Behind Closed Doors: “Perpetuating Rubbish”

The Yang Chinese composite, after the Mann PC1 and Yamal, had the third-largest hockey stick shape of the proxies illustrated in the IPCC AR4 spaghetti graph. I’d commented on this series on several occasions – see http://www.climateaudit.org/tag/yang

The new emails show that Bradley thought that this series was, to use the technical term preferred by climate scientists, “crap” and should not be used in multiproxy studies – an issue raised by Bradley in connection with Mann et al (EOS 2003) – their attack on Soon and Baliunas 2003.

Needless to say, Bradley did not publish a comment criticizing the use of this series. It has subsequently been used over and over again in IPCC multiproxy studies, commencing with Mann and Jones 2003.

In my post a few years ago, I observed that it was, in fact, “the most heavily-weighted contributor to Mann and Jones [2003] … The Yang composite and the North American PC1 (bristlecones) dominate the Mann and Jones [2003] reconstruction, making other series essentially irrelevant.” It was then used in Moberg et al [2005].

In my earlier post, I observed that “its contribution to Moberg is less marked, but it is one of only 3-4 series that provide a strong 20th century” (the other series include upside-down Bulloides.) Since then, it has been used in Osborn and Briffa 2006, the IPCC AR4 spaghetti graph (Box 6.4 Figure 1), Hegerl et al 2007, Juckes et al 2007, Ljungqvist 2010 and even Loehle and McCulloch 2010.

Here’s what Bradley and the Team said about the validity of this series behind closed doors. The exchange also has an interesting vignette on the speed of peer review when the Team is involved.

The Counterattack against Soon and Baliunas

On June 3, 2003, Mann began drafting the counterattack on Soon and Baliunas for EOS, assisted by Jones, Osborn and Rutherford. Authors who commented at least once were Bradley, Briffa, Crowley, Oppenheimer, Trenberth and Wigley. Ammann and Hughes appear to have been listed as coauthors only as a courtesy, rather than because of actual input.

There are emails through June 13 discussing the drafting of the EOS article. The version as submitted to EOS for peer review did not include the Yang composite. It had the same number of series but used the Briffa 2000 composite instead.

In email 2530 on June 17 at 10:53 GMT, Jones tells Mann that EOS editor Moseley-Thompson has the article for review:

I’ve not heard any more about the EOS piece but Ellen has got it – I got an email from her to Judy….

They had just received notice of acceptance of Mann and Jones 2003 (the article that Bradley later disliked so much). Jones suggested to Mann that they replace the long Briffa series with Yang’s more hockey-stick shaped series (which they had used in Mann and Jones 2003):

I would suggest with EOS we add this series into Fig 1, back to AD200, possibly by replacing the long Briffa series.

In the rest of email 2530, Mann and Jones separately instructed Rutherford to switch the series in EOS Figure 1, with Jones saying that he would check with Moseley-Thompson to see if possible. (None of the other authors appear to have been consulted thus far.)

Scott,
I’m off home now. Do you want to see if you can switch the two series around as Mike suggested. Replace the long Briffa one with the appended and alter caption accordingly. I’ll email Ellen and Judy to see if possible.
Cheers, Phil

The next morning, (email 2-3637), Jones reported to the Team that the article was with AGU and should go soon to Ellen Moseley-Thompson for reviewing (Moseley-Thompson having participated in the earlier email chain discussing what to do about Soon and Baliunas.) He reported the acceptance of Mann and Jones 2003 and outlined the plan discussed the previous day with Mann to substitute the more hockey-stick shaped Yang series for the long Briffa series:

Here’s a brief update on the EOS article. It is currently with AGU and should go soon to Ellen Mosley-Thompson for assessment/reviewing. Mike and I are trying to co-ordinate its hopeful publication with the attached. This is the GRL paper that Mike has mentioned. Copy is for your info, so don’t pass around. Both reviews were positive and the attached is the resubmitted version. If co-ordination isn’t possible we will still replace the long Briffa et al series (going back over the 2 millennia) in Figure 1 with the blue line from Figure 2a in the GRL article. Text will alter, but only to refer to the new curve.

Jones explained that the substitution “should increase the impact”:

I’m in discussion with AGU and Ellen about co-ordination as this should increase the impact of both pieces. Mike or I will let you know when we hear more.

Later that day (JUne 18 – email 2530), Rutherford reported the completion of the substituted figure, which Jones distributed to Briffa and Osborn.

In the early EDT afternoon (email 2670) of the same day, EOS accepted the article, with a number of minor text changes suggested.

Bradley complains about the proxies

On June 22, four days later, (email 4207), Bradley complained to the team [emphasis added] about the Yang composite that Mann and Jones had unilaterally substituted.

Phil:
You commented that the Chinese series of Yang et al (GRL 2002) looked weird. Well, that’s because it’s crap–no further comment on what stuff gets into GRL!

You appear to have used their so-called “complete” China record. You really should
consider what went into this –2 ice core delta 18O records of dubious relationship to
temperature (one is cited as correlating with NW China temperatures at r=0.2-0.4), 3
tree ring series, one of which is a delta C-13 record of questionable climatic
significance (to be generous). The other series include two records from a Taiwan
lake–a carbon/nitrogen isotope and a total organic carbon series (interpreted as
high=”warm, wet”) and an oxygen isotope series from cellulose in peat!!! (& don’t ask
about the C-14 based chronology, interpolated to decadal averages!)

I loved this sentence:
“Although a quantitative relationship between the proxy records of the Jinchuan peat,
the Japan tree-ring series and the Taiwanese sediment records with modern climate data
are not given in the original works, the qualitative connectivity with temperature as
the dominant controlling factor has undoubtedly been verified”

Oh, undoubtedly!! And these are 4 of the 9 series going into the “complete China”
record..

Finally, they use another record based on “phenology” and (somehow) this provides a
winter temperature series….

You just shouldn’t grab anything that’s in print and just use it ‘cos it’s there—that
just perpetuates rubbish. This series needs to be removed from Figure 2 in the EOS
forum piece–and if you included it in your GRL paper, I suggest that you reconsider it.
Ray

Bradley’s complaint about the loose treatment of warm and wet in Yang had particular resonance because that was the criticism that the Team was levelling against Soon and Baliunas.

Mann replied immediately assuring Bradley and the inside Team that the Yang composite got “moderately low” weight in Mann and Jones 2003 (note- I don’t think that this is true. My notes indicate that it received more weight than any series other than the Mann PC1.) Mann tried to fob off further discussion until he met with Jones in Sapporo (by which time the article would have appeared):

Hi Ray,

In our GRL article, Phil and I weighted the records we used with respect to their decadal correlations with the instrumental gridpoint surface temperature data for the same region (numbers in parentheses in attached figure 1 from the paper), so if a series is truly crap in an objectively determined sense, it got very low weight. The China series has a reasonable (r=0.22), but not great correlation–and it gets a moderate low weight.

