Briffa, Yamal, reputational damage, and all that

Keith Briffa has just published a new paper using the Yamal-Urals regional chronology data, something long sought after via FOIA requests. That data was withheld, citing it wasn’t cooked done with yet, and that releasing it would damage the reputation of CRU scientists.

After Climategate in 2009, I’m not sure how CRU’s reputation could be damaged any further, but that was the reason given for not sharing the data. Maybe it has to do with the lack of definitive hockey stick and the dwarfing of the present by the Medieval Warm period being counter to some of the unsupportable claims that have been made about tree ring data and unprecedented warming.

Steve McIntyre writes: 

In resisting the FOI, CRU said that production of the 2006 regional chronology would damage the reputation of CRU scientists. The 2006 version appears to be the “Urals raw” chronology illustrated in SM9 as Greater Urals (shown below), though it is not identified as such in my first reading. Readers can judge for themselves whether their foreboding was justified.

greater_urals-GU2

Read his entire essay here: Briffa 2013

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91 thoughts on “Briffa, Yamal, reputational damage, and all that

  1. There was a program on NPR this morning with a professor
    from a Pennsylvania University where the students are
    instructed to plagiarize, I wonder if Briffa and Mann took
    that course.

  2. Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:00 am
    Compare Yamal with solar activity
    Leif, help me on the above, what solar activity do you post there? TSI reconstruction?, sun spots? proxy?

  3. Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:00 am
    “Compare Yamal with solar activity…”

    Yes, no obvious connection between differing levels of solar activity and tree growth.

    Strangely Briffa seems to think that there is a direct link between tree growth and temperature!

  4. Maybe I’m just seeing things, but to me the Oort (low perhaps too early), Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder & Dalton Minima show up in this proxy data set. Possibly they did to Briffa, too, in which case they were not to see the light of day until dragged kicking & screaming years late from his files.

  5. Lars P. says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:39 am
    Leif, help me on the above, what solar activity do you post there? TSI reconstruction?, sun spots? proxy?
    since traditional wisdom has it that all solar indices correlate on the time scale of the Figure, it doesn’t really matter which is shown, But specifically, it is a TSI reconstruction derived from the cosmic ray intensity measured in ice cores.

    John Tillman says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:42 am
    Maybe I’m just seeing things, but to me the Oort (low perhaps too early), Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder & Dalton Minima show up in this proxy data set.
    Yes, you are seeing what you want to see. There are enough spikes to go around for wiggle matching to just about anything.

  6. Once trust is broken, it is very difficult to rebuild. It is going to take more than one much delayed attempt at honesty and openness to rebuild the trust that an honest and honorable Scientist would have long since earned. Are we really sure their current release of data is not itself “adjusted” beyond contact with reality? At this point, I am unwilling to trust anything they say, write, or do.

  7. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    There are enough spikes to go around for wiggle matching to just about anything.
    ___________________
    Indeed, but matchmakers abound.

  8. Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:00 am
    Compare Yamal with solar activity:
    ____________________________________

    I don’t see anything there but that does not mean nothing is there. Comparing a smoothed graph with spaghetti where you don’t clearly see where the mean is isn’t very effective. So while I am willing to agree that there’s no correlation, I still would like to see some more thorough analysis.

  9. Taking into account that the poor Yamal larches are able to grow only from June 16 to July 30 and even then they can be damaged by frosts, it is a very specific proxy to be wiggle-matched to the global yearly temperature.

  10. Kasuha says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:25 am
    So while I am willing to agree that there’s no correlation, I still would like to see some more thorough analysis.
    In discussions elsewhere I have come across the ‘argument’ that if a dataset does not show the ‘expected’, obvious [‘it’s the Sun, stupid’] solar correlation, there must be something wrong with the data…

  11. I continue to be amazed that they are still attempting to use these useless dendro proxies at all. From my perspective I would have thought a final fork had been stuck in them with the appearance of this work

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/13/surprise-leaves-maintain-temperature-new-findings-may-put-dendroclimatology-as-metric-of-past-temperature-into-question/

    If a tree’s foliage, where all the photosynthesis that builds the tree’s structure, is not at ambient temperature what possible physical mechanism could exist that would allow a tree to encode a precise signal of ambient temperature behavior. That is a question I’ve posed in comments here quite a number of times over the last five years without ever getting an adequate response, or any response at all actually.

  12. Tree rings might be a proxy for moisture or growing season length rather than temperature directly.

  13. From Luther Wu on May 26, 2013 at 11:16 am:

    Indeed, but matchmakers abound.

