Climategate 2 email – Rob Wilson replicates McIntyre & McKitrick – produces hockey sticks out of noise

Reader Crosspatch writes in comments:

4241.txt is where Briffa Rob Wilson apparently believes he recreates what McIntyre is talking about the hockey stick showing up no matter what data you feed into it. Briffa Wilson creates randomly generated time series, feeds them in to Mann’s maths and bingo … out pops a hockey stick.

I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel – I did not try and approximate the persistence structure in tree-ring data. The autocorrelation therefore of the time-series was close to zero, although it did vary between each time-series.

Playing around therefore with the AR persistent structure of these time-series would make a difference. However, as these series are generally random white noise processes, I thought this would be a conservative test of any potential bias.


The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

Here’s the full email:

cc: edwardcook <REDACTED>, <REDACTED>, “David Frank” <REDACTED>, “Jan Esper” <REDACTED>, “Tim Osborn” <REDACTED>, <REDACTED>, “Brian Luckman” <REDACTED>, “Andrea Wilson” <REDACTED>, “rosanne” <REDACTED>, “Watson,Emma [Ontario]” <REDACTED>, “Gordon Jacoby” <REDACTED>, “Brohan, Philip” <REDACTED>
date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 17:44:46 +0700
from: edwardcook <REDACTED>
subject: Re: Emailing: Rob’s Hockey Sticks
to: “Rob Wilson” <REDACTED>

Hi Rob,

You are a masochist. Maybe Tom Melvin has it right: “Controversy about which bull caused mess not relevent. The possibility that the results in all cases were heap of dung has been missed by commentators.”

Cheers,

Ed

On Mar 7, 2006, at 5:20 PM, Rob Wilson wrote:

Greetings All,

I thought you might be interested in these results.

The wonderful thing about being paid properly (i.e. not by the hour) is that I have time to
play.

The whole Macintyre issue got me thinking about over-fitting and the potential bias of
screening against the target climate parameter.

Therefore, I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures.

I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel – I did not try and approximate the
persistence structure in tree-ring data. The autocorrelation therefore of the time-series
was close to zero, although it did vary between each time-series. Playing around therefore
with the AR persistent structure of these time-series would make a difference. However, as
these series are generally random white noise processes, I thought this would be a
conservative test of any potential bias.

I then screened the time-series against NH mean annual temperatures and retained those
series that correlated at the 90% C.L.

48 series passed this screening process.

Using three different methods, I developed a NH temperature reconstruction from these data:

1. simple mean of all 48 series after they had been normalised to their common period

2. Stepwise multiple regression

3. Principle component regression using a stepwise selection process.

The results are attached.

Interestingly, the averaging method produced the best results, although for each method
there is a linear trend in the model residuals – perhaps an end-effect problem of
over-fitting.

The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the
phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

It is certainly worrying, but I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens
against LOCAL temperature data and not large scale temperature where trend dominates the correlation.

I guess this over-fitting issue will be relevant to studies that rely more on trend
coherence rather than inter-annual coherence. It would be interesting to do a similar
analysis against the NAO or PDO indices. However, I should work on other things.

Thought you’d might find it interesting though.

comments welcome

Rob

REDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTED—
Dr. Rob Wilson
Research Fellow
School of GeoSciences,
Grant Institute,
Edinburgh University,
West Mains Road,
Edinburgh EH9 3JW,
Scotland, U.K.
Tel:REDACTED

Publication List: [1]http://freespace.virgin.net/rob.dendro/Publications.html

“…..I have wondered about trees.

They are sensitive to light, to moisture, to wind, to pressure.
Sensitivity implies sensation. Might a man feel into the soul of a tree
for these sensations? If a tree were capable of awareness, this faculty
might prove useful. “

“The Miracle Workers” by Jack Vance
REDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTED—

65 thoughts on “Climategate 2 email – Rob Wilson replicates McIntyre & McKitrick – produces hockey sticks out of noise

  1. You attribute this to Dr Briffa, but I cannot see his name above. Is that a typo?

    REPLY: It is and fixed thanks. Crosspatch got the name it wrong, its Rob Wilson to several people at CRU- Anthony

  2. So let’s see if I’ve got this right? CRU knew this back in 2006 and the best advice Ed Cook could give to Rob Wilson was that it didn’t matter and no one was noticing anyway?

