An opportunity for online peer review

I have been asked to present this for review by readers here, and to solicit critical comments for the purpose of improving the presentation. Moderators please remove any off-topic comments and commenters please stick to the issues of review. – Anthony

[...]

Now, about the climate science:

‘It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,”

But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.”

– Professor John Beddington

The British government’s chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, has called for more openness in the global warming debate. He said climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. He condemned scientists who refused to publish the data underpinning their reports. He also said public confidence in climate science would be improved if there were more openness about its uncertainties, even if that meant admitting that sceptics had been right on some hotly disputed issues.

I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism. Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.” [As reported in The Australian"i. Other reports were similar.]

I would like [the two speakers] to address the specific issue of the deleted data in reconstructed temperature graphs.

The issue is as follows: In their third report (“TAR”), the IPCC published the following graphii:

This is a graph of several temperature proxies, with the instrumental temperature record from around 1900 added. What it shows is that temperatures had been declining fairly steadily for nearly 1000 years, but then suddenly shot up in the 20th century.

It has now been discovered that some of the data series had been truncated in the graph. The result of these truncations was to make the data series look more consistent and therefore convincing. (NB. I make no statement about intent.). If the data series had not been truncated, the end result would have been very differentiii:

The two red segments are the truncated data. These two segments and the dotted curve connecting them are a single data series “Briffa-2000″1. Note that the first downward segment of the black graph (instrumental temperature) has also been deleted in the version used by the IPCC.

The extreme divergence between the “Briffa-2000″ proxy and the instrumental temperature record shows that this proxy is completely unreliable (the “divergence problem”). To delete segments from the graph – especially without a prominent explanation – is bad scientific practice. Contrary to claims by various climate scientists, the deletions were not disclosed in the TAR. Nor was the “divergence problem” discussediv. As Professor Richard A Muller of University of California, Berkeley, has said “You’re Not Allowed to Do This in Sciencev.

Was the “Briffa-2000″ data series the only unreliable proxy data series? It seems not. Phil Jones’ 1999 “Climategate” email indicated that other proxy data series had been truncated to “hide the declinevi.

It has been argued that this “hide the decline” graph (aka the hockey-stick) is not important in the overall scheme of things, ie. in climate science as a whole. Gavin Schmidt put it this way on RealClimate.com, “if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn’t much to it.vii.

Unfortunately, the “hide the decline” graph is much more important than that. In the fourth IPCC report (“AR4″), the effect of solar variation on climate is discussed. Theories such as Henrik Svensmark’s are dismissed as “controversial” and then ignoredviii. Consequently, solar variation is included in the climate models purely as the direct climate forcing from total solar irradiation (TSI). Since variations in TSI are quite small, in percentage terms, the climate models allow only for small temperature changes from TSI changes.

Such small temperature changes are quite consistent with the “hide the decline” graph, because that graph shows only small temperature changes prior to the 20th century. If the IPCC had persisted with their original estimate of earlier temperatureix

… then the climate models would have been unable to replicate the temperature changes in either the MWP or the LIA, because the total effect of all natural factors (including TSI variation) allowed for in the models is far too small. If the climate models were unable to replicate the MWP and LIA, then they would lack credibility, and any scientific conclusions based on the models could be disregarded.

But it gets worse.

With the “hide the decline” graph representing global temperature, the climate modellers had only one factor which could give a sudden upward movement in temperature in the 20th century – CO2. This was the only factor whose pattern changed significantly then and only then. The IPCC analysis is based on “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS), which is defined as the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentrationx. The way ECS was arrived at was to map the 20th-century temperature rise to the increase in CO2 concentration : “Estimates of the climate sensitivity are now better constrained by observations.xi.

The IPCC and the climate modellers still had a problem: the scientific studies on CO2, and the physical mechanism by which it warmed the atmosphere, gave an ECS which was far too low. But the discrepancy was explained by climate feedbacks. A climate feedback is defined as follows: “An interaction mechanism between processes in the climate system is called a climate feedback when the result of an initial process triggers changes in a second process that in turn influences the initial one. A positive feedback intensifies the original process, and a negative feedback reduces it.xii

This leads us to clouds. The IPCC state repeatedly that they do not understand clouds, and that clouds are a major source of uncertainty. For example: “Large uncertainties remain about how clouds might respond to global climate change.xiii There are many statements along these lines in the IPCC report. Now simple logic would lead one to think that clouds would be a negative feedback:- as CO2 warms the oceans, the oceans release more water vapour, which forms clouds, which have a net cooling effect (“In the current climate, clouds exert a cooling effect on climate (the global mean CRF [cloud radiative forcing] is negative).xiv).

But the IPCC report claims that clouds are a massive positive feedback: “Using feedback parameters from Figure 8.14, it can be estimated that in the presence of water vapour, lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks, but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude.xv.

The IPCC provide no mechanism, no scientific paper, to support this claim. It comes in some unspecified way from the climate models themselves, yet it is acknowledged that the models “strongly disagree on its magnitude“.

So, to sum up, the situation is that the “hide the decline” graph leads to nearly all of the 20th-century warming being attributed to CO2, thanks to a factor (clouds) which is not understood, is not explained, and comes from computer models which strongly disagree with each other. The inevitable conclusion is that without the “hide the decline” graph, the clouds “feedback” as described in the IPCC report would not have existed.

Now, returning to Gavin Schmidt’s comment. When he talks about “the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change“, a very large part of that evidence is the IPCC report and everything that references it. But as I have just shown, the IPCC report itself relies for its credibility on the “hide the decline” graph. In other words, the entire structure of mainstream climate science depends on a single work which is itself based on methods which are “not allowed” in science.

So of course there are, in Professor Beddington’s words, challenges on the speed of change. If the MWP, which was of course completely natural, was about as warm as today, then it is entirely reasonable to suppose that natural factors are largely responsible for today’s warm temperatures too, and that the speed of change from CO2 has been grossly overstated by the IPCC.

Mike Jonas

March 2011

References:

1 There are number of different versions of this graph, in the various IPCC reports and elsewhere, where different versions of the proxy data have been used.

ix http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/lambh23.jpg (I could not provide a link to this graph in an IPCC web page, because earlier IPCC reports are no longer linked there. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml)

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202 thoughts on “An opportunity for online peer review

  1. An excellent summation of the facts as I understand them. I will leave the scientific points of order to the more qualified readers of your great blog.

  2. Excellent, concise dissection. There appears to be no reasonable answer to this but the spin will be entertaining.

    The hockey stick always mattered. It was the central icon that this political project was sold on. Now we see how much it mattered to everything.

  3. The assumption that the only factor which rises in the latter half of the 20th century is only ” valid” if you base your CO2 history on indirect Antarctic ice core data (known to be a violent process in reality and prone to CO2 losses for a variety of reasons) fused with direct CO2 data from a volcano in Hawaii (Mauna Loa). This is patently unacceptable and invalid scientifically, but there are also 80,000 direct CO2 chemical bottle measurements (a la E Beck) being specifically ignored and discounted.

    Since when are direct measurements not as good as indirect? When the direct readings show periods of recent history (in the last 200 years) when CO2 has been higher than now. This cancels the CO2-warming connection, regardless of how the temperatures data and proxies have been adulterated. And, thus, it is required that other factors be considered, such as solar, clouds, ocean cycles, and the Easter Bunny.

  4. He said climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming.

    He’s nicely framed my part of the discussion with this statement. Problem is, this is not the centrepiece of the sceptical movement. Not even close. The first problem is the globe has not warmed globally. It has warmed regionally, and only during certain hours of the day. We don’t yet know the cause but many suspect human contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere. Fine – prove it is unprecedented, and also unique and so, unusual, and that the trail of blame leads directly to humans. Explain why, even if humans stop releasing CO2, the level CO2 in the atmosphere will continue to grow, and explain what we do to stop that and why we should. Show your work. Be prepared to answer questions and defend your science.

    But don’t frame my position – that is my job.

  5. One small detail.

    The author references problems with “Briffa-2000″. However, on close examination it looks as though that series runs through just fine (the light green line). The problem appears to be with the “Briffa-Osborn MXD” series which appears truncated (the light blue line with dashed lines overlayed connecting the two deleted portions of that series). IE9 has a neat magnification capability which helps bring out these hard to discern details.

  6. It would seem apparent that an honest discussion about the true context of the “hide the decline” comment would be in order to really get at the meaning and intent when discussing its ramifications in any type of paper. This is especially true when bringing up the issue of truncated data, and reasons why it may be indeed a prudent thing to have truncated certain data. It gets rather discouraging to see quotes from discussion between professionals taken out of context, when the full meaning and intent among those professionals could be easily explained if non-professionals would truly understand the full context.

    The “hide the decline” is of course referring to the apparent decline in temperature in the high northern latitudes as shown in in tree-ring data from about 1960. This divergence of reconstructed temperatures shown in tree-ring data after 1960 in HIGH NORTHERN LATITUDES diverges from the actual measured temperatures during this period, as there were actual measurements of temperatures during this period. This “problem” is known among professionals as the “divergence” problem. It is not as though anyone is questioning the rise in temperatures during the period, for we have actual measurements, but rather, these actual measurements did not match what the tree-ring reconstructions were showing. Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated. This truncation was hardly ignored by the IPCC reports, as professionals were quite award of the “divergence problem” and it was discussed in the 3rd IPCC report in 2001 and in even more detail in the 4th report in 2007. Discussions about the divergence problem can be found here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Tree-ring-proxies-divergence-problem.htm

    Discussions about the “hide the decline” comment, in full context can be found here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mikes-Nature-trick-hide-the-decline.htm

    It is, in my opinion, very dishonest at best to use the “hide the decline” comment to insinuate that there was any attempt at dishonesty, academic or scientific, but rather, the truncation of the data was valid, as everyone knew the truncated N. Latitude tree-ring reconstructions were wrong, and they would skew the data in an erroneous way. Before any discussion of truncated data can be included in any paper, one needs to look at the full scope of reasoning behind that truncation, and to do that, a discussion of the true nature of the “divergence problem” needs to be addressed.

  7. Were he honest (!) he’d also mention the direction of change (for the next few decades).

    Here’s an argument that using grey-body physics to analyse CO2 efficacy cuts its contribution to atmospheric temperature by a factor of 500:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/03/total-emissivity-of-the-earth-and-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide/

    The claim is made that this tightly matches observations and engineering principles, as opposed to the Consensus Average of the 23 IPCC GCMs’ spaghetti graph “projections”. SoD and “gavin” weigh in with vociferous objections to the dissing of true GCM science. Etc.

  8. It’s good to see Beddington moving on, in only a few weeks, from asking for ‘zero tolerance’ for climate sceptics to this new position. But it will be an even bigger step for him to come to terms with this excellent article. As someone said a few months ago, climbing down is easier than climbing up. We must do all we can to help the Beddingtons of this world, the most important of them being outside science, in politics.
    By the way, the Global Warming Policy Foundation currently has an exquisite top post by Lord Turnbull which widens the duscussion of the article above.

  9. All right if others have not I will start the ball rolling.

    Read carefully the statements of Beddington and note the inconsistencies.

    1. We do know that the atmosphere and the oceans affect the climate but not how or why because we cannot quantify it with any degree of precision: perhaps it keeps us warmer than we would otherwise be: or perhaps cooler. And calculations on the back of envelope using Steff Boltz and the rest do not tell us much.

    2. What if any role CO2 plays in this is unclear and again cannot be quantified to any degree of precision: other than to say it must be minor to nonexistent.

    3. It is undoubted that we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels but again because we only imperfectly understand the enormous carbon cycle we cannot say what effect this has on global atmospheric levels of CO2. It might affect them or not: we have no way to tell.

    4. Before you consider the speed of change you must define what change you are talking about. Which raises the question of exactly what change? there does not seem to have been much change in the weather or the climate beyond what we have seen before in recent times. So whence the speed? and of what?

    5. As to the treenometers all that shows is that you can find a correlation over a period of time between almost any two variables: if you pick you period carefully. The need to truncate at either end simply demonstrates that there is no relation between correlation, and actual causation, that is temperature. It is an elegant demonstration that treenometers don’t work.

    6. What the IPCC has considered or not is largely irrelevant, we barely understand the great natural forces which drive the enormous weather systems of our planet: and to imagine we can predict their effects beyond a few days let alone years or centuries is risible.

    7. The earlier and serious work done on climate thirty years and more ago is essentially sound, yes there was a MWP and so on. We cannot quantify this very well, our proxies are too limited in terms of temporal and temperature resolution. But we can still see the Viking farms buried under the permafrost in Greenland.

    In short we do not even understand enough to appreciate how little we actually know.

    Written in haste so I apologise for any oversights.

    Kindest Regards.

  10. There are already enough observations to disprove the hypothesis of AGW. The hockey stick fabrication was absolutely necessary to show a correlation with emissions and temperature. The fact it had to be doctored to fit, the fact it didn’t show the well reported LIA and MWP and the fact that real world observations do not support the hypothesis should have been enough to falsify it utterly.

    The fact that the hypothesis continues says much for the politics and the media let alone scientists who are too proud to admit their error. However every day this scam is allowed to persist costs the world any chance it might have of facing up to the real environmental problems and fi9nding non biased solutions.

    The scientists involved in AGW may well have thought they had found something important and acted honourably. Now there is no doubt to perpetuate the lie is not simply a mistake or a case of hubris but blatant criminality. The AGW scam could be put to bed today if the likes of Phil Jones and Jim Hansen issued a press release saying they were wrong.

    It is vital that scientists with expertise in associated disciplines be given the same access to data and journals as the chosen few. If that means on line peer review then so be it. It also means an end to scientific associations speaking of consensus among their members when it is obvious none exists.

  11. Brilliant – the sceptic position cannot really be put much clearer than this.

    As for the warmists, their basic arguments are based on the interpretations of deeply flawed/manipulated/fraudulent data, combined with an almost complete disbelief in natural climate cycles. These arguments include the deliberate misinterpretation (a spurious theory which cannot be proved otherwise, except by the application of reasonable logic) of the ‘feedback’ from cloud formation – a cornerstone of warmist theory for which there is absolutely no foundation.

    “We must act now against climate change” has got to be one of the stupidest things to ever spout from a warmist or politician’s mouth. Climate change is completely natural – it’s been happening for hundreds of millions of years and it will continue to happen for hundreds of millions of years. The Earth will get hotter and it will get cooler, but there will not be any massive heating up of the climate, until the next super-continent is formed in a couple of hundred millions of years from now.

    Mankind can do virtually nothing about climate change on our planet, short of creating a nuclear winter after a full blown atomic war.

    Many of the major western economies are in a dire state (USA, UK and much of the European Union) due to the irresponsible/wasteful spending policies of politicians prior to the recent economic crisis. Loading these tottering economies up with further tax burdens to support bloated bureaucracies and welfare systems on the basis of a ‘science’, whose practices would not be accepted in any real scientific field, is simply insane.

    This article will undoubtedly provoke some warmist comments – it is always amusing to see how they defend the indefensible logic of their position.

  12. TFN Johnson says:
    March 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    It’s good to see Beddington moving on, in only a few weeks, from asking for ‘zero tolerance’ for climate sceptics to this new position.

    Yes, I heard Beddington use the term ‘climate denier’ several times in an interview for BBC radio. He also claimed that deniers were solely responsible for the decline in CAGW belief and if only he was not forced to debate these ‘climate deniers’ then all would be well. It speaks volumes of the mans intent when he uses the term ‘climate denier. Nobody denies we have a climate, the fact that he so openly attempts to misrepresent his political enemies shows us who we are dealing with.

    Mr Beddington is a thoroughly nasty and unpleasant individual, a typical CAGW alarmist and in fact he has been a primary agent in the spread of this malignant theory and owes his high position not to his qualifications in chemistry but his fanatical support of CAGW theory. This man has more in common with Trofim Lysenko than with with Robert Boyle and if I ever meet him in person I will tell him so.

  13. I have three points:

    (1) expand CO2 to read carbon dioxide whenever it appears

    (2) in relation to feedbacks from clouds – your comment is quite weak.
    You only talk about common sense or somesuch, which is not scientific.
    Roy Spencer had done a lot of work on feedback and has shown that it is negative, rather than positive.
    While it is not peer reviewed, at least it describes scientific research by Professor Spencer who is the lead scientist for NASA in the management of the satellite system which measures atmospheric temperature.
    No work of this kind can ignore Roy Spenser’s findings.

    (3) it is often said that this is the hottest decade “ever” or at least since instrumental measurements of temperature began.
    That claim should also be challenged.
    There was a post at WUWT several months ago, which showed that up to ten tears ago, the GISS series showed that the 1930’s was the hottest period.
    In the intervening years, the temperature data for the 1930’s has been lowered by very small increments, year by year, until now it is well below current values.
    That should be strongly emphasized as bringing the whole carbon dioxide is the sole controller of climate” story into complete disrepute.
    You should be able to find this item by searching WUWT.

  14. In high level real world mathematical modelling for a model to be validated, it must back predict on the hypothesised main variables (ot variable functions) against the reality measured.

    I leave the physics to physicists. This is a journey man mathematical test. if you can’t accept this mathematically then your degree should be revoked. If the models can’t back account for MWP and LIA, then they fail. No if buts or maybes they are missing variables or inaccurately reflecting variables and functions of variables.

    Many interesting concepts outside of the futile experiment of post modern science have been developed because of skepticism, not contrived consensus. This is the only bright part of the debate.

  15. “The IPCC and the climate modellers still had a problem: the scientific studies on CO2, and the physical mechanism by which it warmed the atmosphere, gave an ECS which was far too low. But the discrepancy was explained by climate feedbacks. A climate feedback is defined as follows: “An interaction mechanism between processes in the climate system is called a climate feedback when the result of an initial process triggers changes in a second process that in turn influences the initial one. A positive feedback intensifies the original process, and a negative feedback reduces it.”

    From memory, and I am sure a blog or two will have the cite, the IPCC was happy to explain the somewhat low temps as being caused by aerosols which were, in the 80’s and 90’s lessened in the NH by more stringent pollution controls. This was the explanation for the “too low” temps in the 50’s through 70’s.

    But my memory may be incorrect.

    As well, were I reviewing the paper I would want you to make your claim “But as I have just shown, the IPCC report itself relies for its credibility on the “hide the decline” graph.” even more express and, more importantly, deal with the claims by the IPCC that a whole host of observations – sea ice, glaciers, plant and animal habitat – all point in the direction of significant climate change. I see your point vis a vis the strong CO2 claim; but the ankle biters will be out in force on this and you need a bullet proof argument.

  16. To be more specific about cloud feed back, you said in part “Now simple logic would lead one to think that clouds would be a negative feedback …..”

  17. R. Gates in a comment above states that “It gets rather discouraging to see quotes from discussion between professionals taken out of context, when the full meaning and intent among those professionals could be easily explained if non-professionals would truly understand the full context.” UNQUOTE

    I see that you have already read the analysis by Steve McIntyre, who has over the years put the “hide the decline” comment into proper context. His latest work can be found at:

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/23/13321/#comments

  18. ‘‘It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,”

    Seems to be a lot of academic discussion about the graphs which is pointless without verification of the above statement that “CO2 traps heat” in the atmosphere. Just why is this statement “unchallengeable”?

  19. R Gates – the first link you give, http://www.skepticalscience.com/Tree-ring-proxies-divergence-problem.htm, says “Tree-ring growth has been found to match well with temperature and hence tree-rings are used to plot temperature going back hundreds of years. However, tree-rings in some high-latitude locations diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960. This is known as the “divergence problem”. Consequently, tree-ring data in these high-latitude locations are not considered reliable after 1960 and should not be used to represent temperature in recent decades.“.

    Surely this means that they should not be used, period. If the tree-rings have been found not to match temperature over any significant period, eg. 1960 onwards, then the tree-ring data is necessarily unreliable over all periods. You can’t just pick the bits that line up and say they are reliable, while rejecting the bits that don’t line up. That’s cherry-picking.

    And please note : Neither of your links addresses the deletion of data before about 1550, or the deletion of the instrumental record up to about 1900.

  20. Mike Jonas, you demonstrate some logical weakness which, if cleaned up would strengthen your conclusions.

    When he talks about “the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change“, a very large part of that evidence is the IPCC report and everything that references it.

    A more accurate statement would be everything it references, as the report references hundreds if not thousands of documents, some documents which may be more important or accurate than others. It doesn’t matter that people point to the IPCC report as authoritative as it is primarily derivative.

    You need to deal with this issue, the actual edifice of evidence being relied upon by AGW proponents, and not dismiss it with a hand wave that it’s just the IPCC. Despite the contempt many hold the IPCC, this is not enough to make a case.

    In other words, the entire structure of mainstream climate science depends on a single work which is itself based on methods which are “not allowed” in science.

    No, and if you don’t know why the above quote is wrong, you have much research to do. Much, if not most, of the research is severable from the work of Mann, Briffa, and Jones. I’m not saying it’s valid, just that much of it stands without this single line of evidence.

  21. R. Gates;
    Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated. >>>

    C’mon sir Gates, you’re really twisting yourself in knots to justify this one. The temperature record runs from about 1880 to current, and based on that they “justifiably”truncated data that didn’t agree with it. Oh, the data with no temp record to verify against for 900 years before that is all OK though, just trust us.

    Ooooops, it turns out we truncated some data from back then too. No temp record to justify it, we just decided it was wrong. We knew it was wrong because….well it was either that or WE were wrong, so obviously….

    Gimme a break.

  22. Review:

    then the climate models would have been unable to replicate the temperature changes in either the MWP or the LIA, because the total effect of all natural factors (including TSI variation) allowed for in the models is far too small. If the climate models were unable to replicate the MWP and LIA, then they would lack credibility, and any scientific conclusions based on the models could be disregarded.

    Where is the evidence to support that the GCM’s cannot replicate the MWP or LIA? Despite the fact that warmists tend to ignore them, this statement seems unsupported.

    Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

    This is generally regarded as the very long term that includes the total warming of the oceans to the new equilibrium temperature. Transient climate sensitivity involves year to year increases in CO2 levels to a new higher level. This is strongly used to explain why warming is delayed since this better represents the behavior in the real world.

  23. I agree with Richard111 that the claim “that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth ” should be challanged.

    My understanding is that the theoretical physics is well understood and that it has been amply demonstrated in laboratory experiments, that CO2 traps heat in a sealed container.

    Further it is my understanding that Roy Spencer is the only person to attempt to demonstrate what happens in the atmosphere.
    As already noted, he claims to have shown that the clouds provide negative feedback, which if correct, completley destroys the IPCC arguement.

  24. A purely stylistic suggestion. Sometimes it is necessary for an article to reference the author, but where it is not necessary, I suggest avoiding it. For example, right there, I use “I” because I am referencing my own judgment, and it wouldn’t make sense to leave it ambiguous whose judgement I am referring to. Mike, however, uses an unnecessary “I”:

    But as I have just shown, the IPCC report itself relies for its credibility on the “hide the decline” graph.

    It might be preferable to employ the passive voice, leaving the unambiguous doer (mike) unstated:

    But as was just shown, the IPCC report itself…

  25. steven mosher says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    good grief.
    If you’re not going to be specific about your disdain, then don’t bother posting. Such condescension brings down the standard of Anthony’s blog. IMO, this should’ve been censored by the moderators, since it adds nothing more than “mosher doesn’t approve.”

    So what?


  26. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    ….
    It is, in my opinion, very dishonest at best to use the “hide the decline” comment to insinuate that there was any attempt at dishonesty, academic or scientific, but rather, the truncation of the data was valid, as everyone knew the truncated N. Latitude tree-ring reconstructions were wrong, and they would skew the data in an erroneous way.

    They did not (and still do not) know the reason for the decline! How do you know that decline would skew the data in erroneous way if you have no idea why it was happening? This decline, without a proof that it does not affect all of the data, should completely invalidate ALL of the data. How could this not be dishonest?

  27. I think it’s relevant to ask about ice core data. If I understand it correctly, it has become more and more clear over the past decade or so that Antarctic and Greenland ice data shows that CO2 and temperature to track reasonably well, but the CO2 concentration lags the temperature by 600 years or so.

    1. Why is this not evidence that past temperature changes were not driven by CO2?

    2. If the temperature upswing wasn’t driven by CO2, what did cause it?

    3. If, as a reasonable person who is not one of R Gates’ “professionals”, might conclude, temperature increases, release CO2 or inhibit the uptake of CO2 or both, where in the ice core records is the dramatic temperature change that the increased CO2 should have provoked.

  28. Jeez before you get too excited about CO2 and the IPCC report, you need to make sure that there is a problem at all.
    Is a rising temperature a net benefit or a net problem?
    That has not been evaluated in any meaningful, unbiased way in any of the IPCC reports.

    Next you have to establish that the temperature has really been rising at all.
    For example see Roy Spencer again where he shows that the temperature of the lower atmosphere in February 2011 is the same as occurred in 1980.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/03/uah-temperature-update-for-feb-2011-0-02-deg-c/

  29. R. Gates…

    The issue you don’t seem to understand is this:

    If the tool you are using sometimes gets wrong results, then you have to either figure out exactly why you tool gets wrong results, or you have to abandon the tool as unreliable.

    Naming the phenomenon and then ignoring it doesn’t help; if everyone is familiar with divergence, why in the world, after all this time, can’t they explain it? You can’t just name it and ignore it. You have to name it and quantify it.

    If what you do instead is hide the parts of the tool’s measurements that disagree with reality, then you are giving the impression that the tool is universally accurate, when, in fact, you know that it is not. This is called “lying”.

    Please don’t attempt to justify this nonsense anymore until you can point to the peer-reviewed analysis that explains the divergence.

  30. The extreme divergence between the “Briffa-2000″ proxy and the instrumental temperature record shows that this proxy is completely unreliable (the “divergence problem”).
    If the proxy is ‘completely unreliable’, deleting all of it would seem appropriate. Deleting all of Briffa does not change the result significantly, so that seems to be a reasonable thing to do. Why complain about deleting just part of Briffa? You should rather complsin, that not enough was deleted. But since it makes little difference, the result is not critically dependent on the non-deleted part. So, apart from the ethical problems with partial deletion, full deletion seems the way to go.

  31. Few comments:

    1- Loose the “Now simple logic would lead one to think that clouds would be a negative feedback” statement. Simple logic it may be, but evidence of a position it is not. Use literature.

    2- The reference statement about the IPCC seems too forceful- almost from a standpoint of someone who’s already made their mind up. Remember, you must not only BE impartial when looking at evidence but be SEEN to be impartial to. I’d re-word it.

    3- More details on the GCM’s, as outlined above you’ve stated that models cannot model the MWP. You should expand this to say that models cannot simultaneously model the MWP and current temps (which i believe is true and closer to what you were trying to say anyway).

    4- You should include a graphic that has the expanded error limits for the ‘new’ hockey stick if the ‘decline’ is added (or rather not deleted). I’m pretty sure it will significantly skew the results- this is not to say that it’s a real reflection of the ‘actual’ situation- but it will give further weight to the accusations of scientific fraud if the average trend is significantly altered.

    5- If there is ANY evidence that the other proxies are suspect you must find it and include it. There’s no poiont doing a one-cheeked job here (not that i’m saying you are!) but if you can fully skewer the issue in one go, then all the better (prevents the inevitable and protracted arguments on the other proxies).

  32. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pM

    It is, in my opinion, very dishonest at best to use the “hide the decline” comment to insinuate that there was any attempt at dishonesty, academic or scientific, but rather, the truncation of the data was valid, as everyone knew the truncated N. Latitude tree-ring reconstructions were wrong, and they would skew the data in an erroneous way. Before any discussion of truncated data can be included in any paper, one needs to look at the full scope of reasoning behind that truncation, and to do that, a discussion of the true nature of the “divergence problem” needs to be addressed.

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

    Your ridiculous and bogus “reasoning” [if you can call it that] is why people make a laughing stock of climate science.

    Rest assured, R, your posts….do not go without laughs.

    You are the court jester version of the “scientist”….hey who would blame ya….your cause needs all the props (false or not) it can get.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  33. An opportunity for online peer review
    If this is intended to be a trial of online peer review, then it is terrible. The main assertion seems to be that there is no feedback from clouds – or was it the “hide the decline” political slogan? The cloud assertion is totally unsupported by evidence – what is there to review?

    The IPCC provide no mechanism, no scientific paper, to support this claim. It comes in some unspecified way from the climate models themselves, yet it is acknowledged that the models “strongly disagree on its magnitude“.” what page? What is the context? Who else has made similar comments? How do you review something where all the work has to be made by the reviewer to go and find the facts that are not present in the article for review?

    I strongly suggest that any article intended for online review follows a layout similar to this:

    1. Title – saying what is to be reviewed (or are we reviewing the online review process? And if so why wasn’t this the main thrust of the article?)
    2. Summary/abstract – giving a short synopsis of the article so that anyone reviewing it can understand the framework and thrust of the article so they can understand the relevance of evidence provided in the first reading and not have to reread the same article several times in order to: understand what it is trying to say, understand what it is actually saying, make specific points where there are specific problems.
    3. Add references in the text
    4. Add a summary
    5. Add a list of references (done)

    In short: this article needs a complete rework because it is well below the standard that should be expected if someone is expecting others to give up their time and effort to review it

  34. AusieDan,

    What does any of your comment have to do with anything I wrote?

    Did you even read the words or did you just run them through some yes/no good guy/bad guy IPCC filter to come to a conclusion?

    It is disconcerting that attempts to raise the level of discourse here are always followed up with comments such as yours. I was kind to Mike Jonas, but in fact articles such as his are not helpful to our (yes OUR, yours and mine) side. His main conclusion is unsupported by the arguments he states. Climate Science is lousy with liars, but does not crumble en masse because of this latest discovery of malfeasance.

  35. There are many regions on the earth where annual mean temperaure has remained unchanged for about century such as Texas, Alice Springs, Death Valley etc.

    Go to: http://www.wolframalpha.com

    In the input box type: weather alice springs. Click on the red box with the “=” sign.
    In a flash the Wolf retreives and displays the temp data for Alice Springs for that day.

    In the “Weather History and Forecast” section, you can get annual mean temperature back to ca 1940 and a OLS trend analysis from that time to present.

    For Alice Springs the trend is very slightly negative.

  36. John Kehr says: “Where is the evidence to support that the GCM’s cannot replicate the MWP or LIA?”

    Well, what I actually said was “If the IPCC had persisted with their original estimate of earlier temperature … then the climate models would have been unable to replicate the temperature changes in either the MWP or the LIA, because the total effect of all natural factors (including TSI variation) allowed for in the models is far too small.“.

    Based on everything I know about the models (and the ice core CO2 history), that seems to me to be a reasonable statement. I don’t think I can claim that “the GCM’s cannot replicate the MWP or LIA“, because they haven’t AFAIK tried to do so with MWP temperatures similar to today’s. However, if you do know of a climate model, referenced by the IPCC, which does show a MWP with temperatures similar to today’s, and does so without having its parameters changed from the ones it uses now, I will change my statement.

  37. “He said climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming.”

    I’d take that with a pinch of salt if I were you, he’s obsessed with CAGW and thinks the public, including other scientists, mathematicians, engineers etc. should do as they’re told by the climate science community. Moreover he’s transformed this scepticism of the work activists at the heart of the climate science community into an “attack on science” to give a cloak of respectability to his own attacks on those who are (a) questioning what is the most dubious scientific theory since scientists thought the sun went round the earth; (b) suggesting, quite reasonably in my view, that even if the greens are right that for the foreseeable future there is no viable solution for the replacement of fossil fuels as our main source of energy. Whatever happened to the Chief Scientific Advisers to the UK Government who used to have pens in their top coat pocket and could talk and understand engineering issues?

    RBates, I know the warmist community have been trying to shift the debate about “hide the decline” to say it was known about and that it doesn’t matter anyway, (see Leif above) but that’s not and never has been the sceptics issue. The issue is that the IPCC, the acclaimed gold standard in scientific expertise (seemingly provided by a large number of people who haven’t left high school yet) has published a graph that the authors knew didn’t represent the proxy data post 1960, because it didn’t follow the temperature records. In other science this would have negated the whole series and the public, who are paying for this stuff, should have been told. If there was no skullduggery going on why didn’t Jones write saying something to the effect that “I’ve adjusted the graphs to deal with the divergence problem”? Why use the words “Mike’s trick to hide the decline”? If as you say the divergence problem was well known why wouldn’t Jones have referred to it directly?

    Leif, it doesn’t matter to you that scientists manipulated the data to produce a chart that suited their purpose because the other charts would do the job anyway? Is that what you’re saying?

  38. The other point, is that if we are being asked to review something, we need to know the intended audience.

    Who is this for?

    As far as I can see (and it isn’t clear partly due to Anthony’s comment) the first line is: “Now, about the climate science:”. If this is e.g. an article to be sent to a professional audience then it completely sucks. If it is an article for self congratulating remarks on a sceptic blog then fine … but don’t expect anyone outside to take this process of online review here seriously.

    What is the intention?

    How can I help achieve the intention where it is as clear as mud? What is the key point they are trying to put across, who are they are they trying to put it across to, when does it need to be put across.

    How is this process going to work? If this is THE ARTICLE, then to be frank, we’ve heard it all before because it seems to be a rehash of other articles.

    How to cite this article

    This may sound a silly point, but how would I cite this article in my own work?
    Author (done)
    Date (done)
    Title paper (not at all clear. If it is: “An opportunity for online peer review” it is going to look a pretty naff reference in a list of climate references)
    Publication: What is the official name of this publication? I hate citing web pages because it is never clear what the publication is, who is the publishing organisation.

    Who is the author
    If you want to start having online review, the intention must be to allow others to cite the articles in some way. Who is this “Mike Jonas”? How do I contact him to e.g. ask permission to reproduce his work? How do I know his credentials for – is he a real scientist with a host of papers, has he produced other works for “online review” is he the one and only “Mike Jonas” in the world, and therefore any search for “Mike Jonas” will be this one and only “Mike Jonas” … or is his real name “Michael Jonas”?

  39. “‘‘It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,”

    “But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.”

    – Professor John Beddington”

    I’ll rewrite this bit

    ‘It is estimated that a doubling of CO2 will increase the amount of back radiation from CO2 in the atmosphere to earth by 3.7 Watts/sq meter out of a total of 333 Watts /sq Meter from all greenhouse gases. Since 1880 the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has been from 280 parts per million to 390 presently. It is currently increasing by 2 parts per million per year and the amount of CO2 from fossil fuel burning is 10 billion tonnes per year at present.

    Where you get challenges is what the impact of this on other forcing/feedback components of the overall climate system and how that will affect our future life on earth’

  40. Two points present themselves from the foregoing discussion and have excited my curiosity;
    1 If a proxy technique fails over much of the time for which it is being employed, the results from using that proxy should be discarded completely as being unreliable. Being a ‘little bit unreliable’ is anamolous to being ‘a little bit pregnant’.
    2 The laboratory experiments which determined the ability of carbon dioxide to trap heat were carried out in sealed containers. How do such experiments relate to real-world conditions?
    Could any knowledgable reader answer the above questions.
    Steven Moshers inscruitable comment has excited my curiosity – would he care to expand rather than make vague noises.

  41. Harold Pierce Jr says:
    March 28, 2011 at 12:53 am
    WA is a valuable resource.

    For an east (Australian) coastal version of steady temperatures, type in weather moruya airport. Hit ‘all’ to go back to 1940.
    Very steady temperatures for a small airport close to the sea, no urban influence.
    My stamping ground in summer.

  42. A very minor point, but you say “…if the MWP was as warm as today …..” .
    S. Greenland must have been a lot warmer then than it is today for the Vikings to be able to farm there in the way that they did.

  43. Yes Leif,

    Then we can move on to proper QC on the other curves in the IPCC and related spaghetti graphs. Note that some of these other published graphs actually exhibit a MWP of similar magnitude to the current warm period. The risk for alarmist climate scientists is that such an endeavour could further upgrade the MWP, especially when the upsidedown bits are flipped to the proper orientation.

  44. Just imagine where we would be if there were no thermometers.
    If there was no direct way to measure temperature, we would have to rely completely on the proxies and R Gates would be explaining that the earlier data was truncated because it does not correlate, but the latter sharp increase would not only stand, it would prove the CAGW position completely.

    EO

  45. Scottish Sceptic – there are a number of references given at the end of the document. For example, “… strongly disagree on its magnitude” is reference xv, which is the IPCC report, chapter 8, para 8.6.2.3. I said “The IPCC provide no mechanism, no scientific paper, to support this claim.“, and certainly I couldn’t find any in para 8.6.2.3 or anywhere else in the IPCC report. If you know of any, in the IPCC report, please let me know and I will change my document.

    Sorry about the format of the document not being to scientific paper standard. It is part of a larger document which has its own overall format. Only this part addresses the science. Hopefully, factual errors will be obvious regardless of format.

  46. This whole business lacks daylight. It’s just like the art world in which academics still debate the finer points of a bicycle wheel mounted upside down to a stool all based on an age old idea of “art” but in this case it’s the idea of “science”. A graph isn’t science. It’s just a graph.

    At some point there’s just nothing there! At some point there needs to be a more popularized, common man level of debunking. The Team has repeatedly turn random noise into a false signal. The worst case I ran into was Mann’s algorithmic cherry picking update of his hockey stick in which noisy data was tossed out unless it conformed the the instrumental record, but being mostly just noise, it cancelled out before the instrumental record kicked in in 1900, so it formed a hockey stick. Any noisy data as input gave the same result. And yet it’s still in the literature.

    The “presentation” above is not well organized. It starts out with some vague addition to “hide the decline” and then juts out into clouds as cooling factors.

    I think it needs to take a u-turn back to the starting gates and slow WAY down. The age old question of how you would explain this mess to a child would be a good exercise to start with. What if Suzy said she was a famous opera star? If in the future she definitely is destined to be one, does that make her one now, already?

    The presentation jumps directly into uber nerdiness and insider gossipy minutia.

    “The speed of change” is not an easy concept to humanize in an intuitive sense when the issue at hand is whether CO2 is bad instead of good for the biosphere. I want a very fast speed of change, as the innate robustness of plant life kicks in big time to take advantage of increased CO2.

    Another exercise would be to ask “What would Richard Feynman say?”. I don’t think he’d talk about Gavin Schmidt, who works three blocks from me, actually. What does some PR guy with a math background who works above Tom’s Diner have to do with empirical science? He’s just a theory dude. Whatever.

    I would use the analogy of a patched together monster. He could not live without odd parts being taken apart and patched back together in unnatural ways. And ultimately he could not survive since he could not grow out of the framework the initially bound him together.

    Some type of metaphor or story line needs to run through the presentation.

  47. I really do mean this to be constructive, but IMHO this paper is completely unsuitable for formal publication. What is the thesis? Is it about the Briffa shennanagins or is it about cloud feedbacks? I’m sorry but it reads as an amateur effort and in my view it would be laughed out of court by any publication/reviewer. I’m really sorry to be so negative, but it’s probably best to leave this sort of thing to those that know what they’re doing. There is a big difference betwen a blog post and a formal publication. This makes a good blog post although in truth there is little new in it. PS I am a skeptic at heart so this is an honest non politically biased appraisal.

    Turning to clouds. These graphs at NASA provide some instructive information.

    Make sure you find the right graph as there are quite a few. Look first at global upwelling (ie reflected) solar SW radiation at TOA. Note how initially it decreases over time indicating that more radiation from the sun is reaching the surface. This decrease continues from the mid 70s until there was a change in the late 90s when upwelling SW radiation at TOA started to increase. ie more was reflected away from the earth. Note that this is supported by the opposite being true of downwelling SW radiation observed at the surface. Finally, look at the last graph of albedo and note how albedo reduces until the climate shift in the late 90s and then starts to increase again. These changes in albedo are most likely to come from changes in cloud cover. Albedo is a powerful agent. A mere 1% change could account for all the warming claimed to be from CO2 in the last 40 years. What drives changes in cloud cover? Who knows, but my bet would be on ENSO/PDO/AMO.

  48. ‘It is unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the atmosphere.’ According to Prof Beddington.

    Unfortunately Professor this is challengeable because for CO2 to do so violates the laws of thermodynamics.

    If he wants to debate this with me he can phone or meet at a convenient place!

  49. Addit.

    The point of the skeptical rule of proof at high level, is that all theory may be examined, not dogma.

  50. The ‘Hockey Stick’, in all its gruesome manifestations http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/slides/large/05.24.jpg, has been and remains the foundation of the CAGW hysteria.
    The idea that the global temperature stayed within a very narrow band for ~900 years (and an indefinite period before), then suddenly leapt alarmingly in the last ~100 years (coincident with the instrumental record), is indelibly imprinted on believers’ minds — anyone who has engaged with ‘believers’ will experience that.
    They are convinced that a 0.7°C rise in 100 years (or 50 years) is unprecedented.

    For me (as a non-scientist), the idea that you can collect a selective bundle of highly disparate proxy temperature measurements over a relatively short period, average them and then claim that the result represents anything more than a very crude approximate trend, is preposterous.
    It becomes crafty then to knit-in the instrumental record and claim to the public that it represents a valid record.

    In any case, the first ostensibly scary upswing could not possibly be attribute to human fossil fuel burning:

    ‘Warmongers’ (including most of the political class i.e. lawyers), have no appreciation of the inchoate nature of climate science.

  51. geronimo says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:04 am
    Leif, it doesn’t matter to you that scientists manipulated the data to produce a chart that suited their purpose because the other charts would do the job anyway? Is that what you’re saying?
    I’m saying that Briffa’s proxy was deemed to be useless [by the author of this article], hence, deletion of it [the more, the better] should be good. People complain that data was deleted, but should be happy if even more data is deleted, especially if all of it is deleted. It is not the deletion that was bad, but the retention. Since the part that was retained agreed with the other curves, retaining it has no effect, so no harm was done. This does not mean that such practice is good [it isn't], just that it didn’t matter for the result. The hockey stick would be there, with or without Briffa.

  52. Another excellent piece that should make the establishment climate scientists and politicians stop and think. But I fear that drawing their attention to it would be a waste of time.

    I have been engaged in an ongoing exchange of letter about CAGW with my MP. I said that I accepted it was difficult to find refereed sceptical papers on climate change a decade ago, but not now. And I asked why our politicians concerned with the subject were not advised on these. My letter was passed to our Energy and Climate Change Secretary. Here is an excerpt from his reply.

    “I would like to assure Dr Stroud that we are committed to engaging with and scrutinising the scientific evidence that is available so that our conclusions are fair and balanced and result in robust policies. Earth’s climate are ongoing and these changes will continue to force the climate system and their impacts worsen as long as we humans continue to force our climate system with our greenhouse gas emissions.”

    I have now given up the struggle as it is clear that the politician in charge of our energy policies will never be swayed from his articles of faith in the truth of the alarmist’s view of climate change.

  53. * The author says in response to Scottish Skeptic that this is only part of a document. What document? Which part?
    * I don’t know what the contribution of this (part) is meant to be – I have read it all before.
    * The thesis that the whole of warmism fails because of a dodgy (part of a) graph is innately implausible and no real case is made. As Leif S. says – delete the damn thing and then what happens?
    * References should not be only links but the sources as well.

    In a previous life (before retirement) I submitted and reviewed papers. The idea of doing something like this on WUWT seems to me good – even exciting. But if this is to be done then the documents to be reviewed have to be more substantial than the average post on WUWT – you don’t review stuff like this. I would suggest preparing a document in PDF, linking it, then posting the link with an “abstract”. You could even put in equations.

