Mann’s WaPo Editorial

Climategate correspondent Michael Mann has published an editorial in the Washington Post.

As a CA reader observed in another thread, the more interesting aspect of the editorial is the overwhelming opposition to Mann’s editorial in the comment thread. Readers were not distracted by Mann’s efforts to deflect attention to Sarah Palin.

Mann’s editorial commences in Nixonian style:

I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university.

Readers were quick to observe the inconsistency with Mann’s response to Phil Jones’ request to delete emails (see Climategate here).

Two days after CRU received an FOI request for AR4 comments sent to Briffa that had not been included in the IPCC archive of Review Comments (IPCC procedures adopted by its member governments require it to be “open and transparent” and to archive all review comments for 5 years), Phil Jones sent Mann an email headed “IPCC & FOI” asking him to delete any emails that he may have had with Briffa regarding AR4 and to contact Gene [Wahl, then at Alfred University, currently of NCAR] to do likewise, saying that they would contact Caspar [Ammann of NCAR] to delete his emails.

Jones:

Subject: Re: IPCC & FOI

Mike,
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

… [unrelated]..
Cheers
Phil

Instead of replying in forceful terms that he did not “condone” such a request and urging other parties not to do so as well, Mann immediately replied to Jones that he would “contact Gene [Wahl] about this ASAP”.

Hi Phil,

[... unrelated]

I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP. His new email is: generwahl@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

talk to you later,

mike

Mann says about this:

Some statements in the stolen e-mails reflect poor judgment — for example, a colleague referring to deleting e-mails that might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request — but there is no evidence that this happened.

This is, of course, untrue. Evidence of deletion of emails that might be subject to a FOI rquest is in a later email, in which Jones says

About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little – if anything at all.

In addition, while the Climategate emails are extensive and still being assimilated, they are by no means complete. In many cases, the curtain goes up for a day or two and we don’t see the end of the story. Investigations at the University of East Anglia and Penn State have been authorized.


224 Comments

  1. Jeremy
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Wow, he actually “went there” with Sarah Palin. Is he coming out of the closet as a politician now? Scientists generally argue with facts and trains of logic, Mann seems to be using buzzwords and dropping names to influence his readers.

    Sounds like he actually has the skillset needed to hide a decline.

  2. debreuil
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that comment sections in pretty much all media are (surprisingly) overwhelmingly skeptical — even in publications that are purely AGW proponents.

    Also there is a distinct lack of recent polls. Then tend to say ‘support is eroding’ and mention an old pre-climategate poll. I suspect if a fair question was asked today, like, “do you believe climate science has been compromised by politics”, you’d get a pretty dramatic result.

    People are smarter than people give them credit for.

    • Charly
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      In fact people seem to be smarter than than their leaders as seen from the comments to Mann’s article and the Copenhagen snafu of yesterday.

    • JBean
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

      snip – policy

    • snowmaneasy
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

      Re:Comment sections in the MSM…you are absolutely right…it does seem to run right throught the MSM….it is a strange phenomena…it is as if all the supporters have suddenly dissappeared…paradigm shift I would say

      • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

        This has been coming on awhile. Perhaps heightened by growing awareness of attempts at censorship in BBC etc.

        The comments in response to Mann here are some of the best, clearest, adequately informed, and consistently not AGW, that I’ve seen. And with allowance for reasonable anger at Mann, pretty clean, perhaps the moderator didn’t spot the one pooper I saw.

        Steve: please notify me of offending comments.

      • Philip Thomas
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

        The AGWs are still there but they really don’t know what to say. It is the written equivalent of one side just standing there with their mouths open.

  3. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    policy

  4. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    snip: calm down…

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

      oh my. not sure what i said that was over the line. but, here’s the GOOD part that is surely acceptable… Thanks to you and Anthony Watt for all the good work you do. Please keep it up! :-)

  5. mitch
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    there seems to be a lack of support for such behaviors among professionals who have to meet objectively measured standards of performance in their work lives, which should be just about everyone who pays taxes.

    currently mr. mann is under investigation by Penn State for academic misconduct.

    the investigation is headed by dr. Eva Pell

    http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2009/12/09/psu_panel_to_review_all_climat.aspx

    her contact info:

    http://www.fred.psu.edu/ds/retrieve/fred/investigator/ejp

    please be polite.

  6. Pascvaks
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    venting and piling on

  7. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    It’s amazing that the media continues to give them a pass on these things. In another thread, someone commented that you need to know the science to put these emails into context. They claimed to have 5 reporters pouring tirelessly over these emails, yet found little or nothing.

    It’s right there, please delete your emails so they don’t get discovered, we shouldn’t have to reveal IPCC related emails, I deleted loads of them. Yet Michael Mann get’s a free pass to write his own propaganda on the Washington post.

    The comments were completely brutal though. It heartens me to realize that basically nobody’s buyin’ the bait and switch storyline.

    If I were Mann’s lawyer, I’d tell him to stop talking about it. Same goes for RC, they put up a thread claiming none other than Ben Santer, has an independent view of the situation. One thing’s for sure, there probably weren’t any emails before Santer wrote his opinion.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

      If I were Mann’s lawyer, I’d tell him to stop talking about it. Same goes for RC, they put up a thread claiming none other than Ben Santer, has an independent view of the situation.

      Which puzzles me, since RC is affiliated with a professional PR firm. You would think that they’d be thinking the strategy through a bit more carefully.

      I think that a huge part of their problem, as I mused above, is that they don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing.

      • bananabender
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

        Remember Saddam Hussein was defiant until the very end. It is called self-delusion.

  8. P Gosselin
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    The guy is living a lie. Classic denial.
    His behaviour parallels that of many in the history books.

  9. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    One of my favorite opinion writers that speaks eloquently on many issues… Dr. Zero

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/12/07/the-first-sign-of-corruption/

  10. P Gosselin
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    snip
    Fox News I heard is doing a Sunday evening special on the topic. In Europe it’s -10°C and Washington is getting pummeled by a blizzard. When are these politicians going to wake up?

    • Arn Riewe
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

      Steve commented a couple of weeks ago that he had spent a couple of hours being interviewed by Fox for a documentary. I’ve got to imagine he’s a big part of this program. Steve – Can you confirm?

      Steve:
      I was interviewed and expect to be mentioned in a segment of the program.

  11. Paul Oksnee
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    snip – language

  12. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP.

    Steve, “ASAP” is simply working scientists way of saying “Ain’t Sayin’ Ah(I) ‘Prove(approve)”. So there’s nothing to see here, let’s move along. And it was taken out of context.

  13. Dr. Ross Taylor
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    As an ex-fraud defence lawyer and now an academic in an unrelated discipline, it is quite clear to me that there is some legal advice behind Mann’s article. Under the guise of supporting Copenhagen and attacking critics of AGW, he is in fact deliberately distancing himself from the tight cabal of which he was obviously a key member. Standard defence tactics, and very obvious when you are familiar with them. However, this kind of tactic can often very easily backfire, as everyone ends up attacking everyone else. Therefore what he has been advised to do is to distance himself, without a direct attack. As Steve’s careful and brilliant analysis shows, there is only so far you can go with this kind of tactic, when the facts are against you. If the comment reaction to the article is analogous to a jury’s reaction to this tactic, this demonstrates my point.

    • P Gosselin
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

      I don’t see how distancing oneself AFTER the infraction occured can help. Either you’re an accomplice, or you’re not.
      The e-mails are quite clear in showing his deep involvement.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

        But presumably these emails can not be used in a court case .. until copies are obtained through legal means.

        • Raven
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

          It depends on which country’s courts hear the case.
          I also have heard that illegally obtained evidence is admissable as long as the prosecutor/police were not complicit.

        • Jon
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

          Bender: that depends on what you mean by ‘these emails’ and what legal domain you have in mind… In the USA: The defense would surely make a “best evidence rule objection.” Which is that the Prosecution should submit into a evidence a set of emails with a clearer chain of custody–i.e., the prosecution must subpoena the archive’s contents anew from the University.

          However, the existing leaked emails would suffice if the Uni subsequently destroyed the records in question and the archive was in fact the best copy of the evidence remaining.

          Second, the leaked emails can be used to establish the necessary cause to support a subpoena and/or initial indictment.

          In the US the exclusionary-rule is only meant to discourage police misconduct. It is not mean to protect defendants against evidence obtained by other means even if those means are illegal.

        • JBean
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

          Correct. These emails would be admissible in the US. None of the principals have denied their validity, and how they were obtained is not relevant in a court proceeding, as long as the chain of custody is valid.

          I doubt it will come to that though. I think Mann is doing his best to set Jones up to be the fall guy, although, IMO, Mann is clearly the enforcer, the Godfather, and he who must be obeyed, all emails considered.

        • HankHenry
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

          The really important court matter is the Petition for Review of the EPA endangerment finding. It’s a funny situation. Many of the questionable statements pertaining to the science are by people who aren’t U.S. citizens. So how do you call people to court to be questioned under oath if they are unavailable overseas? One of the pitfalls of the EPA relying so much on the IPCC.

        • MrPete
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

          If the emails were accidentally made public by an insider, I suspect their use would be legal.

          If the emails were purposely made public by an insider, I suspect their use would be legal.

          More important: in the legal grind, “discovery” is everything. And much of this material is fully discoverable AFAIK. Sent and/or received on Company time by Company employees. Not private.

          I’ve been close to discovery processes. If the Good Guys know what to look for, the Bad Guys have a hard time keeping secrets.

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:00 AM | Permalink

      To me, it’s like trying to put a bomb back together again after its gone off. Mann has been eloquent in the extreme about what hes been doing to other scientists’ careers, and I doubt very much that they are likely to forget it.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

        The arrow of time points one way. Let the entropy take over.

