Mann Misrepresents the EPA – Part 1

In today’s post, I will return to my series on false claims in Mann’s lawsuit about supposed “exonerations”. ( For previous articles, see here).

One of the most important misconduct allegations against Mann – the “amputation” of the Briffa reconstruction in IPCC TAR – was discussed recently by Judy Curry, who, in turn, covered Congressional testimony on the incident by John Christy, who had been a Lead Author of the same IPCC TAR chapter and whose recollections of the incident were both first-hand and vivid.

In one of the major graphics in the IPCC 2001 report, declining values of the Briffa reconstruction were deleted (“amputated” is Christy’s apt term), resulting in the figure giving a much greater rhetorical impression of consistency than really existed. This truncation of data had been known (and severely criticized) at Climate Audit long before Climategate.

However, the incident came into an entirely new light with the release of the Climategate emails, which showed that senior IPCC officials had been concerned that the Briffa reconstruction (with its late 20th century decline) would “dilute the message” and that Mann was equally worried that showing the Briffa reconstruction would give “fodder to the skeptics”.

Christy gave the following damning summary of Mann’s conduct as IPCC TAR Lead Author:

Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another’s result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.

Christy left out a further fundamental problem in the amputation: there was no disclosure of the amputation in the IPCC 2001 report itself.

The impropriety of deleting adverse data in an IPCC graphic was easily understood in the broader world of brokers, accountants, lawyers and fund managers and one on which there was negligible sympathy for excuses. Not only did this appear to be misconduct as far as the public was concerned, the deletion of adverse data in the IPCC graphic appeared to be an act of “omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record” – one of the definitions (“falsification”) of academic misconduct in the NSF and other academic misconduct codes.

Further, both the Oxburgh and Muir Russell reports concluded that the IPCC 2001 graphic was “misleading”.

However, NONE of the inquiries conducted an investigation of the incident. Each, in turn, ignored or evaded the incident. I’ll examine the evasions in today’s post.

Today’s post will open consideration of the EPA documents referred to in Mann’s pleadings, a topic that is not easily summarized. Today’s discussion of the EPA documents will only be a first bite.


Exposition of the IPCC 2001 Incident

The deletion of adverse data in Mann’s section of the IPCC 2001 report was one of the top two or three Climategate issues at Climate Audit. I wrote the first detailed exposition on December 9, 2009 here. Disentangling the chronology of hiding the decline has been a work in progress: about six months later, I did a far more detailed analysis (see here) and there is further information in CG2 that needs to be incorporated.

My article prompted a prominent story in the Daily Mail – linked from CA here on December 12. The Daily Mail re-drafted the Hide the Decline graphic. Their graphic later became the cover on Andrew Montford’s second book, and was used (incorrectly attributed) in CEI’s petition for reconsideration (see below).


Oxburgh
As noted previously, the Oxburgh panel was not asked to examine Mann’s conduct, but to examine a list of eleven academic publications by CRU scientists. Oxburgh noted in passing that it was “regrettable” that IPCC “neglected to highlight” the discrepancy between the Briffa reconstruction and actual temperatures, but found “no fault” with the underlying publications by CRU authors:

For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined.

I do not share Oxburgh’s opinion that there was no “fault” in the academic papers, but do agree that the larger fault was in the IPCC presentation. Nor do I agree that Oxburgh’s phrase “neglect to highlight” adequately describes the actual amputation of data. But even with these objections, Oxburgh took issue with the IPCC TAR graphic.

However, Oxburgh did not go beyond the finding that the IPCC neglect was “regrettable”. His failure to investigate the IPCC incident was sharply criticized by me and others at the time, but to no avail.


Muir Russell

The Oxburgh report came out in early April 2010 several months before the Muir Russell panel. Like the Oxburgh panel, the Muir Russell panel made passim comments about the IPCC 2001 graphic but did not investigate its construction. The Muir Russel panel also distinguished between the IPCC 2001 graphic (which it found “misleading”) and the IPCC AR4 graphic (a “significant improvement”).

Here are Muir Russell’s comments on the IPCC 2001 incident (of which Mann was Lead Author), which they somewhat conflated with the WMO 1999 incident of the “trick” email:

In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the TAR), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.

Muir Russell found that the disclosure in AR4 (Briffa – Lead Author) was a “significant advance” over Mann’s and that the description and presentation was no longer misleading:

We do not find that the way that data derived from tree rings is described and presented in IPCC AR4 and shown in its Figure 6.10 is misleading. In particular, on the question of the composition of temperature reconstructions, we found no evidence of exclusion of other published temperature reconstructions that would show a very different picture. The general discussion of sources of uncertainty in the text is extensive, including reference to divergence. In this respect it represented a significant advance on the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).

While I agree that Briffa’s covering text in AR4 was less misleading than Mann’s corresponding section in AR3, I do not agree that the graphic had ceased to be misleading: it continued to truncate the Briffa reconstruction, thereby disguising the actual divergence by the Briffa reconstruction.

Ironically, the improved AR4 disclosure protecting Briffa had been inserted very grudgingly in response to my review comments as an IPCC AR4 Second Draft reviewer. I had asked Briffa (Mann’s successor as Lead Author) to show the decline in the IPCC spaghetti graph and explain the divergence. Briffa refused to show the decline (merely saying that this would not be “appropriate” – this led to David Holland’s FOI request and CRU’s email destruction program, another long backstory – but grudgingly agreed to add text disclosing the truncation and discussing the divergence problem. Although IPCC lead authors sneered at being asked to provide proper disclosure, they were happy enough to fall back on this disclosure as protection.

Again, watching carefully, while the Muir Russell panel was satisfied with the disclosure in AR4 (under Briffa’s supervision), it found the AR3 disclosure (under Mann’s supervision) to have been “misleading”.


Muir Russell in the Pleadings

Muir Russell’s cursory discussion of the “decline” was referred to in the original National Review memorandum (Dec 14, 2012) and Mann’s response in January 2013. Both memoranda have important defects.

National Review’s lawyers, after correctly and acutely observing that the Muir Russell report did not “offer any opinion on Mann”, noted that Muir Russell had described Jones’ WMO 1999 diagram as “misleading”, but inexplicably omitting any mention of the “similar” (in respect to truncation) diagram in Mann’s section of IPCC TAR:

Nor did it [Muir Russell] offer any opinion on Mann, who was not a part of CRU, but merely a collaborator with some of its scientists … It found that Jones’ use of the phrase “hide the decline” – a reference to the scientists’ presentation of instrumental data spliced with tree ring proxy data to deemphasize declining proxy temperature data after 1960 – demonstrated the “misleading” nature of the Hockey Stick Graph as portrayed on the cover of the 1999 WMO Report (page 8).

Mann’s lawyers pounced on this oversight and, with entirely unjustified self-righteousness, accused National Review of trying to “obfuscate the evidence”, asserting (incorrectly) that Muir Russell’s comment about “misleading” had “absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him”:

In their brief, the NRO Defendants suggest that the University of East Anglia’s investigation actually found that the hockey stick graph was “misleading.” See NRO Mem. at 9, 35; . This allegation is yet another example of Defendants’ attempts to obfuscate the evidence in this case. The “misleading” comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report’s comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.39 Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous.

Once again, Mann’s claim was untrue. The Muir Russell report had used the term “misleading” to describe both the WMO 1999 diagram (prepared by Jones) and the IPCC TAR diagram (of which Mann was Lead Author). So it was simply false to claim that the Muir Russell finding had “absolutely nothing to do with Dr Mann or with any graph prepared by him”. (As an aside, while Mann was not ultimately responsible for the WMO 1999 figure, Jones had sent it to Mann for comment/peer review prior to use and Mann had not taken exception to it. Indeed, when CRU later made T-shirts using the WMO diagram, Mann requested a T-shirt – presumably [self-snip].)


Parliamentary Committee, DECC, NOAA OIG

The UK SciTech Committee touched on the “trick” email, but did not mention the IPCC TAR diagram, which was not mentioned by the UK DECC or NOAA Inspector General either.

None of these five (previously reviewed) inquiries “exonerated” Mann in respect to the IPCC 2001 incident. In fact, none of them even investigated the incident, let alone made any attempt to apportion responsibility between Mann and Briffa for the amputation of the Briffa reconstruction.


Penn State Inquiry Committee

Nor did the report of the Penn State Inquiry Committee contain any reference to the IPCC 2001 incident. Their closest approach to the incident is contained in their following finding that there was “no credible evidence that he[Mann] ever did so [falsified], and certainly not while at Penn State” (this latter qualification perhaps being relevant since the IPCC 2001 preceded Mann’s appointment to Penn State):

After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data. While a perception has been created in the weeks after the CRU emails were made public that Dr. Mann has engaged in the suppression or falsification of data, there is no credible evidence that he ever did so, and certainly not while at Penn State. In fact to the contrary, in instances that have been focused upon by some as indicating falsification of data, for example in the use of a “trick” to manipulate the data, this is explained as a discussion among Dr. Jones and others including Dr. Mann about how best to put together a graph for a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report. They were not falsifying data; they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.

The “amputation” of data in the IPCC 2001 diagram was near contemporary to the “trick” email incident, but was a different incident, using a different technique and with different lead responsibility. It was ludicrous to claim that the “amputation” of data in the IPCC 2001 diagram was “a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field”: it wasn’t. Indeed, Christy’s Congressional testimony shows that even Mann’s IPCC TAR coauthors were unaware that he had amputated the inconvenient Briffa data.

Moreover, even the Muir Russell and Oxburgh panels agreed that the truncation of data in the WMO 1999 and IPCC 2001 graphics was “misleading”. “Omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record” is the definition of
falsification.

Further, the circumstances of the WMO 1999 and IPCC 2001 graphics were different: a point that Mann himself made vigorously, if not entirely accurately, in his pleadings. The term “trick” was only applied to by Jones to his construction of the WMO 1999 graphic and exegesis of various meanings of the term is irrelevant to whether the IPCC 2001 graphic was misleading. (ALthough I note in passing that the IPCC 2001 graphic does appear to have used “Mike’s Nature trick” (in the sense defined at CA) in its rendering of the Briffa reconstruction from the First Order Draft (October 1999 – right after the email exchanges) on.

