A new reconstruction of past climate

While Steve is away, and in honor of the NAS Panel which is so convivially considering the question of the reconstruction of past climate, Dave Stockwell decided to do his own reconstruction using exactly the same methodology as the Hockey Team.

As you can see, his results are clearly consistent with the results of the Hockey Team, showing an anomalous 20th Century warming in true Hockey Stick style (MBH98/99, Osborn and Briffa[2006])

Stockwell's reconstruction

Of course, in producing his new reconstruction, Dave used a different and compelling set of data which are clearly every bit as accurate as tree rings as proxies, with the added bonus that these datasets cannot be hidden behind password protected sites nor refused to be given out for spurious reasons.

To find out what this wonderful data source is, you’ll have to read the article.

76 Comments

  1. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As cynical as it make me seem, I no longer find this shocking.

  2. jae
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am very rusty on statistics, since I haven’t used them much in years. But, as I recall, you need to know what kind of frequency distribution you have before you select your statistical procedures. And statistics is based on the use of random observations. And you need to consider the effects of autocorrelation, linearity, LTP, etc. It looks to me like the typical proxy reconstructions fail on ALL thse points. Am I missing something?

  3. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 2:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is the basic situation as I see it (I’m sure others will correct me if I am wrong):

    1.) There are many physical phenomena that people claim have a historical correlation with temperature (i.e. they can be used as a temperature proxy).
    2.) When one actually looks at most of the proxies they do sometimes correlate, but sometimes they don’t, sometimes you have negative correlation, sometimes you have non-linearities, sometimes the correlation is extremely low (most times) or the temperature signal is overcome by other signals (precipitation, fertilization, volcanoes, some form of temporal environmental stress, etc.)
    3.) Therefore people logically conclude that they need to ‘select’ good proxies from the bad. Seems reasonable on the surface. This is done through principal component analysis and ‘rewarding’ components that match the short time period of sensor temperature data and ‘punishing’ those that don’t (through weightings).
    4.) However, it turns out that this is not such a good way to select the good proxies from the bad after all. This mechanism of selecting good proxies from bad proxies almost always create a hockey stick shape from red noise type data. In effect, the current multi-proxy reconstruction techniques are an elaborate form of circular logic (and not even that elaborate really).

    In retrospect this is a pretty obvious result and ‘should’ have been obvious to everyone in the beginning, but it took Steve and John to point it out to the rest of the world whom were too focused on efforts to support AGW to objectively evaluate what they were doing.

    Even today, when the circular logic nature of this approach should be obvious to even the dimmest of first-year college students it is still staunchly defended. Amazing.

  4. Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t forget to add a complex smoothing algorithm for the proxies and a different smoothing algorith for the surface measurements. Try a “40-year Hamming-weights lowpass filter” for the proxies. For the surface measurements, try using a “21-point binomial filter” (giving near-decadal averages).

    See: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig2-21.htm

  5. John A
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 3:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #3

    Much as I’d like to take any credit, this is Steve McIntyre’s doing. Dave Stockwell followed up with a reconstruction using identical techniques to those used in these multiproxy studies using just red noise and produced something which cannot be distinguished from those “smoking guns” of global warming.

    It’s startling to me that if I didn’t know that this was done using random numbers, I’d swear I can see all of the major global climatic events: the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold period, the Roman Warm Period. It’s like a Rorschach ink blot, we think information is there when its not.

    The whole multiproxy paradigm is a statistical mirage, and the claims made upon them, including the forthcoming IPCC 4th Assessment Review, are without foundation.

    So what are we spending our money on? Why are we here? Why does this weblog even exist?

    Because of the belief engine of people who we think should know better, a belief in something that ain’t real that shows that just below the surface of scientific rationality, lies the Monsters of the Id, our need to believe in the irrational and the absurd. It’s a religious belief in the veracity and utility of these multiproxy studies that has blinded us to our own venality and fallibility.

  6. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 4:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So what are we spending our money on? Why are we here? Why does this weblog even exist?

