More broken hockey stick fallout: Audit of an Audit of an Auditor

http://www.blisstree.com/files/232/2008/11/magnifying-glass.jpgFor those that don’t read a lot of the WUWT comments closely, there has been a scholarly argument going on between  Tom P of the UK and several WUWT commentators over the methodology Steve McIntyre used to illustrate the “breathtaking difference” between the plot of  the hand picked set of 12 Yamal trees and the larger Schweingruber tree ring data set also from Yamal. Tom P. reworked Steve’s R-code script (which he posted on WUWT) to include both the 12 excluded and the Schweingruber and  thought he found “insensitivity to additional data”, saying “There is no broken hockeystick”.

Jeff Id audited the auditor of an auditor and found that Steve’s work still holds up “robustly”. – Anthony


Jeff Id writes on The Air Vent

Just a short post tonight I hope. Tom P, an apparent believer in the hockey stick methods posted an entertaining reply to Steve McIntyre’s recent discoveries on Yamal. He used R code to demonstrate a flaw in SteveM’s method. His post was on WUWT, brought to my attention by Charles the moderator and is copied here where he declares victory over Steve.

Tom P writes on WUWT:

===========

Steve McIntryre’s [sic] reconstructions above are based on adding an established dataset, the Schweingruber Yamal sample instead of the “12 trees used in the CRU archive”. Steve has given no justification for removing these 12 trees. In fact they probably predate Briffa’s CRU analysis, being in the original Russian dataset established by Hantemirov and Shiyatov in 2002.

One of Steve’s major complaint about the CRU dataset was that it used few recent trees, hence the need to add the Schweingruber series. It was therefore rather strange that towards the end of the reconstruction the 12 living trees were excluded only to be replaced by 9 trees with earlier end dates.

I asked Steve what the chronology would look like if these twelve trees were merged back in, but no plot was forthcoming. So I downloaded R, his favoured statistical package, and tweaked Steve’s published code to include the twelve trees back in myself. Below is the chronology I posted on ClimateAudit a few hours ago.

TomP s plot. Source: http://img80.yfrog.com/img80/1808/schweingruberandcrud.png

TomP' s plot. Click to enlarge Source: http://img80.yfrog.com/img80/1808/schweingruberandcrud.png

The red line is the RCS chronology calculated from the CRU archive; black is the chronology calculated using the Schweingruber Yamal sample and the complete CRU archive. Both plots are smoothed with 21-year gaussian, as before. The y-axis is in dimensionless chronology units centered on 1.

It looks like the Yamal reconstruction published by Briffa is rather insensitive to the inclusion of the additional data. There is no broken hockeystick.

=============
Jeff Id writes:
He did a fantastic job in reworking R code to create an improved hockey stick graph. To see his code the link is here.
.
tomp
Jeff Id’s version of TomP’s graph – Click to expand
I spent some time tonight looking at his results. Time planned for analyzing Antarctic sea ice. I found that essentially the only difference in the operating functions of the code is the following line.
.
Steve M —- tree=rbind(yamal[!temp,],russ035)
Tom P —– tree=rbind(yamal,russ035)
.

The !temp in Steve’s line removes 12 series of Yamal for the average while Tom’s version includes it. I’m all for inclusion of all data, but I am a firm believer that Briffa’s data is probably a cherry picked set of trees to match temp or something. Therefore by inclusion of the sorted Briffa Yamal version, we have an automatic exclusion of data which would otherwise balance the huge trend. However, this is not the problem with Tom’s result. The problem lies in this plot, also created by Tom P’s code.

tompcntTom P’s Yamal Reconstruction – Count per Year. Click to Expand

Here is the zoomed in version:

tompcntzoom

Above we can see that everything in TomP’s curve after 1990 is actually 100% Briffa Yamal data.

So the question becomes – What does the series look like if the Yamal data doesn’t create the ridiculous spike at the end the curve?

I truncated the black line at 1990 below.

tomptruncsh

The black line is truncated at the end of the Schweingruber data and it looks pretty similar to the graph presented in the green line by Steve McIntyre again below.

rcs_merged_rev[1]
Don’t be too hard on Tom P, he honestly did a great job and took the time to work with the R script which is more than most are willing to. Steve is a very careful worker though and it’s damn near impossible to catch him making mistakes. Trust a serious skeptic, it’s not easy to find mistakes in his work and some of us check him just as I spent over an hour checking Tom’s work. In my opinion Tom deserves congratulations for his efforts and checking, this way we all learn.

I’ve now been all the way through SteveM’s scripts from beginning to end and can’t find any problems with the script, maybe others can!


Steve McIntyre adds in WUWT comments :

Steve McIntyre (21:35:13)

Here is some conclusive evidence in respect to the following misrepresentation by Tom:

Steve McIntyre said they may well have been just the most recent part of Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s dataset and no selection would have been made.

In my first post in this sequence http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142, I identified a common pattern to the IDs for cores and observed:

There are 252 distinct series in the CRU archive. There are 12 IDs consisting of a 3-letter prefix, a 2-digit tree # and 1-digit core#. All 12 end in 1988 or later and presumably come from the living tree samples. The nomenclature of these core IDs url (POR01…POR11; YAD04…YAD12; JAH14…JAH16 – excluding the last digit of the ID here as it is a core #) suggests to me that there were at least 11 POR cores, 12 YAD cores and 16 JAH cores.

It is “possible” that they skipped ID numbers, but this is a farfetched theory even for Tom. As surmised here, the missing ID numbers are “evidence” of at least 39 cores and that the present archive is not only too small, but incomplete.

=========

and also this comment:

Steve McIntyre (20:13:22)

I am online too much, but I am not online 24/7. I’ve been out playing squash. Surely I’m allowed to be offline occasionally without a poster commenting adversely on this.
While I was out, CA crashed as well. Thus, it was “quiet.

Contrary to Tom’s speculations and misrepresentation of my statements, it is my opinion that there is considerable evidence that the 12 cores are not a complete population i.e. that they have been picked form a larger population. Rather than quote form actual text, Tom puts the following words in my mouth that I did not say:

Steve McIntyre said they may well have been just the most recent part of Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s dataset and no selection would have been made.

This is not my view.

The balance of Tom’s argument is:

No, they are the twelve most recent cores. There’s been no evidence provided to suggest they are in any way suspect. ..There is no obvious reason to exclude them.

I disagree. I do not believe that they constitute a complete population of recent cores. As a result, I believe that the archive is suspect. There is every reason to exclude them in order to carry out a sensitivity as I did. The sensitivity study showed very different results. I do not suggest that the sensitivity run be used as an alternative temperature history. Right now, there are far too many questions attached to this data set to propose any solution to the sampling conundrum. It’s only been a couple of days since the lamentable size of the CRU sample became known and it will take a little more time yet to assess things.

Reasons why I “suspect” that a selection was made from a larger population include the following. A field dendro could take 12 cores in an hour. We took a lot more than that at Mt Allegre and a field dendro could be far more efficient. Thus, it seems very unlikely that the entire population of cores from the Yamal program is only 12 cores and on this basis, it is my surmise that a selection was taken from the cores. Standard dendro procedures use all crossdated cores and definitely use more than 10 cores if they are available.

This doesn’t “prove” that a selection was made, but it is reasonable to “suspect” that a selection was made and to ask CRU and their Russian associates to provide a clear statement of their protocols. There’s no urgency to do anything prior to receiving a statement of their sampling protocols. For this purpose, it doesn’t matter a whit whether the selection was made by the Russians or at CRU or a combination. In my first post on this matter – which Tom appears not to have read, I canvass the limited evidence for and against. There is certainly evidence supporting the idea that the 12 cores were among 17 selected by the Russians, but in other parts of the data set, the CRU population is larger than that used in the Hantemirov and Shiyatov chronology. The construction of the CRU data set is not described in any literature; the description in Hantemirov and Shiyatov has something to do with it, but doesn’t yield the CRU data data set. Some sort of reconciliation is required.

In addition, the age distribution of the CRU 12 is very different than the age distribution from the nearby Schweingruber population. In my opinion, the uniformly high age of the CRU12 relative to the Schweingruber population is suggestive of selection – in this respect, perhaps and even probably by the Russians. Again this isnt proof. Maybe they were just lucky 12 straight times and, unlike Schweingruber, they got very long-lived trees with every core. Without documentaiton, no one knows. In any event, this doesn’t help the Briffa situation. If these things are temperature proxies, the results from two different nearby populations should not be so different and protocols need to be established for ensuring that the age distribution of the modern sample is relatively homogeneous with the subfossil samples (and they aren’t.)

The prevailing dendro view is that an RCS chronology requires a much larger population than a “conventional” standardization. Thus, even if the data set had been winnowed down to 10 cores in 1990 and 5 cores at the end, this is an absurdly low population for modern cores, which are relatively easily obtained. Use of such small replication is inconsistent with Briffa’s own methodological statements.

Tom also misses a hugely important context. There is a nearby site (Polar Urals) with an ample supply of modern core. Indeed, at one time, Briffa used Polar Urals to represent this region. My original question was whether there was a valid reason for substituting Yamal for Polar Urals. The microscopic size of the modern record suggests that there was not a valid reason. However, this tiny sample size was not known to third parties until recently due to Briffa’s withholding of data, not just from me, but also to D’Arrigo, Wilson et al.

