Bishop Hill: Caspar and the Jesus Paper

Reader Perry writes in reporting an interesting narrative of the Caspar Ammann affair at Bishop Hill’s blog here. IT is a detailed narrative written in a lively style of a story that’s been followed here for a few years and re-visited last week with the release of the Ammann SI.

The article is very flattering to the proprietor of this blog :) ; I appreciate the interest and the thought. Most readers of the blog will enjoy the story, I did.

Bishop HIll leads as follows:

“There has been the most extraordinary series of postings at Climate Audit over the last week. As is usual at CA, there is a heavy mathematics burden for the casual reader, which, with a bit of research I think I can now just about follow. The story is a remarkable indictment of the corruption and cynicism that is rife among climate scientists, and I’m going to try to tell it in layman’s language so that the average blog reader can understand it. As far as I know it’s the first time the whole story has been set out in a single posting. It’s a long tale – and the longest posting I think I’ve ever written and piecing it together from the individual CA postings has been a long, hard but fascinating struggle. You may want to get a long drink before starting, and those who suffer from heart disorders may wish to take their beta blockers first.”


95 Comments

  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 5:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There are a couple of timing nits that are irrelevant to the flow of the narrative, but which I’ll bring to the attention of the author for good order’s sake. I had no involvement with the article; I was unaware that it was being written and did not see a copy of it prior to it being brought to the blog’s attention this morning.

    There is a portion of the narrative prior to the start of Climate Audit in Jan 2005, which Marcel Crok of Natuurweteschap and Techniek wrote about here.

  2. Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A brilliantly simple and straightforward retelling of what has happened on the blog over the last three years. Well done to the Bishop.

    I wouldn’t have called it the Jesus Paper, I would have called it the Lazarus Paper. Miraculous risings from the dead don’t always start with crucifiction.

    I was thinking about what has happened in climate science and beyond since the dark days of 2004 when it was touch and go that M&M 2005 would even be published, and what had happened to Soon and Baliunas two years previously. I think that had S&B published today, it would have had a much greater effect and been much harder to refute than in 2003. In a way, it was ahead of its time.

  3. kim
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, I really like ‘Blue Riband Panel’.
    ======================

  4. Stan Palmer
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder if the Daily Telegraph or the New York Times could be induced to run a major story on this.

  5. kim
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I already told Andy Revkin about it. He’s worked up about Mickey Glantz and NCAR anyway.
    =======================================================

  6. bernie
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If anyone has seen any of Amman’s takes on this story, it might be useful to let Bishop Hill know. At the moment the one-sided nature of the story-iine strikes me as problematic. Please note I do not think any additions will change the overall thrust of the story but it is important to show that the author has done due diligence.

  7. Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 7:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    bernie:

    If anyone has seen any of Amman’s takes on this story, it might be useful to let Bishop Hill know.

    Why should the Bishop do that? Wouldn’t that be “wasted time”?

  8. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 7:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,
    You ought to have a “CA for Dummies” parallel to this website.
    Then layman-people like myself could figure out what you’re saying a whole lot faster.
    I’m going to read Perry’s narrative this evening when I hit the sofa.
    Thanks Perry!

  9. Craig Loehle
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Not an easy story to piece together. Doesn’t it seem odd that people would go to so much trouble to save an old hockey stick?

  10. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    CA for Dummies.

    Hail to the Bishop

    As I’ve mentioned several times here before, it’s such a waste of energy if all the good work stay within this blog. It is frustrating that the alarmists can get away with their flawed models and get all the public attention, while the real scientific work stays within this sphere, outside the public reach which it deserves.

    It’s important to find a bridge between CA and the “outside” world.

    PS Marcel Crok is not very popular with the KNMI and Martijn van Calmthout of “De Volkskrant”…;)

  11. Gunnar
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Bishop did an outstanding job of piecing together the big picture of what has happened. I for one had almost no idea about this part of the story, or of the significance of much of what is discussed here. Too much Bark, not enough Forest.

    The narrative reinforces the reality that the AGW argument is completely dependent on the hockey stick, despite the fact that Steve is reluctant to admit it.

  12. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The narrative reinforces the reality that the AGW argument is completely dependent on the hockey stick, despite the fact that Steve is reluctant to admit it.

    Not. The HS is a useful propaganda tool for IPCC. However the AGW argument does not depend on it. What the AGW argument depends on are the overtuned GCMs.

  13. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In fact some at IPCC have argued the paleoclimate data are irrelevant to the case for precautionary action.