    Because of the belief engine of people who we think should know better, a belief in something that ain’t real that shows that just below the surface of scientific rationality, lies the Monsters of the Id, our need to believe in the irrational and the absurd. It’s a religious belief in the veracity and utility of these multiproxy studies that has blinded us to our own venality and fallibility.”

    You know what? I think that’s honest. I think you really do think that.

    If only you know how insulting to people like me it is, to suggest we don’t think. To suggest we are just religious nuts? To suggest we’re irrational? Blinded? Absurd? How sadly wrong you are – and how I KNOW you’ll never ever accept that assurance from me :(. I’ve tried everything. Data, evidence, even, when I let people get to me, insults. Nothing, NOTHING gains any respect for people like me here.

    Is it no wonder there is no debate here but just the slinging of words and insults at each other :(

    Still, keep trying I say :)

  7. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 5:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #6 Not that this excersize will do any good, but here it goes …

    Peter,

    From the evidence and logic presented to you on this forum and in light of David’s recent ‘reconstruction’ to make it blatantly obvious, do you admit that the current multiproxy reconstructions are flawed beyond all usefullness? Personally that is all that I would ever ask. If you can not admit that, then yes you do fall into the realm of religious fanaticism.

    On the other hand if you still believe in AGW for other reasons (hopefully scientific ones) then I will not hold that against you. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, just don’t call it science. I might even believe in AGW, I’m not sure, the data is too poor for me to conclude one way or the other. I think that most ‘sceptics’ take that approach. It’s not that AGW does not or cannot exist it is that we have become increasingly suspicious of openly biased papers with demonstrably flawed methodology, mysterious ‘secret’ data (that Steve tries very hard, but cannot get his hands on) and far too much weight put on the results of dubious computer models that struggle to predict tomorrow’s weather yet alone temperature changes 100 years from now.

    I admit I have not followed your arguments very closely, however you claim to present data/evidence etc. I am sorry if I happen to miss those posts where that occurred because I have not seen this. Otherwise, by all means continue to present alternate data/evidence. I will personally keep an eye out for it ;-)

  8. Greg F
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 6:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If only you know how insulting to people like me it is, to suggest we don’t think.

    Cry me a friggin river!

    To suggest we are just religious nuts? To suggest we’re irrational? Blinded? Absurd?

    The truth hurts.

    I’ve tried everything. Data, evidence, even, when I let people get to me, insults. Nothing, NOTHING gains any respect for people like me here.

    Like the “data, evidence” you posted here? The truth is Peter you never address the data or evidence. Where is comment on Dave Stockwell’s reconstruction (good job Dave)? Your stock answer when cornered is to trust the “experts”. You want respect? Start showing a little intellectual honesty.

  9. kim
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 6:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tautological it is. Also, as others have pointed out, we’ve been trying to appease Gods for the perceived misdeeds of man for far longer than we’ve archived data.
    ==============================================================================

  10. Dano
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 6:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If’n I may:

    From the evidence and logic presented to you on this forum and in light of David’s recent “reconstruction’ to make it blatantly obvious, do you admit that the current multiproxy reconstructions are flawed beyond all usefullness

    When a few researchers publish such results in the journals, and the peer review process and subsequent studies confirm such, I suspect Peter will admit as much [not that I'm speaking for Peter]. It would help if someone would develop a hypothesis and collect some data.

    Until then, we have a blog stating some thing, which isn’t enough to admit what you say. It’s a real nice wish and I wish you luck in its fulfillment.

    Best,

    D

  11. jae
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hey, Dano: The “hockey stick” is broken.

  12. kim
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No, merely uncrooked.
    =====================

  13. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #10
    > When a few researchers publish such results in the journals, and the peer review process and subsequent studies confirm such …

    Umm this has happened. Or havn’t you been paying attention.

  14. Dano
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    12:

    No, merely uncrooked.

    Huh.

    Is this a breakthrough or something new?

