Gerry North Doesn’t Understand the “Trick”

Gerry North told the Washington post that the NAS panel did exactly the same thing as Phil Jones’ trick. (Dec. 1, 2009) North is talking through his hat. North:

We put the tree ring record on the graph and stuck the instrument record on for the last 50 years in exactly the way [Phil] Jones in his [leaked] email referred to as a ʻtrickʼ. We did not know of his email (it was happening at the same time and we were careful not to have any contact with the IPCC process going on at that time), and we did precisely the same thing because it was the natural thing to do

This isn’t Jones’ trick.

The “problem” arises because Briffa reconstruction goes down from 1940 to 1994 instead of up.

Jones deleted the post-1960 values of the Briffa reconstruction, replaced them with instrumental values, smoothed the spliced series (see posts by both Jean S and myself proving this) and ended up with a reconstruction that looked like an accurate reconstruction of late 20th century temperatures. He didn’t merely show a temperature series alongside a proxy reconstruction, which is what the NAS panel did.

The NAS panel had a different approach to the “problem” of the Briffa reconstruction. They simply didn’t show it.

If North is going to issue pronouncements on Jones’ trick, then he should at least know what Jones’ trick is. If he doesn’t know precisely what it was (as he obviously doesn’t), then it’s better to say nothing than to pretend that he knows what it was.

207 Comments

  1. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This circling of wagons makes me grumpy. Like North’s first response was to also hide the data? Really. Maybe climatology school is more correct than I thought.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/climatology-school/

    Here are some credentials for North from the article.

    In 2006, North chaired a National Academy of Sciences panel on “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the last 2,000 Years,” which examined Mann’s controversial study, known as the “Hockey Stick,” which traced Earth’s recent climate history. While the panel found some flaws with the study, it largely affirmed Mann’s conclusions that late 20th century surface temperatures were higher than they had been in at least four centuries, and possibly far longer than that.

  2. David P
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t know when this post went up, but I notice that North emailed Freeman with a correction, which went up in the comments at 1:28pm in that thread. I assume this is the blog North is referring to. I commented below in that thread (“OlePeep”) that in his original interview, North says all scientists know this kind of “kidding” and “language” is used all the time, forgetting it might be made public someday.

    Yet in his “SI” or “correction”, he states that he cannot “bring himself” to read the emails.

    So he can pontificate and hand wave about how common this kind of banter is, yet not even read the material in question. I don’t know if he’s dishonest, or a medium, but either way he’d make a great Team member.

  3. jim edwards
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve:

    Did you see North’s partial withdrawal from the trick ?

    It was posted in the comments section of the article you linked to. He now calls Jones’ trick an “alleged” blending of proxy and instrumental data. It’s OK though, b/c at the time “we knew rather less about the so-called divergence problem with the tree rings.” I thought I remember divergence being discussed in your wrap-up of the NAS hearing, at the time. Hmm…

    Dr. North’s comment:

    [repetitive portion removed - JE]
    I learned from a blog that I had misinterpreted the ‘trick’ I referred to. I t seems that this referred to an action in 1998, long before my committee met. Phil Jones allegedly [based on the email], chose to ‘blend’ the tree ring data with the more recent instrumental data. While I might not have done it this way myself, I do not consider it dishonest or even manipulative. What he did was indicate to the best his knowledge what the situation was. At that time we knew rather less about the so-called divergence problem with the tree rings. Sorry, I just cannot bring myself to read those emails.

    I want to note another mistake in my statement. There were only about 1000 authors in the Journal of Climate last year. There are surely many thousands of active scientists around the world working on this problem.

    Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | December 1, 2009 1:28 PM

    Steve: “Divergence” was discussed at length in the presentations and none of the presenters on the side of the Team gave anything remotely like an explanation. Cuffey was particularly bothered by this on the day. In their report, they totally dropped the ball on the topic.

  4. Jim from Anaheim
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The “problem” arises because Briffa reconstruction goes down from 1940 to 1994 instead of up.

    In “real” science, divergence of the outcome from that which was expected is looked at as an opportunity to learn something important. In politicized, taxpayer funded science, divergence becomes a “problem.”

  5. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The true divergence problem seems to occur when scientists meet power and expend energy to separate results from reality.

  6. stevemcintyre
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gerry North says that he “learned from a blog” that he was in error. Can’t even say the name “Climate Audit”. see here.

  7. Jim from Anaheim
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t even say the name “Climate Audit”.

    Someone probably set up an anonymous proxy to CA so they don’t have to know where it comes from. ;)

  8. SteveS
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Imagine a Seal staring blankly at you,Gerry.

  9. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 6:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Climategate suffers its first big name casualty – Phil Jones loses his job today. The AP break the story without pulling any punches:
    “Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.”

    http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/12/01/climategate-claims-its-first-casualty-cru-pushes-phil-jones-out/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+globalwarmingorg+%28GlobalWarming.org%29

  10. Harry Eagar
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 6:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr. McIntyre, did Freedman solicit your comment about what the trick was and who performed it?

    Speaking as a newspaperman, that should have been a minimum requirement for reporting on his North interview.

    Steve: No attempt.

  11. John in L du B
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 6:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In general Steve, I’d say that you have been very respectful in your blog and I’m not sure how your “…very popular blog makes fun of scientists in a way that unnerves them…”. Personnaly, I’d say they’re kind of “funny” in a way that unerves me as as a long time practising scientist.

    I also can’t see why “…they cannot make fun of him [you] in return without appearing ʻunprofessionalʼ.” Apparently team members takes themselves really seriously and aren’t allowed to have a sense of humor.

    I don’t think either of these statements by North were justified in any way.

  12. John in L du B
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “She has some respect for Steve McIntyreʼs contributions, and so do I”.

    Well he did say the name of “…he whose name cannot be mentioned” and he did say he had “some” respect for him.

  13. Tim S.
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gerry said,

    “I believe McIntyre is very sincere and is not doing any of this for money, etc. I think he has the conviction that we are rushing to judgment about the interpretation of the surface temperature data. His very popular blog makes fun of scientists in a way that unnerves them, since they cannot make fun of him in return without appearing ʻunprofessionalʼ. Many find this frustrating to the point of exasperation. Itʼs like asking a government official to speak publicly like a radio talk show host.”

    From this, one gets the impression that Steve McIntyre is a schoolboy making funny faces at the adults, who of course cannot respond in kind because they are, well, responsible adults.

    The truth of the matter is that Steve is dead serious about the statistics behind this climate science and has the ability to reveal flaws in their processing of the data. Gerry is very subtly pulling the old “appealing to authority” trick by making himself seem above Steve, when in fact Gerry is out of his league when it comes to crunching the numbers and this is where the Achilles heel of the AGW theory is located.

  14. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 8:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This scientist is personally bothered by someone who decides to speak publicly about a subject they know nothing about because they refuse to research the subject.

  15. Fred
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 8:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’d bet Gerry North perfectly understands the Trick.
    snip – piling on

  16. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just to add, this scientist believes that methods and data should be published. Hiding data and methods sets up situations like Climategate.

    I don’t just believe it, I practice it:
    http://valelab.ucsf.edu/~nico/MMwiki/index.php/ITC18

  17. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t know if this has been directly pointed out or not yet; but the trick also serves a handy purpose in inferring the presumed higher degree of modern accuracy onto proxy derived historical data.

    Also have a go at trying to find monthly mean temperature data sources that give the st.dev. as well.. darn hard – also you come against a wall of only for bona fida academic usage only – eh? This data is in some cases hundreds of years old and paid for many times over by tax payers, it should be completely free to access and without restrictions. This lack of transparency only serves to add fuel to the fire.

    Key data like this and the models dependent upon them should be all open sourced and hosted on open source project sites – this is just too important to keep under lock and key any longer.

    BTW the st.dev. is important to see carried through as without it what you have done is just collapsed a years worth of readings into just 12 data points, the time range variance they each contain is gone.

  18. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I find this damage control by those climate scientists not directly involved in the emails every bit as despicable as the intentions of the emailers. I suspect that that they see these defenses as something the less informed general public might accept, but for the better informed they only dig themselves a deeper hole.

    I would also advise them not to make up stuff about Steve M as he can better remember the gist of past exchanges they can. Is there a limit to that Canadian continence – we may find out.

  19. curious
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve – what happened to Wegman? Did he get moved aside? The ASA recently gave its full support to the current IPCC climate science position on AGW which, given Wegman’s findings, seems surprising:

    http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/media/1021climate_letter.pdf

    His resume shows he ceased to be on the Board of ASA in 2008 and he also ceased to Chair the Publications Committee the same year:

    http://www.galaxy.gmu.edu/stats/faculty/wegman.resume2.pdf

    Steve: Wegman took no position on the “big picture”; merely on Mannian proxy reconstructions. For that matter, neither have I, despite the fact that both readers and critics read more into them.

  20. Buck smith
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Does Gerry North understand that when he says “we did precisely the same thing because it was the natural thing to do” he appears to be a clueless con artist or just plain dumb?

  21. Bernie
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I remain baffled by the failure of so many ostensibly smart guys to see what is in front of them.

  22. Norbert
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is the comment which is quoted here in the “Trick”-diagram thread:

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    In my reading, the “trick” (at least in this quote, in case there are others) refers more generally to adding the instrument record “to each series”. The Briffa series is only a special case, in so far as it requires more instrumental data. And this “hiding” of the post-1960 data has been discussed in published articles (according to realclimate.org).

    If the purpose of the graph is to give the best available data for the temperature at a given time (rather than to provide a basis for critical examination of the underlying data), then one could argue that the graph should “hide” even more of the Briffa series since it obviously disagrees with the more authoritative instrumental records.

    Graphs often represent the final qualified selection of results from a research project, and in many cases just do not have the purpose of highlighting all underlying shortcomings (for critical examination) in the first place. However, of course, there does need to be a process to allow such a critical examination (at least for other scientists).

  23. Tim S.
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    Remember, for every “trick” there is a “treat”… Climategate is just such a treat.

    Hide the decline (of AGW).

  24. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Norbert, that is a fair reading of the quote, if you take it completely out of context, ignore all other evidence and you “…can’t bring yourself to read [the rest of] the emails”.

    Standing of and by itself the email discussing the “nature trick” and “hide the decline” can be interpreted innocently.

  25. Colonel Travis
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If Steve McIntyre, just once, behaved like Gerry North and/or other consensus people repeatedly do every time they open their mouth, send an email or produce an alleged scientific document, he’d be ridiculed out of cyberspace in less than two cyberseconds.

    Isn’t life grand?

  26. Joe Olson
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    class….Class….CLASS…..Order in the Class ! ! !

    There is entirely too much discussion of the obvious going on here. Dr North is an esteemed expert on scientific transparency. I’m sure we could all learn a lot if we would just shut up and listen.

    Now Dr North please enlighten us some more on ‘transparency’ please.

    (Gerry to Team….”circle the wagons, there’s an ICBM incoming”…)

  27. Tim S.
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    In my reading, the “trick” (at least in this quote, in case there are others) refers more generally to “fudging the numbers”. The Briffa series is not a special case, in so far as it requires more instrumental data interference. And this “hiding” of the post-1960 data has been discussed in published articles (according to realclimate.org, which, according to the Climategate letters, is a reputable site that filters acceptable commentary).

    If the purpose of the graph is to give the best available data for the temperature at a given time (rather than to provide a basis for critical examination of the underlying data which may prove AGW incorrect), then one could argue that the graph should “hide” even more of the Briffa series since it obviously disagrees with the more authoritative instrumental records (which can be disregarded because the facts don’t fit the theory).

    Graphs often represent the final qualified selection of results from a research project, and in many cases just do not have the purpose of highlighting all underlying shortcomings (for critical examination) in the first place. That is the problem (with Climategate!). However, of course, there does need to be a process to allow such a critical examination (at least for other scientists) — (but where is it)?

    Tim

    P.S. Norbert, you did not post all that I have posted above… it is parody designed to illustrate a point. I hope you understand.

  28. Scott Brim
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The explanation for all of this might well be very simple. The term “decline” cannot be associated in any way, shape, or form with the term “climate signal” as the two terms represent mutually incompatible concepts.

  29. Tim S.
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Scott Brim,

    “The explanation for all of this might well be very simple. The term “decline” cannot be associated in any way, shape, or form with the term “climate signal” as the two terms represent mutually incompatible concepts.”

    So a “climate signal” cannot decline?!?

  30. Tim S.
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 11:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Scott Brim,

    What then am I to make of “signal to noise ratio’ if the signal cannot decline?

    Tim

  31. Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 11:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The suggestion that this sort of thing is no accident or that it is isolated goes completely out the window when you look at what has happened in the other countries caught out so far.

    In my country, New Zealand, the doctored graphs and data are showing the same problems but worse, we’ve just passed emissions trading legislation that is going to cost all of us tremendously on the back of this data.

  32. Aimee Gardens
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 11:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t understand you deniers. It’s like you want the world to melt and cause massive destruction. I’ve studied climate science for 20 years and evidence is overwhelming that the world is being thoroughly baked like a turkey on thanksgiving. Millions of species going extinct every month, once snow covered mountains are covered with moss now, unexpected hurricanes are popping up all over the planet, drought is killing millions in europe. In the face of all of this evidence you invite more death and destruction!

    I think you people are sick in the brain :(

  33. JWDougherty
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 12:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jim from Anaheim:

    Actually even among most tax-payer funded scientists, divergence is considered an opportunity. Calling what has been revealed at UEA and elsewhere in the AGW camp “science” is rude at best. Hansen, and Jones and Trenberth among others reveal that they’re acting from conviction that CO2 MUST modulate climate in their words and deeds. What they are committing is “science” about the same way creationism is.

  34. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 12:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim S, check your sarcasm detector, it isn’t working.

  35. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 2:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim, I think I understand your point(s) except for this: “(which can be disregarded because the facts don’t fit the theory).”

    That doesn’t make sense to me yet.

