Mann 2008 a Victim of Sudden Oak Death?

While Dr. Mann and his attorneys are busy sending letters to threaten legal action against authors of a parody video depicting him chopping down trees, such as this one he hasn’t gotten to yet, Steve McIntyre points out that Dr. Mann has a bigger problem. Oak Trees were found in his paper Mann 2008 et al, which was touted as his “do over” of the original MBH98 hockey stick in response to critics. With this revelation, Sudden Oak Death appears to have afflicted the “robustness” of the paper.

McCoy_hockey_stick_Its_dead_Jim

Steve McIntyre writes:

Doug Keenan has received a favorable decision from the FOI Commissioner in his lengthy FOI/EIR battle for tree ring data collected by Mike Baillie of Queen’s University, Belfast. The data is from Irish oaks and was collected mostly in the 1970s. The decision has been covered by the Times, the New Scientist and the Guardian and at Bishop Hill here and here.

Responses to the decision from Baillie, Rob Wilson and Phil Willis are as interesting as the decision. Baillie and Wilson argued that oak chronologies were “virtually useless” as temperature proxies and “dangerous” in a temperature reconstruction. Nonetheless, as I report below, no fewer than 119 oak chronologies (including 3 Baillie chronologies) were used in Mann et al 2008 without any complaint by Wilson or other specialists. CA readers will also be interested in Baillie’s 2005 response to a Climate Audit post urging climate scientists to update the proxies.

Oak as a Temperature Proxy

The scientist who had been withholding the data, Michael Baillie, ridiculed the idea that his Irish oak data was relevant to temperature reconstructions, saying that it would be “dangerous” to use this data for reconstructing temperature. Hannah Devlin of The Times:

However, the lead scientist involved, Michael Bailee, said that the oak ring data requested was not relevant to temperature reconstruction records.

Although ancient oaks could give an indication of one-off dramatic climatic events, such as droughts, they were not useful as a temperature proxy because they were highly sensitive to water availability as well as past temperatures, he added.

“It’s been dressed up as though we are suppressing climate data, but we have never produced climate records from our tree rings,” Professor Bailee said.

“In my view it would be dangerous to try and make interpretations about the temperature from this data.”

Baillie made a similar statement to the Guardian:

“Keenan is the only person in the world claiming that our oak-ring patterns are temperature records,” Baillie told the Guardian.

Rob Wilson agreed with Baillie on this point, telling the Times that “oaks were virtually useless as a temperature proxy”.

Mann et al 2008

Notwithstanding the considered opinion of Baillie and Wilson that oaks are “virtually useless as a temperature proxy” and “dangerous” to use in a temperature reconstruction, no fewer than 119 oak chronologies were used in Mann et al 2008.

Among Mann’s oak chronologies were three Baillie chronologies: brit008 – Lockwood; brit042 – Shanes Castle, Northern Ireland; brit044 – Castle Coole, Northern Ireland.

Far be it from me to disagree with the specialist view of Wilson and Baillie that these oak chronologies are “virtually useless” as a temperature or “dangerous” to use in a temperature reconstruction.

However, surely it would have been far more relevant for them to speak up at the time of the publication of Mann et al 2008 and to have expressed this view as a comment on that publication. At the time, Climate Audit urged specialists to speak out against known misuse of proxies, but they refused to do so. (see Silence of the Lambs).

More here at Climate Audit

=========

Kinda puts a death knell on the entire paper when another tree ring specialist argues vehemently that oak trees are “virtually useless” for temperature and then we see that Mann used the very same  oak tree data the scientist was arguing against releasing, because it would “dangerous” to use it as a temperature proxy.

Dr. Mann has bigger credibility problems to worry about than parody videos.

As I’ve written before, the whole premise of treemometers is not without its problems:

A look at treemometers and tree ring growth

peanuts_treemometer

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98 thoughts on “Mann 2008 a Victim of Sudden Oak Death?

  1. Are you absolutely sure it’s the same stuff?
    If it is then this man(n) is truly without scruple or a pompous buffoon ….. or both.
    I don’t like thinking ill of people so I ask again are you certain they’re the exact same records?
    REPLY: In Steve McIntyre’s article, he has them identified by number – Anthony

  2. Is it just me, or is it becoming patently obvious to anyone interested in the truth, that the vast majority of academics who have anything to do with climate science are liars and hypocrites? The education system in the West is now so corrupt that nothing these academics say can be taken for the truth, and the whole system will have to be torn down to fix it. Climategate has had no real effect on these people, because really, it’s all about the narrative, isn’t it?

  3. Is there anything special about the oak trees or are Baillie and Wilson’s claim applicable to all tree rings used as temperature proxies? Anyone know what percent the 119 oak chronologies are in relation to all those used in Mann’s work?

  4. Mann 2008 may be unimpacted. Mann used a statistical test to find temperature correlation with tree rings and to determine the amount of weight to give each data set.
    If the oak data are uncorrelated with the temperature data, then they would be given a low weight and would have little impact on the results.
    I’m not saying treemometers make sense, quite the opposite. I’m saying that you could probably remove any or all of the tree ring data and still come up with the same hockey stick shape using his methods.

