Mann’s inverted Tiljander data survives another round of peer review

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Steve McIntyre reports (via commenter AMac) that Mann’s inverted Tiljander sediment data lives on in Kemp et al 2011 like some zombie that will not die.  I feel for graduate student Kemp, who will forever have the stink of Mann’s inability to admit and correct this simple issue tied to his paper.

AMac: Upside Down Mann Lives on in Kemp et al 2011

AMac writes:

Yesterday, Kemp et al. 2011 was published in PNAS, relating sea-level variation to climate over the past 1,600 years (UPenn press release). Among the authors is Prof. Mann. (Kemp11 is downloadable from WUWT.) Figs. 2A and 4A are “Composite EIV global land plus ocean global temperature reconstruction, smoothed with a 30-year LOESS low-pass filter”. This is one of the multiproxy reconstructions in Mann et al. (2008, PNAS). The unsmoothed tracing appears as the black line labelled “Composite (with uncertainties)” in panel F of Fig. S6 of the “Supporting Information” supplement to Mann08 (dowonloadable from pnas.org).

This is one of the Mann08 reconstructions that made use of the four (actually three) uncalibratable Tiljander data series.

As scientist/blogger Gavin Schmidt has indicated, the early years of the EIV Global reconstruction rely heavily on Tiljander to pass its “validation” test: “…it’s worth pointing out that validation for the no-dendro/no-Tilj is quite sensitive to the required significance, for EIV NH Land+Ocean it goes back to 1500 for 95%, but 1300 for 94% and 1100 AD for 90%” (link). Also see RealClimate here (Gavin’s responses to comments 525, 529, and 531).

The dependence of the first two-thirds of the EIV recon on the inclusion of Tiljander’s data series isn’t mentioned in the text of Kemp11. Nor is it discussed in the SI, although it is an obvious and trivial explanation for the pre-1100 divergence noted in the SI’s Figures S3, S4, and S5.

Peer review appears to have been missing in action on this glaring shortcoming in Kemp11′s methodology.

More than anything, I am surprised by this zombie-like re-appearance of the Tiljander data series — nearly three years after the eruption of the controversy over their misuse as temperature proxies!

For those that don’t know this story, here’s some links to get yourself up to speed. In a nutshell, Mann took some sediment data, inverted it in sign, and even though the scientist (Tiljander) who gathered and published the data says it is inverted, Mann has done nothing about it, and it continues to find its way into peer reviewed literature.

AMac has more at his blog: The Tiljander Data Series Appear Again, This Time in a Sea-Level Study. Apparently, realclimate.org won’t allow him to comment on the issue.

Here’s a graph from an earlier CA post: More Upside-Down Mann

The difference is shown below:

Imagine the caterwauling if we published the bottom graph regularly:

uah_inverted

Here’s some links for background:

Upside-Side Down Mann and the ”peerreviewedliterature”

More Upside-Down Mann

Upside Down Tiljander in Japan

IQ Test: Which of these is not upside down?

Here’s an interesting use of upside down graphs followed by a consensus insistence that the orientation of the data is correct:

* That’s an actual company http://www.zombiedata.com/

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66 thoughts on “Mann’s inverted Tiljander data survives another round of peer review

  1. Do we need anymore proof of the corruption and fallibility of current climatology? I am a layman. I know that any and all uses of the Tiljander series should be banned from literature except as a teaching tool for showing students how not to conduct science. (But also how to pass on garbage as science in order to bilk and mislead the public.)

    Climatology—– corrupt beyond redemption
    Peer review—– and again, corrupt beyond redemption. This goes for all schools of science. If it can happen in this contrived field with the light of truth continually upon it, it can and probably does happen in others. I don’t know what should replace it, but to use it as a proxy for valid science has been shown to be folly.

    Scientific journals —— they have lost all credibility. Where’s the editors? Where’s the retractions and apologies to the readers and subscribers. Some people pay very good money for some subscriptions.

    Where are the governing bodies of science? Are they too, complicit? Where are the statements and condemnations for using this tainted series?

  2. Point of Information.

    The Kemp et al study as published in PNAS on 20th June is at the receiving end of a lot of flack from other academics in Germany.

    The name Rahmstorf is given as an author of the paper.

    In essence, colleagues do not accept the validity of the conclusions.

    In German from Spiegel:

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,769424,00.html

    The headline: ” Meeresspiegel-Studie entzweit Forschergemeinde”

    Trans: “Sea level study divides researchers.”

  3. Ok, I know Mann has done some shaky (read dishonest) things to promote global warming, but this seems so blatant that he could not possibly get away with it. I’m new to the inverted data. Has he or anyone else responded to these claims?

  4. aNY BODY WHO STUDIES UNDER dR. mANN SHOULD BE READY FOR AN “inverted world” WHEN IT COMES TO ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS. tHE NORMAL APPROACH, WHEREIN dR. mANN ACCURATELY REVIEWS HIS STUDENT’S WORK, SHOULDN’T BE EXPECTED. mY HOPE IS THAT someday dR. mANN’S STUDENT’S WILL BE ABLE TO CRITIQUE HIS WORK. /cAPS sARC oFF.

