Core Counts and Reverse Engineering

Recently, after the posting of the Phil Trans B archive on Sept 8, 2009, I determined that the Yamal data set as used by Briffa is not more “highly replicated” than the Polar Urals data set and thus there is no basis for the preferential selection of the Yamal chronology over the Polar Urals chronology into Team multiproxy studies. The seemingly biased selection of Yamal over Polar Urals has been a longstanding concern of mine and was the theme of numerous of my AR4 Review Comments, all of which were repudiated by Briffa, the IPCC author responsible for this section. In light of the abysmal modern replication of the Yamal chronology, the rejection of these comments seems highly questionable.

However, the main response of critics of this site over the past few days (e.g. Tim Lambert, David Appell, Deep Climate, the latter now linked by Andrew Revkin) has not been reflection on the poor replication of the Yamal series or the impact of the now established bias in the selection of Yamal over Polar Urals, but vituperative criticism of me for not being able to determine the poor replication and provenance of the Briffa data set earlier, using the materials available before Sept 2009, including the Hantemirov’s low-replication corridor standardization data set for Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 which I had obtained in early 2004, well before I began examining the Yamal data set in more detail after the publication of Osborn and Briffa 2006 and D’Arrigo et al 2006 in Feb 2006.

No opprobrium for the many climate scientists who used Briffa’s abysmally low replication chronology without inquiring into its replication. No opprobrium for those climate scientists to whom precisely the same materials were available and who had also failed to identify the defects in the Briffa data set prior to Sept 2009. No opprobrium for Briffa who had failed to report core counts or provide the data when requested, not just by me but by the authors of D’Arrigo et al 2006. Instead, the criticism was leveled at the first person to actually figure out the poor replication of the Briffa data set because, in their opinion, I should have been able to figure it out earlier.

They seem to think that I should have been able to deduce that the low-replication Hantemirov data set used for corridor standardization was the same version that Briffa had used for RCS standardization. There were a couple of reasons why I did not presume that they were the same. One important reason was that the authors of D’Arrigo et al believed that the Briffa data set was more “highly replicated” than the Polar Urals data set which had 57 cores in 1990. If the Briffa data set was more highly replicated than Polar Urals, then it had to be a different and larger version than the Hantemirov version, which only had 10 cores in 1990.

In addition, the population requirements for corridor standardization are very different than the population requirements for RCS standardization. Briffa was a leading proponent on RCS standardization and his writings all stated the need for large populations very clearly. So it seemed inconceivable that the Hantemirov data set would be the same data set as the one that Briffa used.

Some people have argued that I should have been able to figure out that Briffa had used the Hantemirov data set from information available to me prior to Sept 2009 or at least been able to figure out the low replication of the Briffa data set.

This question can be interpreted as an interesting mathematical inverse problem – can you deduce the number of cores in a measurement set if you are given (1) a chronology; (2) a measurement set that your RCS emulation maps “close” to the given chronology. I’m not convinced that the inverse problem is as easy as my critics suggest.

The RCS algorithm “mapping” measurement matrices X onto chronology vectors y is a “projection”; it is not one-to-one and no inverse function is defined. Many measurement matrices project close to one another in chronology space under a RCS map as discussed below. If you don’t have a precise operating definition of the mapping function, but merely an emulation that is “close” to the underlying algorithm, then the inverse problem seems intractable to me.

In the case at hand, contrary to what many people think, there was no published software for Briffa’s RCS methodology (there was published software for ARSTAN, but this is a different methodology.) As described in the literature, RCS is not difficult mathematically (a one-size-fits-all age dependence curve is used for standardization). However, there are a number of options and alternatives that make it impossible to be sure that you have got Briffa’s precise algorithm, particularly when, as was the case here, there are no benchmark data sets containing both measurement data set and chronology vector. Different forms of curve specification for age dependence are possible (and referred to in various Briffa articles), including negative exponential, Hugershoff and splines of varying stiffness. (See Melvin and Osborn 2008 for examples of the substantial impact from different specifications.) Different specifications of the form of the age-dependence curve can change the RCS mapping function. In addition to the form of the age-dependence curves, there are other known variations in RCS methodology e.g. a stratification between “linear” and “nonlinear” trees (Esper) or a stratification by site e.g. Wilson).

It was possible for me to determine that my emulation function applied to the Hantemirov data set yielded a chronology vector that was “close” to the archived results from application of the “true” function to the Briffa data set. But I did not know (and do not see how I could have known) whether the differences were due to a projection from a different (and perhaps much more replicated data set) or due to differences between my emulation of Briffa’s algorithm and Briffa’s own implementation of his algorithm.

We know from a variety of examples that RCS maps from different but related data sets can produce “remarkably similar” chronology vectors. Reader Tom P has argued that one can exclude all young trees from the measurement data set and still obtain a chronology that is “remarkably similar” to the original chronology. But stop for a minute. This means that the RCS algorithm applied to a dataset and a truncated version can yield reconstruction vectors that are “remarkably similar”, which I take to mean that the norm of the residual vector is small. Considering the inverse problem now, because the chronology vectors from both the original and truncated measurement data sets are so close, you can’t determine which measurement data set originated the chronology vector if your function is only known to be “close” to the Briffa function.

This is the problem in trying to make deductions merely given the reconstruction vector y and a the low-replication Hantemirov data set. If the emulated chronology nailed the archived chronology to 6 nines, then you could reasonably conclude that you had identified the originating data set and the function (at least in that range.) But if all you have is an emulated chronology that is “close” in some sense to the archived reconstruction, but not exact, and a RCS emulation that is “close” to Briffa’s algorithm but not necessarily the same, then I, for one, do not see how you could rule out the possibility that the archived reconstruction vector y was generated from a much larger measurement data set, one of a size appropriate to RCS standardization.

In my opinion, it is wishful thinking to think that sufficiently sophisticated reverse engineering could have identified the low replication of the Briffa data set. I don’t rely on this point. Maybe someone can demonstrate that reverse engineering was possible in the case at hand and that, with a little more insight and better reverse engineering, I (and others) could have figured out the poor Briffa replication. If so, so be it. Without the actual Briffa data set, I wasn’t able to figure out that Briffa had used the Hantemirov corridor data set for RCS standardization. Nor was anyone else, including any of the authors who used the poorly replicated Briffa data in important multiproxy reconstructions apparently without inquiring into its replication.

Checkpoints
But surely my reverse engineering ability (or the reverse engineering ability of others) isn’t the real issue. If Team climate science is dependent in any measure on my skill in reverse engineering to identify egregious problems like the low replication of the Briffa data set, then surely it is time to examine other methods of improving Team quality control procedures so that such problems need not occur in the future.

I can think of three major checkpoints where chances of earlier identification of the defect were missed.

The first and most obvious checkpoint occurs in the original publication where Briffa failed to provide core counts. Had this been done, it would have been easy to determine that the Hantemirov version was the one used by Briffa. Had this been done, the authors of D’Arrigo et al 2006 (and perhaps even the authors of other multiproxy studies) would have been under no illusions about the replication of the Briffa data set. They would have been notice and they would have had only themselves to blame for using it. Why were core counts not reported in the seminal introduction of this important proxy? In my opinion, it was because the Briffa RCS reconstruction for Yamal was never published in an appropriate peer reviewed article. It was introduced passim in Briffa 2000, which was a birds-eye overview of long reconstructions. Had Yamal ever been presented in a proper peer reviewed article, any reviewer would have insisted on the presentation of core counts. But this was never done and it fell between stools – not unlike the Mann PC1, which likewise was never presented in a technical article.

The second checkpoint was when multiproxy authors used the proxy. It appears that all of these authors, other than D’Arrigo et al failed to notice that no core counts were available for the Briffa data set, but used the chronology anyway, without knowing what the replication was. The authors of D’Arrigo et al 2006 appear to be the only exception. They requested the data set from Briffa, but Briffa refused to provide it to them. Had they been provided the data set – as ought to have happened – there is no doubt in my mind that they would have done the core count calculations and identified the poor replication of the Briffa data set in 2005. The unavoidable point is that Briffa’s withholding the measurement data from D’Arrigo delayed identification of the poor replication for at least four years – from 2005 to 2009.

A third checkpoint was Science’s refusal to require Briffa to provide the data in 2006. In my opinion, a “senior” journal like Science should require a proper chain of custody for data used in its articles. Where authors like Osborn and Briffa rely on results from an earlier paper (i.e. Briffa 2000) published in a journal with a less adequate data archiving policy than Science, Science should not merely pass the buck. Science should have taken charge of the situation and required Briffa to have provided the requested measurement. Their failure to act also delayed the identification of the poor replication by three years from 2006 to 2009.

In Briffa’s last communication with me, he said that he would refer the request to the Russians. By that, I assumed that he was seeking their consent to provide his version of the data to me. I knew at the time that Briffa had also refused to provide his data to the authors of D’Arrigo et al and so I didn’t hold out much hope that I would have more luck with him than they had. And again, at this time, I was influenced by their belief that Briffa was using a much bigger data set than Polar Urals (i.e. not the small Hantemirov corridor data set.) Had I followed up, I might have discovered that there wasn’t some mysterious larger data set and that they had only sent the low-replication Hantemirov corridor version that I already had. But I didn’t follow up at the time. Soon after this correspondence, the NAS and Wegman reports came out, then there were the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings, so I didn’t follow up further. Nor did D’Arrigo et al. With all of us continuing to assume that the Yamal data set was “more highly replicated” than the Polar Urals data set – an assumption that obviously was later proved incorrect.

When Briffa et al 2008 was published, a Climate Audit reader drew my attention to the fact that Phil Trans B had more stringent data archiving policies than other journals and that it might be possible to finally pin down the precise version used by Briffa. The discovery that Briffa had used the small Hantemirov data set designed for corridor standardization came as a considerable surprise.

