MIRROR POSTING of Climate Audit Article on Yamal a “Divergence” problem

Note this a mirrored posting of Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit post. The Climate Audit Server is getting heavy traffic and is slow to load – here is the article exactly as he wrote it yesterday. -Anthony

Yamal: A “Divergence” Problem

by Steve McIntyre on September 27th, 2009

The second image below is, in my opinion, one of the most disquieting images ever presented at Climate Audit.

Two posts ago, I observed that the number of cores used in the most recent portion of the Yamal archive at CRU was implausibly low. There were only 10 cores in 1990 versus 65 cores in 1990 in the Polar Urals archive and 110 cores in the Avam-Taymir archive. These cores were picked from a larger population – measurements from the larger population remain unavailable.

One post ago,
I observed that Briffa had supplemented the Taymir data set (which had a pronounced 20th century divergence problem) not just with the Sidorova et al 2007 data from Avam referenced in Briffa et al 2008, but with a Schweingruber data set from Balschaya Kamenka (russ124w), also located over 400 km from Taymir.

Given this precedent, I examined the ITRDB data set for potential measurement data from Yamal that could be used to supplement the obviously deficient recent portion of the CRU archive (along the lines of Brifffa’s supplementing the Taymir data set.) Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 describe the Yamal location as follows:

The systematic collection of subfossil wood samples was begun, in 1982, in the basins of the Khadytayakha, Yadayakhodyyakha and Tanlovayakha rivers in southern Yamal in the region located between 67°00 and 67°50 N and 68°30 and 71°00 E (Figure 1). These rivers flow from the north to the south; hence, no driftwood can be brought from the adjacent southern territories At the present time, the upper reaches of these rivers are devoid of trees; larch and spruce-birch-larch thin forests are located mainly in valley bottoms in the middle and lower reaches.

Sure enough, there was a Schweingruber series that fell squarely within the Yamal area – indeed on the first named Khadyta River – russ035w located at 67 12N 69 50Eurl . This data set had 34 cores, nearly 3 times more than the 12 cores selected into the CRU archive. Regardless of the principles for the selection of the 12 CRU cores, one would certainly hope to obtain a similar-looking RCS chronology using the Schweingruber population for living trees in lieu of the selection by CRU (or whoever).

As a sensitivity test, I constructed a variation on the CRU data set, removing the 12 selected cores and replacing them with the 34 cores from the Schweingruber Yamal sample. As shown below, this resulted in a substantial expansion of the data set in the 19th and 20th centuries and a modest decline in the 18th century. (Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 had reported a selection of long cores of 200-400 years; while the CRU archive does not appear to be the precisely the same as the unavailable Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 archive, it does appear to be related. This pattern of change indicates that the age of the CRU cores is systematically higher than the age of the Schweingruber cores.)


Figure 1. Comparison of core count. Black – variation with Schweingruber instead of CRU; red- archived version with 12 picked cores.

The next graphic compares the RCS chronologies from the two slightly different data sets: red – the RCS chronology calculated from the CRU archive (with the 12 picked cores); black – the RCS chronology calculated using the Schweingruber Yamal sample of living trees instead of the 12 picked trees used in the CRU archive. The difference is breathtaking.
rcs_chronologies_rev2

Figure 2. A comparison of Yamal RCS chronologies. red – as archived with 12 picked cores; black – including Schweingruber’s Khadyta River, Yamal (russ035w) archive and excluding 12 picked cores. Both smoothed with 21-year gaussian smooth. y-axis is in dimensionless chronology units centered on 1 (as are subsequent graphs (but represent age-adjusted ring width).

Finally, here is another graphic showing the same two RCS chronologies, but adding in an RCS chronology on the merged data set obtained by appending the Schweingruber population to the CRU archive – this time retaining the 12 cores. Unsurprisingly this is in between the other two versions, but most importantly it has no HS.

rcs_merged_rev2
Figure 3. Also showing merged version up to 1990. (After 1990, there is only the few CRU cores and it tracks the CRU version.)

I hardly know where to begin in terms of commentary on this difference.

The Yamal chronology has always been an exception to the large-scale “Divergence Problem” that characterizes northern forests. However, using the Schweingruber population instead of the 12 picked cores, this chronology also has a “divergence problem” – not just between ring widths and temperature, but between the two versions.

Perhaps there’s some reason why Schweingruber’s Khadyta River, Yamal larch sample should not be included with the Yamal subfossil data. But given the use of a similar Schweingruber data set in combination with the Taymir data (in a case where it’s much further away), it’s very hard to think up a valid reason for excluding Khadyta River, while including the Taymir supplement.

Perhaps the difference between the two versions is related to different aging patterns in the Schweingruber population as compared to the CRU population. The CRU population consists, on average, of older trees than the Schweingruber population. It is highly possible and even probable that the CRU selection is derived from a prior selection of old trees described in Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002 as follows:

In one approach to constructing a mean chronology, 224 individual series of subfossil larches were selected. These were the longest and most sensitive series, where sensitivity is measured by the magnitude of interannual variability. These data were supplemented by the addition of 17 ring-width series, from 200–400 year old living larches.

The subfossil collection does not have the same bias towards older trees. Perhaps the biased selection of older trees an unintentional bias, when combined with the RCS method. This bias would not have similarly affected the “corridor method” used by Hantemirov and Shiyatov themselves, since this method which did not preserve centennial-scale variability and Hantemirov and Shiyatov would not have been concerned about potential bias introduced by how their cores were selected on a RCS chronology method that they themselves were not using.

Briffa’s own caveats on RCS methodology warn against inhomogeneities, but, notwithstanding these warnings, his initial use of this subset in Briffa 2000 may well have been done without fully thinking through the very limited size and potential unrepresentativeness of the 12 cores. Briffa 2000 presented this chronology in passing and it was never properly published in any journal article. However, as CA readers know, the resulting Yamal chronology with its enormous HS blade was like crack cocaine for paleoclimatologists and got used in virtually every subsequent study, including, most recently, Kaufman et al 2009.

As CA readers also know, until recently, CRU staunchly refused to provide the measurement data used in Briffa’s Yamal reconstruction. Science(mag) acquiesced in this refusal in connection with Osborn and Briffa 2006. While the Yamal chronology was used in a Science article, it originated with Briffa 2000 and Science(mag) took the position that the previous journal (which had a different data policy) had jurisdiction. Briffa used the chronology Briffa et al (Phil Trans B, 2008) and the Phil Trans editors finally seized the nettle, requiring Briffa to archive the data. As noted before, Briffa asked for an extension and, when I checked earlier this year, the Yamal measurement data remained unarchived. A few days ago, I noticed that the Yamal data was finally placed online. With the information finally available, this analysis has only taken a few days.

If the non-robustness observed here prove out (and I’ve provided a generating script), this will have an important impact on many multiproxy studies that have relied on this study.

165 thoughts on “MIRROR POSTING of Climate Audit Article on Yamal a “Divergence” problem

  1. This is a remarkable post. McIntyre has done it again, although I’m withholding judgment until I see if there are any other ways this can be looked at. I’m very desirous of reading the commentary on ClimateAudit, but it looks like there is a very long waiting line. Looking forward to reading it tonight when it slows down a bit.

  2. So Team cherry-picked few tree ring data from many available for 20th century in order to create a desired hockey stick. Has anything from the Team even withstood against unbiased and full information?

  3. The comments at CA are very illuminating. The whole saga reveals the inadequacies of peer review (as described by the Wegman Panel), particularly when the peer reviewers form a clique of colleagues and co-authors. Steve McIntyre has clearly demonstrated the importance of replication, which means the release of all data and methods, something that has been resisted by the climate community for far too long. Science as a whole may be damaged by these revelations – how can you trust government-funded scientists in the future?

  4. C.S. Peirce & The Scientific Method (Excerpted from ETC, Summer 2002)

    In his now famous 1887 article, “The Fixation of Belief,” Peirce examines four ways that people form beliefs. For Peirce, “fixation” means to “fix on” opinions or beliefs, and “belief” means “that which a man is prepared to act” upon.
    1. Tenacity. This first method of fixing belief describes stubborn clinging to opinion. Facts and experiences not in accord with beliefs are discarded in favor of those that are. Hayakawa called tenacity “wishful thinking,” and Mark Twain satirically referred to them as “corn pone” opinions. Tenacious opinion excludes independent verification or falsification.
    2. Authority. This method differs from tenacity because it commands assent through institutional means. The institutions may be theological, political, or mixtures of both as can be found in the “will of the state,” a ruling aristocracy, a guild or labor union, or other professional body. These institutions conduct systematic indoctrination and attempt to keep the intellectually sheltered population in ignorance of any source of doubt. Dissenters and questioners historically receive harsh punishment ranging from tarring and feathering through exclusion and inquisition to genocide.
    3. A Priori. Peirce’s third method of fixing belief relies on reasoning from the merely plausible and reasonable to often complex and formal propositions. Because it excludes experience, the supposed proposition usually employs abstruse expression and arcane language to pose under a “scholastic tradition” intended to overwhelm common opinion and experience. Bertrand Russell observed “The more profound the philosopher, the more intricate and subtle his fallacies” in order to coerce intellectual acquiescence of the proposition.
    4. Scientific Investigation. The final method is based on testing reason against the observable. It imposes objective criteria for assessing belief, and by welcoming exposure to refutation is self-correcting through experience. Science takes time, a factor belittled by those authoritarians who might wish to impose their beliefs upon others. The mark of a scientist can be seen in the proposition most readily refuted if false. The mark of a nonscientist can be seen in the proposition bolstered not by the observable but by subjective opinion, by appeal to authority, and by appeals to the merely plausible or reasonable. The nonscientist also can be seen attacking the source of an assertion rather than the assertion itself, or by placing opinion above critical scrutiny. The scientifically warranted assertion must be open to examination, to the risk of disproof, by the most rigorous possible critics. Also, the absence of criticism is not proof of valid opinion.

