Reduce your CO2 footprint by recycling past errors!

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Anthony has pointed out the further inanities of that well-known vanity press, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This time it is Michael Mann (of Hockeystick fame) and company claiming an increase in the rate of sea level rise (complete paper here, by Kemp et al., hereinafter Kemp 2011). A number of commenters have pointed out significant shortcomings in the paper. AMac has noted at ClimateAudit that Mann’s oft-noted mistake of the upside-down Tiljander series lives on in Kemp 2011, thus presumably saving the CO2 required to generate new and unique errors. Steve McIntyre has pointed out that, as is all too common with the mainstream AGW folks and particularly true of anything touched by Michael Mann, the information provided is far, far, far from enough to reproduce their results. Judith Curry is also hosting a discussion of the issues.

I was interested in a couple of problems that haven’t been touched on by other researchers. The first is that you can put together your whiz-bang model that uses a transfer function to relate the “formaminiferal assemblages” to “paleomarsh elevation” (PME) and then subtract the PME from measured sample altitudes to estimate sea levels, as they say they have done. But how do you then verify whether your magic math is any good? The paper claims that

Agreement of geological records with trends in regional and global tide-gauge data (Figs. 2B and 3) validates the salt-marsh proxy approach and justifies its application to older sediments. Despite differences in accumulation history and being more than 100 km apart, Sand Point and Tump Point recorded near identical RSL variations.

Hmmm, sez I … so I digitized the recent data in their Figure 2B. This was hard to do, because the authors have hidden part of the data in their graph through their use of solid blocks to indicate errors, rather than whiskers as are commonly used. This makes it hard to see what they actually found. However, their results can be determined by careful measurement and digitization. Figure 1 shows those results, along with observations from the two nearest long-term tidal gauges and the TOPEX satellite record for the area.

Figure 1. The sea-level results from Kemp 2011, along with the nearest long-term tide gauge records (Wilmington and Hampton Roads) and the TOPEX  satellite sea level records for that area. Blue and orange transparent bands indicate the uncertainties in the Kemp 2011 results. Their uncertainties are shown for both the sea level and the year. SOURCES: Wilmington, Hampton Roads, TOPEX

My conclusions from this are a bit different from theirs.

The first conclusion is that as is not uncommon with sea level records, nearby tide gauges give very different changes in sea level. In this case, the Wilmington rise is 2.0 mm per year, while the Hampton Roads rise is more than twice that, 4.5 mm per year. In addition, the much shorter satellite records show only half a mm per year average rise for the last twenty years.

As a result, the claim that the “agreement” of the two Kemp 2011 reconstructions are “validated” by the tidal records is meaningless, because we don’t have observations accurate enough to validate anything. We don’t have good observations to compare with their results, so virtually any reconstruction could be claimed to be “validated” by the nearby tidal gauges. In addition, since the Tump Point sea level rise is nearly 50% larger than the Sand Point rise, how can the two be described as “near identical”?

As I mentioned above, there is a second issue with the paper that has received little attention. This is the nature of the area where the study was done. It is all flatland river delta, with rivers that have created low-lying sedimentary islands and constantly changing border islands, and swirling currents and variable conditions. Figure 2 shows what the turf looks like from the seaward side:

Figure 2. Location of the study areas (Tump Point and Sand Point, purple) for the Kemp 2011 sea level study. Location of the nearest long-term tidal gauges (Wilmington and Hampton Roads) are shown by yellow pushpins.

Why is this important? It is critical because these kinds of river mouth areas are never stable. Islands change, rivers cut new channels, currents shift their locations, sand bars are created and eaten away. Figure 3 shows the currents near Tump Point:

Figure 3. Eddying currents around Tump Point. Note how they are currently eroding the island, leading to channels eaten back into the land.

Now, given the obviously sedimentary nature of the Tump Point area, and the changing, swirling nature of the currents … what are the odds that the ocean conditions (average temperature, salinity, sedimentation rate, turbidity, etc.) are the same now at Tump Point as they were a thousand years ago?

And since the temperature and salinity and turbidity and mineral content a thousand years ago may very well have been significantly different from their current values, wouldn’t the “formaminiferal assemblages” have also been different then regardless of any changes in sea level?

Because for the foraminifera proxy to be valid over time, we have to be able to say that the only change that might affect the “foraminiferal assemblages” is the sea level … and given the geology of the study area, we can almost guarantee that is not true.

So those are my issues with the paper, that there are no accurate observations to compare with their reconstruction, and that important local marine variables undoubtedly have changed in the last thousand years. Of course, those are in addition to the problems discussed by others, involving the irreproducibility due to the lack of data and code … and the use of the Tiljander upside-down datasets … and the claim that we can tell the global sea level rise from a reconstruction in one solitary location … and the shabby pal-review by PNAS … and the use of the Mann 2008 temperature reconstruction … and …

In short, I fear all we have is another pathetic attempt by Michael Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, and others to shore up their pathetic claims, even to the point of repeating their exact same previous pathetic mistakes … and folks wonder why we don’t trust mainstream AGW scientists?

Because they keep trying, over and over, to pass off this kind of high-school-level investigation as though it were real science.

My advice to the authors? Same advice my high school science teacher drilled into our heads, to show our work. PUBLISH YOUR CODE AND DATA, FOOLS! Have you been asleep for the last couple years? These days nobody will believe you unless your work is replicable, and you just look stupid for trying this same ‘I won’t mention the code and data, maybe nobody will notice’ trick again and again. You can do all the hand-waving you want about your “extended semiempirical modeling approach”, but until you publish the data and the code for that approach and for the other parts of your method, along with the observational data used to validate your approach, your credibility will be zero and folks will just point and laugh.

w.

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191 Responses to Reduce your CO2 footprint by recycling past errors!

  1. Pete H says:

    The troubling thing Willis is that they are using tax payers money for their garbage and we no longer see the funny side of their jokes!

  2. Jack says:

    Prof. Eschenbach,

    that is not a ‘post-normal’ tone. Well done, and it is about time.

  3. Lew Skannen says:

    Beautifully stated. Thanks Willis.

    I must say that I am baffled that such transparent garbage can be swallowed by so many without the slightest application of scepticism or critical analysis.
    The mainstream seem to have been absolutely cowed and no longer even dare to question any of these wild claims. Presumably lest they be deemed ‘sceptics’.

    These shysters spew out garbage which is immediately picked up and run with by the compliant media. When their theories have been shot full of holes it doesn’t matter because noone pays any attention to the debunking a few weeks (or even days) later.

    At the moment that pathetic “97% of scientists” meme is still being reported as fact all over the net, NPR, various parliaments etc.
    These things are harder to eradicate than anthrax spores.

  4. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Pete H says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:38 am

    The troubling thing Willis is that they are using tax payers money for their garbage and we no longer see the funny side of their jokes!

    Yes, I know that … but I just find their endless gyrations, doing the same kind of foolishness again and again, to be endlessly entertaining. It’s like the climate Cirque de Soleil, where you can get amazed by their contortions to avoid actually describing and documenting what they are doing. – w.

  5. Alex says:

    How did they select the sites? I suspect they did some serious cherry picking during site selection.

  6. David Falkner says:

    Oh yeah? Well I have noticed a severe uptick in hydrological erosion around Devil’s Lake.

  7. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Lew Skannen says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:43 am

    … When their theories have been shot full of holes it doesn’t matter because noone pays any attention to the debunking a few weeks (or even days) later. …

    I couldn’t disagree more. Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts and a host of other bloggers have had a huge effect on the ongoing discussion. My own writings have not been without effect. So I reject your claim that “it doesn’t matter” that we have worked to explain the problems with the peer-reviewed science. Thinking people are always willing to increase their understanding and knowledge of the climate issues.

    So yes, the constant bombardment of “science by press release” does have an effect … but in the end, the truth will out. Science is funny that way. Untrue ideas eventually crumble. So holding publicly important science to the scientific method, and noting when it does not conform to scientific norms, is a valuable thing no matter whether it happens early or late.

    w.

  8. Willis, hilarious indeed. I’m not certain Mann and his group have a gnat’s understanding of barrier island/delta geology and process, let alone their own lax method. As soon as I saw the Google Earth view I just shook my head. Two data points? On a shifting barrier coastline? Do any of these people have a clue? A third-year sedimentology undergrad with a mild interest in paleobathymetry can see that this is flawed. And coupled with the recent Rolling Stone blatherings from the Goru himself, the timing couldn’t be better.
    This is as blatant a display of blindered agenda-serving cherry-pick as could be mustered, and proof that the peers are just as blind for letting it pass. Or maybe they’ve done it on purpose? one can only hope.

  9. Orkneygal says:

    Mr. Eschenbach, for what it is worth, the battlefield dispatches you file from the Battle Field of CAGW matter greatly to me. Please don’t stop.

  10. Julian Williams in Wales says:

    “”My advice to the authors? Same advice my high school science teacher drilled into our heads, to show our work. PUBLISH YOUR CODE AND DATA, FOOLS! Have you been asleep for the last couple years? These days nobody will believe you unless your work is replicable, and you just look stupid for trying this same ‘I won’t mention the code and data, maybe nobody will notice’ trick again and again. You can do all the hand-waving you want about your “extended semiempirical modeling approach”, but until you publish the data and the code for that approach and for the other parts of your method, along with the observational data used to validate your approach, your credibility will be zero and folks will just point and laugh.””

    UNLESS YOU ARE THE IPCC OR SOME OTHER AGW INTERST GROUP WRITING PRESS RELEASES FOR THE HACKS TO VOMIT INTO THE PUBLIC ARENA.

  11. John Marshall says:

    Your point on the salinity etc of the seas thousands of years ago might be different from today is an assumption. In Oceanography there is an assumption that the seas salinity and basic chemical composition has been constant for millions of years. I find this a hard nut to swallow given that rivers transport more chemical constituents daily into the oceans. due to chemical weathering alone.

    Back to the paper:- This study was done in an area of coastal sinking so relative sea levels would increase by large, relative, numbers. Also along this coast the sinking would be irregular so giving differing sea level changes over time.

    So not a good area for sea level studies especially if tectonic influences are ignored.

  12. Bloke down the pub says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:06 am
    Thinking people are always willing to increase their understanding and knowledge of the climate issues. ‘

    The willingness of the vast majority of the population to accept the bull spread by the MSM would indicate that ‘Thinking people’ are always going to be in a minority.

  13. Ross says:

    I find it amazing that anyone can believe in an organization that can publish data in one report clearly showing the MWP and Little Ice Age and subsequently re-write history with Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick. George Orwell would be preparing to sue for their theft of his intellectual property.

    I am even more amazed that the same organization can get away with publishing the ludicrous assertion of “perpetual motion” contained in that other travesty – Earth’s Annual Global Energy Budget – the ridiculous diagram showing that both the Earth’s radiation and “Back Radiation” from “Greenhouse Gases” are greater than the incoming solar radiation – how is that accepted as “science” – it is rubbish.

    What is the average temperature of the earth and how meaningful is it. Minus 80 in Antarctic records to plus 50 or more – how does a so called average “blackbody” temperature of minus 18 or an average “greenhouse” temperature of plus 15 represent real life in any shape or form ??

    it is all nonsense.

  14. trevorcooperoper says:

    This is probably a silly question, in which case my apologies.

    In the Mann paper, why does the sea-level rise start accelerating in the late nineteenth-century, well before AGW is meant to have had any impact?

  15. John Silver says:

    Why is the satellite (red) curve grafted at the top of the others?
    Surely the satellite numbers are relative and only relates to themselves.
    The satellite curve could be placed anywhere vertically in the graph but actually do not belong there at all.

  16. Jeroen B. says:

    It’s like the climate Cirque de Soleil, where you can get amazed by their contortions to avoid actually describing and documenting what they are doing. – w.

    I hope Josh picks up on that line for an awesome cartoon – because that is brilliant — and SO true.

  17. Slartibartfast says:

    How many more idiots do you suppose will mistake tideline trends for actual sea-level shifts? They’re estimating the sum of subsidence and actual sea level rise, and attributing the entire trend to sea level rise.

    Also: are they the last people in the world to discover that the Chesapeake Bay area is subsiding in a sustained fashion?

  18. Bill Jamison says:

    I just read recently about some of the underwater artifacts found in Alexandria Egypt. Apparently some dating from ~300BC were found under 5 to 8 meters of water.

    The report mention subsidence and rising sea levels as the cause. If I’m reading the chart from Mann’s study correctly global sea level has only risen about 0.4M in the last 2000 years though. So either there’s a helluva lot of subsidence going on or sea level in Alexandria has risen a few orders of magnitude more than reported in the Mann paper.

    I wonder which it could be???

  19. Slartibartfast says:

    Possibly even accelerating.

  20. Alicia Frost says:

    Warning don’t vote for Huntsman!

    http://www.verumserum.com/?p=26023

    It seems he’s 100% AGW check it first though….

  21. Lawrie Ayres says:

    In Australia we have a chief Scientist and Climate Change Commissioners, all selling the government line, all decrying the fact that some sceptical scientists are being heard. We are all supposed to be good little boys and girls and just accept what the wise people tell us. They rely on people like Mann and Hansen for the truth. As scientists they are dead but refuse to lay down. It will take a prolonged ice age to shut them down and even then some will claim CO2 caused it. Some want to gas us (Jill Singer) some want to brand us (Richard Fidler) and all want us to shut up. Science at it’s best.

  22. jeez says:

    The C Team caught on Video.

    http://youtu.be/xEGhXZnI07o

    (Sorry Willis, this just needs more exposure).

    REPLY: Yes, yes it does – Anthony

  23. Dagfinn says:

    Inspired by Craig Loehle’s “time travel” post, I’ve raised this point at Judith Curry’s blog: the sharp sea level rise appears to predate the AGW era.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/22/sea-level-hockey-stick/#comment-78887

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/16/time-travel-and-causation-in-the-climate-debate/

  24. Willis Eschenbach says:

    John Marshall says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Your point on the salinity etc of the seas thousands of years ago might be different from today is an assumption. In Oceanography there is an assumption that the seas salinity and basic chemical composition has been constant for millions of years. I find this a hard nut to swallow given that rivers transport more chemical constituents daily into the oceans. due to chemical weathering alone.

    While this is true of the open ocean, inshore of the barrier islands the salinity varies with the influx and direction of fresh water from the rivers. So it is not an assumption that salinity etc differ from point to point in such a semi-enclosed area.

    w.

  25. Willis Eschenbach says:

    trevorcooperoper says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:38 am

    This is probably a silly question, in which case my apologies.

    In the Mann paper, why does the sea-level rise start accelerating in the late nineteenth-century, well before AGW is meant to have had any impact?

    The only silly question is the one you don’t ask. Kemp et al. (as far as I know) don’t mention CO2 at all.

    w.

  26. Dagfinn says:

    trevorcooperoper, I see that you’re asking the same “silly question”. I see no convincing answers so far.

  27. Willis Eschenbach says:

    John Silver says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Why is the satellite (red) curve grafted at the top of the others?

    It’s no more “grafted” than any of the other datasets. It is simply included.

    Surely the satellite numbers are relative and only relates to themselves.
    The satellite curve could be placed anywhere vertically in the graph but actually do not belong there at all.

    I don’t understand why the satellite data is “relative and only relates to themselves”. The satellite data actually agrees rather well with the tidal gauge data over the common period (1992-2011). It is included because it is another source of information about the sea level changes in the region.

    w.

  28. Dagfinn says:

    Willis says:

    “Kemp et al. (as far as I know) don’t mention CO2 at all.”

    Does that mean they have no physical explanation for their findings?

  29. Bloke down the pub says:

    Bill Jamison says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:49 am
    I just read recently about some of the underwater artifacts found in Alexandria Egypt. Apparently some dating from ~300BC were found under 5 to 8 meters of water.

    The report mention subsidence and rising sea levels as the cause. If I’m reading the chart from Mann’s study correctly global sea level has only risen about 0.4M in the last 2000 years though. So either there’s a helluva lot of subsidence going on or sea level in Alexandria has risen a few orders of magnitude more than reported in the Mann paper.

