David Holland on the Hockey Stick Affair

David Holland has a new and interesting article entiitled “Bias And Concealment In The IPCC Process: The “Hockey-Stick” Affair And Its Implications” in which the proprietor of this blog is mentioned on occasion.

152 Comments

  1. Reid
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    David Holland’s excellent new paper will be attacked by realclimate types in 2 ways. First it will be claimed that David is a mere engineer unqualified to have an informed opinion. Second Energy and Environment will be called a Big Oil publication, not a serious peer-reviewed climate science journal. Hence no need to debate. The UN-IPCC has settled the science.

    • Ian Middleton
      Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

      It’s interesting that you note Mr Holland is only an engineer, perhaps you are unaware that the very well paid head of the IPCC is not a climate scientist either, I believe he has an engineering degree.

  2. Jeremy Friesen
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The introduction is blunt enough so as to turn off anyone with a bias against anything that challenges AGW and prevent them from reading the actual arguments he has.

  3. tpguydk
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #2: Most, but perhaps not all. Some may actually read the thing. As I’ve said before, I used to be one of them, and now I’m skeptical of claims that are made, only because I chose to dig.

  4. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yup, the “ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT” thing is going to throw many people off. But that brings up the question of who we’re preaching to? If we’re preaching the choir, no problem. If we’re preaching to the devils… well there’s no way to win them over, no matter how good the argument is. How does one reach the “masses”? How do you win over the politicians and the journalists?

  5. Reference
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #2

    I disagree. The introduction is clear and well written and builds up nicely to the punch line that Climate Science is in its infancy and almost unregulated. This ought to intrigue a few believers. Strong AGW proponents won’t even bother to read the introduction after reading the abstract.

  6. Mark T.
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    How do you win over the politicians and the journalists?

    By making points that will win them votes or readership. I.e., you must be on the bandwagon du jour, but then they’re already on the thing so “winning them over” is already accomplished.

    Mark

  7. PaulD
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am a layman with no more than an elementary understanding of statistical analysis. I found this article very helpful in understanding the “hockey stick” controversy. I agree that it would helpful for someone to make this infomation more accessible to a wider audience. I do understand, however, how daunting such a task is.

  8. UK John
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Read the report, its very long.

    My old Dad (83) said all this Climate Change stuff was a load of Cr*p as soon as it became the fashion. Turns out he was right, he isn’t a scientist or statistician, just been around a bit, fought the odd war, and seen a few things.

    I think the word incompetence and climate scientist are beginning to fit together quite nicely.

  9. trevor
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It would be great if a journalist within MSM took this up and made a feature article of it. David has provided all that a good journalist would need to do a great story.

  10. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #8: Sports fans will be right at home here. For instance, Sher-Wood, the Quebec hockey stick maker, has decided not to make their hockey sticks from tree wood any more, instead they are switching over entirely to composites. There’s already been lots of discussion here on the pros and cons of using tree wood for making hockey sticks. But we’ll know there’s been some serious confusion if kids start showing up at the local sports store asking for a left-handed “Red Noise”.

  11. John A
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    David Holland’s narrative is far more important than the voting for Best Science Blog. It’s sobering to read this without wondering, with some bitterness, what will become of science when the world finds out about this.

  12. woodentop
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This paper is a tremendous summary of the whole IPCC/bias/hockeystick debate.

    I’ve no idea why but another couple of blogs I frequent have started mentioning the hockey stick (“some technical mistakes but ultimately vindicated”) in recent days – it seems to be rising from the dead.

    Wouldn’t have been in response to this paper, surely?

  13. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    it is pretty hard to see this as anything else but a political paper.

    talking about sports, we ll see how many will change their skiing equipment for an hokeystick.

  14. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    it is pretty hard to see this as anything else but a political paper

    Political – like the IPCC?

    Apparently, showing that methods are bunk and that the statistics render the results useless isn’t enough. Exposing the crafty politics behind it is the next best alternative.

  15. Stephen Richards
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s the paper I wanted Steve Mc to write. It’s cogent, accurate, unemotional and a Bob Carter volly of torpedoes. BUT this TEAM thing in now so intrenched in Government, UN, UK and US corridors of power that I fear only radical climate cooling will create enough momentum to see the back of the TEAM and its supporters. BUT as I have often said , Blè_çdy well done STEVE et AL (Anthony, & Steve McK

  16. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 3:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I fear only radical climate cooling will create enough momentum to see the back of the TEAM and its supporters.

    that for sure is true. a couple of facts would serve your purpose well.

    if you want to do more than preaching to the choir, you ll need some real scientific results, published in real scientific journals.

    you need to present a (WORKING!) alternative theory, not some doubts and tiny errors in existing ones.

    good luck. (half way honest even.)

  17. Follow the Money
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “”How do you win over the politicians and the journalists?””

    Only by sheer embarassment. And that’s not quite a “win over,” but it will do.

    So far the AGW industries have successfully parasited themselves on to “energy bills” which openly (and incompetently) seek energy savings, and quietly push the $500 billion carb trades racket. Lots of money is being paid for these bills, but so far the Warmers have successfully framed opposition as in alliance with oil firms and American pro-polluter conservative types.

  18. Richard deSousa
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #4

    We don’t have to win those twits (politicians and journalists) over.. the climate issue will resolve itself
    and when the resolution is nothing more than a degree or so increase in global temperatures, the debate will be over. They lost.

  19. Judith Curry
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 4:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Two “hot button” aspects of the IPCC report that I have fairly substantial familiarity with are the parts on sea level rise and also hurricanes. Statements on both of these topics made by the IPCC were quite conservative. During the weeklong interaction with the policy makers, the hurricane statement was toned down even further (apparently owing to U.S. sensitivity on this issue in light of Katrina). So overall the IPCC process leads to rather conservative conclusions. I would be surprised if the hockey stick issue didn’t receive the same kind of debate and scrutiny including from the policy makers (many of whom would like to see AGW discounted), but perhaps the hockey stick issue is less concrete than sea level rise and hurricanes and didn’t raise the passions of policy makers. The policy maker involvement in the IPCC actually tends to make the conclusions of the IPCC quite conservative.

    With regards to the review process, I totally agree that there should be an open posting of the review comments during the review process. The NRC review process is a pretty good one, whereby the reviews of any (and all) of their reports (conducted by an independent group of scientists) are actually published (the review is also reviewed before publication), and the authors of the original report are required to reply in detail to all the concerns in a revised report. A body independent to the IPCC should coordinate the review process and assess the accountability of their response to the reviews.

    The issue of when to put a stop to the inclusion of new results in the report is a tough one. Having a strict deadline seems to be the most sensible approach, but if some new research comes out that would make a conclusion obsolete, then that is a problem. But if a new paper is anthng other than incremental there needs to be follow up confirmatory research, so late breaking science shouldn’t be included in any event.

  20. jae
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The policy maker involvement in the IPCC actually tends to make the conclusions of the IPCC quite conservative.

    ?? I’m not so sure about this statement. Many of the policy makers are on the AGW bandwagon in a very big way.

    Also, I’d be interested in your thoughts about the release of the conclusions before the report is finished.

  21. Larry
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    22, particularly the NGO representatives. Somebody needs to explain to me how any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a couple million in his pocket gets a seat at the UN.

  22. Joel McDade
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 6:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dr. Curry:

    From a fellow Atlantoid, thanks for posting here. The IPCC views on sea level rise and hurricanes are conservative because 1) the alarmist predictions for these topics are the hardest to defend, and 2) they are secondary topics to the actual physics of warming. Regardless, that’s about it for IPCC conservatism. Everything else is off the chart.

    Anyone:

    Who is David Holland? Google fails me. I see from his article he is an engineer and was part of a Stern rebuttal.

  23. Buddenbrook
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That is a tremendous summary.

    ”How do you win over the politicians and the journalists?”

    It’s, especially here in Europe, now majority of the media and politicians, universities, “experts”, scientists… this has truly spread throughout the western conscience. It’s fact, it’s obvious, it’s consensus etc.

    The political debate is becoming nearly impossible (it hardly exists anymore in Europe). And to 99.99% people it’s not a scientific debate in the first place. They are not interested in that. So the political debate is settled. 20%-30% reductions by 2020, 60%-80% by 2050.

    People believe in authority, so I can understand in the larger picture how the criticism falls often on deaf ears, and why people act like they do. When the demands of correctness and public approval require politicians to be alarmists, then you are losing the fight. It’s happened already in Europe, and it’s happening steadily in USA. And those who are fighting the political skeptic corner are usually just as unfamiliar with the scientific arguments, and have their own political reasons (mostly right-wing). So it’s not surprising when you have comments like this on Daily Kos “Climate Audit is a pseudoscience blog that promotes political ideas as “science”.” The person who makes that comment, probably has never taken the time to read even one CA article, and is merely following a stereotype that he trusts. It’s the norm. I could have said something like that just a year ago, before familiarising myself with the arguments. When you can’t understand the research, you are left with the question “who to trust?” and then phrases like “consensus” and “nearly all climate scientists say X or Y” are very appealing, and going with the majority becomes nearly automatic. Of course it’s true, nearly everyone says it’s true. In addition there are ideological, political (anti-corporativism etc.) reasons to fight the catastrophic AGW corner, that’s how the political movement started in Europe 20 years ago. I suspect PZ Myers could be one of the lot ideologically.

    Like someone noted only global cooling can turn the tide now. Long global cooling, otherwise the real climate scientists would argue it’s temporary and invent, even on the spot if required, all sorts of reasons for it. If nothing else works, model it.

    If you want this to be a question for politicized science (because that what it is when it comes to next round of Kyoto that is about to kick off etc.), and seriously re-open the question that is now being “settled”, then someone has to seriously popularize this stuff about the IPCC Bias and huge uncertainty, like Gore did with his movie. The alarmists seem to understand this full well, and that’s why they are fighting the political and rhetorical fight in full flow.

    I understand that Climate Audit wants to stay out of the political fight, but much of the science based ammo for the skeptic/”denialist” side originates here, and while Steve McIntyre wants to retain a neutral self-image in public (as is wise for a scientist of course) I sense most of the readers here are very skeptical of alarmism AND the involved political process of alarmism.

  24. steven mosher
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 21: Dr Curry

    “Two “hot button” aspects of the IPCC report that I have fairly substantial familiarity
    with are the parts on sea level rise and also hurricanes.
    Statements on both of these topics made by the IPCC were quite conservative.
    During the weeklong interaction with the policy makers, the hurricane statement
    was toned down even further (apparently owing to U.S. sensitivity on this issue in light of Katrina).
    So overall the IPCC process leads to rather conservative conclusions. ”

    I Fail to see the logic here. The US is reasonable and others are ballistically unstable
    and the consensus of these two is “conservative”

    I think your slip is showing.

    They spent a whole week on this? A WHOLE WEEK.

  25. Ian Castles
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #25: This is to shed some light on your question “Who is David Holland?” As you note, David was “part of a Stern rebuttal”: he was, in fact, a co-author of “The Stern Review: A Dual Critique: Part I: The Science” published in “World Economics”, Oct-Dec.2006. In that role, David sought comments on successive drafts of this paper from all members of the team that produced the twin critique on the economics of the Review (the idea of a dual critique with twin papers authored respectively by scientists and economists originated with David Henderson, who played the leading part in bringing it to fruition). I was one of several members of the economics team who accepted David Holland’s invitation, and he dealt with all suggestions with care and courtesy. Other members of the team that produced the science critique were Professors Bob Carter (Australia), Chris de Freitas (New Zealand) and Richard Lindzen (United States); and Dr. Indur Goklany, a science and technology policy analyst at the US Department of the Interior.

    In the April-Jun. 2007 issue of “World Economics”, David Holland was the first-named author of a response by the team that produced the science critique to a critical comment on their paper by two Australian experts (Professors Ian Simmonds and Will Steffen) who had said inter alia that “the grasp of basic physics and chemistry displayed in the critique of ‘The Science’ seems to be rather poor.” In their reply, Holland et al (including Richard Lindzen of MIT) confirmed that their paper “represents the combined and considered professiional view of the authors.” The science team (including David Holland) also contributed a detailed reply in the same issue of “World Economics” to two critical reviews of their initial paper by teams of scientists who had been associated with the Stern Review.

    Finally, it is worth noting that in February 2005 David Holland made a powerful written submission to the inquiry by the Select Committee on Economic Affairs of the House of Lords into “The Economics of Climate Change”. Here is the concluding paragraph of David’s evidence:

    “If there were just one outcome from your enquiry I would hope that it would be the unfettered availablity of all papers, methodology and data pertaining to matters that involve significant public expense. If there were a second it would be to elevate auditing or replication above peer review of reputation.”

  26. Ian Castles
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #28. Sorry, the last words should of course be “peer review OR reputation”.

  27. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, much of this article is a review of your work (and Ross McKitrick’s). Congratulations. I think that there is a significant need to summarize your key findings to the wandering public (layman, journalist, or scientist) who may find your website. I absolutely love your blog and read it daily; however, even a scientist can have trouble digesting some of the significant details that you have uncovered. Much of my doctoral dissertation was on IR radiation and thermal modeling and I’ll admit that I occasionally get frustrated at some of the threads here. Understanding some of the important concepts requires reading a spider web maze of loosely linked previous threads. Some of the key details are buried inside some of your comments, and not in the main text of the thread.

    For example, if you dismiss someone’s work because it contains “Mann’s PC1,” where can someone find an explanation? Was the “divergence problem” defined at the NAS panel meeting? I don’t know that this is defined anywhere explicitly, except maybe for the Holland paper. I thought that your post on “The Wegman and North Reports for Newbies” was especially helpful for newbies. I’m not a newbie, but I still thought that it was a good refresher and solidified my understanding a bit more.