    Greg Goodman will be around soon enough. He loves showing off his mastery of tools suitable for signal processing, which is perfectly fine and dandy since from the climate to the sun it’s all just collections of frequencies of (practically?) fixed periodicity. He’ll easily find the repeating signals in Briffa’s tree ring data, no problem.

  14. milodonharlani says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:44 am
    Tree rings might be a proxy for moisture or growing season length rather than temperature directly.
    Wouldn’t a warmer climate have a longer growing season?

  15. If I were to look at that graph with the expectation that it represents “global temperature” (as meaningless as that is), I would say there is nothing unusual happening. nothing happening now that hasn’t happened before on the same scale and rate of change.

    So… what’s the point of the paper?

  16. Wouldn’t a warmer climate have a longer growing season?…
    ====
    Trees can only tell you when it was just right….the tree bears

  17. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

    milodonharlani says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:44 am
    Tree rings might be a proxy for moisture or growing season length rather than temperature directly.

    Wouldn’t a warmer climate have a longer growing season?
    ——————————————————————————–

    One would think so, unless the greater warmth were concentrated in the winter, when most plants would be dormant, anyway, without materially affecting the other seasons.

  18. Official Announcement to the Proles of Oceania:

    “He who controls the present, controls the past.
    He who controls the past, controls the future.” [1]

    Some question the need for annual revisions to our past fictions. The Insoc Council for Sociopathic Science [2] has deemed these corrections mandatory, so that our trusted science can continue to expand New Think as our best protection against Eurasia….and world destruction from your CO2 ladened breath.

    [1] 1984 by George Orwell

    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insoc

  19. The poet’s on sabbatical
    from ol’ State U of P
    could no’ see the forest
    for YAD 063

  20. The match (or lack thereof) between Leif’s solar and the chronology plot might be better seen here:

    It does not look that great from about 1000 to 2000.

  21. Forgot to include this money quote from the above

    “The oxygen isotope ratio (d18O) of cellulose is thought to provide a record of ambient temperature and relative humidity during periods of carbon assimilation1,2. Here we introduce a method to resolve tree-canopy leaf temperature with the use of d18O of cellulose in 39 tree species. We show a remarkably constant leaf temperature of 21.4+/-2.26C across 50 degrees of latitude, from subtropical to boreal biomes. This means that when carbon assimilation is maximal, the physiological and morphological properties of tree branches serve to raise leaf temperature above air temperature to a much greater extent in more northern latitudes. A main assumption underlying the use of d18O to reconstruct climate history is that the temperature and relative humidity of an actively photosynthesizing leaf are the same as those of the surrounding air3,4
    .
    Our data are contrary to that assumption and show that plant physiological ecology must be considered when reconstructing climate through isotope analysis. Furthermore, our results may
    explain why climate has only a modest effect on leaf economic traits5 in general.”

  22. Dave Wendt

    I think most of us on this site have been-and remain-completely baffled as to why tree rings are considered a good proxy for temperature. This branch of science (pun intended) has been wildly over promoted as to its importance over the last 15 years or so.
    tonyb

  23. how is he then a poet
    when science is his role
    called himself a laureate
    ’til busted by some troll
    ’tis “debate averse” not “made a verse”
    that made some poor wag label
    poetic license as his tool
    “The Hockey Stick” his fable.

  24. milodonharlani said

    ‘One would think so, unless the greater warmth were concentrated in the winter, when most plants would be dormant, anyway, without materially affecting the other seasons.’

    Our best records show that winters have become warmer, the other seasons are pretty static. Here is CET all the way back to 1659 showing seasonal changes.
    tonyb

  25. I find it amazing that “reputable” scientists these days can come forward with results based on data, then when asked for the data for independent analysis, refuse to produce it and say, “We can’t give it to you because it might be used to harm our reputation!” And yet, journals are still publishing this garbage as science.

    It’s like me sending off an article to “Science” claiming to have definitive proof of a species of Bigfoots living in Montana. Because of my connections to the review board, they greenlight my paper. And when other scientists say they’d love to see the proof, I say “I can’t give it to you– it might damage my reputation!” Then expect everyone to think that’s hunky-dory and I can go on to do my “science”.

    It’s absolutely laughable. And I would be laughing were it not for the damage done to the scientific method by these buffoons.

