Those who don’t learn from Yamal, are condemned to repeat it – Marcott’s YAD061

You’d think academics in the upside down Mann climate proxy world would pay attention, and not repeat the same mistakes of the past. Apparently not. WUWT readers surely recall the Yamal YAD06 (The most influential tree in the world) and the core sample YAD061.

Core YAD061, shown in yellow highlight, the single most influential tree

Core YAD061, shown in yellow highlight, the single most influential tree

Steve McIntyre points out the YAD061 equivalent in Marcott et al, where a single sample contributed the majority of the uptick.

He writes:

TN05-17 is by far the most influential Southern Hemisphere core in Marcott et al 2013- it’s Marcott’s YAD061, so to speak. Its influence is much enhanced by the interaction of short-segment centering in the mid-Holocene and non-robustness in the modern period. Marcott’s SHX reconstruction becomes worthless well before the 20th century, a point that they have not yet admitted, let alone volunteered.

Marcott’s TN05-17 series is a bit of an odd duck within his dataset. It is the only ocean core in which the temperature is estimated by Modern Analogue Technique on diatoms; only one other ocean core uses Modern Antalogue Technique (MD79-257). The significance of this core was spotted early on by ^.

TN05-17 is plotted below. Rather unusually among Holocene proxies, its mid-Holocene values are very cold. Centering on 4500-5500 BP in Marcott style results in this proxy having very high anomalies in the modern period: closing at a Yamalian apparent anomaly of over 4 deg C.

TN05-17_baseFigure 1. TN05-17.

In the most recent portion of the Marcott SHX, there are 5 or fewer series, as compared to 12 in the mid-Holocene. Had the data been centered on the most recent millennium and extended back (e.g. Hansen’s reference station method is a lowbrow method), then there would have been an extreme negative contribution from TN05-17 in the mid-Holocene, but its contribution to the average would have been less (divided by 12, instead of 4). As shown below, TN05-17 pretty much by itself contributes the positive recent values of the SHX reconstruction. It’s closing anomaly (basis 4500-5500 BP) is 4.01 deg. There are 4 contributing series – so the contribution of TN05-17 to the SHX composite in 1940 is 4.01/4, more than the actual SHX value. The entire increase in the Marcott SHX from at least 1800AD on arises from increased influence of TN05-17 – the phenomenon pointed out in my post on upticks.

Read the entire post here: http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/10/the-impact-of-tn05-17/

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73 Responses to Those who don’t learn from Yamal, are condemned to repeat it – Marcott’s YAD061

  1. Jean Parisot says:

    Again!

  2. wwschmidt says:

    It’s not hard to see why they keep repeating the same mistake. For them, it’s not about getting the “science” right, it’s about providing support for an ossified ideological belief. This technique is the only way they have left with which they can massage the.numbers so that they.show what.they want them to show.

  3. The -2000 SUV caused the warming.

  4. Beta Blocker says:

    Steve McIntyre on CA: “TN05-17 is plotted below. Rather unusually among Holocene proxies, its mid-Holocene values are very cold. Centering on 4500-5500 BP in Marcott style results in this proxy having very high anomalies in the modern period: closing at a Yamalian apparent anomaly of over 4 deg C.”

    Another way of saying this is that it’s Yanomalous.

  5. Jeff Alberts says:

    Those who don’t learn from Yamal, are condemned to repeat it – Marcott’s YAD061

    You’re assuming they DIDN’T use Yamal as a learning experience. They learned how to make a stick where there are none. Such things can ONLY be deliberate.

  6. Jean Parisot says:

    How was this proxy treated in his thesis?

  7. Gary says:

    Besides the all too human reaction of ignoring your critics, what would cause climate researchers to continually re-use questionable data series in their analyses? I suspect it’s because they are mostly cloistered in offices running computers rather than out in the field collecting data. Biologists and ecologists know their organisms — how they behave and what influences their existence — from close contact and observation. I’ve done both field and laboratory data collection in ecological and climate research and I understand the differences by experience. Many climate scientists seem to come from backgrounds other than life sciences and just may not have the same intuition about data generated from samples of tree cores, mud, rock, ice, fossils, and chemicals. Numbers thus become reality even though they actually are derivative from reality. Maybe this habit also explains the blind trust in modeling and it’s subtle elevation over observation. What else can explain how they completely ignore warnings about the context of a data series except ignorance of a larger perspective? [And don't say deliberate fraud. That's going too far, so don't even go there.]

  8. Kasuha says:

    One thing that surprises me on that paper which nobody mentioned yet is the way how the error range is calculated. How is that possible that 20th century where only about 10% of proxies are used to calculate the mean has about the same error range as the whole rest? doesn’t each missing proxy extend the error by uncertainity about what that proxy’s contribution would be should that proxy have a value for that period?

  9. Steve Keohane says:

    You’d think academics in the upside down Mann climate proxy world would pay attention, and not repeat the same mistakes of the past
    Maybe ‘climatology’ SOP is a mistake.

  10. steveta_uk says:

    Bit puzzled by this. I thought Steve Mc had shown that the uptick was an artifact of the processing and wasn’t in any of the proxies. And now, he’s identified a specific proxy with an uptick.

    Can’t be both, surely?

  11. trafamadore says:

    Here is the data part of the abstract from the Marcott paper:

    “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."

    Exactly, which part of this abstract is wrong? Because I don't see much about the last 100 years. The only time it comes up is in the discussion, where they are comparing their data to data that they reference from others, which includes the instrument record.

  12. trafamadore says:

    Wow, impressed with the speed in the new site.

