New paper makes a hockey sticky wicket of Mann et al 98/99/08

NOTE: This has been running two weeks at the top of WUWT, discussion has slowed, so I’m placing it back in regular que.  – Anthony

UPDATES:

Statistician William Briggs weighs in here

Eduardo Zorita weighs in here

Anonymous blogger “Deep Climate” weighs in with what he/she calls a “deeply flawed study” here

After a week of being “preoccupied” Real Climate finally breaks radio silence here. It appears to be a prelude to a dismissal with a “wave of the hand”

Supplementary Info now available: All data and code used in this paper are available at the Annals of Applied Statistics supplementary materials website:
http://www.imstat.org/aoas/supplements/default.htm

=========================================

Sticky Wicket – phrase, meaning: “A difficult situation”.

Oh, my. There is a new and important study on temperature proxy reconstructions (McShane and Wyner 2010) submitted into the Annals of Applied Statistics and is listed to be published in the next issue. According to Steve McIntyre, this is one of the “top statistical journals”. This paper is a direct and serious rebuttal to the proxy reconstructions of Mann. It seems watertight on the surface, because instead of trying to attack the proxy data quality issues, they assumed the proxy data was accurate for their purpose, then created a bayesian backcast method. Then, using the proxy data, they demonstrate it fails to reproduce the sharp 20th century uptick.

Now, there’s a new look to the familiar “hockey stick”.

Before:

Multiproxy reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperature variations over the past millennium (blue), along with 50-year average (black), a measure of the statistical uncertainty associated with the reconstruction (gray), and instrumental surface temperature data for the last 150 years (red), based on the work by Mann et al. (1999). This figure has sometimes been referred to as the hockey stick. Source: IPCC (2001).

After:

FIG 16. Backcast from Bayesian Model of Section 5. CRU Northern Hemisphere annual mean land temperature is given by the thin black line and a smoothed version is given by the thick black line. The forecast is given by the thin red line and a smoothed version is given by the thick red line. The model is fit on 1850-1998 AD and backcasts 998-1849 AD. The cyan region indicates uncertainty due to t, the green region indicates uncertainty due to β, and the gray region indicates total uncertainty.

Not only are the results stunning, but the paper is highly readable, written in a sensible style that most laymen can absorb, even if they don’t understand some of the finer points of bayesian and loess filters, or principal components. Not only that, this paper is a confirmation of McIntyre and McKitrick’s work, with a strong nod to Wegman. I highly recommend reading this and distributing this story widely.

Here’s the submitted paper:


A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000 Years Reliable?

(PDF, 2.5 MB. Backup download available here: McShane and Wyner 2010 )

It states in its abstract:

We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.

Here are some excerpts from the paper (emphasis in paragraphs mine):

This one shows that M&M hit the mark, because it is independent validation:

In other words, our model performs better when using highly autocorrelated
noise rather than proxies to ”predict” temperature. The real proxies are less predictive than our ”fake” data. While the Lasso generated reconstructions using the proxies are highly statistically significant compared to simple null models, they do not achieve statistical significance against sophisticated null models.

We are not the first to observe this effect. It was shown, in McIntyre
and McKitrick (2005a,c), that random sequences with complex local dependence
structures can predict temperatures. Their approach has been
roundly dismissed in the climate science literature:

To generate ”random” noise series, MM05c apply the full autoregressive structure of the real world proxy series. In this way, they in fact train their stochastic engine with significant (if not dominant) low frequency climate signal rather than purely non-climatic noise and its persistence. [Emphasis in original]
Ammann and Wahl (2007)

On the power of the proxy data to actually detect climate change:

This is disturbing: if a model cannot predict the occurrence of a sharp run-up in an out-of-sample block which is contiguous with the insample training set, then it seems highly unlikely that it has power to detect such levels or run-ups in the more distant past. It is even more discouraging when one recalls Figure 15: the model cannot capture the sharp run-up even in-sample. In sum, these results suggest that the ninety-three sequences that comprise the 1,000 year old proxy record simply lack power to detect a sharp increase in temperature. See Footnote 12

Footnote 12:

On the other hand, perhaps our model is unable to detect the high level of and sharp run-up in recent temperatures because anthropogenic factors have, for example, caused a regime change in the relation between temperatures and proxies. While this is certainly a consistent line of reasoning, it is also fraught with peril for, once one admits the possibility of regime changes in the instrumental period, it raises the question of whether such changes exist elsewhere over the past 1,000 years. Furthermore, it implies that up to half of the already short instrumental record is corrupted by anthropogenic factors, thus undermining paleoclimatology as a statistical enterprise.

FIG 15. In-sample Backcast from Bayesian Model of Section 5. CRU Northern Hemisphere annual mean land temperature is given by the thin black line and a smoothed version is given by the thick black line. The forecast is given by the thin red line and a smoothed version is given by the thick red line. The model is fit on 1850-1998 AD.

We plot the in-sample portion of this backcast (1850-1998 AD) in Figure 15. Not surprisingly, the model tracks CRU reasonably well because it is in-sample. However, despite the fact that the backcast is both in-sample and initialized with the high true temperatures from 1999 AD and 2000 AD, it still cannot capture either the high level of or the sharp run-up in temperatures of the 1990s. It is substantially biased low. That the model cannot capture run-up even in-sample does not portend well for its ability
to capture similar levels and run-ups if they exist out-of-sample.

Conclusion.

Research on multi-proxy temperature reconstructions of the earth’s temperature is now entering its second decade. While the literature is large, there has been very little collaboration with universitylevel, professional statisticians (Wegman et al., 2006; Wegman, 2006). Our paper is an effort to apply some modern statistical methods to these problems. While our results agree with the climate scientists findings in some
respects, our methods of estimating model uncertainty and accuracy are in sharp disagreement.

On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data. The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample.

As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has
a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth. Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.

Our main contribution is our efforts to seriously grapple with the uncertainty involved in paleoclimatological reconstructions. Regression of high dimensional time series is always a complex problem with many traps. In our case, the particular challenges include (i) a short sequence of training data, (ii) more predictors than observations, (iii) a very weak signal, and (iv) response and predictor variables which are both strongly autocorrelated.

The final point is particularly troublesome: since the data is not easily modeled by a simple autoregressive process it follows that the number of truly independent observations (i.e., the effective sample size) may be just too small for accurate reconstruction.

Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models. We have shown that time dependence in the temperature series is sufficiently strong to permit complex sequences of random numbers to forecast out-of-sample reasonably well fairly frequently (see, for example, Figure 9). Furthermore, even proxy based models with approximately the same amount of reconstructive skill (Figures 11,12, and 13), produce strikingly dissimilar historical backcasts: some of these look like hockey sticks but most do not (Figure 14).

Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large. It is not clear that the proxies currently used to predict temperature are even predictive of it at the scale of several decades let alone over many centuries. Nonetheless, paleoclimatoligical reconstructions constitute only one source of evidence in the AGW debate. Our work stands entirely on the shoulders of those environmental scientists who labored untold years to assemble the vast network of natural proxies. Although we assume the reliability of their data for our purposes here, there still remains a considerable number of outstanding questions that can only be answered with a free and open inquiry and a great deal of replication.

===============================================================

Commenters on WUWT report that Tamino and Romm are deleting comments even mentioning this paper on their blog comment forum. Their refusal to even acknowledge it tells you it has squarely hit the target, and the fat lady has sung – loudly.

(h/t to WUWT reader “thechuckr”)

Share

About these ads

1,226 thoughts on “New paper makes a hockey sticky wicket of Mann et al 98/99/08

  1. What’s a truck?

    REPLY: A Lorry. But don’t make me figure out what you are referring to. Just say it. – Anthony

  2. Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large.

    We have been saying this here for the past few years. It’s good having the planet’s large natural variability statistically confirmed in a peer reviewed paper. The larger the natural variability, the less wiggle room for the putative effects of a rise in a tiny trace gas.

  3. Downloaded the paper; saved local.
    Definitely a devastating ”curtain call” for Mann, et. al.
    Three cheers for the Fat Lady. . . .

  4. “As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series.”
    This does not sound like a recommendation.

    “The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. “
    But they give a backcast anyway?

    REPLY: Oh puhlezze, but Mann writes a paper anyway? Amman and Wahl go through all their gyrations to avoid McIntyre to write a supporting paper? yeah sure. Nick you are deluding yourself. Proxies are not temperature data, and trees are not accurate thermometers.

    You failed to make any headway over at CA with your line of reasoning, I don’t think you’ll get any traction here either. – Anthony

  5. Anthony as always thanks for the update, one hopes that truth will finally be heard. With our current MSM and government I worry that it will be kept here and in the obscurity of statistical academia.

  6. So…. Th’ science isn’t settled…… Who woulda thunk it!

    The hard bit though, is getting the mainstream media to tell people about it….. They’re more interested in headlines like, “CO2 stole my Baby”, and other fanciful notions of greenhouse gases, than in reporting factual accounts of good science and statistics.

    …. But maybe there’s a change in the wind.

  7. The title of this post should refer to Mann ’08 because that is where they drew their data from. The reference to Mann ’99 is just a passing reference used to place their work in historical context.

    REPLY: yes but really it refers to all of them, as it has been an ongoing paper chase. – Anthony

  8. “Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample.”

    Hide the decline? The recorded data has been *massaged*, most climate scientists are riding the gravy train(engaged in fraud).

  9. Nick said:

    “But they give a backcast anyway?”

    They give a backcast which shows that the temperature a thousand years ago could have been much warmer or much cooler than the present day. This is perfectly consistent with their deep reservations about the predictive ability of the proxy data.

    Its worth noting that their Bayesian reconstruction calculates an 80% probability that the most recent decade is the warmest in the past 1000 years. That is not exactly a complete repudiation of the hockey stick. Then again, they didn’t even try to address the data quality issues in Mann ’08. Thir reconstruction includes the tree rings and Tiljander.

    I would be interested to see what happens when that data is removed.

  10. “Furthermore, it implies that up to half of the already short instrumental record is corrupted by anthropogenic factors, thus undermining paleoclimatology as a statistical enterprise.”

    OUCH!

  11. Best line of the excerpts, it bears repeating.

    Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models.

    i.e. they’ve done it wrong, and then oversold it.

    Bravo.

  12. Guest post to WUWT on April 26, 2010 by Girma Orozngo, B.Tech, MASc, PhD, provides an equation bearing on the latter-day period from 1880 – 2010 projected to AD 2100, showing “excellent agreement” with GMTAs’ [Global Mean Temperature Anomalies] observed vs. modeled turning points, to wit:

    GMTA = .0059 x (Year – 1880) – .52 + 2pi x Cos((Year – 1880)/60)

    Prof. Orozngo’s chart (termed Figure 3) realistically depicts late-19th Century temperatures rebounding from Earth’s Little Ice Age (LIA) through AD 2100, exhibiting cyclical highs/lows above and below a long-term linear regression-line. As real-world evidence refuting Mann et al. continues to accumulate, it would be useful to track Prof. Orozngo’s extrapolation in light of a looming Dalton if not Maunder Minimum presaging an overdue reversion to Pleistocene Ice Time.

  13. Here’s the definitive article on questions about the Mann Hockey Stick:

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

    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it. The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources, including actual climate scientists who produce their own outlier charts of the upward march of temperatures (are there any?)

    Besides… Species are migrating north. Glaciers and Arctic ice are melting at unheard of rates. The ocean is becoming more acidic, and has experienced a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2’s effect on phytoplankton.

    Similarly, climate scientists are getting bored with arguments from untrained individuals that the “trace gas” CO2 does not play the major role in the recent and rapid temperature increases. This role was proven in a laboratory in the 19th century by Arrhenius, and has not been seriously disputed since.

    Best wishes.

  14. Yo, Nick Stokes,

    That whole issue can be settled in very short order by Mann and his clique opening the books on their data and methodologies.

    Only pseudo-scientific charlatans would refuse to disclose tree ring data and methods…

    …right?

  15. We hold these truths to be self evident that all data shall be weighted equally and endowed by their compiler with verifiable links, among them, raw data, algorithms, and methodologies . . .

  16. Mike Roddy,

    At first I honestly thought you were doing a silly parody of the RealClimate charlatans.

    Then I realized you were serious.

    Condolences. You’ve been immersed in the realclimate echo chamber way too long.

  17. The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources, including actual climate scientists who produce their own outlier charts of the upward march of temperatures (are there any?)

    Oh, the usual collection of liars, damnliars, and outliers.

    This role was proven in a laboratory in the 19th century by Arrhenius, and has not been seriously disputed since.

    Well, not until Arrhenius, 1906, anyway . . .

    But, seriously, Mike. Stick around. Impart knowledge. Learn. In the genuine liberal tradition.

    At any rate, most of us here believe the planet has somewhat warmed, CO2 is a GHC and has increased temperatures. The crux of the argument is all about rates and feedbacks — and, heh-heh, “adjustments”.

    And so long as you keep it civil, your posts will not be deleted, which is more than you can say for realclimate. It’s a contentious issue, but you’ll find WUWT’s little (that is to say “huge”) readership to be more openminded than most.

  18. OT

    This WUWT blog should create it’s own Hurricane prediction poll on the side line. I bet we could predict hurricane activity much closer than NOAA’s current prediction accuracy.

    This blog’s Hurricane prediction forecast poll may be the one in the future that financial institutions rely on to make actuarial plans, set premiums, and is used to make preparedness plans.

    I predicted zero hurricanes last year, this year and was 100% accurate.

    I’m not saying I am 100% accurate, but with the contribution of the WUWT community, I bet we will increase prediction accuracy by 1000%

    This also goes for predicting the severity of the coming winters so that the states can more accurately prepare for the amount of money they will need to spend on salt and snow removal.

    It’s obvious our experts are failing us.

  19. Journalists will not attempt to understand, let alone explain, these findings. There should be someone (perhaps Mr Watts himself) who can issue concise, accurate summaries of this and other papers cited on this site in a form that will be understood by the general populace and perhaps even by journalists. It has to be in a form that will allow an eye-catching headline and a television news story. Accuracy would be of the utmost importance, so that news outlets can trust the summaries. There is, of course, no guarantee that the news media will take advantage of such a service, but we can hope and pray.

  20. The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.

    Yet they rely in stats and math to deduce the state of climate….. do you realize just what you’re saying?

  21. I read this paper earlier this evening. It’s spectacularly devastating to the Mann hockey stick series of papers, not least because it’s very much up-to-the-minute, and it coincidentally amounts to being a resounding affirmation of M&M’s work. And more besides, in fact. It’s also wonderfully easy to read (which makes a nice change) and I therefore commend it to the house.

    Everyone should read it, because it is effectively the last chapter in the field of paleo reconstruction and the final nail in the coffin of Mann’s hockey stick.

    Mike Roddy says:

    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it. The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources, including actual climate scientists who produce their own outlier charts of the upward march of temperatures

    . . . . . . . BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  22. Now that took time to read. I found footnote 12 on page 39 particularly telling:

    On the other hand, perhaps our model is unable to detect the high level of and sharp run-up in recent temperatures because anthropogenic factors have, for example, caused a regime change in the relation between temperatures and proxies. While this is certainly a consistent line of reasoning, it is also fraught with peril for, once one admits the possibility of regime changes in the instrumental period, it raises the question of whether such changes exist elsewhere over the past 1,000 years. Furthermore, it implies that up to half of the already short instrumental record is corrupted by anthropogenic factors, thus undermining paleoclimatology as a statistical enterprise.

    Also, it’s nice to see other statisticians are stepping up to take a look.

    OK S.

  23. You know, this is really no surprise. Despite the fact that I felt McIntyre & McKittrick had already de-bunked the hockey stick to my satisfaction, it is still good to see this in print.

    After reading the paper, key points that stick in my mind:

    • Climatology is inherently a statistical endeavour

    • Although climatologist may understand atmospheric physics, they don’t necessarily understand statistics & have grossly under-collaborated with statisticians in their work, which is a fundamental flaw

    • Although not directly stated, it is implied that the models that climatologists hang their AGW models on are inherently flawed because they lack the proper statistical framework. It certainly explains the continued divergence between “the models” & reality.

    • “response and predictor variables which are both strongly autocorrelated.” For those not versed in signal analysis, the stronger the autocorrelation function (peak at t=0), the more random the signal is. The predictor variables are the proxies – this is saying that the proxies are not much different than random noise. The response is the time signal – this is saying that temperature is close to a random response relative to the proxies. … which of course is entirely consistent with McIntyre & McKittrick , where they used a random number generator to replicate the Mann curve.

    • “Commenters on WUWT report that Tamino and Romm are deleting comments even mentioning this paper on their blog comment forum. ” Tamino & Romm, as they say, “Sucks to to be you”

    • Unfortunately, as damning as this is, just as

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/13/is-jim-hansens-global-temperature-skillful/#more-23402

    was damning, this is a clearly a matter of faith for the believers. Don’t expect AGW to go quietly into the night. All that can be done is continue to circulate studies like McShane and Wyner 2010 & try to educate as many people as possible to buy time. With time (I am guessing by 2020, given a cold PDO & AMO going into it’s cool phase by then) it will be come clear to all that catastrophic AGW was a bogus theory & it will die. …. of course, I am sure the leftist scaremongers will have a new boogieman by then to try to scare the populus into submitting to the government.

  24. “The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.”

    Then they are pretty much doomed to continue repeating the same mistakes.

  25. Sigh, only half-way through it. Admittedly, some of the stat techniques are a bit tricky for me, (I’ll work through them.) but the paper in itself is very clear.

    This paper doesn’t simply break a hockey stick, it breaks an entire sub-specialty of climatology, specifically paleoclimatology. They will either have to reprint all text books or throw the psuedo-science out the window to the trash heap to lay alongside phrenology, numerology, and astrology. Oh, the humanity!!!!

  26. Looking at the paper above…

    No medieval warming period, I see. And no temperature decline post-1998?? I thought you were arguing that the world was getting cooler, and arctic ice was recovering? [Cough, cough].

    I guess we can put those ones to rest then, can’t we? After the way you’ve embraced this paper!

    The way it looks from here is that you guys will pretty much accept ANYTHING that throws doubt on CAGW, without worrying whether it is logically consistent with all the other things you have accepted/argued before. This does not translate into a coherent science-based system of knowledge building.

    You need a theory to explain what is happening now. It needs to be falsifiable. And you have to either accept that new scientific papers fit your theory, or explain why they don’t. You would also need to follow up on Mann et al.’s commentary on this paper. Otherwise it’s just another fishing expedition.

  27. John Blake says: August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    GMTA = .0059 x (Year – 1880) – .52 + 2pi x Cos((Year – 1880)/60)

    John, you missed the climatology bit.

    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
    yearlyadj=interpol(valadj, yrloc, x)
    GMTA = GMTA +yearlyadj
    Now plot GMTA, it has become a hockey stick through the science of climatology.

    See also: FOI2009/FOIA/documents/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro

  28. “…our model offers support
    to the conclusion that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the last millennium,…”

    It is an interesting paper and may influence how proxy reconstructions are done in the future. Mann’s papers already had large error bars – maybe the should be larger; it will be interesting to see how he responds. It does not change the fact that CO2 warms the earth and we need to be thinking about what to do about our CO2 emissions.

  29. The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it. Not exactly how to win friends and influence people – what I think your going to find that politicians to whom AGW must be sold are absolutely feral statisticians regardless of their professional or academic backgrounds. If the confidence in the science cannot match the pain of solution, then it falls off of the public agenda.

  30. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    (…)
    The way it looks from here is that you guys will pretty much accept ANYTHING that throws doubt on CAGW, without worrying whether it is logically consistent with all the other things you have accepted/argued before. This does not translate into a coherent science-based system of knowledge building.
    ———Reply:
    I clicked on a link provided in one of the comments of a recent story here on WUWT and it directed me to an interview w/ Phil Jones, who acknowledged that in that past 150 or so years there had been 4 warming periods, all of about equal magnitude. It was only the last one, which we are currently enjoying, that he attributed to increases in CO2. But the big question is: Why not the other three? Did he have irrefutable proof that those were not caused by CO2? Did he have any idea what else might have caused those warming periods without benefit of anthropogenic CO2? Good questions all, but the main point is that Phil Jones has, without any verifiable reason, pinned this current warming trend on CO2.

    Now, that isn’t just ANYTHING–it is Phil Jones making a mockery of science; Phil Jones is the incoherent one. HE is the one doing a great job of NOT doubting CAGW against all logic. But applying logic to Phil Jones’ statements leaves me laughing at Phil Jones. I say, man, can Phil Jones be that absolutley daft?

  31. We should not get ahead of ourselves. I think this is a very interesting and well constructed paper. The authors certainly believe that current multi-proxy studies are seriously flawed. The assumption about the quality of the proxy data and their inclusion of Tiljander oriented presumably as Mann left it oriented are areas for further exploration. However, I do not understand enough of the statistics to start jumping up and down
    That said footnote 12 is a doozie and will take some explaining.

    More generally, I will be interested in how Ammann responds since he has co-authored papers with Li (2007, 2010) where more sophisticated approaches than those of Mann were used.

    Mike Roddy does not know what he is talking about and I doubt that he has actually comprehended anything more than the abstract and conclusion. I will wait until Ammann, Tamino and statistically knowledgeable folks respond.

    Note:
    Prof Wyner dropped by CA and said a few nice things.

  32. While breaking from the reading, mainly because Adobe isn’t responding at the moment,

    “MBH…a cardinal rule of statistical inference is that the method of
    analysis must be decided before looking at the data. The rules and strategy of
    analysis cannot be changed in order to obtain the desired result. Such a strategy
    carries no statistical integrity and cannot be used as a basis for drawing sound
    inferential conclusions.”
    —heh, I always suspected as much.

    “The degree of controversy associated with this endeavor can perhaps
    be better understood by recalling Wegman’s assertion that there are very
    few mainstream statisticians working on climate reconstructions (Wegman
    et al., 2006). This is particularly surprising not only because the task is
    highly statistical but also because it is extremely difficult.”
    ——Didn’t we hear those thoughts echoed by one of the climate gate white wash committees? How many times do they have to be told this is statistical work!?! Junior, leave it to the professionals!

  33. The paper has some witty one liners too, such as:

    “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”

  34. It amazes me that “climate scientists” have invented their own little band/kind/brew of math/statistics to handle their own data. I understand there are several tested and true statistics programs that would save them the pain of having to invent their own, but no, they stick their noses in the air and defy disciplines that are magnitudes older than their brief science. And to what end? To look like fools, apparently. The science isn’t settled, but really, the mathematics and the statistics doesn’t need to be re-invented–it just needs to be applied properly.

  35. @Smokey

    Duckster, are you friggin’ blind??

    So where exactly would you place a medieval warming period here? Asking me to accept a medieval warming period (which is what I have been asked to do here) means showing how and where it got warmer, and then how and when it got cooler. A steady downward temperature trend is not a warming period.

  36. Mike Roddy,

    Have you thought about what a 40% reduction in the ocean fish biomass would mean to, say, Japan? Do you really think this could be happening without it being big news?

    Sometimes a little checking is worthwhile.

  37. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    “Looking at the paper above…

    No medieval warming period, I see. And no temperature decline post-1998?? I thought you were arguing that the world was getting cooler, and arctic ice was recovering? [Cough, cough].

    I guess we can put those ones to rest then, can’t we? After the way you’ve embraced this paper!”

    Sis, have you actually read the paper? Are you not understanding what they are asserting? Read the little notation underneath figure 16. I’d cut and paste from the paper, but my Adobe is going belly up for some reason. Still, the paper clearly states that they are not addressing the validity of the data. (That’s probably in the next paper if it is necessary.)

    What they are stating is, even if the data are correct, Mann et al. did it wrong(along with a long list of other statistician wannbees), and further, proxies have no predictive properties. Now, work backwards from that. If you require further explanations, just ask, I’d be happy to provide them to you.

  38. This is quite important, because it comes not from “deniers”, but from objective scientists with no particular axe to grind, but who also have apparently not been influenced by climate science groupthink. It is interesting that even in the various recent “exoneration” reports and older reports as well, a recurring criticism of climate science has been the minimal collaboration with statisticians and resulting less than ideal statistical analyses. If this paper is correct, “less than ideal” may actually be “essentially useless”.

  39. Well, all I can say is it’s about time. I mean SM and others have been poking and prodding around the statistics for many years now. It’s shocking in a way that a paper like this has been published in a statistics journal after so much time has passed and so much water has flowed under the bridge. I would have thought attempted replication would have been performed sooner.

    Still, better late than never. I don’t expect this will get much traction in the mainstream, but with blogs like this, who cares?

  40. Duckster: “No medieval warming period, I see.”

    Are you looking at a different graph than the one above? Looks pretty warm at the beginning of the graph.

  41. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    Looking at the paper above…

    The main point of this paper is to debunk the maths Mann used. You can get similar hockey sticks by using random numbers. Speak to that subject please.

    By shifting focus to whether or not the graph shows a MWP is a strawman and is completely irrelevant to the point of the paper. Besides, the graph (fig.16) uses the same proxy data Mann used, with correct maths. Mann’s proxy data (and maths) explicitly set out to remove the MWP so it is no surprise that his biased proxy selections camouflage the MWP. Nevertheless, fig.16 does show temperatures 1000 years ago were on a par with today’s (according to Mann’s proxies).

  42. Rocky Road,

    Here is the Phil Jones chart. It shows recurring natural cycles. Only a scientific charlatan would point to the last ramp and say, “Look! AGW!”

    Duckster says:

    “Asking me to accept a medieval warming period (which is what I have been asked to do here) means showing how and where it got warmer, and then how and when it got cooler. A steady downward temperature trend is not a warming period.”

    No one knows exactly how the planet gets warmer and colder. There are hypotheses, and conjectures like the CO2=AGW assumption. But it is not necessary to know the mechanics in detail to observe the MWP. Science doesn’t work like that.

    Here are eighteen proxies showing the MWP. The warming peak around 1000 A.D. is the same as the McShane and Wyner paper shows, and the same as the GISP2 ice cores show. The ice cores are empirical observations that trump all MWP speculation.

    You really need to get up to speed. I recommend doing a search of the WUWT archives for “MWP.” There is plenty there for you to learn.

  43. @duckster

    Open your eyes. Half the graph is hotter than today. Not that it means anything because they took mann’s garbage at face value, for the sake of the exercise. But, garbage they found it to be.

  44. So where exactly would you place a medieval warming period here? Asking me to accept a medieval warming period (which is what I have been asked to do here) means showing how and where it got warmer, and then how and when it got cooler. A steady downward temperature trend is not a warming period.

    I interpret the paper as saying given the data we have, what’s the best we can make of it?, rather than the proxies are all strong indicators of the temperature record, let’s process them correctly. I’m not sure but I think you may be missing this subtle but important distinction as you scan their graph for a MWP.

  45. Mike Jowsey says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:32 pm
    duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    Looking at the paper above…

    The main point of this paper is to debunk the maths Mann used. You can get similar hockey sticks by using random numbers. Speak to that subject please.

    By shifting focus to whether or not the graph shows a MWP is a strawman and is completely irrelevant to the point of the paper. Besides, the graph (fig.16) uses the same proxy data Mann used, with correct maths. Mann’s proxy data (and maths) explicitly set out to remove the MWP so it is no surprise that his biased proxy selections camouflage the MWP. Nevertheless, fig.16 does show temperatures 1000 years ago were on a par with today’s (according to Mann’s proxies).

    ————

    Is it possible to get what mann got, instead of this, if you’re trying to do it right? I don’t think so.

  46. “Similarly, climate scientists are getting bored with arguments from…individuals that the “trace gas” CO2 does not play the major role in the recent and rapid temperature increases. “

    Is that right? Is that so.

    They no longer amuse us, either.

  47. ZT @August 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm says:

    The paper has some witty one liners too, such as:

    “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”

    I caught that, too, but I took it as an attempt to stay away from that issue, with the problems that have been raised here and other places, but at the same time note that there may be issues there that are not addressed in the paper.

  48. —Nick Stokes said: “The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. “
    But they give a backcast anyway?—

    You clearly missed one of the major points of the paper. I’m guessing you probably missed all of its points.

    In any case, Mann “gave a backcast anyway,” too…as did the other temperature reconstructions going back to 1000 AD. Why don’t/didn’t you have a problem with those?

  49. Duckster, the LIA was between 1560 and 1850 (note in the graph that the temperature line is lowest for this interval) while the MWP was before that. We’re only now back up to what is considered the MWP (AD 800 to 1300); note that the graph only goes back to about AD 950, so you don’t see the beginning up-tick in temperatures leading to the MWP.

    But the critical aspect here is the vast difference between the shape of the temperature curve from this mathematical analysis and the shape of Mann’s Hokey Stick (my personal vernacular). James Sexton above makes the point clearly—Mann SCREWED UP! So when correct mathematics is applied to Mann’s data, the LIA and MWP are clearly seen and there is no horrific, unprecedented upswing in the temperature graph at the end. Mann’s pseudo-statistics is blatently obvious.

  50. I’m tempted to head for the basement, take out my trumpet (unplayed for many years), turn it upside down, and play Taps on it –except that Taps is meant to be a sign of respect (back in the day, I played it at many veterans funerals), and so it would not be appropriate here.

  51. Robinson,

    While the paper does include a discusson of “MBH98″ and the original “hockey stick” controversy, it does also cover Mann et all 2008 – which is quite recent and relevant – along with any number of other proxy reconstructions.

  52. Mike:
    It does not change the fact that CO2 warms the earth and we need to be thinking about what to do about our CO2 emissions.

    I think we need to fine down the forcing and make a determination as to feedbacks. then we will know what actions we have to or do not have to take.

    I don’t see how it adds up. Even if the adjusted temperatures are correct (which I doubt), and all the warming is from CO2 increase (also unlikely), the 0.7 degree 20th Century warming form a 40% increase of CO2 does not compute.

    Doubling of CO2 is supposed to hike temps by 1.2C and positive feedbacks are supposed to almost triple that. So temperature increase should be around +2.0C, not +0.7C

    If it demonstrably does not add up over the past century, why would it add up over the next century?

  53. Mike Roddy-
    You mean untrained individuals like Andy Revkin- “So climate super-extremes are inevitable, the number of people is doubling, and greenhouse-driven change, given the uncertainties, is — at best — a tertiary wild card.”

    Meanwhile, Prof. Richard Alley sounds like an undergraduate polysci major when he makes asinine comments like this to congress- “What is going on in the Arctic now is the biggest and fastest thing that nature has ever done.”

    Everyone now recognizes your CAGW fingerprint list for what it is- Gaian phrenology masquerading as science.

  54. @Jowser By shifting focus to whether or not the graph shows a MWP is a strawman and is completely irrelevant to the point of the paper.

    No. I am saying that by accepting this paper you need to either show why it doesn’t show a MWP or you need to discard one of your major arguments. You can’t just choose any paper that casts doubt on CAGW because it casts doubt on global warming. You need to show that it is consistent with the other arguments you have made that cast doubt on CAGW.

    Now a quick look back through the archives here shows a graph of when the MWP occurred. This doesn’t look anything like the graph above:

    MWP compared to Mann

    If you are going to accept the article above, then the graph I have linked to is wrong. Isn’t it? Be consistent!!

  55. McShane and Wynes’s published rebutal of Mann’s Hockey Stick in the Annals of Applied Statistics is welcome support for Steve McIntyre’s findings. They have taken what is called in military map making, a ‘cross bearing’ of the terrain.

  56. Andrew30,

    True, alas too true… but Prof. Orozngo’s 1880 – 2100 chart (termed Figure 3) as depicted by WUWT last April has a curiously aesthetic look of finality about it. Speaking of the estimable Mike Roddy, as Charlie Brown said: “How can we lose when we’re so sincere?” (To have suffered a thunderbolt from AW himself is a great coup.)

  57. “Furthermore, it is hard to argue that a procedure is truly skillful if it cannot consistently outperform noise–no matter how artfully structured.”—another heh.

    For duckster, We plot these backcasts in Figure 14 in grey and show the CRU average in black. As can be seen, while these models all perform similarly in terms of cross-validation, they have wildly different implications about climate history. and
    According to some of them (e.g., the ten proxy principal component model given in green or the two stage model featuring one local temperature principal component and ten proxy principal components featured in blue), the recent run-up in temperatures is not that abnormal, and similarly high temperatures would have been seen over the last millennium. Interestingly, the blue backcast seems to feature both a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age whereas the green one shows only increasing temperatures
    going back in time.
    ——-back to reading.

  58. In Conclusions p 41 – “Consequently, the long flat handle
    of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth”

  59. Michael Jankowski says: August 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm
    Actually there’s quite a lot in this paper I agree with, including the suggestion that uncertainty levels may be higher than often thought. I suspect, though, that people here will get more excited over the shape of the reconstruction than over the observation of its uncertainty.

    I particularly liked this observation:
    This effort to reconstruct our planet’s climate history has become linked to the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). On the one hand, this is peculiar since paleoclimatological reconstructions can provide evidence only for the detection of AGW and even then they constitute only one such source of evidence. The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental period (IPCC, 2007). These models show that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature increases.

  60. Duckster, you don’t seem to get the fact that this new paper is not using all available evidence. It is using ONLY what Michael Mann cherry-picked [read The Hockey Stick Illusion by A.W. Montford to clearly see Mann's cherry-picking shenanigans].

    Do you see? It’s statistics, using only Mann’s selected data. Is this starting to sink in?

  61. Nice article.

    “instead of trying to attack the proxy data quality issues, they assumed the proxy data was accurate for their purpose, then created a bayesian backcast method”

    What I especially like about this particular article is that it now moves the battlefield to where we want it. Rather than squabble over how thick the ice is this year or how hot last April was in South Tuvalu we need to get to the heart of the matter and ask – How accurate are the models?

    It is quite clear that any half believable model will have to include thresholds, tipping points, runaway processes etc. ie they will be highly non-linear and most likely chaotic.
    I want to see more work in this area – exposing the models for the hamfisted guesses that they are.

  62. …and hence have been overconfident in their models…

    Are not these models the basis of much of the work done in attributing climate change? Boy, if they go down, the flag is soon to follow…

  63. @Smokey

    Duckster, you don’t seem to get the fact that this new paper is not using all available evidence

    So is this how you get around the fact that McShane and Wyner is showing almost 2 degrees of warming since 1850? This is way beyond what Mann et al show – and would be truly unprecedented, wouldn’t it?

    Do you see? It’s statistics, using only Mann’s selected data.

    OK. So your job now would be to show consistency by fitting it into the available evidence so that it doesn’t contradict the other points you have made against CAGW. There is no point at all in destroying Mann if you have to throw out half of the all the other things that have been said on this blog in order to do so.

    REPLY: Sorry “duckster” but you are wrong, there is not “almost 2 degrees since 1850″ – about 0.7C maybe 1C if I were to be generous. Have a look at the intersecting blue lines to the red mean line for 1850 and the most recent data point:

    Annotated by Anthony - Fig 16

    Also, Figure 15 from the paper shows essentially the same:

    Figure 15

    You really can’t argue on the basis of noise, or annual values. The mean line is the message. – Anthony

  64. Mike Roddy says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Here’s the definitive article on questions about the Mann Hockey Stick:

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

    But no actual discussion is allowed….

    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it. The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources, including actual climate scientists who produce their own outlier charts of the upward march of temperatures (are there any?)

    Head In Sand much?

    “The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources” but very poor statisticians, as has been demonstrated widely now. They somehow refuse to see this, however.

    Besides… Species are migrating north. Glaciers and Arctic ice are melting at unheard of rates. The ocean is becoming more acidic, and has experienced a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2′s effect on phytoplankton.

    Species move all the time. There is no proof whatsoever that any migration is due to any warming (real or not) as opposed to natural variation and other changes we make to the environment that have nothing to do with CO2.

    Similarly, climate scientists are getting bored with arguments from untrained individuals that the “trace gas” CO2 does not play the major role in the recent and rapid temperature increases. This role was proven in a laboratory in the 19th century by Arrhenius, and has not been seriously disputed since.

    And we are getting bored with untrained statisticians wilfully ignoring fatal statistical flaws in their work so that they can continue a political agenda.

    Arrhenius proved that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. He also disputed his own findings in the 20th century and found its influence to me much lower that he first thought (in the 19th century), but most alarmists fail to mention that minor point. That proof, however, does not demonstrate any catastrophic effect on climate. He thought it would be good in fact! The required forcing and positive feedbacks that warmists need to create scary scenarios are nowhere near observed or proven, so Arrhenius was probably right – it is a GOOD THING!

  65. Nick Stokes @ 9:04pm

    Oh dear Nick, a quotation from page 2 of the introduction putting the background in context and quoting from the IPCC. Is that the best you can do? There are another 43 pages after that or did you stop there?

    Mind you, Blakeley McShane is from the Kellogg School of Management and is obviously funded by big corn.

  66. It’s nice to see a publication in one of the “top statistical journals” even after all these years which agrees with what the vast majority of us here have known for so long: that the hockey team’s work is pure mince.

    (“Mince”: A Scottish term which roughly translates as “garbage”.)

  67. I can just picture Gavin Schmidt’s grandfather writing on his blog in the early 20th century: “Arrhenius disappoints”.

  68. Oh Nick, let it go; CO2, in sufficient quantities “can force temperature increases”. We know that:

    The late S. Schneider knew that:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/173/3992/138

    It’s just that those forcings diminish to statistical errors, as does the temperature response.

    The point about this [final] nail in the HS is that it shows whatever is happening today is not exceptional; that was the point about Mann’s HS and the basis of AGW; it was wrong. Find another cause; how about asteroid collisions? That’s a real issue.

  69. To misquote Julius Henry (Groucho) Marx, amateurs should stick to brain surgery. Lightweight Math Mann was clearly out of his depth.

    Looking at Fig. 16 above, it reinforces my belief that the descent into the next ice age started about 3500 years ago at the end of the Minoan warming. The GISP2 ice core shows a long term downslope during the last ice age of about 0.14C per 1000 years. The initial descent from the peak of the last interglacial was about 0.4C per 1000 years. Fig. 16 is steeper than that.

  70. Michael says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    This WUWT blog should create it’s own Hurricane prediction poll on the side line. I bet we could predict hurricane activity much closer than NOAA’s current prediction accuracy.

    Easily done – instead of one forecast, we’d have 100. that greatly increases the chance one is more accurate. Or do you propose getting everyone to agree on a single forecast. (Consensus forecasting?)

    This blog’s Hurricane prediction forecast poll may be the one in the future that financial institutions rely on to make actuarial plans, set premiums, and is used to make preparedness plans.

    Somehow I have have trouble visualizing a Board of Directors meeting discussing the relative merits of of people who have spent 1000s of hours looking in to many details over a group of mostly nameless, and uncontactable people.

    I predicted zero hurricanes last year, this year and was 100% accurate.

    There were three. None hit the US mainland, but your statement is 1000% wrong.
    All right, infinitely wrong. 3 / 0 does not compute.

  71. As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth.

    Poetic justice. The alarmists fiddle the temperature record to introduce a spurious temperature rise, which these statisticians trust as real, and so it becomes evidence that the other alarmist fiddle, the hockey stick, is ‘not robust’. That means, of course, that on the one hand those of us who seek truth rather than ideology must therefore have reservations about some of this paper’s results until the consequences of the temperature fiddle have been incorporated properly. On the other hand the shysters cannot consistently agree with our reservations! The irony of it!

  72. Why should the community of climatologists object to this peer-reviewed publication? After all, they stood up & cheered on RC etc. when the Oxburgh inquiry exonerated the Hockey Team of professional malfeasance.

    However, they could have used a few undergraduate classes in linear regression!

    The panel found that the statistical tools that CRU scientists employed were not always the most cutting-edge, or most appropriate.

    “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians,” reads the inquiry’s conclusions.

    However, “it is not clear that better methods would have produced significantly different results,” the panel adds.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18776-climategate-scientists-chastised-over-statistics.html

    ——
    This latest publication seems to indicate that, yes, better statistical methods DO produce significantly different results!

    This paper is huge, thanks for posting, Anthony!

  73. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm
    (…)
    OK. So your job now would be to show consistency by fitting it into the available evidence so that it doesn’t contradict the other points you have made against CAGW. There is no point at all in destroying Mann if you have to throw out half of the all the other things that have been said on this blog in order to do so.
    —–Reply:
    No, nothing else needs to be said–this is a refutation of Mann’s statistical methods; as such there is NO requirement to include anything else. Your request is simply an obvious attempt of deflecting a very damning rebuttal of Mann’s mathematical acumen. His authority is over; he IS destroyed and with him goes CAGW. Gone; done; kaput.

    Why? He lied. Or he was stupid. Your choice.

  74. I wonder when the Real Climate team will slam out a response without an answer so their lemmings have a url to point to and declare this paper debunked.

    Fortunately many of us realize that reality isn’t a function of assertion.

  75. While some may not see the humor in this, to me, it is side splitting, a final (b)slap……….

    Our work stands entirely on the shoulders of those environmental scientists
    who labored untold years to assemble the vast network of natural
    proxies. Although we assume the reliability of their data for our purposes
    here, there still remains a considerable number of outstanding questions
    that can only be answered with a free and open inquiry and a great deal of
    replication.
    <———— lol, Phil's greatest fears realized.

