Broken Hockey Stick Fallout: Leading UK Climate Scientists Must Explain or Resign

If you are just joining us, first you should read about what started it all here.

While Realclimate.org continues deleting the ongoing river of comments posted on their threads ( Note: Any of you who find that your posts to those sites are being rejected {as usual without any explanation} can keep a copy of the post, and post it at http://rcrejects.wordpress.com if you want. Keep those screencaps going folks) asking about the McIntyre Yamal data development, Jennifer Marohasy of Australia is drawing a bit of a line in the sand. Given the churlishness of the Team and the blockades put up by Hadley, I can’t say that I blame her stance. – Anthony


Leading UK Climate Scientists Must Explain or Resign

Jennifer_marohasyBy Jennifer Marohasy

MOST scientific sceptics have been dismissive of the various reconstructions of temperature which suggest 1998 is the warmest year of the past millennium.    Our case has been significantly bolstered over the last week with statistician Steve McIntyre finally getting access to data used by Keith Briffa,  Tim Osborn  and Phil Jones to support the idea that there has been an unprecedented upswing in temperatures over the last hundred years –  the infamous hockey stick graph.

Mr McIntyre’s analysis of the data – which he had been asking for since 2003 – suggests that scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the United Kingdom’s Bureau of Meteorology  have been using only a small subset of the available data to make their claims that recent years have been the hottest of the last millennium.   When the entire data set is used, Mr McIntyre claims that the hockey stick shape disappears completely. [1]

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/rcs_chronologies_rev2.gif

Red - before new data Black - after new data

Mr McIntyre has previously showed problems with the mathematics behind the ‘hockey stick’.   But scientists at the Climate Research Centre, in particular Dr Briffa, have continuously republished claiming the upswing in temperatures over the last 100 years is real and not an artifact of the methodology used – as claimed by Mr McIntyre.     However, these same scientists have denied Mr McIntyre access to all the data.    Recently they were forced to make more data available to Mr McIntyre after they published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society  –  a journal which unlike Nature and Science has strict policies on data archiving which it enforces.  

This week’s claims by Steve McInyre that scientists associated with the UK Meteorology Bureau have been less than diligent  are serious and suggest some of the most defended building blocks of the case for anthropogenic global warming are based on the indefensible when the methodology is laid bare.

This sorry saga also raises issues  associated with how data is archived at the UK Meteorological Bureau with in complete data sets that spuriously support the case for global warming being promoted while complete data sets are kept hidden from the public –  including from scientific sceptics like Steve McIntyre.

It is indeed time leading scientists at the Climate Research Centre associated with the UK Meteorological Bureau explain how Mr McIntyre is in error or resign.

***********

Notes and Links

[1] Yamal: A “Divergence” Problem, by Steve McIntyre, 27 September 2009
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168

The above chart shows the difference when the entire data set (black line) as opposed to a subset (red line) is used to reconstruct temperature.   The chart is accompanied by the following comment from Mr McIntyre:  “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 [leaving the rest of the data set unchanged i.e. all the subfossil data prior to the 19th century]. The difference is breathtaking.”

Mann, Michael E.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Hughes, Malcolm K. (1998), “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries” (PDF), Nature 392: 779–787, doi:10.1038/33859, http://www.caenvirothon.com/Resources/Mann,%20et%20al.%20Global%20scale%20temp%20patterns.pdf

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#cite_note-17

CRU Refuses Data Once Again
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6623

http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/09/the-hockey-stick-is-dead/

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53 thoughts on “Broken Hockey Stick Fallout: Leading UK Climate Scientists Must Explain or Resign

  1. If this gets wide exposure prior to Copenhagen, the rivets holding AGW together may start popping and key players will begin ducking for cover.

  2. If McIntyre’s work gains traction in the press, and Copenhagen fails as expected, then science classes throughout the world will have to start retraining children that what they thought they knew isn’t true….right???

    Yeah, and I’m really thinking that’s going to occur -given most teacher’s mindset…

    Mike

  3. Pieter F (21:28:00) :

    If this gets wide exposure prior to Copenhagen, the rivets holding AGW together may start popping and key players will begin ducking for cover.

    A primary alarmist concern. Hence I would expect every attempt to ignore/hide/discredit this news will be made to ensure that the political goals of increased global governance, taxation and government intervention into peoples lives are not de-railed at the Copenhagen Conference.

  4. For too long WWF, Greenpeace etc have been attacking those who they say are misleading the public. Will these green groups now admit they are the ones doing the misleading?

