Uh oh, there be grafting in Marcott et al

Skiphil writes in comments:

“…there are some interesting developments in the “Marcott curve” which puts more of the circus in jeopardy. In addition to a new post on CA detailing changes in the core top record, there is this very significant comment on a prior thread which deserves some serious exploration:”

marcott-A-1000[1]

Jean S on “Marcott’s main plot (Figure 1A)”

Hah! There is some additional fun in Marcott’s main plot (Figure 1A). Mann’s hockey stick there is the global EIV-CRU from Mann et al. (2008), which means that there is no actual reconstruction post 1850, since it’s the Reg-EM produced EIV reconstruction! So they have now essentially “grafted the thermometer record onto” Mann’s reconstruction. To his credit, Mann has always been careful to plot the post 1850 part in EIV reconstructions in a different color. He is actually explicitly warning in his data description spreadsheet that the values for 1850-2006 are instrumental data.

So in Marcott et al Fig 1A we have a comparision in the interval 1850-1950 between their reconstruction (uptick) and Crutem3 (LAND only) (annual?) instrumental record (no uptick). But that’s not all, folks! See the associated uncertainties … Mann et al (2008) uncertainties (which seem to match in the plot to those given in the spreadsheet, i.e., 2 sigma, whereas Marcott et al uncertainties are 1 sigma) are naturally calculated only up to 1849 (as there is no actual reconstruction afterwards), but in the Figure 1A they continue all the way to the end. Where did those 1850-2006 uncertainties come from?

Source comment here

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114 thoughts on “Uh oh, there be grafting in Marcott et al

  1. “Where did those 1850-2006 uncertainties come from?”

    Pulled from the same orifice much of the rest of it appeared?

    (or is that a bit rude?)

  2. Wow. . . .will the fun never end with this paper??

    How in the world can this wind up being anything but a colossal egg in the face for Science magazine?

  3. Grafting? Oh no…. Since Mann denied in 2004 that anyone to date had done this, in the context of rebutting criticism, can we infer that he agrees it’s a bad idea to present such an undisclosed grafting of the instrumental record onto a proxy record in a scientific paper?

    Mann on grafting a thermometer record onto a reconstruction

    Michael Mann at Real Climate, Dec. 2004:
    [Response: No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum….

  4. Hockey stick trading, the successor to carbon trading.

    What’s the value of an uptick nowadays? A complete hockey stick must be worth its weight in gold.

  5. I know, people will rush in to point out that conclusions are premature. Marcott hasn’t had a chance to respond yet! Just the same, I’m smelling that old familiar horse manure aroma, and I’m pretty sure my socks are innocent this time.
    If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
    Sad. If this is the best they can do for ‘the Cause’, that’s just sad.

  6. Well I’m completely confused. I mean more than normal.

    Didn’t Marcott reply to McIntyre admitting that the uptick was not robust? So if the UpTick is really a MannTick glued onto a MarcottShaft, does that mean that Marcott just called the MannTick “not robust”? Didn’t Romm say it was the instrumental record, then Mann said the same, then they both withdrew the comment? So neither of them knows one way or the other what Marcott actually did do? Or didn’t do? He’ll be in a lot of doodoo If Marcott’s UpTick turns out to be the MannTick glued onto a MarcottShaft, and that’s what Marcott was referring to when he said “not robust”. Mann will be so ticked he will come unglued. And boy oh boy will he shaft Marcott.

  7. Ben Wilson says: “How in the world can this wind up being anything but a colossal egg in the face for Science magazine?”

    Because it shows the temp record from 11300 to 10300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 10300 to 9300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 9300 to 8300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 8300 to 7300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 7300 to 6300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 6300 to 5300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 5300 to 4300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 4300 to 3300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 3300 to 2300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 2300 to 1300 bp.
    Because it shows the temp record from 1300 to 300 bp.

    But you dont have a problem with the main point of the paper, apparently.

  8. How much would that graft cost tax payers around the world? Thanks to Steve, Anthony and all the other people involved thay may have saved all of us thousands of dollars each.
    Of course that could also save all countries countless billions $ trying to further mitigate CAGW for a guaranteed zero return on the investment.
    This study should be withdrawn as soon as possible.

  9. I think that Marcott et al have had every chance to respond by now Mark. I suspect that one of the problems they are having is that every time they must think that they are getting close to giving us whatever they can muster as a rebuttal, BAM! along come the auditors with revelations of yet another fast and loose methodology or disingenuous manipulation of existing data which affects the results and quite frankly they must be playing catch-up. Marcott must be horrified to see another nail in the paper’s coffin each morning as he wakes.

    It’s getting suspiciously too-long without at least some response to the earliest claims and I personally think it’s time those with the skill and understanding start to fire off some comments to Science magazine’s editor because it appears that the authors are not keen to get the ball rolling in anything like short-order.

  10. The real question is how do we get across to the uninformed multitudes that the alarmies are purveying horseshit? – and worse than that, proposing mass murder?

  11. I suspect that Mr. Marcott et al now understand the term “blood in the water.” Theirs academic credentials and reputations are being torn to shreds.

  12. an aside, not specific to this “grafting” issue but an entertaining item — “Mark” at Climate Audit came up with this great quotation (echoing a famous quote):

    quote for the ages

    [emphasis added]

    To paraphrase a rather wonderful quote: “Marcott is both valid and confirms the hockey stick. Unfortunately the parts that are valid do not confirm the hockey stick and the parts that confirm the hockey stick are not valid.”

  13. The bogusness of this just keeps getting thicker. First we have a hockey stick starting in the 1950s that no one noticed living through, and now we have at least error bar grafting? Really, I think if the temperatures had gone up 4 or 5 C in my lifetime I might have noticed it.

  14. Marcott is caught
    With numbers from nowhere
    A grafted thermometer
    Sporting a blade there
    A hockey stick sucker
    Is born every minute
    But with “science” like this
    They’re not in it to win it…

  15. So, was Mann one of the original pall-reviewing sponsors of the paper?

    Who was on his PhD committee that accepted the original paper that this release plagiarized (er, copied without attributes or changes)?

    Were any of “that” group also in the pal-reviewed conspiracy to get this released before the AR5 deadline?

  16. Also, the proxies have lost all high frequency components as part of their formation cycles, so how can someone say anything about weather phenomena that lasted only 10 to 20 years (like droughts, decades long heat waves, little ice ages…etc.). The flatness of the handle is more a function of the low pass filter in the proxies than anything approaching ground truth.

  17. Are tramafadore and trafamadore the same person? They seem equally obtuse. Is there a lone troll defending this paper or are there two of them?

  18. davidmhoffer says:
    March 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    =========================================

    I think Jean S is referring to the grey “Mann et al.” curve not the purple “Marcott et al.” curve. If that is the case, the issue is not the Marcott uptick per se, but that they are comparing their “not robust” uptick with an (unmentioned) instrumental uptick while not emphasizing that the Mann et al. recon changes from proxies to thermometer data at 1850?? (I’m still a neophyte in these matters, but that’s how I understood what Jean S said).

  19. trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm
    ———–
    Come on trafamadore. Pop on over to McIntyre’s and have a look at the problems he’s found so far. The dating on the proxies appears to be screwed up. Paper is different between the Science and thesis versions. Uptick is a statistical artifact of proxies with a different sign continuing a step past the opposing proxies.

    Save what cred you’ve got for a better cause another day, and be honest. This paper stinks.

  20. Skiphil;
    I think Jean S is referring to the grey “Mann et al.” curve not the purple “Marcott et al.” curve.
    >>>>>>>>>

    Reading it again, I think you are right. (I did say I was confused….)

