McIntyre Submission with Figures

My submission to the UK Parliamentary Committee is here – this version excludes figures. Here is a pdf version with illustrations.

In my situation – which is a little, shall we say, unique- it’s hard to figure out exactly where to start. So I tried to cover topics that I didn’t think anyone else would cover, other than the “trick” where I tried to counter Gavin-esque disinformation.

Update:
I sent the following corrigendum to the Committee responding to an alert comment by reader Tom P:

There was an inconsistency between the caption to Figure 5 and the covering text. The original caption to Figure 5 (which stated “right – varying the Tornetrask and Urals versions to newer versions”) was correct as submitted.
The running text should be changed as follows:

For example, Figure 5 compares the published Briffa (2000) reconstruction (left) with a version derived merely by varying versions of Tornetrask and west Siberia tree ring chronologies (right) substituting the Polar Urals update for Yamal(right). The medieval-modern differential changes with these seemingly inconsequential changes one seemingly inconsequential change of version.


120 Comments

  1. EdeF
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve, that’s an excellent summary for the committee. Covers
    the main points.

  2. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Oh, dear. That doesn’t look so in when the bad stuff is concentrated like this.

    Steve, was this requested or volunteered?

    I’m a big time lurker here, but I still greatly appreciate your summaries. It’s like have a chapter review at the end of the semester. Your summaries get bookmarked in my browser.

  3. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    I finished reading all but ~4 submissions; yours was definitely one of the best.

    Some are unintelligble and others obviously written by CRU apologists.

    The one from the statistical society was very on point, in the spirit of Wegman.

    Bishop Hill reports that the hearings likely won’t go forward, as UK scuttlebutt is that Parliament will be disbanded after a call for elections this weekend. It’s still very good to get all of these positions into the public square – but the story will get ignored in the press if new elections are called.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/2/25/might-the-hearings-not-happen-at-all.html

    • JCM
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

      Brown is counting on 1) Further reduction in the Tory lead, 2) the debate, 3) LibDems making an arrangement
      As for growth stats they were released in the last few days and they were negative. All indications are a ‘hung parliament’ and that is why Brown & Mandelson keep talking about a pact. Lots of quite comfortable middle class Labour voters who have moved up from working class in one or two generations and still like many parts of the nanny state.

  4. H.D. Mellema
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    It’s actually quite shocking if you read all this in one document. I sure hope it has the impact it deserves to have.

  5. S. Geiger
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    “Jones, as a member of the editorial board of Climatic Change,
    actively lobbied so that Mann would not be required to disclose source code and
    supporting data that would have enabled us to reconcile results.”

    – curious, what was the source of this information/statement?

    thx

    Steve: early 2004 Climategate letters. with additional context from my own correspondence with Schneider in 2004.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

      Re: S. Geiger (Feb 26 17:27),

      You can look both before and after Feb. 6 and get further context.

      1076083097.txt
      From: Phil Jones
      Date: Fri Feb 6 10:58:17 2004
      Cc: Stephen H Schneider

  6. Robert Austin
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    Very succinct and understandable. Bravo! You go way beyond the call of duty in preparing and submitting this condensed report on the shenanigans in the paleoclimate clique. Now I don’t have to try to explain the malfeasance to my (“2,500 scientists couldn’t be wrong”)acquaintances. I will just say, “read this”.

  7. vboring
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    An impressive summary of wrongdoing. I hope it gets public airing that it should so that climate science can get a fresh chance to actually build a scientific case – based on scientific principles.

    If AGW is real and worth doing something about, I want to do something about it. That is why I got into electrical engineering. With the way climate science has been practiced, I don’t think anyone can say with any certainty whether anything is actually happening.

  8. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Truly amazing. Only 54 Submissions that I counted – or have I missed a button somewhere? With all the people on the various blogs out there both pro and anti AGW yet only a few bother to put pen to paper – and YES mine is there.

    So do I presume despite all the politiking that GW is so low on peoples agenda well behind employment, health, recession etc as revealed in recent surveys that they aren’t actually “engaged” ?

    • David S
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

      A lot of us take the view that others can express the issues better than we can – I take comfort from the majority of submissions which, like yours, are well-argued and thoughtful. But there are some surprising omissions….especially among supporters of Jones & co.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

      Maybe as an expat Brit, I’ve been living in New Zealand for too long, away from UK politics, but here the population is heavily engaged with Government at all levels.

      Parliamentary Enquiries or Select Committees regularly attract submissions in the hundreds if not thousands, the vast majority seeking oral submissions in support.

      This out of a population of 4 million – not bad “engagement”

      Comparing that to 54 submissions to such an important UK parliamentary enquiry frankly leaves me appalled

      …or have I just been away too long?

      • Phillip Bratby
        Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

        Andi,

        The government in the UK has engaged in hundreds of consultation exercises over the last few years. I have responded to several technical ones. The outcome of consultations is that the government ignores contrary views and carries on with its proposals, but can then claim it has consulted and taken account of comments. Most people now realise it is a waste of time and effort to respond to consultations. I guess the same is true for everything that the Government has a hand in and so people consider it is a waste of time to submit to something as important as this.

    • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

      Re: AndiC (Feb 26 18:31),

      Truly amazing. Only 54 Submissions that I counted …

      Before the memory fades, that’s not at all how I experienced it when I first learned yesterday afternoon that the committee had published the memoranda submitted to it – exactly as I’d predicted on Tuesday, as it happens, after speaking to the Clerk on 11th February and, well, instinctively trusting the guy. I’d also told him that I had some further concerns and wondered if it was worth emailing Phil Willis with them. The way he assured me that “everything in this area will be read most carefully” … again, it went deep. -snip – , looking back, I’d say it constituted a call. I had somehow to put those further concerns into writing, though it felt like one of the hardest things I’d ever had to express in my life.

      What I didn’t expect was for my ‘Supplementary’ to be included with all the other Memoranda. That was the first thing I checked. What on earth is that? Wow. They’ve allowed me to ‘break the rules’ by submitting a full twelve days late. That is, quite simply, awesome and, in the circumstances, entirely just. Sometimes, it seems, to trust the system isn’t the height of naivety, sometimes it makes all the difference to the future of humanity. (You never know when, that’s the problem. Bless Steve for keeping on keeping on – and all that have followed for so long.)