  5. Well in Canada here is the response of the Canadian Press to my complaint about the Bob Weber account of Kaufman et al. 2009 in the Globe and Mail and the new developments:
    September 29, 2009
    “Dear Mr. San:

    Thank you for your continued interest in our coverage of an important public issue. Before I address the substance of your complaint, allow me to point out that Bob Weber’s job as a reporter is to fairly reflect the nature and conclusions of the research. He did that in this case and so, with respect, I submit that your charge of bias is unwarranted.

    Your main concern is with the conclusions of the scientist whose work is described. In rebuttal, you draw on the writing of Steve McIntyre, a one-time stock analyst who I believe has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. His previous attacks on the “hockey-stick” theory have been examined and did not result in substantial changes to it. As we understand it, you agree with McIntyre’s contention that proxies used in this particular climate reconstruction have been pre-selected or weighted to give a conclusion that agrees with climate orthodoxy. The Kaufman paper, while based on previous research, did not simply regurgitate older data sets. The data used were significantly deeper both in regard to time (2,000 years) and space (the entire circumpolar world). Its conclusions were widely reported and accepted by major science journalists around the world.

    It is not our intention to debate the truth of climate change with you. The Canadian Press, like most reputable news organizations, seeks to accurately report scientific findings that have been judged legitimate by experts in the field. When peer-reviewed science appears that questions current models, we will report on it. In fact, Bob Weber has done exactly that in the past.”

    Since your concerns seem to have more to do with the article’s subject matter than with the accuracy of the reporting, we will respectfully consider this matter closed.

    HEATHER BOYD
    Prairies Bureau Chief”

    My Complaint letter to them:

    “As a follow up to my initial complaint about the biased tone of Mr Bob Weber story related to the Kaufman et al. 2009 “Arctic Warmer than it has ever been for the past 1,000years” that appeared in the Globe and Mail: A new development has happened thanks to the sleuth work by Steve McIntyre at climateaudit showing that there is a divergence between the full data and the Briffa data archived at CRU used by Kaufman et al. 2009. The late 20th century warming recorded is only shown on selected after the fact data while the entire dataset shows no “unprecedented warming”, in fact shows slight cooling. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7229 The demonstration links are below: “Combining the CRU and Schweingruber data yields the green line in the 3rd figure above. While it doesn’t go down at the end, neither does it go up, and it yields a medieval era warmer than the present, on the standard interpretation. Thus the key ingredient in the 10 following studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series (red line above) depends on the influence of a thin subsample of post-1990 chronologies and the exclusion of the (much larger) collection of readily-available Schweingruber data for the same area: Briffa 2000, Mann and Jones 2003; Bradley, Hughes and Diaz 2003; Jones and Mann 2004; Moberg et al 2005; D’Arrigo et al 2006; Osborn and Briffa 2006; Hegerl et al 2007; Briffa et al 2008; Kaufman et al 2009.” All these papers were peer-reviewed and published in prestigious scientific journals… The latest debunk by Steve MacIntyre at climateaudit invalidates the so called “unprecedented” XX century warming shown through dendrochronology proxies (tree rings studies). This includes the Kaufman et al 2009, about the “Arctic being the warmest in the past 1,000 years” reported in the Globe and Mail by Mr. Weber of the Canadian Press… http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168 The AGW proofs are melting fast too… Perhaps the Canadian Press should pay attention to the great work being done in this country!”
    =================
    September 8, 2009

    “Dear Mr. San.

    Thank you for contacting The Canadian Press to express your concerns about Bob Weber’s story on climate change in the Arctic.

    I apologize for the delay in responding to your messages.

    We have discussed your concerns with Bob Weber. We’re not in a position to say whether Kaufman’s previous work was “flawed,” and I note that you do not provide evidence to support your contention. Even if you had, we believe that even if Kaufman et al had published flawed studies in the past, that wouldn’t necessarily affect the current paper, which was peer-reviewed and published in a highly prestigious journal.

    Bob Weber did ask Kaufman about the reliability of the proxies (i.e., tree rings and sediment data used to suggest temperature) and was told they are standard scientific tools that have been in wide use for many years. He also said the protocols for their use have been established by experimental means. In other words, tree rings and sediments have been compared to years for which actual temperature records exist and the relationships between codified empirically. Those relationships are then used to suggest temperatures in times and places for which no records exist.

    You also infer that in coming up with a hockey-stick graph, Kaufman simply “rehashes” previous IPCC studies, drawing data from them. Kaufman collected his own data, analyzed it, graphed it and then compared it with the IPCC’s hockey stick.

    We have taken your concerns so seriously that Weber looked carefully at the climate blog to which you refer and he could find little evidence that Kaufman distorted his findings to conform to scientific orthodoxy. The blogger teases out specific components of Kaufman’s data set and demonstrates that focusing on them yields different results, but surely that is not a surprise. One of the points of Kaufman’s research is that it averages different data sources to account for the biases in each.

