The RE Benchmark in A&W

There’s an interesting irony in the GRL rejection of the Ammann & Wahl Comment and it will be interesting to see how this gets handled. It turns out that the A&W Climatic Change depends on their GRL submission for their test of statistical significance for the RE statistic. So even though the GRL referee thought that there was nothing new in the GRL submission, it turns out that it contained something that is essential for their Climatic Change submission. The issue is substantive and not just formal. I’ll show the connection.

It’s all about RE significance. Unlike r2 statistics which have tables, there are no tables for RE significance. A rule of thumb for regression models was that an RE greater than 0 had "some significance". (Actually in these contexts e.g. Wilks [1995], it is presumed that the RE statistic is necessarily less than the r2 statistic – a point we made in MM05a, but which seems to be ignored in the huffing about the supposed primacy of the RE statistic.)

But the rules of thumb are only for linear regression models – which MBH obviously isn’t. MBH98 recognized this and based their claimed benchmark (still 0.0) on simulations. In MM05a, we pointed out that the simulations in MBH98 did not replicate essential aspects of the MBH98 algorithm and argued that a more realistic 99% benchmark in the context of MBH98 methodology was 0.56.

Huybers [2005] criticized our RE benchmarking on the basis that our simulations did not incorporate a re-scaling step in MBH98 (which could be confirmed in the source code released last summer, although it was not mentioned in the original text.) Huybers said that, with re-scaling, the RE benchmark was once again 0.0. In our Reply to Huybers [2005], we pointed out that Huybers’ own simulations did not replicate the network aspects of MBH98 and we showed new simulations incorporating networks of noise, which yielded a 99% benchmark of 0.51.

In my opinion, we completely answered Huybers’ point about RE benchmarking. Our Reply to Huybers was peer reviewed, just as much as Huybers. The onus on anyone seeking to carry out significance tests using an RE statistic in an MBH98 context has to either start with a 99% benchmark or prove that a lower benchmark can be used.

In their original GRL Comment, A&W did not refer to the RE benchmarking issue. However, in their revised GRL Comment, they reported on new simulations (which look to be incorrect) which purported to restore a 99% benchmark of 0.0. Their GRL submission said:

We have also examined the MM approach for benchmarking the RE statistic presented in MM05a. Although the MM method generates realistic pseudoproxy series with autocorrelation (AC) structures like those of the original proxy data, these time series have nearly uniform variances, unlike those of the original proxies. PCs derived from such data generally have AC structures unlike those derived from the original proxies, and thus they should not be used as equivalent to the original PCs. Restoring the variances of the original proxy data to the pseudoproxy series yields PCs with AC structures like those of the original PCs. But more importantly for the benchmarking, we confirm Huybers’ (2005) correction to the MM RE calculations, which rescales the variance of the fitted NH temperatures to match that of the observed values regressed against the simulated PC1s. This approach more accurately mimics the actual MBH procedure, which applies a parallel rescaling to the fitted instrumental PCs that drive the MBH climate field reconstruction process. Using our AC-correct PC1s, RE = 0.0 occurs at the 0.985 level of significance.

A&W (CC) acknowledged our point about simulations in a backhanded sort of way as follows:

In MM05a/b, the authors also examine two issues concerning validation statistics and their application by MBH. The first issue concerns which statistics should be applied as validation measures; the second issue concerns estimating appropriate threshold values for significance for the reduction of error (RE) statistic, which is commonly used as a validation measure in paleoclimatology (Fritts, 1976; Cook et al., 1994). …We consider the issue of appropriate thresholds for the RE statistic in Appendix 2, based on analysis and results reported elsewhere (Ammann, C.M. and E.R. Wahl, ‘Comment on “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance” by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick’, in review with Geophysical Research Letters). p. 10

… statistical tests are done during the calibration and verification periods and their results are employed to infer the possible quality of pre-verification reconstructions. Often, these examinations are formalized by the use of null-hypothesis testing, in which a threshold of a selected validation measure is established representing a low likelihood that a value at or above the threshold would occur in the reconstruction process purely by chance. When theoretical distributions are not available for this purpose, Monte Carlo experiments with randomly-created data containing no climatic information have been used to generate approximations of the true threshold values (Fritts, 1976; cf. MM05a; Huybers, 2005; Ammann and Wahl, in review–note that the latter two references correct errors in implementation and results in MM05a) (A&W, p. 45)

The bolded sentence becomes absolutely critical to their CC submission. Appendix 2 of A&W (CC) re-states the above (but cites and relies on it):

In implementing this procedure, we found a technical problem that we reported in Ammann and Wahl (in review, and supplemental material there referenced). The method presented in MM05a generates apparently realistic pseudo tree ring series with autocorrelation (AC) structures like those of the original MBH proxy data (focusing on the 1400-onward set of proxy tree ring data), using red noise series generated by employing the original proxies’ complete AC structure. However, one byproduct of the approach is that these time series have nearly uniform variances, unlike those of the original proxies, and the PCs derived from them generally have AC structures unlike those of the original proxies’ PCs. Generally, the simulated PCs (we examined PCs 1-5) have significant spurious power on the order of 100 years and approximate harmonics of this period. When the original relative variances are restored to the pseudoproxies before PC extraction, the AC structures of the resultant PCs are much like those of the original proxy PCs. Following MM05a, the first PCs of this process were then used as regressors in a calibration with the Northern Hemisphere mean from the MBH verification data grid and the RE of verification determined, for each Monte Carlo iteration. Approximate RE significance levels can then be determined, assuming this process represents an appropriate null hypothesis model. Using the AC-correct PC1s in the RE benchmarking algorithm had little effect on the original MM benchmark results, but does significantly improve the realism of the method’s representation of the real-world proxy-PC AC structure. (A&W, p53) [my italics and bold]

Now there are a couple of things about the A&W simulations is paragraph that I think are wrong and certainly fail to consider relevant aspects of the exchange with Huybers. First, I don’t understand their point about scaling. (And although A&W have commendably put up a lot of code, they haven’t put up the code for the argument discussed here so it can’t be clarified.) Mannian PC methodology divides each series by its standard deviation in the calibration period. Thus, under a Mannian method, even if the variances of the simulated proxies were re-scaled to match those of the original proxy series, the MBH98 standardization would undo this re-scaling (there would be a difference between the standard deviation in the calibration period to the standard deviation of the entire period, but this is a secondary effect in this context; I haven’t specifically tested this, but I’ve got a pretty good feel for these things and don’t see how this would have enough impact to affect the PCs.)

I’m pretty sure that A&W have confused this matter (which cancels out) with the impact of setting up networks in the simulation, as described in Reply to Huybers, which does not cancel out. In our Reply to Huybers, we pointed out that he had failed to simulate the effect of having a network of 22 proxies (using only one PC) and when one did simulations with a 22-proxy network of noise, we got a 99% RE benchmark of 0.51. As one can see in the above paragraph, A&W appear to have omitted this step.

In passing, I repeat a point made before – trying to reconcile detailed results seem to be beyond the capabilities of journal peer reviewers. Such reconciliations are infinitely better dealt with in a joint paper of the type that I proposed to A&W. I’m quite happy to reconcile code and let the chips fall where they may. Obviously the Hockey Team has decided that their better course of action is not to reconcile code, to say that their various errors "do not matter" and to try to win a public relations campaign.

Be that as it may, in their own obscure way, in their GRL article, A&W actually purported to present a new results, which they applied in their CC article – the bolded sentence above:

Using our AC-correct PC1s, RE = 0.0 occurs at the 0.985 level of significance.

After the GRL rejection – regardless of the reason – they no longer have this result (which they shouldn’t have, as their argument is incorrect). Thus, the most recent peer-reviewed statement on the topicof RE significance is our Reply to Huybers, which sets the bar at 0.51 in an MBH98 context.

Now let’s look at exactly how A&W report their RE benchmark. They said that the 99% benchmark is 0.0 based on their GRL article as follows:

Numerically, we consider successful validation to have occurred if RE scores are positive, and failed validation to have occurred if RE scores are negative (Ammann and Wahl, in review; Appendix 2). This threshold also has the empirical interpretation that reconstructions with positive RE scores possess skill in relation to substituting the calibration period mean for the reconstructed climate values. (A&W, p.17)

That’s it. They’ve got nothing else to establish a benchmark for RE significance. They relied on their GRL submission to establish that they could use a benchmark of 0.0, but their GRL submission got rejected. They’ve done dozens of calculations and reported dozens of RE statistics, but they have no peer-reviewed standard of RE significance. In fact, virtually all of their results fail the more onerous test set out in MM05a and re-stated in Reply to Huybers. (These results are a way of reconciling the r2 statistical failure with the seeming RE significance. They are both insignificant.)

I’m still learning academic protocols. In a business situation, let’s suppose that separate audits were being done on a parent company and a related company and that the statements of the parent depended materially on the statements of the related company. First, it’s impossible that the auditors of the parent company would sign off before the audit of the related company, if the relationship was material. But let’s say that they’d done so, on the assumption that there would be no problem with the audit of the subsidiary (but hadn’t published the statements of the parent company.) What would happen it the auditors refused to sign off on the statements of the subsidiary? The auditors of the parent company would pull the statements of the parent so fast that it would make your head spin. Not just the auditors, but the management of the parent company. If there were problems with the statements of the subsidiary, they would be obliged on their own account to notify the auditors of the parent company and pull the statements.

What will happen here? Hard to say. I expect that A&W will try to drive on and hope that CC doesn’t notice or doesn’t care.


309 Comments

  1. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 19, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    First, I don’t understand their point about scaling. (And although A&W have commendably put up a lot of code, they haven’t put up the code for the argument discussed here so it can’t be clarified.)

    Are there other areas where the argumentation is not clear ?
    Are there other areas where the code is not provided ?
    Are the two correlated ?

    Obviously the Hockey Team has decided that their better course of action is not to reconcile code, to say that their various errors “do not matter” and to try to win a public relations campaign.

    So far, with spectacular success.

  2. John A
    Posted Mar 19, 2006 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Actually the wheels are coming off the Hockey Team tour bus. Before Steve and Ross had managed to get published in GRL, they had been given the runaround by Nature requiring them to write a full refutation to MBH98 in a space no larger than a postage stamp. Other authors were flat out censored because they didn’t follow the Hockey Stick line.

    Now, the Hockey Team is having a hard time making their statements stick in more than one journal at a time. Mann got a paper supposedly refuting Steve’s work rejected, and Ammann and Wahl have been rejected twice in their comments about Steve’s work (and believe me, that second rejection must really have hurt).

    All is not fun at Hockey Team Central. It’s amazing how quickly this has turned around.

    I’d have to agree with Steve on the point about auditing. If Ammann and Wahl’s work reported in Climatic Change depends upon results rejected in GRL, shouldn’t CC reject their work as well? What about the IPCC? Should they not consider AW’s submission to them as fundamentally flawed?

    What of the NAS Panel? They can hardly dismiss M&M after one of their critics got their work spiked.

  3. jae
    Posted Mar 19, 2006 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    The intrigue continues, and it is hillarious in some ways. It is sure encouraging that GRL is not caving in to the status quo, like some of the other journals. Steve, your knowledge and persistence is paying off, big time.

  4. bruce
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    I can’t but help notice that the level of activity, measured by number of posts per 24 hours, has dropped off a bit here lately. Maybe it means that the battle is won, and conceded, since I have seen nothing other than acquiescence from the Hockey Team. The issue that intrigues me is that, even if M&M have won the Hockey Stick debate (which seems pretty certain now), the issues relating to CO2 role in AGW, and also 20th C warming (come forward P Jones) are yet to be resolved.

    Steve has made it clear that he is not concerned with CO2 issues, nor the accuracy of 20th C “warming”. So far as I can see, there is not another blog that fosters discussion on these issues, yet the benefit of such a blog must be clear. The Idsos do a good job (in relation to CO2) and so does Warwick Hughes (in relation to 20th C warming) but neither site fosters discussion the way that this site does.

    Can anybody point to a similarly aggressive and objective blog site that addresses these issues? I am busting to make some points…..

  5. 2dogs
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

    I think the audit scenario you mention is a little different; what the parent company needs to do the moment they hear of trouble at the related company is suspend trading and tell the market/regulator pronto. This is the case even if they haven’t published their own accounts yet.

    (Note: The situation is a little trickier when the auditor is the same for both companies, and for the time being only the auditor knows of the related company’s woes; this exact situation is often given to final year accounting/auditing students as an example of an irresolvable ethical dilemma, since they can not allow the information to be either disclosed (to protect client confidentiality) or undisclosed (to protect investors).)

    So the correct analogy would have A&W issue a statement acknowledging the impact on the big whopper as soon as the little whoper was rejected; and also amending the big whopper to remove any reliance on the little whopper prior to its publication.

  6. John A
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Re: #4

    Bruce,

    You could try http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog

  7. BradH
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    There is an interesting parallel in the law, called “precedent”.

    Ever since the separation of monarchy and the courts, there has been a distinction between monarch/governmental law. The law-by-declaration covered everything the powers that be decided to legislate on, and “common”, or “judge-made” law, encompassed everything they hadn’t had time to legislate on, as yet.

    Originally, if a person of sufficient social standing in a community walked into a court and told the judge that you confessed your crime last night, you would be convicted on the good character of the witness (him being a Duke, and all).

    As time went on, it was recognised that certain types of evidence were inherently dangerous and potentially very compromising towards an applicant’s case.

    This realisation wasn’t immediate, but rather came from many different judges over many years passing judgments which, only later on, proved to have unintended consequences. So, for example, it might seem logical to give the majority of shareholders the right to decide whether new shares should be issued…but what happens if one shareholder has 51% of the capital and the vote is to him alone?

    The proposition of giving the majority all of the rights seems logical…until experience teaches you the opposite. This is what judge-made law can provide for on a case-by-case basis, which legislative law can only provide after public outcry and media attention.

    One of the most interesting aspects of studying law is that, when you first begin, the lecturers will give you the facts of a case, then give you the dissenting judge(s) judgment. It always seems perfectly reasonable to you (after all, these judges are older, experienced in life and law)…until you read the majority’s decision, which make you wonder why you’d ever considered the dissenters’ point of view in the first place!

    To finally get to my point: very experienced people can come to startingly different conclusions based on the same evidence (even in matters as simple as who bears responsibility for a golf ball going through a passing motorist’s windscreen.)

    In business, there have been many cases in recent years which attempt to allocate blame between the auditors who didn’t pick up on a given irregularity in a company’s accounts and the company’s directors and officers, who perpetrated the breach in the first place.

    The answer, in these cases, is invariably that the primary responsibility lies with those who perpetrated the fraud (but if the full losses can’t be re-couped from them, then sue auditors, ’cause they’ve got insurance, too).

    Now, auditors do not “replicate” a company’s accounts in order to determine whether or not the accounts are accurate [can you imagine the audit bill for reproducing every General Motors transaction for a year?]. Instead, they “sample” test – they pick a few transactions, typically the bigger ones, and see whether or not they’ve been recorded correctly.

    When a business person thinks about “peer-reviewed” processes, they think about auditing – not reproduction. What Steve and Ross originally did with MBH98 was auditing – they looked to “test” a few of the points proposed in the paper. They realised that they did not have enough data to do so. They asked the authors and the journal for sufficient information to perform their sample tests. They were refused.

    This is the point that Steve continually raises about the difference between standards in climate science and those in business. Had an audit client refused a request for further information in relation to a transaction, the auditor would qualify the accounts and inform the SEC (or equivalent). Investigations would then ensue and, if the client still refused to provide the information, the executives would be investigated, prosecuted and (most likely) jailed.

    Why are such high standards applied to our corporate executives? Because we (the investing public) place our money with them as a result of their public utterances and documents.

    Scientists are not held to such standards. Excuses are offered: science is inherently uncertain; we hypothesize, but cannot say with complete certainty that we have the answer; we will not provide our data and methodology, because it’s taken us years to come up with it, and you’re just going to try and tear it down.

    Academics don’t seem to realise that, if a businessman offered these arguments, they would be serving time next to rapists, murderers and armed robbers. This is why someone like Steve, coming from his corporate background, is so disturbed by what is going on in climate science. It seems that you can release anything you like, withhold the data, get published in major scientific journals, refuse to answer audit requests, then count on receiving tenure at major institutions! If you tried that on in the corporate world, you’d be toast!

    The scientific method, the processes behind it and the fundamental hypothesis/test/reproducibility framework is intended to ensure absolute certainly (as much as possible). By refusing to provide the data necessary to audit, let alone replicate, the experiments conducted, the Hockey Team have failed the most fundamental test of science. They have also refused to provide data which, were they corporate entities, would have landed the ring-leaders with extended jail terms.

    It would be wrong to suggest that their actions have only academic consequences – their research has been crucial in the expenditure of billions of pages of type, billions of dollars in expenditure and billions of hours in research time. You might decide for yourself whether or not they should be judged using similar standards to those who transgress the corporate law.

    Originally, judges decided whether or not something was right, or wrong. That left open all sorts of potential problems (eg. the juge might be biased/insane/vindictive), so legislatures arose to supplement and, eventually, to effectively replace the courts in making the law.

    Lawmakers decide on the legislative pattern, depending upon any number of cynical considerations which, more often than not, have more to do with the raison du jour than the realities. This arbitrary legislating upon matters due to pressure from lobby groups who only consider their particular agendas in this specific time, are anathema to what scientists should support.

    Scientists are, first and foremost, after the

  8. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    PS

    Not that he should do that, there would be credibility issues after.

    I was just wondering how hard the paper would be to get published and what kind of peer review it would see.

  9. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #1: “So far, with spectacular success.” Yes, as splashed across the front pages of, of… well, not even the WSJ anymore. But don’t despair, there’s always Sonja. Given the tone of these Posse comments so far, it’s too bad Leni Riefenstahl isn’t still around to do the film version.

    Re the post, while speculating on the internal politics of these journals is a little like reading tea leaves, an alternative explanation for GRL’s decision could be that they decided nothing really new is being added to the debate and that it’s best to simply let the whole thing fade away. It’s kind of a mystery to me as to why Steve Schneider didn’t come to the same conclusion.

    I will again predict a response of more consternation than happiness on this site with regard to both the NRC panel result and the AR4. The really useful aspect of comments like #4 above, which do tend to appear in almost every thread here, is that any climate scientist who visits here trying to find out what’s up with all of this very quickly finds out.

  10. jae
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Bloom: I don’t see many of your brand of climate scientists visiting here, or if they are, they are certainly not speaking up. Seems to me they would be here defending themselves by answering some of the questions posed on methodology (cherry-picking bristlecones and the r2 statistic come immediately to mind); witholding data and codes; questions about what constitutes an "independent study;" etc. It leads some folks to think they CAN’T answer these questions. Perhaps they won’t deign to contaminate themselves with this blog and would rather slug it out in the high-and-mighty refereed journals. However, it looks to me like Steve has discredited the counter arguments that they have submitted to the journals (some of which, such as CC, Nature, and Science, appear to me to be highly biased and politicized). So, that isn’t working, either, IMHO. The HST isn’t scoring any goals, Mr. Bloom, and I think they are losing. They are trying to redefine the game ("move on"), but that isn’t working, either. I think they have some fatal strategies in their game plan.

    BTW, I don’t share your predicitons, relative to the NAS Panel, because at least some of the Panel members are good scientists, understand these issues, and can’t and won’t overlook the facts. It could put their long-term careers in jeopardy. (snip)

  11. John A
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Given the tone of these Posse comments so far, it’s too bad Leni Riefenstahl isn’t still around to do the film version.

    Steve Bloom: I don’t ever recall any skeptic comparing global warmers with Nazi propagamdists, and I would suggest very strongly that you do not make such an offensive comparison again.

  12. BradH
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Re: # 7 Oops, running off at the mouth after one too many glasses of wine. Sorry about that, alll.

  13. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #9, Warmer camp wit. No sense of history. And these guys want us to trust them with our future.

  14. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #11: Sorry you didn’t get the reference, John A. It wasn’t a Nazi comparison at all.

  15. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Yes because it’s such a common name. Maybe you could clue into the refrenece.

    Talk about deneying.

  16. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Re:#14
    Certainly the typical reader would interpret it as such, as I did, and be viscerally disgusted, as I was. Take your hate elsewhere.

  17. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    OK, Sid: The reference is to the triumphalism of the comments and the *film title* “Triumph of the Will,” and if you’re familiar with the subject matter would have to stop there since there aren’t enough of you guys to even hold a rally. :) LR always denied being a Nazi, BTW.

  18. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve B,
    Given the negative conotation of your posting, and given that Leni Riefenstahl was known for her Nazi propaganda film, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion. You were trying to imply that all the critics on this site are master propagandists, equivalent to Hitler and his bunch of Nazi thugs. In my experience people who make such appeals are incapable of a reasoned debate, or are conceding their loss. Either way I will have no further to do with you and I urge everyone else to take the same stand.

