Steve McIntyre uncovers another hockey stick trick – where are the academic cops?

NOTE: since this is clearly an important finding with far reaching implications, this will be a “top post” at WUWT for the next couple of days. I urge other bloggers to spread the word.  – Anthony

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Just when you think the bottom of the Hockey Stick rabbit hole has been reached, Steve McIntyre finds yet more evidence of misconduct by the Team.

The research was from Briffa and Osborn (1999) published in Science magazine and purported to show the consistency of the reconstruction of past climate using tree rings with other reconstructions including the Mann Hockey Stick. But the trick was exposed in the Climategate dossier, which also included code segments and datasets.

In the next picture, Steve shows what Briffa and Osborn did – not only did they truncate their reconstruction to hide a steep decline in the late 20th Century but also a substantial early segment from 1402-1550:

As I’ve written elsewhere, this sort of truncation can be characterized as research misconduct – specifically falsification. But where are the academic cops? Any comment from Science magazine?

Steve also discusses the code underlying the plot and you can see how the truncation is a clear deliberate choice – not something that falls out of poorly understood analysis or poor programming.

In the comments, Kip Hansen posts the following:

In reference to Mann’s Trick….obliquely, yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on Zicam (a homeopathic nasal spray) ruled in part:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/health/23bizcourt.html?_r=1&hpw

The Supreme Court has said that companies may be sued under the securities law for making statements that omit material information, and it has defined material information as the sort of thing that reasonable investors would believe significantly alters the ‘total mix’ of available information.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the court on Tuesday, roundly rejected Matrixx’s proposal that information can be material only if it meets standards of statistical significance.

‘Given that medical professionals and regulators act on the basis of evidence of causation that is not statistically significant,’ she wrote, ‘it stands to reason that in certain cases reasonable investors would as well.’

Thus, hiding or omitting information, even if one feels it is ‘erroneous’ or ‘outlying’ (or whatever they claim) is still possibly fraudulent ( or in this case, scientifically improper) if it would ‘add to the total mix of available information’. Statistical significance is not to be the deciding factor.

In the case of Briffa and Osborn, no statistical fig leaf was applied that justified the truncation of data, so far as I can see.

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Sean Peake
March 24, 2011 8:43 am

Lego Science

Mark Nutley
March 24, 2011 8:51 am

No end to the junk these jokers claim is science.

MarkW
March 24, 2011 8:58 am

Let me see if I have this right. According to the team, trees are good proxies for temperatures, except when they aren’t.
And how do you determine when they are and when they aren’t? Apparently, when the proxy shows what you want to see, they are valid. When they don’t, they aren’t.

Jenn Oates
March 24, 2011 9:02 am

And yet still my students bring in their weekly science articles–ever more and more shrill–that proclaim that the world is coming to an end because it’s warming. No matter how many times I refute it they just don’t believe it because they don’t read it on yahoo news.

Eric Anderson
March 24, 2011 9:03 am

As Steve has often said, these are the kinds of activities that would land a stock promoter in jail. Of course, it’s just all in a day’s work for the Team . . .
It is hard to know whether they were intentionally deceptive or just so caught up in the “rightness” of their cause that they literally couldn’t see the discrepancies or couldn’t understand the implications. Amazing that at some point one of them didn’t wake up one night thinking, “Wait a minute, this is wrong.”

matt
March 24, 2011 9:06 am

My god, what are these charlatans doing to science!
The once thing that has dragged mankind out of ignorance and superstition, that has given great wealth and longevity to the world, and these peopple are destroying it with their lies and deceit.
My god they should be stripped of their qualifications and dishonoured publicly!

March 24, 2011 9:06 am

However….the CO2 -warming mantra is well and alive.

March 24, 2011 9:07 am

So if I understand this graph correctly (quite a leap by itself) the dotted line is the part that was “statistically significant” while the pink line was not? Presumably because it didn’t agree with the rest and, therefore, couldn’t be “statistically significant?”
As far as Ms. Sotomayor’s ruling…

“‘Given that medical professionals and regulators act on the basis of evidence of causation that is not statistically significant…’

Why do I doubt that she had Global Warming in mind when she write this? Beyond that, I think it’s lawsuit bait.
/sarc_on
So is this part of the ongoing “Trial Lawyers Full Employement Process?”
/sarc_off

ZT
March 24, 2011 9:08 am

I wonder why the team didn’t elect to rotate the magenta plot by 180 degrees about its centroid? This would just be a trick to avoid a problem, after all. And I guess the next logical step would be to simply draw the desired plot on the graph with Photoshop.

