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This will be a short diary -- it's basically a summary of what Dana Rohrabacher learned from me when I tried to have a twitter-discussion with him about global temperature data.  (Of course, it goes without saying that any summary of what Dana Rohrabacher actually learns about science will always be very short.)

I've been trying to engage Dana Rohrabacher on twitter in an attempt to convince him that NASA and NOAA haven't been manipulating temperature data.

I even tweeted him links to results I got when I ran raw (i.e. non-adjusted) temperature data through a simple gridding/averaging routine I coded up some time ago.  I tried to show him that the global-warming trend seen in the data really is robust, and that no adjustments are needed to confirm the NASA/NOAA results.

I tried to convince Rohrabacher (by showing him my own global-temperature results) that the temperature adjustments largely cancel each other out for global-scale averages, and that the majority of the difference between raw and adjusted data results is the result of corrections for station moves. (The raw data contains no station-move corrections, while the adjusted data does contain those corrections).

I tweeted him a link to a post I put up on my home-town newspaper's on-line forum, a post where I put up my own global temperature results and then explained in very straightforward language what the results mean.

Here is a link to that post:

My Rebuttal to the Latest Temperature Manipulation Charges

And what was Rohrabacher's final response to me?  Look below the orange squiggle to see.

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...that the lawyers should be paying Dr. Mann for the privilege of taking his case against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review!

Climatesciencewatch.org has the latest legal briefs, and they are pure popcorn-munching entertainment gold.  Link here: http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/...

So throw a bag of popcorn into the microwave and then check out these juicy excerpts from those legal briefs (thanks again to climatesciencewatch):

In view of the defendants’ initial public bravado regarding Dr. Mann, their latest attempt to avoid a trial on this matter rings hollow--and basic principles of equity and fairness should estop them from now seeking an appeal. Defendants baited Dr. Mann to file this lawsuit. After he asked for a retraction and apology, the defendants told their readers that they would welcome a lawsuit because it would give them the opportunity to take discovery from Dr. Mann and his colleagues. They boasted they would hire dedicated staff to sift through that discovery and make it publicly available.1 They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from their readers to pursue this discovery.2 They proclaimed they would “kick” Dr. Mann’s "legal heinie" in court.3

But now, after an impartial court has ruled that their attacks on Dr. Mann crossed the line, defendants are running for cover. Faced now with the prospect of financial liability for their gleeful tirades, defendants do not want discovery, as it would involve discovery into their own conduct. And they certainly do not want to face a jury of their peers.
.....

Plainly aware that such discovery will boomerang to their own backsides, the defendants are looking for an escape. But it is too late for that, and defendants’ hit and run tactics should not be countenanced. They asked for this lawsuit. They got it.

It's not often that a legal office has "Manna from Heaven" like this just land in its lap, and Mann's legal team is definitely having a great time with this case.  

My only advice to Dr. Mann and his legal team is:  When it comes time to collect damages, "grab the defendants by the ankles and shake the pennies loose".

Edit: I didn't include enough background about Dr. Mann for those who aren't familiar with him, so I'm reproducing this comment from below:

(Dr Mann is a) respected climate scientist whose emails were hacked and used by RW media (Fox et al.) to create "Climategate." (Lost my more extensive comment :( but more at wikipedia.) He's published in such prestigious journals as Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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(Very short diary -- not much more than a link to video of a particularly stupid GOP politician in action plus a bit of snarky commentary.)

Here's Rep. Dana Rohrabacher going full tinfoil-hat about global warming at a townhall meeting just this week in Orange County, CA (scroll down a bit for the link to the actual video): http://www.thenation.com/...

Props to The Nation for making available this video footage available.

Words simply cannot do justice to Rohrabacher's breathtaking stupidity (unless the words are spoken by Rohrabacher himself, that is).

Folks, science policy in the USA is at the mercy of this clown (and his fellow GOP clowns) on the House Science Committee.  

Democrats need to pull out all stops to make Rohrabacher the laughing-stock of Orange County for the 2014 election -- and hopefully, they will mine this footage (as well as plenty of other video footage) of Rohrabacher making an absolute fool of himself.  Sane voters need to be motivated to show up at the polls (and hopefully outnumber the delusional old wingnuts who comprise Rohrabacher's base).

And let me toss out an idea that come to me a couple of minutes ago:

How about a "tinfoil-hat drive"?  Have thousands of custom-made tinfoil-hats (custom crafted by volunteers) delivered to Rohrabacher's office (with the media alerted beforehand).

