....or the cutting and pasting unverifiable theories for fun and profit

Documenting climatology's fascination with regurgitation. Here is a popular example to get you started: Luterbacher and Jones borrow their text from the Mann.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grand Opening Sentence Take II




If an opening gambit resonates - reuse it! The more times it appears in print, after all, the more correct the underlying science must be, surely everyone can follow that logic and this is how cargo cult science works after all. Collect the accoutrements and surely the facts must follow.

Two R.S. Bradley openings follow:

"It is often stated that climate in Medieval time was warm, or warmer than “today”.
Such a statement might seem innocuous – a mere scientific curiosity -- but it has
wider significance. For those opposed to action on global warming, the climate in
Medieval time has become a cause célèbre."
http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Bradley.pdf

"Climate in Medieval time is often said to have been as warm as, or warmer
than, it is “today.” Such a statement might seem innocuous. But for those opposed
to action on global warming, it has become a cause célèbre:"
http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/bradley2003d.pdf

You would think that simply proving that the climate in Medieval times was cooler than today once would be enough. Of course, you would be thinking far too scientifically. As this is climatology, the proof lies in the number of repetitions of the so called proof, not in any actual proof.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Climatologically Inspired Poetry

In this article, we use the terms 'climatologically', 'inspired', and 'poetry' rather loosely. But, I thought that collecting a few of the jottings of climatologically challenged individuals here might not go amiss. As far as I know the plagiarisms involved are egregious but not actually anti-scientific.

From: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/8/josh-17.html
For Lucia, with thanks for the haikus.
(Blame Mike Post and Don Pablo for quoting Shelley the other day and setting me off.)

I met a traveller from a distant shire
Who said: A vast and pointless shaft of steel
Stands on a hill top… Near it, in the mire,
Half sunk, a shattered turbine lies, whose wheels
And riven blades and snarls of coloured wire
Tell that its owners well their mission read
Which did not last nor, nowhere to be seen,
The hand that paid them and the empty head.
And scrawled around the base these lines are clear:
‘My name is Millibandias, greenest Green.
Look on my works, ye doubters, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round this display
Of reckless cost and loss, blotless and fair,
The green and pleasant landscape rolls away.
Apr 8, 2010 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter Dreadnought

From: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/9/the-modern-climatologist.html

The Rime of the Ancient Climateer (Abridged)

It is an ancient climateer
And he stoppeth one of three
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

He holds him with his clammy hand,
'There was a rise,' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
'It was no trick', quoth he.

God save thee ancient climateer
From the fiends, that plaugue thy mind
Why look'st thou so? 'With my eraser
I removed the graph's decline.'
Apr 10, 2010 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered Commenter STC
From: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/9/the-modern-climatologist.html

I am the very model of a modern climatologist
I’m partly statistician, partly palaeo-phrenologist
I’ve temperature readings from thermometers coniferous
my data are the same (or not, well, maybe) as Keith Briffa has
I bought them from a bloke who brought them hotfoot from Siberia
and mixed them with some algae from the mud in Lake Superior.
When counting different isotopes I’m really in my element
and sucking up to journalists from Guardian Environment
I know what makes the treerings from Siberia to the Rockies tick
And I can make spaghetti and transform it to a hockeystick.
My data’s got dark matter that would shatter a cosmologist
I am the very model of a modern climatologist

From: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/11/21/realclimates-take-on-the-year.html

There was a climatologist from Penn State
who studied tree rings and their growth rate
he found quite a few
which grew fast with CO2
but none after 1960, hence climategate.
Nov 21, 2010 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered Commenter lapogus

From: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/11/21/realclimates-take-on-the-year.html
There was a climatologist from NASA
Who could argue in terms post-Kafka
He hid the decline
Upheld the team's line
Endlessly reciting the old mantra

