some token of dissent, I would point out that the term 'recently' in the following sentence is redundant, superfluous, pleonastic and somewhat otiose. ;-)

"In October of 2010, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released the Arctic Report Card."

2011-04-28 22:10:51
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

I posted my above comment too soon.

 

Reserve ammunition - check out Patrick J. Michaels' past performances:

http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptics/patMichaels.html

 

I need to see the full paper.  I have a lot of books and pdf files on Greenland's discovery and exploration.  How do you construct a 226 year history given the paucity of early data?  For example, Baffin Bay was only rediscovered in 1818.  Did the authors perhaps finagle the data to fit the graph?

2011-04-28 22:53:08Thanks
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks, all for your inputs & thoughts.  I'll revise it today & update the version seen above.

 

Patrick, check your email for a copy of the paper.  Anyone else wants a copy, let me know.

 

Albatross, your last 2 images are broken.

2011-04-28 23:21:07Updates applied
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Updated; version at top reflects changes made.

I felt it fundamentally important to establish the overall context from the get-go; this allows the prosecution of the "Cherry-Picking" charge to naturally follow.  Per Logicman's point.

2011-04-29 01:19:15
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Daniel,

Sorry about the broken images. Drat, those GISTEMP images looked OK when I was preparing the post.

What I plotted were the 1923-1961 global SAT anomalies versus those for 1980-2010.  The difference is quite striking-- as I suspected the warming in the '21-'63 window was limited primarily to the GIS and vicinity, whereas the warming in now largely global, with warming greatest in the northern high latitudes (and in areas greater than it was for their 23-61 window).

Perhaps I was unclear earlier-- I like the introduction and think it should stay for the reason stated.  My only concern was that it was on the long side, and that perhaps some points may have been redundant.  

I have to rush off now, but I'll have a look at the revised verison ASAP.

Thanks for doing this Daniel!

2011-04-29 03:06:28How do you like them apples? (Extra credit for naming the movie)
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks for the idea, Albie.

1.  Here's 1923-1961 vs 1951-1980 baseline; global, polar stereo:

1923-1961Anomaly

 

2.  Here's 1981-2010 vs 1951-1980 baseline; global, polar stereo:

1981-2010Anomaly

 

3.  Here's 2010 vs 1923-1961 baseline; global, polar stereo:

2010Anomalyvs1923-1961

 

Apples to...apples, anyone?

2011-04-29 11:31:20
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

Daniel: thanks for the pdf.  I had a quick read and saw enough for me to drop it in the folder where I keep the denier 'scientific' papers.

But seriously: my 'at a glance' opinion is that the authors use data from the southern parts of Greenland and then imply a result that is valid across Greenland entire.  Or have I missed something?

Somewhat OT, but this is just like the 'Greenland was green' argument.  It's a rhetorical trick where the whole is substituted for one of its parts.  To the Vikings, 'Greenland' - G1 -meant two settlements on the southern part of the west coast.  To modern readers 'Greenland' - G2 - means a vastly greater area which is mostly ice-covered.  G1 has been green to at least some extent since the Vikings, LIA notwithstanding.  G2 has been losing land ice, shorefast ice and coastal pack ice since about 1818.  That last date comes from the re-opening of access to the Baffin Bay open water in 1818 after 200 years of impenetrable ice, since when G2 became ever more accessible to explorers.

2011-04-29 11:46:51
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.17.36

Logicman, wasn't that part of Jason Box's complaint?, people will use the study (not matter how invalid it might be) to extrapolate it into a global proxy. The GIS being iconic and all.

Yooper -multifactorial = many factors? ( just sounds a bit intellectually snobby)

Nice post brutha. Thumbs up from me.

 

2011-04-29 13:37:51Thanks
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

That's why I stuck the last of those 3 GISS plots into the blog post.  So readers can see at a glance that the current warming is greater than that of the past and also that the current one is indeed a global warming.