  5. I’m sure Dr. Mann is on the phone with his attorneys as we speak, demanding that they find a way to eliminate this post.

  6. templar knight (08:12:03) :
    “Is it just me, or is it becoming patently obvious to anyone interested in the truth, that the vast majority of academics who have anything to do with climate science are liars and hypocrites? The education system in the West is now so corrupt that nothing these academics say can be taken for the truth, and the whole system will have to be torn down to fix it. Climategate has had no real effect on these people, because really, it’s all about the narrative, isn’t it?”
    Steady on Mr Templar! Don’t tar us all with the same brush. Besides as vboring says above, if they don’t contain a Hockey Stick then Mann’s algorithm would practically ignore them.

  7. Patchy Moral Syndrome named after the IPCC leader’s ‘typo’ excuse to cover up deceit.

  8. Like
    The Donald says, bad publicity is better than no publicity.
    Mann is the new bad boy in regards to good sampling methods and techniques. They tell him the data is not suited for his purpose and he pushes forward anyhow.
    Should they sue Mann to have him take down his compelling story he pretends is research?

  9. S. McIntyre makes some good points as he usually does. If memory serves, often less well then I am like, a Canadian researcher has published on a technique of oxygen ratios in tree rings that produces temperature proxies. Her method removes most of the usual objections about about growth rates. Assuming this technique is valid then the samples being talked about, not the data as captured to date, may offer some future benefit. That said, Mann’s refusal to fall on his metaphorical sward places him in the company of other dubious egos history. As for the others “Me thinks they dough protest to much.”

  10. From 2009: (excusé le lap)
    Northern Ireland Trees Provide Clues to Climate Change
    The results of a new study “Climate signal in tree-ring chronologies in a temperate climate: a multi-species approach” (Full paper – PDF) involving researchers Ana García-Suárez and John Butler at Armagh Observatory and Mike Baillie at Queen’s University Belfast have recently been published in the scientific journal Dendrochronologia. Tree-ring widths and densities have been used as indicators of climate change for several decades, but the question of which aspects of climate, for example average temperature, rainfall, drought or sunshine, the trees really respond to has remained open.
    The background to this study is that trees grown close to one of their geographical limits, for example at their upper altitude limit, may be particularly susceptible to changes in temperature, and such stressed trees from high altitudes or high latitudes have most often been used to estimate mean atmospheric temperatures for the period before thermometers came into general use in the 18th and 19th centuries. For example, tree rings have sometimes been used to estimate how warm the world is now compared to, say, the late medieval period or the time when the Romans ruled Britain.
    The new work attempts to establish which climate parameters on a monthly or seasonal scale are most important for the growth of four common species currently widespread in the British Isles, namely Oak, Ash, Beech and Pine. The authors use trees grown close to one of the longest running meteorological stations in Europe, namely that at Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, in an attempt to link the tree-ring widths to an array of climate variables. Here the trees have grown in relatively benign conditions with adequate rainfall and moderate temperatures, and have mostly grown well within their geographical limits.
    The study draws three main conclusions of interest to the climate-change community. First, none of the four species allows reconstruction of any Annual climate variable, though they can allow reconstruction of specific seasonal climate parameters. These seasonal reconstructions can sometimes be unstable in time. Secondly, they find that Ash and Beech are more sensitive to climate changes than Oak and that these species respond more clearly to rainfall and drought conditions than to mean temperature. This could provide a way to estimate changes in rainfall over the past few centuries in parts of the British Isles where a reliable instrumental record does not exist. Thirdly, they find that combinations of tree-ring widths from several species that have grown together are more successful in reconstructing climate than those of a single species.
    These are promising results, but it will be difficult to extrapolate them back further than the last few centuries owing to the requirement to date the specimen trees. Currently, there is only the long Northern Ireland Oak chronology (Queen’s University Belfast) and it is unlikely that parallel chronologies for other species can be constructed because of the lack of suitable sources. Also, the growth of trees is affected by the local environmental conditions (i.e. whether they have grown in forests, in open country, or on bogs), which may not have been the same in the past as now. Tree-ring widths nevertheless may provide an important proxy to climate change as long as these causes and effects can be unravelled.

  11. I’m glad that McIntyre is keeping these scientists honest.
    Steve, if you’re reading this, thanks!

  12. Then why all the effin fuss over the data if it is useless? Why put up such a big fight over nothing? Unless it reveals something other than the honest pursuit of truth.

  13. I agree with Templar that the majority of the climate scientists are liars and hypocrites. With few exceptions, the remainder are charlatans.

  14. Mann is becoming less and less relevant and more and more laughable. As for Baillie and his crew, are they asking us to believe they didn’t know what Mann was trying to do with the tree ring data? Just more players in the dirty game of climatology.

