The “Disputed” Reconstruction

It will take a while to parse Muir Russell. They’ve been working on it for 7 months and I’ve had it for a day. I’m going to place up notes on things as I notice them. At some point, I’ll try to pull together a longer response, but there are lots of interesting things as I read. Here’s an interesting point that touches on some larger issues.

In Fred Pearce’s recent book, he says that Jones told him that Yamal was used in only 3 of 12 AR4 reconstructions – a point which led him (incorrectly) to presume that statements made in McKitrick’s National Post article were “poppycock”:

According to Jones, of the 12 reconstructions used in the last IPCC reconstruction, authored by Briffa and published in 2007, only three contained Yamal data. (Pearce, 101)

The minutes of the April 9, 2009 meeting between the Team and Briffa-Jones say that 4 reconstructions used Yamal (a point re-confirmed in the CRU Response to the Apr 9 minutes)

Prof Briffa responded that the Briffa-Yamal series is only used in 4 of 10 reconstructions in the 4th IPCC reports and none in the 3rd. Salient, s6

In the Muir Russell Report, they say (section 7) that Yamal is used in only 4[2] out of 12 reconstructions in AR4, with footnote 2 saying that a “fifth reconstruction is disputed“. No provenance is given as to how this dispute arises, nor are there any documents at the CCE Review website showing evidence to the panel that Yamal was used in fifth “disputed” reconstruction.


The point at issue here is obviously medieval-modern comparisons. Only 8 of the 12 AR4 reconstructions provide such a comparison (Oerlemanns’ glacier recession; Pollack and Smerdon’s borehole; Rutherford et al 2005 and Briffa et al 2001 go back only to 1500 or 1400.) Using a denominator of 12 rather than 8 for the comparison is what climate scientists call a “trick”.

I visited this topic in October 2009 in two posts during the pre-Climategate Yamal controversy ( Sept 29 here and Oct 28 here, responding to Briffa’s post on the topic here.

The fifth “disputed” use pertains to Hegerl et al 2007. In Briffa’s table here, he says that Yamal was not used in this reconstruction. In my table here responding to Briffa, I observed that Hegerl et al 2007 stated that their “west Siberia long composite involved Yamal and the west Urals composite,” which I took as evidence that they used Yamal, which Briffa interprets otherwise – hence the “dispute”.

Now Jones’ number of three uses presumably arises from the fact that D’Arrigo et al said that they used Polar Urals, but actually used Yamal – a point observed at CA. I suggested to D’Arrigo co-author Rob Wilson that they submit an erratum on this point, but Wilson thought that it was a good idea not to do so. Briffa’s post noted that D;Arrigo’s “Yamal was used, though possibly labelled as Polar Urals” – a statement that I criticized at the time, since there was no actual doubt as to the label in the article – all you had to do was look.

Now what of the mysterious Hegerl reconstruction? Where the use or non-use is a mystery that remained unresolved even after the GBP200,000 inquiry. A question that IPCC Lead Author Briffa is unable to answer. In Sep 2005 as an IPCC reviewer, I asked IPCC to determine which proxies were used in Hegerl et al 2007. When they refused, I asked Hegerl directly (and also D’Arrigo et al). IPCC WG1 Chairman Susan Solomon threatened me with expulsion as an IPCC reviewer if I asked any more authors of unpublished papers for such information. So I wasn’t able to find out at the time.

Climategate correspondence at the time of the NAS panel hearings (March 2006) contains correspondence about a worried Hegerl, afraid of data requests from McKitrick and I and wondering whether it mightn’t be better to remove her reconstruction from the spaghetti graph.

I engaged in lengthy correspondence with Hegerl co-author and husband, Tom Crowley, trying to get information on their proxies and, in particular, their west Siberia composite. That drifted into a huge number of emails without any success. Crowley made fun of this in an interview with Andy Revkin last September.

Hegerl and Crowley were hired by Muir Russell panelist Geoffrey Boulton to the University of Edinburgh. In the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Copenhagen brief in December 2009, Boulton used the mysterious Hegerl reconstruction.

Only in Team climate science would there be a “dispute” over whether Yamal was used in the Hegerl reconstruction. Be that as it may, you’d have thought that Boulton would have been perfectly placed to get to the bottom of the mystery of whether Yamal was used in the Hegerl reconstruction. Unfortunately, the moment seems to have passed. And thus the dispute lingers on.