  14. bernie
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    John A:
    It is OK for a riposte, but I seriously think it is important to strive to present as balanced a perspective as possible. I do not doubt the accuracy of Steve’s account of what has transpired but the reality is there are always two sides to a story and we should endeavor to show that we are interested in considering both sides. The power of Steve’s suggestion to write a joint article with Ammann is that it demonstrates exactly this effort to create common ground – that it appears to have been rejected out of hand speaks volumes.

  15. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #9 Any kind of check-kiting scheme is challenging to bust. This one is no different.
    #10-11 Amman took one for the team, but that was 2-3 years ago. This story is so old that no one but the scientists involved will care.
    #14 Bernie is right: Amman should be given the chance to speak. Doing so would only strengthen Steve M’s observation that the 0.75 “conservative” benchmark used in the SI is post hoc shootemup hooey.

  16. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #10-11 Amman took one for the team, but that was 2-3 years ago. This story is so old that no one but the scientists involved will care.

    I believe this story is new to many outside the close circles of CA, RC and other climate/statistic circles.

    Ammann rejected a joint article because he would be avalanched and probably won’t respond on this either with the standard phrase “Under such circumstances, why would I even bother answering your questions, isn’t that just lost time?”

  17. PhilH
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If Ammann wants to reply, all he has to do is turn on his computer, go to
    climateaudit.org and start writing.

  18. mbabbitt
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with #10. Simply put, the Hockey Stick graph is a powerful propaganda tool used to influence public thinking and thus policy. While perhaps not scientifically as important as the GCMs, it is much more important as a symbol that influences public opinion; the public can more easily understand such graphics, which is why Al Gore used it in his movie. This site is about the science and Steve, for his purposes, smartly keeps away from policy discussions. But if the hockey stick graph is scientifically invalid, it should be rebuked in the public square. The story of its resurrection would make a great muck-raking news story, if anyone in the press had the smarts and guts to tell it fairly.

  19. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Get a grip, people. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are not nearly as important as the CO2 and surface temperature records.
    You kill the paleo HS and a guy like Scott-in-WA comes back with this.
    Now what?

  20. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #19

    you saying so doesn’t make it so

    It is not me “saying so” that makes it so. It is a clear analysis of the logical structure of the IPCC argument that makes it so. GCMs are the tool used in AGW “fingerprint” detection and attribution. This is a fact.

    Following your own logic: you saying “it ain’t so” don’t make it otherwise.

  21. Stan Palmer
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re GCMs and paleoclimate hockey stcik

    I thought that the importance of the hockey stick was not the “unprecedented” aspect but that world temperature was directly related to CO2 and that no other factor had any significant effect. This is how Gore used it. He compared the chart of C02 to the hockey stick. The clear assertion being that this was a complete explanation for world temperature in one chart. The GCMs are a manes to confirm the details of a truth that has been empirically confirmed.

    So if the hockey stick falters in the third period, it will have a significant effect on the GCMs. if they correctly predict (i.e. postdict) a climate that has not occurred then they will be seen as just be a mathematical curve fitting exercise.

  22. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #23 You did not read all of #21.

  23. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #23 Take that famous HS slide away from Mr Gore and he would simply replace it with Scott-in-WA’s NOAA graphic. Sure, it only extends back to the 1880s and you could argue the current warming trend is a result of Earth “naturally” coming out of LIA. But GCM-tuning exercises strongly suggest that external forcings from GHGs must be involved in producing the current warming trend. The GCMs – as tuned to the instrumental record – are the strongest leg of the table.

  24. steven mosher
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ammann like all hobbists TOFTT.

    Took one for the team.

    He basically screwed his acedemic reputation

  25. Gerry Morrow
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Wasn’t the HS meant to eradicate the MWP because it, the MWP, was sitting right there showing an increase in temperature with the combustion engine a long way in the future, so it was critical in making the connection between human activity and global temperatures. I doubt that anything will come of this, after all, all those who wanted could have read the original papers from Steve and Ross and the Wegman Report. The Team have gained the high ground and it is almost impossible for a politician or newspaper to challenge their views, not least because they move the goal posts whenever they are found wanting.

  26. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Wasn’t the HS meant to eradicate the MWP because it, the MWP, was sitting right there showing an increase in temperature with the combustion engine a long way in the future, so it was critical in making the connection between human activity and global temperatures.

    Yes, that is exactly its importance. “Unprecedented in a thouuusand years”.

    We should try to stay on topic. All this AGW stuff is a distraction better left to unthreaded.

    Summary: The Amman submissions reveal that, yes indeed, the paleo hockey stick is broken. [Subtext: However this is not the most important leg supporting the AGW table.]

    Steve
    : I agree with bender about people not bringing up first principles AGW arguments. ONe of the principles of this blog is that it is helpful to examine details in detail. So I get very tired of people bringing up the overarching arguments at EVERY opportunity. It’s not that these issues are not important, but this blog is much more useful on specifics.