      And then, because he’d been asked to testify after Lawson and Peiser and I had no idea what line he was taking I went straight to Richard Thomas’ submission. Wow. I started to read from the top. Speed-read only – sorry folks! Sherrington’s wonderful quotations, Mosher’s deep humility, a load of names I’d never seen before but that I will remember for ever now. And I’m not ashsmed to say that I cried as I read them and I cry again as I write now. Because this, to me, was the real Team being revealed. Each person very different, some very polished, some brilliant in their dispassion and precision, others, like me, much less so, but saying something of heartfelt emotion … above all, every voice counting and playing its part.

      It felt like exactly the right number. It felt that out of nowhere a genuine team had formed, to put the thing to rights. What Lewis said would happen, at the end of Inner Ring, as I read so long ago. And in the mother of Parliaments, with all her faults. That is a gift.

      I don’t know what it means, what happens next. I know nothing. But something tells me that the scene can never be the same again.

  9. geo
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    Sometimes Steve can be a pretty “dense” prose stylist when he goes detail diving –so I am very pleased to note that was very clear and well-illustrated for even a general audience.

  10. freespeech
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    spelling mistake, secet for secret section 34 in PDF

    • Gary
      Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

      I found three other typos besides this. Steve, you need a proof-reader, especially for these kinds of submissions.

      Steve: Arggh. I’m a very accurate speller. I’ll check the typos; I dislike such things and am embarrassed to have them in the submission. I’ll clean the pdf.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

        I agree, several proof-readers would be preferable. Still, an excellent submission.

        • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

          “We all stumble in many ways” in what we say, as a man once said. The rough and readiness of the submissions in this case – the fact that none of us knew if it was worth the effort – is part of what really moved me as I read. And I believe it’s part of what will convince the MPs reading that this isn’t anything like the orchestrated campaign they’ve heard so much about, it’s real people with no vested interest at all but a passion for the truth. Well, OK, Peabody’s a bit different but they aren’t hiding the commercial angle! And what a wonderful business to be in, given what coal can do for the poorest of the earth once this debacle is over. But I digress. The typos don’t matter one whit. What business did we in the UK have to expect this Canadian to come and have such a dramatic effect in cleaning out the malpractice in our own backyard? It’s amazing, we’re stunned at everyone that’s bothered – and deeply grateful.

  11. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    It’s really fantastic work SteveM. Less on the fraudit and a couple of comments on the culture that allows Mick Kelly to openly discuss clipping endpoints would have been nice but there’s really nothing to criticize. It’s the best submission they will receive from anyone I predict.

    • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

      I differ strongly on the ‘Mr Fraudit’ section, which I found if anything understated. Put simply, they despised Steve and became almost obsessed with him. They had no reason to. It was their own malfeasance, unwillingness to admit mistakes and group protection of their position of power that forced them to talk about him this way. It was cowardly and wrong. Steve was entirely right not to leave out this very unedifying aspect. And then to finish with how his desire for cooperation was blackballed by Phil Jones. Our MPs will understand such things.

      • Dave R
        Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

        It cuts both ways. Steve has arguably become equally obsessed by Jones and Mann et al., e.g., Steve’s “nasty little men at RC” comment he put up once (before hastily removing it) and the endless sneers, snark, faux outrage and tolerance of echo-chamber piling-on attacks. Not very mature, if you ask me. Unfortunately, the mutual dislike hasn’t helped the science at all and blame attaches to both sides. I wonder if Steve would be prepared to post up all his emails for public view?

        • Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

          There were three things I said about ‘the Team’ that don’t apply to Steve: malfeasance, unwillingness to admit mistakes and group protection of their position of power. He may once have got angry though – it’s just I’ve never seen it. I’m really glad you see these evils in the Team though. They are the ones with all the power, that’s the thing to remember. Well, were. That’s changing fast. That must be hard.

        • EJ D
          Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

          I’m sure that if Steve were a paid government employee, sending emails on government owned computers and subject to FOI requests, he would surrender them. But since he is neither, and is in fact a private citizen, his personal communication is privacy protected speech.

  12. Jimi Bostock
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    An outstanding and historical document. Thanks to Mac, I now have a ready reckoner that I can simply forward to any of my friends who want a 101 on the sciece behind AGW. Of course, I know that Mac is dealing with very defined aspects of the wider science but, as we all agree, his focus is laser-like in bringing the whole thing down.

    So, what can I say but thanks again Mr Mac. What would we have done / do without you.

  13. Copner
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    I think this is very well-written. It is clear and concise on what you see as the issues. I congratulate you Mr McIntyre.

    I also note that one of the moderators at realclimate (I am not sure if he is anything to do with climategate or the CRU?) straight out states in a comment made today that data should not be released to you, because you might find fault with it. So the attitude about not releasing data doesn’t seem to have changed, at least as far as this individual is concerned. (I refer to comment 290 in the Close Encounters story, with the reply inserted by Jim).

    • Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

      Hello,

      I find it strange that you all are so angry at McIntyre. It is normal scientific procedure to be able to reproduce other scientists results.

      Otherwise it isnt science.

      So in the future, I would suggest that you organise the raw data on the
      web, and code for download. Then there will be no requests for data or code.

      After all, this is the property of taxpayers. And there is nothing to be afraid. The worst that can happen, is that a colleguae might correct some mistake. And that would be of the best for everyone.

      Thanks.


      [Response: First, RealClimate is not a data depository and has no control over those entities which are. Second, there is an enormous amount of climate data available freely via the web. See the “Data Sources” tab on the top of the main page. Third, you are wrong on “the worst that can happen”–it can be used by those without the proper training and understanding of the issues, whose goal is to find fault and defame rather than improve understanding, as McIntyre is an outstanding example of. This is, combined with his demanding attitude and tactics, are why he engenders animosity–Jim]

      • geo
        Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

        Yeah, there’s the problem right there. Let’s assume for discussion that Steve is beezelbub incarnated (he isn’t, of course). Since when did science care? I would direct that argument to Gavin Schmidt, who noted quite insistently that the personal characteristics of scientists should make no impact on the quality of the science.

