IPCC and the “Trick”

Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide the decline”. Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken “out of context”. In this case, I’m not sure that it’s in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to a meeting of IPCC authors in Tanzania, raising serious questions about the role of IPCC itself in “hiding the decline” in the Briffa reconstruction.

Relevant Climategate correspondence in the period (September-October 1999) leading up to the trick email is incomplete, but, in context, is highly revealing. There was a meeting of IPCC lead authors between Sept 1-3, 1999 to consider the “zero-order draft” of the Third Assessment Report. The emails provide clear evidence that IPCC had already decided to include a proxy diagram reconstructing temperature for the past 1000 years and that a version of the proxy diagram was presented at the Tanzania meeting showing the late twentieth century decline. I now have a copy of the proxy diagram presented at this meeting (see below).

The emails show that the late 20th century decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, that “everyone in the room at IPCC” thought that the Briffa decline was a “problem” and a “potential distraction/detraction”, that this was then the “most important issue” in chapter 2 of the IPCC report and that there was “pressure” on Briffa and other authors to show a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more”. [Update Dec 11 - see note at bottom on the chronology. Comments from readers have clarified that the issue at the Arusha meeting was that the Briffa reconstruction "diluted the message" more through its overall inconsistency as opposed to the decline, which was still relatively attenuated in the Arusha version. After the Arusha meeting, Briffa hastily re-calculated his reconstruction sending a new version to Mann on Oct 5, 1999 and it was this hastily re-done version that introduced the very severe decline that was hidden in the First Order Draft and Jones WMO Report]

The chronology in today’s posts show that the version of the Briffa reconstruction shown in the subsequent proxy diagram in the IPCC “First Order Draft” (October 27, 1999), presumably prepared under the direction of IPCC section author Mann, deleted the inconvenient portion (post-1960) of the Briffa reconstruction, together with other modifications that had the effect of not “diluting the message”.

About two weeks later (Nov 16, 1999) came the now infamous Jones email reporting the use of “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline” in a forthcoming WMO (World Meteorological Organization) report. Jones’ methodology is different than the IPCC methodology. Jones’ trick has been described in previous posts.

Today, I’ll describe both the context of the IPCC version of the “trick” and progress to date in reverse engineering the IPCC trick.

IPCC Lead Authors’ Meeting, Sept 1999
IPCC Lead Authors met in Arusha, Tanzania from September 1 to 3, 1999 (see Houghton, 929985154.txt and 0938018124.txt), at which the final version of the “zero-order” draft of the Third Assessment Report was presented and discussed. The “First-Order Draft” was sent out to reviewers two months later (end of October 1999).

By this time, IPCC was already structuring the Summary for Policy-makers and a proxy diagram showing temperature history over the past 1000 years was a “clear favourite”.

A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. (Folland, Sep 22, 1999, in 0938031546.txt)

This desire already placed “pressure” on the authors to “present a nice tidy story” about “unprecedented warming in a thousand years”:

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ …(Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

The “zero-order” draft (their Figure 2.3.3a as shown below) showed a version of the Briffa reconstruction with little variation and a noticeable decline in the late 20th century.


Figure 1. IPCC Third Assessment Report Zero-Order Draft Figure 2.3.3a Comparison of millennial Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature reconstructions from different investigators (Briffa et al, 1998; Jones et al, 1998; Mann et al, 1998;1999a)… All the series were filtered with a 40 year Gaussian filter. The problematic Briffa reconstruction is the yellow series.

No minutes of this meeting are available, but Climategate correspondence on Sep 22-23, 1999 provides some contemporary information about the meeting. Mann noted that “everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that the [decline in the Briffa reconstruction] was a problem”:

Keith’s series… differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series. (Mann, Sep 22, 1999, 0938018124.txt)

IPCC Chapter Author Folland of the U.K. Hadley Center wrote to Mann, Jones and Briffa that the proxy diagram was a “clear favourite” for the Summary Policy-makers, but that the existing presentation showing the decline of the Briffa reconstruction “dilutes the message rather significantly”. After telling the section authors about the stone in his shoe, Folland added that he only “wanted the truth”.

A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [i.e. the Briffa reconstruction] somewhat contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly. [We want the truth. Mike thinks it lies nearer his result (which seems in accord with what we know about worldwide mountain glaciers
and, less clearly, suspect about solar variations). The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance. This is probably the most important issue to resolve in Chapter 2 at present..(Folland, Sep 22, 1999, in 0938031546.txt)

Climategate Letters, Sep 22-23, 1999

The Climategate Letters contain a flurry of correspondence between Mann, Briffa, Jones and Folland (copy to Tom Karl of NOAA) on Sep 22-23, 1999, shedding light on how the authors responded to the stone in IPCC’s shoe. By this time, it appears that each of the three authors (Jones, Mann and Briffa) had experimented with different approaches to the “problem” of the decline.

Jones appears to have floated the idea of using two different diagrams – one without the inconvenient Briffa reconstruction (presumably in the Summary for Policy-makers) and one with the Briffa reconstruction (presumably in the relevant chapter). Jones said that this might make it “somewhat awkward for the reader trying to put them into context”, with it being unclear whether Jones viewed this as an advantage or disadvantage:

If we go as is suggested then there would be two diagrams – one simpler one with just Mann et al and Jones et al and in another section Briffa et al. This might make it somewhat awkward for the reader trying to put them into context. (Jones, Sep 22, 1999 Jones 093801949)

Another approach is perhaps evidenced in programming changes a week earlier (Sep 13-14, 1999), in which programs in the osborn-tree6/mann/oldprog directory appear to show efforts to “correct” the calibration of the Briffa reconstruction, which may or may not be relevant to the eventual methodology to “hide the decline”.

The correspondence implies (though this is at present not proven) that IPCC section author Mann’s first reaction to the “problem” was to totally delete the Briffa reconstruction from the proxy diagram, as the correspondence of September 22 seems to have been precipitated by Briffa being unhappy at an (unseen) version of the proxy diagram in which his reconstruction had been deleted.

Briffa’s length email of Sep. 22, 19990 (938031546.txt) should be read in full. Briffa was keenly aware of the pressure to present a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming”, but is worried about the proxy evidence:

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple… [There are] some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. (Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

He continued:

For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate. (Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

Thus, when Mann arrived at work on Sep 22, 1999, Mann observed that he had walked into a “hornet’s nest”. (Mann Sep 22, 1999, 0938018124.txt). In an effort to resolve the dispute, Mann said that (subject to the agreement of Chapter Authors Karl and Folland) he would add back Briffa’s reconstruction, but pointed out that this would present a “conundrum”:

So if Chris[Folland] and Tom [Karl] are ok with this, I would be happy to add Keith’s series. That having been said, it does raise a conundrum: We demonstrate [through comparining an exatropical averaging of our nothern hemisphere patterns with Phil's more extratropical series) that the major discrepancies between Phil's and our series can be explained in terms of spatial sampling/latitudinal emphasis (seasonality seems to be secondary here, but probably explains much of the residual differences). But that explanation certainly can't rectify why Keith's series, which has similar seasonality *and* latitudinal emphasis to Phil's series, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil's does from ours.] This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series. (Mann Sep 22, 0938018124.txt

Mann went on to say that the skeptics would have a “field day” if the declining Briffa reconstruction were shown and that he’d “hate to be the one” to give them “fodder”:

So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. [Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being "warmer" than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard] Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder! (Mann Sep 22, 0938018124.txt)

By the following day, matters seem to have settled down, with Briffa apologizing to Mann for his temporary pangs of conscience. On Oct 5, 1999, Osborn (on behalf of Briffa) sent Mann a revised version of the Briffa reconstruction with more “low-frequency” variability (Osborn, Oct 5, 1999, 0939154709.txt), a version that is identical up to 1960, this version is identical to the digital version archived at NCDC for Briffa et al (JGR 2001). (The post-1960 values of this version were not “shown” in the version archived at NCDC; they were deleted.)

As discussed below, this version had an even larger late-20th century decline than the version shown at the Tanzania Lead Authors’ meeting. Nonetheless, the First Order Draft (Oct 27, 1999) sent out a few weeks later contained a new version of the proxy diagram (Figure 2.25), a version which contains the main elements of the eventual Third Assessment Report proxy diagram (Figure 2.21). Two weeks later came Jones’ now infamous “trick” email (0942777075.txt).

The IPCC Trick

Mann’s IPCC trick is related to the Jones’ trick, but different. (The Jones trick has been explained in previous CA posts here, here and consists of replacing the tree ring data with temperature data after 1960 – thereby hiding the decline – and then showing the smoothed graph as a proxy reconstruction.) While some elements of the IPCC Trick can be identified with considerable certainty, other elements are still somewhat unclear.

The diagram below shows the IPCC version of the Briffa reconstruction (digitized from the IPCC 2001) compared to actual Briffa data from the Climategate email of October 5, 1999, smoothed using the methodology said to have been used in the caption to the IPCC figure (a 40 year Hamming filter with end-point padding with the mean of the closing 20 years).


Figure 3. Versions of the Briffa Reconstruction in controversy, comparing the original data smoothed according to the reported methodology to a digitization of the IPCC version.

Clearly, there are a number of important differences between the version sent to Mann and the version that appeared in the IPCC report. The most obvious is, of course, that the decline in the Briffa reconstruction has, for the most part, been deleted from the IPCC proxy diagram. However, there are some other frustrating inconsistencies and puzzles that are all too familiar.

There are some more technical inconsistencies that I’ll record for specialist readers. It is very unlikely that that the IPCC caption is correct in stating that a 40-year Hamming filter was used. Based on comparisons of the MBH reconstruction and Jones reconstruction, as well as the Briffa reconstruction, to versions constructed from raw data, it appears that a Butterworth filter was used – a filter frequently used in Mann’s subsequent work (a detail that, in addition, bears on the authorship of the graphic itself).

Second, the IPCC caption stated that “boundary constraints imposed by padding the series with its mean values during the first and last 25 years.” Again, this doesn’t seem to reconcile with efforts to replicate the IPCC version from raw data. It appears far more likely to me that each of the temperature series has been padded with instrumental temperatures rather than the mean values of the last 25 years.

Finally, there are puzzling changes in scale. The underlying annual data for the Jones and Briffa reconstructions are expressed in deg C (basis 1961-1990) and should scale simply to the smoothed version in the IPCC version, but don’t quite. This may partly derive from errors introduced in digitization, but is a loose end in present replication efforts.

The final IPCC diagram (2.21) is shown below. In this rendering, the Briffa reconstruction is obviously no longer “a problem and a potential distraction/detraction”and does not “dilute the message”. Mann has not given any “fodder” to the skeptics, who obviously did not have a “field day” with the decline.


IPCC Third Assessment Report Figure 2.21: Comparison of warm-season (Jones et al., 1998) and annual mean (Mann et al., 1998, 1999) multi-proxy-based and warm season tree-ring-based (Briffa, 2000) millennial Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions. The recent instrumental annual mean Northern Hemisphere temperature record to 1999 is shown for comparison. Also shown is an extra-tropical sampling of the Mann et al. (1999) temperature pattern reconstructions more directly comparable in its latitudinal sampling to the Jones et al. series. The self-consistently estimated two standard error limits (shaded region) for the smoothed Mann et al. (1999) series are shown. The horizontal zero line denotes the 1961 to 1990 reference period mean temperature. All series were smoothed with a 40-year Hamming-weights lowpass filter, with boundary constraints imposed by padding the series with its mean values during the first and last 25 years.

Contrary to claims by various climate scientists, the IPCC Third Assessment Report did not disclose the deletion of the post-1960 values. Nor did it discuss the “divergence problem”. Yes, there had been previous discussion of the problem in the peer-reviewed literature (Briffa et al 1998) – a point made over and over by Gavin Schmidt and others. But not in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. Nor was the deletion of the declining values reported or disclosed in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. [Dec 11.- IPCC TAR does contain a sly allusion to the problem; it mentions "evidence" that tree ring density variations had "changed in their response in recent decades". Contrary to claims of realclimate commenters, this does not constitute disclosure of the deletion of the post-1960 values in the controversial figure or even of the decline itself.] The hiding of the decline was made particularly artful because the potentially dangling 1960 endpoint of the Briffa reconstruction was hidden under other lines in the spaghetti graph as shown in the following blow-up:

Figure. Blow-up of IPCC Third Assessment Report Fig 2-21.

To my knowledge, no one noticed or reported this truncation until my Climate Audit post in 2005 here. The deletion of the decline was repeated in the 2007 Assessment Report First Order and Second Order Drafts, once again without any disclosure. No dendrochronologist recorded any objection in the Review Comments to either draft. As a reviewer of the Second Order Draft, I asked the IPCC in the strongest possible terms to show the decline reported at CA here:

Show the Briffa et al reconstruction through to its end; don’t stop in 1960. Then comment and deal with the “divergence problem” if you need to. Don’t cover up the divergence by truncating this graphic. This was done in IPCC TAR; this was misleading. (Reviewer’s comment ID #: 309-18)]

They refused, stating that this would be “inappropriate”, though a short discussion on the divergence was added – a discussion that was itself never presented to external peer reviewers.

Returning to the original issue: climate scientists say that the “trick” is now being taken out of context. The Climategate Letters show clearly that the relevant context is the IPCC Lead Authors’ meeting in Tanzania in September 1999 at which the decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, as a “problem”, as a “potential distraction/detraction”. A stone in their shoe.

Update (Dec 11) : Some of the follow-up comments on this post do shed light on this sequence and enable a more precise interpretation of the emails. With the benefit of these comments, there are a couple of points on the chronology that I need to modify, particularly in respect to the role of the October 5 revision of the Briffa reconstruction in respect both to the Arusha meeting and to the hide the decline.

The Arusha meeting objected to the Briffa reconstruction “diluting the message” and reducing confidence in the multiproxy reconstructions. And, of course, it is the overstated confidence that has been the primary objection here. However, I agree with critics who observe that the proximate objection to the Briffa reconstruction at Arusha was not that the decline per se diluted the message, but the Briffa reconstruction overall diluted the message and interfered with a “tidy story”. The stone in the shoe was that the Briffa reconstruction prevented a “tidy story”; the “decline” as a separate problem came a bit later.

After the Arusha meeting, Briffa hurriedly re-did his chronology and the new version was delivered to Mann on Oct 5, 1999 – it was this version that had the big decline. In the First Order Draft of Oct 27, 1999, IPCC author Mann deleted the post-1960 portion of the Briffa reconstruction plus other things that I don’t yet quite understand. Jones’ trick, as observed in the post, is a little different. (The post-1960 portion of the Briffa reconstruction was also deleted from the NCDC archive and the Climategate Letters, as previously noted, was the first digital “archive” of the post-1960 Briffa reconstruction used in TAR.)

As of Oct 5, 1999, the revised Briffa reconstruction had not been presented in any peer-reviewed literature but nonetheless was adopted by IPCC. The hasty recalculation of the Briffa reconstruction resulted in a big decline in the late 20th century – this is the decline illustrated in the graphic in my post.

In the First Order Draft of late October 1999, IPCC did not show the decline. In the Jones trick email two weeks later, as noted above, Jones hid the decline in a slightly different way.

Another issue raised by readers pertains to quotations. The post was already long and I tried to keep the quotations relatively concise. Some readers have criticized the ellipsis. I’ve accordingly amended the quotations (amendments in square brackets.)

327 Comments

  1. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    I hear the William Tell Overture playing;

    For kids of my age, it means;

    The Lone Ranger
    RIDES AGAIN!

    very timely, boss.
    TL

  2. Anthony Watts
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    A stone? More like a boulder with a thornbush growing out of it – well done Steve.

  3. pete m
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    “The IPCC Trick

    Mann’s IPCC trick is related to the Jones’ trick, but different. (The Jones trick has been explained in previous CA posts here, here and consists of replacing the tree ring data with temperature data after 1960 – thereby hiding the decline – and then showing the smoothed graph as a proxy reconstruction.) While some elements of the IPCC Trick can be identified with considerable certainty, other elements are still somewhat unclear.”

    steve, the “here, here ..” are not links in the post.

    A stone in their shoes and a tree in their eyes.

  4. Brian B
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Small issue I think, Steve:

    Were there supposed to be links where you say “here, here” in the second sentence after “The IPCC Trick” subheading about two thirds of the way down?

  5. Jonathan Fischoff
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    Every time I hear people say “the emails are out of context!” I think, be careful what you wish for.

  6. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    I hope Steve submits this to the UEA Inquiry.

    • Gary
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

      And the Penn State inquiry.

  7. Puggs
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    I wonder what the error margins are like for the other data sets? (apart from the smoothed Mann et al data)

    Also, Why does the error margin decrease so much around 1600? Can anyone say?

    • Henry
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

      Puggs: I think the error margin 1600-1960 is around the dark blue line (Mann et al 1999) while the error margin 1000-1600 is around the black line (Mann et al 1998). That is what moving on does for you.

      In fact both should widen going backwards, especially given fewer trees and the risk of past unobserved divergence.

      • Puggs
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

        Sorry, what I mean is:- the grey background is estimated two standard error limits for the “annual mean Northern Hemisphere temperature record to 1999″. It exactly tracks the black spaghetti hemisphere average temp until 1600AD by plus/minus 0.4C then in 1600 the error margin suddenly drops to about +/- 0.18C and tracks black spaghetti until present. I am pretty sure (as a mechanical engineer rather than a mathematician)that the only way this can happen is if there is a large increase in the data set that the correction is applied to, or suddenly all the measuring instruments got a lot more accurate in 1600. But if the data set was increased then there should be an offset in the average hemisphere tems and there is not- there is no adjustment unless the smoothing is so drastic it eats up the step change in data. SO something is strange ? And since the annual 30-70 deg N temps start at 1600 it occurs to me that they have combined these two data sets to “improve” the error margin- that is a strange thing to do… Anyone else care to comment on this- I am quite rusty on metrology and data resolution…

        • Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

          This is pure supposition, but two possible factors strike me: (1) it’s much easier to find a 400 year old tree than a 1400 year old tree, so there’s less splicing and matching; (2) the invention of the thermometer, giving some historical checks.

  8. Jeremy
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I think you’re missing a link or two in this submission…

    “…(The Jones trick has been explained in previous CA posts here, here and consists of replacing the tree ring data with temperature data after 1960 – thereby hiding the decline – and then showing the smoothed graph as a proxy reconstruction.)…”

    The first two (and bolded) ‘here’s have no links on them.

  9. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    The biased data is coming into focus with each passing day. Proving open science is a must …

    So how do you splice data without mention of the sources? Isn’t that sort of like making it up? Unless the record is continuous by one measuring method, it is not valid. Trees do not behave like thermometers and satellites, so the spliced data cannot be believed as continuous.

    Especially when you get to cherry pick what splices where behind closed doors.

    Very good job Steve, thanks for the explanation.

  10. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    BTW,
    Dr. Briffa with this comment;
    ‘For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data.’

    could be seen to be agreeing with Cheifio;

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/the-northern-hemisphere-what-warming/

    No?
    TL

  11. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Nice job. If I had that stone in my shoe, it would be difficult to collect a paycheck.

  12. Seth
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I was trying to find out exactly how this fit into it IPCC reports. Yesterday I asked at RC for a post on how the “hide the decline” graph was not misleading and I got this answer:

    [Response: See comments passim on the CRU hack threads. - gavin]

    Well, I guess I will go elsewhere for an explanation :)

    Thank You from a laymen!

  13. Luke Lea
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    This is the most damning evidence against Mann I’ve seen so far.

    BTW, I asked Mann (via Climate Progress) to document his statement in the conference call (on 12/4) regarding Anthony Watts’s list of the best temperature stations in the U.S. He said Watt’s himself had shown that there was no bias in the larger data set when compared to the smaller (or words to that effect — you can tell I’m a real layman!)

