The 1000 year Australian hockey itch

From the University of Melbourne, I’m sure Julia and Flannery are thrilled at this paleo-reconstruction, and of course, the blame goes on Mann, er man. I find it interesting though that the lead author, Dr Joelle Gergis, thinks of her science work as a “guerrilla war”. From “Science Matters”:

image

Seems like just another angry Michael Mann clone to me.

At the outset of this project in 2010, they said:

Australian climate scientist Professor Chris Turney from the University of Exeter, UK says this meeting will allow us to place Australian records in a global context and gives us an opportunity to fully understand natural climate variability.

Yet in the current press release, the phrase “natural climate variability” is not mentioned. WUWT?

1,000 years of climate data confirms Australia’s warming

In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region over the last 1000 years.

The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals and ice cores to study Australasian temperatures over the past millennium and compared them to climate model simulations.

Lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne said the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.

“Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” she said.

The study published today in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.

She said using what is known as ‘palaeoclimate’ or natural records, such as tree rings, corals and ice cores, are fundamental in evaluating regional and global climate variability over centuries before direct temperature records started in 1910.

Dr Gergis collated these natural records provided by decades of work by more than 30 researchers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

The reconstruction was developed using 27 natural climate records calculated in 3000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust.

She said reconstructions of regional temperature not only provide a climate picture of the past but also a significant platform to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate variability.

The study is part of a global collaboration, PAGES, Past Global Changes Regional 2K initiative, which is working to reconstruct the last 2000 years of climate across every region in the world in order to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate change projections.

Collaborators include the Climate Change Research Centre and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of New South Wales where the climate modeling was conducted.

###

The study was funded by the Australian Research Council, Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Past Global Changes (PAGES).

Of course, in true Mannian form, the press release has no link to the actual paper. We aren’t supposed to look to closely at this things don’t you know?

And, searching the JoC journal index of the most recent issue shows no mention of this paper, so it must have just been accepted. Does anybody have a copy of this in part or full?

UPDATE: via Marc Hendrickx, thanks.

Paper (PDF)

Briefing powerpoint presentation (PDF)

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137 thoughts on “The 1000 year Australian hockey itch

  1. “The reconstruction was developed using 27 natural climate records calculated in 3000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust.”

    Wow, so many records and calculations, the results must be robust!!

    or….. GIGO, garbage in, garbage out???

  2. This quarters City Journal has an article ‘APOCALYPTIC DAZE” which is an excellent analysis of why the intellectuals always need to preach doomsday messages such as global warming. They just can not help themselves.

  3. Skiphil, you took the words outta my mouth. How does [exactly] 3000 different ways of calculating 27 variables really make it more robust? Bloviation, that’s how. This is as meaningless a drivel-statement as could be mustered.

    • It makes it robust to method. One of the complaints that is lodged against Mann, rightly so in some cases, is that his METHOD creates the desired result.

      Approaching the problem by using many different ways of combining the 27 variables does in fact give you a more robust result. It is robust WRT the method of combination.

      Now, I suppose if we found a correlation to solar activity you would be praising the exhaustive approach they used. But since you dont like the researcher you let that color your judgement,

      This is the very same mistake that Mann made when he rejected McIntyre’s criticisms out of hand. He didnt like Steve, so he assumed there must be something wrong with his requests and his math.

      Folks would do better to adopt a scientific approach. Get the data. get the code. Look at what they did and make an INFORMED criticism

  4. 27 records calculated 3000 different ways. Maybe cherry picked rather than robust could be a more accurate term unless of course all 3000 ways made it into the final data. Then it would just be GIGO.

  5. In a world that’s some 4 billion years old, they declare that if something hasn’t happened in the last 1000 years then it can’t possibly be natural.

    Right.

  6. See Cook et al., 2000

    With the collection and dating of additional sub-fossil Huon pine wood from Mt. Read, Cook et al. (1996a) extended the Tasmanian temperature reconstruction back to 800 BC. New spectral analyses of this 2792-year reconstruction again verified the probable existence of the previously identified inter-decadal and century-scale oscillatory modes, now with mean periods of 31, 56, 78, and 200 years. Using singular spectrum analysis (Vautard et al. 1992), Cook et al. (1996a) showed that these oscillatory modes were present throughout the record, but were strongly amplitude modulated. Collectively, they explained about 12% of the variance in the unfiltered temperature reconstruction and about 41% of variance in the 10-year low-pass filtered reconstruction. Interestingly, these modes could also account for approximately 51% of the warming over Tasmania since 1965, with the remaining 49% due to other processes. Finally, Cook et al. (1996a) showed how these natural oscillatory modes could theoretically mask future warming trends over Tasmania due to greenhouse gas forcing.

    “New spectral analyses of this 2792-year reconstruction again verified the probable existence of the previously identified inter-decadal and century-scale oscillatory modes, now with mean periods of 31, 56, 78, and 200 years.”

    Reconstructions are built from real data (AKA observations). The *real data* “again verified the probable existence of the previously identified inter-decadal and century-scale oscillatory modes, now with mean periods of 31, 56, 78, and 200 years.”

    A 200-yr “century-scale” oscillation would look a lot like a “long-term trend” to people unfamiliar with spectral analyses. Like this:

    Tasmania 1800-2011

    I used a tree ring reconstruction from Mt. Read and the instrumental record from Hobart Airport…

    Tasmania Map

    To build a quick warm season climate reconstruction for Tasmania over the last ~3,600 years…

    Tasmania 3600-yr

    The last 60 years may very well have been the warmest 60-yr period over the last millennium. It might be 0.1°C than the 60-yr peak in the early 1400′s. So what?

    Prior to the Little Ice Age, these sorts of peaks were hit roughly once every 200 years. The peaks were anywhere from 15.2-15.5°C. The average temperature at Hobart Airport over its 54-yr record is 15.5°C.

    The Little Ice Age was possibly the coldest part of the Holocene since the 8.2 KYA Cooling Event. The LIA was cold because the millennial-scale cycle was in its cold phase, there were several deep solar minima and there was an anomalous period of volcanic activity ca 1200-1400 AD, most notably the ca 1300 AD eruption of El Chichón. The peaks of the ~200-yr cycle were suppressed by from ~1400 AD through the end of the LIA.

    From the Guardian article

    Dr. Steven Phipps, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, who carried out the modeling, said the study demonstrated strong human influence on the climate in the region.

    “The models showed that prior to 1850 there were not any long-term trends and temperature variations were likely to be caused by natural climate variability which is a random process,” he said.

    “But [the modeling showed] 20th-century warming significantly exceeds the amplitude of natural climate variability and demonstrates that the recent warming experience in Australia is unprecedented within the context of the last millennium.”

    Modeling will show whatever the modeler wants it to show.

    The paper is pretty interesting. Here’s their proxy reconstruction ensemble:

    Gergis Ensemble

    One of the things that immediately caught my eye was the fact that the onset of the anomalous warming in their multi-proxy reconstruction coincided with the anomalously cold period in the early 1900′sand that when I plot their reconstruction on my much longer reconstruction, the last 60 years do not appear anomalous at all.

    Gergis in Late Holocene Context

    Gergis et al. have once again rediscovered the warm-up from the Little Ice Age.

  7. I heard an interview with Dr Joelle Gergis during my morning commute (ABC on the WRN over SiriusXM). If I recall correctly, she said they saw some evidence of natural variation, but nothing as severe as in the recent record. The “3000″ bit jumped out at me. She seemed to be saying they kept torturing the data until it confessed. Typically, the suck-up doing the interview didn’t ask anything but softball questions.

  8. Adrian Smits says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

    cherry picked rather than robust could be a more accurate term

    Exactly! You get what you pay for.

  9. “natural records, such as tree rings, corals and ice cores”?
    What, no tea leaves, chicken entrails, or smoked fungi?
    What I see here is not mensuration science. It is that someone has collected bits of string and called the collection a ‘rope.’

  10. “Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone,”

    Why not?

  11. “. . . that the lead author, Dr Joelle Gergis, thinks of his science work as . . .”

    “her,” not “his”

  12. “Folks would do better to adopt a scientific approach. Get the data. get the code. Look at what they did and make an INFORMED criticism.” Seconded. Anything else is driven more by ideology than a search for understanding of nature.

  13. Hi Glenn,

    From the link you posted:

    “The unusual 20th century warming cannot be explained by natural variability alone…”

    Why not? They don’t say why not. Natural variability has changed global temperatures by more than ten degrees over very short, abrupt times during the past 12,000 years. So their statement is the usual Argumentum ad Ignorantium: ‘Since we can’t think of any other reason for the 0.09º rise, then it must be due to anthropogenic forcing.’ <– [the argument from ignorance.]