    Finally a point about the “original” graph (reference ix). From a historical point of view – and the document is mostly history – this is important. Surely some effort could be made to obtain that document and add a bit more detail?

  54. Mike Jonas:

    You ask for peer review of your paper.

    I am a clear disbeliever in the AGW hypothesis and, therefore, could be expected to be – and I am – supportive of your thesis; viz.
    “If the MWP, which was of course completely natural, was about as warm as today, then it is entirely reasonable to suppose that natural factors are largely responsible for today’s warm temperatures too, and that the speed of change from CO2 has been grossly overstated by the IPCC.”

    But, with both respect and regret, my review comments amount to a recommendation to reject your paper for publication.

    My following comments explain this recxommendation for rejection.

    1. The Importance of the MWP.

    The IPCC case for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) does not stand-or-fall on the existence of the MWP. The first two IPCC Reports accepted the MWP existed and each of them included the same (unnumbered) graph that is in your paper and shows the MWP.

    The AGW-hypothesis says increased greenhouse gases – notably carbon dioxide (CO2) – in the air raise global temperature, and anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air to overwhelm the natural climate system.

    The hypothesis is founded on three assumptions: viz

    (1) It is assumed that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is the major cause of the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration
    and
    (2) It is assumed that the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is significantly increasing radiative forcing
    and
    (3) It is assumed that the increasing radiative forcing will significantly increase mean global temperature.

    The immense amount of evidence that the MWP existed and was global indicates nothing about any of these assumptions (and there are reasons to dispute each of them).

    The existence of the MWP only has relevance to the AGW-hypothesis in that the MWP reveals a degree of natural global temperature change which must be exceeded before any such change can logically be ascribed to be evidence of a recent anthropogenic effect on global tmperature change.

    3. Cloud effects and climate models.

    You correctly report that climate models utilise gross assumptions of cloud behaviours which define the performance of the models.

    And you correctly say,
    “it is acknowledged that the models “strongly disagree on its magnitude” of climate sensitivity to altered atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Indeed, the models each provide different large climate sensitivities that are compensated by large cooling from assumed aerosol effects. See
    Courtney RS, E&E (1990)
    And
    Kiehl JT, GRL (2007)

    Kiehl’s paper can be read at

    https://www.atmos.washington.edu/twiki/pub/Main/ClimateModelingClass/kiehl_2007GL031383.pdf

    And his Figure 2 is especially informative.

    Simply, each climate model fails to emulate recent (i.e. since 1900) change to mean global temperature (MGT) but drifts upwards relative to measured MGT. This drift is compensated by an arbitrary fudge factor that is asserted – without any justification – to be an effect of anthropogenic aerosols. As Kiehl’s Figure 2 shows, each model uses a unique ‘fudge factor’ and the range of these ‘fudge factors’ is from -1.41 W/m^2 to -0.60 W/m^2 (i.e. the largest is 2.4 times that of the smallest).

    This giant range of ‘fudge factors’ is required because each model assumes a different climate sensitivity which Kiehl’s Figure2 shows to be from 0.800 W/m^2 to 2.01 W/m^2 (i.e. the largest is 2.5 times that of the smallest).

    But there is only one planet Earth. Therefore, at most only one of the models applies a correct climate sensitivity (and there is no reason to think any of them applies a correct climate sensitivity).

    The magnitude of the MWP as indicated by Briffa, Mann, Bradley, et al. plays no part in this; how could it when their data indicates that the magnitude of the MWP was zero?

    The climate sensitivity is chosen in each model as a method to obtain maximum stability of each model and the remaining model drift is compensated by the aerosol ‘fudge factor’ applied to each model.

    3. Format of the paper

    The above two criticisms warrant rejection of your paper for publication. However, if it were acceptable for publication then it would require substantial alteration to format. It needs
    A synopsis
    An Introduction
    A clear statement of conclusions
    Appropriate labelling including titles and numbers to its illustrations.

    Please note that I always ask an Editor to forward my review comments together with my name to author’s of papers I review as a method to enable the authors to respond directly to me if they choose. In this case, my name is above.

    I regret that my comments are so negative but they are intended to be constructive.

    Regards

    Richard

  55. Dear Mike,

    you write: “but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). ”
    I often wondered how this (and also Nasif calculations) compare to an estimate of the direct temperature effect of CO2:
    IPCC states, that the additional direct backradiation for CO2 doubling is about 3.7W/m^2. It would seem to me, that the average global temperature would have to increase according to Stefan-Boltzman (or less for a greybody):

    (390W/m^2 / sigma)^0.25=(273.15K+14.84K)
    (393.7W/m^2 / sigma)^0.25=(273.15K+15.52K)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_constant

    sigma = 5.67E-8 W/(m^2 K^-4)
    The difference would be 15.52-14.84=0.68 degrees Celsius.

  56. You might want to be careful about using that old IPCC graph that shows a big medieval warm period. Apparently that graph leaves out recent much warmer decades that dwarf the MWP hump. You don’t want to be accused of “hiding the incline” by using a graph with important data left off the end that gives a misleading impression that recent decades were cooler than the MWP shown in that graph. Apparently if the numbering on the vertical scale had been retained, it would be clear that the MWP shown is not as big as it looks.

  57. The name of the author, Mike Jonas, should be shown at the top of the article, as is conventional.

    Anoneumouse says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:24 am

    John Beddington’s current position is ‘hide the malign’

    Quote of the Week.

  58. If the IPCC had persisted with their original estimate of earlier temperature…

    The ‘original’ IPCC estimate of global temperature given in this familiar graph (ix) is almost as much a distortion of the evidence as the Hockey Stick, and Jonas should be warned against deferring to it.

    In the first place, this graph was presented in the 1st IPCC report with no quantative values, given only as a ‘sketch.’ Moreover, it is based on graphs by H H Lamb estimating temperature variation in but a small region of Europe viz, Central England.

    Lamb’s uncorrupted original estimate of earlier temperature in central England are reproduced here:

    http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/global-temperature-graphs/1964_1966_britiansclimateinthepast-unpub-lecture-pub-inchangingclimate/

    http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/global-temperature-graphs/1982_lamb_climatehistoryandthemodernworldp76/

    What is of great concern in the use of this fantastic representation of global temperature by sceptics in this controversy is that it simplifies secular global climatic variation against a pile of more recent evidence. What does seem to be evident is that various regions of the world did experience a Medieval Warm Period up to two centuries long, but that the peak of this moderate secular warm trend, in different places and in different proxies, range across 5 centuries or more (ie mostly across the 9th to the 14th centuries).

    The proclamations in the IPCC 1st report, and in other sceptical publications, of a universal warming peaking in the 12th century was criticised by later IPCC reports (and in other warmist publications) long before the Hockey Stick appeared. But this criticism hardly impacts on the overall scepticism of AGW, nor on criticism of the methodology of Mann, Biffa and Jones.

    Using this old IPCC graph as a rhetorical devise against the IPCC risks it serving to validate the charge that sceptics care more about winning the argument than defending evidence-based science.

    If the 1st report (and its suppliment) is to be used rhetorically against the current IPCC position then it is easy enough to pull out so many conclusions that are sceptical and agnostic to AGW claims like those made by the IPCC after the notorious interpolations introduced into the 2nd report in December 1995.

    It helps to undertand that as much as it was ignore is as much as the IPCC served to moderate against the extremism of Hansen et al right though until the final scientific review of the 2nd report in the Autumn of 1995. However, let’s be sure to defer to this early work of the IPCC for its science alone, and let’s resist celebrate it for some convenient fantasy.

  59. After a first quick reading, the paper looks very promising. I see no problems with it. I hope to have time to make detailed comments after a thorough reading but my time is very limited. I can say that the kind of effort undertaken in this article is greatly needed at this time. Those who claim that the science is settled/solid/whatever or that there is a consensus must be made to specify what that science is and who that consensus comprises, and all this must be put together in a narrative that describes the evolution of the key claims of climate science to this point. I believe that the science has always been on life support and the consensus is a handful of people with great influence on the IPCC and the peer review process.

  60. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    “. . . as everyone knew the truncated N. Latitude tree-ring reconstructions were wrong . . .”

    I notice Mr. Gates has not returned to defend his statements, IE: the trees are wrong. Perhaps he will, just to explain on what exactly, his confidence in tree-ring data is based. Clearly there must be something beyond simple coincidence of tree-ring data matching measurements, or tree-ring data matching model predictions for periods before 1960 and pre-1800’s; particularly since there are other proxy methods available.

    I can understand why there maybe some push back from the likes of Mann et al, as their life’s work is called into question (at best, apparently a bit dodgy to at worst, a complete waste of time). But what is it that compels the Mr. Gates’ out there to put their faith in tree-ring data for any period?

    Just ask’n . . .

    -Barn

  61. Jeez – it appears that I may owe you an apology.

    I took your earlier post as a very subtle attack by a warmist, particularly your last sentence that went “Much, if not most, of the research is severable from the work of Mann, Briffa, and Jones. I’m not saying it’s valid, just that much of it stands without this single line of evidence.”
    I felt that you may be trying to lead the author away on an ever expanding search, which is one of the topics used by Trolls when trying to disrupt serious discussions.

    Like you and a number of other commentators, I am not sure of the purpose of this paper. I have assumed that is directed to Dr Beddington, in an attempt to make him stop and think.
    Certainly somebody with some weight should challenge him to address the issues that he just glosses over.

    I was trying to point to some of the basics, namely:
    • Is a rising temperature a net benefit or a net problem?
    • Has the temperature really been rising at all?
    • Water feedbacks – are they positive or negative?
    • Challenge the claim “that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth ”

    If the aim of the paper and its audience is different, then obviously it should be targeted appropriately.

  62. Excessive use of italics and quotation marks around politically charged phrases quickly turned me off. The overall effect is that of bashing the reader repeatedly upside the head with slogans. The article is written with all the subtlety and sensitivity of someone shouting in your ear from a six inch range. I don’t like being hectored, even when I don’t disagree with what is being said. I much prefer articles that present facts and let me think for myself, rather than trying to tell me what to think all the time.

    So no – I didn’t like it.

  63. “Alexander K says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Two points present themselves from the foregoing discussion and have excited my curiosity;

    1 If a proxy technique fails over much of the time for which it is being employed, the results from using that proxy should be discarded completely as being unreliable. Being a ‘little bit unreliable’ is anamolous [sic]to being ‘a little bit pregnant’.”

    Well, IMHO one really should note in the report that data was omitted and why. Speaking for myself, I think that ‘It didn’t support our hypothesis’ is not an acceptable reason for omitting data.

    “2 The laboratory experiments which determined the ability of carbon dioxide to trap heat were carried out in sealed containers. How do such experiments relate to real-world conditions?”

    Arrhenius and others were measuring basic physical properties of carbon dioxide. There is no reason to believe that those properties would be different in the atmosphere than in a sealed container … or in outer space for that matter.

  64. Mike, “One word of criticism is worth 1000 of flattery”, so here goes….

    1. The first quote from John Beddington, “It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” needs a reference.(The fact that it may be the same as a subsequent reference doesn’t mean that you can omit it here). What is the point of this quotation anyway? It seems irrelevant to the rest of the article.
    2. On Beddington’s other quote, “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism. Science grows and improves in the light of criticism”, It would have avoided confusion (amongst some other commentators) if you include the date on which he said it ( i.e. January 2010). Some of the commentators above seem to think that Beddington has become more ‘liberal’ recently, rather than the other way around.
    3. “I would like [the two speakers] to address the specific issue of the deleted data …” ? This implies a context which we haven’t been given. Who are the two speakers?
    4. The graph showing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age is fundamental to the point that this article is trying to make. It therefore requires a PROPER reference to its provenance. The reference given, which is basically I can’t find one and its the IPCC’s fault somehow, is not good enough! You need a proper, solid reference for this ‘putative’ graph.
    5. “.. the climate models would have been unable to replicate the temperature changes in either the MWP or the LIA” – needs requires some evidence or a reference to some.
    7. “The way ECS was arrived at was to map the 20th-century temperature rise to the increase in CO2 concentration “. This is not the only way that ECS has been estimated. Attempts have also been made to estimate it from palaeoclimate data. Also, you make a reference to a very large document at this point. You should provide at least a paragraph number within that reference to limit the search, e.g Section 9.6.1.
    8. “Now simple logic would lead one to think that clouds would be a negative feedback…”. Well, it would indeed have to very simple. One man’s simple logic may not be the same as another man’s simple logic. Clouds also have a warming effect at night ,which is a positive feedback. Is there more positive feedback than negative feedback? It is not simple. You need to re-word that sentence.
    9. “The IPCC provide no mechanism, no scientific paper, to support this claim. It comes in some unspecified way from the climate models themselves”. Are not the climate models a mechanism for supporting the claim? Would it be more accurate to write something like “There is no evidence for this claim apart from climate models…etc.”. Is it true that there are no scientific papers on this subject?
    10. “The inevitable conclusion is that without the “hide the decline” graph, the clouds “feedback” as described in the IPCC report would not have existed”. NO – that is not an inevitable conclusion, nor is it a logical one. The earlier IPCC reports also described cloud feedback and also implied it was positive.
    11. “…the entire structure of mainstream climate science depends on a single work which is itself based on methods which are “not allowed” in science”. NO, climate science existed before the ‘hide the decline’ graph and its conclusions were pretty much the same. This is your opinion showing through – it is not logical.
    12. “the speed of change from CO2 has been grossly overstated”. I would have taken the opportunity here to question the ‘speed of change’. A fraction of a degree over 120 years? I would point out that changes have happened much faster in the past, for example a change of up to 10 degrees in maybe 10 years coming out of the Younger Dryas during this inter-glacial period.

    I also agree with what jeez says March 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm and John Kehr after him.

    P.S. The correct reference for your Medieval Warm Period graph is ‘Climate Change, The IPCC Scientific Assessment (1990), Figure 7.1(c), Page 202′.

  65. The article above concentrates on proxies and instrumental data. It might also do well to consider written history and archaeology. For large parts of the globe, especially Europe and China, there is much written evidence to support a Medieval Warm Period that was warmer than it is now. There is also archaeological evidence that indicates that certain crops were grown in places where they are not now viable because it was warmer then than it is now.

    As a hobby, I used to study Viking history. The Medieval Warm Period enabled the European settlement of Greenland. When the climate cooled, Greenland was abandoned by them. When the AGW crowd tried to erase the MWP, they turned me from a supporter to an interested and active skeptic.

    Here’s a link to a previous WUWT article on history/archaeological based evidence of the MWP. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/the-medieval-warm-period-a-global-phenonmena-unprecedented-warming-or-unprecedented-data-manipulation/

  66. Mr. Jonas, I liked the article very much, I thank you. However, there’s some difficulties I see with the article. As was noted, I don’t know the targeted audience, nor the purpose, so the desired criticism may or may not be relevant. First, while I agree the hockey stick graph is very important to the CAGW cause, I’ve a difficulty believing models are based on the understanding of an oft debunked graphic. I may be wrong, but it seems you’ve failed to make the case for this. I view the hockey stick graph as iconic rather than substantive. While it is referenced, and the alarmism must generally fit the narrative of the graph, I don’t think they’re basing their quasi-science on the graph itself.

    Obviously, you have brought to the forefront some very pointed questions which must be answered, particularly, which other graphs truncated the earlier part? Also, how can we model future climate if we can’t quantify the effects of clouds today, much less demonstrate a knowledge of cloud coverage in the future? These are great points! I’d recommend a significant re-wording, with a different “tie-in” with regards to the graph-IPCC-modeling, or strengthen the ties.

    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the great work!

    James

  67. Might I add that after the comments recently here at WUWT about Professor Tim Flannery – the original Mann “hockey stick” graph is central to Flannerys book “The Weather Makers”. This is emphatically so in that it is located on page 162 of the 332 page book and central to his thesis.

    On the next page (164) is this inimitable quote; “With all scenarios they [the model makers] discovered that by 2050 human influences on the climate will have surpassed all natural influences. In other words, there will no more (sic) climatic ‘acts of God’, only human-made climate disasters.” – bracketed insert mine.

    Tim Flannery as the new Commissioner for Climate Change is conducting a series of forums around Australia and their web site;

    http://climatecommission.gov.au/

    does not give any dates or venues for these forums – maybe they don’t want to have any sceptics (deniers ;-) present at these meetings? The first one was held a few days ago and was televised on the ABC and I have to say was sickening in it’s propaganda content. Here is the invite; “This is your opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with the Climate Commissioners and participate in the national conversation on this vital issue.” Anyone who looked half like a climate sceptic was given short shrift and ignored.

  68. R Gates writes:

    “Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated. ……. It is, in my opinion, very dishonest at best to use the “hide the decline” comment to insinuate that there was any attempt at dishonesty, academic or scientific, but rather, the truncation of the data was valid,”

    From a strictly scientific perspective, the issue is less about dishonesty, but rather the fact that if the “accuracy” is wrong from 1960 forward, there is no basis to assume that any of the data are remotely accurate.

    Mr. Gates, its would seem that you are making up for yourself the issue for every “skeptics”. Most of us can speak for ourselves. The only act of “dishonesty” that I can see is that the “Alarmists” refuse to acknowledge the real issue being raised scientifically, that the tree-ring proxies may not be appropriate proxies for determining temperature in the present or past. [ie., if they are wrong now, why should anyone believe they were accurate in the past. ... a lucky correlation for the first half of the temperature record doesn't make the rest of it accurate]

  69. Leif Svalgaard “It is not the deletion that was bad, but the retention. ”

    I haven’t followed this too closely but something seems wrong here. The Briffa data that was retained matches very closely with the other reconstructions, but the data that diverged was thrown out. This still seems like observational bias. Until you understand what’s wrong with the data, how do you know which data to throw out? Perhaps the Briffa data is right and the others are wrong.

    MikeEE

  70. I would echo the comments of Peter2108 and particularly the Scottish Sceptic.

    Without providing the details of who the audience is, what vehicle this will be placed into (blog post, journal, book, etc) it is not reasonable to request a review.

    There is merit in putting this all together, but it must be done very well.

    Overall I found the piece did not have a good flow, more of a series of related facts. As others have commented you have to be very careful with the tone and presentation. For example, stating that “the IPCC and the climate modellers still had a problem”, particularly the use of the word problem, suggests you believe the IPCC had a pre-determined outcome they were trying to fabricate. Even if this is true, it takes away from your message and needs to be re-phrased. You need to be abundantly, even over-the-top objective.

    I suggest incorporating the input you have received so far and re-post with the contextual pieces listed in the Scottish Sceptics comments.

  71. All – Thanks for the time you have put into your comments thus far. I have regarded all comments as constructive. especially those which make me reassess whether what I wrote really was correct. Actually, that was the purpose of putting it here for review.

    I am trying to incorporate a number of comments at least to some extent, especially those to do with format and those disputing or correcting what I wrote, but I haven’t necessarily responded here..

    The document isn’t intended for formal publication. For a forthcoming event, I want to put a statement in front of a ‘panel of experts’ which will help them to see that there is substance behind climate scepticism. As some here have pointed out, there is nothing new in what I have said. There isn’t intended to be. I am trying to extract one line of argument, from all the debate that has raged to date, that addresses the core of AGW and shows there are valid reasons to think it is wrong. IMHO we desperately need such a statement on the web, but a comprehensive one, not just a single line of argument. Easier said than done.

    —–

    Richard S Courtney :-

    Thanks for your comment. I have enjoyed and learned from many of your comments in the past.

    You put up three assumptions, and said “<there are reasons to dispute each of them“. I don’t have any argument with that, but I would have to be able to produce the reasons if I started there.

    I do disagree with you wrt the MWP.

    Firstly, you say “The existence of the MWP only has relevance to the AGW-hypothesis in that the MWP reveals a degree of natural global temperature change which must be exceeded before any such change can logically be ascribed to be evidence of a recent anthropogenic effect on global temperature change.“. I don’t think that way. It is hypothetically possible that past temperatures could have been higher than today’s, without that falsifying AGW. eg, certain factors might have been stronger then than they are now, The important thing is to be sure that enough factors have been identified and quantified, for us to have confidence in our understanding of climate.

    Secondly, you say “The first two IPCC Reports accepted the MWP existed and each of them included the same (unnumbered) graph that is in your paper and shows the MWP“. But their claimed level of certainty was low. I don’t think they could get their claimed level of certainty up to a credible level, without getting rid of the MWP. I see this as their core weakness, and in my document, I try to follow the evidence which exposes it.

    Finally, you say “The magnitude of the MWP as indicated by Briffa, Mann, Bradley, et al. plays no part in this; how could it when their data indicates that the magnitude of the MWP was zero?“. But that surely is the whole point. Their data indicates that the MWP was ‘zero’. Their models match their data. But their data was flawed and there really was a MWP. Therefore their models are wrong.

    I take your points on clouds and aerosols. But I don’t think I need them for my core argument. It is sufficient that the IPCC have to draw heavily on clouds (which they don’t understand) to make their case, and that the case collapses if clouds don’t perform in the way they claim.

    —–

    Laws of Nature – I don’t dispute your calculations, but I have tried to avoid that level of detail. I think my argument stands up without it.

    Mindbuilder – I would need a link in order to assess your comment.

    berniel – I think the reality is the opposite of what you portray. The AGW case depends on the MWP being split up and spread around in time. But thanks for the comment anyway, I’ll check up on what data there is globally.

  72. kwik says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:06 pm
    TFN Johnson says:
    March 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “It’s good to see Beddington moving on, in only a few weeks, from asking for ‘zero tolerance’ for climate sceptics to this new position. ”

    Hmmm, it seems Beddington will be on the BLACKLIST now?

    Anyway, it is all too late;

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/latestnews/Brown-Fifty-days–to.5747301.jp

    haha!