    Peirce wrote: “… the scientific spirit requires one be at all times ready to dump his cartload of beliefs the moment experience is against him.” To do otherwise is to live with the legions of the insane, and of the humbug. For these reasons scientific method is the best means for advancing the prospect of agreement among humans.

  5. Nice done to mirror Steve Anthony. Let’s hope the heavy traffic is based on a genuine interest of Steve’s fantastc work on this.

    Thanks!

  6. Phillip Bratby (11:14:40) :

    … – how can you trust government-funded scientists in the future?

    Trust but verify.

  7. Nothing seems to be working quite right today. The DMI COI arctic temperature graph is back up and seems to be displaying the temperature fromn several days ago but has it labeled as “Sunday, October 14, 2007”. Steve’s bombshell seems to have the world of climate science rattled.

  8. Our first lesson for the day is how to make a hockey stick climate graph, our second lesson will be how to make it look scarier.

    No noticable hockey sticking in temps. here in Kansas, it got up to 90 yesterday but the rest of the month before and the forecast has been/is a bit cooler and today’s record high according to weather underground in 103 (in 1953 or around there). If we saw a true hockey stick we would be seeing 100’s into early fall or so I would guess.

  9. But how can you verify when the conclusions they reach are forever out of reach of the common man. Look at how long it took Steve to get this information. The fact that he did is a miracle in itself. It seems that even Scientists are closing ranks, protecting each other instead of simply allowing information to flow freely. Now that is not to say I think a privately funded scientist should have to divulge anything, however any man who is trying to sustain research by the public OR influence public opinion then their research should become public domain. Except in cases of National Defense I do not see how this could be a major detriment.

  10. Another good reason for this article is that the original posting on this site with a “Quote of the week” title made the topic seem to be less important than it is. This is much more than someone’s quotation.

  11. As Steve McIntyre sucks up almost all the oxygen in the room, I need to give a shout out to Rodger Pielke Sr. and company. They have another paper published in Geophysical Research:

    “The IPCC Claim Regarding A Linear Relationship Between The Global Average Surface Temperarture Trends And Global Average Radiative Forcing Is Quantitatively Inaccurate”

  12. Robert E. Phelan (12:03:09) : Rattled — “Sunday, October 14, 2007″

    Now that’s funny.

    So to stay off of CA for the time being, go back one post here to Quote of the Week if you have not seen McKitrick’s summary. When possible go to CA and read all the comments. I stayed up to Midnight reading the comments at both WUWT and CA – good comments both places.

  13. Fred Harwood (11:23:43) :
    There is an excellent book about aviation medicine: ‘The Naked Pilot – The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents’. There are strong parallels with the C.S Peirce article with the exception that aviation has made great strides in dealing with human shortcomings such as conformity, fixating, and authority and has done so simply because they are lethal.

  14. Steve McIntyre deserves serious commendation for his persistence, integrity, courage, and scientific rigour. All done on his own time, with no payment from anybody except contributions to his tip jar.

    If you feel that his work is important and should be encouraged, drop over to CA (when you can) and make a contribution to his tip jar.

    [Reply: There’s a tip jar here, too. It’s not too hard to find. ~dbs, mod.]

  15. One does need to be careful (and I think Steve has been) about calling “smoking gun” until a little time has passed and other voices are heard from. . . as Roy Spencer was reminded recently.

  16. I am speechless at what an outstanding job Steve/et.al has done here. Anthony, at what point does this become Scientific (f-word)? I think we’re there….

    REPLY: Let’s see what rebuttals are mounted. – A

  17. Hah,
    It wasn’t long before someone tried to reference this at RC, only to have the link censored by The Gavin…..

    REPLY: suggestion- keep screencaps of the comment page while it is awaiting moderation. -A

  18. Good idea to mirror CA on this one Anthony, the net is buzzing. I never thought I’d be glad to hear the CA server is having difficulties, but it seems the word is out, and people want the info from the source.

    I was happy to see Steve hadn’t deleted my cheeky one liner from last night when I checked earlier.

  19. Questions:

    Just how important is this tree ring study?
    How much other research is dependent upon it?

    Does this really change the debate or just leave egg on some researchers faces?

    I find it disturbing, conceptually, but is this a game changer?

  20. Philip Bratby wrote, “Science as a whole may be damaged by these revelations – how can you trust government-funded scientists in the future?”

    I am a scientist in my mid-50’s and in an earlier part of my career, I did a lot of government contract supported research, mostly small projects. It was frustrating to watch a topic become “hot” and all of a sudden, all the funds would move there. The only way to maintain continuity in funding was to be able to describe the field you worked in as a subset of the hot field. This often led you in directions that were dead ends.

    Climate science and global warming is definitely a hot field with $79 Billion spent over the last 20 years and now the threat of realigning the develop worlds economy around low carbon energy. They have done a better job of keeping the topic in the press than Brittany Spears has of keeping her name in the tabloids. This science publishing by press release has resulted in a politization of the science of global warming with fortunes to be made or lost based on how elected officials vote on a bill. So you end up with science being used to support political concensus rather than finding the truth. It is inevitable that this will turn out badly for all involved.

    From my perspective, if the public stops automatically trusting governmeht funded scientists that is not in itself a bad thing. After all, skepticism is at the heart of all new scientific discoveries. Perhaps what we really need is a way for scientists to fund the work they do that does not involve government funding or government review for every new project that needs to get done.

  21. So, in nutshell, removing the tinsel and baubles, the epicenter of the AGW Armageddon is – 12 trees from remote Russia.

    These revelations show that AGW is second only to Global Banking as the biggest [snip] ever perpetuated on HumanKind.

  22. I see dead scientists in Copenhagen. Not dead really, just missing in action. How great would it be if very few scientists showed up in Copenhagen in December? Lets stare a movement.

  23. Myrddin–

    I wouldn’t go that far. Proving that natural variation *could* have caused the 20th century warming is not the same thing as proving it *did*.

    But, possibly, perhaps, maybe. . . if Steve’s analysis stands up. . . we’ll hear a bit less about “the science is settled”. That would certainly be a welcome step in the right direction. I’ve never said the AGWers are wrong –what annoys me is the way they throw everyone else who is unconvinced under the bus in the most insulting terms.

  24. “REPLY: suggestion- keep screencaps of the comment page while it is awaiting moderation. -A”

    It wasn’t my post. Reading the previous comment by the poster strongly suggests it was indeed this topics reference….

  25. Philip Bratby wrote, “Science as a whole may be damaged by these revelations – how can you trust government-funded scientists in the future?”

    In his farewell speech President Eisenhower warned of two threats to US democracy. Neither was external; the US was very strong militarily. Both were internal and he coined a term for each:
    -Military-Industrial Complex
    -Scientific-Technological Elite

    The fear was government would become the dominate funding source for scientific research (it has) and fund “science” that provided results they wanted. Dr. Happer was reportedly fired from this position (directing all funding for weapons and energy research … including GW research in the Clinton admin) by Al Gore for refusing to change his views on AGW.

    A government interested in expansion (i.e. Cap-and-Trade) likes the idea of AGW and resists funding projects that may disprove AGW.

    Dr. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, asserts the federal government turned climate research science into a political game by awarding grants to researchers willing to produce requested results and withholding funds from researchers asking politically incorrect questions or returning with politically incorrect results. Dr. Lindzen, a former IPCC author, is in a position to say things less renowned scientists fear to speak out.

  26. Robert E. Phelan (12:03:09) :

    Interesting to note that at Oct 14, 2007 the temp. was very close to what is being shown as the current arctic temp. Somebody’s got their data link crossed up.

    Anthony – you indeed have the patience of Jobe and the wisdom of Solomon. Rather than await the rebuttal, however, count on ad hominem attacks and baseless allegations of a corrupt scientific agenda based on (to my understanding non-existent) payments from ‘big-oil’. This is no longer about science. This is big-time politics. Guys like Gore, Hansen, and their like don’t give a wit about integrity or science. It’s about their ability to make money and garner power.

  27. Good candidate for future Quote of the Week:
    “However, as CA readers know, the resulting Yamal chronology with its enormous HS blade was like crack cocaine for paleoclimatologists…”

  28. I suppose the Team will forever be known as ” Michael Mann and The Cherry Pickers “.

    I suppose too that other scientists will be very careful not to be too closely associated with the activities of MM&TCPs.

    How long before The Swiss National Science Foundation who fund ADVANCE-10k group dendrochronological activities in Russia will wait before taking action against CRU to safeguard the foundation’s reputation.