  26. So, then the consensus is that the Great Famine & Black Death are merely coincidental with the Wolf Minimum, c. 1280 to 1350; famines in Europe, Asia & Africa (Aztec famine maybe too early) and frequent nation-wide plague epidemics in England, for instance, with the Spörer Minimum, 1460 to 1550; Little Ice Age glacial advance, including the coldest known year (1709), with the Maunder, 1645 to 1715, and Dalton, 1790 to 1820, Minima, and that since pandemics, famines & freezes happen all the time, including during the supposed Minoan, Roman, Medieval & Modern warm periods, Holocene climate is hopelessly chaotic, not cyclic.

    Sir William Herschel must have been a raving loon to imagine that the sun had anything to do with it.

  27. @Leif Svalgaard:

    OK. I looked. I see two series of wiggles. Some times they match ( peak in about 250 A.D. and dip in about 540 A.D.) and sometimes they don’t (broad deep solar peak in 1500 A.D. with dip and spike in the trees; while in 1000 A.D. the solar dips and the trees peak.)

    Whatever you are trying to show me, I’m not seeing it. All I’m seeing is two series with different cycle wiggles that sometimes are in phase, sometimes not, and often kind of chaotic.

    What am I missing?

    In the tree series alone, all I really notice is that the 540 A.D. dip isn’t as big as I’d expect from historical records of the time, Then, that the post 1500 A.D. area is missing a lot of warm spikes while the post 1900 or so area seems devoid of cold spikes (but unimpressive to the warm spike side… i.e. it isn’t warm, we just don’t have cold fits).

    Mostly it just looks like the data are noisy in a non-uniform manner.

  28. climatereason says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    milodonharlani said

    ‘One would think so, unless the greater warmth were concentrated in the winter, when most plants would be dormant, anyway, without materially affecting the other seasons.’

    Our best records show that winters have become warmer, the other seasons are pretty static. Here is CET all the way back to 1659 showing seasonal changes.
    tonyb
    ——————————————–

    That has been my impression generally, based both on proxy data, & for the recently past warming, experience. I’ll look at the CET. Thanks.

  29. E.M.Smith says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @Leif Svalgaard:

    OK. I looked. I see two series of wiggles. Some times they match ( peak in about 250 A.D. and dip in about 540 A.D.) and sometimes they don’t (broad deep solar peak in 1500 A.D. with dip and spike in the trees; while in 1000 A.D. the solar dips and the trees peak.)

    Whatever you are trying to show me, I’m not seeing it. All I’m seeing is two series with different cycle wiggles that sometimes are in phase, sometimes not, and often kind of chaotic.

    I think that was Leif’s point.

  30. E.M.Smith says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    …”What am I missing? …
    Mostly it just looks like the data are noisy in a non-uniform manner.”
    _____________________
    The only thing missing is the confidence to believe your own eyes.
    Alternatively, you could wait for the fitters to show you whatever they’d have you see.

  31. Luther Wu says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    The only thing missing is the confidence to believe your own eyes.
    Eye-witness accounts are notoriously unreliable…

  32. JohnTillman

    To judge your coincidences you might like to look at CET to 1538 (earliest 100 years my reconstruction) It is showing 10 year and fifty year anomalies and the steps in climate are interesting

    The larger blue lines show glacier retreat (towards top of page) and advance (toward the bottom) They are there for overall context although they are fairly basic at present as of course glaciers don’t change state as quickly as that.

    Incidentally, to complete the picture the years between 1500 and 1538 will show temperatures around as warm as the period ending 2000. CET has declined sharply since then.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

    tonyb

  33. climatereason says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm
    —————————————

    The national plague epidemics petered out after the turn of the 15th/16th century, so your warming early in the 16th is welcome, as I’m sure it was to the English of that day.

    Of course it’s possible to recover almost any trend from data subjected to statistical analysis. Under torture, they will scream whatever you want them to say. However, historians from written records independently of (or in concert with) physical scientific observations or paleoclimatic proxy reconstructions “discovered” the Little Ice Age & Medieval Warm Periods before the current bout of data torturing by CO2-crazed “climate scientists” began in the 1980s. To me, their findings are robust, whatever the physical causes of longer-term warming & cooling cycles may be.

  34. @Dave Wendt:

    If a tree’s foliage, where all the photosynthesis that builds the tree’s structure, is not at ambient temperature what possible physical mechanism could exist that would allow a tree to encode a precise signal of ambient temperature behavior. That is a question I’ve posed in comments here quite a number of times over the last five years without ever getting an adequate response, or any response at all actually.

