De-Trending in Scotland

The two proxies that carry the water in the Trouet NAO reconstruction are the Baker speleothem in Scotland and Esper’s tree ring chronology in Morocco.

The briefest examination of the Scotland speleothem shows that the version used in Trouet et al had been previously adjusted through detrending from the MWP to the present. In the original article (Proctor et al 2000), this is attributed to particularities of the individual stalagmite, but, since only one stalagmite is presented, I don’t see how one can place any confidence on this conclusion. And, if you need to remove the trend from the MWP to the present from your proxy, then I don’t see how you can use this proxy to draw to conclusions on relative MWP-modern levels.

For reference, the following graphic shows the Trouet version:

As Andy Baker explains in his article and in a CA comment, speleo widths are believed to be narrower in warm and wet periods and wider in cold and dry periods (with temperature and precipitation not being independent due to NAO). Based on this, I’ve plotted the original data in an inverted sense (narrower at the top) in the top left. I’ve plotted the full speleothem (Trouet cuts off at AD1075 or so). They transform the data to z-scores even though the data is highly non-normal. The z=score distribution is truncated at an sd of about 1, corresponding to the minimum width of about 0. Also shown are 25-year and 50-year binned averages. As noted before, although Trouet et al say that they used 25-year averages, they actually used 50-year averages.

   
   

Figure 1. Versions of SU967 Speleothem.

The bottom left shows the same plot for the “detrended” widths, while the bottom right shows the same plot for the “precipitation reconstruction” which is a re-scaling (linear transformation) of the detrended width series. This is the version that is carried forward into Trouet. The “detrending” (also called “normalisation”) is described in Proctor et al 2000 as follows:

Personally, I find this justification underwhelming. The adjustment leads to important reversals of medieval-modern relationships – all in the direction of enhancing 20th century levels relative to 11th century levels. Even if the adjustment subsequently proves justified (and there are circumstances in which it could come onside), you can’t assign any confidence to any product of this data set without assessing potential errors in the detrending. Unfortunately, Trouet et al neglect this error source:

These individual error terms include (i) dating uncertainties of the speleothem record, (ii) chronology error of the tree-ring record, and (iii) calibration error of the residual record NAO_ms.

Actually the non-detrended Scottish speleothem record reminded me of the Polissar glacier discharge proxies from Venezuela of all places, as shown below (Discussed a couple of years ago at CA), both showing transitions from ‘MCA’ to LIA around 1250-1300. I submit that this is no less “remarkably similar” than any of the Team comparanda. This is not actually inconsistent with the actual language of Trouet et al where a global reorganization of wind fields at the ‘MCA’-LIA transition is posited.

   

Reference:
Proctor et al 2000: http://www.barlang.hu/pages/science/angol/CD2000_815.pdf


51 Comments

  1. Dishman
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight (please assume I didn’t).

    Specific aspects of a certain data set were deliberately removed, forming a new data set.
    The new data set was used to construct a new model.
    The model was said to demonstrate the insignificance of the removed aspect because it did not contain the removed aspect.

    What did I misunderstand?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

      Re: Dishman (#1), there’s a bit more to it than that. Regardless of the detrending, the speleothem as interpreted is evidence of a warm-wet MWP in Scotland. It’s more so without the detrending.

      I’m merely noting this problem for now. My greater puzzlement is exactly how Trouet’s interpretation purports to set aside Lamb’s view of the world, since they seem to unconsciously adopt so much of Lamb’s view.

  2. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    What might cause the ring width to increase with time? A steady change in precipitation/temperature or even the gradual growth of the blanket bog on the surface, which causes waterlogging of the soil and it holds water better. Blanket bogs were not always present so you need to know when they originated. Some started after humans cleared the forest. The effect of bog growth would be a valid thing to detrend, but ppt/temperature would not.

  3. bender
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    The two proxies that carry the water in the Trouet NAO reconstruction are the Baker speleothem in Scotland and Esper’s tree ring chronology in Morocco.

    What is your measure of the weight of “water carried” by these two proxies?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

      Re: bender (#4), the TRouet NAO is the difference between these two series, both scaled in some way that I haven’t decoded yet.

  4. stan
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    I’m still trying to figure out how such a thin reed can support the enormous logical structure built atop it.