    So when Romm and Mann were beaking off about Anthony denying the instrumental record, perhaps they thought Anthony’s comments were about Mann’s graph, not Marcott’s? And when it became clear that this was the case they beat a hasty retreat so as not to draw attention to this very issue?

    Even if I am right this time, my own explanation confuses me, that’s how bad this whole mess is.

  21. Let me see if I understand Trafamadore’s* comment: the paper is a good one because the data up until 300 bp is good.

    But the controversy isn’t about that data – the controversy is about the most recent data. I think, to put it in plain English, he is saying that we should accept the paper because it’s a really, really good paper, all except for the parts they faked.

    * I would hate to be stuck with a screen nick that was permanently misspelled. The planet made famous by Kurt Vonnegut was “Tralfamadore”, champ.

  22. Trafamadore. It appears it is you that has a problem with the point of the paper. Still got your fingers in your ears eh? Try opening your eyes instead. Read the abstract again, read the press release, read the media surrounding it. It all focusses on the uptick and the modern projection. All of which is looking shoddier by the day. If the Holocene reconstruction was the point of the paper why has so little been discussed about it?

    Even should the point of the paper be that reconstruction, and you and your ilk are happy to dismiss what goes on after 1850 as just some meaningless, honest mistake, or four, then even so the reconstruction is of such poor resolution that it tells us nothing much and certainly nothing new. It would never have been published without the modern reconstruction and projections being tacked on.

    Also if you are happy with the core top redating done which knocks 500-1000 years of some samples with no mention of why they thought it was necessary to redate core samples that the original data collectors seemed perfectly capable of understanding and dating more accurately, then for all that is good in the world, may you never, ever teach.

  23. @davidmhoffer Almost certainly the same person I just suspect that the numerous aliases he uses get him a little confused at times. Especially as I suspect he initially wanted to reference Vonnegut’s “Tralfamadore” but once caught out in that mistake had too much ego to admit he got it wrong and subsequently correct it.

    Or perhaps this towering intellect still presumes to have got it correct. He certainly does so with most other subjects he weighs in on.

    he’s all obfuscation, distraction and bluster. But does not understand that WUWT regulars have seen his sort of sleight of hand before. It does not wash.

  24. davidmhoffer says:
    March 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Well I’m completely confused. I mean more than normal.

    Didn’t Marcott reply to McIntyre admitting that the uptick was not robust? So if the UpTick is really a MannTick glued onto a MarcottShaft, does that mean that Marcott just called the MannTick “not robust”? Didn’t Romm say it was the instrumental record, then Mann said the same, then they both withdrew the comment? So neither of them knows one way or the other what Marcott actually did do? Or didn’t do? He’ll be in a lot of doodoo If Marcott’s UpTick turns out to be the MannTick glued onto a MarcottShaft, and that’s what Marcott was referring to when he said “not robust”. Mann will be so ticked he will come unglued. And boy oh boy will he shaft Marcott.
    ———————
    Thanks for posting this tonight. If I’d read it tomorrow morning, I’d have ended up cleaning coffee off my computer screen. As it is I escaped with soda up my nose from snorting while laughing. :)

  25. Chad Wozniak says: “The real question is how do we get across to the uninformed multitudes that the alarmies are purveying horseshit? – and worse than that, proposing mass murder?”

    In a blog world where Monckton is a “real” lord and Tisdale and Eschenbach
    write “real” science articles…and real research is “horses**t”….yes, there is a problem somewhere.

  26. Trafamadore, it took me a bit, but I realized what you are doing.

    You are masquerading as a climate warmist, but are presenting a persona that is purposely abstruse and at times idiotic, just to make climate warmists in general seem somewhat ridiculous and incapable of understanding basic science and logic.

    Your last reply to me is a classic example. While Marcott’s paper does purport to show what the world’s temperature was from 6300 to 5300 BP, anybody, and I mean anybody who is even casually aware of the paper knows that the screaming headlines associated with it are along the lines of “The Hockey Stick Lives!! We’re all doomed!! Michael Mann is vindicated!!”

    Now if you really want to continue your masquerade as a hard working honest warmist biologist just concerned for science and the children — fine, although I think that such a false flag operation is a little bit dishonest.

    But let me give you just a bit of advice; at least for this particular discussion point, you are way “overacting” — to the point that relative dim bulbs like me recognize what you are doing.

    You might consider dialing it down a bit. . . . . . .:

  27. Wamron. I much prefer tweedledum and tweedledumber.

    @Mark Bofill. No, Marcott’s uptick did come from his own reconstruction but at a completely different resolution, proxy redating and removal, all the shenanigans that have made a nonsense of that part of his paper which claims temperatures are now warmer than any time in the last 4000 years.
    I think what is going on here is the inclusion of the Mann reconstruction which contains the observed record from 1950. If those are observations, where did the error bars come from. can nobody read a thermometer any more?

    You think you are confused. feel for me, I’m just a carpenter ;)

  28. Zoot Cadillac;
    he’s all obfuscation, distraction and bluster.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Thing is that she (I have reason to believe its a “she”) isn’t very good at it. R Gates or Nick Stokes or even Kum Dollison would have put up some reasoning requiring thought to debunk. In general, any thread to do with Mann garners comments from a whole host of trolls that have all kinds of links and references at the ready to defend their… er, uhm… guy. Where are they? Nor are we seeing the likes of Joel Shore or Jan Perlw1tz or anyone else with a shred of credibility to protect. No one with an ounce of reason is trying to defend this doodoo. Even Marcott has gone silent!

  29. ZootCadillac says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    previous post date was meant to be 1850.
    See? Confused.
    ————
    Me too. :) My original point remains the same. Maybe an argument can be made for waiting for the smoke to clear to figure out exactly what’s screwy with the paper and what’s not. For me, it’s enough that several things look screwy already to get the basic idea. Same old snake oil, not like this is the first time I’ve heard this pitch in climate scientology.

  30. ZootCadillac says: “Trafamadore. It appears it is you that has (sic) a problem with the point of the paper.”

    Let’s break this down so you can understand the scienceize speak:

    First, the Introduction part of the abstract: “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.

    The main point of the abstract: “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic."

    That is the main point of the paper.

    Now we do the Discussion part of the abstract:
    "Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios."

    So no, ZootCaddy, I don't have a problem with the main point of the paper.

  31. Maybe all this confusion was the point of Marcott’s paper to begin with.

    “Confuse your enemy” seems to be the approach they’re taking.

    For the life of me, I can’t remember any other paper that’s had as many threads devoted to it and as many trolls masquerading as knowledgeable warmista acolytes dancing in and out.

    Sad thing for Marcott is that this whole mess won’t be a resume` enhancer one little bit, no matter what the MSM does to cover for him. I suspect he and his co-authors are toast, and not the kind one prefers for breakfast.

  32. I recalled that the Tinker and the Tailor put Humpty Dumpty together again with paper and glue, good as new. So I called them to see if they could help. They laughed themselves silly and said “Dave, this isn’t a paper, this is poo, and you can’t glue poo”.

    What a bear from Winnipeg has to do with it I don’t know.

  33. trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm


    So no, ZootCaddy, I don’t have a problem with the main point of the paper.

    Of course you wouldn’t. It wouldn’t matter to you if they took a plate of spaghetti and threw it against the wall and twisted the camera around until a picture of it represented the cult ideology they’re trying to pitch.

    But your opinion doesn’t matter, “traf”… the more people dig into this paper, the more problems it has. And that’s what matters.

