Best of Tamino: Urging an Open Mind

More Summer Reading:

Thanks to DeSmogger Brian D., we now have this well-categorized version of The Best of Tamino, a veritable celebration of debunkery courtesy of the clearest writing statisticians around. Brian's recommended (and annotated) reading list is posted below.

“It hasn't warmed since 1998!”

Garbage is Forever


(Also an excellent introduction to the concept of signal and noise to those unfamiliar with statistics.)

“The hockey stick was debunked!”

Hockey Sticks

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

(This is rather technical. The first one is an overview, the rest are in-depth. Number 4 goes into detail on the McIntyre/McKitrick argument and clearly shows why it's wrong. Part 4 can be read without reading the others, although some of the math won't make sense. Part 5 goes into more detail and demonstrates the robustness of the stick.)

NASA / Hansen is lying / cooking the data! / The surface stations are unreliable!”

Best Estimates

Surface Stations


One of These Things is Not Like the Others

(This covers joint bullshit from Antony Watts and ClimateAudit, depending on which particular form this argument takes. MSU is the only odd one out - it covers adjustments in the SATELLITE data, and compares the different records. [Surprise surprise, but Christy and Spencer's UAH is poorly adjusted for variation and is cooler than all the others or the surface stations. The other posts validate the surface station system used to compare.] One Of These Things covers one of McIntyre's adjustment bitchfests in detail. Surface Stations covers one of the surface station adjustments as an example. Best Estimates is an overview.)

(There's a followup series to the surface stations, where he analyzes the differences and historical trends in the three largest datasets, but those are less pertinent to communication purposes and more for general interest.)

Those are the most frequent inactivist arguments I've seen here that are based on statistics.

While I'm at it, you might also appreciate the following:

Tamino showing, mathematically, how a basic climate model is built (a first-order approximation with no weather included, but explained VERY clearly; those who suspect the models aren't based on science or who don't know what a model is would find this interesting).

See also the giant “Climate Data Links” link at the top of every page; this lets you get the actual datasets he uses. Some require subscriptions, sadly, but most are public. (Note to Gary et al: Look up Excel's LINEST function and try it out on any of the land-ocean temperature indices.)

Smackdown of shoddy 'analysis' from Antony Watts and his crowd; even if you don't know who Watts is, you've probably heard some of his arguments before. This is entertaining on other grounds as well – read it and see. This also serves as a decent model of peer review – suffice it to say, nothing analyzed there would have made it into the peer-reviewed literature, and for good reason.

What's Up With That

Exclamation Points

How Not to Analyze Data Part 1

HNTAD Part Deux

HNTAD Part 3

HNTAD Part 4: Lies , Damned Lies and Anthony Watts

The comment threads here are also interesting, as the accused always stop by to try to defend themselves… poorly. Watts himself tries an (unsuccessful) PR smokebomb in Part 1, for instance.


Just one of the most respected climate science investigators on the planet.
You would do well to visit his site and see first hand why AGW is a laughing stock in most of the world.

Open Mind? LOL closed as a Creationist’s.
And equally logical.

Watts is, by his own admission, not a climate expert. If you’d bothered to check the links I mentioned above that detailed Watts’ analyses, you’d note that he:
1) Attempted a cross-record temperature analysis without understanding that GISS, HadCRUT, UAH, and RSS use different temperatue scales, and that he didn’t understand what a temperature *anomaly* was,
2) Uncritically defended an analysis that only shows that time correlates with time, claiming it disputed AGW,
3) Proudly posted (and defended) an analysis so badly put together that not even you would think it’s flawless (D’Aleo’s, under “Exclamation Points!!!”)
4) Doesn’t understand the arbitrary nature of picking a reference point when expressing data,
5) Confused the physics of capacitors with those of climate, and insisting that he’s right in spite of there being no physical basis for such a conclusion,
6) Refused to correct himself when any of these errors were pointed out, and in fact deleted critical comments (and at least once deleted the entire post in question) rather than admit he made an error.

How, pray tell, can you call him an ‘investigator’ instead of the more accurate ‘shit-disturber’?

Oh, that’s right. He disputes AGW, and thus gets a pass by the remnant of Gary’s critical thinking systems.

Actually, maybe Gary IS Watts. Does Watts have a spelling problem?

Edited to add: unlike Gary, I can click on links, so I see that Watts is more literate than Gary.