    Best,

    D

  15. Dano
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    12:

    No, merely uncrooked.

    test

    D

  16. Dano
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    not sure what happened there, got some err msg.

    D

  17. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #14 I think you meant to post to this — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

    The wikipedia version of the spaghetti graph has been discussed on this site before (data is basically rehashed by same connected group of people over same group of proxies). Search this site for spaghetti graph to see the full discussion.

  18. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #17 http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=499 wikipedia spaghetti graph

  19. Greg F
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #14

    Is this a breakthrough or something new?

    It’s looking more and more like pathological science.

  20. Ian
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #19 Excellent link! This reminds us of how science can go wrong (even with papers published, peer reviews, etc). I had not stumbled on that page before but it was very entertaining. Thanks.

  21. Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #17. I think it is this rather than religion. There is a remedy to these problems, its called the scientific method of falsifying hypotheses. Popper talk a lot about the problem of ‘conventionalists’, the generation of auxillary hypotheses to explain away problems, unfalsifiable theories and so on that we see here. It seems like the reconstructions have never been tested: i.e. compared with actual past temperatures. Hence you see what you want to see. Who wants to chase a mirage?

  22. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #8, Greg, so you want me to distrust or trust Steve? To call him absurd? Irational? Blinded? If this place, if you, are about science you can’t use, and defend the use, of words like absurd, blinded and irrational against those who, I’m so sorry, have the absolute temerity to disagree with you (you lot who so willingly accept the truth of what SM says) and have the evidence (the IPCC, Met Office, NOAA, countless papers, million of observation, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dragons_flight/Images and the rest) to back that up.

    Science may be about a lot of things but isn’t about insult.

  23. mark
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So why don’t you try using a little science, Peter, and stop ignoring what good science has been discussed. You, or folks like you, get accused of treating this as a religion because you turn a blind eye to the very thing you profess to support. No matter how much evidence is posted by others (your apparent “millions” of observations), if the methods they use to collect and analyze data are flawed, their conclusions are, in all probability, equally flawed.

    Mark

  24. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #23, so speaks a true believer (yes, I can play the ‘you’re religious’ card too). Why don’t YOU trying using some science? Why don’t you get yourself off down to the library to read stuff from the organisation I mentioned so you don’t just read the sceptic stuff but it all? Why do YOU turn a blind eye to so much? Religious faith that’s why!

    Don’t you see? Don’t you see just calling people religious, (or worse) or saying the don’t read the evidence can be thrown back with ease?

    Remember, no one has claimed the recons are prefect – ever! Remember, I don’t see massive warming, I think the warming to come is being constraned closer toward 2-4C, not 6C, not 11C. No, you probably don’t see that, you probably just thinks (‘cos it’s easier that way) I’m, an extremist.

  25. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #10, Dead right Dano.

  26. BradH
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 6:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #24

    Remember, no one has claimed the recons are prefect – ever! Remember, I don’t see massive warming, I think the warming to come is being constraned closer toward 2-4C

    Excellent, Peter. Send me an email, because I’ve got the greatest money-making opportunity you’ve ever come across. You see, I’ve been back-testing this little software program I’ve been developing since, oh, about 1998 and it accurately recreates the world stockmarket back to 1200 AD [well, there are a couple of problems with the middle ages, but that's only in Europe - it predicts Seberia's market perfectly in the 1500's.]

    Anyway, for the last 100 years or so, it’s bang on. I’ve regression tested it, RE2′d it until I’m blue in the face, and I’ve even inversely tested it against the predictions of that broker who said the NASDAQ would be 10,000 by 2004!

    Now, don’t tell anyone, but my l’il proggie predicts you can increase your money by 100,000% in the next 100 years! Now, I’m a touch conservative [and the SEC have an order against me], so I’ll just say that my little proggie is “broadly right” and that, even if I’m not “completely right”, then you’ll at the very least get a return of between 20,000% and 40,000% over the next 100 years.*

    Of course, you don’t just have to take my word for it. Look at all of the other people out there who have developed computer programs which can predict the future direction of the markets. We can’t all be wrong, can we? And, guess what? 90% of us are predicting that the future direction will be up! Yes, you’ve got it right – up, Up UP!