In my opinion, this is a better approach then simply deeming a record crap a priori (and then getting criticized for not considering it). We considered all available records with appropriate resolution that are putative temperature estimates, and weighted them objectively.

We also did careful cross-validation on the resulting reconstruction using independent instrumental data, etc.—so I hardly think we are subject to criticism in how we used the available data, relative to other analyses that have been done…

As for the Eos piece, I think a similar point holds–not showing it at all would seem a conspicuous omission. We could add the local correlation values to each of the panels of Figure 2, and comment briefly–this could be done at the proof stage.


Phil and I can discuss this, if need be, when we meet in Sapporo in a couple weeks,
mike

On June 24 (the article having been accepted), Wigley, in email 4249, asked Osborn to “cover” Bradley’s point about the Yang series:

Tim,
I think it is *extremely* important to cover Ray’s point about Yang et al. and Mike Mann’s response about weighting. This requires a small addition to the Figure caption.
Tom.

Briffa interjects

Briffa, who had thus far been uninvolved, then weighed in (email 5027) to Bradley agreeing with his criticisms of the Yang composite. Briffa anticipated that its inclusion would be criticized by sceptics. However, Briffa argued that trying to cooper up the “suspicious” Chinese series at this stage would delay matters and tried to persuade Bradley to drop his scruples on the basis that they were not endorsing the individual series:

Hi Ray
thanks for the communication -

Now to the comments re the EOS piece. I believe you criticised the inclusion of the 2000 (Eurasian ) tree-ring series (since reiterated by Malcolm). Fair enough , though again misguided in my opinion if on the basis of “contains few data ” or ” has weak climate response” . I was perfectly happy to drop it ( I never suggested its inclusion in the first place), but I find it somewhat ironic that it should be replaced with the latest (Mann and Jones) series that contains the same three series plus a mixture of other far more dubious (not to say bad ) series – I agree with the remarks you made re some of these (particularly the Chinese series) in your recent email to someone. I consider that this new series (plus the illustration of the Western US series in the EOS) piece will “stimulate further discussion ” in the field , both between we palaeo-types and the Sceptics.

I and Tim have been left to submit this and the balance of pressure seems to be to submit as is – if we remove the suspicious Chinese series we would have to delay things further (Ellen is hassling for us to submit) and , anyway, it is still contained in the Long series. I am of the opinion that the points made in the piece still stand – and by signing on, we are not individually sanctioning all the curves or data used in the illustrations ( There are genuine problems with ALL of them). We will therefore , add Malcolm’s name and submit the version we now have. Hope this OK with all.

Keith

Mann proposed that they deal with things at proof stage, saying that the “low weight” given to the Yang composite dealt with it “appropriately”. (The correlations which Mann said would be added in proof stage were not added.)

Tim,

I suggest we let Eos size the figures, etc. Then, in the end, we can simply substitute a version of Figure 2 w/ the correlations added at the proof stage. Anything else will slow down the publication of the manuscript unnecessarily, in my opinion. Phil and I have already discussed–we agree that the low weight given to the record in the Mann and Jones composite treats the record appropriately…

mike

Briffa also tried to individually reassure Wigley (2023) on June 24 about the Yang series:

Tom
Tim has just told me of your message expressing concern about the China series , and your statement of the necessity to “deal with Ray’s comment” and add in the “small adjustment to the Figure Caption”. .

We (I and Tim) decided to get this off as soon as possible to Ellen (AGU), as we had been asked to do (and as requested by Ellen). Hence it went off earlier today (and before your message arrived). Mike was aware of Ray’s comment and was happy to leave any amendment to the text “until the proof stage” .

In my opinion it is not practical (or desirable) to try to “qualify” any one record in this limited format. It was a majority decision to leave the Mann and Jones 2000-year series in the Figure 1 (as it was to remove the Briffa and Osborn tree-ring based one) , and the details of the logic used to derive the Mann and Jones series is to be found in the (cited) text of their paper. Signing on to this letter, in my mind. implies agreement with the text and not individual endorsement of all curves by each author. I too have expressed my concern to Phil (and Ray) over the logic that you leave all series you want in but just weight them according to some (sometimes low) correlation (in this case based on decadal values). I also believe some of the series that make up the Chinese record are dubious or obscure, but the same is true of other records Mann and Jones have used (e.g. how do you handle a series in New Zealand that has a -0.25 correlation?). Further serious problems are still (see my and Tim’s Science comment on the Mann 1999 paper) lurking with the correction applied to the Western US tree-ring PC amplitude series used (and shown in Figure 2). There are problems (and limitations ) with ALL series used. At this stage , singling out individual records for added (and unavoidably cursory added description) is not practical. We were told to cut the text and References significantly – and further cuts are implied by Ellen’s messages to us.

If you wish to open this up to general discussion , it may be best to wait ’til the proof stage and then we can all consider the balance of emphasis – but we had also better guard against too “selective” a choice of data to present? If you want to get a somewhat wider discussion of this point going in the meantime, feel free to forward this to whoever you wish along with your disagreement, while we wait on the response from AGU.
Best wishes
Keith

Osborn also tried to reassure Wigley on June 24 (email 4249):

Hi Tom,
In Phil’s absence I was just now looked at his PC because I needed some files/emails for a separate matter, and I noticed that you had emailed Phil/Ray/Mike concurring with Ray’s concerns. Until I saw that, I hadn’t realised that anyone else had commented on Yang et al.

Keith and I discussed exactly this issue this morning, and though Keith also had concerns about the record (I haven’t read their paper, so can’t comment) we decided to leave things as they were because: (i) Mike suggested adding correlations to the figure at the proof stage rather than now; (ii) I wasn’t sure how to word a caveat about Yang et al. without making it seem odd that we were including a doubtful record and odd that we hadn’t added caveats about some of the other records.

The current status is that the version I circulated has been submitted back to EOS (because of the reasons given above), and Ellen Mosley-Thompson has approved it. It needs to be reviewed internally at AGU by either Fred Spilhaus or an Associate Editor. It will then be edited to reflect the Eos newspaper style.

I’ve cc’d this to Mike and Phil to see what they want to do. I/we can put a hold on the processing of the current submission and then submit a new version with revised figure and caption. Alternatively we could wait and see what it’s like after EOS have edited it, and then make any final modifications at that stage.
Over to you/Mike/Phil.
Cheers
Tim

Quality Ambiguity

The following day (June 25 – email 4712), Wigley clarified that he was not really trying to ensure that the individual series had merit, but only that they chose “sufficiently ambiguous” language in their text to give them a fallback position if they were criticized – a practice that one sees all too often in this field,

Guys,
It seems that there was a misunderstanding about what I suggested re Yang. To be more specific, I suggest adding the following to the end of the Figure 2 caption:

“….. Note that individual series are weighted according to their quality in forming a composite hemispheric-scale time series.”

The word ‘quality’ here has been chosen carefully — as something that is deliberately a bit ambiguous.

The point here is to have something that we can fall back on if anyone criticizes *any* specific input series (*not* just Yang).
___________________

Tom.