    I wonder which it could be???

    The African techtonic plate is moving north at a fair old rate and is being subducted under Europe. As it does so it buckles upwards for a while [for example when the old port of Alexandria was built] but then subsides again when an earthquake relieves the pressure. This results in large parts of the area now being several fathoms below sea level.

  30. charles nelson says:

    Dear Moderator, sorry to butt in…

    [reply] take it to tips and notes please. TB-mod

  31. Julian Williams in Wales says:

    Having posted the above I have just read your response to Lew Skannen. I agree with you, the press releases only delay your truth emerging. The delays caused by the presss releases will be years rather than weeks.

    Actually your work does work on all sorts of levels and is very effective. I am not a scientist, but when I recieved a round robin email from an artsy friend that used the “denier” word I was down on his head like a ton of bricks. I was able to dominate in the discussion that followed because of what I have learnt fro WUWT.

    But it is frustrating and there will be no easy reversing of the misinformation already in the media and lapped up by the political classes. We are into pure politics on this issue. Politics and the media are really docile about reversing mistakes. An example is the present Euro crisis, ten years ago when they set up the Euro it was obvious that small countries like Greece would be made bankrupt by the monetry union. At the time the opponents had a really good slogan “One size does not fit all” but the project went ahead. For ten years they have told us the monetry union was working, when it was not. Only in the last few weeks has the penny dropped, and suddenly all the arguments we made ten years ago are suddenly accepted in the press as common sense.

    I fear that the AGW wrecking machine is unstoppable, it has too much momentum. We can slow it down. Reduce the damage it does, but it will only be defeated when disaster is staring the politcians in their faces.

  32. Gorgias says:

    Aren’t they measuring the recession of the barrier island instead of a rising sea level. As the currents and wave action wash away the island over time, the Island waches away and the water necessarily gets deeper. This is not evidence of a rising sea level its evidence of tidal actions.

  33. Hector Pascal says:

    Does anyone have data (seismic?) on depth to basement for these sites? Any sediment pile will be subject to compaction, that’s what sediments do.

    Sea level data from the Mediterranean are dominated by basin tectonics. They tell us nothing about global sea level, only local movement.

  34. thingadonta says:

    Sea level proxy reconstruction in a river delta? Are you kidding? Obviously these guys aren’t earth scientists. Probsably just mathematicians who never saw the outside of an estuarine inlet, a ria, or a prograding coastline.

  35. Colin Porter says:

    Is it not about time that pressure was put on the Journals by good men like yourself, for allowing rubbish like this to get through the Peer Review process? There would certainly be a massive outcry from the other side if a skeptic paper so much as made a grammatical error, or even worse, that ultimate sin of plagiarism.

  36. Ex-Wx Forecaster says:

    I think the most disturbing things to me, are how the mainstream media will simply repeat the claims of Mann, et. al., while Al Gore and acolytes will pronounce once more how the AGW science is settled. All the while, any critics will be lambasted for being ‘anti-science’.

  37. Alexander K says:

    Lovely deconstruction, Willis.
    I can still remember the feel and the sound of the whack on my head that went with Ole Wally, our Standard Two teacher shouting “Show your workings, Boy!”

  38. Jeff Wilson says:

    Excellent work – several folks make the observation of subsidence, basin tectonic, relative movement, etc. Variable isostatic compensation due to the likely variable loading/unloading of continental mass (rivers carrying mass toward to near shore environment/erosion and sediment transport from ocean currents moving mass away from the near shore environment) are easily on the order of several mm/year. Even if all the other paleo-estimates were valid, it would be painstakingly difficult to account for the isostatic compensation and then its back to the classic reference frame (chicken or the egg) argument – is the ocean rising or is the land sinking?

  39. Ric Werme says:

    John Marshall says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Your point on the salinity etc of the seas thousands of years ago might be different from today is an assumption. In Oceanography there is an assumption that the seas salinity and basic chemical composition has been constant for millions of years.

    Assumption? Perhaps someone should research that. I’d look at erosional sites adding ions and salt pans and salt domes as removing ions. Do you have references that this has never been studied? Yes, I’m aware it’s difficult to prove a negative, I’m just looking for an out because I don’t have time this morning to disprove your claim.

    Even today, oceanographers and other scientists point to differences in salinity in the “open” ocean. Bill Gray has spent decades nattering about the Thermohaline circulation, others wring their hands about Gulf Stream salinity declining and interfering with Gulf stream waters sinking as it approaches the Arctic.

    Nils-Axel Moerner points to salinity differences (and wind and water currents) as part of his research into why different areas of the planet have different sea levels over time.

  40. chris y says:

    Following Trenberth’s logic, it is time to state the obvious.

    Given the demonstrated shoddy science in Mann’s many publications is “unequivocal”, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is some, any, merit in a paper co-authored by Mann.

    The null hypothesis is that a paper co-authored by Mann, as so eloquently phrased by operatic whiz John Henry Lung, has more errors in it than an early Mets game.

  41. Willis, the caption for your figure 1 should read “nearest long-term tide gauge records” instead of “nearest long-term satellite records”.

    [REPLY: Thanks, fixed. - w.]

  42. Beth Cooper says:

    River mouth science. Turtles all the way down.

  43. Ron Cram says:

    Willis,
    Great job! I knew someone would look more closely at this approach to see if it was valid. You have to be skeptical if Michael Mann’s name is on the paper.

  44. henrythethird says:

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Mann had done an earlier study on Atlantic hurricanes.

    He must not have paid attention to this area, because using NOAA data shows that, since 1861, ther have been at least 13 tropical systems that came within 5 nautical miles of Tump point (http://csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/#).

    For an example, Dennis of 1981, a cat 1, went directly over that point.

    So I’m sure that must have stirred things up a bit…

  45. Lew Skannen says:

    Just to clarify, I could have phrased it better…

    It obviously DOES matter that these things are pulled apart but my original point was that the MSM do not seem to care or even notice that theories they are running with have already been shot full of holes.

    As you say the truth will eventually come out but it still baffles me how so much of it already out there can be so wilfully ignored.

  46. Dave Springer says:

    Great post Willis.

    To another commenter the great alleged upswing in sea level rate of rise in late 19th century begs an explanation.

    First one needs to understand that whatever marginal land surface warming from anthropogenic CO2 has been more or less linear since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 18th century. This is because of the confluence of two factors. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been rising exponentially for over 200 years. Coincidentally the warming effect of CO2 decreases exponentially as concentration rises. Putting those together means there’s been a linear increase in surface temperature due to it.

    So the very rapid quadrupling of sea level rise claimed by the authors in the late 19th century is not at all explained by anthropogenic CO2. Whatever slight land surface warming it engenders should be a pretty constant slope for the past 200+ years.

    For the sake of argument lets say the quadrupling was real on this small segment of the northeastern US coastline. If not “global warming” then what was it? Given the pace of industrial growth in that particular region I’m betting it’s local land subsidence. Beginning in the middle 19th century the steam engine was more and more widely employed to pump water out of the ground. The North Carolina coastal aquifer was being drawn down and what naturally follows from that is the land above it sinks a little bit. I would guess this was happening all along the northeastern US seaboard as industry boomed and coastal cities grew dramatically.

  47. Gaylon says:

    IMHO Kemp, Mann, et al should simply state, “Sea-level Rising, yaddy-yaddy-yaw…” It would leave them just as credible and produce more smiling faces on this end.

    Question: were there any smiley-face emoticons in Kemp 2011?
    Just wondering…

    Oh, and BTW I just checked my ruler and 2mm IS almost identical to 4mm: wee small.

    (sarc/off)

    Palm to forehead…

  48. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: June 23, 2011 at 3:27 am John Silver says:June 23, 2011 at 2:41 am
    Why is the satellite (red) curve grafted at the top of the others?

    Willis, I think the question is, what datum is used by each method and is there a proof that the datum points are not displaced relative to each other? As it stands, if you merely match the tide mark records with the satellite methods, you might cover the topic of precision, but you do not cover the topic of accuracy (bias). It’s semantic, but somewhat similar to grafting a thermometer record onto a tree ring proxy time sequence. One is dependent on the other for calibration. Yes, I know that rate of change is under discussion, but it would be nice if each method produced an absolute height datum, same time, same place, to see if they were in coincidence. Only with a fixed datum of known variance for each method can one confidently move to the concept of a rate of change with time.

    [REPLY: The tidal gauge and satellite records are both aligned to their 2000-2010 average. - w.]

  49. Dave Springer says:

    land subsidence in North Carolina continued:

    I checked on the history of agriculture in North Carolina here

    http://www.historync.org/agriculture.htm

    Between 1850 and 1900 the number of farms in North Carolina quadrupled from about 50,000 to 250,000. Agriculture requires lots of water which is often diverted from rivers to irrigation ditches and/or pumped out of the ground. A consequence of river diversion is a lowered recharge rate for downstream aquifers. In this case that downstream aquifer would be the North Carolina coastal aquifer.

    This probably had a greater effect on land subsidence than industrial water use now that I think about it. At any rate the combined effect of industrial and agricultural water use almost certainly accounts for land subsidence on the coastline. And I would remind the readers here that Mann’s pal reviewed paper in question ignored any possible localized land subsidence.

  50. Craig Loehle says:

    Some years ago I visitied Hunting Island on the Georgia coast. In the central part of the island, the beach had stumps–trees that had been both drowned and buried and were now washing out of the sand. At the north end, a nice hotel built on the beach was, after a single strong storm, now sitting nearly 1000 feet from the beach and the island had extended northward as well by the same amount. In addition, waves wash sand up on the beach, and the constant wind then blows it inland, sometimes creating high dunes. Barrier islands are all like this. In other locations, wave action could erode a coastal area and lower a tidal location even if both land and sea remain exactly the same. They also have assumed that there is no land movement (up or down) at this location at all. The simple inference in this paper makes no sense at all.

  51. Dave Springer says:

    I see a couple other people mentioned subsidence as well although none dug into why it might have seen a dramatic rise on the eastern US coastline in the latter half of the 19th century.

    I didn’t know it but in some cases subsidence caused by aquifer depletion can be extreme. Lots of good reading can be found by clicking below:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS382US382&q=subsidence+aquifer+

    Mann and his cohorts should have their PhD’s revoked along with the clowns who did the peer review on this bit of junk science. If some amateur citizen scientists can quickly discover that land subsidence due to aquifer depletion is the root cause of the drastic 19th century upswing in rate of sea level rise these so-called credentialed academics should have spotted it even sooner.

  52. Michael Larkin says:

    Genuine question from a non-expert: I’ve been trying to understand where Tiljander comes into this. Can anyone give the elevator speech on that one?

  53. Ted Wagner says:

    … and the hanging curve lands on the other side of the center field fence. Well done Willis.

  54. Dave Springer says:

    I actually think it was pretty solid work insofar as analysis of foraminfera in salt marsh cores for paleo sea level reconstruction over the past couple thousand years. It’s a crying shame it was utlimately despoiled by a sophomoric attempt to link it to anthropogenic CO2.

    If the authors have any integrity they’ll repeat the analysis using cores taken in some godforsaken part of the world where there wasn’t an industrial/agricultural boom in the region that caused underlying aquifer depletion and concomitant land subsidence.

    What are the odds of that experiment being undertaken? I’d say slim to none. These people aren’t interested in conducting science which could dispute their ideological bias.

  55. Mark Wilson says:

    John Marshall says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

    While the over all salinity of the ocean hasn’t changed much, tidal areas are quite variable.

    If river inflow increases, the salinity and temperature will go down.
    If a new barrier island forms that partially isolates one area from the rest of the ocean, the salinity and temperature will go up.

    The authors are making the assumption that salinity, temperature, etc have been constant. It is up to them to prove their assumption. Willis has given reasons why this assumption is questionable. It isn’t up to him to prove that any of these events did happen. The fact that they could have is enough.

  56. Mark Wilson says:

    Bill Jamison says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Much of the Alexandria was submerged due to a single earthquake.

  57. 1DandyTroll says:

    The paper is also debunked at http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu by Mr Puls. English version at no tricks zone http://tinyurl.com/5v8mt3v and via icecap.us

  58. rbateman says:

    I still say that the best guage of Sea Level Rise/Fall is old photographs compared with recent photos.
    Anybody can see at a moments glance that nothing significant has taken place over the last 50 to 150 years.
    Well, nothing much significant if you discount the hysterical imaginations of a few, or the shoddy sample collection criteria of those who should know better.

  59. Jimbo says:

    From the Journal of Coastal Research – 2008

    “Modern Intertidal Foraminifera of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, U.S.A., and their Applicability for Sea-Level Studies”
    “Furthermore, saltmarsh foraminiferal assemblages may be controlled by a number of variables (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, etc.) that may have no direct relationship to elevation in the tidal frame….”

    http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/08A-0004.1?journalCode=coas

    http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/bph/Res2008/Horton&Culver_2008.pdf

  60. TomB says:

    I’ve vacationed in the OBX since childhood. My parents had a summer house in Nags Head. My first two summer jobs as a teenager was mate on charter boats out of Oregon Inlet. As a military spouse (yes, there are male military spouses) I’ve lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia for years. Anyone with any long-term experience with that area an attest that the geography can be, shall we say, highly variable. I can’t think of anyplace outside of the Chesapeake Bay that would be more subject to weather related subsidence, or rise. To attempt to “back cast” sea levels based on any measurements in that area of coast line beggars belief.

  61. Alex the skeptic says:

    We do not have much lunar/solar tidal variations here in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea; just 9 inches give or take a bit. I am now approaching 60 years, having been enjoying the Mediterranean Sea for most of these years, swimming and boating in rocky places. Our rocky little island is as geologically stable as a …rock. We do not have earthquakes, land subsiding or anything that may give a false impression of sea level rise/falls. We have swimming areas that have been untouched for decades, cemented areas that are just a foot or two above the waterline, old fishermen’s boat launching slides, boat mooring points and many other markers by which one can measure and compare any sea level variability along our living memory. None of these show any noticeable variations in sea levels. I cannot see any now and I haven’t seen any during my life. Sea level variability has never been in discussion among the old fishermen, men of 70, 80 90 years.
    If ocean levels had risen according to the graph provided by Willis, then I am sure that we islanders would have noticed it and the old fishermen would be discussing it like they discuss the weather, fish catches and women. But I have never heard then discussing sea levels changes, while I can safely say that the sea level where I have been swimming each and every summer day, has not changed at all during the last 50 years.
    Taking the 2.7mm per year rise according to the Sandpoint records as found in the graph, multiply that by 50 years gives us approx 14 cm rise, something that is not found anywhere here.
    And then we have the old cities by the city, built on solid rock, that have been standing for centuries.
    I admit that this may not be a scientific way of judging ocean level variability, but, after all, scientific theories can only be proven by observation.

    http://www.visitmalta.com/webcam1

  62. Jeremy says:

    Michael Larkin says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Genuine question from a non-expert: I’ve been trying to understand where Tiljander comes into this. Can anyone give the elevator speech on that one?

    The temperature hockeystick graph that was featured above the tidal reconstructions in Kemp 2011 was the plot that included the Tiljander series. For the beginning of that story, see:

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/10/02/its-saturday-night-live/

  63. Peter George says:

    Willis writes:
    Untrue ideas eventually crumble.

    Lincoln said:
    …You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    I think P.T. Barnum said:
    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, AND THAT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING.

    IMHO, despite the important work of the McIntyres and Eschenbachs, what killed Hockey Stick 1 was the abundance of contrary data – hundreds of temperature reconstructions using different proxies from all over the world.

    I think the significance of Hockey Stick 2 is that it is much harder to produce paleo sea level reconstructions than temperature reconstructions, so we will not see the same abundance of contrary data and analysis any time soon.

    Hockey Stick 2 may live long enough to “close the deal,” i.e, get ink on paper on new laws and treaties centralizing control of the global economy.

