Plant Deposits at Quelccaya

Thompson et al (PNAS 2006) stated that the discovery of a plant deposit with radiocarbon age of around 4000 BP (calibrated to 5138 BP) near the receding margin of the Quelccaya glacier provided “strong evidence” that the “current retreat of Quelccaya is unprecedented for the last 5 millennia”. The plant deposit is Distichia muscoides, which is a component of Andean peat deposits whose present limit is 400-500 m lower than the discovery.

In order to better understand the significance of this discovery, it would be nice to have information of the stratigraphy of the discovery as glacial deposits in other localities which have been mapped in detail, often have extremely complicated histories with re-working of deposits.

Of course, it’s Thompson, so we get a pamphlet, rather than a geologic report. However, with a bit of googling, I identified the following other recent discoveries of plant deposits from receding margins of Quelccaya glacier: The plant deposit reported in the PNAS article appears to date from Thompson’s 2002 expedition (url), but other plant deposits cited in news releases were not reported in the PNAS article.

  • Mark et al 2002 reported the discovery of peat dated to 2700 BP at the receding margin of the glacier ice cap. Their Table 1 indicates that the discovery was in a 1977 expedition.
  • in the 2003 campaign, a plant deposit was discovered dated to 2200 years BP
  • also in the 2004 campaign, a deposit of moss was identified at the maximum radiocarbon date of 50,000 years – from which Thompson speculates that the moss may date to the Eemian period 110,000 years ago
  • in the 2005 campaign, more plant deposits were discovered with dates varying from 4500 to 6500 BP.


With respect to the 5000 year old plant, Thompson said:

We know the first plant could not have been exposed at any time during in that 5,200-year history or it would have decayed

From the discovery of the 50,000 year old plant, Thompson said in a news release:

The plant had to have remained covered and protected for most of that time, which means that the ice cap most likely has not deteriorated to its current size for any length of time in more than 50,000 years.

But don’ t these discoveries prove too much? If the 5000-year old plant has been covered by glacier continuously, then how did the 2200-year old plants or the 2700-year old plants grow? Surely the problem here is similar to that faced in the Green Alps, where stumps have been dated to different periods and that evidence has been interpreted as showing the retreat and advance of the glacier. Similarly if the 50,000-year old glacier – if it’s been covered, how did any of the 5000-year old 2700-year old or 2200-year old plants get formed?

Why didn’t Thompson report these various plant deposits in his PNAS pamphlet? Why didn’t the NAS panel ask for an explanation? I’d certainly be interested in a considered explanation from thoughtful people. But Thompson failed to report all the plant deposits and the NAS panel failed to search for other plant deposits.

I’ve collated information from Thompson’s various news releases and pictures here.

BTW Antonio Regalado of the Wall Street Journal had an interesting contemporary article in Nov 2004 from the glacier.


227 Comments

  1. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Stratigraphy and deposition 101 ….

  2. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    Ooops, I just looking at this article and I posted in the geologist thread I should have put here:

    I don’t get this paragraph:

    “Then in 2004, Thompson found additional plant beds revealed by the continued retreat of the melting ice and when tested, these proved to be carbon-free, suggesting that they might date back more than 50,000 years. If true, that would suggest that the climate in that region may not have been as warm as it is today in more than 500 centuries.

    From this article:

    http://tinyurl.com/q6ynb

    How can that, suggest all that?

  3. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    You know, these plants with no carbon, still have to be dated somehow before you can say anything. Did they ever really date them? Husband said they could also be modern plants, how do they know they are not?

  4. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, don’t mean to spam, but my husband also says that plants and all kinds of things can grow under glaciers as well. If there’s a pocket of space, soil, water, light … it’s not impossible for something like that to occurr and they’ve known this for years.

  5. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I noticed that someone deleted my post in the other Thompson related thread which pointed out that the peat dated to ~2700 BP was collected in or prior to 1977. Look at the eyeball bleeding table you posted. That is close to 30 years before Thompson reported his find.

    Like Lee, I am beginning to doubt your veracity.

  6. Lee
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    re 5. It looks like Steve has been doing quite a lot of housecleaning, JMS. The entire contents of the ‘contact steve’ thread has been dumped as well.

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    JMS, I didn’t delete your post. Why would I? I never saw it. Maybe you fell foul of Spam KArma. In the post I quoted from the article which said that they visited the site in 1997. I put in square brackets that the discovery was "presumably" in 1997 and I included the original table which, as you say, was eyeball bleeding (in the original type):

    Other peat exposed at the modern ice margin [presumably as at 1997] dates to 2760 cal yr B.P., implying that the Quelccaya Ice Cap at that time was smaller than present and may have disappeared completely during the middle Holocene.

    I agree with your observation that the table indicates that this particular peat was collected in 1977 in an earlier survey. Thank you for pointing that out and I will amend the post and the refernce elsewhere. Since Thompson himself discovered 2200 year old peat in 2003, nothing turns on the earlier report, other than the fact that Thompson himself should have reported it.

    It is also ridiculous that I should have spend any time assembling data on plant deposits at Quelccaya. Thompson should have done that as part of a proper scientific report. Perhaps some of your contumely should be directed in that direction.

    You have no right to make foolish insinuations about "veracity".

  8. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and by the way, it is not the Quelccya “glacier” is is the Qeulccys “ice cap”. There are 3 outlet glaciers which were discussed here. The plant material find was on the margin of the ice cap, not one of the outlet glaciers. I agree that it is unfortunate that he didn’t report the lat/long of the find in the PNAS paper; perhaps you could ask him for it.

  9. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    #5 you mean this one?
    The one thing that nobody has noted is that this was written up almost 10 years before the discovery of the distachia. You wouldn’t suppose that the ice front has receeded in those intervening years, hmmm?
    Comment by JMS ‘€” 15 August 2006 @ 10:49 am

    If so it’s still there.

  10. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    First of all, I did not get caught up in spam karma, the post was there and then it wasn’t. So either you or John A deleted it. I don’t know what else to say. Perhaps your posts here need to be audited?

  11. Lee
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you need to be careful to separate the glacier evidence from the ice cap – dynamics and history of the different ice fields are likely to be quite different.

  12. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    Nope, Rocks, the one that got deleted. You can’t see it because it is not there. It was one where I corrected myself after looking at the table — the peat sample was reported in 1977 — 30 years before the distachia.

    And Lee, I agree. Steve needs to be much more careful about the accusations he makes here if he wants to maintain any credibility at all. I am rapidly beginning to question what he has left.

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    #10. JMS, there’s no missing post from you in Spam Karma. I didn’t delete your post and John A hasn’t been online today to my knowledge and it’s not the sort of thing that he would have deleted. This morning, as rocks observed, you posted the following here:

    The one thing that nobody has noted is that this was written up almost 10 years before the discovery of the distachia. You wouldnï〢½t suppose that the ice front has receeded in those intervening years, hmmm?
    Comment by JMS ï〢½ 15 August 2006 @ 10:49 am

    In my note, I put a question mark beside the 1997 to indicate the uncertainty of the date of collection (which I’ve now changed to note that the sample was collected in 1977). Why would you post this up if you also posted that the sample was collected in 1977?

    ANyway I didn’t delete your frigging post. Why would I? I agree with your observation that the sample was collected in 1977 and am quite happy to amend the point.

    What time did you send your post? Did anyone other than you see your post?

  14. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    #11. Lee, I quite agree that things need to be kept separate. For crissake, that’s why you have maps in proper reports. I’ve just tried to collect some relevant information. I’m not an expert on Quelccaya; if I make some little error in interpreting this stuff, so be it. I’m quite happy to fix up any misunderstanding. But jeez, you guys are so hungry to find some little gotcha, it’s unreal. You might spend some of your energy attacking the presentation of the material by the original authors in such an incomplete and haphazard way before you start criticizing my meagre efforts to collate the information.

  15. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    I found another article ala wikipedia (these thompsons have PR ! American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved on 2006-08-09.”)

    This is kind of fishy? The plants are suggested to be older then 50,000 years here:

    http://tinyurl.com/p5mc3

    “”To identify the plant, Thompson called on Blanca Léon, a botanist from the University of Texas at Austin. Looking at the plant under a microscope, Léon observed the cell walls of a fragile moss that was remarkably well preserved. “It looks like a plant that was taken recently from the field,” she says. “It is amazing.” Called Scorpidium, the moss still grows today along the edges of lakes in the Andes, but at warmer elevations no higher than 4,600 meters.

    Thompson knows, however, that paleoclimate records derived from Antarctic ice cores show that no warm period occurred 50,000 years ago. Also, current carbon-dating technology cannot date objects older than 55,000 years or so. Therefore, Thompson suspects the plant is actually much older.  Around 125,000 years ago, temperatures were about 2 degrees warmer than they are today,” he says. “I think that’s when these plants were actually growing. Then a cooling cycle began and the glaciers grew and buried the plant.” The plant was exposed and discovered in the current warming period. “””

  16. Lee
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve, that frickin’ map has numbers that correspond to the entries in the table. The table has dates of collection and elevations, and the numbers that cross-referene to the sites of collection. It took me about 14 seconds to understand how it was organized. Even if you missed that, a glance at the map shows that sites of collection are widely scattered, and are not all at the glacier. And teh table givbes elevatins of colection. At the very least, comparing those two collections as if they are somehow dependent on eacy other is very careless. As in, didnt bother to understand the data being presented, kind of careless. At the least.

    That is not a little ‘gotcha.’ It is a basic misunderstanding of the data behind analyzes you say shoudl ahvbe ben made, and are criticizing, in the course of making some pretty bluntly worded attacks on Thompson. If you can’t get it right when making blunt attacks, then dont whine when that gets bluntly pointed out right back to you.

  17. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    It was posted at about 10:50 this morning, just a couple of minutes after the post which welikerocks quoted. I looked at the table and realized that this was incorrect.

    Another question: why does what was found at the ice cap margin c. 1977 invalidate what was found in 2005 by Thompson? It seems to me as if the point you are making here is largely irrelevant. Yes it would be nice if Thompson provided detailed maps and lat/long, but obviously that is not his style for writing papers for journals. Because of space limitations he may like to provide other information rather than exact lat/long, altitude, etc. In the PNAS article he did provide a fairly detailed map of the retreat of Quli Koris over the last 15 years or so (graphics are better in the pdf) along with photos documenting the retreat.

    I would suggest that you read Thin Ice by Mark Bowen which explains a lot of the work which Thompson has done in his career and the troubles which he ran into in interpreting it. It has not been easy or straightforward.

  18. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Another huge error, sorry googlers, – the plants are Distichia, not Distachia.

  19. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    re: #2

    these proved to be carbon-free, suggesting that they might date back more than 50,000 years.

    Obviously, BTW, this phrase “carbon-free” was a mistake. They meant “carbon-14 free”. I’m not sure how such errors get by an editor, except that the person who is doing the editing doesn’t know what the science is all about.

    Of course, I’m sure if Steve was the one making this error Lee would have used it to do another of his worthless tirades. BTW, Lee, JMS, you’re both getting on my nerves as practical trolls; wasting times on hectoring Steve M instead of advancing the discussion.

    Finally, JMS, are you sure you posted your missing message on the thread you think you did? Sometimes people accidentally post to the wrong thread. And Steve has apparently just cleaned up the Contact Steve and site map threads which he’s repeatedly told people not to post anything to they want kept permanantly.

    Also, BTW, does anyone here get a rss download of messages? I haven’t done so, but does rss give you the actual messages or just a report that there’s been a message, and if they do give the actual messages, how often do you get the info?

  20. JMS
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Yes, Dave, I am sure that I posted my message to the correct thread. It was there and then it was gone. Also the phrase in the press release said “if true”. Obviously it didn’t pan out.

  21. Lee
    Posted Aug 15, 2006 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    Dave, the ‘carbon free’ error was pretty obvious and easy to interpret in context – and no, if Steve did that, I would not go on a tirade. I might make a little ‘nit’ aside, labeled as such as I did above, but no more than that. What Steve did here was to post data and make conclusions from it, and sue thos conclusion to ‘go on a tirade’ about Thompson, when his errors show that he didnt even understand how the data was organized. BTW, the text of that article also points out the correspondence between the nubers on the maps and the numbers in the table, when discussing that data.

    Complaining that pointing out this kind of major mistake is not advancing the discussion, is pretty ironic on a site devoted to pointing out errors and not advancing the discussion. Or do only ‘hockey team’ errors get to be derisively displayed and skewered?

  22. JMS
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    Gbalella,

    I completely agree with you. Steve, and most of the acolytes here know that they lost the NRC battle; contrast the their initial response to the report with their current excoriation of the same report. All I can say about Mann is that his reconstructions tend to have lower natural variability than the rest. Burger, et al (2006) tend to show this in thier flavors, where the Mann method was on the right track but did not capture the variablity found in the pseudo proxy records. In this paper he did not evaluate RegEM, but merely the “flavors” of the original MBH work. I suspect that since he basically did a do over on the original Burger and Cubash (2005) work, that they figured something was wrong with the original conclusions, so why BC05 keeps getting cited here I don’t understand. Other studies, especially Moberg, show similar patterns although Moberg shows somewhat greater variability (he used more low frequency proxies) nothing in his study really invalidates the original MBH99.

    There are lots of reasons to get on the wagon and try to do something: peak oil, the Middle East conumdrum, reducing pollution, etc, etc, are all good reasons to take the same actions we need to take to combat AGW. Yes it is hard, yes it will cost money. However, we can make a dent in the problem by doing things we should have done 30 years ago, 20 years ago and 10 years ago. Instability in world oil markets and incorrect market signals based on the price of crude kept us from acting — after all, once the shocks of the ’70’s were over the classic boom/bust cycle in the oil industry took over and precluded the “market” from dealing with the real problem.

    Lots more to say, but the denialists are silly for trying to prevent things that need to happen.

  23. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    George, you’re a worthless hack. You don’t know any science worth mentioning and you’re afraid to even try discussing it. I know that from years of experience with you. For you to come here and try such ad homs is sickening.

    At least Lee will discuss the science, though he’s way more “testy” than Steve M has ever been.

  24. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    re: #23

    most of the acolytes here know that they lost the NRC battle; contrast the their initial response to the report with their current excoriation of the same report.

    This just shows your lack of knowledge. Steve started immediately after the NAS report came out saying that he was going to come down quite hard on the panel, but that he wanted to start out thanking them for doing a lot of useful things. This is still his posture, but he’s now getting around to doing the critiques he promised from the first.

    George knows nothing. You’re agreement with him is not a good sign re your judgment.

    Likewise your tipping your hand as to your political positions doesn’t make it more likely that people here will come to regard your imput as objective and unbiased.

  25. Paul Williams
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

    #7 Steve, I never thought to see the word ‘contumely’ used again in my lifetime. Thank you!

  26. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    Re: 22, you say “The obvious fact of the current seriously anomalous climate looms …” This is typical of your innuendo that is not supported by the science. There is no “obvious fact”, there is only your claim without a single citation.

    Current seriously anomalous climate? It has been warmer several times during the Holocene. For example, the Arctic has been totally ice-free during the Holocene (see http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/2006/07/12/open-arctic-ocean-commentary-by-harvey-nichols-professor-of-biology/)

    So what is anomalous about the current climate?

    w.

  27. Wm. L. Hyde
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    You know, I have nothing to add to this blog, I just come here to learn, but certain people, Lee, JMS, Glabella and several others of their ilk (whatever happened to Jasmine and her purple dress?)are really poisoning the air around here. I find them most irritating! Isn’t there a ‘Church of Gaia’ blog you people could go and disrupt? If you must come here, please try to show a little respect. This is a serious discussion….theoldhogger

  28. John A
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been searching the Spam Karma logs looking for this missing comment from JMS that he claims was made. I can’t see it at all.

  29. Hans Erren
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    this imageis a dead link

  30. Hans Erren
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 3:00 AM | Permalink

    in fact all climateaudit blogimages do not show up

  31. John A
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    That’s because they don’t exist on the web server. I suspect Steve has a directory called “blogimages” on his PC but hasn’t copied the directory to the server.

  32. Ralph Hartley
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 4:44 AM | Permalink

    “There are lots of reasons to get on the wagon and try to do something: peak oil, the Middle East conumdrum, reducing pollution, etc, etc, are all good reasons to take the same actions we need to take to combat AGW.”

    There are no “actions to combat AGW”. If you look at the energy-use scenarios that are the basis for the climate worries (IEA; IIASA), you will find that world total generated power increases by 0.8 to 2 GW every day, depending on scenario. To “do something” that is not irrelevant, “greenhouse-neutral” power generating capacity would have to increase in this range, i.e. in the region of 1GW every 24 hours.