  15. Over on ABC a guy who has charted diameters of Trees in (virginia?) are on a accelerated growth pattern ostensibly from (Bad) CO2 increases. He worries that although the tree growth is good, it’s as if they are on steroids, the QUALITY OF THE WOOD might be affected.
    Gordon Bennett!
    Perhaps the Oaks died because of AGW.

  16. Steve is a Great White. Anything straggling from the pack, ignoring FOIs, losing data, hiding declines, calling people names, and generally flapping around in a sloppy manner is going to get it! It’s what makes swimming in the deep so much fun! Right Jones?

  17. If the old chronologies are ‘made available’ does that mean the measurements or are the actual samples of woods still around? If so, the 18O technique might be used on them.

  18. Edbhoy (08:24:00) :
    Steady on Mr Templar! Don’t tar us all with the same brush. Besides as vboring says above, if they don’t contain a Hockey Stick then Mann’s algorithm would practically ignore them.
    ______
    Isn’t this just the point? How can a study be any use if it is designed to ignore all contrary data? If the oak series are included, but then excluded de facto because they don’t support the thesis, this is more damning of the protocol than if they were left out entirely. Nothing can get in unless it meets the hockey stick meme. Isn’t that why Steve M found that even random noise produces a Mann made hockey stick.

  19. As we celebrate Earth Day 2010, let us give thanks for our unwarranted survival in the 45 intervening years since Earth Day 1970 and bestow our everlasting gratitude upon those individuals possessing divine omniscience, who warned us of the imminent dangers to our continued existence.
    ————————————————————-
    Earth Day Predictions, 1970
    “We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
    – Kenneth Watt, ecologist
    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    – George Wald, Harvard Biologist
    “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
    – Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
    “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
    – New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day
    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
    – Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
    “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
    – Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
    – Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
    “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
    – Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University
    “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
    – Life Magazine, January 1970
    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
    – Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
    “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
    – Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
    “We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
    – Martin Litton, Sierra Club director
    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”
    – Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
    “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
    – Sen. Gaylord Nelson
    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    – Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

  20. Sounds to me as if Prof Mann should transfer from the Penn State to the State Pen! Or am I being too harsh?

  21. given that in cold climates trees don’t “grow” during winter months the only thing a tree ring could (I stress could) measure is summer temperature averages …
    If the summer average for 2 years was 75 degrees and 73 degrees but the winter average was 20 and 30 degress the annual averages would be 47.5 and 51.5. Tree rings would have called year 1 the warmer year when in fact it was the colder year.

  22. Ed Scott (09:05:48) :
    “As we celebrate Earth Day 2010, let us give thanks for our unwarranted survival in the 45 intervening years since Earth Day 1970 and bestow our everlasting gratitude upon those individuals possessing divine omniscience, who warned us of the imminent dangers to our continued existence.”
    An interesting list of side splittingly hilarious predictions, but you missed the one where they said that the Earth will be fried up by 2100 because of humans burning fossil fuels.

  23. Comment from climate audit,
    Bristlecones were discussed at the NAS panel in 2006, who recommended that strip bark trees (especially bristlecones and foxtails) be “avoided” in temperature reconstructions. This recommendation was totally ignored by paleoclimatologists, who, if anything, actually increased their use of both strip bark chronologies and even Mann’s PC1 as a sort of solidarity against third party criticism. Subsequent to the NAS panel report, strip bark chronologies were applied in Hegerl et al 2006, Juckes et al 2007, Mann et al 2007, Mann et al 2008 and most recently in Tingley and Huybers (submitted).
    Now Mann et al are using Oaks as a temperature proxy even when one of their own grouping states that oak chronologies were “virtually useless” as temperature proxies and “dangerous” in a temperature reconstruction.
    Any one heard of double blind.

  24. vboring (08:16:36) :
    Mann 2008 may be unimpacted. Mann used a statistical test to find temperature correlation with tree rings and to determine the amount of weight to give each data set. …

    But that correlation means that Mann chose only trees which behaved the way he wanted them to behave. If you only choose trees which only behave the way you expect, of course the result will tend to be what you already expect. If you only choose trees with narrow rings during a time when the temperature was rising, and wide rings during a time when the temperature was falling, then of course you’ll find that your trees are following the temperature record — except when they don’t follow the temperature after a certain date and you have to hide the decline.
    Just because you’ve found trees which behave the way you think they should does not mean that the trees are measuring what you think they are. Baillie and Wilson say that oaks are sensitive to water rather than temperature. So they may be more sensitive to what the shovel is doing rather than what the thermometer is doing. Choosing those which behave in an expected way does not mean they behave the way you expect outside your calibration period.
    A tree study would have a stronger base if, instead of trying to tease info out of statistics of a wood pile, a researcher looked at the history of an individual tree and understood what had affected it. Does the soil indicate what kind of weather took place during the lifetime of the tree? Ash deposits? Any springs, creeks, or lakes nearby? Is the terrain susceptible to flash flooding or nearby water accumulation? Are nearby trees of the same age, or has the surrounding botanical environment changed? Were rabbits or cattle introduced during the tree’s lifetime? Any other livestock changes, such as replacing ten horses with vehicles? Has land use changed during the lifetime of the tree? Did this tree begin growing among logs or other material which has since vanished or become less obvious?
    Jumping over a fence, taking a core sample, marking the location, and rushing off to catch a train is not the same as knowing the tree’s history. Unless you can tease out the details from your core sample. I don’t think Mann had nutrient studies in the factors he was analyzing.