    Even if we’re not all right about the actual amounts, with so many people and so many programs predicting it, we’ve got to be “broadly right”, don’t we? Of course we do! After all, the software says it’s a DYED IN THE WOOL FACT, JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN! So, what are YOU waiting for? Don’t believe all those no-nothing skeptics out there – they always say these sorts of “I can predict the future” software things are just rubbish designed to trap the simple and uncritical. Don’t believe them. Remember, I’ve got software and historical data which proves they’re just a crank group from the fringe. Think “consensus”, Peter! I’ll make you a fortune [or close to it, at least!]

    *Past results based on selected stocks which meet program criteria, which does not include a representative cross-section of stocks from either a particular market, nor all markets in operation at a given time. Where data for a stock which fits program predictions particularly well has been interrupted due to factors such as bankruptcy or values assumed to be “spurious”, prices have either been smoothed or truncated. All data, methodologies and code are copyrighted and are not available to be examined by either the potential or actual purchaser thereof. Price is $1,000,000,000 per purchaser, however prices may be higher, depending upon level of industrialization in country of residence.

  27. John Lish
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 7:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Fantastic analogy Brad! That’s the point Peter, what produces the Hockey Stick isn’t science, its a slight of hand using questionable statistical methodologies. Anyone educated to an O’Level in Maths can grasp the principles of the argument. I found it helpful to consult some statistical glossaries in order to follow the debate though (which I recommend).

    What really irrates me is that poor academic work such as this undermines genuine hard-working scientists who are slowly contributing to our understanding of the climate. I want a rigorous and transparent debate, not the “Chicken Little” approach of claiming the sky has fallen in. Human being are (and have always been) active agents affecting the environment, but as yet I haven’t seen evidence of disproportionate AGW. Hypothesis is one thing, proof is another.

  28. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 7:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Actually, Brad (and the parallel isn’t very good*), the question is this. Are you sensible to say ‘no, I wont invest until it’s PROVED to me I can make money’?

    Who ever invested in anything only when it was proved they would make money? Sheeshh, and you’re from the ‘can do’ country…

    *The parallel, imo, is wrong becuase it’s more of an question of insurance than money making. But again, whoever waited until it was proved their house was at risk before taking out sensible insurance?

  29. fragment
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 7:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I asked this in the ENM comments, but I might as well ask it here too. Is there any reason to think that tree ring data is similar to the series generated using the LTP stochastic process?

  30. kim
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 8:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What’s the sense in insuring a house for a risk that has not been determined? C’mon actuaries.
    =====================================

  31. Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #29 See the post “Scale invariance for dummies” at http://landscape.sdsc.edu/~davids/enm/?p=32. Here I have shown just that. You are right, If I put this together as a full paper, it would need those two parts.

  32. Paul
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #24:

    Peter, you say “no one has ever claimed the recons were perfect.” How come at the recent NAS, everone argued that the recons weren’t even accurate to .5C, except Mann, who argued that they’re accurate to .2.

    I’m sure we’re just playing with semantics now… rather than the substance of the arguments.

  33. mark
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    i do read all the science peter, and it is quite clear that the math used to show significant warming is flawed, and the methods used to hide this fact are unethical (at best). yet still you stick to them… when you use science and math to prove your point, it is not religion. when you ignore science that disproves your point, as you so often do, it is religion. we in here use math, you ignore it. which of us is preaching and which of us is practicing science, sir?

    mark

  34. Greg F
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, your question is a False dichotomy. It is not about “Distrust or trust”, it is about the merits of Steve’s argument. The fact is Peter you never address the merits. Instead of addressing the merits you whine about being called what you’re behavior indicates, a true believer. You consistently avoid addressing facts that get in the way of your worldview. You insult Steve by ignoring the merits of his argument. You continuously insult everybody’s intelligence with your appeals to authority and failing to address the merits of their arguments. I find the back handed rhetorical tricks you use, like the false dichotomy above, insulting. The fact is, Steve’s work goes to the foundation of the proxy reconstructions. Steve has shown that that the foundation of the reconstructions is built on sand. That dot com stocks and random numbers yield essentially the same results. You simple ignore this. If that is not blind behavior I don’t know what is. If that is not irrational behavior I don’t know what is. If that is not absurd I don’t know what is.