    In summary, I would humbly suggest that you provide more summaries of your work in whatever form you see fit. You have done an incredible amount of work and you have LOTS to show for it.

  28. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Holland refers to the “Spaghetti” dispute. I first heard of the “spaghetti graph” here. Where did this phrase come from?

  29. CO2Breath
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 8:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “you need to present a (WORKING!) alternative theory, not some doubts and tiny errors in existing ones.”

    I’d suggest the null hypothesis (continued variability of a very complex system).

    The “system” has not yet been well described imho, so it would seem that we are all in the situation of the blind men examining the elephant.

  30. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 8:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jason L

    Where did this phrase come from?

    Because the graphs look like someone threw spaghetti at them?

  31. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 33 Who coined the phrase. I understood the meaning.

  32. aurbo
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re #34:

    The term spaghietti chart was originally applied to ensemble depictions of multi-day hemispheric forecasts of various meterological parameters, principally the heights of standard pressure of the atmosphere (850mbs, 500mbs, etc) derived from dynamic forecast models. The various height contours consist of an operational run and a series of additional runs which have been altered (perturbed) at critical points of the flow (often near the tops of ridges or the bottom of troughs) believed to be sensitive to slight adjustments from the actual analysis. A single ensemble forecast might consist of a eight to a dozen or so separate forecasts of the same parameter with various perturbations in the initial analysis. When displayed on a single chart, the various ensemble mebers start out close together, but at the endo of 15 days have diverged to the extent that the plots on an hemispheric chart look like a plate of spaghetti. A current example can be found here.

  33. John Norris
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 10:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re #21 Dr. Curry:

    … the hurricane statement was toned down even further (apparently owing to U.S. sensitivity on this issue in light of Katrina) …

    What?

    There certainly wasn’t anything toned down in the US media, or from climate scientists after Katrina. All I heard was there will be more and more subsequent Katrina size land falls due to evil mankind and his reckless AGW.

    What exactly did the hurricane statement say before it got toned down? Perhaps you can point to some toning down in the AR4 comments?

  34. MrPete
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Many want a summary page or pages. That WOULD be good. It’s also work that Steve is unlikely to have time/energy to accomplish.

    Serious question: where’s a public/free wiki system with the ability to nicely and easily handle tables, with simple/basic graphics?

    Something that uses MediaWiki might be ideal. It’s likely to get some serious traffic.

    Even if we put it in some random place for now, it would be good to set up a template so that regulars here can start filling in the blanks.

    (Just trying to be helpful… I may be a good amateur increment borer jockey, but I have no say what happens in CA)

  35. cbone
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 10:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In summary, I would humbly suggest that you provide more summaries of your work in whatever form you see fit. You have done an incredible amount of work and you have LOTS to show for it.

    I recognize that Steve is very busy. It would not be too hard for a third party to go through and summarize some of the main points (with links to pertinent threads). Why not come up with a list of topics to summarize and then let some of the regular readers and lurkers summarize them and submit to Steve for his approval and subsequent posting. This is a collaborative effort after all.

  36. braddles
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    One point that came out of the Holland article that doesn’t get emphasised much is that Michael Mann did not receive his PhD until 1998, but by 2001 had become a lead author of the IPCC! The mind boggles; how did he do it? Are there no gurus with long and distinguished track records in this field to fill such roles? The leaders of over 180 countries are considering whether to launch a multi-trillion dollar overturning of the world’s economic system, and we get people of this calibre writing the reports.

    The other thing about discrediting the Hockey Stick is that without it, Mann and his associates have very little of major scientific substance to point to in their resumes. No wonder they are so sensitive.

  37. Roger Dueck
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 11:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #39 No kidding!?

  38. mccall
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 11:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Terrific paper. Perhaps Pharyngula’s author could be copied, since he appears to be another AGW life-science ideologue avoiding the enlightenment of this site.

  39. Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 11:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    CO2breath, #32: that’s as good an analogy as I’ve seen to date.

    To expand on the metaphor: some blind men have examined the elephant’s trunk and concluded it is a snake; some the leg and concluded it’s a tree trunk.

    Given the disparity, the null hypothesis works best.

    Sod said, ““you need to present a (WORKING!) alternative theory, not some doubts and tiny errors in existing ones.”

    How about natural viability as a (WORKING!) alternative?

  40. Jaye
    Posted Nov 8, 2007 at 11:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    you need to present a (WORKING!) alternative theory

    That is absolutely incorrect. One only need show a counter example to debunk a theory. Replacing it with something else is not a requirement…especially when a likely alternative theory is that none is needed, nothing extraordinary is going on.

  41. Jeff Norman
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re:#18 Sod,

    Actually the hypothesis in question is the trend of prehistorical global/hemispheric temperature trends that allow one to conclude recent temperatures are warmer than any other period studied.

    It has little to do with the more general AGW theory/hypothesis other than to support a call for mitigation.

    If the “hockey stick” hypothesis of a temperature reconstruction has been demonstrated to be lacking in rigor then the climate science community should revert to the hypothesis presented in the First Assessment Report.

    Re:#38 braddles,

    I have always been amazed by the speed with which the MBH “hockey stick” hypothesis was adopted as the true representation
    of climate history. I’m sure this will be discussed at great length in future discussions of social history.

    Jeff

  42. T J Olson
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 4:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A brief aside before my substantive comment.

    Our thanks to Judith Curry (a leading hurricane researcher, climatologist and professor at Georgia Tech), and the eminent Ian Castles for joining this thread.

    The latter is less well-known here. For eight years Mr. Castles served as The Australian Statistician, a statutory office of government, heading the Australian Bureau of statistics. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University – the Down Under’s equivalent of the University of Toronto. (See more here

    Again, thanks to both of you!

    Now, another comment on Judith’s observation about the IPCC’s institutional conservatism: “So overall the IPCC process leads to rather conservative conclusions.”

    This may well apply to sea-level and hurricanes, Judith’s undoubted areas of expertise. However, in Chapter 9 of the AR4 on “Attribution,” the only commenters with unqualified praise of the draft ij the SRO are five. All are government bureaucrats. (See pages 25-6 here)

    This raises a reasonable suspicion to the contrary. The chapter famously concludes with a “90% confidence” in AGW. By contrast, Dennis Bray’s 2003 survey of 530 climatologists found only one-third agreeing to confidence in the climate models to predict future climates Chapter 9 relies on, with 47% dissenting. Are we to believe a sudden swing towards confidence over a few years time displays scientific conservatism? Where is the substance behind this new found confidence?

    Indeed, one reviewer raises the question of data sufficiency in attributing the detection of an AGW signal “when you have only a few data points in some of these regions over the full 20th century?” (Page 20) So much for a “conservative” scientific account here.

  43. MarkR
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #12 Ross. The foundational and continuing work that you and SteveM have done continues to bear fruit. Well done.

  44. Judith Curry
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 6:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This article pretty accurately describes the process in Paris whereby the text for the Summary for Policy makers was agreed upon:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/01/news/warm.php?page=1

    This is a pretty accurate portrayal of the process as I understand it (and heard about it from various people that were there).

    Re the hurricane text in the IPCC, a statement was changed during this process, i remember getting a few phone calls from Paris while this was happening, but i can’t find a paper trail of exactly what the changes were. it was a minor rewording and tone down, but not a big deal.

  45. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re #21 Dr. Curry:

    Before a meaningful statement can be made on changes in sea level, there has to be an answer to the question “change relative to which datum?”

    Has the science progressed to quantitative understanding of isostasy, geostasy, sedimentation in river deltas, the constancy of deep ocean water temperatures, geometric changes at seafloor spreading centres, the artificiality of modelling a depth of ocean below which warming might be held constant, the errors and circular logic in satellite height observations, the balance between ocean liquid and vapour water at different temperatures and salinities, the thickness as well as the area of ice at poles, the global constancy of soil moisture – to name a few?

    Have we found a reliable datum point or points?

    It would add to the understanding of many CA readers if you quantified each of these efeects in turn. Many of us are looking for ocean expansion signals and are seeing very little.

  46. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 8:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve and Ross

    I’ve just finished reading the Holland report linked to above in this thread.

    It ceratinly does provide a goo dsummary of the whole ‘hockey-stick’ debacle. It also provide some figures for the number of lead authors and editors involved in the WGI which clear undermine the claim for consensus that according to 2500 IPPC scientists taht the ‘science is settle’. It appears that the IPCC consensus claim is in fact based on contibutions from approx. 100 US and UK ‘scientists’. The following is the best quote for me from the report.

    “Rather than the consensus of thousands of scientists, the IPCC conclusions represent the passionate belief of a small number of scientists whose funding and research careers depend heavily upon continuing alarm.”

    I would add (and I’m sure you’d agree) that their funding depends upon the continued withholding of data and computer code, the incorrect use of distorted statistical techniques, the suppression of updated proxy data and the suppression of the adequate discussion of uncertainty and our current lack of knowledge of the physical processes involved in climate change. The latter enables them base don the former to produce computer model predictions of future climate change which enable them to scare the public into taking meaningless, futile action. Most important though in particular to enable their future funding to be continued. Once the truth is out, they know that their game will be up and that they will suffer the wrath of the general public. That’s why they will continue to defend the ‘hockey-stick’ to is inevitable last dying gasp.

    KevinUK

  47. Peter
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    KevinUK,

    thw wrath of the general public is one of the few certainties in this whole debate. I really do sense a great degree of resentment at the way the British government (and it would make no difference if it were the Conservatives) has used this ridiculous theory to tax and control people’s lives. I know Steve doesn’t like political points being raised here, but it is important to highlight how this ‘junk science’ is used to formulate policy and tax the general public.

    Again, sorry for making a political point, but it is hard to avoid with this subject.

    Peter (unreconstructed Marxist)

  48. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    How about natural viability as a (WORKING!) alternative?

    cough, cough. so we don t need any theory about apples falling from trees either? natural viability?

    no use in a theory about it happen in autumn most often? apples moving mostly downwards, rarely upwards?

    That is absolutely incorrect. One only need show a counter example to debunk a theory. Replacing it with something else is not a requirement…especially when a likely alternative theory is that none is needed, nothing extraordinary is going on.

    thanks for explaining this to me! now please turn to page 2 of the textbook taht you took this from and notice, that this is absolutely NOT what is realy done with theories in science!

    you would NEVR drop a theory without any replacement, just because a MINORITY of people (mostly not scientists on the subject) have some minor doubts about minor parts of the theory.

    instead you would modify the theory. the “medieval warming period” might make a reasonable “handle” for the hokey stick. recent studies show, that a shorter blade doesn t influence puck control too much (yes, i made this on up..)

    “it s natural” or “there is nothing special” is NOT a theory. so until you can present evidence of the “Holland climate hurdle-track” we ll stick to the old theory, supported by a majority of scientists..

    If the “hockey stick” hypothesis of a temperature reconstruction has been demonstrated to be lacking in rigor then the climate science community should revert to the hypothesis presented in the First Assessment Report.

    IF this had been demosnstrated without doubt, i would expect Hollands piece to start with that demonstration, not with some ploicy statement. i have serious doubts about that “demonstration” and it looks like some others (majority? scientists?) have as well.

  49. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 9:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #48

    Sorry my last sentence should have said “inevitable last dying gaspe”. Anyone who reads the Holland report (and I’m sure Steve and Ross) should be able to get my joke!

    KevinUK

  50. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #51

    Anyone who reads the Holland report (and I’m sure Steve and Ross) should be able to get my joke!

    I’m not sure I’d be willing to concedar that.

  51. MarkW
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    sod,

    The problems that have been found with the theories of the alarmists are more than just minor nits.
    The biggest is that the models assume that water vapor is a positive feedback. In fact that’s where most of the warming comes from. Increased water vapor, not the CO2 itself.

    However ALL of the science that has been done on this subject shows that water vapor is in fact a negative feedback.

    Additionally, those who have doubts on this issue are far from a minority, much less a MINORITY.

    That the hockey stick is flawed has been demonstrated with rigor. Multiple times.

  52. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    sod,

    The problems that have been found with the theories of the alarmists are more than just minor nits.
    The biggest is that the models assume that water vapor is a positive feedback. In fact that’s where most of the warming comes from. Increased water vapor, not the CO2 itself.

    However ALL of the science that has been done on this subject shows that water vapor is in fact a negative feedback.

    Additionally, those who have doubts on this issue are far from a minority, much less a MINORITY.

    That the hockey stick is flawed has been demonstrated with rigor. Multiple times.

    now see, your response is an excellent show case of what is wrong with those who disagree with the consensus.

    you brought up water vapor, which has absolutely ZERO relationsship to the hockey stick. why would you do this, if the science behind the hockey stick was “false with rigor”?

    yep, you wouldn t.

    the (most important) attacks made against the hockey stick are:

    1. medieval warming was wormer than today.
    2. problems with measurement (strip bark)
    3. math problem (noise will generate the same result)
    4. two sources added together (start and end of stick)

    on none of these points is there enough agreement, to dismiss the stick. simple.

  53. jae
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    sod:

    on none of these points is there enough agreement, to dismiss the stick. simple.

    ????? Where have you been, man? Please read the Holland report and then come back.

  54. Jaye
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    thanks for explaining this to me! now please turn to page 2 of the textbook taht you took this from and notice, that this is absolutely NOT what is realy done with theories in science!

    you would NEVR drop a theory without any replacement, just because a MINORITY of people (mostly not scientists on the subject) have some minor doubts about minor parts of the theory.

    Mistaken again. I’m not talking about explaining the phenomenon. If you show me a theory, I give you a counter example that disproves it…then I’m done. You might want an explanation but maybe I don’t care. Maybe all I care about is keeping you from getting it wrong…whatever IT is. It is simple but that doesn’t seem to stop you from not grokking it.