    Regarding the decline: there is only a decline of noise, not a decline of a signal. Briffa himself has acknowledged this here:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VF0-49G5SBP-1/2/fae4b03ebe00008b1c72ccc6833a7a3c
    (I can read only the abstract.)

    Of course, it raises the question whether that series should be used at all. BTW, it seems the latest (AR4) version of the IPCC report doesn’t use such a combined graph.)

    Steve: I’ve placed some Briffa articles online at CA/pdf/tree/ . IPCC AR4 used the same “trick” as IPCC TAR with the Briffa series – they hid the decline by deleting the data. There’s actually a bit more to the IPCC version of the trick which I’ll post on.

  36. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 2:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    North is clearly caught in a “fake but accurate” moment … snip – irrelevant politics

    Jonathan David Carson wrote at The American Thinker, on August 17, 2006 on how ”Science” magazine’s story on the Hockey Stick (July 28, 2006) conflated a dispute between scientists into a political one instead.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/08/fake_but_accurate_science.html
    By maintaining a ’fake but accurate’ stance, ”Science” thereby sacrificed science to political ends, according to Carson. Does North know that this is what he’s doing?

    I believe North back then ceased to recognize the difference between the requirements of sound science and politics – and continues not to do so.

  37. Manfred
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Having read North’s comment, i came to the conclusion that he was the main reason, that the team could carry on, even after the devastating wegmann report, and though he had to admit under oath that wegmann’s findings were entirely valid.

    as he doesn’t care about reading this page, he is completely uninformed about the recycling of authors and proxies in the various variations of the hockey stick productions and the stubborn continuation of buddy reviewed bad science.

    it’s gerry north’s fault and it is time for him to accept the blame and do better.

  38. Spence_UK
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Why is this surprising? As I noted in an earlier post to camirror (here), Mann has been actively promoting the idea that the “trick” was simply a (separate) overlay of instrumental series on a graph. Mann didn’t know what the “trick” was either.

    This claim by Mann has been uncritically parroted by many “pro-consensus” blogs, and I suspect North simply assumed that because so many people were saying it, it must be true.

    Climate scientists really need to learn how to be sceptical of information provided by others, even when it originates from within their own clique. Or perhaps that should be especially when it originates from their own clique. (Indeed, this was a point made by an reviewer of the hockey stick saga from MIT back in the early days… can’t remember the name off the top of my head!)

    As for North’s claim that climate scientists can’t reply in kind to this blog without appearing “unprofessional”, that is simply jaw-dropping. Has he not read RC? Or Gavin’s pit-bull? And perhaps being professional should be more than a thin PR veneer, and should extend to all work (including e-mails between your own clique)?

  39. Stacey
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 4:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr McIntyre

    You have changed the peer review process for climate scientists forever.

    Progression in science requires openess.

    The more abuse thrown at you the more double talk then you must know that you are on the right lines.

    Thank you

  40. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 5:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What a trauma that NAS panel turned out to be for the scientists accustomed to keeping their data secret. It might have been Steve’s and my presentation, or it might have been von Storch going after Phil Jones for his refusal to release his data, but the impression was clearly left that the days of secrecy were over.

    >>>X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.2
    >>>Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 17:11:24 -0800
    >>>From: Francis Zwiers
    >>>To: Jonathan Overpeck
    >>>Cc: Gabi Hegerl
    >>>Subject: gabi’s 1500-year reconstruction
    >>>Hi Peck,
    >>>
    >>>I just got a call from Gabi, who spent the day
    >>>in Washington at that NAS panel on the hockey
    >>>stick. She doesn’t have access to e-mail
    >>>today, and so asked me to convey a message.
    >>>
    >>>McIntyre and McKittrick were there, and seem
    >>>to have left Gabi with the strong impression
    >>>that they will be insisting on having access
    >>>to supporting data, etc., used to build
    >>>reconstructions. Gabi says that this is
    >>>making her nervous, wants to make sure that
    >>>you are aware of the status of her
    >>>reconstruction, and wants to be sure that you
    >>>are comfortable with continuing to use it in
    >>>Ch 6. She says that if you feel it necessary
    >>>to exclude her reconstruction from your SOD of
    >>>Ch 6, you should do so. The reconstruction is
    >>>used in her Nature paper on sensitivity, which
    >>>has been accepted, but the Nature paper does
    >>>not describe the reconstruction or the
    >>>supporting data in any detail. There is a
    >>>paper under review at J. Climate that does do
    >>>that (which is cited in the Nature paper), but
    >>>unfortunately, an editorial decision is still
    >>>pending.
    >>>

  41. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 5:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Also it’s small wonder that Mann was so confident in how North would run the NAS panel. In Mann’s email to Briffa urging him to attend, he says

    >> The panel is solid. Gerry North should do a good job in chairing
    >> this, and the other members are all solid. Chrisy is the token
    >> skeptic, but there are many others to keep him in check

    Then when Briffa declined Mann said (emph added)

    Any possibility Tim could do this instead? He’s less intimately involved w/
    the paleo chapter of IPCC, so I think it might be less of a worry for
    him? Or Phil? Its your prerogative to suggest alternates, and I think
    they’ll take your suggestions very seriously. My greatest fear is that
    McIntyre dominates the discussion.
    Its important that they hear from the
    legitimate scientists.

  42. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    >>>I just got a call from Gabi, who spent the day
    >>>in Washington at that NAS panel on the hockey
    >>>stick. She doesn’t have access to e-mail
    >>>today, and so asked me to convey a message.
    >>>

    For those who don’t know ‘Gabi’, she is Gabrielle Hegerl, wife of Tom Crowley (also implicated in the CRU emails).

    Here is her CV

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/ghegerl/vita_hegerl_feb09.pdf

    and here is her list of publications

    As you can see she has co-authored with ‘all the big players’ in climate science including Gerry North and even Ben Santer. She has had her ‘finger’ so to speak ‘in all the pies’ i.e. proxy reconstructions, climate modelling and the instrumented temperature record adjustments. She is a bonefide member of what Steve M calls the ‘european hockey team’.

    KevinUK

  43. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Oops sorry missed of the link to Gabi’s list of publications

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/ghegerl/vita_hegerl_feb09.pdf

    KevinUK

  44. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Third attempt. I really need to check before I hit that submut button

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/ghegerl/publications.html

    KevinUK

  45. Bernie
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ross:
    Do you know why Wegman did his social network analysis? Something or someone must have provoked his curiousity. His analysis has turned out to be amazingly prescient, almost a textbook example of the power of such a network. Funny how it was pooh poohed, and now it looks like a powerful tool to explain the dispositions of many climate scientists.

  46. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In 2007, Wegman signed an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations : http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ungensecr07.pdf

  47. Frank K.
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 9:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    stevemcintyre:

    … Can’t even say the name “Climate Audit”. see here.

    “I’m not going to use McIntyre’s name.”

    That’s a self-referential sentence, like “This sentence, no verb”.

    http://www2.vo.lu/homepages/phahn/humor/self_ref.htm

  48. Dr Slop
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “I’m not going to use McIntyre’s name.” Always worth watching: Don’t tell him, Pike.

  49. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Your perseverance, level-headed approach, and dedication to truth are commendable. In the near future, you will be a hero.

    In the meantime, the momentum is with us. We must organize and press the issue.

    Metaphorically speaking, heads will roll.

    Al Gore and his minions have jetted around the world, plotting how to destroy our economy and way of life, all the while demanding that we peons get on the bus or the subway, and turn down our thermostats.

    Their “let them eat cake” attitudes are eerily similar to previous elites. The communist elites enjoyed the same privileges and mouthed the same type of platitudes. Where are they now?

    No Consensus–No Warming (NOC-NOW)–Stop the Scam–Halt the IPCC

    We have a quickly growing Yahoo Group (CO2 is Plant Food), and a petition (NOC-NOW) that simply spells out a Declaration of Climate Independence.

    The petition will be provided to the the US Congress, the White House, the UN, the IPCC, the EU Commission, and other representative bodies involved in “Climate Change” policy deliberations.

    We will be heard.

    Please join the group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/co2isplantfood

    And sign the petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/NOC_NOW/

    We can stop this scam.

    Kent Clizbe
    NOC-NOW
    Stop the Scam—Halt the IPCC
    No Consensus—No Warming

  50. Jonathan Paget
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I am beginning to review the raw data made available through the realclimate web-site. Standard format seems to be a single number stored for each month for each location in each year. In the case for example of temperature maxima, does anyone know if this is the maximum for the month or the averaged value of a series of daily maxima. In other words, is there a universal protocol that has been followed in developing these summary numbers or is “raw” data in fact already processed at some level, predictable or otherwise?

  51. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Phil Jones, Nov 1999

    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    Did Mann himself ever use what should now perhaps be called “the Jones trick”?

    In MBH98 and 99, Mann did strategically superimpose the instrumental temperature over his reconstruction, making it harder to see the reconstruction itself, but did not actually splice them into a single series. Al Gore did merge the instrumental record onto Mann HS so they appeared to be a single series (which he then mis-identified as Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data — see CA), but that can’t be blamed directly on Mann.

    Is Jones giving undue “credit” to Mann for what was in fact his innovation?

    Steve: Jones’ version of the trick was a bit sui generis. I’ve pretty much figured how Mann’s version of the trick worked in IPCC TAR Fig 2-21 and will post on that. Interested parties might take a look at Fig 2.21 in the meantime.

  52. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Is Jones giving undue “credit” to Mann for what was in fact his innovation?”

    I do not think so, Hu M. Deception/spin or whatever you want to call what was obviously the intent here has been around a long time.

    By the way, will a lawyerly dissection of these events change the judgments of any observers who know the background – or, for that matter, those into serious damage control and defenders to the end? One simple question is never truly addressed: Why has not the divergence been placed front and center in the discussions of the validity of some of these proxies? To be followed with: Since when has hand waving been elevated to the status of scientific discourse?

  53. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me that there would be only one reason not to hide the decline: that of analyzing the usability of tree ring data. But that analysis should be separate from presenting the results of the research about what the assumed temperature has been, at each point in time.

    For the latter purpose, the only question is whether to combine or separate the different sources of data. But showing the decline in these graphs doesn’t make any sense to me, in the first place, as long as the instrumental records are considered authoritative, which they obviously currently are (or at last they still are, if you want).

    For the first purpose, that of analyzing the validity of tree ring data, the graphs in discussion are, it seems to me, not fit at all, even if the lines are separate (not merged). For such a critical examination of the tree ring data itself (which seems to be almost the only thing of interest on this site), I think that not only completely different graphs are necessary, but a completely different approach for a report and its presentation

  54. Bill Wirtanen
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 2:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mike’s Nature [GRL] trick

    if Jean S is right, in fact

    “”Mike’s trick” (adding real temperature to reconstruction before smoothing) was actually used in “Mike’s GRL paper” (MBH99), which contains the series commonly referred to as the “hockey stick”, and more importantly here, is plotted in Jones’ WMO figure. So “Mike’s Nature trick” is actually slightly a misnomer (should be “Mike’s GRL trick”) from Jones’ part, but I do not blame him for that.”

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7810#comment-366369

    Cheers Bill W

  55. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    I don’t know where you would like stuff like this but there is an interesting email between Briffa and Hantemirov that discusses the original Yamal.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/the-return-of-yamal/

  56. Michael Smith
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert wrote:

    It seems to me that there would be only one reason not/b> to hide the decline: that of analyzing the usability of tree ring data.

    I can give you another reason not to hide the decline: to make a full and honest disclosure of all the facts that are relevant to interpreting a graph that purports to show how recent warming compares to the last 1000 years.

    Hiding the decline as Jones did misrepresents the reliability of the tree ring data to function as a temperature proxy. The fact that this divergence is discussed elsewhere in the literature is not a license to pretend that it does not exist when making this graph.

  57. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Michael, I’d agree that this would be a good reason if it were possible. How to do you disclose all the facts in a single graph? Even if it were even possible, it would be a very messy graph which nobody (except for those already familiar with the science) could understand.

  58. Michael Smith
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert:

    Why would it be impossible to show the declining tree ring data on that chart? Not ALL of the declining tree ring data from all known reconstructions, just the series that Jones picked to use on his chart.

  59. Morgan
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If you want to claim unprecedented warming, of course you’d like to “clean up” your “messy” graph, turning it into a nice neat one that can only be interpreted as showing unprecedented warming. And it would be especially nice if it could be made to show that the proxy data flows into the instrumental temperature record seamlessly.

    It might not be true, but it gets rid of the ambiguity that might otherwise confuse the rabble, and eliminates exasperating questions about the validity of the temperature estimates derived from the proxies, or about their comparability to the instrumental record.

    Of course, then the graph is faked-up advocacy presented as science, but if you’re okay with that… Well, if you’re okay with that I’m not sure there is much to discuss.

  60. Jean S
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hu, Mann did use the “trick” in both MBH98 and MBH99, that’s the whole point why it is called “Mike’s Nature trick”. The (original) trick is to pad the proxy series with the instrumental series prior smoothing. This way the smoothed MBH9X series ending 1980 are pointing upwards, not downwards as they would otherwise. See “Mike’s Nature trick” over CA main site for UC’s replication code (in comments).

  61. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Michael:

    That wouldn’t for example show the ups and downs within the tree ring data. The shown lines are statistical averages of somewhat arbitrary smoothness. But if you suggest specifically showing the declines next to the instrumental records:

    I think that would be utterly confusing to someone who spends less than 5 minutes examining the graph. It requires a lot of thinking to arrive at the understanding that what the different lines are, and that one of them is so much more important than the others.

    What the graph does convey is that the older data is more imprecise, by showing multiple values from multiple sereis. If that were continued into the recent time range, it would suggest, with the additional instrumental line, that there is even more imprecision. But that is not the case.

    The reality is that the newer data is more precise. The way to show that in the graph is to show only the instrumental data.