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This will be a very short (but delicious) diary.  (H/T to ClimateScienceWatch.org and ClimateProgress.org -- they are on top this one.)  The Court's decision regarding Dr. Michael Mann's standing to sue has been issued, and it's a doozy -- linky here:   http://thinkprogress.org/...

Here are a couple of excerpts (thanx to ClimateScienceWatch and ClimateProgress):

The CEI Defendants’ persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies’ conclusion that Plaintiff’s work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements. Thus, given the evidence presented the Court finds that Plaintiff could prove “actual malice.”

.....

Plaintiff has been investigated several times and his work has been found to be accurate. In fact, some of these investigations have been due to the accusations made by the CEI Defendants. It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the CEI Defendants. Thus, it is fair to say that the CEI Defendants continue to criticize Plaintiff due to a reckless disregard for truth.

Dr. Mann has been on the receiving end of all kinds of abuse from dishonest political hacks simply for publishing good science -- science, BTW, that has stood up to over a decade of professional scrutiny and that has been replicated/confirmed numerous times in the peer-reviewed literature.

I rather suspect that we'll see the abuse subside after this ruling, and I'll bet that lots of rabid deniers are scrubbing their web-sites as I type this.

Anyway, the last time I saw a courtroom beat-down this harsh, it was on the Judge Judy show.

Looks like it's time to throw another bag of popcorn into the microwave!

Discuss

This will be a very short diary -- just a brief intro and a couple of web.archive.org links.  

As many folks may recall, the Koch Brothers helped to fund a global temperature study (most likely hoping to shoot down the published NASA/NOAA/CRU results).  Well, it turns out that the study strongly confirmed the NASA/NOAA/CRU work, much to the disappointment of many AGW "skeptics".

So, what does this have to do with the Koch Brothers' pending acquisition of the LA Times?

Check out these links and draw your own conclusions:

(Archived 01/27/2013): http://web.archive.org/...

(Archived 01/28/2013): http://web.archive.org/...

That is all.

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Edited to add:  I'll freely admit that the VM approach I took was an inelegant, "brute force" approach -- but it enabled me to cobble together existing software that I was familiar with to get something up and running fairly quickly.  There's enough data-crunching going on in the background (on the order of 100 MB ASCII-formatted temperature data from thousands of stations has to be normalized, sifted, sorted, and averaged) that an all-in-browser or java/.net/whatever approach might not be feasible.

Some time ago, I released some software that I called "WattsBuster" -- it was named in honor of serial climate-disinformer Anthony Watts.  Once it was set up and running, it would allow users to debunk all of Anthony Watts' favorite claims about the NASA/Hansen global-temperature work with a simple series o' mouse-clicks.

The big problem with it (which I was aware of at the time) was the "get it set up and running" part.   It was way too much of a PITA to install/configure for most folks to bother with.  (Those of us who live in a "computer nerd / programmer" bubble often tend to forget what "easy to use" is really supposed to mean).

Since then, I've been experimenting with ways to package the WattsBuster software up in a more user-friendly (and portable cross-platform) format.  

The current solution I'm trying isn't ideal.  It requires folks to download a pretty big "virtual machine appliance" file (which is about 1GB in size), and it still requires additional software to be downloaded and installed.  But it is much less of a PITA than the previous version.

You will also need sufficient memory on your PC/Laptop -- 2GB or more is preferred, but you can get away with 1 GB if you shut down your other apps before you launch WattsBuster.  You will also need approximately 4GB additional disk-space to expand the appliance file.

Here's a quickstart summary of the installation/configuration procedure.

1) Download the virtual-machine appliance file from http://tinyurl.com/...

2) Download and install Oracle's free VirtualBox virtualizer software from http://virtualbox.org.   VirtualBox runs on most Macs and PC's (there are issues with pre 10.5 OS-X versions, unfortunately).  VirtualBox is a snap to install -- just a quick series of mouse-clicks.

3) Launch VirtualBox and then import the appliance file via "File-->Import Appliance...". For any options that pop up, just accept the defaults.  This process could take a couple of minutes.

4) Click on the VirtualBox "Start" button (at the top of the VirtualBox window).

5) Allow the virtual-machine to boot up in its own window -- wait for the Google Maps browser interface to appear.  Once the Google Map display appears, give it another 30 seconds or so to make sure that the "back end" global-temperature calculator fully initializes.

