More Yamal tree ring temperature data: this data is flat as roadkill

Today while looking for something else I came across an interesting web page on the National Climatic Data Center Server that showed a study from 2002

A continuous multimillennial ring-width chronology in Yamal, northwestern Siberia (PDF) by Rashit M. Hantemirov and Stepan G. Shiyatov

That study was tremendously well done, with over 2000 cores, seemed pretty germane to the issues of paleodendroclimatology we’ve been discussing as of late. Jeff Id touched on it breifly at the Air Vent in Circling Yamal – delinquent treering records?

A WUWT readers know, the Briffa tree ring data that purports to show a “hockey stick” of warming in the late 20th century has now become highly suspect, and appears to have been the result of hand selected trees as opposed to using the larger data set available for the region.

OK,  first the obligatory Briffa (Hadley Climate Research Unit) tree ring data versus Steve McIntyre’s plot of the recently available Schweingruber data from the same region.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/rcs_chronologies_rev2.gif?w=420&h=360&h=360

Red = Briffa's 12 hand picked trees Black = the other dataset NOT used

The Hantemirov- Shiyatov (HS) tree ring data that I downloaded from the NCDC is available from their FTP server here. I simply downloaded it and plotted it from the present back to the year 0AD (even though it extends much further back to the year 2067 BC) so that it would have a similar x scale to the Briffa data plot above for easy comparison. I also plotted a polynomial curve fit to the data to illustrate trend slope, plus a 30 year running average since 30 years is our currently accepted period for climate analysis.

Compare it to the Briffa (CRU) data above.

Yamal-Hantemirov-Shiyatov-0_2000_full

Click for larger image

When I first saw this plot, I thought I had done something wrong. It was, well, just too flat. But I double checked my data import, the plot, the tools used to plot, and the output by running it 2 more times from scratch. Then I had Jeff Id over at the air vent take a look at it. He concurs that I’ve plotted the data correctly.

The trend is flat as road kill for the past 2000 years, though it does show an ever so slight cooling.

So the next task was to look at more recent times. Here’s the last 200 years of the data:

CZoomed to last 200 years - click for larger image

Zoomed to last 200 years - click for larger image

Still flat as road kill.

Finally, since Tom P made a big deal out of the late 20th century with his analysis where he made the mistake of combining two data sets that had different end points, I thought I’d show the late 20th century also:

Yamal-Hantemirov-Shiyatov-0_2000_zoomed2

Zoomed to last 50 years - click for larger image

Still flat.

Note that in the graph done by Steve McIntyre showing both Briffa and Schweingruber data, both of those data sets are also quite flat until we get into the late 20th century. So out of the 3 data sets we’ve looked at, the Briffa data, the data kept hidden for almost 10 years,  is the only one that shows any propensity for sudden 20th century warming.

But don’t take my word for it that this record is so flat. Look at the authors results. Their results seem identical to what I’ve plotted. Here is the last 2000 years of data charted taken from their paper:

Yamal-Hantemirov-Shiyatov-study-results

Figure 8 Reconstructed southern Yamal mean June–July temperature anomalies relative to mean of the full reconstructed series.

But for those that want more close up views, I’ve done some additional graphs. Since the authors used a 50 year window in one of their graphs I did the same. I also changed the Y scale to show a zoomed in +/- 0.3°C as the range rather than the +/- 4.0°C the authors used in the plot above. Some details begin to emerge, but once again the trend is essentially flat, and slightly negative.

Click for larger image

Click for a larger image

And here are the last 200 years zoomed

Yamal-Hantemirov-Shiyatov-0_2000_50year_zoomed

Click for a larger image

The period around 1800 was warmer than the late 20th century according to the data viewed this way, but we can see that slight rise in temperature for the 20th century. However compared to the rest of the Yamal HS data record it appears insignificant.

The authors insist that this wood contains a valid climatological record.

Holocene deposits in the southern Yamal Peninsula contain a large amount of subfossil tree remains: tree trunks, roots and branches. This is the result of intensive accumulation and the good preservation of buried wood in the permafrost. The occurrence of this material in the present-day tundra zone of the Yamal Peninsula was described for the Žfirst time by Zhitkov (1913). Later, Tikhomirov (1941) showed that, on the evidence of remains of trees preserved in peat, during the warmest period of the Holocene, the northern tree-line reached the central region of the Yamal Peninsula (up to 70°N), whereas today the polar timberline passes through the southernmost part of the peninsula at a latitude of 67°309 N.

By 1964, attention had been drawn to the potential significance of Yamal subfossil wood for reconstructing climatic and other natural processes over many thousand years, as a result of Ž fieldwork carried out within the valley of the Khadytayakha River in the southern part of the Yamal Peninsula (Shiyatov and Surkov, 1990).

I was impressed with the amount of field work that went into this paper. The authors write:

We travelled by helicopter to the upper reaches of the river to be sampled. Small boats were then used for locating and collecting cross-sections from wood exposed along the riverbanks. It was also possible, when going with the stream, to explore the nearest lakes.

The best-preserved material from an individual tree is usually found at the base of the trunk, near to the roots. However, many of these remains are radially cracked and it is necessary to tie cross-sections, cut from these trunks or roots, using aluminum wire before sawing. This wire is left in place afterwards as the sections are air-dried.

Here’s how they got many of the tree samples using a rubber boat:

yamal_riverbank_sampling

And here is how they sum up the last 2000 years from a tree line analysis they did:

From the beginning of the first century bc to about the start of the sixth century ad, generally warm conditions prevailed. Then began a quasi 400-year oscillation of temperature, cooling occurring in about 550–700, 950–1100, 1350–1500 and 1700–1900. Warming occurred in the intermediate periods and during the twentieth century. The more northerly tree-line suggests that the most favourable conditions during the last two millennia apparently occurred at around ad 500 and during the period 1200–1300. It is interesting to note that the current position of the tree-line in Yamal is south of the position it has attained during most of the last three and a half millennia, and it may well be that it has not yet shifted fully in response to the warming of the last century.

Interestingly while the authors note some warming in the last century, they don’t draw a lot of attention to it, or refer to it as being “unprecedented” in any way. There’s no graphs of nor mention of “hockey stocks” either.

Here’s the link to the source data:

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/treering/reconstructions/asia/russia/yamal_2002.txt

Feel free to make some plots of your own.

===

UPDATE: While I had originally surmised this data supported Steve McIntyre’s recent findings with respect to Briffa, Steve notes in comments that the methodology is different between the two data sets:

Steve McIntyre: I’ve made MANY references to Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 in my posts on Yamal. In my first post on Yamal after getting access to the data, I discussed the Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 reconstruction as archived at NCDC see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142

In that post, I observed that the standardization method used in H and S 2002 was different than Briffa 2000, that the H and S method would be unable to recover centennial scale variability and that it was not relevant to the issues at hand.

The H and S reconstruction does not “support” my point in respect to Yamal. It’s irrelevant to it.

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136 Responses to More Yamal tree ring temperature data: this data is flat as roadkill

  1. tokyoboy says:

    Hence there was no MWP at all in western Syberia??

  2. Ray says:

    Apparently, Climate is not Global.

  3. Gene Nemetz says:

    tokyoboy (20:57:19) :

    The more northerly tree-line suggests that the most favourable conditions during the last two millennia apparently occurred at around ad 500 and during the period 1200–1300. It is interesting to note that the current position of the tree-line in Yamal is south of the position it has attained during most of the last three and a half millennia, and it may well be that it has not yet shifted fully in response to the warming of the last century.

    It looks like they infer a delay, a ‘shift’. So the 1200-1300 could be the delay to the MWP.

  4. Jeff Id says:

    This was a very thorough study with over 2000 tree cores and no ridiculous hockey stick.

  5. bill says:

    from another thread:
    Here’s another interesting dissertation with descriptions of the Yamal trees and environment:
    http://vak.ed.gov.ru/common/img/uploaded/files/vak/announcements/biolog/2009/13-07/KHantemirovRM.pdf
    From the same document a hockey stick!:
    Figure 18- of change in the mean temperature of summer (deviations from the average), smoothed by 50-year filter, and the dynamics of polar timber line

  6. Jeff Id says:

    Trees make lousy thermometers. Tree-lines however, I have no problems with.

    REPLY: Tree lines are absolutes for temperature, plotting the movement of absolutes would seem more sensible since there are so many competing factors at play for tree ring growth as I’ve already noted here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/28/a-look-at-treemometers-and-tree-ring-growth/

    -Anthony

  7. Keith Minto says:

    Wonder how a Yamal rainfall overlay would look. I am thinking in particular of that upswing from 1966 (approx) to 1990 on the graph above “Fig 8″ (they may need to be renumbered),that could be a good rainfall period. That cross sectional analysis with aluminium wire to stop splintering sounds thorough.

  8. Gene Nemetz says:

    It looks like they find, as has been noted by others like Craig Loehle, that tree rings are not a reliable proxy for determining temperature. Tree lines have value for that, yes. Tree rings, no.

  9. Duncan says:

    At some point, the idea of trees as thermometers is going to end up flushed down the toilet. What McIntyre’s work really shows is that the long handle of the hockey stick isn’t any more valid than the bogus blade.

