Enron and the Case of the Zombie Fungus

Over at CA, The One is making comparisons between the CRU hack and Enron. Analogies are interesting things. I kinda think of this when I think of denialists and contrarians and their followers…

Zombie Fungus Destroys Brain

I guess BRE-X isn’t enough innuendo for McIntyre when it comes to climate science — he has to go for Enron — perhaps the biggest corporate and political scandal in recent history.

There’s this really interesting thing I’ve noticed over at CA — a tendency to passive-aggressive posts where Mci writes X and then qualifies it so that it doesn’t appear like X, but maybe only kinda like X so that no one can claim he actually wrote X. Meanwhile, his blog readers and aficionados understand quite well the nudge and wink they’ve been given to assume X and so they do. X spreads like a fungal growth that affects the brains of the unsuspecting…

But it’s not always wise to make such analogies because “all too often, one gets drawn into debates about the analogy that are just as complex as the original issue. Or debates about the validity of the analogy.”  

I didn’t really compare the claims at CA to zombie fungal growth, oh noes! That would be a bridge too far!

Nonetheless, the way denialist claims about climate scientists spread is like, you know, like the spores of a zombie fungus that infects the brains of its hapless victims, controlling their behavior so that they climb to the top of the leaf and a new fungal stalk sprouts out of their brains and release spores to set up a new growth somewhere distant…

Here’s the example that got me thinking:

There was an extremely interesting blog post a few days ago by Rob Bradley, an old friend of North from Enron days – where North had been Bradley’s climate consultant – in which Bradley asked North very pointed questions in which he compared the present behavior of climate scientists to Climategate to their shared experience (as innocent parties not in the know) through the gradual revelation of Enron problems. Bradley:

He then goes on to quote at length from Bradley, in which Bradley makes a clear comparison between Enron and the CRU hack — or “Climategate”.

But then the Great Puzzler posts this:

Analogies are always treacherous, because, all too often, one gets drawn into debates about the analogy that are just as complex as the original issue. Or debates about the validity of the analogy. So one needs to take care in trying to go a bridge too far in this sort of comparison.

Nonetheless, as it happens, in the early days of Climate Audit, I posted on both Bre-X and Enron. Here are some relevant posts on Enron: [my emphasis]

Ahem.

He lists a number of posts where he makes the direct comparison between Bre-X and the MBH temperature reconstruction.Now he’s added Enron to the list.

He loves to cite himself! I guess if you’ve forgone real scientific publishing and research in favor of blog science and keeping the tip jar filled, you have to cite yourself. But I digress…

Here’s more:

The comparison with Enron may also be helpful in placing Climategate into context. Obviously, corruption at Enron did not prove that all business enterprises were corrupt. Conversely, no defence lawyer for Ken Lay or Jeffrey Skillings or Andrew Fastow would have stood before a court and argued that, because no one had showed that all business enterprises were corrupt, corruption at Enron didn’t “matter”. It did matter. Honest businessmen did not discourage an investigation of Enron or try to sweep it under the carpet. The best way to restore confidence in the rest of the system was to do a proper investigation of Enron.

He’s implying that Mann and “the team” are corrupt.  He’s tempering this by adding that not all climate scientists are corrupt. Isn’t that what he’s implying?

Hogwash. Hog. Wash.

There is no evidence that Mann or anyone who worked with him is corrupt or committed fraud.

I really don’t know what to think about this —  it’s a story that borders on obsession. It’s been over 11 years since the MBH98 was published and a decade since the SAR and yet McIntyre is still obsessing, either for personal or strategic reasons — I haven’t decided which one it is yet.

Here’s more:

I think that there is a useful analogy here. Defects in proxy reconstructions do not prove the non-existence of AGW just as corruption at Enron doesn’t prove that all businesses are corrupt. But the fact that some lines of scientific argument are unaffected by CRU conduct or misconduct doesn’t mean that potential misconduct by CRU and others doesn’t “matter”. It does. The difficulty of the “community” in understanding this does not reassure the public – that’s for sure.

What McIntyre doesn’t understand — or choses not to acknowlegde — is that the so-called defect in the hockey stick is the past, man. It’s history. Everyone else has moved on and the original findings of the research stand. There was nothing in the CRU emails that rises to the level of fraud. A number of reputable organizations have come to that conclusion. Only the contrarians and denialists cling to it like some litany against evil.

Of course that’s entirely understandable — if you want to sway public opinion, you have to reach the public, and you have to convince them of the validity of your point of view.  The public doesn’t understand the science or the stats — they do understand motives and the petty psychodramas they watch on the soaps and on reality TV. They do understand smears and innuendo about character.

As the tobacco wars have shown, if you can’t defeat the science, you just raise enough doubt in the minds of the public so that the politicians are afraid to act.

Not that I’d ever claim that is what CA is all about. No.

Nonetheless…

What makes me laugh as usual is his chorus:

Here’s an interesting one:

I am with Steve on Analogies being dangerous to use. And I will be the first to admmit I know almost nothing about the Enron scandal (other than the headlines). But the article does make a good analogy that even I understand, even if I have no reference to check on the facts of Enron.

Thanks for making it easy to understand for a layman.

Here’s a person who admits he knows nothing about Enron except what he’s read from headlines and who trusts Steve McIntyre to make the connections clear for the layman. Here is a person who swallows McI’s take without questioning if McIntyre’s qualified to make such a connection or whether he has a valid take on Enron. It’s just mindlessness, which seems to characterize many accolytes at CA.

I think there’s a good case to argue that Enron revealed a greater rot at the heart of the corporate – political nexus that goes beyond a few bad apples in one corporation.

Which also makes me think about fungus and ant brains…

The only real value in that thread is when Tom P shows up to debate Loehle on the issue of the validity of the hockey stick and Yamal data.  Of course, McI shows up to stop Tom P from “arguing Yamal” but note he doesn’t stop people from making the claim that the hockey stick is evidence of some kind of fraud.

Here’s the exchange:

Craig Loehle

An excellent analogy. In the Enron case it is not a defence that the employees are good people or that it was a well-run company or that they were the smartest men in the room. They failed because 1) they had nonperforming assets and 2) they hid this fact. The hockey stick is a nonperforming asset. This fact has been hidden with tricks and multiple-publishing of the same data to make it look like independent support and not reporting goodness of fit statistics (etc). The long dissection of this tricky business, as Curry noted today elsewhere, prepared thousands of people to be ready to understand the climategate emails precisely.

The first thing to note is that Loehle points out X just as we expect McI’s followers will. Note also the multiple use of the term “trick”.  There is a direct comparison to Enron and the implications are clear — Enron was financial fraud and Mann et al is academic fraud.

Tom P protests and Steve is having none of it:

“The hockey stick is a nonperforming asset. This fact has been hidden with tricks and multiple-publishing of the same data to make it look like independent support and not reporting goodness of fit statistics (etc).”

Ironically, it was Steve who did not report the goodness-of-fit statistics of his “Scheingruber variation” to the Yamal proxy when attempting to show this hockeystick was not robust. In fact Steve’s substitution has a considerably lower correlation, 0.38, compared to Yamal’s value of 0.57. 0.38 is below the previously published threshold for acceptance.

No analogy is perfect, but on this point it is precisely the wrong way round.

steve: Tom P, you should really understand a little statistics before pontificating as though you were Gavin’s Guru. I did not submit the Schweingruber variation as analternative reconstruction of temperature. I have consistently rejected the idea of picking proxies on ex post correlation – a point discussed on many occasions. Your idea – that some Yamal larch are magic thermometers because of ex post correlations while others aren’t – is Monty Pythonesque, though they limit their primer to how to recognize the larch from a long way away, but omitted a discussion of how to recognize magic larch from a long way away. This is taught in fourth year at the University of East Anglia, the University of East Anglia’s courses being specifically referred to in another Monty Python episode.

BillyBob responds, claiming that Yamal is the same thing as salting the mines with gold in the Bre-x scandal.  You see, McI only need point the way and his readers follow:

I think Tom P, you are searching for the term “salting”.

A small amount of gold salted in a small area yeilds great results for speculators in the same a way a small amount of proxy warming (up to about 1960) in one or two trees in a small area like Yamal has resulted in a “gold rush” of billions of dollars in AGW business.

For me, the most interesting part of the post is Tom P’s response, showing the following graph:

This graph shows the Yamal chronologies with the fastest and slowest growth trees removed when compared to the full archive. Looks to me as if their removal has very little impact on the overall chronology.

He also raises the issue of Steve McIntyre’s selective analysis:

“In my posts about Enron, I discussed their “trick” – in order to avoid reporting business losses, losses which would have punctured the mirage and prevented them from raising fresh money to keep the scheme alive.”

You used your substitute chronology to undermine the robustness of the Briffa’s Yamal result while failing to disclose the low correlation of your substitute with the instrumental record, even after I specifically requested it.

When did you know that the correlation was that low, and why did you not feel a need to share this?

At that point, Steve brings the hammer down.

steve: Tom P, Yamal is offtopic on this thread. I repeat what i said before –

you should really understand a little statistics before pontificating as though you were Gavin’s Guru. I did not submit the Schweingruber variation as analternative reconstruction of temperature. I have consistently rejected the idea of picking proxies on ex post correlation – a point discussed on many occasions. Your idea – that some Yamal larch are magic thermometers because of ex post correlations while others aren’t – is Monty Pythonesque, though they limit their primer to how to recognize the larch from a long way away, but omitted a discussion of how to recognize magic larch from a long way away. This is taught in fourth year at the University of East Anglia, the University of East Anglia’s courses being specifically referred to in another Monty Python episode.

You can read more about this over at RealClimate where Yamal is discussed by Tom P himself.  You can also go to Deep Climate who discussed it or Delayed Oscillator.

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211 Responses to “Enron and the Case of the Zombie Fungus”

  1. Very nicely done. I love your sarcasm!

  2. There’s this really interesting thing I’ve noticed over at CA — a tendency to passive-aggressive posts where Mci writes X and then qualifies it so that it doesn’t appear like X, but maybe only kinda like X so that no one can claim he actually wrote X.

    He is a master at insinuation, leaving himself plausible deniability as to the true meaning behind his words.

    Sometimes he slips, though. Once, on Tamino’s blog IIRC, one of his fans challenged me to show an instance were McIntyre explicitly used the “fraud” word in regard to someone (Mann? Jones? someone of that stature).

    To my surprise, I had to search for an hour or so before finding a comment where he let the mask slip. An inline response to a post (something he’s inordinately fond of doing), where he described the scientist’s work as being “fradulent”.

    He’s good at the insinuation bit, but he does slip up from time to time and show his true colors explicitly.

  3. Susann,
    You forget that the Enron analogy was brought up by someone else, someone who worked for Enron. McIntyre had written previously about the analogy to Enron, but this article was occasioned by someone else who had spotted the similarity.

    Regarding Mann acting fraudulently, let me again remind you of the classic article in the Dutch science magazine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek in February, 2005. This magazine has an outstanding reputation. The English language translation can be found at http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf

    Read the article and you will see my state legislators in PA are calling for a criminal investigation into Michael Mann.

    BTW Susann, were you one of the blogs who received the essay by Judith Curry. Anthony Watts published it on his blog and lots of people are commenting, including me. I was just wondering if you were on her distribution list and, like RealClimate, decided not to post it? If you were not on the list, maybe you can email her and ask her to include you next time?

  4. Ron, it really makes no difference who brought up Enron. McI had already made the analogy as he points out and this just gave him an excuse to raise it again and flog his old posts as well as a few dead horses along the way.

    Please — I have read that article and already commented on it during the early days of this blog, if you recall. We have already gone over the criticisms of MBH and we have to agree to disagree on this.

    Ron, when people start criminalizing what should be considered ordinary debates in science over methodology or mistaken applications of statistics, the future of science free from political interference is in serious doubt. What are you and your cronies going to charge him with — using improper statistics in a paper?

    Shocking!

    What’s criminal is this blatant political interference in science!

    I have only just heard of Dr. Curry’s essay. I am not on her distribution list — why would I be? I’ll take a look at it and post accordingly. She once commented on one of my posts at CA on policy, agreeing with me so of course I think she’s brilliant for that. :) But other than that, I have never spoken with her or exchanged any words so there is no reason I’d be on her mailing list.

    • Susann,
      If you think what Mann did was engage in “ordinary debates in science over methodology or mistaken applications of statistics,” then you did not read the article. I’m sorry you have not read it or at least have not understood it.

      I find it amazing that you continue to spout the party line on Michael Mann and the pseudoscientific actions of the CRU team even while AGW supporter scientists have come to a more realistic view.

      Judith Curry writes: “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

      You should keep that paragraph in mind when you say you are seeking the truth on the AGW debate.

      • Ron,

        You may have missed the NRC report that essentially validated most of Mann’s methods and main conclusions:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#National_Research_Council_Report

        I’m sorry you haven’t read it or at least understood it.

        “You should keep that paragraph in mind when you say you are seeking the truth on the AGW debate.”

        Curry’s article/post is the worst sort of innuendo and vague statements:
        “Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda”

        Really? Who are these scientists who say this? Certainly not myself or other mainstream scientists, who are well aware of the various uncertainties in what we do and are quite excited to engage in intellectually stimulating debates and discussion. The one thing we have no tolerance for, especially of late, is having to defend ourselves from criticisms of statements that we’ve never made.

        • Your take on the NRC report is completely wrong. While they were more polite to Mann than the Wegman Report, they sided with McIntyre on every important points of science they looked at.

          For example, they agreed with McI that bristlecone pine series is not a temperature proxy and should be “avoided.” The also agreed Mann’s conclusion that the 20th century was the warmest in 1,000 was unwarranted. They agreed it was the warmest in 400 years but that was not disputed since the LIA was present.

          The NRC did not look at the issue of the Artificial Hockey Stick (the fact Mann’s method will produce a hockey stick even from trendless red noise as data), like Wegman did, but Wegman’s support of McI was confirmed by the team of von Storch and Zorita.

          You also fail to realize that Gerry North testified before Congress that his panel did not disagree with Wegman.

          CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
          DR. NORTH. ”’No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report.”’ But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.
          http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/06/the-wegman-and-north-reports-for-newbies/

          North’s whole thing was it was possible for Mann to do the science wrong and still get the right answer. Wegman’s whole thing was “Wrong methods + right answer = Bad science.”

          You need to stop reading the disinformation sites known realclimate.org and climateprogress.org, unless you can learn to check out what they say for yourself.

          Wait. Are you saying no scientists are saying “the science is settled” or “the debate is over?” You cannot be so uninformed. I read comments like this all the time, less so since Climategate. Comments like this were very common years ago. In fact, it was comments like these caused me to look into AGW more closely. I was told the only scientists who did not believe in AGW were paid by Big Oil. I looked into that and found it was a lie. There are plenty of good scientists, actually the best scientists, who are skeptical. Dr. Curry is right. People who say such things are trying to advance an agenda and are not describing reality. Such statements destroy trust.

          • Ron Cram is a serial internet liar (if you don’t believe me, go read comments at dot earth for a bit).

            The also agreed Mann’s conclusion that the 20th century was the warmest in 1,000 was unwarranted.

            No, they said no such thing.

            And the fact that a couple of thuggish PA legislators want a criminal investigation of Mann’s scientific work only makes clear the level of thuggishness RW extremists like yourself are willing to go to.

            Same with Inhofe’s declaration that he wants criminal investigations of every scientist listed in the stolen CRU mails.

            The United States is already losing our technological leadership, criminalizing the practice of science in the United States will just accelerate the practice.

            • dhogaza, okay if the NRC panel did not say that Mann’s claim was unwarranted, what exactly did they say? Something to the effect the data was not strong enough to make such a claim, which is why they proposed making the claim for the last 400 years rather than the last 1,000 years. It comes down to the same thing. Mann’s claim was not warranted by the available data.

              • Ron,

                The NRC report said the 1000 year claim was ‘plausible’. Exactly. A far cry from ‘unwarranted’.

                • Ron Cram has been told this many, many times.

                  It hasn’t stopped him from repeating it in the past.

                  It won’t stop him from repeating it in the future.

              • The report in essence said:

                1. Last 400 years, solid.

                2. 400 years to 1000 years ago, plausible (as North explained, “more likely than not”) but not as solid as the last 400 years.

                3. Further back than 1000 years ago, not enough data to make a conclusion.

                If you look at the graph in AR3 derived from Mann ’99, you’ll see that Mann’s computed error bars show a big jump at …

                400 years back.

                In other words, his own paper had essentially the same conclusion as points #1 and #2 above.

                Smaller error bounds in the 400 year period backed as being solid by the NAS committee.

                Much larger error bars in the period 400-1000 years ago, consistent with the NAS downgrading the conclusions for that period of time as being “plausible” rather than solid (I forget the exact wording used for “solid”).

                So why don’t denialists like you point out that Mann ’99 had a jump in the error bounds 400 years back?

                That Mann ’99 is full of caveats about older proxies?

                The NAS report is not consistent with Mann ’99.

                It is inconsistent with strawman mischaracterizations of it in which the denialist community ignores what Mann ’99 itself said about the reliability of the constructions as they go back in time.

                As far as the North committee agreeing with Wegman’s stating that short-centered PCA shouldn’t be used, they also made clear that it made no material change in the results. And that Mann ’99 was strengthened by further research by others.

                MGH ’99 was the first attempt at doing a large scale climate reconstruction of this sort. Early papers in a field are nearly always going to have weaknesses and issues. If they didn’t, scientists could just stop work and relax at home, rather than work to push seminal work forward.

  5. Susann,

    There is a suggestive lack of space between “an” and “alternative” in one of your quotes.

  6. Good work Susann, keep up the pressure. Astounding how the brainwashed McI acolytes will defend his unethical and slimy behaviour. And just when did he last do some “auditing”? I’ll keep saying it, his blog reads more like a gossip rag nowadays. Then again, perhaps I should be grateful that he is more concerned with feeding his acolytes than publishing those 10 papers in E&E.

    Joe Romm has a pretty damning critique of Curry’s, err um, essay. It seems that she has graduated form the McI school of “insinuation”. In the early days, when I first went to CA I found some of their arguments compelling and beguiling. “Wow, maybe the “warmers” are dishonest I thought”. Then I did some research. Wow quite the rap sheet. Recent incidents include McI investigating IPs and making threats, and sicking his acolytes on people like rabid dogs (e.g., vexatious FOIA requests, nasty emails to Santer). He is pretty good at telling people like Ron what they want to hear. Like I said, when I started doing some objective research, CA’s empire quickly unravelled for me. He is not the honest broker he repeatedly claims to be and the Canadian media needs to wake up to that fact, some preliminary investigating on their part will quickly set the record straight– anyhow, that is something I’m working on and I encourage others to do the same.

    Alas, non of McI’s musings have anything to do with climate sensitivity to doubling CO2, or how we deal with a much warmer world. It is all an elaborate distraction from the real concerns and science, with some character assassination and witch hunting thrown in for good measure and to feed the particularly rabid acolytes.

    How TomP continues to go over there and fight the good fight I will never know…we all how him our gratitude for trying to slow the leak in the CA sewer line.

    I found this post at DC most enlightening:

    “Byron // February 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply

    To put it bluntly, professional skeptics and their followers are crackers. I think it comes down to the fact that people who think and behave in, I’ll say it, evil and underhanded ways often see conspiracies everywhere. They are projecting their mindview on the world. Therefore, they imagine, those they hate must necessesarily be thinking the same way.

    That’s not to say that conspiracies don’t exist; to the contrary, they are ironically common to the mindset described above, very often these days a virulent, right-wing mindset. And unfortuantely their hate, rage and suspecion only seems to snowball with time. Thus a large majority of the other half of the population is certifiable. This is an example of what Limabugh-type politics can do to a society.”

    That perfectly describes Steven McIntyre and his faithful following.

    • “How TomP continues to go over there and fight the good fight I will never know…we all how him our gratitude for trying to slow the leak in the CA sewer line.”

      Absolutely. Kudos to TomP and Susann. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and stomach to deal with the sort of garbage that gets posted at those sites.

  7. The Tom P graph you posted originally appeared in one of the many Yamal threads at CA. According to Tom, the purpose of it was as a sensitivity test for sample population homogeneity. The RCS methodology standardizes by fitting all samples to a single biological growth function. According to the dendro literature, in order for this method to be valid, the sampled population must be shown to be homogeneous – IOW sample subsets must fit the same curve.

