Fred Singer on the BEST project

Note: I spent the day with the BEST team yesterday at Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories and I’ll have a report on it soon, but here in the meantime is what Fred Singer has to say about it, via Climate Realists. – Anthony

By Dr. Fred Singer

The e-mails leaked from the University of East Anglia in November 2009 produced what is popularly called “Climategate.” They exposed the thoroughly unethical behavior of a group of climate scientists, mainly in the UK and US, involved in producing the global surface temperature record used and relied on by governments.

Not only did these climate scientists hide their raw data and their methodology of selection and adjustment of temperature data, but they fought hard against all attempts by independent outside scientists to replicate their results. They also undermined the peer-review system and tried to make it impossible for skeptical scientists to publish their work in scientific journals. There is voluminous evidence in the e-mails to this effect. In the process, they damaged not only the science enterprise — full publication of data and methods, replication of results, open debate, etc — but they also undermined the public credibility of all scientists.

However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming. There have now been a number of investigations of the activities of this group, mainly in the UK. These have all turned out to be complete whitewashes, aimed to exonerate the scientists involved. None of these investigations has even attempted to learn how and in what way the data might have been manipulated.

Much of this is described in the “Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the corruption of science” by A. W. Montford. Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo and others have made a commendable effort to show how data might have been altered. But an independent effort to reconstruct the global temperature results of the past century really demands a dedicated project with proper resources.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Project aims to do what needs to be done: That is, to develop an independent analysis of the data from land stations, which would include many more stations than had been considered by the Global Historic Climatology Network. The Project is in the hands of a group of recognized scientists, who are not at all “climate skeptics” — which should enhance their credibility. The Project is mainly directed by physicists, chaired by Professor Richard Muller (UC Berkeley), with a steering group that includes Professor Judith Curry (Georgia Tech) and Arthur Rosenfeld (UC Santa Barbara and Georgia Tech).

I applaud and support what is being done by the Project — a very difficult but important undertaking. I personally have little faith in the quality of the surface data, having been exposed to the revealing work by Anthony Watts and others. However, I have an open mind on the issue and look forward to seeing the results of the Project in their forthcoming publications.

As far as I know, no government or industry funds are involved — at least at this stage. According to the Project’s website www.berkeleyearth.org, support comes mostly from a group of charitable foundations.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the US weather satellite service. He is a Senior Fellow of the Independent Institute and the Heartland Institute. He is the author or co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming [2007], Nature not Human Activity Rules the Climate [2008], and Climate Change Reconsidered [2009].

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bucko36

I hope they have “GREAT” success in their quest for the “TRUTH”!!!!

RWS

Sorry about the weather……..we usually offer better than this for visitors.

Theo Goodwin

This is absolutely what must be done immediately in climate science if it is to regain any credibility whatsoever. However, I do wish that a larger body of scientists, including sceptics, had been involved in setting out the details. The project should not be limited to land surface measurements and, most important of all, the project should introduce entirely new systems of measurement based on the best technologies but especially to include continuous recording through fail-safe computer networks. This project is worthy of serious funding.

sharper00

“However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming.”
I’m pretty sure that anyone even remotely familiar with the climategate emails, even people who think everyone involved should be stuffed into a cannon and fired into the sun, knows this claim is simply not correct.

kramer

What worries me about this project is that it’s being done at UC Berkeley. That town is practically Moscow west.
I hope this project finds out and reports on how the temp adjustments are done and what the warming trend has been using strictly unadjusted rural data.

Mark T

Until they properly address the actual required method for averaging temperatures, I hold little hope this will produce anything worthwhile. By giving them credence now, we will ultimately be forced to accept their version which is likely to be as broken as other versions.
Mark

sharper00 says:
February 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm (Edit)
“However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming.”
I’m pretty sure that anyone even remotely familiar with the climategate emails, even people who think everyone involved should be stuffed into a cannon and fired into the sun, knows this claim is simply not correct.

So you think Mann’s treemometer proxy reconstruction was more flawed than the surface data presumably?

I’m still concerned by the primary support of the Project by the Novim Group.
Again, from their website (www.novim.org), the Novim Overview pdf:
Introduction
Coordinated global action is needed to address major interrelated issues such as climate change, renewable energy, and fresh water.
While the intellectual resources and the will to generate and implement action plans exist, most efforts have been impeded by political conflict, slow bureaucratic processes, media inaccuracies and a lack of effective public education on complex scientific issues.