  5. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    RE Steve #3,

    My greater puzzlement is exactly how Trouet’s interpretation purports to set aside Lamb’s view of the world, since they seem to unconsciously adopt so much of Lamb’s view.

    Isn’t their point (rightly or wrongly) that the MWP in the N Atlantic was offset by equal and opposite cooling elsewhere, so that the net effect on the global avaerage must have been 0?

    Of course Craig Loehle’s reconstruction strongly indicates that the MWP does show up in the global avaerage.

    • bender
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

      Re: Hu McCulloch (#6),

      Isn’t their point (rightly or wrongly) that the MWP in the N Atlantic was offset by equal and opposite cooling elsewhere, so that the net effect on the global avaerage must have been 0?

      If that’s their point, then where is their proof? They need to *show* “cooling elsewhere”, not assume it. NAO is the pea under the thimble this time. Prove half of it (the warm half) persisted through MWP, assume the rest of it (the cool half) pesrsisted also.

      Of course Craig Loehle’s reconstruction strongly indicates that the MWP does show up in the global average.

      i.e. No offsetting cooling “elsewhere”.

  6. Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    So, if I’m reading this right. It has to be either warm and wet or cold and dry? No other combination occurs? I know this is the NAO and Scotland, but coastal areas can vary greatly, and going inland just a few miles can also change things dramatically. Here in the PNW it’s generally Warm and Dry or Cold and Wet.

    • bender
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

      Re: Jeff Alberts (#7),
      If warm+dry and cold+wet register ambiguously in that kind of proxy then they are simply not reconstructable. In general, the independent components of heat and moisture can not be deconvoluted from any kind of proxy that is sensitive to the interaction between heat and moisture. That is why it is such a significant observation that most tree species are sensitive to drought, the interaction of heat and dry. The only species-site combinations eligible for temperature reconstruction are the ones where temperature is far more limiting to growth than moisture. Hence the bias toward alpine/treeline tree-ring based proxies. Problem: If those alpine tree species ever become more limited by moisture than tenmperature then the proxy loses accuracy during that period. Problem: was MWP one of those periods? Hence the extreme interest in imprecisely dated physical proxies as opposed to precisely dated but flaky biotic ones.

  7. Andy
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    I assume the authors have never been to Scotland? Its wet even when cold and dry! Its never warm even when wet and warm!

    • Andrew
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

      Re: Andy (#9), Relatively wet/dry or hot/cold to what it “normally” is.

  8. Gary
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    The spikes of stalagmite growth at 1450 and 1620 look to be of suspiciously short duration for their amplitude compared to the rest of the record. Although it doesn’t speak to the detrending issue directly, one has to wonder if the record is reliable enough to provide climatic information. Is the degree to which CaCO3 was limiting known? If not, it adds another uncertain variable to the mix.

  9. bender
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    since only one stalagmite is presented, I don’t see how one can place any confidence on this conclusion

    One observation means infinite standard error means the data inspires zero confidence. What sorry reviewer let this sad fact slip through and what shall be his punishment?

  10. bender
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    The briefest examination of the Scotland speleothem shows that the version used in Trouet et al had been previously adjusted through detrending from the MWP to the present. In the original article (Proctor et al 2000), this is attributed to particularities of the individual stalagmite

    I think Ed Cook and Rob Wilson would be disgusted to hear of such an abuse of detrending and detrended data.

  11. Thom Scrutchin
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    #12 bender
    I realize that it was a rhetorical question , but there are two answers to what kind of reviewer?
    1. A peer reviewer of course as in a member of a group of equal stature and ability (which could obviously be a problem)
    2. Only the finest as in Home Alone 2

    • bender
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

      Re: Thom Scrutchin (#14),

      it was a rhetorical question

      Not at all. I’m inviting the reviewer to self-identify and to explain.

  12. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Proctor, et al., detrended by fitting with a 2nd order polynomial, and subtracting the polynomial from the data. This is a curved fit, the effect of which was to greatly reduce the magnitude of the MWP relative intensity.

    You can see this effect by comparing the region of year 1000 in the upper and lower leftmost plots, in the first set of four. Note in the lower plot how the down-spike at year 1000 is become at least as negative as the down-spike in year 1800. This stretch is due to the downward concavity of the 2nd order polynomial fit.

