Daily Mail has detailed coverage on “hide the decline”.
He admitted that his CRU colleagues had sometimes used ‘injudicious phrases’, but that was because they kept on being ‘diverted’ from their work by those who wished to scrutinise it. ‘It’s understandable that sometimes people get frustrated,’ he said.
More anti-scientific statements. Apparently their work shouldn’t have been scrutinized, that’s just not proper. “Just trust us.”
Jeff, to be fair wasn’t he just frustrated with 10,000 repetitive requests from people he considered idiots. Was the data available somewhere else than emailing him?
The blue line, the pink line and the green line all decline in the last few years. Looking at the graph there does not seem to be a good correlation between any of the various data points from the 1000 year mark, the tree ring data extends only to 1400 if I read the data correctly. We have redwood here in California and bristle cone pine that are currently around 2000 years old. The bristle cones oldest tree is about 4000 years old. Did anyone measure their growth rings for a temperature measurement? Have I missed something?
They’re still not getting it. The decline that was hidden wasn’t a decline in global temperatures, the decline was in the reconstruction, which may or may not correlate to global temperature (as meaningless a concept as that is).
And they’re still only getting the tip of the iceberg. They’re not reporting on the debunked hockey stick in all its incarnations. They’re not reporting on Yamal, or stripbarks.
Why don’t they show the Email by dendro Ed Cook who basically says we know nothing about variability beyond 100 years?
I think that Rose gets it nearly perfectly. He specifically makes the points that the real issue with the “decline” was that it probably invalidated history based on the tree rings, rather than invalidating current temp measurements.
This is the best article out there, and I think it is due to Steve’s excellent exposition of the “context” of “hide the decline,” which also showed up in a reasonably good opinion piece on the NYT opinionater.
Does anyone know if the tree ring data temperature data been updated or if the tree ring data’s just does not correlate to temperature. If I understand the current data correctly tree rings do not give a reliable correlation to temperature. If that is true the data outside of the last say 150 years or so can’t be used to predict temperaturs.
“Does anyone know if the tree ring data temperature data been updated or if the tree ring data’s just does not correlate to temperature.”
As I understand, Mann never correlated them to temperature at all, but rather to some general climate signal which he implied was related to temperature. Somewhere on the site is a post by Mr. McIntyre which compares the Greybill chart to actual temperature…highlighting that the high temperature of 1938(?) shows in Greybill’s data as one of the 6 or so coldest years out of the last 150.
It’s 1934, and it is actually PC1 of Greybill’s data.
Great article, finally an accurate reflection of some of the great work you’ve done. Really nice to see those graph zooms getting the exposure they deserve (and cleanly vectorized!). Did they mislabel the last one though? It says 200 but perhaps that is supposed to be 2000? Also it is a bit hard to line the two up visually as the time step seems different.
I found this bit towards the end a little intriguing:
>> A Russian intelligence source claimed the FSB had new information which could cast light on who was behind the elaborate operation. ‘We are not prepared to release details, but we might if the false claims about the FSB’s involvement do not stop,’ he said.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but is seems to me to be a threat as in, ‘you know who you are, so stop saying its us’. Being that the only ones who are saying it is the Russians are ‘non-skeptics’, it suggests they think it came from somewhere on the inside. Of course this is the FSB talking, so fwiw (not sure why they would care to keep that secret anyway).
Most of the email addresses have cloaked out of concern for privacy of others. The Russian government would not have spent one second on that concern.
The matter was put together by an insider. Was this matter then hacked? Possible.
Jeff Alberts: I think they got it right. They are not saying the “decline” was a decline in temperatures. It’s clear they are talking about the tree ring proxies since 1960..
For a tabloid, this is a very good exposition of what is going on.
Theduke, based on the big letters in the graphics above, they didn’t get it right. I’m happy for the coverage, but they’re missing the nuance in many cases.
Jeff Alberts is right – the caption is misleading. It should say “global reconstructed temperatures”, not “global temperatures”.
Jeff Alberts: read the article, and look at the entire graphic block. The Daily Mail got it RIGHT.
In fact, this is the first time I’ve seen a general interest publication cogently explain the significance of the CRU FOI2009.zip data dump.
snip – please do not exaggerate
The full article is NOT misleading, even though the caption, in isolation, is:
“According to his tree rings, the period since 1960 had not seen a steep rise in temperature, as actual temperature readings showed – but a large and steady decline, so calling into question the accuracy of the earlier data derived from tree rings.”
The phrase “Accoring to his tree rings” makes it clear we are talking about reconstructed temperatures.
I am glad this article higlights the integrity of Briffa vs. the bullying of Mann. Yes, Briffa eventually capitulated. But he did resist.
That whole exchange I interpreted as Briffa at first resentful and misunderstanding the pressure to capitulate and then understanding that his results could make or break the project whereupon he parlayed his acquiescence into a seat on the inner circle.
I was basically illustrating that the captions (the only items displayed in the main post) are what many people go by, and are misleading.