  13. dp says:

    It is pretty obvious the damning data and methods get re-used because there are just so many damning data and methods. It is a matter then of re-using them or turning to valid science which would not tell the story they wish told. It is not only hockey sticks all the way down – it is hockey sticks all the way up. Where there is a willing MSM there will be hockey sticks.

  14. John B says:

    trafamadore

    No one is saying there is anything wrong with the quote you reference from the abstract, and if the authors had presented their paper in those terms during their press blitz then there would not have been the same negative reaction

    However that would still leave two factors to consider. Without the uptick the paper would have been so unremarkable that it is highly unlikely it would even have been published, and certainly not in a prestigious journal.

    It also fails to consider the use of what the layman could only describe as creative, if not downright deceitful, statistical techniques within the paper.

  15. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Trafamador says:

    “Here is… part of the abstract from the Marcott paper:
    ‘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.'
    Exactly, which part of this abstract is wrong?"

    The part that's wrong is the very next sentence of the abstract (which you conveniently left out):
    "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."

    This was their money quote for the press releases, intended to make headlines around the world (and it did). They made this statement both in the abstract and in numerous press releases knowing full well that their data did not support it. It was a lie, which makes it scientific fraud.

  16. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    When there are no consequences for getting away with poor scientific method, you are inclined to repeat the process.

    If you do it again, especially after the errors of your ways are repeatedly pointed out to you, it is fraud.

  17. toml says:

    It would be very interesting to repeat Marcott’s analysis dropping out one proxy at a time. It’s a pretty standard sensitivity analysis method.

  18. Doug Proctor says:

    What’s driving me crazy in the climate sciences is the same crazy-making in marketing a la Lewandowsky or whatever his name is: so much work is done and presented that is MATHEMATICALLY correct, in that correct PROCEDURES were followed, but are not REPRSENTATIVELY correct, i.e. what they show either is a poor representation of reality or is invalid in that its actual, not mathematically correct, uncertainty is terrible.

    Lewandowsky/whatever worked his numbers but they do not represent the skeptic community. The actual uncertainty by any standard other than internal mathematics is huge; the results are invalid. Marcott and Mann worked their numbers but had to splice on the instrument record because the proxy data fails to match the instrument data; the proxy-to-instrument data correlation is hugely uncertain.

    “97%” of scientists support CAGW: this is another mathematically correct statement BY PROCEDURE but not by representation. It is definitely uncertain and (by experience) invalid. But the math is good.

    Perhaps statistics has a term for this, but I’ll give one: Procedural Certainty vs Representational Certainty.

    Innocent people go to jail because of the lack of public recognition of the difference. Procedural certainty says you murdered someone because you knew him and the murder weapon (sans fingerprints) was found at your house. Representational certainty says you murdered someone because the closed circuit cameras filmed you doing it.

    There is a fundamental gap between procedural and representational certainty. Proxies are all about procedure, while instrumental are/can be representational. The step between is filled with uncertainty.

    It is this gap that drives me to say Marcott and Mann misrepresent both science and reality. They speak – along with the IPCC – of 95% certainty, but what they mean is procedural certainty. The average citizen and political leader are not educated and suspicious enough of experts of any stripe to know the difference, because in life we are concerned with representational certainty, not procedural.

    To wit: The man who says there is no tiger in the bush because it is at night and he can’t see him it, his normal procedure for detecting hungry predators, is recognized as a short-lived fool by those who know that simply using that “proxy” means little at night. Procedurally the tiger isn’t there, but representationally, the tiger is ready for a meal.

    The best thing personally about the outrageous climate debate is that it has spurred me to think deeply about not just science and the world, but why people do what they do, especially how they sleep at night (Al Gore sleeps well on a soft pillow of money, and David Suzuki sleeps well with the conviction that, on death, he will be received by God as one of His Humble Saints, if you were wondering what I had decided.)

  19. steveta_uk says:

    Doug Proctor, this difference was something I questioned some time ago, when a new set of temp reconstructions had been published, and each one had an error band with the usual 95% certainty.

    But the difference reconstructions had quite different, non overlapping values, including the error bands. And the climate scientist involved didn’t seem to understand when I asked how they could claim that the true value lies within these error bands despite the non overlapping results. And I was told that I didn’t understand the math. Daft.

  20. geran says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    April 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

    >>>>>>

    Exactly! Well stated!

  21. DirkH says:

    Gary says:
    April 11, 2013 at 8:07 am
    “What else can explain how they completely ignore warnings about the context of a data series except ignorance of a larger perspective? [And don't say deliberate fraud. That's going too far, so don't even go there.]”

    Well, they had the best expert for this kind of analysis on board; Marcott, who used it already in his doctoral thesis – with a completely different result. So “ignorance of a larger perspective” can be ruled out.

    Which leaves…

  22. markx says:

    trafamadore says: April 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Here is the data part of the abstract from the Marcott paper:
    “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."
    Exactly, which part of this abstract is wrong? Because I don't see much about the last 100 years. The only time it comes up is in the discussion, where they are comparing their data to data that they reference from others, which includes the instrument record.

    Marvelous stuff, Tramp!

    Yes, I am sure their whole paper was only about showing that the early Holocene was hotter than today, then it got a lot colder…

    They probably did not really mean to finish on this note:

    Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P.

    Climate models project that temperatures are likely to exceed the full distribution of Holocene warmth by 2100 for all versions of the temperature stack (35) (Fig. 3), regardless of the greenhouse gas emission scenario considered (excluding the year 2000 constant composition scenario, which has already been exceeded). By 2100, global average temperatures will probably be 5 to 12 standard deviations above the Holocene temperature mean for the A1B scenario (35) based on our Standard 5×5 plus high-frequency addition stack (Fig. 3).

