EOS 2003 Spaghetti Graph

A reader has kindly sent in an Excel spreadsheet here digitizing two series in the Mann et al [EOS 2003] spaghetti graph. It definitely looks as though the Crowley and Lowery version is some sort of transposition of MBH99 (good spotting by Tim Lambert), which definitely enhances the supposed similarity between the two graphs. Jones and Mann [2004] said that EOS 2003 was an incorrect “version” of Crowley and Lowery; however, Mann did not issue a corrigendum at EOS. It seems to me that a transposition of MBH99 does not qualify as a “version” of Crowley and Lowery at all and that the caption in Jones and Mann [2004] , while noting that there was an error in EOS, has misrepresented the nature of the error, perhaps because they wished to avoid embarassment.


  1. Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 8:48 AM | Permalink
  2. Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, the comment above is a bit inaccurate. I meant “it would be interesting if you analyzed their work for us (critically)”. It is mostly a verbal, non-technical article, and the authors are typically those who produce the higher-natural-variations papers. At the end they indicate that if they’re right, then the Kyoto protocol is ingenious except that it is simultaneously a waste of money. 😉 I guess that at least one of these formulations was inserted to make their paper easier to publish.

  3. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Well, the real joke in their paper is that they manage NOT to cite M&M even though they’re the source of this whole rethinking of the proxy record. It’s rather as though someone was having a overview of the progress of relativity theory without ever mentioning Albert Einstein. Of course, it may not be the authors’ fault. It might have been a condition of publication. But the point is that it should have been a condition of publication to cite M&M.

  4. TCO
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    I agree that they have misrepresented the error (or deliberately been vague). A whole different series (MBH) is not an “inccrrect version” of Crowley.

  5. IL
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    #3 Dave. Absolutely my first thought. The first sentence is “Persisting controversy (Regalado, 2005) surrounding a pioneering northern hemisphere temperature reconstruction (Mann et al., 1999) indicates the importance of such records to understand our changing climate.” Regalado is in the Wall St Journal – no reference to peer reviewed papers criticising Mann et al., 1999, no M&M or anyone else like von Storch & Zorita. Whatever were the journal editors thinking of? That looks like deliberate omission and deliberate snub. Poor journal editing or policy.

  6. John A
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Deliberate snub. How can you possibly name a newspaper journalist as a scientific citation? You’ll notice that in the Sci Am article I commented on some time ago, neither Appel nor Mann could bring themselves to utter the words “McIntyre” or “McKitrick”

  7. Louis Hissink
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    It get worse – Jerry Brennan on the John Daly site has recently raised the issue of significant errors created in the very process of measuring daily max-min temperatures, http://www.john-daly.com/tob/TOBSUMC.HTM.

    It reminds me about the argument of how many angels one might fit on a pinhead.

  8. Ian Castles
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #5 and #6. The failure to refer to peer-reviewed papers criticising Mann et al 1999 in the Esper, Moberg et al Quarternary Science Reviews is analogous to the failure to refer to peer-reviewed papers criticing the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios in Manne, Alan S, Richard G Richels and James A Edmonds, “Market Exchange Rates or Purchasing Power Parity: Does the Choice Make a Difference to the Climate Debate”, in the July 2005 issue of “Climatic Change” (a journal edited by Stephen Schneider of Stanford University).

    The abstract of the paper states that “Critics of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Emission Scenarios claim that the use of market exchange rates (MER) rather than purchasing power parity (PPP) to measure gross domestic product (GDP) has led to a significant upward bias in projections of greenhouse gas emissions, and hence unrealistically high future temperature”, but none of the papers by the critics are cited and none of the critics are mentioned by name. The paper cites “The Economist 2003. Economics Focus, 17 February 2003” (a report in the British weekly on the Castles and Henderson criticisms).

    The recent report of the House of Lords Committee on The Economics of Climate Change stated that, in raising the issue of the use of MER in the SRES, Professor Henderson and Mr Castles had “helped to generate a valuable literature that calls into question a whole series of issues relating to the IPCC SRES, not just the issue of MER and PPP” (para. 53). For a listing of some of this literature, see footnotes 50, 52, 53 and 54 on p. 33 of the Committee’s report.

    Just as neither Appel nor Mann could bring themselves to mention “McIntyre” or “McKitrick”, the authors of the paper in “Climatic Change” could not utter the names “Castles” or “Henderson”.

  9. TCO
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Could you get over your bad self? Sheesh. Take a step back and read what you just wrote. It’s not all about you…

  10. JerryB
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    For those who might use the link that Louis posted, there are some pertinent prefatory comments at the link http://www.john-daly.com/tob/TOBSUM.HTM .

  11. Ian Castles
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    RE #9. Yes, I’ve read what I said and I stand by it. The original Manne and Richels paper, cited as a draft which was available from Manne or Richels in a Union of Concerned Scientists paper that Senator Liebermann sent to Republican colleagues in July 2003 (and still available on Stephen Schneider’s website) was directed specifically at rejecting the Castles and Henderson criticism of the IPCC emissions scenarios – yet it made no mention of Castles and Henderson. We are the critics that were referred to in the first sentence of the abstract of all versions of the paper (including the peer-reviewed version that finally appeared in July 2005) and we have never been mentioned by name. The case is precisely analogous to the analogies cited in #3 and #5 above.

  12. per
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    it’s worth noting that steve posted on the QSR paper on 9/10/2005.

    If you search this site for esper, you get some interesting links; so it wouldn’t surprise me if Esper is a full-fledged member of the Hockey team.

    Given that the QSR paper was submitted May ’05, it isn’t that surprising they don’t cite M&M, but still; they cited regalado. The practice of not citing authors because you don’t like them, or wish to deny them the oxygen of publicity, is not cricket !

  13. Ian Castles
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, it was Senator McCain who circulated the UCS paper citing a Manne and Richels draft paper (of May 2003) to his Senate colleagues, not Senator Liebermann – the letter is at stephenschneider.stanford.edu/ Publications/PDF_Papers/McCainLetter.pdf . The submission to the House of Lords Committee by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of 1 March 2005 cited another draft of the Manne and Richels paper as a “manuscript, August 20, 2003)”. As the IPCC decision that the SRES scenarios were suitable for use in AR4 followed an informal meeting of selected experts at Potsdam on 31 August 2003 (just 11 days after the date of the manuscript cited by Defra), and that meeting was convened by the Chairman of the IPCC specifically to consider how to handle the Castles and Henderson criticisms, it’s naive to believe that the “critics” referred to in the first word of the abstract were not C&H. It may have been a condition of publication of the MR&E paper in “Climatic Change” that no papers on the MER vs PPP issue that had been published in “Energy & Environment” were to be cited (cf. #3 above). But the HoL Committee cited 6 such papers and at least some of these should have been referenced in the MR&E paper. This is a clear case of wishing to deny Castles and Henderson the oxygen of publicity (cf 12 above).

  14. Louis Hissink
    Posted Dec 5, 2005 at 10:29 PM | Permalink



    I thought I had that linked, sorry Jerry 🙂

  15. Louis Hissink
    Posted Dec 9, 2005 at 9:26 PM | Permalink


    Off topic I suppose but Benny listed this paper http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2005GL024476.shtml

    “A new test is presented that avoids this problem. From a practical standpoint, however, it may be preferable to acknowledge that the concept of statistical significance is meaningless when discussing poorly understood systems.”

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