Mann hockey-sticks hurricanes: Hurricanes in the Atlantic are more frequent than at any time in the last 1,000 years


Michael Mann: “This tells us these reconstructions are very likely meaningful,”

Just when you think it couldn’t get any more bizarre in Mann-world, out comes a new paper in Nature hawking hurricane frequency by proxy analysis. I guess Dr. Mann missed seeing the work of National Hurricane Center’s lead scientist, Chris Landsea which we highlighted a couple of days ago on WUWT: NOAA: More tropical storms counted due to better observational tools, wider reporting. Greenhouse warming not involved.

Mann is using “overwash” silt and sand as his new proxy. Chris Landsea disagrees in the Houston Chronicle interview saying: “The paper comes to very erroneous conclusions because of using improper data and illogical techniques,”

From the BBC and the Houston Chronicle, some excerpts are below.

From the BBC, full story here

Study leader Michael Mann from Penn State University believes that while not providing a definitive answer, this work does add a useful piece to the puzzle.

The levels we’re seeing at the moment are within the bounds of uncertainty.
Julian Heming, UK Met Office

“It’s been hotly debated, and various teams using different computer models have come up with different answers,” he told BBC News.

“I would argue that this study presents some useful palaeoclimatic data points.”

From the Houston Chronicle, full story here

One tack is based on the observation that the powerful storm surge of large hurricanes deposits distinct layers of sediment in coastal lakes and marshes. By taking cores of sediments at the bottom of these lakes, which span centuries, scientists believe they can tell when large hurricanes made landfall at a particular location.

The second method used a computer model to simulate storm counts based upon historical Atlantic sea surface temperatures, El Niños and other climate factors.

The two independent estimates of historical storm activity were consistent, said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, the paper’s lead author. Both, for example, pinpointed a period of high activity between 900 and 1100.

“This tells us these reconstructions are very likely meaningful,” he [Mann] said.


What is funny is that with that quote above, Mann is referring to the Medieval Warm Period, something he tried to smooth out in his tree ring study and previous hockey stick graph.


Now he uses the MWP to his advantage to bolster his current proxy.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit writes about “check kiting” related to this study:

The Supplementary Information sheds no light on the methodology or the proxies.

The Supplementary Information contained no data sets. The proxies used for the Mann et al submission are not even listed.

The edifice is built on the SST and Nino3 reconstructions, both of which are references to the enigmatic reference 17, which turns out to be an unpublished submission of Mann et al.

17. Mann, M. E. et al. Global signatures of the Little Ice Age and the medieval climate anomaly and plausible dynamical origins. Science (submitted).

At the time that Nature published this article, there was precisely NO information available on what proxies were used in the reconstruction of Atlantic SST or El Nino or how these reconstructions were done. Did any of the Nature reviewers ask to see the other Mann submission? I doubt it. I wonder if it uses Graybill bristlecone pines.


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Hockey sticks and sand residue: It sounds like a bunch of “high sticking” to me.


Photo caption competition entry:
“Look into my crystal ball”

barbee butts

Computer modeling results are not data.


He’s such a duffer, isn’t he?

I become more embarrassed over time that Mann resides at my alma mater. There are so many possible causes for sand/silt action that it boggles the mind. Could the pattern he “sees” have been caused by hurricanes? YES. But so can 10-20 other probable and even more likely events.

The man is genuous. Usually a trick with “creative” science works only once.

Richard Heg

A quote from Mann in another recent article.
“We can project meaningfully what the average temperature of the globe will be, but there’s quite a bit of uncertainty about how El Niño will change,” Mann adds. “It’s a little bit of a dirty secret that there is very little consensus on something that fundamental.”
The article is on the use of clams as a proxy. Not a very interesting article but why does someone who was discredited get quoted in every article on temperature reconstruction even when as in the article i linked to, he was not even involved in the study?

David Ball

“and a giant leap for Mann-kind”, ….. my apologies to Neil A.

Stephen Wilde

Has anyone else noticed that Michael Mann now looks very like Kane [snip] in the Command and Conquer computer game series ?


All this article tells us is that there is no penalty box in the game of climate hockey.
Anthony, good title, but I think a better one would be, “Mann High-Sticks Hurrricanes.”