  14. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I’ll repeat the pun from the other thread:

    This should be no surprise, since Mann’s specialty is Palinoclimatology.

  15. bender
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    For the record, Palin (if quoted correctly by Mann) did get the context of “hiding the decline” wrong. She thought it was in reference to actual temperatures ca. 1998-2008, not proxy-reconstructed temperatures ca. 1960-1990. I told you that caption in that Daily Mail article could mislead some.
    .
    Next time, she should get her information straight from CA.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

      I dare say that over 90% of the political commentators drew that specious conclusion. If you’re not scientifically and mathematically inclined, I don’t know if following CA would have helped. It took several weeks before some pieces finally started coming out aimed at the general public explaining exactly what it did mean.

      You’re familiar with it, so it’s obvious to you what it means. It’s easy to forget just how involved this really is, and how not obvious it is that it is what it is.

      Agreed that assuming is a bad idea, but she’s by no means the only one who drew that conclusion. There’s a lesson here in how difficult it is in communicating some of this stuff to the public.

      And she did seem to avoid the other reaction that many politicos had – that this invalidates all of AGW.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

        Against all odds, the Daily Mail got the entire story correct. Only the caption on their graphic was misleading. It’s not that hard to get the straight facts.
        .
        If you’re a political aide and you’re racking your brains to understand something on paleoclimatology, come to CA and ask. If it is a question about the surface record, ask WUWT. If it’s a question about the GCMs, ask Dan Hughes. Then shop around and compare what you hear to what you read in the blogosphere at large. Post your questions at both RC and CA and compare what you get.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

        For those who missed it the first time, this is the best layman’s explanation of “the trick” used to “hide the decline”:

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/12/daily-mail-special-investigation/

        Compliments to Governor Palin.

      • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

        Calvin, I’m about as non-mathematically inclined as one can get. But I understand the problems outlined by Steve in the various reconstructions (the pretty pictures help a lot ;) )

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

          What I was getting at is that it isn’t so much an issue of mathematical sophistication as it is familiarity with all of the paleo studies and issues. I think there’s a substantial gap between where the people here are and where the politicians and journalists are.

          In fact, as an aside, it shouldn’t be surprising that most journalists and politicians consult Realclimate first – the information there is pre-chewed into spoon-sized bites. There really is no counterpart to them on the “skeptical” side in that sense. Anthony does stories, but nobody that I can think of chews it up like they do into soundbite-sized quotes suitable for quoting in either articles or speeches.

        • Rich Braud
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

          Unfortunately when you get to control the subject of the conversation you can do that. A websight speciffically designed to talk about Climate Gate is needed where the discussion can be controlled. Corruption and wrong doing the Media can understand, science they will never understand.

    • Raven
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

      This misconception in the media about what the decline is has really bugged me. The only consolation is the media incompentance has finally played out in the sceptics favour. For years, the same media incompentance has allowed Mann and the RC gang to get away with years of spin on the hockey stick. If the media was up to the job they would have exposed Briffa years ago and the CRU emails would be a non-event.

  16. David L. Hagen
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Mann claims:

    Briffa described a phenomenon in which the density of wood exhibits an enigmatic decline in response to temperature after about 1960. This decline was the focus of Briffa’s original article, and Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures after 1960. By saying “hide the decline,” Jones meant that a diagram he was producing was not to show those data during the unreliable post-1960 period.

    Have Jones or Briffa ever provided evidence that “those data were unreliable post-1960 period” that is any different from the pre-1960 period?
    Or was this “unreliable” in not supporting the IPCC’s global warming agenda, as discussed in: IPCC and the “Trick”?
    Is this “science” or “cherrypicking” ?

    Steve: They rely on an article by Cook (QSR) discussed here in 2006 at the time of the NAS panel. The Cook article is very flimsy though.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

      “Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures after 1960″
      .
      (1) Briffa has not the authority to do this unreported deletion.
      (2) If the negative responders (non-responders?) can’t be used post 1960, what justifies the post-1960 use of hyper-positive responders in Kaufman et al 2009, Mann et al 2008, etc.? This double standard is just another example of special pleading. Use them all or use none.

    • lithophysa1
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

      This special pleading by Mann just raises the question: If the tree-ring data were unreliable after 1960; what made them reliable proxies pre-1960?

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

        The topic is Mann and the WaPo article. Speculating any further on tree rings is OT for this thread. That topic is discussed in mnay other threads. Happy reading.

        • lithophysa1
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

          I’ve read them. What makes you think I haven’t? As the topic is Mann and the Wapo article, it would appear on topic to point out that Mann had not discussed divergent tree rings as reliable pre-proxies in the Wapo article.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

          “What makes you think I haven’t?”
          .
          Because you ask “what made them reliable pre 1960″ as though this were a new question. But if you’ve read the blog then you know that that question has been asked about 30 times already. So why bring it up, yet again? If you’ve read the blog you know that Steve doesn’t want all the threads looking alike. And if you’ve read the blog then that means this is a rhetorical question. I took it as a real question. If it’s a rhetorical question, then you’re basically dismsising a methodology using a one-line refutation. And if you’ve read the blog then you know what Steve thinks of that.
          .
          So you’ve read the blog. Then why go against so many of Steve’s guidelines?
          .
          Now maybe you understand my assumption?

  17. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    snip -piling on

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

      Huh?
      .
      I’ll try again. They used several tricks to hide the divergence between proxies (declining) and instrumental temperatures (rising). Palin got that fact wrong. Probably because many in the blogosphere also got it wrong.
      .
      But the issue here is why Mann would choose to pick on a visible Republican when he could instead respond to rational non-partisan arguments being presented here at CA. The obvious half-answer is that he has no rational response. But why chase down Palin and muddy that which we have painstakingly attempted to clarify?

      • JBean
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

        But the issue here is why Mann would choose to pick on a visible Republican when he could instead respond to rational non-partisan arguments being presented here at CA. The obvious half-answer is that he has no rational response. But why chase down Palin and muddy that which we have painstakingly attempted to clarify?

        I interpret his reference to Palin as a) an attempt to curry favor with supporters on the left, who hold Palin in contempt as a backwoods dunce; and b) a none-too subtle equating of AGW “deniers” with Palin. Palin has become a codeword for stupidity among the elite.

  18. frankbi
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    “Evidence of deletion of emails that might be subject to a FOI rquest”

    What do you mean by “might be subject to a FOI request”? An e-mail is either subject to a FOI request, or it’s not.

    Steve, do you have any evidence that any e-mails were deleted in the course of answering an FOI request?

    You don’t, hence the weasel words.

    bi

    Steve: The words “might be subject” are directly used in Mann’s editorial.

    • debreuil
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

      Maybe you missed it, but the title of the email was:

      “Subject: Re: IPCC & FOI”

      Maybe everyone’s taking that out of context though.

  19. Joe Crawford
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    In addition, while the Climategate emails are extensive and still being assimilated, they are by no means complete. In many cases, the curtain goes up for a day or two and we don’t see the end of the story.

    It’s a shame we only have one node of the team’s email network to analyze. With any luck the DOE’s “litigation hold notice” may expose a couple of more, but, I don’t place much hope in the Penn State investigation revealing their end of the network.

    • Rich Braud
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

      We only know what we know. We do not know if this is all the E-Mails from CRU it is the only E-Mails available from CRU. Would a complete dump of the servers bring more to light or would it actually help the CRU defense, unlikely but still possible. This is the danger when working on any incomplete set of data. This is also why all E-Mails, Data, etc. must be made available so that anyone and everyone can see for themselves.

  20. Dr. Ross Taylor
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    Frankbi, I appreciate your passionate defence, but can I offer you some obvious advice from someone probably longer in the tooth than you:

    (1) Be careful what you wish for…; and
    (2) In defence, never, ever, ask a question that you don’t know the answer to already.

    Seriously.

  21. Sean Inglis
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    I’m not taking the same tack as frankbi above, but I’d have to say that remark* doesn’t need to have anything to do the original request. I read it originally that he has *in any case* deleted a load of email and so, happily for him, the ethical question may not arise.

    This doesn’t alter the tenor of the exchange much – it’s still indefensible.

    * That remark being:

    “About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little – if anything at all.”

  22. Bob Connelly
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    I have always wondered how Dr. Mann became so influential. It looks like he got his phd in 1998 and immediately became a prominent authority on climate science. Many on the other climategate crowd have longer (and perhaps more impressive) scientific careers.

    Steve: It’s a good and interesting question. That he did his PhD under Bradley undoubtedly was a factor. But he was very junior to be doing an important assessment in 1999.

    • Raven
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

      The hockey stick was a propaganda coup for the IPCC. This brought media attention and funding which turned Mann into a celebrity scientist.

      If you thought the status of climate scientists was determined purely by the quality of their research you would be mistaken.

    • Greg F
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

      Until Steve nobody could make any sense of his hocky stick paper. Human nature being what it is, nobody wanted to look dumb for not understanding so nobody questioned it.

      From what I have been reading in the emails Mann used the IPCC’s modeling group need for paleo reconstructions to unite the dendro’s as they were in competition with other proxy’s. Briffa was surviving from grant to grant. In one email he says that if the grant doesn’t come through he will be unemployed. Initially there are some rather heated exchanges between Mann and the CRU group (mostly Briffa). Mann makes the point that they need to present a united front to remain relevant to the process. Mann’s influence becomes prominent not because he is a good scientist but because he is a better politician.