    Analysis by Jeff Id and RomanM have shown that the assumption of population homogeneity of the “CRU 12″ subsample is questionable: http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/21/rcs-one-size-fits-all/

    For Tom’s sensitivity analysis to properly consider the possibility of population heterogeneity, he would need to include plots constructed with a method of standardization which actually allows for that – such as the loess fit demonstrated by Roman. The result would be a much wider range of sensitivity.

    • “The Tom P graph you posted originally appeared in one of the many Yamal threads at CA. According to Tom, the purpose of it was as a sensitivity test for sample population homogeneity.”

      You’re getting your plots mixed up. The plot above is a simple recalculation of the chronology taking out a selection of the recent Yamal trees. It shows that, contrary to Steve McIntyre’s implication, the “disquieting” shape does not rest on one or two trees.

      The issue of age homogeneity is a different one, and first brought up by McIntyre himself. RomanM’s approach to this matter was flawed. He separated the population so that the fasting-growing trees were considered separately, and then showed that compared to the average growth curve of these trees, there was unsurprisingly no remarkable signal. It’s equivalent to saying that compared to the average height of a basketball team the players aren’t really so tall.

      McIntyre himself avoided the issue when his own substitution chronology broke down on the issue of age homogeneity, writing “I’m busy on personal things today. I will reply to this point, which is on topic.” He never did find the time to reply, not a unique problem when faced with a challenging question. I suspect that might be part of the reason for McIntyre’s reluctance to publish in the literature – although he loves to scrutinise others’ work, he’s far less keen for his own analysis to be examined.

      • TomP, you have tried to correct Steve on several occasions and to my recollection have always been shown to be wrong. You never admit it, instead try to change the goalposts. Perhaps you do not understand you are wrong, but you should take Steve’s advice and learn more statistics before you try to cross swords with the master.

        If you really think you ever got the better of McI, then link to the exchange here – because I have never seen it.

      • Tom, I did not confuse the graphs. I recognized it immediately because I commented on it at the time. When you presented your graph at CA I commented as follows:

        “Good graph Tom. It deals in part with the small sample size issue raised by Briffa. However, your plot makes an implicit assumption of population homogeniety.”

        To which you replied:

        “Actually it’s a sensitivity test of population homogeneity – I have removed the extreme growth samples to see how the chronology is affected. There’s not much difference apart from where the sample count falls very low anyway, indicating that sample heterogeneity is not a problem except for when the replication falls below five.”

        This is the relevant thread: http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/28/response-to-briffa-on-yamal-impact/#comments

        The graph’s posted by all commenters have been lost in CA’s transition to wordpress, but your comment to bender early in the thread confirms that it is the same plot.

        Roman’s analysis is not flawed. It notes how the growth uptick in the longest lived group of trees is not reflected in the “one-size-fits-all” RC growth function. A legitimate question to ask is whether this uptick reflects a homogeneous population’s response to it’s environment, or whether this group has a different biological response to the same environmental signals (ie heterogeneous).

        Besides Romans post on this, commenter JS explored this question at CA question using a random effects model. The model estimated parameters for a climate effect (year) and an age effect. The age effect was shown to be statistically significant. The net result for the “age effect” was a curve with a very similar shape to RomanM’s loess fit – complete with confidence intervals.

  8. The comment from CA :

    “I am with Steve on Analogies being dangerous to use. And I will be the first to admmit I know almost nothing about the Enron scandal (other than the headlines). But the article does make a good analogy that even I understand, even if I have no reference to check on the facts of Enron.
    Thanks for making it easy to understand for a layman.”

    ..has got to be a p**s-take, surely ? ‘I’m a credulous layman who knows nothing about any of this but you have opened my eyes, oh master’ ?! Can’t be true.

    Trouble is, denial and caricature of denial are very difficult to tell apart…

  9. I think this is the plot that is most revealing about McIntyre’s approach:

    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5454/yamalkhadtemp.png

    The blue line shows the substitute chronology that McIntyre claimed undermined the robustness of Briffa’s Yamal chronology, in red. The problem is that this substitute chronology doesn’t fufill the most basic of tests, a reasonable correlation with temperature (the green and black lines).

    McIntyre never revealed this, even when I specifically asked him. I had to rerun his code, which to give him credit he does provide, although in a language which is little used by scientists. I think it very unlikely he did not know that the temperature failed to match his chronology – the relevant code to extract the plot is sitting unused in his program.

    As his attempted dissection of Briffa’s Yamal result on its own grounds has failed, he now resorts to the argument that tree rings cannot be reasonable proxies for temperature, a straight rejection of the entire field of paleodendrochronology. McIntyre should change the name of his blog – he’s no longer auditing but rather providing just another echo chamber.

  10. “There is no evidence that Mann or anyone who worked with him is corrupt or committed fraud.”

    It’s not clear whether Mann is incompetent or a fraud. The Wegman report upheld all of McIntyre & McKitrick’s published criticisms of his work, and was careful in it’s wording to point out that Mann may or may not have been aware of the flaws in his work.

    He uses methods recommended against by best statistical practices, he uses proxies recommended against by the NAS panel convened to review his work and paleo reconstructions, he’s used proxies upside-down, he hids the unexplained divergence problem in his proxy data, etc.

    • These lies about Mann are spread all over the denialsphere. We have to put up with them here, too?

      It’s so bloody tiresome.

      • Confirmed facts, not lies.

        Your denial is noted, and it is indeed tiresome. No amount of it will magically undo the problems uncovered concerning Mann’s work – all you can hope to do is to try to alter people’s perception.

        Here’s Ian Jolliffe, an undisputed statistical authority on PCA, on the MBH hockey stick :

        “I am by no means a climate change denier. My strong impressive is that the evidence rests on much much more than the hockey stick. It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics.”

        The above was left as a comment on Tamino’s blog, who was attempting to defend Mann’s work by a complete misrepresentation of Jolliffe’s ( http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/open-thread-5-2/#comment-21873 ).

        The Wegman report also confirmed McIntyre and McKitrick’s published criticisms.

        • I participated in that thread. Dubious, yes, but Joliffe didn’t come out and say it was *wrong*, and he certainly didn’t suggest it was fraudulent, or even incompetent. MBH ’98 was a novel paper, full of caveats (something your kind never mention).

          And, of course, it was shown that using standard PCA – which Jolliffe would not describe as being “dubious” – makes no difference.

          And after MBH ’98, Mann no longer used short-centered PCA but rather stuck to standard PCA.

          So, there you go. You’ve lied.

          • The Wegman report found that MBH’s conclusions were not supported by the work.
            The NAS Panel revised MBH’s conclusion (re: unprecedented warming) to a significantly less striking one.
            Jolliffe found MBH’s hockey stick was a piece of dubious statistics – not good enough to be trusted as a scientific conclusion.

            And of course, I haven’t lied – I leave that to experts such as yourself.

        • There’s a reason why the Wegman Report, commissioned by a politician, was not independently peer-reviewed.

          http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/17/wegman-report-revisited/

          http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/22/wegman-and-rapp-on-tree-rings-a-divergence-problem-part-1/

          http://deepclimate.org/2010/01/06/wegman-and-rapp-on-proxies-a-divergence-problem-part-2/

          Plagiarizing and distorting the work of others is not good scholarship.

          Science moves on, though. More studies, more proxies, more coverage…all solidify the core conclusions of the “hockey stick”.

          http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

          Many independent of Mann’s work:

          http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-6-10.html

          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/borehole/huang2008/huang2008temperature.txt

          http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/5/2631/2009/cpd-5-2631-2009-print.pdf

          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/moberg2005/nhtemp-moberg2005.txt

          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/gcmoutput/crowley2000/crowley_lowery2000_nht.txt

          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/treering/reconstructions/n_hem_temp/esper2002_nhem_temp.txt

          A new approach (not published yet, in revision), with interesting implications for variability in a warmer climate:

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

          http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/Doc/mean_variance.pdf

          I’m not entirely sure why the denier crowd is so obsessed with an early reconstruction, but they certainly have a lot more scientists to slander than Dr. Mann.

          • MarkB,

            I’m aware that there’re many other temperature reconstructions, and none of them look like the MBH hockey stick (900 years of cooling with little variation, coldest at the beginning of the 20th C, warming in the 20th C).

            Wegman’s analysis has been confirmed by others, and refuted by none.

            If you’re worried by political influence, you should also reject the IPCC’s work, as that is also political and politicised organisation.

            • Just to be clear, you’re referring to a temperature reconstruction from 10+ years ago that had large error bars allowing for greater variation. Later reconstructions are thus consistent with MBH. Seems a bit obsessive.

              Later reconstructions have validated and strengthened its core conclusions regarding anomalous recent warmth.

              The Wegman Report was not a serious academic effort.

            • Wegman didn’t make an analysis. If he’d made an analysis, it would’ve shown that the choice of PCA technique made no material difference to the result. He explicitly said he did not make the analysis because he was not asked to.

              Wahl and Annan made the analysis, and showed that the choice of short-centered vs. “standard” PCA made no material difference.

              I’m aware that there’re many other temperature reconstructions, and none of them look like the MBH hockey stick (900 years of cooling with little variation, coldest at the beginning of the 20th C, warming in the 20th C).

              I posted a link to the AR3 IPCC graph based on Mann ’99.

              The reconstructions all fit within the error bounds given by Mann ’99.

              Therefore, they are all consistent with Mann ’99. To be inconsistent they’d have to lie outside the error bars.

            • “I’m aware that there’re many other temperature reconstructions, and none of them look like the MBH hockey stick (900 years of cooling with little variation, coldest at the beginning of the 20th C, warming in the 20th C).”

              Absolute BS– look at Fig. 6.10 page 467 in Chpt 6 of AR4.

              Besides, it is 2010 for God’s sake move on. Mann has– see Mann et al. (2009). The flaws in the MBH98 paper have been addressed a longtime ago, and doing so did not change their original conclusions. Moreover, their work has been corroborated by numerous independent temperature constructions (borehole, ice, lake and ocean sediments).

              Lastly, MBH98 has nothing to do with the radiative forcing properties of GHGs. Stop trying to detract from the reality: 2000-2009 warmest decade on record,
              dramatic loss of multi-year Arctic sea ice, increase in height of the troposphere, cooling of stratosphere, accelerating loss of ice from WAIS and Greenland ice sheets and recent observed loss of ice from EAIS, accelerating increase in sea levels, loss of ice mass from glaciers monitored around the world, changes in green up and senescence, change in habits of wildlife.

              Those realities are what those in denial about AGW want to keep everyone’s attention from. I wonder why?

              And a word of advice “oneuniverse” making libelous statement does your weak arguments no good (e.g., “And of course, I haven’t lied – I leave that to experts such as yourself.”)

              Don’t underestimate dhogaza, many people have gone up against him/her and regretted it. B/C unlike you, s/he has a very comprehensive understanding of the facts and does not view the facts through a prism of distortion and bias.

          • Criticisms of Wegman are entirely off-base. Wegman was the statistician for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. He is the naturally the man Congress would turn to for questions about statistics.

            Wegman was not the only author of the report. Two other promenent statisticians co-authored. Any claim Wegman’s report was his alone or that it was not peer-reviewed is pure fiction.

            The supposedly “independent” reconstructions published in support of Mann all have the same or similar problems, use of bristlecone pine series or Yamal, etc. These are not truly independent reconstructions. The one independent reconstruction I know of was published by Loehle and shows the MWP as warm or warmer than today.

            • Loehle wasn’t published (E&E is not a cited academic journal, as you know). Loehle problems:

              http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructions/

            • Wegman was the statistician for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. He is the naturally the man Congress would turn to for questions about statistics.

              He was chair of a committee of statisticians, not what you say he was. But we’re used to inaccuracies from Ron Cram.

              Any claim Wegman’s report was his alone or that it was not peer-reviewed is pure fiction.

              It was only reviewed by those he chose to review it. That’s not typically how peer review works.

              And it is a fact that he plagiarized large portions of it, quoting without attribution. Or, magically managed to come up with long stretches of wording exactly like that found in previous publications.

              The supposedly “independent” reconstructions published in support of Mann all have the same or similar problems, use of bristlecone pine series or Yamal, etc. These are not truly independent reconstructions.

              Large numbers of proxies have been added and you know it.

              The Yamal dataset has been greatly expanded, and Briffa’s russian colleagues have published a new analysis with the expanded dataset, and it comes up with the same. Yamal wasn’t and is not a problem.

              Ron Cram knows this.

            • “Criticisms of Wegman are entirely off-base.”

              Anyone want to lay odds that Ron Cram hasn’t even read the Deep Climate pieces?

  11. “There’s this really interesting thing I’ve noticed over at CA — a tendency to passive-aggressive posts where Mci writes X and then qualifies it so that it doesn’t appear like X, but maybe only kinda like X so that no one can claim he actually wrote X. Meanwhile, his blog readers and aficionados understand quite well the nudge and wink they’ve been given to assume X and so they do. X spreads like a fungal growth that affects the brains of the unsuspecting…”

    Susann, if you want a term for it, it’s known as ‘dog-whistling':

    “Dog-whistle politics is the art of sending coded or implicit messages to a select group of voters while keeping others in the dark. Just as a dog whistle can be heard by dogs but not humans, a dog whistle in politics can be heard by some members of the electorate but not others. Its key feature is plausible deniability: the dog whistler can say ‘I didn’t mean that, I meant this instead’. And it is usually a divisive or reactionary message that it conceals, one that would risk offending or scandalising more tolerant voters.”
    ‘Under the Radar: Dog-whistle politics in Australia’, by Josh Fear.
    https://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/DP96.pdf

    Any politcal lobbyist would probably know about it.

    {See? Even I can do it}

  12. Tom, could you please post the plot you were refering to when you made this comment to bender in the thread I linked to in #28?

    “Here’s a close up of the unsmoothed RCS chronologies for the full Yamal series, without the three slowest growing trees and without the three fastest growing treees: (sic)”

  13. Hi dhogaza. Ok “he” it is. Thanks.

  14. oneuniverse :
    The Wegman report also confirmed McIntyre and McKitrick’s published criticisms.

    Read this, and try being an actual sceptic:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/plagiarism%20conspiracies%20felonies%20v1%200%201.pdf

  15. Layman Lurker :
    Tom, could you please post the plot you were refering to when you made this comment to bender in the thread I linked to in #28?
    “Here’s a close up of the unsmoothed RCS chronologies for the full Yamal series, without the three slowest growing trees and without the three fastest growing treees: (sic)”

    That was, of course, the plot that was shown in the head post above. Contrary to how you first commented, it has nothing to do with age homogeneity.

    The Climate Audit archives are a mess, with missing comments and images producing nonsequiturs in the threads. It’s a shame as any actual discussion of climate science on that blog predates the move to the new server.

  16. I was reflecting on watching the dance of the sugar plum fairies last night after watching it with my little ones, and for some reason CA and McI came to mind. Here is why. McI operates in a fantastical and fictional microcosm which is totally detached from reality– kinda like Disney’s Fantasia.

    How does one deal with such an individual? Do you keep feeding their ego by making a fuss over their antagonistic posts made in their fantastical microcosm, or do you simply ignore them? Up until now my approach has been to take them down, but that is a 24/7 hr job. Surely there must be a better way of dealing with the stream of innuendo, pseudo-science and malice coming from CA and their acolytes? Me thinks they thrive on the attention, and that the attention in some way reinforces their delusion that what they are doing is of value and importance.

    Maybe we should just ignore them for a while and let them operate in their vacuous microcosm…..

    • Maybe we should just ignore them for a while and let them operate in their vacuous microcosm…..

      The problem with this strategy is that deniers and contrarians are not just pesky wasps buzzing around the piece of steak on your plate in the summer and will go away if you ignore them. They want that piece of meat and will do just about anything to get it, including stinging you if need be.

      As has been shown by Inhofe’s latest gambit, the goal more than to find the truth. It is to destroy the enemy, because this is war. It’s not a battle over “truth” but over whose truth will prevail — that of the status quo or of those advocating action. This is why people argue about the cost of climate legislation and of carbon reduction to the developing world – this is a truth they privilege over the long term concerns about climate stability. Both are valid concerns, but when it comes to policy decisions, the question is really what risk are we least prepared to accept and which cost are we most willing to pay — that to the climate, to the vested interests, to our comfortable lifestyle or to the interests of those who want our lifestyle?

      And of course, those who make the policy decisions of whether to act are caught in a dilemma — act against the public will to address the biggest threat even if the majority of voters do not accept it (and funders threaten withdrawal of money) and be thrown out of power or ignore the biggest threat and keep power? To me, the science suggests that down the road, we face a very significant threat to our civilization from climate change. This potential threat from global warming appears to be far worse in the long term than developing a carbon-neutral or low-carbon economy and technology. The science is not certain on this, but it is highly suggestive. We citizens have to decide if we want to pass that risk on to our children and grandchildren so that we can continue to enjoy our way of life unfettered and so that others who currently are less developed can have the same.

      It’s that damn short lifespan and narrow self-interested horizon…

  17. #44

    Thanks for the clarification that I was not confused on the source of the plot. I commented originally to at CA that *population homegeneity* is implicitly assumed in your plot (due of course to the method of standardization). Once again, your response to me at CA was:

    “Actually it’s a sensitivity test of population homogeneity – I have removed the extreme growth samples to see how the chronology is affected. There’s not much difference apart from where the sample count falls very low anyway, indicating that sample heterogeneity is not a problem except for when the replication falls below five.”

    My original comment in #9 was based on your above quoted response to me. Are you now saying that your original response was wrong?

    Not that the semantics matter that much. Because of the “one-size-fits-all” standardization, the plot fits all samples to a homogeneous curve that by definition assumes the residuals are all climate (or environmental) and not due to population differences in biological response.

  18. Sorry folks. I regret having to remove the nested comment function, but the threads were getting ridiculously narrow. That means you should copy and past the relevant portion of the comment you want to reply to or reference the number so we know who you are addressing.

  19. vesles :
    Up until now my approach has been to take them down, but that is a 24/7 hr job. Surely there must be a better way of dealing with the stream of innuendo, pseudo-science and malice coming from CA and their acolytes?

    “A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”
    -Mark Twain

  20. I have read the pieces by deepclimate regarding Wegman and found them to be completely worthless. North testified before Congress that his panel agreed with the Wegman report.

    In MBH98 and MBH99, Mann concluded the late 20th century was warmer than at any time in the last 1,000 years and that his results were “robust.”

    This is what the NRC report says:
    “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.”

    In other words, Mann’s conclusions were unwarranted. The NRC report also said temp reconstructions should “avoid” bristlecone pine series because it is not a temp proxy. Mann could not get a hockey stick shape without the bcp. The NRC sided with McIntyre on every important point of science and North testified before Congress that his panel agreed with Wegman.

  21. In MBH98 and MBH99, Mann concluded the late 20th century was warmer than at any time in the last 1,000 years and that his results were “robust.”

    Ron, here is the abstract from MBH98:

    Spatially resolved global reconstructions of annual surface temperature patterns over the past six centuries are based on the multivariate calibration of widely distributed high-resolution proxy climate indicators. Time-dependent correlations of the reconstructions with time-series records representing changes in greenhouse-gas concentrations, solar irradiance, and volcanic aerosols suggest that each of these factors has contributed to the climate variability of the past 400 years, with greenhouse gases emerging as the dominant forcing during the twentieth century. Northern Hemisphere mean annual temperatures for three of the past eight years are warmer than any other year since (at least) AD1400.

    You can see that MBH98 is limited to the previous 6 centuries and the Northern Hemisphere. This was largely corroborated by the North panel, here:

    It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.

    Here is MBH99:

    Building on recent studies, we attempt hemispheric temperature reconstructions with proxy data networks for the past millennium. We focus not just on the reconstructions, but the uncertainties therein, and important caveats. Though expended uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmers year, at moderately high levels of confidence. The 20th century warming counters a millennial-scale cooling trend which is consistent with long-term astronomical forcing.

    See how they acknowledge the uncertainties prior to AD1400 due to the lack of proxies prevent “decisive” conclusions. DId you get that? Uncertainties prior to 1400 prevent decisive conclusions about the temps prior to that. They claim “moderately high levels of confidence” in the statement that the 1990s were the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the millennium.

    Here’s more of the NAS panel’s conclusions:

    Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties
    associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.