    There is no technology or combination of technologies in existence that could accomplish such a feat, there is none to be expected in the near future, and if such a thing becomes possible in 2050, well, that’s too late, according to IPCC et al.

    In my opinion as an engineer, “overlooking” this quite obvious fact is the strongest indicator that “AGW” is mainly something else than a factual discussion on how to solve a real problem.
    Or “silly” (to coin a phrase). By the way, “pollution” was solved in the 1990s by catalytic converters and smokestack scrubbers. Odd how some people didn’t notice.

    Ralph H.

  33. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #33, “We choose to go to the Moon, we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”. Well, we used to things that are hard, now it seems it’s just too hard for some of us contemplating doing anything about a problem…’Can do’, is now ‘can’t do’.

    But, in a way you illustrate the problem. Vast amounts of generation capacity are being installed. We’re not heading to a higher and higher CO2 world slowly, we’re accelerating to it! Humanity at it’s most ‘brilliant’ perhaps? Well, we’ll soon know…

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

    If I may summarize a little, neither of the Georges nor Lee nor JMS have offered any sort of plausible explanation of how the 2200-year old plant material was formed if the 5000-year old plant material has been "continuously" unde a glacier. Instead, they have argued about whether something is "peat" or "moss". Or explained the formation of 2670-year old peat at very high elevations by the ice cap.

    I’m not saying that there is no explanation. Just that they haven’t provided it, nor have the provided an excuse for Thompson’s failure to report all relevant samples in his PNAS article.

    Let’s discuss Quelccaya plant material please, rather than general issues like going to the moon which you can do at any time.

  35. Ralph Hartley
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    “Let’s discuss Quelccaya plant material please, rather than general issues like going to the moon which you can do at any time.”

    My apologies for being off-topic, Mr. McIntyre, but the belief that subjects like these are just academic questions that distract from “doing something against AGW” – a chimera if ever I saw one – is the very reason why the posted topics like “Quelccaya plant material” have such a hard time being properly discussed here.

  36. gbalella
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    Re # 24

    Yeah? Well maybe so. But I was the one that brought Distichia to this board a long time ago. This little bit of objective fact seems to have cornered all your “good math”. Making all these obtuse long winded discussions on statistical minutia obvious for what they are. Fig A and lil ol Distichia is all you need Dave. They show how useless all your “good” math and “good” science are when objectivity is lacking. Anyway you keep talking about sprigs, epistemology and whistling in the dark….whatever it takes….it’s surely easier then re-writing ones whole fatally flawed ideological base at your age and with nothing but ROM available to you.

  37. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

    #19, and 21,
    I understood the part about the carbon-free meaning C14, what I don’t understand is how they can assume so fast how old, or not how old it is without dating it. Somehow they suddenly get a date from it after or during this news release, and it seems from the second article I found they were able to date it with carbon dating? That’s what I find fishy. My husband had plant material at his thesis site so I kind of know what I am talking about. It was way older then this stuff, and they used diatoms to date it. I’d like to know what really came about.

    Also, even if these samples are found at the ice cap, that ice is still moving. It is hard to imagine there’s no trauma to the samples after 50,000 to 125,000 years. That’s why the strat data is very important and it needs to be presented in context.

    #18 Scorpidium moss is the “older” plant found. I don’t think they are the same plant?

  38. Lee
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    re 35:
    Steve, that is a flat-out lie.

    In the other thread, I pointed out that when the margin of the ice cap expands it will first cover older material and then younger material – because it is expanding over time. When it retreats, it will first uncover the younger material that it covered later, and then the older material that it covered earlier. Finding materials of different dates simply means that the margin of the ice cap moved. I said this in the other thread, so your accusations that I havent responded on that point is simply false. You may dispute that explanation – but that isnt what you did here. You claimed I made no explanation.

    This process is not necessariy going to be perfectly coordinated at all sites along the ide cap margin, either.

    And I have not argued about whether something is ‘peat’ or ‘moss’ – the issue is esentaily irrelevant – but I will point out here that the point was first raised by soemone else, not JMS.

    Why do you find it dificult that microclimate pockets near the ice cap margin might grow some alpine peat?

    I’m off for two days and probably wont have access to internet – so have at at. But try to stick to what I say, Steve, and not make false claims about what I have or ahvent said, or attribute to me discussions other people are having.

  39. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    #37 using O18 isotopes ratios is math.

  40. Lee
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    oh, one more point before I go-

    Steve, there is a difference between the ice cap and the outlet glaciers. You continue, in psot 35 to use ‘glacier’ in comprehensive fashion, and that use is terribly confusing to your point, and trying to understand it.

  41. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    re: #37

    Nice graphs, but what do they mean in your opinion? And I don’t mean nothing phrases like:

    They show how useless all your “good” math and “good” science are when objectivity is lacking.

    I mean scientifically what do they mean and why. Come on, show us you can do it. Prove me wrong.

  42. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    My husband points out how funny some argue so logically here about these plants being good evidence for the climate in this area but if it were Viking artifacts and related plant remains being un-covered in Greenland it wouldn’t be evidence of a warmer time at all. LOL

  43. Lee
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    uhhh. rocks – point out some viking artifacts being uncovered by glaciers?

    I’m off now – LOL away.

  44. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    re: #38

    I don’t understand is how they can assume so fast how old, or not how old it is without dating it.

    The older methods of C14 measurement could only go back about 50ky before the radioactivity of the carbon was too low to be measured. So when such a test was done on the material it was immediately known it was 50ky or older. But it’s possible to go much farther back with mass spec. type C14 measurement, where you’re measuring the exact number of atoms of each variety of carbon and not just the particular atoms which happen to decay while you’re measuring. I’m not sure what the limits are for such a measurement but it’s at least several hundred thousand years.

  45. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    #44 Well, ice is ice baby, and cold is cold. And frozen peat is frozen peat. Picky picky, exactly my point. LOL

  46. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    JMS – you are a complete troll. Get out of here.

  47. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    Concerning Greenland, there is this:

    “Human remains in Norse burial grounds located in Greenland have been found which are now in permanently frozen soil. This suggests an average local temperature at the time of Norse occupation 2-4ºC higher than at present. Additionally, the finding of plant roots at this same level supports this supposition, since the permafrost layer provides a barrier to growth.”

    From http://www.grisda.org/origins/10051.htm

  48. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    Same goes for shy$# disturbers Lee, muirgeo, and gballela. The ensemble of you are really not adding any thing here (whereas, some other true debaters from the other camps actually do add something, for example, Steve B and Ken Blumenfeld (sp?)). The firstly mentioned trolls would be permenently banned if this was my forum.

  49. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    RE: #33 – Peak Oilers tend to be either believers in major “managed” negative population growth, followers of Margaret Sanger, followers of Amory Lovins, speculators driving emotional commodity froth, or all of the above.

  50. Tim Ball
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    The standard tehniques so well used by Gavin Schmidt are evident in this thread. Divert attention from the real issue with specious points which are accompanied by nasty asides or innuendoes which devolve into personal attacks when the initial diversion fails. Attempts to drag the argument back to the key issue simply result in raising the level of personal attacks. The argument that Mann won is ridiculous and only valid if he thinks he has avoided the original requirement to disclose his code. I can assure you I will continue to keep this point in the public eye as much as possible as well as Jones’ failure to disclose. These pieces are the sole evidence for the human signal and must be defended at all costs. I guarantee personal attacks will become even worse when we start disclosing the problems with the models because they are the sole source of ‘predictions’ that an increase in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities will result in continued and unchecked warming. Steve M; “Nil carborundum illegitimi”.

  51. jae
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    51: Isn’t it “Illegitimati non carborundum?”

  52. Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    I seem to remember the wonderful thing about Latin is that the order of the words don’t particularly matter; the conjugation guarantees it’s clear which parts of the sentence are which no matter where they appear. (Well, I think some ordering matters, but the subject/object/verb can go pretty much anywhere).

    In fact some clever people used this knowledge to write a variant of the PERL programming language where the order of tokens in a statement are irrelevant. Details are over here.

  53. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    #51, Tim,

    I couldn’t agree with you more (I’ve posted a similar post expressing the same thoughts elsewhere on another thread). It’s going to take a while but I grow more confident each day that eventually the myth that started with Hansen back in 1988 will finally be over-turned.

    I wonder what historians will make of all this a few decades from now? I sincerely hope that people like Steve and Ross get the credit they deserve and don’t just get written off as minor players. Those of use who frequent this blog know exactly what role they have played and by any fair person’s assessment of events, it has been a major one. I’d personally like to see the historians give a full account of what to me at least is the clearly deliberate distorted alarmism that has been whipped up for funding purposes by the climate modellers. In particularly I like to see a special chapter devoted to how the models have been deliberately developed to include as many positive feedback mechanisms as they can justify while at the same time playing down any negative feedback mechanisms (except of course when they are covenient for model prediction validation purposes).

    #52 jae, where I come from in England we don’t speak Latin, we speak English so the phrase I believe is “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” – and of course we won’t.

    KevinUK

  54. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    #45 thanks for the explanation!
    #48 That’s what I am talking about! :)

    I have a thought (for what that’s worth, lol) Could these plant samples, since they are in good condition, also be evidence of how fast the climate can change freezing a$$ cold all of a sudden and stay that way?

  55. jae
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    OT, but Ross McKitrick has contributed to a religious view of AGW. Very interesting dialogue going on here.

  56. Jo Calder
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    #51

    the clearly deliberate distorted alarmism that has been whipped up for funding purposes by the climate modellers

    That’s a little broad brush, isn’t it? I think one can model this situation as one in which researchers’ motives are, in the main, honourable, but their activities are conditioned by multiple feedbacks between them and the media and politics. (Don’t forget Thatcher’s key role in kicking off global warming geopolitically, and the consequences for UK research policy; see Weart, if necessary.) Add in the prestige or tenure-value of a publication in Science or Nature, and the whole system goes runaway.

  57. Jo Calder
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Oops. The quote above is from #54 (KevinUK) and not #51.

  58. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting link to some high-altitude archaeology where they give information on decay or rather lack of decay over long periods.

    In some South American locations, there is amazing preservation. I have one friend who’s been a geologist in Chile for over 50 years and travels to the back of beyond. He told me that one time he re-visited a site in the Atacama that he’d visited about 40 years before and he said that his bootmarks were still there from his earlier trip. I didn’t ask him how he knew that they were his bootmarks – probably it was because he remembered where the samples were taken and in what order.

  59. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #58, Jo Calder
    Jo, are you Whittington’s diarist ?

  60. Barney Frank
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Assuming for the sake of argument that Thompson’s finds at Quelccaya mean what he says they do, are there other sites in the Andes or elsewhere that confirm what he claims?

    Kilimanjaro’s shrinking ice field seems to be largely a response to local conditions. Even if Thompson’s claims were found to be accurate do they actually tell us anything other than what happened at this one site?

  61. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    #59, you said: there is amazing preservation.

    I don’t doubt it. I want to be an archaeologist some day. What a cool job!

    I was thinking though (again) about how in the article about Thompson’s find, the paleo-bontanist said the samples looked like new. So then maybe there was a cold “event” and the plant was growing one minute and the next t was covered or frozen; or was it frozen as a healthy plant? would it get brittle blow around first? Or stay moist even if not covered although it got real cold? I think they grow clinging to rocks? ( My use of “minute” being just a figure of speech.)

    I have too many unanswered questions! I will look them up myself. :)

    The trees or wood in my husband’s thesis was buried all at once, and got compressed, and was under pressure during a specific event, so their molecules banged together and the samples look like the are “burned” at first sight. And that’s why they didn’t decay.

  62. Jo Calder
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    #60 (with apologies for continuing OT) No. At least, I know I don’t live in Market Harborough and so, tx to Leibniz, I can infer “no”.

  63. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    #57, Jo

    Perhaps but I did say it is my opinion. Thanks for the link by the way. I read most of it and get back at some point with a reply. Steve if you can spare some time form all your proxy work and are interested in the development of GCMs then Jo’s link is well worth following.

    #60 and #62, fFreddy and Jo

    Who is Whittington and what’s the link with Market Harborough?

    KevinUK

  64. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Whittington’s diary was an early UK political blog that I remember chortling over, particularly the John Prescott impersonations. It was written by another Jo Calder, whose page says he lives in Market Harborough.

  65. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Thanks fFreddy,

    How’s the fusion research coming along? Have you read enough yet to say whether or not you agree with myself and bender?

    KevinUK

  66. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Aug 16, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Steve and others,
    Not sure if this is just duplicating other available info, but Thompson has a slide show including photos of the Distichia and other data here:

    http://www.esi.utexas.edu/outreach/ols/lectures/Thompson/ppt/36_files/frame.html

  67. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #66, KevinUK
    In terms of fusion has seriously difficult technical problems, and won’t be doing us any good any time soon, then yes, absolutely.
    Which is another reason why I keep thinking that advances in energy storage are our best chance in the nearer term.

  68. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

    #67 I found that presentation leaving alot to be desired. And the last bunch of graphics some what disturbing for a science presentation. Graphic #82 uses a IPCC 2000 graph and #83 onward looks like they are trying to appeal to everyone on a emotional level; like a propaganda documentary.

  69. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    51:

    “…[models] are the sole source of “predictions’ that an increase in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities will result in continued and unchecked warming.”

    I fail to understand this point. Is it your contention that CO2 levels will move into equilibrium, that CO2 concentrations do not affect warming, that negative feedbacks (or forcings) will overwhelm any warming signal from CO2 emissions, that CO2 emissions will decrease for some reason, or that the basic physics of the CO2 greenhouse effect are in error?

  70. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    70:

    I fail to understand this point. Is it your contention that CO2 levels will move into equilibrium, that CO2 concentrations do not affect warming, that negative feedbacks (or forcings) will overwhelm any warming signal from CO2 emissions, that CO2 emissions will decrease for some reason, or that the basic physics of the CO2 greenhouse effect are in error?

    Who knows? The models ASSUME that some of these things (feedbacks, etc.) are important, but I don’t think we know yet. Thus, the only way to predict all these catastrophes is to use models, which are based on ASSUMPTIONS and which can’t predict the past, let alone the future. These models are computer games.

  71. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    jae,

    I was not referring to models, but to the function of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  72. pochas
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    At the risk of stating the obvious: Plant matter dating from >50,000 BP, 5,000 BP, 2700 BP and presumably 0 BP all exposed at the same location at the margin of a retreating glacier. This material will decay within the next (pick a number) 500 years if not covered again by the glacier. Conclusion: The glacier will advance to cover all of these deposits within the next (pick a number) years, providing no exceptional change in climate (such as AGW).

    Is this a fair assessment?

  73. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Re #70, Gabe C.
    I’ll go for :

    that negative feedbacks (or forcings) will overwhelm any warming signal from CO2 emissions,

    though ‘overwhelm’ is a stronger word than necessary – ‘compensate for’ will do nicely.

  74. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    72: ?? I think the basic physics of the greenhouse effect are pretty well understood, but how these greenhouse effects affect the climate is not well understood. The models try to put it all together, but they are based on many assumptions (“parameterizations”)and are unreliable. As stated in 51, the only way to demonstrate AGW is through the use of these flawed models (we can no longer rely on the hockey stick graphs to prove anything, since they have been shown to be flawed, to put it nicely). I think there is a lot of evidence that the modern warming trend is mostly, if not completely, due to a natural cycle. This is indicated by many studies that confirm the existence of such cycles (MWP, LIA, etc.).

  75. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    re 70, 74

    My personal take is that while it’s pretty much proven that CO2 increases will result in some warming, it’s pretty small and it does result in negative feedbacks which offset the positive feedback of increased water evaporation. (this should be obvious since otherwise water would run-away on its own.)

    The net temperature increase will be modest and most likely a positive on net. True there will be a bit of ice melting, but there will also be less damage from frost and increased growing seasons. The “increased hurricane #/force” is strictly PR as it wouldn’t be observable yet even if the models were believable. Same with predicted increases in floods and droughts. Honest modelers admit that they can’t do predictions, just scenarios. But sometimes the runs show one thing and sometimes the opposite and the PR people pick the ones which suit their purposes and claim they’re some sort of reality when they’re not.

  76. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    sometimes the runs show one thing and sometimes the opposite and the PR people pick the ones which suit their purposes

    Mmm. Cherry pie.

  77. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    74:
    “though “overwhelm’ is a stronger word than necessary – “compensate for’ will do nicely.”