Nov 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered Commenter ZT

Monday, November 8, 2010

Manning the Copy-and-Paste Stations


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Another example of the urgent need to spread the message in climatology. This time Michael Mann recycling text from Science to an encyclopedia on paleoclimatology. Where would climatology be without copy-and paste? You can see the original articles here (well one of them may be original):
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannPersp2002.pdf
http://books.google.com/books?id=yRMgYc-8mTIC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA179#v=onepage&q&f=false

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Michael E. Mann and his Familiar Interviews

Over at Bishop Hill, Shub nicely illustrated the uncanny knack that uber-climatologist, Michael E. Mann has for recycling. In two separate (apparent) interviews, the good climatologist managed to produce the same chunk of text in response to two separate questions, from two different interviewers, for different publications. Extraordinary efficiency? Perhaps, but certainly an example of the systematic trumping of quality by quantity in climatology.

Here's the link a Bishop Hill's http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/11/6/mann-goes-atomic.html

Michael Mann in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:
Q: "What’s all of this been like for you personally?" (see http://bos.sagepub.com/content/66/6/1.full)

I’ve been the subject of attacks by climate-change deniers for more than a decade now, because of the prominent role that the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction has played in the public discourse on climate change. This doesn’t mean that I’m numb to the outrageous attacks against me and other climate scientists. But I’m not surprised by anything anymore. There is nothing, it would seem, that that the climate-change denial industry isn’t willing to do in their attempts to thwart policy action to combat human-caused climate change. While the attacks have been tough to deal with at times, I’ve had a huge amount of support from my colleagues, other scientists, and ordinary citizens who have come out of the woodwork just to thank me for my contributions.

Michael Mann in Britannica Blog:
Q: "You personally faced charges of data tampering and deviating from the accepted practices of your field as a result of the release of the e-mails from CRU. Although you were fully exonerated, what effect did the investigation have on how you think climate science should be conducted?" (see http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2010/10/the-science-of-climate-change-5-questions-for-climatologist-michael-e-mann/)

I’ve been the subject of attacks by climate change deniers for more than a decade now, because of the prominent role that the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction has played in the public discourse on climate change. This doesn’t mean that I’m numb to the outrageous attacks against me and other climate scientists. But I’m not surprised by anything anymore. There is nothing, it would seem, that the climate change denial industry isn’t willing to do in their attempts to thwart policy action to combat human-caused climate change. While the attacks have been tough to deal with at times, I’ve had a huge amount of support from my colleagues, other scientists, and ordinary citizens who have come out of the woodwork just to thank me for my contributions.

So, the journalists produced independent questions, yet Michael Mann produced a precisely the same answers. Well, I say precisely, actually a mistake has been corrected for the Britannica piece "...seem, that that the climate-change..." became "...seem, that the climate change..." so either the Britannica has better editing, or that detailed answer improved in the reciting.

And just when you think that this might be a one off, you notice that this piece of text exists in both pieces.
Britannica:
"Mann: While the attacks against climate science may have energized climate change deniers, and those who derive their information from talk radio..."

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:
"MANN: While the attacks against climate science may have energized climate-change deniers, and those who derive their information from talk radio..."

Anyone would think that Michael Mann had some kind of prepared position that he was desperately feeding into any available outlet. Why not simply prove the case scientifically? The science is so strong, right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Easterling: Falsification of a Hypothesis of Limited Applicability in the Study of Climate Change

In my ongoing effort to understand climatology, and its limited adherence to scientific conventions, I came across the following passage from the Penn State investigation and exoneration of Michael E. Mann.

"In a follow-up question, Dr. Easterling was asked whether he saw any difference between certain kinds of experimental scientific fields and observational ones like paleoclimatology. He responded by stating that much of what we know about climate change is the result of a combination of observation and numerical modeling, making the classic idea of falsification of a hypothesis, which may be applicable to a laboratory science, of limited applicability in the study of climate change."

(From: http://live.psu.edu/fullimg/userpics/10026/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf)

Well, that's good to know. Paleoclimatology is beyond hypothesis falsification!