        They yearn to win. I do them the courtesy of assuming that this is because they feel way down deep they deserve to win. Well, okay, I accept the human condition. But I also know that the entire history of science is a progression towards doing its level best to take the fallability of individual humans out of the equation. Throwing such arguments back into the mix is a serious retrograde of history. Galileo would recognize the fallacy of that argument instantly.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

        The RC responder “Jim” would apparently be Jim Bouldin, a new RC commenter. I don’t know anything else about him.

      • curious
        Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

        “Third, you are wrong on “the worst that can happen”–it can be used by those without the proper training and understanding of the issues,…”

        So true.. :)

      • MIke
        Posted Mar 7, 2010 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

        A small point, but the quote from Jim does not advocate withholding data. He even suggests where data can be found on the web. He is stating the fact that data can be misused. His personal animosity toward McIntyre is very clear and unfortunate. This might be coloring how McIntyre’s supporters are reading the quoted passage.

  14. Pat Moffitt
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    This has all happened before in the later half of the 1800s during the Darwin “wars” Large donors threatened universities that hired Darwin supporters. Louis Agassiz and colleagues attempted to stack appointments at the “prestigious” universities with anti Darwin thinking professors. The creation of the National Academies of Science was in large part an attempt (thwarted by Dana) to create a quasi governmental agency that would bless the “correct view” of science and Agassiz’s people would control selection to the board of NAS. It is not important for this purpose that the cause was anti Darwin- simply that it is a strategy that has been employed before and most likely at some point will again. It is simply a logical (but unethical) solution to the question – how do I make sure our idea wins. When we understand this will happen we can better design systems to see that it doesn’t – at least as often. “Trust but verify.”

  15. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of figures, there’s a new spaghetti graph out.

  16. rw
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    I find this quote amazing from the report submitted by
    “Memorandum submitted by the Royal Statistical Society (CRU 47)” to the commitee

    (I particularly like the oracular pronounments, I wonder if spell check dropped the “G”)

    “9. More widely, the basic case for publication of data includes that science progresses as an ongoing debate and not by a series of authoritative and oracular pronouncements and that the quality of that debate is best served by ensuring that all parties have access to the facts. It is well understood, for example, that peer review cannot guarantee that what is published is ‘correct’. The best guarantor of scientific quality is that others are able to examine in detail the arguments that have been used and not just their published conclusions. It is important that experiments and calculations can be repeated to verify their conclusions. If data, or the methods used, are withheld, it is impossible to do this.”

  17. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    That is damned good, the figures are excellent for a non-scientist to understand.

    When reviewing a paper it is normally under a confidentiality agreement, reviewers are not allowed to solicit other views on the manuscript.

    I found this reprehensible, but was it a breach of his duties to the Journal?

    “I am really sorry but I have to nag about that review – Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting”

  18. François GM
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Great reading. Too bad you used the term “cherry-picking” rather than “selection bias”. Sounds petty in an official document.

  19. Bernie
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve:
    Very clear. Very surgical.
    I suspect there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst those whose misdeeds are being exposed.

  20. Andrew Buddery
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Everyone is completely aware of your obsessive dislike of the CRU scientists, Steve. This whole piece was just a little unnecessary.

    Steve: Why would you say that I “dislike” them? I avoid angriness personally and encourage readers to do likewise. I think that the issues raised in my submission were valid ones and, for the most part, either not covered elsewhere or covered with a distinct perspective in my submission.

    • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

      No, what is unnecessary is secrecy in public science. Something the MSM and AGW proponents seem not to get (seemingly willfully).

  21. EdB
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Your submission was absolutely necessary Steve, – snip – Without your hard work and due diligence, this sorry episode of corrupt science would never have been stopped. Please stick with it, even though I am sure you are sick of it by now. It would be nice if the climate “scientists” would pick up more of the slack, but so far their participation is spotty.

  22. Bernie
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    I strongly recommend reading Doug Keenan’s submission. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc4602.htm
    It provides a very clear example of how Jones attempted to corrupt the peer review process.

  23. vg
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Have you been invited to submit this?

  24. Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Steve, back late in London, skimmed all the submissions earlier, felt very deeply that your last five paras, 30-34, are the heart of the matter. You wanted comity, not conflict – and so, for a moment at least, did Tim Osborn. We honour you for this, even if the world never hears it. But I think that now it will.

  25. MrPete
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Missing phrase or ???

    17. The Climategate Letters (e.g. 878654527.txt) also show evidence that Briffa’s
    concern over non-linear recent growth – a concern that was not disclosed in Briffa (2000).

  26. mondo
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    Excellent submission Steve.

    Only one point. And I realise that you had very limited space.

    However, under cherry picking, one of the key points that I understand underlies the repeated defence of the Hockey Stick by Mann et al is that it usually (always) includes either the Yamal series (a pronounced hockey stick) or the BCP series (another pronounced hockey stick).

    When observers object, they might remove the Yamal, but retain the BCP, or vice versa. Have they ever showed the graph with BOTH Yamal and BCP removed?

  27. Dan
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    Great work!

  28. Andrew Buddery
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Copner:

    “I also note that one of the moderators at realclimate (I am not sure if he is anything to do with climategate or the CRU?) straight out states in a comment made today that data should not be released to you, because you might find fault with it.”

    You know too well that this wasn’t what was said, don’t you? You know the point that Jim was making was that Steve McIntyre – who is “without proper training” – would use the data -snip

    Steve: I’ve deleted an untrue and slanderous allegation against me. I’ve got other things to do today than pick this sort of spitball off the wall.

    • Alex Heyworth
      Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

      Re: Andrew Buddery (Feb 26 22:43), – snip –
      pretty poor form to make such a sweeping and derogatory allegation without presenting your evidence.

      • Andrew Buddery
        Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

        Coming from you Bernie, I’m validated. I feel like I’m doing something right.

