RC’s response to McShane and Wyner: a case of orange cones

Diversion ahead. Image: gjsentinel.com

Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, and Scott Rutherford have written a comment letter to the Annals of Applied Statistics to the Hockey Stick busting McShane and Wyner paper covered on WUWT in August.

It’s quite something. Here’s the M&W graph:

McShane-Wyner Figure 16

It only took reading the first paragraph of the Team paper for me to get cheesed off. Emphasis mine:

McShane and Wyner (2010) (henceforth “MW”) analyze a dataset of “proxy”climate records previously used by Mann et al (2008) (henceforth “M08”) to attempt to assess their utility in reconstructing past temperatures. MW introduce new methods in their analysis, which is welcome. However, the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests to assess the performance of their methods invalidate their main conclusions.

Why am I cheesed off?

The sheer arrogance of claiming improper “data quality control” when Mann himself has issues with his own papers such as incorrect lat/lon values of proxy samples, upside down Tiljander sediment proxies, and truncated/switched data, is mind boggling. It’s doubly mind boggling when these errors are well known to thousands of people, and Mann has done nothing to correct them but then speaks of data quality control issues in rebuttal. And yet Schmidt defends these sort of things on RC. It’s like the Team never read the McShane Wyner paper, because they clearly said this about data issues:

We are not interested at this stage in engaging the issues of data quality. To wit, henceforth and for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mann et al. (2008)

So MW used Mann’s own data, made it clear that their paper was about methodology with data, and not the data itself, and now the Team is complaining about data quality control?

The Team egos involved must be so large that the highway department has to put out orange road cones ahead of these guys when they travel. And they wonder why people make cartoons about them:

They go on to whine about the MWP being “inflated”.

MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect on the reconstructions, inflating the level of peak apparent Medieval warmth, particularly in their featured “OLS PC10”

Well, here’s the thing gents; you don’t KNOW what the temperature was during the MWP. There are no absolute measurements of it, only reconstructions from proxy, and the Team opinion on what the temperature may have been is based on assumptions, not actual measurement. You can’t set yourself up as an authority on knowing whether it was inflated or not without knowing what the temperature actually was. They also rail about “poor quality proxies” (their own) used in MW. Like these?

Half the Hockey Stick graphs depend on bristlecone pine temperature proxies, whose worthlessness has already been exposed. They were kept because the other HS graphs, which depend on Briffa’s Yamal larch treering series, could not be disproved. We now find that Briffa calibrated centuries of temperature records on the strength of 12 trees and one rogue outlier in particular. Such a small sample is scandalous; the non-release of this information for 9 years is scandalous; the use of this undisclosed data as crucial evidence for several more official HS graphs is scandalous. And not properly comparing treering evidence with local thermometers is the mother of all scandals.

Read the entire Team response here, comments welcome.
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/notyet/inpress_Schmidt_etal_2.pdf

Backup location in case it falls down a rabbit hole: inpress_Schmidt_etal_2

For balance, the McShane and Wyner paper is available here: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/mcshane-and-wyner-2010.pdf ======================
h/t to poptech

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

UPDATE: Here are some other views:

Jeff Id, The Air Vent:
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/ostriches/

Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/09/schmidt-mann-rutherford-just-clueless.html

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156 thoughts on “RC’s response to McShane and Wyner: a case of orange cones

  1. This is bizarre. Mann is so desperate to prove any critics wrong that he will even piss in his own pocket in the attempt.

  2. “scandalous”

    Something is only a scandal if the rest of the neighborhood cares enough to be offended. We exist in a world where any imagined end justify any applied means. Nothing is scandalous anymore.

  3. In Britain we would use the phrase ‘bare faced cheek’.

    Not only is the original study referencing Manns own work but in this rebuttal paper there are no less than 6 references to papers written by Mann and 4 by Gavin.

    Sorry, no time to commemt further-just off to write a paper confirming unprecedented warmth in the MWP using as a reference another paper written by myself…

    tonyb

  4. The earth is at the centre of the Universe and anyone who says different is clearly very mistaken.

    The hallmark of a real scientist is that they do not have a preconceived idea of what the data should show. People like Mann are now just a huge embarrassment to real science. They were trusted to assess the evidence scientifically, and they abused that trust and now they are being subject to “professional” outside scrutiny there only defence is to say they must be wrong because it doesn’t show what they know to be right.

    Real scientific professionals do not run publicity campaigns like Mann, nor do they run political propaganda websites, but they do care about science. So, what do they do when they find a rogue subject like climate “science” which refuses to follow the scientific method and which is tarnishing every other real science?

  5. Hmm, lots to comment on. I’ll only mention the Schmidt, Mann et al obsession with phrases like “unprecedented in the last 1000 years”. I think those are traffic cones directing the reader to a detour around discussion of “…but not unprecedented in the Holocene scale”. Indeed, what MW are showing is that the Schmidt, Mann et al’s own data provide pretty good evidence that 1000 years ago was a warm period comparable to or warmer than the present. This is the conclusion they’d dearly love to negate but they realise that calling too much attention to it. They crow about how MW’s “own results” show current temperatures higher than the last 1000 years — as if this somehow invalidated MW’s results. But the point of contention is not “the last 1000 years”, but what happened right at the beginning of that period. Sheesh.

    As for me, I’m driving right through those cones!

    Mike, Gavin, and friends: Diversion tactics have lost their potency from overuse, fellas.

  6. “MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect on the reconstructions, inflating the level of peak apparent Medieval warmth…”

    …way beyond what we’d like to believe it was.

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Wishing

  7. Let me get this straight. Is Mann ACTUALLY rubbishing his own data quality control in order to criticise the work of McShane and Wyner? By so doing, is he not also publicly invalidating the hockey stick itself?

    If so, when is he going to hold a press conference and publicly apologise for his own hockey stick?

    Checkmate to McShane and Wyner?

  8. from the little i’ve read – it must wait til tomorrow – it strikes me these guys make creationism seem like harmless child play compared to the harm they have done and continue to do in the name of science.

  9. I think Mann, Schmidt and Rutherford have lost so much from this they would have been better served to stay silent.

    Alan Sutherland

  10. However, the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests to assess the performance of their methods invalidate their main conclusions.

    Now let me get this straight. The Team are complaining that M&W’s use of the Teams own proxies constitutes absence of proper data quality control, and thus invalidates M&W’s conclusions.

    Is it stating the obvious to enquire as to whether any other conclusions are invalidated by use of the same data?

  11. Next they will start crowing that not only were they fully exonerated by the various “inquiries”, but they have since fully responded to the rebuttal. – Silly **$$!!s (fill in to taste).

  12. For anyone writing comedy, the antics of the Hockey Team would be a goldmine. This group of misanthropic fiddlers with truth and scientific method are beyond parody and I am amazed that any reputable university or research establishment can justify keeping any of them on their payroll, let alone allowing them to make public statements under the banner of their employers.
    But I suppose when Joe Public is paying the bill, anything goes…hey, wait a minute, there’s a title, readymade…oh darn, someone else thought of it already.

  13. Attempting to discredit his own data …

    This is not arrogant, or desperate – it is just utterly shameless

    The point is reached now where a majority of the populace (~70% in Aus opinion polls) want “AGW” fixed, as they are scared witless by 20 years of relentless MSM propaganda … but equally a large majority (~65%) want someone else’s money to pay for it

    This absolute contradiction is destroying politicians right,left and centre

  14. Sounds like a politician or a good ad man – talk about how great you are on what is really your weakest point, Palin does it religiously. Unfortunately, that is god politics, but ver poor science…

  15. R. Craigen-

    It is really like the Star Wars part where Obi One says “nothing to see here, move along…”

    When there is ALOT to see…

  16. Certainly Mann made warming. How blinkered can you get? Well RC seem to have tunnel vision and their light at the end of this tunnel is an oncoming train of reality.