Further reading of their website shows that they seem to be in support of the AGW by CO2 concept.
Can we get a truly unbiased view of the temps from such an overtly pro-“Climate Change by CO2” organization?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Im curious to see if BEST might give a NH that resembles the original collection of temperature sets:
http://hidethedecline.eu/media/PERPLEX/fig52.jpg
(fig 52 of http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/the-perplexing-temperature-data-published-1974-84-and-recent-temperature-data-180.php)
K.R. Frank

Mod –
Perhaps I wasn’t clear. My bad.
The embedded link in this paragraph at the end of the OP: “As far as I know, no government or industry funds are involved — at least at this stage. According to the Project’s website http://www.berkeleyearth.org, support comes mostly from a group of charitable foundations.”
is for a WUWT link that is a “dead end”.
The text “www.berkeleyearth.org” is OK, just not the embedded link.
John

Zeke

I am encouraged to see that private investors will be having a major part in this process. Science, art, and charity are all persuits for free individuals.
I personally would not donate to this venture; I am not interested in transforming local temperature measurements into a global climate record and basing policy on it. I am interested in the earth’s weather systems and a space age understanding of what powers the weather events I experience every day. We do know that other planets experience extreme electrical storms, planetwide dust storms, twisters the size of Mt Everest, enormous auroras and windspeeds, and that electrical currents ripple our own magnetosphere, discharge through our upper and lower atmospheres to the ground, and flow through the earth’s crust. Electricity always moves in a circuit.
There are wonderful opportunities to support scientific research all around us. Anthony Watts’ work is one.

eadler

[snip – Mr. Adler when you go and visit, ask questions, examining data and methods, getting facts firsthand, then you can have an informed opinion about it. As it stands, I’m growing tired of your constant thread bombing on every topic here, many of which you know nothing about, but you simply parrot. Your trolling is getting tiresome. Take a 48 hour timeout. – Anthony]

David A. Evans

sharper00 says:
February 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Much as I hate to admit it. I agree. The trick was to hide the decline in the proxy data, not the adjusted LIG thermometer record.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the proxies were right & the adjustments made to thermometers were wrong?
I’m not going to argue temps though as whatever they do, it’s irrelevant. Temps ain’t energy, end of argument.
DaveE.

grayman

Sharper00, evidently you and a few others are the only ones who believe the teams explanation for “hide the decline” and “nature trick”, the rest of the thinking world know it is bulls%$t. My hope is whoever funds them does just that, fund them and have no say in what they do and how they go about it. I know it will take a while to do and i look forward to thier progress reports and final paper>

walt man

“However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming. ”
Yikes!!! that is just so wrong!!!!!!!
The decline was in tree temperature data. This followed thermometer readings until the 60s then started falling. There are papers written by UEA that query why this happened.
The thermometer temperature has been rising since the late 60s. the tree data is therefore in error. after this time.
The HIDE part refers to a leaflet written by the WMO where a graph was provided that appended the valid thermometer readings to the possibly valid tree readings calculated berfore the 60s. The decline in tree temperatures were therefore hidden.
Dr. Fred Singer should be ashamed of his distortion of reality

John M

As has been pointed out above, “Hide the Decline” relates to the proxies, and does not refer to temperature only if you believe that proxies don’t refer to temperature.

Tallbloke:
You know perfectly well that the “hide the decline” scandal was to hide the lack of agreement since 1960 between the proxies and the instrumental temperature record, calling into question the use of these proxies to depict the temperatures before the instrumental era. Much as I hate to, I agree with sharper00 on this point: Dr. Singer, at best, misspoke. Whether the instrumental record is in fact reliable is still another question. My own semi-educated guess is that it is not, but the evidence is still not in. It would be really ironic if the treemometers really were accurate proxies for temperature…

Grayman and Walt:
I think Fred does know exactly what the Team mean, but likes to court controversy by saying something ambiguous.

toto

The good thing about Dr Singer’s pieces is that the sheer shrillness of the tone should immediately tick off thinking readers that something is afoot (special marks for the “myth of rising temperatures” bit).
More seriously: I can’t find any Arthur Rosenfeld at UCSB or GATech. Presumably this is not Arthur H. Rosenfeld from the California Energy Commission /UC Berkeley?