    Seems Brown’s forecast on climate change was no more accurate than many of his economic forecasts! Good riddance!!

  73. Scottish Sceptic says:
    March 28, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I had much the same thoughts. I can’t do a better job of outlining my objections, except perhaps to reference or repeat mosh’s blurt.

  74. R.Gates says:

    “…………….. It gets rather discouraging to see quotes from discussion between professionals taken out of context, when the full meaning and intent among those professionals could be easily explained if non-professionals would truly understand the full context.”

    “……………………………………………………Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated.”

    Sorry old chap but the Agw story is far, far, too big, and its ramifications too consequential, for it to be the sole preserve of climate scientists. Few climate scientists are mathematicians of note and few even rank as accomplished statisticians. Practically none could get a job as a computer programmer. Judgement of fraud is not a province reserved to scientists, whatever the field of manipulation, and in the view of many of us truncation (as opposed to rejection) of data, is prima facie fraud. If you present me with statistical analysis which includes truncated data, and you do not tell me in large and prominent print that this is the case, then you are a brave man or a foolish one.

  75. R.Gates says:

    “Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated.”

    The honest analyst rejects unreliable data in its entirety. The defrauder truncates.

  76. It is amazing that no commenter here have read Dr Noor Van Andel paper here http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/CO2_and_climate_v7.pdf which was the basis of a presentation to KNMI in February of this year. Van Andel has analysed actual measured data and concludes that CO2 does not warm the atmosphere but only serves the cool (by radiation to space) at the top of the atmosphere. How about Willis giving a review of this paper.
    It is very clear that few (apart from engineers who deal continually with heat transfer) understand the Stefan-Boltzman equation which in its orignal form without emissivity factors, view factors and other corrections only applies to black bodies. The definition of a black body is as follows (Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook) “The characteristic properties of a blackbody are that it aborbs all the radiation incident on its surface and that the quality and intensity of the radiation it emits are completely determined by its temperature. ” Two points should be well known a) the gas CO2 is not a surface b) the gas CO2 has only strong absorption at the wavelengths 15 micron and 4.3 micron (according to the climate science guru Sir John Houghton). CO2 is not a blackbody and the Stefan-Boltzman equation can not be applied directly to it. The famous chemical engineer Prof Hoyt Hottel developed an equation, from his and many others’ extensive research in furnaces and heat exchangers, which allows the calculation of the absorptivity and emissivity of gases containing CO2. Assuming an atmosphere height of 8km and averaging temperatures and pressures between the surface and at 8km I have calculated that the absorptivity/emissivity of the CO2 component of the atmosphere is insignificant (less than 0.01). This would explain Van Andel’s and Miskolczi’s analyses and also the failures of models which including CO2 to predict anything.

  77. oldseadog says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:22 am
    A very minor point, but you say “…if the MWP was as warm as today …..” .
    S. Greenland must have been a lot warmer then than it is today for the Vikings to be able to farm there in the way that they did.

    I’d call that a “very major point”.

    Mike Jonas says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:34 am

    . . . Sorry about the format of the document not being to scientific paper standard. It is part of a larger document which has its own overall format. Only this part addresses the science. Hopefully, factual errors will be obvious regardless of format.

    This should have been made clear at the beginning, as Scottish Skeptic and others have gotten the impression that this was a draft of a scholarly paper aimed at a scientific journal (that’s the usual context for ‘peer review’), and as such did not measure up. If this is just part of a general work aimed at a lay audience, that’s another matter entirely.

    /Mr Lynn

  78. MikeEE says:
    March 28, 2011 at 6:17 am
    Until you understand what’s wrong with the data, how do you know which data to throw out? Perhaps the Briffa data is right and the others are wrong.
    If you throw away as much as they did, you can have little confidence in any of it, and are better served by throwing it all out.

  79. I have often wondered where are the trees, from which the proxy records are derived, located. Are they situated in remote locations far from human habitation? And where are the sites for the weather stations, from which the temperature records are derived, located. Are they situated at airports or other places where urban development has occurred? Is it possible that the divergence problem is a reflection of the UHI effect? Perhaps my suggestion is too simplistic but I would be interested in what others think.

  80. I’ve always had difficulty understanding why tree-rings are considered temperature proxies. One summer, as a teen, I worked on a crew that hired out to different farmers every week. One week, we came to this farm where the fellow had a particularly bad weed problem. In one part of his field, the weeds were so dense, they were competing with each other for sunlight. They had grown 5 feet high and had spindly, thin stems. They could barely stay upright without leaning on the neighbouring weeds. Meanwhile, not 50 metres away, in the same field, the weed problem was not so bad. The same variety of weed was only 2 feet high and its stem was three times as thick. If the stem width is taken as a proxy for temperature, then one would conclude that the temperature of the portion of field with the lesser weed problem was much higher than the extremely weedy region just 50 metres away.

    Now, you may argue that these are weeds, and not trees, but I have witnessed the same growth pattern in trees, just not with the kind of juxtaposition that the weed example gives. The weeds did all their growth in one summer. Trees, of course, grow much more slowly, and the difference from one year to the next is not as simple to see. That being said, who has not seen tall, thin trees in the middle of the forest, versus a wide, spreading tree in the middle of a field?

    It seems to me, that there are just too many variables in plant growth to say for certain that temperature is the only variable upon which tree-ring width depends. The divergence problem certainly reinforces this for me, and, as a result, any past temperature study that relies on tree-rings, I will forever remain sceptical of.

  81. I would like the two speakers to address the validity of tree ring density as used for temperature reconstruction. There is more than just the issue of Briffa involved.

    From 1000 to about 1850 we’re comparing tree rings to themselves. How is that valid? With the diligence of Steve McIntyre, Mann has admitted that no chronology using tree ring density can be validated prior to 1500CE, so the graph presented in the head post should have a demarcation line at that point with a big banner stating that anything prior to this is pure guesswork.

  82. @R Gates

    You forgot to include a mention of the 40% increase in CO2 in the past while.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Tree-ring-proxies-divergence-problem.htm, says “Tree-ring growth has been found to match well with temperature and hence tree-rings are used to plot temperature going back hundreds of years…”

    Well they are not really plot of temperature, they are plots of tree ring widths. As Briffa has shown very well, the relationship between ring width and temperature is at best an occasional correlation. Sometimes it is indicative and sometimes it is not. Lief is right: delete them all because they are not telling us anything reliable to begin with.

    I must say I find the argument you presented about how the divergence problem was noted and discussed seems to me aimed at legitimising the partial deletion. That seems to be your core message: because it was noted as a problem, there is no problem, basically. That is not logical. Others above have pointed it so I won’t repeat the obvious.

    The point is, tree rings are proxies, a substitute that maybe indicates something. If it diverges from real temperatures, then it not a skilled proxy. The proxy becomes one by a process of analysis of raw data. It is clear that the person creating the proxy relationship lacks the skill needed to render a meaningful temperature value set. If the skil was there, there would not be such huge divergences at each end.

    Your frequent statement that CO2 has increased 40% and the temperature has gone up [about 0.7 C] is made to support your contention that CO2 is a principal driver of temperature and therefore climate. Well, one can perhaps make a case that it is a principal driver of tree ring width but Briffa shows us that it does a poor job of that, especially during the times when we know what the temperatures are. Delete the lot.

    There is another possible interpretation of this ‘divergence’. It is that above a certain temperature, the tree ring response to an increase in temperature is to decline in width. There is perhaps a tipping point for tree rings.

    Now, looking back at ice core-derived temperatures, we know it was much warmer in the MWP. If the temperature in 1960 reached the tree ring width tipping point, and the ring width declined, we can use that as the reference/calibration period. Increased temperature above a certain value = narrower rings. Interesting. We have the facts at hand.

    Now, look back at Briffa’s pre-1500 data. What do you see? Narrowed rings! Why? Because it was warmer! And you can tell how much warmer because of the continuing narrowing of the rings. So do the Mannly thing and flip the chart over from that point, using the 1960 temperature as the tipping/flipping value.

    Lo and behold the correct temperature comes clearly into view. The new chart matches the real MWP temperatures and the 1960-2000 as well.

    So you can in fact get the correct MWP nad modern temperatures by correctly processing another flipping graph from the Team.

  83. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    It would seem apparent that an honest discussion about the true context of the “hide the decline” comment would be in order to really get at the meaning and intent when discussing its ramifications in any type of paper. This is especially true when bringing up the issue of truncated data, and reasons why it may be indeed a prudent thing to have truncated certain data. It gets rather discouraging to see quotes from discussion between professionals taken out of context, when the full meaning and intent among those professionals could be easily explained if non-professionals would truly understand the full context.

    The “hide the decline” is of course referring to the apparent decline in temperature in the high northern latitudes as shown in in tree-ring data from about 1960. This divergence of reconstructed temperatures shown in tree-ring data after 1960 in HIGH NORTHERN LATITUDES diverges from the actual measured temperatures during this period, as there were actual measurements of temperatures during this period. This “problem” is known among professionals as the “divergence” problem……………….

    Others have commented on the deletion of invalid proxy data.

    I would add that your emphasis on ‘HIGH NORTHERN LATITUDES’ seems not to have been the aim of the team. These trees in Yamal were ‘teleconnected’ to the other trees on the planet (try selling that to the man on the Clapham Omnibus!). So the few tree rings in Yamal that were assessed were taken to indicate the temperature of the planet!?

    Can you imagine a television weather forecaster (Anthony could do this I am sure) standing by a single tree in Siberia and using it to forecast the climate in California?

    “You see..”, he looks around furtively and continues in a whisper, “this tree”, he strokes Yamal-061, ” is ….. tele-conn-ected….”, he looks around and shuffles closer. “So I can tell you now this tree is saying that there’ll be no snow in the Sierra Nevada…” his voice rises to a hoarse stage whisper, “and people will die!!!..” he pauses to wipe spittle from his mouth…..

  84. There is evidence that the trees might be right and the instrumental record wrong. Anthony Watts sent swarms of volunteers scouring America to find our weather stations and photograph them. They were often found on asphalt (known to raise temperatures), or even next to air conditioners or other prodigious heat sources. Only 11 percent were well sited.

    Satellite data had indicated a slight cooling trend in the 90’s–the very period where alarmists were screaming “hockey stick.”

    If this were an article for publication, I would include the dramatic graph published here a month or two ago comparing numbers of weather stations versus claimed instrumental temperature measurements.

    There is a real hockey stick phenomenon going on–in cities. I live in a four-building apartment complex. Our large front and back yards are still dead-looking, late winter conditions in Aurora Colorado. But between two buildings, there is a garden that turned quite green a few weeks ago. It already has several lovely flowers and vigorous growth of green leaves. This urban heat island is a blessing.

    The urban heat island effect is a blessing for many wild creatures, too. A 2006 paper (1) found that opossums have extended their range northward in Massachusetts, into urban areas. In these northern extensions, they are found near roads and other human places, but in their traditional, more southern ranges, they are found in forests, away from people.

    There has been relatively little study of urban ecology, or ways to increase urban biodiversity. Such studies might prove very useful. For example, one of America’s most endagered animals is the black-footed ferret, which feeds on prarie dogs. Prairie dog density is often higher in urban parks and open fields than it is in nearby rural areas. Thus, these animals could thrive in urban conditions. This is especially critical because the primary threat to the ferrets is sylvatic plague–which can be prevented by human intervention, putting pulicides (flea-killers) into prairie dog burrows (2). One tends to find a lot of humans in urban habitats, so urban releases would be easier to monitor and protect than rural ones.

    AGW is part of a general movement of human-bashing. It is certainly true today that ecological studies find crashing biodiversity as one moves from rural to urban areas. But that is because we have only just begun to scratch the surface of urban ecology. By studying natural rivers, the city of Denver restored its Platte River from a repository of old cars and bedsprings to a scenic river popular with several species of ducks and other water birds.

    Given more time and interest, urban environments will become more diverse and vibrant than any wilderness could ever be. But that requires truth, not destracting nonsense like AGW.

    (1) Kanda, L. Leann, Todd K Fuller and Paul R Sievert, 2006. Landscape Associations of Road-Killed Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in Central Massachusetts Am. Midl. Nat. 156-128-134

    (2) Biggins, Dean E, Jerry L. Godbey, Kenneth L. Gage, Leon G. Carter and John A Montenien, 2010. Vector Control Improves Survival of Three Species of Prarie Dogs (Cynomys) in Areas Considered Enzootic for Plague. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 10, No. 1, 17-26.

  85. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    “This is especially true when bringing up the issue of truncated data, and reasons why it may be indeed a prudent thing to have truncated certain data. It gets rather discouraging to see quotes from discussion between professionals taken out of context, when the full meaning and intent among those professionals could be easily explained if non-professionals would truly understand the full context.”

    Once again, you have committed the Classic Fallacy of “Petitio Principii” or “Begging the Question.” Your argument is a circle. Your conclusion is in your premises. You really should have learned to avoid this by now.

    Aside from that, we don’t give a darn what they believed they were doing. We care what they did. They do not get to decide what they did but we do.

  86. This seems like a very clear exposition Mike. I’ve been reading about paleoclimate constructions since the 60s. That IPCC graph, from AR1, IIRC, aligned with the climate studies written up to that time. I guess the ‘Team’ figured this was an obscure enough field that they could rewrite history and get away with it.
    The only thing you might want to add is the lack of sea level rise, and the lack of acceleration of that rate. Seems like another bedrock footing to shore up your position upon. There is a good post here on WUWT, 3/28.

  87. Tain says:

    “I’ve always had difficulty understanding why tree-rings are considered temperature proxies.”

    Want tree ring proxies corellated with temperature? click

    Want tree ring proxies correlated with CO2? click

    All peer reviewed, and contradictory. Rainfall, drought, and other factors aren’t taken into account. The assumption is made that temperature controls tree ring width.

    Much like phrenology, where specialists studied the shape and size of the cranium as an indicator of character and mental abilities, thus concluding that women were obviously less intelligent. Today we have treemometer specialists. As if.

  88. R.Gates says:

    “Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated.”

    How the heck do you know that there was not an aberrant weather pattern that governed these trees for fifty years? Have you been there? Briffa never told us. Do you just make up the empirical obsevations as you go?

  89. Several responses:

    1- Overall, this looks fairly compelling for a lay audience. Nice work.

    2 – The phrase “hide the decline” has been attached to the actions apparently taken by Mann et al because of its source but is actually not appropriate. A more accurate phrase would be “hide the variation” because the graphic they produced showed a steady downward trend (smoothing out the MWP and LIA) followed by a sharp lurch upward (smooching up :) recent declines) to produce a nice, simple, picture – where the reality is more complicated and shows far more variation.

    3 – The statement “It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” contains two assertions.

    3.1 Now I know everyones knows CO2 produces warming, but there’s no actual evidence, basic physics contradicts the hypothesis, every experiment designed to prove it has failed, and the little data we do have suggests CO2 concentrations trail, rather than lead, atmospheric temperature change. Other than that, however, accepting it is a pretty good idea.

    3.2 The second statement “that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” is obviously true, but carries the implication that this CO2 would not find its way into the atmosphere without our help. Is there actual evidence for this – and, if so, over what time scales?

    Imagine, for example, that human action against large scale fires balances, or nearly balances, human CO2 production over X year time scales, but climate change lags drivers on some different scale – Y years. I have no idea what the balance is, or what the scales might be, but it’s obviously possible to propose scenarios in which CO2 does drive climate, but the net effect of human action is that of a negative, rather than positive, amplifier.

  90. I’ll offer two conditional views:

    1) If this is intended to run as an editorial column in just about any venue:

    -Then it is almost fine just like it is, but remove most of the obscure science references.

    2) If this is intended to be sent to someone important:

    -Then I would not want this to represent my point of view. (I think I agree with what I think you are trying to say, but so much of it is unclear that I can’t be sure if I agree or not. Was that clear?)

    2-a) As several people said above; clean up the text. Remove all the verbal graphiti, fix the syntax errors, etc.

    2-b) There are several places where you are ambiguous, such as where you state that the hide the decline graph is used in several places in IPCC to support various claims. Those should be clearly referenced.

    The end result of what you have written is document that is easily refuted by even the most casual revew. I think you may be right, but the way you presented it leaves too many easy ways to question it. I will only go into details if your second draft does not address these concerns.

  91. I agree with Mike Jonas’ earlier post.
    If dendrochronology was considered unreliable after 1960, it must therefore be considered unreliable prior to 1960.

    What the science says…[A la Sceptical Science]
    “The divergence problem is a physical phenomenon – tree growth has slowed or declined in the last few decades, mostly in high northern latitudes. The divergence problem is unprecedented, unique to the last few decades, indicating its cause may be anthropogenic. The cause is likely to be a combination of local and global factors such as warming-induced drought and global dimming. Tree-ring proxy reconstructions are reliable before 1960, tracking closely with the instrumental record and other independent proxies. ”

    “The divergence problem is unprecedented, unique for the last few decades.”

    Of course, it isn’t possible that there was a large divergence at any other period in history before 1880, or is it?
    How convenient that tree rings decided to lie after 1960.

  92. Re: R. Gates March 27, 9:56 pm

    R. Gates, thank you for the useful links to the SkepticalScience. com pages. Those pages and their links provided some good information about the post 1960 divergence problem. You are correct when you say “this truncation was hardly ignored…” We have seen the hand-waving arguments to explain the post 1960 divergence and to justify its truncation. My feeling up to this point was that those arguments may be plausible.

    Here is the problem now, and it looks obvious to readers here, and should look obvious to you: If you read to the bottom of your first link it says “Tree-ring proxy reconstructions are reliable before 1960, tracking closely with the instrumental record and other independent proxies.” Apparently that is not the case , otherwise, why the truncation prior to 1550?

    Is it possible that the decline post 1960 and the low levels prior to 1550 are both a natural consequence of elevated temperatures? If so, wouldn’t the values before 1550 that are lower than the values after 1960 imply that it was warmer in prior to 1550 than it was after 1960?. The links you provided (and the links within those links) did not discus the pre-1550 divergence, which of course, was the point of this post. Why is that?

    Tom Moriarty
    ClimateSanity.wordpress.com

  93. Theo Goodwin says:
    March 28, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Those who claim that the science is settled/solid/whatever or that there is a consensus must be made to specify what that science is and who that consensus comprises, and all this must be put together in a narrative that describes the evolution of the key claims of climate science to this point. I believe that the science has always been on life support and the consensus is a handful of people with great influence on the IPCC and the peer review process.

    Here’s an idea that I hope some middle-of-the-roaders would advocate initially, and that would later be taken up by, and administered under the aegis of, mainstream scientific journals and societies: A questionnaire to get the main participants in the climate controversy “on the record” (the way the signers of the Copenhagen Declaration did, in part) as to what they think is happening, why it’shappening, and what we ought to do about it. The following might be employed:

    1. A detailed questionnaire asking their opinions on a hundred contested matters of fact and opinion.
    2. Policy prescriptions. (E.g., Wind? Nuclear? How much of each, if you have an opinion. Carbon tax?)
    3. Predictions about temperature, sea level, etc. at various time scales under various levels of CO2 and policy responses.

    It’s important that these questionnaires not demand responses to “advanced” questions (those should be optional), because these might be stumbling blocks to those responding. Further, each question should allow the responder to indicate his level of confidence in his answer, on a one-to-ten scale. That way he can weigh in on topics outside his specialty without nailing his flag to the mast on that matter.

    This poll could be refined and rerun every three years (say). This would show opinion-trends, which future sociologists also would appreciate. Results would be split out by the responders’ specialty, which would allow non-specialists to participate without skewing the most relevant results.

    In a future age, when sociologists dissect what was going on and why, they will curse our generation for omitting to poll the participants on their beliefs. (I’m assuming nothing worthwhile will be done, which is the way to bet.)

    Say!! Sociologists’ Associations should be passing resolutions urging such a project. (Preferably a “massive,” well-funded project.) Take it away! (Advocates (and critics) can quote this freely.)

    I wish WUWT would get the ball rolling by starting a thread inviting comment on this idea.

  94. AusieDan: “In the intervening years, the temperature data for the 1930′s has been lowered by very small increments, year by year, until now it is well below current values.”
    Very well said. This lowering may have resulted from premature dropping of stations showing undesired trends. Let’s call them the ‘purple’ stations. For a repair we have to wait for results from the BEST project.

  95. davidmhoffer says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm
    R. Gates;
    Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated. >>>

    C’mon sir Gates, you’re really twisting yourself in knots to justify this one. The temperature record runs from about 1880 to current, and based on that they “justifiably”truncated data that didn’t agree with it. Oh, the data with no temp record to verify against for 900 years before that is all OK though, just trust us.

    Ooooops, it turns out we truncated some data from back then too. No temp record to justify it, we just decided it was wrong. We knew it was wrong because….well it was either that or WE were wrong, so obviously….

    Gimme a break.

    ____

    You really need to read more on this topic before posting such as reply. The “divergence problem” . The truncation of the tree-ring data, which was known to be inaccurate beginning about 1960 was not an “oops” event or arbitrary. There were very solid reasons for eliminating this, addressed in AR4. NOT truncating this data would have been a error. “Hiding the decline”, by truncation was scientifically the correct move. The only “trick” was done by those who tried to make it seem as though this truncation was disnhonest or unfounded.

  96. Re: R. Gages March 27, 9:56 pm

    One other point: R. Gates’ second link says…

    “Phil Jones’ email is often cited as evidence of an attempt to “hide the decline in global temperatures”. This claim is patently false and demonstrates ignorance of the science discussed.”

    While that may certianly be true in some quarters, it is not true for the most part at WattsUpWithThat. The point has been explained quite plainly here that “hide the decline” refers to a decline in temperature data derived from tree growth proxy which contridicts instrumental temperature data.

    It is a red herring to toss that charge into the mix here.

  97. PS: Responders should be able to append comments to all their answers. (This is easy with electronic questionnaires.) This again should remove stumbling blocks in the form of questions that were not formulated properly in respondents’ opinions.