Until details of the Yamal selection process are known, my sense right now is that one cannot blindly assume – as Tom does – that what we see is a population. Maybe this will prove to be the case, but personally I rather doubt it. A better approach is to use the Polar Urals data set as a building block.

As to Tom’s argument that none of this “matters”, the Yamal data set has a bristlecone-like function in a number of reconstructions. While the differences between the versions may not seem like a lot to Tom, as someone with considerable experience with this data, it is my opinion that the revisions will have a material impact on the medieval-modern difference in the multiproxy studies that do not depend on strip bark bristlecones.

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126 Responses to More broken hockey stick fallout: Audit of an Audit of an Auditor

  1. philincalifornia says:

    Steve McIntyre (20:13:22)

    I am online too much, but I am not online 24/7. I’ve been out playing squash. Surely I’m allowed to be offline occasionally without a poster commenting adversely on this.
    While I was out, CA crashed as well. Thus, it was “quiet.
    ————————–

    Yeah right !!! You were sleeping off a champagne-induced hangover.

    Actually, I believe you, but congratulations with glasses raised is certainly in order. Massive perseverance, massive result.

  2. Al says:

    Following Tom P’s plan for the Greybill area would require the inclusion of Ababneh’s data. Which, if I recall correctly, has a similar lack of hockeystick. Divergence here

  3. Ray says:

    So, let me get this straight… the faith of our economy and politics rest in a few dozen old trees somewhere that grew in a limited little spot on the earth?
    UFB!

  4. paullm says:

    For myself, I can only summarize this still ongoing 19 year episode by saying: Damn, you guys, Jeff, Ross and very especially Steve, in this case are great!

    Phenomenal!….May the hijacking of climate change science be denied by basic, honest, thorough scrutiny and be a grand lesson that will vindicate Science in the eyes of laymen who otherwise may scorn it as a result of feeling betrayed by it through a Media/Government hyped “scientific” AGW Alarmist “Consensus”.

    ‘Let them die by their sword’

  5. Michael says:

    CO2 is not the culprit, it is not the cause of global warming and climate change, nor is it a pollutant.

    CO2 is an integral part of their strategy to control the world. Who are they? They are the Bilderbergs and the global wealthy elite human beings of the planet who’s only desire is to rule the whole entire place.

    There is no basis for claiming CO2 causes global warming, now referred to climate change. There is no basis in fact or science. All your bases Bildreberg’s are belong to us.

  6. Bulldust says:

    I think I am going to have to forward some links to Senator Fielding as ammunition against the CPRS in Australia. Yes the Aussie Government has the temerity to call their version of an ETS a “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.”

    At least Fielding has the proverbial pair to call the other politicians to account for the lack of warming in the last decade despite increasing CO2 levels. Maybe he should take a broken hockey stick into parliament as a prop.

  7. Richard says:

    “Don’t be too hard on Tom P, he honestly did a great job..”

    That is being charitable to the extreme. The guy was clutching at straws.

    Tom P is desperate to find some fault with Steve McIntyre’s destruction of the Briffa hockey stick. So much rests on these little pieces of wood. The IPCC spaghetti graphs, the Current Warm Period’s unprecedented warmth, the whole climate alarmism industry.

    First he tried to justify the cherry picking by saying “I am rather at a loss to see what all of the fuss is about. A tree-ring series that demonstrably does not reflect the recorded temperature has not been included in a reconstruction.”

    and repeatedly tried to defend this position (like the Alamo?) until shot down by the “Texas sharpshooters” on CA

    At one point he posted that “The excellent correlation between the two Yamal datasets strengthens confidence in both before 1850.”

    It was pointed out by Steve McIntyre that that “excellent correlation” between the two datasets was perhaps due to the fact that they were exactly the same. They weren’t in the the 19th and 20th centuries and there the “correlation” kinda broke down. I mean one graph goes up and the other down even I could see that.

    The statement that Tom P is “honest” is perhaps marginally more “robust” than saying the MWP didnt exist.

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    It is amazing to me that folks all over the world have spent many hours of the last two days reading about trees. Steve M., Jeff Id, Tom P., and others have carried on a peer review of each other in near real-time. What would have taken years to do in paper journals has occurred in just a few days. Fantastic!

    However, I am saddened by the need for all of this because of the lack of cooperation and sharing among research scientists.

    Both stories are still being played out – and I’m reading as fast as I can in the time that I have. Steve, Jeff, Anthony, please take some more time off. Find a harvest festival or something else to do for half-a-day. I’ve got some outside chores to do before it snows. Please.

  9. Frederick Michael says:

    Congratulations to Tom P also. This blog wouldn’t be what it is without dissent. Tom has added something of inestimable value.

    Those blogs that do not permit dissent are now realizing that their existence adds nothing.

    REPLY: Well put. We welcome debate here as long as people leave the labeling and name calling at the door. While I may not agree with Tom P. he has been civil and stuck to facts. – Anthony

  10. Michael says:

    At least the Buildeberg’s got a consolation prize. It’s called the Internet. They wanted a controlled collectivist society? Well the got it. Here we are.

  11. Richard says:

    Please read Bishop Hill’s layman’s summary of the Yamal affair . The Yamal implosion – its fantastic gives the whole sordid saga of the Briffa affair.

  12. Jeff Id says:

    Richard,

    Tom made a point with code and calculation and transparency which is unusual for the agw class. After this post I was informed by an email that he is actually quite skilled in math so I’m currently wondering how he missed these not insignificant details.

    Hopefully he will stop by and explain.

    Perhaps I was overly gracious to his work, but consider how fast Steig et al would have gone if we had the code and data. With openness, honesty is guaranteed, and Tom was open.

  13. steven mosher says:

    Now of course Tom will say that I tricked him into running Steve’s code without understanding that one series ended in 1990 or that we laid a trap for him. Folks should consider Tom’s ability to understand statistics and data analysis from this example. When he makes an argument about cherry picking or blathers on about it not mattering, remember this episode. You know Tom, when I looked at your code and saw that only difference…Let’s just say I grinned. Congrats to Jeff Id for the lightning fast debunking. ha, and u know what, all he did was run your code and zoom in on your graph. THATS ELEGANT.

  14. Claude Harvey says:

    Not just any old tree can be a “temperature tree.” Apparently, you really have to dig through the pile to find a genuine temperature tree and for that you need a “tree-talker” to interview those trees. He asks them, “Are you a temperature tree?”

    If they answer,”Yes”, he knows they’re lying through their bark.

    He knows he has a real temperature tree on his hands when he asks his question and the tree answers, “No, I’m a hockey stick.”

  15. Michael says:

    It should be called the “Yamal Briffa Affair”. Maybe for the movie?

  16. Bulldust says:

    I am willing to bet this gets very little media exposure, despite the implications. I did send off a quick email to Senator Fielding, and cc’d Prof Bob Carter for good measure. Not sure what good it will do, but getting the ammunition into the right hands is half the battle methinks.

  17. Michael says:

    You can’t control the Internet just like you can’t control the weather.

  18. TonyB says:

    John F. Hultquist (23:10:34) said :

    “It is amazing to me that folks all over the world have spent many hours of the last two days reading about trees. Steve M., Jeff Id, Tom P., and others have carried on a peer review of each other in near real-time. What would have taken years to do in paper journals has occurred in just a few days. Fantastic!”

    I agree. I often make the point that I positively welcome the input here of intelligent warmists such as TomP and Joel Shore.

    TomP has taken the time and trouble to defend his well known position, so all credit to him. Open debate and accepting the rights and wrongs-whatever side you are on-is an essential part of science. However, open debate seems to have been lost as scientists have painted themselves into a corner over the years and face risking damaging their reputation (and perhaps personal beliefs) if they admit they were wrong.

    Well done TomP and Jeff Id and the others involved in achieving something that would take the conventional peer review process two years to achieve. Perhaps online scientific debate and peer review is at last coming of age.

    tonyb

  19. ROM says:

    As a layman and with only a limited understanding on the way science is published in the major science journals can I ask, just what will be the fallout from Steve McIntyre’s demolition of Briffa’s paper and by inference the rest of the “Team’s” climate papers on the standing of the “Science” and “Nature” publications in the general science community?

    These publications and their responsible editors had after all, the power to demand the full archiving of ALL relevant material on each and every one of those papers.
    Yet they have repeatedly refused to enforce this power and the requirement to archive all relevant material that backed the various paper’s conclusions from the various members of the Team and they have apparently refused to do so for a very extended number of years.
    And this despite their own requirements that the public archiving of this material and data backing a paper’s conclusions was a part of the obligation imposed on the authors of those papers if they wanted to be published.
    Furthermore, the Editors of Science and Nature repeatedly avoided imposing their own stated standards and requirements for publication on the Team’s authors even after being heavily and repeatedly prodded by McIntyre and others.

    The backlash, the fallout and the doubts that must now be raised about the accuracy and scientific truthfulness of Nature and Science must now have a possibly devastating impact on the veracity of these publications.