    Anyway Mann himself responded to my enquiry with a couple of links which, he said, substantiated his claim. Except they didn’t.

    I’d be happy to share this email exchange. I’m at luke.lea@gmail.com

  14. Dev
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Been waiting expectantly for your insightful analysis on the latest revelations and related Team doublespeak. Thank you!

    In the meantime, I’ve been going back over some of your old classic posts from the early days. Of course, they are now in the context of the FOI2009.zip data dump. Wow!

    I recommend to visiting journalists to go back and read some of what Steve has endured with Jobsian patience when dealing with the “Team” in this new context.

    Of course, there are still lots of datasets that remain hidden. Mainstream media scribes should definitely search here and read up on Lonnie Thompson, if they want to get a taste of what Team “stonewalling” really is. Politicians can’t hold a candle to the data refusal machinations of Thompson and his secret ice cores (and much of it paid for with public money).

    Thanks to Anthony and the rest for getting CA back up!

  15. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the excellent explanation.

    And what is especially notable is we see in plain sight what many have expected/suspected. The presentation of the last 1000 years of temperature history with the MWP removed or below late 20th century temperatures is essential for “sexed-up” climate science.

    The settled science in the “pre-Mann consensus” had an MWP. There might be a scientific case for a different version of the past, but we see that even some of the leaders of the “new way” are troubled by the “sexed-up” presentation.

    This is simple stuff to follow and understand – once it’s laid out so well of course – and the continual defence of poor science and misleading presentations by “the Team” simply makes the non-faithful much less likely to take their word for it on more obscure topics.

    So, team – and team’s acolytes – if you’re reading, defending the indefensible will only create more skeptics, not less. Not that I expect any changes in approach. The Team is still telling us that Wegman vindicated MBH 1998!

  16. Chris S
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Very well presented and damning post. The true context demonstrates a collaborated “effort” being put into specific aspects of IPCC drafts.

    People are now beginning to realize how “so much was owed by so many” IPCC Summaries, “to so few”.

  17. WHR
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Mr. McIntyre for pursuing this and continuing to pursue it. I understand that you are here as a neutral observer who stands firm in commitment to audit the data without regard to end result. It appears that the nut is cracking and the Climatemafia house of cards is on the brink of crashing down.

    No, I never believed in a conspiracy and still do not.
    My concern is with the blurring that science and politics has undertaken. The email scandal is the tip of the iceburg here. It underscores what I have always believed…That (many) modern scientist cannot distinguish between their role as scientist and the nature of science itself as an ideal. They, in fact, see THEMSELVES as being the institution of science rather than the imperfect, mistake-prone, very HUMAN, beings that they are. In this way they see themselves as beyond reproach, which they aren’t. Perhaps now their failing will be promptly admitted to and real progress can be made here.

  18. Fred Harwood
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    Good to have you back, and on point, Steve.

  19. philh
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Roger Pielke, Jr.: Please take a look at this post of Steve’s and tell us that this doesn’t cast doubt on how “settled” the “science” is.

  20. Plimple
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    SM: “Nor did it discuss the “divergence problem”.”

    Not the “divergence problem”, but “that high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature in recent decades”.

    I think you’re being overly pedantic in your paraphrasing if you can’t find a way to condense that IPCC TAR quote down to the “divergence problem”.

    Sure they didn’t mention the deletion, but following the references it’s clear why they did delete the last decades of Briffa and that this was justified. Reading Briffa et al 1998 and their discussion of divergence lead me to believe that the last portion of their graph was junk. You didn’t wonder why Keith says “I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified”? You suppose they have some way of verifying the climatic signal in the years preceding the instrumental record?

    • Chris
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

      Huh?

      And huh again where you appear to be confusing Briffa with Mann on the last quoted item in your post.

      Please also elaborate on the justification for the deletion.

      • RomanM
        Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

        You suppose they have some way of verifying the climatic signal in the years preceding the instrumental record?

        Temporal teleconnection?

        The “last portion is junk”. They have no valid reason for knowing that this is the case, but the early part is just great. Doesn’t that strike as ridiculous? It’s certainly not genuine science.

    • John M
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

      Reading Briffa et al 1998 and their discussion of divergence lead me to believe that the last portion of their graph was junk.

      So why didn’t they just say that? Instead, they babbled on about what the sketpics might think. Junk is junk, regardless of what skeptics might think, isn’t it? If it’s as clear and simple as you imply, why all the hand-ringing in 1999?

      And this was before they even heard of Steve McIntyre.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

      If the last portion is “junk” who’s to say the earlier portions aren’t “junk”? See the problem with special pleading?

      • Plimple
        Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

        As far as I can see, Briffa hints at validation of his divergent series in their earlier period in the email in question. Briffa on how his series compares to Mann and Jones:

        “What is true is that these particular tree-ring data best represent SUMMER temperatures mostly at the northern boreal forest regions. By virtue of this , they also definately share significant variance with Northern Hemisphere land and land and marine ANNUAL temperatures – but [sic] at decadal and multidecadal timescales – simply by virtue of the fact that these series correlated with the former at these timescales.”

        My last question was rhetorical and it related to the expected responses on this issue, but again: do you really suppose that Briffa has made no attempt to support the earlier portion of his series? Why don’t you ask him. I’ve communicated with him on this issue years ago and he was very courteous. Sadly, I’m not in the email hack though.

        • theduke
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

          “. . . hints at validation?”

          That’s an evasion. If the tree ring data are “junk” from 1960 onwards, why couldn’t they be from 1060 onwards?

        • Ken Hall
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

          I think you may be looking at this backwards. Yes I agree that the assertion that if the tree ring data is unreliable from 1960, then the tree ring data prior to that must also be unreliable also. BUT, they still use the earlier tree ring data. This is telling me that earlier tree-ring analysis is more robust and accurate. Inconveniently for them, so is the latter tree ring data which shows a decline in temperature through to the 1970’s before a modest incline again.

          snip – too much venting/

        • BlueIce2HotSea
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

          They use it so it must be good? Is that what you just said?

          Jeff Id discusses Craig Loehle’s article on inverse quadratic tree response to temperature, here. Logical and mathematical explanations might also be true.

        • BlueIce2HotSea
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

          Sorry, I forgot that Craig Loehle discusses the divergence problem here, at climateaudit.org.

    • theduke
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

      If there was a divergence problem from 1960 on, how do we know that a similar divergence did not occur during the MWP? In other words, how do we know this was the only divergence in “high latitude tree-ring density variations” in the past 1000 years? The MWP could have also been considerably warmer than the tree-rings from the period indicate, no?

      That’s the problem. It calls into question the efficacy of tree-ring proxies and possibly reconstructions in general.

    • cce
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

      Or, more completely:

      “Several important caveats must be borne in mind when using tree-ring data for palaeoclimate reconstructions. Not least is the intrinsic sampling bias. Tree-ring information is available only in terrestrial regions, so is not available over substantial regions of the globe, and the climate signals contained in tree-ring density or width data reflect a complex biological response to climate forcing. Non-climatic growth trends must be removed from the tree-ring chronology, making it difficult to resolve time-scales longer than the lengths of the constituent chronologies (Briffa, 2000). Furthermore, the biological response to climate forcing may change over time. There is evidence, for example, that high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature in recent decades, associated with possible nonclimatic factors (Briffa et al., 1998a). By contrast, Vaganov et al. (1999) have presented evidence that such changes may actually be climatic and result from the effects of increasing winter precipitation on the starting date of the growing season (see Section 2.7.2.2). Carbon dioxide fertilization may also have an influence,
      particularly on high-elevation drought-sensitive tree species, although attempts have been made to correct for this effect where appropriate (Mann et al., 1999). Thus climate reconstructions based entirely on tree-ring data are susceptible to several sources of contamination or non-stationarity of response. For these reasons, investigators have increasingly found tree-ring data most useful when supplemented by other types of proxy information in “multi-proxy” estimates of past temperature change (Overpeck et al., 1997; Jones et al., 1998; Mann et al., 1998; 1999; 2000a; 2000b; Crowley and Lowery, 2000).”

      TAR, WGI, Chapter 2, page 131

      http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-02.PDF

    • Baa Humbug
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

      You folks can get into as much “science speak” detail as you want, but to a layman like me, if the work wasn’t complete or had possible errors in it (divergence shmirgence) it was incumbent on those responsible to be open and clear about it. I, as a taxpayer EXPECT that they would WELCOME critique not try and avoid it.

      The fact that they did try and avoid it makes their results/findings/charts null and void in my mind, especially considering the importance of the work they were performing. This wasn’t some uni students trying to improve their grades, though their behaviour may suggest otherwise.

      Keep up the good work Steve

      • Mac
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

        Baa Humbug… spot on!

  21. Chris
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    This is probably your best explanation of the “trick” yet. Aided by the context of the e-mails, of course.

    No doubt you will be in more TV interviews regarding Climategate issues. If the trick comes up again and you hear the “out of context” defense I implore you to be a bit less nuanced and hammer home just how much worse things get when the context is known. And point out that it’s not just about “a few scientists at one research unit”, it’s about “everyone in the room at IPCC” in 1999. The gulf between your thorough depiction here and the one being repeated by the AGW defenders is huge.

  22. Chris
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Would’ve been really funny if someone had replied back to Folland: “You can’t handle the truth!”

  23. Tom Ganley
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Plimple @ “You suppose they have some way of verifying the climatic signal in the years preceding the instrumental record?”

    I suppose they do but I can’t figure out what it is. It would be helpful if someone could explain that.

  24. Richard Henry Lee
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    Sherlock Holmes could not have done better. Nice exposition of the timeline and context.

    Hopefully the Penn State and University of East Anglia independent reviewers will take note of this.

  25. John G. Bell
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    No one could have explained this better. Imagine the pressure Briffa has been under. It is unfortunate that this happened to such a likable character. I think in any reasonable environment Briffa would have done much better.

  26. Plimple
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    True, Mann, not Briffa made statement. I doubt that Briffa has a dissimilar position, though I may be wrong.

    • JimR
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

      Yes, you are wrong. See the E-mail from Briffa strongly disagreeing with Mann (same E-mail SM quoted above:

      http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=138&filename=938031546.txt

      • Plimple
        Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

        Happy to accept that if true, but I don’t see Briffa disagreeing with a truncation of his series (checking quickly whilst making food). Perhaps you could provide the quote. I did communicate with Briffa on this issue years ago he made no hint that truncation of the series was a problem for him. My email is not in that hacked zip though.

  27. TG
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    I suggest this analysis, or perhaps its expanded version, be submitted to the PSU committee investigating Michael Mann. One doesn’t need to be a specialist to understand his methods and their implications.

  28. b_C
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Is this the point where the mercury completely leaks out of the thermomongers?

  29. CC
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Excellent exposition, Steve.

    I’d never realized how hard this must have been on Briffa. It’s one thing having your data messed up, but knowing that this is happening for ethically dubious reasons makes it far worse. Poor guy, he must have felt terrible :(

    • Daryl M
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

      What else can you say but if something doesn’t makes sense, there is probably a good reason. I think Briffa is conflicted because he is trying to use trees as thermometers, which they are not. Tree ring derived temperatures don’t match up with the climate record because they depend on much more than just temperature, which begs the question how much trust can you place in any temperature data derived from tree rings?

      The way Mann is berating Briffa really makes me wonder if Briffa leaked the files.

  30. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Briffa and collaborators were criticized (unfairly in the view of many of my colleagues and me) by a contrarian climate change website based on what we felt to be a misrepresentation of their work.

    Although not directly related to the “liberated” email quoted in the post, M. Mann demonstrates that he’s quite the contortionist when it comes to putting his spin on the correspondence in question.

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/11/28/climategate-michael-mann-hockey-stick-copenhagen-diagnosis/

    Dan

  31. Tom C
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Steve –

    Great job. As you said in the CNN segment, the MWP vs. modern issue is the real battleground. This is the most compelling evidence yet of the “get rid of the MWP/exaggerate the modern” effort.

    I wonder what it is like for Mann, Briffa and company to see their mendacity and cowardice detailed in this superb forensic analysis?

  32. Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    There is only one person, outside of climatology who could put into context the complete story of hide the decline. Thanks Steve.

    I find most of the comments above very understated.

    We see the problem, we address the problem by eliminating and modifying the data.

    Nobody speaks up.

    For TEN years…………..Briffa gets no pass on this.

    Here’s an email from my Bodge post which oddly pre-dates the going’s on above. It’s from Ed Cook who has a much more recent email with stunning honesty. However, in this email Ed asks why the data has opposite conclusions from someone who unclimatoscientifically didn’t hide the decline.

    At 04:11 PM 7/14/99 EDT, you wrote:
    >Hi Keith,
    >
    >What is your take on the Vagonov et al. paper concerning the influence of
    >snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in Siberia? Frankly, I can’t
    >believe it was published as is. It is amazinglly thin on details. Isn’t Sob
    >the same site as your Polar Urals site? If so, why is the Sob response
    >window so radically shorter then the ones you identified in your Nature
    >paper for both density and ring width? I notice that they used Berezovo
    >instead of Salekhard, which is much closer according to the map. Is that
    >because daily data were only available for the Berezovo? Also, there is no
    >evidence for a decline or loss of temperature response in your data in the
    >post-1950s (I assume that you didn’t apply a bodge here). This fully
    >contradicts their claims, although I do admit that such an effect might be
    >happening in some places.
    >
    >Cheers,
    >
    >Ed
    ———–
    The answer turns out to be – yes Ed, we did apply a bodge. Just a little one.

    Cheers back,
    Jeff

    • Daryl M
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

      What is so pathetic about this situation is Steve is simply doing what should have been done in the first place. First year science students are taught if you don’t get the results you expect, you either had wrong expectations or there is a mistake in your calculations or your apparatus or your methodology. They are not taught to do the kind of crap that Mann et al did in this situation. The hockey stick is so contrived that you cannot trust any result they come up with.

  33. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Yes, if it was a Hamming filter, then Mann almost certainly did the graph. No one else uses that.
    When most people connect dots they get an elephant or something, but when Steve connects the dots–stand back, it is Context and it ain’t pretty. If you have to debate how the graph should look and fiddle with it, and delete parts, and use strange padding and weird filters, then it is propaganda. That simple.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

      Tim Osborne sent 2 versions of Briffa’s data to Mann, on each occasion unsmoothed, witn a suggestion that Mann do the smoothing for all the series to achieve consistency. On the second occasion, as time was running out, he also included a 40 yr smoother version of his own so Mann could see what the series should look like. It’s not clear which version of the data was used.

  34. Roger Pielke, Jr.
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    FYI:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/12/trick-in-context.html

    • windansea
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

      Roger

      at your blog you say:

      The “trick” does not show scientific fraud. It does not show that climate science is a sham. What it does show is a group of scientists at the highest levels of the IPCC stage managing their presentation of climate science for the greatest possible effect via their creation of a graphic showing paleoclimate reconstructions

      it looks to me that they have their thumbs on the scale and they’re selling something a lot more expensive than tomatos

      • Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

        Roger is flat wrong in my opinion. F bombs aren’t ruled out by anything I’ve read. They clearly intended to confuse the science and political community (at least when it started) and by the email from Ed Cook in my comment above, it worked at least in one instance.

        This was very very unfortunately done with intent. A short time later they came clean in publication, but consider what that means. It’s really no wonder that Keith Briffa writes such paper killing comments about this series right in his own publications (you need to read the papers to get that), then publishes the results anyway. They overstepped on a world stage – it was done as a group and this is the ugly skeleton. It was a huge mistake they could not admit to publicly.

        One HS after another through ever worse methods appears as they attempt to prop up the mess. Ever deeper they went until we have a huge pile of cards, crumbling on the floor.

        Paleo was the star of the IPCC before. That is no longer the case.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

          There is more than one flavor of f. Academic f versus policy f are different things. Capital F and lowercase f. One sense of the word can not describe the full range of deception that we are witnessing.

      • liberalbiorealist
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

        While I agree that what Steve demonstrates here does not by any means demonstrate that climate science is a sham, it does come only too close to something resembling snip

        It’s not as if there is some legitimate scientific reason to discount what the portion of the graph they excluded seemed to show. The decline it exhibited was a genuine problem in the interpretation they were offering. If they had had a good explanation for it, and an appropriate adjustment to bring it back into line with their expectations, they could simply have introduced the explanation and correction; they did no such thing, because they had no such explanation and correction. They chose instead to deliberately withhold from the public evidence contrary to their hypothesis.

        I find their behavior here jaw dropping: both that they ALL engaged in it, and that they did so openly with each other. There’s a shamelessness to this that’s hard to fathom.

        I guess I had before attributed most of the behavior of many of these prominent scientists to simple, and basically rather innocent, groupthink. But this goes well past groupthink. It is a form of snip

        I can’t help but wonder, if they are, unanimously, so brazen here in their skewing the information they will present, why not imagine this scenario played out nearly across the full extent of the science? This would certainly not render climate science in toto as a sham, but it surely would seem to undermine many claims to “settled science”.

        • Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

          When politics are involved, nothing is sacred.

        • Mary
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

          sorry for my ignorance, what does “snip” mean? I see it frequently in these posts.

        • Al S.
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

          Mary,
          somebody who violates blog rules, such as attributing motives , “venting”, “piling on”, too far off topic,etc., may have their posts deleted or “snipped” by the moderator.
          This is Mr. McIntyre’s place, and it’s first of all about the truth of the matter, even though we often have strong opinions.
          Al S.

        • BlueIce2HotSea
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

          Violation of blog rules has resulted in removal of offending material. i.e. obscenities, intemperate, self-indulgent, and/or off-topic rants, etc.

        • BlueIce2HotSea
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

          Sorry for stepping on your reply, Al S. I should have refreshed.

      • MrPete
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

        I wrote something like this on Roger’s blog; perhaps it will show up in the morning…

        I don’t believe Roger has connected his own dots.

        1) If “The ‘trick’ in context is clearly an effort by activist scientists…to misrepresent scientific complexity to policy makers and the public”, and “fraud” is “intentional deception resulting in injury to another person”, then isn’t this a fraudulent publication of the science?

        2) I hear Roger saying the science is not fraudulent; the publication is fraudulent.

        3) Yet most of the community argue vehemently that peer review publication is an inextricable part of science. So doesn’t intentional misrepresentation in the scientists’ publication automatically imply misrepresentation in their science?

        • bender
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

          That’s what I was getting at above. There is a wide range of deceptive behaviors being exhibited here. One word can’t capture it all.

        • Gary
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

          It’s simply lying by omission which when found out will get you in trouble just about everywhere. And publication *is* a vital part of “science” so the distinction is moot.

        • j ferguson
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

          Roger seems confused. I don’t understand how misrepresentation of the results of these studies by the scientists themselves is not integral with the science and if that, then F. for the whole thing.

          I also don’t understand why more scientists are not publicly decrying these misrepresentations.

  35. Paul
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    Great detective work Steve. As usual you present potentially complicated issues in a simple and understandable manner. That sir is a talent.

  36. Braddles
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Arusha is the nearest large town to Mt Kilimanjaro and its shrinking ice, so I guess the location was chosen for symbolic reasons.

  37. Jsco
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Hmm this is odd.

    “can undermine *faith* in the paleoestimates”

    I thought we were talking science…

    • Paul Penrose
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

      Jsco,
      That struck me as odd too, but maybe it was just a bad word choice. I think it’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt in cases like this.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

        As with the “censored” directory, the “containing” of the MWP, and the use of deceptive “tricks”, Mann seems fatally attracted to ambiguous semantics, don’t you find? For he does appear to have had an unjustifiable “faith” in the palaoclimatic reconstructions. Seems he left his uncertainty behind a long time ago. Perhaps he never even had any objecticity to begin with? The emails from Briffa and Cook out him as a lifelong pseudoscientist.