Urederra
March 24, 2011 9:15 am

Another trick from the decline hiders.

Noelle
March 24, 2011 9:16 am

where are the academic cops? Any comment from Science magazine?
Good questions. I hope the authors provide an answer. However, before they do, I think it’s fair to ask if this a merely a rhetorical question, or are you actually willing to read a complete response from them?

David Davidovics
March 24, 2011 9:18 am

Saw this a few days ago on CA and nearly fell out of my chair – there’s just no end to it.

Robinson
March 24, 2011 9:20 am

Presumably because it didn’t agree with the rest and, therefore, couldn’t be “statistically significant?”

Yes Greg. The entire theory is unfalsifable, and that is how you know it is true.

Gary Krause
March 24, 2011 9:22 am

ERIC ANDERSON WRITES:
“It is hard to know whether they were intentionally deceptive or just so caught up in the “rightness” of their cause that they literally couldn’t see the discrepancies or couldn’t understand the implications. Amazing that at some point one of them didn’t wake up one night thinking, “Wait a minute, this is wrong.””
It appears to me that based on the email discussions between certain elite minded folks, there exists a clear deliberate construction of fraud.

Coalsoffire
March 24, 2011 9:26 am

Will there ever be any decline in the tricks to hide nature?

March 24, 2011 9:26 am

@Jenn Oates,
Just remind your students that they are witnessing history being made. Suggest they keep their science articles in a box somewhere, so that when their grandkids ask about what -they’ll- be learning a few decades from now, about the worst scandal in science history (most widespread in all of history?) they can pull out those articles and show them that this stuff really was being taken seriously by scientists back in 2011.

Jack
March 24, 2011 9:29 am

They’ve been lying all along and they continue to lie. It’s time that all of us started to speak plainly about this. It wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t omitting outliers or anomalous data, or the valid use of a statistical technique or analysis. AGW just had to be true, for a lot of reasons, so they lied, those utter bastards.

Jack
March 24, 2011 9:32 am

I know I just violated WUWT comment policy, and I apologize. But, respectfully, they are utter b*******, and I think that we can demonstrate that. At this point it has got to be what everyone is thinking. What they did was just so wrong.

hotrod ( Larry L )
March 24, 2011 9:36 am

But wait There’s More!
Now from Ronco science plots we have new and improved multi function plotting software that automatically removes troublesome details from your data.
Call now for a special offer for additional “tricks” you can perform when graphing.
Operators are standing by now!
Call 1-800-bogusdata
Larry

juanslayton
March 24, 2011 9:36 am

From Paul_in_CT’s comment on CA: Repeat the delete.
Quote of the week?

Bernie
March 24, 2011 9:38 am

greg2213
Statistical significance is not the issue. This is another example of not presenting information that is at odds with the main story that you are trying to tell. The pink line diverges from other proxy constructions to a remarkable degree. Truncating the information eliminates the need to explain this divergence. Bottom line it raises more questions as to the suitability of using certain sets of tree rings, if not all tree rings, as temperature proxies. That oit appears to have been a conscious choice on the part of Briffa et al compounds the problem.

Latitude
March 24, 2011 9:42 am

Ever get the feeling that they would have gotten the same results using rocks…………

GeneDoc
March 24, 2011 9:48 am

I chair our school’s Committee on Scientific Integrity, which investigates all allegations of misconduct in our sphere.
Training in research ethics is common in the US in biological and medical sciences, but I’m not sure how common it is outside of these disciplines. It’s clear from these examples in climate science that there is a need outside of the medical/biological community for such training.
While I tend to agree that this instance of misconduct was carried out with intent and knowledge that it was inappropriate, there is a significant need for training, even if there are still individuals who will break “the rules”. Enforcement is very very difficult, and the scientific enterprise is highly dependent on the assumption that participants are honest reporters of their data and interpretations.
A hugely important and overlooked part of training in ethical conduct in science is that it is incumbent on anyone observing evidence of misconduct to report it, and that whistle blowers should be protected from retaliation. Training helps with understanding where to report and what to expect as a consequence of being a whistle blower. This knowledge helps the community as more participants are aware of what misconduct is and how they can help to minimize it through their own vigilance.
It’s been my view since climategate broke that there is ample evidence of falsification by these authors. It’s disappointing that their own institutions and the journals involved have been so reticent to carry out proper investigations.
It really is “worse than we thought!” 😉

Mark T
March 24, 2011 9:56 am

Uh, they do use rocks (sediment deposits) in some reconstructions.
Mark

March 24, 2011 10:00 am

Has the pole suddenly shifted?. My compass is pointing the wrong way ?