  35. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 1:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #34, phew…

    So it is clear no one but Steve can be right? ‘The HS is busted’ you lot faithfully preach. ‘The maths are simply wrong’ you lot chant. Anyone who disagrees? Well, we’re in for it – as post #34 post so clearly shows. The yearning, the need, the desire, the deseration almost for Steve to be right is so palpable I can feel it from England.

    And if the HS is wrong?

    It makes not a jot of difference – except to you true believers. Will thermometers suddenly read differently if the HS is wrong? Will the satellite readings suddenly be different? Will the atmospheric concentration of CO2 suddenly fall? The glaciers start advancing en masse? No.

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    David, I’ll need to compare notes with you on this. I think that I did something similar which I mentioned here but it was one of my first posts and there wasn’t as much of an audience and I wasn’t as handy about clipping pictures into blog posts.

    Jacoby and d’Arrigo [1989] states on page 44 that they sampled 36 northern boreal forest sites within the preceding decade, of which the ten “judged to provide the best record of temperature-influenced tree growth” were selected. No criteria for this judgement are described, and one presumes that they probably picked the 10 most hockey-stick shaped series.

    I have done simulations, which indicate that merely selecting the 10 most hockey stick shaped series from 36 red noise series and then averaging them will result in a hockey stick shaped composite, which is more so than the individual series. The process is not dissimilar to what happens in the MBH98 PC1. In the MBH98 PC1, the 14 most hockey stick shaped series account for over 93% of the variance. There is very little difference in appearance between a simple average of these 14 series and the EOF-weighted composite (PC1).

  37. Mike Rankin
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, you mentioned the D’Arrigo, et al recent study of tree rings. You commented that the heavy lifting was mastering the data. Do you have R scripts available that will extract the data from the WDCP files and can make them available? I am finding that getting file data into R can be a challenge.

  38. jae
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anyone who is still quibbling with Peter is wasting his/her time. He has no desire to learn anything; he is simply having fun at other’s expense.

  39. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #35

    The yearning, the need, the desire, the deseration almost for Steve to be right is so palpable I can feel it from England

    I say, old chap, don’t tell everyone you’re English. You’ll give the rest of us a bad name.

  40. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #37. Mike. Yes. I do. I’ll locate some functions and post them up in the next few days.

  41. John A
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #39

    Don’t knock Peter, fFred, he makes us look like geniuses.

  42. Ian
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #40 Steve, you also mentioned that you have built an R database of the proxies. Would this be easy for you to expose on your web site? If not, don’t worry about it I know you already have more than enough things to work on.

    Thanks for the work that you do. I don’t think it is too much of an exaggeration to state this you have almost single-handedly exposed the fallacies and bad science of current climate reconstruction (and much of climate science by an association) with such clarity and strength in the way no one else has done before.

  43. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All of the tree rings in R take up a lot more disk space than I’m renting from the server. Otherwise I don’t mind.

    Actually some of the heavy lifting would be a lot lighter now. I did a lot of the tree ring collatations when I was first learning R. My scripts look pretty ugly now, but I’ve checked them and they work, so I’m reluctant to go back and improve them, but I probably could.

  44. kim
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I concur with Ian; the work may be mythic. Now get busy on climate modeling.
    ===============================================

  45. jae
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 7:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, maybe not modeling, yet. The mother of all hockey sticks is the surface temperature record. Have you looked at the statistical procedures that were used to derive yearly “global temperatures?” I waded into the background papers somewhat, and it all looks suspicious to me, especially the corrections for UHI. Is it worth looking at this?

  46. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 10:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hey, I’m not saying that there isn’t hair on these other things. Just that it’s a different set of hair and it stands or falls separately.

  47. Dano
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 3:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 13:

    Umm this has happened. Or havn’t you been paying attention.

    You’re right!!!!!!!!!!