    What would these feedbacks be? I understand the logic of positive feedbacks–H2O, albedo–and uncertainties therein, but how could the negative feedbacks compensate for the CO2 warming signal?

  78. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    “This is indicated by many studies that confirm the existence of such cycles (MWP, LIA, etc.).”

    The “cycle” argument is not very convincing. My bank account appears to be cyclical, but it is not guaranteed to continue without a cause (my paychecks).

  79. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    The “cycle” argument is not very convincing. My bank account appears to be cyclical, but it is not guaranteed to continue without a cause (my paychecks).

    Gabe, there are plenty of possible causes: solar cycles, Earth orbital changes, Earth axis wobbles, God.

  80. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    re: #78

    What would these feedbacks be?

    Eh? You don’t sound like someone who’s a beginner in this subject.

    A) Increased cloud formation giving increased reflection
    B} Increased precipitation, moving heat higher in atmosphere.
    C) CO2 fertilization
    D) Heat-pipe type movement of heat to the poles where it’s easier for it to escape to space.

  81. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    Gabe: see this paper for some information on cyclic changes. (I should inform you, however, that the some of the statistics experts on this blog don’t like the paper because of overfitting–which I think amounts to the use of too many variables to explain the variation. I still don’t quite understand their problem, since there SHOULD be several key variables).

  82. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    jae, the problem with overfitting is that if you have enough variables you can generally make any curve you want, especially if there’s some white noise in some of the variable curves. But we’re not trying to create something new out of thin air. We’re hoping to find a real signal among a few noisy variables.

  83. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Gabe C,

    Can I ask you do you know how life evolved on this planet? Do you know what things are necessary to sustain life on this planet? Do you think any of these things might have varied signifcantly from century to century, millenium to millenium, ice age to ice age in the past? Do you know what causes the earth’s climate to enter an ice age? Do you know what causes the earth’s climate to come out of an ice age? If you can answer some of these questions then you are on the way to understanding what negative (decreasing temperature) feedbacks and what postive (increasing temperature) feedbacks exist that cause variations in the earth’s climate.

    I think you’d agree that there must be both negative and positive feedback effects for the planet to remain at a relatively constant annual average surface temperature that these effects must generally cancel one another out i.e. be in equilibrium. Do you agree? So how do you think these climate models manage to predict with a 90% certainty that the average global surface temperature will increase by somewhere between 1.5 deg.C to 5.8 deg.C by 2100 i.e. over the next 100 years or so. Now make sure you bear in mind that the recorded instrumental average temperature has only increased in comparison over the last 100 years by 0.6 deg.C. What could possibly cause of a three fold increase at the lower end and a ten fold increase at the upper end in average temperature? Well according to the climate modellers it is CO2. Man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. Where did the fossil fuels come from? How were they created? Well that’s enough clues for now.

    KevinUK

  84. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #78, Gabe C.
    What Dave said in #81.
    Plus, I’d really like it if sprites were relevant, because they’re fun.

  85. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    #69, Rocks

    talking of propoganda take a look at this courtesy of the Numberwatch web site. This is what we have to put up with in the UK from Tony B’s spin doctors. Here’s a quote from it

    “Much of the noise in the climate change discourse comes from argument and counter-argument, and it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. This must be done by stepping away from the “advocates debate’ described earlier, rather than by stating and re-stating these things as fact.

    The “facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken. The certainty of the Government’s new climate-change slogan — “Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) — gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality.”

    And my hard earned taxes pay to find this crap?

    Steve, I bet you didn’t know that you are a ‘anti-hero’.

    KevinUK

  86. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    83: Dave, thanks. Bender has explained this to me, as well. What I wonder about is this: if the curves fit the data (two separate unrelated proxies) extremely well, what is so wrong with overfitting?

  87. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #87 Simple. A model that is overfit to a sample will not perform well in an independent, out-of-sample test. The more egregious the overfit, the worse the performance in an honest test of predictive skill.

  88. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    88: we will see…

  89. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    That’s the spirit! Nothing like time and new data to get a real test of a model’s predictive skill.

  90. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Bender: I understand what you are saying. It will be interesting to see if the curve changes much as the author brings in other (out of sample) proxies. If he has to make major adjustments, then he screwed up by overfitting. However, if only minor changes to the curves result, then he is probably on to something, no?

  91. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Yes – depending on how you measure “major” – and as long as those “out of sample” proxies weren’t peeked at beforehand (by anyone!) to bias the original (over-) fitting process. The point is, if you want to really know how valid a model is, you need an honest-to-goodness, truly independent out-of-sample test. Dishonest, semi-independent tests are much easier to come up with – which is why paleoclimatology is full of them.

  92. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    There’s a nice paper by Ferson et al about the interaction between data mining, spurious regression and autocorrelation which I posted about here. Deng 2005 – see Spurious category – has more on this topic from this viewpoint.

  93. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    I am constantly amazed by the depth of content on this blog. That looks to be a good paper, 100% pertinent to the issue of paleoclimatological reconstruction statistics.

    You know, I would really, really like to sit down with Mann one day to understand what he really knows about the statistics of stochastic time-series.

    Steve, if HT/AGWers and IPCC are trying to make inferences about TRENDS (i.e. first-order differences) nowadays vs. some time in the past, then can you tell me: why the heck do they only present reconstructions on VALUES (zeroth order differences)? Shouldn’t they be plotting the first differences and estimating confidence intervals on THOSE? Seems to me that would be alot more challenging, but that it would be the right thing to do.

  94. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    But, Bender, isn’t it true that you could test for overfitting by only using part of your data to produce/train the model and then see how well it does in producing the rest of the data? And even more (since the modelers could, consciously or not, pick a model they knew would do well with the additional data), you could make many runs with different data being included or not, and see whether or not the models come up with were much the same in each run or not.

  95. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    John A’s #3 vs. Peter Hearnden’s #6 in that thread sum up a whole lot of the problem here: many warmers just do not understand the importance of uncertainty in making solid inferences when it comes to the behavior of stochastic dynamic systems.

  96. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    jae, if you want a pretty example of overfitting, look at the bottom figure in this post showing a fit of a sine-type curve using white noise series.

    bender, you might be interested in the post linked above. I think that it’s one of my more interesting posts, although it attracted little interest. The statistical issue that it turns over – and it’s something that isn’t considered anywhere in multivariate statistical literature – is what happens when you mix one “classical” univariate spurious regression with multivariate overfitting (which is my model for MBH). It’s uncanny that such varied combinations of networks produce such similar results.

    For example, combinations of, on the one hand as univariate spurious regressors: bristlecones, dot.com stocks, synthetic PC1s from red noise; and on the other hand – 21 series of white noise; or 21 non-bristlecone MBH “proxies” – tend to produce very similar reconstructions, with high RE statistics and low verification r2 statistics. This post had slipped my mind, but was probably worth doing more with.

  97. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Re #95
    Yes, a qualified yes.

    Of course, when you are working with two time-series that share a monotonic trend, then (even if the series are very long) you can’t really get an independent test by series-splitting, as the one shared trend is merely split into two non-independent pieces. That’s not an honest validation test. The significance levels in both halves (calibration & “validation”) will be vastly overestimated.

  98. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    125 regressors! Now, that’s WAY out on a limb.

  99. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    re: #98 but a trend line is only 1-2 degrees of freedom, correct? Or is it even that? I’m afraid my knowledge of degrees of freedom is from a chemistry perspective where it’s useful in determining say IR spectra or enzyme mechanisms. So I suppose I should go read more about it to see just what’s meant in a statistical sense.

  100. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    KevinUK (#84),

    I’m sorry I don’t follow your clues. I know that a widely held theory is that increased CO2 will warm the planet. I know that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere. I know that burning fossil fuels releases CO2. What I don’t understand is how ice ages are relevant to that theory.

    Dr. Ball’s statement suggested that models were the only things predicting the rise in temperature. But doesn’t the theory predict it? Aren’t the models just projecting what this theory says should happen when CO2 levels are increased?

  101. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    I briefly googled “overfitting allowed,” and noticed that some amount of overfitting is commonly accepted. An interesting example.

  102. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #100 Yes, that’s the real problem with slow-churning systems like Earth’s climate – it takes a long time to accumulate enough independent observations (and hence degrees of freedom) to make inferences about the system’s behavior with any kind of confidence. As you point out: two points is all it takes to make a linear “trend”. If your correlations stem from a noise-free monotonic shared trend then you may have very few degrees of freedom indeed to make the comparison you wish to make. (e.g. To test whether two slopes differ, you need enough degrees of freedom to estimate the slopes and to test if they’re different.)

    In well-studied systems you’re relying more on mechanistic insight to give you the causality you’re looking for, but the statistically estimated responses will still be biased. (Someone earlier gave the example of a temperature-viscosity relationship.) In poorly studied systems where you have little basis for inferring causality, you’re relying on the statistics to give you that confidence. Not only are the statistics (sensitivity coefficients) going to be biased, but they may be altogether spurious.

    That is where the ‘greenhouse effect’ radiation models are so critical. They’re supposed to provide the mechanistic insight underpinning the non-spuriousness of the CO2-temperature correlations. But if those models are off (and I’m not saying they are), then how sound is it to infer causality? And how robust are the estimated sensitivity coefficients?

    Think about it in terms of lock-and-key. Why are keys cut to be “crinkly”? Why not just one tooth? The answer is: to avoid spurious false positives – which is what you would get if keys had only one or two teeth on them (i.e. dominated by low-frequency variability). Similarly, you want your “matching” CO2-temperature time-series to be crinkly (not dominated by lwo-frequency variability) in order to be sure that a putative correlative match is not a false positive due to a shared trend. Crinkly time-series are loaded with usable information (=degrees of freedom). Smooth trendy time-series are not.

    Apologies if this sounds too pedantic.

  103. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #102
    Yes – and the more lenient the culture, the less robust is the science. Sorry, it’s that simple. Google all you want. Yes, every scientist is free to choose what models he wishes to have put to the test. But the point is: nature alone has the final say, not human peer review.

  104. Lee
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    I’m simply amazed.

    I offered an explanation, Steve claimed I did not and was avoiding the issue (and incidentally attributed to me argumetns i was not involved in), I called him on taht and reiterated he [oint I amde -a nd I get called aa troll, and NO ONE respond on the topic. But I’m the troll,a dn I get accused of avoiding the issue.

    Guys, STEVE RAISED THE FRICKING ISSUE!!!!!!!! Steve muddind teh issue by confusing the ice cap and the outlet glaciers, Steve avoided responing to points by claimign the were not made. Adn I’m the troll.

    just amazing.

  105. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Lee: could you settle down and be more specific? Take your meds, man.

  106. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    104. Bender, thanks again. I’m getting old, but I still want to learn.

  107. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Lee, we read #11,#12,#14,#16, etc. Do you have anything new to add? #105 is unintelligible.

    You may not BE a troll, but that’s what your grammar and tone announce to the world. You said before you don’t care if you annoy people. Now apparently you do. Make up your mind … and shape up, my troll-like friend.

  108. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    #69 KevinUK , boy that’s really something. Sheesh! I live in California so we are are in the same boat over here on this side of the pond! Taxes here are out of control.

    #73 I think that’s a fair assessment. That’s why I thought these finds were also evidence of colder climate changes as well. If that makes any sense at all.

    #104 I agree bender, and thank you. I appreciate your comments too.

  109. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    re: #105,

    Lee, let’s see if I can summarize your position. You claim that what we should find is first younger and then older plant material around the Q. ice cap. Therefore there’s no reason to worry about the fact that other material was found because the 50k material was the most recent discovered while the 5k material was older and the 2.5k discovered was even older or was under the outlet glacier instead of around the ice cap (which I’d expect would be somewhat synchronous in retreating though perhaps things like sun angles, etc. might make a difference.

    Well, I don’t know if that’s precisely what you’re saying, but in any case that’s the sort of thing you need to present instead of just jumping on Steve. He isn’t an expert in this area and if he needs corrections as he goes along, so be it. Be the Sun instead of the North Wind and Steve will be as nice as can be.

    As for myself, I’d like someone to either prepare a list of the material in the Q. area by age and location and discovery date so that we can draw some real conclusions; though as Steve is requesting, an analysis of the layers of debris would helpful And if you could invest a bit of effort in copying material from papers you happen to have or otherwise arranging data for easy consumption by the learners here, it would help your reputation no end.

    Yes there’s a bit of work involved, but you don’t have to do everything all at once any more than Steve does.

  110. Tim Ball
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Re 101
    The models are a mathematical representation of the atmosphere into which they place the assumptions of the theory that an increase in CO2 due to human acitivity will cause global temperature to rise. The models all assume a doubling of CO2 which is a simplistic unsubstantiated trend projection. I understand they are locked in to doubling so comparisons between outputs can occur. To my knowledge the models are all still programmed to have an increase in temperature if CO2 increases, essentially ceteris paribus. The problem is the ice core record shows the temperature changes before the CO2. Have any models been adjusted to include this new documented evidence? Not to my knowledge.

  111. JMS
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    Tim, although I wouldn’t normally attack a scientist for his views, the fact that temps increase at the end of an ice age before CO2 increases is fairly easily explained. It is a positive feedback. Major ice ages begin and end because of the Milankovich cycle. You should know that. It is clear from what we know through physics that warming water can contain fewer disolved gasses. As temperature increases less CO2 can be held in the water of the oceans (and the permafrost) so CO2 begins to increase. As far as the models being programmed to have an increase of temperature if CO2 increses, this is simple physics and has been known since the mid 19th century.

    The argument you present is a red herring.

  112. JMS
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    And for those of you who don’t understand the mid 19th century comment, the absorbtive and reradiating properties of CO2 were discovered in the 1850’s by Tyndall.

  113. bender
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    JMS, you say:

    that temps increase at the end of an ice age before CO2 increases is fairly easily explained

    but is that particular kind of “explanation” not more appropriately termed a “hypothesis”? Enlighten me with links and citations and don’t leave anything out. I’m curious as to what makes you say this positive feedback is “fairly easily explained”. As compared to what? Seems to me nothing in this business is explained with the degree of ease you seem to imply. Tell me: when you have a positive feedback loop like this, why would you have a time-delay between chicken and egg? What is the size of the time delay? Why is it the size that it is? If you can so easily infer a feedback loop, then these other matters should be equally easy to explain.

  114. gbalella
    Posted Aug 17, 2006 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    RE # 76

    My personal take is that while it’s pretty much proven that CO2 increases will result in some warming, it’s pretty small…

    (X)^2 .rt(nPV)= pretty small

    Was that the formula you used to arrive at this precise calculation?…Or have you finally developed your own GCM?

    Dave’s Fanstamigorical GCM (place numbers here)……….results come out here ~> approximate warming do to CO2 = pretty small

    This is obviously a way more sensitive calculation then stupid ol HadCM3 or CSIRO

    and it does result in negative feedbacks which offset the positive feedback of increased water evaporation. (this should be obvious since otherwise water would run-away on its own.)

    Show your work mister…..did you make these up?…use the back of a napkin??… use a calculator???….did you use some big math equations???….or was this the results of a …..gasp…..model?

    Further predictions from DVPFOTTOMHBOTN-GCM (Dave’s very precise Fantasmagorical off the top of my (his) head back of the napkin-GCM

    ~net temperature increase will be modest
    ~ most likely a positive on net
    ~ will be a bit of ice melting
    ~increased growing seasons
    ~hurricane will have good PR
    ~Same with predicted increases in floods and droughts. They’ll higher good PR firms too.
    ~ Honest modelers admit that they can’t do predictions, only Dave’s DVPFOTTOMHBOTN-GCM can do predictions.

  115. bruce
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    Re #105: Lee, to be direct. If you can’t be bothered checking your spelling and grammar, I for one can’t be bothered reading your posts. Most of us learned at school that the reason that accurate spelling and sound grammar is important is that our credibility is threatened if we make simple mistakes of that type.

  116. JMS
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    Bender, it is because it takes time for the oceans to warm, the permafrost to melt and recently uncovered biological material to decay. Take a look at this for more info.

  117. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

    Re:112
    “The models all assume a doubling of CO2 which is a simplistic unsubstantiated trend projection.”

    I don’t understand this point. CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, so surely it will double at some point? Unless you think that fossil fuel emissions will be cut?

    “The problem is the ice core record shows the temperature changes before the CO2.”

    But then the temperature continues to rise after the CO2 rises, right?

