Yamal and Oxburgh’s “Blinder Well Played”

Please read the preceding post on Yamal background before today’s post discussing the handling of Yamal/Polar Urals by the Oxburgh “Inquiry”.

The Oxburgh and Muir Russell are particularly disquieting when one closely examines their handling of Yamal and Polar Urals, the issues that were most strongly highlighted in my own submission and that were most in controversy on the eve of Climategate.

Today, I’ll examine the findings of Kerry Emanuel and his fellow Oxburgh panelists on Yamal and Polar Urals. ( Emanuel was recently in the news in connection with his testimony to Congress, testimony in which he provided almost total disinformation about hide-the-decline – see CA post here.) I’ll conclude that their findings on these issues cannot be characterized as anything other than pure fantasy – a fantasy that was appetizing to a credulous climate science community, but fantasy nonentheless.

While the Oxburgh panel did not mention Yamal and Polar Urals by name, they made the following findings about CRU’s handling of tree ring chronologies, of which Yamal and Polar Urals were among the most prominent:

4. Chronologies (transposed composites of raw tree data) are always work in progress. They are subject to change when additional trees are added; new ways of data cleaning may arise (e.g. homogeneity adjustments), new measurement methods are used (e.g. of measuring ring density), new statistical methods for treating the data may be developed (e.g. new ways of allowing for biological growth trends).

5. This is illustrated by the way CRU check chronologies against each other; this has led to corrections in chronologies produced by others. CRU is to be commended for continuously updating and reinterpreting their earlier chronologies

[my bold]

CA readers obviously agree that chronologies are subject to change when additional trees are added. That was precisely the point of contention in respect to (a) the “Polar Urals Update” and (b) the regional chronology combining Yamal, Polar Urals and shorter chronologies, both of which were discussed at length at CA.

The issue in question was CRU’s failure to report (adverse) updated versions of the Polar Urals chronology and the regional chronology. On what basis could Emanuel and the Oxburgh panelists find that CRU deserved “commendation” for updating these chronologies, when it was their failure to report adverse updates that was at issue?

The “commendation” even flew in the face of CRU’s own evidence.

In written evidence to Muir Russell, CRU strenuously denied that they had failed to report adverse results merely because they were adverse. Their defence was that (strange as it might appear to third parties) they had never calculated the updated chronologies showing the adverse results. In respect to Polar Urals, CRU denied that they had ever reanalysed the data:

We had never undertaken any reanalysis of the Polar Urals temperature reconstruction subsequent to its publication in 1995.

As noted in my previous post, their evidence in respect to the regional chronology is inconsistent, on the one hand saying that they had never ‘considered” the incorporation of shorter chronologies:

However, we simply did not consider these data [Khadyta River] at the time, focussing only on the data used in the companion study by Hantemirov and Shiyatov and supplied to us by them.

and on the other hand saying that an “integrated” regional chronology had been an objective for Briffa et al 2008, but they “could not be completed in time”:

we had intended to explore an integrated Polar Urals/Yamal larch series but it was felt that this work could not be completed in time and Briffa made the decision to reprocess the Yamal ring-width data to hand, using improved standardization techniques, and include this series in the submitted paper.

Despite two “inquiries”, there has been no clarification of precisely what was done or not, as neither “inquiry” addressed the apparent inconsistency between the emails and their written evidence.

But there is one thing that can be said for certain: CRU did not report or apply either an updated Polar Urals chronology or their regional chronology combining Yamal, Polar Urals and shorter regional chronologies.

From that stating point, Oxburgh and/or Muir Russell could have evaluated whether CRU’s failure to report and apply the updated chronologies were consistent with “acceptable scientific practice” or not.

If such failures were consistent with “acceptable scientific practice” within the field, then, in my opinion, the “inquiries” should have urged that standards in the field be raised to ones that were consistent with what the public expected and was entitled to, given the large policy issues being faced. Or at least no lower than those applying to mining promotions. But that is different story.