  38. Sean Peake
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

    Steve, what you have to do now is anticipate how the the UEA, IPCC et al will respond. How will they spin this to their favour? Knowing this in advance, or at least considering their responses, will make you a better, more convincing interview.

  39. Steven Mosher
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve see the discussions of divergence during drafting of AR4 ch6, relative to the NCR testimony..

  40. trbixler
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    But why do the MSM continue to parrot it is just a figure of speech, are they not in on the gag, or are the part of the gag?

    Thank you for your hard and diligent work.

  41. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    CNN 7.30 am

    • Matt Pearson
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

      Steve! Get some sleep!

  42. Sandra Kay
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    I asked @ RC about your analysis;

    The response, post #438;

    Anyone have anything to say about this analysis by Mr. McIntyre? Seems pretty straightforward how they “hid the decline” and why they needed to do it (excellent reconstruction of emails along with real time events)

    [edit]

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/

    [Response: They are confused. The mismatch that they were concerned with is seen in the first figure where the Briffa and Jones reconstructions are substantially higher and lower than Mann's through the LIA (1500 - 1900AD). Note the line "Keith’s series .. differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on... ". It has nothing to do with the post 1960 issue. The full email is a much clearer read than McIntyre's cherry-picking. - gavin]

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2187

    The contortions and pretzel logic is breathtaking.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

      There were two problems for them with Briffa’s series – the decline, and the suggestion of a MWP.At this stage the concern was that the difference relating to the MWP would cause problems, the decline, after all could be hidden by simply truncating the data. The forecasters at the meeting must have been sleeping.

      Steve:
      This particular Briffa series only goes back to 1402.

      • bobdenton
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

        Yes. Should have checked back. The problem was more “warmth” than the other series.

  43. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Yes, there had been previous discussion of the problem in the peer-reviewed literature (Briffa et al 1998) – a point made over and over by Gavin Schmidt and others.

    Then why try to “hide” it?

    If it has been discussed previously in the peer-reviewed literature, and it is no big deal as the team continues to tell us, then there should be no reason to attempt to hide it. You only hide things that you don’t want others to see.

  44. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    CNN 7.30 am

    Steve, as in your last interview, be prepared for some nonsense questions and little annoying setups like, “so you’re a skeptic, why do you think…”, or “about the 10-year old e-mail, do you think …”, “as a shill for big oil and big tobacco, and a holocaust denier, can you comment about…”. I don’t trust CNN. They will try to discredit you with little subliminal jabs, throw a cloud of confusion at you and then ask an unrelated question. It can throw you off and make you look befuddled if you’re not prepared. Just brush the setups and nonsense questions aside like Ali and follow through with a solid uppercut of fact and reason – know your points and make them regardless of the questions. Best of luck.

    • Daryl M
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

      Not only that, but be prepared with your “elevator pitch”, which is your concise set of talking points. Go into the interview with crystal clear objectives of what message(s) you want to leave the viewers with. When you get asked questions, answer them but in a way that allows you to segue to your message. As much as I didn’t like Oppenheimer’s responses, he was very good at taking control of the dialogue and getting his message across. The world needs to hear a different message. It’s a fantastic achievement and a credit to your accomplishments that you have the opportunity to deliver your message on CNN. Go get ‘em!

  45. Matt Pearson
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    A post I made on tAV. Reproducing here.

    There is a sense of momentum shift happening, and I believe that Steve McIntyre’s latest post may, ironically, prove to be the “tipping” point. Bit by bit, the collective individuals who have worked so hard to make sense and, dare I say it, context, out of the released code and emails have succeeded in making clear a fundamental point. Science matters. The Scientific Method matters. Subversion of science never, ever, succeeds in the long run. I am so proud of Mr. McIntyre and his relentless pursuit for the truth. I look at the work of the Pielke’s, father and son, and admire how they have conducted themselves in the face of often time withering criticism. How Richard Lindzen, Anthony Watts and others have always stood for science, and for truth. For weeks I have been so very, very angry over what has transpired. And then today, after I read Mr. McIntyre’s piece, I felt clarity and pride. To all the people who proudly claim to be skeptics, including you Jeff, my heartfelt thanks. I am not a scientist per se. Regardless of the outcome of all of this, I feel much better about the state of science than I have in a very long time.

    A very heartfelt thank you.

    Matt Pearson

  46. STEPHEN PARKERuk
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    Thankyou for this post steve. I used to be cynical about the internet, thinking it was just another way to sell to us.But your website, and others like it, are true democracy at work, giving a voice to views opposing establishment “consensus” be they right or wrong!.Keep up the good work, and, as a canadian, expect a call from her maj soon…. arise Sir Steve mcintyre for services to the truth! ( ok that last bit may be going a bit far!)

  47. LMB
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Great post. I was hoping somebody would discuss specific Climategate emails beyond only the three (approx.) mentioned in the media.

    Is there anything in the Harry Read Me file which can be brought into your discussion, i.e: the programmer running into the “hide the decline” issue?

    P.S. I think your post was much more interesting than Obama’s NP speech. :)

  48. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    Unbelievable. I thought I was past being shocked by anything the Team has done, but this is unbelievable. I most like the fact that the context is worse than we thought.

  49. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

    “Dilute the message” sounds almost as good as “hide the decline”.
    To be fair, Briffa reconstruction does not look too bad (except the post 1960 decline) – it is highly consistent with Loehle non-tree ring reconstruction up to 1400, e.g. during LIA. I am curious, how it would do in the MWP period.

  50. TKl
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    in FOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\mann\mxdgrid2ascii.pro
    following lines are printed:
    printf,1,’NOTE: recent decline in tree-ring density has been ARTIFICIALLY’
    printf,1,’REMOVED to facilitate calibration. THEREFORE, post-1960 values’
    printf,1,’will be much closer to observed temperatures then they should be,’
    printf,1,’which will incorrectly imply the reconstruction is more skilful’
    printf,1,’than it actually is. See Osborn et al. (2004).’

    I don’t understand, what exactly they are doing. Could a calibration be valid, if you previous ‘artificially’ remove the decline?

  51. Olaus Petri
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    What a great calarification! Thanks! The “full context” is apparently something of a con-text. :-)

    BTW, have you read Hans von Storch’s and Dennis Bray’s climate science survey (third one)? Quite interesting stuff. You will find it at Die Klimazweibel (many posts are in English though):

    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2009/12/survey-conducted-by-dennis-bray-and.html#comments

    • deadwood
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

      Interesting poll. I find most intriguing the dichotomy between how scientists see themselves as non-activist while having closely held environmentalist beliefs. Also interesting is the importance they place on paleoclimate work in confirming their models.

      • Olaus Petri
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

        Indeed, deadwood, not to mention the outcome of question # 9 and 10.

  52. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

    Brilliant. Sinmply brilliant.

    But will the movers and shakers of the world -will the Monbiots of this world – will they read it? And if they do read it, will they understand the statistics and the implications of their meanings?

    Having said that, this is a superb piece of academic detective work. Better than reading an Agatha Christie novel! Well done again, Steve.

  53. Michael Larkin
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    Splendid work, Mr. McIntyre. I have some scientific background, albeit not in climatology, but anyone can understand what is going on from your explanation. I hope that James Delingpole writes about this as he did for the “smoking gun” post from WUWT…

  54. alux
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    Scientist speak to each other in a different language than other people use. In this case, “trick” is a loose English translation of the latin, “Extractit ex rectum nostum.” No wonder people get the wrong idea.

    • Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

      Do you mean something like “extraxit e recto suo” or, perhaps, “extractum est e rectis nostris”?

  55. FJG
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    I’ve just noticed that the individuals willing to stand up against AGW mostly seem to be retired (look at the signatories to the dissenting letter in Copenhagen).

    What does this say about the pressure to conform and not imperil your scientific career? It’s a scary thought, and certainly gives credence to the idea that there’s a whole lot of group think going on, enforced by a mafia quite willing and capable of busting your funding kneecaps.

    Nice little research institute you have here. Pity if something should happen to it…

  56. Laws of Nature
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve,

    this is a nice post to explain one part of the discussion. However by diverting too much attention to this part, some other points are pushed further back:
    As you and others showed quite clearly ALL of the proxi data presented by the “team” might be based on cherry-picked data and faulty analyzis. By critizising only one of the curves on the IPCC plot you almost seem to fall for the next trick and give legitimation for the other false curves.
    I do understand, that you as usual want to point on some clear issues, but you should also mention that this is by far not the only aspect of that diagram where a critical review is needed!

    All the best regards and good that your blog is running smooth again. I hope yourself is all up again too!
    (Always remember the many posts pointing to a nice vacation at a sunny place . .)
    I highly appreciate posts like this one, which beside all the more specific mathematical ones (which are the essence of you blog) show what you are up against..
    Looking with this context at some of the recent phrases of these “highly credited scientists” is very revealing.

    All the best regards and wishes,
    Your LoN

  57. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    Keep plugging away as there are more gems buried in there.

  58. tim heyes
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    Phenomenal work, Steve. Every dissection of the data that you make leaves me in awe!

  59. Mikey M
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    I really think Steve has to go “official” with these audits into the agw shennanigans. While i enjoy reading his investigations into Mann, Jones, Briffa and the rest of the crazy gang here on the blog; it is apparent that becuase CA is a blog it is watering down the impact of Steve’s work.

    Surely by now enough sceptical climate scientists are familiar with Steve’s audits, making it appropriate for them to co-author these studies with him, and entering them into the relevant scientific journals for peer review.

    I notice many of those sceptics in the science community post here and at Watts Up. Really guys, there needs to be some joined up strategy instead of disparate attacks on the agw science.

    I also think it should be easier to get Steve’s papers accepted now that it has been shown how Jones et al were doing their best to suppress any critical studies from the major journals.

    Strike while the iron is hot.

  60. Stephen
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    Question:

    What has happened to the SHAPE of Briffa’s curve?? In the zero-order draft, it’s a series of peaks and troughs with what looks like a steadily increasing trend in time. That curve is totally out of whack with the Jones curve (this point being discussed in some of the emails that Steve has referenced). Whereas in the final IPCC diagram, Briffa’s curve is a TOTALLY different shape, having a pronounced “U” appearance, which, coincidentally, makes it visually a much better match to the Jones curve. Surely I’m not the only one to notice this??

  61. Neil Hampshire
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    In adding today’s temperature records they seem to start about 1900.
    Is this the case?
    If so is this another part of the “trick”?
    How do 1850-1900 temperature records compare to tree ring data?

  62. Andy Hooper
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Mr McIntyre, thanks for your continued efforts.

    It would be interesting to see the server logs for this post and look at how many visitors are coming to it from Copenhagen.

  63. John Wright
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    What strikes me with these mails is that even back in 1999 and well before people started smelling a rat, they were already obsessed with what the sceptics may think and how they may use it for their dark purposes. Once again a confirmation that this isn’t about science.

  64. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    A live webcast starts 1330 GMT FRIDAY 11th Dec

    “There is widespread consensus among scientists that human activity is substantially responsible for the alarming changes in our climate.

    Mark Maslin is a leading climatologist and director of the UCL environment institute. Maslin has a particular interest in past global and regional climates (more details here)

    There is also, however, a small but powerful lobby that disputes the majority’s findings. Richard Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Lindzen is known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides and ozone photochemistry and for challenging the consensus on anthropogenic climate change. He will be joining the debate to give an informed voice to the counter-argument.(more details here)”

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/science/2009/12/fight-club-live-is-mankind-responsible-for-global-warming.html

    • P Gosselin
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

      Well, I was happy to get in my question about Antarxtica, but Maslin skated around´it.

  65. P Gosselin
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    Excellent forensic work.
    I hope the editors and peer reviewers at “respected” journals like Science, Nature and Scientific American read and absorb this. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, having subscribed to such dubious science, honstly speaking.

  66. Tom C
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre: An Inconvenient Sleuth

    • fFreddy
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

      Applause !

    • Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      Very witty and accurate.

  67. BradH
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Don’t be concerned that you can’t get the exact “shape” of the curves. It’s apparent that the data has been so heavily manipulated, that it is likely they just randomly changed the variables to get the shape they wanted, saved the modified numbers….then deleted the original data.

    I remain astonished that this was happening 10 years ago (when global warming was still treated somewhat sceptically in the media) and that now, with all of this out in the open, the media and elements of the science community are defending the indefensible.

    When one is young, one sincerely believes that age and wisdom will bring ever greater peace of mind. Instead, I find that it brings ever more cynicism and disgust. I hope that this is just a reflection of The Times, rather than a universal aspect of the human experience.

  68. Third Party
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    ““everyone in the room at IPCC” thought that the Briffa decline was a “problem” and a “potential distraction/detraction”,”

    Who was in the room?

    Can a list be compiled?

  69. Michael Larkin
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    My last post appears to have passed moderation and then to have disappeared. If that’s because it was belatedly deemed off-topic, I apologise. On the other hand, I did wonder if it might be a glitch with this new site, and if so thought it might be useful to mention it.

  70. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Wow Steve. Excellent work.

    I was going to do some graphics on this to sort of provide a bottom line for the average person and discovered some things you might find interesting.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11844

    This is really going to put the nail in the coffin of AGW

  71. derekcrane
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    Factcheck.org included this in their recent analysis of the purloined Hadley emails:

    The 1,000-plus e-mails sometimes illustrate the hairier side of scientific research. Criticisms of climate change are sometimes dismissed as “fraud” or “pure crap,” as in this 2005 e-mail from CRU Director Phil Jones. Other messages, like a 2007 e-mail from Michael Mann of Penn State University, show indignation at being the target of skeptics’ ire. Some of the e-mails are in bad form; for instance, climate scientist Benjamin Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory makes a crack about “beat[ing] the crap out of” opponent Pat Michaels.
    Claims that the e-mails are evidence of fraud or deceit, however, misrepresent what they actually say. A prime example is a 1999 e-mail from Jones, who wrote: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” Skeptics claim the words “trick” and “decline” show Jones is using sneaky manipulations to mask a decline in global temperatures. But that’s not the case. Actual temperatures, as measured by scientific instruments such as thermometers, were rising at the time of the writing of this decade-old e-mail, and (as we’ve noted) have continued to rise since then. Jones was referring to the decline in temperatures implied by measurements of the width and density of tree rings. In recent decades, these measures indicate a dip, while more accurate instrument-measured temperatures continue to rise.

    Full story at: http://factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

    • Patrick Hadley
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      The Factcheck article is lamentable. The authors of that article have totally failed to understand the issues involved. Somebody needs to factcheck the article and return it to them for correction.

      • LMB
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

        Patrick Hadley:

        I agree. Factcheck.org has anointed itself the Authority on everything. They are continuously consulted on TV (incl. CNN) as having a monopoly on truth and always get the last word.

        They have never been wrong before, we’re led to believe, and can never be wrong.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

      That some people have misunderstood Mike’s Nature trick and the IPCC trick does not imply that Steve McIntyre has misunderstood these deceptions. They are discussed in perfect clarity at this blog. These “tricks” were indeed dishonest deceptions, and context only makes this clearer. These “tricks” were not “clever” at all. They were foolish indulgences. The Mannomatic, now THAT’s clever. Needles-in-your-eyes clever.

    • DavidinWC
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:10 AM | Permalink

      Thank you for giving the reference to “Factcheck” I have read it and I found it interesting. Not very far into the article you referred to (in the Analysis) I notice the use of “trove of emails” and “the conservative-leaning Canada Free Press claims that the stolen files”….
      This type of ridicule and bias was as evident in the CRU emails as it was, and still is …in the AGW community.

  72. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    More excellent analysis by ChiefIO

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/crut-email-1248902393-txt-ncdc-chums/#comment-1936

  73. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Trackback #15 http://www.houlihane.co.uk/blog/2009/12/11/presentation-of-data-in-ippc-tar/ does some excellent analysis on this topic. He does a good overlay of the different versions that shows a couple of points that I didn’t notice previously and need to analyse. Sean’s graphics definitely point to a “dig here” (a nice E.M. Smith expression.)

    • Stephen
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      Bingo! That’s exactly the point I was alluding to above. It’s not just that the decline has been chopped off, the Briffa squiggles are completely different shapes….

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

      Yes, this is a very important point: betwen one graph and another, not only did Briffa’s curve change direction at the most recent years (up instead of down) but the whole curve shifted down to be more in agreement with the other curves (to increase the “consensus”). Maybe they took the green curve out behind the woodshed and gave it a good talking to so it fell in line (so to speak) better.

    • Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

      Glad to add to the process. I thought you had replicated the differences in the squiggles in one of your plots, but maybe not. The change in offset (guess) seems to be a result of normalising using 1900-1960 rather than 1900-1999, harking back to Jeff Id’s work on spurious correlations and over optimistic correlation.

    • AManuel
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

      Also note that in the second graph Briffa’s plot has the qualifier “tree-ring density only,” added to the label. I have no idea if this has an impact on the data he used for the second graph, just noting the difference.

  74. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see what the October 5 Briffa reconstruction would look like if it, rather than the Jones tricked-out version, were a part of fig 2.21. We can tell what it would look like roughly, but it would be nice to see how distracting/detracting it would have been.

  75. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Asked and answered.

  76. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Holy cow – great report on emails not reported on so far IIRC and Mann digging a hole.

    http://video.tiscali.it/canali/truveo/1235225618.html

    • Third Party
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

      uu@W at ~ 2:20 is worth the effort to watch.

  77. Entropy
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    As a layman, let me see if I have the implications of this correct. The “divergence” can mean one of three things:

    1. The tree-ring proxy analysis for historic temperatures is at least suspect.

    2. The tree-ring proxy analysis is accurate, but the adjusted instrumentation temperature data is wrong.

    3. Some other error resulting from a wrong assumption, bad input or improper statistical analysis – IOW a process error.

    Is that correct?

    • Eric
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

      Another layman responding…

      there is one more possibility which is important because it is the one that the “team” would assert.

      4. The instrumental temp record is accurate and tree-ring proxies were accurate indicators of temp until the later half of the last century. Since then these particular tree-rings have not been accurate indicators of temp.

      seems fishy to me, but what do I know.

  78. Peter Andersson
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Well done Steve! I really hope that you forward these findings to the investigative committees of UEA and Penn State.

  79. PhilH
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Roger: “One thing you should take from Steve’s efforts is that context matters.”
    I assume, perhaps wrongly, that by this you mean that while the IPCC summary process may have been corrupt, that fact doesn’t change the underlying “science;” whatever that is. But doesn’t the fact that Briffa’s tree rings showed something radically different from Mann’s concatination of inept mathematics and statistical incompetence indicate (I assume that what they were doing qualifies as “science”)that the “scientific” derivation of temperatures was, and is, not “settled?” Is that not one of the critical “scentific” issues involved in this whole process. I get the feeling that you are dancing on the head of a pin here and at your blog.

  80. Richard B
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    The colors selected in IPCC 2.21 to show Jones et al 1998 and Instrumental Data, although not the same, are quite close. Both are reddish. Jones et al 1998 show the lowest temps overall and apparently the steepest linear regression down, instrumental the largest regression up. The start point of instrumental appears to fall exactly on Jones et al and is closely surrounded by spaghetti.

    A casual observer might see red all the way.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

      BINGO again!!! but I’m sure it is a coincidence…

      • bender
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

        Just another clever thing one can do.

  81. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Check out an 1990 Australian documentary posted on The Dog Ate My Data. It’s nearly a full hour, I believe, in 6 YouTube segments, and much of what is in it holds true to day.

    According to East Anglia CRU’s Professor Tom Wigley, in the fifth segment, “My organization has only one permanent university funded scientist — and that’s me. I have about a dozen research workers with PhDs who are working in the Climatic Research Unit and they’re all funded on so called soft money. Their existence requires me or us jointly to get external support.”