  118. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    In an earlier post, I said that:

    If I may summarize a little, neither of the Georges nor Lee nor JMS have offered any sort of plausible explanation of how the 2200-year old plant material was formed if the 5000-year old plant material has been “continuously” unde a glacier. …

    I’m not saying that there is no explanation. Just that they haven’t provided it, nor have the provided an excuse for Thompson’s failure to report all relevant samples in his PNAS article.

    Lee responded, with much additional editorial comment not repeated here, that he provided the following explanation of the varying dates of discovery – which I might choose to disagree, but could not say that he had not provided any explanation.

    When it retreats, it will first uncover the younger material that it covered later, and then the older material that it covered earlier. Finding materials of different dates simply means that the margin of the ice cap moved. ….This process is not necessariy going to be perfectly coordinated at all sites along the ice cap margin, either.

    First, he’s left out the point about Thompson’s failure to provide a proper accounting and explanation of the different plant deposits in his original article, from which the present situation arises. Each of us may speculate as to what reasons may apply, but the underlying obligation to do so lay with Thompson. The most elementary audit of information from the Quelccaya area, including Thompson’s own news releases, showed major problems with Thompson’s report. It is that type of incomplete and cherrypicking report that is a particular topic of this site. Had the NAS panel did minimal due diligence, they would have identified the same problems.

    My original remark usd the term “plausible explanation” and I do not believe that Lee’s couple of sentences is, in any sense, a plausible explanation of the phenomenon. While Thompson does not provide elevations of the various discoveries, Thompson’s discveries from 2002-2005 are all said to be at the receding margin of the glacier and are presumably within 20-30 m of elevation at the maximum. The peat is elsewhere said to be 400-500 m above its present range.

    Thus, if peat were growing 2200 years ago at the point where it was discovered in 2003, the temperature would have to be more or less what it is currently 400-500 m downslope. The glacier would have to recede accordingly and could not have continuously covered the point at which 5000-year old plant deposits were discovered in 2002 and again in 2005. This seems pretty obvious to me and is why, in my opinion, Lee’s explanation does not rise to “plausible”. In fairness to Lee, at least he made a go at it. That’s what the thread is here for.

    But I, for one, take away from this brief survey of Quelccaya plant deposits another unfavorable impression of Hockey Team accounting practices.

  119. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

    This site is getting flooded by highly motivated warmers of late. New names popping up. Lots of ad hom directed especially at Steve M. Almost as if it’s some sort of organized effort.

  120. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    RE: #110 – Indeed. Check out what RC censored as recently as yesterday:

    “Why did you censor a simple NWS Anchorage ice desk forecast? That’s pretty crass. Amazing.
    by Steve Sadlov”

    We’ll see if they censor my complaint as well.

  121. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    Re #118
    A thread on acid oceans? Could you be a little more specific? The issues are time-delays, positive feedback loops, and discerning causality.

  122. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    re: #116,

    George,

    (X)^2 .rt(nPV)= pretty small

    Was that the formula you used to arrive at this precise calculation?

    That’s a pretty weird equation. Is it supposed to be one I’ve heard of, or is it just something that arose in your mind after a meal of too much rich food? Is the “.” supposed to be a multiplication symbol instead of the more usual “*”? The rest seems to be some bastard form of the ideal gas law; PV = nRT with some odd capitalization. My take on it [i.e. in your analysis, my global modelization of your entire life] is that you vaguely remember a little math from the algebra you took in high-school and likewise from you HS physics course (which you mostly spent ogling the girl diagonally in front of you), and poured it out in the form of an equation, thinking it might look impressive.

    As usual you’re off the mark.

  123. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Here’s a 3D image of Quelccaya Ice Cap:

    http://tinyurl.com/rhouh

    Description:
    This image shows the retreat (red) and advance (blue) of ice on the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru, between 1975 and 1998. The changes were derived from MSS and SPOT satellited data using methods described by Albert (Polar Geography, 2002). The image was draped over the NASA SRTM DEM and rotated in 3-D. All processing was done in ENVI (www.rsinc.com).

    Interesting how it can be retreating and advancing in spots very close together during that time period. They look like very small advances but if you think about it, Thompsons’ sampling area is very small in the grand overall picture too.

    this image helps to illustrate:

    http://tinyurl.com/zatec

    how “tiny” the area is when you look at a bigger picture!

  124. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    Also here is the page I got the last image from.

    http://tinyurl.com/g36qx

  125. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    RE: #122 – Mistake on my part, that was not censored after all. But why would I even have to consider the possibility? Answer is, I have been censored numerous times over there.

  126. Paul Penrose
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Gabe,
    What theory are you talking about? So far all we have are a few conjectures, like doubling of C02 will cause 1-3C (or 1-20C depending on who you listen to) increase in global temperature (supposing that’s even a useful metric). Now the IR absorbtive and reradiative properties of C02 are fairly well understood, but there’s a lot more going on in the climate. It’s not like doing an experiment where you shine a light into a glass box and put progressively greater concentrations of C02 into it and measure the resultant temperature. The earth is enormously more complex and so far there’s no single theory that explains how everything interacts. There’s always the possibility that there are other processes going on that are much bigger drivers than C02, which is why the ice ages are revelant. Whatever caused those huge cycles in temperature may still be at work today and may be causing the variability that we see. Right now we just don’t have enough good data to know the difference. The problem, of course, is that it takes a long time to collect data on climate since it’s such a long-term effect. Decades are barely a blip on climatic time-scales. What we really need are centuries of high-quality high-coverage data to get high confidences. That does not mean that we can’t use the data we have now, but it’s important to understand what the limits of this data are as far as what kind of conclusions we can draw.

    People like myself (and many on this blog) are not “denialists” in the sense that we are not denying that AGW is happening; we just don’t think that you can conclude it is based on the current data and underlying understanding of the physical systems involved. The “global temperature” is probably increasing most would agree, but how much, for how long, and why we just don’t think can be known at the present time. At least not with the certitude claimed by Mann and his fans.

    And don’t even start me on the models. I could go on for pages, but I just don’t have the time right now. Let’s just say that I have some experience in this area and the more I look at the coupled GCMs the less I believe they can be relied on for predictions or projections or anything else other than pure research what-if type experiments.

  127. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    RE: #128 – At the time the Greenhouse Effect notion was developed, there was only cursory understanding of the structure of the atmosphere. Indeed, CO2 in a box, or doing spectophotometry of CO2 and then assuming you can then consider that some finite element, then go on to “build up” to the complete atmosphere, are examples of gross oversimplification. CO2 is not distributed uniformly either vertically or otherwise. And when it emits IR, how that IR then behaves will depend greatly on where in the atmosphere it is, and what else is around it (microscopically and in the macro) in the atmosphere. The Greenhouse Effect was good for developing a conceptual understanding of why the Earth is not some dead iceball, but it seems to be running out of steam as a comprehensive model of reality.

  128. Gabe C.
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Paul,

    I understand that we cannot know for certain what is causing the current warming. However, as you say, we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We know CO2 levels are increasing and we know the temperature is going up.

    Any uncertainty in how much warming can be expected works both ways, so that an earlier poster’s comment that the warming would likely be very little is a guess.

    Am I right in thinking:

    1. CO2 is responsible for at least some of the warming we observe,
    2. Whatever effect CO2 has will increase and intensify,

    ?

  129. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    I googled “other theories for global warming ”

    I found this one:

    …Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia…
    You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. graph: http://tinyurl.com/a39df
    “The Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster”

    http://www.venganza.org/

  130. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    #131. Let’s suppose that you extended the pirate time series before 1800 as say the 1800 value plus-minus white noise or red noise and then inserted this series in the Mannomatic. You would get a pirate hockey stick graph.

    Also note that a pirate reconstruction of global temperature has a very high RE statistic.

  131. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    #132 Hee hee. :)

    Does anyone reamember this article? http://tinyurl.com/jh645
    Tunguska Event Responsible For Warming Climate?
    to be published in “Science First Hand” (The journal “Science First Hand” accepts for publication articles, reviews, brief reports, … Articles can be submitted either in Russian or in English.www.sibsciencenews.org)

    And of course Real Climate’s Gavin had his way with it?

    Quote: “So while the physics being invoked here is barely worth discussing, a more interesting question might be why the University of Leicester thought that this was worthy of a press release in the first place, and why this got any traction in the media at all. True, it didn’t get much attention, so maybe there is some hope for science journalism after all…

    [Example][Response: The current consensus has arisen because it does the best at explaining the observations and has been shown to have predictive power. New ideas need to do better than that in order to overturn current ideas. Pretty basic stuff really. – gavin]”

  132. charles
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    Gabe,

    “Am I right in thinking:

    1. CO2 is responsible for at least some of the warming we observe,
    2. Whatever effect CO2 has will increase and intensify,”

    #1 is correct. we just don’t know is co2 if responsible for 10% or 80%.

    However, #2 is not correct. Co2 is increasing linearly and its warming contribution ~ ln (co2).

    Thus what ever effect from co2 we have experienced in the past will be less in the future.

    The modest warming of the last 100yrs has been a net plus and there is no reason to expect modest warming in the future (due to co2) will not also be a net plus.

    Picture in your mind a tropical scene. Now picture an artic scene. The world is moving every so slightly toward the former. Is this bad?

  133. muirgeo
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    Re 124

    Dave,

    The equation is non-sense. Typical of you to look to the details while ignoring the bigger point to be made. Just like you expecting your back of the napkin calculations to be more close to the truth then models based on the most well known physical aspects of climate.

    Seriously Dave …do you really think your ..”pretty small” warming prediction is more legitimate then the models general projections of 2-3C.

    The latest silliness here is that models are not helpful in predicting climate. The point of my post is that you guys regularly project what you expect the effects of anthropogenic increases in ghg’s will be based on your own highly suspect models while tossing out the most well thought out models as suspect mostly because you don’t understand them yourself.

    TWO POINTS ON MODELS;

    1) Models are THE ONLY WAY to estimate the effects of a given forcing on climate. Anyone who makes any speculation on the effects of CO2 on climate is modeling regardless of how ridiculous and factually challenged your model is.

    2) As with Mann’s reconstruction, as with the surface temperature reconstructions….there exist no significant models or contrary evidence that suggest the projected warmth seen in current state of the art models of between 2-3 C / 2 X CO2 is significantly off the mark.

    Finally, as with Mann the challenge to the critics of Mann, the challenge to the critics of the surface temperature reconstructions and the challenge to the model cynics is to NOT show the flaws of the current reconstructions or of the current models but to put forth your own reconstruction or models that shows something significantly different from what exist in the current literature.

    Again no significant such contrary models exists in the peer reviewed literature that show anything significantly different from the IPPC referenced model projections. Likewise the current trends are consistent with the model projections and are NOT explained on any natural variability.

  134. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    the challenge to the critics … is to NOT show the flaws of the current reconstructions or of the current models but to put forth your own reconstruction or models that shows something significantly different from what exist in the current literature

    Of course you see the burden of evidence as lying on the skeptics; it is advantageous to your cause. I doubt that Feynman would have viewed it that way though. It is up to the innovating proponents of a hypothesis to be skeptical of their own work. When this internal skepticism fails, then outsiders must step in and try to do what the insiders failed to do. The fact is skeptics and innovating scientists are not on equal footing regarding access to data and tools. How can I build my own BCP temperature reconstruction if I don’t have access to specialized code that the gatekeepers won’t release?

    Muirgeo, why don’t you build your own temperature reconstruction, and tell me how it goes?

  135. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    There is always the observational study of Forster & Gregory (The Climate Sensitivity and Its Components Diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget Data, J. Climate, 19, 39-52 (2006)).

    One comment they make is “Over the short 1985–90 time period, we appear to find a near neutral LW feedback (YLW is close to 3.3 W m-2 K-1). This result is particularly interesting as most climate models exhibit a positive longwave feedback (Houghton et al. 2001). If our results are accurate, it could mean either that there is little or no positive water vapor feedback and a neutral cloud feedback or it could imply that the longwave cloud feedback is negative, offsetting the positive water vapor feedback.”

    So observations and models don’t appear to match. Even more interesting, Forster and Gregory use the surface temperatures to calculate their climate sensitivity. They would be better off using the MSU temperatures.

    For 1985-96, the surface temperature rose by 0.207 C. The NASA derived MSU temperature rose by 0.0796 C. Using the MSU temperatures gives a climate sensitivity of 5.98 +/- 3.64 W/m2/K. This corresponds to a warming of 0.61 C for a doubling of carbon dioxide.

    The surface temperatures respond to land use changes and other factors in addition to GHGs, so using MSU temperatures is the appropriate metric to use when calculating greenhouse gas climate sensitivity.

  136. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem last decade is one of the remarkable accomplishments of the century IMO. His first attempt contained a subtle flaw which critics found.

    Did anyone ridicule the critics because they hadn’t proved Fermat’s Last Theorem? Of course not. Did Wiles call the critics names? Of course not. Did he say that his first attempt was still valid? Of course not.

    Wiles went back to the drawing board; it took him about 3 more years but he developed a new approach which this time worked.

  137. Greg F
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    RE: 135

    The latest silliness here is that models are not helpful in predicting climate.

    The IPCC is also guilty of the same “silliness” concerning the model scenarios:

    Scenarios are neither predictions nor forecasts of future conditions. Rather they describe alternative plausible futures that conform to sets of circumstances or constraints within which they occur (Hammond, 1996). The true purpose of scenarios is to illuminate uncertainty, as they help in determining the possible ramifications of an issue (in this case, climate change) along one or more plausible (but indeterminate) paths (Fisher, 1996).

    Let us know when you actually know something about the climate models curve fits muirgeo.

  138. Lee
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    139:

    GregF the models are NOT curve fits. They are the best currently attainable numerical descriptions of our current climate theory. Tehya rentpnt perfect, results from thema re jsutificalby subject to criticism (an drebuttal), but to describe thema s curve fits is to use innacurate alnguage to belittle them, rather than to deal with what they are.

  139. Lee
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    re 138:

    Steve, you arent Andrew Wiles. Or his critics.

    YOu published an analysis of a set of data that yo clearly ahd nto takent the ime to understand.

    I and others pointoed otu what look to us like mistakes in yoru analysis and understanding (Wiles critics?). You misrepresented statemetns by yro critics, includingat least one flat-out falsehood whenre you said I had not made an on topic response when I had done so twice – and you have not apologized for that. You attributed comments to me that I never made – and yo ahve not apologized for that. To my knowledge neigther wile snto not thos who foudn his flaw behaved like that.

    There is a constant pattern where those of the chorus on this site get away with personal attacks and misrepresentations, but those sounding a dissonant note get attacked and then vilified for responding to the attacks. And where criticims of yor criticims is somehow distracting, but your criticisms themselves ar nnot. At best, its tiresome. Adn yes, it draws angry responses some time – if you let the chorus light teh fire, learn to live with the heat.

  140. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    tossing out the most well thought out models as suspect mostly because you don’t understand them yourself.

    I’ll resist the urge to say what I think (about you, that is) and limit myself to this statement which, while wrong and misleading, at least can be discussed.

    Your main mistake is to confuse unwillingness to disclose how the models work withan inability to understand. Now, yes, the models are complex and there’s a sense in which even those who build the models don’t “understand” them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t supply an entry into their systems which allow them to be explored and “audited”. At least what parameters are plugged into the systems and what reasoning was used to determine the values of the parameters should be given.

    One thing you don’t seem to realize is that there are regulars here who are experienced in model building and use and they are not of the opinion that models can be trusted to have much accuracy.

    Of course there was that poor fellow from the distributed PC model outfit who was around a bit spewing venom for a while, but he was apparently just some sort of technician and not anyone who understood the system and it showed.

    Finally, you do realize, don’t you, that all the model systems are not physics based except for some rather broad categories? For instance they usually do check for conservation of energy and matter (though I think I’ve heard of some exceptions even there). But they don’t try actually solving the known equations which govern air and water motion and so forth because the bins into which the earth’s surface are broken up are so large that there’s no way to make the equations work. Consequently they have to use simplified equations and input average values of some sort to make them work; sort of.

    But there’s no place to go to look at the equations being instantiated and what values are fed into the equations. Usually there’s a grand overview which sometimes sounds like it’s saying what’s going on, but as soon as you start asking questions, either of yourself or others as to how a given piece of data is used, you realize they’ve not given you more than a qualitative summary and not what you really need to know. There was one system that David C-H, I believe pointed out one time [another board and a few years ago for those reading this, but George knows who I mean.] Anyway David pointed out a simple GCM which did have its guts showing online, but even then, while the symbols for the various parameters were available, the values used were stored in a database and not at all easy to get. And it wasn’t one of the systems which are actually cited in the literature which are the ones which count.