  62. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There is a more fundamental problem with “the trick”. On one of the other posts you can see how the different proxies do not agree–they sort of wiggle up and down with respect to each other. That is, even if valid they are only approximately correct in any given year. Mann’s trick of using the instrumental data to pad out the proxies into the future in order to use the 50 year (or other length) smooth assumes that at the end point for the proxy, the instrumental data and the proxy match exactly at their endpoints (are stitched end to end like two pieces of hose) [I think I have this right] but they are almost never matched up like this over the rest of the 20th century. In fact, if you pick any other period to compute anomalies besides 1961-1990 (I think) the trick won’t work. THIS is why Jones did not want any other anomaly period chosen.

  63. HankHenry
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 5:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I see that Science, Nature, and Physical Review withdrew the papers of Jan Hendrik Schon after his scandal played out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hendrik_Sch%C3%B6n#Withdrawn_journal_papers

  64. Bill W
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 5:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jean S,
    thanks for clarification
    Bill W

  65. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Suppose you believed without question that the world was getting warmer. In that case, any data that shows otherwise must be wrong, and correcting it is justified, indeed necessary. I don’t think we’re going to convince any such believer by pointing out the tricks alone. Their answer is to say that the “real temperature” (Phil Jone’s words) or the “actual temperature” (Gavin Schmidt’s words) tell us that the tricks are justified. By “real temperature” and “actual temperature”, they mean “global surface temperature”, as calculated from weather station history. In other words: the entire AGW camp is going to retreat to what they think is the safe territory of the global surface trend. The NCDC and CRU calculation of this trend is so complex that it is hard to challenge. They say they have accounted for urban heating, disappearing stations, and poor distribution, but how can we tell if they have? If we can demonstrate that the global surface record is weak, then all the excuses for the “tricks” disappear. To that end, we have reproduced the CRU trend with a simple calculation that takes no account of any of these sources of error, and we have used our calculation to prove that these sources of error are significant. We thus show that NCDC and CRU did not compensate for any significant sources of error, so their trend is not reliable. For code and description see here.

  66. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Craig, I don’t know if the label on the graph which says “These data are expressed as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961-1990 normal” is an adequate description of that process, but at least the label is right there on the graph, so an expert can tell something has been done. (Perhaps doing the same a decade or two earlier would have been even easier.)

  67. Michael Smith
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert wrote:

    What the graph does convey is that the older data is more imprecise, by showing multiple values from multiple sereis.

    Look at the range of values between the three tree ring series on the chart here: http://camirror.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/still-hiding-the-decline/

    I’m referring specifically to the bottom chart, where Steve shows all the data they are “hiding”. There is just as much variation between the tree ring series at the end as there is at any time in the past.

    I grant you that showing ALL of that data, plus the instrument record, will create questions. But it doesn’t require “a lot of thinking” to understand what the different lines are. It only requires a clear legend on the chart.

    I’ve yet to hear a convincing argument for omitting the end of this data. Including it isn’t confusing — it’s informative of the state of our knowledge about current temperatures versus the past.

  68. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, the point is that even Mann has stated that splicing the instrumental record on the end of the proxy would be wrong dispite what he and others ended up doing. Why do you think he said that.

    Here’s the point: A decline in the proxy reconstruction with regards to the instrumental record is a very big deal and until you can explain the divergence what you have to show is- well, the instrumental record – with the proxy reconstruction very much in doubt. You don’t “get it”??

  69. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Jean S, up 6 comments or so,
    Thanks, Jean — I see you cover this in your 11/25 comment #305 of UC’s 11/20 post over on CA. I hadn’t realized CA was still that active since the slowdown. It’s confusing to have two CA’s active at once!

  70. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Michael,

    for me the point is, to put it simply: Unless I would be interested in double-checking the work (for which, again, there need to be processes), I want to see only the best data (if some of the data is clearly better than other data), and not all the data.

    Kenneth,

    There is a difference between merging the data (which I personally also prefer not to be done, agreeing with you to some extent, but I’d allow someone else to have a different view), — and the question of whether or not to show tree ring data for the recent time, which I think doesn’t make sense in this specific graph. I think the question of smoothed tree ring data should be solved by showing less tree ring data, not by showing more. And there should be other graphs which show all the available tree ring data, possibly more than 3 series. As far as I know (from this website here), Briffa’s own work does show more of it. But I guess everyone wants to see something else in a graph.

    The proxy reconstruction is still left in doubt since the graph does show for earlier times that there are large differences between the 3 series. It is obvious that at most one of them could be “right”.

    With that, I’ll have to excuse myself for today. :)

  71. JT
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Query: The proxy record begins to decline in 1940. The proxy record is truncated in 1960 and the instrumental record is spliced on, thereby acting as “padding” for a smooth. Does the smooth ELEVATE the 1940 to 1960 PROXY temperatures so as to CONVERT a decline from 1940 to 1960 into a CLIMB from 1940 to 1960?

  72. Leto
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Norbert’s Defence of the Blended Graphs

    Norbert wrote: “It seems to me that there would be only one reason not to hide the decline: that of analyzing the usability of tree ring data. But that analysis should be separate from presenting the results of the research about what the assumed temperature has been, at each point in time.”

    At first read, this sounds quite reasonable. The main interest, at this site, is in the unreliability of the tree-ring data, not what trees tell us about 20th century temperature. (We already know recent temperatures, more or less). Not every use of the tree-ring data needs to re-address the whole issue of its reliability (or each paper would have to be a review as well as an original paper, which gets unwieldy). Many readers interested in climate change are not interested in the technical process of deducing temperature, or the scientific controversies, and they just want the best ‘consensus’ estimate of what temperatures have been. It is therefore tempting to gloss over questions of process and just give one simple graphic to the masses. For some readerships, such as those targeted by the lay press, a simplified graph that shifts from proxies to instrumental data without any accompanying explanation *might* indeed be appropriate (even this is debatable – a small annotation would be easy enough to add to such a graph).

    The problem is that most of these cooked-up graphs have appeared in scientific journals and important policy guides, whose readership should not need simplified cartoons. Such readers should be able to cope with – and should expect – accurate explanations of how each plot was produced. If the graphic is too-crowded, then produce an inset, or add a caption that explains the data-blending. One sentence would be enough, referring to the fact that tree-ring data beyond a certain date inexplicably showed cooling, and so instrumental data had been substituted, followed by a blending algorithm to give an ‘impression’ of temperature. It is inexcusable to present two data streams, pretend they are one, and make no reference to it. This would be inexcusable even if the data streams agreed, and even if the issue were not contentious. It is simply bad science. When there are known concerns about the reliability of the data streams, and on-going debate about why they disagree, it is impossible to distinguish between simplification for convenience vs simplification for advocacy purposes, and it is *particularly* inappropriate to fudge the graphs without explanation. Even if we gave the authors the benefit of the doubt, and assume they did it for convenience, not to hide problems, they have broken the implied contract of full disclosure with their readership.

    I have a scientific background, I lecture, and I regularly assess scientific papers. I have participated in the peer review process myself, on both sides, and I often audit drug company research. If a student presented work of this nature, I would lecture them about the need for scientific rigour in the presentation of data, and ask them to resubmit. If a drug company presented a misleading graphic of this nature, and got caught out, they would have their submission rejected entirely, and their reputation would be tarnished forevermore. They would probably face fines and, potentially, legal action. The matter would be considered extremely serious.

    I am agnostic about the true nature of climate change. I think there is hyperbole on both sides. But I am disappointed at the readiness of these publically-funded scientists to engage in cheap tricks and data-distortion. I have seen all sorts of data-dressing performed by drug companies over the years, and I know the inside story of many scientific papers that were less rigorous than they appeared to outsiders, but this is one of the poorest examples of the scientific process that I can think of.

    This cannot be defended. The AGW camp has only one honourable option here: concede that this sort of data-dressing is appalling and promise to do better in future. Defending the graph is counter-productive if your aim is to restore faith in AGW. If there is not one AGW scientist who understands why this is unacceptable, then my faith in all of them is shot.

  73. Jim
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Has anyone seen any explanation why “the decline” is present in the first place? Seems like they would have come up with at least some hand waving to account for it in order to have a reason if asked.

  74. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Another point about the 1961-1990 anomaly calculation: by picking a recent period to set all the series equal to 0 (as anomalies) you force them all to come together and match the instrumental record artificially. It looks like they all agreed more in the recent than in the past but this is totally based on which decades you choose for calculating anomalies. I suggest that picking any particular short period to calculate anomalies is false because the proxies vary so much. Only by making each one an anomaly against itself over hundreds of years (the entire record if possible) do you get a true picture, not over a couple of decades.

  75. Eric Rasmusene
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t find contact info, so I’ll make this irrelevant comment here.

    I notice that RealClimate has a blogroll that omits ClimateAudit and Watts Up. Watts Up does list RealClimate. ClimateAudit ought to have a blogroll too (you can copy from Watts Up), and should then ask RealClimate to reciprocate. Their unwillingness to do so would be important evidence for many people in the blogosphere, I think.

    Steve: the main site climateaudit.org has a blogroll including realclimate. This is an overflow site thrown up quickly because the main site was crashing.

  76. J. Peden
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 11:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    JT:
    Query: The proxy record begins to decline in 1940. The proxy record is truncated in 1960 and the instrumental record is spliced on, thereby acting as “padding” for a smooth. Does the smooth ELEVATE the 1940 to 1960 PROXY temperatures so as to CONVERT a decline from 1940 to 1960 into a CLIMB from 1940 to 1960?

    I’m not a statistician, but I’ll flail away anyway. No, in the ipcc 2001 graph the “instrumental” padding does not convert the 1940-60 Briffa tree ring data decline into an ascending course, but it does flatten its desent at about 1960 to provide a horizontal impression, right where it’s then truncated.

    SteveM shows the truncation here, where the green Briffa curve is hidden by a visual trick whereby it otherwise seems to head back up after troughing – unless the area is blown up, as Steve shows. Instead the green curve actually stops at about 1960,

    In my understanding, the flattening area, which is otherwise not there in the correct tree ring data plot, is shown by Jean S. to be a result of “instrumental” padding of the tree ring data here.

  77. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 11:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Leto,

    First, to be clear, just in case, I’m not a climate scientist, and also not otherwise related to peer-reviewed work.

    I think you have misrepresented my quote, and a few other points. In the paragraph you quoted, I defended hiding the “decline”, not the combination of tree-ring data and instrumental records. Thats is a big difference for me.

    You wrote: “Such readers should be able to cope with – and should expect – accurate explanations of how each plot was produced. If the graphic is too-crowded, then produce an inset, or add a caption that explains the data-blending.”

    That’s good enough for me, since I’m not enthusiastic about the blending either, I have said multiple times I prefer a separated graph. I have made no statement that a label wouldn’t be necessary. In fact, the graph does have a caption which refers to the blending:

    “These data are expressed as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961-1990 normal”.

    This is on the graph itself. If you read my messages above, you will see that I actually wrote that I don’t know whether this description is adequate.

    Furthermore, I haven’t seen the places where this graph appeared, and no knowledge whether there are additional descriptions in the context of the graph. You have not referred to having such knowledge either. In other words, you have, in that sentence, found acceptable the same thing which I found acceptable. The question of an adequate description is one which I raised myself.

    So your portrayal of my defense was inadequate, and so you will hopefully understand if I will read your apparently quite emotional attacks on teh graph as at least a strong exaggeration, also given my above points about that matter..

  78. Norbert
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 11:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Besides, I have doubt about policy guides not needing simplification. Not because readers wouldn’t able to cope with complexity, but because they have little time to deal with details. And those who need details will have scientific advisors who will study the scientific literature itself, or will take the time to read other sources themselves. I doubt it would be difficult to find that information.

  79. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 12:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Only slightly off topic, but I think the Tom Wigley emails and the 1940′s
    ‘blip’ are the strongest evidence of falsifying data. There is one email from Tom Wigley at UCAR that discusses fudging Sea Surface Temperatures to try and hide the warm period spanning the 1930′s and 1940′s. When combined with CRU data from 2005/2008 which shows these warm ‘blips’ all over the world, and the CRU code which lowers land data (ground stations) in this period while raising current temps, you have plenty of evidence of falsifying data.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11685

    To me that is the big trick.

  80. Leto
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 12:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    Understood. I am not actually interested in criticising any single poster, and I accept that you are also dubious about the defensibility of blending the two graphs, if you say so. It was possible to read your comments as such a defence, and I read them that way initially, but if that is not what you meant that is completely fine by me. The last thing I want to do is put words in your mouth, or anyone else’s, so I apologise for misrepresenting you and reading you out of context; I didn’t mean to.

    I take it, then, we both agree the blended graphs are inappropriate for journals like ‘Nature’?

    I note, however, that you still suggest:
    “Besides, I have doubt about policy guides not needing simplification. Not because readers wouldn’t able to cope with complexity, but because they have little time to deal with details. And those who need details will have scientific advisors who will study the scientific literature itself, or will take the time to read other sources themselves.”

    From my perspective, this could still be read as a defence of simplifying the graphs to save some readers’ time, at the expense of honest communication, but perhaps you have in mind a busy politician not directly involved in making critical decisions relevant to climate change? I hope that you do not mean that such simplifications should become part of major reports, used by politicians who are making major decisions. I also have less faith than you that ‘scientific advisors’ are a safe substitute for honest graphs. Are those advisors to be given a separate form of the policy guide that *does* have the provenenance of each curve clarified, or do they have to start from scratch and go do a literature search, or get the raw data themselves through an FOI? It sounds rather tricky and awkward to have two standards, one for busy people who haven’t got time to read legends, and another for the scientific elite. Personally, I would prefer that scientific advisors, if they were needed at all, would be needed to explain the complex legend, rather than to explain that the simple graph didn’t show what it seemed to show. (And I would hope most politicians making decisions on this data would understand and prefer the complex version without needing any advisors. This is not, after all, hard to understand.)