  55. Jaye
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In fact, I’ve seen peers take garbage data created by a bug in some code and try to explain a causal relationship between the known physics and the model data. Of course, no such explanation exists because the data was foobar-ed. However, the explanations of how and why the data made sense become quite circuitous. In some cases, bad data => bad theory with no replacement required because the entire basis for the theory was fictional.

  56. Jaye
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    2 – 4 should be enough for anyone with even a shred of objectivity. Although, I will admit that if you ingest enough kool-aid, if you invest enough of your self image in a thing, or if your entire career is dependent on this thing being “right” then nothing can change your mind.

  57. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mistaken again. I’m not talking about explaining the phenomenon. If you show me a theory, I give you a counter example that disproves it…then I’m done. You might want an explanation but maybe I don’t care. Maybe all I care about is keeping you from getting it wrong…whatever IT is. It is simple but that doesn’t seem to stop you from not grokking it.

    sigh. ok, i ll grant you this. every time a counterexample is found, a scientific theory will be completely destroyed. all evidence is shreddered, nothing remains. we fall back to something that EVERYONE can agree on. typically that is the “It is nature”-theory.

    now all you need to do, is to present that counter example, that clearly and without any doubt destroys the hockey stick.

    bring it on.

    ????? Where have you been, man? Please read the Holland report and then come back.

    i looked over it. there is nothing new. just a one sided list of minor points, that have been made and refuted in the past.

    again:
    if it was so clear and easy to refute the hockey stcik, that would be what would fill the first page of the Holland paper. not some useless political accusations.

    alas it isn t.

  58. jae
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    now all you need to do, is to present that counter example, that clearly and without any doubt destroys the hockey stick.

    Surely you are not this uninformed. Counterexamples abound. Here’s a few hundred.

  59. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #54 sod,

    you brought up water vapor, which has absolutely ZERO relationsship to the hockey stick.

    Not so fast there! The attribution of the A in AGW to recent temperature rises is precisely based on assumed water vapor increases in the atmosphere caused by the relatively small temperature increases from CO2. If this isn’t the case, then warmers might as well fold up their tents and go home.

  60. MarkW
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod,

    I might add that Wegman has proven that the statistical methods used to generate the stick had no validity either.

  61. MarkW
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod,

    You mentioned that we wouldn’t drop a theory. To the best of my knowledge the “hockey stick” is not a theory. Rather it is a artifact created from data using statistical techniques. So I thought you were refering to the wider subject. Sorry for allowing your confusion to throw me off.

  62. _Jim
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod requesting a “clear and easy [way?] to refute the hockey stcik” writes:

    if it was so clear and easy to refute the hockey stcik, that would be what would fill the first page of the Holland paper. not some useless political accusations.

    alas it isn t.

    Firstly – a gripe: I can’t stand to read the work of a poster who can’t properly capitalize the beginning of a sentence; note: I am not an English major nor even a very good grammarian (or speller)!

    Now, addressing the issue at hand:

    Have I been living in a parallel universe for the past few days? This very discussion took place just a day or so ago, so, why don’t we just simply attach at the point wher this took place.

    For the discussion in this:

    indicated blog thread

    assume sod = ks at post #7 for the sake of where the disscussion which begins thusly:

    In recent discussion of the Weblog 2007 Awards, several commenters at other blogs have argued that our criticisms of the Mannian parlor tricks have been “thoroughly refuted and discarded by climatologists, published in a credible journal”; that “other professionals in the field who also have “looked in great detail at the problem at hand” and have come to the conclusion that rather than McIntyre’s findings being “valid and relevant”, they instead have found them to be “without statistical and climatological merit”; that CA “fluffed on the whole hockey stick thing”.

    Consider that I am being ‘green’ in recycling the discussion that prevously took place, thereby by lowing my carbon footprint for the day.

  63. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    5. Conclusions
    Comparisons both within the suite of reconstructions presented in this study, and between
    these reconstructions and others previously developed (Mann et al., 1998; Osborn et al.,
    2004; Esper et al., 2002) allow us to evaluate the impacts of method, target season, target
    region, and underlying proxy data network on large-scale surface temperature
    reconstructions. (Note: The reconstructions performed in this study are available at
    http://fox.rwu.edu/~rutherfo/supplements/jclim2003a.) These evaluations suggest that
    differing methods of reconstruction (e.g. different CFR techniques or local calibration
    39
    approaches) yield nearly indistinguishable results if differences in underlying proxy
    network, target season and target region are controlled for. We conclude that proxybased
    temperature reconstructions are robust with respect to a wide array of alternative statistical approaches.

    http://www.realclimate.org/RuthetalJClim2004.pdf

  64. MarkW
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    realclimate???? Now that’s funny.

  65. Earle Williams
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #54

    (patronizing tone)
    Sigh!
    (/patronizing tone)

    Any of the four issues you listed is sufficient to dismiss the hockey stick, that is the Mann, Bradley & Hughes multiproxy millennial reconstruction. There are plenty more reasons, such as lack of correlation with local temperature, divergence of some proxies from recent temperatures, ad hoc adjustments, and unspecified methodology in arriving at uncertainty.

    Yet the icon persists. The hockey stick is not a theory about AGW, it is a guess at what a ‘global average temperature’ was for the last two thousands years. It may be accurate, but based on the bad science there is no way to know. There is no substitute theory required to replace a bad guess, just pick one of the other guesses out there. Now if the other guesses work to undermine someone’s theory as to why our modern guess of ‘global average temperature’ appears to be going up (ie, temperature record), it is incumbent upon them to modify their theory to fit the best guess, or else explain the divergence.

    The MBH98 hockey stick has been refuted. Period. Refusal to recognize its flaws does not advance science.

  66. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #13 — JohnA wrote: “It’s sobering to read this without wondering, with some bitterness, what will become of science when the world finds out about this.

    That’s one of my chief worries as well. The active and systematic corruption of science by scientists in a branch of physics is a real shock. The active connivance of the most central institutions of science is another shock. And that all this occurred in a context of political and social freedom, rather than of political coercion as in Lysenkoism, is the most damning condition of all. These people have freely chosen to betray their professional ethics and corrode the integrity of the only way of thinking we have that can be free of personal bias.

  67. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    realclimate???? Now that’s funny.

    no. journal of climate.

    realclimate is just providing the PDF. please read it in the paper journal, if you so prefer.

    you decided not to make a similar remark abour jaye 60 and his link to CO2 Science.

    For the discussion in this:

    indicated blog thread

    assume sod = ks at post #7 for the sake of where the disscussion which begins thusly:

    thanks for the link. now what?

    again:
    i am missing the punch line! where s that moment, when hundreds of climate scientists agre with the point that the hockey stick has been totally dismissed?

    links please.

  68. Jaye
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Pointless to argue with this guy, he is so invested in his POV that nothing will shake him. That these types can’t even see the incredible bias required to dismiss the obvious is…incredible.

  69. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For the record and speaking of bias Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann of RealClimate, are editors for The Journal of Climate. list

  70. RobP
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #65 – You support Mann’s Hockeystick with a link to an article co-written by Mann?

  71. Earle Williams
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #72

    I think that qualifies as independent verification! ;-)\

  72. _Jim
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod:

    thanks for the link. now what? [USE IT TO READ THE INDICATED THREAD, INVOKING YOUR AVAILABLE POWERS OF COMPREHENSION]

    i am missing the punch line! where s that moment, when hundreds of climate scientists agre with the point that the hockey stick has been totally dismissed?

    A lecture about the willful misuse of statistics and continued willful misuse of inappropriate tree-ring proxies pointed out astutely by learned experts in statistics and without a lot of denigrating fanfare (to a recent doctroral student I might add) isn’t enough to convince you? (YES or NO answer required)

    If not (or ‘no’), then let’s all go over the edge together, for we all should simply be ‘fellow lemmings’.

  73. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 3:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Pointless to argue with this guy, he is so invested in his POV that nothing will shake him. That these types can’t even see the incredible bias required to dismiss the obvious is…incredible.

    Jaye i m sorry. i m trying to be as open minded as you are, but i m stuck in believe.

    you failed to bring on a SINGLE peer reviewed source for your claim, though. it would be eassier for me, if you could provide some real sources.

    you are trying to convince me of something that is crystal clear. surely there ARE some sources?!?

    For the record and speaking of bias Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann of RealClimate, are editors for The Journal of Climate. list

    yes, it makes the peer review process eassier, when you are an editor for the journal. but it doesn t remove it.

    some review is still MUCH better than blog posts!

    #65 – You support Mann’s Hockeystick with a link to an article co-written by Mann?

    it is the answer to the methodology attack. different methodology, same result. fact.

    A lecture about the willful misuse of statistics and continued willful misuse of inappropriate tree-ring proxies pointed out astutely by learned experts in statistics and without a lot of denigrating fanfare (to a recent doctroral student I might add) isn’t enough to convince you? (YES or NO answer required)

    NO. the “willful” part, of course is your invention.

    again:

    you believe, that hockey stick has been proven to be wrong without any doubt. the evidence that you brought forward so far is not convincing. sorry.

  74. jae
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod: I’m afraid that no amount of evidence will sway you. (shrugs). Look at all the studies pointing to higher temperatures in the MWP here. I’m sure it’s still not enough evidence for you though.

  75. _Jim
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod writes:

    you believe, that hockey stick has been proven to be wrong without any doubt. the evidence that you brought forward so far is not convincing. sorry.

    What does belief have to do with it?

    That is your ‘construct’, a strawman you are erecting (and perhaps the only way you have of avoiding a case of severe cognitive disonance given facts new facts that have been presented you.)

    If Mann was identified as using incorrect statistical techniques THAT my friend is THAT.

    As an out – are you willing/are you now going to before our very eyes support and defend the statistical techniques and methods Mann used (principle components and all that)? (YES or NO question)

    I am presenting you with choices: 1) dodge, 2) weave, 3) plead ignorance to matters technical or 4) answer YES to that last question and point out where Wegman et al are wrong in their judgement of Mann.

    Which is it? 1, 2, 3 or 4?

  76. Bernie
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Buntgen et al paper is interesting and certainly worth a closer look – Does anyone know if this article and the series referenced have already been covered? It also seems to be a better reconstruction of the historical record in that it shows the MWP and LIA. The series also seem to extend the record into 2000. The authors prudently acknowledge the limitations of there results – particularly the reduced sample for the recent period. So let’s see if we can work this one together and at least reduce the level of noise in the dialogue.

    As to the article, I am still perplexed by the process for selecting series and for ignoring the precipitation as a factor in any model. Perhaps with a closer reading my perplexity will be reduced.

  77. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    We conclude that proxybased temperature reconstructions are robust with respect to a wide array of alternative statistical approaches.

    Subsequently, Burger and Cubasch 2005 overturned this viewpoint. (Note Burger and Cubasch: not Mann, not McIntyre, not part of the team, but independent authorities assigned to investigate the problem under the EU funded SO&P project)

    The abstract (my emphasis):

    64 climate reconstructions, based on regression of temperature fields on multi-proxies and mutually distinguished by at least one of six standard criteria, cover an entire spread of millennial histories. No single criterion is accountable for the spread, which appears to depend on a complicated interplay of the criteria. The uncertainty is traced back to the fact that regression is applied here in an extrapolative manner, with millennial proxy variations exceeding the standard calibration scale by a factor of 5 and more. Even if linearity still holds for that larger domain the model error propagates in a way that is proportional to both the estimation error and the proxy variations, and is thus extrapolated accordingly. This is particularly critical for the parameter-loaded multiproxy methods. Without a model error estimate and without techniques to keep it small, it is not clear how these methods can be salvaged to become robust.

    Ref: GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L23711, doi:10.1029/2005GL024155, 2005, “Are multiproxy climate reconstructions robust?”, Gerd Burger and Ulrich Cubasch

  78. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    alpine reconstruction using the Aletsch glacier proxy:

  79. jae
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    78. Err, sod, I find nothing wrong with the summary. It states that the subject study and many others indicate the presence of a MWP. This particular article concluded that their data show that the modern warm period is warmer, but they qualify that by saying that their database for recent years is rather weak. Idso’s summary simply indicates that, hey, here is another study that demonstrates that there was, indeed, a MWP. That’s one of his goals–to establish that there was a MWP and LIA. And you also seem to miss then nuance that Mann’s study showed almost NO variation for 1000 years except for the last two decades. That’s a true hockey stick shape (no MWP or LIA). BTW, I feel bad that I did not realize much earlier that you are here to troll, not to learn anything. Good luck.

  80. Alan Bates
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #69 sod asks:

    i am missing the punch line! where s that moment, when hundreds of climate scientists agre with the point that the hockey stick has been totally dismissed?

    May I put this into the Queen’s English (I am from the UK): “Where is that moment when hundreds of climate scientists agree with the point that the hockey stick has been totally dismissed?”

    It has been claimed that Hitler called together a group of 100 (?) scientists to denounce the science that Albert Einstein had done. Einstein’s reply was on the lines of, if I am wrong, one would be enough.

    I suspect that sod may have fallen into the trap of argumentum ad populum–appeal to the majority. Just because hundreds of climate scientists agree or disagree on a point does not provide a jot or tittle of evidence that the point is valid (or not).

    The opinion of the majority may be interesting. However, science is not dictated by a vote.

    What you may be thinking is that scientific advance often (too often? always??) proceeds in leaps when enough negative evidence comes to light for the prevailing paradigm to be overthrown. The hockey stick is at the lowest level of science – it is a “fact”. Not an idea or a hypothesis and certainly not a theory. It is a fact, however, which appears to have been overthrown because the methodology by which it has been established has been shown to be invalid.