  19. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    In other words you don’t have an alternate reason for bringing her up. It seems to me people who state other motives but are incapable of expressing what they are have conceded there loss, and are incapable of basic communication.

  20. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    #9 Congratulations on sneaking in a association of AGW skepticism with Nazism, Steve. I admit to some amazement at your audacity, but not much surprise considering the righteous piety infesting the Green view. I was thinking of using a different word to describe your motive, also ending in “-dacity” but starting with “m,” but decided instead to retain a distinguishing public politesse.

    I’m glad, though, you brought up the issue of climate science. As usual, your argument is singularly free of that taint. Guess what, Steve: The available science doesn’t support your ‘It’s-all-our-fault’ stance, nor that of the IPCC frontmen. And I don’t mean just Steve M’s results. I mean the whole kabosh.

    Just to add a comment here, to put your Nazist canard (not to mention your studied capitalization of “Posse”) into proper perspective, and knowing that folks here will be very interested in the subject of the following site: Left wing ideologues nurturing the sort of fiercely intuitive certainties with which your posts ring, have murdered several times the number of people murdered by right wing ideologues, including the toll of the Nazis. The 20th century kill ratio is about 4:1, i.e., about 160 million peace-time extreme Leftist murders compared to about 40 million extreme Rightist. Here’s the site detailing the demographics: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/

    Try stuffing that into your mea culpa ‘climate science’ pipe and smoking it, Steve. Who knows, the foul taste of that factual reality might induce some political modesty. On the other hand, maybe you’ll just decide that the true utopian vision has never been implemented. That way, you won’t have to face the fearful prospect of introspection.

  21. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    “Triumph of the Will,”

    “Plot Outline: The infamous propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany.”

    So we got the proper reference the first time, and your just trying to deny it.

  22. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    #14-You’re lying, Steve. Your capitalization of “Posse” in #9, a fine and not-so-implicit reference to Posse Comitatus, which are known neo-Nazi, violence-oriented groups, is one with the context of the Riefenstahl reference, and the point that fully establishes your intended meaning. With your choice of words, you just left yourself a little plausible denial room in case you were called on your insult, as per John A and Paul. In that equivocal trap-door, you reveal a prior intent to allow yourself a future lie, the one you just made, to extract yourself from a future challenge. Pretty shabby, Steve.

  23. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    The Posse bit in Steve Bloom’s slur comes from David Helvarg’s ‘The War Against the Greens’ (Johnson Books, June 2004). Bloom would have picked the book up because it reenforced his existing beliefs. For a taste of it look here.

  24. Terry
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    I will again predict a response of more consternation than happiness on this site with regard to both the NRC panel result and the AR4. The really useful aspect of comments like #4 above, which do tend to appear in almost every thread here, is that any climate scientist who visits here trying to find out what’s up with all of this very quickly finds out.

    Steve’s challenge, originally given a few weeks ago is a good one. People should give their predictions about where the panel will come out. Since we don’t have their report yet, it will be an objective test of understanding of what is going on out there.

    My personal prediction:

    1. The tone of the panel’s report will be weighted toward the Hockey Team in that it will talk about significant advances in understanding and how much has been accomplished. It is likely that it will say that the weight of evidence suggests current temperatures are unprecedented. In any event, it will be very polite to the Hockey Team. (The presence of Christy and some independent board members, however, will mean that the skeptical points will get a fair hearing and it will not be a complete smooch-fest for the Hockey Team.) I think that archiving issues will be lightly touched on with perhaps some weak language about how they could be improved. The fan club on this site will be mildly to fairly disappointed.

    2. But, I also think there will be a serious discussion of the limits of the methodology and the results with reasonably blunt discussions of serious concerns raised about the robustness of the results and the power of the results. The repeated question about whether we can know medieval temperature to a half degree indicates to me that piece of information will be used as a focal point to bring out large uncertainties that remain. (That question and the answers to it are concisely devastating IMHO.) This will validate the skeptics to a significant extent by making them respectable if not victorious. In the long run, I think the criticisms will significantly weaken the Hockey Team since their primary strategy is a rather smug dismissal of legitimate criticisms. Serious researchers will see that there are very serious flaws in Hockey methodology.

    So who else wants to put themselves on the line?

  25. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom, you’ve certainly dragged this into a tasteless turn. Everybody’s had their say. Let’s stop this line of discussion right now – please.

    As to what AR4 and NAS conclude, that’s very much up to them. If the first draft of AR4 is any guide, I don’t really expect that they will concede an inch on the Hockey Stick. But since Keith Briffa is lead author for this section, it’s not as though you’re getting a fresh set of eyes on this.

    NAS will be under great pressure to launder the Hockey Stick and going in, that would be the odds-on prediction. The file that they’ve been handed in the presentation, in my opinion (and I’m obviously biased but I’m also learned to be objective about things) made it much more awkward for them to launder the file. I don’t think that Mann did them any favors by saying "I did not calculate the r2 statistic, that would be silly and incorrect reasoning ". Even someone who doesn’t know the file is going to be bothered by that and wonder what the hell is really going on.

    When people say things that are provably untrue, it places the panel in an awkward position. The panel can’t wish the testimony away and it was on a key question from the Barton Committee, in fact, the very question that the President of NAS said that a NAS panel was qualified to investigate. It will be very hard for them to give much weight to any other testimony from Mann. In civilian proceedings, a judge would pay a lot of attention to the r2 exchange.

  26. Terry
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and as to predictions about the AR4:

    Strict Hockey Team party line. They are too invested in the conventional wisdom to change now. The body of the report will reflect the problems (as it did in the past), but the guide for policymakers will be a strict “consensus” group hug.

  27. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    #23-I searched for “posse” inside Helvarg’s book at Amazon.com. Among the four in-text hits, “posse comitatus” represented two of them.

  28. jae
    Posted Mar 20, 2006 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    Bloom: You COULD put something substantive on here, or could you not?

  29. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    _I_ use ‘Posse’ because one person here says something and the rest faithfully ride out hard to comment boards and repeat it.

    And, Googlers: Google better. The Riefenstahl reference I took to be someone with lots of talent and yet creating output for propaganda’s sake.

    I guess all this would fall on deaf or uncomprehending ears, yeah.

    Best,

    D

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

      Re: Dano (#29),

      If you raise Leni Riefenstahl, you have to accept that she was one of the most creative artistic minds of the last century, performing on a scale and with quality seldom matched. If you can, leave aside that she worked for the wrong team. I do not condone it in any way. Her post war work contains some incredibly beautiful photography, especially underwater, and no strong references to the dark period earlier. Serious photographers studied her various phases long before Wikipedia appeared. She can take her place today with the best of photographers.

      In a strange comparison, Michael Mann has also produced ground-breaking work and has been successful in its dissemination. So maybe one needs to work to understand two similar minds, both of which have had periods of intense criticism. (One cannot be a good foil to a mind one cannot comprehend).

      It’s a shame that Michael Mann picked the wrong team too. Perhaps he is now heading for phase two, being tranquility and work of beauty and importance that does not allude to the dark past. There is still time.

      Leni lived to 101 years.

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 1:07 AM | Permalink

    #29 – Dano, I see little Hockey Team discussion of multiproxy studies that rises above propaganda.

    You always complain about talking points, but my experience has been that Hockey Team discussion of multiproxy problems is entirely talking points, with every possible attempt to avoid engagement on substantive issues. I’ve made offers to reconcile code and to attempt to jointly state results that are agreed upon, but the Hockey Team choice is to maintain controversy and engage at a PR/propaganda level. So a little looking in the collective Hockey Team mirror might be a good idea, before pontificating too much about attitudes here.

  31. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

    Re #28, deliciously ironic. Just refresh our memories how it was you described certain people on here recently…

  32. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

    Re:#31
    Exactly — there’s been too much pettiness by people on both sides, even without the Nazi-tarring. It’s time for the adults to start acting like adults, and for the children not to be heard.

  33. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    Re #32. Agreed. A little bit less triumphalism here might not go a miss too. Jese, reading some comments you’d think it was wrong for science to move on.

    Re #24. I predict this. That for it to be discovered the MWP was warmer than now proxies will have to be found that are astonishingly warm (becuase we all know there are some not that warm and these need balancing out if the average is to be pulled above that of the presnet, and some places ARE astonishingly warm atm). I predict this wont happen.

    We need to remember just what a swing from a very warm MWP to a deep LIA looks like ( for my penciled in view try these http://www.bridford.metsite.com/1000_year_temperature_comparisonhswrong.png (red or black?) or this http://www.bridford.metsite.com/holocene_temperature_variationswrong.png I just don’t think the evidence is there for such a rollercoaster) and note how massive a change it would be. No, the best bet, yes imo, is a pretty much a flat trend (at least over the time scale being used), because extraordiany changes would produce extraordinary proxies – but there are none?

  34. John Lish
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #24 Terry: My prediction for the NAS panel is that Mann is out on a limb given the other presentations – that 0.2C accuracy comment will come back to bite him (as will his virtual non-attendance). Fortunately for the panel, they have been asked by Cicerone to make fudge rather than cherry pie. However, since Mann didn’t bring any of the necessary ingredients for fudge, this does as Steve mentions in #25 pose problems for the panel. I do think that its perfectly possible to make fudge despite this challenge but this requires that Mann’s Hockey Stick is marginised.

    The really interesting issue is the problematic of professional integity v.s. internal academic politics. Thats the problem with Pandora’s box, once opened, it is impossible to close and the world is never the same again. The Barton/Boehlert splat has given this a wider public platform as well as external pressures upon the NAS. The report will not be buried away but instead belong to a bigger discourse once published. Interesting times indeed.

  35. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    My guess is that the NAS panel will basically white-wash the entire thing. The science is settled, there is a concensus, etc. Oh sure, they will throw in some weasel-words and phrases like “some minor problems”, and “uncertainties”, just to give themselves an out (like the TAR’s 66%-95% confidence nonsense), but they will back the hockey team for the most part. The sceptics will be thrown a bone for “adding to the discussion”, and thanked for forcing “the scientific community” to “take a hard look at the science” or something like that.

    Eventually the entire AGW house of cards will collapse and the rats will scurry away (or “move on” in hockey team parlance), but not until it has run it’s course. The results of this panel will have little, if any effect on that.

  36. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    Re: 33 Ok, Peter, I’ll bite. Just what are your two references? Out and out guesses? No explanation. If I draw way out curves on a spaghetti chart, should I publish? What’s noteworthy, both charts end with GISSTEMP symbols. Try satellite, or is JH infallible (as well as censored by the present government) ?

  37. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Re #35 “Eventually the entire AGW house of cards will collapse”

    How? In what sequence will the building blocks be shown to be wrong and why?

    Re #36 I’m just trying to show what a warmer than now MWP and colder than thought LIA would look like graphed (no one else will) – using well known graphs as a basis. Imo such graphs, I mean my extra lines showing a very warm MWP and a colder LIA, don’t match what could be any reality – for the reasons I gave. But, such a graph is what those here who say both that the MWP was warmer than now and the LIA colder than though is reality and have to produce (and with evidence) to convince CA sceptics like me. No one has.

  38. John A
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    I’m just trying to show what a warmer than now MWP and colder than thought LIA would look like graphed (no one else will) – using well known graphs as a basis. Imo such graphs, I mean my extra lines showing a very warm MWP and a colder LIA, don’t match what could be any reality – for the reasons I gave. But, such a graph is what those here who say both that the MWP was warmer than now and the LIA colder than though is reality and have to produce (and with evidence) to convince CA sceptics like me. No one has.

    Sheesh, if he can’t manage to comprehend the fact that NONE OF THE CURVES SHOWN HAVE ANY EMPIRICAL SUPPORT IN THE REAL WORLD, then he’s never going to.

    And, if that’s not obvious enough he’s going to recast himself as a “CA skeptic”. This presumably means that he’s going to produce evidence that Steve McIntyre is wrong through reference to replication and source citations in statistical literature. He’ll wax lyrical on Preisendorfer Rule N any time now….

  39. Roger Bell
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    There’s an article in today’s Washington Post saying that Sherwood Boehlert is retiring – maybe Ciccone (?spelling) knew about this ahead of time and was inspired to change the agenda of the NAS meeting.
    Re Peter Hearnden in #33 remarking about the “need” to find more proxies to confirm that the MWP was much warmer than the present. I’ve certainly read on this site about a lake in Kenya that dried up at the time of the MWP and I’ve also read about the MWP being confirmed by South African and, I think, Bermudan data. However, I don’t remember the exact references.
    Roger Bell

  40. pj
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    re: #4

    Bruce,

    Try http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/

    Roger Peilke has done some great work on various apsect of the AGW debate. He comes across on his blog as a moderate, but I spoken to him in person and he’s far more skeptical of the AGW hypothesis that he lets on on his website.

  41. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    30:

    but the Hockey Team choice is to maintain controversy and engage at a PR/propaganda level. So a little looking in the collective Hockey Team mirror might be a good idea, before pontificating too much about attitudes here.

    That’s an…er…interesting ‘controversy’ point coming from this site, Steve, but in context I see individual assertions and resistance by many to the exhibited behaviors. So while it’s interesting to see your words, I prefer to look at actions. Useful actions, again, would be adding to the data rather than what most see when one comes here (as implied in 9).

    Best,

    D

  42. jae
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Dano: I don’t see you “adding to the data” here. Maybe Steve and others on this site have not added to the data, but they sure have added to the SCIENCE, by showing that some of the existing data don’t show what is claimed. That is a pretty important addition, IMO.

  43. John A
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    This is the depths that Mannians have now descended to: they can’t criticize the math, so they criticise people for believing the math as “cheerleading”. Or they anoint themselves as “skeptics” of the “skeptics”.

    What would be the point of “adding to the data” if the data is not meaningful? Hasn’t Dano learnt anything about scientific methods yet? If the data cannot perform a meaningful function to explain anything, then adding to it won’t help.

  44. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    43:

    What would be the point of “adding to the data” if the data is not meaningful?

    I’ll try to keep my answer monosyllabic:

    To add to the data may make it gooder.

    That would be the point.

    [I'm sorry for the rest of the readers for the level of this comment. Please carry on.]

    Best,

    D

  45. jae
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Dano: gooder is two syllables.

  46. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    #41,44-Which data should be added, Dano?

    No one apparently understands exactly what causes tree rings to increase or decrease in width or density. Their use as a temperature proxy is apparently specious at best. Steve’s analyses here plus the divergence problem commented on in published literature by D’Arrigo and Esper demonstrate the poor state of understanding.

    Steve M has shown that the MBH methodology, at best, reflects incompetence. No uncontroversally-manipulated proxy data show anything like an anomalous 20th century warming. So, what data, exactly, are there that you think ought to be added?

    Steve B’s #9, by the way, iconically exemplifies the sort of polemic you complain about in #41. I can understand your impatience with nit-picking when it gets in the way of a compulsive need for sweepng enviro-political changes. But, after all, we’re interested in science here, not politics, and in science nothing is more important than the details.

    Those of us who have done science for a while have all had the experience of some pesky ineradicable details wrecking a beautiful idea. An experience like that could be very hard to take by people accustomed to political steamrolling.

  47. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Re:#45 jae, you’re feeding the troll…

  48. John A
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Dano:

    What would be the point of “adding to the data” if the data is not meaningful?

    I’ll try to keep my answer monosyllabic:

    To add to the data may make it gooder.

    That would be the point.

    Best,

    D

    Not (snip- c’mon, John, cool down.)

    How much "data" needs to be added in order to make the tree ring proxies do what they are claimed to do?

    Steve McIntyre has provided valuable insight into how tree rings do not provide temperature sensitive information, and shown that statistical treatments which attempt to extract that information are almost certainly fatally flawed.

    What exactly have you provided in the way of data? Please tell us, because as far as I can recall, I can’t remember any.

  49. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Dano, I’m unaware of Mann, Crowley or Hegerl collecting any original data. Would you exclude any reconstructions or articles involving these people? I haven’t seen you criticizing them over at realclimate for not collecting data.

  50. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Useful actions, again, would be adding to the data

    Do you mean adding to the piles of data that are not archived and only useful for (and reviewed by) the few cronies who are granted access to it?

    Isn’t identifying flawed methodology and false claims “gooder” for science? Wouldn’t that fall under the “useful action” category?

  51. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Even if Steve is wrong (not saying he is just being hypothetical) by challenging the data/methods he improves the science.

    As a for example. Steve points out something he finds questionable. Mann et al then review it, explain the reasoning and show why their method is superior. At the end everyone has a better understanding of the situation, which is the entire reason for science.

    Maybe I’m crazy but that’s the basics of science is it not, anything else is just prosthelyzing.

  52. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    49:

    Their claim is the data are good enough. Your claim is it is not. Your job is to show how it is not. I’m not aware of a revolution in science where fieldwork is now passé.

    Beginning with, oh, Descartes, that is how it is done. I’m pretty sure Wegener didn’t pore over other geologist’s field notes and complain about their penmanship wrecking his thought process – he went out and did something about it. Same with the Meteor expedition; Heezen Ewing and Tharp didn’t sit around complaining about the resolution of the Meteor data and how the interpretations were wrong, did they? I’m also sure they didn’t sit around responding to a particular level or brand of comment – likely because they were too busy collecting data if they didn’t like what they had to work with.

    Jus’ sayin’. Again.

    Best,

    D

  53. Spence_UK
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    I think people are most unfair to Dano.

    I think he has made an excellent point.

    Just sayin’

  54. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    53:

    Now THAT’s whut I’m sayin’! That’s a good reply.

    Best,

    D

  55. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    Nice show on Nova right now.

    Discusing pre-history Americas. There was a theory that Clovis man were the first to humans to enter North America, 13,000 years ago.

    Then one guy (Davadio?) found artifacts up to 16,000 BC. Hard fast physical evidence.

    What happened?

    The archeological community attacked him (and others with similar artifacts), accused him of manufacturing the evidence.

    Because of course the theory had been settled, there is no way that the real world could be different than what the consensus believed.

  56. Dano
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Huh.

    So he went out and got his own data.

    [BTW, for many years folks have been arguing settlement of Americas and timelines. Thor Heyerdahl.]

    Best,

    D

  57. JerryB
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    “Their claim is the data are good enough. Your claim is it is not.”

    Oh, gee! Golly whiz! I’ll overlook the plural in the first sentence, and the singular in the second. Rather, I will simply observe that the pretense that Steve merely “claim”ed that the data are not good enough is not merely beyond idiotic, it, unsurprisingly, conveniently pretends that Steve’s demonstrations of the methodological fallacies of “their claim” are inconsequential.

    “Your job is to show how it is not.”

    More pretense. One the one hand, it is not Steve’s job to do so, but he has, nevertheless, already done so. On the other hand, it is appropriate for any, possibly every, “climate scientist” to object to the pretenses of “their” implicit “claims” of validity of bristlecone pines as temperature proxies.

    “I’m not aware of a revolution in science where fieldwork is now pass.”

    Purely extraneous bilge, but one may expect that, given the source.

    Overall, a rather inept performance from Dano, but then, what else should anyone expect?

  58. jae
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    I got Dano on my IPCC list: Ignore Peter’s Crazy Comments.

  59. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    Dano, again, why aren’t you dumping on Mann, Crowley and Hegerl? Why aren’t you dumping on Jacoby and others for not archiving data? I think that there’s just a pressing need to assimilate the data that already exists as to acquire more data.

  60. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    The r2 statistic on all these temperature reconstructions is so low as to render them meaningless. No credible citations from a professional statistician have been made to support the novel claim that r2 is completely useless in *any* kind of time-series regressions. Paleoclimatology is not immune to standard statistical tests just because they say so. Eventually the “consensus” will come to the conclusion that tree-rings, ice-cores, and bore-holes are not good proxies for temperature.

    The models (GCMs) are built with the assumption that AGW is occurring. In other words, their design specs start with “Assume that the AGW theory is true.” To claim that the results of these models help prove AGW would be such an obvious example of circular reasoning that even Peter H. and Steve B. could see it with blindfolds on.

    So what’s left? Oh yeah, it’s getting warmer and CO2 is increasing and burning fossil fuel adds CO2 to the atmosphere, so if you connect the dots you get: AGW. Sorry, that’s not enough.

  61. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    re:52 Nobody’s complaining about the fieldwork, per se. What’s being complained about is A) failure to archive the results of the fieldwork once it’s completed and the results published and B) the analysis of the field work by the authors or others which use incorrect statistical analysis.

    However, it would be nice for the actual cores, or more usefully, pictures of the cores, and the resultant readings to be available for checking and perhaps for new analysis. It’s doubtful much untoward would be found, but the more layers of the analysis which are available, the better.

  62. jae
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Folks, it’s time for a reality check. There are only about three “warmers” disagreeing with the facts posted on this site, and I don’t think any of them have the credentials to discuss the subject intelligently. Obviously, the HST is completely intimidated by this blog. If they had any credibility, they would stand up for themselves HERE. Their hockey stick is broken, and they can’t face it. They are in denial and won’t even address these issues on Realclimate. Silence bespeaks chicanery and guilt, IMO.