And oh yes, it seems like we have a little He Who Must Not Be Named here. Muir Russell is silent on who claimed 5 Yamal uses and there’s no submitted evidence on the point. Can we therefore presume that they read the relevant CA post http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/28/response-to-briffa-on-yamal-impact/ but Gavinesquely didn’t cite it?

The actual issue is the impact of Yamal on the AR4 spaghetti graph. Muir Russell purports to rebut a straw man that Yamal didn’t affect all the reconstructions – a point that I’ll return to. This is a strawman. The original point was that bristlecones and/or Yamal had a material impact on virtually all of the 1000-year reconstructions (seven of eight) – not that Yamal simpliciter affected all the reconstructions. The purported rebuttals completely miss the point. Yamal was Scotty Pippen to the bristlecones’ Michael Jordan. If I said that Jordan and Pippen scored most of the points for the Chicago Bulls. The strawman is to restate that I’d claimed that Pippen scored most of the points, and then purporting to rebut it by showing Michael Jordan highlights. Jordan and Pippen, not Pippen by himself.

Or as I’ve expressed elsewhere. Yamal was like crack cocaine to paleoclimatogists (but bristlecones were heroin.)

relevant comparison for Yamal is thus not 3 out of 12, but 5 out of 8 – something that is a material difference unless you’re a climate scientist.


59 Comments

  1. Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    it’s

    ‘Oerlemans’s glacier recession’

    Hans Oerlemans is not a “Mann” ;-)

  2. Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    … it seems like we have a little He Who Must Not Be Named here. Muir Russell is silent on who claimed 5 Yamal uses and there’s no submitted evidence on the point. Can we therefore presume that they read the relevant CA post … but Gavinesquely didn’t cite it?

    I first came across the term infotainment in the 90s. But CA does both the best.

  3. Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    They dance around each issue with delicate aplomb,
    Avoiding simple questions as if to dodge a bomb,
    As they Gavinesquely block and utterly dismiss
    Questions asked that dare to question how much data is amiss,
    I notice that their whitewash covers less and less each day,
    And they fail to ask the questions that the skeptics keep in play,
    Questions clear and bright and shining asking if the data for their graph
    Was from Yamal or not – it’s not quantum-level math!

    (thanks for “Gavinesquely” – his hubris deserves an adverb like that one)

    • Jimmy Haigh
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

      “Gavinesquely”

      Yes – I like it too. “Gavinesque.” It has a certain je ne sais quois…

  4. Patagon
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    No, Oerleman is not a Mann, but it is interesting that the AR4 only shows Oerleman’s reconstruction until 1700 (Figure 4.13). Other studies that go back in time to the Roman epoch show a much more diverse picture:

    Hanspeter Holzhauser et al.: Glacier and lake-level variations in west-central Europe. The Holocene 15,6 (2005) pp. 789 /801

    And here a picture of their glacier reconstruction for two very large glaciers in the Alps: http://tinyurl.com/25rjl7b

  5. Bob McDonald
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    I must say that while the vast majority of the points that SM makes are on target and of value, I cannot see what the point of “is it 3,4, or 5 reconstructions” has to do with anything concerning AGW or CRU email-gate.

    I don’t believe it pertinent to furthering the discussion about whether or not the planet is warming up as result of the activity of man, nor the methods (scientific or not) used to answer that question.

    Isn’t it sufficient to say the Yamal data is good or bad? Unless I’ve missed an important part of the email scandal that hinges on how many times Yamal was used, I think it’s a trivial point and sounds snarky.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

      You do not see the point?? If they would have punched 3 or 4 instead of 5, Apollo 13 would still be in space and my trip to the color TV show room would have been for nought.

    • RomanM
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

      Isn’t it sufficient to say the Yamal data is good or bad? Unless I’ve missed an important part of the email scandal that hinges on how many times Yamal was used, I think it’s a trivial point and sounds snarky.

      it has little to do with snark.

      One of the defense points for the Mann hockey stick has been that regardless of the errors in its construction, their result is consistent with countless other independent paleo reconstructions done by other climate scientists. A good deal of the “independence” is based on the contention that proxies other than those from the Mann set were used in those corroborative studies.

      Since the Yamal data are particularly prone to forming the blade of a hockey stick, it was very important that this particular proxy not be one of those involved – hence the denial that the number of uses was minimal. Steve merely points out that this denial is in fact false.

      • Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

        Actually I thought it was pretty much The One Tree in Yamal (YAD061, if I remember correctly), that was so influential in creating a schtick.

        • Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

          Yeah, don’t you guys remember “The most infulential tree in the world”??

          http://climateaudit.org/2009/09/30/yamal-the-forest-and-the-trees/

          None of the Yamal cores are particularly “stickish”, except for YAD061…

        • bender
          Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

          Relative to the other data (trees, etc.) for that time period ALL the YAD trees are relatively “stickish” with a prominent blade, although YAD061 is the most extreme case. IIRC.

        • Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

          They appear to me to be more saw blades than hockey blades.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

          Yes, but that noise (the teeth of the “sawblade”) tends to cancel when the series are averaged. Just look at the composite image in the thread that you cite. Averaging enhances the population signal by reducing the individual series noise.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

          Recall that these YAD outliers are not long series. They only go back to the 1800s. They don’t need to look stickish themselves to create a blade on a reconstruction that goes back 600-1000 years. Scale matters. And the blade is mostly about the 20th c.

    • Brian Richards
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

      The issue of 3, 4 or 5 reconstructions has to do with the impact of the Yamal data on the overall composite. The Yamal reconstruction has been shown to be vastly different(in favor of AGW) than Polar Urals. Thus if you include more Yamal sites than Polar Ural sites, you can skew the resulting data in favor of AGW.

    • Chris S
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      The point is that these proxies have been used to reinforce the claim that recent warming is “unprecedented”. Most of the reconstructions discussed above contain one of two favoured proxies that questionably bias the results in favour of that argument.(Hence dispute over how often they’re used).
      Lord Muir has intentionally ducked the issue and isn’t the slightest bit bothered who knows it.

    • bender
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

      If you don’t “see the point”, my advice is to wait a bit. And my guess is you soon will. This is not a newspaper. It’s a journal. Steve M has stated in advance that a full reply will require some patience. This is the first post of many to come.

      • Bob McDonald
        Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

        Yes, I’m sure it will be. I have been an avid reader here for several years. My point was related more to the purpose of the report, which was to investigate the CRU email scandal, not to re-hash the validity of proxy data.

        It seems there are a few points of departure (buttons) that get pushed and the point of the discussion gets lost in the trivia, much like a long-divorced couple who get be in the same room for more than 5 minutes without starting the same old argument; paying no mind to why they were in the room in first place.

    • geo
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

      It has a few things to go to. One, is that it is another example of how the Team attempts to minimize their problems on whatever specious grounds they can dredge up –which any prosecuting attorney would tell you is at least circumstantial evidence of knowledge of guilt. Even Russell admits that in a different context, re Briffa insisting multiple times on “confidentiality”.

      Secondly, it is darned odd that Russell, who in several other instances did not hesitate to contact third parties to clarify a point in dispute, does not report doing so here. Did he not do so? If not, why not? Or were the authors of the 5th study, who resisted Steve’s efforts to settle the matter, unwilling to help Russell resolve this question as well when contacted? If so, why? It seems a pretty straightforward question to ask/answer about published work.

  6. Fred Harwood
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    After all this, it’s still about the science. Keep auditing. You’re winning.

  7. George Steiner
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    As the saintly Mr. McIntyre makes clear in this post again. The problem is 3 or 4 or 5, or he said she said, or he thought, they thought. Or was it that it was published here but not there.

    I was looking for a principal component in this otherwise perfectly clear exposition but didn’t find it. So I fell asleep.

    • Steve E
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

      Perhaps you’re too close to it. In my highly regulated world there would be definitive, verifiable answers to these questions or you’d be out of business.

      The fact that Muir Russell’s only taking to task involves transparency, openness, treatment of data etc. demonstrates the pertinence of this post. It’s bad enough that the science was sloppy but when the criticism is made and goes undocumented it only gets worse.

      Corporations, public and private, are audited once or more a year by independent third party accountants; Steve continues to demonstrate why this standard needs to be applied to climate science. So wake up and smell the coffee! ;-)

    • nevket240
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

      George.
      I cannot see how you can fall asleep when you have never ‘woken up’. You are on a web site where most of the particpants are ‘wide awake’ to what is going on.
      regards

  8. Morley Sutter
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    RomanM et al:
    It seems to me that 3,4 or 5 has to do with at least accuracy and possibly truthfulness.

