Hockey stick falsification – so easy a caveman kid can do it

With apologies to the Geico caveman, paleoclimatology isn’t just for grant enabled scientists anymore.

Priceless Climategate email 682: Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that his son did a tree ring science fair project (using trees behind NCAR) that invalidated the centerpiece of Mann’s work:

‘A few years back, my son Eirik did a tree ring science fair project using trees behind NCAR. He found that widths correlated with both temp and precip. However, temp and precip also correlate. There is much other evidence that it is precip that is the driver, and that the temp/width correlation arises via the temp/precip correlation’

From email 682.txt

h/t to Tom Nelson

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103 thoughts on “Hockey stick falsification – so easy a caveman kid can do it

  1. Very amusing! Shame they have no sense or irony
    It would be nice if they could write English – “do not be tempted to guild the
    lily ” indeed!

  2. Oh, the humanity, Tom Wigley has a denier son. I am sure MM must have responded that Tom’s son has not published his results in a buddy-peer review journal, so they must not be true.

  3. LOL. I just happened to read this email before drifting over to WUWT. But it confirms what botanists have been saying for years, to the deaf ears of Warmists.

  4. .
    Is this the standard kind of IPCC ‘peer’ review? Does that mean Mann is just a big kid on an ego-trip?

    .

  5. Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,

    REPLY: Oh please, are you a paid shill for Mann or something, because you don’t seem able to assimilate new information? – Anthony

  6. “John-X says:
    December 1, 2011 at 8:47 am
    We need to get science fair judges we know and trust”

    Damn right! What’s the best way to get the headteacher dismissed for permitting this crap?

  7. I think Eirik (hell of a name you gave your son) may be in some trouble since it appears he published his data and formulas in direct contradiction to standing climate science standards …

  8. This is OT–but Anthony, have you noticed that the nightly lows here in the Sac’to valley (I’m in Sacramento proper) have been running 6-8 degrees below normal for Nov/Dec (and no forecast change in that trend)? Short term ‘weather’, I realize, but that darn set of graphs from Rutan showing cooling have been sticking in my head….Happy Holidays to you and your Team!

  9. Good stuff.
    Same email has this statement:
    “By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t want to give them any way to claim credit.”

    Nice colleagues, aren’t they?

  10. At 10:03 PM 6/5/REDACTED, Tom Wigley wrote:
    Mike,
    Well put! By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t
    want to give them any way to claim credit.
    Also, stationarity is the key. Let me tell you a story. A few years back, my son Eirik …
    Tom.

    Earlier in 682.txt:

    At 05:08 PM 6/5/REDACTED, Tom Wigley wrote:

    Dear all,

    The bottom line is that proxy precip data *cannot* be used as a T indicator except in
    the rarest of circumstances. Even in high latitudes there are problems — see, e.g.,
    Bradley and England, late 1970s report (Ray, I’m sure you will remember this about the
    rareness of precip events).
    I think it is extremely dangerous to leave SB any loopholes here.

    Tom.

    The whole of 682.text would be funnier if it wasn’t so horrible for those taught the scientific method.

  11. “Global Wetting.”

    It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? Wouldn’t have caught on…

  12. imagine that, trees grow faster if they receive more water and slower if less water.

    i wonder if that explains why trees are so stunted in growth in arid areas?

  13. Engineers tend to keep things, like sheared bolts, left hand thread taps, front silvered mirrors etc , one thing I kept for many years was a humble piece of structural (C24) timber (lumber) about 100mm (4 inches) wide cut across the grain, just over 50% of its width the growth rings were widely spaced, the remainder were very tightly packed. It always reminded me that either the climate had changed very rapidly over 1 year and stayed there for about 35 years consequtively or that tree ring data simply indicated availability of moisture give or take a bit of something else.
    Its just too easy to prove the effect, but then who would listen, believe and accept it amongst the AGW group
    regards.

  14. The best snippet about tree growth was the way Ray Bradley plagiarised all of the list of factors affecting tree growth except co2 from a figure caption in a 70’s textbook.