  23. StanleySteamer says:

    I tell my Stats students this all the time: Excel (SPSS, SAS, name your software) is not smart enough to know that you are stupid.

  24. markx says:

    Doug Proctor says: April 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

    “Al Gore sleeps well on a soft pillow of money, and David Suzuki sleeps well with the conviction that, on death, he will be received by God as one of His Humble Saints, if you were wondering what I had decided.”

    David Suzuki also sleeps well on a soft pillow of money, albeit a smaller one:

    David Suzuki and his registered charity:

    • More than US$8 Million in donations in 2010
    • US$4 million as his salary
    • 16 lobbyists on the payroll
    • US$81 million in donations since 2000.

    http://ezralevant.com/2011/12/davids-details.html
    http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/david-suzuki-foundation-70-million.html

  25. markx says:

    Please tell me if I have this wrong (and I’m open to correction! … this is beyond my pay grade):

    Marcott et al Fig 3. Did they really arrive at the Holocene median and 66% range shown by the black square and blue bar, (which is oh so much less than the range of the proxies)…

    … by creating 1000 stacks of data all a little different by random addition of “red noise” of the dame power spectrum as Mann’s data, then statistically analyzing that?

    We all know if you take enough inaccurate measures of something then statistically we can derive a more accurate mean …. but really, …. generating replicates of the same thing, then analyzing it all?

    C’mon, surely this is jumping through a few too many hoops.

  26. trafamadore says:

    markx says:” They probably did not really mean to finish on this note:Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P.
    Climate models project that temperatures are likely to exceed the full distribution of Holocene warmth by 2100 for all versions of the temperature stack (35) (Fig. 3), regardless of the greenhouse gas emission scenario considered (excluding the year 2000 constant composition scenario, which has already been exceeded). By 2100, global average temperatures will probably be 5 to 12 standard deviations above the Holocene temperature mean for the A1B scenario (35) based on our Standard 5×5 plus high-frequency addition stack (Fig. 3).”

    No, actually they did mean to finish on that note.

    You are confusing data with discussion. Did you read ref 35? It’s the 2007 IPCC. They are comparing the long past (their data) to a summary of the current data summarized in ref 35. And it goes with 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.”

  27. trafamadore says:

    toml says: “It would be very interesting to repeat Marcott’s analysis dropping out one proxy at a time. It’s a pretty standard sensitivity analysis method.”
    Jeff Alberts says:”You’re assuming they DIDN’T use Yamal as a learning experience. They learned how to make a stick where there are none. Such things can ONLY be deliberate.”

    Maybe. But what is it with this one temperature trace? I am assuming that the sources and analysis were decided at the beginning of the study (which might be hard for some of you to believe, because all scientists are evil and are in this business for the $$). What then would you like them do with the ones they did not like? Do some of you think the uptick data should not be included. Really? So you think, based on the results, they should have picked the data sets they used? But wait, isn’t that what people contend Mann did in his 1998 paper?

    Pretty entertaining watching this discussion.

  28. Gary Hladik says:

    So when will Marcott et al add this to their FAQ?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/31/marcott-issues-a-faq-on-thei-paper/

  29. Peter Miller says:

    The basic problem with Marcott’s paper is that between the time of its publication and the completion of his original thesis, he was got at by a person, or persons, unknown from the Climate Mafia.

    As someone said earlier, without the Hockey Stick and the well-planned media frenzy, none of us would have ever heard of Marcott. The fact that his paper and his thesis come to different conclusions, when this is combined with his dodgy statistical analysis, it is hardly surprising his name has now become mud/Mann.

  30. A.D. Everard says:

    Well… how many times do they have to do this before it is fraud? To me it’s fraud now and has been fraud for a very long time. All these graphs concocted to get the headlines and scare the puplic are very dileberately crafted to misrepresent. That’s fraud.

    We can spend years debating about a man’s intentions while all the while he continues to rob us. What are we waiting for, for him to retire? Let’s just call it like it is, collar the b******ds and bring charges against the lot of them. Every single time.

    Yes, I know, it costs. It’s not likely to happen. I’m just pointing out that sitting around twiddling our thumbs and debating whether to call it fraud or not – when it clear is – is pointless. These alarmists and grafters are laughing at us when we are trying so hard to be fair and gentle with them.

  31. rogerknights says:

    steveta_uk says:
    April 11, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Bit puzzled by this. I thought Steve Mc had shown that the uptick was an artifact of the processing and wasn’t in any of the proxies. And now, he’s identified a specific proxy with an uptick.

    Can’t be both, surely?

    I wouldn’t put it past ‘em!

  32. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    A.D. Everard says:
    April 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I second that motion!

  33. trafamadore:

    I read your post at April 11, 2013 at 11:41 am several times. It displays a very strange and distorted view.

    Contrary to your distorted view, nobody thinks “all scientists are evil”.
    Indeed, those of us who are scientists do NOT think of ourselves as “evil”.

    Are you not aware there are corrupt people in every walk of life?
    I wish it were not so, but sadly it is. And there are a few corrupt scientists.

    Scientists do not seek money as their main objective: they would have chosen a profession other than science if it were. Most scientists desire to conduct research and know – secretly hope – fame and esteem may be a reward for their work.

    Almost all scientists are true scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct honest research which may in some remote possibility gain them fame and esteem.

    A few scientists are corrupt scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct dishonest research which they hope will rapidly gain them fame and esteem. And financial rewards do come with fame and esteem, but money is not the objective of the corrupt science. The fame and esteem are most simply obtained from research corrupted to provide results supportive of a political agenda; e.g. AGW.