  29. I am rather at a loss to see what all of the fuss is about. A tree-ring series that demonstrably does not reflect recorded temperatures has not been included in one of Briffa’s temperature reconstructions of Siberia.

    I’d understand the disquiet if a recently well-performing tree-ring proxy that diverged for earlier reconstructed temperatures had been excluded with no valid justification. But that is not what is being claimed by MacIntyre.

    There’s a further reason have confidence that Briffa and coworkers have done a reasonable job – all three reconstructions give a Medieval warm period about a thousand years ago, in two of the cases actually spiking higher than today! However the temperatures of the last one-hundred years do have the highest sustained values for the last two-thousand years, at least in Northern Siberia.

    REPLY: Tom P you’ve just fallen for the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, (I’d link to the CA post but the server is overwhelmed, find it later) but you already knew that since you posted the exact same comment over at CA. So since you didn’t get the response you were looking for over there, you decide to shop it around here?

    The fact that you don’t get it suggests your ability to see outside that scientific cocoon you live in might be clouded. But hey, if you want to defend this train wreck right on top of Hadley UK “losing” key climate data, be my guest. It is after all your UK Met Office scientific credibility at stake here. -A

  30. I think that I shall never see
    A worse thermometer than a tree
    A tree upon a hill so high
    Might as well go read tea leaves, chicken entrails, your own naval, ANYTHING!

  31. geo (13:36:58) :

    But, possibly, perhaps, maybe. . . if Steve’s analysis stands up. . . we’ll hear a bit less about “the science is settled”. That would certainly be a welcome step in the right direction.

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the media will never host the debate on this no matter what. They are so politically vested in AGW being true that they will never give an inch. Ever. To expect that at this juncture is incredibly naive.

    So the debate will continue on the internet, and hopefully people like Anthony & Steve will continue to entice more & more people into the realm of reason — and take a piece out of the media’s ratings one person at a time until their current business strategy of scaring rather than informing people completely collapses.

    They’d rather go down kicking & screaming rather than publish any evidence to the contrary.

  32. Anthony,

    No sharpshooter fallacy at all. To summarise what I posted on CA for the benefit of your readers:

    It is certainly valid to select the series that act as the “best” thermometers over the known record using your justified reconstruction of choice, and then see what profile is reconstructed for prior times. This might give a warmer medieval period than today, or it might be cooler.

    The process above is doing no more conceptually than calibrating a series of thermometers at the end of an experiment and then using only the records from those thermometers in calibration as a valid reflection of the thermal history of the experiment. That is not cherry picking or confirmation bias, just careful experimental science.

  33. Looking at other graphs too the only thing to me that resembles a hockey stick is CO2 levels.

    And that’s the one hockeystick you should be elated to see, the extra CO2 could allow plants to better withstand a Solar/SST induced cold period, heck I wonder if there’s certain thesholds where you start to see a clear difference in certain plants.

    I ask that because currently CO2 levels are rising as part of the year-long cycle when Northern Hemisphere plants start shedding bio-material as Winter comes, my mother planted ground cover plants that act like a green carpet covering the soil while being able to walk on it, I noticed just recently an explosion of new growth in the existing areas that’s a little bigger and a brighter green. Heck for the past year or so I noticed brighter green areas on some trees that it seems is not there because the leaves are getting ready to fall off because they later deteriorate and fall off as the nights get colder, these brighter green leaves are at times bigger than the ones that grew in the spring (size differences is most pronounced in the popular river birches). On the ‘green carpet’ as I call them, sunlight is not the sole reason as the cottonwoods still have plenty of leaves to shed.

    My grandmother also has a vine that’s about to cover her bird hotel again, she cut the whole thing back last year. (it hasn’t grown like that many years ago as I recall despite her good fertile garden soil)

  34. Tom P, if 90% of the proxy data disagrees with the temperature record, then one or the other (or both) must be either wrong or irrelevant.

  35. Meanwhile, over on the BBC:
    “Four degrees of warming ‘likely’
    In a dramatic acceleration of forecasts for global warming, UK scientists say the global average temperature could rise by 4C (7.2F) as early as 2060.
    The Met Office study used projections of fossil fuel use that reflect the trend seen over the last 20 years.
    Their computer models also factored in new findings on how carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans and forests…”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8279654.stm

    The Met Office forecast a warm dry Winter and a hot dry Summer here in the UK. I don’t need to say how those forecasts turned out but maybe they will have a better chance with a 50 year forecast!

  36. Meanwhile – The Guardian moderators have spent the day frantically deleting all references to Steve McIntyre’s latest post from its ‘Comment Is Free’ (SIC) section.

  37. From the Hockey Rules

    Broken Stick A player without a stick may participate in the game. A player whose stick is broken may continue to participate in the game if he drops the broken portion of his stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule. A broken stick is one that, in the opinion of the official, is unfit for normal play. A goalkeeper may continue to play with a broken stick until stoppage of play or until he has been legally provided with a new stick. A player whose stick is broken may not receive a stick thrown onto the ice from any part of the rink, but must obtain a stick at his players’ bench or be handed one from a teammate. A goalkeeper whose stick is broken may not receive a stick thrown onto the ice from any part of the rink but may receive a stick from a teammate without proceeding to his players’ bench.

  38. Rip that Nobel Prize off Al Gore and the IPCC and give it to Steve for uncovering the biggest scientific [snip] of the century.

  39. ***********************************
    Tom P (14:41:34) :
    “The process above is doing no more conceptually than calibrating a series of thermometers at the end of an experiment and then using only the records from those thermometers in calibration as a valid reflection of the thermal history of the experiment. That is not cherry picking or confirmation bias, just careful experimental science.”
    ***********************************
    Tom – you don’t have any real thermometers against which to calibrate. You only have tree rings, lake sediments, etc. How do you know any given series is valid? Because it shows the MWP? What about other parts of the record? You only assume it’s valid elsewhere in time, but you don’t know it. What’s really happening is that you are selecting “thermometers” that look the way you expect.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy

  40. What I am about to ask is from my own experience and from what I read from another post. When a tree is cut into sections the rings are not uniform, they will very in thickness from one side of the tree to the other side. Tree ring thickness will also vary over the length of the tree. A core sample from one side of a tree could have thicker rings than the opposite side. How can tree rings be used as a rate of growth indicator?

  41. Hopfully, WUWT won’t mind me linking to my much stronger post on this news.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/10811

    I think the evidence has grown to the point it is impossible for these slanted results to be the result of accident or incompetence.

    And if science is to survive to the next century, or turn into a cult of rumor, then it is time to be more blunt. This news pretty much wipes out any and all evidence of any unnatural warming. If there was not trillion$ of dollar$ being demanded and millions of jobs on the line to reverse this mythical phenomena I think we could dismiss the errors.

    But with so much human suffering as the potential result, is there any reason not to investigate the activities and motives of these people?

    AJStrata

  42. “Rip that Nobel Prize off Al Gore and the IPCC and give it to Steve for uncovering the biggest scientific fraud of the century.

    I agree that this would be wonderful. However, how likely is it that “science” will give a damn about this latest finding of fraud? I do not see any “science” in science anymore. It is mere crony-ism pretending to be science.

  43. Thing just get worse and worse until appears a Wyatt Earp with a Peacemaker in a corral in a Tombstone. The people are truly grateful.

  44. Tom P.

    “I am rather at a loss to see what all of the fuss is about. A tree-ring series that demonstrably does not reflect recorded temperatures has not been included in one of Briffa’s temperature reconstructions of Siberia.”

    As Anthony mentioned, Tom P made this same comment at CA and I answered it. So, since he choose not to see it there, I will give it to him again.

    Your point of contention is that trees have been selected based upon their agreement with 20th century surface temperature records. And you seem to believe that this is a good selection criteria. But the idea that some trees can work as thermometers while others can not is absurd. First of all, all of the trees are almost genetically identical. They respond to stimulus the same way. They all need food, water, heat, CO2, sunlight, etc. To suggest that some respond to temperature while others do not is irrational. Some may be limited by other growth factors, but as a whole, the data set should show a warming trend if it exists. So you could have some subset of trees show better growth because they have more water and other nutrients for some time period. But the trees that received more of those nutrients for the last 100 years are not necessarily the same trees that received them before then. So choosing trees that match the surface temp trend of the last 100 years tells you nothing about the accuracy of those trees further back in time. 200 years ago a different set of trees may have matched surface temp better.

    Now if some of the trees responded better to the temperature increase than others, the average for all of the trees should still show a twentieth century warming trend. And they clearly do not. In other words, if temperature can be reflected in tree ring data at all, then the average of all of the trees should show a temperature increase. Even in circumstances where inadequate nutrients kept some of the trees from reflecting the extra warmth, their contribution to the average would only be to lessen the magnitude of the warming, not to erase it. In any case, in the absense of information about what trees had what nutrients, all of them should be used.

    Of course using the surface temperature record as the gold standard for selecting tree ring series is also questionable. The surface temperature record is made up of samples from badly maintained sites residing in areas of increasing urbanization. And all of the records have been heavily manipulated. The tree ring reconstructions are suppose to be independent sources of verification for warming. How can they be independent if trees are selected on the assumption of warming.