The IPCC 2001 incident ought to have been investigated by Penn State. However, the Penn State Inquiry Committee did not take evidence from Mann’s critics, instead only taking evidence from Mann supporters, at least one of whom (Gerald North) had refused to read the emails out of “professional courtesy”. The Penn State procedure deserved all the derision that it received. (Subsequently one of the members of the Inquiry Committee contacted me and explained that the Inquiry Committee’s failure to contact me was intentional and not accidental: he said that Easterling (said to have “recused” himself) had not done so and had intervened to prevent me being contacted.)

Without a direction from the Inquiry Committee, the Penn State Investigation Committee did not investigate the IPCC 2001 incident (or any of the other incidents that were of primary incident). The Investigation Committee recorded Dick Lindzen’s astonishment on this point.

The EPA Documents
Although the IPCC 2001 incident was not even mentioned in the Penn State reports, it was mentioned in the EPA documents cited in Mann’s pleadings. These documents did not originate in an investigation of academic misconduct by Mann or others, but in connection with the longstanding EPA regulatory proceedings leading up to and following from Massachusetts v EPA, and, in particular, in connection with EPA’s denial of various petitions to reconsider its GHG Endangerment Finding, a topic in which EPA was hardly a disinterested party. The backstory of these proceedings is itself very interesting, but, for the most part, well outside the scope of today’s post (the parties are once again gone to the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with EPA’s “tailoring rule” in Utility Air v EPA).

The salient point in the discussion below is that EPA appears to have been aware of Hockey Stick controversies and had wisely taken care to cover itself with caveats. It was therefore able to avoid taking any position on allegations concerning Mann’s IPCC 2001 diagram, which, for its purposes, was moot. But from the perspective of Mann’s pleadings, the EPA documents provide no “investigation” or “exoneration” of the amputation of data in the IPCC 2001 report.


The Endangerment Finding – Draft and Final

In April 2009, when the EPA, as one of the first acts of the new administration, issued a proposed Endangerment Finding and Technical Support Document.

It took (what appears to be) considerable care to avoid getting embroiled in the Hockey Stick controversy. It primarily relied on the relatively nuanced statements of the 2006 NAS Panel (rather than IPCC TAR or even AR4). For example, it quoted the NAS Panel as follows:

Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time periods.

It showed the spaghetti graph from the 2006 NAS Panel report, a graph that conspicuously did not include any of the three reconstructions used by Mann in IPCC TAR (Mann et al 1999; Jones et al 1998 or the truncated Briffa et al 2001). Their omission of the Briffa reconstruction is worth noting: in response to Folland’s original concern about “diluting the message”, Mann had originally suggested that the Briffa reconstruction simply be excluded from the spaghetti graph. Intentionally or unintentionally, this is what the NAS panel did as well.

epa TSD figure 4.3 spaghetti
Figure 1. EPA Draft Technical Support Document Figure 4.3 (from 2006 NAS Panel).

The final TSD contained only the following brief reference to IPCC AR4 also emphasizing uncertainty prior to AD1600 (the sentence on uncertainty was added in the final draft):

Considering this study and additional research, the IPCC (2007d) concluded: “Paleoclimatic information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years. However, like NRC (2006b), IPCC cautions that uncertainty is significant prior to 1600 (Jansen et al., 2007)

The final Endangerment Finding was issued on December 7, 2009, a few weeks after Climategate. There had been a 60-day public comment period (closed on June 24, 2009) following the Draft Endangerment Finding. The final Endangerment Finding was accompanied by the EPA’s synthesis of public comments together with agency responses.

These documents attracted virtually no attention at climate blogs, which were then preoccupied with Climategate itself. However, these documents were an important stage in the convoluted U.S. regulatory process.

The next step in the U.S. regulatory process was for opponents of the EPA procedure to petition the EPA to reconsider their Endangerment Finding. Organizations opposing the Endangerment Finding had a short window (60 days, I think) for response. During that window, 10 petitions requesting reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding were submitted to EPA (see here for the 10 petitions).

The petitioners included the State of Texas, the State of Virginia and a variety of other opposing parties, including a joint petition submitted by CEI (jointly with the Science and Environmental Policy Project and the NIPCC). (Although Mann’s pleadings portrayed CEI as instrumental in instigating the Petitions for Reconsideration, it was one of the smaller players among the petitioners: for example, the State of Texas, not CEI, led argument in court proceedings.

The then just-released Climategate documents featured very strongly in all the petitions, though most of the petitions, in my opinion, did not do an effective job of connecting the emails to potential causes of reconsideration. In retrospect, there was a surprising amount of over-emphasis on the temperature record – an issue scarcely mentioned in the emails themselves, a point frequently made at Climate Audit, but mostly falling on deaf ears.

During the short time window in which reconsideration petitions could be submitted, the Climategate emails were still very recent and there were misunderstandings of the import of emails on both sides of the aisle, particularly in the widespread misunderstanding that the emails pertained to CRU temperature data, as opposed to the Hockey Stick and its treatment by IPCC.

Questions about temperature data are prevalent in the petitions. Many of the petitioners incorrectly thought that the Harry Readme pertained to the widely used CRUTEM record, whereas it pertained to the little-used CRUTS dataset. The comments about “highly artificial adjustments” in computer programs was similarly thought by some petitioners to pertain to CRU temperature data, whereas it was connected to the “Briffa bodge” (a CRU technique used prior to the later artifice of hide-the-decline). I will not attempt to further summarize or characterize the scope of the petitions, though it is an interesting topic.

The CEI Petition
On February 12, 2010, CEI, jointly with the Science and Enviromental Policy Project and the NIPCC, filed a Petition to Reconsider. Much of the petition was devoted to challenging the temperature record. They also cited a number of current stories about questionable IPCC assertions based on NGO reports e.g. Himalaya glaciers, Amazon rainforests, African agriculture.

The first bullet of Paragraph IV(A) of their petition raised the truncation of the Briffa reconstruction as follows:

At the October 2009 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Professor Don Easterbrook demonstrated how tree ring data from Russia, which show a cooling after 1961, were artfully truncated in graphs presented in IPCC publications. (See attachment at p 12.) This truncation gave the false impression that the tree ring data agree with reported late 20th century surface temperature data, when in fact they did not. This artful deceit, now exposed, indicates that the IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4) is scientifically questionable. The CRU emails leaked in November confirmed that this deception was deliberate. …
cei petition easterbrook

While CEI was 100% correct in its key claim that “truncation gave the false impression that the tree ring data agree with reported late 20th century surface temperature data, when in fact they did not”, their submission included several pointless errors: the diagram in the CEI petition did not originate with Don Easterbrook in October 2009, but post-Climategate from Daily Mail in December 2009. Worse, the diagram did not come from AR4, but from AR3. The description of the AR4 diagram had been grudgingly coopered up by Briffa, largely in response to my review comments, a point later used by EPA against CEI.

The EPA Denial Documents
In late July 2010, EPA issued a decision denying the petitions for reconsideration. Although there was then intense interest in Climategate inquiries, no one at the time seems to have noticed EPA’s discussion of Climategate or to have considered that EPA’s discussion of Climategate constituted an “investigation” of academic misconduct. Its first such mention did not occur until about six months later when SKS, as part of their campaign to “re-frame” Climategate, added it to their list of supposed “exonerations”.

The decision document was accompanied by a webpage that does not appear to have been subject to the same review processes as the formal documents. More on this in another post.

The IPCC Incident in the RTP Documents
The decision document was accompanied by three volumes of supporting documents (Response to Petitions – RTP) (see links here), in which EPA presented responses to comments synthesized from the various petitions, to which EPA presented responses.

The first volume of the RTP was mostly on temperature data controversies; the second volume was on controversies over IPCC errors and IPCC non-objectivity, while the third volume was mostly about interference with peer review and non-objectivity of US GRCP assessment literature. Less than 10% of the RTP dealt with the paleoclimate issues that actually dominate the Climategate emails.

The EPA did not provide the names of the authors and contributors to the the Response to Petitions or any information on procedures for the development and review of the document. It would be interesting to know the names of contributors and reviewers to the report. Were there outside contributors or reviewers, such as, perhaps, Gavin Schmidt, who had been a peer reviewer of the Technical Support Document for the Endangerment Finding itself?

The Response to Petitions also contains extended commentary on Climategate emails, though, from my perspective, the EPA made no or negligible effort to probe the actual meaning of the emails (e.g. its desultory or non-existent analysis of the “dirty laundry”, “dilute the message” and “fodder to the skeptics” emails or its bizarre citation of the contaminated Mann et al 2008 nondendro reconstruction as a supposed rebuttal of divergence issues).

The IPCC incident was discussed in RTP Comment 1-5, which cited the CEI complaint as follows:

Comment (1-5): The Competitive Enterprise Institute refers to a presentation by Don Easterbrook at the Geological Society of America (Easterbrook, 2009), stating Professor Easterbrook “demonstrated how tree ring data from Russia, which show a cooling after 1961, were artfully truncated in graphs presented in IPCC publications.” The petitioner claims “This truncation gave the false impression that the tree ring data agree with reported late 20th Century surface temperature data, when in fact they did not. This artful deceit, now exposed, indicates that the IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4) is scientifically questionable. The CRU e-mails leaked in November confirmed that this deception was deliberate.”

The EPA dismissed this comment as follows:

Response (1-5): EPA has reviewed the petitioner’s information and has determined that the graph provided by the petitioner from Professor Easterbrook’s talk is not from the AR4, but rather from the Third Assessment Report, which was published in 2001 and is no longer the most recent IPCC assessment report. In the AR4, the latest data on this issue was assessed and depicted in Figure 6.10. In this figure, three out of the 12 reconstructions terminate in 1960 (as noted in Table 6.1 in the same chapter), because the reconstructions in the underlying papers also terminate in 1960. Six of the 12 reconstructions extend to 1990 or later, again based on the time period covered by the relevant dataset.