  98. Tom Moriarty says:
    March 28, 2011 at 9:39 am
    Re: R. Gates March 27, 9:56 pm

    “Is it possible that the decline post 1960 and the low levels prior to 1550 are both a natural consequence of elevated temperatures?”

    ____
    Absolutely, and it is entirely possible that both diverge for entirely different reasons as well. But in respect to the pre-1550 data, I would think if someone wanted to minimize the warming that this period showed, they would NOT have truncated this data as they did. Using that data would have skewed the entire record downward, which would have made the 20th century even appear warmer. The bottom line is this:

    1) Truncating both these periods was scientifically justified
    2) AR4 discussed this truncation
    3) Truncating this erroneous data due the divergence with all other actual records and proxies was a “trick” only in the sense that it removed a erroneous decline that would have otherwise shown up in the data. Leaving the erroneous decline data in would have benefited the AGW “warmists” in the pre-1550 data (if they “wanted” to show how extraordinary the late 20th century warming was) but it would have benefited the AGW skeptics in the post-1960 data if they wanted to somehow show it was not as warm as all the other data were showing. This entire truncation, and “trick” of hiding the decline was justified, and all true experts in the field knew exactly what was done and why it was happening. The only real issue remains is why the N. latitude tree-ring data diverged so much during these periods of warmth.

  99. steve mosher says:

    “Greenland is one place. It is not the globe.”

    True, but misleading. There is an enormous amount of evidence showing the MWP and the LIA.

    This voluminous evidence contradicts Mann’s treemometer. IMHO, Michael Mann is a complete charlatan who cherry-picks and fabricates data to advance his agenda.

  100. A good template for a handwavy sort of paper pointing up general arguments would be:

    Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario
    James Hansen,*† Makiko Sato,*‡ Reto Ruedy,* Andrew Lacis,* and Valdar Oinas

    It may be tosh, but it’s well-arranged, clearly-presented tosh, and it follows a logical progression, making its points clearly and concisely at a level which can be easily understood (or, perhaps, misunderstood) by a lay reader.

    I found the above paper to lack certain of those qualities. Yes, the arguments are there, but, even though I sympathise with the general thrust, I would not be convinced by what is written.

    JF
    Mosh, just for you: http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/26/skeptics-make-your-best-case

  101. jeez says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    jeez is a troll peddling a pro-AGW, pro-IPCC snake oil. His claim that all of the science referenced by the IPCC must be addressed is a desperate strategem of a child. If the pro-AGW or pro-IPCC people would publish a short article, ten pages or less, that sets forth their basic theses then they might get a response. Claiming that all the trash and hippie nonsense that the IPCC assembled is like claiming that every fantasy of every buzzed-out Greenie is worth considering.

    No, sir, you will not slip into this conversation the “Red Herring” that all of the science referenced by the IPCC is serious science. You will not get in the equally dangerous “Red Herring” that some of the IPCC science is serious. None of it is! It is nothing but hand waving and patched together Greenie wishes.

    Not one IPCC scientist has produced one physical hypothesis that could be used to explain and predict the “supposed” forcings in cloud formation that is caused by increasing CO2 concentrations. Yet the IPCC people and the Climategaters claim that there are positive forcings and that they transform a trivial temperature rise into a dangerous rise. Without those physical hypotheses, there is no climate science that can predict a dangerous rise in temperature. You know that. Because I know that you know that, I declare that you are the most evil kind of troll, a cad and a scoundrel who is here to actually disrupt work by climate sceptics. I hope our fair minded readers can learn from this incident.

  102. Sam Parsons,

    I think you might be misunderstanding what jeez was saying. And Mike Jonas did ask for criticism, didn’t he?

  103. Leif Svalgaard says: March 28, 2011 at 12:09 am

    quote
    The extreme divergence between the “Briffa-2000″ proxy and the instrumental temperature record shows that this proxy is completely unreliable (the “divergence problem”).
    If the proxy is ‘completely unreliable’, deleting all of it would seem appropriate. Deleting all of Briffa does not change the result significantly, so that seems to be a reasonable thing to do
    unquote

    That would be like shooting the black swan and claiming that it did not exist. Outliers, anomalies, are what we should be looking for: when things don’t match our expectations, we learn new things. Climate science has form relating to the destruction of Cygnus atratus and I am dubious about the intentions behind the truncation: Google Wigley ‘why the blip’.

    There may be, with the graph above, another problem to your proposed solution. Am I right in thinking that two of the lines are approximately the same thing interpreted slightly differently?How many of the lines other than the Briffa ‘failure’ include high latitude tree rings? If Briffa shows anything then it means those lines which share the same data source should also be deleted. Try it and report back — I’d love to know how much is left. I suspect it would be a thermometer line and not much else.

    JF

  104. Tom Moriarty says:
    March 28, 2011 at 10:30 am
    Re: R. Gages March 27, 9:56 pm

    One other point: R. Gates’ second link says…

    “Phil Jones’ email is often cited as evidence of an attempt to “hide the decline in global temperatures”. This claim is patently false and demonstrates ignorance of the science discussed.”

    While that may certianly be true in some quarters, it is not true for the most part at WattsUpWithThat. The point has been explained quite plainly here that “hide the decline” refers to a decline in temperature data derived from tree growth proxy which contridicts instrumental temperature data.

    It is a red herring to toss that charge into the mix here.
    _____

    The issue of “hiding the decline” is completely wrapped up with the issue of truncated data, and certainly needs to be discussed in full context– I hope you would agree with that. The link I gave was for futher discussion of this issue in more depth, and I never accused, nor would I accuse WUWT of handling this issue in any wrongful way, and this should obviously not be seen as my intent. More context is better than less if truth is what we’re after.

    Again, I think the most important point is WHY did the N. Latitude tree-ring data diverge so much when temperatures stared to rise (either pre-1550 or post-1960)? This is far more interesting a topic than looking at the actual obvious and scientifically justified need for “hiding the decline” of this proxy data which would have skewed the entire record for these periods. At no point was anyone trying to hide the fact that the truncations occurred, nor trying to hide the reasons why they used the “trick” of truncation.

  105. Julian Flood says:
    March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am
    Outliers, anomalies, are what we should be looking for: when things don’t match our expectations, we learn new things.
    Outliers can only be defined if the data is good. If the data is bad, it should be discarded wholesale.

  106. Let’s keep it nice and simple.

    The sun affects the size of the polar vortices whilst internal ocean cycles vary the supply of stored solar energy to the air.

    Those two competing forces affect the speed of the water cycle so that the surface air pressure distribution constantly changes to try and maintain balance between solar energy into the system and radiative energy out of the system.

    Changes in CO2 make a discrete but imperceptible difference to the natural variations.

    The entire AGW theory is based on the coincidence for a short period of time of rising CO2 levels with an upswing in the natural cycle.

  107. Scottish Sceptic says:
    March 28, 2011 at 12:41 am

    RobB says:
    March 28, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Richard S Courtney says:
    March 28, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Each of these gentlepersons nailed the gist of a peer review squarely. Every comment they made should be considered and addressed.

    Some of my personal comments:
    I wondered why the ellipsis was at the start, which I now presume to have been placed by Anthony to indicate the above writing as an add-on to a larger work. Very confusing in that I find myself wondering just what the context is.

    I was completely lost by your introductory comments and quotes. Just exactly where are you going and why? Just exactly where do you shift from historical commentary to factual findings? For that matter, what contribution do the Beddington quotes and corresponding commentary contribute to your points? To my mind they come across as chaff and misdirection. What is more, if any of your intended audience are Beddington fans/opponents you may offend them before they get to the meat of your article. If you are setting the stage for that ending reference back to Beddington, the play is long before you bring him back on stage…

    “It has now been discovered that some of the data series had been truncated …” Some? One, two, three, four or more data series? Enough has been written about this that you should be able to be explicit, with references. Don’t mealy mouth facts; leave that to the plaintive out of context criers.

    “…truncated…” Given the analysis others have performed on these reconstructions I question your use of the word truncated when referring to this graph construction. The phrasing implies that truncated is all that is possibly wrong with the graphs. Yet you imply with some of your later arguments about the MWP that the data is not all it should be.

    I fail to understand why you include a quote from Gavin Schmidt. Sour grapes do not make your paper any better. Yeah, later on in your paper you refer back to Gavin’s remark; why you didn’t put the quote in that paragraph when you needed it is unclear to me. “”It has now been discovered…” I don’t think discovered is the correct wording here. Good honest and hard investigatory work went into identifying all of the missing pieces; discovery makes it sound like an abrupt revelation.

    After the MWP commentary section you enter into a series of statements that mix opinion with allusion, rhetoric and occasional facts. Some of the facts are referenced. e.g. , “…the climate modellers modelers(sp) had only one factor which could give a sudden upward movement in…” You know this to be a fact or is it just opinion? e.g.2, “The IPCC state repeatedly that they do not understand clouds” They do? The IPCC actually and officially state that they do not understand clouds? Rhetoric. e.g.3, “Large uncertainties remain about how clouds might respond to global climate change.“xiii” – Fact. e.g.4, “There are many statements along these lines” Allusion; turn this statement into facts by identifying the many statements with references.

    Eliminate opinions and any other subjective commentary unless you identify it as opinion. Minimize allusions and rhetoric and when you do use them back them up with references.

    Identify the points you want to leave your audience with and organize your paper to establishing and proving those points.

    As others have said; I apologize if the criticisms are blunt and seem harsh. The comments are intended to help identify where the paper needs strengthening. I believe your premise is good and I’m looking forward to seeing your reworked write-up.

  108. Leif Svalgaard says: March 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

    quote
    “Outliers, anomalies, are what we should be looking for: when things don’t match our expectations, we learn new things.”

    Outliers can only be defined if the data is good. If the data is bad, it should be discarded wholesale.
    unquote

    A Wittgensteinian position with which I can have a certain sympathy. In the case above it would probably leave us with just the thermometer line. Your solution is that of the blind man who kills all swans on the grounds that he cannot tell if they are black or white: better that than planning your whole life on the basis of a lie.

    But perhaps you did not mean that much wholesale….

    JF

  109. Julian Flood says:
    March 28, 2011 at 11:45 am
    Your solution is that of the blind man who kills all swans on the grounds that he cannot tell if they are black or white: better that than planning your whole life on the basis of a lie.
    Scientists are not blind men, and do try to use all available data that are deemed good enough. This latter point is the crux of the matter. If too much of the data had to be deleted, better delete all of it in order to avoid confirmation bias ['keeping what fits'].

  110. This reads like a polemic, not a dispassionate analysis. The use of phrases like “but it gets worse” is fine if you are preaching to the converted, but doesn’t add a lot of weight for readers who are looking for a calm and sensible analysis of facts to help them to make up their minds.

    I love a good polemic, but mostly they are completely useless for changing people’s minds. As PPs have said, it is not clear who your audience is and what you are trying to achieve.

    Agree with Leif that tree rings are either in, or out. People who know about biology seem to think that they should be out. That doesn’t mean that they can’t add to our understanding, but to suggest that they should define it is hard to support. So, either accept tree rings holus bolus, or delete them from the graphs altogether. There is quite likely to be value in constructing separate tree ring graphs/analyses for specified areas, and using them as supplementary data.

    Finally, please don’t think that these comments deprecate the work that you are trying to do. But, I think that going back to the basic principles of what you are trying to achieve, and how, would sharpen up and clarify the document a great deal.

    Best wishes.

  111. Smokey says:
    The planet has been much warmer numerous times in the past. CO2 had nothing to do with it.

    Smokey – can you offer a little more info about the source & background of that graph?

  112. Leif Svalgaard – deleting the one proxy record doesn’t quite solve the problem. As I said, “Phil Jones’ 1999 “Climategate” email indicated that other proxy data series had been truncated to “hide the decline[reference]“.“.

    The referenced email said “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.“. It seems that “each series” had the problem.

  113. Smokey says:
    March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am
    Sam Parsons,
    “I think you might be misunderstanding what jeez was saying. And Mike Jonas did ask for criticism, didn’t he?”

    Thanks, Smokey, but what I said needs to be said as the first post on any discussion of what constitutes the science behind AGW today. I don’t think I was wrong that jeez takes seriously a lot of the hippie smoke rings that pass for IPCC science. As we know, that hippie Pachauri has blown more of them over the last few days.

  114. The IPCC central trend on their global temperature Jan 2000-Jan2010 anomaly is 3.9celsius/century. This is based on theoretical computer models not on real data. Compare this with the actual OBSERVED temperature trend from satelites such as the UAH and RSS temperature data streams and one gets 0.3celsius/century, less than one twelfth of the IPCC trend.(SPPI global temperature index). Nothing to worry about.

  115. Bomber_the_Cat – thanks for your detailed comment. One word of criticism is indeed worth 1000 of flattery. I should be able to take all your points on board, though some will take a fair bit of work.

    wrt #1-3, the Beddington quote links to the topic of the forum, and my document is for the benefit of the 2 speakers at the forum.

    wrt #4 – I have now found the first IPCC report online.

    wrt #5 – I’ll use the fact that they don’t, rather that they couldn’t.

    wrt #7 – done.

    wrt #8 – tidied up, plus a supporting reference.

    wrt #9 – I can find no mechanism or scientific paper in the IPCC report, so I’m leaving that in until someone proves me wrong, but I have put in your wording. I need to add attribution, hopefully a general one as per Judith Curry’s submission to US Congress will be ok.

    wrt #10-12 – still working on these.

    Many thanks, that was very helpful.

  116. @ Charles Higley – now that is a really interesting thought! What if all those Victorian chemists analysing bottle of gas were right, and the carbon dioxide concentration really was >400ppm? What is the reference to E Beck? 80 000 bottle samples? Surely that would be a better measure of the preindustrial level than the guessed 280ppm?

  117. Leif Svalgaard says “People complain that data was deleted, but should be happy if even more data is deleted, especially if all of it is deleted.”

    Yes. But divergence is not limited to the Briffa series. A good illustration is to take away the instrumental record – the hockey stick shape then disappears as the proxy series do not appear to make that final leap above zero in the instrumental record.

    The instrumental record and the proxy series appear to be measuring different things. Is it sensible to keep them firmly apart unless there is a fully justified case (and method) to combine them on purely scientific merit.

    Another concern is whether the HS is supposed to be a global assessment, or whether it relates only to the northern hemisphere.

  118. The removed data around 1500 would certainly have changed the size of the error bars. The graph itself, showing a maximum error of +/- 0.4C 1000 years ago spell BS .

    You would be hard pressed to measure the average temp of the earth today with any degree of certainty to within 0.4 C, there is too much regional and seasonal variability to simply assume the errors with “average out”.

  119. RGates, please post where in AR4 is the validity of deleting data very robustly discussed? Was the graph also used in the summary for policy makers? If so please also show where this deletion of data was discussed.

    I have seen that same line repeated a dozen times but not one person has actually stated where it is discussed, much less what was actually said.

    All I see on the links you gave are hand waving by people saying that because no other proxy varies that much in the past from each other then it must unpresidented and a modern phenomena. Well it is either that or an artifact of the methods that created the graph.

    Also, be honest with yourself. Pick another scientific field and rationalize the deletion of information becuase it might be possible that something else was causing a change in a part of the period that what you want to study. For instance, medical science. Is it ok to delete the adverse data from a graph that a drug helped people because it may be possible it was not your drugs fault that some people died while on it? No, you would be sued.

    Unless you can show exactly why what the trees are doing recently is absolutly not possibly linked to what you are measuring (it is only a modern problem and no previous conditions could have happened that would cause a similar result), THEN you can change the color/line style of the graph to show a change or plot a second showing it removed. Otherwise you should show the graph as the data is produced or refrain from using that data to begin with.

    Once again with feeling, if you delete data because you think it may, possibly, is likely to be wrong, you are cherry picking and that is not an ok method for scientists to use.

  120. R. Gates; says 9.56
    “Obviously, there was something wrong with the accuracy of what the tree-rings were showing, and so the data was, quite justifiably truncated…..”

    No mention of the data removed from the 1500’s.

    I’ve kept records of the growth of my great dane since it was a puppy and when I compare this with the growth rate of other animals there is a large correlation with other animals if I remove the beginning and ends of the data.
    Does this mean that my great dane is a goat/sheep/calf? No it doesn”t, and therefore the tree ring data (all of it) cannot be used scientifically as a proxy unless the differences can be explained.

  121. “‘‘It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,””

    Sure is unchallengeable as a statement of physical claptrap – a gas behaving like a capacitor, storing energy that Brownian motion can’t dissipate. What utter drivel.

  122. Stilgar says:
    March 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    RGates, please post where in AR4 is the validity of deleting data very robustly discussed?

    _____
    Directly from AR4:

    “This ‘divergence’ is apparently restricted to some northern, high-latitude regions, but it is certainly not ubiquitous even there. In their large-scale reconstructions based on tree ring density data, Briffa et al. (2001) specifically excluded the post-1960 data in their calibration against instrumental records, to avoid biasing the estimation of the earlier reconstructions (hence they are not shown in Figure 6.10), implicitly assuming that the ‘divergence’ was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by Cook et al. (2004a). Others, however, argue for a breakdown in the assumed linear tree growth response to continued warming, invoking a possible threshold exceedance beyond which moisture stress now limits further growth (D’Arrigo et al., 2004). If true, this would imply a similar limit on the potential to reconstruct possible warm periods in earlier times at such sites. At this time there is no consensus on these issues (for further references see NRC, 2006) and the possibility of investigating them further is restricted by the lack of recent tree ring data at most of the sites from which tree ring data discussed in this chapter were acquired.”

    Many of you have, but some of you would be interested in the full section of the AR4 report dealing with this divergence issue (and many other fascinating temperature proxy issues). This section can be found at:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html

    Also discussed in the above referenced section is the whole notion of the uncertainty involved in the proxy data, and of course a whole discussion about the MWP period as well. Very important reading for anyone, skeptic or warmist alike, and since I’m a bit of both, I find it doubly interesting!

    As far as getting into this kind of scientific detail in an executive summary– that’s not the place for such details. Where do you draw the line on what details to leave in and what to leave out then in such a “summary” report? The excutive summary is meant to be broad brush, and if they want it, the policymakers have the full report available to them, along with their scientific advisors, (who darn well better be reading the full report cover to cover).

    The take away from this is that there was never an attempt to “hide” any valid data, and that divergence was fully discussed in detail, along with uncertainty in proxy reconstructions.

  123. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    “Scientists are not blind men, and do try to use all available data that are deemed good enough. This latter point is the crux of the matter. If too much of the data had to be deleted, better delete all of it in order to avoid confirmation bias ['keeping what fits'].”

    I agree with Leif’s intuitions. There are three things to consider: the known divergence, the fact that Briffa collected the data in the later years, and the fact that Briffa has published that he does not know why the divergence has taken place.

    We now have fifty years in which the tree ring data has diverged from temperature data. Clearly, during those fifty years, tree rings have proved to be unreliable as proxies for temperature. Fifty years of divergence is reason enough to ask if the tree ring data was ever reliable. My guess is that the only information from the past is a record of tree ring dimensions with little or no information about the actual trees such as their condition, a description of the environment, and so on. With nothing more than a series of measurements, there is nothing in the record itself to speak for its reliability. So, the fact that fifty years has shown unreliability should cast doubt on what came before. But this is not the end of the story.

    Briffa collected or was in charge of collecting the data for the last twenty or thirty years. Surely, he is confident in his own data collection techniques. Yet he has no specific reason to trust an older series of numbers handed down to him. So, he should extend his own findings to the testimony from the past. Unless.

    Unless he knows what happened to the trees that explains the change. In his articles on the matter, he says he does not know the explanation. So, he cannot identify something that would explain the change. That is another reason for doubting the past testimony.

    In summary, Briffa’s own work over a long period of time gives reason to doubt the reliability of tree rings as proxies for temperature. What he has from the past is just testimony about tree ring measurements and contains no metadata that would give reason to trust the old record. So, the doubt should affect both Briffa’s data the data collected before 1960. All of it should be tossed.

  124. Cementafriend says: “It is amazing that no commenter here have read Dr Noor Van Andel paper …

    Unfortunately, I can’t make much use of use that paper, or any other like it. One of the intensely frustrating things about AGW, is that no matter how many papers such as Dr Van Andel’s that one may quote, the stock response is that that is only one paper and the great weight of evidence says otherwise.

    The only way that I can see of dealing with this, is to show where the IPCC report – the great weight of evidence – goes wrong. Or at least, is on very shaky ground.

    Jeff Alberts – yes I would like to ask them about tree-rings too, and a million other things. Hopefully someone else will.

    R. Gates – I can’t act on your post-1960 assertions until you deal satisfactorily with the pre-1550 proxies and the pre-1900 instrumental record. You say that 1) Truncating both these periods was scientifically justified 2) AR4 discussed this truncation“. You will need to (a) explain how it is scientifically justifiable to truncate both ends of that data series while retaining the middle, (b) explain why the start of the instrumental record was also truncated, and (c) provide paragraph numbers or equivalent to the places in AR4 where all three truncations are discussed.

    Sam Parsons says: “jeez is a troll peddling a pro-AGW, pro-IPCC snake oil…..“. Wow, that is some ad hominem. The point in science is that it does not matter who says something, what matters is whether what they say is supported by the evidence. I am happy to take jeez’s and anyone else’s comments on their merits.

    TedK – “I apologize if the criticisms are blunt and seem harsh“. Absolutely not a problem. I need them to improve my document. I am acting on a number of your points. I’ll comment here on three, though:
    TedK – “I fail to understand why you include a quote from Gavin Schmidt“. I made a statement that needed to be supported.
    TedK – “modelers(sp)“. I try to use English.
    TedK – ““Large uncertainties remain about how clouds might respond to global climate change.“xiii” – Fact. e.g.4, “There are many statements along these lines” Allusion; turn this statement into facts by identifying the many statements with references.“. Too bulky: http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/IPCCOnClouds.pdf

  125. The iceman cometh says:
    March 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    “@ Charles Higley – now that is a really interesting thought! What if all those Victorian chemists analysing bottle of gas were right, and the carbon dioxide concentration really was >400ppm?”

