The Quelccaya Update

Lonnie Thompson has done a much better job of archiving data for his recent update Quelccaya – see NOAA here – both in terms of information and promptness.

Quelccaya is familiar territory for Thompson as it was the location of his first tropical ice cores (1983) and his first publication of this type. Thompson published a first update of Quelccaya d18O values in 2006 (PNAS) but only 5-year average data and only to the late 1990s. The new dataset gives annual data (previously available from the 1983 cores from 470 to 1983) from 226 to 2009.

Below is a graphic showing twentieth century on, comparing to the PNAS 2006 five-year data. The extension covers the big 1998-99 El Nino with a dotted red line. Since 1998-99 is known to be an exceptionally warm year, it is interesting to observe that it is manifested at Quelccaya as an negative downspike.

2013-twentieth

There has been a longstanding dispute about whether d18O at Quelccaya and other tropical glaciers is a proxy for temperature or for the amount of precipitation. In monsoon region precipitation, negative d18O values show rain-out. Quelccaya d18O has been (IMO plausibly) interpreted by Hughen as evidence of north-south migration of the ITCZ, with Hughen comparing Quelccaya information particularly to information from Cariaco, Venezuela.

It seems to me that, among specialists, Thompson is probably standing fairly alone in claiming that d18O at tropical glaciers is a proxy for temperature rather than amount effect. (Because of Thompson’s eminence, the contradiction of his results is mostly implied, rather than directly stated.) Despite these reservations among specialists, Thompson’s d18O records have been widely cited by Mann and other multiproxy jockeys (both directly and through the Yang composite) and are important contributors to some of the AR4 Hockey Sticks. “Dr Thompson’s Thermometer” was proclaimed in Inconvenient Truth as supposedly vindicating the Mann Hockey Stick, although the graphic shown in AIT was merely the Mann hockey stick wearing whiskers, so naturally it confirmed itself.

Because the 1998 El Nino was so big, it provides a good test case for temperature vs amount. It seems to me that the negative downspike for the big 1998 El Nino is decisive against Thompson.

The PNAS version of the data left off showing a sort of uptick. The extension to 2009 does not seem to me to be going off the charts.

Update Apr 8. here is a comparison of Quelccaya O18 to HadCRU GLB (both scaled over the 20th century). I’ve used GLB because Quelccaya is used to deduce global temperatures in multiproxy studies, not temperatures at Cuzco. Quelccaya O18 values obviously do not capture the temperature trend. Marcott/Mann defenders say that we don’t need proxies to know that temperature has gone up in the 20th century. Quite so. Quelccaya was not a Marcott proxy, but it was important in Mann et al 2008 and other multiproxy reconstructions. What does this sort of thing really tell us?

quelc-vs-had

Anthony’s coverage of the release of this data prompted some discussion of the Thompsons as serial non-archivers, referring to my post here. It is worth commending Thompson for prompt archiving of the present data, but that does not refute past criticism of both Ellen and Lonnie. (I note that Thompson has mitigated some of that criticism by archiving some data on old cores, even within the past year.)

The post in question actually was directed at Ellen Mosley-Thompson, who, as far as I can tell, has not archived a single data set in which she was lead PI in over 30 years in the business. I stated the following:

She has spent her entire career in the ice core business> According to her CV, she has led “nine expeditions to Antarctica and six to Greenland to retrieve ice cores”. However, a search of the NOAA paleo archive for data archived by Ellen Mosley-Thompson shows only one data set from Antarctica or Greenland associated with her. Lest this example be taken to mar her otherwise unblemished record of non-archiving, the data was published in 1981 while she was still junior and, according to its readme, it was transcribed by a third party and contributed in her name. I believe that it’s fair that she has not archived at NOAA (or, to my knowledge, elsewhere) any data from the “nine expeditions to Antarctica and six to Greenland”.

I did a fairly thorough review of Thompson’s non-archiving as of July 2012 here. Nick Stokes at WUWT claimed that my posts were refuted by his being able to locate Thompson data at NOAA. Unfortunately, this is the sort of misdirection that is all too prevalent in the field.

I am obviously aware of the NOAA archive. While, like anyone else, I make my share of mistakes, the odds of me being wrong in the trivial way that Stokes asserted are negligible. While Ellen is listed as a co-contributor on expeditions led by Lonnie, the above statement is true as written.

Nor does Nick’s location of NOAA archives (which I know intimately) refute my criticisms of Thompson’s archive here. The Lonnie situation is much less bad than when I started criticizing him: when I first got interested, no data for Dunde, Guliya or Dasuopu had been archived and Thompson blew off requests for data. Matters are less bad, but still very unsatisfactory. Inconsistent grey versions of Dunde and other series are in circulation. This can only be sorted out by archiving all samples together with dating criteria. I’ve characterized such an archive as Thompson’s legacy – something that he should be proud of and not resist.

