Bad Science Evolves

“As long as the incentives are there, then rewards will be there for those who can cheat the system, whether they do so intentionally or not.”

Now, imagine you’re a researcher who wants to game this system. Here’s what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound. They’re great for getting publications, but they also pollute the scientific record with results that aren’t actually true. As Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet once wrote, “No one is incentivized to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivized to be productive.”


Sea Ice Extent (Global Antarctic and Arctic) – Day 261 – 2016

Update: Day 262 is now posted.

This is the data from Sept 17th (which I should have posted yesterday) The data for the 18th has not appeared yet on the NOAA website.

global_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2016_day_261_1981-2010 antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2016_day_261_1981-2010 arctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2016_day_261_1981-2010

South / North

Sea Ice Extent (Global Antarctic and Arctic) – Day 259 – 2016

Day 259 isn’t particularly significant except for the math.

In 2012 arctic sea ice was 3.378 million sq km. In 2016 it is 4.378 million sq km.

Exactly 1,000,000 sq km difference.


South / North