Perhaps I should have been able to have determined much earlier that the low-replication Hantemirov corridor standardization data set was used by Briffa for RCS standardization, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t. Until I was able to inspect a data set that I knew for certain had been used by Briffa in Briffa 2000, I did not know of the low replication of this data set. Nor, to my knowledge, did any other specialists in the field including the authors of D’Arrigo et al 2006.

Obviously it shouldn’t have taken nine years from the publication of Briffa 2000 to establish the inadequate replication of Briffa’s Yamal chronology nor that it was not “more highly replicated” than Polar Urals, as the authors of D’Arrigo et al 2006 thought. The root problem lay in Briffa’s failure to formally present the Yamal RCS chronology in a peer reviewed publication where core counts would have been required. Second, prior to using the Russian data in a publication, Briffa should have obtained any required consents from the Russian originators of the data so that he could respond to requests for data himself. Third, Science should have insisted on Briffa providing the data when it was at issue in 2006 and not relied on a third party journal for ensuring data archiving compliance, especially when the authors were the same. Briffa’s delays in complying with Phil Trans B instructions cost a year as well. Given that the Briffa version proved identical to the Hantemirov version, this could have been archived in a few minutes: why did it take a year?

Up to Sept 2009, none of the users of Briffa’s Yamal data set had discovered its inadequate replication. The first person to determine this was me and only after Briffa finally archived the data as used. And critics are angry at me for not figuring it out earlier. Climate science.


147 Comments

  1. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    Oh well, Steve. The real question now is just what doing RCS on the Hantemirov data yields in terms of statistical validity. I’m assuming it’s non-existent, but I don’t know that you’ve actually run the numbers and come up with whatever values are of interest for posting here. But perhaps this delay is related to getting a paper for peer review in shape to be submitted? We can always hope.

  2. paul
    Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    Can I just say how refreshing it is to read your posts and acknowledge the clarity you bring to the subject. I am not a scientist but am able, because of your writing ability to follow what you are saying. Thank you Steve. You are a shining light in a very corrupt science.

  3. Richard Henry Lee
    Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    You would have had to have the divining powers of Johnny Carson’s character, Carnac the Magnificent, to have solved this earlier.

    Thanks for your persistence in overcoming the denials and obfuscation to get at the heart of the Yamal data problems.

  4. OzzieAardvark
    Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    The criticisms you’re hearing are the mewlings of zealot sycophants. It’s the inevitable result of challenging faith-based beliefs, whatever the context. The contrast provided by your logical and considered response simply highlights this, as I assume was your intention.

    OA

  5. Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Given that the Briffa version proved identical to the Hantemirov version, this could have been archived in a few minutes: why did it take a year?

    Identical? Really? Why, then, do the numbers of samples in the H&S 2002 chronology posted online at NCDC not match up with the raw data for Briffa 2000 posted at CRU?

    Am I merely making a beginner’s mistake in efforts to match up the two sets of information?

    Briffa’s data indicate the use of 252 ring width series from 236 trees. More than one series was included from 13 trees—those 13 contributed 29 of the 252 series.

    H & S say on page 721 that their “one approach to constructing a mean chronology” used 224 “individual series of subfossil larches…supplemented by the addition of 17 ring width series from 200 – 400 year old living larches.” This would be a total of 241 “series,” but not necessarily 241 trees. If some trees contributed more than one series, the number of trees would be less than 241.

    The information posted by H & S indicates 3 samples ended in 1963, 1 ended in 1975, another ended in 1982, 2 ended in 1988, and 5 ended in 1994. In the last year of the data (1996), there were 5 series used by H & S.

    Comparing the H & S numbers of samples by year to Briffa’s raw data:

    (1) The 3 samples ending in 1963 would be M331, M202 and M021.

    (2) The sample ending in 1982 would be X02S.

    (3) The 2 samples ending in 1988 would be JAH162 and JAH141.

    (4) In Briffa, YAD061 ends in 1995, not 1996; so Briffa has 4 samples in 1996, not the 5 shown in H & S.

    (5) What sample ended in 1975? Samples L01331, P01501 and X13 all ended in the 1970’s, but not in 1975. Note that L01331 indicates an age of only 78 years—not close to the 200 to 400 years indicated by H & S as the age of the living larches that contributed series to their “one approach to constructing a mean chronology.” Both P01501 (at 376 years) and X13 (at 339 years) fit the 200 to 400 year age range stated by H & S.

    (6) How does sample L01341 fit into this sequence? It ended in 1965, which means it’s a 4th sample in Briffa’s data ending in the 1960’s, when the sample numbers in H & S 2002 indicate only 3 ended in the 1960’s. It indicates an age of only 140 years, not the 200 to 400 years stated by H & S as the age of the living larches.

    There are 20 samples in Briffa’s data which cover some part of the period from 1960 through 1996, not 17 as shown in H & S.

    Briffa apparently used 12 samples from living trees, while H & S say they used 17.

    And it goes on, but this is getting too long already.

    I’m puzzled–how do you figure the data sets are identical?

    Steve: The data set sent to me by Hantemirov proved to be identical to the one archived by Briffa. The 17 living trees appear to include 3 sampled in 1963 and 2 in 1978/82, which I hadn’t included in the CRU 12. There are differences in the information provided in the H and S archive at NCDC and the Hantemirov data set, but I hadn’t noticed this until recently and don’t know the explanation.

    • Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Micajah (#5),

      Steve: The data set sent to me by Hantemirov proved to be identical to the one archived by Briffa. The 17 living trees appear to include 3 sampled in 1963 and 2 in 1978/82, which I hadn’t included in the CRU 12. There are differences in the information provided in the H and S archive at NCDC and the Hantemirov data set, but I hadn’t noticed this until recently and don’t know the explanation.

      Could the explanation be this simple?

      Hantemirov and Shiyatov took 2171 subfossil samples and cross-dated a chronology using only 535 of those samples that covered about 4000 years. H & S 2002 reported the “one approach to constructing a mean chronology” using only 224 of those 535, selecting samples with the greatest variability (and supplementing them with 17 from living larches). Their mean chronology still covered 4000 years.

      Hantemirov sent only about half the data from the 535 to Briffa–the data covering only the last 2000 year. Briffa [QSR 2000] used that (with the 17 from living trees) to construct his chronology with a different process–but only covering about the last 2000 years. This is perhaps why the file posted at CRU is named YamalADring–it covers the years from 1 AD to 1996 AD.

      Briffa would have roughly the same number of samples (252) covering 2000 years as were used in the H & S 2002 “one approach” (241) to cover 4000 years.

      The similarity between the total number of samples in the H & S “one approach” described on page 721 and shown in figure 7 and the total number of samples in Briffa 2000 is merely a coincidence.

      Briffa has more samples than H & S in the years I’ve checked (back to about 1960) because he was using samples from subfossil trees that H & S didn’t use in their “one approach.” Probably, he has more samples going all the way back to 1 AD, but I haven’t slogged through the numbers to see. (I use the “Mark I Eyeball” aided only by trifocal lenses to sort the numbers, not your quick computer-aided procedures.)

      H & S selected for variability to get the 224 subfossil samples they used rather than using all 535 of the subfossil samples for their process. Briffa didn’t select for variability in the subfossil samples, so he used samples covering the last 2000 years that were selected out by H & S for their analysis.

      If H & S selected their 17 samples from living trees based on variability, I wonder what would happen to Briffa’s analysis if he used samples from living trees that had not been selected for variability.

  6. Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Wonder if Tom P will respond.

  7. Ian
    Posted Oct 9, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Excellent post – clear, succinct and to the point. No sarcasm (no need), and logically laid out.

    Well done, Mr. McIntyre.

    (Small correction – in the paragraph discussing the first “check point”, you left the word “on” out of the sentence reading: “They would have been notice …”)

    Cheers,

    Ian

  8. nvw
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    I do not understand why one is expected to infer details of a paper’s scientific methodology through the detailed parsing of subtle clues. If the original papers had been clearly written with all the data readily available, the results and conclusions could have been known years ago.

  9. Diego Cruz
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    “Opprobrium”: An excellent word.

  10. Dishman
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Nobody likes feeling like they’ve been played for a fool. The person who reveals tha situation isn’t always (or even usually) appreciated for their work, at least initially.

    They’ll get over it.

  11. michel
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

    When the history of the Hockey Stick fiasco is written, you will have a very honorable place in it. And it will be written, and it will be taught in classes for many years to come. It is a real classic episode in science with all the instructive themes, importance of the subject, initial acceptance of the findings, obfuscation or concealment of the evidence, and finally refutation and repudiation. We’re just now at refutation, and what everyone is afraid of is what comes next. It will be ugly, but there is no way the principals can avoid it now, as they are probably realizing with increasing dismay.

  12. Molon Labe
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    All true. But who has accused you of not recognizing insufficient replication in Yamal? Missed that.

    • Molon Labe
      Posted Oct 15, 2009 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

      Re: Molon Labe (#12), I am ashamed I made this comment with its insinuation that McI was attacking a straw man. I was not aware of the Revkin blog post where McI is specifically accused (in comments) of having the data and not revealing that fact.

      The Revkin thread is here and is fascinating and revealing.

  13. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    The reverse engineering topic was neatly picked up in the “Yamal & Divergence Problem” at post 220 by Neil Fisher
    Re: Neil Fisher (#220),

    Has anyone developed a methodology that enables one to select, a priori, which trees respond well to temperature? And if so, how reliable is it?

    This simple first sentence is really rather profound and can be extended to this: Is there a paper where the results of a tree coring exercise were predicted before the core was drilled?

    Then extend it into other proxies. Has anyone ever published the expected varve properties in a sediment pile before it was drilled? Has anyone ever published oxygen isotopes from ice cores before they were drilled?