EPA’s TSD actually uses a figure from the NRC (2006), which shows six reconstructions, one of which terminates in 1960. Because these assessment reports are showing the entirety of the data represented in the underlying literature, there is no evidence of any “artful deceit,” nor is this evidence that the AR4 is “scientifically questionable.”

As always, one has to watch exactly what is and isn’t being said.

Whereas CEI had pointed (albeit with incorrect identification) to the IPCC 2001 diagram (under Mann’s lead authorship) as an example of “artful deceit”, EPA’s response considered the diagrams in the NAS 2006 report and IPCC AR4, stating that these diagrams showed “no evidence of any “artful deceit.”

Because EPA had relied on NAS 2006 and IPCC AR4 in their Endangerment Finding, they were entitled to assess the diagrams that they had actually used. But nothing in this paragraph constitutes an “investigation” or “exoneration” of Mann’s truncation of the Briffa reconstruction in the IPCC 2001 report.

From EPA’s point of view, the caveats about the reconstructions in the Endangerment Finding protected against allegations of misrepresentation in the IPCC 2001 diagram. Further, they relied on IPCC AR4 (which as noted above, improved disclosure) and on the NAS 2006 report. Because of this, EPA was able to avoid examining alleged misconduct in connection with the IPCC 2001 report. (CEI’s erroneous attribution of the diagram to the wrong report was a fortuitous aid in this respect.)

In passing, I don’t agree with other aspects of the EPA analysis though this disagreement is not directly relevant to the point that they did not “investigate” or “exonerate” Mann’s conduct on this point. EPA observed that “three out of the 12 reconstructions [in AR4] terminate in 1960 (as noted in Table 6.1 in the same chapter), because the reconstructions in the underlying papers also terminate in 1960.”

However, this is either not entirely true or already tainted by IPCC considerations. The original Briffa papers on divergence also showed reconstructions into the 1990s, complete with decline. Indeed, the Oxburgh panel relied on this in their conclusion that the divergence had been properly disclosed in the underlying papers. The problem is that there is an all too typical Briffa inconsistency in the underlying papers: in one graphic, the reconstruction is not truncated (and shows) the divergence, while, in the spaghetti graph of Briffa et al 2001, the Briffa reconstruction was quietly truncated.

Even more problematically – and this goes right back to the 1999 Climategate correspondence – the IPCC assessment had ceased to be independent of the underlying literature. At the time (fall 1999) when Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were discussing their worries that they might “dilute the message” or “give fodder to the skeptics”, the version of the Briffa reconstruction subsequently used in AR4 (and AR3) had not been published and, in the version sent to Mann in early October 1999, had not been truncated. The first truncation of the Briffa reconstruction in IPCC documents was in the AR3 First Order Draft (late October 1999). This truncated a version of the Briffa reconstruction that was not truncated in its archive (in connection with Jones et al 1998).

[I'm going to add some discussion of how this incident is discussed in the pleadings. As noted in the comments, I pressed "Publish" before I had finished the post - stay tuned. ]


102 Comments

  1. HAS
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Links missing in the first para and para under “Exposition of the IPCC 2001 Incident”.

    I’d drop the T shirt quip if it were me.

  2. Lance Wallace
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Missing link under”Exposition of the IPCC 2001 Incident”:

    “about six months later, I did a far more detailed analysis (see here)”

  3. Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lies, damned lies, and Mannistics

  4. pesadia
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There is much here to digest and much of it will provide fodder for
    conspiracy theorists. (not without reason in my opinion)
    I read every word and everything points in the direction of forthcoming
    technocratic governance.
    Clinical analysis once again.

  5. Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    – presumably extra [snip].

    :)

    • Keith Sketchley
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Great line.

    • John M
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      …and stout.

    • Dave Cochrane
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Funny on so many levels! :D

  6. Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    An important point that you make in the last paragraph is that for all intents and purposes, IPCC = Team = IPCC. The various inquiries sometimes pull the trick of exonerating a Team member for having once pointed to (e.g.) the divergence problem in an academic journal article somewhere, while blaming “the IPCC” for concealing it, without pointing out that it was all the same people. When Oxburgh makes an ever-so-gentle rebuke of “presentations of this work by the IPCC and others” who “have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue” it’s disingenuous, since Mann and the CRU guys were the authors both of the underlying papers and the IPCC chapter alike.

    While it is irritating to see high-priced lawyers botch up source details on Hide the Decline, there is something to be said in their defence. Having presented summaries of the Hide the Decline episode in public talks before, I have found it necessary to apologize in advance that I am relying on blog posts and can’t point them to a single, publicly-available “official” source for an exposition of the problem. Because, notwithstanding all the supposed inquiries into Climategate, none of them actually explined the matter (despite the avalanche of material presented to them) and none of their reports provide any summary of what was known beyond doubt to have taken place. Even though the Muir Russell panel conceded the graph was misleading, they don’t provide a clear, illustrated explanation of how the graph was constructed, much less s there one in Oxburgh, etc. So we have to rely on blogs, chiefly of course CA (for which we are thankful), and nobody should criticize us for the fact that we can’t point to an “official”, accurate and comprehensive source.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I was thinking along these same lines about the spiraling of these issues into the abyss of neglect and primarily due, I think, to the climate science community initially ignoring problems with many of these temperature reconstructions with the use of deceptive graphics and arbitrary use and amputation data and then proceeding to the point whereby that failure to criticize has made those in the community complicit in the deceptions. I would think it becomes much more of a problem for a science community to admit to these problems than alternatively criticize a few of their members.

      Even those considered to be out of the consensus club of climate science (depending on the boundaries used for the consensus) like John Christy appeared to be hesitant with the prestige of an IPCC author to realize and/or lower the hammer in timely fashion on these deceptions.

      • Kenneth Fritsch
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I should also add that I think at least part of these problems, like ignoring the relevance of the divergence in temperature reconstructions and not just those using tree rings, has much to do with what I see as the frame of mind in a number of scientists dealing with climate whereby the scientist accepts some level of unprecedented warming in the current period and apparently sees their investigations as supporting evidence for that proposition rather than the more conventional science approach of assuming little and handling the evidence as an independent matter. The methodologies used in analyzing the evidence under the independent approach would also be much more likely to be critically scrutinized.

        Another prime example of the problems caused by working backwards from a consensus is that of selecting proxies for temperature reconstructions after the fact of how well those proxies emulate the recent warming instead of a more correct approach whereby a prior criteria is used and consequentially all the data is used in attempts to produce a temperature reconstruction. The backward approach from a consensus I think also inhibits the quest for physical underpinnings of a prior criteria for selecting proxies. The approach in published temperature reconstructions as I see it has been mainly one an exercise in finding proxies to support a foregone conclusion.

        More to the point of this thread and in my mind, Mann becomes a proxy for widely spread problems in climate science some of which are described above. Now I doubt that that relationship could be successfully applied in the Steyn defense. In fact I am in agreement with the poster thingadonta in that the legal system is stacked in favor of Mann and the “consensus” to the point that I am looking at the possibility of a precedent setting ruling in this case based on the eminent dangers of AGW for mankind and how the discussions surrounding AGW can (adversely) affect public policy and its timely implementation. If the judge and the jury have their minds already committed to the consensus position on public policy with regards to AGW, I doubt that they will make much effort to understand the countervailing arguments.

  7. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “This truncation of data had been known (and severely criticized) at Climate AUdit long before Climategate.”

    Indeed!

    And thank you for that and all you do. It would otherwise have been beyond my level of understanding

  8. pottereaton
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 6:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Christie’s testimony was astonishing. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, which shows which side has the loudest trumpet.

    The EPA is now, officially, a rogue agency that needs to be cleaned out.

  9. John R T
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for this “… first bite.”
    in re
    * titles and abbreviations: ???
    2001 T[hird]AR / AR3 &
    2007 F[ourth]AR / AR4 – legends are helpful
    * NR lawyers: ‘acutely’ ? ‘accurately’
    * ?? ‘(or any of the other incidents that were of primary incident).’ ?’of primary import.’?
    * our fair Commonwealth, not State, of Virginia

  10. Ed Barbar
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You have said you wanted to be alerted to “colorful” adjectives in the past. There are a number in here:

    “merely saying that this would not be “appropriate” – this led to David Holland’s FOI request and CRU’s email destruction program, another long backstory – but grudgingly agreed to add text disclosing the truncation and discussing the divergence problem. Although IPCC lead authors sneered at being asked to provide proper disclosure, they were happy enough to fall back on this disclosure as protection.”

    • Ed Barbar
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Actually, the whole paragraph reeks of the frustrations you have had, and want to avoid expressing:

      Ironically, the improved AR4 disclosure protecting Briffa had been inserted very grudgingly in response to my review comments as an IPCC AR4 Second Draft reviewer. I had asked Briffa (Mann’s successor as Lead Author) to show the decline in the IPCC spaghetti graph and explain the divergence. Briffa refused to show the decline (merely saying that this would not be “appropriate” – this led to David Holland’s FOI request and CRU’s email destruction program, another long backstory – but grudgingly agreed to add text disclosing the truncation and discussing the divergence problem. Although IPCC lead authors sneered at being asked to provide proper disclosure, they were happy enough to fall back on this disclosure as protection.

      • pottereaton
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

        As Steve might say, “Oh, please.”

        Given the context provided by Christy’s statement, a little mischievous sarcasm is completely in order here.

  11. knr
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As noted previously, the Oxburgh panel was not asked to examine Mann’s conduct, but to examine a list of eleven academic publications by CRU scientists.

    This was the list that left out most of the publications of ‘interest’ and which was claimed to have been created by the RS , when it fact it was selected by CRU and the RS merely rubber stamped it without question. Top to bottom , the Oxburgh panel was rubbish , other wise know as normal pratice for climate ‘science’

  12. Ed Barbar
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    More unnecessary ad-hominem: Indeed, when CRU later made T-shirts using the WMO diagram, Mann requested a T-shirt – [self-snip]…

    Don’t know if that’s what you are concerned about.