  17. Now we know the origin of all those “You couldn’t make it up” stories. Penn state, The University of You Couldn’t Make it Up”

    This sort of gives the word hypocrisy a new level of understanding.

  18. Hi there,
    just to clarify what has happened here:

    M08 pusblished some reconstruction based on data
    MW10 used the same data and shpwed a different result
    Schmitt10 used a different method and a subset of data and got more or less the
    M08 result.

    Isn’t all MW10 will have to do, is answering the question which result Schmitt’s method produces using the full original dataset? (My guess is, it will be different than M08, due to the “quality issues” leaving MW10s conclusion about flaws in the original method intact . .)

  19. Instead of a hockey stick graph, Mann should have made a shovel graph.
    And you should know the answer to that comment!!! HAHAHA!!

  20. That “bad data” defense is putting the The Team deep, deep, deep into laughingstock territory. The Team would have been better off to have just come out and accused M&W of being drunk. At least that way, they wouldn’t have drawn attention to their own data.

    To paraphrase, “It’s the method, stupid!”

  21. fredfriendly says:
    “It is really like the Star Wars part where Obi One says “nothing to see here, move along…”

    I think you mean “These are not the data you’re looking for..”

  22. RC has beclowned itself too many times to be taken seriously, but Tingley’s critique of Lasso regression is accurate. Indeed, his work and that of Bo Li (a colaborator of Ammann) demonstrate that the climate community does have access to competent statisticians. Its interesting to note, however, that neither (at least to my knowledge) neither Tingley nor Li have ever published an attempt at reproducing a Mannly hockey stick. (Though Li did show that even in theory borehole data is useless. Regardless, my guess is that attempts have been made and the results (when proper error bars are computed) are completely ambiguous.

  23. So M&W took all of Mann’s data and applied the correct statistical tools and all Mann can do is bitch about the data!

    When I read the M&W paper it was clear that there was no validation of the data as the exercise was to show the errors in the way that Mann had done his manipulation of the data. Let’s see what new bit of sophistry Mann uses to wriggle out of this little peccadillo.

  24. The claim is repeatedly made here that McShane and Wyner used the same Data as Mann 2008 and so criticisms based on data quality are invalid. Try reading the comment, people …

    In the frozen 1000 AD network of 95 proxy records used by MW, 36 tree-ring records were not used by M08 due to their failure to meet objective standards of reliability. These records did not meet the minimal replication requirement of at least 8 independent contributing tree cores. That requirement yields a smaller dataset of 59 proxy records back to AD 1000 as clearly indicated in M08. MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect on the reconstructions, inflating the level of peak apparent Medieval warmth,

    So that claim is false, Mann08 includes a plot without Bristlecones, which supports the conclusions of the paper, so that one is false too. Remove these and the ad-hominems about ego etc, and what remains?

  25. Old school tactics.
    Best defense is a good offense.

    You can see the comments further down the road…
    “We’ve ALWAYS been extremely concerned about data quality, and have pointed to this issue many times.”

    JimB

  26. Rules of Political holes:

    #1 Dig Faster!

    #2 Dig Deeper!

    #3 Dig Wider!

    #4 Blame the Previous Administration!

    #5 Blame the Media!

    #6 Blame the one wearing the trousers! Or the skirt! Or . .

    #7 Keep Digging!

  27. Phil Clarke says:

    I suggest you go back and read MW again. You have misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented what was written.

  28. Someone explain to me and maybe others how anyone would know if a tree ring indicated warmth or merely wetness for a given year. Seems trees in warm dry years don’t grow much but neither do cold wet years. Is this just a bunch of malarkey?

    We speak of global average temperatures but these trees came from a micro climate, right? What gives there? We can’t seem to accurately know the global temperature with thousands of actual thermometers but we can if calibrated to 13 trees with rings? Spooky!

    Sorry for the ignorance, I have skipped over all of this “tree ringing” until now but it seems that dead things are now rising from their graves and it’s finally getting interesting.

  29. stephen richards says:
    September 23, 2010 at 3:12 am
    Phil Clarke says:

    I suggest you go back and read MW again. You have misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented what was written.

    I’m curious to know what other ways there are to interpret it myself. I seek enlightenment

  30. I actually read the paper.

    The message I got is that the new method gets similar results as the old method provided the the new method is applied to exactly the same data set as the old method. Gavin is of the view that MW included in their analysis some suspect data that they should not have.

    And maybe the new method could have been tested better for validity. But otherwise the new method looks OK.

    Sorry guys, I tend to ignore bluster, ridicule and sarcasm.

  31. As some one more sagacious than I once said “It is better to stay silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove it” These people have no shame. These people are more than digging a hole, they are digging the demise of their futures. The penny has dropped for most of the populace and the scam is outed. They are behaving like rats on a sinking ship, clinging to life lines no matter how slender.
    Such is always the fate of those whom profit in fame and fortune with a lie.

  32. As Anthony said in his post, in their paper, MW made it abundantly clear that they used the M08 dataset as given, and in its entirety:

    We are not interested at this stage in engaging the issues of data quality. To wit, henceforth and for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mannet al. (2008)3.

    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.

    In their response to the MW paper, Schmidt et al have used their old trick of creating a straw man, which they then proceed to attack.

  33. I don’t understand what there is to get cheesed off about as the words:

    “However, the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests to assess the performance of their methods invalidate their main conclusions”

    Simply mean that Mann et al have finally admitted that their work is invalid. There is no escape from that now. The post should be re-titled (and re-written) to reflect the this admission by the Team that the conclusions of their work (i.e. AGW, CC, CD) are not valid. This is a major breakthrough as the Team have declared themselves to be sceptics at last.

    Well done to all at WUWT.

  34. LazyTeenager says:

    Gavin is of the view that MW included in their analysis some suspect data that they should not have.

    This is very interesting, in view of this, from the M&W paper

    We are not interested at this stage in engaging the issues of data quality. To wit, henceforth and for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mann et al. (2008)

    This statement appears to be contradicted by Schmidt, who says

    In the frozen 1000 AD network of 95 proxy records used by MW, 36 tree-ring records were not used by M08 due to their failure to meet objective standards of reliability.

    Can someone please clarify this apparent contradiction. M&W state that they used the same dataset as M08, but Gavin says M08 omitted 36 records because they weren’t good enough. Who is correct here?

  35. What did I do wrong with the blockquotes? Moderator please feel free to fix the quotes above.

    [Reply: Fixed. Just use “blockquote” without the “cite”. ~dbs, mod.]

  36. On the plus side, the SMR paper claims to have archived the code and data used. It was probably required because it is a statistical journal, but it certainly is welcome and will give Steve McIntyre something to analyze.

    Also, if you look down at Figure 1 on page 12, you see the figures after the corrections SMR suggests. Guess what? Recent (proxy) temps still do not look exceptionally warm compared to the WMP error bars. Is it my imagination, or is that graph a lot less alarming than the one published in 1998?

    I imagine MW will have a response to this paper. Perhaps they will admit making an error or two. Or perhaps it will be a public dunking for SMR. Stay tuned.

  37. I’m not sure this is a complete check mate, it is more like the end of the game where you have your queen left and you can’t quite seem to pin down their king (the last remaining piece) because they keep jumping back and forth between the same two spots to drag out the game. They know they have lost, but they just can’t quite, so to help them I believe McShane and Wyner should respond calling it as it is, as such:

    Schmidt, Mann, and Rutherford
    Your response seems to miss the point of our paper. That by taking your data, bad quality and all, one can conclude that the greater error lies not in the quality as much as in the adjustments of that data based on assumptions that are not agreed upon by other men of knowledge; namely, in case of further misunderstanding, the temperatures of the Medieval Period. Of this we would be glad to debate, but if you insist on furthering the scandal of the bad quality of data, we would also be glad to work to find a better set and continue to point out the flaws in the adjustments, that we assume will remain the same.