P Walker

Having spent some time on Novim’s website , I agree with John Who – they look a little suspicious . BTW , I had problems with the link in the article as well . It works in the same article at American Thinker – I would provide a link , but my links to AT haven’t been working recently .

walt man

“tallbloke says: February 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm
I think Fred does know exactly what the Team mean, but likes to court controversy by saying something ambiguous.”
That has to be a quote of the week
Keep on defending, It gives me a laugh!

John Robertson

walt man says:
February 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm
“However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming. ”
Yikes!!! that is just so wrong!!!!!!!
The decline was in tree temperature data. This followed thermometer readings until the 60s then started falling. There are papers written by UEA that query why this happened.
The thermometer temperature has been rising since the late 60s. the tree data is therefore in error. after this time.
Dear walt man:
I am curious why the trees are reporting lower temperatures, than the thermometers since the 1960s – this seems to be an anomaly that needs more research. Simply stating that well, the trees are wrong now, does little to inspire the assumption that the trees were right before. Or are the tree rings simply coincidental in their relationship to (pre)historical temperature data and people are reluctant to explore this? This coincidental relationship error seems to be widespread in the data vs proxies in other areas too, leading one to suspect that the proxies are not so viable as a source for prehistorical data interpretation when they fail historical validation at random points as the tree rings do.
Carbon 14 dating had this problem (dates failing to match), I do not think it has been resolved to the satisfaction of researchers either…
This may fit in with the budding general chaos theory of the universe. Science is fun!

sharper00

@tallbloke
“I think Fred does know exactly what the Team mean, but likes to court controversy by saying something ambiguous.”
There’s nothing ambiguous here, the statement is completely wrong and strongly suggests Fred Singer either can’t get basic facts right or doesn’t let basic facts get in the way of his argument.
Unless everyone wants to argue that temperatures have actually declined since 1960 and tree proxies are the only reliable measurement of this then scientists did not ” keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming.” as alleged.

D Caldwell

walt man says:
“Dr. Fred Singer should be ashamed of his distortion of reality”
Why? Anyone paying attention knows “hide the decline” refers to the proxy curve hidden beneath the instrument curve from the same timeframe on the same graphic.
The perpetrators of the “hockey stick” should be the ones who are ashamed. Since the proxy temp study diverges substantially from the instrument record, it renders the pre-instrument portion unusable and the whole graphic is questionable at best.
Why do they keep using it?
If the current bit of warming is nothing unusual in this interglacial, then increasing atmospheric CO2 is a non-issue.
That’s why.

Gary Pearse

I hope more funding is forthcoming – maybe shut down the half dozen redundant government weather/climate watchers and fund an independent group. This is because more than just working out what the temps have been, there should be more thermometers out there in places where there are few.
And Sharperoo – you are revealing that you bought into the rationalizations after the fact and the ugly whitewashes. Re the “decline” shown in the tree rings. You are probably an intelligent fellow – how can we put any confidence in the millennial record these rings show if they aren’t relevant to climate since the 1960s because they diverge in the opposite direction to the thermometric record of the last 40+years. Do you accept that in the past millennium, that this most incovenient period to diverge in was the only one in history. To a scientist, this recent divergence destroys the value of these tree rings to tell us what the Middle Warming Period was like, or the Little Ice Age. Especially since we learned from horticulturists after all this that the variations in nutrients and water availability can give the same results in terms of ring thicknesses. Re the whitewashes, an intelligent person doesn’t have to be a scientist to see that these were egregious, non independent, self-serving exercises. As the AGW theory falls into tatters be sure to get out before the unethical proponents have left and remade themselves. Hey, I was prepared to believe until I saw what sordid lengths the players were prepared to go to in the service of this theory.