Wigley then responded to Briffa’s individual email with inline comments (539. 2003-06-25):

Tim has just told me of your message expressing concern about the China series , and your statement of the necessity to “deal with Ray’s comment” and add in the “small adjustment to the Figure Caption”. .
We (I and Tim) decided to get this off as soon as possible to Ellen (AGU) , as we had been asked to do (and as requested by Ellen). Hence it went off earlier today (and before your message arrived). Mike was aware of Ray’s comment and was happy to leave any amendment to the text “until the proof stage” .

YEAH, I REALIZE THIS — AND I AGREE THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO GET THE DOCUMENT OFF
QUICKLY.

In my opinion it is not practical (or desirable) to try to “qualify ” any one record in this limited format. It was a majority decision to leave the Mann and Jones 2000-year series in the Figure 1 (as it was to remove the Briffa and Osborn tree-ring based one) , and the details of the logic used to derive the Mann and Jones series is to be found in the (cited) text of their paper.

YOU MISUNDERSTAND ME. OF COURSE IT WOULD BE SILLY TO SINGLE OUT A SPECIFIC ITEM. WHAT IS NECESSARY IS A SENTENCE STATING THE *METHOD* — I.E., THAT ITEMS ARE WEIGHTED BY THEIR CALIBRATION PERFORMANCE.

Signing on to this letter , in my mind. implies agreement with the text and not individual endorsement of all curves by each author. I too have expressed my concern to Phil (and Ray) over the logic that you leave all series you want in but just weight them according to some (sometimes low) correlation (in this case based on decadal values). I also believe some of the series that make up the Chinese record are dubious or obscure , but the same is true of other records Mann and Jones have used (e.g. how do you handle a series in New Zealand that has a -0.25 correlation?) .

IT IS A DIFFICULT CALL — WHETHER TO DUMP SERIES THAT HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT LINK TO TEMPERATURE AND WHICH ARE, AS WELL, DUBIOUS ON A PRIORI GROUNDS; OR TO USE A WEIGHTING SCHEME. IF ONE DID THIS BY SIMPLE MULTIPLE REGRESSION, THEN THINGS WOULD BE WEIGHTED AUTOMATICALLY. HOWEVER, STATISTICALLY ONE SHOULD STILL DUMP THE LOW CORRELATION ONES. I HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT WHAT MIKE AND PHIL HAVE DONE — BUT THIS IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT FACE TO FACE SOME DAY.

Further serious problems are still (see my and Tim’s Science comment on the Mann 1999 paper) lurking with the correction applied to the Western US tree-ring PC amplitude series used (and shown in Figure 2). There are problems (and limitations ) with ALL series used.

YEAH.

At this stage , singling out individual records for added (and unavoidably cursory added description) is not practical.

I AM NOT SUGGESTING THIS — AS THE ABOVE SHOULD MAKE CLEAR.

We were told to cut the text and References significantly – and further cuts are implied by Ellen’s messages to us. If you wish to open this up to general discussion , it may be best to wait ’til the proof stage and then we can all consider the balance of emphasis – but we had also better guard against too “selective” a choice of data to present? If you want to get a somewhat wider discussion of this point going in the meantime , feel free to forward this to whoever you wish along with your disagreement , while we wait on the response from AGU.

NO — I’M HAPPY WITH KEEPING THINGS AT THIS LEVEL.

The Mann et al EOS article was published on July and was followed soon after by mass resignation of Climate Research editors for the role of the journal in publishing Soon and Baliunas. More on this on another occasion.

Aftermath

Later in the fall of 2003, Briffa and Cook reflected on Mann and Jones 2003 and the Yang composite. In email 435, Cook proposed to Briffa that they try to summarize what was actually known about 1000-year reconstructions, complaining that Bradley’s “air of papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times” – a point on which both warmist and skeptic could agree. He worried that Jones and Mann were “too personally invested” now:

I am afraid the Mike and Phil are too personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL paper that is probably the worst paper Phil has ever been involved in Bradley hates it as well), but I am willing to offer to include them if they can contribute without just defending their past work

On October 17, 2003, Bradley, Hughes and Diaz published their contribution to the rebuttal of Soon and Baliunas. Recall that Bradley had complained that that Jones and Mann had failed to consider what went into the Yang composite “2 ice core delta 18O records of dubious relationship to temperature”. These series were, of course, versions of the Dunde and Guliya series popularized by Lonnie Thompson. In Bradley et al 2003, they were not described as having a “dubious relationship to temperature”, but as “well calibrated” data sets.

As noted above, despite the private misgivings of the various authors expressed prior to publication of Mann et al 2003, Osborn and Briffa 2006 used the Yang composite anyway (justifying its inclusion on the basis that it had been used in Mann et al, 2003.)

Similar rationales were used for its inclusion in the IPCC 2007 Box 6.4 Figure 1 without overturning Bradley’s objection that such re-use simply “perpetuates rubbish.”

Update: Dec 3, 2011. Jean S has drawn attention to the fact that differnt online versions of this article show precisely what changes were made. The earliest version is the one at von Storch’s website here. It has the Yang composite in Figure 2 and the Briffa 2000 reconstruction in Figure 1 (Hughes not an author.) The next June 20) version is online at Stephen Schneider’s website here: it replaced the Briffa 2000 reconstruction in Figure 1 with the Mann and Jones 2003 reconstruction; it still had the Yang composite in Figure 2 and still failed to show Hughes as a coauthor. Hughes was added as a coauthor in the next version (here and as published here), otherwise things appear to be unchanged.


105 Comments

  1. CBDenver
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    So privately they said the series had a “dubious relationship to temperature”, but publicly they said it was “well calibrated”? I am just about to the point of never trusting any scientists at all.

    • Duster
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

      If you tend forget that scientists are human beings with axes to grind, opinions they are invested in, etc., then indeed you should never “trust” scientists. This kind of behaviour has been present for centuries. Newton was just as bad and Bacon delineated the experimental method because of it. He had hopes that experimental work would force a buffer of objective, empirical fact between nature and a scientist’s opinions. He never anticipated statistics as a tool of science.

      • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

        I don’t think Bacon would have any problem with statistics. It’s the conveyor belt from untested science to policy, with the IPCC the mediator, that makes what is called climate science such a problem.

  2. kim2ooo
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Well done!

  3. Chants
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    “IT IS A DIFFICULT CALL — WHETHER TO DUMP SERIES THAT HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT LINK TO TEMPERATURE AND WHICH ARE, AS WELL, DUBIOUS ON A PRIORI GROUNDS; OR TO USE A WEIGHTING SCHEME.” (Wigley’s inline comment, (#539, 2003-06-25)).

    Heh. Gotta love Wigley’s wit an way with words.

    Wasn’t Wigley also the guy wryly asking about a reindeer crapping next to a tree in Yamal?