    *heart*

    I’ve been spending soooo much time reading the popular science magazines’ copious retrospective articles and analyses, I haven’t had time to pay attention!!!!!!

    What’s my favorite, you ask? The one in SciAm “What went wrong with the Hockey Stick?” or maybe the one in Nat’l Geo “Byebye to Hockey Stick” or maybe the simply-titled one in SciWeekly “What happened?” or maybe…maybeeeee…

    See, there’s just so many good ‘uns, I just _can’t_ decide!!!!!!! Golly!!!!!!!!!

    Best,

    D

  48. Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #36 Thanks for pointing this out. Actual documentation of cherry-picking and quantification of the proportion of rejected cores would be of interest too. I would appreciate any comments on the pdf I sent to AIG. If I am going to twit an entire community for promulgating a circular argument I don’t want to make too big a fool of myself.

    #37, 42, 45, 47. Many things could be done. The entire meeting NAS could have been simulcast on the web. Steve’s data could be put into a proper archive using the Storage Resource Broker say. We could develop a R package with his and other scripts, and nurture a wider interest in replication in these and other fields. IMHO it would be money better spent than on defending the indefensible. One also has to leverage one’s time to the best advantage, and thats a personal choice. “Ask not … etc. etc. ” There are plenty of better programmers than me for example that might want to help gratis in an open-source venture. But Steve, keep the rights to the book and the movie – this saga might turn out to be profitable!

    Peter, Dano, there seem to be some talking a cross purposes on this blog. AGW existing or not would not alter the falsity of any specious reasoning that has been used to support it. I am willing to take the risk of my time, effort, and career out of concern with the corruption of the scientific method, even if it proves to be pointless. To my mind the stakes are larger than AGW. They involve the integrity of our system for receiving knowledge, done via the scientific literature. Whether AGW exists and whether the methods used to support it are correct are two different questions that seem to keep getting confounded.

  49. Ian
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #47 Well I was referring to Steve’s paper and Von Storch’s papers specifically, but I know you are not really interesting in a serious discussion, or bothering to address David’s random reconstruction. Just another poser looking for a fight …

  50. Ian
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    i.e. http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html for starters.

  51. Ian
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #47 i.e. Some of the papers and correspondence in the scientific community listed on http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html for starters. The fact that no on has been able to reproduce Mann’s hockey stick graph as another …

  52. Dano
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 47:

    Nah. Just pointing out stuff.

    Best,

    D

  53. Ian
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 5:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Like I said. Not really interesting in presenting refuting arguments …

  54. Dano
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Cheerleading ya mean.

    D

  55. Ian
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 11:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #54 ?? You are not even making sense anymore. You are a cheerleader … ? Ahh ok … Congratulations I guess. “Go AGW team go.”

  56. Ian
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #54 Because you seem to have problems following along. I claimed the temperature reconstructions were garbage and David’s excersize adds further evidence to that. You said said yes that you would give it some actually consideration if it was in a peer reviewed journal. I pointed out that it already was in a peer reviewed journal. You made some strange reference to popular science magazine or something. I gave you links where you could see some of the reference to peer reviewed journal papers and correspondence. You then pointed a link to a cartoon … ahh ok. Then you said you were a cheerleader. Good good. Anyways my correspondence with you is over since either you are a troll or just some sort of “Turing Test” bot or something.

  57. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 7:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Ian.

  58. John A
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 7:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think Dano knows the game is over, and the Fat Lady is ready to inhale….or he’s just drunk at the keyboard.

  59. epica
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    David
    I dont get the message of your computation. Lets assume these are real temperature proxies (allways faithfully recording temperature at different locations) then the result is fine and correct. It’s hockestick-like since over 90% of the time records are uncorrelated among eachother. Where is the problem for paleo-reconstructions?
    Does it not actually say that proxy-data are spectrally similiar to your random numbers with their imposed spectral behavior?

  60. epica
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    David
    sorry I ve found the link to your page only later. Yes, it seems I understood that part of your claim. But isnt this confirming MBH and others that there are no mayor coherent global temperature variations in the last millenium? Why shouldnt T-proxies not have the spectral behaviour as your records?