    So, they didn’t just detrend. With a 2nd order polynomial normalization, they also did a non-linear intensity re-scaling across the data.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#15),

      Proctor, et al., detrended by fitting with a 2nd order polynomial, and subtracting the polynomial from the data.

      Thank you. I was just about to ask whether or not this was linear detrending or not. Note that when tree stands are detrended using such fits, there is a physical reason for the detrending (growth patterns of trees). Also even if there are errors in such detrending, there are several to many trees in a stand and the errors will be washed out by overlap (a number of trees present at any one time period and in various stages of growth.)

      But when we have one speleothem, and no obvious physical reason (AFAIK) for the detrending, it wouldn’t seem likely that the result is of any value for comparing temperatures over long periods of time.

      • Curt
        Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

        Re: Dave Dardinger (#18), While I understand your point about the tree-ring detrending using multiple trees as being superior to this detrending, I have long been bothered by it as well.

        From what I have read on the subject, tree-ring detrending also involves a curve fit (often exponential), followed by subtracting out the fit curve, leaving the residuals for further analysis. I have never figured out how this can distinguish “standard” trends in tree growth from long-term variation in whatever environmental conditions (precipitation, temperature, etc.) affect the tree-ring parameters. I’ve done some searching, without any success. Can anyone point me to a reference that addresses these concerns?

        • MrPete
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

          Re: Curt (#25),
          One difference: AFAIK, tree-ring detrending is per-tree, based on the idea that a young tree gains radius more quickly than an old tree. So with trees of varying age, the “starting point” may be anywhere in time.

  13. Clark
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    ONE stalagmite strikes me as more of an anecdote than data.

  14. MrPete
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Silly question: if wide==warm and narrow==cool, why plot upside down? Or is that a typo?

    Steve: My bad. The hypothesis is narrower in warm and wet and wider in cold and dry: hence the inverted orientation. I’ve corrected the language in my sentence above. Thx.

  15. Tim Channon
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Human development goes back at least as far as the 1500s in the Inchnadamph area (~3m from the cave), Ardvreck Castle dating from 1597. This might explain the wide deviations. Plenty of human activity, since it is close to a large freshwater loch.

    Some things of possible interest.

    This is background which illustrates some of what has gone on, by whom and so on, is not in isolation.

    http://www.gees.bham.ac.uk/documents/Miscellaneous/ASCRIBEpresentation.pdf

    The following papers might be of interest since it is about validation. The above hints at why an Irish connection. They were looking at the whole Atlantic seaboard, not more inland such as continental climate. Far north west Scotland is not representative of for example England which is more affected by continental weather. Even to the west, compare say river flow records between the Wye and Thames, not so far apart in catchment, very different. (Wallingford mentioned later, is of the government hydrology station there, is in the Thames valley)

    http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/5/547/2008/hessd-5-547-2008-print.pdf

    or

    http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/12/1065/2008/hess-12-1065-2008.pdf

    Now I see a spot of bother. Why would it be they can’t get a match with Valentia also maritime, so switch to non-maritime, very different location to make a to me dodgy looking validation?

    Why this particular stalagmite, an outlier, the only one like that and with admitted water storage, such as where, doing what?

    Scotland has changed a lot over the years and today is misleading, seeing it after depopulation.

    Above is a personal opinion. I am not an expert on the above subject.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 3:13 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tim Channon (#21),

      In browsing the first URL, I found no graph linking temperature to any other measurement derived from a speleothem. One would have though that a temperature/other quantity graph would be fig 1. One supposes that by now a myriad of conveniences have been found to correlate with temperature and it is no longer required to show a temperature relationship when presenting a temperature paper; unmentioned literature suffices in the manner of perceived wisom. Or perhaps I confuse a convenience with a bog.

  16. Dave Andrews
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    A quick question.

    Why is one speleothem different from one Stevenson screen? You wouldn’t put all your faith in the results from the latter so why would you do so for the former?

  17. Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    Re: detrending of Scottish stalagmite?