  5. I made a comment here about upside down data but was only joking. I didn’t think there was any way he would try to reuse upside down data. This has to be soooo embarrassing to the journals and the reviewers (even though they are anonymous, I bet they get phone calls from journal editors).

  6. @JHTRazor

    Many have responded, none have effectively answered.

    The justification relies on the fact that the statistical method used to determine the suitability of the series is insensitive the orientation of the series. That is, you feed a series in, and if it’s a good match in either orientation, it’s included, weighted etc.

    There are circumstances where this is justified and some where it is not.

    In the examples blindly defended so far, it is not justified because there is no physical basis that links the structure of this series to changes in temperature. The series is contaminated in various ways (mechanical damage etc.) that negate it’s use, and Tiljander herself disavows that the series can be used in this way – the definitive source on the context in which the series was collected goes ignored!

    IOW, the “fit” that this series has is purely coincidental and an artefact of statistical processing, not a reflection of a physical process.

    I would not be surprised if you don’t believe me.

  7. It is unbelievable this lives on, and the corruption of science with it. It makes it all the more absurd when the regular apostles of AGW troll through and only accept ‘peer reviewed’ references as worth considering.

  8. It boggles the mind when these people know that they are being watched all the time.They either believe what they say or they are stupid, pressured and/or corrupt beyond being able to stop what they are doing even if they know it is nonsence. I pass.

  9. For those just tuning in to this issue, Mia Tiljander authored a 2005 paper in which she detailed her work using sediment layers as a proxy. However, she later discovered that the sediments had been corrupted by being overturned decades prior due to peat digging, road construction, bridge building, and other work that destroyed the original pristine sediment layers.

    Mann’s use of the corrupted Tiljander proxy could be passed off as a mistake, but for one thing: Mann was informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was no good. But he used it anyway, because it gave him the hockey stick graph he wanted.

  10. This is where I draw the flipping line. First it was merely “science”, but now that flipping Mann character is even giving “flipping” more of a bad name than it flipping deserves!

  11. @James Sexton: while what Mann et al (climate scientists) are doing is well beyond the pale, your blanket condemnation of “all science” and “all journals” is equally beyond the pale. Many of us still do strive to do the work of science honestly, and many journals still publish valid results. Here’s the link to my latest publication; please tell me how the paper is invalid, and where Physical Review, and the paper’s reviewers, went wrong in publishing the paper.

    http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v83/i4/e042701

  12. Wow, this is really unbelievable. What I don’t understand is that Mann thought he would get away with this – again?

    “Hit me with my hockey stick – it’s nice to be a lunatic!”

  13. At what point does this whole AGW nonsense become real, criminal fraud? We must be close to that tipping point.

  14. “James Sexton says:
    June 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Do we need anymore proof of the corruption and fallibility of current climatology? I am a layman. I know that any and all uses of the Tiljander series should be banned from literature except as a teaching tool for showing students how not to conduct science. (But also how to pass on garbage as science in order to bilk and mislead the public.)”

    Actually, James, other than the contaminated periods (reason detailed in other posts) which Tiljander identifies in her study, the proxy is perfectly acceptable. Her work is perfectly legitimate. The problem is in what Mannian statistics does to her work.

    He leaves in the corrupt data, and his mining algorithm sees those periods as negatively corresponding to the signal he is looking for (remember, he compares to the temperature record). So, since the faulty data corresponds, his program flips the whole thing and uses it because “it matches the historic temperature record”. It is a cherry picking exercise, and if you take out the contaminated sections, his program pretty much ignores the series.

  15. I don’t get it. Mann didn’t invert the sign, he just inverted the axis direction. The actual numbers on the axis corresponding to the data are still correct. It actually makes more sense the way Mann graphed it because it’s starts at zero at the origin. This is not the same as your example with temperatures where you invert the data, but keep the axis labels the same!

    I’m certainly no fan of Mann, but you have a pretty unreasonable gripe with this one.

  16. Espen says:
    June 22, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Wow, this is really unbelievable. What I don’t understand is that Mann thought he would get away with this – again?

    because his only defense consists of ad hominem attacks and untrue statements about his critics. He never, to my knowledge, addresses the core issue. Oh his lackeys do, or try to, but their machinations seem so desperate.

  17. I wonder if there is some way for Tiljander to scientifically enjoin Mann from using her data in such a manner. A scientific ‘cease and desist’ letter ha ha ha!

    If she were so inclined. Her silence speaks approval to me….

  18. David Hagen’s link to Kemp’s ‘Yale bio’ above reveals that as he ‘progresses’ there in the midst of an existing plenty which in contrast his microscopically limited ‘work’ there would help to destroy, Kemp’s likewise very unspecial widdle theme song has unfortunately not been reproduced there:

    What the world needs now
    Is clones, more clones
    It’s the only thing that
    There’s just too little of

  19. Smokey (June 22, 2011 at 6:39 am)

    Mann’s use of the corrupted Tiljander proxy could be passed off as a mistake, but for one thing: Mann was informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was no good. But he used it anyway, because it gave him the hockey stick graph he wanted.