  10. Justin Sane says:

    What the heck happened between 1800-1840?

  11. Pamela Gray says:

    Tongue in cheek warning!!!!!!

    Sarcasm alarm!!!!!!

    Snip alert!!!!!!

    This reminds me of perspective. The predators hunting for ants in the world probably don’t see much difference in ant size. But zoom in to the ant’s view and you get huge differences between humans, monkeys, ant eaters, birds, and bugs that eat ants.

    Skeptics look at ants and go “eh”. AGW’ers are ants looking at things that eat ants and die from alarm! Could explain why Skeptics see “flat”, and AGW’ers see “unprecedented warming”.

  12. TerryBixler says:

    We talk of reality here while those in power talk of regulating CO2
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/30/AR2009093002854.html The message is that our government wants to control and tax everyone based on CO2 stories, while the science does not even remotely support Boxer, Lisa Jackson, Pelosi, Waxman or Obama. Have they not heard the facts or are they just not listening.

  13. Claude Harvey says:

    And I repeat:

    I think that I shall never see
    A worse thermometer than a tree

  14. I’ve made MANY references to Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 in my posts on Yamal. In my first post on Yamal after getting access to the data, I discussed the Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 reconstruction as archived at NCDC see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142

    In that post, I observed that the standardization method used in H and S 2002 was different than Briffa 2000, that the H and S method would be unable to recover centennial scale variability and that it was not relevant to the issues at hand.

    The H and S reconstruction does not “support” my point in respect to Yamal. It’s irrelevant to it.

    Sorry bout that, Steve

    REPLY: No worries, I was just following something I thought was interesting. I’ll change the title to reflect your points. – Anthony

  15. tokyoboy says:

    Gene Nemetz (21:11:31) :

    tokyoboy (20:57:19) :

    >It looks like they infer a delay, a ’shift’. So the 1200-1300
    >could be the delay to the MWP.

    Thanks. A possibly relevant fact is that most temperature measuring sites here in Japan show a clear peak at around 1960, not around 1940 as is the case for many sites in other countries. This may reflect a difference in the modes of ocean currents, I suppose.

  16. Phillip Bratby says:

    The science of dendroclimatology is not settled.

  17. Pamela Gray (21:25:37) : “…zoom in to the ant’s view and you get huge differences between humans, monkeys, ant eaters, birds, and bugs that eat ants…”

    For those of you who simply must see the world from the ant’s point of view:

    http://flashfictionpost.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/the-problem-of-rocks-that-move/

  18. kmye says:

    I’ve seen the “Tom P” response mentioned above on Open Mind as well, but am not familiar with it and have not been able find it. Can anyone help me out with a link?

    cheers

    REPLY: Read all about it here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/29/more-broken-hockey-stick-fallout-audit-of-an-audit-of-an-auditor/

  19. Phillip Bratby (22:10:33) : “The science of dendroclimatology is not settled.”

    I still think it’s dendrophrenology. Or diddlerclimatology.

  20. Keith Minto says:

    “At high latitudes, interannual variability in ring width is known
    to correlate well with variations in summer temperature. To deŽ ne
    the optimum season for this study, we correlated individual
    monthly mean temperature series with the prewhitened chronology.
    The temperature data used were observations from the
    Salekhard meteorological station located 150 km to the southwest
    of the research area. Correlations were calculated for the period
    ad 1883–1996.
    The largest correlation coefŽ cients show that ring width is
    increased in association with warm conditions during June and,
    more especially, during July, with correlation coefŽ cients for June
    of 0.35 and for July of 0.63. An average of June and July mean
    temperatures was therefore selected as the predictand to be reconstructed
    using these tree-ring data.”

    This is from page 5 of the H&S link,and it it boils to ‘are the correlation coefficients high enough’ to assume a reliable temperature estimate. Also one uncertainty is correlated against another(Met station data and ring width).
    June and July were combined and the correlations do not look high to me but then I am not a Dendro.

  21. Richard111 says:

    A brilliant effort. But I am deeply worried as to why the data was suppressed in the first place and why it took so long to surface. There is more than just a few unscrupulous scientists involved in this matter.

  22. Gene Nemetz says:

    The over 2000 cores, the thoroughness, reminds of another post here at WattsUpWithThat about Morton D. Winsberg and his work on climate in Florida being affected by land use. He likes to be thorough too.

    “I don’t play golf,” he explains. “I prefer to play with aggregate data.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/10/floridatrend-its-hot-but-dont-blame-global-warming/#more-5542

    WattsUpWithThat : 2009 Best Science Blog!

  23. Geoff Sharp says:

    Tree rings are obviously a waste of time when looking at temperature reconstruction, thankfully they are good at storing 14C enabling a reliable solar proxy record as confirmed now by 10Be.

    [snip too sly on self promotion there, sorry]

  24. TonyB says:

    Jeff Id (21:18:37) : said

    “Trees make lousy thermometers. Tree-lines however, I have no problems with.”

    REPLY: Tree lines are absolutes for temperature, plotting the movement of absolutes would seem more sensible since there are so many competing factors at play for tree ring growth as I’ve already noted here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/28/a-look-at-treemometers-and-tree-ring-growth/

    -Anthony”

    I have no problem either with tree lines-I have cited them before as marking Bronze age and MWP settlements on nearby (to me!) Dartmoor in South West England.

    However, even reading the link Anthony provides I can not find any indication of the time scales needed for tree lines to shift, nor if this time lag differs according to the type of trees. Can anyone define any time lines to go with the tree lines?

    tonyb

  25. Hugh says:

    Whatever happened to the Medieval Warm Period? That seems to have disappeared too.

  26. tallbloke says:

    Justin Sane (21:23:53) :

    What the heck happened between 1800-1840?

    The Dalton Minimum.

  27. Adam Gallon says:

    It’s a cherry-picker’s delight isn’t it?
    Start your graphed period around 1850 and it’s uphill all the way, with “unpresendented warming” (Or should that be dendrowarming ?) all the way. Spin in something about pollution or volcanoes to cover the 1970s & we’re sorted!
    “The more northerly tree-line suggests that the most favourable conditions during the last two millennia apparently occurred at around ad 500 and during the period 1200–1300.”
    Roman & Medieaval Warm Periods anyone?
    That is, of course, if the concept of the treemometer is actually factual.

  28. Adam Gallon says:

    Oh, re MikeN (00:25:04)
    I get a 403 Forbidden “You don’t have permission to access /common/img/uploaded/files/vak/announcements/biolog/2009/13-07/ on this server.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Apache Server at vak.ed.gov.ru Port 80″
    For that link.
    Try using Babelfish yourself, for a rough translation.

  29. Nick Stokes says:

    The link to H&S was well acknowledged in Briffa08:
    “Siberian larch (Larix sibirica) data from the area immediately east of the northern Ural Mountains, previously used by Hantemirov & Shiyatov (2002), were used as the Yamal regional chronology”

    Hantemirov was a coauthor of Briffa08.

  30. Mike Ewing says:

    I do have a Q for anyone in the know on these things… i take it the “hockey stick”(one o the various) climate reconstructions hasnt been used for hind cast calibration of the GCM’s?

  31. John Wright says:

    Whether, when all comes to all tree rings count as reliable data or not is surely beside the point. What counts is that these auditors have caught people with an agenda red-handed cooking the books. But I always thought that’s what auditors were for and these have done it off their own bat – free of charge.

    We can only heartily thank them for it.

  32. Stu says:

    I would trust 2000 cores over 10-12 cores but either way the whole process of teasing out temperatures by these means still seems extremely messy and uncertain. I actually can’t understand how this was the real proof, the poster boy for AGW, the thing kids had to sit down to and believe because ‘the climatologists’ had it all worked out. Sorry kids, I guess you can go now.

    Tamino’s response to Steve is really very revealing. I mean, cmon. Who’s the one doing the science here? Who’s checking the data? Who’s putting in all the effort? Tamino sounds like he’s hardly able to muster enough curiosity to check anything, except perhaps the responses on his blog that say he’s great. Real scientific. What’s he actually going to do now? Just keep on with the claims that 20-21st C temperatures are ‘unprecedented’. How? Why?

  33. Kaboom says:

    Steve McIntyre deserves a Nobel Prize for this effort.

    It would be best for him to hunker down, as the he is unlikely to receive any approbation from the zealots….. who will be painstakingly sifting through his life to prove that he is in the pay of Big Oil or Big Tobacco.

    What he has achieved, in one fell swoop, is to destroy the holiest of Holy Icons of the AGW movement.

    Hopefully without offending anyone, this is comparable to proving that Jesus Christ was not crucified, and that the high symbol of Christianity is based upon error.

    There are far too many AGW zealots out there, and we can expect them to be appropriately enraged as their Holy Icon is decimated before their eyes.

    Congratulations and fervent thanks, Steve, but keep your head down!!!

  34. Stoic says:

    I am struggling with the logic but……. The Yamal tree ring data apparently show no MWP. They also appear to show neither the Little Ice Age nor the late Twentieth Century warming. Are they, therefore, any use at all as accurate proxies of past global temperature?