  45. If a tree ring study falls in the blogsphere and there is no MSM to hear, does it make a sound? Apparently yes, if the overload at CA is anything to go by.

  46. This looks suspicious yet again or would it be more representative keeps your eyes on it
    “Re: tty (#676),

    There’s an adjustment coming at Cryosphere Today, but it’s to the baseline. They are planning on using 1979-2008 instead of 1979-2000. That will change the value of the anomaly, but shouldn’t change the area. I have been collecting data from CT since July, 2008 so if they do change, I’ll know.”

  47. Tom P,
    The AGW definition of ‘in calibration’ seems to be time and time again ‘that which yields the desired results’.
    This technique so popular with AGW is the equivalent of saying that since a sculptor can yield the statue of a horse from a stone, then stones are horses.

  48. Here is what I posted on RC on their ‘Decadal Predictions’ thread:

    Corey says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    28 September 2009 at 5:50 PM
    It seems that that Steve McIntyre has found a problem with some tree ring data. What do you make of this? Any comments?

    Yamal: A “Divergence” Problem
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168

    Also, JeffId has some words of his own about the whole thing:
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/trash-bin/

    I have a screenshot of it as well. We’ll see if it makes it through the rabbit hole.

  49. Is this a “Tree Too Far” for The Team? Is this the “Bark That Dogged”? Is this the moment of the “Jumping of the Bark”?

    AGW is a Tree Ring Circus!

  50. Look at how dramatic the downturn is in the Schweingruber Variation. Quite a number of paleo reconstructions show a similar late 20th century downturn in temperatures.

    The divergence problem was always a puzzle. Either paleo climate reconstructions for some inexplicable reason stopped working 30 or so years ago, or the post-1970 warming in the surface record was spurious.

    I happen to think the latter due to UHI, clean air acts and several other effects, and the paleo reconstructions are in fact correctly reflecting the climate of the last 40 years.

  51. Wavering warmers within the scientific community could and should see this as a tipping point away from AGW.

    Even Dr Strangelove had a conscience…

  52. “Of course using the surface temperature record as the gold standard for selecting tree ring series is also questionable. The surface temperature record is made up of samples from badly maintained sites residing in areas of increasing urbanization.”

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a temperature series from the closest weather station to the trees?

  53. Re: Tom P (14:41:34) :

    It is certainly valid to select the series that act as the “best” thermometers over the known record using your justified reconstruction of choice, and then see what profile is reconstructed for prior times. This might give a warmer medieval period than today, or it might be cooler.

    Trees aren’t thermometers. The growth rings may have a temperature signal in there but it is corrupted by other influences. By your logic there is little point in going through the effort of using more than one tree, they should just pick the “best” one and use that.

    Your logic also assumes that there are only 2 types of treenometers, those that correlate with temperature throughout their entire lifetime and those that don’t. It is far more likely that throughout a trees lifetime there will be periods of time that the limiting factor on growth is the temperature and other periods that its nutrients and/or precipitation or other factors.

  54. I just checked, and my post didn’t make it through the gauntlet of “peer review” at RC. I didn’t know I was so confrontational.

  55. Adam from Kansas (14:43:37) :
    For the effects on the growth rates, water use efficiency and yields of various species of plants under different levels of CO2 go to;
    CO2 Science> http://www.co2science.org/index.php > Subject Index > W > Water Stress x CO2 Effects on Plants.
    And “Data” > Plant growth. ie; Plant Dry Weight (Biomass) Responses to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment .
    Note that the above CO2 numbers in the table are additional to the atmospheric CO2 levels.
    CO2 research on Wheat yields here in Australia show that the highest yields occur around 700 ppm of CO2.

    Some very interesting data in the CO2 Science site and some excellent backing in the CO2 / growth / yield figures to justify trying to increase global CO2 levels to help alleviate the possibility of global food shortages in the not very distant future.
    Global food shortages have the capacity to kill millions through famine and can do so in months as history has so often shown.
    Rising CO2 levels can only help in increasing food production due to greater productivity from all plants.

    Cooling global temperatures will drastically reduce global food production but the oh so comfortable western warmist activists don’t give a damn about the lives of the other 5 billion peoples on this planet, just their own self centred and fixated ideology is all that counts.
    Or perhaps much worse, they are just plain ignorant of the way most of mankind has to live and are incapable of learning or even interested in learning the real facts, particularly as those facts will clash with their own cherished beliefs in the disaster that will accompany any Global Warming or Climate Change

    For more information on the potential effects of falling global temperatures on crop production in North America; http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/QuantifyingAgProductivityResponseSolarCycle%2024.pdf

  56. Innocentiousxii (12:10:52) :

    Scientists are not closing ranks. Climate scientists who are behind the AGW [snip] ARE closing ranks.

    Steve is not a rare exception; many others have his suspicions. He is, however, fortunate in being able to have the time and skills to hunt down the devils

  57. I think these four quotes below say it all. These climate scientists are mearly doing exactly that they are asked to do, by the people that hold their purse strings!

    “Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” — Al Gore

    “What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
    — Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator (D-Colorado)

    “Climate change (provides) the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world”
    “No matter if the science is all phony, there are still collateral environmental benefits” (to global warming policies)
    –Christine Stewart (former canadian environmental minister)

    “To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effictive and being honest”
    — Stephan Schneider 1989 (lead the 2007 UN IPCC report)

  58. try this reference instead, if tree rings aren’t good enough

    A Holocene History of Changes in Northern Russian Treelines
    MacDonald, G.M., Kremenetski, K.V. and Beilman, D.W. 2008. Climate change and the northern Russian treeline zone. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363: 2285-2299.

    Noting that the location of the northern Russian treeline “is largely controlled by summer temperatures and growing season length,” the authors conducted an analysis of past changes in the treeline of this region — as reconstructed from tree-ring data and radiocarbon-dated subfossil wood — in an attempt to answer the question: “Has the pattern of recent warming over the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries caused significant changes in the density of trees at the treeline and/or an extension of the geographical location of the treeline?”

    MacDonald et al. report that “temperature increases over the past century are already producing demonstrable changes in the population density of trees, but these changes have not yet generated an extension of conifer species’ limits to or beyond the former positions occupied during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP: ca AD 800-1300) or the Holocene Thermal Maximum treeline extension (HTM: broadly taken here to be ca 10,000-3,000 years ago).”

    Of the Khibiny uplands of the central Kola Peninsula, for example, they write that “the treeline was located 100-140 m higher in elevation than today during the MWP,” and that “forest has yet to recolonize these elevations (Kremenetski et al., 2004).” Likewise, of the northern Polar Urals they say “the treeline was at its highest elevation during the MWP between ca AD 900 and 1300 when it reached 340 m,” after which it “descended to approximately 270 m during the Little Ice Age and then ascended to its present elevation of approximately 310 m during the recent warming of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

    The three researchers conclude that “at the Russian sites studied, the impact of twentieth century warming has not yet compensated fully for the mortality and range constriction caused by the cold temperatures of the Little Ice Age,” and they note that “these results are similar to observations in some other northern treeline regions such as uplands in eastern Quebec and interior Labrador where Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P. and Picea glauca (Moench) Voss trees remain below their pre-Little Ice Age limits despite recent warming (Gamache and Payette,2005; Payette, 2007),” which warming has likely not yet equaled that of the MWP in either magnitude or duration … or possibly even both.

  59. Hey, can I suggest we start a campaign for Steve’s Nobel Prize?

    This is generally a long term deal; we should be looking at getting him the Nobel in 2020, because he had 2020 vision.

    Reasons:

    1. An example of amateur scientist making meaningful progress in science.

    2. He stood against fascism.

    3. He advanced the understanding of the use and abuse of time series statistics (this is the major claim).

  60. Tom P (14:41:34) :

    No sharpshooter fallacy at all. To summarise what I posted on CA for the benefit of your readers:

    It is certainly valid to select the series that act as the “best” thermometers over the known record using your justified reconstruction of choice, and then see what profile is reconstructed for prior times. This might give a warmer medieval period than today, or it might be cooler.

    The sharpshooter fallacy is in the definition of “best.” The 12 were cherry picked according to what they viewed that as “best.” The result is a circular proof of their thesis.

  61. TerryS,

    “Your logic also assumes that there are only 2 types of treenometers, those that correlate with temperature throughout their entire lifetime and those that don’t.”

    Not at all. The RCS chronology takes into account the variation in the growth of all the trees in the series over their lifetime.

    Anyway, this original point of this argument is moot. McIntyre made an error in the original plot and has now recalculated his RCS series. There now seems very little divergence with the corrected time series except for the last couple of decades. For that period we know the instrumental temperature in Siberia.

    If Briffa were to include the Schweingruber series in his construction of the full Siberian chronology it would make very little difference to the shape of the plot. In this case at least, the reports of the death of the hockey stick have been greatly exaggerated.

  62. @ Philip_B (16:16:57)

    The other possibility is that tree rings are not temperature proxies at all. The chimera is the belief that temperature rings capture mean temperatures.

