Anderegg et al Revisited

Update!!  Game to be played at the end of post!


If this has already been covered, then a refresher never hurts.

I got irked the other day when I read that asinine “98 percent of our scientists have written thousands of peer-reviewed papers and reports concluding that climate change is realz and caused, or at least accelerated, by human activity…blah, blah, blah…..

Now, just to be clear this isn’t the one that sent out 10,000 questionnaires and got back 77 saying it was realz.  This is the one where a couple of pinheads got together and set up some arbitrary standards and proclaimed,

TheUEgroup comprises only2%of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups (Materials and Methods).

(UE= Unconvinced, or skeptical of the Evidence).  (CE = Convinced of the Evidence)

Now, I’ve never taken the time to bother with this much, because science isn’t run by consensus, and we’ve demonstrated how poor the other claims to consensus are.  But, this one has been flying around a bit more than I’d like to see, so, I thought I’d give fellow blog and science report travelers some fodder for the occasion when this comes up.

A brief synopsis on what was done, they gathered a list of scientists based on specific declarations in the past, used Google Scholar to determine how many climate papers these scientists wrote and how many times they were cited and came to the stated conclusions.

So, let’s talk about how they came up with their list.  The list, BTW, totaled 1,372 researchers.  The paper itself doesn’t state what they used, you have to go to the (SI Materials and Methods) From there, what is their very first source to get a list of CEs?

We compiled these CE researchers comprehensively (i.e., all names listed) from the following lists: IPCC AR4 Working Group I Contributors (coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and contributing authors; 619 names listed)

Lol, at this point, I should crack wise about “Delinquent Teenagers”, but I’ll leave it to the readers to insert their own comments.  But, yes, that’s right, nearly half of the overall selection came right out of the IPCC….

You see, this is a problem.  The perception has been that these people poured over the papers themselves to come up with this list.  They did nothing of the sort.  In fact, I dare say they didn’t read any paper relative to this one.  Nor, do they say they do, but, they sure pretend they did…… the second paragraph after the abstract…..

An extensive literature examines what constitutes expertise or credibility in technical and policy-relevant scientific research (15). Though our aim is not to expand upon that literature here, we wish to draw upon several important observations from this literature in examining expert credibility in climate change.

I don’t know what “an extensive literature examines” means, but it sure sounds like they’ve examined the literature.  But, they did not. 

Back to the numbers….. after looking at the IPCC and declarative statements they compiled a list of 903 CEs, or alarmists as we know them.  Then after looking at declarative or statements of being unconvinced, such as the “2006 letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper“(61contributors) and  NIPCC: 2008 Heartland Institute document
“Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate,” ed. S. Fred Singer (24 listed contributors) ….. 12 in all.  And they got a gross list of 472 names.  Oh, but there’s one declarative document in which they did not examine for names…….. they didn’t examine the Oregon Petition.

From there, they try to establish their cli-creds….

Between December 2008 and July 2009, we collected the number of climate-relevant publications for all 1,372 researchers from Google Scholar (search terms: “author:fi-lastname climate”), as well as the number of times cited for each researcher’s four top-cited articles in any field (search term “climate” removed). Overall number of publications was not used because it was not possible to provide accurate publication counts in all cases because of similarly named researchers. We verified, however, author identity for the four top-cited papers by each author.

So, here we find some shocking information the authors even missed!  Climate alarmists, carbonphobes and Malthusian totalitarians use the word “climate” more than the people who laugh at them.

Not content with the ratio 903:472, they impose another arbitrary criteria, they remove all of the ones who have not published at least 20 papers on climate.  Which gave them a list of 908 researchers.  Which then, gave us an entirely different ratio….. 817: 93.  They said they tried it with cut offs at 10 and 40 papers published and that it didn’t make much difference.  They refer us to their “Materials and Methods” section but they forgot to put the results of the 10 and 40 cutoffs in there. 

Oh, the really cool published papers about climate?  They include some earth shattering things like Soil organic matter in secondary forests of Puerto Rico (R-Birdsey) , New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets  (M Bishop, D MacKinnon, A Ohmura), 1000 years of climate variability in central Asia: assessing the evidence using Lake Baikal (Russia) diatom assemblages and the application of a diatom-inferred …  (AW Mackay, DB Ryves, RW Battarbee) <—— I especially like this one, this was supposed to be from an alarmist, but it confirms the MWP and LIA in the area just north of Mongolia.  But, because one of the authors, signed something or was perhaps part of the IPCC, then it counts as an alarmist and towards his level of expertise.  You can play along as well, the one thing the Anderegg did right, was that he put together a pretty cool web app.