    Surely these “science” publications have failed dismally in their obligations to science and to the public who pay for that science and have abrogated that unwritten contract with the science community to provide the rock solid, open and scientific foundation that supposedly backs every paper they publish.

    Even worse, the “Science” and “Nature” publications have either unwittingly or deliberately allowed the whole gamut of this scam to roll on for over a decade until our society is faced with draconian legislation and heavy economic penalties which are based on what is now demonstrably false data and a deliberately promulgated scam of epic proportions.

    The responsible editors in these publications should be asked by their governing boards for their immediate resignations as they have had within their power for a decade or more, the means to provide this all important data and computations on Briffa’s, Jones and other “Team” authors of the various climate papers but have failed totally to enforce the open publication of this data.

    As has been demonstrated by one single dedicated and unpaid member of the public, Steve McIntyre, and in only a few days of work, full access to this all important data and computations backing these so called climate research papers could have stopped this whole nauseous political and economic landslide scam in it’s tracks and truth would have prevailed.

    And will Science and Nature now demand without exception, the unabridged, full and complete data and documentation that underlies each and every paper they have published by Team members over the last decade?
    Will they withdraw those papers if this backing material is not immediately supplied in full without any caveats, by the authors?
    Or will they just continue on in their role as co-conspirators in this whole scam until their credibility no longer exists?

    Science and Nature are just as culpable in this whole scam as are the actual authors of these papers which are now known to be based on cherry picked and completely misleading data.

  20. TonyB says:

    ROM

    Great post. I think we are at a stage where mere facts are incidental to the great AGW bandwagon. Those currently driving it-politicians and scientists-have no intention of jumping off it. I suspect its eventual derailing will come via the media, as members of the public start to ask questions when extra costs and loss of freedoms are imposed on them.

    The UK is unfortunately ahead of the game on this, and we are being faced with a plethora of new ‘green’ taxes. It has also been seriously suggested we have a personal carbon allowance.

    We now need the climate to play its part-that is the great imponderable- as our modest period of natural warming since the end of the Litle Ice Age may well have more years to run if we look at historical precedence.

    If the weather cools it becomes easier to get over our message-if it remains warm it is more difficult.

    tonyb

  21. Juraj V. says:

    Actually, the green “merged” curve in the last graph quite resembles temperature reconstruction by Loehle for example: pronounced MWP, LIA and present relatively warm times, but still bellow MWP.

    The final way to resolve the puzzle is to obtain all tree series from Yamal area and create an average curve of all of them. CRU boys obviously picked up only the hockey ones.

  22. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Am I to understand that a major contributor to our assertions on ‘hockey stick’ runaway ‘global warming’ is not directly measured temperature data using a Stevenson Box (or whatever you use to measure temperatures in winter in deepest Siberia), but a series of TREE RINGS?

    Given that we are talking about temperature changes, across the globe, of less than one degree centigrade, does it not strike a lot of people as odd that an argument of such magnitude, partisanship, certitudes and career-threatening ego-trips is to be based on a set of data PROXIES?

    I have to say that the world can wait 50 years for 100 years of reliable direct measurements, be they by satellite or by land-based measurement (which should happen anyway to validate/detect deviations in the sensor-based satellite approach), rather than tear itself to pieces when the evidence, viewed dispassionately, of runaway global warming, simply is not sufficiently clear to justify such a premature battle between a jungle lioness and a pack of wilderbeest, being eagerly awaited, anticipated and fed upon by a pack of rapacious vultures.

    Does anyone else agree with me??

  23. steven mosher says:

    ROM,

    are you suggesting a letter writing campaign?

    Trivia question whats the relationship between Nature and the Piltdown Man
    episode?

  24. Richard says:

    Nature a scientific journal? Since when does a scientific journal indulge in wholesale censorship? They have censored my post on “Climate sizzle could come soon”.

    “You can be as critical or controversial as you like,..” says they – indeed!

    And just look at their news: “Climate change will hit developing world harvests hardest”, “Climate sizzle could come soon”, “Chinese dam may be a methane menace”, “Instant climate model gears up”. How scientific is a any claim that “the science is settled”

    It has become an activist political mouthpiece.

  25. Robinson says:

    I honestly didn’t understand Tom’s argument anyway. I give you a group of so called proxies, you reject those that don’t match the instrumental record. Your conclusion should be that none of them are proxies (if at all) and those that fit may do so purely by chance. It seems to me a rather banal observation to make!

  26. ROM (00:25:04) : …As has been demonstrated by one single dedicated and unpaid member of the public, Steve McIntyre, and in only a few days of work…

    Actually ROM, as I’m sure you’ll remember, Steve has been on the case a lot longer than this (and effectively unpaid too, I think). Personally I think Steve deserves a double Nobel, one for persistence and statistical excellence and breaking new stats ground, and one for integrity and unfailing demands for appropriate courtesy and breaking new ground for the whole future of Science.

  27. … but also this has been a team effort (the Real Science team) since Steve could not have done without Jeff Id, Roman, Hu, Mosh, Bender, and more than I can name.

  28. Pragmatic says:

    ROM (00:25:04) :

    “The backlash, the fallout and the doubts that must now be raised about the accuracy and scientific truthfulness of Nature and Science must now have a possibly devastating impact on the veracity of these publications.”

    Indeed. The wanton destruction of venerable institutions of science all for impossible political ambition… Selfish hubris.

  29. Rabe says:

    I notice that some spammer means repeating trivialities all over the place is a sensible contribution to the otherwise excellent discussion.

  30. …oh and for God’s sake, thanks and congrats, Jeff, on spiking the spiker.

  31. tallbloke says:

    Michael (23:41:49) :

    It should be called the “Yamal Briffa Affair”. Maybe for the movie?

    “The Dendro Dozen”

  32. JER0ME says:

    Trust a serious skeptic, it’s not easy to find mistakes in his work and some of us check him just as I spent over an hour checking Tom’s work. In my opinion Tom deserves congratulations for his efforts and checking, this way we all learn.

    I’ve now been all the way through SteveM’s scripts from beginning to end and can’t find any problems with the script, maybe others can!

    That is real peer review, unlike what we seem to have been getting from the Hockey Team.

  33. JER0ME says:

    Well done TomP and Jeff Id and the others involved in achieving something that would take the conventional peer review process two years to achieve. Perhaps online scientific debate and peer review is at last coming of age.

    I am in total agreement. What is needed, however, is an impartial and honest host for such a Forum. I believe we have that in “Anthony and the mods” – Many thanks, guys!

  34. bill says:

    Why did you look though Tom P’s code for the changes He admits the change at the same instant that he shows the code!
    Tom P (15:24:58) :
    jeez (15:12:26) :
    Tried to -the code appears headed to the spam filter.
    The tweak is simple enough – just remove the occurrences of [temp,] from the yamal index.

  35. Ecotretas says:

    I have checked the page where the raw data is, and it’s interesting to see the timestamps involved with the different objects on the page. It seems to have happened on Sep, 8th. But what intrigues me Steve is the TayBavRing.raw file; it also seems to be new. Might it also represent something special?

    Ecotretas

    Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:38:27 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/
    Sat, 21 Apr 2007 07:33:04 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/EurasianGridBox.dat
    Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:29:20 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/Column.prn
    Mon, 14 Apr 2008 08:01:00 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/RCS_TRW_SSA.xls
    Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:50:18 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/TornFinADring.raw
    Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:31:04 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/YamalADring.raw
    Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:31:08 GMT – http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/TayBavRing.raw

  36. ROM says:

    Lucy Skywalker (01:25:50) :

    Yes, I do well remember the many, many long months that Steve McIntyre has been on this case and I have been reading or at least trying to read and understand as much as my old brain can of Mr McIntyre’s calculations and conclusions on this and the many other examples of doubtful climate science that he has opened up for examination.

    And when he did finally get that data it seems it only took him a few days to put together the basic case that has demolished Briffa’s paper.

    In no way did I wish to diminish the contributions of Steve McIntyre’s dedicated “band of brothers” who, to me as a statistical ignoramus, are incredibly gifted and an integral part of and major contributors to the breaking open of this whole case as I have understood it.
    May I apologise to those gentlemen if it seems that I have neglected your contributions.
    That was not my intention at all but Steve I think has been the real driving force to continually work at opening up this whole scam and show it for what it is.

    I just hope that somewhere, somehow, there is still a decent, honest politician or a person of great political influence reading this who will see to it that Steve McIntyre and his band of fellow workers who have exposed this whole sordid episode will quietly work to see that Steve and his invaluable co-researchers get the recognition that they all undoubtedly deserve.

  37. Robert Wood says:

    Always, the teram’s reluctance to reveal data was problematic. Now we know why. Can we conclude that these poeple, Briffa, Jones, Mann et al. knew what they were doing? Or were they just incompetent ;-)

  38. mrpkw says:

    Ray (22:23:54) :

    So, let me get this straight… the faith of our economy and politics rest in a few dozen old trees somewhere that grew in a limited little spot on the earth?
    UFB!

    Priceless !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Tim Clark says:

    Rhys Jaggar (01:02:40) :
    Am I to understand that a major contributor to our assertions on ‘hockey stick’ runaway ‘global warming’ is not directly measured temperature data using a Stevenson Box (or whatever you use to measure temperatures in winter in deepest Siberia), but a series of TREE RINGS?