  35. Sean Houlihane says:

    Lol. I fell into this trap too last night, then noticed that Steve had already posted on the fact that the methodology makes the reconstruction unsuitable for comparisons over wide time ranges. The tree line data is interesting though, and the reconstruction permits accurate dating. One point I believe is relevant is the short-term modern part of the record – in that it shows no pronounced uptick (but only 2 data points for the last 2 years?).
    I was also interested to note how their report down-plays the warmth indicated in their reconstruction in the 7140-1800 period (approx), almost as if they are reluctant to admit to it.
    Brings us back to the modern instrumental record, it’s relevance in terms of tree line variation, and exactly how to graft it on. Has anyone looked at how the instrumental reconstructions represent SUMMER temperatures in this region (I think that is what the tree-rings are postulated to correlate to)

  36. Disputin says:

    Interesting that the “temperatures” shown show no correlation with things like the LIA and MWP. In fact, H&S’ list of warming and cooling phases for the last two millenia seem to be in perfect antiphase with the generally accepted chronology for western Europe, e.g. “cooling occurring in about 550–700, 950–1100…”.
    Also, Anthony and Briffa’s original dendro graphs had a “tree ring width index” on the Y axis, whereas this seems to have transmogrified into temperature for the later graphs.
    Seems to show that tree rings do make lousy thermometers.

  37. Rik Gheysens says:

    Does the new reconstruction by Rashit M. Hantemirov and Stepan G. Shiyatov refute the thesis of IPCC, Ch. 6:
    1. The additional variability shown in some new studies implies mainly cooler temperatures (predominantly in the 12th to 14th, 17th and 19th centuries), and only one new reconstruction suggests slightly warmer conditions (in the 11th century, but well within the uncertainty range indicated in the TAR).
    Here i read: cooling occurring in about 550–700, 950–1100, 1350–1500 and 1700–1900.
    The presumed cooling (by IPCC) in the 12th to 14th century can hardly be found validated within the new reconstruction! The question remains: Are valid data yet available relative to the past 2000 years?

    2. IPCC, ibidem:It is very likely that average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were higher than for any other 50-year period in the last 500 years. It is also likely that this 50-year period was the warmest Northern Hemisphere period in the last 1.3 kyr, and that this warmth was more widespread than during any other 50-year period in the last 1.3 kyr. (“very likely” means >90% likelihood, “likely” means >66%)
    The latter graphs of this thread seem to contradict the IPCC-thesis.

    Is it now an open-and-shut case that the IPCC-thesis is wrong?

  38. Sean Houlihane says:

    kind of interesting that if this raw data is being used to generate 2 reconstructions, as shown in one of steves posts from 2006? the end-points differ so much.
    An update to the ‘still living’ part of this chronology may be in order. Sounds like a great place for a field trip to me – although politically I’m not sure how possible that would be.

  39. Alan the Brit says:

    Great piece, Anthony. Really good reading. One can clearly see the Dalton min & the solar min at theturnof the 20th century, although clearly not conclusive that the big shiney thing in the sky containing 99% of the mass of the solar system 5which gives us 100% of all our natural light, & a considerable amount of our heat too, affects climate.

    As to graphs generally, about a year or so ago after reading an article on global temps by Prof Richard Lindzen, followed by an article on chartmanship by Prof John Brignall, I took a few sheets of graph paper & plotted a vertical scale of global temp to the left, against time over 100 years along the base line. I did however do a piece of chartmanship myself, by reducing the temp scale to read 1°C as 1mm, & 100 years (1900-2000) over 3 taped sheets of A4 graph paper. The 6/10ths °C rise in temperature over that time was astonishing, I could hardly see it if I hadn’t used a red pen against a black inked datum!

  40. Juraj V. says:

    The fun will start, when Steve McIntyre makes similar HadCRUT analysis. Both historical reconstruction and modern global data sets, the IPCC claims are based on, being intentionally flawed, who would say that? :-o

  41. Mick says:

    To cherry-pick the data and get away with it, Briffa et al had to know before they started the project.
    I mean they wouldn’t try if the publisher demanded the data before publishing.
    So this is a kinda conspiracy.
    How many institution and key person involved before they got the green light (no pun intended) : “no worries, nobody get your data”

    Have to be an inner circle of gatekeepers…

  42. James Griffiths says:

    “Stoic (01:09:50) :

    I am struggling with the logic but……. The Yamal tree ring data apparently show no MWP. They also appear to show neither the Little Ice Age nor the late Twentieth Century warming. Are they, therefore, any use at all as accurate proxies of past global temperature?”

    That would seem to be the case, unless of course that particular area had a strangely flat temperature record!

    You could also hypothesize that over the long term that trees, or at least these trees are particularly adaptable to changes in conditions over these timescales.

    I won’t hypothesize about that though, as I would be guilty of using the data for both my hypothesis and my conclusion, thereby falling foul of the same Texas Sharpshooter fallacy that got us in this whole mess!

  43. Mike Lorrey says:

    jorgekafkazar (22:17:30) :

    “I still think it’s dendrophrenology. Or diddlerclimatology.”

    [snip ~ nope ~ ctm]

  44. JimB says:

    “Pamela Gray (21:25:37) :

    Tongue in cheek warning!!!!!!

    Sarcasm alarm!!!!!!

    Snip alert!!!!!!

    This reminds me of perspective. The predators hunting for ants in the world probably don’t see much difference in ant size. But zoom in to the ant’s view and you get huge differences between humans, monkeys, ant eaters, birds, and bugs that eat ants.

    Skeptics look at ants and go “eh”. AGW’ers are ants looking at things that eat ants and die from alarm! Could explain why Skeptics see “flat”, and AGW’ers see “unprecedented warming”.”

    So short version: We’re bigger than they are?

    “TerryBixler (21:25:48) :

    We talk of reality here while those in power talk of regulating CO2
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/30/AR2009093002854.html The message is that our government wants to control and tax everyone based on CO2 stories, while the science does not even remotely support Boxer, Lisa Jackson, Pelosi, Waxman or Obama. Have they not heard the facts or are they just not listening.”

    Terry, it has absolutely nothing to do with science. The people you list have no idea what science is, nor do they care. This is a means to support an a budget and an agenda, nothing more, nothing less. They could care less if the sea level rises 100yrs from now. They care only about funding their initiatives, period. That’s what makes trying to foil their efforts so difficult. That’s why there’s never any “scientific debate”, that’s why they attempt to convince the populace that the science is “settled”.

    And for yet another fear-mongering headline, those of you who enjoy the Olympics best tape the next two sessions, Tokyo guv says no more after 2016 due to…you guessed it, global warming.

    “COPENHAGEN, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara warned on Wednesday the 2016 Olympics could be the last Games, with global warming an immediate threat to mankind.”

    You can’t even begin to make this stuff up.

    Hell…you can’t even begin to keep track of it.

    JimB

  45. Otter says:

    “Stoic (01:09:50) :

    I am struggling with the logic but……. The Yamal tree ring data apparently show no MWP. They also appear to show neither the Little Ice Age nor the late Twentieth Century warming. Are they, therefore, any use at all as accurate proxies of past global temperature?”

    I am wondering: what is the possibility that this region was geographically protected? In the same fashion as a rain shadow, if that makes sense?

  46. John M says:

    All that work on graphs, yet not a single standard error given nor a probability envelope for the derived trend lines. Don’t these people know how statistics works? Disraeli won’t be turning in his grave, obviously :-(

    Also curious. All those quotes from the paper, yet somehow this one got overlooked:
    “Recent warming is also clear, especially if it is judged to have commenced at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The low inter-annual variability and the minimum occurrence of cold extremes during the twentieth century argue that the most recent decades of this long summer record represent one of the most favourable climate conditions for tree growth within the last four millennia.”

  47. Joe in Florida says:

    I see stories like this one:
    http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2009/09/30/how_to_lie_about_climate_change/index.html

    which calls all of us skeptics liars, deniers, fools, and so forth. This is what the public sees, and they are told that the earth is warming no matter what you say. Even when acknowledging, in the comments, this one scientist having a “statistical dispute” with some nobody, they say that the warming data is overwhelming.

    How can we fight such overwhelming propaganda? They fudge the data to show warming, and when the data is shown to be fudged say that is irrelevant since we all know that the planet is warming.

    It makes my head hurt!

  48. rbateman says:

    Justin Sane (21:23:53) :

    What the heck happened between 1800-1840?
    Arctic uh-oh.

  49. Peter S says:

    So my dad was wrong all along… money DOES grow on trees!

  50. rbateman says:

    Have they not heard the facts or are they just not listening.

    They aren’t listening and there isn’t enough economic growth outside of Wall St. to tax. At this point, they have a recession, healthcare & 2 wars to occupy themselves with, plus a midterm election coming in a year.

    They’re the Left, they have to go to Copenhagen for Christmas: It’s a matter of servicing your base.

  51. RR Kampen says:

    Interesting. The LIA was lost, too.

  52. Alan the Brit says:

    Take a look at this wonderful piece of scientific observation from Jo “the abyss” Abbess!

