Tuesday, November 30, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/29/2010 09:09:00 PM

leaves, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

My friends tell me that the leaves in Kyoto are the best for 100 years, and furthermore that some may still be stuck to the trees next week. Perhaps then, at the upcoming PMIP workshop, those studying the climate of the Last Millennium (tree lovers one and all) should better spend their time in gardens than lecture theatres...

These leaves in merely Kamakura.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/29/2010 09:09:00 PM

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/28/2010 02:17:00 AM

Help help help help help. WTF is this beast doing munching on camellias in late November? Heard incredibly low buzzing noise. Dismissed it as not possibly a hornet at this time of year - and anyway the noise was too low. Then appeared possibly the largest Vespa mandarinia japonica ever. BBbbuuuUUUUuuuzZZZZZZzzzz...

That's a proper sized camellia not a puny daisy....


[Taken with 300mm telephoto from far faaaar away]

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/28/2010 02:17:00 AM

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/23/2010 09:51:00 PM

Engakuji Kamakura, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

uh - oh. The leaves are turning in Engakuji (Kamakura), which means they are probably out Kyoto too, a fact confirmed by the national leaf nowcast. So they'll all be fallen off the trees by the PMIP workshop which starts in 11 days... So, just in case any PMIP people do look at this blog - here are some consolation leaves.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/23/2010 09:51:00 PM

Monday, November 22, 2010

Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT)

A new communication effort has been announced, from the house of Abrahams, Weymann and Mandia (who brought us the Monckton Debuncton).

NAME: Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT)

WEBSITE: www.climaterapidresponse.org

WHO & WHAT: The CSSRT is a match-making service between top scientists and members of the media and office holders and their staffs from various levels of government. Our group consists of dozens of leading scientists who wish to improve communication about climate change. The group is committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media and government officials. Our members have expertise in virtually all areas of climate science and they are available to share their current understanding in a fairly rapid time frame.

HOW IT WORKS: Inquirers will use the form on the Website to identify themselves and to send their questions along with the desired timeframe of the response. That information will immediately be sent to three people: Dr. John Abraham, Dr. Ray Weymann, and Prof. Scott Mandia. These three “match-makers” will immediately notify up to three scientists with the most appropriate expertise. One scientist or one of the three CSRRT match-makers will then respond directly to the inquirer with the correct science information.

WHY WE DO IT: There is a sharp divide between what scientists know about climate change and what the public knows. The scientists of the CSSRT understand that better communication can narrow this gap. The media is in the best position to deliver accurate science information to the general public and to our elected leaders but only if they are provided with that information. The CSRRT is committed to delivering that service We are advocates for science education.

Disclaimer: I'm one of them. But I've seen the list and the others really are top scientists :-)

Pop quiz on responses to Wegman plagiarism accusations

Match the quotes to the quotees.

First the quotes:

1 "Actually fairly shocking," "My own preliminary appraisal would be 'guilty as charged.'"

2 "It kind of undermines the credibility of your work criticizing others' integrity when you don't conform to the basic rules of scholarship" "If I was a peer reviewer of this report and I was to observe the paragraphs they have taken, then I would be obligated to report them" "There are a lot of things in the report that rise to the level of inappropriate."

3 "The plagiarism is fairly obvious when you compare things side-by-side"

4 "wild conclusions that have nothing to do with reality."

5 "Let me say that this is one of the most reprehensible attacks on a reputable scientist that I have seen, and the so-called tsunami of accusations made in regards to climategate are nothing in compared to the attack on Wegman." "To see such a respected academic accused in this way (with the accusations so obviously baseless) is absolutely reprehensible."

And in no particular order, their sources:

A. Cornell physicist Paul Ginsparg, developer of the Arxiv (and some anti-plagiarism tools).

B. Judith Curry, Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology.

C. Ohio State's Robert Coleman, who chairs OSU's misconduct committee

D. Virginia Tech plagiarism expert Skip Garner, who heads a copying detection effort.

E. George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman, lead author of the disputed report.

Answers can be found here and here. Note, however, that the problems with Wegman's report go way beyond mere plagiarism.