  82. Turboblocke
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    And what precisely is the relevence of a Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction to Global warming?

  83. chainpin
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    OT but important.

    This is from comment number 123 from this post:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/the-guardians-editorial/

    These people have no shame:

    Steve McIntyre lied on CNN about CRU withholding the tree ring decline from the IPPC. Third assessment mentions it Page 131 Chapter 2. You can read it online. Lied on the WMO statement as well

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-02.pdf

    [Response: Steve McIntyre being dishonest? Say it ain't so!]

    Comment by ATHiker — 9 December 2009 @ 3:51 PM

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

      Prediction: ATHiker will regret that insinuation.

  84. David Longinotti
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Mr. McIntyre

    This is excellent work. Since Mann’s version of the context for the “trick” dominates the media, it would be a public service if you would summarize this and submit it as an article to the Wall Street Journal – I think they would readily print it. You could title it “The Full Context for ‘Hide the Decline'”.

  85. Anand Rajan KD
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    “Things refuse to be mismanaged long.”

    “The beautiful laws and substances of the world persecute and whip the traitor. He finds that things are arranged for truth and benefit, but there is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole.”

    “You cannot recall the spoken word, you cannot wipe out the foot-track, you cannot draw up the ladder, so as to leave no inlet or clew. Some damning circumstance always transpires. The laws and substances of nature — water, snow, wind, gravitation — become penalties to the thief.”

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  86. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Re 11:08 comment. I’ve added a sentence in the text above: “IPCC TAR does contain a sly allusion to the problem; it mentions “evidence” that tree ring density variations had “changed in their response in recent decades”. Contrary to claims of realclimate commenters, this does not constitute disclosure of the deletion of the post-1960 values in the controversial figure or even of the decline itself.”

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

      A “change in response”. Sly indeed. When a “proxy” exhibits a complete reversal in its “response”, that would indeed constitute a “change”.
      .
      Will ATHIker now apologize for his allegation? Of course not.

    • liberalbiorealist
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

      Yeah,

      A “change in response” could mean something as insignificant for their hypothesis as a slightly less steep slope up.

      Which, of course, would be why they’d like the phrase, which nicely “hides the decline” behind ambiguity.

  87. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    Tree rings from 1960 onwards are unreliable as temperature proxy. Before 1960 it seems no problem for the Team, so let’s see what happened in 1960:

    Jan.60: Construction of the Aswan Dam begins in Egypt.
    Feb.60: An earthquake in Morocco kills over 3,000 people and nearly destroys Agadir in the southern part of the country.
    Mar.60: Elvis Presley is discharged from the United States Army.
    Apr.60: Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship.
    May 60: Reproductive rights: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves sale of the birth control pill.
    Jun.60: Congo gains independence from Belgium.
    Jul.60: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is first published.
    Aug.60: Echo I, the first communications satellite, launched
    Sep.60: The last episode of “The Howdy Doody Show” airs on NBC.
    Oct.60: In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (who later takes the name Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight.
    Nov.: U.S. presidential election, 1960: John F. Kennedy is elected over Richard M. Nixon, becoming the youngest man elected to that office.
    Dec.60: The farthing coin, used in Britain since the 13th century, ceases to be legal tender.

    I really tried to find a possible reason why tree rings are out from 1960, but I couldn’t find any scientific reason.

    • kevoka
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

      Are you kidding? Elvis Presley getting discharged was a global forcing if there ever was one.

  88. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Pending us figuring out how to better manage the comment threading, could I ask readers NOT to use the reply function, but to add their comment at the end, citing the time of any comment being replied to.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

      Why? I like the nesting.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

        me too

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

      Wow, that adds some pressure to me.

      I’m working hard to find a way to properly sort the threads. (Each thread should be listed in order of its most recent comment.)

      • Third Party
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

        Checkout the Groklaw website for its available user selection of comment sorting configurations.

        • MrPete
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

          It’s supposed to work correctly here, but is not. We’re working on it :)

          Unfortunately, user-selectable is not a feature of this site.

        • Carl Gullans
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

          Hey guys, didn’t you hear what steve just said? ;)

        • Third Party
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

          I was reading from the bottom up (just like now) and didn’t get to Steve’s post until “later”. This could be a test of nesting depth though.

  89. John Bowman
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    An essay worth reading here

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=409454&c=2

  90. mark
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    ok, so if all the other reconstructions show the warming why does it matter the tree-ring one does not? Isn’t the conclusion then tree-rings don’t work properly (since they don’t reconstruct the data correctly after 1960), but the other reconstructions not using the tree-rings do work in that they follow the measured warming from thermometers post-1960?

    Granted they have clearly tried to mislead people, but not sure why that changes the conclusion in my first paragraph? Or am I missing something?

    Cheers,

    Mark

    • Harry
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

      All the constructions depend on ‘calibrated’ data.
      A simple example.

      YOur local policemen accuses you of speeding.

      He sites as evidence a reading from a radar gune.

      You lawyer argues in court that the radar gun is inaccurate.

      The police argue that they measured out a mile of road and timed a vehicle using a stop watch and the results of the radar gun matched the results of the stop watch.

      Your lawyer then asks to have the stopwatch the police used tested.

      It is found that the stop watch isn’t accurate.

      Since the evidence used to support the case that the radar gun was accurate was the stop watch, the policemen is left with no evidence.

      • mark
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

        no that is not the same

        It would be the same if the police said we have 5 other measurements of your speed using different technology and they all say you were speeding – so it would not matter one measurement method is flawed and should not have been used.

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

      Mark, there is no question we have seen warming. The claim made by the IPCC alarmists is that the 20th century was the hottest in 2000 years. To make that claim, they had to show current warming as greater than the Medieval Warm Period of about 1000 years ago.

      Prior to 1998, all of the reconstructions done showed the MWP as warmer than the modern period. As someone once said, “Michael Mann photoshopped the temperature record.” He made the MWP less warm and the Little Ice Age as less cold to pretend the earth’s climate does not have much internal variability. This is how they pump up the alarmism.

      “If climate has been stuck within a narrow band of variability for thousands of years and now we have broken out of that band, what is next for our world? The catastrophes might be too great to imagine! We are looking at the complete extinction of the mankind!”

      A bit over the top, wouldn’t you say? It is interesting that Briffa admits in his emails that the MWP was as warm as today but none of his papers or the chapter he wrote for AR4 draw that conclusion.

      So, how does this change the science? Paleoclimatology will be held to a higher standard from now on. Tree-ring thermometry is going to face some tough challenges and may be asked to justify its existence. I don’t think it can. We will then be left with non-tree-ring reconstructions, such as the one by Loehle and McCulloch of 2007. It shows the MWP as warm or warmer than the modern period.

      • mark
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

        but loehle is not the *only* non tree-ring reconstruction. Why should we believe that one over any others that do show anomalous warming in 20th century?

  91. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    If you missed it – the Times webcast was fascinating

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/science/2009/12/fight-club-live-is-mankind-responsible-for-global-warming.html

    Maslin made an assertion within the first 5 mins that Lindzen responded too with ‘what are the libel laws in the UK?’

    The sceptics won the debate – climate scientists were distrusted by roughly 2:1.

  92. m miller
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Mickey M. Steve you have to make this official.

    Steve, I saw you on CNN [first time viewer], which is a leap forward. You seemed quite nervous, just by looking at your posture. Again, work with other forensic computer scientists, as well as other scientists that do not agree with what is being debated, or also the ones who are interested in objective science. The Science is not settled and what Rand termed the Establishment is teetering.

    I hope that the field of hard science will audit the IPCC scientific body. Keep up the good work, you have arrested the world’s attention. I do not say this lightly, the fate of freedom hinges on what comes of Climate Gate.

  93. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Bender 12:02

    “Why? I like the nesting.”

    Because unless you are constantly reading the threads, there tends to be a pileup and some of the replies will scroll off the new comments list and unless you wanted to scroll through all the comments looking for added replies you’ll never see them. Whereas if they’re in a list, you can go to the earliest listed reply and then scroll back a bit until you find a reply you’ve already read and go on from there.

    • Third Party
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

      Here’s a website (with its own blog s/w I believe) that provides a number of ways to sort the comments on a thread. Seems to work well to be able to sort by latest post when the comments pile up and the thread lingers over a couple of days and one is revisiting.

      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091210100602130

  94. J Richardson
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    Note this email from Viva Banzon of the National Climatic Data Center where she talks of removing satellite data due to “a cold bias”. The email was sent to a number of people including Phil Jones and a couple of “Toms” with the NCDC.

    http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=1043&keyword=arndt

    This was the same NCDC that released a “report” on 12-8 saying the past decade was “hottest” on record.

  95. geo
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Mann’s “fodder” email is the smoking gun of intent here that makes “hide the decline” an accurate statement of what they were doing rather than a mere colloquialism. It seems pretty clear that the fact they couldn’t explain “the divergence problem” other than to note its existance would also be a major problem for them as it undermines the position they’ve been trying to shove down everyone else’s throat that the science is settled on the major points.

    Don’t want to show it without an explanation. . . can’t explain it satisfactorily. . . just hide the darn thing.

  96. JBean
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre at 11:54 AM

    After reading Page 131 of the TAR, a reader would have to miraculously divine from those vague statements that Briffa’s post-1960 data has been removed from the graph. Perhaps the folks at RC have mastered Vulcan mind-meld?

  97. BlueIce2HotSea
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    Dave Dardinger 12:16 PM
    Well, how about judiciously using ‘Reply’ for comments that would otherwise detract from the main topic of the thread? That would isolate some of the noise, like this comment of mine, to one location.

  98. David Rose
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    As a veteran member of the MSM (Vanity Fair and the UK’s Mail on Sunday) may I state for the record: Sir, I salute you. Bravo!

  99. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Say is there a good pull-out on why the Briffa data changed to that in Fig. 1 where it does not reach up to the 0 degree anamoly and in Fig. 2.21 where it goes into the positive range? How does a previously done set of measurements change like that, going from no values reaching 0 to having values that suddenly move up into the positive above 0? You can’t do that via scale exaggeration, and if there was a change by Briffa then the later sequence needs to be noted as ‘data amended xx/xxxx’ or the actual amendment article, or other reference to same.

    It is hard to follow yellow on a white background in Fig. 1, BTW. One of the tricks of the trade to put down data you don’t want to get much attention when done on a white background. You can hide data in plain sight if you do it right. Perhaps it is just my eyes getting the better of me on Fig. 1. But if I had that in two reports covering the same topic, using the same background authors and their documents covering the same material, I would expect the historical data to be the same.

  100. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You showed us that red-noise fed into the MBH method gives the hockey stick. That was awesome.

    How about following up by showing us that there is no statistically significant difference between pink noise and the global surface temperature. After plotting this graph, it sure looks that way to me. But I’m not a statistician, just an engineer. You’d be doing us all a great service.

  101. Brian B
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Re; Steve M at 11:56AM:

    The old site’s reply feature was as simple and as useful as I’ve seen. Too bad it couldn’t make the transition to wordpress.

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

      It won’t be easy, but there’s hope for something similar…or even better.

      Any GreaseMonkey experts here? :)

  102. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Rep. Markey tries to explain away the “hiding the decline” talk with a new analysis: http://globalwarming.house.gov/files/DOCS/SelectCommitteeAnalysisStolenElectronicDocuments.pdf The Committee argues, “Placing this 1999 email in context of the scientific literature of the time demonstrates that the techniques and issues the email raises
    were openly discussed in peer-reviewed journals. Even if the tree ring data set in question is ignored, the stolen emails do not substantially alter the multiple lines of independent scientific evidence for human-caused global warming.”

    They obviously didn’t bother to read this post.

    • Sean Peake
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

      They don’t even read the bills they pass so why would they bother reading a post here?

  103. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    I have to admit that I have to come generally down on Gavin’s side (as quote by Sandra Kay Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM) in my opinion about this.

    I think the missing context that Steve adds to the emails is wrong.

    Yes, there is a bit of discussion about recent temperatures, but most of the discussion is about why the original Briffa (Nature 1998) reconstruction is so warm compared to the other reconstructions. The new Briffa reconstruction (Briffa, 2000, QSR) apparently resolved most of that issue. And upon Mike Mann’s request of Briffa and Osborn to send the new data and accompanying reference, Osborn provided Mike with the new Briffa series (951763817.txt). It certainly seems to me, that the decision not to include the post-1960 reconstructed temperature data was being made by Tim Osborn and Keith Briffa because they, themselves, the original authors of the reconstruction, were uncomfortable with those data (again expressed in 951763817.txt) for many of the reasons outlined in Briffa et al. Nature 1998.

    Perhaps they were feeling pressure to do so, perhaps not. But based on the personality that Briffa displays throughout the email compilation, he doesn’t seem one to just roll over.

    So, upon my read, the IPCC’s “trick” amounts to the original authors feeling uncomfortable about their own results in the post-1960 period and not wanting them included in what was to become IPCC TAR Figure 2.21. Hardly much of “trick.”

    Now perhaps, you may argue that if Briffa and Osborn were uncomfortable about any parts of their analysis the prudent thing would have been for them to have requested that it not be included at all. And maybe that would have been the correct thing to do and then there would be no “trick” at all.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I think that there is a lot of scientific misbehavior evident in the email collection, but I also think there is a lot of normal scientific discourse. I don’t want to too quick to confuse the latter for the former.

    -Chip

  104. windansea
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

  105. NickB.
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    OT but CONGRATS everyone here and especially Mr. McIntyre!!!!

    Scarlet Pumpernickel (14:00:42) :

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/3563532/The-world-has-never-seen-such-freezing-heat.html

    H/T to the Scarlet Pumpernickel on the WUWT Tip Page

  106. Cinoom
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    McIntyre provides fodder for skeptics

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/11/mcintyre-provides-fodder-for-skeptics/

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

      Too funny.

      DC tried to do an analysis of the old commentary based on the final graph. Steve M’s post here begins with the original that was actually being discussed in the emails.

      DC’s blowing more smoke rings.

    • Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

      Deep climate is way off in left field. Here’s his quote WRT this post:

      How can anyone read this and possibly come to the conclusion that what is being discussed is the “decline” in the late instrumental period?

      The only person I’ve seen mix this up was a software guy working with the briffa code. It’s the height of politics to assume a blog dedicated in large part to paleo reconstructions somehow missed this point. Hell all we have to do is read the first paragraph.

      DC is known for this kind of thing. My first posts there got clipped when on a thread about a bad skeptic end filter, I pointed out that ‘scientists’ exaggerate end trends of graphs too. He’s another RC style thinker, he’s smart enough to know better so his post is not honest in my opinion.

  107. NickB.
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Molon,
    Thanks for the catch/correction. My sincere apologies, I saw it on the tips page and assumed it was current

  108. NickAtNight
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Hmmm, I am puzzled.

    I can see your point as to how they hid the decline in Briffa’s number at the end.

    But…

    Well, they also hid Briffa’s numbers in the middle.

    That first plot you post – the one with Briffa’s numbers in yellow. His numbers stick out like a sore thumb over the entire range. His plot is essentially FLAT.

    Clearly one of the first things they did was to change the Briffa numbers from bright yellow to green. And they changed the Mann data from a gray dashed line to a red line. That helped move Briffa’s numbers into the background.

    But more importantly, the value of his numbers changed.

    Perhaps the changes are signified by the changes in title. Perhaps they used a different set of numbers.

    Originally he is billed as (summer mean). That is then changed to (tree-ring density only, summer, extratropical)

    In the first plot, at about yr 830, the Briffa yellow line is close to 0 – perhaps -0.1. It stays there through 1800.

    But by the second plot, it is down into the same range as the Mann reconstruction, and its shape is different. Note the huge dip around 1800? That is not present in the original data.

    By your third plot, the Briffa numbers in yr 800 have been lowered even further. They are now down with the Jones reconstruction and below the mann.

    They also extend them back another 400 years.

    The data should not be changing like this !!!

  109. John Haythorn
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    I read your article and found it pretty persuasive, but then i read a response to it:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/11/mcintyre-provides-fodder-for-skeptics/

    Would you or anyone else care to respond? It does seem somewhat disingenuous to selectively quote for the purpose of establishing proper context”if it alters said context. Perhaps the ommitted pieces are not relevant to your argument?

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

      First, when you only have pieces of a puzzle (we have thousands of emails, but not all of them), it’s possible that some of the details regarding the context have been misinterpred. But for Deep Climate to speculate that this is dishonesty on Steve’s part – well, he is entitled to his opinion. I encourage him to speculate further in that direction. Second, it is possible Steve can clarify where Deep Climate has gotten wrong-footed in his defense. Third, Deep Climate says nothing about the emails themselves, which are incriminating no matter how they are interpreted. His discussion centres on whether Steve’s interpretation is correct and his character honest. Deep Climate is reframing the issue. Why? Because he can’t rebut the fact that there was a clear conspiracy to hide a decline that weakened the paleoclimate argument.
      .
      Deep Climate is more than welcome to come here and argue the facts with me. I’m not interested in emails. I’m interested in paleoclimatic deceptions.

      • John Haythorn
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

        I’m not trying to dispute anyone’s right to an opinion, but his line of argument that the e-mails link the “hidden-decline” conspiracy directly to the IPCC appears incorrect after reading the DC article. Maybe DC is trying to evade the debate overall, as you mentioned, but Steve’s article is called “IPCC and the Trick.”

        • bender
          Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

          Why is DC uninterested in the divergence problem that caused the decline that they tried to hide? It’s almost like he wishes it were still hidden!
          .
          Note to DC: I know what caused the divergence – and it is not just a superficial RCS detrending problem with small heterogeneous samples. As the Salzer et al 2009 paper shows, it’s very real. And I also know I’m not the only one who knows what caused it. Maybe you do too? (I grazed the answer in a comment three years ago. But now I see I’ve since been dancing around it.)
          .
          Why not ocme here and discuss along with your other guru friends: Delayed Oscillator, Jim Bouldin, Tom P, luminous beauty, and CB? Because you wish the problem were still hidden?
          .
          Love your work.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

          I read that comment last night bender. Yes I am re reading the entire blog from page one.

          your fights with dano over crops were hilarious.

          If you like cigars I have a bunch I can send you. No cubans sorry.

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

      DC made a major mistake. He compares the emails to the resulting graph and ignores the original graph that the emails are discussing.

      Steve’s article provides the entire context.

      DC is simply incorrect.

      • deadwood
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

        DC is spinning. Why is the question I am left with.

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

      DC responded to my comment (thanks for keeping the discussion going, DC!)…and I’ve replied:

      DC,
      In all fairness, we should not exclude the possibility that you really do not understand the impact of the “adjustments.”

      You say:

      The final figure does show exactly where the Jones and Mann reconstructions differed to give the proper context for the specific passage referenced from Mann’s email.

      The original and final figures don’t change either Mann or Jones, so both figures show this. It is only Briffa’s data that was “in large part” warmer to begin with. It is only Briffa’s data that has been adjusted to be cooler in earlier years. It is only Briffa’s data that was truncated to hide the later “cool” aspect.

      Your notes about century variation make it all the worse: not only did they delete the later “cool” data, they worked hard to cool down Briffa’s earlier “warm” data. BOTH of these have the effect of increasing the apparent warming trend of Briffa’s analysis.

      You’re apparently arguing that Steve should have mentioned BOTH the deletion AND the juicing up of the warming trend to “increase century variability.” Fine with me.

      Thanks for strengthening the analysis; the additional context confirms that I‘m on the right track and McIntyre is not.

      Keep it up! I do think we’re making progress here. Sunshine always helps improve understanding.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

        Keep DC engaged. Sunshine indeed.