        Alex, you have a point, although fortunately I’m insignificant enough so that any poor form is pretty irrelevent. Ok, single example:

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/26/new-the-deleted-data/

        No discussion of divergence problem. Claims that the “hide the decline” ‘to avoid giving fodder to the sceptics’. Can you seriously claim to objectivity when you don’t bother to discuss the real reason why the decline was “hidden” in the first place?

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-divergence-problem.html

        Was McIntyre interested in showing the state of the science on tree-ring proxies? Or was he interested in scoring points against his favourite boogie-men.

        snip

        • MikeN
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

          Andrew, I think pretty much everyone reading the site knows about the divergence problem. TO claim Steve ignores means you don’t understand how to read the site properly.

          Steve: Divergence has been discussed time after time here for the past 5 years. It’s been a major theme. To be accused of “ignoring” it is a total and insane fabrication. However, prior to my AR4 Second Draft Review Comments, IPCC ignored it. The AR4 section was in direct response to my Review Comments (where they still refused to show the decline because IPCC (Briffa) said that it would be “inappropriate” [to show it to the laity].)

        • Copner
          Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

          I didn’t misrepresent anything.

          I posted a reference to the comment so anybody could see for themselves exactly what Jim said.

          Somebody else posted the full text of Jim’s commemt, directly under my post, 2.5 hours before you started objecting about “misrepresentation”, and 3.5 hours before your latest moans. Any reader on this site can judge for themselves the meaning of Jim’s comment.

          And the bottom line remains. Jim doesn’t think all the data should be released, for a variety of reasons, including the particular one I commented on.

      • Ed Snack
        Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

        Actually Andrew is pointing out deliberate falsehoods. What Jim meant by his comments that some people (and here he was clearly referring to Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt and others of that ilk), don’t have the proper training and should not be allowed access to sensitive data as they will misuse and misrepresent it for their own purposes. I could agree with Jim on that ! After all, there is plentiful evidence for Mann’s (and Jones and others) lack of good faith and ethics. Andrew’s interpretation of Jim’s statement is not only ridiculous, but deliberately trollish in the extreme.

        • kim
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

          The chamber echoes with my guffaws.
          ============

    • Copner
      Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

      If you believe that Steve McIntyre, or anybody else for that matter, uses data incorrectly. Argue a rebuttal when they do. It’s not an excuse for hiding the data pre-emptively to prevent challenge.

      Anyway, I know exactly what was said, and so do you. Because I posted a reference to the comment so anybody could see for themselves, and somebody else posted the full text of Jim’s commemt, directly under my post, 2.5 hours before you claimed I was misrepresenting the comment. Any reader on this site can judge for themselves the meaning of Jim’s comment.

      The bottom line however is that he said the data shouldn’t be released, and whatever his reasons, I believe that is an unjustifiable position.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

        If all the data were publicly available, anyone interested could re-do anything McIntyre, Jones, or [insert any other name here] have been doing with it, and decide for themselves whether this or that constitutes “improper” or “incorrect” use. Data – unlike big (or small) oil for example – is not a scarce commodity, so it just doesn’t matter how stupid or grotesque someone’s use of it might turn out as long as the original data is freely available both for comparison and as a source for doing a better analysis. Pretending that critics – even the most biased, foolish and unreasonable ones – are “a danger to the integrity of the data” is the lamest pretense I have encountered for a long time; no more true than claiming that the “misdeeds” of clumsy and tasteless pianists will not only do a serious damage to Chopin’s or Beeethoven’s reputation, but actually destroy the compositions themselves. Following this analogy, those who want to keep the data secret are like inept musicians thinking the public might not notice their wrong notes as long as they hide the sheet music. But the listeners have heard the dissonances already, it’s too late!

        • moray watson
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

          This is a terrific analogy.

        • Kate7
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

          I archived this RC post before it disappeared Feb 20:
          Sorry, but you chaps still aren’t getting “it”. I am on your side and I see that you still aren’t getting “it”. The problem is the defensiveness and obfuscation of the Team (as they call you). I see it and I am on your side. Let the “deniers” have what they want – data; code; public debate. Surely you all will “win” in that process with the facts. Only then will they relent.
          [Response: Maybe on a different planet. There is more data than you can poke a stick at, millions of lines of code in the public domain, and climate scientists tripping over themselves to do outreach at schools, churches, clubs, museums, TV, radio and music hall. I’m collecting ‘we surrender’ emails from the sceptics as we speak…. – gavin]

        • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

          Lol, Gavin replied and then disappeared it?? Amazing.

          Yeah, tons of data and code, but is it relevant to the published papers? And is one just supposed to guess which is the data and code used in any given paper?

        • Jimchip
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

          Re: Kate7 (Feb 27 09:34),

          “[Response: Maybe on a different planet…”

          Maybe a parallel universe, the Realclimate (Bizzarro) version of science. I have to say that “climate scientists tripping over themselves” is dead on but not the way Gavin intended.

        • chopbox
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: ChrisZ (Feb 27 06:57),

          I agree with you that those who have not produced the data have no claim at all to insist that any of it be kept secret. However, I would like to mention that in our campaign to make data more publicly available, we do not insist that data be free. The reason for this is simply that collecting and properly categorizing data requires skill, effort, and time, and if we clamor that despite these positive production costs, we must have free data, we will almost surely come to a point where almost nobody produces quality data except for those who receive public money to do so.

          If you’ve followed me so far, I think you’ll agree that in climate science at least, we’re already there: the only data produced is that produced by those receiving public funds. Private providers of data cannot compete, and those lucky enough to be receiving public funds to produce climate data feel no compunction (nor are they forced to feel any compunction) to share it, even though it is the taxpayers who have paid for it.

          Is this what we want?

        • Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

          In cases where the public dime was used to collect said data, yes, unequivocally.

        • chopbox
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

          Re: Jeff Alberts (Feb 27 13:45),

          My point is not to question whether we want the data given that we’ve paid for it. Of course we do.