    Robinson (01:21:46) :
    I honestly didn’t understand Tom’s argument anyway. I give you a group of so called proxies, you reject those that don’t match the instrumental record. Your conclusion should be that none of them are proxies (if at all) and those that fit may do so purely by chance. It seems to me a rather banal observation to make!

    I agree. Correct me if I’m wrong. It appears the intent of the Briffa and subsequent tree ring analyses was to determine if those rings could be used as proxy for temps and therefore extend the temperature record back in time to the MWP and LIA. Then you select those cores that match the current temperature record. Is that not circuitous logic? If all the available cores don’t match the current temperature record, then either tree cores are not a proxy, or the current temperature data to which the limited core samples were matched is suspect. Is there any truth in Science?

  40. P Wilson says:

    mrpkw (04:32:22) :

    Tree rings are no measure of temperature, given the variables that take place such as total sunlight, humidity, drought, precipitation, competing nutrients, and many other biologial, climatic and ecological factors, even to disease and pestilence. IE. Its taken out of context.

    Congrats to McIntyre for locating the bias, and to Biffra for undertaking the venture nonetheless

    Its quite remiss that UEA would be so lazy as to infer a temperature from tree ring width and density without undertaking more forensics. Others have, such as oxygen isotope levels in sediment fossils, peat bogs and quite a considerable legend of other proxies. However, they infer a very warm MWP and so are not considered part of the aceptable range for official climatology

  41. bugs says:

    CO2 is an integral part of their strategy to control the world. Who are they? They are the Bilderbergs and the global wealthy elite human beings of the planet who’s only desire is to rule the whole entire place.

    Are you here for the rest of the week?

  42. Tom P says:

    To repost from a lower thread:

    Steve McIntyre’s chronology above shows the data before the inclusion of the Schweingruber cores, but not after. I have shown the entire combined chronology.

    Here is the period when cores from both series are contributing, namely 1780 to 1990:
    http://yfrog.com/03schweingrubercru1780199p

    I’ve reduced the truncated Gaussian smooth to three years to prevent the post-1991 CRU archive contributing to this series, hence the increased scatter in the points.

    Here’s the entire series up to 1990 plotted on this basis:
    http://yfrog.com/9gschweingrubercru0019903p

    It still doesn’t look like the blade has been broken.

    ===============
    For those who would like to duplicate this, the R code changes:

    yamal[temp,]
    to
    yamal[temp,]

    truncated.gauss.weights(21)
    to
    truncated.gauss.weights(3)

    ts.plot(f(chron.var1$series),ylim=c(0,2.8))
    to
    ts.plot(f(chron.var1$series),xlim=c(0,1990),ylim=c(0,2.8))

  43. D. King says:

    Steve McIntyre

    Thanks so much Steve.

    Now it’s time to look at sea ice satellite sensors, calibration,
    AGC, receiver antenna pointing, and signal bias values.
    Me thinks, something “hinky” this way comes.

  44. P Wilson says:

    Tom P. The concept of using tree rings to show nothing more than temperature is like showing how much coke there is in someone’s fridge to indicate how wealthy they are.

    Lets not be silly

  45. P Wilson says:

    Rhys Jaggar (01:02:40)

    Actually, i was thinking about this and if were were to be selective we could take the average temperature of Libya alone as a proxy for world temperatures, and then expect someone to refute it by taking the average temperature of Antarctica alone as a measure of world temperatures.

    It still doesn’t explain: Why are comparative biochemistry and tree line studies not appearing in the future plots of past temperatures? The treeline during the period in question in Norther Russia was a good deal further north anyway. Its attributed thats because we haven’t reached MWP temperatures yet, although others say growing conditions are not as favourable yet. Either way, it shows that tree rings only indicate the growing conditions and not the temperature

  46. P Wilson says:

    ok, how would this anomaly be explained? In the UK, summer temperatures were greater than in 2008, yet my garden produced more vegetation than in 2006..

    Should I infer that therefore, 2008 was a warmer summer than 2006?

  47. Robert says:

    Congrats too, to the Royal Society and their enforcement of policy, slow though it may have been.

    And one wonders what interpretation Tom P. may give to the low number of cores in the modern data, and what motive he may ascribe to the obfuscation of that fact. Now that the data is out many such defenses may emerge, but they will now be forced to contend with some rather stubborn facts.

    The withholding of data and methodology is all too common these days and there is only one reason for it. Perhaps the Royal Society policy – written 100 years ago no doubt – will serve as a reminder of this from back in the day when science was science and politics was politics.

  48. Tom P says:

    Steve McIntyre:

    “Here is some conclusive evidence in respect to the following misrepresentation by Tom:

    “”Steve McIntyre said they may well have been just the most recent part of Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s dataset and no selection would have been made.””

    You have taken my comment out of context – this was with respect to the twelve cores in the CRU archive which you wish to omit from the record. There is no evidence that Biffra selected for this archive a subset of Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s cores – the published core-count plots for the most recent cores look very similar between Biffra 2008 and Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002.

    You further write:

    “There are 252 distinct series in the CRU archive. There are 12 IDs consisting of a 3-letter prefix, a 2-digit tree # and 1-digit core#. All 12 end in 1988 or later and presumably come from the living tree samples. The nomenclature of these core IDs url (POR01…POR11; YAD04…YAD12; JAH14…JAH16 – excluding the last digit of the ID here as it is a core #) suggests to me that there were at least 11 POR cores, 12 YAD cores and 16 JAH cores.”

    “It is “possible” that they skipped ID numbers, but this is a farfetched theory even for Tom. As surmised here, the missing ID numbers are “evidence” of at least 39 cores and that the present archive is not only too small, but incomplete.”

    If you wish to exclude core series on the basis of incomplete label sequences, how about the Schweingruber series you first wanted to put against the CRU archive?

    The live cores in the russ035 NCDC archive are numbered:

    878012
    878042
    878072
    878081
    878101
    878151
    878152
    878161
    878162
    878171
    878172
    878012
    878042
    878072
    878081
    878101
    878151
    878152
    878161
    878162
    878171
    878172
    878181
    878182
    878191
    878192
    878202
    878161

    Shouldn’t suspicion fall on this core archive as well? Excluding one subset of a core archive on the basis of incomplete label sequences but including another series with the broken label sequences might lead to accusations of cherry picking.

  49. Tim Clark says:

    Tom P (06:12:58) :

    So why does you graph disagree with the green line from the graph labeled Yamal RCS Chronologies above?

  50. TomLama says:

    Buying a snow blower

    5 Tips: Finding the snow blower that’s right for you.

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/11/22/pf/saving/willis_tips/index.htm

  51. Person of Choler says:

    Step back from the minutiae a bit. The arguments about statistical arcana are interesting, but the fact remains that politicians are pushing for huge dislocations in the world economy, justified in large part by plugs drilled from some trees somewhere in Siberia.

    Does this not seem a bit strange?

  52. paulID says:

    P Wilson (06:21:37) :

    “Tom P. The concept of using tree rings to show nothing more than temperature is like showing how much coke there is in someone’s fridge to indicate how wealthy they are.

    Lets not be silly”

    this is the quote of the year as far as i am concerned

  53. P Wilson says:

    So lets take if rom the c02 thesis standpoint. Trees respond very well to elevated c02, and not necessarily temperature. Trees grow better with more c02 as they absorb it . If c02 levels were pre industrial lower during the MWP then no matter how higher the temp, c02 wasn’t plentiful enough to cause extra growth. So since the correlation between c02 and temp is loose, (often contrary to each other) higher temp lower c02 is possible, whereas today we have higher c02 and lower temp.

    bang goes the tree proxy

  54. Jeff Id says:

    Tom P (06:12:58) :

    Please tell me you’re kidding!!

  55. Mike Lorrey says:

    Regarding modern era dendro proxies, IMHO every scientific publication should require ANY dendro paper to publish the actual modern thermometer temp record plot on any dendro proxy chart and compare the degree of correlation before the proposed dendro record can be accepted as a proxy.

  56. Henry chance says:

    Now is time to take the high road. Be fair. Has Mann been contacted to share his explanation?
    What about the most recent contact with Briffa?
    Stalling and delay is a defense mechanism. But we still need their prompt response.

  57. Dodgy Geezer says:

    I would like to congratulate Tom P (and Steve too, though that goes without saying) for actually doing science as opposed to politics. If we could have relied on the world’s scientists to do science as opposed to politics, we would not be in the mess we are in today.

    Having said that, my understanding of ‘robustness’ in statistical calculation is that a final answer should not critically depend on the inclusion of one set of data. Obviously one set of data will contain the largest signal, but even if you take that set out, the remainder should still show the signal you are searching for, though less obviously.

    If this is true (and I wait to be corrected) then all that Tom P has done is show that, so long as the ‘Briffa 12′ are included, the result is a hockey stick. If they are excluded, the hockey stick completely disappears. So the finding is not robust with reference to the Briffa 12. This is enough to render these chronologies suspicious, and should have been prima facie grounds for exclusion….

  58. Dennis says:

    If the Yamal cores “prove” one thing and the Polar Urals “prove” another quite different thing and they are nearby one another, one has to begin to think that there is some “science” involved with tree ring analysis for temperature reconstruction that has not been thought through.