    Does anyone really believe that Mann, Gore, Hansen or the others gives a rat’s turd about the science?

  64. Jeremy says:

    Jimbo says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:54 am

    From the Journal of Coastal Research – 2008

    “Modern Intertidal Foraminifera of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, U.S.A., and their Applicability for Sea-Level Studies” “Furthermore, saltmarsh foraminiferal assemblages may be controlled by a number of variables (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, etc.) that may have no direct relationship to elevation in the tidal frame….”

    Oh but Jimbo, you don’t understand, they have an array of transfer functions that were used at resolution on the cores! They have compensated for all of that unknown history with Math!

    /lol

  65. Paul Linsay says:

    NOAA mean sea level rise around the US coast. It depends on where you are and can vary wildly even for nearby locations.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/slrmap.html

  66. TomB says:

    Lew Skannen says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:43 am
    At the moment that pathetic “97% of scientists” meme is still being reported as fact all over the net, NPR,

    I heard just such a report on NPR yesterday. They were bemoaning that skepticism in global warming was growing despite the growing consensus of scientific opinion. They also stated that their message was being drowned out by contrary reports in the media. Their conclusion was that this growing consensus needed to be brought to the attention of the masses so that their opinion would, obviously, be likewise converted. Also that looking into the issue will also, obviously, convert one into a true AGW believer.

    Unfathomable. The steady, unending drumbeat of global warming alarmism is constantly splashed across all mass media – 24/7. Normally, to find a contrary report you have to actively look for it. Their conclusion that looking into the matter more closely will, obviously, convert one to the AGW position is bass ackwards.

    I bought into the whole global warming meme for years. I dropped by this blog and started to have my eyes opened. It wasn’t until I tested an assertion made in many posts here at WUWT that I really started paying attention. The assertion was that posting a contrary idea, position, or even asking a hard question at almost any AGW blog was guaranteed to have it scrubbed. I found that assertion to be true. A real scientist (and I know a few, we’re related you see) doesn’t engage in propaganda and the active suppression of ideas. This makes me question the science. Looking into the science raised my skepticism level even higher. Remembering the “Coming Ice Age” scare stories of my youth drove in another wedge. The fact that if you “follow the money” is convincing evidence of a strong financial incentive to perpetuate the AGW scare story sealed the deal for me.

    I’m no longer skeptical, I’m convinced it’s a hoax.

  67. ferd berple says:

    The reason the location in question was chosen is that is supports the AGW agenda. Those sites that do not support the agenda are excluded. This is nothing new. Supposedly a couple of bristlecone pines are enough of a sample to tell us the temperature of the earth for the past 1000 years, and for the IPCC to highlight this in their report.

    This is shoddy science being conducted for political reasons. It is the worst kind of science. Counting the number times you find something to be true as proof that it is true. Using this logic you could count those people in a room that are female, then conclude that since everyone you counted is female, everyone on the planet is female.

    At one time the USA conducted science and led the world. What is going on now is junk science and the results are obvious looking at the economy.

  68. Vernon E says:

    Will somebody please, please explain to me whart is meant by the “sea level” that is suuposed to be rising by
    2 mms per year. Here in the U.K. (and I assume the US East Coast can’t be much different) we have have tidal ranges (low tide to high tide) of up to12 meters varying by the day, the month, the year and so on, as well as the atmospheric pressure locally and so on. What is changing? The highest high? The mean sea level, or what? By the way all references to “mean” levels are highly imaginery and certainly can’t be measured to 2 mms accuracy.

  69. ferd berple says:

    “I still say that the best guage of Sea Level Rise/Fall is old photographs compared with recent photos.”

    The British Admiralty charts from 200+ years ago record the locations of tens of thousands of drying rocks worldwide. If sea levels are rising, why are these rocks not underwater at low tide?

    If sea levels are rising, why have neither the British Admiralty or the USGS (formerly US defense mapping agency), why have these institutions not added a sea level rise correction to their charts? These charts are used worldwide and thousands of lives depend on them.

    This to me it the BS tests. If sea level rise was true, it would be added as a correction factor on the charts. But if it isn’t true it won’t be added, because then the mapping agencies could be held accountable for the resulting loss of shipping and lives.

    So while people can make all sorts of wild claims for financial or political gain, when the rubber meets the road is where the BS ends. No matter how tall someone tells you they are, when they stand up their feet will still reach the ground.

  70. rbateman says:

    ferd berple says:
    June 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

    An interesting comparison to the economy:
    AGW as an American product.
    What’s next? Carbon Credit default swaps?

  71. Latitude says:

    ferd berple says:
    June 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

    The reason the location in question was chosen is that is supports the AGW agenda.
    =====================================================================
    ferd, sorta, kinda…..
    ……ok, no

    The reason the location was chosen is because it’s malleable and can be made to fit………
    So much goes on in shallow water sediments, you can make it say anything.

  72. Anthony Watts says:

    Willis writes:

    “And since the temperature and salinity and turbidity and mineral content a thousand years ago may very well have been significantly different from their current values, wouldn’t the “formaminiferal assemblages” have also been different then regardless of any changes in sea level?”

    It’s like Liebigs law, they are arguing that SLR is the shortest stave, while at the same time ignoring all the other staves that may affect the growth of “formaminiferal assemblages”.

    More on Liebigs law here as it applies to tree rings: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/28/a-look-at-treemometers-and-tree-ring-growth/

  73. richcar1225 says:

    I looked at Horton’s 2009 paper “Holocene sea-level changes along the North Carolina Coastline and their
    implications for glacial isostatic adjustment models”. He looks at two different areas of North Carolina and finds late Holocene relative sea level rise rates of .82 vs 1.12 mm/yr. He also points out that the late twentieth century was observed to be 2mm/yr. He does not attribute any cause to this. North Carolina is influenced by a fore glacial subsiding bulge. The increase in the twentieth century may be due to increased bulge subsidence, ground water pumping or rapidly rising temperatures due to natural warming. The AGW component is unknown. However I do accept the 2 mmm/yr slr as reflected in the tide gages and accept that over the very short term period of the twentieth century it increased. Horton also points out that the early Holocene slr was as much as 5 mm/yr.

  74. DesertYote says:

    Willis Eschenbach
    June 23, 2011 at 2:06 am

    So yes, the constant bombardment of “science by press release” does have an effect … but in the end, the truth will out. Science is funny that way. Untrue ideas eventually crumble. So holding publicly important science to the scientific method, and noting when it does not conform to scientific norms, is a valuable thing no matter whether it happens early or late.

    w.
    ###

    I just hope the truth wins out before the greenies destroy everything.

  75. I tell you, there is nobody like Michael Mann who can single handedly make a skeptic of a lukewarmer, or maybe a 100. We should all send thank-you notes, perhaps even create a special Award as the Bastion of Skepticism.

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    You nailed them, Willis. You explained what additional work needs to be done to make a scientific work of Kemp and Mann’s paper. These people are not scientists. They lack basic scientific instincts. As you point out, without quite saying it, they make vast assumptions about the behavior of their proxies and of the topography studied that they do not address at all. They need to develop physical hypotheses to explain these matters. The instincts of genuine scientists give them no rest until those physical hypotheses are developed and confirmed.

    I cannot believe they used the phrase “extended semiempirical modeling approach.” This phrase will be an albatross around the neck for the remainder of their careers. Anything short of empirical is not empirical. Semiempirical means simply not empirical.

  77. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 3:27 am
    John Silver says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:41 am

    “Why is the satellite (red) curve grafted at the top of the others?

    It’s no more “grafted” than any of the other datasets. It is simply included.

    Surely the satellite numbers are relative and only relates to themselves.
    The satellite curve could be placed anywhere vertically in the graph but actually do not belong there at all.

    I don’t understand why the satellite data is “relative and only relates to themselves”. The satellite data actually agrees rather well with the tidal gauge data over the common period (1992-2011). It is included because it is another source of information about the sea level changes in the region.”

    The exchange quoted above is very important. Mann and crew always take two series of numbers and slap them together with no justification whatsoever. In this case, Mann and crew took some proxy numbers and some tidal gauge numbers, slapped them together, and provided no explanation or justification for doing so. Real science requires explanations of the behavior of the proxies and the tidal gauges which can justify comparing them. Mann and crew’s work is no less lacking in context than the satellite record.

    It is imperative that everyone understand the circularity (question begging) of Mann and crew’s method. He takes two sets of numbers whose names suggest that they go together, tidal gauge and local proxy, slaps them together, and assumes that there is a context for the comparison. Sadly, most people who report on Mann and crew buy this circular reasoning. This ridiculous method was obvious in Hockey Stick One when Briffa’s tree ring data began to decline and had to be hidden. They had slapped together tree ring data and temperature data with no explanation whatsoever of the physical factors that connect the two and make the “slapping together” useful for science. After discovering that the necessary context did not exist, they did not have scientific instinct enough to investigate what physical factors caused the now infamous “decline” that had to be hidden.

  78. Gary Krause says:

    The rising sea level scare tactic is just another grant money grabber to continue funding for science quacks. It is a diversion from the tree ring fiasco as well as the emailgate. Only thing they continue to do (as Willis so points out) is produce trash for the paper shredder.

  79. SSam says:

    Hey, they picked a relatively sedate area (geologically)… that data should be consistent right?

    Well.. there’s the rivers… and barrier islands. Okay, and it’s on a large sedimentary region, something to compact over time. And we are have lithospheric rebound going on from that Ice thing a few thousand years ago… but other than that, things are cool right? Nothing can mess up the consistency of the data or change the biology of the area (growth rates etc)

    What about hurricanes?

    Track data for storms passing this location.

    From http://csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/#app=1834&3e3d-selectedIndex=0

  80. EW says:

    I visited Horton’s papers webpage

    http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/benhorton_p.htm

    and there’s a lot of papers showing that a lot of real work went into the microfossil analysis – see for e.g., here :

    http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/bph/Res2009/Kemp%20et%20al%20Marine%20Micropaleotology_2009.pdf

    To me it seems that they just put a reference to IPCC2007 and the necessity to know how much the sea will rise to the Introduction as the reason for their analyses and then they just continue their research.
    I really don’t know, why they felt that a co-work with Mann is necessary. Their research looked quite reasonable…

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I actually think it was pretty solid work insofar as analysis of foraminfera in salt marsh cores for paleo sea level reconstruction over the past couple thousand years. It’s a crying shame it was utlimately despoiled by a sophomoric attempt to link it to anthropogenic CO2.

    Dave, given that they have not revealed either their data or their code, how on earth can you say it was “pretty solid work”? For all any of us know, they may have made the numbers up in their basements. Nor is this some idle fantasy, as Michael Mann has proven he is not above playing fast and loose with the data and its interpretation..

    So at present we cannot tell if the work has any foundation at all, much less if it is solid.

    w.

  82. Vigilantfish says:

    On the point of the aquifer in the Chesapeake Bay-Hampton Roads area, interesting information is provided by environmental historian Dr. Kent Mountford in the Chesapeake Bay Journal from May 2003, in his article “Not all is well with overconsumption of water from aquifers”. I am not sure if the return of wet weather has partially turned things around since his article was written, but it seems pretty clear that it would take a long time (many decades at the least) to restore the aquifer to its previous levels:

    “As the Chesapeake region’s population increased, demands on deeper aquifers increased dramatically. At the same time, unwise land use practices were destroying the quickly renewable water resources near the surface. One man filled in a valley to build a road to the water, causing an artesian spring to go dry. In a developed area near Solomons, homeowners sunk wells into the groundwater aquifer and in dry years, one after another found their wells going dry, and paid to have still deeper wells drilled.

    Deep aquifers are not inexhaustible. In the early 1980s, our 310-foot well into the Nanjemoy began to fail as dozens of new homeowners, and former shallow well users, began withdrawing from this source. We had to pay $3,000–$4,000 to have a deeper well drilled.
    ….
    In the 2001–02 drought, the artesian spring at Old Spout—which had run in all weather for more than 200 years—failed, and the owners drilled a well into the Aquia.

    At the same time, the Maryland Department of Environment’s frequently issued water withdrawal permit announcements show that millions of gallons per month of new water consumption is permitted from the state’s underground resources. This cannot go on at present rates.

    It might look like recent rains have wiped away the specter of drought, but that’s simply not the case. Public records show that deeper aquifers have been falling about 3 feet a year. In recent years, this accelerated to 7 feet a year, and last year in one key aquifer, the drop was an astounding 21 feet!”

    http://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=1140

    However, he does not discuss subsidence. It seems to me, though, as if the issues with the aquifer could indeed be contributing factors.

  83. Willis Eschenbach says:

    rbateman says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I still say that the best guage of Sea Level Rise/Fall is old photographs compared with recent photos.

    Not true at all. We’re looking for a difference over time of inches, in a context where tides are often six feet and a single wave can easily be that or more. In that context, we can tell absolutely nothing from old photographs. A minor difference in the tides or a single wave can make a huge difference in the photos, and we’re looking for tiny difference in long-term-average sea levels.

    w.

  84. Don K says:

    “The first conclusion is that as is not uncommon with sea level records, nearby tide gauges give very different changes in sea level. In this case, the Wilmington rise is 2.0 mm per year, while the Hampton Roads rise is more than twice that, 4.5 mm per year. In addition, the much shorter satellite records show only half a mm per year average rise for the last twenty years.”

    And why are they using the Wilmington GIA anyway? If I look at the GIA data accessible via PMSL, I find gauges at Duck Pier — a few miles North of Sand Point and Morehead City about half way between the two sites. Seem like better choices to me. I don’t recall that they explained their choice, but I’ve only read the Kemp paper once.

  85. geography lady says:

    Reference to ferd berple–you have the US mapping agencies in error… USGS maps the US & it’s territories on the land, the US Defense Mapping Agency (it changes it’s name every 5 yrs or so) maps the land masses for the rest of the world, the former Coast & Geodetic Survey (I think it is NOA–part of the Interior Dept) maps the waters off the US Coasts and the World’s coasts.

    I reading the MM articles, he obviously missed either his Earth Science, Physical Geography or Geology classes. I also would refere to an excellent article the was previously published by WUWT on Nov 26, 2010….NYT”s sort of clarity on Norfolk sinking aka “sea level rise” & an inconvenient map. I know the University of MD profs personally, they are excellent.

  86. Ray says:

    Their other hockey stick was broken, so now they are trying to “fix” another one in order to continue playing.

  87. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jimbo says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:54 am

    From the Journal of Coastal Research – 2008 …

    Great find, Jimbo. A couple of interesting quotes from the paper, which studied an area very near to that studied by Kemp 2011 (emphasis mine):

    Partial CCAs and Monte Carlo permutation tests suggest thatall available environmental variables except pH play a significant role in understanding the variations in foraminiferal data. The high intercorrelation among variables indicates that the elevation gradient cannot be considered completely independent. In reality, the structure of foraminiferal assemblages is more likely to be jointly affected by many linear or nonlinear related factors (Birks, 1995). This is to be expected, because the other variables are dependent on the frequency of wind–tidal flooding.

    Check. Regarding the other confounding variables, they say:

    The five variables [salinity, loss on ignition (LOI), clay fraction, vegetation cover, and pH) account for 57% of the explained variance in the foraminiferal data (Figure 11). Partial CCAs show that the total explained variance is composed primarily of elevation (16%), with other significant influences from salinity (11%), LOI (10%), clay fraction (10%), vegetation cover (9%), and pH (7%). The associated Monte Carlo permutation tests (p 􏰁 0.02; 499 permutations under reduced model) in- dicate that all these variables except for pH are highly sig- nificant. Therefore, each of these gradients accounts for a sig- nificant proportion of the total variance in the foraminiferal data.

    Check. And from the Abstract:

    Partial canonical correspondence analyses and Monte Carlo permutation tests suggest that all available environmental variables except pH play a significant role in understanding the variations in foraminiferal data.

    Check. Of course this means that if you are using this method for paleo work, you have to show that all the environmental variables except sea level height have remained constant for the last thousand years … which in this case is extremely doubtful.

    w.