  63. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    I didn’t even know Hunter Thompson played Hockey.

  64. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    Although I’m sure he would have appreciated being referred to as “the” HST! :)

    jae, I believe I have carefully explained to you on more than one occasion why it is you hardly ever see substantive participation from climate scientists on this site, let alone the “hockey team.” Doing so is counter-productive in every possible way.

  65. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Ummm He was.

  66. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Did you ever post an example of a climate scientist who came here and made a substantive post and wasn’t treated fairly? Mind you, I’m not talking someone who came here to carp or complain, but one who came here to present data, explain methods, discuss statistical analysis, provide explanations of policies or point out factual flaws in skeptic’s scientific analysis?

  67. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    Dave, my point is that however polite such an interchange might be, it wouldn’t serve a positive purpose. This is because the existence of this site is premised on making a public (policy) stink out of the manner in which the TAR SPM featured the hockey stick. When you add to that a) the over-the-top comments by many of the regulars hoping that proving the IPCC oversold the hockey stick will bring down the entire edifice of the AGW establishment, b) Steve M.’s stated reservation of judgement about the IPCC’s conclusions regarding the cause of the current warming, c) his past (present?) association with the fossil fuel industry, d) Ross’ contrarian book, and e) the fair sprinkling of nasty comments made here about “consensus” scientists individually and generally, their absence should come as no surprise.

  68. Larry Huldén
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    “Their claim is the data are good enough. Your claim is it is not. Your job is to show how it is not.”
    Usually it is not needed to prove a negative claim if you can show errors in the statistics or logic of the positive claim. Steve M. has shown the errors of hockey stick.

    All discussions about
    ——-
    “warmers”,
    “skeptics” or
    “a) the over-the-top comments by many of the regulars hoping that proving the IPCC oversold the hockey stick will bring down the entire edifice of the AGW establishment,
    b) Steve M.’s stated reservation of judgement about the IPCC’s conclusions regarding the cause of the current warming,
    c) his past (present?) association with the fossil fuel industry,
    d) Ross’ contrarian book, and
    e) the fair sprinkling of nasty comments made here about “consensus” scientists individually and generally, their absence should come as no surprise.”
    ———-
    in this context is meaningless.

    Steve M. has critically checked the hockey stick and not AGW or any cause of recent warming which is another issue.
    A correct hockey stick does not prove AGW.
    Errors in hockey stick does not reject AGW.
    Recent warming and AGW should be critically checked with the same accuracy as hockey stick.
    Personally I feel that IPCC is unrelible if they continue to use Mann as lead author.

  69. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #62 “Folks, it’s time for a reality check. There are only about three “warmers” disagreeing with the facts posted on this site, and I don’t think any of them have the credentials to discuss the subject intelligently.”

    Two choice I see. One, start calling you names, call you thick, that kind of thing, or two, not bother with such trolls as you.

  70. Ed snack
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    Of course it wouldn’t have crossed your mind, would it Steve B that the actual reason might be the Steve M is essentially correct in his findings, and to attempt to argue the substantive matters is a no-win situation for any AGW proponents. Instead the only people who show up are those who only want to put political arguements, or simply to sneer. I for one, and I am sure Steve would also like to see someone who can challenge the substance of his posts. Someone to come here and mount a coherent arguement on RE and r2, on the possible justifications for cherry picking data, on the justification for claiming that the Bristlecone and Foxtail pines are temperature proxies, amongst many issues. Instead, we get you, Peter Hearnden, George, and good ol’ Danny boy. Oh, and the usual allegations of fossil fuel industry influence, and you wonder why you don’t get much respect ?

    You’re right though that it wouldn’t be a positive outcome for an AGW proponent, trying to justify any of those. I am led to believe by the failure of those who do come here to mount a coherent defence that no such defence exists. But the challenge is there, can you Steve, put up a convincing defence, can you ?

  71. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #38 “NONE OF THE CURVES SHOWN HAVE ANY EMPIRICAL SUPPORT IN THE REAL WORLD” so, just to be clear, you’re saying you can’t say ANYTHING about past temperatures? But you don’t think that. It can’t be both John.

  72. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

    Re #70, “Oh, and the usual allegations of fossil fuel industry influence” Not from me you don’t, can’t see the point. We all know both what Steve’s done as work and his dedication to this place. If this place is fossil fuel funded it’s most certainly not obvious.

    Actually, I’m here atm because I can’t for the life of me see how the past 1000 years could have been as variable (globally/hemispherically) as many here (not Steve) seem to think. I just think the claim of a wild swing from a warmer than now MWP to a colder than thought LIA and then back to now lacks any credibility. I’m sceptical about such a claims (jese to read John A you’d think that a crime…) – afaik there is no evidence for such a swing (globally or hemisperically) but if the swing was that large I think it would be obvious. That the evidence IS equivocal illustrates the lack of serious temperature change – imo.

    I think Steve has shown there is uncertainty and his mathematical acumen. We know both, so big deal (yeah, yeah, I know I lack the comprehension etc etc).

    Meanwhile we continue to add ghg’s to the atmosphere at increasing rates. I tell you, many people here will deny the warming if it’s 2C or more – you wait, I hope to live long enough to read such comments and gawp. I lack one kind of comprehension, others lack another…

  73. mark
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:19 AM | Permalink

    “I just think the claim of a wild swing from a warmer than now MWP to a colder than thought LIA and then back to now lacks any credibility.”

    you just think? there’s some scientific certainty if i ever heard of any. that’s the whole point, peter, we don’t know. without a viable method of determining what past temperatures were, it is impossible to tell what “statistically significant” means.

    “afaik there is no evidence for such a swing (globally or hemisperically) but if the swing was that large I think it would be obvious.”

    you just think, again? and, what is your measure of what would make the swings obvious?

    try thinking for real, and use a little bit of the scientific method first. you’re drawing conclusions without ANY evidence, because “you think” it must be…

    mark

  74. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    I’m shivering in the coldest March for 30 years.Eastern Europe had the highest snowfall for 40 years. I forecast that the weather will prove Peter Hearnden wrong.
    Evidence for MWP and LIA is to my mind is overwhelming. Only the AGW faithful believe ” that the evidence IS equivocal”

  75. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Yes Mark, I just think you can’t conclude (as many here do) that the MWP was warmer than and the LIA much colder than the HS graphs show. You’re admitting as much.

    I also think that if the temperature swings were greater the evidence would be more obvious. Thus, the evidence of ice ages (-5C plus swing) is obvious. Likewise, if it were, say, +3C warmer the glaciers would have gone, species would have changed (and left evidence), climates moved north, fisheries likewise, deserts moved, tropical rainforests moved. Big temp changes give big effect, small change modest ones. Now, everyone here (bar Steve) is arguing the changes were big. OK, where’s the evidence? Lets see the bloody graph! The irony is it would look like the one I posted to, but everyone dismmises that, yet that is what they claim happened!

    What Steve is saying is ‘we can’t say anything’ great, so much for enquiring minds. I guess others will have to go out and find more evidence – people here are just going to carp, make claims about the MWP and LIA they can’t back up, and do sweet FA about finding any evidnece for their claims.

  76. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #74. I’m shivering as well, it’s been bloody cold weather. Thomas, are you saying ‘Evidence for MWP and LIA is to my mind is overwhelming’ locally or globally. Locally then I agree, globally I do not. Look at my graphs (post #33) do you really thing the last 1 000 years were like that? Then you, sir, also have faith.

  77. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    re: 67

    This is because the existence of this site is premised on making a public (policy) stink out of the manner in which the TAR SPM featured the hockey stick.

    The problem is that I can’t find ANY blog where the substantive issues that M&M raise are addressed. Realclimate is just a propaganda site and will not allow many “skeptic” comments. Where can I go to see “the other side?”

  78. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    Steve B,

    I am unaware of any untrue comments that I’ve made about individual climate scientists and, if you identify any to me, I will edit or comment such comments. If true comments happen also to be “nasty”, then that is surely the fault of the climate scientist involved, rather than myself.

    I get a little tired at explaining that I am not funded by fossil fuel companies to people that are funded handsomely by public organizations.

    One more time: it costs me money to work on climate matters. Because there’s been a pretty good market in speculative mining stocks in the past couple of years, the opportunity cost has been pretty considerable. On the other hand,public money has been provided to several different groups to try to disprove our points. Kyoto policies have minimal relevance to any stocks or shares that I own.

    It is inaccurate to call me an “oil industry consultant” as this has not been my occupation. I’ve made an income from hard-rock mineral exploration deals. One such venture, a gold exploration company, was taken over in a reverse takeover a number of years ago by an oil exploration company involved in a speculative offshore exploration venture in South America. They have no oil production or policy interest in Kyoto. I’ve subsequently provided a very limited amount of business consulting to them, which has been negligible in the past 2 years as a result of my time being taken up by climate matters.

    Hey, I’m an “amateur” in the old-fashioned sense – I’m doing things because I like doing them, not because I’m paid to do them. Last time I looked, everyone at realclimate was being paid.

  79. kim
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    Surely someone has accounted for the fact that at the wavelengths that GHG block energy egress from the earth, they also block energy ingress.
    ========================================

  80. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    re: 79

    Yes, but there’s little energy from the sun at the wavelengths involved coming in compared to that coming in at visible wavelengths which aren’t blocked by GHGs. And at night, there’s virtually no visible light to egress other than some cities, fireflies and a couple of erupting volcanoes. But there’s IR heat everywhere, even at the poles.

  81. John A
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Re #38 “NONE OF THE CURVES SHOWN HAVE ANY EMPIRICAL SUPPORT IN THE REAL WORLD” so, just to be clear, you’re saying you can’t say ANYTHING about past temperatures? But you don’t think that. It can’t be both John.

    No.It.Doesn’t.

    It.Means.That.None.Of.The.Curves.You.Presented.Have.Empirical.Support.

    It.Is.Possible.To.Reconstruct.Average.Temperatures.In.A.Particular.Locality.Using.Properly.
    Calibrated.Proxies.But.Using.Statistical.Sampling.Of.Tree.Rings.Ain’t.One.Of.Them.

  82. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Peter
    There have been many investigations of proxy temperatures, historical records etc.,most of which show warming in the early part ofthe millenium.
    In order to defend the hockey stick, your get out clause is that they all happened at different times.
    If the MWP supported AGW, I am quite sure you would be saying they all happened at the same time.

  83. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    John, I can’t see the need to be quite.that.silly. if you just want to show your contempt for me – there a plenty of choice phrases available try ‘lacks the comprehension’ or similar for starters – allways a favourite that one…

    Let me add a few clarifying words to your post. ‘It means I say that none of the…’ which is rather different seeing as your views have the support of Steve (sometimes) and just a few here. Get yourself published and that’s different.

    Right, question: which proxies and where?

    (btw, are you going to type normally from now on?)

    Thomas, not a very complimentary last line to say the least but, hey, blends in with many other posts here…. I think the early part of the last millenium was warmer than the middle part. I just don’t think the evidence shows it’s likely it was warmer than now (that’s all, though thinking just that is enough to get you condemned around here). But, point me to the proxies that show it was on a global or hemispheric scale?

  84. John Lish
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    #75 Peter you almost got it, just extend the logic to all that make claims without having the evidence to back it up.

    What Steve is saying is “we can’t say anything’ great, so much for enquiring minds. I guess others will have to go out and find more evidence – people here are just going to carp, make claims about the MWP and LIA they can’t back up, and do sweet FA about finding any evidnece for their claims.

  85. Greg F
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    c) his past (present?) association with the fossil fuel industry …

    Throwing stones at glass houses and all. Clearly the finances (donations) of Environmental groups is dependent on the general public buying into some scary scenario. Perhaps Mr. Bloom would like to discuss his association with the Sierra Club in California as an Executive Committee member. Perhaps he would also like to disclose how this association benefits him financially and/or politically.

  86. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Peter (snip): Here’s a link that shows many studies demonstrating LIA and MWP. Read the studies, and tell us just why they are all wrong. http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/data/mwp/mwpp.jsp

  87. Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Steve M, I waded through the usual abuse and name-calling from you and the Cheer Squad to show that your claims in this post about Michael Mann were false. You did not correct them.

    Steve: Crowley obviously spliced instrumental and proxy data. I think that the evidence that Mann "knew" of this splicing is very convincing. You did not reply to my response to you here , which was a thorough response to the issues that you had raised and so I presumed that you had nothing left to add on the matter and had withdrawn. If you wish to rebut any of the observations made there, I will re-consider the observations made in the point.

    I did make an amendment to the post in December to acknowledge your observation that you had identified yet another Mann screw-up, this time in his EOS 2003 article, when you observed that the series labelled Crowley and Lowery 2000 in that spaghetti graph was probably a displaced version of MBH99 rather than a spliced version of Crowley and Lowery 2000.

  88. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #86. Thanks, bookmarked. I’ll try to get round to reading some of them – next week maybe. Why do you trust them and not those that find otherwise?

  89. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Re: 88. The only ones I know of that “find otherwise” are the hockey stick studies, which have now been found to be without any scientific merit. If you know of other studies, I would certainly appreciate some references. I really AM trying to learn the truth.

  90. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #89. “the hockey stick studies, which have now been found to be without any scientific merit.” Hang about, Steve’s tried to trash one of them, not the whole lot. What about Moberg 05? Is that trashed? I do feel, as to be fair other here do, that those who don’t agree with me wont accpet something I do. I accept the HS studies as a body of work. You don’t. And the chance of us changing our mind is? Well, we’ll see.

  91. Mark
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Moberg ’05 uses many of the same flawed tree-rings, just not all. His analysis simply does a time-frequency plot with wavelets as opposed to the classical Fourier approach. I.e. he generated a spectrogram of the proxies using a different orthonormal basis set. If proxies are flawed as a measure of temperature, any analysis which uses them is flawed, too.

    You accept the HS studies as a body of work more than likely because you don’t have sufficient background to falsify them. Those that don’t agree with you might not simply because they do have the background, and understand the failings in the science. The chance of changing thier minds is low until the math actually agrees with the conclusions.

    Mark

  92. John A
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    John, I can’t see the need to be quite.that.silly. if you just want to show your contempt for me – there a plenty of choice phrases available try “lacks the comprehension’ or similar for starters – allways a favourite that one…

    No what it means is that you intentionally misread what I wrote (cutting out the relevant section of my reply) and then put words in my mouth. After 12 months of this abusive and imbecilic behavior, I’m not going to spend lots and lots of time straightening the crooked timber of your postings.

    If I were to write that you lack comprehension of science it is because you display characteristic evidences of someone determined not to comprehend.

    Of course your response to all of this is to accuse me of abuse usually in histrionic terms. If I point out facts you don’t like, then your standard rhetoric is to accuse me of not understanding the bigger picture and recommending that I read "all the relevant literature". But that’s not abusive on your part is it? It’s not abusive to compare me with Senator Joe McCarthy is it?

    Let me add a few clarifying words to your post. “It means I say that none of the…’ which is rather different seeing as your views have the support of Steve (sometimes) and just a few here. Get yourself published and that’s different.

    Ah yes, yet another abusive tactic is to say that if I write something factual, then it is merely my opinion, rather than something that can be independently verified. But you’re not being abusive, are you?

    Oh and you’ve never published a piece of scientific research in your life (and probably never will). Why suddenly does publication make a difference as to whether a scientific statement is true or false? (A: it doesn’t).

    As a matter of fact I am writing a scientific letter on another subject, but whether it gets published or not is irrelevant to whether my statements can be independently verified on climate science.

    Right, question: which proxies and where?

    You could start with the Keigwin study on the Sargasso Sea proxy. Write to Dr Keigwin (he’s very pleasant to correspond with) and ask him some tough questions about the temperature sensitivity of his proxies and the statistical treatment of his data.

    But I bet you won’t.

    (btw, are you going to type normally from now on?)

    (snip) Btw we’re still waiting for where this 2C rise is supposed to come from and how we can all check this claim. Perhaps in the Universe of Opinions on Climate Change, yours is not the bright shining claim you clearly think it is.

  93. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    #90 – Peter, I’ve written copiously on Jones et al 1998, Esper et al 2002, Crowley and Lowery 2000, Moberg et al 2005 etc. I don’t think that any of them (including Moberg) hold up, although I’m at different stages with each of them. Look also at my CCSP workshop and AGU05 presentations.

  94. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    #s 90 + 93: Yes, Steve went after the entire field some time back. IMHO this was not a smart move relative to gaining friends and influence among climate scientists in the critical period leading up to release of the AR4. This broadened assault was the point of divergence with von Storch, e.g., and I think it caused von S. and others to wonder about Steve’s motivations. Contrast also Von s.’s emphasis to the NRC panel that any problems with the hockey stick are irrelevant to detection and attribution of the current warming with Steve’s statement that he reserves judgement on the causes of that warming.

  95. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    94. So you think there are some hidden motivations? Some conspiracy? Would you not tend to lump together studies that use the same flawed proxies, methodology, and co-authors to produce the same shape of curve? I would have a hard time not assuming they are all subject to the same flaws.

  96. Mark
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    So bad science isn’t motivation enough?

    Every one of these studies relies on a link that, till now, has only been a suppostion. Yet somehow Steve and Ross are to be chastised because they went after the lot for using such a flawed basis?

    Had they remained on just one study, their work would have been buried in the “well everybody else confirms this” debate. I think it takes a shock to the entire system to force it to open its eyes. Maybe it was actually smart to take ‘em all on at once since that’s likely the only way their work would have garnered the necessary attention to force a change.

    Mark

  97. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Jae, here is a relatively fresh one.

    Salzar, M.W., and K.F. Kipfmueller. 2005. Reconstructed temperature and precipitation on a millennial timescale from tree-rings in the southern Colorado Plateau, USA. Climatic Change 70: 465–487

    Two independent calibrated and verified climate reconstructions from ecologically contrasting tree-ring sites in the southern Colorado Plateau, U.S.A. reveal decadal-scale climatic trends during the past two millennia. Combining precisely dated annual mean-maximum temperature and October through July precipitation reconstructions yields an unparalleled record of climatic variability. The approach allows for the identification of thirty extreme wet periods and thirty-five extreme dry periods in the 1,425-year precipitation reconstruction and 30 extreme cool periods and 26 extreme warm periods in 2,262-year temperature reconstruction. In addition, the reconstructions were integrated to identify intervals when conditions were extreme in both climatic variables (cool/dry, cool/wet, warm/dry, warm/wet). Noteworthy in the reconstructions are the post-1976 warm/wet period, unprecedented in the 1,425-year record both in amplitude and duration, anomalous and prolonged late 20th century warmth, that while never exceeded, was nearly equaled in magnitude for brief intervals in the past, and substantial decadal-scale variability within the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age intervals.

  98. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Kenneth: Looks interesting. How do they separate the effects of moisture and temperature using growth rings? Is this the “ecologically contrasting” part? I will try to take time to read it.

  99. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    #94. Steve B, von Storch has always been very cordial to me and, in Washington, both congratulated me on work to date and encouraged me with what I was doing.

    I reserve judgement on D&A because the detection and attribution studies of the Hegerl type don’t seem any good to me, but I haven’t parsed through them in detail to make a fully informed comment. Plus the data isn’t archived so it’s hard to check things without starting a new quasi-litigation and I’d like to finish some matters under way first.

  100. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    #94 “…to wonder about Steve’s motivations” Steve B, are you capable of separating science from politics? Do you understand that an analysis in science stands or falls on its own merits, the motivations of the analyst notwithstanding?

    #’s 97, 98, jae, you put your finger right on it. The materials and data section of Salzar and Kipfmueller 2005 is badly incomplete. For example, the Fritts 1969 baseline study refers to a field study deducing wild-type growth response from local climate variables. Likewise LaMarche, 1973. There isn’t reference to a single controlled-variables hothouse study showing the long-range (10 years, at least) response of the dependent biological variable (tree ring width) to systematic variations in temperature and precipitation. There doesn’t seem to ever have been a controlled-variables study done, and such a study is absolutely basic to proxy studies.

    The irony is these people work in the University of Arizona “Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research,” and they’re not doing studies on tree rings. They’re _using_ tree rings to deduce other variables, without knowing anything definitive about the responses of tree rings themselves.

    No one wants to do the grunt work. They all want to rhapsodize about climate. Declaiming about the big picture is more soul-satisfying, I guess, and none of these people seem able to resist the impulse. Climate proxy work has gone off the deep end. They’re not doing science. They’re applying analytical methods to pseudo-data.