    I think this statement involves some mind-reading — something I am not good at, and which I advise others to avoid, as well.

    If one wants to live in a world that benefits from science and technology, one must come to terms with the fact that scientists always have and always will make mistakes. For a slew of reasons ranging from base to noble. Prof. Mann might be a scoundrel or a hero, or both at once. Be that as it may, neither he nor anyone else is exempt from errors.

    In fact, to Mann’s credit, in the paper and the SI he discusses potential problems with the Tiljander proxies. His subsequent use of them was, it turns out, erroneous. No reason that I know of to think that the deed was malicous or even intentional. Sometimes a slipup is just a slipup.

    In my view, the problem isn’t that Mann and co-authors made these clear-in-retrospect errors. Rather, it is what followed. Editors and the peer-review process exist to catch such problems. Where were they? One purpose of journal Comments is to air disputes on matters like this. Why didn’t the Comment and Authors’ Response work in this case? Why has the Pro-AGW-Consensus community of scientists and advocates used the Tiljander03/Mann08 kerfluffle as a Rally Round The Flag issue, rather than as an affirmation of “Get the Data and Methods Right” and “Let The Cards Fall Where They May”?

    By the way, regular readers of Lucia’s Blackboard know that I am convinced by the evidence of the role of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in AGW. And also that the temperature record (despite its problems) clearly shows that the Earth has warmed by about one degree C in the past century or so. But to me, that’s the start of the conversation, not its conclusion. I know that not every reader of WUWT agrees with me! :-)

  20. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Fair comment Michael but here is the deal…you sort out the mire that climate scientists have dropped you into and then we will start to trust your peer reviewed papers. Is that fair?

    Did the skeptics interfere with journals to get pay pal reviews in the first place? Did the skeptics mess with the data? Did the skeptics make up the RE? Did the skeptics use influence withing the IPCC to get people thrown out? Please send your answers on a post card to S.M. and then when he accepts all is well, then and only then maybe you will get some trust back and be allowed to comment here without our outrage!.

  21. It is sloppy work llike Mann and now Kemp that just adds more doubt to the whole hypothesis of AGW. But if they are openly willing to push such sloppy work on the unsuspecting public – it begs the question. How much of their supposed data is real? And how much of it is just cooking the books?

  22. As a scientist, I can say if I published data “up side down”, I’d be mortified. If I were to repeat that same mistake again, with the same data, I’d question my own competence.

    Of course that’s all assuming it was a mistake. Any other interpretation is even worse…

  23. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 6:52 am

    @James Sexton: while what Mann et al (climate scientists) are doing is well beyond the pale, your blanket condemnation of “all science” and “all journals” is equally beyond the pale. Many of us still do strive to do the work of science honestly, and many journals still publish valid results. Here’s the link to my latest publication; please tell me how the paper is invalid, and where Physical Review, and the paper’s reviewers, went wrong in publishing the paper.

    http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v83/i4/e042701

    ==============================================================
    Michael, sorry you’ve taken offense. It wasn’t personal, and I’m quite sure you’ve adequately fulfilled your ethical obligations. That said, allow me to play devil’s advocate………

    Hmm, seems this study is behind a pay-wall, beyond the reach of public scrutiny, I very familiar with this occurrence. Was this paper pal-reviewed? How would I know if it was or wasn’t?

    Can I assume you are part of the APS? I’m sorry, did I miss that society’s condemnation of using known tainted data, specifically the Tiljander series? Please direct me to such condemnation. Or, is it that once again, instead of engaging, we hear nothing but crickets chirping from the scientific professionals and their various organizations. Leaving it to the laymen to do the heavy lifting in an attempt to keep ideology from taking over science and reinforcing the idea that ethical behavior is crucial to proper science. Thanks for all the help all of these years. Don’t fret, I’m not aiming specifically at physicists, I believe in this particular case it would be just as appropriate, if not more, for our geologist and archeologist friends to give a shout out for the integrity of science, but they’re probably too busy, too. Its just the world’s entire socio-economic structure we’re talking about, now if we were talking about something really important like information our laws get based upon, I’m sure you all would lead the way…… oh wait……

    I understand you guys are incredibly busy with protons and photon research, but if it isn’t too much to ask, could you convince some of your fellow professionals (perhaps as a body of scientists) to publicly opine about the validity of using tainted material in research papers? And, could you guys be good chaps and show the public how the corruption that is clearly documented in the climatology peer-review process could in no way ever occur in your specialty?

    If you can’t do that, then Michael, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry for the broad brush that you will be painted by, regardless of what I have to say about it. I’m sorry for science. But mostly, I’m sorry for the rest of society.

    Michael, I take no delight in any of this. In fact, I’d rather watch grass grow than be involved in this mess in any manner. But I deem the issue too important to walk away from. THE ENTIRE AND ONLY REASON WHY I’M ENGAGED IN THIS DISCUSSION IS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF FORTITUDE OR WILLINGNESS OF OTHER SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONALS TO ENGAGE IN THE DISCUSSION THEMSELVES.