    Such procedures are part of the scientific method, where the strength of a hypothesis is shown in part by its predictive ability.

    Predictions similar to these are done routinely during the drilling of ore deposits to see if they are economically viable. The good exploration geologist has to assess where to drill the first or next hole on the basis of what he expects to find, which is maximum information for minimum cost. So the above ask of climatologists is not novel.

    Steve, remember of your critics dispensing opprobrium, “people in glass houses ……

    • bernie
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

      Re: Geoff Sherrington (#13), A kind of instrument/method calibration, n’est pas?

    • ianl8888
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

      Re: Geoff Sherrington (#13),

      Yes, Geoff, I posted that question again in an earlier TomP thread – pointing out that I had some great difficulty in finding an answer from the AGW people (very high noise to signal ratio in those threads)

      I’m mildly pleased that I wasn’t totally off track in my bewilderment

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

        Re: ianl8888 (#25),

        I’ve just been far away and out of touch on compassionate leave. It was not known to me that you had proposed that a tree ring pattern be described before drilling the core. I now know that you proposed it before I did. I wish to acknowledge your prior thought and also state that I do not plagiarise, except occasionally in lighthearted banter like retelling a joke.

        I was trying to make the point that there is a sequence of development when testing a hypothesis. In words too simple here, just for illustration, one does not assert “Tree rings are thicker when it is warm”, then incorporate this over objections into an IPCC Summary for Policy Makers that claims that the globe is warming.

        The correct procedure is to calibrate tree ring properties against known temperatutures before acccepting the method. Then there are other steps like quantification of confounding factors, AOV, replication of results in other places and times with other genera, authentication of the time axis, etc etc. At the end of this scholarship, if there emerges a useful predictive method with acceptable error bounds, then one is justified in approaching the IPCC.

        Analogies are not often good. In this case an analogy might be that a persuasive medico feels that a condition can be delayed or prevented by high doses of a certain vitamin. (A bit like double Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and mega Vitamin C). The next step is not to treat the popuation of the globe to a high dose via a body like the United Nations. The next steps involve double blind trials with placebos included, examination of side effects, estimation of dose per body weight, method of administration, calculation of efficacy and comparison with alternative therapies.

        Medicos do this routinely. Some climate scientists seem reluctant.

  14. Tom Ganley
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

    I’m afraid there is more of this sort of thing for you to endure Steve. To you it’s math, but to them, it’s an attack on their religion.

    snip

  15. stephen richards
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 2:29 AM | Permalink

    SteveM

    You didn’t need to rebute the claims of idiots like ToM PP. What is obvious is that to most intelligent people you, bender et al had already demonstrated his/their fallacies and more, unlike RC you had allowed them their place on your site. Sadly they chose to use and abuse your generosity to spout their ridiculously crasse theories.

    Don’t waste you time on them get on with those things that interest you more.

  16. Manola Brunet
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    Come on Steve, don’t be an illiterate, learn to read, revisit the original papers where de details on the proxies used for the multiproxy reconstruction are given and you’ll see that not only Yamal & Polar Ural chronologies are in, if not also other 18 independent chronologies! Perhaps, your friends in the oil industry may pay you a few lessons to learn to perusal and understand the content and details of any scientific paper. Please, be rigorous and don’t cheat your readers. Over Spain, we have this saying: it is easier to catch a liar than a lame. You have been caught ! Warm regards from another unusual hot autumn in North-eastern Spain!

    Manola

    • James Erlandson
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

      Re: Manola Brunet (#16), Your clear and erudite comment was precisely on point and demolished Steve’s argument beyond repair. I’m sure he will withdraw this post and possibly close the blog entirely. Thanks for the hard work.

    • Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

      Re: Manola Brunet (#16),
      Currently, Dr Manola Brunet India is involved in a climate research project with… Phil Jones and Moberg and has been author in the TAR WG1! A respectable and independent climate scientist indeed, shouting down words like “illiterate” and “liar” to others. She must be very desperate.
      The sad part is this kind of uncivil and moronic attitude is not the exception but the norm in climate science, especially here in Europe. Just remember how Allegre or Courtillot have been treated by the AGW church here in France or how Sir Houghton publicly bullied russian skeptics.
      The warmists have no shame.

      • AlanB
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

        Re: Demesure (#46), Re: Manola Brunet (#16),… Don’t you it is just someone pretending to be the good doctor?

    • Brooks Hurd
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

      Re: Manola Brunet (#16),
      When your arguments rely on attacking the person (argumentum ad hominem), you are using a logical fallacy. If you believe that Steve Mc has made an error in his methods, then please identify them.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

      Re: Manola Brunet (#16), Re: rafa (#38),

      Hmm. Perhaps you can see if the organization has a employee handbook covering this kind of behavior. hehe.

      • rafa
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

        Re: steven mosher (#66), dear Steven, I can do that easily. However I agree with some commenters who are asking us to be cautious, it might be someone else stealing her name. An IP check would help, and her e-mail is public, that can be checked too.

        Best.

    • davidc
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

      Re: Manola Brunet (#16),

      hhttp://wwwa.urv.net/centres/Departaments/geografia/clima/Curris/currmanola.htmttp://wwwa.urv.net/centres/Departaments/geografia/clima/Curris/currmanola.htm

      “Dr. Manola Brunet India

      I’m a Reader of Climatology at the Geography Unit, University Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain, where I have worked since 1982…I have been involved as a contributor author to Chapter 2 of the Working Group 1 (WG1) of the IPCC Third Assessment Report.”

  17. Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    DNA had long ago described the situation:

    He did this, and was rather startled to discover that he had managed to create the long sought after golden Infinite Improbability generator out of thin air.

    It startled him even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Prize for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smartass

  18. Jason F
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    Steve, you are a complete star and have shown what real science should be about. I wonder what this will do to the mainstream media’s addiction to using hocky stick charts for example. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2009/copenhagen/default.stm well done

  19. Visitor 42
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

    Come on Steve, don’t be an illiterate, learn to read, revisit the original papers where de details on the proxies used for the multiproxy reconstruction are given and you’ll see that not only Yamal & Polar Ural chronologies are in, if not also other 18 independent chronologies!

    Got to love it.

    The usual dull serve of Payaso’s Suprise.
    – Post something irrelevant which does not address anything in the thread.
    – sprinkle on some oil connections
    – a dash of personal attack

    Stir and hope wittiness can carry the day in place of argument and facts.

  20. MarcH
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    “Climate Science” Richard Feynman would probably have said Cargo Cult.

  21. j ferguson
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Does “highly replicated” have a specific meaning in this context? Is it “identical”, “very similar”, “very alike within a statistical limit?”

    Or?

  22. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:59 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone developed a methodology that enables one to select, a priori, which trees respond well to temperature? And if so, how reliable is it?

    Yes, there is. It’s called sphera crystallum physicum or the Oracle of Delphi.

  23. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    Great work Steve. There is a good core here that really understand what you are doing as well as the methods. Then you get an individual who does some addition and subtraction and claims he has shown your errors and the real comedy followers who to not understand get up and cheer him. Your work will be recognized in due course.

  24. Charlie
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    OK. Now that you have explained your slowness in identifying deficiencies in the the Briffa Yamal chronology it is time to look at the IPCC AR4.

    What is your explanation for failing to get the lead author (Briffa) to accept your AR4 comments?

    Is that a ridiculous question? Of course. So are the criticisms of your slowness in forcing disclosure of what should have been readily supplied.

  25. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    I for one fall into the absent minded professor category and am simply amazed at Steve’s ability to keep track of all the facts over such a span of time, and so many details. Kudos. Ignore those barking dogs.

  26. Tom P
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I’m intrigued by your logic that can use my analysis to help make your point:

    Reader Tom P has argued that one can exclude all young trees from the measurement data set and still obtain a chronology that is “remarkably similar” to the original chronology. But stop for a minute. This means that the RCS algorithm applied to a dataset and a truncated version can yield reconstruction vectors that are “remarkably similar”, which I take to mean that the norm of the residual vector is small. Considering the inverse problem now, because the chronology vectors from both the original and truncated measurement data sets are so close, you can’t determine which measurement data set originated the chronology vector if your function is only known to be “close” to the Briffa function.

    while on a different thread you say:

    As I noted elsewhere, as far as I can tell, your methods are totally unknown in dendro literature. Can you please provide me with any precedents for this sort of argument in any dendro literature?

    Nevertheless, to answer your second question, my approach turns out not to be particularly novel:

    “Climate signal age effects—Evidence from young and old trees in the Swiss Engadin” Espera, Niederera, Bebic and Frank, Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 255, Issue 11, 15 June 2008

    From the abstract:

    Comparison of age classes (i)–(iii) [(i) >1880, (ii) 1880–1939, and (iii) 1940–2002] revealed differences in TRW [tree ring width] coherence and size, but little change in climatic signal.

    The same cannot be said of the combined series that you advocate.

    • bernie
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom P (#29), Thanks for the reference but your comment seems to involve an irrelevance followed by a non sequitur or vice versa. You need to take a moment and read the initial comment more thoughtfully.

      Jeff #30:
      Which comment were you commenting on?

    • TAG
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom P (#29),

      The same cannot be said of the combined series that you advocate

      You keep saying that S.Mc. advocates a combined age reconstruction. This in face of all the facts that he does not and that Briffa et al have advocated combining various ages of trees in reconstructions.

      S.Mc did not offer an alternative reconstruction to Yamal. He offered a sensitivity test which showed that it was not robust and, with your analysis, not robust to age inhomogenity.

      Now what do you advocate should be done with the many reconstructions that have followed the model advocated by Briffa and used a mixture of ages?