I think I’ve posted here before that I’ve been surprised that sources I have in the past not held a very good opinion of have nonetheless, on the issue of Climategate, said things I agreed with.
The daily Mail has gone up in my estimation by an order of magnitude. I can’t imagine a much better exposition at a level that Joe Public can understand. Sure, it probably isn’t perfect, but so far, it’s the best MSM presentation from a sceptical viewpoint that I’ve seen, and actually includes a little science.
Mr. McIntyre, sir, I salute you and all your tireless efforts which are now beginning to bear fruit even in the MSM. Let’s have an open debate. Let all the data be made available and be analysed and discussed without fear or favour. With reference to the MIT debate in another thread, the point (I’m paraphrasing) was made that a real sceptic is one who will change his mind, but the speaker doubted that a “denier” would ever do that.
A calumny. If there’s a transparent and unbiased re-assessment of the data (if sufficient of said data is actually available), and if the AGW proposition is supported by that, I will change my mind. But the main place I’d trust to present that debate fairly is Climateaudit. Why? Because I trust the integrity of Mr. McIntyre.
I agree this is a good article. I think the tip of the iceberg at this stage is a big advance on no iceberg at all.
Regarding the ftp server and russian “admission”, as I posted elsewhere when the data leak was revealed, that server is improperly programmed, the IP address was listed as an open proxy on many of the proxy dump websites, and was available to anyone wishing to hide their IP by installing the IP / port in their web browser, and it is likely the same is true of the ftp site at the same IP address.
Overall the article was a good explanation, they even discussed the medieval warm period, and instances of strong-arming resulting in articles being changed. I was impressed by what I believe is the first fairly accurate and understandable article written for the average reader in a MSM outlet. I just wish it had been the Wall Street Journal which had written it.
Steve, kudos to you, keep up the excellent work, and as has been said, the world owes you a great debt.
According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_circulation :
Wall Street Journal (2009): 2,082,189
Daily mail (2006): 2,340,255
The figures are comparable. Okay, Britain has a smaller population, but the Daily Mail shouldn’t be underestimated. I feel sure that our journalistic friends across the pond will be picking up on this article.
> Daily mail (2006): 2,340,255
> The figures are comparable. Okay, Britain has a smaller population, but the Daily Mail shouldn’t be underestimated. I feel sure that our journalistic friends across the pond will be picking up on this article.
Does Gordon Brown read the Daily Mail?
I would love to hear reporters ask him about the topic of the article to see if he “gets it.”
I cut and pasted this article. It’s over 3000 words–an amazing investment for a newspaper. Alas I do not have much confidence that the American press will follow suit in such a careful exposition. Will anyone in the American broadcast media even be aware of the article or of the content behind it?
I read Real Climate regularly as part of following this issue. They have been remarkably silent.
I somehow doubt that RC will cover this story except perhaps to state it is bunk, possibly with a link to the bit about Pilke Sr. saying he was not correctly quoted and that therefore the whole article can be swept under the rug.
I stopped reading RC several years ago when it became apparent their whole purpose was to attack anything that came from here, often by simply stating a contrary opinion interlaced with invective). Strange purpose, when all you have to do is read whats here to get several sides of every one of Steve’s posts (including the RC one).
Why not organize a global petition to demand real transparency of data and calculations on the climate ?
Transparency International exists for financial corruption (http://www.transparency.org/about_us), why not for climate which is a common good ?
A global petition for transparency sounds like a good idea to me…
Thomas Nast (1840-1902), cartoonist/satirist, whose famous cartoon depicting Boss Tweed and the Tammany Ring (from New York City 19th Century) ["Who stole the people's money?" "'Twas him"] would have a field day with the revelations of Climategate. I can see it now ~~
“Who adjusted the raw temperature data?” “‘Twas him”
Of course, that assumes journalism out to expose malfeasance, not the kind we find practiced today regarding the climate.
In this case,steve provided the nails, the daily mail weilds the hammer, and we all know whats in the coffin!
Why should anybody have to speculate about the meaning of phrases?
If the science is “in”, the whole situation would be demonstrated by releasing the data and the formulae to public scrutiny. The data is not private property. No organisation that is funded by government “owns” anything it produces to the exclusion of those whose taxes pay for it.
UPDATE: Roger Pielke Jr., quoted in the story, has a “small correction”:
In The Daily Mail, David Rose has a hard-hitting critique of the CRU email situation. His summary of the debate in the emails over how to handle the Briffa curve is well done. However, he focuses more than I would on the science rather than the science policy, and this shows up in how I am quoted or referred to in several places. Recognizing that it is his story, there is a misquote of my comments that I think needs to be corrected. Here is what I sent David asking for a correction:
I just saw your story in the Daily Mail and a small correction is needed. You quote me as saying:
“These emails open up the possibility that big scientific questions we’ve regarded as settled may need another look.”
What I said was:
“While these emails open up the possibility that some scientific questions we’ve regarded as settled may need another look, time will tell and the implications for science are not the most important aspect of the emails.”