To quote a Chron commenter, “What accounts for the high between years 900-1100? King Arthur’s SUV?”


“The levels we’re seeing at the moment are within the bounds of uncertainty”
I doubt uncertainty has bounds but presumably if it does, anything within them is uncertain. More likely this is a wholly meaningless statement.


I’m telling you, these guys are walking in the same steps as McCarthy. It’s only a matter of time…..

Richard deSousa

Another stupid example of the use of the Drake Equation.
Can we see the hurrihockey stick somewhere?


I’m embarassed to be from PSU because of him; what a joke. Maybe the football team will do good this fall…

Mr. Alex

Absolutely unbelievable… How can these “scientists” say such things with a straight face? O_o

Ron de Haan

Richard Heg (08:46:25) :
“Not a very interesting article but why does someone who was discredited get quoted in every article on temperature reconstruction even when as in the article i linked to, he was not even involved in the study?”
I have the same question.


As I said yesterday, and I was right:
NOAA: More tropical storms counted due to better observational tools
Then…: If more counted, there will be more!. That’s nice!…but for who

We now know for who!
It seems they are preparing the “Mis en Scene” of some well known “prophet”.


I like the picture with the Matrix at the back… I guess he did not take the right pill and is still asleep.


He should “peer reviewed” by a team of independent……..psychiatrists

Kevin Kilty

Take the observed record of major hurricanes in the Atlantic from 1944 to the present. Assume that each year is an independent, random trial of hurricanes, and a Poisson process.
An expected value of 2.76 describes the statistics of hurricane numbers (frequency data) remarkably well. Now give the process an additional degree of freedom let the expected value be (a+bt) and fit the data to the process using maximum likelihood. What you will find is no trend over these 65 years–i.e. b=0 to even 80% certainty.
I’d love to do the same with Mann’s proxy, but really, if the data do not show a trend in this “unprecidented period of change” then what does Mann’s analysis of change during periods without the suspect input do, other than confuse the issue?


Does this Mann have no shame? Apparently not!

AL Ward

Stephen Wilde (09:00:13) : [commented]
“Has anyone else noticed that Michael Mann now looks very like Kane [snip] in the Command and Conquer computer game series ?”
LMAO….now that you mentioned it!!! But are we ready for The Brotherhood of NOD!?!?
hmmmm (09:09:05) :[Commented]
“I’m embarassed to be from PSU because of him; what a joke. Maybe the football team will do good this fall…”
I was suprised to find out that he is associated with Penn State. I have always had great respect for the institution, guess every family has a crazy relative. I hope you are correct about Joe Pa & his boys, it just does not feel like a proper football season without the Nittany Lions in the mix.


The MWP, during which are now told there was a supposed hurricane maxima from 900-1100m AD, was dramatically reduced to a small bump by Mann in his hockey stick proxy studies. So the next step will be to state that the high hurricane numbers during the small MWP bump suggests catastrophic numbers for the large projected temperature increases by 2100.
Its all very logical, don’t you know 😉 .

Robert Wood

Hysteria is rising faster than previously thought; Mann’s hockey stick proves it!
The UN’s Ban has alerady announced we have JUST FOUR MONTHS to avoid the deaths of millions!
I guess we have another four months of this hogwash and papers using PC (Politically Correct) analysis before we can all breath easy again.
How can Nature publish this rot? OK .. I know, rhetorical question.

Mann is playing John Desmond Bernal to James Hansen’s Lysenko.
(I guess that makes Al Gore out as Stalin.)

Barry L.

This sounds like a counter publicity stunt…. and guess who got all of the attention????? The alarmist of cource.
The interesting thing is that this time is was NOAA being countered by the hard core alarmist.
Folks, they are fighting amongst themselves…. shouldn’t be long now untill the bubble pops.

Observe the master: clicky


I remember looking forward to my Nature and Scientific American. I’ve cancelled both, they have become casualties of AGW.

Dave in Davis

It is incredible, after the hockey stick fiasco, that Nature would ever again publish anything by Mann. Will the editors of Nature and reviewers of this paper please come forward and explain yourselves?


I’m curious what else will be brought forth as proxies for climate? I mean, really. Clams?