    In other words, they seem to be saying, “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!” And, “you had your chance, now the grown-ups have to do it.” “Now, run along and bring me back the thermometer readings and we’ll show you how to interpret them.”

  76. Well, in light of all this, I am open to comments on why deriving climate sensitivity from the LGM is ok.

    I also would like to reiterate that we can predict temperature just fine using the tools given us by meteorology and would like to know why it is necessary to throw out any of the data used in weather prediction when it comes to climate models. Anyone?

  77. Anthony- I think Figure 17 from the paper is actually very telling, since it overlays the newly estimated error bands on top of the archival hockey stick spaghetti graphs.

    Really stunning. Going back more than a few centuries, the error bands fill up the entire vertical extent!

  78. Annals of Applied Statistics is the sixth rated stastics journal (impact factor, of course, = 2.57) Of course, it could be tops in its specialty. It looks like it has a heavy representation of Japanese sponsors and some major statistics departments. The editor-in-chief is a Bush-era National Science medal award winner. The editor for physical & environmental statistics actually looks like an environmentalist from his listed interests. So, fine journal with mixed viewpoints.

    This is an interesting development because it leaves the alarmist professors an out that will allow them to suspend their claims and still receive further funding. You may have won this battle if they take the offer. I don’t think you’ve won the war. That will resume when the cold snap is over and people have forgotten about scandals and such.

  79. I always like to know who wrote what I’m asked to read. I don’t like to feel like I am part of the mushroom syndrome. A new name gets a couple of chances – if I think the comments are untracked I first try to find out whether the writer has any respectability because my lack of understanding could be the problem. Then I could do some research and reading and better assimilate the new information. After reading Mike Roddy’s statements I felt the need to check on him. The second of the listings below seems the most likely to be knowledgeable about his trade. Henceforth, I will only read Jaguar related posts by a Mike Roddy. Climate related comments by Mike Roddy – I don’t think so.

    Okay, will the real Mike Roddy please stand up.

    Mike Roddy is a long-time CP commenter. A UC Berkeley graduate, he has pursued many careers, including solar manufacturing, writing and research, and managing social housing projects on four continents.

    OR

    Mike Roddy Motors’ The Independent Jaguar Specialists’
    The Leader in all aspects of Servicing, Repairs, Restorations and Improvements for all makes of Jaguar cars.

  80. That poor graph – it’s suffered a death by a thousand cuts and yet it still has stalwart defenders. I hope Mann has other successes on which to ride to comfortable retirement because this horse is finished. I can’t help but think his circle of peers is becoming a close knit bunch whose objectivity is certainly now open to wonderment.

    And in the master’s chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    They stab it with their steely knives,
    But they just can’t kill the beast

    I’m probably going to wish there was a preview function here…

  81. GrantB says:
    August 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm
    Nick Stokes @ 9:04pm

    Oh dear Nick, a quotation from page 2 of the introduction putting the background in context and quoting from the IPCC. Is that the best you can do? There are another 43 pages after that or did you stop there?

    Mind you, Blakeley McShane is from the Kellogg School of Management and is obviously funded by big corn.
    ————-
    REPLY:
    Sorry, mate, I’m at University of Illinois and I’M funded by big corn!! And big cheese, big meat packer, big pandemic etc.

    Here’s McShane’s website:

    http://www.blakemcshane.com

    I’ve never met him, but I’ve lectured a bit over at Kellogg & they are usually considered one of the top graduate schools of business in the USA. His resume is very impressive.

    This publication is a serious shot across the bow of the Hockey Team crowd, let’s see how they react to it.

  82. (Mods, would you please change “school’s” to “schools” for me in the preceding post? I hate stupid grammatical errors! Thanks much, Chuck the DrPH)

    [REPLY - I looked and looked. Can't find the durn thing. Please accept a te absolve in lieu of correction. ~ Evan]

    [Reply: Fixe'd! By the undercover grammar sleuth ~...]

  83. Mike Roddy says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s….

    The NAS (National Academy of Science) did not affirm Mann’s conclusions:

    “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” ”

    National Academy of Science
    “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years”
    -page 4

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676

  84. G. Burger 2010

    By avoiding the (calibrating) instrumental period, and by using a fairly robust spectral measure for low-frequency performance, the above coherence analysis has uncovered several inconsistencies among the group of millennial reconstructions that figured prominently in the latest IPCC report and elsewhere. An immediate lesson from this is that simple visual inspection of smoothed time series, grouped and overlaid into a single graph, can be very misleading. For example, the two reconstructions Ma99 and Ma08L, which have previously been described to be in “striking agreement” (cf. Mann et al., 2008), turned out to be the most incoherent of all in our analysis.

    incoherent [ˌɪnkəʊˈhɪərənt]
    adj
    1. lacking in clarity or organization; disordered
    2. unable to express oneself clearly; inarticulate
    3. (Physics / General Physics) Physics (of two or more waves) having the same frequency but not the same phase

  85. Tamino and Romm are deleting comments even mentioning this paper

    How bloody scientific of them. ;-)

  86. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    “So is this how you get around the fact that McShane and Wyner is showing almost 2 degrees of warming since 1850? This is way beyond what Mann et al show – and would be truly unprecedented, wouldn’t it?
    ……
    OK. So your job now would be to show consistency by fitting it into the available evidence so that it doesn’t contradict the other points you have made against CAGW. There is no point at all in destroying Mann if you have to throw out half of the all the other things that have been said on this blog in order to do so.”

    Sorry, I’ve been away, duckster. I’ll try and help explain things.
    The graph that your looking at is a reconstruction of data using one of several statistical techniques employed by the paper in an “attempt” to determine whether the proxy data has any predictive value. The conclusion was that it doesn’t. From the paper:

    “This is disturbing: if a model cannot predict the occurrence of a
    sharp run-up in an out-of-sample block which is contiguous with the insample
    training set, then it seems highly unlikely that it has power to detect
    such levels or run-ups in the more distant past. It is even more discouraging
    when one recalls Figure 15: the model cannot capture the sharp run-up
    even in-sample. In sum, these results suggest that the ninety-three sequences
    that comprise the 1,000 year old proxy record simply lack power to detect a sharp increase in temperature.”

    I’ll interpret. It is saying, because it couldn’t detect the sharp increase in temperatures, as seen in the 1990s, there is no reason to believe it would detect sharp increases or decreases of the past.

    duckster, I know this is hard, it’s probably like the time my first wife……..well, never mind that. But, I know where you’re coming from. Remember, these are reconstructions from proxies which the paper concluded where not of the quality necessary to have predictive(or retro) value. They use the graphs to show you why they are not of good value. They are not using them to illustrate some perceived view of reality.

    You could try actually reading the darn thing. If you gloss over the statistical formulas, it is a fairly nice read.

  87. It’s late Saturday night, this post has been here 4 1/2 hours, and there are 93 comments. Busy night for Anthony and the Moderators.

    [REPLY - We, er, live for, um, danger. ~ Evan]

  88. OK, the Real Climate guys are reacting to it!

    From their Comments section:

    There’s apparently a paper forthcoming from McShane and Wyner in Annals of Applied Statistics to the effect (in my inexpert paraphrase) that proxies can’t say anything useful about climate. Regardless of whether CO2 produces heat, I’ll bet that this paper will.

    [Response: The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn't fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I'm sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions "If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years" is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn't the thread for this, so let's leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what's been done. - gavin]

  89. Mann’s ‘Hockey stick’ hoist by it’s own data set no less. What does the new study do with ‘unadjusted’ data?

  90. As if Michael Mann’s life hasn’t been interesting enough since November 19th….

  91. Nick Stokes says:
    August 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    “Actually there’s quite a lot in this paper I agree with, including the suggestion that uncertainty levels may be higher than often thought. I suspect, though, that people here will get more excited over the shape of the reconstruction than over the observation of its uncertainty.”

    Not at all, the observation of uncertainty agrees with what most of us have been saying for quite some time. Given the level of uncertainty, it would be difficult to believe the GCMs and any other predictions regarding our future climate to any level of validity with the data and tools used.

  92. Mike Roddy: August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.

    They should be. As Jeff L. noted, “climatology is a statistical endeavour.” My emphasis.

  93. “You need a theory to explain what is happening now. It needs to be falsifiable. And you have to either accept that new scientific papers fit your theory, or explain why they don’t.”

    No, we don’t, because we’re not the ones making extraordinary claims. Instead we’re faced by a theory of EVIL BABY-KILLING CARBON DIOXIDE which doesn’t appear to be considered falsifiable in any way no matter how far its predictions diverge from reality. Hot, cold, wet, dry, windy or not, any change in the weather always turns out to be due to EVIL BABY-KILLING CARBON DIOXIDE.

    This is why those of us with a science background have gone from amazed to appalled as the ‘Global Warming’… sorry… ‘Climate Change’… charade has continued to gain momentum when it’s clearly pseudoscientific bunk.

  94. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Looking at the paper above…

    No medieval warming period, I see. And no temperature decline post-1998?? I thought you were arguing that the world was getting cooler, and arctic ice was recovering? [Cough, cough].

    I guess we can put those ones to rest then, can’t we? After the way you’ve embraced this paper!

    The way it looks from here is that you guys will pretty much accept ANYTHING that throws doubt on CAGW, without worrying whether it is logically consistent with all the other things you have accepted/argued before. This does not translate into a coherent science-based system of knowledge building.

    You need a theory to explain what is happening now. It needs to be falsifiable. And you have to either accept that new scientific papers fit your theory, or explain why they don’t. You would also need to follow up on Mann et al.’s commentary on this paper. Otherwise it’s just another fishing expedition.

    DUDE!!
    That’s a massive load of buckshot you just discharged all over your foot! I hope you didn’t do damage to your leg as well!!!

    Think about what you wrote and conversely what it means for the Alarmist argument(s) (hint, I bracketed the s)……

  95. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    August 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    It’s late Saturday night, this post has been here 4 1/2 hours, and there are 93 comments. Busy night for Anthony and the Moderators.

    [REPLY - We, er, live for, um, danger. ~ Evan]

    lol, you guys are wild men!!!! Sigh, I remember when my night life held a different meaning.

  96. Another favorable result for “its the Sun stupid”

    Mann has tried to hide the solar influence on Earth’s climate like some others in here, who strangely remain silent? The MWP was one of the few periods during the Holocene that skipped the usual 172 year (avg) solar slowdown. It will not be denied, nor will the cooling LIA period that was a golden age for solar slowdowns.

  97. What an ugly disaster for the IPCC/Mann/CRU crowd. This really casts a lot of doubt on their statistical reasoning. The paper is sound because it doesn’t question recent warming (which most definitely exists), but questions their claim that prior warmings have been nothing like this and their ridiculous reconstruction that lacks a medieval warm period.

  98. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm


    No. I am saying that by accepting this paper you need to either show why it doesn’t show a MWP or you need to discard one of your major arguments. You can’t just choose any paper that casts doubt on CAGW because it casts doubt on global warming. You need to show that it is consistent with the other arguments you have made that cast doubt on CAGW.

    As I understand the paper, it does not say anything at all whether there was a MWP or not or whether the MWP was warmer than today, it simply says that the proxies don’t predict sharp changes in climate. So if there were such changes in the past, the proxies wont show them. The paper doesn’t show that the temperature hasn’t followed a hockey stick shape, just that we don’t know that [given the proxies that Mann used].

    It seems hard for people to get that in order to show that somebody is wrong, you don’t need to offer an alternative answer, you can simply show that the logic is flawed leaving the original question unanswered. Mann could still be right about the hockey stick, but would then be right for the wrong reasons.

  99. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    OK, the Real Climate guys are reacting to it!

    Looks like they’re already saying “Noting to see here.”

  100. [REPLY - We, er, live for, um, danger. ~ Evan]

    Can’t we just have a wee bit of peril?

    [REPLY - No, it's too perilous. ~ Evan]

  101. “I note that one of their conclusions “If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years” is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn’t the thread for this, so let’s leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what’s been done. – gavin]”

    That isn’t a “conclusion”, and continues:

    “Finally, if we look at rolling thirty-year blocks, the posterior probability that the last thirty years (again, the warmest on record) were the warmest over the past thousand is 38%.”

    But if the first is a “conclusion”, the second “look” is as well, just not so encouraging – at 38% probability. Perhaps Gavin just didn’t read for comprehension…

  102. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    OK, the Real Climate guys are reacting to it!……. gavin

    That would be the Gavin in this video. He looks down as he makes certain points. He looks continuously below the level of the camera when talking about the infamous ClimateGate “Trick”. John Christy makes ‘robust’ eye contact.

  103. Mike says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “…our model offers support
    to the conclusion that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the last millennium,…”

    An out of context quote, deliberate or not.

    “While our model offers support to the conclusion that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the last millennium, it does not predict temperature as well as expected even in sample. The model does much worse on contiguous thirty year time intervals.
    Thus, we remark in conclusion that natural proxies are severely limited in their ability to predict average temperatures and temperature gradients.”

    The paper doesn’t support their model, Mike.

  104. I’m waiting for that rather sad individual John Mashey to start trawling through their garbage bins to find proof that their daughters once ate at the same McDonalds as a retired Oil Executive’s (i.e. he managed a petrol station) neighbour. Thus proving the link between “Big Oil” and the conclusions of this paper.

  105. In hockey terms, Mann et al just got slammed into the boards with a stiff check to the body of their work — in their own tilted rink!

    It may also be worth noting that the National Hockey League stopped using wooden hockey sticks years ago.

  106. Don’t underestimate RealClimate. They will find some way to fight back. They just have to delete all mention of this study while they try to calm down and get their rhetorical weaponry aimed in the right direction.

  107. [piling on]So, was Mann innocently incompetent or deviously dishonest?[/piling on]

    Seriously, it will be interesting to see the Team’s response. They dissed M&M as amateurs; they cannot use that tactic this time.

  108. duckster [should have said]:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    The way it looks from [RC] is that [we] will pretty much accept ANYTHING that [seems to prove] CAGW, without worrying whether it is logically consistent with all the other things you have accepted/argued before. This does not translate into a coherent science-based system of knowledge building.

    [We] need a theory to explain what is happening now. It needs to be falsifiable. And [we] have to either accept that new scientific papers fit [our] theory, or explain why they don’t.

    But I am sure it is obvious when you think about it that the article was supposed to falsify the accuracy of the data used, therefore the results are invalid. Only a complete idiot would then turn around and think anyone is trying to prove anything else…..

  109. “………so let’s leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what’s been done. – gavin]”

    (forgetting to turn off microphone….)

    “so where’s the bloody ‘Situations Vacant’ list???????”

  110. I really thought Mike Roddy intended a parody, or, actually, sarcasm directed against RC, since merely repeating what RC says is not “parody.”

    Duckster, you’re not the first person I’ve heard claiming that an AGW skeptic is obliged to have an alternate theory, and you’re not the first that I’ve heard claiming that anyone who presents AGW skeptics’ arguments is obliged to present a consistent set of arguments. (It’s been done to me.) That’s dead wrong. To say that the skeptic is obliged to have a theory implies that, without a theory, nothing could be seen to be wrong with the theory of which he is skeptical. That’s obviously wrong. To say that the presenter is obliged to present a consistent set of arguments amounts to the same thing.

    Both claims are so stupid that I find it hard to believe that the people who make them believe them; I keep thinking they must be trying to do a snow job on stupid people who hear them.

  111. And you expect a global warmer to understand this? It is flying well above their heads!

    Global warming is true because a friend of a friend who is a very eminent “scientist” said that he knew someone who did some statistics at University in their first year, and they said that they thought the stats were sound … so it’s got to be true!

  112. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.

    Given there are big problems with the quality of the surface data temperature data in the last century after all the adjustments and land use changes, it’s no wonder they struggle forecasting such sharp warming. ;-)

  113. McShane and Wyner, 2010, figure 16, illustrates an absolutely (in terms of the sign of slope) unprecedented (over the last millennium) rate of increase in global temperature timed with the onset of the industrial revolution, and its associated CO2 release. It displays no evidence of a medieval warm period during the range 1000-1200 CE, but seems, rather, to predict a dip in temperature during that range of years. Backcast of modern data over last 1000 years predicts no previous years were warmer than the last few observed. Some interested observers are also curious to know the Bayesian forecast of future temperatures based on the “thin black line” of modern observations. Figure 16 illustrates the remarkable feature that, at the onset of the industrial revolution, the increase in the Earth’s temp was so great it created a reversal in its slope. Fascinating.

  114. It’s late Saturday night, this post has been here 4 1/2 hours, and there are 93 comments. Busy night for Anthony and the Moderators.

    Sunday evening here – want to know what the weather’s like tomorrow?

  115. I’m no mathematician, but the CO2 trend at Mauna Loa over the 1960 – 2010 period does not look linear to me.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:1970/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:1980/trend/offset:1.5/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:1990/trend/offset:%203/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:2000/trend/offset:%204/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:2010/trend/offset:%206

    Linear or exponential, it does seem like a debating exercise not unlike how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

  116. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    @Smokey:

    “Duckster, are you friggin’ blind??”

    So where exactly would you place a medieval warming period here? Asking me to accept a medieval warming period (which is what I have been asked to do here) means showing how and where it got warmer, and then how and when it got cooler. A steady downward temperature trend is not a warming period.

    Duckster if you are from the USA/Canada medieval isn’t the 18th century.
    Definition is

    The Middle Ages (adjectival form: medieval or mediaeval) is a period of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. Looking at the graph in question it starts slap bang in the middle of that time frame.

    Sandy

  117. The Hockey Stick; named, debunked, resurrected, debunked, resurrected, debunked and now re-incarnation; sounds like fiction about something that never quite died. Is this an argument about what a hockey stick looks like or how much it can deviate from the basic shape. Who determines how much it can deviate in order to qualify or not for the hockey stick shape? Fig 16 still looks somewhat like a hockey stick to me, albeit a little more curvacious, there’s no denying the upward temperature trend.

  118. Apologies for writing before I have read the entire post or paper. Wanted to get these thoughts out there, for what they are worth…

    …All in all, this was an inevitability, that someone would get around to the second round of multiproxy reconstructions.

    I have from the beginning given Michael Mann credit for doing the first one. Consider how monumental a task it is, after all.

    That said, anyone thinking that the first one done will be the final word had to be an idiot. Mann, especially. The man’s lack of humility is in itself monumental. There is not one whit of common sense in him believing he had done it perfectly – especially when he had played such games with the data in his homogenizations. EVEN IF THEEY WERE EVENTUALLY FOUND TO BE CORRECT, he should have known that they would be challenged, sooner or later. Once challenged, the cat fight would begin. WHAT ABOUT THIS DID HE NOT UNDERSTAND?

    From this vantage point, Mann appears to have thought that if he bullied enough people it would all stand forever. To put it bluntly, what a d***wad. [my censoring - f2f]

    But WHAT a relief! To finally have another peer-reviewed AND TRULY INDEPENDENT multiproxy reconstruction.

    And now, on to reading the entire article…

  119. James Sexton says: August 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    While breaking from the reading, mainly because Adobe isn’t responding at the moment..

    .

    I cannot get the pdf page 21 to show up without disrupting Adobe. Unfortunately it’s the nice graphs page. Had to whisk past it. Anyone else had probs??

  120. I notice they didnt discuss wavelet analysis or Moburg 2005 which primarily uses low frequency proxies to do the heavy lifting. From what ive seen analysis wise, this is the best of the reconstructions either way. Plus what does it matter anyways… we know the MWP was caused by increased TSI, low volcanic activity and persistent AMO conditions unlike current warming (1975-current) which is anthropogenically forced.

    I wanna see these statisticians tell me that Buntgen et al. 2008s tree rings had a weak signal too…

    Either way, it doesnt disprove that we are warmer than the MWP, just that the methods of Mann et al were inaccurate.

  121. Oh. One more point, now that I’ve read the article and part of the paper:

    A few questions that arise:

    Was this an outcome of Climategate?

    Of M & M’s efforts that woke some other qualified people up to DOING such a reconstruction?

    Did any of the FOI’s contribute to this paper, in freeing up the data?

  122. This may be OT, but papers have just been submitted to the High Court in New Zealand by the NZ Climate Science Coalition to obtain a hearing in the matter of the ‘upwardly adjusted’ instrumental climate record for the past century by NIWA, the National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere. This was reported seriously by the MSM there, with an actual headline over a leading article, so times may be a’changing!

  123. Mike Roddy wrote, “Similarly, climate scientists are getting bored with arguments from untrained individuals that the “trace gas” CO2 does not play the major role in the recent and rapid temperature increases. This role was proven in a laboratory in the 19th century by Arrhenius, and has not been seriously disputed since.”

    The laboratory experiment did not include oceans. Long wave radiation only impacts the top few millimeters of the oceans and, therefore, cannot explain the rise in sea surface temperature and ocean heat content.

  124. I just luuuuuuuuuuuuurve their graph fig. 8 page 15.

    If I’ve understood this graph aright, we have here another diamond, hidden in broad daylight… a ready-made decade-by-decade calibration for UHI, using treering data properly, for once, to flag up the surface stations problem anomaly. Certainly the anomaly here is about 0.5 degC, the same as suggested by McKitrick et al in their very recent (and again, stunning) paper.

    Now if this is the next line of investigation, correcting the basic temperature record, then not only does the recent warming disappear still further, but we now have the way clear to re-connect with the solar correlations (yes, Leif, thanks, causations are still eluding us as yet…..)

  125. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm:

    …So where exactly would you place a medieval warming period here? Asking me to accept a medieval warming period…

    It isn’t just a question of a medieval warm period – there are a whole series of periods in the past 500,000 years that appear to have been warmer than the present. 4 of the previous interglacials have been considerably warmer than the current one, as shown by Ice Core data and by by significantly higher sea levels (~ 6 metres higher in the last interglacial, for example).

    If you don’t believe me, Wikipedia has a good discussion and links to much of the data here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core

    The question for the climate modellers is whether their models can account for this behaviour of the Earth’s climate WITHOUT resorting to CO2, since the ice cores don’t show CO2 above pre-industrial levels.

  126. Sticky wicket:

    Some people call the cricket pitch “wicket”, and a sticky wicket would e.g. be a wet pitch which makes it a difficult situation for the batsman.
    Another interpretation: The real wicket ist the construction of three stumps with two bails that the bowler is trying to hit. If the bails are sticking to the stumps (in climatology “because of some chewing gum” would come to my mind) it will be difficult for the bowler to make them fall.

    PS. Bails can be used a long time, England and Australia play for bails that are almost 130 years old (and burned, too).

  127. Honesty in science:

    M&W2010 (from the abstract):
    “We propose our own reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere aver-
    age annual land temperature over the last millenium [sic], assess its relia-
    bility, and compare it to those from the climate science literature. Our
    model provides a similar reconstruction but has much wider standard
    errors, reflecting the weak signal and large uncertainty encountered
    in this setting.”

    See? Tell people that you recognize the weaknesses on your study, and even statistically assess your own statistics.

    Having read a good bit on Richard Feynman recently, this from his 1973 CalTech graduation speech (you will all love this):

    “…there is one feature I notice is missing in Cargo Cult Science [the topic of his speech]. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school – we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything you think might make it invalid – not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked – to make sure the other fellow can tell they’ve been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can – if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong – to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you haveout a lot of ideas together into an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another….”

    Nobel Winner Feynman would have been proud of McShane and Wyner.

  128. Smokey

    Smokey said;
    August 14, 2010 at 8:33 pm
    Rocky Road,

    “Here is the Phil Jones chart…”

    To your other natural cycles of rapid temperature rise can be added this one which Phil Jones is very well aware of it. It happened from around 1700 and is captured in CET and alluded to in reords from the time in other countries such as those from the Botanic gardens in Uppsalla Sweden-the home town of Arrhenius.

    As can be seen from the next chart there sems to have been a rise in temperatures commencing from 1690 rather than 1880-James Hansen merely pluged into the latter stages of a centuries old trend which itself appears to have peaked around 1250 with the LIA intervening.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm

    Perhaps greater credence will be placed in the future on the actual records that people such as myself post, which get dismissed as ‘anecdotal’ and therfore unreliable.

    Funny really isn’t it, an actual observation made at the time is ‘anecdota’l but silly and tortured proxies have become so ‘reliable’ they have become the basis for an attempt to break the worlds economy.

    Tonyb

  129. James Sexton says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    What they are stating is, even if the data are correct, Mann et al. did it wrong(along with a long list of other statistician wannbees), and further, proxies have no predictive properties. Now, work backwards from that. If you require further explanations, just ask, I’d be happy to provide them to you.

    ……………………….

    If proxies have no predictive value, why do the authors persist in
    doing their own reconstruction? If paleo reconstructions are universally
    dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget
    your MWP argument to.

  130. James Sexton says: August 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    This paper doesn’t simply break a hockey stick, it breaks an entire sub-specialty of climatology, specifically paleoclimatology. They will either have to reprint all text books or throw the psuedo-science out the window…

    Right on, James

    James Sexton says: August 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    …throw the psuedo-science out the window to the trash heap to lay alongside phrenology, numerology, and astrology…

    Not right on, James. Just as we’ve been saying all along at WUWT, CA and the rest, you need to examine BOTH sides of the argument, not just rely on the “official” “debunks”. I did a fair bit of research into CSICOP’s supposed debunk of astrology and it was not a pretty story, in fact the tactics I saw there were remarkably similar to RealClimate et al. And you need to read up about Kepler and Newton too, as seen from the “other side” – fascinating, and good science.

    If you’re interested to follow this one up, email me – click my name, etc.

  131. It is quite a joy reading this paper, if not for any other reason then, for its educational value and for the strive of the authors to illuminate the complexity of this problem. It has the clear signature of a paper that wants to explain something to the reader instead of trying to overrun the cautious readers by attacking him with numbers and terminology, such as e.g. MBH98. It has the potential of becoming a classical paper that is handed out to students early on in their carriers, perhaps even in the study of paleoclimate. At least when fame, fortune and politics leaves this discipline of science.

  132. UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE To be published as HC 369-ii
    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
    Setting the scene
    Tuesday 27 July 2010
    LORD REES OF LUDLOW

    Q78 Graham Stringer: None of them looked really looked at the science, and where they stepped over the science, as Oxburgh did, he said that he was rather surprised that methods that depended on advanced statistics had not used advanced statisticians; he said that they had also used subjective methods. So I think David Willetts was wrong to say that somehow these had validated the science, because the science was not looked at. One, do you think the science should be looked at? If it was to be looked at, how would it be done?

    Lord Rees of Ludlow : I would, to some extent, contest what you have just said. These papers were refereed, but the key thing which the Oxburgh Committee did was to actually go and sit with the scientists and see what they actually did and how they analysed the data. As regards the statistics, Professor Hand from Imperial College, who is one of the UK’s leading statisticians, was put on the Oxburgh Panel precisely because he had that expertise. What the report said was that indeed they had not used the optimum sophisticated techniques but he thought it would not have made any difference to the results. So, again, I do not think the science from that group is severely under question from the techniques they used.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmsctech/uc369-ii/uc36901.htm

  133. @Mike Roddy; “Besides… Species are migrating north. Glaciers and Arctic ice are melting at unheard of rates. The ocean is becoming more acidic, and has experienced a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2′s effect on phytoplankton. ”

    Welcome Mike, your thoughts are appreciated, but if you make statements such as the above it is traditional to cite your sources. Where did you get this information from? I should add that reports by the WWF and Greenpeace aren’t seen as citable evidence.

    @Duckster: Welcome to you too Duckster, again your input is appreciated, although you seem to have totally misunderstood the papers objectives. Still it’s good to have someone testing the (naturally) self-congratulationary tone of the many posts on here. A word to the wise though, you’re probably better waiting until realclimate prepares an answer that can be parrotted continuously than diving in the deep end with the posters on WUWT, they are a pretty knowledgeable bunch by any standards.

    As for the paper, in my view it will be buried by the MSM, we are dealing with religious fervour here and no amount of evidence will prove to the faithful that we aren’t experiencing AGW and even if we are it won’t be catastrophic. However, like the hole in the Titanic the water is slowly filling the hold and it will sink. I have little doubt that in a couple of decades from now people will look back on this time and wonder how anyone could have taken this mumbo jumbo seriously.

  134. The real fun will be watching the next IPCC panel doing back flips to keep this out of their next report.

  135. Another blow to the EPA. More ammunition for the State of Virginia investigation.

    [REPLY - We, er, live for, um, danger. ~ Evan]
    Thanks I needed a Sunday morning chuckle.

  136. Hmm. The conclusions seem to twist and bend a lot on the road
    from article to these posts.

    McShane and Wyner say:
    “We see that our model gives a backcast which is very similar to those
    in the literature, particularly from 1300 AD to the present.
    In fact, our backcast very closely traces the Mann et al. (2008) EIV land
    backcast,considered by climate scientists to be among the most skilled.
    Though our model provides slightly warmer backcasts for the years
    1000-1300 AD,we note it falls within or just outside the uncertainty bands of
    the Mann et al. (2008) EIV land backcast even in that period. Hence, our
    backcast matches their backcasts reasonably well.”
    ———————
    So Mann et al (2008) is actually the most skilled until now, not e.g.
    McIntyre and McKitrick?

    BTW Smokey, if you want to link a figure from the article, why not
    use fig. 17, which brings it alltogether: the warming of the last decades
    is bigger than any backcast, H&W 2010 included.

    Having said that, as far as I can judge, H&W 2010 is an important
    contribution.

  137. [Response: The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn't fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I'm sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions "If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years" is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn't the thread for this, so let's leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what's been done. - gavin]

    Oh yes, Gavin “..our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years”

    But..

    “our model does not pass ‘statistical significance’ thresholds against savvy null models. Ultimately, what these tests essentially show is that the 1,000 year old proxy record has little power given the limited temperature record” (p. 41)

    And then we have the proxy selection and orientation issues..

  138. For attention of Anthony / Moderators

    Suggetstion: Will you consider creating a “Hockey Stick” page under your Categories pull down menu on the right side of the page?

    It would make it easier to find rebuttals to the hockey stick before this page and follow up pages become buried in the site.

  139. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am

    “…why not use fig. 17, which brings it alltogether: the warming of the last decades
is bigger than any backcast, H&W 2010 included.”

    Look at the uncertainty bands.

    “In fact, our uncertainty bands are so wide that they envelop all of the other backcasts in the literature. Given their ample width, it is difficult to say that recent warming is an extraordinary event compared to the last 1,000 years. For example, according to our uncertainty bands, it is possible that it was as warm in the year 1200 AD as it is today.” (McShane and Wyner, AOAS 2010, p. 37)

  140. 1. Natural temperature variability may be large.
    2. It’s not the sun (thanks Leif!).
    3. Increased CO2 increase temperature.

    Is it possible to tell magnitude of 3 given 1?

  141. Smokey says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm
    duckster says:

    “Looking at the paper above… No medieval warming period, I see. ”

    Duckster, are you friggin’ blind?? ))

    Wilfully, I’d suggest.

    I wonder if OBummer is going to bailout the CCE after the paper is more widely read & debated?? After all he was a leading light in its formation.
    regards

  142. What a relief! Ever since the first time I tried to understand mannian statistics, I thought it was so wrong that I must have missed something. As a mathematician with some statistics experience (it’s not my main branch of math), I’m so relieved that the statisticians are finally entering the scene and give SteveM et al the credit they deserve.

    About the sharp 1990s uptick: we know that the temperature record gets highly unreliable just at that point…

  143. An important issue here is the accuracy of the recent temperature record. If it isn’t accurate then it wouldn’t be a surprise that the proxy record didn’t predict it . . . Numerous instances of upward bias have been identified on here . . . . Maybe it’s time to go right back to basics and look at only the raw reliable data from non-contaminated sites with equipment known to be accurate – so far as that’s possible. Time will sort this whole mess out and I don’t think the judgement will reflect too well on many of the players.

  144. Lucy Skywalker says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:17 am

    James Sexton says: August 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    While breaking from the reading, mainly because Adobe isn’t responding at the moment…
    “I cannot get the pdf page 21 to show up without disrupting Adobe. Unfortunately it’s the nice graphs page. Had to whisk past it. Anyone else had probs??”

    That’s exactly where mine had problems…… btw, not prepared to argue astrology either way, hope I didn’t offend.

  145. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
    James Sexton says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Whooa Neddy. There are plenty of written descriptions of the living conditions at that time to give a reasonable indication of how warm/cool it was. Plant types etc.
    regards

  146. Mike Roddy is right. Mann et al do not care about mathematics and statistics, likewise the 20 odd other climatologists who confirm the hockey stick.

    That is why they failed to spot the confirmation bias which ruins their science.

    They are a bunch of incestuous peers who are seeking to confirm their faith. So their weak statistical analysis renders their science into a wishlist.

  147. If you stretch the above graph to include the Roman Warm Period 2 thoudand years ago then what do you see?

    10 March 2010
    New technique shows Roman Warm Period Warmer than Present Day
    A promising new technique to reconstruct past temperatures has been developed by scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Durham University, England, using the shells of bivalve mollusks. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science the scientists say that oxygen isotopes in their shells are a good proxy measurement of temperature and may provide the most detailed record yet of global climate change.”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/653-new-technique-shows-roman-warm-period-warmer-than-present-day.html

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/03/02/0902522107.full.pdf

  148. I cannot get the pdf page 21 to show up without disrupting Adobe. Unfortunately it’s the nice graphs page. Had to whisk past it. Anyone else had probs??

    My Adobe kept freezing up on page 21 also — but I found that if I used the sidebar to scroll past page 21 and then inched back I could actually get there in the end (about 3 restarts later!).

  149. Mikael Pihlström: August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am
    So Mann et al (2008) is actually the most skilled until now, not e.g. McIntyre and McKitrick?

    Hardly.

    “Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample. As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth.”

    My emphasis.

    Their statement doesn’t jibe with yours, that “Models are always abstractions
    of the truth. The question is whether they give the general picture,
    well e.g. Hansens scenarios seem to perform in this respect.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/12/target-monckton/#comment-456258

    BTW, you still owe me the answer to this: “…since the AGW theory predicts an upper atmospheric tropical hot spot, and since the models predict the existence of that upper atmospheric hot spot, kindly tell us where it is to be found. In the real world, please, not in the truthy abstraction.”

  150. Mikael Pihlström: August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
    If paleo reconstructions are universally dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget your MWP argument to.

    Hardly. You’re ignoring the fact that the existence of the MWP isn’t based on proxies, it’s based on the evidence of archaeological and geological findings, as well as written records.

  151. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
    “[...] If proxies have no predictive value, why do the authors persist in
    doing their own reconstruction? If paleo reconstructions are universally
    dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget
    your MWP argument to. [...]”

    Not so. We still have historical accounts, for instance of wine grown in England and Greenland being settled by Vikings.

  152. eudoxus says:
    August 15, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

    OMG!!! How is it you obviously bright guys can read something and totally, completely miss the point of the exercise? I’m a bit tired, but I’ll try to explain for you guys, too.

    Mikael, “If proxies have no predictive value, why do the authors persist in
    doing their own reconstruction? If paleo reconstructions are universally
    dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget
    your MWP argument to.”

    First, they did “their own” reconstruction to check the validity of the proxy data to see if it could predict reality. The conclusion is, it can’t. Similarly, (if you’d note figure 15 up in the posted article) you’ll see how the poxies totally missed the significant uptick in temps as we saw in the 1990’s. The authors concluded, (and I believe correctly so) that if the proxies can’t detect this significant warming, there is no reason to believe they could detect significant warming going back in time either. They used these graphs to illustrate the errors in the graphs. They did not use the graphs to attempt to illustrate their perception of reality. Here is what our friends had to say about figure 16…….“We decompose the uncertainty of our model’s backcast by plotting the
    curves drawn using each of the methods outlined in the previous three
    paragraphs in Figure 16. As can be seen, in the modern instrumental period
    the residual variance (in cyan) dominates the uncertainty in the backcast.
    However, the variance due to ￿β uncertainty (in green) propagates through
    time and becomes the dominant portion of the overall error for earlier periods.
    The primary conclusion is that failure to account for parameter uncertainty
    results in overly confident model predictions.”
    ………ok, guys, did you read that? Specifically the last sentence. Our friends McShane and Wyner are not particularly happy with figure 16. They have problems with the results. They don’t perceive it as valid.

    The whole paper was really about 2 questions. One would be to see if the statistical methods used by paleo-climatologists were sufficient. It appears they were not. Two, with proper statistical methods could one reconstruct historical temps using the available proxy data. Apparently not.

    I know you guys don’t like the answers the paper gives, and I’m sure the team will respond with a rebuttal. But you shouldn’t try to read into the paper something that the paper clearly doesn’t say or imply. To me, the paper looks like it is very well done, but I’m not a statistician. Personally, I had no idea what a Brownian Motion pseudo-proxy was prior to this paper.

    Mikael, I don’t think they are killing all paleo (or proxy) reconstructions. I believe what they are saying is one can get a general idea about certain things with stuff like tree rings ect. But, when one gets into specifics and details, such as 1 or 2 notches on a thermometer, proxies lack the ability to retrieve that kind of detailed information. They used the proxy data from Mann 2008 because it was the most comprehensive. When using measure temps, they used CRU data, only up to 2000, because proxy data is virtually non-existent after 2000. The question of the MWP really only arose since the hockey-stick reconstructions left them out. Prior to that the MWP was generally accepted. While some have tried to discern the MWP from proxy data, most of the evidence for the MWP is anecdotal from historians and things like unearthed farms in Greenland that was previously under a few feet of ice for a few hundred years or so.

  153. Excellent input from people clearly prepared to seperate the work from the motivations. Congratulations to the authors and a reader’s thanks for it’s production and distribution to all involved.

    Mike Roddy writes, among other drivel, that “The ocean is becoming more acidic, and has experienced a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2′s effect on phytoplankton.”

    There is no proof to your claim that ‘ocean acidification’ has led to a 40% decline in fish biomass due to CO2. There’s some evidence, but this evidence is skethy and piecemeal and nothing concluside.

    On the other hand, the proponderance of evidence on fish stock decline points to overfishing, primarily the introduction of ‘mobile gear’ (purse seine and trawling) technologies and their use in large scale fishing operations. It’s been both practical and scientific lore for a long time that these methods of harvest far outstrip recruitment in the effected species as well as trawling’s (the larger the worse) ability to annihilate bottom habitats.

    Absolutely nothing in the research refutes the role of overfishing in biomass depletion and this is further indicated by the selective nature of collapse of target and by-catch species.

    Shame on your attempt to mitigate the damaging effects that ‘big steel’ bottom trawling and mobile gear has had on global fish stocks. This is the antithesis of fact and reality and the sort of fluff that has been used as an excuse to systematically destroy so much of the inshore (small boat) cod, hake, herring, redfish and countless other fisheries that made up the lifeblood of so many communities here (in Canada)and abroad.

    Your opinions on fisheries management and marine ecosystems demonstrates a blindness to reality. This perception is further reinforced by your attack on ‘untrained’ comment (which you gave example of in your above-mentioned paragraph). Just because Mann et all says 2+2=5 it does not require (logically or academically) another Climate Modeller to explain that the answer is four.

    Receding ice? Another matter of debate, with ample evidence for ANY opinion taken as fact. When the science you love matures and discovers its fallibility and its roots out its own charaltans and rogues, then it will be a proper science. Until then, you had best keep playing in the echo-chamber over at RC, where two plus two still equals five.

  154. These two authors have rock solid reputations. Essentially they say you can achieve similar results with auto-correlated noise. In light of this conclusion it’s pretty irrelevant which is the most skilled reconstruction, as simple as that.

  155. Philemon says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am

    “…why not use fig. 17, which brings it alltogether: the warming of the last decades
is bigger than any backcast, H&W 2010 included.”

    Look at the uncertainty bands.

    “In fact, our uncertainty bands are so wide that they envelop all of the other backcasts in the literature. Given their ample width, it is difficult to say that recent warming is an extraordinary event compared to the last 1,000 years. For example, according to our uncertainty bands, it is possible that it was as warm in the year 1200 AD as it is today.” (McShane and Wyner, AOAS 2010, p. 37)

    —————

    You are right, but uncertainty works both ways: It could have been as
    warm in 1200 AD, or considerably cooler.

  156. Mike Roddy wrote,

    “Similarly, climate scientists are getting bored with arguments from untrained individuals that the “trace gas” CO2 does not play the major role in the recent and rapid temperature increases. This role was proven in a laboratory in the 19th century by Arrhenius, and has not been seriously disputed since.”

    I can see climate scientists getting bored with history pretty soon. You already have Gavin Schmidt claiming that the warmth of the WMP is an ‘uninteresting’ question scientifically. And Tamino seems to be uninterested in anything prior to the year 1975…

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/changes/

    So… these guys may be bored with history (I don’t blame them, I thought history was quite dull), but that kind of begs the question of why all the fuss in the first place?

    Mainstream science. Spending your money on figuring out the answers to questions that bore scientists.

    Terrific! ;)

  157. Does this paper kill paeloclimatology? No. There are many more direct proxy methods of estimating past temperatures.
    Does this paper kill dendroclimatology – very possibly.

  158. Stanislav Lem-

    Precisely.

    Since they are all bad, there must be one that is “least worst”. That hardly means it is skillful.