  27. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I wrote a piece for Pielke’s blog on the “significance” of the Stick (as did Ross separately); Mann disdained the invitation.

    As I’ve said over and over, I don’t think that concerns over AGW stands or falls on the Stick; as I’ve also said over and over (and as bender says above), I think that AGW advocates over-rely on the Stick and its cousins as a cheap promotional tool and that they should work much harder at proper public expositions of their “real” arguments. I’m even willing to grant the possibility that this issue should be of concern to the public even if the Navier-Stokes type problems mean that GCMs are ultimately not particularly helpful. I think that it should be possible to think through the underlying physics and feedbacks and present it and that it would be salutary to do so.

    People have argued – if the Stick is wrong, then the situation is much worse than we think it is. My answer to that is simple: well, if it’s wrong, then we should know and govern ourselves accordingly; if it means policy action is more urgent, then so be it. But we should not thank the authors whose withholding of data and obstruction has made it so much harder to detect the error than it should have been. And if this is a risk, other people besides me should have taken some initiative in vetting the Stick.

    The other issue that it speaks to is the form of due diligence. Whether or not the Stick was a “real” argument, it was clearly represented by IPCC as an important argument. That’s what caught my attention, not that I thought that it would be particularly easy to break. It was said to be important.

    There’s a definite foolhardiness and contemptuousness of the public by the IPCC and, in particular, the core of the Hockey Team. The Wahl and Ammann process has been publicized at a popular blog; a lot of people have followed this particular story. Every step of the process has been publicly documented. You’d think that they’d have been extra diligent in their reviewing. Instead, what we see is one thing botched after another and one sly manouevre after another.

    If this is representative of how climate articles are written and how climate peer reviewing is done, what a pathetic performance. They might say – well, this is a bad example. To which I’d say, well, you knew that it was in the public eye, it should have been a good example, why wasn’t it?

    I’ve compared the issue to the WMD argument, which was also a cheap way of arousing the public; and, myself to an analyst who observes that an aluminum tube is sometimes just an aluminum tube. That doesn’t mean that other arguments for the war couldn’t be made or that the war was right or wrong; just that it was [not] justified based on the aluminum tube argument. In that case, some effort was made to understand why they got the WMD intelligence wrong.

  28. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    that graphic is no problem, since it’s false

    Ok then. Is that it? No substantiation? Just hand-waving anti-AGW propaganda? Where’s the beef, Lothar?

  29. Jerry
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    I think you hit the nail on the head, I truly beleive that the IPCC and the Team think that the majority of the public are idiots and that no one would question them. If the warming is as bad as they say it is, why all the need to obfuscate the entire process. And if this is a bad example, what about the all of the other papers that are based on this that keep getting sited?

  30. David L. Hagen
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Commnets on climate change program is due by 5 PM August 14th.

    Is there any “reasonable” published temperature graph that can be recommended instead of the front cover stick type graph?
    e.g., one that includes the medieval warming and little ice age.

  31. mpaul
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 11:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The problem for climate science is that they made the stick into icon with the public. Its was the emblem of the problem. If the stick is wrong, people will question the entire movement. I’m not usually one for predicting the future, but this one is kind of fun. Here’s my prediction: in an effort to save the movement, Hansen will throw Mann under the bus. The precipitating event could be media coverage of Steve’s recent work.

  32. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #19 Bender,

    Now what?

    I’d suggest using it to teach to whoever might bring something like it up, how easy it is to create misleading graphics. Or to illustrate degrees of freedom, or maybe even do an introductory stats lesson.

    It’s true that people who fall for such eye-candy can be hopeless, but merely knowing that there are people around who don’t fall for oversimplified graphs might be enough to sow a seed of doubt in their minds.

  33. Tom C
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What amazes me is that all this mendacity and countervailing detective work by Steve and Ross is concerned with the statistics of what is a conceptually flawed approach. As far as I know, no one on the panels, editorial boards, etc. has mentioned what should be very obvious: that there has never been a decent analysis of measurement and sampling error for tree ring width chronolgies. In the absence of this, no amount of correct statistics can salvage meaningful information. Likewise, the Principal Components approach is conceptually flawed from the outset; nothing of value can come from it.

    I understand the necessity of doing statistical battle. But why has no one pointed out that no amount of good statistics can redeem the method?

    Steve: Tree ring matters have been discussed on countless occasions.