  3. I had two different emails up in two different windows. One was a Briffa mail, the other was this one and as I got to posting that in the comments, I clicked on the wrong window to get the attribution.

  4. “It is certainly worrying, but I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens
    against LOCAL temperature data…”

    Great work – he has successfully and smoothly “debunked” any idea that McIntyre’s work challenges the Mann hockey stick.

  5. “Thought you’d might find it interesting though. comments welcome. Rob”

    Oh, yeah, Rob. We sure did. Thanks.

  6. “I then screened the time-series against NH mean annual temperatures and retained those
    series that correlated at the 90% C.L.”

    By that, does he mean that he compared the “tree ring” time series against the expected answer and only kept those that matched? If so, is this the normal way they go about these things? “Oh this tree’s record has *clearly* been affected by something other than temperature so we’ll ignore it… and this one too…. and another…. and yet another…. oh but this one’s ok so we’ll use that… [some time later] It’s ok we’ve got 12 that tell us what we need”.

  7. World temps will go up sooner or later, as we well KNOW.
    And due to our immense expertise, we KNOW it will be veerrryyy BAD.
    Thus we mustn’t be distracted by actual measurements
    during the current ‘warming pause’.
    Emissions must be restricted NOW,
    so we can’t wait until temperatures cooperate with our theory.
    Just let us get on with our ‘private’ world-saving data ‘adjustment’.

    Hey, if we’re wrong it doesn’t matter
    since green energy is so good for us anyway.

  8. The whole USP of Mann was that he took lots of disparate proxies and regressed them against a global trend. Not a trace of local screening if I remember correctly.

  9. @Peter Ward – even if there is no screening, the process of weighting different series based on their correlation (read up on the hockey stick method, Montford’s book is probably a reasonable start) does exactly this. The process will take a series, assign it a signed weighting, and add it to the mix in order to produce the best estimate of the calibration series using a collection of so-called proxies. Mann’s belief in this process is so strong that he seemed to imagine that even the sign of a proxy series did not matter because the statistical procedure would sort it out.
    The reason for this being such a mess in the first place is that the temperature signal is weak, and contaminated by other effects (like rainfall) – it is a non-trivial process to perform the estimate of temperature for the past 2000 years. Not to say that we shouldn’t try.
    In case you missed it, adding random non-proxies tends to reduce the variation going back in time (a bit of an over-simplification, but Jeff Id’s work supports this I think)

  10. So Rob Wilson suspected something was hinky with the plotting program and conducted a proper scientific test of the program and proved beyond any doubt the program was rigged – yet chose to keep it quiet?

    Rob Wilson has zero moral integrity and ought to be shunned by all other scientists. When he proved this program was fraudulent he should have spoken out about it.

  11. “but I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens
    against LOCAL temperature data and not large scale temperature where trend dominates the correlation”

    That sounds like speculation. Was it ever checked out to see whether it is true?

    Did Mann screen against local, regional, global or at all ?

  12. Brings to mind many decades ago when I was rather naïve in mathematics that if you ever get a time period differential in the right-hand side of a relationship, possibly even in a recursive function, you can create a hockey stick in a flash. In fact, just as MacIntyre and Wilson both showed, it will always give you back a hockey stick no matter what. The difference of any arithmetic series injects this behavior.

    If someone has the code Mann was using, I am assuming Steve has it, someone should scan the algorithms looking for an reference of time variables, particularly differences of such, on the right side. Not saying that is it but it would be where I would start looking for such defect.

  13. oakwood says:

    “It is certainly worrying, but I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens against LOCAL temperature data…”

    Great work – he has successfully and smoothly “debunked” any idea that McIntyre’s work challenges the Mann hockey stick.

    You really don’t understand how the hockey stick handle is generated do you? Neither does Rob Wilson for that matter.

    It must be nice to be so believing that somebody only has to state they think something is true and you believe it. Rob states “but I do not think that it is a problem”. Rob does not perform any experiments to verify this statement. He does not provide any reasoning as to why it would not be a problem. Since he does not reveal any understanding of why the random data produces hockey sticks, he could not know whether using local temperatures would as well.

    Your reaction and unquestioning acceptance of Rob Wilson’s “thought” is what I would expect from a brainwashed follower of a cult.