However, given these facts, it was not permissible for the Oxburgh panel to make a finding (let alone a “commendation”) that CRU had “continuously updated and reinterpreted” the Polar Urals chronology and/or the regional chronology combining Yamal, Polar Urals and shorter chronologies in the region, an untrue finding that pre-empted consideration of the actual issues of why CRU hadn’t reported apparently adverse updates.

The Oxburgh panel was held out as not merely professional, but selected for eminence by the UK Royal Society. A distinguishing characteristic of “professionals” is an obligation of due diligence. Mistakes happen, but, by exercising due diligence, professionals protect themselves against accusations of negligence in the event of a mistake or error.

The Oxburgh panel flouted both usual inquiry standards and recommendations from the Parliamentary Committee. Among other lapses, the Oxburgh panel did not take submissions, did not interview CRU critics or take any transcripts of their interviews. In my opinion, because of both their inadequate due diligence and cavalier procedure, their incorrect findings about CRU chronology practices, applying to Polar Urals and the regional chronologies, were not merely a mistake, but a negligent mistake, perhaps even recklessly negligent.

It is disquieting, to say the least, that UK Chief Scientist John Beddington should describe such negligence as a “blinder well played”.

60 Comments

  1. RayG
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    In the sixth para. from the end, “…stating point…” Should that be “…starting point…”?

  2. mpaul
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    We had never undertaken any reanalysis of the Polar Urals temperature reconstruction subsequent to its publication in 1995

    I think its important to establish whether this statement is true. Its not obvious in the post whether there is evidence that CRU had reanalyzed Polar Urals after 1995. If there is such evidence, then I think it would help the article if you could make that point a bit more explicitly.

    If they truly never reanalysed Polar Urals after 1995, then the CRU is guilty of a lack of attention to basic details and the Oxburgh panel’s commendation seems gratuitous (to be charitable). On the other hand, if the CRU had performed reanalysis on Polar Urals after 1995, discovered an adverse result and then failed to report it, then its a wholly different kettle of fish. By not establishing whether the statement was factual of not, the Oxburgh panel failed at a very basic level. But more importantly, CRU would be found to have given false evidence. Such a discovery could be the basis for a call for a new investigation.

    Steve: I agree that the existence or non-existence of reanalysis is relevant. That’s why I sent an FOI request for the regional chronology mentioned in an email – the one that was supposedly never calculated. More on this later.

    The inquiries had access to documents, but negligently failed to examine them.

  3. Gary
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    “Purposely negligent” seems a more accurate description given the evidence.

    • Duster
      Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

      “Purposely negligent” …

      It might well be, but you can’t know that, regardless of how confident we might be, given the evidence, which, BTW, is more than bad enough. It’s quite possible that the “extended” work fell through the rungs and was lost in the press of other projects. That happens in the private sector as well. Of course, in the private sector you can’t consistently let things drop and expect to retain clients, or continue to collect a pay check.

  4. Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    ‘Disinformation’, ‘fantasy’, yes, indeed. Still, what can you expect for 3 days forced creative writing labor in Norwich? Mind you, I am sure that the birthday honors lists are being scanned minutely by those prepared to make so deep a reputation sacrifice for Queen and Country.

  5. Jeremy
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Don’t worry Steve, I’m sure there’s another paper with yet another interesting mix of tree-ring chronologies that shows a hockey-stick shape that’s just waiting to explain how all of this doesn’t matter. And I am holding my breath…. now!

  6. David P
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    The more these issues are dissected, the more it appears that the terms of reference were “exonerate the CRU whatever the evidence.”

  7. Jit
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    This seems to be one of those situations where there are two kinds of scientists – those who collect the data and those who analyse it later, giving the first group co-authorship on their papers in exchange.

    The Analyzers in such situations tend to be voracious for new data. This would suggest that the analysis was done and not reported.

    However, I don’t know how much work goes in to convert a dendrochronology into a dendroclimate reconstruction. If this is half a day, it seems unlikely the available data was overlooked. If a week, maybe it was put on a list of things to do and never got to the top of said list.