    The rise or fall of a fact should have little consequence in science where facts should be held lightly and rejected when they are shown to be ill founded. Unfortunately, it became the poster child in a previous issue of the IPCC Report and has moved away from being merely a fact which has failed to stand up to scrutiny to having a political life of its own. Other examples of such political poster children are the “Snows of Kilimanjaro”, the drowning polar bear and the hurricane coming out of the smoke stack in the poster for the Inconvenient Truth. Their existence as political facts is undoubted. They are accepted by the concensus (Oscar, Nobel Prize) and they will not be overthrown by scientific evidence because they have moved beyond science.

    This MAY be good politics – it is certainly bad science.

    Alan

  81. Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    nomen est omen:

    scram.

  82. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 5:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod, you either didn’t read or express the total conclusions for that paper on purpose. And you misrepresented them in the part you are quoting just as you claim CO2 might have done.. Your quoteis followed by a HOWEVER* below.
    Page marked “Sec 11″ in the pdf.
    5 Conclusion
    A new larch/pine composite chronology is presented, providing evidence of Alpine summer temperature
    variations back to 951 AD. The record indicates warmer conditions at the beginning of the past millennium,
    during the putative Medieval Warm Period, followed by an extended period of cooler conditions (the Little Ice Age) and recent warming since about the 1820s.
    Key multi-centennial variations common to all records are high values associated with the Medieval
    Warm Period, a multi-centennial depression corresponding to the Little Ice Age, and a warming trend since about the 1820s (this study, Briffa00, and Esper02).
    The Mann99 record indicates warming starting around 1900. Whereas, the large-scale reconstructions do not
    According to this regional analysis, the most recent decade is the warmest period over the past millennium…
    *However, the new Alpine reconstruction is particularly insecure during these recent years—as well as at the
    beginning of the last millennium—where sample replication is low (e.g., average replication during the 1998–
    2002 period is 51 larch samples).
    Long-term, multi- centennial trends and higher-frequency, inter-decadal
    variations fit quite closely with variations retained in large-scale reconstructions, indicating the relevance of
    this new record and the Alps to large-scale studies of global climate change. A comparison with other regional
    temperature reconstructions, nevertheless, demonstrates that the long-term trend and absolute amplitude of
    temperature variations is not understood. We intend to study this discrepancy more closely by developing well-
    replicated records of maximum density of both larch and pine species.

  83. mccall
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 7:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Definition of “a complete waste of time” – a reasoned HS argument with someone having little knowledge of physical science, even less math, and a lot of faith in the Piltdown MannBearPig.

  84. mccall
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 7:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hans von Storch zum Hockeystick: “Die Kurve ist Quatsch” – Der Spiegel, 4-OCT-2004

  85. Andrey Levin
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 9:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re#42, Jaye:

    One only need show a counter example to debunk a theory

    – in mathematics. In natural sciences it is not that straightforward.

    Classic example is Michelson-Morley experiment: it did not lead to debunking of Newton mechanics. It just limited it reasonable applicability.

    In practical terms counter example means: “go back to the lab and try to come up with something better”. My bet that Mann’s hockey stick research had a chance to end up with solid paper “Unsuitability of BCP to reconstruction of past temperatures”.

  86. Ron Durda
    Posted Nov 9, 2007 at 10:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #56 Jae,
    Great Scott, you must be nearly as old as I am. The last person I knew who was familiar with A Stranger in a Strange Land was a student back in the late 80’s who understood the allusion I made to the kid born in the nest on Mars when I tried to tie Heinlein’s story into Marshall Mcluhan’s insight that the generations that use TV before learning to read are no longer as easily able to work in the one-word-after-the-other rational and symbolic pattern of thought imposed by print (producing mathematics and logic and real science) but instead were conditioned by being immersed in the the all-at-onceness of the sensory sounds and sights of the electronic media. In McLuhan’s insight, an electronic media conditioned person is a neo-primitive living in a global village, etc etc. Mulling on those matters suggests that your friend Sod should be dealt with in a more appropriate fashion. As so many have pointed out he does seem a tad stretched to follow what most here would consider the cold, hard and totally compelling rational and logical approach to doing science. In other words, he is much more comfortable with grokking (even if he’s never heard the word before), and this, as you would be aware, flows from the sensory (emotive) way of seeing rather than the cognitive, abstract and symbolic way conditioned by the written word. Tribal (i.e. sensory driven) humanity doesn’t have constitutions and bibles it has chiefs and witch doctors. So someone should point out to Sod that the real issue of the hockey stick is its importance to the whole AGW enterprise and the way it is sold by the Al Gore, David Suzuki type guys. If Sod doesn’t really see enough science evidence, maybe he’ll be persuaded by the fact that Al Gore (the ubber-chieftan) doesn’t really believe in the hockey stick at all, or the whole shebang of AGW. Of course Al SAYS he does, but he sure doesn’t ACT like he does. So those of you who have the info available, please help Sod see what a useful idiot (carrying around that big hockey stick) he really is by reminding him of the carbon footprints of Gore and the Hollywood/Rock star crowd, and the tons of paper and jetting about produced by the warmers in their pow-wows in exotic lands, and just how much money Al makes out of all this. Talk to Sod in terms he may really relate to. It’s one thing to defend the chief and witch doctors when the tribe is under attack, quite another to defend them when you catch them stealing your shirt after exhorting you to strip down for battle.

  87. someone
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 2:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ron, I read Stranger too back in the early ’70s. And McLuhan, though I never got it. But for goodness sake man can’t you breakout a paragraph or two? That was painful to read.

  88. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 3:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Subsequently, Burger and Cubasch 2005 overturned this viewpoint. (Note Burger and Cubasch: not Mann, not McIntyre, not part of the team, but independent authorities assigned to investigate the problem under the EU funded SO&P project)

    so if you can come up with some independent critisism of the methodology, and i can come up with an idependent verification of the result, this means:

    the HOCKEY STICK has NOT been disproved without doubt.
    sorry.

    78. Err, sod, I find nothing wrong with the summary. It states that the subject study and many others indicate the presence of a MWP. This particular article concluded that their data show that the modern warm period is warmer, but they qualify that by saying that their database for recent years is rather weak. Idso’s summary simply indicates that, hey, here is another study that demonstrates that there was, indeed, a MWP.

    you are misquoting the article. every graph in it says HOCKEYSTICK. it is unclear, whether even dropping the last decade would give you a “dominant” MWP. the temperature increase in the last decade is taken from larch samples. it is consistent with temperature MEASUREMENT.

    no “splicing error”, no two datasets.

    That’s one of his goals–to establish that there was a MWP and LIA. And you also seem to miss then nuance that Mann’s study showed almost NO variation for 1000 years except for the last two decades. That’s a true hockey stick shape (no MWP or LIA). BTW, I feel bad that I did not realize much earlier that you are here to troll, not to learn anything. Good luck.

    agagin: a minor medieval bump would NOT completely disprove the hockeystick.

    the graph is made of temperature data. ifyou replace decadal with yearly or (shock) monthly or daily data, it would immediately change its form, but not the idea!

    I suspect that sod may have fallen into the trap of argumentum ad populum–appeal to the majority. Just because hundreds of climate scientists agree or disagree on a point does not provide a jot or tittle of evidence that the point is valid (or not).

    ad populum is, when you rely SOLELY on numbers. i do not.

    i am just pointing out, that you believe that the general CONSENSUS is, that the graph has been disproved. you have brought up NO evidence for this.

    please help Sod see what a useful idiot (carrying around that big hockey stick) he really is by reminding him of the carbon footprints of Gore and the Hollywood/Rock star crowd, and the tons of paper and jetting about produced by the warmers in their pow-wows in exotic lands, and just how much money Al makes out of all this.

    try to be honest for one second guys:
    would someone fall back to writing this idiotic personal attack on Gore, if all he needed to do is point out that EVERYTHING he said has been completely absolutely and without doubt disproved?

  89. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 3:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sod, you have yet to come up with ANY independent verification. It’s actually quite simple:
    1) Please remember that the question is not whether a particularly shaped curve is correct or not. We’ve had lots of fun around here discovering interesting data sets that have a hockeystick shape. In fact, one of the points about Mann’s work is that his methods “prove too much” so to speak: with his methods, just about any data at all will become a hockey stick.
    2) Collect all of your supposedly independent verifications.
    3) Now, please remove from that set, any that suffer from the same issues that were used to prove the falsehood of Mann’s data, methods and conclusions. And, remove any “independent” verifications that actually are Mann’s. (He can’t “verify” himself.)
    Your remaining set of verification papers will be null.
    Sod, your arguments fall flat because you have not taken the time to understand the disproofs. Political arguments, arguments about consensus and so forth, all fall flat in the face of cold hard facts.
    Using your own list from a scientific skeptic’s perspective:
    1. medieval warming was warmer than today.
    2. problems with measurement (strip bark)
    3. math problem (noise will generate the same result)
    4. two sources added together (start and end of stick)
    I’ll keep this brief. #3 is perhaps the least “contentious”. #1 is based on anecdotal evidence which people can have fun arguing about. #2 is a very solid issue but you’ll have to read more to understand it. #4 is also a solid issue but is “complicated” in that it involves more than one line of thinking.
    So let’s stick to #3. It has been proven that Mann’s mathematics is incorrect. It’s sufficient on its own to disprove the hockey stick. Mann’s math has been proven wrong. End of discussion. He used tools that he didn’t understand (he admits he’s not a statistician) to try to generate a valid result. He failed. Analogy:
    Student M: 2 + (1*10^0)*(1*10^0)/(1!) = 4
    Teacher M: wrong
    Student M: How can you be so mean? Of course it’s true!
    Teacher M: 2 + (1*10^0)/(1!) = 2 + (1*1)/(1) = 2 + (1)/(1) = 2 + 1 = 3
    Student M: I don’t believe you. And besides, 2 + (1!)*(1!)*(1!) / (1*10^0) = 5
    Student J: I agree with student M. In fact, (1!*1!*1!) + 2 + (1*10^0)*(1*10^0)*(1*10^0) = 6
    Teacher M: you’re wasting my time. Please learn how to do math correctly. It has nothing to do with how many sets of parentheses you use.
    Chorus: Prove it! Prove it!
    Teacher W: Sigh. OK, I’ll get involved. Yes, we have convened an August Tribunal. We declare that Teacher M is correct. And next time, it would be helpful if you students would ask for help from a TA before you do your homework.
    Student S: Obviously, teacher is a denier. And who’s to believe that old Teacher W guy, whoever HE is? Where are the hundreds of students who have agreed that Student M is wrong?
    Sod, it really is that straightforward. We’re not arguing about politics here.

  90. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, I forgot two little bits… After Teacher W announced the Tribunal’s findings…
    Teacher N: Let’s not hurt the students’ feelings. After all, they need to feel good about all the time they’ve spent on this project, and their parents might not give them their dinner if they get a “zero” for all this work. Students, it is plausible that your way of doing things produced a result that is no smaller than the correct answer.
    Media XYZ: Teacher Tribunal Vindicates Students

  91. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 4:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Using your own list from a scientific skeptic’s perspective:
    1. medieval warming was warmer than today.
    2. problems with measurement (strip bark)
    3. math problem (noise will generate the same result)
    4. two sources added together (start and end of stick)

    I’ll keep this brief. #3 is perhaps the least “contentious”. #1 is based on anecdotal evidence which people can have fun arguing about. #2 is a very solid issue but you’ll have to read more to understand it. #4 is also a solid issue but is “complicated” in that it involves more than one line of thinking.

    So let’s stick to #3. It has been proven that Mann’s mathematics is incorrect. It’s sufficient on its own to disprove the hockey stick. Mann’s math has been proven wrong. End of discussion. He used tools that he didn’t understand (he admits he’s not a statistician) to try to generate a valid result. He failed. Analogy:

    your argument was the most sensible response i received so far.

    i have some doubts about the anlogy though. most people who simply apply statistics make errors. quite often the result is somewhat forgiving these.
    if several people do it, with different methods and different data it is rather unlikely that all of them end up with the same wrong result.

    Analogy:
    golf court. player W sees player M, just ready to strike a ball with a hockeystick.
    W: “what are you doing there?!?”
    M: “BOING” (hits the ball which drops into the hole.)
    W: “you are doing it all wrong!” (graps the score card of M) “this is all false! it can t be done like that!”
    M: (takes a golf club from Ws bag) “BOING” (scores again and moves on.)

  92. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 5:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “If several people do it, with different methods and different data it is rather unlikely that all of them end up with the same wrong result.”
    Please think this through carefully, Sod. Leave all politics behind– “consensus” has no meaning here, other than to make us very careful in our work. This is a situation where very smart people have become very confused, because there are so many variables. Take it one step at a time, and you will not lose your way.
    First step: the question is NOT whether the shape of the hockey stick is correct or not. The question is, did Mann and Associates (“The Team”) do valid work?
    If their work is invalid, it matters not whether someone else does different work and comes up with a hockey stick. Either The Team’s work is correct or it is incorrect. If it is incorrect, we should not be incorporating it into our sense of “what we know.”
    Second step: “if several people do it, with different methods and different data, it is rather unlikely that all of them end up with the same wrong result.”
    This is very reasonable thinking. So the skeptic asks:
    * Are the methods independent?
    * Is the data independent?
    * How similar are the results?
    * Are there other confounding issues?
    This is why I suggested that you need to look at the “independent” studies and eliminate those that suffer from the same errors.
    Put simply: the studies that “independently” confirm Mann’s work do no such thing. So far, I have not heard of such a study. Perhaps we’ll find one some day. But as you browse through CA you will find endless examples of either self-deception or purposeful deception. I won’t try to assign blame; doesn’t matter. The result is the same.
    One example: an “independent” confirmation (bad memory — W & A? I forget) says “you can remove any three dendro proxies and still get the hockey stick.” If you didn’t know that there were MORE than three (invalid) strip bark proxies in the source data, you’d be impressed. Those who are familiar just sigh and ask when we’re going to start seeing some good science done in this field.
    NOTE: Sod, I really do understand your hesitancy to believe “we” are on the up and up here at CA. I have relatives who are climate scientists in less controversial areas. It is taking them a long time to even be willing to discuss the idea that shenanigans are going on. It’s upsetting! It’s horrifying! So…. take your time. As a first step, please recognize that you need to return to first principles of good science.
    And, not to get preachy, but just trying to help you as a newbie understand some of the CA reality… Please be willing to do some extra work to really learn something: the work here is tough sledding, partially because there’s so little support. Nobody here is doing this with a budget. We don’t have people to delegate tasks to. No PR firm paying the bills or producing content. If there’s going to be a nicer index or introduction, someone is going to have to create it. Just like it has turned out that if we want to have good dendro data sets, we have to go collect a few ourselves and embarrass the “powers that be” into doing what they should have been doing all along. So in the meantime, we have to make do with what we’ve got. Steve has been doing a massive amount of work. Sidestep the garbage comments that pepper the threads. Be understanding if you discover that Steve has vented once or twice after enduring two-year-long asinine pile of obfuscatory exchanges with a “real climate scientist” somewhere. Find a way you can contribute to what we’re learning or to make it easier for others who are joining this community.