  14. I think the choice quote is probably this reported by Edward Cook in the original email:

    Maybe Tom Melvin has it right: “Controversy about which bull caused mess not relevent (sic). The possibility that the results in all cases were heap of dung has been missed by commentators.”

    Three years later, Tom Osborn had this to say about Tom Melvin (email 0333):

    “I think Tom Melvin here is the only person who could shed light on the McIntyre criticisms of Yamal. But he can be a rather loose cannon and shouldn’t be directly contacted about this … “

  15. So he found ‘hockey sticks’ after processing all the random series that matched the trend of the instrumental record…. hardly surprising.

    What may be more surprising is why Wegman et al FAILED to replicate the M&M findings relying instead on the original flawed results from M&M which were cherry-picked for ‘hockey sticks’from many radnom series that showed no end-effect trend..
    Hockey sticks however that were at least an order of magnitude smaller than the proxy and instrumental results!

  16. I have not kept up with the names of all the scientists at CRU – but something strikes me as odd about the TO: list in the email – I don’t recognise any of the names..
    Maybe just because I’m a casual observer.
    But to someone who has kept better tabs on things – is this possibly a sub group of scientists… who held some concerns about the practices of the ‘big names’ ?

  17. Actually.. I have seen Edward Cook’s name… wrt other concerns about Mr Mann
    Is this is sub group of reasonable climate scientists at CRU?

  18. Adding to:
    Imagine if a drug company did that as a method of proving how successful a drug was a treating a particular ailment?
    Our new drug is 100% successful (at treating the 1% of people who are treated successfully)

    Of course, the actual Mann technique is worse
    – here is some data that shows our new drug actually makes some patients worse!
    – but since we know our drug works really well, we’ll just invert the data, and say it works on on these patients too!

  19. Peter Ward,

    See Jeff Id’s recent post:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/456-5/

    especially the section on Cherry Picking towards the end. The process of Hockeystick manufacture goes basically like this:

    1. Get a collection of proxies or if that’s too hard, just use random numbers, representing, say, the last 1,000 years
    2. Select “good” proxies by calibrating against the last 100 years of instrumental temperature data and upweighting them by the algorithm of your choice. The calibration can be to either local temperatures (where the proxy is located) or global by the mysterious process of teleconnections – which ever works better.
    3. Avoid issues with the divergence problem by truncating tree ring proxies which dip after 1960 or so, and optionally splice in the measured temperature from 1960 to replace the truncated data
    4. Combine the lot by anything from simple average to principle components to CPS – brownie points for novel stats procedures with unknown properties.
    Voila! Hockeystick!
    The reason is that proxies are inherently noisy, dating for many of them is uncertain, and global temps do not move in lock-step, so what you end up with by the weightings procedure is a convergence upwards over the last 100 years due to the current warm period, and a cancelling out of all the noise for the prior 900 years. The cancelling out gives you the handle (suppression of low frequency variance), and the weightings by concentrating the proxies which follow 20th century warming (or the first 60 years thereof) give you the blade.

  20. izen:
    You are kidding, right? Please specify how the McIntyre and McKitrick analysis is flawed. You do understand the issue of the Bristle Cone Pines and Gaspe Larches, right? And you do understand the issues with Briffa’s Yamal sample?

  21. That’ a joke, right? One of the esteemed climate scientists tests the algorithm of a colleague on WHITE NOISE, it produces the HOCKEY STICK SHAPE, and the scientist says “I don’t think it’s a problem”?????

    Could we have these guys defunded and BANNED from any further research activities?

  22. I thought it interesting that in todays Wall Street Journal (Nov. 28) on the op-ed page there is an article by James Delingpole where he mentions how Mann in one of his e-mails wants to discredit McIntyre. At least now, this story is making it`s way to influential readers. The Journal is a must read for conservative politicians.

  23. 2011: A Climate Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke’s Bowman meets the climate debate.

    “The thing’s hollow—it goes on forever—and—oh my God—it’s full of Hockey Sticks?!