    Steve: I’ve self-snipped the comment.

    • Dave Cochrane
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Ed, I think most readers can distinguish between ad hominem and light humour/satire.

      • Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Quite. And I should point out that it is the Hockey Stick that is the real insult – to all of us, and to science.

        • michael hart
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

          An “ad lignum”?

      • Michael J
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The difference between “ad hominem” and “light humour/satire” is frequently dependent on who is giving it and who is getting it.

        Given the amount of nastiness that crops up in climate discussions, we would do well to avoid even a hint of the personal in discussions of serious issues.

      • Ed Barbar
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Look, I am frankly amazed at Steve’s ability to stick to the facts given the amount of (what seems to me to be) dealing from the bottom of the deck, attacks on his character, etc. We’ve all seen it, and know what it is. Most maddening is the stonewalling of his efforts to get information.

        However, Steve has asked us to point out when he lets in colorful adjectives. I think he wants a very clean record here, not tainted by human emotions, but “Just the facts.”

        Steve: I appreciate it when people point out when I haven’t complied with my own policy.

    • Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Well the Hockey Stick WAS a vertical challenge.

    • Mark Lewis
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

      One person’s sarcasm is another person’s opportunity to discredit the speaker for being a partisan asshole.

      IMO – Steve’s factual work is too valuable to cloud it with his emotional/interpersonal frustration. As an observer of (vs. participant in) the climate debate, I believe the negative impact of snark and ad hominem should not be underestimated. As a reader/lurker (as are most CA visitors), I judge the commenters based on their rational content – and personal comments greatly undermine my faith in their objectivity. I suggest that, while the participants use a lot of “rough and tumble” and are used to it, the readers/lurkers find it discrediting.

      Steve: I’ve self-snipped one comment. As I mentioned before, I pushed “Publish” the post before my final edit: I would probably have self-snipped in my final edit.

    • MikeN
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I read the post late, and assumed the self-snip was there in the original post, implying a different joke.

  13. richardscourtney
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve:

    In the same week as MBH98 was published I wrote an email on the ‘ClimateSkeptics’ circulation list. That email objected to the ‘hockeystick’ graph because the graph had an overlay of ‘thermometer’ data over the plotted ‘proxy’ data. This overlay was – I said – misleading because it was an ‘apples and oranges’ comparison: of course, I was not then aware of the ‘hide the decline’ (aka “Mike’s Nature trick”) issue.

    Unknown to me, somebody copied my email to Michael Mann and he replied. ‘Climategate’ revealed that email from Michael Mann and it can be read here

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=3046.txt&search=medieval

    Mann’s response consists solely of personal abuse against me and, importantly, it does not address the issue which I had raised immediately upon seeing the ‘hockeystick’ graph. Hence, I am certain that the graphical malpractice of the ‘hockeystick’ was both witting and deliberate.

    Richard

    Steve: as I’ve written on many occasions, MBH98 did not use “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. At this stage, this is not something that anyone should be confused about. Nor do I agree that a comparison of reconstruction and observed data is “apples and oranges”. Nor, in all my commentary, have I ever expressed the view that such a comparison rendered into a graph is “graphical malpractice”. I think that a digital splicing of reconstruction and actual data – as in the WMO1999 diagram and in the Mann et al 2008 EIV reconstructions – is inappropriate, but that’s different. There are many issues with Mann’s work, but I don’t regard a graphical comparison of reconstruction and observation as one of them. Indeed, I think that bringing up this issue has worked very much to Mann’s advantage, as his practice has been to respond to the most trivial criticism and avoid the substantive ones.

    • knr
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Its nothing personal . that is Mann’s approach to everyone that dare question him . Which tells us a great deal about him.

      • Joe
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve: “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. At this stage, this is not something that anyone should be confused about.

        Well I am confused – if for no other reason that these terms/statements have been used in so many contexts.
        Can you give a brief summary of the original contexts of these two phrases. Thanks

        Steve: see http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/29/keiths-science-trick-mikes-nature-trick-and-phils-combo/ . To be fair, I understand that there is a lot of confusion on this among “ordinary” readers and I sympathize with that. But I get annoyed when people holding themselves out as knowledgeable get the points confused – hence my annoyance with Courtney on this issue.

    • Jean S
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: richardscourtney (May 10 02:44),

      Mann:

      This guys email is intentional deceipt. Our method, as you know, doesn’t include any “splicing of two different datasets”-this is a myth perptuated by Singer and his band of hired guns, who haven’t bothered to read our papers or the captions of the figures they like to mis-represent…

      Caption of Figure 7/MBH98:

      Relationships of Northern Hemisphere mean (NH) temperature with three candidate forcings between 1610 and 1995. Panels, (top to bottom) as follows. ‘NH’, reconstructed NH temperature series from 1610–1980, updated with instrumental data from 1981–95.

      • richardscourtney
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Jean S:

        Thankyou. Yes.

        As I said, the email from Michael Mann convinces me that “the graphical malpractice of the ‘hockeystick’ was both witting and deliberate”.

        Richard

        • zootcadillac
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

          Whilst i fully understand Steve’s frustration with regard to the comments over the years about the graphical misrepresentations in Mann’s work, and I also see how he feels that it distracts from the meat of his own criticisms I personally have to support the conclusions of richardscourtney in this matter.
          Regardless of how trivial a part of the story some may see it, I can only come to the same conclusion that there was deliberate intent to deceive and I expect the same to be true of any other reasonable person.

    • richardscourtney
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve:

      You and I have a clear disagreement.

      You say;

      There are many issues with Mann’s work, but I don’t regard a graphical comparison of reconstruction and observation as one of them. Indeed, I think that bringing up this issue has worked very much to Mann’s advantage, as his practice has been to respond to the most trivial criticism and avoid the substantive ones.

      I say that Mann deliberately stating falsehood about his work is not acceptable.
      And his email which I have linked does deliberately state a falsehood as is explained by Jean S; i.e.
      Mann wrote

      This guys email is intentional deceipt. Our method, as you know, doesn’t include any “splicing of two different datasets”-this is a myth perptuated by Singer and his band of hired guns, who haven’t bothered to read our papers or the captions of the figures they like to mis-represent…

      But the caption of Figure 7 in MBH 98 says

      Relationships of Northern Hemisphere mean (NH) temperature with three candidate forcings between 1610 and 1995. Panels, (top to bottom) as follows. ‘NH’, reconstructed NH temperature series from 1610–1980, updated with instrumental data from 1981–95.

      You say you “think that bringing up this issue has worked very much to Mann’s advantage”. Perhaps and perhaps not, but I think it is important that Mann has stated a deliberate falsehood in writing about his work. And I suspect that Steyn’s lawyers may share my opinion.

      Richard

      Steve: the phenomenon identified by Jean S is different than what you had complained about. Over at Watts Up, you accused me of downplaying your comment because “[Steve] likes to feel he is the ‘main man’ so tends to be dismissive of anything which he did not originate.” I hope that this is not the case and don’t believe it to be true: for example, I have unreservedly endorsed (and encouraged) comments by Jean S (and UC) on the matter. I disagree with your point because I think that it is a nothing/inconsequential. I doubt that Styen’s lawyers share your opinion: it is inconceivable to me that Steyn’s lawyers would pursue an issue that I believe to be irrelevant – how would you hope to convince a judge or jury if you can’t convince me? Finally, as you know, as an editorially, I discourage people trying to coatrack their hobbyhorses into threads. There are all sorts of Mannian issues not addressed in this post. I prefer that you and other commenters relate to the issues in this thread rather than coatracking.

      • Alf
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

        “Our method does not include any splicing of two different data sets” court case over!!!

    • Pat Frank
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nor do I agree that a comparison of reconstruction and observed data is “apples and oranges”.

      The only legitimate cause for comparison between a reconstruction and observed data is to determine whether the apples are in fact oranges disguised as apples — i.e., temperatures disguised as tree ring widths (densities).

      The only way to determine that temperatures are disguised as tree rings is to have a physical theory that inter-converts them.

      But there is no such theory. The practitioners in the field just use statistical correlations and scaling to attach reconstructions (artfully deceitful name, that) to the observed data.

      If anything Richard’s categorization is understated. The comparison of reconstructions and temperatures is of apples and octopi.

      Steve: the entire “divergence” problem – which I believe to be an actual issue – arises from a comparison of the Briffa proxy reconstruction to observations. The comparison is what prompts reasonable people to question the validity of the proxy. I simply don’t understand why anyone would contest such elementary techniques.

      • richardscourtney
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 1:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve:
        Thankyou for clarifying why we have a disagreement: I had not understood until you wrote

        Steve: the entire “divergence” problem – which I believe to be an actual issue – arises from a comparison of the Briffa proxy reconstruction to observations. The comparison is what prompts reasonable people to question the validity of the proxy. I simply don’t understand why anyone would contest such elementary techniques.

        But I was NOT discussing the divergence problem or the work of Briffa. I was discussing the work of Mann, Bradley & Hughes published in 1998 which predated the similar work of Briffa. As I said in my comment which you disputed

        This overlay was – I said – misleading because it was an ‘apples and oranges’ comparison: of course, I was not then aware of the ‘hide the decline’ (aka “Mike’s Nature trick”) issue.

        The subject of this thread is Mann “misrepresenting” and I offered documented evidence that he had “misrepresented” his first published work which became an IPCC icon and is the subject of Mann’s legal dispute with Steyn. I considered that to be pertinent, and it is NOT my “hobby horse”: indeed, I do not remember any occasion where I have publicly mentioned it before.

