A must read: The Yamal Hockey Stick Implosion in laymans terms

WUWT readers may remember when Bishop Hill wrote Caspar and the Jesus paper. It was a wonderful narrative of the complex subject of tree rings and Steve McIntyre’s quest with debunking the Mann MBH98 paper, which created the original hockey stick. Now Bishop Hill has done it again with another great narrative. – Anthony

McCoy_hockey_stick_Its_dead_Jim

The Yamal implosion

DateSeptember 29, 2009

There is a great deal of excitement among climate sceptics over Steve McIntyre’s recent posting on Yamal. Several people have asked me to do a layman’s guide to the story in the manner of Caspar and the Jesus paper. Here it is.

The story of Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick reconstruction, its statistical bias and the influence of the bristlecone pines is well known. McIntyre’s research into the other reconstructions has received less publicity, however. The story of the Yamal chronology may change that.

The bristlecone pines that created the shape of the Hockey Stick graph are used in nearly every millennial temperature reconstruction around today, but there are also a handful of other tree ring series that are nearly as common and just as influential on the results. Back at the start of McIntyre’s research into the area of paleoclimate, one of the most significant of these was called Polar Urals, a chronology first published by Keith Briffa of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. At the time, it was used in pretty much every temperature reconstruction around. In his paper, Briffa made the startling claim that the coldest year of the millennium was AD 1032, a statement that, if true, would have completely overturned the idea of the Medieval Warm Period.  It is not hard to see why paleoclimatologists found the series so alluring.

Keith Briffa

Some of McIntyre’s research into Polar Urals deserves a story in its own right, but it is one that will have to wait for another day. We can pick up the narrative again in 2005, when McIntyre discovered that an update to the Polar Urals series had been collected in 1999. Through a contact he was able to obtain a copy of the revised series. Remarkably, in the update the eleventh century appeared to be much warmer than in the original – in fact it was higher even than the twentieth century. This must have been a severe blow to paleoclimatologists, a supposition that is borne out by what happened next, or rather what didn’t: the update to the Polar Urals was not published, it was not archived and it was almost never seen again.

Read the rest here at Bishop Hill’s blog, and be sure to leave a nice comment if you like his writing.

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Michael

It should be called the “Yamal Briffa Affair”. Maybe for the movie?
CO2 is not the culprit, it is not the cause of global warming and climate change, nor is it a pollutant.
CO2 is an integral part of their strategy to control the world. Who are they? They are the Bilderbergs and the global wealthy elite human beings of the planet whose only desire is to rule the whole entire place.
There is no basis for claiming CO2 causes global warming, now referred to as climate change. There is no basis in fact or science. All your bases Bildreberg’s are belong to us.
At least the Bilderbergs got a consolation prize. It’s called the Internet. They wanted a controlled collectivist society? Well the got it. Here we are.
You can’t control the Internet just like you can’t control the weather.

Michael

I think this is how history is written.

As I read through the Bishop Hill’s blog story you suggest above, Anthony, I keep thinking of the great traditions of a part of the English scientific community…
“Piltdown Man” is a famous paleontological hoax concerning the finding of the remains of a previously unknown early human.

Phillip Bratby

The silence at RealClimate is stunning!

Phillip Bratby

The silence speaks volumes.

Johnny Honda

Or in other words:
THE MUSIC HAS STOPPED FOR THE WARMISTS

michel

“CO2 is an integral part of their strategy to control the world. Who are they? They are the Bilderbergs and the global wealthy elite human beings of the planet who’s only desire is to rule the whole entire place.”
This is harebrained conspiracy fantasizing, which adds nothing to the important fact. The important fact, the only one, is that the Hockey Stick studies have now been shown to be based on little or no evidence. We can hypothesize that the reason the data has been concealed for so long is that the authors were worried about what would be revealed by independent scrutiny. That much is about as far as we can or should speculate.
The idea that Mann, Jones, Briffa….etc are part of a Bilderberg plot to rule the world is both silly and borderline insane. They are just bad scientists with an agenda. It happens. Look at the autism MMR case. Look at the cholesterol hypothesis. There were lots of scientists prepared to exonerate tobacco. Focus on the important fact, we now understand the climate better. What do we understand?
That the best minds in the business have failed to find any robust evidence for any unusual 20c warming in the context of the last 2000 years. That is what matters. That is all that matters.