That probably accounts for the other issues which are beyond scientific norms: e.g. basic statistical correctness, cherry picking, extreme article recycling (aka plagiarism), etc.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lacis Schmidt Rind and Rued Spread the Word at the Speed of Light

An interesting paper was published this month in the journal, Science. Titled "Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature", the paper's authors, Lacis, Schmidt, Rind, and Rued, contend that CO2 is the critical trigger of climatological catastrophe, on the basis of their global climate models, which have long been used to provide evidence of the fact that CO2 is causing climatological catastrophe.

You would think that the authors might have paused for a second over the potential circularity of their argument - and might have chosen to take the opportunity to illustrate how their models can be used to predict something which has actually occurred.

Or, 'well ok', you might think, 'not particularly convincing science, but the statement is clear enough, "In our models, CO2 is very important"'. The paper concludes with the statement: "This makes the reduction and control of atmospheric CO2 a serious and pressing issue, worthy of real-time attention." less of a scientific statement and more a call to political action.

Then there is Figure 1, some kind of a see-saw, teeter-totter, type diagram (depending on your English preferences), a type of diagram rarely seen in scientific papers, though quite commonly employed in communicating complex concepts of the balance of power to the unwashed masses.

Anyway, intrigued by the possibility that this distinguished paper's verbiage might have suffered from the copy-and-paste malaise that seems to prevalent in climatology, I googled its closing sentence, "This makes the reduction and control of atmospheric CO2 a serious and pressing issue, worthy of real-time attention." and, sure enough, 24,000 hits, or thereabouts.

I looked at the time periods that those hits come from, making use of google's daterange functionality. (This is a nice keyword which allows you to restrict a google search to a given time window). This showed, for example, that thousands of examples of the search string had made it onto the web in the last few days! (For reference, here is the query: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=daterange%3A2455471-2455491 This makes the reduction and control of atmospheric CO2 a serious and pressing issue%2C worthy of real-time attention (and, by the way, if you want to obtain the necessary numbers for the daterange google keyword, go here: http://www.onlineconversion.com/julian_date.htm - among many other possible date converters).

So, I was again intrigued. The occurrences of this string on the web are pretty recent. One example hit was to a TIME magazine blog (which quotes the article extensively): http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/10/14/climate-why-co2-is-the-control-knob-for-global-climate-change/ another was to a helpful NASA page, trying to explain the article http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/GISS_CO2_Science_Brief.pdf (The target sentence was somewhat rearranged in the NASA article, but still clearly visible).

How had this massive explosion in the web's interest in this pressing issue come about so rapidly? Hard to say, either a lot of journalists and bloggers pounced on that issue of Science, assimilated all the papers, and decided that this particular circular argument needed a wider audience....OR....there is an orchestrated media campaign designed to push this CAGW perspective.

Why have the scientists decided to become activists? Surely their job should be to remove uncertainty from their studies, not to try to spread a half-baked word far and wide?

One answer to this question might be that the science is not as good as has been represented, and instead of improving the science, the activist-scientists have decided to improve the positioning of the bad science.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jones and Coauthors Apparently Plagiarize Mann and Coauthors


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A curious 'borrowing' of text from Mann et al's 2008 paper found in a book chapter published by Luterbacher et al in 2010. The author list for the Luterbacher chapter includes Phil Jones of the internationally famous CRU.

http://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/papers2/mann2008.pdf
(‘by’ Michael E. Mann, Zhihua Zhang, Malcolm K. Hughes, Raymond S. Bradley, Sonya K. Miller, Scott Rutherford, and Fenbiao Ni)

Mann et al: “Knowledge of climate during past centuries can both improve
our understanding of natural climate variability and help
address the question of whether modern climate change is unprecedented
in a long-term context (1, 2). The lack of widespread
instrumental climate records before the mid 19th century, however,
necessitates the use of natural climate archives or ‘‘proxy’’ data such
as tree-rings, corals, and ice cores and historical documentary
records to reconstruct climate in past centuries. Many previous
proxy data studies have emphasized hemispheric or global mean
temperature (3–14), although some studies have also attempted to
reconstruct the underlying spatial patterns of past surface temperature
changes at global (15, 16) and regional (6, 17, 18) scales.”