    Sounds suspiciously like the NAS is saying that uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions, but that many locations were higher in the past 25 years since any period of comparable length since AD 900.

    I see a whole lotta corroboration of MBH98 and MBH99 in the NAS report. I also see a clear expression of uncertainties and caveats about the proxy data and the ability to draw decisive conclusions about the era pre 1400.

    Not at all the way contrarians and denialists describe these two papers.

  22. MapleLeaf,

    The MBH ‘hockey stick’ graph has public relevance because it was globally disseminated by the media, with government and intergovernmental guidance. It is the most reproduced graphic in the AR4 report, I believe, and could fairly be characterised as the centre-piece of the report, given its status as apparent new evidence supporting AGW, whereas it’s really just a showpiece for statistical malpractice and the incorrect selection of flawed proxies.

    MBH has scientific relevance because it is a temperature reconstruction at odds with the accepted scientific understanding, at the time of its publication and at the present time – it’s missing the Little Ice Age (LIA), for example, and has no warming taking place until the 20th Century. It’s therefore all the more appropriate that the paper has been critically examined.

    Our understanding of climate of the last millennia (confirmed in the NAS Panel’s report) informs us that there was a global ‘Little Ice Age’ (the signal of which is present in data from both hemispheres), and that temperatures have been globally rising for over 250 years. This is confirmed by non-proxy borehole temperature reconstructions.

    However, the LIA and the overall temperature rise across the 18th and 19th century are not recorded in the MBH stick. The tighter error bars in the last 400 years of the MBH stick should provide enough resolution to allow detection, by the way.

    The Wegman report found that “[t]he net effect of this decentring using the proxy data in MBH and MBH99 is to produce a “hockey stick” shape.” This ‘hockey-stick selecting’ feature of Mann’s PCA method has been independently confirmed by others, and I’m not aware of any serious rebuttals to these analyses.

    The dubious statistics shouldn’t have passed Nature’s peer-review process. Bristlecone strip barks, being poor temperature proxies, shouldn’t have been used, following the NAS Panel report’s recommendation. Therefore it’s irrelevant whether a correctly carried out PCA which includes the bristlecone data still exhibits a hockey stick shape or not.

  23. Anyway, extracting a temperature signal from tree-rings is an incompletely understood process with considerable obstacles still to be overcome. Tree-ring growth is covariant with factors such as temperature, precipitation and the availability of water locally to the roots, local atmospheric CO2 concentration, direct and diffused insolation, and soil composition, and so on. Other affecting factors that can change in the lifetime of the tree are the position of the tree with respect to other nearby trees and its proximity to the edge of the forest. Forests have microclimates which affect variables such as temperature, precipitation and insolation.

    Even if we had a formula which could accurately predict tree-ring characteristics such as size or density, in order to extract the paleo-temperature signal we would need to know something of the past histories of the parameters affecting arboreal growth . This is in general currently unavailable data.

    The failure of the trees used in many of these studies failed to follow the instrumental record for a period in the late 19th century and after the 1960’s shouldn’t be a surprise given the covariant nature of tree growth mentioned above- to summarise, the variables affecting tree-ring growth rarely remain constant.

    This “divergence problem” led, in ‘Climategate‘, to “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline” (truncating the divergent tree-proxy temperature series, and grafting in the instrumental ones). The trick was deployed again in the WMO 1999 report.

    Dendroclimatology would I believe profit from ‘seeding’ some long-term projects, if it hasn’t done so already, including the straight-forward one of growing trees of different species under a wide set of controlled conditions systematically spanning the growth-affecting parameter space, and then harvesting and examining tree-rings after the passage of decadal intervals (or as fine a resolution as resources permit).

    If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll stumble across some trees with intact local records of said variables, including temperature, kept by some tradition of botanical excellence – perhaps at some long-running botanical gardens or estates.

    At present though, the extraction of temperature signals from tree rings remains at best a hit-and-miss affair little better than guesswork. We still need an instrumental record alongside to verify that the trees haven’t “stopped recording the temperature“. :)

  24. oneuniverse :MapleLeaf,
    The MBH ‘hockey stick’ graph has public relevance because it was globally disseminated by the media, with government and intergovernmental guidance. It is the most reproduced graphic in the AR4 report

    Sigh…

    AR4:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/datapages/fig6.10_medium.png

    Similar (and now stronger) conclusions apply, with or without tree rings.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

    …and from a recent study (that includes recent data):

    “It is also shown that the last ten years to date have been warmer than any decade of the past millennium with 95% confidence.”

    The “divergence problem” in a nutshell:

    – Applies to certain high northern latitude tree ring proxies (not all)

    – Tree ring proxies that have the modern divergence problem correlate well with ones that don’t, all the way back through the MWP, indicating it’s a modern things, and not necessarily an impediment to measuring past temps.

    – While the cause of the modern divergence isn’t nailed down, anthropogenic causes are one likely cause.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-divergence-problem.html

    And as stated, the Wegman Report is a textbook example of shoddy scholarship and politics.

    I suspect 100 years from now, with global mean temperature a few degrees higher, the brainwashed offspring of denier types will still be talking about “Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick”.

  25. Shewonk,
    The NRC report was much more polite to Mann than the Wegman report. There is no question about that. They went out of their way to call Mann’s conclusions “plausible” even though they could not say they were valid.

    At the time of the hearing, Ed Wegman was chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. This is the guy Congress should turn to for questions involving statistics. It seems so strange and self-defeating for deepclimate to spend so much time trying to dig up something to make Wegman look bad. He will never be successful and if he were, you still have Gerry North who headed the NRC panel, testifying before Congress that they agreed with Wegman. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?

    Mann lost not just because he was wrong but because he was dishonest about it. The article in the Dutch science magazine I have linked to in the past was titled “Kyoto Treaty Based on Flawed Statistics” but if space would have allowed it could have said “… and Academic Misconduct” because Mann’s actions are clearly that. Wegman was more willing to look into issues that put Mann in a bad light such as his social network… and his pursuit of Pal Review instead of Peer Review. The NRC panel simply did not look into those questions. That does not make Mann innocent.

  26. I apologise for the typo in my post – the hockey stick was presented in AR3, not AR4.

  27. Oneuinverse, second sentence in @52. “It is the most reproduced graphic in the AR4 report, I believe, and could fairly be characterised as the centre-piece of the report, given its status as apparent new evidence supporting AGW, whereas it’s really just a showpiece for statistical malpractice and the incorrect selection of flawed proxies.”

    What utter BS. MarkB, dhogaza, shewonk, and others have been over this ad naseum with you and others, yet you just keep shuflfign the goal posts and ignoring the science being provided and chanting your mantra while throwing in some slander about “malpractice”.

    The theory of AGW, radiative forcing of GHGs, has nothing to do with the HS. Do you not understand th? Do you not understand that the issues in MBH98 have been addressed and that they did not affect their conclusions? Have you read Mann et al. (2009)?

    Forget the dendro chronologies and other paleo climate records for a moment, take a step back and look at this:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    and this

    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_trend_map_tlt

    and this

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=42456

    and this

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Accelerating-ice-loss-from-Antarctica-and-Greenland.html

    and this

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html (scroll to bottom)

    and this

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/East-Antarctica-is-now-losing-ice.html

    Do you now see the big picture that is happening before your very eyes (from observations) on the ONE and only planet that we and future generations have? Get over the HS and think about the images in the above links, b/c that is what CA and WUWT want to distract you from.

    MarkB I referred to Fig. 6.10 earlier…thanks for providing a link. I wonder if the contrarians here have actually bothered to look at the 11 (eleven) traces shown in that Figure. Also, the REGIONAL MWP is going to look rather cold compared to GLOBAL SATs in 2100.

  28. MarkB: “And as stated, the Wegman Report is a textbook example of shoddy scholarship and politics.”

    I remember reading some of the discussions on Wegman’s alleged plagiarism – if I recall, it was about material like standard dendro definitions. They provided the correct referencea, but didn’t put in some of quotation marks or footnotes as they should’ve. Should be corrected, but hardly exciting and with no bearing on the analysis.

  29. Oneuniverse, I and others have referred you to AR4 Chpt. 6 Fig 6.10. MarkB has kindly provided a link. The MBH99 and 10 other reconstructions are provided in the figure. Now go and look, please, we are not providing you these data so that you can simply ignore them.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/datapages/fig6.10_medium.png

    Also keep in mind that these are NH reconstructions and that the MWP was primarily focussed on the N. Atlantic regions (Mann et al. 2009) whereas the long-term warming we have been witnessing since the early seventies is global:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Was-there-a-Medieval-Warm-Period.html

    also

    http://tinyurl.com/yegq8tf

    and (again)

    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_trend_map_tlt

    Forget about WUWT and CA, and please think carefully about what you are seeing above. Be honest with yourself and open your mind to the reality. Yes, it is pretty disturbing and awkward, but ignoring it and fabricating lies to deceive yourself that the problem does not exists is not going to make the reality go away.

    The radiative forcing of GHGs does not give a rat’s arse about MBH98….so while you contemplate these inconvenient truths, the planet continues to warm (even as shown by the contrarian UAH data):

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    Jan 2010 warmest on satellite record.

  30. Hi MapleLeaf, would you mind quickly summarising the AGW greenhouse gas hypothesis, so that we know we’re talking about the same thing?

    My summary would be that doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels of 280ppm will result in a new equilibrium temperature approx. 0.7 to 1.1 C warmer, and that as a feedback from this warming, increased water vapor concentrations, in regions of the atmosphere not already saturated with respect to WV OLR absorption, will contributte another 2 C or so of warming, leading to something like 3.3C being estimated as the most likely magnitude of warming from the CO2 doubling.

  31. Spelling mistake : that should be “contribute”, sorry.

    MapleLeaf : “The radiative forcing of GHGs does not give a rat’s arse about MBH98….”

    I never said it did. ..?

    The AGW greenhouse has a few problems – there’s the IPCC’s 100-year CO2 atmospheric residence time which over-predicts the current CO2 levels – the ‘CO2 sink anomaly’. Atmospheric water vapor levels haven’t increased as required by the hypothesis, and outgoing LW radiation as measured by satellites shows an increase, something not predicted by an increasingly strong greenhouse effect, feedbacks included, and including the warming of the Earth over the observation period.

  32. MapleLeaf, re: your GISS graph.
    The greatest warming is shown to have taken place in the Arctic, where we have no satellite measurements and very few land stations. HadCRU, unlike GISS, declines to use an algorithm to infill missing temperature data for such a vast region of, and leaves those areas blank.

    The Arctic region is affected by multiple oceanic currrents, which themselves can change. Assigning extrapolated data to these unmonitored regions is no more than a guess, a hope that regional and local climate differences average out spatially and temporally (for a good temperature series).

    I haven’t looked at the code that does the in-filling – is it available? I’ll have a look tomorrow – good night.

  33. Layman Lurker :
    #44
    Because of the “one-size-fits-all” standardization, the plot fits all samples to a homogeneous curve that by definition assumes the residuals are all climate (or environmental) and not due to population differences in biological response.

    The assumption of dendrochronology is indeed that in highly stressed populations growing at the limits of survival the environmental signal can be statistically significant. Once a samples series has been assembled into a chronology, this assumption can be tested by looking at the correlation with the instrument record.

    To throw any series into the mix, despite a lack of correlation, is to push up the noise rather than any signal. That’s what McIntyre did by including the Khadyta series in his substitute chronology, though he never got around to disclosing its very low correlation.

  34. ps.

    MapleLeaf: “Oneuniverse, I and others have referred you to AR4 Chpt. 6 Fig 6.10. MarkB has kindly provided a link. The MBH99 and 10 other reconstructions are provided in the figure. Now go and look, please, we are not providing you these data so that you can simply ignore them.”

    I didn’t ignore them – I had a look, again. I pointed out that a review of the peer-reviewed literature, as confirmed out by the NAS Panel, finds that the LIA was a global event and that the Earth has been warming for over two centuries.

    The most important plot in that AR4 diagram of paleodata is the borehole reconstruction, which instead of proxies with many confounding variables uses real temperature measurements containing the diffused effects of past surface temperature perturbations, which can be reconstructed from our good understanding of heat diffusion, and the heat gradient provided by the Earth’s core. Time resolution may multi-decadal or larger, but that’s not an issue when we’re look at climate change. Groundwater effects, initially a worry, have been shown to be small and accountable for, by comparison of permeable boreholes with impermeable ones with no groundwater contamination.

  35. “as confirmed out” – ‘night.

  36. oneuniverse :MarkB: “And as stated, the Wegman Report is a textbook example of shoddy scholarship and politics.”
    I remember reading some of the discussions on Wegman’s alleged plagiarism – if I recall, it was about material like standard dendro definitions. They provided the correct referencea, but didn’t put in some of quotation marks or footnotes as they should’ve. Should be corrected, but hardly exciting and with no bearing on the analysis.

    Actually, they did NOT provide a reference. Worse even, certain sections were *altered* from the original source, giving them a different meaning.

  37. Ron Cram :Shewonk,The NRC report was much more polite to Mann than the Wegman report. There is no question about that. They went out of their way to call Mann’s conclusions “plausible” even though they could not say they were valid.
    At the time of the hearing, Ed Wegman was chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. This is the guy Congress should turn to for questions involving statistics. It seems so strange and self-defeating for deepclimate to spend so much time trying to dig up something to make Wegman look bad. He will never be successful and if he were, you still have Gerry North who headed the NRC panel, testifying before Congress that they agreed with Wegman. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?
    Mann lost not just because he was wrong but because he was dishonest about it. The article in the Dutch science magazine I have linked to in the past was titled “Kyoto Treaty Based on Flawed Statistics” but if space would have allowed it could have said “… and Academic Misconduct” because Mann’s actions are clearly that. Wegman was more willing to look into issues that put Mann in a bad light such as his social network… and his pursuit of Pal Review instead of Peer Review. The NRC panel simply did not look into those questions. That does not make Mann innocent.

    Ron, academic misconduct would be Wegman’s attempt to repeat Mann’s analysis, failing because he missed some data, and then not take that further, while at the same time *failing* to reproduce McIntyre’s result, but asking McIntyre for explanation and help! Academic misconduct also is copying large parts of a textbook on dendrochronology, but altering key sections (it is possible Wegman didn’t do this himself). Academic misconduct also is not trying to repeat the analysis with all data, and using the supposed correct methodology (which we now know gives essentially the same result).

    That someone’s “social network” puts someone in a bad light is an interesting claim, considering the social network that McIntyre has. People like Ross “radians and degrees, all the same; let’s use a different infill method for average calculation one, and another for average calculation two, and then be all surprised they give different values” McKitrick. Or Fred “smoking does no harm, and there’s no ozone hole either” Singer.

    Of course, Wegman’s ‘analysis’ is nonsense. I’ve rejected my share of papers from former, and future, co-authors, and I know of at least two who have rejected some of mine, or had at least major comments. I’m fine with that, they often were right. But more damning: most of the people in Mann’s supposed network came well after his two papers in 1998 and 1999.

  38. Marco, they do provide a reference. The DeepClimate post says: “No attribution is given for this passage, although Bradley is cited for another section two pages earlier.”

    But I agree, they should have done a better job with attributions, but it’s a fairly trivial point. North agrees with the Wegman report’s findings, and Jolliffe agrees with the statistical findings as relevant to his area of expertise.

  39. oneuniverse :Marco, they do provide a reference. The DeepClimate post says: “No attribution is given for this passage, although Bradley is cited for another section two pages earlier.”
    But I agree, they should have done a better job with attributions, but it’s a fairly trivial point. North agrees with the Wegman report’s findings, and Jolliffe agrees with the statistical findings as relevant to his area of expertise.

    Sorry, oneuniverse, but no attribution for a passage is no attribution. A reference two sections later doesn’t count. And it most certainly doesn’t count if changes are made. And many here have already tried to enlighten you and Ron Cramm on the similarities and *differences* between the Wegman report and the NAS report. What is forgotten time after time after time is that the supposed *correct* PCA methodology doesn’t change the shape of the curve. Using NO statistics gives the same curve. While the method Mann used may be flawed, it essentially doesn’t change anything! A congressional hearing and two reports for a paper which got the ‘correct’ answer using the ‘wrong’ methodology!!

  40. Perhaps an overview from the American Statistical Association’s ‘Section on Statistics & the Environment’ Newsletter of Spring 2007 can add further clarification.

    This reported on a session entitled “What is the Role of Statistics in Public Policy Debates about Climate Change?” that was organized jointly by Edward Wegman and Richard L. Smith (Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina) at the 2006 Joint Statistical Meetings, and included J. Michael Wallace (Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington). It was chaired by Doug Nychka (National Center for Atmospheric Research).

    Some highlights :

    “A number of other commentators have acknowledged the flaws in the Mann reconstruction but have argued that this does not matter because the answers have been verified by other analyses. Ed’s own response to that was given in the equation :
    Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.
    In other words, the fact that the answer may have been correct does not justify the use of an incorrect method in the first place.”

    “The NRC put together a panel of twelve members including two statisticians
    (Doug Nychka and Peter Bloomfield) and others representing paleoclimate, climate modeling and general climate science. The charge to the committee, was ‘to summarize current information on the temperature records for the past millennium, describe the main areas of uncertainty and how significant they are, describe the principal methodologies used and any problems with these approaches, and explain how central is the debate over the paleoclimate record within the overall state of knowledge on global climate change.’ This was deliberately framed to give a broader overview than the charge to the Wegman committee, which was specifically
    focused on Michael Mann’s papers and the critiques of those papers.”

    “…the validity of the hockey-stick curve cannot be determined either positively or negatively by statistical evidence alone.”

    In the end, it’s important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees, where the ‘forest’ refers to the totality of scientific evidence for global warming.”

    http://www.amstat-online.org/sections/envr/ssenews/ENVR_9_1.pdf

  41. Marco: “What is forgotten time after time after time is that the supposed *correct* PCA methodology doesn’t change the shape of the curve.”

    It’s not even clear that PCA analysis is a suitable analysis for such data. Ian Jolliffe, an acknowledged expert on PCA, has said concerning MBH: “Of course, given that the data appear to be non-stationary, it’s arguable whether you should be using any type of PCA.”.

    Marco: “Using NO statistics gives the same curve.”

    You are forgetting that strip barks, such as bristlecone pines, shouldn’t be used in temperature reconstructions, since they’re poor temperature proxies, as per the NAS Panel recommendation.

    Furthermore, the bristlecone pines used in MBH do indeed exhibit divergence from local instrumental temperature measurements, even stronger reason to discard them as temperature proxies.

    In any case, the hockey stick shape disappears from MBH if one omits the unsuitable bristlecone data.

  42. oneuniverse :
    …But I agree, they should have done a better job with attributions, but it’s a fairly trivial point. North agrees with the Wegman report’s findings,…

    Can I suggest that everyone download, watch and listen to North’s own firsthand account of the MBH, Wegman and North story in a presentation he gave on this very subject (over and hour long):
    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/NorthH264.mp4

    Near the end, he says during questions: “…You know, you really have to appreciate, congressional hearings and things like that are shows. They are shows that the constituents and the people asking questions from the bench up there, it’s for their supporters, and this is all a joke, frankly. I’m sorry to be so cynical but it was really quite, quite a joke.”

  43. J Bowers, North was asked whether he upheld the Wegman analysis – he replied that he did. Whatever his comments about the poltical nature of the congressional hearing, I assume that he was spoke the truth when he said he agreed with the findings of the Wegman report (I assume you’re not implying that he lied to hearing?).

  44. oneuniverse :
    I assume that he was spoke the truth when he said he agreed with the findings of the Wegman report (I assume you’re not implying that he lied to hearing?).

    I’m assuming he thought it was all a joke. I’ll be looking at the primary source documentation of the entire hearing, thanks, given the blogosphere’s dubious record when it comes to factual accuracy and ability to put material into context, legitimately or via criminal behaviour.

    Just to clarify, I’m British but North is American. Do you believe that your opinion on the hearing holds any more weight than his, a fellow citizen?

    A joke is a joke no matter how one may try to spin it otherwise. Some people just have no sense of humour.