    • TAG
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom P (#29),

      TomP quoting an article

      From the abstract:

      Comparison of age classes (i)–(iii) [(i) >1880, (ii) 1880–1939, and (iii) 1940–2002] revealed differences in TRW [tree ring width] coherence and size, but little change in climatic signal.

      The same cannot be said of the combined series that you advocate

      Doesn’t this argue against the coherence test that you produced and indicate, even more, the Yamal reconstruction is not robust? Tree rings are incoherent but the climate signal is there none the less. It seems to be saying that the coherence test is missing the climate signal and is therefore of little utility in this case.

      I am really having great difficulty trying to understand the point that you are trying to make. It all seems backward

      • tallbloke
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

        Re: TAG (#33),

        I am really having great difficulty trying to understand the point that you are trying to make. It all seems backward.

        He’s not trying to make a point. He trying to obfuscate the point.
        Don’t let it derail the thread.

      • Tom P
        Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 1:52 AM | Permalink

        Re: TAG (#33),

        Tree rings are incoherent but the climate signal is there none the less. It seems to be saying that the coherence test is missing the climate signal and is therefore of little utility in this case.

        It is important to distinguish between the tree-ring records and the RCS chronology constructed from them. It is the RCS chronology which produces a climate signal. My tests have been on the RCS chronology, not the tree rings that produce that chronology.

        Esper has done other work on age sensitivity which Steve has commented on. Just six months ago he posted on Esper’s work on Morocco cores in which a drought signal is being extracted from the tree-ring records:

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5694

        In his post Steve writes:

        The upward trend in the overall RCS plot is therefore mainly due to inhomogeneity in site location, with an increasing mix of high growth sites. This seems like a far more plausible stratification than Esper’s peculiar attempt to stratify Young and Old trees.

        Six months ago Steve was arguing that it didn’t make sense to combine signals from different sites in Morocco because of a divergence in the ring widths. But apparently what wasn’t plausible in Morocco is now the right approach in Siberia. First he combines the divergent Yamal and Khadayta River data sets. He follows this by what is no longer apparently a “peculiar” stratification by age to obtain the young-tree chronology without a hockeystick of his figure 2 of his post at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7278 .

        Steve is giving the unfortunate impression that his choice of assumptions rather depends on what he wishes to prove. I would be interested in his justification for treating the Moroccan and Siberian tree-ring records in such contradictory ways.

        • James Lane
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#80),

          Tom, what are you talking about? As far as I can see, your SM quote doesn’t appear in your link?

          – J

        • James Lane
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#80),

          Apologies, it’s in the “update”. I still don’t see what your point is.

        • pete m
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#80), urgh!

          Tom, Steve did not combine trees from different localities on a whim. Re-read what he said! (basically he followed Briffa’s OWN use of trees from another nearby area to supplant the data set. – so when Steve uses Briffa’s own methods to do a sensitivity test, he is told no can do. But if you are on the Team, no one says diddly squat!).

          Keep flinging mud Tom – eventually you’ll tire.

        • bender
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

          Re: pete m (#88),
          Tom P is still working on the fairytale assumption that Steve is proposing alternative chronologies/reconstructions – which is what the Team continually challenges him to do. So he thinks he’s picking apart critical assumptions that underlie “what he’s trying to prove”. But he’s not trying to prove much – just that Briffa made some odd choices for which he now must provide some justification. Tom P will not tire of his mud flinging. It’s takes little effort, really. You draw up two graphs and natter on 4 times a day about how Steve is unqualified to audit. I could do that indefinitely. And would … if I was a moron.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#90),

          Tom P is still working on the fairytale assumption that Steve is proposing alternative chronologies/reconstructions

          Yes, Steve is doing a reducto ad absurdum and for some reason the “climate scientists” keep insisting that it’s Steve who is being absurd and not their own proxy reconstructions. Given Steve’s insistance that we in the peanut gallery not cast aspersions on people’s motivations, I guess that’s all I can say.

        • Tom P
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#90),

          Tom P is still working on the fairytale assumption that Steve is proposing alternative chronologies/reconstructions

          Not at all. These are sensitivity analyses, not alternative chronologies. It is Steve, not me, that has become confused over this issue. As he wrote elsewhere:

          Perhaps they [dendros] should ignore young trees as you advocate, but they don’t.

          and I responded:

          This is a sensitivity analysis, not an alternative chronology, a point you laboured to make when you first introduced your combined Yamal-Khadyta series:

          But if you are going to perform a sensitivity analysis, the choices made on inclusion and exclusion, for instance on tree age and locality, does have to be justified. There is no doubt that there are big differences between the Yamal and Khadayta River data sets. Six months ago Steve was troubled by such differences in Morocco and suggested that “site inhomogeneity” was a basis for not combining data. Now he has no such qualms about combining the Yamal and Khadayta River data series to produce “one of the most disquieting images ever presented at Climate Audit”.

        • bender
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#94),
          It’s not the combining of data that was billed as “disquieting”. It’s the obvious divergence between the CRU chronology and ANY other chronology from the region. You are trying to assert that combining these data sets would be invalid. You may be right. This does not invalidate the suggestion that the use of CRU Yamal in place of Polar Urals is disquieting.
          .
          But thank you for trying to be a little more coherent. Please, I invite you heartily to package this up and make a clear case that Steve is wrong-headed, biased, or dishonest. I’m trying to see things your way, and I can’t.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#94), cross your eyes and you will see things Tom’s way.

        • curious
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#93), TomP:

          There is no doubt that there are big differences between the Yamal and Khadayta River data sets.

          TomP – please can you clarify if by “Khadayta River data set” you mean the Schweingruber series? If not which one is it please?

        • Tom P
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

          Re: curious (#102),

          TomP – please can you clarify if by “Khadayta River data set” you mean the Schweingruber series? If not which one is it please?

          Steve McIntyre’s naming first drifted on this one, but it is indeed the Schweingruber series that he collected from around the Khadyta River.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#89), I think it’s a reflex reaction on their part. Tom P and others continue to call what steve did a “reconstruction.” At some point somewhere I tried to beat into people’s heads that steve is merely plotting data and asking questions. Now, they happen to be very pertinent questions, but steve as always hues pretty close to the data and doesn’t go a bridge to far. The rest of us ( myself include) of course see where these data slices lead to.

        • Tom P
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (#97),

          Tom P and others continue to call what steve did a “reconstruction.”

          Just looking at this thread, Steve himself calls an RCS chronology a “reconstruction” in the head post, and you mention a tree-ring “reconstruction” in just the post above! I have not used the term once in this discussion.

          It’s not me that has to tighten up their terminology here.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#100), excuse me Tom When I mention reconstruction I am talking about a reconstruction. Not about a chronology. please.

        • Peter D. Tillman
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tom P (#100) (et al.)

          Tom P., thanks for keeping a cool head and being polite and persistent. I haven’t been able to follow your reasoning, not least because your diagrams don’t show up on my browser/computer combo (Firefox/Mac). And I’ve been too busy with real-life stuff to sort this out.

          If you have time, perhaps you could repost your figures elsewhere — I haven’t had problems with any of the other graphics-posting sites people use here. It would also help your case to do a unified, updated post of your sensitivity analysis (etc.) here (with graphics in that article) — I imagine Steve would be open to putting this up as a guest post.

          Best regards,
          Peter D. Tillman
          Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

        • Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

          Re: pete m (#88),
          Steve did not combine trees from different localities on a whim
          According to ITRDB, Shiyatov and Schweingruber took samples from the same location: The [K]hadyta River, Briffa called it “Yamal” and Schweingruber called it “Northern Urals”
          BTW ITRDB arcIMS server is down, can’t show maps from there.
          Here is a picture of the river, more that 10 modern larches are visible.

          Here is a map (“Khaditaiakha”), acompanying a BBC website about the Nenets nomads of the Yamal peninsula:

          and a detailed satelite image

    • bender
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom P (#29),
      OT
      move to gavins guru

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

      Re: Tom P (#29),

      I’m surprised nobody has pointed out the major difference between your age sensitivity test and that in the paper your mention.

      Comparison of age classes (i)–(iii) [(i) >1880, (ii) 1880–1939, and (iii) 1940–2002] revealed differences in TRW [tree ring width] coherence and size, but little change in climatic signal.

      Your age comparison was with the age of the trees, period, not just limited to trees starting to grow in a particular time period. Thus for you a tree that was a seedling in 1750 but died in 1820 would be in the <72 (or <75 grouping, while it would appear that for this article it would be in the <1800 grouping. Of course if these were only living trees, the age group would also correspond to the age of the tree, but this doesn’t correspond to your system. You need to think about what your method actually does.

  27. Jeff Id
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    It’s mind boggling to consider how a curve like Yamal can be disclosed without disclosing the source data. I mean, can you imagine how difficult it would be to write even a non-peer reviewed report on a goofy scribble without starting by saying where the data came from. It would take a genuine effort to not accidentally report the source in my opinion.

    You’re reporting a result of very simple methods which still aren’t fully disclosed on simple data which was collected by others without discussing either the simple methods OR the source of the data. You end up writing a lot of complicated sounding things without saying anything.

    That ain’t easy.

    I think it’s time the Paleo’s who have been horribly embarrassed by this idiotic series that they’ve adopted like a child taking candy from a nice old lady – START PUTTING BI-MONHLY CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE TIP JAR. Something in the six figure range seems appropriate perhaps with previous years work counted towards tenure.

  28. Fred
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    The Team and their loyal fan club are in deep doo-doo, they know they are in deep doo-doo and are trying to fight back anyway they can. They will slime and smear, divert and dodge, hide and cover, do whatever to preserve their reputations and research sinecures. Their emperor is but naked for the world to see but they can’t yet accept that fact. Reality takes time to sink past the many layers of truth bending defences they have built up over the years.