  9. Joe Crawford
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    I’m not sure how common the practice is now, but many years ago, during the discovery phase of several trade secret lawsuits I was indirectly involved in, the lawyers for the defense always had experts on hand during depositions to make sure they asked the right questions and received sensible answers. I assume this was because the lawyers did not consider themselves experts on the technical details involved in the suits.

    It is a pity the members of the three panels investigating the CRU and Climategate weren’t similarly self aware. I would have to classify them as (at least by my definition) incompetent, since they fail to admit their own ignorance of the details of the matters under investigation. It would have been quite simple for them to have had you, or others with similar knowledge, on hand during the questioning. And, I am sure the results would have been quite different.

    • cohenite
      Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

      Good point; one [the only?] of the complaints against Wegman was that he was not an expert in dendrology; but since the issue was statistical anaylysis, where he had his expertise, the complaint was not germane; here the need for expertise in dendrology would seem to be more exigent.

  10. RoyFOMR
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve, correct me if I’m wrong,deals with numbers. To him the importance of getting both numerator and denominator as accurate as possible before making a calculation is paramount. If the number on the top varies between 3 and 5 while the bit on the bottom ranges from 8 to 12 then anyone who deals day to day with probabilties that range from 0 to 1 and doesn’t get agitated with claims that ‘disputed’ scenarios that pit 0.25 against 0.625 don’t really matter, then they have been badly advised by their career teacher!
    Dealing with Post Normal Science may induce headaches for many but compared to the blinding migraines of Post Normal Numerology ’tis merely a fleshwound!

  11. bender
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    A logical guess on the 4 versus 5 count is that Briffa was not actually aware of the 2007 web update to the 2006 paper. This would bump Steve’s count up by one compared to Briffa’s.

    I won’t speculate as to Phil Jones arithemtic on the 3 count. He probably reduced Briffa’s count by one using an undocumented homogeneity adjustment. It was the software’s fault. Poor Harry. :)

    Steve: why would Briffa not know the count?He was IPCC Lead Author and ought to have known.

    • Curt
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

      There are three kinds of scientists: those who can count, and those who can’t…

  12. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    I mentioned that there was an amusing Climategate email after the NAS workshop in which Hegerl and IPCC dignitaries worried about M&M asking for Hegerl’s data. (664. 1141393414.txt).

    Hegerl telephoned Francis Zwiers late at night, worrying about us asking for data and offering to remove her reconstruction from the spaghetti graph:

    From: Francis Zwiers <francis.zwiers@ec.gc.ca
    To: Jonathan Overpeck <jto@u.arizona.edu
    Cc: Gabi Hegerl <hegerl@duke.edueg
    Subject: gabi's 1500-year reconstruction
    Hi Peck, hockey

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

    McIntyre and McKittrick were there, and seem to have left Gabi with the strong impression
    that they will be insisting on having access to supporting data, etc., used to build
    reconstructions. Gabi says that this is making her nervous, wants to make sure that
    you are aware of the status of her reconstruction, and wants to be sure that you
    are comfortable with continuing to use it in Ch 6. She says that if you feel it necessary
    to exclude her reconstruction from your SOD of Ch 6, you should do so.

    Overpeck replied (cc Briffa) saying that IPCC didn’t have to provide the data – which he seems to consider the “accepted way”:

    I don’t think the IPCC has to provide anything beyond the report – in fact, I’m almost sure Susan made this point to me/a bigger group already. I’ll cc this to her, just so she know’s what might be coming, but I think we’re fine. M&M can get Congress to ask the FBI to secret Gabi away forever for doing her science the accepted way. Seriously, it’s up to her to make things available as appropriate

    Briffa replied:

    Let us stay with Gabi as it is in Figure etc. and as you say in the Nature paper anyway. We may have more problem with Tett et al. – need to check status , and Wilson et al is not as it turns out accepted yet – awaiting corrections.

    Just imagine – we might have found out whether Hegerl used Yamal. That wouldn’t be doing science the “accepted way”.

    • bender
      Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

      Why on earth would she be nervous?