 

Logicman, that's a good point which I need to emphasize more strongly: conflation of 4 datasets into first a regional proxy and then further conflating aand extrapolating it into a "global" dataset.  (I almost threw up writing that)

 

Rob, I'll take a look at the verbiage you reference & try and de-yooperfy it a bit. ;)

 

One more re-write + hearing back from Box I think should do it.  I hope, anyway.

2011-04-30 23:14:12
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Bump

2011-05-01 02:14:01comments
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Looks good, I like the update.  A couple little things:

I think it's either "HadCRUT" or "HadCrut".  I don't think I've seen "HadCRUt", but I could be wrong.

Figure 2 is broken.

I'd indent the quotes with the quote button ".

When you mention 1-2°C warming in the pipeline, make sure it's clear that's the pipeline warming for Greenland, since global pipeline warming is around 0.6°C.

2011-05-01 03:08:06
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks, Dana; was unaware of the Quote button function (was manually coding the html as blockquotes - waaaay easier your way!).

Made revisions per your suggestions.

Unless someone else has any more suggestions, I'm just waiting for Dr. Box to get back to me.  Hope he's not on a glacier somewhere...

2011-05-01 07:58:03
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

I pinched my nose and held my breath, but still came away gagging from the Cato stench.

 

Why did they publish this paper without the 2010 data?

Because it can then be used with the Houston and Dean paper to 'prove' that sea levels are not rising.

 

"Houston and Dean analyzed long-term observations (more than 60 years in length) from tide gauges installed along the U.S. coast looking for signs of an accelerated rise. They couldn't find any — in fact, they found a deceleration. Expanding their analysis to included tide gauges from around the world produced the same thing — a recent slowing of the rate of sea level rise."

Patrick J Michaels

my emphasis

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13010

 

Daniel: can you squeeze in the above quote with a link to this rebuttal?

http://www.skepticalscience.com/decelerating-sea-level-rise.htm

2011-05-01 08:43:36
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
Tamino covered Houston & Dean. http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-sea-level-rise-accelerated-since-1880.html
2011-05-01 09:41:46
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

dana - there are two copies of virtually the same post, the link I posted and the one you posted.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/decelerating-sea-level-rise.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-sea-level-rise-accelerated-since-1880.html

 

The paper Dr. Box complained of as being obsolete is being used over at Cato Institute together with the ludicrous Houston and Dean paper to argue that sea level rise is not a problem.

 

The paper seems to be something of a rehash of arguments put forward in 2006 by Michaels here:

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/11/17/cooling-the-debate-a-longer-record-of-greenland-air-temperature/

That blog article, which has much in common with the recent paper, was shredded here:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/strawmen-on-greenland/

"... there is a bit of a cottage industry of people who micro-parse every new paper to see how it projects onto a narrow view of the climate change debate regardless of their actual relevance. This is a travesty of the way science is supposed to work and all too often ends up getting the story completely wrong. One persistent abuser of this technique is Pat Michaels, and in a recent piece he was unable to resist claiming that the century-scale trends (~0.8 C from 1891-1900 to 1991-2000 in the annual mean) seen in this extended Southern Greenland data apparently invalidate the notion of polar amplification as predicted by the ‘models’. This of course was not the conclusion of the authors themselves (though presumably if they felt that this was true they might have said so)."

2011-05-01 09:49:09
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Got some communication from Mauri with a very good question to ask: How is it that Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels excluded 2010 data because it came too late to include it yet both Tedesco and Fettweiss 2011 AND  Mernild et al 2011 papers each managed to reference this 2010 data in publications that came out prior to that of Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels?


 

Added this paragraph

Another very important thing: the excuse that the data was not available just is not reasonable given that both the Tedesco and Fettweiss 2011 AND  Mernild et al 2011 papers each managed to reference this 2010 data in publications that came out prior to that of Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels.


 

and revised this section:

 

Two lingering questions remain:

  1. Why did Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels not include year 2010 data when they were asked to and the data were readily available yet other papers published before theirs did?
  2. Why did the journal publish this paper without the requested revisions?

 


 

Appreciate your point about Houston & Dean, logicman, but I think it would be better served in a post specifically about Michaels and his...impoverishment of integrity.