    Apologies if there is any confusion around detrending (or otherwise) and thank you for the interest in this work. I’ll try to explain via the history of the research. Back in the late 1990s, Chris Proctor and I produced the stalagmite ring width series under discussion here. And in the 2000 Climate Dynamics article we presented both the raw and detrended data, and used the detrended data to reconstruct precipitation. As many have commented, why? Well, as caves and fissures in limestone evolve through time then theoretically they will widen due to dilution of the limestone over time. So we did wonder if the trend that we were seeing was due to an increase in water flow rate through time that was non-climatic.

    We went on to develop longer stalagmite series from the cave in a follow up paper in 2002 (also in Climate Dynamics, and I sent Steve a copy on request a few days ago and I can happily send pdfs on e-mail request). This longer record showed that stalagmite ring width had been just as fast several times previously, and showed that our previous detrending wasn’t sensible. So in that paper we didn’t detrend, mentioned this briefly within the paper (admittedly confusingly using the word ‘normalised’ rather than ‘detrended’) and lodged the extended data series and the metadata at the WDC for Paleoclimate too (at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/speleothem/scotland/assynt96.txt). It is this series that is used by Valerie Trouet and co-authors. I’ll ask the WDC to update the page to make sure there is a reference to the fact that this is the data used in the Trouet et al paper.

    So, back to the questions raised here – Trouet et al use the raw data (not detrended) in the paper (the use of raw data is stated, although admittedly briefly, at the start of the SI). So the plot shown in this post (both Figure 1 (top left) and last Figure, left) is that of the data used by Trouet et al.

    Whilst mailing, a couple of other comments which I will hope answer some other questions raised.
    The bog history was published by Charman et al 2001 in Quaternary Research, so we have good evidence that this is about as an undisturbed site that you could possibly have in the United Kingdom with respect to human influence, and we know that the bog significantly predates the time period considered here.

    Yes, one sample is not ideal, of course, but there are practical and conservation issues. You just can’t sample stalagmites in the quantities one can obtain tree ring samples. For example, the site in question is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and in a National Nature Reserve and we had very limited sample permission. So yes, I’d love to be able to have replicates, but in this case it has not been possible. But, you can get paleoclimate data from one sample, but to be confident it means that you really do have to understand how the climate signal is transferred to the individual sample.

    Charman, D.J., Caseldine, C.J., Baker, A., Gearey, B. and Hatton, J., 2001. Palaeohydrological records from peat profiles and speleothems in Sutherland, NW Scotland. Quaternary Research, 55, 223-234.
    Proctor, C.J., Baker, A. and Barnes, W.L., 2002. A three thousand year record of north Atlantic climate. Climate Dynamics, 19, 449-454.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

      Re: Andy Baker (#29),

      Andy, thanks for the on point comments. I definitely cannot verify the following comment. You say:

      Trouet et al use the raw data (not detrended) in the paper (the use of raw data is stated, although admittedly briefly, at the start of the SI). So the plot shown in this post (both Figure 1 (top left) and last Figure, left) is that of the data used by Trouet et al.

      You also say that you

      lodged the extended data series and the metadata at the WDC for Paleoclimate too (at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/speleothem/scotland/assynt96.txt). It is this series that is used by Valerie Trouet and co-authors. I’ll ask the WDC to update the page to make sure there is a reference to the fact that this is the data used in the Trouet et al paper.

      Here is an excerpt from Trouet showing the version used in the article. Notice that the 20th century upnotch is above the zero reference.

      If you squint and compare to the corresponding graphic for the raw data (top right) – which matches the assynt96 version – for this case, the 20th century upnotch is below the zero reference, eliminating this version as a candidate for the provenance of the Trouet version. On the other hand, the upnotch in the detrended version matches the upnotch in the Trouet version.

      Perhaps you could verify your understanding with Trouet et al. before asking WDCP to make any changes. Obviously, this sort of guesswork would be eliminated with proper digital citations. In your case, you had archived your data and one at least has a chance of trying to assess matters. Other Trouet graphics refer to articles with no digital information, leaving a total mess.

      You might also try to verify whether the data has been binned in 25-year intervals, as stated by Trouet, as it seems evident to me that it’s been binned in 50-year intervals.