  88. all of this carbon swapping going on is wiped out by every new volcano.

  89. KR says:

    “…the authors have hidden part of the data in their graph through their use of solid blocks to indicate errors, rather than whiskers as are commonly used”

    That’s actually appropriate, since both the sea level and time point have uncertainties.

    “…what are the odds that the ocean conditions (average temperature, salinity, sedimentation rate, turbidity, etc.) are the same now at Tump Point as they were a thousand years ago?”

    Sedimentation rate can be directly determined from the dating of the cores – more sediment, more sediment before a new time point. Foraminifera species ratios are driven by depth, not temperature – there are estimates of water temperature from foraminifera Mg/Ca ratios that have been done elsewhere, but Kemp et al did not use that technique – they estimated just depth from the species ratios. This is not a valid objection on your part.

    Foraminifera growth rates also average out any tidal or wave influence – you don’t get species ratio differences over the course of a tidal cycle.

    The isostatic rebound estimates used to correct for coastal level changes are quite certain – unless you’re claiming that GIA rates have mysteriously changed up and down by a factor of x2 in the last couple of hundred years in ways that just happen to match the MWP and LIA, which clearly show up as rate changes in the Kemp et al data (assuming, as should be fairly reasonable, that the rate of sea level rise since the last glacial period is driven by ice melt and thermal expansion, i.e. temperature).

    The rest of your objections appear to be “how can they know this stuff, the measurements are inexact…”. Kemp et al gave estimates of uncertainty – even if those estimates were undershoots by a factor of 5 or more, their “hockey stick” for sea level is still present.

    “…given that they have not revealed either their data or their code, how on earth can you say it was “pretty solid work”?”

    I suggest you take a look at the paper (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/13/1015619108.full.pdf+html) and the supporting information (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/13/1015619108.full.pdf+html) – both public – and reconsider that. There’s plenty of information, more than enough for anyone in the field to replicate this work.

  90. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Don K says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:21 am

    “The first conclusion is that as is not uncommon with sea level records, nearby tide gauges give very different changes in sea level. In this case, the Wilmington rise is 2.0 mm per year, while the Hampton Roads rise is more than twice that, 4.5 mm per year. In addition, the much shorter satellite records show only half a mm per year average rise for the last twenty years.”

    And why are they using the Wilmington GIA anyway? If I look at the GIA data accessible via PMSL, I find gauges at Duck Pier — a few miles North of Sand Point and Morehead City about half way between the two sites. Seem like better choices to me. I don’t recall that they explained their choice, but I’ve only read the Kemp paper once.

    Don, the choice to compare with Wilmington and Hampton Roads was mine. I looked at the two nearer gauges (Duck Pier and Morehead City) and both of them had quite short records, one of which (from memory) didn’t go to the present. That made Wilmington and Hampton Roads the nearest sites with long-term (>50 years) records, so I used them.

    w.

  91. Smokey says:

    This paper was published under the PNAS heading “Sustainability Science”. What’s that? It also notes: “The authors declare no conflict of interest.” As if.

    This is another example of the blatant gaming of the peer review process. The journal referees and reviewers who hand-waved Mann’s paper through peer review should have their names made public, maybe one year after publication. The disinfectant of daylight needs to shine on this disgraceful promotion of the self-serving propaganda produced by Mann’s pseudo-science climate clique.

  92. KR says:

    My apologies, cut and paste error: the supplemental information for Kemp et al is at http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2011/06/14/1015619108.DCSupplemental/pnas.1015619108_SI.pdf

  93. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:39 am
    Jimbo says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:54 am

    “Check. Regarding the other confounding variables, they say:

    The five variables [salinity, loss on ignition (LOI), clay fraction, vegetation cover, and pH) account for 57% of the explained variance in the foraminiferal data (Figure 11). Partial CCAs show that the total explained variance is composed primarily of elevation (16%), with other significant influences from salinity (11%), LOI (10%), clay fraction (10%), vegetation cover (9%), and pH (7%). The associated Monte Carlo permutation tests (p 􏰁 0.02; 499 permutations under reduced model) in- dicate that all these variables except for pH are highly sig- nificant. Therefore, each of these gradients accounts for a sig- nificant proportion of the total variance in the foraminiferal data.

    Check. And from the Abstract:

    Partial canonical correspondence analyses and Monte Carlo permutation tests suggest that all available environmental variables except pH play a significant role in understanding the variations in foraminiferal data.

    Check. Of course this means that if you are using this method for paleo work, you have to show that all the environmental variables except sea level height have remained constant for the last thousand years … which in this case is extremely doubtful.”

    Now this looks like real science.

  94. NikFromNYC says:

    TomB said: “I’m no longer skeptical, I’m convinced it’s a hoax.”

    I didn’t really let on, early on, but my actual skepticism was extremely tentative, even through the days of Climategate. Now? Pffft!

  95. Latitude says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:39 am
    Check. Of course this means that if you are using this method for paleo work, you have to show that all the environmental variables except sea level height have remained constant for the last thousand years … which in this case is extremely doubtful.
    ===================================================
    Willis, 403 documented hurricanes have made land fall……
    It’s impossible……….

  96. Caleb says:

    Some music for Mann to face:

    “Castles made of sand
    Fall into the sea
    Eventually.”

    ——— Jimi Hendrix

  97. Jeremy says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    So at present we cannot tell if the work has any foundation at all, much less if it is solid.

    At the very least, it should be still stuck in peer review, and reviewers should be screaming for more explanation. But as McIntyre said, PNAS stonewalled work by an atmospheric physicist who has published in PNAS before because his paper couldn’t include detail, but a graduate student gets his past review with major obvious questions.

    I wonder if the next tactic will be saying “Consensus exists, thousands of graduate students agree…”

  98. DirkH says:

    Willis:
    “Hmmm, sez I … so I digitized the recent data in their Figure 2B. This was hard to do, because the authors have hidden part of the data in their graph through their use of solid blocks to indicate errors, rather than whiskers as are commonly used. This makes it hard to see what they actually found. ”

    I’m a computer guy and i wouldn’t accept such fancy graphics for publication without the according data in a plain old CSV file, ASCII-encoded and made available for download. There is no excuse for omitting that in the internet age. When you publicize, you must make the data available that produced your charts, period. No soup for Mann and Rahmstorf.

  99. richcar1225 says:

    It is no surprise that sea level rise accelerated in the twentieth century due to warming. Lets move on to the twenty first century. It is clear that it is now decelerating and will likely fall back to the late Holocene 1 mm/yr mean. There appears to be a rush to produce papers before the deceleration, global temperature decline, and arctic sea ice volume increase becomes apparent. From 2000 forward it will be all about hiding the decline.

  100. Tilo Reber says:

    One may wonder why Mann would blatently use upside down Tiljander data 3 times. Why would Mann and the rest of the hockey team use bad Graybill data and bad Yamal data again and again and again – even when there is much better data available. The answer is clearly that they have an outcome in mind and real data will not give them that outcome.

  101. Theo Goodwin says:

    NikFromNYC says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:51 am
    TomB said: “I’m no longer skeptical, I’m convinced it’s a hoax.”

    “I didn’t really let on, early on, but my actual skepticism was extremely tentative, even through the days of Climategate. Now? Pffft!”

    Yep. This paper by Mann and crew is clearly nothing more than a Gorish attempt to amplify the Warmista drumbeat that the sea levels are rising and doom approaches quickly. In this case, it is clearly propaganda.

  102. agimarc says:

    acquatic moonbeams “all of this carbon swapping going on is wiped out by every new volcano.”

    Not to worry, Terry Gerlach from the USGS published a paper in the June 14, 2011 issue of EOS that claims that manmade carbon dioxide emissions far outweigh those from volcanic activity. You can find the paper here: http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/2011EO240001.pdf

    Of course, he (she?) is not showing either data or code (as usual). But the folks at the Eruptions blog are having a grand old time going after skeptics this morning. This seems to be yet another talking point from the Glo-Warmers, which worries me, as I am not convinced that they have counted everything properly (not unlike the game played with deliberate undercounting of endangered species – spotted owl in the Pacific NW for example). I think there is a lot of work yet to be done on this, but that is just me. Cheers -

  103. Hugh Pepper says:

    Rather than posting your paper on a b log site, where it will be read by a select few, comparatively speaking, I suggest you submit it to a reputable journal for review and publication. In this way you may actually participate in the accepted scientific process, and contribute to the accumulation of knowledge.This is how the quality of our knowledge advances. You could do this and still contribute to the blogs.

  104. omnologos says:

    the Gerlach paper must hold the world record for being mostly based on old articles of decades ago. how’s it possible nobody’s interested in updating the global volcano budget ?

  105. Theo Goodwin says:

    Hugh Pepper says:
    June 23, 2011 at 10:49 am
    “Rather than posting your paper on a b log site, where it will be read by a select few, comparatively speaking, I suggest you submit it to a reputable journal for review and publication. In this way you may actually participate in the accepted scientific process, and contribute to the accumulation of knowledge.”

    Sadly, the accepted scientific process has become hopelessly corrupted. If you need additional evidence, you do not need to look further than the case of James Hansen who morphed from scientist (well, scientist-bureaucrat) to advocate for energy taxes and government administration of energy investments.

  106. NikFromNYC says:

    It’s curious. High Seriousness is how the Art World continues to abuse kids, by putting upside-down piss buckets right next to a Van Gogh or two. But this long-winded syrupy diatribe makes me cringe as being too raw rather than refined and wined and dined. There is also no challenge contained within it, just a bunch of kavetch. Preaching to the choir will never impress the queen, for there is no battle in that.

  107. jorgekafkazar says:

    thingadonta says: “Sea level proxy reconstruction in a river delta? Are you kidding? Obviously these guys aren’t earth scientists. Probsably just mathematicians who never saw the outside of an estuarine inlet, a ria, or a prograding coastline.”

    The heartbreak of proctocraniosis.

  108. DonS says:

    @Dave Springer

    Whoa, settle down. More facts, plz. I doubt that land irrigation has anything to do with Mann’s findings on this coast line. See this:www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/​cropuse.html on use of irrigation in NC. 45 to 60 inches of rain and 270 growing days make the expense of irrigating unnecessary for most crops. Still not that many people between Beaufort and the Ocracoke ferry landing or on the nearby mainland to sip the aquifer.

  109. KR says:

    Volcanoes aren’t as bad as you think (http://bit.ly/planevolcano):

    Eyjafjallajokull 2010 CO2 emissions – 150,000 tons of CO2 estimated
    Airplane emissions curtailed because of ash risks – 344,109 tons estimated

    CO2 reduction due to Eyjafjallajokull – ~200,000 tons

    Perhaps we need more ash-spewing volcanoes to reduce our CO2 levels?

  110. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hugh Pepper says:
    June 23, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Rather than posting your paper on a blog site, where it will be read by a select few, comparatively speaking, I suggest you submit it to a reputable journal for review and publication. In this way you may actually participate in the accepted scientific process, and contribute to the accumulation of knowledge.This is how the quality of our knowledge advances. You could do this and still contribute to the blogs.

    Hugh, in fact, sea level and its effect on Tuvalu was the subject of my first paper published in a journal, although it was an opinion piece and not peer-reviewed.

    As to whether peer-reviewed science is “how the quality of our knowledge advances”, consider that the study under discussion was peer-reviewed and is absolute garbage … how has that advanced our knowledge in the slightest? My own conclusion, after considering the matter carefully over the last years, is that I can make much more difference to the progress of science as a blogger than I can by writing journal articles. (Having said that, I do have an article currently in peer-review).

    I say my work has more effect published here for several reasons. The first is that a huge number of people read my work here. My analyses have garnered over 800,000 page views in the last year, a figure that is way above what would occur with the journals. So I do not agree that my work here is “read by a select few” as you claim.

    The second is that I am able to respond to garbage in real-time. I’m as interested in countering bad science as I am in doing good science. To do that, I can’t afford to wait six months for the journal to get around to publishing a response to things like the latest Mann debacle above.

    Third, the public view of the issue is critical, because the field is heavily politicized. I can reach much more of the thinking public here than I can in some specialized journal. I can also reach politicians and other opinion-makers who never read scientific journals.

    Fourth, I reach more of the scientists by writing here. Specialist journals have specialized readership, while people from all branches of science read WUWT. And from various comments here and on other blogs, I suspect that reading my work is the guilty pleasure of even hardened AGW advocates.

    Fifth, here I get instant feedback on my work, enabling me to answer objections and correct my own errors based on the responses of (often very knowledgeable) readers.

    Sixth, I’m not very good at writing in the obscure (and obsolescent) language called “Scientific Journalese”. I tend to write too clearly, and not in the approved intricate journalese fashion. Plus I’m far too passionate to be a good journal author.

    Seventh, journals are generally reluctant to publish anything showing that previous work was wrong. They are much more interested in new, original work. Additionally, many of them have a huge pro-AGW bias … see e.g. the difference between a world-renowned scientist like Dick Lindzen publishing in PNAS, and some unknown graduate student like Kemp publishing in PNAS. As a result, correcting the errors of published journal articles is much more difficult to do in the journals themselves. I have discovered a remarkable proof that the odds of PNAS ever publishing a rebuttal to the Kemp paper are approximately zero, but the margins of this email are too small to contain it …

    For all of those reasons, although I continue submitting to journals, I feel that my work here is more important than getting another journal article published only to see it sink into obscurity …

    w.

  111. richcar1225 says:

    For an update on sea level rise deceleration and an extrapolation of Holgate’s graph.:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/04/07/sea-level-rise-still-slowing-down/

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    agimarc says:
    June 23, 2011 at 10:42 am

    acquatic moonbeams “all of this carbon swapping going on is wiped out by every new volcano.”

    Not to worry, Terry Gerlach from the USGS published a paper in the June 14, 2011 issue of EOS that claims that manmade carbon dioxide emissions far outweigh those from volcanic activity. You can find the paper here:

    Of course, he (she?) is not showing either data or code (as usual). …

    omnologos says:
    June 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

    the Gerlach paper must hold the world record for being mostly based on old articles of decades ago. how’s it possible nobody’s interested in updating the global volcano budget ?

    The data for the Gerlach paper is here in the Supplemental Material. It contains analysis and discussion of studies of volcanic CO2 emissions done in the following years:

    1979, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1992, 1992, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2001, 2002, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2009

    So it is not clear why you guys are claiming that the Gerlach data is neither available nor updated …

    w.

  113. Smokey says:

    KR,

    There are millions of volcanoes on the ocean floor. It is unknown why there are so many more submarine volcanoes than terrestrial volcanoes, and total undersea volcanic emissions have never been qantified. The fact is that no one really knows the total volcanic emissions of the planet.

  114. gavin rowatt says:

    I shall be undertaking a lengthy (2 weeks) study of the Sea Level Rise in the Maldives in January. Earlier this year I went there because I thought that the situation was so dire that I might never get the chance to go there in the future.

    This years trip was quite expensive, so I had a brilliant idea….

    During one of my walks round the island, I stuck some sticks in the water. At high and low tide ( estimated by how long the bar had been open) I marked the sticks. For $1 per email, upon request, I will check my (semi) empirical data on the next trip and furnish any recognised Climate Department in any University (except UEA – I have standards) with my garnered information.

    These “field trips” don’t come cheap, so I’m hoping to recoup some of my costs. Unlike MM, I don’t get BIG government funding and if the island is still above water (I checked with the holiday company last week and so far, all is OK) I hope to go there again in 2013.

    P***ing about in N. Carolina just shows how little funding is around these days. Next year MM will be in a bathtub on his lawn with only his speedos and a rubber duck for company – I however will be “All Inclusive” in the middle of the Indian Ocean (hopefully, fully sponsored). Come on, “throw a buck my way” – you know it makes sense!!!

  115. KR says:

    Smokey

    I would encourage you to read http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/2011EO240001.pdf where this is discussed:

    In fact, present-day volcanoes emit relatively modest amounts of CO2, about as much annually as states like Florida, Michigan, and Ohio.