    After a careful review of all of your concerns, we stand behind our story.

    Best regards,

    HEATHER BOYD
    Prairies Bureau Chief”

    Despite my initial complaint 24 hours ago, the story by Bob Weber has not been altered to reflect the reality of the science behind the Kaufman et al. Science 2009 paper described in his article. If this serves as an example of the Canadian Press ethics, what credit can be attributed to reports issued from your institution on domain where my knowledge doesn’t allow me to point out the bias? “The Bob Weber The Canadian Press Last updated on Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 05:11PM EDT A groundbreaking study that traces Arctic temperatures further back than ever before has shown the region is now warmer than at any time in the past 2,000 years… is truly an incomplete description of the state of scientific knowledge in this field. In particular it completely fails to check the co-authors past history of flawed studies, the validity of the proxies and take the PR from Science and the lead author at face value, despite the existence of a significant amount of peer reviewed literature demonstrating the flaws in the previous studies by IPCC co-authors, rehashed in the Kaufman et al. 2009 paper. A scientific case is built at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6932 where Mr. Weber could find all the information he needs to amend his article and transform a piece of propaganda into a piece of information.”

    Oh Canada!

  6. “It is indeed time leading scientists at the Climate Research Centre associated with the UK Meteorological Bureau explain how Mr McIntyre is in error or resign.”

    Not just at the Met Office. Several members of the IPCC senior climatologist’s cabal should also be offered the same challenge. Time some real scientists who understand the scientific method start to developing a good understanding or how our complex and chaotic climate really works.

    Edward Lorenz must be spinning in his grave!

  7. Can someone explain what the “scandal” is? We’re shown a graph which shows the effect of including some data that Briffa didn’t use. And as far as I can see, up to 1976 whether you include it or not makes no visible difference. After that, there’s a big difference, but we don’t need proxies to determine the temperature when we have satellites.

    These new cores can be found . Some go back to 1782; most start 1848 or later. Not much use in a 2000 year chronology!

    So there are some new proxies, which offer little extra info, and that make no perceptible relevant change, and which behave divergently in the recent instrumental period. And Briffa should resign for not using them????

  8. This is what I gather is the larger implication of the Yamal hockey stick saga:

    Ross McKitrick: “Here’s a re-cap of this saga that should make clear the stunning importance of what Steve has found… the Schweingruber data completely contradicts the CRU series… Combining the CRU and Schweingruber data yields .. a medieval era warmer than the present…”

    All the spaghetti graphs of the temperature in the IPCC report breakdown.

    The IPCC says, based on these spaghetti graphs utilising Briffa’s cherry picked Yamal data, – “Palaeoclimatic information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years.”

    Now suddenly this is not so. The medieval warm period, when all the Yamal data is used, without cherry picking, shows up clearly as warmer than the present. There is nothing unusual in the warmth of the last half century.

    The IPCC also says that “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” Why?

    Because “Observed patterns of warming and their changes [in the last 50 years] are simulated only by models that include anthropogenic forcings.”

    If the models couldn’t simulate the changes of the last 50 years without including “anthropogenic forcings”, which are due to “the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations”, they could not possibly simulate the warmer medieval era either, without these “anthropogenic forcings”.

    This is enigmatic. There were no “anthropogenic forcings” in the medieval era.
    Could it then possibly be there is something commonly wrong in all these climate models?

    Also if there is nothing unusual in the warmth of the last half century, then where is the cause for alarm? Why are we spending billions of dollars trying to alleviate or avoid a problem that doesnt exist? Why must we shut down our power plants, curtail our manufacturing and production, reduce our gross national products and legislate global poverty as a solution to a threat that doesnt exist?

    We are spending billions of dollars frantically trying to button up the Emperors new coat only to discover he has no clothes.

  9. Nick Stokes (02:25:42)

    So how accurate is the past reconstruction from these proxies considering the divergence with the full set when compared to measurements? Wouldnt that suggest that the past climate “may” have had as much natural fluctuations in the past as the current climate trends? Obviously they weren’t able to calibrate the pre-industrial cores with climate measurements to determine which cores where actually “robust” and which should be discarded… that seems kinda obvious too me.

  10. It is as if an audit of Lysenko’s lab techniques has been performed and Pravda is sitting on the results, and the good Stalinists are defending Lysenko and dismissing those counter revolutionaries who dared to do the audit in the first place.

  11. Go Jennifer.
    It is nearly impossible to use a tactic of insults and shame to get people to buy a belief system. Deniers, anti-science etc.
    We are seeing data unfold that is not only destructive but shame creating. I wonder what will come out of the Meltdown Mann.

    Human nature says people like Joe Romm and other zealots will become more insultative and come on attack.
    Science is about honesty and bullying is totally not necessary.