  24. DirkH:
    “That’ a joke, right? One of the esteemed climate scientists tests the algorithm of a colleague on WHITE NOISE, it produces the HOCKEY STICK SHAPE, and the scientist says “I don’t think it’s a problem”????? ”

    Unfortunately its not a joke. McIntyre & McKitrick demonstrated this in 2003 (actually strictly with “red noise”, not white noise, but clearly Mann’s method fails with all noise). It was when I read this most trivial test of Mannian Hockey Stick algorithm that it was obvious the hockey stick was nonsense. When I posted on the New Statesman nomination of Steve M that on reading MM2003 that I just new it was correct a CAGW nut then made sarcastic comments about how I could just “know” they were right. Any rational person with the minimum of scientific or numerate training can see that failing such a trivial test means the method of Mann et al cannot work. I have the slight advantage of working on spatially/temporally correlated stochastic data sets for my day job, so I just “knew” McIntyre & McKitrick were correct.

    Peter Ward:

    “By that, does he mean that he compared the “tree ring” time series against the expected answer and only kept those that matched? If so, is this the normal way they go about these things? “Oh this tree’s record has *clearly* been affected by something other than temperature so we’ll ignore it… and this one too…. and another…. and yet another…. oh but this one’s ok so we’ll use that… [some time later] It’s ok we’ve got 12 that tell us what we need”.”

    Yep, that’s exactly right. The whole appraoch of paleoclimate is based on a tautology. You compare your proxy with temp, if it correlates you keep it, if it doesn’t you discard it. By only keeping the postive correlating series, hey presto – result.

    Now imagine testing against random noise where there is no correlation. Some series are positive correlation, some negative correlation. But we reject all negative correlations and so magically…trees are thermometers. Just a shame they didn’t listen to an actual Dendro scientist like John Daly whose email to all of them is in the Climategate 2 release. All the reasons why trees are not thermometers.

    I cannot believe that so many people have been believing such thin and tautological nonsense for so long, and trying to hide such inadequate and pathetic evidence for CAGW by dressing up feeble and flawed analyses as though they were the cutting edge of science. Take a look at Steig’s admission concerning Steig 09 in the emails, he knew the reviewers were right and his case could not be supported, but it took RyanO et al sweat, blood and tears to dissect the truth about Steig’s paper. Anyone that believes Steig 09 shows Antarctic warming just needs to look at RyanO’s sensitivity tests to know it isn’t true:

    I have that picture on my wall to remind me what nonsense all this stuff is from “The Team”. They are charlatans, the lot of them.

  25. “I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel” Maybe Jones should try that. Oh right I forgot he doesn’t know how to use Excel.

  26. You didn’t publish my first comment, so my second comment, beginning ‘added to:’ doesn’t quite make sense, I think…

  27. It is clear that Mann has not completed graduate level forestry or agricultural research design coursework. He mistakes one step of the scientific process for another. Experimental plot design is different than plot observation. The AGW scientists get the two mixed up when studying trees as a proxy for temperature. Experimental plot design sets up a grow period carefully designed to minimize (or at least control) all variables except the one under study. Plot observation simply grids a natural plot and observes it for interesting phenomenon to later hypothesize and study under controlled plot conditions. Mann needs to take the next step and develop an experimental plot design to see to what degree temperature anomalies observed in the past affect tree ring growth when all other variables are controlled to a steady state. That he and we are massaging his observational phenomenon data suggests that we are falling into the same trap instead of pointing out the more egregious design error.

  28. Rob Wilson occasionally jumped in the discussions at Climate Audit, most notably, the now famous Strip Bark Standardization post (where a link to foi2009.zip was first posted). He was commenting with the knowledge that he had replicated McIntyre’s results three years prior. Interesting.

  29. oakwood says:
    November 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    “It is certainly worrying, but I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens
    against LOCAL temperature data…”

    Great work – he has successfully and smoothly “debunked” any idea that McIntyre’s work challenges the Mann hockey stick.

    What “LOCAL” temperatures is Wilson talking about, oakwood? And where is the work that even shows the local temps. track the GMT? All Mann did is to take tree ring data already collected in the field by someone else from the obviously flawed stripbarks and try to “fit” it to GMT via his Hockey Stick seeking algorithm, not updating the data after 1980 because it would be ~”too expensive and difficult”. Which McIntyre disproved by his “Starbucks hypothesis” by collecting field data himself at the Almagre site, Colorado. Has Mann ever collected any data himself?

    Then McShane and Wyner showed that Mann’s data does not even track the “in sample” data of the calibration period itself, nor the “gradient” of the blade, and that similar methods produce Hockey sticks sometimes with flat shafts, but “most do not”, from random series given “time dependence in the temperature series”.

    Such that, “Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth.”