  34. fingers in ears. further deflection. Address the redating. And then tell me why a low resolution reconstruction being repeated adds anything to science and merits a place in Science journal?

    What part of

    “Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” and “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years”

    and

    “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.”

    shifts the focus of the paper to the early Holocene? If the ‘point’ of the paper is not the modern reconstruction then why mention it at all, especially as it is flawed in so many independent ways? ( a fact you seem happy to dismiss as nothing )

    My apologies if you have a problem with my casual approach to grammar, or lack thereof. I tend to care less after 3am.

  35. Here’s the thing. I am not a scientist. My math skills extend to College Algebra (and that is rusty). I don’t always understand the posts, comments or debates on this blog, BUT I always feel like I learn something.

    I do know something about how to produce quality work. I write knitting patterns…which requires math, and great attention to detail. When I write a new pattern, I knit it several times, correcting any mistakes I find. Then (when I think it is perfect) I send it to 3 or 4 trusted friends, who likewise knit the whole project…and they point out errors, and suggest ways to make the instructions clearer. This is an incredibly humbling experience. Finally I send it to a friend who is both a knitter and a technical writer (I pay her for her expertise) and she does the final edit….and she always finds things I need to correct….and then I knit it again… and then I publish the pattern.

    I’m a professional knitter. I take pride in my work….But, in the scheme of things knitting is not that important. Knowing if the planet is warming, how much it is warming and what is causing it to warm are important questions…and the majority of the work is being done by scientist who are so egocentric that they can’t/won’t submit their work to people who are qualified to find the errors.

    I could send my knitting patterns to my mom (she can’t knit)…she would tell me the picture is lovely and praise me for my cleverness….all well and good for my ego…but does NOTHING for the quality of my work.

  36. I suspect there will NEVER be ANY reply from Marcott et al., or SCIENCE etc. They will will just keep quiet and hope it goes away.The only way is to start letting SCIENCE sponsors and Scientific bodies with weight know what this is all about and who may then start to withdraw financial and professional support from that organization which is doomed long term if it does not withdraw the paper. The University of Oregon may also be in trouble….long term

  37. ZootCadillac says: “What part of Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” and “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years and Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.”

    Look. A paper has research and it has perspective. The research is on long ago. That is the major research. Long ago. Repeat. You getting sleepy…

    But seriously, all the sentences you and others are focusing on are perspective, not the main research in the paper. Sentences like “A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years and Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.” is not based only on the research in the paper but many other published studies.

    Eliza says: “The University of Oregon may also be in trouble….long term”

    You mean Oregon State. One is the Ducks, is in Eugene and is a really cool place where hippies from the 60s still hang out. The other is the Beavers and in Corvallis. Really bad mistake, because both I and my wife are from the U of O.

  38. NSF has for some time been the keeper of the infrastructure (salaries for folks in science institutions) and for the past 2 years, they have let the universities know that both the big projects and infrastructure funding cannot continue. The money train from private institutions dropped drastically over the past three years for the obvious reasons and without our tax dollars, brilliant ideas were and are needed, the ones that promote public interest & respect.
    The panic caused by the funding drought has brought on the last stand (psychotic & irrational) and they are now creating self inflicted wounds & suffering, without regarding real science!

  39. Karl W. Braun says:
    March 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm
    “Believe it or not, marcotting is a synonym for grafting. Wouldn’t you know it!”

    Well spotted! That is brilliant!

  40. Yeah Traf, those sentences? lifted straight from the conclusions. Hardly evidence that they have anything to do with the research of others. But again, you deflect. What’s the point of a reconstruction that has been done before? Especially as it’s such low resolution and has methodology that at best is ignorant of what’s accepted or at worst has been wilfully manipulated in a manner that is again, not acceptable? Why, if the modern portions of the reconstruction should be ignored, was this ever published? It just repeats previous work, but at less resolution making it quite useless.

    However as I expect you will again refuse to answer the question because apparently it does not matter I will go to bed and return tomorrow.
    Perhaps in that time you might actually read the paper and stop relying on the paragraph you are able to read on the landing page at Science. But I won’t be holding my breath.

    This has been the attempt by certain people to take a previously unimportant thesis from a young, fresh PhD and alter it to elevate it to become the new poster child of AR5 ( ooh, deja vu there ). It is backfiring spectacularly. Your claims that it is a Holocene temperature reconstruction and nothing more are simply incorrect. No amount of repeating it to yourself will make it true. When the inevitable happens and the paper is withdrawn ‘Whilst some minor issues are addressed” and disappears down a Gergis-sized hole you will just do the usual. Pretend that none of this happened, move on and start defending some other nonsense without actually offering anything but empty-headed opinion.

  41. Eliza says:”I suspect there will NEVER be ANY reply from Marcott et al., or SCIENCE etc. They will will just keep quiet and hope it goes away.”

    Actually, what really happens is that people write in and crit the paper, and ask to respond in the letters section of Science. These letters are sent to the people who wrote the article (Marcott et al) and they are offered a chance to reply. THEN the critical letters and the responses are sent to reviewers (like me) to decide if the critique/response is interesting/relevant enuf to be published or not.

    Actually, authors LIKE it when they haf to write a response, and it gets accepted. One more Science ref in their CV…sort of a two for one deal. But in my experience (working in an area not as charged a climate science), out of 4 responses that I have reviewed (Science), none ended up being published. I am thinking the success rate for letters must be the same as the rest of the journal, 4 to 8%? I don’t know, but it must be sort of low.

  42. A.D. Everard says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    And Science swallowed it – hook, line and hockey stick.

    They must feel so proud. /sarc.
    +++++++++++++++
    I am reminded of the song “Story of the Fish” performed by my friends The Elders.

    “… the thing was stinkin’, so God love the people who ate it, you know…” LOL! Enjoy the story told by Ian Byrne at the beginning of the video, but seek out a vid with better audio (search: Story of a Fish – The Elders – 2009 Kansas City Scottish Highland Games) if you want to really enjoy the song to the full.

  43. ZootCadillac says: March 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I think that Marcott et al have had every chance to respond by now Mark.

    Well, yes, but it appears that they’ve conveniently decided to kick the response can down the road, into an as yet unwritten FAQ. From Revkin’s Mar. 16 update to his Mar 7 post:

    Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has been dissecting the Marcott et al. paper and corresponding with lead author Shaun Marcott, raising constructive and important questions.

    As a result, I sent a note to Marcott and his co-authors asking for some elaboration on points Marcott made in the exchanges with McIntyre. Peter Clark of Oregon State replied (copying all) on Friday, saying they’re preparing a general list of points about their study:

    “After further discussion, we’ve decided that the best tack to take now is to prepare a FAQ document that will explain, in some detail but at a level that should be understandable by most, how we derived our conclusions. Once we complete this, we will let you know where it can be accessed, and you (and others) can refer to this in any further discussion. We appreciate your taking the time and interest to try to clarify what has happened in our correspondence with McIntyre”.

    Peter Clark, btw, is also a CLA for AR5’s WG1. But that aside, the above response (by Clark to a msg sent to Marcott) doesn’t show any indication that they have yet come to terms with (or even understand the implications of) the many flaws underlying this paper.

    It may take some time for this FAQ to be produced. Perhaps they’ve even contracted it out to “experts” such as Mann and his fellow creative writers at SkS. Past experience suggests that one should be prepared for a barrage of non-responsive bafflegab in over-drive.

    It’s getting suspiciously too-long without at least some response to the earliest claims

    Please see above :-)

    and I personally think it’s time those with the skill and understanding start to fire off some comments to Science magazine’s editor because it appears that the authors are not keen to get the ball rolling in anything like short-order.

