A reader has drawn to my attention that chapter 3 of the Ababneh Thesis, disussed previously at CA here here and here was published in Quaternary International (in Sept 2007 just prior to my initial post.) Since I did not refer to this peer reviewed publication in my earlier review, I wish to update these comments to consider this article.
The article as published essentially follows the corresponding thesis section, including the graphic below previously shown here:
Fig. 5. Cold and warm periods as inferred from tree-ring width fluctuations above and below the mean after normalizing (Ababneh, 2006). Whole-bark and strip-bark chronologies are grouped together from Patriarch Grove and Sheep Mountain
This graphic obviously does not show “unusually wide” ring widths in recent decades. As can be seen in the introduction to the Ababneh Thesis, one of her examiners was Malcolm Hughes, also of the University of Arizona.
Unusually wide tree-rings have been observed in recent decades in bristlecone pines from widespread locations at high elevations (3100 m.a.s.l. and above) near the upper forest border in the western USA. We present an enhanced and extended dataset from such environments, and report only results based on unmodified raw ring widths. These wide rings are unique in the context of at least the last 3700 years. Sites at similar elevations, but further below the upper tree limit, do not show this increase. The implications of these observations for possible explanations of the growth increase will be discussed, in the context of environmental changes unique to recent times. These will include the possible effects of increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide on the trees’ water use efficiency, enhanced nutrient availability related to pollution, shifts in seasonal climatic patterns, and mountain climate conditions unique to the 20th and 21st centuries. Particular attention will be given to this last explanation, and in particular to the possibility of uniquely “Anthropocene” patterns of vertical change and their consequences for tree growth.
As noted in my report, in his slides, he definitely showed slides that illustrated these results, directly contradicting the results of Ababneh, who he had recently examined. Although he cited one U of Arizona student for his efforts in collecting from Sheep Mountain, Hughes failed to mention the diligent work of former U of Arizona student Ababneh.
At this point, a third party to this dispute can only observe that there is a major divergence between the most recently published peer reviewed article on bristlecone pine ring widths and the most recent presentation on bristlecone pine ring widths, even though both emanate from the work at the University of Arizona. It’s hard enough resolving real divergence problems, but when two different stories come out of the University of Arizona in almost the same month from examiner and examinee, neither referring to one another, it becomes absurd even for Mannian climate science.
Worse, none of the data has been archived. This particular divergence problem could probably be resolved if the parties archived their data and meta-data, but, hey, this is climate science, Hughes’ archiving is often dismal and so it will probably fester on without resolution.
This is not an incidental series, but the most influential series in Mann’s PC1 and several temperature recons. In some business disputes, you can get court-appointed trustees or monitors. In this case, think of the time that it would save if the National Science Foundation or the University of Arizona intervened and appointed a third party to liberate the data from the feuding parties and archive it.