      • Greg F
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

        To add to my previous comment an exerpt from email 0906042912
        Mann writes:

        The modeling community leaders are probably about as skeptical about our paleo-reconstructions as we are of their sulphate aerosol parameterizations, flux corrections (or more worrying, supposed lack thereof in some cases!), and handling of the oh-so-important tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere interface…

        So my personal philosophy is that more than one side here can benefit from extending the olive branch, and there are a few individuals in the modeling community who could benefit from slowing down on the stone throwing from their fragile glass tower :)

        More to the point, though, I strongly believe the paleo community needs to present an honest but unified front regarding what we all agree we can definitely, probably, and simply not yet say about the climate of the past several centuries, and plan strategies that will allow us all to work towards improved reconstructions without stepping on each others toes. There’s a challenge there, but one I’m sure we can all rise to. I am grateful to Peck for realizing that the time is ripe for a workshop in which we all strategize as a group towards these ends.

        • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

          I am grateful to Peck for realizing that the time is ripe for a workshop in which we all strategize as a group towards these ends.

          I think there is a watershed here. Workshops run with the kind of awareness Mann is talking about

          honest but unified

          can be a huge bonding influence, which could later allow Mann or whoever to push the edges of what is ethical more and more, without other participants feeling they could, or even should, drop out let alone protest.

          The rather iffy organization Common Purpose seems to use such techniques here.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

        “Until Steve nobody could make any sense of his hocky stick paper”.
        .
        That’s not true at all. Through 2003 everybody thought MBH98 “made sense”, and the way they (we?) “made sense” of it was by assuming that the methods (opaque as they were) were correct. No one imagined how wrong they could be. A failure of the imagination + confirmation bias + trust without verification.
        .
        When the paper stopped “making sense” was precisely when Steve started pulling at the threads in 2003. And it wasn’t until the Senate Committee hearings in 2005 that there was a firm enough basis to make a new “sense” of it. MBH98 now makes sense.
        .
        I admire Steve’s tenacity, but it was a long process to make sense of MBH98. We STILL don’t know how the MBH99 confidence intervals were calculated. That STILL does not “make sense”. Despite Steve, despite Jean S, despite UC.
        .
        Now, how about “the” hockey stick paper Mann et al 2008? Does it make sense? Not yet. His needles-in-your-eyes code is “available” (unlike MBH98). Still, it makes no sense.
        .
        It is just not that easy to make sense of Mann’s work. The opacity is stultifying. There’s too many sticks to shake a stick at.

        • Greg F
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

          Bender,

          I could have phrased it better. I meant “made sense” in respect to understanding the methodology, which nobody did or could due to the opacity of the paper. That is where human nature (pride) enters. People are reluctant to admit they don’t understand something for fear of looking dumb. A case of the emperor has no clothes.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

          “understanding the methodology, which nobody did or could”
          .
          My point is that there is no record of anyone even trying. The community put that much faith in the guy’s methods.

        • Paul Linsay
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

          snip – OT and different issues

        • Alan S. Blue
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

          It wasn’t that it made sense to “everybody” bender. Just that a large chunk of the knowledge was localized – not globalized.

          In talking over MWP with a professor of history (post-1998, pre-2003), one would get “Yes, well, there was an undeniable amount of warming in my bailiwick, but I can’t comment about the rest of the world.”

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

      How do you connect Mann to Hansen?
      .
      If I were a conpsiracy theorist I would start with Overpeck and the supposed email to Deeming et al in 1995.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

        … and Wigley.

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

          Tim Ball seems to think that Wigley is a lot more involved that meets the eye. And Tim would be in a position to know. Before this broke, I’d never heard of him.

        • JEM
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

          Well, if Wigley headed CRU at the time of the facility move during which records were supposedly destroyed, one might reasonably expect Dr Jones to give him the old J’accuse if things get squirmy.

          Mann’s going down the Hansen road which buys him some support from the hardcore believers at the expense of pulling a “this is a SCIENTIST???” reaction from everyone else.

        • Anand Rajan KD
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

          He *must* have been advised, by some witless legal counsel to write this. Or worse, he undertook this on advice of Gavin et al!! One can almost visualize another email where they are discussing how they should undertake “a multi-pronged attack”, addressing the various points on RC, WaPo. Got one of their friends to write a point-by-point whitewash on New Scientist.

          This, is the Team’s counterattack.

          It is sad indeed.

        • Syl
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

          If these scientists worked in the pharmaceutical industry, evidence of these e-mails would prompt the companies or organisations involved to immediately inform the FDA (and investors if a public company) and all ongoing clinical trials would be nulled and void.

          They would have to start all over again.

          Their stock price would collapse if public.

        • ErnieK
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

          I hope they realize that all of their e-mails after November 12 are also subject to FOI. I can’t wait to see their internal discussions about the current state of affairs. Often wrongdoers do more harm to themselves trying to cover up their wrong doings than the original deed.

        • Syl
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

          I would also like to know if these guys on RealClimate respond to and moderate comments on their employer`s time. This would amount to subsidized snip

    • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

      I have always wondered how Dr. Mann became so influential. It looks like he got his phd in 1998 and immediately became a prominent authority on climate science. Many on the other climategate crowd have longer (and perhaps more impressive) scientific careers.

      Steve: It’s a good and interesting question. That he did his PhD under Bradley undoubtedly was a factor. But he was very junior to be doing an important assessment in 1999.

      1998 Ph.D. Yale University, Department of Geology & Geophysics (defended 1996)

      Park or Bradley ?

  23. Sean Inglis
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, I meant to add that I’ve previously been in the habit of deleting swathes of old email just to tidy up.

  24. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    snip -piling on

  25. Andy
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Mann and the other clowns involved in this sordid affair don’t seem to grasp the concept that many books, as well as studies and dissertations, will be written about this in the years ahead.

    Or maybe they do. Spin it till you win it.

  26. Flint
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    I expect that this has already been touched upon by those more learned than I, but perhaps it bears repeating that, in the U.S., it is unlawful to destroy public records, including emails, that are subject to FOI requests, whether one is pending or not.

    Steve: Excellent nuance that others should note.

    • John Silver
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

      Is the situation the same in the UK or does the US have some jurisdiction over the UK?

      • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

        The situation is the same in the UK, but it’s fair to say that the penalties for non-compliance are relatively weak (maximum fine GBP5000).

  27. two moon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    snip – piling on

  28. Syl
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Another interesting Article about Mann and Climategate:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=78aa4157-da68-4596-859a-a7e49a6207ae&p=1

    • Tilo Reber
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

      Good reading! Thanks for the link.

    • ianl8888
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

      This article picks up on Mann’s subtle bullying of Briffa to overcome Briffa’s reluctance on removing the MWP – Briffa then has an economic lifeline (from being associated with papers and research that may attract grants), but the implied quid pro quo is aquiescence into “groupthink”

      Makes me now understand why Briffa recently published with accessible code and data – just finally tired of being pushed around ?

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:04 AM | Permalink

      Great article in National Post. I hope it gets a wide reading.

    • snowmaneasy
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

      Part 2 of this article by Terence Corcoran will be in the National Post on Monday

  29. StuartR
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Good grief, Mann’s piece is incredibly poor. Given this podium, and Mann being a central character in this issue, the fact that he twice references Palin in his rather short article is strikingly pointless.
    I think to any bright person he is clearly not really explaining anything in credible way. Also, and I don’t know if it is just me, but this phrase –

    “Briffa described a phenomenon in which the density of wood exhibits an enigmatic decline in response to temperature after about 1960″

    Tries to get some rather unworthy mileage of the word “enigmatic” that is not really justified in my book ;)

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

      “unworthy mileage of the word ‘enigmatic'”
      .
      I don’t follow. The decline is indeed “enigmatic” if you assume uniformly strong positive responses to temperature and nothing else.

      • Tilo Reber
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

        Bender, I think that Mann’s implication is that this occurence is so unusual that it cannot be taken as meaningful for dendrochronology as a whole. Of course it’s very problematic for dendrochronology and Mann has no idea if such a divergence isn’t common.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

          “Mann has no idea if such a divergence isn’t common”
          .
          He must know it’s common; he reads. But that it’s common doesn’t mean it isn’t enigmatic. It is.

        • Mike
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          “The decline is indeed “enigmatic” if you assume uniformly strong positive responses to temperature and nothing else.” The only enigma here is how anyone with a tad of common sense could make such a foolish assumption in the first place.

      • StuartR
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

        Ok, I see your point, I think. And I can see that Mann could think that divergence will be resolved at some later date. However if I read his article in my breakfast newspaper about such a pivotal point of controversy, I would end up making some marmalade toast statistical analysis about how the author chooses to leave some piquant points unexplored using the “enigmatic” word, and then rather pursue some speculations about the opinion of an ex Alaskan governor.

        I really would like to know about divergence too. I don’t think I would ever see a good speculation about it from Mann. But we live in a post modern era where you can match scientific speculation to a specific audience I guess. Did trees react to Rock’n’Roll?

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

          How, pray tell, do you resolve a divergence at a later date? Either the elephant fits or it doesn’t. Waiting isn’t going to make it fit.

        • StuartR
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

          You asking me?
          I have absolutley no idea. If I was going to offer an explanation, like a totally Homer Simpson fresh off the boat explanation, I can only think that we are closer in time to the last 50 years and therefore trees may do some morphic dance that makes their tree rings look different after they have been encircled by 50 years of growth.

        • RookieRinger
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

          I was told (in a dendrochronology class) that as the temperature increases, it no longer is the limiting factor to the tree’s growth. Therefore, these other factors become the primary influence on the rings and the cliamte signal is lost in the noise of those factors.

          It’s a neat explanation, in a circular sort of way, as it blames the divergence issue on climate change that has already happened, which then allows one to justify tricks to make the that decline disappear because it’s not a decline, right? It’s just more eveidence that it’s warmer. yeah. I think that’s it.

          Ask yourself “What would Mann do?” and it all starts to make sense.

        • Mike
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

          “I was told (in a dendrochronology class) that as the temperature increases, it no longer is the limiting factor to the tree’s growth.”