  101. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Re: 100, With regard to the stated cautions about tree-ring paleoclimate proxies, check out this abstract:

    Howard J. Falcon-Lang (2005) “Global climate analysis of growth rings in woods, and its implications for deep-time paleoclimate studies” Paleobiology: Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 434–444. doi: 10.1666/0094-8373(2005)031[0434:GCAOGR]2.0.CO;2

    Abstract: “Quantitative analysis of growth rings in pre-Quaternary fossil woods is commonly used as a paleoclimatic indicator. In this paper, a global analysis of the relationship between climate and growth ring parameters in modern trees is presented that, in part, invalidates the use of fossil woods in this way. Data reprocessed from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank are used to analyze three parameters, mean ring width, mean sensitivity, and percentage latewood, from 727 sites across a global climatic range. Results allow the complex relationship between climate and growth ring parameters to be quantified at the global scale for the first time. They reveal the enormous variability in tree response to climate-forcing, which is influenced by disparate factors such as taxonomy, ontogeny, ecology, and environment. Quantitative analysis of fossil growth ring data in light of the modern results indicates that even the largest and most detailed fossil studies conducted to date are probably inadequate in distinguishing a paleoclimate signal from the background noise of variability. The validity of using quantitative growth ring parameters as indicators of Pre-Quaternary climates is therefore questionable. Only in well-constrained studies where paleoclimatic, ontogenetic, and taxonomic sources of variability can be controlled, and data sets are very large, may fossil growth ring analysis provide useful paleoecological data. The findings of this paper do not invalidate in any way the use of growth rings in fossil woods as qualitative paleoclimatic indicators. (emphases added)”

    I love that last sentence. After discrediting the entire basis for tree-ring paleoclimate reconstruction, he says that the studies do not invalidate their qualitative use. This is being overly kind to the current lot.

  102. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Salzar and Kipfmueller use temperature and precipitation as dependent variables, but what about carbon dioxide (and it fertilization effect)? Missing a variable could cause recent tree ring variations to be misinterpreted and make recent measurements not comparable to all earlier measurements.

  103. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you hit on something that has always bothered me: how can they know how much tree-ring growth is dependant on temperature, moisture, fertilization, etc.? I mean, even if they could independently pin down all but one factor (to eliminate the mulitvariable problems), it does not look like they really understand how one particular tree species will respond to changes in that variable, let alone all the species they use in these studies. I sorry, but just combining a bunch of noise together is not going to reveal a signal no matter how fancy the math is.

  104. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    For interested people, you can download Salzer and Kipfmueller at http://cla.umn.edu/physgeog/kurt/research/reprints.html . Kipfmueller’s PhD dissertation is also online and looks interesting.

  105. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    LOL. I have been saying for a long time that you just can’t ASSUME there is a relationship between tree growth rates and temperature. Where the HELL is the basic science here? You have to have some real basis for this assumption, before you do a millenial scale “reconstruction.” How do you separate temperature from all the other independent variables (moisture, aspect, altitude, species, disease, fire, stand density, genetics, mitochondria, competition, soil type, solar forcing, etc., etc. etc.) Gawddddd, this tree ring climate reconstruction is so damn unscientific that it is laughable. I still cannot believe that real scientists are pushing this PAP. PLEASE, I beg some climate scientist or dendrochronoligist to explain this to me. How can we get so far on so little?

  106. jae
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    OOPS, please substitute nematodes for mitochondria. Anyway, this climate reconstruction using tree rings is BIZZARE!

  107. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    103-Paul, I expect they can’t know without having done the basic control experiments. After posting 100, I did some literature searching for papers describing greenhouse control experiments on the response of tree rings to individual variables, e.g., precipitation, all else held constant. I didn’t find any, but add that the search was little more than preliminary. Maybe someone else here has some information on this.

  108. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    #107. Pat, I looked at Salzer and Kipfmueller and they simply arm-wave. In the American southwest, there are upper and lower treelines. There’s a mantra in the trade that lower boundary treeline trees are precipitation proxies and upper boundary tree lines are temperature proxies, relying on Lamarche 1974. They assert this over and over, as though this proves it. Lamarche 1974 was very slight proof of this proposition.

    If you look at our E&E article, you’ll see some references to studies on bristlecones, mostly done in the 1960s. Fritts 1969 is useful.

    One disadvantage of always working in standardized chronologies is that they lose sight of the fact that upper treeline trees have larger ring widths on average than lower treeline trees – which is not consistent with a linear gradient.

    I recall an interesting comment (and I forget where – maybe Fritts 1969) that inversions are common in these mountains and that nightly minimums in the spring are colder at lower altitudes than higher altitudes. I also think that I’ve seen that spring minimum temperatures may be related to tree line, so there could be a complicated control on lower treeline in some bristlecone sites.

    Annual growth in bristlecones seems to be controlled primarily by soil moisture, whjich draws down over the summer. Larson at Guelph says that conifers optimize in cool moist climate. My impression is that bristlecones occur in cold arid climates because they can survive the dryness better than other conifers, not that it is necessarily optimal. The high soils are also very low in nutrients, especially the dolomites where bristlecones predominate. Airborne modern fertilization of various types – nitrates, phosphates – is demonstrated and can hardly be excluded as a fertilization issue.

  109. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    #100

    The irony is these people work in the University of Arizona “Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research,” and they’re not doing studies on tree rings. They’re _using_ tree rings to deduce other variables, without knowing anything definitive about the responses of tree rings themselves.

    Pat, first, yes they are doing studies on tree rings. I am puzzled by what you mean. Do you mean that there should be a group of people who just measure ring-widths and then stop? What a silly, silly field that would be. What would be the utility of just studying tree rings and not trying to deduce something from them? You may think it is also silly (as Jae does) to try to deduce something from them, but that is not the argument you appear to be making.

    No one wants to do the grunt work. They all want to rhapsodize about climate. Declaiming about the big picture is more soul-satisfying, I guess, and none of these people seem able to resist the impulse. Climate proxy work has gone off the deep end. They’re not doing science. They’re applying analytical methods to pseudo-data.

    What is the grunt work? Is that where you go out in the field and collect a bunch of samples or something? It appears that’s what they did It’s all in the acknowledgements. And what is the “big picture” about which S & K declaim? The paper struck me as up-front about the limitations of the study, it was careful to maintain its explicitly regional context, and left the whole anthro part of the problem largely unmentioned, although they did focus somewhat on impacts *on* society (rather than *from* society). So what is your beef?

  110. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    #101, #105

    The validity of using quantitative growth ring parameters as indicators of Pre-Quaternary climates is therefore questionable.

    Uncork the bubbly! Another triumph over the use of tree rings to make late-holocene climatic inferences! Oh wait, what’s the Pre-Quaternary again? Does it involve the past 2000 years? It doesn’t? It was over a million years ago? Well I’m sure the authors were nevertheless arguing against the likes of Salzer and Kipfmueller. They weren’t? Rats!

  111. IL
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Kenneth, reading Pat Frank #100 it seems quite obvious what is meant. The complaint is that they measure tree ring width and use that to infer other climatic parameters without having established exactly what is the quantitative relationship (if any) between tree ring widths and temperature, moisture, etc etc This is what is meant by ‘grunt’ work, establishing for each species used in the reconstructions how tree rings from that species respond to all those climatic variables. And without that very basic information and validity, climate reconstructions using tree rings are just so many castles built in the air.

    Pat, first, yes they are doing studies on tree rings. I am puzzled by what you mean. Do you mean that there should be a group of people who just measure ring-widths and then stop? What a silly, silly field that would be. What would be the utility of just studying tree rings and not trying to deduce something from them? You may think it is also silly (as Jae does) to try to deduce something from them, but that is not the argument you appear to be making.

    I think the substance of Pat’s post is that without establishing the quantitative relationship between tree ring width and all the relevant variables, ‘what a silly, silly field that would be’ (is)

  112. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    108-You offer a very interesting commentary, Steve. Salzer and Kipfmueller make exactly the claim you outlined, that the arid boundary treeline reflects moisture and the altitude treeline reflects temperature. They use each one set of data to normalize the confounding variable out of the other set, referencing Fritts and LaMarche. I really don’t see how a field-study can be used to normalize a field-study.

    I haven’t command over the details you described, but judging from what’s come out here plus what I’ve read, it appears that every conifer species and every niche is going to combine into an almost uniquely idiosyncratic tree ring series. One is hard-pressed to know how temperature can possibly be isolated. Falcon-Lang’s paper looks especially interesting, and I’ve asked him for a pdf reprint.

    109-Kenneth, the grunt work is setting up specific greenhouse conditions where climate and ecological variables can be isolated, along with the individual tree species. One then looks for a discrete response in tree rings: widths, densities, perhaps cellulose/lignin ratios, perhaps 12C/13C ratios, etc. One varies each of temperature, humidity, crowding, proximate species, and so forth, holding everything else constant. They’re called control experiments. They may take years and they may be expensive. They’re not glamorous. They’re indispensable. All biological experiments are referenced to controls.

    I hardly see how one can engage in field proxy studies without knowing how the dependent variables change with the parameter of interest. It appears, however, that is exactly what the dendroclimatologists have been doing.

  113. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    Peter
    “not a very complimentary last line”
    Here is an example of Global Warmers making a model to fit the facts

    The antartic is cooling.
    Shindell, D.T., and G.A. Schmidt 2004. Southern Hemisphere climate response to ozone changes and greenhouse gas increases. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L18209, doi:10.1029/2004GL020724
    says that the depletion of the ozone has caused the troposphere to warm.
    Ozone absorbs UV rays which are very energetic and thus warm the the troposphere.(Surely,wouldn’t depletion of ozone would cause the Antarctica to warm?)
    Also
    “Since the late 1960s, the SAM has more and more favored its positive phase, leading to stronger westerly winds. These stronger westerly winds act as a kind of wall that isolates cold Antarctic air from warmer air in the lower latitudes, which leads to cooler temperatures.”
    Westerlies are dominant winds of the mid-latitudes. These winds move from the subtropical highs to the subpolar lows from west to east.
    Thus these winds move heat from the Subtropics to the Poles and a greater temperaturedifferential would increase them.
    This paper is holey patch on a hole in the AGW theory”

  114. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 5:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #113: This post reflects a misunderstanding about the relationship between theory and models, and about how science advances.

  115. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    #114; You’re right, this is how science advances. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200603/POL20060323a.html Next time someone brings up oil companies on this web site …

  116. McCall
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    Ah yes, Heinz foundation award winner Dr. Hansen — you mean 60 Minutes left out those little facts too? One might conclude the reach of Dan Rather (& Ms. Mapes) is not so far from CBS after all?

  117. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    It’s always helpful when the denizens of this site make their politics clear by quoting a disreputable right-wing news source like CNS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Research_Center . Note among other things the discussion of their legal travails. I’m afraid there is no “holey patch” that will give these folks a shred of credibility.

  118. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #99: I’m sure von Storch was very polite. He’s getting exactly what he wants out of this process.

  119. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    IMHO this was not a smart move relative to gaining friends and influence among climate scientists in the critical period leading up to release of the AR4.

    So that’s what this is all about – “gaining friends and influence?” What about SCIENCE and TRUTH? Isn’t that what should matter to climate scientists, not politics and power sway?

  120. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    I’m sure von Storch was very polite. He’s getting exactly what he wants out of this process.

    How do you know this? Is this a scientific theory? Do you have tree ring data to prove it?

  121. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Pat et al, Doug Larson and Peter Kelly of the Botany Department of the University of Guelph have studied Ontario cedars for nearly 20 years. Cedars on the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment can live up to 1000 years; apparently you can see the CN Tower in Toronto from the cliff above one of these old trees. Some trees that are over 100 years old weight about 1 kg. They commonly have split-bark forms similar to bristlecones. Their group have carried out many ring width measurements and have co-authored with Ed Cook, for example. In discussions with Ross and I, they emphasized the many non-linearities of botany. They were very critical of certain forms of dendro campaign. For example, they commented that Schweingruber’s collections were largely based on a couple of campaigns in which they flew into sites for a couple of days, cored trees and flew off to the next site, without any ecological context. They criticized the lack of ecological context and descriptions by the dendro community associated with Hughes and particularly disliked the metaphor of tree ring width series as an “archive”.

    Maybe NSF is over-funding collection of tree ring measurements by the Hockey Team (which are then only selectively archived, if at all) and should be funding some basic botany to see what the tree ring data means, if anything.

    Speaking of Salzer and Kipfmueeler, what does anyone bet that their bristlecone data is not archived?

  122. BradH
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    R:#117

    Amazingly, Steve, we agree on something. That piece is quite a hatchet job.

    So, that’s 1 hatchet job for the skeptics and 1,000,000 to the AGW’ers.

    All’s fair in love and climate studies?

  123. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    re: #117

    Note among other things the discussion of their legal travails.

    ??? Criticizing professional wrestling makes one disreputable? Steve, you need to get out in the wild and shoot (photograpically) some cute bear cubs or something [I assume that's the Steve Bloom you are, based on a Google Search] Anyway, you’re overwrought.

    And you’re trying the old “shoot the messenger” tactic again. Did Dr. Hanson receive a $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation or not? It doesn’t matter who reported it if it’s true.

  124. BradH
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Re:#121

    They criticized the lack of ecological context and descriptions by the dendro community associated with Hughes and particularly disliked the metaphor of tree ring width series as an “archive”.

    Why in the world weren’t people like this invited to the NAS Panel?

    They had climatologists, who are expert in computer modelling. They had statisticians, who are expert in deciding whether or not a particular model is appropriate. However, they had no experts in TREES!

    When most of your arguments seeem to rely on proxies taken from trees, it seems odd to me that a scientific panel would not first seek some knowledge on the fundamental nature of trees and how they grow/evolve over time.

  125. Greg F
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    RE:117

    It’s always helpful when the denizens of this site make their politics clear by quoting a disreputable right-wing news source like CNS:

    Mr. Bloom is unable to address the merits of what is in the article so he resorts to a shoot the messenger defense. The only politics clear here are those of Mr. Bloom’s.

    I am still waiting to hear how Mr. Blooms association with the Sierra Club benefits him financially and/or politically.

  126. beng
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    RE #100 Pat Frank writes:

    No one wants to do the grunt work. They all want to rhapsodize about climate.

    Yup, a combination of opportunism & impatience. Linking tree-rings to disasterous climate change keeps the grants & recognition flowing, and holds the party-line.

    As a result, the Mannians, GCM modelers, IPCC & their media support (Nature, etc) have gone way beyond their ken. Their “takeover” & subsequent suppression of dissenting views has caused politicalization, paralysis & even regression of climate-change science since ~1990.

    Like the song says, “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

  127. Greg F
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    Dave,

    Mr. Bloom’s Sierra Club affiliation is here.

  128. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Fine Steve.

    Will a reference to the Heinz foundation webpage do?

    http://www.heinzawards.net/recipients.asp?action=year&year=7

  129. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Greg,

    I don’t see that Steve B was employed by the Sierra Club, just that he was in charge of ExComm, which I assume is External Communications, i.e. issuing press releases and bugging skeptics on various blogs. Whether he actually makes any money at it or it’s just a volunteer post is hard to say. Nor does / would it make any difference. It’s what he has to say on the scientific topics at hand that matters. Of course, in his case this amounts to Zip, Zero, Nada so far, but if he does ever say anything to the science that’s what would have to be looked at not his affiliations.

    And either now or in the past he was obviously doing something else and I’d guess it was nature shoots. A fine occupation, BTW.

  130. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone noticed that, if you split the hockey stick into a blade and a shaft, the blade is simply the “instrumemental” record, i.e. GISTEMP, highly processed temperature records,SPLICED onto the tree ring data. The blade merely provides an anchor point for one end of the handle, via the SPLICE. The shaft is the contentious tree ring data, ASSUMED to be temperature sensitive. This is linear algebra that concludes that the tree ring data is of no predictive value. Presumably, you could substitute soil moisture or whatever, and still get a handle with no skill. If the physics suggests the possibility of non-linearity (soil moisture, exceeding the range of tempurature linearity, wind, cloud cover, etc.), and you cannot account for all of these variables reliably, then not only is the data useless, but so is the methodology.

  131. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Nature publishes unscientific study Shocka!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/23/britannica_wikipedia_nature_study/

  132. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    So how could a respected science publication make such a grave series of errors?

    The last sentence of the article. Seems to fit nicely in this blog.

  133. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Re: #130. Precisely.

  134. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    Jae

    That’s the last line on that page, the article goes on to a second page. ;)

  135. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    #127. Enough on Steve Bloom’s background. He’s welcome here, although I wish he’d venture a scientific or statistical comment. Dano commented here on trees and tree rings a while back and I thought that his comments were interesting. I wish that he did it more often.

  136. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    #131. That sure sounds like a mess. If Nature made all the goofs that are alleged, the story could have legs. Encyclopedia Britannica must be livid and considering all options.

  137. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, Dano is obviously very knowledgable about tree rings. Wish he would explain the basis for using them as proxies for temperature.

  138. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Have to see what evidence Britannica has.

    To keep the theme going. They are going to need the notes, and the submisions that were reviewed to flesh out the story. i.e. they need the data to be released.

    Any advice for them Steve ;)

  139. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of politics, Canadian postal codes have sequences of letters and numbers N7G 5R2 is an example. These often are placed after the two digit province codes, PQ, ON, BC etc. The first three digits of my mother’s postal code are M0V. She (82 years old) admired Clinton (as I do) and is rabidly anti-Bush and now shows her postal code as Toronto ON MOVE (+3 digits). Sounds like a good postal code for Hockey Team scientists.

  140. Greg F
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Dave,

    I think you missed my point. I was simply demonstrating the hypocrisy of Mr. Bloom’s logic. Mr. Bloom attempts to dismiss evidence that doesn’t fall within his world view using a logical fallacies. I was attempting to show that those fallacies can be applied equally to him. The Sierra Club, to which Mr. Bloom is affiliated, is clearly not a disinterested party. Perhaps being stung by his own logic will have some effect on his arguments, I have my doubts. ExComm is not communications, it is the Sierra Club California Executive Committee.

  141. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #113:” This post reflects a misunderstanding about the relationship between theory and models, and about how science advances.”
    But Steve, prove that my reasoning is wrong, don’t tell me I don’t understand.
    I have spent 25 years solving scientific problems so I decided to apply my experience to AGW and I found that the theory has many problems to explain away and that each one generates a paper
    I selected one paper and post 114
    is the result. It is up to you to prove me wrong. Don’t insult my intelligence with posts like 115.

  142. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    It looks like we had two very different reading experiences. Oh well.

    It is increasingly difficult to discern whether your objectives are to make a positive contribution to the body of knowledge in dendroclimatology, or to draw nominal support for your case from the public via your blog. I personally think you have great potential for the former, though the two need not be mutually exclusive. But maybe with your current crowd, you recognize that your traction is based on the level of animosity you exhibit against the “other side,” or maybe just dendroclimatologists as a whole.

    For example, in 108, you state that S & K “simply arm-wave.” I know this is a shorthand version of what you actually mean, but it has the effect of sweepingly proclaiming that their research was a diversion, a distraction, with a few key, attention-getting maneuvers thrown in for good measure. Or replace what I said with what you think of when you hear “arm-wave.” In any case, it implies disingenuous research motives and efforts, and has a decidedly negative connotation. My question to you, is, why burn the bridge so soon (before even getting to it)?

    Kind of related– In my research on extreme rainfall, we have had to make decisions about our data selection, analysis techniques and how we frame our conclusions. In presentations we have given and in the papers in prep right now, we call into question the traditional ways in which we estimate extreme rainfall frequency, probability and intensity. I am sure several folks will disagree with us in at least some small way…we have already heard from a couple of them. But those are theoretical/procedural disagreements. Everyone has been warm and encouraging, otherwise, and nobody has imputed our motives…because that would be highly unprofessional and conter-productive to the larger debate. (BTW, extreme rainfall estimates have enormous policy implications…roads, ditches, retention ponds etc. are all designed for these estimates. They cost taxpayers billions upon billions of dollars).

  143. kim
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    So, KB, you got the AO all figured out and are prepared to ask us to spend a lot of money?
    =====================================

  144. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    But maybe with your current crowd, you recognize that your traction is based on the level of animosity you exhibit against the “other side,” or maybe just dendroclimatologists as a whole.

    Kenneth: No, his traction is based on revealing unbelievable shortcomings and outright chicanery of certain dendroclimatologists. And it is beginning to look like there can really be no such thing as a “dendroclimatologist.” You have to admit that this is important to the whole question of AGW.

  145. Bob K
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a PDF from Britannica concerning Nature’s study.

    http://corporate.britannica.com/britannica_nature_response.pdf

  146. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    k, no, but I am not even sure what you are asking.

    =================================

  147. kim
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Placing motives in parentheses has hidden them from you? Policy action is not an unlaudable motive, unless it pulls the science, BTW.
    ===============================

  148. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    My statement regarding no such thing as a dendroclimatologist was hasty, and I take it back. I believe tree ring studies are valuable for studying droughts. But it’s beginning to look like they are not useful, in general, for studying temperature. Somebody needs to do some controlled studies where temperature is varied and all other variables are held constant.