    Laughable, she really has a screw loose, I for one would never “rely” on a machine over a human being when telling me something factual! She is good for a laugh tho’, guys!

    http://www.joabbess.com/2009/09/29/james-delingpole-is-most-definitely-misguided/

  53. Richard says:

    Stoic (01:09:50) : I am struggling with the logic but……. The Yamal tree ring data apparently show no MWP. They also appear to show neither the Little Ice Age nor the late Twentieth Century warming. Are they, therefore, any use at all as accurate proxies of past global temperature?

    That statement is not true. It depends on what you mean by the “Yamal tree ring data”. For Briffa’s cherry picked 12 trees the late Twentieth Century warming shows as a very steep warming. When you take all the data, the medieval warm period clearly shows up and so does the little ice-age. The medieval warm period also shows as warmer than the the current warm period.

    How does that happen? The curves are dimensionless units on the y-axis, related to ring widths, against time. They are later related to temperature. The data before the 19th century is the same for all curves, because Briffa uses all the data before that. In the 19th century he gets picky and the 20th even more picky. The result the graph in the 20th century shoots up, hockey-stick fashion and the remaining 19 centuries look flat in comparison. which leads to a hockey-stick graph when correlated with temperature.

    When all the data is used, without cherry picking, the current warm period shows up but so do the little ice age and the warmer medieval warm period.

  54. John W. says:


    I’ve made MANY references to Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 in my posts on Yamal. In my first post on Yamal after getting access to the data, I discussed the Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 reconstruction as archived at NCDC see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142

    In that post, I observed that the standardization method used in H and S 2002 was different than Briffa 2000, that the H and S method would be unable to recover centennial scale variability and that it was not relevant to the issues at hand.

    The H and S reconstruction does not “support” my point in respect to Yamal. It’s irrelevant to it.

    Steve,

    Understood. However, H and S studied the same phenomena with different methodology. Presumably, they believe the methodology and results to be sound since they willingly archived the data. Shouldn’t that (different methodology, same result) be considered corroboration of the results?

  55. Saaad says:

    A bit O/T but I need some help to find the simplest, most easily readable explanation of the scientific case against AGW alarmism. My local (Australia) MP wants more info before he heads into a State parliamentary debate on the subject in a couple of weeks and has asked me to email him some appropriate links for him to learn more…..like so many people in Australia, he had little idea that there were genuine scientific concerns about the validity of AGW alarmism….until my lovely wife got hold of him today!

    I’m a big fan of Lucy Skywalker’s stuff as a primer but I just don’t think he’ll have the time to read it all. I’m also concerned that Joanna Nova’s “Sceptics Handbook” – which is also really good for a novice – has a title that will put him off before he reads any of it.

    I’m giving him the links to WUWT, Jennifer Marohasy, Jeff Id, Climate Debate Daily etc but what I really really need is to give him a link to a really great primer that he can read and absorb quickly, so that he can really latch on to the whole issue, especially the broken hockey stick!

    Any ideas chaps?

  56. Layne Blanchard says:

    I should think a well run study that examined tree location (say, in a draw with no outlet suggesting water accumulation), a little hydrology work on the surrounding soils for varification, tree line variations, and existing temperature records, could possibly yield a better proxy from tree ring data.

    Here in the northwest, I’ve enjoyed a hike into a local inactive caldera, this area being dotted with them. There one can find a frigid meltwater lake among the clouds. Where it gets interesting is seeing that lake filled with the rotting remains of mature trees. One wonders what climate circumstances allowed those trees to grow unhindered to maturity before meltwater overcame them. Then again, perhaps the caldera is simply deeper than I imagined.

  57. Charlie says:

    Steve McIntyre (21:49:20) 30Sep: “.. the standardization method used in H and S … would be unable to recover centennial scale variability and that it was not relevant to the issues at hand.”

    This is another good example of why statistical knowledge and understanding is important.

    Thank you for calling our attention to this rather than letting people assume that this was further confirmation of your other findings.

  58. Ninderthana says:

    Duncan (21:23:44) :

    At some point, the idea of trees as thermometers is going to end up flushed down the toilet. What McIntyre’s work really shows is that the long handle of the hockey stick isn’t any more valid than the bogus blade

    Duncan,

    This is way off wack. Some tree ring proxies are excellent. If you compare tree ring widths with ambient temperatures at the sites (i.e. a direct compariosn of measurements) you find an very good correlation. This is an established scientific fact based on simple evidence.

    The problem is that trees that are known to have tree ring widths that are
    primarily [note that I said primarily] temperature senstive do not grow in wide diversity of geographical locations.

    Your arguement would make sense if you said that the indiscriminant use of tree ring widths as a proxy to measure temperatures globally needs to be taken with a grain of salt, then I would agree with you.

    Any one who want to use tree ring widths of many different varaities of trees as a proxy for world temperatures would have to rigorously show that each tree species had tree ring widths that were primarily temperature sensitive.

    You, Anthony and Steve Mc. are right in pointing out that the Mann(son) Family and Biffa have certainly not done that.

  59. K_Main says:

    Never, Ever Trust a Liar.
    We all no the group that stacks the data to justify their pay checks.
    Crisis = $

  60. Mr Lynn says:

    JimB (02:24:26) :
    “TerryBixler (21:25:48) :
    . . . Have they not heard the facts or are they just not listening.”

    Terry, it has absolutely nothing to do with science. The people you list have no idea what science is, nor do they care. This is a means to support an a budget and an agenda, nothing more, nothing less. They could care less if the sea level rises 100yrs from now. They care only about funding their initiatives, period. That’s what makes trying to foil their efforts so difficult. That’s why there’s never any “scientific debate”, that’s why they attempt to convince the populace that the science is “settled”.

    And that’s why we have to “convince the populace” that the science is not settled. Unfortunately, the vehicle has to be the mass media, and they are almost all marching in lockstep with the Alarmists, because they like the agendas of the left-wing politicians. We need something so startling, so newsworthy that even the mainstream media cannot ignore it.

    I was hoping that maybe the Tree-Ring Scandal would arose interest, but so far not even Drudge has picked up on it (but he has featured the “global warming will kill the Olympic games” nonsense). We need some prominent scientists (and politicians) to stand up and cry, “Scientific misconduct!”

    /Mr Lynn

  61. Fred from Canuckistan . . . says:

    “the Briffa tree ring data that purports to show a “hockey stick” of warming in the late 20th century has now become highly suspect,”

    Well if that isn’t the [snip] understatement of the year.

  62. Gene Nemetz says:

    Joe in Florida (02:49:26) : How can we fight such overwhelming propaganda?

    Cooler weather is making a dent.

  63. Gene Nemetz says:

    Mr Lynn (06:00:38) : We need some prominent scientists (and politicians) to stand up and cry, “Scientific misconduct!”

    IMO, the political avenue could be bypassed for now. But it would be nice if there were more Vaclav Klaus’.

    I would like to see documentaries like The Cloud Mystery, The Great Global Warming Swindle, etc., aired on documentary channels. They wouldn’t have the big impact you are talking about. But, little by little they would put a wedge in the idea that there is no debate and that the science is settled.

    “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”

  64. Gene Nemetz says:

    John (06:36:45) : Briffa has commented –

    Thanks John!!

    He says this at the end :

    We will expand on this initial comment on the McIntyre posting when we have had a chance to review the details of his work.

    K.R. Briffa
    30 Sept 2009

  65. TonyB says:

    This from Briffas work referenced here by John

    Briffa has commented –

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cru.uea.ac.uk%2Fcru%2Fpeople%2Fbriffa%2Fyamal2000%2F

    “”Chronologies are constructed independently and are subsequently compared with climate data to measure the association and quantify the reliability of using the tree-ring data as a proxy for temperature variations. ”

    What climate data is it compared with? Is the material used a proxy for a proxy, or a proxy for a thermometer?

    Anyone throw any light on it?

    tonyb

  66. Geoff Sharp says:

    Geoff Sharp (23:17:36) :

    [snip too sly on self promotion there, sorry]

    Dont be such a party pooper, I promote you on my blogrolls, we are both pushing in the same direction.

    I thought my reference to future climate expectations was on topic. Certainly more reliable than treemometers?

  67. twawki says:

    OT but in the lead up to copenhagen this is whats becoming the norm.

    Headline; Adelaide latest victim of global water shortages

    Reality; http://www.eldersweather.com.au/damlevel.jsp?lt=state&lc=sa

    Most of Adelaide’s dams are 90-99% full

    Guess the guardian hopes most its readers dont check the facts

  68. Jimbo says:

    Saaad (04:54:14) :

    “A bit O/T but I need some help to find the simplest, most easily readable explanation of the scientific case against AGW alarmism.”

    I know you’ve mentioned Jennifer Marohasy but this recent article from Michael Hammer lays it out in layman’s terms over 14 points of contention.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/09/why-i-am-an-anthropogenic-global-warming-sceptic-michael-hammer/

  69. Robert E. Phelan says:

    The part I liked was:

    “My colleagues and I are working to develop methods that are capable of expressing robust evidence of climate changes using tree-ring data”

    Confirmation bias anyone?

  70. P Wilson says:

    as a non related issue. Who is taking this message to UEA and the IPCC? They ought to be kept up to pace.