sharperoo is correct..
the ‘hide the decline’ refers of course to proxies for temperature showing a deline, when actually thermomters show rising temperatures..
As these proxies for temperature are used to produce temperature reconstruction for up to a 1000 years or so.. the hockey sticks graph… and supposed evidence of ‘unprecedented man made global warming, it must be us…
The fact that they are reliable when you have thermometers around, shows them to be very suspect at recording temperature….
don’t trust me?, how about a scientist in the field
Bishophill wrote about it as well.
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1/29/paul-dennis-on-the-trick.html
Paul Dennis’ thoughts.
(Head of Geo-Isotope – UEA – yes same university as Phil Jones, CRU, UEA)
http://slsingh.posterous.com/41313406
Before I add anything further to the debate I should say that I’m an Isotope Geochemist and Head of the Stable Isotope and Noble Gas Laboratories in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.
I’ve also contributed to and published a large number of peer reviewed scientific papers in the general field of palaoclimate studies. I don’t say this because I think my views should carry any more weight. They shouldn’t. But they show there is a range and diversity of opinion amongst professionals working in this area.
What concerns me about the hide the decline debate is that the divergence between tree ring width and temperature in the latter half of the 20th century points to possibly both a strong non-linear response and threshold type behaviour. There is nothing particularly different about conditions in the latter half of the 20th century and earlier periods.
The temperatures, certainly in the 1960’s, are similar, nutrient inputs may have changed a little and water stress may have been different in some regions but not of a level that has not ben recorded in the past. Given this and the observed divergence one can’t have any confidence that such a response has not occurred in the past and before the modern instrumental record starting in about 1880.”
Paul Dennis
“How can you be so certain that the tree ring data tracks temperature outside of the calibration period, say before 1880? As you have pointed out we have no explanation for the modern divergence. Thus we have no certainty that such divergence would
not occur in the past. I’ve no doubt the biophysical response of trees to environmental factors is complex and almost certainly is non-linear with respect to temperature.
I reiterate my point of view that the divergence is highly significant and given it’s occurrence it seriously limits our ability to use tree rings as a proxy for temperature. Moreover, hiding the divergence also hides the evidence that tree rings might not be such faithful recorders of temperature.
There is a widespread global temperature data base, contra your assertion that ‘early weather experiments’ (I assume you mean records) were scattershot. Why not use the instrumental temperature record from 1880 instead of 1960?
————-
Maybe I should write a book.

oops, in the above should be,
Proxies NOT reliable when thermometers are around.
Paul Dennis says it more eloquently anyway…..

“However, the most serious revelation from the e-mails is that they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming. ”
Fred singer. Try to be more careful explaining the mails you probably never read.
Your statement is wrong. Those of us who dedicated months to investigating the mails, years to investigating tree rings and temperatures deserve better. At this stage you should know better.
Please.

Andrew30

walt man says: February 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Some stuff about the output of the UEA modeling code, some stuff about the retro-cast explanation and white-wash in general.
Walt, you might want to look at the infection in the code that caused the graph to rise.
http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i64103
The code (FOI2009/FOIA/documents/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro) did Exactly what the author intended. It drove the MWP down and the industrial era up.
The computer code is a complete context, unlike the emails, it requres No interpertation of the intent, the meaning or the purpose; it is a complete description of the intent of the author.
The hockey stick was the objective, the code was the means, the data was irrelevent.
You could have fed the program noise and you would have got the same result. Actually given the error bars in the data, it likely could be considered tat the input was in fact just noise.

Fred Singer could have better said: “they tried to “hide the decline” in temperature [proxies], using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures”
There, fixed, but we all knew what he meant. You never hear the Warmists emphasize the word ‘proxies’ when referring to the Hockey stick, except when defending the ‘hide’.

bobbyj0708

Other than showing how crappy the current adjusted temperature datasets and records are I’m not sure what BEST hopes to accomplish. Is there a prayer that anything useful and or correct can come out of the raw data as it was collected. Speaking of raw data, where are they getting it?

Sleepalot

John Robertson says:
“The thermometer temperature has been rising since the late 60s. the tree data is therefore in error. after this time. ”
Lol. Brilliant deduction, sir! How, pray tell, did the trees learn to lie ?
Imo, the mistake the Team made was to get their trees from the wilds: if they’d
got them from urban sites, they might’ve shown the same warming that urban
thermometers do.

Latitude

steven mosher says:
February 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Fred singer. Try to be more careful explaining the mails you probably never read.
Your statement is wrong. Those of us who dedicated months to investigating the mails, years to investigating tree rings and temperatures deserve better. At this stage you should know better.
========================================
Mosh, can you add a short note showing where Fred was wrong?