Still no word from Box yet.  Dana, assuming I hear back from him soon, when is it OK to slot this one in?  I'm down to shining chrome on the bumper on it, but still need a final set of eyes from Box on it before I publish it.

2011-05-01 11:00:28
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

Dan, your article is good, but the title doesn't cover the content in any meaningful way (to me) - I would like to be able to find the article when I search for it, and I tend to look at article titles - could you find a more appropriate title?

I would go for a title with anything green in it, close to land :-)

2011-05-01 11:04:41
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
Feel free to post whenever you're ready, Daniel. The only other post in the works is my next one, which I'll probably post Monday morning US time. But I'm in no hurry. If you go Monday, I can hold off.
2011-05-01 11:25:20
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Oslo, the original working title was:

Designed Obsolescence: Frauenfeld et al 2011

 

Keeping in mind that I need "Designed Obsolescence" to be incorporated somehow into the title, I'm amenable to changing it (designed obsolescence is a phrase describing the manufacturing philosophies of American automobile manufacturers prior to the loss of market share to Japanese imports: there was no incentive to build cars that lasted too long, so cars were designed to wear out before they actually needed to).  Do you have a suggestion that you feel would be best for everyone?

Other off-the-cuff (brainstorming here) options include:

  • Frauenfeld et al 2011: Designed Obsolescence

  • Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels: Designed Obsolescence

  • Greenland Legal: Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels

  • Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels: Greenland Law

  • The Truth is Not Out There: Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels

  • Failure to Launch: Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels

  • Mission Failure: Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels

  • Obsolete Before Their Time: Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels

Feel free to come up with your own suggested titles

 


 

Dana:

Thanks!  If Box gets back to me before 11 am Monday (Eastern US; 8 am Pacific time US) I'll go ahead & publish & send you an email letting you know.  So if you haven't heard from me by then, or whenever you get up on Monday (you're on Pacific time, right?), then go ahead and publish.

I'm flexible; whatever you feel is best.

2011-05-01 11:36:07
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

Much more fun to criticize than to be creative ;-)

How about

Designed Obsolescence - a Greenland study with shades

2011-05-01 11:51:21
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

"shades"?

I take it there is some connotation (hidden or implied meaning) there, but I'm afraid I'm missing it.  Sorry to be obtuse/dense.  Can you explain what you mean?

2011-05-01 12:08:52
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

I'm implying that the study hides the facts by not including data from 2010.

Perhaps the message was too "shaded".

A few other suggestions (Designed Obsolescence - ...):

- Greenland study fails to address important signs

- Greenland study in peril

Any better?

Would like to point out that my native is Norwegian, so I might not hit the mark as precisly as I would want to, bad excuse perhaps.

2011-05-01 12:10:02
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.225

How about "Designed Obscurity"?

2011-05-01 12:33:13
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

I kind of like the 'obsolete before their time' title.

Sounds good Daniel, if I don't hear from you before 11am EST Monday, I'll post mine at that time (and yes, I'm Pacific time).

2011-05-01 12:38:51
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

One more - perhaps not very much better:

Greenland study drowned by data

2011-05-01 13:03:10
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Box is updating his website with the updated graphic and caption for Figure 3.  I have the graphic, but winged the caption.  Once he updates his blog tomorrow (11 am Pacific time is what he told me) I'll be able to properly annotate the caption/graphic.

I'll publish it at that point, unless someone has any other boo-boo's I've made needing fixing.

 

As far as possible title changes, the only other one I'm partial to is this:

Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels 2011: Obsolescence by Design

2011-05-01 18:34:53
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.116.82

Proposal: "Past its sell-by date"

2011-05-01 21:07:03
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.147.180.253

Daniel - a title suggestion:

 

Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels 2011: Obsolescence by Design?

 

As a statement it implies deliberate fraud, but posed as a question it invites people to make their own judgement.

btw - it is incredible that Michaels posted about this hopelessly obsolete paper in his CI series "Current Wisdom".  Has he no sense of irony?

2011-05-01 23:52:04
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Thanks for the title suggestion, logicman.  I think that's a workable compromise.

Michaels is shameless; a creature indentured to his masters.