    By the way, the only records of these early concentrations of CO2 are Phil Jones’ records, and the same is true for the early temperature records. Given what we know about Jones’ data handling abilities, all those records should be tossed.

  126. Mike Jonas says:
    March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    Leif Svalgaard – deleting the one proxy record doesn’t quite solve the problem. As I said, “Phil Jones’ 1999 “Climategate” email indicated that other proxy data series had been truncated to “hide the decline[reference]“.“.

    “The referenced email said “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.“. It seems that “each series” had the problem.”

    Obviously, this is critically important. After Briffa’s graph is tossed, there should be investigations that would toss the other graphs. We could have done this a year ago if Climategaters and their Whitewashers were not acting like Bulldogs and resisting critics ferociously. If they would just begin practicing science, we would be at the bottom of this in a matter of weeks.

  127. Mike Jonas says:
    March 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    “Sam Parsons says: “jeez is a troll peddling a pro-AGW, pro-IPCC snake oil…..“. Wow, that is some ad hominem. The point in science is that it does not matter who says something, what matters is whether what they say is supported by the evidence. I am happy to take jeez’s and anyone else’s comments on their merits.”

    You do not know what an ad hominem is. In an ad hominem fallacy, someone responds to an argument by changing the subject and changing it to the speaker who stated the argument. If the ad hominem abuses the person who gave the argument then it is an abusive ad hominem. The fallacy occurs in changing the subject, not in abusing the speaker.

    Some people are provably stupid. If you are giving actual reasons why a particular person should be judged as stupid then you are not engaging in any sort of fallacy at all. And if the person is provably stupid then arguing that he is so is not abuse but accurate description.

    jeez advocates taking seriously the bulk of IPCC publications. All that stuff is past history. Your paper contains some main issues that need to be discussed now. The hockey stick is important and cloud forcings are important. But they need no support by reference to IPCC publications.

    You just lowered my ranking of your paper to 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.

  128. This is not a review, so moderators please feel free to delete.

    I like to look at a scientific theory, which is presented as proven, from the point of view of the wonderfully poetic Nobel physicist, Niels Bohr, who said to his students:

    “Every sentence that I utter should be regarded by you not as an assertion but as a question.”

    As we know even the purity of Bohr’s models of atoms and molecules eventually started to be questioned as physicists realised that they still did not explain atomic structure.

    The Parable of the Invisible Gardner (see Wiki) as told by John Wisdom seems to beautifully illustrate the CAGW argument:

    ‘It is often used to illustrate the perceived differences between assertions based on faith and assertions based on scientific evidence, and the problems associated with unfalsifiable beliefs. The tale runs as follows:

    “Two people return to their long neglected garden and find, among the weeds, that a few of the old plants are surprisingly vigorous.
    One says to the other, ‘It must be that a gardener has been coming and doing something about these weeds.’
    The other disagrees and an argument ensues. They pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener is ever seen.
    The believer wonders if there is an invisible gardener, so they patrol with bloodhounds but the bloodhounds never give a cry.
    Yet the believer remains unconvinced, and insists that the gardener is invisible, has no scent and gives no sound.
    The skeptic doesn’t agree, and asks how a so-called invisible, intangible, elusive gardener differs from an imaginary gardener, or even no gardener at all.”

    It is not the influence of man. Nature happened all on its own.

  129. I can hear the trees falling in the forest of lies! Just an outstanding presentation. Just excellent! The author and all of should be mindfull, however, as this issue was never a scientific matter at all. It was a political scheme from stem to stern. As such, the propaganda icons like the phony ‘hockey stick’ will be defended despite the facts in the arena of public opinion.

    An excellent presentation of the facts as stated so brilliantly above, still may not cut through the volume of noise created by the defenders of the faith.

    Paul Krugman of the NYTs is out again claiming no impropriety in the “climategate emails.” (Krugman: No ‘Scientific Impropriety’ in ClimateGate – ‘Hide the Decline’ an ‘Effective Graphical Presentation’ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/03/28/krugman-no-scientific-impropriety-climategate-hide-decline-effective- )

    Tom Freidman of the NYTs has a vested interest in selling his Hot, Flat, and Stupid book, for example. Remember that the propagandists behind the hoax spent billions on the term “global warming” to sell the scam. The last 13 years of cooling have not helped their cause. Now we hear the loud voices of the faith claiming that a warming planet means a cooling planet.

    So the faithfull followers of the globalony cult will continue undeterred and unabated. They have loud megaphones and access to media, and they pull the party line.

    All that said, I do hear the trees crashing in the forest of lies. What must concern all of us is that excellent papers such as Mr Jonas’ are heard on all media and everywhere. Google has a gaggle of paid propogandists, Anthony Watts has us.

    After all, if a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it fall, did it make any noise in the first place?

    Bravo Mike Jonas! Now it is up to the all of us to spread the good word!

  130. ‘‘It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” is false.

    CO2 traps heat if the CO2 itself is trapped, but there seems to be no physical explanation why it would do so in the atmosphere.

    It is however unchallengeable that the temperature lapse rate in the troposphere is due to pressurization by gravity.

  131. @ R.S.Brown March 28, 2011 at 9:37 am & Theo Goodwin March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    Please look at this site http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/realCO2-1.htm then go to papers where you can download a couple of peer reviewed papers. If you go to literature you will find a large number of references some of which you can download. Under history you will find an Excel file of data actually used in the paper concerning 180yrs of gas analyses. Unlike the hockey stick temperature curve and the hockey stick CO2 curve the data (ie real measured data not proxies or adjusted data) is there for all to see and make their own conclusions.

  132. Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

    If you throw away as much as they did, you can have little confidence in any of it, and are better served by throwing it all out.

    Leif, your comments are always apropos, so I wonder if you could give me your thoughts on a couple of things?

    (1) It appears to me, studying the IPCC graph, that you could erase all the lines except the black Mann et al 1999 and have all the information. From the beginning of the graph until around 1600, if one were to shift the black line up and down about 0.4 degrees, one would map the uncertainty almost perfectly. After 1600 up until 1900 one only need to shift it around +/- 0.25 degrees. After 1900, who knows, but around 1925 it appears that the the anomaly was known with almost no uncertainty. Question: Why would the uncertainty band match the Mann line so well?

    (2) Looking at the graph after 1600 – is it possible for the values of the red and green lines to be outside the uncertainty band for the same data?

    I know I am probably just ignorant, so I thank you for your thoughts in advance.

    Rob

  133. Am I the only one not impressed with this paper? A scientific paper should present something new or a different take on something already out there. This is a light commentary on old stuff thst could have been compiled from wuwt posts on these proxy topics. I see no valuable contribution to the literature on climate science here, although this sadly seems to meet the specifictions demanded these days. The tree ring proxies have proven to be like using an elastic band for a ruler. Eventhough it seems a shame to abandon a discipline with the evocative title of dendrochronology which also graces entire academic departments and gives its name to proud dendrochronologists, it must be done. The rear guard action to preserve it (acknowledging but not explaining divergence etc) will fail as it did for alchemy, phrenology, geography and other previously august employments. Am I too harsh?

  134. R. Gates quotes:
    March 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm
    Directly from AR4:

    “This ‘divergence’ is apparently restricted to some northern, high-latitude regions, but it is certainly not ubiquitous even there. In their large-scale reconstructions based on tree ring density data, Briffa et al. (2001) specifically excluded the post-1960 data in their calibration against instrumental records, to avoid biasing the estimation of the earlier reconstructions (hence they are not shown in Figure 6.10), implicitly assuming that the ‘divergence’ was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by Cook et al. (2004a).”

    The operative phrase is “to avoid biasing” the earlier work. Now, what could that possibly mean except that they had chosen not to reveal the recent work THAT HAD BEEN DONE BY THEIR OWN HANDS in deference to work by someone they do not know. Why does Briffa have such intense and overweaning self-doubt? He did not trust his own work? Did he ever offer some reason not to trust his recent work. It staggers the imagination that you can read the words you quote and not realize that the only possible reason for not showing his own work is to protect the older work because it supports the global warming narrative. I dare you to find some rational reason in Briffa’s work which could possibly explain why he mistrusted his own work. You cannot. So Briffa’s decision is inexplicable except for his desire to support the global warming narrative.

    Briffa had twenty or thirty years to investigate these matters. But the last line of your quoted material says that he was “implicitly assuming that the ‘divergence’ was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by Cook et al. (2004a).” Implicitly assuming? What the heck is that? Could he not figure it out? Has he figured it out since then? I don’t think so. But the big point is this: while he has not figured it out, he has a duty as a scientist to report all the evidence. He did not report this evidence; that is, it did not show up in the important places such as in the hockey stick or Gore’s movie. If he knew about “hiding the decline” and let it pass, he is no less guilty of moral wrong than Jones and Mann.

    At some point, you really should become embarrassed that you are here shilling for Climategaters and the IPCC. If all you are going to do is celebrate each and every decision that they made and do so in the face of obvious questions about the decision, then you show no interest in criticism whatsoever.

  135. Cementafriend says:
    March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    “Unlike the hockey stick temperature curve and the hockey stick CO2 curve the data (ie real measured data not proxies or adjusted data) is there for all to see and make their own conclusions.”

    What makes you believe that this data was not assembled under the guidance of Phil Jones?

  136. R. Gates says:
    March 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

    “Again, I think the most important point is WHY did the N. Latitude tree-ring data diverge so much when temperatures stared to rise (either pre-1550 or post-1960)? This is far more interesting a topic than looking at the actual obvious and scientifically justified need for “hiding the decline” of this proxy data which would have skewed the entire record for these periods.”

    Would you please stop trying to change the topic? The topic is what Jones, Mann, Briffa, and The Team did in creating the hockey stick that they foisted upon an unsuspecting world. There is a subtopic about the tree ring data. That subtopic is: what did Briffa do as he rejected his own data in permitting the creation of the hockey stick? Briffa has never explained his behavior. Focus on that.

  137. I haven’t checked all the comments, but I didn’t notice anyone picking up the error of the assumption that increased water vapor leads to increased clouds. There is only an obvious relation between clouds and relative humidity, not water vapor content. Unless relative humidity is sustained, cloud cover will decrease leading to a positive feedback. Many assume RH stays constant, but I believe that is an equilibrium state, and in the current state of oceans warming less than land, RH may decrease at first even as water vapor increases globally.
    I think Dessler’s 2010 study is observational proof of a positive cloud feedback that was omitted here, and should be mentioned in a review of the subject so as not to look like cherry-picking.

  138. Theo Goodwin says: “You do not know what an ad hominem is. In an ad hominem fallacy, someone responds to an argument by changing the subject and changing it to the speaker who stated the argument.

    As I read it, jeez made a comment, whereupon Sam Parsons said “jeez is a troll …”. That seems to fit your definition of ad hominem.

    Theo Goodwin says: “You just lowered my ranking of your paper to 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.“. Excellent – an ad hominem implementation.

    R Gates – I don’t think Mann 2008 is much help: “ABSTRACT: A new method is proposed for determining if a group of datasets contain a signal in common. The method, which I call Correlation Distribution Analysis (CDA), is shown to be able to detect common signals down to a signal:noise ratio of 1:10. In addition, the method reveals how much of the common signal is contained by each proxy. I applied the method to the Mann et al. 2008 (hereinafter M2008) proxies. I analysed all (N=95) of the M008 proxies which contain data from 1001 to 1980. These contain a clear hockeystick shaped signal. CDA shows that the hockeystick shape is entirely due to Tiljander proxies plus high-altitude southwestern US “stripbark” pines (bristlecones, foxtails, etc). When these are removed, the hockeystick shape disappears entirely.http://climateaudit.org/2008/11/23/cant-see-the-signal-for-the-trees/

    • AussieDan,

      As you can see Sam Parsons makes my point dramatically, why it can be so disheartening to try and raise the level of discourse here. It’s gratifying that Mike Jonas can see my point even if some the commenters do not have the reading comprehension skills required for online discussions.

      Sam Parsons, many people here know who I am as my identity has been revealed multiple times. To call me a troll is quite humorous.

  139. From reading all the comments, I’m reminded of the CRU email by dendro king Ed Cook which he sent to Briffa back in September 2003. At the end he summarizes, crudely (bad words partially sanitized by me):

    Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I
    almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will
    show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year
    extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we
    believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fu**-all about what
    the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know
    with certainty that we know fu**-all).

    Obviously Ed can’t bring himself to say such a thing publicly, because that would dilute the message, and the gravy train. This is the crux of the issue for me. The reconstructionists don’t even believe what they’re telling us. Why should I?

  140. Mike Jonas,
    Why don’t you update the *original* IPCC graph’s temperatures up to present? Oh wait, that won’t fit into the story you’re trying to tell. That graph you presented was european temperature only and was ended prior to the vast majority of the warming, speaking of hiding the “incline”.

    Also the original truncation of Briffa’s dataset was because there were only 8 series which went back to 1400 out of a total of more than 100. Please stop your insinuations without even addressing this. Let us consider the following graph:

    Are scientists hiding the decline by using data only after the sample size is high and the spatial distribution high? Of course not. Just another example of an attempt to crucify scientists without any real search for the real answer. The fact that the sample size issue wasn’t addressed in this post makes me very suspicious of your intentions.
    Over at the Air vent and CA Nick Stokes and I have both brought up this issue and no one has been able to answer it effectively. Do you show the reconstruction when it uses only 8 proxies back to 1400 while knowing that makes the data unreliable? Of course it is a *trick* right to use data only when there is enough for confidence in the result. Sickening.

  141. Mike Jonas,

    Offering up your piece to us is appreciated.

    Since you said this piece of yours is part of a longer work, then you may have in other parts of your book different ways of looking the ‘hide the decline’ to weave a more comprehensive argument about it. So, it is hard without knowing the context of this piece to your larger work.

    Somewhere in your larger work or in this piece you might consider addressing the root epistemological issue on AGW by CO2.

    The root epistemological issue wrt AGW by CO2 is whether there are any observationally supported reasons to think there is something that needs explaining based on our knowledge about the current & past behavior of the earth system (including its atmosphere) on any timescale.

    If the set of observationally supported reasons is empty, then AGW by CO2 would then be epistemologically empty. That is the strongest argument I can imagine. It is the conclusion that I am asymptotically approaching; to wit AGW by CO2 is an epistemological non-starter. If this is the case, as I am slowly concluding, then the AGW by CO2 position just hangs suspended in a vacuum with no support except by faith.

    GOOD LUCK on you longer piece, I hope it is a book to add to my skeptical (aka independent thinker) bookshelf.

    Long live the climate science renaissance! It appears to have increasing momentum.

    John

  142. I haven’t read all of the comments about this article, but it seems that most of them deal with the tree ring issue. The article was criticized because it claimed that the tree ring divergence issue was ignored, and clearly it was not.

    There are many glaring errors in this paper. It seems that the iconic graph of Central England temperatures was introduced into the mix, as if it were a northern hemisphere graph in conflict with the reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature done by Mann and others. The IPCC in one of its old reports mistakenly attributed this graph to the northern hemisphere, on one page, but in the text of the report, it was correctly attributed to Central England. This was corrected long ago, but some people who argue the case against the Hockey Stick like to perpetuate this error, because it makes their case. Since Central England is not the Northern Hemisphere, the failure of the models to validate this graph does not prove anything. In fact there are many papers in which models give an Northern Hemisphere Temperature simulation which lines up pretty well with a number of different proxy reconstructions, and also s
    how the unprecedented rise of temperature in the late 20th century. Here is one example. There are others as well.

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/tcrowley/crowley_science2000.pdf

    Another topic that was discussed was clouds, which are justifiably mentioned as the main source of uncertainty. The author says,

    “So, to sum up, the situation is that the “hide the decline” graph leads to nearly all of the 20th-century warming being attributed to CO2, thanks to a factor (clouds) which is not understood, is not explained, and comes from computer models which strongly disagree with each other. The inevitable conclusion is that without the “hide the decline” graph, the clouds “feedback” as described in the IPCC report would not have existed…”

    There is plenty of data which supports a positive feedback mechanism for clouds. It is discussed with references in the following link:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/clouds-negative-feedback-intermediate.htm

    A number of different sources of data are compare cloud behavior and GCM’s and find that positive feedback used in the models agrees with the data.

  143. Theo Goodwin says:

    jeez advocates taking seriously the bulk of IPCC publications.

    Sigh, more reading comprehension issues. No I said:

    You need to deal with this issue, the actual edifice of evidence being relied upon by AGW proponents, and not dismiss it with a hand wave that it’s just the IPCC.

    Which means, if you need me to translate it for you, that holding your hands over your eyes will not make it go away. I am not saying that IPCC cited literature is good, gold-standard, or the truth, I am simply saying that Mike Jonas does not make a logical point. Whether you agree that the thousands of papers in support of AGW are valid, truthful, or scientific is irrelevant to the point being made, because they constitute evidence. They do not all crumble or need to be withdrawn because of this recent discovery of malfeasance. A few of the paleoproxy papers do and that’s the sum of it. Some of the models may need some minor tweaks, but perhaps none at all.

    So my point, which I made earlier is that Mike Jonas is WRONG in his conclusion and has not made his case, logically. He has not made a valid, logical, cogent argument. He has dismissed without discussion a huge body of work he disagrees with. He may be right about AGW or he may be wrong, BUT HE HAS NOT MADE HIS CASE.

    It appears that simply because you agree with his point of view, you are unable to understand criticism of his work or a logical discussion. In another place and time I invented the phrase which is appropriate now (and spreading a bit on the ‘net, but I swear I came up with it), I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

  144. ‘Jim D says:
    March 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm
    I haven’t checked all the comments, but I didn’t notice anyone picking up the error of the assumption that increased water vapor leads to increased clouds. There is only an obvious relation between clouds and relative humidity, not water vapor content. Unless relative humidity is sustained, cloud cover will decrease leading to a positive feedback. Many assume RH stays constant, but I believe that is an equilibrium state, and in the current state of oceans warming less than land, RH may decrease at first even as water vapor increases globally.
    I think Dessler’s 2010 study is observational proof of a positive cloud feedback that was omitted here, and should be mentioned in a review of the subject so as not to look like cherry-picking.’

    Hay, Jim D, are you saying a lack off Clouds are a “Positive cloud feedback”? When I started my search about “CO2 drives the climate” “theory”, I thought that hypothesis stated “Positive cloud feedback” was caused by an increase in high altitude clouds which trapped more heat leading to a run a way atmosphere in which we would burn to a crisp.

  145. Robert says: “Why don’t you update the *original* IPCC graph’s temperatures up to present?

    I don’t care where the graph goes next.

    Robert says: “Also the original truncation of Briffa’s dataset was because there were only 8 series which went back to 1400 out of a total of more than 100. Please stop your insinuations without even addressing this.

    About your graph: The coverage isn’t too good before 1860, but they chose to leave it in. Fine. But here’s a funny thing: the data from 1860 to about 1900, for which there was good coverage, didn’t look anything like the instrumental data for that period. No, they didn’t chop the proxy data there, they chopped the instrumental data. They might have had a perfectly good reason for doing that, but if they didn’t say what they had done or why, then how are we supposed to assess it. Like Professor Richard A Muller said “You’re not allowed to do this in science”.

    jeez – you say the IPCC report references hundreds if not thousands of reports. So it does. But nearly all of them address areas that do not impact on my argument, so are irrelevant. In particular, not one of those papers AFAICT address the specific clouds issue that I address.

  146. Mike Jonas,
    “I don’t care where the graph goes next.”

    Well at least you make your bias clear.

    Regarding your other commentary:
    Firstly the Areal Fraction from the graph shows that data prior to 1880 does not cover more than 0.5 areal fraction so that is why it is preferable to use datasets only from 1880-1990 onwards.

    Muller is not a good source for information on this subject. He has demonstrated quite clearly that his expertise is not on the real issues at play here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-1-confusing-Mikes-trick-with-hide-the-decline.html

    My discussion was regarding Briffa’s curve that you claim shows that he deleted inconvenient data pre-1550. I have commented extensively at CA on the issue but here is a synopsis:

    Pre-1500 data does not have a good spatial distribution with 87% of the data being from 2/5 of the regions and 13% coming from the remaining 3/5 regions. This is displayed here:

    Briffa et al (2001) describe their decisions on their reconstruction here:
    More evidence supporting my interpretation from Briffa 2001

    “Bias might be introduced in cases where the spatial coverage is not uniform (e.g., of the 24 original chronologies with data back to 1500, half are concentrated in eastern Siberia) but this can be reduced by prior averaging of the chronologies into regional series (as was done in the previous section)… Eight different methods have been used… They produce very similar results for the post-1700 period… They exhibit fairly dramatic differences, however, in the magnitude of multidecadal variability prior to 1700… highlighting the sensitivity of the reconstruction to the methodology used, once the number of regions with data, and the reliability of each regional reconstruction, begin to decrease. The selection of a single reconstruction of the ALL temperature series is clearly somewhat arbitrary… The method that produces the best fit in the calibration period is principal component regression…

    “…we note that the 1450s were much cooler in all of the other (i.e., not PCA regression) methods of producing this curve…”

    The summary is that they chose the reconstruction which best fit the calibration period and this method resulted in a warmer 1450s than other methods produced. End of story. You should of read the papers first methinks…

  147. The ‘fixing’ of the surface temperature record using tree ring data is just the tip of the iceberg. There is no climate sensitivity to CO2, nor is there any equilibrium climate state, on any time scale. The empirical assumption that CO2 must cause climate change is the first fundamental error. The second is trying to ‘prove’ it.