          This might explain a stagnation, such that the tree rings stay flat while the temperature goes up. However, it wouldn’t explain a decline. It could only explain a decline when the accepted “calibration period” had in fact calibrated the noise, not the temperature.

      • hengav
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

        More to the point, where in Briffa’s body of work does he describe why tree ring growth is “unusual” post 1960 and what plausible reasons exist for the divergence. I haven’t been able to find a single explanation.

    • Rich Braud
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      I am in no way defending Mann but it was an editorial in a News Paper and not in a Scientific Journal. He is writing to his audience so by referencing Sarah Palin a figure in Popular Culture that already has a built in bias he makes his arguments sound more reasonable to his target audience. It is really his only hope. If he can get popular support by being on the other side of Palin he hopes to sway public opinion.

      • Ryan
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

        I think you are right – that is exactly what he is trying to do. But actually it fails completely. What he should have done was demonstrated his intellectual supriority and detailed the veracity of his scientific arguments with carefully chosen examples backed up with hard evidence. However, what he chose to do was climb right in the pit with Ms Palin and start flinging mud around, some of it at his own colleagues. This left it wide open for his opponents to take the scientific high-ground and attack him from a scientific rather than political standpoint. The commenters, to their great credit, wasted not one opportunity to do just that, leaving Mann’s credibility in shreds with barely a sane voice capable of supporting him.

    • harold
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Stuart, that was a great quote. I think the BS part is in “Briffa described a phenomenon”. The decline in response is enigmatic if you have a theory about wood density and temperature. Stating (like Mann does) that “Briffa described a phenomenon” is nonsense IMO, the data show a decline, Briffa describes nothing.
      (this point is also made by hengav)

  30. Kasmir
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Briffa was surviving from grant to grant. In one email he says that if the grant doesn’t come through he will be unemployed.

    Pretty powerful motivation. Didn’t believe it, so had to confirm it for myself:

    No wonder there’s so much prattle about “big oil” underwritings in the alarmist narrative: they’re simply projecting from their own experience.

  31. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Mann:

    We showed one up-to-date temperature data set from thermometer measurements along with a longer data set, based on calculations from natural “proxy” records such as ice cores, corals and tree rings, that ended in 1980. The “trick” (by which scientists generally mean a clever solution, i.e., a “trick of the trade”) was that the longer-term record could be viewed in the context of recent temperature measurements

    I thought that the trick was to pad with instrumental prior to smoothing. I guess I was wrong. Or how to understand ‘along with ‘ ? ( Did Jones show any instrumental ‘along with’ proxy records ? )

  32. Tilo Reber
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that an attempt, by a writer named Hausfather over on the Yale climate forum, to whitewash the climategate letters has also received overwhelming condemnation from the commenters. And it may be even worse than it looks. My comments are still awaiting moderation, and I know that Monkton’s have been deleted.

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

      Tilo

      Mine was deleted too.

      • Tilo Reber
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

        Fortunately, I take screen shots of my comments awaiting moderation. So if mine are deleted I will post a link to the screen shots on your site to demonstrate what you are talking about. Still, you have to admit that the author has posted many comments and they virtually all go against his whitewash. The work of people like Steve, Anthony, Jeff, Lucia, yourself, and many others does not seem to be in vain.

  33. Susann
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Where I work, we delete emails all the time at the direction of our EMail Emperor er, administrator to conserve space. We are only supposed to save the really important ones that we might use as the rest are backed up somewhere for the time required under the law. The emails I delete can be recovered by the computer geeks in IT if need be. Apparently, nothing I write ever is truly gone. Just this week, someone who has authorization for an email account I have access to — a group email account — started deleting the emails before I could use them for my job. I contacted IT and presto, they were restored. I wonder if this is similar at CRU. So even if people did delete emails from their own personal accounts, might they not be stored somewhere in backup files?

    • Greg F
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      Since SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) in the U.S. archiving all email is considered the only prudent path.

      The CRU emails file names are generated from the Unix epoch system. It seems likely they were extracted from an archive rather then from individual users machines.

    • Jonathan
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

      I haven’t deleted an email (other than spam or purely internal emails, such as scanned documents from the departmental copier/scanner) since 1998. Academics usually have access to surprisingly good computer systems, even if they don’t always use them well.

  34. PaulH
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    I am mystified that these so-called intelligent scientists still do not understand that simply deleting emails from your own PC does not delete them from everywhere. The emails will continue to exist on various backup and/or archive servers somewhere beyond their reach. And as we’ve seen in analysis here and on other blogs, this cache of email and code was more than likely purposefully assembled by someone with access to those servers. A whistle-blower perhaps, or someone instructed to do so.

    • nigel jones
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

      I don’t think the naivety with regard to the emails is so hard to understand. These people were living in a bubble which they’d managed to seal off from the world.

      If their views on email deletion are hard to understand, then the notion that they could get away for ever with hiding their data and methods, is doubly hard to understand. Yet they clearly believed that. We still aren’t at a stage where the data and methods have been released properly, or it’s been ascertained that they can’t be because they are lost.

      It’s just a fact that if someone gets away with something they shouldn’t for long enough, then they come to assume that the natural order of things is that they get away with it.

  35. Flint
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Some of the comments directed to Mann in the WaPo article are regretably indelicate, like the one about plugging his “methane hole” with a familiar piece of ice sports equipment.

  36. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    “How do you connect Mann to Hansen?”

    Hansen has been remarkably outside the attaention since Climategate.

    *ducking for the [snip] axe….*

    • Arn Riewe
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      I’ve found this a little curious as well. Maybe Hansen is a little more wily than the rest of the group and knows to keep his head down. But it does seem as though he’s not part of that “radioactive” inner circle.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

      Frankly, he’s the only one with enough sense (and possibly coaching) to keep his mouth shut, and speak on something rather unrelated (criticizing Copenhagen, of all things). Meanwhile, he sends Gavin to take the lightning.

      Some have suggested that he’s Deep Cool, but I’m not going to go there.

      • Jimchip
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

        From RC: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/jim-hansens-opinion/
        here

        “Jim Hansen’s opinion
        Filed under:

        * Climate Science

        — eric @ 18 December 2009

        Several people have written saying that it would be useful to have an expert opinion on the state of the surface temperature data from someone other than RealClimate members.

        Here you go:
        TemperatureOfScience.pdf

        You don’t get more expert than Jim Hansen.”

        I read the essay but it’s nothing ‘new’.

  37. Dirk
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    History shows that it is often the attempts to hide malfeasance that get people in the most trouble. I’d be very interested to see if the Penn St. and EAU investigations are more transparent- and judging from at least one of these emails, more truthful- than the one at Albany University.

    If Penn State covers this up (sadly, they’re considered one of the weaker academic schools in the Big 10) then it may just be another couple years until they, too, are revealed as snip

  38. Pascvaks
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    policy

  39. windansea
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this Steve

    I have been posting Mann’s response to Jones request to delete emails everywhere for a few weeks.

    When Mann posted his first explination at Romm’s site he had protection from questions on why, if he is “troubled” by the request, did he respond affirmatively and say he would contact Gene ASAP?

    WAPO comments section is more open and Mann is getting ridiculed.

  40. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Well, I was going to comment again, but I see that I am noty allowed to comment here.

    I’m glad y’all have got all the frends you need,

    By the way: “I am in no way defending Mann but it was an editorial in a News Paper and not in a Scientific Journal.”
    means the editorial is marginally more reliable and credible. that if it had been “peer reviewed.

    c-ya.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

      “I am noty allowed to comment here”
      .
      What is that supposed to mean? The topic is Mann and the WaPo article. Fire away. Other topcs go on other threads, all of which are open. (Unlike RealClimate, which closes threads once they’ve got the storyline that they want carved in stone tablets.)

  41. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and just for the record–as a retired email administrator, the world is not all PC’s. In the University environment I once worked in, the researchers universally insisted in having their own machine, which were the destinations and sources of all of the email.

    If there were recoverable copies after deletion they wer in the researcher’s shop.

    Almost none of them ever took “backups”–I know, from the myriad requests for me to find a magic way to recover stuff deleted by mistake.

    Not knowing how stuff works is not limited to the crooks.

    • Greg F
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

      The UEA emails all went through a gateway email server and were distributed to internal email servers. The released emails are all named using Unix epoch timestamps. It seems likely that copies of all emails coming and going through the University servers were archived by the gateway email server as it would be the logical place to do it. PC’s or having their own machine is irrelevant.

      • anon
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

        The Whitehouse obviously backs up everything, but I’m also skeptical that every email delivered by every email server is methodically backed up to tape and stored away. That doesn’t mean you won’t get lucky checking the backup tapes, though. They’re usually rotated and retired, so interesting stuff can crop up.

      • Larry Sheldon
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

        The “gateway” servers (never saw that term used, but I think I know what you mean) that I managed very explicitly did not retain messages that passed through, for several reasons.

        First of all, the messages don’t exist on the central server beyond the time they spend in-queue (fractions of a second to several minutes, typically).

        And if we happened to back-them up (“archive them”) while they were resident and later “recovered” using those tapes, the amount of damage we did in the recovery would exceed that from not “backing up” the mail spools.

        Furthermore, it is likely that mail between researchers would go direct from researchers machime to researchers machine.

        And lastly–there was the question (that was never answered while I was there) of what our responsibility if we had some of a conversation but no all of it.

        • Larry Sheldon
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

          Come to think of it–we didn’t back up the “mailbox” filesystems (the “final destination” files) on the machines that we administered, for the same kinds of reasons. If people wanted the information “backedup” they had to move it to their own space, which we did backup.

        • Neal
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

          Larry as a retired email administrator you should be familiar with a gateway server. Gateway servers are a standard method of filtering emails for spam and viruses. What I find hard to understand is your following statements.