Conclusion:  This paper actually proves there is no such thing as a 98% consensus!  Even by their own arbitrary and asinine criteria, it isn’t even 66%.  It isn’t until they start adding more criteria and unverified criteria do they get to the consensus of 49 out of 50 scientists agree….. which in itself is a fallacy.  They could have at least skimmed the titles of the papers. 

Frankly, this is just another clear bit of fraudulent sophistry.  I find it ironic that one of the authors was the late Stephen “I was convinced of global cooling before I was convinced of  global warming” Schneider.  All of his global cooling papers, would likely count toward his expertise in climate issues.

Rationalization for not using the Oregon petition and other meaningless tripe found here.

Game:  Go to the interactive site Anderegg has and see what notable climate skeptic is missing from the paper.


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40 Responses to Anderegg et al Revisited

  1. HankH says:

    The problem with this kind of retrospective statistics carp is you can make the numbers say anything you want.

    Nine out of ten scientists agree that if ten scientists are polled each of the ten will disagree with the other nine on something. That’s with a high degree of certainty: p <= 0.05.

    • suyts says:

      Yes, that’s exactly it, but worse these people don’t even have any pretense of objectivity. They started with the IPCC? And simply assumed all were alarmist scientists….. they neglected the Oregon petition, they didn’t inspect the literature,….. they simply had a number they wanted and did what was necessary to get there.

      lol, I just got tired of seeing it, so I thought I’d inspect it a bit further than what I originally had.

  2. miked1947 says:

    What is mind boggling is the number of “Climate” papers some of these so called ex-perts have written. According to the list there should be nothing else to write about, either that or the so called research papers were just rehashing their previous work and not the result of any new work they had done. I have seen other places where there is a lot of co-authoring going on just so the name is associated with many published papers.
    There is a lot of dots to dig through on that page to find who is missing.

    • suyts says:

      Well, there’s a couple of prominent ones with hundreds of papers. And this illustrate the vacancy of this paper. They looked only at specific declarative statements, and when they got their list of authors, all they did was search the author’s name for papers and citations with the word “climate” in it. That’s an incredibly vapid ruler to judge a skeptic with. In fact, one could say this criteria was specifically selected to eliminate skeptic scientists papers.

      We’ll wait to see if someone else wants to play the game, and I’ll let you know who I notice…. their may be others.

      • Latitude says:

        I’m not awake enough yet…..
        but I’m dying to know who’s missing!

      • miked1947 says:

        Of course it was selected to eliminate sceptics. That was the results they were looking for. The list of “Reputable” web sites they listed regarding the Oregon Petition was enough to show the bias they entered this project with.

      • suyts says:

        Can you guys find Richard Lindzen or John R. Christy? I guess they didn’t make the cut because they didn’t sign the right papers. I can’t even find those guys in the new “non-signers” category.

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  4. miked1947 says:

    I found Christy as a sceptic!

  5. Tomwys says:

    The paper by Andregga, Prall, Harold and Schneider, is probably the most reliable source for the “97%” figure. With some real irony, only one of the authors can be considered to be even peripherally involved in the “Climate” field.

    Of course the major problem is the small number of eligible researchers considered, in this case only about 1000, and WEIGHTING ACCORDING TO articles published and CROSS CITATIONS (does this ring a ClimateGate bell???).

    Considering the funding sources for the research conducted, the bias towards AGW is VERY easy to predict, and the cross-citation ratio would be similarly biased and obviously multiply the result beyond the limits of decency.

    Extreme and moderate support of AGW is lumped together, while only EXTREME non-AGW statement support is considered in the counter AGW category.

    Needless to say, my response to the 97% question refers back to Senator Inhofe’s list exceeding 1000 scientists who disagree with exclusive human caused warming. If this 1000 = 3 %, then on what planet can we find the over 30,000 “climate scientists” who believe otherwise?

  6. Tomwys says:

    BTW You referred to “… earth shattering things like Soil organic matter in secondary forests of Puerto Rico.” Don’t you know that when they dig up dirt, the “earth is shattered”?

  7. miked1947 says:

    Pielke is red and so are some that I would consider luke warmers / moderates.

  8. miked1947 says:

    I found Spencer 93 papers and 179 cites.
    It would be easier if I could get rid of the other colors and only look at the red.

  9. miked1947 says:

    David Holland is listed as a concerned signer. and on the list in green
    They may as well list McIntyre as an alarmist also.

  10. miked1947 says:

    I got that graph blown up as far as I could but it is hard to separate those red dots in the corner because there are also some other colors that come up.

  11. Ted G says:

    As usual a good copulation and a climate info resource keeper.
    PS Spell check is not functioning = most alarming

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  15. Where do they say 98%? 817 to 93 is not 98%.

    • suyts says:

      They added a couple of more criteria by ranking the 910. (publications and citations) Of their ranking only 1 of the top 50 scientists were in the UE group.

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