62 thoughts on “Sunday silliness: zombie wood

  1. The Hockey Stick must live for unprecedented catastrophic global warming to exist. Even though they want to call it climate change, that description doesn’t fit. It’s global warming that is required and they’re not getting it.

    It’s a sad twist of irony that what they need (the hockey stick) is also the poster child of what is wrong with their entire endeavor.

  2. its missing fangs and a cape…

    Or maybe parts falling off of it…

    I cant decide…

    But Nice work Josh!

  3. I thought the warmists said, emphatically and repeatedly, that the hockey stick didn’t matter. They said their evidence for global warming stood independent of the hockey stick. What a bunch of zombies!

  4. Anthony-

    If the International Big History Project is not yet on the radar of the Climate skeptic community it should be. This is just ramping up but with Bill Gates personal support as well as Microsoft’s financial support, we are about to have even more influential false beliefs.

    http://ibhanet.org/ Especially dangerous is this attempt to join the natural and human sciences into a single narrative. That’s been various UN agencies’ particular goal since at least 1970.

  5. one brilliant day when the REAL awards recognizing service to science are doled out Steve will be high on the list.

  6. TomRude says: “‘The use of sex to market science reflects the difficulty that scientists face in publicizing their research in the age of sound bites.’
    Please, NOT in climate science… LOL”

    Well, they already claim their models are ro-bust.

  7. You gotta love Jean S: Buaah!! This is turning from a tragedy to a comedy and the paper has not even published yet!

    “Buaah.” I think that means “ARGGGGHHH” in Finnish.

  8. It’s funny how language evolves… How terms like “Postal” become common vernacular. I learned a new one the other day. Just substitute “Hockey stick” where VP Biden likes to say, “Mallarky” and you’ve got it. Like this: “Cuomo blames climate change for the bombing in Boston!? What a load of hockey stick!”

  9. Tom Rude Says April 21st at 12:25pm.
    Unless of course we us a naked Polar Bear with family.Now there’s a commitment to nudity on a cold ice floe.

  10. Brings to mind one of the verses of the Monster Mash…
    (slightly changed…)
    Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring
    Seems he was troubled by just one thing
    He opened the lid and shook his fist
    And said, “Whatever happened to my HockeyStick twist?”

  11. p@ Dolan says:
    April 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    “Cuomo blames climate change for the bombing in Boston!? What a load of hockey stick!”

    Except that he didn’t. He just used the two in the same paragraph.

  12. more work for Steve when this comes out today. we already have Overpeck on ABC Australia radio this morning saying “deniers” aren’t scientists, they work for “special interests” – no link as yet:

    22 April: SMH: Tom Arup: 20th century ‘hottest in 1400 years’
    Warming over the 20th century produced the hottest global average temperatures in 1400 years, a major scientific research project has found.
    In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday, an international team of scientists reconstructed temperatures over the past 2000 years using proxy records such as tree-ring measurements, pollen sampling, coral reefs, ice cores and historical records.
    The study found that the global warming that began in the late-19th century reversed a long cooling trend across the planet that lasted well over 1000 years.
    One of the authors of the paper, Dr Steven Phipps from the University of NSW’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said: “The striking feature about the sudden rise in 20th century global average temperature is that it comes after an overall cooling trend that lasted more than a millennium…
    The paper says the findings do not consider uncertainty associated with the temperature estimates, and the reconstruction for each area covered different periods within the 2000 years, depending on the availability of data.
    In Australia and Asia, the reconstructed temperature was highest during 1971–2000 than at any other period over the studied timelines…

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/20th-century-hottest-in-1400-years-20130421-2i8jb.html

  13. In hockey, “high sticking” gets you two minutes in the penalty box. However, if you leave the penalty box to get into a fight, you get thrown out of the game.

    Hmm. Idea for another cartoon?

  14. Jeff Alberts says:
    April 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    p@ Dolan says:
    April 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    “Cuomo blames climate change for the bombing in Boston!? What a load of hockey stick!”