  63. Robert E. Phelan (12:03:09) :

    Nothing seems to be working quite right today. The DMI COI arctic temperature graph is back up and seems to be displaying the temperature fromn several days ago but has it labeled as “Sunday, October 14, 2007″. Steve’s bombshell seems to have the world of climate science rattled.
    —————-

    and over at UAH they show a 40F temp increase between 26 Sept 08 and 26 Sept 09

    motd1=The temperature on 09/26/2009
    motd2=is 40.23 deg F warmer than
    motd3=this day last year.

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/data/amsu_daily_85N85S_chLT.r001.txt

  64. Tom P, I’ll tell you what I told you over at CA: what you just described is called “cherry picking”. You do not get to sift through data and select the data that best fits your hypothesis while ignoring valid data that contradicts it. There is absolutely NOTHING scientific about that. If you can’t see that, then you are beyond help in this matter….

  65. I tried posting another reponse on another one of the RC threads, to no avail. This time it went away right when I refreshed the page. If you’re interested in a screenshot, I have a couple.

    REPLY: Try posting with a URL using http://www.tinyurl.com they may have anything with climateaudit.org in it auto flagged for spam. -A

  66. Well, this torpedo is in the water, i will watch with much anticipation too see how she runs. Good work Steve, i take my hat off to you.

  67. John A (17:29:49) :

    @ Philip_B (16:16:57)

    The other possibility is that tree rings are not temperature proxies at all. The chimera is the belief that temperature rings capture mean temperatures.

    Amen. I’ve always thought that tree rings were better suited as precipitation proxies rather than temperature proxies. I never understood how it could be otherwise. I guess I was right.

  68. Science Fraud! If I were more astute in my knowledge of science, I would have a blog by this name to expose it all. Feel free to claim the URL, Watts or McIntyre, if it’s not already claimed.

    I think some people and organizations need to be arrested and prosecuted for Science Fraud! Perpetrating such a horrific atrocity of this magnitude on mankind is disgraceful, especially since that fraud has such huge implications for all mankind.

  69. MattN,

    Do you believe my selection criteria that proxies should reflect instrumental temperatures for the last 150 years is biasing those proxies from indicating a warmer medieval period a thousand years ago?

    If so, why?

  70. Tom P. This might help.

    In medicine, one of the main criteria to prove a treatment is effective, that the data in a study is meaningful, is to gauge the successful number of patients cured of their ailments or relieved of the symptoms as a ratio of those that failed to show improvements. If the ratio for cured patients is high, say 85 to 15, compared to those that didn’t respond to the treatment, then the treatment can be considered effective. If the ratio of positive responses is low, then the study of this treatment is determined to be a failure. When you have only five of forty responding positively, I hope you do not think that would be an acceptable amount for the FDA to approve the drug.

    Why does this remind me of the “miracle” cancer treatment centers in Mexico. Yes four or five do come out of the “alternative” treatment centers and live normal lives (for a few years anyway, but, these same clinics don’t keep track of those whose treatment at the center was ineffective, and died a premature death because fell for the junk science. Yes, five tree ring proxies did follow the upward trend into this decade, but how many did not?

    Exodus, the group that claims to cure homosexuals, say they have cured many homosexuals of their deviant behavior. They have testimonials of those who claim to be cured. But that group has seen its day, as even they now admit to a low conversion rate of 25 for every 100. That is a higher ratio of success than the 5 to 40 ratio of this Briffa study.

  71. Totally off target. I read on the WSJ that the US government (DOE?) gave more than $500 million to a Gore company to build an electric car. No big deal except that the car would not be built in the US. What’s up with that???

    On topic: I found Steve’s essay fascinating. If they wanted to cherry-pick data, they should have given reasons up-front why huge hunks of data were not used (assuming they had good reasons for excluding the data). I’m glad Steve and the others have the dedication to keep these idiots honest. I hope our biased press have the guts to print this story.

  72. P Wilson (16:46:28) …No wonder the Kola peninsula treeline is not changed
    much, Murmansk was as warm or even warmer in the
    1930’s…[“raw”]…”Homogenised” of course some 0,3C warmer than 1930’s…
    I think science is like Groucho Marx said: “These are my principles, if you
    don’t like them, I have others” We are after all, sentimental critters, aren’t we??

  73. Let me see if I have this right:

    “This tree right here is a ‘temperature tree’ because it says what I wish to hear. This other tree is not a ‘temperature tree’ because it screws up my entire story.”

    Does the so-called “academic community” not appreciate how utterly loopy the entire concept of temperature from tree rings becomes when some Byzantine analysis is required to decide which tree is and is not “a temperature tree”? Regardless of what selection criteria is appointed, does the scientific community not appreciate the potential for, or more directly, the probability of “self-deception”?

  74. “Do you believe my selection criteria that proxies should reflect instrumental temperatures for the last 150 years is biasing those proxies from indicating a warmer medieval period a thousand years ago?

    If so, why?”

    Yes.

    Because the proxies that DO NOT reflect instrumental temperatures for the last 150 years are JUST AS VALID as the ones that do. What you describe wouldn’t pass 8th Grade Science Fair….

  75. At Climate Audit, Geoff Sherrington says he’d be trying to crack the CRU temperature problem as well as the dendro problem, because in combination they might tell a stronger story than each alone. The Team can still try to refer to the (unavailable) CRU Arctic thermometer records as being compatible with Briffa etc.

    I hope my post at the Air Vent can help crack open the CRU records issue too – the thermometer records. For all my evidence there shows that Daly’s trustworthy Arctic thermometer records near to Yamal (and other records like Irkutsk) simply do not bear out the Yamal treering measurements of temperature, whereas they all show kinships to each other.

  76. “REPLY: Try posting with a URL using http://www.tinyurl.com they may have anything with climateaudit.org in it auto flagged for spam. -A”

    I just tried it with your suggestion, also denied. Unbelievable! This was my second time commenting at RC, aside from the first one with the climateaudit.com link. Here is my second comment:

    Corey says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    28 September 2009 at 8:16 PM
    Speaking of ‘communicating science’, it seems that that Steve McIntyre has found a problem with some tree ring data. What do you make of this? Any comments?

    Yamal: A “Divergence” Problem
    http://tinyurl.com/ya856cm

    Also, Jeff Id has some words of his own about the whole thing:
    http://tinyurl.com/yemnfmv

    It seems like Yamal isn’t the only thing with a “divergence” problem. Any links to criticism is diverged to the trash.

  77. Corey (18:38:17) :

    Ive had a comment there that has literally taken over a full day to appear(nothing controversial, just a Q on resolution o models on oceans, and regards apparent stability o hot house periods vrs tipping points)… thus the reason i dont post there, its really really slow. And i dont really do confrontational:-)

    [REPLY – If it is not yet posted, it may have been inadvertently deleted. There’s nothing in the queue or spam filter at this time. If not, please repost and we’re sorry. ~ Evan]

  78. [REPLY – If it is not yet posted, it may have been inadvertently deleted. There’s nothing in the queue or spam filter at this time. If not, please repost and we’re sorry. ~ Evan]

    Sorry i should have been clearer, this was in regards to coreys post about RC, and i was just pointing out they can just be slow to moderate. (although i am well aware stuff does disapear or get edited)

    I have no complaints in regards too WUWT;-)

  79. Mike Ewing (18:52:31) :

    “Ive had a comment there that has literally taken over a full day to appear”

    I will check back tomorrow and see if they are there. I will not hold my breath, though. If that is the case, I do not know how they could have a free flow of ideas, and any semblance of a conversation, if that is the status quo.

    I do not think it is typical of their site, since there have been numerous posts since I tried to post my initial one. I could be wrong, so we will see.

    Molon Labe (18:44:31) :

    That may be, but anyone posting a link to his site should not be as well. If they choose to “ban” him for whatever reason, fine. But doing that to a person for just citing his webpage, while they allow links to Tamino, just shows they are afraid of any kind of scrutiny, while they say they do not censor posts.

  80. MattN (18:21:45) :

    “Because the proxies that DO NOT reflect instrumental temperatures for the last 150 years are JUST AS VALID as the ones that do. What you describe wouldn’t pass 8th Grade Science Fair….”

    You have a very short memory. McIntyres’ original reconstruction contradicted the temperature record and I said therefore that it should rejected. In fact this reconstruction had indeed been miscalculated.

    The correctly calculated reconstruction is in much better agreement with the temperature record and in fact has excellent correlation with Briffa’s results throughout the entire pre-instrument period.

    Briffa’s results are confirmed, not contradicted, by McIntyre’s corrected analysis.

  81. We can just look at the actual temperature measurements in the Yamal Pennisula to see what the actual temperatures have done recently – hint there is no substantive change in thermometre-based measurements in the Yamal Pennisula.

    The tree rings are useful for one purpose. The northern half of Yamal is currently tundra – it is too cold for trees to grow there now.

    But the sub-fossil buried trees tell us it was at least warmer in the Holocene Optimum period (6000 years ago) so that healthy forests grew there. It is has been generally cooling off since then, more-or-less on schedule with the changing Earth axis tilt of the Milankovitch cycles.

    If you go back about 11,000 years ago, Yamal was under a mile of Glacier.

    Very little CO2 changes are required to explain the changing temperature history of Yamal.

  82. Tom P (19:16:05) :

    You have a very short memory. McIntyres’ original reconstruction contradicted the temperature record and I said therefore that it should rejected. In fact this reconstruction had indeed been miscalculated.