I’ve also strongly criticized Thompson’s failure to archive the Bona-Churchill data, sampled long before the recent Quelccaya data. This data was already overdue in 2006, when I first criticized its non-publication and non-archiving. At the time, I observed (somewhat acidly, I’ll admit) that if the data had a big upspike in the late 20th century, Thompson would have press released and published. Because the dog didn’t bark, I predicted that the data went the “wrong” way. Seven years later, Thompson still hasn’t published Bon-Churchill, though results were shown at a workshop a number of years ago, showing that they did indeed go the ‘wrong” way, as I had surmised.

http://climateaudit.org/2006/09/04/my-prediction-for-do18-at-bona-churchill/

http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/12/gleanings-on-bona-churchill/

http://climateaudit.org/tag/bona-churchill/

60 Comments

  1. Don Keiller
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    This graph, with suitable “adjustment” is positive proof that global warming is accelerating.
    It’s worse than we thought.

  2. Carrick
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    This proxy is indeed worse than I though.

  3. bob sykes
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    There was an announcement in an Ohio State publication some time ago that Thompson had agreed to archive his data. Apparently, complaints about his practices reached high levels in the OSU administration, and they decided to impose a long-standing university rule requiring archiving. It is also an NSF rule, and the agreement was part of an announcement that Thompson had received a major NSF grant.

    Steve: Good. It’s too bad that the climate community has acquiesced in this for so long, but nice to see some progress. As I said, Thompson should view this positively, as his legacy, not as an imposition. But Ellen needs to be included in the agreement. She hasn’t archived anything.

  4. Anthony Watts
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    I note that some of the dates here:

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/trop/quelccaya/

    Are from April 5th at 8:20PM.

    At the time I wrote my post, April 4th 11:45AM, there were none of those files, but a placeholder file quelccaya2013.txt reading then:

    “# Data will be added to this file upon publication of Thompson et al. 2013 Science”

    It seems they listened. I’ll make an update to my post thanking them.

    Steve: Placeholders are used from time to time. In this case, it seems clear that they were planning to archive the data upon publication and, within a few days, did so. The data might well have been in “escrow” at NOAA.

    • Anthony Watts
      Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

      I wonder though, why they simply couldn’t have sent the file at the time of publication, rather than go to the trouble of putting in a placeholder. From a web server/file operations perspective, it is just as easy to drop in many files as it is one. The only difference is a few seconds of time.

      Steve: they might have. Kim Cobb had a placeholder at NOAA for a long time and the data was published when the article was. I think that she would have sent the data in earlier and that it came out of escrow on publication. It’s possible that Thompson’s data was in escrow as well. I don’t think that it’s worth worrying about. I’m simply glad that (for a change) they’ve provided a decent archive without a fight.

      • NZ Willy
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

        Anthony, this is to do with the time window between the journal’s final acceptance of a paper, and the subsequent publication. It’s viewed by many as discourteous to the journal to release materials prior to the journal’s issuance, especially where copyrights apply in whole or in part.

      • Dave
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

        Anthony>

        If their IT staff are doing it properly, it’ll all be scripted anyway. Adding the placeholder (and then replacing with a final release) is unlikely to be done manually.

  5. Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    “Since 1998-99 is known to be an exceptionally warm year, it is interesting to observe that it is manifested at Quelccaya as an negative downspike.”
    Well, the spike is actually in 1999:
    1999 -20.25
    1998 -17.81
    1997 -16.57
    The year 1998 was warm globally, but in Peru, it was average, and 1999 was quite cold, as you can see from this map.

    Steve: Racehorse, first there is no uptick in 1998 or 1999 as one would expect from the warmest year of the millennium. There’s a downtick. Second, Thompson uses (or has used in the past) SH July-June years, so “1999” will include the warm end 1998 and early 1999, the big El Nino. Third, Thompson and the multiproxy jockeys use Quelccaya as a proxy for world temperature. If it can’t pick up the warmest year in the millennium, is it a useful proxy?

    Or is it your suggestion that users invert the series so that the 1998-99 excursion points up. An interesting idea: maybe you should pass it along to Upside Down Mann.

    • Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      “Second, Thompson uses (or has used in the past) SH July-June years, so “1999” will include the warm end 1998 and early 1999″
      He does, and on this data sheet he says:
      age_AD Age (years AD) Beginning of thermal year (austral winter)
      But the line 1999 means the year starting July 1999. The final year in the table is 2009, but described in the header as 2009/10.

      I’m not aware of any multiproxy jockeys using a single site as proxy for world temperature. They are “multiproxy” as a result of their search for representative sites that they can aggregate geographically for a world or hemisphere average.

      The D180o series is aligned with the temperatures in Peru at the time.

      • Gerald Machnee
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

        RE: Nick Stokes
        Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        “”I’m not aware of any multiproxy jockeys using a single site as proxy for world temperature. “”

        Well, that is what Mann’s use of the Bristlecone Pine does.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

      “The year 1998 was warm globally, but in Peru, it was average, and 1999 was quite cold,”

      So it wasn’t warm globally. Do you always contradict yourself in the same sentence?

      • Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

        Jeff Alberts,
        Well, Steve said
        “1998-99 is known to be an exceptionally warm year”
        I said Peru was average, and showed the evidence. Which statement do you believe to be incorrect.

        In my view, neither.

        • MrPete
          Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

          Re: Nick Stokes (Apr 7 22:13),

          Maybe you guys are just talking past one another.

          According to the model-makers, sites like this one can literally be proxies for global temperature.

          If you disagree with that, welcome to the club.