  25. Isn’t the unreliability of tree ring data what Briffa proved when the thermometer records differed markedly from the tree ring proxies from 1960 onwards? “Hide the decline.” I think so.

  26. Jim Cripwell (09:22:00) – That was already mentioned in the Tips section. See “Tips” up there in the menu options? See the menu options, the horizontal list under the site banner? If a moderator snips your post, that’s probably why.

  27. You may be barking up the wrong tree.
    From the abstract of Mann’s 2008 paper: “Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats.”
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html
    REPLY: Which has been the point M&M made back in 2003. You could feed white noise into MBH98 and get a hickey stick. The fact that Mann used a questionable Oak proxy point further to his questionable methods. -A

  28. Ibrahim (08:31:35) :
    Northern Ireland Trees Provide Clues to Climate Change
    Secondly, they find that Ash and Beech are more sensitive to climate changes than Oak and that these species respond more clearly to rainfall and drought conditions than to mean temperature.

    This agrees with about 50 other papers I have on file, all peer-reviewed. Mann is not a physiologist and I’m glad someone from within the paleo community is finally calling his work rubbish.
    Good job to Steve also.

  29. This appears to be a very significant setback for the Mann / Jones cabal. It will be interesting to see how CA handles the spin on this one. Great work to all the honest people who did not give up and continued to push for the truth.

  30. “the vast majority of academics who have anything to do with climate science are liars and hypocrites?”
    They are above such limitations.

  31. I just read the “A look at treemometers and tree ring growth” story linked above (with the awesome Snoopy graphic). Fascinating…. it never dawned on me that growth was parabolic… so basically if it’s especially hot, you get smaller amounts of growth, same as when it’s cold. I’m trying to wrap my head around that. How can they determine if a smaller ring indicates a cold year or a very hot year?
    Sounds fishy.

  32. ” Mike (09:51:25) :
    You may be barking up the wrong tree.
    From the abstract of Mann’s 2008 paper: “Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used.”[…]”
    Mann himself admits he doesn’t need tree ring data to make the MWP disappear? Unfortunately, i don’t get anything under
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html
    but i found it here:
    http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0901-temperatures.html
    “The results confirm that temperatures today in the Northern Hemisphere are higher than those of the Medieval warm period, a time when the Vikings colonized Greenland are are believed to have become the first Europeans to visit North America. ”
    Wait. NH temps are higher now than when the Vikings colonized Greenland? Then why is Greenland so cold today? An inexplicable local phenomenon? Writing obviously contradictory stuff is normally the domain of bad journalism, not of scientists.
    Paper doesn’t contain the substring Greenland. So no explanation by Dr. Mann.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0805721105.full.pdf

  33. vboring (08:16:36) : “…I’m not saying treemometers make sense, quite the opposite. I’m saying that you could probably remove any or all of the tree ring data and still come up with the same hockey stick shape using his methods….”
    Only if we hide the decline. Dildoclimatology is pseudoscience, mummery, ancient astrology. The science is meddled, not settled.

  34. I think you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Only Mann can tell which trees are the “treemometers” and which are just ordinary trees, although I have learned how to make a pretty good guess. If it produces a “hockey stick”, it’s probably a treemometer. If it doesn’t, it’s probably just a regular tree.
    REPLY: That’s discrimination. All trees should be seen as equal, no matter what their species. 😉 – A

  35. [snip]. Let’s hope he calls someone out soon so he has to lay his cards on the table once and for all.
    It is truly unbelievable that these guys state oak rings are rubbish for establishing climate trends yet they said nothing to counter Mann.
    Its snouts in the trough.

  36. Tree rings do not grow all year throughout much of the northern hemisphere. Where I am, tree rings grow for about 6 weeks. The rest of the time the tree is actually growing, it is growing roots, leaves, seeds/cones, buds etc. Rationalizing a 6 week interval as a proxy for 52 weeks of temperature is preposterous.
    Only if these wood samples were used to make real hockey sticks would we actually get some real value.

  37. So, what’s next?
    Can this lead to some sort of retraction of the Mann 2008 paper? If so, who will make that happen?
    And how many times will Mann humiliate Penn St before they give him the boot?

  38. Dennis Nikols (08:31:14) :
    S. McIntyre makes some good points as he usually does. If memory serves, often less well then I am like, a Canadian researcher has published on a technique of oxygen ratios in tree rings that produces temperature proxies. Her method removes most of the usual objections about growth rates
    Leif Svalgaard (08:59:35) :
    If the old chronologies are ‘made available’ does that mean the measurements or are the actual samples of woods still around? If so, the 18O technique might be used on them.
    Since most descriptions of the 18O technique seem to require that tree foliage is at ambient temperature this paper
    http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/pdf/nature07031.pdf
    which details how tree foliage, through the operation of various natural processes maintains its temperature within a much narrower range than ambient temps, would seem to have put a rather large hurdle in the path of utilizing 18O as a temp proxy. The paper drew a brief flurry of interest for a couple weeks after it was published, including a post here at WUWT, then it seemed to be consigned to the memory hole. I always found that intriguing.