  15. Talking about kids invalidating theories with experiments; for a Science Fair, my daughter grew bean plants in 3 “biospheres” . Each biosphere was made from two – 2 litre pop bottles with the tops cut off where they tapered, then taped together at the open ends where they were cut. This created a tall, skinny growing chamber. One bioshpere was completely sealed (= low CO2) one had small holes to let in a bit of CO2 from the house (= moderate CO2), and the third had large holes (= high CO2). It was winter and parents and a number of kids and a dog occupied the house, so indoor CO2 was higher than the great outdoors.
    The low CO2 plant sprouted but eventually withered away once it used up all the CO2, the moderate CO2 plant grew long and spindly, and the high CO2 plant was lush, green and grew much more extensive roots. My daughter even corresponded with the Idzo’s of the CO2Science website (where we got the idea for the experiment.)
    Compared to the usual fare, I thought it was a unique and delightful experiment. We don’t know why (and I didn’t make a big deal of it), but it didn’t advance to the next round. One thing I do know; there was a well-known “warmist” (activist) on the team of judges!

  16. I hope Tom Wigley’s son made it out of that incident unscathed since Mann doesn’t react well to people criticizing his work. We’ll probably find more email whereby The Team conspires to get a paper fast-tracked into the Science Fair to rebut the experiment and maybe even get some pressure on the principal and school board to have the science teacher removed from his post. Sounds about right.

  17. Two things are needed to restore justice:

    1. A witness protection program in climate science, which includes corrupt journals and media.

    2. An organization to support the victims in legal matters.

  18. Maybe Eirik wad a friend of this little scientist?

    I guess they are both on the Black-List now. Remember the Black-List, folks?

  19. jono says:
    December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

    “…one thing I kept for many years was a humble piece of structural (C24) timber (lumber) about 100mm (4 inches) wide cut across the grain, just over 50% of its width the growth rings were widely spaced, the remainder were very tightly packed. It always reminded me that either the climate had changed very rapidly over 1 year and stayed there for about 35 years consequtively or that tree ring data simply indicated availability of moisture give or take a bit of something else.”

    More likely this was simply a board cut from a tree that grew in an unmanaged stand, and had reached the point where competitive effects from the other trees in the stand started to slow radial growth. Many tree species can hang on for years in such overstocked stands, growing very little each year and thus, laying down the very tight growth rings you observed. Similar growth patterns are seen in stands that have been attacked by defoliating insects for multiple years running.

  20. This statement buy Kevin Trenberth I take exception to: “Maybe we can say womething like this:
    It is well established in current climate studies that warm conditions tend to accompany
    wet conditions in the extratropics in winter owing to the dominant role of the
    atmospheric circulation so that southerlies are warm and moist in the northern
    hemisphere while northerlies are cold and dry. But in summer, the weaker atmospheric
    circulation means that moist thermodynamics is more important so that dry conditions
    favor warm spells and heat waves, as heat from the sun no longer evaporates moisture and
    instead increase temperatures.”

    Sorry but that is just false. Temps and precip just don’t correlate like that. You can look at any climate map from the past and falsify this statement. The only truth here is dry conditions in summer do lend themselves to a greater likely hood of heat waves. But you also have to define a heatwave for a particular region. And that region may experience one with higher humidity as well.

  21. Mann knew exactly what he was doing. He believes that rainfall follows temperature, so that tree growth should likewise follow temperature. When it doesn’t, that data is excluded. He cut off the Briffa data after 1940 because the local temperature in the Urals started falling at that time, and didn’t rise again untill well after 2000. (See the Ostrov Dikson and Dudinka temperature records.) This didn’t match his world view so got excluded. The whole hockey stick is a huge example of cherry-picking. The Tiljander series part of it is just another huge inverted cherry. The whole thing has now been SO thoroughly falsified that this writer can’t see how Michael Mann can still have ANY scientific standing.

  22. I don’t really see how anyone can get past this:

    “By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t
    want to give them any way to claim credit.”

  23. Hopefully, Sam The First will not be the last to catch Briffa in a fox pass.

    So Keith; just which Guild were you contemplating elevating that Lily too; and what is the occasion for such recognition.

    Just don’t go Gold plating anything during that august ceremony.

  24. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am
    “Are you serious? Dr Manns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years [...]”

    You’re saying MBH 98 is bogus? Oh, nice that you’ve seen the light.

  25. obviously the kid is bought and paid for by Shell or Petrocan …poor boy ..oh well every one needs a few shekels to get a bit of bread .

  26. Ed Caryl @1135: agree completely. Ural Bristlecone Pines made the cut for Mann because they correlated to the statistic profile he neededfor his “reconstruction”. That correlation was all but random based on the rainfall, cloud cover, temps, drought history etc etc in that location, but the profile fit up until 1940 — then came Mann’s fraudulent exclusion of data to keep his chart going. Climategate II has moved this from opinion to fact.

  27. PhilJourdan says: “It is getting bad when school science projects refute your magnum opus.”

    It’s getting even worse when Bill Nye, The Science Guy, confirms it. It’s like being praised by Al Gore.