  141. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Now where did that link go from a week ago about the social scientist who interviewed the modelers – the guys who had a difficult time distinguishing real oceans from the simulated “oceans” of their minds? That was a great interview. And all the modelers openly recognized – and even laughed – at their tremendous fallibility.

  142. muirgeo
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Re# 139

    You’ve confused scenarios with models….try again.

  143. Dane
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    #141 Lee,
    You really sound like a little girl whining the way you do, please stop it.

  144. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Wait – what if Lee IS a whiny little girl? You may have insulted her. Better ask.

  145. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    From the link in #139:

    “For the purposes of this report, a climate scenario refers to a plausible future climate that has been constructed for explicit use in investigating the potential consequences of anthropogenic climate change. Such climate scenarios should represent future conditions that account for both human-induced climate change and natural climate variability. We distinguish a climate scenario from a climate projection (discussed in Chapters 9 and 10), which refers to a description of the response of the climate system to a scenario of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, as simulated by a climate model. Climate projections alone rarely provide sufficient information to estimate future impacts of climate change; model outputs commonly have to be manipulated and combined with observed climate data to be usable, for example, as inputs to impact models.”

    So generate a “scenario,” run the models under the scenario assumption sto get a “projection,” then “manipulate” and “combine” the “model outputs” of the projection to use them as “inputs to impact models.”

    Wow, now that can’t be fraught with errors, uncertainties, nor subjectivity.

  146. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Lee, I’ve never made grandiose claims for myself. I mention Andrew Wiles because he is an example of a truly fine mind.

    I said that you had not made a “plausible explanation” of the plant deposits, but specifically said that you’d at least tried.

    in my opinion, Lee’s explanation does not rise to “plausible”. In fairness to Lee, at least he made a go at it. That’s what the thread is here for.

    Please be a little less aggressive in your tone.

  147. Greg F
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    You’ve confused scenarios with models….try again.

    No muirgeo, lets review what you said again.

    The latest silliness here is that models are not helpful in predicting climate.

    The fact is muirgeo, climate models don’t predict anything (see IPCC link above). That is why the IPCC uses the terminology “scenarios” to describe the output of the models.

    Lee,

    Climate models being curve fits does not preclude them from also being, in your words, the “best currently attainable numerical descriptions of our current climate theory”. Non Sequitur.

    … but to describe thema s curve fits is to use innacurate alnguage to belittle them.

    Belittle them? I wouldn’t want to hurt the poor climate models feelings or anything. Tell me Lee how is describing them as a curver fit “innacurate alnguage”?

  148. Dave B
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    #141 lee…

    you said:

    “To my knowledge neigther wile snto not thos who foudn his flaw behaved like that.”

    no ad hom, but my ability as a cipher has been defeated by this. what does it mean? (aside from a lck of proof reading?…i corrected three errors in my post)

  149. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    After a couple of minutes I get:
    “To my knowledge neither Wiles, nor those who found his flaw, behaved like that.”

  150. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #131, 132
    The Pirate Count proxy has its own “divergence” problem! :) The numbers of pirates worldwide have been increasing substantially during the last decade or two, especially off the Horn of Africa and in southeast Asia.

  151. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    #90. bender – I read some interesting articles on data mining in econometrics, pointing out the problems with stylized results and the effects of cumulative searches through the literature. The situation is obviously comparable to proxies where Yamal is not randomly chosen into every reconstruction.

    The methodological conclusion was that sometimes you just had to wait to get new data. The fact that so much proxy data is old actually offers a unique and rather inexpensive prospect of verifying MBH and other studies in a rather direct way.

    Bristlecones offer a rather nice prospect for this. The “hypothesis” of MBH and similar studies is that bristlecone ring widths will record the increased heat of the 1990s and 2000s. As I’ve often said, if Hughes’ sampling at Sheep Mountain in 2002 had shown this, we would have known by now. Despite Dano’s admonitions that I should personally core the tree rings, I’d much prefer that such a study be done by someone who had credentials to do so. Gaspe would be another good site.

    As a sneak peek at the answer, Zweifel et al 2006 reported that ring widths in a sample of trees in Switzerland that happened to be under study in the very hot summer of 2003 were anomalously …. narrow. The statement from the Hockey Team will no doubt be: “Oh, that’s just the Divergence Problem, just as previously reported in the peer-reviewed literature.”

  152. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    … as if the divergence problem were trivial, and not the prelude to a more drastic outcome, such as large-scale dieback (in which case those narrow rings would be lost to dendrochronologists searching for that evidence 1000 years from now). Is this not occurring in the case of pinyon pine? Could it not happen to BCP?

    I agree that re-sampling is a good idea. I think re-analysis of the existing data is a good idea too. I simply can not believe that someone is not already working on it.

  153. bruce
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    re: #105, 140, 141 and many other posts: Lee, you clearly don’t care for accuracy or professionalism as indicated by your carelessness with your spelling and grammar. Check with your professor (if you ever had one) as to how observers will regard your writings if they are full of errors and barely intelligible. Yet you expect to be taken seriously??

  154. Paul Penrose
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Gabe,
    Don’t make the mistake of confusing correlation with causation. Just because temperatures are going up (by some amount we can debate about later), and CO2 concentration is going up as well, does not mean that the rising CO2 is causing the rising temps. Even accepting the physical properties of CO2 as a potential warming influence, the climate system is just too complex to make such a simple connection. Now I agree that it’s plausable that CO2 has some effect on temperature, but how much? Even then the larger predictions of temperature increases (over, say .25C) over the next 100 years are largely driven by positive feedbacks (like increased water vapor) that are a long way from being proven. In fact, I’d say that the postulation of these feedbacks is not much better than speculation at this point.

    Now I’m not asking for absolute certainty here, which is impossible, but you need to make distinctions in certainty levels. When you are just studying something out of pure scientific curiousity and the cost of going down a blind alley is reletively small, then you don’t need as much certainty than if you want to change the course of civilization. On this last point I’m not exagerating. If you assume that CO2 is as deadly an actor as the warmers claim then nothing short of a massive reduction in the use of carbon-based fuels will save us from AGW. I just don’t see any way to do that over the near-term (next decade or two) without just turning it all off.

  155. bruce
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    re: #55: Two minutes after I wrote #155, I opened today’s Sydney Morning Herald to find the following article (sorry if it is off topic!):

    ‘Website scars top surgeon
    Kelly Burke Consumer Affairs Reporter
    August 19, 2006

    A PROMINENT plastic surgeon from the eastern suburbs has won his case against a website designer over unacceptable nudity and bad grammar.

    Howard De Torres, who lists among his areas of expertise rhinoplasty, breast enlargement and otoplasty (correcting bat ears), was awarded $4278.50 against a Sydney web designer, Toni Fitzgerald, whose taste, grammar and spelling failed to convey the fact that the plastic surgeon’s skills advertised on his website “were professional services of some gravity”.

    The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal heard that Ms Fitzgerald posted images of naked women on Dr De Torres’s site and the text she provided was riddled with tortured grammar and spelling errors, including an unfortunate confusion over the words scare and scar.

    The text told the reader that immediately after the operation, when facial scars and bruises were obvious, “very young children will be scarred of you …” A later version referred to the risk of scaring, and said that “scaring is kept to a minimum”.

    “The copy is not, generally, particularly well expressed, even where it is grammatically correct,” the tribunal’s senior member, Richard Phillipps, noted in his decision. This was despite an email sent by Ms Fitzgerald in February 2003 assuring Dr De Torres her “team” would “give [the text] the ‘once over’ as a professional copywriter and fine tune it for you”.

    The promises made by Ms Fitzgerald in the original contract to “inspire values of steadfastness, commitment to quality …” and give the viewer a “perception of professionalism, quality …” were not delivered, the tribunal concluded, “either in the look of the website (the photographs of naked women) nor in the way in which the copywriters edited the copy”.’

  156. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Oh, that’s just the Divergence Problem, just as previously reported in the peer-reviewed literature.

    As yet to be fully explained in the same literature. Being “reported” in the literature does not explain it away. It is known as a “problem” simply because it singlehandedly refutes the CO2 == ring width theory.

    Mark

  157. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Just because temperatures are going up (by some amount we can debate about later), and CO2 concentration is going up as well, does not mean that the rising CO2 is causing the rising temps.

    This is further complicated by the fact that the largest increases in CO2 concentration in the past century corresponded with _decreasing_ temperatures (1940 to 1980 or so).

    Mark

  158. jae
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Can someone tell me how to pronounce Quelccaya? Is it Kell.kay.yah? I have this compulsion to pronounce words I see.

  159. jae
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Since it’s Spanish, I suppose it’s kel.caw,yaw. But what’s with the two Cs? Inca?

  160. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Aug 18, 2006 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s Spanish. Maybe it’s quechua:

    http://www.zompist.com/quechua.html

  161. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you previously, as I pointed out, said I had not offered any response. When I pointed that out, you made a later post sayign you found my exl=planatin implausible – but iwthout any good explanation as to why. Now you seem here to be saying that your LATER dismissal of my response, offered without apology for the earlier falsehood, somehow offsets your earlier false claim that I had not offered a response. An apology for that blatant falsehood about what I had said, and for your attribution to me in that same post of arguments I anever made, would be in order.

    You also ask how that ~2,000 year old peat got up there, when ( you post) the present peat lne is some 500 meters lower. If you look at the data you just presented and based an argument on in that other thread, you will find sample 14 is a 270 yo peat sample recovered from an ice cap terminal morraine, at 5100 m elevation – only 80 m lower that the current ice cap. If you will recall, 270 years ago, when that peat was deposited, there was an ongoing climate event that has been widely commented on at this site in other threads.

    IOW, peat was deposited during the recent LIA at very near the elevation of the ice cap – and you are somehow arguing that the presense of peat 2000 years ago means it must have been substantially warmer then? Excuse me?

    Once again, Steve, PLEASE take the time to at least read and synthesize the data you are demeaning, before you make silly statements based on it. And those who are going after my couple of badly edited posts – try looking inward at some substance while you have your critics caps on.

  162. James Lane
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    Lee, at post #35 Steve said that you hadn’t made a plausible explanation.

    At #39 you claimed that Steve had said you had provided “no explanation”.

    At post #120 Steve elaborated on why he found your explanation implausible, including:

    Thus, if peat were growing 2200 years ago at the point where it was discovered in 2003, the temperature would have to be more or less what it is currently 400-500 m downslope. The glacier would have to recede accordingly and could not have continuously covered the point at which 5000-year old plant deposits were discovered in 2002 and again in 2005. This seems pretty obvious to me and is why, in my opinion, Lee’s explanation does not rise to “plausible”. In fairness to Lee, at least he made a go at it. That’s what the thread is here for.

    Why don’t you start again and address this point, even if it means (clearly) restating your case? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it’s very difficult to follow your argument – for all I know you and Steve are talking past each other.

    I also suggest you stop hyperventilating and demanding apologies. I think any fair reader reviewing this thread would agree that Steve has been unfailingly polite to you.

    BTW, everyone else on this site seems to be able to use preview and correct their posts. Why do you persist in posting as if your cat was walking across the keyboard?

  163. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    James, Steve had EARLIER claimed I had made no response at all, AFTER I actually had, AND included me in a list of people distracting from the point by arguing about what constitutes peat, even though I had done no such thing. Remember, Steve created TWO threads on this, and there have been cross-thread responses.

    And I JUST NOW IN THIS POST responded as to why I dont buy his ‘500 meters’ point. With references to the sample in the table in the other thread.

  164. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Lee, your posts are almost all horribly written. This means, to most people, that you don’t care about the people you’re writing to. Therefore the people you’re writing to don’t care if you’re miffed by an imagined slight (not that the series of events per se are imagined, but that Steve or anyone else here has much interest in responding to messsages you post, when it takes so much effort to read and understand them. Steve does his best to be polite even to the trolls but it’s really very low of you to make a big point about Steve not paying enough attention to you when you act as you do most of the time.) Now either you’ve gone back and examined all the long series of messages on this and related threads to be so certain that you’re correct in when you said what, or you haven’t. If you have then I submit that you’re spending your time here on the wrong things. Be polite, be well-written; it doesn’t take that much longer. OTOH, if you’re relying just on your memory, then what can I say?

  165. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    I wil also point out, in Steve’s post there, that he is talkign aobut sampels taken from the margin of the ice cap, NOT the glacier front, but using descriptions of glacial dymanics to analyze them.

  166. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    Dave, I called Steve on makng false claims about what I said. He has changed his statement about PART of the initial false claim, but has not apologized or retracted other parts of the false claims. It is behavior very similar to what he consistently claims aobu the ‘hockey team’ and I find this quite amusing actually.

    I have also made substantive claioms, including right here, adn pointed otu smore than one instance n ow where Steve simply didnt bother to look at the data he psoted her and is usign for the basis of hsi argument. When I point that out, I am ‘trolling’ or ‘nitpicking.’ Apparently care in understanding the data nd presenting analyses is not required of Steve, and pointing out his errors is trolling. I jsut pointed out two substantive errors in his earlier posts – and the rresponse is on style and ‘nitpickig.’ Adn o wonder why I dont much trust the presentatins here.

    You are correct that I care very damn little at this point about this site- I find Steve’s posts on this topic to be showing very damn little regard for care or honesty in his anlaysis on this topic, and to be accepting sloppy logic that he woudl use to crucify people who disgaree with him including simple disregard of even attem[pting to understand the data presented, or to take it into accoutn when making arguments. But its an argument I was in, and I’m giving it a last chance – maybe I’m wrong about Steve, and he will realize that the presense of a LIA sample of peat at ice cap elevations, invalidates his argument about how peat could not have been growing at the ice ca unless it was substantially warmer. But I’m not holding my breath.

  167. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    Ok, Lee, now I’ll try what I said you shouldn’t waste your time doing, Here’s the timeline:

    1. Main post:

    But don’t these discoveries prove too much? If the 5000-year old plant has been covered by glacier continuously, then how did the 2200-year old plants or the 2700-year old plants grow? Surely the problem here is similar to that faced in the Green Alps, where stumps have been dated to different periods and that evidence has been interpreted as showing the retreat and advance of the glacier. Similarly if the 50,000-year old glacier – if it’s been covered, how did any of the 5000-year old 2700-year old or 2200-year old plants get formed?

    This is what Steve wanted answered.

    2. In post # 16 you said:

    Steve, that frickin’ map has numbers that correspond to the entries in the table. The table has dates of collection and elevations, and the numbers that cross-referene to the sites of collection. It took me about 14 seconds to understand how it was organized. Even if you missed that, a glance at the map shows that sites of collection are widely scattered, and are not all at the glacier. And teh table givbes elevatins of colection.

    Not exactly a polite attempt to answer Steve. I’m not sure why or that you would claim this is an answer to what Steve wanted answered. But it’s the only attempt I can see (or remember) that you made before;

    3. Steve said in post #35:

    neither of the Georges nor Lee nor JMS have offered any sort of plausible explanation of how the 2200-year old plant material was formed if the 5000-year old plant material has been “continuously” unde a glacier.

    Now you may think that Steve should have deduced from your earlier post that your explanation was that there wasn’t a 2200 year old plant close to the 5000 year old plant, but if so, why didn’t you say so instead of asking him to assume that as your answer? After all, even if Steve had been able to decypher the table legend, that doesn’t necessarily mean that his conclusions were wrong. If you think they were, then you should quote directly what the table says and then make the deductions explicitly rather than insulting Steve for not being able to read.

    Further, when you do want to make a claim such as you have been making, you should be to one to lay out your position. If you’ll read the many posts Steve has here about, say, his e-mail exchanges, you’ll notice that he doesn’t just accuse someone of saying something, but he actually provides the quotes, in context, to let the reader see if his position is valid or not. You need to do the same.

  168. James Lane
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you haven’t “pointed out substantive errors” that either Dave or I can understand. Once again, I suggest that you restate your case, preferably in point form, so we can discuss it. Once again, I’m not taking sides, but I simply don’t understand your argument. It may be cross-threaded, but I don’t have the time or patience to try to reassemble it.

    You are calling Steve on “substantive errors” – MAKE YOUR CASE.

    BTW, aren’t you the slightest bit embarrassed about posting like this:

    I have also made substantive claioms, including right here, adn pointed otu smore than one instance n ow where Steve simply didnt bother to look at the data he psoted her and is usign for the basis of hsi argument. When I point that out, I am “trolling’ or “nitpicking.’ Apparently care in understanding the data nd presenting analyses is not required of Steve, and pointing out his errors is trolling. I jsut pointed out two substantive errors in his earlier posts – and the rresponse is on style and “nitpickig.’ Adn o wonder why I dont much trust the presentatins here.