          My point was rather that we seem to have created a system, as if by design, in which we have combined the worst features of a privately-funded data creation system (secrecy and underprovision of data, at least from a public perspective) with the worst features of a publicly-funded data creation system (rent-seeking behaviour from the creators of the data sets and a lack of oversight).

          That is, our present system still has secrecy (though nobody could reasonably argue that that’s legitimate given that the public has paid for it) and it could well still have an underprovision of data (since private creators of data have been driven out of the market). Perhaps more public oversight is all that is required, but I personally doubt it. (For instance, look at the FOI officers [publicly appointed watchdogs] actively helping Phil Jones to keep information secret even though the requests are legitimate.)

        • Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

          Simple enforcement of existing journal and academic policies would have prevented the vast majority of the problems which have been exposed. I can’t imagine that more public oversight would NOT help.

        • Jimchip
          Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

          Re: chopbox (Feb 27 12:49),

          I think that several team players were using public data (and holding it back) so they had an in on creating a “value-added” product. Several regional groups would have liked to sell their data.

          If a group is a “cost-center” and part of their funding is legitimately deemed to be by their publications (the US Printing Office and their like would be examples) then reasonable fees might be discussed and put into effect. Many open-source and other licenses distinguish between commercial and non-commercial uses for their data. The team wanted to have it both ways. Publicly funded but hoarding it and using it like a trade secret.

  29. Alex Heyworth
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    I recommend people also read Peter Taylor’s submission, particularly for its detailing of the broader context in which Climategate occurred. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc5002.htm

  30. Tom FP
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    One thing that is becoming clear to me, and that seems as yet to elude most of the public and a surprising number of non-climate scientists is the true nature of “climate science”. I used to think it was a sort of “climatology on steroids”, but it turns out to consist of a little bit of physics and a huge amount of statistics. The physics to which the statistics are applied seems to be pretty well established, uncontroversial stuff, allowing the “science is settled” claim to survive as long as it has, but the statistics, the key to why this was suposed to be “climate science” and not just climatology, rather than being in the hands of especially gifted statisticians, was performed by people for whom statistics was at best a secondary discipline. As a second rate scientist, Phil Jones made a third-rate statistician. If I am right, this is an aspect of this affair that should be brought to the committee’s attention.

    • VS
      Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

      Nail on the head!

  31. rjtomes
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    If they can ignore these submissions and do “business as usual” then they are stark raving mad. We shall see.

  32. ghg
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    weird. I didn’t know that whining is a valid way to debate science. The despicable men said some bad words in private. wah

  33. MikeN
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    I thing the end of your submission is flawed. The ClimateGate e-mails do not conclusive show that Jones was a reviewer for your Nature paper. In fact I suspect the e-mail in question does not refer to your paper at all. Incorrect details like these call into question all of the sourcing in your submission.

  34. deadwood
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    Now we get to see whether the UK Parliament intends to really look into the matter. I have not been very impressed to date with the official response, but I still hope to see my pessimism contradicted.

  35. Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 1:25 AM | Permalink

    Richard Courtney, as author of one of the liberated emails and “locked out” of the peer-review process, has a wonderful insight into the machinations at CRU

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc0102.htm

  36. Dr. Ross Taylor
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

    Excellent: succinct and understated. Take a break!

  37. Bengt A
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:20 AM | Permalink

    Really enjoyed reading your summary! If they want to make a thorough investigation they cannot avoid the issues you have raised.

    Being a science teacher I find Briffa’s adjustment of the Torneträsk proxy one of the most alarming issues. I would never accept such an adjustment in a report from my students. If a “bodging” like that gets through the peer review process you really have to ask yourself what climate science is about.

  38. Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

    rjtomes, it’s best to assume there will be a whitewash as usual. In the meantime get some NIWA data and analyse it.
    P.S. I believe cycles theory would be welcome at Neutralpedia!

  39. Lewis
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Even though I know and have followed most of this material it’s a shock to see it so listed. Steve, now, these emails really shocked you. I empathise – bless your niave heart!

  40. janama
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Steve – for all your dedicated work on this. It’s finally going to pay off and the world will be the better for it.

  41. geronimo
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    Well done Steve, I don’t think the MPs will bother trying to understand it, but there is an upside. I believe that the politicians, of all parties, in the UK thought that the science was being challenged by a group of right-wing loony know-nothings. Your success here will be that you are quite clearly on top of the topic, that they refer to you privately as Fraudit, that you are impeccably polite in your dealings with them, that they wouldn’t let you have the data under any circumstance and finally, that you have provided proof of cherrypicking, that will all register. And yes, cherrypicking is the right word they do that themselves all the time, and may well do that when weighing the evidence here. I’m surprised, given the pressure the warmists seem to be able to bring to bear on anyone who for a moment questions their cause, that the ICO and the IOP have had the courage to stick to their guns.

    When this whole thing broke I told my wife that there were problems in the UEA/CRU (we live nearby) related to it’s world famous Climatology department.

    She gave me one of those “Oh yeah what do you know?” looks. I asked her what the problem was and she said:

    “The University of East Anglia isn’t renowned for it’s climatology department, everyone knows that it’s famous for its “Creative Writing” courses.” Look it up it’s true UEA is world famous for it’s creative writing courses.

  42. justbeau
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Powerful submission by McIntyre, not that I expected less.
    It highlights the divide is not between belief in Global Warming or rejection of this hypothesis. This divide, of which so much tends to be made, is actually trivial.

    The fundamental and important divide is ethical. It is between the ethical practice of scientific methods versus those who take short-cuts, whatever their justifications or mere mistakes. Many practioners of climate science lost their bearings and behaved abysmally, en masse.
    At least a little to his credit, Phil Jones has come to realize some of this. His interview with the BBC showed willingness to admit errors. This cannot have been easy to do, since he was in charge at CRU and a lot of nonsense went on. Yet ones is still to be congratulated for acknowledging errors. This puts him ethical light-years ahead of Mike Mann or Gavin Schmidt.
    I am suggesting there is a clear divide between appropriate scientific conduct and inappropriate. There have been many namby-pamby apologists for what was revealed in the the emails from UEA. Yet the ethical issues are clear. All who have NOT expressed disgust and publicly distanced themselves from the conduct of the Hockey Team and its many followers have done their own credibilty little good.