  110. DavidinWC
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    What really scares me is when you link all the “Data-Fixing” to the UNEP/IPCC document “113009_IISDreport.pdf”
    That Document reminds me of the story “1984” and the movie “Soylent Green” put together.
    No Wonder they are pressing so hard to get an agreement at Copenhagen.

  111. Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    The extracts discussed are from four emails, with two main ones, all dated (in appearance order):
    0938031546 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:19:06 GMT),
    0938018124 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 16:35:24 GMT),
    0938031546 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:19:06 GMT),
    0938031949 (Thu, 21 Dec 1972 16:05:49 GMT),
    0938031546 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:19:06 GMT),
    0938031546 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:19:06 GMT),
    0938018124 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 16:35:24 GMT),
    0938018124 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 16:35:24 GMT),
    0938018124 (Wed, 22 Sep 1999 16:35:24 GMT),
    0942777075 (Tue, 16 Nov 1999 18:31:15 GMT);
    the one dated from 1972 should be a typo.

  112. Murray Pezim
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Yay, almost 7 years of flogging the same dead stale old straw man? This is getting boring. :yawn:

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

      Murray, most of the AGW argument rests on whether we have accurate proxies for climate of 1000 years ago.

      Thus, your boredom indicates that you prefer to be ignorant of the answer to that crucial question.

  113. Deech56
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    It is obvious from the e-mails that the group was focused on the main part of the reconstruction, not the “trick” of dealing with the “late 20th century decline” in Briffa’s tree-ring data. From Mike Mann:

    So if Chris and Tom (?) are ok with this, I would be happy to add Keith’s series. That having been said, it does raise a conundrum: We demonstrate (through comparining [sic] an exatropical [sic] averaging of our nothern hemisphere patterns with Phil’s more extratropical series) that the major discrepancies between Phil’s and our series can be explained in terms of spatial sampling/latitudinal emphasis (seasonality seems to be secondary here, but probably explains much of the residual differences). But that explanation certainly can’t rectify why Keith’s series, which has similar seasonality *and* latitudinal emphasis to Phil’s series, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series.

    So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being “warmer” than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!

    They’re trying to reconcile the different proxies, which may be sensitive at different seasons (summer vs. all year). Mann is simply writing that they need to dig into the reasons rather than just shrug their shoulders and say, “I dunno.”

    I do not see any basis for what was in this chopped-up semi-quote from the article

    The emails show that the late 20th century decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, that “everyone in the room at IPCC” thought that the Briffa decline was a “problem” and a “potential distraction/detraction”,…

    What was “diluting the message” was the fact that the Briffa tree-ring only reconstruction was different from the multiproxy analyses (Jones, Mann) in some eras (1600-1700, 1800-1900). This fact is also what concerned “everybody in the room”. This had nothing to do with what happened after 1960.

  114. Jim
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    The trick is assuming larger importance.

    Google “CBS climategate APS”

    The APS (American Physical Society)
    have made a statement that clones
    the IPCC position. Without any
    independent investigation.

    Now a number of physicists have signed a petition that the statement
    needs to be redrawn or redrafted.
    (230 at last count). The APS council
    are resisting and so it has spilled
    over. This has been going on
    for a few months now. Now it has
    spilled out in a CBS blog and is
    and may blowout into a bigger story.

    The latest letter to the APS from
    those objecting actually included
    3 of SMs IPCC comments about the
    divergence problem!

  115. Peter
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    All I can say is OMG!
    Thank you Steve.

  116. willard
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    The 0938031546 email was a typo in my epoch conversion : it’s dated Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:25:49 GMT and can be obtained here : http://www.tuxwerx.com/Climategate/mail/0938031546.txt

  117. Third Party
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    WordPress timing test. It seems like

    Some posts are missing and/or
    Posting is delayed and/or
    Time of posts is well after time submitted.

    So this is a post to test the system response from my perspective.

  118. Third Party
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Oh yeah, out of time order posting. This seems to be currently the case. The other possibilities were eliminated by previous post.

    Steve: We’ll talk to WordPress about the comment timing. It’s hard to understand why some comments are placed where they are.

  119. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    Some of the follow-up comments on this post do shed light on this sequence and enable a more precise interpretation of the comments.

    On October 5, 1999, after the exchanges of Sep 22-23, 1999, Osborn and Briffa sent Mann a new version of the reconstruction, which, at that point, had not been presented in any peer-reviewed literature. It is the Oct 5 version is the one with the big decline in the late 20th century – the decline that is subsequently hidden in the First Order Draft of late October 1999 using the IPCC trick and shortly thereafter in the Jones email trick.

    The “problem” at the IPCC meeting was the Briffa reconstruction. And the problem was the Briffa reconstruction interfered with the “tidy story”, but assessing this in light of follow-up comments, it makes more sense that the stone in the IPCC’s shoe was the overall discrepancy in the Briffa reconstruction as opposed to the decline which arose in a much sharper way in revised Briffa reconstruction that was bodged together and sent to Mann on Oct 5, 1999, presenting Mann with a somewhat different problem than the one encountered at the meeting.

    This clarifies the sequence, but the essential issues remain. The Briffa reconstruction was a stone in the IPCC’s shoe. This led to a hasty revision of the Briffa reconstruction (the OCt 5, 1999 version), which greatly exacerbated the decline from the version presented at Arusha. This decline was not shown in the First Order Draft (or the final TAR) or the Jones’ WMO diagram. Thanks to Deep Climate for shedding additional insight into the chronology.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

      Yes, thanks to DC for the extra scrutiny. Any further clarity would be appreciated and duly recognized.

    • Eric (skeptic)
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for the updated explanation. DeepClimate’s very narrow critique of your original post was accurate. But you first displayed the Briffa “yellow” series chart which shows the extent of the Briffa “discrepancies”. Here’s the science of reconciling those discrepancies by Mann:

      The key thing is making sure the series are vertically aligned in a reasonable
      way. I had been using the entire 20th century, but in the case of Keith’s,
      we need to align the first half of the 20th century w/ the corresponding mean
      values of the other series, due to the late 20th century decline.

      It’s pretty clear that Mann felt he could “vertically align” Briffa’s series without any physical justification since he was only interested in the variations. Fair enough. But he apparently “aligned” it upward to hide the late 20th century decline. After he “aligns” it upwards, he somewhat rhetorically asks Briffa for an explanation of why it is “warmer” (duh).

      My understanding is that at some point after that, he “unaligned” it and truncated it at 1960. Lesson learned, it’s not easy to explain Mann’s logic to Deep Climate or anyone else.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

        Why is IPCC carrying out a “vertical realignment”? What is the basis of this adjustment? Would the cutoff of the Briffa series stick out without the vertical realignment. Definitely a bit of a “dig here” in Chiefio’s phrase/

        • bender
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

          Yes, their job was to *assess* the evidence, not generate it. At least that is their common defence as to why the models and paleoclimate data were not investigated more deeply: they didn’t have a mandate to “investigate”, only “assess”. That cuts two ways.

      • Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

        I think the shape change- besides the realignment may be due to some kind of MV regression or bastardized version of MV. The improved LIA and recovery pattern are similar to other patterns from this method. It’s like an ugly fingerprint, shock and recovery.

      • MrPete
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

        Actually, DC’s very narrow critique was not accurate. He goofed, placing the emails in juxtaposition with the graph that came after the emails. The emails referred to the earlier graph that Steve provides in this post.

  120. Third Party
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Well, some posts could still be missing as the post count on the main page and the post count on the thread page don’t match.

  121. Dan Hunt
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Don’t know much about Science Books or the French I took, but I don’t need to to know that clipping this:

    We want the truth. Mike thinks it lies nearer his result (which seems in accord with what we know about worldwide mountain glaciers and, less clearly, suspect about solar variations). The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance.

    out of that:

    A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data somewhat contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly. We want the truth. Mike thinks it lies nearer his result (which seems in accord with what we know about worldwide mountain glaciers and, less clearly, suspect about solar variations). The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance. This is probably the most important issue to resolve in Chapter 2 at present.

    and appending the newly robbed-of-context statement to the former sans disclosure would get you thrown out of respectable company. And it would take quite the chancer indeed to lie in such a transparent and public way smack in the middle of impugning the integrity of a number of scientists not so inclined. Which certainly rules out any pangs of conscience ever having been felt in these quarters.

    There is one way I’d consider ever taking seriously any utterance of Steve McIntyre’s ever again: if he released all his climate science related emails (both that ostensibly about the science, and that with other groups keen on discrediting mainstream climate science/scientists). Being so true a friend of transparency, surely no argument could be made against such a disclosure…?

    • Morgan
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

      Why would the inclusion of a statement that amounts to “we want the truth, but don’t know what it is” materially change things? There was pressure not to dilute “the message”, despite the fact that there was (and is) uncertainty regarding its truth.

      • Dan Hunt
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

        Because the modifier of “most important issue” for Chapter 2 is not “the message” but the scientific matter at issue, which is lost by this edit. This alone calls into serious question McIntyre’s interpretation and yours. Is it really the case that there was pressure not to ‘dilute the message’ by which you infer unscientific political pressure? You have no evidence whatsoever for that assertion fyi, other than your own manifest prejudices. All graphics have messages. This is why they exist- to communicate in pictures what can less effectively be communicated otherwise. I read this excerpt and exchange as saying that the graphic was ineffective at communicating the message of the underlying work due to differences in what the underlying proxies were measuring. Really, if there’s evidence of perfidy here, Steve has done a good job concealing it.

        Quite frankly, if it didn’t change anything, why were these three sentences excerpted in the first place? Was it to save column inches in an already lengthy blog post, or was it to keep from “diluting the message”? And that’s the really irritating things about all this. I read this and was (provisionally) persuaded that others were deceitful by the very tactics they were being accused of. That quite cheeses me off. You can speak for yourself, but I personally don’t like being duped.

        In any case, my request of Steve to release all his private correspondence relevant to this clearly critical issue for humanity stands. He has asked plenty of those he criticizes. He has hardly shown any compunction about diving into other scientists private correspondence, and maligning them on the basis of it, not least on the lengthiest of interpretive stretches. Certainly, unless you can think of and state any clear reason why it should be otherwise, you will join me in petitioning him to do the right thing here. As he clearly believes, this issue is too important to ask anything less.

    • windansea
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

      oh please

      Steve listed the email # and referenced the ‘we want the truth” handwaving

      the contex was there for anyone to check

      DC’s “gotcha” just exhibits more adjusting and manipulation of data

      care to explain both the centenial cooling down of Briffa’s data plus hiding the modern divergence?

  122. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    I read the Deep Climate discussion referred to by Clinoom 12/11@5:51 and reread the above. I have to come back to the big picture, which I think brings up two questions:

    1. Apparently, no one disagrees that for the IPCC report the final Briffa 2000 reconstruction is lopped off in 1960 and replaced with a temperature series, but, as Steve M discusses above, what else was done to make the final Briffa 2000 proxy series less objectionable during the period of the little ice age?

    2. If the Briffa proxy series needed to be so seriously adjusted that low frequency proxies had to be included to get past the LIA and post 1960 had to be lopped off and replaced with something else and then filters applied, why wasn’t the whole series just removed from the IPCC graph?

    • Eric
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

      re #2 – because that would be cherry picking data sources

  123. Deech56
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Steve, Deep Climate did provide some excellent context, but Gavin stated the main point last night. Maybe this comes from being a researcher, but I don’t see the problem with the “stone” as described in the stolen e-mails.

    This is how independent confirmation works. Different groups using different tools get similar, but not identical, results. It’s working through the differences as well as the similarities through an honest, but collegial, discussion that advances the science.

    This set of e-mails actually provide an interesting window into how science actually gets done and how different groups collaborate to reconcile different data sets, none of which is perfect. Of course, there have been several other reconstructions that followed since these initial reconstructions were published; each one adds another piece to the puzzle.

    Steve: The issue here is the one that we started with – not showing the late 20th century decline of the Briffa reconstruction in either the WMO reconstruction or the IPCC report – and the deletion of the inconvenient data without notice to the readers. The clarification of the chronology that is emerging clarifies the re-doing of the Briffa chronology essentially on the run in response to the response at the IPCC meeting to avoid “diluting the message”. In doing so, the revised Briffa chronology introduced the big decline, leading to the various tricks to hide the decline.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

      Gavin *reframed* the issue. He didn’t address it. Hard for some to understand perhaps, but Gavin Schmidt does not get to set the terms of the debate. Society decides that collectively.

      • Deech56
        Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

        No bender, Gavin pointed out that the issue discussed in the e-mails was not the late 20th century decline, but the mismatch among between Briffa’s series and the others. That’s not a reframing, but a correction. If the debate is on an unsound foundation, there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.

        I don’t see much objection to that quote quagmire (“The emails show that the late 20th century decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as ‘diluting the message’…”)in which a discussion of the whole series was “reframed” into a discussion of the post-1960 “decline”.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

          Deech, Gavin was making one point and obscuring another. Jones was hiding the decline in the proxy reconstructions. Gavin is acting like no deception was going on. Not true. Jones was following Mann’s lead. By hiding the decline, they were keeping people in the dark about the problems with tree-ring thermometry. Real scientists don’t do that, only pseudoscientists do that.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

          Your time-stamp proceeds Steve M’s gracious response to Deep Climate by ~2 hours. So you are raising a point that he’s already conceded. Flog it some more.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

          bender, perhaps I do not know know how to read the new comment section yet. To whom were you replying? And what point exactly has Steve conceded? I have not seen any concession on Steve’s part. Please clarify for me.

  124. Joel
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    OT

  125. NickB.
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    That apology to Molon was mine, sorry I’m working off a mobile and a laptop across many locations. I did not catch that the link I posted was horribly out of date. Apologies!

  126. Deech56
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve, the re-examination of the data could be worth exploring (beyond making the curves more consistent), but the irony is that in a post in which you state that “Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken ‘out of context’.” you bolster your argument about the late 20th century decline by taking statements out of context.

    Almost everything written before the “IPCC Lead Authors’ Meeting” heading was about the “decline” that has been blasted all over the blogosphere and the media. I doubt that whatever subtleties that you are now declaring will make it to the 20-some odd sites that have linked to this post.

  127. Hemst101
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    What really bugs me about this graph is that the rapid increase in temperature anomaly starts ~1900. Is it not accepted that human influences did not start in earnest unit after WWII and before that the human influences were inconsequential? If so, then what caused the early rapid increase (which by the graph is as rapid and greater that the late temperature anomaly increase)? And how can you say with any certainty whatsoever that the later increase is caused by humans?

  128. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Deech56, IPCC deleted the post-1960 values of the revised Briffa reconstruction in the First Order Draft sent out on Oct 27, 1999, two weeks before the trick email. The context of the Jones email is the deletion of the inconvenient decline by IPCC. Readers have helped clarify details of the chronology and I appreciate that, but the point that the trick arises in the context of events arising from the Arusha meeting seems indisputable to me

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

      Steve, bender is claiming you have conceded some point on this topic. The above comment does not seem like a concession to me. Have you conceded any point regarding the Jones email?

      • bender
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

        Steve conceded that the issue “diluting the message” was the whole reconstruction, and not just the inconvenient decline at the end.
        .
        But he went on to show why he had assumed otherwise: IPCC had no mandate to conduct original research; so what the heck were they doing recalibrating, making adjustments not disclosed in the literature, etc? Fox: henhouse.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

          Okay, fair enough. But the splice of real temps onto the proxy record still happened at the end of the record. So while the entire Briffa reconstruction was a problem, Mann and others were spliced 1981 onwards and Briffa from 1961 onwards. Surely that makes it clear that the biggest problem was at the end of the proxy record for all proxies. Right?

        • bender
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

          “biggest”? I don’t know. You have two problems, both serious, but for different reasons.

  129. Jiohn Norris
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    1. The data declined
    2. They didn’t want the data to decline
    3. So they hid the decline

    That is the context of the “hide the decline” sound byte, that is the context of the “hide the decline” e-mail, and that is the context of the resulting graphs. For the team to rally and say it is taken out of context and claim it’s nuanced science that lay people don’t understand, that is just a lame cover up. This post showing the second nuanced science method that they used to hide the decline doesn’t do justice to the outing of the e-mail. Stick to 1, 2, and 3 above, it is factual and understandable by all.

  130. theduke
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    “You ever come across raccoons in the outdoor trash can at 11:30 or so at night? As soon as they’re exposed by the beam of the flashlight (by the way, how much CO2 does the beam of a flashlight put into the atmosphere?), they turn on you with fangs and paws and let you know what follows will be a short conversation with very little talking involved.

    “Currently, climate scientists are raccoons hip-deep in statistical garbage and you should approach them with caution because they are unarmed (with facts) and dangerous.”

    Dennis Miller

  131. AlanDownunder
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    OT

    • Scott Gibson
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

      Heh – pretty funny.

  132. curious
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    Just trying to understand this – couldn’t the decline in the tree ring data just be evidence that the trees are growing outside the heat island (so declining)and the instruments have been encroached since 1960 (and therefore increasing by the) by the surrounding UHI? The divergence would then just be explained that rural areas are declining in temperature and urban areas where the instruments are, are warmer due to artificial non-GHG related heating in the urban areas. Clear as mud, but if anyone knows of a link or two where I could do more research, that would be appreciated. For the technos out there, I apologize in advance if I am mixing and matching terms and issues inappropriately – but I need to start somewhere.

    Steve: No. The increase in temperature is real, including rural areas.

    • Scott Gibson
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

      A good question, but unlikely. There is instrument temperature data from nearby, and it doesn’t correlate. Furthermore, the rate of change suggests something drastic compared to the previous tree ring data, which isn’t seen in the temperature data. So, my tendency is to say that the divergence is not correlated with temperature, and therefore not caused by being outside UHI affects.

      I suggest starting by reading some of the hockeystick papers noted in the left column of this blog, and then let your curiosity take you where you wish. Some of the stuff there is suddenly outdated (a miracle happened), but it will help you get grounded.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

      But how do you explain that the trees diverge from each other? (positive and negative responders) Recall CRU Yamal vs. Schweingruber Khadyta?

      • Scott Gibson
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

        Yeah, there’s that too. Simplistically, they diverge from each other because they are responding to different, local conditions, not just temperature.

        • curious
          Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

          has anyone seen the raw temparature data to see if there really is a divergence and not just a divergence from the hypothesis?

  133. Anand Rajan KD
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    The email in this context show another thing. Briffa seems to stick up to his findings. Mann nudges the group towards mutilation of the Briffa graph, not because he wants to commit fraud, but because he ‘believes’ there is warming going on, which the trees don’t seem to be picking up.

    In the end, I think the climate scientists will have dug their own grave because they presented a unified front and spoke in an unanimous voice when their data did not. Sad indeed.

  134. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    Keith, perhaps you should read the English translation of an article from a Dutch popular science magazine. Read closely the portion about the CENSORED directory. See http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf

    • Keith Herbert
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      That is an excellent telling of the events most of us are familiar with. I don’t believe it sheds any light on Mann’s belief (or disbelief)in his theory. It goes more to his lack of skill in proxies and statistics.

  135. LMB
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    Briffa needs to man up and explain his emails. Get on CNN and clear the air.

    I don’t see anything on this Blog since:

    Keith Briffa Responds
    “… Keith Briffa has taken the time to comment on the Yamal situation. The comment should be read by interested readers. If Briffa or any of his associates wishes to post a thread here without any editorial control on my part, they are welcome to do so.”

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/01/keith-briffa-responds/

    It’s ridiculous that other people are explaining Briffa and Jones instead of them explaining themselves. CNN says Jones has gone underground. Where’s Briffa?

    I haven’t heard of one reporter saying they even attempted to contact Briffa to get him to explain his email and why he caved.