    Jimmy Haigh says: “Global Wetting…” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?”

    Global Inundation?

  28. How odd……
    ….plants in arid places grow when it rains
    and the PDO shifts

    Who’d a thunk it……….

  29. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,”

    Hugh, your ignorance of Dr, Mann’s work is astonishing in light of the enlightened and detailed dissection of his work available on the web. The climategate emails even show some of those devoted to the “cause” have concerns about Mann’s reconstructions. The caliber of trolls parachuting into the skeptical sites is in precipitous decline. Alas,it even makes one yearn for the posts of R Gates who at least tested our knowledge and reasoning.

  30. Look, I am an out-and-out skeptic, however, even I can’t stomach this simplistic argument.

    It is true that people have used generic tree-ring widths as temperature proxies without thinking a about the fact that the width of tree rings are often controlled by multiple factors. So point taken
    when this is the case.

    However, it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using specific tree species that are located in environments that ensure that only one of the many factors controlling tree-ring width dominates over all of the others.

    For instance, this true of the mountain hemlock which are located along the Pacific coasts of Canada and Alaska. This is a species whose tree-ring widths are very temperature sensitive. The mountain hemlocks get all the precipitation that they need to grow. However, there location near the tree-line of the coastal Rocky Mountains means that that their growth is severely limited by seasonal variations in marine air temperature. This means that that they are ideal for studying long-term variations in the pattern of seas surface temperatures (SST) in the North Pacific such as the PDO.

    This is confirmed by the fact that SST’s that are derived using the Sr/Ca ratios measured in corals at Rarotonga in the South Pacific, show essentially the same long-term variations in the PDO proxy record as those derived from PDO reconstructions based upon the tree-ring widths of mountain hemlock along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska (D’Arrigo et al. 2001).

    So there is a place for tree rings widths to be used a temperature proxies if care is taken to think about the factors controlling tree-ring width.

  31. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,

    Actually, Hugh, I suppose in a way you’re right. But I could let Mann’s hockey stick program work on my bank account numbers (and I can assert since I’m now unemployed they have NOT been going up recently), and it would STILL show the “hockey stick” signature curve.

    I’m sure if you wanted to make money, simply take the reciprocal to flip that “hockey stick” curve upside down and use it as the basis of an on-line diet center; whatever people put in as their weight will show as a weight loss curve. Everybody will be “happy”, ’cause it absolutley won’t matter what their true data shows.

    …tree ring data; my bank account; your weight; what’s the diff? (ATBSWD*)

    *Any time-based series will do!

  32. jorgekafkazar says:
    December 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    Jimmy Haigh says: “Global Wetting…” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?”

    Global Inundation?

    Global Incontinence?

  33. Ninderthana says:
    December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm


    So there is a place for tree rings widths to be used a temperature proxies if care is taken to think about the factors controlling tree-ring width.

    Point well taken, Ninder, as long as you DON’T use Mann’s program to calculate the curve.

  34. Yvo de Boier, Revkin, Jones whoring science behind the curtain.
    As I, said, i invited a to found “hidden files”, but who cares,
    ilkka,mononen@gmail.com

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1267.txt&search=Yvo+de+BOER

    *******************************************************************
    “date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 10:49:05 -0500
    from: Andrew Revkin
    subject: Re: NYTimes.com: Dot Earth: Climate Panel May Not Have Time to
    to: Phil Jones , ???@nytimes.com
    don’t suppose you’d be willing to post that as a comment, phil?? : )
    would help jog folks a bit.
    At 10:37 AM 12/6/2007, Phil Jones wrote:

    Andy,
    You hit the nail on the head in your last few sentences.
    There will be less science done on climate change if govts of the
    world ask for another review. Hardly any of the scientists
    who did the last one will want to do it again.
    Also the conclusions aren’t going to change. This talk just
    seems like a delaying tactic to put off decisions till a later
    date. The message isn’t going to change. It’s about time they
    started doing something as opposed to talking about it.
    The issue isn’t like most normal things they deal with. Let’s
    set up a committee and wait for it to report. The issue might then
    go away and our electorate think we’re doing something. They have
    the report now – 2007 – they need to act.
    Cheers
    Phil
    At 15:18 06/12/2007, you wrote:

    []
    [1]The New York Times E-mail This
    This page was sent to you by: ???@nytimes.com
    Message from sender:
    Don’t spend too much time in those tuxedos, all ye Nobelists.
    SCIENCE | December 6, 2007
    [2]Dot Earth: Climate Panel May Not Have Time to Celebrate
    Andrew C. Revkin
    Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary managing the United Nations Framework Convention on
    Climate Change, gave his latest update to the press today in Bali on negotiations over
    next steps under that faltering 1992 climate treaty. Some excerpts are here: Among other
    things, he said, several countries suggested that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change, which [...]
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    Prof. Phil Jones
    Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 ???
    School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 ???
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich Email ???@uea.ac.uk
    NR4 7TJ
    UK
    ————————————————

  35. Ninderthana– fair points, except the gratuitous shot at “simplistic”. The reality is all of the public evidence at this point is that Mann did not control for all of the variables that contribute to tree rings, in fact the evidence is the opposite, he looked for a time series that fit the profile he was looking for, and then he culled out of that database the inconvenient information post-1940. If you think commenters are being too ‘simplistic’ or otherwise being unfair to Mann, urge him to respond fully to the FOIA requests and show the careful controls for all of ther variables. Because, the reality is mann is fighting tooth and nail to refuse to show his work. I think he’s a fraud, and until he shows his work, he has no credibility.

  36. Ed Caryl says:
    “Mann knew exactly what he was doing. ……..The whole thing has now been SO thoroughly falsified that this writer can’t see how Michael Mann can still have ANY scientific standing.”
    =====================================================

    Mann is simply manufacturing an analytical product to fit a market-driven requirement, which is the overwhelming need to get rid of the Medievil Warm Period.

    In the opinion of his customer clientele in the AGW industry, Mann has succeeded admirably, in that his analytical product gets rid of the Medievil Warm Period while also having the outward look and feel of real science to those who don’t know the difference.

  37. Must be missing something here.

    Tree ring widths are being used to infer the local tree temperature.
    Which means that there must be conceptually some calibration curve. Presumably linear.

    For a particular location:
    If temperature is linearly related to rainfall and rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width. So the calibration curve is valid though with possibly with too much uncertainty.

    So logically this is fine and so what exactly is the problem?

    Cause and effect is not the issue.
    The classic example of “correlation is not causation” is the very high correlation between apple sales and the divorce rate.
    However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.

  38. LazyTeenager,

    “For a particular location:
    IF temperature is linearly related to rainfall and [IF] rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width.”

    That’s right Lazy. As they used to say, if my aunt had wheels she’d be a tea trolley.

  39. Ninderthana says:
    December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pmf

    Sure. However, as your reading applies to Mann’s case, what you are asking is not different from asking that we accept proxy data taken only from river banks.

  40. Some trees, and hidden MWP.
    “date: Tue Jun 6 14:30:55 2006
    from: Tim Osborn

    One can see that the MWP and the Roman warm epoch were warmer then the current climate.
    But one can see some delta-like peaks in the reconstruction by the reasn of poor
    sampling for respective time moments.
    Therefore, the second and third reconstruction are created with use the only cases when
    more than 3 or 5 tree-rings
    exist for a year. All peaks are absent in the third reconstruction, but some gaps exist.
    Green line shown in the third reconstruction represent an estimation of temperature
    variations BP”

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=3620.txt&search=moerner

  41. Bob Rogers says:
    December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I think I was in first grade when we did an experiment on how water impacts growth of plants…
    =========================================================================
    I need to get a gov’ment grant, but I think I can prove water makes my yard grow.

  42. http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?search=%3D%3Fgb2312%3FB%3FJUQ1JUM1JUMwJUYyJUMzJUY0IA%3D%3D%3F%3D

    Hockey teams “Mitrokhin Papiers.
    “Hockey teams email “Mitrokhin Papiers” , code book.
    *****************************************************

    “e) p16 – an operations timetable – need to specifically mention the setting
    up of a comprehensive WWW site with public and private pages….

    f) on page 3 of the call- para 3 starting Global climate models… it says
    that a significant challenge for the new centre is …. I am NOT sure we
    have explicitly addressed the question – esp local and regional scales, cut
    down model etc

    g) perhaps in Suggested Research Agenda intro need to specifically mention
    existing close links with Hadley, UGAMP, UKICP, IPCC….. and say will work
    closely with and compliment …