    • Salamano
      Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

      In Sep 2005 as an IPCC reviewer, I asked IPCC to determine which proxies were used in Hegerl et al 2007. When they refused, I asked Hegerl directly (and also D’Arrigo et al). IPCC WG1 Chairman Susan Solomon threatened me with expulsion as an IPCC reviewer if I asked any more authors of unpublished papers for such information. So I wasn’t able to find out at the time.

      Isn’t this sort of behavior the very same exhibited by Briffa when talking to Wahl regarding IPCC material? (consorting unpublished papers) I know that many folks out there are claiming that you can’t point to any specific IPCC rule that Briffa broke by doing this, but it seems like you were threatened with expulsion for doing something similar.

      • geo
        Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

        You obviously do not understand the mind set of the chosen –Quod licit Jovi, non licit bovi.

  13. bender
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    M&M can get Congress to ask the FBI to secret Gabi away forever for doing her science the accepted way.

    Now who’s being tribal? Not the paranoid wagon-circlers?

  14. TA
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    It’s simply appalling that not only Briffa but the whole world doesn’t know what proxies are used in reconstructions published (I presume) in peer reviewed journals. Climate scientists, like slight-of-hand magicians, hate to reveal their secrets. The “tricks” don’t work as well when everyone knows how they did it.

  15. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

    Our 16 year old grand daughter is away from Oz, doing a year at school in USA. She went for a driving test and failed one question. Using the modern style of communication, she noted by email –

    “and i only failed becuz i missed one too many questions
    and i got all the giveway q right. It was like can’t i take the all right ones and replace them with a wrong one so i pass
    the lady said I’m sorry no :(

    Members of the Russell Inquiry, you have displayed a comparable skill set.

    If it is humiliating to be likened to a 16 year old, then the sorry reality is that you caused it.

    This can also serve as an answer for those who query why 3, 4 or 5 out of 8-12 matters. It matters because you fail. For all the world to see.

  16. benpal
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    It seems to me that Muir Russel’s panel surely had the means and the power to “extort” answers from Hegerl, Briffa et el … or to clearly state that they were refused the answer.

  17. Bernie
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Is this the Tett et al article Briffa and others are concerned about?

    Reconstructing Past Climate from Noisy Data
    Hans von Storch, et al.
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1096109
    Science 306, 679 (2004);

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5696/679

    It certainly casts doubts on the HS construct and the precision accorded its representation, albeit without questioning the validity of the underlying proxies.

  18. TA
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    If 3, 4, or 5 really doesn’t matter, then why won’t the Team say the accurate number? It would help their credibility if they spoke the truth, yet they refuse to do it. The number obviously matters to them. They evidently feel they have to downplay the fact that these various reconstructions are not all that independent.

    • bender
      Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

      My guess is there is some dispute over the definition of “ivolvement”, as in when we say that Yamal is “involved” in a given reconstruction. Exactly how it is “involved” matters because degree of involvement colors its relative weight. Until that dispute is settled you won’t know which number is most appropriate.

      Best to leave this question for now.

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

        bender,
        I have to disagree. Relative weight is not the issue, but whether it was used at all. If it was used even with a small relative weight, then it was involved. Once it is determined it is involved, then you can look at issues of relative weight.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

          I anticipated this line of argumentation. You are attempting to take away the middle ground that I insist is important to understand the nature of the debate.

          This is exactly what Richard Drake advised yesterday: be wary of those who try to steal the middle ground that is required to generate understanding.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

          bender,
          I am not attempting any such thing. It is fine to bring up the question of weight when the time is right, but weighting is not at issue here. The issue is involvement. It is cut and dried.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

          “Involvement” can be thought of as “cut and dried”, although I don’t know what purpose that would serve. If your purpose is to understand the source of the variance in these numbers, then I submit that it matters how Briffa defines “involvement”. Negligible involvement means its involvement is close to zero, even if it is non-zero. “Involvement” is therefore not “cut and dried”. It is your mental filter that is doing the cutting and drying.

          Dig in you heels if you like. I don’t know why you would choose to do so.

        • Richard T. Fowler
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

          I understand and agree with what Bender says about involvement not being cut-and-dried.

          But isn’t the real important issue here the degree of statistical significance of, say, the last 50 years of Yamal data? That’s the issue I keep coming back to in my mind. Exactly how (if at all) can significance be demonstrated for those particular data; and if there is a way, who (if anyone) has managed to do so?