    Proxy climate studies have a shocking history of being corrupt science conducted by corrupt scientists.

    Therefore, only the naive fail to start from a situation of distrust when another proxy climate study is published and seems to concur with much previous research which has been found to be corrupt.

    Richard

  34. Mike Jonas says:

    steveta_uk says: “Bit puzzled by this. I thought Steve Mc had shown that the uptick was an artifact of the processing and wasn’t in any of the proxies. And now, he’s identified a specific proxy with an uptick.
    Can’t be both, surely?

    Please check, but from memory I think you will find that Steve’s first analysis was on one particular subset of the proxies (alkenones?), where dates had been changed thus producing an uptick. This analysis is of a different proxy set.

  35. adrian smits says:

    Question. Has anyone made a strong counter argument that this is not out and out fraud? If not why isn’t someone charging Him?

  36. Jay says:

    Question. Has anyone made a strong counter argument that this is not out and out fraud? If not why isn’t someone charging Him?—— 1. They are professionals with University degrees.. 2. Professionals respect each others degrees.. 3. Most journalists and people in the legal profession have University degrees..

    If you have letters after your name you do not cross the line for any reason for fear of being booted out of the elite club you worked so hard to get into..

    The biggest reason is… They just dont care.. Sure they are not saving the world but they are enriching their friends.. Expanding their political base and annoying all the right people / industries while they are at it.. ( all on the public dime)

    Why wont it stop?.. Because getting your social or political opponents to contribute to your political war chest through taxes is the best idea government workers have ever come up with..

    Its so perfect it almost brings a tear to ones eye ;(

  37. trafamadore says:

    richardscourtney says: “A few scientists are corrupt scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct dishonest research which they hope will rapidly gain them fame and esteem. And financial rewards do come with fame and esteem, but money is not the objective of the corrupt science. The fame and esteem are most simply obtained from research corrupted to provide results supportive of a political agenda”.

    What a very strange and distorted world you live in. Marcott is a grad student and you paint him with the same brush as everyone else who has studied this because, like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century. Hmmm. How strange.
    I wonder why that happens. (keep repeating with reverb)

  38. mike says:

    Two types of confirmation bias in science:

    Intentional confirmation bias.
    Unintentional confirmation bias.

    Climate science is the former.

    If climate scientists were doing a drug evaluation and 99 out of 100 participants died, they would approve the drug based on a single person surviving.

  39. Matthew W says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    richardscourtney says: “A few scientists are corrupt scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct dishonest research which they hope will rapidly gain them fame and esteem. And financial rewards do come with fame and esteem, but money is not the objective of the corrupt science. The fame and esteem are most simply obtained from research corrupted to provide results supportive of a political agenda”.

    What a very strange and distorted world you live in. Marcott is a grad student and you paint him with the same brush as everyone else who has studied this because, like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century. Hmmm. How strange.
    I wonder why that happens. (keep repeating with reverb)
    =========================================================
    WOW !!
    Talk about living in distortion !!!!

    ” like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century.”

    You really don’t understand what the issue is with Yamal and the Marcott “uptick”.

    At least your supply of bliss is plentiful.

  40. Reg Nelson says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    What a very strange and distorted world you live in. Marcott is a grad student and you paint him with the same brush as everyone else who has studied this because, like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century. Hmmm. How strange.
    __________

    But there was no uptick in the PHD thesis version of the paper. Hmmm. How strange.

  41. Mark Bofill says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    richardscourtney says: “A few scientists are corrupt scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct dishonest research which they hope will rapidly gain them fame and esteem. And financial rewards do come with fame and esteem, but money is not the objective of the corrupt science. The fame and esteem are most simply obtained from research corrupted to provide results supportive of a political agenda”.

    What a very strange and distorted world you live in. Marcott is a grad student and you paint him with the same brush as everyone else who has studied this because, like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century. Hmmm. How strange.
    I wonder why that happens. (keep repeating with reverb)

    —–

    Yeah? After reading Climate Gate 1 & 2, after hearing Stephen Schneider’s remarks on being effective as opposed to being honest, after James Annan’s statements regarding peers lying during elicitation exercises to motivate political action, you bet I approach climate scientists with suspicion about their integrity and motives. They have earned this mistrust.

    Unfortunately for the honest climate scientists, if they are any, they haven’t run their crooked colleagues out on a rail, so they’ll just have to bear it.

  42. tobias says:

    This is probably very evident for most of you but in my mind anyway is a way to describe how Mann ans Marcott et all do research ( and I stand corrected if wrong ),

    I stepped out this morning and it was raining, the same thing at dusk last night and at noon 2 days ago, raining again, I then checked my Stevenson screen records for April 1, 2, 3 and 4. At the observation times (& 7am and 6 pm on average) it was raining again every time !!
    I turned to my wife and said “it’s been raining for 10 days straight!!! (she did not even answer just looked at me).

  43. Ian W says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    toml says: “It would be very interesting to repeat Marcott’s analysis dropping out one proxy at a time. It’s a pretty standard sensitivity analysis method.”
    Jeff Alberts says:”You’re assuming they DIDN’T use Yamal as a learning experience. They learned how to make a stick where there are none. Such things can ONLY be deliberate.”

    Maybe. But what is it with this one temperature trace? I am assuming that the sources and analysis were decided at the beginning of the study (which might be hard for some of you to believe, because all scientists are evil and are in this business for the $$). What then would you like them do with the ones they did not like? Do some of you think the uptick data should not be included. Really? So you think, based on the results, they should have picked the data sets they used? But wait, isn’t that what people contend Mann did in his 1998 paper?