  4. John Norris
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    re: ” … despite the private misgivings of the various authors expressed prior to publication of Mann et al 2003, Osborn and Briffa 2006 used the Yang composite anyway …”

    Not being a climate scientist Steve, you just don’t understand. The Yang composite is like a fine wine.

  5. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    By my count that’s eleven separate email files used from the new batch, permitting a much fuller narrative than would ever have been possible in Nov 09. But rubbish is the right word.

    In email 435, Cook … [complained] that Bradley’s “air of papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times” – a point on which both warmist and skeptic could agree.

    But Bradley was truest to science here for a while – until his turn came to publish against Soon and he was as bad as the rest. These guys are clearly doing something that looks a bit like science. But the corruption has been around for so long they hardly notice it isn’t anything like the real thing.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

      There are many new emails that shed light on the Soon-Baliunas controversy, an issue that I hadnt examined closely before. I’ll be posting at length on this.

  6. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    It is easier to select and weight series when you know the answer!

  7. EdeF
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Some Climate Audit comments on the 2003 Soon and Baliumus controversy circa 2005,
    some background:

    http://climateaudit.org/2005/09/29/wahl-and-ammann-at-grl/#comments

  8. ikh
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Wow!!! If I understand this correctly the whole purpose of this paper was to counter Soon and Baliunas. So they knock up a paper using a whole bunch of dubious proxy time series and knowingly publish, to use a technical term, ‘crap’.

    Call me ‘Old Fashioned’ but I always thought the purpose of a scientific paper was to publish something new, novel, and non-obvious, so as to advance knowledge of the field.

    How the hell was this science! This deeply ofends me.

    /ikh

    • Francis
      Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

      And note how easy it was for them to get their crap published.

      I have nothing against those who have a strong hunch and defend it passionately. The History of science if full of those people who showed pluck, and against all odds in the end were proven right. And is not our own judiciary system based on that principl? That is, you don’t expect each lawyer, defence and accusation, to defend both point of views: the judge or jury (in science: experiment) will decide which side is right.

      Now the problem here is not that those miserable failures adovacated strongly a single viewpoint. I think what was wrong was their corruption of the whole system, i.e., their stifling of opposition, corruption of judges (experiments), tampering with evidence, and others.

      The whole thing could be very comical, but I can’t help thinking of all the political propaganda that was built on their “consensus” and all the money squandered based on such false testimony.

      Shame on them.

  9. CoPete
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Wasn’t this used in Loehle’s reconstruction too?

    Steve: my, my. Yes, it was. Post amended to correct this.

    • Macumazan
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

      One EMENDS an article when one edits it. One makes AMENDS when one pays compensation for a wrong done. An emendation is not an amendment. Of course, in the case of climatologists, one can reasonably expect both emendations AND amendments. In your own case, however, minor emendations suffice and amendents are not required becaue your integrity stands out. But the released emails? – simply scandalous! They surely reflect on the character of their authors and must count against the admissibility of any sworn evidence that they might submit to a court of law.

      • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

        Indeed, Steve had said nothing wrong. But this shows how the poisoning of the well early on (in this case knowing some data is crap but never letting on publicly, because you’re so committed as a group to defame Soon & Baliunas) can take even researchers with real integrity off course down the track. What is the cleanup operation for climate science going to look like? Andrei Sakharov at the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1964?

      • John Link
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

        “One EMENDS an article when one edits it. One makes AMENDS when one pays compensation for a wrong done.”

        Yeah, that’s why the Bill of Rights added to the U.S. Constitution are called the first Ten Emendments.

        Oh, wait: they’re not. Changes to the US Constitution are called Amendments.

        Sorry, but “makes amends” is an idiomatic expression. It offers little guidance as to the meaning of “amend”.

        If you want to argue that “emend” means to improve by changing a text, then consider the 18th amendment to the US constitution that ushered in Prohibition, as opposed to the 21st amendment that abolished it.

        Which one represents an improvement?

      • BobN
        Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

        While you are, of course, correct that “emend” means to correct a faulty text, you are incorrect that “amend” only means when one pays compenstion for a wrong (or even that compensation is necesary for one to amend one’s wrong. “To change for the better” or “change to fix mistakes” are probably the most common definitons for the word “Amend”. Why do they call changes to the US Constitution “Amendments”?

  10. Patrick M.
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    I’m sensing that not only is the team pushing for publication, but that there is also a force pulling for publication… Is it possible the tune is being called from elsewhere?

  11. BobN
    Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t get passed this, apparently from Michail Mann:

    The China series has a reasonable (r=0.22), but not great correlation–and it gets a moderate low weight.


    Since when did r=0.22 become “reasonable, but not great” correlation. r=0.22 is, for all intents and purposes, essentially uncorrelated, or only slightly correlated at best.

    Steve – that’s for decadally smoothed series so it’s less significant than it seems, Its also better than many “proxies”

    • MikeN
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

      Mann 08 uses a correlation level of .106. I think this is some sort of autcorrelation magic number.

  12. Jimmy Haigh
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    Isn’t it great having all of these e-mails where we sceptics can put everything into the proper context?

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

      It’s what we do best. But anyone else is welcome to try.

  13. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    If I were on the Team I just wouldn’t be able to bring myself to read a post like this. It would ruin my whole trip to Durban.

  14. steven mosher
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

    you misunderstand. this is merely sausage being made. it the end it tastes great.
    what appear to be mouseturds in the ingredients will look and taste like pepper
    when it is all cooked up properly.

    • RuhRoh
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

      Damn you Steve Mosher!

      Just as the diapers of my firstborn child caused me to never again appreciate
      ‘squirt mustard’ in quite the same way as before,

      I will never again eat Cotto Salami without thinking of this lovely vignette you so thoughtfully provided…

      RR

      • steven mosher
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

        haha.. and I was going to put squirt mustard on that sausage!

      • ChE
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

        The funny thing is that somebody over at Curry’s said pretty much exactly that in total deadpan seriousness. Yes we can! make treemometers.

  15. RuhRoh
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Mr. McI;

    For me anyway, it would strengthen the narrative to include some linkage to the participation of (EOS editor?) Ellen; “(Moseley-Thompson having participated in the earlier email chain discussing what to do about Soon and Baliunas.)”

    Also, the usage of “reviewing” regarding E M-T role is possibly ambiguous; she apparently was not the technical ‘reviewer’ , but did some ‘reviewing’ in her editorial role?

    I can’t wait to hear how the apologists spin the use of the technical keyword “crap” , as they were able to do with “trick” .
    Thanks for this powerful analysis.
    RR

    • steven mosher
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:13 AM | Permalink

      crap is a term of art, like trick.

      you can’t understand it unless you are part of the profession.

      which profession, i wont say

      • ChE
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

        Terms of art need to be Latin. It’s crapus trickus (rhymes with a certain Monte Python scene).

        • j ferguson
          Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

          ChE. Latin? No kidding? I thought only s meaning specific to some professional activity was required. Nutus.

      • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

        The word ‘quality’ here has been chosen carefully — as something that is deliberately a bit ambiguous.