Friday, November 19, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/18/2010 11:53:00 PM

leaves! on kumotoriyama, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The leaf season seems to be different every year. This year all the trees seem to be turning together and the non-momiji are very good. Usually trees like the cherry turn brown and the leaves fall quickly to the ground a few weeks before the gingko and momiji turn brilliant yellow and orange. Here at work the main concern is whether there will be anything left on the trees in Kyoto for the PMIP3 workshop in early December,

This photo was taken around 1000m altitude on a walk in the mountains last weekend with Joel, our super-human friend from Oz. James was kind enough to carry my camera and spare lens most of the time, giving me the chance to not getting too far behind but still take some photos.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/18/2010 11:53:00 PM

Thursday, November 18, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/17/2010 09:43:00 PM

Oxo, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

To counteract the chaos of yesterday's pic, a more ordered urban environment [Oxfooooord, England].

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/17/2010 09:43:00 PM

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/16/2010 07:56:00 PM

messy tangle, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The area near work is presently even more attractive than usual, as there are some works underway. Round these parts they drill deeply before erecting a structure of any size, because the ground, reclaimed from the ocean, is so soft. On the other hand the houses appear to have no foundations at all, which is not so encouraging come the earthquake...

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/16/2010 07:56:00 PM

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Hic Hic Hooray!

Off the wagon

The big climate science news of the week (year?) is that the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) is being added to the Science Citation Index run by Thompson Reuters. Whatever you think about the value of citation indices and metrics as a measure of worth, absence from this master list of journals which are counted (also referred to as "ISI") is basically the kiss of death as many people (funding agencies) take it seriously and will only submit to (or count in assessments) ISI-listed journals. So getting on the list after 2 years - the quickest time possible, at least in normal situations - is an important vote of confidence in what we are doing.

I've hardly mentioned GMD, so it's probably worth a bit more publicity. The journal is under the EGU umbrella, which means open access and the open peer review system I'm mentioned a few times before. The basic purpose of yet another journal is, as the blurb states, to provide a

"journal dedicated to the publication and public discussion of the description, development and evaluation of numerical models of the Earth System and its components."
The journal's origins (as people who know the exec eds may guess) lie in the clique of people who worked together within the GENIE project. Jules has always claimed credit for originating the idea, and on checking my old email I see she first suggested it back in 2006. A handful of us agreed it was a good idea, and the EGU bigwigs were also receptive, so after quite a lot of thought about how we could really structure things (white paper), the journal was launched in early 2008. It's been growing steadily since then thanks in particular to Dan Lunt's efforts, and all the recent fuss about "publishing code" obviously has provided some additional momentum, Efforts like the Climate Code Foundation (see here and longer article here) are certainly very complementary (eg letter here), though maybe our goals aren't precisely the same. We have always been more focussed on the discussion and dissemination of the techniques, and scientific reproducibility of the outputs, rather than open source per se (though obviously open source is welcome where possible).

RC have put up a post about publishing code too. I find myself in partial agreement with them that it's difficult in practice, and maybe not always so useful as it might at first appear. However, I think it's important to look at this as a positive step in the right direction, and not be too critical of the inevitable limitations. Ultimately, the future is shaped by those people who do it, and not those who are pulled along behind reluctantly, dragging their heels. Just to be clear, that is not a dig at RC, but a more general comment about some who have not been particularly well-disposed towards the idea (a few of whom have, to their credit, changed their minds in the past 2 years). It's going to happen anyway, and my view is that it might as well be approached in as positive and useful a manner as is reasonably practicable.

More from the department of Something Must be Done

Not to be outdone by the UK's ban on toner cartridges, Japan Post has upped the ante with a ban on sending all parcels weighing over a pound. Unfortunately, this only applies to parcels being sent airmail to the USA, so we can't use it as an excuse for not being able to send any Christmas presents back to the UK. A few thousand USA expats must be heaving a sigh of relief though :-)

The Japanese seem to blame the USA for imposing onerous restrictions (press release), but I don't think any other country has simply given up sending parcels as a response.

Friday, November 12, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/12/2010 03:48:00 AM

Stoat is feeling blue, because it is so grey outside in his country. So here is some blue to help him feel less blue.

This was a morning of dentists, but I did not photograph them. Instead I photographed the dazzling sights along my journey. Starting in Yokohama at 9am, I then got transferred to the big dental hospital in Tsurumi. Got back to work by 2:30pm. The speed with which these things happen here never ceases to amaze. (I have complicated teeth due to having tried to eat a Harley Davidson motorcycle in 1997.)

