Tamino, in his continuing effort to bring every one of Mann’s questionable practices back into the light of day, has stumbled into the treeline11.dat series, which he proclaims triumphally in his most recent post as having a hockey stick shape. This is none other than the notorious Gaspé cedar series, which was analyzed at length in MM2005 (EE).
Tamino purports to be a data analyst capable of criticizing our published corpus. It’s pretty discouraging when a “data analyst” can’t even figure out that treeline11.dat is the Gaspé series and that there are many problems with it
But hey, if Tamino wishes to pick at these scabs, that’s more than fine with me. The Gaspé series illustrates the problems with Team proxy reconstructions, just as well as the bristlecones. Here are some of the problems.
First and this is a big problem. Mann adjusted the treeline11.dat series without disclosing the adjustment. In the entire corpus of 415 MBH series, only one series was extended at its beginning to enable it to avoid a cut-off point (and include it in an earlier network.) You guessed it – the Gaspé series in the AD1400 network, which was a troublesome section of the reconstruction. It is my opinion that the extension of the Gaspé series was not accidental and was done in order to affect results in the AD1400 network. Unique “adjustments” like this are the sort of thing that financial accountants take great exception to. Rob Wilson confirmed to me that “such extrapolation is not a standard approach in the tree-ring community.”
Second, the unique adjustment was not disclosed in the MBH98 footnotes. Worse, the start date of this series was actually misrepresented in the original supplementary information, which listed the series as starting at the “adjusted” start date rather than the true start date. We only noticed the extrapolation when we compared the Mann version to original data. We noted this in MM 2003, but were not then fully aware of the impact.
Third, in the early portion of the Gaspé chronology, there is only one tree – a point that was widely publicized back in 2005. Standard chronological methods require a minimum of 5 cores and preferably more. The early portion of the Gaspé chronology did not meet quality control standards. Again, Wilson confirmed that chronologies should not be used in periods where there is only a single core. If Mann wanted a site from the Jacoby network for his AD1400 network, then one was readily available without having to “adjust” anything. The archived Sheenjek River version goes back to 1186; instead of using this archived version, Mann used a “grey” version. Sheenjek does not have a HS shape. Mann et al 2007 uses the same network as MBH98, not removing the “adjustment” even after it’s been discovered and not using the updated Sheenjek version.
Fourth, the Gaspé series is a cedar chronology. There is no botanical evidence that cedars respond linearly to warmer temperatures. World experts on cedar are located at the University of Guelph, Ross McKitrick’s university. Ross and I had lengthy discussions with these cedar experts about this chronology – they said that cedars like cool and moist climate.
Fifth, the Gaspé chronology was never published in formal literature. There was an informal description in Natural Areas Journal, where the HS shape was observed – with the caution that this shape would have to be confirmed in other sites, mentioning pending cedar sites in Maine and Michigan. Neither of these sites had a HS shape. There is another long cedar chronology in the ITRDB (Lac Duparquet – cana106). This series was listed in the original SI as being used, but was not used, as later admitted in the Corrigendum. It does not have a HS shape.
Sixth, and this is very troubling: an update to Gaspé was done in the early 1990s – the update did not get a HS shape (shown below). This update was never published. I happened to obtain a copy of the update which was shown at CA here. The updated version of the Gaspé series does not have a HS shape. It has never been shown publicly except here at CA. Jacoby and d’Arrigo refused to provide me with either the updated chronology or with the measurement data. D’Arrigo refused to provide the updated information on the basis that the older version was “probably superior with regards to a NH signal”. The updated Gaspé information was taken over 15 years ago and has never been archived. When I objected to NSF, which funded the collection of the update, they took no action to require Jacoby and D’arrigo to archive the missing data.
Seventh, none of Cook, Jacoby or D’Arrigo would provide this information on the location of the Gaspé cedars when I inquired, saying that I wished to re-sample the site. They claimed that the collection was done prior to GPS and that they didn’t know where it was.
The Gaspé series demonstrates in one nice package many different aspects of the problems with Team reconstructions. And yes, that’s Tamino treeline11.dat. Again I refer readers to MM 2005(EE) where the problems with the Gaspé series are discussed at length. Again, Tamino has inaccurately represented the research record.