David Hoyle

I was getting more and more depressed as the runaway train heading to Copenhagensville was gathering momentum… then along comes this buffer… Hallelujah !!!

tallbloke

The internet is the biggect thing since the printing press. Bigger.
The controlling elite persecuted pamphleteers in C18th Europe and governments got hired thugs to smash printing presses.
Setting up a server or ten with it’s own name space and the ability to work over dial up might not be a bad idea. The pirate radio of the blogosphere.
It depends just how determined the ‘powers that be’ are to ram falsehood down the throats of the masses.
Being prepared for any eventuality is a sensible way to go in my view. Just in case censorship takes an ugly turn.

Terry

I cant find a single AGW site that has any hint of a rebuttal or even comment on this. The silence is deafening. Surely at least one of them will have something to say…….?

RhudsonL

It is a good day to die — but a bad day to drag the Trekkies into the AGW bottomless pit without them to focus on a new movie.

Phillip Bratby

Roger Carr: I like the quote about Piltdown man “The Piltdown man hoax had succeeded so well because at the time of its discovery, the scientific establishment had believed that the large modern brain had preceded the modern omnivorous diet, and the forgery had provided exactly that evidence.” Sounds familiar!

nick-ynysmon

One might easily take the comment above with a very large dose of salt. or even contempt. at one time I may have done so. I came to this website via a recommendation from the webmaster at the Dan Burisch website. now I look at this blog every day without fail. I am no scientist but pride myself in completely rational thinking which I aim for all the time. i have no time whatsoever for religion though we are all spirits in physical bodies which I accept fully. enough of that.
now having said all that, there would seem to be some deep attempts at a manipulation of the world which means we people via possibly the Bilderbergers, New World order, and even the Illimuminati. assuming these exist I also believe they are foolish people and probably not very pleasant compared to the run of sane rational people.
it may be the focus on so called global warming is one more attempt to manipulate the rest of us I am open to this being the case if proven .
now, as far as climate goes, i was sympathetic to the global warming thesis, but after much reading and reflection, I believe like life itself, other complicating factors are at work and religiously blaming carbon dioxide may be one method of exerting control,
there are other factors, which may influence warming. or cooling. one is the shift towards the galactic centre, during 2012. which seems to be scientifically accepted. am i right on this? many believe we are entering a region of dust accretion around this point where we are exposed to the galactic centre as we circle round the milky way. where the gravitational field exerts more pull on the surrounding matter. I believe all the planets in the solar system are warming up right now? am I right?
another point, statistics are taken over a very short period of time and we assume only these factors are to blame that are actually looked at in our models. now assuming we incorporate some extra factors int our analysis, will these not influence our eventual conclusions ? so, the more things we consider the better weighted our conclusion may be in terms if what is actually happening. I read clouds are being taken more seriously, as far as creating cooling conditions and is the cosmic ray thesis really dead as proposed by the I think a Danish scientist?
if we are entering a more cloudy area of the galaxy this must impact not only on our own atmosphere but on the sun as well, , are these things considered instead of blaming it all on carbon dioxide and methane? surely it may be we have to offset global warming with global cooling and then see how the hockey stick graph performs then, instead of sticking to one rigid model based purely on warming. the Earth may have warmed up over the last 150 years, but what is to say it will not cool down, if the sun stays as quite as it is? too much faith is placed in finely made models, but the only real ‘model’ we have is reality, how things are and we must thus be humble observers for a change.
the problem with our models, is like religion I think. we first devote huge emotional resources into erecting the edifice then we spend the rest of our time finding reasons/justifications to believe the models are correct. we make the assumptions which the models are meant to prove, first, then the model is created, or theory, or such, then the facts are sought to boost our faith in the edifice we have built., –like religion.
Nick

Mac

The Hockey Stick debacle reveals that dendroclimatology is more akin to astrology and alchemy. A fiction , a product of group think by the Team, one that delibrately played on the weakness of peer-review.
Is science being badly damaged by this episode?
It sure is!