    Reporters don’t even have the instinct to see his alleged coverup attempts in response to FOIA requests as a reason to ask him about the allegation or think he might be hiding something, or dig deeper.

    P.S. When is Mann going to man up and debate somebody on live tv about his emails instead of hiding within a safe one-on-one interview?


    Steve:
    Briffa was very sick earlier in the late summer and early fall. I was unaware of this when I did the original Yamal post and have wished him a speedy recovery.

  136. Richard Saumarez
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Your work over the last few years is a model of forensic statistics (if such a thing exists). I am facing a similar problem in a different field and as well as admiring your seminal work here, it gives me hope to prevail in my own field.

  137. Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    re:Dec 12, 2009 at 4:30 AM
    Biffra certainly seems to have made some attempts (at least) in 1999 to stand up for his original reconstruction – and he should be given credit for this. I doubt he would want to speak freely about his reasons for making the changes he did in his reconstruction, even if he does now have doubts.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

      It’s pretty clear that Briffa was uncomfortable with a lot of what happened. I would guess that he wanted a working scientist, as opposed to just data moochers, to be represented in what would clearly be, an important graphic. Mann seems to make it clear, in the nicest possible way, that if Briffa cannot accommodate his needs, his data will not be included. Briffa then endeavours to accommodate Mann.
      It’s unsettling that one set of original data is not so constrained by the methodology as to give one definitive curve. The consequence is that curves can be produced to suit the needs of a particular client.

      • ianl8888
        Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

        “Mann seems to make it clear, in the nicest possible way, that if Briffa cannot accommodate his needs, his data will not be included. Briffa then endeavours to accommodate Mann.”

        Yes … but, where from does Mann gather the power to censor data he does not like ?

        • bobdenton
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:06 AM | Permalink

          In the immediate instance, he was the lead author, so he carried most clout. But there is the more general issue of how he became to be lead author. He appears to deploy a different set of social and professional skills to most of the other people involved. He is a control freak and highly manipulative. He uses other peoples data, but gathers no data himself. He is tuned into what politicians and funders want and he has their ear. He specifically makes reference to this when displeased by a paper published in the peer reviewed literature. For reasons, which are not clear, he seems to have special access to the publishers of Nature and Science and he believes, and others appear to also, that he can veto publication of papers he doesn’t like in the peer reviewed literature. He alludes to this, to control criticism. Contrast his reaction to criticism of MBH 98 to that of co-author Ray Bradley. Pre-publication peer review in climate sience had become badly compromised. Quite how Mann achieved such ascendancy is not clear, but it is apparent that it was mainly UEA CRU that had fallen under his thrall, possibly because Jones had allied himself with Mann. The Russians seem to proceed in a parallel universe, and Ed Cook feels able to treat Mann with a polite insouciance.

  138. Judith Curry
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve, excellent job on this. If anyone else has identified a different section of the IPCC FAR WG 1 report where you have concerns about the reliability and objectivity of the assessment, i would appreciate hearing about it

  139. Doug Badgero
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    All the discussion about whether the emails refer to worries about the entire Briffa series or just the late twentieth century warming misses the point. The emails clearly point towards a group of people trying to create a glossy advertising brochure. That’s advocacy NOT science.

  140. blueice2hotsea
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    In the same sentence as introducing a new curve that “shows more similarity to the other two series”, Briffa’s states that “whether this represents ‘TRUTH’ however is a difficult problem”. That seems a rather odd way to announce the good news.

    But the full email (0938031546.txt) reveals a long ramble of caveats and warnings and even questioning the wisdom/flakiness behind the group’s ongoing rationalizations. He also states, “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago”. So, it’s no stretch to conclude that he is not proud of his own curve, but rather resentful, given how it will be used to support conclusions contrary to his own.

    A reasonable interpretation is that he reprocessed the data after some coercion, but felt compelled to voice his complaints.

  141. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Doug Bagdero. What we seem to be dealing with here is advocacy that purposely misleads to make a point.

    You can make an argument that it is not sinister. Moreover, if you throw out all the reasearch derived from “the team”, that does not mean global warming hasn’t occurred. The issue is the science, and the science we see that is connected to the leaked documents and emails is not reliable.

  142. blueice2hotsea
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Not to pick a fight, but I would say that all off the discussion supports rather than misses the point that we are witnessing advocacy, at a minimum. And though one might argue that it’s not sinister, the consequences of a wrong conclusion either way make it a hard case to make.

  143. NZ Willy
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    I’ve done a fair bit of statistical work with large data, and have used Hamming and Hanning filters in PSD analysis. I’m concerned that these filters can yield quite different results with different settings. It is certainly true that the IPCC chart must use the same filter for each input data, and it says that it does. If in fact a different filter or filter setting was used for one of them, then it’s invalid. Another problem is that you can try different filters or settings until one of the charts “looks best” — there is not much basis for a reviewer to challenge the final setting used since alternatives are not presented for inspection. But what’s worse is if you cherry-pick the “best looking” setting, and then truncate the “worst looking” part off. That’s sailing close to fraud.

    Possibly the problem of Briffa’s data was solved in a reverse-hockey-stick way. As previously pointed out, a hockey stick can be generated by selecting proxies — the signature of this method is a long decline, increasing as it goes, followed by the hockey jump upwards. Briffa’s decline could be modulated with different filter settings until the decline was maximized — this means that, like an upside-down hockey stick, the data prior to the decline shows the sharpest increase. Then, by “hiding the decline”, you have produced a graph most like what you wanted, because it has a falsely high midpoint at the end. This is definitely deceptive. Great analysis by Steve.

    Steve: In this case, the specific filter doesn’t really “matter”. The battleground issues are the deletion and the form of endpoint padding.

  144. MrPete
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    At DC, dhogaza is now claiming that the real issue all along is the introduction of RCS into Briffa’s analysis. I’ve responded:

    So, MrPete, are you going to clearly state that RCS analysis was only developed and is only applied to “cool down” paleoclimate reconstructions from tree rings?

    Of course not. RCS analysis is not an issue here, much as some would like it to be.

    Note that the complaint about Briffa’s results was not that he failed to use RCS. The complaint was that his results were largely warmer than the others and that was unacceptable.

    Their issue was not his methods but his results.

    RCS was (apparently) part of the solution to this “problem.”

    The other part of the solution was deletion of the recent data.

    RCS was simply a tool used to solve the “problem.”

    If you disagree, then please demonstrate that the Team had no complaint about his results, and instead were upset by his failure to use RCS.

  145. Judith Curry
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    The defense that the emails don’t change anything in terms of the science or the IPCC report is clearly refuted by what Steve has put together here. In trying to understand how this has happened, I think it is important to understand that the IPCC is a scientific assessment for policy makers: its something different than either science or policy. The purpose of such assessments is to synthesize published research and assess the state of our understanding, in a way that is understandable and somehow useful for policy makers. This would seem to be straightforward, but I don’t think it is simple at all from a scientist’s perspective. The assessment activity is very different from publishing a scientific paper. For example, in the CRU emails, we see a discrepancy between what Briffa really thinks and is publishing in his papers versus what is written in the IPCC FAR.

    Is this scientific fraudulence as some people in this thread have suggested, or is something more complex going on here? In the assessment process, scientists infer pressure from policy makers to reduce the uncertainty. As an example, read the strategic plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program

    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/stratplan2003/final/default.htm

    and count the number of times you see “reduce the uncertainty.”

    At a meeting of the NRC Climate Research Committee in 2003, I voiced my concerns about how uncertainty was being treated in the climate assessment process

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/pdf/crc-102103.pdf

    Some excerpts from my presentation:

    “CCSP emphasizes reducing uncertainty.
    Reducing uncertainty is probably not the appropriate goal; we should instead focus on increasing credibility.

    FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION: Is the assessment process and science for policy (as interpreted by climate scientists) torquing climate science in a direction that is fundamentally less useful for both science and policy? The answer to this question is probably yes, and both the root of the problem and its eventual solution lies in how scientists and decision makers deal with the issue of uncertainty.

    Credibility in the science for policy enterprise requires rigorous science with a rigorous analysis of uncertainty combined with expert judgment. Assessing/learning what the current uncertainties really are is even more relevant/valuable for policy than in the basic science.”

    Lets face it, the CRU emails have opened up a Pandora’s Box of issues surrounding the IPCC. Clive Crook of the Financial Times writes that “The IPCC process needs to be fixed, as a matter of the greatest urgency.” In defending the IPCC process, the IPCC doesn’t seem to have caught on to the need to make the assessment process more objective and scientifically watertight. Unless the IPCC reflects on and works to improve its assessment process, it risks becoming irrelevant or even indefensible.

    • Richard
      Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

      Judith Curry Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 8:37 PM “Is this scientific fraudulence as some people in this thread have suggested, or is something more complex going on here? In the assessment process, scientists infer pressure from policy makers to reduce the uncertainty. As an example, read the strategic plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program

      http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/stratplan2003/final/default.htm

      and count the number of times you see “reduce the uncertainty.”

      Why should the two be mutually exclusive? There may have been pressure on the scientists to “reduce the uncertainty”, but that does not mean they do so fraudulent means. The emails show if indeed there was any pressure they were very willing conspirators, cheering on and encouraging their colleagues along the way

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by Dr. Curry. I think there is another problem with the IPCC approach that is raised in one of the mails ( i think I remember) and that is the issue of the “democracy of models”

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

      Dr Curry one last note. If you read through the mails you will also see Jones discussing that he is going to discuss FOIA with IPCC officials. Sunlight. This process needs Sunlight.

      • Judith Curry
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

        Steve, definitely agree on the “sunlight”

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

      I think it would be a good step forward if all journals hired a replication expert.
      To get a paper accepted you to have to provide the code as used and data as used.
      replication is a pass/fail. Exceptions probably for codes that take months to run, like GCMs, but for reconstructions and other statistical methods probably a must have. recompile the science.

      • Judith Curry
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

        Steve, i would say the replication thing is essential for the assessment process (would slow things down way to much for publication)

        Steve: I don’t know what the “answer” is. I’ve never suggested that reviewers be responsible for replication. Only that users understand the limited due diligence involved in journal peer review. IMO the climate science community over-stresses journal “peer review” as a talisman of truth given the limited actual due diligence at this stage. The purpose of archiving data and code at the time of publication is to make post-review assessment more efficient. Scientists say that science is “self-correcting” but so are markets. The purpose of full, true and plain disclosure regulations is to make markets more efficient by detecting problems as early as possible. If scientists want to go from articles to policy in an efficient way, the efficiency of the after-publication review process needs to be as high as possible. If they want to insist on personal “intellectual property rights” as an excuse to avoid such disclosure, then the public should be entitled to disregard such articles. And IPCC obliged to do so.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

      Judith wrote:
      “ For example, in the CRU emails, we see a discrepancy between what Briffa really thinks and is publishing in his papers versus what is written in the IPCC FAR”
      It’s a titanic battle between, Briffa, who wants to retain the appropriate scientific nuance, and others, who wish merely “not to dilute the message” of the third report. Eventually he’s persuaded of the impossible, that both have been done, but it seems to take a considerable toll on him. This struggle spans many emails. But to see the type of pressures and the possible results in a short exchange see the email dated 29th Sept 1999 from Mike Hulme to Jennifer Crossley regarding the uncertainty bars on graphic for a World Wildlife Fund publication.

      Steve: Briffa’s position as AR4 author is very much open to criticism.

  146. Alan Shore
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I asked a similar question over at CAMIRROR but didn’t really get a satisfying response, so I’ll try again here. Why do you believe it important to plot a non-temperature signal (the decline) on a multi-proxy temperature graph? What is the purpose of plotting the superfluous and possibly erroneous data in either the WMO or the IPCC graph? According to Briffa in his email of Oct 5 1999, “we usually stop the series in 1960 because of the recent non-temperature signal that is superimposed on the tree-ring data that we use.” Briffa himself states that the data is “non-temperature” and that he “stops the series in 1960″. So putting aside questions about the overall reliability of tree ring proxies, what exactly is so instructive about “the decline” that it must plotted and any attempt not to do so would be considered “misleading”?

    • Richard
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

      How is the “decline” a “non-temperature signal”, whereas the rest of the proxy is a “temperature signal”?

      Perhaps what is misleading is putting a temperature signal from another data series onto your reconstruction, (where it does show a decline), to show instead a hockey-stick?

      Perhaps what is also misleading is that questions about the overall reliability of tree ring proxies accrue directly from the decline, not something that you can “put aside” while you waffle with words.

      If the proxy is unreliable (becomes a non-temperature signal) after 1960, what is the gurantee that it is reliable over the 1,000 years of reconstruction, the majority of which you do not have instrumental temperature data to compare it with.

      (But you do have data published by 772 individual scientists from 458 separate research institutions in 42 different countries, which disagrees with your proxies.

      http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/fraudulent-hockey-sticks-and-hidden-data/)

      Thus what is perhaps misleading is removing the decline to hide any reduction of confidence this may have given rise to, and present instead “a nice tidy story”, in line with the reasonable consensus viewpoint that they liked to show. A confidence that even Briffa lacked as he very explicitly revealed in his “private” emails.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

      “Why do you believe it important to plot a non-temperature signal (the decline) on a multi-proxy temperature graph?”
      .
      Fair question. Because (a) the decline may actually be part of the signal (see thread on “positive and negative responders”), (b) whatever happened in the 20th century have have happened in the 10th. And if the MWP warm signal is attenuated because of nonlinear responses to temperature, then there is a good chance the MWP was in fact globally warmer than the CWP. In which case you need to accept in your circulation models a high degree of natural variability. The Mann supposition of linear univariate, non-divergent responses appears untenable. And so his proposition of the MWP as a mere MCA may be equally untenable.
      .
      He’s welcome to come here and debate me, though.

  147. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    Judy, in my opinion, the biggest problem with IPCC is that the reports do not address what the educated scientific public want to learn. For example, there is no section in any IPCC report on the relevant infrared radiation physics. People say – take an atmospheric physics course, but that’s not the answer. By now, an IPCC chapter should have summarized this. And have long and detailed chapters on each of the major feedback issues – instead of a page or so on clouds.

    IMO the concept of a 5-year literature review has meant that the process has in effect been taken over by people who want to get cited. For politicians who simply want to have an abstract and a summary, this is fine. But for the scientific public who are starving for informed commentary, it’s not the right approach.

    • Judith Curry
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      Steve, I absolutely agree here. The overall case hasn’t been made in terms of something that a lawyer could use. Other than the climate model simulations (historical and projections) which require a HUGE amount of effort, the IPCC basically does a literature review than comes up with some conclusions (“very likely”, etc). I am arguing that (besides your very good point) that the IPCC should do real work and do a quantitative assessment of uncertainty for observational datasets and uncertainties in the attribution of the trends. In my opinion inadequate attention has been made to the multidecadal oscillations. The climate was warmed in the decade 1995-2005 by the AMO and PDO both being in the warm phase. The recent leveling off of the warming is arguably the PDO in the cool phase. These oscillations don’t mean that there is no greenhouse warming, but rather that warming can be amplified or diminished by the ocean oscillations.

      So I think there is a real need for assessments of the type of IPCC and CCSP, but we need a “reframe” here on what these assessments should actually try to accomplish (and of course clean up the process to avoid biases).

      • Richard
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

        “snip OT

        • Richard
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

          If my reply is OT then is the subject matter I repied to not also OT? or is that unsnippable?

      • bender
        Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

        “IPCC should do real work and do a quantitative assessment of uncertainty for observational datasets and uncertainties in the attribution of the trends”
        .
        Bless you for that. May the Yellow Jackets win their bowl game.

    • Pat Keating
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

      Steve,
      Radiative transfer is a very difficult part of physics, and am pretty sure that the people on the IPCC panel do not understand it (except, possibly, Hansen). The mathematics is quite demanding and the subject is non-intuitive in many ways. A quick look into the text books of Chandrasekhar (Radiative Transfer) and Kourganoff (Basic Methods in Transfer Problems) will illustrate my point.

  148. Alex Hagen
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    So instead of putting in some data that they felt was incorrect and an explanation of why the data is not completely correct, they changed the data to something they felt was more correct, and didn’t include an explanation. Is that what has got you deniers all worked up this time?

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

      The part that got me all worked up was the ‘explanation of why the data is not completely correct’.

      If you could explain that it would be helpfull.

      • Richard
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

        (Besides the fact that it lacked an explanation why they thought it was more correct other than the desire to present a nice tidy story.)

        In fact Briffa thought “that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.” This makes producing a graph that removes this evidence even more inexplicable.

    • Richard
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

      You obviously havent the foggiest idea of the scientific method. The data tells you the story. You do not change the data to “something (you) feel is more correct”.

    • fFreddy
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

      Do not deny the data.

  149. SteveGinIL
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    In that Mann email (983018124.txt) there is this that drew my attention:

    “THe [sic] key point we emphasize in this paper is that the low-frequency
    variability in our hemispheric temperature reconstruction is basically the
    same if we don’t use any dendroclimatic indicators at all (though we
    certainly resolve less variance, can’t get a skillful reconstruction as far
    back, and there are notable discrepancies at the decadal and interannual
    timescales). A believe I need to add a sentence to the current discussion
    on this point,
    since there is an unsubstantiated knee-jerk belief that our low-frequency
    variability is suppressed by the use of tree ring data.

    We have shown that this is not the case: (see here:

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/ei_datarev.html

    and specifically, the plot and discussion here:

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/ei_nodendro.html

    Ironically, you’ll note that there is more low-frequency variability when
    the tree ring data *are* used, then when only other proxy and
    historical/instrumental data are used!” [end of Mann quote]

    It almost goes unnoticed, it seems, (but is the theme of the present post here by Steve) that the data collections/numbers aren’t the only thing that are ‘tricked’ (innocently or politically motivated) slash ‘adjusted’. There IS also the blending of them. As Mann says here, they have to add populations of data – such as adding dendroclimatic, which Mann apparently says aren’t even really necessary – but that adding them adds (counter-intuitive, isn’t it?) to the low-frequency variability. They add them in with “other proxies” and “historical/instrumental data.”

    And when those populations don’t quite jibe, apparently they discuss it with their fellows and arrive at some ad hoc arrangement. The question MUST arise, how many other populations have been massaged (as Briffa did) on order to fit into the “big picture” and not cause “confusion” or “conundrums” and had to be “corrected”. It is not just THAT the raw data is adjusted. It is that when it doesn’t fit, the message the data sends is CHANGED to suit the policy already in place. There is discussion, but not about adjusting thinking to fit new data. On the contrary, new data is sorted out to fit the old thinking.

    Is this important? This seems important to me. Am I wrong?

    How many other populations of data have had to be tweaked so as to not give fodder for skeptics?

  150. Jesse Fell
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    Phil Jones used proxy data for most of his graph of temperature change over the last 1000 years or so because for most of that time, proxy data was the only data available. People weren’t setting out thermometers in Dante’s time. For the latter half of the 20th century, he had an abundance of temperature measurements from heat sensors, thermometers, and other instruments — data that would in any case be more reliable than proxy data. The last set of proxy that Jones had, Briffa’s tree ring data for 1960 on, showed a slight decline in temperatures. Briffa’s data was contradicted by all other sets of temperature data for the same period, including all the instrumental data. He used the instrumental data in place of the problematic proxy data with good reason, and his graph was more accurate for his having done this. To know what he meant by using a “trick” to “hide the decline”, look to what he in fact did.

    • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

      You don’t seem to understand the issues at all. Firstly this post is about the IPCC’s version of the ‘trick’, a deletion of inconvenient data, rather than Jones’s sneaky splice of instrumental temperature. Secondly if you admit the tree ring data was problematic after 1960, what confidence can we have in its validity before this date? Please read this and steve’s other posts.