  34. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Sometimes you puzzle me. No one else has done more to show that the whole claim of ‘unprecendented in a millyun years’ is complete and utter b*****ks! This is and continues to be a key claim of the alarmists which is why they continue to present the Mannian hockey stick as a key piece of so called evidence for ‘soon to come’ catastrophic climate change. What your auditing has done is to show that the blade of the ‘hockey stick’ is far from flat and that allowing for uncertainties in the the nature of proxy reconstructions there is plenty of scope for considering the possibility, based on millenial timescale temperature proxy reconstructions, that the MWP and LIA existed and where global periods of significant natural climate variability.

    Why is the existence of the MWP and the LIA so important to the whole AGW debate and why has so much effort gone into discrediting the MWP and the LIA by the climate alarmist? Because their existence shows that the climate has in recent history (millenial timescale) been subject to significant wholely NON MAN-MADE natural variations in climate. This inconvenient (truth) fact totally refutes the hypothesis that the recent (in my IMO soon to be showed to be entirely an artefact of the adjustments anyway) warming trend at the end of the 20th century was probably not due to man’s emissions of CO2 and other GHGs.

    As I see it, without the claimed correlation between CO2 emissions and global surface temperature as exemplified in the ‘hockey stick’ and its Chucky chart variations, the GCMs have no validity as their key assumption is that global surface temperature will rise as a direct result of further increases in the concentration of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere due to man’s burning of fossil fuels. If this (IMO, non-sense to use Yule’s phrase) correlation is shown to be invalid then the GCMs cannot predict/project significant ‘unprecendented’ and so harmful increases in global surface temperature due to the enhance greenhouse effect from positive climate feedbacks. [snip -policy]

    KevinUK

  35. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The topic here is Bishop Hill on Amman and the ressurrection

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I haven’t shown or attempted to show the converse: that the MWP is warmer than the modern warm period. That’s a different issue.

    While I’m dissatisfied with presentations by advocates, I’m just as dissatisfied with arguments on the other side. I’ve only got so much time and energy and I can’t cover everything in the world.

    I see little purpose in people continuing to repeat 1-paragraph invocations against AGW advocates on every thread. It wastes my time as I dislike having these invocations on every thread. The invocations tend to be far too angry and give a bad impression to people who are not regular readers. Accordingly I often export such comments to Unthreaded, which is now very long and very slow as a form of discouragement.

  37. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #14 Bernie is right: Amman should be given the chance to speak. Doing so would only strengthen Steve M’s observation that the 0.75 “conservative” benchmark used in the SI is post hoc shootemup hooey.

    Isn’t this part of the discredited “we are being censored” crap?

    I have the impression that Amman can have the front-page-above-the-fold anytime he wants it.

    Steve: Yes. I’d be happy to provide Ammann password access to say whatever he wants. In fact, I’d like it. If people doubt this, Michael Tobis can confirm that I provided such rights to him (I sent him an access password permitting him to post threads) and offered him the opportunity to cross post to this large audience, but he has not taken advantage of this.

  38. JCR
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 1:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If the line is drawn there on efforts to resurrect the HS, can anything useful with regard to the AGW issue be learned from millenial scale temperature reconstructions? If we assume that there are robust temperature proxies out there and that they can be investigated in a way that doesn’t involve data mining, maybe not now, but some time in the nearish future. But also accepting that the associated confidence intervals are always likely be substantial. Are there any pertinent questions to which they are ever likely to provide a useful answer?

  39. David L. Hagen
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hear Caspar Ammann, Ph.D., 24 March 2008 giving a presentation using the graph showing rapid 20th century temperature increase at the American Meteorological Society briefing. Ammann highlights the IPCC 2007 key sentence: “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90% confidence) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic gas concentrations.”
    Does IPCC rely sufficiently on Ammann to make this a circular argument?

  40. Tom C
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve – My point in #33 is that the hockey stick can be discredited independent of statistical handling because the physical reasoning is flawed and no MSA exists for the key data. Also, the “divergence problem” alone should be sufficient. The RE fiasco documented here is only an additional nail in the coffin. Do you agree with this?

    Steve: Depends on the audience. People here think that the divergence problem is a problem; Rob Wilson doesn’t. SO where do you go? The RE issue is an issue that, while it may seem esoteric, can, in this case, be pinned down. I have a personal involvement in this particular small issue as UCAR made a very public announcement that our results were unfounded and it gives me some satisfaction to finally pin down this loose end.

  41. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My point in #33 is that the hockey stick can be discredited independent of statistical handling because the physical reasoning is flawed and no MSA exists for the key data.

    There’s a lot of people that agree wholeheartedly with this, but alas, it is not the argument that makes it into the press. Existence of such a physical relationship is assumed without much justification.

    Also, the “divergence problem” alone should be sufficient.

    This has been discussed at length on this site, and yes, you would think it would be sufficient (likely due to the lack of a physical connection as above).