  159. Re: eudoxus
    “McShane and Wyner, 2010, figure 16, illustrates an absolutely (in terms of the sign of slope) unprecedented (over the last millennium) rate of increase in global temperature”

    From the actual paper:

    On the other hand, perhaps our model is unable to detect the high level of and sharp run-up in recent temperatures because anthropogenic factors have, for example, caused a regime change in the relation between temperatures and proxies. While this is certainly a consistent line of reasoning, it is also fraught with peril for, once one admits the possibility of regime changes in the instrumental period, it raises the question of whether such changes exist elsewhere over the past 1,000 years. Furthermore, it implies that up to half of the already short instrumental record is corrupted by anthropogenic factors, thus undermining paleoclimatology as a statistical enterprise.

    In other words, since the reconstruction can not pick up sharp up ticks in temperature you can not call it unprecedented.

    You say: “It displays no evidence of a medieval warm period during the range 1000-1200 CE, but seems, rather, to predict a dip in temperature during that range of years.”

    The error bars are so big in the graph that it encompasses everything from the MWP being colder than the LIA to the LIA being warmer than today and pretty much everything in between. From the paper itself:

    In fact, our uncertainty bands are so wide that they envelop all of the other backcasts in the literature. Given their ample width, it is difficult to say that recent warming is an extraordinary event compared to the last 1,000 years. For example, according to our uncertainty bands, it is possible that it was as warm in the year 1200 AD as it is today.

    You say: “Figure 16 illustrates the remarkable feature that, at the onset of the industrial revolution, the increase in the Earth’s temp was so great it created a reversal in its slope. Fascinating.”
    The thick red line in the Figure 16 that you seem to think proves AGW also has 1000AD being warmer than today. Fascinating.

  160. James Sexton says:
    August 15, 2010 at 3:53 am

    —–

    I don’t really disagree with what you say here. Should perhaps have
    read the article more comprehensively. But, actually the results are
    rather to my liking, if they will stand. It seems wise to reduce the
    confidence given to proxy studies at least for the time being.

  161. Their article is interesting since it is based (for the purpose of argument) upon an “acceptance” of the veracity of the data. Of course, if that data is wrong, then their methodology would suggest even less dramatic rise in recent temperatures and higher backcast temperatures.

    Of course, the key issue is the quality of the proxy data and the risk of drawing too many inference from scant quantities of data. GIGO.

    The proxy data can be no more than a very rough and ready guide and for the purposes of serious prediction should be thrown out. This follows from the known fact that the tree proxy data as from 1960 does not match the instrument record. This fact alone means one of three things. Namely, either:
    a) The proxy data is wrong -thereby confirming the unreliability of all pre 1960 tree proxy data such that it would be unsafe to assume that global temperatures pre 1850 are as ascertained from tree proxy data: or
    b) The instrument record post 1960 is wrong – more specifically the ‘corrected’ ‘adjusted’ instrument record is wrong and that if the ‘corrections’ ‘adjustments’ were done properly the modern instrument record would be consistent with the lower temperatures suggested by the post 1960 tree proxy record: or
    c) Both the proxy record and the modern instrument record (by which I refer to the ‘corrected’ ‘adjusted’ data) are wrong and unreliable such that we have no qualative data upon which conclusions about past temperatures (ie., those pre 1960 back to say 1000) or modern temperatures (ie those post 1960) can safely be drawn.

    My own take on the situation is that set out in c) above and that means that we need to go back to the drawing board. It may be that there is simply insufficient reliable data (both proxy and instrument) covering the southern hemisphere. If that is the case, we should simply ignore the southern hemisphere altogether and just look at the northern hemisphere data. We need a re-evaluation of the proxy data for the northern hemisphere (including taking into account written and archaeological records). We also need to carefully review the instrument record for the northern hemisphere and just look at data from sites where we can be reasonably certain that no adjustments/corrections are necessary. These sites will inevitably be rural sites and ones which have the longest uninterrupted temperature record. It may be that these sites will be far and few between but if global warming is a global issue (and I am of the view that it is probably not a ‘global’ phenomenon and certainly the consequences are local rather than global) for the purposes of considering probable effect one can assume that any noted trend would similarly occur over the entire land area of the northern hemisphere (although I do hate making assumptions).

    Mind you given that the land temperature record is corrupted by changes in land use and UHI and given that 4/5ths of the globe is water and given the sheer volume of the seas (which act as huge storage reservoirs) one wonders why it is worthwhile looking at land temperatures if one is investigating global warming. It is the seas that are the key driver of climate and it will be only through a proper understanding of sea temperatures, currents and cloud formation that we will gain insight into what extent there is global warming and what effect this will have.

    I say back to square one and not to do anything until we have a better understanding of climate drivers and can put together a data set of temperatures upon which we can be confident. Would it not be silly to spend $trillions on curbing CO2 only to find out that there is no problem with rising temperatures, or no problem with CO2 (ie., CO2 is not responsible for the rising temperature). The latter is particularly stupid since we may face a scenario whereby there are rising temperatures (due to natural variation or some manmade villain other than CO2) and these rising temperatures cause serious problems such that we then need to spend $trillions on dealing with the effect. We have then spent two sets of $trillions one wasted on dealing with an assumed cause which was not in fact the cause and therefore did not remedy the situation, and the other dealing with the effect.

    I also consider that we need to re-evaluate whether rising temperatures would in fact be the disaster that so many people predict. Given that bio-diversity favours warm conditions and given that civilisations and mankind flourished in warm conditions (it is no accident that none of the old civilisations flourished in high latitudes – and to the extent that the Viking civilisation flourished this was during a warm spell in the northern hemisphere), it is probable that a rise in temperature would overall be a good and beneficial thing.

    Of course, this does not mean that we should not strive to find viable alternative energy sources (for some solar is an option and others tidal – although wind seems too unreliable to have any future – but in the main this will have to be nuclear preferably fusion) and to lessen our dependence upon fossil fuels (oil reserves would be much better utilised for plastics and the like rather than ‘wasted’ in providing energy) not only because of the environmental effects of the latter but also because of the political uncertainties of supply.

  162. It’s good news if the earth is warming up a bit regardless of why.

    Green plants and animals = good.

    Rocks and ice = bad.

    Any questions?

  163. Re: joshua corning says:

    The real fun will be watching the next IPCC panel doing back flips to keep this out of their next report.

    It will be easy for them. They will simply arrange for one of their pet journals to publish a paper, refuting this one, just before the cutoff date for IPCC submissions. The paper won’t have to be accurate or have sound statistics, it simply has to be published too late for any responses to it to make it into the next IPCC report.

  164. “While the literature is large, there has been very little collaboration with universitylevel, professional statisticians”

    Why would they want to spend some of their grant money on professional numbers men? Apart from the unnecessary expense, people whose only specialty is numbers could not be expected to understand the special needs of climatology.

    Note well that your drugs and food additives are approved with even greater prudent savings on unnecessary expenditure on professional statisticians.

  165. singularian says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:03 am
    It’s late Saturday night, this post has been here 4 1/2 hours, and there are 93 comments. Busy night for Anthony and the Moderators.

    Sunday evening here – want to know what the weather’s like tomorrow?

    Best one yet looooool

  166. “The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.”

    Yeah, that’s been the problem all along.

    How long before Gavin et al say that this study is “fatally flawed”, “gravely flawed”, “seriously flawed”, etc.? That is the usual rhetorical trick.

  167. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

    If proxies have no predictive value, why do the authors persist in
    doing their own reconstruction? If paleo reconstructions are universally
    dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget
    your MWP argument to.

    Not at all, Mikael. If proxies have no predictive value then all it means is that they cannot be used to invalidate a MWP that has been long-inferred from other evidence. As for why people “persist in doing their own reconstructions”, surely doing that (and getting vastly differing results from the same data) is the logical way to investigate the reliability of those proxies? Which is a valid scientific endeavour.

    Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am

    BTW Smokey, if you want to link a figure from the article, why not
    use fig. 17, which brings it alltogether: the warming of the last decades
    is bigger than any backcast, H&W 2010 included.

    So, your call: Either:

    (a) the proxies are unreliable predictors because they fail to track the current temp rise. In which case they are also worthless for back-casting. In which case there is absolutely no evidence to claim current warming is “unprecedented”, or,

    (b) the proxies are reasonable predictors. In which case they may be ok to support a claim of unprecedented warming. But in that case, the insturmental record is showing warming that isn’t really there because the (reliable) proxies would show it if it was. In which case, the instrumental record is (as has been widely discussed) contaminated beyond usefulness.

    Your call, (a), (b) or both of the above?

  168. [Response: The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn't fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I'm sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions "If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years" is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn't the thread for this, so let's leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what's been done. - gavin]

    I knew the RC folks would latch on to that paragraph.

    That “conclusion” (which isn’t in the conclusions section, BTW) is based purely on the acceptance of the data, the relationship of proxies to temperature over the calibration period, and the applicability of their model. They immediately start rolling through a number of caveats and criticisms which essentially say the sensitivity just isn’t there to draw substantial conclusions outside of the temperature record.

  169. eudoxus says at 12:54 am:

    The graph “…displays no evidence of a medieval warm period during the range 1000-1200 CE, but seems, rather, to predict a dip in temperature during that range of years.”

    eudoxus, don’t you understand? The McShane & Wyner paper did not use the mountains of data confirming the high MWP temperatures.

    They did a straight statistical study using only the carefully selected proxies used by Mann et al. And they still came out with high MWP temperatures — which Mann had claimed were completely non-existent in his hokey stick. Compare Mann’s chart in the article with the chart constructed with the correct statistical methodology.

    Try to understand: this paper debunks Mann’s faked conclusions by using his own cherry-picked data. It does not purport to be a representation of the long-established MWP.

  170. I don’t understand the discussion of the MWP.
    The fact that Mann said his data did not show one, and they used Mann’s data.
    The fact that it raises the 1000 year temperatures, when it should not at all, is all you need to know.

  171. So what happens when you use the real data? I guess the whole thing was made up?

    Amazing…simply amazing lie told by “men of science.” How do we get these guys to tell the truth? What is worng with the current funding/publication mechanisms that allowed this lie of AGW to be foisted on the world?

  172. @Mike Roddy

    ‘The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it’

    What an astonishing remark!

    For a community that is ever quick to criticise others for lacking the ‘right’ qualifications in climatology, (whatever those may be) to be indifferent to professional statisticians verdict on their work is quite amazing.

    As far as I can tell, having established the basic data to be used, there is no climatological knowledge required to manipulate the numbers and produce the graphs that Mann and his chums have relied on for over a decade. The knowledge and skills required are purely statistical.

    And here we have two professional statisticians demonstrating that this part of the work has not been done to a professional standard and that many of the supposed conclusions cannot be derived from the data. And that the basic premise – that tree ring data can somehow tell us about past temperatures – is unsound.

    Wow! no doubt there will be a considerable brouhaha once the paper is properly published…now it is in the public domain it cannot be suppressed anyway…but it is difficult to imagine what robust defence the Team can come up with.

    That the authors are unqualified in their field…nope..better qualified than Mann et al
    That the authors have cherry picked the data…nope…they used the same data as Mann
    That the authors are funded by Big Oil..even if true, unlikely to be taken seriously as an argument apart from by True Believers
    That its all terribly unfair and the poor polar bears are going to fry just about ten minutes before they would have drowned……about the best that they can do.

    Its been a great summer so far. The total debunking of CRU already, and now this earth-shattering paper.

    That they choose

  173. @TerryS

    “They will simply arrange for one of their pet journals to publish a paper, refuting this one, just before the cutoff date for IPCC submissions. The paper won’t have to be accurate or have sound statistics, it simply has to be published too late for any responses to it to make it into the next IPCC report.”

    Worse, if there is a repeat of the kind of behind the scenes shenanigans identified by Christopher Booker, Richard North et al then we can expect “useful” research to find its way in even after, the cutoff date.

  174. We’ve already seen attempts at ad homs, strawmen, out of context claims and just plain denial from the AGW supporters. It’s almost laughable. What we haven’t seen is any attempt at scientific understanding of what this paper represents. Very telling.

    Add this statistical paper to the problems presented by unit roots and the statistics used in climate science is now pretty much trashed.

    On another angle, as Lew Skannen indicated, the models are now in question. I’d further that by saying they are completely trashed also. They need to figure out how to predict natural warming events like the MWP as well CO2 warming events if the AGW hypothesis is to be supported. Looks like they have a lot of work to do.

  175. wwf says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I still see an unprecedented warming and at an unprecedented rate over the last century and a half.

    Then be so kind to explain why this warming appear to have taken place in three distinct periods since 1850, and wich only the last warming-period (1970-2000) has been attributed to that trace gas called CO2.

    To everyone else, figure 15, do i spot the trick there? Nice to see that this report also would have the need of a neat trick to show a unprecedented warming if they had to. But they don’t have to :)

  176. joshua corning says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:53 am
    The real fun will be watching the next IPCC panel doing back flips to keep this out of their next report.

    joshua,

    Good comment, yes, we should start thinking down the road a bilt.

    Not just fun to watch the IPCC regarding papers like this, we must follow it closely. We must be the auditing body to follow the progress of the preparation of the next IPCC report to ensure any irregularities in the IPCC process are exposed promptly. Vigilance, watch the IPCC now closely.

    John

  177. The entire MWP argument is just a distraction from the facts of the paper. It may or may not have existed, this thread should not be about the MWP at all, it should be about this research paper and the implications it entails. Sure, it will have some effect on the MWP, but that is besides the point.

  178. Brad says:
    August 15, 2010 at 6:27 am
    So what happens when you use the real data? I guess the whole thing was made up?
    =========================================================

    Brad, there’s no real data, they used Mann’s data.
    This is not a reconstruction of temperature data, this is a reconstruction of Mann’s data.
    It’s not meant to prove or disprove or anything to do with the MWP.
    It’s only looking at Mann’s reconstruction of his own data.

    Mann ran his data and came up with a flat line with a up-tic on the end, the hockey stick.
    They ran his own data, and came up with warmer temperatures at the beginning than the end, no hockey stick.

    If this paper proves to be true, then it can only mean one of two things:

    1 Mann lied and cheated
    2 Mann doesn’t know what he’s doing and is inept

  179. TerryS: August 15, 2010 at 5:02 am
    You say: “Figure 16 illustrates the remarkable feature that, at the onset of the industrial revolution, the increase in the Earth’s temp was so great it created a reversal in its slope. Fascinating.”

    Gee, the same thing happened in 1350 and 1690, so there must have been something other than industrialization to cause it — say, some natural variation. Fascinating, huh?

  180. If I understand this paper corerctly it demonstrates “Mike’s Nature trick” really was a trick in the usual meaning of the word. LOL.

  181. I congratulate McShane and Wyner not only for the substance and readability of their paper.

    More importantly, given that they had to know that publishing it would invite frenzied vehemence from the “team” of entrenched climate scientists, I congratulate them on having the courage to stand up and speak critically of the so called “consensus”.

    I think it only takes a man with integrity and independence speaking out without fear to stop any falsity in climate science.

    John

  182. Great idea!
    “NOTE: this will be the top post at WUWT for a couple of days, see below for new stories – Anthony”

  183. Joe Horner says:
    August 15, 2010 at 5:56 am

    So, your call: Either:

    (a) the proxies are unreliable predictors because they fail to track the current temp rise. In which case they are also worthless for back-casting. In which case there is absolutely no evidence to claim current warming is “unprecedented”, or,

    (b) the proxies are reasonable predictors. In which case they may be ok to support a claim of unprecedented warming. But in that case, the insturmental record is showing warming that isn’t really there because the (reliable) proxies would show it if it was. In which case, the instrumental record is (as has been widely discussed) contaminated beyond usefulness.

    Your call, (a), (b) or both of the above?

    ———
    It is (a), for the moment.

  184. Oh, this is an old trick. Timing your publication is every bit the main concern, especially for those who have an “in” with the journal editor. Trust me on this regarding the magic 3 things: 1. who gets published, 2. in what journal, and 3. when, are the three main considerations of many research efforts. The research itself can go to hell in a hand basket and still get published, as long as the unwritten 3 main considerations are given top priority. The next round of IPCC authors and their studies are already being planned around the magic 3 things. Who cares if the conclusions are nothing but piles of poo and statistically infantile.

  185. TerryS says: August 15, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Re: joshua corning says: The real fun will be watching the next IPCC panel doing back flips to keep this out of their next report.

    It will be easy for them. They will simply arrange for one of their pet journals to publish a paper, refuting this one, just before the cutoff date for IPCC submissions. The paper won’t have to be accurate or have sound statistics, it simply has to be published too late for any responses to it to make it into the next IPCC report.

    OTOH, they might decide it cannot be fought any longer. They might say

    “ah, now at last we have a real peer-reviewed statisticians’ paper. Why didn’t McIntyre get published and peer-reviewed, then we could have taken him seriously. In fact, he’s not really helped anyone by refusing to publish all this time. If we’d known our stats were shaky, of course we’d have got expert help…” etc etc

    Now of course, we should remember Wegman, Gerry North, and all the rest. But people have short memories, and anyway, the press at the time of the Congress inquiries made it sound like Mann’s hokey stick had been vindicated by North.

  186. A reader questioned my comment that the oceans have 40% less fish biomass. This is actually only a logical assumption, since it’s impossible to measure fish biomass, due to their dispersion. The study in question measures phytoplankton, which form the basis of the oceanic food chain. I should have noted that in my comment. Here is the study:

    http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2010/07/oceans_phytoplankton_drops_40.html

    Climate scientists have plenty of training in statistical methodology. Those who claim superior abilities, such as McIntyre and Wegman, have not been successful in producing charts in peer reviewed publications that show anything other than the many versions of the hockey stick that have appeared in scientific publications. Their attempted corrections tend to be heavy on jargon, and in some cases question dispute the randomness of tree ring selection when they have little knowledge of the raw sampling.

    “The hockey stick is broken” is a great rallying cry, but has zero substance in the world of qualified scientists who actually produce the charts in question. Some climate scientists have actually investigated the broken hockey stick claim in detail. Here’s what they found: nothing. If, on the other hand, one chooses to believe that IPCC and NASA scientists are part of a grant-seeking world-government-installing cabal, than it is difficult to dispute your argument. It’s considerably more difficult to believe it.

  187. Thank you, thank you. I realized two years ago that climate science was a statistical exercise and that garbage in, garbage out. However, trying to explain this in the comments section of my local MSM newspapers, I was immediately shot down with the usual comments of “You are not a scientist” and “scientists say…” and “X scientists have issued reports proving that AGW is real”. This would be followed up by multi page arguments between an anti AGW scientist vs. a pro AGW scientist bringing out ice measurements, currents, air temperatures etc. They are all in awe of scientists whereas the poor old statisticians and mathematicians are ignored.

  188. Michael Jankowski says:
    I wonder how many emails went back-and-forth between team members today?
    I wonder if they were smart enough to encrypt them this time around.

  189. To me, it still looks very much like a hockey stick. The only real difference is that the handle now has a downward slope.

  190. Moderators,

    If this post goes ballistic, as it has started . . . . . you guys better cancel some dates and stock up on Red Bull and popcorn.

    Good moderating to ya . . .

    John

  191. But… but… but… weren’t the proxies properly homogenized, parametrized, adjusted, back filled, and quality enhanced in Mann’s version? Surely these statisticians were able to use Mann’s original proprietary data code file, yes? Makes me wonder if they even bothered to ask him. I’m sure he would have said yes, right?

  192. To a layman such as I, the arguments presented so far by the Mann believers who have rushed to defend their idol are quite droll in their utter lack of understanding of the paper and of any attempt to point out that that it was solely the Mann-made data that was used.

  193. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

    TerryS: August 15, 2010 at 5:02 am
    You say: “Figure 16 illustrates the remarkable feature that, at the onset of the industrial revolution, the increase in the Earth’s temp was so great it created a reversal in its slope. Fascinating.”

    Please get your quotes right. I did not say that, I was quoting eudoxus

  194. OK. After having looked at this a good deal, I come away with these observations:

    1. They use Mann’s data, which means CRU-adjusted data
    2. The data uses temps from 80%+ poorly sited stations, distorting the post-1990 record
    3. Their frustrations about forecasting and backcasting have to do with the post-1990 record, which is distorted by poorly sited stations and unknown adjustments, plus the loss of nearly 90% of met stations in the post-1990 period.
    4. Though they came up with a hockey stick that shows 1000AD as high as now, yet no one is farming Greenland now, so no matter how much this undercuts Mann/CRU, it is still inadequate (which they seem to be saying, in fact)
    5. The new hockey stick is missing the LIA (as I read it); it shows temps in 1900 as low as the LIA. The bottom of the curve (annual and rolling both) is after 1800, which we all know is not true.
    6. Amazingly, the 2000 un-rolling curve is pretty much exactly equal to 1000AD
    7. One of their main points is the width of the uncertainty bands, which I have yelled and screamed about for a long time. A better graphing would show the 95% certainty bands, IMHO.
    8. They do conclude that the predictive capabilities from the Mann dataset is just too low to be usable. For the IPCC, this is definitely not a good result.
    9. I posit that corrected and more inclusive data for post-1990 would remedy much of their difficulties, which are tied to the post-1990 steep rise; i.e., I still suggest the steep rise does not exist in the real world, only in the post-adjusted CRU numbers.

  195. Latest news:
    Not only the surface temperature record has been shown inaccurate by Ross McKitrick latest papers and others, the statistical fabric of the proxies collage with this temperature record has now been shown a dubious use of statistical tools that doesn’t resist to proper analysis.

    CO2 might be increasing but the temperature curve that is supposed to reflect this CO2 increase is now exposed as baseless. We are finally back to the basics of meteorology and it is time for many here to read Leroux “dynamic analysis of weather and climate” Springer 2010, 2ed. as all the weather events we are witnessing were predicted and explained.

  196. In my opinion, Tamino and Romm are enforcers, not thought leaders. I’d be interested in Revkin’s take on this. It strikes me that this is the kind of paper that he will read and then call his buddies Mann and Jones for a chat about what they think it means.

    While he’s at it, perhaps he will call his other buddy Hansen for a chat about his program to manage the NASA GISS data set so well. Your recent post http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/11/more-gunsmoke-this-time-in-nepal/
    would provide a quick reference point for him.

    Fat chance.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/11/more-gunsmoke-this-time-in-nepal/

  197. McShane and Wyner will never again share faculty lounge crudites with Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. Meantime, we note that in respecting climate hysterics’ self-evidently selective and skewed dendrochronological time-series, this seminal paper grants the collusive Green Gang unwonted legitimacy even in non-statistical contexts. Factoring in such cultists’ absurdly manipulated base data eked out from c. AD 1000 reduces any and all Warmist hypotheses to smoking ruin.

  198. I’d like to second this:

    Brad says:
    August 15, 2010 at 6:27 am

    So what happens when you use the real data?

  199. It seems that Tamino has let a few comments be posted about the paper. Already, one of his sychophants has called McShane and Wyner “well-known denialists.” (shaking my head sadly)

  200. McIntyre and Mckitrick were publised and peer reviewed, this is additonal confirmation. At some point the ref will throw in the towel, but the team will continue until then.

  201. For those who don’t frequent RC, Here’s the quote:

    “[Response: The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn't fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I'm sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions "If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years" is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn't the thread for this, so let's leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what's been done. - gavin]“

  202. The message to me, and I have read the whole thing now, is that using the data the AGW set have used, Mann’s graph cannot be derived with the correct statistical tools.

    They make no comment as to the robustness of the data but simply point out , indirectly, that Mann and the AGW set had to improperly torture their own data to produce the FUD hockey stick.

    They are saying that Mann et al have cooked the books. Like those boys over at ENRON or Bernie Maddof they have carried out an act of fraud and 20 other good ol’ boys have validated their deceit. This was proved incontrovertibly without having to delve into the suspected alterations to the data before they were used in the fraud.

    I now await a similar expose on the data by people who have the same kudos . This CO2 thing is just another boondoggle, and a small whiff of causation as seen by Arhennius is not an argument for blaming carbon for any climatic changes we may be going through. It rather reminds me of a trick we would play on the credible at school , getting people to blow into a beaker of quick lime solution and point out that there was something wrong with them as the solution turned cloudy. We always had the “cure” and the beaker of fresh water handy.

    Mountebanks is what they are.

  203. Anthony: just a thought: it would be very interesting to get Wegman’s take on this. He may not have the stomach for it, but it might be worth asking.

  204. There seems to be quite a lot of debate at CP between Curry and the RC team. Gavin does not like all the questions posed as to the usefulness of tree ring proxy data. His response is quite telling.

    “Paleo-reconstructions are not anything special in science – they are simply the result of lots of people trying to see what they can discern of the past through a rather murky lens. Your ‘auditors’ have decided that any judgement call in doing that must be challenged and insinuate continuously that every issue is being fixed for some ulterior motive. This is not a useful challenge to the science, because it undermines the making of any judgement in the analysis whatsoever. The ‘auditors’ do not produce alternatives because they too would have to make decisions about how to proceed which would open them up to their own criticisms. That is what needs to change if they are going to make a contribution. For an example of how that ‘citizen science’ can really work, look at what Ron Broberg and Zeke Hausfeather are doing with the weather station data – they aren’t sitting around declaring that ‘it can’t be done’ or that the GISTEMP/CRU/NCDC methods are fixed, they are going into the data, making choices, seeing what impact they have and determining what is robust. Indeed, that is science without the need for the quotes. Would that there would be more of that.”

    What he is really saying is quite astonishing. I his opinion you can not simply say that the data and the analysis are crap since this would be unscientific. You have to try and find a better way of massaging the crap data in order to produce science. This as anyone can figure out is not a logic that applies to other areas of science. Recognizing crap for what it truly is can in some ways be the most productive way forward. But if you have a predetermined way forward that may be jeopardized by this recognition it makes sense to shift around the logic.

  205. Lucy above – if I recall rightly Gerry North showed himself as a rather partisan commentator with his responses to Climategate. However Edward Wegman IMO still retains his integrity. As you said at CA it will be interesting to see how/if GN weighs in on this one.

  206. The paper is referred to as McShane and Wyner 2010, but the data on their graphs end at the year 2000. Has the “hottest decade on record” been omitted?

  207. @evanmjones says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I am not sure where you are getting your figures from so I cann’t really respond. Much of the heat energy from AGW is in the oceans. Exactly how energy moves from oceans to the surface air is still hard to model. But that the heat is coming is clear.

    @Re: Mike Roddy’s comment. Disciplinary arrogance is not helpful. Climatologists need to be open to learning from statisticians, and statisticians need to remember that when going outside their area of training they may overlook things. My guess is this paper will help refine how proxy studies are done, but the dust is far from settled. Academic debates like this can be very healthy. Unfortunately charlatans with political agendas will try to use such debates to undermine science. [snip]

  208. The alarmists will still say that there is an increase in temp at the start of the industrial revolution, according to the revised graph in the paper…

  209. GeoFlynx,

    You don’t understand. Nothing was ‘omitted.’ The data used was the exact same data that Mann used.

    This paper corrects the bogus, self-serving ‘statistics’ that Mann has been spoon feeding the credulous believers in CAGW.

  210. I am not sure what the fuss is about. If you look here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

    the 2nd graph here shows exactly the same: in 1200 AD it was as warm as it is today.
    I am sure this must have been due to all the methane that the animals put up in the air. When the humans killed off the animals the methane went down and it became ice cold. Lucky enough we now have humans who now put CO2 up in the air.

  211. Excellent news and confirms my suspicion and I’m sure many others as well. AGW is built on a faith based system not a scientific based system. How they (warmists) “know” what they know has always been the central question in my mind. The brilliance of this study is accepting the manipulated data that Mann, Hansen, Jones, Schmidt et al have manufactured and showing that the conclusions they have drawn are incorrect. Unbelievable hubris on the part of these climate change “scientists”. As a US taxpayer, I do not want to pay the salaries of people who masquerade as scientists while doing advocacy work. Throw the bums out!

  212. Ken Hall says:
    August 15, 2010 at 3:01 am
    Mike Roddy is right. Mann et al do not care about mathematics and statistics, likewise the 20 odd other climatologists who confirm the hockey stick.

    That is why they failed to spot the confirmation bias which ruins their science.

    Michael Mann disagrees with you. He says:

    Modellers have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change because the causes and effect are clear.”
    (General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability,
    by Gavin Schmidt, Drew Shindell, Ron Miller, Michael Mann and David Rind, published in Quaternary Science Review in 2004.)

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/Schmidtetal-QSR04.pdf

  213. Read it with wonder when first saw it. Two points: one of the authors is at the University of Pennsylvania. Direct smack at Mann. Second, Fig. 15 shows an upward future “natural” trend, based on all the data. The IPCC forecast a “natural” neutral to cooling trend. So the difference between “natural” and IPCC CO2/forced is less. Not in the range where the CO2 models would work.

    A game changer for the skeptic side, but not enough to alarm the alarmists.

  214. Please clear up some confusion on my part:

    The graphs above only cover the Northern Hemisphere proxy data. The authors decided NOT to include Southern Hemisphere proxy data in their analysis. Why? How can they reach this conclusion on global annual temperatures (in their Conclusions section) without looking at global proxy data? :

    “On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a “long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data. The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature.

  215. duckster…you say:

    You need a theory to explain what is happening now.

    Actually not. For the purposes of rejecting a hypothesis all “we” need is one counter example. All that has to be shown, is that current theories are not predictive and that they have systemic flaws. CAGW can go down in flames without another theory to take its place.

  216. I think a letter to my congressmen with a request to suspend all funding for paleoclimatology as it relates to AGW is in order – at least until a complete review of the science can be undertaken. I hope others here in the states do the same.

  217. It seems that McShane and Wyner omitted one vital step in their reconstruction. As any fully qualified, peer reviewed climate scientist will tell you, it’s necessary to rotate this graph by 10 degrees counter-clockwise. The reasons are so obvious that I see no need to explain them here.

    Once this step has been done, it can be seen that McShane and Wyner 2010 is in pretty close agreement with Mann et al. (1999).

  218. Mike:

    I am not sure where you are getting your figures from so I can’t really respond.

    Well, for 20th century global temperature trend, I am stipulating HadCRU (though I have serious doubts concerning adjustments, since they can’t or won’t release their raw data).

    The CO2 forcing numbers and the positive feedback numbers are from the IPCC. I think the raw forcing number (+1.2C per doubling of CO2) may be accurate or near accurate.

    Feedback is another bag of beans, however. And when I count those beans, they do not appear to be consistent with the IPCC inventory:

    The boosting of the 1.2C effect to a midstream +3.2C effect via positive feedback loops I doubt very much because it depends on factors, such as a receding of the tundra and glaciers, which have been ongoing since the LIA turned its coldest corner around 1650. And if those factors are ongoing, then so must the feedback, if any.

    Therefore a 40% increase in CO2 since 1900 (the Keeling numbers plus earlier proxies) should have produced a lot more warming than +0.7C — if the IPCC positive feedback theory is correct.

    If there is no positive feedback (or even net negative feedback), then a.) Global Warming is still real, and b.) It presents no emergency, whatever.

    Folks who follow this line of reasoning (I daresay many, if not most of us) are pleased to refer to ourselves as “Lukewarmers”. That is to say, if we take one of those CO2 global warming multiple choice tests, we look like genuine AGW fanatics. (YES, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. YES, there has been warming. YES, man has added CO2. YES, there has been sea level rise. etc., etc., etc.) Yet our conclusions are entirely opposite of the alarmists when it comes to the bottom line — and to policy.

    There are usually (not always, but usually) two sides two sides to a controversy. I encourage you to do a doubletake and reassess. Perhaps this will not change your mind. But in any event it can only put you in more deliberate possession of your position.

  219. Has anybody else thought, the errors in what the hockey stick told about temperature is simply not realistic? A few sources of errors, the thermometers used, the accuracy of the tree ring proxies, and all the other allegedly ACCURATE past measurement techniques. I suspect if it were within +-3 degrees Celsius that would have been great.

    And what would you call a 20 foot change in sea level, other than measurement error? I mean the accuracy there would be fine for a rise of 400 feet since the last ice age. Think about it, were are talking 5% from the last ice age. Does anybody really know what the sea level was when the Bering Land Bridge was above water, and to what accuracy?

    But one thing we do now know, there were ancient settlements in Greenland, that place with a funny name for being such a modern snowball, under the glaciers right now. And that is not refutable.

  220. In my opinion Wegman, et al sufficiently sliced and diced Mann’s methodology five years ago. This paper simply adds more evidence that the statistics employed by Mann (and his pals who used the same techniques to produce similar results) are flawed and their results invalid. I can’t get too excited, however. We’re talking about the dubious science of paleoclimatology; tree rings, sediment cores, etc. In essence they’re applying statistical analysis to “guesses” rather than “real” instrumental data.

    Far more interesting, I think, is what is being done to the surface temperature record by NOAA and NASA/GISS. These taxpayer funded government agencies have credibility in the eyes of many of the public…and this is truly dangerous. Personally, I think using taxpayer dollars to study tree rings is akin to funding astrology.

  221. Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:44 am

    “…….
    “Climate scientists have plenty of training in statistical methodology. Those who claim superior abilities, such as McIntyre and Wegman, have not been successful in producing charts in peer reviewed publications that show anything other than the many versions of the hockey stick that have appeared in scientific publications. Their attempted corrections tend to be heavy on jargon, and in some cases question dispute the randomness of tree ring selection when they have little knowledge of the raw sampling.”

    Mike, stop. Apparently your argument seems to be: Scientists are better than statisticians in the science of statistics. Throughout the history of the climate debate, we’ve been told over and over again that we laymen aren’t capable of understanding the intricacies of climate science and it is best if we leave it to the experts. (Paradoxically, it has been obvious for some time the climate scientists themselves didn’t understand the intricacies of statistics.) Be it global temp anomaly, concentration of CO2, earth’s total ice content, ect., it is all mathematical work. Still, they can’t use the argument that we should “leave it to the experts” when they don’t engage in the same practice(especially in a hard science such as math/statistics). It’s not like they haven’t been told. They were told over and over again that they were employing the wrong statistical methodologies for over a decade now. It is simply a damn shame that they had to waste the ENTIRE WORLD’S TIME, ENERGY AND MONEY before this would be shown when a true scientist would have listened to the objections and tested the objections before out-of-hand dismissing the claims as the climate-scientists have, ON EVERY LEVEL OF THE DEBATE. Truly, the world has better things to do than to disprove every simplistic blathering coming from a totalitarian, Malthusian, socialist posing as a scientist.

    Mike, can you imagine what this world could have accomplished in the last 30 years if all of the mental, financial, and social energies hadn’t been diverted to this issue, from both sides of the debate?

  222. Mike, you are wrong about the idea that “much of the heat energy from AGW is in the oceans”. In order to say what part of your thesis is most wrong, please post your mechanism for how the longwave radiation greenhouse gases emit are absorbed by the oceans. More specifically, what is your heat transfer mathematical equation for your mechanism re: LW radiation net heat forcing in layers below the surface tension (because there, the weak energy turned into heat is evaporated as soon as it hits this layer).

  223. “If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years” is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn’t the thread for this, so let’s leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what’s been done. – gavin]“
    ===============================================

    This paper is not saying what Gavin wants it to say.
    This paper has absolutely nothing to do with proving or disproving temps and has absolutely nothing to do with being in line with anything the IPCC says about temps.

    The IPCC statement is based on assuming that certain temp prox are accurate and that modeling of that data are also correct.

    This paper is assuming that Mann’s temp prox are accurate.

    This paper is just showing what Mann did with his data.

    It is showing that of all the models runs that Mann did, he had to pick the one that showed what he wanted it to show.

    This paper is showing that even using Mann’s own numbers, they could not reproduce his results.

  224. As I understood the M&W paper (and I’m willing to be corrected, as IANAS), it describes a sophisticated method for analyzing this kind of data. They use what is presumably one of the most comprehensive data sets out there, and proceed to demonstrate what their method can do. The predictions are made simply to demonstrate that their method is capable of making them. The backcasts, similarly, are done because that is an appropriate and important step.

    They verify that their results are in several ways consistent with other methods – this is also a necessary step when describing a new method. The big difference compared to previous work is that M&W’s analysis dramatically increases the error bars, showing that the data set in question has no predictive value to speak of.

    If it holds up, it is a great contribution. Future work on proxy reconstructions could apply this method and produce analyses with much better predictive force. The thing that is bound to happen is that you double back and re-assess your data and underlying assumptions, when your sophisticated statistical analysis tells you that your results do not match reality.

    Generally speaking, this sort of advance does not necessarily cast previous work in disrepute, even though it may overturn their conclusions. Authors of previous work can, OTOH, cast themselves in disrepute by refusing to accept that their results were wrong, even if confronted with convincing evidence.

  225. Dang. Wish I’d seen this earlier. I hate to be at the end of a few hundred comments. Oh well. I do have a couple thoughts.

    First, the new graph showing what Mann’s data turns out when the math is done correctly is still a hockey stick. The blade looks like it lost its size enhancer. The shaft is now tilted up from being flat. But it still looks like a hockey stick to me. The end of the shaft at year 1000 appears to be higher than the short blade.

    If we keep in mind that this graph shows bad statistics and not reality, we can still have a bit of fun with it. At the bottom of the LIA, if we take the warmist view that the industrial revolution accounts for the upturn, then we might be able to posit that CO2 saved us from a developing ice age. Alternatively, the uptick that is the blade is simply temperatures returning to normal, not the effect of trace amounts of CO2. Another point to make about the graph is that it only shows 1000 years which, in geologic time frames is an extremely tiny period. I’m hoping these guys take on the data selection next as I’d really like to see what they have to say about that.

    At this point I would avoid triumphalism. Just as I’d like to see evidence from the warmists that is replicable, I’d like to see what other statisticians have to say about this work. While I’m a skeptic of CAWG because of all the bad science and politics pretending to be science, it still could be true. If so, the so called scientists have really hurt the cause they claim to be supporting by losing the trust of the public with their dishonest techniques for both getting the results they got as well as trying to pass it off as credible. There will be attacks on this new paper, and it will be interesting to see what they are and whether or not they have any credibility. Watching the fat lady sing would be fun, but I’m not sure the CAGW crowd doesn’t have an encore or two first.

    And last, I think its fun to contemplate that if this new paper holds up, it will be fun to point out that all the papers that advocate for warming were peer reviewed extensively and nobody caught the problems. It won’t help the credibility of peer review any. The next little while should be lots of fun.

  226. @Latimer Alder says August 15, 2010 at 6:32 am:

    As far as I can tell, having established the basic data to be used, there is no climatological knowledge required to manipulate the numbers and produce the graphs that Mann and his chums have relied on for over a decade. The knowledge and skills required are purely statistical.

    This paper shows 2 things:
    1. The amount of manipulation done to the numbers has created a(n artificial) dataset that is unusable. This is really remarkable in science. Millions of datapoints, and the data cannot be used to extrapolate anything. The buggery part essentially, according to the paper, is post-1990 period. They point to it again and again as something they simply cannot get to work. This should be running up red flags about the instrument data from after 1990.
    2. Mann did not know what he was doing. YES, the “science” at the CRU/Mann level IS 100% statistics, yet – as pointed out in the paper – there are not enough scientific statisticians working in the field of global warming. Climatologists should not be doing their own statistics. (Pay attention to HARRY_READ_ME.txt) Statisticians should not be out collecting tree rings or ice cores.

  227. Much of the heat energy from AGW is in the oceans.

    Yet SST has increased less than land surface. Sea level rise is perhaps 8 inches over the last century. (Uplifting/subsiding, eroding/silting areas make this difficult to calculate. And coral atolls tend to go with the flow, literally rising with the tide, as it were.)

    The “big six” and other oceanic/atmospheric cycles (PDO, NAO, etc., etc.) appear to be much involved.

    I tend to be more of a sea witch than a sun worshiper, myself. So be careful when you look at the trend since the late 1970s. All six (and more) of those cycles were simultaneously in cool phase. From 1979 – 2001, they all went from cool to warm, one at a time. On (natural) schedule. And now one or two are beginning to stagger and revert to cool, the PDO being pack leader.

    So the next couple of decades are going to tell us a lot. (But I will also keep an eye on solar cycle 24, just in case!)

  228. henry@evanmjones

    on what measurements do you base your believe that CO2 is a greehouse gas i.e that its warming properties are greater than its cooling properties?

  229. Mike Roddy says at 7:44 am:

    Climate scientists have plenty of training in statistical methodology. Those who claim superior abilities, such as McIntyre and Wegman, have not been successful in producing charts in peer reviewed publications that show anything other than the many versions of the hockey stick that have appeared in scientific publications. Their attempted corrections tend to be heavy on jargon, and in some cases question dispute the randomness of tree ring selection when they have little knowledge of the raw sampling.

    Thanks, Mike, for your uninformed opinion. The fact is, however, that Dr Wegman is an internationally recognized statistician. His C.V. [click on his name] lists his personal interests at the end — none of which is related to climate issues. Dr Wegman is neutral on the subject. But he is not neutral on the improper use of statistics.

    One of the central criticisms of Michael Mann’s CAGW clique is their amateurish, incompetent and self-serving use of statistics. They do not understand statistics. Mann refuses to use R because it does not validate his hokey stick chart. He programs in Fortran, which is akin to an English major writing in ancient Sumerian cuneiform.

    The fact that Mike Roddy tries to excuse Mann’s shenanigans by referring to the climate pal review system that Mann controls only shows how thoroughly corrupt the climate peer review system and the Michael Mann clique are.