    Since their fighting techniques are simplistic, childish and needlessly venal, I would deduce that Steve’s analysis has hit many vital organs and has done severe damage.

    Much is on the line for The Team. They know what happened to Milli Vanilli when they were caught lip synching. Fame and fortune evaporated over night and for The Team, this would mean personal and professional tragedy, no more trips to a Bali, no more adoration from the scientifically illiterate Press and most of all, they’d be cut off the Research Funding Gravy Train that they have been on for decades.

  29. dearieme
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    “Had Yamal ever been presented in a proper peer reviewed article, any reviewer would have insisted on the presentation of core counts.” Given the common inadequacy of peer review, as established often enough by you, I read this remark as a sally. Or perhaps an Aunt Sally.

  30. Jeff Id
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Bender,

    I’m just commenting on the general craziness of criticizing SteveM for not reverse engineering the series faster. Apparently climatology didn’t know where the data came from except Briffa. My opinion from my own investigation of Briffa’s knowledge of the problems in RCS is that he was aware that the blade of Yamal was created by the math. It’s just too simple. Sound familiar!

    Anyway, imagine yourself writing a disclosure of Yamal to science and provide access to the series for everyone without actually describing the data or method. Steve’s point on RCS is valid – we don’t have perfect replication. I have an idea how to do improve it now though but am suffering from extreme lack of interest in replicating an obviously broken series where the important part is created by the math.

    Also, imagine yourself not revealing where the data was from on request. All he had to say was it’s the same data from H & S Yamal, given to me for this purpose you’ll need to get it from them. Sure it wouldn’t have been the disclosure which should be compulsory but it would at least let climatologists know the difference is in the standardization so CHECK IT OUT!! One sentence in 10 years!!!

    It stinks to high heaven, and he deserves his criticism even though he is ill.

    I see Tom is still trying to throw mud at anything moving. Nothing is right here Tom, it’s all a pack of lies. With fully disclosed code, data and methods. hehehe

  31. PaulH
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    That anyone had to go through this arduous replication exercise is outrageous. The authors of the original studies are the ones who deserve to be criticized, not the individuals who spent years of their own time trying to work through this morass.

  32. rafa
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    you see? the language and tone of mrs. Brunet. She’s our Gavin in Spain. Of course not all of us the spaniards are that rude and stupid. She works for a kind of CRU, public funding of course.

    best

  33. deadwood
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    The team is playing by the book here – the lawyer’s play book.

    If the facts favor your case – argue the facts.
    If the facts do not but the rules do – argue the rules.
    If neither the facts nor the rules favor your case – attack the person.

    The facts and rules favor McIntyre – but will he win?

    • bender
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

      Re: deadwood (#39),
      Well said. The truth will prevail. If Steve’s supporters do a bad job making his case in the blogospere it will hurt more than it will help. People should have command of the facts.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

      Re: deadwood (#39)
      Is that logical? or Ethical? Loyola Law School Clinical professor Scott Wood addressed:
      Ethics and Professionalism in Legal Argument: When Does Zealous Advocacy Cross the Line?

      The old saw teaches that when the facts are against you, argue the law; when the law is against you, argue the facts. When both are against you, bang the table. And banging the table—even with your head—is a better move than trying to play Three-Card Monte with the authorities. That game is prohibited by the ethical duty of candor,1 which obligates advocates to disclose to the court legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel. As the drafters explain, “The underlying concept is that legal argument is a discussion seeking to determine the legal premises applicable to the case.”2

      Model Rules of Professional Conduct of The American Bar Association (ABA)require:
      Advocate Rule 3.3 Candor Toward The Tribunal

      (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

      (1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

      (2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or

      (3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.

      (b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

      (c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

      (d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

      The foundations of Science require equal or greater candor by including the statistical support for and uncertainty of a scientific hypothesis/model, theory or law.
      Adapting the last portion of the ABS’s candor policy, I propose the following:

      Model Rule of Candor in Science
      a) A scientist shall not knowingly:

      (1) make a false statement of fact or natural law to scientists or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or natural law previously made to scientists by the scientist;

      (2) fail to disclose to scientists (including grantors, managers, and editors) known to the scientist to be directly adverse to his position and not disclosed by other scientists; or

      (3) offer evidence that the scientist knows to be false. If a scientist, co-author, or other scientist cited by the scientist, has offered material evidence or models and the scientist comes to know of their falsity, the scientist shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to grantors, managers, editors, and other scientists. A scientist may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of another scientist in a fraud matter, that the scientist reasonably believes is false.

      (b) A scientist who speaks for a colleague in an scientific proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to grantors, managers, editors and other scientists.

      (c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of scientific investigation, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by scientist’s priority to publish.

      (d) When submitting his work, a scientist shall inform grantors, managers, editors, reviewers, and other scientists of all material facts and uncertainties known to the scientist that will enable those persons to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts or uncertainties are adverse.

      (e) A scientist shall not make ad hominem attacks on another scientist.

      I submit that those hiding evidence on temperature proxies or attacking Steve McIntyre and his efforts to audit climate science are committing professionally unethical behavior. They are directly undermining the foundations of Science and need to be exposed for doing so.

      It is time to restore climate science to the highest ethical standards of Science.

      • dearieme
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

        Re: David L. Hagen (#52),

        I’d rather that your proposed rules talked only of the duties of the scientist irrespective of whom he is addressing.

        I’d also recommend dropping (e) since it opens the door to Lord-knows-what censorship. Also, it is doomed to failure. One of the standard topics of private discussion among scientists is whether so-and-so is a crook – and quite right too. In reality, the practice of science involves a fair degree of trust, so it is vital to know whether so-and-so is to be extended some trust for the moment, or whether his record cries “no”.

        • David L. Hagen
          Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: dearieme (#59),

          I’d rather that your proposed rules talked only of the duties of the scientist irrespective of whom he is addressing.

          Good point in general. I was putting specifics in to ensure the major responsible parties are notified.
          Please review the proposals, as I think “other scientists” are included in each case.

          I’d also recommend dropping (e) since it opens the door to Lord-knows-what censorship.

          On the contrary, this is important not just for civil discourse but vitally important to address the issues in Science, not attack the person. Legislators require civility with a serious public censor for breach, for the very reason to uphold civil debate. All the more so for scientists to address the arguments, not attack the person.

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

        Re: David L. Hagen (#51),

        While such codes of conduct might apply validly to lawyers, it is not uncommon for combatant lawyers to lose about 50% of their cases. So we hope that scientists can do better.

        I would take serious philosophic issue with your whole code starting with

        (1) make a false statement of fact or natural law to scientists or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or natural law previously made to scientists by the scientist;

        The reason is simple. A good scientist does not close the book on the future. Today’s “fact” might seem to be unassailable, but now and then the “false fact” has turned out the more sustainable and accepted. There is very little real truth in science; there is often widespread acceptance that the present knowledge of a given subject presents no serious difficulties in explanation or prediction or replication or common sense. But there is a reluctance to label it a “truth” and therefore there is no professional punishment appropriate for one who disagrees.

        However there are still some stupid and some dishonest scientists who do things like rig results and refuse to divulge data critical to an audit, but we know that.

  34. Bad Andrew
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    “If neither the facts nor the rules favor your case – attack the person.”

    In a Battle of Better Persons, I’d speculate that Mc’s person wins this battle too. :wink:

    Andrew

  35. bender
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    The seemingly biased selection of Yamal over Polar Urals has been a longstanding concern of mine and was the theme of numerous of my AR4 Review Comments, all of which were repudiated by Briffa, the IPCC author responsible for this section

    Hank Roberts, Eli Rabett: here is the denialist talking point for this week. CoI.

  36. j ferguson
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    Sorry for being a little slow. “Highly Replicated” seems to mean that Steve did the replication. And we’re not looking at replicated cores individually but a reverse-engineered data-set and massage.

  37. mpaul
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    If you don’t have a precise operating definition of the mapping function, but merely an emulation that is “close” to the underlying algorithm, then the inverse problem seems intractable to me.

    In fact, it might be a suitable replacement for the factoring of large primes as a one way cryptographic function.

  38. Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink


    AlanB:
    October 10th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Re: Demesure (#46), Re: Manola Brunet (#16),… Don’t you [think] it is just someone pretending to be the good doctor?

    One would think that the minimal screening process in play (that of an appropriate e-mail address accompanying the post) would qualify the poster’s identity; that, and perhaps a source IP address tracing back across the Atlantic and not to a NYC burrough …

    • AlanB
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

      Re: _Jim (#53), Thanks for inserting the [think]. Any troll with a hotmail account could be up to all sorts of mischief. Didn’t we have `curious` passing off as `Curious` recently? I am sure the real Dr. Manola Brunet would not use such intemperate language.

      • curious
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

        Re: AlanB (#56), AlanB – just to clarify. I use “curious” to post here and on a couple of other blogs. There is another poster using “Curious” on some other climate blogs and from what I have seen there we hold contrary views. When I’ve seen it I’ve posted to clarify but as this has been at blogs where I don’t post it is not really a problem.

        Here at CA there has been another “Curious” and, as capitalisation is such a minor difference, I’ve asked him/her to add a prefix/suffix to prevent confusion. This also helps as some blog software seems to capitalise the first letter of a poster’s name by default – it may also be that on my early posts some were capitalised and others not. I’m not accusing anybody of passing themself off as “me” – I simply want to try and keep a unique identity (Hu and RomanM came up with a couple of good alternatives – perhaps they will get picked up). If there were an “Alanb” you might feel the same and I’d guess the same would go for other regulars with an anonymous handle. It also seems “Andrew” has problems with a “Bad Andrew” too, but I’ve not seen them come to blows over it.

        Obviously all this is very different to the use of someone else’s real name to post.