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/12/2010 03:48:00 AM

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kamakura lockdown


We have plans to climb a mountain this weekend, but are not at all sure if we will be allowed out of the house. It has been rumoured that the Daibutsu has requested an audience with Barack Obama.

[jules' pics] Dragonaphobes look away now!

Kenchoji detail


Dragons are almost as common as spiders in Kamakura. They come in a wide range of sizes, tend to be more serpentine than dinosaury, but are mostly tame and friendly.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/10/2010 09:16:00 PM

Think ahead!

Seems pretty amazing to see such long-term planning:
"JR Tokai hopes to open the new maglev train line between Tokyo's Shinagawa Station and Nagoya in 2027, and the maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka in 2045."

They don't even care about things like recession:

"As construction will take a long time, building the maglev line should not be adversely affected by worsening economic conditions," a source close to the subcommittee said.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

[jules' pics] 11/08/2010 09:04:00 PM

Dog and owner, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

After all the scary buddhas and terrifying spiders, I'd better show something fluffy. Blonde fluffy child and blonde fluffy dog, at a village dog show in middle england, and curiously not in the dog-handler lookalike round, although, of course there was one...

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/08/2010 09:04:00 PM

Monday, November 08, 2010

[jules' pics] Arachnaphobes look away now!

Japanese spidey

Japanese spidey

Japanese spidey

As I have remarked before, despite being the size of your hand, the nephila clavata, tends to build her webs above head height, presumably so that she doesn't have to keep rebuilding it all the time. Thus, taking a good macro shot is usually impossible. Off the beaten track in deepest dankest Kamakura, however, the webs are strung about the low bows of the trees. Eeeek!

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/07/2010 11:49:00 PM

Sunday, November 07, 2010

[jules' pics] How to make mochi

How to make mochi

Mochi is rice pounded until it forms a glutinous mass. Very nice dried and toasted with sweet beans, at New Year it is eaten in soup, from where it suffocates a handful of old people each year. The idea is to pound the rice like you were trying to kill it, while missing the fingers of your partner who turns the rice over in between each stroke.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/06/2010 11:45:00 PM

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Where's the beef, Curry?


What, after a title like that, you expect some content too? Oh, ok then. Here goes.

This post was supposed to be a response to Curry's much-awaited attempt to resuscitate her "Italian Flag". She first said she'd write something on Tuesday, then it became Friday, now it is promised for some time over the weekend. Maybe.

It seems she is far too busy to deal with this minor issue (which underpins, or rather undermines, every quantitative statement she has made regarding the purported failings of the IPCC analysis). Too busy throwing up increasingly hysterical blogorrhea about the "high priests of the IPCC". One of her recent gems is to use the fact that some headline-writer used the term "heretic" to describe her (which she is clearly thrilled by) as evidence that the IPCC is dogma-ridden. Because the definition of heresy is opposition to dogma. When faced with such incisive logic, what can we do but bow down before her genius? Well, "point and laugh" springs to mind too.

She is even recycling the Santer thing. She doesn't seem to realise that (as Jonathan Gilligan points out) this story is ancient discredited history and her attempts to bring it up again only show how completely vacuous her position is.

Back to the flag, or should I call it a shroud, as its only value seems to be in wrapping the corpse of her case. She seems to think that replying to our criticisms (me and me again echoing mt) is beneath her, as we are only insignificant people well off her radar and she really wants to attract the attention of those with "stature" such as Gavin Schmidt and Joe Romm. Well, the topic of of probability in climate change is very much my turf, and the fact that she doesn't seem to realise that reflects rather more on her (complete lack of) engagement and understanding with the field, than it does on me. Don't take my word for it, let Google Scholar be your guide, here and here. Yeah, I know I'm not really a major player in the great scheme of things, but compared to her I am (on this topic). My apologies if providing actual evidence frightens those who prefer the new style of content-free verbiage.

