Many climateaudit readers will remember Mann’s “CENSORED” directory, in which Mann calculated principal components on a network that excluded bristlecone pines (which needless to say didn’t have a HS shape. Now Juckes et al introduces us to a new type of climate data: “restricted” data. The Team has introduced a novel data classification system – PG and R. Juckes et al say that the Indigirka series is R-rated and so it can’t be used in their reconstruction. Yes, R-rated tree ring data. Data so salacious that you have to keep it under lock and key.
Is it only under-18s that are not allowed to see R-rated tree ring data? Can we show it here if Kristen Byrnes promises not to look?
Or are all climateaudit readers prohibited? Is this a bit like pornography that is only available to priests? You think that I am juck-ing? Here are their exact words from the Euro Hockey Team for excluding the Indigirka series:
The Indigirka series used by MSH2005 is not used here because it is not available for unrestricted use.
I wonder what went through the minds of editor Goosse when he read that this was a “restricted use” proxy? Did Goosse ask what the restrictions were? Or referee Gerd Bürger or the other two anonymous referees? Since they don’t appear to have asked or weren’t bothered by the answer, let’s ask the question here. And, by the way, for readers who may be offended by salacious tree ring data, proceed at your own risk as the R-rated data is shown graphically in the post continuation. Yes, you too can see what the climate priests keep in their secret cupboard. If you are not over 18, please do not continue without parental guidance.
OK, sorry to disappoint you, but the issues are not salacious at all and have nothing to do with XXX-rated tree ring data. They have to do with whether Nature policies that require data to be publicly available apply to the Team and to whether a very weak rider attached to Moberg’s dissemination of the Indigirka data prevented Juckes from including the Indigirka series in his composite.
The series was used in Moberg et al (Nature 2005), whose lead author was a co-author of Juckes et al. Moberg et al 2005 atttributed the Indigirka proxy to Sidorova and Naurzbaev 2002 and illustrated it in their Nature SI as follows:
Excerpt from Moberg et al 2005 SI showing Indigirka series x-axis here and in subsequent plots as years AD (not BP).
So this proxy is actually illustrated in Nature of all places. Nature has the following policy on availability of data:
An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors’ published claims. Therefore, a condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data and associated protocols available in a publicly accessible database (as detailed in the sections below on this page) or, where one does not exist, to readers promptly on request….Any restrictions on the availability of materials or information must be disclosed at the time of submission of the manuscript, and the methods section of the manuscript itself should include details of how materials and information may be obtained, including any restrictions that may apply.
No such restrictions were reported in Moberg et al 2005. After the publication of Moberg et al 2005, I sought digital versions of a couple of series, including the Indigirka series, which Moberg said that he was unable to provide. I accordingly filed a Materials Complaint under the above policy. I presume that Moberg sorted things out with the data originators as a Corrigendum, was issued, stating that the data could now be obtained from the authors, and, for the Indigirka data in particular, they said:
they [the tree-ring-width data from the Indigirka river region (series G)] may, however, be obtained through A.M. [Anders Moberg]
Under Nature’s data policy, of which all parties were aware, Moberg had an obligation to report any remaining “restrictions that may apply” in the Corrigendum. He did not disclose any.
Shortly after the publication of the Corrigendum, I wrote to Moberg and obtained the Indigirka data, which, when plotted, shows an elevated MWP relative to the modern period, clearer in a re-plot than in the compresed Nature graphic shown above (one also sees an elevated MWP in the Polar Urals Update, also suppressed by Juckes et al.) [Update Oct 7, 2007: Upon re-reading the data file as transmitted by Moberg, I have temporarily removed a graph of the data provided to me.] Reviewing the situation: Nature’s data availability policy states that authors are required to make data available under “an inherent principle of publication that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors’ published claims”. Let me ask a question: under what circumstances can tree ring data published in Nature be “restricted use” data? I don’t think that there are any. Under what circumstances can Moberg attach restrictions to data access without disclosing them in his methods? I don’t think that there are any. So if Moberg attaches restrictions to his data published in Nature, then hasn’t he breached the terms of his Corrigendum?
Update Oct 8, 2007: Included in the Indigirka data file sent to me by Moberg is the following post hoc text purporting to attach restrictions to the Indigirka data that Nature policies require to be publicly available:
The user of this file is asked to note that, although the Indigirka series has previously been discussed in the literature (Sidorova OV, Naurzbaev MM 2002: Response of /Larix cajanderi/ to climatic changes at the Upper Timberline and in the Indigirka River Valley, Lesovedenie 2, 73-75, in Russian), they are anyway unpublished data that have not been made publicly available, as explained in the Corrigendum (Nature 439, 1014).