Wrong again as usual.

How, pray tell, can you call him an ‘investigator’ instead of the more accurate ‘shit-disturber’?
This is the real issue isn’t.
Like nearly all Desmog character assignation attempts this rant is simply an attempt to sling BS in the hope that people will not read Anthony’s site.
His now world famous Watts Up With That site is so embarrassing to the likes of AGW fanatic James Hansen the any measure will be taken to smear his (untouchable) credibility.
GISS temp records are so unreliable and so obviously Fudged to Back up Hansen’s shattered reputation that no one in serious climate study uses them anymore. Only the Propagandists.
It will all be clear in the next couple of years.
Stay tuned, stay informed and you won’t be caught with investments in dying Green agenda driven Scams.

Gary: “one of the most respected climate science investigators on the planet”? Respected by whom? And for what?

Once again, if you want to claim even a shred of credibility here, why don’t you back up these sweeping pronouncements with some scant bit of evidence. There must be SOMEBODY you can point to in the denier press or (just imagine) in a legitimate science organization who has heard of Anthony Watts and has commented favorably on his credentials. There must be one, single link you can offer. NO?

Hello? Gary? Are you there? 

Links Links Links:
I did a quick search and found a bunch. Below are a few,
But really, what is the point. I could find sites that claim to respect the work of Michael Mann too.
What does that prove? We all know he was a scammer.
And since the role of desmog is to claim to discredit anyone that has an open mind on GW, you will simply dismiss them anyway.
Better that people go find out for themselves.

Just like Hiedi Cullen.

However, it does not take a degree in Climatology to show how increadibly inaccurate our measuring stations are.
A few minutes on and even the thickest amoung us can see the problem.
And No. Jimmy’s fudging does not account for all the problems.
Watts contributes yet another piece of the puzzel.
Add that to all the other problems with the AGW hypothysis and there is not much left.
CO2 had its day.
Its done now, time to move on.

Folks should check out

Then, they should ask themselves, if the surface temperature record is so unreliable, then why does it correlate so well with not one, but *two* satellite-based temperature reconstructions?

Coincidence? Conspiracy? “Enquiring minds” want to know!

Read these as well and see what “open mind” means in AGW speak.

It means “we are so desperate we will say anything and blame anything on Glo-BULL warming” because we so much invested, we will be ruined if the truth gets out.

Nice attempt at a smokebomb, Gary. Had you bothered to click ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE LINKS, you’d see that Tamino doesn’t bother to argue on the basis of science. In fact, routinely, you can find him insisting that he isn’t a climate scientist. He’s a statistician, speaking about statistically-falsifiable claims. He talks about the peer-reviewed science (in terms of their statistical claims), the methods used in such science, and occasional bouts of persistent yet inane analysis (in terms of their errors, with clear illustrations of where they went wrong).

A great example of the claims he illustrates as false would be your own favorite of “no warming since 1998”. I posted two links above that address that complaint statistically, with relevant links to the source data. All you need to do is understand what a linear regression is – which is what the LINEST function in Excel mentioned in the post does.

But of course, since you don’t understand what a linear regression is, you shut your mind out to any more sophisticated statistics, and instantly go on the defensive when anyone demonstrates your error.

Nice attempt to redirect attention away from the wealth of applied statistics and annotations provided here, by the way. Too bad it wasn’t the time nor place for such a misdirection. Deal with the statistics directly, or admit you have made a mistake.

The Hockey Stick is “robust” now? When did that happen? Tamino certainly wasn’t able to validate the HS.

a) He can’t read and understand simple English?

b) The information he reads is found in the wrong section of the library (Hint: Paul, go to the NON-FICTION section, not the FICTION section)?

c) He is a pathological liar?

d) All of the above?

My best guess is d).

Ian Forrester

The scientific community no longer stands up for the HS. I wonder why. Remember:

Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science

But by now we all know that Paul A/B/C….X/Y/Z has nothing useful to contribute.

What a boring and useless life he leads.

Ian Forrester

Here’something useful Ian. Sea ice extent is 700,000 square kilometers above last year on this date.

Assuming that what you say is correct, and with you that’s a big assumption, it is not particularly useful at all.

What is useful and important is that the GRACE satellites have shown that both Greenland and the Antarctic are losing ice at a much higher rate than was previously thought. That will have a major affect down the not too distant road. Of course, narcissist and greedy people such as you and Gary couldn’t care less what happens “down the road” as long as you can get your greedy hands on as much “loot” as possible today and screw tomorrow.