    And note that the cherry-picked ['last 1,000 years'] time frame is also limited to Australasia. It is not global, only a regional variation. Despite all those problems, they probably still got their grant.

  14. the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.
    ==================
    Well of course not…..
    The first 500 years temps were falling into the LIA…
    The second 500 years, temps were much lower and none of that rising record would “match” because you start low and go high………..

  15. Thanks to Mosh for linking to the paper. Its a neat format, although I found it hard to see the location and type of proxies used without constant zooming. Must be some easier way to view all the data so I will have a fiddle.

    As far as I can see The Australasia part of the study has 27 records. Around nine are in Australia and the remainder in New Zealand. As far as I can tell the NZ ones are mostly tree rings whilst the Australian ones include sediments. Its a very large area for so few records covering such a long period and this imprecise factor is multiplied many times as so many of the records are tree rings. Tree rings can not give us the means to calculate precise temperatures.

    I have been looking at the 13th and 14th Century records in the archives of Exeter Cathedral today and came across a tree ring study made by English Heritage (a Govt Body) of the timbers of this thousand year old building. The study was from around 1999. It said that tree rings were good for approximate dating (which I accept and was the prime purpose of the study) and that it could tell us years that were worse or better than average climatically (moisture etc during the growing season) but cautioned against trying to determine any more precise details than that.

    Somewhere between today and 12 years ago the study of tree rings became highly elevated in importance and scope and diverged from its original purpose of dating. I can only think it was Dr Mann who gave it the undeserved celebrity it enjoys today.Tree rings are not a precise science however much they are promoted as being so.
    tonyb

  16. steven mosher says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

    “Folks would do better to adopt a scientific approach. Get the data. get the code. Look at what they did and make an INFORMED criticism”

    That is a fairly reasonable suggestion, except that we are now in the age of PR “science” where the growth in the length of time between the release of the hyperbolic announcement of a study and the actual availability of the work is accelerating about a thousand times faster than the worst case claims about sliding ice sheets. The compliant media who will be ballyhooing this PR aren’t really interested in including any cautionary comments right now. By the time the paper actually appears their interest will have disappeared entirely. When it finally appears this study might turn out to be sterling work but, based on 2-3 years of experience with the ongoing flood of this type of nonsense, I suspect there is a rather direct relationship between the length of time between the PR and the actual availability and the overall quality of the product. That’s just an eyeball assessment and hypothesis, but perhaps a stat guy like yourself could do an analysis to contradict my perception.

  17. Dave Wendt says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    steven mosher says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

    BTW, as an addendum to the above I would note that the metadatabase you linked included 196 works. Any clues yet on which 27 actually made the cut or what the selection methodology was that eliminated the other 86%?

  18. First things first. Everyone understand this: there is nothing wrong with the climate.

    It was the bullshit and fully debunked hockey stick that implied that there was something wrong. There is nothing wrong.

  19. Mosher is right….BUT
    People see a great wrong, they are not scientists. They are not as capable as Mosher, with regards to the data or the code,
    they dont like the tone or the approach or the tenor of the alarmists

    or they have an objection to alarmism

    so What do they do Steve ? keep quiet ? cheer from the sidelines ? make funnies ?

    what would you have them do ?

  20. It seems to me that this report confirms the existence of the medieval warm period affecting australia 1000 years ago. Why dont they report that to the IPCC?

  21. The “Last thousand years” is a hockey stick meme in research, whatever happened in Australia in that time will be connected to the same patterns of El Nins as South America, as far as I’m getting to grips with the subject, and there’s lots of research already done which should have this, such as: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/quelcoro.htm

    “Coropuna is located on the first rise of the Andes, right above the Pacific Ocean, so the ice cores should record changes in the El Nino-La Nina cycle, a key component of climate variability.”

  22. All I can tell you is that its getting colder here in NSW. We’re not officially into winter yet but we’ve been getting frosts on and off over the last two months. This morning, as I type, it’s -5.5 C. (around 20 F, I believe) and the countryside is white with frost. I don’t know how long they can keep insisting it’s getting warmer when it clearly and obviously is not.

  23. ” … calculated in 3000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust.” As Dr. Goebbels used to say, a lie repeated 1000 times becomes a truth. Now we get a triple-truth.

  24. seems to be a wiggling of words too…..

    “The findings show that no other period in the last 1,000 years matches the temperature rises Australia and the region has experienced in the last 50 years.”

    “the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.”

    No periods would match the “rises”…only half of that 1000 years would temps be rising…and each “period” would start with a lower temp and end with a lower temp….

    No warm periods would match the “warming”……for the same reason….starting at a lower temp and warming to a lower temp

    The first 500 years were falling into the LIA….the last 500 were rising from the LIA

    I don’t see any reason to debate the “science” at all….

  25. “The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, ”

    Tree rings? Really? Australia has boreal forests? The theory tree rings MIGHT be more temps than water budget meters only was surmised to apply to tree-line flora. That’s why bristlecones and trees at Yamal in Siberia are looked at. Is this Australian study a new avenue in climate science??

  26. Thevauthors are interviewed at this link http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/climate-research-shows-human-caused-warming/4016322

    A statement made in the interview is “We used climate modeling to actually look at what the drivers of climate are, and by using the modeling, we were able to show that lateral factors alone cannot explain the warming that we saw during the 21st century.” correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this mean that they use models which ignore some natural factors to prove that the model they are using is correct?

  27. “Lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne said the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950. ”
    ————–
    At JoNova:
    “A team of independent engineers, scientists, statisticians and data analysts (brought together by the joannenova blog) has been going through the Australia Bureau of Meteorology records (BOM). They’ve audited some 8.5 million daily observations across 237 High Quality and other close sites in Australia.

    “This audit of a large sample of daily temperature observations at all sites associated with Australia’s High Quality Temperature Network provides convincing evidence that the record is of very poor quality and is replete with errors.

    “The large amount of uncertainty in the records of so many sites means that homogenisation as practised by BOM researchers must be in question, and with it all analyses of Australia’s temperature trends plus the calibration of past proxy studies. ”

    Best to read the whole post here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/australian-temperature-records-shoddy-inaccurate-unreliable-surprise/

  28. Looking thru the metadatabase that Mosher linked, the breakdown appears to be approx. 50%+ tree ring proxies, 40%+ coral proxies, and 5%+ marine sediments. The Idsos have also assembled a database of proxy studies which includes the study area involved here.

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    The differences in format and nomenclature make it difficult to determine which studies may be included in both but the proxy types included suggests the overlap will not be large. Since the Idsos database is admittedly focused on studies which indicate a warmer MWP, if those studies have indeed been excluded, systematically or otherwise, it would raise questions, in my mind at least, of just how dedicated these authors were to developing a true record.

  29. There could be a major problem with this study. Most of the data are from New Zealand tree-ring studies and we must remember the problems that NIWA got themselves into with its “Seven-station Series”.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison between New Zealand’s tree ring record from this study and the recent re-analysis of New Zealand’s Temperature Record

  30. They should have tried the last 12,000 years. Minoan & Roman inconvenience.

    It must be co2! Why? We can’t think of anything else. Where is the evidence?

  31. Whoops! I forgot to include the ice core studies in my breakdown, which would reduce the coral studies from 40% to approx 30% with the ice cores accounting for approx 10%.

  32. It is worth noting that the commencement of the temperature record in Australia in 1910 is when the (then recently established) Australian Bureau of Meteorology commenced its records. It is not the case that there are now prior records — just that they are dismissed as unreliable. The official records therefore miss the ‘Federation Drought’ that followed the formation of the Australian Federation in 1901.

    I think there is always need for caution when the basis of data changes, especially if we do not have continuity, but it would be interesting to see what the actually temperature records before 1910 say. Species like Huon Pine are particularly slow growing, and I’m not sure how sensitive they are to temperature (as opposed, eg, to moisture). It would seem strange to prefer them as temperature proxies when actual observations are available, regardless of problems in the observational data.

    David Middleton: Interesting analysis, but why Hobart Airport? Wouldn’t Hobart have a longer record? Are there not stations close to Mt Read (eg Strahan)? How long do they stretch back?