    I figure this won’t end the game, but a little salt on a wound won’t hurt.

  38. This reminds me of an old story. A dairy farmer had a reputation for short weighting the butter he sold. One day, the baker found a way to deal with this. When the dairy farmer came in to order his bread, he used the farmer’s butter for weights to measure with. Shortly after the bread was delivered, the farmer came in, loudly protesting about how he had been cheated, in front of a store full of customers. The baker then quietly pointed out that his weights had been loaned to another and he’d used the farmer’s butter instead. As the story spread, the farmer had to leave town.

  39. Ambiguity grumble:

    —-

    They also rail about “poor quality proxies” (their own) used in MW. Like these?

    Half the Hockey Stick graphs depend on bristlecone pine temperature proxies, whose worthlessness has already been exposed. They were kept because the other HS graphs, which depend on Briffa’s Yamal larch treering series, could not be disproved.

    —-

    At first I thought this was from Schmidt et al, but I couldn’t find it in their paper. Then couldn’t find it in MW, then followed the link “these” to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/ which is a Lucy Skywalker guest post. The quote is from the opening.

    Schmidt et al probably didn’t read read that post, it could’ve save them a lot of effort.

  40. Gentlemen,
    Please consider the chance SMR is correct. Perhaps we misunderstood where MW wrote:

    “We are not interested at this stage in engaging the issues of data quality. To wit, henceforth and for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mann et al. (2008)”

    I think everyone, myself included, thought this meant they included and excluded exactly the same data Mann used. Perhaps they were saying they were including all of the proxies used by Mann and were not excluding any trees excluded by Mann on the basis of data quality issues? This seems to be consistent with the claim made in the SMR paper.

    Or perhaps MW simply did not realize Mann has excluded certain trees? It could be a simple error. How will this play out? I don’t know. Perhaps Mann was correct to exclude those trees. Or perhaps it is another example of Mannian cherry-picking. I don’t know at this point. I think it is too early for most people to know.

  41. Corrected (hey, it’s early!)
    Carefix is right: Mann has subtly submitted a self-critique. And it ain’t pretty.

  42. Obviously, the Oxburgh enquiry was quite close to the truth in one point.

    Transcript:

    Q38 Pamela Nash: “The report suggests that the key task of the CRU was to analyse the data sets of others. However, the CRU scientists did not have the level of statistical skill to do this. Do you think that the CRU scientists are people of integrity but out of their depth when it comes to statistical analysis”?

    Lord Oxburgh: “You are quite right…”

    (And how could Mann and Schmidt increase their depth in statistcal analysis, if they do not interact with the statistical community, particularly the leading branch with regards to climate science at climateaudit.org ? )

  43. Looks like MM is going to pound the final nails into his own hockey stick’s cofffin. Wow. Trashing your own data to defend yourself when the people looking at your METHODS said in the paper that they did not evaluate the data quality……WOW. This is how you become a well respected climate scientist?

  44. glacierman, SMR is not trashing Mann’s data. They are saying MW wrongly included trees which Mann had excluded. I don’t know if Mann is guilty of cherry picking and MW were calling him on it or if MW made an error. But let’s be clear, SMR is saying the data used in MW is not the same data.

  45. This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.

    I have no real problem with Mann’s criticisms of the MW paper – Schmidt et al made their case well and they raised valid issues.

  46. What further proof do we need to know that the work of Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, and Scott Rutherford is more about the advocacy of an evil doctrine than it is about climate science.
    Despite our success to debunk all the semi scientific crap from all the AGW advocates, from Gore, Schmidt, Mann, Rutherford and the gate watchers of the world’s temperature data sets, the UN IPCC our Governments and the Sustainable energy mafia, the wheel of social and economic destruction of the Free World is turning as Obama (again) pay’s his humble respect to our future Global Government.

    Really, Schmidt, Mann and Rutherford are the smallest of our problems.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27928

    Time to inform the public big time.

  47. That is not what MW said in their published paper. So who is telling the truth? Should be easy to figure out. MW stated clearly that they only used the data from MM08 – “To wit, henceforth and for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mann et al. (2008)”

    Is SMR attacking a strawman? Or did MW make a mistake?

  48. SMR’s comment letter to the Annals of Applied Statistics on the subject of the MW paper seems significantly inconsistent with “the team’s” apparent past techniques for dealing with non-team papers they wanted to disrupt.

    Before, it appeared “the team’s” power base allowed them to do behind-the-scene manipulation of the publishing process of journals and influencing peer review. Now, that power base looks so much diminished that they are left with debating in the stark light of day in public.

    “The team’s” current lowly situation reminds me of that of old Ozymandias in the poem of the same name by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    John

  49. glacierman, see my comment at 5:08 am. I think it is clear there is a difference in the data. I don’t know if MW chose to include the trees Mann excluded or if it was unintentional. I expect MW will respond to the SMR comment.

  50. Owen says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am

    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.

    I assume you are a climate scientist. If not, you should be. You already possess the requisite complete lack of respect for uncertainty.

  51. Based on what MW stated in their paper, it would appear that if they did include proxies specifically excluded by Mann, it was unintentional because it sounds like they believed they were analyzing all the proxy data in Mann08.

    “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).”

  52. This looks like a replay of the McIntyre-Mann wars…

    As I recall Mann complained on occasion that McIntyre analyzed the wrong data. This was because (I recall) that McIntyre was always “guessing” as to what data was actually used. It seems that the Mann articles were never exactly clear as to what data was or was not included or excluded, and the meta-data that accompanied any data never made this clear either. Quite a neat trick actually. That way you can always claim that your critics got it wrong. See the Climate Audit site comments regarding the data for MBH98 to refresh your memories.

    Isn’t there a song about this?

    “Here we go again…”

  53. I will take the risk of sounding elitist, but if you bear with me you you might understand what I am trying to say and not label me.

    I went to college and graduate school from 1958 to 1964. Mine was the generation after WWII and not many people were going for higher education. There were no loans to be paid later by the students themselves. There were scholarships, but the scholarships depended on merit, i.e. hard work and high grades. Graduate school also followed the pattern. This meant that it was not enough to have the IQ to follow a course, you had to have the dedication and focus necessary to do as well as possible and compete for the assistantships and the scholarships.

    For the generations that came after me, academic inflation set in. By this I mean that a self growing system, a bit like the economy, grew, where assistant professors became professors and needed graduate students, affluence allowed more students to go to graduate school instead of facing the real world, even though academy was not a dedication but just work, in a growing spiral. The requirements fell, when loans became available too, like organisms expanding to the resources available universities and academia expanded.

    The result is what we see now which is being demonstrated with climatology but I am sure holds in all disciplines which are fortunate not to be under the microscope of the science community. An inflation of mediocre scientists and science, with a sociology of science , how to publish, how to advance etc, in a group think that has little to do with the creativity and dedication and method requirements of honest scientific work.

    And you get hockey sticks, cargo cult science really, because when sociology takes over, it is the power over that is important, not the power for, and the people who survive the competition are not the real scientists but they are the manipulators of science for their own and their groups advancement.

  54. From the MW paper, it sounds like they considered proxy selection and the method used by Mann08 to reduce the number of proxies used, but was suspect that the method may give spurious results:

    “Alternatively, the number of proxies can be lowered through a threshold screening process (Mannet al., 2008) whereby each proxy sequence is correlated with its closest local
    temperature series and only those proxies whose correlation exceeds a
    given threshold are retained for model building. This is a reasonable approach,
    but, for it to offer serious protection from overfitting the temperature
    sequence, it is necessary to detect ”spurious correlations”.