    The list of typos and small changes(done on John Shepherd’s version of the
    draft) :
    1)p3, line 1 – double comma ,,
    2)p3, line 7 – major cultural divides -> major cultural and organisational
    divides
    3)p3, last line – double full stop ..
    4)p4, list of names -Markvart – Dr not Prof
    5)p7 – management structure : bullet point one : line 2 scientists We ->
    scientists. We
    6)p7 – management structure : bullet point 2 : delete open square bracket [
    7)p7 – management structure : bullet point 3 : need a little explanation
    after the Programme Leaders if only to say ‘whose role is described below’
    8)p7 – management structure : text after bullet points : Council’s ->
    Councils
    9)p7 – ditto – ditto : if the Soton & UMIST reps are well known figures then
    I think they should be named now
    10)p7 – ditto – ditto – need to define the Centre’s Science Co-ordinator and
    Communications Manager – is this one post or two ? what are their role’s ?
    how is the Science Co-ordinatoir different from the PL’s or the ED ?
    11) p8 – line 1 – I thought the Management Team mtgs should be MUCH MORE
    FREQUENT than every six months, if not then what body/person is running
    things in the interim ?
    12) p8, para 2, line 3 ‘responsible to implement’ -> ‘responsible for
    implementing’
    13) p8 ditto, last line – double full stop ..
    14) p8, para 3, line 2 : this JIF -> a recent JIF
    14) p8, ditto, ditto, office accommodation has -> office accommodation has
    already
    15) p9, para 2 line 2 – double full stop ..
    16) p9, challenge 1, para 2, line 3 double full stop ..
    17) p10, challenge 2 line 2 delete [and alternative]
    18) p12, challenge 5 para 1, line 5 double full stop ..
    19) p12, ditto, ditto, line 9 ?. to ?
    20) p13, para 2 methodsl -> methods
    21) p19, Jim Halliday, line 2 Director, Energy -> Head of the Energy
    22) p20, Nick Jenkins, email address -> ???@umist.ac.uk
    23) p21, Jonathan Kohler, email address -> ???@econ.acm.ac.uk
    24) p21, Tom Markvart : details are School of Engineering Sciences,
    University of Southampton email ???@soton.ac.uk”
    **********************
    Ilkka

  43. Ninderthana says:
    December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    “However, it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using specific tree species that are located in environments that ensure that only one of the many factors controlling tree-ring width dominates over all of the others.”

    You really want to be careful with this idea. From another point of view, you are selecting experimental subjects for the purpose of maximizing the change caused by the one factor that you selected as the most important before designing the experiment. This approach screams “confirmation bias” and might be a self fulfilling prophecy.

  44. Several commenters on this thread have in one way or another made the claim that water affects plant growth. That sounds plausible; but didn’t a group of scientists (Italian, if I remember correctly) recently refute the equally plausible claim that water can prevent dehydration in humans? Since some of those scientists may now be out of a job, I recommend the “team” hire them to prove that water doesn’t affect plant growth. In today’s post-normal science world, that proof should be a piece of cake.

  45. You guys are being way too simplistic about the tree rings. Every tree grows in its own unique highly variable ecosystem. It takes a lot of trees to make a statement about climate – like a whole forest’s worth. Briffa and Mann’s sampling was absolutely without meaning, too few trees, too many uncontrolled variables, not enough like variables. That’s the world of a tree. If you want to look at climate and trees you look at the movement of forest boundaries, and even then…

  46. “WWF takes Japan & EU, to dance.
    Correspondents Club of Japan last Friday I described the proposal as a
    “joke”. This was well picked up by the written press here.
    Now more details have emerged, the proposal is even weaker than first
    thought. We are faxing a press release out this afternoon to Japan-based
    agencies and press with WWF?s reaction (see below). You might like to join
    in the condemnation of what Japan is proposing and ensure that your country
    flatly rejects the proposal.
    Japan?s Special Ambassador, Toshiaki Tanabe, is on a world tour canvassing
    for the support of other industrialised nations. After visiting Washington
    DC he moved on to Hawaii a few days ago for an informal conference”
    including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Today’s Yomiuri
    Shimbun gave front-page coverage to Australia?s outrage over the stringency
    of the Japanese proposal!”

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0876250531.txt&search=%40post4.tele.dk

    And, the case;

  47. I just read something hilarious in the comments on a political blog, that I had to bring it here as a small and insignificant gift:

    A discussion was underway on the new study from a doctoral candidate (in social psychology) at the University of British Columbia that seems, with a very small statistical sampling and some VERY strange questions, to “prove” that there is reason to consider atheists a class worthy of protection from discrimination.

    Someone responded “Isn’t this how global warming started? Someone just made a bunch of stuff up?”

    Here’s the money response to that, which had me laughing out loud: “Yes–the global warmists used the social scientific method”.

    Enjoy!