  33. Whilst (there it is again, Anthony) this ‘research’ may have some value I have 2 questions:

    1. shouldn’t we wait for the peer review process to grind through its laborious processes before accepting this as a forward step in knowledge? I offer:

    “None of the experts who have scrutinized the specimens and the gravel pit and its surroundings has doubted the genuineness of the discovery.”
    — William Gregory, in Natural History reporting on the Piltdown Man fossils

    2. so what if our temps are on the rise? Flim Flammery’s (an Australian Climate Change Commissioner with 180,000 climastrophic reasons per year) prognostications have all failed and, as the 60 years of warming since 1950 haven’t swept Oz into the sea, why will the next 50 or a 100 do so?

  34. The climate (funding) is very, very sensitive…..

    I’m getting tired of this virtual gaia crap

  35. Ally E. says:
    May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm
    All I can tell you is that its getting colder here in NSW. We’re not officially into winter yet but we’ve been getting frosts on and off over the last two months. This morning, as I type, it’s -5.5 C. (around 20 F, I believe) and the countryside is white with frost. I don’t know how long they can keep insisting it’s getting warmer when it clearly and obviously is not.

    Ally, don’t you know that cold temperatures are only “weather” and warm temperatures are manmade climate change? /s

  36. hmm.. the last 50 years..

    all the previous period was constructed from proxies, but how was the last 50 years constructed..

    From land temp measurements (often affected by urbanisation., have they accounted properly for that.. I doubt it very much.. the AGW bretheren never do)

    do they maintain tree proxies.. if they have, do they correct for the rise in the CO2 level, which make tree much more efficient..

    Oh , and, What errors range are they claiming for their temperature reconstruction ?

  37. I did my PhD in an Australian University would not trust an Australian Scientist as far as I could throw him/her especiailly an environmentalist

  38. Having a look at a previous paper by Dr Gergis.
    “On the long-term context of the 1997–2009 ‘Big Dry’ in South-Eastern Australia: insights from a 206-year multi-proxy rainfall reconstruction”

    http://climatehistory.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Gergis_Climatic_Change_2011.pdf

    We can get an idea of her methods thus:
    …variability is represented by the unfiltered monthly IPO anomaly normalised to a 1911–
    1995 base period averaged over a May–April year and smoothed with an 11-year running mean.

    Lots of cherry picking ? 11 yr running mean . May-April year ?

  39. Streetcred says:
    May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    She is also a climate hypocrite [according to her bio]:

    She is an avid world traveller has who has visited 24 countries.

    undoubtedly spewing carbon dioxide to get to each and every one since she lives in Australia.

  40. The beauty of this new Alarmist pronouncement is that it comes against a backdrop of persistently cooler/cold weather in Eastern Australia. It is ‘meant’ to reinforce the fundamental Truth of Warmism and strengthen the resolve of the Faithful…but in reality it is having the opposite effect, namely eroding belief in Warmism.
    Being told that Australia is warming up when you’re piling on extra sweaters and worrying about paying your heating bill is simply a sign that the ‘Story’ has losts its spin and is falling like a stone!

  41. @dukeofurl

    and if you look at table 2 in that paper, NOT ONE of the longer term proxies is in the area they are studying.. the closest being in Tassie, which has totally different climate drivers.

    DOH !!!

  42. “so What do they do Steve ? keep quiet ?”
    That would be my suggestion. It is also my practice 99%+ of the time.
    The one infelicity of WUWT is that sometimes the signal to noise ratio isn’t as high as it might be. (n.b. I am not saying that about your comment, Optimist.)
    Not to worry. If the paper is flawed, somebody here will have the goods on it within a couple of days.

  43. Well who would have guessed that there is thousand year old ice in Australia. I’d be very interested to see this paper.

  44. Ally E. says:
    May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    All I can tell you is that its getting colder here in NSW. We’re not officially into winter yet but we’ve been getting frosts on and off over the last two months. This morning, as I type, it’s -5.5 C. (around 20 F, I believe) and the countryside is white with frost. I don’t know how long they can keep insisting it’s getting warmer when it clearly and obviously is not.

    You must be a way inland or high up. Here in Sydney it is not getting below 8C at night, and gets to 21 or 22C in the day, which is a degree or two above normal for this time of year.

    The summer, however, was a complete bust, as is normal with El Nina, especially twice in a row. I’m off to the tropics to live later in the year. I’ve had enough of winters.

  45. The conclusion that the increrase is “highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone” may be correct.

    Given the quality of the data against which her comparisons rest. Changes in Land use / Land cover are still in the mix as possible explanations.

  46. The “it’s unusual, so it must be unnatural” kind of conclusion isn’t very scientific. Rather like: “We can’t think of anything else, so it must be CO2″.

  47. Greg O’Donnell, on May 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm, said: “… correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this mean that they use models which ignore some natural factors to prove that the model they are using is correct?” 

    Consider yourself corrected. As Steven said, you need to look at the methodologies, code, etc. Then you can make statements about their models’ validity. You haven’t shown that their models “ignore some natural factors”.   JP

  48. Anthony, if you look in the tips and notes section I posted about this article yesterday and included a link to an archive with the actual paper for your interest.

  49. Once again, a model (ok 3000 models) couldn’t explain why temperatures increased, so it must have been CO2! The 20PPM in the atmosphere put there by humans have outwrestled the oceans and overcome the atmospheric H2O, which account for most of the other GHG’s. How? We don’t know, but CO2 did it, and we are sure it was CO2 because we couldn’t find any natural causes for it. I personally think it was the 20 PPB of methane from cow farts (/sarc), but I can’t prove that either even if I run 3000 simulations. Why even give this garbage any consideration at all?

  50. Mooney in the article was implying that blog scientists are the guerrillas, waging an asymmetrical war against real scientists that don’t want to fight, but just work on their research.

  51. The study is part of a global collaboration, PAGES, Past Global Changes Regional 2K initiative, which is working to reconstruct the last 2000 years of climate across every region in the world in order to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate change projections.
    ————–
    Looks like the scientist’s interpretation of the “science is settled” phrase is quite different from the meaning you guys use when you apply it as a taunt.

    They are still in there beavering away to check and verify and refine everything.

  52. I have not yet analysed the paper and as such have no opinion on its quality. However two thoughts occur from reading the above:

    – > “scientists have used 27 natural climate records”

    When did “temperature proxies” become “natural climate records”? The latter term seems to imply much more certainty than the former.

    – > “Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000 year context is
    – > highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone …”

    1000 years is not long in geological time. Even if the statement can be sustained (on which I must confess a certain scepticism) it seems unreasonable to infer that “not in the last 1000 years” means “never”.

  53. The problem for the self declared Guerilla science authors would be to explain, why every single Hockey Stick paper tells the opposite story, once their errors are corrected, and the high quality reconstructions, such as Bond or Mangini, of course, support just the opposite as well.

  54. CRUTEM3 SH is now around .4C below 1998 which is around when all the proxies ended.

    I think we can agree as of 2011 in the SH ( according to this proxy reconstruction ), it is definitely colder than the MWP.

  55. They admit there are uncertainties in their predictions into the future. Does this mean they are admitting to uncertainties in the consensus of climate change?

  56. A temperature minimum was reached about 750 (AD) in the Dark Ages, from which it warmed to the peak in the Middle Ages warming period about 1100AD. There was a slight cooling about 980 to 1030 (similar or alike to the 1940-1975 dip).

    To compare Apples with apples and oranges with Oranges, perhaps it be reasonable to compare those 350 years with a run from about 1690 AD (the coldest part of the Little Ice Age) to 2010 (“the hottest year ever” !) —or about 320 years, these being roughly equivalent. How would the two match? Would “man’s fingerprint” be quite so indelibly inscribed?

    The years compared seem to be a bit out of step with the past record, so the trend may also be out of sync.

  57. I have only a few questions. The first being how did Dr. Gregis pick the 27 records? There were quite a few more that the ones that they used. What method did she use? How did she arrive at her conclusions without cherry picking?

    Secondly, much of Austrailia lies in the tropical South Pacific. Yet, the IPCC says that in the tropics, AGW’s signal is aloft and not at the surface. How can Gregis square this circle? Has the physics of AGW changed?

    Thirdly, how sure is she that her tree-ring proxies reflect changes in temperature and not precipitation or CO2 fertilization? Will we have to wait for another layman a la Steve McKintyre to uncover the problems with certain proxies?

    Other than that, the paper looks interesting. I wonder how many of the proxies can be used to chart changes in ENSO? Has anyone done any conclusive work with any of these proxies and ENSO?

    Finally, there is the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand. I wonder if any of these proxies can match the waxing and waning of the glacier. As far as I know, the Franz Josef Glacier growth and decay mirrored the LIA fairly well.