    There was a time, a couple of years ago, that I was more than hopeful that other scientific organizations would involve themselves and once and for all end these shenanigans. Today, I’ve little hope this will ever occur in any form or fashion. So, Mike, you go on with your research, continue as if nothing is happening, and maybe if you’re lucky, after you’re done, there will be a recognizable society to benefit from all of your work. But, if there is, you’ll know the people who were responsible for preserving it for you.

    Sincerely,

    James Sexton

  24. The Mann sea level study is irrelevant. We have satellite data since 1992. This shows an average rate of sea level rise of 2.7 mm/year (3.0 mm / year for UCB adjusted), with a declining trend in recent years. The rate of rise is thus about 1 inch per decade–hardly a crisis. And as this rate is tending to fall rather than rise, there is no visible sign of any “tipping point” either, despite vast increases in CO2 emissions in recent years.

    As a result, what happened a thousand, or even one hundred, years ago has no bearing on our expectations for the future. The satellite data supersedes it.

  25. We all seem to forget, this is not a controversy. A member of the “Team” admitted that they plotted the Tiljander data upside down in the Climategate emails. What does Mann say about that?

  26. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 6:52 am

    …Here’s the link to my latest publication; please tell me how the paper is invalid, and where Physical Review, and the paper’s reviewers, went wrong in publishing the paper…

    Relax. The public is right to question all science with or without scandal. When there is a scandal, those who have never previously questioned what experts tell them are going to react harshly and negatively. They will (correctly) harbor a feeling of betrayal even though their trust was too easily given in the first place. When they see obvious lies propagate and the perps not held to account for their actions, it can easily appear as if all science is corrupt to someone who has no finger in the process. Experience with the messy process of whittling off falsehood to reveal plain truth is not available to most people. Most people have a preconception of a smooth progression of ideas and acceptance of them to a final perfect understanding. The reality is humanity at its intellectual finest is so fantastically ignorant of the universe around them that it’s a bit of a surprise that atheism has taken hold this early. As a species we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re at a level of mastery over the forces of the universe long before we’ve even learned to truly survive in it.

  27. The data were not used upside down as you present here, either in this paper or the EIV portion of Mann08. The program itself will not care which way it is oriented, it will still use it correctly, flipping if necessary. The problem isn’t that they used it upside down, but that the data itself cannot be used. It looks like a hockey stick, but it shows cold for the modern period, due to other factors. The program is taking the cold portion, seeing that it is warm now, and flipping the proxy so the cold becomes warm and vice versa. Perhaps this seems like the same thing as saying it was used upside-down, but I disagree it’s the same as ‘Mann took some sediment data, inverted it in sign,’

  28. The further problem that the Tiljander is not good data , even Tiljander admits to that and suggest it should not be used in the way Mann has.

  29. Keith W. says:
    June 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Actually, James, other than the contaminated periods (reason detailed in other posts) which Tiljander identifies in her study, the proxy is perfectly acceptable. Her work is perfectly legitimate. The problem is in what Mannian statistics does to her work.
    ================================================================
    You are, of course, correct, and I should have been much clearer and specified. Thanks for pointing that out.

  30. AMac, Mann has repeatedly missed-used data which he knew was problematic, this not a one off, this part of pattern, and this has occurred becasue this process supports his view not becasue it offers a value to the science.

  31. Ferd, such a thing is not possible. It is not a matter of Mann’s using the data upside-down, but rather that the data cannot be used in this way.

  32. MikeN:

    At June 22, 2011 at 8:43 am you say;

    “The program is taking the cold portion, seeing that it is warm now, and flipping the proxy so the cold becomes warm and vice versa. Perhaps this seems like the same thing as saying it was used upside-down, but I disagree it’s the same as ‘Mann took some sediment data, inverted it in sign,’”

    Please explain the difference between
    “flipping the proxy so the cold becomes warm and vice versa”
    and
    “it was used upside-down” or “inverted it in sign”.

    Frankly, I fail to see any difference except in the sets of words that each accurately describes what was done.

    Richard

  33. LearDog says:
    June 22, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I wonder if there is some way for Tiljander to scientifically enjoin Mann from using her data in such a manner. A scientific ‘cease and desist’ letter ha ha ha!

    If she were so inclined. Her silence speaks approval to me….
    ==========================================================

    I’m not sure exactly where she falls in the greater discussion, but she’s specifically stated the part upside down should not be used for these purposes. You may well imagine that this wouldn’t be a favorite subject of her’s to bring up.

  34. Richard S Courtney (June 22, 2011 at 9:10 am) —

    MikeN has given a lot of thought to this issue, and examined the code used by Mann08 for the EIV and CPS methods. What he says sounds right to me.

    I think there’s a subtle distinction, between “what operations the computer code performs” and “what the end result is, when a given proxy is included in a reconstruction.”