        So, to “trick” and “crap”, add “quality” – a word that can be chosen to describe

        something that is deliberately a bit ambiguous

    • Jan
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

      RuhRoh

      I think these are couple of examples from the original release:

      105115641

      http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=5605

      105123050

      http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=5608

      and a newer one:

      http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=4343

      • RuhRoh
        Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

        Thanks, that 4343 note (April 24, 2003) from tranche II is spot on, perhaps the ‘seminal’ note by Schneider, eliciting a targeted response (to Soon/Bial), for nakedly political purposes.

        That was the missing piece for me.
        Perhaps others also.
        RR

  16. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

    Isn’t it like with models, each one of them being rubbish but magically considered relevant as an ensemble?

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

      I’ve actually been marveling over much the same thought. All this talk about “properly weighting” the various datasets; for the uninitiated, this sounds quite scientific and proper. But once one really digs into the content of these studies, one comes to the realization that it’s all a crap sandwich.

      It’s all a bunch of hand-waving in an attempt to pull a spectacularly epic snow job. To think they almost got away with it. And, frankly, may still….

    • Alix James
      Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

      Isn’t it like with models, each one of them being rubbish but magically considered relevant as an ensemble?

      Kinda sounds like the housing collapse in 2008: each of the mortgages were rubbish, but magically considered viable as an ensemble…

  17. Steve Jones
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:46 AM | Permalink

    Great stuff Mr McIntyre,

    Have been reading CA for a number of years and think it is one of the best sites for proper analysis of the AGW scam. Having trained as a physicist, my suspicions about the AGW position were raised when I read of the fielding of the term ‘concensus’ as if it somehow clinched the argument. For any true scientist, this is like a red rag to a bull. The greatest proponent of this argument being the planet’s most accomplished snake oil salesman and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore.
    Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying thank you, and the many contributors to this site, for your tireless efforts to expose this scam.

    SJ

  18. Mac
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    So the Team conspired to discredit S&B by the use and inclusion of ‘crap’ data in order to manufacture outrage at CR, outrage that led to resignations.

    Is that how climate science is done?

    • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

      You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, as the man said.

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

      So the Team conspired to discredit S&B by the use and inclusion of ‘crap’ data in order to manufacture outrage at CR, outrage that led to resignations.

      Is that how climate science is done?

      this seems to be the big conclusion. But there’s more / worse:

      the “evidence” for discrediting Soon & Baliunas is itself susceptible to the very “problems” on which S&B is supposed to founder. Like being paid to issue criticisms of simony and bribery.

      And now I can guess why the Team never use single proxies but always multiproxy recons in their public front. As they say, there are “problems with all series used” and the use of multiproxy curves is to juggle raw data series until they could balance and hide each others’ shortcomings. Thus the familiar spaghetti curve looks like an honest statement of raw data but each curve has already been cooked.

  19. TerryS
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    Re: 4249

    Hi Tom,
    In Phil’s absence I was just now looked at his PC because I needed some files/emails for a separate matter, and I noticed that you had emailed Phil/Ray/Mike concurring with Ray’s concerns.

    As a side note to this, if you want to claim your email is private then you must treat it as private at all times (I think the FOI person made this point in one email). Giving a 3rd party (Tim Osburne) access negates the idea that you consider the emails private.

    • pax
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

      I thought exactly the same thing when I read that.

  20. KnR
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    You have to hope the rest of the climate science community and the science community will open their mouth and let the ‘Team’ know what they think of such behavior. But that may be a forlorn hope for they failed to do any such thing so far . So let hope they at least let the public know they do not approve or support this way of working .

  21. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    There is much much more in the emails about the lead-up to Mann et al EOS 2003 and the fall-out. It’s far too much for a single post.

    It’s an interesting visit for me because it was all mostly before my involvement in the field.

    • Dennis Wingo
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

      It’s an interesting visit for me because it was all mostly before my involvement in the field.

      And as I am sure you have noticed, you take up an increasingly large fraction of the later emails as their target of scorn/fear.

      • Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

        There are around 1,000 occurrences of “McIntyre” in Climategate.=2.0, compared to slightly less than 13000 for Phil Jones.

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

      I hope you can do a post on the differences between “pre-McIntyre” and “post-McIntyre” eras. I’m thinking this could elicit hard evidence as to why your unrestricted witness is essential and unavoidable in any new enquiry.

  22. Sean Houlihane
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    This phrase from Mann is quite telling, imo. It backs up his seeming incomprehension that an upside-down series could matter.

    so if a series is truly crap in an objectively determined sense, it got very low weight.

    Does this really show that he has so much trust in the statistics as to imagine that any garbage series that correlates well with temperature makes a good proxy? I can kind of see that he is right in some cases, for example in a fourier transform any sine-wave which correlates at all is part of the proxy. Similarly, a straight line fit on a scatter plot might often have some predictive value – and that sort of thing gets fairly strong presence in undergrad physics courses (and near enough zero on significance).

    Particularly going back 15 years when this use of stats in climatology was a bit more cutting edge, I can imagine that it could be a justification for pulling in any series with the slightest hint of physical justification – in the expectation that the magic of regEM would sort out the mess. This flawed foundation becomes the foundation of confirmation bias, some (others) start feeding in money for their own personal ends, and the process starts to snowball – without necessarily any malicious intent on the science side.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

      Does this really show that he has so much trust in the statistics as to imagine that any garbage series that correlates well with temperature makes a good proxy?

      Therein lies the road to upside-down Tiljander.

    • JamesG
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

      The truth of course is that if a series is hockey stick shaped it gets a very high weight. Mann seemingly just doesn’t realise this. All the others seem to but ignore it anyway. Who is worse?

      • ChE
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

        He realizes it, he just says it’s a feature and not a bug. He claims that this separates the treemometers from the treegrometers.

      • William Larson
        Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

        Isn’t this a line from “Star Wars”? “Who is the greater fool: The fool, or the fool who follows him?”

    • clazy8
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

      Sean, I really like this observation of yours. Is it true that statistics was “cutting edge” in climatology 15 years back? I’m reminded of a point that, IIRC, Briggs makes, that you better understand exactly how statistics work before you draw conclusions from them, or you will get in trouble. As you say, it doesn’t require malice. Frustration is enough, if it’s abetted by naivete, wishful thinking and, perhaps crucially, indiscipline. Imagine, a seemingly impassable hurdle blocks meaningful progress in your field; but an unfamiliar, evidently powerful tool has been used successfully to deal with similar problems, albeit in different fields of study under different circumstances. Hope springs anew! Ideally you’d hire a professional to use this new tool, but you’re a smart guy, an academic: it can’t be that hard for someone with your intellectual gifts to figure it out as you go along. Of course, you’re also human, and whenever you’re faced with a question just beyond the range of your present understanding, you’re inclined to adopt the answer that better suits your overall objective. Unfortunately, there’s no one to correct your errors except your colleagues, and they are in the same position as you. Even worse, your errors are rewarded with grants and reknown. You’re at the top of your profession. So how will you respond when people you don’t know, people you’ve never even heard of, insist that you have made fundamental errors? It’s too late to turn back.

  23. Exasperated
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Is this really the way the peer-review publication process works in Climate Science? If so, it is completely broken.

    You do not get to just substitute new data and figures after the review is completed in any credible journal. The editor (or section editors) should be forced to resign, all articles with post-reviewer acceptance change (beyond the typical grammar and spelling minor changes) should be marked as such, and the editor should apologize and resign. Anyone involved in overseeing this ham-handed “review” process should be barred from participating in any peer-review process for 3 years (grants, manuscripts, tenure review, etc. – see the misconduct penalties administered by the NIH or other federal funding agencies).

    This type of collusion completely undermines the peer-review process regardless of the particular field, the authors involved, or the individual findings supposedly described in the work. The weighting or inclusion of a particular series can easily be dismissed as a minor issue, undermining and destroying the peer-review process is an issue around which a much broader coalition can be constructed to refute the machinations of “The Team”.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

      But since, according to various Team members, no reviewer ever asks for the data during the review process (or presumably afterwards either), it obviously doesn’t matter if one set of data is substituted for another after the review is finished.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

      You don’t understand, they were just enhancing a figure, whose purpose was purely propaganda, so which data went in did not matter, their argument was virtuous and therefore right /sarc

  24. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    You know what would be truly diabolical now? For FOIA to distribute in a couple of years some emails from the period immediately AFTER the first Climategate :)

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

      That would just be sensation IMO.

      what these older tranches do, is tell the story of the process of corruption. We need to know this history in order to reverse it as cleanly as possible. Auditing before reform otherwise we run the risk of simply continuing old problems or introducing variants of old problems.

      One thing I’m thinking here in this thread is that Climate Science should “un-cook” all the “cooked spaghetti” lines and show the raw series – just as, to regain trustworthy temperature records, we need individual station data history and local urbanization history, rather than using gridded / cooked data that are probably inadequately corrected for UHI etc.

  25. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    It seems as if the comments of climate scientists “behind closed doors” are quite different than their public persona…except for Mann. He is a master of spin and denial in both realms.

  26. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    FWIW, Yang did not have a particularly high variance about the 18-proxy mean in Loehle and McCulloch (2008 [not 2010].

    In my SI, linked at http://econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/AGW/Loehle/ , I tabulate these variances and then experiment with a) culling the data set to exclude those proxies which are so noisy that they are actually detrimental to the mean, and b) using weighted least squares (WLS) to obtain a more efficient mean, using all 18 series.

    The only two series that merited culling were Cronin and DeMenocal. Yang was not even close to the cutoff variance. However, culling and WLS both gave a qualitatively similar (though somewhat attenuated) reconstruction to just using all 18 with equal weights, so we went with the more easilly understood equal weight scheme that Craig had used in his original 2007 article.

    Yang may in fact be “c***”, but Craig deliberately deferred to peer review in his selection criterion: Each series had to be peer reviewed, calibrated to temperature by its author, extend back 2000 years, and be non-dendro. He attempted to include all such series in the interest of objectivity.

    Although Yang included a few treering series, Craig counted it as “non-dendro” because they had only a small weight in the Yang multiproxy series.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

      If I had understood what I know now about Yamal, I would not have used it. On the other hand, I don’t take Bradley’s word for it that something is crap–maybe he didn’t understand that proxy or didn’t like the answer it gave.

    • Dion
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

      Ahhhh, such perfectly settled science from such perfectly random noise. How does one go about getting government grants for the construction of lines and statistical claptrap from climate data clouds? Do I need Excel or should I dust off my TRS-80?

    • Hu McCulloch
      Posted Dec 5, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

      To be clear, “c***” is Bradley’s term, not mine, and I appologize to Prof. Yang and co-authors for having repeated it so casually.

      That said, I think it would be ideal if future studies would disaggregate the Yang series back into the 9 series that they have identified as informative, and then to evaluate each on its own merits. Even if some of the individual series turn out to be dubious, Yang and co-authors have performed a useful service by identifying and compiling several series that otherwise might have escaped Western attention. Disaggregation would also allow the data to be used with more geographical precision.

      As it stands, the Yang composite shows a strong MWP and LIA, and then turns up at the end comparably to the MWP. (See plots in my SI linked above). No one denies that the 20th c has been warm in comparison to the LIA or even 19th c, so it appears to shed useful light on just how warm we are relative to the MWP.

  27. climatebeagle
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    “The word ‘quality’ here has been chosen carefully — as something that is deliberately a bit ambiguous.”

    How on earth is this science? Is there some missing context that Real Climate could use to justify something like this?

  28. Stacey
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    File No 382

    I’m not sure if this is relevant? There is more.

    From: Phil Jones
    To: Tom Wigley Subject: Re: [geo] Re: CCNet: A Scientific Scandal Unfolds
    Date: Mon Oct 5 10:03:02 2009

    Tom,
    Thanks for trying to clear the air with a few people. Keith is still working on a
    response. Having to contact the Russians to get some more site details takes time.
    Several things in all this are ludicrous as you point out. Yamal is one site and isn’t
    in most of the millennial reconstructions. It isn’t in MBH, Crowley, Moberg etc. Also
    picking trees for a temperature response is not done either.
    The other odd thing is that they seem to think that you can reconstruct the last
    millennium from a few proxies, yet you can’t do this from a few instrumental series for the last 150 years! Instrumental data are perfect proxies, after all.
    [1]http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_climate_reports_they_lie.html
    This one is wrong as well. IPCC (1995) didn’t use that silly curve that Chris Folland or Geoff Jenkins put together.
    Cheers
    PhiL

    • Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

      Jone’s statement “The other odd thing is that they seem to think that you can reconstruct the last millennium from a few proxies, yet you can’t do this from a few instrumental series for the last 150 years! Instrumental data are perfect proxies, after all.” is blindingly obvious but a point often overlooked.

      It’s also interesting to compare Jone’s use of “they” when being critical and “we” when trying to get a paper using “a few proxies” published.

  29. TedK
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Steve:
    Given the details you’ve laid out; I wonder whether Mann’s testimony before Congress is possibly perjurious? I doubt anyone can call it “innocently” scientifically astray?

    The whole behind the scenes activites that are in the above emails just to disparage the “Soon & Baliunas” paper is perhaps scurrilous? The basic intent of the discussed rebuttal results in impacts (intended?) to both men’s careers and prestige in their fields of study.

    Couple co-operative mal-intent and mis-leading testimony before Congress, isn’t that racketeering?

    Given the release and subsequent analysis of the email trove, pal review collaborators should reassess their participation/contributions to this travesty and consider seeking protection from prosecution for their cooperation with inside info. The first insiders to come clean with IGs/AGs usually get the best deals… and keep or re-build some integrity, those dragged kicking and screaming ad-homs can look to learning new trades, inside…

  30. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    I edited the post and put some section titles in to aid readability – because I think its important to help everyone along with the story.

    I still cannot believe what I’m reading in their own words.

  31. patrioticduo
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Steve, bravo (!!) on the details above. This informed and accurate analysis is far more difficult for the “Team” to blow off. Which is what RC seems to be trying to do with the current ‘turkey’ thread. It speaks volumes to me that Gavin is spending so much time obfuscating rather than directly addressing the ethical questions that others are asking on the thread.

    On that note, perhaps you’ve already answered this and if you have then excuse me asking again but in email 2743 Mr Mann refers to deleting comments from you and your “minions”. Do you have an account or recollection of the comments that were deleted? Over at RC, Gavin doesn’t address the reason why deleting comments would be acceptable other than to imply that it was just Mann trying to defend his work. But I would be interested to know what you had posted there to see if there could be any conceivable good reason for Mann to be deleting them. Thanks again.

  32. justbeau
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    Knowingly perpetuating rubbish. What a Team effort!

    • justbeau
      Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

      During Climategate 1.0, their thoughts were outrageous.
      Now with 2.0, its hard to maintain any outrage. Many emails are so lamebrain as to seem just uproarious self-parody.

  33. Iain Cook
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I came across this gem (para excerpted) in the correspondence and nearly choked.

    “In our GRL article, Phil and I weighted the records we used with respect to their decadal correlations with the instrumental gridpoint surface temperature data for the same region (numbers in parentheses in attached figure 1 from the paper), so if a series is truly crap in an objectively determined sense, it got very low weight. The China series has a reasonable (r=0.22), but not great correlation–and it gets a moderate low weight.”

    r=0.22 is “reasonable”? The science in climate science must be different to the one I practice. A statistical rule of thumb is that r2 gives you the fraction of data explained by the correlation, which is 4.8%!!!!

    In my field (analytical chem) anything below r=0.98 is “go back and try again” territory. I realise data scatter is a fact of life in paleoclimatology, but is 5% really OK?

    Steve: Mann used reconstructions with a verification r2 = 0.01 and even 0.0001.

    • Hu McCulloch
      Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

      it all depends on sample size. The regression F statistic (with 1, n-2 DOF) for a simple correlation is (n-2)*R2/(1-R2).

      So with say a century of decadally averaged data like Phil and coauthor had, n = 10, so Finv(.95,1,8) = 5.32 is the critical value and and R2 of .40 (r = .63) would be required for significance at the 5% level.

      On the other hand, with n = 1000, Finv(.95,1,998) = 3.85, and R2 only needs to be .0038 (r = .06) to be significant. (Assuming no serial correlation.)

      Of course, pre-screening a large number of proxy candidates for significance before aggregating them could easily give a composite proxy that was spuriously significant. This is a tricky but pervasive issue.

    • DocMartyn
      Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

      Steve, you know that looking at the dataset in Mann08 you find much greater r2 values of the 1850-1950 CRU or HAD data if you move this calibration period back in time. In many cases, three ring growth sense the average temperature 5-800 years hence.
      I had thought, a prior, that the best fit for the 1850-1950 calibration period would at or around 1850-1950, what a fool I was. Statistically, it is clear that tree rings predict the future, on the century scale. The divergence is nature ways of telling us that the Ice Age cometh in 2500.

  34. val majkus
    Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Steve thanks for appearing on Australian television
    for your fans who missed it here’s a link

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/todays_bolt_report/

    Steve is in the third youtube on that link

  35. Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Steve cites Wigley’s June 25, 2003 E-mail 4712:

    The word ‘quality’ here has been chosen carefully — as something that is deliberately a bit ambiguous.

    I’m so glad that these “climate scientists” choose their words (if not their data series) “carefully”. Briffa also “chose carefully” in August 2005 when he was … uh … manning the fort at the IPCC fudge factory.

  36. AntonyIndia
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

    # 4622

    date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 10:12:57 +0100
    from: Rob Wilson
    subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: Ozzy TR data]
    to: Phil Jones

    Hi Phil,
    indeed – an e-mail from the RS has just come into my Inbox. I have to think about this carefully as, in general, I am very uncomfortable with discussing anything with the media. I have purposely tried not to comment on the Yamal issue despite Steve Mac’s attempts to draw me in. I will probably make a very generic response to the RS and say that a response from Keith will be forth coming next week. Thanks for giving me the heads up. I am busy developing a large network of pines from Scotland at the moment and this species is incredibly sensitive to site differences, management influences etc. I am not surprised that there could be some ‘odd’ sites in the Russian data. hope you have a good weekend
    Rob

  37. Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 3:26 AM | Permalink

    I wonder if there is anything libelous against Steve (and Ross) in 3399.txt? “These folks are fundamentally dishonest in everything they do or say”…no prize to guess who said that…

    Look also at 2519.txt, it’s kind of half-libelous, half-hilarious. Tim Osborn seems to have found the “right” way to criticize Mann without incurring in his wrath, by agreeing on everything he says only to make a long long list of criticisms immediately after 8-)

    • Alix James
      Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

      re: 2519

      Lets let our supporters in higher places use our scientific response to push the broader case against MM. So I look forward to peoples attempts to revise the first par. particular.

      I took the liberty of forwarding the previous draft to a handfull of our closet colleagues

      Sounds like a Stonecutters meeting…

  38. Jessie
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    Following up on Val Majkus @ 10.07 pm

    Steve McIntyre,
    Thank you for your dedicated work and appearing on The Bolt Report, it is great for Aussie viewers to see you and also to hear the story thus far.

  39. Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    My comment 312946 is in moderation. Is there any particular reason?

    • clazy8
      Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

      likewise my comment 312718…

    • Marion
      Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

      And my comment posted Posted Nov 26, 2011 at 9:23 AM

  40. Benjamin
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    They often complain that the e-mails are “out of context”.
    Than why don’t they publish all their professional e-mails ?

    I mean, if there is nothing to hide, and out-of-context interpretation is the problem, it clearly is the easiest solution…

  41. Bob B
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Responding to “Radical Steve McIntyre”

    1682.txt:> stubborn governments is the primary cause of existence of such radicals
    1682.txt-> like
    1682.txt-> McIntyre. We must admit our uncertainties, but also paint the bigger

    4442.txt-but if we wait we are too late. I think actually that the tendency of
    4442.txt-scientists to insist that global warming is real and dangerous to convince
    4442.txt:stubborn governments is the primary cause of existence of such radicals

    2268.txt:>radicals
    2268.txt-> > like
    2268.txt-> > McIntyre.

  42. Bob B
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Canadian Forestry rep asking for and AGW scare info so he can drum-up money for the cause:

    3416.txt-the naysayers. We hope to have Gunter Weller (director of the Centre
    3416.txt-for global chnage at the University of Alaska there also, but they depend
    3416.txt:on oil money for their research).
    3416.txt-Cheers, Adam

  43. Bob B
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Give me my money!

    1826.txt-There is nothing to discuss. There is no contract or formal arrangement with
    1826.txt:CRU for Battelle Part 2. The money is mine to do with as I decide, and I have
    1826.txt-decided to spend it here. If I had given part of this to CRU, it would have
    1826.txt-been just that — a gift.