  149. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    #142. Kenneth, you commented:

    For example, in 108, you state that S & K “simply arm-wave.” I know this is a shorthand version of what you actually mean, but it has the effect of sweepingly proclaiming that their research was a diversion, a distraction, with a few key, attention-getting maneuvers thrown in for good measure. Or replace what I said with what you think of when you hear “arm-wave.” In any case, it implies disingenuous research motives and efforts, and has a decidedly negative connotation. My question to you, is, why burn the bridge so soon (before even getting to it)?

    I think that “arm wave” here has a different sub-cultural meaning to me than to you. In business, it’s a term that you use when people selling an investment skip over the hard parts. I don’t use it to imply anything about their motives, about which I have no reason to presume anything other than being honorable. I was talking about their analysis.

    If you re-read Salz and Kipf closely, I think that you’ll find that they skip over actually establishing that the San Francisco Peaks bristlecone ring widths are a temperature proxy. The validity of bristlecone ring widths as a temperature proxy is very much in play – and not merely because of our work (which they could easily have been unaware of). S&K rely on ancient citations (Lamarche 1974) for the idea that upper treeline ring width chronologies are a temperature proxy. But Lamarche et al [1984] was one of the originators of the concern about fertilization of these trees.

    I made no comment about their motives – only about their methodology.

  150. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    #142-Kenneth, your rant about Steve M’s motives is unsustainable. I visited Climateaudit early-on, and it was launched in large part following, and as a response to, the attacks appearing at RealClimate.

    You may recall that RealClimate was launched to support Mann following the appearance of MM03 in Energy and Environment. MM03, you may further know, was written because Steve M discovered that spurious statistical methods were used in MBH98. MM03 was, I’m quite sure, an expression of Steve M’s professional discomfiture at seeing so much false significance publicly ascribed to MBH98, and remaining unchallenged.

    That, in a nut-shell, is my take on the sequence of events motivating Steve M. I expect they’re mostly correct. You may not like the tone of some posts appearing here, but Steve M is not responsible for them and fairness demands that most of them be allowed to stay.

    As it turned out, Steve M was entirely right regarding MBH98 and following; the MBH methodology was, in fact, spurious. We all owe him a huge debt of thanks. If you’re committed to the Hockey Stick to use as a pry-bar for change, then you may be disappointed. Chalk it up as a cautionary lesson about the hazards of using a myth to advance one’s goals. Myths have a habit of being proved wrong, following which the goals get discredited.

    Whether the spuriousness of MBH98 was studied or inadvertant is now at issue. It’s an important issue, and should be addressed. Also addressed should be the willful blindness of a large coterie of important scientists and journal editors. The continuing willful blindness of political advocates is less worriesome, but no less a signature of the seduction inner certitude exerts against human rationality.

    “Hand-waving,” as you surely must know, means making a tendentious qualitative argument. Such arguments can be expressions of honest conviction, and use of the term need not be an accusation of disingenuousness or malignance. You read far too much into Steve M’s use of the term, mostly, perhaps, to support your own choice of uncomplimentary opinion.

  151. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #150: And so we see what happens on one of the rare occasions that a climate scientist comments here. Ref #s 66 and 67 above.

    Pat, certainly you’re correct that explaining the hockey stick was one of the motivations for creating RC, but I think that the publication of “State of Confusion” loomed rather larger. Note that the latter was the subject of the first two posts in early Decemeber 2004, and that the first hockey stick post didn’t appear until 1/20/05. The fact that most of the material on RC has nothing to do with the hockey stick speaks for itself.

  152. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #141: OK, Thomas, you started with “Here is an example of Global Warmers making a *model* to fit the facts” and concluded with “This paper is holey patch on a hole in the AGW *theory*”. The abstract as you quote it makes no reference to models, so from all appearances the paper was talking about theory only and not models. I found this confusing.

    Generally when there’s an accusation of over-fitting a model, it’s to the effect that a substantial fix has been done to adjust for a discrepancy between data and the model without first looking to the theory to see what went wrong. The authors in this case were doing things in the correct order. If their adjutment to theory is wrong, that’s of course a different matter, but it sounds as if you haven’t read the paper and so have no basis for making such a judgement.

    Also, are you quite sure that that the westerly winds referred to in the abstract are the ones you think they are? Note that in meteorology “westerly” can refer to any wind that comes from the west.

    I wanted to also note that back in your comment #82 you asserted that proving a substantial MWP would somehow undermine AGW theory. That is not the case, notwithstanding that it’s acommon view on this site. If you don’t believe me, ask von Storch.

  153. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Kim, you are mixing up “motives” with “implications.”

    Jae, I appreciate your thoughtful retraction of your statement. It is indeed rare in the blogosphere to see someone recant without prodding.

    Steve M, thank you for clarifying…indeed arm-waving does have different sub-cultural meanings, and we’ll leave it at that.

    It still seems we are getting very different things out of p.471-472.

    Pat,

    I actually pretty much agree with you this time (shall we call this a victory?). I was not really questioning Steve’s motives so much as his choice of that particular tactic, which turned out to be a semantic/contextual difference, as he explained. I have generally wished for more coutesy from both sides of the debate, more up-front honesty from the “hockey team,” more open mindedness from skeptics and warmers alike, and a real dedication to working constructively to assess what is needed and what is avaliable. It is idealistic indeed, but it is the basis for most of my posts here, leading some, like fFreddy, to believe I have a superiority complex (or whatever). I do not have any particular attachment to the hockey stick. I was a “warmer” before I heard about it, based on my experience with meteorology, climatology and as a weather observer since my pre-teen years. Learning of the HS did little for my stance, and its recent scrutiny and fall from grace has not had much of an impact on how I derive my understanding of the climate system.

    All this said, I really must retreat into my own research. I have enjoyed exchanging thoughts with people here, and I will read any follow-ups, but please understand if I do not reply.

    Regards…

  154. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    re 104:
    wrt the Salzer and Kipfmueller paper, I don’t see the big 1276-1299 drought that caused the Mesa Verde exodus in 1300. Mesa Verde is only 400 km away from Flagstaff.

  155. Bob K
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    First post attacking M&M Dec 4, 2004

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=8

    First post attacking State of Fear Dec 13, 2004

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

  156. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    re: 151, Mr. Bloom: The climate scientist you reference did not just speak out on science or facts. He made som pretty harsh judgemental (and I think wrong) statements. For example:

    It is increasingly difficult to discern whether your objectives are to make a positive contribution to the body of knowledge in dendroclimatology, or to draw nominal support for your case from the public via your blog. I personally think you have great potential for the former, though the two need not be mutually exclusive. But maybe with your current crowd, you recognize that your traction is based on the level of animosity you exhibit against the “other side,” or maybe just dendroclimatologists as a whole.

    In effect, he was starting an argument. And then he says:

    I am sure several folks will disagree with us in at least some small way…we have already heard from a couple of them. But those are theoretical/procedural disagreements. Everyone has been warm and encouraging, otherwise, and nobody has imputed our motives…because that would be highly unprofessional and conter-productive to the larger debate.

    which is inconsistent with his argument, because he just impuned Steve’s motives.

  157. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    re 151, Steve, could we have a citation for your claim that

    The fact that most of the material on RC has nothing to do with the hockey stick speaks for itself.

    RC has 736 pages. I find that there are 439 pages on RC that refer to “models”, and 473 that refer to the “Hockey Stick”. So, more Hockey than models. There are 481 pages that refer to Michael Mann, so there’s more Mann than models.

    Not only that, but more than half the pages on RC refer to the Hockey Stick, and one page in seven! contains an attack on McKitrick and McIntyre. In other words, your claim that “most of the material on RC has nothing to do with the hockey stick” is simply not supported by the facts. RC is an apologist site for Michael Mann, set up to try to counter science with ad hominem attacks …

    w.

  158. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom – Re. 151 “The fact that most of the material on RC has nothing to do with the hockey stick speaks for itself.” Yes, that may be true, but it doesn’t change the perception that RC is just a big snow job to convince people that-Wow!- They must really know what they are talking about. And since they tell me that AGW is a big problem, I should be really worried! But, on inspection, all of the results are from linearized models. Roger Pielke, Sr. has the right idea- the big surprises will be the sudden shifts. Put another way, the bifurcations caused bt a nonlinear, chaotic Real Climate.Tell me that you understand all that, and it’s still humanity’s fault, and you know precisely what to do about it. Why haven’t we blamed some of this on the dinosaurs?

  159. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    re: 155, it is fascinating to read that intial Realclimate post on MM. It illustrates just how much has happened in a little over a year.

  160. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    only ONE comment?

  161. Bob K
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Bloom,
    RE: Your 151 and my 155.

    Mea culpa. I was wrong about the first post concerning M&M being Dec 4, 2004. Actually it seems to be this one dated Nov. 22, 2004.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10

    The month of Nov. doesn’t seem to be searchable, so I tried changing the ending number of of the URL a few times and found it. I assumed the ending number of the URL should reflect the posting order, but evidently that’s not true.

    It does seem they got right to work attacking M&M though, attacking State of Fear later.

  162. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    Jae,

    Nutshell: I couldn’t tell where Steve was going with the arm-waving thing. It seemed negative to me, and I offered my critique, backed up with my own experience, of why that wouldn’t be a constructive route. He essentailly corrected me…he did not imply the negative connotation that I was inferring. So we should be cool. Perhaps I should not have speculated as I did in that last sentence in your first blockquote, but in the context of how I perceived his comments (before he corrected me), it made sense.

  163. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Bloom: there is another thing that really bugs me about RC. They censor posts that do not agree with their points of view. Although this site may have some faults, that is not one of them. Now, THAT speaks for itself!

  164. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    I certainly perceived realclimate as actively attacking us right from the beginning. John A. told me that I’d be buried if I didn’t stick up for myself online. In that sense, realclimate is the “blog-father” of climateaudit. It wasn’t just one early post at realclimate. Here are some of the early posts at realclimate (Remember this was when Mann was still trying to block us from being published or getting covered by Natuurwetenschap & Techniek).

    Myth vs. Fact Regarding the “Hockey Stick” Dec. 4, 2004 http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=11

    22 Nov 2004 Rutherford et al 2005 highlights
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=10 which began

    The claims of McIntyre and McKitrick regarding the Mann et al (1998) temperature reconstruction have recently been discredited

    22 Nov 2004
    PCA details
    PCA of the 70 North American ITRDB Tree-ring Proxy Series used by Mann et al (1998)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=9

    Dec 4, 2004 4 Dec 2004

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=8

    False Claims by McIntyre and McKitrick regarding the Mann et al. (1998) reconstruction

    A number of spurious criticisms regarding the Mann et al (1998) proxy-based temperature reconstruction have been made by two individuals McIntyre and McKitrick…

    4 Dec 2004
    Temperature Variations in Past Centuries and the so-called “Hockey Stick”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=7

    All of this was in the can before:

    9 Dec 2004
    Welcome to RealClimate

    They’ve diversified somewhat since then, but so have we (and this is just me, not however many publicly-funded people there are at realclimate.) But who would have predicted the developments of the last year.

  165. TCO
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Kenbie:

    I find “arm-waving” a perfectly reasonable term to use for an argument that skips over the main issue to be proven. I would say the same thing in a math class or science class about a student test answer that did not adress the key issue. And I can’t imagine that any of the excellent, sharp natural scientists that I work with would think the term itself is a surprising or unreasonable one (to use at all). And I bet several of them have used the phrase for describing weak papers or weak parts of papers.

    A more interesting issue is whether the pair did arm-wave!?! Why not read the damn paper and make a statement on Steve’s interpretation? Who knows, maybe you will find that his phrasing was apt!

  166. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Bloom: You really got under my skin today, which is likely one of your objectives. You keep dealing with peripheral issues, not the central ones. Do you agree, or not, that the Hockey Stick reconstructions are flawed? Do you agree, or not, that there are serious concerns about the use of tree ring data as temperature proxies? Regardless of whether these issues undermine AGW, whether this site is comprised of a bunch of skeptics and knotheads, regardless of putative hostilities to the “real” scientists, or whatever.

  167. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #154: Hans, if the sites were up near the snow line that could be the explanation. High mountain areas in that region experience a rather different climate. Also 400 km is pretty far.

    Re #155: There’s something screwy about the early archive links. Actually the first hockey stick post was on 11/28/04, which as far as I can tell was the first substantive post of any sort. In any case I stand by my assessment.

    Re #156: Starting an argument? The *gall*. How dare he come here and disagree with anything!? :) The really funny thing is that he even agreed with you on your main point and you still went after him with hot tongs. And now he’s gone. Like I said.

    Re #157: Willis, I don’t question the results of your search based on the parameters you indicated, but note that there are plenty of off-hand references to the hockey stick (or to M&M, etc.) under posts that have nothing to do with it and where nothing of substance is said about it. Ignoring those would give a rather different result. I’m confident that going through the posts themselves would show that only a small fraction has anything to do with the HS. Also, note that references to Mike aren’t a good parameter since his professional interests and RC authorship go far beyond the HS.

    A quick check of the RC archives for the last complete month shows nine posts, one of which relates directly to the HS. I think that’s fairly representative.

    Re #158: Clearly some blame must go to the dinosaurs since the evidence is that they were less than 100% efficient at eating mammals. :) But speaking of RP Sr., recall that while his differences with the climate science mainstream are many, his conclusion is still that continuing to perturb the climate as we are isn’t a very good idea. (That is what makes him part of the consensus, BTW.) You quote him with approval, but seem to come to a different conclusion.

  168. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    re: #151

    Though there have already been a couple responses concerning Kenneth Blumenfeld’s posts I think you should look a bit at the nature of what he posted in the light of our exchange which you referenced.

    Ken, in response to jae’s post 89, made post 97 where he presented S&K as an example of a different group supporting the Hockey Stick. Pat Frank then stated in post 100 that S&K was flawed as it USED treerings without validating their appropriateness as a proxy. IN #109 & 110 Ken responds to the criticisms of S&K, including from Steve M. By #142 and the following posts by Ken it’s down to sematics, but I don’t see any particular ill will toward Ken.

    OTOH, look at # 101 vs #110. Ken derides Pat’s reference on the grounds that it didn’t concern trees of the last 2000 years, but in fact the point of the paper Pat referenced was that a study of modern trees showed that they didn’t do well in separating noise from signal and therefore using treerings as climate proxies was questionable whether the treerings were a thousand years or a million years old.

    So, what exactly is the problem with respect to Ken, or any other working scientist who choses to come here? This discussion was on the actual science of dendroclimatology and while there are some snide remarks on both sides, I don’t see why that would deter anyone from coming here and getting down and dirty over theory or data.

  169. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    TCO, go back and read through the thread. I cannot take this seriously.

  170. TCO
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Huh? You can’t take seriously, that someone might write a science paper and handwave over a key issue? Do you read the literature critically?

    Have you read the paper in discussion here?

  171. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: 162, Ken, thanks, some misunderstandings all the way around. I agree that we should be cool.

  172. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #163: I got censored earlier today at RC. It happens here, too. You may find that if you work your POV into RC comments in the form of questions that can be answered by one of the authors, you can get away with quite a bit more. If you are indeed there to learn, as I saw you state there recently, that shouldn’t be too hard.

    Re #164: Clearly those early archive pages didn’t get linked in date order. In any event, note that RC had a number of non-HS authors from the get-go, and those authors proceeded rather quickly to write about non-HS topics. The point is that they were diversified at the start.

    Re #166: “Do you agree, or not, that the Hockey Stick reconstructions are flawed?” Yes, inherently. All paleo reconstructions are flawed to varying degrees. As von Storch says, don’t read too much into them.

    “Do you agree, or not, that there are serious concerns about the use of tree ring data as temperature proxies?” Of course there are concerns, but I am truly not qualified to independently assess the extent to which those concerns are valid. I do think it is extremely unlikely that an entire field of climate science has the shaky basis that Steve M. seems to think this one does. But the NRC panel will have to answer that question whether it was asked directly or not, and I will tend to be guided by their conclusions.

  173. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    Welcome back TCO!

    Re #154, Hans Erren, I also checked for the known droughts and thought it odd they didn’t show up. Then again I’ve lived in the desert and seen how local rain can be. It takes away from the paper that Salzer and Kipfmueller don’t find them.

  174. TCO
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Bloom:

    It’s getting more and more likely that Steve M’s generalized issues with the field are correct given that he will defend the details and they seek to shift the discussion off of specifics of the mathematics.

    Why not do an experiment. Try spending the time to run one issue or assertion to ground. Not all. Just one as a trial. See who stands up better to critical scrutiny. Are you generally scientifically literate? I find that I can often dig through and hone in on key arguments/evaluate quality of research papers even outside my normal field, if I give it some time and read the paper hard (check some refs, think through the logic…iow CRITICAL THINKING!)

  175. John Cross
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    RE 163: JAE – While CA does not censor posts, the posters – especially the ones that are critical are reasonable. I have tried to engage John A on the topic of thermodynamics several times and every time Steve steps in and asks if we could take the argument elsewhere since he doesn’t want it here. I have always agreed and stopped posting on the matter.

    Now, if the operators of RC asked posters to stop posting on the topic of the hockey stick, do you think they would?

    Re # 157 – Willis: Could you clarify how you counted references to the hockey stick. If your search actually includes pages that have “hockey stick” in the comments as opposed to hockey stick in the main text then don’t you think it is a worse than useless statistic.

    Regards,
    John

  176. TCO
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Plus we are better looking over here.

  177. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom-Re.Your response 167 to my post 158 Let me be concise. On inspection, all of the results are from linearized models. The big surprises will be the sudden shifts, the bifurcations caused bt a nonlinear, chaotic Real Climate.Tell me that you understand all that, and it’s still humanity’s fault, and you know precisely what to do about it.From 166, “You keep dealing with peripheral issues, not the central ones. Do you agree, or not, that the Hockey Stick reconstructions are flawed?” and do you agree, or not, that chaos underlies the entire GW issue, and is not skilfully modelled? No don’t give any baloney about boundary constrained vs. Initial condition constrained issues. RP Sr. is very clear on this.

  178. kim
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    What was the motive for mentioning the implications?
    =================================

  179. McCall
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Cross — it is quite clear, you are ignorant of RC’s censorship criteria.

    1) After one of RC’s less learned readers commented about, “Tell that to the disintegrating fish in the acidifying (from CO2) ocean…” I posted a civil comment that one should study waek-acid, buffer chemistry in the ocean before make such claims. Apparently RC likes it when their readers/posters are so misinformed — my post was never published.

    2) After allowing a poster to attack Dr. Richard Lindzen on very thin grounds (a scientist with more peer-reviewed articles than any of the RC contributors), I responded with some public domain background of Dr. James Hansen. I also tried posting that same info on the celibrating Dr. Hansen thread (for balance) — in both instances, the post was suppressed.

    It is now clear to me that RC is a captive site, limiting contrarian postings in trying support their POV. I don’t believe they intend to thrive on the scientific ignorance of many of their readers, but they long ago stopped trying to broadly and fairly inform in what is approaching a siege mentality.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

      Re: McCall (#179),

      I have failed to post on RC 3 times in 2 days. Didn’t even make the moderator review stage. Just censored. Closed minds, not wanting to learn. Usefulness has reached expiry date. RC removed from Internet Favorites. Forever. Amen.

  180. jae
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    Bloom: You had better alert the Sierra Club that they need a new cause to procure all the donations to support them. This one is dead. Why don’t you try Anthropogenic Global Cooling, because the bulk of the information suggests that we are at the tip of a NORMAL cycle in climate fluctuations, and it will cool off in a year or two. If the Sierra Club picks this scenario, they will be famous for predicting the next man-made catastrophe. Or maybe you can find some more endangered species. Anyway, this one is a loser. Done. Dead.

  181. John Cross
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    John (McCall) Do you have a link for the Lindzen comment?

    TCO – Real men still use sliderules – none of this whimpy calculator crap for us!!

  182. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    RE: I recall an interesting comment (and I forget where – maybe Fritts 1969) that inversions are common in these mountains and that nightly minimums in the spring are colder at lower altitudes than higher altitudes. I also think that I’ve seen that spring minimum temperatures may be related to tree line, so there could be a complicated control on lower treeline in some bristlecone sites.

    This is true throughout the fall through spring. Inversions are common in this part of the world since the Pacific High is the dominant feature, resulting in subsidence. Combine that with the innate cold air drainage and often times, temps are coldest in places like Lee Vining and Truckee, rather than at higher locations.

  183. bruce
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    It seems evident from over here in Oz that some of the posts here between say 7:00pm to say 10:00pm (US time) benefit from a certain loosening of inhibitions often associated with generous consumption of certain fluids. I have (now) a rule that I must not post after I have had a glass or two of wine, since I am certain to regret it when I look at the site again in the morning to see what exactly was it that I said. Under those circumstances I pray for an enlightened web-master to “censor” my comments and save me from certain embarrassment.