Anthony Says: I spent the day with the BEST team yesterday at Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories
Stomping around on Ben Santer’s own turf. He didn’t try to lure you into a dark alley, by any chance…?

walt man

Andrew30 says: February 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Walt, you might want to look at the infection in the code that caused the graph to rise.
The code (FOI2009/FOIA/documents/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro) did Exactly what the author intended. It drove the MWP down and the industrial era up.

Lets look at a bit more of that code:
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
;yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)
;
;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow
;oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=20
;
filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy,tslow=tslow
oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=21
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)
Does not this line give a yearly adjustment value interpolated from the 20 year points?
filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy,tslow=tslow oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=21
Does not this line plot data derived from yyy
;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow
;oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=20
The smoking gun line!!!!
Does not his line plot data derived from yyy+yearlyadj The FUDGED FIGURE
BUT…………
IT’S COMMENTED OUT!!
This is further backed up by the end of file:
plot,[0,1],/nodata,xstyle=4,ystyle=4
;legend,[‘Northern Hemisphere April-September instrumental temperature’,$
; ‘Northern Hemisphere MXD’,$
; ‘Northern Hemisphere MXD corrected for decline’],$
; colors=[22,21,20],thick=[3,3,3],margin=0.6,spacing=1.5
legend,[‘Northern Hemisphere April-September instrumental temperature’,$
‘Northern Hemisphere MXD’],$
colors=[22,21],thick=[3,3],margin=0.6,spacing=1.5
To me this looks as if ‘Northern Hemisphere MXD corrected for decline’ would have been printed in colour 20 – just the same as the smoking gun line. HOWEVER you will note that this section is commented out also.
This code was written in 1998. If it had been implemented in any document then there would have been no leaked emails about hiding the decline
What is more – The code does not touch the medieval warm period
Also worth a look (hidden????)
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/research/
about 13th project

K

. . support comes mostly from a group of charitable foundations.
Hopefully nothing connected to the Sierra Club, Greenpeace or the WWF. Of course most foundations tend to lean left, some heavily. In a truely impartial situation the people carrying out the measurements should not know who is funding it.

Don V

I wonder if the objective of BEST is still to try to produce a meaningless number – an AVERAGE global temperature change from data that has such a wide spread annual and decadal swing as to be utterly meaningless.
I wonder how BEST is going to deal with UHI, poor siting, “drift siting” (from rural to urban) and airport bias that may or may not have completely different causality to rural global average temperature change? Further, I wonder how BEST will deal with the lack of uniform siting of the historical record, the lack of sites at the temp extremes, the lack of sites in difficult locations, (mountain slopes, glaciers, deserts, jungles) record discontinuities, and the lack of adequate auditing to verify verity?
Finally, based on the graphic video shown here on a previous post of modeled global CO2 changes over time that was more modeling-to-fill-in-the-blank guesstimate than actual data, based on fewer actual data points – it seems to me that ALL of the data that are being used – historical temp, “adjusted” current land and sea temp, CO2 and especially proxys – trying to find truth in any of it is a sisyphean waste of time and money. And since it is so very easy and tempting to introduce your personal bias, your group’s genera political bias, or your funding source’s bias, it will be impossible to conduct the blinded or double blinded analyses necessary to prove correctness and draw meaningful conclusions.
Before the work even starts, I am skeptical of the results, and bemoan the waste of good money chasing after bad . . .

Peter Plail

JohnWho says:
February 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm
Maybe someone on the unsceptical side has realised that continually spinning will not in the long run persuade people, so they have decided that a few incontrovertible facts might do it. In that case, bring it on, we could do with more facts and less opinion.

bob paglee

Using a new magnifying glass to refigure Earth’s global temperature from a sad assortment of surface-based measurements made during the past 150 years or so is another exercise in futility. It would seem equally rewarding to inspect the old products of buggy-whip makers and their peddlers to see if there was something wrong with the materials or the sales methods they used.
Global temperature measurements made by satellites for the past 30 years or so cover almost the entire globe including the oceans, are not affected by poor siting conditions and rapidly growing urban heat islands. Just junk the hopelessly polluted surface data and look at what the satellites are reporting — lots of noise in the data, but no signal to validate the IPCC’s AGW buggy-whip.