          “Oh, and just for the record–as a retired email administrator, the world is not all PC’s. In the University environment I once worked in, the researchers universally insisted in having their own machine, which were the destinations and sources of all of the email.” and “Furthermore, it is likely that mail between researchers would go direct from researchers machime to researchers machine.”

          I would find it most likely that you are saying that you never archived messages at your site’s email server. If you were trying to say that they were running their own MTA, I find that so unlikely that it makes me cringe at the thought. To start off with what sane network administrator would ever list that many domain and MX records to make this actually work reliably much less the nightmare of setting up a network firewall to allow this in the first place. If you were using your servers open mail relays they would be black-listed so fast that the messages would never get anywhere after the first few minutes or so today.

          If you were not archiving after Dec. 1, 2006 as an email administrator at a US institution you would have been in violation of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rule 26 making the institution liable for almost unlimited damages and liability in any civil or criminal court’s discovery process according to Section V, rule 37. So any email after 2006 that they think they have deleted from or to a person at one of these institutions is still floating around on a backup somewhere. Even worse for the people at CRU telling people to delete their emails is that most of the major universities were archiving email for many years before 2006 some even more than a decade before 2006 because of the university’s or organization’s lawyers requiring it. So in effect they were just deleting the email off of their personal computer and their email account database not the organization’s email archives. US businesses have also been archiving emails for a long time because of the same legal concerns.

          As to your statements about problems with backing up a active email queue and active email database, is just a red herring. The email queue is just mail that is in the process of being received and moved to user’s account in the email database as you know. The email isn’t deleted from the user’s account and server’s email database until the user’s MUA program tells the server to remove it from the users email database files or the server’s setup dictating its deletion after a set time period. Most archiving is and was done by the almost universal practice of using a blind carbon copy of all mail to the administrator’s account for archiving on a regular schedule to other media.

          Although I am not familiar with the UK’s IT email archiving practices, I can tell you that the people in question are royally screwed if they think that any of the emails that they think they deleted were to a person or copied to a person at a major US institution.

        • scott lurndal
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

          It was very common in the 80’s and 90’s for unix workstations to run their own MTA (sendmail, usually) and be a destination for email. One can still use a so-called SMARTER HOST as a gateway in this type of setup.

          The MX records for internal workstations would be unnecessary since the workstation hostname was part of the email address (e.g. briffa@zephyr.uae.edu.uk, where zephyr is the workstation hostname).

        • Greg F
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

          It was very common in the 80’s and 90’s for unix workstations to run their own MTA …

          There are numerous emails where the headers are included (replies to emails). What is clear is there is a gateway mail server and internal mail servers.

        • Neal
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

          It is true that you can run any unix host as a MTA, MSA, MDA and/or what ever. Yes UNIX can and does run sendmail, postfix, quail, exim, and to many others to list. But, this is where the favorite expression of most network administrator’s worldwide comes into play “Oh No You Don’t Not On MY Network”. Today they simply don’t like systems on their networks with those ports open to the world that aren’t under their direct control. They are the people that have to deal with the network abuse emails and calls from people outside of their networks and their network security issues with their gateways and firewalls.

          As you know the crew at UEA all had email addresses that went through the normal email server set up. They didn’t use local computer hostname addresses for their email. They used the normal @uea.ac.uk for their emails and they were sending them to normal email server addresses not local hostname addresses. While what you state is possible, it just wasn’t being done in this case. Today networks are under much tighter control and firewalls and network security make it unlikely to have be done durning the time period for the referenced CRU emails anyway.

        • MrPete
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

          Most important: these folks are NOT computer tech savvy. Remember poor Harry, aptly named for all the hair he lost trying to support them?

          CRU is not the CompSci LAN at UCB.

          I won’t crack a joke about CD coffee cup holders, but you get the idea.

          Remember: it’s only been a few months since the same crew accidentally left “private” data out in the open, at the same site. (Anyone have the CA link?)

  42. 1DandyTroll
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    How does a self proclaimed normal/rational/sane/righteous/the-bestest-ever person prove his/her (at best) borderline disorder?

    Don’t seem to matter how high that mountain of evidence get, they still _have to_,
    _need to_ retort and defend against anything that is negative to their person and/or career, however futile it is, or becomes.

  43. bearfoil
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Neither is “personal” a defense against FOIA exposure of email material generated on equipment owned by the employer, whose other work is so vulnerable. The content is wholly owned by the Public entity and subject to sunlight.

  44. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    A re3ader sent me the following link:

    “It put us in an awkward position,” Mann said. Instead, Mann forwarded that e-mail to a colleague to alert him to what Jones wanted the scientists to do.

  45. anon
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    how hard is it to turn off nesting of comments? or allowing the middle column to get a lot wider?

  46. alt
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    AGU update: Michael Mann speaks out on Climategate

    http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/research/41272

    • windansea
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

      From alt’s link

      “There is no evidence of anything even verging on inappropriate scientific behaviour [in the leaked emails], but it sets a very chilling precedent,” he said. “Have we really gotten to the point where it’s ok to break into people’s personal correspondence and take these words out of context?”

      According to Mann, the deniers don’t have science on their side anymore but have chosen instead to engage in a smear campaign. “There is no level to which the climate denial movement won’t stoop,” he added. “This is a new level of dishonesty. They are not even attempting to engage in legitimate debate – it’s a new low in the climate change denial effort.”

      Mann believes that the forthcoming investigations and inquiries will “in the end find that nothing is wrong here other than people speaking openly in emails as you might expect them to – there’s nothing in any of these emails that calls into question the science.”

      And the affair is a “false controversy that has been manufactured… to make science look like it’s been compromised; it’s an effort to cloud the debate and distract the public and policymakers at the crucial time when they are meeting in Copenhagen”.

      Mann hopes the leaks will have had no impact at the COP15 negotiations. “I feel confident that policymakers are up to speed with the science,” he said. “I think they might feel insulted that some would try to manipulate them – I think they will see through that”, particularly given the suspicious nature of the timing of the leaks.

      • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

        hswiseman says:

        The released emails clearly show that Mann single-handedly hijacked climate science and then ruled the roost with a ruthless iron hand and brutal public humiliation via email of anyone who dared stray from the party line or gives voice to any kind of doubt or uncertainty in the science… The editoral… plumbs new depths in hypocrisy.

        Curious that Mann uses similar ideas himself with reverse meaning.

        “There is no level to which the climate denial movement won’t stoop,” he added. “This is a new level of dishonesty.”

        A criminal ploy, point one’s own blame elsewhere.

    • Michael Smith
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

      From the same article, here is Mann claiming that the leaked e-mails will have a chilling effect on science:

      “Scientists will be much less willing to engage in vibrant and passionate discussions with their colleagues through email. That could stymie the process of science. Science thrives in open communication.”

      My question would be: if it is true, as Mann maintains, that there is absolutely nothing damaging in these e-mails — and that the investigations will prove this — why should this “stymie the process of science”?

    • Rich Braud
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:04 AM | Permalink

      This is the comment I left on that site

      Dec 20, 2009 9:54 AM
      Rigged Outcome
      There is much evidence that datasets were corrupted either deliberatly or through negligance. Since the E-Mails point to a joint effort with many parties involoved the default position would logically be a deliberate effort to adjust or modify data to make a predetermined outcome. At best these E-Mails, Source Code and Remarks show very poor work practices and the resulting work product cannot be trusted. Any research using these data sets will now have to be re-evaluated and new verified data applied. What is curious is how the other data sets from the Two U.S. repositories are remarkably similar. Is it evidence that there is nothing to be concerned about or is it evidence that there was a deliberate effort to contaminate the record. Caution dictates that the enire data sets from all the instituions that keep the Temperature Records be re-evaluated by Independent sources familiar with the methods need to compile and process the raw data. This is especially important since so many other hard working Scientists not involved in any way with the parties involved can have years of work questioned as to its validity

  47. Hemst101
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    This article is so depended on the general public’s ignorance of science and the temperature data. I find Mann totally disingenuous.

    I would like to see some of the more knowledgeable people commenting here tackle this article paragraph by paragraph, as every one of the paragraphs disturbs me in ways I cannot quite put my finger on. However, here are some things that I may be able to comment on somewhat coherently.

    “It could not possibly have referred to the claim that global temperatures have declined over this decade — a claim that is false (the current decade, as has been recently reported, will go down as the warmest on record).”

    This is true as far as it goes, but just. If you assume that just maybe we are recovering from the LIA, the sun is giving some indication that it might revert to it’s activity of the late 19th century, it makes perfect sense that the last decade was the warmest and may be the warmest for a while.

    “We showed one up-to-date temperature data set from thermometer measurements along with a longer data set, based on calculations from natural “proxy” records such as ice cores, corals and tree rings, that ended in 1980. The “trick” (by which scientists generally mean a clever solution, i.e., a “trick of the trade”) was that the longer-term record could be viewed in the context of recent temperature measurements.”

    But is this “trick” legitimate? Somewhere, I read that splicing two different temperature records together was not a good idea, especially when one proxy has to have a problem hidden, chopped off – whatever. Especially a problem that influences not only the subsequent temperature data, but the earlier temperatures also. See also paragraph 3 that seems to me contradictory.

    Paragraph 4. I think Steve has addressed this. Is it accurate?

    “Palin wrote that Alaska’s climate is changing but referred to “thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice” as “natural, cyclical environmental trends.” In fact, such changes are among the effects scientists predicted would occur as greenhouse gas levels increase. Scientific evidence for the reality of human-caused climate change includes independently replicated data documenting the extent of warming; unprecedented melting of glaciers; rises in global sea levels; increasingly widespread continental drought; and models that predict all of these things but only when human impacts are included.”