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Consider a thought experiment with two versions of “lightsum,” one of the “upside-down” proxies.

    ls-actual is the genuine series as archived by Tiljander.

    ls-modified is a pseudoproxy. For each year’s varve record prior to 1850 (i.e. prior to the beginning of the screening/calibration period), I take the ls-actual value (in millimeters) and add 0.1 mm to it.

    According to Tiljander03, higher values of lightsum indicate colder, snowier winters. Thus, according to Tiljander03, were I to use ls-modified in place of ls-actual in a multiproxy reconstruction, the ls-modified containing version should “hindcast” a lower temperature for pre-1850 years.

    For the CPS method described in Mann08: the ls-modified containing version would hindcast a higher temperature for pre-1850 years.

    For the EIV method described in Mann08: the ls-modified containing version would hindcast a higher temperature for pre-1850 years.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    I don’t think MikeN would disagree with what I’ve presented. He has gone on to look at why this is the case. He has found that the reasons for CPS aren’t the same as the reasons for EIV.

    The point to me is that, as used in Mann08, with ls-actual as archived by Tiljander, both methods yield counter-intuitive and incorrect hindcasts.

    Actually, the important point is that lightsum and the other Tiljander data series cannot be meaningfully calibrated to the instrumental record. In any orientation…

  35. AMac,

    I greatly respect your scientific opinion. However, our views diverge when it comes to how we judge human nature.

    If this was a one-off mistake by Michael Mann I would give him the benefit of the doubt. But it only adds to the growing mountain of evidence showing that Mann is playing games in order to produce another hockey stick – which can be found in all of his climate papers going back to the discredited MBH98. And the fact that he deliberately misused a corrupted proxy which he knew was bad is not made into a good proxy by a few sentences in Mann08 excusing its use.

    Mann has a tame pal review system and cowed professional journals right where he wants them. The Climategate emails clearly show his deviousness and lack of character in that regard. Therefore, I am not willing to give Mann the benefit of the doubt on the Tiljander issue, any more than I would pay Elmer Gantry to make it rain.

  36. Michael Monce I have to say I totally agree with James Sexton on this matter. Science organizations and their members have NOT stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately blogs such as WUWT and Steve McIntyre’s to name just two have been forced to step into the breach and act as the only genuine peer review process. That is both fortunate and unfortunate – fortunate that education, talent, and intelligence is no longer limited to borders nor science organizations. WUWT and Mcintyre’s comment section are indeed testimony to their tremendous worldwide reach attracting very talent individuals who have knowledge and expertize in the diverse fields commonly classified under science and the tools science uses.

    Unfortunate in the sense science and their associated organizations along with their peer review process is contaminated to the point of mediocrity. Consequently science itself is tarnished with a wide brush – a very natural response when those directly responsible for the rigorous discipline of the scientific methods no longer police themselves. Perhaps more importantly fail to censure junk science when junk science has proven to be the case such as in the Mann examples.

    No doubt there are many dedicated scientists in the various fields who still know what honor and integrity mean and adhere to their codes of personal conduct. I salute all those who stand NOW more than ever before. For THIS is the time honorable man and women are indeed forced to take a stand. Indeed Mr Watts himself and no doubt Mcintyre to name two are themselves facing death threats for merely speaking UP for the scientific process. That, SIR, is what honor and integrity means in the face of adversity.

  37. Just my view – but if Tiljander wanted to TRULY establish her career as a serious researcher – she would cry foul – clearly, loudly, prominently, over and over in support of proper use of data and adherence to ethics.

    Now THAT would be a solid contribution to the science surrounding AGW. A well-penned note to Curry’s blog would start the ball rolling.

  38. Sigh, I should clear some things up.

    @ Michael Monce and all. I note that I stated I was playing the devil’s advocate. That said, even then the tone was harsh. It was intentionally so, but I recognize how it could be misinterpreted as a personal attack. It was in no way meant to be one. Michael, I assume only the best of characteristics to you. I would also recognize that my statements are an over-generalization. Reading my diatribe, one could be left with the impression that I believe no scientists have stood up and challenged the climatology orthodoxy. This is, of course, not a true sentiment. There are numerous examples of brave scientists that have shown a willingness to risk reputation and livelihood in an attempt to correct the egregious misuse of science. And some have suffered more than insignificantly. I know that I ask much.

    But, in general, the larger body of science has turned its back on this issue and has kept it turned for many years. There is only a certain distance that bloggers can carry this ball. As great as Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Jeff Id, Willis, et al …. are, and as great as all of the commentators on these blogs are,(there are many brilliant minds here and at the other various sites), there is a need for the larger house of science to forcefully engage. These occurrences will not stop until that happens. I don’t believe bodies such as the APS will engage. I think we’ll be stuck in this stalemate until reality shows climatology to be wrong. I think if that occurs, science as a whole will suffer enormously and as a result, so will humanity.

    I hope that clarifies the intentions of my offering.

    James.

  39. AMac:

    Sincere thanks for your post (at June 22, 2011 at 9:51 am) that attempts to answer my question (at June 22, 2011 at 9:10 am). Unfortunately, I still fail to see any difference.