    This should prove interesting to see how this shakes out.

  55. WillR, the good news is the SMR paper claims to have archived all of the data and code. Thanks to McIntyre, and probably the fact this is a statistical journal and not climate journal, SMR archived something. Hopefully they archived everything needed to replicate their results.

    If MW did make an error by including data excluded by Mann, it was probably because Mann did not archive his data properly back in 2008.

  56. Sometimes academics start discussing their own work as if third parties. It gives a more authoritative tone (as if being thoroughly objective) and also concedes that past papers may be wrong yet so important that they cannot be withdrawn, and also that papers that are the result of a collaboration can be criticized by any of the authors.

    OTOH, these guys have been arbitrarily suppressing the MWP. That’s the thing I hate most about their approach: they suppress what is known of human history and replace it with their own version guided by their needs.

  57. Just a little less than 6 weeks to go and the Climate Wars are over.

    When the promise of the Big Payoff is officially Dead, (which will happen as soon as the new congress is seated) the support for climate alarmism is going to collapse completely, except for a few sad people who will spend the rest of their lives trying to resuscitate their vanished reputations. (paging joe romm!) But no one will read them and no one will care what they say – they will all simply fade away.

    we have been in a battle of the bulge scenario for the last 6 months, the great counterattack of the harried defenders of the status quo – but what stands out most is how ineffectual the counterattack has been. They have accomplished nothing, and as I said at the start, in a little less than 6 weeks all of their most powerful political patrons are going to start to fall.

    and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  58. John Whitman says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:56 am
    “Now, that power base looks so much diminished that they are left with debating in the stark light of day in public.”

    ‘…stark light of day…’ as a chosen response to the MW inference of ‘where the sun doesn’t shine’ perhaps?

  59. Owen says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am
    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.
    ——Reply:
    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have NOT continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.

    I can guess just as easily as you can.

  60. And if Mann et al have problems with the data used by MW, perhaps once and for all they SHOULD PROVIDE EXACTLY THE DATA THAT THEY DID USE. To do otherwise is to sit there smug and unaccountable. That’s the problem, folks. They’re elitists that think they know what’s best for all of us and don’t have to show why or how, yet they take taxpayer dollars in doing so. They’re really pseudo scientists. They should be thrown out.

  61. Since the CAGW’s are trying to use psychology to explain “denialism”, perhaps they could read up on defense mechanisms, such as PROJECTION.

    “Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people. For example, if you have a strong dislike for someone, you might instead believe that he or she does not like you. Projection works by allowing the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety.”

    Simply, Mann is claiming that McShane and Wyner use data (Mann’s) of poor quality because he can’t accept that he is guilty of using data of poor quality. He misses the point (blocks it out) that MW were investigating methodology by using Mann’s own data.

    Funny if it weren’t so sad.

  62. In a recent WUWT post, one contributor wrote:

    PaulH says:
    September 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm
    I know this is very OT, but “grinning like a banshee” doesn’t sound right. My Irish folklore is rustier than my old Chevy, I thought Banshees screamed when death was imminent.
    ========
    Well, now we know how it sounds when the CAGW Banshees scream!! Very unpleasant, I expect we’ll hear more Banshees before this is over.

  63. wayne says:
    Someone explain to me and maybe others how anyone would know if a tree ring indicated warmth or merely wetness for a given year. Seems trees in warm dry years don’t grow much but neither do cold wet years. Is this just a bunch of malarkey?

    It’s even worse that that. ‘Growth’ is a function of ALL inputs. 2 others that complicate things: Say an old tree is in front of a young one (blocking sunlight). Then it blows over (or loses a limb). Suddenly the young tree gets more sun and grows much faster. Sun competition is a major factor in plant growth.

    Bear Poo. Turns out that a major fertilizer distribution function in the forest is provided by bears eating salmon then “doing what bears do in the forest”… So say your bear has a favorite poo tree…. then the bear dies, or a picks a new favorite tree… (Might our fishing salmon to the limit explain part of the recent tendency of rings to not track tempertures and the “hide the decline” problem?)

    There are a large number of such confounders. Some plants put chemicals in the soil to suppress the growth of other species (walnuts do this which is why the ground under them is often semi-bare). So you need to know what was growing NEAR each tree over the life of the tree. If a minor landslide happens it can change water runoff patterns. What was the landslide pattern up slope? The erosional changes? Did more (or less) plants grow in upslope and change the amount of water reaching the target tree?

    So I can see the case for tossing out some trees due to such effects. But this also then opens the door to bias in cherry picking trees that support your thesis (deliberate or self deceptional…) and the smaller the sample of trees the higher the risk.

    So yeah, I’m highly suspicious of the tree ring data. Then splicing on a broken instrument record at the end is just soooo bogus. The result is just an exercise in ‘splice artifacts, errors, and data selection’.

    Sorry for the ignorance,

    Never be sorry for knowing the limits to your knowledge. FEAR belief that you know what isn’t so… Down that path lies AGW…

    REPLY: I covered the uncertainties associated with tree growth and Liebigs law here:

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

    This makes an excellent primer to help understand why tree rings are fraught with uncertainty. – Anthony

  64. A real problem is that these people actively teach and montor other young scientists. How many times does a grad. student publish a paper, usually an offshoot of their thesis, that criticizes the work of the `prof.’ Never. So they keep generating more and more `scientists’ who research, interpret and publish crap.

  65. RockyRoad says:
    September 23, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Owen says:
    “September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am
    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.
    ——Reply:
    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have NOT continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.

    I can guess just as easily as you can.”

    Sorry, Rocky,
    But if average global temps rise, it still doesn’t validate AGW/CC/CD.
    The temperature will rise, it will fall, and there is at present no way to affix “blame” to either Mother Nature or Man, or Mann, for that matter.

  66. To me what is going to be interesting is when MW reply to the Mann et al comments and the journal prints them. I think the team is forgetting they are not playing in one of their pet journals this time, where they can not only block papers but comments to papers or responses to comments they make thus allowing the Team to have the last word.

    Of course the Team will ignore the response, just like they ignore the Wegman report and the NAS finding that Mann was wrong in MBH 98. This comment was just to establish the RC “Talking points” for why MW is to be ignored.

  67. Omg! The quote “the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests … invalidate their main conclusions” is STUNNINGLY disengenuous.

    They clearly wrote that as the ‘money quote’ to be referred to again and again – by people unfamiliar with the issues.

    At some point – the University administrators will need to step in to preserve the reputations of their Institutions – as its clear the Community of climate science isn’t going to intervene. This is amazing stuff.

  68. OT…Excuse me, I was away for 30-40 minutes…Where did the the “Frau Dött Klimaskeptiker” thread go??? Just a coffee break??

  69. This sort of denial goes on all the time.

    My doctoral thesis committee head complained when I quoted in my thesis the known fatty acid composition of horse blood serum. He said that those analyses were poorly done. My retort, “Your lab DID these analyses!” He shut up.

    They have dug themselves a paradigm hole and cannot conceive of how to get out.

  70. Mann et al have already lost most of their credibility with their bogus, media orientated hockey stick graph. They really should have kept quiet over the McShane and Wyner paper, which convincingly kills the hockey stick and shows that natural climate oscillation is the norm.

  71. E.M.Smith says: at 7:01 am
    wayne says: at 3:25 am

    Wayne, Re: tree rings
    Over the previous two years there has been so much discussion on tree ring issues on WUWT and at CLIMATE AUDIT and elsewhere (some of it very technical) that it will take you many hours of reading to catch up. However, if you have not read a very early report by Stephen McIntyre with the title
    “How do we “know” that 1998 was the warmest year of the millennium?”