    I think Mann should take some basic statistic theory and at a minimum read http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=1417. None of the above show “human-caused climate change”. I don’t know about the rest of you but I trust Wm Briggs statistical knowledge more than I do Mann’s.

    To me Palin makes the most sense of any American politician on Climate, and has the guts to say what she thinks. I winched when I read that in her op-ed, and knew she would be hammered for it. But I see the same mistake everywhere (except here of course!). She need a good science adviser.

    Maybe I am way off base here so would like to hear if I am. Fire away!

  48. Fred
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    piling on

  49. Sean Peake
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Is there a chance that any possibly deleted emails still reside on a server somewhere or on archived backups?

  50. Richard Saumarez
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    piling on

  51. pat
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    snip – read the blog

  52. hswiseman
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    snip
    Email deletion becomes an issue with Jones’ realization that the group has left a trail of evidence which might become public. Using Briffa’s work and not explicitly addressing the existence of contradictory data within the work’s central dataset is something a little more serious than disingenuity. The editoral is beyond the pale and plumbs new depths in hypocrisy.

  53. HankHenry
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    “Excuse me while I puke…” Raymond S. Bradley to Keith Briffa in response to a Mann email. #926681134.txt

    • Syl
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

      It seems more and more that Briffa is less biased and more after the truth than the others.

  54. Observer
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    I feel obligated to mention one thing in the emails once again. snip b Search ‘nomination package’ in the emails. One will find exchanges between P. Jones and M. Mann. One will also notice that regarding an index (that is used to partially judge how influential one’s scientific publications have been). Mann put 62 in his nomination package made for Jones. Jones replied that someone with same name doing biology was included in the calculation of the index. His real number should be 53 or something, which is still very good. But Mann replied :’I will go with 62.’ That is quite pointless and disgusting.

    • Dr Slop
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

      Agreed. A bit unlikely, but anyone recently declined an AGU fellowship on the grounds of an H-Index between 52 and 62 would be rightfully aggrieved.

  55. gdn
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    David L. Hagen
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Reply
    [...]
    Have Jones or Briffa ever provided evidence that “those data were unreliable post-1960 period” that is any different from the pre-1960 period?
    [...]

    Steve: They rely on an article by Cook (QSR) discussed here in 2006 at the time of the NAS panel. The Cook article is very flimsy though.

    Steve, a couple of search attempts yield many references to Cook, but none that seem relevant. Which one are you referring to?

    …Though I did get to revisit the interesting What was “First” About MBH98? and PR Challenge: the Briffa-Cook “White Paper”

  56. The Watcher
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    This quote:
    Because tree-ring information has been found to correlate well with temperature readings, it is used to plot temperatures going back hundreds of years or more. Briffa described a phenomenon in which the density of wood exhibits an enigmatic decline in response to temperature after about 1960. This decline was the focus of Briffa’s original article, and Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures after 1960. By saying “hide the decline,” Jones meant that a diagram he was producing was not to show those data during the unreliable post-1960 period.
    ================================================

    this quote above should disqualify Mann of being a “Scientist”, “scientific” or even “science-ish” type of person.

    I am dumbfounded that anyone, after reading this, would have the slightest faith in using the wood exhibits for anything, until you can fully explain the point where it “suddenly becomes unrealiable”. Nothing “suddenly becomes unreliable”, it just never was and you’re relying on coincidence, rather than demonstrated provable correllation.

    This is a guy whose qualifications for this are little more than being a technical geek, who runs a complex system where we have to learn what works and what doesn’t by trial and error… You soon learn how to be skeptical of almost everything, and to test, test, and re-test.

    • joeshill
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

      “This quote:
      Because tree-ring information has been found to correlate well with temperature readings, it is used to plot temperatures going back hundreds of years or more. Briffa described a phenomenon in which the density of wood exhibits an enigmatic decline in response to temperature after about 1960. This decline was the focus of Briffa’s original article, and Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures after 1960. By saying “hide the decline,” Jones meant that a diagram he was producing was not to show those data during the unreliable post-1960 period.”

      Is this a more correct paraphrase of what is really going on?

      ‘Because tree-ring information has been found to correlate well with temperature readings [within the calibration period], it is used to plot temperatures going back hundreds of years or more [on the assumption that the correlation would hold outside of the calibration period]. Briffa described a phenomenon {in which the correlation of density to temperature breaks down outside of the correlation period.} Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures {in the post-correlation period, while using the data to represent temperatures in the ante-correlation period.)

    • rob
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

      Me also reacted to that phrase, in particular this part:

      “Because tree-ring information has been found to correlate well with temperature readings”

      There is no mentioning of causation, as if it wasn’t needed. Sure doesn’t stand out as scientific!

      • Susann
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

        snip – debate dendro on a different thread

        • Susann
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

          So one-off comments that do nothing but express frustration are OK?

        • Susann
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

          Or do you mean that only those whose posts aren’t critical of dendro have to move elsewhere?

          This is your blog and call, but I just wanted to clarify because there are quite a few posts on dendro above that didn’t get snipped.

  57. John in L du B
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    This is really looking bad for Mann. Not only are the comments runn ing overwhelmingly against him but the commenters seem to understand many of the subtelies of the issue. For example, they seem to generally understand that the decline being hidden wasn’t actually in the temperature but in the tree ring data.

  58. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    There’s one email that summarises Mann’s attitude to critics and protecting his scientific turf in which he refers to Joe Barton as “Joe Barton (R, Exxon)”.

  59. dp
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    Mann seems to be telling us he’s not lying which should come as no surprise. His entire future depends upon us believing in his honesty.

    On this subject we are all his peers – lying is not science, it is a personality fault. Clearly he’s lied before and with intent. That puts everything he does and says at the bottom of the stack of things I’ll accept at face value. And I’m now very suspicious of his circle of friends. You truly are known by the company you keep.

    I’ll need to see his source data and code before I’m willing to believe him about anything ever again. There’s no fooling me twice. Mann made warming? It’s real.

  60. Anand Rajan KD
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    I think there is just too much ‘snip’ing going on in this thread. Let people say what they have to say. You may argue that it junks up the discussion but a good reader can always follow a line of discussion amidst distracting posts. Too many deleted posts only pisses off a lot of people, why would you want to do that? These people wouldnt be here but for CA’s popularity and you want to put them down for wanting to say something?

    A pruned tree looks artifical.

    Steve: There are many venues where you can talk politics and be impolite – but I discourage it here.

    • Richard
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

      I agree with you largely here. Specially about putting people off (only potential supporters). If you want to be sure not to be snipped say something against Steve M. And I might as well say it while I’m about it. I think you chicken out sometimes.

    • geronimo
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

      I’m with Steve, I would love to discuss a variety of things on these threads, but if you go OT then the whole thread can go into another discussion altogether. In this particular case, and unusually, nearly all the readers can understand the issues, the thread is not technical.

      As for abuse, name calling and vituperation of dissenters leave that to realclimate, the first time I read it I was shocked at the invective allowed against even the smallest dissent. Keep polite and to the facts at all times and you can’t go far wrong.

    • Jsco
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

      These days, it is pretty easy to spot an article on a website sympathetic to the Team. “Comments are closed” seem to be the Hallmark…

  61. R. Craigen
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Sorry if I missed prior discussion of this, but I see Mann making several disingenuous statements that really shouldn’t go unremarked. I’ll list a few I didn’t notice others discussing, and try to keep my comments short.

    “…co-authors and I published in the journal Nature in 1998. We showed one … data set … along with a longer data set, based on calculations from natural “proxy” records such as ice cores, corals and tree rings,…”

    The implication here is that the “proxy” records used in the handle of “the hockey stick” was derived from multifaceted proxies, with the implication that — ahem — yes, something one-dimensional like tree ring data might be totally off the wall, but when you group all these different proxies together suddenly it magically becomes a reliable record. One needn’t read much of McIntyre and McItrick’s critique to understand that these are not simply “let the chips fall where they may” collections of data, but carefully selected data (eg tree ring data) out of much larger available sets. Not only were they cherry-picked, but badly manhandled and interpreted to the extent that the resulting graph had little correspondence to reality. Mike et al then had to further massage the result to fit actual instrumental temperature data, apparently because of this bad fit.

    Strictly speaking this “longer data set” which he was attempting to match wasn’t a “data set” at all, and nor was it “natural”. It was a synthetic series of numbers produced from raw heterogeneous data by a process not at all unlike the synthesis of pure crystaline sugar from dirty, red sugar beets, or the manufacture of paper from living trees.

    “In the same e-mail, Jones uses the phrase “hide the decline” in reference to work by tree-ring expert Keith Briffa”

    This is an attempt at a subtle evasion. Jones used this phrase not just in the same e-mail, but in the same sentence! This is not point (b); new topic. This is the same topic. Mann is trying to separate the reference to his “Nature” trick (i.e., his merging of proxy and instrumental data in the Nature article) from the manipulation of Briffa (and other) proxy data in a similar fashion for a diagram Jones is saying “Tim” is preparing — evidently for use in the IPCC literature. Note that in the same sentence as he says that “tree-ring information has been found to correlate well with temperature readings” he also says that “density of wood exhibits an enigmatic decline in response to temperature after about 1960″. (How clever of the wood to know what year it is!) By “enigmatic”, of course, he means “does NOT correlate well with temperature readings”. A couple of breaths later he refers to “… the unreliable post-1960 period.” But it was not the PERIOD that was unreliable.

    “stolen e-mails” (used twice.)

    It should go on record that Mann, who certainly has access to information about the source of the FOIA file from which this data came, and will certainly, in the end, be shown to have knowledge of how the files came into public hands, is making a libelous charge here. He knows damn well that these files were not “stolen” in any reasonable sense of the word here. When it comes to light that Ian Harris, or whoever it was, was the whistleblower just making available information whose compilation in the first place was spawned by FOI requests, and that Mann demonstrably had knowledge of the general facts, though perhaps not the specific identity of the whistleblower, then I hope he is made accountable for this irresponsible use of language.