    The questions that need to be addressed are:
    What is the surface temperature record really measuring?
    Why does it vary?

    The Instrument Record component of the hockey stick plot is derived from the meteorological surface temperature record (MSAT). This is the air temperature measured in an enclosure placed at ‘eye level’ 1.5 to 2 m above the ground. Historically the daily maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded using Six’s thermometer.

    The minimum MSAT is essentially a measure of the bulk temperature of the air mass of the ambient weather system as it passes over the measurement station. When combined with a measurement of the local humidity it may be used to provide an indication of the local lapse rate of the air mass. This means that long term changes in the minimum average MSAT are a measure of changes in the bulk air mass of the prevailing weather systems. The heat capacity of a column of air of 1 square meter cross section, extending upwards 10 km to the tropopause has a heat capacity of approximately 8 MJ. Over the last 50 years, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increase by about 70 ppm. This has produced an increase in the downward ‘clear sky’ LWIR flux at the surface of 1.2 W.m.-2. This result is based on independent, and reliable radiative transfer calculations using the HITRAN database. This corresponds to a cumulative daily flux of 0.1 MJ.m-2.day-1. Such a small increase flux cannot cause a temperature rise of 1 C in the weather air mass when the flux is added to the daily flux balance at the surface.

    The maximum MSAT is the maximum air temperature produced at the MSAT thermometer as the air warmed by the surface below the thermometer mixes convectively with the cooler air above. The surface temperature is determined by the short term balance of the solar heating, moist convection and net LWIR emission from the surface. The air heating also depends on the wind speed and the local terrain. Under full summer sun conditions, the solar flux may reach 25 MJ.m-2.day-1. The surface temperature can reach 50 C and the maximum MSAT temperature may reach 30 C. The 0.1 MJ.m-2.day-1 increase in flux from 70 ppm of CO2 corresponds to less than 5 minutes of sunlight or the evaporation of a film of water ~46 micron thick over an area of 1 m2. In addition, the surface flux has to heat a subsurface volume with well defined thermal properties. The heat capacity of the surface is approximately 1.5 MJ.m-3 over land and 4 MJ.m-3 for water. Furthermore, the penetration depth of the LWIR radiation from CO2 into water is less than 100 micron, so there can be no ocean heating effects from an increase of 0.1 MJ.m-2.day-1 from CO2. This is overwhelmed by the wind drive fluctuations in the surface evaporation.

    Clearly it is impossible for the observed increase in CO2 concentration to have had any effect on the observed surface temperature record. Most weather systems form over the oceans and the long term trends in MSAT, particularly minimum MSAT are a measure of the changes in ocean surface temperature along the approach path of the prevailing weather systems. In addition, there are well known urban heat island effects that cause weather station bias effects. Furthermore, the averaging techniques used to generate the climate instrument record have never been published in full. The methods used for ‘homogenization’ have been questioned and in some cases, such as in Australia and New Zealand they have been shown to be in serious error.

    The underlying trend in the Instrument Record in the hockey stick is really just ocean surface temperatures. The rates of evaporation of H2O and the isotopes HDO and D2O have different temperature dependences, so the delta18 isotope ratio may be used with care as a proxy for ocean surface temperature. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to use the delta 18 proxy to probe changes in surface temperature before the start of the MSAT record. However, it is well established that tree ring data may not be a representative temperature proxy because of tree canopy heating and other effects. Such data should not be used without cross references to other proxy data. Loehle did not include any tree ring proxy data and his results showed a clear Medieval Warming Period and Maunder Minimum. The IPCC also contradicts its previously published data that clearly shows a Medieval Maximum.

    The assumption of any relationship between the observed increase in CO2 concentration and the MSAT Instrument Record or any other climate temperature proxies is invalid. Such an assumption is a violation of the basic Laws of Physics, including the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. There is no ‘average climate equilibrium state’ on any time scale. The hockey stick plot should never have been published any peer reviewed journal and should not have been included in the IPCC reports. Furthermore it should not be used to ‘calibrate’ the ‘radiative forcing constants’ used in the IPCC climate simulation models. Every single result ever published using radiative forcing assumptions is invalid. The ‘surface temperatures’ that are ‘predicted’ by radiative forcing are ‘equilibrium temperatures’ that are not even physically measurable climate variables. There is simply no climate sensitivity to CO2 at the observed atmospheric concentrations. All of the observed climate change can be explained in terms of variations in ocean surface temperature once other bias effects such as UHI and ‘averaging’ are accounted for. Climate change can only be explained by the non-equilibrium accumulation of solar energy in the oceans.

    References

    Clark, R, Energy and Environment 21(4) 171-200 (2010), ‘A null hypothesis for CO2’
    Clark, R. ‘CA Climate Change is Caused by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Not by Carbon Dioxide’, SPPI Sept 16 th 2010, http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/pacific_decadal.html
    Clark, R. ‘What surface temperature is your model really predicting?’, http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/what-surface-temperature-is-your-model-really-predicting-190.php
    Andel, Van N., Energy and Environment 21(4) 225-237 (2010), ‘Tropical rainstorm feedback’
    Eschenbach, W., Energy and Environment 21(4) 201-200 (2010), ‘The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis’
    Gilbert, W. C., Energy and Environment 21(4) 263-276 (2010), ‘The thermodynamic relationship between surface temperature and water vapour concentration in the troposphere’
    Helliker, B. R. & S. L. Richter, Nature 454 511-514 (2008), ‘Subtropical to boreal convergence of tree leaf temperatures’
    Loehle, C. & J. H. McCulloch, Energy and Environment 19(1) 93-100 (2008), ‘Correction to: A 2000 year global temperature reconstruction based on non tree ring proxies’

  148. Robert:

    Please be sensible.

    The divergence proves that
    (a) the proxy data for global temperature is wrong
    or
    (b) the thermometer-derived data for global temperature is wrong
    or
    (c) both the proxy data for global temperature and the thermometer-derived data for global temperature are wrong.

    Any paper that pretends otherwise denies logic, science and veracity.

    And, no, the scientific method does not allow the selecting of parts of two different artifacts and stitching those parts together in an attempt to pretend the resulting construct provides useful information. In other words, the Piltdown Man and the Hockey Stick graphs are the same type of attack on science.

    So, stop trying to make excuses for the Hockey Stick graphs: no excuses are – or can be – acceptable to scientists.

    Richard

  149. >>
    Consequently, solar variation is included in the climate models purely as the direct climate forcing from total solar irradiation (TSI). Since variations in TSI are quite small, in percentage terms, the climate models allow only for small temperature changes from TSI changes.
    <<

    I have just a minor nit-pick. You should see an actual measurement series of the TSI seen here (http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm).

    The TSI averages out to about 1361 W/m^2 instead of the usual 1367 W/m^2 or 1368 W/m^2 quoted in various references.

    The Earth is in an elliptical orbit so it moves closer to and farther away from the Sun during the year. The TSI goes from about 1408 W/m^2 during the December-January time frame (when the Earth is closest to the Sun) to about 1316 W/m^2 during the June-July time frame. That gives a 92 W/m^2 variation during the year or about 6.7%. They usually average this over the whole sphere, so one-fourth is about 23 W/m^2.

    They also normalize the day-to-day variation to 1 astronomical unit which is the average Sun-Earth distance. The plot of this averages around 1361 W/m^2, but it does vary by 1 or 2 W/m^2.

    Jim

  150. As a matter of routine, I hereby confess that I am an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate, with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

    For Mike Jonas

    Take the above seriously. You can take this horse to water and he will drink. But am I, perhaps, representative of the intended audience?

    To business: Carbon Dioxide. You say: “The IPCC analysis is based on “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) which is defined as “the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration.” (To me, this looks like y is proportional to x.) You then explain how it was calculated and then adjusted by climate feedback to fit data. Then, you say “This is where clouds enter the equation”. Now this causes me difficulty. It appears from the next sentence that the IPCC moved on to consider clouds. So a sentence, or quote, explaining how the IPCC came to talk about clouds would help me more what you have written. You then go on to show that the IPCC cannot use clouds to explain the actual climate sensitivity we have. OK.

    However, I would have preferred you to attack the ECS concept rather than allow it to stand and attack clouds as an appropriate qualifying factor. Why do we need an ECS if we have to modify it out of all recognition? Is it not true that we do not know that Carbon Dioxide has caused the temperature increase, or what else might have been involved – solar winds, sunspots, volcanoes, clouds, GHGs, water vapour etc, etc.?

    My apologies if this has been dealt with in the preceding posts or if it is nonsense. I’m no peer.

  151. Mike Jonas,

    Thanks for your response.

    “wrt #4 – I have now found the first IPCC report online”

    I have never been able to find the 1st IPPC report online ( I thought they may be hiding it). I have my own paper coy but it would useful to have a link to an online version. Where is it?

  152. Don K says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm
    I think it’s relevant to ask about ice core data. If I understand it correctly, it has become more and more clear over the past decade or so that Antarctic and Greenland ice data shows that CO2 and temperature to track reasonably well, but the CO2 concentration lags the temperature by 600 years or so.

    1. Why is this not evidence that past temperature changes were not driven by CO2?

    2. If the temperature upswing wasn’t driven by CO2, what did cause it?

    3. If, as a reasonable person who is not one of R Gates’ “professionals”, might conclude, temperature increases, release CO2 or inhibit the uptake of CO2 or both, where in the ice core records is the dramatic temperature change that the increased CO2 should have provoked.

    —————

    When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth’s orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise.

  153. Mr. Gates, there are stated rules for proxies. The most detailed of which are EPA methods concerning the destruction efficiency of Hazardous Waste Incinerators. Let’s just say they involve correlation curves and proved accuracy and leave it at that.
    .
    If your proxy calculation does not show proper correlation over your calibration period, you have two and ONLY two options. You can recalibrate your proxy, or you can discard it. If after recalibraiton, the data still doesn’t match, then your proxy calculation has been disproven.
    .
    Terminating the series to hide the fact that the data doesn’t match is fraudulent, and if an industry test had done that on a compliance test, the EPA would have the engineer in jail for fraud. Why should the same standards not apply to the IPCC?

  154. check out Roy Spencer’s site, there were some posts in January 2011 on just this topic: cloud feedback.

    He deals with why all GCMs assume +ve and why nature suggests -ve feedback.

    I won’t repeat it in detail, best to read it. It’s not trivial to understand but is thorough.

  155. I would also suggest anyone interested in knowing the scientific basis for using an assumed +ve f/b go to the Met Office web site and email them a question about it.

    They do reply but will wriggle like a skewered eel on this one, so be VERY brief and specific to they cannot get away with replying to something else instead or missing the point.

    AFAICS , there is zero justification for using a +ve feedback other than the fact this makes incomplete models more closely follow the data over a subjectively selected period (later 20th c.).

    Adjusting parameters in a model so as to get the output to fit the test data is nothing other than to introduce a fiddle factor. This alone gives the lie to all the claims about “the basic science” on which they claim to base their models.

    We should at least let them understand that we are watching and are not too stupid see the tricks.

  156. I would suggest that this article is rather over-playing the significance of the dodgy graph. Models are primarily fitted to last 150 yrs data with last 50 (before 2000) given most importance. This period relies on thermometer readings not tree rings.

    The major importance of the trick and the graph is in selling “unprecedented” and run away global temps to the general public.

    Most people are incapable of understanding anything beyond a simple graph. The hockeystick is dramatic and worked a treat.

  157. Re Roy Clark:

    Another way to relate the CO2 effect is relate it to the sunshine, rather than it’s ability to vaporize water per square meter per day…
    The additional 1.2W/m^2 are almost 0.5% of the effect of the sun (1/4 of the 1.36kW/m^2 due to the shape of the earth).
    This additional effect is real and there and not neglectible!
    However a bit up this thread I estimated a direct effect from the 3.7W/m^2 for a doubling of CO2 to produce about 0.7K warming (less if you agree with Nasif, that the earth is not a blackbody for that spectrum)
    So, it is real, it is there, but it is not dominating the global temperature trends unless tremendous feedback are involved.

  158. Jim Masterson – noted, thx.

    Ecclesiastical Uncle – I’ll try to clarify that logic. I don’t want to attack the ECS concept, as that would get mired instantly – even though I don’t think it’s valid. I’m trying to put forward a simple end-to-end argument that addresses the core of AGW. ie, deals with the response “but the weight of evidence says otherwise”.

    Bomber – FAR WG1 is http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf
    It seems to be on a very slow server and sometimes doesn’t load (for me). I’ve now got it downloaded – 30mb. The MWP graph is Figure 7.1(c), Page 202
    The overview is supposed to be http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/IPCC_1990_and_1992_Assessments/English/ipcc-90-92-assessments-overview.pdf but it gives “file not found”.
    I haven’t tried WG2, WG3: http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_II/ipcc_far_wg_II_full_report.pdf, http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_III/ipcc_far_wg_III_full_report.pdf

    P. Solar says: “Adjusting parameters in a model so as to get the output to fit the test data is nothing other than to introduce a fiddle factor.

    They state this clearly in the IPCC report – but they call it “parametrization”.

    P. Solar says: “I would suggest that this article is rather over-playing the significance of the dodgy graph.

    I really don’t think so. This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while. Frustrated with the way arguments with AGWers and 3rd-parties go (“but the weight of evidence says otherwise”), I searched for the absolute core of the AGW case, so that I could explain exactly where the “weight of evidence” went wrong. Most arguments – say, “it has warmed this fast before” or “temperature rises before CO2″ or “there’s no troposphere hot-spot” – get a standard response. Whole books have been written and just get ignored. But the AGW camp have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the hockey-stick. To my mind, that tells me I’m on the right track. [PS. Don't get me wrong on this. I'm not doing any original work, I'm just trying to put together an end-to-end argument from the existing material.]

  159. P. Solar – to clarify: Yes the models give recent temperatures most importance, but they need to fit past temperatures reasonably well in order to have credibility. That’s where having no MWP is so important. Because they downplay all natural factors, the models can’t fit a warm MWP. So I have to establish that (a) the hockey-stick is shaky and (b) the way they fit recent temperatures is shaky. Everything else flows from that. I haven’t explained things well, but I’m still working on it. Everyone here has helped.

  160. SteveE says:

    “When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth’s orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise.”
    ___
    Thank you. Somebody else here gets it. But I would only add the word “Usually”, at the beginning of your statement, for most, but not all glacial/interglacial periods are necessarily related the Milankovtich cycles. Periods of strong volcanic activity, for example, very likely ended the Snowball Earth period 700 MYA, it which case it was the extreme amount of CO2 emitted that broke this extreme ice age period.

  161. Theo Goodwin says:
    March 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Would you please stop trying to change the topic? The topic is what Jones, Mann, Briffa, and The Team did in creating the hockey stick that they foisted upon an unsuspecting world. There is a subtopic about the tree ring data. That subtopic is: what did Briffa do as he rejected his own data in permitting the creation of the hockey stick? Briffa has never explained his behavior. Focus on that.
    ____
    Briffa has explained his behavior quite thoroughly and it is incorporated into the 4th IPCC report (as I gave thorough links to yesterday). Truncation of the tree-ring data is NOT a secondary issue at all, for to include the pre-1550 data or the post-1960 data would have changed the shape of the “hockey stick” on some level. Understanding tree-ring data, and all the other proxy temperature data is at the core of an accurate understanding of this issue, and to not discuss it in detail makes any papers talking about the accuracy or inaccuracy of the “hockey stick” meaningless.

  162. R. Gates:

    At March 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm you corectly, rightly and accurately say;

    “Understanding tree-ring data, and all the other proxy temperature data is at the core of an accurate understanding of this issue,”

    Yes! And the divergence of the tree ring indications of temperature from the thermometer-derived indications of temperature post 1940 proves that
    (a) the tree-ring-derived indications of global temperature are wrong
    or
    (b) the thermometer-derived indications of global temperature are wrong
    or
    (c) both the tree-ring-derived indications of global temperature and the thermometer-derived indications of global temperature are wrong.

    There, that is a complete understanding of the issue. So, nothing more needs to be said unless and until there is an explanation of which of (a), (b) or (c) is true.

    Richard

  163. old construction worker:
    March 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    You need to go back to your sources and tell them they are wrong. High clouds don’t do much overall because their longwave and shortwave effects oppose each other. It is low cloud cover that has a cooling effect, so their loss is a positive cloud feedback.

  164. Mike Jonas says:
    March 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    P. Solar – to clarify: Yes the models give recent temperatures most importance, but they need to fit past temperatures reasonably well in order to have credibility. That’s where having no MWP is so important. Because they downplay all natural factors, the models can’t fit a warm MWP. So I have to establish that (a) the hockey-stick is shaky and (b) the way they fit recent temperatures is shaky. Everything else flows from that. I haven’t explained things well, but I’m still working on it. Everyone here has helped.

    Your paper shows a rough graph of the Central England Temperature, which you mistakenly imply was a graph of Northern Hemisphere or global temperature. This error is often made by so called “skeptics” and has been corrected repeatedly.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=338

    The myth that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “disappeared” the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) seems to be based on Figure 7.1c from the IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR):

    As you can see, IPCC FAR Figure 7.1c appears to sho
    w the MWP quite prominently, and warmer than the temperature as the end of the graph. But it’s a rather strange figure – the temperature axis doesn’t even have any numbers, and it looks hand-drawn. Where did it come from?

    Jones et al. trace the schematic diagram back to a series used by H.H. Lamb, representative of central England, last published by Lamb (1982). However, Lamb is plotting 50-year averages here, and the final data point appears to be 1950. Jones et al. superimpose IPCC FAR Figure 7.1c (black) with Lamb’s central England temperature (red) and added the Central England Temperature data up to 2007 (blue):

    Central England temperatures have risen by over 1°C since Lamb’s last measurement. Jones et al. also note about Lamb’s schematic:
    ……
    “At no place in any of the Lamb publications is there any discussion of an explicit calibration against instrumental data, just Lamb’s qualitative judgement and interpretation of what he refers to as the ‘evidence’….Greater amounts of documentary data (than available to Lamb in the early 1970s) were collected and used in the Climatic Research Unit in the 1980s. These studies suggest that the sources used and the techniques employed by Lamb were not very robust (see, eg, Ogilvie and Farmer, 1997).”

    In short, Figure 7.1c from the IPCC FAR was based on Lamb’s approximation of the central England temperature. It was intended only as a schematic diagram, and known not to accurately reflect the global average temperature. ..

    If the models calculating global or Northern Hemisphere past temperatures fit the graph that you showed, they would be in error.

    I showed that models do produce a something close to the MWP, as best we can tell it, in my above post. I showed only one example of papers that model the MWP based on proxies.

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/tcrowley/crowley_science2000.pdf

    There are other examples that can be found using Google.

    If that graph is the basis of your paper as you claim, the whole paper is one big mistake.

  165. Jim D says:
    March 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm
    old construction worker:
    March 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    You need to go back to your sources and tell them they are wrong. High clouds don’t do much overall because their longwave and shortwave effects oppose each other. It is low cloud cover that has a cooling effect, so their loss is a positive cloud feedback.’

    So the lack of clouds are a positive “cloud” feedback? You may want to consult some guy at MIT, Richard Landzen, about the Iris effect.

  166. SteveE says:
    March 29, 2011 at 5:39 am
    Don K says:
    March 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm
    I think it’s relevant to ask about ice core data. If I understand it correctly, it has become more and more clear over the past decade or so that Antarctic and Greenland ice data shows that CO2 and temperature to track reasonably well, but the CO2 concentration lags the temperature by 600 years or so.
    “When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth’s orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise.”

    The same can be said about water vapor but It wouldn’t have a “600 year lag time”

  167. old construction worker:
    March 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    That 2001 iris theory has not stood the test of time. Dessler 2010 finds the opposite regarding El Ninos and the sign of cloud feedback by also accounting for low clouds, which are more important.

  168. As a matter of routine, I hereby confess that I am an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate, with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

    Re Mike Jones Mar 29 2011 1.12pm.

    Many thanks for the explanation. Hope the presentation goes well.

  169. It appears to me that tree-ring proxy graphs should not be mixed with temperature graphs. There are plenty of trees from 1960-2010 that can be analyzed. To stop using trees in 1960 and replacing it with a thermometer so you can get the blade on the hockey stick is dishonest. Use trees all the way up to 2010. If you can still show your hockey stick temperature graph you might start to convert a few skeptics. But, to use one technique to obtain a temperature series for a thousand years and then replacing the last 50 years with a new technique to get a pre-desired result is not good science.
    Even in Mann’s other paper referenced by R. Gates has exactly the same problem. The last 50 years to get the blade are thermometer temps again. He can’t get the blade using the proxy data alone.

  170. “Jim D says:
    March 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm
    old construction worker:
    March 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    That 2001 iris theory has not stood the test of time. Dessler 2010 finds the opposite regarding El Ninos and the sign of cloud feedback by also accounting for low clouds, which are more important.”

    Are you talking about “lack of clouds positive feedback” or negative clouds feedback?

  171. Mike Jonas says:
    March 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I’m pretty close to a final version, I think.

    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/Question1ForReview.pdf

    In any case, I have to send it off soon.
    I’ll post reactions here.

    eadler – I looked at the Crowley paper you posted. It maps to the hockey-stick.

    My point is that your claim, that the Lamb graph that you provided, as a record of Northern Hemisphere or Global average temperature, needs to be matched by models, is dead wrong. The original Hockey Stick graph, which was ground breaking work in 2000, has been updated and corrected many times since it was published, and a slightly higher MWP temperature with more uncertainty has been is the consensus of the results, but nothing like the Lamb Graph for Central England, which you claim erroneously is a global or Northern Hemisphere graph.