  93. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 5:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here’s a beginning summary of my impression of Steve’s results so far. Perhaps someone else can go (a lot) further, creating a table with actual facts rather than MrPete’s faded impressions, and extending/improving the list of topics and attributes.

    Here’s a list of items for this virtual table. Many of these could be summarized with colored icons to provide a visual overview of CA research status, and perhaps a scorecard for individual papers:
    Topic (the area of Climate Science being audited)
    Testable Hypotheses (have scientific hypotheses been stated?)
    Data Access (available or not, and was it readily accessed, a bit hard to get, or actively hidden)
    Data Selection (was data properly selected, cherry picked or worse?)
    Physical Understanding (has anyone tied the data to the real world in a substantial way, or is it just ‘numbers’?)
    Data Analysis (is the data analysis proper, mixed, or proven invalid?)
    IPCC vindicated (yes, no, who knows…)

    Example (then I’ve gotta get to some other things… but this has been taking up valuable brain-space ;) )

    Topic: Hockey Stick

    Testable: yes (BCP and other data sets are claimed as valid temp proxies. These can be tested, particularly since published papers tend to use old data.)

    Data Access: partial dendro, few if any ice core data. Mostly gained only with tremendous hassle

    Data Selection: cherry picking evidence everywhere. Unbelievably, cherry picking has even been trumpeted as a “unique” feature of climate science.

    Physical Understanding: dendro, no. Any biologist/etc would have fits about the contortions used to imagine how the tree ring studies could be valid proxies for global, let alone local, temperature.

    Data Analysis: for Mannian hockey stick, proven invalid

    IPCC vindicated: NOT. Any use of Mann’s hockey stick, or related work, is an embarassment to scientists everywhere.

  94. Bernie
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 5:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    We said, Mr Pete – especially the request for constructive engagement.

  95. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 6:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    so if you can come up with some independent critisism of the methodology, and i can come up with an idependent verification of the result, this means:

    the HOCKEY STICK has NOT been disproved without doubt.
    sorry.

    Not sure what you mean here. The hockey stick was used to draw a specific conclusion (i.e., the late 20th century is the warmest in the last 600/1000 years). It has been shown that the hockey stick – and other studies with similar methodology – cannot support this conclusion. Therefore, we do not know whether the late 20th century was warmer than recent times.

    What does “the hockey stick has not been disproved” mean? It has been shown that the hockey stick has no skill as a temperature reconstruction, unequivocally. I’ve just drawn a line on a piece of paper. That, too, has no skill as a temperature reconstruction. But because we don’t know what historical global temperatures were, it can’t be disproved either. What does that teach us? I would argue nothing of merit.

    Incidentally, you should be careful with your independent verification, firstly to confirm whether it is of large spatial scale (the hockey stick is supposed to represent global, not local temperatures), and secondly that it does not fall foul of the criticisms of Burger and Cubasch (most reconstructions do).

  96. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    First step: the question is NOT whether the shape of the hockey stick is correct or not. The question is, did Mann and Associates (”The Team”) do valid work?

    no. that is not the question taht we have been discussing. at least my approach to that question would be a completely different one.

    If their work is invalid, it matters not whether someone else does different work and comes up with a hockey stick. Either The Team’s work is correct or it is incorrect. If it is incorrect, we should not be incorporating it into our sense of “what we know.”

    ouch. you just completely destroyed all scientific work done in medical research over the last 30 years!

    sme time ago i spend an afternoon with a neighbor girl, who was preparing for final school exams in math. it turns out, she doesn t now how to handle a term like (-a)^n. she has a problem with the negative number and simply ignores the minus, when calculating the next step. (a rather typical act, btw)
    this of course is completely wrong, but will provide the rigth result isn a LOT of cases.

    So far, I have not heard of such a study.

    start by looking at the paper i linked to above. a random find, when i followed a link to a “denial” page. CO2 science seems to believe the part about the MWP, but not the “HOCKEYBLADE” part of it.

  97. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 6:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sod, you should not be helping neighbor girls with homework if you cannot understand that paper you linked to IMHO.

  98. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 6:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    the (most important) attacks made against the hockey stick are:

    1. medieval warming was wormer than today.
    2. problems with measurement (strip bark)
    3. math problem (noise will generate the same result)
    4. two sources added together (start and end of stick)

    on none of these points is there enough agreement, to dismiss the stick. simple.

    I started on an update to this yesterday, but got bored and stopped. There are many issues to consider on this topic, which need to be resolved, before we can declare the temperature reconstructions of any merit. I’ll go through your list and add some more.

    No.1 on your list is not an argument used to refute the hockey stick. The consequence of the argument is that we don’t know whether the medieval warming was worse than today or not.

    No.2 is really a question of proxy selection. There are a lot of proxy selection issues and their effects are quite subtle, ranging from incorrect use of proxies (e.g. using precipitation proxies for temperature), temporal homogeneity of proxies, significance inflation by rejecting proxies that don’t fit the curve well.

    No.3 is a simple issue; Mann’s use of PCA is just plain wrong, as explained by Wegman.

    No.4 I’m not quite sure what you are referring to here. The plotting of instrumental record over a reconstruction is a presentation issue, not a technical issue.

    These are not the only issues with the hockey stick. There are many others.

    No.5 The confidence intervals are calculated incorrectly, using the calibration interval. This is like seeing the exam questions before sitting the exam, and claiming high marks are an indication of intelligence. The confidence intervals should be calculated on teh cross-validation period. Secondly, the method used to correct confidence intervals for redness is a non-standard method. Why use a non-standard method? It has not been documented and cannot be checked for validity.

    No.6 Failure of statistical significance. MBH98 already used a loose test for significance, and when calculated properly (as per McIntyre’s reply to Huybers), the early steps (1450 and before) are not statistical significant. Complementary significance tests (CE,r2) also fail.

    No.7 Reduced historical variance. Demonstrated by von Storch and Zorita, even if the proxies are really good temperature proxies, the methodology underestimates past variance if you detrend the data. Note if you don’t detrend the data, you run into 7(b), spurious regression problems, and statistical overfitting.

    No.8 Sensitivity of regression techniques to error due to non-linearity of proxies, or extrapolation of linearity outside the calibration range – the Burger and Cubasch issue raised above. This applies not just to MBH98 but many other historical temperature reconstructions. This falls in the category robustness – the technique is demonstrably not robust to methodology.

    No.9 Sensitivity of results to small changes in sample data. Removing a few sample points results in changes to the results of a magnitude similar to the entire output data range. This suggests that adding new samples (out-of-sample data, the most effective independent test) could have similar consequences – the technique is not robust to sampling.

    No. 10 The divergence problem – adding out-of-sample data by extending the proxies shows a divergence between the instrumental temperature record and the temperature reconstructions. If the reconstructions are unable to detect modern warmth, why should they be capable of detecting historical warmth? This may be related to points 8 and 9.

    This is a short list, probably far from complete, of the issues surrounding the historical temperature reconstructions. (There are actually 8 on the list, I personally don’t think your no.1 and no.4 are relevant) I would recommend you investigate all of the issues if you want to get a good understanding of the topic; if you provide alternative, independent studies, we need to be sure that they do not fall foul of the same problems.

    As ever, all of this is “IMHO”.

  99. John F. Pittman
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 7:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hey, I think SOD has been pulling your legs, fellows. His paper, if I remember correctly

    Proxy-based Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature Reconstructions:
    Sensitivity to Method, Predictor Network, Target Season, and Target Domain
    Rutherford, S.1*, Mann, M.E.2, Osborn, T.J.3, Bradley, R.S.4, Briffa, K.R.3, Hughes,
    M.K.,5 Jones, P.D.3

    We conclude that the primary limiting factor governing the skillfulness of current
    proxy-based large-scale temperature reconstructions may be the quality of the network
    (e.g. the effective signal-to-noise ratios of the proxy data, and the availability of records
    in key regions such as the tropical Pacific), rather than the size of the network. This
    conclusion is reinforced by a comparison of the verification skill for the multiproxy/PC
    network with and without the long instrumental records (Table 1), which emphasizes that
    a few high quality indicators can significantly improve reconstructive skill. Furthermore,
    the addition of poor or inappropriate seasonal indicators to a network can degrade the
    skill of the reconstruction.

    Recognize this? This is the “independent” paper that Mann used to discredit MM by coming up with a new statistical trick that Wegman nailed.

    It should be noted that some falsely reported putative “errors” in the Mann et al.
    (1998) proxy data claimed by McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) are an artifact of (a) the
    use by these latter authors of an incorrect version of the Mann et al. (1998) proxy
    indicator dataset, and (b) their misunderstanding of the methodology used by Mann et al.
    (1998) to calculate PC series of proxy networks over progressively longer time intervals.
    In the Mann et al. (1998) implementation, the PCs are computed over different time steps
    so that the maximum amount of data can be used in the reconstruction. For example, if a
    tree-ring network comprises 50 individual chronologies that extend back to AD 1600 and
    only 10 of those 50 extend to AD 1400 then calculating one set of PCs from 1400 to 1980
    (the end of the Mann et al. (1998) calibration period) would require the elimination of 40
    of the 50 chronologies available back to AD 1600. By calculating PCs for two different
    intervals in this example (1400-1980 and 1600-1980) and performing the reconstruction
    in a stepwise fashion, PCs of all 50 series that extend back to AD 1600 can be used in the
    reconstruction back to AD 1600 with PCs of the remaining 10 chronologies used

    Recognize this one?

    How about this quote

    unlike RE, CE does not reward the reconstruction of an
    observed change in mean relative to the calibration period.
    For each experiment, we calculated RE (Tables 1, 2 and 3)and CE (available at
    http://fox.rwu.edu/~rutherfo/supplements/jclim2003a) verification skill diagnostics.
    While one could seek to estimate verification skill with the square of the Pearson
    correlation measure (r2 ), this metric can be misleading when, as is the case in
    paleoclimate reconstructions of past centuries, changes are likely in mean or variance
    outside the calibration period. To aid the reader in interpreting the verification
    diagnostics, and to illustrate the shortcomings of r2 as a diagnostic of reconstructive skill,
    we provide some synthetic examples which show three possible reconstructions of a
    series and the RE, CE and r2 scores for each (Supplementary material available at
    http://fox.rwu.edu/~rutherfo/supplements/jclim2003a).

    Remember, the work that Wegman in peer-reveiwed format and that NAS agreed to was flawed statistics and did NOT invalidate MM, but lead prominent stitisticians to conclude that climatologists need to employ such to keep them out of trouble. But perhaps it was some other but similar paper. The team seems to regurgitate so often. You know, the same old proxies, no updating, throw away the statistical relevance, throw away divergence problems, refuse to update yet again. LOL.

    By the way does sod stand for sediment oxygen demand.

  100. _Jim
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    … still waiting for s.o.d. to kindly explain Mann’s method in light of what Wegman showed, but instead, I see he chose options 1) and 2) from above (option: 1) dodge, 2) weave).

    What part of “Mann’s use of PCA is just plain wrong, as explained by Wegman” does he not understand?

    This requires continued willful or willed ignorance, or seriously-commited troll-like intentions, or lastly, and a choice I hate to label a poster with: sheer stupidity!

  101. Andrey Levin
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 8:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    By the way does sod stand for sediment oxygen demand (?)

    No. Eventually Sod stands for “sod off”.

  102. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 8:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Spence_UK,

    short comments:

    The confidence intervals should be calculated on teh cross-validation period.

    They’d still be below 0.5 C. And in the 0.5 – 0.6 C range with non-sense white noise proxy input.

    Demonstrated by von Storch and Zorita, even if the proxies are really good temperature proxies, the methodology underestimates past variance if you detrend the data

    If I’ve understood it correctly, vS04 got it wrong (ICE and Mann’s method are different, Mann’s loss of variance is due to selective use of TPCs (*)).

    *Gerd, did I get it correctly ?

  103. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    UC,

    Many thanks for the review and corrections :)

    This is all from a couple of years back, so some of it has got a bit rusty in the grey matter, in particular the vSZ argument; I remember the debate between Mann and HvS over detrending, I must have conflated the two. Hans still claims that his variance argument is the primary work that defeated the hockey stick of course (e.g. the Nature blog claims).

    TPC selection is another important point though, so I’ll use that as my surrogate no.7. I think I’m right in saying nobody can replicate Mann’s principal component selection criteria; it seems quite ad hoc, opening scope for selection bias to influence study results.