    Pretty entertaining watching this discussion.

    Even if the proxies were decided at the beginning of the study, it is normal to validate your proxies if possible and also to look for outliers. In studies with large numbers of proxies it would be normal to remove outliers as unreliable – or specifically note why that outlier is being retained. It would be normal in that case to provide some other validation of the values from that proxy.
    What we appear to have in this case is an outlier which showed cold against the warm average and warm against the few that were left cold. Retention of this contrary proxy needs full documented reasoning: this was not done – nor any extra validation. To then rely on it as the basis for your press release having just left it in the averaged set of proxies apparently hoping no-one would notice, is not what one would normally expect from a post-doc researcher.

  44. trafamadore:

    I am writing so you know I read your reply which demonstrates you failed to read or understand my post to you. I need say no more because others have expressed the astonishment at your failure to understand which I share.

    Richard

  45. trafamadore says:

    richardscourtney says:”I am writing so you know I read your reply which demonstrates you failed to read or understand my post to you.”

    ActualIy, understand your post perfectly.

    You think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this. These scientists speak different languages, live in different counties and do research is completely different areas.

    I think: you are nuts.

    REPLY:
    Maybe, but at least he has the courage to put his name to his ideas, so that if he is wrong, he is accountable personally, unlike you. -Anthony
    UPDATE: upon further inspection I find that:

    jr2458@sbcglobal.net – Result: Bad

    MX record about sbcglobal.net exists.
    Connection succeeded to mx2.sbcglobal.am0.yahoodns.net SMTP.
    421 4.7.1 [TS03] All messages from verify-email.org will be permanently deferred; Retrying will NOT succeed. See http://postmaster.yahoo.com/421-ts03.html

    So see ya later, anonymous coward. A valid email address is required to post here by blog policy. Having none, you get the redirect to the permanent spam bin. – Anthony

  46. trafamadore says:

    Ian W says:”Even if the proxies were decided at the beginning of the study, it is normal to validate your proxies if possible and also to look for outliers. In studies with large numbers of proxies it would be normal to remove outliers as unreliable – or specifically note why that outlier is being retained.”

    I am not aware of this. I always leave outliers alone, they usually do no harm, and you can check this by comparing the median with the average. You really need a good reason to remove data, and those data were already published I think. So to remove them you need to explain what was wrong with a published study, and I wouldn’t bother, it just gets people irritated at you.

  47. trafamadore:

    Your post at April 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm says in total

    richardscourtney says:

    ”I am writing so you know I read your reply which demonstrates you failed to read or understand my post to you.”

    ActualIy, understand your post perfectly.

    You think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this. These scientists speak different languages, live in different counties and do research is completely different areas.

    I think: you are nuts.

    I did not say, I did not suggest, and did not imply that I ” think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this.”
    I DON’T!
    Read what I wrote.

    Clearly, by your on words, you proclaim that you are nuts.

    Richard

    REPLY: Richard, he’s a blog policy violator and has been dealt with, he won’t be posting here again – Anthony

  48. Anthony:

    Thankyou for your kind message to me. Of course it is right that a blog policy violator be banned. However, I want it to be clear that I have not asked for anybody to be banned.

    The freedom to post diverse views is one reason that WUWT is so very, very valuable.

    It is your blog and it has obtained its immense success as a result of your management. If my replies to trafamadore caused problems then I sincerely apologise. WUWT is valuable and it is my desire to support it and not to harm it in any way.

    Richard

  49. Anthony:

    I posted a ;personal message to you. It seems to have gone in the ‘bin’ possibly the spam folder.

    You do not need to post it here unless that is your choice, but I would appreciate your being able to read it.

    Richard

  50. Dave N says:

    “You think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this. These scientists speak different languages, live in different counties and do research is completely different areas.”

    A better explanation is that many are scared that if they don’t toe the AGW line, they’ll find it difficult to receive funding, be shunned, or more likely both. Far more plausible than any “conspiracy theory”, because it doesn’t really require collusion (other than the same, natural fear), and it has happened way too many times in the past.

  51. scarface says:

    For fame and fortune!

  52. rogerknights says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    richardscourtney says: “A few scientists are corrupt scientists. They seek research funds to enable them to conduct dishonest research which they hope will rapidly gain them fame and esteem. And financial rewards do come with fame and esteem, but money is not the objective of the corrupt science. The fame and esteem are most simply obtained from research corrupted to provide results supportive of a political agenda”.

    What a very strange and distorted world you live in. Marcott is a grad student and you paint him with the same brush as everyone else who has studied this because, like everyone else who has studied this, he finds an temp uptick at the end of the 20th century. Hmmm. How strange.

    The uptick per se is not the issue, it’s its size and starting point–and the unjustified flatness of the temperatures before. IOW, as has been said here before, the objectionable part of the hockey stick isn’t the blade, it’s the shaft.

  53. GeoLurking says:

    adrian smits says:
    April 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Question. Has anyone made a strong counter argument that this is not out and out fraud? If not why isn’t someone charging Him?

    Because those handlers feel that there are more important things to study. Money’s tight ya know.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/feds-spend-400000-to-study-duck-genitals-92353/

  54. ExWarmist says:

    Standard Operating Procedure in action.

  55. rogerknights says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm
    richardscourtney says:”I am writing so you know I read your reply which demonstrates you failed to read or understand my post to you.”

    ActualIy, understand your post perfectly.

    You think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this. These scientists speak different languages, live in different counties and do research is completely different areas.