The point was that while I am agnostic about the implications for science, leaving that to others, I am certain that the emails have broader implications for the credibility and legitimacy of certain quarters of climate science. Based on what I’ve seen, I do not believe that any “big scientific questions” are implicated by the emails.
Whilst having a great deal of respect for Roger, I think he is either missing the point, or perhaps trying to save one point that he feels might be threatened by the loss of another. (That’s unclear but let me explain.)
One “big scientific question” is whether there has been climate change, how much, and whether man has caused it. I believe Roger feels the answer to this question is unaffected by the emails (and I’d probably agree so far as climategate alone is concerned, though in opening the door to allow serious reanalysis of data “adjustments” it may yet prove to affect this question after all).
Another “big scientific question” is whether CO2 is the dominant cause of what will be catastrophic climate change. The “hockey stick” is central to that (in showing warming is unprecedented), and the emails showing corruption of peer review and collusion in deceiving the public in IPCC reports shows that question needs to be reopened.
FWIW, as a non-scientist who’s been struggling to follow along on the science, statistics and problems with the hockey stick, the Daily Mail did an excellent job with Steve’s findings.
They even clarified the nonsense about the “Russians did it!” There’s not much more you could ask for from the media nowadays.
May I suggest to you who see shortcomings in this newspaper article to reflect on how far this issue has come in just three weeks. Remember the absence in the main stream media, and the concern whether the documents were themselves “adjusted”?
This is arguably the best article so far in the main stream media. It goes right to the jugular, namely: “it wasn’t just any old diagram”. And it introduces the other weakness, the adjustments of the recent temperature “record”. The more the hockey stick graph is dissected the more the manipulation and deception will be uncovered.
It’s a shame that Michael Crichton did not live to see this day. For you who haven’t see his 2007 interview with Charlie Rose, here it is, starting at the 22 minute mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AA5aIdOqlw
There is a point where he says “If global warming was a company, you couldn’t buy it. Because they won’t let you do due diligence, they won’t let you look at the figures”.
Eventually, the hockey stick graph and all it’s versions will be dissected and documented in excruciating detail, with all the raw data on both the proxy and the temperature record, the meta data and provenance, the adjustments and their assumptions, the code and the graphical output, the sensitivity analyses and so on. The scientists will have to learn from industry, from engineers and from geologists, on how to do it right. And then they can start again.
“May I suggest to you who see shortcomings in this newspaper article to reflect on how far this issue has come in just three weeks.”
Steve, you make me proud to call myself Canadian! Even though I’m not a scientist (nor a mathematician, nor a statistician) I have learned so much by lurking and looking here. And as I’ve been surfing for signs of MSM turnaround, you and/or Climate Audit are getting the credit you deserve.
On another (but similar) note …
Iowahawk offers the following:
Fables of the Reconstruction
(Or, How to Make Your Own Hockey Stick)
“[...]a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called “Climategate” scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used.
Long story, but I do know a little bit about statistical data modeling — the principle approach used by the main cast of characters in Climategate — and have a decent understanding of their basic research paradigm. The goal here is to share that understanding with interested laypeople. I’m also a big believer in learning by doing; if you really want to know how a carburetor works, nothing beats taking one apart and rebuilding it. That same rule applies to climate models. And so I decided to put together this simple step-by-step rebuilder’s manual.”
Then he proceeded to do just that. In his Discussion he notes:
“The devil, as they say is in the details. In each of the steps there is some leeway for, shall we say, intervention. The early criticisms of Mann et al.’s analyses were confined to relatively minor points about the presence of autocorrelated errors, linear specification, etc. But a funny thing happened on the way to Copenhagen: a couple of Canadian researchers, McIntyre and McKitrick, found that when they ran simulations of “red noise” random principle components data into Mann’s reconstruction model, 99% of the time it produced the same hockey stick pattern. They attributed this to Mann’s method / time frame for selecting of principle components.”
The “possibly related posts” (automatically generated) links shown just below the Thread of this that send you off to generic WordPress stuff, is confusing!
Now the hard work has been done for them hopefully more papers will cover the story in this manner. And we still have the Harry.txt to give more insight into the lack of data integrity.
Not meaning to be offensive, but it’s been at least three weeks. When are the statisticians here at CA going to stop the schadenfreude and actually demonstrate where CRU made actual statistical errors?
When I heard about these emails I was on tenterhooks to see what you guys would pull out now that you had the code. Instead, all I’m hearing is ‘hide the decline’. I couldn’t care less whether the decline was hidden; I want to know if the decline was actually there, or if the whole production was smoke and mirrors. I want to see detailed analysis of the methods used to calculate the figures, because ultimately I couldn’t care less how rude, arrogant, and unscientific CRU have been if it turns out that their conclusions are correct anyhow.
Not only is that what I want to see – although it does sound a bit like I’m demanding you work faster, which isn’t my intention – but the fact that we’re not seeing it is starting to suggest that you guys can’t find anything. Am I just drastically underestimating the difficulties involved in the statistical-analysis analysis?