The authors of the Moberg et al. paper therefore ask the user of this file not to publish these data anywhere, neither in printed nor in electronic form. The authors behind the Indigirka series plan to publish an updated version of their series in due time.
There are two distinct issues here: first, whether Moberg et al are again in non-compliance with Nature data archiving policies by a) failing to archive the data in a publicly accessible database when one is available (WDCP); b) whether the rider is in breach of NAture data policy; c) whether the failure to disclose the rider is in breach of Nature policy. A quite spearate issue is whether the exact language of the rider, even if valid and complied with, prevented Juckes from carrying out the analysis that I illustrated here, showing the effect of the Indigirka series. The language of the rider asks the recipient not to “publish” the data in printed or electronic form – does this prevent the inclusion of the data in a composite as was done in Moberg et al or from testing the sensitivity of a Moberg composite to its inclusion? That’s a big jump and, in my opinion, not supported by the express language of the rider.
The Indigirka Series
If one simply looks at the Indigirka series, one notices a strong Medieval Warm Period. The originators of the Indigirka series (Sidorova et al) said so explicitly as follows:
The Eurasian long-term tree-ring chronologies are revealed the global climate fluctuation (Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, current warming). Current warming started at the beginning of the XIX-th century and presently does not exceed the amplitude of the medieval warming. The tree ring chronologies do not indicate unusually abrupt temperature rise during the last century, which could be reliably associated with greenhouse gas increasing in the atmosphere of our planet. The current period is characterized by heterogeneous warming effects in the subarctic regions of Eurasia.
In a previous CA post, I discussed the Indigirka series at length, answering Juckes’ question:
But seriously, if you can stop posting extended discussion of your problems coming to grips with trivia long enough to say anything serious, do you have any authorative information about the Indigirka data in your possession which would justify its use as a proxy? If so I think it would be really useful if you could write it up and get it published.”
In this post, I observed that the “Indigirka” proxy was an alter ego for the “Yakutia” proxy which had been widely used in short versions – all of the short versions seem to have had PG ratings. It’s only the version with the medieval portion that is R-rated.
Impact on Juckesian Reconstructions
In previous commentary at CA, I observed the direct impact of minor variations in proxy selection involving the Indigirka series. For example, in this post, I showed the impact on the Juckesian version of the Moberg CVM series by varying Indigirka (instead of Yamal) and Sargasso Sea (instead of the Arabian Sea G Bulloides monsoon wind speed proxy), noting that “the medieval-modern relationship is reversed.” In addition, I observed that the correlations of the two versions to modern temperatures were virtually identical – putting into question exactly what it meant to say that either reconstruction was “99.8%” significant.
Figure from CA p.887, showing impact of varying two proxies in Juckesian Moberg CVM reconstruction. LEft – Juckesian CVM version of Moberg reconstruction from previous SI (I’ll check the present version.) Right – the same thing substituting Sargasso and Indigirka for G Bulloides and Yamal.
This point was re-iterated in both my Comments and Willis’ Comments in the Climate of the Past Interactive Public Discussion in connection with the Juckes paper. I stated:
3. I have tested some of Juckes CVM reconstruction, finding that trivial variations can yield different medieval-modern relations e.g. Esper CVM without foxtails; http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=885 ; Moberg CVM using Sargasso Sea SST instead of Arabian Sea G Bulloides wind speed and Polar Urals update instead of Yamal – see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=903 and http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=887 Juckes justification for not using Sargasso Sea SST is not convincing http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=898 , nor is the exclusion of the Indigirka River series of Moberg et al 2005, which is an extension of the Yakutia series used in MBH98 – see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=901
Juckes and Moberg purport to show that their reconstruction is “robust”, but evade the Indigirka and Sargasso problem through flimsy and insupportable pretexts. Once again, Juckes and Moberg:
The Indigirka series used by MSH2005 is not used here because it is not available for unrestricted use.
Excuse me – as noted above, the Indigirka series was used in a Nature publication. Access to this series has already been established by the Nature Materials Complaint process. I have a digital copy of this series subject only to a very weak rider (in itself probably not permitted under Nature policies.) In my opinion, the rider does not prevent the sensitivity analysis that I carried out and does not prevent its use in a composite.
The issue of the Indigirka exclusion was raised in theInteractive Public Discussion where it was expressly noted that Juckes’ excuse for excluding Indigirka was inadequate. Goosse did not require Juckes et al to “adequately answer” the issues raised in the Interactive Public Discussion and then permitted the vague excuse in the revision that the Indigirka data was not available for “unrestricted use”. Well, maybe it wasn’t available for “unrestricted use”, but it was available for the relevant use of testing its impact on a Moberg-style composite. At this point, Juckes, Briffa and his coauthors, Goosse, Bürger and the 2 referees all know that the Juckes et al results are unstable to variations of the Indigirka and Sargasso data. And they justify this only through calling the data “restricted”.