        The importance of the matter is clear from consideration of the MBH98 ‘hockeystick’ which can be seen here

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v392/n6678/fig_tab/392779a0_F7.html

        In the graph the recent ‘proxy’ data is truncated and is replaced by ‘thermometer’ data shown as a dotted line. The two truncated data sets are spliced and this provides a misleading indication. I had no knowledge of the ‘divergence problem’ when I first saw this, but I observed that the spliced ‘thermometer’ data is above the ‘proxy’ data. This implies that the recent temperatures were higher than the temperatures at times of the proxy data. However, that implication could be false because it could be an effect of the difference between the two methods whose results were spliced (i.e. the ‘divergence problem’).
        I pointed out that the two methods could not be compared and we now know that is true (i.e. the ‘divergence problem’). Mann wrote his abusive email to refute what I had said.
        I consider this documented behaviour of Mann to be pertinent to this thread, to have both scientific and historical importance, and to be very relevant to the dispute between Mann and Steyn concerning the ‘hockeystick’ graph.
        However, this is your blog and you say you think this is a distraction so – having explained my view of the matter – I will withdraw from this thread.
        Additionally, I am disappointed that you chose to misrepresent my support of you to zootcadilac on WUWT.

        Richard

      • Pat Frank
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve, I don’t disagree with you. Comparison of the Briffa proxy with observations leads immediately to the divergence issue. The divergence issue must certainly lead reasonable people to question the validity of the proxy.

        However, the lack of any physical theory connecting tree ring metrics to temperature must lead any reasonable physical scientist to question the entire proxy method, divergence notwithstanding.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 12, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

          http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140507/ncomms4836/full/ncomms4836.html

        • Pat Frank
          Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

          So what’s your message, Steve M? That a paper implying correlation = causation proves correlation = causation?

          For those unable to access Steve M.’s reference, the paper is titled, “Arctic tree rings as recorders of variations in light availability.” A Nature Communications article by A. R. Stines, and P. Huybers.

          There’s no more question about light impacting tree growth than about temperature impacting tree growth. The abuse of science comes when tree ring metrics are statistically scaled and represented as temperatures. It’s pseudo-science. Statistics is no substitute for physics.

          Statistically scaled tree ring metrics represented as lumens would equally be an abuse of science.

          No falsifiable theory, = no assignment of physical causality. That’s science. There’s no getting away from it.

        • Pat Frank
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

          Steve Mc, if you had reason to delete my response, then fairness requires you delete Steve Mosher’s supposedly countervailing link. Leaving it up implies I had no effective reply.

        • Pat Frank
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

          Weird — please ignore that last. My reply to Steve Mosher was invisible on the page until after I posted the follow-up. Regrets.

    • MikeN
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      >MBH98 did not use “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. At this stage, this is not something that anyone should be confused about.

      I’m confused about it. MBH98 was in Nature so presumably that is where the trick comes from, though GRL and MBH99 is also possible.

  14. Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s always been enjoyable reading Steve unpicking misdirections and deceptions in official sources on spaghetti and sticks but of late there’s been an additional piquancy: the sense that Mark Steyn is also reading. Much to look forward to.

  15. Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on pdx transport.

  16. mitchel44
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Little changes? Might have missed these through the drafting process.

    “EPA presented responses to comments synthesized from the various petitions, to which EPA presented responses.”

    “the EPA had “reviewed every email” and “found” that EPA had “found” that the emails”

  17. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I inadvertently pushed the Publish button (instead of the Save draft) on this post before I had finished editing. I’ve since been offline and hadn’t noticed that it was online and accumulating some comments.

    There is some more editing and revision that I had planned to to do. I intend to complete this editing today and so there will be some changes to this post. I don’t plan to mark the changes, as they will not go to the substance; there were some sections that I hadn’t finished.

    • Bill
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

      also check use of “rhetorical”, maybe visual instead?

      also one spot in EPA discussion where it looks like a repeat of a phrase at
      end of sentence, unless EPA was responding to a response of a previous
      response.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      It did seem to end abruptly. :-)

  18. Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What a post…

    I remember the EPA findings and how it seemed completely pointless for anyone to reply at all. You don’t ask the 4 year old if he deserves more icecream and expect him to change his mind because it’s getting near bedtime.

    I would be very interested in who wrote the EPA replies, as simply from the disingenuous commentary about conspiracy and fake rebuttals to straw myths, that they were hardly disinterested parties. In fact, they are very similar replies to what we would expect from the Real Climate advocacy group.

    • pottereaton
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Anonymity is the key to unaccountability. They’ve got a group fortress in there and they don’t want to have to defend their work personally. Anonymous groupthink allows them to make disingenous comments. It also makes them arrogant.

      Classic bureacratic behavior: “The bureau dictates; the bureau does not have to defend it’s dictates in any meaningful way. The bureau is too busy imposing its dictates.”

      One would think the pause in temperatures would call for restraint. If you can declare CO2 a pollutant in the face of the “pause” data, then anything is possible.

      • Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I never thought of it that way. It’s like the aggression we see in blogland from people not sitting in the same room. It definitely has an RC flavor to it.

  19. Coldish
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “…said that Easterling (said to have “recused” himself) had not done so…”
    Not clear to me at first reading what the ‘done so’ refers back to.

  20. Coldish
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “…(or any of the other incidents that were of primary incident).”
    Should the second ‘incident’ be ‘importance/significance/concern’?

  21. David L. Hagen
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    EPA’s Failures per EPA’s IG and Allan Carlin
    Steve McIntyre details failings that were symptomatic of the EPA’s extensive legal breaches. e.g. the EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda
    Examined at the request of Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,

    the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the scientific assessment underpinning the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gasses was inadequate and in violation of the Agency’s own peer review procedures.

    See: Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes Report No. 11-P-0702 September 26, 2011 Office of Inspector General, EPA.
    EPA supervisory economist Dr. Allan Carlin, reported that the: EPA Inspector General Finds Procedures Used in Preparing GHG Endangerment Finding Did Not Follow OMB Requirements
    Carlin had prepared his Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act on

    the draft EPA Technical Support document for the endangerment analysis for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act. [However, the EPA] Director of the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) [did] not forward these comments . . . to the Office of Air and Radiation, the authors of the draft TSD.

  22. Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on leclinton and commented:
    Once again you destitute Mr. Mann NICE . ;>)

  23. Grant A. Brown
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Different hockey players have a preference for stick-handling, passing, and shooting the puck closer or further away from their bodies. So that the blade of the stick meets the ice squarely for any such prference, sticks are manufactured with varying degrees of angle between the shaft and the blade. The angle between the shaft of a hockey stick and the blade is known as its “lie.” So you might say, without fear of being sued, that Mann got his lie wrong.

    • j ferguson
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Grant, In golf there is a Rule 13 which penalizes “improving one’s lie.”

  24. Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A hit, a very palpable hit.

    Pointman

  25. Gary Pearse
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I would like to point out from an examination of the Briffa extension beyond 1960 that there is no inflection upwards of the curve as shown in the “truncated” versions. Indeed, the curve was not only truncated but was given a up-bend at the end to match the other series.

    Steve: I agree that the details of the Briffa smooth in Mann’s IPCC diagram are relevant. I’ve looked at this very closely. My conclusion is that Mann used “Mike’s Nature trick” on the Briffa reconstruction with even more pernicious consequences: after deleting the actual data, it appears that he continued the series with instrumental data, then truncated the smooth back to the truncation point. This is what gives the deceptive uptick.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Another reason to release all code. If it could be proved that Mann really did truncate, splice, smooth, and re-truncate producing the up-tick, that would be a prima facie case of either fabrication or of gross incompetence.

    • bmcburney
      Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Mr. McIntyre,

      Of course, this would only be a very small portion of the graph but isn’t this a clear-cut case of [the forbiden word which is relevant to allegations in the Styen case]? Mann’s IPCC graph says Briffa’s data goes up but, in fact, it goes down at that point. Mann knew it went down but used an improper smoothing method to misrepresent that fact.

      Steve: it seems to me that the issue is subsidiary to the deletion of adverse data, which is the fundamental issue. I regard the smoothing as a lower order issue. It’s not nothing, but people tend to get lost if there are too many issues in play. So I’m inclined to avoid emphasizing secondary and tertiary issues.

      • bmcburney
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I would certainly agree that the impact of the deletion is more important to the general impression created by the graph but the Team have given their reasons for the deletion. My sense is that anyone offended by that is already as offended as they can possibly be.

        To me at least, this “uptick deception” seems less defensible, even if it is also less important to the overall visual presentation of the graph. Mann may claim the Briffa data was deleted because it “gives fodder” or is “wrong” or possibly reflects some unknown (but recent) human influence but he cannot represent that the data goes up at a particular point when he knows it goes down without resorting to outright falsehood. Isn’t that what happened? Isn’t it true that this example of the “Nature trick” smooth (assuming that is what this is) was not disclosed? Doesn’t that make this a clear-cut case of scientific [the forbidden word which is relevant to the Styen litigation]?

        I believe this has been discussed on CA before but I don’t recall any explanation for this particular travesty being given by the Team. Does anybody know if there was one?

        Steve: this particular incident is very relevant for Mann v Simberg and CEI, because one of the Simberg comments links directly to a CA discussion of Mike’s Nature trick. I’ll discuss this in a separate post.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

          The rational was that after 1960 the Briffa data was “defective” or wrong, without ever explaining why only this dataset was wrong.

        • bmcburney
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

          Dr. Loehle,

          Yes, I had understood that some form of a “bad data” argument was the Team explanation for the deletion of Briffa’s post-1960 data. I was wondering, however, if any explanation was ever offered for the brief uptick, just at the point of the deletion, in Mann’s IPCC diagram. Briffa’s data certainly seem to go down, not up, at that point. Deleting data because it doesn’t do what you want or expect it to do is obviously a very bad practice but simply misrepresenting a portion of the data (bad or not) seems worse.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

          bmcburney said:

          “Deleting data because it doesn’t do what you want or expect it to do is obviously a very bad practice but simply misrepresenting a portion of the data (bad or not) seems worse.”

          I think so too; putting the upcurve in there is not only allowing the viewer to be fooled, it’s actively and physically portraying the data falsely.