Oliver Ramsay

steven mosher says:
February 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm
“Fred singer. Try to be more careful explaining the mails you probably never read.
Your statement is wrong. Those of us who dedicated months to investigating the mails, years to investigating tree rings and temperatures deserve better. At this stage you should know better.
Please.”
————————————-
Do you really believe that Fred Singer never read those e-mails?
A lot of people spent months etc. etc.
They didn’t all arrive at the same conclusion.
A lot of people have spent (or “dedicated” if you want it to sound grander) a lot of years studying things, including astrology.
Credentials get you an audience, they don’t prove your case.
You should know that by now.

Fred Singer: “…support comes mostly from a group of charitable foundations.”
The Berkeley project, in as far as it generates an ‘open source’ Temp database and involves the likes of Judith Curry is excellent. Charitable foundation funding however is no comfort, in case anyone should infer this from Dr Singer’s neutral statement.
Further to JohnWho above, the fourth listed donor:
Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (created by Bill Gates).
Bill Gates’ TED Speech 2010: “To cut CO2 emissions to zero and stop climate change — a problem that he said is bigger than creating new vaccines — Gates urged researchers to find clean sources of energy. CNN reports: Gates said the deadline for the world to cut all of its carbon emissions is 2050.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/12/bill-gates-ted-speech-201_n_461034.html

Hoser

I’ve read most of the comments and haven’t seen the point made that I recall reading several months ago. The tree ring data are specifically selected to produce the flat temperatures during the MWP and the rising temperatures during the 20th century.
Rather than rely upon failing memories, let’s look at the arguments from the time.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/02/ross-mckitrick-sums-up-the-yamal-tree-ring-affair-in-the-financial-post/
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Trouble+over+tree+rings/2365992/story.html
From the National Post:
[I]n an important concluding remark, Mr. Mann tells Mr. Briffa to “correct” his definitions regarding “global temperature and non-temperature proxies.” Mr. Mann prefers using the words “global climate proxies,” thus giving the impression that proxies from tree rings and other sources and actual temperatures are one and the same for IPCC purposes. What Mr. Mann appears to be talking about here is the use of what CRU head Phil Jones would later call Mr. Mann’s “trick” and how he was able to “hide the decline” in 20th century temperatures seen in Mr. Briffa’s tree-ring research.
A little further down….
The emails take another turn against the IPCC scientists after Mr. McIntyre got his hands on some of the tree-ring data collected by Russian scientists in Yamal in Siberia. It appeared to Mr. McIntyre that Mr. Briffa, in producing another hockey-stick like result in 2007, cherry-picked tree rings. Mr. Briffa, once at war with Mr. Mann over climate records, now found himself aligned with Mr. Mann in defending the hockey stick. After Mr. McIntyre revealed his Yamal tree ring findings on his ClimateAudit blog, and Ross McKitrick wrote of the Briffa Yamal tree-ring issue in the Financial Post this past October, the emails again lit up with fresh rounds of defensive fire.
Here is probably what was the Financial Post piece. See:
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/10/01/ross-mckitrick-defects-in-key-climate-data-are-uncovered.aspx
And here is part of the discovery:

It turns out that many of the samples were taken from dead (partially fossilized) trees and they have no particular trend. The sharp uptrend in the late 20th century came from cores of 10 living trees alive as of 1990, and five living trees alive as of 1995. Based on scientific standards, this is too small a sample on which to produce a publication-grade proxy composite. The 18th and 19th century portion of the sample, for instance, contains at least 30 trees per year. But that portion doesn’t show a warming spike. The only segment that does is the late 20th century, where the sample size collapses. Once again a dramatic hockey stick shape turns out to depend on the least reliable portion of a dataset.
But an even more disquieting discovery soon came to light. Steve searched a paleoclimate data archive to see if there were other tree ring cores from at or near the Yamal site that could have been used to increase the sample size. He quickly found a large set of 34 up-to-date core samples, taken from living trees in Yamal by none other than Schweingruber himself! Had these been added to Briffa’s small group the 20th century would simply be flat. It would appear completely unexceptional compared to the rest of the millennium.

Now please continue the debate.

Bill Illis

One of the lead scientists is Robert Rohdes, now Phd physics, but use to run Global Warming Art through Wikipedia.
For many of us, Global Warming Art was our first exposure to objective data that covered a wide range of topics. I know I replicated many of the charts that needed alot of processing and I always concluded Robert did it right in the end. So, I’m okay with the group as long as they show all the raw data as well as the processed data.

jazznick

As the US senate have now voted not to fund the IPCC any more this would be an ideal opportunity for them to fund some real research instead with a fraction of the funds
previously thrown at the IPCC.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

I spent the day with the BEST team yesterday at Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories
So you were in that cold rain down here. It smelled so clean though.