    If we disconnect my comments from any implied criticism of you, which was not the main point I was making, then they still stand as a reaction to the blending itself. This is bad science. As to where the graphs have been used, and with what labelling, there is ample information about that in the public domain. I am not going to trawl through individual examples – others have already done that, here and elsewhere. The net effect has been misleading and if we both agree that it is inappropriate for serious scientific journals, and for major reports, then that is great. It’s a pity CRU did not realise that.

    Leto.

  81. Leto
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 12:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, re this legend:

    “These data are expressed as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961-1990 normal”.

    No, not adequate. Not even close.

  82. Nathan Kurz
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    One of the sad deficiencies of this blog (and most others) is that there is no way to vote up the best comments.

    So, I feel compelled to highlight one manually:
    The problem is that most of these cooked-up graphs have appeared in scientific journals and important policy guides, whose readership should not need simplified cartoons.

    Leto’s full comment above is fantastic, and you should read it if you haven’t already.

  83. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 2:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Leto, I first assumed, due to the year range 1961-1990 starting with the first year that was left off the Briffa series, that this referred to the blending. But apparently it only refers to the values being relative (defining the zero-level). If this is the only description, then it would not be adequate. I agree that the blending should be explained, if done (and preferably not be done). However, this in itself would not seem a big problem to me, since including the decline from Briffa in a summary graph still doesn’t make any sense to me (as described previously, I’m making the assumption that the instrumental record is absolutely authoritative).

    The main arguments against the blending seemed to be that it would “hide the decline” in Briffa’s series. Unless there is other proof for that being a part of something larger, I still don’t see a big problem in it itself, since the same graph shows large differences between the 3 data series in most of its range. If anything, it would seem like a too strong desire to have a “smooth” graph. I have seen many similar graphs without blending, so it seems that the information about the difference between tree-ring data and instrumental records was readily available to anyone going even a little bit into the matter.

    I think the real question would be whether the difference between tree-ring data and instrumental records should be explained to the person seeing the first such graph for the first time. If one thinks that everyone who sees such a graph should know that difference, and everyone who sees the graph should also know that the tree-ring data was used earlier, but that instrumental records are replacing them for the later time, then it would be a definite problem that the graph is “hiding” that as well. Otherwise, a short comment with a reference to a footnote (or so) should be sufficient, I’d think.

    You wrote: “It sounds rather tricky and awkward to have two standards, one for busy people who haven’t got time to read legends, and another for the scientific elite.”

    No, generally speaking it is obviously necessary to have graphs of all kinds of complexity, depending on what someone wants to show and convey. This applies to all kinds of information and communication. It is always necessary to have simplifying, as well as in-depth information. One can communicate only so much information in limited space and time, and doesn’t want to spend it all on a single graph.

  84. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 3:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Leto,

    to complete preceding response, I just found this on the main page here:

    It is the “WMO Original caption” for the graph we are discussing:

    ———
    WMO Original caption: Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records. The data are shown as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961–1990 normal. Uncertainties are greater in the early part of the millennium (see page 4 for further information). For more details, readers are referred to the PAGES newsletter (Vol. 7, No. 1: March 1999, also available at http://www.pages.unibe.ch) and the National Geophysical Data Center (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov). (Sources of data: P.D. Jones, K.R. Briffa and T.J. Osborn, University of East Anglia, UK; M.E. Mann, University of Virginia, USA; R.S. Bradley, University of Massachusetts, USA; M.K. Hughes, University of Arizona, USA; and the Hadley Centre, The Met. Office).
    ———

    Not perfect in the sense we were discussing, but it is does mention that both tree ring data and instrumental records were used.

    As far as I am concerned, that is sufficient. If you want to convince me, you’ll need to find a better example if you want to demonstrate something that justifies the term “bad science”.

    Steve: The Mann and Jones reconstructions used historical and long temperature data. This is a totally different issue than the trick as used by Jones here.

  85. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 4:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    OT but – Talking of tricks, seen in email of Nov 10 2009 1257874826.txt

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    “Stop and consider the wondrous works of God.”
    Job 37:34

    Prof. Phil Jones

    This followed these remarks about tricks to make the results fall into line:

    “One final thing – don’t worry too much about the 1940-60 period, as I think we’ll be
    changing the SSTs there for 1945-60 and with more digitized data for 1940-45. There is also
    a tendency for the last 10 years (1996-2005) to drift slightly low – all 3 lines. This may
    be down to SST issues.”

    Well, Phil has stopped his Job and the wondrous works of God continue.

    Are there units for 37:34? Or is it dimensionless like 666?

  86. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Following SteveM’s suggestion to look at Fig 2.21, my immediate impression when I see this with fresh eyes is that all of the series on the graph are simple vertically adjusted so as to give a neat overlay exactly on top of the instrumental temperature. I guess this is what happens when you baseline them all to the period 1961 – 1990. It implies a relative temperature accuracy to the proxies that cannot be real.

    The second point I note is that the instrumental temperature curve appears to have been truncated in about 1910 (if you have the PDF and rotate it you can use the edge of the window to align the end of the red curve and will find it stops after the tic mark for 1900).

    The general reliability of the proxies can be seen as the grey error bar and looks to be pretty constant from 1600 forward. Why then do all the proxies (a) plot close to the centre of the error bar in the period containing real instrumental records and do not get even close to the edge of the grey area and (b) over the period 1600 – 1900 the proxy curves sometimes plot outside the error bar but only below, never above. Over the period 1600 – 1800 the black curve looks to plot close to the centre of the error bar and the other three proxy reconstructions all look to be biased below.

    It looks to me like a very cunningly constructed graphic.

  87. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    People,

    Please read this link as pointed out by AJStrata previously

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/researcher-says-nasa-hiding-climate-data/

    This is the real issue and is IMO more important than the ‘hide the decline’ chartmanship of the Hockey Stick team.

    Tom Wigley is in the process of altering the historic data yet again to get rid of another inconvenient truth, namely that the 1930s was the warmest decade of the 20th century and not the 1990s. It’s all in the CRU emails. Read them!

    KevinUK

  88. Scott Gibson
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    With respect to replacing tree ring data with instrument data because the tree ring data is not as accurate, why not start in 1900 or earlier? I wish I had the time, but it would be interesting to move the splice date earlier (and later) to see what kind of graphs would result.

  89. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Leto’s full comment above is fantastic, and you should read it if you haven’t already.” I’ll second that vote.

  90. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Leto, up 17 comments:

    This cannot be defended. The AGW camp has only one honourable option here: concede that this sort of data-dressing is appalling and promise to do better in future. Defending the graph is counter-productive if your aim is to restore faith in AGW.

    Merely promising to do better in the future is no substitute for publishing corrections that don’t use the trick.

    If the original authors won’t do this, the journals should take the lead and retract the misleading articles.

  91. Scott Brim
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim S: “So a “climate signal” cannot decline?!?”
    Tim S: “What then am I to make of “signal to noise ratio’ if the signal cannot decline?”
    Jeff Alberts: “Tim S, check your sarcasm detector, it isn’t working.”

    Let’s note that the term “climate signal” plays a central role in the AGW alarmist’s predictions, and in the scientific analysis work that supports those alarmist predictions.

    Where I come from in the nuclear industry, scientific and engineering terms such as “climate signal” must have a precise and well-bounded definition which is commonly understood among all parties who reference the term, as for example when one is preparing a documented safety analysis for a plant modification or addition.

    The usage of the term has to have both precision and stability over time, otherwise the usage of the term among prior and subsequent safety analysis documents might affect the validity of those safety analysis which rely on prior documented work.

    From watching the AGW debates for more than three years now, I can find nothing in the substance of these debates, or in the documents which are referenced within these debates, which approaches a well-defined and well-bounded scientific definition for “climate signal.”

    From what I have observed, the term “climate signal” as employed by the AGW alarmists within their own climate science studies has confirmation bias built directly into it.

    That’s probably one reason why it’s a lot easier, from a purely practical standpoint, for an AGW skeptic to detect a “sarcasm signal” as opposed to a “climate signal.”

  92. DaveJR
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    KevinUK wrote:

    “Tom Wigley is in the process of altering the historic data yet again to get rid of another inconvenient truth, namely that the 1930s was the warmest decade of the 20th century and not the 1990s. It’s all in the CRU emails.”

    Regardless of what Tom appears to be saying, the reply from Phil is

    “Maybe I’m misinterpreting what you’re saying, but the adjustments won’t reduce the 1940s blip but enhance it. It won’t change the 1940-44 period, just raise the 10 years after Aug 45.”

    which shows that Phil does not follow up on the suggested corrections.

  93. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I’m not sure I understand your comment “This is a totally different issue than the trick as used by Jones here”, given that I have previously addressed the Briffa-decline-hiding as a separate issue.

    P.S.: Perhaps there should be a separate thread for the Wigley emails.

  94. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ThinkingScientist, there was a suggestion that what you call “vertically adjusted” results simply from smoothing. Personally, I wouldn’t know.

  95. JohnH
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The sly trick of the hockey stick graph is that it seems to say “This is how tree rings can be used to measure temperature”, when what it really says is
    “This is how tree rings can be used to measure temperature, except when they can’t; then we use the temperature.”

  96. brian m flynn
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve:
    “Interested parties might take a look at Fig 2.21 in the meantime.”

    I’ve noticed that IPCC TAR Fig 2-21 also show positive anomalies apparently after 1950 for Mann and Jones reconstructions, whereas in the Nov 24, 2009 statement, the University of East Anglia show no positive anomalies for the same period. Am I wrong?

  97. airfoilmod
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You may want to peruse a thread on PPRuNe.com. A site for professional pilots, I should think it ovious why their opinions might be interesting regarding Weather, if not to include Climate. Policy is currently the salient force, but certainly other topics are addressed. Hope this is helpful. (Generally, Pilot’s as a group are sceptical, bear this in mind).

    regards, will

  98. EdeF
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Some good background on this from two years ago on this site, “The Master is in da House”:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1553

  99. EdeF
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ……should be Maestro…….

  100. airfoilmod
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To Leto

    I will not release my shock at the weight given these trees in driving a document relative to GMT; it is astonishing and absurd even without further discussion. Certainly post any informed debate about the rings, the audacity of the Hockey Stick is appalling, as said, without discussion.

  101. BDAABAT
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Leto noted in a comment above that, “If a drug company presented a misleading graphic of this nature, and got caught out, they would have their submission rejected entirely, and their reputation would be tarnished forevermore. They would probably face fines and, potentially, legal action. The matter would be considered extremely serious.”

    Agreed!

    In fact, as part of the submission process to FDA, all documents, all data, all codes would need to be submitted. FDA regulators would pour through the materials, ask the same types of questions that are being asked at CA, even ask to see lab notebooks from studies. In fact, the studies using humans would need to be approved by a human subjects review committee (IRB or investigational review board) prior to the start of the study. That (truly) independent review process would require that the researchers outline exactly what they were going to be doing, would have to document the methods they were using, the statistics they would be using to assess the results, what codes and procedures would be used in the analysis, etc. There’s no way a “study” using the above procedures would ever even make it past the IRB, let alone a submission to FDA!

    So, the REAL question: why is there such a different understanding of scientific standards for drug company submissions to a regulatory agency compared to climate research being used to guide policies that would dramatically alter the economies of the world?

    If global warming truly is the “biggest threat to mankind” (TM), why are the rules so much more lax when compared to the process for reviewing new medications for sale in the US?

    Bruce

  102. Stacey
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 2:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    If I take the words at face value and deal with the last part only. The Uk is not the rest of the world, however if you look at Manleys graph of the CET from 1667 to 1973. There is a marked decline in the average temperature readings from circa 1960 for all seasons?

    In respect of the recent posting on Watts, regarding New Zealand, there is also a decline in temperatures in 1960′s

    It is my hobby horse I know but I think without the raw data the answer may lie in historical temperature graphs world wide. That is those untainted by adjustment and pre the Hockey Teams era.

    Dear Mr McIntyre
    If this post has no merit please feel free to delete. Please do not employ where ignorance is bliss tis a folly to be wise.

  103. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    When Norbert says:

    “As far as I am concerned, that is sufficient. If you want to convince me, you’ll need to find a better example if you want to demonstrate something that justifies the term “bad science”.”

    We need to think seriously about taking Norbert at his word (that he will not be convinced otherwise on this issue) and moving on – in order to stop wasting band width. More lawyerly conversation will not change the truth of the matter.

    At one of my house closings, I once had the a lawyer show up 20 minutes late and argue for 10 minutes that he was on time and that the rest of us all showed up (independently) early. I am sure he thought he was right – or at least thought it important to think he was right.

  104. J. Peden
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 4:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    airfoilmod:

    To Leto

    I will not release my shock at the weight given these trees in driving a document relative to GMT; it is astonishing and absurd even without further discussion.

    Agreed. My children could take this idea apart in about 5 minutes if not sooner.

    But Mann, Briffa, and apparently even Jones, are trying to claim that at the worst they somehow just got very lucky in finding proxies which do track GMT, as allegedly proven by their methods and data, which they’ve been almost dead set against revealing – which itself violates the principles of doing real science, and would disqualify anything they claim to have shown as scientific in the first place.

    Regardless, when SteveM finally pries out the data and methods from Mann in spite of obstruction even by the ipcc and the mainstream Scientific Journals involving violation of their own requirements for publishing, or gets lucky himself when a Journal enforces its own requirements for publishing actual science, Briffa’s, the methods are found to be wanting in terms of proving what the studies say they have proven, the hockey sticks.

    But then the elite Climate Scientists continue to hide the, likely fatal, problems with their own claims by next performing “tricks” which hide their deficiencies in ipcc and other official documents.

    Which is why we’re looking at or examining Mann’s trick, to see why or if it is a trick as alleged by SteveM and Jean S.

    In other words, SteveM, enc., is alleging to show that some critical Climate Science doesn’t stand up to an audit of its methods, so that it doesn’t show what it claims to show on its own merits, apart from the question of whatever is truely going on regarding the “climate”.

    No one needs to disprove what hasn’t in any scientific way been proven, shown to be likely or probable, etc..