  71. Geoff Sharp says:

    This statement from Briffa certainly seems to show some doubt in his mind:

    “Whether the McIntyre version is any more robust a representation of regional tree growth in Yamal than my original, remains to be established.”

    After this amount of time he should be more confident in his and other members of the team’s work?

  72. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Real Climate have just posted something too…

  73. Jonas N says:

    Also RealClimate has made a post. Bot mostly about somthing completely different …

  74. kim says:

    Here is one of Keith Briffa’s explicit statements: “My colleagues and I are working to develop methods that are capable of expressing robust evidence of climate changes using tree-ring data.” If that is not an implicit admission that present methods are not robust, then I don’t know what it is.
    ====================================

  75. P Wilson says:

    In his explanation, DR Briffa maintains he is working on developing methods to give robust evidence of climate data using tree rings.

    That sounds very tentative. At best the climate reconstruction would express drought, humidity, c02 levels and other climatic factors. Certainly not a temperature reconstruction

  76. RR Kampen says:

    Re: Robert E. Phelan (07:44:41) :

    Well, RC has has found its voice:

    “http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/#more-1184″

    With a lot of real argumentation, very refreshing. I’d guess the Yamal wind is over.

  77. Henry chance says:

    Message to readers
    September 30, 2009 · 56 Comments
    Thanks to all for continuing to visit in spite of the absence of posts. My injury was more severe than I thought at first. However, my wife is willing to help with typing so I hope to post something before too long … I can’t yet say exactly when, but possibly soon.

    As for Steve McIntyre’s latest: I’m really not that interested. He just doesn’t have the credibility to merit attention. I have way better things to do.

    The above from tamino

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/message-to-readers/

    ! Steve is claimed to be irrelevant
    2 Playing the injured victum card.

    I enjoy this discussion board, It is fresh and fair.

  78. Tim S. says:

    “More seriously, many of you will have noticed yet more blogarrhea about tree rings this week…” -RealClimate

    LOL! Ouch, someone’s feelings have been hurt! :D

    I guess tree rings are okay if they back up AGW, but are just “blogarrhea” if they don’t.

  79. Carlo says:

    And Keith Briffa is ill.

    Due to illness, Keith is currently away. He will not be able to respond to emails for some time. He is not currently accepting invitations to review papers or proposals.

  80. bob paglee says:

    Congratulations for helping to reveal the [snip] selection of data used to create the now-infamous hockey-stick temperature rise prediction. But apparently it hasn’t bothered the UK’s purveyors of climate hysteria at Oxford University’s climate “science” conference. On Monday, 28 September, according to a report in the Guardian, Richard Betts, head of climate hysterics “…at the Met Office Hadley Centre, presented a study demonstrating that the world could see a 4C rise as soon as 2060-2070…”

    Anthony, I wonder — did Betts present a new “hockey stick” study, or just a regurgitation of the same old junk science? What kind of “climate science conference” would ignore the mammoth science scandal that is developing over the [snip] of the original “hockey stick?

  81. TomLama says:

    Oooookey Dokey!

    Environmental Wackos and zany know it alls like Algore MUST now know that their lie has been exposed.

    No warming only cooked climate books. This is now part of the historical record.

    Anyone or any institution that claims the planet is dangerously warming has lost the right to say so without being called out for what they are: despicable liars.

    We are now entering our second decade of cooling. Over 95% of all increases in CO2 in the atmosphere is completely natural.

    TEAM AGW has no warming, their models are failures, their data is cooked, and the theory of CO2 being able to warm the planet has been debunked over and over again.

    Anybody dissagree that these are the facts as we now know them to be?

    Americans need to scream at their congressmen to call an end to the con game. We are needlessly stepping on the neck of our energy supply so that a few ponzi schemers like Algore can become “carbon billionaires.”

    If a foreign nation tried to cut our energy supplies with this hoax we would declare war on them. I think that lying environuts have been at war with us for years. Now we have the proof.

  82. adamskirving says:

    Briffa has made an initial response to McIntyre:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2000/

    h/t Jennifer Marohasy

  83. Mark Young says:

    tonyb,

    This study and others by McDonald may offer some insight into how responsive treelines are to temperature. You have to dig in a bit however. Note how gentle they are when it comes to inconsistency with the temperature record.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2606780/

    My read is that they’re pretty sensitive, which anyone who’s ever mowed a field at the margins can probably already tell you.

    Mark

  84. MattN says:

    These trees are just not teleconnected and nobody told them….

  85. RR Kampen says:

    Re: TomLama (08:07:30) :

    “Over 95% of all increases in CO2 in the atmosphere is completely natural. ”

    It’s just a bit strange that the C-isotope distribution in the atmosphere has changed exactly as if all the extra CO2 would have come from fossil carbon. Eh, but isotopes? That is esoteric stuff, not at all visible to the naked laymen’s eyes, so the myth of isotopes can easily be explained away. Using nukes if need be.

  86. AnonyMoose says:

    nor mention of “hockey stocks”

    One does rarely encounter mention of hockey stocks. There are some pretty certificates available from Florida Panthers Holdings, Inc.

  87. Urederra says:

    Jeff Id (21:18:37) :

    Trees make lousy thermometers. Tree-lines however, I have no problems with.

    I do have some problems with tree lines too. They may also respond to CO2 levels, if CO2 levels are the limiting factor at those latitudes/altitudes. Do you know about any paper that proves CO2 levels are not a limiting factor? (I am not supporting anything, I am just curious) it seems difficult to prove.

    There are some peer reviewed papers proving that plants that grow in atmospheres with 750 ppm of CO2 are more resistant to low humidity levels. (you can look at http://www.co2science.com if you are interested) Maybe augmented CO2 levels allow trees growing at higher altitudes.

  88. AnonyMoose says:

    adamskirving (08:11:08) :
    Briffa has made an initial response to McIntyre:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2000/
    h/t Jennifer Marohasy

    “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 …” A method? What method?
    “The basis for McIntyre’s selection of which of our (i.e. Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s) data to exclude and which to use in replacement is not clear …” He tried to explain it, and undoubtedly can provide more detail. Where did you explain yours?

  89. P Wilson says:

    Mark Young (08:21:31) : I don’t know if this is relevant but my garden slightly expanded in 2006 here in London, although in 2008 showed greater vegetation than 2006. That is: greater yield for the same area than 2006, yet 2006 was considerably hotter during the summer, whilst 2008 was considerably cooler and wetter

  90. OT: You know, universities and colleges seem to spend a lot of effort to impress upon students the seriousness of plagiarism and academic ethics then we elect plagiarists to high office and let researchers use selection to fabricate data sets and watch as science journals ignore their own publication criteria and universities conceal what is happening. Why don’t we just tell kids the truth: do whatever you want and if you get caught, make sure you have friends to help you deny, spin and rationalize.

    How are physicists supposed to go up against flat-earth proponents when all that is said about the power of the peer review publication system and evidence-based application of the scientific method is being made into a complete farce? Does the science community have to decay to the point that journalism has reached before a problem is acknowledged?

  91. Carlo says:

    I am not able to ask skeptical questions on Realclimate.org, they delete all my messages.
    North Korea like, one way communications over there.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

  92. I think Steve’s just this minute got server problems again

  93. richcar says:

    Looking at Gavins graph b of the non tree ring temperature reconstruction (blue curve) of the Northern Hemisphere (land and water) we see the HADCRU temperature splice (red) for the last 130 years of approximately 1 degree C. However looking at spikes from the MWP to the LIA the graph reveal as much as a 1.2 degree C range. I do not see a hockey stick in this reconstruction and certainly does not look like the media or IPCC Hockey stick.

  94. Mike McMillan says:

    It’s been my experience from looking at a lot of tree stumps, that a tree ring for any year can vary in width as you go around its circumference. That means that cores taken from the same tree but from different azimuths can yield very different patterns. I wonder if multiple cores are taken from each tree to compensate for this fact?

    Correlation coefficients with temperature were calculated, but were they adjusted for any correlation with rainfall?

    btw’s –

    They’re thinking of deleting Anthony’s bio on Wikipedia :
    This article may not meet the notability guideline for biographies. Please help to establish notability by adding reliable, secondary sources about the topic. If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged or deleted. (September 2009)

    Get well card to K. Briffa.

  95. Yertizz says:

    Kaboom.

    I’ll second your proposal that Steve McIntyre deserves a Nobel Prize for this effort.

    Now…if we can only get those Muppets at the BBC to see the jig is up for AGW…that’s something I have been working on for the last 3 years.

    Nil desperandum…I will get there eventually because I have no intention of giving up. Director General Mark Thompson must know by now that I am an itch he cannot scratch!

  96. TonyB says:

    I referenced John who said

    Briffa has commented –

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cru.uea.ac.uk%2Fcru%2Fpeople%2Fbriffa%2Fyamal2000%2F

    “”Chronologies are constructed independently and are subsequently compared with climate data to measure the association and quantify the reliability of using the tree-ring data as a proxy for temperature variations. ”

    I then asked;

    “What climate data is it compared with? Is the material used a proxy for a proxy, or a proxy for a thermometer? Anyone throw any light on it?”