    So what temperatures of any kind or source does Mann’s Hockey Stick replicate or track, oakwood?

  30. Before attacking Rob Wilson (the messenger) , consider that someone was upset enough about this situation to release all these emails. Possibly that “someone” was one of those on this email. For a climate scientist working within this clique, to openly criticize the dogma of “the cause” is career suicide.

    Think about it. Who would be willing commit total career suicide to correct a BS paper?

    This is the crux of the problem created by Government funding and eco-extremists….nobody can speak out against the dogma without ending their career and being forced to find another area of research. How many would be willing to throw away 5 to 10 years of specialized training and knowledge and start again?

    If I were Rob, I would at least feel somewhat justified in that I had raised the issue to my superiors and copied a whole bunch of people.

  31. Meanwhile, on the planet where the Associated Press lives:

    “The overwhelming majority of climate scientists say the earth’s surface temperatures have been rising rapidly because man is burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Studies show the rising heat already has led to animals migrating, crop yields decreasing, glaciers shrinking and shore lines shifting. Developing nations, where overwhelmingly poor populations are vulnerable and infrastructure is fragile, are particularly hard hit, leading to calls on industrialized nations that got a head start on pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to do, and pay, more to deal with the results.”

    Posted moments ago at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g4Cf1d5NRoFFdHJCRybrNjwvCqlg?docId=f0aaf0e2d85b46eb8aaf322bd7913159

  32. Rob Wilson did not drop dead moments after publishing this. It can only be taken to represent then the results at this moment in time. Not known is if Rob went on to “play” with the data further to explore the consequences of this discovery.

    Or to put it more plainly, this post is a data point, and a data point does not define a trend. Don’t conclude anything until you know what Rob did next. Certainly don’t assume this is the entirety of his investigation. And don’t conclude that even if this were the entirety of his investigation don’t conclude it is conclusive. That is what the other side does.

  33. Maybe it’s best to let Rob Wilson be. At least he was willing to try something, and tell about it, in stead of dismissing it out of hand.

  34. The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 28) op-ed that Jack Mclaughlin, November 28, 2011 at 5:19 am refers to mentions: … email written by Mr. Mann in August 2007. “I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thus far unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests. …

    McIntyre has indirectly received $20 in financial assistance from fossil fuel interests. My brother-in-law has prospered from the natural gas exploration company that he owns and has been generous with a few of his dollars. Has helped street people and others and has even been generous with his siblings. That generosity has allowed me to be uncharacteristically generous as well, and I once donated $20 to McIntyre’s Tip Jar.

    Just the evidence that Mann was looking for?

  35. Jeremy says:
    November 28, 2011 at 6:54 am
    Before attacking Rob Wilson (the messenger) , consider that someone was upset enough about this situation to release all these emails. Possibly that “someone” was one of those on this email. For a climate scientist working within this clique, to openly criticize the dogma of “the cause” is career suicide.

    Think about it. Who would be willing commit total career suicide to correct a BS paper?

    This is the crux of the problem created by Government funding and eco-extremists….nobody can speak out against the dogma without ending their career and being forced to find another area of research. How many would be willing to throw away 5 to 10 years of specialized training and knowledge and start again?

    If I were Rob, I would at least feel somewhat justified in that I had raised the issue to my superiors and copied a whole bunch of people.

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

    You make a valid point.

    There could be major cracks within the ‘Team’ foundation and as the truth unfolds any ethical / honest players may step forward. I hope it becomes a landslide when it begins. Nevertheless, it should have happened years ago.

  36. TerryS says:
    November 28, 2011 at 1:46 am

    ‘Rob states “but I do not think that it is a problem”.’

    This means “I remain a member of The Team, don’t hit me!” As TerryS and others have pointed out, he found the problem and immediately dropped it. That should tell you everything you need to know about whether it is a genuine problem. Anyone who is serious about this matter will read McIntyre’s extensive analyses of the problem.

  37. See also 1527.txt, where the same guy Rob Wilson writes

    ” From both my TR NH recon and the coral recon, I noted that RE values seem to be grossly inflated.

    The attached figure shows a pseudo-proxy example – in this situation, calibration was made over the 1940-1981 period and verification over the 1897-1939 period.

    Clearly, the predicted values (Lrec) are too high.

    RE = 0.63, while CE = -0.74.