    Paul Matthews did this, quite succinctly, on Saturday:

    Brief comment on “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years”

    Paul Matthews, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK

    16 March 2013

    This paper includes several graphs that show slow temperature variation over the last 10000 years followed by a rapid rise over the 20th century. This aspect of the paper has unsurprisingly been seized upon enthusiastically by climate activists and journalists. However it is clear that this result is spurious.

    [Paul describes the four issues that had been revealed as of the time of writing, and concludes:]

    Any one of these issues would raise serious questions about the validity of this work. Taken together they leave no doubt that the results presented are spurious and misleading. The paper should be withdrawn immediately. The fact that such an obviously flawed paper was published raises serious questions about the authors, the quality of the refereeing process and the handling of the paper by the editors of Science.

    Hilary Ostrov

  44. Look. A paper has research and it has perspective. The research is on long ago. That is the major research. Long ago. Repeat. You getting sleepy…

    Quit dodging the issue and answer the question, the paper is accepted and wide spread publicized in the MSM because of an artifact uptick.
    Nobody would have given a rat’s arse if the paper did not showed that “unprecedented” (the favorite word of the alarmists) uptick in the 20th century.
    This is what NSF grant manager, Marcott’s sponsor, said:

    This research shows that we’ve experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly.”

    Nobody in the MSM or even their own sponsors mention that the uptick is not robust.

  45. Mike at 5:53, compete hockey stick worth its weight in gold is still worthless as it is a figment of Manns imagination.

  46. trafamadore;
    You mean Oregon State. One is the Ducks, is in Eugene and is a really cool place where hippies from the 60s still hang out. The other is the Beavers and in Corvallis. Really bad mistake, because both I and my wife are from the U of O.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    It must be so nice for you to finally be right about something. You should be very proud.

    Very clever writing under trafamadore while your wife writes under tramafadore btw. The gender bias in the writing flip flopping back and forth really threw me until I realized it was two different people.

  47. I’ve looked high and low and I’m forced to conclude
    That Marcott et al have been quite simply rude.
    By careful deletion and prudent selection
    They’ve just tried to draw one gigantic erection!

    (Sorry mod – is this too rude?)

    ["Too rude?
    Etude, dear Brut"
    Mod]

  48. trafamadore;
    Actually, what really happens is that people write in and crit the paper, and ask to respond in the letters section of Science.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes, because the only way a paper can possibly be debunked folks is if the journal it was first published in prints a letter critical of it. Known facts not printed in the journal don’t count. This is why the earth is flat and the sun circles the earth and you can diagnose mental problems by feeling the bumps on people’s heads and all manner of diseases can be cured by letting the blood out of the sick people. Known facts to the contrary don’t count because they haven’t been accepted for publication by the original journal.

  49. I’m looking at that graph and noticing that the Mann line shoots up later than the blue Marcott line; which goes up at “0 BP”… But isn’t 0 BP defined as 1950 in the paper?

    So am I reading that graph wrong? Or is it saying that we had a giant Global Warming spike in 1950 ? Then the Mann line says we had it now?

    It’s hard to visually pick out the blue from grey in the next to last spike up at 0 BP on that graph, but that’s what it looks like. Clearly the grey continues well beyond “0 BP”…

  50. trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    …sort of a two for one deal. But in my experience (working in an area not as charged a climate science), out of 4 responses that I have reviewed (Science), none ended up being published. I am thinking the success rate for letters must be the same as the rest of the journal, 4 to 8%? I don’t know, but it must be sort of low.

    Wow. So, you are saying, you set up a Pareto for the incoming responses in the type of question, and since their are 4 responses equally distributed 2×2 or 4×1, none end up published? No, no, that is too complicated.

    You would use your knowledge of the subject, and possibly your (political/funding/income) bias to determine which question is asked. And, since “what comes around goes around”, only the most banal and non-time-consuming will be allowed through, since, “y’all” have got each “others backs”.

    Until you can possibly understand that there are NO proxy series that I am aware of that can continue the “UP-TICK” into the current warming period (consistently) you are just a confused. There are TONS of excuses, but no explanation. You can never have a paleo-record the the same type show the same end point in time. The error bars should be at least 3x of what the public sees (Nature, Science, and all the other sloppy mess).

    If you can not fix that “BLADE” onto the shaft of the paleo-“stuff”, you are arguing without reason or responsibility.

  51. Definition
    Marcotting is a form of vegetative reproduction that consists in inducing rooting of part of a tree branch. After rooting is induced, the branch is cut and put in a nursery to develop buds and become an independent plant. Marcotting allows for the reproduction of exact copies of the mother tree and for early fructification.

    Is someone ‘having a laugh’ as we cockneys say.

  52. Owen in GA says:
    March 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm
    The bogusness of this just keeps getting thicker. First we have a hockey stick starting in the 1950s
    ==========
    reading over at CA it appears that the end points of the proxies have been shifted to 1950, creating data where none existed, and voila a hockey stick appears in 1950 where none appeared in the original thesis.

    How is this any different than using thermometer data to hide the decline in tree ring data? Is it any accident both times you get hockey sticks?

    Surely the authors must have known that shifting the end points of the proxies to 1950 would affect the results in 1950. The difference between the original thesis and the subsequent paper is a huge warning sign that there might just be something wrong.

  53. Don says:
    March 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    +++++++++++++++
    I am reminded of the song “Story of the Fish” performed by my friends The Elders…

    *

    LOL. Thanks for that, Don, gave me a giggle. :)

  54. I’ve noticed that committed Alarmists like to defend hockey stick shaped reconstructions by saying that it “doesn’t matter” if the proxies are inaccurate about the recent “blade” because we have increasing thermometer temps to substitute. Thus they tend not to be even slightly offended by any possible “grafting” of instrumental records onto plots of proxy records — they assume it is obvious that more reliable instrumental records should be preferred anyway. They also emphasize a flattened “stick” whether in the millenial Mannian types of recons or in the 110 century Marcott recon; although the Marcott “stick” has the long gradual decline, what is most important is that it tends to lose/flatten all high frequency variations. This is a crucial connection in the Mann-Marcott corpus, flattening the scope of “natural variation” and then emphasizing the “unprecedented” nature of 20th century warming.

    But what that kind of stance ignores is that (1) any divergences between proxy records and modern instrumental records *may* call into question the reliability of the proxy records in the more distant past, and (2) we really don’t know nearly enough about natural variation in the past. If proxy records are unreliable in any major part of the 20th century, when we can compare them to instrumental records, how do we know if they are really so reliable (with narrow error bands) in the distant past?

    For Marcott et al. (2013) we seem to have some rather freaky improvised results in the past one or two centuries, plus a long term curve that might be vaguely accurate but does not track high frequency changes. If 300-400 year periods (or at least century periods) may not have resolution before the 20th century, then it is actually not possible to assert (as the PR blitz for the Marcott paper does claim) that it is now the “rate” of warming that is unprecedented and is of such grave concern.

    Both Michael Mann in his email to Revkin (Dot Earth/New York Times blog) and the NSF program manager for the grant under with Marcott et al. worked (she is quoted in the press release and some of the media articles) sing in chorus that it is the “rate” of warming now that is so scary.

  55. E.M.Smith: So am I reading that graph wrong? Or is it saying that we had a giant Global Warming spike in 1950 ? Then the Mann line says we had it now?