    Perhaps you can point out studies showing 100x volcanoes as the USGS estimates on the sea floor?

  116. Latitude says:

    Smokey says:
    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    KR,

    There are millions of volcanoes on the ocean floor. It is unknown why there are so many more submarine volcanoes than terrestrial volcanoes, and total undersea volcanic emissions have never been quantified. The fact is that no one really knows the total volcanic emissions of the planet.
    ===================================================================================
    Smokey, this is for you….cause I know you love this stuff

    Here’s the sea level trend map..notice the 20mm standing wave in Indonesia (dark red)

    Here’s the Underwater Ring of Fire, notice it’s centered on the dark red, right in the middle of all those volcanic islands..

    http://standeyo.com/NEWS/09_Earth_Changes/090420.undersea.volcano.html

    Here’s how you look for underwater volcanoes, by the height of sea level…..

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

    Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves
    “”Satellites can detect volcanoes that are more than 1500 m high because the mass of the submerged mountains causes gravity to pull the water in around them. This creates domes on the ocean’s surface that can be several metres high and can be detected from space.””

    Now go back to the sea level trend map and explain sea level rise……………..

    Cause I can’t get a straight answer out of any of those guys, not even how they know to adjust for it…………….

  117. Pete H says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:48 am
    “It’s like the climate Cirque de Soleil, where you can get amazed by their contortions to avoid actually describing and documenting what they are doing. – w.”

    I must admit, I love reading your disembowelling of them though Willis :-)

  118. Don K says:

    “Don, the choice to compare with Wilmington and Hampton Roads was mine. I looked at the two nearer gauges (Duck Pier and Morehead City) and both of them had quite short records, one of which (from memory) didn’t go to the present.” w

    Yes, you’re correct. I confused and was thinking they had taken their GIA from Wilmington, but in fact, they have taken it from “… a US Atlantic coast database of late Holocene (last 2000 y) sea-level index points (13, 15).” Since the values (1.0 and 0.9 mm/yr) seem reasonable in terms of Duck Pier and Morehead City, I think this is OK.

  119. Smokey says:

    KR,

    To the best of my knowledge there are no such studies. That was my point.

  120. 3x2 says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Lew Skannen says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:43 am

    … When their theories have been shot full of holes it doesn’t matter because noone pays any attention to the debunking a few weeks (or even days) later. …

    I couldn’t disagree more. Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts and a host of other bloggers have had a huge effect on the ongoing discussion. My own writings have not been without effect. So I reject your claim that “it doesn’t matter” that we have worked to explain the problems with the peer-reviewed science. Thinking people are always willing to increase their understanding and knowledge of the climate issues.

    So yes, the constant bombardment of “science by press release” does have an effect … but in the end, the truth will out. Science is funny that way. Untrue ideas eventually crumble. So holding publicly important science to the scientific method, and noting when it does not conform to scientific norms, is a valuable thing no matter whether it happens early or late.

    w.

    I’m not sure that bad ‘science’ does get corrected. We live in a world of ‘soundbytes’ and once released into the public domain that ‘soundbyte’ quickly becomes ‘fact’ for those that want to believe. ‘Lew’ makes a fair point, tomorrow, who will care? As one might say in the UK – today’s news is tomorrows chip wrappings. Sea level rise is now a hockey stick shape, morons can point to peer reviewed Mann and Mann has his next half million grant rubber stamped. meanwhile we argue the toss about the telling 0.some rise in something or other.

    Don’t get me wrong Willis, I always read your posts and am really glad that someone takes the time and effort to point out the flaws in yet another ‘scientific’ piece . You should, however, after all this time, have realised that you are fighting a guerilla war against fully funded ‘troops’. For every bullet you get to fire they get 1000 taxpayer funded bullets. Willis – you might as well move to Afghanistan.

    Mann will get his next half mill grant in 20011 while we still obsess over his 08 paper on upside down ‘who cares what now’ sediments. The MSM get their “Earth to end in 2020 – it’s official” front page and Gore shares go up by 50%. These people are liars and thieves – the more they lie the more they get to steal. We are in the situation of arguing the toss over the get away car parking ticket incurred during the 100 billion bank robbery.

  121. KR says:

    Regarding undersea volcanoes: http://www.volcano.si.edu/faq/index.cfm?faq=03 lists active surface volcanoes:

    How many active volcanoes known?
    Erupting now: perhaps 20
    Each year: 50-70
    Each decade: about 160
    Historical eruptions: about 550
    Known Holocene eruptions (last 10,000 years): about 1300
    Known (and possible) Holocene eruptions: about 1500

    Note that these figures do not include the large number of eruptions (and undescribed volcanoes) on the deep sea floor. Estimates of global magma budgets suggest that roughly 3/4 of the lava reaching Earth’s surface does so unnoticed at submarine midocean ridges. (emphasis added)

    Since CO2 emissions are going to be directly tied to the amount of magma released, your 100x increase in CO2 release requires 100x release of the estimated amount of magma. I would enjoy seeing the studies that support that…

  122. DD More says:

    If the sea level has gone up so much, why is it still so easy to see the outlines of the bay and barrier islands in these maps? And yes Willis, they do show large changes in the bays, rivers, lakes and islands.

    From – A New Mapp of Carolina ‘1698’ – http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ncmaps&CISOPTR=115&CISOBOX=1&REC=5

    And – An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina With Their Indian Frontiers, Shewing in a distinct manner all the Mountains, Rivers, Swamps, Marshes, Bays, Creeks, Harbours, Sandbanks and Soundings on the Coasts, ‘1775’ – http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ncmaps&CISOPTR=125&CISOBOX=1&REC=15

    Both from NC Maps – Plus there are a lot more.

    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISORESTMP=results.php&CISOVIEWTMP=item_viewer.php&CISOMODE=thumb&CISOGRID=thumbnail,A,1;mapid,A,1;collec,A,0;title,200,0;none,A,0;20;mapid,none,none,none,none&CISOBIB=mapid,A,1,N;collec,A,0,N;title,200,0,N;none,A,0,N;none,A,0,N;20;mapid,none,none,none,none&CISOTHUMB=20%20(4×5);date,title,none,none,none&CISOTITLE=20;mapid,none,none,none,none&CISOHIERA=20;collec,mapid,none,none,none&CISOSUPPRESS=1&CISOTYPE=link&CISOOP1=exact&CISOFIELD1=digitb&CISOBOX1=North+Carolina+Maps&CISOOP2=exact&CISOFIELD2=collec&CISOBOX2=North+Carolina+State+Archives&CISOOP3=exact&CISOFIELD3=title&CISOBOX3=&CISOOP4=exact&CISOFIELD4=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOBOX4=&c=exact&CISOROOT=%2Fncmaps

  123. stumpy says:

    What has sea level got to do with sediment accumulation – probably a little? The levels of sediment in the sea coming from the nearby rivers will vary first, these will be affected by factors such as frosts, snowfall, wind, rainfall all of which vary over time, and also land cover and land use, something which in more recent years will have been skewed by us lovely humans, and would most likely lead to an increase in sediment discharge (and create a sediment hockey stick!), the other factors are ocean currents which will be affected by changing coastal geomorphology etc…and sea level!

    It all seems very iffy to me, but than I am just a lowly environmental engineer. It seems as odd as assuming tree ring width = average annual temperature! But at least the recent (last few hundred years) deforestation of the catchment will have caused a recent upturn in sediment accumulation rates, so Mann can have his hockey stick – its another divergence issue I suspect, which has than be used to calibrate that older data and create a misleading results.

    As usual its a report based on a iffy assumption of correlation that cannot be proved either right or wrong – they call it Paleology in some circles

  124. KR says:

    Smokey

    Well, then, in the absence of information to the contrary, volcanoes should then be emitting about 1% as much CO2 as people do? Going with the best estimates available?

  125. R.S.Brown says:

    Willis & Hector Pascal (@June 23, 3:58 am above).

    There’s an easy to read Bourger Garvity Anomalies map for the US at:

    http://www.zonu.com/detail-en/2009-09-18-8375/Bourger-Gravity-Anomalies-in-the-United-States-1970.html

    You can lift this .jpg, drop it into a file, then use your photo editor to clip it
    down to just the eastern seaboard… the use your +/- viewer to get the details
    of the Virginia, Maryland, North & South Carolina coasts.

    You’ll find some expandable North Carolina geology maps at:

    http://gis.enr,state.nc.us/sid/bin/index.plx?client=zGeologic Maps&site=9AM

    The separate Litho-Tectonic map for North Carolina makes you wonder where
    the supposed land subsidence is coming from dynamically , or even a physical
    reality for all the NC shore, and hence the entire US Atlantic coast.

    [if this link doesn't work, insert a single underline _ between the Geologic and
    the Maps&site in the address] Sorry, I still can’t use a regular “paste” here
    although I still have that ability on Climate Audit… both using wordpress.com.

  126. 1DandyTroll says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:20 am
    rbateman says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I still say that the best guage of Sea Level Rise/Fall is old photographs compared with recent photos.

    Not true at all. We’re looking for a difference over time of inches, in a context where tides are often six feet and a single wave can easily be that or more. In that context, we can tell absolutely nothing from old photographs. A minor difference in the tides or a single wave can make a huge difference in the photos, and we’re looking for tiny difference in long-term-average sea levels.

    w.

    I agree with rbateman as long as you can take the picture from the same point at the same time. Also not all places exhibit tides of any significant. For instance the northern baltic sea is way below the 1920/30 levels, which can be clearly seen in old pictures when the sea levels were more ‘an a foot or two higher. 20 years ago the sea levels were higher than today which is proven by the fact that people run a ground on places today that used to be well below the surface 20 years ago. Apparently it is somewhat the same for the black sea, the mediterranean, the red sea, and the north sea. So where did all the european ocean water go? To the eastern sea board of US? If so it’s still no global sea rise though. :p

  127. R.S.Brown says:

    Yep… as I suspected you need to insert the underline between zGeologic and
    Mapsite=9AM for that second link to work:

    http://gis.enr.state.nc.us/sid/bin/index.plx?client=xGeologic_Maps&site=9AM

  128. Tim S says:

    Has somebody calculated and published the effect of land rise to global SLR after last glacial period. In my country, which was covered by ice during last glacial period, land rise has been about 9 mm/year for thousands of years.

  129. richard telford says:

    “So those are my issues with the paper, that there are no accurate observations to compare with their reconstruction, and that important local marine variables undoubtedly have changed in the last thousand years.”

    Neither of these complaints is critical. The model has been cross-validated, omitting a point from the dataset and estimating its environmental conditions from the remaining data. This procedure demonstrates that the model has statistical skill. Validation against instrumental records is desirable, but not essential.

    Transfer functions make a number of assumption (see Birks et al 2010). That variables remain constant except for the variable of interest is not one of them, although other ecologically important variables changed substantially, any reconstruction is unlikely to be statistically significant (which can now be tested).

    The most relevant assumption is assumption 5 from Birks et al 2010.

    “5. Other environmental variables than the one(s) of interest (Xf) have had negligible influence on Yf
    during the time window of interest, the joint distribution of these variables of interest in the past
    was the same as today, or their effect on Yf did not lead to past changes in assemblage states resembling
    shifts indicative in the modern environment of changes in the variable of interest”

    I suspect their sea-level reconstruction is fairly robust.

    Birks et al. 2010. Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative Climate Reconstructions Based
    on Late-Quaternary Biological Proxies. The Open Ecology Journal, 3, 68-110

  130. Smokey says:

    KR says:

    “Smokey:

    Perhaps you can point out studies showing 100x volcanoes as the USGS estimates on the sea floor? …Since CO2 emissions are going to be directly tied to the amount of magma released, your 100x increase in CO2 release requires 100x release of the estimated amount of magma. I would enjoy seeing the studies that support that…”

    You set up that bad ol’ strawman and knocked him right down! Good for you, we always need strawman killers, otherwise there’d be strawmen everywhere.

    However, I never commented on any of those things. What I said was this: “The fact is that no one really knows the total volcanic emissions of the planet.”

    Some folks say volcano emissions are just a tiny fraction of total emissions, and other folks say volcano emissions exceed human emissions. Speaking for myself, I really don’t know.

    If you can provide us with observations and measurements I would be interested. [But please, no learned opinions based on models. They're no longer very convincing on their own. Too much grant money involved.]

  131. Latitude says:

    Thousands of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves

    The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.

    The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 meters over the sea bed…

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

    this was 4 years ago……….

  132. KR says:

    Smokey

    Well, you are the one who stated that “The fact is that no one really knows the total volcanic emissions of the planet.”.

    Unless you have contrary data, the best estimates are just that, the best estimates, and you were simply raising a red herring in reply to my posting.

    Back to the subject – Willis, I would have to say that Kemp et al have supplied enough information to replicate their work. They haven’t supplied their raw data, their Excel worksheets, their actual cores – that’s reanalysis, not replication. But they’ve certainly provided enough information for someone familiar with the techniques to reproduce their work as a check. And enough that, if you have criticisms of their methods, you could point out where they made mistakes, which you have not done; rather you’ve talked up the scale of the variables without addressing how Kemp et al addressed those variables.

  133. Dave Springer says:

    Latitude says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm
    “The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.”

    The number of observed and estimated number of unobserved undersea volcanoes is interesting but irrelevant. There could be a hundred or a hundred million. The only that matters is whether or not the aggregate emissions of all of them are increasing or decreasing then that would raise the question of why. There’s no evidence that underwater vulcanism is on any upward or downward trend.

    The only number trending upward is how many of them we’ve managed to count so far. Sort of like there’s an estimated to be 10-30 million different species of insects and we’ve actually counted only 1 million so far.

  134. Dave Springer says:

    Smokey says:
    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    “It is unknown why there are so many more submarine volcanoes than terrestrial volcanoes,”

    Who are you quoting with that nonsense? The crust is much thinner on the ocean floor and there’s something called the “ring of fire” which are lines of active volcanoes that run around the bottom of the global ocean like the seams on a baseball. It’s totally well known why there are more undersea volcanoes both active and dead. There are more dead ones because they don’t get weathered down to nothing in a few million years like dead surface volcanoes.

  135. vigilantfish says:

    KR says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Back to the subject – Willis…if you have criticisms of their methods, you could point out where they made mistakes, which you have not done; rather you’ve talked up the scale of the variables without addressing how Kemp et al addressed those variables.

    ———

    I believe the point that Willis is making, which is supported by information provided by many commenters here, is that there is no means of precisely and accurately quantifying or historically verifying over a long period how sands and river courses have shifted, salinity has changed, or what the rate of subsidence is. No matter how Kemp et al. address these variables, they cannot be pinned down with enough precision to justify their claims that foramanifera proxies reflect minute sea-level rises.

    And what about pollution issues? See:

    Minilecture from http://www.foraminifera.eu written by Michael Hesemann as a digest of scientific papers Foraminiferal assemblages record anthropogenic pollution

    “A major problem in coastal marine areas is man-made pollution. The main pollutants are chemical like heavy metals, organic sewage, nutrients, hydrocarbons and physical like thermal, paper pulp, plastic and oil. Subrecent fossil assemblages of foraminifera provide a record of past environments and are used as a record of anthropogenic pollution.”

    foraminifera.eu/files/ForaminiferaRecordPollution.pdf

  136. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Back to the subject – Willis, I would have to say that Kemp et al have supplied enough information to replicate their work. They haven’t supplied their raw data, their Excel worksheets, their actual cores – that’s reanalysis, not replication. But they’ve certainly provided enough information for someone familiar with the techniques to reproduce their work as a check.

    The first step in replication is to see if they have made any mistakes in their work. No sense trying to replicate it if they’ve made, for example, mathematical mistakes. They have not provided anywhere near enough information to do that.

    Since we don’t have enough information to determine if their methods and data are correct, it is not science as I understand it. To be science, we have to be able to examine their work for errors. At present, we cannot do so.

    But if you think it can be replicated (or even reanalyzed, the first step in replication), let’s start with this step that they describe as:

    We developed transfer functions using a modern dataset of foraminifera (193 samples) from 10 salt marshes in North Carolina, USA (7).