  45. Just to re-iterate a post by dhogaza above :

    “Fortunately, a different group, one well qualified both statistically and climatologically to tackle this question of merit, had already performed the task several months before the Wegman Report was released. The study by Wahl & Ammann (In press; hereafter referred to as WA06), was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Climatic Change early last spring, and has been publicly available in accepted form since last March (http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/ WahlAmmann_ClimChange2006.html). This study, titled, Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperatures: Examination of Criticisms Based on the Nature and Processing of Proxy Climate Evidence, carefully reproduced the MBH98 reconstruction and then used their faithful reproduction to test MM’s suggested corrections. They tested each of the criticisms raised by MM in all of their published papers, including both the peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed papers. Given that this report specifically examined MM’s criticisms, including the decentering issue that was the main focus of the Wegman report, it is unfortunate that the Wegman report dismissed it in a footnote (p. 48) as ‘not to the point.'”

    http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_congress/7_27_06.cfm
    House Committee on Energy and Commerce Testimony July 27, 2006

    Just in case the link above doesn’t work, here it is :

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/Wahl_ClimChange2007.pdf

    ‘Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction
    of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures:
    Examination of criticisms based on the nature and
    processing of proxy climate evidence’

  46. J Bowers : “I’m assuming he thought it was all a joke. ”

    You’ve avoiding the answer : you seem to be implying that North lied in his answers to the hearing, because he later described it as “a joke”. Do you really believe that? It sounds to me like “joke” referred to the politicians and their behaviour.

    It seems unlikely that North would lie to Congress, and that he would publicly admit to it later while being recorded.

  47. Tom, I have been commenting on your graph because it is a topic of Susann’s post. Could you answer the question I posed to you in #46? To refresh, I will re-post here without the last paragraph.

    Thanks for the clarification that I was not confused on the source of the plot. I commented originally at CA that *population homegeneity* is implicitly assumed in your plot (due of course to the method of standardization). Once again, your response to me at CA was:

    “Actually it’s a sensitivity test of population homogeneity – I have removed the extreme growth samples to see how the chronology is affected. There’s not much difference apart from where the sample count falls very low anyway, indicating that sample heterogeneity is not a problem except for when the replication falls below five.”

    My original comment in #9 was based on your above quoted response to me. Are you now saying that your original response was wrong?

  48. oneuniverse :Marco: “What is forgotten time after time after time is that the supposed *correct* PCA methodology doesn’t change the shape of the curve.”
    It’s not even clear that PCA analysis is a suitable analysis for such data. Ian Jolliffe, an acknowledged expert on PCA, has said concerning MBH: “Of course, given that the data appear to be non-stationary, it’s arguable whether you should be using any type of PCA.”.
    Marco: “Using NO statistics gives the same curve.”
    You are forgetting that strip barks, such as bristlecone pines, shouldn’t be used in temperature reconstructions, since they’re poor temperature proxies, as per the NAS Panel recommendation.
    Furthermore, the bristlecone pines used in MBH do indeed exhibit divergence from local instrumental temperature measurements, even stronger reason to discard them as temperature proxies.
    In any case, the hockey stick shape disappears from MBH if one omits the unsuitable bristlecone data.

    Please refer to the relevant section of the NAS report that states bristlecone spines are bad temperature proxies and should not be used.

    Just so you know, I have the report here, and the most ‘damning’ comment about tree rings (in general!) is :
    “The observed discrepancy between some tree ring variables that are thought to
    be sensitive to temperature and the temperature changes observed in the late 20th
    century (Jacoby and D’Arrigo 1995, Briffa et al. 1998) reduces confidence that the
    correlation between these proxies and temperature has been consistent over time.
    Future work is needed to understand the cause of this “divergence,” which for now is considered unique to the 20th century and to areas north of 55°N (Cook et al. 2004).”

    Note that removing the tree rings essentially removes all information from before 1600. The few remaining proxies are much more uncertain than the tree rings, apart from being much fewer.

  49. Layman Lurker :

    To answer what I think is your specific point: “According to the dendro literature, in order for this method to be valid, the sampled population must be shown to be homogeneous – IOW sample subsets must fit the same curve.”

    I think you misunderstand the dendro literature. After all, if all the subsets fitted the same curve, how could there be any environmental signal? That is the problem with RomanM’s analysis – it is unable to distinguish the possibility that the increased rate of recent faster-growing trees might be due to environmental factors.

    The whole point of developing chronology techniques is to isolate the environmental signal from the common regional growth response of a particular species in a consistent fashion. There’s lots of published analysis and data on this, literature that both RomanM and McIntyre appear to have ignored.

  50. oneuniverse :
    J Bowers : “I’m assuming he thought it was all a joke. ”
    You’ve avoiding the answer : you seem to be implying that North lied in his answers to the hearing, because he later described it as “a joke”. Do you really believe that? It sounds to me like “joke” referred to the politicians and their behaviour.

    Did North’s own description of congressional hearings pass you by? I don’t remember him saying “Politicians are a joke.” I never insinuated North lied, though it comes as no surprise that you would see it that way, and I’ve yet to read the full minutes of the hearing.

    In a nutshell, I don’t trust blogs to give full accounts of what other people say, especially since the quote-mine-aganza of a certain 1000 emails disgustingly lied about by the denialsphere. Quote mining should be a ******g criminal offence as far as I’m concerned and is outright deceit.

    I’ll make my own judgements on what North said, and I certainly don’t need any interpreters, English being my first language. If I want facts I go to the source and read it in full if available. I’ll make my own comments in my own time.

  51. “After all, if all the subsets fitted the same curve, how could there be any environmental signal?”

    Wha???

    The standardization method produces a function (curve) to process the data by removing the age related growth effects. The age related growth effects of any subset must fit the same function otherwise you have you have an issue wrt the homogeneity of the sampled population. The residual environmental signal is contained in the processed data.

    Below is a link to a graph from Roman’s post which effectively compares the fit of several subsets categorized by age. With one exception, the subgroups demonstrate a good fit with the RCS function. That exception is the subset which contains the trees you tinkered with in your plot.

    http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/histloess1.jpeg

    Could you now answer the question I posed to you in #46? To refresh, I will re-post here without the last paragraph.

    Thanks for the clarification that I was not confused on the source of the plot. I commented originally at CA that *population homegeneity* is implicitly assumed in your plot (due of course to the method of standardization). Once again, your response to me at CA was:

    “Actually it’s a sensitivity test of population homogeneity – I have removed the extreme growth samples to see how the chronology is affected. There’s not much difference apart from where the sample count falls very low anyway, indicating that sample heterogeneity is not a problem except for when the replication falls below five.”

    My original comment in #9 was based on your above quoted response to me. Are you now saying that your original response was wrong?

  52. One universe “Atmospheric water vapor levels haven’t increased as required by the hypothesis, and outgoing LW radiation as measured by satellites shows an increase,”

    Nonsense, and unsubstantiated. We are giving your references and links and you are just making statements gleaned form contrarian blogs it seems.

    Re WV:

    “Adjusted trends, accounting for documented and undocumented break points and their uncertainty, across the extratropical Northern Hemisphere lower and midtroposphere show warming of 0.1–0.4 K decade−1 and moistening on the order of 1%–5% decade−1 since 1970. There is little or no change in the observed relative humidity in the same period, consistent with climate model expectation of a positive water vapor feedback in the extratropics with near-constant relative humidity.” (McCarthy et al. J. Climate, 2009)

    Clausius-Clapeyron….I hope that you understand the difference between RH and mixing. RH is not an absolute measure of water vapor content, mixing ratio and specific humidity are.

    Also, regarding the LW radiation:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-CO2-is-causing-warming.html

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Empirical-evidence-that-humans-are-causing-global-warming.html

    The above links explain why the stratosphere is cooling, that alone if a big clue as to what is going on. Also look at some of the work by Santer and others on “fingerprinting”…well, not to forget the work conducted by about 3000 other climate scientists alone, not to mention the consilience of research across many disciplines all pointing to the same result.

    The satellite MSU data go to 82.5 N and 72 S. So these data are very likely also underestimating the amount of global warming. These satellite data do show warming over the poles (scale on the Arctic image is wrong):

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=3905 (Arctic)
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239 (Antarctic)

    So please, do stop obfuscating, pontificating and detracting from the big picture OneUniverse, you are beginning to sound like a Dunning-Kruger case. And yes the GISS code and data are freely available:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    I’m curious do you not believe that by doubling CO2 and dramatically increasing other GHGs we are not going to have any impact on global temperatures? Or do you believe that climate sensitivity is <+1C. If the latter, how do you explain previous interglacials and glacials. Please watch this talk by Dr. Richrad Alley:

    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/richard-alley-the-biggest-control-knob-carbon-dioxide-in-earths-climate-history/

    You should also be really concerned about ocean 'acidification':

    http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/threats-from-ocean-acidification-video/

    OK, I am done.

  53. I’ve got to tip my hat to you, shewonk … you’ve managed to attract three of the most deluded people in the denialsphere.

  54. Oneuniverse I missed your comment @60. We both know what we mean by *theory* of radiative transfer and forcing, stop playing games.

    Numerous independent (and reputable) studies have identified climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 to be ~3C:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html

    Your *hypothesis* is that we can dramatically alter the concentration of GHGs and for it to have no discernible impact, or very little impact, on global temperatures, ocean pH and the cryosphere.

    Observations and empirical evidence to date have proven that hypothesis to be wrong.

    Anyhow, this is all about McI and friends playing at dog-whistle politics. I’m sure that you find that quite acceptable, as is his harassment and libeling of scientists, and the fact that, apart from one paper, McI has not contributed anything to climate science, certainly nothing of significance. If anything he is obstructing the advancement of science. It seems that you have tried to hi-jack this thread to try and detract readers from those inconvenient truths as well. Well, it is not going to work, and one day soon this is all going to catch up with M&M….the wheel turns.

    Oh, and have you noticed how CA reads like a Hollywood gossip rag nowadays? Well for several months now actually? CA operate in a fantastical and vacuous microcosm.

  55. Dhogaza, didn’t you mean to say@ 83 the three most deluded people in the universe? ;)

  56. Everything you need to know about MBH98 and the Hockey Stick can be summarized in these short statements:

    1. Ed Wegman destroyed Mann’s statistical errors in the Wegman Report.
    2. Gerry North and his statistician, Peter Bloomfield, testified before Congress that they agreed with the Wegman Report. Bloomfield stated “We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.” See http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/07192006hearing1987/hearing.htm and http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/06/the-wegman-and-north-reports-for-newbies/
    3. The NRC report agreed with McIntyre saying bristlecone pine series is not a temperature proxy and should be “avoided.”
    4. Von Storch and Zorita published a paper confirming that the Mann method mines data in order to produce a hockey stick graph. See http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/2005.commenton.myintyre.grl.pdf
    5. McIntyre and McKitrick commented on VZ’s comment to clarify a few issues. M&M point out that Mann’s method mines for hockey stick data and “Even two bristlecone sites were sufficient to steer the selection of eigenvectors” needed to produce the Hockey Stick. See http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2005/09/mcintyre.vz.reply.pdf
    6. Marcel Croc of Natuurwetenschap & Techniek documents Mann’s academic misconduct at http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf

    Without the use of bristlecone pine series, a non-temperature proxy, Mann could not have produced a Hockey Stick shaped temp reconstruction. All of the subsequent studies have the common error of using the strip bark bristlecone pine series or Yamal.

  57. “All of the subsequent studies have the common error of using the strip bark bristlecone pine series or Yamal.”

    Absolute and utter Bullshit! You lie– how on earth do you sleep at night man? As others have told you there are numerous independent paleo temperature reconstructions which do not rely on dendro chronologies, which show the same or very similar temperature trends.

    As I said to OneUniverse:
    “Anyhow, this is all about McI and friends playing at dog-whistle politics. I’m sure that you find that quite acceptable, as is his harassment and libeling of scientists, and the fact that, apart from one paper, McI has not contributed anything to climate science, certainly nothing of significance. If anything he is obstructing the advancement of science. It seems that you have tried to hi-jack this thread to try and detract readers from those inconvenient truths as well.”

    and

    “CA operate in a fantastical and vacuous microcosm.”

    And I’ll keep saying it until you get back on topic.

    Oh, and you can add CA and WUWT investigating IP addresses and then making threats. And McK is the last person to be accusing others of improper conduct. We’ll see what PSU decide. Oh wait they, have. Aaah yes, it is all “whitewash”, “greenwash”, nobody is more ethical or accountable then CA and their acolytes (sarc). Now go back to your conspiracy theorizing.

  58. “Atmospheric water vapor levels haven’t increased as required by the hypothesis”

    Sigh (again)…

    “The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of λ q = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models.”

    2.04 is actually slightly higher than the IPCC places it at, but this study was after the latest IPCC report.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035333.shtml

    Also, see the academic citations in…

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

    MapleLeaf also has some useful links.

    “if I recall, it was about material like standard dendro definitions. They provided the correct referencea, but didn’t put in some of quotation marks or footnotes as they should’ve. ”

    Your recollection is off. Read the DC links again.

  59. First time here, on a link from Lurker.

    What McIntyre doesn’t understand — or choses not to acknowlegde — is that the so-called defect in the hockey stick is the past, man. It’s history. Everyone else has moved on and the original findings of the research stand.

    This is completely false. Not only has Mann provided new hockeysticks in 08 and 09, they are equally as invalid (or in my opinion worse) than the first. You never know the technical abilities of the bloggers you talk too but claiming the results stand is opposite the conclusion of Wegman and even the heavily biased NAS panel came to the same conclusion as North himself was forced to report to congress. More importantly than that though, I’ve reviewed the math and determined myself that it is bogus, you should do the same yourself before you find yourself hitched to a false idea.

  60. “I’ve reviewed the math and determined myself that it is bogus”

    Good to know. Which journal is your damning (and no doubt robust) critique published in?

  61. Layman Lurker,

    “The standardization method produces a function (curve) to process the data by removing the age related growth effects. The age related growth effects of any subset must fit the same function otherwise you have you have an issue wrt the homogeneity of the sampled population. The residual environmental signal is contained in the processed data.”

    You (and RomanM) are misunderstanding the reconstruction approach. The basis of the reconstruction is that each growth curve has two contributions, a common element which represents the growth under constant annual environmental conditions, and an environmental element that represents any change in those conditions. The approach taken to separate these effects is to compare the individual growth curves against an average fit of all the growth curves. If you select a subset of the growth curves before creating the fit, you can indeed explore the homogeneity. But you have to be careful of how you split up the data as there is danger of mixing the two contributions to the growth curve if you subset on the basis of a parameter associated with a change of environmental conditions.

    I split the data up by the age of tree to see if this had any effect. As the age of the tree in a series is independent of the environmental conditions, this is a good test of the homogeneity of the growth signal. RomanM, however, split up the data by year. But as we’re trying to derive the temperature change by year, this is not a test of the growth homogeneity, which should not change with year, but of the change in the environmental conditions. It is therefore completely unsurprising that the recent trees have markedly different growth curves. To then reject such trees as displaying an inhomogeneity in the growth curve is to throw away the very temperature signal present in the series.

  62. Mark B – Here is my review of the 08 paper.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/hockey-stick-cps-revisited-part-1/

    There isn’t any question about the bad science in these papers. You should review it yourself. I’ve included code and data at the above link.

  63. Ron Cram :Everything you need to know about MBH98 and the Hockey Stick can be summarized in these short statements:
    1. Ed Wegman destroyed Mann’s statistical errors in the Wegman Report.2. Gerry North and his statistician, Peter Bloomfield, testified before Congress that they agreed with the Wegman Report. Bloomfield stated “We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.” See http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/07192006hearing1987/hearing.htm and http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/06/the-wegman-and-north-reports-for-newbies/3. The NRC report agreed with McIntyre saying bristlecone pine series is not a temperature proxy and should be “avoided.”4. Von Storch and Zorita published a paper confirming that the Mann method mines data in order to produce a hockey stick graph. See http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/2005.commenton.myintyre.grl.pdf5. McIntyre and McKitrick commented on VZ’s comment to clarify a few issues. M&M point out that Mann’s method mines for hockey stick data and “Even two bristlecone sites were sufficient to steer the selection of eigenvectors” needed to produce the Hockey Stick. See http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2005/09/mcintyre.vz.reply.pdf6. Marcel Croc of Natuurwetenschap & Techniek documents Mann’s academic misconduct at http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf
    Without the use of bristlecone pine series, a non-temperature proxy, Mann could not have produced a Hockey Stick shaped temp reconstruction. All of the subsequent studies have the common error of using the strip bark bristlecone pine series or Yamal.

    Ron, the NRC report is Wegman’s report. It’s worth nothing on dendrochronology, as none of the people involved knew anything about dendrochronology. Yet, they *changed* a textbook section on dendrochronology.

    Of course, you actually wanted to refer to the NAS report. Well, I have a simple challenge: show me where it says bristlecone spines are to be avoided.

    Oh, and thanks for linking to Von Storch & Zorita. It explicitely says:
    “Our results, derived in the artificial world of an extended historical climate simulation, indicate therefore that the AHS does not have a significant impact but leads only to very minor deviations.” (AHS being artificial hockeystick).
    Of course, forget all about PCA, and just overlay the various proxies…and you get a hockeystick.

    Finally, there are PLENTY of reconstructions without Yamal:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/
    they keep on showing the same result. Gee. Tempest in a teapot, anyone?

  64. Jeff Id,

    It was a simple question. I’ll ask again:

    Which journal is your damning (and no doubt robust) critique published in?

  65. None, it’s not worth my time. We did submit for publication an Antarctic rebuttal tho.

    You should consider my words though b/c I’m right.

  66. “None, it’s not worth my time. ”

    That’s interesting. You seem to spend a tremendous amount of time blogging, ranting on other blogs, and complaining about alarmist claims being published. Organizing your blog writings into an academic journal submission would seem well worth the little extra time it takes to do so. What are you afraid of?

  67. Okay, I’ve been reading the congressional hearing Ron Cram pointed to (a fascinating read), and here’s a very interesting part from the transcript (my bold):

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

    MR. WALDEN. [Presiding] The gentleman yields back his time. The gentlelady from Illinois, Ms. Schakowsky, is recognized for 10 minutes.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have so many things I want to ask here. Let me start again. Dr. North, I want to confirm what I think you already said. Is Dr. Mann’s hockey stick study considered to be the foundation on which all climate change science is based?
    DR. NORTH. No.

    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. It isn’t. And again I want to say, if it never were, if the study simply–the hockey stick, the original and there was a revised in 2003-2004, right, my understanding is, which I guess you disagree, Dr. Wegman, acknowledged some of the mistakes and made some changes but if it never did, would most scientists essentiallyarrive at the same conclusion as we are seeing, that we are engaged–that this is a time of global warming attributable in large part to human activity?
    DR. NORTH. Yes, I think that is true.
    DR. WEGMAN. By the way, for what it is worth, I think it is true although I would caution you to not say most scientists. Most climate scientists would probably–
    DR. NORTH. That is better. Thank you. I appreciate
    that.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Okay, most climate scientists. Should we not rely on climate scientists for our information about the climate?
    DR. WEGMAN. The point I was making was that you are saying most scientists, so the testimony–
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Well, let me ask–
    DR. WEGMAN. –of a chemist is irrelevant to–
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Exactly. So would you agree then that climate scientists are those that we should primarily refer to when we are asking questions about climate?
    DR. WEGMAN. Certainly.

    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. So you would agree that human activities are not only increasing atmosphere greenhouse gases but that it is attribute would you say in large part mostly in terms of your understanding as not a climate scientist to human
    activity?
    DR. WEGMAN. I am in no position to say–
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Well, what did you say you did agree with earlier?
    DR. WEGMAN. I said I agree that it is warming. That is what I agreed to. I mean, I said it several times now that the temperature record from 1850 onwards indicate that it is warming.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. I also had said earlier that in my questionto Dr. North and that most scientists agree that in large part or for your purposes I will say in some part attributable to human activity. Would you agree with that?
    DR. WEGMAN. I don’t know that for a fact.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Okay. You don’t know that.DR. WEGMAN. Again, it is the connection between carbon dioxide and temperature increase. Now, Mr. Inslee pointed out that he thinks there is a physical explanation based on a blanket of carbon dioxide in the reflection. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Where it sits in the atmospheric profile, I don’t know. I am not an atmospheric scientist to know that but presumably if the atmospheric–if the carbon dioxide is close to the surface of the Earth, it is not reflecting a lot of infrared back.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Okay. But are you not really qualified to–
    DR. WEGMAN. No, of course not.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. –comment on that. I think since we are talking about scientific data, statistics, let us be clear, and you are challenging a report which form what I understand as Dr. North in some part at least you agree with the critique of the Mann data, so–and I am certainly–I am neither, but we are policymakers here so what I–do you believe that your report disproves that climate change is manmade in any way?
    DR. WEGMAN. No.

    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. And since you think that you are not in a position to make a decision on global warming, are you uncomfortable at all, Dr. Wegman, that the consequences of what you are saying today to policymakers, I think most of whom, if not all of them, are neither statisticians or climatescientists, could have the impact of saying we don’t need to do anything. Does that make you uncomfortable at all?
    DR. WEGMAN. I would hope that our legislators are smarter than that to know that when somebody says that they are using wrong methodology, that does not imply that some fact is not true. I would hope that you would take my testimony with the
    idea that if something is wrong with this piece of work, it ought to be discarded as a policy tool, and that is precisely what I am saying.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Well, let me ask you this. Dr. Mann haspublished dozens of study since the original hockey stick study and as I said earlier, beginning in 2003 he reformulated the statistical methods. Do you take into account these later studies in your report?
    DR. WEGMAN. I have read his later studies. I was not asked about his later studies. I think as science iterates, things do get better, but as I indicated before, one of the unfortunate aspects of this overall situation with Dr. Mann
    and his colleagues, my attack is not an attack at all. It is simply trying to lay out what I perceive to be a true statement. I think it is unfortunate that rather than movingon and saying gosh, I made a mistake and here is the better situation, here is a better approach, there continues to be a defense which is captured in his web log called realclimate.org.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. And I understand that there are these battles and sort of the academic politics and scientific politics, et cetera, but do you disagree with Dr. North that even without Dr. Mann altogether or are you using these social–what do you call it–to say that everything now has to be discredited?
    DR. WEGMAN. No, I don’t think everything at all has to be discredited, and I think the things that do not use the techniques, the flawed methodology with respect to principal components, anything that doesn’t use those, I have no position on.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. And you talked about the cartoon that was in the Wall Street Journal article and then my understanding that the graph or whatever you call this, this drawing that it in your report, is it not true that it ends in 1975?
    DR. WEGMAN. I think that is approximately accurate. Butagain, I–this also appears in the National Academy reportas well as the Wall Street Journal. I did not have theoriginal data for that cartoon, for that graph, and so I had no way of knowing what the full range of the time frame was for that.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. And would you confirm that, Dr. North, that it goes approximately or maybe exactly to 1975?
    DR. NORTH. It is 1975. That is correct.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. I am trying very hard to understand the point of this hearing and this conflict because if we are through many studies come to the conclusion that there is such a thing is global warming, which is hard to deny on a day like today and yesterday, et cetera, although I am not the scientist, and that it at least in some part is caused by human activity, then why we are doing this really does escape me. I can understand why in academia you may have an interest in discrediting Mann and back and forth, but I am very concerned that this is being used in a way to discredit the whole notion that our country and the rest of the industrialized and developing ought to do anything about global warming, and that is why I asked you that question, Dr. Wegman, if this does not make you somewhat uncomfortable. Can you see in any way how this is being used and does it bother you?
    DR. WEGMAN. Well, I can understand that it is your job to sort out the political ramifications of what I have said. In some sense it is not fair for you to say well, gee, you have reported on some fact and that is going to be used in a bad way. The other side of the coin is that, you have tried to get me to say that manmade carbon dioxide emissions are associated with the global warming.
    MS. SCHAKOWSKY. Which you can’t, right, because you are not a climate scientist.
    DR. WEGMAN. I cannot say that, but what I can say is that from 1850 to the present time, the global temperature rise is about 1.2 degrees Centigrade according to the Mann chart. One point two degrees Centigrade translates to about two degrees Fahrenheit. I challenge anybody to go out and tell the difference between 72 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. What I do say and what I have said repeatedly is that you need to focus on the basic science. You need to understand what the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere, how that dynamic works, how the climate is going to change based on the physical mechanisms, a fundamental understandingof the physical mechanisms, not on some statistical estimation of those signals.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    I don’t give a stuff about MBH anymore. I’m just gonna laugh at anyone who bangs on about as if it’s even important like any grown-up would.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    “MR. INSLEE. Dr. North, I want to quote–in your testimony you said, “However, our reservations with some aspects of the original papers by Mann et al. should not be construed as evidence that our committee does not believe that the climate is warming and will continue to warm as a result of human activities.” You go on to say, “The scientific consensus regarding human-induced global warming would not be substantively altered if for example the global mean surface temperature 1,000 years ago was found to be was warm as it is today.” Now, in listening to your testimony, what I take from this is that even if we were to conclude that Dr. Mann had never been born, the study had never been done, conclude even if there was a medieval warming period that approximated temperatures today, even if we were to accept that as a verity, even if we knew that today, what I am hearing your testimony tell us is that there is enough evidence of other methods and other dynamics at work in the climate today that we can with a reasonable degree of assurance conclude that humans are responsible for at least a portion of the changes in temperatures. Is that a fair statement?
    DR. NORTH. Well, let me separate myself from the report now. I believe that is true but we didn’t address that issue in the report.”
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Ugh. Like Pat Michaels said when telling a sceptical convention that the planet is warming and man has a hand in it, “Get over it, move on!”

  68. I’m afraid that the people who won’t admit the obvious don’t need to be taught. Publishing is both expensive and time consuming and my message get’s well communicated to many scientists qualified to listen.

    The Antarctic paper was far more interesting so we did that.

    I don’t expect everyone to be able to understand even the simple math I posted above but if you have the chops, take a look. Tell me where the error is.

  69. Patrick Jeffrey Condon (aka JeffId) @89, you are off topic. Please stop trolling. This thread is meant to be about about McI and his acolytes (e.g., you) spreading innuendo. Did you not bother to read the article before posting?

    I agree with what MarkB said. Please do publish a paper on the HS or, at the very least please do stop pontificating, and you overstate your importance and value of your time– those may perhaps be valuable as any aeronautical engineer, but not as a climate scientist. If it is not worth your time, why the hell are you and others making such a big fuss? Don’t bother answering, it was a rhetorical question.

    PS: JeffId says “I thought it important just to limit the *warminista nutjobs* on my porch, but apparently my polite request was declined….My only comfort now is that the crazies out there typically aren’t as *well armed* as I, and they typically have a more even temper”.

    That statement just wipes out whatever trace of credibility you might have had. No need to be paranoid. Someone recently left an eviscerated rat on Ben Santer’s porch…not to mention the death threats that he and other climate scientists have received. In all likelihood executed by folks of your persuasion.

    JeffId “You should consider my words though b/c I’m right”

    Wow, could it be that your ego is bigger than that of SteveM? Or, more likely, that you are suffering from D-K.

  70. Cornice,

    Of course I read the thread, that’s why I quoted it. I’ve got no idea what importance you deem for me, it’s just math and simple math at that. That’s all there is to it.

    Since I’ve quoted the incorrect point above and put reason to it, it seems on topic to me. Also, if taking an ‘average’ and ‘correlating’ series can give one a big ego, I’ve got no idea how. The only disagreements I’ve seen are from those who can’t bother to look at the math.

    Finally, it’s on topic b/c the math is so bad, innuendo is deserved! hahaha.

  71. JeffId “Publishing is both expensive and time consuming and my message get’s well communicated to many scientists qualified to listen.”

    Uh, huh. Whatever you need to say and justify your inaction. And some journals like Nature do not have publication fees, no? There are other journals which have very reasonable page charges. Also, you found time to “refute” Steig (right?), but not Mann? McI has been after Mann for ages, yet you chose to attack (sorry”refute”) Steig. Interesting– chances of your paper being accepted are higher b/c it was written in reply to someone else’s original work, kinda like riding in on Steig et al’s coat tails. When did you submit to Nature?

    PS: Any thoughts on the article written by The Policy Lass? Or are you going to just keep trolling?
    PPS: On a serious note, good luck with the paper, it is an arduous process.

  72. Aah, yes, you did quote The Policy Lass. Sorry about that, I retract my references to you trolling. But I think you missed the main point of the article in question. Maybe you need to read it again.

  73. “Publishing is both expensive and time consuming”

    Publishing requires little incremental time to what one would already have put in if you have something robust and complete. If your results are garbage, you’ll have to make substantial revisions at the very least, which might detract from your “message”.

    “and my message get’s well communicated to many scientists qualified to listen.”

    That’s odd. I don’t see your “message” being talked about much (i.e. at all) at scientific conferences, although your blog gets promoted by a popular politically-motivated TV weatherman with no science degree and seemingly no ability to distinguish between raw temperature values and anomalies.

  74. #91.

    Tom, thanks for the response.

    “The basis of the reconstruction is that each growth curve has two contributions, a common element which represents the growth under constant annual environmental conditions, and an environmental element that represents any change in those conditions.”

    I take it then that you would agree that sampled trees which respond significantly different under constant environmental conditions would constitute a problem in the interpretation of climate using RCS.

    “If you select a subset of the growth curves before creating the fit, you can indeed explore the homogeneity. But you have to be careful of how you split up the data as there is danger of mixing the two contributions to the growth curve if you subset on the basis of a parameter associated with a change of environmental conditions.”

    I agree with you 100%. At CA, JS used random effects regression to estimate the differences in age effect and year effect between POR-YAH-JAH compared to all other trees. The difference in age effect was found to be statistically significant and confidence intervals were expressed. The net result would have discounted POR-YAH-JAH for age effect in a similar manner to Roman’s analysis. This makes the RCS condition of homogeneity questionable.

  75. MarkB, I take it you’ve never published. I had two invitations from PhD’s to coauthor the work but decided not to. There’s always tomorrow.

    Cornice,

    Steig’s paper was very cool. The math was complicated and interesting which left it fraught with potential pitfalls. Our work does much to expand on the science although my co-authors get the credit for that. As far as improved chances because of rebuttal, the opposite is true. Rebuttals are far more difficult to publish. I probably shouldn’t have termed our paper a rebuttal b/c while it addresses some issues with S08, it’s more about better methods.

    I would have never learned this method without S08 publication.

    If you want my opinion on whether Steve invites this kind of reaction through innuendo as the article states, my answer is yes he does but it is well deserved.

  76. This post is a cheap shot at Steve McIntyre. We’re impressed!

    Steve didn’t deal with Tom P.’s single-minded OT trolling continuing from one thread to another? His absence for personal reasons except for a couple of minutes in the evening was obvious and had been explained on the blog earlier. Since other topics were current, he did not spend much time with the irrelevant points that Tom thought were so important. If it had been my call, Tom would have been gone until he learned a little proper blog ettiquette, something he has continually been unable to exhibit.

    Tom’s statistical insight from this thread:

    RomanM’s approach to this matter was flawed. He separated the population so that the fasting-growing trees were considered separately, and then showed that compared to the average growth curve of these trees, there was unsurprisingly no remarkable signal. It’s equivalent to saying that compared to the average height of a basketball team the players aren’t really so tall.

    That is the problem with RomanM’s analysis – it is unable to distinguish the possibility that the increased rate of recent faster-growing trees might be due to environmental factors.

    No, I did not “separate out the “fastest-growing trees”. I separated the trees into four groups according to age of the tree because the age of the tree is an important determining factor in the rate of growth. I then showed that fitting a single RCS growth curve to all of them did not fit well to any of the groups. I subsequently fit separate loess curves (with known reasonable statistical properties) to each group separately and Tom got upset because he’s sure that I somehow removed the “signal”.

    What Tom does not realize is that most of the trees in the sample were selected because they were there in situ – a dead sample from the past. They had a good variety of ages with no particular age group predominant. Then a small sample of trees were selected (not randomly) by the researchers specifically because they were still growing . These trees were predominantly longer lived (not by accident) and not representantive of the age composition of the earlier sample. There were few if any younger trees in this sample to compare to so that the growth curve could be separated from environment effect. What makes Tom think that the choice of the trees (health, appearance, size) was not related to a natural growth structure such as the one estimated by the loess curves – in effect unintentionally choosing basketball players when trying to look at an ordinary population of heights?

    What makes Tom think that RCS which didn’t fit any of the groups well was going to do the job of extracting the “signal” from these trees that were selected on a different basis that the earlier sample? Since these were also the trees to which current environmental conditions were calibrated, the poor choice of sample age variety in effect would create a difficulty to construct a reliable temperature reconstruction – a point Steve and others raised on a number of occasions in earlier posts, but which Tom was unable to understand.

    This graph shows the Yamal chronologies with the fastest and slowest growth trees removed when compared to the full archive. Looks to me as if their removal has very little impact on the overall chronology.

    Using Tom’s material – a cheap shot made with blanks. Good one.

  77. Does your paper change their primary conclusions? Do the results look similar to the image posted by MapleLeaf above:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239

    My point with the rebuttal is that you are not undertaking original work. S08 did all the hard work, took the initiative and novelty and now you get to nitpick and massage while also bad mouthing them in a public forum The comments made about Steig et al’s work at CA last year were anything but tempered or along the lines of “Steig’s paper was very cool.” If anything, the tone was more mocking and along the lines of “they have no effing clue what they are doing, what a bunch of idiots ha ha ha”. I invite readers here to go and read those threads at CA regarding Steig themselves. JeffId, don’t pretend to be something that you are not, i.e., ethical.

    Steig then published an update in which they addressed the “significant” errors and guess what? Their conclusions remained the same. Funny, this sounds like Mann et al. all over again.

    And please enlighten us why the stream of innuendo (and harassment and libel) at CA and AirVent and Lucia is well deserved?

  78. Jeff Id,

    I’ve read your post on CPS/Mann 08. I notice that in the cases where you use artificial calibration data that bears no resemblance to the real temperature records you get very low data retention rates. Have you investigated the data retention rate variability with changing slope of the calibration data? Going on what you present you seem to get greater data retention when the calibration slope is positive and very low when negative. What are your comments on this phenomenon? I see no discussion of this and it seems relevant to me. Therefore before simply taking your word that you’re “right” I’m going to need to see that discussion. Have you performed a simple averaging of all of the data?

    Oneuniverse:

    “You are forgetting that strip barks, such as bristlecone pines, shouldn’t be used in temperature reconstructions, since they’re poor temperature proxies, as per the NAS Panel recommendation.”

    Have you read Salzer et al:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/48/20348.full

    It seems that the reliance that McIntyre, Wegman and the NAS put in Graybill and Idso to be an authority on CO2 fertilisation of bristlecones was misplaced. This was a hypothesis, yet it seems to have been elevated by some to a higher status. That was dubious.

  79. “I had two invitations from PhD’s to coauthor the work but decided not to.”

    …then journal submission costs would be far less of an issue. There goes the other excuse. Which PhDs, btw?

    As “Ryan O” admitted on an RC comment:

    “You and I both know that it is much easier to put together some fancy plots for a blog; the wicket for publication is much more difficult and forces more critical thought than blogging.”

    Genuine critical thought is what contrarian types seem to lack and fear. It’s so easy to make insinuations of fraud, misconduct, or what not, especially when blogger buddies are doing so in unison. It takes much more thought to do real work.

  80. Oh boy, now the omniscient CA acolytes (or is that rabid dogs, as per RomanM’s photo) are descending. Way to go Policy Lass.

    RomanM, talking of “If it had been my call, Tom would have been gone until he learned a little proper blog ettiquette, something he has continually been unable to exhibit.”

    Why are you here? Your post is OT, and attack on TomP it seems.

    And you have no place accusing others of taking “cheap shots”. That is McI’s #1 game, you included. Also, The Policy Lass was right on the money….nothing cheap about it. The truth is rather awkward is it not RomanM? But I realize that you being the party faithful and card carrying CA acolyte feel obliged to defend “The One”, regardless of what he does.

    Now please, do you have anything meaningful to contribute which is relevant to what The Policy Lass wrote? Otherwise, you are being hypocritical in accusing others of not exercising appropriate blog etiquette. Thanks.

  81. JeffId ““I had two invitations from PhD’s to coauthor the work but decided not to.”

    Yeah, and I have had two invitations to fly on the shuttle, they practically begged me :)

  82. Layman Lurker, #103,

    The POR-YAH-JAH trees are all recent growers. Hence the uptick in temperatures in the last century is confounding any generalised extraction of a growth curve by just looking at this subset. The fact that the conclusion of the JS analysis is the same as RomanM’s is no surprise. Both approaches are invalid as a test of growth homogeneity under constant environmental conditions.

    What was missing from any analysis on ClimateAudit was the correlation with the instrumental record. Of course you need to be careful that you are not cherry-picking the trees to fit the curve, but there has been no evidence offered that this was the case, despite innuendo and even unguarded direct accusations from McIntyre to the contrary. Having derived a chronology, it is particularly negligent not to show the correlation with temperature. What were derided as beer-drinking trees in fact had a growth record much better correlated to temperature than any set of trees McIntyre put forward.

  83. Paul H,

    The retention amount is the excuse Mann uses. However, that topic is far more complex than this thread, Mann did RegEM on the proxies to ‘hide the decline’ before he sorted. He essentially pasted a blade on the data before sorting the data. I must note that most of my work used the original proxy’s and I was able to retain 35 or 37% on a downslope in one example even with those.

    Please do not take my word that I’m right. Read it and figure it out. There is a tab at the top of the blog with a bunch of relevant posts.

    Simple averaging was one of my first steps, both with and without the infilling.

    Regarding the bristlecones, this is an area which has been kind of beaten to death. If someone chooses to state that the temp caused the uprise, it’s up to them to prove it. The onus is not on me to disprove.

    MarkB – I just made my second post on global gridded temperatures. This one using RomanM’s seasonal temperature algorithm., Again it shows a far higher trend than UAH, CRU or GISS. Are you sure contrarian is a good description.

    Cornice,

    My point with the rebuttal is that you are not undertaking original work. S08 did all the hard work, took the initiative and novelty and now you get to nitpick and massage while also bad mouthing them in a public forum The comments made about Steig et al’s work at CA last year were anything but tempered or along the lines of “Steig’s paper was very cool.”

    Yeah, after he denied the code and told me to take his matlab class, it took a while to start making nice again. However, you assume way too much about the novelty of Steig et al and the ‘hard work’ of our paper.

    The code developed by our group is several times larger, the paper is twice as long, multiple new methods were developed, increased confirmations were performed, it was reviewed by several stats experts, and we then submitted. It will be very interesting to see how it’s reviewed.

    No the trends are somewhat different from the plot shown at your link.

  84. What’s the character limit here?

  85. MarkB :
    Jeff Id,
    It was a simple question. I’ll ask again:
    Which journal is your damning (and no doubt robust) critique published in?

    I think that is a great idea, tying critiques or any backing arguments to those found in peer-reviewed journals, and it would certainly cut down on the he-said/she-said type of circular arguments.

    For instance, wrt the Wegman report, we can stop referencing Deep Climate’s take down, since DC is only a blog, not a journal (though there’s a delicious irony of criticizing the Wegman report as not being peer-reviewed, then relying on a non peer-reviewed blog post for that critique ;-)

    So if CA or RA or DC or whatever blog out there is being used as a source, let’s stop, and if those sites are referencing an actual peer-reviewed paper, than let’s refer directly to the paper (with a h/t if you feel strongly about it). [and yes, I imagine some will say, "but, some blogs are more legitimate than others..."]

    Unless of course folks just decide that “hey this is a blog, who needs peer-reviewed papers to back up our positions”, in which case, attacking someone for lack of peer-review is pretty ridiculous. So before asking someone to whip out their peer-review, please whip yours out first ;-)

  86. Jeff Id :
    Paul H,
    The retention amount is the excuse Mann uses.

    Who cares? It’s history, leave it for historians to write about. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s irrelevant. Big deal. The science has moved on, I suggest you do.

  87. J Bowers,

    It happened last year

  88. Lost track of the thread. Carry on.

  89. #109 MapleLeaf

    Why are you here? Your post is OT, and attack on TomP it seems.

    Must have made a wrong turn at RC.

    Well now, TomP was featured in the head post and he did mention me and this apparently was not OT, so I thought I might in fact respond to him. Sort of makes sense if you don’t kneejerk before typing.

    I’ll try to be more careful and avoid spoiling your fun in the future. ;)

  90. Well Patrick “No the trends are somewhat different from the plot shown at your link.”

    Just what do you think about that satellite image? “Somewhat different” what the heck does that mean? You claim to be accurate, so please be more quantitative.

    “it was reviewed by several stats experts”
    So yo were not confident of your methods then?

    Earth to Patrick, the length of the code and length of paper are not good, or even appropriate, metrics with which to quantify a paper’s quality, worth or relevance. Get over yourself. If you are publishing in Nature, I will be blown away if they accept such a long manuscript as is.

    As for Steig et al. not sharing, if CA had not embarked on a character assassination of Steig et al, they would have been more friendly up front. You are being completely unrealistic. Also, write your own code, Steig is not meant to hold your hand and guide you. That is not how scientists independently verify/corroborate each others findings. Mosher and SteveM have the same delusion as you do about being babysitted by scientists.

    Hmm, earlier you said “I would have never learned this method without S08 publication” (aah sweet), now you are saying “you assume way too much about the novelty of Steig et al”. Make up your mind. You are playing games again, trying to flatter out one side of your mouth and berating out the other side. SteveM has taught you well.

    Time to clean your guns yet? Sorry, I just can’t stand the things.

  91. RomanM #105,

    I’ve no doubt the curves change with age cohort, but RCS is designed to compensate for this by taking the differences from these curves. I demonstrated that Briffa’s Yamal reconstruction remains unchanged as you progressively remove the youngest trees.

    You also separated the Yamal series by the time of growth and concluded:

    “I was somewhat surprised how reasonably closely the growth curve fit most of the historical group distributions. Well, except for one group …”

    which would have been the most recent group. What could be most reasonably concluded was that there might have been a recent change in environmental conditions, but you leap to the conclusion that there was some biased selection of the cores.

    A dendro in the field is going to be looking for the largest trees they can find, whether upright or fallen, to produce a long record. Does it not give you at least pause for thought that of all the rings of the 250 or so trees that make up Briffa’s Yamal chronology, it is the most recent that show the greatest growth? Or do you think that in some drawer in a Russian institute there’s some medieval core carefully hidden?

    And are you not the least discomfitted that McIntyre chose not to reveal the low correlation of his substitution chronology with temperature?

  92. RomanM, “Must have made a wrong turn at RC.” Yes b/c CA is the very epitome of ethics and integrity… (sarc and gag). You also clearly failed to see or recognise the point of Susann’s article.

    In the meantime, science in the real world progresses, and the planet continues to warm.

    So, yes, please do go back to spreading lies and innuendo in your fantastical, vacuous microcosm that is CA.

    You are not spoiling my fun RomanM, don’t delude yourself into thinking I give a hoot what you and your malicious and myopic ilk think. Bye, bye starling.

  93. “Are you sure contrarian is a good description.”

    Possibly too soft.

    See…

    Jeff Id (06:42:14)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/29/steig-et-al-falsified/

    …a comment wrong on so many levels.

  94. “The POR-YAH-JAH trees are all recent growers. Hence the uptick in temperatures in the last century is confounding any generalised extraction of a growth curve by just looking at this subset. The fact that the conclusion of the JS analysis is the same as RomanM’s is no surprise. Both approaches are invalid as a test of growth homogeneity under constant environmental conditions.”

    JS estimated parameters for differences from rest of Yamal samples in *both* age and year (climate) at a 95% significance level. It takes a little more than arm waving and “just looking at this subset” to invalidate the analysis in my books.

    BTW, you still have not responded to my question in #46.

  95. Jeff Id:

    “Simple averaging was one of my first steps, both with and without the infilling.”

    Right, what does it look like?

    “If someone chooses to state that the temp caused the uprise, it’s up to them to prove it. The onus is not on me to disprove.”

    I addressed this question to oneuniverse, but as a point of clarification, McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005 claim the bristlecone growth is linked to CO2 based on Graybill and Idso. This is a positive claim that *they* need to support in order to support their conclusions against MBH98. Since this is only a hypothesis my philosophy of science tells me that was definite over reaching, and it is as yet unvalidated. Words around their conclusions like this “hypothesis is suggestive of” would have been appropriate. Of course now we have Salzer et al now, which presents a convincing analysis supporting the positive claim that trees near the upper growth line are sensitive to temperature and that competing hypothesis about CO2 looks a bit dead, so much for one of the central conclusions of MM05.

    RomanM,

    What do you make of Briffa’s most recent response on the Yamal hoohaaa?

  96. Gawd Cornice,

    Please call me Jeff, everyone else does, unless of course you are a bank.

    Earth to Patrick, the length of the code and length of paper are not good, or even appropriate, metrics with which to quantify a paper’s quality, worth or relevance. Get over yourself. If you are publishing in Nature, I will be blown away if they accept such a long manuscript as is.

    You made a remark about the amount of work, I told you about the amount of work. geez.

    Regarding the novelty of Steig et al, we discovered several papers using similar methods. However, I wouldn’t have known about them without Steig et al. Does that clear it up??

    Nature wasn’t the journal, b/c my coauthors decided they don’t often handle papers this technical.

    Guns are clean and keeping me and my family safe.

    You are flailing but it’s been fun and you guys call me the troll?

  97. UAN2001: “think that is a great idea, tying critiques or any backing arguments to those found in peer-reviewed journals, and it would certainly cut down on the he-said/she-said type of circular arguments. ”

    Agreed! But note that contrarians would mostly disappear. The few contrarian-type studies published have not held up too well.

  98. #124 Paul H

    “McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005 claim the bristlecone growth is linked to CO2 based on Graybill and Idso“

    SM repeatedly beats down any such suggestion from what I have seen at CA. Could you cite the passage for us?

  99. MapleLeaf: “Oneuniverse I missed your comment @60. We both know what we mean by *theory* of radiative transfer and forcing, stop playing games.”

    It was a genuine question, I was interested in your view of the mechanism for WV feedback in the hypothesis. Never mind.

    You cite McCarthy et al. 2009, which considers lower to mid tropospheric WV, whereas it’s the mid to upper troposphere that is more the area of interest, as that’s where the WV changes have the largest impact.

    — Some references for measurements of WV and escaping LW, and comparisons with climate models. The models systematically overestimate upper tropospheric WV, underestimate OLR, and therefore overestimate the predicted strength of the greenhouse effect —

    Pierce et al. 2006 “Three-dimensional tropospheric water vapor in coupled climate models compared with observations from the AIRS satellite system”, Geophys. Res. Lett.

    John and Soden 2007 “Temperature and humidity biases in global climate models and their impact on climate feedbacks”, Geophys.Res. Lett.

    Gettleman et al. 2006 “Climatology of Upper-Tropospheric Relative Humidity from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder and Implications for Climate”, J. Climate

    Wielicki et al. 2002 “Evidence for large decadal variability in the tropical mean radiative energy budget”, Science

    Chen et al. 2002 “Evidence for strengthening of the tropical general circulation in the 1990s”, Science

    — Evidence that the 11-year solar cycle affects terrestrial temperature far more than credited by the IPCC reports —

    Tung and Camp 2008 “Solar cycle warming at the Earth’s surface in NCEP and ERA-40

    data: A linear discriminant analysis”
    White et al. 1997 “Response of global upper ocean temperature to changing solar irradiance”

  100. Marco: “Please refer to the relevant section of the NAS report that states bristlecone spines are bad temperature proxies and should not be used.”

    It’s on page 52, http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676 . :

    “While “strip-bark” samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions, attention should also be paid to the confounding effects of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition (Vitousek et al. 1997), since the nutrient conditions of the soil determine wood growth response to increased atmospheric CO2 (Kostiainen et al. 2004).”

  101. “You are flailing but it’s been fun and you guys call me the troll”

    I retracted that allegation, although others might still agree with it. Jeff, you are projecting, you are the one flailing pal.

    “Guns are clean and keeping me and my family safe.”

    Uh, huh…go figure many people are killed by their very own guns being fired by the bad guy or by a loved one. Go NRA (sarc)!

    No Jeff, you were trying to boast about the amount of work, b/c your paper is ‘twice as long’ as S08 means diddly squat. I am talking about gathering the data, the data QC, the data analysis, the literature review, the write up, replying to the reviewers, incorporating their changes, getting the proofs ready to go to print. That work is a lot of work. And the length of your paper or the code is irrelevant, well, you have to respect the limit set by the journal of course.

    “Nature wasn’t the journal, b/c my coauthors decided they don’t often handle papers this technical.”
    Huh? Steig et al. published in Nature, I find it odd that you would choose to publish elsewhere.
    Also, you admitted yourself that “The math [in S08] was complicated”. Oh I see, so Nature printed that very technical/complicated paper, but is not worthy of yours. Got it ;)

  102. Layman Lurker, #123

    I took the trouble of giving you a precise answer. If your lazy response is just to accuse me of armwaving without addressing the scientific content, I suggest you keep such comments for the minstrels gallery with “Mosher” and “Bender” at Climate Audit.

  103. Cornice,

    You are not being honest — you said S08 did all the hard work,

    I pointed out the length and amount of work my coauthors put in was several times greater. It included examinations of raw data, numerous methods, data quality analysis and the rest. Incidentally, I recommended Nature but it wasn’t my decision. I was told, nature doesn’t handle works as complex as this often and their rules don’t allow such a thorough examination. The basic math is discussed at length and multiple methods are compared.

    It’s quite a different paper and is more complex than S09. Incidentally, Steig may like the paper and may not see it as a rebuttal. I don’t really know whether it confirms or goes against climate models. I only know that it is what the data shows.

    so yes I got it.

  104. OneUni, thanks for the links. You previously did not mention the level in the atmosphere to which you were referring to when you spoke of WV.

    You seem to be under the incorrect impression that climate sensitivity is derived exclusively using models, actually in most cases it is not. Are you perhaps referring to the possibility of the models overestimating the warming circa 2100? Did you watch Dr. Alley’s talk. Did you not read Knutti and Hegerl?

    The impact of solar irradiance has not been ignored or downplayed; its contribution has been quantified by papers cited in the IPCC and others. You also forget that since the 50s solar irradiance has been on the decline, and that since the seventies solar irradiance and global SATs have been trending in the opposite direction.

    Also, even if we were to stay at Maunder-like minimum, which is unlikely (see link below) it will have very little impact on global SATs.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-would-happen-if-the-sun-fell-to-Maunder-Minimum-levels.html

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/17jun_jetstream.htm

    You are clearly searching out a silver bullet Oneuni (confirmation bias) to absolve you from your inaction…..better start praying that climate sensitivity is closer to +2C, and then hope that we do not go on to triple CO2.

    You posted John and Soden (2007) as proof that the models will overestimate the warming. Well, you apparently did even bother to read their abstract:

    “In particular, the free tropospheric cold and moist bias varies significantly from one model to the next. In contrast, the response of water vapor and tropospheric temperature to a surface warming is shown to be remarkably consistent across models and uncorrelated to the bias in the mean state. We further show that these biases, while significant, have little direct impact on the models’ simulation of water vapor and lapse‐rate feedbacks.”

    Anyhow, I have accused others of trolling and being OT, so I will stop, unless you wish to speak to SteveM’s unethical behaviour?

  105. Marco,
    Yes, I meant the NAS report. It says bristlecone pine series should be avoided. Readers may need to be informed that all ancient bristlecone pine tress are strip bark trees. See page 45 where it says:
    “While “strip-bark” samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions, attention should also be paid to the confounding effects of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition (Vitousek et al. 1997), since the nutrient conditions of the soil determine wood growth response to increased atmospheric CO2 (Kostiainen et al. 2004).”

    All of the temp reconstructions using tree-rings use bristlecone pines, foxtails or Yamal. Craig Loehle decided to perform a temp reconstruction avoiding tree-rings altogether. The proxies he chose had all been calibrated to local temperature by the original author. When he finished the study, the MWP was shown to be global and just as warm or warmer than the late 20th century.

    I stand by my statement that all the studies published in support of Mann have made at least one of Mann’s errors, whether using bcp or yamal or something else. Several of the papers repeated more than one of Mann’s errors. Mann had plenty of errors from which to choose.

  106. Jeff, we got our wires crossed it seems. That said, you seem to think that what you did involved more work for some reason, and you did specifically refer to the length of your paper. And do not think that Steig et al, or anyone else for that matter who publishes, do not undertake “examinations of raw data, numerous methods, data quality analysis and the rest.” I have no doubt that Steig et al. invested a lot of time and effort in putting that paper together, as well as the corrigendum. You are no more special than anyone else I’m afraid, really, and don’t think that the reviewers won’t find mistakes in your paper. You and scientists are not infallible. Publishing a paper in a reputable journal can be a humbling experience.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see the spin that you and CA and others will put on this in the blogosphere should your results be published and not find as much warming as Steig et al. Now you would never do such a thing would you? You have said here yourself, “I only know that it is what the data shows.” I am going to hold you to that.

    You interestingly avoided answering my question about exactly how your analysis compares with that satellite image. And avoided MarkB’s questions about the grad students. Why?

    Then I guess we should move on and stop holding up the traffic.

  107. Darn. It was page 52. Page 45 was the start of the chapter.

  108. #131 Tom P

    Sorry Tom, I’ll try to stick to your comment this time. I understand that POR-YAH-JAH are all recent growers and that there is some risk of mixing climate signal with age related growth. Still, this does not mean that is impossible to untangle the two. These types of situations occur in statistics all the time. As long as the significance levels are sufficiently high and qualified by the appropriate confidence intervals, we still have useful information.

    I am sure you would agree that there are risks the other way as well. RCS gives zero age related effects (relatively speaking) to POR-YAH-JAH with 100% confidence, in spite of analysis telling us that there is likely spurious attribution of growth related response to climate.

  109. oneuniverse,

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/M&M.EE2005.pdf

    Page 84. I should have been more specific in terms of which paper I cited and which paper they relied on. They relied on papers as this section highlights.

    Jeff,

    My question probably got lost in the thread. Please could you provide a link indicating what results you get from plain old averaging? You state:

    “Simple averaging was one of my first steps, both with and without the infilling.”

  110. I just wanted to post this quote from RC on Yamal and the hockey stick shape of other chrons (gasp – I know that will label me as an alarmist but whatever):

    Science is made up of people challenging assumptions and other peoples’ results with the overall desire of getting closer to the ‘truth’. There is nothing wrong with people putting together new chronologies of tree rings or testing the robustness of previous results to updated data or new methodologies. Or even thinking about what would happen if it was all wrong. What is objectionable is the conflation of technical criticism with unsupported, unjustified and unverified accusations of scientific misconduct. Steve McIntyre keeps insisting that he should be treated like a professional. But how professional is it to continue to slander scientists with vague insinuations and spin made-up tales of perfidy out of the whole cloth instead of submitting his work for peer-review? He continues to take absolutely no responsibility for the ridiculous fantasies and exaggerations that his supporters broadcast, apparently being happy to bask in their acclaim rather than correct any of the misrepresentations he has engendered. If he wants to make a change, he has a clear choice; to continue to play Don Quixote for the peanut gallery or to produce something constructive that is actually worthy of publication.

    Peer-review is nothing sinister and not part of some global conspiracy, but instead it is the process by which people are forced to match their rhetoric to their actual results. You can’t generally get away with imprecise suggestions that something might matter for the bigger picture without actually showing that it does. It does matter whether something ‘matters’, otherwise you might as well be correcting spelling mistakes for all the impact it will have.

    So go on Steve, surprise us.

    This encapsulates some of what I was trying to get at in my post here and elsewhere. It’s all fine and dandy to challenge scientific findings – it is a necessary part of the progress of science. It is quite another to allude or charge fraud and academic misconduct because scientists use different methods and samples and techniques to study the same data or issue or problem. Part of science is precisely to find the best methods and data and analysis and so even if someone uses a method that is later found to be flawed, and new methods developed, it’s not an effing crime! If problems are found with data quality, it’s not deserving of a congressional hearing — except if that hearing is about increased funding to improve science!

    I am just so flabbergasted at Inhofe’s latest McCarthyist ploy that I worry for the health of American science. In fact, I’ve been thinking of starting a campaign along the lines of “free the Inhofe 17″ to support the freedom of climate science from political interference.

    I’ll say it again — criticism and challenge is the mainstay of science. It improves the science and makes the scientists better at their work and their analyses more valid.

    What is happening today in the climate wars lead by the denialist crew and their following and chorus is not about this. It is meant to discredit the science and the scientists, not to improve science but to stall, delay and prevent climate legislation to protect the status quo.

    This rehashing of MBH98 and the SAR and the continued reference to Wegman is all a tactic in this larger strategy. With apologies to Mann et al, but really, as North said in the quote someone posted, if Mike Mann had never been born, if the hockey stick graph had never been constructed, the majority of climate scientists would still be in agreement that the world is warming, that it is largely due to man-made greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere through burning of fossil fuels, that temperatures will continue to warm and climate change with potentially negative consequences for our way of life.

  111. Ron,

    Are you uncritically citing Craig’s work as a robust argument of a MWP of global extent? Do you include any caveats in that citation?

  112. All this bickering! People are actually defending the underhanded Wegman report (links have been given above. Well above.)

    We all know that the Hockey Stick has been supported by numerous subsequent papers. (links have been given above. Well above.)

    During the mid to late nineties, two important things appeared in peer reviewed research: the “fingerprinting” or attribution papers, and the paleoclimate findings that have come to be known as the Hockey Stick. The latter made it clear that what is happening now (including the nineties) does not resemble any known natural variation. Together these two things (and the fact that sun is not doing it) left deniers with no where to run to. They have never forgiven the scientists involved. The big brouha in the press lately is the latest in the ongoing personal vendetta against the climatologists who put the deniers in such a spot.

    Get over it.

  113. @ 140, well stated Policy Lass– and thanks for your comment the other day. There are some glimmers of hope, at least some influential outlets get it (AGW and the big picture), and seem to me immune to McIntyre’s and Jeff’s dog-whistle politics:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/02/climategate_distortions/

    Yes, and “free the Inhofe 17″ :) Be afraid, very afraid…those in denial seem to have a propensity to own guns, and are prepared to use them against those “warminista nutjobs”!
    We are so screwed.

  114. Cornice,

    That’s a bit more fair.

    You interestingly avoided answering my question about exactly how your analysis compares with that satellite image. And avoided MarkB’s questions about the grad students. Why?

    Because we’re not able to discuss results before publication. No blogging, no preliminaries, nothing. As to holding me to my comment, it shouldn’t be any trouble. I’m really not aware of how the publication matches models (to a certain degree) I have read some papers. Also it’s not clear whether Steig will like the result or not. He may even claim his work is not invalidated. It will be entertaining and we all learned a hell of a lot.

  115. Layman Lurker,

    Apology accepted. The Policy Lass has created a valuable space, especially give McIntyre’s failure to address the science issues for some time. We should be careful not just to make this blog the echo chamber that Climate Audit has become.

    I do not agree that the fact that the JS analysis gives statistical significance, the conclusions are valid. After all, you would expect such statistical significance precisely if the chronology showed an unprecedented recent increase. It therefore cannot reject that possibility.

    On the other hand, I quite agree there are risks the other way round. But after creating a consistent chronology you can then judge any bias you might have inadvertently created by comparison to the temperature record. The answer for Briffa’s Yamal is then clear – the recent increase in the chronology is consistent with that record:

    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5454/yamalkhadtemp.png

    This last comparison is critical. For some reason McIntyre chose to ignore it. I wonder why?

  116. Pete, wow, someone actually on topic (I am berating myself and others by the way).

    You summed it all up perfectly, this is exactly the bickering they wish encouraged about a manufactured/fabricated issue. Because they know that when people are do the above, nothing gets done. Doubt is the friend of those in denial. Morano, Rove and others have used the same tactics before, with much success.

    It also distracts people from what is happening out there in the real world as I tried to show Oneuniverse (well above). And this is still early days in this experiment.

    Inhofe and Ron Cram and others in denial should find another planet earth and try this foolish experiment there, they are not welcome to do so here.

  117. This post is a cheap shot at Steve McIntyre. We’re impressed!

    MostA lot of McI’s blog is a cheap shot at climate science.

    [ETA - I thought I'd amend that since, to be fair, there is some useful discussion of science and methodology there.]

    One good turn deserves another! ;)

    Steve didn’t deal with Tom P.’s single-minded OT trolling continuing from one thread to another? His absence for personal reasons except for a couple of minutes in the evening was obvious and had been explained on the blog earlier. Since other topics were current, he did not spend much time with the irrelevant points that Tom thought were so important. If it had been my call, Tom would have been gone until he learned a little proper blog ettiquette, something he has continually been unable to exhibit.

    From what I saw of the thread, McI draws a clear parallel between climate science and Enron and then let his pack make all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about climate science and scientists. When Tom P showed up to challenge the unsubstantiated claim made by Loehe, providing actual evidence to support his claims, he was told to shut up. So from that, I gather that McI’s notion of blog etiquette involves letting people make unsubstantiated smears and claims against scientists and against an entire discipline in science and preventing other people from refuting those unsubstantiated smears and claims with actual evidence.

    Of course, it might also be that he didn’t want to have to answer Tom P’s questions…

    Man, that’s some etiquette.

  118. Paul H,

    The average is an interesting question. The endpoints of the data were regEM’d prior to usage. This means that a blade was pasted on to something like 95% of the series. If you average you got a bit of a blade but nothing like what you get if you sort.

    There is a long story though. Before the 1257 data series were posted about 1350 were accidentally posted on the same paper. What happened to the extra hundred?

  119. It was never mentioned how your work pertains to models. You were pointed you to a satellite image. Those were observations.

    Jeff, if your paper does differ significantly from that image (over the same time frame), then you should be very concerned….

  120. “But after creating a consistent chronology you can then judge any bias you might have inadvertently created by comparison to the temperature record.”

    I am glad you returned to this point Tom. It is one I wish to discuss further. I have to go right now but will return later this evening to make my points.

  121. It posted before I finished

    The average is an interesting question. The endpoints of the data were regEM’d prior to usage. This means that a blade was pasted on to something like 95% of the series. If you average you got a bit of a blade but nothing like what you get if you sort.

    There is a long story though. Before the 1257 data series were posted about 1350 were accidentally posted on the same paper. What happened to the extra hundred?

    The RegEM blade paste infilling was done by 55 series. Now of the 148 64 of these were long enough to do the infilling. Think about that 5 percent were used for infilling (pasting a blade on) yet almost 50% of the rejected data could have helped infilling.

    In the post linked below, I plotted the average of the series used vs the series rejected. This was when tAV was less than 1 month old, and it got over 7000 views.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/online-experiment-with-the-latest-hockey-stick/

    You can see the average of these series, I’m not sure I posted an average of the whole thing anywhere but this is a pretty clear example of a potential bias.

  122. Cornice,

    I’ve enjoyed this thread.

    You said — “Jeff, if your paper does differ significantly from that image (over the same time frame), then you should be very concerned….”

    Actually not. The image is from the comiso AVHRR satellite data. Dr. Comiso did a great job putting it together but the AVHRR satellite data is incredibly noisy due to the inability to tell what is cloud and what is ground. There is a lot of temperature contamination. Trends therefore from this set are meaningless although he did what he could with it.

    If you look closely you can see a ring of warming around the shoreline, this is created by an non-uniformity in variance which is very visible in some video I produced of this dataset. Our work matches well to a lot of older papers though.

  123. MapleLeaf,

    Tung & Camp, and White et al.’s conclusions about the Sun’s ability to affect the climate are in contradiction to the IPCC’s assessment.

    If the IPCC were to include these papers (and there are others), then it would be obliged to recalculate CO2 sensitivity with the updated estimate of forcings and feedbacks.

    re: John and Soden
    You may have misunderstood your quotation. The consistency of the WV and temperature responses that they mention is a consistency of the models with each other, not with observations!

    John and Soden find that the models exhibit “systematic and consistent patterns of bias in tropospheric temperature and humidity compared to observations”.

    It’s a waming bias, as it happens.

  124. One Universe #154,

    Tung’s work on solar variability was actually listed in AR4. And you don’t need to ask the IPCC to recalculate CO2 sensitivity based on his analysis. Tung and Camp derived the figure in 2008 as 2.3 to 4.1 K without recourse to climate models. As Tung himself said: “The finding adds to the evidence that mainstream climate models are right about the likely extent of future human-generated warming. It also effectively rules out some lower estimates in those models.”

    Have you actually read the literature you cite?

  125. Jeff, good points. Did he or you undertake a rigorous analysis to actually conclude that the trends are meaningless? Anyhow, the references probably answer that. Yes, the satellite data have issues, but, they have much higher spatial and temporal resolution than the station data. Also, while absolute values may be an issue, trends and anomalies should be more robust. I would not be so quick to dismiss them. The values may not be the same, but your spatial pattern should be similar. You can also see where some ice shelves have calved or collapsed– neat. You can also see that the oceans have warmed quite a bit too– no cloud/land issues there that you and they cite, although those Antarctic waters are notoriously cloudy, then again they have a very long record (in relative terms). No monitoring system/method is going to be perfect, such a data spare and complex region has more than its fair share of challenges. The GRACE data showing (accelerating) loss of ice over both WAIS and EASI is consistent with the warming though, whether it be oceanic and/or atmospheric. So if your data show cooling where GRACE showing ice mass loss….just some things to keep in mind.

    Earlier you said that spinning the results of your paper should not be a problem. It occurred to me that that is not much of a promise, in fact it leaves a lot of room for not following through. Although I guess M&M will use innuendo and dog-whistle techniques to let the echo chamber at CA and elsewhere spin it for them. I’ll watch with interest.

  126. shewonk :
    From what I saw of the thread, McI draws a clear parallel between climate science and Enron and then let his pack make all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about climate science and scientists.

    It’s not like he’s being original. I was quoting Warren Buffett’s lesson four days before the CA post, but in terms of “Who audits the auditors?”, which was the real lesson from Enron…

    http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/the-one-chopped-down-to-size/#comment-1060
    “The workings of these companies were so complex that it is entirely possible that the board of Enron and the auditors did not fully understand what was happening. It was enough for them to be told it was OK, legal and above board. Maybe here is one lesson we can learn – if you don’t understand it, don’t do it!…
    — Warren Buffett’s take on Enron:
    http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/news/2545/2002-12-18/

  127. A reminder is needed of Dr Steven Chu’s take on the “sceptics”…

    “If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking.

    Unless, of course, a Nobel Prize winning physicist doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

  128. Tom P,

    You quote Tung from an interview in the NS instead – a little misleading. His NS statement, which you’ll know if you’ve read the paper, is predicated on the assumption that it is TSI changes and terrestrial climate feedbacks that are causing the observed cyclical warming sign. The paper iself says the climate feedbacks can explain it, without going so far as to propose an explanation, but it doesn’t rule out other explanatory mechanisms, such as the GCR-cloud cover modulation being investigated by CERN.

    What is observed is a global mean warming of ~0.2C over solar cycles.
    One possible explanation, given in the paper, is a high climate gain factor f.

    From the abstract of Tung and Camp 2008 : “All three methods and both data sets are able to demonstrate that the 11-year signal is statistically significant and attributable (i.e., related) to the solar cycle.”

    From the text: “Figure 2c visually reveals a global mean warming of slightly more than 0.2 K at the surface from solar min to solar max especially in the last three cycles. More conservatively, we fit dT = kdS to all 4.5 solar cycles, where dS(t) is the TSI variability time series, and find k = 0.167 ± 0.037 K/ (W /m2) at the surface (and 0.213 ± 0.044 in 500–850 hPa)”

    From the text: “Our observed global mean warming of ~0.2 K would seem to imply that, if it is due to TSI heating at the surface, the fast feedback processes in our atmosphere, such as ice albedo, lapse rate, water vapor and cloud feedbacks, should in aggregate amplify the initial TSI warming by about a factor of f ~ 2–3.”

    From the concluding paragraph of Tung and Camp 2009 : “There have been many puzzling statements in the literature about the difficulty of explaining the solar cycle response at the surface given the magnitude of the solar forcing. Although the GCM simulation of a surface solar cycle response remains a challenge, we show here that given the magnitude of the measured amplitudes of forcing and response, the observed 0.2 K of warming is explainable assuming direct radiative forcing and the commonly accepted climate gain factor of f ~ 2–3, due to ice albedo, cloud and water vapor/lapse rate feedbacks.”

  129. Typo in last paragraph, sorry : “Tung and Camp 2009″ should be “Tung and Camp 2008″.

  130. oneuniverse :Tom P,
    You quote Tung from an interview in the NS instead – a little misleading. His NS statement, which you’ll know if you’ve read the paper, is predicated on the assumption that it is TSI changes and terrestrial climate feedbacks that are causing the observed cyclical warming sign. The paper iself says the climate feedbacks can explain it, without going so far as to propose an explanation, but it doesn’t rule out other explanatory mechanisms, such as the GCR-cloud cover modulation being investigated by CERN.
    What is observed is a global mean warming of ~0.2C over solar cycles.One possible explanation, given in the paper, is a high climate gain factor f.
    From the abstract of Tung and Camp 2008 : “All three methods and both data sets are able to demonstrate that the 11-year signal is statistically significant and attributable (i.e., related) to the solar cycle.”
    From the text: “Figure 2c visually reveals a global mean warming of slightly more than 0.2 K at the surface from solar min to solar max especially in the last three cycles. More conservatively, we fit dT = kdS to all 4.5 solar cycles, where dS(t) is the TSI variability time series, and find k = 0.167 ± 0.037 K/ (W /m2) at the surface (and 0.213 ± 0.044 in 500–850 hPa)”
    From the text: “Our observed global mean warming of ~0.2 K would seem to imply that, if it is due to TSI heating at the surface, the fast feedback processes in our atmosphere, such as ice albedo, lapse rate, water vapor and cloud feedbacks, should in aggregate amplify the initial TSI warming by about a factor of f ~ 2–3.”
    From the concluding paragraph of Tung and Camp 2009 : “There have been many puzzling statements in the literature about the difficulty of explaining the solar cycle response at the surface given the magnitude of the solar forcing. Although the GCM simulation of a surface solar cycle response remains a challenge, we show here that given the magnitude of the measured amplitudes of forcing and response, the observed 0.2 K of warming is explainable assuming direct radiative forcing and the commonly accepted climate gain factor of f ~ 2–3, due to ice albedo, cloud and water vapor/lapse rate feedbacks.”

    Good grief, you seriously don’t understand this paper. They conclude that from solar min to solar max you get an increase of 0.18C, *and from solar max to solar min a DECREASE of 0.18C*. +0.18 going from min to max, -0.18 going from max to min. Do the math yourself to get the net result.

    And here’s the paper that uses their previous results to calculate climate sensitivity:
    http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf

  131. OneUniverse, #158,

    There is nothing misleading in quoting from Tung’s own comments on his work, work you have completely misrepresented. It might be worth spending some time reading the literature before commenting on this again.

  132. Form J. Bowers’ link, above, see http://bit.ly/cT5EpN :

    Andersen, Enron’s auditors, fared even worse. They were caught up in the US rule-based accounting system that encourages companies to ask ‘Where does it say we can’t do this’. This led them to gain large consulting fees in working out how clients could get around the rules. Andersen was blamed for not properly auditing the accounts; for shredding evidence of its interactions with Enron; and for taking more money in consulting fees than auditing and therefore of being corrupt. With its reputation destroyed, the firm ceased to be economically viable. All this happened before Andersen had a chance to defend itself against its accusers.

    Now we have to transpose all the actors and the events. Who is Andersen? Who is Enron? What is the US rule-based accounting system? Who is the board? What is capitalism? What’s the fraud? Who are the investors? What’s at stake?

    Analogies are very sharp swords, and sometimes they become very cumbersome. One as to follow it wherever it leads.

  133. Paul H:

    Have you read Salzer et al:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/48/20348.full

    It seems that the reliance that McIntyre, Wegman and the NAS put in Graybill and Idso to be an authority on CO2 fertilisation of bristlecones was misplaced. This was a hypothesis, yet it seems to have been elevated by some to a higher status. That was dubious.

    This is a mischaracterisation of what MM said. It makes note of the hypothesis, the specific evidence found for it at White Mountains, and the debate about the hypothesis. It doesn’t ‘elevate the hypothesis to some higher status’ :

    McIntyre and McKitrick 2005, page :

    Graybill and Idso [1993] attributed the anomalous 20th century growth of strip-bark forms to CO2 fertilization There are some possible reasons why CO2 fertilization may affect high-altitude strip bark forms more strongly than lower-altitude entire-bark forms and there is specific evidence for CO2 fertilization for vegetation from the White Mountains, California, where important bristlecone pine stands are located [Mooney et al., 1964]. The response to changes of CO2 concentration in controlled experiments is strongly non-linear and attenuates as CO2 levels increase. CO2 levels at the high altitudes of bristlecone pines (3000–3500 m) are significantly lower than at sea level and, at the lower CO2 levels at high-altitude, the response to increased CO2 levels is in a range with stronger response.
    The general hypothesis of CO2 fertilization of tree growth has been hotly contested. Opponents [e.g. Jacoby and D’Arrigo, 1997 and Graumlich, 1991] have pointed to other sites which do not exhibit anomalous 20th century growth and argued that the anomalous growth effect is limited to high-altitude strip bark forms. More recently, Schauer et al. [2001] reported that trees with strip-bark have significantly lower predawn water potentials during the driest part of the growing season relative to nonstrip-barked trees. So the anomalous growth of strip bark trees may be related to effects differing from CO2.

    Salzer et al. cites further evidence for CO2 fertilisation of bristlecone pines (found by Tang et al.) :

    The positive growth trend could be caused by increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations (16). LaMarche et al. (17) proposed a hypothesis of fertilization at high elevation by increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations through increased water-use efficiency (WUE) to explain the positive growth trend. Tang et al. (14) found increased WUE in both strip-bark and whole-bark bristlecone pines, whereas Graumlich (18) did not find evidence for a CO2 fertilization effect as a cause for enhanced growth among subalpine conifers in the Sierra Nevada.

    Graumlich found no evidence for CO2 fertilization in three of the five sites she studied, and that for the other two sites, “trends in the residuals from the growth/climate models indicate systematic underestimation of growth during the past decade that could be interpreted as either CO2 fertilization or as a response to extreme climatic events during the mid 1970s.”.

    Perhaps you’re objecting to the following statement in MM:

    Whatever side one takes on the CO2 fertilization debate is really immaterial. Even if one adopts the position of Jacoby and Graumlich – that the effect is limited to strip bark forms – since the NOAMER PC1 is comprised almost entirely of strip-bark forms it could easily be affected as a proxy, even under the limited position taken by Jacoby and Graumlich.

    Jacoby and D’Arrigo 1997:

    The evidence for CO2 fertilization is inconclusive at present for trees growing in natural settings, where there can be many other limiting and interacting factors. [..] Even if trees with a strip-bark growth form are most likely to show this effect, these types of trees are only a small component of the land biosphere.”

    There’s evidence that CO2 fertilisation is able to affected bristlecone tree-ring growth. Tang et al and Mooney et al. found evidence for CO2 fertilisation at White Mountain. Mann uses strip-bark from White Mountain. McIntyre and McKitrick noted that “since the NOAMER PC1 [used by Mann] is comprised almost entirely of strip-bark forms it could easily be affected as a proxy”.

  134. Tom P: “There is nothing misleading in quoting from Tung’s own comments on his work [..]“.

    We were discussing and quoting from Tung’s paper – your NS quotation from Tung lacked attribution, and misled me into looking for it in the paper – a Google search revealed the source. No big deal, but perhaps you could’ve provided the reference.

    I’d say it’s the presentation of NS quote that misrepresents the paper (possibly due to bad editing – I don’t have access to the article itself), as it fails to report on the conditional nature of the statement (which I pointed out earlier, was stated in the paper itself).

    Marco, the issue is about sensitivity to solar variability, not net warming over a cycle.

  135. Marco: “And here’s the paper that uses their previous results to calculate climate sensitivity:
    http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf

    The argument and calculations are along the same lines as the 2008 paper. There is still the assumption that the 0.2C warming is caused by the 0.18W/m2 radiative forcing, and the feedbacks resulting from it.

    Dr. Spencer’s recent comment, Spurious Warming in the Jones U.S. Temperatures Since 1973

    The Logical Absurdity of Some Climate Sensitivity Arguments

    This demonstrates one of the absurdities (Dick Lindzen’s term, as I recall) in the way current climate change theory works: For a given observed temperature change, the smaller the forcing that caused it, the greater the inferred sensitivity of the climate system. This is why Jim Hansen believes in catastrophic global warming: since he thinks he knows for sure that a relatively tiny forcing caused the Ice Ages, then the greater forcing produced by our CO2 emissions will result in even more dramatic climate change!

    But taken to its logical conclusion, this relationship between the strength of the forcing, and the inferred sensitivity of the climate system, leads to the absurd notion that an infinitesimally small forcing causes nearly infinite climate sensitivity(!) As I have mentioned before, this is analogous to an ancient tribe of people thinking their moral shortcomings were responsible for lightning, storms, and other whims of nature.

    This absurdity is avoided if we simply admit that we do not know all of the natural forcings involved in climate change. And the greater the number of natural forcings involved, then the less we have to worry about human-caused global warming.

    The IPCC, though, never points out this inherent source of bias in its reports. But the IPCC can not admit to scientific uncertainty…that would reduce the chance of getting the energy policy changes they so desire.

  136. OneUniverse, #164

    “We were discussing and quoting from Tung’s paper…”

    No, you unsurprisingly avoided using any quotations while you misrepresented Tung’s work. And you continue to do so.

    You’re not by any chance related to Steven Goddard?

  137. Tom P, keep it real.

    Yes, we were discussing Tung’s paper, although it turns out I was the only one quoting from it.

  138. oneuniverse, #167

    Rubbish. You hadn’t used any quotation from Tung’s work before I brought up his own comment. You not only misrepresent the science, you misrepresent the very dialogue on this site. Why should anyone take you seriously?

  139. It’s funny how Roy Spencer, in constructing a series of strawmen (which is perhaps out of ignorance?) tries to depict some key lines of evidence of climate sensitivity as originating from James Hansen. His blog posts read like red meat for the contrarian crowd.

    As we know…

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

  140. willard :
    Now we have to transpose all the actors and the events.

    It’s about the lessons learned. Who audits the auditors? What standards and practices are they held to? Where is their accountability?

  141. #145 Tom P

    Back finally. Boy this is an active thread.

    “…you would expect such statistical significance precisely if the chronology showed an unprecedented recent increase.”

    No you should not. The JS analysis estimates parameters for both age and year. The trees are not identical in age so there is no reason to not to expect the year effect to be accounted for particularly if the age effect does not factor into the uptick. Are you suggesting that there is collinearity in the two JS parameters of age effect and year effect? This can only be a factor if there is a linear relationship between age and year and it would confirm the fact that a significant amount of the uptick is attributable to the age effect. Given the huge amplitude of the noise compared to the linear trend for POR-YAH-JAH , I have doubts that collinearity would even be significant.

    “…after creating a consistent chronology you can then judge any bias you might have inadvertently created by comparison to the temperature record.”

    The context of Yamal within the other high latitude chronologies is that the CWP uptick is exceptional and divergence is dominant. Who is to say that the uptick of Yamal must be due to environmental signal? Perhaps it is predominantly due to age related growth of POR-YAH-JAH. In this case RCS would mis-attribute this effect to environmental signal with certainty.

    As for correlation with the insturmental record, an equal case could be made for the Polar Urals with it’s pronounced MWP and dampened CWP. Polar Urals also have much better sample replication in the POR-YAH-JAH growth period. The context of high latitude proxy divergence along with the case of the Polar Urals undermines the confidence we can place in any correlation with temperature to confirm Yamal as a CWP proxy.

  142. OneUni, you were caught deceiving by TomP, and then moved the goal posts to introduce Spencer. Classic trolling. You espouse the very traits that you are so indignant about.

    I read the John and Soden paper. You claim that the model simulation have a warm bias “It’s a waming bias, as it happens”. Wrong. From their conclusions:

    “Models in general have a cold bias in the troposphere. The vertically integrated global mean T bias with respect to AIRS ranges from −0.04 to −2.10 K and is consistent with reanalysis data sets.”

    Also, regarding the impact on the models’ climate sensitivity, I quote from their section 3.3:

    “Thus, the robustness of temperature and water vapor responses in the models suggests that their climate sensitivity is not affected by mean state biases in temperature and humidity fields.”

    As for the performance of the models to date:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/models-2/

    Oneuni ” The consistency of the WV and temperature responses that they mention is a consistency of the models with each other, not with observations!”

    Wrong again. they compared the model data with observations from AIRS (2002-2006) and reanalyses data (1990-1999), the latter which are strongly constrained by observations (land and space based). Read their section 3.