  169. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    re: #168

    I’ve given you my last best shot in #169. If you still wish to maintain your attitude, then I don’t care to have you around anymore. I’ve supported you here a number of times because I think you COULD argue rationally if you set your mind to it. If you don’t care to, then you’ve completed the turn to the dark side and it’s time to draw light-sabers!

  170. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    Dave, ou lef tout psot 14, in which Steve says:

    #

    #11. Lee, I quite agree that things need to be kept separate. For crissake, that’s why you have maps in proper reports. I’ve just tried to collect some relevant information. I’m not an expert on Quelccaya; if I make some little error in interpreting this stuff, so be it. I’m quite happy to fix up any misunderstanding. But jeez, you guys are so hungry to find some little gotcha, it’s unreal. You might spend some of your energy attacking the presentation of the material by the original authors in such an incomplete and haphazard way before you start criticizing my meagre efforts to collate the information.

    Comment by Steve McIntyre “¢’‚¬? 15 August 2006 @ 9:48 pm

    In that post, Steve says there are maps in “proper reports” – ingnoring the map wihth the crossreference toethe table in thsi report. Steve says he is making a ‘meager effort’ to collate the data – that table is in the paper, with its cross references to the map. He blasts me for criticizing his misunderstanding of the basic data he is criticising, by calign it gotchas for minor points – which is why I told him to look at damn data, because tese points are central to his claims.

    And none of this is responding to the simple fact that there is 270 yo peat at the level of the ice cap, so his argument that the peat growth level currenlty is 500 meters below the ice cap so it must have been warmer when the 2200 yo peat grew simply does not bear scrutiny, and that fact come directly from the table he posted.

  171. Lee
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    dammit, I edited that one – what happened.

    That first sentence should begin – “Dave, you left out post 14…”

  172. James Lane
    Posted Aug 19, 2006 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you edited post #172? Are you dyslexic?

    And none of this is responding to the simple fact that there is 270 yo peat at the level of the ice cap, so his argument that the peat growth level currenlty is 500 meters below the ice cap so it must have been warmer when the 2200 yo peat grew simply does not bear scrutiny, and that fact come directly from the table he posted.

    This makes no sense at all to me. Once again, could you clearly state your full case, in point form, regarding Steve’s “substantive errors”. This is the third time I’ve asked. If you won’t, I’ll assume you can’t, and like Dave, I’m done with you.

  173. Lee
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    James, remember when Steve posted his rejected letter just t’other day, and when it was pointed out that he could more likely get his stuff published if he modified his tone, he said, he simply didnt care?
    Well, guess what…

    Dave, here is what Steve said, the ENTIRE paragraph from which you abstracted:

    “If I may summarize a little, neither of the Georges nor Lee nor JMS have offered any sort of plausible explanation of how the 2200-year old plant material was formed if the 5000-year old plant material has been “continuously” unde a glacier. Instead, they have argued about whether something is “peat” or “moss”. Or explained the formation of 2670-year old peat at very high elevations by the ice cap.”

    On the first point, how is it not plausible that movement of the ice cap edge over thousands of years covered plant material at times separated by thousands of years, and is uncovering it again as it retreats? Steve has said it is not plausible, he has not saaid why. BTW, Steve also keeps referring to these as ‘glacial’, when they are at the ice cap, where movements are much more cosntrained and transport is ging to be much less of an issue- those different dynamics may or may not be relevant, but they ARE different, and this IS the ice cap – this is more like a ‘lake’ to the glaciers ‘river,’ so arguments based on ‘downstream’ transport arent necessarily relevant. I had pointed this out, Steve didnt respond, he simply here apparently said it isnt plausible, without bothing to respond to it.

    The second point, where he says all “we” have done is argue about peat or moss, is simply false. I have not done so, Steve knows I have not done so, and his statement here is attributing to me arguments I havent made, and using that to attempt to discredit me – while not bothering to examine my ‘implausible’ statement.

    And on the third sentence, one more time – there is 270 year old (LIA-era) peat at the level of the ice cap. So how can Steve argue that it must have been warmer thousands of years ago when peat was deposited there? Unless he is arguing that it was that much warmer during the LIA, but cooler now?

  174. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    Sure I left out post 14, it doesn’t say anything concerning what you’ve been complaining about.

    BTW, You didn’t try editing the preview, did you? You can only edit inside the box. The preview just shows how the message will look.

    And none of this is responding to the simple fact that there is 270 yo peat at the level of the ice cap, so his argument that the peat growth level currenlty is 500 meters below the ice cap so it must have been warmer when the 2200 yo peat grew simply does not bear scrutiny, and that fact come directly from the table he posted.

    Then why didn’t you say that instead of screaming at him? BTW, I have a little problem with dating a plant at such a recent date. We could discuss it if you like.

  175. Lee
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    James, Steve has said that the current maximum altitude at which peat plants grow at Quelcayya is 500m below the ice cap. He then points at the greater-than-2000 yo peat at the altitude of the ice cap, and concludes it must have been warmer when that peat grew.

    However, that table from which he is taking his data includes a sample from an ice cap moraine that is within 80m elevation of the current ice cap elevation, that has peat that is only 270 yo. This fact invalidates his claim about the lower-elevation peat line and its relevance to inferring copmaprative temperatures – unless he is arguing that it was warmer during the LIA 270 years ago than it is now or was more than 2000 years ago.

  176. James Lane
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    OK, I think I get it. You’re saying that the peat record near the ice cap says nothing about the glacier? That is, the existance of 2200 yo peat near the ice cap does not invalidate the idea that the glacial extension has not persisted for 5000 years. IS THAT IT?

    If so, it’s a fair point. Mind you, I would have thought that the extent of the ice cap and the glacier would be strongly related, but I’m not a glaciologist. Perhaps someone with expert knowledge could chime in?

    Your last paragraph makes no sense to me at all:

    And on the third sentence, one more time – there is 270 year old (LIA-era) peat at the level of the ice cap. So how can Steve argue that it must have been warmer thousands of years ago when peat was deposited there? Unless he is arguing that it was that much warmer during the LIA, but cooler now?

    My take out from that is that, if you accept the existance of the LIA, the ice cap isn’t telling us anything useful about temperature at all.

  177. Lee
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

    James, how do you get that? Forget the glacier – this data is not from the glacier, it has nothing to do with the glacier. It is from the ice cap. I know Steve keeps saying glacier (and that earlier caught me, too) and that is unfortunate, because this specific data is from the ice cap, not from the outlet glacier. Adn the dating is for the ice cap which is currently shrinking.

    Steve argued that peat can’t grow there now, because it is too cold, but it did grow there in the past, so it must have been warmer. But this peat DID grow there, recently and during a cold era, so Steve’s argument simply fails. This is a separate point form the ‘different age samples nder the ice’ argument.

    On the other issue, there is a 2700 yo sample that was collected at the ice cap margin in 1977. There is a 5000 yo old sample collected at the ice cap margin in 2003. Steve asks how the younger peat got under the ice while the older peat was already under the ice? Simple – the ice expanded between 5000 years ago and 2700 years ago. It is now retreating and in 1977 uncovered a 2700 yo sample, and since 1977 has retreated far enough further to uncover older samples, including the 5000 yo sample. Why Steve considers this ‘implausible’ is beyond me.

  178. James Lane
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    On the other issue, there is a 2700 yo sample that was collected at the ice cap margin in 1977. There is a 5000 yo old sample collected at the ice cap margin in 2003. Steve asks how the younger peat got under the ice while the older peat was already under the ice? Simple – the ice expanded between 5000 years ago and 2700 years ago. It is now retreating and in 1977 uncovered a 2700 yo sample, and since 1977 has retreated far enough further to uncover older samples, including the 5000 yo sample. Why Steve considers this “implausible’ is beyond me.

    OK, I get it now. I do think you could have been clearer in your earlier posts. I’ll concede your argument, as long as the plant discoveries are located from oldest to latest (in terms of age) from the center of the ice cap. Is that the case?

  179. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Hi all, sorry this might be long.
    I think it should be noted that there is more then one way a glacier and ice cap (a type of glacier) can be affected over time:

    “Ablation: All processes by which snow and ice are lost from a glacier, floating ice, or snow cover; or the amount which is melted. These processes include melting, evaporation, (sublimation), wind erosion, and calving.  Synonym: wastage.

    (interesting: wind transport is also listed in accumulation prosesses that adds snow )

    And according to this site:
    There are three major factors controlling the temperature of glacial ice: solar radiation, geothermal heat flux, and internal friction (Ritter 1995).  Solar radiation warming the glacier surface is by far the most influential factor.  On a global scale, atmospheric temperature (created by solar radiation) is a major control of the distribution of glaciers across time and space; locally, solar radiation fluctuation can alter the ice temp on an annual, seasonal, and daily basis.  Glacial temperatures vary the most at the surface.  Surficial heat flux results mostly on the conduction of heat from the atmosphere, the temperature of firn lying on the ice, and the transfer of latent heat by the freezing of meltwater (Sugden and John 1976). 
    Geothermal heat flux is also a common mechanism that raises ice temperature.  Basal ice temperatures are affected by geothermal heat only in select areas (e.g. the Cascade Volcanos and Iceland).  On a smaller scale, geothermal heat may only warm a glacier at specific points or hotspots.  The presence of geothermal heat will often melt basal ice and increase sliding on the bed.  In cases of rapid geothermal heat flux, glaciers have been known to surge at unusually fast rates.
    The third major controlling factor is the internal friction of ice. 

    In active glaciers, there can be enough frictional force created by the flowing ice to create heat, raising the ice to relatively warmer temperatures.
    A simple temperature profile of a stationary glacier with consistent thickness is shown in this equation from Drewry (1986):
    (dT/dh) = (Ts-Tb)/h
    where T=temp, h=height, Ts=surface temp, and Tb=basal temp.

    And the classification of an ice cap falls here: “Glaciers: constrained or controlled by topography” so it is correct to call an ice cap, a glacier, in conversation.

    Ice Cap: A dome-shaped cover of perennial ice and snow, covering the summit area of a mountain mass so that no peaks emerge through it, or covering a flat landmass such as an arctic island; spreading outwards in all directions due to its own weight; and having an area of less than 50,000 square kilometers.

    “GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT TERMS IN GLACIAL GEOLOGY”

    http://tinyurl.com/obmbf

    “Glacier Morphology and Classification:
    Shape and Temperature”

    http://tinyurl.com/ovoaq

    And could some of the areas here at Quelccaya be considered :

    Ice aprons are the smallest classified ice masses.  They are small accumulations of snow and ice that reside on the side of mountains.  Ice aprons have ice movement in the form of internal deformation and basal slip.  This movement is driven by gravity and is what draws the line between large snow patches and ice aprons.

    Or:
    Niche Glacier: Niche glaciers are dictated by rock benches either on mountainsides or in valleys.  Niche glaciers have movement that is driven by gravitational forces and leads to internal deformation and basal slipping.

    ??

  180. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    I see that you’ve overlooked my little challenge to the 270 yo dating. So let me be a bit more explicit. Have you eliminated the two possibilities which would eliminate this?

    1. It’s a typo. [BTW, I suppose I ought to see how the original looks. Is there a link to the actual article? I don’t see one in Steve’s post.] There might be internal indicators which would prove it was actually 2700. Or there might be discussion or a listing by age which would prove it was supposed to be 270. It’d be embarassing to find out a key point you’ve invested in is just a typo or a “0” too faint for you to read.

    2. A more technical problem is radiocarbon dating of recent material. There’s always a problem measuring a small fraction of something. the half life of C14 is 5730 y so 270y = ~5% of this. Meanwhile an age of 800 years would be about 14%. Now there are various ways a sample could look younger than it actually is, the easiest being contamination by recent material. This could include bacteria or lichens growing on the older material and using ambient air. Also bear in mind that carbon 14 is produced by high-energy radiation from the sun and therefore I believe it’s mostly produced at higher altitudes in the atmosphere and later mixed into the general atmosphere. This means it would be necessary to make a correction to the age of materials for a slight excess of C14 if they grow at high altitudes. It this hadn’t been done (for instance if the altitude wasn’t reported to the outfit doing the datinge, the reported age of the material might be spuriously young. This wouldn’t matter as much for material thousands of years old, but would for material only a few hundred years old.

    I’m not saying that either of these situations are the actual case, but I’d think they should be eliminated before too much is made of a single datum like this.

  181. bender
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #179
    Lee – bless you, that post was readable.

  182. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    The observation about the present-day range of peat came from Thompson’s PPT presentation to Texas A&M here. I have no independent knowledge of the range of peat plants at Quelccaya other than gleanings from these articles – and of course, Thompson bears the primary blame for merely presenting pamphlets.

    Lee observed that, in the table from Mark et al which I provided in an earlier post, in addition to a 2760 year old sample of peat at the map location 13 (said by Lee to be near the ice cap rather than the glacier, which seems plausible), there was a 270 year old peat. Lee has said that this was also located near the ice cap, but in Table 1, it says that it was found in H1 – the LIA moraine that, as far as I can tell, is associated with the glacier in this case rather than the ice cap – so Lee appears to be mistaken as to location.

    Be that as it may, this does raise a valid question about Thompson’s observation to Texas A&M about the range of the plants. If the plants are presently 400-500 m below the discovery at the glacier, how did it get in the LIA moraine? Is Thompson’s obervation at Texas A&M wrong? Are there different plants that have different ranges? It’s too bad that Thompson didn’t properly survey the plant deposits and answer these questions.

    Lee says:

    On the other issue, there is a 2700 yo sample that was collected at the ice cap margin in 1977. There is a 5000 yo old sample collected at the ice cap margin in 2003.

    Lee distinguishes between the ice cap and the glacier based on the map from Mark et al which I posted up in an earlier post. I note that Thompson says in a release:

    The plant had to have remained covered and protected for most of that time, which means that the ice cap most likely has not deteriorated to its current size for any length of time in more than 50,000 years.

    I get the impression from the picture of the 50000 year old area that Thompson here is talking about plant deposits uncovered by the receding glacier and not the receding ice cap, but hey, it’s Thompson, so there are no maps and this is a surmise. As I understand it,

    1) yes there was a 2700-year old sample collected at the ice cap margin in 1977
    2) the 2003 sample appears to have been collected from the receding glacier area. Of course, the information comes from Thompson, so who knows. Lee, why do you think that the 2003 sample does not come from the area of the receding glacier?
    3) the 5000 year old samples collected in 2002 and again in 2005 also appear to come from the receding glacier area, again with the caveat that the information comes from Thompson.
    4) both 2 and 3 would appear to be upslope of H1, the LIA moraine in which the 270 year old peat was found.

    The $64 question is whether Thompson’s discovery of 5000-year old peat proves that it has been covered continuously by a glacier for all that time. I have trouble wrapping my mind around how this can be reconciled with younger discoveries of high elevation peat – to which the quandary of 270-year old peat is now added.

    A proper and coherent explanation of these various plant deposits – the type of explanation that one would expect that a blue-ribbon panel like NAS would require before relying on loose comments – is a proper small-scale map showing the various plant deposits and then a coherent diagram showing glacier/ice cap advance and retreat explaining the various deposits.

    I personally have no difficulty in believing that it’s possible that the first advance that engulfed the 5000 year old peat covered it with sediments (along the lines of Alberta stratigraphy); that the glacier retreated in Roman times at which time 2200-year old peat grew; perhaps there was a stratum covering the 5000-year old peat; the LIA glacier advance bulldozed 2200-year old sediments (there’s very strong evidence of this phenomenon in other locations . In addition to the moraine, most 2200-year old sediments would have been washed away in connection with the earlier advance and retreat.

    Who knows? Glacier sediment stratigraphy is a big complicated exercise as evidenced where it’s done properly as in the Alps. There’s evidence that Quelccaya history is just as complicated as that in the Alps – thus it’s impossible to conclude from the information as presented by Thompson that the 5000-year old plant was covered continuously by glaciers to the present.

    270 year

    On the other issue, there is a 2700 yo sample that was collected at the ice cap margin in 1977. There is a 5000 yo old sample collected at the ice cap margin in 2003.

  183. MrPete
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Lee (and for others as well),

    I don’t know if you struggle with dyslexia; I have several friends who do and it appears to me that you might.

    In any case, I’d like to offer a pointer to a wonderful tool that helps make readable writing MUCH easier… in ANY Windows software, whether browser, email, or anything else.

    http://www.asutype.com/ — As-U-Type is a tool we’ve recommended to people around the world for many years. It’s great.