  12. Now if we were of the activist bent, we would be lining up with placards waving and bullhorns bleating in front of the CRU establishment calling for resignations and shutting down of the institution for a clean-up

  13. I believe Jennifer Maharosy hit it on the head when she likened this to the Piltdown man hoax. It fit a consensus view that was unshakable for years. Thank the Brits at CRU for giving us a 21st century version that may be a trillion dollars more costly.

  14. Nick Stokes:

    The hockey stick is probably the best example of a “fingerprint” of the uniqueness of present climate, and by implication then, of mankinds influence. This is why it garners attention bordering on the emotional from so many scientists. To not treat it objectively and fairly is tantamount to the police lifting and then planting fingerprints in the hope of indicting a suspect that they just “know” is guilty. To downplay or countenance misconduct in the defense of this false fingerprinting is to be an accessory.

    Such efforts destroy credibility of science with large segments of the public, and divert untold amounts of money from more worthy pursuits.

    It may not be criminal in the strict sense, but it is wrong just the same.

  15. Nick Stokes:

    “We’re shown a graph which shows the effect of including some data that Briffa didn’t use.”

    Some data Briffa didn’t use? Some! Surely you are joking. It sounds like Briffa used hardly ANY of the data, because most of it didn’t show the hockey blade.

    If you pull 10 samples out of 60 or 70 because they provide the results you desire, then reject the other 50 or 60 because they disagree, and then tell me with a shrug of your shoulders, “well, so what’s the big deal if I left a few samples out,” I would have to retort, Don’t piss on my boots and tell me it’s raining!

  16. A parliamentary call for explanation or else resignation would be much more significant than one from Jenny (wonderful as she is). As such, I found the headline a bit misleading. ‘Should’ is a more appropriate modifier than ‘must’ within it as obviously no requirement has yet been extended.

  17. “Nick Stokes (02:25:42) :

    Can someone explain what the “scandal” is?”

    Nick, character reveals itself when faced with difficult choices. Briffa chose to ignore more suitable data in favour of data which gave the result he wanted. Ergo, nothing in his body of work can be trusted, because when it counted, his needs and wants trumped scientific honestly. If you don’t find that scandalous, or want to try to defend the indefensible by parsing words like some oily lawyer would, then it speaks to your charcter as well.

  18. From Jennifer’s narrative of Steve McIntyre’s graph:

    The above chart shows the difference when the entire data set (black line) as opposed to a subset (red line) is used to reconstruct temperature.

    No! No! NO!

    Although I think Steve is the 21st-century equivalent of Norman Borlaug, he is notoriously inept at showing us the Big Picture before relentlessly hammering away at the details. He’s even managed to confuse Jennifer Marohasy, in addition to TomP.

    It seems clear to me now [someone correct me if I’m wrong] that Steve’s hypothesis is that the Yamal data is BIASED. And to test his hypothesis, he REMOVED the data he suspected of bias. And for good and valid mathematical reasons, he substituted some data that was NOT suspected of bias.

    Yet Jennifer narrates his work as if BOTH the red and black lines include the Yamal data. It does not. Steve was not attempting to improve Briffa’s graph by adding data to it. He was not asserting that his temperature reconstruction was better than Briffa’s. He was merely demonstrating BIAS.

    Consider an analogy. Let’s say you had a cake. And let’s say you suspected the baking powder you put into that cake might actually be rat poison. You want to test your suspicion before feeding cake to your guests. Very wise, you are.

    Here’s a terrible way to test your hypothesis: Bake another cake, but this time add a lot more eggs and flour and sugar, but keep the same baking powder you used before.

    Here’s a good way to test your hypothesis: Bake another cake, but this time substitute some baking powder that you KNOW is baking powder. Feed the cakes to a pair of rats.

  19. AGW will not go away easily. Too many people have invested too much in it, especially politicians who have made it an important part of their platform. In this instance I think they will just ignore the wilting hockey stick. The mainstream media will give it little or no attention and the average person will never become aware of it.

  20. So it is now Mann made global warming claims and not actual warming.
    The hysteria is Mann made. I suspect protecting the ego is much more of a priority than protecting the planet. It is a personal threat.

  21. David Segesta (08:28:43) :
    AGW will not go away easily. Too many people have invested too much in it, especially politicians who have made it an important part of their platform. In this instance I think they will just ignore the wilting hockey stick. The mainstream media will give it little or no attention and the average person will never become aware of it.

    This is true, which is why a way must be found to get the media’s attention. Unfortunately, what attracts them is controversy, particularly malfeasance. By all appearances a case can now be made that among British and American ‘climate scientists’ there are some who have actively and consciously promoted a hoax, by withholding and manufacturing data and misrepresenting their results to the scientific community and to the world at large.