    No, you are reading it exactly right. Marcott et al. (Science, but not the thesis) reconstruction is saying that we had “a giant Global Warming” around 1900-1950. The Mann “line”, which is actually Crutem3 global land data, says, of course, that the “spike” occured after 1950.
    You can see the (Mannian) smoothed version of the reconstruction used by Marcott el in the main figure of Mann et al (2008), e.g., here:

    The reconstruction used is in green. Notice that it (along with its uncertainties) ends in1849. So in Marcott et al. they combined the green curve with the CRU curve (plotted in red in Mann’s figure above) to a single curve (gray in Marcott’s figure). The CRU curve (red) ends slightly higher in Mann’s figure than the corresponding curve in Marcott’s figure due to Mannian end-point filtering, but that’s another thing.

    Now notice also that there are no uncertainties given in Mann’s figure for the CRU record, so where did those come to Marcott’s figure (where the uncertainties clearly seem to continue all the way to the end)? They didn’t come from Mann et al (2008) files, so this can not be just a mistake of directly plotting from Mann’s files without realising that the 1850-2006 part is the instrumental record.

  56. What is this BP in Years (BP)? Before Pachauri?

    I hope it is not Before Present, it is somehow a slippery reference point.

  57. Anybody know where I can hire a climate scientist? I need a salary uptick for a mortgage application.

  58. ” … (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites)…” – Mann/RC

    Where’s Lewandowsky when you need him?

  59. Anthony
    This explains why Mann claimed you were denying the instrumented record, because it turns out it is the instrumented record and not a proxy after all.

  60. It looks like Marcott and Shakun tried to re-date proxies until the resulting curve resembles Mann’s reconstruction (and M&S forgot or didn’t care that since 1850 Mann’s is CRUTEM).

    MAYBE M&S have even optimized their proxy re-dating algorithmically to minimize the difference to Mann. And so they have ended up with their bizarre proxy-re-dating (and proxy culling before 0 BP == 1950 AD).

    Opinions on this? (And ignore trafamadore, he is trying to hijack the thread and fly it to North Korea)

  61. E.M.Smith says:
    March 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm
    “I’m looking at that graph and noticing that the Mann line shoots up later than the blue Marcott line; which goes up at “0 BP”… But isn’t 0 BP defined as 1950 in the paper?

    So am I reading that graph wrong? Or is it saying that we had a giant Global Warming spike in 1950 ? Then the Mann line says we had it now? ”

    I think M&S could not come closer to Mann because of the invalidity of radiodating after 1950 – their study HAD TO stop at 1950 to appear serious. Given this constraint, they tried to emulate Mann as much as they could – is my hypothesis.

  62. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

  63. Skiphil says: “Both Michael Mann in his email to Revkin (Dot Earth/New York Times blog) and the NSF program manager for the grant under with Marcott et al. worked (she is quoted in the press release and some of the media articles) sing in chorus that it is the “rate” of warming now that is so scary.”

    The current rate of warming – basically zero – must be very, very, scary for those in the Global Warming Industry. A few more years of this and the climate gravy train will come to a grinding halt and who is going to give a job to an unemployed ‘climate scientist’?.

  64. I would not be surprised to Marcott et al do not respond to this latest problem in their work , nor the early ones. The ‘purpose ‘ of the paper has already been fore filled , column inches of climate doom and support for the stick. So when you get down to it , what is in it for them.
    It would be nice to think that from professional and academic position they would deal with the issues , but this is climate ‘science’ where standards are so low a snake could not get under them , so actual ignoring these problems would be following the path laid done the ‘leaders ‘ in this field such has Mann.

  65. I do not understand why people are feeding Trafamadore.

    The point is simple, the paper deals with low resolution proxies which goes upto 1850. Whether these proxies are good proxies for temperature (ie., whether it is possible to screen out the temperature signal from the more general response to prevailing environmenal conditions in general) is an issue as it is with all proxies. The paper merely tells us what those proxies suggest, within the limitation of those proxies (including their low resolution), with respect to temperature trends from about 11,000 BP through to 1850. What the paper fails to do, like most papers, is to properly discuss error margins and the limitations of each and every proxy used, and the conflict between each proxy with each other and with the multi proxy average.

    It tells us nothing about current temperatures. It equally tells us nothing about whether current temperatures are warmer than that seen throughout say 75% of the Holocene. This is all pure fantasy and hype. People are complaining at the unjustified spin which the article in Science has placed upon this particular piece of research.

    The problem with all proxies is tuning and.one cannot splice one data set onto another data set, even for comparison purposes..It is always necessary to keep comparing apples with apples, and not apples with pears.

    Leaving aside sampling, in broad terms there was nothing wrong with Mann’s tree ring data reconstruction. The problem with the reconstruction is that he spliced on post 1960 thermoter data. What he should have done was to set out the tree proxy data right up to date (about 1990). That data would have shown that according to the proxies used temperature were declining post 1960. This is important since this would then enable the reader to consider whether the proxies are a good proxy for temperature and/or whether there has been some error in tuning the proxies. Of course, tree ring proxy data is not a good metric for temperature since tree ring growth is a response to prevailing environmental conditions in general, temperature being only one small component of prevailing environmental conditions; and it not being possible to extract the response to the temperature component from the resonse to environmental conditions in general.

    All proxy data is unreliable and needs to be viewed with a substantial degree of caution. At the end of the day, the real issue is whether the proxies used by Marcott are good proxies for temperature between about 11,000 BC through to 1850 and has he handled the proxies in an appropriate manner. It does appear that there were handling issues with the proxies but no doubt Marcott will respond on that in due course.

    If we want to know whether these proxies suggest that current temperatures are warmer than that seen during say 75% of the Holocene we will need to wait at least a further 400 years, probably 600 years, and then carry on with the temperature plot post 1850. It woukld not surprise me that if this were done temperatures according to the proxies used are declining post 1850 since there is nothing within the paper that suggests that those proxies have turned towards an upwards tick.

  66. @ScepticKnitter says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm
    /////////////////

    Probably the best allegorical post I have seen on this topic. Well said!
    Now, if only Mann et al could knit…

  67. Further to my post above, I do not wish to give the impression that I am defending Mann’s work; I am not.

    My point is simply that had he carried out his work properly, he would have included tree ring data up to the date of his paper, and the reader would then have been able to see what that proxy tells us about temperature within the limitations of that proxy.

    If that proxy data showed that temperatures post 1960 were falling and if the reader considers the thermometer record post 1960 to be accurate, or at any ratea more reliable, record of temperature than the tree ring proxy data, then the reader would immediately know that the proxies used by Mann were not reliably reproducing temperature for the period post 1960. Absence some convincing explanation, once that fact becomes apparent, the reader would draw the obvious inference; if tree ring data does not accurate record/reflect temperatures for the period say 1960 to 1990, why should it be any more reliable for the period say 1600 to 1700, or say 1200 to 1300? All of this goes to showing the limitation of the chosen proxy.

  68. How can it possibly “confirm” the hockey stick when it CONTAINS the hockey stick? What the hell kind of science is that?

    How in the hell did they think we wouldn’t figure this out?

  69. Re: Nigel S

    I love it. I was going to ask about terminology, whether grafting shouldn’t be called “graphting”. Yours is better … marcotting, grafting (horticulturally speaking) is all about propogation. Isn’t that what this is all about? Propogating the cause?

    JohnB

  70. Ohh, seeing as they seem to be in the mood lately, watch out for the legal letters with the title of this one!

    From Merriam-Webster:

    “Definition of GRAFT
    : the acquisition of gain (as money) in dishonest or questionable ways; also : illegal or unfair gain”

    :D

  71. So, from an audio tinkering perspective (to simply explain this to a barmaid), we have an audio sample running through a complicated circuit that we don’t really understand. Someone (Marcott) is claiming that the signal’s DC voltage sweeps up toward the end of the trace, which makes us highly suspicious because someone else had claimed that, and their data was severely debunked (Mann).