  184. Tim Lambert
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    I just noticed that Steve left an inline response to my comment 87. He claims he made a “thorough response” in <a href=”http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=438#comment-9431″ rel=”nofollow”>this comment</a>. However, his response was mostly irrelevant to his claim that Mann knew that Crowley had spliced and that Mann had lied about it.
    The only relevant portion was this:
    <blockquote>If the EOS version is related to CL2.Jnsm11, then I submit that that constitues indisputable evidence of Mann’s awareness of the exact problem. Let’s look at the digital data before filibustering on this.</blockquote>
    On this point Steve was and is wrong and he has not made a proper correction. This is par for the course. He would not admit that his claim that I deliberately blocked John A from my site was wrong.

  185. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    #172 – Steve B, you said:

    Re #163: I got censored earlier today at RC. It happens here, too.

    When have you ever been censored here? To the best of my recollection, never. Why do you say such things?

  186. Tim Lambert
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    Err, I think Steve B is saying that censorship happens here. Which it does, on science that you don’t want to talk about.

  187. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    Tim, Steve B is quite capable of speaking for himself without your assistance.

    I’ve censored discussions of religion and intelligent design, since they are not topics that I wish to convene a discussion on. For not dissimilar reasons, I asked people to take discussions of entropy elsewhere (and the topic was then being discussed) as I lacked the knowledge to moderate it and was really quite uninterested in ragging back and forth between you and John A on the topic. I do not exclude the possibility of threads on this in the future. I’ve been reading on some applications of maximum entropy to climate and find them quite interesting, but all in good time. I can’t do everything.

    I’ve asked people not to hijack threads with their personal hobbyhorses.

  188. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    Tim, please provide a citation for your assertion that:

    He would not admit that his claim that I deliberately blocked John A from my site was wrong.

    Look, I don’t care about this issue. I did not claim that you blocked John A from your site. I said that there was reasonable doubt that you had and edited some of John A’s comments to reflect this. However, I did conclude, based on your own admission, that you had blocked per from your site. My statement was:

    If I may summarize this boring thread . Lambert’s position can be neatly summarized, in the immortal words of Bob Marley,

    I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy.

    This post was originally about Lambert deleting posts from correspondent Per. Lambert admits that he shot the sheriff. John A. claimed that Lambert had, in addition, blocked him from the site. Lambert claims that this was due to Bad Behavior. Lambert stated:

    I explained in detail why John A’s IP was blocked. Bad Behavior decided that a spambot had visited my blog from his IP. I looked at the log and found it looked like a visit from a spambot. If it wasn’t that then it was misconfigured software on his machine. Other people have been blocked because of misbehaving aggregators.

    In my opinion, there is reasonable doubt as to whether Lambert shot the deputy. In light of this,
    I have edited out some claims by John A. in the above post. Bob Marley’s decision stands.

    It gets really tiresome when you put words into my mouth. I would appreciate it if you went to the trouble of at least quoting me.

  189. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Re #188: Tim is right; I was referring to others. Steve M., in addition to what you mention, periodic (snip)s appear. I assume those are mainly ad homs of one sort or another, but from the outside it’s hard to tell. Based on #180 above, apparently they’re not obscenities. My general impression is that RC is much more hard-nosed about obscenities, ad homs and OT comments. I made the point to jae that one can say some pretty contrarian things over there and as long as they’re packaged as some sort of reasonable question they’ll be allowed to remain. It’s also fair to note that the RC standards for this stuff are enforced less consistently than the standards here because there are multiple people doing the enforcing. All of that said, I should be clear that when I say “censorship” I include any of the foregoing examples, so please don’t take it badly. If I had a blog, I’d censor too. :)

  190. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Tim, let’s try to see if we can settle a few simple things. Here’s what Mann said:

    No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.

    First, do you agree that the Crowley series CL2Jnsm11 is a splice of a reconstruction onto the instrumental record? It is. If you challenge this statement, pelase provide evidence.

    Second, if I re-stated the proposition in the earlier post as follows:

    Mann either knew of the Crowley splice or should have known of the Crowley splice.

    Is that language that you would agree with? Obviously Mann holds himself up to be an expert in multiproxy studies. There are not very many of them and a qualified expert should know about any splices in such studies. That seems like a fair statement to me. Is there anything about this that you object to? If this is the case, maybe we can reach a compromise that Mann’s statements were reckless and negligent and inconsistent with being an expert rather than intentionally deceitful.

  191. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:04 AM | Permalink

    #190. Steve B, what a cop-out. realclimate censored my replies to personal criticisms against me. It’s not like they even posted it up and snipped things. There’s a big difference between that and snipping ad homs and flames. It is really unfair and tiresome to compare the two and I’m disappointed in you.

  192. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #181: jae, you go to all that trouble to try to show that you’re interested in actually learning about this stuff, and wonder why oh why do the mean RC authors censor you, and then you go ahead and say something like this. To all appearances you are wholly uninterested in discussing anything except to confirm your preconceived views. Have fun.

  193. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

    Re #192: I wasn’t aware of that. Pointers?

  194. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    #194: As a start, look at the thread Is Gavin Schmidt Honest? They censored me; then, after I raised a big stink, they belatedly let one comment through, then they censored the rest. It happened later as well.

  195. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom said:

    “My general impression is that RC is much more hard-nosed about obscenities, ad homs and OT comments.”

    Try posting something about bristlecones, aerosols, or the non-climactic “adjustment” in MBH99 that conflicts with the Hockey Team view. You’ll surely see the business end of the censor’s delete key.

    By the way Steve, I’m still waiting for your promised careful response over at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=554#comments. See #236.

  196. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

    I was anticipating a possible (and reasonable) counter-argument (from any poster) like, “well maybe your sub-field doesn’t have all the policy implications that this one has, so of course people can be nice to each other.”
    ====================================

  197. John A
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    My general impression is that RC is much more hard-nosed about obscenities, ad homs and OT comments.

    Yep. If its offensive to climate skeptics they’ll allow it through. Thus we had a recent commentor directly comparing AGW “Deniers” with deniers of the Holocaust, and Gavin Schmidt, in a post on Charles Darwin, comparing climate skeptics with skeptics of evolution.

  198. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

    #154

    Hans Erren, not quite the same dimension as your link, but on page 475, table III ranks 1292-1300 as the #8 dry period.

    I have seen posters (at AMS conferences…I have not read up on the subject thoroughly) about the sub-regionality of Southwest droughts; essentially that “mesoscale” pockets can experience extreme drought conditions within a larger area of “normal” drought. Considering that the summertime showers and thunderstorms tend to be spatially discrete, I guess it is possible for isolated locales to have a string of “bad luck” that results in prolonged drought. Like you, I am nevertheless puzzled by how such a drastic difference would show up over such a small area. Steve B’s explanation is reasonable, since higher elevations would benefit more directly from the orographically-induced storms…and would have fewer “dry” thunderstorms. Anyone lurking with expertise in the area, please do chime in and explain.

    #170…

    TCO, since I posted up the abstract and made a couple subsequent points about the paper at large, I could not take your comments in 165 (“Why not read the damn paper…”) seriously. Hence my instruction to you to re-read through the thread.

    #180

    TCO, despite your sweeping generalization about RC, I’m glad you exercised you desire to drop the F-bomb. It makes me wish I was posting under a pseudonym.

  199. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #199, oh yes, I missed #180. Sometimes I wish I’d been dishonest about myself as well, it clearly makes letting oneself go completely OTT much easier.

    Re #166. Jae, if you know of anyone who has ever said the HS’s are perfect please let me know who they were.

  200. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 3:47 AM | Permalink

    And now, some nice things, since it’s been a long day.

    I like that Steve M often gets into things that are not related to multiproxy climate stuff–squash, politics, television, his mother. It adds a nice personal touch that, on balance, makes the site more inviting than the other climate blogs, no matter what I say about the views/conclusions that often get expressed here.

    I like that Steve responds to criticisms promptly and does not try to change the subject. As a non-hockey-team “warmer,” I maintain my position that the science would benefit from RC folks engaging him more directly.

    No matter what kind of arguments/disagreements/quasi-flame battles I get in with other posters here, I mean nothing personally by it, and I make no character judgements in the long run. We all are a little extra brave online, and in person we could easily do this over a drink or two, without any real confrontation.

    So, on that touchy-feely note (aah, the value of those weekend workshops my wife dragged me to), I say goodnight (or morning).

  201. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Re #196: I’ve done a bit of research, and there’s a paper in press that deals directly with the spacial distribution of aerosols. If it’s going to come out reasonably soon, I’ll just wait for it.

  202. James Lane
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    re 201

    A nice post by Kenneth, and I’d like to think that all posters would engage in the spirit indicated.

  203. kim
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Cute, KB. Perhaps I mistook the mention of all the policy implications to be harum-scarum. Your #201 is elegantly stated. God knows, S tolerates an idiot like me, though he draws the line at religion.
    ==============================

  204. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Re 152 Steve
    “The abstract as you quote it makes no reference to models.”
    I quoted a paper not its abstract. This extract from the paper
    “2. Experimental Setup
    [4] We use the Goddard Institute for Space Studies GCM
    model II’ version run at 4 by 5 degree horizontal resolution.”
    show that amodel was used
    I disputed the main premises in the paper but the posts from you AGW desciples accuse me of
    not understanding how science advances and telling an untruth.
    Science advances by disputation not nitpicking.
    Let’s see some proper science from these AGW disciples.

  205. TCO
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Ken,

    You still have not made a fact-based argument about the level of argument in the paper (Steve’s comment on the handwaving). Why not drill down? If you are so familiar with the paper, then engage. Sheesh.

  206. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    Which it does, on science that you don’t want to talk about.

    That’s an interesting comment coming from someone here who seemingly never posts about science in the first place.

  207. kim
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    KB, I’ve long thought that one of the values of blogs is that discussions can be carried on that in person would degenerate into fisticuffs, or, worse yet, agreement.
    ============================================

  208. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    HI, TCO. Nice to see you again. S&K is a long enough paper that my arm-waving comment was not really specific to engage. (My quick comment was about what paleoclimate peer reviewers do though.) I’ll be a little more specific.

    First, I’m instantly wary of stepwise regressions, which S&K use. They are a tool which is readily abused as a quick google will reveal. I think that I’ve posted up on Foster and Stine on the calculation of “honest confidence intervals” in stepwise regression (it’s a phrase that I like and use). If I haven’t I’ll post up on it some time.

    Second, I’m wary of cherry-picked sites. Even if there was some sort of correlation of temperature between SFP bristlecones and gridcell temperature, there’s little correlation in other sites that I’ve looked at. You’re dealing with high autocorrelation in gridcell temperatures and bristlecone site chronologies, so it’s easy to get deceptively high correlations.

    Third, S&K have not archived their bristlecone data up to 1997. Without access to the data, it’s hard to get a feel for their statistics. I’ve got more than enough active fronts with better-known studies right now. Ken, if you want to go to the trouble of getting the S&K data (and Climatic Change would cooperate under their data policy which grew out of my review of Mann et al (rejected 2004)) and send me the data, I’ll look at it.

    Fourth, their references to authorities for temperature dependence are ancient and not dependable (not the authorities, but their characterization of them.) Most of these authorities were cited in our E&E article, so I’m familiar with them. S&K said:

    Correlation and response function analysis shows that the high elevation SFP tree-ring chronology correlated most significantly with monthly mean-maximum temperatures. The results of several physiological experiments with upper treeline pines (Tranquillini, 1964; Schulze et al., 1967; Mooney et al., 1966) suggest that net photosynthesis at upper treeline is most influenced by the length of the warm season and daily maximum temperatures. While the growth response to temperature of these upper-treeline Bristlecone Pines is complex, two points are clear: first, the most significant and easily understood climate/tree-growth relationship is increased growth with increased daytime (maximum) temperatures, and second, the most important effect of temperature on growth is not immediate. The strongest statistical relationship between mean-maximum temperature and the tree-ring chronology occurred during the year prior to the year of growth. Other Bristlecone Pine studies (Fritts, 1969; LaMarche, 1973; LaMarche and Stockton, 1974) have suggested that growth, especially radial growth of the stem, depends on reserves of stored food produced during earlier periods.

    When one sees a statement that the growth-temperature response is “complex”, that’s a sign of trouble to me. I’ll comment on two references listed above that I have handy: Schulze et al 1967 and Mooney et al 1966.

    Mooney, H.A., M West and R. Brayton, 1966. Field measurements of the metabolic responses of bristlecone pine and big sagebrush in the White Mountains of California, Botanical Gazette 127, 105-113.

    This discussed the phenomenon that bristlecones and big sagebrush were in ecological competition and that the vegetation distribution even marked the geological contact betweeen dolomite and sandstone – a point noted up in our E&E article. My reading of Mooney et al. is that there was relatively little difference in photosynthetic performance in the range 10-20 deg C (the growing season range) and that net photosynthesis attenuated from the peak at higher temperatures.

    Plants of bristlecone pine changed little from mid-June to mid-August in their capacity for carbon dioxide exchange. This period encompassed nearly the entire growth season. (p. 107). ..Peak photosynthetic rates occurred at either 10 or 15 deg C for the field bristlecone pines and were not too different at these temperatures. Rates at 20 deg C, although always less than the rates at either 10 or 15 deg C , on any given date were never depressed more than 15% of the peak rat. Thus photosynthetic efficiencies were quite high throughout the temperature range of 10-20 C. These temperatures generally encompass the range of daylight temperatures at Crooked Creek during the growing season. …

    Schulze, E.D., H.A. Mooney and E.L. Dunn, 1967. Wintertime photosynthesis of bristlecone pine (pinus aristata) in the White Mountains of California. Ecology 48, 1044-1047.

    This pointed out that bristlecones had atypical conifer behavior in not really being dormant during the winter. Thus they consumed photosynthate in the winter; since dark respiration is sensitive to temperature, this would create an inverse relationship between ring widths and winter temperature, other things being equal.

    Neither article proves that there is a Mannian linear relationship between temperature and bristlecone ring width growth on an annual basis. Now S&K argue that the relationship is not witht he current year’s temperature but with the prior year’s temperature. But the supposed botanical sources provide no comfort for this claim. If there is actually such a correlation, the argument in S&K does not rise above data mining, until it’s demonstrated that this is a consistent species relationship.

  209. john lichtenstein
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    If we can’t keep this G-rated it might get added to school block lists.

  210. TCO
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    waaaah.

  211. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    RE: This discussed the phenomenon that bristlecones and big sagebrush were in ecological competition and that the vegetation distribution even marked the geological contact betweeen dolomite and sandstone

    Even out here by the coast, where you see the big sage (a distinct thing from coastal sage scrub) you usually find sandstone underneath.

  212. Dano
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    RE 212:

    [trying to get this thing to post]:

    Even out here by the coast, where you see the big sage (a distinct thing from coastal sage scrub) you usually find sandstone underneath. [linkies added]

    Not that I’m on a site that atomistically quibbles or anything, but to clarify: ‘coastal sage scrub’ is a ecological community name. Artemisa californica is the sage of that community, whereas Artemisia tridentata is the dominant sage of the Great Basin, western arid lands and high deserts of the southwest and northwest [please, no calls for auditing of r^2s for these papers]. The wide distribution of A. tridentata precludes restriction to one substrate/parent rock soil type.

    The context of the quotation you focused on is that Pinus a. is a poor competitor and so can compete on nutrient-poor soils.

    Best,

    D

  213. Dano
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    I think I have a post stuck in spambox, folks.

    D

    John replies: I’ve jsut dug it out. Spam Karma is sometimes flakey about what it thinks is spam, although without it, this blog would have drowned under a tsunami of spam comments.

  214. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    re # 213: Good Dano! Pats head.

    That’s the kind of post which is useful and instructive. Living in the Phoenix area, there’s lots of what I suppose, from you message, is A. tridentata around. Next time I’m in coastal CA I’ll have to try looking at the A. Californica.

  215. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Dano!

  216. jae
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Dano: with your wealth of knowledge about tree rings (I’m not being a smart ass here), can you help us understand the relationship between growth rate/ring density and temperature. “Linkies” would be great (now I am being a smart ass).

  217. Dano
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

    215:

    You probably have Larrea tridentata around you – just guessing, but last time I was in Havasu that’s what they had there – too little precip. Thicker, more prostrate stems and a darker brown than sage.

    =========

    Thx John. I suspect I had too many [/a] in there.

    D

  218. Dano
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    217:

    1. Textbooks are far better for this topic than linkies (paucity of readable linkies).

    2. I wouldn’t call it ‘wealth’ of knowledge. The coring fieldwork I did was on stand response to disturbance – namely fire [e.g. release after fire and N cycling response], and stand edge effect as suppression after clearcuts [e.g. heat intolerance, shade tolerance response, N fixation response in mychorrizae presence/absence (with mycologists)]. IOW, I come at it from the ecology angle, not the dendrochronology angle.

    Anyway, there are numerous other factors [including what I looked at above (which contribute to 'noise')], nutrient limitation of a site, etc. WRT to the hi-altitude sites of interest for purposes of ‘zeroing’ or ‘calibrating’ living trees [aside: Pinus a., i.e., is used because of the long continuous record in one spp.] – and it’s important to know the nutrient limitation is not a ‘bug’, but rather a ‘feature’.

    The question this site raises (but does not empirically show, rather uses other work to bolster a hypothesis & question current knowledge) is whether the anthropogenic influence that can be found over the entire globe creates so much noise in the dendro record such that initial ‘zeroing’ or ‘calibration’ is impossible due to anthro. noise.

    As is so often insisted on here, the phenomenon of ‘noise pollution’ needs greater understanding. But that doesn’t mean that prediction/calibration isn’t possible and – again – I say formulate a null hypothesis and show its true. And I’ll also say that this Charney thing mentioned here (whoa nellie – just using a point of reference) is found in many situations – e.g. when we used to hold morning forecast briefings and the synoptic situation was complex, the standard question asked was ‘what was your first guess?’. Often that first guess was the best forecast & incremental or minor changes completed it – this gets to epistemology and prediction isn’t predicated on having complete knowledge. Replicability is another issue and the noise issue isn’t addressed with epistemology but rather good hypotheses and methods. Which is why someone needs to get in the field, as that’s how change gets made – human nature and all that.

    Alright. I think there’s a medium-hoppy red with smooth finish that’s calling my name, so gotta go…

    D

  219. jae
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    219. So, if I understand your post, which I probably don’t (because I think there is quite a bit of jibberish in there), there is too damn much variation, variables, noise, etc., etc. in tree ring data to extract a temperature record–without discovering and applying some type of “magic statistics” (which is what I think the HS team have been trying to do). I don’t think your linkies shed light on the question, but I have not reviewed the textbook. Come on, tell us straight out, can you extract a temperature signal from tree rings, like the HS team says they did? And are you wandering beyond your field of specialty, as I am? And were you sampling the hoppy brew already?

  220. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    re: #219

    But that doesn’t mean that prediction/calibration isn’t possible

    But to show prediction/calibration is possible it should at least be necessary to show that the statistical analysis of the prediction exceeds that of random noise. If you really want it formulated as a null hypothesis: “Mannian type calibrations of tree-ring proxies to temperature are not significantly better than similar treatment of random noise.” This null hypothesis is what Steve M has been proving right along. I’m sure he’d love someone (or combinations of someones), with both tree-ring and statistical knowledge to engage him here on this subject. There has been some input from the tree-ring crowd, but little or none on the statistical mathematics side. And even tree-ring people haven’t really addressed the question of why certain trees or sites are selected and not others. Though even if they did have valid justification the question remains of how such selection affects the calibration and verification statistics.

  221. Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    #188 Look, if you don’t want to allow discussion on how to average temperatures here, you can. But could you spare us your disingenuous reasons for doing so? Discussion on any other aspect of climate science is allowed. John A is allowed to bad mouth me on the topic. It’s only if I show up to defend myself that you shut down discussion.

    Steve: John A. is not allowed to badmouth you on the topic. You’ve both been shut down on this topic equally. You’ve been given ample air-time. I only object to you hijacking threads.

    #189 Here is the exact quote from you

    Lambert, emulating Mann’s prior blocking of me from his FTP site, has blocked John A. from access to his site

    Instead of admitting that was wrong, you try to pretend that you never wrote it. Lame.

    Steve: Here’s exactly what’s at the thread:

    [John A. believes that] Lambert, emulating Mann’s prior blocking of me from his FTP site, has blocked John A. from access to his site. [edited on Oct 6].


    I fail to see what possible complaint you have with this as edited. You cannot imagine how uninterested I am in this.

    #191 The basis for your claim that "Mann knew that Crowley had carried out exactly this form of splice" was that the graph in EOS 2003 contained CL2.Jns11. That’s wrong and you will not admit it and correct your post. If you want to retract and offer a new argument, we can discuss that, but first you need to correct your false claims.

    Steve: You have suggested that Mann screwed up in EOS2003 by labelling a displaced version of MBH99 as Crowley and Lowery. You may be right and your suggestion is plausible, but it is not proven. Mann has not acknowledged this and no corrigendum has been issued at EOS. Why don’t you write to EOS and determine once and for all whether Mann screwed up again, as you allege.