    The people who have gone into climatology are not a normal sample of seekers-after-truth. They are primarily a biased sample of persons who think they’ve found truth in the environmentalist indictment of mankind’s wasteful / poisonous ways. Climatology is a new field, almost entirely funded privately and publicly by “concerned / alarmed” funders of other environmentalist crusades, and taught by similar acolytes.

    The most intense Believers have managed to intimidate or marginalize others and set the tone for the field. It’s easy to do when “hard facts” and clear cause-effect relationships are so difficult to nail down. There’s lots of room for interpretation of finding, or to avoid research topics that are likely to produce contrary evidence.

    On top of that, there is an institutional incentive to avoid non-alarmist findings: it would reduce the fame and fortune (funding) for climatology if it were to tell its funders and the public: “Move along, nothing to see here.”

    Other fields have attracted biased samples of “scientists” who’ve marginalized dissenters: sociology and psychology, for instance. (Behaviorism and Freudianism were the big offenders in the latter instance.)

  56. Jeff Alberts says:

    trafamadore says:
    April 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Maybe. But what is it with this one temperature trace? I am assuming that the sources and analysis were decided at the beginning of the study (which might be hard for some of you to believe, because all scientists are evil and are in this business for the $$). What then would you like them do with the ones they did not like? Do some of you think the uptick data should not be included. Really? So you think, based on the results, they should have picked the data sets they used? But wait, isn’t that what people contend Mann did in his 1998 paper?

    Pretty entertaining watching this discussion.

    Total strawman.

    The issue is this: If you have 20 proxies, and only one of them has an uptick at the end, then the average of those proxies (as meaningless as that is) should not have that same uptick. Might have a little tiny bump, but nothing as pronounced as the original. That is the problem with Yamal, with most of Mann’s “research”, and seemingly with Marcott. A very small number of proxies are given enormous weight over all the rest, this giving a desired result.

  57. markx says:

    trafamadore says: April 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    You think: that there are tens or hundreds or even thousands of climate scientists involved in a conspiracy of some sort to convince the world that global warming is occurring, and making up data to convince people of this. These scientists speak different languages, live in different counties and do research is completely different areas.

    This is interesting and worth discussion.

    1. The above phrase has become a doctrinal “truth” to the the CAGW proponents and a standard reply when scientific argument and logical replies run out.

    2. Very, very few people would actually hold that position as detailed by trafamadore. We all know from history that it is very, very easy for a large number of people to end up holding a strong viewpoint on something and to hold onto that belief under all circumstances and in spite of all evidence, more so if it is a ‘noble cause’; religions, cults, warring nations make a particularly good example, and various mainstream medical beliefs (the beliefs regarding gastric ulcer causations being a recent example)can also be held up as examples.

    3. There are many climate publications dealing with subsets of data, where the body of the test/research does not touch on recent warming, but the apparently obligatory paragraph giving a nod to AGW is often included. In many cases this may be at the suggestion of reviewers, or simply a nod to the perceived mainstream belief. In many of these cases the work the scientists are doing does not touch upon the mechanisms, degree or possible causes of modern warming, and in effect they are sometimes commenting in this manner outside their area of knowledge or expertise.

    4. No conspiracy is needed for people in any particular grouping to end up holding a certain opinion on something, and a particular group holding a viewpoint does not automatically make that viewpoint correct.

    Re trafamadore, I regret to see he may be blocked, these debates are very much lessened if we are all just agreeing with each other.

  58. benfrommo says:

    mike says:
    April 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Two types of confirmation bias in science:

    Intentional confirmation bias.
    Unintentional confirmation bias.

    Climate science is the former.

    If climate scientists were doing a drug evaluation and 99 out of 100 participants died, they would approve the drug based on a single person surviving.

    Did you mean to say it is intentional? I think the most likely explanation is that these guys are just so incompetent that they do not realize how much so. What happens is that yes they only look at possibilities and the “science” is based upon being merely possible. Instead of looking at the “reality” they in other words look at a fantasy world that is merely possible. The rub here of course is whether looking at very small possibilities is worth the time. For instance, if you take the subset of possible climate realities, they look at one out of one million subsets of possibilities for our planet’s climate where CO2 is the main driver AND has positive feed-backs that wrap themselves around JUST CO2. All climate models are based on this principle and they use a correlation as the sheer sum of their proof. In addition, their logic is riddled with logical fallacies such as this: “we can not explain this aspect of the climate, so it must be CO2.” (I could go into the mistakes with comparing the Earth with the physics lab and how they use this non-proof as proof as well, but there are so many instances of this in climate science that I just tend to lump it all together with incompetence.)

    Just thinking you know the answer because you “think” you have exhausted every other possibility is not proof of anything. If anything it is proof that you need to take some basic logic class and figure out that science is about disproving the null hypothesis and not some retarded idea that you know the answer simply because you can not explain the answer.

    and so with Marcott you once again have a climate scientist who assumes climate is driven by CO2 (without it being proven) and doubles down on incompetence by not only using confirmation bias (he knows it has warmed so therefore he somehow finds that data after he tortures his poor proxies to death)…..

    But then he also admits to lying (admitting the abstract was misleading) and in addition

    Apperantly he repeated Dr. Mann’s mistake with Yamal.

    No, a person attempting fraud who was smart wouldn’t make that many mistakes. A smart person who was pulling the wool over people’s eyes would not repeat easy to find mistakes like Yamal. Dr. Mann’s mistake is well known and to have a graduate student repeat it just shows that climate science is simply not up to the task of even stopping the repeating of the same nonsense. Only a true incompetent could possibly be that stupid. And to admit the data he used to make conclusions about was not robust? Pure hillarity.