    Without proper statistical verification, tree ring proxy studies are not worth the pixels on a computer screen — and that is why Mann and this tax-sucking clique run and hide out from real statisticians, and why the UN/IPCC refuses to allow any unbiased statisticians to review its CAGW sales brochures.

  230. GeoFlynx says:
    August 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

    “The paper is referred to as McShane and Wyner 2010, but the data on their graphs end at the year 2000. Has the “hottest decade on record” been omitted?”

    Geo, remember that this paper’s purpose was to detect if the proxies had and predictive capabilities. They used the instrumental data(CRU N.H.) to determine if the proxy data held true to the temps. The reason for omitting the data beyond 2000 is because there is almost no proxy data after 2000, so one can’t compare instrumental data to proxy data that doesn’t exist. Geo, you and others should note, the paper isn’t stating what was or wasn’t the temps of the past, they were only checking if the proxy data could predict or, conversely, detect temperatures if the proper statistical methods were applied. Apparently the answer is no. This is a pretty innocuous statement. The implications, however, are not innocuous. Specifically, if your name is Mann. But he’s not the only one caught in the “lasso”,(heh, I made a punny!) Any modeling made from the conclusions of the paleo-science specific to recent climatology are in question. So, as our friend Mike Roddy has pointed out, there are about 20 other scientists whose work that is called into question. Mostly because they believed in the validity of statistical methods they employed. At least I hope they believed in them. They probably should have taken some of their work to a statistician. But then, it may have invalidated their studies, so they didn’t. Recollect, one of the hallmarks of a psuedo-science is “Lack of openness to testing by other experts.” There are several other hallmarks, and current CAGW climatology seems to fit perfectly.

  231. Andrew has summarized many of the salient points of this paper. Nevertheless, there is one point that I feel deserves a little more emphasis (from page 38)

    “…the fact that the proxies seem unable to capture the
    sharp run-up in temperature of the 1990s.”

    The overall goal of a proxy is to estimate the temperature series in years before direct records of temperature exist. Once on reconstructs such a series, one can look at it to answer a number of questions. One such question:

    Is there evidence in the (reconstructed) temperature series of examples in the past of sharp run-ups in temperature, similar to what has been observed in the last half century.”

    Looking that the series for such evidence implicitly accepts that if those run-ups occurred, they would be evident in the reconstruction.

    Is that assumption valid?

    We have only one period where it is known that such a temperature run-up occurred, and the authors tell us that the proxy measures don’t identify it.

    If the only known example of a temperature run-up isn’t manifested in the proxy data, why on earth would you assume that past temperature run-ups would be captured in the proxy data?

    Anyone using the proxy data to reject the assumption that there were temperature spikes in the past is guilty of making an assumption expressly rejected by the data.

  232. Now, now, smokes, be nice.

    But he’s right about the statistics, Mike.

    Wegman is tops in his field. And at the Wegman hearings, Mann (IIRC; might have been one of the others) proudly declaimed he was not a statistician.

    That does not bode well for what amounts to an involved statistical study (‘way out of my league).

  233. The simple and acknowledged failure of the proxies to match observed temperature changes from the 60’s onward should have been quite sufficient on it’s own to demonstrate that the proxies were unsuitable for the purpose of comparing the present with the past. It is sad that it has taken so much time and effort to unravel the deceit.

    This gives a whole new meaning to ‘hide the decline’ and the ‘nature trick’.

    Those strategies were clearly intended to avoid the clear implication that the proxies were an unsuitable starting point from which to assess the significance of current ongoing temperature variations.

    If they had then accepted the obvious then their careers and the whole concept of AGW would have ended at that point because without using the available proxy evidence no recent temperature measurements could ever have been said to be in any way unusual.

    The truth always gets out and here it is.

  234. sorry but OT.
    Niwa sued over data accuracy
    NZPA Last updated 16:09 15/08/2010

    The country’s state-owned weather and atmospheric research body is being taken to court in a challenge over the accuracy of its data used to calculate global warming.

    The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition said it had lodged papers with the High Court asking the court to invalidate the official temperatures record of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

    The lobby of climate sceptics and ACT Party have long criticised Niwa over its temperature data, which Niwa says is mainstream science and not controversial, and the raw data publicly available.

    The coalition said the New Zealand Temperature Records (NZTR) were the historical base of NIWA’s advice to the Government on issues relating to climate change.

    Coalition spokesman Bryan Leyland said many scientists believed although the earth had been warming for 150 years, it had not heated as much as Government archives claimed.

    He said the New Zealand Meteorological Service had shown no warming during the past century but Niwa had adjusted its records to show a warming trend of 1degC. The warming figure was high and almost 50 percent above the global average, said Mr Leyland.

    The coalition said the 1degC warming during the 20th century was based on adjustments taken by Niwa from a 1981 student thesis by then student Jim Salinger, a Niwa employee who was later sacked after talking to the media without permission.

    The Salinger thesis was subjective and untested and meteorologists more senior to Dr Salinger did not consider the temperature data should be adjusted, it said.

    The coalition would ask the court to find Niwa’s New Zealand Temperature Record invalid.

    It would also seek a court declaration preventing Niwa from using the NZTR when it advised the Government or any other body on global climate issues. It would also ask the court to order Niwa to produce a full and accurate NZTR.

    Mr Leyland said Niwa was refusing to repudiate the NZTR to avoid political embarrassment and loss of public confidence.

    A substantive hearing was expected later this year.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4026330/Niwa-sued-over-data-accuracy

  235. Gavin now has a live link to the .pdf download of this paper on Real Climate. I think we’ve caught his attention! I’ve been watching awareness of this paper evolve over there for the past day or so, from “We’ve heard about the paper” to “here’s the link”:

    [Response: The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn't fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I'm sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions "If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years" is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn't the thread for this, so let's leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what's been done. - gavin]

    See this posting at “Expert Credibility in Climate Change – Responses to Comments”
    Filed under: Climate Science skeptics — group @ 3 August 2010

  236. Statisticians now emphasize the importance of involving them more
    in e.g. proxy reconstructions. Quite rightly.

    But, the accusation that Mann and others neglected to do so, just to be
    able to manipulate and distort results;I don’t believe it.

    It is more a question of tradition in routine science: you would
    perhaps consult a statistics expert for general advice, but mostly not really
    integrate him/her in the team. For a variety of reasons: (1) you don’t see
    all risks of faulty application, not being an expert, (2) you may not have
    the funds reserved in the project budget, (3) you can see that the expert
    is bugged by some many other teams (personal experience) etc.

    I think you have to look at it historically, the science projects have
    grown in the past decades, both in complexity, scope and also concerning
    the stakes from a societal viewpoint.

  237. So to sum up:

    The almighty Hockey Stick was derived from:

    1. Manipulated, mangled, cherry picked data, and

    2. The statistical methodology it uses is somewhere between highly suspect and very wrong.

    As a scientist, I strenuously object to use of the term “climate scientist”, as it suggests these people actually practice real science.

  238. On CA 1, Patrick Hadley had this very interesting comment:

    “Posted Aug 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Reply
    Professor Wyner http://climateaudit.org/2010/08/14/mcshane-and-wyner-2010/#comment-239212 tells us that The paper has been accepted, but publication is still a bit into the future as it is likely to be accompanied by invited discussants and comment.
    It seems likely that Michael Mann would be one of the invited discussants, and hence that the Hockey Team have been well aware of this paper for some time. If that is the case then one can understand why Gavin et al have been so uninterested in discussions about the proxies recently, and have been playing down the importance of the hockey stick.”

  239. Smokey says:
    “You don’t understand. Nothing was ‘omitted.’ The data used was the exact same data that Mann used.This paper corrects the bogus, self-serving ‘statistics’ that Mann has been spoon feeding the credulous believers in CAGW.”

    GeoFlynx – Actually I understand quite well. The title of the paper is “A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000 Years Reliable?” and the work addresses “hockey stick” graphs from a variety of NORTH AMERICAN (not global) reconstructions, many with more modern dates than the Mann graph you refer to.

    When this paper concludes, “Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model. “, one can only question why the most recent decade was omitted. Given that graphs, where the 2000 data limit occurs, are not direct comparison with the Mann 1998 data and that the change would be slight, I again raise the question.

  240. I was thinking along similar lines that sandyinderby was thinking. That is that Duckster does not know when the medieval warm period (MWP) was. Duckster’s comments on the MWP seemed as if he were directing us to look at the Little Ice Age as the MWP. Maybe history is not interesting to Duckster.

  241. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 15, 2010 at 11:10 am
    The simple and acknowledged failure of the proxies to match observed temperature changes from the 60′s onward should have been quite sufficient on it’s own to demonstrate that the proxies were unsuitable for the purpose of comparing the present with the past. It is sad that it has taken so much time and effort to unravel the deceit.
    ================================
    Stephen, I agree.
    Weren’t tree rings used up until 1960. Then because tree rings showed cooling after 1960, the tree ring data was replaced with thermometers at airports.

    And 1960 is where temps show a rapid jump up.

  242. The only questions I have are:
    1) Will anyone besides us pay any attention?
    2) How long until RC says “it doesn’t matter.”

  243. Is it Christmas again? This week has been just like when Climategate broke last November. Now we have MMH2010 followed by MW2010.

  244. Mark.r says:
    August 15, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I wish you guys well in that endeavor. We haven’t had much luck in the courts in the U.S. thus far, but that may change shortly.

    Anthony!!!!!! Can you put an explanation about the graphs posted? People are coming here looking at the graphs and concluding the authors are validating the hockey stick!!!(While obviously not bothering to read the paper.) Specifically figure 16. Apparently, figure 15 is only visible to people that actually read the paper. We should do a study on that phenomenon. Never mind, its already been done over and over again. People see what they wish to see.

  245. It should not be forgotten that this paper is not only an indictment of Mann’s original papers, it’s also an indictment of the “peer-review” process that allowed such rubbish to be printed. Any publication that relies heavily on complex statistics where the authors are not themselves trained statisticians should be reviewed by one both before submission and as part of the review process. Clearly, this did not happen and the journals responsible, their editorial boards and reviewer panels should hang their heads in shame and consider their positions. The reviewers were clearly making judgements way outside their areas of expertise which any competent editor should have spotted.

  246. @GeoFlynx,

    You still don’t get it, do you? The purpose of this paper was not to infer anything from Mann’s data, it was to demonstrate that Mann, et al employed faulty statistical methods. They used the same (probably corrupted and cherry picked) data that Mann used only they applied the correct statistical analysis and got startlingly different results. Their results are irrelevant, but they have proven that Mann’s results are, at best, invalid.
    ——————————-
    @Jimbo,

    I followed your link over to RC. I don’t go there often because I always feel like I need to shower after I leave. They’re not quite yet foaming at the mouth but they’re getting a little frothy around the lips.
    ——————————-
    @ Smokey and James Sexton,

    It’s worth it to read the comments just to read your eloquent smackdown of climate trolls. Thank you and well done, gentlemen.

  247. Paul K2 says:
    August 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

    “Please clear up some confusion on my part:

    The graphs above only cover the Northern Hemisphere proxy data. The authors decided NOT to include Southern Hemisphere proxy data in their analysis. Why? How can they reach this conclusion on global annual temperatures (in their Conclusions section) without looking at global proxy data? :”

    Paul, they weren’t seeking to reach a conclusion of the global annual temperatures, they were seeking to know if one could with the proxy data. It is a fine distinction, but an important one. What they were stating was the proxy data isn’t useful in that regard.

  248. TerryS: August 15, 2010 at 8:15 am
    Please get your quotes right. I did not say that, I was quoting eudoxus

    Mea maxima culpa. I did a cut-paste and snipped the wrong tag.

    Ummmm — when I was distracted by a camel spider running across my keyboard.

    Yup. Camel spider. That’s the ticket…

  249. Mikael Pihlström>> Sounds like you reject the hypothesis of neglection (from Mann et al) and want to substitute it with nonchalance, is that correct?

  250. This post worries me. Aren’t we laying our flanks exposed to the danger of double-dipped and robust recession?
    If it wasn’t bad enough to discover that the arithmetical skills of fiscal logicians, although considerably greater than their strategic judgement, still registered an F, we are now facing another crisis of confidence!
    OK, I could handle the issue of upside down temperature proxies. We’re only Human after all.
    I even managed to swallow those informative, albeit time consuming, interludes with Gav and Secular Amimist and DoughBoyo and all the rest of the RC stalwarts. PS, guys, sorry if I didn’t mention you by name, you’re all still lovingly ‘membered.
    Nope, what really stuck in my craw was that, despite the overwhelmingly over-stocked war-chests, the grateful acceptance of your findings by tax-hungry western politicians and the crusading zeal of belief-blinded journalists, was that you got shafted by part-time, curious, indefatigable and gifted amateurs.
    And their arsenal comprised of what exactly?
    Truth, scepticism, science, for sure, but when spiced and flavoured by an inherent distrust of hubristic certainty and garnished with an appreciation that a talented scientist who came up with the physical principles of the GHE, later modified his findings.
    Indeed. ‘Tis chastening that his most ardent supporters conveniently ignore his more recent caveats, the inconvenience of poor data collection, the statistical prestidigitations of the most senior in the field of climate science that created the belief driven Procrustean fit that resulted in the unprecedented, HS.
    Guys, you came in as big, hungry sharks and you got shredded by minnows. Your backers must be losing patience. Take care.

  251. Dr. Dave says:
    August 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks, I appreciate the compliment! And you’re not bad yourself. And, I agree, Smokey does a great job!

    Really, its usually, it’s a pretty easy and fun endeavor. The trolls don’t attack the paper in a valid scientific manner. (Most probably can’t and probably haven’t read the paper.)

  252. Prediction: Mann will claim this paper has already been debunked, and is part of a fossil-fuel funded conspiracy to weaken the public’s confidence in the overwhelming consensus of credible scientists.

    In short, without even needing to read it, it’s already wrong.

    By the way, McShane and Wyner are about to have their past checked for any faint evidence of oil, tobacco or right-wing opinions on any subject (“right-wing” in this case being anything to the right of Trotsky). Because as everyone knows, its not the math that makes the paper correct, its the purity of heart of the person doing the math that counts

    [REPLY - It's the vast wight-ring conspiracy. ~ Sauron]

  253. The conclusion shows that hockey stick sucks, and the data is horrendous historically. Watch out, solar science is the next to go down based on historical crap data.

    “6. Conclusion. Research on multi-proxy temperature reconstructions
    of the earth’s temperature is now entering its second decade. While the
    literature is large, there has been very little collaboration with universitylevel,
    professional statisticians (Wegman et al., 2006; Wegman, 2006). Our
    paper is an effort to apply some modern statistical methods to these problems.
    While our results agree with the climate scientists findings in some
    respects, our methods of estimating model uncertainty and accuracy are in
    sharp disagreement.
    On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a
    ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends
    to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data. The fundamental problem is
    that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD;
    what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. Our
    backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most
    recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run
    up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample.”

  254. Am really glad to see this effort – but hope that it is a beginning – not an end of the discussion.

    I particularly look forward to the next steps (in light of Gavins comments) and Professors McShane and Wyner reply to the comments (‘stay tuned….’). Get ready gents – they’re going to ‘bring it’.

    I would also LOVE to see a McPaper from McIntyre, McShane and McKittrick with an analysis WITHOUT bristlecones, upside down lake sediments or Gaspe series. And thereby nail the entire enterprise.

    [Reply - Try Loehle, McCulloch (2008) ~ Evan]

  255. The first sentence of the paper states: “Predicting historic temperatures based on tree rings, ice cores, and other natural proxies is a difficult endeavor.”

    If predicting the historic temperatures is difficult, I guess it is really difficult to predict the future.

  256. Brad said:

    “Watch out, solar science is the next to go down based on historical crap data.”

    Oo,er. What about Leif’s ‘reconstructions’ then ?

  257. Mikael Pihlström: August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
    If paleo reconstructions are universally dead (I am OK with that) they are dead for everyone. You have to forget your MWP argument to.
    —————–
    There are farms and tree trunks in the permafrost of Greenland.

  258. Chris H says:
    August 15, 2010 at 11:58 am
    It should not be forgotten that this paper is not only an indictment of Mann’s original papers, it’s also an indictment of the “peer-review” process that allowed such rubbish to be printed.
    =========================================
    Chris, I don’t look at the peer review process that way at all.

    In my field, it’s little more than spealchex and does the paper have merit. Does it bring up anything new, a different angle, etc.

    We don’t look at peer review as a grade.
    Peer review puts the paper out there, where it either gets trashed, or stands on it’s own merit.
    I think a lot of people are confused about that.

    After the paper is published, then everyone has access to it.
    That’s when it’s debated, tested, run through the wringer.

    If it stands, it stands until someone else comes up with something better.
    If it’s proven wrong, that way everyone benefits from it and someone else will publish something until they are proven wrong.

    But justing being reviewed and published really means nothing.

  259. I’ve seen some people at Steve’s arguing this study basically leaves “the blade” intact and suggests the 1990s are still likely the hottest decade of the last millinium.

    However, what that argument misses is that the power of the hockey stick was always in the handle, not in the blade. If the handle disappears into lumpiness, then the AGWers lose a major piece of their arsenal for arguing near 100% causation for C02 in modern warming. Now they will have to admit that natural variability could play a larger role than they have been willing to admit up to now.

    The 0% vs 100% argument for C02 has always been a barren exercize for all about the hardest of the hard core on either side. Everyone else has intuitively understood reality was almost certain to be more nuanced than that. Now that the “hockey stick handle” is dead, perhaps we can get on with a more realistic argument about the real % causation for C02 in modern warming.

    The Hockey Stick handle is dead, so now the supposed non-contribution of UHI moves front and center as the biggest dragon remaining to be slain to enter a new phase of realistic debates about C02’s contributions to warming in the past, and the future.

  260. Having read the error analysis and seen how wide the confidence limits are, I wonder what such an analysis of the instrumental temperature record would show. After all, many large-scale adjustments seem to have been required over the years and no plot I’ve ever seen includes any confidence limits at all.

  261. Another hole below the waterline. Shame I burned my lifeboat to keep warm in the unseasonal 16 degree UK summer……

  262. They sure have one extreme skill back att Realclimate!

    Deleting!! They have special extra delete button replacement kits. They are investing in a special delete robot to cut costs.

  263. Over at Tamino’s I just had this exchange about an ad hominem there against McShane and Wyner :

    Commenter A – “One is disappoointed to see that some well known denialists, McShane and Wyner, have managed to scrape a paper through the peer review process which is critical of Michael Mann’s work.
    Bayseianism as employed here is the last refuge of statistical scoundrels, mostly ferocious right wing neo liberals.”

    John Whitman replied to Commenter A – “I am interested to hear about the track record of denialism which you say that McShane and Wyner have.”

    Commenter B replied to me – “I’m smelling a rat, John. Just look at the idiotic comment about bayesian statistics.”

    ————–
    I didn’t know what “idiotic comment about Bayesian statistics” Commenter B was talking about, but I am assuming it is the use of Bayesian modeling by McShane and Wyner in their new paper. Note Commenter A implies use of Bayesian statistics is a moral/political issue.

    So, I take from these two commenterss that they think just very use of Bayesian statistic on Mann’s work implies denier status for McShane and Wyner.

    But, I am sincerely interested on further responses to my questions about ad hominem on McShane and Wyner at Tamino’s place. So will try to inquire more.

    John

    • John Whitman

      Thanks but you probably won’t be able to penetrate the wall of irrational hatred at T-town

      Everyone who doesn’t worship there is a “denier”

      Good luck

  264. “August 15, 2010 at 10:31 am
    duckster…

    You need a theory to explain what is happening now.”

    Erm, no we don’t. This paper could be our ‘black swan’.

    cheers David

  265. on what measurements do you base your believe that CO2 is a greehouse gas i.e that its warming properties are greater than its cooling properties?

    So far, not on a lot. Too many unknowns. There is behavior under lab conditions. And there has been some measurable warming. But I am guessing the trend is exaggerated by a factor of two between spurious adjustments and various site biases (UHI, microsite, TOBS, what have you).

    Then there is natural recovery from the LIA and non-CO2 anthropogenic issues such as land use and particulates (i.e., “dirty snow”).

    Not to mention the mysteries of how the atmosphere behaves in practice and all the oceanic and interactive variables (clouds, pressure variables, what have you).

    To say nothing of radiation, which is what CO2 GH theory is all about.

    Then there are all the unknown factors. Since we don’t know them, we can’t list them.

    Between all that, there is still room for CO2, though not a heck of a lot. Possibly the raw effect is significant , but damped down by negative feedback.

    Thank goodness we have microwave proxies for lower troposphere or we’d not only be shooting in the dark, but aiming at a raindrop while standing on a revolving platform.

  266. “Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:44 am
    A reader questioned my comment that the oceans have 40% less fish biomass. This is actually only a logical assumption, since it’s impossible to measure fish biomass, due to their dispersion. The study in question measures phytoplankton, which form the basis of the oceanic food chain. I should have noted that in my comment. Here is the study:

    http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2010/07/oceans_phytoplankton_drops_40.html

    You’re talking tosh mate. So you can’t measure fish mass but you can measure phytoplankton that accurately? You better tell all the fisheries authorities who seem to know exactly how many fish there are. The other fallacy is that it’s a ‘logical assumption’ that fish reduce at the same rate as the food. What if there was excess food to begin with? i.e. 40% more plankton than they needed? Also the article is about phytoplankton. Fish eat zooplankton as well and there is probably as much of that as ever. Think critically please.

    cheers David.

  267. John Whitman says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    My reading of it was that Commenter A was having a bit of fun at Tamino’s – and his folowers’ – expense, and that Commenter B had got it.

    Surely Commenter A was not being serious???

  268. Jobnls says:
    August 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    “What he is really saying is quite astonishing. I his opinion you can not simply say that the data and the analysis are crap since this would be unscientific. You have to try and find a better way of massaging the crap data in order to produce science.”

    Actually it might make some sense if he were talking only about trying to progress in theoretical research. Even a bad (but non-frivolous) theory can be better than having no theory if one’s purpose is theoretical progress – one needs to start from somewhere, even if only to move to somewhere else. It’s not unusual in science to work on a theory that one knows not be in full accordance with reality, if one has no alternative theories nearly as good. The least bad scientific theory often gets to get worked on. People work both inside the box and outside the box of the theory, in hopes of ending up with a better theory.

    But it’s crazily wrong to cram common practice into the box of a bad scientific theory, even if the other scientific theories are worse.

    The yawning fallacy is to hold that the least bad theory is automatically, by magic default, ipso facto, willy-nilly, pell-mell sufficient basis for practical action and harsh choices and, say, revolutionizing the world under grand central government controlling all means of production and making us all poor and the poor among us even poorer. This is the fallacy that the least bad scientific theory automatically gets to steer common practice into places no matter how strange or destructive.

    To the contrary, one does not need to present an alternative theory in order to show that a given theory is too weak or too contrary to observations to be a basis for forcing massive changes in practice.

    I suspect that we’ll hear plenty of it (which is why I’m going on at this length), of how we must act (and massively) on the basis of the lousy scientific theory because of lack of a better one, as if that were the same thing as working theoretically on a bad scientific theory for lack of a better one (work that often involves trying to improve the theory by, umm, changing it).

  269. Mikael:

    I think you have to look at it historically, the science projects have
    grown in the past decades, both in complexity, scope and also concerning
    the stakes from a societal viewpoint.

    Well, there’s a durn good reason why they encourage history PhDs to take statistics courses as well as languages.

  270. “Although we assume the reliability of their data for our purposes here”

    This is the data put together by the Man(n) who is willing to cheat on the published record of how many papers he has had published and repeatedly uses inverted graphs to substantiate his conclusions.

    Two historic posts in 24 hours – Lord Monkton blasts the estimates for C02 projections and now the Hockey stick is shown to be the hocus pocus we all guessed it to be. With this evidence even non scientists like me can go into enemy territory and slay the illusory scare stories put up in the Guardian and other tin pot newspapers.

  271. Anthony Watts says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    John Whitman

    Thanks but you probably won’t be able to penetrate the wall of irrational hatred at T-town

    Everyone who doesn’t worship there is a “denier”

    Good luck

    Anthony,

    I have never tried to participate at Tamino’s place before. Occasionally at RC, but not often.

    Anyway, really want to know more about the ad hominen against McShane and Wyner right from the initial source there.

    John

  272. Ric Werme says: August 15, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Jimbo says: August 15, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Suggestion: Will you consider creating a “Hockey Stick” page under your Categories pull down menu on the right side of the page?

    There’s an entry for paleoclimatology, see

    http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/categories.html

    http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/cat_paleoclimatology.html

    Rick, that’s a really useful search resource for WUWT, far more useful than the current search bar. Anthony is there any chance we can have a prominent link to this at the top of your page or in the sidebar?

  273. “The hockey stick is broken” is a great rallying cry, but has zero substance in the world of qualified scientists who actually produce the charts in question. Some climate scientists have actually investigated the broken hockey stick claim in detail. Here’s what they found: nothing. If, on the other hand, one chooses to believe that IPCC and NASA scientists are part of a grant-seeking world-government-installing cabal, than it is difficult to dispute your argument. It’s considerably more difficult to believe it.

    I am not concerned with the politics. But the Medieval Warm period is in the literature, architecture, geology, and archaeology. Even the statistics, such as they were (e.g., “the emperor’s cherry trees”). Climate scientists have got to face up to the fact that they are, as on wit put it, like Truman Capote trying to marry Dolly Parton. The job is just too big for them. They sound like the History channel trying to convince us that Philadelphia won WWII (and never mind Vasilevsky’s army groups).

    Climatology takes a village. A Full and Complete village.

    As it is, they are even trying to cut the oceanographers out of the picture. It simply won’t do.

  274. Latitude

    My branch of science is medicine, specifically anaesthesia, and I spent 9 years as an Associate Editor to one of our journals. Peer review to me means asking “was the methodology, including sample size and selection, and the statistical analysis appropriate to test the hypothesis put forward?” and “are the conclusions justified by the results?”.

    Just checking the spelling and grammar and asking whether the topic is interesting does not constitute peer review. If we are moving to a system of publishing followed by on-line review, that gives us a major problem of how the various criticisms are integrated and a revised, hopely now improved, paper published. Where is the pressure on the authors to accept criticisms and change the paper? It means also that initial publications must contain a health warning that policy makers and users should not rely on the results.

    For my money, peer review occurs prior to publication not afterwards.

  275. evanmjones-

    Agree, but if the climatoligists let in real scientists and statisticians their lie will be exposed!

    [REPLY - There is a distinct possibility they have gone too far out on the limb to get back. Nonetheless, we must endeavor to persevere. ~ Evan]

  276. Not sure why everyone is jumping up and down. The “hockey stick” is still within the uncertainties cited by these authors.

  277. Two comments:
    1. Any researcher worth his/her salt takes a graduate level stats class. We get to do things like ANOVA’s and COANOVA’s with just a simple calculator and without the use of a computer program. That experience SHOULD help us understand that unless there is a University level independent statistician available and required to be used by the lab, the lab is nothing but a playpen for too big for their breeches, self-important, puffed up scientists putting out embarrassingly poor and possibly dangerous products. Have you noticed that there is an entire legal industry built around just such a lab?

    2. Getting peer reviewed and published is one of the most political processes there is, resulting in, when the process is done, the need for a detox scrubbing of all body parts till those parts are raw and bleeding. Trust me, in the dog eat dog world of journals, good studies go unpublished while poor ones get top billing, and on a fairly regular basis.

    Might it be that only those who have never been through the process believe that checking for spelling and performing a simple “merit check” is the bulk of the review/publish process? Might it be that only those who are not sure about the statistics of their endeavor but since the results reject their null hypothesis would turn aside from a thorough independent University stat review?

  278. Its curious that periods prior the the MWP are not so researched as the period 1000-present. Modern proxies tend to forget the holocence optimum some 9000-5000 before present – which excelled the MWP and certainly today in temperature, both temperature period and elevation by rapport to the two warm periods (The long MWP and the short late 20th C) that concern climate reconstructions. The Roman warm period is also excluded.

    When a long period legend are included, what emerges is that 1850-1875 were by far the coldest years of the entire holocence. An ice age compared to the median of the last 12,000 years. 1875, atypically cold, is also the year chosen by AGW proponents as the starting point of the climate.

  279. I did a first read of the McShane & Wyner paper. I am not a climatologist or a statistician.

    I think everyone agrees there are large uncertainties when “backcasting” global temps a thousand years. M&W take issue with how proxies are calibrated with the instrumental record. If you delete a block of data you can try to “predict” it by using the remaining temp data (and its derivative) or using your proxies. You’d like for the proxies to do better than interpolation. What M&W call pseudo-proxies or “fake” data is really a form of interpolation. They aren’t really using pure noise. Climatologists, according to M&W, block out a 50 year window in the middle of the instrumental record. M&W block out various 30 year windows. With the shorter window interpolation does as well as the proxies they claim and therefore the proxies are of little use. It makes sense to me that interpolation would do better with shorter window length. So, I don’t see the paper as punching that big a hole in the “hockey stick” constructions. I look forward to seeing what people who know more about this than I do have to say.

  280. The other issue brought up by this paper is the fact that the model program said to be very similar to Mann’s, could not reconstruct the proxy slope but could the observation slope from Mann’s graph. That means two things to me:

    1. The study confirms that the two data sets are apples and oranges and should have never been spliced together, as has been stated by many skeptics.

    2. The fact that the model reconstructed the current steep slope does not solidify Mann’s version of temperature rise as the correct one. It simply confirms his code used to give that temperature rise works on the data in similar fashion to the authors’ code. Importantly, the authors caution the rise might be contaminated by anthropogenic data. To me that means human sourced data and includes ALL the various ways the temperature data used by Mann has been compromised and contaminated.

  281. To me it is not of primary importance that the hockey stick is step-by-step being trivialized, it is that Mann is being marginalized. It says to other climate scientists that he, as a role model, doesn’t look promising.

    John

  282. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    But, the accusation that Mann and others neglected to do so, just to be
    able to manipulate and distort results;I don’t believe it.”

    M&M (with no AGW axes to grind) have shown clear evidence that Mann et al hadn’t used correct statistical analysis yet Mann et al have refuse to acknowledge any of this evidence. In light of this new paper does their continuing [refusal to provide] this evidence have any influence on your disbelief stated above?

  283. I guess I don’t get it! The Mann temperature data (red) ends at the date of publication (1998) as does the data. The McShane and Wyner temperature data (black) ends in 2000 and does not extend beyond the proxy data. Yes, the extent that the inclusion of this data would raise the “blade” of the stick is slight. Mann puts that in his graph to strenghthen his point just as McShane and Wyner omit this data to enhance theirs.

  284. Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Philemon says:
August 15, 2010 at 2:44 am
    Mikael Pihlström says:
August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am
    “…why not use fig. 17, which brings it alltogether: the warming of the last decades
is bigger than any backcast, H&W 2010 included.”

    Look at the uncertainty bands.

    “In fact, our uncertainty bands are so wide that they envelop all of the other backcasts in the literature. Given their ample width, it is difficult to say that recent warming is an extraordinary event compared to the last 1,000 years. For example, according to our uncertainty bands, it is possible that it was as warm in the year 1200 AD as it is today.” (McShane and Wyner, AOAS 2010, p. 37)
    —————
    “You are right, but uncertainty works both ways: It could have been as
warm in 1200 AD, or considerably cooler.”
    _________
    Brrr! However, as TerryS says:
    August 15, 2010 at 5:02 am

    “The error bars are so big in the graph that it encompasses everything from the MWP being colder than the LIA to the LIA being warmer than today and pretty much everything in between.”
    _________
    Since the Mannian proxy reconstructions were used to claim that modern warming was unprecedented, the demonstration that statistically they can show no such result is the more interesting conclusion.

    Moreover, whatever the limitations of peer review in checking statistical acumen, the fact that grants were obtained, without the benefit of a statistician on board, for the analysis of data containing “…complex spatial and temporal dependence structures which are not easily captured with simple models…” (McShane and Wyner, AOAS 2010, p. 1) is even more interesting.

  285. “According to Steve McIntyre, this is one of the “top statistical journals”. ”

    A very minor point here, the journal is new, only in its forth year. So, it is not likely to be a top journal yet. It takes many years to establish a reputation. The journal claims to have the 6th highest impact factor among stat journals, but it is not clear what that really means. The authors of the paper work in business schools (good ones) and have little background in science. But of course the paper should be judged on its merits and that will take some time.

  286. Phillip Bratby says: August 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Is it Christmas again? This week has been just like when Climategate broke last November. Now we have MMH2010 followed by MW2010.

    hehehe

    James Sexton: no offence taken mate. Nice to see you and Smokey at work, good team of Beaters at Quidditch.

  287. From New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/science/earth/15climate.html?ref=global-home

    “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”

    Is this the first time Gavin has expressed anything but total certainty?

    And elsewhere in the article nytimes says:

    ‘Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters [floods, fires] are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes’

    Note “reviving”; but when asked to help in the revival Gavin seems to have declined. What’s going on?

  288. The development here in New Zealand this morning has been mentioned a
    couple of times, and although it is off-topic, it is certainly worth looking at.

    NIWA, the “official body”, has been a proponent of GW, and proclaimed, along
    with many other sources, that the most recent decade has been the ‘warmest’.
    When pressed for figures, they repaired to their Seven Key Stations (SKS),
    which are widely dispersed over the country, and which have been collecting
    temperature data for over 100 years. On the basis of data from the SKS,
    they announced the following:

    that the mean temperature in the decade to end December 2009 was
    ONE-TENTH OF A DEGREE ‘warmer’ than the mean temperaure in the
    thirty year period from 1970 to 1999.

    Please note: that from a mean established for the most recent decade,
    NIWA had to go back a further THIRTY YEARS before they could get to
    a ‘cooler’ difference of one-tenth of a degree !

    It is an abuse of the English language to describe this as ‘warming’.

    In the NIWA website, however, and referring again to the SKS, the
    statement is made that there has been a 0.9 degree C increase in mean
    temperature in the hundred years up to the end of 2009.

    ?

    So we have 0.2 degree differences in the last 40 years, and 0.7 degree
    differences in the previous 60 ? This does not compute.

    So far as New Zealand is concerned, take the ‘G’ out of AGW: we don’t fit.

  289. So whats next?

    Once the knee-jerk protecting of Mann/Gore starts to subside and reality sets in, where will the AGW mob go next?

    IMHO, Gore will be left to fend for himself, he has the resources and lack of morals to succeed (in his own mind) against reality, but what of Mann?

    I strongly suspect that quite soon now he will be gone from the scene. He is an obnoxious personality, and I doubt that many of his compatriots would shed too many tears over throwing him to the wolves.

    It has taken far to long (IMHO) for reputable scientists to do what was required and expose cargo cult science for what it is. However, it looks like its about to happen, which restores a lot of my faith in the scientific method not being dead and buried.

  290. Mike Roddy says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    “[...] Glaciers and Arctic ice are melting at unheard of rates. [...]“

    Maybe some people are just hard of hearing. If one listens to him carefully, Otzi the Ice Man just might tell you differently about the melt rate of glaciers. Unfortunately, the Viking farmers buried on Greenland didn’t have much to say about the rate of Arctic melt, though the way they left things suggest they’d have something to say about how it can get pretty darn cold in a hurry in that neck of the woods.

    If we keep up with the satellite monitoring for a few centuries, humans might have something more concrete to say about the rate of Arctic melting (and icing) we’ve observed over the past 30 years. Right now, not so much.

  291. My take is that in the paper figures 15 and 18 show that their model needs some work to explain the modern warming.

    Figure 16 still looks like a hokey stick, and if I could see the whole of the grey areas of figure 17, I would be able to predict how much further warming is necessary to say that the current warming is unprecendented in the last 1000 years.

    Still have a way to go before the current warming is unprecedented for the Holocene, let alone the Cretaceous.

    Still warming after all these years

  292. Pamela Gray-

    There is a gigantic difference between taking a grad level stats class, and being a statistician. Mann proves that, for sure!

  293. No, no joke. Even the authors state as much.

    Lay the graphs over each other if you need “eye-ball confirmation”.

  294. @ Chris H,

    I completely agree with you re: medical research. I’ve served as a reviewer once and it’s very time consuming to do the job well. You literally have to dissect each and every aspect of the study. I’ve never reviewed a paper by authors I had even heard of. Frequently in medical research (and drug studies in particular) the researchers employ the assistance of respected statisticians to crunch their numbers. You seldom encounter running gun battles over statistical methodology in medical research (usually it’s stuff like appropriate end points or sampling methodology).

    In medical research theories and findings are challenged and restudied constantly. Something like the MBH98 paper would never survive for over a decade without being challenged. But then, we’re science, not religion.

  295. Lucy Skywalker says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:27 am

    I cannot get the pdf page 21 to show up without disrupting Adobe. Unfortunately it’s the nice graphs page. Had to whisk past it. Anyone else had probs??

    I have had no problems with the document but then i dont use Adobe, I use Foxit reader.
    Try it, it’s a free download and it’s faster than Adobe Reader.

  296. At such a pivotal moment in this clash of titans, one wants – as in any important historical event – to be able to say “I was there. I witnessed it.” Which is why I step briefly into the great light cast by the the ‘deniers’/ heroes and their supporters in order to say that I was here.

    The debt owed to the stalwart seekers of truth is great.

    To that end, Anthony’s contribution has been and remains immense.

    (And Smokey. You’re smokin’! ;P

  297. ‘The people who understand and develop the data are the reliable sources,’

    The only data you can develop are the ones that you yourself create as in computer modeling. Mann et al are using data that other people measure, store, and manage, so in essence Mann et al use other peoples’ measured data to create their own data.

    ‘Besides… Species are migrating north.’

    Then come winter they’re migrating south again. And besides if the SH gets colder all them animals are all welcome to come stay in the NH, unless of course you’re an animal hater?

    ‘Glaciers and Arctic ice are melting at unheard of rates.’

    Really how many of the handful of thousands of the 110 000 and then some glaciers are melting at an unheard of rate? How many are growing at an unheard of rate you think? And apparently arctic has stopped melting early this summer, and besides the damn ice grows still during winter time.

    ‘The ocean is becoming more acidic, and has experienced a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2′s effect on phytoplankton.’

    Right and you can prove that, and that overfishing didn’t’ve anything to do with it at all. In any case I hope, for you sake, you don’t eat fish then.

    And do you know how limestone form and grow?

  298. Pamela Gray says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    ============

    Pam, and Chris
    I didn’t say I was in your field of study and I didn’t say the way it works in mine is the same as anyone elses.

    I said, it’s the way it works in my field, and I stand by it because it’s true….

  299. Yea verily, in the beginning there was only noise. The Not So Great Statistician molded that noise into the image of a Mann and Mann said, “It is good! I will call it ‘hockey stick’.”

    Then the Really Great Statistician molded that noise into a Womann and Womann said, “It is good. I will call it anything I wish; today a plow share; tomorrow a plump chicken or perhaps some new dancing shoes!”

    Mann was not pleased. The Not So Great Statistician looked like a deer in the headlights.

    CH

  300. wwf says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Then, using the proxy data, they demonstrate it fails to reproduce the sharp 20th century uptick.

    Uh, what? What is it you call that thing at the end of the figure 16 graph then?

    I still see an unprecedented warming and at an unprecedented rate over the last century and a half.

    But it’s universally agreed that increases in manmade CO2 emissions significant enough to affect global temperature didn’t begin until 1950.

    Anders L. says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:54 am

    To me, it still looks very much like a hockey stick. The only real difference is that the handle now has a downward slope.
    ………………
    Jeff M says:
    August 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

    First, the new graph showing what Mann’s data turns out when the math is done correctly is still a hockey stick. The blade looks like it lost its size enhancer. The shaft is now tilted up from being flat. But it still looks like a hockey stick to me. The end of the shaft at year 1000 appears to be higher than the short blade.
    …………………
    baffled24 says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Fig 16 still looks somewhat like a hockey stick to me, albeit a little more curvacious, there’s no denying the upward temperature trend.

    In order for the “hockey stick” to be alarming, the shaft must be flat and horizontal, making the current warming trend uniquely steep and the current temperature uniquely warm. As Geo says:

    geo says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve seen some people at Steve’s arguing this study basically leaves “the blade” intact and suggests the 1990s are still likely the hottest decade of the last millenium.

    However, what that argument misses is that the power of the hockey stick was always in the handle, not in the blade. If the handle disappears into lumpiness, then the AGWers lose a major piece of their arsenal for arguing near 100% causation for C02 in modern warming. Now they will have to admit that natural variability could play a larger role than they have been willing to admit up to now.

  301. D. King,
    Prove it?
    I mean really, posts like that and “skeptics” wonder why they viewed with contempt and aren’t taken seriously?

  302. John A says:
    August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    “Prediction: Mann will claim this paper has already been debunked, [...]“

    LOL!

    I eagerly await confirmation of your prediction and it shouldn’t take long ;o)

  303. I emailed Kuccinelli this article. Maybe he’ll find something he can use – at some point being consistently incompetent in the direction of a single conclusion smacks of fraud.

  304. Mike says:
    August 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    “According to Steve McIntyre, this is one of the “top statistical journals”. ”

    “A very minor point here, the journal is new, only in its forth year. So, it is not likely to be a top journal yet.”