  39. From DirkH (10:33:26) :
    Wait. NH temps are higher now than when the Vikings colonized Greenland? Then why is Greenland so cold today? An inexplicable local phenomenon? Writing obviously contradictory stuff is normally the domain of bad journalism, not of scientists.
    The situation with Greenland is obviously a local phenomenon, the change from the previous warmth is easily explained. The ocean currents changed after Atlantis sunk.
    That is at least as believable as what Mann says the tree rings tell us, therefore it must be true.

  40. Vincent (09:24:05) :
    “An interesting list of side splittingly hilarious predictions, but you missed the one where they said that the Earth will be fried up by 2100 because of humans burning fossil fuels.”
    ————————————————————-
    Vincent have faith in our divine prognosticators. We, at least our descendents, have 89 plus years to cower in fear before being consumed by the fiery conflagration as the year 2100 nears. Hopefully, the citizens, surviving at that time, will have been spared the agony of the unending verbal bombardment of Gorisms as the end looms ominous.
    By the way, buy my book, which in gory detail, describes the calamities which will befall the World’s citizens living, er, existing at that time.

  41. Step right up folks, and see the next Miracle of the Modern Mann World.
    We’ll pop open a can of Oak Tree Ring Basting Sauce and before you know it, the smell of Hockey Stick Ribs on the barbie will have your guests drooling.

  42. Irish Oak’s as proxies?
    Did you know that Phytophthora infestans, the potato blight, which caused the Irish Famine also attacks Oak Trees.
    I wonder what the tree rings will say the temperature was between 1845 and 1852?
    We are so lucky that human beings have never introduced new species from one continent to another as this would surely bugger up the proxies. Even something as simple as the European Earthworm would completely change the ecology of the root system of trees. Thank the Lord it never reached the Bristlecones.

  43. Interesting juxtaposition:
    The picture: “It’s dead Jim”
    World Climate Widget: “Sunspot #: 0”
    Just a random event… means nothing… moving along…

  44. It just keeps getting worse!
    In the meantime, in the election debate on BBC in Monty Pythonland, the leaders are all talking about climate change as if all this Climategate fallout doesn’t exist.
    The two Whitewash Commissions have trumped all else. 2 + 2 = 5. Long live the Party.

  45. From DocMartyn (12:59:19) :
    We are so lucky that human beings have never introduced new species from one continent to another as this would surely bugger up the proxies.
    Absolutely. Now let’s go take some new tree ring cores from some American Chestnut trees, see what they say the temperatures are. 😉

  46. enneagram (10:10:31) :
    Well, all hockey sticks are made of wood, aren’t they?
    ——————–
    Your question/statement does not pass the falsifiability test. Some are made of fibreglass. I frequently trip over one or two in my front yard or driveway, depending on where they end up after the latest street-hockey game.

  47. What an appropriate picture, seeing that Leonard Nimoy announced his retirement from acting today.

  48. Claude Harvey (10:55:32) :
    “I think you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Only Mann can tell which trees are the “treemometers” and which are just ordinary trees, although I have learned how to make a pretty good guess. If it produces a “hockey stick”, it’s probably a treemometer. If it doesn’t, it’s probably just a regular tree.”
    Nice… very nice :o)

  49. a dood (10:30:42) :
    “I just read the “A look at treemometers and tree ring growth” story linked above (with the awesome Snoopy graphic). Fascinating…. it never dawned on me that growth was parabolic… so basically if it’s especially hot, you get smaller amounts of growth, same as when it’s cold. I’m trying to wrap my head around that. How can they determine if a smaller ring indicates a cold year or a very hot year?
    Sounds fishy.”
    No, its easy to tell the hot from cold tree rings. As you know, tree rings are not perfectly circular, they protrude and indent around the ring with a couple of markings. When one sees a cool year tree ring, it looks similar to this :-). Conversely, a CO2 induced hot year tree ring looks like this…..:-(. See, easy.

  50. “Liars and hypocrits…”?
    Possibly. Delusional? Absolutely.
    I think the conceits of Post-Normal Science explain why they stick to their delusions in the face of observational evidence that invalidates the whole stack of cards.

  51. Claude Harvey (10:55:32) :
    “REPLY: That’s discrimination. All trees should be seen as equal, no matter what their species. 😉 – A”
    Ah. But some trees are more equal than others.