  58. Weather Channel declines to join the current season of Australian Government sponsored climate fear propaganda:

    AUSTRALIA’S weather is not as wild as a decade of drought, two years of floods and a series of cyclones suggests, a global study shows.
    Meteorologists at The Weather Channel performed an independent review of severe weather around the world, drawing on decades of data held by the World Meteorological Organisation.

  59. The last paragraph of the abstract

    In 94.5% of the 3000-member reconstruction ensemble, there are no other warm periods in the
    past 1,000 years that match or exceed post-1950 warming observed in Australasia. The unusual
    20th century warming cannot be explained by natural variability alone, suggesting a strong
    influence of anthropogenic forcing in the Australasian region.

    These people need to go back and redo some undergraduate science classes, particularly those that deal with the null hypothesis and statistical significance.

    I can’t believe such an obvious error made it through peer review, but then this is climate science.

  60. Anthony

    Here is a 15 year projection for a “permanent El Nino”

    ‘That’s a theory endorsed by Dr Russ Schnell, a scientist doing atmospheric research at Mauna Loa Observatory, 11,000 feet up on Hawaii. “It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they’re going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we’ll go into a permanent El Nino.“‘

    http://bbc.in/daNhmH

  61. “Only records that were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the
    226 detrended instrumental target over the 1921–1990 period were selected for analysis."

    Oh Oh. Cherry picking?

    "Instrumental HADCRUT3v combined land and ocean temperature data over the 1900–2009 period shown in green"

    Global or SH?

  62. Can’t access the paper without paying for it so difficult to critique, however in their report they define the medieval warm period as a 30 year period in the 1200s. 2 things :

    1) In just about every article I can see the Medieval warms period is some 300 years long starting about 950 and ending about 1250 and the earlier bit seems warmer;
    2) Most articles indicate that there is some dispute as to whether the Medieval warm period was a global phenomenon.

    What is interesting about this is that the article is reported as saying that they can account for all variability by natural processes up to 1950, but if they really believe that the Medieval warm period was just 30 years then they are looking at a very difficult historical record than the rest of us.

    I personally like the fact that there are, of course, no human records that can be referred to. Around the Atlantic you have inconvenient things like Vikings living in Greenland and Monks getting drunk on wine in Kent because England was the best wine growing area in Europe. In Australia, there is no such history to embarrass folks when they are developing an “historical” record.

  63. Thanks to UnfrozenCavemanMD for the link.

    From the accepted, peer-reviewed preliminary online version (my bold):

    2.2. Temperature predictor network
    Our temperature proxy network was drawn from a broader Australasian domain (90°E–140°W, 10°N–80°S) containing 62 monthly–annually resolved climate proxies from approximately 50 sites (see details provided in Neukom and Gergis, 2011). This proxy network showed optimal response

    GASP!
    That’s erm… Eastern South Pacific, South America, South Atlantic, equatorial and southern Africa, parts of the Indian Ocean including the tip of India, the island of Ceylon and none of the Australian continent. Not even close to “Australasia”.

    Not one of the reviewers questioned that? Earth scientists without a globe must be some peer group. Makes me wonder how many of those reviewers actually read and think about what they are reviewing.

  64. If you look at Figure 1, this is tree rings from 1000 to around 1993 when a big drop off occurs. Shades of hide the decline? All the tree rings are in New Zealand or Tasmania. Corals are big from around 1900 … and the Vostok ice core makes an appearance at 1774. No ice core data before that?

    Cherry picking proxies.

  65. Question regarding the PAGES data. I’ve navigated through to the Ningaloo Reef data set (well, the readme) to find:

    A 116-year record of coral skeletal d18O is presented from a colony of
    Porites lutea from Ningaloo Reef, west Australia. Interannual variability of
    sea surface temperatures (SST) inferred from skeletal d18O is dominated by a
    9.5-year period, and may constitute a characteristic signal of the Leeuwin Current.
    On long-terms coral skeletal d18O indicates a near-continuous increase of sea surface
    temperatures at Ningaloo Reef over one century. The skeletal d18O time series
    was checked for the presence of seasonal cooling events resulting from major
    volcanic eruptions. A ~1° C cooling is evident following the eruption of
    Pinatubo in 1991, which reproduces the results of earlier investigations.
    However, only weak or no signals can be related to the eruptions of
    Krakatau (1883) and Agung (1963).

    The BoM data from nearby Onslow Airport which has temperature data from 1943 to 1973 shows a slight dip in max/min means for 1963 for the months but I’ve not had a chance to do any more than to plot the points and to fit some curves. Way short of proper stat’s to say if Agung produced an anomaly that should have affected coral growth.

  66. nano pope says:
    May 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    Well who would have guessed that there is thousand year old ice in Australia.

    There are some very old pubs in Sydney and they don’t clean the walk-ins that often…

  67. goldie says:
    May 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    “. . . England was the best wine growing area in Europe.

    Can you give a reference, please, to the date and circumstances of the competition that determined the above? Were all the judges drunk monks from Kent or were there a few winegrowers from Burgundy and Tuscany?

  68. Here we go again, another attempt to rewrite Australia’s climate history.
    I am just waiting for blocks to be placed on Google Books and the National Library of Australia’s Trove, that allows us to look at newspaper items from 150 years ago, from Oz and around the world.
    Then there is James Marusek’s documentation of the earth’s climate disasters, researched from independent sources – independent of the IPCC, the UN and the Melbourne University (and Tim Flannery).

  69. The Domesday Book produced around 1086 documents economic activity at that time for the purposes of taxation. Wine production was an important activity in a number of places in SE England. In the parish I grew up in, in west Essex, wine production was the second largest economic activity by value.

  70. atarsinc;
    Consider yourself corrected. As Steven said, you need to look at the methodologies, code, etc. Then you can make statements about their models’ validity. You haven’t shown that their models “ignore some natural factors”. JP
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I call bs.
    A considerable portion of their study is based on tree rings, possibly the most discredited proxy there is. Using tree growth as a proxy for temperature ignores natural factors in spades, including (but not limited to)

    rainfall
    pestilence
    disease
    cloud cover variation
    herbivore population
    fertilization due to animal excrement
    CO2 concentrations
    competition (or lack thereof) from other plants

    Tree rings as a proxy for temperature is a total load of animal excrement, male bovine to be specific. Once one sees those words in a “temperature reconstruction” the paper can safely be assumed to be bullarky.

  71. Something, as an engineer, that always amazes me about these papers is the number of significant figures and the supposed accuracy of the data. Apart from in a laboratory, I cannot measure temperature to anywhere near 0.01C however they quote numerous trends and anomolies from hundreds of years ago to this sort of accuracy. They are single point measurements of a ‘proxy,’ for example a growth ring in a tree, laid down hundreds of years ago, and then infer a temperature to whatever accuracy they desire. This is not even possible with modern day measurements, but it doesn’t stop them.

  72. sunshinehours1 says:
    May 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm
    “Only records that were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the
    226 detrended instrumental target over the 1921–1990 period were selected for analysis."

    ———————-

    Isn't this the well known "Trick" to produce hockey sticks out of anything, even random numbers ?

  73. @Davidmhoffer:

    Speaking of bulls and the excrement thereof… one of my favorite “issues” with tree rings (other than that an up-sun tree can fall over and rot and suddenly your tree starts making bigger rings) is the issue of, um, how to put it politely… “If a bear poos in the forrest, does it smell near a tree?”

    A study of nitrogen cycles in the Pacific N.W. found that bears, catching salmon, tended to take some of them inland. Then when the, er, “urge”, came; they would deposit the ex-salmon near trees. The ‘bear deposits’ were a major part of the nitrogen “flux” into the forrest.

    So for all those tree rings, we also need to know the annual salmon run sizes and any changes in bear population to calibrate the tree rings for “Bear Poo Nitrogen” levels…

    And, one presumes, some amount of “Number One” nitrogen too…

    @Alma Geddon:

    Yes! I’ve raised that point some times and generally just taken grief for it. They think that because an average of a bunch of numbers can be known to very high precision that it means something. It doesn’t.

    Yes, you can remove random error in measurments of the same thing that way. No, you can not remove systematic error that way (so, for example, shifting to ASOS and moving most readings to airports… ) Then they have the gall to think that averaging temperatures has some value anyway.

    Temperature is an intrinsic property. They can not be averaged across different things.

    My favorite simple example of this is mixing two pots of water. One at 0 C the other at 20 C. The “average of temperatures” will be exactly 10 C. What temperature is the water after mixing? You can not know. What were the relative sizes of the pots? Was the salinity and hardness the same? Was that 0 C water all melted, or all ice, or some of each? Ignoring enthalpy in a calorimetry experiment is a big problem… Constantly changing the thermometers around screws up calorimetry too (ask any chemist…)

    IMHO, we can have no precision greater than the original 1 F of US Records. And that is for the instrumental record! Tree rings are worse.