    Now we all agree that Crowley did make a splice of the type that Mann said "no researcher" had ever done. So I think that we all agree that Mann’s statement was false. I think that we all also agree that, as lead author for IPCC on this topic, Mann should have been aware of splices in Crowley’s work. So the only question is whether Mann’s statement was knowingly false or recklessly or negligently false. You suggest that, if there was the additional screwup in EOS2003 mentioned above, that it is impossible to be certain which is the case. On Dec. 2, 2005, I posted the following update, after you pointed out the possibility of another Mann screw-up:

    Update Dec 2, 2005: Tim Lambert has suggested that this series may actually be some variant of MBH99 incorrectly labelled.

    I thought that this adequately made allowance for the possibility that the false statement was merely reckless or negligent. However, for greater certainty, I have added the following additional update to the post:

    Update. March 26, 2006. If Mann incorrectly used a displaced version of MBH99 and labelled it as Crowley and Lowery, as Lambert believes, then this screw-up should have been reported to EOS and a corrigendum issued. To date, no such corrigendum has been issued. To my knowledge, Lambert has not written to EOS to confirm this screw-up. It is beyond question that Crowley spliced data in exactly the way that Mann said that "no researcher, to [his] knowledge, had ever done". Obviously, Mann, as the lead author for IPCC TAR on these multiproxy studies, should have been aware of this splicing. Lambert suggests that it is possible that, in addition to screwing up the EOS graph, Mann may have failed to inform himself properly about the Crowley splice; in that case, Lambert believes that Mann’s quote above could be based on ignorance and a failure to take proper care rather than deceit. This is an alternative possible explanation.

    I trust that this additional update adequately clarifies this particular false statement by Mann in the context of the possibility of another screw-up in EOS2003.

  222. Dano
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    220:

    Come on, tell us straight out, can you extract a temperature signal from tree rings, like the HS team says they did[of course. Why would you think this technique is special to this one research team?]? And are you wandering beyond your field of specialty, as I am [a reminder: I said I did fieldwork for stand dynamics, not temp reconstruction]? And were you sampling the hoppy brew already? [I enjoyed it while watching the Husky-Husky game, thanks.

    221:

    It’s tough to read stuff that starts out almost immediately with a FUD phrase [e.g. here, 'Mannian'].

    Best,

    D

  223. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    too bad that danian is already reserved for a paleocene stage.

  224. IL
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    LOL and the Danian ended in the KT boundary, a mass extinction!

  225. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    no danian started with a mass extinction….

  226. Tim Lambert
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    1. Once, just once, I’d like you to quit with the ***. I haven’t been hijacking threads. If someone else brings the matter up I’ll comment. Any other discussion of climate science is allowed, even if it is off-topic and you are not familiar with the subject area. See, for example, the current discussionon sea level. You are just determined to remain ignorant of the mathematics of intensive quantities. (This involves 7th grade maths.)

    Steve: I am not interested some argument between you and John A about intensive quantities on my bandwidth. If you want to do it on your own blog, do it there. If you’ve mastered intensive quantities, bully for you. Write it about on your blog.

    2. So we’ve established, contrary to your denials, that you did claim that I blocked John A. And you still won’t admit that your claim was wrong.

    Tim. you’re a one-trick pony with not a very interesting trick. I did not initiate the discussion of censorship on your blog here; John A did. Unfortunately, I got dragged into this stupid discussion. I edited my comment last October as follows:

    As an encore, [John A. believes that] Lambert, emulating Mann’s prior blocking of me from his FTP site, has blocked John A. from access to his site. [edited on Oct 6].

    As to whether you did or didn’t block John A, I have no idea and, on October 6, said that you had admitted blocking per, but had denied blocking John A. I said that there was reasonable doubt as to whether you had blocked John A. It’s possible that you didn’t; it’s possible that you did. I don’t care.

    3. Your "correction" is grossly inadequate and misrepresents what I have written. Whatever the source of the graph in EOS it most definitely was not CL2.Jns11. But you can not, will not, admit this. This is not a minor point — it was the whole basis of your post.

    Steve: Mann labelled the spaghetti graph as Crowley and Lowery. You suggested that Mann had screwed up one more time in EOS2003 and had astonishingly labelled a displaced version of MBH99 as Crowley and Lowery! The possibility of such a remarkable screw-up by Mann had not occurred to me when I wrote the post. When you pointed this out, I immediately noted this up in the post as follows:

    Update Dec 2, 2005: Tim Lambert has suggested that this series may actually be some variant of MBH99 incorrectly labelled.

    As I mentioned previously, when Tim raised exactly the same point, I thought that this had dealt with the matter. However, for greater clarity, I added the following:

    Update. March 26, 2006. If Mann incorrectly used a displaced version of MBH99 and labelled it as Crowley and Lowery, as Lambert believes, then this screw-up should have been reported to EOS and a corrigendum issued. To date, no such corrigendum has been issued. To my knowledge, Lambert has not written to EOS to confirm this screw-up. It is beyond question that Crowley spliced data in exactly the way that Mann said that “no researcher, to [his] knowledge, had ever done”. Obviously, Mann, as the lead author for IPCC TAR on these multiproxy studies, should have been aware of this splicing. Lambert suggests that it is possible that, in addition to screwing up the EOS graph, Mann may have failed to inform himself properly about the Crowley splice; in that case, Lambert believes that Mann’s quote above could be based on ignorance and a failure to take proper care rather than deceit. This is an alternative possible explanation.

    Tim, while you have made a plausible case that Mann screwed up once again in EOS 2003, no corrigendum has been issued. I would encourage you to pursue this with EOS. Perhaps we can re-visit the matter when we find out exactly what the screw-up was.

    There were several other points.

    One of the most important was that Crowley had done exactly the type of splice that Mann said that no researcher had ever done. Yes or no, Tim – do you agree with this?

    Second, that Mann’s statement that “no researcher” had ever done such a splice was false. Yes or no, Tim – do you agree with that?

    At present, I am prepared to agree that it is not demonstrated whether Mann’s false statement was knowingly false or recklessly/negligently false, as I indicated in the amendment to the post.

  227. TCO
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Tim, what do you think of RE versus R2 and whether listed and all that?

  228. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    RE: 223. Thanks for the link, Dano. Now THAT looks like a plausible way to extract a temperature record, given that the trees are well-dated. But I am asking about ring widths and densities. Please show me some damn paper that demonstrates that it is possible to separate moisture and temperature signals in tree ring/density data. And please show me a paper that further shows a definite positive correlation between temperature and ring width/density, where other variaables are held constant (or relatively so). Gawd, most of the reconstructions are based on these simple relationships. Unless there is proof of these relationships, it was a waste of time for the HS to use all this data in their reconstructions.

  229. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Steve, could you please use consistent font and typeface when making in-line replies? It’s somewhat disorienting the way you have 222 and 227.

  230. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Tim, I’ve posted a proposed joint letter to resolve whether there was another Mann screw-up in EOS2003 on the Crowley Splice thread. You’re right about the current thread getting hijacked by sea level discussion, but that doesn’t justify you hijacking it as well. If you want to talk about Mann screw-ups re the Crowley Splice, could you please do so on the Crowley Splice thread. If you want to talk about blocking on your blog, I’d prefer that you didn’t as no one’s interested. But if you cannot help the compulsion, please do so on the Is It Karma? thread so that people who are uninterested in the topic can avoid it.

  231. TCO
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    They are really two different questions:

    a. What is the yellow line–is it MBH99?
    b. Will you print a correction? (assumes that it was labeled incorrectly).

  232. TCO
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I would send to all the authors and cc C and L. I don’t expect that Mann will want to deal with it (the lack of participation in the NAS investigation shows how much he cares for people digging into things), but it’s worth a shot and maybe a co-worker can push him to be more engaged with critics.

  233. Dano
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Please show me some damn paper that demonstrates that it is possible to separate moisture and temperature signals in tree ring/density data.

    This is basic to the discipline.

    And please show me a paper that further shows a definite positive correlation between temperature and ring width/density, where other variaables are held constant (or relatively so).

    This is basic to the discipline.

    A new world awaits.

    Best,

    D

  234. Mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    I think the next step would be to show where our friends handling these proxy reconstructions actually take into consideration such methods.

    Mark

  235. Mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    I should point out as well that there are several papers at Dano’s linked site that discuss the relationship between increased CO2 and ring-width. This causes a problem when trying to link temperature to CO2 based on tree-rings: chicken and egg.

    That’s a cool site, btw, Dano. I intend to do some more browsing.

    Mark

  236. TCO
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    DanO, please give a more specific reference. Steve, for instance, has referred to LaMarche. Your links are nonresponsive. They are just general texts. Give a page number or restate the method.

  237. Mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Tis true, though I was happy just to see that there is work in the area. Scant references in papers used to spend billions is a concern.

    Mark

  238. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, again, Dano. I will try to review the information that is available. I don’t plan to take all the “climate change” courses, however. I will bet you a case of beer that the relationship between growth rates/latewood density and temperature is ASSUMED, not documented by detailed greenhouse studies (which is the only way I can think of for establishing such a relationship). I still smell a big rat.

  239. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    re 236:
    Thanks dano:
    Becker, M., Nieminen, T.M., Gérémia, F. 1994. Short-term variations and long-term changes in oak productivity in northeastern France. The role of climate and atmospheric CO2. Annales des Sciences forestiàƒÆ’à‚⧲es 51(5): 477-492.

    A model was created using a combination of meteorological data (monthly precipitation and temperature) starting in 1881, and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The model explains 78.3% of the variance for sessile oak and 74.3% for pedunculate oak. This includes some monthly parameters of year y (year of ring formation), and also some parameters of the years y-1 to y-4 for sessile oak and y-1 to y-5 for pedunculate oak. The models satisfactorily reproduce the long-term trends and the interannual variation. The cliamtic variables alone (ie. excluding the CO2 concentration) were insufficient to explain the trends observed. The possible direct and indirect effects of increasing CO2 concentration on the growth of both species are discussed.

    http://www01.wsl.ch/dendrobiblio/FMPro?-db=dendrobiblio.fp5&-format=details.html&-lay=web&full%5ftext=co2&submit=Start%20search&-recid=33054&-find=

  240. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    #234. Dano, those references deal with dating not temperature correlations.

    The isses are a lor more nuanced than Dano’s letting on. The “divergence problem” for example. Ring widths and densities have declined for a wide class of sites thought to be temperature sensitive on an ex ante basis. This was discussed at the NAS panel and none of the dendro people had anything that remotely qualified as an answer. Thus, if the site chronologies are not picking up late 20th century warmth, how can you tell whether they would pick up MWP warmth? IMO this becomes really problematic when you see different approaches to the trees: ecological niche modeling such as Miller et al 2006, which show very warm MWP, missed by the “site chronologies”.

    The Hockey Team method of dealing with the problem is to ex post pick sites which increase in the late 20th century – cherry picking.

  241. Mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    They do mention temperature correlation, but discuss methods for extracting it, not what the actual correlation is. That said, do Mann et. al. employ scientific methods for extracting the temperature or do they simply use the output statistics to claim “it’s a temperature proxy!” Based on an answer you provided earlier (a similar question), and a lack of any supporting evidence, my only conclusion is they are using the output statistics to determine input selection criteria.

    I don’t necessarily smell a rat as this may have originally been just bad science, i.e. they didn’t realize that this auto-biased the results (remember, Mann is “not a statistician”). Now, however, that the cat is out of the bag, continued use of such flawed methodologies should be frowned upon.

    Mark

  242. kim
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Watch the face: Shock, frown, outrage.
    ==============================

  243. Dano
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    237:

    Dano, those references deal with dating not temperature correlations.

    Dendrochronology, yes.

    The issues commenters are interested in are inherent in the discipline. Field work, Steve. Field work.

    The issues are a lot more nuanced than Dano’s letting on.

    Au contraire, Steve.

    My point is some folks want something Googleable to point to and say ‘A-HA!!!!!!!’, when that’s not possible.

    I’m pointing to basic places to get an education where folks can understand the context if they choose to educate themselves and speak to the subject.

    See, Google doesn’t have a ‘context’ or ‘wisdom’ button. It just returns uncontextualized facts. With no wisdom or knowledge or experience to interpret these facts, they just sit there like so many numbers in the phone book.

    And besides, folks for some reason want me to do their work for them. Ain’t gonna happen.

    240:

    Yes, Hans. This is not an earth-shaking discovery you just made. Sorry.

    Best,

    D

  244. Mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    I’m pointing to basic places to get an education where folks can understand the context if they choose to educate themselves and speak to the subject.

    Yes, we understand that… at least, I understand that and have stated as much. However, you pointing us in the direction of an education is not the same as proof that these concepts are used, by and large, by the dendroclimatology professionals we’re critiquing. In fact, in cases, it seems they need to be pointed to the same field work education.

    Also, that there are methods for extracting the temperature does not mean that definitive conclusions have ever been reached, nor are they available for falsification. “Field work” methodologies alone do not provide the necessary proof to use the cause/effect relationship in the papers that are available via google.

    I’m not asking you to do any work for me, however, if you’re going to rely on something as a proof, it is your burden to show that the due diligence is in place first, before I get to doing my part. To date, the evidence of this due diligence is lacking, to say the least.

    Mark

  245. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Dano the Wise: you are still avoiding the QUESTION: Cite just one reference (not a damn textbook) that demonstrates that tree rings make good thermometers. I am positive that you would do so immediately if you know of any such references.

  246. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    And Dano is trying to be a pedant too. I read textbooks on C14 and tree-ring dating decades ago. But dendrochronology an dendroclimatology are two separate things. It’s like the difference between building furnature and building a fire. They may both use wood and sound similar but the application is much different.

  247. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    In poking through the sites Dano suggested (#234; thanks!) and the links therein, I came across the “Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages” (http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/default.html). Under “Principles of Dendrochronology,” the entry I found most interesting was as follows:

    The Principle of Site Selection
    This principle states that sites useful to dendrochronology can be identified and selected based on criteria that will produce tree-ring series sensitive to the environmental variable being examined. For example, trees that are especially responsive to drought conditions can usually be found where rainfall is limiting, such as rocky outcrops, or on ridgecrests of mountains. Therefore, a dendrochronologist interested in past drought conditions would purposely sample trees growing in locations known to be water-limited. Sampling trees growing in low-elevation, mesic (wet) sites would not produce tree-ring series especially sensitive to rainfall deficits. The dendrochronologist must select sites that will maximize the environmental signal being investigated. …

    It seems to me that this principle requires that any published chronology include full details of soil, topography, vegetation, and the detailed location of each tree sampled (say, to within 5m). Detailed photos might suffice for much of this.

  248. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Re:#247
    Sorry, Dave, but it seems that the distinction is blurred in modern use. “Dendrochronology” now seems to be a catch-all that encompasses ALL the dendro-ologies.

  249. TCO
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    I think a written description (data sheet) for each tree would be good. Nowadays photos are easy. But in olden days, data sheet would be good start.

    The other concern I have with this kind of biological testing is the amount of samples. It is well known that with biological methods that there are a lot of confounding factors giving variability…so they need to get enough samples.

  250. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    “Detailed photos might suffice for much of this.”

    Is that going to work for CO2 (airborne fertilizer)

  251. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Re:#250

    Nowadays photos are easy. But in olden days, data sheet would be good start.

    If by “nowadays” you mean “Since the introduction of the Brownie camera in 1900,” I’ll agree with you. :) Certainly, tree data sheets are good, too. Any kind of detailed description that shows the location of each tree sampled, along with an overview of the vegetation in the area, should allow one to decide if sampling was sufficient numerically and appropriate biologically.

  252. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    re: 248. Yes, and look where most tree ring series that are used in dendroclimatology come from: wind-swept high elevation rocky outcrops and ridges. Exactly where drought can completely control growth rates (and probably does). Then they average these series all together and any “signals” get washed out, resulting in a hockey stick shaft. We all already know that the blade comes from a few cherry-picked series that just happen to correlate with the instrumental temperature record. Steve M: are there any series from low-elevation moist sites? It seems to me that these series stand the best chance of showing a temperature signal (if they have always been moist). Of course, they would also have the best chance of showing a CO2 signal.

  253. Dano
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    245:

    However, you pointing us in the direction of an education is not the same as proof that these concepts are used, by and large, by the dendroclimatology professionals we’re critiquing…(etc)

    Folks can critique all they want. That’s what this site is for. I say, yet again: if you’re so sure they are wrong, show it. Core some trees and show it. If you can’t show it, keep critiquing.

    246:

    I don’t know why you don’t like the references I gave you. If you want to overturn – Galileo-like – an entire discipline, why wait to begin? The side benefit would be those other disciplines that would be affected – ecology, ecosystem, biological science, environmental management, forestry, silvics, bioclimatology books would all have to be re-written too. Biiiiig bonus to get started right away, no?

    247:

    The basic knowledge is the same. One is just more specialized than the other (and Armand’s conclusion isn’t bad, too – the umbrella (if there is one) is the chronos).

    A better metaphor, using your order, is the difference between focusing on building many different kinds of fires, and choosing one kind of fire to build.

    Best,

    D

  254. mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    Folks can critique all they want. That’s what this site is for. I say, yet again: if you’re so sure they are wrong, show it. Core some trees and show it. If you can’t show it, keep critiquing.

    Sorry, but they made the claim without reference, it is their job to support it before we can even begin to falsify the claim. That’s how scientific debate works.

    I don’t know why you don’t like the references I gave you. If you want to overturn – Galileo-like – an entire discipline, why wait to begin?

    Because there is no actual mention of the cause/effect relationship you (er, others) claim on that site. Only a mention that there is research in the area. The links are nothing more than “somebody is looking at it” without any definitive answers. There’s research in lots of areas, but that does not necessarily mean it can be used as a fact in a related hypothesis.

    Mark

  255. Dano
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    255:

    Because there is no actual mention of the cause/effect relationship you (er, others) claim on that site.

    One could, alternatively, buy the book. Anyway, it helps knowing how and where to look. Reliance on Google is not sufficient for many things, IMHO.

    Best,

    D

  256. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Folks can critique all they want. That’s what this site is for. I say, yet again: if you’re so sure they are wrong, show it. Core some trees and show it. If you can’t show it, keep critiquing.

    Dano, would YOU please go core some trees and prove a linear relationship between growth characteristics and temperature. Select some old-growth Douglas-fir trees in the Pacific Northwest near the coast. Perhaps, drought would not be a big factor there (although, I’m not sure, because of off-shore winds in the summer). The onus is on the “dendroclimatologists” to prove this stuff, since the whole field depends on it. It is not MY responsibility to prove this.

  257. Dano
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    257:

    Ah.

    Now it’s linear relationship. I thought we were just talking about the ability of tree rings to show climatic conditions at the site, one condition being temp. Has something changed that I don’t know about? And is ‘linear’ asserted somewhere?

    The onus is on the “dendroclimatologists” to prove this stuff, since the whole field depends on it. It is not MY responsibility to prove this.

    Quotes. Love it. Anyway, Amazon calls you. That’ll certainly affect your ‘recommends’ e-mails!

    BTW, the Doug-firs show multiple droughts up here. There were some quite big fires around here before the just-ended wet period begun. IIRC, early- to mid-1700s.

    Best,

    D

  258. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Re:#258

    Now it’s linear relationship. I thought we were just talking about the ability of tree rings to show climatic conditions at the site, one condition being temp. Has something changed that I don’t know about? And is “linear’ asserted somewhere?

    I think jae meant “monotonic.” The field certainly assumes that.

  259. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Dano, now with #256, you are finally getting to the point. This is the kind of site that ought to be studied (if there haven’t been any droughts there). Haven’t studied the Nature article yet, but if it is a true temperature proxy, I will bet you one of your favorite hoppy brews that it shows mega LIA and MWP. BTW, you really ought to work on that smug know-it-all attitude of yours. I will bet you make your students call you DOCTOR, too. LOL.

  260. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    BTW, the Doug-firs show multiple droughts up here. There were some quite big fires around here before the just-ended wet period begun. IIRC, early- to mid-1700s.

    1) Where is “up here?” I am talking about the coastal Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia, remember?

    2) What is the difference between “up here” and the Scottish Highlands in the Nature study that you referenced? Were there any fires there? At least you brought fire into the discussion. Hmmm, another of those pesky variables…

  261. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    #258. Dano, “linear” is one of the explicit MBH98 assumptions.

  262. mark
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    Without linearity, it is impossible to tell where on the curve the data lie prior to inclusion in the weight calculation. Non-linearity forces a conclusion of no confidence.

    Mark

  263. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

    Kind of explicit in the whole concept really when you think about it.

    If the response isn’t linear, than how the hell are you supposed to pull a usefull signal out of it.

    Well unless you soom from the outset that that it never reaches the temperature limiting portion of the curve. If your trying to prove that the past wasn’t as warm as now that might actually be handy.

  264. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    Both David Stockwell and I have posted up on non-linearity. It’s not just non-linarity, but non-monotonicity. See Upside Down Quadratic.