    There are a number of variables that affect tree ring width and they all vary in different ways on different sites at different times (after all these are living organisms and “the time they are a changin'”– on a continual basis). All of these myriads of changes give first one variable and then another precedence in influence on the width of a ring and take place in an organism that lives for 10’s to 100’s of years.

    This leads to an immensely complex pathway of influences akin to the web of vegetation successional pathways described by Botonist Henry Chandler Cowles in 1901 as,”a variable converging on a variable.”

    Put me in the column with the non-believers.

  59. Bill P says:

    Therefore by inclusion of the sorted Briffa Yamal version, we have an automatic exclusion of data which would otherwise balance the huge trend.

    Huh?

  60. Jeff Id says:

    Tim Clark (06:59:46) :

    I just left an ugly comment on CA about this very disingenuous reply by Tom. He’s rescaled the vertical axis and made sure the noise level is high enough to confuse people. He then follwed it with the claim that SteveM is wrong while not admitting his first errors or distortions.

    The original graph was much much higher at the end than this and my guess is that pre-1800 is much higher.

    He’s just playing games now, this is not an honest post in my opinion.

  61. Jeff Id says:

    Bill P (08:07:05) :

    Tree rings have a typical variance. The briffa series has very likely been sorted to extract a high variance signal – too few trees sampled for a normal study, high variance, non-consecutive core sample numbering. If there’s enough time and information in the data, I’m planning a post on this tonight.

    Consider that it would be a very unusual set of trees if all samples agreed with this increased growth rate. It would be equally unusual for agreeing trees to not be included in enhancing the robustness a climate study.

    Therefore it’s pretty simple to understand that by including these sorted trees, we are adding a signal into the reconstruction which would otherwise be muted by the pretty clearly missing Yamal trees.

    Trees make lousy thermometers.

  62. Tom P says:

    Jeff Id (08:07:36) :

    Your tirade is groundless:

    The “noise” is a direct result of reducing the smoothing window to avoid contamination from the post 1990 data.
    I have not changed the vertical scale.
    I have not removed the x axis.
    I show a plot of the pre-1800 data above.

    I presume by mistake, you mean not terminating the series at 1990. That wasn’t a mistake – as I made clear the reconstruction is built on the CRU and Schweingruber dataset in its entirety. Of course it is identical to the CRU reconstruction after 1990.

    But why should the CRU dataset be disregarded after 1990 if it was valid before then? There seem to be no strong a priori reasons to exclude either the CRU or Schweingruber datasets at all. It was Steve who discarded the live cores from the CRU dataset, replacing them with the Schweingruber series, but if the reason is incomplete label sequences then the Schweingruber live cores are out as well.

    I have invoked no selection criteria in including data from either series. If you, Steve or anyone else wish to deselect part of any series, please make the criteria plain so they can be validated. Anything else is cherry picking.

  63. MattN says:

    So what really has Tom P accomplished? It appears to me from his comments both here and at CA he’s clearly trying to justify the Team practice of ignoring valid chronology data that doesn’t correlate to temperature.

  64. Jeff in Ctown (Canada) says:

    Considering recent insite into plant growth and all the related veriables, 12 tree ring cores is hoplesly inadiquate, even if they weren’t cherry picked. I think that to have any hope of accuracy, you would need 100s or 1000s of cores from many locations around the globe with knowledge of all the other veriables.

  65. Jeff Id says:

    Tom has done a few disingenuous things now and I’m not a patient guy. First, he has failed to admit that you cannot debunk SteveM’s sensitivity study by using original data only. A clear mistake in his first post.

    For his first post to be correct the logic reads like this:

    The hockey stick is correct, because when we use the original data only after 1990 it looks almost the same as the original data only after 1990.

    Insanity.

    His latest post has other unique properties where apparently his 3 year filter pulls in data from the yamal only series to make the endpoint stand up for only a couple of years. — Equally insane.

    If people request I’ll spend some time tonight bashing on these latest changes. Otherwise I prefer to ignore it.

  66. Sonicfrog says:

    tallbloke (01:37:40) :

    Michael (23:41:49) :

    It should be called the “Yamal Briffa Affair”. Maybe for the movie?

    “The Dendro Dozen”

    No No. I have it – “The Blade of Briffa!”

  67. Jeff Id says:

    SteveM got this one for me.

    From CA

    While Tom may think that his code accomplished a 1990 cutoff, it didn’t. As I originally observed, the closing portion of the Tom’s curve looks like Briffa’s data because it is Briffa’s data – apoint that I had avoided this error in my original Figure 3.

  68. Don S. says:

    Rhys Jaggar (01:02:40) :

    “I have to say that the world can wait 50 years for 100 years of reliable direct measurements, be they by satellite or by land-based measurement (which should happen anyway to validate/detect deviations in the sensor-based satellite approach), rather than tear itself to pieces when the evidence, viewed dispassionately, of runaway global warming, simply is not sufficiently clear to justify such a premature battle between a jungle lioness and a pack of wilderbeest, being eagerly awaited, anticipated and fed upon by a pack of rapacious vultures.

    Does anyone else agree with me??”

    I do. When can we get started? I think this is where I came in. (see USHCN project)

  69. Frederick Michael says:

    To all,

    History is being made here this week and all comments will be part of the record. Tom P deserves a medal for being willing to stand alone, disagreeing with a room full of intellectuals. That is very difficult to do and any hostility interferes with full function. Even the most minor personal comment is counter-productive.

    Please treat him the way you would if you were a student and he were a famous professor with control over your grade.

  70. Sonicfrog says:

    Tom: I am not well versed in some of the technical aspects used to plot these graphs, so I hope my question makes some sense. On this graph you posted, does the smoothing you used take a percentage of the data trends from previous years and include that rise in the last year (i.e. immediate past trends affect the outcome of a selected year on the graph) therefore making the rise in the last two years a product of the inclusion previous years rise?

  71. DR says:

    ROM, Mosh, jeff id and anyone else seeing the obvious…..

    Tom P = Beaker incognito :) JK

    It’s time to ‘move on’.

  72. Michael says:

    For those of you who are not informed David Rockefeller is a US Senator.

  73. richcar says:

    Even if the AGW cherrypickers are right about elevated atmospheric temps in the arctic with respect to the MWP, what does this have to due with a paleo global temperature reconstruction? It may just demonstrate their sought after local polar amplification. Surely we must be looking at new reconstructions like the Woods Hole reconstruction of SST’s which demonstrate that current SST’s are similar to the MWP. After all we know that global heat must reside primarly in the ocean.
    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=282&cid=59106&ct=162

  74. dearieme says:

    Long ago, on another blog, I tried to have a scientific discussion with a Warmmonger. Then I realised that he was not arguing in good faith. Still, he was a “Stuart” not a “Tom”.

  75. woodNfish says:

    Richard (23:08:47) : “until shot down by the “Texas sharpshooters” on CA”

    Richard, if you understand what the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy is about, you will also understand that it is not a compliment to Steve McIntyre and CA even though you meant it that way.

  76. PR Guy says:

    Re: RD

    “Its time to move on”

    No don’t move on. In the PR world, there’s a thing called a ‘cleaner’. This is a person, usually a domain expert, who PR firms use to create confusion and doubt. Logically, Fenton Communications will respond to any serious challenge of the Hockey Stick by sending in a cleaner. This person’s job will be to try to discredit Steve’s analysis, or, failing that, to simply create the appearance of controversy.

    The press will not be able to understand why his arguements are specious, they’ll simply take away a mistaken view that Steve’s analysis might not be right. That’s a cleaner’s objective.

    I’m not saying that Tom P is a cleaner; I’m just observing that he is behaving in cleaner-like ways. He’s clearly working on this full-time. He’s a domain expert who should know better than to make such ridiculous arguements. The truth is not the objective.

    Don’t expect him to give any ground. Continue to engage him and to point out the errors in his arguement. Don’t give him the last word.

  77. Neo says:

    Congratulation to Steve McIntryre for finding the “secret sauce”

  78. J. Peden says:

    Tom P.:

    Shouldn’t suspicion fall on this core archive as well? Excluding one subset of a core archive on the basis of incomplete label sequences [presumably Briffa's Yamal 12] but including another series with the broken label sequences [russ035 NCDC archive] might lead to accusations of cherry picking, [or to at least a similarly questionable, uncertain statistical validity regarding any non-inclusive subset of the data].

    Yes, exactly! Isn’t that why all the core data need to be released for purposes of replication, and likewise to allow a re-evaluation as to why certain cores were excluded or included?

    Imo, Steve M.’s audit does demonstrate this main point, which simply involves the malleability or at least very tenuous nature of statistical correlations, making apparently “cherry picked” data suspect until proven otherwise by release of the data and subsequent review, which your above quote appropriately reiterates!