    Yes, it is. It is a high impact journal, which by a recognized standard, is a “top” journal. And it’s “fourth” year. The number of years a journal has published is not a global criteria for determining status.

    “It takes many years to establish a reputation.”

    Actually, it has a very good reputation after only 4 years of pubs.

    “The journal claims to have the 6th highest impact factor among stat journals, but it is not clear what that really means.”

    Clear to those who know what it means and can check. But your previous claims would have more weight by saying that.

    “The authors of the paper work in business schools (good ones) and have little background in science.”

    Really? How much background, and what is “little” and what is “enough”? Does everyone that “works in business schools” lack science background?

  305. Doug McGee says at 4:09 pm:

    “D. King…
    I mean really, posts like that and ‘skeptics’ wonder why they viewed with contempt and aren’t taken seriously?”

    I LOL’d when I clicked on the link in D. King’s post @3:33 pm. I guess some folks lack a sense of humor.

    Re: skeptics being viewed with ‘contempt,’ let me explain something to you.

    Without skeptics there would be no Scientific Method. With no Scientific Method you would be going to your neighborhood witch doctor to cure cancer.

    It is the job of skeptics to shoot holes in a hypothesis if they can. So far, skeptics have been doing an excellent job of deconstructing the CO2=CAGW hypothesis, to the point where it is now only a conjecture; an opinion.

    A skeptic is the only honest kind of scientist. Why do you have contempt for honest scientists?

  306. Mike Roddy says: August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.
    _____________________________________
    Sonicfrog says: August 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm
    Yet they rely in stats and math to deduce the state of climate….. do you realize just what you’re saying?
    _____________________________________
    I know I just about bust a gut laughing at that statement. Mike Roddy just acknowledge that Mann and the other ” authors of the 20- odd studies” are not scientists but advocates!

    Thanks Mike for openly acknowledging that Mann and Co. are psuedo-scientists intent on dishing out propaganda.

  307. All those Ph.D.’ed statistician professors in “good” business schools would have a thing or two to say about whether or not they have a background in science.

  308. Smokey,
    I was laughing (because I believe he believes his statement is true), just not with him.

    And there was a reason “skeptic” was in quotes. By the uncritical and automatic acceptance of this paper (just based on the title it seems) one can scroll through the comments and discern who the real skeptics are. [snip]
    A skeptic critically examines all claims, not just the ones they find ideologically uncomfortable.

  309. Ulf says at Aug. 15 10:47 AM:

    “Generally speaking, this sort of advance does not necessarily cast previous work in disrepute, even though it may overturn their conclusions. Authors of previous work can, OTOH, cast themselves in disrepute by refusing to accept that their results were wrong, even if confronted with convincing evidence.”

    MM, Wegman and Beenstock and Reingewertz have all demonstrated that Mann and his fellow climatological statisticians were wrong yet this same group has refused to accept that their results were wrong and they were certainly aware of the evidence.

  310. James Allison says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    Mikael Pihlström says:
    August 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    But, the accusation that Mann and others neglected to do so, just to be
    able to manipulate and distort results;I don’t believe it.”

    Does the quote “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” ring a bell?

  311. Doug McGee says:
    August 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    D. King,
    Prove it?
    I mean really, posts like that and “skeptics” wonder why they viewed with contempt and aren’t taken seriously?

    I’m glad you didn’t take it seriously!

  312. latitude says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

    If this paper proves to be true, then it can only mean one of two things:

    1 Mann lied and cheated
    2 Mann doesn’t know what he’s doing and is inept

    Which of these, or both, were removed from consideration at his review at PSU?

  313. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Looking at the paper above…

    No medieval warming period, I see. And no temperature decline post-1998?? I thought you were arguing that the world was getting cooler, and arctic ice was recovering? [Cough, cough].

    I guess we can put those ones to rest then, can’t we? After the way you’ve embraced this paper!……
    ____________________________________________
    You totally misunderstand what this paper is all about. Anthony even TELLS you up front:

    “…instead of trying to attack the proxy data quality issues, they assumed the proxy data was accurate for their purpose, then created a bayesian backcast method. Then, using the proxy data, they demonstrate it fails to reproduce the sharp 20th century uptick….”

    The paper is not about the temperature readings at all. It is about the mathematics and statistics used in the proxy reconstructions to generate the “hockey stick graph” and the paper shows the proxy reconstructions are worthless. “We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature.”

  314. @Glenn

    I said: “The journal claims to have the 6th highest impact factor among stat journals, but it is not clear what that really means.”

    Glenn said: “Clear to those who know what it means and can check. But your previous claims would have more weight by saying that.”

    The impact factor is a measure of how often the articles in a journal are cited. But if a paper is cited a lot because others are criticising it, that counts the same as when it is cited by others praising it. That is one reason impact factors are not clear indicators of quality. See http://www.ams.org/notices/200603/comm-milman.pdf for another view of this. (A sub may be required.)

    I will repeat that the M&W article seems interesting and should be judged on its merits.

  315. AGW opponents may mourn the passage of the ‘Hockey Stick’ as this was one of the first and most obvious indications that the climate company store was selling a rotten bill of goods.

    Perhaps we are seeing reports like this because many modern scientists have been required to take courses like ‘Ecology 101′ or ‘Environment 101′ which may be crossing the line between science and indoctrination in a modern form of nature and animal worship. It seems that a new cadre of educated professionals may have arrived who believe that there is an urgent need to halt the impact modern industry is having on this planet and the genesis of the ‘hockey stick’ seems to show that they are willing to use questionable scientific methods and perhaps outright falsehood in a desperate effort to prove their belief to be correct.

  316. Nick Stokes says:
    August 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm re run-up period that ends in 1998. Now, 1998 was an anomalous year, if the recording was accurate. It therefore is an unfortunate choice for the final data point through its potential ability to exaggerate detail in some forms of treatments.

    You have made some good points in the past, to be fair, and a few horrible ones, to be unfair, so here’s a chance for another good score. Was the anomalously hot global year 1998 caused by an additional anomalous heat input into the system, by a less-than-usual subtraction, or from a redustribution of heat already in the “closed” global system?

    Nobody I have asked can offer an answer as to why 1998 was so much hotter, apart from being at the extremity of statistical fluctuation. But, it does have some strange character of its own. Any thoughts? Would McShane & Wyner be better if they chose a different final point?

  317. Mike Roddy says: August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm -“a 40% decline in fish biomass since 1950 due to CO2′s effect on phytoplankton.”

    You forgot to count the big one that got away.

    References?

  318. I would not surprised that all the young climate researchers in their old age become the most ardent skeptics yes even Gavin, Mann etc.. its very common for this to happen, so skeptics you will get satisfaction eventually.. of course the main driver is the actual weather year by year and that is not revealing any consistent warming/cooling anywhere LOL. Again I repeat we only live max 100 years we will never experience palpable climate change. At least 1000=3000 years life span would be required…. so we can all go home and get a life and forget this nonsense chao…..

  319. It is nice to see some experts becoming involved rather than the rather amateur approach often found in climate science. When processing statistics it is important to process them with skill to get the right results, not the ‘desired’ results.

    This is the crux of science : to get an idea, assemble the data and process it to see if you are correct. Hopefully ‘yes’, but even ‘no’ is useful information. It is knowledge.

    In some areas of climate science it is manipulating data until you get the ‘desired’ result then if anyone questions it they should, variously : lose their job, be banned from publication, be shunned, be put on trial, be deported [and I am sure some would wish a worse fate on these blasphemers]. This is just degenerate pseudo-scientific propaganda. It is not knowledge.

  320. Mike says:
    August 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    @Glenn

    “I said: “The journal claims to have the 6th highest impact factor among stat journals, but it is not clear what that really means.”

    You said more than that. “Not likely to be a top journal” and “It takes many years to establish a reputation.”

    “Glenn said: “Clear to those who know what it means and can check. But your previous claims would have more weight by saying that.”

    “The impact factor is a measure of how often the articles in a journal are cited. But if a paper is cited a lot because others are criticising it, that counts the same as when it is cited by others praising it. That is one reason impact factors are not clear indicators of quality. See http://www.ams.org/notices/200603/comm-milman.pdf for another view of this. (A sub may be required.)”

    That is true for all journals, but whether “quality” can be determined by how many “praise” the journal articles is what is not clear. What I do know is that journals are measured by their impact.
    You have provided absolutely no support for your contentions, your reasons seem to be nothing more than to cast doubt on the journal and the authors.

    “I will repeat that the M&W article seems interesting and should be judged on its merits.”

    Yet you didn’t, except to take a sentence from the paper out of context in another post, quote:

    “…our model offers support
    to the conclusion that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the last millennium,…”

    What “merit” does that have, and what does it imply about you in light of your attempt to discredit or downplay the journal and authors reputations?

  321. If 2005 is the hottest year ever, then allowing the series to continue only exacerbates the problem. Choosing 1998 as an endpoint is as valid as, say, anomalously hot 2010?

  322. @Roger Knights says:
    August 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you, Roger. I for one will “Huzzah” from the rooftops at a more realistic debate over percentages of causation.

    And I feel the need to point out that Anthony’s work re UHI (which I have contributed a goodly amount of time and mony to over the last few years, because basic R&D is always a worth endeavor, whatever the results) moves front and center with the Hockey Stick in tatters.

    Understand, I consider myself a “lukewarmist” and bristle more than most at being called a “denier”. I think C02 almost certainly has played a role in modern warming. But whether that role is 1/5, 1/3, 2/3, or 4/5, is a vitally imporant question to determine in the next 20 years. I think we will. But then I’ve always been an optimist about the human race in the longer-term, and as a semi-pro historian tend to take with a large grain of salt the contretempts and mud-slinging of the moment from a historical perspective.

    [REPLY - Yes, geo, you have been a staunch footsoldier for the surfacestations project. (I've personally evaluated a lot of your work.) Thanks to all of you who have hunted down stations; you know who you are (and so do I) -- so take a proud moment out. ~ Evan]

  323. @ Mike Roddy. Follow link below.

    Physical tests were done with raising CO2 levels in ocean water. Most tests showing damaging affects to shell fish and plankton were done lowering pH with other than CO2.

    Plankton actually thrive on excess CO2 in the water.

    http://tinyurl.com/37v9pd2

  324. Geoff Sherrington, the reference to the study published in Nature showing a 40% decline in phytoplankton was the link I posted in that comment.

    Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust. Here’s the link:

    http://live.psu.edu/fullimg/userpics/10026/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf

    I also suggest that readers take a look at the Realclimate post on the subject that I linked in my previous comment. If neither of these convinces you, then nothing I can say will. Have WUWT commenters and readers actually read them? If not, you should.

  325. Here is a poem I wrote about this – written to the tune of “Blowin’ in The Wind.”
    ___________________________________________

    Blowin’ in the Trees

    How many times must Mann get spanked
    Before he admits he was wrong!
    Yes, and how many emails must scream out, “Denier!”
    That some scientists don’t belong!
    Yes and how many times must statistics be damned
    To invent Mann-made catastrophe!
    The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the trees,
    The answer is blowin’ in the trees.

    How many times must Briffa measure wood
    Before he can make a hockey stick?
    Yes, and how many times must McIntyre insist
    That bad math should never persist?
    Yes, and how much cooling can push back the lies
    Claiming any given storm proves the fit!
    The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the trees,
    The answer is blowin’ in the trees.

    How much C02 is the “proper amount?”
    And what temperature is the “best?”
    Yes, and how many years can ‘the team’ suck up Grants
    Before it’s exposed by the Press?
    Yes and how many newspapers can publish foolish claims
    Pretending that they understand this mess?
    The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the trees,
    The answer is blowin’ in the trees.

    ___________________________________________

    ©2010 Dave Stephens
    (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

  326. geo says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Understand, I consider myself a “lukewarmist” and bristle more than most at being called a “denier”. I think C02 almost certainly has played a role in modern warming. But whether that role is 1/5, 1/3, 2/3, or 4/5, is a vitally imporant question to determine in the next 20 years.
    ============================================================

    Whichever fraction you choose to attribute to CO2, hopefully you will properly accept the fraction of CO2 that we contribute.

  327. Whichever fraction you choose to attribute to CO2, hopefully you will properly accept the fraction of CO2 that we contribute.

    Naturally (well, okay, anthropogenically).

    What is, is. All we are trying to do it to find out. Preferably while not flushing half of world growth while we’re about it!

  328. Evan–

    Hopefully while not *unnecessarily* flushing half of world growth while we’re about it.

    Fixed it for you. . .

  329. Adding to what Gail mentioned above … From the paper itself – and noting the hundreds of BAD data inputs, selections of data from the record, selective picking of sources of that data from the total environment, errors in processing, errors in statistics, errors in counting, and double-selecting redundant and self-duplicating errors displayed by Mann – and his white-washed cohorts – in dissembling their propaganda as related by the Hockey Stick Illusion by Monkton …

    The following discussed Mann 2008:

    “This is by far the most comprehensive publicly available database of
    temperatures and proxies collected to date. It contains 1,209 climate proxies
    (with some going back as far as 8855 BC and some continuing up till
    2003 AD). It also contains a database of eight global annual temperature
    aggregates dating 1850-2006 AD (expressed as deviations or ”anomalies”
    from the 1961-1990 AD average4). Finally, there is a database of 1,732 local
    annual temperatures dating 1850-2006 AD (also expressed as anomalies
    from the 1961-1990 AD average)5. All three of these datasets have been substantially
    processed including smoothing and imputation of missing data
    (Mann et al., 2008). While these present interesting problems, they are not
    the focus of our inquiry. We assume that the data selection, collection, and
    processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.
    Without taking a position on these data quality issues, we thus take
    the dataset as given.We further make the assumptions of linearity and stationarity
    of the relationship between temperature and proxies, an assumption
    employed throughout the climate science literature (NRC, 2006) noting
    that ”the stationarity of the relationship does not require stationarity of the
    series themselves” (NRC, 2006).”

    —…—…—

    Thus, one wonders what the critiques of Mann-made CAGW would become if the full story with the full set errors were discussed honestly.

  330. GeoFlynx says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    You are seriously deluding yourself. The statisticians didn’t take on measured data because they knew better. Mann did it for nefarious reasons.

  331. Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Geoff Sherrington, the reference to the study published in Nature showing a 40% decline in phytoplankton was the link I posted in that comment.

    Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust.

    —…—…

    False. Mann’s methods, motives, and opportunities were reviewed twice by Congressional hearings – and they were far less biased than Penn States’ whitewash, and his conclusions were rejected. That an administration chooses to select the result they want – vitally needed to receive 1.3 trillion in unnecessary taxes from the world’s poor and middle class, condemning billions to a life cut short by disease and poverty by your policies of restricting energy development based don FALSE premises and FALSE processing is not surprising.

  332. Well, at least one university in the state of Pennsylvania has the courage to put science before the almighty dollar.

  333. Mike Roddy says…..

    “His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust. ”

    Ha ha ha! That Mike Roddy! Don’t bother him with the facts, it will burst his “reality bubble”.

  334. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust

    Ok now we have entered into the fantastical. In reality, he was politely chastised. That North chose to back pedal a bit in his use of language was likely political.

    The NAS did find some of Mann’s work “plausible” — that’s the closest that it comes to actually supporting Mann’s findings — but then it immediately states there are so many scientific uncertainties attached to Mann’s work that it doesn’t have great confidence in it. The committee then proceeds to further downgrade its view of Mann’s work: “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium.’ ”

  335. Mike Roddy-

    Your link is to the Penn State whitewash report, not to the NAS report.

    In the Penn State report, Dr. Mann is not found to be pure as the driven snow, by any means.

    This is not about anyone’s behaviour in any case, its about the data and the truth.

  336. Its amazing to me that UV and other radiation absorbing volcanic ash aerosols in the atmosphere have increased, probably close to a good 30% in the last three decades, especially since 1995. Right along with people being convinced that human CO2 emissions were to blame.

    How did they manage to stage that?

  337. Well, geo, as I have commented in the past, for every $billion wasted (or never produced) anywhere in the world, babies starve somewhere in the world. I am sure we agree on that.

    And no false appeals to Pascal, please, people. Pascal’s wager presumes there’s no material cost to taking the precaution in question. (AND that the solution will be effective if the danger is real!) But this one’s a cost-benefit deal with innocent blood on the line for every iota of cost.

    So we better be very damn sure what we are about. Not only do we need to be reasonably certain there is a problem in the first place, but we also need good reason to believe that the proposed solution is going to turn the trick.

    And, so far, not only does the supposed problem not add up, but the proposed solution wouldn’t add up even if the problem did.

  338. Mike Roddy says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.

    Hahahahahahah. Exactly

  339. Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust.”

    I fear that you missed the point to the parable of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”. Get ready for more “disciplined reviewed literature” to pile onto this robust abomination of statistical nonsense. M&M, Wegman, the blogosphere and now M&W, you have to realize that you have been worshiping a turnip. I am not saying that there is not room for improvement on the “Anthropogenic Side”, us skeptics find *CAGW* is * FUNDAMENTALLY* flawed for only a political reason.

    Just because O.J. Simpson was found innocent in the criminal case, does that force you to understand that he did not kill his ex-wife? That is why politics need to stay out of science.

  340. Mike Roddy, your link does not support your assertion.
    I’ve read it before, I’ve re-read it now. It does not vindicate his hockey stick; at best it shows there is no evidence he intentionally falsified research. Many people here would probably disagree with the the whitewashed conclusion that his mistakes were unintentional, but whatever.

    To reference that investigation as vindication of his results is insulting. I can’t figure out what your purpose was. Did you mean to link something else?

  341. “Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models. ”

    Why does uncertainty of global temperatures as deduced from proxies necessarily mean there is no AGW problem? Couldn’t it also mean that the problem is even worse than predicted? Would it not be wise to prepare for the worst case scenarios?

    I would hope the building I am sitting in right now was not desigened assuming every day would be 60 degrees with no wind or precipitation, but was designed with consideration for weather cases that are possible in this region even though the engineer might not be “certain” they would ever happen.

  342. The findings were Mann was not right, but also not pathological. One of those findings was a courtesy. Can you spot it?

  343. moondog,

    Pascal’s gamble is a religious argument, made by the faithful. It is not a principal upon which to build global energy policy.

  344. Mike Roddy: The authors of the 20- odd studies that confirmed Mann’s data are not really interested in what professional statisticians and mathematicians are saying about it.

    I’m confused. Which side are you arguing here? You write this as if you think it is a good thing that a bunch of paleontologists are (mis)using statistical techniques like PCA and don’t care what the trained professionals think. Am I missing something?

  345. moondog says:
    August 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Why does uncertainty of global temperatures as deduced from proxies necessarily mean there is no AGW problem? Couldn’t it also mean that the problem is even worse than predicted? Would it not be wise to prepare for the worst case scenarios?

    Here’s the way I see it. We may have a problem, we may not. I would prefer to have unbiased scientists study the question. The current cabal of “climate scientists” have repeatedly told us the debate is over, the science is settled. Well, I guess they were wrong. That makes them either foolish or dishonest, you may choose. As a US taxpayer, paying the salary, benefits and potential retirements for these so called “scientists”, I’ve seen enough of this obvious scam. I’d like to see people fired over this. Let’s get some real honest scientists that thrive on debate and fully understand that science is never settled. If a new crop of quality scientists who are unafraid to share their data and methods can make a strong case that we have a problem, I’m perfectly willing to listen and do my part to mitigate the problem. The Gore, Mann, Jones, Schmidt team is a bust. Time for some new blood.

  346. Pascal’s gamble is a religious argument, made by the faithful. It is not a principal upon which to build global energy policy.

    More to the point, it is a case where taking precaution comes at no cost and where said precaution is guaranteed effective if the danger proves real.

    In the case of CO2 “solutions”, the cost is intolerable and the efficacy dubious.

  347. For the 1 or 2 here who seem to be in dobt over the Medieval Warm Period

    Papers ranked in 3 levels, one of which allows direct comparision of MWP temps
    to todays. Also Shows rather nicely that MWP was global in nature.

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    Hope this helps you come to the realization that climate change IS real, but very
    little to do with mankind…

    cheerio..

    Jim

  348. moondog says:
    August 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    “Why does uncertainty of global temperatures as deduced from proxies necessarily mean there is no AGW problem? Couldn’t it also mean that the problem is even worse than predicted? Would it not be wise to prepare for the worst case scenarios?”

    It doesn’t mean there isn’t an AGW problem. It means the people proclaiming the problem were amateurish(to be charitable). Yes, it could be worse than we thought, but that’s not likely seeing that the climatologists were overstating their levels of certainty, as seen in this study and others.

    Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prudently cautious. By that, I mean to ensure the precautionary measures don’t do additional and probably more harm than the “supposed” potential harm.

    What we are seeing today isn’t prudent caution.

    A question for you: What is the most deadly, socially disruptive, health damaging, ecologically destroying, violence causing, economically burdensome, liberty taxing human condition ever known to man throughout written history?…………………………. Give up?

    The answer is poverty.

    Care to tally what our “preparation” has done for us so far? Moondog, the proposed cures are worse than any real or imagined threat a little warming could do to us.

  349. Henry@evanmjones

    Evan, on what (actual) measurements do you base your believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas i.e that its warming properties are greater than its cooling properties?

    Evan, you say:
    So far, not on a lot. Too many unknown. There is behavior under lab conditions. And there has been some measurable warming. But I am guessing the trend is exaggerated by a factor of two between spurious adjustments and various site biases (UHI, microsite, TOBS, what have you).

    Then there is natural recovery from the LIA and non-CO2 anthropogenic issues such as land use and particulates (i.e., “dirty snow”).

    Not to mention the mysteries of how the atmosphere behaves in practice and all the oceanic and interactive variables (clouds, pressure variables, what have you).

    To say nothing of radiation, which is what CO2 GH theory is all about.

    Then there are all the unknown factors. Since we don’t know them, we can’t list them.

    Between all that, there is still room for CO2, though not a heck of a lot. Possibly the raw effect is real, but damped down by negative feedback.

    Thank goodness we have microwave proxies for lower troposphere or we’d not only be shooting in the dark, but aiming at a raindrop while standing on a revolving platform.

    Henry @ Evan again, just to let you know:
    I posted this question to the university of Cape Town here (hoping to get an answer of the state of research on CO2 in South Africa) :

    Dear Prof. Shillington

    I heard you on the radio this afternoon and it seemed to me that you are also getting to a point where you are starting to get doubts about the influence of CO2 on global warming. Please bear with me to hear my story, and see if you can perhaps provide an answer to the questions that I have.

    A few months before Climategate broke, I started my own investigations to see if my carbon footprint (CO2) really causes global warming, as claimed. To start off with, I found Svante Arrhenius’ formula completely wrong and since then I could not find any correctly conducted experiments (tests & measurements) that would somehow prove to me that the warming properties of CO2 (by trapping earth’s radiation between the wavelengths 14-15 um) are greater than its cooling properties (by deflecting sunlight at various wavelengths between 0 – 5 um). Even more disconcerting to me was finding that pupils at school and college are shown experiments with 100% carbon dioxide (representing earth’s atmosphere of only 0.04% or 380 ppms CO2!) and a light bulb as an energy source (representing the sun!). Obviously such crude experimentation can only lead to incorrect results and completely incorrect conclusions…e.g. what about the IR and near IR absorptions of CO2 and the UV absorptions of CO2 that have only been discovered recently and that also deflect sunlight?
    I also found untruths in Al Gore’s story (An Inconvenient Truth). A lot of CO2 is dissolved in cold water and comes out when the oceans get warmer. Any chemistry student knows that the first smoke from the (warmed) water in a kettle is the CO2 being released. So, quite a number of scientists have reported that the increases of CO2 in the atmosphere in the past lagged the warming periods by quite a few hundred years… Cause and effect, get it? Smoking causes cancer but cancer does not cause smoking. But Al made it look from the past that our CO2 output must be the cause of global warming.

    Just to put the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere into the right perspective: it has increased by about 0.01% in the past 50 years from ca. 0.03% to 0.04%. This compares with an average of about 1 % for water vapor in the air. Note that most scientists agree that water vapor is a very strong green house gas, and a much stronger green house gas than carbon dioxide… (if indeed carbon dioxide is a green house gas, which, like I said before, has yet to be proven to me). It is also logical for me to suspect that as a result of human activities relating to burning, bathing, cooking, boiling, countless cooling processes (including that for nuclear energy), erection of dams and shallow pools, etc. etc. a lot more water vapor than carbon dioxide is put up in the air. (sunshine on shallow water causes a lot of water vapor!)

    The paper that confirmed to me that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine is this one:

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

    they measured this radiation as it bounced back to earth from the moon. So the direction of the radiation was:sun-earth-moon-earth. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um.
    This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):

    http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf

    There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
    We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

    So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-15 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). This cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results? (I am afraid that simple heat retention testing might not work here, we have to use real sunshine and real earthshine to determine the effect in W/m3 [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours). I am also doubtful of just doing analysis (determining surface areas) of the spectral data, as some of the UV absorptions of CO2 have only been discovered recently and I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 maybe underestimated, e.g. the amount of radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 maybe small but how many Watts does it cause? Here in Africa you can not stand in the sun for longer that 10 minutes, just because of the heat of the sun on your skin.

    Anyway, with so much at stake, surely, someone actually has to come up with some empirical testing?

    If this research has not been done, why don’t we just sue the oil companies to do this?? It is their product afterall.
    I am going to state it here quite categorically again that if no one has got these results, then how do we know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Maybe the cooling properties are equal to the warming properties?

    I have also been thinking of the ozone concentration in the air: Assuming that its cooling properties are higher than its warming properties (did anyone test that?), then lower concentrations, as in the past, before CFC’s were banned, can be a cause for global warming; increasing levels, as noted in the past 10 years can be a cause of global cooling?
    So the net effect of the increases in CO2 and ozone is close to zero or even cooling?

    (I have no financial interest in any of this, I just started my investigations because I felt a bit guilty about driving my car. I do think that if this research has not been done we should still do it, I think it is important?)

  350. Mann’s modelling was the cornerstone of the whole alarm over global warming and all subsequent modelling was based on the same techniques and data sets. Hence the Email exchanges with Jones that ensured they were singing from the same song sheet.
    The only real question here is: Has this latest paper discredited Mann’s (and therefore most subsequent) models? If so, it is not for the sceptics to prove their case. If you remove the cornerstone from a building, it may appear to stand for a little while but it will fall.
    As for arguments that even if the whole alarm over global warming is based on unreliable data we should still go ahead with measures that force the abandonment of fossil fuels: try to tell the Chinese , Indians and other developing nations that their emergence from poverty must be put on hold ‘in case’ false arguments turn out to have accidentally predicted the future.

  351. Evan–

    I think we’re on the same page re “opportunity costs”. . . Even the UN started squirming about the cost of corn a couple years ago, re the human opportunity cost of using it for fuel rather than foodstuffs.

  352. This thread contains little, if any, actual analysis of the MW2010 paper… is this the best so-called “skeptics” can do/offer? Comical – indeed! I’d appreciate even a token attempt to question the techniques, results, claims/conclusions… you know, a chance to read something other than 300+ comments vilifying Mann, or repeated shouts of “vindication”, or high-fivin/back-slappin. Are there any real skeptics in the house?

  353. richyRich: Did you not even read this article? Did you miss the exact quotes from the paper? What part of “We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature” do you not understand?

  354. RE: Mike Roddy: (August 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm) “Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust.”

    The problem here, I believe, is that these are all vindications in name only. These climate scientists appear to have attempted to redefine an established history by selectively ignoring data that did not conform to their beliefs. Perhaps they did this in good faith, believing they were right, but all their work seems to fall apart under the light of critical scrutiny. Most of these supposed ‘vindications’ only seem to be saying that these dedicated scientists cannot be blamed for giving it ‘the old college try.’

    [REPLY - Unfortunately, and to their ultimate detriment, they gave it the "new college try". ~ Evan]

  355. Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust.”

    This is one of the truly ludicrous falsehoods of the CAGW-mongers. What the head of the NAS panel said (under oath before the congressional committee):
    “CHAIRMAN BARTON: Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?

    DR. NORTH: No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false”
    – from “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, p 255, Andrew Montford.

    So Mr. Roddy, what part of Mann’s statistical methods are as phony as his cherry-picke stripbark trees do you not understand? We stand ready here to enlighten you!

  356. Christopher Hanley says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:04 am

    I’m no mathematician, but the CO2 trend at Mauna Loa over the 1960 – 2010 period does not look linear to me.

    Here are two simple Excel charts of that data. The top one shows a linear fit and the bottom an exponential fit. To my 20×20, 70-yeae old eyes, I can’t tell them apart.

  357. Andrew Russell: “richyRich: Did you not even read this article? Did you miss the exact quotes from the paper?”

    “Exact quotes” do not amount to critical analysis. They merely demonstrate a facility in copying and pasting. Nor does cheerleading count as critical analysis.

    Critical analysis involves taking a claim and subjecting it to scrutiny, while withholding judgement. The technical term is “scepticism”.

  358. “Hockey Sticky Wicket”

    Umpire Wegman: You can’t bat with that, it’s been made with the wrong method.
    Mann: It’s OK I’ll hold it upside down. It doesn’t matter.
    Umpire Wegman: No! Consult some proper bat makers and they’ll show you how it should be done.
    Mann: But it’s perfectly robust. According to my PCA analysis, it fits bat making data better than traditional bats do. Look, I’ll show you. No, wait a minute, I won’t show you, but you can take my word for it.
    Umpire Wegman: I’ll ask the opposing captain if he’s happy to let you bat with it.
    McKintyre: Sure, as long as he doesn’t mind me using these 9 Standard deviation sized stumps his star batsman Briffa brought home from Russia.
    Mann: But that’s not cricket!
    McKitrick: We told you that long ago.
    McKintyre: What shall we bowl with Ross? Apples or oranges?
    McKitrick: Foxtail pine cones I think Steve.

  359. Smokey says:
    August 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large.

    We have been saying this here for the past few years.

    Well Smokey, this is called ‘projecting your ignorance on the climate professionals’.

    [REPLY - Well, turnabout is fair play, wot? ~ Evan]

  360. Not to forget, there was also another recent evaluation:

    “Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society, said that
    a graph shaped like an ice hockey stick that has been used to represent the
    recent rise in global temperatures had been compiled using “inappropriate”
    methods.”

    “Prof Hand said his criticisms should not be seen as invalidating climate
    science. He pointed out that although the hockey stick graph – which dates
    from a study led by US climate scientist Michael Mann in 1998 – exaggerates
    some effects, the underlying data show a clear warming signal.”

    Financial Times
    —–

    Through the link below, you can verify that David Hand (Imperial
    College, London) definitely should know his Statistics,

    http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/~djhand/

    Interesting that he does not come to the conclusion of M&W 2010:
    that the whole venture of backcasting is senseless. Clearly, there
    is a need for more debate…

  361. Henry Pool

    Excellent post.
    There have been two recent CO2 heating effect posts on WUWT
    One by Tom Vonk saying that (I think) radiation absorption equals radiation emission in the troposphere with little or no thermalisation because of quantum mechanical considerations.
    A reply by Jeff ID argues that there is a heating effect and provides a heating effect thought experiment involving a CO2 laser.
    My own twopence worth of thoughts is that the CO2 molecules at troposphere temperatures will largely have only translational KE and be quite receptive to 15um and even the smaller chance of 4um ir radiation from Earth surface upwards.
    These photons provide a relatively huge addition to the CO2s KE.
    For 15um it is over twice the average translational KE of a molecule at that temperature.
    For 4um it is over eight times!
    Given that molecules experience ten to the power of ten collisions per second this extra energy is shared out by collision with N2 and O2 molecules by the equipartition of energy.
    However the emission of 4um and 15um from the atmosphere seems a lot less likely than absorption.
    Using Maxwell-Boltzman statistics and the back of an envelope
    15um emission is only 5 per hundred absorptions.
    4um emission is only 4 per million absorptions.
    So if Jeff ID is correct the CO2 thermalisation effect is a temporary local heating in the atmosphere.
    If Tom Vonk is correct then there is no effect as there is no thermalisation.

  362. richyRich says: August 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    This thread contains little, if any, actual analysis of the MW2010 paper… is this the best so-called “skeptics” can do/offer? Comical – indeed! I’d appreciate even a token attempt to question the techniques, results, claims/conclusions… you know, a chance to read something other than 300+ comments vilifying Mann, or repeated shouts of “vindication”, or high-fivin/back-slappin. Are there any real skeptics in the house?

    Richy, I’d like to ask you yourself to be a bit more scientific yourself, before you wonder about others. Scientific Method has to do with, first of all, paying close attention. So – Have you noticed that many readers here have clearly READ the paper, for starters? Have you noticed how many are drawing on the paper for their remarks here? Have you considered how such remarks imply having done earlier homework and research, too? Have you simply allowed for the fullness of human nature, that, when the careful analysis has been done, still needs to shout whooppee or c**p? Have you considered the function of WUWT and how it dovetails into, and balances, the function of Climate Audit? Have you looked at the CA thread for more careful scientific analysis? Have you considered that many posters here also post there? And if these remarks of mine look vague and “unscientific” to you, just click my name. Think for yourself. Here we don’t expect to be spoonfed with “scientific results”, we want to understand the science for ourselves, and one consequence of this is, we need to include not only all the counter-arguments but also something of all the facets of our humanity, if we are really to know in the depth of our beings that the science is being done. This might look messier than RealClimate but we know our science is real because it does not involve suppression.

  363. @Gail Combs

    Thanks. I have read the paper now. I understand what it is about. On face value, it looks really good – a very solid piece of research. I also think that it will be 4 – 5 years before we can objectively evaluate whether the paper is successful in doing what it claims to be doing. Mann et al need a chance to respond. It’s way too premature to be claiming that the Hockey Stick is dead in the water.

    @Warren in Minnesota

    Once again – the timing of the MWP, if you accept the M&W graph above, wildly conflicts with the timing of the MWP graphs that have commonly been used here – cited earlier – which clearly placed the MWP at 1200 – 1400ce. I could use this paper to therefore discredit many of the lines of argument that have been made here in support of a medieval warming period (it almost completely disappears into the margin error, temporal placement wildly inconsistent etc.). Not that I am doing this. My point is that this paper also undermines much of the work that has been ‘published’ here.

    @Jaye
    Actually not. For the purposes of rejecting a hypothesis all “we” need is one counter example.

    But if you are using an argument that conflicts with previous arguments that you have used to discredit CAGW, then that’s not science. What it amounts to is the logical fallacy of Logical Inconsistency. What I just don’t get is why no-one here thinks that this paper doesn’t also call into question many of the models and arguments and theories that have been flying around here for the past couple of years.

    Rather than cheering the death of the hockey stick (‘Gotcha’ Science), you should be using the paper to re-evaluate all the arguments you have made that might be affected by the paper. That would at least make your process scientific, even if it didn’t lead to the generation of a new theory.

  364. intrepid_wanders says:
    August 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm
    Just because O.J. Simpson was found innocent in the criminal case, does that force you to understand that he did not kill his ex-wife? That is why politics need to stay out of science. ))
    The reason we are here and the world is being dragged into ruin is because immoral Political Activists are using twisted science as a social engineering tool. Politicains using like minded lackeys as a Higher Authority.
    regards

  365. duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    You need a theory to explain what is happening now. It needs to be falsifiable. And you have to either accept that new scientific papers fit your theory, or explain why they don’t. You would also need to follow up on Mann et al.’s commentary on this paper. Otherwise it’s just another fishing expedition.

    No I don’t need a theory to explain what is happening now when pointing out a error in your theory.

    For example, let’s say the local veterinary society announces the theory that storks are responsible for the appearance of human babies. They are doing this hoping we will all agree to raise taxes to pay for a bird care facility in Denver, staffed by veterinarians.

    I point out that storks are never seen outside of the zoo, yet, human babies continue to arrive. Therefore, the stork theory of baby origins is obviously flawed.

    I do not need to present another theory on baby origins, only that the vets (much as I like them) are wrong.

    BTW, can anyone explain the appearance of human babies?

    Reply: They seem, loosely, to have a positive correlation with the presence of diamonds. Diamonds may catalyze the formation of babies, or perhaps diamonds are the babies’ larval stage. ~ ctm

  366. James Sexton says:
    Mike, can you imagine what this world could have accomplished in the last 30 years if all of the mental, financial, and social energies hadn’t been diverted to this issue, from both sides of the debate?
    I say this to my acquaintances but they look me back with poker face.

    Congratulations to you all for keeping the debate and this site so vigorous.

  367. Alexej Buergin says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:43 am
    Sticky wicket: Some people call the cricket pitch “wicket”, and a sticky wicket would e.g. be a wet pitch which makes it a difficult situation for the batsman.
    Another interpretation: The real wicket ist the construction of three stumps with two bails that the bowler is trying to hit. If the bails are sticking to the stumps (in climatology “because of some chewing gum” would come to my mind) it will be difficult for the bowler to make them fall.

    Either that, or it’s named after Edward Greer Sticky, a 19th century batsman who was extremely difficult to bowl out. Sticky never scored many runs, because he worked on the precautionary principle that it was better to be safe behind his crease than sorry halfway down the pitch. In 1883, playing for Nottinghamshire versus Surrey, Sticky opened for Nottinghamshire and was not out for all of 3 runs scored after 17 hours at the crease, after having successfully blocked 337 deliveries.

  368. tallbloke, to carry on the white flannelled fools analogy –

    Dr WG Grace was bowled out on the first ball of a charity match, but continued to play, exclaiming “They came to see me bat, not to see you umpire”.

    Somewhat like the team’s approach to scrutiny.

    And BTW, the Ashes will be heading south this year, although unfortunately the MCC as usual will not have the good (W.G) Grace to actually send them, unlike the NY Yacht club in similiar circumstances. Work that out US readers.

  369. Michael Jankowski says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm
    I wonder how many emails went back-and-forth between team members today?

    Not many I think, Gavins recent posting outside of RC saying temp paleo recontructions are not scientifically interesting show they may have already known about this paper for some time and were preparing the ground for ‘Well we never used this much for justifing AGW anyway’ and let the whole matter drop. They plan to fall back on the CO2 is a Greenhouse gas lab experiment as their last wheel on the wagon, pity no body has tried seeing if its true in an earth like atmosphere experiment.

  370. Henry@Brian & Evan

    Sorry Brian, I did try to follow those 2 discussions , but I am afraid it is above me or at least I don’t understand what they are talking about, mostly to do with thermology, I suspect..
    I do believe that what I see is happening is simple enough: in the places where there is absorption in the molecule there is deflection of light (=radiation) . It absorps up to a point (probably causing some heat transfer in the process) until it is saturated. The only way I can understand what happens next is that I must see these (wavelengths ) spots in the molecule as places where the radiation is first absorbed and once filled it then becomes reflective, like a mirror. That is the only way to explain what I see is happening. Because of the random position of the molecule, 50% is send back in the direction where the light came from!

    To give you a simple example. An observation I made here: if I stand in the African sun, and during the day the humidity goes up, then I can feel that the sun’s heat on my skin becomes less as the humidity increases.. . This happens because the water vapor is doing its re-radiation of sunshine and 50% of the sun’s radiations in the areas of where water absorps are sent back to space (remember: light cannot stand still).

    What I discovered in my search for answers is that nobody made a detailed balance sheet of substances in the atmosphere as to how much they cool (by re-radiating sunshine) and how much they warm up (by re-radiating earthshine).

    So my original question to Evan, who, as a lukewarmer, seemed sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, was : How do you know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, if nobody has some actual results from experimentations on the cooling and warming?

    (remember that without oxygen/ozone/water vapor, CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere, an additional 25-30 % radiation would be slammed on top of our heads – this is difference in radiation between the top of the atmosphere and at sea level).

  371. My recall is that Mann’s claim about the MWP was not the it had never occurred, but rather that It only had a regional effect that had been limited to Northern Europe. While I understand that substantial evidence has been found that indicates that the warming was global and not just regional, the examples cited as evidence that Mann got it wrong about the MWP in these comments have largely focused on Europe (such as grape growing in England). While I am very displeased with what seems to be Mann’s failure to even attempt to live up scientific standards, I still take an ACLU like perspective on this issue. Blaming him for a position that he did not take is not fair, and besides, there is so much more about many of his other claims that call for criticize.

  372. Actually I don’t see the big importance of the article ! The reworked data representation still shows a hockey stick. Slightly different in shape than the original one. Also shows the reworked graph that we live in the highest temperatures since 1000 years. More alarming is the fact that the new representation shows temperature deviations of ± 1° C for the nowaday times. The original Mann graph kept the actual temperature rise restricted to ± 0,5°C. Personnally I would not see this paper as a victory of the skeptical climate science….but rather as a confirmation even a strengthening of the original Mann message….the earth is warming and it deas that rather fast !

  373. Just wondering: Would it be legitimate to construct a couple of alternative graphs that fit within the data as circumscribed by M&W, i.e., within the error bars, that are equally plausible, statistically, with the hockey stick? You know, something for the shaft that is lumpy and bumpy, but still possible, given Mann et al.’s data? Leave the blade as is.

    If legitimate, I would like to see them. So would the newspapers.