    Report back to us with the details of their “transfer functions” and the archived “modern dataset of foraminifera”, and we’ll go forward from there.

    w.

  137. Smokey says:

    Dave Springer,

    I am not an expert on volcanoes, Dave, nor that much interested in them. My comment was simply to point out that what people think they know about total planetary CO2 emissions from volcanoes is mostly guesswork. From the link I posted above:

    Hiller says he was surprised to find that the density of small volcanoes dropped in the area around Iceland, as Iceland is known to be a hotspot for volcanic activity.

    Another surprise was that he found fewer volcanoes on the seabed around Hawaii, another volcanic hotspot. He says his findings may mean that researchers need to re-assess their understanding of how submarine volcanoes are formed.

    In 2006, a team of researchers from Japan discovered a new type of volcano which also defied conventional theories of volcanism. The “petit-spot” volcanoes, aged between one to eight million years old, did not sit at tectonic plate boundaries or over volcanic hotspots…

    So the theory of a thin mantle is at least questionable.

    And KR takes this way beyond the scientific method, and into the realm of pseudo-science. He wants me to prove a negative: “Unless you have contrary data, the best estimates are just that, the best estimates, and you were simply raising a red herring in reply to my posting.”

    What I stated was that ‘nobody knows’. There is insufficient data either way. But to be fair, I invited KR to produce measurements and observations showing the total amount of planetary volcano emissions, if he could. He couldn’t, so like a typical alarmist he attempted to put the burden back on the scientific skeptic. Memo to KR: skeptics have nothing to prove. Why that fact never sinks in, and why the alarmist crowd consistently ignores the scientific method, must have something to do with a person’s anti-science belief system.

    The standard alarmist talking point is that volcanoes emit almost no CO2, compared with human activities. But the plain fact is: we don’t know. The oceans are wide and deep.

  138. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    “Report back to us with the details of their “transfer functions” and the archived “modern dataset of foraminifera”, and we’ll go forward from there.”

    Once again, Willis, you have challenged a Warmista to do something that has a definite beginning, middle, and end and that can be checked throughout. Warmista cannot compute this kind of challenge. For Warmista, you must allow them to select an answer and then work backwards to the data, skipping steps as needed.

    KR, stop trying to fool people. Replication implies reanalysis. If your analysis is not available or cannot be reconstructed then how do we know your rational reasons for your starting points? Why you would consider not publishing it is mind-boggling.

  139. KR says:

    Willis

    But if you think it can be replicated (or even reanalyzed, the first step in replication), let’s start with this step that they describe as:

    “We developed transfer functions using a modern dataset of foraminifera (193 samples) from 10 salt marshes in North Carolina, USA (7).”

    Report back to us with the details of their “transfer functions” and the archived “modern dataset of foraminifera”, and we’ll go forward from there.

    The method necessary would be to take my own 190-200 samples of current foraminifera from various sites at known depths (top of the sediment layer, so recent), analyze the species ratios, and from that determine what species ratios occur at which depths. Those ratios are then your “transfer function” relating speciation to depth, which can be applied to your core samples. Really, it’s not an impenatrable method – that seemed fairly clear to me the first time I read it in their paper. Plenty of information to replicate the work.

    If you want details of the species ratios at various depths according to their samples, I suggest you write to them and ask, rather than asserting that their data is worthless. Most scientists I know are more than willing to assist in replicating their work – it gets them citations, if nothing else. Of course, if they thought you were trying to catch them out with a ‘gotcha’, they might be less sympathetic…

  140. Dave Springer says:

    DonS says:
    June 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

    @Dave Springer

    Whoa, settle down. More facts, plz. I doubt that land irrigation has anything to do with Mann’s findings on this coast line. See this:www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/​cropuse.html on use of irrigation in NC. 45 to 60 inches of rain and 270 growing days make the expense of irrigating unnecessary for most crops. Still not that many people between Beaufort and the Ocracoke ferry landing or on the nearby mainland to sip the aquifer.

    Regardless of how much irrigation draws off it appears that land use changes can have a significant impact on aquifer recharge rate. I couldn’t find anything specific to North Carolina but Florida’s coastal aquifer is claimed to get a large recharge rate benefit from intact forest cover the deep roots of which keep infiltration channels open in the soil.

    http://www.fppaea.org/current_issues.php?contentid=241

    During the latter part of 19th century the amount of farmland in North Carolina quadrupled. Presumably all those tobacco farms used to be covered by trees like most everything else was east of the Mississippi prior to the agricultural/industrial explosion.

    Specifically the period 1850 to 1900 was when North Carolina’s tobacco industry was established.

    Thanks for asking.

  141. Theo Goodwin says:

    1DandyTroll says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    When citing photos, please do not forget your experience of the landscape you photographed. Your experience gives you a definitive interpretation of the photo but someone who lacks your experience might not be able to make much of the photo.

  142. KR says:

    Smokey“skeptics have nothing to prove.”

    In this case, Smokey, you are quite incorrect. There’s lots of data about the number of volcanoes, the amount of magma expressed through various cones and vents, and that sets limits on the CO2 expressed by volcanic activity – about 1% that of human CO2 output.

    The burden of proof is on you to disprove the USGS, the various volcanic studies, etc. They’ve already established their case – you’re the one attempting to disprove it, and without evidence there’s no reason to believe you are right.

    And that holds for any argument, not just volcanoes… if you want to disprove a hypothesis or theory that is currently accepted, that has a fair quantity of evidence for it, you have to produce evidence to the contrary. Assertions without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  143. Dave Springer says:

    Smokey says:
    June 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Dave Springer,

    I am not an expert on volcanoes,

    Neither am I. The ring of fire and the thin crust under the deep ocean trenches are quite literally 7th grade science. When you categorically claimed that no one knows why there are more underwater volcanoes than over land that’s so untrue and so basic that brings into question how much what you should have learned in junior high school earth science you actually retained or whether you ever passed the class in the first place.

  144. KR says:

    Willis

    “The first step in replication is to see if they have made any mistakes in their work. No sense trying to replicate it if they’ve made, for example, mathematical mistakes. They have not provided anywhere near enough information to do that.”

    I’m quite curious as to which aspects of their math you found insufficiently described? I didn’t see any, but I’m more than willing to admit that I may have missed something. Given the data they stated they had collected, which mathematical treatment is unclear?

  145. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    The method necessary would be to take my own 190-200 samples of current foraminifera from various sites at known depths (top of the sediment layer, so recent), analyze the species ratios, and from that determine what species ratios occur at which depths. Those ratios are then your “transfer function” relating speciation to depth, which can be applied to your core samples. Really, it’s not an impenatrable method – that seemed fairly clear to me the first time I read it in their paper. Plenty of information to replicate the work.

    What you are describing doesn’t answer the first question any scientist asks, which is whether there are any mathematical or logical or data-related or other errors in the work in question. Looking at your foraminifera might be interesting, but it doesn’t help in the slightest in assessing the validity of their claims. And since the truth of their claims cannot be assessed, it’s not science.

    If you want details of the species ratios at various depths according to their samples, I suggest you write to them and ask, rather than asserting that their data is worthless. Most scientists I know are more than willing to assist in replicating their work – it gets them citations, if nothing else. Of course, if they thought you were trying to catch them out with a ‘gotcha’, they might be less sympathetic…

    I have not asserted that their data is worthless. I have said it is unavailable. You need to up your reading intensity, you’re making things up to fill the gaps in your understanding.

    Finally, it appears that you have bought into the pernicious idea that whether a scientist should reveal their data and methods depends on their assessment of the motives of the person asking … my friend, you really should google something like “scientific method”.

    The scientific method REQUIRES, not suggest but requires, that a scientist make his data and methods available for public examination. If they fail to do that, there is no other way to determine if the scientist is just blowing smoke … as in this case. For all we know, they left out a minus sign somewhere and as a result their work is meaningless. But until they reveal what they did and exactly how they did it, there’s no way to determine that, so ’til then it’s just a nice fairy tale—fascinating, but ultimately untestable … and in that regard curiously like many so many other AGW claims.

    w.

    PS – If “most scientists you know” are interested in replication of their work, you must not know a lot of mainstream AGW scientists — far too many of them have the same response to the threat of replication as vampires do to garlic …

  146. JimF says:

    Good work, Willis. Among other issues pointed out by you and some commentators, there is also a tendency for these kinds of sediments to slump along little faults that may move the sediments down a few inches or feet. There are many good objections to the sweeping conclusions drawn in this paper.

  147. KR says:

    Willis

    “The scientific method REQUIRES, not suggest but requires, that a scientist make his data and methods available for public examination. If they fail to do that, there is no other way to determine if the scientist is just blowing smoke …”

    I’ll ask again – have you requested that data from them? And which part of their math do you find incomprehensible? I certainly wouldn’t have put a 193 item table of raw data into my paper – page limits are tight enough! Especially with the “… chronologies were developed using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) 14C (conventional, high-precision, and bomb-spike), a pollen chrono-horizon (increased Ambrosia at AD 1720± 20 y), 210Pb inventory, and a 137Cs spike (AD 1963). data included.

    “looking at your foraminifera might be interesting, but it doesn’t help in the slightest in assessing the validity of their claims. And since the truth of their claims cannot be assessed, it’s not science.”

    I described a method of replicating their work, clearly described in their paper. Granted, you (ahem) have to get your hands dirty. But that’s the way science works. Seriously, if you think their data is suspect, that their computations were bad, you should put the effort into seeing what the samples show yourself.

  148. Dave Springer says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I actually think it was pretty solid work insofar as analysis of foraminfera in salt marsh cores for paleo sea level reconstruction over the past couple thousand years. It’s a crying shame it was utlimately despoiled by a sophomoric attempt to link it to anthropogenic CO2.

    Dave, given that they have not revealed either their data or their code, how on earth can you say it was “pretty solid work”?

    Because I couldn’t find any fault in the connection between foraminifera species ratios and water depth. That’s good biology. That part appears to be well grounded and I have no reason to suspect they doctored the species counts in the core samples. The biological response to depth variation establishes a low pass filter that masks transients like floods and hurricanes and tides. The dating methods are not new and those along with depth establish a sedimentation rate record.

    The only poor part of the paper I could find, and it’s a real doozy which is more suitable for an opinion piece written by Daily Kos scientific illiterate, is the gratuitous attempt to establish a linkage between decadally averaged salt marsh depth at a fixed location and anthropogenic CO2 emission. That was hasty, unsupported by any evidence, sophomoric, ideologically driven, and many more less flattering ways of describing it. If they’d have simply reported the biological and chemical findings from the core survey and kept their personal opinions about what caused the relative change in sea level to themselves it would have been a wonderful example of good science. But no… they had to go and spoil it by blaming the CO2 bogeyman.

  149. Gary Hladik says:

    From WE’s article: “AMac has noted at ClimateAudit that Mann’s oft-noted mistake of the upside-down Tiljander series lives on in Kemp 2011,”

    Perry Hotter and the Deathly Shallows, Part 3?

  150. John M says:

    Somehow, a puzzle in today’s USA Todays seems strangely appropriate.

    If you solve it, you get a quote from Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe mysteries and a former banking accountant:

    There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.

  151. jon shively says:

    One question I have asked on several BLOGS concerning the rising sea level is does the earth changing size affect the estimates of rising water levels? I have yet to see an answer. Since the estimates are in the range of mm per year, could any shrinkage of the earth lead to increases in water level assuming the volume of the oceans are constant. Has this been accounted for in long range correlations?

  152. Excellent work as always, Willis.

    There are multiple factors contributing to the abnormally high rate of the “Hampton Roads” measurement. Those 1.7 Million people many of them important to national and international security (the guys who killed Osama were from here).

    But…as always…and excellent exposition on the subject.

    As you know and understand well before Mann and his henchmen…sea level is a very very complicated thing.

    Land level related:

    Isostatic rebound from the last glaciation (this is a BIG issue)
    35 million year old meteor impact crater (the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay)
    Land use and development issues
    Aquifer Depletion (this could be a big issue, as well)
    Soft coastal plain silts and river deltas

    Sea Level related:

    Global redistribution of the ocean water masses over many decades
    Fluctuations in the Gulf Stream (salinity, speed, and temperature)
    Long term atmospheric fluctuations such as the NAO and oceanic such as the AMO
    Eustatic sea level change (negligible…if at zero at all)

    Thanks again Willis.

    Your contributions to the scientific pool continue to make waves. Keep it it up!

    Your friend,

    Chris
    Norfolk (Hampton Roads), VA, USA

  153. Smokey says:

    Dave Springer,

    I provided a link that supports my statement that “the theory of a thin mantle is at least questionable,” and your comeback is that I’m not even at the 7th grade science level?? That’s the kind of gratuitous insult people make when they can’t refute the substance. The fact is that the discovery of hundreds of thousands to several million new volcanoes is changing the basic theory. When the facts change in a major way it’s best to reassess the 7th grade science.

    All I originally said was that “the theory of a thin mantle is at least questionable.” It is being questioned, as the link I posted shows. And the ‘ring of fire’ hypothesis is being questioned as well; there are fewer volcanoes than expected near Iceland and Hawaii. If you don’t like it, argue with the vulcanologists who said it. I’m merely relaying the information.

    KR: Pf-f-f-f-t. Willis is running rings around you. If you think you’re so smart, man up and submit an article for WUWT peer review.

  154. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I left the following comment on RC.

    “Only those who have no idea about what controls sea level would try to create a global sea level curve from basically one locality. Absolutely ludicrous.”

    It sat in moderation for a while: http://i919.photobucket.com/albums/ad34/Jimmy1960/RCcomment.jpg

    It never made it through.

  155. don penman says:

    I would rather believe the satellite data than any models of past sea levels produced by these people, i would also take the mass of proxy data over the last one thousand years over the temperature model produced by these people for the last thousand years.

  156. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Willis

    “The scientific method REQUIRES, not suggest but requires, that a scientist make his data and methods available for public examination. If they fail to do that, there is no other way to determine if the scientist is just blowing smoke …”

    I’ll ask again – have you requested that data from them? And which part of their math do you find incomprehensible? I certainly wouldn’t have put a 193 item table of raw data into my paper – page limits are tight enough! Especially with the “… chronologies were developed using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) 14C (conventional, high-precision, and bomb-spike), a pollen chrono-horizon (increased Ambrosia at AD 1720± 20 y), 210Pb inventory, and a 137Cs spike (AD 1963). data included.

    Not sure what you mean by “data included”. My point is that the reputable journals require the authors to archive their datasets at the time of publication. This allows other researchers around the world to check the work of the original investigators. It also avoids anyone having to pester the researcher for data. Even Michael Mann should have learned that lesson. He archived nothing about the Hockeystick, but (as a result of persistent pressure from Steve McIntyre and others) he archived the complete dataset for Mann 2008.

    Kemp et al. (including Mann) have archived nothing.

    “looking at your foraminifera might be interesting, but it doesn’t help in the slightest in assessing the validity of their claims. And since the truth of their claims cannot be assessed, it’s not science.”

    I described a method of replicating their work, clearly described in their paper. Granted, you (ahem) have to get your hands dirty. But that’s the way science works. Seriously, if you think their data is suspect, that their computations were bad, you should put the effort into seeing what the samples show yourself.

    It appears that there is some misunderstanding here. I am interested in finding out if their work passes the simple tests. You know, is their “transfer function” something logical? Is it reasonably employed? I’m also interested in how they have chosen their datasets, to see if perhaps they have made an adventitious selection among competing possibilities.

    I also want to do the bozo tests. You know, is their math correct, are there radian/degree mistakes, that kind of thing.

    The first step in replication is not rushing out with a shovel to get your hands dirty. The first step is to see if there is anything in the paper worth discussing, much less replicating. For any researcher to be able to do that, Kemp et al. need to archive their data and explain things like their magic “transfer function”. Without that, it’s just conjecture and anecdote.

    w.