        • Pat Frank
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

          As I recall, in his original discussion of the divergent data Briffa suggested the disparity was caused by some recent but unknown anthropogenic influence on tree growth.

  26. Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre’s last paragraph in his “Mann Misrepresents the EPA – Part 1:”

    “Even more problematically – and this goes right back to the 1999 Climategate correspondence – the IPCC assessment had ceased to be independent of the underlying literature. At the time (fall 1999) when Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were discussing their worries that they might “dilute the message” or “give fodder to the skeptics”, the version of the Briffa reconstruction subsequently used in AR4 (and AR3) had not been published and, in the version sent to Mann in early October 1999, had not been truncated. The first truncation of the Briffa reconstruction in IPCC documents was in the AR3 First Order Draft (late October 1999). This truncated a version of the Briffa reconstruction that was not truncated in its archive (in connection with Jones et al 1998).”

    The problem with the IPCC assessment is even deeper than Steve identified as “lack of independence from the underlying literature”. The deeper problem is the literature the IPCC leadership chose to be assessed positively was restricted to that generally supporting a pre-preferred assessment outcome which was structured into the IPCC’s charter.

    John

  27. Peter Miller
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In the unlikely event there is someone out there who still thinks Mann might be a decent, honourable and highly misunderstood individual, then this interview with an Irish political magazine should put you straight.

    A sycophantic interviewer and a disingenuous Mann at his best.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.villagemagazine.ie%2Findex.php%2F2014%2F04%2F5706%2F&ei=5pNuU6HRN8HFPMHigWA&usg=AFQjCNG7i7jBea0-VMZaVmEIxxsc99LakQ

    • Nicholas
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Copying and pasting Google search results doesn’t work very well. It will take you to the right location but the link is ridiculous long and takes longer to load. Here is the actual link:

      http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2014/04/5706/

    • Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Peter Miller (May 10 16:08),

      The link to the full Mann interview at the interviewer’s own website is: Mann on a mission – Hockey Stick scientist interviewed

      To fully appreciate this interviewer a little local background information may be helpful – until relatively recently he believed that expressing temperature change in degrees C as a percentage, in opinion columns in the Irish Times, blog posts and blog comments. A couple of samples:

      Just in case you’re not familiar with the basic science (and I really am now beginning to wonder), the current global average surface temp. is c.14.5C. Add 4C to that in half a century and you have increased the average surface temp by over 25%.

      and

      First, the science bit. Global average temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees since industrialisation began. This translates to a world that has become 6.5 per cent warmer.

      He has “disappeared” all such posts from his website since he finally accepted in February 2011 (shortly after the first of those two samples) that this was scientific nonsense. Even when it was pointed out to him on the same blog post that if he repeated his calculation in degrees Fahrenheit his percentage increase would be halved it still took another day to sink in. I had tried to make the same point by way a Letter to the Editor of the Irish Times when the second sample above appeared in an opinion column in December 2009 (and I believe others tried to do likewise in respect of other columns), but the Irish Times has a rather poor when it comes to correcting such nonsense. He at least appears to have confined himself to “disappearing” such posts and not followed the SkS example of editing comments.

      Some of these posts of course can still be found at the web archive and that second sample can still be found, without any comment, at Supreme hour for climate change is looming on the website of the ICARUS (Irish Climate Analysis & Research Units) at Maynooth University. Be amused – or despair. This is the home of Professor John Sweeney, an IPCC contributing Author and Review Editor, who “shared with several hundred other climatologists the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize”. I can certainly say that as a past departmental webmaster at another institution I would not have allowed that page to remain online without a prominent health warning (not that I would have expected that any of my then colleagues would have failed to spot such nonsense. Surely it would not be too much to expect of a climate analysis & research unit that someone would have, to recycle Mr Gibbon’s words, sufficient familiarity with the basic science to spot this nonsense and add an appropriate warning.

      Fast forward to 2014 and we still find the same tone of authority in his responses to comments on another of his opinion columns in the Irish Times (possibly the irony escapes Mr Gibbons):

      Here’s a very helpful article on the Dunning-Kruger effect, entitled ‘When Ignorance Begets Confidence’. It explains the “double curse” that people who are incompetent at reasoning suffer from being unable to recognise this incompetence. Hence creationism, conspiracy theories, climate denialism, anti-vaccination campaigners, etc. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolved-primat

      And we now find him a member of the Climate Change committee of An Taisce (the Irish National Trust), along with the aforementioned Professor John Sweeney (President of An Taisce), the editor of Village Magazine, and others of similar mindset. Their latest campaign appears to be one to shut out opinions other than their own. See his latest blog post When will accuracy trump ‘balance’ in media climate coverage? with gems such as:

      Hurrah, everything is hunky dory so! What was all that rubbish a couple of short weeks back about climate change racing out of control and smashing through 2C and on towards 4C by mid-century, bringing in its wake a devastating global extinction event and catapulting Earth systems through one or more tipping points and into a chaotic new phase?

      Dear Irish Times ‘Life Science’ page, can you remind us exactly how much space you dedicated to covering publication of the three main releases of the IPCC’s blockbuster AR5 report in recent months? (hint: somewhere between ‘very little’ and ‘none at all’). Given that the IPCC is the largest scientific collaboration in the world, and only publishes its Assessment reports every seven years or so, in what way would you consider this to not be worthy of extensive coverage on a page ostensibly dedicated to science and the public understanding of science?

      Once again irony seems to escape Mr Gibbons. He himself, and An Taisce, have both since the publication of WGI SPM claimed that the IPCC projects what they themselves believe (runaway temperature rise), a position “not exactly supported” by the IPCC document itself, in fact dismissed in the scoping documents for AR5. The editor of Village Magazine does not see any problem when Mr Gibbons chooses to cherry pick RCP8.5 and ignore the other RCPs, even when it was pointed out to him that WGI explicitly stated that no probabilities were assigned to these scenarios Another member of the committee, Paul Price, referred to in this blog post but without disclosure of committee membership (Mr Gibbons does realise that it is appropriate to disclose his own membership here), also makes a claim incompatible with the IPCC Report in one of the letters referred to. All in all the relationship between An Taisce (and its Climate Change committee) and the IPCC WGI Report seems to be somewhat akin to that between the proverbial drunk and the lamppost – to be used for support rather than illumination. If fidelity to the IPCC Reports is their suggested criterion for publication they should find themselves among the first casualties were this adopted.

      Apologies for getting carried away here – frustration at the tolerance extended by the Irish Times, widely regarded as the Irish paper of record, to these people shows!

      • Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Peter O’Neill (May 10 20:01),

        For when that earlier comment comes out of moderation:

        he believed that expressing temperature change in degrees C as a percentage, in opinion columns in the Irish Times, blog posts and blog comments.

        should read

        he believed that expressing temperature change in degrees C as a percentage, in opinion columns in the Irish Times, blog posts and blog comments, was valid science.

        To be fair to Mr Gibbons he himself is aware that his position does go beyond that of the IPCC, which he describes as “The controversy-averse IPCC” which “routinely low-balls risks”, and he now seems to less often cite the IPCC. While he suggests others should pay heed to peer-reviewed literature his own current preferred authorities seem to be:

        Comments by Christine Lagarde of the IMF (for whom I would have considerable respect in her own sphere, but should we regard her views on climate change as authoritative?)

        The World Bank’s 2012 document Turn Down the Heat (a somewhat strange document, page 2 of which says “A Report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics” whereas page 3 instead says “This work is a product of the staff of The World Bank with external contributions. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this work do not necessarily reflect the views of The World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the governments they represent” and “The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work” – rather suggestive of a vanity project with plausible deniability built in for all parties)

        And the IEA (probably still based on an error in an Irish Times editorial, corrected online but not to my knowledge in the print edition, which claimed that the IEA expected “the planet to have warmed by 3.6 degrees by 2035″, whereas the actual IEA report pointed to “a long‐term average temperature increase of 3.6 °C”. It’s not only the Guardian which sometimes gets things wrong. An “environmental writer and commentator” really ought to learn to check the original source rather than rely on third-hand newspaper reports – third hand in that they have usually already been passed through a PR department before even reaching the newspaper).

    • NikFromNYC
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The common joust that Mann’s mere “mistakes” have been corrected and are now ancient history must now confront his avid promotion of the bladeless input data hockey stick of 2013, and I hope Steyn’s lawyers are aware of it by now:

      http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/09/mann-misrepresents-the-epa-part-1/?replytocom=590847

      As readers here are aware, the blade was a pure artifact of data re-dating that resulted in sudden spurious data drop-off at the end of their averaging. Yet a coauthor described it to NY Times reporter Revkin aa a “super hockey stick.” A weasel-worded statement in the paper about lack of statistical significance means it hasn’t even been retracted, and it is still being used by the likes of Dr. Katharine Hayhoe to support Obama’s push for energy rationing.

  28. PHILH
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As a retired judge, it is a mystery to me why National Review’s “high priced” lawyers have made the mistakes in their legal filings that Steve has pointed out. If they don’t have anyone on their staff capable of understanding and correctly pleading this…granted,sometimes murky stuff, why in the hell don’t they engage someone who can do it for them. I hope Steyn’s lawyers are paying attention.

    If I was representing either of these parties, I think I would seriously consider placing a telephone call to Mr. McIntyre to inquire if he would perhaps be interested in some employment as an expert advisor and witness for the defense.

    • JD Ohio
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      PHILH,

      Steve did consult with the defendants in the Mann v. Steyn/National Review case. I believe he disclosed his consultation on Lucia’s Blackboard. Don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do remember that Steve declined to take any money to ensure that no one could claim that his analysis of matters pertinent to the lawsuit was tainted by money.

      JD

  29. David L. Hagen
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    EPA’s Failures per EPA’s IG and Allan Carlin
    Steve McIntyre details failings that were symptomatic of the EPA’s extensive legal breaches. For context, see the EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda
    Examined at the request of Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,

    the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the scientific assessment underpinning the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gasses was inadequate and in violation of the Agency’s own peer review procedures.