    David over at CA said in reply to someone else;

    “Since noone else has reacted to your seemingly sensible suggestion, I will.
    The problem is that the local temperatures have not risen in any significant way. Real temperatures for the area do not match the cherry picked treemometers meteoric rise, and are more or less flat, with maybe a slight rise. Certainly not enough to have a significant noticable effect on the permafrost (never mind being miraculously localised for the particular patch of ground under this amazing tree).

    At this point, anybody schooled in science asks themselves “what ? you mean the trees are not correlated to local temperatures prior to being used as proxies ??”

    The amazing answer is yes. These climate scientists do NOT correlate their proxies with local temperatures, but with the whole Northern Hemisphere temperature AVERAGE.

    The climate scientists have a term for this. They call it “teleconnection”, and do not seek to actually demonstrate that it is a fact, but take it instead on faith that if the proxy has risen in line with the Northern Hemisphere temperature average, then there IS a connection.

    Yes, it’s scary that so much fear mongering goes on regarding unprecedented temperature changes when the connections are so weak, but welcome to climate science.”

    Anyone care to elaborate on my original comment and the proxy reply by David?

    tonyb

  97. Tilo says:

    Okay, Briffa has denied picking out individual trees. That is to be expected. But his selection process is still not described. He says that Hantemirov and Shiyatov had 17 series from living trees. That seems like a very small sample if they took 2000 cores as Anthony tells us. In any case, how were the 12 selected from the 17.

    I think that Briffa gives us a hint about how his cherry picking actually works.

    “We do not select tree-core samples based on comparison with climate data. Chronologies are constructed independently and are subsequently compared with climate data to measure the association and quantify the reliability of using the tree-ring data as a proxy for temperature variations. ”

    So, basically, they generate the chronologies. After they are created they are checked against surface temp data to “quantify the reliability”. Of course this implies that if a chronology does not match the surface temp data, it will be thrown out. It’s a fine distinction, but it’s still cherry picking. The fact that the picking process occures after the chronology has been created seems to be unimportant. This excuse is, of course, the one that was presented by Tom P. I’m still trying to figure out if Tom P. was Briffa.

    Briffa objects to the way that McIntyre uses his data when he says.

    “He offers no justification for excluding the original data; and in one version of the chronology where he retains them, he appears to give them inappropriate low weights.”

    Of course Briffa gives no justification for excluding data either. Actually, McIntyre’s justification is that the data might have been cherry picked. But after admitting that McIntyre does produce a chart with the combined data in the next breath, he claims that he gave them “inappropriate low weights”. I can’t speak to the weighing issue. I hope that Steve will do that. But some of his complaints also remind me of Tom P’s complaints.

    REPLY:
    I agree, the density of these people is astounding. See main page for an update. – Anthony

  98. TonyB says:

    Mark Young kindly gave a reference to me earlier which ties in with my 9 03 25 re tree lines and proxies.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2606780/

    This is regarding tree lines where it is expected that tree lines will move north according to studies by…Briffa and Hansen! This is a very small enclosed little world isn’t it? Its a good read though and hopefully will enable others to throw some more light onto my own referenced post above

    tonyb

  99. Tim S. says:

    “It’s just a bit strange that the C-isotope distribution in the atmosphere has changed exactly as if all the extra CO2 would have come from fossil carbon. Eh, but isotopes? That is esoteric stuff, not at all visible to the naked laymen’s eyes, so the myth of isotopes can easily be explained away. Using nukes if need be.” – RR Kampen (08:26:57)

    So what if all of the extra CO2 (maybe) comes from fossil carbon? I for one welcome it. CO2 was much higher in the past and the human race prospered. It’s the cold that’s the problem. Fewer crops. Less food. Starvation. Worry about those things instead of fussing over a trace gas that is less heat-trapping than methane or the much more abundant water vapor.

  100. Tom in Florida says:

    Robert E. Phelan (07:44:41) : “Well, RC has has found its voice:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/#more-1184

    I read no counter arguments of Steve’s methond only rantings that he is wrong, unscientific and the rest of us are blind followers. I also noted a distinct defense of Al Gore as an authority because “he speaks to real scientists” before trying to brainwash children. Of course he does so how did he get so much wrong?

  101. Tilo says:

    I also forgot to mention that Briffa said nothing about why he refused to archive his data for all those years. The resistance to archiving as well as his ongoing lack of transparency belie his claim of fairness.

    He also seems to be distancing himself from his samples. When he says:

    “McIntyre replaces a number (12) of these original measurement series ”

    He doesn’t say “my measurement series”. As though he had nothing to do with the series that Steve is replacing.

  102. P Wilson says:

    RR Kampen (08:26:57)

    Oh that is naughty not to mention that there is an atmospheric excess of C14 during low solar phases, as that isotope occurs naturally. during low solar phases, the earth can get warm due to lack of cloud cover. Its documented in ice cores and tree rings from the past and what not. That C14 isotope is the same as the Anthropogenic

  103. Stephen Parrish says:

    Wow. I guess trees are related to climate in that, along with weather, soil, human/beast ineraction, fire, infestation, it is one of the input to its growth.

    But if the measure of the proxy is how well it matches another time series, and you can pick from thousands of proxy time series to isolate the really good matches– have I got some stock picks I’d like to sell you!

  104. Stephen Parrish says:

    I’d also have to say that it is the “enchanted larch” post which has finally opened RC’s lid.

    I await their explanation for the 10y delay in releasing the data.

  105. AnonyMoose says:

    RC merely says that Briffa’s post explains it all, but RC does not explain just how the trees were selected. Oddly, at first Google Sidewiki didn’t want to work on RC but now it does.

  106. LarryOldtimer says:

    Not only do tree lines reflect temperature, there is an availability of CO2 to consider. With altitude, the air gets less dense, and the availability of CO2 becomes less. Since carbon from CO2 is a prime component of what the tree “makes itself of” as it grows, and it has been demonstrated that less availability of CO2 retards growth, this availability of CO2 is a huge factor as altitudes increase.

  107. Saaad (04:54:14) : … I need some help to find the simplest, most easily readable explanation of the scientific case against AGW alarmism.

    …what I really really need is to give him a link to a really great primer that he can read and absorb quickly, so that he can really latch on to the whole issue, especially the broken hockey stick!

    A question I often wonder about. For me, it was the graph of relentless CO2 levels climbing alongside the up-down and since 2000 dipping temperatures, that set me on the quest to rebut the hydra-headed “science” of the “rebuttals” one by one.

    Bishop Hill’s story “Caspar and the Jesus Papers” is an excellent standalone good story, not impossibly long or difficult to grasp. I did a one-pager on our website to try and answer your point, but I prefer the Bishop, frankly.

    Any other ideas out there?

  108. LarryOldtimer says:

    This “one-trick pony show” of temperature alone is akin to a civil engineer such as myself designing a bridge, and considering only the loads of vehicles which will be on the bridge, and neglecting the load imposed by the weight of the bridge itself. Or for that matter, neglecting wind loads. Not considering all of the forces acting on the bridge, and they are numerous, is how bridges have indeed failed.

    The way this “temperature alone” is going is a certain way to complete failure.

  109. R. Craigen says:

    There’s a few things I don’t get her.

    First, what’s all the focus on the Yamal data sets, given that they all come from a tiny region in Siberia — hardly a region one would naturally take as a proxy for worldwide climate, and in any case highly nonrepresentative. I don’t care if a million samples were painstakingly recorded; this remains a one-point sample, like a 1000-year-old thermometer at the Los Angeles airport. Do IPCC and such folks really take this sort of analysis seriously enough to overturn broadly accepted notions like the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age? If I’m right and the severely localized nature of these data is already enough to kill them (for the political purposes to which they’ve been arrogated) why aren’t you and McIntyre and friends hammering on this point? Is it the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about?

    Also, why is there so much data from this one region? convenience sample because of well-preserved wood? Surely this approach can be repeated in thousands of locations around the world. Why the focus on only one? Or are these simply the only politicized data? What does one get if similar tree core data from around the world is invoked for global context — assuming of course that such is already archived somewhere?

    Also, it seems to me that the basic task of collecting data is simple enough — find some well-preserved old wood, date it by some standard technique, and carefully measure the ring width. Data collected in this way, once documented and archived, can be incorporated into world-wide data sets (documentation of one’s control of error might be the biggest challenge). So what’s to stop thousands of amateurs around the world from adding to these archives?

    Finally, I don’t get McIntyre’s objection to your analysis. It seems that tree ring data is tree ring data. The locale may be different, but it’s geographically close enough to represent essentially the same climate system. The methodology of the two different studies are evidently different, but — who cares? If the original data is available anyone can work from it to arrive at parallel analyses of the two data sets; the result should compare appropriately, apples-to-apples. I read his explanation over twice, and I just don’t see why McIntyre says the H and S reconstruction is irrelevant to his analysis. Is he tossing out the data or the analysis? It seems the data is perfectly relevant, though the analysis may not be.

  110. R. Craigen says:

    Also, it seems this data has very little, if any, MWP signal. This suggests to me that it is unreliable as an indicator of climate history (though one might argue that I’m working backwards from conclusion to data). Perhaps tree ring data has been overrated in any case (even after one filters out CO2 effects and local environmental changes, etc.)?