          This data set is simple proof that their prior assertions were incorrect.

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

          You said it was warm “globally”, then said it wasn’t warm in Peru. Therefore it wasn’t warm “globally”. If you’re speaking figuratively perhaps you should say so.

        • Espen
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

          Jeff Alberts: I don’t see the need to play semantic games here, I’m pretty sure you understand what Nick meant by “warm globally”.

          Nick Stokes: There’s a GISS station pretty close to Quelccaya, namely Cuzco:

          http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=309846860000&dt=1&ds=14

          It doesn’t really match the proxy record well as far as I can tell (temperatures went down in 1999, yes, but not in a spike like the proxy). Besides, what is the proxy supposed to measure best? DEC-FEB temperatures, perhaps? Probably not yearly temperatures.

          If they are able to detect El Niño years with this proxy (as per abstract and press coverage), it would be extremely interesting, IMHO, much more interesting than trying to estimate historic Andes temperatures. Are there any good 1500 year El Niño reconstructions yet?

        • Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

          Espen,
          “Besides, what is the proxy supposed to measure best? DEC-FEB temperatures, perhaps? Probably not yearly temperatures.”

          These are interesting questions. I did an experiment here in which I plotted a regional average surface temperature, 1000 km radius, against a scaled d18O. It wasn’t a brilliant match, but there is some sign of correlation.

      • Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

        Espen,
        Yes, I looked at Cuzco too. But we may have to look further afield. It’s generally said that D18o ratio reflects the temperature where the water recently changed phase, with an emphasis on evaporation. So looking close might not be enough. And sinced it’s tropical, seasonality might not be strong.

        A big feature of El Nino in Peru seems to be more precipitation.

        I don’t know about 1500 years of ENSO but here’s 1000. I don’t know how good it is.

        • Paul Dennis
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

          Nick, you are simply wrong here. d18O in meteoric water precipitated at temperate to high latitudes largely reflects the temperature difference between the source and precipitation regions. At a first pass one can model this pretty effectively using the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship and liquid-vapour fractionation factors for 18O. At temperate latitudes this temperature difference is largely tracked by the condensation (not evaporation) temperature since the bulk of the water derives from the sub-tropical ocean with a low degree of variability in the evaporation temperature.

          At low latitudes, for example in monsoon regions the dominant control on water d18O is the rain out, or amount effect as alluded to by Steve. I don’t know what type of behaviour is shown by Quelcaya.

          Source region conditions are recorded in a parameter known as deuterium excess which is derived from d2H – 8*d18O. Here the key environmental parameter is air mass humidity. Low humidity leads to high deuterium excess, and high humidity to a lower deuterium excess.

        • Espen
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes: The ScienceDaily report says: ” Most of the moisture in the area comes from the east, in snowstorms fueled by moist air rising from the Amazon Basin. But the ice core-derived climate records from the Andes are also impacted from the west — specifically by El Niño, a temporary change in climate, which is driven by sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific.” (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404142417.htm).

          In any case, the use of Quelccaya as a “AGW poster child” may be quite a stretch, I wouldn’t be surprised if land use change in the Amazon basin is one of several reasons for the recent melt (or is it really sublimation?).

        • Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

          Paul Dennis,
          “Nick, you are simply wrong here.”
          Where? You’ve gone into a lot more detail, whereas I just wanted to say that d10o doesn’t just reflect the temperature at the measuring point. But I can’t see where the disagreement is.

          Espen,
          Thanks, I thought it might be something like that.

        • Paul Dennis
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

          Nick, you stated:

          “It’s generally said that D18o ratio reflects the temperature where the water recently changed phase, with an emphasis on evaporation.”

          I was led by your ‘…with an emphasis on evaporation’ to conclude you were talking about temperatures in source regions where evaporation is taking place.

  6. Terry
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    This may be of interest, abstract appears to indicate increased rainfall during el nino years but full article is behind paywall.

    Precipitation delivery in the tropical high Andes of southern Peru …
    onlinelibrary.wiley.com › … › Early View
    by LB Perry – 2013 – Related articles
    Feb 11, 2013 – Precipitation delivery in the tropical high Andes of southern Peru: new … Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an …

    Terry

  7. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes
    Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Since 1998-99 is known to be an exceptionally warm year, it is interesting to observe that it is manifested at Quelccaya as an negative downspike.”

    Well, the spike is actually in 1999:
    1999 -20.25
    1998 -17.81
    1997 -16.57
    The year 1998 was warm globally, but in Peru, it was average, and 1999 was quite cold

    No, 1998 was not “average” in Peru at all. Both the BEST records and the GISS records from the nearest stations, Cuzco and Juliaca, show that like the rest of the world, Peru was much warmer than average in 1998.

    Nor was 1999 “quite cold” in Peru, in fact it was about average …

    You get your own interpretation, Nick, but not your own facts …

    w.

    • Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

      Willis,
      The statement as it stands is true. I showed the map, and Peru overall was average in 1998. However, you are right that the two stations, Cuzco and Juliaca in the south, were the warmest in Peru, and they are the closest to Quelccaya. However, d18O is not necessarily measuring the closest temperatures.