    Links here: http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/22/ohio-state-presentation/

    NOTE: the first link (11 MB) didn’t work, but the second one is a reproduction of the paper and it still works (1 MB).

    This is a conference presentation given on May 16, 2008. In it he explains who he is and how he became involved. He maintains the site called Climate Audit (CA) on which this paper is found. This can be a rather technical site focusing on data issues and methods of analyses.

    Here is a link to one of the WUWT tree ring posts and it has links to others:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    On a scatological note:
    Years ago salmon were so plentiful in the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest one could wade into a stream and use a pitchfork to relieve the waters of hundreds. In the 1800s soldiers near the Boise River (tributary to the Snake River) in southern Idaho used salmon as targets to practice their marksmanship. Apparently when salmon are numerous a bear will eat the eggs of fish and discard almost all the rest so one doesn’t have to invoke bear poo for the fertilizer effect.

  72. If they can pull coherent temp data out of bristlecones, we may end up with a new hockey stick to debunk based on traffic cones. You shouldn’t have mentioned the darned things.

  73. E.M.Smith says:
    Then splicing on a broken instrument record at the end is just soooo bogus.

    That’s the part I can’t believe — it looks so obvious to a layman like me. Sure it could be correct, but when I slap red paint on a green wall, I don’t stand back and say, “ohh, look, the green paint changed it’s colour! We have self-changing paint!”

    And the only comeback people have is, “well they’re scientists, don’t you think they know what they are doing?”, and technical people themselves will say this, even if they don’t understand it themselves. It is like rational people suddenly decided to believe in the “guru principle”, as in like, “yes those women feel abused by him, but he is using a divine wisdom which we can’t understand!”

    In that sense, religious people can have a better chance at sniffing out bad science, than do supposedly rational scientism people, who have an unshakable faith in science saving the planet. One can imagine how at least, religious people are used to having to deal with complex matters of uncertainty. And that’s ironic.

  74. Their “refutation” is merely so that activists can claim “it was refuted”.

    I think it shows just how much their work is driven by activist organisations.

  75. The burden of proof has always been on the warm earthers. They didn’t succeed because the hypothesis was pin-headed from the start. Sol beams down from on high and says: ITSS!

    We did not fall off the edge of the earth, nor will we. Columbus proved the world is round by observation, and this is happening now to Mann and his wealthy elitist sycophants.

  76. Stefan says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:06 am
    “Their “refutation” is merely so that activists can claim “it was refuted”.

    I think it shows just how much their work is driven by activist organisations.”

    Nailed it.

  77. Phil Clarke says:
    September 23, 2010 at 2:45 am
    [snip]
    “So that claim is false, Mann08 includes a plot without Bristlecones, which supports the conclusions of the paper, so that one is false too. Remove these and the ad-hominems about ego etc, and what remains?”

    I don’t think this was addressed directly enough. The diversion the Team is using is: to try to establish a claim that MM used a different set or subset of the whole group available. MM+GS also claimed that the selection inflated the temperature of the MWP. This is all but an admission that they selected series that reduced the apparent temperature.

    This means they are still claiming that is it warmer now than in the MWP. They are claiming that if you use ‘good quality data’ (the correct set) the MWP can be shown not to be as warm as now.

    This is the diversion they want discussed – who used what sets of data – not the method of calculation, which was what McIntyre complained about and which MW show was a correct complaint. They verify McIntyre’s demolotion of the hockey stick which was about the method, not the data.

    So: the MW paper is NOT about data is it about calculation methods. They do not show that the MWP was warmer. That idea is someone’s subjective opinion of the general shape of the squiggles on the page.

    MW show that the method of calculation is useless. The fact that it gives a higher squiggly line is coincidental. It does not require ‘good data’ to examine a method of calculation. If the method is no good (can’t tell you what the temperature is within an acceptable rage of error) then it will not matter much what crummy or slightly less crummy data you feed in.

    It is interesting to see how skilfully the diversion has worked even in this discussion. There are many coments about which data set should have been used or not. That is not what the MW paper is about. They show comprehensively that nothing can be determined by data sets even for ones that are known to be ‘very good’. Read the paper and look carefully at the predictions made in the box and out of the box. If the method can’t predict reliably temperatures within a known data set, how can it accurately predict temperatures outside the set?

    MW does not show that the temperature was higher. They show that no one has any idea what the temperatures were, if the MM method is used. The method reveals nothing meaningful. You might as well throw a dart at a board or a calendar, as McIntyre and McKittrick already showed.

  78. Stefan,

    That’s exactly what I wanted to say. Just the fact of publishing a reply in warmist circles equates “destroying”, “disproving” , “rebutting”. The content does not matter.

  79. DennisA says:
    November 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=423&filename=1092167224.txt

    Michael E. Mann wrote:

    Dear Phil and Gabi,
    I’ve attached a cleaned-up and commented version of the matlab code that I wrote for doing the Mann and Jones (2003) composites. I did this knowing that Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future, so best to clean up the code and provide to some of my close colleagues in case they want to test it, etc. Please feel free to use this code for your own internal purposes, but don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people.

    Surface Temperature Reconstructions using Terrestrial Borehole Data, Journal of Geophysical Research, 108 (D7), 4203, doi: 10.1029/2002JD002532, 2003.

  80. Well they are right on one thing, the data quality is lousy. Their own data was used and we all know that has lousy quality. I am surprised they are admitting that their work has… “the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests”…

  81. If this is turning into a debate on what datasets that where excluded in Manns hockey stick, and he is reluctant to share them, isn’t it then possible to make a computer program that searches through all combinations of graphs to find the one he must have used? And find out what data he used by back-engineering?
    I know there are thousands of datasets but the way I understand it there is not that many that is excluded.

    Please tell me if I don’t understand this correctly since I’m not an academic or scientist.

  82. Martin Tingley, a statistician who actually deals with paleo reconstruction problems at the NCAR IMAGE program has a rather devastating response to MW at his website:

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~tingley/Blakeley_Discussion_Tingley_Submitted.pdf

    He makes many of the same methodological points made by Schmidt, et. al. but goes on to investigate the performance of LASSO on AR(1) random pseudoproxies. The results are not pretty. Figure 2 in particular is rather devastating to the MW case.

  83. Looks like the Climate Cabal’s back in action trying to salvage their careers and prevent the sudden shutoff of Climate Ca$h to their respective institutions. Remember, folks, it’s all about the Climate Ca$h and partying (at taxpayer expense) in Bali and Cancun

  84. Re: “MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect on the reconstructions…”

    If poor quality proxies affect the reconstructions, then the result will be a material effect, unless we are imputing a role of emotional arrousal in the erections — sorry, reconstructions.

    More significantly, modeling of ring growth must take into account many factors including, as E.M. Smith has noted above, (for the American Pacific North West) salmon returns and bear shit.

    Among those other factors, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, supposedly the cause of rising temperatures, has been shown in many studies to stimulate tree growth. The failure of bristlecone tree ring widths, which were used by Mann et al. as temperature proxies, to reflect the increase in the instrumental temperature record in the period since 1980 when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration rose more rapidly than at any time since the start of the industrial revolution is, therefore, remarkable.

    But perhaps rising temperature and carbon dioxide concentration have antagonistic effects on tree ring widths. So it would appear from a study of the impact of Europe’s hottest summer on record (2005) and tree growth. High temperatures were associated with low precipitation and tree growth was severely inhibited:

    http://treephys.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/6/641.full.pdf

    So even if one ignores the vagaries of the Pacific salmon or the toilet behavior of Ursus americanus, is there any serious reason to believe that tree ring widths are of any value as a long-term proxy for temperature?