  8. Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Typo,

    stating point

    should be

    starting point

  9. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Why is this important? The practice of stopping the addition of more trees to a chronology when you like the result is a simple algorithm for cherry picking, which is further aggravated by allowing for a choice of which weather data to use (using the “logic” of teleconnections) for performing calibration. All the magic ingredients (Yamal larch, bristlecones, upside down Tiljander sediments) are used without dilution by NOT adding more samples to them. In some methods (Mann’s north amer PC1) of deriving the larger scale reconstruction of temperature, these undiluted outlier data are then further weighted heavily. So, why were other sites combined to obtain regional reconstructions with hundreds of trees, but never these 3 wonderful ones which have uncharacteristicly small sample sizes? And why when people have raised questions about the biological validity of these particular data have Team members continued to use them? The Schweingruber (sp?) network has thousands of trees without questionable growth form–why not just use those?

    • mpaul
      Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

      Ouch.

  10. KnR
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    The reviews where of such poor quality that even the hard-core AGW supporters in the press largely felt unable to do much or nay celebrating when they came out. Some the things they did where only out matched in shock value in their terribleness by some of the things they should have done but simply did not.

    These poor reviews sent out a number or messages , three of which were carry on as before , CRU/UEA cannot be trusted and academic credentials do not make for a enquiring mind. The real damage done is the opportunity to clean house and put CRU on much sounder footing and so add credibility to climate science was throw away to suit short term political goals.

    Who really now trust Jones and friends at the CRU , I bet even in their own community that outside of their own ‘team’ most in private most think their fools .

  11. John Baltutis
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Emanuel was recently in the news in connection with his testimony to Congress, testimony in which he provided almost total disinformation about hide-the-decline – see CA post here.

    Link is missing.

  12. apl
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve

    Maybe it’s my UK English, but I don’t necessarily see a contradiction between “we did not consider these data” and “we had intended to explore an integrated Polar Urals/Yamal larch series but it was felt that this work could not be completed in time”.

    Had they said “we did not consider using these data”, then there would definitely be a contradiction.

    • mikemUK
      Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

      Perhaps you did not read Mr M’s previous post, as he recommended to do before reading this one.

      They had all the information to hand, in time, but didn’t use it.

  13. Green Sand
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    The reaction of the scientists involved to the obvious inadequacies of the “inquiries” has been surprising. Why have they not pointed out the inadequacies and demanded that they be carried out in such a way that there could be no “grey” areas? Why have they not demanded the right to directly face down their detractors?

    The fact that has been no such demand has to be a cause for concern.

    “In my opinion, because of both their inadequate due diligence and cavalier procedure, their incorrect findings about CRU chronology practices, applying to Polar Urals and the regional chronologies, were not merely a mistake, but a negligent mistake, perhaps even recklessly negligent.”

    If anybody made that statement about work that I had been responsible for, and I knew it to be incorrect, I would be making some very, very loud noises. From Oxburgh I expect the silence to be “blinding”, time will tell.

  14. Bruce
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    “These are not the trees you’ve been looking for.”

    — Obi Wan Oxburgh

    • Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

      More like Darth Muir-Russel: “I find your lack of faith disturbing”

  15. Don B
    Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Last June, Bishop Hill had a post on Blinder Well Played.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/6/15/the-boy-played-a-blinder.html

  16. Posted Apr 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Looks like some of the inquiry members at about 17 seconds in.

    “Well left” indeed.

    • Hu McCulloch
      Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      Check out “well bred” at 26 seconds in! :-)

  17. geronimo
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

    Did the CRU write the report for Oxburgh I wonder? It’s the sort of daft thing they’d do.

    • KnR
      Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

      No but they did control the papers used and who was on the review , so much for independence.

  18. kim
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Amoorhouse has it at Watts Up:

    You see One Tree, you’ve seen Yamal.
    =====================

    • mrsean2k
      Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

      @kim – Genius!

    • Charlie
      Posted Apr 14, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

      Drum Roll Please…. Amoorhose is hear all week.

    • Posted Apr 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Kim, thanks for the quote, and thanks Amoorhouse wherever you are! I decorated the quote with a cartoon, see BishopHil and WUWT.