    Ralph Cicerone should resign from the NAS, to help it move forward. This is what a person who truly values honorable scientific practice would feel ethically obliged to do. Cicerone selected Jerry North, an enabler and apologist for lousy climate science, to try to coverup valid criticisms of the hockey stick. Cicerone should make belated amends by stepping aside.

  43. TJA
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    Michael Mann “responds to his critics”

    http://www.pointofinquiry.org/michael_mann_unprecedented_attacks_on_climate_research/

    • AMac
      Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

      Note that journalist-interviewer Chris Mooney invited questions prior to conducting the interview; there was a link to that “Point of Inquiry” discussion board from a CA commenter on a prior thread.

      The questions that were submitted are here</. From these, Mooney used two.

      “mckenzievmd” (#3; “Do you find that climate change denialism is responsive to data and factual arguments…”) and

      “Pragmatic Naturalist” (#14; “What sort of potential evidence might be discovered in the near future… that could possibly falsify the current consensus”).

      My submission (#21; “Can the four Tiljander proxies be calibrated…”) was not selected.

      To his credit, Mooney starts the podcast by announcing his intention to use the interview to support Prof. Mann and strike a blow for climate science against the forces of the corporate-funded denialist conspiracy.

      I would say that his choice of questions contributed to the interview’s success.

      • AMac
        Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

        Aargh, “The questions that were submitted are here.”

  44. Henry
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    Steve a pity there was no room for the upside down stuff, pretty powerful when the author of that study says flat out the Hockey team is using the study upside down.

    Henry

  45. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Steve,
    I believe that your submission is an excellent summary of the issues raised by the leaked emails.

  46. Greensand
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Times-online has a story entitled University ‘tried to mislead MPs on climate change e-mails’

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7043566.ece

    Even now they still cannot tell it asit isb

  47. R Rodger
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations to Steve McIntyre for such excellent work – in this volume and over the years. I am saving this one.

  48. Jimchip
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Ok, I have one question and I’m not intending to imply it should have been addressed in Steve McIntyre’s submission (maybe too broad an issue) but it does concern issues of cherry-picking, etc.

    There is one email from 2005 where there is extensive discussion regarding the choosing of 1961-1990 as the “Normals” calibration period and the ramifications of updating to 1971-2000 based on a Turkish Meteorological claim of greater reliability. WMO policies are discussed, Jones and Parker (Met Office) are included. Jones using the notion of “bodge” to talk the idea down…Discussion of

    “There is a preference in the atmospheric observations chapter of IPCC
    AR4 to stay with the 1961-1990 normals. This is partly because a change
    of normals confuses users, e.g. anomalies will seem less positive than
    before if we change to newer normals, so the impression of global
    warming will be muted…”

    Wouldn’t the choice of the 30 year (or 20 year) normal period profoundly affect the results? I know that the cherry-picking of datasets using the same normals is quite a story in it’s own right but a lot seems to be centered on cutting off Briffa at 1960, just before the “normal” is computed.

    Steve: The reason why Jones doesn’t want to change from 1961-90 is the “Great Dying of Thermometers” in the 1990s as it relates to his algorithm. Out of all the issues in this area, the baseline isn’t one that interests me a whit or that I think “matters”.

  49. Prof Langston
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    First, I am a completely NON-climate scientist. My background is: Logger, mechanic, network administrator, in that order. One of my strengths is that I learn fast, but here, I am somewhat at a loss, because I cannot fully understand something, and along that lines, I suspect that much of the public will have the same problem.

    First, how do you validate a “reconstruction”? I understand correllating say, tree rings and temperature. But, I know enough about trees, from my days as a logger and from taking grade-school science and biology, that how much water, sunlight, etc, also influences tree ring size.

    So, forgive my simplicity here, but if the tree ring based reconstruction fails at about 1960, when compared with measured data, doesn’t that mean that the whole concept, or the methodology is incorrect? I compare it to having two photographs, one with half missing. If the parts you do have… do not match, then, isn’t the identity or reconstruction of the missing part… invalid?

    To my “lay person” mind, if the tree ring reconstructions do not match real life measurements, then the whole idea, or the means by which it’s done… Won’t be valid at all. I keep reading how it was dishonest to hide the failure of the proxy to match the real. Yeah, it would be, but in my mind, it invalidates the whole concept, until or unless someone can do enough research to build a viable means of analysis to make tree rings reconstruct both historic and present records. And, on top of that, it would involve certain caveats, such as “reconstruction based upon X,Y,Z, and other factors, being A, B, and C, remaining constant.” What little I know as a lay person aside, I do KNOW that tree growth has more factors than temperature alone, thus my skepticism of using it any valid proxy in the first place.

    The errors and “hiding” used tend to confirm my fundamental skepticism of the whole idea in the first place, not just the integrity ( and in my mind, the scientific ability ) of those involved in the first place.

    • AMac
      Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

      If you want a good Q&A about dendrochronology, one place to look is in the comments of RealClimate.org’s “Hey Ya! (mal)” thread from October 2009. “Mark P” posts his first questions as #404, here. Then set your browser’s Find function to “Mark P” and follow that particular conversation (best responses from Jim Bouldin). Mark P continues his exchange at CA, here. Same strategy as at RC. Hope that helps.

  50. Prof Langston
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    BTW, Langston is the fictional character that takes the place of the fictional Grissom on CSI :)

  51. Arn Riewe
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I’ve relied on your site for a couple of years to get the sense of what’s really going on in the climate science world. Sometimes the content can get above my head, but I can generally pull out the context of the argument. I just wanted add my thanks for this document, which I think is devastating to those that want to turn the blind eye to what the gatekeepers have been doing to the science. Keep fighting the good fight!

  52. oakwood
    Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 4:18 AM | Permalink

    Excellent submission. Very clear presentation of the evidence.

    (Still some typos in pdf just downloaded. Not critical, but as others suggest, best to have a good proof reader.)