    Youre missing the point…. by youre reasoning, thus the past reconstruction cannot be considered accurate when its been shown that that there is such a divergence in the data with temp correlated tree’s, so how do you know which trees from the past are accurate? how do you decide which tree’s are accurately showing the historic temperature when you have no way to verify with thermometers from 1000ybp?

  83. John A (17:29:49

    tree rings do not accurately captyure temperature proxies. During a very warm period they do the opposite. During hot eras if there is little precipitaion. ie hot and dry, then tree rings will be narrow in most trees, apart from Larix which “is a species which is not affected by rainfall” and demands high intensity light. Yet its inferred that smaller tree rings mean lower temperatures. and so an inaccurate proxy occurs.

    tree ring data from the last several decades do not at all concur with tree ring data of the last 30 years at all, which is why other more valuable proxies into past climate count, such as sediments which give a better record. It is more impoertant to study the chemistry of tree rings as that could give vital indications of ecologicla conditions in any particular place.

  84. Bill Illis (19:33:45) :

    “We can just look at the actual temperature measurements in the Yamal Pennisula to see what the actual temperatures have done recently – hint there is no substantive change in thermometre-based measurements in the Yamal Pennisula.”

    The temperature plots are in Briffa’s Royal Society paper. Most of the warming has been in the summer growing season, especially over the last 25 years. It was the disagreement between McIntyre’s first, faulty, reconstruction and this temperature record which first gave me doubts about its validity.

  85. TomP,

    You keep re-describing the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy over and over again. You obviously don’t get it. So I’m going to boil it down for you (and anyone else who doesn’t get it). Take several thousand (or hundred, or dozen, or whatever) random number generators, have them generate a string of numbers. Now take those random sequences and compare them to a selected short sequence of numbers from a larger, non-random sequence of numbers. INVARIABLY you will be able to find some of those random sequences that mach the non random sample to one degree or another. The larger the degree of match to the non-random sequence, the smaller the number of random sequences that will fit the criteria, the looser the match criteria, the more random sequences. If you then take your matching random number generators and try and reproduce your non-random sequence it WON’T WORK.

    If a group of trees is going to act as a thermometer, any of those trees, selected at random, MUST correlate to your known temperature records (within the bounds provided by the Central Limit Theorem). You can’t go back after making measurements and then select which ones match best – that is, by definition, the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.

  86. Tom P:

    Please provide the raw data which supports your side of the debate. Curious minds do want to learn…

    “Most of the warming has been in the summer growing season…” Why is that?

    Second, why are you acting like a defence lawer, instead of being a curious scientist in the quest for knowledge?

  87. Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

    Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

    History fulfilled

  88. Quite brave of you, Tom P, but quite foolish, too. They are eating you alive here and at Climate Audit. Where did you learn to do science, and where do you do it now? And I’ll repeat someone’s comment over there; you are blind if you can’t see that the difference between the two plots is still dramatic and damning.
    ===========================

  89. Steve Huntwork (20:13:18) :

    Briffa’s Royal Society paper is here:

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269

    And it was indeed a quest for knowledge that made me read it and see the discrepancy between McIntyre’s reconstruction and the measured temperatures. Apparently no-one else on WUWT or CA was particularly interested in what the paper under criticism actually said, just that it needed its hockey stick broken.

    REPLY: Quest for knowledge is a good thing, go for it. But you know Tom, you really shouldn’t paint with broad brushes when you have no specific facts in evidence, only guesses. I can tell you with certainty that one person at CA read it, Steve McIntyre. Can you be certain that others who frequent CA and WUWT did not simply becuase they didn’t post about their noble “quest for knowledge” as you did?

    And I’ll point out that the full text is behind a paywall here (the PDF link from the Royal Society page)

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/325/5945/1236

    Thus keeping a lot of people from reading it. You with your University Association get automatic access, so its normal for you. Many people who don’t get such perks may not feel inclined to pay twice for publicly funded research, so I don’t automatically blame people for not tossing money just to read a paper. Provide a free public link to the paper and then in a couple of days you can complain all you want about people not reading it. – Anthony

  90. Tom P:

    Can you provide me (us) with the full paper?

    Once again, can you provide us with the raw data, so that we can evaluate how reliable this Royal Society paper is?

    This is what I was able to obtain:

    This paper describes variability in trends of annual tree growth at several locations in the high latitudes of Eurasia, providing a wide regional comparison over a 2000-year period. The study focuses on the nature of local and widespread tree-growth responses to recent warming seen in instrumental observations, available in northern regions for periods ranging from decades to a century. Instrumental temperature data demonstrate differences in seasonal scale of Eurasian warming and the complexity and spatial diversity of tree-growing-season trends in recent decades. A set of long tree-ring chronologies provides empirical evidence of association between inter-annual tree growth and local, primarily summer, temperature variability at each location. These data show no evidence of a recent breakdown in this association as has been found at other high-latitude Northern Hemisphere locations. Using Kendall’s concordance, we quantify the time-dependent relationship between growth trends of the long chronologies as a group. This provides strong evidence that the extent of recent widespread warming across northwest Eurasia, with respect to 100- to 200-year trends, is unprecedented in the last 2000 years. An equivalent analysis of simulated temperatures using the HadCM3 model fails to show a similar increase in concordance expected as a consequence of anthropogenic forcing.

  91. Tom P.:

    “An equivalent analysis of simulated temperatures using the HadCM3 model fails to show a similar increase in concordance expected as a consequence of anthropogenic forcing.”

    So, once again, your side of the debate is only based upon virtual reality computer models?

  92. I quit being interested in climate science beyond the political circus. Like Anthony’s and Dr. Gray’s bias to the Ocean’s storage of heat and influence, I can’t get past barycentric solar tides created by the planets. I think everyone on the skeptics side is just waiting for the garbage to fly by in the next storm so we can get on with understanding what the ‘h’ ‘e’ double hockey sticks (pun intended) is going on.

    Regardless, I’m personally preparing for cold and many industrial facilities I see are quietly doing the same while politically playing heed to the warmist CO2 rhetoric.

  93. Tom P.:

    Please understand that I honestly want to learn from you. I am not trying to argue and make you feel bad, but simply desire to obtain the raw data that you have based your analysis upon.

    I am most likely wrong, but simply desire to evaluate the raw data myself. Why is that so difficult?

    As a software engineer since 1972, I sometimes wish these darn computers had never been introduced into the scientific community.

    In Astronomy, I see this confusion between reality and computer models all the time.

    Please help me out, because I am honestly curious to understand the raw data that you have based your side of the debate upon.

  94. Anthony,

    “Can you be certain that others who frequent CA and WUWT did not simply becuase they didn’t post about their noble “quest for knowledge” as you did?”

    That the evidence from the temperature record was not mentioned by anyone else does make me fairly certain that the paper had not been studied particularly closely.

    REPLY: But you have only a guess, the link you provided does in fact put up a paywall:

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269

    Thus I submit that since you are at a London college, what is automatic and normal for you is not so easy for everybody else. Try not to maintain an academic air of elitism because you have access and the general public does not. – Anthony

  95. Anthony,

    “Provide a free public link to the paper and then in a couple of days you can complain all you want about people not reading it.”

    Are you sure you’re looking at the right paper? I can access it directly at home for free at the link I gave above, though maybe there’s an international gateway: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269.full

    REPLY: That link works, the one you originally gave is this one below and links to the AAS paywall:

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269

    This one may also be behind a login, and you may simply be putting out an unauthorized link, I don’t know. But there is no link to the URL above from the public page here: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269

    I may have to delete the link you provided (due to copyright issues) unless you can demonstrate that it is a free and open access link. All these links at the bottom:

    * Abstract
    * Full Text
    * Full Text (PDF)

    Go to AAAS paywall – Anthony

  96. Tom P:

    Outstanding!

    That second link worked and I can now read the full paper that you were talking about.

    Again, I simply want to learn…

  97. Look at how dramatic the downturn is in the Schweingruber Variation. Quite a number of paleo reconstructions show a similar late 20th century downturn in temperatures.

    Well, a downturn in something. No real evidence that it’s temperatures these proxies are responding to.

  98. Tom P:

    That is a rather interesting paper and will require much more study.

    “However, a simple analysis of one such experiment, under natural and GHG forcing for the last 250 years, while showing consistently increasing concordance between simulated temperatures in the regions of our chronologies, failed to produce results that could be distinguished from the results of a similar experiment driven only with natural (i.e. non-anthropogenic) forcings. ”

    Thankfully, the authors were honest and achieved some of my respect.

  99. Anthony,

    There’s no necessity to snipe at ivory towers – this paper is readily accessible as Steve Huntwork (appositely named!) demonstrated. As it says, it’s free for anyone to read.

    REPLY: I’m not so sure. Prove that you can find this link from the public portal, don’t have to login or pay a fee to get it. The Royal Society may simply have bad security, allowing the access even though they haven’t gone through a pay/login portal. I’ve seen such things before. My question is, how did you come about that link? Show that it is publicly findable from http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269 or from a Google search. – Anthony

  100. Even though the Cliff Notes version (the one with the paywall) settles on the words “anthropogenic forcing”, there are these two very telling provisos in the actual article itself, the first being in the introduction and second of the these being the final conclusion…the COMMON great adversative word being “however” in both.