Steve: There has been extensive analysis of errors and problems in the proxy analyses over the past few years. I suggest that you re-read those. The emails show that some scientists in private conceded merit to some of these arguments that they weren’t willing to concede in public. As to whether the decline in proxy density was “actually there” – I’m not in a position to re-do peior sampling programs nor is this how I wish to spend my time. Their own data shows the decline. The “statistical error” was not showing the decline. This was pointed out at CA previously and again in the present context.
It seems to me that Steve has been doing just that (demonstrating the statistical errors in the CRU work) and doing it very effectively over a period of years. These e-mails demonstrate very clearly the “Team’s” worries about this situation and their efforts to block his analyses.
“I want to know if the decline was actually there, or if the whole production was smoke and mirrors. ”
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” – anonymous
This is probably not the site for you if you want talking point answers backed by some kind of authority who has done your thinking for you. My opinion is that the Hockey Stick is sawdust now, and the emails make it pretty clear that “The Team” knew this at the time. In fact, one of the funniest things about the emails is that they show there was a “Hockey Team” except it was a little unbalanced, being composed of left wingers and slow defensemen and a goalie who counted on the goal judge not to switch on the red light when the puck crossed the line.
Dave, bear in mind that a lot of what is happening now, due to the emails, is that the media is starting to catch up on issues long known here at CA. When David Rose interviewed me for the Mail story, most of what I did was point him to pages at CA, such as the ones explaining the Briffa deletion, which were first posted back in 2007. When Jonathan Leake of the Times interviewed me on the CRU deletion of pre-1980 data, I pointed him to pages posted at CA last summer. Over and over (having done at least a dozen interviews with UK journalists now) I am hearing their astonishment that these things were already known but never hit the press.
As for analysing the great swag of computer and data files, bear in mind that people have day jobs, and for me at least, this would have been a very busy month even without climategate. There aren’t a lot of people who can look at the files and understand what they’re about. But eventually everything will be scrutinised.
I am fairly new to this debate also. Although I do predate the climategate emails by about 6 months. I recommend you read ohio.pdf, this is a presentation Steve gave at OSU. It explains the problem with the hockey stick graphs. This can lead to other reading on other topics or you can decide for yourself how much the hockey stick issue, by itself, damages the scientific case. The emails did nothing to change the science around the issue -
snip – bridge too far
Dave, as “Strata, and Counting Cats, etc” say, as the code is put on to the open web, it will have the most rigourous analylsis possible.
Just have patience.
Can you just have a bit more patience please? Rome wasn’t built in a day as the saying goes. Steve M has been slowly and meticulously dissecting the work of these people for several years now. He didn’t debunk Mann’s IPCC TAR post child in a couple of weeks.
It took a long time to get GISS to release their data and methods and we are only really seeing the fruits of that just now in the work that Willis E and others are doing ob the adjustments. There’s plenty of interesting auditing going on, just get off your touche and do some yourself like some of us are if you’re that impatient. Steve M has done more than his fair share.
Apologies, I seem to have given the wrong impression with my post – the perils of posting with the boss in the office :) Let me state outright that I’m not presuming to crack the whip, but it seems to me that in the month since the CRU leak, there has been a suspension of the hard scientific work that is CA’s great strength, in favour of tabloidesque schadenfreude. Maybe I’m just too harsh, in that I don’t feel these emails have shown us anything we didn’t already know, whereas some people are finally feeling vindicated now that Mann et al have been proven to be unscientific – frankly, I don’t think they needed to be caught confessing when the effects were so obvious. Anyway, that’s by-the-by: the point would be that CA’s strength has been generally being a stats-only blog, but there doesn’t seem to have been any of that sort of thing for the past month.
Perhaps I’ve misunderstood what data has been leaked here along with the emails, but I was expecting Steve to now be saying something along the lines of “You know all those statistical points we made regarding the methodology? Well, we were right and this shows it” with loads more stats posts that I barely understand…
For example, the final paragraph of http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/11/is-yamal-homogeneous-an-esper-style-answer/ says: “It appears that the age-ring width plots in Briffa’s online article do not show actual average ring widths but adjusted average ring widths- the adjustments might be based on the algorithm described in Melvin and Briffa 2008, but this is just a guess.”
I was hoping that Steve would now be able to follow-up to those sort of posts and say something like “The guess/assumption/dichotomy was correct” for some decent proportion of his past work.
Actually, you’re still giving the impression of someone who is impatient.
But here I am myself guilty of going OT.
Didn’t say I wasn’t impatient :)
I think I might be making a mistake in thinking that the recent newsy posts have been taking up a significant amount of time that might otherwise have been used for something more, umn, mathsy. In fact, thinking about it, they’re not going to take as much of Steve’s time as a statistical analysis, even if the comments take as long to read – the posts must be more as-well-as than instead-of.
I did hear a suggestion that Steve’s not superman, but that’s clearly an unjustified ad hominem attack instigated by the CRU :)
It s good to see that you have been following some of Steve’s threads in some detail. I apologise for having a go at you just before. I can sympathise with you impatience. I suspect if we are prepared to admit it, we are all a little impatient to see this stuff dealt with? But, it takes a great deal of time and effort to get to the bottom of what has been going on. Ther are still some like Eric Steig who link we should just ‘move on as there is nothing to see here’.