  85. If I’m understanding The Team’s defenders in this thread so far, they’re saying The Team isn’t invalidating its own data; but that MW used data that The Team never used. Well, where did MW get the idea it was using The Team’s data, and how did they get faulty data to use?

    It’s sort of like Michael Mann saying he has a number in mind, asking you to pick it, and whatever number you choose he says, “Nope; that’s not it.”

    This is science?

  86. “Crispin in Waterloo,

    If the method can’t predict reliably temperatures within a known data set, how can it accurately predict temperatures outside the set?”

    I too am mystified as to how many responses have nothing to do with the methodology at all.

  87. Ron Cram says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:35 am
    glacierman, SMR is not trashing Mann’s data. They are saying MW wrongly included trees which Mann had excluded. I don’t know if Mann is guilty of cherry picking and MW were calling him on it or if MW made an error. But let’s be clear, SMR is saying the data used in MW is not the same data.”

    All this massaging of data is worrisome. I’ve been a scientist for a lot of years and what I’ve learned is solid theories stand up to a lot of stuff. Good data, noisy data, blind tests, etc. drive ever more to proving the theory. When I’ve had to tweak, massage, hope, guess, include and exclude data based on ad hoc reasoning the theory fell apart in the end. All this wrangling over the proxy data smells to me that no trend could ever be proved. Every time you look it’s some reasons why or why not the thing is turning out the way you hoped. Real evidence doesn’t work this way

  88. It appears that MW just downloaded all the data that was used as input and didn’t apply any of the data filtering techniques. IOW, they didn’t read and understand the original paper and the SI.

    REPLY: Oh please John, now you are just speculating BS. – Anthony

  89. UpNorthOutWest says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Well, where did MW get the idea it was using The Team’s data, and how did they get faulty data to use?

    It’s sort of like Michael Mann saying he has a number in mind, asking you to pick it, and whatever number you choose he says, “Nope; that’s not it.”

    This is science?”

    This is the question I guess. Is the mistake at M&W’s end, or at Mann’s end for not properly laying out methods and labeling data?

    The answer will come soon enough.

  90. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    September 23, 2010 at 11:40 am

    “It appears that MW just downloaded all the data that was used as input and didn’t apply any of the data filtering techniques.”

    Data filtering techniques? Would they be the ones that show hockey sticks, then?

  91. @ September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am
    Owen says:

    “This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.”

    Will we be comparing Mann’s temps for the MWP that he “ameliorated” in order to build the hockey stick? If so, then by jove, I think you are right! In fact, you are right, right now!

  92. As the Landscheidt Grand Solar Minimum unfolds and the climate gets colder and colder, grinding away toward the 2030 secular bottom, the Hockey Stick will become irrelevant and a distant memory.

    The only question remaining is: Will the natural cold from planetray mechanics overtake the fictional warming fast enough to deflect the best intentions of politicians to fix the non-problem of agw by creating another fractional reserve banking scam (Cap and Tax) like the Federal Reserve System?

  93. As a genuine scientist and engineer – I would never want to sound like I am making an ad hominem attack on Mann and his buddies – but there comes a point when one surely realises that credibility is completely lost…
    for a real man (or woman), there are various options, including:
    1) resign in a blaze of publicity (the equivalent of taking ones ball home) and storm off in a mega-sulk
    2) keep quiet, sneak off, rework your data and hopefully blame someone else for your mistake when/if its ‘republished’
    3) Stand up proud but humble – ADMIT mistakes, errors and accept that one is capable of learning and indeed has learnt from them. A real man/scientist would indeed graciously THANK those who pointed out his errors, for that is the nature of the beast.

    I know which I would consider the most honourable, and I am sure in the distant future, when history recalls these events – many so called experts and ‘climate scientists’ will be remembered for the fact that ‘they were not real men or indeed real scientists’…….
    just my opinion…..

  94. E.M.Smith
    Anthony
    : September 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for the reply fellows. I really did think I had slipped by, never having to get into the intricacies of the tree ring industry and statistics but just had to get a jab in above. Anthony, I’ll check out that ref for I’m afraid the zombies have risen and now I must learn.

    EM, I like the one on “bear poo”, that’s a classic I’ll remember forever, but sadly its very real. Your right, we have no foggy idea what was happening as those trees grew, not really. I now will see a bear 1500 years ago squatting by TAD061 tree for a big one and 1500 years later Mann sitting in his office saying to Phil on the phone… “Phil, in this tree we show some real warmth!”. Now tell me all things are not interconnected!

    You’re a programmer, have you scanned all of that R code. I read through most of it but being a proper programmer it seems to be missing about six detailed comments PER LINE of that code to understand what they are actually doing on the statistics side. When I see a line raising anomalies to the fourth power I immediately think, “heavily weighting the outliners“. Don’t know if that ends up being the effect but it will take someone knowing R much better that I to decipher it.

    Have you ever looked into different modes of the averages that statistics is built on? I think that is the proper term. What I mean is if you want an average there are many you can chose from. Given avg = (1/n SUMn(|Vn-Vmean|^x))^(1/x) you have a spectrum of “averages”. If x=1 you have a normal average. If x=2 you have sum of squares weighting outliner values. If x=0.5 you have sum of the square roots de-weighting the outliners. If x=4 you really, really give a huge weight to the outliners basically ignoring any values near the mean, that is ignoring normal values. The value of x then becomes the base from which deeper statistical functions as “standard” deviation, regressions, etc. Which deviation is “standard”? (I know, I know, from history in math)

    It is things like this that make all of this statistical analysis a bit suspicious to me. Which “mode” is correct. Squared, or mode two, seems perfect for most applications especially in industrial analysis. You want to detect outliners or “bad” things occurring in a process, but do you always have to use sqruared. Do you add weight for a freak warm week, or, do you de-weight such rare events. Who is it that decides? (And I really don’t know if R can handle this type of overlying parameter even though I have written a script-like language close to R in it’s functionality with self-recursive matrices, vectors, list with complex, etc, really a graphical calculator with all scientific units embedded) So I know the code at that level but not on the proper statistics level.

    You can even run the entire analysis five times using 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, & 2 and then plot all outputs under these “modes” which tells you a whole lot more than one specific dimensional view. Statisticians might say this is meaningless but to me, it’s core. You look at very noisy data with your eyes and say to yourself it is level. In modes greater than one you get an increasing slope, in less than one you get a slight downward slope. Most of the data visually sloped downward but the outliners when weighted made the overall regression slope up!

    Anything on that?

    Well, guess I’ll have to delve into all of this tree ring area after all.

  95. I have the MW response. Just one sentence:

    “The claim that improper ‘data quality control’ was used is bizarre.”

    SteveM must be loving this. Cheers!

  96. Have not read the other comments yet but this article had me howling in disbelief. Galling hypocrites! I wish someone could jump in a Tardis and show The Team last year what they have written this year. Their disbelief would not be greater than mine – except, in the case of my reaction, what else does one expect from this crew? They have zero integrity!

  97. I haven’t followed the whole HS issue very closely, so I have this question:

    Even now, nobody, except the hockey team, knows exactly what tree ring dataset is used in the Mann (08) paper?

  98. anna v says: “I will take the risk of sounding elitist…”

    Anyone who has ever read your physics-based comments would never classify you as elitist.

    Which brings me to an off-topic discussion. The following post at RealClimate on the effects of Downward Longwave Radiation on the oceans always stuck me as odd, but I can’t put my finger on why:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    Comments?

  99. Please, someone answer me. Did I read this right? They are complaining about the quality control of the data, and the data is Mann’s? And this is their rebuttal?

  100. This reminds me of the saying I was taught in accounting. “Figures don’t lie, but liars Figure.” Be wary, science is using this accounting practice.