    In this example, a sole reliance on RE would be wrong and could result in a highly bias reconstruction. CE is telling the correct story – i.e. the predicted values should not be trusted.

    I was wondering what you and Keith have experienced over the years.

    There has been criticism by Macintyre of Mann’s sole reliance on RE, and I am now starting to believe the accusations. “

  38. I heard (endured) some global warming propaganda this morning on NPR. The segment lamented about the dire need for “drastic” CO2 reductions immediately by industrialized nations or, basically, the world will burn to a crisp very soon. No mention of the Climategate 2.0 emails and the obvious (to any sane, reasonable individual) mass collusion of “climate scientists” to create a mass hysteria about non-existant global warming. Just the same old tired propaganda from National Propaganda Radio—publicly funded, of course.

  39. “I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre

    I’d suggest he get in touch with Peter Schweizer though the investigation might just take a U-turn on him, I don’t know. Schweizer seems to be pretty good at ferreting out who benefits from various government programs.

  40. @TerryS

    “It must be nice to be so believing that somebody only has to state they think something is true and you believe it. Rob states “but I do not think that it is a problem”. Rob does not perform any experiments to verify this statement. He does not provide any reasoning as to why it would not be a problem.”

    ++++++
    I am quite surprised by your statement above as it is diversionary. The method used by McIntyre to test the method used by Mann et al was clearly described and anyone can reproduce it. You infer that Rob did not know how it worked. Mann knew how it worked and described it in his paper (’98). They all knew how it worked (if they could understand the MM paper examining it).

    Why is it wrong? Principle Components analysis is not a process applicable to the problem Mann was working on. McIntyre’s objection was not specifically that the result was a hockey stick (which it inevitably happens to be) but an observation that the mathematical approach used was invalid. Whether it produced hockey sticks or not would not address the root problem which makes them appear out of the mathematical void.

    I am forced to conclude that it is you who do not understand what the core issues are and thus you have made the statements above thinking that some verification of the statement or why the shape occurs is needed. The experiment was the verification you seek. He was reproducing an experiment and getting the same result. This is called the “scientific method”. I find you comment diversionary. We should rather look to the matter of the Team knowing full well in 2006 that MM98 was junk science.

    Back up one step from the outputs from random inputs with autocorrelations of zero. Principle Component analysis is an invalid step in the chain of events. Further, it was not the only defect as you will quickly find out by reading McIntyre and McKitrick’s paper. The output, whether a flat line, a hockey stick, or coincidentally a reasonable reproduction of the known temperatures, is invalid because of the method used. Even you guess the correct answer in math, you still get a ‘fail’. If you get a wrong answer using wrong methods the mark is no different.

    When one claims that the temperature of the past 1000 years is hockey stick-shaped because of man-made CO2 emissions, one needs to show some correlation between CO2 and temperature. Mann’s paper was supposed to be that proof and the IPCC made much hay repeating his claim to have shown the temperature flat for 1000 years and a steep rise in the 20th century. Mann’s paper is mathematically invalid and would have been failed if submitted as an undergrad term paper, at least at any Canadian university.

    McIntyre and McKitrick reproduced Mann’s method and showed that, because it was a defective method, any large data sets fed into it resulted in a hockey stick output, even when the input was known to be meaningless gibberish like desert tree ring data or random red noise. Rob reproduced McIntyre’s reproduction of Mann et al. Rob claims to have gotten hockey sticks by using white noise, not red, which extends the issue to even greater proportions!

    The hockey stick temperature chart produced by Mann et all in 1998 is mathematically, logically and statistically indefensible, yet indirectly you defend it. Please stop. It has been enough of an embarrassment to the climate community already.

  41. The segment lamented about the dire need for “drastic” CO2 reductions immediately by industrialized nations or, basically, the world will burn to a crisp very soon.

    Wake me up [when] India, Brazil, and China implement “drastic” CO2 reductions. China might actually manage this trough massive nuclear power build-out which it is currently undergoing. While they are building a lot of coal power plants, they are also in a massive nuclear power building phase, too.

    Also, it looks like China won’t have the nuclear waste problem because it appears they will reprocess spent fuel: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8238032/China-masters-nuclear-fuel-reprocessing-technology.html which is something the Jimmy Carter administration put the kibosh on in the US, Regan attempted to revive and Clinton drove a stake into the heart of.

