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Replicability of science - the Denier's latest mythical playground.

Now real scientists are taking that tack against the fakers.

Here’s what happens when you try to replicate climate contrarian papers

We discovered some common themes among the contrarian research papers. Cherry picking was the most common characteristic they shared. We found that many contrarian research papers omitted important contextual information or ignored key data that did not fit the research conclusions.

'Curve fitting’ is another common theme in contrarian climate research. ‘Curve fitting’ describes taking several different variables, usually with regular cycles, and stretching them out until the combination fits a given curve (in this case, temperature data). It’s a practice about which mathematician John von Neumann once said "With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk."

For example, we discuss research by Nicola Scafetta and Craig Loehle, who often publish papers trying to blame global warming on the orbital cycles of Jupiter and Saturn. This particular argument also displays a clear lack of plausible physics, which was another common theme we identified. Ferenc Miskolczi for example argued in 2007 and 2010 papers that the greenhouse effect has become saturated, leaving out some important known physics in order to revive this century-old myth.

Another characteristic of contrarian climate research is that there is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming. Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on. There is a 97% expert consensus on a cohesive theory that’s overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 2–3% of papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other. The one thing they seem to have in common is methodological flaws like cherry picking, curve fitting, ignoring inconvenient data, and disregarding known physics.

Another title for this paper might have been 'Figures Don't Lie, but Liars Figure'.

Katharine Hayhoe, who was one of the co-authors, just put out a new Global Weirding video on YouTube reviewing six of these Denier myths. It's interesting and informative, and she's a good communicator - well worth a watch.

And well worth subscribing to her series - she puts out a new one every second Wednesday.
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