      But 1999 was cold, even at those places. Again Cuzco was warmest in Peru, but the anomaly wrt 1961-90 was -0.11°C. Juliaca was -0.51. Tacna is next closest, anomaly -1.25°C. And the d18O spike in question started July 1999.

      • Tom Gray
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

        Nick Stokes Writes:

        ===================================
        However, d18O is not necessarily measuring the closest temperatures.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        Am I correct in my understanding that d180 is not a measure of the location where the precipitation occurred but of the temperature at the site at which the water evaporated to to form the later precipitation. In this is the case, the site may be quite distant from Peru.

        • Paul Dennis
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

          Tom,

          you are wrong. The d18O-T relationship is based on the local temperature where the precipitation falls. There is very little information, if any that can be gleaned on distant temperatures, and more so on temperatures in the source region for the water. Nick’s terminology is very loose here. He talks about phase changes, notably evaporation as being important which implies it is source region temperature where evaporation takes place that is the determining factor.

          See my post above. The key factor is the difference in temperature between source and precipitating areas.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

      Willis,
      Cuzco & Juliaca are about 19 and 13 degrees from the Equator. As such they are in the tropical belt covered by a most unforgettable graph you plotted of a large number of tropical sea surface temperatures that I filed below

      (I hope you don’t mind me doing this).
      It seems that precipitation in this part of the Andes is partly from the Amazon and partly from the Pacific, plausibly mostly tropical. The amount of each component provides obvious uncertainty. The Pacific component could be quite important because your Argo graph shows SST to vary so little, leading to the possibility that isotope ratios are relatively constant in the evaporative part here.
      Would you agree with this or have I misinterpreted your work?
      The platykurtic shape might also be found in Amazon evaporation as well, because of the involvement of storms in the mechanism you proposed.
      It seems to me that there is a bridge too far in composing formal equations based on Clausius-Clapeyron and liquid-vapour fractionation factors for 18O as Paul Dennis asserts. There is the difficulty that the source location is often unknown, its properties are unknown and so the equations, although they might be internally consistent on lab data, are far less reliable in the broad and cruel wider world. Was there not a paper maintaining that some Greenland ice core data were at the mercy of variable incoming wind directions, which is similar to having an ill-defined evaporative region?

      • Paul Dennis
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

        Geoff,

        I was writing about precipitation in temperate to high latitudes where the simple model based on the liquid-vapour curve for water as defined by the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship, and the known liquid-vapour fractionation factor for 18O actually produces a remarkably good fit to measured data for precipitation. None of this is new and has been described in seminal papers by Dansgaard, and Craig and Gordon amongst others.

        However, what you describe vis-a-vis the possibility of a site located between two contributing source regions is very likely at Quelcaya. Differences in the amount of precipitation from the Andes, or the Amazon Basin will have profound effects on the Quelcaya snow d18O. A similar effect is seen in the East Asian Monsoon and there is a big ongoing debate on how to interpret some of the Chinese cave speleothem records. They have to date been interpreted in terms of precipitation amount. However, this interpretation does not agree with other data, for example from the loess records. However, if the rainfall is sourced from two different areas it is possible to explain both the cave and loess records.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

          It’s too bad that Thompson doesn’t provide a comprehensive archive of all sample data so that people can see if there is detail that might shed light on sources.

  8. phi
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    This new confirmation leads me to make a general request:
    Who can provide a reference to a single credible proxy (ie whose interannual correlation with temperture is reasonable and with raw data available) showing an evolution in the twentieth century compatible with instrumental data?

    • tty
      Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

      “Who can provide a reference to a single credible proxy (ie whose interannual correlation with temperture is reasonable and with raw data available) showing an evolution in the twentieth century compatible with instrumental data?”

      The ice breakup date for Torne River (available since 1693) has a correlation R= -0.82 and R^2=0.67 with spring instrumental records since 1802 which is pretty good.
      As a comparison the Torneträsk treering record from the same general area (which is probably one of the very best since it is in an area where summer temperatures are the main limiting factor for growth, and water availability is practically never limiting) only has R = 0.43 and R^2=0.18.

      References: su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:200644/FULLTEXT01

      • phi
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

        Thank you for this very interesting reference. It intersects exactly my own observations:

        1. Some proxies are of high quality and can have excellent correlations when they are compared to reliable regional instrumental data.

        2. In these cases, instrumental temperatures show no special behavior in the twentieth century (unlike the global curves CRUTEM or BEST).

        The lack of proxies able to follow, even remotely, temperature changes according to CRUTEM (or others) in the twentieth century is at least quite singular.

  9. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Update Apr 8. here is a comparison of Quelccaya O18 to HadCRU GLB (both scaled over the 20th century). I’ve used GLB because Quelccaya is used to deduce global temperatures in multiproxy studies, not temperatures at Cuzco.
    Quelccaya O18 values obviously do not capture the temperature trend. Marcott/Mann defenders say that we don’t need proxies to know that temperature has gone up in the 20th century. Quite so. Quelccaya was not a Marcott proxy, but it was important in Mann et al 2008 and other multiproxy reconstructions. What does this sort of thing really tell us.

    quelc-vs-had

    Racehorse has a post on Quelccaya at his blog moyhu. He concedes that even using regional temperature, he does not get a “a brilliant match”, but claims “some sign of correlation”. There actually is some correlation between QUelccaya O18 and HadCRU GLB, but unfortunately the residuals are hugely autocorrelated, indicating that something relevant is being omitted – as is obvious from the plot.