    Except that he didn’t. He just used the two in the same paragraph.
    ————————————–
    I believe he likened the two as they are both the new normal.
    It’s still a load of hockey stick!
    cn

  15. p@ Dolan says:
    April 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Like this: “Cuomo blames climate change for the bombing in Boston!? What a load of hockey stick!”

    hmm, so-so. Doesn’t really work with Boston, it’s a big hockey town, both at NHL and collegiate level. Of course there is a load of hockey sticks there.

  16. Didn’t Steve say he was going to cut back in his blogging activity? Just like Anthony?

    They can run, they can hide, but they can’t stay away….

  17. The Hockey Stick resurgence is a sign of desperation. They can see their funding is about to dry up big time if observed temperatures fail to warm. That’s climate change.

  18. Here’s the abstract:

    “Past global climate changes had strong regional expression. To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century. At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them. There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between ad 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period ad 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.”

  19. Did I say “fail to warm”? Oh noes, something else to worry about.

    “Coming Ice Age…According To Leading Experts, Global Mean Temperature Has Dropped 1°C Since 1990!

    It is highly disturbing that mean global surface temperature numbers may simply have been plucked out of the blue. At least there’s agreement that the temperature has stagnated over the last 10 years or so…at 14.5°C.

    Often we see temperature trends depicted as anomalies. But anomalies from what?”

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/04/21/coming-ice-age-according-to-leading-experts-global-mean-temperature-has-dropped-1c-since-1990/

  20. Chuck Nolan says:
    April 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Jeff Alberts says:
    April 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    p@ Dolan says:
    April 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    “Cuomo blames climate change for the bombing in Boston!? What a load of hockey stick!”

    Except that he didn’t. He just used the two in the same paragraph.
    ————————————–
    I believe he likened the two as they are both the new normal.
    It’s still a load of hockey stick!
    cn

    Yes he did. But he in no way said one was the cause of the other. P@ Dolan’s characterization is completely false.

  21. pat says:
    April 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    more work for Steve when this comes out today. we already have Overpeck on ABC Australia radio this morning saying “deniers” aren’t scientists, they work for “special interests” – no link as yet:

    22 April: SMH: Tom Arup: 20th century ‘hottest in 1400 years’e

    How does that fit with this record?

  22. Jeff Alberts @ 3:50 pm says…
    cn
    “Yes he did. But he in no way said one was the cause of the other. P@ Dolan’s characterization is completely false.”
    Man. Are the warmistas getting desperate. Anybody who Boston Marathon Bombings and climate change in the same sentence are DEFINITELY blaming climat change. Go spin you’re “progressive” cognitive disonance over at SkS or Huffpo.
    Sheesh. The stupid,it burns.

  23. David Jones says,
    “How does that fit with this record?
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png

    In two ways:
    1. That is a graph of central Greenland temperature estimates, not global
    2. The X axis is mistakenly labeled “Years before present (2000 AD)”
    Actually, “present” for the GISP2 reconstruction (as is common with ice cores) is defined as 1950, so the most recent date in the graph is actually 1950-95 = 1855. That is, the end point which looks so cold in this graph really is back in the Little Ice Age. It comes nowhere near the real present.

  24. Steve McIntyre comments at climateaudit:

    “So they’re not just screening by correlation, but going full MBH and weighting by correlation. My, my. Since they’re using Neukom’s code, I presume that’s what they did in the Gergis zombie as well.”

    —————————————————

    And disturbingly, this is published in German owned Nature again.

    I wonder if they would not be liable and suable in a way similar to the tobacco industry for costly expenses possibly fed or promoted by their product ?

  25. Manfred says:
    “Steve McIntyre comments at climateaudit:
    “So they’re not just screening by correlation, but going full MBH and weighting by correlation.””

    So it is similar to principal components analysis?