    Trees (and many other plants) grow based on “degree days”. The Degree Day metric measures when ambient temperatures are in a range above a minimum and below the stagnation temperature (stress temp). Since for many species, the stress temp is well above normal for all but a small number of days, it usually does not apply. (In fact, is substantially ignored outside places like Phoenix Arizona. Something I’ve pointed out for years… The pseudo “panic” being pushed at us about heat hurting crop growth ignores the existence proof of Phoenix. We “lose” a month or two there mid summer to ‘over 110 F’ type temperatures, but in exchange pick up double that much or more on each cool end of the seasons. Check the Sunset Garden book for the growing season graph. Yet even then, the “summer slowdown” is only for SOME species…)

    So the tree foliage tries to hold a more stable temperature below the max / stress level; so it can continue to grow (with a 90 F canopy in 110 F ‘weather’). It still racks up the degree days as it’s still growing just fine. On the cold end, transpiration doesn’t give much relief (where it does a great job cooling leaves in the heat). So growth ramps down with cold.

    In a way, the growth is like a thermometer that is shut off in the cold, peak clipped in the hot, and rapidly transits from “off” to “full on” in a range from about 50 F to 80F. Other than that, it’s fine ;-)

    Oh, and if there’s a shortage of water, the transpiration cooling fails and heat stress can cause loss of leaves and truncation of growth for the season much like a freeze can do in the leaves too…

    Oh, and in the Pacific Northwest a study found that most of the nitrogen budget of the trees came from bears catching salmon and crapping on the trees; so you must know the bear density and “where they like to poo” to get the nitrogen “flux” right… Tree growth is also a proxy for “bear poo”…

    Is that what this meant?:

    Latitude says:
    Trees can only tell you when it was just right….the tree bears

    ;-)
    (Yes, I got the Goldilocks reference…)

    @John Tillman:

    Sir William Herschel must have been a raving loon to imagine that the sun had anything to do with it.

    No. Jevons also studied the effect, and it is real. It just need not be the one you think.

    CROP production quantity and prices vary with sunspot cycles.

    It could be anything from water variation, to UV changes causing rust outbreaks on the grains or more / less disease among the farmers, to some subtle thing causing folks to get grumpy with the sunspots are down and decide to go on crusades rather than farm.

    Furthermore, while Jevons looked at grain figures from places around The Empire (including India) the things you cite were more focused into Northern Europe / Central Europe. In those places the effects of variation in the Gulf Stream are very large. So it could easily be that anything from UV to magnetic to tidal variations from a lunar orbital resonance could be causing cyclical Gulf Stream / Atlantic Drift variations in sync with solar variations. That would then cause those plagues and famines to have the pattern match that was being seen, but ONLY at that end of the Gulf Stream. (In fact, in an article I’ve posted about before, it is shown that Florida gets warmer and the Desert Southwest of the USA gets wetter when Europe goes all cold and miserable from Gulf Stream changes. We win, you lose…)

    Please note: I am not saying those potential links of UV et.al. are proven. I’m only pointing out potential alternatives / confounders.

    So the first and largest problem with tossing rocks at Herschel and Jevons is to attempt to tar them with a “Global Climate Change” brush when they were in fact only addressing patterns in the data seen in Europe and partly in India. Regional at most. The second problem is to ignore that The Gulf Stream variation might well modulate Europe (and the Monsoon modulate India) in patterns that are solar correlated (and IMHO lunar / tidal driven in orbital resonance sync) while having no effect in other places; or even the opposite effect as demonstrated in Florida pollen / sediments data.

    In short: In times of very low sun activity and low sunspots, I’d expect lousy crop years and high grain prices in Europe on average; along with greater cold and miserable wet rains making harvest hard. I’d further expect that to correlate with famine and plagues unless countered with modern food supplies and such. HOWEVER, I’d expect higher yields in the USA “Desert Southwest” (where we grow wheat in Arizona and New Mexico…) and warmer / wetter weather in Florida. So in any modern event, the major effect ought not be famine and plague in England, but a large influx of English tourists to Disneyworld and the French to keep making baguettes but using Arizona grain… ;-)

    So don’t be tossing Herschel under the bus just yet.

  35. @ climatereason, May 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks again for CET graph. Instructive. I wonder how much the Met &/or the Had Crew have stepped on these data.

    It’s great to have that series.

