Boulton Associate Archives Data

Boulton’s Hockey Team associate, Gabi Hegerl, archived the proxy versions used in Hegerl et al 2007 in February 2010 – see here . I’ve discussed this reconstruction in earlier CA posts. Boulton used Hegerl’s Hockey Stick in the Royal Society of Edinburgh submission on Copenhagen.

I’ve had the proxy versions for a couple of years. I originally requested this data in September 2005 in my capacity as an IPCC peer reader – IPCC WG1 Chairman threatened to expel me as a peer reviewer for the temerity of asking for unarchived data for an unpublished study. However with some persistence, Hegerl emailed me the data in 2007.

The reconstruction versions were archived a few months ago in September 2009, but this is the first that I’ve seen this file. Previous archived versions only went back to 1251. There are new digital files (referred to in Hegerl et al 2007, but previously unarchived) that go back to 946 and 558.

In Boulton’s Copenhagen paper, he says:

Several independent estimations have now been made of the global or hemispheric average temperatures for the last two millennia. Figure 3 is one of these [Hegerl], and shows that the late 20th Century warming has been rapid and large compared with earlier periods (note that this is independent of the University of East Anglia reconstruction, about which there has recently been much controversy).

Boulton is, of course, totally wrong that this is “independent of the University of East Anglia reconstruction, about which there has recently been much controversy”.

The longest reconstruction illustrated in Boulton’s Figure 3 is a composite of 5 series: Mann’s PC1 (falsely identified by Boulton associates Hegerl and Crowley as “an RCS processed tree-ring composite used in Mann et al. (1999)” – it is provably the PC1; Briffa’s Tornetrask series used in MBH and Jones et al 1998; a Greenland O18 record used in MBH99 and in Jones et al 1998; Briffa’s Taymir series; and the Yang composite (heavily influenced by Thompson’s Dunde series). Later, Briffa’s Yamal is added in (mixed with some other series that Crowley has failed to identify for a number of years now). Jacoby’s Mongolia and some strip-bark foxtails.

The Hegerl reconstruction is not “independent” of the University of East Anglia reconstruction (whatever that supposedly means).

Perhaps Boulton’s associates decided to cooper up their archiving now that Boulton is participating in the Jones inquiry, perhaps it’s just coincidence. In either case, it’s welcome. Maybe in another couple of years, we’ll find out what’s in the west Siberian series.


  1. sam mccomb
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    It may be coincidental but i wrote to Edinburggh University on 5 January this year asking if Hegerle had archived her data. I have had no reply and was getting ready to write again. Is there other stuff of Hegerle that you want? It might be more readily available. I think it is possible that there is slightly more readiness to engage, -snip terminology

  2. justbeau
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Permalink


    • justbeau
      Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

      Over-editorializing? Moi? C’est la vie.

  3. Grumpy Old Man
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    What is wrong with these people that they consistently make dogmatic statements that are, shall we say, easily challengeable?

    snip – language

  4. Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    The original “Team” members should be encouraged to join THIS “team.” Maybe that would bring about more archiving of long-hidden data.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

      Re: MarkB (Feb 13 16:11), Maybe, but not in too much of a hurry it seems! Still it is a start on openness.
      Overall attitude betrayed does not bode well for enquiry I fear.

    • P Solar
      Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

      The articles in telegraph and mail seem to be based on BBC interview with P Jones.

      This looks like a tsumani moment for AGW.

  5. dearieme
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Sometimes, Mr McIntyre, you are so restrained in your posts that I find it difficult to see exactly who has been telling you porkie pies.
    “Boulton is, of course, totally wrong..”: well, perhaps it was mistake rather than a falsehood.
    “…falsely identified by Boulton associates Hegerl and Crowley..”: might that too be an innocent error?
    I suppose we must accept that the motives for bad science aren’t settled.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

      Re: dearieme (Feb 13 16:11),

      To say someone is wrong is different from saying he was lying. Steve has plenty of evidence that the two papers aren’t independent as they use many of the same datasets.

      Likewise with the false identification of Mann’s PC1.

      I’m not quite sure if you’re accusing Steve of being too harsh or too lenient, but your last sentence is correct.

      • Richard Sharpe
        Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

        I think it is the difference between American usage and British/Australian usage.

        I too thought that using false gives the impression of accusing Boulton of intentionally making an incorrect statement rather than mistakenly making an incorrect statement.

        • Richard Sharpe
          Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

          Hmmm, I see I misread the statement, and that it was not Boulton who falsely identified anything, rather it was Hegerl and Crowley.

          However, I would not have used falsely; I would prefer incorrectly as this does not imply anything with respect to intent, and as I recall, Steve is a stickler for not implying or imputing intent.

  6. deadwood
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    It seems the definition for Independent has changed at some point to “use the same data, but call it something else”.

    • JEM
      Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

      It is quite possible that Boulton has no knowledge of the actual content, but was assured by others (or just assumed from reading something somewhere) that it was in fact independent.

      The corollary to the old line about “never attribute to malfeasance what can be explained by incompetence” is that the end results are often indistinguishable from one another, and that simply isn’t good enough when the stakes are as great as they are here.