    • JT
      Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

      What about the appearance of the Quelccaya O18 trend from 1900 to 2009 as shown? It appears to my eye to be approximately 0?

    • Lance Wallace
      Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

      Just matching peaks and valleys, there seems to be a very good correlation until about 1960 and then an almost equally good anticorrelation after that. Did anything change phase around 1960? Come to think of it, wasn’t 1960 about the time that Briffa’s proxies began to fail?

  10. EdeF
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Notice that the HADCRU increases about 4 deg C over that time but the average of the proxy is flat. Difference between proxie and instrument circa 1905 is also about 4 deg C. How, may I ask, is this a proxy for temperature?

    Steve: these are scaled to SD units and are not “deg C”. But hte point is the same.

  11. miker613
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Steve, why do you call Nick “racehorse”? It seems denigrating to me, and I think Nick is pretty cool. He may or may not be wrong all the time, but he’s pretty brave and tough to fight a lone battle here, and he does it with grace. If the term is a negative one, I’d rather you be more polite to him.

    • dfhunter
      Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

      Mike – O/T
      Steve may answer your point directly but
      this comes from an earlier thread
      & relates to Richard Haynes, google it & it may help.
      my reading is it’s not a negative term as such – but relates to lawerly/academia speek !!!

      • dfhunter
        Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

        ps- to my & your comment.
        I agree that Nick at least has the balls/confidence to comment/argue his points here & elsewhere.

        that’s a good thing for any debate
        (but in this debate trillions are involved) which is probably why Steve cant help but get snarky some times (just guessing by the way).

        Steve; The only reason that I get snarky with Nick is his refusal to concede ANY point on anything. Even something as open and shut as upside-down Mann. It makes discussions pointless.

        • TerryMN
          Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

          Not trying to pile on, but I completely agree w/Steve here – it seems obvious that Nick is arguing just for the sake of arguing. Again and again and again. After several years, this can become annoying.

        • nevilb
          Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

          Unlike TerryNM, I will pile on (Steve can snip away). Nick has turned himself into a bit of a parody of a “team” apologist. He is clearly intelligent – in an earlier thread this week he described himself as a veteran researcher in the math / stat department of Australia’s CSIRO which is a respected and prestigious organization. However, you can almost set your watch by the time that elapses between a post being made at CA and Nick responding in defense. And he has an opinion on everything, from paleo, to freedom of information to Cuccinelli. There are times he serves a useful purpose and occasionally he has identified errors in the head post or issues that should have been considered. But mostly he is flat wrong but will almost never acknowledge this. When it comes to the “team” he is hear no evil, speak no evil. Upside-down Mann is a good example. After much prodding, Nick conceded that Mann should not have used Tiljander but I don’t believe that to this day he has ever acknowledged than Mann 98 used Tiljander upside down. In the recent discussion on Marcott, Nick has refused to accept that a single error was made (except for maybe presentation choices, e.g. the “uptick”, while not a mistake, should not have been presented).

          On the plus side, apart from being intelligent, Nick has always behaved professionally, eschewing snark and insults. But he can be very frustrating to deal with given his knee-jerk responses, and one sympathizes with the regulars here when their frustration bubbles through. Dubbing Nick as “Racehorse” is a gentle ribbing and doesn’t even compare to the treatment that skeptics receive at RC, SkS or Tamino. Nick earlier said he he is proud to be an apologist for Science. Problem is that he is all-too-often an apologist for Bad Science.

          (Nick, despite all I said, please don’t go away. We still love you :-))

  12. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Can we get past the question of the temperature in Peru? I know Nick Stokes won’t ever agree, but perhaps the rest can agree that the temperatures in Peru look something like this:

    Cusco is the nearest station to Quelccaya, the data is from GISS. The BEST temperature is from their country files. The UAH MSU temperature covers the same geographical area, -5.22°N to -18.35°N, and -81.33E to -68.68E, and is from KNMI.

    w.

    • Posted Apr 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

      Willis,
      “I know Nick Stokes won’t ever agree…”
      I’m a bit stuck here Willis; I hate to disappoint, but I’m not sure what to disagree with. Anyway, I did my own version here. These are all stations within 1000 km of Quelccaya, including ocean. Because of the influence of the latter, it’s much more like the global pattern around 1998. I superimposed the d18O sequence, which showed a small degree of concordance.

  13. Posted Apr 9, 2013 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Typo alert: Steve wrote, “The extension covers the big 1998-99 El Nino with a dotted red line. Since 1998-99 is known to be an exceptionally warm year, it is interesting to observe that it is manifested at Quelccaya as an negative downspike.”

    You’re off by a year on that El Nino. The El Nino in question took place in 1997/98. It was followed by a 3-year La Nina from 1998-01.

    Regards

  14. Posted Apr 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    I did quick comparison of mid range frequencies from the CET and Peru ice data.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Peru-Ice.htm

    North and South hemispheres marching in step, warmth in the north with ice in the south ?