    It seems to me that the alternative method, selecting out from a study population ex post facto only cores whose calibrational ring-widths “show” the more recent [global?, local?] warming, and which perhaps also give a flat past “temperature”, could theoretically lead to only one tree/core being dubbed a “correct” hockey stick treemometer, but a process which seems to me would then constitute an epitome of a wholly inappropriate, specifically directed misuse of correlation, and in fact the exact opposite of what statistical correlations are designed for:

    – because this one “correct” ring-width pattern found during calibration could much more likely be simply adventitious, given the myriad of unanalyzed uncertain influences upon ring widths existing in the case of wild trees, which can also affect every other tree ring width in equally uncertain ways, a situation therefore affecting all study trees, which would actually be more proven by the rest of the data, in effect making each of the trees equal non-treemometers!

    – thus the presence of only one “pristine” treemometer within a population would more validly lead to the opposite conclusion, that the whole tree population selected as possible treemometers, hyp.o, which includes the one allegedly valid treemometer, does not show ring width patterns that even [only] correlate with calibrational temps. [local?, global?], which should more rightly lead to rejection of hyp.o, and thus to the reasonable invalidation of the idea that the one alleged treemometer is actually a treemometer, the same as with the rest of the trees!

    And in the case of there being more than one alleged treemometer in the population, aren’t there accepted statistical methods which show the probability that the correlation between numbers derived from one population, such as some subalpine “bog” larch ring widths – which nevertheless includes the more agreeable members’ numbers – with numbers from another population, of temperatures, are more likely due to “chance” or to multiple uncertain influences, than to a more encouraging statistically positive correlation between these numbers?

    But how can anyone at all tell what the actual correlation might tend to be, based upon the data collected so far, if all of this data is not included in the calculations, and moreover is not even released?

  79. kim says:

    Tom P, you need to get busy doing something useful, like explain to yourself and the world why Rob Wilson couldn’t get Briffa’s data years ago, when both he and Steve McIntyre knew he needed it. You should not be closing ranks; you should be exposing the wrongdoing. And the sooner the better. It’s the scientific thing to do.
    ===========================================

  80. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “It should be called the “Yamal Briffa Affair”. Maybe for the movie?
    “The Dendro Dozen””

    Free the Briffa 12!

  81. Tom P says:

    PR Guy (12:34:42) :

    “He’s clearly working on this full-time. He’s a domain expert who should know better than to make such ridiculous arguements. The truth is not the objective.”

    I feel both flattered and denigrated! But no, I am not a “cleaner”.

    REPLY: Tom since you’ve posted here at WUWT many times in the past using your full name, why not set the record straight and show people the optical and space hardware you actually work on. It is quite impressive. – Anthony

  82. Jeff Id says:

    Tom,

    On CA you admitted that your analysis was not appropriate for a sensitivity analysis.

    Comment 351 on http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168

    So I asked again.

    So since you now admit that your method is not valid for a sensitivity test — do you now retract this statement based on your incorrect sensitivity analysis at WUWT:

    It looks like the Yamal reconstruction published by Briffa is rather insensitive to the inclusion of the additional data. There is no broken hockeystick

  83. Tom P says:

    Jeff Id (16:03:48) : (crossposted from CA)

    No, my statement stands. What I have presented is just a plotting of the full dataset.

    But, I admit that unless there is data to contradict the post 1990 record, there will continue to be a very pronounced recent rise irrespective of any previous reconstruction.

    However, if there are reasons to completely discount the post 1990 data, I have no reason to think the black line of your plot at:

    http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/tomptruncsh.jpg

    is not a reasonable reflection of the entire Yamal dataset.

    One reason for discounting the last part of the dataset has been advanced, broken labelling core sequences. This has been shown to be specious – it would reject the Schweingruber series as well.

    But Steve has stated another reason:

    “Standard dendro practice requires a minimum number of cores depending on the consistency of the core “signal”.”

    I’d like some specific numbers put on this with respect to the post 1990 data. If indeed these numbers show the minimum number has not been met, and this data should be completely discarded, I’m certainly willing to accept the black line of your plot above as a good reconstruction based on all the available data.

  84. Jeff Id says:

    If you cannot reach the honesty level to admit your test says nothing about sensitivity, then I’m wasting my time discussing this with another AGW internet advocate.

  85. Layman Lurker says:

    Tom P., the point of Steve’s analysis is to compare the Schweingruber data to the CRU data – a comparison which ends at 1990 and therefore must truncate post 1990 CRU because it is irrelevant. At this point you twist everything around and ask ridiculous questions about Steve’s reasons for dropping the post 1990 CRU when the answer seems obvious to everyone but you.

  86. Carrick says:

    Tom P, what you have shown is if you only include the Briffa data, the result remains unchanged from when you only included the Briffa data.

    WTF?

    Want to play a game of “Begging the Question[tm]” anyone?

  87. kim says:

    Tom P, don’t you wonder where the principal ‘peers’ involved in this train wreck are? Now, I know one of them is physically sick; are the others sick at heart? Why are you the lone voice disputing an apparently killer argument from Steve?
    ====================================

  88. Tom P says:

    Jeff Id (16:03:48) :

    Steve McIntyre has put up the chronology records for all the core data from live trees in the CRU and Schweingruber series:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7241

    While most of the CRU trees cover the entire plotted range back to 1800, and so are at least 190 years old, only 3 of the 18 Schweingruber are that old, and most are less than 100 years old.

    Hence the Schweingruber series does not contain the long-lived trees necessary to discern a centennial or multicentennial variations. The Schweingruber series is therefore of very limited utility for a valid comparison with the much longer-lived trees of the CRU archive. Steve McIntyre’s sensitivity test between them is comparing a signal (CRU) to noise (Schweingruber).

    Hence I am happy to withdraw my reconstruction based on the data from both series – the original Briffa plot stands unmodified. It is not the hockeystick of Briffa’s Yamal reconstruction that has collapsed, but rather the case against it.

  89. ralph says:

    >>So, let me get this straight… the faith of our economy and
    >>politics rest in a few dozen old trees somewhere that grew
    >>in a limited little spot on the earth?

    And the fate of a few trillion dollars of our money, too.

    .

  90. ralph says:

    >>Nature a scientific journal?
    >>It has become an activist political mouthpiece.

    Just like New Scientist and the BBC.

    .

    I have a small theory as to why. After the War (WWII) we had a great mass of journos, like Robert Capper et all, who were front-line soldier-jounos and real meat-eating men (and women too). They took over the BBC and media for a whole generation – spawning the likes of the peerless Raymond Baxter with good, honest scientific reporting.

    But the media is generally a liberal art, and later candidates and employees were all from the liberal sector, if you see what I mean. So perhaps we should not be too surprised that liberal issues and agendas are now being pushed to the fore. A few more meat-eating graduates need to swallow some pride and apply the grease-paint.

    .

  91. kim says:

    Tom P 1:08:11

    So what do Briffa’s cherry picked trees show us the temperature was in the 20 Century and what do the nearby thermometers show?

    Answer, the cherry, actually larch, orchard has a hockey stick and the instrumental record does not. Big problem. Maybe those better randomized young trees are better treemometers. More likely, it’s the randomization, which is the critical flaw with Briffa.

    Do you get it? Non-randomized is cherry-picked.
    =================================

  92. kim says:

    Ah, Keith Briffa has weighed in, see the link at the end of the Register thread at CA. I note that he is ambiguous about whether or not this series was compared to temperature to pick it. He claims not to be doing so now.
    ============================================

  93. Sonicfrog says:

    Tom-P said:

    Hence the Schweingruber series does not contain the long-lived trees necessary to discern a centennial or multicentennial variations. The Schweingruber series is therefore of very limited utility for a valid comparison with the much longer-lived trees of the CRU archive. Steve McIntyre’s sensitivity test between them is comparing a signal (CRU) to noise (Schweingruber).

    Hence I am happy to withdraw my reconstruction based on the data from both series – the original Briffa plot stands unmodified. It is not the hockeystick of Briffa’s Yamal reconstruction that has collapsed, but rather the case against it.

    …..Man, you’re swinging at the logic pinata, but only hitting the tree. This argument is is so bad, even I can see the gaping holes. Just because one paper is bad (in your opinion) doesn’t automatically make the other good. I ‘ll let someone else take over. I have to go to work.

    BTW, On Briffa, I think you should check Steve’s latest post. It appears “The Blade of Briffa” is created by ONE tree!

  94. Tom P says:

    Cross-posted from CA:

    Steve McIntyre:
    “However, I disagree that the trees in the CRU archive are “much longer-lived”, other than the trees selected for the modern comparison.”

    But the modern comparison was the subject of your original sensitivity analysis that was supposed to have broken the Yamal hockeystick!

    All you have done is inject noise into the Biffra/H&S series by adding in much shorter lived trees. This also explains why the Schweingruber series did not well correlate with the instrumental temperature.

  95. Jeff Id says:

    Tom P (07:35:54) :

    This is a false interpretation of the standardizaton methods in tree rings. The net result of this reconstruction is a mean, nothing more. An average of the available data. There is no recentering, no RegEM no fancy PCA just an average of the ring widths as standardized by the same exponential function for every tree ring width.

    Pretending that you have killed Steve’s work again (a third time) and again by weak arm waiving means nothing.

  96. Layman Lurker says:

    re: Tom P (01:08:11)

    “Steve McIntyre’s sensitivity test between them is comparing a signal (CRU) to noise (Schweingruber).”

    And this is self-evident? Instead of arm waving, perhaps a little demonstration is in order before you pop the champagne corks.