Well sorry Eric but we’d just like to have a look ourselves just on the off chance that there might be something to see here. After all if Steve and Ross hadn’t been of an inquisitive nature and Michael Mann hadn’t just told them what Eric Steig has just told me to do on a different web site, then most likely we’d have never found out that Mann’s claim that the warming trend towards the latter part of the 20th century is ‘unprecedented in the last thousand years’ was not robust. Steve would have been able to do other things in his spare time and perhaps by now he could have been a World squash doubles champion. Fortunately world squash’s loss was our gain. So thanks Eric and Michael but no thanks. We’ll move on when we are good and ready because as far as we are cooncerned there is still plenty to see here.
Steve: There were levels and levels of squash players better than me.
What is the official NYT/WP/AP rebuttal to these new allegations made by the Daily Mail?
Rebuttal? I can’t imagine how you rebut plain facts. Discredit the compainants, McIntyre, Pielke, Stott, and even Briffa? Good luck.
I strongly recommend that everyone reads the Daily Mail article linked by Steve at the top. Among other things, it is an excellent exposition of the ‘trick’.
While reading it the only thing I could think of to say was: “Wow!”
Largely due to the dogged persistence of Steve et al, many of us have known about this for several years. Unfortunately the media simply looked the other way. But it seems that Climategate has changed all that. Now, at long last, there is a chance that the truth will emerge into the public consciousness. If it does the consequences will be vast. Whoever it was, whether a hacker or a whistle blower at CRU, the person responsible deserves the Nobel prize. As does Steve.
Getting the Daily Mail [or to give it the correct title Mail on Sunday] to run this is massive.
It is the biggest selling Sunday paper after the scandal sheet News of the World with over 2m copies sold.
It has an overwhelmingly conservative/middle-class readership and is a very influential gauge/driver of opinion for their readers.
If the Conservative Party get into power in the UK [and it looks likely] – the Mail’s readers will have a big say in how they act on AGW.
Congratulations Steve – huge stride forward in only 3 weeks, who’d have believed it was possible.
Not to pile on, but I echo the congratulations.
The real challenge, though, folks, are the GCMs.
Too right bender,
But as you, I and many others know bender the gridded datasets are where the achilles heel of the GCMs lies. Their whole case for ‘we can’t explain the later 20th century unprecedented warming without CO2 forcing’ rests on their use of the gridded datasets for hindcasting (and empirical fitting of their parameter functions etc) to ensure their models are ‘spun up’ correctly ready for their positive feedback pre-determined outcomes of future dangerous/catastrophic man-caused global warming.
If there’s no take off curve at the end of their aircraft carrier’s runway then their jets are going to end up in the sea. One small step at a time as Steve M has always shown us bender. First the gridded datasets, then the GCMs.
A great piece of detective work deserves to be covered. Hats off to the Mail for this report.
Well, at least it’s read by wives!
A welcome spot of British humor.
“There has been extensive analysis of errors and problems in the proxy analyses over the past few years. I suggest that you re-read those.”
Steve, I’ve been on to you with the same question a few times here since the FOIA files have been released. I’ve been around CA the last 3 years and I’m aware of you and other CA people adressing these issues, BUT there has been a massive growth of new readers (you needed a new server not for nothing, right?) who have not followed the past threads and probably will not take the time to do that or even understand it in that way that they will know WHERE to look, as I believe most are layman, like me.
It would be nice if you, or in case you don’t have the time or mood for that, another CA member (or maybe bishop hill?) could make an abbreviated overview of discussed issues in the past on CA and the revealed emails and code sources, preferably also understandable for laymen.
This battle can only be won if the media and public are convinced of the machinations of the AGW cabal and both are NOT (climate) scientists. Probably you don’t like PR activities, but I’m afraid it’s inevitable if you want more than just discussing cliamte issues on a blog.
Otherwise the Daily Mail article is a BIG victory for you and I can’t imagine this would have happened in a major UK paper 2 months ago. But this is only one victory, there’s still many battles to go.
Couple more links to detailed reporting on AGW from The Spectator.
In the context of explaining any of these scientific issues to the general public, it has to be as simple as the article here. The vast majority of people will see a graph, and think ‘seen it before’, then switch off. It is going to be very difficult to gain the attention of anyone who doesn’t understand science – one step at a time. Once they suspect there may be a problem, then they will invest more time in understanding.
I’ve posted a fairly lengthy comment on the relevant Daily Mail article – twice, but strangely there are only 24 comments, and it hasn’t been updated since the early hours of the morning.
Any Daily Mail article ( and any Daily Telegraph article, for that matter)on climate change always attracts a plethora of comments, most of which debunk the AGW nonsense. I hope the DM are not deliberately “losing” comments…
I am just one of these simpleminded engineering types and I do understand that this site deals with the analysis of data.