  15. X Anomaly
    Posted Apr 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Are there any single /regional proxies in Marcott that show a 20th century -length spike?

    If so, what is the likelihood of such a rapid warming spike taking place in the absence of a global trend?

    I would suggest very likely. The whole point of global warming is that it is global. As skeptics are often reminded, one location is not representative of the global, yet if the are few locations /proxies which exhibit typical warming /cooling century variability, then what do the proxies really represent? A stationary series (above)?

    Just a thought.

  16. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes

    Willis,

    “I know Nick Stokes won’t ever agree…”

    I’m a bit stuck here Willis; I hate to disappoint, but I’m not sure what to disagree with. Anyway, I did my own version here. These are all stations within 1000 km of Quelccaya, including ocean. Because of the influence of the latter, it’s much more like the global pattern around 1998. I superimposed the d18O sequence, which showed a small degree of concordance.

    Nick, I predicted you wouldn’t agree and you didn’t … so why would I be disappointed, I predicted it.

    Next, your map included lots and lots of ocean, so I fear I don’t see how you are drawing conclusions about Peru from it.

    In any case, since you’re “not sure what to disagree with”, you already have disagreed when you said:

    The year 1998 was warm globally, but in Peru, it was average, and 1999 was quite cold, as you can see from this map.

    Let’s re-examine the data for Peru itself, shall we. According to both your and my maps, 1998 was not “average” in Peru as you claim in any sense. It was the warmest year ever in Peru.

    Nor was 1999 “quite cold” in Peru as you claim. It was about average.

    So your claim was wrong in both particulars.

    Someday you might actually admit you were wrong, Nick … but I’m not holding my breath.

    w.

    PS—both you and Steve McIntyre show the temperature in Peru steadily rising, and the d18O levels staying the same. But only Steve seems to have drawn the obvious conclusion …

    • Posted Apr 10, 2013 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

      Willis,
      I agree!! The 1000 km analysis includes lots of coean and shows the warmest year ever for that whole region. I included ocean because it’s said (Paul D, if I’ve got it right) that d18O responds to the difference between temperature of evaporation and precipitation – anyway you need to get the sources. Though it’s also said that rain comes from the Amazon side.

      But, to oblige, when I said Peru was average, I was actually referring to this map which shows land and sea. And it shows Peru land fairly average in 1998, and the ocean very warm.

      • Willis Eschenbach
        Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

        Nick Stokes
        Posted Apr 10, 2013 at 1:27 AM

        … But, to oblige, when I said Peru was average, I was actually referring to this map which shows land and sea. And it shows Peru land fairly average in 1998, and the ocean very warm.

        So your explanation is that you didn’t actually make a mistake, the explanation is that when you said “Peru” you didn’t mean “Peru” … yeah, that’s the ticket …

        Nick, you truly are a work of art. If you didn’t exist, we’d have to invent you.

        w.

        PS—Your map doesn’t work for me in either Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. But based on whatever nonsense it might contain, you still are claiming that “Peru land [was] fairly average in 1988″, so once again you’ve denied everything, explained nothing and simply made your ludicrous claim over again. Racehorse Stokes at his finest …

        You are saying that the BEST data, the Cusco data, and the UAH MSU data are all wrong … and all you have to back you up is a map that doesn’t work.

        • Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

          Willis,
          “But based on whatever nonsense it might contai…etc”

          I said from the start that my statement was based on the map of Peru in 1998, which I linked. None of the evidence that you have assembled to justify your indignation covers that area. It would have been good if you had said that you were having difficulty seeing the map. It requires WebGL, which should have been available on recent versions of Firefox and Chrome, and Safari on Mac. A snapshot (png file) is here.

          There are 6 stations reporting in Peru for eight months or more that year. Here are their average anomalies for 1998:

          PIURA
          Lat -5.18 Lon -80.60
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 0.44°C

          LETICIA/VASQU
          Lat -4.17 Lon -69.95
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 0.30°C

          IQUITOS
          Lat -3.75 Lon -73.25
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 0.27°C

          TARAPOTO
          Lat -6.45 Lon -76.38
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was -0.02°C

          PUCALLPA
          Lat -8.42 Lon -74.60
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 0.15°C

          CUZCO
          Lat -13.55 Lon -71.98
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 1.04°C

          As you observe, Cuzco is high. I would call the rest average.

        • Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

          Willis,
          To forestall the inevitable condemnation of poor ethics, lack of integrity etc, let me confess that in transcribing I left off the list
          TACNA
          Lat -18.07 Lon -70.30
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was -0.03°C

          There is also a station on the Ecuador border, which on checking I see is on the Peru side:
          TUMBES
          Lat -3.55 Lon -80.40
          Annual Average 1998
          Anomaly was 0.47°C

  17. Duke C.
    Posted Apr 10, 2013 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    A 7 minute video about the Quelccaya ice cores narrated by Lonnie Thompson.

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 3:54 AM | Permalink

      In that video called “Archived in ice” Lonnie Thompson laments that “we” might loose this Quelccaya ice archive due to global warming.
      The rest of the world laments that “We” might loose the Thompson family ice core archive (meta)data due to lack of publication of findings.