    It is true that the Crowley paper published in 2000, matched up with the original Hockey Stick paper of Mann et. al. 200 . As I mentioned, other papers have been published on this subject, including the YIN et. al, published in 2007,

    http://www.scichina.com:8080/kxtbe/fileup/PDF/07ky1545.pdf

    which looks at a number of proxy reconstructions, including Moberg 2005, which has a more pronounced MWP than the original Mann 2000. They have a detailed graph of solar and volcanic forcings which they input into the models that they use. There is of course uncertainty in these forcings as there is in proxies. The models in this paper do reproduce the MWP, contrary to your claim.

  172. Alcheson says:

    “Use trees all the way up to 2010. If you can still show your hockey stick temperature graph you might start to convert a few skeptics.”
    ___
    There seems to be a great deal of confusion on this issue. Even if you take all tree-ring data out of the proxies, throughout the entire last 2,000 year period, and only include other proxies such as ice, corals, and even stalactites, you still get the infamous “hockey stick” graph. The hockey stick was not created just because some of the tree-ring data was truncated– it would show up in the other proxies anyway. Some of the tree-ring data was truncated because it was in obvious error (for reasons we’ve discussed at length here, and were also discussed in the 4th IPCC assessment). If you want to look at what I feel is the most accurate chart of the last 1,200 years of at temperature (with emphasis on spatial extent), I feel this is the best current chart:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/osborn2006/osborn2006.html

    Note: There is still a hockey stick looking shape, with a bulge in temps in the 20th century, but it is a “fatter” hockey stick with more uncertainty indicated and even, what I feel is a more honest representation of the MWP.

  173. Mike Jonas,
    I am looking at your new version and it doesn’t seem any better than the original.

    It is wrong to base your analysis on the Mann 2000 Hockey Stick paper.
    As has been pointed out many times, there have been many updates, including Mann 2008, which answers all of the McIntyre criticisms. There are versions without tree rings, and without the use of PCA’s. In addition, it has been shown that using centered PCA’s correctly, rather than the mistaken application that McIntyre made, gets the same Hockey Stick from the Mann database as the less conventional non centered PCA . You ignore all literature except for Mann 2000 and what McIntyre says. This is unbelievably poor scholarship.

    You still incorrectly use the Lamb Graph, a free hand drawing of Central England Temperatures, to make a point about the climate models not showing the MWP period for global or NH simulations accurately. There is no reason to require climate models of the globe or the NH to reproduce this graph.

    Cloud feedback has been found to be positive on short time scales by radiation measurements. There are a lot of papers on this.

    None of the points you have made are correct. You have this far not acknowledged or refuted any of the criticisms I have made. the so called “skeptics” may nod their heads, (can’t use the D-word here) but are you really making a positive contribution to knowledge with this paper, when there is so much published work contrary to your case, which you are ignoring?

  174. Jim D says:
    March 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    “It is low cloud cover that has a cooling effect, so their loss is a positive cloud feedback.”

    Bollocks!
    If rising temps lead to increased cloud cover which has a cooling effect, that’s called negative feedback because the output acts in opposition to the input. Reversing the terminology by introducing the concept of a negative cloud only fulfills a pathetic psychological need to claim a positive feedback. It does NOT make the feedback positive. You wouldn’t get away with that BS in any other field, so why is climatology cursed with such avid crapologists?

  175. R Gates – I can’t tell from your linked Osborn document, which proxy series he was using. However, some time ago, Willis Eschenbach analysed all 95 series used by Mann 2008, and found that in every one of them the hockey-stick shape was spurious.

    I really do think it’s about time you gave up on the hockey-stick. An enormous amount of effort and obfuscation has gone into protecting it – including refusal of access to data and methods – but luckily for us Steve McIntyre and others have put an even greater amount of effort and expertise into unravelling the mess. Every time they dig a bit further, the hockey-stick comes up smelling even worse than it did before.

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/11/23/cant-see-the-signal-for-the-trees/

    ABSTRACT: A new method is proposed for determining if a group of datasets contain a signal in common. The method, which I call Correlation Distribution Analysis (CDA), is shown to be able to detect common signals down to a signal:noise ratio of 1:10. In addition, the method reveals how much of the common signal is contained by each proxy. I applied the method to the Mann et al. 2008 (hereinafter M2008) proxies. I analysed all (N=95) of the M008 proxies which contain data from 1001 to 1980. These contain a clear hockeystick shaped signal. CDA shows that the hockeystick shape is entirely due to Tiljander proxies plus high-altitude southwestern US “stripbark” pines (bristlecones, foxtails, etc). When these are removed, the hockeystick shape disappears entirely.

  176. Slacko and Jim D – we can all argue about clouds, cloud feedback, water vapour, relative humidity, etc, until we’re blue in the face, but the simple facts are these:

    The IPCC say they don’t understand clouds – “Large uncertainties remain about how clouds might respond to global climate change” (IPCC report para TS.6.4.2) – for the full set see http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/IPCCOnClouds.pdf it’s pretty convincing!
    The IPCC claim that 40%+ of the warming from CO2 comes through cloud feedback.

    If they don’t know how clouds respond to global climate change (the definition of “feedback”), they cannot credibly claim that these same clouds provide such a massive positive feedback. But they do implicitly claim it, and confidently – see the summary for policymakers and technical summary and the confidence levels they use.

    All the debate about whether cloud feedback is positive or negative uses arguments which seem at best able to deliver only a very small amount of feedback, whether positive or negative. The negative feedback found by Roy Spencer was, I think, quite small.

    What is lost in all the arguments, and is not considered at all by the IPCC, is whether cloud cover changes can occur in ways which are not a reaction to temperature change – but that is another topic altogether.

  177. R Gates

    quote
    other proxies such as ice, corals, and even stalactites
    unquote

    “Andy Baker1, Frank McDermott2, Peter Rowe3 & Stein-Erik Lauritzen4
    Department of Geography, University of Newcastle, UK
    Department of Geology, University College Dublin, Eire
    Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK
    Department of Geology, University of Bergen, Norway
    THE SITES
    The three sites to be discussed in detail are those of:
    Uamh an Tartair, Assynt, NW Scotland (Proctor et al., 2000, 2002; Baker et al, in press): using annual
    lamina width and lamina doublets as proxies
    Crag Cave, SW Ireland (McDermott et al, 1999; 2001): using 18O of calcite as a proxy
    SØylegrotta, Mo i Rana, N Norway (Lauritzen and Lundberg, 1999): using 18O of calcite as a proxy.
    A USEFUL STARTING POINT FOR SPELEOTHEM CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION
    IS TO ASSUME THAT:

    every sample has a different response to climate, and that even two stalagmites ten cm apart in the
    same cave will have different climate signals.
    · that non-linear responses should be expected due to the inherently non-linear hydrology of karst
    · deeper, slower dripping samples will show more linear responses, but will also be lagged and
    maybe even have no response to surface climate. In contrast, shallow and fast dripping stalagmites will be
    very responsive to climate but will be more difficult to calibrate and understand.
    · Most climate proxies preserved in stalagmites are a complex mixture of soil, vegetation, rainfall,
    evaporation, hydrological and geological processes.”

    Or, put another way, if the signals vary enough then a little bit of cherry picking will give you any shape you want.

    So, corals and ice. Don’t they use isotopes as proxies in ice? Which also respond to precipitation changes, just like tree rings. And, come to think of it, I bet speleotherms do too.

    One. How do they use corals as a temperature proxy again?

    JF

  178. Mike Jonas says:
    March 30, 2011 at 11:36 am

    “I really do think it’s about time you gave up on the hockey-stick.”

    ____
    You’ll have to yank the hockey-stick out of my cold dead hands!

    (sarcasm off)

    Okay AGW skeptics, please provide me a link, or several links, to graphs that you feel show the best temperature reconstruction over the past 2,000 years, if the hockey-stick (or any derivation thereof) just ain’t doin’ it for you. I’ll be glad to look at any scientifically reviewed research and paper, with ample notes of course as to how this data was derived, with all work of course, undergoing a thorough peer review.

  179. Mike Jonas says:

    I really do think it’s about time you gave up on the hockey-stick. An enormous amount of effort and obfuscation has gone into protecting it – including refusal of access to data and methods – but luckily for us Steve McIntyre and others have put an even greater amount of effort and expertise into unravelling the mess. Every time they dig a bit further, the hockey-stick comes up smelling even worse than it did before.
    In fact many of McIntyre’s criticisms have been shown to be wrong. His analysis of non centered PCA’s creating the hockey stick out of noise was nonsense. His contention that the Tijander mud proxy was upside down and invalid was also wrong. Here is a reply to McIntyre’s criticisms of Mann 2008 by Mann:

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:sKMY4e-PXqAJ:www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MMReplyPNAS09.pdf+mann+2008+proxies&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgbvcWDD_ZfFZ8OmYrGm_sgZplqMM5QOuHEmw_r5SbGDyG7agm4MOS4sKqaZfvSBnsvaqAMcM70FzVQ0DsV82otM-uSWuRb9tOTo-W-rrBloz4R5t1icwoI-GLW8zoXDIFkVp4x&sig=AHIEtbR8DoDRKq4MqSkXQXneBH_hBcvZ3A

    Also the data and methods are publicly available, so the claim of concealment is nonsense.

    Finally, the following citation:

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/11/23/cant-see-the-signal-for-the-trees/

    ABSTRACT: A new method is proposed for determining if a group of datasets contain a signal in common. The method, which I call Correlation Distribution Analysis (CDA), is shown to be able to detect common signals down to a signal:noise ratio of 1:10. In addition, the method reveals how much of the common signal is contained by each proxy. I applied the method to the Mann et al. 2008 (hereinafter M2008) proxies. I analysed all (N=95) of the M008 proxies which contain data from 1001 to 1980. These contain a clear hockeystick shaped signal. CDA shows that the hockeystick shape is entirely due to Tiljander proxies plus high-altitude southwestern US “stripbark” pines (bristlecones, foxtails, etc). When these are removed, the hockeystick shape disappears entirely.

    is not actually a peer reviewed paper, although the use of the heading abstract would make it seem so.

    The Hockey Stick is actually alive and well, contrary to the so called “skeptic” criticisms of it.

    http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptic_arguments/fakeddata.html

  180. Gates says:

    “I’ll be glad to look at any scientifically reviewed research and paper, with ample notes of course as to how this data was derived, with all work of course, undergoing a thorough peer review.

    Well, that’s the central problem, isn’t it? Without the supporting information, there can be no legitimate peer review, can there? Michael Mann still refuses to disclose his Hokey Stick notes, data, methodologies, metadata and code that went into his fabricated MBH98/99 pseudo-science, after thirteen years of continuous requests.

    Yet you unquestioningly accept Mann’s Hokey Stick because your belief system requires it. You’re operating on religious belief, my friend, not science. The scientific method requires transparency – the one thing the alarmist clique refuses to allow. How do you explain that? I’d like to hear an official apologist tell us why Mann and subsequent hokey stick fabricators can dispense with essential transparency and the scientific method.

  181. eadler says:

    “The Hockey Stick is actually alive and well, contrary to the so called “skeptic” criticisms of it.”

    Another blatant falsehood by eadler. Nature was forced to issue a Corrigendum due to the debunking of Mann’s Hockey Stick by McIntyre & McKittrick. Mann’s hockey stick has been officially discredited by one of the leading science journals.

    Note that a Corrigendum is extremely serious, and very rarely issued. From the link:

    The Mann correction was not published as an Addendum, which, according to Nature’s published policy, is done when “Authors inadvertently omitted significant information available to them at the time” but which does “not contradict the original publication.” Nature publishes Corrigenda only “if the scientific accuracy or reproducibility of the original paper is compromised.” Nature’s designation of the correction as a corridengum contradicts the article authors’ [Mann's] claim that the errors in the original paper did not affect the published results. [my emphasis]

    In other words, Mann surruptitiously cherry-picked data to fabricate his hockey stick graph. He deliberately engaged in scientific misconduct.

    This is a recurring trait of Michael Mann. The Tiljander sediment proxy was known by Mann to be corrupted before he published his ’08 paper, which was based on the Tiljander proxy [those interested in Mann's deliberate shenanigans can click on Climate Audit on the right sidebar, and do a search for "Tiljander"]. Yet he published anyway, and it was hand-waved through pal review by Mann’s sycophant [or lazy] referees.

    Michael Mann deceptively hid the data that would have made his hockey stick shape disappear from the graph. He buried the data in an obscure ftp file labeled “censored.” You can see that if Mann had used the “censored” data – which was from a much better series of proxies – his hockey stick graph would have gone in the opposite direction. So he hid the data in order to fabricate his subsequently debunked hockey stick.

    A.W. Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion shows conclusively that Mann deviously misrepresented the data he used. Nature was forced into issuing its Corrigendum, tainting Mann as using fraudulent methods to acheive a bogus result.

    I am really getting irked at eadler’s deliberate misrepresentations and his fact-free apologia for the Mann climate clique. IMHO his spin is dishonest, and he appears to be the main conduit between the propaganda of the Skeptical Pseudo-Science blog and WUWT. I am tired of his lying to promote his alarmist agenda. I think it is deliberate, and that he is a troll. That is my opinion, and I stand by it.

  182. In a corrigendum published on 1 July 2004, Mann, Bradley and Hughes acknowledged that McIntyre and McKitrick had pointed out errors in proxy data that had been included as supplementary information to MBH98, and supplied a full corrected listing of the data. They included an archive of all the data used in MBH98, and expanded details of their methods. They stated that “None of these errors affect our previously published results.”[52]

    Smokey says:
    March 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    eadler says:

    “The Hockey Stick is actually alive and well, contrary to the so called “skeptic” criticisms of it.”

    Another blatant falsehood by eadler. Nature was forced to issue a Corrigendum due to the debunking of Mann’s Hockey Stick by McIntyre & McKittrick. Mann’s hockey stick has been officially discredited by one of the leading science journals.

    Note that a Corrigendum is extremely serious, and very rarely issued. From the link:

    The Mann correction was not published as an Addendum, which, according to Nature’s published policy, is done when “Authors inadvertently omitted significant information available to them at the time” but which does “not contradict the original publication.” Nature publishes Corrigenda only “if the scientific accuracy or reproducibility of the original paper is compromised.” Nature’s designation of the correction as a corridengum contradicts the article authors’ [Mann's] claim that the errors in the original paper did not affect the published results. [my emphasis]

    In other words, Mann surruptitiously cherry-picked data to fabricate his hockey stick graph. He deliberately engaged in scientific misconduct.

    The correction could not be not designated as an addendum, because nothing was left out of the original paper. For a change in data, the designation had to be corrigendum. This was a correction to the supplementary data, but did not change the actual published paper according to Mann. Since the corrigendum is behind a paywall, I did not get to see it, so it is McIntyre’s word against his in the article. There were some errors in the original paper, and according to the NAS report, the statistical uncertainty in his original paper was understated especially for the MWP. This was corrected in later papers by Mann and others.
    McIntyre’s claim that non centered PCA would create a hockey stick from noise was shown to be wrong long ago.

    Making and correcting an error in a paper which develops a new methodology is not proof of misconduct.

    This is a recurring trait of Michael Mann. The Tiljander sediment proxy was known by Mann to be corrupted before he published his ’08 paper, which was based on the Tiljander proxy [those interested in Mann's deliberate shenanigans can click on Climate Audit on the right sidebar, and do a search for "Tiljander"]. Yet he published anyway, and it was hand-waved through pal review by Mann’s sycophant [or lazy] referees.

    Michael Mann deceptively hid the data that would have made his hockey stick shape disappear from the graph. He buried the data in an obscure ftp file labeled “censored.” You can see that if Mann had used the “censored” data – which was from a much better series of proxies – his hockey stick graph would have gone in the opposite direction. So he hid the data in order to fabricate his subsequently debunked hockey stick.
    Sorry but Mann replied to McIntyre’s claim about the use of Tijander proxies.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E11.full


    A.W. Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion shows conclusively that Mann deviously misrepresented the data he used. Nature was forced into issuing its Corrigendum, tainting Mann as using fraudulent methods to acheive a bogus result.

    The Montford book has been thoroughly debunked and is a mass of errors.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

    I am really getting irked at eadler’s deliberate misrepresentations and his fact-free apologia for the Mann climate clique. IMHO his spin is dishonest, and he appears to be the main conduit between the propaganda of the Skeptical Pseudo-Science blog and WUWT. I am tired of his lying to promote his alarmist agenda. I think it is deliberate, and that he is a troll. That is my opinion, and I stand by it.

    You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to fabricate your own facts. I think your personal attacks on scientists and posters who disagree with you are shameful, and reflect poorly on you.

  183. There is nothing wrong with calling out liars and miscreants:

    If you believe that saying:

    Mann was sent instructions to tell Wahl to delete emails. He acknowledged these instructions and then told Wahl to delete emails, and Wahl deleted the emails

    is somehow libel compared to:

    Mann was sent instructions to tell Wahl to delete emails. He acknowledged these instructions and then forwarded those instructions to Wahl to delete emails, and Wahl deleted the emails

    then you are the denier.

    Mann is a liar, documented over and over again. He is a fifth rate scientist catapulted to prominence due to coincidence and politics. He deserves no respect, no deference, no pay, and no job.

  184. e adler wrote:

    quote
    Sorry but Mann replied to McIntyre’s claim about the use of Tijander proxies.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E11.full

    unquote

    No, this assertion is either stupid, mendacious or naive. Mann’s ‘reply’ was: a flat-out denial that the use of a proxy upside down matters; a claim that even if it were used wrongly it didn’t affect the result (in typical fashion ignoring the fact that the result relied then on another dubious proxy, the Graybill bristlecones which have been shown by Ababneh’s attempt to replicate them to be non-reproducible by an honest PhD student); hand-waving appeals to authority.

    Mr Adler, you must know this. Why then do you produce it here as proof that Mann is right? Tomorrow morning, when you have a shave, ask your reflection this: ‘Am I using my life wisely defending a man whose work is so obviously dependent on dubious science? Am I wise to nail my flag so firmly to the mast of a ship captained by such a man? Am I naive? Am I mendacious? Am I being stupid?’

    Then come the big ones: ‘why am I prepared to be all three? What is it about the threat of climate change that appeals so deeply to my psyche?’

    HTH.

    JF

  185. eadler says: “In a corrigendum published on 1 July 2004, Mann, Bradley and Hughes acknowledged that McIntyre and McKitrick had pointed out errors in proxy data that had been included as supplementary information to MBH98, and supplied a full corrected listing of the data. They included an archive of all the data used in MBH98, and expanded details of their methods. They stated that “None of these errors affect our previously published results.”

    Maybe not as full and corrected as you make out.

    http://climateaudit.org/2006/01/11/ammann-at-agu-2/

    Steve McIntyre, posted on Jan 11, 2006
    I’m going to give a fairly brief account of previous attempts to get the residual series and/or cross-validation R2 from Mann, including inquiries to Mann, N.S.F., through Nature, by Climatic Change, by Natuurwetenschap & Techniek and by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. As you will see, no one has been able to get Mann to disclose the information – even with a very direct question by the House Committee.

    Do residuals and cross-validation statistics “matter” and should Mann have to disclose them? Well, they are vital to consideration of any statistical model. [...] On December 17, 2003, I requested the residual series from Mann [...] After being rebuffed by Mann in the request for residuals, on Dec. 17, 2003, we added this request to our existing Materials Complaint to Nature [...] Nature promised to seek “external independent advice” on these matters, but failed to do so as is evident in the correspondence file. [...] In February 2004 [...] [Nature] advised me that they would require a Corrigendum [...] they said “The authors have assured us that the data sets and methods are revealed completely and accurately, and we are confident that they are as keen as yourself to resolve the matter. ” [..] We saw the draft SI only in June 2004 [...] We noticed that the requested information on cross-validation statistics and residuals was not in the draft SI and immediately notified Nature [...] On August 10, 2004, we re-iterated our longstanding requests for the residuals and source code. These were referred to the Editor himself. On Sep. 7, 2004, the tortuous process reached a dead end

    There’s a lot more in this and other posts on ClimateAudit.com – in fact, after the “dead end” reported above. M&M found another serious problem. It has been a long drawn out saga of blocking and obfuscation by Mann & co, and surely not the actions of people confident in the quality of their work.

  186. eadler says that Mann has “supplied a full corrected listing of the data. They included an archive of all the data used in MBH98.”

    Adler is knowledgeable enough of the circumstances to know that his statement is not true. Mann has never publicly archived his data, methods, metadata or code, despite constant requests over the past 13 years. He cannot do so, because it would then be clear to everyone that he had fabricated his results, and he would face charges of scientific misconduct.

    Further, Adler uses Mann’s own words as the basis for his claim that Mann had simply made “errors.” That is not true. There were not “errors,” there was deliberate misuse of the data, methodology and code to arrive at a result that fitted Mann’s agenda, which was to erase the MWP and the LIA, thus falsely showing that current temperatures are “unprecedented.”

    Adler must know he is not being truthful when he states that Mann “included an archive of all the data used in MBH98″, and quoting Mann’s false assertion that “None of these errors affect our previously published results.” Hiding the data that would have eliminated his coveted hockey stick is as egregious as claiming that Mann has archived “all the data.”

    In fact, if he had included the “censored” data, Mann’s fabricated hockey stick would have been erased. And Mann ’08 was just as knowingly dishonest. By simply not using the Tiljander proxy, Mann’s new ’08 hockey stick would have been non-existent. So he had to use a corrupted proxy to get what he wanted. The key point is that Mann had been informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was corrupted, and that it was no good as supporting data.

    Yet Mann dishonestly published anyway, without any explanation in his paper for the use of Tiljander’s bad proxy. Is that what an honest person would do? It was also extremely foolish, as Mann was aware that Steve McIntyre was scrutinizing his work. But Mann arrogantly assumed that because he has the climate peer review referees and journals under his thumb, he could get away with his deception.

    Mr Adler, your false claims have been decisively refuted here by several other commentators. Strong opinions are one thing. But misrepresenting the record is mendacious, and unacceptable here.

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