  157. Jay says:

    The whole NC sea level rise and the Al Gore polemic of recent days make me think the hockey team is getting desperate.
    Desperate to saturate the media, try and fool the masses, and ram something through before old Mr. Sun gives us a nice cooling, sea level declining trend, showing their folly.
    -Jay

  158. omnologos says:

    Wllis – don’t you have anything better to do than reply to KR’s absurdities? By following his principles , every sorcerer, every homeopath and every faith-healer should send a “paper” to the PNAS for publication, as they can claim anything with words like “transfer function” and then blame you for being unable to replicate as it only works with the right type of very rare water or a hare’s leg collected during the second full moon of the Millennium (what? you’ll have to wait 2990 years for that? to bad – it means sorcery is a science for another 2990 years!).

    My point is that these threads always get hijacked by people saying the most stupid and antiscientific things, and then everybody feels compelled to show them how wrong they are, and then we get even more absurd remarks and so on and so forth. What for? The only consequence is drowning the good comments and challenges, ruining the point of blogging . There has to be discernment in whom and to reply to, and having the last word doesn’t mean winning any argument.

  159. Marian says:

    “Bill Jamison says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:49 am
    I just read recently about some of the underwater artifacts found in Alexandria Egypt. Apparently some dating from ~300BC were found under 5 to 8 meters of water.”

    Not to mention. From memory parts of Egypt including Alexandria have been hit by some quite substantial seismic activity over the centuries, thereby ‘sinking’ parts of coastal areas into the Mediterranean Sea!

  160. richard telford says:

    “You know, is their “transfer function” something logical? Is it reasonably employed?”

    They use weighted averaging partial least squares – this is explicit in their earlier Geology paper. It is a good method – often the best, and a reasonable choice for their data.

  161. Scientist’s authority is controlling the data, not hiding how the data analyzed.
    By transparent on how the data analyzed, readers can replicate the study on different location.
    Replication is how the measure credibility of the data (and the scientist).

    Let’s support the transparent and verified research.

  162. Dave Springer says:

    @Willis

    I take work that hasn’t been replicated with a grain of salt of course. This particular line of research needs to be replicated at more salt marshes and preferably some where there weren’t huge agriculural and industrial booms in the region. If the gratuitous global warming linkage is left out it’s good stuff and adds to our practical knowledge of the world. I don’t say that about a lot of this kind of research because it often has little practical benefit. Say they’d been counting foraminifera in Burgess shale instead. That was 500 million years ago in the middle Cambrian and woudn’t tell us anything very useful about the world we live in today or how our activities effect it. Finding out more about modern aquifers is uber important and this appears to be a great way to reconstruct land subsidence (or rise) due to underlying aquifer level and what natural and unnatural factors effect those aquifers. The authors didn’t intend that of course but that’s how science works. Data like this often tells you things you didn’t expect to learn. These guys I’m sure saw themselves as knights on a quest to prove something, which is not how science generally works unless it’s something along the lines of young earth creation science, and inadvertantly stumbled upon something else. Think about how Teflon was discovered for instance. If they’d left out the AGW conclusions the data can be left to speak for itself about what it means. Among other valid concerns of seriously depleted natural resources fresh water is at the top of the list. I’m more worried about running out of fresh water than ancient oil and this is helpful in understanding things that effect our fresh water supply. Nobody really knows how, when, and where forests effect aquifers or what deforestation does to the aquifers. This appears to be a smoking gun for at least one case where deforestation caused aquifer stress. The link to anthropogenic CO2 causing an abrupt quadrupling of steric sea level rise circa 1880 is absurd on the face of it and ignoring isostatic sea level rise due to ground water depletion in a huge anthropogenic land use change is a monumental boner that no objective earth scientist should have let slip. I don’t know whether to blame it on incompetence or being on a AGW crusade but there’s nothing else to explain it.

  163. Ryan says:

    “we’re looking for tiny difference in long-term-average sea levels.”

    No Willis, that is an assumption. The political push for dramatic change in human behaviour in the Western world is based on the belief that sea level is rising dramatically. This would mean that al the ice melting all over the world was pushing sea levels up by meters not a few centimeters, causing loss of land on a grand scale and consigning great cities to the waves. But this level of sea level change can most easily be detected by looking at that land lost to the sea – and looking and gently shelving beaches protected from the waves would be a perfectly reasonable place to start,

    This current study actually is not a threat to the skeptics – it shows a linear rate of rise equivalent to one foot per century – hardly anything to get vexed about. Why the rush to change our behaviour now when it seems we can play “wait and see” and do some proper observations of climate over the next 100 years to see what is really happening.

  164. KR says:

    Willis

    The ‘transfer function’ is a simple look-up table of species ratios to depth, a calibration which you apply to determine how deep a particular sample resided when the foraminifera was alive. You might profitably look at Kemp et al’s references, where this technique is described in earlier well established fashion. I agree with Dave Springer, that part of the paper is very strong and well based.

    So – I’ll ask again, because you have not actually responded to my previous queries on this:

    – Have you asked Kemp et al for any of the data? If you have, say so, if not, enough with the complaining!

    – Which parts of the mathematical treatment of the data as described in the paper and supplemental information do you find opaque?

  165. Smokey says:

    omnologos says:

    “Wllis – don’t you have anything better to do than reply to KR’s absurdities? By following his principles , every sorcerer, every homeopath and every faith-healer should send a “paper” to the PNAS for publication, as they can claim anything with words like “transfer function” and then blame you for being unable to replicate as it only works with the right type of very rare water or a hare’s leg collected during the second full moon of the Millennium (what? you’ll have to wait 2990 years for that? to bad – it means sorcery is a science for another 2990 years!).

    “My point is that these threads always get hijacked by people saying the most stupid and antiscientific things, and then everybody feels compelled to show them how wrong they are, and then we get even more absurd remarks and so on and so forth. What for? The only consequence is drowning the good comments and challenges, ruining the point of blogging . There has to be discernment in whom and to reply to, and having the last word doesn’t mean winning any argument.”

    Repeated for effect. KR is being a crank.

  166. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richard telford says:
    June 24, 2011 at 1:50 am

    “You know, is their “transfer function” something logical? Is it reasonably employed?”

    They use weighted averaging partial least squares – this is explicit in their earlier Geology paper. It is a good method – often the best, and a reasonable choice for their data.

    Richard, that is an assumption for which you have absolutely no evidence. All you’ve shown is what they did last time. And more to the point, while it might be a “good method”, until they show exactly what they did, we also have no evidence that they have used it correctly.

    Nor can we say that it is a “reasonable choice for their data” until we see their data.

    Why are these simple things so hard to get across? Why are people so willing to trust Mann when he has shown himself to be totally untrustworthy?

    Richard, you and KR have to catch up with the times. In climate science 2011, if you don’t archive your data and show your methods, folks won’t believe you … especially if Mann is a co-author. He’s famous for screwing with the data when everyone’s back is turned, and renowned for using “good methods” incorrectly, which makes your assurance that Kemp et al. are using a “good method” totally meaningless.

    What evidence do you have that Mann is not lying to us again, either by commission or omission? Can you say authoritatively that Mann has not done that here, that he is not hiding contrary data and making stupid mistakes and then fibbing about what he has done?

    Didn’t think so … which is why we need the data and the code, rather than your and KR’s assurances that everything is perfectly fine. You don’t know that, and me, I’m real tired of being lied to and patted on the head and told things are wonderful. Come back when you have evidence, Richard, you know, the data and code. Your constant Pollyanna reassurance that everything is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds for climate science, is past its use-by date.

    w.

  167. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ryan says:
    June 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

    “we’re looking for tiny difference in long-term-average sea levels.”

    No Willis, that is an assumption.

    Context is everything, Ryan, and that was said in the context of trying to see sea level rise in old pictures compared to new pictures. So let’s see if we’re looking for a big difference or a tiny difference.

    Tides are often from three to six feet, sometimes up to 20 feet.

    Waves are often from thee to six feet, sometimes up to 20 feet.

    Old photos might be what, 75, a hundred years old? And the sea level rose maybe eight inches in the last century.

    So we’re looking in photographs for what might be a six-inch difference in long-term-average sea levels, with waves and tides that are typically ten times that large. Good luck with that, Ryan.

    That is the context in which I made the statement about a “tiny difference”. I called it “tiny” because you’ll never be able to detect that in an old photo.

    You, of course, are free to call it a “huge difference that is so big we can’t conceivably see it in a photo comparison” if you wish …

    w.

  168. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 24, 2011 at 7:47 am
    Willis

    The ‘transfer function’ is a simple look-up table of species ratios to depth, a calibration which you apply to determine how deep a particular sample resided when the foraminifera was alive. You might profitably look at Kemp et al’s references, where this technique is described in earlier well established fashion. I agree with Dave Springer, that part of the paper is very strong and well based.

    So what you are saying is that you can’t show me the transfer function they used, all you can do is wave your hands and make generalities about it. In addition to not being able to say what it is, you cannot say if it was used properly or if they have made some mistake in its use. Color me unimpressed.

    So – I’ll ask again, because you have not actually responded to my previous queries on this:

    – Have you asked Kemp et al for any of the data? If you have, say so, if not, enough with the complaining!

    I gave up on asking Michael Mann for data long ago. If you are foolish enough to want to continue down that path, be my guest.

    If, on the other hand, you’ve never asked Mike for data, go ahead and ask him, and report back to us. It could be an important part of your education about climate reality. Me, been there, done that, I have much more important things to do than waste my time that way. He only gives data to his friends, and for unknown reasons he doesn’t number me among them. But heck, give him a shout-out, maybe you are one of his friends that can get data from him. I can’t, and I’ve given up trying.

    But in any case, which part of “the author is responsible for archiving their data” do you not understand? It is not my task to hound innocent researchers for their data. It is their task to archive it if they wish to be taken seriously, and they have failed to do that.

    - Which parts of the mathematical treatment of the data as described in the paper and supplemental information do you find opaque?

    The opaque part of what they did is the part that they haven’t described in the paper and the supplemental information … and which part is that, you ask?

    Well, we don’t know, do we, since they have revealed neither their code nor their data.

    You asking me to point out the errors in what Kemp et al. haven’t revealed could serve as a perfect metaphor for climate science these days …

    w.

  169. Willis Eschenbach says:

    omnologos says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Wllis – don’t you have anything better to do than reply to KR’s absurdities?

    Thanks, omnologos (and Smokey) for the comments. I reply to most people that seem to me to be serious, whether or not they are absurd—one man’s absurd is another man’s reasonable.

    I do this for several reasons:

    1. I write as much for the lurkers as for the commenters. For every KR pointing out something, there are assuredly others who have his same question or point of view. And even if I can’t reach KR, I certainly may be reaching them.

    2. I have often been ignored because my questions didn’t fit the common paradigm or seemed to come “out of left field”. I don’t like that when it happens, and so I don’t want to do the same to others.

    3. I don’t want people to say that I am dodging or avoiding their concerns. That’s RealClimate and Tamino’s kind of game, censorship and avoidance, and I won’t play it.

    4. It gives me a chance to re-state my points, offer new evidence or re-present old evidence in a new light, and generally gives me an opportunity to present my point of view anew. What’s not to like?

    5. It is useful for people to see the AGW absurdities repeated by the various adherents.

    6. It is also useful for people to come to understand the debating style of the AGW supporters and the lack of evidence for their claims. The only way to point that out is … well … to ask people for evidence for their claims.

    7. Sometimes even the wise man can be corrected by a fool, and I’m not sure which side of that equation I might be sitting on at any given instant.

    8. What seems clear and perfectly obvious to you and me may not seem that way at all to someone else.

    So, for those reasons, I try to answer all of what I see as honest inquiries, and even some that I think might be just trolling. If I had a perfect troll-ometer this would be easier, of course, but until then I’ll err on the side of caution.

    w.

  170. KR says:

    Willis

    So no, you have not asked Kemp et al for the calibration data.

    I find the focus on Mann very interesting in this thread. Michael Mann is author 4 of 6 – contributing, yes, but not the lead author. The proper reference to this paper is Kemp et al 2011 (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/13/1015619108.full.pdf+html?with-ds=yes) , not Mann 2011. But I suppose Mann makes a better target for skepticism. That’s an Ad hominem argument, of course, but an easier target.

    In my personal opinion (and yes, others may differ) I find that the data is sufficient – in particular, table S1, page 11 of the published supplemental data containing age, depth, and uncertainties for each of the core samples, plus the descriptions of the mathematical treatment of the data including Bayesian priors in table S3 – these add up to describing what they did, why, and how. You could certainly, for example, run a statistical analysis of those time/depth points and see if their reconstruction is statistically significant.

    No, they did not include their raw data from the 193 calibration samples that had been studied for species ratio versus depth. But that’s a technique that’s been used for years, and the method should be common knowledge to those in the field. They also didn’t include multi-semester courses in radioisotope dating, foraminifera identification, tidal gauges, or GIA adjustments. Not to mention a private tutor and masseuse to help you through the material… /sarcasm

    The point of putting sufficient information out with a paper is to permit others familiar with the field to judge it, to replicate it, and to (if they agree with it) extend the work. And I’m going to have to disagree with you, Willis – I believe Kemp et al did a reasonable job with this paper.

  171. richard telford says:

    The community that reconstructs sea level from foraminifera or diatoms always seems to use weighted averaging partial least squares or a closely related method, weighted averaging (see for example http://repository.upenn.edu/ees_papers/50). I have not see a single paper attempting to use neural networks or random forests or some other exotic method to reconstruct sea levels, which is fortunate, as these methods are not very robust, unlike the weighted averaging methods.

    Since the community has decided that these are the best methods, it would be very surprising if Kemp et al. 2011 use a different method from their earlier work. Even if you had the data, how would you test if it is a reasonable method for the data. Either you’ve got to spend some time learning the theory and methods used in palaeoecology, or you have to trust those who have.

    And how do you propose that they could have used the method incorrectly? If they have used the usual software, it is difficult to do anything wrong. There are plenty of cases of people reconstructing inappropriate environmental variables, but I don’t know of any where they have done the reconstruction incorrectly.

    You might also want to check their taxonomy. And to look for the hole in the marsh they claim to have cored. Perhaps start by looking through their travel claims for fieldwork. I’ll sure you’ll find a mistake somewhere and blow it into some imaginary scandal.

  172. KR says:

    Willis

    It has been pointed out to me that the “transfer function”, i.e., the calibration data for foraminifera to depth, is indeed included in one of the Kemp et al references, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377839809000693 – Kemp et al 2009. This is reference number 7 in Kemp et al 2011.

    Claims that this data were unavailable are therefore, well, wrong.

  173. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Willis

    It has been pointed out to me that the “transfer function”, i.e., the calibration data for foraminifera to depth, is indeed included in one of the Kemp et al references, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377839809000693 – Kemp et al 2009. This is reference number 7 in Kemp et al 2011.

    Claims that this data were unavailable are therefore, well, wrong.

    Thanks, KR. It’s paywalled. Since you claim to know what the transfer function is, I’m sure you can actually tell us what it is and quote from the document … have you actually seen it, or is this just secondhand?

    I ask because they say that their transfer function also calculates “unique vertical errors … for each PME estimate”. They go on to say that their errors are less than “0.1 m [four inches]“. Let’s be generous and call that their two sigma error.

    Despite that, their Figure 2B (inset) shows a Tump Point two sigma error of ± 0.04m (an inch and a half). How does the transfer function two sigma error of four inches get converted to a final reported error of an inch and a half?

    These are the kinds of questions that could be easily answered if they published their data and code.

    w.

  174. richard telford says:

    “How does the transfer function two sigma error of eight inches get converted to a reported error of an inch and a half?”

    Because there are different sources of error, some common to all samples, and some sample specific. See Birks et al. 2010. Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative Climate Reconstructions Based on Late-Quaternary Biological Proxies. The Open Ecology Journal, 3, 68-110.