Cadae

There is nothing wrong with Fred Singer’s statement ‘they tried to “hide the decline” in temperatures, using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures’.
What is being missed in comments criticizing Fred’s statement is that there are two different temperature ‘declines’ that are impacted by the proxy data, and the commenters are only considering the first:
1) A decline in the post 1960 proxy temperatures.
2) A decline in overall temperatures since the MWP.
If you leave all the proxy data in the graph, then you get a temperature decline after 1960. As the instrument record shows, that post 1960 decline does not reflect actual temperatures. The correct response should have been to withdraw all the proxy data as unreliable. However, if all the proxy data were to be withdrawn, then it would show a longer term overall decline in temperature since the MWP – thus destroying the hockey-stick shape.
So the ‘trick’ is to leave in the proxy data up to the 1960s so that it lowers the MWP temperatures (thus hiding the overall decline), but remove the post 1960’s proxy data so that it doesn’t invalidate the entire graph.
A scientific ‘trick’ is usually acceptable if it either has no material impact on the correctness of the results, or if it is clearly shown as part of the results. What makes the hockey-stick ‘trick’ utterly unscientific is that it had a significant impact on the temperature declines and there was no clear indication that this data manipulation had been performed.

Robert of Ottawa

Theo Godwin.
I don’t think I want “climate science” to regain credibility. We are in no position to consider planetary atmospheres’ behaviors and climatic developments until we have a few thousand years of direct measurements of many different planetary atmospheres.
Then, we may be in a position to make some scientific deductions; until then … just measure and shut up.

Michael Cejnar says:
February 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Fred Singer could have better said: “they tried to “hide the decline” in temperature [proxies], using various “tricks” in order to keep alive a myth of rising temperatures”
There, fixed, but we all knew what he meant. You never hear the Warmists emphasize the word ‘proxies’ when referring to the Hockey stick, except when defending the ‘hide’.
#####
still WRONG. it was NOT to keep a “myth” of rising temperatures alive. It was to “hide” the problem of divergence which raises doubt about the viability of certain trees as proxies and raises doubts about the CI of reconstructions.
please, be better than the scientists you are criticizing. In this case thats a low hurdle

geronimo

sharparoo: “There’s nothing ambiguous here, the statement is completely wrong and strongly suggests Fred Singer either can’t get basic facts right or doesn’t let basic facts get in the way of his argument.
Unless everyone wants to argue that temperatures have actually declined since 1960 and tree proxies are the only reliable measurement of this then scientists did not ” keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming.” as alleged.”
I too think Fred Singer has this wrong. While it is certainly true that the Team tried to “hide the decline” in the temperature signal from their proxies, the real issue is the value of the proxies. What sort of scientists find that the data they’ve been using for a 1500 year reconstruction has, for no reason they can explain, diverged from measurable temperature records, then proceed to truncate the records, or in Jones’ case add the temperature records to the end of the period, without asking themselves whether these proxies can be trusted. If we have a divergence in the late 20th century that cannot be explained how on earth is it possible to trust these proxies to give us accurate temperature measurements for the previous 1400 years. That’s the scandal in “hide the decline”, continuing to use the proxies when there was an unexplained divergence in the 20th century.

sharper00 says:
February 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Unless everyone wants to argue that temperatures have actually declined since 1960 and tree proxies are the only reliable measurement of this then scientists did not ” keep alive a myth of rising temperatures in support of the dogma of anthropogenic global warming.” as alleged.

The point is that the decline in tree ring proxy temperature was hidden by overlaying a thick red instrumental temperature curve. One one graph Jones made he even failed to differentiate the proxy from the instrumental properly. The obvious implication is that the proxy is not reliable if the instumental is (at least more reliable). So if the proxy is crap, it tells us nothing about temperature hundreds of years ago, and Mann’s flattening of the MWP to make modern temperature ‘unprecedented’ is falsified.
Singer knows all this, but when being quoted by the media, he knows he isn’t going to get the chance to explain all that and have it quoted in full.
I think he does it to annoy.
Seems to work too.