    Per the 1000 years and nothing changing like now:

    I thought the exit from the last glacial was way faster? And what about the Younger Dryas wobble. It was supposed to be several degrees in one go. Or are they just trying to say the actual temperature has not been higher? If that’s the point, then what about the Roman Optimum? What about when the Sahara was green and lush about 6000 years BP? That only happens when it is warmer.

  74. Further to contributor E M Smith’s comments, the classic is satellite sea level measurement. According to their own webpages (see the Ocean Reference pages on this site for links) they claim they can measure sea level with an accuracy of 30mm, however that does not stop them calculating and quoting sea level trends per annum to the nearest 10 microns, 0.01mm, that is, about one tenth the thickness of an average human hair. I would be hard pressed to measure the depth of my fish pond to an accuracy of 1 mm given capillary effects, the stirring of the water by wind and upset fish, etc, etc.

  75. Why do you think they include 3000 methods- because noone could possibly read through and do analysis on all of it- there will be 2000 moderately legitimate methods near the beginning and 1000 hockey sticks and the hockey sticks will get 99.9% of the weighted result. If they were doing real science they would use one method which is fully justified and transparent unlike Mann’s hidden in unpublished unjustified code method

  76. Is’nt one of the arguments against using Ice cores from greenland that it is a local record. But Australia can record will give us anyting meaningful!
    The discriminatory axis must be what each record shows.

  77. This paper seems to avoid cherry picking of hockey sticks with this step : “For predictor selection, both proxy climate and instrumental data were linearly detrended over the 1921–1990 period to avoid inflating the correlation coefficient due to the presence of the global warming signal present in the observed temperature record.”

    A step that Mann would have done well to have used in his original hockey stick paper.

  78. According to the Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge Simon Schaffer, the new scientific paradigm consists of serving the cause of “progress” through instilling authority and trust and devising “stories that compel”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b1ljm

    Dr Gergis’s results certainly neatly fit the narrative — a bit too neatly.

  79. Still looking for the rise in temperatures here in the last 50 years…
    …still looking
    no, can’t find it…not here anyway.
    Broome is 0.1C warmer in the last 70 years than the previous 50 years. That must be because the BoM measuring stuff was moved 1 mile to the airport…

  80. Many of us, including we Australians, would be delighted if a credible, agreed proxy record could be assembled. The eternal arguments would hopefully stop.
    We are still waiting for this nirvana.
    There are 2 problems precedent to the writing of this paper.
    First, the Australian measured temperature record is so poor that it it not a candidate for the calibration of proxies. Example – a few weeks ago the Bureau of Meteorology issued a new national high quality temperature set named Acorn-SAT, with adjustments that exceed 1 degree C compared with historic records. A preview of the present paper, in a sense, is at http://climatehistory.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Neukom_and_Gergis_2011.pdf It does not mention use of Acorn-SAT.
    Second, the temporal resolution of modern instrumental records exceeds that of proxy records 1,000 years old. While it is easy to average an instrumental temperature record over the last 50 years, a record from 1,000 years ago has no hopw of finding a 50-year resolution. The situation is similar to an oversmoothing. Therefore, the claim fails.

  81. Espen,
    Nothing mis-read, Misunderstood.
    My planet only turns one way … apparently one can model it to turn the other way.
    That confuddled my tiny engineering brain which is anchored to reality.

  82. sunshinehours1 says:
    May 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm
    “Only records that were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the
    226 detrended instrumental target over the 1921–1990 period were selected for analysis."

    Oh Oh. Cherry picking?

    Have a look at figure S7.1 in the paper. Here they discuss the possible divergence problem after 1995. But look at the “divergence” in the other end of the x-axis – before 1920!

    So I say this is yet another case of hockey-matic methods – by selecting proxies that match the 1921-1990 warming in their instrumental record, they almost automatically get a hockey stick (I hope e.g. Steve McIntyre or Jeff Condon can provide further insight on that), because their proxies fluctuate quite randomly outside of that calibration period.

    But the fact that they (despite introducing all that noise outside of the calibration period) still find traces of MWP and a very clear LIA, is excellent. Now we can finally put an end to the “MWP and LIA was an European phenomenon” nonsense.

  83. The paper by Gergis at al can be pulled apart piece by piece. For example, we can knock Tasmania out of the mix. Most contribution was by Ed Cook, who wrote a cited paper (“Climatic Change in Tasmania Inferred from a 1089-Year Tree-Ring Chronology of Huon Pine”, Cook et al. 1991, `Science’ v.253, p.1266- 1268“) “A Climatically sensitive huon pine tree-ring chronology from western Tasmania allows inferences about Austral summer temperature change since A.D. 900. Since 1965, huon pine growth has been unusually rapid for trees that are in many cases over 700 years old. This growth increase correlates well with recent anomalous warming in Tasmania on the basis of instrumental records and supports claims that a climatic change, perhaps influenced by greenhouse gases, is in progress”.

    Elsewhere,

    From: Edward Cook
    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: Re: hockey stick
    Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 15:25:41 -0400
    0988831541.txt in part -
    I do think that the Medieval Warm Period was a far more significant event
    than has been recognized previously, as much because the high-resolution data to
    evaluate it had not been available before. That is much less so the
    case now. It is even showing up strongly now in long SH tree-ring series.
    So, at this stage I would argue that the Medieval Warm Period was probably
    a global extra-tropical event, at the very least, with warmth that was
    persistent and probably comparable to much of what we have experienced in
    the 20th century. However, I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it
    exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the
    precision or the proxy replication to say that yet. This being said, I do
    find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global
    event to be grossly premature and probably wrong………..

    Then, using modern temperatures is a problem: http://www.john-daly.com/huonpine.htm
    “The huon pine trees they chose to examine were located in the western half of Tasmania. However, the temperature records they chose to correlate them with were all located in the eastern half of Tasmania, in a totally different climate zone, at an average distance of 100 miles from the tree site. They might just as well have correlated their tree rings with temperatures in Brisbane or London. Having taken their records from the wrong half of the island, Cook et al selectively chose only three weather stations to represent the whole of Tasmania, and all three are affected by significant urban heat islands (ie. localised heat from urban growth distorting historical data). They selected Hobart, Launceston (the two biggest urban centres), and finally Low Head Lighthouse”.

    What has changed since Wally Broecker wrote in 2001 “Tree ring records are useful for measuring temperature fluctuations over short time periods but cannot pick up
    long-term trends because there is no way to establish the long-term
    evolution in ring thickness were temperatures to have remained constant.
    Corals also are not accurate enough, especially because few records
    extend back a thousand years. The accuracy of the temperature estimates
    based on floral or faunal remains from lake and bog sediments is
    likely no better than ±1.3°C (4) and hence not sufficiently sensitive for
    Holocene thermometry.”

  84. [snip - Eric we simply don't care for your snark, and stop switching screen names around - policy violation- - Anthony]

  85. MarkW says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

    In a world that’s some 4 billion years old, they declare that if something hasn’t happened in the last 1000 years then it can’t possibly be natural.

    Right
    _______________________________
    Here are the graphs that show they are “cherry picking” the time interval

    Isotope data for Antarctic and Greenland Ice Cores

    Lucy put together several of these graphs that show it is a matter of picking the time interval.

    However E.M. Smith nailed it a few years ago in April of 2009 with Bond Event Zero

    So what is a Bond Event? They are abnormally cold periods that happen about every 1470 years. We are likely headed into one now….

    I’d hoped to not last long enough to reach the next Bond Event, however, we have 3 nagging little points:

    1) It’s a 1470 year or so cycle and the last one started about 1470 years ago… take a look at what was happening in about 530 to 540 A.D. It was cold, and dark, and the sun wasn’t very bright… In fact, they called it The Dark Ages.

    2) The sun has gone very very quiet. Not pleasing in the context of #1.

    3) We’ve had a sudden onset of more cold and more snow at the poles with the oceans cooling starting in 2003 (it takes a while to cool a few gigatons of water…)

    ….Please note: Computer climate models don’t mean a darned thing if they can not explain Bond Events….

    As Chiefio says, I really hoped not to have lived long enough to suffer through a Bond Event especially not a Bond Event just after they have crammed us all into cities using Agenda 21, Sustainability, Smart Growth, Eminent Domain or what ever other term they use for confiscation of our property, have taken away all our private transportation, cheap energy and most of all our right to grow our own food.