    Is it not time for those in climatology and related disciplines to call for public investigations of these apparent miscreants? If the ‘F word’ cannot be used, the S word (‘scandal’) already has been, and probably the M word (‘misconduct’) should be. It is way past time for the learned members of the relevant professional societies to step up to the issue.

    Which among them has the courage to be first?

    /Mr Lynn

  22. David Segesta (08:28:43) :
    …………………….
    “mainstream media will give it little or no attention and the average person will never become aware of it.”

    So you are saying that AGW killed democracy?

  23. Antonio San (22:21:10) :

    Its amazing to see the following statement by Heather Boyd, Prairies Bureau Chief:

    “One of the points of Kaufman’s research is that it averages different data sources to account for the biases in each.”

    It shows a complete lack of scientific understanding. You cannot remove biases by averaging datasets. No wonder they think there’s no problem with their original story. Their ignorance is so frustrating.

  24. Jim Carson (07:55:14) : From Jennifer’s narrative of Steve McIntyre’s graph:
    The above chart shows the difference when the entire data set (black line) as opposed to a subset (red line) is used to reconstruct temperature.
    No! No! NO!
    Although I think Steve is the 21st-century equivalent of Norman Borlaug, he is notoriously inept at showing us the Big Picture before relentlessly hammering away at the details. He’s even managed to confuse Jennifer Marohasy, in addition to TomP.
    It seems clear to me now [someone correct me if I’m wrong] that Steve’s hypothesis is that the Yamal data is BIASED. And to test his hypothesis, he REMOVED the data he suspected of bias. And for good and valid mathematical reasons, he substituted some data that was NOT suspected of bias.

    Well let me correct you because I think you are absolutely wrong.

    From my high school science I know that a Random Experiment, (which is based on statistical principles), is an experiment, that can be repeated numerous times under the same conditions. The outcome of an individual random experiment must be independent and identically distributed. It must in no way be affected by any previous outcome and cannot be predicted with certainty.

    The analogy that you have given is erroneous.

    In this case the experiment has already been conducted and the results (data) collected. (It does not have to be repeated as in your analogy). Now we have to see what the results indicate without prejudging the outcome.

    In Briffa’s case the data was carefully selected to agree with a specific outcome, which goes against the grain of the scientific method and statistics.

    Yet Jennifer narrates his work as if BOTH the red and black lines include the Yamal data. It does not. Steve was not attempting to improve Briffa’s graph by adding data to it. He was not asserting that his temperature reconstruction was better than Briffa’s. He was merely demonstrating BIAS.

    Sorry I think that is incorrect. I think the correct picture I have given above.

  25. Jim Carson I have to beg your pardon. Yes I didnt notice the graph up above. That indeed is the one that excludes the 12 cherry-picked Briffa Yamal trees and demonstrates the bias.

    But the last graph that Steve gives is the one that contains all the data. That illustrates a graph that seems to correlate with modern temperature data, BUT gives a medieval warm period warmer than the present AND does not demonstrate a hockey-stick pattern to show stable temperatures in the past 2,000 years.

  26. Thomas J. Arnold. (13:18:27) : That view of the BBC is no longer tenable. But it will take time and repeated assaults before that carefully constructed edifice crumbles.

  27. Richard,

    I think you’re engaging in a bit of friendly-fire here, which is OK if we understand each other. I am in no way accusing Steve of being wrong. I am accusing Jennifer (whom I love dearly) of being wrong, and TomP of missing the point.

    My analogy, like all analogies, is imperfect. If you’d like to come up with a better one, I’ll get on board.

    Despite being trained in the statistical arts (actuary), I am often shamed by my inability–perhaps due to lack of time and effort–to fully comprehend and follow all of Steve’s math. That’s why I tried (and apparently failed) to come up with an analogy that fits and is comprehensible to laymen.

  28. Jennifer has her UK climate centres mixes up. The post implies that Briffa and my namesake work for the Met Office. They do not.

    The CRU at the University of East Anglia and The Met Office’s Hadley Centre are two separate institutions. Maybe they should all quit, but that’s another matter.

    Will this be corrected?

  29. Oakgeo, here is my final correspondence with Heather Boyd of the Canadian Press in reply to her September 29 email:

    “Dear Heather Boyd,

    Before indeed laying this matter to rest and since you kindly pointed my mistakes may I return the favor?

    “Steve McIntyre, a one-time stock analyst who I believe has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

    Please find attached for your and Bob Weber’s enlightment a peer reviewed publication by McIntyre and McKitrick in Geophysical Research Letters dated 2005.

    “His previous attacks on the “hockey-stick” theory have been examined and did not result in substantial changes to it.”