  26. I think that this is the money statement from the posting at REAL CLIMATE

    “Cool 30-year periods between the years 830 and 1910 CE were particularly pronounced during times of weak solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions and especially if both phenomena often occurred simultaneously.”

  27. BA says:
    April 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm
    Manfred says:
    “Steve McIntyre comments at climateaudit:
    “So they’re not just screening by correlation, but going full MBH and weighting by correlation.””

    So it is similar to principal components analysis?
    ———————————————————————-

    Lucia explained it in cartoon form:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/screening-bias-cartoon-form/

    You could try that out and generate a hockey stock from the numbers of your telephone book, like by screening for high values on the last digit.

    You may, of course, insert principal component analysis to do the weighted averages. That certainly makes it all appear more sophisticated in some circles.

  28. Manfred says:
    “Lucia explained it in cartoon form:”

    No, that cartoon does not explain anything. Perhaps you could try in your own words? Why should researchers not use some function of the correlations to screen, and to weight, in building a climate proxy? That sounds similar to principal components, which is used for many things–even by Steve McIntyre.

    Any set of measurements, say from tree rings or ice cores, might contain a regional climate signal–but it will be mixed in with variable amounts of noise, from microclimate, buffalo leaned on that tree, etc. How could you detect any regional climate signal without looking for patterns of correlation across multiple proxies? And if some proxies don’t correlate with anything, conclude they vary for non-climate reasons?

    “You may, of course, insert principal component analysis to do the weighted averages.”

    The weights in principal component analysis are a function of the correlation (or covariance) matrix. So, are the practical results going to be different? I don’t see the gotcha here.

  29. @ Manfred

    “And disturbingly, this is published in German owned Nature again”

    what’s wrong with that? are Mercedes and Audi not worldwide renowned cars, even while they are German?

  30. BA:

    At April 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm you say

    Manfred says:

    “Lucia explained it in cartoon form:”

    No, that cartoon does not explain anything. Perhaps you could try in your own words? Why should researchers not use some function of the correlations to screen, and to weight, in building a climate proxy? That sounds similar to principal components, which is used for many things–even by Steve McIntyre.

    Well, if you don’t like the Lucia’s excellent cartoon then perhaps Lucia’s “own words” will help you to understand. You can read them at

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/tricking-yourself-into-cherry-picking/

    She wrote that before providing the cartoon which is at

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/screening-bias-cartoon-form/

    It seemed that people lacking mathematical understanding needed something different, so she provided her informative cartoon. And if you had tried to learn from the cartoon then you would have found the link to Lucia’s “own words”.

    As for

    That sounds similar to principal components

    Well, it “sounds similar” in the same way that ‘square wheels’ sounds similar to ’round wheels’. And one can discuss the similarities of the wheel’s axles, but that misses the point.

    Richard

  31. BA:

    My post at April 22, 2013 at 3:11 am provides a complete explanation of the issue. I now write to demonstrate that – as I suppose Manfred also can – I am able to state the matter in my own words.

    The issue is that – when the data is autocorelated – rejecting data which fail the calibration test biases the remaining data to provide ‘hockey sticks’ when the remaining data are averaged.

    This introduction of bias is counter-intuitive, but it is real and generates ‘hockey sticks’. In effect, and considering my analogy, the bias selects for ‘square wheels’ and rejects ’round wheels’ from the available data. This is what Lucia’s cartoon shows: removing the time-series which do not correlate with global temperature measurements over the time those measurements are available rejects the time-series which would negate a ‘hockey stick’ and so a ‘hockey stick’ remains in the average of the remaining data.

    Richard

  32. Maarten:

    re your post at April 22, 2013 at 3:35 am.

    Treemometry is bunk. And posting links to propaganda blogs which try to excuse the bunk does not affect that. Please read the links I provided in my post at April 22, 2013 at 3:11 am. One or both of those links will probably explain to you why treemometry is bunk.

    Indeed, the fundamental error with treemometry is the same mistake as was made by Rhine when he studied ESP in the 1950s.