    “models … predict all of these things but only when human impacts are included.”

    I can’t help mentioning that this is basically another way of saying that the models have proven entirely incapable of reproducing many natural cyclical behaviors of the climate, including the climate swings of the past, including the mid-century decline in temperatures. It is basically because they treat the globe like a brick, and so produce behavior absolutely unlike real-world dynamical climate evolution, which fluctuates naturally and chaotically, reflecting both rhythms driven by such things as solar cycles and natural internal noisy behavior that is a hallmark of this type of dynamical system and will happen with or without external drivers.

    Sorry for all the words, I just thought these few points needed hitting on a bit more.

  62. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    My thought is that Mann is beginning to realize that he is in deep trouble. He could write an editorial using any number of tactics, but his referencing of Palin is telling. In politics it’s called playing to your base. He is trying very hard to keep those in the public who support AGW to stay on his side. Politicians do that when they are worried about losing their hardcore supporters. Mann is a very political guy.

  63. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    Something’s been bugging me for a while. Check me on this: Jones asked Mann to delete any mail he got from Briffa regarding AR4. Mann says this “put him[Mann] in an uncomfortable position”, implying he was being *asked to do* something unsavory, which suggests that it wasn’t an idle or irrelevant request – there *was* mail from Briffa which Mann *could* have deleted. Mann also says he *didn’t* delete any mail in response to the request. So…{drum roll, please}:

    Where is the email?

    Some people doubt Mann’s account, but if Mann is telling the truth could trivially shift the burden of proof in his favor by *revealing* the email he claims to have not deleted. Heck, he doesn’t even need to show the whole thing. Excerpt at will! Just give us the date and subject line, even.

    When Mann says “I didn’t delete any emails from Briffa”, why is the immediate followup question not “so you *did* get emails from Briffa re:AR4 which you haven’t deleted? Great! When did you get them, what were they about, and when can you show them to us?”

    If he says he has them but they’re confidential, this is a good basis for a more specific FOIA. Or if he doesn’t have them, why not? What happened? Did he delete them *later* and if so when?

    • Rich Braud
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

      There is no reasonable way to prove a negative. He could produce E-Mails but would that be all of them? Would any E-Mails that would prove colusion be included? The only way to be sure is to deny Dr. Mann acess to all servers in question, have I.T. specialists insure the archives have not been tampered with, and then have a dump of the entire E-Mail archive from Dr. Mann evaluated. Short of that we will never know for sure.

      • Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

        I’m not talking about “knowing for sure” but more of a “reasonable man” standard. If Mann could show us even *one* email that was (a) from Briffa, (b) regarding AR4, and (c) received prior to the Jones request, that would give us reason to doubt he followed this request which we know he received and didn’t seem to object to at the time – the request was to delete ANY emails fitting that description, not just the “bad” ones, so even one still-existing example is a counterexample.

        If Mann’s position were correct this would seem to be a logical thing to do: Go to his email queue, do a search, find all emails from Briffa in date range X, skim the list and then say something more specific such as “I received at least 5 emails from Briffa on AR4 which I did not delete; they had the following timestamps”. Then he could actually show the emails or excerpts from them privately to any relevant investigators, or it could be verified without his help through the mail sysadmin.

  64. Norbert
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:03 AM | Permalink

    As of Nov 17th, The hockey stick was still alive. This one goes back almost 4000 years:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/a-treeline-story/

    So what will all these graphs look like in the future?

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

      OT response by bobdenton 20 Dec 3.12 on Unthreaded.

  65. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:49 AM | Permalink

    This is a bit lighter, but it comes to mind when reading above.

    A small town doctor achieved fame by predicting the gender of babies before their birth. Pre-natal, he would tell the mother which gender to expect. Post birth, he was initially correct about 50% of the time. If he was not correct, he would say “But I wrote down on my caledar what the gender would be” and what he wrote down was always right.

    The “trick” was to write on the calendar the opposite of what was said to the mother to be.

    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

      I’m not getting this one. The prediction was that the temperature will go up per 10-year average (of course with fluctuations). And the NASA GissTemp number for November, which came in a few days ago, if I read it correctly, is that the global average is (increasingly) close to the record high:

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

      • johnh
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

        If you said in 1998 (record high after a strong run of annual increases eg a strong slope upwards on a graph) that the 10 average temp would continue to rise you are covering 2 of 3 possibilities.

        1. Temps continue to increase

        2. Temps flatline

        3. Temps decrease at same rate they increased

        That prediction has a 66.7% of being correct just from a random temp variation. Hardly showing a strong faith in a AGW model.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

          The temp “in 1998″ is not a 10-year average. But even the 10-year average has obvious fluctuations. 1998 has been exceptionally high, but every year 2001 and later has been higher than every year 1997 and earlier (details depending on the graph you look at). So within the next 10-years, we should be setting new record highs, and we are currently getting close.

        • johnh
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

          OT

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

          In my understanding, the current scientific theory predicts that in all likelihood, all current 12 monthly temperature record highs will be surpassed within the next 10-years, as well as the current annual record high. Most of the years in this decade are in the top ten, and it will stay that way more or less, that at each point most of the last ten years will be in the top ten. That’s how I understand what is to be expected.

          CO2 is not the only forcing, so the temperatures always go up and down quite a bit, for other temporary reasons, as you can see here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.pdf

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

          (Sorry, wrote this before I saw the previous message was marked OT).

        • bender
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

          Show me the model run that depicts this expectation and I will teach you a lesson in stochastics.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

          No model run, just me looking at the graph and explaining what it seems to mean if it continues that way (not even considering exponential development), as from the 1960s.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

          Well, let’s say, from 1970. And let’s not nest messages.

      • Adam Gallon
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

        There are issues with GISStemp and the stations used to feed it data.
        See E.M. Smith’s blog at http://chiefio.wordpress.com/

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

          If you are proposing a budget for high-tech weather stations with built-in GPS and a web-accessible database including photographs updated each month, you have my vote (disclaimer: on that issue).

  66. VG
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    re The video I posted. WUWT did not post it maybe not politically correct (re deniers etc..). Feel free to snip it if required. On another note I take my hat off to both RC and Stoat Conolley for allowing unbrindled critical postings. AS I said there.. there is a future for long term forecasting and modeling etc. I don’t think we should insult or persecute these people after all they were eminent scientists and that is not a sarcastic remark.

    Steve: RC has a long record of censoring critical postings. They are temporarily less intrusive, but I’d be surprised if they’ve totally changed their spots.

  67. VG
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    On another note it is probably time to take a serious look at the “spreading of data by GISS and “antarctic warming story” by I don’t like mentioning names story.

  68. Gary
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

    piling on

  69. rob
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    @anon
    Second that, this new layout is not very friendly to my weakening near sigth (yes I am 40+), I usually increase the text size (Cntrl/-+ in Firefox) which nowadays makes a mess of it all.

  70. Pete
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    snip – too angry

  71. Stacey
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    In the comments on WAPO I got to about five pages and the vast majority condemned Professor Mann. What was noticeable, the comments were generally erudite and without abuse. The few supporters of Professor Mann just could not stop using abuse.

    My take on Professor Mann and others is that they have been so used to saying whatever they like that when now presented with the facts of their conspiracy they carry on as if nothing happens.

    The scientists and their organisations demonstrate systemic failure and are not fit for purpose.

  72. Tom T
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Michael.

    Don’t pee into the wind, bro…

    You helped create this state of fear with marginal data, self-serving analyses, collusion with colleagues to stifle dissent and marginalize opponents. You have actively worked to politicize and pollute the scientific process with your brand of envirofundamentalism. When we politicize science, we always get it wrong. Think you can remember that?

    snip
    Shame on you.

    Show me the data, then tell the truth about it. Then I will believe you.

    Transparency, Equality, Diversity should be the rallying cry for the new climate science that must emerge from the mess you have created.

  73. GP
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Just a thought here …

    Is the WaPo piece Mann himself writing or is it Fenton work?

  74. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    One of the oddest features of Wigley’s role in the whole CRU affair is that not a single economist has noticed that his MAGICC model which he cites in the CRU cache and which is the basis of virtually ALL maps and graphs of the IPCC’s AR4 projections to 2100 is itself based on his gross misinterpretation of the Michaelis-Menten function as set out in Farquhar et al in 1979. This function correctly shows that adding CO2 to any given annual plant over its life increases its growth for a bit and after that only on a declining basis. Wigley, Enting, and all at CSIRO, especially Canadell, Raupach, and Corinne Le Quere at the ineffable UEA, have assumed this applies to all biotic life forms, as indeed it does to any individual plant or whatever, but it DOES NOT apply across the spectrum. If I planted 10 tomato plants in 2008, adding CO2 to each would boost their growth up to a point, as per Farquhar (1979), and then not much. But if this year I planted 20 tomatoes, with higher atmospheric CO2 than last year, I could expect a higher yield from each one of them – and a larger uptake from total GHG emssions accordingly.

    Incredibly, the whole of the IPCC’s AR4 is based on the assumption that if one plant shows a Michaelis-Menten function, then because all do, adding EXTRA plants does nothing to absorb CO2 emissions. In plain English, the Canadell et al. coven at Australia’s CSIRO contend that whatever CO2 was absorbed by the biosphere in say 2000 was the maximum possible, and that any individual tomato grower increasing his plantings since then is doomed to failure, because the “terrestrial carbon sink“ is saturated (see The Economist, 5 December, p.77).

  75. Joonas
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    CA is becoming a forum for paranoid thinking and conspiracy thories. The big picture of the climate science and AGW is lost. Sorry Steve, but the quality of blogging is down.