    Considering that McIntyre and McKitrick statistical works were at the source of the Wegman Commission in the USA (How many Canadians have achieved such a feat…) and the 2006 Wegman report drafted by some of the most respected statisticians in the US confirmed their objection to the methodology leading to the Hockey Stick result and established the interdependence of a limited number of authors, exposing how the peer review system itself can be abused. I invite you to check for youself the conclusions of both Wegman and North reports at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2322
    IPCC AR4 dropped the Hockey Stick and introduced the “spaghetti graphs” of not so independent authors -using Bristlecones or Yamal tree series, another key methodology point discussed at length this week since finally, Dr. Keith Briffa cared to archive his data after 10 years…- as only a cosmetic concession to the Wegman’s report… Perhaps it would be worth wondering why… it periodically reappears in UNEP documents and no reporter calls them on it…

    From your answer I regret the Canadian Press is simply willing to offer a mass media output for selected scientists without even hinting at the controversy surrounding the methodology and results of these papers. Selected scientists indeed: where are Mr Weber interviews of papers by RA Pielke? Richard Lindzen? John Christy? and so many others… Their research is published in peer reviewed journals and their data archived for replication. I have also yet to read Bob Weber or the Canadian Press reporting about the stonewalling of data by leading scientists such as Phil Jones of the Hadley Center… Why?

    In the case of Kaufman et al. 2009, it took few days to Steve McIntyre -“the one-time stock analyst” that managed to convey the Wegman commission…- to expose the weakness in this paper. The argument that other science reporters also reported similarly on this -i.e. failed to provide an informative account of the strength and weakness of the paper- is of course bogus like invoking consensus or pseudo consensus every time a dissenting, argumented opinion is expressed on this subject, throwing the baby with the bathwater instead of fostering an informed debate.

    Nobody educated enough seriously expects journalists to be referrees in that or any other scientific matter (although the selection of press release treated in articles de facto place journalists into this position) but indeed to inform of the various sensible, argumented opinions surrounding an issue so I the reader could make my own opinion.

    As it is a field that is familiar or closer to me, it is indeed easy to see through and look up other credible sources as opposed to rewarding simple credentialism or arguments of authority, compare them and make up my mind as there is interesting research on both sides of the aisle and crappy one too. Less informed readers might not be so lucky. Gatekeepers are not my idea of what journalists are. Woodward and Bernstein are.

    So again thank you for your previous replies,
    Sincerely yours,

    P.S.: In case you wonder, I am not in anyway associated to Mr McIntyre; just a scientist with a Cartesian mind who is only interested in science not politics”

  30. Jim Carson (15:27:51) : Richard, .. My analogy, like all analogies, is imperfect. If you’d like to come up with a better one, I’ll get on board… I tried (and apparently failed) to come up with an analogy that fits and is comprehensible to laymen.

    Ok I’ll have a shot, from the point of view of high school science and not statistics, which I am not trained in, though have a smattering of knowledge of.

    Your analogy is fatally flawed beyond the point of resuscitation. This is because the experiment YOU SUGGEST is not scientific.

    If you had a cake and you suspected the baking powder you put into that cake might actually be rat poison and you want to test your suspicion before feeding cake to your guests. That is your experiment – period!

    Your suspicion is your hypothesis – “The baking powder is rat poison”.

    Feeding it to the rats is your experiment. Rats eat the cake. Run around like crazy, live for weeks on the cake and beg for more. Hypothesis falsified.

    Rats eat cake – topple over legs in air, stop breathing. Hypothesis maybe correct. In any case bad idea to feed cake to guests.

    In the Yamal case the hypothesis could be, “Temperatures during the past 2,000 years were stable, followed by an unprecedented rise in the last 50 years”

    Experiment : (I dont know exactly the methodology so guessing – but this will be essentially correct), Assume tree ring widths are a good proxy for past temperatures, Take tree rings in the Yamal area, note down your observations. Plot graph. Graph appears like hockey-stick, with last 50 years reaching for the sky – bingo! Hypothesis confirmed.

    Graph all wiggly goes up and down like a yo-yo, with Medieval period higher than today. Hypothesis fails. Write down your findings faithfully. Report “we were surprised to find…” , “A totally unexpected result was found ….”

    Graph all wiggly … select trees carefully to agree with your hypothesis. Bad idea. If caught and found to be deliberate, you could be charged with professional; misconduct and all that follows.

    So what Steve did was more than just show that Briffa’s cherry-picked result was biased. He also found what the result SHOULD HAVE BEEN. And here it is:

    No Hockey Stick
    No stable temperatures over the last 2,000 years
    Medieval period warmer than the present.