6) To shut it down after use, simply right-click near the top of the virtual-machine desktop window.  A popup menu with an "exit" entry at the bottom should appear. (It may require more than one try to get the right menu). Select "exit" to shut down the virtual machine cleanly.  Simply closing the virtual-machine window could cause virtual damage to the virtual file-system ;).

7) The appliance file needs to be imported just once -- after that, you can start up and shut down the virtual machine at will via the VirtualBox control panel.

To whet your appetites, here's a link to a screenshot of WattsBuster in action (too big to embed here): http://img818.imageshack.us/... -- disclaimer:  This is an earlier version -- the new version has a few more control-panel features.

The software all runs in its own isolated "virtual machine" -- it cannot modify or harm your system in any way.

More details after the jump.

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(This was originally posted as a comment -- thought I'd promote it to "diary" status)

The animated GIF file can be viewed/downloaded here: http://tinyurl.com/...

Below is some information that explains what is going on in that animation.

First, a bit of background info -- off and on, I've been playing around with the global temperature data that NASA and NOAA use to compute global-average temperature estimates. (I wrote software to compute my own global-average temperature results, implementing a seriously "dumbed down" version of the NOAA gridding/averaging routine.)

I've found that it's amazingly easy to replicate the NASA global-warming trend from that data. I've also found that it's amazingly easy to debunk all of the major denier claims about the global temperature data.  

Warming caused by UHI ("Urban Heat Island")?  Crunch rural and urban temperature data separately, and you get nearly identical results.  So UHI is not responsible for the warming.

Warming the result of data "homogenization"?  Raw and adjusted (aka "homogenized") data produce very similar results -- once you've averaged together more than a handful of stations, the data adjustments largely cancel each other out.

Warming due to the "dropped temperature stations" effect? (If you are unfamiliar with this particular claim, just Google up "dropped temperature stations" to see how bogus it is).   Watts and other deniers claim that the global warming trend is skewed because only 1500 of the 6000+ stations used by NASA/NOAA are currently reporting data in "real time".  Well, I found that you can replicate the NASA/NOAA global warming trends with just a few dozen stations. So going from 6000 stations to 1500 is a non-issue --  1500 stations is way more than you need, anyway.

More details after the jump.

(Edited to add -- someone correctly pointed out in the comments that I shouldn't expect to convince those who have always denied reality.  But my intent isn't to convince deniers so much as it is to try to isolate and quarantine them.  To the extent that I can provide sensible folks with "ammo" to help do this, I'll keep giving it my best shots ;) )

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Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM PDT

Attn Climate-Science Instructors

by caerbannog

(Note: The material below may be excessively "science/computer nerdy", depending on your POV -- The target audience is computer-savvy science instructors and students who'd like some more ammo to fire back at global-warming deniers with.)

I've put together a package that I decided to call WattsBuster(tm), in honor of climate disinformer Anthony Watts.

When WattsBuster(tm) is set up and running, students will be able to "roll their own" global-average temperature estimates by pointing/clicking on temperature stations on a global map.  As each new temperature station is selected, WattsBuster(tm) updates and displays global-average temperature estimates with that station's data, on the fly.  

Temperature estimates are computed from both raw and adjusted/homogenized data, and are plotted along with the official NASA/GISS "meteorological stations" results for comparison purposes.  As students click on more stations, they can watch the WattsBuster(tm) raw and adjusted/homogenized data results converge to the official NASA/GISS results surprisingly quickly.

Experimentation with WattsBuster(tm) will reveal that the NASA/GISS global-warming results can be confirmed with raw or adjusted/homogenized data from as few as 30 or so globally-scattered temperature stations, rural or urban.

Disclaimer:  WattsBuster(tm) is not anywhere near a "consumer-grade" polished end product.  It should be considered a "proof of concept" prototype that takes a bit of work to get up and running. (Most of the work involved is "system prepping" -- getting the prerequisite software installed on your system. Setting up the actual WattsBuster(tm) package is actually pretty simple.)

The WattsBuster(tm) package can be installed/configured to run on Linux, BSD/OS-X, and Windows systems. Installation/configuration is easiest on Linux platforms that use the Debian-based package-management system (i.e. Debian, Ubuntu, Mint...). OS-X and Windows platforms require additional prep work -- details at the bottom of this post.

WattsBuster(tm) installation/configuration is recommended for folks who are comfortable working in an "old-school" Unix/Linux command-line environment (or for those who are willing to learn how to work in a Unix/Linux command-line environment).  There's not all that much you have to do at the command-line, but for folks who haven't worked in an "old school" command-line environment, it could be a bit off-putting.