  48. Wanna more proofs? They are watrproofs.

    Mike, Ray and Malcolm,
    The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here ! Maybe we can use
    this to our advantage to get the series updated !
    Odd idea to update the proxies with satellite estimates of the lower troposphere
    rather than surface data !. Odder still that they don’t realise that Moberg et al used the
    Jones and Moberg updated series !
    Francis Zwiers is till onside. He said that PC1s produce hockey sticks. He stressed
    that the late 20th century is the warmest of the millennium, but Regaldo didn’t bother
    with that. Also ignored Francis’ comment about all the other series looking similar
    to MBH.
    The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick.
    Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !
    Cheers
    Phil
    PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.
    Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !

    X-Sender: ???@pop.uea.ac.uk
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 6.1.0.6
    Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:40:05 +000 ???
    To: ???@uea.ac.uk
    *******************************************************************************’

  49. There are trees only in about 15% of earth. 70% is water, then we have deserts, mountains.
    How that matters for the so called “world temperature” when we are a talking about variations of 0.XCº …

  50. Greenpeace betting money from UAE,s Mike Hulme to campaign agaist “skeptics”
    (Jo Nova?).
    Results are seen on John Cookse “Skepticalscience”.
    “Dear Mike,

    I am wondering whether you could help us with some urgent (paid) work we
    need doing for Kyoto. Or perhaps you can recommend someone else?

    We want to produce a briefing that replies to all the usual climate
    ‘sceptics’ arguments, in the form of short questions and answers. The
    work would involve supplying short (single paragraph) answers to a list
    of about 15 to 20 questions. Unfortunately, we have (as usual!) a very
    tight deadline – Friday 3 October. We could pay standard rates for the
    work, and it would be fine to have a number of different people helping
    with the answers, provided one person could be responsible for meeting
    the deadline. The report would be published as a Greenpeace
    International one.

    If you are unable to help, perhaps you could suggest someone else in
    your department who could – maybe with help from postgrads/postdocs in
    your department?

    Thanks in advance for your help, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    Helen Wallace

    Dr Helen Wallace
    Senior Scientist
    Greenpeace UK

    Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London, N1 2PN

    Tel: +4 ???-171???
    Fax: +4 ???-171???”
    *******************************************************’

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2099.txt&search=%40ams.greenpeace.org

    Video.

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2099.txt&search=%40ams.greenpeace.org

  51. NK, Rocky Road,

    I am in no way supporting the pseudo-scientific studies of Mann et. al. and the like. If you are going to use tree-rings as proxies for temperature you better be sure that that is in fact what they are measuring.

    Theo,

    There is absolutely no confirmation bias in using the tree-ring widths of trees whose growth is critically dependent on air temperature, to measure air temperature. All you have to do is show that it is reasonable to assume that the strong dependence on air temperature persists through-out the period that the proxy applies. I think that if you are using trees that are on the verge of freezing to death on or near the tree-line of the coastal Rock Mountains, you are probably making a reasonably safe bet.

  52. @lazy teenager

    “However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.”

    I think you just broke my brain. Rather than ask how and risk further damage I’m just going to have a cup of tea.

  53. LazyTeenager says:

    The classic example of “correlation is not causation” is the very high correlation between apple sales and the divorce rate.
    However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.

    This is the sort of lousy thinking that got us into this pickle.

    You cannot make an accurate inference of apple sales from divorce rate from a known correlation outside the period of that correlation. Things change too much.

    And this is precisely what Mann did (and does). Take a known correlation and extrapolate it ludicrously to cover periods for which we have not the slightest idea whether the correlation still holds.

    What is worse, he even omitted any evidence that showed the correlation was, in fact, weak (the “divergence problem”) and also any evidence that didn’t match the required answer (even going to the extent of inverting one series).

    We understand the concept of proxy measurements. We aren’t stupid. We contest that tree rings are remotely accurate enough to be a proxy over centuries.

  54. “A general comment:
    The paper has two main parts: 1) clarifying the importance of the step in 1945 and 2)
    providing new insight into the climatic impacts of volcanic eruptions.”
    The holy story since 2007.”
    *******************************************’

    Caution, if you copy/paste, text is an active HTML document!