  53. Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

    As noted in Climategate News and Links already. Note to moderator: can we have a link to this page (or to the latest news page, if it changes) at the top left?

  54. Janice Baker
    Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    I have read all but two of the submissions – some more carefully than others. Steve McIntyre’s was excellent – pointed, concise, lucid. Congratulations and thank you.

    I have two technical questions, which may belong on another thread. The first is about the submission of von Storch. What is the basis for his view (and I am simplifying it) that temperature reconstructions are almost irrelevant because the 20th century thermometer record shows a definite warming, particularly in the last several decades, for which the only satisfactory explanation is largely the release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases?

    I looked at the abstract of the Allen et al article cited (I am not a subscriber to Nature)and it seems much more tentative than the statements in the submission.

    My second question will require re-reading some of the submissions so I will save that for later

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

      Re: Janice Baker (Feb 28 09:16),

      You can do a ClimateAudit search for von Storch using the search window at upper right of every page. One of my favorites is “von Storch et al 2004 in IPCC AR4″.

      My take on “for which the only satisfactory explanation is largely the release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases” is that it is a Hans VS opinion.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

      There are 2 instrumentally derived records, one for CO2 ppm another for Global Mean Temperature (GMT).

      For arguments sake assume these records are for all material purposes satisfactory. Over the last 40 years or so these both trend upwards. Basic physics predict that for a constant insolation (radiation from the sun) an increase in the CO2 concentration will cause an increase in GMT and, it is argued, the observed increase is consistent with the predicted increase. This is what is sometimes referred to as the “settled science”, thought it remains at least as contentious as any other area of science that is currently “modal”.

      This is a laboratory model of the earth in which you have equilibrium at one level of variable A, all other things being equal, when you increase variable A to a new level it will move to a new equilibrium.
      It differs from the real climate system in that all other things are not equal, in fact there are a lot of other variables and they all change all the time, so GMT is never in equilibrium, it’s always in transition.

      Take a very simple but well established variable capable of computation – insolation changes with the distance between the earth and the sun and its inclination to it axis – the Milankovitch Cycles. Although this is “settled” science it is only possible to reconcile the predictions if there are factors other than insolation which have massive effects on GMT. We are presently in a cooling phase of the Milankovitch cycle, in a long term trend down into a new ice age – that would also come under the heading of “settled science”.

      This fact informed the Hockey Stick studies. The team say that the trend in the shaft is the trend predicted by the Milankovitch Cycles and this confirms that the dendrological and paleological evidence therefore accounts for all other factors which affect GMT. The blade, which departs from this trend, is alleged to depart only because of the non-natural factor, the activities of man including increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      As you can see the Hockey Sticks studies adds little to the Physics, which have already predicted that an increase in CO2 will produce an increase in GMT and this correlation has allegedly been observed already.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

      Von Storch apparently assumes that there is no UHI contamination of the surface record and no possible natural cycles or oscillations of climate. If you assume those 2 things, he is maybe correct.

  55. Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you say “there was no scientific basis for such an arbitrary adjustment” [of the tree ring record], my understanding is that it is a feature of dendrochronology that more recently laid down tree rings are thinner than those buried more deeply within the tree. Which would create a scientific basis for applying an adjustment. Would it not?

    Steve: Not this adjustment.

    • MrPete
      Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: Richard Lawson (Feb 28 13:38),
      That’s not an arbitrary adjustment. Carefully-constructed mathematical methods, with some physical principles underlying, take care of the general time-related growth changes. Even those engender much discussion. But at least they aren’t completely arbitrary.

    • oakwood
      Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

      In any case, if there is a ‘scientific basis’, it’s the duty of the paper author to mention it and explain the justification, not for readers to guess.

  56. Janice Baker
    Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Re: Jimchip

    Re: bobdenton

    thank you both very much for your help

  57. Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    congratulations, you canadians are better at hockey than the us.

    • Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

      Actually we’re even, one loss to the other each. They need a tie-breaker.

  58. Tom P
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You write “There has been considerable suspicion that CRU cherry-picked the Yamal
    chronology” but then “cherry pick” the Polar Urals rather than Yamal to show the effect on the reconstruction. Given the similar correlation to temperature of both series, there is a good case that both chronologies should be included in any analysis.

    I notice there is no mention of the Khadyta substitution in your submission despite all the fuss it made last year. Is that because you were aware of its poor correlation with temperature?

    Elsewhere you criticise Briffa for not using the most up-to-date version. But as far as Tornetrask is concerned, you use the Grudd 2006 version, though he published a new chronology in Climate Dynamics in 2008 with much improved correlation with temperature.

    It would be interesting to see the reconstruction in which you respond to your own exhortations to avoid “cherry picking” and to include the most up to date chronologies. How does fig. 5 look with both Yamal and Polar Urals included, as well as using the 2008 version of Tornetrask?

    • oakwood
      Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

      It seems you are deliberately or naively missing the point. Steve’s replacement of one with the other was to demonstrate the significance of a single proxy selection on the results. Steve (to my understanding) is not making a case for or against AGW. It is Briffa who is making a case. There may well be a case to include both, but tell that to Briffa, not McIntyre.

      • Tom P
        Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

        Oakwood,

        “Steve’s replacement of one with the other was to demonstrate the significance of a single proxy selection on the results.”

        It’s not actually clear what Steve has done here. In the text he states that the fig. 5 shows “a version derived merely by substituting the Polar Urals update for Yamal” while the figure caption describes the plot as “varying the Tornetrask and Urals versions to newer versions.”

        Whatever point Steve is trying to make, he should be clear exactly what data is going in to his submitted version.

        Steve: Thanks for noting the inconsistency. I re-used a graphic and will have to check against the generating script to see which I did. I have a hugely busy week, but will try to post up a turnkey script for the a various results.

        • Tom P
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

          On the Hearings thread:

          Steve: “I’ve told Tom P that I’m very busy right now and can’t provide room service for him. In an incident last fall, he got hugely annoyed when room service didn’t attend to him within several hours of his request and went to realclimate to complain, where he was proclaimed as Gavin’s Guru.”