She's really building up quite a history of throwing up vague or demonstrably wrong claims, then running away when shown to be wrong. Here on the no-feedback climate sensitivity, for example. Gryposaurus took her to task here on aerosols and D&A (based partly on comments from Gavin) and found her response lacking. Here is Eric Steig refuting her absurd claim about the IPCC that "they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC." Her eventual response (which had to be dragged out of her through repeated challenges that she kept on ducking) was merely to dismiss it as an "anecdote", even though one single case serves to refutes her claim. Well, I don't think I got quite such a rapturous response as Eric did, with my attempts to improve the AR4 drafts, but I certainly didn't get trampled and discredited either - merely made to feel mildly unwelcome, which I find tends to happen when I criticise people outside the IPCC too. But they did change the report in various ways. While I'm not an unalloyed fan of the IPCC process, my experience is not what she describes it as. So make that two anecdotes. Maybe I'm an "insider" too, in her book :-) If she ever deigns to address the substantive point on probability, maybe she can let me know, but I'm not holding my breath. Her main tactic seems to be throwing up layers upon layers of an increasing shaky edifice as quickly as possible hoping that no-one will notice that the foundations are collapsing as quickly as people can read.

Silver lining: even Keith Kloor seems to be getting frustrated with her (eg here and his other comments on that post).

Update 7 Oct: Might as well add another classic Curry failure to come up with any content on this thread here culled from RC, where she starts off by puffing the Montford Delusion book and when "her" points are demolished, promptly disowns them as not really her opinions at all, just something she read somewhere. And here is the car-crash that is her promotion of Wegman that she rapidly backtracks from. I'm sure there are more. To be honest it's a bit of a pain tracking these various conversations across several blogs comment threads with low signal-to-noise, which is partly why I'm not joining in with them much.

Friday, November 05, 2010

More on Leake

So the mention of Leake on this post seems to have got everyone very excited. Coincidentally, Simon Lewis (who also commented on the previous article) has an article in Nature about the Amazon thing. And as well as doing some more digging, I've had a couple of emails directly from Jonathan Leake himself, though he didn't want them published.

Lewis and Monbiot both seem to accept that the main cause of the problem was probably some last-minute behind-the-scenes editing rather than Leake, and I see no reason to doubt them. It obviously shows up the Sunday Times in a poor light, not only that they could have collectively done such a horrible job, but that they took so long to sort it out afterwards. But it looks more of a collective focus on "controversy" rather than a specifically sceptic agenda per se, though I'm not sure if that really makes it any better. While I'm certainly not averse to journalists doing a bit of investigation and asking difficult questions (rather than merely parrotting press releases) it's important to be fair and honest in their reporting, or else they risk losing public trust..now where have I heard that before?

I'm not going to delve into the failures or otherwise in the IPCC process itself right now, because from my POV that is somewhat tangential to the main issue. Lewis got his honestly-held opinions badly misrepresented so as to make it look like he was saying something that was diametrically opposed to his real views. Whether he is right or wrong isn't actually the point here.

[jules' pics] Wednesday was Culture Day

He looks a bit hungry


Although some believe the best way to gain enlightenment is to eat just one grain of rice a day, all the living monks at Kenchoji, that we visited for Culture Day, were pleasantly plump. Do you think the two statues are of the same man?

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/05/2010 01:16:00 AM

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Climate Change Question Time

This event in London later this month (arranged as part of the Isaac Newton Institute programme that I recently attended) seems to be open to the public and may be interesting for some of you:

Dissemination Event for Government and Finance Industry: "Climate Change Question Time"

But don't get too excited, it seems likely to be oversubscribed and you might not get a seat...

As noted in the comments, one Jonathan Leake (of Leakegate climate story fabrication fame) is listed on the poster as being the Chair of the first debate. I have emailed the organisers about this.

War on toner cartridges

Once again proving that life is far stranger than fiction...

Unbelievable as it may sound, following the recent bomb attempt, there really is a ban on carrying toner cartridges in hand baggage.

It's like a crazy mix of Simon Says meets 1984 meets Viz:

Bin Laden says...
And now...
I mean really, WTF? Is the British public so gobsmackingly stupid, the press so craven and cowardly, and the politicians so...despicably political, that this is going to go through on the nod? Just so we can all agree that Something has been Done?

I do pity the poor person who until this day has religiously carried a spare printer toner cartridge in his carry-on baggage for every trip, just in case he ran out while on holiday. Whoever he is, he'll be gutted that the terrorists didn't use...I dunno, a camera? An airconditioner? A box? Anything other than a toner cartridge!

Monday, November 01, 2010

[jules' pics] 10/31/2010 10:04:00 PM

Hachimangu Heron, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

The lotus have been cleared from the large pond at Hachimangu, but curiously they remain on the smaller one, giving this heron one last chance for a discreet bit of fishing.

Posted By jules to jules' pics at 10/31/2010 10:04:00 PM