  175. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richard telford says:
    June 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    And how do you propose that they could have used the method incorrectly? If they have used the usual software, it is difficult to do anything wrong. There are plenty of cases of people reconstructing inappropriate environmental variables, but I don’t know of any where they have done the reconstruction incorrectly.

    After the Hockeystick debacle where Mann improperly used PC analysis, and the improper use by Steig of principal components (leading to spurious Chladni patterns), for you to ask that question means that you are not following the climate story.

    And not just not following the story. Actively avoiding the story.

    That, I can’t help you with. You’ll have to apply elsewhere. I can’t deal with that kind of ruthless optimism. People involved in this and other studies have done that exact thing before, used standard methods incorrectly. How do I propose they did such a foolish thing? By not understanding what they were doing, and by eschewing the assistance of actual statisticians …

    w.

  176. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Willis

    So no, you have not asked Kemp et al for the calibration data.

    Not my responsibility. You need to catch up, this is 2011, that kind of nonsense won’t fly any more. People both in and out of climate science have been fooled too many times.

    If he wants his results taken seriously it is his responsibility to archive the raw data. That’s why Science and Nature have policies that require archiving. To avoid just these kinds of difficulties.

    Which in turn may be why they chose to publish in a vanity press rather than a real journal that would require that they put their data where their mouth is …

    w.

  177. Septic Matthew says:

    Willis, you wrote “In climate science 2011, if you don’t archive your data and show your methods, folks won’t believe you … especially if Mann is a co-author. ”

    No disagreement from me, but have you tried writing to Kemp? Try it, and let us know how it turns out.

    I think that you have achieved sufficient stature that refusal to share with you is self-defeating.

  178. Bill Illis says:

    How exactly do they determine that sea level was rising by 0.5 mms per year and then falling by 0.5 mms from the forams in the same sediment core.

    The core goes down and earlier in time as one goes deeper and the forams are distributed as the older the deeper. In fact, it could not possibly work if sea level originally was higher and then declined and has now gone back up.

    If sea level was rising throughout the period, it might be possible but not when it is going up and down so throw this physically impossible study in the garbage can.

  179. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Kemp and associates seem to have been busy milking out their data, there’s another Kemp et al 2009 paper:

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/11/1035.abstract

    Timing and magnitude of recent accelerated sea-level rise (North Carolina, United States)

    Received 29 April 2009.
    Revision received 13 June 2009.
    Accepted 22 June 2009.

    That was quick. Must have been good. ;-)

    Paywalled, but the Abstract is interesting (emphasis added):

    We provide records of relative sea level since A.D. 1500 from two salt marshes in North Carolina to complement existing tide-gauge records and to determine when recent rates of accelerated sea-level rise commenced. Reconstructions were developed using foraminifera-based transfer functions and composite chronologies, which were validated against regional twentieth century tide-gauge records. The measured rate of relative sea-level rise in North Carolina during the twentieth century was 3.0–3.3 mm/a, consisting of a background rate of ~1 mm/a, plus an abrupt increase of 2.2 mm/a, which began between A.D. 1879 and 1915. This acceleration is broadly synchronous with other studies from the Atlantic coast. The magnitude of the acceleration at both sites is larger than at sites farther north along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coast and may be indicative of a latitudinal trend.

    Note last line. 2009, exceptionalness of location given special mention. 2011, this location representative of the US Atlantic coast. What changed?

    The journal Geology does have a Data Repository for data and other info as provided by authors, here’s the link for this one (about 1753KB, 19pg, M$ Word doc in pdf):
    ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/reposit/2009/2009260.pdf

    It’s the same places, Sand Point and Tump Point. Transfer functions described starting on pg 1:

    We identified three distinct sub-regions of foraminifera and developed a transfer function for each. The ‘Outer Banks’ transfer function represents normal salinity sites from the Outer Banks barrier islands. The ‘Mainland’ transfer function represents low salinity settings encountered at sites on the mainland. The ‘Currituck’ transfer function was developed for sites with very low salinity. All transfer functions were developed using weighted-averaging, partial least squares (component 2).

    See table on pg 7, “Transfer function performance.” Has r^2 results: 0.59, 0.63, 0.59. I don’t know about this particular type of work, but aren’t those Sociology-grade values?

  180. jae says:

    Not much time to read lately, but I am always amazed that nothing appears to have changed in “mainline climate science” in the 5 years or so that I’ve been following the issues. Willis is asking for the EXACT same basic things that McIntyre did years ago and is getting the same EXACT same inane, unscientific, untruthful, bloviating bullshit from “famous” (or “infamous?) authors. The “climate scientists” (and their poorly-informed (historically) apologists speaking in the comments here) seem to have learned absolutely nothing about how to convince interested people that they are sincere “scientists” (i.e, ones that invite replication and believe in finding the TRUTH). HENCE, the enormous loss of interest and just plain disgust by the public over the “global warming/climate change” fraud. I sure would not advise my grandson to get involved in “climate science.” Science IS self-correcting, given enough time, and we have had plenty of time now to sort out the chaff from the wheat.l Face it, you Gorites, you have NO credibility left. It gets funnier and funnier to watch your demise, you charlatans!

    Thanks, Willis, for continuing to embarass the jokers!

  181. richard telford says:

    Do you really not understand the difference between Mann’s hemispheric temperature reconstructions and Kemp’s sea-level reconstructions?

    Let me help you. Mann had to generate new procedures to analyse the data. Anybody working with new procedures, writing their own code, is almost bound to do things that will later be revealed to be sub-optimal. Kemp used standard methods to reconstruct sea-level, methods that have been used hundreds of times. There is standard software for the Kemp’s methods – you load the data – you press the button – you get the results. There is no real scope for error in that analysis.

    Are Kemp’s reconstructions optimal? I doubt it. But I strongly doubt a casual inspection of the code and data would reveal how to make the reconstructions better. I also doubt you are interested – spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt, while wallowing in paranoia is so much more fun isn’t it.

  182. Dave Springer says:

    richard telford says:
    June 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I tend to agree with you that the methodology for reconstructing past relative sea level from foraminifera species ratios appears robust enough.

    Where I take issue with the paper is when they attempt to sort out the various causes of the reconstructed sea level change. An abrupt acceleration in rate of rise 120 years ago rise is not consistent with steric rise from AGW. Neither is it consistent with isotatic sea level change caused by glaciation or deglaciation. It is consistent with land use changes that alter aquifer recharge rates which cause abrupt and sometimes extreme isostatic change in sea level. The time when this happened coincides with a massive boom in agriculture particularly in North Carolina as that’s when its vast tobacco industry was established and in a general case for the US Atlantic coast as that was the era when steam engines became the motive power for all sorts of things that were previously powered by muscle, water wheels, and windmills. The authors, through either incompetence or nefarious design, omitted anthropogenic isostatic factors and shifted all the otherwise unaccounted-for relative sea level rise into the anthropogenic steric category even though it makes no sense at all because AGW steric sea level rise cannot be near as abrupt as that which becomes evident in the reconstruction.

  183. Dave Springer says:

    @Smokey

    http://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/02ocean/mgtectonics.htm

    This is no question whatsoever about why there are more undersea volcanoes and no amount of handwaving by you is going to change that. This is very basic earth science. Man up and admit you made a mistake fercrisakes.

  184. richard telford says:

    Dave Springer says:

    Where I take issue with the paper is when they attempt to sort out the various causes of the reconstructed sea level change. An abrupt acceleration in rate of rise 120 years ago rise is not consistent with steric rise from AGW. Neither is it consistent with isotatic sea level change caused by glaciation or deglaciation. It is consistent with land use changes that alter aquifer recharge rates which cause abrupt and sometimes extreme isostatic change in sea level.
    ————-
    Given that their reconstructed sea-level rise matches the global sea-level rise rather well (Fig.3), there would appear to be little scope for a large groundwater-extraction effect. I don’t know where you get the idea that it is not consistent with steric sea-level changes – the paper demonstrates that it is. Nothing in the paper is contingent on the cause of the temperature change in the 20th Century – I don’t think the paper even mentions the greenhouse effect.

  185. Smokey says:

    Dave Springer,

    I made no mistake, I simply linked to a source that questions the ring of fire assumptions, and raises questions about the theory of how volcanoes form. Thanx for the interesting geology link, however, some of its conclusions have been questioned in the link I provided. As I suggested above, you should argue with the authors if you disagree. I was just posting their information.

    I have been polite to you throughout this conversation, and you have responded by labeling my comments “nonsense,” and as being below 7th grade science, and telling me to “man up” and admit that I made a mistake. Yet when I said I was not an expert on volcanoes, you also admitted: “Neither am I.” So now you’ve cut ‘n’ pasted a link you found which is at least questionable, as I explained above. New data has shown that the old theory has some holes in it.

    When I make a mistake I admit it. But I’m not so sure I am mistaken in this instance; I’ve found no reliable measurement of the amount of CO2 emitted by submarine volcanoes. If you find a verifiable measurement, please post it. I would like to see an accurate measurement of the “carbon footprint” of submarine volcanoes.

  186. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richard telford says:
    June 25, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Do you really not understand the difference between Mann’s hemispheric temperature reconstructions and Kemp’s sea-level reconstructions?

    Yes, I understand the differences.

    Let me help you. Mann had to generate new procedures to analyse the data. Anybody working with new procedures, writing their own code, is almost bound to do things that will later be revealed to be sub-optimal.

    Not true in the slightest. Both Mann and Steig used (or more accurately misused) principal component analysis, a very well understood method that’s been around for years.

    Kemp used standard methods to reconstruct sea-level, methods that have been used hundreds of times. There is standard software for the Kemp’s methods – you load the data – you press the button – you get the results. There is no real scope for error in that analysis.

    The same is true of Steig’s work (which I notice you are careful not to mention), Mann’s work, and Kemp’s work. Are you truly trying to make the claim that the Principal Components method hasn’t been “used hundreds of times”?

    All of them used standard methods. But if you don’t understand them there are lots of pitfalls in even the most standard of methods … and since Steig and Mann seem to be allergic to statisticians, the odds of an error went up to 100%.

    Are Kemp’s reconstructions optimal? I doubt it. But I strongly doubt a casual inspection of the code and data would reveal how to make the reconstructions better. I also doubt you are interested – spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt, while wallowing in paranoia is so much more fun isn’t it.

    Thank you for letting us know you doubt that a casual inspection of the code and data would reveal anything. That reveals a lot about the strength of your belief in the rightness of the analysis, along with your lack of confidence in your own inspection capabilities … but it says nothing about my inspection of Kemp (which has been far from casual) or my inspection capabilities. And having seen far too many peer-reviewed studies which could be exploded by a literate high-school senior, I also doubt the generality of your observation. Your assumption that peer-reviewed science has more than a 50% chance of being correct is not borne out by the facts on the ground.

    In any case, see my latest post on the before you spend too much time congratulating yourself and accusing me of various improbable high crimes and misdemeanors … and for future reference, you might note that making that kind of vicious personal attack is generally taken by readers to mean that the person making the attack doesn’t have the science on their side.

    w.

  187. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Illis says:
    June 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    How exactly do they determine that sea level was rising by 0.5 mms per year and then falling by 0.5 mms from the forams in the same sediment core.

    The core goes down and earlier in time as one goes deeper and the forams are distributed as the older the deeper. In fact, it could not possibly work if sea level originally was higher and then declined and has now gone back up.

    If sea level was rising throughout the period, it might be possible but not when it is going up and down so throw this physically impossible study in the garbage can.

    Yeah, I thought about that as well. At the end of the day I came to the same conclusion as you did, that this method would only work if the sea level never went down. But their analysis says that sea level went both up and down … my conclusion was that I don’t understand that part. Perhaps Richard Telford or one of the adherents of the study could explain it.

    w.

  188. richard telford says:

    To answer Bill Illis, the procedure is this:

    1) Collect a sediment core and count forams from several levels in it.
    2) Using the modern relationship between height above mean sea level (or some function of this) and foram community composition, estimate the height above mean sea level for each fossil sample.
    3) Correct these for sediment accumulation and compaction.
    4) Correct for isostatic movements.

    So,
    If the sea level is constant, then as the sediment accumulates, the forams will be higher up the marsh. Correcting for sediment accumulation, will give a constant sea-level reconstruction.

    If the sea level falls, the foram communities will represent higher conditions than expected by sediment accumulation alone.

    If the sea level rises, the foram communities will represent lower conditions than expected from the sediment accumulation.

    All this is explained in the basic literature, as Willis would know if he cared to look. Unlike Willis, I generally I find it useful to understand the assumptions of the methods someone is using before I criticise their work. But then I am usually writing for a audience not so easily swayed by back of a fag box calculations.

    —–
    Thank you for letting us know you doubt that a casual inspection of the code and data would reveal anything. That reveals a lot about the strength of your belief in the rightness of the analysis
    —-
    This certainly reveals a lot about your reading skills. I wrote that I doubted their procedure is optimal. Indeed, I know how it could be improved, and I also know that you will be hard pressed to realise the problem by looking at the reconstruction code without understanding the methods.

  189. Septic Matthew says:

    Richard Telford wrote:
    This certainly reveals a lot about your reading skills. I wrote that I doubted their procedure is optimal. Indeed, I know how it could be improved, and I also know that you will be hard pressed to realise the problem by looking at the reconstruction code without understanding the methods.

    You also wrote what Willis said you wrote.

    You’d be more effective if you’d remember what you wrote, and if you desisted with the superficial ad hom remarks. If you can’t point to a specific deficiency in Willis’ use of a method, then you got nothing to say to the rest of us readers.

  190. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richard telford says:
    June 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Given that their reconstructed sea-level rise matches the global sea-level rise rather well (Fig.3), there would appear to be little scope for a large groundwater-extraction effect.

    Say what? Among other things their reconstruction claims that the rate of MSL increase has been over 3mm/year since 1950 and is now almost 5mm/year … are you truly claiming that this “matches the global sea-level rise rather well”?

    The reconstruction also claims that the sea level has increased 200mm (8 inches) since 1950 … are you also claiming that “matches the global sea-level rise rather well”?

    Their Figure 3 that you reference is an obvious (and in your case obviously successful) attempt to confuse the issue. Note that they don’t show the unsettling facts I state above …

    I don’t know where you get the idea that it is not consistent with steric sea-level changes – the paper demonstrates that it is.

    Three things. First, both the Kemp 2011 paper and the SOI mention the word “steric” once. In neither case do they compare thermosteric rise to their projections.

    Second, Anne Cazenave’s paper gives a good estimate of the thermosteric component of the sea level rise of the last forty years.

    Third, changes in the ocean’s volume (generally speaking) are from a combination of changes due to thermal expansion (thermosteric component) and changes in the amount of fresh water added/removed (halosteric component). Since Kemp et al. are working from actual measurements, presumably they are measuring the total steric sea level.

    Curiously, these processes vary from pole to equator in a compensatory fashion. From Levitus:

    We present estimates of the linear trends of zonally averaged fields of thermosteric, halosteric, and steric sea level by pentads (1955–1959)–(1994–1998) for individual ocean basins and the world ocean. The Atlantic is characterized by density compensating linear trends in the thermosteric and halosteric components of steric sea level change. Northward of approximately 45°N the halosteric trend acts to increase steric sea level and the thermosteric trend acts to decrease sea level. Southward of 45°N these two terms are reversed in sign. Similar to the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean is characterized by density compensating trends at most latitudes, a major exception being 28°S–38°S. The Pacific is different from the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The two components act in concert to change sea level in the same way with the exception of the 34°N–45°N and 22°S–38°S regions.

    Nothing in the paper is contingent on the cause of the temperature change in the 20th Century – I don’t think the paper even mentions the greenhouse effect.

    Agreed. However, it shows the sea level rising monotonically for the last three hundred years, not in the 20th century …

    w.

  191. Dave Springer says:

    richard telford says:
    June 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “Given that their reconstructed sea-level rise matches the global sea-level rise rather well (Fig.3),”

    You gotta be shi**ing me. Figuratively speaking those plots are all over the map. Literally speaking they’re in only a few times and places on the map.

    [Language. Robt]

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