UK Sceptic

How Steve McIntyre trashed the Hockey Stick in plain English. How Steve continues to trash AGW claims in plain English even a maths blind archaeologist can follow. What’s not to like? 😀

The AGW sites are trying to rebutt by silence. If they say nothing, then there is no controversy.
Over at JoNova, however, there’s a true believer leading everyone on a red-herring chase as a form of rebuttal. It’s amusing.

The silence is deafening. Surely at least one of them will have something to say……
Yup. As soon as they recover their wits, it will be, “Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala…”

Patrick Davis

“tallbloke (02:01:27) :
The internet is the biggect thing since the printing press. Bigger.
The controlling elite persecuted pamphleteers in C18th Europe and governments got hired thugs to smash printing presses.
Setting up a server or ten with it’s own name space and the ability to work over dial up might not be a bad idea. The pirate radio of the blogosphere.
It depends just how determined the ‘powers that be’ are to ram falsehood down the throats of the masses.
Being prepared for any eventuality is a sensible way to go in my view. Just in case censorship takes an ugly turn.”
And I’d guess, just like China after a certain event, will be just as determined to prevent the masses from discovering the tuth. Here in Aus there was/is talk of interweb censorship, hidden behind “protecting children from porn” etc etc. While I agree, the interweby has opened up access to information, that “information” can, and as we know, is manipulated.
Even though this site and others like it are truely awesome to visit, and are eye opening, 99.9% of people just like to “follow the authority” (A classic 1950’s shock experiment is testimony to that) on any given subject. And the “authority” is pro-AGW. Victorian bush fires, AGW (Incidentally, “authorities” are back burning in both states before summer this year). The Sydney dust storm, AGW. Flooding in the Phillipines, AGW. The Samoan tsunami, how long before someone spouts it’s cause to be AGW?
What I see happening here in Australia (what’s the term I forget, it’s not like sponsorship, but more like product endorsement…like in certain films you see everyone using Motorolla or Nokia phones) in popular TV shows, like Good News Week on channel 10 (Which is REALLY funny), a pro-AGW comment, inline with the theme of the program, is, subliminally, poped in for good measure.
A colleague of mine has a brother who is about to be involved with the Australian ETS, if it get’s started of course (Which of course it will, and KRudd747 will not return to power). My colleague appears to be pro-AGW.

Chris Schoneveld

Terry (02:02:30) :
“I cant find a single AGW site that has any hint of a rebuttal or even comment on this. The silence is deafening. Surely at least one of them will have something to say…….?”
For them it has to be peer-reviewed, didn’t you know?

I checked the page where the raw data is, and it’s interesting to see the timestamps involved with the different objects on the page. It seems to have happened on Sep, 8th. But what intrigues me Steve is the TayBavRing.raw file; it also seems to be new. Might it also represent something special?
Ecotretas
Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:38:27 GMT – /
Sat, 21 Apr 2007 07:33:04 GMT – EurasianGridBox.dat
Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:29:20 GMT – Column.prn
Mon, 14 Apr 2008 08:01:00 GMT – RCS_TRW_SSA.xls
Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:50:18 GMT – TornFinADring.raw
Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:31:04 GMT – YamalADring.raw
Tue, 08 Sep 2009 10:31:08 GMT – TayBavRing.raw

old construction worker

Thank you, Steve and Anthony. I’ll be giving to both tip jars.
Next, I’ll be hitting my “elected career politicians” with the news.

Tony Hansen

“It’s dead, jim….but not as we know it.”
And Michel (01:46:12) is, as per usual, on the money.

Don’t we need to give Briffa a chance to explain himself before we can declare the hockey stick to be dead?