      In addition, I received Proctor et al 2002 from Andy (thanks); I determined that the SU967 data in P2002 matched the “raw” version in P2000; however, Trouet et al said that they used Proctor et al 2000 and the analyses described above showed to my satisfaction that they used the detrended data from Proctor et al 2000. In my reading of Proctor et al 2002, I hadn’t noticed their observation (mentioned above by Andy) that they had determined that their previous detrending wasn’t justified, or else I would have included this observation in my criticism of the Trouet data. I appreciate Andy’s bringing his to our attention.

      Also to be clear for readers, Andy Baker and colleagues have provided a commendably complete archive of measurements – the criticism of the non-archiving of the Esper tree ring data does not extend to them.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#30),

        the results in the above graphic can be verified through the following script:

        #DATA
        proxy=list()
        url=”ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/speleothem/scotland/scotland_data.txt”
        test=read.table(url,skip=102,fill=TRUE)
        names(test)=c(“depth”,”band”,”year”,”width”,”detrended_width”,”recon_ppt”,”upper_ci”,”lower_ci”,”NAO”)
        proxy$baker=test

        #PLOT ‘RAW’
        name0=”width”;title0=”Scotland SU967 Width”
        GDD(file=”d:/climate/images/2009/trouet/scotland_raw.gif”,type=”gif”,h=400,w=360)
        par(mar=c(3,4,2,1))
        plot(proxy$baker$year,proxy$baker[,paste(name0)],type=”l”,col=1,ylab=”Width(micron)”,
        xaxs=”i”,xlim=c(800,2005),yaxs=”i”,main=paste(title0),ylim=c(140,0))
        dev.off()

        #PLOT STANDARDIZED
        A. Widths; B DETRENDED WIDTH . REcon PPT

        par(mar=c(3,4,2,1))
        temp= proxy$baker$year>=1075 & proxy$baker$year=900
        K=25
        fred=factor(floor(proxy$baker$year/K))
        test=tapply(proxy$baker[,paste(name0)],fred,mean,na.rm=T)
        lines(K*as.numeric(names(test)),h(test),col=2,lwd=1,lty=1)
        K=50;#
        fred=factor(floor(proxy$baker$year/K))
        test=tapply(proxy$baker[,paste(name0)],fred,mean,na.rm=T)
        lines(K*as.numeric(names(test)),h(test),col=”steelblue4″,lwd=2)
        abline(h=0)
        #dev.off()
        } #end j-loop

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

      Re: Andy Baker (#29),

      A post from a scientist with a very readable and comprehensive explanation of the details in question and showing enough confidence to retreat from a previous conjecture. Good stuff.

    • bender
      Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

      Re: Andy Baker (#29),

      Yes, one sample is not ideal, of course, but there are practical and conservation issues. You just can’t sample stalagmites in the quantities one can obtain tree ring samples.

      This is a lame excuse. The hard reality is this: one sample is not enough for calibration & reconstruction. Period. Get two and then we’ll talk about confidence levels. My apologies, but this is really a cheap dodge.

      • Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

        Re: bender (#36),

        The hard reality is this: one sample is not enough for calibration & reconstruction.

        Why ?

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

          Re: UC (#37), I could see bender’s point if it was about ensuring the robustness of the relationship implied in one sample, but he seems to be suggesting that instead of needing more samples to test your hypotheses about the first one, you need more than one to formulate your hypotheses. I’m perplexed by this to. But I will wait for bender to clarify before I pass judgement, however.

        • bender
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

          Re: UC (#37),
          I’ve already explained why in #12. How do you proceed when you have infinite standard error and hence zero confidence? You proceed by publishing the anecdatum (great word) and not moving one iota further until you have another anecdatum. With two, you can start to hypothesize, with the shakiest of calibrations and the most speculative of reconstructions.
          .
          Is a hypothesis sufficient to support trillion-dollar policy decisions? Wow, great question. But rather than ask captain lecture pants, let’s ask Ross McKitrick what he thinks is a wise precautionary approach. Whoops, he’s already published on the subject. Why not read what he has already written?

        • Paul Penrose
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#39), I tend to agree with bender here. Sure you can do the reconstruction, and you can even write a paper about it, but what does it matter without real confidence intervals? Does it mean anything? All you can do is shrug your shoulders. That’s not to imply that Andrew did anything wrong by not getting more samples, I believe him when he said that it was not allowed. Under the circumstances though, I’m not sure it was worth the effort for just one sample.