    As I understand your point, you are claiming that Mann did not invert the data because he used a computer program which inverted the data.

    But the method he used to invert the data is not pertinent to the fact of what he did. I fail to understand why anybody thinks it makes any difference whether Mann chose to use a pencil and paper or a computer program to invert the data.

    The important point is that Mann inverted the data.

    I add that this is another example of the ‘computer excuse’ which is widely used in AGW-‘science’. Computers do what they are programed to do.

    An assertion of AGW is not converted into evidence for the existence of AGW by being spoken, written in words, or written in computer code. Similarly, inverting data is not excused by the person who conducted the inversion having used computer code to do it.

    Richard

  40. The most tiresome part of the AGW fraud is the fallacy that we can even measure the Earth’s ‘average temperature’ to 1 degree C, let alone that such a number is thermodynamically meaningless when applied to anything but small closed containers of fluid. The essence of the ice ages wasn’t a drop in this pointless number, but in the long-term phase change of vast quantities of water. When this phase change reversed, sea level twice rose at a foot per decade for thousands of years. Now that 90% of that ice is gone we are supposed to believe that this same rise-rate is just around the corner, despite its absolute imposibility — there isn’t enough ice in the world to generate it. Worse yet, centuries-old British Admiralty Charts show, for most of the world, the same low-tide markers as today. Those satellite figures of 3mm/yr are undoubtedly bogus too, since the real figure is probably zero.

    This is as massive and pernicious a scientific fraud as Lysenkoism, which very uncoincidentally was pushed by a previous bunch of die-hard Lefties. Today the same stupid adherents of Marx and Keynes are successfully pushing AGW, having grown fat on the successes of their previous frauds, Freon’s Ozone Hole and DDT’s Silent Spring. Air conditioning and insectice are such powerful 20th-century marvels that the Left, fountainhead of Mob Barbarism, naturally wants to destroy them, along with automobiles, airplanes, and mechanized farming.

    Be assured that by the time AGW is finally abandoned, the Left will have gravitated to the next fraud, to whatever fallacious malarky they can exploit in their relentless drive to destroy civilization. Thank God for the upcoming Solar Minimum.

  41. James: I understand yours was a devil’s advocate response; you stated as such.

    Wil and others: You assume my complicity. I was a signer of the original Oregon petition. I was also one of the 200+ APS members who protested against the APS statement on climate change, and we also have been successful in having a topical group on climate being instituted. I’m a member of a small group of scientists, engineers, and meteorologists in Connecticut that regularly respond to biased newspaper articles, science museum displays, etc. around the state concerning the global warming “myth”. I have had alums call for my firing to the president of the college because I don’t toe the party line on climate. I’ve given talks on campus, and may have actually changed a few minds. I protested to the Dean and President when the college signed on to the University Sustainability Agreement a few years ago. If I was a full time climate researcher perhaps I could do more, but my time is needed in my lab and in my classes. I did spend my sabbatical last year calculating radiation input and output from CO2 and H2O molecules in the atmosphere using a new method employing Einstein coefficients. I have the expertise in atomic physics, and thought it would be interesting to see if I could do the calculation; some intesting results came out especially relating to the sun’s radiation field. I was thinking of submitting the work to Anthony for publication here, but since I’m one of the “not to be trusted” I now have second thoughts.

    A lot of us understand the corruption in climate science, and the great misinterpretation of data that exists there. We do what we can within the confines of our own lives and careers.

    [Reply: Please don’t let a few opinions stop you from submitting an article. Moderation is done with a light touch here. The alternative can lead to censorship. ~dbs, mod.]

  42. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I was thinking of submitting the work to Anthony for publication here, but since I’m one of the “not to be trusted” I now have second thoughts.

    Nobody is trusted in these parts. Now, if you submit data with your paper and interpret it properly, it has a good chance of being trusted. In fact, if nobody can find fault with your paper, the veracity might just rub off on your reputation.

    So please, sir, submit!

  43. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    “James: I understand yours was a devil’s advocate response; you stated as such.

    Wil and others: You assume my complicity. I was a signer of the original Oregon petition………”
    ==============================================================================

    Thank you for understanding. It should go without stating that the others weren’t lashing out at you personally, but against this black eye climatology has given science. It is likely that, like me, we were taught and brought up in the pollyanna view of the altruistic scientist madly slaving away hoping to find something, anything that could be used for the benefit of humanity and doing it for no other purpose than that. And, perhaps it is a semi-accurate portrayal of many still today. But, our faith has been shaken, to some, perhaps beyond redemption. For many, healthy skepticism has been replaced by cynicism.

    Michael, understand, no one likes this. No one wants this.

    I’m sure Wil and the others join me in our personal thanks to your courageous stance that you’ve taken. Would that others would follow your example, not for the sake of the ideology, but for science itself.

    And, as dbs has stated, by all means don’t let a few of us despair, nor discourage you from submitting an article. I’d look forward to reading it.