Richie

appreciate the post for those of us who don’t get all the science speak.
also great for those who have just started visiting

Robinson

Andrew Orlowski of The Register sent me another link earlier. This is by far the best explanation of the whole sorry affair I’ve read so far. Still not much in the mainstream press though!

wws

nick wrote: “the problem with our models, is like religion I think. we first devote huge emotional resources into erecting the edifice then we spend the rest of our time finding reasons/justifications to believe the models are correct. we make the assumptions which the models are meant to prove, first, then the model is created, or theory, or such, then the facts are sought to boost our faith in the edifice we have built., –like religion.”
That’s a good observation of human nature – and allow me to point out that this is the exact OPPOSITE of what Science done properly and honestly is all about! A true researcher following the Scientific Method first collects *all* of the data it is possible to collect; then looking at *all* the data he may venture a hypothesis that would explain something he’s seen. However, he continues to collect data and test new data against his hypothesis – if it does not fit into his theoretical framework, then that hypothesis must be ruthlessly junked and a new one examined. This process *never* ends, which is why it is an idiotic lie to say “the science is settled” on anything in which measurements are still being taken.
Models are fine as long as the scientists using them know that they go into the trash when that first bad prediction comes out of them. Of course, we are years past that point with the warmist climate models.
No true Scientist can ever love his Theory more than his Data – that is the realm, as you say, of religion, not to mention politics.
and for Bret, who asked: “Don’t we need to give Briffa a chance to explain himself…”
Briffa explaining himself – “hamina hamina hamina….” (looks at ground and pushes an imaginary rock around with his toe)

Frank K.

Anthony – love the Star Trek illustration for this post, complete with the hockey stick data in the background!
Bones: “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a dendroclimatologist!”

Tim Clark

Bret (04:44:41) :
Don’t we need to give Briffa a chance to explain himself before we can declare the hockey stick to be dead?

How long should that take? It’s been going on for three days now. The rebuttal should be simple. Did he select the 12 cores for a specific reason? Did he not know there were other cores available? Was it a simple mistake? The fact that it is taking an extended period to respond smacks of scheming a dodge.

Nick-ynysmom
Thank you for your comments. You raise some important points.
They would be far easier to read and grasp if you would use a paragraph break where needed, and a capital letter at the beginning of sentences (the way you do at the beginning of your name).
Please indulge us with this next time. Cheers,

Atomic Hairdryer

The silence of the warmists.
Easy explanation, Gore’s PR team are working on an official response.
Some warmist sites like RC are helped out by green lobby groups supporting ‘green’ PR campaigns for ‘green’ business. Not really any different to the accusations levelled at sceptics being in the pockets of ‘big oil’. There’s no conspiracy as such, it’s just business.
The fun thing about all this are the implications for science in general. Which is a more effective peer review process, opening it up to the ‘net, as happens here or at CA, and on other blogs, or keeping to the cosy, closed world of traditional peer review.
The best thing about this affair is it clearly demonstrates the importance of full disclosure for good science, which should benefit everybody. Congratulations to all involved in this research.

As they will certainly try to control the Media, by not talking, we have to secure other means. I have requested comments from the European Union, as they have funded Briffa’s work. I don’t expect much of a reply, but I believe we have to push the message ahead of the media, right to politics. Once they find they have been funding, and will be funding, one of the biggest hoaxes perpetrated on Earth, they will start moving in their chairs. Madoff is indeed nothing compared to this…
Ecotretas

bill

There is a 200year temperature record. If tree grows do not support this record then that tree should be removed from the series. The data is wrong!
If invalid data should not be removed, just statistically incorporated in the whole then this of course would change the need for WUWTs surface station project. The siting/equipment quality etc. of the site is irrelevant. Statistics will give the correct result – no need to throw away the data for the thermometers sited next to an airconditioner fan, in a broken screen, on a hectare of tarmac. All data is valid!!!!

Jimmy Haigh

Frank K. (05:16:00) :
‘Bones: “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a dendroclimatologist!” ‘
Brilliant! And another reason we frequent WUWT, apart from the science, is the humour.
Being Scottish my favourite Star Trek quote is: “Ye cannae change the laws o’ physics!”