As I have said to you before, you are a pathetic human being and a disgrace to all humankind.

Ian Forrester

The “much higher” rate you refer to is still, at present, mostly inconsequential, and the loss is so small, that it is possibly a measurement error. Conveniently, we are never informed what the margin of error is for Greenland’s and the Antarctic’s measurements. Maybe you know Ian.

Go to the GRACE (or other sources) and the errors are clearly reported.

Trying to use your bluster and dishonest garbage doesn’t work on a site such as this where people actually know what they are talking about. Go back to the dishonest denier sites, your approach is welcome there.

Ian Forrester

Are you a Green Socialist?
You are starting to sound more like a fanatical Greenie than a scientist.
Or …. actually I don’t recall any post ever indicating that you have any scientific training of any sort.

Perhaps just a Blustering Cultist?

Just asking.

Much of GRACE’s “measurements” are estimates based on computer modelling. The level of uncertainty in their data is downplayed by an all too compliant media. Read some of NASA’s info on GRACE’s measurements of the Antarctica, you will see yourself.

Paul A/B/C…X/Y/Z shows that he doesn’t have a clue about the science behind the GRACE satellites.

Paul doesn’t even know the difference between a computer model and a Model T.

The GRACE data are not based on “computer models” but are derived from actual measurements carried out by sophisticated instruments. Computers are used to process the data but to call the GRACE satellites “computer models” shows both your ignorance and your dishonesty. You are dishonest because you don’t know what you are talking about but spout your verbal diarrhea to try and convince people that you know something when, in fact, you are one of the most ignorant people on this site.

You are pathetic, anyone who reads your rubbish must wonder what sort of an excuse for a human being they are dealing with.

Here is a description of how GRACE works:

“As the GRACE-twins fly in formation over the Earth the precise speed of each satellite and the distance between them is constantly communicated via a microwave K-band ranging instrument. As the gravitational field changes beneath the satellites - correlating to changes in mass (topography) of the surface beneath - the orbital motion of each satellite is changed. This change in orbital motion causes the distance between the satellites to expand or contract and can be measured using the K-band instrument. From this, the fluctuations in the Earth’s gravitational field can be determined.

Here’s an example of how it works. The two GRACE satellites are traveling in space, both 500 kilometers above the earth. As the front satellite approaches an area of higher gravity, it will be pulled toward the area of higher gravity and speed up. This increases the distance between the two satellites. As the satellites straddle the area of higher gravity, the front satellite will slow down and the trailing satellite will speed up. As the trailing satellite passes the area of higher gravity, it will slow down and the lead satellite will not be affected. As the satellites move around the Earth, the speeding up and slowing down of the satellites will allow scientists to measure the distance between the two satellites, and, therefore, map the earth’s gravity field”.

Ian Forrester

No longer stands up for the HS?

The HS (MBH 1999) is featured in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Working-Group I report, figure 6.10.

Yes, the HS is in IPCC 4, but did you notice it is featured much less prominently? Most green websites have downgraded the HS too.

So much easier to cherry-pick snapshots from the past, isn’t it? So much easier to reference standard denier talking points, rather than consider how science progresses and improves.

This would be because there are many temp reconstructions now instead of just 1, which at the time the MBH was the only one. Hense there are many more to show instead of just 1…..

The Hockey Stick of MM and his buds at the propaganda site RC is clearly the most completely discredited bit of AGW Mythology ever to embarrass a scientist.
Yet these “Open Minded” people still attempt to promote it.
Then they dismiss out of hand 31000 scientists because they disagree with the few fanatics at the IPCC.
In short they “deny” the actual “overwhelming Consensus” in favor of cult dogma.
Open minded indeed.

Oh… and there has been NO warming in the past 8 years and none forcast for the next 10.
AGW is dead.

is why I don’t bother to post regularly anymore. Gary, Gary, Gary …

Fern Mackenzie

Yeah but Fern, Gary is so beyond being out there in crank land, how can you even take him seriously? He calls journalist monkton an expert scientist afterall? Not to mention a million other half baked things…it is funny to read his posts…come on now.

I just don’t bother responding much anymore. For awhile I thought he might be interested in a reasonable conversation, but that evaporated pretty quickly.