    See: Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes Report No. 11-P-0702 September 26, 2011 Office of Inspector General, EPA.
    EPA supervisory economist Dr. Allan Carlin, reported that the: EPA Inspector General Finds Procedures Used in Preparing GHG Endangerment Finding Did Not Follow OMB Requirements
    Carlin had prepared his Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act on

    the draft EPA Technical Support document for the endangerment analysis for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act. [However, the EPA] Director of the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) [did] not forward these comments . . . to the Office of Air and Radiation, the authors of the draft TSD.

  30. Steven Mosher
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I would suggest that people watch how closely steve articulates a position.
    Also, note the damage that folks do by making broad sweeping allegations or shoehorning their favorite topic ( like temperature records) in where it only distracts from the real issues.

    • szilard
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 4:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Mosher: “I would suggest that people watch how closely steve articulates a position.
      Also, note the damage that folks do by making broad sweeping allegations or shoehorning their favorite topic ( like temperature records) in where it only distracts from the real issues.”

      Absolutely.

      More broadly, I wish SM would restrict posting on non-sandbox threads to people whose comments are informative & informed. It’d make the site more useful for general-interest lurkers like me, and I think also improve the message for those looking for policy input or whatever, at least by disassociating SM from blowhards of various descriptions.

      Ummm … I wouldn’t be on the approved list, so I should shut up now, I guess.

      Steve: relative to other blogs, I delete a lot of O/T comments on the grounds that they make threads unreadable.

  31. thingadonta
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This whole fiasco reminds me of my some experiences in working in some third world countries.

    One of the problems in dealing with the third world is that their legal systems tend to merely support the elite.
    Moreover, the general social fabric and the elite tend to expect this; it becomes socially entrenched and accepted. So the elite are then expected to own and exploit whatever resources and opportunities comes their way.

    But this means you get major problems when the elite of one country comes into conflict with the elite of another country-say over potential oil resources in the South China Sea-because they both automatically assume they have a right to something which is also automatically expected by the other. They are not used to, or willing, to submit to an international legal framework, even though this is really the only practical solution to the problem.

    This sort of thing starts wars, which is sometimes merely the elite of one legal system trying to enforce its’ supposed legal right over another.

    I tend to think that academic institutions and researchers also tend to operate in such a fashion. They also expect the broader legal system to support them, by default, and in many ways it does. You can go round and round in circles trying to correct an academic movement without getting anywhere, because fundamentally the legal and/or other social systems tend to support them in the say way that legal systems support the elite in the third world. In both cases, those involved see nothing wrong with this.

    The only real solution is that there needs to be some sort of independent arbiter to resolve this, otherwise I expect one will never get anywhere, the legal and other supervisory systems exist merely to support the existing order. There is only a relatively small chance that there are effective mechanisms within the existing framework for the system to be self-correcting. Publishing new research is one, but I’m really not sure about legal and other challenges.

  32. wrecktafire
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you, Mr. McIntyre. This is a complex story to tell, and your evident desire to keep it completely in the domain of facts within your area of knowledge is admirable. One hopes that your posts will be remembered when the historians of science get around to this pivotal episode–one in which public regard for environmental science declined markedly.

    As your post says, there are several fascinating offshoots of this topic to be explored: is there a legitimate role for secrecy in science? Do we assume too much about peer review? Can a scientist be an advocate and keep his objectivity? When we do science in the service of policy, is politicization of the science inevitable?

    Thanks, again!

  33. John Archer
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    For those of you who might not know, Mark Steyn will be on the case shortly, presumably after he’s finished loading this latest batch of McIntyre-calibre.

    ~Following that remarkable statement by Dr John Christy about his fellow IPCC author Michael E Mann, Steve McIntyre discusses the question of whether Dr Mann is guilty of “falsification”, as the academic misconduct codes call it. I’ll have more on this in the next couple of days, but do read Steve’s post.
    — from the bottom of this page: http://www.steynonline.com/6326/bringbackourballs

    I do so want MS to r#p MM’s throat out. So to speak. As they say.

    • John Archer
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Doh! I just spotted the trackback link at the bottom. My apologies.

  34. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Imagine if an investigator had “truncated” some data that would help resolve the mass of the neutrino or the existence of dark matter or dark energy. There would be howling. But it seems to me that people often view these temperature reconstructions as just a narrative or story, with one being as good as another (if it supports “the cause”) rather than actual science.

  35. André van Delft
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The green line in the blown-up graph starts to decline around 1940, but it bows and ends horizontally in 1961. In the graph with the untruncated Briffa reconstruction, the decline is steady until about 1975.
    What is the cause of this discrepancy?

    Steve: the combination of truncation and application of Mike’s Nature trick. Mann appears to have truncated to 1950 or so, then for the smooth, padded with instrumental temperatures.

  36. Marc
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Wouldn’t the proxy data have a different temperospatial resolution (not sure if that is the right word) than the instrumental record? Meaning, even if the proxy did not diverge, isn’t it incorrect to use a thermometer record against proxy records that likely mute the amplitude of historical temperature curve due to a lower temporospatial resolution?

    Thanks

    • Scott B
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      There is nothing inherently wrong with having a graph that shows both measured (with thermometers, satellites, or whatever method of scientific measurement is deemed appropriate) temperatures and proxy temperatures calculated from whatever the proxy happens to be provided that the scale is the same for all graphed values and all data is sufficiently and distinctly identified. The last part of the sentence is worth explanation. The graphed values must be represented in the same scale. This is not a point of contention to my knowledge. There is some contention that the values are not distinctly identified as per “Mike’s Nature trick” as well as the convenient endpoint of proxy data.

      To give you a silly example of how one might violate the above, let me take the case of graphing sales of widgets versus bidgets. On the same graph, the sales of widgets is shown in units of 1,000s, but the sale of bidgets is shown in units of 100,000s. In both cases, the graph has time on the horizontal axis and a number on the vertical axis like 1, 2, 3, 4. Even if the lines going along the graph showed bidgets and widgets following a similar pattern, the graph would be misrepresenting the data because bidgets sales would be grossly underrepresented (by a factor of 100). That said, if the idea were to show the trend of changing sales, it would still be a reasonably accurate graph except for the fact that the units should be changed to reflect change in sales instead of sales. Interestingly, global temperatures are often represented by change in temperature instead of actual temperature for a similar reason (I believe the change in temperature is questionable due to bad data, but that is not relevant to the point).

      The above paragraph is NOT what Mann has done in any way. The scale of graphing temperatures was consistent for the measured temperature as well as the proxy temperatures. In that sense, there was nothing wrong done in the graph. That is not to say nothing wrong was done. The Briffa proxy data went beyond 1961, and yet the graph of that data was discontinued at 1961 (or “amputated” if you prefer).

      There is a second issue brought up about the fact that Briffa’s proxy data has no uptick at all at the point just prior to termination at 1961. In the TAR graph (IPCC AR3), the Briffa proxy data curves upward before the arbitrary discontinuation at 1961. Since the original Briffa proxy data has no upward curve at that point (the slope is clearly negative around that time), it is presumed that the graph not only has an arbitrary point of discontinuation, but that the data itself has been somehow changed. “Mike’s Nature trick” is the prevailing theory as to how that was accomplished, though we may never know what was actually done because the people responsible for the graph are not forthcoming in either explanation or data.

      I understand that you may be saying that tree ring proxy data is not as sensitive to temperature as measured data, but that is not what Mann contends. He suggests that as long as all the data is averaged sufficiently as it supposedly is in the hockey stick graph, that all values are accurately represented in the same scale. I would suggest that Mann’s contention is not true, but that is a matter irrelevant to the discussion.

  37. Posted May 12, 2014 at 12:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There’s something odd about the blow-ups of the Mann hockey stick and the Briffa-only graphs: the temperature scales aren’t the same. Mann ranges from ~-0.22 to 0.15 C, while the Briffa scale ranges from -0.5 to 0.1 C. This is puzzling, since the larger Briffa scale actually under-emphasizes the size of the deviation in the tree ring data.

    But it’s also more than a little distressing because it obfuscates something that doesn’t need obfuscation. Scaling things the same for comparison just seems like a no-brainer when you’re trying to make a fair argument. I suspect that this is just the Daily Mail art department not quite understanding what they’re presenting, but it’s too bad to muddy the waters.

  38. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for another intriguing post Steve. I particularly liked the link to John Christy’s essay which I had not read yet. It reminds of how admirable he is as both a human and a scientist. He seems to feel the same way about you.

    You said you accidentally prematurely published this article instead of saving it. I now imagine a vast array of previously saved essays waiting their final touches. This makes it seem like the days leading up to Christmas, anticipating the presents and imagining their contents.

    Steve: I have an embarrassing number of half- 3/4 written posts. In the early days of CA, I had a lot of short posts, but my role over the years has changed towards longer essays. The downside is that these are harder to finish.

    • Jeff Norman
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Now I feel a shiver of antici…

      • Joseph W.
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

        But maybe the rain is really to blame…

  39. PhilH
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    JD Ohio: Thanks for that information re Steve’s advisory role. Howeve, it doesn’t really satisfy my concerns. Here’s the problem. If the attorneys who are going to try this case make a series of mistakes in how they state, say, temperatures were spliced or MIke’s nature trick was used, or any other matter that they wish to point to Mann’s errors or misrepresentations, The judge who tries the case is going to hear Mann’s lawyers and Mann say, “Look, Your Honor, here’s what the defense lawyers said right here in their pleadings and they didn’t get it right. And they’ll give some whitewashed explanation that nails the errors and at the same time protects Mann. Then the defense lawyers will get up and say, well, Your Honor, maybe we didn’t get it quite right but nevertheless, Mann still did these wrong things. At this point the judge is thinking, none of these guys seem to know what they are talking about. There is no way in hell I can straighten this mess out, much less understand what is going on, or find that Mann did commit some kind of fraud? And what’s he or she going to do then. Throw the whole thing out? Call it a draw? Who knows?