  97. Richard says:

    woodNfish (12:24:30) :
    Richard (23:08:47) : “until shot down by the “Texas sharpshooters” on CA”
    “Richard, if you understand what the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy is about, you will also understand that it is not a compliment to Steve McIntyre and CA even though you meant it that way.”

    I do understand what the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy is all about. And by Texas Sharpshooters I meant the ones who exposed this fallacy to “shoot down” Tom P, not that they used the fallacy themselves. It was Tom P who used it. “Sharpshooters” and “shooting down” was used as the pun, after all sharpshooters are the guys who shoot down people.

  98. Richard says:

    This is what I posted at Real Climate
    Richard says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    1 October 2009 at 6:44 PM

    From what I understand of the Yamal chronology story, Briffa used 12 tree rings for the reconstruction of the 19th and 20th centuries – more for the 19th century and even less for the 20th.

    This reconstruction shows a hockey-stick graph, where the current warm period is far warmer than any in the past 2,000 years. When all of Prof Briffa’s and the Schweingruber data is used, the graph is quite different. In this graph, whereas the current warm period shows up, the medieval warm period, for this complete data set, shows as warmer than the current warm period.

    Now it was questioned why Prof Briffa used only 12 trees for the modern reconstruction and it was argued that these trees best agreed with modern instrumental records. And the criticism to this argument was that this amounted to cherry-picking and “sharp-shooting” – picking the data to get the result you wanted from the data, rather than letting the data give you the results.

    To me this makes sense. From my high school science I was told that in a scientific experiment, you must record the data as it comes. You must in now way manipulate this data to predict its outcome, even though this outcome maybe expected.

    This criticism appears to carry more weight when it appears that just one tree out of those 12 is responsible for most of the big warming of the current warm period.

    What are your comments on this?

    There have been 12 comments since then which have been published but mine is still “awaiting moderation”. Comments which include backslapping each other and tearing down “deniers” in somewhat unmoderated language.

    When posed with real questions on the Yamal affair they appear to be perplexed on how to handle it.

  99. Richard says:

    And it has now been moderated out. Leaving the field to others with comments like:

    Dan L. says:
    1 October 2009 at 7:57 PM
    >dhogaza: I’m glad that RC is hitting back.

    Indeed.

    McI is a coy, sneaky b… uh, fellow. He is cunning enough to avoid directly exposing his nitpicking to peer reviewed publication, relying instead on the usual suspects to shriek on his behalf. Congratulations to RC for knocking the pins from under the WUWTs of this world and their hockey stick obsessions.

    Makes me laugh.

  100. kim says:

    Tom P can’t do it. Lorax brings nothing but querelousnous. Scott Mandia is stuck in group think. Keith Briffa mumbles under his breath. The ‘Bulldog’ Tamino is hors de combat, and his commenters are their usual disgusting selves. Real Climate is a horror show. God’s in his Heaven; all’s right with the world.
    ==============================

  101. Tom P says:

    Jeff Id (12:49:49) :

    Why Steve McIntrye’s analysis is injecting noise into any long term trends is conceptually simple:

    As I posted on CA:

    Trying to discern a centennial or multicentennial trend using noisy samples less than one hundred years long is next to impossible.

    Here’s a simple example. Imagine a noisy, gently upwards trending signal one thousand years long. Chop that signal into one-hundred year segments and set the average of each of these segments to zero. It is very difficult to then recover the initial trend by then stitching together the segments.

    To see Steve McIntyre is injecting noise you only have to look at his own plot here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/age_yamal1.gif

    The age of the samples Steve is using is the green line in the plot.

    Although Steve promised a graphical rebuttal to my points yesterday morning, this has yet to appear.

    Layman Lurker (13:02:30) :

    I’ve popped no champagne corks. I actually find this episode rather sad. Steve McIntyre’s failed sensitivity analysis has been used by a much wider audience to undermine the Yamal hockey stick. This blog may move on to other matters, but damage has been done.

  102. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “..Tom P, don’t you wonder where the principal ‘peers’ involved in this train wreck are? Now, I know one of them is physically sick; are the others sick at heart? Why are you the lone voice disputing an apparently killer argument from Steve?..”
    kim

    I don’t think that we can repeat too often that real science is about disputation. It is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that we have lone voices disputing apparently killer arguments. A moments though will remind you that this describes Steve as well as Tom P.

    There is no point in people who agree with each other starting a mutual admiration society. It may give them a warm feeling, but it cannot arrive at the truth. Tom P is testing Steve’s hypothesis as hard as he can – if it survives it will come out much stronger. Tom should be praised for this – if he cannot disprove Steve he really is helping to make the case against the Briffa 12.

    And he may succeed. If so, I assume that all Climate Audit readers would want to know the truth, rather than sit in a fabriacted world of their own invention?

    So what Tom P is doing gets my vote. I wish more AGW supporters would address the real issues in the way that he is doing….

  103. Jack Simmons says:

    In the language of its indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, “Yamal” means “End of the World”.

  104. kim says:

    Well, sure DG, I can’t argue with what you say. My point to Tom P was to get him to wonder why there seemed to be no other support for his dissent. The answer was short in coming; there are others now joining in the attack on McIntyre’s point, but as is painfully obvious, none of them have much relevant to say.

    My lesson to Tom P stands. McIntyre has made trenchant criticism, so far unanswered by anyone.
    ================

  105. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “…My point to Tom P was to get him to wonder why there seemed to be no other support for his dissent…”
    kim

    For the record, I believe that Tom P is wrong. But your position seems to me to be exactly the same as those who say that ‘the consensus’ of science is pro-AGW, so protestors should withdraw. This is not only wrong, but dangerous to the sceptic position and science generally.

    So long as the two sides stay in mutually opposing camps, each hurling insults at the other, there is no chance of a proper debate. Frightening away opponents who are willing to engage in debate will retain that division, and maintain a situation where Briffa and Tamino can just ‘ignore’ McIntyre. We believe we are right, and we NEED a debate so that we can win it. At the moment we have each side saying that the other is so misguided/evil/criminal that there is no need for a debate.

    This is like a boxing match where the opponents talk big before the event, then circle each other in the ring but never come to blows. Tom P has just stepped up. Don’t duck, weave and then back off…

  106. kim says:

    I said I don’t disagree with your point, DG.

    But now, look, Steve has moved the whole Lorax diversion in the Briffa thread at CA to unthreaded. There is a dynamic, at which McIntyre is a master, at editing a thread to keep it on a specific track, and McIntyre’s masterliness leaves most threads at CA scientifically intact and highly useful to the serious participants(I speak as being generally a member of the McKitrick described ‘Peanut Gallery’).

    The key points in this whole brouhaha are these: 1. Ten is too few to analyze via RCS. 2. Briffa must explain his selection criteria of those ten.

    I attacked Tom P initially because he had a wrong and unscientific point. He still has. There’s a difference between honest scientific rhetoric and that which is not. I will defend to the death his right to say what he likes, but also will I my right to respond as I see fit.

    Er, all subject to the Will of the Moderators, of course. Thank you, My Overlords.
    ========================================

  107. Layman Lurker says:

    re: Tom P (00:39:34)

    Tom P. you have not demonstrated anything let alone shown that Steve’s case collapses. It is another strawman. Briffa’s reconstruction is flat pre-insturmental with an MWP uptick. Are you suggesting that the centennial scale signal in Schweingruber is so different from CRU that it conceals a dramatic MWP? What kind of positive 100 year linear slope would it take to do that? Either there is not enough difference to affect the MWP comparison or the 100 year trends of the two data sets are seriously different. Either way their is a serious problem.

  108. Tom P says:

    kim (07:05:50) :

    “McIntyre has made trenchant criticism, so far unanswered by anyone.”

    Wrong way round. I am waiting for a response from McIntyre that all his sensitivity test amounts to is contaminating the data with noise.

    Dodgy Geezer (07:39:11) :

    I have defined on Climate Audit a non-biased sensitivity analysis of the CRU data for Steve McIntyre:

    “…a sensitivity analysis based on recalculation of the Briffa Yamal plot only using trees with ages above a certain value. It would be very useful to see how sensitive the shape is tree age – we’d see how the snake bends as its bones grow older…”

    The hockey stick might hold up as the shorter cores are removed from the entire record. On the other hand we might see a medieval warm period emerging.

    I have no idea what will be the result, but I am impatient to see it. This is potentially publishable work.

    McIntyre’s original sensitivity test, which was effectively throwing short cores in to the end of the record to suppress the blade of the hockey stick, had no validity, even if it created a stir. This new sensitivity test will really tell us if the original Yamal hockey stick holds up.

  109. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “(I speak as being generally a member of the McKitrick described ‘Peanut Gallery’)…”
    kim

    I wish I could apply for the peanut gallery. But that’s far too advanced for me….

    “..There’s a difference between honest scientific rhetoric and that which is not. I will defend to the death his right to say what he likes, but also will I my right to respond as I see fit…”
    kim

    No problem whatsoever with your right to say anything you like. I am in there fighting alongside you on that. What I am questioning is the wisdom of responding as you see it – ‘like for like’. I believe we should be dragging the argument to a higher level, and, it appears, Tom P agrees.

