Open Mind

Entries from February 2008

Hansen’s Bulldog

February 28, 2008 · 245 Comments

After reading Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, Thomas Henry Huxley sent a letter to Darwin including this passage:

I finished your book yesterday… Since I read Von Baer’s Essays nine years ago no work on Natural History Science I have met with has made so great an impression on me & I do most heartily thank you for the great store of new views you have given me… As for your doctrines I am prepared to go to the Stake if requisite… I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse & misrepresentation which unless I greatly mistake is in store for you… And as to the curs which will bark and yelp - you must recollect that some of your friends at any rate are endowed with an amount of combativeness which (though you have often & justly rebuked it) may stand you in good stead - I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness.

Huxley championed the cause of evolution, and was instrumental in persuading both the scientific community and the British public of its truth. He later came to be known as “Darwin’s Bulldog.”

His letter is a pretty good expression of my view of the global warming issue. I’ve already witnessed far too much of the abuse & misrepresentation which has been heaped on climate scientists, especially James Hansen and Mike Mann. I too am sharpening my claws.

Therefore I’ve changed my pseudonym to “Hansen’s bulldog.”


Categories: Global Warming · climate change

One of these things is not like the others

February 25, 2008 · 456 Comments

ClimateAudit has posted about stations in Peru. Steve McIntyre complains about the large adjustments made by NASA GISS to some of the data series. In fact, he displays graphs showing some of those adjustments, the largest of which are for Puerto Maldon, which has more than a 3-degree adjustment between 1958 and 1988. As usual, a question is asked which includes a none-too-subtle (in fact rather obvious) implication of deliberate misdeeds by NASA GISS:

Categories: Global Warming · climate change

Practical PCA

February 21, 2008 · 62 Comments

The last post certainly had lots of equations. We’ve seen that PCA seeks the directions in some multidimensional space of data which give the most variation of the data, i.e., along which most of the change is happening. If we can characterize almost all of the change with just a few directions in the multidimensional space, discarding the other dimensions, we’ll lose a lot of noise but almost no signal, and benefit from the simplifications of fewer dimensions. It’s a win-win situation.


Categories: Global Warming · climate change

PCA, part 2

February 20, 2008 · 10 Comments

Last time we saw that the 1st principal component is the direction of the projection which gives the maximum variation. So … how would we find that, anyway?


Categories: Global Warming · climate change · mathematics

PCA, part 1

February 16, 2008 · 66 Comments

It’ll take several posts to explore the subject of PCA (principal components analysis) sufficiently to get a good idea of how it relates to some of the climate science that’s often under discussion (i.e., hockey sticks and all that). So here’s part 1, an introduction to PCA.

Some time ago I came across data for ice-out day (the day of the year on which the lake ice breaks up) for a number of the New England lakes. Here’s the data for two of them, lakes Auburn and Moosehead:



Categories: Global Warming · climate change

Outstanding Video

February 8, 2008 · 90 Comments

If you don’t believe there are such things as global warming denialists, or even if you do, you need to watch this video by Naomi Oreskes of the U. Cal. San Diego.

It’s well worth watching the whole thing (about 58 min. long).

Categories: Global Warming · climate change

Open Thread

February 5, 2008 · 229 Comments

It’s quite clear people want to argue about the validity of the surface thermometer record. Personally, I think it’s a non-issue which is harped on by denialists because they don’t have a real case. But, it’ll drive my hit count through the roof.

So this is an open thread for people to discuss anything *climate-related*. This is not for discussion of sex, religion, politics, or spongebob squarepants.


Categories: Global Warming · climate change

Exclamation Points !!!

February 3, 2008 · 100 Comments

A reader recently linked to a post by Anthony Watts which reports an analysis by Joseph D’Aleo. The work seeks to establish that the correlation between temperature in the U.S. (as indicated by the latest version of USHCN data) and CO2 levels is not as strong as that between U.S. temperature and other factors, namely total solar irradiance (TSI) as estimated by Hoyt & Schatten, and a combination of oceanic temperature indices, specifically the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).


Categories: Global Warming · climate change