  265. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Non-monotonicitity?

    C’mon Steve admit it, you just made that up.

  266. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I was a math guy at university. A monotonic function is one that either keeps increasing or keeps decreasing.

  267. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    A monotonic function is one that either keeps increasing or keeps decreasing.

    Technically, it can stay level, too (thus, it’s either “nondecreasing” or “nonincreasing”). :)

  268. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:35 AM | Permalink

    #264 On the non-linearity, while a skeptic would point to it as evidence of unreliability, the problem is that the data (at least that available) does not prove that the response is not linear. You can see this on the post here http://landshape.org/enm/?p=9. This is something I struggled with and wrote up, but I haven’t followed up because in this academic ‘climate’ it seems like a waste of time to go through the publication grind with something that doesn’t prove something either way. I don’t know whether Steve agrees, but something I have noticed is that he goes for the jugular when it comes to notions of proof, and doesn’t waste effort on speculation. So while any reasonable person would look at all we know about the growth limiting effects of temperature, and the evidence of the so-called ‘divergence problem’ and get a bit concerned, reasons for vague concerns don’t cut much mustard when it comes to a takedown. That is my assessement of the non-linearity issue.

    There are actually a few other interesting implications of non-linearity besides uncertainty and bias. Right at the moment they are just ‘interesting’. That’s the problem.

  269. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    262:

    The finely detailed statistics of this are over my head – Intro PopBiol is my limit – but the question was whether tree rings exhibit a linear relationship between growth characteristics and temperature, not whether networks of data exhibit a relationship (as I take Steve’s comment to address).

    Individual tree rings (or trees) do not exhibit a linear relationship between (whatever – latewood, earlywood, width) and temperature, as there are other confounding factors – site, aspect, stand density, nutrient availability, moisture, as I explained upthread.

    That was the question I answered. After you go thru all the gyrations of your data analysis of your rings (per my linky), then a relationship is established. Looking at MBH98, I do not see an assumption that linearity in individual tree-ring (whatever) and temperature exists, but rather that the “network” or their processed data, viz:

    In the relatively unlikely event that a proxy indicator represents a
    truly local climate phenomenon which is uncorrelated with larger scale climate variations, or represents a highly nonlinear response to climate variations…

    Recapping, the networks after processing can exhibit linearity. The raw data do not. That was my assumption of what the question meant.

    D

  270. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    #270. Dano, IMO, you’re wrong here. Because some MBH proxies are PC series and some are not, one has to be careful with apples and apples. The inputs to the MBH regression module are PC series + a majority of non-PC series. The MBH assumption is that the proxies have a linear relationship, not that the output series have a linear relation. (Since the regression operations are all linear, the output series is ultimately a weighted average of the input proxies, so linearity will be preserved anyway.

    To get a full idea of the silliness of MBH data mining in their regression module, consider their Stahle/SWM network. They calculate 9 PCs from a 16-site network and regress these separately on up to 11 temperature PCs. Can anyone suggest any plausible reason why, say the PC6 of the Stahle/SWM network (which is orthogonal to the 5 PCs above it and is only a numerical artifact anyway) can have a physical relationship with say the temperature PC13 (which is orthogonal to 12 higher-order PCs). Of course not. It is simply fantasy.

  271. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: 270. I am not a statistician, either, but it doesn’t make intuitive sense to me that you can take a bunch of non-linear functions and process them with statistics to produce a linear function. Trees in one location are suffering drought, trees in another (even nearby) location are not getting warm enough. Trees in a third locale don’t have enough nitrogen, etc. It seems to me that everything would cancel out when you start aggregating them. Steve M, can you help?

    Anyway, to change course slightly, it seems to me that the tree-line studies would be much better at identifying climate variations than tree ring studies. Are there many such studies?

  272. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    A comprehensive tree line study would be something that I would set as a very high priority. I’ve been collecting references on this as I notice them, and I’ve posted up a few references on the blog. I would be very interested in references than people can contribute. Maybe I’ll post up a Bibliography thread on treelines, starting with what I’ve got in hand and see what turns up. so much to do.

  273. Mark
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Linear relationships are actually a problem of linear algebra, not statistics. :)

    Either way, linearly combining non-linearly generated data sets results in a linear combination of non-linear data. From the input (raw data) to the output (linearly combined raw data sets) the transformation is still non-linear. This means the output has more than one possible input, i.e. it is not one to one.

    Mark

  274. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    271:

    Steve, I presume you are disagreeing with my interpretation of what I read in MBH. And I may very well be incorrect, and as I don’t have a website dedicated to dissecting it I’ll naturally bow out of atomistic dissection. At this level, I have to read the arguments in the journals, as I’m not qualified to participate.

    272:

    Examine the linkies upthread. One’s a searchable library. Or Google Scholar.

    Best,

    D

  275. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Dano,
    Becker Nieminen & Gérémia, F. 1994 find that CO2 has a considerable effect on tree growth, yet MBH98 do not adjust for CO2 in the 20th century. Which makes their temperature hockeystick somewhat questionable.

  276. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    277:

    Well, then, thank goodness that there are 7-8 dozen or so other indicators that decision-makers are briefed on, no? **

    Best,

    D

    ** That is: fortunately, decision-makers aren’t given information that has been fetishized.

  277. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    What would you call the summary for policymakers if not an exercise in fetishism? It puts a false face on the rest of the report.
    ==========================================

  278. Mark
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    Not sure what you’re saying in 277 Dano, but 7-8 other indicators in what? That said, ALL indicators must be removed before you can isolate temperature. What we’re saying is that nowhere do the HST folks do this. It is even more troublesome to note that the link between warming and anthropogenic influence is, primarily, attributed to human induced CO2 increases. But if CO2 causes tree-ring growth changes, and they are using tree-ring growth changes to indicate temperature increases, how can you isolate that temperature is increasing? It is a circular argument that you keep dancing around.

    Mark

  279. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    A Google on temperature/photosynthesis brings up some interesting stuff. For example, http://www.mrothery.co.uk/module4/handout%20photosynthesis%20good.doc

    Factors Determining the Rate of Photosynthesis:
    “‚⠉Light intensity:
    “‚⠉light-limited – At low light intensities photosynthesis is starved for energy. The system uses most of the quanta the pigments capture and is therefore maximally efficient, but because there are few quanta, the rate is low. Under these conditions the rate may only slightly exceede the respiration rate, so the net photosynthetic production by the cells is actually very poor.
    “‚⠉light saturation – As the light intensity is raised, the rate of photosynthetic production increases. However, a plateau is reached at about one-fourth the intensity of full sunlight. Light saturation does not result from any limitation in the capacity of chlorophyll to absorb light. It represents the maximum rate at which the light independent reactions of photosynthesis can use energy from chlorophyll. A further increase in the energy supply becomes excess energy and it converted to heat and wasted.
    “‚⠉Temperature:
    “‚⠉The light reactions of photosynthesis are not temperature dependent.
    “‚⠉The dark reactions of photosynthesis are temperature dependent enzymatic processes.
    “‚⠉These reactions do have an optimum temperature. Photosynthesis by most plants increases only up to about 25o C, 77o F. The rate levels out and then actually declines as the temperature approaches or exceeds human body temperature. This seems odd because we normally think of human body temperature as a physiological optimum temperature.
    “‚⠉Other factors:
    “‚⠉length of day
    “‚⠉amount of carbon dioxide available
    “‚⠉level of air pollution

    This says a lot to me. Tree ring growth has to be dependant upon photosynthetic rate, which is not dependant upon temperature. The SPEED at which the photosynthate is used to form tree rings is temperature dependant, since it’s a chemical (enzymatic) reaction. Note the inverted U temperature function for enzymatic activity. This suggests to me:

    1. So those sneaky evergreen trees may be sitting there all winter looking sick and dormant, but they are probably making and storing sucrose, at least on the better days. When it becomes warm enough the stored sucrose is converted into tissue. This might explain one reason (besides moisture) why trees grow so fast in the spring–the stored sucrose is rapidly assimilated (springwood). When both temperature and illumination (day length, solar intensity) become optimum, a great deal of mass is produced (latewood). If the temperature gets above 25 degrees, growth rate slows down to some degree.

    2. Enzymatic activity controls growth rates, and this increases with temperature up to 25 degrees. Therefore, it looks like in those locations where temperatures stay too low all year to allow all the photosynthate to be “used up,” temperature can limit growth rate for those trees which can manufacture more photosynthate than can be used up (e.g., those with lots of foliage). However, it gets extremely complex, because it looks like some complex variable like temperature-hours probably governs the total amount of growth for a given tree, given adequate moisture, etc. (e.g., 1000 hrs at 25 degrees could produce more growth than 1000 hours at 20 or 30 degrees).

    3. Considering that it probably gets warm enough for long enough in most locations (except maybe treeline) to use all the photosynthate availablea (consider evolution here), water and nutrient stresses probably usually dominate in controlling growth.

    4. It doesn’t look like clouds or solar intensity are all that important, since photosynthesis rates peak at only one-fourth of full sunlight intensity.

    The bottom line, again, I guess, is that tree growth rates are too variable and complex to serve as good temperature proxies, unless one picks the “right trees.” But how do we know which ones to pick?

    Hope I didn’t waste your time with this babbling.

  280. Greg F
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    RE:280

    Photosynthesis by most plants increases only up to about 25o C, 77o F. The rate levels out and then actually declines as the temperature [b]approaches or exceeds[/b] human body temperature.

    There is about a 12 degree C range where the growth rate vs temperature is essentially flat. Even if you could account for all the other variables there is no way to extract temperature within this range. Good find jae.

  281. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    279:

    I’m talking there are 7-8 dz. indicators of climate change. Remember, that’s the key: whether we can adapt to the changes with a soft landing. We already know climate is changing, that many spp. are finding the rates of change are too fast for their adaptive abilities and thus what does this do to socioecological interactions.

    Decision-makers are briefed on global change with dozens of indicators, the fetishized HS being merely one of 7-8 dozen.

    So, while atomization and fetishization happens for whatever reason, nevertheless decisions are made. That’s how it goes.

    280:

    Tree ring growth has to be dependant upon photosynthetic rate, which is not dependant upon temperature

    No.

    You might want to Google a botany book while you’re at it.

    Or, you could re-read your own link and see PS is temp-dependent. Very few things in botany are more basic than this, and agriculture depends upon this fact.

    This is what I talk about when I caution about Google Dependency and Galileo Dreams [GDGD].

    Best,

    D

  282. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    281:

    Even if you could account for all the other variables there is no way to extract temperature within this range. Good find jae.

    Oh. My. God.

    Steve, and you wonder why you don’t get play or interviewed by some pubs?

    D

    Steve: Dano, what are you talking about? That was GregF who said that,

  283. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    Dano: Damn, I thought I was on to something. Doh, of course you are correct; the nighttime photosynthesis reactions are slower when it is colder. But, one thing is VERY clear now. Growth rates vary with temperature according to a very non-linear inverted U shape. I still can’t see how you can use tree rings as temperature proxies, given this kind of relationship.

    Interestingly, maybe the hockey stick is upside down. During extremes maybe temperature is negatively correlated to growth. Maybe it is warm enough now that we are seeing a slow down in growth, thus explaining the “divergence” effects. If this is true, then growth should have SLOWED during both the MWP and the LIA. A sinusoidal signal with the peaks at “average” temperatures.

  284. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Steve, and you wonder why you don’t get play or interviewed by some pubs?

    And what does that unbelievably arrogant statement mean? I made a mistake, and you relate it to Steve’s success? But then, I suppose you have never made any mistakes, right Dano?

    Steve: whether or not it was a mstake, it wasn’t my mistake. Dano attributed a statement by GregF to me.

  285. Greg F
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Jae,

    Dano is once again playing loose and fast with the facts. There are a few problems with the “You might want to Google a botany book link”. The gif image is from this page. There are 2 graphs on the web page, one is for 350 ppm CO2, the other is for 750 ppm CO2. Want to venture a guess which one Dano linked to? Looking at the web page you will notice that the temperature in the graph is not ambient temperature, it is the leaf temperature.

  286. mark
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Ah, gotcha Dano… the other 7-8 nonsense indicators. I get it. Yeah, melting poles (antarctica is cooling, ut oh), melting glaciers (we study less than 1%, and some are growing), melting Greenland (uh, used to be “green” and, coincidentally, it is growing), yada yada.

    In other words, you’re using a colored perspective on an output you’ve already assumed to explain correlations with tree-rings. Unfortunately, the tree-ring problems throw the rest of the already shaky science onto even worse ground. Before, you could say “look, see, these agree!” In fact, however, they don’t. Bad science, Dano, bad science. Good ideology, however, and kudos for sticking to it.

    Mark

  287. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    Re: 282

    Decision-makers are briefed on global change with dozens of indicators, the fetishized HS being merely one of 7-8 dozen.

    7-8 DOZEN? Now I can do that math; that’s 84 to 96. LIST THEM PLEASE.

  288. BradH
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Re: # 282

    We already know climate is changing…

    The climate’s always changing, Dano. Don’t you know that?

  289. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    It’s all anthropegenic.

    You ever noticed how all night long when everyone is indoors, sleeping and so forth, and few are working it cools down. But first thing in the morning when everyone gets up, starts their cars, use more electricity etc, it starts warming up almost immediately.

    Same thing in the seasons. When people start going out and doing things in the spring it starts to warm up. then in the fall when people start spending more time indoors it starts cooling off.

    I’ve noticed that there are many less people driving around during snow storms. I’m pretty sure there is a direct correlation there.

  290. Dano
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    283:

    I meant ‘company you keep’, and intended no attribution. Apologies if it was unclear.

    286:

    Distracting’s not working. Try harder.

    PS is temp dependent. Period. You’ll learn that in the first week after you enroll in a botany class.

    And I Google Imaged ‘photosynthesis temperature’. In that first page return, you’ll notice how many are in my post.

    287/288:

    Indicators are important. It’s a shame, really, that just because a few don’t understand a concept that makes it nonsense to that few. Try these indicators that are used for management or assessment.

    See, decision-makers use these indicators, sorry.

    Best,

    D

  291. mark
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    None of which has anything to do with global warming…

    Sort of an odd point to make. Those are certainly indicators of important things, but nothing to do with what we’re discussing…

    Mark

  292. Greg F
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    Distracting’s not working. Try harder.

    You lied by omission Dano, not surprising considering your history. Ironically you posted a gif link from a web page that contradicts your assertion.

    PS is temp dependent. Period.

    Being temperature dependant does not preclude part of the range having a zero slope. If you would have bothered to look at the other graph (350 ppm) on the web page you would have seen just that.

    And I Google Imaged “photosynthesis temperature’. In that first page return, you’ll notice how many are in my post.

    Problem is Dano, the item you posted, that I found the referring web page for, could not have come up in your Google search. It is only a gif image, there is no text to search on. The temperature in the graph you linked was leaf temperature at 700 ppm. From the same web page there is a graph of leaf temperature at a more realistic 350 ppm. You do understand that leaf temperature and ambient temperature are not the same and that the leaf temperature will be higher? Now go look at the 350 ppm graph. Please note that the 35 and 40 degree plots are on top of each other. IOW, the temperature effects on photosynthesis between 35 and 40 degrees is zilch, nada, nothing. Like I said, being temperature dependant does not preclude part of the range having a zero slope. The 35 and 40 degrees slopes show that to be the case. From this graph we can clearly see that there is a range of temperatures where the rate of photosynthesis does not change. The omission of the referring web page makes it is pretty obvious you were attempting to deceive.

  293. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Greg, you might be interested in some of the information here http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=397

  294. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    In fact the link shows that it’s not just temp dependant, but CO2 dependant as well, in fact more so.

    Yet once again showing that more CO2 is good for trees.

    And yet again no one can tell me why trees growing well is bad.

    More importantly showing that the hockey stick shows that Trees are growing well in the 20th century. My lord that is awful, we can’t have trees growing well, that’s just wrong.

    PS Dano, first thing they teach you in botany I believe is that CO2 is plant food.

  295. Greg F
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the link Steve. I remember that thread. As a side note, I am amused at getting my comments attributed to you. Rather flattering I must say. Does this mean I have to learn how to play squash? :)

  296. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    RE: 284. Another really key thing regarding Bristlecone sites is that the amount of daily, day to day and annual temperature variation is extreme, possibly near or at the most extreme levels found anywhere in the world. It is the antithesis of the various Humid climate types found in the world. So that inverted U is moving all over the place in an almost chaotic manner, superimposed on a large annual variation.

  297. Mark
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    The temperature variation in the Rocky Mountains is 40-50 degrees on many days.

    Mark

  298. Dano
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    284:

    De nada sir.

    There are a number of processing steps that you have to go thru to process any kind of tree-ring data (for any purpose). The thing that gives this site play is that the initial calibration of any new chrono. series is problematized by the signal made noisier from the accumulated anthro. CO2 in the atmosphere [as Hans proudly pointed out above]. Although this site has not quantified the effect of this fertilization on the signal, it still gets play on the Internets. The decision-making community, however, doesn’t read this site or ones like it making Steve’s efforts problematic.

    293:

    a. if you flap your arms harder, it might make a bigger distraction. But you get an ‘A’ for effort.

    b. YourGoogler skills may need some honing. It’s the 8th return, right in the middle of the page. Big ol’ fat blue on white, an’ all purty an’ noticeable-like.

    See, in Google Images, there’s this command that says “see full-size image”. You should try it sometime! There’s women there in Images too!!!!!!! *heart*

    b1. One thing I missed on the page was this .gif, where you can see how the path of the moon is not in the Earth’s ecliptic plane. Kinda fun.

    c. Temp is not extracted directly from tree rings, no matter how hard you flap your arms.

    295:

    The first thing they teach you is the Krebs cycle, as that is the start of all plant metabolism. Later on they remind you of tolerance ranges and adaptability – that is, if a species hasn’t encountered something in 650K yr., it’s hard to make touts about stuff.

    Best,

    D

  299. Greg F
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    b. YourGoogler skills may need some honing. It’s the 8th return, right in the middle of the page. Big ol’ fat blue on white, an’ all purty an’ noticeable-like.

    And clicking on it takes you to the web page, not the gif image. Most notable, you flap your mouth a lot in response but make no mention the supporting evidence:

    Please note that the 35 and 40 degree plots are on top of each other. IOW, the temperature effects on photosynthesis between 35 and 40 degrees is zilch, nada, nothing.

    No surprise Dano, intellectual honesty isn’t one of your strong suits.

  300. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Dano: Your responses are so arrogant and offensive. You apparently have a real anger problem and lack of social skills. Was it due to poor toilet training?

  301. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    c. Temp is not extracted directly from tree rings, no matter how hard you flap your arms.

    Are you finally conceding that tree ring temperature proxies are a waste of time? I doubt it, but that should be the conclusion.

  302. Dano
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    302:

    Are you finally conceding that tree ring temperature proxies are a waste of time? I doubt it, but that should be the conclusion.

    Write up your conclusion, then, and submit it.

    What you can do in the meantime: test our your hypothesis somewhere. You could go to a dendro listserv and see what happens when you make your overturning-conclusions-from-folks-who-do-this-for-a-living claim.

    Good luck!

    Best,

    D

  303. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    No, Dano, like I said, I think it is a total waste of time. I think Steve’s work is showing just that. Moreover, as I have believed all along, there is just not enough of a scientific basis for even attempting to use tree rings for temperature proxies. Even if certain trees “record” temperature, I don’t see how you would determine which ones do because of all the confounding variables. Moreover, there does not appear to be a linear relationship, even for the “good” trees. If the theory looks so unpromising from the outset, it’s sure not worth pursuing. That’s my conclusion, but I doubt that it would do any good to “submit it.”

  304. TCO
    Posted Jun 10, 2006 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    I still have not seen a good overview written on the issues of standardization (dividing by the standard deviation) and how one can think about if it is right or wrong. Steve talks about it a lot, but tends to only raise concerns and such (little one-sided) rather then explaining the issue overall. Intuitively, one can imagine a “thermometer” that might be very accurate in the sense of linearity and repeatability but with small displacements from the average. So maybe there are times when it makes sense to use this (or maybe each proxy should be individually “trained”…but does standardization do this in effect?) Huybers brings this up in a very common sense manner when talking about proxy types in his comment. But maybe there are also times when it’s wrong. When we’re compensating for results that should be recorded as low variation. I would really like to see a step back overview type post. Given all the discussion of the concerns, it seems that we should know enough to describe the issue from the top down.

  305. Greg F
    Posted Jun 10, 2006 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    I still have not seen a good overview written on the issues of standardization (dividing by the standard deviation) and how one can think about if it is right or wrong.

    TCO, my thoughts on it are here.

  306. TCO
    Posted Jun 10, 2006 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    I didn’t see where you tied it all together, but the simple equations were very helpful to start thinking about it.

  307. TCO
    Posted Jun 10, 2006 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    You might want to put a bit more security there, Greg. I can get to the root directory and see all the files that you have there.

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