  31. Kevin Kilty (06:59:56) :

    Nick Stokes:

    The hockey stick is probably the best example of a “fingerprint” of the uniqueness of present climate, and by implication then, of mankinds influence. This is why it garners attention bordering on the emotional from so many scientists. To not treat it objectively and fairly is tantamount to the police lifting and then planting fingerprints in the hope of indicting a suspect that they just “know” is guilty. To downplay or countenance misconduct in the defense of this false fingerprinting is to be an accessory.

    Such efforts destroy credibility of science with large segments of the public, and divert untold amounts of money from more worthy pursuits.

    It may not be criminal in the strict sense, but it is wrong just the same.

    Being blind for alternatives, tunnel vision denotes the reluctance of individuals to consider alternatives to their preferred line of thought. This could include physicians treating afflictions, detectives considering crime suspects, or anyone predisposed to a favoured outcome.

    Especially when an emtional value is attached to a subject like climatology for example.

  32. Re Vincent (07:09:26) :
    “If you pull 10 samples out of 60 or 70 because they provide the results you desire, then reject the other 50 or 60 because they disagree”
    Where do you get this stuff from? It’s a complete distortion of what Steve M is saying. He said that in 1990 there were 10 cores in the dataset they used, and 65 in a different data set collected by different people (Schweingruber). But that’s already cherry-picking – all it means is that most of the cores used expired in the few years before 1990 (Steve’s Fig 1) while Schweingruber’s last a few years longer. Big deal! Going back to where it counts, Schweingruber’s fade fast – most don’t go back past 1848. Briffa is compiling a 2000 year time plot.

    But you say “because they disagree”. No-one has shown a difference in the time where proxies are needed – pre-instrumental. In fact, Steve’s graph shows no change at all there. The disagreement is post 1950 (mostly post 1976), but in that time we don’t need proxies to tell us the temperature.

  33. ” william (06:15:41) :

    I believe Jennifer Maharosy hit it on the head when she likened this to the Piltdown man hoax. It fit a consensus view that was unshakable for years. Thank the Brits at CRU for giving us a 21st century version that may be a trillion dollars more costly.”
    —————————————-

    Don’t blame the culprits based on their nationality. Blame them based only on their dishonesty!

    I am British and I never bought into the obvious BS of the hockey stick. There are many people, who are not Brits, throughout the world who took the hockey stick and gave it much more prominence than it deserved. OOH the AMERICAN AL GORE Springs to mind!

    However I would never dream of associating all Americans with the stigma that so rightly should be attached to Al Gore. I would never write “thank the Americans who happily used the hockey stick to promote massive global alarmism” It is NOT the nationality of these people that created their dishonesty.

    Let us not take this to be an excuse for nation bashing. Neither Britain, nor America, can be held responsible for this [snip] individual culprits can!

    Let’s have a little discernment, please!

  34. Dr S Jones (16:39:47) : said

    “Jennifer has her UK climate centres mixes up. The post implies that Briffa and my namesake work for the Met Office. They do not.

    The CRU at the University of East Anglia and The Met Office’s Hadley Centre are two separate institutions. Maybe they should all quit, but that’s another matter.”

    Will this be corrected?

    As Dr Jones points out the two are geographically separate institions- by several hundred miles. The CRU figures to 1850 are developed in conjunction with Hadley, as it states on their web site.

    So there are two separate publicly funded institutions producing much the same nonsense, but each are independent, have paticular areas of research/analysis strengths and weaknesses, but have close links.

    tonyb

  35. Nick 3:53:23

    So what do the instruments tell us the temperature was, and what do Briffa’s cherry-picked Yamal trees tell us the temperature was?

    Answer, Briffa’s series shows a hockey stick that the thermometers don’t. Big problem.
    ===========================================

  36. Ken Hall

    Thank you for putting into words what I was thinking! I’m British, too, and I wince regularly when the BBC and Met.Office bang their AGW drum, although I still broadly support them on other matters. I quite liked Al Gore before he sold his soul, too…

  37. kim (05:08:23) :
    Answer, Briffa’s series shows a hockey stick that the thermometers don’t. Big problem.

    No, they don’t. Briffa did a careful comparison (Fig 7) of his reconstruction with observed temperatures. They matched well.

    In fact, you won’t find much of HS in Briffa’s paper. All the graphs shown here are calculated by Steve, not Briffa.

  38. Nick 7:29:56

    Well there are temperature series and there are temperature series. Some don’t show Siberian warming at all. And did Briffa match his data with temperature? That is a no no, too.
    ==========================

  39. lots of great comments here on this thread. Many intelligent people behind them too.

    Ok, could somebody please answer my question thus:

    theory states that more CO2 = warmer climate, ergo, stop putting CO2 into atmosphere, temperature will stabilize, planet saved from destruction.