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0010.txt

    And some tree, on stage.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=anna+puu+c%27est+la+vie&oq=anna+puu&aq=2&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=3985l7469l0l11594l8l8l0l0l0l0l344l2001l0.1.5.2l8l0

  55. Lazyteenager, depending on the tree and where it is planted, roots can grow wide, more restricted, shallow, and/or deep. I say and/or because slope will affect root characteristics. Underground bedrock and soil characteristics are also very important in terms of bringing ground water to roots. In temperate forests (where things can get pretty dry or pretty soggy depending on weather whims), trees can withstand quite a bit of weather related ups and downs if ground water is available, which boils down to snowpack. So things are not as simple as you might think.

  56. NK, Rocky Road,

    I am in no way supporting the pseudo-scientific studies of Mann et. al. and the like. If you are going to use tree-rings as proxies for temperature you better be sure that that is in fact what they are measuring.

    Indeed, I agree; and that makes two of us.

  57. I got all important & hudden FOIA emails.

    “> 5) How will we make the chosen SCM suitable for use by the
    > policy-making community. At the very least IPCC would have to pay for
    > someone to design a user-interface and guidance material so that the model
    > is easy to use.
    >
    > 6) How will IPCC disseminate the model, presumably it could be put on a
    > web site and distributed on CD-ROM.
    >
    > If we are able to overcome any difficulties it would certainly be another
    > way in which IPCC could be of use to the Convention process. I would be
    > grateful for your views on how we might implement this proposal,
    > particularly 1 ñ 4 as 5 and 6 would come after the TAR has been accepted.
    >
    > I look forward to hearing from you.
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Dave
    >
    > ——————————————————
    > Dr David Griggs
    > IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit
    > Hadley Centre
    > Met Office
    > London Road
    > Bracknell
    > Berks, RG12 2SY
    >

  58. Isn’t Tom/Eirik here saying that width *can* be used as a temp proxy, though width really depends on precipitation, because precip can act as a proxy for temp? I.e. much precipitation means warm weather.

    I suppose the validity of temp/precip correlation depends on the local climate/geography. There’s surely a such correlation here in Scandinavia. Warm, wet air usually comes from the south, cold, dry air comes from the north, though the correlation seems higher during the winter.

  59. But, but, but…

    I thought that warming causes droughts and desertification….
    So how to the trees grow more when it is warmer but the area turns into a desert? I thought deserts were places where it was really warm but nothing grows?

    I was really confused about this until I read an article about water. Seems the darn stuff is reusable. Seriously. For example, one bucket of water can, in theory, be used to drown everyone on earth.

    ‘splains everything!

  60. TREE FELLERS NEEDED Said the sign the sign in the shop window, thats no good to us Paddy theirs only two of us.
    When the people opposed to anything are in high spirits and humour is the prevailing conversation, the end is nigh for the opposition. Satire and humiliation is the best option to combat BS.

  61. “My daughter even corresponded with the Idzo’s of the CO2Science website (where we got the idea for the experiment.)”

    I assume you meant Idso’s The important point is your child learned about experiments and that she can talk to scientists if she wants to and nice scientists reply. What a wonderful lesson! IPPC enabling scientists gave up teaching for their advocacy. When the internet arrived and email was easier and faster than comments to journals, they only thought about how easier it was for them to gatekeep and never realized it was now open to all to participate. With FOI laws, some eventually learned where their paycheck comes from and who owns their work. Some scientists still don’t understand that the ground shifted while they were snarking a paper in peer review with their buddies.

    Some scientists and educators do understand and communicate here, I thank you. Some want to put the genie back in the elite bottle (for their eyes only). Ironically, that’s the last thing needs and the least likely to occur.

  62. “I’ll bet someone within the email treasure trove ratpack wants to beat that little kid up.”

    $1000 says they don’t.

  63. Lazyteenager – I think you’ll find that the first thing people tend to do after a divorce is to try to regain some self respect. In my humble experience, many folks do this by trying to lose weight, get fit so as to generally increase their attractiveness as they search for another partner. My next paper intends to show how this leads to an increase in healthy eating and clearly the correlation with apple sales, demonstrates irrefutable evidence of my theory. I have discussed this in depth with a number of my mates and we have reached a consensus – this is settled science.

  64. Dendrochronology tells us only one thing with any precision – how old the tree is.

    When I was a child we had two silver birch trees in our front yard about 4m apart. They were planted on the same day, received the same water and sun. After 20 years one tree was around twice the diameter of the other. Go figure.

  65. The more I am seeing posted from the emails the more it looks like SB03 was good paper that was right on target.

  66. Anthony, what’s the significance of using mixed ponderosa and scrubland at an elevation of about 6,000 feet from the Front Range conifer forest belt? People are wondering.