  61. Posted Mar 14, 2006 at 9:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    My claim, in a nutshell, is that the form of most reconstructions are indistinguishable from the form of random numbers with similar spectral properties to proxy data. Consequently they can logically provide no support for the claims of existence of climatic phenomena of AGW, LIA and MWP. To see this, it is helpful to look at each in turn and why they are produced:

    AGW – from 20-40% of random series have a significant correlation with instrument temperatures. So in the selection of series you recover a trend, then calibration refines this trend to give each series equal direction and slope, producing a very low variance, strong upward ‘blade’.

    LIA – selection for upward trend in the AGW step means the series must be greatly below zero at an earlier time, while the long term persistence properties mean that reversion to the mean is slow, giving the appearance of slow cooling.

    MWP – as the series selected end up greatly below the zero point after the AGW selection step, the series must revert to their mean, which is the arbitrarily chosen zero for anomolies. The height of the MWP is simply the chosen zero value.

    For there to be any significant result there must be a fluctuation in the reconstruction beyond the CI of the random series. E.g. it is possible that there is a signficiant signal for the LIA in some reconstructions as they appear to go lower than the random series C.I. at the LIA period, but I wouldn’t like to speculate on that until I have tested it formally. If there is not such a significant fluctuation, all we can say is that the the null hypothesis is not rejected. The correct statement would be that any climatic signal is below the detectable limit of the methodologies, and quantify those limits. It is circular to assert that the reconstruction is an actual temperature history, as that history is already encoded in the methodology.

  62. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 14, 2006 at 10:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #62 I like your explanation of how the hockey-stick is induced by MBH98 style methods. I’m a holistic thinker and once I have a concept down it makes it easy to argue and reason from. Your combination of forced blade plus determined 0-point and regression to the mean makes an easy-to-remember explanation.

  63. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 19, 2006 at 8:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If you make the assumption that the surface thermometer record is faulty and use the balloon and satellite data as your guide do RE and R2 improve? Do the LIA and MWP get temperatures more in line with what is known.

  64. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    With less wonderful data that is. It would be funny to use tree ring data to argue the surface thermometer record has unresolved problems. It doesn’t seem any more of an abuse than the other uses being made of tree ring data.

    Wrong thread to bring this up under. oo

  65. Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting line of thinking that has been used before. In Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records by J. Oerlemans glacial length is claimed to support recent global warming. Only problem is that like the tree rings, the recent 1998 peak is no higher than the peak in the 1940s, a liitle inconsistency that I didn’t see mentioned in the article.

  66. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 2:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like one of the reviewers had issues with the Oerleman paper. Since the reviewer posted them, I conclude the issues weren’t addressed before publication in Science. How about that.

  67. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ach, I made a mistake.

    Here, we offer our comments, had we been one of the reviewers of the paper.

    Right up at the top. Science did not see this review before publication. Sorry about getting that wrong.

  68. jae
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s too bad Science did not get that review!

  69. Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Publication in its current form would indicate that the editors of Science are more interested in conjecture than in firm scientific findings.

    Ouch!

  70. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Australian Institute of Geologists NEWS has published online my article “Reconstruction of past climate using series with red noise” on page 14 (see http://enm.landshape.org). Many thanks to Louis Hissink the editor for the rapidity of this publication. It is actually a very interesting newsletter with articles on the IPCC, and a summary of the state of the Hockey stick (or hokey stick). There are articles on the K-T boundary controversy and how to set up an exploration company.

  71. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #72

    Is there an article in there on what to do when trying to get data files out of a researcher who thinks he’s above the normal rules of academic discourse?

  72. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Do the ‘Hokey Pokey’.
    ============

  73. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Like how to use a drilling rig with a diamond bit?

  74. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    David: Great articles at your link. Congrats.