  44. Bob B
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Phil Jones “Shoddy” work:

    5017.txt-
    5017.txt- Thanks for the paper as well. I heard about the extremely shocking goof in the
    5017.txt: instrumental records from Phil Jones in Tahiti. Frankly, I’m amazed that such a shoddy,
    5017.txt- amateurish mistake could have been made by the British Met Office. The skeptics will
    5017.txt- have a field day with this paper, honestly, as they should. Maybe the global change

  45. Bob B
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Need to be “secret squirrel”

    >>>> Hi Kevin:
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks for your mail – very interesting to read your interpretation of
    >>>> this.
    >>>> Just to be secret squirrel, I’m replying via my non-NIWA mail…

    Tue, 28 Apr 2009 5:49:22 am
    3381.txt->>>>>
    3381.txt->>>>> This is really to Phil, but I am interested in Jim’s reaction to this:
    3381.txt:>>>>> obviously he is part of NIWA and needs to be careful about what he
    3381.txt->>>>> says.
    3381.txt->>>>>

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

      secret squirrel….vs posting all data and code…hmmmm which should I choose…hard decision.

  46. BadgerBoy56
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    I’m back reading CA after the 2009/2010 fallout from Climategate. Really interesting stuff.

    I tried several times to leave a comment on Real Climate and they never made it to the site – I guess “peer review” is necessary to even publish a comment these days. Truly speaks volumes.

  47. BadgerBoy56
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    And CA just automatically posted my comment vs my RC experience.

    So that amounts to what? I guess transparency vs. filtered, defensive, peer/pal reviewed, manipulated and perpetuated rubbish??

  48. BadgerBoy56
    Posted Nov 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    I understand the purpose of this site is to thoroughly sort through the detail and seek to find the truth.

    But I also agree with a few comments that sites like CA and WUWT could contribute to better PR for the latest Climategate 2.0 development to get/force more mainstream press coverage in the US (difficult but doable in my opinion).

    The following article in the UK Mail today tying in the BBC is extremely interesting and is also a very lively read. It has a great “hook” in PR terms.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066706/BBC-sought-advice-global-warming-scientists-economy-drama-music–game-shows.html

    I just sent the Mail article to the high traffic, high quality http://www.hotair.com site with some commetns and they just posted teh article on their homepage. Hopefully one of their bloggers will follow up with a post – I’ve sent them things before that they have jumped on.

    More of this type of publicity is needed in easily readable and yes – highly entertaining – format. People can help by forwarding articles like this to more mainstream blogs and local papers.

    If bloggers/journalists dig they may end up using some of the detail on sites like CA.

    I should also mention another “juicy” angle for the US press is Mann’s idea to sick “investigators” on Steve McIntyre. Proper sunlight shone on these emails could turn Mann into his own worst enemy. And – being a realist – the “other” Penn State scandal only creates more mystery as to what is going on at that school concerning issues like Mann/Climategate.

    Just sayin….

  49. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    If there is sin in over-confidence, it shows in this exchange of emails 1051230500 dated 23 Apr 2003, when the main Team participants were having a mutual rant over who was top of the pile. Tom Wigley wrote in response to Jim Salinger from New Zealand:
    “> Let me give you an example. There was a paper a few years ago by
    > Legates and Davis in GRL (vol. 24, pp. 2319-1222, 1997) that was
    > nothing more than a direct and pointed criticism of some work by
    > Santer and me — yet neither of us was asked to review the paper. We
    > complained, and GRL admitted it was poor judgment on the part of the
    > editor. Eventually (> 2 years later) we wrote a response (GRL 27,
    > 2973-2976, 2000). However, our response was more that just a rebuttal,
    > it was an attempt to clarify some issues on detection. In doing things
    > this way we tried to make it clear that the original Legates/Davis
    > paper was an example of bad science (more bluntly, either sophomoric
    > ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation).
    …………
    Salinger later became a main player an inquiry doubting the New Zealand climate record.
    …………
    It is of interest that a few weeks before, in #0031 of 12 March 2003, Tim Osborne wrote to Hughes, Mann and others from the team:
    “I took 7 reconstructions and re-calibrated them over a common period and
    against an observed target series (in this case, land-only, Apr-Sep, >20N –
    BUT I GET SIMILAR RESULTS WITH OTHER CHOICES, and this re-calibration stage
    is not critical). You will have seen figures similar to this in stuff
    Keith and I have published. See the coloured lines in the attached figure.

    In this example I then simply took an unweighted average of the calibrated
    series, but the weighted average obtained via an EOF approach can give
    similar results. The average is shown by the thin black line (I’ve ignored
    the potential problems of series covering different periods). This was all
    done with raw, unsmoothed data, even though 30-yr smoothed curves are
    plotted in the figure.

    The thick black line is what I get when I re-calibrate the average record
    against my target observed series. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT. The
    *re-calibrated* mean of the reconstructions is nowhere near the mean of the
    reconstructions. It has enhanced variability, because averaging the
    reconstructions results in a redder time series (there is less common
    variance between the reconstructions at the higher frequencies compared
    with the lower frequencies, so the former averages out to leave a smoother
    curve) and the re-calibration is then more of a case of fitting a trend
    (over my calibration period 1881-1960) to the observed trend.”
    ………………
    In summary, here the Team are having quality problems while their criticism of the quality of non-Team members is being prepared.
    ………………
    The response of the Team was to devise ways to obfuscate their wrong data and to criticise their opponents. I believe that a current phrase is “control freak”.
    (This happens immediately before Steve takes up the story above. The Team house was not in order.)

  50. Girma
    Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre

    When are you going to be awarded for your contribution to the truth; i.e. science?

    That was a brilliant article, Steve.

  51. Posted Nov 25, 2011 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    Amen brother.

6 Trackbacks

  1. […] even more sure than before, and so are the people who practice it. McIntyre agrees that Behind Closed Doors: “Perpetuating Rubbish” is team […]

  2. […] More damning of the Mann: The new emails show that Bradley thought that this series was, to use the technical term preferred […]

  3. […] The Scientists who presented a united front that equated anyone who questioned the Mann reconstruction or the CRU database as being on the par with Holocaust Deniers in their emails to each other admitted discomfort, confusion and doubt with their pronouncements in private. […]

  4. By Moderate Low Weight « Climate Audit on Dec 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    […] post is by Jean S.) A few days ago Steve discussed Raymond Bradley’s objection to use of the Yang Chinese composite reconstruction in the Mann […]

  5. […] Soon & Baliunas (2003). They know that much of the material in their own paper is wrong. See here for more detail. 0682.txt: “ By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, […]

  6. […] Tim Ball, Canada’s Climate Denier Extraordinaire is the exemplar of this, although Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick started the meme and keep propagating it. […]

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