But when I see temperatures expressed in tenth of a degrees from proxy data I dismiss it as noise. I have looked at how tree ring data is supposed to relate to temperature and say that in my judgement it is not good enough for first order approximation. I have looked at how oxygen isotope ratios relate to temperature data and say that it may in some cases be good enough for first order approximation. To use such techniques of measurements and construct from them a cast iron climate history is what? Preposterous? Naïve? Ignorant? But then to base public policy on such reconstruction is …well decide for yourselves.
I tend to agree with you….tenth’s of a degree is wishful thinking…
This Daily Mail article indicates that NASA’s David Rind, if he is indeed the “DR” mentioned by Mike Mann — see http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/12/mann-lets-enjoy-the-media-fiesta/#comment-208738 — is “still misbehavin’”, by questioning whether today’s temperatures are the warmest in the past 1300 yrs.
It also solves the longstanding problem of what to call the current decade — the Noughties!
Aha, the DN comments have finally caught up all of a sudden – around 220 now.
I think the Daily Mail is off shift, your comment should be queued and released when the Monday shift starts.
Aside from “the decline” in Briffa, there should also be focus on the reconstructions of Mann and Jones for which UEA’s graphs, in its November 24 statement (“95% data available”) (see: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/…..CRUupdate) apparently show no positive anomalies for the modern period. UEA’s publication is slightly more than two and one-half years after your similar findings in May, 2007 (see “The Maestro is in da House”: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1553). That focus also should reach the MSM, and published liberally.
I have been fascinated by the discussion here about the statistics of the proxy data, and how it can and can’t be used correctly. I still have some remaining questions, and I have been unable to find them addressed here (but perhaps they have been, and I’m just missing it).
1) All of the problems being pointed out are with tree ring proxies. What do the ice cores say about these issues (like the MWP, recent temperature record, etc…)? I usually see them in the context of 100,000 year time scales, but surely they have resolution at least on the scale of decades.
2) The common Team response about the MWP is that it is just a northern hemisphere issue, and not global. Are the southern hemisphere tree ring proxy data sets? Certainly there are Antarctic ice core data sets.
If you’ve covered this a million times, I apologize, but a link to the relevant blog posts/data sets/computer code would help me out a lot!
Ref your 2), this is probably a good place to start :
For the non-Brits here – the Daily Mail and its readers are and have been patronised by the Guardian readers and journos, by the chattering classes in London, and by the Labour politicians as too disgustingly right-wing to be taken seriously.
Readers of the Daily Mail are the normal, everyday people who work their socks off, pay taxes and have got the measure of the politicians who spend their money.
This report will not just reach a far wider audience than the Guardian ever can – its implications will not be lost on Mail readers, and any politician and journo ought to beware of patronising them – especially with a General Election in the UK in the not too distant future.
You appear to be 70-odd years out of date …
Agh. Orphan refers to comment 208801.
So Steve, tell me, how do you feel now that all your efforts have culminated in death threats to climate scientists? Make you and the minions who follow you here feel all warm inside does it?
Steve: I always urge people to be polite. I ask people not to be angry, to avoid venting and piling on. Such behaviour, if true, is the total antithesis of what I believe in.
Data, please. Where have there been death threats to climate scientists ?
Jim, it’s unfortunate that some of my colleagues have received distressing and abusive emails but I don’t think, in all honesty, you can blame this on Steve. Steve did not write the emails and collate the files, neither did he leak them.
snip – as I said elsewhere, I had nothing to do with the making of the zipfile and first learned of it from moderators of Anthony’s blog.
Jim, as far as I’m aware there has been no conclusion to the police investigation as to whether or not the emails were leaked or hacked and await the results of the investigation with great interest. You seem to have evidence that might be of interst to the police and suggest you forward it to them. Now to your point about accusations of fraud. Steve did a thorough analysis of the statistical procedures used in MBH 98 and 99 and came to the conclusion that the methods were both non-standard and not robust. A view supported by the Wegman and North comittees. There was no allegation of fraud. This is robust scientific debate.
Steve has no need to make any statement.
It is regrettable that abusive emails have been sent, including I understand death threats, but your attempts at pinning this on Steve are highly misguided.
Maybe it was confirmation bias Jim! Seriously, every computer expert I’ve talked to about this, rates the probabilities as leak > cock-up > hack. As for RC well even I can see a delicious irony in the file being posted at RC. But in all seriousness this debate is a diversion from the issue of content.
I’ve read the Yamal debate and don’t remember Steve ever accusing Keith of fraud.
Steve: In Briffa’s online response, he clearly stated that I had made no allegation of inappropriate conduct. Indeed, his response did not actually disagree with any of the criticisms of the existing data set; his defence was that they could “get” a similar result with a different data set -one which will take a little time to examine. Briffa’s defence was far more guarded than that of his supporters.
Link didn’t appear.
Well jim I’ve never seen a death threat email produced. I asked lorax to produce his complete with headers. what I DO KNOW is that Ben Santer would like to take CA readers into a dark alley cause I saw that mail.