    The big picture here is that Marcott is just a product of years of incompetence in climate science. The crowning achievement so to speak. So no, they would not ignore actual deaths in the fictional drug trial. They would more then likely explain away bad side effects and deaths as being caused by another variable they basically warp around their world-view. And so, no they wouldn’t ignore direct evidence like you say, but they will ignore anything and everything that can even be vaguely explained away. Because remember, climate science is about the science of being merely possible. As long as one of them can prove that it is remotely possible they might be right and until someone figures out how to outright prove their logical fallacies incorrect they will continue to lie about their work and results because frankly I don’t think they know the difference between lies and truth anymore.

  59. Jeff Alberts says:

    No, a person attempting fraud who was smart wouldn’t make that many mistakes. A smart person who was pulling the wool over people’s eyes would not repeat easy to find mistakes like Yamal. Dr. Mann’s mistake is well known and to have a graduate student repeat it just shows that climate science is simply not up to the task of even stopping the repeating of the same nonsense. Only a true incompetent could possibly be that stupid. And to admit the data he used to make conclusions about was not robust? Pure hillarity.

    I don’t think so. I think they just don’t care about the skeptic arguments. They know emotion and scary graphs will win the day. They know the MSM will fly their flag and not be objective as they should be. I think they know exactly what they’re doing.

  60. benfrommo and Jeff Alberts:

    I am commenting on your posts at April 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm and April 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm, respectively.

    Concerning the performance of climatologists who have conducted proxy studies
    benfrommo says:

    Only a true incompetent could possibly be that stupid.

    But Jeff Alberts says:

    I think they know exactly what they’re doing.

    Hmmm. Those are not mutually exclusive situations.

    So, I think that in some cases benfrommo is right,
    in some cases Jeff Alberts is right,
    and in some cases benfrommo and Jeff Alberts are both right.

    The important issue is, How do we put climatology right?

    Richard

  61. artwest says:

    steveta_uk says:
    April 11, 2013 at 8:40 am
    I thought Steve Mc had shown that the uptick was an artifact of the processing and wasn’t in any of the proxies. And now, he’s identified a specific proxy with an uptick.
    Can’t be both, surely?
    ——————————————————-

    My entirely layman’s understanding (anyone please feel free to correct) is that what Mannesque processing does is disproportionately emphasize the effect of any odd series with an uptick. So you can have numerous series which are flatish or have a downtick but have one with an uptick and the end result is up, even if a simple average would have been a downtick.

    As I say, if this is wrong I’d be happy to be corrected.

  62. Steve McIntyre says:

    It’s not that TN05-17 has an uptick, but that it has very high positive values because of a supposedly “cold” mid-Holocene experience. As other proxies drop off, its contribution becomes increased. The entire 1 deg C SHX anomaly in the 20th century is contributed by postive 4 from this one proxy divided by a count of only 4 proxies. Its impact increases as the cout decreased from 10 to 4.

  63. Lloyd Martin Hendaye says:

    Don’t recall who gets the credit, but this “inverse-dendro” contretemps inspired one of the greatest AGW lines ever: “If you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen Yamal.” The Wall Street Journal’s English-language Paris edition then ran a column titled, “Forging a Consensus.” Worthy of Cole Porter, these bon mots trump even the Green Gang’s pseudo-scientific poetasters.

  64. artwest says:

    Thanks for clarifying that, Steve.

  65. thelastdemocrat says:

    Jean Parisot says: April 11, 2013 at 7:58 am: “How was this proxy treated in his thesis?”

    You can go look this up. It is in Proquest / UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2011, dissertation number 3464409. Under $40.

  66. Richard writes, “The important issue is, How do we put climatology right?”
    The problem is that they being fed with the wrong nutrients – mostly money with a dash of prestige.
    Cut that right back and you are more likely to be left with those who are hardworking and honest.

  67. frankpwhite says:

    Quote

    From the Investor’s Business Daily editorial page
    To Denmark, From Russia, With Lies

    Posted 12/18/2009 07:53 PM ET
    “Siberia has played a pivotal role in this outright fraud. In 1995, a paper by the CRU’s Keith Briffa asserted the medieval warm period was actually really cold, and recent warming is unusually warm. It relied on tree ring data from trees on Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula.”

    “Here too data were carefully selected. Those from just 12 trees from 252 cores in the Yamal data set were used. A larger set of 34 tree cores from the vicinity shows no dramatic recent warming, and warmer temperatures in the Middle Ages. They weren’t used.”

    The leaked e-mails show that the Russian researcher who collected the tree-ring data observed that the trees line had not moved north as would be expected if climate warming had occurred. I attach an excerpt from the leaked e-mail (document 907975032.txt):

    From: Rashit Hantemirov
    To: Keith Briffa
    Subject: Short report on progress in Yamal work
    Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 19:17:12 +0500

    Dear Keith,

    I apologize for delay with reply. Below is short information about state of Yamal work. Samples from 2,172 subfossil larches (appr. 95% of all samples), spruces (5%) and birches (solitary finding) have been collected within a region centered on about 67030′N, 70000′E at the southern part of Yamal Peninsula. All of them have been measured.

    [SNIPPED, except for the last sentence.]

    There are no evidences of moving polar timberline to the north during last century.
    Rashit Hantemirov, Lab. of Dendrochronology, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, 8 Marta St., 202 Ekaterinburg, 620144, Russia.

    End of quote

    This leaves me speechless.

  68. Hot under the collar says:

    Once again Steve McIntyre has shown that instead of an uptick the Marcott et al graph should result in a great big cross.