As John just posted a video segment a bit ago, I've set the embargo to lift in a few hours (to get some temporal separation).

2011-05-06 08:17:23I agree with "Chris" on this one
mcba

m.ashley@unsw.edu...
129.94.163.229

Hi folks,

I don't want to start a flame war, and I'm very new to commenting here at SkS so I'm not sure how things work, but I would just like to voice my opinion that I think this article has taken the wrong slant in criticising FKM2011. Particularly in the conclusion with the two "lingering questions". There is a touch of conspiracy theory here, and a slight "climateaudit" feel about it.

IMHO, the commenter "Chris" has it spot on, e.g., on the third page around comment 140 or so. Right from the beginning of this controversy I wasn't convinced by the argument that a paper submitted in late 2010 should include 2010 data. There is nothing wrong with publishing a paper in 2010 that only includes data up to 2009. While we all know that FKM are playing games, it was up to the reviewers to  try to make sure that the paper's statements were correct with respect to the data it analysed. Even if Greenland melted entirely in January 2010 this shouldn't have any impact on a paper that is reporting data up to the end of 2009.

So, unfortunately, I think that the real story here is that the reviewers failed to do their job. Perhaps the editor deserves a bit of blame too.

Also unfortunately, I think that the article as it stands weakens SkS's reputation as being solidly backed by strong scientific arguments. I don't know what to do about it, but I wonder whether a correction or update would be appropriate?

It would have been better if the article had simply attacked the incorrect statements in the paper, without any reference to the review process or the 2010 data.

Regards,

Michael Ashley

2011-05-06 09:46:00
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.96.188

Flame war?. Nothing wrong with disagreeing, we do it here all the time. As for the 2010 data, perhaps a valid point, but that's not the real problem. The issue is that the authors, being "skeptics", will make out the study to be a global proxy for temperature and therefore propagate the "it's happened before" meme. The Yooper's post does a good job of pointing out that that is absolute bullshit.

2011-05-06 11:12:28
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

Michael,

 

The inclusion of the 2010 was a suggestion to make the paper publishable.  This isn't a matter of inconvenient access to data.  If that was the case the paper needed to wait.  This is on the editor for ignoring Box's suggestion.  It's not my call or Box's, but inclusion of the data was important, and the least the authors could have done to make the paper an important contribution to literature.  This, along with the post-publication afterglow by the authors using this paper as a political tool is the real problem here.

2011-05-06 11:14:34Welcome to SkS, Mike!
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

FKM use melt-season data from only June, July and August (JJA).  The raw data was available for the asking (Tedesco & Fettweiss and Mernild each used the entire year's melt data (essentially through early October) and rach managed to get published before FKM.

FKM made final revisions in December 2010 and still could have included the data at that late date...had they wanted to.

 


 

Chris has some good points, but is following his preconception that Box screwed up.  I don't think it's as clear-cut as that.  One can easily draw the conclusion, based on Box's stellar body of work over the years, that Box's version of events is the correct one, as FKM all have a "less-than-savory" reputation.

Simplest explanation is the most likely one.  Box has more to lose & nothing to gain by going public on this.

I see no reason to doubt Box at this point & take him at his word.


A case can be made that FKM2011 copied Wake 2009 (plagiarism, anyone?).  Where's the outcry on that?


 

Chris' other point, that Box was responsible for improving the paper at the review stage is simply specious.  The reviewer makes recommendations.  It's the editor's job to ensure that enough of the reviewer's comments & criticisms were addressed.  FKM bailed on their assigned homework and the editor turned a blind eye and deaf ear.

That's the effing tragedy here.


Per Brother Rob's statement, we're all family here in the Forum.  We can disagree internally & keep it cordial at the same time.  (Brother Rob, Family, hehe, I made a funny without trying..)

 

2011-05-06 11:32:07
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Michael,

Welcome :)  I think some people shared your reservations about the post speaking to the review process, was one of them (see up thread).  