    “However, the strong multi-decadal component of temperature variability in the observational temperature records and the relative scarcity of data coverage severely hamper the identification of a clear amplified Arctic warming (Polyakov et al. 2002).”

    “However, a simple analysis of one such experiment, under natural and GHG forcing for the last 250 years, while showing consistently increasing concordance between simulated temperatures in the regions of our chronologies, failed to produce results that could be distinguished from the results of a similar experiment driven only with natural (i.e. non-anthropogenic) forcings.”

    Thank you for your honesty. That’s all we ask.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  101. I agree Anthony, that paper is not open to the public.

    I could not even copy it, but I am able to print it at this time.

    Tom P:

    This is all we ever asked, and I want to personally thank you for providing the information that I requested.

    In my profession, my software is used to identify military targets. If it works, then the enemy is no longer around to harm another human again. If my software has failed, then other people will die as a result.

    There are no “virtual reality computer models” in my world!

  102. Anthony,

    “Prove that you can find this link from the public portal, don’t have to login or pay a fee to get it.”

    This is a little much! The link I give you takes you to a page that says:

    Abstract Free
    Full Text Free
    Full Text (PDF) Free

    What’s not to understand…

    REPLY: Well, no, Tom it doesn’t. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe it works for you in jolly old England, but not here in America. As I’ve stated each of those links (except the abstract) goes to the AAAS paywall. – Anthony

    UPDATE:
    It’s a function of browser width. I run a narrow width to coincide with my blog style so that my preview looks correct while writing, and when running that width your free links are not displayed. The large inks at the bottom appear to link to the current abstract displayed, but they are only to the new paper referencing the abstract. So my bad for not running a wide browser window. – Anthony

  103. Fair is fair!

    If Tom P. is being helpfull and providing the requested information, then he should be thanked.

    Actually, that was a rather interesting paper to read, even if I do have some technical questions.

  104. Tom P (19:52:22) :

    Tom P. Steve McIntyre did no reconstruction. He plotted data that was recently released. That’s not a reconstruction. Its a plot of standardized ring widths.

  105. Tom P what are your thoughts on the two big “however” adversatives in the intro and the closing.

    Sounds like the authors are trying to adhere to the Scientific Method….which is most admirable.

    That is certainly more congruous with the inquisitive, awe-inspired, inductive approach that one should expect in scientific research…

    …as opposed to the “Cliff Notes” version you first linked to which the non-member is left with these two words: “antrhopogenic forcing”.

    Hmm…this paper, with the major “howevers” in the intro and the conclusion…can hardly be reduced and juxtaposed to the two words “anthropogenic forcing.”

    Thank you for disclosing the link to the entire article.

    No wonder they want to make it difficult for the public to review.

    There is damning vagueness within.

    You gotta love that word “However”.

    RES IPSA LOQUITER

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  106. “Sounds like the authors are trying to adhere to the Scientific Method….which is most admirable.”

    Having published a few research papers myself over the years, you lean to target the people who are funding you. You tell them what they want to hear, but as a scientist, you try to stay honest.

    That is why I always look for the “qualifying” words in the published research paper and try to understand what the authors were actually trying to say.

    Unless you can read the full published report, you will never get to see those “qualifying” words that kept the scientists honest.

  107. So my bad for not running a wide browser window. – Anthony

    A real man admits his mistakes, or even, in this case, if there is no mistake, admitting temporal limitations.

    One of the many reasons to why I am drawn to this site…is because of the owner’s intransigent fairness.

    Mad props.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  108. Unless you can read the full published report, you will never get to see those “qualifying” words that kept the scientists honest.

    Understood…but, after reading the full report, the two sentences that stand out most strongly, in the intro and the conclusion, where the strong adversative “however” throws up a roadblock…those two statements are VERY telling as to the scientist’s efforts to defer to the Truth…and to CYA a little bit.

    And with good reason…

    The gravity of what they are saying at that point can not be overlooked.

    They are saying: “We just don’t know.”

    Nothing wrong with honesty.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  109. Lets see if I can help people understand Tom P.s effort to obscure the issue at hand.

    For a chronology this is the best place to start

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168#comment-357334

    in 2008 Briffa published the paper that Tom P cites. And thanks to the journal he published it in, he had to archive his data.

    In the 2008 paper Briffa included a handful (12) cores from a set of trees
    and did not include another sample (Schweingruber) of 34 cores.

    Steve’s chart shows this and only this.

    1. The core data that Briffa used in his paper. the red line CRU archive.
    2. The core data if you use the 34 cores INSTEAD of the 12 ( black line)
    3. The core data if you use both. The Green Line.

    This is NOT a temperature reconstruction. NOT. as the label clearly shows it is a graph of RCS. This represent Age adjusted ( age of the tree) ring WIDTHS. These are simply graphs of the data available to briffa when he wrote the 2008 paper. Data that comes from the international tree ring database.

    There is only one relevant question on the table.

    1. why did briffa select the 12 cores as opposed to the 34?

    The standard defense ( esper) in such a selection is that the 12 cores are well correlated with temperature, while the 34 are not. This is known as cherry picking. If Briffa has no other criteria for selecting these cores or deselecting the 34 cores then BRIFFA’S reconstruction has no statitical validity. To RECONSTRUCT past temperature from a modern day temperature correlation requires a statistical methodology. That methodology demands that the sample be selected randomly. The construction of confidence intervals depends on this random selection. Simply, briffa can cherry pick the series he wants BUT THEN he loses the ability, loses the mathematical ability, to do a reconstruction.

    The series steve plots ( remember he is just plotting data that has been archived by climate scientists) show what is called the divergence problem.
    Some samples go up wildly, others go down. In the past, I believe briffa has just truncated the offending portion of the data! in this paper he ignored it all together.

    PS. I’m a believer in AGW Tom, but bad statistics is bad statistics.

  110. “Do you believe my selection criteria that proxies should reflect instrumental temperatures for the last 150 years is biasing those proxies from indicating a warmer medieval period a thousand years ago?”

    Yes, your selection criteria are wrong. I have explained it to you twice now; once on Climate Audit and once here. And you keep asking the same question again and again without acknowledging the answer that I have already given you. What is your problem.

  111. A good picture of the divergence phenomena.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168#comment-357684

    The red line is the Briffa dozen. The black line is the Schweingruber 34.

    one goes up, the other goes down.

    Spin as he might Tom P can’t make this go away. It’s a problem that dendro’s are still trying to figure out. Did these trees cease to be treemometers? where they ever? what caused this? They are “looking into” this problem. But in this case Briffa picked a jury of 12 with no apriori selection criteria. Peeking at the correlation with temperature Biases the selection and destroys the reconstruction of past temperatures. That’s just a fact you can’t weasel word your way around

  112. At the moment, I will continue to defend Tom P. for providing the research paper.

    The actual content of that paper will require much more detailed analysis, but on the surface, there were enough “weasil words” to keep the authors honest.

    Of course, with about 100 gazillian trees under the age of 100 years, why is getting a very accurate sample size such a problem?

    You tell the people who are funding your research exactly what they want to hear, but try your best to keep honest as a scientist. Not an easy ballance to achieve!

  113. I know, but out of respect, I am giving Tom P. the benifit of the doubt, since he obviously thought that this research paper proved that Steve McIntryre was an idiot.

    Rather than jump on Tom P., I will await his full analysis of both of their raw data sources and see how well he does. This may end up being rather interesting.

    REPLY: wear your snark helmet. – A

  114. Tilo,

    Tom P does NOT get the statistics behind a reconstruction.

    Tom to see your lunacy you only need to extrapolate your reasoning about selecting cores based on correlation with temperature. Briffa selected 12 cores. Cores that correlated well with temperatures. You think this is the right approach. Now consider, of these 12 cores, ONE core will have the BEST correlation. Why use any others? That one core should give the BEST estimate of the temps in the MWP according to your reasoning. Seems a bit odd, doesnt it? You want more cores. (Why, because the BEST core may actually be a fluke– it may even have a super warm MWP). And what will you do with those cores? Why you compute statistics. And when you have to calculate a CI you use a method that gives you a valid answer IFF the samples are selected at random. like DUH! So, you can select cores that correlate “well” ( define that) but by doing so you LOSE the ability to construct an estimate of past temperatures with non infinite confidence intervals.

  115. Every single one of my comments from yesterday at the guardian were deleted. No place-holder left, even. I was deliberately polite and non-confrontational, too.

    Every post replying to my posts has been deleted.

    History has been rewritten!

    I recommend the use of side-wiki for sites like that ;)

  116. Steve Huntwork (00:07:52) :

    Steve McIntyre is not an idiot, and I have never suggested he was. He made an error in his calculations. That something was wrong became apparent when I looked at the temperature record.

    steven mosher (00:11:25) :

    You need multiple overlapping core records, and the more the better, to extract a temperature proxy index from tree rings – that’s what RCS chronology outputs. There’s no basis for selecting a single tree, just a series from a particular locality.

    It is possible to look at each independently derived series and see if they follow temperature across the known record, amongst other quality controls, to determine inclusion in the final reconstruction.