    People forget the big problem with cities is RATS and rats have fleas that carry disease like the black plague. In a city you can not eliminate the bugs and rats, you only can make them move for a little while. When people (or animals) are crowded you get the perfect conditions for epidemics especially when you add food shortages.

    A paper on the “Bond Events”

    Structure and origin of Holocene cold events

    Heinz Wanner, Olga Solomina, Martin Grosjean, Stefan P. Ritz, Markéta Jetel

    ABSTRACT
    The present interglacial, the Holocene, spans the period of the last 11,700 years. It has sustained the growth and development of modern society. The millennial-scale decreasing solar insolation in the Northern Hemisphere summer lead to Northern Hemisphere cooling, a southern shift of the IntertropicalConvergence Zone (ITCZ) and a weakening of the Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon systems. Onthe multidecadal to multicentury-scale, periods of more stable and warmer climate were interrupted by several cold relapses, at least in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropical area. Based on carefully selected 10,000-year-long time series of temperature and humidity/precipitation, as well as reconstructions of glacier advances, the spatiotemporal pattern of six cold relapses during the last 10,000 years was analysed and presented in form of a Holocene Climate Atlas (HOCLAT; see http://www.oeschger.unibe.ch/research/projects/holocene_atlas/). A clear cyclicity was not found, and the spatiotemporal variability of temperature and humidity/precipitation during the six specific cold events (8200, 6300, 4700, 2700, 1550 and 550 years BP) was very high. Different dynamical processes such as meltwater flux into the North Atlantic, low solar activity, explosive volcanic eruptions, and fluctuations of the thermohaline circulation likely played a major role. In addition, internal dynamics in the North Atlantic and Pacific area (including their complex interaction) were likely involved.

    Introduction
    The present interglacial, the Holocene… started about 11.7 ka BP with a rapid transition from the cold period called Younger Dryas to a subsequent, generally warmer period that showed relatively small amplitudes in the reconstructed temperature, but larger ones in tropical precipitation records (Dansgaard et al., 1989; Alley et al., 1993; Mayewski et al., 2004; Wanner et al., 2008). On the millennial timescale, the climate of the Holocene was strongly influenced by opposite hemispheric trends of the solar insolation during the corresponding summer, namely the decreasing insolation in the Northern and the increasing insolation in the Southern Hemisphere. This redistribution of energy lead to a southern shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and a weakening of the Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon systems (Braconnot et al., 2007). On the multidecadal to multicentennial timescale, Holocene climate was variable and fluctuated between warm and cold, and
    humid and arid states. Based predominantly on studies of glacier fluctuations (Denton and Karlén, 1973; Thompson et al., 2009) and ice rafted debris (IRD) in the North Atlantic ocean (Bond et al., 1997, 2001) the question was raised whether these swings are cyclic or not, and whether or not a theory exists for their formation (Crowley, 2002; Alley, 2005; Debret et al., 2007).
    The studies by Bond et al. (1997, 2001) stimulated the discussion and gave rise to a large number of publications. First the term “Bond cycle” was used to denote an oscillation during the last Ice Age whose period is equal to the time between successive Heinrich Events (Bond and Lotti, 1995; IPCC, 2001). In their following studies, Gerard Bond and co-authors endeavoured to find similar quasieperiodic cycles during the Holocene. They postulated the existence of a cycle with an average length of w1470 Æ 500 years (Bond et al., 1997, 2001), and defined it as follows: “A prominent feature of the North Atlantic’s Holocene climate is a series of shifts in ocean surface hydrography during which drift ice and cooler surface waters in the Nordic and Labrador Seas were repeatedly advected southward and eastward, each time penetrating deep into the warmer strands of the subpolar circulation”…..

  86. Someone else may have already covered this and I missed it, but the biggest rhubarb factor for this study appears to be its reliance on anthropogenic forcing in Australasia. There are 25 million people within NZ and Aus, influencing a land area around the size of the United States, and an ocean area even larger. We are not large CO2 generators per km2. If this study had genuinely found human forcing in our part of the world, then forcing in the northern hemisphere should be exponentially larger and more easily identified. Of course, we all know this is just the usual suspects interviewing their keyboards and counting the rings on the pot plants in their offices as a proxy for actually getting out and doing some real science.

  87. Follow the Money says:
    May 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    “The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, ”

    Tree rings? Really? Australia has boreal forests? The theory tree rings MIGHT be more temps than water budget meters only was surmised to apply to tree-line flora. That’s why bristlecones and trees at Yamal in Siberia are looked at. Is this Australian study a new avenue in climate science??
    _________________________________
    At least in the Chinese study Anthony posted in a recent thread, comes right out and states:

    Using tree ring width as a proxy for precipitation (about a 50% correlation over the period of the instrumental rainfall record) Chinese scientists Junyan Sun and Yu Liu found the remarkable correspondence between solar activity and precipitation seen in the graph above.

    Seems like that means the temperature correlation is at MOST 50%. Also the above paper I linked to makes it clear there are changes in the precipitation.

    …..On the millennial timescale, the climate of the Holocene was strongly influenced by opposite hemispheric trends of the solar insolation during the corresponding summer, namely the decreasing insolation in the Northern and the increasing insolation in the Southern Hemisphere. This redistribution of energy lead to a southern shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and a weakening of the Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon systems (Braconnot et al., 2007). On the multidecadal to multicentennial timescale, Holocene climate was variable and fluctuated between warm and cold, and
    humid and arid states
    ….. http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~ritz/resources/Research/wanner11qsr.pdf

    To add to that you have the paper:

    Holocene Sea-Ice Variations and Paleoenvironmental Change, Northernmost Ellesmere Island, N.W.T., Canada

    ….Three periods of driftwood abundance and sparsity are recognized. These are interpreted as indications of climatically induced changes in summer sea ice “….Three periods of driftwood abundance and sparsity are recognized. These are interpreted as indications of climatically induced changes in summer sea ice conditions…..This increased plant productivity is also interpreted as indicating summer warmth/higher precipitation associated with the greater open water

    Thomas G. Stewart and John England – Arctic and Alpine Research – Vol. 15, No. 1 – (Feb., 1983), pp. 1-17 – Published by: INSTAAR, University of Colorado

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/1550979

    Yes it is for the Arctic but the mechanism would still apply changes in summer sea ice could change precipitation.

    So what was happening in the solar cycles before the nose dive during cycle 24?

    Solar activity reaches new high – Dec 2, 2003

    ” Geophysicists in Finland and Germany have calculated that the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years. Ilya Usoskin and colleagues at the University of Oulu and the Max-Planck Institute for Aeronomy say that their technique – which relies on a radioactive dating technique – is the first direct quantitative reconstruction of solar activity based on physical, rather than statistical, models (I G Usoskin et al. 2003 Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 211101)

    … the Finnish team was able to extend data on solar activity back to 850 AD. The researchers found that there has been a sharp increase in the number of sunspots since the beginning of the 20th century. They calculated that the average number was about 30 per year between 850 and 1900, and then increased to 60 between 1900 and 1944, and is now at its highest ever value of 76.

    “We need to understand this unprecedented level of activity,” Usoskin told PhysicsWeb.”

    paper: http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/Sola2-PRL_published.pdf

    So we have “the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years.” possible changes in precipitation as a result and a climbing CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere, at least according to the Climate scientists. On top of that trees are C3 If the ice core measurements of CO2 were correct they were darn close to starving. According to the following paper the C3 plants had reached a lower equilibrium point which explains the development of C4 and CAM plants who could be more competitive at these lower levels of CO2.

    There is also the limiting factor of the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

    The oxygen and carbon dioxide compensation points of C3 plants: Possible role in regulating atmospheric oxygen

    ….A minimum atmospheric CO2 equilibrium, resulting from the capacity of plants for CO2 uptake and countered by abiotic and biotic CO2-generating the global carbon cycle was probably reached millions of years ago. Ice cores from the past ~ 165,000 yrs show that such an equilibrium has been ~ 235 ppm CO2 until the last century…

    With the lowest past recorded levels of CO2 (220 ppm) the O2 [with isolated C3 plant is ~23% near current atmospheric levels of O2 and with increased CO2 to CO2 [ of a C3 plant, and the O2 levels must be <O2. A lower limit for atmospheric CO2 (~235+/-45 ppm) and an upper limit of O2 (~21%) would appear to be the global equilibria… PNAS-1995-Tolbert-11230-3.pdfhttp://www.pnas.org/content/92/24/11230.full.pdf

    Therefore trees make pretty rotten thermometers unless all the confounding factors can be accounted for and how many Climate Scientists are even aware of the limiting factor of oxygen much less take it into account?