  39. Henry
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Where is Briffa employed, shouldn’t a formal request for academic investigation of Briffa’s actions and or inaction in the matter be filed with the proper authorities or office.

    1) Even if Briffa didn’t cherry pick the use of the Yamal data, he should have known the counts were inadequate therefore the Yamal data was inadequate.

    2) Briffa allowed the inadequate Yamal data to be used repeatedly. Briffa’s inaction resulted in the huge waste of public resources in many different studies producing faulty conclusions.

    3) Briffa repeatedly over 10 yrs refused to provide data or methods used, even if as he claimed the Russian’s had control of the Yamal data he could at the minimum made clear which data sets he used and methods. The only logical conclusion can be that Briffa was knowingly covering up the fact that the Yamal data set was inadequate.

    4) Abusing his position at IPCC as editor to ensure no challenges or criticisms of the hockey teams published papers, would appear in the IPPC report.

    Henry

  40. Henry
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    4) Abusing his position at IPCC as editor to ensure no challenges or criticisms of the Hockey team’s published papers, would appear in the IPPC report even though Briffa knew his paper and many of the papers of the Hockey Team were based on faulty Yamal data.

    Henry

  41. Chris S.
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I’m very grateful for the excellent and valuable work you are doing in this field.
    I’ve been following this blog (lurking) with interest for a number of years and admire your plain speaking and meticulous attention to detail.
    I have to wonder had you not made the effort, whether anyone else would have found the flaws in the Teams methodology. Probably not.

    Chris.

  42. Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    McIntyre, is this a statement of fact in the part that says the versions are identical?

    Given that the Briffa version proved identical to the Hantemirov version, this could have been archived in a few minutes: why did it take a year?

    Briffa’s response said that he based his work on data that was the basis of H & S 2002. Is that the same as saying he used exactly the same data?

    In what way has the Briffa version proved identical to the Hantemirov version?

    The data doesn’t appear to be the same. See my comment above #5, Oct. 9, 11:38 p.m., for the differences I see. Am I wrong?

    • CG
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

      Re: Micajah (#58),

      Did you see this response at the bottom of your post above?

      Steve: The data set sent to me by Hantemirov proved to be identical to the one archived by Briffa. The 17 living trees appear to include 3 sampled in 1963 and 2 in 1978/82, which I hadn’t included in the CRU 12. There are differences in the information provided in the H and S archive at NCDC and the Hantemirov data set, but I hadn’t noticed this until recently and don’t know the explanation.

      • Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

        Re: CG (#71), I hadn’t noticed that Steve at some point tacked that answer onto my earlier comment. Thanks for pointing it out–I might not have gone back and seen it at all.

  43. Pat Frank
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    The other element of the widespread use of the Yamal series is that those who used it must have received a two-column file from Briffa. It’s unlikely that they digitized Yamal from Briffa, 2000. So, Briffa must have passed on the series knowing it was inadequate for more analytical use. And those who received it must have failed to inquire into the provenance of a series central to their result. Eyes closed all round.

    A critical element of experimental science is to ascertain the reliability of a measurement. One can’t know the meaning of a result, if one doesn’t have some understanding of its accuracy and precision. When a conclusion hangs from one measurement, not knowing the accuracy and precision of that measurement is to put that conclusion to serious jeopardy. Good experimental scientists are understandably loathe to do that, and so inquire assiduously into the provenance of their measurements. As much as wanting to produce a viable and defensible conclusion, there is the horrifying embarrassment of being shown up as careless.

    And yet, here we have paleoclimatologists (apart from the authors of D’Arrigo, 2006), experimental scientists all, apparently careless about the quality of a centrally important measurement. How could they, professionally competent scientists, have overlooked the most important verification possible, that of the lynch pin experimental support for their conclusion? How could they have blindly accepted and used a two-column data file without asking after the measurement protocols? It’s inconceivable.

    And yet it happened, and more than once. At the very least, this event series is a most serious lesson in the power of confirmation bias. The seduction of the desired conclusion apparently trumped the professional acumen of one experimentalist after another. The pervasive culture of approval/vilification that constrains climatology these days surely contributed to the seductiveness of the correct result.

    And Donald Kennedy, the editor of Science, is on record editorially vilifying those skeptical of AGW. It’s hardly surprising (to me, anyway), that Science, under his stewardship, should fail in its duty of rigorous methodological integrity as regards climate science, when his personal climate politics are in play.

    Finally, it’s not unexpected that your critics would again focus on you in this matter, rather than on your work, Steve. It’s been that way from the very beginning, e.g., after M&M 2003 you were sneeringly referenced as a businessman corrupted by a career in mining (read that as a callous capitalistic depredator of the environment). You’ve been nothing but civilized through the length of that gauntlet, and your relentless playing by the rules has cleared the field. That, and knowing the math. :-)

    • bernie
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#60), Elegantly said. It is always embarrassing for the pros, when they get shown up by the talented amateur.

    • kim
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#60),

      Yes, knowing the maths. Even Pachauri is on record a year or so ago wondering if someone got their sums wrong.
      ========================

      • curious
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

        Re: kim (#63), Hi kim – please do you have a reference for that?

        • kim
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

          Re: curious (#65),

          Well, yes and no. I’ve tracked the comment to Jan. of 2008 when Pachauri said ‘it would be necessary for the IPCC to rethink its calculations’, but can’t find the exact quote. I, too, would like to see the context, because he otherwise doesn’t entertain much doubt in his public utterances.
          ================================

  44. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You didn’t provide quotes of the vitriol poured on you for not spotting the “data connection” earlier. But I’ll take your assertion at face value. So given that, it can mean only one thing – the world of climate science acknowledges you to be their King.

    Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls, our debts, our careful wives, our children, and our sins, lay on the King! We must bear all.

    From Henry V Act 4 Scene I.

    Whatever happened – it’s your fault. A scientist doesn’t archive data – it’s your fault. A journal doesn’t exercise its responsibilities of data disclosure – it’s your fault. Another scientist mistakenly uses data (s)he should have checked – it’s your fault. Why the heck didn’t you tell them all earlier? Did you really have to wait until a couple of months before Copenhagen?

    You are the King, and it’s a heavy burden for your shoulders. Shakespeare also tells us the importance of humility in kings, and whilst not perfect, you are doing a pretty good job in that regard.

    So now a message for Elvis: it’s time to move over…

    Rich.

    • DaleC
      Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

      Re: See – owe to Rich (#61),

      There is quite a lot of vitriol at this DotEarth thread:

      http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/climate-auditor-challenged-to-do-climate-science/

      • steven mosher
        Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

        Re: DaleC (#68),

        Let me get this straight. Steve’s challenge to climate science is this: archive your data and your code. And climate science has responded by challenging steve to do his own reconstruction. let’s look at that in slowmoshervision…. Climate scientists claim to be scientists. They are challenged by a non scientist to merely do their jobs for which they are well qualified.. ahhhem. It’s a simple task. Post the data that you use and the code you use to analyze it. Their response to this herculean task is to counter challenge the non scientist to do his own science or shut up….

        • bender
          Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (#75),
          They want Steve to imitate them.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#76),

          I got my paper right here in one sentence. “Using standard methods of multivariate calibration and the data at hand no conclusion can be drawn about the global temperature prior to 1800.”

          Where do I Submit?

        • bender
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (#79),
          Opinions can be solicited at a website called “realclimate”. Folks there are reasonable and helpful.

  45. Carl
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Keep up the good work pursing truth, asking questions, pointing out problems and listen only to constructive criticism. We “out here” appreciate your efforts and findings greatly.

  46. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Re: Pat Frank #60

    Pat, I wonder if its related to the invasion of academia by the post-modernists – summarised below in a short quote:

    “In many faculties and in several fields, such as sociology, English literature and philosophy, the Left has dominated since the 1960s, teaching Western culture in terms of a series of crimes against humanity. They have thence taught the teachers, who have perpetuated these myths in the schools. Those opposed to Deconstructionism and Postmodernism, who argue that empirical evidence is vital and one can go from facts to truths, have all too often been ridiculed and sidelines in the Left’s pursuit of Garmscian cultural hegemony.

    In the field of history, Postmodernism can be particularly corrosive. Followers of the French philosopher Michel Foucault assert that historical accounts are merely narratives imprisoned by a language that Derrida had already proven was incapable of providing meaning, thus it is impossible to know the past, which can only be created. As the writer Patrick West recently pointed out in the Times Literary Supplement, ‘According to these Poststructuralist relativists, we cannot even be sure that the Holocaust took place.’ Some of the more extreme postmodernists even call for the abolition of history as an intellectual discipline altogether. This has led to the widespread conviction amongst educated people that postmodernists are all too often, as West calls them, ‘merely disillusioned ex-Marxists who, despairing at the failure of the socialist experiment, have sought refuge in apathetic solipsism.”

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2009/10/culture-catcher-19

    Climate studies are essentially something the Geographers are involved with and in the early 1970’s when I was still an undergrad, we were even then aware of the different way science was done by them. The geographers seemed far more at home with the social sciences, then the hard ones such as physics, Chem, etc.

    In hindsight the present situation was probably predictable but the unnerving aspect of it is the distinct possibility that maybe they don’t understand data as empirical scientists do. Hence what you conclude they may not actually understand, ever, and that is frightening.

    What climate science seems to be doing is the palaeoclimate version of the post-modernist approach to history – see the second paragraph above – where the past is “created”.

  47. Noblesse Oblige
    Posted Oct 10, 2009 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    The response of the team and the entourage of “believers” is textbook confirmation bias. Take a close look at the classic paper of Lord, Ross, and Lepper: “Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence” (J. Personality and Social Psychology Vol 37, No. 11, pp 2098-2109 (1979)). The authors not only showed what we all know — that believers place a higher barrier on contradictory evidence — they quantified the effect for a particular case.