So Jim, what have you to say about that? I mean lets talk about mails that are actually on the record. Oh, by the way, I get death threats all the time from RC readers. Sorry, you’ll have to FOIA them to get confirmation. But my friends read them, so they are peer reviewed.
I asked whether you (i) submitted an FOI for CRU emails, and (2) whether you know who the hacker was?
Steve: (1) no – my FOI was for station data; (2) no. I’ve said this previously.
Here you go fFreddy:
“They are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against,” Tom Wigley.
Steve: As I said before, I ask readers to be polite and not to be angry. It is profoundly disappointing that anyone would engage in such behavior.
Excellent reply to Jim…there is no point in getting angry and venting as tempting as it might be…
Steve: enough of this. I disapprove of these actions. I’ve said so on three occasions now.
JImBouldin: How do you know these are not bogus, send-up death threats? That some AGW fanatic sent them so that he could use reports of them to discredit someone like Steve– just like you have?
The short answer is you don’t know.
There are nuts on both sides of this issue. My experience suggests the really crazy ones are environmental fanatics. You know, the people who burn down houses and spike trees.
…said Wigley. “Accusations of data distortion or faking are baseless.”
OK, so explain the changes to the Briffa data.
I take it Wigley has contacted the police, besides using this as a PR diversion.
snip – policy and editorializing
There appears to be one aspect of “hide the decline” that has not been addressed. There have been several statements made in CA and other places that the decline in Briffa’s tree ring densities from 1961 forward only indicated that the reconstructed past temperatures were too high. The other possibility is that the “instrument temperatures” were too high. If the several “adjustments” to the instrument temperature measurements created artificially high temperatures, then it could mean that the tree densities correctly reflected dropping air temperatures from 1961 to 1990.
“There appears to be one aspect of “hide the decline” that has not been addressed. There have been several statements made in CA and other places that the decline in Briffa’s tree ring densities from 1961 forward only indicated that the reconstructed past temperatures were too high. The other possibility is that the “instrument temperatures” were too high.”
Another possibility is that the proxies utilized really don’t have much to do with temperature, and only appeared to during a certain time period because of the way they were selected. We already know that some proxies are more/most strongly associated with precipitation, wind direction, relative temperature between two points, etc.
Some of this has been round-about acknowledged by the “teleconnections” explanation of why some of the proxies are similar to the prescribed hockey stick after smoothing, but in detail bear little resemblance to local temperature records.
Having read the article in the Mail what struck me more was to where the green line ended but where it started. It does not appear to have started until 1400 hence missing the MWP.
Well spotted Solomon Green,
Now go read the CRU emails and you’ll find out why.
The curve is cut – but it is also modified?
It looks like there is added a little tiny bend to the curve also. I have downloaded the figure from IPCC 2001 documentation. And there is a tiny bend. Have someone also done a little pixel doctoring to make the green Briffa curve to be on the point of turning upwards like the other curves?
In that case it’s worse than we thought. Who can investigate this and how? Bender?
You’re right. It’s bit hard to compare the graphs because the scales are different. On the right-hand graph (the “real” data from Briffa) there is a shoulder around 1900, a peak around 1940 and then the decline to around 1980, which is where the minimum is, then an increase. So the time between the shoulder and the peak is about the same as the time between the peak and the minimum. On the modified graph on the left (green line) the time between the shoulder and the peak is about two divisions on the time scale so the minimum should be about two divisions after the peak. But it appears to be less than (or about) one division after the peak. So the little rise at the end (suggesting that if only we had more funding we could have followed this all the way up) is manufactured.
On the temperature scale, from the Briffa data the difference between the shoulder and the peak is about the same as the difference between the minimum and the shoulder (about 0.2C), with the minimum below the shoulder. In the graph on the left the minimum is much higher than the shoulder. So, clearly more evidence that it is manufactured.
As for motive, the green line on the right continues to decline at the time the curve was truncated and since it is clear of the other lines, the truncation point would be in clear view. So what they have done is simply tucked the truncation point out of view behind the red and pink lines.
I can’t see how this could have happened by accident.
Iain Dale, one of the top UK political bloggers, reproduces what appears to be the entire Mail story.
He also has an earlier post with a question about the hockey stick.
Usually he just covers politics, politics, and… more politics.
If the Daily Mail features such a story then you know climate skepticism has gone mainstream.
not sure if this the correct thread for this comment, but seems to me that Briffa tried to keep things scientific/fact based but the agenda of others railroaded his concerns.
I think I can understand the pressure he was/is under & if anyone comes out of this debacle with any credibility I think it’s him, even with the stonewalling (what would you do to save the world when all your friends/peers are demanding you agree with their conclusions), maybe we cut him some slack now we know the history.
I am honoured by the kind comments on my article. For the record: without Steve’s brilliant work and this magnificent website, it could not have been written. May I also pay tribute to Ross McKitrick, who gave me several hours of his time on Thursday and helped clarify the issues in my mind.
I am not a scientist, but an open minded investigative journalist. I have not written on climate before. For the record, the article appeared in the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail’s Sunday stablemate. It sells well in excess of 2 million copies a week. I hope to return to this subject in future.