    As someone who has tried hundreds of cases, I predict something like this is likely to happen unless the defense lawyers for NR and Steyn get their acts together and straighten out their positions.

    Phil

    Steve: As I mentioned in a comment (and as Steyn mentioned in his blog), I also met with Steyn when he passed through Toronto recently. A question for PhilH: while you point out the need for accuracy on the part of Steyn’s counsel, it seems to me that Mann’s pleadings contain one error after another, some of which I’ve been writing about, especially his false claims about being “exonerated” by the various inquiries. But there are many other inaccuracies.

    • PhilH
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve: I have been reading all your posts on the Mann errors in his pleadings before the court and am therefore aware of most of them; at least to the extent that I understand them. He and his lawyers are of course vulnerable in these particulars. However, at least in the sense that I am concerned with here, which is how the court deals with the complexities of the “Mann Saga,” I am afraid his pleading errors and inaccuracies may well only add to the court’s frustration, and the eventual throwing up the court’s metaphorical hands over the whole thing.

      My suggestion, for what it’s worth, is that the lawyers for both defenses should sit down with you, paid or not, and which ever other experts deemed necessary, and carefully plot out exactly, and bullet pointed, what the errors and inaccuracies are in Mann’s case. I am talking about one or two concise sentences for each, with one or two quite clear sentences as to why they are wrong. Sentences that the lawyers can understand and which, therefore, the court can also understand. In this way, they can plan their presentation and their cross-examination. They should do exactly the same with their own pleadings; so they can understand what and how they need to correct and how to explain what they meant to say to the court.

      I realize that the lawyers involved are no doubt highly skilled and experienced trial lawyers and, if they by chance are reading this, are probably saying to themselves, “We don’t need any advice from this guy. We got it handled.” And they probably have and will; but given the arcane subject, climate science, on which half the world operates on poorly understood and poorly “scienced” information, perhaps these comments from an old judge who has been reading CA everyday now for
      many years, will hopefully be at least somewhat helpful.

      Phil

      Steve: it seems to me that it’s a very difficult case to litigate at finite cost because there are so many issues. In my commentary, I’ve focused on Mann’s false claims about “exoneration” because demonstrating no “actual malice” in the US legal sense seems like the easiest line of argument for a US defendant and one which can be won at summary judgement. I think that there are fraud issues that ought to be closely examined in discovery, but the issues are technical and require that the lawyer have substantive understanding.

      • Posted May 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Helpful exploration of the challenges. Steyn taking a different route from National Review may, one hopes, increase the probability of some kind of success. Maximum use of Steve by both teams, as PhilH says, would be the other obvious factor.

      • pottereaton
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

        PhilH: perhaps Steyn’s column today will help alleviate some of your concerns:

        http://www.steynonline.com/6333/michael-e-mann-liar-cheat-falsifier-and-fraud

        • Posted May 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

          Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan tweeted about that:

          This lawsuit is making @MarkSteynOnline come over all coy and circumspect. Say what you really mean, man!

          Being English he may be being ironic. My only slight quibble with Steyn is not making clear, as Steve does, that John Christy was Mann’s fellow Lead Author of Chapter 2 of TAR Observed Climate Variability and Change. That I think makes this line from Christy dynamite:

          So, at this point, data which contradicted the Hockey Stick, whose creator was the L.A. [Mann], had been eliminated. No one seemed to be alarmed (or in my case aware) that this had been done.

          My emphasis added. It means the IPCC is as firmly in the firing line as Mann:

          If you’re older, tenured, sufficiently eminent and can stand his acolytes jumping you in the parking lot and taking the hockey stick to you, you’ll acknowledge that his greatest achievement is distinguished mainly for its “misrepresentations” and “falsifications”.

          But, if you’re a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes funding, there goes your career: you’ll be cut off like Briffa’s tree rings. I’ve been stunned to learn of the very real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world. That’s why I’m playing this one differently from the Maclean‘s case: Dr Mann will be on the witness stand under oath, and the lies that went unchallenged in the Big Climate echo chamber will not prove so easy to get away with. I didn’t seek this battle with this disreputable man. But, when it’s over, I hope that those who work in this field will once again be free to go where the science leads.

          Other than that quibble, what a worthy goal.

        • pottereaton
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

          Richard: you and other readers might be interested in the following. It’s a blog post by an influential political blogger named John Hinraker, who is also and attorney:

          Michael Mann is a Liar and a Cheat

          The first comment following the post is by one of his associates at the blog and it’s rather humorous.

        • dfhunter
          Posted May 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

          I think the comment by John Christy –

          “So, at this point, data which contradicted the Hockey Stick, whose creator was the I.A. [Mann], had been eliminated. No one seemed to be alarmed (or in my case aware) that this had been done.”

          a bit strange/vague & could be pulled apart if queried (he said she said).

          did he ever add more context to this statement ?

          Steve: the matter does not depend solely on Christy’s testimony. There is copious documentary evidence both in the Climategate emails and in contemporary IPCC documents. The amputation is not a matter of he said/she said; it’s fact. The lack of disclosure in IPCC documents is not a matter of he said/she said; it’s fact. Even before the Climategate emails, the amputation seemed unsavory. It seemed especially unsavory in the context of the emails. Christy’s recollections are additional.

        • Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

          dfhunter: I don’t see what is strange or vague. The key point seems to be that Mann’s fellow-Lead Author didn’t even know about the ‘amputation’ of the offending Briffa data, that Mann made no effort to ensure that he knew. But in any case I wasn’t saying that Christy’s testimony to Congress in March 2011 should be taken ‘as is’ by Steyn and his legal team. Just that there’s a large ‘dig here’.

      • PhilH
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve: I agree with your assessment of thee case. Certainly it would be a much simpler matter if the defenses could prevail on the question of malice; decided on a summary judgment motion. I have never handled a libel case so I am not that familiar with the law. My posts, obviously, were concerned with a larger trial on the fraud issues.

        Should the defenses prevail on summary judgment, the question remains whether Steyn would be satisfied and fold his tent or would he, as he has threatened, continue to pursue his counterclaim and his announced intention to, in effect, show Mann up for what he believes he is. That, I must say, would be interesting.

        Pottereation: Checked out Steyn’s piece. I must say that he seems to have educated himself quite a bit since first becoming involved in this suit. I think it was Judith Curry who said Mann may well end up very sorry he tackled Mark Steyn.

        Steve: I had the same impression. Steyn is showing increasing and considerable command of the details.

  40. nutso fasst
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Read for content not grammar, but noticed this unclosed parenthesis:

    (Although Mann’s pleadings portrayed…

  41. Don B
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Michael E Mann: Liar, Cheat, Falsifier and Fraud”

    Mark Steyn ups the ante.

    http://www.steynonline.com/6333/michael-e-mann-liar-cheat-falsifier-and-fraud

  42. Bill Brent
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The green line in the blown-up graph (that shows tree ring proxy temps between 1900 and 2000) does not cross the 0 degree Celsius line; but the green line in the IPCC graph does cross 0 degrees. Is this discrepancy caused by “the combination of truncation and application of Mike’s Nature trick” as well?

13 Trackbacks

  1. By Watts Up With That? on May 10, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    […] Read the full essay here, well worth your time: http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/09/mann-misrepresents-the-epa-part-1/ […]

  2. […] The scam is outlined here . […]

  3. […] author Michael E Mann, Steve McIntyre discusses the question of whether Dr Mann is guilty of “falsification“, as the academic misconduct codes call it. I’ll have more on this in the next couple […]

  4. By Mann Misrepresents the EPA | WasOut on May 11, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    […] In today’s post, I will return to my series on false claims in Mann’s lawsuit about supposed “exonerations”. ( For previous articles, see here ^).One of the most important misconduct allegations against Mann – the “amputation” of the Briffa reconstruction in IPCC TAR – was discussed recently by Judy Curry, who, in turn, covered Congressional testimony on the incident by John Christy, who had been a Lead Author of the same IPCC TAR chapter and whose recollections of the incident were both first-hand and vivid. Read full article […]

  5. By #BringBackOurBalls | on May 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    […] author Michael E Mann, Steve McIntyre discusses the question of whether Dr Mann is guilty of “falsification“, as the academic misconduct codes call it. I’ll have more on this in the next couple of days, […]

  6. […] Mann Misrepresents the EPA – Part 1 In one of the major graphics in the IPCC 2001 report, declining values of the Briffa reconstruction were deleted (“amputated” is Christy’s apt term), resulting in the figure giving a much greater rhetorical impression of consistency than really existed. This truncation of data had been known (and severely criticized) at Climate AUdit long before Climategate. However, the incident came into an entirely new light with the release of the Climategate emails, which showed that senior IPCC officials had been concerned that the Briffa reconstruction (with its late 20th century decline) would “dilute the message” and that Mann was equally worried that showing the Briffa reconstruction would give “fodder to the skeptics”. […]

  7. By Anonymous on May 11, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    […] […]

  8. […] “indisputable science.” Hmmmm. Perhaps the fellow is correct about his conclusion (not!), but he certainly has quite an attitude about himself and any who dare disagree. We wonder what […]

  9. […] I’ve reproduced the email below, the redactions were in the linked content that Courtney cites. Mann’s claims about dataset splicing are laughable, as even the Muir Russell investigation labeled it as such, as McIntyre notes: […]

  10. By Mark Steyn: #BringBackOurBalls | askmarion on May 12, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    […] author Michael E Mann, Steve McIntyre discusses the question of whether Dr Mann is guilty of “falsification“, as the academic misconduct codes call it. I’ll have more on this in the next couple […]

  11. […] is a fraud and a liar, as well as a bully. To understand why, check out Steve McIntyre’s post at Climate Audit on Mann’s effort, along with others in the alarmist community, to bury the post-1960 tree ring […]

  12. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/09/mann-misrepresents-the-epa-part-1/ […]

  13. […] the CEI allegation and EPA response in respect to this incident at length in a previous article here – I urge interested readers to review this earlier blog […]

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