  88. “calculated in 3000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust”

    This must be badly phrased. Anyway, it looks like they have filed the data for others to look at. This is refreshing. I trust we will see error bars (meaningful ones). One powerful benefit of serious skepticism is clear here. The easy-clubby-love-in work of unchallenged science seems to have been disappearing (some case hardened nodes remain). Skeptics have driven them to sweat out studies that they know will be worked over by bright people (useful idiots on both sides notwithstanding) and a loosened up stranglehold on publication has resulted in some competitive sparring and new ideas. No doubt the formerly foregone-conclusionists have been forced to swot up on statistics and the scientific method. I know they do this as if it is guerilla warfare (war metafors are popping up on books and press releases) – , rather than for purer motives, but wars do advance technology and science. The metafor also grudgingly identifies thinking skeptics as a worthy foe, too. They wouldn’t feel the need to gird themselves for battle otherwise.. I think the dismantling of the gung ho, hysterical, ultra-green stuff is a sign that we have mercifully escaped the maw of a new Dark Ages.

  89. atarsinc says:
    May 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Greg O’Donnell, on May 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm, said: “… correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this mean that they use models which ignore some natural factors to prove that the model they are using is correct?”

    Consider yourself corrected. As Steven said, you need to look at the methodologies, code, etc. Then you can make statements about their models’ validity. You haven’t shown that their models “ignore some natural factors”. JP
    ___________________________________
    As Steve McIntyre says: @ May 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    She was coauthor with Neukom in an article last year on SH proxies, cited in AR5. Much of the data is not archived. I asked Neukom and he told me to suck eggs.
    __________________________________

    The refusal to put the data and code out for validation and verification means this is just more propaganda not science. This is especially true of studies funded by the tax paper.

    Should you actually TRUST a scientist? I really do not think so.

    How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data

    ….A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.91–19.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Meta-regression showed that self reports surveys, surveys using the words “falsification” or “fabrication”, and mailed surveys yielded lower percentages of misconduct. When these factors were controlled for, misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others.

    Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct….

    Look like this comes under the 72% using “questionable research practices” at a minimum if they do not release the data and code.

    At this rate scientists are earning themselves a place just above politicians on the honesty scale and that is the real shame in all this. The old requirement that science must be reproducible seems to have given way to Lysenkoism, it must please the politicians.

  90. From the greatest speaker and one of the most brilliant thinkers
    “In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
    - Life on the Mississippi

  91. Ally E. says:
    May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    All I can tell you is that its getting colder here in NSW. We’re not officially into winter yet but we’ve been getting frosts on and off over the last two months. This morning, as I type, it’s -5.5 C. (around 20 F, I believe) and the countryside is white with frost. I don’t know how long they can keep insisting it’s getting warmer when it clearly and obviously is not.
    ____________________________
    Well it is not getting very warm here in North Carolina either. It is almost 11 am, almost June and a chilly 67F (20C). Compare that to 2004 when we had seventeen days over 90F (32 C) and two hitting 98F (37). The normal max temp for today is 79F (26) I noticed that out max temperature for yesterday got adjusted up 2F overnight for the “official record” (The station is rural)

  92. “goldie says:
    May 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    “. . . England was the best wine growing area in Europe.”

    Can you give a reference, please, to the date and circumstances of the competition that determined the above? Were all the judges drunk monks from Kent or were there a few winegrowers from Burgundy and Tuscany?”

    You can find the reference from Dr. Brain Fagan (professor Anthropology UC Berkely). In the decades leading up to the Famine of 1315-1320, the wine from England was so good that in France, imports from England were prohibited. This was during the last 100-150 years of the MWP, when the UK had long, very warm growing seasons. If you want I can look into his Book, “The Little Ice”, and find the exact reference. Or you can look it up yourself on Google Books or check the book out from your library (or buy it on Amazon).

  93. Almah Geddon says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Something, as an engineer, that always amazes me about these papers is the number of significant figures and the supposed accuracy of the data….
    _________________________________
    Yes, that was my first big clue that Climate Science was errr…. questionable. (Do not want to make the Moderators snip)

  94. Having looked a little more at the paper, it looks totally “hockey-o-matic” to me. They use the same period for calibration and verification (!!?). In addition, they use the “early verification period” 1900-1920, but if I understand figure 3 correctly, the RE score against this period is far too low before 1600.

  95. 27 records calculated 3000 different ways
    I cannot believe a scientists or modeler in any profession would say it that way unless there is an underlying motive of promotion and public manipulation along the lines of marketing methods that say leading doctors agree or a 1000 pharmacists recommend…..
    It should raise a red flag with people that think and those that model.

  96. After the debacle of “hide the decline” I want all proxy resconstruction papers to contain a control section that graphs every land based proxy to measured temps from the nearest stations and establishes FIRST that the proxy methodology can track the actual temperatures during the instrument record. I don’t want statistical contortions here, just a clear picture that your stinkin’ proxy anomalies show the same picture as actual.nearby thermometers.

    This paper had 27 proxies. Most of the proxies that went back prior to 1600 were tree rings. So let’s see control graphs for every tree ring proxy. They SHOULD have nice matching curves. Is this asking too much? After these folks start doing this, then I’ll be somewhat more interested in what tree ring proxies are suggesting about previous dates..

  97. What is most annoying to me as an Australian is that this load of rubbish is our input to the IPCC for AR5. As soon as I read about tree-ring temperature proxies and the remarkable figure of 3000 (such a nice, round, number!) ways they tortured the data, plus the other nice, round number of 1000 years, my BS detector started clanging.

    There are so many things wrong with this study at the conceptual level, it’s not even necessary to delve too deeply into the numbers to discount it. But, I hope someone with more patience and expertise than me can bring themselves to do it. :)

  98. I had a quick read of the paper after I checked the references. the usual suspects were there so I , I knew the conclusion before I even was halfway through the abstract. One is left with more than an uneasy feeling that the result determined the data. If only some of the selected proxies show the desired trend (shades of Yamal 061) that sound more like a raffle than a real trend.
    It is fairly easy to rubbish the data used. A lot of the upturn comes from the podocarps on the West Coast. Look at the “selected” proxies. There are a lot of other factors known to affect the treeline growth. The nearest temperature measure is Hokitika. The “corrections” for this site is the subject as much controversy. It turned the raw data’s 120 years of flat lining into a strong warming trend. There is a pending court case about it.
    An upturn in the tree rings width post 1950 is easy to explain as well. This is when the deer hunting and more lately, possum extermination campaigns targeted the upper river valleys. The lack of predation does wonders for the forest growth.

  99. The Age has a story on this research this morning. The final couple of paragraphs make interesting reading:

    ‘The veracity of the proxy methods used is not universally accepted. Professor Graham Farquhar, a biophysicist at the ANU’s Research School of Biology, says the use of surrogates is problematic. For example, he says trees are likely to have grown faster between 1921 and 1990 due to the increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, not just the rise in temperature. ”It is obviously very useful to have such data, but I can’t see it as being definitive,” he says.’

    ‘The authors dismiss this concern. Karoly says that nothing is certain in science, but the results draw from a range of sites and using state-of-the-art statistical methods can be accepted with high confidence: ”It is reinforcing that barrage of scientific information that confirms that the climate is warming and increasing greenhouse gases are the major cause.” ‘

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-research-has-a-ring-of-truth-20120518-1yw1x.html#ixzz1vI0iKiSM

    This is yet another example of the limitless expertise of ‘climate scientists’. Note Professor Farquhar’s biography:
    Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar FAA, FRS., has undertaken and led research across a broad range of fields and scales, from integration of photosynthesis with nitrogen and water use of plants, stomatal physiology, isotopic composition of plants and global change. He is a fellow of The Australian Academy of Science and of the Royal Society. He has over 220 research publications and is a leading Australian Citation Laureate.

    Professor Karoly holds a chair in meteorology, yet he dismisses the view of Professor Farquhar on the basis of ‘state-of-the-art statistical methods’ and a lot (a ‘barrage’) of similar studies.

    Unfortunately, this appears to be typical of the current state of ‘climate science.’

  100. I just followed the first 3 dataset links in the metadatabase link Mosher posted.

    Camp Stream: “Data storage 1: http://n/a
    G5-2-05P; g5-2-054B: “Data storage 1: http://n/a
    BJ8-03-31MCA, 32GGC & 34GGC: Data storage 1: http://n/a

    Data storage is Not Applicable to climate science.