David Ball

And what does the data say , bill ?

hunter

The really annoying aspect of this is that AGW was never alive in the first place.
We have wasted billions of dollars and countless hours of time, exploring nothing, accomplishing nothing, and doing nothing productive.
We could have provided drinking water for the poor int he world, developed clean burning coal technology, cleaned up large amounts of environmental damage.
Instead, we have made climate profiteers rich, damaged real industries, and held an endless number of conferences for climate insiders to attend.
We have disrupted the world food markets and still have not built significant numbers of nuclear power plants.
The entire AGW movement has been a tremendous subsidy of stupidity.
And when ever something is subsidized, you get more of it.

CheshireRed

The UK Telegraph will follow up James Delingpole’s blog with one from Chris Booker this Sunday, you can depend on that.

paulo arruda

Sooner or later some “scientist” will have to answer. The contempt and silence will not serve as a response. Finally have to comply with Anthony, Steve M, etc. ..

Robinson (05:13:38),
Thanks for that link:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/9/29/the-yamal-implosion.html
It shows the shenanigans of the AGW crowd like his previous excellent exposé, Caspar And The Jesus Paper.

Kenneth Slade

I feel I am in the presence of giants, a mere layman, when I try to educate myself through your and Steve McIntyre’s tireless and uncompromising work.
A deaf world is slowing hearing the whispers of truth and questioning the roar of deceit.

Bob H.

Interestingly, almost the entire AGW movement (religion) has been based on 12 trees in Siberia. That is true faith.

Tim Clark

bill (05:45:00) :
There is a 200year temperature record. If tree grows do not support this record then that tree should be removed from the series.The data is wrong!
If invalid data should not be removed, just statistically incorporated in the whole then this of course would change the need for WUWTs surface station project. The siting/equipment quality etc. of the site is irrelevant. Statistics will give the correct result – no need to throw away the data for the thermometers sited next to an airconditioner fan, in a broken screen, on a hectare of tarmac. All data is valid!!!!

You are displaying inverted logic. If the data is wrong, which data. If the temperature data is wrong, then all the more necessity to do a Siberian surface station project. It appears that the twelve tree core data is in fact an incorrect subsample of a much larger series indicating that the temperature data is flawed.

Lucas Strange

McIntyre is a modern Copernicus. We need more people like him.

Jepe

Tamino wrote:
“As for Steve McIntyre’s latest: I’m really not that interested. He just doesn’t have the credibility to merit attention. I have way better things to do.”
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/message-to-readers/

PaulH

There is also an editorial about this mess in today’s (Sept 30) National Post:
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/09/29/peter-foster-climate-policy-bust.aspx

Doug in Seattle

michel (01:46:12) :
This is harebrained conspiracy fantasizing, which adds nothing to the important fact.

Thanks. I was tempted several times over the last few days to respond to this loon, but could not find the right words to express myself adequately. Yours do an excellent job.

Layne Blanchard

Anthony,
Perhaps I’ve missed something in all the posts on this, but why doesn’t Steve go to the russians for the data? i.e. Hantemirov and Shiyatov

Tim Clark (05:25:50) :
How long should that take [to give Briffa a chance to explain himself]? It’s been going on for three days now.

I scanned McIntyre’s posts but there was no indication Briffa has been contacted. After all, Briffa probably doesn’t read Climate Audit or WUWT.
Secondly, McIntyre’s work of the last 3 days is voluminous. There’s more to it than just the selection criteria. It could take more than three days to come up with a well thought out response.
We’ve been waiting 10 years. Watt’s a few more weeks?

tallbloke

Tim Clark (05:25:50) :
Bret (04:44:41) :
Don’t we need to give Briffa a chance to explain himself before we can declare the hockey stick to be dead?
How long should that take?

Keith Briffa is gravely ill. Let’s bear that in mind.

DavidsBSD

Cheery-pickers R Us – CRU

Ron de Haan

So what’s going to happen to the scientists responsible for this blunder?
Who is going to write to the Nobel Prize Committee that they have awarded a price
based on “cooked” science?
Jennifer Morohasy made a clear statement about the scientists.
They have to defend their work or resign.
She is right.
The reputation of science (and the Nobel Prize) is at stake.
http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/09/leading-uk-climate-scientists-must-explain-or-resign/