Yes, the review you’ve all been waiting for. Before I start, let me point out that this has been discussed by WE at WUWT, who has pointed out the obvious problem. It has also been mentioned by KK, though that appears to be more of a meta-discussion about the paper’s reception rather than the paper itself.
[Note: follow-up here.]
To quote KK:
But back to the show. One commenter at WUWT, noting the negative reaction to Judith, gives her a backhanded compliment when he writes: I have to applaud Judith Curry on having the guts to present her paper in the boxing ring of climate blogs where the wild and ignorant rule. but also these that think unbiased and try to address problems in creative ways. I just hope she was not counting on any mercy here. Here’s Judith’s devastating parry: I don’t want your stinkin’ mercy, I’m just lookin’ for some evidence of sentient thought.
Having read through the comments, I don’t think she got any (in the comments). Which is a good time to remind you of my comment policy, which will be strictly applied if needed. In particular, there are plenty of other venues for you to discuss motives, if you want to. This thread is to discuss the science.
Incidentally, because no-one has heard of Liu, everyone is calling this “Curry’s paper” or whatever. Which is wrong. It is Liu and Curry. I’ll call it LC in the sequel, for short.
Continue reading “Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice?”
This is something I’ve been meaning to say for some time, but Gareth has said it instead. I agree with Gareth, but it goes a little further: it isn’t just the interface to policy, it is that a whole group of people (possibly large) are being actively encouraged to undermine science, to fail to understand how it works; to think that their own opinions really are as valid as published research; and so on. Science is a whole thing, a state of mind; you can’t just cut off one area of “climate science”; everything links together.
This is beginning to sound like the traditional complaint about modern-day parents: they don’t back up respect-for-teachers, and as a consequence the teachers can’t teach, and so the children can’t learn.
[Update: As Eli says Looking back at many of the attacks on science from our dear friends, they are wails that climate, and tobacco, and ozone scientists are not doing textbook science, and, of course, since most people only have learned textbook science, this can look like a pretty convincing argument. It is also why demands for regulatory science can be deadly to real science and why “auditing” is a distraction and a fraud.]
Actually this is a post about statistics, but what the hell I’ve been listening to Carmina Burana a lot recently, even if Miriam thinks it is bombastic. So anyway, several people have commented on this article which (whilst it makes some points about statistics that are vaguely plausible) far far overgeneralises its bounds of validity: any single scientific study alone is quite likely to be incorrect, thanks largely to the fact that the standard statistical system for drawing conclusions is, in essence, illogical. Tamino points out the obvious: that statistics works, and it isn’t stats faults if you don’t understand it. JA says similar, though unusually for him is quite kind about it. Even Paul linked to it. And this post merely expands my comment there.
Which is: that much of science isn’t statistical at all. A simple example would be special relativity. You can read the underlying paper; there are no stats in it. You could sort-of argue that there is some stats underlying it (that the speed of light is a constant is sort-of a matter of observation, which always come with errors, so need stats to analyse properly) but that isn’t really true. The sciencenews thing itself seems to be mostly thinking about medicine, where they use stats a lot because they don’t know what is really going on.