  101. “Which brings me to an off-topic discussion. The following post at RealClimate on the effects of Downward Longwave Radiation on the oceans always stuck me as odd, but I can’t put my finger on why:”

    Off topic. But briefly: they seem to be saying that when it’s cloudy, more heat stays in the ocean, warming it up. That sunny weather (driving a stronger surface-to-air heat flow?) is correlated to a larger temperature gradient. That even the difference between bright sunlight and thick cloud is barely detectable, let alone that between 280 ppm vs 380 ppm. And it’s confirming the consequent – there may be many other reasons why sunny/cloudy weather could change the skin layer temperature gradient, besides LW radiation balance. Those were my initial impressions.

  102. The Mann, Schmidt, and Rutherford comment letter
    (hereinafter referred to as MS&Rlet2010) concerning
    elements of the McShane and Wyner 2010 paper for the
    Annals of Applied Statistics (hereinafter referred
    to as the M&W2010 paper ) is a marvel of fallacious
    arguments and circular logic.

    Fallacious set up and arguments:

    MR&Slet2010 faults M&W2010 for
    having included the 36 proxy data sets Mann et alia 2008
    (hereinafter referred to as
    Mann, et al. 08 )
    arbitrarily threw out because they somehow didn’t
    agree with the Team’s self-imposed “standards of
    objectivity”.

    However, Mann et al 08 kept both the soon-to-be
    controversial Briffa and Tiljander proxy data sets in
    play and used them along with the other specific data
    sets that comported to their arbitrary “objective
    standards”.

    The peer review process for the Mann et al. 08
    paper, and the non-peer reviewed Supplemental
    Information to
    Mann el al. 08 08 ) never fully
    explained why the 36 data sets they tossed were
    wholly unusable. The Supplemental Information entry
    was a late creation aiming to satisfy in part and silence
    in whole the non-Team critics (and their readers) of
    Mann et al. 08.

    They now fret that the M&W2010 inclusion of
    what the Team had previously and publicly labeled
    “poor quality proxies “ have “a material effect” on the
    several different statistical methods and the consequent
    temperature reconstructions“. They ignore the other
    half of their own syllogism mandating that dropping these
    proxies also has had a material effect on the
    Mann et
    al. 08
    calculations as well as a few previous and all
    subsequent reconstructions based on the Mann et al
    08
    data sets. IPCC 2007 is included in the users and
    interpreters of the data sets.
    .
    MR&Slet 2010 argues and complains that
    M&W2010 uses these tossed data sets to “inflate”
    the reconstructed temperatures of the Medieval Warm
    Period. The Team finds that an unacceptable practice.

    However, tossing out these same data sets results in the
    deflation of the temperature reconstruction calculations for
    the Medieval Warm Period. The team and subsequent users
    of the
    Mann et al 08 data sets see this as a
    perfectly acceptable practice.

    Circular argument(s):

    MR&Slet 2010 cites Salzer et al 2009, and
    Jansen et al 2007, as well as IPCC 2007 as props
    for their arguments. (The “et al” in Jansen 2009
    includes Ken Briffa as a coauthor.) However, none of
    these studies fully described or used the 36 tossed
    data sets available to but not used in
    Mann et all
    2008
    . These tossed data sets are discussed in the
    MS&Rlet2010, but never actually used to
    refute the temperature reconstruction calculations
    of
    M&W2010. .

    The various studies following Mann98, IPCC 2007,
    Jansen 2007, and
    Mann el al. 08 and now
    MS&Rlet2010 will obviously agree in term
    of the signal strained from the statistical soup Mann,
    et alia, have stirred, stewed, and plated with his
    non-traditional statistical methodologies and arguments.

    Personal comment:

    The Mann, Schmidt and Rutherford 2010 letter to
    the Annals of Applied Statistics seems a
    fine example of what the Team tries to do when
    peer reviewed material appears… but not written
    under the aegis of the Teams’ circle of peer review
    friends and co-authors.

    How fortunate for the Team the Annals of Applied
    Statistics
    doesn’t require peer reviews of the
    “comment” letters that are submitted.

    The Mann, Schmidt and Rutherford letter is a free
    ticket to the 2010 Logic Chopper’s Ball !

  103. It has been pointed out by those far more eloquent than myself, but it bears repeating, and often:

    The study was about the method, not the data. It appears that the Hockey Team have either misunderstood or are being deliberately misleading, by concentrating on the data.

  104. Anthony,

    Your title: RC’s response to McShane and Wyner: a case of orange cones

    New & improved title: RC’s response to McShane and Wyner: a case of cone heads

    : )

    John

  105. Bob Tisdale says:
    September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I’m not a phsyicoclimatologicomathamagician and I didn’t read the whole article but at first scan this quote from the fourth paragraph caught my attention:

    “If we can establish a relationship between the temperature difference across the skin layer and the net infrared forcing, then we will have demonstrated the mechanisms for greenhouse gas heating the upper ocean.”

    They seem to have demonstrated that there is more IR forcing when clouds are present than when they are not (water vapor is a GHG too), and skipped to the conclusion that it supports CAGW…er…CC…er…CGD…er, whatever.

  106. This comment, SMR, was mainly about the method — which if you look at the graphs which benchmark the method against synthetic proxy* data (which is different from the pseudoproxy data generated in MW) you see that the MW methods consistently overestimate MWP warmth when they are run against a dataset where the answer is known (this is the whole point of synthetic proxies).

    Even more damning is Fig. 2 in Tingley’s comment, which shows that the LASSO method can calibrate AR(1) random pseudoproxies to an linear trend + AR(1) noise. Since the MW conclusions about the uselessness of proxy data seem to be based on the results of LASSO, this calls into question the conclusions of this portion of the paper. The performance of the OLS PC10 reconstruction offered by MW is shown by SMR to suffer from (as stated in the SMR comment) over fitting. Using the more appropriate 4 PCs (OLS PC4) gives more realistic results, but not as good as Mann’s EIV Hybrid method. This is why performance of the synthetic proxies fed into a new method is important and has become standard practice in the paleo community. If a method gives poor results in this context, it is unlikely to give good results when fed real data with the same noise characteristics.

    * For those of you who may not know, synthetic proxies are proxies taken from the same grid squares of a climate model run as the real dataset and polluted with white noise of approximately the same character as the noise found in the real proxies. In this case the SNR is about .125 or 8 parts noise to 1 part signal. These synthetic proxies are then fed into the reconstruction method to see whether or not it produces a result similar to the known result (the output of the climate model). SMR shows that both of the methods used by MW fail miserably in comparison to the actual methods used by M08. RTFC and look at the figures and the figures in the SI, which are linked in the comment.

  107. Let me get this straight. Is Mann ACTUALLY rubbishing his own data quality control in order to criticise the work of McShane and Wyner?

    No.

    “We deal first with the issue of data quality. In the frozen 1000 AD network of 95 proxy records used by MW, 36 tree-ring records were not used by M08 due to their failure to meet objective standards of reliability. These records did not meet the minimal replication requirement of at least 8 independent contributing tree cores (as described in the Supplemental Information of M08). That requirement yields a smaller dataset of 59 proxy records back to AD 1000 as clearly indicated in M08. MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect on the reconstructions, inflating the level of peak apparent Medieval warmth

    M&W used proxy data rejected by Mann 08 for being unreliable. This was always going to be an issue when, as M&W stated, they were not concerned with the quality of the data. They would put their statistical expertise to better use in collaboration with paleoclimatoligists. As people on both sides have said, neither group benefits from working in isolation.

  108. anna v says: (September 23, 2010 at 6:22 am) I will take the risk of sounding elitist

    You do not sound elitist, Anna, but entirely, and sadly, realistic.