  36. I wish Briffa would stop standing with one foot on the rowboat and one on the dock, and make a clean break with that bad crowd he’s been hanging out with. After all, this nonsense has been going on for years. Even a layman like myself can see the likely mistakes in his attempts to “draw out the signal” by excluding some trees and including others. (However at least he seems honest about doing it.) I could see it back in late September 2009, and (sounding more like a lumberjack than I actually am,) made a comment here at WUWT that Anthony raised to a “guest comment” post.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/02/a-hands-on-view-of-tree-growth-and-tree-rings-one-explanation-for-briffas-yad061-lone-tree-core/

    Come on, Briffa! Bite the hand that is feeding you, from that sinking boat, and take the hand of truth extended to you from the high and dry dock. If you keep trying to straddle the two sides, I fear you’ll end up all wet.

  37. “Wouldn’t a warmer climate have a longer growing season?”

    Not necessarily. A really super-hot July/August that warms up and cools down at the same time doesn’t have a LONGER season, it just had a HOTTER growing season. A climate that maintains a minimum of 40 degrees year-round (ie. no real “winter” to drag down yearly average temperatures) but has normal growth-temps time wouldn’t change at all.

    Then there’s the flip side where if you had very long growing season, but little precipitation, growth would also be limited.

    A higher yearly average isn’t easily correlated with a growing season or growth that I can tell. You can stipulate it (as the team does), but that doesn’t necessarily make it true.

  38. Physics Nobel laureate Richard Feynman made some pertinent observations on science:

    Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure — the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit. . . .
    How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?

    Remarks at a Caltech YMCA lunch forum (2 May 1956)
    The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman p 256

  39. vukcevic says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    Compare AMO (3 yr ma) and Yamal geomagnetic field change (11 year filter)
    They have nothing to do with each other…

  40. E.M.Smith says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    ———————————

    All points well taken, although irrigated wheat in the SW is a pretty minor portion of US production.

    Still & all, I find that the LIA (& prior centuries-long cold spells) is well supported as a global phenomenon, based not only upon its effects on agriculture, but other measurable climate proxies as well.

    I’m reminded of Chinese citrus production & New Zealand glaciers, for instance, among many papers available covering affected areas around the world.

    I’m glad that Leif comments here, keeping advocates of a role for solar variation in driving terrestrial climate (maybe throughout the solar system) honest & truly skeptical of all explanations for such a complex, possibly chaotic phenomenon.

  41. @TonyB:

    Excellent job of Mann-handling. CET is a wonderful resource. Too bad thermometers weren’t around during the height of the Medieval Warm Period.

    Liked your citation of frequent contemporary comments on “unprecedented” cooling or warming. And this understated caveat:

    ‘Global’ records are much less reliable than local ones due to the manner in which they are assembled, and the reality of a meaningful single global temperature is the subject of much debate, as observed by French climatologist Marcel Leroux. ‘Yet, they know very well that there is not one “global” climate, but a large variety of climates, depending on latitude, geographic conditions, and atmospheric dynamics.’ (18)

    Brown and Jones commented on the many instances of local cooling trends, seemingly recording different- and cooling- climates to that observed in the global – and warming- record (19)

    The Berkeley earth surface temperature project (BEST) also confirm that one third of the Globes weather stations show a cooling, not warming, signal again demonstrating that no single global climate prevails. (20)

    Consequently Leroux’s comments seem a reasonable premise, and the attempt to find a warming signal in every piece of data somewhat counter-productive.

  42. It only shows that tree growth cannot be used as a reliable proxy for temperature analysis, because tree growth depends on too many various factors. For example, higher temperatures may accompany a prolonged drought that stunts the tree growth even more than a prolonged freeze (as everybody who lived in the mountains knows).

    Therefore, making any conclusions, related to solar activity, from this graph is impossible, whether these conclusions are positive or negative. By proclaiming his negative conclusion, Leif Svalgaard is making the same inexcusable error as anybody who would see in this graph a connection with the solar activity. There is no connection; therefore, there cannot be any conclusion.

  43. Alexander Feht says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    It only shows that tree growth cannot be used as a reliable proxy for temperature analysis
    Alexander Feht makes the inexcusable error of proclaiming that the graph shows that tree growth cannot be used as a proxy for temperature because it does not show the expected correlation. That [probably correct] conclusion has to be made on other [real] evidence.