    Steve: Trying to deal with the influx of new readers who aren’t used to blog policies of no-conspiracy no-paranoia is very trying for me. Particularly when there’s evidence to justify the claims. Despite this,I think that prior policies yield an editorial tone that makes for better reading for third parties.

    • LMB
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

      > Trying to deal with the influx of new readers who aren’t used to blog policies of no-conspiracy no-paranoia is very trying for me.

      Don’t let this blog burn you out, Steve. Get a co-moderator if needed to lighten the load.

      • Joonas
        Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

        Steve, thanks for the wise answer and advice. As a new reader I got carried away a little bit, sorry.

  76. DavidM
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    As the police say when they have a gang rounded up over a bank job, when one cracks they all crack. Mann has cracked. The rest of them know that Mann isn’t squeaky clean and when they get a load of his blame deflection they’ll have their own words to say. Lets hope for a Supergrass to appear.

  77. Da Punksta
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Did Phil Jones’s comment to Warwick Hughes

    “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it”

    widely referred to, including by Steve at

    http://climateaudit.org/2005/10/15/we-have-25-years-invested-in-this-work/


    Steve:
    not in the emails. I’ve seen a copy of the Hughes’ email and von Storch reported that he had confirmed the statement with Jones in his NAS panel presentation in 2006.

    crop up in the Climategate mails? If not, does anyone have some other hard confirmation of it? I have tried Warwick Hughes himself, but no response so far.

    Thanks.

    • Brooks Hurd
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

      During the NAS hearings, Wegman emailed Phil Jones to confirm that he had sent that email to Warwick Hughes. Jones confirmed that he had sent it.

      Steve: von Storch.

  78. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Mann’s comment in his WaPo piece that anyone “could download the data we plotted” is extemely misleading. A casual reader, who has not followed CA over the years, would likely infer that the actual raw date was available for download. This is no doubt what Mann wants WaPo readers to infer.

  79. Follow the Money
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    I have not yet seen expressed whether Mann’s implicit meaning, that he himself did not write such emails, would be deeply resented by his comrades? In the Washington Post no less?

  80. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    This inspired me to re-post this glossary of useful research phrases.

    You would be surprised to know how accurate some of the definitions are. Especially:

    “Typical results are shown.”
    The best results are shown.

  81. bender
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    What annoys me is Mann’s thinly veiled refernce to the “skeptics” who are his critics. Let’s call a spade a spade. His harshest critic is Steve McIntyre, who is not, in fact, a climate skeptic. His comments at CA indicate him to be an agnostic at best, and a firm believer in the IPCC process. This is not the portrait of a climate skeptic, folks.

  82. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    I seriously doubt they’re using email for anything besides mundane stuff. Conference calls are the way to go…

  83. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

    What annoys me is Mann’s thinly veiled refernce to the “skeptics” who are his critics. Let’s call a spade a spade. His harshest critic is Steve McIntyre, who is not, in fact, a climate skeptic. His comments at CA indicate him to be an agnostic at best, and a firm believer in the IPCC process. This is not the portrait of a climate skeptic, folks.

    One can only conclude, then, that all of Steve’s technical criticisms are correct, and that Mann throws ad homs at Steve for that reason alone. In other words, Mann is an extremely petty individual.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

      That is my interpretation exactly.

  84. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Strange. My replies are getting posted above older replies, instead of below. And I’m not using the Reply link on anything.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

      Yes, the re-ordering problem is causing some to whine about being snipped or censored. Growing pains.

  85. WHR
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Mann…”This decline was the focus of Briffa’s original article, and Briffa was clear that these data should not be used to represent temperatures after 1960. By saying “hide the decline,” Jones meant that a diagram he was producing was not to show those data during the unreliable post-1960 period.”

    I’m not a PhD scientist, however I work in a laboratory where repeatability, reproducibility, and statistical analysis of data is our bread and butter. Our lab would lose its license if we used analytical methods that carried such “It works on Tuesdays when we stand on one foot and hold our tongue inside the left of our cheek” disclaimers. How can they so boldly use these statistics without explaining, “the decline”…for ANY period of years. The whole lot of the data is useless without a realistic explanation. What happened in the 1960s to cause the divergence? The Beatles coming to America? A delay from the fallout of Hiroshima? What makes them so sure the tree rings haven’t diverged a hundred times through paleo-history? Or more to the point, that the temperature they presume to proxy hasn’t diverged?

  86. WHR
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Another comment to add to Mann’s spin on using the “Hiding” *trick* from Nature. Sure. A “trick” can be used to describe a clever solution to a problem. Scientists aren’t the only folks who use such jargon. However, this admission doesn’t make the term benevolent. Any common criminal can use a clever trick. A confidence man might use a “clever trick” to convince his mark to give up his life savings. For instance, Frank Abagnale, Jr. used clever tricks like forging credentials and checks and evade capture by the FBI. He “hid” himself in plain site by posing as a doctor, a lawyer, and going so far as working for the Louisiana State Attorney General. Quite the expert at “hiding things”.

    I hope this isn’t considered piling on, editorializing, etc. I figured it was a relevant rebuttal to such a disingenuous statement. Fox is almost on. Good luck Mr. McIntyre.

  87. bender
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    It’s not the word “trick” that is a problem. It’s what he did; call it whatever you like. He called it a “clever trick” from his “bag of tricks”. The fact is that it was an unjustifiable, intentionally deceptive manipulation. The use of the word “trick” is NOT the issue. It’s what he did that is the issue. But I suppose it is just another “trick” to use semantics to try to reframe what he did. Another “clever thing” taken from a pile of clever semantic tricks that you see used at RealClimate all the time.

  88. Syl (Lutnes)
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Just an OT note. The commenter posting under ‘Syl’ is not me. I post as ‘Syl’ here (not frequently), at Lucia’s, at Watts and dotearth. I’ve actually been posting as ‘Syl’ on many blogs for at least seven years.

    I have no quarrel with the content of the comments under ‘Syl’. It’s just that I didn’t write them. I’m sure this issue has popped up on blogs before-it’s just never happened to me.

    FWIW

  89. Greg F
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Editorial looks like Mann trying to hide his own “decline”.

  90. anna v
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I would be interested if somebody has a link to the original publications that connected tree ring widths to temperature and decided that they were a good proxy.

    In my physicist opinion, all thermometers are proxies of the true defined scale: 0 is the freezing point of water at 1 atmosphere pressure and 100 is the boiling point of water at 1 atmosphere pressure. Then one draws the lines assuming that the proxy material is linearly representing temperature from 0 to 100.

    Once you have an accurate thermometer, you calibrate others against it.

    Now somebody came up with the idea that the tree ring width changes represent temperature changes. Before that tree rings were used for archeology and paleontology for chronology and to guess at wetness and nutrients etc ( sat through and archeometry lecture recently, you would be surprised how they extend backwards the time scales with tree rings, but that is another story). Where is the calibration of this brilliant idea to use tree ring widths as a thermometer?

    Given this problem as a physicist, I would take trees with ages from when thermometers existed, and temperatures taken where the tree cores came from, reasonably close, and calibrate against the thermometer readings. Certainly the years 1960 to 2000 should be included, because we also have the satelite record of thermometry.

    Instead we see that the best instrumental thermometer years are rejected, instead of used for calibration, and that is where the “fraud” accusation can be based, imo.

    I would also draw your attention to the Nature publication of Helliker and Richter that says that:

    “We show a remarkably constant leaf temperature of 21.4 plusminus 2.2 °C across 50° of latitude, from subtropical to boreal biomes. ”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7203/full/nature07031.html

    It is behind a paywall but there are several google articles out there on this.

    This would mean that trees, particularly evergreens in forests would create an ambient temperature optimal for growth/life within a few degrees , the same as the human organism keeps a body temperature around 38 degrees. So even isotope ratios, another way of getting temperatures, would be useless as thermometers.

    This would explain why tree ring “temperatures” are flat within errors, unless they pick a Yamal tree for hiding the decline.

    There are bone relics from very ancient times but nobody has suggested to use them as proxy thermometers !.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

      hugely OT.
      Search the blog.

  91. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Nature’s blog Climate Feedback also has a writeup by Harvey Leifert about Mann hitting back saying skeptics were part of “a well-funded and well-timed smear campaign that is sullying the reputations of scientists unfairly…”

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2009/12/agu_2009mann_hits_back_at_clim.html

    I wrote a comment on this but seriously doubt Nature will publish it. Olive is likely to censor comments almost as much as RealClimate. Here is the comment I posted:

    Nature is doing itself a tremendous disservice by publishing any comment by Michael Mann. Your readers have read the emails for themselves.

    If you did not read Mann’s editorial in Washington Post, you should. You should also read the comments of readers. The comments are running about 50-1 against Mann. The readers are quoting Mann’s emails and calling for him to be criminally prosecuted. And the readers are highly critical of Nature for Nature’s role in promoting Mann, Jones and the CRU team.

  92. HydroGeo
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Gentlemen, I was unable to load the comments page from WaPo Mann’s editorial (I tried for several hours). Is it me, or is that page now locked up?

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

      The comments page works fine now. Did you click the “Comments” link at the top of the article? If so, maybe it had a temporary glitch when you tried before. There are 33 pages of comments.

  93. Richard
    Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Mann – I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested [to which request I complied with promptly, I cannot condone what he made me do] in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university.

    But the messages [such as "– if the greatest uncertainties are in the >100 year band, then that is where the greatest uncertainties will be in the forcing experiments", or "...but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all)." etc.], do not undermine the scientific case that human-caused climate change is real.

    But then again how do you UNDERMINE a scientific case, if the scientific case didnt exist in the first place?

    • bender
      Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

      Everyone should read that whole email: 1062592331.txt. It shows where the significant splits are in “the team”.

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