  69. benfrommo says:

    The important issue is, How do we put climatology right?

    Richard

    I gave a long reply to this, but it either got spammed or never got through. But to shorten it, basically the best bet is for climatology to police itself and since this is failing to happen as with Marcott, the only alternative is to punish those who make huge mistakes (or commit fraud whatever the case).

    The solution therefore is easy as far as I am concerned. For be it fraud or incompetence, fire those who make such stupid mistakes. This includes anyone who contributed to the paper. For those “pal reviewers” who did not catch these easy to see mistakes, they also need to be punished. There needs to be some sort of check and balance so that incompetence and fraud are both weeded out.

    Its like with children. If you don’t punish the child for when it misbehaves whether it be intentional or not, the child will never learn and will continue to misbehave.

    Climate scientists are nothing but adult children who are not getting punished. Fire Marcott and the other authors fo this terrible study, and yank the paper. He can resubmit assuming he finds another job. If you never punish scientists for being this incompetent then you are setting a precedent where science is further pushed off the brazier and where the political message is all that matters. Expect more of this nonsense until actual consequences exist in acadamia and especially climate science for those too stupid or too corrupt to be given this trust.

  70. benfrommo:

    Thankyou very much indeed for your post at April 12, 2013 at 11:41 am.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/11/those-who-dont-learn-from-yamal-are-condemned-to-repeat-it-marcotts-yad061/#comment-1273470

    As you say, the issue is lack of accountability.
    Also, bad science gets rewarded.

    Misbehaviour deserves consequences. And the consequences need to be retribution.
    There will be people who misbehave when its consequences are possible benefits.

    Some time ago I made a long post on the blog of Judith Curry. I then said that academic research needs to be made accountable in the manner of industrial research. And I then argued as follows.

    1.
    Industrial research gets discontinued when it fails to obtain accurate and useful information.

    Industrial research is aimed at obtaining true information which can be adopted for development into product(s).

    Industrial research, development and demonstration are separated activities because industry has learned ‘the hard way’ that research is distorted when it is biased towards a stated development. Such biased research
    (a) fails to see opportunities which would provide information of use in unanticipated ways
    and
    (b) induces blindness to inadequacies of the direction of the research.

    The researchers are re-assigned if their work fails to deliver useful information, and they are sacked if they provide a record of bad performance. Industry exists to make profits: it does not exist to employ incompetent or corrupt workers of any kind.

    2.
    Academic research does not get discontinued when it fails.

    Academic research exists to provide information which – at present – obtains additional research funds.

    Academic research is distorted because it is biased towards a stated development capable of obtaining more funding (n.b. this problem is why industry separates research from development).

    Importantly, there is no accountability for bad academic scientific work. Indeed, bad research gets covered-up and possibly rewarded. This is because those who fund research need to be convinced they obtained good research results if they are to provide funds for additional research. Bad work is not likely to obtain more funds.

    Hence, researchers who provide poor work are not punished and may be rewarded as ‘evidence’ that their work was good.

    Judity Curry clearly liked my comments.

    I had posted them in a thread on her blog where she was asking for ideas prior to her making a Statement to the US Senate. I am very pleased that the Statement she provided included a Section which was almost word-for-word the same as the comment I had posted on her blog.

    But her Statement was certain to have no effect.

    Politicians don’t care about scientific accountability.

    Scientific information is about seeking a close approximation to truth.
    Political information is about presenting a desired ‘message’.

    Hence, politicians are not interested in scientific accountability. They will continue to fund research which provides products supportive of the desired message. Indeed, they will stop funding research which provides off-message information.

    Richard

  71. benfrommo says:

    Very good statement Richard and I can say I agree completely. Perhaps the solution is to divorce politicians from all science? I don’t see a way you can have politicians in charge of science personally at all. It becomes more about just toeing the official political line then about actual science. Marcott is case in point. That study would have gotten him fired in private industry and yet in science today he gets rewarded.

    I still think it takes extreme incompetence as a scientist to not realize the affect of observer bias and yes although fraud is also a possibility the point remains that there is a larger problem with science then most people want to admit. If results and actual measurements are not as important as the conclusion, what in the world are you measuring things for?

    Why not just make up some data and release that instead? That way you do not even need to torture statistics and you can just release some pop-pseudo science paper such as Marcott’s without the terrible mistakes and obviously fabricated data (with the proxies he just randomly reassigned values for to present). What is the point in going through all that effort of torturing data when it is simply just a waste of time?

  72. benfrommo:

    Thankyou for your post addressed to me at April 13, 2013 at 7:47 am.

    I don’t think it is necessary to “divorce politicians from all science” and I don’t think that is possible or desirable. For example, would anybody have wanted the Manhattan Project to have been conducted by a private industrial organisation?

    In my opinion, there is need for a restructuring of the relationship between universities and politicians.

    If a nationalised industry can be structured to prevent political interference in its research then it should be possible prevent political interference in university research.

    I worked for a nationalised industry (National Coal Board: NCB) owned by UK Government. And I conducted research at the Coal Research Establishment (CRE). Politicians set the objectives and priorities of the industry which was run by the industrialists appointed by politicians.

    But any industry exists to provide products its customers want and at a cost it customers will pay. All industrial research is intended to assist this. So, CRE conducted research which was separated from political interference and funding. Its research projects were determined as industrial priorities and were funded from industrial activity although the overall objectives of the industry were set by politicians.

    Clearly, universities are supposed to be much more independent of politicians than a nationalised industry. But, at present, they are not. Much of their funding is provided by politicians and much of their research is commissioned and funded by politicians.

    Richard

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