    James Sexton

  44. Richard Courtney, I see your point, and even anticipated it in my post. It’s not a matter of the computer program vs pencil and paper, but the algorithm used to average the proxies together. For example, if I just added together the proxies, then it would be easy to undo the damage, and enter the proxy correctly, right side up. However, it cannot be done for this proxy. Whichever way it is entered into the program, the result is wrong. It is more than a matter of Mann used data upside-down, which he did for CPS version of Mann et al 2008. It is flawed because the data for the recent period show ‘cold’ when in fact it was ‘warm’. My point is claiming that Mann used the data upside-down,which he did, is too simplistic. It is argument like that that let’s Mann get away with making claims like he did in his response to Steve McIntyre in PNAS:
    The claim that ‘‘upside down’’ data were used is bizarre.
    Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of
    predictors.

    For the case of EIV, the second statement is correct.

  45. Michael Monce says:
    June 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Right on Michael! fight the good fight and thank you for clarifying your real position.

  46. What I’ve never understood about the ‘inverted’ controversy is this: If the data is sign insensitive, why bother inverting it in the first place?

  47. “One cannot attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence”. Both are unacceptable IMHO.

  48. intrepid_wanders says:
    June 22, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Check out what the Inconvenient Skeptic stumbled onto…

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/06/what-instumental-record-did-mann-use/

    Looks like in order to get their crappy dataset to fit, they needed to double the HADCRUTv3 with a +0.5deg bias. Astonishing.

    Unfortunately neither he nor you know how to read the legend in the chart. HADCRUTv3 has been REBASELINED so that zero is for the period 1400-1800

    Fig. 2. (A) Composite EIV global land plus ocean global temperature reconstruction (1), smoothed with a 30-year LOESS low-pass filter (blue). Data since AD 1850 (red) are HADCrutv3 instrumental temperatures. Values are relative to a preindustrial average for AD 1400–1800

  49. @Rhoda

    Inverting the sign to determine the fit and weighting of a dataset in this way is the correct operation of the statistical method used, but only if either:

    1) You aren’t sure if there is a significant relationship of the proxy dataset to the value purportedly being measured by the proxy – you’re really looking for correlation in this way without expectation. It’s a *starting* point that tells you “dig here” to attempt to determine a genuine physical relationship, not an end point that lets you draw a conclusion

    or

    2) You know there’s a physical relationship and can stipulate *before* feeding the series into the method that flipping would be justified for one reason or another. One artificial example often used is measuring the position of the meniscus on a mercury thermometer, relative to a point below the thermometer. It doesn’t matter whether the thermometer hangs upside down – the displacement of the meniscus is a proxy for temperature. In this case, automatically flipping the sign would be a desirable outcome of the method.

    However, if you examine how the proxy was actually employed to deliver a result, and find it was flipped in a way that makes no sense when it’s related to a physical process, use of that flipped proxy is questionable; it should not be used because it is not a suitable proxy, and any apparent significance it has because of the blind (but correct) processing of the method is deceptive.

  50. MikeN:

    I thank you for your patience in again trying to explain your view to me in your post at June 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm.

    Yes, I ‘get it’ that the algorithm is sign insensitive. But I still fail to see how use of such an algorithm differs from ‘using the data upside down’ if that insensitivity indicates ‘cold is warm’.

    The explanation from mrsean2k at June 23, 2011 at 2:01 am agrees with my understanding of the issue. I commend it to you and I thank him for it.

    Richard

  51. I am not a scientist, I have posted previously about Mann and after reading the E-Mails I was disgusted with the whole peer review process AND his ultimate goal of picking my pocket by getting my taxes raised over nonsense. If the justification for your work is solely government grants then get a shovel, Obama has a job for you. Mann promoted this Global Warming monstrosity for MONEY, personal enrichment. Those in authority either knew it or let it slide.If the peer review process is as shoddy as it is to promote global warming then science will progress no further.

    I don’t know, nor do I care at this point what his credentials are, all he has done was call people like me and those in the sciences “Flat Earthers” BS, he did it for a BUCK. He should be forced to resign aqnd if charges are needed go to a nice “WARM” jail.

  52. Richard, I agree with mrsean2k. The data was used upside-down. My objection is to the phrasing, between the chart and the comparison temperature charts, I don’t think the main post is explaining the issue correctly. The proxy cannot be used in this fashion. A comparison would be to the Kaufmann et al Arctic warming paper, in which the proxy was used upside-down, perhaps due to having a coauthor with Mann08, then when spotted they simply turned it right side up again. They used a simple average and cut off the modern portion that was flawed. They also fixed some of their other calculations as recommended by Hu McCullough.

  53. “The justification relies on the fact that the statistical method used to determine the suitability of the series is insensitive the orientation of the series.”

    Oh dear, where to start?

    Well, the real issue with the use of the Tiljander sediment data as a climate proxy is not the numerical sign of the correlation coefficient, the real issue is the CALIBRATION of the proxy in the first place.