    The RE fiasco documented here is only an additional nail in the coffin.

    This is where Steve’s expertise lies, which goes a long way towards an explanation of why he chooses to tackle this argument rather than the others (with as much depth). I think this thread is testament to the humor of the debate, btw. Probably much more than the other avenues (though the divergence issue is rather hilarious, too).

    Mark

  42. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #40

    Does IPCC rely sufficiently on Ammann to make this a circular argument?

    IMO no, the reasoning is not circular. The paleoclimate data, even if completely wrong, is completely independent of arguments based on GCMs tuned to the instrumental record. The two lines of reasoning are located in separate chapters of IPCC 4AR.

    I have tried to make this clear in advance through numerous, some would say too numerous, comments. Yet Steve M has seconded my assessment. A crushed HS does not imply the debate is over. You’ve broken one leg under the table. That is all.

    Audit the GCMs.

  43. Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 3:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the link Steve, and to everyone for the kind words.

    John A:
    Yes, Lazarus would have been better. It’s embarrassing knowing so little about the Bible, especially with my nom-de-blog. ;-) Mind you, I had another idea for a title today which might have been funnier, and took a bow towards one of Steve’s post titles: “Big Mc and the two whoppers”.

    Kim:
    My dictionary and Wikipedia say that “blue riband” is OK, particularly if you are using UK English.

    Others:
    Judging from my visitor stats, most of the traffic spike today has come from CA, plus Stumbleupon and a bunch of libertarian blogs in the UK. Of these I’d say only Stumbleupon might be delivering people who aren’t vaguely sceptical already. The story really does need to get out into the MSM. Interestingly, the BBC is going to do a TV history of climate change in the next few months. I wonder if CA will get a mention? No?

  44. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All I can comment on is that anyone can post on this blog. Those that choose to may get some hostility, but by and large very specific pointed questions, and no slack on evasive, incomplete, incorrect or non answers. I can see why some parties to the debate may not be particularly interested in going someplace they’re going to get slammed. Or then again, responses could always just be posted instead on RC or OM or RR or D; some other venue a little more easy to walk through. Then there’s always just doing a drive-by here.

    On the other hand, aren’t things like joint ventures that are bad for your career or discussions that would just be a waste of time already enough of an answer?

  45. David L. Hagen
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To put the impact of Steve’s work in context, the International Energy Agency is forecasting investment of $45 trillion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050 to support the G8 plan of action. See Energy Technology Perspectives, 6 June 2008, Tokyo Launch, Slide 10. (This is on top of the $20 trillion IEA forecast for 2005 to 2030 to provide energy infrastructure to meet demand.) The IEA concludes by stating that: “This change is urgent.”

    May I encourage formal publication of your results!

  46. Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 4:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Words fail me. Novel, creative, uh.. speechless. Congratulations Steve. Stunning indictment of all those involved. They should feel proud.

    To do this, Wahl and Amman came up with a value which they called a calibration/verification RE ratio. As the name suggests, this was the ratio of the two RE numbers for calibration and verification. This ratio is however, entirely unknown to statistics, or to any other branch of science.

  47. David
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Very nice summary. Keep up the good work.

  48. Fred
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 6:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Your work is worthy of an Order of Canada award, although I would imagine the CBC and the Suzukiod Brigades would go frik’n ballistic and break out emergency Tar & Feathers to beat back the Heretics.

    Great work, Honesty is such a treat.

  49. Craig Loehle
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 7:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For Bender: why the hockey stick matters:
    1) it is used to prove the sun does not have a big effect
    2) it is used to test/tune GEMs and estimate CO2 sensitivity
    3) it is used to argue that temperatures are unprecedented
    4) it is used to argue therefore that organisms and man are not able to adapt to this warming
    5) it is useful for whacking deniers

  50. Joel McDade
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow — what a great summary. I’ve long understood the centering problem and a few other items, but after years of reading CA I’ve never entirely wrapped my head around the r^2/RE controversy — until now!

    Thanks Bishop.

  51. bender
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 7:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #50 I don’t care about how it is used in promotional schemes. Scientists can’t control that. I care about it’s actual scientific value. Which is very little. Steve M concurs. Why would you argue at cross-purposes?

  52. Len van Burgel
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 8:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #44 Bishop Hill
    The efforts of bloggers such as CA is slowly getting some traction in the MSM. See Saturday’s edition of the “The Australian” http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24148862-28737,00.html

  53. Mark_T
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre, I really enjoyed reading that write up by Bishop Hill. Please keep up the outstanding work you’ve been doing.