  374. BTW, can anyone explain the appearance of human babies?

    Reply: They seem, loosely, to have a positive correlation with the presence of diamonds. Diamonds may catalyze the formation of babies, or perhaps diamonds are the babies’ larval stage. ~ ctm

    Not so, it’s BEER that causes babies. Fact

    [REPLY - I theorize that it may relate to positive feedback from the beer/diamond combination. (I am looking for volunteers for a robust series of field-tests.) ~ Evan]

  375. C Colenaty:

    At August 16, 2010 at 4:10 am you assert:

    “My recall is that Mann’s claim about the MWP was not the it had never occurred, but rather that It only had a regional effect that had been limited to Northern Europe. While I understand that substantial evidence has been found that indicates that the warming was global and not just regional, the examples cited as evidence ”

    Sorry, but that is an Orwellian rewriting of history.

    The MBH ‘hockey stick’ was constructed (contrived?) from proxy data obtained from the Northern Hemisphere mostly in Northern Europe. It showed no MWP.

    So, if it were to be claimed that the MWP was “regional” on the basis of the analyses by MBH then those analyses showed the Northern Hemisphere was the region where the MWP did NOT happen.

    Richard

  376. Willem de Rode:

    Please read the original paper (it is linked from the above article).

    Altenatively, if that is too difficult for you, then read the several contributions (above) that have explained the matter and refuted your point. To save you finding them, I copy one randomly selected example here:

    “Mike Jowsey says:
    August 14, 2010 at 8:32 pm
    duckster says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    Looking at the paper above…

    The main point of this paper is to debunk the maths Mann used. You can get similar hockey sticks by using random numbers. Speak to that subject please.

    By shifting focus to whether or not the graph shows a MWP is a strawman and is completely irrelevant to the point of the paper. Besides, the graph (fig.16) uses the same proxy data Mann used, with correct maths. Mann’s proxy data (and maths) explicitly set out to remove the MWP so it is no surprise that his biased proxy selections camouflage the MWP. Nevertheless, fig.16 does show temperatures 1000 years ago were on a par with today’s (according to Mann’s proxies).”

    On a WUWT thread it pays to read the existing comments before posting one yourself.

    Richard

  377. Willem!

    Dont you see the elephant? The statistic METHODS climate science use is flawed.
    With flawed methods not understanding the underlying data you end up with wrong conclusions.

  378. “Environmentalism, which in its raw, early form had no time for the encrusted, seized-up politics of left and right, has been sucked into the yawning, bottomless chasm of the ‘progressive’ left.”

    …-

    “Confessions of a recovering environmentalist

    Paul Kingsnorth, 16 August 2010″

    “Environmentalism, which in its raw, early form had no time for the encrusted, seized-up politics of left and right, has been sucked into the yawning, bottomless chasm of the ‘progressive’ left.” A personal, twenty-year journey through the world’s wild places and the movements to protect them is also, for Paul Kingsnorth, an education in the limits of a project that has forgotten nature and lost its soul.”

    “Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity … and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself – William Blake

    Scenes from a younger life # 1:

    I am 12 years old. I am alone, I am scared, I am cold and I am crying my eyes out. I can’t see more than six feet in either direction. I am on some godforsaken moor high up on the dark, ancient, poisonous spine of England. The black bog-juice I have been trudging through for hours has long since crept over the tops of my boots and down into my socks. My rucksack is too heavy, I am unloved and lost and I will never find my way home. It is raining and the cloud is punishing me; clinging to me, laughing at me. Twenty-five years later, I still have a felt memory of that experience and its emotions: a real despair and a terrible loneliness.”

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-kingsnorth/confessions-of-recovering-environmentalist

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2010/08/15/talking-down-to-a-bigoted-nation/#comment-119296

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/014654.html

  379. Willem de Rode,

    This paper is extremely important. Here’s why:

    The MBH98 hockey stick provided two separate arguments for the CAGW crowd. First, it showed a recent, rapid rise in temperature [the blade], and second, it showed that no MWP occurred [the stick]. That would make the current rise in temperature unprecedented.

    Both claims were based on faulty statistics used improperly, and on very carefully picked proxies, selected after many computer runs and using statistically invalid methods, until one was found that gave the desired hockey stick shape. Mann threw out the proxies after 1960 because they stopped showing a rise in temperature, and he replaced them [without the necessary acknowledgement] with an instrumental overlay after 1960.

    When the statistical analysis is done correctly using Mann’s own carefully selected tree ring proxies, the resulting graph shows that the current warming has happened just like the past MWP warming that happened well before the industrial revolution. That destroys the MBH98 hypothesis that current temperatures are “unprecedented.”

    Since what is occurring now has happened in the past [and the planet has warmed even more, prior to the MWP], the null hypothesis remains standing: no one has falsified the theory that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability, which fully explains the current temperature fluctuations without the need for an extraneous variable like CO2. Occam’s Razor warns against adding any unnecessary variables to an explanation that completely describes a hypothesis.

    Next, this proper statistical analysis means that MBH98, MBH99, and follow-up Mann et al. papers are far from robust, and in fact are so riddled with bad statistics that they are essentially worthless; they are falsified.

    Finally, Mann claims that no MWP happened. This paper clearly shows the high temperatures in the Middle Ages — verifying supporting historical documents and first-hand contemporary accounts from around the world showing the MWP was at least as warm as today, and very likely warmer.

    This paper decisively breaks the hockey stick by showing a clearly recognizable MWP, and by showing that current temperatures are within past parameters. Nothing unusual or unnatural is occurring, and the coincidental rise of CO2 has much less to do with the [very mild] 0.7° temperature rise over the past century and a half than the effect of natural variability.

    You conclude by saying “the earth is warming and it does that rather fast!” But even a chastened Phil Jones shows that the current rise has happened repeatedly.

    None of this would be necessary if Michael Mann had produced his data and methodologies as required by the scientific method, and as required by the written policies of the journals that published his findings. Mann understands very well that producing his methods — paid for by public taxes — would cause his iconic chart to be promptly falsified. So for the past twelve years he has used every trick in the book to avoid allowing other scientists the opportunity to replicate his methods.

    Now Mann’s statistics have been debunked, destroying his hockey stick. Whether or not you believe that is unimportant doesn’t matter. This paper is yet another torpedo in the side of the Mann CAGW ship. It’s going down.

  380. Willem de Rode says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:24 am
    Actually I don’t see the big importance of the article ! The reworked data representation still shows a hockey stick.
    ————Reply:
    Mann’s central point is that the current warming is UNPRECDENTED–he does that by using bogus statistical methods to flatten past temperature variations. You yourself state that it shows temperatures this warm 1000 years years ago, a direct refutation of Mann’s central point (whether it was regional or global is immaterial, although more evidence indicates it was a global phenomena, not just regional).

    You see, the “C” in CAGW stands for “Catastrophic”; hence, if temperatures in the past have been as warm or warmer than they currently are, it means two things: It wasn’t due to man’s influence and it won’t have catastrophic impact. Of course, the “climate scientists” that push their CAGW agenda like Mann through the use of home-made “statistics” are going to ignore this, but the rest of the world (particularly thinking voters and most likely a certain attorney general from Virginia) are going to see through the charade. By the way, the rate at which the earth is currently warming is a very debatable topic, since so many temperature stations have been dropped, and due to other irregularities (for example, their “homogenization” adjustments are highly questionable as pointed out in a companion post on this site that indicates New Zealand’s NIWA is being sued for “cooking” the temperature data); there is far more information of this type that you can find in past postings here at WUWT. Not only are “climate scientist’s” mathematical abilities highly questionable (and perhaps erroneous on purpose), but their data-gathering abilities are highly suspect too.

  381. Willem de Rode says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

    “Actually I don’t see the big importance of the article ! The reworked data representation still shows a hockey stick.”

    William, I don’t mean to be overly critical, but you have, as many others here, simply looked at the graph and drew an errant conclusion. In doing so, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you haven’t even bothered to read the discussion, (I know it is lengthy, but you could at least skim) much less the paper itself. The authors didn’t seek to make a statement of past or present temperatures or anomalies. They were trying to determine if the temp proxies(ie, tree rings) were valid proxies. The graph was presented to show levels of uncertainty not some perception of reality.

    From the paper. “We decompose the uncertainty of our model’s backcast by plotting the curves drawn using each of the methods outlined in the previous three
    paragraphs in Figure 16. As can be seen, in the modern instrumental period
    the residual variance (in cyan) dominates the uncertainty in the backcast.
    However, the variance due to ￿β uncertainty (in green) propagates through
    time and becomes the dominant portion of the overall error for earlier periods.
    The primary conclusion is that failure to account for parameter uncertainty
    results in overly confident model predictions
    .”
    (emphasis mine)

    As you can see, they don’t have any confidence this graph(or any other from the proxy data) reflects reality. Do yourself a favor and read the paper. The statistics are difficult(for me anyway), the read and reasoning are not.

  382. Ken Harvey says:
    August 15, 2010 at 5:44 am
    …Why would they want to spend some of their grant money on professional numbers men? …
    Note well that your drugs and food additives are approved with even greater prudent savings on unnecessary expenditure on professional statisticians.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Food and drug safety is the other worldwide hoax. That is why all the real data on the cause of food borne illness is swept under the rug. There is very big money in controlling the food supply. And just as tax and regulation (Markey’s Cap & Trade bill) is the means of controlling energy, Markey’s other bill “Food Safety” is all about gaining complete control the food supply

    “Food is power! We use it to change behavior. Some may call that bribery. We do not apologize.” These are the words of Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture – UN World Food Summit in November of 1996.

    REFERENCES:
    To understand the implications of food safety regulations on private kitchen gardens you have to understand The Interstate Commerce Clause and The Kitchen Sink
    The WTO and the Politics of GMO
    History, HACCP and the Food Safety Con Job
    The Festering Fraud behind Food Safety Reform
    FARM ANIMALS AND CORPORATE PATENT STRATEGIES
    STOP ‘MONSANTOSIZING’ FOOD, SEEDS AND ANIMALS!
    No End Seen to Cartel’s Destruction of Food Capacity

    Food Safety Bill:
    HR 2749: Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply
    Text of H.R. 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009

    (2009) HR 2749 Food Safety Regulation Amendments: A Politicians summary

    http://aboutpolitics.com/politicians/Colorado-CO/Markey/Executive%20Branch

  383. (How interesting–I see Smokey and I often argue the same points in tandem! (And no, we’re not corroborating behind the scenes!) Of course, I think Smokey has a deeper grasp of the subject matter than I do, so make sure you concentrate on his replies.)

    [Reply: GMTA. ~dbs, mod.]

  384. There’s another point in the article that is poignant. They talk about how one will select series that agree with known temperatures. This is something you should never do in statistics. This ends up skewing the data toward what you want it for the data that you know, but will lead to erroneous data everywhere else.

    In classical cryptography, you can see the same thing with Vigenere type ciphers. Suppose you think it’s English, you can test for that by calculating the IC. Each language has a different IC. But if you get a huge spike in IC, it will look strange, but it is meaningless. You cannot take this high IC, even though it is very rare to get such a value, to mean you’ve found anything significant. That high IC was found after the fact.

    Same thing with tree ring proxies. You cannot select good matches AFTER THE FACT. You need to have a hypothesis BEFOREHAND and then test for that will ALL data. If it happens that there are serious flaws outside of this (like something went wrong with the collection of tree ring data), then sure you can remove it. But otherwise, all data must be use within the hypothesis. This is why the paper included all the data. If one of them skews the data, then that can be analyzed later. However, the first step is to include everything. If the paper in question did not do this, they could be accused of cherry picking themselves and of doing what they themselves say cannot be done. Which is to select tree series based on what we already know.

    In short, the correct way is to make a hypothesis and then check to see if it fits the data we already have. Not the other way around.

    I find that this is the more important point of the paper that has perhaps been glossed over.

    It’s the same problem that happened with hiding the decline. If a proxy series does not match the instrumental data, then it’s possible that it won’t match actual data in the past either. So that entire series is no good. By the same token, if some tree proxy series don’t match actual temperatures (or changes in temperature), then none of the tree series can be trusted, even those that do match, because we don’t know if it’s just by chance that they match the last 100 years or so.

    [REPLY - Gosh, yes. When I was reviewing CRN ratings for surface stations I avoided looking at the raw trends first. ~ Evan]

  385. Barefoot boy from Brooklyn says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:37 am

    “Just wondering: Would it be legitimate to construct a couple of alternative graphs that fit within the data as circumscribed by M&W, i.e., within the error bars, that are equally plausible, statistically, with the hockey stick? You know, something for the shaft that is lumpy and bumpy, but still possible, given Mann et al.’s data? Leave the blade as is.

    If legitimate, I would like to see them. So would the newspapers.”

    One could, but it wouldn’t be legitimate. The paper concludes the proxy data itself isn’t sensitive enough to pick up the upticks (nor downturns) in our historical data. Given the margins of error in the various graphs and analysis, a child with a crayon would be as valid as anything you’ve seen if the graph was constructed by the proxy data used in paleo-climatology.

    From the paper, “Still, it seems there is simply not enough signal in the proxies to
    detect either the high levels of or the sharp run-up in temperature seen in
    the 1990s. This is disturbing: if a model cannot predict the occurrence of a
    sharp run-up in an out-of-sample block which is contiguous with the insample
    training set, then it seems highly unlikely that it has power to detect
    such levels or run-ups in the more distant past. It is even more discouraging
    when one recalls Figure 15: the model cannot capture the sharp run-up
    even in-sample. In sum, these results suggest that the ninety-three sequences
    that comprise the 1,000 year old proxy record simply lack power to detect a sharp increase in temperature.”
    and “Since our model cannot detect the recent
    temperature change, detection of dramatic changes hundreds of years
    ago seems out of the question.”

    Barefoot, it is tempting to do such things. And I suspect it has been done to the populace by less scrupulous people. But there wouldn’t be justification for it. Again, the graphs are only representative of the proxy data, which, the authors state doesn’t have the ability to detect historical temps to such a sensitive degree. The reality is the temps could be and may be greater and lower than the error bands of the graphs. See figure 15 for as to why I stated such.

  386. Well, as Ernest Rutherford said:
    “If your experiment depends on statistics, perhaps you should have designed a better experiment.”

  387. BTW, the acronym “CAGW” deserves mention: As this paper illustrates, the “C” (for “Catastrophic”) is gone because temperatures in the recent past (say the past thousand years or so) have been as high as today with no associated catastrophe (indeed, those were better times by far than during the Little Ice Age).

    The “A” in the term stands for “Anthropogenic”, but following the argument above, it can be asserted that past warmings weren’t of Anthropogenic origin, so that’s gone.

    Finally, the “GW” (for “Global Warming”) is apparently exaggerated and is most likely of natural origin.

    So with no “C”, no “A”, and little or no “GW”, they’re down to practically nothing. One could assert, then, that “CAGW” doesn’t exist.

  388. If you google “Mann climate” you get one news story from PrisonPlanet.com. Obviously a lot of ignorring going on here, who are the deniers now?

  389. Duckster you said:
    “…MWP graphs that have commonly been used here – cited earlier – which clearly placed the MWP at 1200 – 1400ce…”

    Are you citing the graphic called the “Battle of the graphs” for your date range of 1200-1400 for the MWP? The comparison shows the global steady state temperatures with hockey stick by Mann and the hot and cold variation in Europe over similar time spans. Using the second graph, not Mann’s, I would describe the hot time from 950 to 1400 as the medieval warm period and peaking at 1200. I would not say the medieval warm period was from 1200 to 1400.

  390. duckster: M&W are not scientists and their point is not scientific. They are statisticians and their point is statistical. They do not claim to present a new, “valid” reconstruction. Their point is that proxies will not support any reconstruction. In other words, the Hockey Stick is not so much broken as it is a castle in the air.

  391. duckster says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:13 am
    “………….Once again – the timing of the MWP, if you accept the M&W graph above, wildly conflicts with the timing of the MWP graphs that have commonly been used here – cited earlier – which clearly placed the MWP at 1200 – 1400ce……………”

    ‘GROAN’
    duckster, are you intentionally disregarding some of the things the paper states? Or the efforts for many here to clarify the assertions of the paper? Are you intentionally mis-informing people that come here to read about climate issues?

    duckster, the paper itself states rather clearly that they don’t believe the proxy data is sensitive enough to detect “upticks” in the warming. I’ve quoted several places in the paper where they state as much.
    duckster, the lack of an apparent MWP in the graph was generated by proxy data in which the authors state they have no confidence. You are entirely mis-interpreting what the graph means. If you disagree with my statements, please show me where in the paper that I’m wrong. I’m beginning to think this is a willful attempt at disinformation dissemination.

  392. duckster says:
    “Once again – the timing of the MWP, if you accept the M&W graph above, wildly conflicts with the timing of the MWP graphs that have commonly been used here – cited earlier – which clearly placed the MWP at 1200 – 1400ce. I could use this paper to therefore discredit many of the lines of argument that have been made here in support of a medieval warming period (it almost completely disappears into the margin error, temporal placement wildly inconsistent etc.). Not that I am doing this. My point is that this paper also undermines much of the work that has been ‘published’ here.”

    duckster, you have raised this strawman about the timing of the MWP a couple of times on this thread. Have a look at http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/Loehle-2007.html and if you wish go and read the full Loehle, C. 2007 paper. it shows that 1000 ce is right in the middle of the MWP. By 1200 it was already waning, and by 1400 it was well over. Maybe you could link to the item on this site where you believe graphs have been presented showing the MWP started in 1200 ce.

    Now that we have that strawman out of the way, maybe we can get back to the statistical methods that this paper is all about. If the maths behind Mann’s hockey stick is wrong, then there can be no confidence in the conclusions. In other words, the hockey stick may be correct, but more likely it isn’t.

  393. #
    #
    evanmjones says:
    August 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I am not concerned with the politics. But the Medieval Warm period is in the literature, architecture, geology, and archaeology. Even the statistics, such as they were (e.g., “the emperor’s cherry trees”). Climate scientists have got to face up to the fact that they are, as on wit put it, like Truman Capote trying to marry Dolly Parton. The job is just too big for them.

    Nice post Evan, but this next comment really hit home, especially when I read that some like Richy were calling foul at sceptics “villifying” Michael Mann……………..

    “Climatology takes a village. A Full and Complete village”.

    I know what you meant, but I suppose every village needs a village idiot, and Mann has sadly self cast himself in that role.

    The facts, the science, the numbers make that abundantly clear. He did the trick “his way”…….

    [REPLY - Every village needs an idiot. No village would be complete without one. (The problem only arises when he get elected mayor.) ~ Evan]

  394. Jabbed this on Taminos blog, will it survive?
    “What perplexes me the most is why the majority of folk on this thread are so fixated on a catastrophic outcome and seem to welcome a doomsday scenario.
    Instead of welcoming a study that might point to a less damaging outcome for the future of our children there is an instant cry for blood when a new paper emerges that might indicate otherwise.
    Even before the paper has been analysed or assessed there are attempts to discredit the authors, why? What is the motivation here and why is it not possible to give this new analysis a fair hearing? Something to hide?
    Why is it that historical evidence of a roman warming/medieval warming/little ice age that are absent in the original Mann analysis ignored? These folk were all lying nutters? Were they anticipating this argument and telling porkies to discredit the deniers? The still buried settlements in Greenland were planted evidence?
    Just saying.”

    [REPLY - I think it may have something to do with the fact that if we survive, they don't. ~ Evan]

  395. I don’t think that Rutherford said ‘perhaps’….
    “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.”

  396. Vorlath says:
    August 16, 2010 at 6:14 am

    “They talk about how one will select series that agree with known temperatures. This is something you should never do in statistics. This ends up skewing the data toward what you want it for the data that you know, but will lead to erroneous data everywhere else.”

    Indeed!

    From the paper: “All three of these datasets have been substantially
    processed including smoothing and imputation of missing data
    (Mann et al., 2008). While these present interesting problems, they are not
    the focus of our inquiry. We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline. Without taking a position on these data quality issues, we thus take
    the dataset as given.We further make the assumptions of linearity and stationarity
    of the relationship between temperature and proxies, an assumption
    employed throughout the climate science literature (NRC, 2006) noting
    that ”the stationarity of the relationship does not require stationarity of the
    series themselves” (NRC, 2006). Even with these substantial assumptions,
    the paleoclimatological reconstructive endeavor is a very difficult one and
    we focus on the substantive modeling problems encountered in this setting.”

    (Please note, for consistency, I’ve been quoting the article by putting them in italics. In the paper itself, the word assume is in italics, for clarity I put it in bold.)

    One could read the paragraph in one of two ways. One could state this is a nice way of saying “We believe the processing and collecting of samples were done in a professional manner and we don’t have any exception to the data.” I read it a bit differently though. It seems to me, the authors knew many would have taken exception to the data collection and processing(including the imputation) and were forced to put an early disclaimer in the paper as opposed to some footnote. To me, it reads something akin to “Yes, we know they gathered and processed the data in errant fashion, but there’s only so much we can write about without publishing a textbook on how not to apply statistics.” The sentence “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”, seems to be a particular harsh slap at an entire profession. OUCH!!!

  397. duckster says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I don’t know what you are babbling on about. If there is a theory out there that says “If X then Y” and I produce an experiment that shows “If X then not Y”. That’s it, theory gone poof. Its still very much science and its a valid result to reject the hypothesis without any attempt to explain what the theory might actually be. You might well counter with “If X in the presence of Z, then Y” and start the whole process over again. However, it is definitely scientific to independently verify a result and if the result is not verified, then it is well within accepted norms that the burden of correction is on the original purveyor of the hypothesis.

  398. Mark in Oz: August 16, 2010 at 6:30 am
    Well, as Ernest Rutherford said:
    “If your experiment depends on statistics, perhaps you should have designed a better experiment.”

    Or, “If your stats don’t fit, you’d better quit.”

  399. Willem’s claim is simply untrue. Anyone who looks at the two graphs from the paper as Anthony has reproduced here can see the point clearly. There is an uptick in the 20th century, but temps are still not as high as they were during the Medieval Warm Period. The new graph is very like the pre-1998 reconstruction of temperature history… before Michael Mann photoshopped the temp record. This means, even with all of the CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s energy budget is not imbalanced in any unprecedented way. The Earth has been this warm before and warmer…. the polar bears survived and the human race survived. We have time to figure out how, if at all, increasing atmospheric CO2 is changing our climate.

  400. This paper is beautifully and clearly written and a welcome addition to undoing past careless work in climate science.

    There is a lot in McShane and Wyner 2010 and much of it is dense in statistics and specialized mathematical treatment; but the result is clear:

    (from pg 42) “Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large. It is not clear that the proxies currently used to predict temperature are even predictive of it at the scale of several decades let alone over many centuries…”

    To come to such a conclusion is devastating to the so-called Hockey Stick, but McIntyre and McKitrick did so in 2005 by showing that (pg 19) “…that random sequences (also referred to as “pseudo-proxies”) with complex local dependence structures can predict temperatures.”

    What? a pseudo-proxy or a “random sequence” predicts temperature about as well as the actual proxies, used by Mann et al? (pg 17) “Since these pseudo-proxies are generated independently of the temperature series, we know they cannot be truly predictive of it. Hence, the real proxies – if they contain linear signal on temperatures – should out perform out pseudo-proxies, at least with high probability.”

    At this point, I am on the edge of my seat – do the real proxies outperform the pseudo-proxies and if they do not, then the Hockey Stick isn’t much more of an important or valid contribution to climate science than say, palm-reading or reading tea leaves, and it is time to recognize this and move the science on. It also tells us the science was not settled science at the time of that oft made proclamation.

    So are skeptics the only ones using pseudo-proxies? Not at all.

    (pg 16) “The use of pseudo-proxies is quite common in the climate science literature where pseudo-proxies are often built by adding an AR1 time series (“red noise”) to natural proxies, local temperatures, or simulated temperatures generated from General Circulation Models (Mann and Rutherford, 2002; Wahl and Amman, 2006). These pseudo-proxies determine whether a given reconstruction is “skillful” (i.e. statistically significant). Skill is demonstrated with respect to a class of pseudo-proxies if the true proxies outperform the pseudo-proxies with high probability (probabilities are approximated by simulation). In our study, we use an even weaker benchmark than those in the climate science literature: our pseudo-proxies are random numbers known to be completely independent of the temperature series.”

    They continue and describe, with helpful detail, precisely what pseudo-proxies they employ and provide a rationale for using them and then reiterate their aim:

    (pg 17) “Since these pseudo-proxies are generated independently of the temperature series, we know they cannot be truly predictive of it. Hence the real proxies – if they contain linear signal on temperature – should outperform our pseudo-proxies, at least with high probability.”

    Do the real proxies outperform the pseudo-proxies? No. They do not.

    (pg 18) “Finally, the empirical AR1 process and Brownian Motion both substantially outperform the proxies. They have a lower average holdout RMSE and lower variability than that achieved by the proxies. This is extremely important since these three classes of time series are generally completely independent of the temperature data. They have no long term predictive ability, and they cannot be used to reconstruct historical temperatures. Yet, they significantly outperform the proxies at thirty-year holdout prediction!”

    “In other words, our model performs better when using highly auto-correlated noise rather than proxies to “predict” temperature. The real proxies are less predictive than our “fake” data.”

    More rationale for their methods and procedures and of note if slightly out of page number order:

    (pg 17) “This suggests that climate scientists are using a particularly weak null benchmark to test their models. That the null models may be too weak and the associated standard errors in papers such as Mann et al. (1998) are not wide enough has already been pointed out in the climate literature (von Storch et al., 2004).”

    This is already getting to be a long post, but their paper is 45 pages long and I have to get back to work.

  401. Paul Jackson says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Paul, the encryption is for sending and receiving the emails. They are still stored in plain text (depending upon the email program of course) on the server – from whence the climategate information was obtained.

    They would have to change their email server software (something they probably have no control over) to try to get encryption there.

  402. Mark in Oz says:
    August 16, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Well, as Ernest Rutherford said:
    “If your experiment depends on statistics, perhaps you should have designed a better experiment.”

    I wonder what Rutherford would have to say about the politicizing of science in his home country?

  403. Did you not get what I was saying earlier:
    The climate (and temp) in 1200 AD was the same as it was now. This is because in that time there were many animals. They produced a lot of methane. And that caused warming. Unfortunately, the humans killed the animals. And then it became ice cold. (they still call it the “little ice age”). Lucky for us, we have now many humans producing carbon dioxide. Othewerwise it would become (very) cold again!!

  404. bushy says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:46 am
    ======================================
    Everyone is noticing the same thing bushy.

    They are shouting “do it for the children”, but every time any good news comes out that maybe we are not all going to die, they all go ballistic.

  405. Excellent and exciting post, but headline is a bit of a mess: no wickets in hockey, let alone the ice hockey of the hockey stick debate. You’re thinking of cricket, when the wicket may be sticky, but the bat is always straight!

  406. Doug Proctor, August 15, 2010 at 10:22 am
    Read it with wonder when first saw it. Two points: one of the authors is at the University of Pennsylvania. Direct smack at Mann.
    Not really. The University of Pennsylvania and Penn State are two different schools. Penn is Ivy League; Penn State is a state school.

  407. Perhaps following this paper and the hard work of M&M we should update an old adage?

    Statistics has done us, the people, a great service so a re-write seems the least we can do..

    My suggestion would be:

    ‘Lies, damn lies, and robust AGW science’

    Any other suggestions?

  408. Ron Cram says:
    “Willem’s claim is simply untrue. Anyone who looks at the two graphs from the paper as Anthony has reproduced here can see the point clearly. There is an uptick in the 20th century, but temps are still not as high as they were during the Medieval Warm Period.”

    -Yet the TREND is clearly upward Ron. And the observed data correlates with the modeled data where it exists.

  409. Many are obviously missing the main point. The study is not intended to indicate that its predictions are BETTER only that making accurate predictions of any true significance is not possible even using their bayesian method (and though not stated specifically, any other method for that matter). Too many potential causal variables which are themselves intercorrelated and really of unknown past and future value. Time series assumes that the only real causal variable is the continuation of time.

  410. two moon says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:03 am
    duckster: M&W are not scientists and their point is not scientific. They are statisticians and their point is statistical. They do not claim to present a new, “valid” reconstruction. Their point is that proxies will not support any reconstruction. In other words, the Hockey Stick is not so much broken as it is a castle in the air.

    two moon,

    I like your comment overall.

    However, your “M&W are not scientists and their point is not scientific” is misleading in that it misrepresents by oversimplification the overall area of relationships between of all the disciplines of study that are called sciences.

    It seems that a discipline of study like statistics (a part of applied mathematics) that can audit and validate the theories of a physical science (such as the physics, chemistry and biology that constitute climate science) is a part of science itself. If part of science then it is not “not-science”.

    I do not think we need to go further into the history of the science of the philosophy of science in this post. That would be OT, therefore a separate post.

    John

  411. This paper clearly shows that any paper, publication or policy statement which cites MBH98 and bases its conclusions on MBH98 is discredited and falsified. A fact which is apparently not lost on Anthony, which is one reason I am sure that he has made this article a ‘sticky’ remaining at the top of the website for some days.

  412. Hilary Barnes says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:22 am
    Excellent and exciting post, but headline is a bit of a mess: no wickets in hockey, let alone the ice hockey of the hockey stick debate. You’re thinking of cricket, when the wicket may be sticky, but the bat is always straight!
    —-Reply:
    That’s ok, Hillary. The “sticky wicket” applies to ice hockey about as much as the hockey stick interpretation applies to climate science–that is, not at all.

  413. “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”

    This simply shows Gavin’s personal bias and predisposition to a particular outcome. A malaise that inflicts many of his cohorts likely causing them to suffer from extreme confirmation bias.

  414. -Yet the TREND is clearly upward Ron. And the observed data correlates with the modeled data where it exists.

    You need to pay attention. Two clearly bogus proxies have been left in the reconstruction. The paper is mostly about the efficacy of using proxies to model temps.

  415. evanmjones says:
    August 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Well, geo, as I have commented in the past, for every $billion wasted (or never produced) anywhere in the world, babies starve somewhere in the world……
    ____________________________________________________________
    What bothers me the most about CAGW and the “precautionary principle” argument is that all those who use it leave out the OTHER half of the equation. It is even stated in a Warmist peer reviewed paper:

    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception

    “Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era began thousands of years ago. Climate Change 61, 261–293], which proposes that early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started….”

    On top of that Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution states:
    “Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. It ignores recent and rapidly advancing evidence that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future.

    Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earthvs climate can shift gears within a decade….

    But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur…

    As far as I am concerned neglecting a possible change towards a COOLING world is down right criminal negligence – my biggest gripe with CAGW. We are so busy watching the yapping little poodle we can not see the mammoth that just walked into the room.

    If politicians and scientists were really concerned about the welfare of people instead of the welfare of their wallets we would be seeing great strides made in converting most of the world towards nuclear power ASAP.

  416. Re: Ben U
    “It’s not unusual in science to work on a theory that one knows not be in full accordance with reality, if one has no alternative theories nearly as good. The least bad scientific theory often gets to get worked on. People work both inside the box and outside the box of the theory, in hopes of ending up with a better theory.”

    I hear you and agree in principal though sometimes you have to accept that you just know too little to have any theory whatsoever. I believe that this case is also a little different since it does not refer to a theory but to a method for fishing out temperatures of the past. If you believe as I do that this method is crap then all interpretations of past climate using this method are also invalidated.

    I agree that in order to further the science one should optimally come up with a new method for fishing out past temperature that is better. In lack of such innovative skills I do think however that admitting the crapiness of the mentioned method and disregarding the message that has been distributed by using it allows for previously documented archeological findings to once again be the best knowledge to date. By this I mean the previously melted glaciers in the Alps etc. For people claiming this to be a regional European event I would very much like to see a sense making theory for how a regional effect made it possible to farm on Greenland for a couple of hundred years.

  417. I find the sticky entry to be extremely annoying; it’s way too annoying to look for new items this way… :-(

    REPLY: Wow that’s a new one, use of the scroll bar is too annoying. The “annoying” story comes off the top tomorrow, until then, use of the scroll bar will be required. – Anthony

  418. Interesting topic and reactions, especially at Tamino where there seems to be a lack of an “Open Mind” amongst the regulars.

    On another note, it would seem Gavin has disappeared his original response to this at RC. The comment was there yesterday, now it is gone. As if the topic had never been mentioned.

    Thoughts?

  419. James Sexton quoted:

    We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.

    It is an unfortunate fact that, most likely, this is completely true. And it’s not just hurling insults to point out that the discipline of “climate scientist” does not appear to include high quality data selection, collection or processing.

    Mann, to me, aspires to be the Ringo Starr of climate science, but alas, has only risen to the level of Justin Beiber’s drummer.

  420. This tale is slightly off-topic but it illustrates how politics and statistics can collide.

    Sixty years ago cases of Gram negative (G-) septicemia were associated with a 50% mortality. Today, with all our advances in antimicrobial therapy, the mortality remains at about 50%. What kills is not the infection, per se, but rather exotoxins that G- bacteria release which initiate a cascade of events in the body that lead to end organ failure and death. All G- bacteria share a common J-chain which acts as a toxin. Some smart folks figured out how to develop a human-mouse chimeric antibody which binds the G- common J-chain toxin. This product came within a gnat’s hair of being a new, approved drug for the treatment of G- sepsis. The manufacturer had already prepared marketing pieces and had hired a sales force.

    The problem was that the drug would only be efficacious in cases of G- sepsis. It would be utterly ineffective in cases of G+ sepsis, viral infections or fungemia. What’s more, the drug would cost $4,000 a dose. Our diagnostic acumen was not sufficiently developed to immediately differentiate between G-, G+, viral or fungal causes of sepsis (and still isn’t). Here’s the hitch…most cases of G- sepsis occur in patients > 65 (i.e. Medicare age). Further, the drug only conferred a 10% improvement in mortality. The government went into panic mode. If approved, this drug could cost well over $1,000,000 per life saved…maybe as much as $2,000,000 or more.

    So the FDA responded. On a mere technicality (end point of death at 30 days rather than 31 days), they insisted that that the manufacturer run their studies again. This was enormously expensive and difficult as it required that study subjects be drawn from hundreds of sites and that G- sepsis be confirmed before therapy was initiated (and, of course, the study must be double blinded so there was always a placebo group). It turned out badly for the manufacturer. The second study was halted half way through when the drug could not be shown to be efficacious and this promising drug was essentially dead.

    Statistics killed it. I actually believed (and still believe) that this drug could theoretically save lives. But when do you use it and at what cost to society? This story reminds me of CO2 mitigation. MAYBE it could prevent some future warming, but at what cost?

    Perhaps a more important lesson in this case is the need to challenge and retest methodologies. The manufacturer of this drug (which went on to make a fortune on other products) followed all the “rules” to bring a drug to market. Their study design and statistical analysis were largely above reproach…yet they were still wrong. Now, the government had a financial interest in not allowing this drug to be brought to market (it could have been devastating to Medicare), but all it took to kill it was to insist they run their experiment again. The favorable results could not be replicated.

    Today we have a similar situation with CAGW except that the financial incentives have been reversed. Government makes out like a bandit under CO2 mitigation schemes, but for how much “good” and at what cost to society? The M&W paper illustrates why it is important to insist that “conclusions” be restudied.

    I apologize if this comment is long and rambling, but the moral of the story is that at the end of the day good statistics are our friends and, if unchallenged, the improper interpretation of bad statistics can lead to financial ruination with no net societal gain.

  421. BPW says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:52 am
    Interesting topic and reactions, especially at Tamino where there seems to be a lack of an “Open Mind” amongst the regulars.

    On another note, it would seem Gavin has disappeared his original response to this at RC. The comment was there yesterday, now it is gone. As if the topic had never been mentioned.

    Thoughts?
    —–Reply:
    Hear no logic, see no logic, speak no logic. (Or substitute “truth” for “logic” and the same applies.)

  422. Jaye Bass says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:55 am

    “You need to pay attention. Two clearly bogus proxies have been left in the reconstruction. The paper is mostly about the efficacy of using proxies to model temps.”

    Agreed. I’m wondering if what we are seeing here isn’t something worth studying itself? It seems an overwhelming majority of the alarmists seem only to look at the pretty pictures and assume a story from there, discerning nothing from the colors of the graph or even noting the “high water” marks about the year 1100. They don’t seem to even read the caption under the fig. 16. and either don’t know what to make of fig 15 or simply can’t see it. So, my question is this;

    Is this why there are so many CAGW believers out there? Do they simply look at the pictures and let someone else tell them what it means or is it left to them to make wild assumptions to the meaning of the pretty pictures without actually reading an explanation? It is true some skeptics did the same, but not many and once explained what it means, they endeavored to READ THE DAMNED PAPER!!!!

    It is a small wonder MSNBC thought they could put a penguin with a polar bear and get away with it. All they have to do is photo-shop something and let the believers imagination tell the story. Dear God! Has it come to this? Has this world, as the majority of the population, capitulated its God given right to contemplate and even think for itself? I guess I now know why when I make a reference to 1984 I get very few responses from the alarmists. There aren’t any pictures to assume a story. I’m simply flabbergasted at the either willful refusal to read or the inability to accomplish the reading.

  423. Marc Blank says:
    I find the sticky entry to be extremely annoying; it’s way too annoying to look for new items this way… :-(
    ===================
    I use the page down button (2 taps to reach recent comments, three for links) :-)

  424. @ davidc says:
    August 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    From New York Times:
    “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”

    Is this the first time Gavin has expressed anything but total certainty?

    And elsewhere in the article nytimes says:

    ‘Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters [floods, fires] are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes’

    Well, the Russians themselves aren’t buying it, but I guess Gavin doesn’t think they’re aware of what’s going on in their own country. The fires were caused by poor forest management, not global warming.

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/08/12/russian-scientist-extreme-central-russian-heat-wave-not-an-indication-of-a-future-climate-change/

    The original article is in German.

  425. BPW: August 16, 2010 at 11:52 am
    On another note, it would seem Gavin has disappeared his original response to this at RC. The comment was there yesterday, now it is gone. As if the topic had never been mentioned.
    Thoughts?

    He was probably rushed and inadvertently deleted himself…

  426. 2010. Blakeley B. McShane and Abraham J. Wyner.
    “Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite large”.

    1950: Charles Ernest Pelham Brooks
    The weather of one year differs from that of another year, the weather of one decade from that of another decade ; why should not the climate of one century differ from that of another century ?

    Please read “Climate Through the Ages”!

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4PLu8lIfSFEC

    http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/chronob/BROO1888.htm

    The main conclusion is that we do not know. We do not know whether CO2 is the origin of dangerous climate change and we do not know why the climate of one century may differ from that of another century.

    We do not know.

  427. This sentence is just priceless: We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature.

    Ouch. In addition, data quality issues were not assessed at all, so these findings are based on an assumption that proxy data was collected and processed properly.

  428. Author Bios:

    Blakeley B. McShane, B.S. Economics Summa Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania (2003), B.A. Mathematics Summa Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania (2003), M.A. Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania (2003), Studies in Philosophy, University of Oxford (2004-2005), M.A. Statistics, University of Pennsylvania (2010), Ph.D. Statistics, University of Pennsylvania (2010), Donald P. Jacobs Scholar; Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northwestern University (2010-Present)

    Abraham J. Wyner, B.S. Mathematics Magna Cum Laude, Yale University (1988), Ph.D. Statistics, Stanford University (1993), National Science Foundation Fellowship (1989-1991), Acting Assistant Professor of Statistics, Stanford University (1993-1995), National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Mathematical Sciences (1995-1998), Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of California at Berkeley (1995-1998), Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of Pennsylvania (1998-2005), Associate Professor of Statistics, University of Pennsylvania (2005-Present)

    It is always good to have these handy.

  429. As copied from Kay’s post above:
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From New York Times:
    “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well, at least Mr. Schmidt used the words “climate change” , the new code words for what used to be called AGW. However, maybe we shouldn’t be so critical of those new code words. After all, Earth’s climate temperatures have been changing for millions of years.

    During more recent times, temperatures have risen fairly steadily since the mid-1800’s, (following the end of the “little ice age”), and during the subsequent century, even before CO2 began its big rising trend after the 1940’s. So what else could have caused temperature’s big rising trend from about 1850 to about 1950, as clearly shown in McShane and Wyner’s Figure 16 if levels of CO2 stayed fairly stable during that century?

    Could the big rising trend during those 100 years have resulted from anything other than unknown natural causes? If not, then what else, Mr Schmidt et al AGW fanciers?
    .

  430. Henry: I think it has something to do with the CO2 letting through the long waves, which hit the surface, and a percentage are reflected back out as short waves, some of which hit the CO2 and deflect every which-a-way (with some going back down).

    Then saturation, angular deflection, and band limitation and all that fun stuff gets involved resulting in a stream of mysterious symbols I can’t decipher.

  431. Oh, my indeed, Anthony. You have whipped this one up into a right old meringue! Google McShane Wyner 2010…..

    Personally, I’d prefer to read the final published version, then read the contributions for or against the paper’s claims. Until lately, that was always how it was done, in each and every strand of science.

    People were yahoo-ing within less than an hour of your first post on this. How can that credibly have given them time to work through the paper itself, let alone the supporting material?

    The draft paper – and I have now read it twice – offers some interesting and challenging thoughts. That is all, and, as the scientific method goes – you will need to wait for considered responses. I emailed both authors last night and both expressed surprise that the spin-machine had kicked-off in this way – from my perspective it is incredibly immature. A discussion is planned, I was told. They both seem very reasonable people.