  52. “No, its easy to tell the hot from cold tree rings. As you know, tree rings are not perfectly circular, they protrude and indent around the ring with a couple of markings. When one sees a cool year tree ring, it looks similar to this :-). Conversely, a CO2 induced hot year tree ring looks like this…..:-(. See, easy.”
    …. that … is ridiculous 😛

  53. Isn’t the climate science doublethink interesting? Mann uses them in his temperature reconstruction, Baillie & Wilson say they have no merit as temperature proxies. And yet they are still blowing smoke up each other’s orifices.
    Steve Mc deserves some kind of award when this is all over. No one can extract the inconsistencies of climate science as he can. While Climategate was a blow, you see how The Team has circled the wagons and whitewashed the problems. I think Steve is the only one with enough background and experience to accurately call BS when they try to pull off the pea under the thimble as he would say.
    Only a thousand paper cuts will bring the tribe to it’s knee’s. Keep digging Steve and others.

  54. Well, those of you in academic climate research enjoy your academic freedom while it lasts. When the legal profession sees a golden opportunity to get in the middle of the climate debate with lawsuits against the Universities and Colleges sponsoring climate research and/or against vocal critics who use strong language in criticizing the researcher’s motives, academe may demand that all individual researchers in climate science have a malpractice insurance policy. Then the academic institutions that sponsors even incompetent or untruthful researchers will protected from costly lawsuits.
    A suit planned against a paper for libel is new thrust against the AGW critics. Mann’s threatened lawsuit against the Minnesotans for Global Warming is another. The AGW movement will use these threats to silence the critics. While the threats are intimidating, it is not a reason to be silent. It is one thing to find fault with the research methods and conclusions; and it is quite another to defame the scientist no matter how obvious the motives are that there is plenty of subjective bias in the results. Unfortunately, allegations of unethical behavior or a lack of integrity made against an individual openly on this BLOG as well as in comments made on the other sites that favor AGW could be used as a basis of a libel suit. Even though many of us use an alias on the BLOG, the use of an alias would not prevent the managers of a BLOG site from being required to divulge the true identity of any commenter. Further, comments are frequently archived. I strongly urge anyone who comments here to limit your criticisms to the science and not to a personal attack on the individual. I am quite sure that many sites will continue to make angry comments about people who criticize AGW but it doesn’t made it right for us to do the same. I believe that the vast majority of lawyers are not conservative and would therefore favor attacking the critics of AGW. If you have never experienced the anxiety associated with a libel law suit, I suggest you talk to someone who has before you tear down a researcher for biased and unethical actions.

  55. The text of this post references a link to “this one,” apparently meant to point to a tree. It actually points to the Mann parody song. Was that intended?

  56. @ templar knight (08:12:03) : “Is it just me, or is it becoming patently obvious to anyone interested in the truth, that the vast majority of academics who have anything to do with climate science are liars and hypocrites?”
    I think that’s too harsh. Mann, for example, is probably neither. He is simply incompetent. No rational scientist would accept the results he gets without questioning them several different ways. Don’t ask me how he got where he is. Surely a peer has noticed this in the past.
    I can probably accept the thesis that many if not most of the academics in climate science have no credibility.

  57. I’m all for seeding these planets with something that could survive in their environment and potentially change the environment towards a more hospitible place for humans. If there is water and sunlight…hey. I wonder if I could get some AGW funding!

  58. When I was doing research, the last thing I would ever want to do is write a correction, or follow-up “clarification”, study of a study I did way back when. Which is why I was trained to find every which way the conclusions to my study were wrong before I ever tried to publish it. The current crop of mostly young but even older scientists seem loath to try to prove themselves wrong. But they skip that step at their own peril. And in this case, ours.

  59. these scienctist call themselves climatologists, climate researchers, but what are their credentials. i believe mann is a geologist, correct me if im wrong, but a geologist studies rocks, why is he doing tree ring research? i do like all thesh&%#t coming down around them now. if they would step back and redo the research with better and realistic methods we would all get somewhere.

  60. grayman, I just downed two glasses of a very delicious red wine with my meal, and can hardly type without making a mistake. I am also a special educator. I work with students who can’t, well, you know, write very well. I can understand the texting craze but I don’t avail myself of that shorthand. But unless you sent your message from a phone, use the ^$%^*&@ shift key!

  61. I admit to not having read every post, but has it been postulated that the use of dendroetc. is inappropriate in this climate discussion and should be shelved for the obvious reasons of not being able to discern the reason in each season for the retarded growth, or great growth? If not, I propose that that be considered for comment the next time anyone from WUWT is asked to comment on a paper that contains this crap.
    It seems to me that everything having to do with tree rings has become a massive distraction from serious consideration of the issue of abrupt climate change. Not only is tree ring measurement not exact, there is not enough data to establish the correctness of the presumed answer. Nor is it the appropriate time frame to establish climate guideposts. Glaciation occurs with regularity every 15- 20,000 years. And lasts about a 100,000 years.
    This tree ring issue is convenient for warmers to an extent. No wonder they had to hide the decline. None of their anlysis means anything.
    Again the King has no clothes.
    How about the young to old drayus data? What does that tell us?