    Blessings,
    MrPete

  184. Lee
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    “there was a 270 year old peat. Lee has said that this was also located near the ice cap, but in Table 1, it says that it was found in H1 – the LIA moraine that, as far as I can tell, is associated with the glacier in this case rather than the ice cap – so Lee appears to be mistaken as to location.”

    Uhh, once again Steve, look at the associated map. The 270 yo peat is sample 14 on the table. Sample 14 is marked on the map. It is an ice cap moraine, near the outlet glacier but not from the glacier.

    —-
    “I note that Thompson says in a release:

    The plant had to have remained covered and protected for most of that time, which means that the ice cap most likely has not deteriorated to its current size for any length of time in more than 50,000 years.

    I get the impression from the picture of the 50000 year old area that Thompson here is talking about plant deposits uncovered by the receding glacier and not the receding ice cap,”

    So, Steve, from the fact that Thomspon says, in this frickin’ quote “…the ICE CAP (emphasis added) most likely has not deteriorated…” and from something about a picture of a 50,000 year old area (what picture?), you get that he is talking about the glacier? Steve, HE SAID ICE CAP!!” How on earth do you read “ice cap’ and infer ‘glacier?’ OR did you just not read the sentence you quoted?

    Also, unless that “50,000”is a typo and we’re still talking about the 5,000 yo sample (which is what you’ve been talking about so far), you seem to be bringing in another piece of data?

    Steve, your numbered points are simply incoherent. Thompson SAYS ‘ice cap” in at least one case. The H1 terminal moraine is an ICE CAP moraine, as shown on the map that YOU posted in that thread, and therefore MUST BE upstream of the glacier. You seem to be refusing to spend the necessary 5 minutes to look closely at the data YOU POSTED and are using as the basis for your argument – hell, I’ve already pointed out to you a couple of times that the table and the map are keyed to each other, and you STILL continue to make basic mistakes on the data that show you arent bothering to look. You are insisting that data shown on the map as being from an ice cap morraine must be glacial. You interpret a sentence in which Thompson says “ice cap” as meaning “glacial,” which is absurd and frankly insulting.Adn once again, glacial dynamics and ice cap dynamics are liekly to be quite diffeent – your arguments aobu tthe effecs of glacial outwash on glacial terminal moraines are not likely to hold up for ice cap termnal moraines, which are not confined to valleys with stream flows through them.

    Yes, it would be good to get the data from the Thompson samples. Has anyone with some competence in the area – based on these two threads, not you, Steve – asked him for the locations?

    Steve, if you are going to be hurling accusations of incompetence at the NAS board, it would be good to not miss such frickin’ obvious things as the locations on the map THAT YOU POSTED HERE of the samples that you use for your arguments – not to mention the rest of the errors you make here.

  185. James Lane
    Posted Aug 20, 2006 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    Lee/Steve,

    Regarding the 270 BP sample (site 14), the site is 1-2km from the ice cap, and below the moraine, suggesting that it has never been covered by ice, and probably never near the ice cap even in 1977.

    Like Dave, I’d be curious to know how the sample was dated. The calibrated age given in Table 1 is between 502-0 BP (1 sigma), so I don’t see how this sample can say anything about anything.

    Lee, Table 1 states that the site 14 sample is beneath the terminal moraine, not in the moraine. This is consistent with the location on the map. That said, I agree with you that the moraine is most likely from the ice-cap, not the H1 glacier, although the Table unhelpfully describes it as the “H1 moraine”.

    The 2760 BP sample is the only one at the edge of the ice-cap, so there is nothing to compare it to. The only inference you could draw is that it was maybe warmer then than now if it is way higher than the current threshold of moss growth.

    The missing ingredient is the location of Thompson’s 5000 BP and 50000 BP samples (assuming there isn’t a typo somewhere). Thompson’s Texas A&M presentation doesn’t contain any text as far as I can see, so what’s the source of these quotes? I tend to agree with Lee that these sites are likely to be proximate to the ice cap rather than, say H3, but without knowing where they are, once again, I don’t see that it’s possible to conclude anything about anything.

    Finally, Lee, do you think you could try to dial down your shrill tone? It’s quite possible to have a debate about these issues in a measured and polite way. The invective just gets in the way of your arguments, which, when it’s possible to decode them, are reasonable.

  186. James Lane
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

    OK, I found Steve’s link to the collation of Thompson’s statements, and also did some googling on “Quelccaya Ice Cap”

    1) Thompson, and other citations, use the terms “ice cap” and “glacier” interchangably e.g.

    Thompson:

    “Plants at Quelccaya are often rooted in soil-filled depressions in the bedrock. Thus, Thompson suspects the plant was preserved as the cap advanced over such a depression. This left a chamber of trapped air that spared the plant from being scoured to tatters by the slow-flowing glacier. ”

    US Geological survey:

    “The Quelccaya ice cap (Zamora and Ames, 1977) is the largest single glacier in PeràƒÆ’à‚⸠(figs. 8 and 9)” (Link #1 below)

    Personally, I think it is useful to distinguish between the ice cap and the glacier (in terms of the deposited moraines), but let’s hear no more of the semantic argument.

    2) Thompson’s 2003 discovery of a 2200 BP sample is reported to be “near the southern tip of the ice field, some 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) south of their original [5200 BP] plant find”

    This places the 2200 BP sample well away from any of the sites on the Mark map (although the southern extremity is depicted in the map). This sample would appear to be from between 5000-5200 metres.

    3) The above would appear to give us an indication of the location of the 5200 BP sample – i.e. 6 km north. This would place it near site 14 (the 270 BP sample), although whether it is above or below the terminal moraine is unclear. In the context of Thompson’s conclusions, one would have to think it was above the moraine.

    4) The location of the 50,000+ BP sample is a mystery. The press report suggests that Thompson intended to look in a different valley 3km away (maybe somewhere near site 8 on the Mark map – BTW this is labled in Table 1 as “beneath H2 terminal moraine” WTF?). But it’s then reported that he found it closer: “But about a quarter-mile from there, I found yet another area of uncovered plants.” This site is reported as being at 5000m, which would make it lower than the 2670 BP site, at 5180 metres.

    It took me ages to put this post together, juggling between different sites. I don’t think one can conclude anything from the information, as presented, except that the moss has grown at higher altitudes in the past than now.

    A final note: the references to the H1 and H2 terminal moraines in Mark’s Table 1 might suggest that the glacier was far more extensive (i.e. crossing over into adjacent valleys) sometime in the past. I don’t know, but I’m puzzled as to why they would make those attributions.

    Link #1:

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386i/peru/orient.html

  187. James Lane
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Further information from Goodman et al 2001 who date the moraines at Quelccaya. From the abstract:

    “Following rapid deglaciation of an unknown extent, an advance of the Quelccaya Ice Cap occurred between ~13,090 and ~12,800 cal yr BP which coincides approximately with the onset of the Younger Dryas cooling in North Atlantic region. Moraines deposited less than 394 cal yr BP in the Cordillera Vilcanota and less than 300 cal yr BP on the west side of the Quelccaya Ice Cap correlate with Little Ice Age moraines in other regions.

    One of the “less than 300 cal yr BP” moraines is the one just above site 14 on Mark’s map, the supposed 270 BP peat sample, so no surprises there. However if Thompson’s 5200 BP sample is indeed above the moraine (as suggested in my post above) it seems likely it would have been overrun by the ice 300 years ago. But since we don’t know exactly where it was, it’s useless to speculate.

    Interestingly, the moraine near site 8 (confusingly, but not necessarily incorrectly) attributed as an H2 moraine by Mark) is far older, about 13000 BP. This might be near where Thompson found his 50000+ yo sample, but who knows?

    Anyone looking at the Goodman et al pdf needs to recognise that their map is not oriented north – you need to incline your head to line it up with Mark’s map.

    My interim conclusion would be that that there is evidence for a LIA, and that at some time in the past it was warmer than the present (existance of peat at higher altitudes than present moss growth).

    http://geog-www.sbs.ohio-state.edu/faculty/bmark/QRgoodmanetal01.pdf

  188. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for your work James. This makes a lot of sense of the data as well as pretty much eliminating the 270 yo site as proving anything. Actually I’m interested in seeing what Lee has to say in response this time. It’s a chance for him to prove what he’s made of, either scientifically or re integrity; possibly both.

  189. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    quickly on a couple points – I’m heading out soon.

    First on the semantic issue – the distinction we are drawing is between the ice cap and the outlet glacier. By definition, an ice cap is a glacier. It is consolidated ice that moves, mostly slowly and largely toward the outlet glaciers, but also towards the margins. But there is a distinctinof analysis between things being found at th eice cap and at the outlet glacier, and confusing those two ACTUAL ENTITIES (not semantic concepts) is the issue I’m pointing at. If I have added further to the confusion, my apologies. But the distinction I’m working toward and the confusion tht matters, is not semantic. It is betweeen two entities – the ice cap itself and the outlet glaciers.

    On the 270 yo sample – the critical point is that the sample (which gives a corrected date range of 0 – 500 years old,; see the table) was found at an elevation very near to the elevation of the present ice cap. This means that sometime during that time period, peat was growing at 80 meters or less below the current ice cap. And that date range covers much of the LIA, and present temps. Which in turn invalidates much of the “peat doesnt grow that high now, so it must have been warmer then’ argument.

    BTW, we know it was warmer during much of the first half of the holocene – mo surprises there.

    My frustration derives from Steve attacking me with false attributions and claims, and then REPEATEDLY making the same mistakes I and others have pointed out to him, when furthering his atttacks on, at that case, the NAS. He needs to at least make an attempt if he’s going to be using this for attacks, and I’m not going to bother to hide my irritation if he doesn’t bother to understand the facts he is presenting.

    More later, when I have time to dive into this properly.

  190. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Other analyses have shown a MWP with temps higher than the present at Quelccaya.

  191. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    jae, I thought we didnt trust tropical isotope ratios as temperature proxies?

    In the tropical, it appears that isotope ratios are combined temp/precip proxies – which is why a more direct analysis would be good.

  192. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Maybe so, Lee; I don’t know.

  193. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    But, Lee, I hope you apply the same logic to tree ring studies.

  194. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    jae, for one thing, Ive alraeady said that for now, pending futher work, I’m looking at the tree ring studies as interesting but not to be given weight in the overal analysis.

    For another, that article at CO2 Science is dishonest in what it leaves out. The point of the paper they cite is that averages across everal sites (ie, not lcoal at one location, but somethign a bit closer to global high-altitude tropical coverage) shows tath mofern temps are higher. For them to concentrate on just one site, without mentioning that the point of the paper overall is larger scale averages, is simply intellectually dishonest. That they one fact they convey is true, does not change their dishonesty.

  195. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Lee, can you provide a link to the actual article? Not that I don’t believe you, but I would like to look at it myself.

  196. JerryB
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    The subject of the Idso article to which jae linked is: “Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru”, not “larger scale averages”. Other topics discussed in the article that they reference are extraneous to their subject.

    Another of Lee’s fallacious assertions of dishonesty bites the dust.

  197. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Jerry, the topic of the paper that is the ENTIRE reference for that article, and constitutes the ENTIRE topic they discuss, is a multi-proxy study involving additional tropical glaciers.

    As I CLEARLY STATED, the single fact they present is true. But in ignoring the context of that paper, they are indulging in cherry-picking for the ONE piece of data that shows a warmer MWP at ONE site for ONE brief period, and are in fact being misleading through silence and through juxtaposition of concepts about the conclusions of that paper – and that is intellectually dishonest.

    Even worse than that, here is the concluding part of that one-paragraph piece by the Idsos:

    …after which they produced “a low latitude àŽⲱ8O history for the last millennium” that they use as a surrogate for air temperature. For the Quelccaya Ice Cap (13.93°S, 70.83°W), this work revealed that peak temperatures of the MWP were warmer than those of the last few decades of the 20th century.

    That is overtly and actively misleading. The Thompson “low latitude history” was a composite history. The Idsos cite that “low latitude hsitory” which was NOT a single glacial history, and then claim that THAT work showed Quelcayya was warmer in the past. But the queklcayya data was in fact one INPUTinto taht hsitory, not a result of it. When in the next sentence they say ‘This work revealed” they are actively misrepresenting the “low latitude history” composite as the work that revealed a warmer MWP temperature (actually ratios, and actually, that Quelcayya had one brief peak higher than persent temps) when in fact ath “low latitude hsitory” claimed jsut the oppsotie about low altitude temperatures. This is simply mixing concepts to make it look as if the narrow claim supports the entirety. And that is a standard dishoenst marketing technique.

    My wife used to write marketing copy for software companies – and I doubt the legal departments would have accepted this level of misrepresentation even if she had been dishonest enough to attempt it.

  198. JerryB
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    The Idso article to which jae linked is not a review of the Thonpson et al article; it correctly cites Thompson et al as the source of DATA (Lee seems to imagine that all caps are needed from time to time). It seems that in Lee’s fantasy world, one must not cite a source of data without writing at length about that source.

    BTW, there are at least six brief articles on the Idso site citing that same Thompson et al article as the source for data for each of six locations including the Dasuopu Glacier, Tibetan Plateau in which Idso article about the data for that location, they state “… this work revealed no evidence of the Medieval Warm Period …”. Those are not cherries, folks; they’re apples.

    Lee’s histrionics don’t seem quite adequate to blur reality.

  199. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Jerry, they cite the “low latitude history” as the source, without noting what that hsitory actually is and what is concluded from it. They INCORRECTLY cite the ‘low latitude history’ as the analysis from which their statement is derived, when in fact the relatinship is the other direction.

    The fact that they also consider the other studies makes this marginally better, but it is still true that they misrepresent what the ‘low latitude history’ is and its relationship to the conclusions – even in the other page you cite. At best, this is sloppy.

    I’ve been several times to that site, and read what they have to say. On too many occasions now, when I’ve taken the impression I get from the way they present the data an djuxtapose sentences and facts, and go look at the actual source materials, I find that what the source materials say is radically diffferent from the impression the Idsos leave. I’m here at CA, despite my complaining, because ther isa tendency here to care about the truth and to look toward correction when things dont make sense. I avoid the Idsos because my experience is that they do not.

  200. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    201: Lee, prove this, or shut up.

  201. jae
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you and Bloom keep saying you can prove that the Idso site is misrepresenting facts. I’m sure they have made some mistakes, but you guys still have not demonstrated even one! Bloom promised that he will do that this week. I am eagerly awaiting proof from either of you believers.

  202. Lee
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    jae:

    google scholar is your friend.

  203. Steve Bloom
    Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #203: And you shall have it, jae. As I think I mentioned before, you might consider wondering about their practice of selectively quoting from papers and then not even linking the abstracts. Lee’s point is that just doing that kind of minimal comparison tends to turn up discrepancies that look like intentional fibs.

  204. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    Re 205 … and your example of things that look like “intentional fibs” is …?

  205. ET SidViscous
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Sierra Club Steve doesn’t have any specifics. Their training are not to give anything specific that can be disproven, he goes for vauge accusations that cannot be disproven. The content of these accusations are worthless, just allows him later to go.

    “I’ve already shown you where (insert whatever source not on the Sierra Club approved list) is not valid.”

    Though of course he’s done nothing of the kind.

  206. JerryB
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    It seems that in order to pretend that the Idso article to which jae had linked was intellectually dishonest, Lee omitted most of the first sentence of that article, and posted the end of it here, along with the second sentence, seemingly in an effort to give the appearance that the phrase “this work” in the second sentence referred exclusively to something mentioned in that small portion of the first sentence. A curious ploy to try while complaining about dishonesty by omission. :-)

    However, not satisfied with such a transparent ruse, Lee goes on in a subsequent comment to announce that they (the Idsos) “… cite the “low latitude history” as the source, …”. How bizarre can one get? Perhaps it depends upon how desperate one is to slander the Idsos.

  207. jae
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Lee is probably a Sierra Club member and Gaia worshiper, too. Come on, Lee, be direct and factual, if it is within your abilities (which I doubt).

  208. Lee
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    Jerry, do the Idsos have a similar blurb about the “low latitude history” pointing out that it shows that average low-latitude temps are highest in the late 20th century?

    jae, should I also try making up false and innocuous allegations about your club memberships and religious beleifs, and offer them up as an attempted insult? Or is that rhetorical technique restricted to members of the CA fellowship?

    I do note that STeve seems unable recently to make a post without offering a “hockey team’ attempted insult in the early introduction – in overt violation of his own stated rules for this site. So perhaps this is part of the CA mode of worship, for the CA true beleivers?