    Something there I wasn’t aware of about the confidence intervals, though. We’ve talked about these before, and I’d managed to convince myself that “correctly computed” confidence intervals should be pretty much off the page for the 1400-1449 step. Perhaps I need to clarify to myself what correctly computed actually means in this context!

  104. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    _Jim, we all suffer from temporary insanities, particularly as we begin to approach the insane idea that a whole lotta smart people are deluded about so much of the published AGW work.

    OK, sod, I’m going to continue responding seriously to your responses.

    no. that is not the question that we have been discussing. at least my approach to that question would be a completely different one.

    Perhaps you misunderstood the implication of my statement. Mann’s methods and use of data were proven wrong. They were falsified. Once proven wrong, we’re done. It’s time to move on to another avenue of inquiry. That’s what falsifiable hypotheses are all about.

    My question to you: if you don’t think that’s the question, then a) what question are you discussing (we ought to figure that out! Perhaps this is much ado about nothing!), and b) what do you think about the question of whether the hockey stick has been falsified?

    ouch. you just completely destroyed all scientific work done in medical research over the last 30 years!

    Again, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you misunderstood my statement. I was not saying anything about other people who might develop an alternative hypothesis about hockey sticks and use other data and methods to investigate. I was saying that once Mann Et Al’s data and methods have been proven useless, then Mann’s work should be set aside. Again, his work has been invalidated. It doesn’t matter what other people may do — Mann’s hockey stick is dead. (Again, lots of people have lots of ways to generate interesting hockey stick graphs… that’s got nothing to do with the Mann hockey stick.)

    Are you still suggesting I’ve “completely destroyed all scientific work done in medical research…”? If so, I’d love to hear your explanation.

    And finally,

    start by looking at the paper i linked to above. a random find, when i followed a link to a “denial” page. CO2 science seems to believe the part about the MWP, but not the “HOCKEYBLADE” part of it.

    Now the fun begins. I suspect you are not qualified to review that paper with the eye of an experienced expert. I know I am not. I can only do the equivalent of a common sense reading of the real estate Want Ads: “Cozy three bedroom cottage with lots of character. Great opportunity! Classic neighborhood with lively neighbors.” (Tiny house, in desperate need of repair. Neighborhood is run down, and there’s gunfire all night :-D )

    In this case:

    1) One author is Esper. A hockey team member. Happens to be the one who said “The ability to pick and choose which samples to use is an advantage unique to dendroclimatology.” I’m immediately cautious and careful.

    2) A quick sanity check. The scientific world is in general agreement on two recent temperature histories: we’re warming from a cooling scare in the 1970’s, and we’re in a 400 year emergence from the Little Ice Age (LIA). Do their proxies reflect that? Answer: 1970’s…only if I squint hard. 1600-present…hardly. The reconstruction suggests the early 1800’s were the coldest period. Doesn’t feel right. Nothing proven, but this doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in this study.

    3) Quick sanity check #2. Trees grow mostly in response to precipitation, not temperature. Did they discuss this? High altitude trees grow mostly in the spring as the snow melts. Does their study reflect this? Ummm… hardly. Nothing proven, but this doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in this study.

    4) Let’s look at the proxies. Do they correlate with each other? The authors themselves backpedal strongly on their own suggestion that the proxies have any meaning. They say, “caution with this observation is warranted as this period is characterized by low sample replication (Fig. 2b) and notable differences between the larch and pine data.” Hardly a vote of confidence in one’s own work. Nothing proven, but this doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in this study.

    5) Let’s look at the data. What was their method of selecting for “temperature signal”? Oh. No data available. Oops.

    Sod, you can see here that this paper has been brought up, in the context of a serious discussion about the potential validity of dendro proxy data. It does deserve a good look, according to Rob Wilson, who is acknowledged as an expert in the field (and pretty friendly to CA.)

    My bottom line: from all of the above and more, I’m cautious about the paper. I’m not qualified to examine it in detail, and the data isn’t readily available. But perhaps you could post a polite question on the other thread, and one of these days perhaps Steve or others will take a look at that paper in detail.

    For now though, there’s nothing in the paper that looks particularly earth shaking as a solid defense of dendro thermometry.

  105. rhodeymark
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 9:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    LOL – Kevin UK “last gaspe” and Dave D “won’t concedar that” make much funny with the words in #s 51 & 52, yet they missed the best one right above them. The one where sod gives us the unintentional granddaddy of them all, and which I nominate as official CA Moniker™

    the “medieval warming period” might make a reasonable “handle” for the hokey stick.

  106. HokeyStick
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hey – I kinda like it!

  107. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As usual I am late to the party…

    What an indictment of the IPCC. However, I do quibble with one bit of “have your cake and eat it” in Holland’s paper. On P. 957 he refers to 1998 as an exceptionally hot El Nino year, but then says on P. 981 that no global warming at all has occurred since 1998. The point is that it is right not to give credence to the warming in 1998 as it was due to a local temporary phenomenon, but then the trend after that must discount that year, as outlined in a discussion between Tamino and me here (#368).

    On removing 1998 (an inconvenient year in many ways…) HadCRUT3 at least shows warming to 2002, since when it certainly looks very flat (though I have yet to apply a statistical test in support of this), as per the following figures (2007 based on 9 months):

    1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
    .347 .526 .302 .277 .406 .455 .465 .444 .475 .422 .437

    Booker and North in their new book “Scared To Death…” make the same “mistake”. Moral (in my view): don’t overdo the anti-AGW hype, and continue to audit in a balanced way.

    Rich.

  108. Larry
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The hokey stick is what you do the hokey-pokey with?

  109. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #110

    I know this is off topic and should probably be in unthreaded, but talking of recent temperature measurements, has anyone else been watching what has happened to the UAH and RSS lower troposphere temperature calculations? Those “egregious, serial error producing” (vitriol copyright raypierre) types at UAH have been producing a consistently hotter record than RSS recently, the two curves have diverged by 0.18 deg C in Oct 07. The RSS record is actually showing a fair amount of cooling (too short to be significant yet, I suspect), with the UAH record fairly flat.

    (Note that the RSS global temperature measurement excludes a larger section of Antarctica so that alone may be cause for the difference)

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if, over the coming years, the RSS data set that was heralded by RealClimate et al became the coldest measure of climate? I bet they’d switch allegiances pretty quickly if that happened…

    Or perhaps we could call a whole new divergence problem?

  110. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    WHERE IS THE HOCKEY STICK FOR OUR SUN ‘S OUTPUT

    There is a common expression that is frequently used at election times namely ‘It is the economy stupid’ to highlight what really matters . The same term can be applied to the issue of global warming , namely ‘It is the sun stupid ‘ implying the relevance of the sun when it comes to global warming . Putting it another way, “When you are flea living next to an elephant you better be aware when the elephant is having a fart or fever’, to pardon the expression.
    The attached comparison of two years nearly 9 years apart, both at the same stage of the solar cycle, shows what has been happening with our sun during one solar cycle and how it has affected our planet’s weather. The ramp up of solar electrical heating of our planet is happening and continuing regardless of the volume of man made greenhouse gases that are generated . The real problem with some of the more toxic manmade greenhouse gases is their pollution and not so much their global warming contribution.. Sun caused global warming is real and so are man made greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming . The only area of disagreement is the degree to which each contributes to global warming . It is this writer’s opinion that the sun contributes by far the greatest amount of global warming ,some 80% and government run secret climate experiments and manmade greenhouse gases make up the remaining 20%.. The numbers below are but a small sampling of what has been happening with our sun.

    YEAR 2005

    SUN
    Number of solar proton events 7
    Yearly mean solar flare index 1.91
    Number of M size solar flares 100
    Number of X size flares 18 [X17 the largest]
    Number of high solar wind days with velocity over 500km/s 107
    Number of high velocity solar wind peaks 42
    Number of large geomagnetic storms KP > 7.7_ 10 [4 large over 8 KP]
    Yearly mean sunspot number 29.8
    Close to a solar minimum
    No Presence of major comets

    EARTH
    Number of hurricanes [ Atlantic] 15
    Number of named storms 28
    No El Nino present
    Global land + ocean surface temperature anomaly GISS [C] 0.62
    Warmest day on record globally
    4th highest temperatures in US

    YEAR 1996
    SUN
    Number of solar proton events none
    Yearly mean solar flare index 0.42
    Number of M size solar flares 4
    Number of X size solar flares 1 [ no large ones]
    Yearly mean sunspot # 8.6
    Solar minimum year
    Number of solar wind days with velocity of over 500 km/s 37
    Number of high solar wind peaks during the year 36
    Number of large geomagnetic storms KP => 7.7 none
    Presence of major comet Hale Bopp [contributes to solar electrical discharges to earth]

    EARTH

    Number of hurricanes 9
    Number of named storms 13
    No El Nino present
    Global land + ocean surface temperature anomaly GISS[C] 0.3[ half of 2005]
    15 Th warmest day on record globally
    Does not make the top 25 warmest years in US

  111. DaveR
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #110 – Agreed, Holland’s claim about 1998 is pretty close to an attempt at deception. Has his paper actually been published? If so, it doesn’t say much for the refereeing at E&E that they let that one slip by.

  112. Tony Edwards
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 3:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod, to reverse your questioning about any definitive disproof of the MBH hockey stick, I have been asking for some time now on various sites for someone, anyone, to show me any scientific proof of the “greenhousegas” warming theory. To date, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Until I am shown something solid that I can understand, (and that isn’t a small amount) I shall remain sceptical (English spelling) about man’s efforts at significanlty raising the CO2 level rather than a largely natural process. And has anyone shown that warmer is bad for you? My joints, (getting on a bit, now) vastly prefer warm to cold.

  113. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    now there is a denier.

  114. Tony Edwards
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 4:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks, Hans, it’s nice to be appreciated.
    matt vooro,
    With reference to your comment about “It’s the sun, stupid, we’ve just removed ourselves from our hot tub having had a relaxing drink and watched the sun set. I know that anecdotal evidence isn’t acceptable, but this is as late in the year for the past 14 years that the tub has stayed hot enough to enjoy without supplementary heating. This may be due to three reasons. 1. There have been fewer tropical waves/depressions/storms hurricanes, so there have been fewer clouds blocking the sun. 2. There is more heat coming from the sun. 3. we’ve finally got all of the airlocks out of the system (my wife’s idea) so that it’s working well.
    Either way, eat your heart out, the rest of you.
    MrPete, you’re invited, bring Steve.

  115. MrPete
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll bring the Pringles too ;)

    I dunno if Steve would come. Tortola might be too warm for his Canadian blood. :-D

  116. TonyN
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 6:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #21:Dr Curry

    Two “hot button” aspects of the IPCC report that I have fairly substantial familiarity with are the parts on sea level rise and also hurricanes. Statements on both of these topics made by the IPCC were quite conservative. During the weeklong interaction with the policy makers, the hurricane statement was toned down even further (apparently owing to U.S. sensitivity on this issue in light of Katrina). So overall the IPCC process leads to rather conservative conclusions.

    Would you say that that the following extract from the IISD Earth Bulletin Report report on the proceedings at the conference that finalised the Fourth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers, was a good example of the way that the concerns about sea level rise were ‘toned down?

    Germany proposed to remove text indicating that the 1993-2003 rate of sea level rise was similar to other ten-year periods since 1950, noting that if a longer period, such as twenty years, was considered then the rate would no longer be similar. Participants agreed to remove the text

    … or perhaps …

    Regarding differences in sea level rise projections between the TAR and AR4, Germany noted that this could be a source of confusion for the media. [Co-Chair] Solomon clarified that the confusion has to do with the upper ranges. The Coordinating Lead Authors explained that comparison was difficult, but that midpoints differed partly as a result of the different uncertainty assessments. Text was included noting that the AR4 midpoints were within 10% of those in the TAR.
    [my emphasis]

    See Roger Pielk’s very helpful Clarifying IPCC AR4 Statements on Sea Level Rise . This establishes that there was a reduction of projected sea level rise between TAR and AR4. Was this the kind of information that, if stated clearly, might be ‘a source of confusion for the media’?

  117. Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tony Edwards

    I envy your enviornment. We too here in Ontario had a warm dry summer but the ice scrapers have been out already this past week. Our grass was brown all summer due to lack of rain and warm temperatures. We are on well water and watering grass is a no-no. It looks like the Atlantic hurricane season will continue to be in 2008 like it was in 2006 and 2007, less active, so enjoy the good days when we have them. I agree with you about more heat coming from the sun. This solar heat output fluctuates, but the recent general trend is up like the end of the hockey stick . You can see from my data in the earlier blog how the sun has ramped up somewhat. Have one on me.

  118. harry
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 7:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #111

    The hokey stick is what you do the hokey-pokey with?

    That’s what its all about.

  119. Ian Castles
    Posted Nov 10, 2007 at 10:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #110. You criticise David Holland for saying that “no global warming at all has occurred since 1998”, because “the warming in 1998 was due to a local temporary phenomenon.” You argue that 1998 (“an inconvenient year in many ways”) must be removed from consideration in any assessment of the subsequent trend. DaveR agrees with you (#114) and says that “Holland’s claim about 1998 is pretty close to an attempt at deception.”