          It seems to me that all the other issues people keep raising with Yamal (including what a reasonable weighting is for the overall series, and what the effect is of including The One Tree) are relatively peripheral by comparison.

          RTF

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          That’s the issue and I’m sure Steve will deal with it in future posts.

          There is a lot of material to go through in the supplementary info. OTOH Briffa’s documented replies at

          http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/salient_points_of_9_April_meeting_at_UEA_Final.pdf

          are mere recapitulations of what he’s already stated on his website

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

          So it’s not going to be all that hard to respond, because Steve has already responded, long before climategate.

          Steve: I replied to some points but Climategate sort of interrupted the conversation. It’s very frustrating that Boulton didn’t bother considering the online replies to Briffa’s claims in his “inquiry”.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

          Note how many times questionable practices are defended as “expert opinion”. Why does the inquiry stop there? It is precisely the authority of this “expertise” that is supposed to be in question. This is not supposed to be a Q%A with the “experts”. It’s supposed to be a cross-examinational dialogue.

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

          Here’s just one example where “opinion” goes unquestioned:

          in his opinion the CRU Yamal TRW series provides a far better representation of the region than either the Polar Urals published by CRU in 1995 or the chronology referred to as the “updated Polar Urals”

        • bender
          Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

          Professor Jones responded that someone at WMO in Geneva just wanted to continue the three curves for the whole millennium to 1999

          Hmmm. Now why would someone “just want to continue the curves”?

          I guess Jones is just one of the skeptic consipracy theorists, hey, Boris?

        • Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

          Good joke – and profoundly true.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Jul 10, 2010 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

          bender,
          I don’t want a food fight here, but I don’t understand why you think you can read Briffa’s mind or why you would speculate he had weighting in mind. There is nothing in the context to indicate weighting was at issue. If the topic was whether or not the inclusion on Yamal “mattered” in these reconstructions, then weighting would be in view. But the issue is involvement and the answer is either yes or no.

          So why did Briffa come up with a different number? He made a mistake. It happens. It is not the end of Briffa’s career, it does not damage his career at all. It is simply a mistake.

          BTW, the use of the term “dispute” is ill chosen. It should rightly be called a disagreement. 1st person says “a” and 2nd person says “b,” that’s a disagreement. The two people involved might not even know they are disagreeing with each other. When the 1st person comes back and says “No, your wrong it’s a and here’s why…” and then 2nd person replies “No, b and here’s why…”, then you have a dispute.

  19. bender
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Jones’ number of three uses presumably arises from the fact that …

    http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/salient_points_of_9_April_meeting_at_UEA_Final.pdf

    “Prof Briffa clarified that CRU had used this chronology in only three publications”

    That’s probably where Jones’s “3” comes from. CRU used it three times. Others used it once or twice, the second usage (fifth overall) being disputed.

    Steve: I don’t think so. I think it’s more likely that Jones thought that D’Arrigo used Polar Urals (which is what they said they used) and not Yamal. Rob Wilson could and should have issued an erratum long ago but they were too stubborn to do so.

    • bender
      Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

      Professor Briffa said that the number of core counts was made public in the publication of Hantemirov and Shiyatov in 2002.

      p.5

      Yes, we already know of Briffa’s assertion. And it has already been explained why this claim is highly misleading. *Some* core counts were revealed in that 2002 paper. But that they were tied to the series in question was not known until 2009. Dodge and hope it washes. Peas and thimbles.

      Steve:
      Hantemirov did not state that this was the same data set as Briffa 2000. Rob Wilson definitely thought that there were more modern cores than reported in Hantemirov. Speaking of which, Briffa said that no one other than me ever asked for the data. We had a discussion with Wilson about that – maybe someone can locate the link for me.

  20. steven Mosher
    Posted Jul 9, 2010 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if they asked Obsborn why he considered melvin a “loose cannon” and thus incapable of answering Mcintyre directly on the web.
    ( just go to the mails and search on “loose cannon” around sept 29/09
    there abouts if memory serves me

  21. ed
    Posted Jul 12, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    this question may have been answered long ago but here goes. I cannot read climate audit anymore since there was changeover to the “new format or host”. I’m not sure what changed in the last several months but even when I have a full screen displayed the text overlaps on itself making the blog posting unreadable. The comments are fine and are 100% readable.
    Just wondering if there is some type of setting I have to modify to be able to read climate audit again.
    thank
    Ed

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