  67. Sigh… where have you been getting the dope you’ve been smoking Lazy?

    Tree ring widths are being used to infer the local tree temperature.
    Which means that there must be conceptually some calibration curve.

    Inferred from statistics, yes, but never empirically determined. This is where circular reasoning is applied.

    Presumably linear.

    Assumed, yes, but known not to be true.

    If temperature is linearly related to rainfall and rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width. So the calibration curve is valid though with possibly with too much uncertainty.

    So logically this is fine and so what exactly is the problem?

    Logically it is not fine. You started with three false premises. None of the relationships can be assumed linear (correlated and linear are not the same, either) without some form of justification, and the last relationship is known NOT to be linear. And, in fact, the correlation of the latter is poor since, well, 1940 as we now know.

    Mark

  68. bananabender says:

    When I was a child we had two silver birch trees in our front yard about 4m apart. They were planted on the same day, received the same water and sun. After 20 years one tree was around twice the diameter of the other. Go figure.

    The main driver of tree growth between trees of identical species planted together in a stand is sunlight. I’m betting that the smaller tree grew in the shade of the larger one initially, and that this disadvantage increased over time as the one tree became dominant.

    In a stand of trees, the stems per acre start out extremely high (thousands of stems – trees – per acre.) By the time they are mature trees, the dominant trees in an unmanaged stand will have killed off hundreds of trees, literally, by depriving them of sunlight. A forester, managing a stand of planted trees, will examine the growth rings of trees in the stand, and will order a thinning of the stand when the growth rings begin to show slower growth. Following the thinning, the trees left in the stand have less competition for sunlight and the growth rings will increase in size for several years after which the process will repeat itself.

    A tree can survive for decades in the shade of a dominant tree, and if that dominant tree is removed, usually by a storm or just toppling with age, the growth rings of the smaller, surviving, tree will often increase in size and the tree will eventually become a dominant tree, assuming it managed to maintain decent health while overtopped.

    This is why the growth ring business always bothered me. It’s sunlight, not precipitation nor temperature, that determines growth rings in individual trees in a stand of trees, and how do we know what the condition of the stand was hundreds of years ago. Was it a lone tree, a dominant tree, a tree in an even-growth stand, an overtopped tree for a decade that was then released by removal of a dominant one? I can see the case if the “stand” generally consisted of single, isolated, trees on a mountaintop, but even then, what was the case 200 or 400 years ago?

    And on top of all this, we have the absurdity that the tree growth record didn’t fit the known instrumentally-measured record? This is approximately equivalent to claiming cigarettes were good for you 200 years ago (based on the same sort of evidence, i.e., none) but discarding recent data because it doesn’t fit the “modern record” where we have statistically, and medically, determined that cigarettes shorten, not lengthen, lifespans. Put another way, the kid was right; Mann was wrong. Unfortunately, Mann had better funding for getting his “ideas” across.

  69. Young Eirik has illuminated much more than she realises.
    I believe that it is very likely that rainfall controls the temperature.
    And that rainfall is a good proxy for the percentage of cloud cover.
    And cloud cover is controlled by ——— (fill in at your taste).

  70. @Rod,
    the trees didn’t shade each other at any stage.

    I should add that in any wild plant or animal population there is a considerable amount of genetic diversity. This will effect the growth rate of individuals.

    Modern tree plantations normally consist of tissue cultured clones. One of the reasons is to eliminate variations in growth rates.

  71. “… in a buddy-peer review journal…”

    I would like to see that phrase employed every time someone pontificates about “peer-reviewed science”. As in, “Wait, was it peer-reviewed, or buddy-peer reviewed?”

  72. I’ve been troubled by tthe reliance on tree ring data as a temperature proxy since I first heard of Mann’s hockey stick. The truth is that the kid’s experimenta;l conclusions are quite correct – you can’t, without significant supporting evidence from other sources, rely on tree ring data as a temperature proxy. If it means anything, I spent my entire working carreer studying, publishing, and teaching plant phsiology. I have also written several textbooks on the subject. The uptake of water is the driving force for plant cell expansion (i.e., growth) and it is quite plausible that trees may produce larger rings during a cool, wet season than during a warm or hot, dry season. In brief, water is the limiting factor in plant growth, not temperature. Regardless of temperature, the width of the rings is ultimately dependent on the availability of water.

  73. I note that no one has suggested tree ring width as a proxy for CO2 concentration and availability. In thick stands of trees and vegetation, I believe that when the sunlight is brightest, the CO2 levels can fall steeply, absent a strong air flow from elsewhere. Like a cornfield that stops growing at midday for lack of food gas.

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