  19. Ron Cram
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    I have no context for the comment “blinder well played.” I tried to Bing it and received back only three pages, mostly related to Oxburgh and more than one citing ClimateAudit. I found nothing enlightening except possibly this one from a Glaswegian glossary of sorts:

    blinder
    well played.
    “Jimmy goat up fur eez turn at eh darts an eh played a blinder.” (Jimmy played well at the darts)

    http://www.tachras.co.uk/journal/articles/patter/PatterBC.htm

    How do we know what “blinder well played” means?

    • Don B
      Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

      As Kim remarked, in the Bishop Hill thread linked above at 7:20 pm, whatever they are playing, it isn’t cricket.

    • harold
      Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

      Update on Jun 15, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

      For the benefit of non-speakers of cockney, “played a blinder” simply means “played very well”, usually in the context of a game of football…erm….soccer.

      In the circumstances though, one can’t help wonder if there’s some kind of pun in Sir John’s words.

      http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/6/15/the-boy-played-a-blinder.html

      • Klaus
        Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

        But then a “blinder well played” is a tautology.

        • harold
          Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

          This is the text:

          Dear Ron

          Much appreciated the hard work put into the review, general view is a blinder played. As we discussed at HoL, clearly the drinks are on me!

          Best wishes, John

        • stan
          Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

          I think everyone reacts to reading it with the realization that something smells especially because most readers feel that it was a whitewash. Look beyond “blinder”, and focus on the 2d sentence. Why the celebration?

          The outcome of a review of possible scientific impropriety isn’t something that the “judge” should celebrate. Not if he’s truly impartial. The tone of this clearly implies that the judge helped his team “win” somehow.

          I’m sure that if questioned, they would argue that the congratulations were simply for doing a quality job. Except that cannot be because the review is obviously a joke. The review was botched so badly, that no one could consider it brilliantly done.

          So why the celebration? What was “played” so well? Whose team were they on that they should celebrate the outcome? Why was John buying the drinks?

    • geronimo
      Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

      Ron Cram: “How do we know what “blinder well played” means?”

      Strictly speaking one would never say a “blinder well played” because “blinder” in this context means brilliant, outstanding etc. so the “well” is a piece of tautology. The usual contest for it is “He/she played a blinder” it started out in sport, probably soccer, but no one seems to know where it originated. It was common in the latter part of the twentieth century to describe any outstanding performance in any form, acting, politics, educational achievement etc, as playing a blinder. Sir John Beddington’s intent is clear, at least to the Brits, Oxburgh had put in a fantastic performance in the whitewash he’d just produced and the establishment as a whole were well pleased. Can’t recollect the exact phrase but it was something like “generally agreed a blinder played” intimating that the scientific community were well pleased with the outcome of Oxburgh’s phony inquiry.

      What this does speak to however is the hubris of the scientific establishment, both in the UK and the US. They have had two enquiries into the CRU, one of which was run by Oxburgh and the papers he chose to review were seemingly selected by the UEA themselves, the other was run by an absolute incompetent ex-civil servant who wasted over ran a £40 million budget by wait for it… £360 million! As far as we know Russell (for it is he) didn’t didn’t ask Jones about deletions of data and mail after FOI requests because it was “asking him to admit to a crime”, some inquisitor. Neither inquiry took evidence from critics, or indeed appeared to have listened to the experts on the inquiry (read Professor Kelly’s excellent assessment of the data being used by Jones et al, where he suggests asking them if it wouldn’t be possible to get the opposite results from the data they were using such is the low signal to noise ratio). It is a testament to the stupidity of the UEA that they thought these faux inquiries would make the whole thing go away, and it says nothing for the Chief Scientific Adviser of HM Government that he openly gloats at the outcome of the Oxburgh fiasco.

  20. mrsean2k
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    It’s used informally to mean exactly what the context here suggests – praise that something that was done very well or skilfully.

    Look for “play a blinder” in Google (with quotes included) and you’ll get all the examples you can handle.

    It’s also common to refer to something as a “blinder”.

  21. mrsean2k
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    In the UK, that is.