    Steve and JohnA, before you move toward censoring this post you might note that I am simply mirroring or pointing out similar kinds of posts that dont seem to get a second glance here, as long as those who post them are part of the club.

  209. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you were accused of a very specific kind of misdirection by omission.

    I note that your response is to point everywhere but at something that might refute that accusation … which, of course, is misdirection by omission again.

    You might start by responding to the statements in 208. You could also give some examples of what you claim are errors on the Idso’s site. After that, we might be willing to listen to more from you. Until then, I fear you won’t get much traction. You say, for example:

    On too many occasions now, when I’ve taken the impression I get from the way they present the data an djuxtapose sentences and facts, and go look at the actual source materials, I find that what the source materials say is radically diffferent from the impression the Idsos leave.

    That’s not science, that’s just character assassination. Here on the site, we promote citations and specificity, not vague accusations, ad hominem attacks, and character assassination.

    So, since it has happened to you on “too many occasions”, you should be able to give us say four or five examples of this kind of error from the Idso site … and until you do, it’s just anecdote and your credibility is zero.

    w.

  210. Lee
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    the first part of that sentence says the authors studied several glaciers to show that temperatures are the primary influence on the isotope ratio. I could have included that quote in the same kind of analysis of the structure of the article, but didnt do so becasue I felt the secnd aprt was sufficient – but I’ll do so now. Here is the quote:

    “The authors analyzed decadally-averaged àŽⲱ8O records derived by them and their colleagues from three Andean and three Tibetan ice cores, demonstrating that “on centennial to millennial time scales atmospheric temperature is the principal control on the àŽⲱ8Oice of the snowfall that sustains these high mountain ice fields,””

    It continues on to say that they produced a “low latitude history that they use as a surrogate for air temperature.” Here is the remainder of that sentence:

    “after which they produced “a low latitude àŽⲱ8O history for the last millennium” that they use as a surrogate for air temperature.”

    The article then continues:
    “For the Quelccaya Ice Cap (13.93°S, 70.83°W), this work revealed that peak temperatures of the MWP were warmer than those of the last few decades of the 20th century.”

    That, plus the diagram, is the entire article. All of it.

    Now, as I said above, each part of this is correct. In the first part: Thompson et al do claim that the rations are temp proxies – I’m not sure I buy tropical isotope rations as good temp-only proxies, but that’s another story. In the second part: they do produce a history – but here the article fails to point out that the history shows that modern temps are higher than older temps. In the third part: the analysis of Quelcayya ( as part of the ovrallhsitory) showed one short-term spikeof older ratio above modern levels.

    But by making that justaposition of three true facts, they leave the misleading impression that the Quelcayya data was the point of the study, or is representative of the results of the study. They noticably do NOT link to the other articles about the other glaciers in the study, nor to any article about the entire history and its conclusions, nor to the abstract of the study. And by failing to point out that the conclusion of the article is CONTRARY to the single Quelcayya datum, they leave the impression that the results of the study overall is compatible with that Quelcayya datum.

    jae actually confirms this: when I first pointed out that the study overall showed that modern temps were higher, he responed with:
    “Lee, can you provide a link to the actual article? Not that I don’t believe you, but I would like to look at it myself.” He shoudnt hav eto ask – I shouldnt ahve to offer, and it shouldnt be necesary to be already familiar with the study in question to come to this realization.

    Now, I’m not going to go back and make this kind of time-consuming deconstruction of articles I’ve read before where I found similar things. MY OPINION is that I don’t find that site worth paying attention to, because I find it too often misleading in the ways that this one is, for the reasons I’ve now outlined twice (and you wonder why I dont want to spend time bashing this topic in the face of challenges from y’all? I’d never do anything else…).

    The Idsos may simply be consistently weeding down to isolated facts becasue they want to present isolated facts- but the lack of links to related facts, and the failure to mention that results of papers they are abstracting from are contrary to the isolated facts they present is at least, IMO, intellectual sloppiness. And functionally, that is enough to make their site not worth MY time.

    Y’all may disagree – so be it. I cant prove intent; I’m not a mind reader. I can only offer my impression, and this is my impression, and this is why.

  211. Lee
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    BTW, willis, yo say:

    “Here on the site, we promote citations and specificity, not vague accusations, ad hominem attacks, and character assassination.”

    Then you might advise Steve to cease the ad hom ‘hockey team’ and ‘pamphlet” insults he is using in nearly every one of his recent posts, and you might advise jae to stop with the attempted-insult-by-guesswork he posted just recently. Or is it only a sin for people outside the club?.

  212. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Lee, thanks for the complete history. Me, I did not find that the Thompson paper was substantially different from the results cited by the Idsos. Nor was I confused when they said “this work revealed”, as you seem to have been. To me, “this work” clearly refers to the paper that they are discussing.

    Did the Idsos “leave the misleading impression that the Quelcayya data was the point of the study” as you think? To me, no way. They say “The authors analyzed decadally-averaged àŽⲱ8O records derived by them and their colleagues from three Andean and three Tibetan ice cores …” How you can misread this to think that one of these six sites is the focus of the study is a curiosity to me.

    Nor is the Quelccaya Ice Cap the only one in the study to show a warmer MWP. The Sajama Ice Core shows an even warmer MWP. If the Idsos purpose were to cherry pick, wouldn’t they have picked that cherry as well?

    Nor have the Idsos discussed any of the other problems with the reconstruction. First, there are only six sites that are averaged, three for NH summer, three for SH summer. In South America, of the three sites, two show a warmer MWP, and one of which shows a cooler MWP.

    What does an average of the historical records of these three sites mean? At any moment in time, there’s only three data points, so the error bars will be ridiculously wide, floor to ceiling. Clearly, Thompson has absolutely no idea about statistics, because if there are only three data points, the +/- 2 SD standard error of the mean always includes all three data points! Thus, taking an average of only three trends is meaningless, it adds no statistically significant evidence at all. In addition, they don’t even bother to describe the process by which they have “composited” the three records into one. “Composited”? What does that mean? Is that different from “averaged”, and if so, how? Thompson doesn’t say …

    Can we draw any global conclusions from these three sites? Of course not, any more than we could calculate a southern hemisphere temperature average from three thermometers.

    Now, the Idsos don’t mention any of these problems with the Thompson study either. Instead, they present one of the results … which makes much more sense to me than claiming that an average of three of their results has any meaning whatsoever.

    Part of the reason for the lack of a full explanation is that the Idso comment on the study contains exactly two sentences … since their subject is Quelccaya, they reserved one of these for Quelccaya. Now you may not agree with the two sentences, you may think you could write two sentences that would capture the study much better … but that doesn’t mean that the Idsos are trying to lead you astray.

    The Idso site is very useful to me, but not necessarily for what the Idsos have to say. It is valuable because it points me to a wide variety of papers on the subject. I read what the Idsos have to say about the papers, and have generally found it to be useful. I don’t always agree with what they say, but then at various times, I don’t agree with what a whole host of people in the field say.

    However, I don’t claim that they are being deceptive or deceitful … that’s a bridge too far. You start making those kinds of accusations about people without good evidence, and your own vote gets cancelled in very short order. Nobody wants to interact with someone who does that.

    Again, Lee, thanks for your explanation.

    w.

    … like the song says, “I’m just a fool whose intentions are good” … and absent good evidence, I generally make the same assumption about the other people I interact with. In this world, I have found that for myself as well as for most people, foolish errors, moving too fast, or simple misunderstanding are a much more common explanation for incorrect results or statements than are deception or deceit …

  213. James Lane
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

    Actually, I agree with Lee that the Idso summary is not a good representation of the Thompson paper.

    That said, I agree with Willis that Thompson’s multiproxy combination of the six sites is laughable. If he did one combination of the NH sites, and one of the SH sites, they would look completely different.

  214. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    James (and Lee), since you feel that the Idso two-sentence summary of the Thompson paper is not a good representation, perhaps you’d like to volunteer a two-sentence summary of the paper that you feel is more representative …

    Re your comment, James, Thompson actually did one combination of the three NH sites, and one of the three SH sites, and yes, they do look completely different. They also look completely bogus. An oddity about the Southern Hemisphere sites is that the Huancayo site goes from its coldest record (1730) to its warmest (1790) in only 30 years … this pattern is completely absent from the other two sites. What does this mean? What does it mean when it is “composited” with the other records?

    I suspect that the way that they have “composited” the results was to normalize each record to mean = 0, std dev =1, and then average them. The problem is that this procedure can end up treating small changes and large changes as being the same.

    Overall? Not good … after seeing that paper, I wouldn’t believe anything Thompson told me.

    w.

  215. James Lane
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    Willis, I’m not sure why I bother, but something like:

    “The authors analyzed decadally-averaged àŽⲱ8O records derived by them and their colleagues from three Andean and three Tibetan ice cores, demonstrating that “on centennial to millennial time scales atmospheric temperature is the principal control on the àŽⲱ8Oice of the snowfall that sustains these high mountain ice fields,” after which they produced “a low latitude àŽⲱ8O history for the last millennium” that they use as a surrogate for air temperature.

    This reconstruction suggests a low MWP and anomolous high 20th century temperatures. However the NH and SH records are highly divergent, with two of the SH records indicating higher MWP temperatures than the present.”

    I’d then show all six records in a graph, which would show the reconstruction for the nonsense that it is.

    Picking out Quelccaya is simply advocacy

  216. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Whoa, James, you’re misleading your readers in # 217 … in addition to two of the SH records showing a warmer MWP, so does one of the Tibetan records … that’s half the records. So your claim that the reconstruction suggests a low MWP is incorrect, half say higher, and half say lower.

    You see the problem? Almost any two sentence description will fall afoul of somebody’s ideas about what the study really says. Which is OK, as long as we don’t say that you, James, are deliberately trying to mislead. That’s a bridge too far.

    However, there are other problems with the study. I haven’t analyzed the NH data, but the SH data is a disgrace.

    1) If you take a straight average of the three SH records, it shows the MWP warmer than the present. (As you’d expect, given that two of the records show a warmer MWP.)

    2) I have replicated their method of “compositing”. Their method of “compositing” is that they have normalized the data before averaging them … this gives the record with the smallest inherent variance the largest weight. This “compositing” method is almost identical with a straight average, except for the recent (post 1900) data, which is considerably warmer from “compositing” than in a direct average. Thus, the “compositing” method ends up showing a cooler MWP … but heck, that’s probably just a coincidence.

    It turns out that their method weights Sajama, which shows a much warmer MWP, at half the weight of Huascaran, which shows a cooler MWP …

    3) In any case, averaging three numbers gives us no new information, since the +/- 2SD standard error of the mean always includes all three numbers … thus, we cannot say if the average, or any of the individual series, are to be preferred.

    4) The Huascaran record is the only one showing a cooler MWP. However, it appears to have internal difficulties. Unlike the other two records (Quelccaya and Sajama), there is an abrupt discontinuity in the variance. Up to the year 1700, the standard deviation is 0.5, and post 1700, the standard deviation is 1.0. This pattern is not present in either of the other two records.

    5) At the same time as the change in the variance of the Huascaran data, the average changes as well, warming by a full percent around 1750 and then staying stable thereafter. Say what? I’d suspect that record.

    6) Of the three records, the only one with a statistically significant trend overall (from the year 1000 to 2000) is Sajama, which shows cooling.

    7) The MWP shown in each of the records peaks in about 1450, and the LIA peaks in about 1750. None of the three records show a significant trend from 1000 to 1450. Quelccaya and Sajama show significant cooling 1450-1750. Only Quelccaya shows significant warming 1750-2000.

    8) The graph in Figure 6 is extremely misleading, as the vertical scale for Sajama is compressed about 3:1 compared to the other two.

    9) The weights in their “compositing” method are based on the standard deviation (SD) of the data … but of course, that assumes normal, stationary data. The Huascaran data is highly autocorrelated (0.71), and the other two to a lesser degree, which affects the standard deviation. If we adjust the SD of all three sites data for autocorrelation and use their compositing method, we get a very different “composite”. And curiously, this new “composite”, using the corrected standard deviations, is virtually identical to the direct average, showing a warmer MWP …

    Overall? The records don’t really tell us anything. Most trends are not significant. With only three records, an average is meaningless. The Huascaran record looks suspect. The compositing method distorts the results.

    Bad statistics … no cookies.

    w.

    PS – I cannot prove that their “compositing” method was chosen over averaging simply because it produces a cooler MWP. But when else have you seen this method used to determine a temperature average, or as they say, a “low latitude history”? …

  217. jae
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Hey, Lee. Probably one of the reasons that the Idsos don’t provide links is that most of the papers cited are in refereed journals, and the reader would have to pay to get the article. Also, links are not necessary, since it is just as easy to go to the website of the journal in question and order the publication. Drop this “lack of links casts suspicion” crap, OK?

  218. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Lee, I went to the Idso site regarding Quelccaya, copied the name of the article into Google, and downloaded it immediately … is there a problem?

  219. JerryB
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    The Thompson et al paper reported data for six locations; the Idso’s website presents data on each of those six locations, by location:

    dasuopu

    dunde

    guliya

    huascaran

    quelccaya

    and

    sajama .

    They didn’t pick any cherries.

    One of the locations is the subject of this thread, and jae linked to the Idso article on that location.

  220. Lee
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    sigh…
    “They noticably do NOT link to the other articles about the other glaciers in the study, nor to any article about the entire history and its conclusions, nor to the abstract of the study.”

    Emphasis added.

  221. jae
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    Lee: in fact, you will notice that the summary/link to the Huascaran glacier points out CLEARLY that the data show tht the MWP was cooler than today. Now, the Idsos could have omitted this part, if they wanted to mislead people.

  222. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 23, 2006 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Man, as bad as the Thomson study is, I wouldn’t link to it either …

    Lee, you seem to want to be spoonfed this stuff, and you complain if the links aren’t there. Sure, it would be nice if the link were there, but if it’s not, me, I just go find it, the Idsos don’t have to do all my work for me.

    w.

  223. JerryB
    Posted Aug 24, 2006 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    How inconsiderate of the Idsos to link to their articles on their website in the manner that they prefer, rather than consulting Lee first to elicit his preferences so as possibly to abate some of his whining.

  224. JMS
    Posted Aug 24, 2006 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Oh, come on Willis, this is the internet and the Idso’s clearly know how to use hyperlinks. There’s a reason they don’t make it easy…

  225. Lee
    Posted Aug 24, 2006 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Willis and Jerry – BS.

    I already mentioned that I already knew that paper, because I HAVE BEEN looking and working at this stuff. And yes,t eh paper is subjec tto some valid criticisms – which it seems theIdsos dont bother to make, unless its hiden in another one of thoe disconnected factoids, and I’d have to go searchign to see if it exists.

    My pointis that the site disconnects facts one from another, and then parcels out the disconnected facts without making the connectin to related facts, either by link or evenmy reasonable mention. By doing so, they not only make it harder to get to the related facts (an issue, but not a major one – I do knwo how to do a query) but make it often impossible based on waht they say to even know that there ARE related facts, without doing what basicaly amounts to blind hunting for things that might or might not exist.

    If they want to create an internet site that obscures the connections between factoids, so be it – as Jerry points out, they have the right to do what they want without consulting me. IMO, it makes their work nearly useless for intellectual inquiry, and misleading, and I wont personally bother to waste my time there when it is so easy to find the informatinisn much better integrated and useful fashion – nor will I recommend it to others for similar reasons.

  226. jae
    Posted Aug 24, 2006 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Fair enough, Lee. But it is a good place to start your searches, if you know as little as I do about climate science. And I am sure there ARE some mistakes in the Idsos’ documents and approaches to the subjects. They are probably not super human beings, like you seem to think you are.

  227. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 25, 2006 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    Lee, the Idso’s site consists of a series of analyses of scientific articles about climate.

    Now, you may not like their analyses. And you may not like their not linking to all of the papers mentioned (although many of them are not available on the internet without a subscription to the relevant journal).

    But the fact remains that it is the only site of its type, that pulls together a huge number of scientific papers about climate, with full and complete bibliographic references to each paper mentioned.

    You say you don’t recommend it … so … what do you recommend? IF someone asks “what papers have been written on (say) how plants respond to increased CO2″ … where do you send them that is “much better integrated and useful”?

    The part that disturbs me about the people who criticize the Idso site is that they find it necessary to attack the Idsos motives, and can find little wrong with the science. You have made a number of allegations about the site, how they disconnect facts and obscure connections, without a single example …

    Now, who is disconnecting facts and obscuring connections here? … Can’t be you, because you haven’t presented any facts, just allegations … but you sure have obscured any connections …

    w.

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