    Reality: CO2 constantly increasing uncontrolled. Temperature rises from mid ’70’s to 1998, then stops rising, ocean temperatures measured by Argus(Argos?) experiment, shocks scientists leading experiment because ocean temps trending downward, surface temperatures also trending downward, and satellite temperature measurements trending downward, and very recently, arctic ice is expanding after recent melting. Antarctic and Greenland ice thickening, however some glaciers still receding in some areas and growing in others.

    Conclusion and my real intended question:

    If CO2 causes global warming, then the ‘reality’ section above is

    A) all a lie or.
    B) AGW is a lie.

    Any person with a logical brain can see that global temperature measurements show a downward trend all across the spectrum. If CO2 causes global warming, then none of those downward trends could possibly be correct. Temperature continues to drop, CO2 increase continues unabated.

    Somebody has some explaining to do. How can those to points be reconciled?
    Either the CO2 theory is wrong or the thermometers are wrong.

    This isn’t so much about different theories, for or against AGW, as it is about logic.

    All the ‘sky is falling AGW rhetoric is based on computer models, yet measurable data says the opposite of what the computer models predicted. Could it be that the formulas used to construct the models are maybe missing something kinda important? Or maybe they are plain wrong?

    Trillions of dollars being spent with no clear understanding of how the climate really works. Call it hubris or arrogance of man to assume they really understand our planet and it’s complex systems. But for sure we can see how the politicos aren’t going to miss an opportunity to use this ‘crisis’ to fleece us of our money and garner more power over us for their own hidden agenda.

    CO2 is a perfect instrument to achieve this goal… Its invisible, it is colourless, and it is a by-product of everything mankind currently does, be it industry, agriculture or transportation. We can no more stop producing it than we could stop breathing. How perfect a hammer to beat us over the head with.

    But how inconvenient that Mother Earth refuses to play along and exposes the gigantic [snip] being perpetrated upon us. The perfect litmus test is thus:

    FOLLOW THE MONEY

    Who wins and who loses in this CO2/carbon trading scam? I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but this one is so blatantly obvious to anybody that is simply paying attention. Greed has more to do with this than science at this point, and the greedy will not let this go without a fight. They will cling to it until they perish from the impending cold that is ‘apparently’ descending upon us. If this was truly a legitimate scientific theory/reality, then the emerging science refuting the ‘consensus’ of all those esteemed climatologists, there wouldn’t be so much reluctance to modify and/or re-evaluate the conclusions thought to be necessary to save us from ourselves.

    CO2 is not toxic, it is what gives life to this planet. Lets spend these trillions of dollars cleaning up the real threat of our existence.. real pollution and real toxins in our air, water and soil.

  40. Bite me Bugs.. there is no evidence. Polar bears drowning?… is that the best the ‘warmists’ can do? A big fat Raspberry to all of you.

    This whole thing is based on dollars, not science or anything that resembles science. There is a word that fits this bunch: Parasite.

    REPLY: Al Gore’s famous polar bear drowning report came from a US Minerals Service report that spotted one dead polar bear at sea after a major winter storm in Alaska. Not surprising nor unique. Again a case where one data point gets amplified to many.- A

  41. Every so-called ‘smoking gun’ of AGW is based on a lie, or at best, distortion. These computer models are only as good as the algorithmic formulas used to construct them. As far as I’ve heard, read, or understood, none take into account water vapor and a host of other very important variations and feedbacks, to effectively make the models useless. None of the models predicted the 8 yr cooling trend, even when they have the actual temperature record to plug into the model. Any public policy or economic changes based on faulty or flawed science is lunacy and unfortunately, it is no longer in the hands of scientists. This Juggernaut has been high-jacked by very big political and financial interests. They could find the ‘holy grail’ of proof that global warming is not happening tomorrow, but we will continue to be shoved along this path towards Cap & Trade and carbon taxes. The allure of easy money is too difficult for these governments and private business interests to resist.

    It isn’t about science. It’s now about profits and taxes.

  42. Bugs

    “C) I don’t understand the evidence for AGW”

    What evidence is that, then? Real, empirical evidence, that is, not abstract computer models…

  43. The power hungry politician’s and they complacent media will milk this until such time that we reach a new minimum temperature or have a new LIA… at that point enough people will be dying from they effects of planning for warming when it is actually cooling.

    In other words… when hell freezes over!

  44. We obviously need new politician’s (ALL of them – Everywhere) and strict rules in the US to Follow the Constitution… and enforce one 6 year term and bye-bye… no lobby business… allowed… also a final redistricting by standard grid – no gerrymandering… I am sure many other thoughts are out there…

    I can hardly wait to see 2010 – ‘Elections’ – we shall see.

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