  42. When one claims that the temperature of the past 1000 years is hockey stick-shaped because of man-made CO2 emissions, one needs to show some correlation between CO2 and temperature.

    What bothers me is that we do have a very CLEAR hockey stick in the relatively past and yet nobody attempts to correlate it with CO2. Temperatures when we started to come out of the LIA were a pretty nice “hockey stick” if you were to do a 400 year plot. It would have been a pretty cold period (albeit with some noisy bumps up and down here and there) and then suddenly the temperatures take off skyward. Nobody is blaming that on human activity. So we do have evidence of various hockey sticks in the past. Heck, coming out of the last glacial was the mother of all hockey sticks. What set that off? It wasn’t gradual at all, it was *boom* glacial over! Hockey sticks happen all the time when you don’t have the full context and carefully pick your start and end times. We have one at my house most mornings.

    I personally believe that the way we are measuring things is whack. First of all, the majority of the land on this planet is in the Northern Hemisphere. Land responds differently to things than ocean does. Temperatures over land can be quite noisy. I would expect that a global change that causes little noticeable change in the SH might cause a quite noticeable change over more of the surface of the Earth in the NH. Does CO2 have an impact? Probably. I’m not convinced it has as much of an impact as is claimed, though. I think what has more of an impact are the normal cyclical things we see such as the various multi-decadal oscillations in the atmosphere plus likely oscillations in ocean currents plus things like changes in cloud cover, solar spectrum, solar wind/cosmic ray impacts, etc. These things move about at their own pace. I believe that sometimes they just sort of accidentally line up in such a way to amplify their impact. It is like looking at a signal that is the sum of a lot of different frequencies. At various points they all add up and you might get a large peak. At other points they might all add up in the opposite direction and you get a large dip. The problem is that the periods of these things in nature are only approximate. They aren’t on a fixed period. A cycle might last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. So now you take that same mix of frequencies and begin to randomly frequency modulate them and the result is even more unpredictable. I believe that sometimes things just all line up in the “wrong” direction and we get a major impact. Maybe we have a solar grand minimum (or maybe a few more or less back to back to back [Wolf Minimum 1280-1350, Spörer Minimum 1460-1550, Maunder Minimum 1645-1715, Dalton Minimum 1790-1820] and maybe you get the Atlantic and Pacific oscillations and ENSO all lining up just right and kaboom, it gets really cold where any of those events would not by themselves be enough to create a cold period but all lined up together they can make a doozy. And that probably only happens at very infrequent intervals.

    Or heck, maybe the distribution of cosmic rays in the space through which the solar system flies isn’t even. Maybe every 100,000 years or so we break out into an area that has less of them and so even with a given amount of solar activity there are fewer cosmic rays available to reach the inner solar system and cloud cover drops and for a relatively little while (15% of the time, roughly) Earth has less cloud cover and warms up and then the density of those rays begins to increase again and slowly, over several thousand years, the cloud cover increases and we get progressively colder until we slip into another “shadow” of some sort and the number of these cosmic rays is again reduced.

    I can speculate all day because the whole thing is open to speculation. Nothing has been nailed down except billions of dollars of taxpayer money that is being tossed into programs to “save” the planet from becoming exactly what it has been in the not so distant past and survived that period just fine. You don’t have to go back so far in geological time to find a period when CO2 and temperatures were higher than today and we survived. No “saving” required. It’s just nuts.

  43. crosspatch,

    I don’t see any hockey stick shape coming out of the LIA. There is simply a rising temperature trend line [note the green line showing that the trend is slowly decreasing].

    The hockey stick shape is an artifact of using an arbitrary zero baseline, or an arbitrary temperature baseline for the x-axis. A zero baseline axis is used deliberately, rather than an honest trend line, because it creates a scary looking chart. But when plotting a long term trend line, the hockey stick shape vanishes.

    Nothing unusual is happening, it’s just natural variability.

  44. “I do not think that it is a problem so long as one screens
    against LOCAL temperature data and not large scale temperature”

    So, with this specualtion, we must conclude that the hockey stick that this method generates when fed real data (presumably screened against LOCAL temp data) is really real. Not like the bogus hockey stick the method generates when fed bogus data.

    Did he really not notice what a logical pretzel he had twisted himself into?

  45. eyesonu says: (November 28, 2011 at 8:17 am) wrote:

    “You make a valid point.