Update: I sought clarification from Anders Moberg, one of the coauthors of Juckes et al, as to whether there were any restrictions on the Indigirka data which prevented its use by Juckes in calculating composites or in assessing the impact of inclusion or exclusion of Indigirka data as follows:
Anders, thank you for your prompt and courteous response. Im still unclear about exactly what you are asking of users. You say I simply ask users of the data to not publish them. I understand that you are asking readers not to post a digital version of the data (regardless of whether you can prevent it). But to clarify, when you say that you are requesting readers not to publish the data, do you consider that request to include readers not doing any of the following (regardless of whether you can enforce the request) or do you consider any of the following to be permitted activities within your request:
A) using the data in a larger composite even if the composite does not show the Indigirka data separately.
B) showing a graphic of the data;
C) discussing the impact of inclusion or exclusion of the data in a larger composite
Given the use of the term published data in the Corrigendum to only mean the archiving of the data, it is my interpretation of your request that each of the activities A), B) and C) would be permitted activities within your request provided that the digital data itself was not posted, but I wanted to verify this.
Regards, Steve McIntyre
Moberg promptly and courteously replied that there were no restrictions on the data that prevented any of the above analysis as follows:
The following can be read under http://www.nature.com/authors/editorial_policies/availability.html
An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors published claims. Therefore, a condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data and associated protocols available in a publicly accessible database (as detailed in the sections below on this page) or, where one does not exist, to readers promptly on request.
Following your request some time ago, I made the Indigirka available to you. My interpretation is that you (or anyone else) are allowed to do both A, B and C (as you define them in your last email).
In other words, I make the same interpretation as you do.
Thus, even Juckes’ co-author, Moberg, does not share Juckes’ view that he was “restricted” from including the Indigirka data in his calculation of a composite (and note that Juckes does not merely calculate a Union composite but a “Moberg” composite – and, even in the calculation of the Moberg composite, Juckes excluded the relevant Indigirka data.
References: Anders Moberg, Dmitry M. Sonechkin, Karin Holmgren, Nina M. Datsenko, Wibjörn Karlén and Stein-Erik Lauritzen, 2006. Corrigendum: Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data. Nature 439, 1014(23 February 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04575 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v439/n7079/full/nature04575.html
Olga V. Sidorova, Mukhtar M. Naurzbaev, Eugene A. Vaganov, 2006. CLIMATIC CHANGES IN SUBARCTIC EURASIA BASED ON MILLENNIAL TREE RING CHRONOLOGIES http://www.holivar2006.org/abstracts/pdf/T3-016.pdf
Sidorova O.V., & Naurzbaev, M. M. Reakzija na klimatitcheskie izmenemija listvennizi Kajandera na verchnei granitze lesa i v doline reki Indigirki (Response of Larix Kajanderi to climatic changes at the upper timberline and in the Indigirka River valley). Lesovedenie, 2, 73-75 (2002).)
PS: For new readers that may not be familiar with Mann’s “CENSORED” data, here is a quick summary (see our NAS presentation as well.) Mann’s CENSORED directory contained no description of what was done it, but by some difficult reverse engineering, we were able to determine that it contained calculations without bristlecones and the PCs did not have a HS shape (e.g. here). Now Mann made the following claim (which I’ll return to in discussing Juckes as well):
We have also verified that possible low-frequency bias due to non-climatic influences on dendroclimatic (tree-ring) indicators is not problematic in our temperature reconstructions Whether we use all data, exclude tree rings, or base a reconstruction only on tree rings, has no significant effect on the form of the reconstruction for the period in question.
From his CENSORED directory calculations, Mann knew that exclusion of bristlecones removed the HS shape, but still made the above claim. We raised this issue in MM (EE 2005) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked Mann about it. Mann replied:
certain key tree-ring data (including the series mentioned above) were essential, if the reconstructed temperature record during early centuries were to have any climatologic skill (that is, any validity or meaningfulness). These conclusions were of course reached through analyses in which these key datasets were excluded, and the results tested for statistical validity.
Are these two claims mutually consistent? You tell me. Out of one side of his mouth, Mann says that excluding tree rings (a fortiori, bristlecones) has no “significant effect” and out of the other side of his mouth, Mann says that the exclusion of “key tree-ring data” has a significant effect on climatological “skill”. I” consider Juckes’ ventriloquism on this matter in another post.