    Rhine tested subjects for ESP. He then studied those subjects who passed the test. His conclusion was that ESP exists. But his conclusion was an artifact of his selection. And with time the ability of his subjects to exhibit ESP failed.

    Treemometry tests tree rings for their ability to match temperature over a calibration period. It then studies the average of those tree rings which pass the test. But the average is an artifact of the selection. And with time the ability of tree rings to indicate temperature fails (i.e. the divergence problem).

    Treemometry is pseudoscience.

    Richard

  33. @ richardscourtney April 22, 2013 at 4:33 am

    1.the first link is to a scientific article, not ‘ propaganda'; but for all of you not able to read behind the paywall of Nature Geoscience I provided two summaries;

    2. why use the word ‘ proganda’? was I rude and did I call the expression ‘ Zombie Science’ propaganda?

    3. If you had read the article and the connecting supplementary materials you would have noticed that it is NOT all about treering science, there are more proxies possible;

  34. It may be full of holes and half-rotten, but it’s alive. Thanks for the inspiration Josh.

  35. @ richardscourtney April 22, 2013 at 4:33 am

    This you wrote:

    “Rhine tested subjects for ESP.
    He then studied those subjects who passed the test.
    His conclusion was that ESP exists.”

    how did he do the test from the first line?

  36. Maarten:

    re your post addressed to me at April 22, 2013 at 4:50 am.

    I would be pleased to read anything substantive which you provide in response to the explanation I provided to you in my post at April 22, 2013 at 4:33 am.

    In answer to your existing responses, I say the following.

    I said you linked to propoganda blogs, and I did NOT say all your links were.
    Yes, as you say, one of your three links was to not to a propaganda blog: it was to the abstract of a paper. Your other two links were to SkS and RC; i.e. propaganda blogs.

    And, yes, some other proxies were also used. But, so what? For the reason I explained, the introduction of treemometry creates the ‘hockey stick’ whether or not some other proxy data was included in the average of the proxies.

    In summation
    Links to propaganda blogs does not provide credibility. And arm-waving in response to an explanation harms credibility. So, I would welcome anything substantive which you wish to say in refutation, dispute or agreement with my explanation.

    Richard

  37. richardscourtney says:
    “Well, if you don’t like the Lucia’s excellent cartoon then perhaps Lucia’s “own words” will help you to understand. You can read them at
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/tricking-yourself-into-cherry-picking/

    Lucia’s made-up example, cartoon and words, are unrelated to the research. Nick Stokes who does know data analysis tries to explain why, but she seems not to get it. Do you?

    “Well, it “sounds similar” in the same way that ‘square wheels’ sounds similar to ’round wheels’. And one can discuss the similarities of the wheel’s axles, but that misses the point.”

    If you understand, perhaps you can explain it to me using real words, not about ‘square wheels.’ What is the practical difference in this case between “weighting by correlation” as you say Ahmad et al. have done, and weighting with factor score coefficients calculated by principal components?

  38. Maarten:

    Your entire post at April 22, 2013 at 4:53 am says

    @ richardscourtney April 22, 2013 at 4:33 am
    This you wrote:

    “Rhine tested subjects for ESP.
    He then studied those subjects who passed the test.
    His conclusion was that ESP exists.”

    how did he do the test from the first line?

    1.
    Rhine determined if people accurately predicted cards pulled from a deck better than expected from random chance; i.e. it selected people who showed they had ability to predict cards.
    2.
    Treemometry determines if a tree’s rings accurately predict temperature as indicated by thermometers: i.e. it selects trees whose rings show they have ability to predict temperature.

    I both cases such an apparent ability will be exhibited by some subjects. But it is an error to assume that either case selects for subjects with predictive abilities

    There, your ‘red herring’ has been caught, landed and thrown back overboard.
    So, I repeat,
    I would welcome anything substantive which you wish to say in refutation, dispute or agreement with my explanation provided to you in my post at April 22, 2013 at 4:33 am.