          I’ll respond here, as people really do seem to be getting very agitated over on that thread, whether my comments are snipped, or even if I just redirect their questions to a different thread.

          As you should remember last September I said I was “impatient” to see the analysis of combining the Khadtyta and Yamal series, and so ran the R code myself. You may think I was “hugely annoyed” but I can assure you I was not – you provided a good impetus for me to look at the scripts myself. Also, I think you, not RealClimate, should take credit for giving me any “guru” status, however kindly your intent!

          As to checking quite what you did to produce figure 5 of your submission, I’m not sure the Select Committee would see this as a question of providing “room service”. Normally one establishes the basis of a plot before drawing any conclusions and certainly prior to publication, not after. I presume you will be clarifying this issue for the Committee in good time for any deliberations they might make based on your submission.

        • Tom P
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

          Steve,

          There appears to be another issue with your submission. Your version in fig. 5 of what is claimed to be a reproduction of the published Briffa (2000) plot of changes in the northern high-latitude temperature is significantly different from the original. Here is your plot overlain with a displaced version of the original:

          img13.imageshack.us/img13/5213/briffavsmcibriffa.png

          Some of the discrepancies between the plots may be partly down to a different choice in smoothing function. Notably, though, the original does not show the marked difference seen in your version between the medieval warm period and the twentieth century. In fact you cut off your plot before the peak temperatures of the late tenth century seen in the original. The blue line shows that any difference between these two periods in the original is not readily discernible, unlike in your attempted replot. This makes the contrast with your second reconstruction which replaces one, or maybe two, of the chronologies rather less marked.

          I think it would be best to first calculate a more accurate reproduction of the Briffa reconstruction including all of the relevant periods before commenting on any differences with your version.

          Steve: I’ll take a look at this in a week or so. I have some personal things that are taking quite a bit time over and above Climategate. My Briffa starting point is drawn from Briffa’s digital data.

        • Tom P
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

          Steve,

          The bulk of your submission, paragraphs 3 to 18, concerns your issues with the creation and selection of individual proxies. Paragraph 19 concludes your analysis with showing in fig. 5 an example of how such issues might affect a reconstruction (Briffa 2000) that was used in both the third and fourth IPCC reports.

          Until you establish the basis for both of your plots in figure 5, it would be difficult to quantify what might be the contribution to a final reconstruction from any of your issues with the individual chronologies.

          Given that your submission is currently part of the material being rapidly assessed by the Select Committee for their final report, and that you now will not be able to check how these plots were derived for a “week or so”, it might be worth immediately advising the committee of these uncertainties in your submission.

          Steve As I said before, I’ll doublecheck on the point in question. I like to be precise about calculations and have undertaken to post up scripts. For the point in question, it doesn’t matter whether the variation is Polar Utals/Yamal alone or whether it is Polar Urals/Yamal and Tornetrask. In either case, the result is sensitive to minor variations in version. Obviously the obligation to have reported this rested with Briffa and CRU and they should have reported it long ago. Again, I have personal business this week that interferes with me posting the scripts up as promptly as I would like.

  59. Keith Little
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    This summary helped me understand a very complex issue. One point of amplification would help: why is it that “the number of proxies in a typical IPCC multiproxy reconstruction is sufficiently small that the choice between two versions of a single site chronology can impact the overall reconstruction.” Why don’t scientists use larger, more robust datasets?

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

      More data is not necessarily available, especially as you go back many centuries, since few trees live that long and other proxies can have discontinuities that preclude extending them farther back.

  60. Jim Turner
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Channel 4 news are covering this (rather favourably for the skeptic position I think), on their website at least.

    Only fair to post up there link, since they are linking you!

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/science_technology/questions+for+aposclimategateapos+boss+facing+mps/3566117

  61. CShinn
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    In reading the submission via .pdf, it looks like what is supposed to be noted as Figure 4 is actually called Figure 1.

  62. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Tom P perhaps you can help me find some detailed published information on the methods that dendroclimatologists use to relate their replicate TRW measurements (from the same tree) to trhe uncertainties that they might publish on the measurement of TRW or MXD for that matter.

    What I have found is that replicate samples show large variations compared to the differences that dendros are seeking between trees.

    Also, as was the case with Yamal, a number of trees in a reconstruction are measured without replication. Why would that be?

    Some of Rob Wilson’s measurements that I seen archived have 4 replicate measurments per tree using the North, south, west and east directions, but that effort appears to be rare.

    • Tom P
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

      Kenneth,

      I’m surprised you weren’t snipped by the moderators given you chose to pose a question about dendrochronology in general and Yamal in particular on a thread specifically about Steve’s submission to the Select Committee. Are you trying to hijack this thread?

      There seems to be a rather inconsistent applications of standards by the moderators on this site. You may have noticed it often seems to be based on who is commenting rather than the content of the comment.

      Steve: Tom P and Ken, there are many Yamal threads that are excellent locations for discussions of Yamal.

      • Kenneth Fritsch
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

        Tom P, lets take it over to Unthreaded where you can perhaps attempt to answer my questions.

        • Janice Baker
          Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

          Please, which thread did you gents decide to use. I would like to follow this discussion – have tried several unthreaded posts, as well as several Yamal ones, and can’t find you. If it’s just my ineptitude, my apologies.

  63. Erasmus de Frigid
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    Link to all 54 memos sent to CRU Inquiry panel:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/contents.htm

    Some familiar names included.

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

      There is Steve McIntyre (#11) and Stephen McIntyre (#32).

      Steve: the first wasn’t really a submission but a suggestion for an amendment to their questions – which showed a confusion between instrumental temperature data and proxy reconstructions, two different CRU topics. Unfortunately, they did not respond to this and the entire hearing was marred by confusion between these two different topics.

  64. MIke
    Posted Mar 7, 2010 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps it is worth noting that Briffa responded to McIntyre’s criticisms last year here:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/

    As someone else mentioned there was a RealClimate post here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

    These people obviously don’t like each other. This does not concern me or probably most people who just want to know what Earth’s climate is likely to do in the future and how this might effect us.

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