    I disagree. David Holland’s paper is about the “hockey-stick” affair and its implications, and it was the creators of the hockey-stick who gave 1998 its status in IPCC iconography – and resisted any suggestion that the warming in that year was local or temporary. Here are a few extracts from a joint presentation at a US Global Change Research Program (USGRP) Seminar on “Large-Scale Temperatures During the Past 1000 years” on 17 May 1999. The authors are Michael Mann, Malcolm Hughes and James Hansen (the added EMPHASES are mine):

    “… it would be difficult to argue that the 1990s were as anomalous when viewed in the context of the temperature history of the entire millennium, WERE IT NOT FOR THE RECORD WARMTH OF 1998. The year 1998 was observed to have been significantly warmer (BY ABOUT 0.2 DEGREES C) than any other year in the instrumental record … The warmth of 1998 is TOO LARGE AND PERVASIVE TO BE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR BY THE RECENT EL NINO. This analysis suggests that THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE MAY HAVE MOVED TO A HIGHER LEVEL, analogous to the significant increase that occurred in the late 1970s … The record of surface temperature change can be compared with satellite measurements of tropospheric temperature for the period since 1979. The satellite record is sometimes interpreted as being contradictory to the surface measurements. The GISS analysis indicates that the differences are actually small and within estimated measurement errors, and that the results are consistent with a long term warming trend at the surface and in the troposphere.”

    The HadCRUT3 global mean temperature anomaly was 1.2-1.3 degrees lower in 2006 and in 2007 (first 9 months) than in 1998. The MSU measurement of the mean tropospheric temperature anomaly, which on the Mann/Hughes/Hansen argument should be similar, was 1.8-2.1 degrees lower in 2006 and 2007 (first 10 months) than in 1998.

    David Holland said that there had been no warming since 1998, not that there had been cooling. His point stands even if the 1998 experience is discounted by 0.1-0.2 C to allow for the fact that it was an El Nino year. To remove this year altogether would go against the explicit assertions of Mann, Hughes and Hansen at the USGRP seminar, and would be inconsistent with the treatment of the issue in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, which emphasised that 1998 was likely to have been the warmest year of the millennium and dramatised this by drawing a “1000-year-line” at the level of the 1998 instrumental temperature (e.g. in Figure 2.20).

  120. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 12:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Spence_UK

    Antarctica, the Tibetan Plateau, the spine of the Andes and probably a few other high altitude sites are not included in the satellite record for the lower troposphere by either RSS or UAH because the sensor sees too much thermal radiation from the surface rather than the wing of the oxygen emission band from the atmosphere. RSS’ use of latitude numbers (-60 to -70 as opposed to 60 to 82.5) for their data just makes this point clearer than the UAH SoPol and NoPol.

  121. Philip_B
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 1:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    which emphasised that 1998 was likely to have been the warmest year of the millennium and dramatised this by drawing a “1000-year-line” at the level of the 1998 instrumental temperature

    The IPCC’s definition of likely seems to be slightly above statistical chance. Which would mean for most people, we don’t know.

  122. Ian Castles
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 3:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #122. The HadCRUT3 mean temperature anomaly in 2006 & 2007 was/is of course of course .012-.013 C lower than in 1998, not an order of magnitude greater than this. And the same goes for the MSU mean tropospheric anomaly. But David Holland’s point still holds. Even if the 1998 mean is discounted for El Nino, the global mean temperature in 2006 was still no higher than almost a decade earlier – and this despite the fact, as Holland points out, that atmospheric CO2 had increased by 15 ppm over the 8-year period.

  123. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 3:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #122 Ian Castles:

    We may be in violent agreement that 1998 was given too much importance by IPCC and others. My point is that it is an outlier which biasses the statistics, and so it should be removed for trend analysis; then warming to 2001 or 2002 is supported by the data, but not thereafter.

    Incidentally, I hope that when you talk about a 1.2C difference between 1998 and 2006, you have somehow misplaced your decimal point by one position.

    You say:
    To remove this year altogether would go against the explicit assertions of Mann, Hughes and Hansen at the USGRP seminar, and would be inconsistent with the treatment of the issue in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report,

    Absolutely: Holland (to whom I attach no deliberate deception on the 1998 thing) has blown the IPCC review processes apart, and many scientists now have little faith in their treatments or assessments. Obviously Mann et al also want to have their cake and eat it: 1998 huge evidence of warming, but we won’t use it if it spoils the trend since 1998. I prefer the balanced approach: 1998 explained by El Nino, warming trend to 2002, looks flat since but I have yet to compute a statistic on that (I’m just biding my time).

    Hope this clarifies things a little,
    Rich.

  124. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 5:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #123

    I was indeed aware that both RSS and UAH do not fully cover Antarctica. I have always assumed that the data are gridded, interpolated where possible to cover missing areas and then an areal weighted average taken from the grid. I had assumed the specified latitudes would be applied strictly to the final gridded step which would include in fills for problematic locations; a lot of assumptions on my part here though. This would constitute a significant difference in the coverage of the south pole in the final products, even if the sensors have difficulties in this region.

    However, if you are correct and the effective coverage is identical, it really does beg the question as to why there is such a large discrepancy between the two, especially now that the UAH code includes the correction identified by M&W.

  125. Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 1998
    Idon’t think the El Nino during the first 1/3 of 1998 explains the high temperatures of 1998. There is some evidence that the sun was starting to become active that year as well.The year is unique especially with respect to flaring.[see below].I am in the process of checking out other warmer years to compare.

    1998

    SUN
    Solar proton events 8 [average]
    Yearly mean solar flare index 4[ high]
    Number of X size solar flares 14[high]
    Number of M size solar flares 95 [ very high, close to 2005 which had 100]
    Number of solar wind velocity peaks 24 [low]
    Number of high velocity solar wind days 43 [low]
    Yearly mean sunspot number 64 [ Solar cycle #23 is just starting to ramp up after quiet 1996, 1997]
    Major geomagnetic storm days 4[low]
    Considerable solar activity AUGUST /SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER records go off graphs

  126. Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Spence,

    I remember the debate between Mann and HvS over detrending, I must have conflated the two. Hans still claims that his variance argument is the primary work that defeated the hockey stick of course (e.g. the Nature blog claims).

    vS vs. Mann debate is quite funny. MBH procedure is so difficult to understand, that even von Storch gets it wrong. But the responses from Mann’s group are carefully steered to the wrong direction, de-trending issues and wrong tuning of climate models. The real issues, how to obtain such verification R2s with pseudo-proxies, how Mann actually scales the reconstruction, how the uncertainties are calculated are not discussed. That’s one reason why hockey stick has survived so long time, they know what topics to avoid.

  127. Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    1998

    I took another look at 1998 and have concluded that unusual solar activity alone does not explain the high temperature anomaly of that year. The only unusal solar aspect was the high level of solar flaring ofthe 95 M class size flares spread evenly through out the year and the 14 X class flares . Basically the high temperature anomaly can be accounted for by a very high temperature anomaly during February and some warming during May ,June and July. The warming in February may be due to the El NINO but the heating during May-July was after the El Nino had passed .The high or very active solar wind period was from July to September but the temperatures were already dropping during the latter part of the year. The significant solar wind velocities during this latter part of the year do account for the 10 hurricanes during AUGUST to DECEMBER. To me 1998 appears as an odd year and not consistent with the previous trend. Spikes like 1998 have occurred regularly in the past[ as the past top 10 US TEMPERAURE ANOMALIES show ] and will do so again in the future

  128. Ian Castles
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 5:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #124 See – owe to Rich. We are indeed in violent agreement that 1998 was given too much importance by the IPCC. But I have a difficulty with the notion that it can be simply removed for trend analysis on the grounds that it is apparent, with the benefit of hindsight, that it is an outlier.

    As the extract I quoted from Mann, Hughes and Hansen showed, it was thought at the time that the jump in observed temperatures in 1998 might herald a new, warmer plateau. In 2005, seven years after the event, Sir John Houghton still thought the 1998 result was highly important:

    “… since 1990 we have had a continuous increase in global average temperatures, a steady, consistent increase. The year 1998 happens to be the warmest year on record, and a more striking statistic is that each of the first eight months of 1998 was the warmest month on record of that kind. Now when you get eight ‘ducks’ in a row it is trying to tell you something and there is no doubt we believe now, or very little doubt at all, that this rate of increase of temperature from 1970 onwards is because of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere” (Evidence to the UK House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs, 18 January 2005).

    The year 1998 also holds the record for the largest increase in CO2 concentrations: 2.81 parts per million at Mauna Lau. In the latest year (the twelve months ending in September 2007) with fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions running ~25% higher than in 1998, the growth in CO2 concentrations was nearly 40% lower than in 1998, at 1.77 ppm. This is below the proejcted average annual increase for the 2000-2010 decade in the lowest of the IPCC scenarios (see TAR, WGI Contribution, Appendix II: SRES Tables). Is this important? Yes, if the lower rate of growth were to be maintained, but that remains to be seen. The growth in the latest year may prove with hindsight to be an outlier on the low side.

    I don’t understand why the climate change science community doesn’t insist on monthly data on CO2 concentrations being reported not only in unadjusted form, but also with seasonally adjusted and trend measures. Programs used by national statistical offices to produce such adjustments to economic variables (e.g. monthly retail sales) could be readily adapted for the purpose. The requirement is to produce a series that gives most weight to the most recent observations – but with earlier observations having some weight which diminishes as one moves backward in time. The adjustment process must of course be transparent and reproducible.

  129. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 11, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #127

    Of course Mann doesn’t have to answer questions on the calculation of the uncertainties. Nobody has yet published a paper showing the method to contain errors, have they? ;)

  130. Andrey Levin
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 5:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re#125, Matt Vooro:

    Could it be that high level of solar flaring during 1998 triggered substantial El Nino event and probably some other stuff?

    Solar energy required to trigger massive release of accumulated into oceans heat could be much less than actual amount of released heat.

  131. MarkW
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 7:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve recently read that the amount of UV produced by the sun varies as much as 100% during the solar cycle.
    UV produces ozone.
    Ozone is a GHG.

    JohnV has been adamant that the changes in energy output are insufficient to directly cause the changes in temperatures that have been seen. This could be one of the missing factors.

  132. Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    sorry, i m very busy at the moment.

    For now though, there’s nothing in the paper that looks particularly earth shaking as a solid defense of dendro thermometry.

    again: i came to this paper by alink from a “denial” side. the science seemed pretty strong, as long as it was supporting the medieval warmth period. it is considered very flawed, now that it has hockey stick form. i don t call this sound science.

    i didn t take a detailed look, but it seems to avoid a LOT of the errors found with other papers: no “spliced” overlay of different data, (at least so far) no “strip bark” problems.
    (and any problems found would most likely damage the MWP part of the paper as well. ouch.

    sod, to reverse your questioning about any definitive disproof of the MBH hockey stick, I have been asking for some time now on various sites for someone, anyone, to show me any scientific proof of the “greenhousegas” warming theory. To date, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Until I am shown something solid that I can understand, (and that isn’t a small amount) I shall remain sceptical (English spelling) about man’s efforts at significanlty raising the CO2 level rather than a largely natural process. And has anyone shown that warmer is bad for you? My joints, (getting on a bit, now) vastly prefer warm to cold.

    Tamino has a rather good post about isotops of C being different in fossile fuels and other sources.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/03/09/its-a-gas/

    take a look at it.

    on the other hand, you could just think for a second: if i add water to a lake, and the waterlevel then starts to rise, it is completely irrelevant, wether other sources add or remove water at the same time. i m at least in part responsible for some of the rise..

  133. beng
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This Holland report is an excellent historical summary of the “Hockey Stick” affair and might be a good addition to the sidebar at CA for first-time visiters & even veterans as a general reference (w/disclaimers that it may not completely reflect the opinion of this site’s owner).

    Some good posts in this thread, and it brings up a question — given CA’s current exposure, maybe CA needs a FAQ link on the side for beginners.

  134. Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 7:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ps:

    . And has anyone shown that warmer is bad for you? My joints, (getting on a bit, now) vastly prefer warm to cold.

    this is the last line defense of the deniers. warm is beautiful. you might want to get some second oppinion from someon in subsaharan africa on this topic.

  135. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 8:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #133 – **Tamino has a rather good post about isotops of C being different in fossile fuels and other sources.**
    This still does not answer the question – Has anyone scientifically MEASURED the percent or the amount of heating caused by CO2? The pint is not how much or what the source of the CO2 is. What is it doing? We only have a graphical association and the theory – Well, it must be the CO2.
    Nor is Steve Mc’s questions answered -Where is the detailed quantitative calculation of the effect of doubling the CO2 (25 deg or so)?

  136. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 8:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #133 – **Tamino has a rather good post about isotops of C being different in fossile fuels and other sources.**
    This still does not answer the question – Has anyone scientifically MEASURED the percent or the amount of heating caused by CO2? The point is not how much or what the source of the CO2 is. What is it doing? We only have a graphical association and the theory – Well, it must be the CO2.
    Nor is Steve Mc’s questions answered -Where is the detailed quantitative calculation of the effect of doubling the CO2 (25 deg or so)?

  137. Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 8:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE 123& 125

    The one thing that 1998, 2003 and 2005 [ all with high temperature anomalies] have in common is the following

    LAND +OCEAN GLOBAL TEMPERAURE ANOMALY [C] GISS

    1998 0.57 [2ND HIGHEST]
    2003 0.55 [ 4TH HIGHEST]
    2005 0.62 [HIGHEST]

    MUNMBER OF X SIZE FLARES
    1998 14
    2003 20
    2005 18

    NUMBER OF M SIZE FLARES
    1998 95
    2003 162
    2005 100

    There are scientists who maintain that the ElNino effect is really the outer symptom and not the cause . They say that the real cause is ” joule heating ” or electrical heating coming from vertical electrical fields over the Pacific. Flaring would certainly add to this . I am just starting to look into this and have not yet studied this fully. This a new field of research

  138. Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 8:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    130,

    Of course Mann doesn’t have to answer questions on the calculation of the uncertainties. Nobody has yet published a paper showing the method to contain errors, have they?

    There’s no problem with MBH98 method (2X calibration residuals, same as in majority of IPCC AR4 Fig. 6.10.c) if

    1) linear model proxy = scale times temperature plus noise holds

    2) calibration is a complete success, no scale factor errors at all

    In practice, this means that 1) there is no divergence problem, and that 2) we have thousands of years of calibration data ;)

    MBH99 is, of course, a different story. Uncertainties are just simply fixed in MBH99.