    Now I’m done “feeding” you. Keep feeding your delusion and that of others in denial. And please, stop misrepresenting the science. You disgust me.

  143. Susann, could you maybe consider sending the nonsensical HS “debate” to another thread? Thanks.

  144. oneuniverse :Marco: “And here’s the paper that uses their previous results to calculate climate sensitivity:http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf
    The argument and calculations are along the same lines as the 2008 paper. There is still the assumption that the 0.2C warming is caused by the 0.18W/m2 radiative forcing, and the feedbacks resulting from it.
    blockquote>

    Oneuniverse, you’re trying to move goalposts. You claimed the paper linked the warming trend (“cyclical warming sign”) to natural forcings. It didn’t.

  145. Tom P,

    What is your objection, exactly, could you clarify? That I cited without immediately quoting? I cited the paper, and then quoted from it in the subsequent post, in response to your Tung quotation from the New Scientist.

    If your objection is that I said “we were discussing and quoting from Tung’s paper”, when in fact you only quoted Tung from the New Scientist, without attribution, then consider this a correction, to soothe your troubled soul : “We were discussing Tung’s paper” instead of “We were discussing and quoting from Tung’s paper”.

    MapleLeaf, you’re still wrong. The consistency mentioned is between models, not with obsertvations. I’ve already had a discussion with Gavin Schmidt on this at RealClimate, and he conceded the point you’re disputing :

    All 3 papers find, as John and Soden (2007) put it, “systematic and consistent patterns of bias in tropospheric temperature and humidity compared to observations”, which seems an important result, as do the findings that “the models we investigated tend to have too much moisture in the upper tropospheric regions of the tropics and extra-tropics relative to the AIRS observations, by 25–100% depending on the location, and 25–50% in the zonal average” (Pierce et al. 2006) and that “[d]ifferences in the Tropics and subtropics result in zonal mean differences in heating rates of 10% in the upper troposphere and zonal mean OLR differences of 1–3 W/m2, with a global average near 1 W/m2.” (Gettelman et al. 2006).

    The fact that the models show a consistent water vapor feedback across models unimpacted by the varying biases of the models does not in some way cancel out these modelling issues mentioned above.

    Response: no it doesn’t, and modellers will be working to address that. [..] – gavin]”

    Gavin went on to try and argue that the effective emitting temperature of the Earth is constant, and that an increase in the the effective emitting height doesn’t imply less radiative energy loss – both simply wrong – the first is particularly absurd.

    “Reducing greenhouse gases reduces the effective emitting height of the atmosphere and cools the climate, and in our model increasing the planetary emissivity (e) is a parameterization for this.” (Loving and Vallis 2004).

  146. Marco, nope, I didn’t. Please provide specific quotes with your accusations of misrepresentation. The discussion was about the solar variability’s effect on climate – it wasn’t about trends, which were never discussed.

    eg.
    Me: “What is observed is a global mean warming of ~0.2C over solar cycles.”
    Tung and Camp : “Our observed global mean warming of ~0.2 K would seem to imply [..]” (spoken in the context of their paper – do you want to accuse the authors too?)

  147. So One uni has been trolling at RC. Classic D-K thinking they can take on Dr. Gavin Schmidt.

    The goal posts keep shifting. They should also note that I quoted the paper directly– if I was “wrong” then John and Soden were “wrong”. Go argue with them.

    Bye, bye starling.

  148. Marco and TomP, we are up against a clear case of D-K with oneuni. Don’t waste any more of your valuable time.

    SheWonk has some more disturbing revelations about CA and their acolytes on another thread. The denialist (CA etc.) sewer line has a huge leak, and it seems impossible to stop. Well, maybe not….

  149. Layman Lurker, #171

    “The trees are not identical in age so there is no reason to not to expect the year effect to be accounted for particularly if the age effect does not factor into the uptick.”

    Absolutely irrelevant. Of course they are not identical in age, but the three series JS selected are all recent trees. You were right first time when you said this confounded any attempt to extract a time-independent growth curve.

    “As for correlation with the insturmental record, an equal case could be made for the Polar Urals with it’s pronounced MWP and dampened CWP. Polar Urals also have much better sample replication in the POR-YAH-JAH growth period.”

    I agree. But I should also add that Yamal has better replication in the medieval. There is a very reasonable argument, given the correlation in the temperatures between the two regions, to combine the two series. Here is the resulting chronology:

    http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/2743/yamalandpolarurals.png

    For some reason McIntyre is reluctant to show this plot.

  150. oneuniverse :Marco, nope, I didn’t. Please provide specific quotes with your accusations of misrepresentation. The discussion was about the solar variability’s effect on climate – it wasn’t about trends, which were never discussed.
    eg.Me: “What is observed is a global mean warming of ~0.2C over solar cycles.”Tung and Camp : “Our observed global mean warming of ~0.2 K would seem to imply [..]” (spoken in the context of their paper – do you want to accuse the authors too?)

    You said “the observed cyclical warming sign”. Cyclical warming suggests a warming trend with a cyclical aspect in it.

  151. oneuniverse,

    You might want to compare Gettleman et al. 2006 to Gettleman and Fu 2008 to note the difference a few more years of data can make.

    ABSTRACT:

    Satellite measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) in the upper troposphere over 4.5 yr are used to assess the covariation of upper-tropospheric humidity and temperature with surface temperatures, which can be used to constrain the upper-tropospheric moistening due to the water vapor feedback. Results are compared to simulations from a general circulation model, the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), to see if the model can reproduce the variations. Results indicate that the upper troposphere maintains nearly constant relative humidity for observed perturbations to ocean surface temperatures over the observed period, with increases in temperature ~1.5 times the changes at the surface, and corresponding increases in water vapor (specific humidity) of 10%–25%/°C. Increases in water vapor are largest at pressures below 400 hPa, but they have a double peak structure. Simulations reproduce these changes quantitatively and qualitatively. Agreement is best when the model is sorted for satellite sampling thresholds. This indicates that the model reproduces the moistening associated with the observed upper-tropospheric water vapor feedback. The results are not qualitatively sensitive to model resolution or model
    physics.

  152. J Bowers,

    Analogies are great tools to pump intuitions. Historical analogies are great to pump the intuition that one is right, for what one uses as intuitions are events that are already resolved. Enron was a fraud; the Team is like Enron; the Team members are a bunch of fraudsters.

    The problem comes when one takes the analogy seriously and start to look at the relationships. For instance, one of the particularity of the Enron scandal, outlined in my quote above, is that while Enron went bankrupt, Andersen, the auditing company, went dissolved. Now, who is the auditing company, in our story?

    So if I was an auditor, I am not sure I would put forward that scandal as an analogy for good auditing. But if I was an historian, I could use that analogy to explain the mess created by the CRU affair. For the most important lesson from the Enron scandal might very well be about shared responsibilities.

  153. Willard, there were many lessons to be learned from Enron. Trying to boil it down to one thing is causal reductionism. You also completely bypass what Warren Buffett said, focusing instead on a different part of the original link.

    “The workings of these companies were so complex that it is entirely possible that the board of Enron and the auditors did not fully understand what was happening. It was enough for them to be told it was OK, legal and above board. Maybe here is one lesson we can learn – if you don’t understand it, don’t do it!…

  154. luminous beauty, thanks.

    Gettelman and Fu 2008 only examines 4.5 years of data. The following paper examines 35 years of data – long enough to observe climatic behaviour :

    Paltridge, Arking & Pook, 2009, “Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data”
    “35-year trend in zonal-average annual-average specific humidity q is significantly negative at all altitudes above 850 hPa (roughly the top of the convective boundary layer) in the tropics and southern midlatitudes and at altitudes above 600 hPa in the northern midlatitudes. [..] The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations … ”

    A couple more :

    Douglass et al. 2007, “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions”
    “Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean.”

    Minschwaner and Dessler 2004, “Water Vapor Feedback in the Tropical Upper Troposphere: Model Results and Observations”
    “The analysis suggests that models that maintain a fixed relative humidity above 250 mb are likely overestimating the contribution made by these levels to the water vapor feedback.”

  155. Marco: “You said “the observed cyclical warming sign”. Cyclical warming suggests a warming trend with a cyclical aspect in it.”

    I agree “cyclical warming and cooling” would be better.

    Tung and Camp themselves, though, title their paper “Solar cycle warming at the Earth’s surface [...]“. They mean warming (and cooling) over the cycle – no warming trend is discussed or implied.

  156. J,

    No need to get feisty. I simply noted that both Enron and its auditor lost, in the end. Now, is The One Puzzling Auditor Andersen, or has he now taken the role of journalists like McLean and Krugman? We’ll have to wait to know for sure.

    Most analogies are not about causality, but about morals. Of course there are many lessons to be learned from Enron, but that does not prevent from having a main, moral one. And the main one will always be a matter of personal opinion. My opinion is that nobody will like the end of this story.

    This interpretation is not incompatible with Buffet’s anyway, from what I can understand. Actually, it coincides exactly with what I was saying all along about analogies.

  157. MapleLeaf, I pointed out that Gavin agreed with me, and therefore disagreed with you – if you want to argue it further, take it up with him, or someone else please.

  158. Wow, the D-K trolls just don’t know when to quit….

    Oh well, desperate actions by equally desperate people.

  159. onezombiefungus,

    What Andrew Dessler has to say about Paltridge et al. 2009:

    There is a recent paper by Paltridge et al. [2009] that shows that water vapor in the tropical upper troposphere in the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis decreased over the past few decades. I have repeated this calculation with more modern and sophisticated reanalysis data sets (ECMWF interim reanalysis and MERRA reanalysis) and this result does not hold in those data sets. Given all of the other evidence that the water vapor feedback is positive, all of the ways that long-term trends in reanalyses can be wrong, and lack of verification in more reliable reanalysis data sets, I conclude that the Paltridge et al. result is almost certainly wrong.

    Paltridge et al. themselves strongly caution against taking their results at anything more than at face value, given the known problems with radiosonde trend analysis.

    Needless to say, given the improvements to both models and data collection, Dessler and Minschwaner’s views have changed somewhat since 2004.

    As for Douglas et al., I can only assume you cite that dead letter for comic relief.

  160. #179

    “Absolutely irrelevant. Of course they are not identical in age, but the three series JS selected are all recent trees.”

    Tom I’m afraid you are going to have to explain this to me in more detail. To assume RCS correctly standardizes the POR-YAH-JAH growth period is to say that tree age has no net contribtion to growth – trendless white noise – when compared with the rest of Yamal. IOW all of the trend is due to environmental signal. How does a regression which estimates both of these parameters (relative to rest of Yamal) where one factor is known to account for 100% of the trend and the other 0, yield an estimation of positive trend due to age related contribution to growth at a 95% significance level?

    There is a big difference between saying there is risk of mixing environmental signal with common growth and saying that it is highly likely that there will be spurious attribution of a statistically significant trend to age related growth.

  161. Speaking of analogies:

    Unbeknownst to Priestley, a few weeks before the Alien and Sedition Acts passed, a packet of letters headed for Priestley was captured on board a Danish frigate and leaked to the British press.

    See Michael Tobis‘s story, with a nice painting.

  162. MapleLeaf: “They should also note that I quoted the paper directly– if I was “wrong” then John and Soden were “wrong”. ”

    I’d thought you were pointing in your quote to the “remarkably consistent” part rather than the “cold bias” – addressing that point, the climate models examined by John and Soden had a tropospheric cold bias, and a positive tropospheric moisture bias.

    I had said, “[t]he models systematically overestimate upper tropospheric WV, underestimate OLR, and therefore overestimate the predicted strength of the greenhouse effect”, and I’d described the models examined by John and Soden as having “a waming bias” (sic), not, you will note, “a warm bias” .

    Over-estimation of upper tropospheric WV will, following GHE theory, overestimate the strength of the greenhouse effect being simulated (assuming it is being simulated correctly). The fact that some of the models have a tropospheric cold bias as well inspires even less confidence in their skill. The models examined by Gettelman et al. did better at estimating humidity, while still overestimating it. Plus they had “[d]ifferences in the Tropics and subtropics result in zonal mean differences in heating rates of 10% in the upper troposphere and zonal mean OLR differences of 1–3 W/m2, with a global average near 1 W/m2.”.

    On reflection, I should’ve worded the heading to those 5 references more carefully : “The models examined systematically overestimate upper tropospheric WV, where examined they underestimate OLR, and it can be concluded that they overestimate the predicted strength of the greenhouse effect with respect to water vapor feedback, given the assumption that the models faithfully reproduce the GHE of current theory”.

  163. luminous beauty,

    You can check relative and specific humitidy data for yourself at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl .

    Your rudeness is unbecoming, btw.

  164. oneblahblahblah,

    The NOAA NCEP reanalysis dataset doesn’t go above 300mb for WV.

    Because it isn’t reliable.

    Your Zombie Brain Fungus citations of superceded literature is unbecoming, btw.

    Really, do try to keep up.

  165. No, you mischaracterise: The data that for above 300mb is considered unreliable and not included. The NOAA NCEP contains the reliable data.

  166. So you can still usefully see what’s happening up to 300mb. Relative humidity isn’t constant, for example.

    Radiosondes are, I think, the only instrumental records we have of atmospheric water vapor which extend over 30 years. The technology has been developed and studied for decades and is well understood. Surely it’s a valuable data-set.

  167. Good grief, s/he “oneuni’ is still at it….we have a new category, obsessive D-K. I was, originally coming here to extend an olive branch to oneuni b/c I thought I had been rather harsh with him/her, but after reading his/her discourse with Luminous Beauty, I quickly came to my senses. Oneuni makes Jonathan Leake look like a saint when it comes to distorting and misrepresenting science.

    WTF does this “debate” have to do with Steven McIntyre using innuendo and smear tactics to attack scientists? I’ll answer for oneuni…nothing.

  168. Layman Lurker, #190

    “To assume RCS correctly standardizes the POR-YAH-JAH growth period is to say that tree age has no net contribtion to growth.”

    Not at all. The RCS curve, whether exponential as used by McIntyre, or as a loess of variable stiffness as used by Briffa, is fitted to the entire series as a function of age (they give practically the same result). This most certainly does not rest on any assumption that tree age has no net contribution to growth, and it it bizarre to claim it does.

    To summarise, a standard approach to develop the chronology has been applied to the Yamal series. It gives a result with a reasonable correlation with temperature, not just as a recent uptick, but matching the ups and downs of the record. I have demonstrated that the chronology is consistent as the youngest trees are successively removed, an independent test as it is one that apparently Briffa himself did not attempt. It would therefore be preposterous to claim that there was any cherry-picking to pass this test.

    RomanM and JS have split the series in a way that separates very much on the year of growth, probably inadvertantly. This invalidates their conclusion that POR-YAH-JAH have a change in the growth curve not associated with environmental factors that have changed over time. Their conclusion is also inconsistent with other known growth curves – trees do not generally put on a growth spurt after three hundred years, not unless there is a change in the environmental conditions.

  169. oneuniverse :Marco: “You said “the observed cyclical warming sign”. Cyclical warming suggests a warming trend with a cyclical aspect in it.”
    I agree “cyclical warming and cooling” would be better.
    Tung and Camp themselves, though, title their paper “Solar cycle warming at the Earth’s surface [...]“. They mean warming (and cooling) over the cycle – no warming trend is discussed or implied.

    OK, then I take my comments back.

  170. oneuniverse :luminous beauty,
    You can check relative and specific humitidy data for yourself at  http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl .
    Your rudeness is unbecoming, btw.

    I just checked absolute humidity, and made a quick linear regression. Guess what: statistically significant upward. Note that relative humidity is not a useful parameter (and I’ve seen at least one paper claiming models predict the relative humidity to *fall* with global warming, even with positive WV feedback, can’t find it though).

  171. Radiosondes are, I think, the only instrumental records we have of atmospheric water vapor which extend over 30 years. The technology has been developed and studied for decades and is well understood. Surely it’s a valuable data-set.

    The problem is that the RH sensors on sondes have lousy accuracy when it’s cold and dry (That would be any where above 500 mb). Also w/sondes there are significant issues about spatial/temporal coverage (they are expensive). What they are good for is input into a data assmilation system for a reanalysis like MERRA or CFS Reanalysis.

  172. “Not at all. The RCS curve, whether exponential as used by McIntyre, or as a loess of variable stiffness as used by Briffa, is fitted to the entire series as a function of age (they give practically the same result). This most certainly does not rest on any assumption that tree age has no net contribution to growth, and it it bizarre to claim it does.”

    Tom, you actually misquoted me in #190. By putting a period after the word “growth” and cutting off the rest of the sentence you convey the wrong meaning. The JS regression was done on the *differences* between POR-YAH-JAH samples and all other Yamal samples. If POR-YAH-JAH is a subset of a homogeneous population wrt age related growth, then there would be no difference in age related growth between POR-YAH-JAH and rest of Yamal samples – trendless white noise.

  173. Layman Lurker,

    i know that it is the residues that are the important issue – that is basis for RCS in the first place. Extending the quote does not affect either your meaning or my response.

    My simple point remains that the last decades of growth of the POR-YAH-JAH subset all occurred in the late twentieth century. It is therefore impossible to state, or expect, that the residues between this subset and the rest of the series to be randomly distributed if growth is being influenced by an upturn of temperatures.

  174. #203 Tom P

    I am not disputing your point. I have never argued that. I am in effect stating that if you remove the net environmental contribution to trend from these residuals, you should be left with no net trend due only to the factor “age related growth” in the differences if this factor is deemed to be homogeneous in the population.

  175. Layman Lurker, #204,

    You are stating the basis of RCS.

    But RomanM and JS created biased subsets which did not remove the environmental contribution and hence they can say nothing about the homogeneity of the population.

  176. #205 Tom P

    JS did the regression for differences on both factors, 1) effect of calender year *and* 2) biological age.

  177. #205 Tom P

    I must argue Roman’s case as well as you are wrong in claiming that he does not remove the environmental contribution.

    WRT Roman’s analysis, first he lays out the multiplicative model:

    Ring Width(Tree, Year) = Climate(Year) * Growth(Age) *Error(Tree, Year)

    Next he calculates the RC curve and adjusts trw data by the calculated biological age factor as dictated by RCS. He accomplishes this by dividing trw by this factor:

    Adjusted(Tree, Year) = Ring Width(Tree, Year) / Growth(Age)

    By then averaging the adjusted values of all trees for each year it isolates a “chronology” of “climate effect”.

    And finally, by then dividing the adjusted trw values by the “climate effect” there is a time series of residuals which removes the climate effect, and in theory these residuals should be reduced to trendless random error.

    At this point both effects (biological ages *and* climate) should be removed. There should be no detectable relationship in the residuals with either of these factors.

    In plotting the residuals, Roman grouped them according to the four “life groups”. the top four are the raw residuals. The 200+ group contains the POR-YAH-JAH trees which demonstrates a clear pronounced trend connected with biological age begining at about 325 years:

    http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/yamresiduals1.jpeg

  178. Layman Lurker,

    I don’t know how many times I’d have to repeat the same point until you get it, but this will be my last. Both JS and RomanM subdivided the Yamal series by either label (POR-YAH-JAH) or life groups that produce a large selection bias on the time of growth. Their choices irretrievably mix in the environmental signal, making any subsequent analysis of homogeneity worthless. I actually think RomanM realises this, which might explain why he did not pursue the argument here.

  179. The JS analysis sorted prior to the anlysis but Roman’s did not sort the subset until *after* the residuals had been calculated – if that is what you are talking about.

    Tom going back several posts I have seen nothing but brief, unsupported, statments. Your point is not self-explanatory. You must offer more support, demonstrate, or argue the case to show it is valid.

  180. Regarding Douglass 2007 “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions”, this one was refuted rather soundly. I’m surprised it’s still being referenced.

    https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2008/NR-08-10-05-article.pdf

    http://www.realclimate.org/docs/santer_etal_IJoC_08_fact_sheet.pdf

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/10/tropical-tropopshere-iii/

    That said, Douglass et al. (assertion of a lack of the tropical “hotspot”) doesn’t have all that much to do with anthropogenic warming, since it should exist with warming from solar variation as well. Chris Colose points out that such a model-observation discrepancy (lack of a tropical hotspot) would likely imply a somewhat higher climate sensitivity.

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/skepticsdenialists-part-2-hotspots-and-repetition/

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