    Failure to release the code, data, and methods somewhat contemporaneously and so that anyone interested can get them – that along with the “tricks”, etc. – is an attempt to deny the principles of science. My children know that, too.

  105. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 5:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    BDAABAT,

    my understanding is that there are other graphs or papers, readily available, that show the information you are missing in this graph. If that wasn’t so, I would agree with you. I just don’t feel that each graph, or each summary report, has to show them.

    Kenneth , I feel my points have received sufficient discussion, it is completely up to you whether you want to further discuss them. I appreciate and thank you for the discussion so far.

  106. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This email looks damn interesting when it comes to hockey sticks

    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=264&keyword=esper

  107. SteveS
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Stephen Shorland (12:03:48) :

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/28/hadley-cru-discovers-the-mole/ ???

  108. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 6:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    BTW, here is my post on those interesting email exchanges where Briffa & Cook challenged Mann on MWP in 2001.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11701

  109. brian m flynn
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    EdeF:

    Thank you for your reference, “The Maestro is in da House”:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1553.

    From that reference, SM in May, 2007 writes “the most interesting difference is in the modern portion of the MBH series. In my emulation, the far right hand portion levels off with even a slight decline, while in the IPCC version, it has a high in the 1930s, a Swindle-esque decline in the 1960s and ends on an increase. Using the difference of means to re-level, the 0 mark isn’t reached by MBH. So their re-leveling amount was not equal to the difference in the instrumental means. If it’s not the difference of instrumental means, then what was it?”

    UEA appears to agree this November with SM by showing no positive anomalies for any reconstruction data.

    Per SM, Mann has reportedly commented, “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.”

    Perhaps, more will come from SM on this matter.

  110. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 7:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    from Cook to Mann

    I could also go into the whole complaint about how the
    review process at Science was “flawed”. I will only say that this is a very dangerous
    game to get into and complaints of this kind can easily cut both ways. I will submit an
    appropriately edited and condensed version of this reply to Science.
    Regards,

    I thought that the peer review process was flawless

  111. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mike thinks Science dropped the ball in its peer review and wonders why

    Many of us are very concerned with how Science dropped the ball as far as the review process on this paper was concerned. This never should have been published in Science, for the reason’s I outlined before (and have attached for those of you who haven’t seen them). I have to wonder why the functioning of the review process broke down so overtly here

  112. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And somebody replies to Mike’s comments

    Finally, this whole global change debate totally sucks because it is so
    politicized. It reminds me too much of the ugly acid rain/forest decline
    debate that I was caught in the middle of years ago. I am quite happy
    to leave global change to others in the future

    This is the opinion of many people about this whole sad affair

  113. airfoilmod
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    JPeden

    Yes. Garbage in, out, and back in/out and away; the Hockey Stick is old news, and needs to be rested for now. My focus now is US FOIA, and isn’t SMc. Canadian? I think Mann is a reptile, and has spent most if not all of his Cred/protection. Penn State is a public institution, and Mann has NO proprietary interest in any Data at that School. If, as has been alleged, he has destroyed and/or purposefully corrupted any information, well, it is a felony. I can’t believe I doubted my own experience with the trees, in favor of respect for Professor Mann.

    Two years ago. Lesson learned.

  114. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Not sure how relevent it is but at least 1 publication openly spliced the temp series onto a reconstruction. It is talked about in email 1121893120.txt:

    “Data from Fig. 1, Crowley 2000:
    Decadally smoothed time series of Crowley-Lowery reconstruction
    spliced into smoothed Jones et al instrumental record after 1860
    (labeled CL2.Jns11), and a slight modification (labeled CL2)
    of the original Crowley and Lowery reconstruction to 1965″

    Further down in the email are some comments from Keith Briffa. I particularly like the one that says:

    ” The scaling of the data we used to produce the Crowley curve that formed one of the lines in our spaghetti diagram (that we put on the web site under my name and made available to NGDC), was based on taking the unscaled composite he sent and re-calibrating against
    April – Sept. average for land North of 20 degrees Lat., and repeating his somewhat bazaar calibration procedure (which deliberately omitted the data between 1900-1920 that did not fit with the instrumental data (remember his data are also decadal smoothed values).”

  115. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 9:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am still intrigued by SteveM comments about looking at TAR Fig 2.21

    Does anyone have a reference that gives the actual filter coefficients of the 40 year hamming-weights low pass filter that these series were filtered with?

  116. Henry
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 9:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve if you could you should see if you could get a film maker to do a documentary with you and maybe a narrator, to go over thoroughly all the issues step by step. You could do cut aways to graphs and all the email’s you sent and the bull shit responses you got, to put it all in perspective. I know it’s all on your blog but it takes allot of time to dig thru it and wouldn’t have the impact of a film. If the film maker was talented it could be a very good story, I mean the size of this fraud and when you think what Al Gore made on his fantasy film.

    Besides the left and the Hockey team is furiously trying to spin this as nothing, just a few silly emails among pals. But you can put it all into perspective and it would be inescapable the depths and total corruption of science these so called scientist sunk to.

  117. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From the caption: “(tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.)”.

    Seems that’s all “spliced” together… splicing must be the default.

  118. Tom C
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    AJ Strata -

    I also noticed the E-mails from Briffa and Cook that seem to be the only examples of colleagues pushing back on this bully. I have been astonished how everyone in the field cowers before this guy. There must have been some climate conference that devolved into a lot of funny business and Mann was the only guy with a camera.

  119. BDAABAT
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 10:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, not getting it. The data wasn’t all available. It’s still not all available! Hence the multiple FOI requests.

    The processes used to create the graphics weren’t included nor adequately described. It’s not science. My point was that these machinations would not have been tolerated in a submission of a new drug application to the US FDA. Reviewers would not only reject the application, those submitting the documents would likely face legal action as a result.

    Bruce

  120. brian m flynn
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ThinkingScientist:

    Read “The Maestro is in da House”: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1553, and the related comments as a start. Re-leveling, filters, padding – made my head spin.
    SM’s observation then about the IPCC’s confidence intervals are also very important. How do develop such intervals about reconstructions in the latest years when the data employed are drawn from thermometers and the like?

  121. Norbert
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 11:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bruce, (BDAABAT)

    I just read that CRU is now working on getting the permissions from the data providers to release all data. So far they don’t have those permissions, and apparently have accepted that until now. With so much public attention, they will hopefully have the necessary weight to change that.

    Re drug applications: I’m not familiar with those, but I suppose that a drug application must provide complete evidence in one piece. Here, you have the possibility to follow the references and related publications, and study those. After all, this one graph is based on a huge amount of preceding research from many sources. But if even that doesn’t allow reproducibility, or if the results look too different, then that is a problem which must be dealt with. But that is not a problem which a single graph could solve.

  122. Ed Snack
    Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 11:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, re CRU getting “permission”, please go and read the back history on CA about this. A number of FOI requests were sent to CRU asking for details of the agreements that prevented disclosure, and they couldn’t come up with anything substantive in response. The whole “permissions” spiel is simply a diversion to avoid releasing data. They only have insignificant agreements (if one can trust their previous FOI releases) that prevent release. It’s all smoke and mirrors man.

    And secondly, when you mix different proxies (corals, tree rings etc), that’s not “splicing”. Splicing is when you take two (or more) different classes of output and blend them (or otherwise join, blending is a process to reduce or eliminate differences at the point of the join) to produce an apparent single line or curve. Most reconstructions use a variety of proxies, and there’s no issues with “blending” as you put it. But thermometer based records are supposedly direct measurements and not proxies in the same way.

  123. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ed,

    I just look forward to that data becoming available, although I wonder whether at first that will create a big mess.

    Proxies: thanks for the info. My question would be: Regarding the difference between proxies and direct measurements, why would everyone seeing a temperature graph want to spend time learning that difference? However, I have to admit, currenlty I’m glad to be learning these things.

  124. Carl Gullans
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert: Because, proxies don’t have a proven relationship to temperature. When you splice temperature with the proxies, it gives the illusion that the proxies accurately represent 20th century temperature (and hence can be trusted to tell us temperature in the past). The truth is that, in the studies in question, they do not even arguably match temperature after 1960/1940, and I think common sense would have any observer discard the proxies as worthless for predicting temp. The whole point of the splice is to prevent people from having that common sense reaction.

  125. Eric
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert – giving you the benefit of the doubt, and putting a finer point on what Carl says very clearly above…

    If the various ill-specified proxies diverge from temperature in the best “known” temperature range (thermometer readings in the later half of the last century), why on earth should these proxies be assumed to yield reasonable approximations for temperature where temperature is less well known (prior to to the thermometer readings of the later half of the last century)?

    answer – because when you don’t have the thermometer measurement you can’t be proved wrong… et voila, unprecedented warming in the modern era! (at least when you substitute GAT for the proxy values after 1960 or so)

    I would be fired for that type of analysis, but I am just a traffic and transportation modeler.

  126. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 2:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘Joining’ the markedly less accurate proxy data to the more accurate thermometer based data and presenting the whole as being more accurate than it actually is is the crux of the matter to me. Seems like the mathematical equivalent of turning lead into gold..

    Now where did I put my gold paint, I feel a Rolf Harris moment coming on.. :-)

  127. bender
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 2:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    AJStrata & TAG are following productive angles.

  128. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 2:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric,

    I’m not sure what kind of benefit of doubt you are giving me. We have discussed Carl’s point further above, already, at length.

    The decision whether or not to use tree data (before 1850) is a completely different question, which has to be made long before any graph is published. For a graph which is meant to show the temperature development (as opposed to one which is for evaluating the underlying data) it doesn’t make sense to show strongly diverging data next to the instrumental record, simply because that would be utterly confusing in terms of which line the “known” temperature is.

    That point alone makes it non-sensical to show strongly diverging data of less reliability than the instrumental records. No other reason is necessary.

    I think you arguing backwards if you are saying tree ring data shouldn’t be used unless one is willing to produce only confusing graphs, no exception.

  129. Ed Snack
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 2:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Carl, well said.

    Norbert, I to await the evidence with anticipation, but I am concerned that exceedingly large quantities of whitewash will be used to obscure any differences that may arise unless the data really is released widely.

    I would have though that if the “warmist” crowd had real faith in their work and in the data, they would be relatively keen to get it out there. Imagine, we go over it with a fine tooth comb, and they’re right ! Zang, all but the lunatic fringe will accept an honest appraisal. What I suspect they no is that even if there’s no “smoking gun”, that the data proves to be so uncertain that no real conclusions can be made, and by conniving to hide the uncertainty they’ll lose considerable face.

  130. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is the last new message on this site since 3 days. I think we’re losing momentum, which is a pity in view of the tailwind the last 14 days. Leaving it to other sites to analyse the emails and codes may be a good thing, but I do miss the the analyses of past discussions with the Team now we know the background…

  131. mrsean2k
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 5:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    @Hoi Polloi

    There seems to be a decent amount of momentum in the MSM now, at least in the British media.

    Steve M. has been fairly quiet, but I think you have to ask yourself if you’d rather he spent time dissecting motive and varying degrees of (subjective) rudeness and misbehaviour, or he spent time dissecting the numbers.

    Although it’s much more difficult to follow (certainly at my shallow level of understanding), I’d much rather he focussed on the numbers.

    If I had to speculate, I guess neither camp is getting a lot of sleep recently, but for very different reasons.

  132. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m wondering if anybody in this will publicly ‘break ranks’ – if what has been found is but the tip of the iceberg and it is truly just a matter of time and process until its discovered (knowing all the trials emails, programs and backups leave behind in the remotest of places) – the only one who would stand any chance to come out this smelling of roses and potentially profit big time is the first to admit publicly something is wrong and ride the PR…

  133. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 6:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    hoi polloi

    I agree with you to some extentthat other web sites e.g. WUWT are largely gettingth ecredit for all the hard work done by Steve M and many others like Willis on CA.

    But I’m sure Steve M is too bothered about that and is no doubt busy sifting through the numbers as we speak. Steve and Ross will not doubt be very gartified to haveread the contents of the CRU emails which largely vindicate their findings.

    When all this is over I’m sure Steve and Ross will get the creditthey justly deserve for having th epatience and determination not too give it in attempting to show that the so called science on which claims of ‘unprecendented’ man-caused global warming are based.

    It matters not how the truth of what has gone on is put out there, only that the science is corrected and eventually it will be. More and more people now understand that the ‘science is far from being settled’. In fact thanks to the efforts of Steve and Ross and the CRU emails it i scelarly shown to be very weak and some would say arguably borders on being fabricated.

    KevinUK

  134. Carl Gullans
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 7:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    KevinUK: Yes, if this goes down like I think it might (suppose hadCRU is found to be completely wrong, causing a huge chain reaction), steve will be known to history as the “Trillion Dollar Man”, as his work will have saved the world that much or more.

  135. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    “For a graph which is meant to show the temperature development (as opposed to one which is for evaluating the underlying data) it doesn’t make sense to show strongly diverging data next to the instrumental record, simply because that would be utterly confusing in terms of which line the “known” temperature is.”

    A wonderful example of total blather. Just what is that sentence supposed to mean? How can one show temperature farther back than the start of the instrumental record without using proxies? If the graph in question started about 1850 and went forward, fine (though I can’t see why you’d want to include any proxies. What do they add if they haven’t been verified?) But the graphs we’re dealing with show temperatures back hundreds or thousands of years. Therefore, failure to show a divergence of proxies (or perhaps convergence in other proxies) simply indicates a supposed robustness which doesn’t actually exist. And, I might add, until CRU, GISS, etc. get their acts together and have their temperature reconstructions audited, there’s no reason to suppose their temperature reconstructions are particularly accurate in the first place. So speaking of a “known” temperature at this stage is premature.