I may be stating the obvious, but not knowing your background, I'll say it anyways.  Reputable scientists are now sick and tired of being on the receiving end of critique, and of being on the defensive.  It really gets tiresome, and I sense that in Dr. Box's response. With that said, I personally think that his review was not terribly constructive-- but he may also have been in a difficult position of seeing what they did to Eric Steig, and perhaps did not wish to be perceived as acting as a gate keeper.

Peer-review is not perfect and sometimes it fails, and I think this is one such example.  Unfortunately we now have a paper that CATO institute and other deniers can use to advance their case.

But let us at the same time not take our eye off the ball, which is IMHO, how the authors have behaved since the paper was published, and specifically how they have used it to advance their agenda.  I do not know what is worse, Michaels blatantly misinforming, or Chip pretending to be an honest broker.

And last but not least, I do not think that anyone here expects SkS to get it right all the time.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I mean no disrepsect to Daniel, he is an excellent resource here at SkS and does a fantastic job and is a sincere and genuine person, but had I written the post I might have done it differently.  With that all said I have partly contributed to only one post on this site-- it is not an easy exercise, you are putting yourself out there for everyone to nit pick and poke holes in it, so I do not wish to sound too critical.

Anyways, to be quite honest it is nice to see the 'skeptics' the ones under close scrutiny and squirming for once....

2011-05-06 11:35:16
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

And one last thought, in the long run events may show that Boa and Daniel were 100% correct on everything and I was wrong, in case case apologies all round Daniel!

And I am not done with Pat and Chip yet, and I suspect neither are other infinitely more influential people..... ;)

2011-05-06 11:55:06
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

No apologies needed, Albie.  I'm very imperfect; I just hope that at this age I've already made more than half of the gaffes allotted to me in this lifetime.  :)

 

My sense is, from Box's posts and from personal communication with him, Box felt his input in the finished study would be used to lend legitimacy to FKM 2011.  I didn't have any real problems with the wording of the responses and feedback he gave to FKM in his review.  After decades of reviewing other's work and providing feedback for improvements I have found that you tend to get the best out of people by providing them with the latitude to incorporate the requisite changes...in their own ideom.  Meaning, allowing them enough degrees of freedom to incorporate the changes, but to do so in their own words and way.  As long as they stayed true to the intent of the needed changes, I wouldn't have a problem with that.  And that is what I get from Box.

I also know that he damn well knew that FKM wouldn't do it, which is why he indicated that if they failed to do it, then he was off the case.  And I don't have a problem with that either.  You want my advice?  Happy to give it.  You don't take it, then you're on your own.  And certainly don't reference me as a source as well.  That's the price of admission.

Romm has reposted the FKM post over at CP.  Betcha the denialist spin artists will attempt their work there as well.  At least Mosher has the cojones to try (I thought about replying to his trolling on the FKM thread but opted to listen to my own advice: DNFTT).

2011-05-06 12:02:00
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Dan,

You clearly have more insight on this than I do.  So perhaps I should keep my nose out.....

Yes, I saw Romm is carrying your article...great (and congrats), that ought to make Pat squirm just a little.

I see that Tom Curtis has addressed some of the issues that I was going to raise, but has put in far more effort than my schedule allows.  If Tom's analysis is correct, it does not good for KFM.

I expect Box's comment in JGR to be pretty damming, can't wait....now my youngest is calling me, gotta go.

2011-05-06 21:40:22
mcba

m.ashley@unsw.edu...
129.94.163.229

Hi Grypo, Albatross, Daniel,

Thanks for the comments. I still think Box stuffed up on the review. If I was reviewing a paper by known denialists like this, I would have gone over it with a magnifying glass to ensure that they didn't get away with anything. We all know how these papers are misused once in print. The bottom line is that if Box had written a clear review along the lines that Chris suggested, and didn't refuse to look at the paper again, then we might have been spared this mess. I don't think it was reasonable for Box to suggest that the paper should have included 2010 data. What happened in 2010 is just irrelevant to a paper that discusses data up to the end of 2009. While you can argue that including 2010 would have improved the paper (undoubtedly correct), I think it is perfectly reasonable for the editor to leave it up to the authors as to whether they wanted to do this. The crucial thing is that the numerous errors in the paper should have been corrected.