  75. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That’s some adamantine.
    ==============

  76. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks. I have been a bit quiet as I have been working on a new application involving RSS. From http://landshape.org are links to set of blogs that search the internet for updates on any information. The one of most interest here is the “Hockey Stick Graph”. This is just starting out, so it will get better ordered information as time goes on, and I sort out the kinks in the RSS feed. Comments welcome. Here is the frontpage blurb.

    “Never in the history of the world has the barrier for entry into the marketplace of ideas been so low…”

    Weblogs or “blogs” were initially seen as an outlet for vain meanderings of teenagers, but have rapidly expanded in scope and form into many areas of science. Using the emerging productive applications of weblogs in science, including aggregated web feeds, the RSS and Atom standards, we have developed a number of blogs aggregating the latest information from all over the web in niche subject areas. These can be used to:

    * Read any item in the interest area posted anywhere on the web.
    * Search and list new pages, images, videos, news items and articles nightly.
    * Subscribe to email update.
    * Quick searches using title keywords.
    * Subscribe to RSS feeds.
    * Comment on posts.

    The following blogs are currently supported:

    * ENM: The Science and Statistics of Environmental Niche Modeling.
    * Avian Influenza
    * Brown Tree Snakes
    * Global Warming
    * Ecological Niche Modeling
    * Hockey Stick Graph

3 Trackbacks

  1. By ENM » R2 statistics for random proxies on Mar 6, 2006 at 1:49 PM

    [...] These results show that high cross-validation correlations can be obtained between a reconstruction and the smoothed versions of temperature even when the individual series and the reconstruction have no apparent skill at predicting held back unsmoothed temperature data. Thjey also show a great deal of care needs to be taken yo ensure validation tests truly reflect the skill of the reconstruction, particularly when dealings with smoothed data. While this validation is based on the division of temperature data into years as used in the MBH98 study, it could easily;y be applicable to other choices of periods and validation protocols (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=557). Moreover, these results are relevant to claims of robustness of MBH98 to variations in methodology (e.g. AW06). While AW06’s claims of robustness for MBH98 are not disputed here, robustness may not be a very severe test given it is possible to produce similar results irrespective of whether the individual tree-rings data are related to temperature. It must be rembered that what is important is not tested in the AW06 study: correct reconstruction of past temperatures. Obviously such tests are not directly possible as no instrument record for the entire reconstructed period exists. However, the reliability of different types of proxies might be obtained by comparing the results of different types: bore-holes, sediments, corals, tree-rings etc. The use of simulated random data in place of real tree-ring data illustrates that heavy reliance on individual selection and calibration in this class of climate proxy analysis opens the door to criticisms of circularity. [...]

  2. [...] While this validation is based on the division of temperature data into years as used in the MBH98 study, it could easily be applicable to other choices of periods and validation protocols (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=557). Moreover, these results are relevant to claims of robustness of MBH98 to variations in methodology (e.g. AW06). While AW06’s claims of robustness for MBH98 are not disputed here, robustness may not be a very severe test, or any kind of test at all, given it is possible to produce similar results irrespective of whether the individual tree-rings data are related to temperature. It must be remembered that what is important is not tested in the AW06 study: correct reconstruction of past temperatures. Obviously such tests are not directly possible as no instrument record for the entire reconstructed period exists. However, the reliability of different types of proxies might be obtained by comparing the results of different types: bore-holes, sediments, corals, tree-rings etc. [...]

  3. [...] The lack of data archiving and due diligence in Nature and Science that allowed this fraud has been highlighted again and again here. ClimateAudit, dedicated to documenting the ongoing quasi-litigation of journals and authors in the dendroclimatology field to make public their data and methods (What? Scientists don’t reveal their data and methods?) underlying claims to the famous hockey stick theory of recent temperatures, may have been instrumental in the formation of a National Academy of Science panel Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Past 2,000 Years: Synthesis of Current Understanding and Challenges for the Future. I admit I have a dog in this fight, having tapped out a short article on simulations using random numbers that produce temperature histories remarkably similar to most reconstructions (here and here). These results show that concerns that climate histories may be affected by various forms of undocumented ‘cherry-picking’ such as inter-site selection, are justified. [...]

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