  111. Ulric Lyons says:

    The Yamal mean June–July temperature anomalies graph above is much the same as 350yrs of CET. The linear trend over the whole record is very flat in the summer months, particularly June, nearly all the warming occurs through the months of October to March.
    Individual month trends in the last 100yrs show a slightly different picture, with May, June and February showing the least rise, and March and October showing a larger rise than December/January. What springs to mind with the recent extra warming in March and October, is the increased connection to the solar wind at the equinoxes, and the potential for more warming in these months when the solar signal is strong.
    What the tree ring records are useful for is identifying past cold seasons from the frost rings, as this study by Rashit shows, has the same very cold years as the rest of Europe; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V6R-4C7VXM2-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=794e6aa065c8ff48df3f6c7cd6fae5de

  112. ralph says:

    Interesting that it gives greater cooling for the Dalton minimum, than the Maunder.

    .

  113. Dan Evans says:

    TonyB (09:03:25) :

    “These climate scientists do NOT correlate their proxies with local temperatures, but with the whole Northern Hemisphere temperature AVERAGE.
    The climate scientists have a term for this. They call it “teleconnection”,”

    I was wondering about that. They actually beleve that they have found 12 psychic trees that can sense temperature globally.

    It’s time to run random data through their method and show that a hockey stick is always created no matter what. Better yet, use it to find trees sensitive to the Dow Jones average and prove that there was no market crash in 1929.

  114. David Segesta says:

    Please help me understand this. As I read it the hockey stick is the result of tree ring data from 10 trees from a remote region of Russia. Those trees seem to be not representative of other trees from the region. Also only one of the 10 actually bears the hockey stick shape. The data from those 10 trees is used to calculate temperature, although other factors such as rainfall, CO2 level and nutrient levels could also influence tree ring growth. Is this correct?

    Some logical questions are:
    How meaningful is the calculated temperature when other factors are known to influence tree ring growth? How are the thermometer trees calibrated?
    How meaningful is the calculated temperature from those trees when other trees from the region seem to show different results?
    How accurate are those 10 trees (or 1 tree) in determining the temperature of the world?

    Am I missing something here?

  115. ralph says:

    And remember that the Dalton minimum is absolutely and certainly linked to a Sunspot minimum.

    So what is the causal link?

    Leif does not approve of any changes in TSI, solar wind, magnetic flux or Cosmic rays.

    So what is the causal link?

    .

  116. ralph says:

    >>It would be best for him to hunker down, as the he
    >>is unlikely to receive any approbation from the zealots….

    [snip]

    Let’s hope not.

    .

  117. Richard says:

    Real Climate has finally come out with comments about the Yamal affair. The response has been predictable.

    From “the group” at Real Climate – “Who should we believe? Al Gore with his “facts” and “peer reviewed science” or the practioners (sic) of “Blog Science“? Surely, the choice is clear….”

    “Blog Science“ of course meaning Steve McIntyre and his deconstruction / destruction of the Briffa Yamal analysis.

    Before this the opening lines of Hey Ya! (mal) from “the group” :
    Interesting news this weekend. Apparently everything we’ve done in our entire careers is a “MASSIVE lie” (sic) because all of radiative physics, climate history, the instrumental record, modeling and satellite observations turn out to be based on 12 trees in an obscure part of Siberia. Who knew?

    No groupies -what IS a MASSIVE LIE is the Yamal temperature reconstruction of Briffa.

    This lie was used to bolster the claim that the original hockey stick of Mann was verified by subsequent “independent” studies and data.

    This data reconstruction was used directly in the temperature reconstruction of no less than 10 of the 12 graphs of the IPCC AR4 spaghetti graph.

    It was based on this spaghetti graph, and not on any radiative physics, climate history, instrumental records, modeling or satellite observations, that the IPCC anounced that the warming of the past 50 years has been unprecedented in the past at least 1300 years.

    That statement has been shown to be clearly false by Steve McIntyre’s “Blog Science“.

    The difference between Steve McIntyre’s “Blog Science“ and the “peer reviewed science” claimed by “the group”, is that this “blog science” is published on a website along with the data, analysis, programs. It is open to all to review, criticise, analyze and debunk. It has been attacked and defended in open forum. Surely these are the attributes of “peer review”?

    The “peer reviewed science” alluded to by “the group” on the other hand, has been “peer reviewed” by a small group of authors, referred to as “The Hockey Team” or “The Team” for short, who all “peer review” each others papers.

    The data, the programs and the methodology used to arrive at their conclusions, in flagrant violation to the rules of science, is not given to any other independent reviewer, who might want to try and replicate their results or critically examine the data and methodology.

    All requests for this data and methodology has been denied for years and on the two rare occassions that it has been revealed, (reluctantly and only under duress, and after years of protracted battle), it is been found that the “peer reviewed” science was indeed defective and wrong, if not clearly manipulated.

    And this by “Blog Science”.

    It is not surprising therefore that sceptics, like myself, do not look upon this “peer reviewed” science as peer reviewed science at all, but instead like highly suspect edicts from a secretive cabal.

    So coming back to the question put by “the group” “Who should we believe? Al Gore with his “facts” and “peer reviewed science” or the practioners of “Blog Science“? Surely, the choice is clear….”

    It is to me – I would trust the “Blog Science” of Steve McIntyre to the “facts” of Al Gore, or the “peer reviewed science” of “The Team”. Wouldn’t you?

  118. richard clenney says:

    Good work, McIntire! Now, I wonder if tree rings might be a better
    indication of “Growing season length” and annual rainfall than
    temperature. ( I saw a program on “NOVA” recently that attributed
    tree ring width to annual rainfall—-just asking. As far as tree lines
    go, they have to lag the change, (can’t anticipate warmer weather).

    Richard C.

  119. Richard says:

    In this counter attack by Real climate they have admitted:

    Does that mean that the existing Yamal chronology is sacrosanct? Not at all – all of the these proxy records are subject to revision with the addition of new (relevant) data and whether the records change significantly as a function of that isn’t going to be clear until it’s done.

    Translation – we know that the Yamal chronology of Briffa is just plain wrong and manipulated ( I mean come on folks why would we stonewall and excuse our way for 3 years and finally only posted the data unannounced in response to the rules and pressure of the Royal Society, hoping no one would see it, if we didn’t have something to hide), but we will subsequently publish some “peer reviewed” work (“peer reviewed” by the old boys network of “The Team”) that will confirm Briffa’s Yamal hockey-stick.

    They are laying the foundation for a retreat and a cover-up.

  120. E.M.Smith says:

    That the 30 year moving average reliably jumps up and down with great wiggles is clear evidence that using 30 years as “climate” is a bad joke.

    If you are using anything less than about 100 years you are just being mislead by the cycles longer than your base.

    Other than the LIA dip, the most stunning thing about the last 200 years is just how incredibly stable the last 100 years have been. Look back down that graph of 30 year wiggle. We ain’t doin’ nuttin’.

  121. E.M.Smith says:

    TonyB (00:02:32) : However, even reading the link Anthony provides I can not find any indication of the time scales needed for tree lines to shift, nor if this time lag differs according to the type of trees. Can anyone define any time lines to go with the tree lines?

    It will likely be asymmetrical with heat / cold and variable by species. For most species there is a hard “freeze limit”. Drop below that limit for a few days (enough to take all the core heat out and have the sap wood hit limit) and the tree is dead. On the warming side, you need seeds to be sent up slope and take root. Saplings are more sensitive to cold than mature trees, too. So I’d expect to see a fairly rapid “decent” and a much slower “ascent” of the mountain…

    You will also see one species enter an area first, then others follow, in a succession that depends on temperature tolerance. Probably useful.

    My rampant speculation is that you would need about 10 years for cold to do in most of a species “at the limit” with the biggest trees going last and about 100 years to move “up slope” as the population establishes new adults that can provide seeds to ‘further up’. The exact distance that is “further up” will be species dependent with some wind born for 100 miles and other creeping at 100 feet / year or less as animals move the seeds or as root suckers creep up the dirt.

    (The largest known living thing on the planet at one point was an Aspen grove that covered several hundred or thousand acres – it was one clone from root suckering…)

    So: Down slope cold, damn fast. Up slope warm, not so much…

  122. E.M.Smith says:

    Joe in Florida (02:49:26) : How can we fight such overwhelming propaganda? They fudge the data to show warming, and when the data is shown to be fudged say that is irrelevant since we all know that the planet is warming.

    “And The Truth Shall Set You Free”

    I was stressing over this some time ago. Then I listened to Pamela whispering in my ear: “It’s the Ocean Currents”. Then I heard Geoff saying “It’s the cycles”. Then I looked out the window and saw no tomatoes, but my Scarlet Runner beans were setting pods way early… and the wind was blustery when it ought not be, and the snows in Peru killed hundreds….

    And it was at that moment that I felt a sad prayer for the lost in the southern mountains, that I lusted for a tomato and had none, that I realized the A/C was not turned on at all this summer… It was at that moment that I looked at the sun (chart) and saw not spots…

    And realized a simple truth. A truth that sets you free:

    The world is getting colder.