    Richard

  39. BA:

    I read your post at April 22, 2013 at 5:12 am.

    Obviously, you do not understand the issue. However, it is not clear what you fail to understand.

    I will try to help if you will explain your problem.

    Richard

  40. Richard,

    You ake it more serious than it is: Lets quote Josh: Sunday silliness: Zombie Wood;

    he or she enters ‘propaganda’, I enter some (missing) info, just to add to the ‘discussion’ on the ‘ best science blog’ (see quotation on homepage)

    I is not my intention to start a discussion on tree ring science or ESP

  41. richardscourtney says:
    “Obviously, you do not understand the issue. However, it is not clear what you fail to understand.”

    I thought this was clear, but I’ll ask it again. I wrote,
    “If you understand, perhaps you can explain it to me using real words, not about ‘square wheels.’ What is the practical difference in this case between “weighting by correlation” as you say Ahmad et al. have done, and weighting with factor score coefficients calculated by principal components?”

  42. Friends:

    At April 22, 2013 at 3:35 am, Maarten wrote a post which linked to the abstract of a paper and to excuses for treemometry by SkS and RC.

    I refuted that and I then explained why treemometry is bunk. I explained that treemometry is an example of the same selection error as was used by Rhine in his ESP studies.

    At April 22, 2013 at 4:53 am, Marten replied with a post which only asked for details of the methodology used by Rhine.

    I replied to each of Maarten’s posts.

    At April 22, 2013 at 4:53 am Maarten wrote a post which ended saying

    I is not my intention to start a discussion on tree ring science or ESP

    Conclusion:
    Don’t feed the troll.

    Richard

  43. BA:

    Thankyou for your clarification provided for me at April 22, 2013 at 5:48 am.

    Firstly, I think it important to explain my confusion.

    At April 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm you made a request to Manfred.
    I provided my answers to your question in my posts to April 22, 2013 at 3:11 am and at April 22, 2013 at 3:38 am.
    Your question was

    Manfred says:

    “Lucia explained it in cartoon form:”

    No, that cartoon does not explain anything. Perhaps you could try in your own words? Why should researchers not use some function of the correlations to screen, and to weight, in building a climate proxy? That sounds similar to principal components, which is used for many things–even by Steve McIntyre.

    Clearly, my answers addressed the important issue of sample bias which Manfred had cited by reference to Lucia’s explanations and you said you did not understand.

    And my first answer provided this as an addendum at its end

    As for

    That sounds similar to principal components

    Well, it “sounds similar” in the same way that ‘square wheels’ sounds similar to ’round wheels’. And one can discuss the similarities of the wheel’s axles, but that misses the point.

    Obviously, I was saying that was a relatively trivial point which would be an ‘angels on a pin’ discussion; i.e. it “misses the point”.

    Hence, I think you can understand my bemusement at your question to me at April 22, 2013 at 5:12 am. I had answered your question, and I had said your other issue is an irrelevance, but you had seemingly pressed that other issue and – in raising it – you seemed to quote me having said something I did not .

    But at April 22, 2013 at 5:48 am your clarification says the answer you want is to the additional and irrelevant question which does claim I said something I did not; viz.

    What is the practical difference in this case between “weighting by correlation” as you say Ahmad et al. have done, and weighting with factor score coefficients calculated by principal components?”

    The answer is that I did NOT say anything about “weighting by correlation” conducted by Ahmad et al. or anybody else.

    I addressed your having said

    Why should researchers not use some function of the correlations to screen, and to weight, in building a climate proxy? That sounds similar to principal components, which is used for many things–even by Steve McIntyre.

    I answered the screening point fully in two posts to you and with example of similar error in a post to Maarten.

    The error in use of “principle components” was invented by Mann, Bradley & Hughes and has been copied in subsequent studies. It pertains to centering and not to weighting.