Judging from Chris's comments and apparent experience with writing and reviewing scientific papers, I think he is worth listening too.

Incidentally, I'm an astronomer at UNSW, you can find me with google easily. My claim to fame in the climate arena was a review I did of Plimer's "Heaven and Earth" some time ago.

Regards, Michael Ashley

2011-05-06 22:21:44Mcba's claim to fame
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.6.188
Michael Ashley also was the one who suggested doing multiple levels of rebuttals which was what led to the creation of the SkS forum and this vibrant SkS community. So in a sense, Michael, you're the father of the SkS community. :-)

...No, on second thoughts, that would make me the mother, scratch that analogy!

2011-05-06 22:53:13
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

I agree with Micheal Ashley, but I think it is a misplaced priority, as I told chris in the comments.  The priority as of now is putting the paper in proper context for the public to understand.  Otherwise, Micheals' gets his publication and is allowed to misconstrue it to the public.  After this is settled, presumably after Box gets his paper in print, we should go back and analyse how this mess happened.  

 

Strictly, from a human perspective I can understand this.  Box is probably aware of the Steig, O'Donnell kerfuffle, which, if you do not know, was somewhat similar to this one.  Steig was the reviewer of a skeptic paper (Odonnell, McIntyre, Congdon).  Steig made several comments to improve the paper to bring it beyond a statisical analysis and make a useful contribution to the literature.  Some comments were used and some weren't.  To make a long story short, Steig stuck it out through 2 or three reviews, then made some comments on it in a realclimate blog post.  He was then accused of sandbagging and scientific misconduct, etc, and all sorts of other stuff that reverberated through the internet.  the kind of stuff that ruins reputations.  I'm guessing Box wanted to avoid all of this.  I find it hard to blame him.

2011-05-07 04:19:45
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

Victory?  It appears the articles have changed.  Google cache shows it to be before May 1st and Daniel posted his on May 2nd, so I'd say Box's blog post was successful.

 

Here's the original version 

 

Nevermind.  :(  

2011-05-07 08:01:22
mcba

m.ashley@unsw.edu...
129.94.163.229

Hi grypo,

I'm aware of Steig, O'Donnell. Steig's review was much more thorough than Box's. If Box had wanted to avoid a Steig situation, then he probably should have not agreed to review the paper in the first place.

Incidentally, Eli Rabett has an eye-opening post concerning Figure 2 from FKM 2011. They plotted a trailing ten year moving average, on the same axis as the raw data! This is really deceptive and should have been stamped out during review. As one of the commenters says: imagine what would have happened to Mann if he had done something like this? And imagine how Richard Muller would react ("We don't engage in this sort of conduct at Berkeley").

Regards, Michael

2011-05-07 13:23:26Idea for someone more statisics literate than me
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I received this suggestion in an email:

I was thinking: different views of the effect of adding 2010n to the analysis have been expressed.
Can you guys just do it for your next article???

I think you can apply the same statistics to slightly more data.  If you can't have their code, just make a Matlab script or something (Python is even better).  Then show the code with the number of years for the running mean as a parameter.  Why not?

Albatross?  Robert Way?  Any takers?

If so, I can try and contact Box, Tedesco and Mernild for data.

2011-05-08 07:21:52
mcba

m.ashley@unsw.edu...
129.94.163.229

Hi Daniel,

Chris has redone FKM2011 Figrure 2 at comment 179, and it makes very little difference if you include 2010. This shouldn't be a surprise since they are using 10 year averages. Even if you use 5 year averages it doesn't make much difference. This is another reason why I have been surprised that there has been such a fuss about leaving out the year 2010. This whole 2010 data issue is beside the point, the real issue is that the paper contains a number of poorly worded statements that should have been corrected.

It is also worth noting from Chris's plot that it appears that the melt index averaged over the 5 years 2006-2010 was slightly lower than it was back in 1928-1932. Looking at the plot, it is quite reasonable to conclude that there isn't anything particularly unusual about the Greenland melt index over the last few decades.

Cheers, Michael