  44. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    vukcevic says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    Compare AMO (3 yr ma) and Yamal geomagnetic field change (11 year filter)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/YAMAL-GMF-AMO.htm

    They have nothing to do with each other…

    But they got same father (Helios) and mother (Gaia)
    p.s. I have to look at few more locations within Arctic Circle; we know about the strong sun-earth link in the Antarctic
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TMC.htm
    the Arctic would complete the picture, and open a new page in geo-solar science.
    See you.

  45. I seem to recall some saying Briffa was FOIA… riiiight. Same kinda crook as the rest.

    Mark

  46. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    vukcevic says:
    May 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    and open a new page in geo-solar science.
    D-K hits again…

    Hi Doc
    You should know better …
    Insults and ad hominem got no-one very far in any science debate; it is sure a self-diagnosis of inability to deal with the facts that contradict someone’s belief.
    If you were pope and this was 17th century you would be already ordering cartload of a fire wood.

  47. I’m with Vulk here and by the way LS
    Hot dry drought like summer = NO GROWTH
    Lukewarm wet summer = GROWTH
    Coldish wet summer + SOME GROWTH
    Make sense? Thats why Dendrology climate science is largely based on BS
    BTW C02 does affect tree ring growth

  48. Jeff Alberts says: “If I were to look at that graph with the expectation that it represents “global temperature”…, I would say there is nothing unusual happening … So… what’s the point of the paper?

    The point of the paper is to keep Briffa’s paper count up (ie, keep his career going), and to keep the warming myth going. For this, tree-rings are perfect, because there are lots of them and they have lots of noise but little correlation with temperature. If, for example, you want to show that tree-rings match the known recent global temperature increase, you can select the trees that grew faster recently and leave out those that don’t, so you end up with a lot of noise over a long period, that averages out to zero trend, and a recent up-tick. You can select and manipulate the data to end up with any other pattern that suits you – as in this latest paper from Keith Briffa: “the root-collar samples were omitted from the Polar Urals TRW chronology because attempts to “correct” for their bias were not considered feasible“. The whole process can be kept going indefinitely, using and re-using data series over different periods and in different combinations.

  49. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    Alexander Feht makes the inexcusable error of proclaiming that the graph shows that tree growth cannot be used as a proxy for temperature because it does not show the expected correlation.

    I didn’t expect any correlation. Therefore, I didn’t make any error. You did.

  50. vukcevic says:
    May 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    Insults and ad hominem got no-one very far in any science debate
    What you do is not science in any meaning of that word. That you think you will “open a new page in geo-solar science” is a typical symptom of D-K ‘overestimating one’s capability’. Called things what they are is not insulting. A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    Alexander Feht says:
    May 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    I didn’t expect any correlation. Therefore, I didn’t make any error. You did.
    Neither did I, so your inexcusable error is to assume that I did.

  51. What if anything, could Keith Briffa do to damage his reputation as a scientist, more than he already has done?
    The decision to not release the data, because it would damage the reputation of the CRU scientists, did all the damage necessary to the reputation of these people. Who needs Climate Gate emails when the university openly damns their employees?

  52. DocattheAutopsy says: ‘I find it amazing that “reputable” scientists these days can come forward with results based on data, then when asked for the data for independent analysis, refuse to produce it and say, “We can’t give it to you because it might be used to harm our reputation!” And yet, journals are still publishing this garbage as science.’

    Science is about replication. No replication, no science. The journals are destroying Science.

  53. edwardt says:
    May 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Is it me or is Lief a pompous ass?

    You are not a pompous ass.

  54. lsvalgaard says:
    May 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Alexander Feht says:
    May 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    I didn’t expect any correlation. Therefore, I didn’t make any error. You did.
    Neither did I, so your inexcusable error is to assume that I did.

    Most of your messages in this thread, Dr. Svalgaard, expressed, in various off-putting forms, a criticism toward those who observe an obvious correlation between the activity of the Sun and the Earth temperature.

    Since there is no (and cannot be) any correlation between the activity of the Sun and the tree growth graph in question, your criticism is intentionally misleading and factually unfounded. You are mixing apples and oranges to promote your bias.

  55. Alexander Feht says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    a criticism toward those who observe an obvious correlation between the activity of the Sun and the Earth temperature.Since there is no (and cannot be) any correlation between the activity of the Sun and the tree growth graph in question
    Some people saw an obvious correlation between the tree rings and solar activity. Go and convince them of the errors of their ways. I did not even take a position on the issue…
    Your ad-homs misfire, as so often before.