    My advice: stop spinning. It gets nobody anywhere. I expect that you will snip my comment, but the advice is from the heart. I repeat – let the paper go to press and digest post-publication commentary, and THEN decide what makes sense.

    All the best – John

    [REPLY - You don't know us very well if you think we'd snip something like this. We permit and encourage opinions from all sides of the argument. We do not delete a post unless it is abusive or over the line or otherwise contrary to blog policy (fake email address, etc.). ~ Evan]

  432. I do not understand why WUWT does not make continual reference to the Beck paper (Ernst-Georg Beck Dipl. Biol.; ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT; VOLUME 18 No. 2, 2007) which uses 90,000 measurements made by over 100 scientists during the last 180 years to show CO2 trends. In particular, the 180 year graph shows CO2 at 425 ppm in 1825, higher than it is today, bottoming out at 315 ppm in 1958, just when the Mauna Loa measurements started.

    Instead, everyone is left with the brainwashed image of the Mauna Loa graph. Mauna Loa sits in the middle of the world’s largest CO2 belching ocean, atop the world’s largest CO2 belching volcano. ML is perhaps the worst place in the world to measure manmade influences; it is measuring natural influences. And don’t give me this night-time downward convecting flow crap, either. What’s the source of this flow, anyway – the Moon?

    Another continual refernce should be made to Ferenc Miskolczi’s paper (Miskolczi, Ferenc M. 2010. “THE STABLE STATIONARY VALUE OF THE EARTH’S GLOBAL AVERAGE ATMOSPHERIC PLANCK-WEIGHTED GREENHOUSE-GAS OPTICAL THICKNESS”, Energy and Environment, 21, 243-262) , and Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s paper (Falsifiation Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects within The Frame Of Physics, Gerlich, G. and R. D. Tscheuschner, International Journal of Modern Physics B Vol. 23, No. 3, 2009, 275-364). These two papers alone drive the stake thru the heart of this manmade global warming nonsense.

  433. Anthony Watts says:
    August 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “Nice try at misdirection Mike Roddy- FAIL”

    I didn’t read all the comments yet so maybe this is redundant, but I thought Mike was being satirical. Sure sounded like satire to me.

  434. Evenjones, do you mean to say that CO2 is invisible to SW? Which it is? The Earth’s surface, depending on the surface can bounce SW back out, which would then also just fly right past CO2.

    The mechanism that is plausible for CO2 cooling has to do with rising, LW absorbing, CO2 laden air. Once it gets high enough, CO2 is not only lifted off the ground (where it likes to be because it is a heavy gas), but that CO2 is also going to emit LW at an atmospheric level that might prevent those LW’s from coming back down to Earth.

  435. Woo-Hoo! Stu gets it! “Stu Ostro, senior meteorologist for The Weather Channel, is a rare breed of meteorologist who is increasingly focused on the intersection between climate and weather. A former climate change skeptic, he has compiled a lengthy presentation showing changes in weather patterns that he believes may be related to climate change.”

    voices dot washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/08/one_meteorologists_view_of_ext.html
    Oh, and lookee here, it’s a story published in the Wash Post…one of the more notorious climate change [snip] rags. I bet George Will has wet himself…
    Let’s see, that’s another former [snip] (and public figure) recanting. That makes four in the past week. Wow. How soon will you, Anthony, and you, sTeve, be joining them? We’re planning the party and we need a head count!

    -hugs,
    -sTv

    [~dbs, mod.]

  436. Another awesome thread of awesome posts and comments!

    It is amazing how some simply refuse (lack the ability?) to understand the purpose of the paper and tenaciously hold to the CAGW meme. I reminds me of, ‘A Few Good Men’, the movie with Nicholson, Cruise, and Demi Moore. You know…where Nicholson is on the stand and starting to get irate? (Paraphrased):

    “In the Team we use words like ‘Trick’, ‘Hide The Decline’, and ‘Homogenized’. We use these words as a code in a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.”

    “I have niether the time or inclination to explain myself to a people that I provide data and graphs to save the world from CAGW, then questions the manner in which I derived my results. I would much rather you just said, “Thank You” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand opposed.”

    “Either way I don’t give a damn what your observations and factual data prove or disprove because deep down inside, in places you don’t go to at dinner parties…
    you WANT that hockey stick…
    you NEED that hockey stick…”

    Cross question: “Did you, with forethought of malfeasance and a clear political agenda corrupt the science, alter data, and intentionally attempt to subvert any opposing viewpoints of your fellow scientists and colleagues?”

    “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I DID!!! AND I’D DO IT AGAIN!!!

    But seriously folks, they cannot see the significance of the M&W paper…dare not. The reason being being that it destroys what Mann et al have done AT THE VERY FOUNDATION. It didn’t pick holes in it, didn’t question minute details that were controversial. Hell, it used the same crap data sets and crap proxies!!

    It pulled the friggin’ carpet out from under it. Best said by someone else above, “…Castle in the air…”

    That was fun…moving on ;-)

  437. Tamino and Romm deleting comments with refs to a scientific paper? Really? What cowards. These guys deserve to lose.

  438. Evan – no – I don’t know you very well really. But on this occasion I had to add in – perhaps if anything for sake of the reputation of “scepticism”….

    Some of your regular readers seem to have difficulty with this. Hence all the “Ya-Hoo” comments. A true sceptic will wait for the paper to be published and then digest the post-publication comments and question anything in either that does not make sense. Depending on the answer(s), they will then adjust their opinion accordingly.

    Surely to goodness, that is a better way to form a conclusion?

    Does that seem reasonable?

    cheers – John

    [REPLY - No problem at all with that. Feel free to stick around and contribute to the discussion. ~ Evan]

  439. I read the paper today.

    The key argument comes down to be the same argument as Steve McIntyre’s – that the proxies are, if anything, very weak measures of temperature and cannot be distinguished from red noise (random series with autocorrelation) in terms of any statistical metric.

    Also the close match of the proxies with the instrumental record says much about the proxy selection but tells us nothing at all about how they behave “out of sample” (ie before the instrumental record)

    The authors use Bayesian analysis to clearly argue that the RealClimate non-statisticians are simply fooling themselves.

  440. John Mason says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    Some of your regular readers seem to have difficulty with this. Hence all the “Ya-Hoo” comments. A true sceptic will wait for the paper to be published
    ==============================

    John, read the post directly above your post, and say that again with a straight face.

  441. Thanks, Evan… I’ll pop in now and then.

    Regards from Mid-Wales :)

    Cheers – John

    [Not at all. But you may have poked a hornets' nest with a stick! I'll leave you to deal with that as you see fit . . . ~ Evan]

  442. Third paragraph in my post above should have read, ” I would much rather you just said Thank You, and went on your way to pass Cap&Tax legislation”.

    We do stand opposed, and we have picked up a weapon: facts & truth.

    Everyone here is opposed to only a very few things: the way the science was done (non-scientifically), they way the science was reported (non-factually), and the way dissenting views were ignored, ridiculed, and villified.

    We just always wanted the truth, John Mason your comment above is thin and irrelevant. Thanks to M&M, and the Wegman report, we already knew the Team et al were tripe & charade (at least our taxes didn’t go up) and that the Mann graph was/is bunk.

  443. Evenjones, do you mean to say that CO2 is invisible to SW? Which it is? The Earth’s surface, depending on the surface can bounce SW back out, which would then also just fly right past CO2.

    I’m not up on the wave physics. It’s just my understanding (correct or not) that the energy coming in is not the same wavelength of that which is reflected back out and that is why CO2 does not prevent as much energy from coming in as it does from going out.

    Having said that, I think CO2 has a very minor effect and is probably subject to fairly heavy negative feedback. Otherwise a 40% rise in CO2 would have produced one heck of a lot more warming than it has already. IF the adjusted 20th century surface trends are correct (which I doubt), IF the 20th century warming isn’t largely natural (I suspect it is), and IF any manmade warming is 100% attributable to CO2 (which I doubt).

  444. John Mason, you seem to be writing with a patronizing pen. Are you saying that only published scientists have “first rights” because the rest of us need their comments in order to truly understand and discuss the research? Reminds me of the hubris of Kurdish chieftains (khafirs) in Western Armenia who reserved the right to bed Armenian brides on their wedding night. The Kurds thought themselves to be higher up the ladder than Armenians. Do you think this is so about the authors and those who have been invited to the “discussion” as you call it? If this is so, you can bet I would rather spend my tax money on something other than hubris.

  445. @ John Mason,

    I couldn’t personally agree more. But the same could be stated about those who are quick to poo-poo anything which purports to go against the status quo. For instance, there are those over at “Open Mind” who have already decided this paper is flawed and simply another attempt at denial of the “known” truth. Heck, good ‘ol Eli has already identified the flaws. Go figure. Pretty quick work for a chemist/spectroscopist!

    Someone here earlier posted a fairly reasonable question over there which was, if you believe them, deleted. Something to the effect of “why wouldn’t your guys be happy if Mann’s conclusions were proven to be flawed?” One would think the hope we all have is that we have not done as much damage to the planet as previously thought. But it would seem the Tamino’s of the world are more intent on continuing the “fight” to prove something. Not the way science should be conducted I think you would agree.

    That said, I don’t much understand the “ya-hoo!” response. For me, though I have my opinions, I find the pissing match petty and tiring. The warmest folk seem to be a fairly small, self-affirming clique, one entirely unable to admit that even one single shred of their mantra may be flawed or overcooked. At least here I find that there are myriad opinions. Some intelligent, some less so. But at least there is a diversity when it comes to posting and commenting regardless of your opinion of the content.

    I would agree, though, that a wait and see approach is ultimately best regardless of the subject. Time to digest before jumping in the water so to speak.

  446. Well, the burden shouldn’t have to be on the laymen. But as the scientists have dropped the ball so badly, what choice do we really have?

    (Meanwhile, John, have fun doing battle with the yahoos. Yer on yer own!)

  447. It is now posted at Deltoid.
    “Their reconstruction appears to be closest match to a hockey stick shape yet seen”

    The post and some of the comments are actually funny.

  448. This comes at an interesting times. The Oxburgh Report stated as a conclusion that “there would be mutual benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists.” (Page 5).

    It also stated, “With very noisy data sets a great deal of judgement has to be used. Decisions have to be made on whether to omit pieces of data that appear to be aberrant. These are all matters of experience and judgement. The potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical. Under such circumstances there must be an obligation on researchers to document the judgemental decisions they have made so that the work can in principle be replicated by others.” (Page 3).

    “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.” (Page 5).

    This paper comes as a timelyexample of the recommendations of the Oxburgh report. How the climate scientists will respond will be interesting.

  449. RE: John Baltutis: (August 16, 2010 at 12:20 am) “Here are two simple Excel charts of that data. The top one shows a linear fit and the bottom an exponential fit. To my 20×20, 70-yeae old eyes, I can’t tell them apart.”

    Not that it makes any difference, but I have found that it seems possible to get a very good fit to the Mauna Loa season corrected data (to within 0.677 ppm average RMS error) over the current segment of available data using a hyperbolic curve where:

    X=decimal_date – 1941.106

    CO2=126.146 + 2.721347*SQRT(4516+X^2)

    The curve is now at about 70 percent of its ultimate linear rise rate of 2.72 ppm / yr. This curve seems to work with the Mauna Loa data as it is now – it says nothing of the future or of the past. The primary residual error appears to be a two-cycle periodic function that might be related to El Nino events.

  450. Bill Tuttle & BPW: Not sure if this was the first one, but Gavin’s response to my own initial post is still there. #235 on thread about expert credibility.

  451. @ two moon,

    You are correct. I missed it. Looked at the wrong thread. My apologies to Mr. Schmidt for having intimated that he retracted/erased it. I was wrong.

    Will be interested in seeing how it is addressed in full over there when the time comes.

    BPW

  452. “Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.” Barack Obama

    sTv says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve read Stu’s comments about his views and apparently, but not suprisingly you are missing the point.

    First: Stu says, “changing climate”, get it? I did not find one comment (maybe I didn’t look long enough, I haven’t read ALL his stuff) mentioning AGW or CAGW. In fact he said at the outset, His delivery was, IMHO, was logical, level headed and well laid out. He did say that he was formulating this report for about 2 years (as of OCT 2009), so you’re a little behind the times to be claiming some sort of voctory (?).
    Stu, in fact, opens with:
    ‘Before you fire up the flamethrower, though, let me say what this long entry is NOT about.
    It’s not about H.R. 2454 (more commonly known as the Waxman-Markey bill).

    And I’m not telling you that you can’t drive your SUV.

    This blog is about the effect of climate change upon day-to-day weather. About physics and thermodynamics not politics.’

    See, NOBODY, denies that the climate changes…that would be just plain stupid. Enough factual evidence has surfaced in the last 650,000 years, its been culled, extrapolated, and presented by scientists…real scientists, and some not-so-real. We want is the truth, plain and simple. What we don’t want:
    1. 1200km smoothing of surface station temps “planted” in warm locals.
    2. Ice retreat when it’s actually advancing.
    3. Warming when it’s actually cooling.
    4. Subversion of the peer-review process (See Obama’s quote at top of post).
    4. A trillion dollar tax that won’t control anything.

    The Anthony’s, M&M’s, Wegman’s and now M&W’s are helping to sift through the blatant, flagrant, and I believe malicious and premeditated, attempts by purely political parties to make/take more of our money, “out of thin air”.

    I will post the link to Stu’s post here, but not to my claims above due to the fact that they are OLD, OLD, OLD news and anyone can find them. I really don’t like doing people’s homework for them.

    Another reason is that I have seen few (if any) people come back from said, “source checks”, no matter how reasonable, factual, or peer-reviewed and say, “You now what, that was good. I’m going to have to do some more research and re-think my position. I’ll let you know what I find.” No, they typically come back with responses (see above from the AGW, CAGW, and YOU) missing the point entirely of said ‘source’.

    Through lies and misdirection your position attempts to make this a competition (I know, we also post/report when someone in the AGW community becomes sceptical).

    As far as the science goes, honestly, what do you prefer: scepticism or consensus?

    Here’s the link,

    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2009/10/stu-ostro-senior-meteorologist-twc-off.html

  453. Spector says:
    August 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    ot that it makes any difference, but I have found that it seems possible to get a very good fit to the Mauna Loa season corrected data (to within 0.677 ppm average RMS error) over the current segment of available data using a hyperbolic curve where:
    X=decimal_date – 1941.106
    CO2=126.146 + 2.721347*SQRT(4516+X^2)
    The curve is now at about 70 percent of its ultimate linear rise rate of 2.72 ppm / yr. This curve seems to work with the Mauna Loa data as it is now – it says nothing of the future or of the past. The primary residual error appears to be a two-cycle periodic function that might be related to El Nino events.

    A fifth-order polynomial, also fits well:

    y = 1E-07x^5 – 0.0012x^4 + 4.8096x^3 – 9446.3x^2 + 9E+06x – 4E+09

    but still isn’t easily distinguishable from a linear fit. So, Mr. Hanley, what say you now?

  454. the horizontal en verical scales in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ graph in the article are different (do measure yourself!) and are manipulating me in the direction of your opinion;

    regards

    REPLY: Oh puhleezze, and you expect me to make the authors of an IPCC work and the authors of a new work create graphs on an identical basis? Just like that?

    Perhaps you also think I can change the gravitational constant of the universe and make rainbows at the snap of a finger?. OTOH if I redid the graphs, I’d be vilified for “modifying” them. Catch-22.

    Your comment qualifies for “comment of the week” – Anthony

  455. John Mason 1:53 PM

    “Oh, my indeed, Anthony. You have whipped this one up into a right old meringue! Google McShane Wyner 2010…..”

    John,

    I did just that and it is astounding the interest in this paper (19,100 results). Wow. And WUWT (specifically Anthony Watts) is to blame? Not surprising given that WUWT is a top science blog. Welcome John, to the discussion here. Yes, I am interested in further analysis of this paper and apparently so are a lot of other interested parties. Isn’t that exciting? I can hardly wait for publication, cross examination, and further analysis.

    Something tells me the “Ya-Hoos” you see here are just the beginning…

    Oh incidentally, on my Google search, I found a good source collecting like papers:

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/20419/

    John, I am interested in hearing what you have to say on this paper once it has properly aged for you.

  456. “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”

    Since the Russian heat wave could be counted in days, and the American dust bowl can be counted in years -decade-, ‘splain it.

  457. I have one thought about the silence of the ‘team’ on this one. It could be that there is an ‘official’ response pending and they are under embargo to not speak publicly about the issue. I recall Steve M. having similar issues wrt his Nature submission a while back.

  458. Gaylon says:
    “Through lies and misdirection your position attempts to make this a competition (I know, we also post/report when someone in the AGW community becomes sceptical).

    As far as the science goes, honestly, what do you prefer: scepticism or consensus?”

    I neither lied nor attempted misdirection. Mr. Ostro made it clear that he has changed his mind, and the fact that he works in such a prominent position at The Weather Channel should give some deniers reason to pause. At least, one would hope so.

    Having said that, when can we expect you, Gaylon, to join Mr. Ostro, and other prominent former skeptics? I’m afraid Mr. Watts, sTeve, Mr. Monckton, M&M and Dr. Singer will take a little more urging before they come around. I’m hopeful that more catastrophes are not necessary to convince them.
    We’ll hold places for each of you at table. You’re welcome anytime.

    -sTv

  459. CodeTech says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

    James Sexton quoted:

    “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.

    It is an unfortunate fact that, most likely, this is completely true. And it’s not just hurling insults to point out that the discipline of “climate scientist” does not appear to include high quality data selection, collection or processing.

    Mann, to me, aspires to be the Ringo Starr of climate science, but alas, has only risen to the level of Justin Beiber’s drummer.”

    Lol, and I was expecting a Pete Best to be at the end of the Beatles analogy. Justin Beiber has a drummer?

  460. James Sexton says:
    August 16, 2010 at 8:08 am It seems to me, the authors knew many would have taken exception to the data collection and processing(including the imputation) and were forced to put an early disclaimer in the paper as opposed to some footnote. To me, it reads something akin to “Yes, we know they gathered and processed the data in errant fashion, but there’s only so much we can write about without publishing a textbook on how not to apply statistics.” The sentence “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”, seems to be a particular harsh slap at an entire profession. OUCH!!!
    ___________________________________________________________________
    I had the feeling there were a few more “hidden” slaps besides that one.

  461. Remark from paper
    “For example, 1998 is generally considered to be the warmest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere. Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years. Finally, if we look at rolling thirty-year blocks, the posterior probability that the last thirty years(again, the warmest on record) were the warmest over the past thousand is 38%. [...] For k = 10, k = 30, and k = 60, we estimate a zero posterior probability that the past thousand years contained run-ups larger than those we have experienced over the past ten, thirty, and sixty years (again, the largest such run-ups on record). This suggests that the temperature derivatives encountered over recent history are unprecedented in the millennium.”

    So whats all the fuss about? Everyone is acting as if this is the silver bullet?

  462. evanmjones says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Henry: I think it has something to do with the CO2 letting through the long waves, which hit the surface, and a percentage are reflected back out as short waves, some of which hit the CO2 and deflect every which-a-way (with some going back down).

    Then saturation, angular deflection, and band limitation and all that fun stuff gets involved resulting in a stream of mysterious symbols I can’t decipher.

    Swap short for long and you got it nailed. Sun emits primarily in visible spectrum (violet through red) and the clear sky is largely transparent to it. These rays hit the ocean and are mostly absorbed in the first 30 meters or so. It warms the water. The warm water then emits the energy upward in long wave infrared. Visible light is shorter wavelengths. CO2 and especially water vapor are not transparent to infrared like they are to visible light. Those gases absorb a portion of the upwelling infrared and then the gases in turn get warmed up and emit the energy in long wave infrared. The difference is, as you noted, that the warm gases emit the energy in all directions, a portion of which is straight back down from whence it came. The net effect is it slows downs how quickly the infrared radiation can escape into space. The gases are insulators. They don’t actually trap much energy because the gases have so little heat capacity compared to water. The net effect is that the water doesn’t cool off as quickly.

    Think of two separate rocks heated nice & warm by sun during the day. You throw a blanket over one of them at night. The one with the blanket over it will be warmer in the morning. Now imagine the blanket is transparent so it lets the light in during the day to warm the rock but still insulates it at night because heat doesn’t pass through the blanket like light does.

    Tallbloke put it in the best nutshell I’ve seen:

    The sun heats the ocean, the ocean heats the air, the air is cooled by the cold empty void of outer space.

  463. Just curious, for I don’t know the answer, and can’t find it. What are the requirements to be a climatologist? For that matter, a pollution meteorologist, as some say they are ?

    Pardon my ignorance on the subject, and TIA~

  464. and the fact that he works in such a prominent position at The Weather Channel should give some deniers reason to pause
    ==========================================

    Yes it does, and the second they get Cantore in the same state the hurricane is in, I’ll get back to you……..

    I thought when weathermen disagreed, we were supposed to ignore them because they are not climatologists.

  465. bob paglee says:
    From New York Times:
    “If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”
    ————–
    Gavin has now given us as “persons” the green light to call the recent COLD SNAP in South America CLIMATE, this includes all cold weather events. Just wait till this winter man. :o)

  466. do a google news search on any aspect of this McShane & Wyner paper and u will find NOT A SINGLE MENTION in the MSM.
    extraordinary but not at all surprising.

  467. RockyRoad says:
    August 16, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Finally, the “GW” (for “Global Warming”) is apparently exaggerated and is most likely of natural origin.

    Roughly 1 degree C of surface warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2 content is consistent with both physics, historical observations, and proxy evidence from the distant past in the geologic column.

    Because CO2 must be doubled each time to get the same amount of surface warming (which is consistent with the physics) this handily explains why in the distant past the earth’s average surface temperature was never more that 7 or 8C warmer than today even though atmospheric CO2 content was up to twenty times more than today. It’s actually all quite consistent in both theory and observation.

    Whether the CO2 rise since 1880 is anthropogenic I suppose is debatable but the circumstantial evidence that it’s anthropogenic is pretty convincing.

    The bottom line from thus becomes a question of what we have to fear from burning all the fossil fuel we can dig up. There isn’t enough fossil fuel available to quadruple atmospheric CO2 so we’re looking at a maximum of 2C temperature rise and 1400ppm CO2 in the atmosphere.

    If we look again at the geologic column these conditions have existed before and when they did the earth bloomed. When it was 5C warmer than today with ten times the amount of CO2 the earth was green from pole to pole and the biosphere reached its most productive point ever. It was called the Ecocene Optimum and occured about 55 million years ago.

    So if you like lots of plants and animals then when it comes to fossil fuels the word is “burn, baby, burn”. If you like bare rocks and ice instead then you want to do just the opposite. Personally I like plants and animals more than rocks and ice so it’s an easy choice for me.

  468. Henry Pool says:
    August 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “on what measurements do you base your believe that CO2 is a greehouse gas i.e that its warming properties are greater than its cooling properties?”

    The optical depth of CO2 at visible wavelengths emitted by the sun compared to the optical depth of CO2 at infrared wavelengths emitted by the ground. Those would be the measurements. CO2 is transparent to visible wavelenghts and an insulator at infrared wavelengths.

    Insulators insulate. Write that down.

  469. Shouldn’t someone be updating all the Wikipedia Global Warming subjects with hockey stick diagrams to reflect this update and statistical correction ???

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa, Bill and Kim may not approve.

  470. Wow! It has taken me nealry 2.5 hours just to read through the comments. I agree with a couple of others above, this is devastating to CAGW science due to the reliance on that Mann paper as the lynchpin of proxy-instrument temp constructions.

    For those who are CAGW true believers it is difficult to not want to see in these new graphs something they know has to be there. M and w (2010) simply show that there just is not any there, there.

  471. John Mason says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    “Oh, my indeed, Anthony. You have whipped this one up into a right old meringue! Google McShane Wyner 2010…..”

    Mr. Mason, how is it you believe Anthony is “whipping” this paper in any way? He simply posted it for people to read and comment on. Does that qualify as “whipping up”? Honestly, do you see Anthony or the moderators encouraging or discouraging the posts or the content? Further, WUWT wasn’t the first science blog to post this paper. I believe, but I could be wrong, that http://climateaudit.org/ was the first place it was posted. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with CA or not, but McIntyre(CA is his blog) did a similar paper a few years back. Here is a comment you should read.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/14/breaking-new-paper-makes-a-hockey-sticky-wicket-of-mann-et-al-99/#comment-458319

    As far as whether we should be commenting on it or letting the “experts” chime in first, forgive me if I think that is a blathering, yet in a greatly condescending way, ignorant(I mean no insult but apparently you’re not familiar to the reasons why blogs such as this exist) statement. Admittedly, for myself, the statistical ability presented in this paper is probably beyond my reach, for now. (I’m working through it as we speak, but I’ll probably have to consult some trusted friends in the field.) However, in this blog, I’m not anywhere close to some of the people in terms of ability in the maths/statistics science.

    That’s from Lucy Skywalker. In it she said, “Have you considered the function of WUWT and how it dovetails into, and balances, the function of Climate Audit?” While there may be some here that disagree, I don’t. I don’t often post there, because the forum lends itself to a different direction than what I can contribute to. That being said, many, if not most of the regular readers/posters here often go there, and visa versa. If you are doubting the abilities of the commentators here and there, you should do as Lucy suggests in her post and click on her name and enter into a mathematical discussion with her. Or, try Steve McIntyre, or many of the other commentators here or there.

    Yes, there have been several “yea!’s” and several “boo!’s”. So what? As stated, I’m not a statistician, but the paper is well written and clear and can be followed quite easily. To use a baseball analogy, (consistent with the Cricket theme) while I’m not a pitcher, I know a strike when I see one. (Someone please translate that in Cricket terms for me!) When I learned Mann was discarding proxies that didn’t fit a criteria of his, I knew he wasn’t accurate in his conclusions regarding his proxy studies. But, so did Steve Mac. So did Lucy, (I’m not sure when Anthony converted) so did the rest of the world that cared to know. As far as waiting for the “experts” to chime in, I did. Even before 1998. When Hansen was turning off air-conditioners and giving literally thousands of interviews about how the government was silencing him, I waited, and waited, and waited. As far as your “experts” go, and I’m no where close to being one, (as I alluded to before, there are several, here and now, much more skilled at climate science than myself)I’d take a one-on-one with Gavin, Hansen, Phil, Pachy, Mann, or any of the other cast of …..and hand them their azz walking away.

    P.S. I wrote a complete post, but I thought it rather lengthy, so I broke it up in two. Also, Mr. Mason, if this post seems angry, it is because it is. Only, it isn’t directed at you. Believe it or not, I enjoy discussing things of import with people of different views and different points of view, as do many here. Please come back and contribute to the discussion.

  472. Second part:

    The point is, WUWT, and CA, and many others exist because people fell down on the job while we waited for the “experts”. If they had done their job and showed just a little intestinal fortitude, the arbitrary altercations of historical data would not have happened as they continue to do today. The manipulation of the peer-review process would not have happened as continues to be done today. The idiotic hockey stick would have never been in a paper much less journals and text books as is today. The 1200 meter invention of thermometers would have never happened as it is today. Concern over the polar bears would have never happened. Does any alarmist know the polar caps had essentially melted in the middle of the last century? If the “experts” had been doing their job, we’d all know this. The Urban heat would have been accepted much earlier. The inspection of the thermometers would have, should have been done much earlier than Anthony’s endeavor. How many “experts” corrected Gore’s work of fiction? I could and probably should go on, and on, and on. Just as much as I waited. Now, if you subtract the hysteria generated by the things that should have never happened and add the things that should have happened when they should have happened, consider where this discussion would be today.

    Sorry, if it hasn’t registered by now, it will soon. Even Gavin alluded to it earlier.
    WE ARE THE EXPERTS NOW. The rest capitulated that title when they capitulated their integrity. Apparently, grant money holds more value than convictions to them. If they want the title of expert back, all they have to do is be open and honest and correct when they make assertions, or state that it is an assumption and admit there is a possibility they could be in error.

    Personally, I’d be very happy to be able to quit worrying about what law is going to be passed to keep the polar bears from eating all the penguins and go back to focusing my energies on something more egocentric.

    P.S. If my previous sentence is confusing, or any parts of my posts for that matter, just ask.

  473. This is funny. Romm has posted on this story finally, after two days of ignoring it:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/16/hockey-stick-paper-mcshane-and-wyner-statisticians/

    He’s grasping at the one paragraph in the paper that he can, no other quotes from it were posted:

    Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years.

    Heh, no mention by Romm of the fact that 1998 was caused by El Nino, and not by global warming, that would ruin his rant and yet another chance to plug his failing book.

    The counterclockwise spin is creating a whirlwind of denial over there. In the SH, Deltoid is spinning clockwise, making little mini denial vortices.

    It is fun to watch.

    RC will come out with something tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll bet.

  474. Mike Roddy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “Mann’s hockey stick and the blogosphere (not scientific) controversy that came from it was studied by NAS, or the National Academy of Sciences. His work was vindicated in all respects, and was shown to be robust.”

    What I’ve gathered about the hockey stick investigations by congress is that the Republicans assigned the job to the Wegman committee (staffed with three statisticans) and the Democrats assigned the job to the NAS group (which had a couple of statisticians and about seven (?) climatologists, including North, the Chairman). These latter were all or mostly members of the climate cabal and were “solid” on Mann’s behalf, as he averred re North in one of his Climategate e-mails. The fix was in to give him a pass. This sort of whitewash by the overseeing bodies of institutionalized science (and institutionalized democracy) is a scandal that vastly eclipses the scandal of climate science. It’s the grossest story every told.

    Hilary Barnes says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Excellent and exciting post, but headline is a bit of a mess: no wickets in hockey, let alone the ice hockey of the hockey stick debate.

    It’s a deliberate mash-up of two phrases (hockey stick / sticky wicket), more formally known as a conflation. There’s a site devoted to collecting humorous instances of such mash-ups: http://www.conflations.com/pages/intro.html
    Here’s my favorite example: “When the going gets tough, make lemonade.”

  475. “For example, 1998 is generally considered to be the warmest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere. Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years”.

    Did I miss something or is that remark based on the flawed statistics that they are criticising ?

    How can they make that remark if the whole thrust of their analysis is that the proxies fail to reveal the ups and downs of past temperatures sufficiently well to make a valid comparison with recent thermometer records ?

    Wasn’t ‘their’ model itself based on flawed or randomly produced data in order to show that such data with the benefit of a flawed statistical technique can produce a spurious hocky stick shape ?

    Perhaps they are just illustrating that their model based on similarly flawed mehodology produces similarly flawed results to those produced by Mann et al.

  476. Damnit! Corrections and clarifications. When I stated, “That’s from Lucy Skywalker. “, read 2 paragraphs above. When I stated, “..and giving literally thousands of interviews..” it was literally closer to a hundred or so. Sentences got caught in transitional thoughts.

  477. ctm & evan.
    Maybe Diamonds, but beer doesn’t necessarily make babies

    Last month, Montreal University scientists released the results of a recent
    analysis that revealed the presence of Phytoestrogens in beer hops.

    To test the theory, 100 men each drank 8 schooners of beer within a one (1)
    hour period.

    It was then observed that 100% of the male subjects,

    1) Argued over nothing.
    2) Refused to apologize when obviously wrong
    3) Gained weight.
    4) Talked excessively without making sense.
    5) Became overly emotional
    6) Couldn’t drive.
    7) Failed to think rationally, and
    8) Had to sit down while urinating.

    Reply: If you only knew about the mystery third roommate. ~ ctm

  478. Henry:

    So my original question to Evan, who, as a lukewarmer, seemed sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, was : How do you know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, if nobody has some actual results from experimentations on the cooling and warming?

    To be clear: It’s climate. There is no “sure”.

  479. Robert says:
    August 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    “………….
    So whats all the fuss about? Everyone is acting as if this is the silver bullet?”

    Uhmm, because also from the paper,
    “This is disturbing: if a model cannot predict the occurrence of a
    sharp run-up in an out-of-sample block which is contiguous with the insample
    training set, then it seems highly unlikely that it has power to detect
    such levels or run-ups in the more distant past. It is even more discouraging
    when one recalls Figure 15: the model cannot capture the sharp run-up
    even in-sample. In sum, these results suggest that the ninety-three sequences
    that comprise the 1,000 year old proxy record simply lack power to detect a sharp increase in temperature.”
    and next paragraph,

    “As mentioned earlier, scientists have collected a large body of evidence
    which suggests that there was a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) at least in
    portions of the Northern Hemisphere. The MWP is believed to have occurred
    from c. 800-1300 AD (it was followed by the Little Ice Age). It is
    widely hoped that multi-proxy models have the power to detect (i) how warm the Medieval Warm Period was, (ii) how sharply temperatures increased
    during it, and (iii) to compare these two features to the past decade’s
    high temperatures and sharp run-up. Since our model cannot detect the recent
    temperature change, detection of dramatic changes hundreds of years
    ago seems out of the question.”
    and from page 41 in the conclusions section,

    “On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a
    ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends
    to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data.”
    later from the conclusions, “Furthermore, the
    lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all
    able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle
    of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less
    a reflection of our knowledge of the truth. Nevertheless, the temperatures
    of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the
    thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution
    of our model.”
    and finally, “Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxybased
    reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models.
    We have shown that time dependence in the temperature series is sufficiently
    strong to permit complex sequences of random numbers to forecast
    out-of-sample reasonably well fairly frequently (see, for example, Figure
    9). Furthermore, even proxy based models with approximately the same
    amount of reconstructive skill (Figures 11,12, and 13), produce strikingly
    dissimilar historical backcasts: some of these look like hockey sticks but
    most do not (Figure 14).”

    Robert, I think you missed the point of the statement. Their statement is qualified that they are using the proxy data available. Later, they go on to say the proxy data doesn’t amount to much. Try again.

  480. Reading the paper:

    We propose our own reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere average
    annual land temperature over the last millenium, assess its reliability, and compare it to those from the climate science literature. Our model provides a similar reconstruction but has much wider standard errors, reflecting the weak signal and large uncertainty encountered in this setting.

    A similar reconstruction but more uncertainty. Ok.

    This effort to reconstruct our planet’s climate history has become linked to the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). On the one hand, this is peculiar since paleoclimatological reconstructions can provide evidence only for the detection of AGW and even then they constitute only one such source of evidence. The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental period (IPCC, 2007). These models show that carbon dioxide, when released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature
    increases.

    Paleoclimate reconstructions are not primary to the theory of AGW. So what motivates this paper?

    On the other hand, the effort of world governments to pass legislation to
    cut carbon to pre-industrial levels cannot proceed without the consent of the governed and historical reconstructions from paleoclimatological models have indeed proven persuasive and effective at winning the hearts and minds of the populace.

    The paper is motivated by policy implications. This should be ringing alarm bells for both sides of the debate. I think we can all agree that policy considerations should be separate from scientific analysis. Roger Pielke Jnr made this point just recently.

    However, that does not necessarily mean the work is biased or second-rate, but it gives me pause, and should do for anyone who holds that policy implications should not form any part of scientific analysis.

    The conclusion that the error bars have been underestimated in paleoclimatology, is clear enough. As they produce their own reconstruction, it is interesting to note what their results were.

    Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.

    What I get from the paper is that the story is pretty much the same as in the IPCC, but that the confidence attached to it has previously been too high. This is a qualified vindication of M&M, where their criticisms are somewhat corroborated, but that the essential conclusions of Mann et al are not significantly impacted. There is no impact on the greater body of AGW theory and projections.

    Let’s keep up to date with this paper, and see how it endures post-review scrutiny.

  481. Anthony Watts says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    “This is funny. Romm has posted on this story finally, after two days of ignoring it:

    “Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years.”

    The counterclockwise spin is creating a whirlwind of denial over there. In the SH, Deltoid is spinning clockwise, making little mini denial vortices.

    It is fun to watch.

    RC will come out with something tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll bet.”

    lol, A made a funny!!! And, yes it is fun. Is it wrong to lulz these days? Seriously, apparently that is the talking points marching orders. Funny.

  482. De-italicising the blockquotes proved more problematic than assumed. Sorry, once again, for the formatting. The indents are the paper, the rest is me.

    (The mods are no doubt sick of hearing it, but – oh, for a preview button)

  483. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Sorry, but that is an Orwellian rewriting of history.
    ———-
    Richard’s comment referred to rewriting of the history around Mann et al 98. My contribution to this most excellent thread is the one liner:

    Mann-98 accomplished the Orwellian goal of disappearing the Medieval Warm period.

    As several poster have eloquently noted, the issue was never really the blade- it was the disappearance of a similarly warm period in geologically recent history with no know forcing. An earlier even warmer period since the last ice age, the Holocene Optimum, is attributed to the Milankovitch cycle. Not much is written about the Roman Warm Period.

    The other comment is that wine is now and has always been grown in England. The current northern extant is of viticulture similar to that during the MWP.

    http://www.winelandsofbritain.co.uk/lecture.htm

    Finally, the Holocene Climate Optimum seems alluring:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

    p.s. To those who say that the MWP is not “global” I would respond that the current warming trend is not global in a similar manner.

  484. James Allison says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    8) Had to sit down while urinating.

    Not a chance!!!! Mind you I’m testing the theory now, but my experience is, no matter how hard(did I mean difficult?) or messy things get, we still stand. While anecdotal, witness your local tavern’s men’s latrine. I’m just guessing, but I don’t think there is a lot of setting going on there.

    [REPLY - We aim to please, so please aim. ~ Evan]

    Further, I think that beer causes diamonds that cause babies, but that just a theory I’m working on. I did the test myself once, but I’m too scared to attempt to replicate the experiment. (On several different levels.)

    [REPLY - No percentage in it. Besides, you'll just get accused of being a control group. ~ Evan]

  485. Well, we understand that without preview and correction abilities that errors will inevitably occur.

    We ask our readership to remember this and entertain the noblesse oblige appropriate under the circumstances.

    (P.S., Well, okay, half the fun of being a mod consists of the ability to edit one’s posts. Please don’t hate me!)

  486. Anthony Watts says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    “Heh, no mention by Romm of the fact that 1998 was caused by El Nino, and not by global warming, that would ruin his rant and yet another chance to plug his failing book.”

    How do you know that “global warming” wasn’t the cause of the 1998 mother of all El Ninos?

    Isn’t it possible that so-called AGW ramped up what might have been an average El Nino in 1998?

    Oops…

    REPLY: No oops there. Well one would think it would “hold” since it is based on CO2 concentration…look at the sharp turndown afterwards. Explain that in terms of CO2 induced global warming. Note also 2008, when CO2 concentration actually fell as temperatures dropped and the ocean absorbing more CO2. Which came first?

    – Anthony

  487. Anthony, I’ll take that bet and raise that it will not happen until Thursday or Friday. I’m thinking he will wind up the entrenched closer to the weekend as any good propagandist would. Timing is everything. By the way, what is with the very teeny smiley at the bottom of the page?

    REPLY: you mean this?
    smiley

    Explanation here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/smiley-on-your-blog/

    It also describes how I feel about WUWT and readers, so it is a good fit. – Anthony

  488. Barry, I agree, a preview would be handy. Although, I’d probably screw that up too. However, what I think you are stating, and you’re right, your formatting makes it a bit difficult to see what is coming from where, is that you believe several things that I believe are incorrect. Please correct me if I’m wrong about the assertions.

    Your saying? “The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental period (IPCC, 2007).”

    Uhmm, I’m not sure how familiar you are with computers, so I’ll be base, if I may. COMPUTER MODELS DO NOTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO DO!!!! If you are unclear about that statement, please ask. I would be more than happy to elucidate. Further, in my view, detection of GW would come from basic READING OF THERMOMETERS. With the caveat of not mucking with the reading after the read. At least not without a published (for public dissemination and discernment.) and accepted reasoning.

    “Paleoclimate reconstructions are not primary to the theory of AGW. So what motivates this paper?”

    Wrong, they absolutely are. How do you know this temperature swing is “unprecedented”? Hottest ever. Does that ring a bell? How do we believe it is “hottest evuh”? Because of the hockey stick and the rest of the tripe people are made to believe. Its really not that scary to say hottest ever since 1979!!!!

    “The paper is motivated by policy implications. This should be ringing alarm bells for both sides of the debate. I think we can all agree that policy considerations should be separate from scientific analysis….”

    Uhmm, mirror check!!! Himalayas or Amazon? Or any other of the half-baked tripe loaded studies of political expedience thrown at us on a almost daily fashion. Fact is, I believe this paper was motivated by statisticians tired of the statistical malpractice of climatologists. For evidence, I’d offer the OTHER PAPERS WRITTEN BY STATISTICIANS STATING MANN WAS WRONG!

    “Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.”

    No, Barry, that statement is greatly distinguished from statements such as “hottest ever” and “unprecedented”. Neither does it infer the ‘OMG!!! We need to pass industry crippling laws now!!!’ generalized statement and occurrence.

    “….but that the essential conclusions of Mann et al are not significantly impacted. There is no impact on the greater body of AGW theory and projections.”

    Well, you certainly are entitled, but given that your beloved GCMs in part are generated by accepting historical data created by paleo-climatology, I beg to differ. Further, given that the study was based on the proxies in the Mann studies, how do you go from “Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxybased reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models.” to your statement above?