Mr Rose, may I add my congratulations. I really hope you re able to return to this subject, because there is an incredibly rich seam of news which is not being properly covered anywhere else in the major media. Even Booker in the Telegraph is only able to dabble in the subject: I have never noticed him go into your level of detail.
That was a clear and well written summary of the case. Thank you for bringing this scandalous manipulation of data to the attention of the public. You can now expect to be pilloried in other media outlets for the foreseeable future but please keep your resolve because the inadequacies in the climate change data will eventually be exposed.
Mr Rose, Mr Delingpole has uncovered more interesting links with the assistance of a reader – worth a read.
It is remarkable to read David Rose’s comment that he has not written about climate before. Bearing this in mind, plus the fact that the Mail is a tabloid paper, the quality and accuracy of this article are astonishingly high.
Steve, what are your views on what Jeff Alberts calls “the debunked hockey stick in all its incarnations?” Putting aside all this “hide the decline” stuff – there are many other independent reconstructions, and they appear to all support the same conclusions. It would be entirely reasonable to carry on criticising Briffa et al, but many of your commenters seem to take this as evidence that there are no other reconstructions showing the same trends – there are. It would be very useful to know: does the fact that you concentrate on one small set of these reconstructions mean that you believe the others to be valid? If that’s the case, it would be nice to hear it. Apologies if you’ve already answered this question, I can’t find it anywhere.
Steve: there are many posts on other hockey sticks. The “Categories” in the left frame is helpful for locating comments on particular studies.
“here are many other independent reconstructions”
Please name us a few. They must independently show that the modern era is warmer than it has been in a thousand years, just like the “hockey stick”. They must not be by Phil Jones, Briffa, or Mann or be based on their work.
Remember, all it takes to prove a negative is *one* counterexample so this should be easy pickings for you. Good luck.
“there are many other independent reconstructions, and they appear to all support the same conclusions”
Two rather strong points on this IMHO are 1) the posting of graphs of all of the proxies from Mann’s 1998/99 paper, where it is quite obvious how few of the proxies are responsible for the shape of the graph, and 2) another graph showing how many of the “independent” IPCC cited studies used the same proxies once Mann had unearthed them.
See the whole thing, but especially pages 10 and 16-18.
There are many more relevant posts on this site as well, including some identifying that there is quite a bit of unexplained selection of proxies – which doesn’t make them wrong, but shows how the selection of this dataset vs. that one affects the results, and thus needing explanation.
I did say that the article was very good and fair reporting, and kudos to the reporter. All I am saying is that it is too easy for many people to dismiss what the Daily Mail says based on its editorial slant. It is unfortunate that the issue has gotten so politicized that facts get dismissed as opinion, and opinion gets reported as fact.
NYTime opinionator blog also linked directly to it. Though he couldn’t bring himself to summarize it, it was clear from his blog post that he had read Steve’s page.
According to Tony Blair, it doesnt matter that the science isnt correct;
Well the, that nails it. Why should we act then?
From NYT article on the Hockeystick
One of the things that Irks me about such statistical graphing is the notation of “ZERO”, or the baseline. How on Earth, pardon the pun, can a global average over multiple centuries be assigned a baseline of Zero, when 90% (or more) of the datapoints are below zero? To me it is just another example of manipulating the visual impact of the Hockeystick. Just another piece of evidence pointing toward politicizing the issues and distorting the data for the lay public to consume.
snip – please do not bother with this
“If the Daily Mail features such a story then you know climate skepticism has gone mainstream.”
The Daily Mail is a conservative newspaper so I wouldn’t quite say that. I’m in Australia where the media coverage is just awful.
The debates on CNN, etc., and the British press? I guarantee you there’s been no comparable coverage on national TV here. Some of the smaller radio shows, sure.
But the Daily Mail has a wide readership and it is an excellent start. Other news organizations will have to address it, eventually.
Factcheck.org’s coverup attempt on “hide the decline.” They should change their name to “handwaving.org”
Norway’s biggest online business website E24 just published this story, under the headline “This is how the researchers fudged the climate data”. The journalist relies heavily on the Daily Mail article, and writes that the Daily mail article in turn relied on Steve’s work.
My hope is that the large newspapers will follow suit — they have been largely silent on Climategate thus far.
It’s a good presentation on the graph. Very simple and understandable.
[...] CA post on this is here. [...]
[...] Of course, reviews of the released materials have made it clear that it was another, more alarming decline that had to be hidden. This has already been extensively reported, complete with color graphics worth the proverbial thousand words by British news organizations. [...]
[...] after ClimateAudit covered his article, Rose explained how it all came about: I am honoured by the kind comments on my article. For the record: without [...]
[...] As journalists explored these issues, they began to see an erosion of objectivity between the scientific conclusions, with their inherent uncertainty, and the “consensus” that simplified things for the policy-makers. For example, The Daily Telegraph produced a beautiful graphic showing what “hide the decline” was about. [...]
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