  56. Briffa has little choice , for like others his professional career and personal standing is entirely built on ‘the cause ‘ , even if their not ‘true believers ‘ its high steaks poker their playing and they have to go all in or lose the lot .
    When they fall no one such morn them , for they more than enjoyed their ‘days in the sun’ and where more than happy to do whatever it took to keep themselves in it .

  57. Dr. Svalgaard,

    What “ad-homs”?
    Are you talking about my painful efforts to remain civil in the face of the condescending rudeness?
    You did not even take a position on the issue? Really?
    While taking a position on this issue is practically all you are doing?

  58. Alexander Feht says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Most of your messages in this thread, Dr. Svalgaard, expressed, in various off-putting forms, a criticism toward those who observe an obvious correlation between the activity of the Sun and the Earth temperature.

    Dr. Svalgaard is showing all the signs of being a man who could (and would) start a fight in an empty room. It’s a pity because I’m sure that I, as a humble retired former railway engineer (who doesn’t write soft-core porn in his spare time), could learn a lot from him but sadly am put off by his approach. I am, however, prepared to accept that I’m missing some signals because he doesn’t have English as his native tongue.

  59. All this tree growth stuff: isn’t that a correlate with summer temperature, rather than annual temperature? No growth on trees when it’s -20C after all.

    I’m not an expert in this field, but the key question is whether summer temperature automatically correlates with annual temperature or whether periods can exist where summer temperature is warmer when winter temperature is colder, or summer temperature is cooler whereas winter temperature is milder?

  60. Mr Green Genes,

    I am Russian. Not having English as one’s native tongue is not an excuse for a grown-up man with a PhD to behave like… Leif Svalgaard.

  61. The Bishop Hil blog is carrying a story that in the UK Parliamentnt, the UK Government has now confirmed that the Met Office essentially acknowledges that the warming since 1850 using Met Office data is not statistically significant.

    See: .http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/5/27/met-office-admits-claims-of-significant-temperature-rise-unt.html

    Quite a significant concession!

    Incidentally, the Max Planck institute has also recently pulled back on the certainties surrounding projected warming, and of course, the Germans are pulling back from their green energy production and are building coal powered generators and are pushing Europe to embrace shale gas exploration.

    Times may be changing. Or perhaps that is just wishful thinking.

  62. Alexander Feht says:
    May 27, 2013 at 1:58 am
    You did not even take a position on the issue? Really?
    Yes, really! the data speak for themselves.

    vukcevic says:
    May 27, 2013 at 3:02 am
    (note: the graph has now a very important update !)
    Note: it is typical D-K to characterize one’s own missives as ‘very important’.

  63. lsvalgaard says: May 27, 2013 at 4:38 am
    ………………..
    Have you actually looked at the graph ?
    Nothing controversial is claimed there, no cause, no consequence or hypothesis is proposed, just few well documented numbers are plotted.
    As you’ve just said “the data speak for themselves.”, I left it to readers to draw their own conclusions.
    …..own missives as ‘very important’.
    Do you actually suggest that your comments are not ‘very important’ and should be ignored?

  64. vukcevic says:
    May 27, 2013 at 4:54 am
    Do you actually suggest that your comments are not ‘very important’ and should be ignored?
    I do not claim that what I say is ‘very important’. Readers can and will ignore what they please.

    Alexander Feht says:
    May 27, 2013 at 1:58 am
    You did not even take a position on the issue?
    The issue is whether tree growth is a good climate indicator. Some think so, some do not [each according to his own bias]. I have no position on this. All I did was to show that the Yamal record do not correlate well with solar activity [for whatever reason]. As to your painful attempts to stay civil, I take the position that you failed [as so many times before]. Now you have another chance, use it well and don’t fail again.

  65. As I’ve said before .. if tree rings are so much thicker in warmer weather, ie they grow so much more, then what’s the problem?? Bring on the higher temps .. and let the trees grow their butts off.

  66. “”lsvalgaard says:

    May 26, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Lars P. says:
    May 26, 2013 at 10:39 am
    Leif, help me on the above, what solar activity do you post there? TSI reconstruction?, sun spots? proxy?
    since traditional wisdom has it that all solar indices correlate on the time scale of the Figure, it doesn’t really matter which is shown, But specifically, it is a TSI reconstruction derived from the cosmic ray intensity measured in ice cores.””

    Getting that cosmic ray dyslexia again. Maybe trees like wetter years. We thinks lower solar activity and more cosmic rays. Just saying maybe correlates better with cosmic rays. late again ……..