and

http://books.google.com/books?id=AK6gWFaURMsC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false
(‘by’ Jürg Luterbacher, Elena Xoplaki, Marcel Küttel, Eduardo Zorita, Jesus Fidel González-Rouco, Phil D. Jones, Marco Stössel, This Rutishauser, Heinz Wanner, Joanna Wibig, and Rajmund Przybylak)
(also available here: http://faculty.washington.edu/mkuettel/docs/Luterbacheretal_Springer_2010.pdf)

Luterbacher et al: “The knowledge of climate and its variability during the past centuries can improve our understanding of natural climate variability and also help to address the question of whether modern climate change is unprecedented in a long-term context (Folland et al. 2001; Jansen et al. 2007; Hegerl et al. 2007; Mann et al. 2008 and references therein). The lack of widespread instrumental climate records introduces the need for the use of natural climate archives from ‘proxy’ data such as tree-rings, corals, speleothems and ice cores, as well as documentary evidence to reconstruct climate in past centuries (see Jones et al. 2009 for a review). The focus of many previous proxy data studies has been hemispheric or global mean temperature (see Jansen et al. 2007; Mann et al. 2008 and references therein), although some studies have also attempted to reconstruct the underlying large-scale spatial patterns of past surface temperature and precipitation changes at continental scales.”

Copyright ... or Not



Many academics prepare lists of their publications, see for example R.S. Bradley's here (and illustrated above). Such lists are a wonderful resource for researchers. In many cases the entries in the list are helpfully linked to PDF files of the actual publications, such as in the case of http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/mann1998.pdf, the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes famous paper on hockey stick like temperature reconstructions, which is linked from Bradley's publication page.

This practice is extremely helpful to those interested in learning more about the subject. I have to wonder though whether the copyright owners, Macmillan Publishers Ltd, in this case, would be overly happily about this new publication medium being provided by their authors. When I visit Nature's www.nature.com site, and find this paper, I also find that Nature would like to charge me money to look at the paper ('To read this story in full you will need to login or make a payment', having the ability to login implies buying a subscription to Nature). (Interestingly, I also find from the Nature site that a corrigendum to the original paper was published in 2004, and I can pay to view that too. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Bradley's publication page does not provide a copy of that corrigendum. Probably it was too inconsequential to be of interest - and only published to satisfy some tedious scientific detail).

Of course, Bradley does provide a rider on his publication list "The following .pdf files are made available to individuals for academic use only. Those wishing to make further copies are requested to contact the publisher of each article." (see http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/bradleypub.html) which perhaps makes the scientific publishers sleep a little more soundly.

And, in general I am sure that most academics would consider that they retain the copyright of the paper, no matter what they agree on submission of their manuscript, so why not go ahead and self-publish the paper on the web? This is particularly important in areas where the scientific truth of the study will not necessarily 'spread' by itself, because the scientific argument is insubstantial. In such cases, it makes good sense to repeat the words early and often, and to promote the fee-free reproduction of scientific works by publishing them on as many sites as possible. Or indeed, by using the same scare stories as frequently as possible in as many papers as possible.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why Bother?

Why bother to collect these various examples of cutting and pasting in climatology? My thought was that it would be interesting to see how frequently text is recycled in this very important field.

I rapidly found that recycling of text is extremely common. My subjective opinion is that this occurs more than in other areas of science or technology. At present, I believe, that climatologists are rewarded for cutting and pasting. High publication counts lead to grants, and grants are equated with success. Society is effectively being given precisely what it rewards.

I also suspect that in climatology, where proof is hard to come by, 'voting' numbers are believed to be important. Hence, in climatology there is much discussion of: "the consensus", "the vast majority", "overwhelming", "robust", etc. rather than "proof". A little of this can be seen in the famous "impressive number" email discussion between Mike Mann and Phil Jones, concerning Mike's application for a prestigious award on Phil's behalf. The unwritten sub-plot is that the award depends on 'literature impact' and that the award will be beneficial for future grant applications. )The email exchange is here

My suggestion to right this copy-and-pasting bonanza, if indeed one accepts that is a problem, would be to automate an academic literature database search and award academics points for the brevity and uniqueness of their text. It will never happen - but it would be a good application of some of those tax payer dollars in grant money.