    The identification of varves (banded layers) in the sediment record from arctic lakes produces a valid climate proxy as long as the attribution of the varve type is correctly applied. Varves form in lakes that experience annual freezing of the surface waters. The still conditions of winter allow fine sediment to settle out of the water column below the ice carapace. In contrast, the spring melt and summer run-off brings coarser sediments into the lake, from the surrounding barren landscape, leading to the formation of mineral rich varves under cold climate conditions.

    Under mild climate conditions the same lake is likely to be surrounded by vegetated land. The formerly barren mineral soil is now overlain by organic peat and fixed by plant roots. While the annual winter freeze – summer thaw cycle still allows varves to form, the summer conditions now bring organic remains into the lake. The mineral subsoil, buried by peat, does not now get eroded to the same degree as previously occurred under the cold climate conditions.

    Organic rich varves are a sign of an ameliorated climate; mineral rich varves indicate cold barren climate conditions. The is the Environmental Science I was taught almost 40 years ago and I see no reason to expect that modern knowledge says anything different. All would have been well with the Tiljander sediment data had the above correct science been applied. However the modern Tiljander sediment record is contaminated by human activity. Ground disturbance associated with land management, ditch clearance and bridge building has produced an influx of coarse sediments in the summer, swamping the natural organic sediment signal.

    On the basis of finding coarse sediment varves occurring in the modern lake sediments, the false calibration of mineral rich varves equals warm climate was made. When applied to the historic record, this incorrect calibration falsely turned the cold-period natural mineral rich varves into a signal of a nonexistent warm paleoclimate.

     

  54. Isn’t it the case that the data was “back to front” rather than “upside down”? If the actual sediments were inverted, this would mean the oldest sediments were interpreted as being the newest and vice versa. And, if that is the case, it is the data itself that has the problem, as noted by Tiljander herself.

    Or am I missing something?

  55. Philip Mulholland (June 23, 2011 at 10:24 am) —

    Nice analysis.

    I’d like to expand on your closing paragraph. Tiljander03 recorded the total thickness of each year’s varve (thicknessmm, millimeters), and then got the thickness that was due to mineral deposition (lightsum, millimeters)*. The authors then deduced the portion of the varve thickness that was due to the settling of organic matter by this formula:

    darksum = thicknessmm – lightsum

    All values are in millimeters (or in micrometers — thousandths of millimeters).

    (There’s a fourth data series, X-Ray Density, that I won’t discuss here.)

    Tiljander03 suggested that local human activities started contributing appreciably to varve characteristics around 1720**.

    Prior to that point, the interpretations offered in Tiljander03 match the ones that you gave.

    Higher lightsum values come about when cold, snowy winters lead to a more vigorous spring thaw, carrying more mineral silt into the lake.

    Higher darksum values come about when warm, wet summers promote the growth of vegetation, leading to more organic matter being carried into the lake.

    There’s no interpretation for thicknessmm.

    According to Tiljander: Post-1720, progressively more silt settles to the lake bottom (farming, road-building). And over that time span, progressively more organic matter settles to the lake bottom (peat cutting, eutrophication).

    As you say, this is where Mann08 was misled. For 1850-1995, they looked at the CRUTEM3v temperature anomaly record for the gridcell containing Lake Korttajarvi, and compared it with the varve data.

    Overall, temperature goes up over time, and, overall:
    — lightsum goes up over time.
    — darksum goes up over time.
    — thicknessmm goes up over time.

    The resulting calibration of temperature to lightsum is without validity. For hindcasting, the spurious correlation is upside-down with respect to Tiljander’s interpretation.

    The resulting calibration of temperature to darksum is equally invalid. This spurious correlation is rightside-up with respect to Tiljander’s interpretation.

    The resulting calibration of temperature to thicknessmm also lacks merit. Since Tiljander offered no opinion, this spurious correlation can’t be upside-down, or rightside-up.

    That seems to be a fair accounting of this piece of the puzzle. In my experience, supporters of Mann08’s validity neither challenge nor accept this description. Instead, the conversation moves towards assertions along the lines of, I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    * I am not sure what method Tiljander used to do determine lightsum–do you know?

    ** Gazing at the data, the onset of large-scale contamination seems much later to me, perhaps 100 years or more.

  56. Isn’t it generally regarded as poor methodology to splice signals due to the bandpass problem?

    For example, take any noisy signal. Apply a low bandpass filter to the first portion of the signal and a high bandpass filter to the end portion. What you will end up with is a signal that looks quite flat in the first portion and quite spiky in the end portion.

    Looking at the resulting signal you might then incorrectly conclude that the object generating the signal had changed, while in fact the observed change is simply an artifact of the bandpass problem.

    Since it is unlikely that a tidal gauge has the same bandpass as ocean sediments, it would appear that any conclusions drawn from the signal might simply be an artifact of the signal processing. Unless and until the same bandpass filters are applied to both portions of the signal you cannot reliably splice the signals and achieve a significant result.

    For example, it is likely that the ocean sediments are a low bandpass filter. There may well have been spikes in the low bandpass section of the signal similar to what is observed in the tidal gauge. However, these would no longer be visible due to the effects of the filter. Thus, it cannot be ruled out that such spikes are typical of the signal.

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