Articles to 2012-07-12

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

Eisenberg is a prime example of pure chartmanship. The only diagrams he shows are of the effect he does not discuss (and following the rule "if you caint see it, it aint there" these are meaningless) and his reported R2 is consistently below 0.05, i.e. pure noise. His largest possible effect in figure 2 is barely one fifth of the densely packed inner area of the scatter in figure 1 and neither variance nor standard error are given. By his own admission his choice of subjects was not random and controls like comparing younger and older sons of the same father were not done. The most parsimonious explanation for the minute yet supposedly non-random effect is a common confounder.

Ruiz is another example of dating art by overlying accretions. Contrary to Pike of last week they do provide a short discussion of the relative timing or art and crust.

Two recent studies try to infer water scarcity from 13C-fractionation in plants. While Drake does make a case for long-term climate variation showing up here all Stokes can show is, that a polynomial (presumably quadratic) fit on only five data points yields nonsense. In two of her three graphs the result depends on one or two outliers only while most of her points show no slope at all. What we have is a weak and irregular signal hidden in lots of confounding noise just asking for over interpretation and dubious conclusions.

Bliege Bird adds to the evidence that recent catastrophic fires had more to do with suppression of smaller fires (and arson) than climate.

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