Anyway, the climatologists do have something of a point. For example, I find the number of their cutting and pastings impressive, for example. It only took a few minutes to collect this batch of evident copyings. So numbers do count. However, normally in science people don't much care how original your text is, they care that your thesis is correct, your data consistent with your thesis, and whether the conclusions are valid. Repeated reiterations of isolated sections, like introductions, or favorite theories without proofs, are just incantations, or cargo-cult science, and are no substitute for truth.

Nature Paper Begins Life as Report


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Much of this public report http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/publications/pdf/27.pdf, linked from this page: http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/publications/reports.php (the report in question is number 27), seems to have seen the light of day again as a Nature paper. (So much for the idea that Nature contained only new research, in Climatology anyway). Here's the Nature paper for comparison: http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/bds9601.pdf.

Recycling For Fun and Profit


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Another cut-and-paste introduction....

http://books.google.com/books?id=b9jx7FnBVy4C&pg=PA153#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/alverson2001c.pdf

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Glacial Collision


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Another small example of yet another derivative introduction, featuring R.S. Bradley.

http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/moelggeorgeskaser03.pdf

http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/tropical-glaciology/literatur/kaser_et_al_ijc24%282004%29.pdf

Another Great Introduction


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Another example of an introduction which was too good to only use once, again R.S. Bradley is a contributor to one of the papers.

Here are the links:

http://www.jstor.org/pss/4314732

Some Hardy Text


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Another Bradley related recycling. The following article appeared in 1998. http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/mathias/pubs/Hardy_et_al_1998.pdf (Annual and Daily Meteorological Cycles at High Altitude on a Tropical Mountain)

And some of the text was so good, it was used again here: http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/vuille2001.pdf in 2001.

Another Bradley Coincidence?


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The following Bradley et al paper, from 2007, seems to have picked up on a form of words used by Easterling in 2000.

Easterling, 2000 http://www.biosci.utexas.edu/ib/faculty/parmesan/classes/Eastl_Ntr_00.pdf

Bradley, 2007 http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/griffiths2007.pdf

Easterling: "One of the major concerns with a potential change in climate is that an increase ... would have profound impacts on both human society and the natural environment. ... of longer term trends related to anthropogenic-induced climate change"

Bradley: "One of the major concerns related to anthropogenic climate change is an increase in extreme events that could have a profound impact on both human society and the natural environment."

Never Waste a Good Opening


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First we have http://books.google.com/books?id=djniopD76HEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Then we have http://www.igbp.kva.se/documents/resources/NL_44.pdf

Then we have http://www.fao.org/sd/climagrimed/pdf/ws01_24.pdf Farid Karam, who seems to have picked up on this introduction as well.

Never waste a good introduction - you never know when you may need it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chinese Holocene Coincidence


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Here we have a copying example from Yu, Harrison, Chen, and Zheng from 2008, which has duplicated text from

http://books.google.com/books?id=H7uRuKlBV6IC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA64#v=onepage&q&f=false

Basically the same text shows up here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=SEO_RyNDJ0gC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA53#v=onepage&q&f=false
This time authored by Xing in 2008. Given the dates, it is hard to guess which came first, or if indeed, these pieces of text have a common ancestor.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Text from Bradley Winds Up in a Book on Chinese Climate


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Bradley, 1999 – as quoted by Mashey, says: “Many natural systems are dependent on climate; where evidence of such systems in the past still exists, it may be possible to derive paleoclimatic information from them.” (etc.)

Chen, Xing, 2008, says: “Many natural systems are dependent on climate; where evidence of such systems in the past still exists, it may be possible to derive paleoclimatic information from them.” (etc.)