    Everyone involved in pursuing the elusive scientific truth in climate, or those with an interest in seeing it achieved, should read and be familiar with this paper. A scanned copy is available online as a PDF.

  48. KimW
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    steven mosher:
    October 10th, 2009 at 9:01 pm
    Re: DaleC (#68),

    Stephen said ” … It’s a simple task. Post the data that you use and the code you use to analyze it. Their response to this herculean task is to counter challenge the non scientist to do his own science or shut up….”
    I fully agree. A challenge to do your own science on this is simply to hide the fact that you have not made very sure that ALL data and ALL reasoning was laid out so your work can be checked. In it’s essentials, a science paper is a recipe. If it cannot be followed and replicated then it is useless.

  49. Stephen Parrish
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the reference back to the Esper article. This Esper quote, in light of all this Briffa mess, is remarkable to me:

    However as we mentioned earlier on the subject of biological growth populations, this does not mean that one could not improve a chronology by reducing the number of series used if the purpose of removing samples is to enhance a desired signal. The ability to pick and choose which samples to use is an advantage unique to dendroclimatology.

  50. curious
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

    Thanks – noted!

  51. Whistleblower
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    snip

    Not much difference here i think.
    Many of these Climate people have a very strong vested interest to cloud the debate – snip

    Keep up the good work mate, lots of people thanking you for your efforts to check things and eventually get to the truth, whatever that may be.

  52. Son of Mulder
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    There could be 4 positions

    1) Those who support AGW and consider tree rings a valid tool to reconstruct historical global temperature to support their case.

    2) Those who are sceptical of AGW and consider tree rings a valid tool to reconstruct historical global temperature to support their case.

    3) Those who draw the lesson that tree rings are not a valid tool to reconstruct historical global temperature.

    4) Those who don’t know.

    Will someone please point me to the convincing scientific evidence that 3 is not the correct position to take? Thanks.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

      Re: Son of Mulder (#91),

      No sure what you mean by valid. Tree rings are a tool used to reconstruct past temperatures. Ask it this way.

      Given ONLY the instrumented series ( 1850 to present) of temperature and a population of tree rings from around the global if I am asked to “reconstruct” the global temperature prior to 1850 I would have two choices.

      1. Use tree rings
      2. Don’t use tree rings.

      So, despite the difficulties with rings I think I’d prefer a reconstruction with rings as opposed to merely guessing.

      Put that another way. I give you and bender the temperature series from 1940 to present. I give bender tree ring
      data and I give you nothing. I ask you both to hindcast the temperature from 1850-1940. My bet is that bender will do a better job than you. Which is only to say that there is SOME information in tree rings.

      • MrPete
        Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

        Re: steven mosher (#98),
        Just because there is “information” available doesn’t mean it is useful information. One can be misled by more information…and potentially make a more intelligent estimate without the extra (misleading) info.

        This is potentially why we (humans) are so terrible at forecasting the future. We overestimate knowledge and underestimate uncertainty. (I’ve always enjoyed how often Dart Throwers win stock-picking contests… for example:

        Dart throwers beat pros and industrials.
        Wall Street Journal, 7 Aug. 1996, C1
        Nancy Ann Jeffrey

        The darts extended their streak to 6 consecutive wins over the pros and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, in this ongoing contest sponsored by the “Wall Street Journal.” In this latest six-month period, the stocks chosen by the darts had an average gain of 2.6%, while the pros has an average loss of 8.6% and the Dow an average gain of 1.3%.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: MrPete (#101), yes. So, I’ll ask you the threshhold question. knowing what you know about the limitations of tree rings, ( u shaped responses, multiple factors that determine growth etc ) if you had a choice and only one choice.. to ring or not to ring? I know it’s over simplifying, but I’m trying to get at the original claim which was tree rings are not VALID. Sorry if I’m not clearer. I think we are going OT however and bender will banish us to unthreaded. Anyway’s boston lost, god is dead. what’s the point of anything.

        • Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (#104),

          My opnion, FWIW… If you don’t know the local climate history for the tree(s) in question, then it’s a crap shoot as to which resource the tree was depending on most at any given time. Sometimes it might have been temp, sometimes water, sometimes sunlight, sometimes nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, etc. Any deficiency in any one of these items would dictate the growth of the tree.

        • MrPete
          Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (#104),
          Denver 5-0 … I’m not THAT tied to my New England roots :)

          Do I get a ton of metadata? If not, I don’t know that I’d bother even if I had the time, and even though you aren’t asking a lot actually: only 100 years further back. I can guess that pretty close from knowing a bit of history :)

          The theory seems to be that treeline trees are temp-stressed. But… treeline does not move very fast. And here we have more precip stress than temp stress. Final nail in the coffin: metadata. If the data came from (highly variable microclimate) places like where I’ve been, with zero metadata the way I’ve seen, I honestly can’t imagine it helping.

  53. Shallow Climate
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Ed McMahon: …And here is the envelope containing the final question.
    Audience: (mucho cheering)
    Carnac: May the Bird of Paradise lay an egg in your underwear.
    Ed M: Perhaps The Great Carnac, mystical seer from the East, is getting a little testy.
    Carnac: The Great Carnac wishes to remind you that The Great Carnac does not write this material. …”Core Counts”
    Ed M: “Core Counts”
    Carnac: Is there an echo in here? Yes, “Core Counts”
    Ed M: And the question is?
    Carnac (opening envelope): “What are the two header words on the page that is missing from Briffa’s dictionary?”

  54. AndyL
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    You mention that neiter Yamal nor Mann PC1 were published fully in peer-reviewed articles. Are there any other influential chronologies were similarlty not publisehd in detail, and can a spot-light be put on these?

  55. curious
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for clarifying – I agree terminology can be important. Do you think this data set is an appropriate geographical choice to go with the rest of the Yamal series?

  56. Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Well the Shiyatov dataset is also sampled on the “Hadyta” river, and they were also Larches, I won’t be surprised if the sample sites overlap, but – as common in climate proxy publications- the sample location information is extremely crude so no geostatistics can be applied.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

      Re: Hans Erren (#108),

      On the assumption that a treemometer captures the “local” climate the question is what is local?
      I’ll take Hansen on this one:

      The analysis method was documented in Hansen and Lebedeff (1987), showing that the correlation of temperature change was reasonably strong for stations separated by up to 1200 km, especially at middle and high latitudes. They obtained quantitative estimates of the error in annual and 5-year mean temperature change by sampling at station locations a spatially complete data set of a long run of a global climate model, which was shown to have realistic spatial and temporal variability.

      In fact Hansen uses this 1200 km figure to do station adjustments. That is, station data at one location is adjusted by station data from a station 1200 km away. Under the assumption that a tree captures the climate signal for an area
      I see no reason why one can’t combine series ( from the same species) from regions as large as this ( say 1200 km radius ) to improve the sample size.

      • Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

        Re: steven mosher (#115),
        Under the assumption that a tree captures the climate signal for an area I see no reason why one can’t combine series ( from the same species) from regions as large as this ( say 1200 km radius ) to improve the sample size.

        Sure look at Central Europe how well stations match that are 900 km apart. (real observed temperatures!)I think I calculated an R2 of 0.7.

        BTW the Khadyta larches match to summer (JJA) temperature in Salehard with an R2 of only 0.1

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

          Re: Hans Erren (#123), thanks Hans. Over on the guru thread Tom P is claiming Yamal matches the record at above .4.. you might want to have a look over there.

  57. curious
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Hans – that was my understanding, but I thought TomP was arguing against combining the two series? Is that correct Tom?

  58. Ray Boorman
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    Re: Stephen Mosher #104 I agree with Jeff Alberts, & would go further to say that, UNLESS you can determine the precise location underground of all the trees roots in relation to any water supplies, at all times throughout its growth, plus the presence or absence at all times of dead animals providing additional fertiliser to the tree, then determining temperature from its growth rings is impossible – period.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

      Re: Ray Boorman (#111), I’m not so quick to throw all of dendro out the window. bender would tell us to take this to unthreaded

  59. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    Here are links to the articles/blogs Steve mentions:

    NY Times Dot Earth column, “Climate Auditor Challenged to Do Climate Science” . Has a nice long statement by our host. Comments are interesting, especially if you sort them by “Readers recommendations”. More positive than you might expect for Times readers. Really quite encouraging.

    Tim Lambert, Deltoid. Pretty standard Lambert, lots of snark and unhelpful nit-picking (imo).

    Deep Climate blog, Climate “auditor” Steve McIntyre: Yamal like “crack cocaine”. I hadn’t see this blog before (and won’t look for it again). Basically a rehash of the RC hatchet-job. Don’t bother trying to make sense of it, is my advice. Sample:

    Steve McIntyre apparently wants to be taken seriously as a professional scientific investigator. Well then, he should try doing real science, instead of indulging in his usual stream-of-consciousness conflation of semi-technical analysis and accusatory snark, yadda yadda yadda . . .

    For a bonus, here’s a nice article at examiner.com: “New data questions claims of accelerated global warming” by Thomas Fuller, written in a nice, quiet tone.

    Happy reading–
    Pete Tillman

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

      Re: Peter D. Tillman (#112), Tom Fuller is a great guy. If any of you get around SF send me mail via steve Mc and I’ll put together a meet up with Tom.

    • James Smyth
      Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

      Re: Peter D. Tillman (#112), what I get from the comments at that NYTimes article is that Russell Seitz is either a complete moron or a liar.

      [Russell Seitz, Cambridge, Mass, October 5th, 2009, 3:16 pm] Mcintyre ( and sundry others unheard from since ) did an iota of good half a decade ago by prodding Nature into getting Mann & co. to fix their medieval warm period data splice..”

      Oh, that’s what the did? Really?