  136. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It is important to note that many of these proxies have correlations to temperature in the 20th Century on the order of 0.2 to .4 (R^2 values vanishingly small). This low a correlation is easy to obtain by chance, especially when “bad” sites are not used. Not only is this a pretty shabby basis for making any claims, but when you reconstruct the past based on this poor a correlation (even if not spurious) you essentially get white noise which when averaged gives a straight line. The only thing Mann could detect with white noise proxies was the long term linear cooling since the Holocene peak 6000BP attributable to the slow slide into the next ice age. It is very dangerous when a random effect looks like what you think you should find.

  137. SteveS
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘They’ haven’t given up. Hulme (UEA) teaming up with Ravetz (Father of Post-Normal Science) and the BBC to lay out a plan for the post climategate World. ‘Citizen’s panels’ etc.Will these Citizens receive all the facts?Will these Citizens get a personal psychologist? $Trillions is a big piece of Cheese to some Mice.

  138. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    KevinUK; although I follow WUWT to catch up with the latest global news about Climategate, this is THE site to learn about the malversations of the Team in depth, this is the original.

    What I meant to say was there was a lot of speculation the last couple of years here about why or what the Team had done or not done and what was their motivation. Now we know much more of the background it would be nice to analyse this all with the knowledge of the emails and codes.

    But I understand, this site is now followed by the whole world and what will be here on next must be very well researched.

    Last thing; I wonder why McSteve hasn’t been all over the networks by now? One appearance by Ross (unfortunately very badly organised by the BBC, on purpose?) is about it, I think?

  139. Steve Geiger
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Carl – “suppose hadCRU is found to be completely wrong, causing a huge chain reaction”

    how could it possibly be ‘completely wrong’? This kind of speculation seems way over the top (or, as the host might say, ‘a bridge too far’). None of this recent stuff has any bearing on the validity of AGW…only confirms our fear of bad science, pettiness, and the ever present confirmation bias.

  140. KevinUK
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hoi Polloi,

    There are many of us who visit CA regularly who have been doing so almost since the beginning (Dave D above for example) so you are preaching to the converted so to speak.

    Unlike certain members of the Team in particular the one who lives in a world where up is down and down is up, Steve M doesn’t actively seek fame or publicity (except as a squash player!!).

    As he no doubt does when he plays squash, he just goes about the job of demolishing his opponent despit ethe antics of his opponent. He knows that to win the match he has to stick in there even if he was 2 – 0 games down and has got it back to 2 – 2 and he’s in the fifth and deciding game of the match and his opponent is claiming Rule 12 – Interference (http://www.ceepol.com/squashreferee/referee_rule12.htm) every time he plays a clear winner. Sadly for Steve M the referee is a member of the Team and keeps awarding a LET so it’s getting harder and harder for him to win. Steve M is nonetheless continuing to play by the rules as he knows ultimately he is the better player and so will win out in the end. No doubt once he’s won (as all good squash do as it’s the reason they play squash) he’ll have a beer or two at the bar with his opponent and they’ll have a laugh and a chat about what’s going on in the world (may be even discuss global warming?).

    KevinUK

    Steve: You’re exaggerating my squash prowess. I’m playing in a “Century” tournament this weekend and that should be fun. There are stronger teams in the tournament. You’re right that I’ve learned to ignore antics. Having said that, I’ve also learned not to concede anything to antics either. But yes, there is a mentality in squash that it isn’t over until you’ve won the last point.

    As to television, in fairness to BBC, yesterday afternoon, I was invited to appear on the BBC-TV evening program to comment on the UEA investigation. I talked to the producer for a while and declined the invitation. The issue was the UEA inquiry and it didn’t seem to me that I had anything useful to add – they wanted me to comment on matters that, to a considerable extent, were other people’s business and where it seemed to me that I would be merely expressing an opinion, as opposed to offering something constructive.

    I’ll report on other requests/appearances on another occasion soon.

  141. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    KevinUK:
    Instead of a LET I suppose McSteve’s opponent deserved a penalty for faul play. But maybe he bribed the ref? I doubt there will be beer galore after the match is over, probably they call in the hooligans.

    Anywayz, with media appearances it should be easy to get McSteve on the phone in some MSM TV network? Look at the opposite side, they trip over each other in order to explain nothing is wrong. Ross’ interview together with Watson was a good example. Watson was grinding out the Team’s script, while Ross didn’t not quite came over that convincing (despite what JeffID said|), mostly by Snow’s interruptions and the fact that nobody could see each other, but still. We know Watson was talking crap, but how did the Joe and Jane perceived this interview?

    BTW I found the opening question by that BBC person particular obnoxious (he asked if Ross had something to do with the email hacking…).

  142. CarlGullans
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Geiger: Have you looked at HARRY_READ_ME.txt?

  143. bender
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Geiger asserts:
    “None of this recent stuff has any bearing on the validity of AGW”
    .
    That too is going a bridge too far … the other way. If the paleo record exhibits a small modern warm bias and the instrumental record exhibits a small positive warm bias, then that shared bias will inflate the correlation between proxy and instrumental data and, more importantly, the correlation between these two and the CO2 record. The net result is to bias high the AGW proposition. Removing the small warm biases that Mann and Jones don’t want you to know about will not eliminate the effect, but it will reduce its magnitude. What we need to know is: by how much. And analysis of emails is not going to tell you that.

  144. CWells
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    All:
    There have been comments on other blgos regarding two issues with the Crutapes; that the answers are going to come out of the code, and that the codes(s)found are not the HadCrut temp codes, but just scientists discussing ways to treat data and the results.
    I agree that despite what I see as damning plain english statements in the emails, the answers will come from the codes(s). And the determination (with the emails they were associated with) whether they had inpact on ‘peer reviewed’ papers, and whether the codes show ‘manipulation’ of data for preordained purposes.
    Mr. Mc’s recent pausity in posting leads me to believe that he is disecting this issue as we write. I am wondering if we can get a preview of interum report on his findings.
    CJW

  145. chainpin
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Indeed, SM must be like a kid in a candy store!

    Hopefully, we’ll see some in depth analysis soon.

    I for one would like proof that the ARTIFICIAL DECLINE related code was used to create the graphs we all know and love!

  146. EP
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Would I be right in saying that these emails do not tell us anything new that SM hadn’t discovered, from investigations, years ago? For example the spliced graphs are old news to CA?

    Steve: there’s a lot in the emails that I didn’t know. I realized that there was something afoot in the spaghetti graph and called for full disclosure as an AR4 reviewer (which they refused) but was only partly aware of the details of “hide the decline”. The realsituation is worse than we thought.

  147. CWells
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Another thought that came to me during this episode is (as I posted at Lucia earlier), with the plain text discussions of ‘recommended’ reviewers, both to journal editors and to between and to other authors (not withstanding that authors can suggest reviewers for some of the PNAS paper levels), has anyone gone back to Wegman’s ‘social network’ (Chapter 5 of the report) and traced back the reviewer suggestions to particular papers?
    How deep doe the incestuousness go???
    CJW

  148. MrPete
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A peek behind the curtain for those who have wondered about the silence in the midst of the storm…

    The ClimateAudit site has been so heavily hammered lately, even with no new postings, that we (the volunteers who help keep things running) had to take drastic measures. CA needs several orders of magnitude better performance.

    We’ve just finished exporting the content of ClimateAudit.org (and doing a quick bit of cleanup on the most egregiously broken international characters.) It’s now being imported by the friendly staff at WordPress.com — who have more than 500 servers to handle any level of load.

    We’re only hours away from a much improved CA experience. Some things WILL be lost at least in the short term, but overall I think it’s going to be great.
    – All archives in place, including the data and script folders.
    – LaTeX still available (the standard for academic/math publishing) using a new technique: $latex before and $ after the LaTeX strings
    – New support for source code snippets, hopefully without all the hassles of converted quotes etc.
    – Linkages between comments of some kind. For now, we may have to use “threaded comments”.

    For now, it will be more like this CAmirror site (or the old CA site before 2007) with respect to replies: if you want to create a link inside a comment, you get to build it yourself starting with a copy of the “permalink” contents:
    – copy the permalink target (in FF, right click and “copy link location”
    – Write the following:
    <a href="">Re: whatever</a>
    – paste the link target between the double quotes
    – do NOT have any space between the quote characters and the link

    What else is lost, at least temporarily? Comment editing buttons, comment preview, the nice recent comments list, etc.

    What is gained: speed, speed and more speed!

    After the move is complete, Climate Audit should be able to continue growing as a premiere example of open source multidisciplinary science. Real interaction on real science in real time.

  149. MrPete
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: new site and linking,

    By the way, if any smart tech wants to write a bookmarklet that accomplishes the “Reply and Paste Link” function, I know lots of people would be very very grateful! A bookmarklet would work on most WordPress sites.

  150. Derp
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There’s a decline in the Briffa, dear Michael, dear Michael
    There a decline in the Briffa, dear Michael, a decline!

    So hide it dear Philip, dear Philip, dear Philip
    So hide it dear Philip, dear Philip, hide IT!

    With what should I hide it, dear Michael, dear Michael,
    With what should I hide it, dear Michael, with what?

    With a trick, dear Philip, dear Philip, dear Philip,
    With a trick, dear Philip, dear Philip, a trick!

    ….

  151. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Cheers for the head up Mr Pete.

  152. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Was looking at one of the emails (1088632271.txt) and it appeared to be an encrypted message. However, the encoding was listed as “base64″ in the metadata which is not a strictly secure form of encryption. It’s pretty easy to convert any base64 to plaintext, so I did.
    ...
    Proposal to use AR4 AOGCM model data.

    Tom Wigley (NCAR), Sarah Raper (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany), Ben Santer (PCMDI, LLNL) and Doug Nychka (NCAR).

    This project has two parts: calibration of the MAGICC model; and projection of the Glacier and Small Ice Sheet (GSIC) component of sea level rise.

    In the IPCC TAR, the Wigley and Raper coupled gas-cycle/energy-balance climate model (MAGICC) was used to produce the primary projections of future global-mean temperature and sea level change and to assess the uncertainties in these projections. To do this, MAGICC was first �calibrated� by Sarah Raper against a range of different AOGCMs using data from 1% compound CO2 increase experiments archived in the CMIP data base. This
    involved tuning the main parameters of MAGICC (climate sensitivity, effective oceanic diffusivity, etc.) against AOGCM results for different variables such as global-mean temperature, land-ocean temperature differentials, etc. So-tuned, MAGICC was able to emulate the global-mean temperature and oceanic thermal expansion results from individual AOGCMs with high accuracy, justifying its use to expand these results to cover emissions scenarios not considered directly by the AOGCMs.

    The first part of this project will use the new AR4 AOGCM results in the same way so that these new models may also be emulated with MAGICC. This is directed towards the possible use of MAGICC to produce a wider spectrum of global-mean temperature (and sea level) projections for AR4 than would otherwise be available. This work will be carried out by Wigley and Raper. Santer is involved to assist in accessing appropriate data from the AR4 data files. Nychka is involved to assist in applying more rigorous statistical tools than previously to the AOGCM/MAGICC comparisons that underlie the calibration exercise. All investigators will be involved in analysis and interpretation of the results. The plan is to perform the calibrations using 1% CO2 experiment results (accounting for control-run drift if necessary) and to test these calibrations with data from other forcing experiments.

    For this work to be carried out effectively we require, ideally, annual-mean, gridpoint data from (at least) 1% CO2 runs and the parallel control runs for: reference height temperature, sea surface temperatures, and ocean temperatures through the full ocean column. The latter are used to determine net changes in ocean heat content, which is the most accurate way to quantify heat flux into the ocean. We also require oceanic thermal expansion data, some indicator of changes in the thermohaline circulation, and the top of the troposphere radiative forcing for 2xCO2 (after stratospheric equilibration). For testing against other forcing experiments we require estimates of the total forcing time series for these experiments and the breakdown of this forcing between land and ocean in each hemisphere.

    The second part of this project involves the use of a new GSIC model developed by Sarah Raper to quantify future changes in this component of the ice-melt contribution to sea level rise. The use of this model will be a major conceptual advance on the way GSICs were modeled in the TAR � where an ad hoc correction factor produced an unrealistic upper bound to GSIC melt. These calculations will be carried out on a gridpoint basis over the globe (for regions where GSICs exist) and will use the temperature data requested for the MAGICC calibration exercise. Santer will assist in data extraction, and Nychka will assist in the application of rigorous statistical methods.
    ...

  153. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dave ,

    you wrote: “Therefore, failure to show a divergence of proxies (or perhaps convergence in other proxies) simply indicates a supposed robustness which doesn’t actually exist.”

    The graph shows a lot of divergence of proxies. The Briffa decline was declared invalid data by Briffa himself, in published articles. Consider SteveM’s graph in the thread “Still Hiding the Decline”. It shows that data which was officially declared invalid, in bright color. However, it doesn’t show the instrumental record anymore. We are looking at the least realistic, the “wrongest” data, “hidden” in a graph made about 10 years ago. Blame it on Phil?

    Steve:
    Puh-leeze. Briffa did not say that the tree ring data was “invalid data” in published article. “Invalid data” means that the tree ring measurements were wrong. The issue is that the tree ring measurements did not respond the way they hypothesized. See Jon Stewart’s rebuke of this absurd meme.

  154. Observer
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That base64 is just a standard way SMTP (email) handles binary data or attachments, in this case a simple word doc. Nothing suspicious about that. Evidently the email archive where these things were pulled, still has the attachment files encoded, which is normally handled by the email client when they get POP’d.

  155. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    yeah i’m probably reading into it a bit much, but i cant help but be suspicious when they call the model “magic” and talk about making it fit the data so they can pick and choose proxy records and then establish a global trend based on that subsample.