  62. templar knight (08:12:03) : edit

    Is it just me, or is it becoming patently obvious to anyone interested in the truth, that the vast majority of academics who have anything to do with climate science are liars and hypocrites?

    I disagree. In general, the problems that I find are the lack of one single thing – quality control. Anthonly’s recent posts on the M for METAR are a great example.
    I see this all the time, that as soon as a computer is involved, there is a tendency to design the whiz-bang algorithm (for turning tree rings into temperature, or for “homogenizing” temperature, or whatever). But there seems to to be little effort put in to see if what comes out the other end of the computer has any relation to reality.
    So no, I don’t think that most climate scientists are liars or hypocrites. I do think that when the results agree with their beliefs, they don’t bother to check them closely. And when they are serving as peer reviewers, many of them do a grade-school job when they believe in what the paper under review says.
    And I do think that there is a tragic lack of climate scientists who are willing to police their own backyard, to call the few who actually are liars to account.
    Watch and see how many climate scientists are willing to step up to the plate on this one … Judith Curry has more balls than almost all of them. Let’s see if Rob Wilson or Baillie say a single word about the use of oak tree rings in Mann 2008 …

  63. As if the problems of separating temperature from rainfall from sunlight duration and stage of growth and insect damage and limiting nutrients and U-shaped response curves are not enough, there are futher complexities.
    The nutrition of a plant is not simply governed by whether there is adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, CO2 etc, or even if these are limiting over time or not. In a simple analysis, the nutrition of a plant depends on a mixture of about 20 known simple nutrients (leaving aside innoculants and special chemicals for legumes and so on). If you add in the other required chemical nutients like Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Mo, Cu and so on, then do experiments with all combinations of several levels of all chemicals, you do not find a simple linear system where one low nutrient sets the growth limit.
    You find dependencies of higher oders and complexity, so that for example the yield response to Mo is related to the abundance of Ca and both to pH, with different relations at different moisture levels, sometimes with the concentration raised to a power (like pH is).
    You can pull apart such effects by an analysis of variance approach in a controlled situation, but there is no way you can look at a set of old Irish oak trees and assume stationarity for assigning effects to tree ring thickness or density or isotope composition.
    Even competition by a different surrounding vegetation ensemble (there, I’ve used that word!) in past time means that you can not take the relationships of experiments today and apply them back a few hundred years. Even a short rabbit plague could make a difference, Eli.
    It’s stetching faith in uniformitarianism too far. My bet is that dendros know this only too well but also know their careers would be limited if they ‘fessed up.
    It’s more like “Hide the decline in (a*Ca+=) + (b*K+) / c*(2.303*-lnH+)” or something more complex.

  64. Alan the Brit (09:07:29) :
    “Sounds to me as if Prof Mann should transfer from the Penn State to the State Pen! Or am I being too harsh?”
    Thanks for giving me the first smile of the day 🙂
    However, I don’t think your being harsh enough! I’m a great believer in the old biblical adage an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and the punishment must fit the crime.
    Anyone for hockey???

  65. johnythelowery (08:54:20) : He worries that although the tree growth is good, it’s as if they are on steroids, the QUALITY OF THE WOOD might be affected.
    New warmist meme: “The carbon industry is injecting our trees with steroids!”

  66. Tim Clark (09:56:23) :
    Northern Ireland Trees Provide Clues to Climate Change
    Secondly, they find that Ash and Beech are more sensitive to climate changes than Oak and that these species respond more clearly to rainfall and drought conditions than to mean temperature.
    This agrees with about 50 other papers I have on file, all peer-reviewed. Mann is not a physiologist and I’m glad someone from within the paleo community is finally calling his work rubbish.

    Make that 51papers:
    davidmhoffer (11:03:44) :
    http://www.gov.mb.ca/stem/mrd/geo/pflood/p_pdfs/climaticextremesinsmb.pdf
    800 year oak tree chronology from Manitoba. found good correlation to moisture, but a NEGATIVE (though not statistically significant) correlation to temperature. Quotes repeatedly about methodology referencing… oops, Jones and Briffa.

  67. They were groing wine grapes in Northumbria during Venerable Bede’s time at Jarrow monastery. He lived from about 673 – 735AD.
    Bet you can’t grow wine grapes there now.

  68. mandolinjon (15:59:40)’s caution about flinging accusations of fraud or unethical—or even criminal—behavior against specific individuals should be well-taken. Not only might such accusations be construed and actionable as libel, but also, absent undeniable proof it is reprehensible to make them.
    It is never, I would venture to say, libelous to criticize a scientist’s data, methods, or conclusions as false, misleading, or just unscientific poppycock. Where you cross the line is when you impugn someone’s motives or character. Given the outrageous behavior of some in the ‘climate science’ community, this is admittedly tempting. And since some of the principals have become, at least in some measure, public figures, they may be fair game. But, as Mandolinjon says, best to err on the side of caution: you don’t want to waste a year or two and untold dollars in court.
    That said, as I recall the truth is a perfect defense against libel (at least in the United States), so if you are prepared to defend your charges in a court of law, go for it!
    /Mr Lynn

  69. Shevva (00:33:44) :
    Somewhere Albert Einstein is crying for scientific integrity.
    _________________________
    He and Richard Feynman are talking a long stroll, busy talking about squirrels, and sub atomic particles half lives, UV radiation levels, and what that means to (night crawlers) in the half light of morning after a good rain.
    Those of us left on this plane still have choices to make (fish, or cut bait) be critical of all things for ourselves, and let others flounder with their own level of cognitive (dis)functioning, sharing truth when and where you can find it.