(so we have, apparently, a direct, unattributed, copy of the Bradley text)

For further details see Chen, Xing's chapter here: http://books.google.com/books?id=SEO_RyNDJ0gC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA49#v=onepage&q&f=false

...and the Bradley, 1999 text quoted here: http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf

Earlier Report Verbiage Reused in Review Article


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Here is an interesting example where a large chunk of an earlier report wound up in a later peer-reviewed paper. R.S. Bradley was a co-author of the later peer-reviewed paper.

http://www.ambiente.gob.ec/userfiles/2092/file/Cambio%20Climatico/Adaptacion/CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20IN%20THE%20TROPICAL%20ANDES%20PART%201.pdf

Author: Vuille
Year: 2007
“In the arid and semiarid regions of the tropics and subtropics more than 80% of
the freshwater supply originates in mountain regions, affecting more than half of the
earth’s population (Messerli, 2001). Much of this water is initially stored as ice in
mountain glaciers and then gradually released over time. Mountain glaciers, such as those found in the tropical Andes, therefore act as a critical buffer against highly seasonal precipitation and provide water at times when rainfall is low or even absent. At the same time these glaciers are particularly sensitive to climate change because they are constantly close to melting conditions. They are arguably the most visible indicator of climate change, due to their fast response time, their sensitivity to climate variations and the clear visibility of their reaction (glacier growth or shrinkage) to the public.”

http://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/papers2/vuille2008.pdf
Authors: Mathias Vuille, Bernard Francou, Patrick Wagnon, Irmgard Juen, Georg Kaser, Bryan G. Mark, Raymond S. Bradley
Year: 2008

“In the arid and semiarid regions of the tropics and subtropics more
than 80% of the freshwater supply originates in mountain regions,
affecting populations downstream (Messerli, 2001). Much of this water
is initially stored as ice in mountain glaciers and then gradually released
over time.More than 99% of all tropical glaciers are located in the Andes
(Kaser, 1999) and Andean countries, such as Bolivia or Peru, rely to a
great extent on freshwater from glaciated basins during the dry season.
Mountain glaciers, such as those found in the tropical Andes, therefore
act as a critical buffer against highly seasonal precipitation and provide
water for domestic, agricultural or industrial use at timeswhen rainfall is
low or even absent. At the same time these glaciers are particularly
sensitive to climate change because they are constantly close tomelting
conditions. They are arguably the most visible indicator of climate
change, due to their fast response time, their sensitivity to climate
variations and the clear visibility of their reaction (glacier growth or
shrinkage) to the public.”

A Climatology Plagiarism Collection

I found myself checking on various pieces of climatological plagiarism recently. This was a response to the comment that some of the famous Wegman report for Congress on the shoddy statistical methods behind Michael Mann's famous Hockey Stick graph contained unattributed material from other authors.

I decided to examine with just a few 'googles' what the climatological norms were. And I was duly disappointed to find that climatological publications are rife with cut-and-paste text. I posted several of these findings on various blogs as comments - but I thought I would start a small collection here, just in case I find the need to continue this activity.

If you have suggestions - please don't hesitate to leave comments.

For the purposes of this blog I am taking a broad definition of plagiarism - the sort of thing that a journalist might be expected to adhere to. In particular, if you publish it in one place, then you cannot publish the same text in an another paper. (Or you can, but you might get fired for doing so, see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/omni/335048-plagiarism-when-you-copy-your-own-work-miami-herald-thinks-so.html).

My thinking on this is that scientific research should be original. The scientific literature should not be cluttered with repetitious cut-and-paste papers.

Even so, it appears that 'straight' plagiarism (passing off another person's work as original work) occurs in climatology, you'll see examples of that here.

I found this exercise somewhat depressing. It turns out that many climatological publications are not new work but highly derivative cutting and pasting exercises.

The examples I have listed came from a few minutes of checking papers. I am not sure if I will continue conducting such tests - it is not particularly edifying. However, I was surprised by the ease with which I saw plagiarism.