    So in an effort to prove that it really does, Marcott hooks a bunch of voltage probes into the poorly understood circuit’s various components, sometimes grabbing a cathode connection, sometimes a plate (emitter and collector, or source and drain for transistors) and runs the signals over to a summing (averaging) circuit and a low-pass filter. He also runs a bunch of the signals through a tape-loop delay, for reasons unknown, and all the while insists that towards the end of the signal the DC voltage coming out of the averaging and low-pass filter circuit is going to sweep upwards.

    So we play the input signal and everything looks pretty reasonable, but right before the signal gets to the end he starts yanking loose about half of his circuit probes (his proxy data starts running out), and sure enough, the DC voltage drifts. He says, “Aha! See, it sweeps up at the end.” We retort, “Right before it got finished you started yankin’ the low-voltage cathode probes loose, so of course the average swept up at the end.”

    Also toward the end, the raw input signal was changed from a scratchy Edison cylinder recording of Herbert Hoover to a 16-bit MP3 from an iPod, but he pretends the background noise and hiss never diminished, which isn’t really the issue, it just shows that he has no idea what he’s doing.

    Okay, maybe that’s not quite down to barmaid napkin levels of simplicity.

    So he’s making a black and tan, and as the pitcher is almost full he stops one tap and finishes with straight Guinness. No, that’s not quite right either.

  72. trafamadore says: March 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    The main point of the abstract: “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic."
    That is the main point of the paper.

    Well, if that was the main point of the paper, they probably should not have created/grafted/concocted a bloody great uptick on the end to encourage every fanatical CAGW dramatist to run around screaming in delight and hooting in a tribal dance, shouting “Hockey stick, hockey stick!”

  73. Trafamadore

    You seem to be missing the whole essence of this discussion, and why the whole issue is so important.

    I don’t know whether your misunderstanding is deliberate or not. But I’ll be generous and assume the latter, and explain it to you.

    Marcott originally did the work that you rightly applaud as part of his thesis. This showed no hockey stick.

    Subsequently Science published a later version, with a hockey stick. This has raised several issues:-

    1) How the “stick” suddenly appeared.
    2) Why the peer review process missed the pertinent criticisms made by Steve Mac and others.
    3) Why Science so readily accepted what now appears to be a fundamentally flawed paper.

    Whether these criticisms only affect a small part of the paper or not, they serve to fundamentally undermine the whole work.

    Whether the rest of Marcott’s paper is worthy or not, these are all questions we are entitled to ask.

    Glad to be of help.

    Paul

  74. trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Chad Wozniak says: “The real question is how do we get across to the uninformed multitudes that the alarmies are purveying horseshit? – and worse than that, proposing mass murder?”

    In a blog world where Monckton is a “real” lord and Tisdale and Eschenbach
    write “real” science articles…and real research is “horses**t”….yes, there is a problem somewhere.

    It is clear, from your reference to Monckton, that, at least, you are not British! Thankfully!

  75. @Trafamdore (sic)
    “Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history.”

    Even ignoring the random spaghetti graphs and grossly understated uncertainty, given the low proxy resolution in the part of this paper you are claiming to be ‘the point’ (which of course makes all the wildly fabricated parts related to the ‘modern uptick’ okay), how could this statement possibly be valid? Temperature variations of the instrumental era would have been completely lost in the smoothing of the proxy reconstruction, so how is this in any way demonstrated without averaging everything into utter meaninglessness?

    Do you really believe what you claim? Your needing to resort to weird ad homs about Eisenbach and Tisdale indicate you probably do not. In this case, are you just being paid by some activist group to make a lot of distracting noise on blogs? I don’t mind either way, I’m just interested in your kind of reasoning and how it might be possible in a sane human being. As already pointed out by someone else here, the standard of argument by other, noticeably absent warmists here, is generally a lot higher. They must really hate this paper.

  76. rafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    [...] all the sentences you and others are focusing on are perspective, not the main research in the paper. Sentences like “A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years and Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.” is not based only on the research in the paper but many other published studies.

    trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    THEN the critical letters and the responses are sent to reviewers (like me) to decide if the critique/response is interesting/relevant enuf to be published or not.

    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Traf, are you seriously saying that, as a self-proclaimed reviewer, you would accept comments in the conclusions (of ALL sections) of a submitted paper that were not based on the paper itself?

    In other words, do you really consider it ok to include unsubstantiated* speculation in the conclusions of scientific research without making it very clear indeed within the text that it is only speculation?

    If you do then either you’re lying about being a reviewer, or the journals you review for have entirely unacceptable standards.

    * nowhere do they substantiate those conclusions with any reference to the other work you speak of and, sans supporting evidence, they are nothing but speculation.

  77. Traldarafome,

    Why are the various versions of you on here? You try to defend the indefensible, but you try without offering any technical answers. You just keep saying “Read the paper, it doesn’t say that.”

    Are your masters pleased with your work? Your masters are appealing to low-information voters, but that is not the audience here. I think you go through the motions, rather than addressing any serious questions with any serious answers.

    Transparent, foolish, regrettable, rather pathetic, what a way to make a living. We’re all glad we are not you…

  78. ScepticKnitter says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm
    ———–
    Thanks. You’ve got more in common with good scientists than you probably think. Certainly you’ve got more in common with engineers in general than you probably realize. :)

    All too often I hear arguments from warmists that amount to ‘oh, the climate scientists have more important work to do than that drudgery. or oh, the math and science they deal with is way too complicated for detailed checking like that‘ It’s a bunch of baloney. It sounds to me like you’ve got a strong commitment to following a rigorous methodology that focuses on finding and correcting errors, and I’d bet you get good results from that. I’ll tell you a secret, although I expect you already know it: this works in virtually ANY field, be it sewing, science, engineering, manufacturing, or what have you. If you want quality, you need reproducible results. If you need reproducible results, you need discipline and a methodology; doesn’t matter how smart or talented you are, there’s no way around it.

  79. Raymond: BP in this context means Before Present, which is Jan 1, 1950.

    Trafa(l)madore: Some papers published here qualify as science, despite their authors’ not being in academia or even having graduate or undergrad degrees. These facts do not automatically disqualify them as real scientists. Please point out the faults in their work, if you find any, but don’t engage in the fallacy of appeal to authority.

    Do you recall the quotation from Feynman cited by Marcott?

    One of Einstein’s three heroes was Faraday. Check out his academic credentials, or lack thereof. For that matter, Einstein himself had only a four-year teaching diploma, so worked as a patent clerk (assistant examiner). Darwin’s undergrad degree was in divinity, & he was not an academic. Copernicus had a doctorate, but in canon law & worked in a church, not a college.

    The WUWT posters whom you mention may not be among the world’s five or ten greatest scientists, as are those above, but they don’t need the credentials you imagine in order to conduct valid research & analysis.

  80. Hey guys, give trafamadolt a break. He is quite entertaining. Let’s face it, the problems with Marcott’s paper have been explained so many times a cave man can understand it. There is only one word to explain his comments … denial.

    This is in line with most alarmists today., They deny the flat temperatures this century, they deny the ocean’s influence on climate cycles, they deny the model projections are way off, they deny the weather is not climate with constant cherry picking of any extreme weather event. All they have been doing lately is denying everything that has been happening in the real world.