  101. Professor Graham Farquhar sounds like he knows what he is talking about and has the real world experience to back it up unlike the climate collaborators. It is nice to see someone stick his head above the parapet.

  102. I have never known Graham Farquhar to indulge in ‘political’ science — in either direction. Tells it as he sees it. Old fashioned. But admirable.

  103. I find it interesting though that the lead author, Dr Joelle Gergis, thinks of her science work as a “guerrilla war”.

    I’ll bet she hasn’t got the slightest notion of how to set up a good L-shaped ambush.

  104. Aynsley Kellow says:
    May 19, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I have never known Graham Farquhar to indulge in ‘political’ science — in either direction. Tells it as he sees it. Old fashioned. But admirable.
    _____________________________________
    Very admirable. He is a true scientist. I do not want a scientist who is “political” I want a scientist who is unbiased and reports what he finds with out any twists.

  105. @- davidmhoffer says:
    “I call bs.
    A considerable portion of their study is based on tree rings, possibly the most discredited proxy there is. Using tree growth as a proxy for temperature ignores natural factors in spades, including (but not limited to) -
    rainfall
    pestilence
    disease ….
    Tree rings as a proxy for temperature is a total load of animal excrement, male bovine to be specific. Once one sees those words in a “temperature reconstruction” the paper can safely be assumed to be bullarky.”

    You are right that tree rings indicate responses to much more than temperature, water and nitrogen are major influences. But those are also influenced by the temperature…
    Commercial growers know that the temperature history of a forest can be a good guide to its productivity and therefore its commercial profitability. They do not regard tree growth and temperature to be so distantly related that it is bullarky to use one to project the other.

    The ENSO cyclic variations can be clearly derived from tree ring data from NZ. That may be a response to much more than just a temperature variation, but it is a clear response to a change in the climate, derivable from the tree ring data.

    Historical proxy records like tree rings can never give you specific measurements of the actual temperature, rainfall or other factors at some past time that are comparable with present conditions in any direct way.
    But what is often overlooked is that while they may fail to provide a precise number for past temperature, they DO provide an very accurate inter-annual comparison of past variation. It may not be possible to ascribe a numerical value to a year, but it is straightforward, and unambiguous to ascribe a ranking to a year based on its tree ring width because that WILL be explicitly recorded in the physical measurement.

    Tree rings provide a record of the anomalies, the variation without providing an easily determinable value for the baseline around which these anomalies scatter. Dismissing that information because you dislike the message promoted by some researchers using the data is foolish. If you expect to refute research claims, then rejecting valid data on the anomalies because it fails to include the absolute temperature values, just a record of the integrated variation of the climate, seems counterproductive.
    Unless you think all of the data is against you and supports those you oppose?

  106. @- el gordo says:
    “The university of NSW has been quick off the mark with a graph and would you believe it, they have found a southern hemisphere hockey stick. -[link]-

    One with VERY spiky handle !

    Obviously some of that much greater apparent variation in the past could be an artifact of uncertainty in ascribing an absolute value to proxy indicators.

    But it could also be real to some extent. During the MWP temperatures reached levels – according to this research – comparable to today around 1320 and 1490. But within decades it appears to have experienced temperatures considerably colder than any recent temperatures in the last century.
    This greater variability at higher temperatures is seen in most historical records. The LIA when it was ~1degC colder was much less variable from year to year, weather extremes were less.
    It is possible that as the climate returns to conditions – for whatever anthropogenic or ‘natural cycle’ reason – similar to the MWP the same pattern of much more extreme shifts between hot/cold wet/dry will also return.

  107. @- Aynsley Kellow
    “I have never known Graham Farquhar to indulge in ‘political’ science — in either direction. Tells it as he sees it. Old fashioned. But admirable.”

    This Graham Farquhar ? -

    http://lwa.gov.au/projects/3231

    Professor Farquhar is Professor of Environmental Biology at the Research School of Biological Sciences, ANU . He is a world leader in researching and modelling the interactions between plants and their environment. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Farquhar shared the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC scientists.

    With research papers –

    ‘Hydroclimatic projections for the Murray-Darling Basin based on an ensemble derived from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 climate models’,
    ‘Effects of rising temperatures and [CO2] on the physiology of tropical forest trees’,
    ‘Evaporative demand: Does it increase with global warming?’,
    ‘On the attribution of changing pan evaporation’,
    ‘Tropical rainforest canopies and climate change’,

    As one of these papers indicates he was also involved in revealing the role of global dimming in mitigating AGW as detected in changes in pan evaporation rates.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_trans.shtml

  108. ‘The authors dismiss this concern. Karoly says that nothing is certain in science, but the results draw from a range of sites and using state-of-the-art statistical methods can be accepted with high confidence: ”It is reinforcing that barrage of scientific information that confirms that the climate is warming and increasing greenhouse gases are the major cause.” ‘
    ——————————————————————————————
    I really hope that someone like Steve McIntyre gets a chance to run the ruler over their ‘state of the art’ statistical methods. Even to my uneducated eye, the weighting of the respective proxies, and of samples within the proxies, is murky at best – and we all know the problems with treemometers.

    And, the use of ‘reinforcing the barrage of scientific information’ is interesting. What’s with all the war metaphors we have been hearing lately? Does he genuinely believe that anyone who disagrees with him is a barbarian at the gate? Coming soon: ‘this study pours boiling oil on the heads of those who ‘deny’ CAGW’.

  109. Quoting from page 7 of the Briefing powerpoint presentation pdf ( http://www.smc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Aus2K_AusSMC_briefing_May_2012.pdf )

    “- Issue of Northern Hemisphere-described tree ring ‘divergence’ (inability of tree rings to
    track recent temperatures) was assessed and is not present in the data network”

    Forgive me if I’m asking a stupid question, but what is so special about Australian trees that they do not suffer from the tree ring divergence problem? Or, do they mean that tree-ring data was not used in their temperature reconstruction? Or did they omit the divergent data only and replace it with modelling from non-divergent data or other sources? Or, …?

    Can anyone enlighten me?

  110. sunshinehours1 says:
    May 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm
    “Only records that were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the
    226 detrended instrumental target over the 1921–1990 period were selected for analysis."
    —————————
    It is pretty easy to demonstrate that this is poor science and generates a hockey stick.

    Assume there was a medieval warm period and a present warm period. Then proxy records may be attributed to one of the following 4 compositions:

    1. Proxy shows both warm periods.
    2. Proxy shows only modern warm period but not MWP.
    3. Proxy shows only MWP but not modern warm period.
    4. Proxy shows none of both warm period.

    Now assume (just to keep the thought experiment simple) that both warm periods would be about the same and show up in the same number of proxies.

    By above selection citeria only 1+2 would be selected. Discarding 3 leads to an overrepresentation of the modern warm period relative to the MWP.

    q.e.d.

  111. It would help if the paper’s authors commented on the following statement by Blair Trewin of the BoM Australia. Is the passage relevant to the temperatures used for calibration of proxies? If so, was a correction made for the error?

    > Up until 1994 CLIMAT mean temperatures for Australia used (Tx+Tn)/2. In
    > 1994, apparently as part of a shift to generating CLIMAT messages
    > automatically from what was then the new database (previously they were
    > calculated on-station), a change was made to calculating as the mean of
    > all available three-hourly observations (apparently without regard to
    > data completeness, which made for some interesting results in a couple
    > of months when one station wasn’t staffed overnight).
    >
    > What was supposed to happen (once we noticed this problem in 2003 or
    > thereabouts) was that we were going to revert to (tx+Tn)/2, for
    > historical consistency, and resend values from the 1994-2003 period. I
    > have, however, discovered that the reversion never happened.
    >
    > In a 2004 paper I found that using the mean of all three-hourly
    > observations rather than (Tx+Tn)/2 produced a bias of approximately
    > -0.15 C in mean temperatures averaged over Australia (at individual
    > stations the bias is quite station-specific, being a function of the
    > position of stations (and local sunrise/sunset times) within their time
    > zone.

  112. Geoff Sherrington says:
    May 21, 2012 at 3:13 am

    It would help if the paper’s authors commented on the following statement by Blair Trewin of the BoM Australia. Is the passage relevant to the temperatures used for calibration of proxies? If so, was a correction made for the error?…..
    ________________________________
    Geoff, You might want to check out an article on Joanne nova’s website on the subject:
    Australian temperature records shoddy, inaccurate, unreliable. Surprise! http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/australian-temperature-records-shoddy-inaccurate-unreliable-surprise/

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