WattsBuster(tm) borrows heavily from several open-source software projects: Quantum GIS, gnuplot, and a neat C++ TCP socket class that I found on-line.

More details after the jump, including a couple of images that show WattsBuster(tm) in action.

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Very short diary here.  

Dr. Mann has had it with denier lies and smears and has retained a kick*ss legal firm to go after National Review.   Popcorn-worthly details at the following links.

http://www.facebook.com/...
http://climatecrocks.com/...

The nasty-gram that Dr. Mann's legal firm just sent to NR can be found here: http://climatecrock.files.wordpress.com/...

Edited to add: oops -- that wasn't all of the letter.  Here are links to the rest:
http://climatecrock.files.wordpress.com/...
http://climatecrock.files.wordpress.com/...

It looks like Dr. Mann is "going nuclear" (and it's about f*&!ing time).  When you are dealing with slimeball deniers, that "gentleman and scholar" stuff will take you only so far...

If you are so inclined, please do stop by Dr. Mann's FB page and leave some words of encouragement.

And then stock up on the popcorn.  With the drought (likely worsened by global-warming) hammering the corn crop, popcorn could be a bit pricey by the time legal proceedings get under way.

That is all -- nothing else past the jump.

Discuss

...and a hard-hitting interview it is! (Mucho thanx to Bill Blakemore for doing a bang-up job as a journalist).

(Very short diary here -- the material below speaks for itself)

Mr Blakemore just put up a 5-part video of the entire interview (along with the complete transcript) on the ABC News web-site.  Here are the links:

Part 1:  ‘New McCarthyism’ Described by Climate Scientist Michael Mann

Part 2:  Climate Denialists Worse Than Tobacco CEOs Lying Under Oath, Says Mann

Part 3:  Climate Denialists Would Be Remembered as Villains, Says Mann

Part 4:  Unprecedented Crisis for Humanity — But There’s Hope

Part 5:  Climate ‘Groundhog Day for Scientists and Journalists Alike  

(Thanks to climatesciencewatch.org for the links)

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Off and on, I had been playing around with the global surface temperature data -- coded up a program to crunch the data via a simple gridding/averaging procedure that is much simpler and cruder than what the NASA/NOAA/CRU folks use, and discovered that it was amazingly easy (easy from a programmer's perspective, that is) to confirm the global temperature results published by NASA/NOAA/CRU etc.

So I put together a simple summary plot of some of my results, something that might be useful to hit vocal "skeptics" with:

The plot shows three global temperature curves, which I've deliberately left unlabeled.  

One of the curves represents the official NASA/James-Hansen "meteorological stations" results (copy/pasted directly from the NASA/GISS web-site).  Another of the curves shows results generated by my simple averaging program when I ran raw temperature data through it.  And the final curve shows the output of my simple averaging program when I ran "homogenized" data through it.

So the approach here is, show the plot to your skeptical coworkers/relatives/etc. without telling them anything about how the temperature curves were generated, and get them to state what they see.  Do the curves look very similar?  Do they all show similar warming trends?   Are the differences between them pretty minor?   Get them to commit to answers to those (or similar) questions.

Then, once you've gotten them to stake out their positions, tell them how the temperature curves were generated, and them ask them if they can tell which curve is which.

Details about how each temperature curve was generated are supplied below the jump.

Also, a link to the computer source code is supplied below the jump (disclaimer -- not a finished product, not user friendly -- it's an off and on "hobby project" with some minimally-tested features).  

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Recently, I did something that deniers would never dream of doing. I rolled up my sleeves and computed my own global-average temperature results from the very same  temperature data that NASA/GISS uses to its compute global-average temperatures.   My processing approach was pretty crude (definitely "back of the envelope" by NASA standards), but even with my very crude, simple-minded approach, I was able to confirm the NASA results and prove the deniers wrong.

I found that not only could I confirm the NASA/GISS global-warming results by crunching raw temperature data on my laptop with my own "hand rolled" program, I could replicate the NASA/GISS results pretty decently even if I used just a few dozen rural stations scattered around the world (aka my "sparse stations" results).

And this with raw (not homogenized) temperature data.   Also should point out that for someone with programming experience, putting together a crude program to confirm the NASA/GISS results is no more than a few days worth of "spare time" effort.   Think about that when you consider how many years Anthony Watts and other deniers have spent attacking the NASA data and results without ever computing any results of their own.

Anyway, more details after the jump.

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