      Steve: Of course the most reasonable explanation is that Boulton thought that he knew what he was talking about (but didn’t.)

      • Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

        The problem is, if you claim to know, you have the responsibility to know. You can always say that you don’t know, and remain safe. In the case of Philip Campbell, he said “I made the remarks in good faith on the basis of media reports of the leaks.” In other words, he claims that he didn’t actually know, but the media made him do it. Not an excuse. If you only have media reports, you reserve judgment and keep your pie-hole shut. Once you make the assertion, you own it.

      • Manfred
        Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

        the assumption of incompetence isn’t good enough for a member of the investigation panel.

        either incompetence may continue to bias his judgements, or, otherwise, another enabler may again deliberately derail a fair judgement.

      • Mike Blackadder
        Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

        I also admire Steve’s restraint, though don’t understand interpreting this as an honest mistake.

        They made a point of declaring this reconstruction to be independent from the controversial reconstruction when in fact it is not at all independent. It seems strange to acknowledge the controversy only for the sake of publishing a careless error about the origins of the reconstruction. The more obvious explanation is that this falsehood is calculated as being very convenient when trying to salvage the credibility of the hockey stick given the controversy, and that it is unlikely that many people will notice or call them on this lie.

      • stephen richards
        Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

        Can I change your remark please? You are such a gentlemen.

        Steve: Of course the most GENEROUS explanation is that Boulton knew what he was talking about (but didn’t.)

  7. Charles DrPH
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    Nice article in the Telegraph, titled “World may not be warming, say scientists”…

    Well, NOW they tell us! Considering how the global warming debate was so set into stone, this stuff is just amazing to see!

    • Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

      Read to the end. The Fabulous Vicky Pope says…. it’s…worse…than…we…thought!

      Wasn’t La Vicky just telling climate scientists to back off the drama?

    • BillyBob
      Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

      Kevin Trenberth “It’s not just temperature rises that tell us the world is warming… snow cover in the northern hemisphere has declined.”

      Yet there is snow cover in 49 of 50 states and:

      “This is after a month that saw the most snow cover for any December in North America in the 43 years that records have been kept. And then came January 2010, which ranked No. 8 among all months for North American snow cover, with more than 7.03 million square miles of white.

      The all-time record is February 1978, with 7.31 million square miles. There is a chance this February could break that. There is also a chance that this could go down as the week with the most snow cover on record, Robinson said.”

      January 2008 Northern Hemisphere snow cover had the largest anomaly since 1966.

      Wow. When the team gets it wrong … they really get it wrong. And then claim they got it right.

  8. TurkeyLurkey
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    Here’s 2 more boulton pages;

    Click to access boulton_slides.pdf

    Click to access fst_summary.pdf

    Steve: Both already linked in the post.

  9. Dirk
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Instead of using the word “independent”, these guys should use the word “unidentical”- that would seem correct, as the names at minimum are changed.

  10. TGSG
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    I’m sure there is some emotion hiding deep inside Mr. McIntyre, surely sometimes exasperation and anger. If that’s so, why do I find myself smiling so much when I read these posts?

  11. Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Geoffrey Boulton sets the tone for his tednetious powerpoint slides with the first, showing water vapour emissions from power station cooling towers as if they were actually CO2:

    Click to access boulton_slides.pdf

    The rest seldom rises above that level, until by the end the nonsense becomes palpable: if there is one country that has nothing to fear from some warming it is Scotland but Boulton calls for drastic measures to offset inter alia health effects of warming whereas mortality rates could only improve in Glasgow and Edinburgh with warmer winters. Finally he ends with the childishly wrong statement that “CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 70 to 120 years”. Boulton clearly has no understanding that the CO2 in the atmosphere is in constant flux, with gross turnover rates from surface to atmosphere and back again of at least 25% p.a. but with constant recycling such that the probability of any single molecule being in the atmosphere for as long as ten years is nil. To be fair Boulton is no worse than any other climate scientists with their nil comprehension of inventory analysis – one thinks of UEA’s Le Quere and Australia’s Canadell in this context.

  12. Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 4:48 AM | Permalink


    • Gary
      Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

      A robust 108 meters. Down the decline, no less. It’s better than we thought.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steven Mosher (Feb 14 04:48),

      I’m not trying to be religious here; I wonder whether Ammann might have stashed a snippet of the Jesus Paper on himself before he launched down that Tijandered, hockey-stick slope. Poor Phil, he could only take the lifts up and back.

  13. Dave McK
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    no, Steve- that’s Simon.
    the one you’re thinking of posts on the as ammannfrommars, I think.

  14. 3Ms
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    I know this is OT, apologies, snip

  15. stephen richards
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink


    BOULTON’s gone. Delingpole today. He now has his sights on the BP guy. It’s chaos!!

    • ML
      Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

      link ?, reference?,
      do not get me wrong, I’m sceptic. LOL

      • ML
        Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

        I’ve just noticed that the post I was commenting on, disapeared, so please delete my comment also

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