      Lonny shows some ancient vegetation that appeared from under the retreating ice; it was dated 5200 BP, so a similar retreat happened 3200 B.C. What was that?

  18. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Willis,

    “But based on whatever nonsense it might contai…etc”

    I said from the start that my statement was based on the map of Peru in 1998, which I linked. None of the evidence that you have assembled to justify your indignation covers that area.

    The context here is Quelccaya. The nearest station is Cuzco. Your statement was that

    The year 1998 was warm globally, but in Peru, it was average, and 1999 was quite cold, as you can see from this map.

    I have shown the record for Cuzco. I have shown the BEST record for Peru. I have shown the UAH record for Peru.

    So I can’t understand your statement that “None of the evidence that you have assembled … covers that area.”

    It would have been good if you had said that you were having difficulty seeing the map. It requires WebGL, which should have been available on recent versions of Firefox and Chrome, and Safari on Mac. A snapshot (png file) is here.

    Thanks for your snapshot, it is quite pretty. I have WebGL on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Your site doesn’t work on any of them for me.

    Regarding Peru, your pretty picture disagrees with all three of the records I show above. I’m not sure why. I think there may be some error in it somewhere.

    Let me point out why this is so, looking at the records you describe, for years with eight or more months of data.

    There are 6 stations reporting in Peru for eight months or more that year. Here are their average anomalies for 1998:

    PIURA
    Lat -5.18 Lon -80.60
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 0.44°C

    You describe 1998 in Peru as “average” for all records but Cuzco. In fact, in Piura 1998 is the warmest year from 1950-2000.

    LETICIA/VASQU
    Lat -4.17 Lon -69.95
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 0.30°C

    Again, this was the warmest year from 1950-2000 in Leticia/Vasqu

    IQUITOS
    Lat -3.75 Lon -73.25
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 0.27°C

    Again, in Iquitos 1998 was the warmest year 1950-2000.

    TARAPOTO
    Lat -6.45 Lon -76.38
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was -0.02°C

    In Tarapoto, 1998 was only the second warmest year 1950-2000.

    PUCALLPA
    Lat -8.42 Lon -74.60
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 0.15°C

    Yes, 1998 was also the warmest year 1950-2000 in Pucallpa.

    CUZCO
    Lat -13.55 Lon -71.98
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 1.04°C

    And to round out the group, in Cuzco 1998 was the warmest year 1950-2000.

    As you observe, Cuzco is high. I would call the rest average.

    I’m sure you would, Racehorse … I’m sure you would. I’d call them the warmest year (second warmest in one case) in the last half of the 20th century for each of the stations that you cited.

    In your next message, the parade continues …

    Willis,
    To forestall the inevitable condemnation of poor ethics, lack of integrity etc, let me confess that in transcribing I left off the list
    TACNA
    Lat -18.07 Lon -70.30
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was -0.03°C

    I haven’t condemned your ethics, just your habit of never, ever, ever admitting even the smallest error. But I digress …

    In Tacna, 1998 was the third warmest year 1950-2000.

    There is also a station on the Ecuador border, which on checking I see is on the Peru side:
    TUMBES
    Lat -3.55 Lon -80.40
    Annual Average 1998
    Anomaly was 0.47°C

    In Tumbes, 1998 was the second warmest year 1950-2000.

    So I fear your list doesn’t show at all what you claim. Five of the eight stations show 1998 as the warmest year 1950-2000. Two of them show 1998 as the second warmest, and in one it’s the third warmest …

    And that’s why BEST and UAH say that on average, 1998 in Peru was indeed a very warm year … no matter what your pretty picture shows.

    w.

    • Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

      Willis,
      Let me say again, I remarked that Peru was average in 1998 and gave my reason for believing that. I do not believe I have been unreasonably insistent, and it was not an extreme or emphatic statement.

      You have chosen to compare with 1950-2000 and yes, on that basis it was above average warmth. It is even, dare I say, possible that I was mistaken.

      I suppose if I say anything in defence of my original observation I will be racehorsing, but I will. The map that I showed uses as its anomaly base a regression temperature for 2011. It gives a link explaining reasons for switching from 1961-90. I must confess that I had forgotten that this switch was made.

      I think it can be said that the station data you showed indicated quite rapid rise in recent times. So the anomaly base is quite high, and so the numbers used for the graphic display, and which I spelt out, should be interpreted as fairly high temperatures by 1950-2000 standards. For example Tarapoto, as you say, was warmest for that time. But that level has been exceeded four times since and approximately equalled twice. etc etc

      But yes, OK, 1998 was warmer than 1950-2000 averages in Peru. It remains true, though that the alkenone dip was in 1999/2000 and on the basis even of your graphs, that was not an unusually warm time. Even cool.

      We could, if you were interested, try to see why the map fails for you. It is quite informative.

  19. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

    Willis,
    Let me say again, I remarked that Peru was average in 1998 and gave my reason for believing that. I do not believe I have been unreasonably insistent, and it was not an extreme or emphatic statement.

    You have chosen to compare with 1950-2000 and yes, on that basis it was above average warmth. It is even, dare I say, possible that I was mistaken.

    Dang, my friend, “possible that I was mistaken”? That’s an awesome way to avoid saying you were wrong, it’s almost Nixonian in its sweep and grandeur.