Fern Mackenzie

Don’t you at least chuckle once in a while?
Have you no sense of Ha Ha?

You take this stuff too seriously.
You need to have some fun with it while it lasts.
It will be over soon enough.
Get in the game.

My Crankland comments are carefully taylored to be equal to the level of absurdity

Oops, Hit post by accident
My Crankland comments are carefully tailored to be equal to the level of absurdity of other posts here.
You claim Hiedi is credible, I will post something equally absurd.
You claim the HS is valid, I will post something equally absurd.
Post something realistic and I will do the same.

Just a question:
Can you point out any single point I made above that is Not True?
You guys DO Dismiss 31000 scientists out of hand.
GW HAS stopped.

Whats is doubt here?

Have you even made any points? I just want to be clear what they are….global warming has stopped is a point but thats certainly not true. The first 2 Tamino’s links cover that. Care to dicuss that in detail?

The first 2 Tamino’s links cover that.

Tamino is wrong.

simple isn’t it.

His arguments sound good if you already believe.
The arguments of thousands of others sound just as good and completely dissagree.

He has AN opinion.
Others have differing opinions.

Until someone somewhere comes up with some actual evidence or God Forbid, a proof, all of this is just opinions and nothing more.

So far I have not seen anything to convince me.

Could still happen, but it take more than just greenie blustering and political posturing.

Gary, that’s not providing any support for your claim or disputing Tamino’s. The question was “why is his argument wrong”; the answer to that isn’t “it’s just an opinion” if the argument deals with the data (which it does).

At this point, you must either:
1) Demonstrate some flaw with his analysis, be it in the assumptions or execution, which invalidates his response or
2) Provide a working analysis of the source data yourself that supports your position (“global warming stopped in 1998).

Until you do that, any claim you make to the legitimacy of Tamino’s argument is just smokebombing.

Show us WHY you’re right, or go home.

Agreed entirely. I ran a linear regession on the same data set and arrive at the same graph as Tamino. So Tamino’s analysis can be checked. A linear regression is not a difficult thing to run. If you say global warming stoped in 1998 then you are wrong. Run a linear regession from 1998 to 2007 and you will not get a negative slop, you will get an increasing trend. But I am really wanting to know, why Tamino is wrong? why is a linear regession from 1998 to 2007 giving a positive ie increasing temp slope and how is that wrong?

I tried to respond with links but it was cencored out.
Hmmmmm. Censorship is only needed to protect weak positions.
anyway, it was easy to find, just google “No warming since 2001.”
BTW: A simple grapf is perfectly adequate. You don’t need to resort to linear regressions to illistrate the truth.
Unless you intend to confuse the issue and try to show a trend where there is none.

But you claimed there was no warming since 1998, now are you claiming there is no warming since 2001. Have you abandoned that position now that there is no warming since 1998?….If any given year is warmer than the last does that mean global warming is back on? Why are you now picking 2001 as a start point, is your start point randomly chosen, why not 1996? I am curious as to how you defend this. Dont link me something, just explain, how you said there is no global warming since 1998? or at least explain how Tamino’s analysis is wrong you claimed that as well? These are the claims you made, some effort to explain and defend them would be appreciated….

I said in the last 8 years.
Actually you can pick any point you want and show what ever you want.
If you wish to see reality, you need to look at these time periods.
1860 to present.
900 to present.
500 BC to present.
5000 BC to present.

If you look at truely climatic time periods you see not only clear natural cycles but a general gradual cooling from this interglacials optimum to now.

The silly claim that all GW prior to 1950 was natural and all after are man made is simply absurd.

Look at history. There is NOTHING unusual going on now.

Gary, rather than use Google (which lacks a Wisdom button), why not download the data yourself and look?

I’m using HadCRU here, since I know you take offense to GISS. For those following at home, Tamino’s site links it at the top of every single page, under Climate Data Links. (I told you he’s a good resource!).

The trend since 2001 is -0.0033±0.0064 – cooling, but not statistically significant.

The trend since 1998 is 0.0047±0.0097 – warming, but also not statistically significant.

Surprise, surprise, but a few years isn’t enough to determine a long-term trend. (Andto get around your “why not 5000 years?” argument, please read Tamino’s Wiggles entry, above.)

That’s bullshit.

If you have a problem posting a link on this site and you run into any technical difficulty, you can email it to me directly ([email protected]) and I’ll see that it runs immediately.