  60. MrPete
    Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    My off-the-cuff probably-impossible BCP experiment:
    * Avoid stripbark trees (last 150 years or more unreliable)
    * Ignore first 150 years of growth (because they’re still finding a reliable nutrient/H2O source)
    * Ignore last 150 years of any dead tree (because could be the record of tree-murder rather than ‘peaceful’ death)
    * Oversample at least 2-4x per tree and 10x per microsite
    * (Use a 2nd gen improvement on MrPete’s Secret Sampling Method to get cleaner cores)
    * Find a new way to ring-match so complacent trees are not ignored. Do the Hard Work of manually matching. No Cores Tossed.

    THEN: instead of seeking minimal variation / max “signal” at a site, do the exact opposite: how much variation can be found in preselected trees at a single site? Can it be explained?

    My tendency in practical science and engineering is to see how fast/well I can break a system. Then fix the problems I created. If it stands up to abuse, it’s pretty good.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Oct 11, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

      Re: MrPete (#114),

      THEN: instead of seeking minimal variation / max “signal” at a site, do the exact opposite: how much variation can be found in preselected trees at a single site? Can it be explained?

      ding ding ding. I had that same thought today rummaging through my head. Especially when yal006 has a 8 sigma response. is that huge response signal? or outlier?

  61. KimW
    Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

    Peter D. Tillman: said on
    October 11th, 2009 at 8:53 pm
    Deep Climate blog, . . . . Sample:

    Steve McIntyre apparently wants to be taken seriously as a professional scientific investigator. Well then, he should try doing real science, instead of indulging in his usual stream-of-consciousness conflation of semi-technical analysis and accusatory snark, yadda yadda yadda . . .

    Deep Climate – like a few such blogs, completly overlooks that it is NOT up to Steve to go out there and produce a competing series, it is up to the originator to produce a coherent, reasoned and justified paper in the first place. If the paper is sloppy,or glosses over details, then the paper should not have been published in the first place. -snip

    Steve audits papers because all too many do not seem to have been before publication.

  62. 40 Shades of Green
    Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Does the fact that “Tim Lambert, David Appell, and Deep Climate,” are complaining about you not discovering this error earlier, mean that they concede your point with regard to it being in error?

  63. Bruce
    Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    snip – piling on

  64. Pat Frank
    Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    snip – OT and philosophisizing. Sorry.

  65. MikeN
    Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Tom P, your code doesn’t properly implement the sensitivity test you described. You have to rewrite the RCS chronology function, not just edit out some trees.If you want to only have above 100 years, then you have to cut out the first hundred years of EVERY tree. As you have it, you still have some trees that are in their tenth year of life.

    • bender
      Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

      Re: MikeN (#127),
      doh

      • steven mosher
        Posted Oct 12, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

        Re: bender (#128), I feel kinda bad for tempting Tom to write his own R.

    • Tom P
      Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

      Re: MikeN (#125),

      Tom P, your code doesn’t properly implement the sensitivity test you described.

      My code does exactly what I described – it excludes trees younger than a certain age from the series. If you want to perform a different sensitivity test, go ahead.
      Re: Dave Dardinger (#66),

      Of course if these were only living trees, the age group would also correspond to the age of the tree, but this doesn’t correspond to your system. You need to think about what your method actually does.

      The study I cited only looked at living trees. You need to read the paper.

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

        Re: Tom P (#130),

        The study I cited only looked at living trees. You need to read the paper.

        Uhh Tom, where would I have gotten the quote if I hadn’t read the paper? I wasn’t talking about the trees in the paper, but about a hypothetical tree. But you’re not eliminating only living trees in your test. You eliminated all trees which only lived to a certain age, unlike in the paper you’re trying to claim justifies your method.

        But it’s all worthless since you won’t admit that it’s the HS trees from Briffa’s magic 10-12, not the age of other, young, trees. These remaining Briffa trees cause the HS and eliminating young trees only have an effect on the MWP, and that only to a minor extent until you eliminate trees that are rather older and allow the remaining trees to show variability rather than any actual signal. And this, of course, is just Steve’s point. Of course I’m treating the Briffa 10 trees as though we’re dealing with the actual RWs rather than the RCS version, which tends to be more strongly affected by tree number. It also doesn’t deal with end-point effects.

        Please note that those of us who’ve seen this sort of thing time after time, (even people like me who weren’t trained in the dendro arts) aren’t being fooled by your obsfucation and can follow the pea as Steve always requests. And there’s a lot more of us than of you, so you’re going to keep getting your mistakes thrown back in your face until you’re willing to stop doing it. As Bender might say, it’s all good fun.

  66. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    snip – OT and philosophisizing

  67. MikeN
    Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    TomP, can you give the logic of including the growth for a tree that is ten years old, just because it will live for another 240 years?

    You have at certain points averaged in the growth of a tree that is 10 years old. That’s not how I interpreted what you were trying to do with your sensitivity test.

  68. alex verlinden
    Posted Oct 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    I’m a civil engineer and and I don’t completely understand some numbers, and being an engineer, numbers are sacred ! :-) … I googled the H & S data, referenced in the post, and was directed to http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/hantemirov2002/hantemirov2002.html … downloaded the data there (Calendar year, summer temperature anomaly reconstruction (.01 deg.C), larch tree ring chronology index value, and sample depth.) in a simple excel and sorted the data by larch tree ring chronology index data … if I then take a LTRCIV of 14, there are 7 values for the summer temperature anomaly reconstruction, ranging from -1.64°C in 287BC to -2.71°C in 550BC … in the middle of the table, a LTRCIV of 100 gives 30 STA values and a range from -1.09°C in AD436 to 0.87°C in 1317BC … towards the end of the table, a LTRCIV of 196 yields 7 STA values ranging from 1.68°C in AD1782 to 2.87°C in AD206 … can someone direct me to some explanation as to how I get from the one (LTRCIV) to the other (STA) ? many thanks beforehand …

  69. J.Hansford
    Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    As far as I am concerned it was up to Briffa to provide his data to people who wanted to scrutinize his work… Not for people to try and deduce what series or data he used….. Those who are criticising McIntyre should be scathingly critical of Briffa instead.

    • Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

      Re: J.Hansford (#134),
      The crucial point here, which I had not realised before, and which is slightly hidden away in Steve’s lengthy post, is this. It is not just that Briffa did not archive the Yamal data, it is much worse: the Yamal results were never properly written up in any scientific publication.

      • bender
        Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

        Re: PaulM (#137),
        If only more people would understand this point.

      • steven mosher
        Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

        Re: PaulM (#137), yes, if he had done that you would not have people like Tom P scrambling to play weekend dendro.

  70. slownewsday
    Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    Is this the sort of thing you would call vituperative?

    in contrast, James Hansen and his disciples have a more jihadist approach, Hansen setting the example by refusing to appear on panels with John Christy despite the latter’s extensive publication record.

    Hansen = Jihad?

    • MrPete
      Posted Oct 15, 2009 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

      Re: slownewsday (#143),

      Get a grip, snd. You continue to fall to the common Western misunderstanding of jihad, assuming it is only an extreme physical struggle. Only a tiny minority of muslims would agree with you.

      “vituperative: Using, containing, or marked by harshly abusive censure

      “jihad: (considered to be every Muslim’s duty) the struggle to improve society, preventing the exploitation of the poor or vulnerable, or improving oneself before the Day of Judgment.”

      In essence, jihad is an islamic way of talking about the multifaceted struggle for purification and discipline. And Steve used the term very responsibly.

      Can you honestly say Steve’s sentence was harshly abusive censure?!!

      Enough. Repeating a fallacy enough times doesn’t make it true. It just shows you’re devoted to an invalid meme.

  71. TreeTalk
    Posted Oct 27, 2009 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Interestingly, Dr. Briffa has now provided his response:

  72. AlanB
    Posted Oct 28, 2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    Hot off the press!

    Interestingly, Dr. Briffa has now provided his response:

    See here for the updated reply

    • Jean S
      Posted Oct 28, 2009 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

      Re: AlanB (#147),
      Interesting. Parsing through all the text, you finally find this figure:

      Figure F
      This Figure presents a comparison of different versions of the Yamal larch ring-width chronology all produced using the same RCS implementation, each comprising the same “sub-fossil” (Yamal_SF) data but using different recent measurement data collected from living trees. The blue curve is Yamal_AD which contains the 12 trees removed by McIntyre; the black curve (Yamal_All) uses all available data from the original POR, YAD and JAH sites plus those from KHAD; the green curve (equivalent to McIntyre’s ‘extreme’ case chronology) is the chronology based only on the KHAD site data; and the magenta chronology includes the 12 removed trees and the KHAD trees (equivalent to the other McIntyre version of the chronology). The upper panels show 40-year low-pass cubic-spline smoothed data, shown on an expanded time scale in the right hand panel but truncated in 1990, the last year of the KHAD data. The lower panel shows the equivalent inter-annual data after 1800. All data are scaled so that yearly data have the same mean and standard deviation as the Yamal_All chronology over the period 1-1600. Figure E gives an indication of Yamal_All uncertainty.

      In the main text, it is described as

      A chronology using only the recent data from either POR or YAD will exhibit a greater 20th century increase in growth than one based on JAH, but one based only on KHAD, as in McIntyre’s experiment, is the most anomalous and, therefore, arguably the least defensible. With no additional information with which to justify the exclusion of any of these data, we have produced a chronology using the measurements from all 4 sites (see Figure E and Figure F).

      The “Yamal all” chronology (black) is now their preferred (correctly, as there can be no cherry picking) chronology. Original Yamal (Yamal AD; blue) series shows exceptional growth post 1950 considering all the evidence. Especially, as Briffa also observes (“cautions”), the post-1990 portion is a definite no no due to low number of trees and likely has a positive bias. My verdict: Steve was right on all counts.

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