  70. Just when you think climate “science” as practiced by Mann et. al. could not get any more absurd, here is another incredible story.
    I didn’t think my jaw could drop any further than it already had.
    Unanswered questions:
    Removing the “dangerous” data does what to the analysis?
    If it does nothing, then why was it used in the first place?
    If it changes the result, then isn’t anything Mann has produced more suspect than ever, if not completely useless?
    What other demons lie in Mann’s machinations?
    Why does this person still have a job?

  71. PamelaGray, No I am not ateenager nor do I text , I am 47 never learned to type I hunt and peck to type. But i am trying. When I said to correct me if i am wrong I was talking about my comment not my typing skills. Point taken and i will try to do better for you and all educators. Myself I am not to good at this being only the 3rd time i have actually ever posted on this thread or any other.Most other comment threads the people on them are well IDIOTS, but on most climate blogs I find some people with some smarts. I know my grammar probrably does not pass muster for you ethier,but this will have to do. I have enjoyed reading the post on here yours too,so forgive my grammar and typing skills and let us get back to the problem at hand.

  72. Claude Harvey (10:55:32) :
    I think you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Only Mann can tell which trees are the “treemometers” and which are just ordinary trees, although I have learned how to make a pretty good guess. If it produces a “hockey stick”, it’s probably a treemometer. If it doesn’t, it’s probably just a regular tree.
    REPLY: That’s discrimination. All trees should be seen as equal, no matter what their species. 😉 – A
    ================================================
    And take care, because trees now have lawyers. Remember Polly Higgins, the lawyer who is promoting the idea of eco-genocide and criminalizing global warming “denial”? She has a website called “Trees Have Rights Too”. See:
    http://www.treeshaverightstoo.com/
    One of the rights that trees have, according to Ms Higgins, is the right to not be polluted. Given the push by warmists to define CO2, which is the very oxygen of trees, as a pollutant there is an obvious irony, if not outright hypocrisy, here. And curiously (to my mind) Ms Higgins doesn’t seem to believe that trees have the right to not be chopped down, whether for climatological research or any other purpose. If I were a tree and could speak, I think I would fire my self-appointed lawyer.

  73. David Ball (08:37:09) :
    “Then why all the effin fuss over the data if it is useless? Why put up such a big fight over nothing? Unless it reveals something other than the honest pursuit of truth”
    The fuss comes from a healthy dose of skepticism. Why, with climategate, bad statistics, cherry picking of data, outright fabrications…should we believe what we are told the tree ring data contain. Why would we think that these experts have done all there is to do with data. Personally, I would even suspect the data and wonder if we could have a look at the wood itself.

  74. enneagram (10:10:31) :
    “Well, all hockey sticks are made of wood, aren’t they’
    They used to be but now they are making them out of carbon of all things.

  75. Digsby (07:53:14) : “Remember Polly Higgins, the lawyer who is promoting the idea of eco-genocide…. She has a website called “Trees Have Rights Too”.”
    Please, let’s not be harsh toward Polly. She is only giving voice to the trees who cannot speak.
    Makes me not want to commit genocide on my lawn this weekend. A billion blades of grass will suffer and die.

  76. grayman (11:02:13) :
    PamelaGray, No I am not ateenager nor do I text , I am 47 never learned to type I hunt and peck to type. But i am trying. . .

    Try voice-recognition software. Dragon Naturally Speaking is reportedly quite good at turning speech into typed text.
    /Mr Lynn

  77. Mr Lynn (18:43:15) :
    grayman (11:02:13) :
    PamelaGray, No I am not ateenager nor do I text , I am 47 never learned to type I hunt and peck to type. But i am trying. . .
    Try voice-recognition software. Dragon Naturally Speaking is reportedly quite good at turning speech into typed text.
    /Mr Lynn
    =================================================
    Or, rather more simply, use the Opera browser which has built-in spell-checking for all text input. (It also has built-in voice-recognition for program commands, but, as I don’t use it, I don’t know if you can input text with it.) And BTW (/begin commercial), Opera also has built-in: email; news; feeds; BitTorrent; chat; mouse gestures; totally customizable side panels; and, what I find most useful of all, notes (/end commercial).

  78. I’ve not seen anything on the effect of increased CO2 on tree ring growth. Around here folk pump in CO2 to get more growth in greenhouse crops.
    Also has anyone any ideas as to what happens at Vostok when the temperature is below 72 degrees Celsius? The CO2 will be solid – will it show up in the ice core?
    Rob

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