    The PDO has flipped. No Joy in AGWville.
    The Sun is sleeping. No Joy in AgwVille.
    The snows have returned. Happy skiing, but no joy in agwVille.
    The children of Peru have died in large numbers from cold. No joy.

    And it is this sad, terrible truth that will set you free…

    We are headed into cold, and thousands will die.

    And that will end the AGW fantasy.

    It will take about a decade ( 1/2 decade if we are very lucky). There will be laws past and there will be taxes raised and there will be great self satisfied self congratulatory celebrations held. And there will be great pronouncements of World Saviors Anointed and Noble Prizes will be awarded…

    And children will die in the cold…

    And mothers will mourn.

    And it will be on TV.

    And fires will light.

    And revenge.

    10 years.

    No more.

    Match?

    Pyre!

  123. E.M.Smith says:

    Saaad (04:54:14) : Any ideas chaps?

    Well, you could try this:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/agw-basics-of-whats-wrong/

  124. Richard says:

    Regarding sea-ice the DMI site is at last up and running. Sea ice is increasing, air temperatures plummeting and the NOAA site shows the Artic Oscillation is headed downwards too. This will mean the winds will blow from the arctic southwards instead of the other way round.

    Everything points to a cold October for the NH.

    December is a long way away. But my betting is it will be cold in the NH, specially if the AO is negative, which will bring the cold arctic air to bear upon North America and Copenhagen.

    As Richard Lindzen pointed out, incidents of cold and warmth are unimportant for the science, but are important for public perception. And it would help the public to perceive if the people at the conference froze their butts off.

  125. Katlab says:

    I did it, Anthony. I handed this article and Biffa’s response personally to Glenn Beck tonight. He’s going to read them on the bus home. Hopefully you and Steve will be hearing from him. What are the odds, he would be 40 miles away from me, on a newsday like this?

  126. Layne Blanchard says:

    RR Kampen (08:26:57) :

    “It’s just a bit strange that the C-isotope distribution in the atmosphere has changed exactly as if all the extra CO2 would have come from fossil carbon.”

    Strange indeed. How incredibly fortunate that Earth’s C02 production is EXACTLY matched by its uptake as the balance of Earth’s chaotic climate system changes around it.

    Were this true, the concentration of C02 could never vary. Hardly a dynamic, natural process.

  127. E.M.Smith says:

    Carlo (07:56:42) : And Keith Briffa is ill.

    Due to illness, Keith is currently away. He will not be able to respond to emails for some time. He is not currently accepting invitations to review papers or proposals.

    So any indication of nature of the illness? Mental, emotional, physical ???

    I vote for #2

  128. E.M.Smith says:

    RR Kampen (08:26:57) : It’s just a bit strange that the C-isotope distribution in the atmosphere has changed exactly as if all the extra CO2 would have come from fossil carbon.

    The isotope argument is broken. See:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

  129. E.M.Smith says:

    LarryOldtimer (11:52:14) : Not only do tree lines reflect temperature, there is an availability of CO2 to consider. With altitude, the air gets less dense, and the availability of CO2 becomes less. Since carbon from CO2 is a prime component of what the tree “makes itself of” as it grows, and it has been demonstrated that less availability of CO2 retards growth, this availability of CO2 is a huge factor as altitudes increase.

    Every so often someone makes a profound statement that causes an “Ah Ha!” moment. They are not often, so when one happens, you really ought to take note of it.

    ALL the CO2 and growth data is in ppm. Nothing talks to partial pressure or absolute pressure. What LarryOldTimer points out is that we do not know if it is absolute pressure or partial pressure. We have ppm as partial pressure, but is there an absolute pressure factor? Given what I know of chemistry and biochemistry certain GONGS! are going off. I smell a doctorial thesis here… (maybe only a Masters, it is politically incorrect, after all…)

    The experimental set up is simple: Plants, variable pressure enclosure, measure growth. Vary partial pressure. Vary absolute pressure. Compare.

    I suspect the result will show that absolute pressure is the limiting factor to growth. Hmmm… so many ways to go from here…

    Mars?

  130. Mr Lynn says:

    Saaad (04:54:14) :
    A bit O/T but I need some help to find the simplest, most easily readable explanation of the scientific case against AGW alarmism. My local (Australia) MP wants more info before he heads into a State parliamentary debate on the subject in a couple of weeks and has asked me to email him some appropriate links for him to learn more…..like so many people in Australia, he had little idea that there were genuine scientific concerns about the validity of AGW alarmism….until my lovely wife got hold of him today! . . .

    Go to http://www.sepp.org/ (Fred Singer’s site), in the left pane click on Publications, then click on ‘NIPCC REPORT 2008′. That gives you a very readable 50-page PDF called, “Nature, Not Human Activity,
    Rules the Climate.”

    Print it out in color (or ‘colour’ for you in the Commonwealth) and you’ll have a terrific primer. You can probably order multiple bound copies from Dr. Singer, too, or from Heartland.

    /Mr Lynn

  131. RR Kampen says:

    Re: P Wilson (09:45:06) :

    “Oh that is naughty not to mention that there is an atmospheric excess of C14 during low solar phases, as that isotope occurs naturally. during low solar phases, the earth can get warm due to lack of cloud cover. Its documented in ice cores and tree rings from the past and what not. That C14 isotope is the same as the Anthropogenic. ”

    So there is an eleven year cycle of C14-concentration in the atmosphere? It seems to be measurable: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1990AuJPh..43..357M&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_VIEW&classic=YES .
    Of course it has nothing to do with the excess CO2 of +35% compared to 1900 (or any peak in concentration during past 350,000 years) in the atmosphere.

    Re: E.M.Smith (19:11:54) :

    “The isotope argument is broken. See:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

    Can you summarize this vague article for me?
    I found no comparison between 1961 (when the excess CO2 in the atmosphere was first proven to be anthropogenic) and now. The comparison is essential as CO2-print has (or has not?) changed since then.

    I found the author puts significance to volcanoe activity ref CO2/CO2-isotopes. A well-known fallacy: volcanoes play virtually no role in the CO2-evolution.

    The author states “It looks to me like there are more holes here than bucket… I don’t see how C12:C13 ratio can be reasonably used to make any clear assertion about where the CO2 in the air comes from.”

    He should take this ignorance as a reason to ask professionals in the area. Maybe he can refer back to that first research in 1961.

  132. Dirk says:

    The data you show here is flawed in that it presents an inaccurate portrayal of climate- because the studies are older, they don’t show the last 10 years cooling that has been going while CO2 has steadily increased. Thus, someone new to the topic could think that warming has happened at a previously unheard rate, and that we are destined for disaster.

    I’d like to see a study that includes the last 10 years data to provide a more balanced view that global cooling is just as much a threat (and based on its affect on oceanic CO2 absorption and disease, perhaps more) than global warming.

  133. Kent Ross says:

    Given that I’m going to criticize, I should probably point out that I am very much on side with the majority viewpoint of this blog, to wit, that paleoclimatological proxies need more examination before they are used to justify huge government programs.

    I got to this post via a “possibly related” link on the bottom of another post on this same blog (that is to say, it looks as if the subject matter of this post is still an ongoing argument).

    I claim no expertise in any scientific field, but after carefully reading the post and comments, I think that the post’s current title, “More Yamal tree ring temperature data: this data is flat as roadkill” does not adequately reflect the fact that the one recognizably (to me) qualified commenter characterized its argument as “irrelevant”. Your reply to his comment promised to “change the title to reflect your [Steve Mcintyre's] points”. I will be so bold as to suggest a second update, by someone (emphatically not me) familiar with the difference between RCS and the “corridor method” (of data smoothing, I gather) used by Hantemirov and Shiyatov, and changing the post title to “Obsolete argument: Yamal tree ring data are flat as roadkill, when processed by one standard statistical method”.

    Investigating data smoothing and manipulation routines used by the “hockey team” may well remain fruitful for investigation of scientific malfeasance (case in point, the clearly labelled “fudge factor” in the “HARRY README” file found in the CRU hack/leak), but I think you need to distinguish between debunking arguments they’ve made and portrayals (however accurate) of data they’ve chosen to manipulate with a different method (RCS) than the original authors used.

    I think Briffa adequately flagged his use of RCS, and Mcintyre (probably to his credit) accepted that RCS is a statistical method which potentially could show something, and entered the lions’ den to debate on their terms, meanwhile slipping you a hint that this post of yours was not helpful. If I’ve followed the reasoning correctly, I think that if this post were a paper submitted for publication and sent out for peer review, either of them would have recommended rejection or reworking, and that leaving it on your blog “as is” invites AGW alarmists to come by and chortle “of course the Hantemirov/Shiyatov 2002 reconstruction is flat, who ever said it wasn’t?” and confuses sensible people who will wonder whether WUWT has accepted that there was no MWP or LIA in northwest Siberia.

    Sorry to criticize an otherwise good blog, but the scientific method that requires you to show your data so that they can be critiqued also requires that you accept criticism when you can’t refute it. Please find someone who understands why “the H and S method [is] unable to recover centennial scale variability” yet still finds this post relevant to arguments actually being made, or mark it accordingly.

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