    Where else can a guy get this kind of entertainment for free?

  81. I didn’t know what “alkenone” dateing was, and still need to learn more. But this article by Benthien, et. al., in global Biogeochemical Cycles seems to indicate that nutrient-limited growth rates might obscure the temperature signal derived from alkenones.

    1] We have analyzed the stable carbon isotopic composition of the diunsaturated C37 alkenone in 29 surface sediments from the equatorial and South Atlantic Ocean. Our study area covers different oceanographic settings, including sediments from the major upwelling regions off South Africa, the equatorial upwelling, and the oligotrophic western South Atlantic. In order to examine the environmental influences on the sedimentary record the alkenone-based carbon isotopic fractionation (εp) values were correlated with the overlying surface water concentrations of aqueous CO2 ([CO2(aq)]), phosphate, and nitrate. We found εp positively correlated with 1/[CO2(aq)] and negatively correlated with [PO43−] and [NO3−]. However, the relationship between εp and 1/[CO2(aq)] is opposite of what is expected from a [CO2(aq)] controlled, diffusive uptake model. Instead, our findings support the theory of Bidigare et al. [1997]that the isotopic fractionation in haptophytes is related to nutrient-limited growth rates. The relatively high variability of the εp−[PO4] relationship in regions with low surface water nutrient concentrations indicates that here other environmental factors also affect the isotopic signal. These factors might be variations in other growth-limiting resources such as light intensity or micronutrient concentrations.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2001GB001433/abstract

    Albert Benthien1,3, Nils Andersen2,4, Sonja Schulte1, Peter J. Müller1, Ralph R. Schneider1, Gerold Wefer, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(1), 2002, p12

  82. Here’s my list of the 15 greatest scientists. Please feel free to criticize & post your own.

    Those passing the Trafamadore Test (doctorates in scientific or, generously, math & working as tenured professors at reputable universities) as “real scientists” get a P; those failing an F.

    Copernicus F
    Kepler F (MA in theology)
    Galileo F (no degree)
    Newton F (Professor, but no doctorate)
    Lavoisier F (left school at 18)
    Hutton F
    Faraday F
    Darwin F
    Pasteur F (no doctorate)
    Maxwell F (no doctorate)
    Mendel F
    Einstein F
    Rutherford P
    Pauling P (Oregon State, then OR Ag College, & Cal Tech)
    Franklin P (provided key info that backbone has to be on the outside of DNA helix)

    If not Franklin, Watson P or Crick P, then Lederberg P.

  83. Paul Homewood.
    1) How the “stick” suddenly appeared.
    2) Why the peer review process missed the pertinent criticisms made by Steve Mac and others.
    3) Why Science so readily accepted what now appears to be a fundamentally flawed paper.

    A pertinent set of questions. I think Steve McI, Jean S and a few others are well on the way to figuring out HOW the uptick appeared. However, a corollary to that is WHY the uptick appeared.

    My interpretation is that Marcott’s thesis is a reasonably solid piece of work in reconstructing the Holocene temperature based on long term and relatively low resolution marine proxies. Clearly, such data only provides a relatively ‘broad brush’ result, so care is needed in interpreting short term fluctuations and rate of change. As such, the results cannot be directly compared with modern instrumental data of far higher resolution. However, to my mind it appears that the research and findings as per the thesis are very publishable in a mid-level specialist Earth Science journal (which is more than could be said for my own geology PhD research…). No way are the results of this reconstruction sufficiently novel to justify publication in Nature or Science.

    At some point between the thesis being written and the Science paper being accepted for publication, someone* has decided that with a bit of data man-handling, a more visually interesting result can be obtained that moves the paper from ‘solid if mundane’ to ‘high profile’

    While it is tempting to see the fingerprints of a certain well-known hockey-stick lover in this, my suspicion is that the suggestion came from within after the work Shakun did on re-dating cores. The modifications made suggest very strongly to me that the idea came from someone very familiar with the proxy data used in this case. Most likely one of the PhD supervisors.

    As for #2 – this simply highlights the weakness of the peer reviewing process (which I have limited experience of as both an author and reviewer). The reviewers are not expected to ‘take apart’ the data in detail, especially for a data-processing-heavy paper like this. The reviewer’s job is to ensure that the paper is original, interesting to the journal’s readership, readable, does not contain any egregious errors (such as 1+1 = 3), and that the conclusions are consistent with the data interpretation therein (and usually to make sure that any paper’s the reviewer has written on vaguely related subjects are cited…).

    It would probably be good practice within academic institutions if they followed similar procedures to those we do in the commercial world whereby reports / papers are subject to a strongly critical review prior to release into the outside world (by someone familiar with the field but no particular involvement in the data handling and writing) – OK, this is probably more complicated for research papers as the reviewer will really have to get into the nuts and bolts of the data processing to spot the mistakes. However, their first role would be a ‘sanity check’ of the results – i.e. does the output look realistic based on the input data. This was where the first clues were that all was not well with Marcott et al 13, in that none of the archived proxy series (prior to various truncations and redating) showed the strong up-tick at the end that is present in the reconstructed temperature.

    For #3 – Journals like Science (and Nature) are almost at the intersection between specialist academic journals and popular science magazines. High profile sells more copies, and there is little in the climate science world that is more high profile than hockey sticks, however they are concocted. Why these are considered so important is anyone’s guess.

  84. Mann & his ilk are now officially cowards, throwing a sacrificial grad-student lamb to the wolves to protect their own valuable skins.

  85. knr says:
    March 20, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I would not be surprised to Marcott et al do not respond to this latest problem in their work , nor the early ones. The ‘purpose ‘ of the paper has already been fore filled , column inches of climate doom and support for the stick. So when you get down to it , what is in it for them.

    It would be nice to think that from professional and academic position they would deal with the issues , but this is climate ‘science’ where standards are so low a snake could not get under them , so actual ignoring these problems would be following the path laid done the ‘leaders ‘ in this field such has Mann.

    I think they may actually be considering withdrawing the paper, especially if Science is somewhat shocked and appalled at what they’ve done and is considering retracting it..

  86. For me, Marcott is the Rubicon.

    I’ve tried to keep a neutral perspective. I’ve tried to give AGWers the benefit of the doubt. I’ve tried to assume everyone is acting in good faith.

    No more.

    From this point forward, I’m just going to assume every single “scientific” paper in climate “science” is trying very hard to mislead.

  87. Newton was a mostly untutored kid when he created the mathematics that we know as the calculus. He became a professor on the basis of that work. I would refer to him as an amateur.

  88. Joe says:
    March 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

    At some point, Trafamadore is going to say “But you talk like lying, cheating, and stealing are bad things.”

  89. Ian Blanchard says:
    March 20, 2013 at 7:50 am
    As for #2 – this simply highlights the weakness of the peer reviewing process (which I have limited experience of as both an author and reviewer). The reviewers are not expected to ‘take apart’ the data in detail, especially for a data-processing-heavy paper like this. The reviewer’s job is to ensure that the paper is original, interesting to the journal’s readership, readable, does not contain any egregious errors (such as 1+1 = 3), and that the conclusions are consistent with the data interpretation therein (and usually to make sure that any paper’s the reviewer has written on vaguely related subjects are cited…).
    ==================
    Thanks Ian…..I wish more people could grasp this

  90. beng

    Yes, that thaught has struck me too. However, Marcott is a grownup, not a grad student anymore, and responsible too for his own actions. Apparently, what he did for his thesis, were he was dependent on his advisor in an entirely different way, was decent and without the now revealed ‘problems’ ..