  109. barry,

    With all due respect, that self-serving Michael Mann quote is a steaming pile of horse manure. A “frozen” MWP? Please. Mann is so transparent. He’s still trying to sell a flat handle on his debunked and broken hokey stick.

    And: “MW’s inclusion of the additional poor quality proxies has a material affect [sic] on the reconstructions…” Doesn’t this jamoke have a proof reader??

    Regarding ‘poor quality’ proxies, read Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. Then report back, and we can have an interesting discussion about who is guilty of using poor proxies.

  110. Smokey,

    barry,

    With all due respect, that self-serving Michael Mann quote is a steaming pile of horse manure. A “frozen” MWP?

    No. They’re talking about the proxy data, not temps. Mann and others have always maintained that the medieval period was warm.

    It would be a simple matter to check and see from Mann 08 whether they did what they said with the 95 proxy data sets. If you are able to go further and determine whether or not their treatment was sounder than M&W, then you’re a much cleverer person than I.

  111. “These are not the droids you’re looking for” has become known as the Jedi Mind Trick. Goes nicely with Mike’s Nature Trick, eh?

  112. It was Baghdad Bob, also known as Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the Iraqi Minister of Information who said: “They are not near Baghdad. Don’t believe them…. They said they entered with… tanks in the middle of the capital. They claim that they – I tell you, I… that this speech is too far from the reality. It is a part of this sickness of their plan. There is no an… – no any existence to the American troops or for the troops in Baghdad at all.” As American troops were celebrating the capture of Saddam Hussein’s parade grounds, just around the corner, Baghdad Bob says, “There you can see, there is nothing going on.”

    Do we now have a new candidate ClimateGate Owen vying for the title of ClimateGate Minister of Information?

    Owen says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am
    This fuss will be moot in 20 years when average global temps have continued on their upward trajectory, rising clearly above the MWP.

    I have no real problem with Mann’s criticisms of the MW paper – Schmidt et al made their case well and they raised valid issues.

  113. The CAGW crowd are getting desperate and throwing out anything and everything to delay the inevitable. They need an out, something that will let them save face, if we can’t provide them that we’re all in for bloody trouble. All we need is to get some reasonable evidence out there that they can agree with, but also could be interpreted another way (which they did for some unknown reason).

  114. In a few weeks you guys are all going to be wishing you had been a lot nicer to old Mikey.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20100914/bs_prweb/prweb4491804_1

    “A newly-published book by a retired NORAD officer predicts October 13, 2010 as the tentative date for a fleet of extraterrestrial vehicles to hover for hours over the earth’s principal cities. Author says the event to be the first in a series intended to avert a planetary catastrophe resulting from increasing levels of carbon-dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere dangerously approaching a “critical mass.””

    However, this does highlight the severe difficulties the AGW crowd has had with PR. If, instead of all that hogwash about consensus science, they had just come out and told us they had ET on their side, we could have avoided all this unnecessary bickering.

    There is a bit of silver lining in this black cloud, because Cap & Tax is evidently not going to be required

    “The book, Challenges of Change (3rd ed.), reports this event will be the initial interaction in a process leading to mankind’s acceptance of the alien reality and technologies for the removal of poisonous gases from the earth’s atmosphere in 2015, if not sooner.”

    This is all such great news that I think I’ll just go and have myself a few celebratory beverages.

  115. Barry @ 9:47 pm: “Mann and others have always maintained that the medieval period was warm.”

    This is completely false. Mann’s MBH99 Hockey Stick “paper” had NO MWP ( and no LIA – it is reproduced on the back cover of “The Hockey Stick Illusion”). Numerous other ‘reconstructions’ by “The Team” also claim no MWP.

    Totally in line with the email Team member Jonathan Overpeck sent to David Deming, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” (ref: “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, p28).

  116. Bob Tisdale says:
    September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Which brings me to an off-topic discussion. The following post at RealClimate on the effects of Downward Longwave Radiation on the oceans always stuck me as odd, but I can’t put my finger on why:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    Answer to off topic:
    Without spending too much time on the post you quote, I think they are talking of temperature differences between the skin surface of the ocean, the one that enters the stephan boltzman equation, and 5cms below. Note: differences, not absolute temperatures.
    I distrust this as I distrust anomalies, because differences introduce enormous distortions.
    Using the cloud shadow might sound ingenious, but since I find nowhere the word
    evaporation, except in the comments, I think the experiment is not controlled at all. Direct sunshine evaporates a lot more than shadow, which means cooling, which means extra dimensions in the difference between surface and 5cms that have not been addressed. Convection between 5cms and skin is not addressed. ( They do not say that the experiment was done at night) What they are showing/measuring is a projection in two picked dimensions from a much more complex unstudied/not-described system.

    It would be interesting to see the temperatures and not the differences.

    And not to forget that 5cm is not bulk ocean temperature, the reservoir of ocean heat is at much greater depths.

    my two cents on this.

  117. When I try to envision these three–Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, and Scott Rutherford– in the private sector I get the tobacco industry of the 60′s and substandard oil and coal and wind power companies with serious liquidity problems.

  118. Totally in line with the email Team member Jonathan Overpeck sent to David Deming, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” (ref: “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, p28).

    This quote has the status of hearsay, strongly contested by the alleged quotee. Deming no longer has the mail that he alleges contained that text, and Overpeck said, in a ‘Climategate’ mail…

    “> > I have no memory of emailing w/ him, nor any
    > > record of doing so (I need to do an exhaustive
    > > search I guess), nor any memory of him period. I
    > > assume it is possible that I emailed w/ him long
    > > ago, and that he’s taking the quote out of
    > > context, since know I would never have said what
    > > he’s saying I would have, at least in the context
    > > he is implying

    Montford is aware of this of course, but while the quote is foregrounded on p28, readers must read on another 400 pages to discover that the alleged author never used the words in the sense in which they are meant. A serious historian would not use such material, or else would caveat it heavily. But it’s just TOO useful to the narrative that Montford wants to spin, so in it goes…..

  119. Now we know the origin of all those “You couldn’t make it up” stories. Penn state, The University of You Couldn’t Make it Up”

    More like the State Pen(itentiary). No one there has ever done anything wrong.

  120. barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    M&W used proxy data rejected by Mann 08 for being unreliable. This was always going to be an issue when, as M&W stated, they were not concerned with the quality of the data. They would put their statistical expertise to better use in collaboration with paleoclimatoligists. As people on both sides have said, neither group benefits from working in isolation.

    Such an offer has been made, repeatedly, and refused or ignored, repeatedly. Clearly Mann is not interested in statistical integrity. I think he knows he’s produced junk, but like Clinton, hopes that if he keeps denying it vehemently then people will believe him.

  121. Jeff,

    In the absence of the actual mail, we only have Deming’s word for it that the phrase was actually used. Hearsay, in other words. Overpeck has no record or recollection of ever writing the phrase and it runs completely counter to his views.

    Generally the person being quoted is the best judge of whether he or she is being fairly represented…..

    REPLY: Except when the quote is embarrassing and they want it to go away. Personal bias figures greatly in such cases -A

  122. Phil Clarke… “A serious historian would not use such material…”

    Do you believe that a CRU palaeoclimatologist, who cannot lay his hands on raw data, should never make reference to it?

  123. Dave Wendt says:
    September 24, 2010 at 12:15 am
    ….

    So THEY are coming to serve man? On a plate with gravy and noodles?
    As science has left the AGW fiction a while ago, it seems like this guy wants to put it back as science-fiction.

  124. Just to be clear:

    MW, as well as SM’s work, does not lead me to question whether Mann et al created a skillful temperature reconstruction but whether these proxies are useful at all for the task………”Mannian squiggles” as SM says. Therefore, the criticism that the MW reconstruction inflates the MWP is meaningless.

Comments are closed.