  22. Hoi "Bodge" Polloi
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    “We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.” ~ David Suzuki.

  23. RobWansbeck
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Maybe this definition saves the confusion:

    noun
    1 British informal an excellent performance in a game or race:
    Marinello played a blinder in his first game
    2 (blinders) North American blinkers on a horse’s bridle.

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/blinder?view=uk

    The boy done good.

  24. stan
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    I always thought of “blinder” in this case as being similar to a finesse in bridge or a bluff in poker. An attempt to win when you don’t have the goods. Sleight of hand.

  25. Bill Hunter
    Posted Apr 12, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    “Or at least no lower than those applying to mining promotions. But that is different story”

    I guess there must be more than one way to salt a mine!

  26. mrsean2k
    Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

    @stan

    As far as I’m aware – and it’s a phrase I’ve heard used in the context of a conversation many, many times – there are connotations that someone did *unexpectedly* or *surprisingly* well, but it doesn’t carry any implication of dishonesty or bluff with it.

    That’s in everyday use of course: the original derivation may have been different in tone.

  27. Stacey
    Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    The following is from a Nature article dated 15 February 2010. I am not sure whether this is adding anything to the debate but if my reading is correct Jones tells Fred Pearce one thing in Nov 2009 and Nature another in 2010.
    My recollection at the time was that Jones gave one reason and shortly thereafter the Fiddlestick Team came out with another reason?

    Sorry if I have got this wrong.

    Extract follows:-
    In one of the leaked e-mails, Jones wrote that he had “just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years to hide the decline”. Jones was referring to the fact that he — like Mann — used only direct temperature measurements to reconstruct temperatures over the past 20 years or so, rather than using proxy data.

    Palaeoclimatologists are confident that the width of tree rings reliably represents real temperatures because they tally with data from thermometers and other instruments taken since the nineteenth century. After the 1960s, however, there is a divergence, with most tree-ring proxy temperatures seeming to be lower than those from instrumental records across the Northern Hemisphere4. The exact cause of this problem is unknown, and is still being investigated by scientists.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100215/full/news.2010.71.html

  28. EdeF
    Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Of course the Team adds new data and does reanalysis. They add trees to the network when a) they show a startling increase in growth in the second half of the 20th century, b)they don’t show any marked decline in growth during the Little Ice age or increased growth during the MWP. Obviously, any tree samples taken in the Bristlecone pines or Yamal or elsewhere in Siberia that are truely representative of climate conditions during the instrumented period and during the calibration period would have to demonstrate convergence with the station temperature record. All else can be excluded. That means vast swaths of Schweingruber and Vaganov tree data that do not demonstate such growth over the calibration period can be excluded. These talking points passed to Oxburgh during lunch at the Club Paradiso restaurant at CRU were only meant to jog his memory when he began to write his report of his trip. Unfortunately, the original list was marred when some tartar sauce was accidently spilled on it as he was having his lemon-scented tilapia and spring rice lunch. Most of the paper was still legible, however.

  29. andymc
    Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Stan’s definition of blinder. In my neck of the woods we’d say you had played a blinder if you had a weak hand but had bluffed it out to win the hand. Commonly done in three card brag, which is a “last man standing” game where the shirt on your back is often lost.

  30. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Let’s not finesse the upper class schoolboy definition of “blinder”. In down to Earth Oz: “Noun: a self-administered act of pubescent experimentation whose excessive repetition is said by clergy to cause loss of sight.”

  31. Don B
    Posted Apr 14, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Josh read Kim’s comment repeating Amoorshouse’s quip, now immortalized in a cartoon.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/4/14/josh-93.html

  32. Tom Fuller
    Posted Apr 14, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Knowing the more casual rules governing grammar and punctuation in emails, I suggest

    blinder well played

    may in fact have been meant as

    blinder, well-played

    or

    blinder–well-played!

  33. geronimo
    Posted Apr 15, 2011 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    @Tom Fuller: “Knowing the more casual rules governing grammar and punctuation in emails, I suggest

    blinder well played

    may in fact have been meant as

    blinder, well-played

    or

    blinder–well-played!”

    Good theory, but Beddington actually said “blinder played”.

  34. JD Ohio
    Posted Apr 15, 2011 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    If someone could distill both of the last Yamal posts into a simple basic explanation of what went wrong in each I would appreciate it. Until Muller’s Youtube exposition, it was difficult to sort out the most basic flaw of Mann’s Hockey Stick — that Mann spliced together 2 different types of data. I am sure something similar is going on here, but it is hard to read through Yamal and Polar Urals and chronologies and get a basic sense of what is going on. Since the detailed accurate explanation has already been given, simpler ones can be justified with the caveat that a more thorough analysis can be seen in these particular blog posts. It is not that I don’t want the more thorough explanation, but rather it is easier to understand the thorough explanation when you have a basic explanation to guide you through the thicket as you are reading it. Should add that I am awaiting my copy of the Hockey Stick Illusion.

    Thanks,

    JD

    Steve – splicing data is not the “most basic flaw” of the Mann hockey stick.

    • Hu McCulloch
      Posted Apr 17, 2011 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

      JD —

      Until Muller’s Youtube exposition, it was difficult to sort out the most basic flaw of Mann’s Hockey Stick — that Mann spliced together 2 different types of data.

      Although Muller’s utube video illustrates what’s corrupt with the HS industry, it does not relate to the principal problems with Mann’s original HS. He’s focussing instead on the behavior of Keith Briffa’s MXD series in Phil Jones’ WMO cover diagram.

      Although Muller does not make it entirely clear, what he is showing is “Phil’s Grand Combo WMO Trick” of combining “Keith’s Science Trick” (deleting the MXD data from 1960 to 1994 that doesn’t correlate with instrumental temperatures), with “Mike’s Nature Trick” (grafting proxy data with instrumental data before smoothing to make the smoothed series look more like the instrumental).

      The original HS (MBH 98, 99) did incorporate Mike’s Nature Trick (using either an average of the terminal instrumental data or its annual values), but that was just a minor finishing touch. It’s main problems, as shown by McIntyre and McKitrick, were that it relied heavily on invalid stripbark bristlecone data, and that it misued principal components analysis by normalizing on only the final portion of the data.

      In Phil’s Grand Combo WMO Trick illustrated by Muller, the effect of Mike’s Nature Trick is much more conspicuous than it was in Mann’s original articles. Muller was primarily protesting the Keith’s Science Trick aspect of the WMO graph, and may not have been aware of how Mike’s Nature Trick actually worked.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Apr 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

        Hu,

        Thanks for your response. I have been doing my taxes, so I haven’t been here for a while. Will check out the bristlecone data. Will add that I am a lawyer who has tried 150 cases to juries and that one thing that is very useful is being able to summarize complex issues into a nutshell. Unfortunately, much of what Mann and Briffa do incorrectly is difficult to reduce to basic concepts, and it makes it easier for them to disclaim responsibility for their mistakes. To the extent that their is a simple, basic, accurate description tied to a more extensive and accurate description, I think the realist community will be able to more effectively get out the truth about what has happened.

  35. JAF
    Posted Apr 16, 2011 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Link missing from third paragraph

  36. Harry Won A Bagel
    Posted Apr 16, 2011 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    To anyone familiar with cricket, “well-played” is a common cheer (used with typical English restraint.) And also to the English or Australians playing a “blinder” has only one meaning, that is a achieving a brilliant success in sport. So the compliment “a blinder well played” meaning is plain. It is a concatenation of two very common sporting compliments. I am an Australian Poker player and I am not familiar any use of the term “blinder” in Poker.

  37. Posted Apr 19, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Well, I speculate the term comes from “blinding” as in dazzling.
    Obscure, though someone speculated the user this thread is about was punning.

  38. hunter
    Posted Apr 20, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

    It is hard to ascribe good will to what was done to avoid looking into climategate.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Source: http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/11/yamal-and-oxburghs-blinder-well-played/ [...]

  2. [...] wrote my recent posts on Yamal here here as an introduction to today’s post by reminding readers that the topic in dispute when the [...]

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