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

          Re: Paul Penrose (#40), You mean Andy. I’m Andrew. We are totally unrelated.

        • curious
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

          Re: Paul Penrose (#40), From Andy at 29:

          For example, the site in question is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and in a National Nature Reserve and we had very limited sample permission. So yes, I’d love to be able to have replicates, but in this case it has not been possible. But, you can get paleoclimate data from one sample, but to be confident it means that you really do have to understand how the climate signal is transferred to the individual sample.

          I’d have thought that there should be a pretty strong “Special Scientific Interest” in getting this right. Maybe if the request is made for a second sample it would be granted? That way the value of the first should also increase – the info. gained from it would not be negated by getting a second sample.

          Re: bender at 36 – how much further would/could a second sample take things?

        • Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#39),

          Univariate calibration = no CI ?

        • bender
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

          Re: UC (#43),
          UC, there’s sampling error contained in the proxy itself. That’s precisely why Andy admitted:

          I’d love to be able to have replicates

  18. Larry T
    Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    I would like to thank Andy Baker for his detailed explanation. This is how I think the scientific inquiry should go without name calling and finger pointing that seems to happen often, more so from AGW side then on mine but we (including me since steve has snipped me a couple times) are guilty as well.

  19. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    While I appreciate Andy’s comments, I disagree that the explanation as it stands is a “comprehensive” explanation of the details. As I observed in my notes above, my own calculations indicate that Trouet used the detrended data and NOT the raw data. Until this is resolved – and no offence is intended here – the explanation doesn’t meet my standards.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#34),

      I knew that and do not want to confuse intentions with deeds. Let us see what the next round brings – if there is a next round.

  20. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    As I observed in my notes above, my own calculations indicate that Trouet used the detrended data and NOT the raw data.

    The important question for this thread is what Steve M noted above and I was hoping that by being nice we could get a second reply from Andy Baker and let the auditor do his work.

    • bender
      Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#45),
      Quite so.

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#34),

      my own calculations indicate that Trouet used the detrended data and NOT the raw data. Until this is resolved – and no offence is intended here – the explanation doesn’t meet my standards.

      No offense should ever be taken. If you accept the principle of “trust, but verify” you should have no qualms releasing all code and data. Turnkey would be nice.

  21. curious
    Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Discussion points re: the value of additional samples:

    http://www.gsf.fi/esf_holivar/baker.pdf

    Unfortunately the last page is pixelated.

    • bender
      Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

      Re: curious (#47),

      A USEFUL STARTING POINT FOR SPELEOTHEM CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION IS TO ASSUME THAT:
      · every sample has a different response to climate, and that even two stalagmites ten cm apart in the
      same cave will have different climate signals.
      · that non-linear responses should be expected due to the inherently non-linear hydrology of karst
      · deeper, slower dripping samples will show more linear responses, but will also be lagged and
      maybe even have no response to surface climate. In contrast, shallow and fast dripping stalagmites will be very responsive to climate but will be more difficult to calibrate and understand.
      · Most climate proxies preserved in stalagmites are a complex mixture of soil, vegetation, rainfall,
      evaporation, hydrological and geological processes.

      Good grief. And y’all thought tree rings were a nightmare.

  22. Paul Penrose
    Posted Apr 10, 2009 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Andrew,
    Yes, I did mean to say Andy. Sorry for the confusion.

  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 13, 2009 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    On April 9, 2009, notes were added to all the Scottish speleo data sets. The earliest data set ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/speleothem/scotland/scotland_data.txt had the following note added:

    This series is superceded by that of Proctor et al (2002).
    In Proctor et al (2002), the detrending applied to the Proctor et al (2000) series was shown to be un-necessary and therefore the precipitation reconstructions are incorrect. The Proctor et al (2002) raw data is that which should be used.

  24. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Aug 1, 2010 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Given that the ring widths are bounded below by zero and occasionally spike high (when the axis is inverted so that wider is up), a log transform would probably give a more meaningful series.

    But removing a time trend, whether quadratic or just linear, would seem to defeat the whole idea of a paleo proxy, which is supposed to have a uniformitarian relation to what it’s trying to measure.

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