    Of course discounting some series will impact the statistics, but the alternative is to add at best noise, and possibly inject a systematic error if an obviously faulty series, such as McIntyre’s originally miscalculated Schweingruber variation, is included.

    The central limit theorem is not relevant to this discussion – the errors are not independent but correlated over time. The aim of the selection is therefore to remove data series that are not correlating with the known signal over its record.

  117. John A (17:29:49) :

    @ Philip_B (16:16:57)

    The other possibility is that tree rings are not temperature proxies at all. The chimera is the belief that temperature rings capture mean temperatures.

    Then we are left with, why pre-1970 tree rings seem a reasonable temperature proxy within a resolution of few decades?

    Although given the apparent rampant cherry picking in tree ring proxy studies, the pre-1970 results could just be that, cherry picked the trees that looked like the best temperature reconstruction.

  118. And the temperatures that this paper highlights are believable too.


    a. is summer data
    b. is winter data

    There is a slight but erratic cooling in the Victorian era. A discernable warming in the 1930s 40s, as we know. And a slight warming in the 1980s and 90s. But nothing dramatic – again, just as one might assume.

    One can look at this paper and think ‘that sounds about right’.

    .

  119. >>>Every single one of my comments from yesterday at
    >>>the Guardian were deleted.

    And mine were not even put up on the board in the first place!

    .

  120. I notice in the conclusion to the Royal society paper that the only factors or variables dealt with are tree ring width and inferred temperature, with no account taken of precipitation, volcanic eruption or extreme conditions, that latter two which can shut down tree growth for a time. then there are pest infestations, the competition for nutrients in any given warm or cool period, wind, sunlight etc.

    Merely measuring the width gives no indication of temperature, mainly because many other factors indicate tree growth or lack of growth

  121. steven mosher (00:11:25) :
    Yes, I agree with you
    – selecting the cores that give you the result you want invalidated the whole point of the analysis.

    I have another question, in he Briffa article, 5. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TREE GROWTH AND CLIMATE
    – Briffa only considers precipitation & temperature as being possible influences on tree ring growth
    – surely he should consider CO2 levels
    – the ‘hockey’ stick has always looked like a better proxy CO2 levels than a proxy for temperature!
    (since it erases the MWP etc!)

  122. It’s worth mentioning that Siberian and Russian high latitude temperature stations are sparse and subject to large anthropogenic local influences, such as building heating.

    It is also noticeable that the recent summer warming trend shown in the paper starts a couple of years after the Soviet Union fell when many social and economic changes were starting.

    I am frankly sceptical that the instrument record processed through CRU’s model (which amongst other things averages temperatures over large distances) gives an accurate representation of temperatures on the taiga where the trees were growing.

  123. At any rate, here is the tree line elevation of northern polar Urals a for the last millenia

    Following that time the treeline descended to approximately 270 m during the LIA and then ascended to its present elevation of approximately 310 m during the recent warming of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As yet, it hasn’t reached its MWP elevation

  124. “You have a very short memory. McIntyres’ original reconstruction contradicted the temperature record and I said therefore that it should rejected. In fact this reconstruction had indeed been miscalculated.

    The correctly calculated reconstruction is in much better agreement with the temperature record and in fact has excellent correlation with Briffa’s results throughout the entire pre-instrument period.

    Briffa’s results are confirmed, not contradicted, by McIntyre’s corrected analysis.”

    Tom, recent events (the information in this thread) says you are full of crap. Just because it correlates with temperature does not mean you are measuring temperature. You are just as likely measruing nutrient level, rainfall, hours of daylight, or CO2 aerial fertilization. I can put of a graph of how the reduction in sea piracy since the 1800s correlates very well with increasing global temperature, and it would mean just about as much as a tree telling me what the temperature.

    Again, when there are dozens of chronologoes in the same area that DO NOT correlate with temperature, they are EVERY BIT as valid as those that do, and you just simply DO NOT get to throw them out because you don’t like they way they look….

  125. Tree Ring widths
    – has anyone done a study into how tree-ring widths vary over time
    – I imagine that tree-rings will gradually shrink due to natural aging over time
    – probably with an exponential-decay-like characteristic the older the tree ring is…
    … a bit like a hockey-stick ;o)

  126. Google search for Trends in recent temperature and radial tree growth spanning 2000 years across northwest Eurasia brought up The Royal Society website and the whole paper (as far as I can tell). Certainly appears to be complete. (Search from Melbourne, Australia.)

  127. I guess someone will have to double-check the summer temperature numbers in Yamal.

    From the links above, it appears Briffa used this profile of temperature change throughout the year.

    But there are other temperature profiles in the links which don’t show anything particularly special is happening – summer or annual.

    And then there is this profile of the number of trees and the resulting temperature index from three different datasets.

    One can see which dataset was chosen – hint, the one in the middle with the hockey stick.

  128. ralph (02:17:13) :
    >>>Every single one of my comments from yesterday at
    >>>the Guardian were deleted.
    And mine were not even put up on the board in the first place!

    The UK has very strange defamation laws. If you are accused of defamation you are guilty until you prove your innocence in a court of law= ££££££s. To initiate the case costs a mere £1700

    All blogs message boards etc. have to be aware of this else vast sums of money can change hands – from the author, and if the blog/newspaper publisher does not remove the offending text completely, from the publisher mainly to the hands of barristers/lawyers etc.

    Using a psuedonym is no safeguard as your ip address is recorded and can be extracted from the publisher and your name and address from your ip provider at no cost using something called a “norwich pharmacal”.

    If your messages implied/stated falsification, incompetance, or otherwise denigrated the authors then the publisher would be forced to act to protect itself. There is a really good case to look at – smith v advfn for an example.
    http://www.bailii.org/form/search_multidatabase.html and search advfn.

    Take care!

  129. steven mosher (23:24:02) The standard defense ( esper) in such a selection is that the 12 cores are well correlated with temperature, while the 34 are not. This is known as cherry picking.

    There is a temperature record for a few hundred years. If it is assumed to be representative of the actual growing temperature during the growing season then picking trees that exhibit growth patterns that mimic the temperature is not cherry picking. You are picking trees that grow in tune to the facts and rejecting others that have grown otherwise (water, minerals, depth of soil, tree age, have changed the growth pattern and they do not match the temp record. In the extreme should you also include trees that have died early = zero growth?!)

    I may well be mistaken here but I assume that the trees on record are not growing for the complete period of 2000 years? If each tree is just a short record then would you suggest that the matching of ring growths on progressively older/preserved trees is cherry picking. I have always assumed that the record can only be extended back in time by matching growth patterns in different samples from similar area. I assume that trees that have badly matched patterns are not used – I’m sure you would agree that this is a valid action?. Isn’t this the similar to only using trees that match known temperatures and discarding the rest.

  130. Tom P

    The process above is doing no more conceptually than calibrating a series of thermometers at the end of an experiment and then using only the records from those thermometers in calibration as a valid reflection of the thermal history of the experiment.

    Except that thermometers behave in a predictable way – the same cannot be said of tree rings. How can anyone be even vaguely sure that a tree behaved in the same way hundreds of years ago, when conditions may have been very different, to the way it behaves today with respect to temperature?
    If you can’t use most of the proxy data then you shouldn’t use any of it.

  131. >>>All blogs message boards etc. have to be aware of this
    >>>else vast sums of money can change hands – from the author

    No expletives or imputations used – simply arguing the data, and yet the posts are still deleted or not even posted.

    .

  132. I took a screenshot of my posting at RC (before and after), so I am going to try and post them here. I first tried direct links to climateaudit and JeffId’s webpage. When that didn’t work, I took Anthony’s advice and tried it with tinyurl. That didn’t work either.

    [IMG]http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad234/Patriot_Vet/RealClimate/RealClimateScreenshot.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad234/Patriot_Vet/RealClimate/RealClimateScreenshot-AfterModer-1.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad234/Patriot_Vet/RealClimate/RealClimateScreenshot-AwaitingModer.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad234/Patriot_Vet/RealClimate/RealClimateScreenshot-AfterModerati.jpg[/IMG]

    I am supplying the direct link, as well as trying to post the pictures directly.

  133. Tom P:

    Agriculture has had the concept of Leibig’s barrel (Law of the mMinimum) for almost two centuries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_barrel

    Simply, this concept says that the rate of growth of plants will be dictated by the minimum resource available to it at that time. It appears that Mann et al have made the assumption that temperature will have been the minimum resource for the entire span of the life of the trees that they selected.

    If you have a total sample population where it does not appear that temperature is the minimum resource for most of those plants over the past century, then it is clear that there must be at least two potential resources that could control growth rates over the life of a plant. In reality, there are probably many more than two, including precipitation, temperature, nutrients, light, wind etc.

    If they elect not to use the entire population, then they have to do some heavy duty number crunching to show statistically that these twelve trees should be expected to always have had temperature as the controlling minimum factor. Personally, I don’t really see how they could isolate out enough factors to conclusively show that for a millenium.

    It appears that Mann et al have been victims of the same recency bias that has cause so many problems in the finacial sector where they have assumed that recent data during a period where there was surface temperature data available is both predictive of the future and is more important than older information.

  134. You might want to drop the Schweingruber Yamal sample. It shows a drop in temperatures in the 20th century.

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