    Barry if I’ve mischaracterized your assertions, first, I apologize, secondly, please let me know how and where I did such. Thanks for playing.

    James

  489. [REPLY - We aim to please, so please aim. ~ Evan]

    We aim to please, so you aim too please.

    Fixed that for ya!

  490. REPLY: No oops there. Well one would think it would “hold” since it is based on CO2 concentration…look at the sharp turndown afterwards. Explain that in terms of CO2 induced global warming. Note also 2008, when CO2 concentration actually fell as temperatures dropped and the ocean absorbing more CO2. Which came first?

    – Anthony

    It appears it did “hold” and you can certainly see its effects ringing to this day in the arctic sea ice. The average global temperature hasn’t declined in the decade since. It held steady. This is the CO2 signature. We have from 1880 to 2000 two obvious complete 60 year cycles (H/T to Tom Vock for pointing it out) where there is a warming trend for 30 years and a “cooling” trend for 30 years. The fact of the matter is the cooling trends don’t go down as much as the warming trends go up. The result is we have a net increase in temperature of O.4c from 1880-1940 and another net increase of 0.4c from 1940-2000. During the same 60 year periods CO2 increased by 25ppm in the first and 50ppm in the second. This is consistent with the physics behind CO2 surface warming – additional insulation has diminishing effectiveness. Furthermore, this agrees nicely with IPCC calculation of each CO2 doubling raising surface temp by 1.1C.

    Where the IPCC loses the plot is the silliness about a positive feedback associated with CO2 driven warming. There is not a shred of evidence of any positive feedback and a ton of evidence that there’s no feedback at all. CO2 doublings raise the avg. surface temp 1.1C (close enough for government work but endlessly debatable in the exact number by pedants) and that’s the extent of what CO2 does other than fertilize the atmosphere and ramp up biological productivity of the planet (which is a good thing).

    REPLY: Here’s the graph I was thinking of, I was remiss for not providing it for you to look at:
    UAH

    Note the return to the zero anomaly line after the 1998 El Nino event. It was zero before also. If it were CO2 it would have returned to a null + value. Point is you can’t link CO2 to specific events. “weather is not climate” and all that. – Anthony

  491. Anthony Watts says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    “It is fun to watch.”

    Indeed it is.

    The new “McShane-Wyner Hockeystick”:

    At first glance, it appears that the graph has been intentionally altered, (presumably by Lambert at Deltoid) but comparing it to the unaltered version shows that they are identical. If one looks closely, the blade doesn’t encompass the first 30 odd years starting at 1850. Also, the shaft/blade combination tends to de-emphasize the uncertainty bars. Carnival sideshow trickery at it’s best.

  492. @Anthony

    I will agree with you on one thing. The McShane paper highlighted in the OP clearly demonstrates that the Mann hockey stick is a piece of dishonest rubbish. Of course we knew that already and it was confirmed for us in the Climategate emails.

  493. Mann-98 accomplished the Orwellian goal of disappearing the Medieval Warm period.

    The MWP, according to the paper quoted in the top post here:

    “is believed to have occurred from c. 800-1300 AD”

    Mann 98 [PDF] reconstruction began in 1400.

    You’re thinking of the 99 paper, and the MWP wasn’t ‘disappeared’. It was qualified.

    [side note on Orwell...]

    Orwell’s book highlights the jargon-ization of language for propagandistic purposes. Using the word ‘disappearing’ as a transitive verb, in this context, is a good example.

    disappear

    v.tr.

    To cause (someone) to disappear, especially by kidnapping or murder.

  494. One hopes that truth will finally be heard but still they give a backcast which shows that the temperature a thousand years ago could have been much warmer or much cooler than the present day. This is perfectly consistent with their deep reservations about the predictive ability of the proxy data.
    —————————-
    Joseph

  495. @Anthony

    I think perhaps further explanation of the connection between 1998 El Nino and melting Arctic sea ice is in order. You implied that because the global temperature quickly declined after the event that the energy involved didn’t stick around.

    Actually it did stick around as latent heat of melting.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/water-thermal-properties-d_162.html

    It takes 337 kilojoules per kilogram to turn ice at 32F into water at 32F. This latent heat is called insensible heat because it doesn’t register on a thermometer. That is why the thermometer record didn’t show the energy from that El Nino sticking around. The energy went into non-sensible heat of fusion. It stuck. It just didn’t stick in a form that a thermometer can measure.

  496. Hi James,

    COMPUTER MODELS DO NOTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO DO

    The theory of AGW does not rest on global Climate models, either. The original calculations were done half a century before electronic computers were invented (Arrhenius).

    in my view, detection of GW would come from basic READING OF THERMOMETERS. With the caveat of not mucking with the reading after the read. At least not without a published (for public dissemination and discernment.) and accepted reasoning

    You may be unaware that such reasoning is documented. GISS, CRU and NCDC have many papers outlining there reasoning and methods. GISS have all their documentation online, as does CRU. GISS has all their data online, while CRU is hamstrung by agreements with the national meteorological services of a number of countries – ie, they don’t have permission to release that data – yet.

    The GHCN data is also accessible online, in the raw and adjusted form. There has been a flurry of activity over the last year comparing raw time series with the institutional products (GISS, HadCRU etc), rural, airport, urban, pre and post station drop out. The results will probably surprise you – considering that some of them come from popular skeptical websites. Again, if you are genuinely interested, I will provide references that require only a click of your mouse to explore.

    given that your beloved GCMs in part are generated by accepting historical data created by paleo-climatology

    Which “historical data created by paleo-climatology” is ‘accepted’ to help generate GCMs? Please provide a reference.

    I can assure you you have not mischaracterised my assertions, just introduced new ones from what is probably popular media. If you mean to say that the press exaggerates, I completely agree.

  497. Barry,

    I don’t understand how you can end with, “There is no impact on the greater body of AGW theory and projections.”

    Really?

    I understood the paper to say that the statistical methods used were, at best, inadequate. Does this not invalidate the MHB result? In addition the paper also invalidates the use of the proxies due to the “weak signal” issue. Does this not also invalidate the MHB product (graph)? Invalidation meaning that the anthropogenic theory is now no longer known.

    I may be way off base here, but wasn’t it the use of this graph, the misuse of the data, and the subsequent foaming at the mouth of the CAGW crowd that brought us to this juncture? IMO this paper strikes a fatal blow at the very foundation of the AGW theory and its predictions simply because this is where it all started, “patient zero”, as it were.

    All subsequent graphs foisted on the public have used the same, or similiar methodologies and the same data (Yamal, Bristlecones, Boreholes, etc). They continue to push this on us as though invalidation never occurred, starting with M&M and I predict they will/are going to continue more of the same with the M&W paper.

    Listen, I’m no scientist (duh) but at what point do people responsible for advising governments start standing up and tell the truth, “we don’t know, our GCM’s say one thing but observation is telling us we don’t yet understand how the whole picture fits together…we’ll keep you posted.” Why is that so hard?

    sTv says:
    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I apologize, I was posting in response to your earlier post and lapsed into a generalization that should not have been directed at you. I stand by the generalization, on general terms anyway.

    I stand by what I posted: Stu said he believes in ‘climate change’, so do we all, that’s what it does. He never says in his post that it is caused by antropongenic forcings. In fact it is not a far leap to infer that he is still undecided as to man’s role in CC based on his opening comments which I posted, unless of course he has stated exactly that and I am unaware of it, which is completely plausible. As I said, I thought he did a good job.

    You failed to answer my question: Do you prefer scepticism or consensus in science?

  498. “You’re thinking of the 99 paper, and the MWP wasn’t ‘disappeared’. It was qualified.”

    Are you looking at the same graph the rest of the world is?

    BTW, yes, disappeared, is indeed a jargon-ization, of an Orwellian nature, I doubt it. As I recollect, the word, in the context being used, was a reference to the internet and it’s ability to change historical data at a whim. For instance, if a statement was made on a website which was posted at one time and then later was removed, it was deemed “disappeared”, as in “it never happened.” Later, during the Bush administration, shortly after 911, the paranoid group of bloggers applied the term to people that may have been removed from the U.S. society under the Patriot act. If someone critical of the Bush admin. went missing, they were deemed “disappeared”. Currently, we see this phenomena in climate science. For instance, once, the GISS’ database had a year in the 1930s(1934 if memory serves me.) to be the warmest year on record. Sometime after or during 1998 the recorded temps of 1934 were lowered and 1998 became the warmest year on record even though the previous recorded temps were higher. However, since the data had been removed and thus “disappeared”, to date 1998 is the warmest year on record. I believe it is here where it may be appropriate to apply the Orwellian analogy. Down the memory hole it went! I screen shot a lot of stuff now.

  499. @Anthony

    I suspect right now you’re busy looking at the Arctic Sea Ice extent record going back to 1979 and have now noted that right around 1998 it began melting faster and accelerated for a few years until it peaked in 2006. You’re probably also thinking about how many years it might take for a pulse of warm water to travel from the tropical Pacific to the Arctic ocean and there start getting soaked up in latent heat of fusion in the sea ice. I think you’ll find that a few years for the ocean currents to make the several thousand mile journey up there is reasonable and then took a similar amount of time to be completely absorbed and then the ice extent stabilized at about a million square kilometers less than before the 1998 El Nino.

    You’re probably also wondering why this never dawned on you before. Don’t feel bad. You weather guys only look at thermometers. Pretty much everyone ignores the latent heat of fusion and vaporization. The latent heat of vaporization is why there isn’t any positive feedback associated with CO2 driven warming. The so-called missing heat is carried right through the densest layer of CO2 as latent heat of vaporization and released high in the atmosphere where it’s much easier to radiate out into space than to wend its way downward through a lower layer of CO2 that’s now serving to insulate the warm clouds from the surface.

    I have a minor fascination with heat pumps and if you don’t constantly keep in mind the latent heat involved in phase changes of your working fluids you’ll never come close to understanding how they work or how to improve one. I’m an engineer to the core and I can’t look at a damn thing without wondering how it works and how it might be improved so these heat transfer mechanisms like the El Nino energy going into Arctic sea ice melt jump right out at me.

  500. Dave Springer, I imagine the ’98 surge in SST’s has a mathematical equation. First, the trade winds that blow East to West died down, allowing the Sun to do its thing without the constant mixing of the thermocline that the trade winds churn up. That allowed water vapor and whatever CO2 was in it (outgassed from the oceans or put there by human activity), to build up. That in turn would, according to AGW theory, heat up the surface. The Sun’s SW infra-red energy can be fairly well calculated in its ability to penetrate a large body of water and warm it. That part is fairly easy.

    For CO2/water vapor to make an El Nino worse (or cause one), one would have to up the amount of water vapor and CO2 by a huge amount to make even a tiny difference in ocean temps. Why? Because CO2/water vapor does not emit SW infra red. They emit LW, a very weak source of heat when it comes to heating a large body of water to several measures of depth. Besides, when the sea surface is being heated by the Sun, it immediately starts to evaporate. What LW warming there is at the surface is immediately evaporated away.

    The bottom line is that El Nino’s are caused by a steady Sun allowed to beam down on a calm ocean, a lack of trade winds, which normally bring cooler water to the surface. CO2/water vapor does not have the capacity to increase SST’s to El Nino levels. Plain and simple.

  501. @Anthony (con’t)

    You might also note that when the arctic ice extent stabilized it now appears as a step change to a lower extent. At the same time in the satellite temp record you’ll also note a step change to a higher average surface temperature. This is indicative of the El Nino energy pulse being completely absorbed as latent heat of fusion and the thermometers are now registering normal again. The arctic temps are now steady or in decline as they should be because in 2000 we completed the upside of the the 60 year cycle and there hasn’t been any significant warming indicated on the satellite record since then (it’s a travesty that Trenberth can’t explain while I can). I’ll have to step out on a limb now and predict we won’t see any significant warming for another 20 years but we won’t see any significant cooling either. Then about in the year 2030 (if mankind is still alive) we’ll see a 30 year warming trend begin. And if during the 60 year period from 2000 to 2060 we see a concomitant increase in CO2 of 100ppm (which seems rather certain because no one nation is really going to slow down fossil fuel consumption and wreck their economic growth in the process – it’s just big talk and no action) then we’ll see a global average temperature increase of 0.4c again.

    Of course a big volcano blowing its top could muck up my prediction big time!

  502. Dave Springer says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    @Anthony

    “It takes 337 kilojoules per kilogram to turn ice at 32F into water at 32F. This latent heat is called insensible heat because it doesn’t register on a thermometer.”

    Dave, I clicked on the link and found a wonderful treasure chest! Thanks. However, I found no reference to your “insensible heat”. Your statement is counter intuitive. While I could probably google the answer, I think it bears more explanation here. This could be because I’m tired and or the gross amount of beer I’ve had.(in terms of ounces) I get the joules thing. And I understand mercury doesn’t move the same in different pressures. But joules do convert to heat and joules, to my knowledge, do not convert or exert pressure…..????

    Probably the beer and I’m going to call it a night, but I will check back if you have a better explanation, I’d be more than grateful.

    Thanks,

    James

  503. The hockey stick model is wrong then but we already knew that. This has not and will not stop the politically motivated scientist in the UK citing the hockey stick model of past temperatures as evidence supporting their political agendas. The people in the UK are being “trained” to accept the doctrine of anthropegenic global warming .Pedestrians are being encouraged to walk out in front of you, if you drive a car ,by car hating politicians.More accidents are caused also because their are more bicycles on the congested roads and given the behaviour of cyclists that we observe they need to pass a test before being allowed to ride a cycle on the road. We are building more speed humps installing more speed cameras but most drivers including the police regularly ignore all the regulations on UK roads. The idea is if we can brainwash everyone into believing that anthropegenic global warming is true then it becomes true, you do not have to prove what you are claiming, you do not need evidence, government can then regulate every aspect of our life.Science should be objective and should not start with preconceived ideas of truth or what should be true,who are scientists to tell us what should be true.

  504. @Pamela

    Sorry, I’m not buying it. SST oscillations are known only through statistical analysis of history. There is no theory of SST oscillations to explain them. Sort of like climate science in general, actually. Or perhaps I should say actuarily…

    You seem to have ruled out it was energy accumulated over many years of CO2 driven temperature surface temp increase. If it didn’t come from that then where did it come from? Regardless of the source it was a god-awful big lot of heat that appeared virtually overnight. Had to come from somewhere – energy is neither created nor destroyed. Account for it. The books have to balance.

  505. Hi Gaylon,

    Barry,

    I don’t understand how you can end with, “There is no impact on the greater body of AGW theory and projections.”

    I’m simply paraphrasing what the authors say themselves.

    This effort to reconstruct our planet’s climate history has become linked
    to the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). On the one hand, this is peculiar since paleoclimatological reconstructions can provide evidence only for the detection of AGW and even then they constitute only one such source of evidence. The principal sources of evidence for the detection of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental period (IPCC, 2007). These models show that carbon dioxide, when
    released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature
    increases.

    I think that’s pretty clear, and no need to go into greater detail.

    Like you, the authors are motivated by popular and policy considerations – this is what they discuss in the paragraph following the one I just quoted. This has nothing to do with the scientific underpinnings of AGW, which were in place a century before MBH 98/99 etc, but how certain ideas have been projected. I believe this distinction is blurred in much of the commentary upthread.

    It’s obvious enough that the paper tends to support M&M criticisms of Mann’s paleo-reconstruction techniques. It might be tempting to draw a broader conclusion about the science behind AGW theory from this, but the authors clearly state that millennial temperature reconstructions are somewhat of a side-issue WRT AGW theory and projections. Climate sensitivity, for example, does not rest on this branch of paleoclimatology. Climate models don’t either (nor do they form the underpinnings of the theory of global warming from increasing ‘greenhouse’ gases).

    There is a tendency to try to discredit the whole of climate science from a dispute over this or that component. It’s a simple narrative, and seems to be effective, but it is a stranger to reason.

  506. Henry Pool says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm
    Henry@DaveSpringer/Evan/Bryan

    Dave, the idea that CO2 is completely transparent to UV, visible and (near) IR is not correct.

    It’s correct for all practical purposes in this context.

  507. Are you looking at the same graph the rest of the world is?

    Yes, and I’ve read the papers that spawn them.

    Regarding MBH 1999, for which the reconstruction does cover the putative MWP, they say;

    “While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous”

    They also mention the “Medieval Warm Epoch.”

    The new paper says:

    “Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.”

    There’s not a hell of a lot of daylight between the two quotes. The main difference between the conclusions is the likelihood of 1998 being the warmest year in the last 1000, and in the level of confidence attached to the other conclusions.

    It seems like a good paper, though. I’ve learned that it was done with no input from paleoclimatologists, which seems unfortunate when both sides agree (M&M and Gavin Schmidt, for example) that there should be more collaboration between statisticians and paleoclimatologists on the issue. I’ll be interested to see how it pans out after publication.

  508. barry says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    “Hi James,…….”

    Hi Barry! Barry, as I alluded to in an earlier post, I’ve gotta call it. Wish I could stay and play, but….work is calling in just a very short few hours. I’ll leave you with this, I know it is incomplete, my apologies. I will check back en la manana.

    You should check Arrhenius out the second time around.

    And GCMs ain’t done by hand. The models are computer generated. I’d cut and paste, but ….

    Peace to all.

    James

  509. @Pamela

    Sorry if I was a little short in my previous reply. Been busy here tonight.

    Sure, CO2 isn’t going to directly warm a localized mass of water more than some other mass as CO2 is more or less evenly distributed.

    Can the stratification it causes around the globe of warmer surface air and colder stratosphere perhaps influence the trade winds that in turn influence the mix rate of surface and deep water that in turn allows the ocean surface to heat and cool in localized cyclic patterns?

    Your explanation of SST oscillations just pushes the question back to a different point. What drives cyclic changes in trade winds which in turn drive cyclic changes in localized SSTs?

  510. Henry@DaveSpringer

    Again: The idea that CO2 is transparent in the sun’s radiation range of 0-5 um is not correct, in any context! How else could they measure CO2 coming back from the moon, showing its exact spectral fingerprint data?

  511. Thanks for the comments. Over here it was night-time so that’s why I didn’t respond – busy zzz-ing. I was not setting out to patronise anyone: my point was that, given the obvious complexity of the detailed issues set out in this paper, I just think it is best to wait for the specialists in this particular field to give their measured responses prior to coming to any quick conclusions. I guess we are looking at just a few weeks from now to publication-time. We have an idea as to the climate of the past thousand years – a warm period in Medieval times that transitioned to colder conditions by the middle of the last millennium and then gave way to the warmer period we are currently within. These things we know – regionally – not only via proxies but from historical accounts in some countries, and some appear to have been global, others more regional e.g. the MWP is historically well-documented in NW Europe, but documented history from that time is largely to wholly absent in e.g. the USA, Australia etc. Thus to determine whether such things were global or not, we need a valid global proxy record, and it is important to ascertain how accurately that may be constructed. Anything that improves its reliability is to be welcomed on that basis. Let’s wait and see how others working in this specialist field interpret the findings when they have spent time going through the paper and the package of supporting information.

    Cheers for now – John

  512. @two moon says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:03 am
    duckster: M&W are not scientists and their point is not scientific. They are statisticians and their point is statistical. They do not claim to present a new, “valid” reconstruction. Their point is that proxies will not support any reconstruction. In other words, the Hockey Stick is not so much broken as it is a castle in the air.

    See this is exactly what I am saying. If you accept MW (2010), then it also undermines every argument made here which has also relied on proxies. Either the arguments presented here – use of proxies is fundamentally flawed – are true, and you throw out many of your previous arguments, or they are not, and you get to keep your incredible moving MWP at 1200 – 1400 attested to by various proxies.

    Say ‘yes’ to this paper and WUWT’s MWP reconstruction is broken too! Back to the drawing board guys.

    And this isn’t a straw man argument – it’s about logical consistency. Simple really.

  513. I think the tide is turning. My New Scientist (cancelled, but paid in advance) has an article on the recent weather events such as the fires in Russia among many others. About 2/3 of the way through before Cliamte Change in mentioned, and even then, it is NOT blamed! “Impossible to say” is the answer!

    This is a first!

  514. Dave Springer:

    At August 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm you say:

    “I’ll have to step out on a limb now and predict we won’t see any significant warming for another 20 years but we won’t see any significant cooling either. Then about in the year 2030 (if mankind is still alive) we’ll see a 30 year warming trend begin.”

    Well, I stepped out on to that limb 10 years ago, and I am still there.

    In the past there was an idea that one observed the world, looked for patterns, made predictions on the basis of those patterns, then checked the predictions against real-world outcomes
    (a) to gain confidence in the obtained understanding of real-world behaviour
    or
    (b) to reject the understanding of the real world that was inferred from the observations.
    If (b), then start again.

    This idea was called the scientific method. And it utilised mathematics and statistics to model the observed patterns and to help make the predictions from those observations.

    On the basis of that idea, over the last 10 years I have repeatedly said the following in several places including in threads of this blog.

    The global temperature seems to vary in cycles that are overlaid on each other. The cause(s) of these cycles is not known but some are associated with known phenomena (e.g. ENSO, NAO and PDO) although the causes of these phenomena are not known.

    There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that provided
    the Roman Warm Period (RWP),
    then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP),
    then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP),
    then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and
    the present warm period (PWP).

    And there is an apparent ~60 year oscillation that provided
    cooling from ~1880 to ~1910,
    then warming from ~1910 to ~1940,
    then cooling from ~1940 to ~1970,
    then warming from about ~1970 to ~2000,
    then cooling since.

    These oscillations form a pattern of climate change over time.

    And if this pattern continues then either
    (A) cooling will continue until ~2020 when the ~60 year oscillation change phase and warming will resume until global temperature reached the levels it had in the RWP and the MWP
    or
    (B) the ~900 year oscillation will change phase and the globe will start to cool to the temperatures it had in the DACP and LIA.

    There is no observation that indicates there has been any change to this pattern.

    Richard

  515. Dave Springer asked:

    “Your explanation of SST oscillations just pushes the question back to a different point. What drives cyclic changes in trade winds which in turn drive cyclic changes in localized SSTs?”

    Try latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems driven by the oceans below and the sun above in a complex interplay.

  516. @Henry Pool:

    “How else could they measure CO2 coming back from the moon, showing its exact spectral fingerprint data?”

    CO2 coming back from the moon?

  517. Duckster is determinedly dense – enough wrtitten historical records and on-site remaining physical evidence supports the MWP as fact without the need for proxies.
    He reminds me of an elderly chap who was a devout Anglican but would not recite the Nicene Creed as that was, in his mind, admitting to being a Catholic.

  518. duckster says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:47 am
    @two moon says:
    August 16, 2010 at 7:03 am
    duckster: M&W are not scientists and their point is not scientific. They are statisticians and their point is statistical. They do not claim to present a new, “valid” reconstruction. Their point is that proxies will not support any reconstruction. In other words, the Hockey Stick is not so much broken as it is a castle in the air.

    See this is exactly what I am saying. If you accept MW (2010), then it also undermines every argument made here which has also relied on proxies. Either the arguments presented here – use of proxies is fundamentally flawed – are true, and you throw out many of your previous arguments, or they are not, and you get to keep your incredible moving MWP at 1200 – 1400 attested to by various proxies.

    Say ‘yes’ to this paper and WUWT’s MWP reconstruction is broken too! Back to the drawing board guys.

    And this isn’t a straw man argument – it’s about logical consistency. Simple really.
    ———-Reply:
    Sorry, duckster. You’ve tried to deflect the content of this paper every which way but how it was presented, which is this: It reveals and refutes Mann’s bogus interpretation of the data. Now, is there work to be done in other areas? Without a doubt. But back to the main question: is Mann’s work (which again is the SALIENT subject here) of any value? The mathematically rigorous answer would be NO.

    That’s it! That’s the bottom line. The foundation of AGW is broken and with it all the bogus hysteria the CAGW camp has been howling for the past two decades. It means the science wasn’t settled; it means their scare tactics where they said “everybody is going to die” were lies. Their imaginary “tipping points” are just that–imaginary.

    Besides, the MWP doesn’t have to even exist for the total annhilation of CAGW–the fact that there have been multiple glacial and interglacial epochs that have cycled repeatedly without any influence of man (with temperature extremes far beyond what we’re currently experiencing) means there are much larger factors at play in Earth’s climate than anything that existed in just the past 1000 years.

    So let the theory of CAGW die; the basic premise upon which it was built has been destroyed.

  519. Dave Springer says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm
    (…)
    Of course a big volcano blowing its top could muck up my prediction big time!
    —–Reply:
    Count on Katla in the next year or two.

  520. The proxies that are most contentious are tree-ring proxies in the NH. But millennial paleoclimatic reconstructions use an array of proxies – sediment, coral, bore holes etc.

  521. And there is an apparent ~60 year oscillation that provided
    cooling from ~1880 to ~1910,
    then warming from ~1910 to ~1940,
    then cooling from ~1940 to ~1970,
    then warming from about ~1970 to ~2000,
    then cooling since.

    This is straying off-topic, but since the post is allowed…

    There has been no cooling since 2000 according to any of the surface or satellite temperature records. There might have been a slow-down of warming since 2000 (depending on which data set you use – GISS, RSS and UAH show warming. HadCRU shows negligible warming or flat trend), but no cooling as yet.

    Of course, 10 years is too short a period to say anything with respect to climate, but one can play the hand one is dealt.

    It would appear from the paper cited that there has been a long cooling trend from 1000 – 1900, followed by a sharp uptick during the 20th century. As you posit 900-year cycles as comprising two phases of 450 years, warming and cooling, the paper du jour doesn’t seem to support your contention.

  522. Well yeah, the science team always looks at things, and finds answers. It looks like the basic error on this one is that by calibrating against the hemispheric average, rather than smaller grid cells, they loose information and kill the signal to noise. Averaging out the local signal means that noise looks better than signal and in their words, noise provides a better fit than the proxys. There are, however, some other useful ideas in the paper.

  523. Duckster: See this is exactly what I am saying. If you accept MW (2010), then it also undermines every argument made here which has also relied on proxies. Either the arguments presented here – use of proxies is fundamentally flawed – are true, and you throw out many of your previous arguments, or they are not, and you get to keep your incredible moving MWP at 1200 – 1400 attested to by various proxies.

    In fairness, this is actually a valid point. The conclusion of that paper does indeed cast doubt over not just Mann’s proxy reconstruction, but all of them.

    However, that’s not to say that other proxy reconstructions all used the same methods as Mann – the authors of the paper were arguing a general point. It could well be the case, that under more rigorous statistical examination, the methods used in other proxy reconstructions might prove to be a lot more robust than Mann’s.

    All of that however doesn’t escape from the fact that Mann’s reconstruction is fatally flawed. Even if, as Duckster says, other proxies that have been used on here to make arguments against AGW also turn out to be flawed, it doesn’t alter the fact that in this case one of the cornerstone’s of the argument for AGW has been completely undermined.

  524. The foundation of AGW is broken and with it all the bogus hysteria the CAGW camp has been howling for the past two decades.

    This is, as I said before, about five years premature – based on this paper alone. No-one has had a chance to respond to this paper yet at all, and from what I hear, the publishing journal is withholding publication until it can elicit a range of critical responses.

    Anyone prematurely claiming the death of CAGW based on this paper alone is engaging in ‘Gotcha’ science, which might make nice soundbites, but it’s not science. The death of the hockey stick, were it to happen, would not mean the end of CAGW, which would not mean the end of climate change theories.

  525. People are still looking at the graph and saying “Look, it says this…”

    The graph represents nothing. All it demonstrates is the Hockey Stick is broken. Nothing is created to replace it – welcome to the ‘void’ of Hidden Global Warming hypothesis.

  526. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 17, 2010 at 3:33 am
    Dave Springer asked:

    “Your explanation of SST oscillations just pushes the question back to a different point. What drives cyclic changes in trade winds which in turn drive cyclic changes in localized SSTs?”

    Try latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems driven by the oceans below and the sun above in a complex interplay

    Let me get this straight. Pamela says the trade winds drive the cyclical ocean SST patterns and then when I ask what drives the trade winds you say the ocean.

    Circular reasoning much?

    Granted the sun provides the energy that keeps the ocean in motion but its cyclicity doesn’t match the beat of the heat.

  527. henry@katabasis

    Can you believe it that they can identify CO2 by measuring its radiation fingerprint bouncing back from the moon? You must actually read my previous posts, like I said to DaveSpringer.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/17/breaking-new-paper-makes-a-hockey-sticky-wicket-of-mann-et-al-99/#comment-459228

    He has become quiet now on the issue and the fact remains that he could indeed not prove to me that the warming property of CO2 is greater than its cooling properties. (in the correct SI dimensions). So we don’t know really, for sure, even whether or not CO2 really a greenhouse gas.


  528. [REPLY - Well, turnabout is fair play, wot? ~ Evan]

    (This was a reply on my post on August 16, 2010 at 1:07 am)

    Fair if there were symmetry in the game. But there isn’t in this case. Comparable to mathematicians who poke fun at those ignorants believing the ratio of circumference and diameter of a circle to be a rational number; there is no fun vice versa, just Inquisition or this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill .

  529. @Steve Wilde

    At any rate where the energy came from to drive a 100-year record El Nino has nothing to do with where that energy ended up. It pretty clearly ended up as latent heat of fusion turning a million square kilometers of arctic ice at 32F into a million square kilometers of arctic water at 32F. It also doesn’t alter the fact that no thermometer of any kind will register a change in latent heat. That’s precisely why it’s called latent heat. The only means of observing that energy is to note the phase change from ice to water and try to estimate the kilograms of ice involved. From there you can determine the kiloJoules in latent heat it took to melt it. If you can somehow estimate the kiloJoules of energy it took to raise the temperature of the water in the 1998 El Nino and how many kilograms of water were involved we could compare it to the latent heat in the ice and figure out exactly how much of the El Nino energy was sequestered and didn’t register as a temperature change anywhere.

    In science we don’t have proofs. Science is about best explanations that fit the observations. Moreover the principle of Occam’s Razor demands that among equally good explanations we presume the correct one is the simplest. I think my explanation of the recent loss of 1 million square kilometers of Artic Ice is that it was a consequence of the 1998 El Nino. It’s simple, elegant, and fits all the facts. A pulse of warm water in the tropical pacific with an energy content setting a 100-year record made its way to the arctic ocean and melted a bunch of ice and none of it showed up on a thermometer anywhere because it became latent of heat of fusion and until that mass of water changes back into ice the latent heat will remain right where it is invisible to thermometers.

    My hypothesis should make predictions of course. I’m predicting that a step change in artic ice extent of about a million square km less has occured and it won’t return quickly unless something like a 100-year record El Nino comes along to provide the energy sink required to absorb the latent heat of fusion and turn water into ice again. I also predict that you won’t see this happening in the temperture record except as rapid drop in global average temperature followed by an equally rapid rise. At the end of that downward spike all the evidence of it will be an upward step change in the ice extent. Absent some record ocean cooling event the return of the lost ice will be slow at best.

  530. duckster says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:41 am

    The foundation of AGW is broken and with it all the bogus hysteria the CAGW camp has been howling for the past two decades.

    With due respect, you don’t understand some of the basic concepts of the scientific method or independent replication of results or the consequences of a counter example to a theory or the nonexistent requirement that after an experiment shows that a theory or some aspect of a theory is nullified the experimenter must show an alternative theory. Given all that you comments don’t appear to have much substance.

  531. Once again, using the MW paper to show something specific about temperature trends is missing the point. Only a valid technique combined with a proper set of proxies…no upside down sediments please…will do the job. MW is not answering that question.

  532. What the graphs shows me is that C02 increase is too slow and arduous to be responsible for previous sharp movements of the the temperature record. Other, unidentified forces are at play, and if they cannot be isolated, neither can they be predicted.
    The Climate will move at will where it desires to go.

  533. Henry Pool says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:13 am
    Henry@DaveSpringer

    Again: The idea that CO2 is transparent in the sun’s radiation range of 0-5 um is not correct, in any context! How else could they measure CO2 coming back from the moon, showing its exact spectral fingerprint data?

    The usual way of observing a backlit cold dense gas – by a characteristic absorption band. Astronomy 101.

  534. Duckster

    You are still missing the point. The MWP was founded on the pre-existing statistical models. That is those which existed before Mann et al. When the Hokey-pokey stick appeared it claimed to have destroyed the old stats and replaced them with the proof that the planet has warmed more in the last 30 years than at any time in the last 1000.
    This paper effectively shows that the Mann stats and many others do not have the ‘skill’ to displace the MWP. The MWP was built not only on stats but on physical and written evidence, albeit some what anecdotal.
    You are correct when you say that this paper debunks all paleo recons but you are FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG in thinking that it leaves in place the AGW theory.
    You are wrong and blinded by you own beliefs. The AGW theory was based on Arrhenius’ CO² proposition which has never been proven scientifically to raise atmospheric temperature with any acceptable science based / engineering method. While we all accept that there has been an apparent warming over the past 30 yrs and a definitive warming since the little ice age, the amount of that warming cannot be defined accurately, according to this paper. We have neither the data nor the stats with which we can definitively say it has warmed by xxx °C.
    The hockey stick is defunct and Hansen and Mann’s stats are defunct. C’est ça!

  535. Jaye

    that after an experiment shows that a theory or some aspect of a theory is nullified the experimenter must show an alternative theory

    Suggest you read Feynman. This is not STRICTLY true. It is not necessary to show an alternate theory merely to show where the current theory breaks down.

  536. Henry @ DaveSpringer

    The paper that confirmed to me that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine is this one:

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

    they measured this radiation as it bounced back to earth from the moon. So the direction of the radiation was:sun-earth-moon-earth. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um.
    This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):

    http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf

    There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
    We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

    So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-15 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). This cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results? (I am afraid that simple heat retention testing might not work here, we have to use real sunshine and real earthshine to determine the effect in W/m3 [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours). I am also doubtful of just doing analysis (determining surface areas) of the spectral data, as some of the UV absorptions of CO2 have only been discovered recently. Also, I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 maybe underestimated, e.g. the amount of radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 maybe small but how many Watts does it cause? Here in Africa you can not stand in the sun for longer that 10 minutes, just because of the heat of the sun on your skin.

    So your Astronomy 101 must be wrong?

  537. Has anyone overlayed the two graphs, M&W and MBH on their proper X, Y coordinates, to show Eli and the others why Manns is off, that the handle stays much lower on MBH than on M&W, which debunks the 98 assertion that the MWP didn’t exist.

  538. Isn’t there some suitable metaphor about chickens coming home to roost that would be wholly appropriate here ?

    Actually I just wanted to get a comment in – haven’t seen this many since last November!

  539. The alarmist camp is circling their wagons (Romm, Rabbett, Deep Climate, etc.) I hope that some of our knowledgeable posters here will rebut their rebuttals. Of course they are focusing on the “If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years…” statement in the paper. They are also (big surprise here) explaining that McShane and Wyner aren’t climatologists and don’t understand dendroclimatology. Funny, to me, dendroclimatology is all about statistical validation of the proxies to estimate temperatures. Briggs’ excellent and entertaining piece starts to address these issues.

  540. It pretty clearly ended up as latent heat of fusion turning a million square kilometers of arctic ice at 32F into a million square kilometers of arctic water at 32F.

    It’s only clear in your mind.

    Arctic ice melts every single year. The sun provides the latent heat required to melt arctic ice when the northern pole is exposed to a greater amount of radiation.

    It would be foolish to think that there would be no variation with respect to the extent of such annual melt.

    30 years worth of satellite measurements of arctic ice certainly aren’t enough to study simple variations of annual melt.

    Occam’s Razor simpest explanation would be that 2007’s melt was merely an outlying variation of annual arctic ice melt.

    The simplest explanation certainly isn’t that 2007’s melt was a result of residual heat from the 1998 El Nino – 9 years prior.

  541. rbateman says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:50 am
    “What the graphs shows me is that C02 increase is too slow and arduous to be responsible for previous sharp movements of the the temperature record. Other, unidentified forces are at play, and if they cannot be isolated, neither can they be predicted.
    The Climate will move at will where it desires to go.”

    I totally agree, the spikiness in the temperature record from even a single thermometer is massive, but the Mona Loa CO2 data shows only a gradual increase over time and does not even correlate well with long-term climate measures.

    What we call climate is just the sparse record of poorly observed local weather averaged over time, then smeared spatially to global scale. It is meaningless in terms of what happens at any specific location/time and no one on earth can experience climate.

    Weather/climate are driven by mechanisms which exhibit deterministic chaos. This means that “trends” for any climate metric can be cherry picked, depending on the time period chosen, which makes them meaningless regarding historic climate behaviour. It also makes long-term predictions impossible, as the ultimate accuracy/granularity of our observation systems is insufficient even to set the initial conditions for the computer GCM’s correctly.

  542. Chuck L says:
    August 17, 2010 at 8:26 am
    The alarmist camp is circling their wagons (Romm, Rabbett, Deep Climate, etc.) I hope that some of our knowledgeable posters here will rebut their rebuttals.
    —–Reply:
    That’s ok. None of them are statisticians, and the very root of their so-called “science” is statistics. Like William Briggs states in his post, Mann has committed errors that wouldn’t be allowed in a 300-level statistics course. So they may circle their wagons, but the discussion moves beyond them, leaving them with nobody to fight. How appropriate.

  543. “Statistically speaking, McShane and Wyner emulate Howe by applying a forearm check to the throat to Mann’s proxy reconstruction of temperature, cracking his hockey stick irreparably, leaving his models sprawling on the ice.”

    That’s kinda the way I saw it too, but I lacked the literary skill Mr. Briggs used.

  544. Pamela Gray: August 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm
    Reminds me of the hubris of Kurdish chieftains (khafirs) in Western Armenia who reserved the right to bed Armenian brides on their wedding night.

    *koff*

    The Kurmanji word for “chieftain,” depending on his rank within the tribe could be “Agha” of “Beg”– a khafir is an infidel, or in that context, an Armenian.

  545. Thank you for the link to William Briggs’ review of MW 2010. Brilliantly devastating humor even if you are not a hockey fan. I strongly recommend that your readers take the time to look at the articles cited in his second footnote in which Willis E. is well-represented.

    RayG

  546. Don Keiller says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

    John Mason says “the MWP is historically well-documented in NW Europe, but documented history from that time is largely to wholly absent in e.g. the USA, Australia etc. ”

    Would that be because there was no one in the US or Australia apart from indigenous peoples at the time? What do their ‘records’ say?

  547. Statistics may not prove the hypothesis.

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2773

    We can use stats as a baloney detector.
    We may apply statistical methods as a sniff test.

    Mann was calling junkyards after cash for clumkers when someone suggested “monte Carlo”

  548. @Chuck L:

    “The alarmist camp is circling their wagons (Romm, Rabbett, Deep Climate, etc.) I hope that some of our knowledgeable posters here will rebut their rebuttals. Of course they are focusing on the “If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years…” statement in the paper. ”

    reply:

    If that’s all they have, then they are grasping at straws and no rebuttal is necessary. The model is what gives those odds, but that model is worse than random data. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. Or rather stuck between the choice of random data or MWP.

  549. Jimmy Haigh says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:10 am
    Would that be because there was no one in the US or Australia apart from indigenous peoples at the time? What do their ‘records’ say?
    =======================================

    A strong argument can be made using the Incas and Machu Picchu.
    It is believed that they constructed Machu Picchu around 1400, the end of the MWP, and then abandoned it only 100 years later, which would be the beginning of the LIA.
    Makes sense, they built it at a time they could grow crops and feed themselves, and then had to leave when it got too cold to grow crops.
    Machu Picchu, has terraced plots to grow crops, but even now it’s not warm enough and too cold to grow anything.

  550. Latent heats of water in British Thermal Units.

    A BTU is a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at sea level.

    For all you older Brits and Americans like me this is the unit you’re most comfortable with and can equate to everyday things in your life like thermometers and weight scales, melting and boiling points of water, and so forth.

    Water is rather uniquie in latent heat capacity. It’s got a lot of it. Much moreso in vaporization but still a lot in fusion (melting).

    Latent heat of fusion is 144 BTU/pound. This is the heat required to turn a pound of 32F ice into a pound of 32F water. No change in temperature. Just all locked up in the physical phase change. If the same energy is applied to water already liquid it will raise a pound of it at 32F to 176F. A stark and surprising thing for those who don’t happen to know about latent heat of fusion in water. That’s why a few ice cubes plunked into a glass of tepid water will change it’s temperature so much.

    Latent heat of vaporization is more where the action is at for some serious shuffling around of heat like in a steam engine. Latent heat of vaporization is 1050 BTU/pound – nearly times the heat of fusion! This is the energy required to turn a pound of water at 212F into a pound of steam at 212F. If that same energy is applied to a pound of steam at 212F it will raise its temperature to 1262F. Now that’s some hot stuff. But this is precisely why we prefer to use steam instead of hot water when we’ve got to transport large quantities of heat around. This is why there are steam pipes under the streets of New York dating back to before any electrical grids. Steam was and still is a very efficient means of moving heat around. When that steam condenses in a radiator it liberates all that latent heat into the metal of the radiator and then into the air surrounding the radiator.

    This same latent heat capacity is what makes thunderstorms into such awsome heat pumps.

  551. Love this from Briggs: focus their efforts where it counts, exploiting Mann’s huge, gaping statistical five hole.