    In conclusion, you changing subject and putting words in my mouth does not give me confidence that your questions are sincere.

    Richard

  44. @BA

    Here is a possible way to tackle the treemometry. Select some proxies. Find those which agree with the actual temperatures for the 1st half of the whole period. Mark them acceptable. You have to use all of them. That is the ‘training exercise’.

    Now examine each of them for agreement with the second half of the real temperature series. Some will diverge, yes? Average all the results. You are not allowed to remove any proxy that passed the first selection because it has already been shown that they ‘have ability to report temperatures’. Divergence is inevitable because trees are not very good thermometers. The second average will not tell us much.

    Now, take some of the proxies that happen to agree pretty much with the actual temperatures in the second half of the record. Weight them between 10 and 400 times as much as those that do not. Average the total result. Is that result a valid examination of the ability of any proxies to tell us anything?

    No. It is not. It is a turd rolled in glitter. It is also pretty much how MBH98 was done.

  45. @ richard

    you are getting quite nasty by calling me a troll;

    is that because I do not want to discuss with you, while are comparing dendrochronologymethods with ESP?

    taking out a representative sample from a group of trees is something quite different than selecting the rare people (if they do exist) with the ESP capability;

    so in the moment you come with ESP or start refuting – lets say – darwinism or evolution because some people think the world is created in seven days 5000 years ago by some God, I am not going to discuss with you or them any science at all;

    I just did see tens of responses here to somenasty cartoon – that was puzzling me because they could’nt have read the article the cartoon is referring to;

    so to counterbalance, I provided a link to the article; thats all;

  46. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    April 22, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Good points.

    I would counter however, with a second requirement – for ANY tree-based so-called proxy for temperature.

    How does Mann correct for the 17 to 27% FASTER growth of trees and all plants for that matter during the second half of the 20th century?

    If his”life’s work” is n tree dendroclimatology -> meaning he IS equating increases tree ring growth rates with changes (increases) in temperature, then the question must be addressed somewhere in his “many” papers as he establishes his arguments.

    If tree-ring added-growth-with-added-CO2 is not addressed completely and thoroughly in his papers and his books, then is Mann merely incompetent or simply ignorant, or are his self-picked reviewers and editors BOTH incompetent AND ignorant?

  47. Some buzz in the MSM today … “greeaaaaaatest increase in 1400 yeaarrrrrrrrrrrs!”

    Trying to hide the MWP, apparently.

  48. @RAC PEng

    That is a good point. In fact I have never seen a really clear worked example of how to approach that keeping in mind that certain work has been done to track what the CO2 level was in centuries past. I think for a start one would need a dose-response-per-temperature curve for a target species, yes? The meme is out there that the CO2 level was constant for centuries, just like the temperature was stable for centuries. We both know that just ain’t so. But what was it? Old CO2 has been difficult to get from recent diggings I believe. If CO2 follows temperature by 800 years, then looking at temperature proxies we should be able to run 800 years ahead and sorta predict the CO2 level. Then work out the fertilization from that.

    I think the O18 is a much more reliable proxy that growth of rings. I think there is a good Canadian study on that.

  49. Can’t resist even more silliness.
    The title of the post reminds me of the last lyrics of a Stones tune – “you’d make a dead man c…”

  50. I don’t know if Josh could do anything this but I thought of those mask you always see at Penn State football games. PSU has the nickname of “Linebacker U.” The mask are of beatup linebackers. (Missing teeth, blackeyes, etc.) Maybe Josh could do something with them hitting each other with a hockey stick?

  51. Gunga Din says:
    April 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I don’t know if Josh could do anything this but I thought of those mask you always see at Penn State football games. PSU has the nickname of “Linebacker U.” The mask are of beatup linebackers. (Missing teeth, blackeyes, etc.) Maybe Josh could do something with them hitting each other with a hockey stick?

    ===============================================================
    With the names of the various “Hockey Stick” manufacturers on their jerseys. The real “Hockey Stick Wars”?

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