    #44 Bishop Hill; “Big Mc and the two whoppers” is good… :-)

  54. John Lish
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 9:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I appreciate the Bishop’s summary of the last few years. I admire and respect Steve McIntyre’s work a great deal. I’ve done a considerable amount of reading to get my head round the statistics involved thanks to reading this blog. As a result, my opinions of the wider issues have become less black & white.

    To contrast, Steve’s Joe Friday approach “all we want are the stats ma’am” is a considerable strength when set alongside the behaviour of the Team. Steve doesn’t extrapolate as that would undermine his approach. Anybody searching for a silver bullet will not find one here. The question Steve asks is to what extent is the argument put forward robust and valid. Its a powerful methodology and needs to be respected. Without it, the story that the Bishop tells would not be possible.

  55. Max
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 10:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This all reminds me of the way Chomsky backs up his facts by citing passages he had written in other books previously. And if you disagree, he argues interpretation of his own writing.

  56. Patrick M.
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 11:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 51 (bender):

    So the HS matters very little. Steve concurs. Steve has spent how much time chasing this, (as detailed in Bishop Hill’s blog)?

    Ammann’s quote is starting to make sense to me.

    Under such circumstances, why would I even bother answering your questions, isn’t that just lost time?

  57. Len van Burgel
    Posted Aug 12, 2008 at 11:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #43 Bishop Hill and #53 Mark_T
    “Whopper” is a trademark of Burger King (Hungry Jacks in Australia) not McDonalds. Good try though.

  58. Ross Berteig
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 12:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #57 (Len van Burgel), personally, that’s partly why I find the proposed title funny!

  59. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 1:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I hope no one forgets the early hockey-stick-dismantling work of John Daly – http://www.john-daly.com/hockey/hockey.htm

  60. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 2:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    My post yesterday was either unjustly snipped, or didn’t appear because of a technical malfunction.
    This has to be featured in some big dailys or weeklys like the WSJ. Perhaps Nigel Calder could write it up in good journalistic quality. I do hope this gets picked up by a German weekly or daily.
    A good man for writing this up in German would be Dirk Maxeiner, whom I believe has personally met with Steve in England – at least that’s the impression I got reading his book: “Hurrah! Wir retten die Welt!” (Hooray – We’re saving the planet!).

    This ought to be made into a case study for every university statistics
    – snip

    Steve:
    I don’t recall meeting him individually.

  61. Tom Vonk
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 3:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Bender # 51 wrote

    I don’t care about how it is used in promotional schemes. Scientists can’t control that. I care about it’s actual scientific value. Which is very little. Steve M concurs. Why would you argue at cross-purposes?

    I fully agree with this statement .
    It is actually a bit self contradictory because it has been the HS that made me to involve myself with climate questions and brought me to CA .
    But , indeed , the scientific interest of an obscure controverse in an even more obscure domain of statistical treatment of tree rings is pretty low .
    Whether this obscure graph has or has not played an iconic role in the AGW marketing campaign is rather irrelevant to its scientifc merits .

    The AGW theory relies on completely different and much more fundamental issues .
    They are all , without exception , related to fluid dynamics (Navier Stokes convergence and stability problem) and I could not recommend more to read and reread T.Tao’s (Fields medal) musings here : http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2007/03/18/why-global-regularity-for-navier-stokes-is-hard .
    As these problems are untractable analytically , the AGW theory stands and falls with GCMs and their ability to make falsifiable predictions .

    That’s why the important approaches are those of scientists like D.Koutsoyannis who probe these problems at their heart .

  62. 2dogs
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 8:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Auditing the GCMs won’t work; kill one and they’ll make two more to replace it, averaging results over the whole set.

    The failing predictions will in the long run be their downfall, but it is going to be a long wait for that to happen.

    The only hope before then is for a non-CO2 model that outperforms them.

  63. kim
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 8:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    43 (Bishop Hill) Touche. I was initially struck by the similarity to ‘Blue Ribald Panel’, and did not know the backstory on ‘Cordon Bleu’ or trans-Atlantic speed records. Nonetheless, does the UK have ‘Blue Riband Panels’ as we have ‘Blue Ribbon Panels’ here in the US? My objection is niggling, and my amusement may be purely local; I remain very grateful for your work.
    ===================================================================

  64. bender
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #62

    Auditing the GCMs won’t work; kill one and they’ll make two more to replace it

    Audit doesn’t “kill” things. It sheds light on them.

    The only hope is for a non-CO2 model that outperforms them

    Auditing the GCMs is precisely how one hopes to uncover CO2-light parameterizations that outperform the CO2-heavy parameterizations.
    Who knows, maybe they already have non-CO2 parameterizations that work very well (too well?!), and they’re locked down in a directory somewhere named CENSORED, never to be published. Hey, it’s happened before.