      • Jesse Fell
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

        snip – not relevant to thread

    • bender
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

      If the tree rings are an unreliable proxy then why do the California bristlecone pines and the Yamal larch keep popping up in these “global” reconstructions? Because they’re addicted to their hockey-stick shape.

    • mpaul
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      This is a variant of the Hume Problem of Induction. (1) you observe that the tree ring data diverges from the instrument data, (2) you assert that tree rings made reliable temperature proxies in the past, (3) so you therefore conclude that the divergence must be due to some newly introduced caused that is causing modern tree rings to be unreliable temperature proxies — justifying the removal of the modern component of the series.

      The problem is that you have failed to actually establish that tree rings make reliable temperature proxies in the first place. A more plausible explanation would be that the calibration procedure simply sorted for tree ring series whose shape coincidentally matched the shape of the instrument record during the calibration period. In other words, you have manufactured a specious correlation.

  151. sfcmac
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    snip – venting

  152. matt johnson
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

    i am an economist, but i have experience with time series filters.

    Do i understand correctly that the ‘trick’ is the use of the hocky stick consistent sample data from 1960 onwards – and that the well known endpoint problems with these two sided time series filters has resulted in the smoothed signal being lifted in the WMO 1999 cover image.

    in the IPCC chart they cut briffa at 1960 – probably because they didn’t like the fudge?

    btw, what’s Briffa’s take on all this?

  153. George Kapotto
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    The peril of putting bolding in someone else’s remarks.

    In the following line that you quote,

    “the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!”

    …the only portion of that quote not bolded in your presentation is

    ‘I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and’.

    If you turned around the bolding and emphasized that element of the statement the clear implication would be that Mann is concerned about including information that does not detract from the final results but is only tangentially relevant.

    Your choice of highlighting speaks volumes about your agenda. You are hiding inconvenient truths that detract from your conspiracy theory. Nothing you present actually contradicts the evidence in support of global warning. You have merely added innuendos and false emphasis to create an illusion of evidence as a substitute for actually providing any of your own.

    Do you discuss the actual reasons for rejecting recent dendrochronology results? No.

    Why not?
    Because the inconvenient truth is that there is scientific justification for removing the results. In summary, tree ring data diverges from measured temperature data in recent historical times.

    In recent times we have more accurate temperature measuring techniques than were previously available. If tree ring results no longer correlate with temperature readings does this suggest that we discard our apparently inaccurate thermometers and chop a limb off our maple tree to see how warm it is? There may be a good argument for discarding all tree ring data but then wouldn’t that actually strengthen the AGW evidence?

    The truth is that tree rings are no longer an accurate measure of temperature change. The jury is still out on why but the bottom line is that to include recent tree ring data is to include spurious data that is *not* scientifically justified. When the anti-AGW crowd comes up with a scientific justification for inclusion perhaps this can be revisited. Until then, using dendroclimatology to deny AGW is junk science.

    For the record, waving your hands and shouting ‘cover up’ is not scientific justification.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

      This is great. Maybe I’ll leave this one for Steve.
      Any other thoughts you’d like to share while you’re here?

    • George Kapotto
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

      I trust you noted that I suggested there was maybe an argument for discarding tree ring data. I think you personally would find this unacceptable because the temperature anomaly only appears in tree ring data and removal of that data from consideration would only add support to AGW which isn’t your objective. It is a testament to climatologists that the data has not been buried because honest science investigates anomalies. This is what should happen, this is what did happen.

      Regarding real scientists: A real scientist would also need to demonstrate that the current temperature readings varied quantitatively from earlier measurements rather than just in precision. Your response suggests that everyone in the 1920’s was blissfully accepted that water froze at -5c because they calibrated temperature by tree ring growth only.

      I trust your grandfather was not actually so dense. My choice of the word accurate was perhaps ill considered. Extensive and precise would be better words. I choose to believe that thermometers now are generally consistent with those of 100 years ago. Precision merely adds decimal places and ubiquity adds data points. It does not change the measured temperature at which water freezes.

      The IPCC report is a distillation of research and is a collaborative position paper. None of our current discussion about tree rings negates the fact that Mann’s comments are being presented here in a way to bias the reader through stragetic emphasis that obscures the original purpose of his statements.

  154. Bill Door
    Posted Jan 1, 2010 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    I have a question for someone knowledgeable.

    As I understand it, we are talking about deletion or hiding of tree ring data that did not match other temperature measurements, correct?

    If that is the case, I truly do not understand what all the fuss is about. You do not place outliers on a data chart if they are obviously incorrect.

    Please someone explain to me what the big deal is. I am aware that my assumptions may be incorrect. But if what essentially has happened is that these guys decided to leave off the portion of tree ring data that was obviously incorrect, I just do not understand what the problem is.

    Thank you.

    Steve: It wasn’t argued that the post-1960 tree ring data was measured incorrectly. It just didn’t perform the way the Team hoped.

    • George Kapotto
      Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

      In response to Steve’s addendum…

      Aren’t you just playing with the meaning of the word ‘incorrectly’ instead of responding with a legitimate answer?

      I don’t think Bill’s question is whether they were measured correctly or not. The question is whether they are giving correct data. In a general sense, contaminated samples can be measured correctly yet still provide incorrect data.

      It seems to me the real issue is whether tree ring data post-1960 is ‘contaminated’ and not whether the measurements are ‘correct’ or not.

      I agree that the ‘Team’ (assumed to be Mann et al by implication) hoped the proxy data would perform better post-1960. The fact that is doesn’t is well and widely documented with credible indications that some anthropogenic factors are causing the divergence. Likewise, there are good indicators that pre-1960 it is a credible proxy.

      Thus, while the ‘Team’ hoped tree ring data would perform better post-1960, they recognized the data was ‘contaminated’ (not incorrect) and did the responsible thing by discarding the data.

      Can you do the responsible thing and explain why you reject the general conclusions on the divergence of the tree ring proxy post-1960? Or will your stance on this point remain dogmatic?

      • mikep
        Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

        Re: George Kapotto (Jan 3 05:22), What are the credible indications that the data are contaminated by anthropogenic factors? All I have seen is assertion. It seems just as likely that some of the other natural factors which explain tree ring growth besides temperature are responsible. In which case there is no reason to suppose that the proxies are good in the pre-instrumental period.

        • George Kapotto
          Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

          One of the key credible indications of a divergence relates to the geographic dependency of the divergence. Pre-1960 there is a much better global consistency of tree ring data to temperature data. Post-1960, the discrepancies are regional and have geographic component. Not all post-1960 data diverges to the same degree. This variance is strongly consistent with second order effects coming into play. The north-south hemispheric variance is also consistent with it being an effect of industrialization that largely takes place in the northern hemisphere.

          I agree that these are hypothesized effects but is does present a model where observation is consistent with a theoretical driver. Still, it is at least a testable hypothesis.

          To say it is ‘likely that some of the other natural factors’ are responsible is pure assertion unless a model can be presented as to why these factors were not relevant pre-1960. I have not seen a counter model consistent with observation let alone one that makes predictions which can be verified.

          In the continued absence of an alternate theory, my question about a dogmatic stance still applies.

        • mikep
          Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: George Kapotto (Jan 3 13:12), I don’t find your argument convincing. Don’t forget that these proxies are typically picked to exclude the “non-responders” in the pre-1960 period. There is no doubt that tree rings respond to a variety of factors not just temperature. All you are saying is that out of sample the proxies behave differently on a regional basis than they did in sample. That’s exactly what you would expect from a cherry-picked proxy roster. You need some much more convincing physical explanation to make any headway.

        • Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

          I agree that these are hypothesized effects but is does present a model where observation is consistent with a theoretical driver. Still, it is at least a testable hypothesis

          What projects have been set up to test this and similar hypotheses? I understand that the CO2 fertilzation hypothesis that Mann used has been shown to be invalid.

    • Mark Fraser
      Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

      And the MWP? “Hide the decline”? So much for the credible model…

      • George Kapotto
        Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

        Do you mean the European MWP that when observed in a global perspective was not actually an indication of significantly higher global temperature?

        This would be the MWP that is increasingly not mentioned when challenging AGW because the facts don’t really support it as a counter argument.

        This actually nicely compliments the discussion of the merits of dendroclimatology. The debate has shifted from whether it is a valid proxy to WHY it is invalid after 1960.

        The IPCC report questioned the validity of the data and this web site cried foul. Now apparently you are in agreement that the data is not valid. I call that a win for the IPCC position.

        Steve: I don’t mean to be rude – but this is total nonsense.

        • George Kapotto
          Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

          Steve, can you clarify where and how this is nonsense?

          My assertions on these threads(summarized):

          1. Creative use of bolding by yourself in quoting hacked emails serves to obfuscate the original context and works to imply a cover up that did not occur. Review my original post for the original reference if you must. Please rebut.

          2. Reference to MWP in my reply was in response to the previous fragmented comment. MWP was a regional phenomena not indicative of a significant increase in global temperature.

          3. Dendroclimatology data post-1960 is inconsistent with the direct temperature metrics. This more credibly calls in to question the ‘tree ring’ data than suggesting a sudden and inexplicable inaccuracy of thermometers around the world. Discarding this data makes sense until such time as it is demonstrated to be an actual temperature proxy. Please rebut.

          4. Comments from other posters suggest alternative ‘natural’ reasons for the post-1960 divergence of the ‘tree ring’ temperature proxy. Thus they are implicitly accepting that the divergence is an actual trend and, as was done, should not have been included in the IPCC report. No need to rebut this one.

          Crying ‘nonsense’ without substantiation is disappointing. Surely you can do better than that.

          Steve: As I’ve said elsewhere, the problem wasn’t the dendro “data” in the sense that it was measured wrong – only that the hypothesized relationship to temperature didn’t hold up in the late 20th century warmth. It is totally unacceptable to delete the inconvenient data. We’ve been over and over this in other threads. I don’t have time to debate this. Show me a statistical authority i.e. a reference, if you think that this sort of deletion of inconvenient data is a recognized procedure.

          If they didn’t want to use dendro data, that would have been fine with me.

        • George Kapotto
          Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          Well if you don’t have time to debate that is your prerogative.

          Do I have a reference indicating that deletion of ‘inconvenient’ data is a recognized procedure? No, because that would be nonsensical. What I do have is your assertion that tree ring data is inconvenient. From http://www.wsl.ch/personal_homepages/cherubin/download/D_ArrigoetalGlobPlanCh2008.pdf as an example, discusses why recent tree ring data may be in error as a temperature proxy in addition to being inconvenient. Do you wish to assert that knowingly incorporating incorrect data is the better method?

          Steve: Again you are misunderstanding or misrepresenting the situation. If the density data had been measured wrong due to malfunction, that would be one thing. But no one suggests that the instruments were wrong. IT’s just that they don’t like the answer. The data needs to be shown.

        • mikep
          Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

          Re: George Kapotto (Jan 4 16:42), This is all getting rather pointless. ?You have produced no remotely convincing reason for thinking that the post-1960 divergence in certain important tree ring series is anthropogenic. Until some convincing reason is demonstrated the divergence suggests that this proxy data does not accurately track temperature outside the period over which it was fit. Waht this means is that if you can’t use it to track post 1960 temperatures you have no reason to suppose it accurately tracks pre-instrumental temperatures. It therefore provides no evidence about the existence or otherwise of a MWP. Moreover if you look at the various multi-proxy reconstructions purporting to show the absence of a global MWP you will find that they all depend on a very small number of active proxies with the rest just providing padding. Prime examples are the bristlecone pines as well as the Yama series under discussion. Global they are not.

        • George Kapotto
          Posted Jan 5, 2010 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

          Your are so correct. This is pointless. I tried to do a reset on the whole thread of my discussions with my post at Jan 4, 2010, 3:39 PM. Instead of answering these questions, tangential replies are the best I get. The following are my final comments regarding tree ring discussions and I will subsequently ignore tangential remarks from people that can’t stay on topic: (There will likely ad hominem postings on this point that boil down to ‘chicken’ so I reserve the right to reply: No comment/tangential, see post dated Jan. 5 @ …)

          1. This discussion is going in circles and we seem to disagree on one key point. My stance is that post-1960 tree data is demonstrably not a temperature proxy and is thus justifiably not used in a temperature graph. Response: Being told that they (Mann et al) excluded the data because they don’t like it. When Mr. McIntyre can demonstrate that it IS in fact a temperature proxy I am all for including it. Good luck.

          2. I have have never stated categorically that I believe the post-1960 divergence is anthropogenic. I proposed that there are indication that this may be possible and have asked for an alternative proposal. Response: No alternative has been proposed and I have been repeatedly misinterpreted. I continue to await alternative proposals with some meat on them.

          3. I have repeatedly commented that if tree ring data is suspect, removing all the data is a valid alternative. Of course this requires demonstration that pre-1960 data is actually suspect. Response: This one keeps getting overlooked.

          That about sums it up. Mr. McIntyre seems convinced that the post-1960 data should be shown. Even Mr. McIntyre acknowledges that the exclusion was discussed in other papers outside the IPCC so it would seem that no real cover up occurred. Since we all seem to agree that the post-1960 data is suspect as a temperature proxy, this comes down to a dissatisfaction with there not being a footnote in the IPCC report explaining why the data was unrepresentative and excluded. Shame on you Mr. Mann.

          I started here with a question (posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:48 AM) about why Mr. McIntyre uses creative bolding to obfuscate the meaning of extracts from stolen emails. This is the ONLY point to which I will continue to respond if Mr. McIntyre chooses to explain himself.

          Steve: It’s not simply a matter of a footnote – the Climategate Letters show active planning of how to “hide the decline” – an email that deservedly drew a lot of attention.

          You’ve made your point. I don’t think that you’ve supported it but I am not prepared to spend time arguing with you about it. I trust that you will understand that I don’t have time to provide personal tutorials to every reader. If, as I requested, you provide a statistical reference that supports the form of analysis that you advocate here: deleting data that goes the “wrong way”, I’ll take a look at it. Without such a reference, it’s hard to find common ground for your opinion which seems so contrary to statistical data analysis and disclosure in fields other than climate science.

        • RomanM
          Posted Jan 5, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

          Why is it that the commenters with the most arrogant attitude seem to be the ones with the lowest level of appreciation of the tenets of science?

          My stance is that post-1960 tree data is demonstrably not a temperature proxy and is thus justifiably not used in a temperature graph.

          I have have never stated categorically that I believe the post-1960 divergence is anthropogenic. I proposed that there are indication that this may be possible and have asked for an alternative proposal.

          I have repeatedly commented that if tree ring data is suspect, removing all the data is a valid alternative. Of course this requires demonstration that pre-1960 data is actually suspect

          You seem to think that it is a given that every tree is automatically a treemometer under every circumstance. That is not the case. The dendro community do understand that some sort of validation is necessary to attempt to justify that in fact the particular tree rings in the sample do contain genuine information about the local temperatures.

          Your “belief” about the reason for the divergence is based on an off-the-cuff rationalization which has not been backed up by any scientific analysis or proper evidence. How long ago was it proposed? Were there followup studies to determine if it was correct? Maybe such studies are unnecessary since according to your point of view, the correct scientific approach is that a “demonstration that the data is actually suspect” is needed. Why do the study if it can only show that the excuse given is incorrect?

          However, you keep harping on the necessity that an alternative possibility is needed so I will throw one out at you.

          The response of tree rings to temperature is at best linear over only a range of temperature (obvious because the ring width is bounded from below by zero). However, at the upper range it can also be true that the linearity fails since there can exist a threshold above which heat suppresses the growth. The resultant growth curve will then look like an upside down “U”.

          http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/10/23/the-divergence-problem-and-the-failure-of-tree-rings-for-reconstructing-past-climate/

          This phenomenon can explain why the tree rings get smaller even when the temperatures are rising. The tree is still a temperature proxy, just not in the linear fashion that you seem to think it should look like. However, this then raises the issue that the same effect could have occurred in the past. Temperatures the same or higher than those in recent years would have smaller rings than in cooler periods. Any linear-based reconstruction method would produce false results.

          So, if this is the case, the failure to disclose the deletion of the data to “hide the decline” is scientifically wrong. When this is done intentionally on more than one occasion, then there is no obfuscation as to the intent, bolding or not.

          By the way, you also seem to have accepted the “fact” (based only on spurious methodology and cherry-picked proxies) that a global MWP did not occur. There is a lot of historical evidence to indicate that there were regions which underwent such a phenomenon. I will use your logic to postulate that in fact MWP was global unless you can provide a demonstration of a valid mechanism by which a prolonged localized regional warming could take place without it being a global effect.

        • Mark T
          Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

          RomanM,

          It’s even worse than that. You are correct about the linearity, but it is possible (likely) that other influences alter the curve, i.e., the upside-down U may move around depending upon other factors such as moisture, sunlight, soil quality, none of which can be assumed to be constants over the life of any tree.

          Mark

    • Puggs
      Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

      Bill,
      you should read my comment above to George, but to clarify further, you really need to read all the papers on the yamal tree data to understand what has gone on with this stuff and to understand why so many engineers and scientists are outraged by this issue.

      In very broad laymans terms, the simplest facts are that Russian scientists sampled over 2500 dead trees that were lying about on the Yamal peninsula and wrote a paper about how they grew over a period of about 1500 years- yes there were dead trees lying on the ground for over 1000 years! These guys measured the tree rings of all these trees-they cut slices off the dead trees on the ground and took them to the lab. both warmists and coolists accept this as fact. The Russian guys who went out and cut up the dead trees analysed all the tree data and found that there had been not much change in the climate for the last 900 years, but there was a warm period about about 1000 years ago, and it was warmer than our current climate.(there is a link somewhere on this website to the original paper)
      They matched the 2500+ tree rings to thermometer data over the last 100 years to “proxy” the ring growth to local temperature. ALL THIS IS AGREED BY BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT!

      Then Briffa came along and did a new analyis of the tree ring data and found that the medieval warm period did not actually exist and that there has been a steady decline in temperature in the yamal until about 1900 when the temp started to rise significantly.

      The problem with this camet when the ‘coolists’ started digging into the date used by Briffa and it was revealed that he has used data from only 12 (YES, TWELVE!!) trees out of the 2500 trees to create his global warming hockey stck curve. If you are a reasonably smart person, you have to wonder why he selected only 12 trees- that is less than 0.5% of the tree data available? WTF?

      THAT is why I personally switched from being a “warmist” to a “Coolist”. I am not a scientist or an engineer, but I worked as a technician for more than 25 years reading ocean thermometers and pressure gauges and I can see that this Yamal tree ring stuff is “creative use of the number 7″ IE = Bullfluff.

      AND as a side note to George K,
      “I think you personally would find this unacceptable because the temperature anomaly only appears in tree ring data and removal of that data from consideration would only add support to AGW which isn’t your objective.”
      :I am not anti AGW, I am anti Bullfluff and have no specific objective.

      “I trust your grandfather was not actually so dense.”
      :My grandfather was a war hero, and my mentor, why you have to resort to a personal attack is beyond me.

    • Bill Door
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

      Puggs, you said:

      “They matched the 2500+ tree rings to thermometer data over the last 100 years to “proxy” the ring growth to local temperature. ALL THIS IS AGREED BY BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT!”

      So, my question is then, is it the case that prior to 1960 tree ring data matched thermometer data and after 1960 tree ring data has diverged from thermometer measurement?

      And of course, if it IS the case, I really still do not see what the big deal is of not including that data. However, I can see the argument that they shouldn’t have used any of it at all unless they could explain why it suddenly diverged.

      • Mark T
        Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

        And of course, if it IS the case, I really still do not see what the big deal is of not including that data.

        It does not matter either way. You cannot apply post-hoc selection criteria and expect that the results are a reasonable representation of what really happened.