  67. What does the tree ring graph look like against the cosmic ray and sunspot (rev.) cycle graph? Trees like some water and light. Yeah yeah growing season too. But this state is already split for growing seasons.

  68. Anyone checking the cosmic ray data and rainfall this year.

    http://cr0.izmiran.rssi.ru/mosc/main.htm

    Jan 1, 2013 to May 26, 2013
    1day>corrected for pressure>plot

    Looks like forbush ran thru but the level of cosmic ray the first 3 months, followed by the rest, equated to more snow, rain and colder temps for Wisconsinites.

  69. Comic Re:Lief on WUWT

    Lionel G: Once trust is broken, it is very difficult to rebuild.
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    DocatAut: I find it amazing that “reputable” scientists these days can come forward with results based on data, then when asked for the data for independent analysis, refuse to produce it and say, “We can’t give it to you because it might be used to harm our reputation!”
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    JTillman: Sir William Herschel must have been a raving loon to imagine that the sun had anything to do with it.
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    TonyB: This branch of science (pun intended) has been wildly over promoted as to its importance over the last 15 years or so.
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.
    TonyB: Sorry, I omitted the graph.
    Leif: Now you have another chance, use it well and don’t fail again.

    MarkT: I seem to recall some saying Briffa was FOIA… riiiight. Same kinda crook as the rest.
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    Caleb: Come on, Briffa! … take the hand of truth extended to you from the high and dry dock.
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    EdT: Is it me or is Leif a pompous ass?
    Leif: It’s you… A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.

    *********** LOL that was fun! #[:)] *************

    Janice: Aw, come on, Leif, let’s just have a good laugh about it and be friends again, waddaya say?
    Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.
    Janice: If we tell you that you are brilliant and highly respected and valued could we all be friends again?
    Leif: Now you have another chance, use it well and don’t fail again.
    RVerney: Quite a significant concession!

  70. Janice Moore says:
    May 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm
    Janice: Aw, come on, Leif, let’s just have a good laugh about it and be friends again, waddaya say?
    You are not really making an effort in that department, so without floccinaucinihilipilification on my part, perhaps you could try again, e.g. by sticking to the science…

  71. “… perhaps you could try again, e.g. by sticking to the science…”

    I’m afraid, given the abysmally low level of my science knowledge, that is impossible.

    May God bless you with many friends who are also scientists.

    And, thanks, I think, for not doing any floccinaucinihilipilification (sounds a bit unpleasant).

    (in your ear: I think the scientists above would make some pretty wonderful friends…. if you wanted friends, I mean)

  72. Janice.

    A nice collation of comments about humility [ or the lack of it ]. It’s a close parrallell to AGW crowd calling people with counter opinion as deniers.

  73. Thanks, Venter, for taking the time to pay me a compliment. I think you “got” my joke, nice parallel, by the way, but, in case others might have misunderstood my meaning above…

    I must clarify (for the sake of those whose remarks I quoted above), all of the quotes placed above: “Leif: A bit more humility on your part would be appropriate.” were NOT lacking in humility at all. I juxtaposed those fine, true, comments with Leif’s conceitedly condescending remarks for comic contrast. I wanted to provide some laughter and I was also hoping that Leif, when he saw how ridiculous his remarks looked, would smile and hop off his high horse and rejoin the rest of the gang in friendly camaraderie. He appeared to be steadily isolating himself on a pinnacle of pomposity that would be hard to climb down from. From his response, I don’t think Leif has the average person’s desire to be in friendly relationship with others, even his colleagues, the fine scientists above. Sadly, he appears to simply want to dominate a discussion. I hope I am wrong about that.

    Thanks again, Venter, for your affirmation! A rare thing for all of us WUWT posters (given the necessarily task-focused nature of the “conversation” suited to a science discussion site).

  74. Janice Moore says:
    May 28, 2013 at 11:31 am
    I don’t think Leif has the average person’s desire to be in friendly relationship with others
    Janice, science is a blood sport. My negative comments are directed at postings that are scientifically incorrect, nonsense, or otherwise deficient. That the commenters often don’t take that gracefully is really their problem.

  75. Janice Moore

    Now you have me worried. To the best of my knowledge Leif has never been rude to me. Should I feel slighted?
    Tonyb

  76. Tony

    I guess Janice’s point is the irony that the stern, rude, admonitions for polite postings came with a lecture about humility, which was hilarious.

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