  65. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Maxeiner has been an outspoken critic of AGW science, and contributes to the German daily DIE WELT.
    In the a.m. book he devoted an entire chapter on you and the HS. Did a great job of it too.
    This Ammann story would be right up his alley.

  66. Chris
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A well juxtaposed irony, I was listening to Pink Floyd’s, “The Wall” while reading through this discussion.

    “Since my friend you have
    revealed your deepest fear,
    I sentence you to be exposed
    before your peers!
    Tear down the wall!!!
    Chorus:
    TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!!!
    TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!!!
    TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!!!
    TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!!!”

  67. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 1:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    51 bender

    I care about its actual scientific value. Which is very little. Steve M concurs.

    They’re audited and “matter” for purposes of showing this. Daylight. They don’t “matter” for their scientific value, but rather they “matter” because of how they’re used.

    I mean, the task is proving a negative, after all.

  68. Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim

    I did check “blue riband” before I wrote the piece, but you have no idea how many emails I’ve had telling me to fix it.:-) I’m digging my heels in though, in a crusty old Englishman kind of way.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard either version used in a UK context.

    Steve: I think that you’re being a little stubborn on this as the usage seems odd. However, I made a small malapropism in describing the panels, once referring to them as “blue-chip panels”, being told subsequently that I had mixed in a stock market term and “blue ribbon” would be more apt. In terms of prior discussion, they had been called “blue ribbon” so there’s a case for consistency if you’re looking for a reason to change your view on this.

  69. PHE
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 3:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Bishop’s summary is excellent for those of us who have already followed the story but have trouble keeping up with Steve’s pace and statistics. However, it is not in a form that could be followed by the ‘outside world’. This would need some additional craftsmanship. It is a superb story to us, and I am optimistic it will eventually find its way to a wider audience.

  70. PHE
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    An additional pleasure for now is knowing that each hockey team membeer will be reading it and getting rather hot under the collar as they do so. We know they read it. In gavin’s (sic) current post, while he cannot bring himself to include a direct link to Climateaudit, instead he links (via “inactivists”) to a Google search whose top find is CA!

  71. bender
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 3:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    instead he links (via “inactivists”) to a Google search whose top find is CA

    Ironically, the Team are the due diligence “inactivists”. Never have I ever seen such foot-dragging and obfuscation.

  72. Neil Fisher
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bender said:

    Ironically, the Team are the due diligence “inactivists”. Never have I ever seen such foot-dragging and obfuscation.

    Added to the database of double standards, I trust.

  73. jeez
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 5:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    gavin’s (sic) current post

    funny.

  74. Stan Palmer
    Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 5:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ironically, the Team are the due diligence “inactivists”. Never have I ever seen such foot-dragging and obfuscation.

    In regard to foot dragging and obfuscation, the team is unremarkable. It is a comon tactic employed by an established group to ideas that challenge them. In industry, the term “dinosaurs” is commonly used to describe the group who fear change. management books advice CEOs who wish to bring innovation into their company to protect the innovators by establishing them in a separate division or even a separate company. If not the dinosaurs will find a way to discredit the innovators and subvet the goals that the CRO wants to accomplish.

    If our host was in a company and he would be treated very much the same way by the established order.

  75. SteveSadlov
    Posted Aug 14, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bishop, please carry on with the crustiness, this world needs it more than ever at present. Englishness is a fine tonic.

  76. Ernie
    Posted Aug 15, 2008 at 3:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It would be nice if someone who knows a bit more about the story to update the Wikipedia entry on the “Hockey stick controversy” on this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years

    The last entry in the Hockey stick controversy sub-section still says “IPCC Fourth Assessment Report says that M&M may have some theoretical foundation, but Wahl and Ammann (2006) also show that the impact on the amplitude of the final reconstruction is very small.”

    In the light of recent events, that Wikipedia entry is a little out of date. I was thinking perhaps a link to the Bishop blog article in the citation section?

    – Ernie.

  77. James Lane
    Posted Aug 15, 2008 at 4:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re Ernie. Fat chance of that with William Connelly at the helm.

  78. bender
    Posted Aug 15, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #77 The page must be fixed. If someone can’t handle the truth and is compelled to alter the truth, then let that stand on the record.

  79. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Pages will never get changed if nobody ever changes them in the first place. Go into a page, re-write or add as appropriate, with a neutral tone, factually, and include verifiable references. If it gets reverted, try again in a different style. Others can do the same thing, until the style and tone is acceptable according to their standards. There’s also the discussion page and arbitration methods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Climate_change_dispute

  80. Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 1:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The importance of the HS. Is that it’s continued “belief” and use shows what the greater number of people have been taught.

    I for one believe as many different explanations in as many places as possible is the way to overturn the educated (wrongly) misinformed / bias. ( Steve – I hope none of my attempts have caused offence.)
    Literally re-educate, how can you blame / scorn people for not realizing what they were taught was false,
    plus many will naturally baulk (or not have the time in a busy life) at the scale of the re-education they need to have to be able to make a reasoned decision.

    The importance of the HS then becomes the example of what blatantly has been done,
    when known to be wrong,
    by education, politics, and some scientists, to maintain the “politically correct” understanding..

    NB – Mauna Loa Observatory, that appears to have an even longer history of
    errr, peculiar methods..

  81. Hans Erren
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 3:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 78
    I tried, let’s wait what happens.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

  82. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Further to #34

    For anyone who has any doubt as to significance of the HS with its spliced temperature record at the end of teh 20th century and its relationship to the GCMs in proving the case for man cause global warming, please view the following YouTube video.

    Sir David Attenborough: The Truth About Climate Change

    David Attenborough is a very well respected award winning natural history documentary producer/presenter. What a pity he took part in this blatant piece of AGW propaganda along with one of the UK’s biggest AGW alarmists, Peter Cox.

    Peter Cox is the originator/author of the Triffid dynamic global vegetation model which was used to predict dieback of the Amazonian rain forest by 2050 and as a consequence a strong positive climate-carbon cycle feedback (i.e., an acceleration of global warming) with a resultant increase in global mean surface temperature by 8 deg. C by 2100. By producing the ‘right answer’ for the catastrophic AGW academic community and thereby ensuring their continued funding, as you’d expect, he has done well for himself and is no longer directly with the UK Met Office and is now Prof. Peter Cox, Met Office Chair in Climate System Dynamics, School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Exeter, UK. What GCM’s have to do with ‘computer science and mathematics’ I do not know?

    Read more here

    KevinUK

  83. Carl Gullans
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, Im sorry to post more on this, but I could not resist:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080816154736.qpk03z7g&show_article=1

    Bishop, you’ve got a bit of vindication on the 1st line of this U.S. article.

  84. Pete
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #81 Already removed. Not allowed to reference blogs other than RealClimate!

  85. bender
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 1:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #84
    Then remove the offending link to Real Climate and cite the ruling: “no blogs allowed”. Can’t have a double-standard, can we? It’s either both or neither, but not one.

  86. Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 1:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Carl

    You just made me very happy!

  87. Hans Erren
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 2:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Why am I not surprised?

  88. Hans Erren
    Posted Aug 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I reported it in my sleeping dutch weblog
    http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/blog/6752

  89. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 6:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You ought to have a “CA for Dummies” parallel to this website.
    Then layman-people like myself could figure out what you’re saying a whole lot faster.
    I’m going to read Perry’s narrative this evening when I hit the sofa.

    I’ve requested something similar before, just a quick Layman’s Summary at the end of the post would do wonders.

  90. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I do see that for 3 days, news from the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder (through Pielke Jr’s blog) has stayed on the HS controversy page. Certainly one would think that a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a cooperative institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA, would be a reliable source, right?

    But as to the rest, as Splette put it: “It has been decided that Realclimate is a notable scientific blog that is allowed.”

    Why would a blog with a lot of Wikipedia editors participating be any more or less reliable than personal pages of W&A at UCAR, press releases, 3rd party summaries, and such?

    Don’t they realize how bad this makes them look? Don’t they see how others will see this as a double standard?

  91. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The HS controversy is about statistics. RC has no special expertise in statistics AFAIK. A link to RC but not CA on a climate page is reasonable. CA, OTOH, is all about statistics so it should really be a link to CA on the HS controversy page but not to RC. If you are going to allow a link to RC because of the connection to authors of MBH98 etc., then a link to CA should be required on the HS controversy page because Steve McIntyre is half of the MM papers. But whoever said life was fair was wrong.

  92. Pat Keating
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Stolen from Harmless Sky (Robin Guiniere), with some additions:

    It seems that the climate alarmists’ views are increasingly complying with Nobel-prize-winning Irving Langmuir’s (1881 – 1957) “Laws of Bad Science” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathological_science).

    These ‘laws’ are:

    • The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and

    the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

    • The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.

    • There are claims of great accuracy.

    • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.

    • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses.

    • The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.

  93. Posted Aug 21, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #92,

    No need to steal, try CA search with “pathological science” .

  94. Pat Keating
    Posted Aug 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    UC
    I see what you mean. That was before my time, though….

  95. UC
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 8:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    No damage. Large blog this is. And these ‘laws’ indeed seem to match with some parts of climate science.

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