George E. Smith

Hooray ! That particular Hockey stick is the official unexpurgated version that I happen to have a B&W copy of from the Los Angeles Times. only the colors are removed from the LAT version. It’s those two little words; NORHTERN HEMISHPHERE that put the lie to the hocky stick being a global phenomenon; simply a local anomaly.
“”” The levels we’re seeing at the moment are within the bounds of uncertainty.
Julian Heming, UK Met Office “””
To which one might add; “and also within the bounds of normal variability.”
What weasel words these scoundrels come up with.
3.0 is within the expected range of measured values for Pi !
Is it just my lousy eyes or does Mann’s “noise level” suddenly drop about in half at the time of the Maunder Minimum. In any case I don’t believe any climate proxy data that is older than about 1980 when the first ARGO buoys were deployed, and subsequently showed that oceanic water and air temperatures are not correlated (John Christy et al Jan 2001, Geophysical Research Letters (I think)). So that accounts for that short red uptick from zero; and of course we all know that 20 years is just weather not climate.
Note also that the zero datum is the 1961 to 1990 average. So he picks the highly uncertain average of a sharply rising slope for his base line. Why wouldn’t he use the 1000-1900 average, which is much better behaved.
In any case; we all know that it was warm for a few decades in the late 20th century; now it’s getting a bit colder. Ho-hum !


The interesting thing to me is that until this study, the paleo-climate research showed that until now, we are actually experiencing fewer and weaker storms than just a few thousand years ago.
Mann’s pattern seems quite clear:
He seeks to turn established science, done by experts in the field, on its head in order to find a hockey stick.
His work seems to really need nothing at all except time with which to squeeze and ‘adjust’ the data into his graph of choice, the hockey stick.
Here is one abstract done by actual scientists in the field that shows hurricane activity weakened about 1250 years ago.

Jim Cole

What Mann does is bad/unprofessional enough to end most science careers.
Equal/greater blame goes to the reviewers of this Nature paper.
Ditto to the cheerleading reporters who went to J-School to avoid those “oh-so bo-o-o-o-oring” topics of logic, deductive reasoning, scientific methods, fact-checking, skepticism, etc.
Publishing the names and professional affiliations of all technical reviewers would seem to be a good place to start a “reform” movement to reclaim true science.
What an opportunity for a Patrick Henry to step forward from the journal editorial boards. “Give me Skepticism or give me CNN”


I’m convinced that because of the great influence that MBH98 had on the global warming debate, including the prominent usage in the IPCC reports, that Dr. Mann was elevated to an upper rung of social status amongst his peers. Once such status is achieved, it is nearly impossible to lose it. It doesn’t matter that the Hockey Stick was shown not to be correct or that he refuses to publish his data or statistical methods. Any work he produces is treated with greater reverence than it would otherwise deserve and his supporters are unwavering.
For those of us who care most about the science and not so much about social status, such reverence seems completely unjustified but it’s not hard to find examples of this sort of social worshipping in all walks of life.
Once you have a high social status, you can get away with all sorts of behavior that you couldn’t otherwise. It will take something major to knock him off his high rung on the social ladder.


Well I guess he needed another reason to use all those other hockey stick charts he couldn’t sell at his CO2= temp going out of business sale 😉


We do not need any more papers like this to ruin our livers. We need something like :
” The hidden agenda of global warming/climate change, its origins and purposes”
“The most recent paper on the self destructive behaviour of global warming/climate change fanatics”

Harold Vance

Look at it this way — another garbage model from Mann (“Garbage Mann”?…HA!) shows that he’s now conceded, at least to some point, non-AGW reasons for the Medeival Warm Period’s (MWP’s) weather….only asserting that this time the reason is different.
Making that assertion means he ought to be able to back it up by explaining what happened & why last time. Has he answered that? Do his models predict/explain that?? He should, they should.
If he can’t explain ‘why’ for the MWP, then his assertion that ‘this time its different’ is unsupportable.