  139. jae
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    138: Hmm. Do you have any references?

  140. Tony Edwards
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 9:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    sod #135

    Tamino’s article says that part of the increase in CO2 is due to burning fuel. So far this is pretty well saying that the floor is underneath me. Not world-shaking. What is not in there is anything at all to prove that there is any connection to increasing temperature, nor is the increase wholly man-made.
    And, as has been said many times, what is the ideal climate, and for whom do we establish it, even if we were able to do such a thing? I imagine a sub-saharan african might have some complaints if he were moved to Siberia

  141. _Jim
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    this is the last line defense of the deniers. warm is beautiful.

    I wish this ‘guy’ would get a clue, buy a vowel, or at least rent a properly capitalized sentence!

    Somebody, restrain me; if I have to view one more post by an obnoxious 10-yr-old with *no* redeeming value I’m going to spontaneously combust thereby demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt my carbon footprint …

    A spirited and engaging ‘foil’ from the opposition is one thing, lame, juvenile one-liners is QUITE another.

  142. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #139

    For some reason I had got it into my head that they did something rather more cunning than just 2X calibration residuals (plus the dubious red noise correction). My memory must be slipping. I would go on an MBH98 refresher course but I’m not sure it would be good for my sanity.

    I see now why using the cross-validation alone doesn’t help. It is likely that the proxy sampling selection and PC selection is fine tuned prior to publishing to ensure the cross-validation residuals are low (and hence RE is high). Easy to get one degree of freedom right manually, difficult to get the detail right without an automated process (like is available to the calibration interval), hence the low r2 etc. I note the problems you highlight (linear proxy, calibration scale errors) relate back to the topics of BC05 – clearly important issues.

    I see sod hasn’t had time to address the more comprehensive set of issues with MBH98 yet. I guess he wants to deal with the “low hanging fruit” first. Anyone need some moon landing hoaxes debunked?

  143. trevor
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #145:

    _Jim, you are being very tough on obnoxious 10 year olds!! In my experience of 10 year olds (however obnoxious), none are so arrogant as to parade their ignorance of sound scientific practice in that fashion!

  144. MrPete
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sod said…

    i didn t take a detailed look, but it seems to avoid a LOT of the errors found with other papers: no “spliced” overlay of different data, (at least so far) no “strip bark” problems. (and any problems found would most likely damage the MWP part of the paper as well. ouch.

    Sod, your cursory evaluation covers two items:

    1) No “spliced” overlay. I certainly would hope not! We have rarely seen splices around here. The fact one showed up in AIT is just ridiculous. 99.99% of papers hopefully do not exhibit that.

    2) No apparent “strip bark” problems. I’m curious how you would come to this conclusion. It’s rare for such things to be simply stated up front. Steve has often had to dig deeply to get enough information so that such an evaluation can be made.

    What other problems exist? Who knows with these guys. I’ve learned to be cautious, and gave you a litany of my cautions. Bottom line: until the underlying data is made available, and an independent party has checked it out, I will remain cautious.

    It’s sad, but they’ve earned our caution.

  145. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    We’re making this rather too difficult about the graph, I think.

    The NAS, Wegman report and congressional hearing found that there was a statistical error in how the data was processsed, invalidating it as reliable. The math is bad. It’s not reliable.

    What else?

    A) They stated that this error resulted in graphs that could not be used to prove anything. Not that the error proved the graphs disproved anything, just that they were, therefore, useless for proving anything.
    B) Among other things, this process resulted in the admonition to not use bristlecone pine tree rings for temperature proxies, because they aren’t good temperature proxies. It was stated mildly but was clear. (Bristlecones are good for other things, but not as a temperature proxy.)
    C) Therefore, any study using bristlecones is suspect. Again, this does not disprove anything, but can’t prove anything either.
    D) The graph is two different types of data, and there isn’t any data to understand how they were combined, further casting doubt on the information even if there hadn’t been a mathematical error that already invalidated it as proof.
    E) It only covers the Northern Hemisphere anyway, so it’s not “global” regardless of anything else. We could call it half-global, but since everyone with any independence and statisical expertise has said it’s flawed, does that even matter?
    F) The other papers are peer-reviewed by co-authors which proves nothing, but certainly leads to at least some degree of groupthink. And they use the same bad proxies, if not the exact same data. And they are certainly not independent nor from outside experts on subjects they themselves have acknowledge they’re not expert at.
    G) Dr. Wegman is an expert, however – and he’s also associated with the IPCC (He’s the chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics) In addition, his report was informally peer-reviewed.

    Read all about it here, which includes all the links to all the materials involved: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wegman

  146. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 12, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Now, all that said, we don’t need the HS anyway. All you have to do is look at GHCN-ERSST.

    But that’s not even important. There’s an issue here that (to me at least) is overriding; is “a global temperature” a thing? And my answer is no, there isn’t such a thing as “global temperature”. The anomaly it’s just an idea of what the overall planet is doing over time vis a vis weather.

    But let’s say it is a single thing, a meaningful number, a percise indication. Is it clear that the numbers we’re looking at show a +.7C trend over 125ish years? Yes. Is the number meaningful? Probably not, but let’s say it is. What’s its margin of error? We don’t know, but let’s say there is no margin of error. Are the measurements accurate? We don’t really know, but let’s say they are. So what’s causing this +.7C?? Let me put it this way.

    Humans burn fossil fuels which creates particulates. These in the air cause a cooling effect.

    Luckily for us, this cooling effect is offset by a few things, in a slightly positive manner (overshoot) in short term intervals (tens or hundreds of years) than the cooling that’s created by the particulates and how they interact with the clouds. The amount of heating and cooling in the climate changes where some periods are cooler and some are warmer. We are currently in a trending warmer phase of the cycles.

    First, some GHG help to absorb more heat for the IR portion of the sun, which the GHG water vapor moderates back down by using the energy to evaporate the water. So there is a GHG loop which produces and uses energy. Next, these processes eventually result in the particulates being deposited on the ground, which decreases the albedo of snow and ice, causing more heat to be absorbed and melting the solid water, again both creating and absorbing heat. In this process, the behavior of the ocean takes warmer water and that system melts ice giving fresh water, and depositing the heat in the ocean. The oceans also transfer energy and regulate both temperature and GHG concentrations. Lastly, humans build cities and pave roads et al. This often causes the ground to absorb more heat.

    So in the net, these processes result in more heating than cooling, and together the system both regulates itself and reduces air pollution from our particulates. Each of the separate pieces of the system interact in various ways, resulting that over time, we have a slight warming trend. As various other actions are taken by humans, the system will again react in various ways, which could lead to more warming, less warming or some type of narrow range dynamic equilibrium that continues to alternate, chaotically, between warming and cooling.

    So, taking no margin of error, and an accurate and meaningful mean global anomaly as givens, the observed +.7C is what the climate is doing over the last 125 years. No one is sure of what the future holds for the next 125, but if guesses are correct, and nothing is changed, it seems that it would continue to trend up at least short term.

    As I said, luckily for us, the cooling effects of particulates has been offset by various other parts of the system that both create and absorb heat to various degrees. A particularly appropriate word in this situation.

  147. Posted Nov 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Spence,

    For some reason I had got it into my head that they did something rather more cunning than just 2X calibration residuals (plus the dubious red noise correction). My memory must be slipping. I would go on an MBH98 refresher course but I’m not sure it would be good for my sanity.

    You can close your eyes if you need to ;)

    Here are some clues, MBH98:

    Having established reasonably unbiased calibration residuals, we were able to calculate uncertainties in the reconstructions by assuming that the unresolved variance is gaussian distributed over time.

    MBH99:

    In contrast to MBH98 where uncertainties were self-consistently estimated based on the observation of Gaussian residuals, we here take account of the spectrum of unresolved variance, separately treating unresolved components of variance in the secular (longer than the 79 year calibration interval in this case) and higher-frequency bands.

    Not really helpful, and shows that Mann is not very familiar with Gaussian processes..

    We need to check ftp://eclogite.geo.umass.edu/pub/mann/MANNETAL98/nhmean.dat , (and note that columns are labeled incorrectly, see also http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=647), and well get one-sigmas.

    From here http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v430/n6995/extref/nature02478-s1.htm
    you’ll see that data1700.txt is missing and that both datalist and data for 1650 step are missing. You’ll find data1700 from here http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/research/MANNETAL98/PROXY/

    Yet, there is a clear change in one-sigmas in 1650, and MBH98 Figure 5 a RPC no. 5 starts at 1650. Where’s that data? We’ll have to skip that one, and re-run MBH98 (hockeystick.m) to obtain following 1-sigmas from calibration residuals, and compare to archived when possible:

    year hockeystick.m archived
    1400 0.150 0.149
    1450 0.146 0.15
    1500 0.149 0.148
    1600 0.112 0.112
    1650 X 0.103
    1700 0.106 0.105
    1730 0.106 0.105
    1750 0.101 0.108
    1760 0.100 0.103
    1780 0.0997 0.0973
    1800 0.0991 0.0973
    1820 0.0972 0.0955

    And we’ll see that they almost match.

  148. RW
    Posted Nov 15, 2007 at 12:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi MrPete, here are the latest “adjustments” to sod’s counter analogy in #92. (Unable to format the strike-throughs of the original bits, so we just cut and replaced them.)
    _________________________________________________________

    golf court. player W sees player M, just ready to strike a ball with a hockeystick.
    W: “what are you doing there?!?”
    M: “BOING” (hits the ball which lands in a sand trap, then declares “Wow, a hole in one”
    W: “you are doing it all wrong!” (graps the score card of M) “this is all false! it can t be done like that!”
    M: (takes a golf club from Ws bag) “BOING” (hits the ball into the same sand trap, then declares, “Zowie, another hole in one —see with my swing I can use any dam club I like and still score an ace.”)

  149. Ron Durda
    Posted Nov 15, 2007 at 1:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #89
    Hello Sod,
    You said, “…would someone fall back to writing this idiotic personal attack on Gore, if all he needed to do is point out that EVERYTHING he said has been completely absolutely and without doubt disproved?”

    Sod, with all due respect I can’t figure out what you mean here. My guess is that I should show that everything Gore said is “disproved”? Why? Even if we grant that every word he ever said was true, the point here is why should we believe him? Put another way, should we believe the Gore who speaks, or the Gore who acts? Or, presuming a man’s actions mirror his beliefs, what do you think Gore really believes?

    To drive this point home consider the moral categorical imperative that our actions should be a universal law for all. What would the CO2 emissions graph look like if Gore’s carbon footprint was the universal norm? Based on which ever CO2 sensitivity you prefer how hot would things get? You have research skills, math skills, and persistence, so let’s see the numbers.

    Also sod be careful about the “…completely absolutely and without doubt…” stuff. Remember, Descartes’ method of discovering perfect truth by accepting only that which he absolutely could not doubt turned out to make the contingent physical world unknowable. Heck, without the help of his version of the ontological argument, all he could be absolutely sure of was that he was a mind without a body. Also, I know it’s a real stretch but imagine a scene with Descartes and some climate modellers fighting over computer time to help make deductions with mathematical precision. So the story goes, Descartes had a morbid fear he would die before he could deduce all the “facts” of health and thus become immortal. And the climate modelers….?

    Cheers.

  150. Posted Nov 15, 2007 at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #129
    Ian

    You state that “Since 1990’s we have had a continuous increase in global average temperatures …” I agree that there has been an increase in temperatures but the prime cause may not be greenhouse gases but rather the increase in the solar wind intensity during the same period.

    INREASED SOLAR WIND THE REAL CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING

    1996 [SOLAR MINIMUM]
    Number of high velocity solar wind days 37
    Global temperature anomaly [land +ocean 1C] 0.30

    2005[HIGHEST RECORD TEMPERATURE]
    Number of high velocity solar wind days 107
    Global temperature anomaly [land + ocean 1C] 0.62

    2007[ALMOST SOLAR MINIMUM]
    Number of high velocity solar wind days 73 (to-date) UP 197% OVER 1996
    Global temperature anomaly [land +ocean 1C] 0. 60(estimate) UP 200% OVER 2006

    NOTES
    2007 High velocity solar wind days up to Nov1, 2007.
    High solar wind velocity days are days with wind velocity of 500km/s or more
    This some what similar to ACE in measuring hurricane energy.
    Global temperature anomalies per GISS. The 2007 figure is the arithmetic average of the first 10 months.

    Comment
    The high velocity solar wind days are analogous to the number of days in a year that our planet’s furnace and fan were on and set on high. The global temperature anomaly is what your thermostat reads as the actual in temperature. Since about 1996 the number of high solar wind days per year and the global temperature anomalies haves both gone up together by about 200% up. The years 2003 and 2005 show where both were at near record or high levels. There are other factors involved but these two measurements seem to be related. Good solar wind data only goes back to early 1990’s, otherwise I would go back earlier to the 1980’s when the so called “manmade global warming” started. I continue to state that that the prime cause [80%] of global warming is the sun. Man made greenhouse gases contribute to the warming but only about 20%.

  151. Brian Blais
    Posted Nov 17, 2007 at 2:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ice core versus Tree ring proxies

    David Holland’s article was a very interesting read, and I am no climatologist. I was wondering how the ice cores factor in. It would seem that the uncertainties in the tree ring proxies are larger than the ones for ice cores, but that the argument about pre-1800 temperatures seems to occur with the tree ring data. Is there a reason the ice cores aren’t used in the same way? Do they agree with the instrumental temperatures in the 1900’s? Is the resolution good enough? Is the problem with geography, only having a couple of places at high latitudes to sample from?

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