2011-05-25 07:11:42I need questions for Syun Akasufo
Rob Honeycutt


Okay.  I managed to make email contact with the author of Akasufo 2010.  I would love to collect a bunch of questions to ask him about his paper.  I believe the paper is free online for anyone who would like to give it a read and help formulate some tough questions.

2011-05-25 07:30:53



If the paper is avaiable online, why don't you link to it?

2011-05-25 07:34:37
Alex C


Not sure how you'd like to frame these questions, but some topics I think should be addressed:

• why does your paper not discuss the forcing due to an enhanced GHE, aside from a small mention with CO2 output and temperature trends over a > century timeline?

• as the "recovery" from the LIA has not been linear, can you speak to the likelihood and extent to which the AMO's definition has been influenced by factors other than the inherent cycle itself, such as recent warming due to GHGs or mid-century aerosol cooling?

• what is the Earth "recovering" to?  What actually supports the notion that there is some "destination" temperature toward which the Earth is moving? [this is to address his usage of the term "recovery," though he does say that there really is no equilibrium temperature, here:]

"A cas- ual inspection of Figures 1(a) and 1(b) might give an impression that the Earth has recovered from the LIA, if we consider that the present level is the normal level. However, in meteorology and climatology, it is not pos- sible to define the absolute normal level (baseline) from which deviations (warming or cooling) can be measured or the end of the LIA can be determined. When one ex- amines data over a longer period (say, 2000 and 10,000 years), the present temperature can be below the average temperature for chosen periods."

Of course, he is arguing for a "destination" (my word) that is warmer, because the LIA was apparently too cold(?)

• why do you use the "linear trend" argument against CO2 when AGW theory doesn't suggest CO2 was the main cause of warming during the first half of the twentieth century, and CO2 and temperature follow a logarithmic relationship anyways? [perhaps a question on the future impacts of CO2 as well, since it will continue to increase]

• Church and White 2011 show an acceleration in sea level rise, not a deceleration as Holgate 2007 [heck, it seems Holgate 2007 is only based on 9 tide gauges].

• why do you use GISP2 to comment on twentieth century temperatures when it does not even give data for the twentieth century, and it is a local record affected by polar amplification anyways?

2011-05-25 07:34:53
Alex C



2011-05-25 07:39:05
Rob Honeycutt


Sorry about that Neal (doing about 6 different things at the same time today).  Thanks Alex.

2011-05-25 07:41:29
Rob Honeycutt


This blog that Daniel posted before made some good points about why he omitted the first 30 years of the surface temperature data.


2011-05-25 07:44:59Careful not to Gish gallop
John Cook

If the goal is constructive dialogue, I wouldn't send him a long list of hard hitting questions. That would immediately alienate him. Instead, start with a few questions that don't try to trap him in a corner but genuinely try to learn something then hope to dig deeper in subsequent emails. Scientists love it when you show interest in their work and ask questions about the more subtle aspects of their work.
2011-05-25 07:51:39
Alex C


In light of John's comment, I would suggest leading with at least, and not more than this and one other, the question about the definition of the AMO.  I think that's a good inquiring question, better to hear at the receiving end than more direct ones like "why did you (ignore, only use, etc.)."

2011-05-25 07:58:14Question phraseology
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

"Help me understand..."

"Can you share with me..."

"I'm confused on..."

2011-05-25 08:00:42
Rob Honeycutt


Yeah, that's generally my style with correspondences like this.  I've been exactly the same with Loehle and Humlum.  

My general sense about this paper is that it's not very thoroughly researched.  He's just trying to put together a piece that goes against the mainstream.  I even question whether the paper was actually reviewed.  There are a number of small typos that give me some pause.

I definitely don't want to go in with guns ablazin'.  I would like to be able to fairly succinctly get to some very elemental problems with his assumptions.  The ultimate goal would be to get him to honestly question the veracity of his own work.