The NY times had the following quote:
“Although current numbers are relatively high, they say, both analytical methods suggest that a period of high storm frequency, possibly even higher than today’s, began in the year 900 and lasted until 1200 or so.”
Here is a link to the entire article:
My interpretation of that sentence from this article is that Michael Mann has finally found the Medievil warm period that he had previously misplaced.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again..
After seeing SO many “educated” people fall for using O18/016 proxy for “global temperature”…when it ISN’T. (It’s a proxy for thunderstorm activity, period..) I throw most all of these “proxy” studies where they belong…
Dr. Joe


It’s interresting to note that Mann’s hockeystick correlates well with the number of publishing climate scientists.
However, I suspect the inverse of the hockeystick denotes the average individual intelligence of those.
Meaning the consensus as such, as an average of those scientists, also follows the inverse.
Proving again the definition of a comittee (and source of consensus):
A comittee is the only life-form known with more than one belly, but no brain.

Hmm. Somehow the term “Medieval Climate Anomaly” escaped my attention. Did someone invent that as a sanitized “Medieval Warm Period”? If so, shouldn’t the “Little Ice Age” become the “Recent Counter-Climate Anomaly?”

BTW, Chris Landsea has also spearheaded a review of hurricane records from ships logs, news accounts, etc. to clean up the data from the first half of the 20th century. I believe that effort was inspired by his graduate work at Colorado State under Bill Gray where they spend a fair amount of time poring through the historical records.
More from the Houston Chronicle’s comments from Landsea:
In his criticism, Landsea notes that the paper begins by saying that Atlantic tropical activity has “reached anomalous levels over the past decade.”
This ignores recent work by Landsea and a number of other hurricane scientists who found that storm counts in the early 1900s … likely missed three or four storms a year. The addition of these storms to the historical record, he said, causes the long-term trend over the last century to disappear.
“This isn’t a small quibble,” he said. “It’s the difference between a massive trend with doubling in the last 100 years, versus no trend.”
More detail would be nice. I’ll see what I can find.

David Ball

Because he will not reveal methodology tells you all you need to know. The answer to the question of data acquisition and interpretation are also not revealed. Tree rings have problems with interpretation as it is difficult to tell if poor growth in a season is attributable to low temps, or drought, as just a couple of examples. Stratification of mineral deposit (as appears to be what he is misusing this time) are rife with interpretation difficulties. Is it a storm surge or a tidal wave resulting from tectonic activity? Please correct me if I am wrong about any of these issues. My data is open to critique.


I broke my hockey stick last winter during hockey season. He can use it for Carbon dating….
How does this guy manage to get so much coverage!!

Pierre Gosselin

“The paper comes to very erroneous conclusions because of using improper data and illogical techniques,”
Well, how else does someone go about proving AGW and anthropogenic climate change? Not to mix in politics, but people, please recall what political spectrum these snake oil salesmen and charlatans come from!!

Pierre Gosselin

Science is being dragged through the mud by these detestable charlatans


The reason why Nature Magazine published such rubbish? It’s probably is the same reason that GE has been promoting “Climate Change” and “Cap and Trade”. The media conglomerate that owns Nature is in bed with these same ideas and globalist politics.
As far as Mann is concerned, Sand & Silt consideered it as an uptake in Atlantic Basin Tropical Weather? Really…. Did he take in data on Nor’Easter’s, increased wave heights from storms many miles away, Thunder Storms not related to tropical activity, and Land and ocean breeze events. Obviously not, then he uses his own rogue data set, and changes the data for his outcome.
Does Mann understand the effects of EL Nino? I’m sure he does, he just misrepresents them for his political cause. This is what I get from him and the media pushing his so-called science.
Global Warming = More El Nino’s = More Tropical Activity <– this Equation Does Not Work
This reason (Real Climate Science):
El Nino = More Atlantic Wind Sheer = Below Normal Tropical Activity
It just proves the mainstream media and global warming political crowd can have there cake and eat it too. They make the false logic.
Now there are anomalies in every case, but If I had to make an educated guess, 80% of Nino Summer's (mainly Moderate-Strong Strength Nino's) would have below normal Activity in the ATL. 2004 and other Weak Nino's being an anomaly, the other 20%…

Pierre Gosselin

And how many millions of brainless drones are going to line up behind this paper, I ask?
Please where’s that Australia rejects Cap&Trade report? I need some sanity – quick!!