    There could be major cracks within the ‘Team’ foundation and as the truth unfolds any ethical / honest players may step forward. I hope it becomes a landslide when it begins. Nevertheless, it should have happened years ago.

    If and when criminal charges are ever brought against one or more players on the “team”, maybe the landslide can be hastened by offering prosecution immunity to a few of the tier 4 bench warmers. That approached worked against the mafia; and somehow I believe that faced with possible jail time, many “ower-tier team members might rat out their bosses.

  46. “The possibility that the results in all cases were heap of dung has been missed by commentators.”

    You deniers have taken this phrase out of context, and it’s a typo on top of that. I originally wrote:

    “The possibility that the commentators in all cases were heap of dung has been missed by the results.”

    Cheers,
    Ed

    /sarc

  47. I’d like to know why the hell these people are using Xcel? [snip] Are you kidding me? Not even Origin? Or Igor? As in proper programs for data analysis? Xcel is a spreadsheet and can do some rudimentary statistics, but scientists should not be using it for data analysis in anything other than rough estimate sort of stuff.

  48. @Jeremy says:
    November 28, 2011 at 6:54 am

    exactly – I respect Robs observations on this problem, he gave a heads up to the top nobs, ball in your court sort of thing, would any of us potentially end our career going further?

    he knew the story, how else to put it?

  49. Interstellar Bill says:
    November 28, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Hey, if we’re wrong it doesn’t matter
    since green energy is so good for us anyway.

    I think this belief has motivated many in the warmist camp, and has made most fence-sitters and journalists reluctant to criticize warmism. One inference I draw is that the failure of renewables to deliver on their promised payoffs, and the growing exposure of their downsides, and the cutbacks in Euro subsidies, plus the ongoing scandals about sweetheart funding deals, will invisibly erode mainstream support for warmism.

  50. Richard Spacek says:
    November 28, 2011 at 5:05 am
    Juliette Jowit of The Guardian has contributed a thorough “Nothing to see here; move along” article explaining just why nothing in Climategate 2.0 is damaging to UAE or “the cause”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/24/leaked-climate-science-emails

    Our side ought to compile a list of notable “points of interest” in the 2.0 e-mails, in brief, bullet-point form. How about a thread with a starter list provided by the thread-author, with an invitation to WUWTers to add on to it?

  51. Wouldn’t you also be able to generate a reverse hockey stick from the tree-ring data? If you instead take those series that have really good correlation with cooling starting from the MWP up until the LIA and then process them identical to the way that Mann did, I would think you would end up with the blade starting at the MWP and the flat “handle” temps extending all the way up to 2000.

  52. Galane says

    So Rob Wilson suspected something was hinky with the plotting program and conducted a proper scientific test of the program and proved beyond any doubt the program was rigged – yet chose to keep it quiet?
    ————-
    Nope. He told a lot of people about it. As is crystal clear if you actually read the email.

    Also he produced a hockey stick from noise, but concluded that it was not relevant to the analysis of the real data. In other words it was a hockey stick but not the same hockey stick.

    So the email is actually evidence that what skeptics say is considered, checked and judgement applied about whether it is relevant.

  53. Crispin in Waterloo says

    Why is it wrong? Principle Components analysis is not a process applicable to the problem Mann was working on. McIntyre’s objection was not specifically that the result was a hockey stick (which it inevitably happens to be) but an observation that the mathematical approach used was invalid. Whether it produced hockey sticks or not would not address the root problem which makes them appear out of the mathematical void.
    —————
    So what happens if the source data actually contains hockey sticks?

    Does a hockey stick produced by noise look exactly the same as a hockey stick produced by aggregating data made up of hockeysticks? Can they be told apart? Is the amplitude different or the point of inflexion at a different place?

    If they can be distinguised then the whole objection to Mann’ s method is bogus.

    Maybe it’s time for you guys to come up with a mathematical proof that Mann’s method is incorrect or at least some formulae that define when the method is appropriate and when it is not. Then at least you will have something rigorous to say.

    So far it’s just been endless repetitions of opinions and I don’t know enough about the methods involved to make an assessment of who is talking out of their backsides.

  54. That settles whether Michael Mann has standing against the Canadian guy for suit. He really DOES belong in the State Pen. If he generated that and then tried to get funding to claim ‘more research needed’ he’s guilty of funding fraud for sure.

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