    “This involved tuning the main parameters of MAGICC (climate sensitivity, effective oceanic diffusivity, etc.) against AOGCM results for different variables such as global-mean temperature, land-ocean temperature differentials, etc. So-tuned, MAGICC was able to emulate the global-mean temperature and oceanic thermal expansion results from individual AOGCMs with high accuracy”

  156. Observer
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=MAGICC+AOGCM&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

  157. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    whoa what about this other one though… some people have already decoded it but holy ****

    (1057166231.txt)

    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\fromtext \deff0{\fonttbl
    {\f0\fswiss Arial;}
    {\f1\fmodern Courier New;}
    {\f2\fnil\fcharset2 Symbol;}
    {\f3\fmodern\fcharset0 Courier New;}}
    {\colortbl\red0\green0\blue0;\red0\green0\blue255;}
    \uc1\pard\plain\deftab360 \f0\fs20 Trevor\par
    A quick update:\par
    1. I’m arranging a meeting between our team and the Museums Service (including I hope the director) late July to discuss next stage. I’ll consult Chris Flack about possible dates. They are ready to push ahead with the next stage.\par
    2. N County Council now appear well and truly behind the project and want to bring development responsibility into their Economic Development Unit. Good news in terms of political will, but some concern about loss of control and transformation into a tourism project.\par
    Think we need to resolve how best this initiative might relate to the linking CRED initiative, as discussed, and reach understanding with Museums Service sooner rather than later? Unless it’s premature?\par
    Finally, Melissa Burgan, ex MSc student, now with NCC transport division is very impressed with way CRED has been taken seriously by county council politicos. I assume her assessment is accurate!\par
    Mick\par
    \par
    ____________________________________________\par
    \par
    Mick Kelly Climatic Research Unit\par
    School of Environmental Sciences\par
    University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ \par
    United Kingdom\par
    Tel: 44-1603-592091 Fax: 44-1603-507784\par
    Email: m.kelly@uea.ac.uk\par
    Web: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/tiempo/\par
    ____________________________________________\par
    \par
    \par
    }

  158. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 3:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    this was what i meant to post:

    (1056478635.txt)

    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\fromtext \deff0{\fonttbl
    {\f0\fswiss Arial;}
    {\f1\fmodern Courier New;}
    {\f2\fnil\fcharset2 Symbol;}
    {\f3\fmodern\fcharset0 Courier New;}}
    {\colortbl\red0\green0\blue0;\red0\green0\blue255;}
    \uc1\pard\plain\deftab360 \f0\fs20 Ninh\par
    NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN. \par
    How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.\par
    Politically this money may have to go through Simon’s institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!\par
    Best wishes\par
    Mick \par
    \par
    ____________________________________________\par
    \par
    Mick Kelly Climatic Research Unit\par
    School of Environmental Sciences\par
    University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ \par
    United Kingdom\par
    Tel: 44-1603-592091 Fax: 44-1603-507784\par
    Email: m.kelly@uea.ac.uk\par
    Web: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/tiempo/\par
    ____________________________________________\par
    \par
    \par
    }

  159. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Guscost,

    How else would you do tune a model, if not against data?

  160. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    well i like the idea of tuning a model with data, but only as long as the data itself hasn’t been massaged by “rigorous statistical methods” to indicate an agreement where none exists. i suspect this strategy allowed the scientists in question to cherry-pick data that lined up with their model, so they could then turn around and use the model to represent the climate as a whole in the IPCC reports.

  161. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    “The Briffa decline was declared invalid data by Briffa himself, in published articles.”

    Uhh, and I wonder who “peer” reviewed these articles? Why don’t you quote the reason these declines were “invalid” from one of these articles? I could use a good laugh. Actually, if I recall correctly, I believe he claimed they must be invalid because of some undetermined human activity without going any further. At least Tiljander had specific human activities she described which explained why the sudden uptick in varve data should be ignored.

  162. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To me it sounds more like the model was tuned against combined (perhaps averaged) results, and was then able to reproduce the individual results “with high accuracy”.

  163. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dave,

    I don’t because that would probably require some actual understanding of climate science.

  164. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    “I don’t because that would probably require some actual understanding of climate science.”

    Since when does cutting and pasting require a knowledge of climate science? Besides, if you don’t have any understanding of climate science, what are you doing on a site which discusses it in great detail? Or, OTOH, if you’re trying to insult people here, you’re both wrong and proving your trollhood. In either case, I think you should go into lurk mode for a while.

  165. Alan S. Blue
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    While there’s work being done on the technical issues with the website, could the key bits of the note at this post Mr Pete be included in, or around, the commenting form?

    That is: There’s a note at the bottom about ‘You can use basic XHTML…’

    An addition to that note “To use Latex…” would be quite useful. There’s a wide array of different markups, and if there isn’t a “Preview” button or a live preview, it can be daunting to recall precisely what’s required at any one site. An explicit example of a link included in the note might not go amiss either – that seems to be error numero uno. Yes, WordPress autolinks, but plenty of URLs are quite unwieldy.

  166. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    you commented: “Steve: Puh-leeze. Briffa did not say that the tree ring data was “invalid data” in published article”

    It appears you are taking issue with the term “invalid data” itself. You seem to interpret “data” in the sense of “raw data”. That is not what I meant, and irrelevant to my point. My understanding is that Briffa wrote that it doesn’t sufficiently correspond to temperature to allow any claims, specifically for the time after 1950. This means that in terms of using it for a temperature graph, the resulting values would not be valid data to be used in such a graph. That is my point, and it stands: Briffa’s “decline” is not relevant for a graph with the purpose of showing temerature.

  167. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    (It should say “1950s” instead of 1950.)

  168. Hugo M
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    North is not alone. Also Hans von Storch does not understand:

    How should we then understand the term “trick” that was mentioned in an email?

    This word does not mean that something has been forged. Rather, a balance was struck, as the existing data had been collated and used to arrive at a consistent result. Then you normally let these results be discussed and checked by the scientific community , but this one has not done well here. That is the real failure.

    Interview with von Struck in SpectrumDirect, dated from nov 11, 2009
    http://www.wissenschaft-online.de/artikel/1015637&_z=798888, translated from german with some help from google.

  169. RomanM
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 7:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, I don’t know how to put this more politely, but from your comments so far, you are so far out to lunch on the issues that it is probably impossible to make you understand them.

    The intent of the graph is to display the RECONSTRUCTION of the temperatures as calculated from the proxies (which are NOT themselves temperature measurements). If it was not for the reconstruction, there would be no raison d’etre for the graph. The presence of the measured temperatures is for comparison purposes to evaluate how well the reconstruction matches the data and not that it is somehow “good data”.

    None of the data is of itself “invalid”. You do not seem to understand that the fact that the data post 1960 diverges from the temperatures as much as it does is enough to cast fatal doubt on the entire reconstruction procedure. Suppressing such information in any way (including its exclusion from a graph) is scientifically and personally dishonest. The authors of the graph knew that, but did it anyway.

    Did you follow that? It’s not that difficult. I would recommend that you learn something about a topic before you post didactic comments to people who have been examining this material for quite a while.

    Your name couldn’t be Tom P. by some chance, could it?

  170. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 7:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hugo,

    Google’s translation didn’t do very well. Von Storch is saying that apparently the results were not given to others for criticism. The term “wohl” implies that he doesn’t even know for sure. Also it is not clear whether he is talking about the graph, the underlying data, or the shown “results” (whatever that means).

  171. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Roman,

    you wrote: “The intent of the graph is to display the RECONSTRUCTION of the temperatures as calculated from the proxies (which are NOT themselves temperature measurements).”

    That’s not correct. The caption makes it clear that instrumental records are included.

    Also, trivially, the graphs vertical axis “Temperate Anomalies (oC)”. If the tree rings post-1950s don’t correspond to temperature, how could you possibly show them correctly on a graph that is in temperature?

    Re my name, I’m not involved in anything related. I hope you are not threatening to get personal.

  172. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks so much to Mr. Pete and other volunteers struggling to make CA work effectively in this new normal. You are all very much appreciated. We are waiting patiently…well, sort of:)

  173. Norbert
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It should say: “Anomaly”, not “Anomalies”.

  174. Eric
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 8:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    “Also, trivially, the graphs vertical axis “Temperate Anomalies (oC)”. If the tree rings post-1950s don’t correspond to temperature, how could you possibly show them correctly on a graph that is in temperature?”

    if tree rings post-1950s don’t correspond to temp how can you assume that the claimed correspondence prior to 1950s is anything other than coincidental?

    You must see that removing the proxy divergence serves only to convey a dishonest message about the accuracy of the proxy. Rather than showing the diverging reconstructed proxy values which cast doubt on the value of the entire reconstruction they show instead actual temperature records which, of course, correspond beautifully to the actual temperature records and include intentionally and grossly insufficient explanation…

    They are painting the mice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_T._Summerlin

    it just doesn’t get much worse. The more you make me think about this the more disgusted I become.

  175. MrPete
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So sorry to disappoint! The WP.com staff were a bit… surprised… by the volume of Climate Audit data to be imported (over 4,000 posts, over 170,000 comments).

    It’s going to take longer than we’d hoped. I don’t want to pressure the staff by guessing how quickly it will get done.

    Still, we’re very grateful for their contribution to the process. From personal experience, this is not a run-of-the-mill site. We have complex maths, multiple language scripts and more to keep the tech folk on their toes. :)

  176. Scott Gibson
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert-

    “If the tree rings post-1950s don’t correspond to temperature, how could you possibly show them correctly on a graph that is in temperature?”

    That there, is the problem in a nutshell. They aren’t temperature, and they shouldn’t have been on a graph that is in temperature units. A valid way to present this would be by showing a reproducible thermometer record graph, and comparing it to the tree ring graph.

  177. Leto
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert,

    Some context might make my earlier comments clearer. I am an environmentalist; I have literally stood at voting booths handing out Vote Green pamphlets. I am not interested in discrediting the AGW camp; unfortunately they have already discredited themselves – at least on this one issue. The fact that data-dressing has been employed in some places does not mean AGW is false; it means that the science surrounding it has been mishandled, probably with good intentions (mixed with hubris), but with disastrous results.

    Rescuing the truth from this mess can only be done by people who at least understand why a graph needs to be clear and honest. The cover of the WMO ( http://camirror.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/jones_wmo1.jpg ) used a brief in-graphic caption that disguised the inconvenient fact that the curves blended multiple sources in conflict with each other. It gives a false impression of reliability and certainty because all the curves agree with each other closely through the twentieth century (which is an artifical agreement, stemming directly from using the same instrumental data to rescue all the curves from the divergence problem).

    Like text and speech, graphs communicate many things besides the obvious, overt message. In addition to showing the overall ‘best-guess’ temperature, this WMO graph communicates (misleadingly) that three ‘independent’ data sources (three different lead authors, and three different journals) have all produced curves that come together with high agreement in the late twentieth century, showing unprecedented warmth. Regardless of whether warmth is *actually* unprecedented, this graph increases confidence in the techniques and the conclusion beyond what is justified. No one would guess, from this graph and the front-page caption, that the data stream showing the hockey blade (instrumental recordings) is actually different to those data sources showing the hockey handle (proxies), and that the handle/proxies actually have no convincing blade. If the proxies fail to show warming when we know it is present, then they could fail at other times, as well. This graph hides that problem.

    These concepts might seem difficult to non-scientists but it is simply not possible that any scientist could fail to know why this graph is misleading. My primary school children understood the concepts immediately when we discussed it at dinner. This miscommunication must have been done knowingly by the graph’s designer – or at least, in any other context, the graph’s designer would have seen the same data-dressing techniques as dishonest; perhaps well-intentioned self-deception and a sense of beiung under seige by skeptics allowed him to do this with a clean conscience.

    As you know, Page 2 of the WMO piece had a longer caption explaining the graphic in more detail ( http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/wcp/wcdmp/statemnt/wmo913.pdf ). The wording of this second caption was vague, but at least it indicate that multiple sources had contributed to the curves. Even the improved caption does not mention that the various data streams were in conflict, however, and the end result is still misleading.

    But ultimately it is not about captions. Scientific honesty should have baulked at the blending in the first place. No graph of importance should slip imperceptibly from one type of data to another, unless it is clearly marked as an ‘artist’s impression’ of the facts. The University of East Anglia had a substitute graph up recently, though the page seems to have moved. (Found it again here: https://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/CRUupdate ) The second graph shows instrumental records as a separate line, and has a simple caption underneath. It’s not that hard, is it? The problem is, I can no longer entirely trust the second graph either. People capable of one deception might be capable of another.

    Leto.

  178. Scott Gibson
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have a question: Does anyone yet know if the code in the file briffa_Sep98_d.pro was used to create any of these graphs?

  179. RomanM
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No, Norbert, I am not threatening to get personal. Tom P. was a previous commenter at CA who like yourself would simply ignore reasonable arguments and defend his nonsensical opinions in a bulldog trollish fashion. After a while, the repetiton becomes wearing…

  180. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For the Norbert discussion

    The dendrochronologist CB on a thread at Climate Audit point out that the tree ring proxy data used was more likely related to the length and intensity of the growing season than temperature. That is they are a reflection of degree-days more than a reflection of maximum temperature. There may be a correlation between thee two factors but this correlation is indirect and will not be a simple constant factor.

    So in the Briffa graph, the data before 1960 is an estimation of a degree-day factor and after 1960 it is a measured maximum temperature. That it is it apples and oranges. Because of this the graph is worse that in correct, it is meaningless and useless.

    The merit of a scientific theory is measured by its utility. The “trick” graph is useless for making predictions. The “trick” graph is therefore useless for purposes of AGW policy. The trick created something that it not even wrong. It can’t be wrong; is just useless. And what ever it is it is has not merit as a piece of science.

  181. brian m flynn
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Scott Gibson:

    “A valid way to present this would be by showing a reproducible thermometer record graph, and comparing it to the tree ring graph.”

    I believe you are referring to UEA’s graph in its November 24 statement about “95% data available”. See: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/CRUupdate. Interesting – for reconstruction data, UEA shows no positive anomalies, regardless whether for Mann, Jones or Briffa. IPCC also shows for purported reconstrution data confidence intervals for the modern period which are apparently based only upon thermometer data.

  182. Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The whole thing sounds a little strange to be. I just don’t get what they were thinking?