    I suppose if I say anything in defence of my original observation I will be racehorsing, but I will. The map that I showed uses as its anomaly base a regression temperature for 2011. It gives a link explaining reasons for switching from 1961-90. I must confess that I had forgotten that this switch was made.

    I think it can be said that the station data you showed indicated quite rapid rise in recent times. So the anomaly base is quite high, and so the numbers used for the graphic display, and which I spelt out, should be interpreted as fairly high temperatures by 1950-2000 standards. For example Tarapoto, as you say, was warmest for that time. But that level has been exceeded four times since and approximately equalled twice. etc etc

    But yes, OK, 1998 was warmer than 1950-2000 averages in Peru.

    Why don’t you just say “I was wrong”? You can’t bear to say it, can you? The best you can do is talk around it, “possible I was mistaken” and “anomaly base” and “I had forgotten”.

    Look, Nick, you made a mistake. You posted a bogus map of temperatures using, hilariously, a “regression temperature for 2011″ to calculate the anomalies. Wave your hands all you want, I don’t care. Your map is still totally bogus.

    It remains true, though that the alkenone dip was in 1999/2000 and on the basis even of your graphs, that was not an unusually warm time. Even cool.

    Oh, now you’re going to start your crap up again. No, Nick, 1999 was not “cool”, at best it was average … look at the plot I provided, it’s not a hard job.

    We could, if you were interested, try to see why the map fails for you. It is quite informative.

    Any suggestions appreciated, because like I said, WebGL works fine for me. For example, I can run the WebGL demos here on any of the three browsers without a problem …

    Finally, Nick, setting all of that aside, let me ask you a simple question:

    Is the Quelccaya proxy a valid temperature proxy? YES OR NO, PLEASE.

    Given that there is almost no correlation between temperature and the Quelccaya icecap d18O record, and given the lack of even the slightest 1998 El Nino signal in the record, I emphatically say NO … but of course, you’re capable of overlooking anything.

    w.

    • Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

      Willis,
      Nixonian…”
      So a difference on the adjective to describe the warmth of 1998 in Peru becomes a character issue?

      Here’s the Willis tantrum when someone suggests that you should concede an obvious error. I may argue sometimes, but I don’t do that.

      I’d like to spend some time on your problem seeing that map, but there isn’t much point if you’ve already decided it is bogus, is there?

      I have no special knowledge on whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy.

  20. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Willis,

    “Nixonian…”

    So a difference on the adjective to describe the warmth of 1998 in Peru becomes a character issue?

    It does when you start doing what Nixon did, giving carefully parsed statements like “It is even, dare I say, possible that I was mistaken”. I just loved the elegance of that statement, calling it “Nixonian in its sweep and grandeur” was actually a compliment.

    Here’s the Willis tantrum when someone suggests that you should concede an obvious error. I may argue sometimes, but I don’t do that.

    He did not “suggest I should concede”, Nick. That’s more Nixonian mis-characterization.

    He called me a liar.

    There’s more than a bit of a difference between suggesting a man should concede a point of fact and calling him a liar, a difference which obviously you don’t recognize. I don’t mind people telling me I’m wrong, I’ve been wrong many times. I don’t like it, but sometimes that’s just the truth.

    And I have conceded that fact when I’ve been wrong, publicly, on the web, in front of everyone, more times than I like. But that’s just science, sometimes I’m wrong.

    But I won’t stand for a man calling me a liar.

    … I’d like to spend some time on your problem seeing that map, but there isn’t much point if you’ve already decided it is bogus, is there?

    You are the one who said it was an anomaly, not based on the normal climatological 30 year average, but on the single year record for 2011, and that you’d forgotten that you’d done that … if that doesn’t make it bogus, what would?

    I have no special knowledge on whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy.

    Thanks, Nick. That’s what I suspected from the first … but in that case, why are you participating in a thread about whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy?

    w.

    • Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

      Willis,
      “You are the one who said it was an anomaly, not based on the normal climatological 30 year average, but on the single year record for 2011,”
      No, I said “The map that I showed uses as its anomaly base a regression temperature for 2011.” It actually uses exponentially weighted regression over many years to do a regression fit, then uses the fitted 2011 point as the reference. I show here why that is a good idea for a spatial map.

      There is a version of the monthly database on globe map here that does not use WebGL. It has data for each month, but only back to about 2000.

      “I have no special knowledge on whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy.

      Thanks, Nick. That’s what I suspected from the first … but in that case, why are you participating in a thread about whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy?”

      Are you saying that all other participants have special knowledge on whether Quelccaya is a good temperature proxy? Most, even? I did at least run and report a test.

  21. Bob Koss
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    The Thompsons have just had a paper published in Science concerning Quelccaya. Thought you might be interested.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-paper-finds-another-non-hockey_23.html

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Steve McIntyre offers some praise and some notes for this latest development here -Anthony […]

  2. […] Steve Mcintyre in his dry style noted the claim by some of d18O being a temperature proxy is somewhat dissed by 1998 showing in the wrong direction, the ups and downs of the proxy business. […]

  3. […] Quelccaya, McIntyre did a thorough dissection independent of me, and […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,419 other followers

%d bloggers like this: