Erice Seminar

In case any of you have been wondering about my radio silence, I’m currently in Erice, Sicily, where I’ll be participating in an Erice seminar, which I was re-working most of last week. We left on Sat night and it takes a while to get here. We stopped in Palermo on the way.

My topic is “Auditing 1000 Year Temperature Reconstructions”, so I’ll be commenting on the ‘other’ reconstructions as well. I’ve prettied up some graphics for the occasion and sharpened some analysis of the 2007 spaghetti graph, which I’ll share when I come back.

Climate is one morning session of the conference, – other sessions are on other controversial areas: Energy Policy, Pollution, Diseases, etc.

I’m a pretty small fish, but pleased to be here. Chris Essex is chair of our session, other speakers at our session are Anastasios Tsonis and Kyle Swanson of U of Wisconsin. It’s hard to figure out priorities for a 20 minute talk for people who don’t know your issues.

Erice is in the northwest corner of Sicily about 1 hour from Palermo. It’s a postcard town, retaining its medieval streets. Cars are abandoned and you walk around on cobblestone streets. The town is about 800 meters in elevation and overlooks the coastline with some magnificent views. It was apparently founded by the Phoenicians and, like the rest of Sicily, has had a complicated history of occupation by different civilizations.

A small point about Palermo which I’ll mention, but I don’t want people to discuss. One of the most noticeable things about the traffic- and it’s heavy – is how few Japanese cars there are and how many different small cars they have, it was like a different car language. Unlike North American manufacturers, Fiat has fought off the imports. I don’t know whether it’s trade policy or what, but I don’t think that I saw any Hondas or Nissans, definitely no Lexus, the odd Toyota Yaris, which represents the size of the typical Fiat here. I saw a Matiz about the same size under both a Daewoo brand and a Chevrolet brand; you’d think that there would be a market for that sort of car in Canada today given the energy prices.

I’ll try to check in but will be a bit spotty checking in over the next 2 weeks. The conference ends on Sunday; my wife is with me and we’ll go to Sorrento for a few days and then to Rome for a few days. Bob Carter and Andrew Revkin are both coming to the conference.


  1. Joe Black
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’d respectfully suggest lifting a few bottles of Italian wine with new and old friends in some sidewalk bistros. Summer is a fine time.

  2. Gary
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sorrento is beautiful (as long as Vesuvius is quiet) and you should hop a fast ferry out to Capri if at all possible. The pinnacle is a fabulous site for a surface station, btw.

    I’s hard to figure out priorities for a 20 minute talk for people who don’t know your issues.

    If this is a hint for suggestions, then: 1) spend 2 minutes on why auditing is important, 2) 2 minutes on why you got interested, and the rest on the shortcomings of climate science (questionable basic assumptions – ie, tree-mometers, erroneous statistics, failures of peer review, shoddy publication practices). People who don’t know the issues can only hope to grasp the idea that the science is not settled. Mention R^2 and you’ll lose 90% of them.

  3. Paul Linsay
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Have a wonderful time. I went there once as a dirt poor grad student to a physics summer school a long time ago. Vino Normano is the beverage of choice. It’s the French influence from the days when the Normans conquered and ran the place. Be absolutely sure to make time to see the fabulous Greek ruins at Segesta and Selenute.

  4. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Safe travels, and have fun!

  5. Bob B
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, if you meet with Andy Revkin ask him why your Blog is listed under skeptics instead of Sciences or Engineering? Also ask him why he does not post more topics auditing alarmist claims?

  6. Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is the magnificent view Steve is now enjoying

    and occasionally you can have snow in winter:

  7. UK John
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A nice dose of reality, this is why I like this blog.

    Wish I could go!

  8. Urederra
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 2:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And what about the colours of the cars? During my college years I used to work at a paint supervision cabin at a WolksWagen factory next to home and most of the weird colours went to Italy. Including chewing gum pink, watermelon green and lemmon yellow.

  9. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    [snip cars]
    BTW Since you’re there, say hello to my good old friend Enrico “Rocky” Corleone in Palermo.

  10. jeez
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What part of “don’t want people to discuss” is such a difficult concept?

  11. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #2: Capri is a “too much touristic” place, too crowdy and Disneyland-like, despite its gorgeous views.
    I would suggest instead to visit the nearby isle of Ischia, very beautiful too or even more than Capri (it was chosen by Roman emperors as holiday site!) unfortunately crowdy too during summer (but less than Capri) and absolutely offering a more “genuine” country, including gorgeous tours around the isle on the sea or on the several sites for thermal baths.

    #3: French influence in Sicily is usually seen under the Angioini (Angevin) dinasty, which had about a 100 years lag after the Normanni (Normans) (XIII to XI century). Normans were indeed people influenced by French culture, but they will not be regarded as “French” for some century after they left Sicilian crown, even if they were no more Vikings at all.

    [snip cars]

  12. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jeez #12

    I smell the Zamboni already. I mean, hear the rumblings of the ice being resurfaced. Too bad Fiat doesn’t make it though, that would be much more topical.

    Things will be checked, you know, hockey team and everything that goes with it. Watch your puck tho, buddy.

    Anyone want to photoshop Dr. Mann driving a Zamboni with Fiat logos. And some tree ring logos, teleconnected to the weather in Erice somehow?

  13. jeez
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply


    Are there any Japanese manufacturers of Ice Rink resurfacing machinery?

  14. David
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m not sure what Steve wanted the discussion to be in this thread. I know it wasn’t cars though.

  15. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 3:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #18 Any number of things. Some examples. Will he provide a link to the talk? Which graphics has he changed? How did he eventually decide to strike a balance between the scientific message of M&M vs. the auditing message of CA? Is he planning to meet anyone? Has he ever met Chris Essex before? If Steve M is “small fish”, who in his mind is “big fish”, and why? Has he had a chance to talk to Tsonis or Swanson yet, and what’s their take on issues? What’s the major topic of conversation? Is the alarmist “consensus” as strong as ever? Or is everyone resigned to 3C warming as a minmum? Can anyone explain the calculation? To what degree are these folks willing to place blind faith in the GCMs? Is anyone talking about Amman’s SI stunt? How many of these folks are directly involved in IPCC? Any other skeptical views amongst the presenters? Is there an agenda available? How did you get invited?

    • bender
      Posted Oct 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bender (#15),
      Steve: did you ever get to meet Swanson or Tsonis and hear their stories?

  16. David
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 4:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks bender, I’ll fire up the coffee pot.

  17. Pat Frank
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, when you get to Rome, try to get out to Ostia — the port of ancient Rome (now miles inland). It’s magnificent. There is a street of trades, in which each shop had a mosaic in front advertising what they did (barrel maker, shipping agent, etc.). Also, try dinner at the Cul-de-Sac Restaurant near the Piazza Varona. The wine list is a thick book, and the meals are like a set of delicious hors d’oeuvres.

    For among the most bizarre of small experiences, when you get to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, take a look at the statue of St. Peter, inside. One big toe has been kissed off and the other nearly so. When I asked about this, I was told it was because St. Peter has the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I.e., abase yourself to him, and he may let you in. That’s all anyone needs to know about religion.

  18. Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 4:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Italians seem unable to distinguish between “Normans” and “Vikings.” They made Viking movies in the 60s such as “Attack of the Normans.”

    Although Vikings did indeed raid Italy, it was the Frenchified Normans who had the most lasting conquests and built the more interesting churches.

    As for touring in Italy, I would recomend Sardinia, Sassari in the North, Cagliari in the South, and Marcomer in the middle. Magnificient white wine. Great beaches (both Bosa Marina and the Emerald Coast) and lots of neat archaeological sites you won’t seen anywhere else. There is even a weird Canadian connection as well — the TV show Battlestar Galactica (filmed in Vancouver) uses Sardinian bronzetti, that is reproductions of pieces that date from about 2400 BC (that’s BC, not BP)probably made in workshops in Sassari.

  19. David Holland
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 5:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, be sure to see as much of Sicily as you can. Here is my Web Journal from when we did it.

  20. Geoff
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Enjoy Italy (not hard I know). Understand Luboš will be there as well, give him bet encouragement from a lurker.

    Make sure you have time to discuss with Dr. Tsonis his forthcoming paper on long term persistence of ENSO states lasting up to 500 years.

    p.s. (for info)- The Erice International Seminars are multidisciplinary seminars attended by over 100 eminent participants from all fields of science. Each year, a few scientific issues are selected and experts are invited to present contrasting views during the plenary multidisciplinary sessions of the seminar, followed by general debates. These sessions offer a unique opportunity for specialists to enlarge their fields of vision by being confronted with ideas and suggestions from high-level scientists in complementary domains of science.

  21. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 7:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve! Say hi to Chris for me, and I trust your talk will go well.


    Will he provide a link to the talk? He always does.
    Which graphics has he changed? My guess is he made use of the Grudd data
    How did he eventually decide to strike a balance between the scientific message of M&M vs. the auditing message of CA? There’s a lot of overlap
    Is he planning to meet anyone? Who wouldn’t?
    Has he ever met Chris Essex before? Yes at least once, at my house.
    If Steve M is “small fish”, who in his mind is “big fish”, and why? I think this crowd will size up fish based on whether what you say is sound, not how many IPCC chapters you’ve written. So he’ll be a big fish among big fish.
    Has he had a chance to talk to Tsonis or Swanson yet, and what’s their take on issues?
    What’s the major topic of conversation? Is the alarmist “consensus” as strong as ever? I doubt it, at this meeting anyway.
    Or is everyone resigned to 3C warming as a minmum? Can anyone explain the calculation? I would put money on this crowd giving any fish who tried a good deboning.
    To what degree are these folks willing to place blind faith in the GCMs? From a report of a previous meeting, zero.
    Is anyone talking about Amman’s SI stunt? The news is too fresh, I reckon.

  22. Paradox
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 9:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Could somebody please point me to a link which provides an up-to-date picture of which year was the warmest globally?

  23. Jeff C.
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 10:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoy the seminar and the trip Steve. My family’s roots are in Palermo on my paternal grandfather’s side. Never been there and don’t know much about it beyond the scenes in Patton where the General takes it in a race to Messina with Montgomery. The comments along with Paolo’s photos are making me think I need to take the family for a visit. The coast photos do look similar to my native California.

    Have a safe trip.

  24. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wish you all the best for your talk. I’m sure that it will go well.

    Re: 22
    Good choice of name. It goes well with the question.

    Re: cars
    I wish Lancia had bought Fiat, rather than the reverse. I’ve owned both Fiats and pre-Fiat Lancias. No comparison.

  25. Del
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoy your time over there, but keep an eye on that spaghetti graph! They love their pasta!

  26. Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 6:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This comment has nothing to do with your trip. I read your site every day but admit that much of it is beyond my comprehension. However, your site was one of the first I found when I was looking for sanity among the global warming nuts. I thought you might find this article in my local newpaper interesting. It’s about our local weather tracking guy. He has maintained the Ashland,VA station since 1955. He makes a very interesting comment about the thermometers. He continues to use manual thermometers instead of remote sensoring. He has both but uses the manual ones for his record. He says the remote sensors “tend to inflate warm temperatures”. A recent manual reading of 92 read as 98 in the remote sensors. I thought it was interesting.

    Thanks for the great education that you continue to provie to me.

  27. Tim Ball
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As I understand European countries adopted a Quid Pro Quo with regard to car imports. We will take as many of your cars as you take of ours.

  28. Patrick M.
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 15: (bender)

    Is the alarmist “consensus” as strong as ever?

    Judging from the latest RC thread maybe not. They’re all scratching their heads over at RC trying to figure out why the geologists at the International Geological Congress seemed to have had a skeptical slant:

    “What is going on? Is there a higher proportion of geologists that have a completely different view on climate change, or was this a biased representation of the community? The thought of stifling a scientific debate by insisting on outrageous or ignorant claims also has struck me.”

    It doesn’t take the RC posters long to trot out the old, “they work for the oil companies” defense.

  29. John Hekman
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The reason there are so few Japanese cars in Italy is that at the end of WWII the Japanese were very worried about car imports to Japan. Italy had the most competitive small cars, and Japan wanted to limit imports. An agreement was reached that provided that Italian car imports to Japan would be limited to 1% of the Japanese domestic market, in return for which Japan would agree to the same restriction on its exports of autos to Italy. Who got the best of that deal? There was no sunset provision to the agreement. The EU trade negotiations have changed this somewhat, but as recently as the 1990s Italy was limiting Japanese auto imports to 1%. I don’t know what the limits are today, but that is why you see a lot of Japanese cars in other parts of Europe, but not in Italy.

  30. Chris Schoneveld
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 28: Patrick M.

    I still have to meet the first geologist (I’m a retired one) who believes in AGW. The only geologists who are not openly sceptic are the ones that work for Royal Dutch Shell. In the politically correct climate that dominates the Shell corridors and boardroom, employees are expected to show their concern for the environment and it is a career damaging position to doubt AGW. At least, that’s what an ex-colleague of mine (who still works in The Hague’s head office) told me the other day. The similar attitude must have motivated BP to change its name from British to Beyond Petroleum (I think they have reversed that name change recently). Sorry for this off-topic contribution but it’s too tempting to make this point. The topic was rather ill-defined this time anyway.

  31. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well Jeez, there’s Bambini and Ice Mower in Vermont, but AFAIK there’s not anyone else but them and Zamboni making that sort of thing. Maybe some local companies in Canada or Minnesota etc, but noting major it seems.

    Pity, but not any sadder than having to deal with egomaniacs and such.

  32. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 2:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #28, #30: do you know what is the most funny thing? That Exxon is financing AGW “support” scientists, including IPCC and Hadley, as well as the research on clean energy etc. even for projects dealing with many millions US dollars!
    You have simply to watch their site:
    Now, who can tell RC folks that their “heroes” are the ones most financed by Exxon, and not their “enemies”?

  33. dh
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 2:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, big fish. I was in Erice 2 years ago. Besides the program, I enjoyed the people – where else can you hear from your room the early morning trash collectors singing opera? Take lots of photos. Be sure to talk to conference organizer Zichichi – he will understand the unique importance of what you are doing. I look foreward to the paper that you will be asked to write for the proceedings.

  34. Arkadiusz Semczyszak
    Posted Aug 20, 2008 at 3:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr. McIntyre,

    I cam from Poland, and I am interesting: what you think about this paper: A bi-proxy reconstruction of Fontainebleau (France) growing season temperature from AD 1596 to 2000 (

    Fig. 2 – there is a “severe” proxy – for my is very interesting δ13C (it is very important, if we say: “anthropogenic carbon excess”)

    Fig. 3. – about statistic methods – all is fine? How a really must looking δ13C diagram – according yours methods?

    - sorry may English…

  35. H.R.
    Posted Aug 21, 2008 at 7:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #28 Patrick M. & #30 Chris Schoneveld

    I certainly appreciate the points you two made.

    I’m not a geologist but I’ve had an avid interest in geology for nigh on 30 years – lots of reading and several geologist friends for discussing the topic. When I began taking notice of the global warming issue, I looked at it from the standpoint of geological time.

    So, is 10 years a climate trend? Is 30 years a climate trend? To some, maybe so, but when the glaciers started retreating from the Ohio valley and revealed the Great Lakes I was pretty sure that was a strong indication of a climate trend. I even think you could get “concensus” on that one with a minimum of skepticism.

    The planet oscillates between climate extremes over long periods. Geologic time, IMO, is a better measure of global climate change than mere centuries. In geologic timescales, I suppose the past several million years of glacial advance and retreat would seem to be seasonal weather.

  36. Rob Guenier
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Filippo (#32): Exxon isn’t the only oil company backing AGW activists. The Guardian reported in March that

    Tony Blair is to lead a new international team to tackle … climate change … [He plans to] “help prepare a blueprint for an agreement to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050 … [and] is backed by the Climate Group, a not-for-profit organisation supported by business

    The Climate Group (Our mission is to catalyze business and government leadership on climate change in order to put the world on track for a low carbon economy) is supported by various interesting organisations – including BP (British Petroleum).

    Why should anyone trust an initiative backed by big oil?

  37. Rob Guenier
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Further to #36, Shell International also supports the Climate Group.

  38. Orson
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 4:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    While Steve is participating at the Erice Seminars in Sicily, presenting “Auditing 1000 Year Temperature Reconstructions,” and after DrKs evaluation of model predictions, and after the Bishop’s popular account of the post-Hockey Stick coverup by Amman and Wahl (CWA?) – the time seems ripe to revisit the NAS Hockey Stick and its history. Here, all these themes overlap.

    For example, I hope Steve will consider posting a thread excerpting Richard L. Nolan’s account of Mike Wallace’s presentation of the NAS panel in 2006. (There were supposed to be papers by Wegman and Wallace in a stats journal – did I miss these?) Specifically, 2 to 5 paragraphs in ”The Role of Statisticians in Public Policy Debates Over Climate Change,” on page 3, summarizing Wallace’s talk entitled ”The National Research Council Report on The ‘Hockey Stick’ Controversy.” (See American Statistical Association Section on Statistics & the Environment Newsletter, Spring 2007, p.2-4)

    Nolan’s account concludes this section with the soothing summary ”In the end, it’s important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees, where the ‘forest’ refers to the totality of scientific evidence for global warming.” This implies that climate models are also evidence for AGW, since climate modelers participated on the panel and helped frame the larger context of the report. Contrary to Steve’s concerned citation of North’s admission – we just ”winged it” – Wallace’s history approves of the NAS panels accomplishments and sound judgment: contrary to the Wegman’s supiciousness, they concluded that ”this field of research is moving forward in a healthy manner;” he noted that ”there was a long history of statisticians being involved in this and other areas of climate research; that the Wegman report underestimated the degree of statistical expertise that already exists in this community….”

    In other words, The Wegman Report’s falsificationist methodology and overarching concern with soundness is really being rejected here. Instead, the different and softer ”weight of the evidence” or ”balance of the evidence” standard is being implicitly accepted by Wallace and is reflected in his history of the NAS panels work.

    With all the proverbial water under the bridge in the two years since, a productive successor to ”Unthreaded” discussion would be one devoted to parsing this brief history and analyzing it: is it accurate? is it fair? is it methodologically sound? What didn’t the NAS panel learn? Contrary to Mike’s view” of the two reports as complimentary where they overlap, there seem to be gapping differences in how they evaluate methodological soundness of climate science. Because this missing critical evaluation, Steve and Ross’s work on the Hockey Stick has been pushed aside by paleo-climatologists.

  39. kim
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 4:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me that had not a distinct cooling trend emerged, then all these mad capping schemes would have been put in place despite the hocus-pocus of the hockey stick and the error of the models. Then again, it’s not as if natural variability of the climate wasn’t going to expose the misjudgment eventually.

  40. Bob B
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 7:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like the CCSP is trying to bring back the “Hockey Stick”

    All hockey stick slayers better put their two cents in on this one or you will be seeing it used as evidence again for AGW.

  41. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 7:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #36, #37: I know, of course! But I mentioned Exxon since, at least here in Italy, it is seen as the main “skeptical” sponsor: more, often “AGW-true-believers” accuses McIntyre to have taken money (168,000$) from Exxon, a thing that I cannot say whether it is true or not, but that is anyway very and very smaller than other financial supports to pro-AGW and pro-clean energy studies.

  42. Rob Guenier
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Filippo (#41): ah – but did you know that, as early as 1993, Elf, Shell, Texaco, Fina and Statoil refused to fund a study proposed by Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski (past chair of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and of other distinguished bodies and advisory groups – and, in particular, an expert on the interpretation of ice-core samples)? Their reason was that there would be an outcry that they were supporting “an immoral project”. The proposed research was about the reliability of trace-gas determinations in polar ice.

    I understand it’s still unfunded.

    OK, this has nothing to do with Steve McIntyre or Italy. But it’s interesting.

  43. MarkR
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 1:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #39 Orson. Agreed, there is gross Revisionism, which relies on current readership not having followed the argument. Also, Wegman and the others were being professionally polite to the Warmers. I think they meant Mann and Co was Garbage, and the Warmers should employ scientists who are numerate.

  44. Orson
    Posted Aug 24, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In the realm of reception, does it not seem that the Hockey Stick is blunted, but not (yet) broken?

  45. bender
    Posted Aug 27, 2008 at 10:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    When NAS declares it to be broken, it IS broken. NO bristlecone pines – what is so hard to understand about that?!!! No means no. Take the bcps out and the HS disappears – what is so hard to understand about that?!!! Read about “CENSORED”. The recon has no skill – look up Bishop Hill and the saga of Amman and Wahl and the recently disclosed SI – what is so hard to understand about that?!!! What does it mean that temperatures stopped rising in 2001 and have stayed flat for 7 years? It is independent confirmation that the HS recon had NO skill. Divergence = refutation. Divergence of the instrumental record from predicted. Divergence within the “proxies” themselves.

    B … R … O … K … E … N … = broken

    If scientists, policymakers, media – and readers who comment at CA – don’t understand this by now, they are idiots, ignorant, or in denial. There is a cure. R … E … A … D.

  46. bender
    Posted Aug 28, 2008 at 8:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And may I be crystal clear about what this implies?

    (1) Current global mean temperature is not ‘unprecedented’ over more than 600 years.
    (2) The rate of modern era temperature increase is not ‘unprecedented’ over more than 600 years.

    There are insufficient grounds to support these claims because the uncertainty on the temperature “reconstructions” is very, very high prior to 1400AD. These are impressionist paintings of the past, not photographs.

    (1) The “hockey stick” must never be used to describe past temperatures.
    (2) All temperature “reconstructions” must display honest confidence intervals so that policymakers understand the uncertainty surrounding inferences about events 1000 years ago.
    (3) Splicing of instrumental data onto a paleoclimatic “reconstruction” is a bad, dishonest, misleading thing to do. Reconstructions are impressionist paintings. The instrumental record is a photograph. They can not be compared as equals.

  47. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Aug 28, 2008 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #41: Filippo, I am sure you do not need to be told that the suggestion Steve took money from Exxon is absolutely false. Steve has put a considerable amount of his own money into the whole hockey stick episode, and into CA, and anyone who suggests he was paid to do it is lying.

    PS I just talked to Chris Essex who says that the speaker just before Steve at Erice showed the hockey stick during his presentation (he probably won’t make that mistake again). And that Steve’s presentation went very well.

  48. bender
    Posted Aug 28, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Filippo, the American National Acadmey of Sciences is not on the take. Read the NAS report.

    But do NOT rely on spin-doctored summary reports from Nature or Pew or Real Climate. I ran into their web sites while looking for the original NAS report and I can’t believe how wrong their summaries are*.

    Read the original for yourself; the temperature reconstructions are credible from only AD1600 onward – which was NEVER in dispute. NAS’s own headline: “High Confidence in Surface Temp Reconstructions Since A.D. 1600″. Prior to that? Well, read the report.

    The Pew site in particular stinks! Have a look at their conreggional testimony. It’s so wrong it’s criminal, now that the Wahl and Amman paper they so heavily rely on has been so thoroughly discredited.

    Look at this quote, for example:

    Wahl and Ammann (2006) have demonstrated that the results of MBH are robust “down in the weeds”

    What?!? This Wahl and Amman? The one discussed by Bishop Hill?

    Never accept an ad hominem attack when there are data so readily available to make it unnecessary.

  49. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Aug 29, 2008 at 4:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #47: Ross, so that is enough for me, thank you! Now I would have to trace back where this false claim comes…but you know, a lie is hard to be cancelled.
    Is it possible to have some report from Erice? Even being in Italy (even if right at the other side of the country) I read just about the seminar opening, and nothing more.

    #48: Bender, I found your post very interesting…but why are you calling me?
    Anyway, I absolutely agree with the statements made by the NAS: 400 years ago, we entered the coldest century of the Little Ice Age (at least here in Europe) while during the XXth century we went completely out of LIA to a warmer climate, nothing so strange in my opinion. Also, it is absolutely true that short-term temperature reconstructions based only on proxies etc. are absolutely too uncertain to be taken as good (or even just not so bad): but we should tell this to Mann and his world-wide fellows, not to me!

  50. bender
    Posted Aug 29, 2008 at 5:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Filippo, my point is that NAS has corroborated Steve M’s work and NAS does not take money from oil companies. Next time someone suggests there’s a potential conflict of interest at play, simply cite the NAS report.

  51. Tom C
    Posted Aug 29, 2008 at 9:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    bender -

    Read the original for yourself; the temperature reconstructions are credible from only AD1600 onward – which was NEVER in dispute.

    Even this is true only if the underlying proxies are reliable, a point which has not been proven.

  52. Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 2:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Have we identified which are the “magic proxies” and which are the noise?

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