    I am not sure if Tom’s proposal:

    “…I have defined on Climate Audit a non-biased sensitivity analysis of the CRU data for Steve McIntyre:…This new sensitivity test will really tell us if the original Yamal hockey stick holds up…” TomP

    is a valid one or not – he is moving in regions of dendro statistics which are out of my depth – but I am sure Steve will consider his point and either rebut it or address it. I don’t think that “no support for his dissent” is a valid reason to reject it – if we say that we are no better than Real Climate…

  110. Tom P says:

    Layman Lurker (08:26:37):

    “Are you suggesting that the centennial scale signal in Schweingruber is so different from CRU that it conceals a dramatic MWP?”

    The Schweingruber data only goes back to 1782 – your point I’m afraid only shows that you’ve not really been keeping up.

  111. TonyB says:

    TomP

    Good stuff. It is important that the auditors are audited and held to account if they are wrong. It is a shame this particular game was not played out a decade ago and the archive material made available.

    Keep up the good work even if I’m not on your side.

    tonyb

  112. Layman Lurker says:

    Let me correct an error in my last post. My references to the “MWP” should have read “CWP”. My bad.

  113. Jeff Id says:

    Tom

    Here’s a simple example. Imagine a noisy, gently upwards trending signal one thousand years long. Chop that signal into one-hundred year segments and set the average of each of these segments to zero. It is very difficult to then recover the initial trend by then stitching together the segments.

    This is not what happens in the Yamal standardization. All core samples are divided by the same value for each year. There is no centering (setting average to 0) of individual series for the mean.

  114. Tom P says:

    Jeff Id (13:09:11) :

    You’re right, my example was oversimplified. In fact it is the trend that is squashed in each individual segment by an RCS chronology, so the continuous trend becomes a staircase.

    Using shorter rather than longer cores will still distort the chronology and suppress trends. The best way to see how this might affect the data is to do a sensitivity test just as I suggest.

    I know you are skilled at R. Would you be willing to give it a go?

  115. kim says:

    DG 09:00:40

    Touche. I’ve been sensitized by too much close combat. Yes, I’m a thug. I’ve actually dialed back lately, because I recognize there are more effective voices.

    Tom P. 08:29:28

    I regret accusing you of not being scientific. But here’s my objection. The two key points in this brouhaha are 1) Briffa used too small a sample for the RCS methodology, and 2) He must, and has not yet, explain how the choice of this sample was made. You have a relatively irrelevant objection about Steve’s choice of sample. You can make that objection because you know how Steve chose that sample. Can we say the same about Briffa’s choice?

    So that’s why the inappropriate snark about science. Your not getting it seemed unscientific, though your objection is plenty quantitative.
    =====================================

  116. kim says:

    Heh, DG, have you just audited me? Perhaps I can learn from you. I’ve already said that I hope this ends in ridicule and not anger, but of course, respectful mutual understanding is far better. Bender has published a clue, over on CA from a Briffa 2006 paper, suggesting that really what happened is that this coterie of climatologists was just naive about statistics. They really didn’t understand that it was inappropriate to compare their samples with the temperature record.

    I’ve also remarked that it is very difficult to really pinpoint those with evil intentions among the climate alarmists; the scientists, the journalists, and the politicians. This really has been a ‘Popular Delusion, and the Madness of Crowds’.
    ========================================

  117. Tom P says:

    kim (20:04:11) :

    “1) Briffa used too small a sample for the RCS methodology”

    I don’t believe so. Looking at figure 7 of this reference

    http://www.treeringsociety.org/TRBTRR/TRRvol60_2_77-90.pdf

    which models the statistics for the reliability of RCS chronology, even a small number of trees (15 to 20 total) with sufficient overlap can discriminate a high enough amplitude signal.

    This figure also shows that 12 records at any one time (the CRU 12) is not below a statistical threshold of validity. As good coherence can be obtained for as few as 15 trees of average age 550 years distributed over 2000 years, the threshold can be as few as 4 trees at any one time.

    “2) He must, and has not yet, explain how the choice of this sample was made.”

    From Briffa’s response:

    “The Yamal tree-ring chronology (see also Briffa and Osborn 2002, Briffa et al. 2008) was based on the application of a tree-ring processing method applied to the same set of composite sub-fossil and living-tree ring-width measurements provided to me by Rashit Hantemirov and Stepan Shiyatov which forms the basis of a chronology they published (Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002).”

    The Hantemirov and Shiyatov were processing the data in 2002 so that long-term trends were not apparent (the WUWT article “More Yamal tree ring temperature data: this data is flat as roadkill” rather misses this point), so there could have been no attempt to create a hockey stick by any selection they made.

    There is no reason to think there has been any misconduct going on here. In fact Steve McIntyre has written: “I did not say or imply that Briffa had “purposely selected” individual cores into the chronology and clearly said otherwise.”

    What there may have been, and what my proposed sensitivity test will show, is an inadvertent bias introduced by the number of shorter fossil records making up the earlier part of the record. I don’t think this is a selection bias, just that the fossil trees are more often found as shorter records. But this might affect the chronology.

  118. Sonicfrog says:

    Tom P,

    I’m not sure if you saw it, but Roman M posted a chart showing the age of the chronologies used in Steve’ s graph. it shows that the 12 CRU are, at their longest, about 400 years old. It also shows that several of the cores from the other study are of about the same length. And both also have shorter time series included. Does this help or hurt your argument?

    http://statpad.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/yamaltrings1.jpg

    I won’t be able to reply for the rest of the day. Have a long gig, (singin and playin bass and having a grand time at a car show), then when I get back from that, have a dinner theater engagement with the in-laws. Will check back late tonight.

    Man, gotta tell ya, I’m learning more about the nature of these studies than I have in the ten years I’ve been following the AGW debate.

    Mike

  119. Sonicfrog says:

    OK… I see you are still following that thread. I’ll check that one tonight too.

  120. Tom P says:

    I’m afraid I lost my patience and have kludged Steve McIntyre’s code to do my sensitivity analysis (code is posted on Climate Audit).

    First, here is the chronology without YAD061:
    http://img515.imageshack.us/i/oyad06.pdf/
    Whatever that tree was drinking, it looked like it shared the round.

    Now for the sensitivity analysis for the CRU archive:
    1) Removing the cores less than 72 years old – the drooping tail at the end of the distribution I posted on CA:
    http://img406.imageshack.us/i/cru72.pdf/
    As I suspected, these cores don’t contribute much to the chronology.

    2) Removing the cores less than 100 years old:
    http://img25.imageshack.us/i/cru100.pdf/
    Not much difference.

    3) Removing the cores less than 150 years old:
    http://img156.imageshack.us/i/cru150.pdf/
    Still not much of a shift.

    4) Removing the cores less than 200 years old:
    http://img59.imageshack.us/i/cru200.pdf/
    This has removed YAD06 amongst other cores, but the profile remains the same. The noise is increasing but the shape is till clear. There are now 64 cores left, with an average age of 262 years, or an average of 8 cores at any one time.

    5) Removing the cores less than 250 years old:
    http://img202.imageshack.us/i/cru250.pdf/
    Now there are just 32 cores left with an average age of 303 years, or just four cores at any one time. The hockeystick has finally been broken, but only by removing so many cores that the noise has finally overcome the signal.

    Briffa’s result appears robust to a very demanding test. I await Steve McIntyre’s response to this.

  121. Tom P says:

    Moderator: the first link in my post above is broken. Please add a slash.

  122. kim says:

    Tom P 00:07:30

    Heh, your figure 7 supports my argument, not yours. It says if the signal is of high enough amplitude, a small number of trees may suffice. Tell me the signal supposedly being found, temperature response, is of ‘high enough amplitude’? Not.

    Secondly, Briffa chose from among the sample that the Russians picked for an entirely different methodology, corridor standardization. Briffa must explain his choices.

    Frankly, as I’ve previously said, what McIntyre does or does not demonstrate is almost irrelevant, as are your criticisms of it. The ball would be in Briffa’s court to justify his methodology even if Steve had never seen it. The ball is in Briffa’s court, despite your running laps in an entirely different stadium. You are not even wrong, my friend.
    ==============================================

  123. Tom P says:

    Kim,

    The increase in the index in the Yamal series seen in the twentieth century is more than 100%, from an index of 1 to over 2.

    Briffa uses the same series as the Russians and applied a different methodology, RCS, to identify the long-term climate signal. There’s no choice to be explained.

    Read Briffa’s papers and explain your criticisms of his methodology. I agree, though, that MacIntyre’s invalid analysis is irrelevant.

  124. kim says:

    YAD06 with an 8 sigma is warranted is a series this small. You’ve not answered my objection, that the temperature signal was too small to be found with significant confidence by such a small sample. These are two sides of the same coin; that the sample is too small for analysis by RCS. Nevermind that he was also naive enough at statistics to not know that he shouldn’t have compared the sample with temperature, whether he actually did this or not. Over on CA, Bender documents his naivete, and apparently that of other Briffa co-authors, in that elementary statistical principle.
    =============================

  125. kim says:

    Pay attention to Jean S’s comment at the new Tom P Climate Audit thread.
    =============================================

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