  183. Scott Gibson
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 10:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    brian m flynn-

    The graphs on the linked page have temperature anomalies only on the y axis, even though we know the older data is obviously not from measured temperatures. This in itself is misleading the public, because the natural assumption is that it really shows temperature through time.

    What I have in mind could be showing the tree ring data with a proper y axis label on the left (whichever units the tree ring data should be in for this proxy). The temperature data would be shown as a separate line, with the units marked on the right y axis. This would be one way of showing the actual results, and would be a lot clearer than the misleading graphs we have been looking at.

  184. Klaus
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hans von Storch comments twice on the “trick” in his interview. His first comment sounds more damning to me:

    Another decisive point ist the homogeneity of the data: We need comparable data for the different years. We can not jump back and forth between different data. This was done, however, in at least one case with the data that recently became public out of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia – the “trick” that was mentioned. Trick means that one mixes different data and puts the signals together in such a way that they deliver the desired result.

  185. Baa Humbug
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Steve

    I’m no scientist nor a professional of any kind. Being a skeptic at heart, I’ve taken a big interest in this AGW debate and have studied as much as I can. Stating the bleeding obvious, the problem all climatologists and the models they use seems to be the lack of knowledge regards the accuracy of the effect of CO2 and other GHG’s on temps.
    It would be easy if we could seperate CO2 from the atmosphere and measure temps or vica versa remove water vapour and measure temps.

    But maybe we can, sort of, and arrive at an anecdotal result at the very least.
    CO2 is a well mixed gas, present in a fairly uniform way. But water vapour is highly variable. High concentrations in some parts of the globe and very low in others.

    GHG’s trap some of the heat provided by the sun. At night time, no sun, but GHG’s still present, hence lower temps but we don’t freeze our collectives off.

    Is it wrong to believe, as CO2 concentrations increase, the variance between the high temps. of day and lows of the night should narrow coz more GHG’s trap more of the heat. (large variances in deserts, low in tropics)

    So can we study this variance in the driest parts of our globe? should the diff between highs and lows be getting smaller? Should we not see a variance in the variance so to speak. And if we were to do the same in the tropics, (higher vapour but constant CO2 as compared to deserts) we may be able to assign relatively accurate “forcing” to both CO2 and vapour.

    I have complained in the past (to senators voting on the ETS) that we’ve spent heaps on the claim CO2 did it, but virtually none on alternative research. Surely if we are told the globe is sick, we should be getting a 2nd opinion.

    Thankyou for you time

    Baa Humbug

  186. J. Peden
    Posted Dec 4, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    BDAABAT:

    My point was that these machinations would not have been tolerated in a submission of a new drug application to the US FDA.

    Hey, maybe the Drug Developer could “hide the decline” involved from people dropping like flies at some point during the drug testing by simply erasing their whole existence, such as NOAA did with Briffa’s post 1960 data?

    But, yes, I was trying to make the FDA comparison to EPA in the case of CO2 regulation as a “pollutant”, by telling them they needed to prove that the alleged cure was not worse than the alleged disease, including that GW manifests as even a net disease to begin with. I’m sure they’ll get right on it.

  187. hengav
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 12:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ARRGH! Depending on which Dendro you quote and depending on where they did their studies different conclusions are made. Let’s make a formula:

    Tree ring growth = A-B+C-D+E-F +/- the weather during the growing season.

    Too many variables! Let’s remove the treemometers from the equations completely.

  188. howling winds
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 12:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think there is another interesting question here, perhaps unstated but important nonetheless, and if there are any sociologists, shrinks or hiostorians out there feel free to chime in.
    It absolutely amazes me, how many people I meet on a daily basis, average folks most, while not unintelligent, just a few years ago could have literally “cared less” about anything to do with the environment, and suddenly they are all want to save” the planet. I just don’t get it. How do you go from run of the mill to suddenly becoming someone getting onboard with the most grandiose scheme ever hatched in the mnds of men, that of saving the *entire* planet?
    Here are my best guesses; One, people will worship something, even *anything*. Take saving someone’s soul out of the mix and the next best thing is to save the planet. It must be the ultimate way to make your life have some meaning. This leads to number 2, people really dont have “a life” anymore. Real life has now been replaced, in part with “number of posts: 40,000″ under their internet handle. And finally, number 3, people watch entirely too much TV. Imagine getting bombarded *daily* with tales of the impending destruction of the earth. I actually know someone on welfare, wouldn’t work if she had to, but she’s deadly serious about saving ther planet. No wonder we are in such a mess.

  189. Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 12:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The American Physical Society downgrades its estimate to “sell”:

    http://www.openletter-globalwarming.info/Site/open_letter.html

  190. Norbert
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 1:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I honestly think that the kind of graph many of you seem to be proposing would significantly obscure the instrumental records. However, the instrumental records are actually the most important as well as the most reliable part of these graphs. BTW, have any of you seen the graphs in Chapter 6 of IPCC AR4? They look like cathedrals next to the stuff we are looking at. ;)

    With that, I’d like to take (at least) a short break, so that some of you have a chance to cool down a bit. Have a nice weekend! :)

  191. VG
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 4:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the whole matter is succintly put here:
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/975/
    Probably temperatures have been flat with unsignificant natural variations since 1880

  192. perplejo
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 5:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6945445.ece

    Congratulations.

  193. big al
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 7:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As an engineer and a computer scientist I cannot speak with any level of expertise on climate change except to occasionally wet a finger, stick it up in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.

    Climate issues aside, simply the issues of data management, accountability and audit, transparency, data audit and code management cause me to question their whole enterprise.

    In the medical field, if you attempted to cause widespread innoculations or “lifesaving” surgeries based only upon a poorly assembled patchwork of computer simulations, you would have to live up to a much higher standard of rigor.

    Where would we rank East Anglia with regards to the Software Engineering Institutes Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) [ http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi/ ] . From what I have read and seen so far, it looks like they would score very low if they were to undergo such an audit. That being the case, why do they act as if there is a very high level of veracity in their work?

  194. MrPete
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 8:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert, it’s probably been said before in this thread. Certainly been said elsewhere…

    The key issue is NOT “is it warming.”

    The keyp issue IS “is today’s climate unusual.”

    Accurate instrument record is important for that.

    Even more important: the proxy record, which is the only thing we’ve got for understanding the climate of the past.

    If the proxies can’t connect with the last 150 years of climate, they’re useless for understanding the past.

  195. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 8:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Did anybody had a look at these graphs called “declineseries.pdf” in the FOIA document files? It can be found in the “Osborn-tree3″ map.

  196. Dave
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 8:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert:

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, a couple of Team memberships have recently become available. You should definitely apply.

  197. Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 9:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I couldn’t resist a satirical poke at Monbiot (Dec 4) in the UK’s Guardian.

    ( see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/dec/04/debate-climate-sceptics?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments )
    >
    >
    Mr Monbiot, bravo to you, sir!

    You made a mug of that old fart, Lawson by ridiculing him with HadCRUT3 temperature series wheeze! I literally wet myself when I read your ‘Guardian’ piece where you say, “What it actually shows is that eight out of the 10 warmest years since records began have occurred since 2001.” Corker! Mum’s the word now on that ‘reconstructed’ 1000 year record set ; )

    No one came back at you with the 12 Oct 2009 email, either. You know the part – where that dullard, Trenberth says to Mann, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t…. Our observing system is inadequate.” Idiot!

    Trenberth and Jones are too much of a liability now. I’m starting to like that ‘apology’ you made more and more. I think I see where you’re taking this one ( thinking: sacrifices for the cause). The team talk in the locker room is Jones and Trenberth are plum scapegoats – throw them out and keep the integrity of the team intact, right? We may do something about this on RC. MM was wondering if you’d be up for more flim-flam in case someone does another ‘Trenberth’?

    Btw, SM and his team of holocaust deniers over on CA and WUWT haven’t yet chewed over the lost 800+ ground- based climate-measuring stations from the official GIStemp. We might want to cull another set of ‘cold’ ground-based stations and augment the HadCRUT3 with a slew from China near some power stations (UHI?). Any thoughts?
    Regards,
    GB

  198. Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Science is not Fact

    Science is not based on “just the facts.” It is well known to any student of science that what passes for “truth” in the sciences is just what the leading voices in the field say it is. This collective voice of the senior scientists is known as a paradigm. Everyone working in a specific field must adhere to the paradigm or face criticism, ridicule or expulsion. Getting a paper published that contradicts the leading scientists in a field is difficult as the “peer review process” frequently ensures that dissenting voices are silenced. As Thomas Kuhn noted in his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, anomalies for all paradigms are simply ignored or explained away as “acceptable levels of error.” Only when there is a truly massive exposure or failure of the paradigm can change emerge and new theories develop.

    See the rest of this comment at: http://globalbrief.ca/tomquiggin/2009/11/27/copenhagen-conference-on-climate-change-harper-attending/

  199. DaveS
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Norbert

    “To me it sounds more like the model was tuned against combined (perhaps averaged) results, and was then able to reproduce the individual results “with high accuracy”.”

    The email isn’t clear, but if they did what you suggest then nothing can be concluded from subsequent model runs. For a mathematical model to have any credibility, its calibration must be validated against a data set that is entirely independent from the data set used for calibration.

  200. hunter
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    North is going to whitewash, cover up, dissemble and distract on this for hte rest of his career.
    He is the guy who claims Mann’s hockeysticks are valid, ignoring every bit of evidence inconvenient to that conclusion.
    He is hoelessly compromised on this, benefiting directly and professionally from AGW promotion.

  201. Neil Fisher
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Probably snippable, bit anyway…

    In my view, what is important here is not that a “trick” was used to “hide the decline”, but rather that a lot of the debunking of anti-AGW papers (peer reviewed or not) is that data was cherry-picked; that “you can’t credit people who select data to suit their arguement, while ignoring data that doesn’t”. Suddenly, we are seeing – directly from the keyboards of The Team – that they are practicing this method too. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot…

  202. etudiant
    Posted Dec 5, 2009 at 7:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is interesting that everyone seems to assume that Dr Briffa’s divergence indicates a failure of tree growth to mirror increasing temperatures. Given the poor quality of the actual temperature record, copiously documented on this site as well as on WUWT, is it not possible that the trees have it right? Perhaps in fact they are only reflecting globally less favorable environmental conditions whose presence has been obscured in the instrumental record because of the poor quality of the measuring.

  203. Leto
    Posted Dec 6, 2009 at 7:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry if this is off-topic, but it stems from a post above…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6945445.ece

    “The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics. “

    Does anyone know if this is true? (Or is it just this journalist’s anti-govermnent spin?) If it is true, it just confirms what I have feared. I see a complete corruption of the scientific method on this issue, a whole culture of avoiding honest analysis for fear that sceptics might seize on any sign of uncertainty. (This is not completely off-topic; it is presumably the same mind-set that makes the scientists unwilling to show the divergence on graphs meant for public consumption.)

  204. bender
    Posted Dec 6, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Go back to your studies, etudiant. The trees diverge from *each other*. See the recent paper by Salzer, Hughes & co. 2009 PNAS.

  205. J. Peden
    Posted Dec 6, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    2009 December 6 Leto:

    Sorry if this is off-topic, but it stems from a post above…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6945445.ece

    “The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics. “

    Does anyone know if this is true? (Or is it just this journalist’s anti-govermnent spin?) If it is true, it just confirms what I have feared.

    I know what you mean, Leto, but I don’t fear it. That politics/politicians would politicize Governments is simply a fact of life. That Governments would “diverge” their actions from reality, except insofar as their need for control and aggrandizement means they must manipulate perceptions by various cynical propagandistic tactics to achieve these ends, and is therefore a reality itself, is by now just not a surprise.

    Unfortuneately or Fortuneately, it’s our job as individuals to see that Gov’t and Science works the way it should, especially in respect to avoiding a takeover by an elite whose driving purpose is simply the control of others by any means possible – and especially by a form of thought control. Those kind of people obviously exist, and I’m very glad that I’m not one of them. And anyway, you really can’t escape them. I’ve tried it.

    I hope this perspective brightens things up. Seriously, though, isn’t what Steve McIntyre, enc., is doing by seizing upon the fact that Climate Scientists don’t seem to be doing Science, and thus revealing the whole problem of the politicization of everything, an inspiration and a meaningful achievement?

    I don’t know what else there is that would be a better thing to do. What can I say – to me it’s life and living itself, and I love it.

  206. Richard
    Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is this the same Gerald North who, (as chair of the NAS), whitewashed, (almost – a few of the black bits showed through the white-wash), the inquiry into the Hockey stick graph? Wegman’s report?

    If he doesnt understand the simple “trick” that Jones did, what hope is there that he understood the hockey-stick inquiry or the Wegman report?

    He also gave a seperate report, I believe, further pooh-poohing the obvious mainpulation of Mann and the MBH98/99 papers. His level of understanding is so appalling, I wonder if he could have written anything on his own, or did he require help from the team.

    And on the basis of this the warmists claim “The NAS” reviewed Mann’s papers and found nothing wrong!

    It was NOT “the NAS”. “The NAS” was actually its chair Gerald North, who doesnt know the difference between a trick and a treat.

  207. brent
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A&M scientist to talk about global warming in Austin

    A professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University will lecture in Austin today on global warming and Texas, just as climate science finds itself in the throes of an international controversy.

    The lecture by Gerald North was scheduled months ago as part of an outreach lecture series at the University of Texas’ Environmental Science Institute. North said he aims to discuss what Texas will look like as the climate changes.

    http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/news/content/region/legislature/stories/2009/12/11/1211climateemails.html

2 Trackbacks

  1. By More Context « the Air Vent on Dec 3, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    [...] be in a tinfoil hat to figure this out do you?  This panel was headed by the same Gerry North who exposed his advocacy status in defending the climategate emails.  And just to be clear, you don’t have a ‘token’ anything in an unbiased [...]

  2. [...] along with many other Big Media outlets, appears to think its readers are too stupid to look for other information [...]

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