    But still, a young postdoc is dependent on ‘professor’ in a similar way for his future career, his possibility to new appointments, grants, tenure etc. And if it played out as you suggest, that he is the fall guy for all what’s wrong with this paper, while the ‘elders’ were scheming in the background with methods, timing, softball reviews etc (as i certainly looks like), in order to get the blade in print, just long enough for it to be included in the IPCC AR5, whereafter the repercussions could be blamed on the young guy and first author, then indeed this is very cynical.

    However, Michaek Mann has been a coward for a long time already (like Gore) afraid to debate anybody not agreeuing with him on a level field ..

    And if it is true that he was one of the reviewers (he might very well be one among those the authors suggested), then this will in the end get back to him too …

    I still cannot understand how the journal Science could lend itself to such low scheming though …

  91. Another glorious token of Climatology.
    When this art is abandoned perhaps science will return to the study of our weather.
    Climate will again be understood as either a geological event, or best defined on a regional basis.
    I agree with those who call Marcott a sacrificial lamb on the altar of this cult.
    But he is an adult and perhaps has a future in vacuum sales.
    Based on personal experience, these bureaucrats will stonewall and evade.Hoping the attention will fade.

  92. In 1665, aged 23 & just having been awarded a BA, Newton later claimed to have begun work on his calculus. I believe him, but the proponents of Leibniz’ priority don’t. He did definitely develop the theory of gravitation while home after August 1665, when Cambridge shut down due to plague, so, yes, he was a kid. Breakthroughs in math & science are often made by youngsters in their 20s, even if like Newton & Darwin, they don’t publish until much later in life.

  93. Here’s what NASA & NOAA say about weather & climate:

    “Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) changes in the atmosphere. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure.

    “In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space. An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer, and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms…

    “In short, climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area.

    “Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather for a particular region.”

    I feel it is valid to talk about global climate, at least for longer time periods, as in “the equable Late Cretaceous climate” or “Snowball Earth”.

    The 30 years 1981-2010 were probably globally warmer on average than 1951-80, but than 1921-50 is questionable. The period 1681-1710 was almost certainly colder, but AD 981-1010 might well have been warmer than the past 33 years. Not to mention many 30 year periods in the Roman & Minoan Warm Periods & the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Let alone the Eemian Interglacial, when Scandinavia was an island.

  94. A little grafting here, a little grifting there; pretty soon you’re talking RealClimate Science [TM]!

  95. Ian Blanchard says:
    March 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Agree, mostly. Bottom line he submitted his paper to Nature they declined because no blade on the stick, he emailed Mann for help, the blade was attached and Mann spoke to his friends at Science, viola.

  96. Skiphil says: March 20, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Both Michael Mann in his email to Revkin (Dot Earth/New York Times blog) and the NSF program manager for the grant under with Marcott et al. worked (she is quoted in the press release and some of the media articles) sing in chorus that it is the “rate” of warming now that is so scary.

    Indeed! The well-worn** diversionary fog of last resort: This paper may be right or wrong, but it doesn’t matter … “it’s the rate of warming”. And, of course, this rascally rate is always increasing “faster than we thought” so – empirical evidence of “causation” be damned – we must act now. By doing as we say, but not as we do!

    ** I don’t know how long this particular “argument” has been used. The first time I saw it was from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)’s so-called “science” maven, Bob McDonald (whose academic credentials were not earned in any of the sciences, but – perhaps very appropriately – in drama!) McDonald was baring his broken heart during a post-Copenhagen weep-fest on his blog, as I had noted in:

    Yet another CBC “climate change” snowjob

    Hilary Ostrov

  97. Trafamadore once again tells us what the main point of the paper is. He thinks people here are naive and very stupid indeed. Let me explain Trafamadore:

    THE MAIN POINT OF THE PAPER IS THE FABRICATED UPTICK. Duck and dive all you like you will fail to divert anyone here away from that focus. By all means keep trying and I guarantee you that you will keep failing. You can take that to the bank Traf.

    If it was not for the sharp, fabricated uptick we would not be discussing it on WUWT.

  98. “…the majority of the work is being done by scientists who are so egocentric that they can’t/won’t submit their work to people who are qualified to find the errors.”

    This is how we got to where we are.

    If the total debacle of the Marcott paper leads to some improvement in scientific method and more objectivity in peer review, then it won’t have been totally in vain.

  99. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but Rud Istvan has an article about this on Climate Etc that I think is very important. He references Steve’s work and adds some of his own. I think that WUWT needs to help provide some exposure to Rud’s article. The public really needs to be exposed to the level of fraud that was pulled with this, since they were all exposed to the lie when it initially came out.

  100. Grafting is nothing new. You can plot millennium scale PDO data that are all over the map for hundreds of years that suddenly converge to GISS values for the last 50 years.

  101. RockyRoad says:
    March 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm
    But your opinion doesn’t matter, “traf”… the more people dig into this paper, the more problems it has. And that’s what matters.
    Exactly!

    trafamadore says:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm
    A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years and Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.”

    Trafamadore, you have not followed-up and not tried to understand anything of the critique, as your arguments do not address the points raised.
    With the right dating of the samples, the proxies give the same result as other work, showing correctly MWP and LIA and no unusual modern warming.
    Without re-dating there is no hockey stick in the modern times, actually it shows cooling, but being too few proxies the results are not concludent.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/hockey-stick-found-in-marcott-data/

    And with all this garbage found in the paper you keep on posting your “sky is falling message”. I see an acute case of stikophrenia around.
    Have you ever heard of the 8200 event? Do you know what is about “rapid climate chage”? Bond events? Have you read anything about the vikings in Greenland and that they grew grain in there? Had cows and farms?

    http://www.icenews.is/2012/01/28/evidence-suggests-vikings-grew-grain-in-south-greenland/

    http://www.co2science.org/data/timemap/mwpmap.html

    You are denying any significant climate change in the Holocene. Do you realise who is the denier?
    There are thousands of papers showing the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon:

    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    warmer or at least as the Modern Warming.
    I will not talk about the Younger Dryas which was one order of magnitude more significant that we see now, but many other events in the Holocene.

    http://www.climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm#An

    Google Mohendjo Daro and check why did that civilisation disappear? Because the climate changed about 4000 years ago getting cooler. Here some corresponding cooling from the Dead Sea:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379112002430

    It is now not as warm as it was at the time of that civilisation as the Holocene cools slowly:

    “We live in the coldest period of the last 10.000 years”

  102. Trafamadore: there’s someone a bit closer to the subject who agrees has a different take on what THE MAIN POINT OF THE PAPER IS.

    INTERVIEWER: “Mr Shakun … good to have you on. Thank you. What does your study tell us that we didn’t already know? What does it add to the science around this issue?”

    JEREMY SHAKUN: “Yeah. So, what it tells us. You know, what we knew from the last one hundred years is that we’ve had thermometers out there and they’ve told us that in the 20th Century global temperatures rose about a degree celsius. And we already knew that that was pretty strange out of the last thousand years. We knew that was pretty anomalous. We haven’t seen that in a thousand years.

    “But what _OUR_ [emphasis in original] study did was to say let’s go back a lot further. Let’s go back a full ten thousand years. Ah, and what it shows us is that one degree warming is looking pretty anomolous in the context of a full ten thousand years. So it really points to just how, how ah interesting and amazing times that we’re living in right now.”

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/19/bent-their-core-tops-in/#comment-407249

    So Trafamadore, are you going to say that the answer to the question “What does your paper add to the science” (and the explanation following “what it tells us”) is not the main point of the paper?

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