        Mark

  155. G.S. Williams
    Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    In the first paragraph you mention that the climate scientists, (possibly the HADCRU crew) stated that the emails were taken out of context, but I read a blog in one of the blogsites that “the emails were not taken out of context,they ARE the context”.
    I thought that he or she was right.

    Also, may I commend you for all the hard work you have done for the truth of the Global Warming to be told.

    In New Zealand we have the term,”You’re a CRACKER”.Brilliant.

    I’m sure that you get my drift.

    Need one say more?

    Keep up the great work.

    Best regards.

    G.S. Williams

    • Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

      In New Zealand we have the term,”You’re a CRACKER”

      Quite a different meaning in the States, not sure about Canadia.

  156. Beep climate
    Posted Jun 11, 2010 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    Some commentary on Deep Climate

    http://deepclimate.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-be-climate-auditor-auditor.html

  157. George
    Posted Jul 7, 2010 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Re: Your Dec 11 edit. You are missing the ending square bracket from the “ellipsis” edit of the Folland quote.

    “The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance.[INSERT END BRACKET] This is probably the most important issue to resolve in Chapter 2 at present”

    This has (*sigh*) become an important ending bracket.

99 Trackbacks

  1. [...] [...]

  2. [...] hehehe BOOM! [...]

  3. By Scientific Integrity | Detached Ideas on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    [...] by Jean S here, and by Steve McIntyre here and here. [Update 12/10: In a fasci­nating new post, IPCC and the Trick, McIntyre examines the context for this trick, the other correspondence and the IPCC Tanzania [...]

  4. [...] And speaking of context … Steve McIntyre, whose Climate Audit must be the bane of the AGW alarmists existence, has also been examining the emails: IPCC and the “Trick” [...]

  5. [...] 10 12 2009 Steve McIntyre has blogged an excellent technical explanation about IPCC and the “Trick” on the newly provisioned climateaudit.org now on WordPress.com, so I thought this would be a good [...]

  6. [...] the entire context of the “tricks” and “hide the decline”’s in a post here. When someone says that these comments are “taken out of context”, simply refer them to [...]

  7. By Hiding the decline | The Climate Scam on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:47 AM

    [...] Läs hela analysen och kommentera. [...]

  8. [...] At Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre has a long, but excellent background post on the context of that trick hiding the decline (tip to Watts Up). As McIntyre shows, in this [...]

  9. [...] McIntyre has an excellent post on Climate Audit entitled: IPCC and the “Trick.” Roger Pielke Jr gets the point too in a blog post entitled: The “Trick” in [...]

  10. [...] [...]

  11. [...] Continued… No comments [...]

  12. [...] and the “Trick” – Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre ClimateAudit.orgMuch recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide the [...]

  13. [...] UPDATE: IPCC and “The Trick.” “Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to [...]

  14. [...] McIntyre treats us to a detailed, technically rich forensic report on how Mann, Jones and others were told pressured by the IPCC to make current climate look much [...]

  15. [...] McIntyre has a detailed analysis of what has been described in the recent news as ‘a trick‘ to present temperature data in a certain way. His analysis is probably too detailed for many [...]

  16. By Hockey Stick Trick In Context « TeeJaw Blog on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    [...] shows that putting the emails into context might not be in the interest of the IPCC scientists. At IPCC and The “Trick” he says [...]

  17. By Steve McIntyre « Sister Toldjah on Dec 11, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    [...] IPCC and the “Trick” [...]

  18. By IPCC and the "Trick" [Eng] on Dec 11, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    [...] IPCC and the "Trick" [Eng]  [...]

  19. By Mann-made global warming on Dec 11, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    [...] McIntyre finds the context for “hide the decline”, and it makes things look even worse for the [...]

  20. By As each day goes by............... - Page 7 on Dec 11, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    [...] Hiding the decline – in context [...]

  21. [...] and “Hide The Decline” In Context Steve McIntyre puts the Climategate emails into a new light, by filling in the contextual holes surrounding the [...]

  22. [...] McIntyre ei ole juurikaan pukahtanut CRU:n murrosta, mutta tutkittuaan aineistoa hän avautui toissapäivänä blogissaan: http://climateaudit.org/2009/1…the-trick/ [...]

  23. By More Fallout from Climategate « The Autopsy on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    [...] all the time.  They have a point, but only to a certain degree.  In this case, the “trick” was used to explain why a certain data set was truncated when matched with ….  The “Climategate” emails even show discussions of how to mitigate the impact of this [...]

  24. [...] [...]

  25. [...] now with Steve McIntyre’s exposure of the 1999 data manipulation I see were Briffa’s work was actually the monkey wrench standing in the way of AGW for a [...]

  26. By “Trick” of the Tail « route63 on Dec 12, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    [...] “Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide the decline”. Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken “out of context”. In this case, I’m not sure that it’s in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to a meeting of IPCC authors in Tanzania, raising serious questions about the role of IPCC itself in “hiding the decline” in the Briffa reconstruction.” more [...]

  27. By A Change In Climate, Part 1 « ORBIS on Dec 13, 2009 at 3:28 AM

    [...] Phil Jones’ “trick” of hiding the decline was cursorily dismissed by RealClimate as simply a clever, rather than covert, way of dealing with problematic data. Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit–a blog dedicated to checking reported climate change data–painstakingly pieces together the time line of the emails and the history of temperature reconstructions used by IPCC: Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken “out of context”. In this case, I’m not sure that it’s in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to a meeting of IPCC authors in Tanzania, raising serious questions about the role of IPCC itself in “hiding the decline” in the Briffa reconstruction (Climate Audit, IPCC and the “Trick”). [...]

  28. [...] Steve McIntyre ClimateAudit, December 10, [...]

  29. By DN och Climategate « Blå borgen on Dec 13, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    [...] inlägg där han förklarar tydligt och klart vad fusket är. Han ha rockså senare lagt upp det här inlägget som förklarar varför det är relevant för vår bild av IPCC. Läs hans artiklar, läs sedan [...]

  30. [...] [...]

  31. [...] the data and subsequent IPCC graphs. Rose discusses the new findings by Steve McIntyre that are posted in detail at the website, Climate Audit, on how Michael Mann and others performed their “trick” to [...]

  32. [...] Recommended reading: IPCC and the “Trick” [...]

  33. [...] [...]

  34. By CalvinDude.com » Hide The Decline on Dec 14, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    [...] Steve McIntyre got a copy of the diagram using proxy temperatures for the past 1000 years (see here for more background). The graph showed proxy temperatures gathered from Mann, Jones, and [...]

  35. [...] links to everything you ever wanted to know about the "hiding the decline" scandal: #1, #2, and #3. Last edited by radioprius1; Today at 12:32 [...]

  36. [...] Full story [...]

  37. [...] McIntyre of Climate Audit has done a careful analysis of the Climategate emails that affect one particular issue — the “tricks” that [...]

  38. By Climategate Round-Up #8 | GORE LIED on Dec 15, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    [...] McIntyre, statistician and kryptonite to corrupt scientists everywhere, eviscerates the IPCC ‘trick’. I believe those are Michael Mann’s credibility entrails on the floor.  It has much to do with [...]

  39. [...] verborgen worden omdat het anders teveel vragen zou oproepen en de politieke boodschap zou “afzwakken“. Het zou de politiek sieren als ze eens zou proberen te bedenken hoe zij zo objectief [...]

  40. [...] McIntyre argues this “pressure” resulted in this final figure appearing in the IPCC Third Assessment Report: This figure shows the famous “hockey stick” — a sudden increase in temperatures starting after 1900. What McIntyre had already observed was that this figure had a peculiar feature — the Briffa reconstruction line (green) stopped rather suddenly: The green line “gets lost” around 1960 and never reappears. McIntyre noticed this in 2005, and raised the issue in a comment on a later IPCC report. His comment was rejected. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-mcintyre-and-the-divergence-problem/ Link to Steve McIntyre’s analysis here: http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/ [...]

  41. By Cranky-D » More on AGW on Dec 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    [...] you go here you can see a breakdown of the timeline of some of those emails. The story they tell looks pretty [...]

  42. [...] Steve McIntyre has blogged: Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide [...]

  43. [...] plus de détails sur la fameuse astuce pour cacher le déclin, voyez l’explication de McIntyre ou cet article sur [...]

  44. [...] Steve McIntyre has blogged: Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide [...]

  45. [...] “Hide the decline” [...]

  46. [...] are five simple commandments that all prominent global-warming activists need to embrace after the blowback from Climategate and various disclosures about the big money involved in green [...]

  47. [...] discussed in the “stolen” emails from the CRU of East Anglia.  I encourage you to jump over to Steve’s article to read the full analysis but I would like to include a few paragraphs here in the hope that you [...]

  48. By On the Environment « Pond'rings on Dec 18, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    [...] one discussing problems in the actual collected data. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit has done a careful analysis of the Climategate emails that affect one particular issue — the “tricks” that were applied [...]

  49. By It’s Still Out of Context? « the Air Vent on Dec 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    [...] this time and ‘everything’ was taken out  of context.  Maybe we’re all wrong. This link at CA is a good place to start. By Michael E. [...]

  50. [...] to prove you wrong, I merely have to paste a post that I just wrote to Alric: Again the link: IPCC and the “Trick” Climate Audit Follow Briffa's proxy reconstruction: And not even to mention the other [...]

  51. [...] Phil ”hide the decline” Jones, jonka lisänimi ei kuulosta paljoa sen paremmalta kontekstinsakaan kanssa. Lyhyesti sanottuna kyseessä oli tieteellisen aineiston esittämisestä poliittisia [...]

  52. By ClimategatePage 17 on Dec 31, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    [...] Re: Climategate – Today , 09:02 PM Now back to Climategate. Here is a good explanation of what the E-MAILS are about. LINK [...]

  53. By ClimategatePage 17 on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    [...] Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Permalink | Reply While I agree that what Steve demonstrates here does not by any means demonstrate that climate [...]

  54. [...] as to account for discrepancies in temperature measurement methods.  But Steve McIntyre offers a detailed analysis of the “trick,” which concludes that, while it was not an instance of outright data [...]

  55. [...] this subject and who’s willing to talk about it is Steve McIntyre.  In  a recent positing, McIntyre outlined the trick and its place in the history of official climate science as fashioned by the [...]

  56. [...] we saw the whole "hide the decline" scandal. It is discussed in depth here and here. The alarmist explanation was that it was merely dealing with the "divergence" problem. [...]

  57. [...] prend une allure beaucoup plus scandaleuse. Voyez par exemple ce billet de Steve McIntyre: IPCC and the “Trick”. Le site de John P. [...]

  58. [...] oranges. Even in graphs where the actual temperatures were not added, the divergence appears to be artfully hidden as seen in a hockey stick graph included in the IPCC Third Assessment [...]

  59. [...] reporter with a rambling, um, analysis of Climategate. A large part of this piece was given over to Steve McIntyre’s absurd explanation of the implications of CRU head Phil Jones’s “hide the decline” email. However, [...]

  60. By Mojib Latif slams Daily Mail « Deep Climate on Jan 11, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    [...] reporter with a rambling, um, analysis of Climategate. A large part of this piece was given over to Steve McIntyre’s absurd explanation of the implications of CRU head Phil Jones’s “hide the decline” email. However, [...]

  61. [...] In this post I will briefly describe what the alarmists claim "hide the decline" means, then show what it actually means, and then demonstrate the real problem the alarmists face. There are already two expert demonstrations of "hide the decline". One is at American Thinker (also this from AT) and the other is at Climate Audit. [...]

  62. [...] of the 'hide the decline' thing it hasnt been debunked at all. if you feel like some reading then heres a bit from climate audit which is stephen mcintyres blog. he knows a thing or two about this stuff. he has plenty more very [...]

  63. [...] [QUOTE=g0zer;1765300] if climate modellers says their models break down unless global warming equations are included… if you want to talk facts why dont you try actually deconstructing their models instead of their email trains? i dont have a PhD in mathmatics but maybe you do! QUOTE] No i dont have a PhD in mathmatics but lucky for me (and you) Steve McIntyre DOES!! Please read his break down (as you requested) here IPCC and the “Trick” Climate Audit [...]

  64. [...] warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data.’” As Steve McIntyre has blogged:Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to [...]

  65. [...] hier dat de trick echt wel een truc was om de divergentie van de boomringen te verhullen. McIntyre heeft [...]

  66. By Mosher: The Hackers « Watts Up With That? on Jan 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    [...] high level hacks of the IPCC system include the following: changing chronologies, altering the appearance of graphics to tell a different story making up science out of whole cloth , and citing non peered reviewed [...]

  67. [...] subject and who’s willing to talk about it is Steve McIntyre.  In  a recent positing, McIntyre outlined the trick and its place in the history of official climate science as fashioned by the [...]

  68. By The Mann Report « Climate Audit on Feb 4, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    [...] statistical method; its essence is the failure to show adverse data. See Climate Audit here or the Daily Express here. Did they do any investigation of the “trick”? They [...]

  69. [...] Real Climate and other alarmists have claimed that “trick” refers to a mathematical technique.  Sorry, but no. It refers to what is know as the divergence issue.  It seems that tree ring growth doesn’t behave as expected in the last few decades (growth down when temperatures are up).  Then why do they think trees make good thermometers?  Here’s a great summary of the “trick” from Climate Audit. [...]

  70. [...] Selv i grafer, hvor de faktiske temperaturer ikke var tilføjet, synes divergensen at være kunstfærdigt skjult, som det ses i en hockeystavs-graf inkluderet i den tredie IPCC [...]

  71. [...] and to avoid a situation where the Briffa reconstruction “diluted the message” (see http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/) . Two different variants of the “trick” appear in contemporary [...]

  72. [...] Wissenschaftler Steve McIntyre, der über 100 Mal in den abgefangenen E-Mails erwähnt wird, hat fortwährend verdeutlicht, dass diese Erklärung ungenügend ist und vorne wie hinten nicht passt.Auf seinem Blog „Climate Audit“ widerlegt McIntyre die Schlussfolgerung des parlamentarischen [...]

  73. [...] it, he has written paper after blog post after essay explaining in precise and superbly informed detail exactly why this “trick” was a bad, naughty and very wrong thing – and not, as the UEA’s [...]

  74. [...] IPCC graphics. The Climategate emails show that they did so intentionally – see for example IPCC and the Trick, which show awareness on the part of CRU scientists that showing the decline would “dilute [...]

  75. [...] http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/ [...]

  76. [...] the dissemination of the “Climategate” emails, though, McIntyre decided to shift his attack squarely onto lead authors Michael Mann and Chris Folland, while Briffa was portrayed as holding out, albeit briefly, against the “deletion” of [...]

  77. [...] the IPCC graphics. The Climategate emails show that they did so intentionally – see for example IPCC and the Trick, which show awareness on the part of CRU scientists that showing the decline would “dilute the [...]

  78. [...] science.It was fitting that Sunday night’s keynote speaker was climate expert Stephen McIntyre, a leader in exposing the data mismanagement in Climategate, most notably Michael Mann’s hockey stick theory. He is author of the blog Climate [...]

  79. [...] [...]

  80. [...] was fitting that Sunday night’s keynote speaker was climate expert Stephen McIntyre, a leader in exposing the data mismanagement in Climategate, most notably Michael Mann’s hockey stick theory. He is author of the blog Climate [...]

  81. [...] S&R contacted Steve McIntyre for his views on the CRU emails. While he was terse in his email communications, he suggested that his writings at Climate Audit were a good place to start. In December of 2009, shortly after the emails were published, McIntyre wrote that climate scientists say that the “trick” is now being taken out of context. The Climategate Letters show clearly that the relevant context is the IPCC Lead Authors’ meeting in Tanzania in September 1999 at which the decline in the Briffa reconstruction [of tree ring data] was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, as a “problem”, as a “potential distraction/detraction”.(source) [...]

  82. [...] could be concluded from them. In response, he referred us specifically to one of his posts from December, 2010. He also referred us to the entirety of his “Climategate” category. S&R chose not [...]

  83. [...] IPCC tyto grafy asi schválně před čtenáři schovala podle zásady “hide the decline” (tady spíše “hide the rise”). Aby nenarušovaly strašidelný dojem blížícího se konce světa a “nemátly” čtenáře (takhle IPCC vážně uvažuje – viz). [...]

  84. [...] Steve McIntyre, who is mentioned over 100 times in the leaked emails has consistently explained how this explanation is insufficient and falls flat on its [...]

  85. [...] Steve McIntyre, who is mentioned over 100 times in the leaked emails has consistently explained how this explanation is insufficient and falls flat on its [...]

  86. [...] scientific malfeasance? The investigators didn’t even understand that the famous “Mike’s Nature trick“was a clever way of hiding adverse data, a big scientific no-no. They didn’t interview [...]

  87. By Exonerated? Not. | Watts Up With That? on Oct 19, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    [...] The “trick” is a way to hide adverse data, something that scientists should never do. At least they have proven conclusively that the [...]

  88. [...] “trick” of “hiding the decline” has been discussed again and again and again, and while the wording may be regrettable, the intent was not to deceive but to keep out the data [...]

  89. By Climategate analysis « Anti Oligarch on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    [...] account of all the methods used to “hide the decline” should refer to Steve McIntyre’s extensive discussion of these [...]

  90. By Climategate was a whitewash - MPs admit on Jan 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    [...] [...]

  91. By Checking The Climate Scientists | cosmoscon on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    [...] then again, the AGW scientists are prone to tricks. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in [...]

  92. [...] is exacerbated by the evidence for political activism amongst some scientists and a strong drive to usurp every other problem in the world to this one rather abstract Cause [...]

  93. [...] scientific malfeasance against CRU’s Phil Jones and Keith Briffa from the beginning. And even Chip Knappenberger rejected Steve McIntyre’s “analysis” of the Climategate email e… concerning the IPCC TAR chart that showed reconstructions by Briffa and Jones, along with the MBH99 [...]

  94. [...] S&R contacted Steve McIntyre for his views on the CRU emails. While he was terse in his email communications, he suggested that his writings at Climate Audit were a good place to start. In December of 2009, shortly after the emails were published, McIntyre wrote that climate scientists say that the “trick” is now being taken out of context. The Climategate Letters show clearly that the relevant context is the IPCC Lead Authors’ meeting in Tanzania in September 1999 at which the decline in the Briffa reconstruction [of tree ring data] was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, as a “problem”, as a “potential distraction/detraction”.(source) [...]

  95. By Mike’s Nature trick « Climate Audit on Feb 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    […] also see IPCC and the Trick, Keith’s Science Trick, Mike’s Nature Trick and Phil’s […]

  96. By Mann and the Oxburgh Panel « Climate Audit on Feb 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    […] readily acquiescing because he did not want to give “fodder to the skeptics” (see CA summary here). Subsequent to this discussion, CRU sent Mann a Briffa version showing the decline (this version […]

  97. […] Wissenschaftler Steve McIntyre, der über 100 Mal in den abgefangenen E-Mails erwähnt wird, hat fortwährend verdeutlicht, dass diese Erklärung ungenügend ist und vorne wie hinten nicht passt. Auf seinem Blog „Climate Audit“ widerlegt McIntyre die Schlussfolgerung des parlamentarischen […]

  98. By IPCC TAR and the hockey stick | Climate Etc. on Apr 29, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    […] I will not debate the quality of the Hockey Stick – that has been effectively done elsewhere (and indeed there is voluminous discussion on this issue), so, whatever one might think of the Hockey Stick, one can readily understand that its promotion by the IPCC was problematic given the process outlined above. Indeed, with the evidence contained in the Climategate emails, we have a fairly clear picture of how this part of the IPCC TAR went awry. For a more detailed account of this incident with documentation, see http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/. […]

  99. […] Climategate issues at Climate Audit. I wrote the first detailed exposition on December 9, 2009 here. Disentangling the chronology of hiding the decline has been a work in progress: about six months […]

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