Sam Parsons
March 24, 2011 10:01 am

There is no question that this is scientific misconduct. There is no question that “hiding the decline” is scientific misconduct. The people who did these things and everyone in the publication process who wasn’t deceived are guilty of serious moral error.
Dr. Muller in his Youtube video says that “hiding the decline” was deception but not morally wrong. Puhleeese Dr. Muller, if we accept that point then we accept the point that scientific publications can contain deliberate deception regarding the main point of the article but the authors have done no moral wrong.
Get real, people! Lock up Mann, Jones, Briffa, and everyone who knew about it and every investigator who white washed it. These people have committed major moral wrongs that might still cost the public trillions in wasted energy investments.

Hal
March 24, 2011 10:01 am

You know you are in deep ethical doo-doo, if Justice Sotomayor offers an opinion that would seem to not eventually be in your favor. (Although I assume she is a Warmist at heart, as likely are the other 3 Leftists on the Court).

Neo
March 24, 2011 10:03 am

where are the academic cops? Any comment from Science magazine?
Like in movies, such as “Capricorn One” where they fake a trip to Mars, the movie always ends when the plot is uncovered because everybody knows the culprits never face justice.

Latitude
March 24, 2011 10:05 am

Mark T says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:56 am
Uh, they do use rocks (sediment deposits) in some reconstructions.
Mark
================================================
never fails….
…at least their error bars would have been smaller

Sam Parsons
March 24, 2011 10:06 am

Coalsoffire says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:26 am
“Will there ever be any decline in the tricks to hide nature?”
Very clever because it is also a good question. Not until the Climategate conspirators go to jail. They can be prosecuted for conspiracy, even in merry old England. There is no statute of limitations on conspiracy to violate Freedom of Information requests.

ZT
March 24, 2011 10:11 am

[snip – off topic and fake email]

RayG
March 24, 2011 10:20 am

As I suggested on CA, the paleodendochronologists (aka pseudo-science, IMO) should switch from bristlecones and Yamal larch to Prunus cerasus or sour cherries. It would make their cherry picking simpler.

James Sexton
March 24, 2011 10:27 am

lol, That’s one heck of a LIA to hide!

Bill Illis
March 24, 2011 10:30 am

Same guys are in charge of the official temperature record.

Stu
March 24, 2011 10:31 am

“But where are the academic cops?”
As the anarchists are fond of saying-
‘There is no justice… just us.”

ZT
March 24, 2011 10:43 am

Is Gavin moderating? This isn’t a fake email! [I admit the message was a little off topic].

March 24, 2011 10:47 am

If these kinds of shenanigans were perpetrated in the presentation of data from a clinical trial of a new drug, people would be going to jail, and tens of millions of dollars in fines would be charged.
Carbon taxes and similar measures are like toxic chemotherapy that cripple the economy, instead of inducing vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, anemia, and immune suppression. The purveyors of carbon mitigation remedies are paying the pathologists (climate scientists), who have taken biopsies of trees, mud and ice, to adjust their diagnosis in order to justify the pre-ordained use of the treatment. Did I mention that it is an astoundingly expensive and unproven treatment?
These folks are either corrupt to the core, or so blinded by their belief in their “noble cause” that no depth of conduct appears too low if it serves their agenda.

Jeff Carlson
March 24, 2011 10:49 am

gee, maybe tree rings aren’t very good thermometers … maybe … Ya Think …

Gary Pearse
March 24, 2011 10:50 am

Noelle says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:16 am
Please Noelle, be outraged regardless of the political party you support – it is your duty to be outraged even if you are left of Mao Zedong. There is no benefit of the doubt possible here; it is pure scientific dishonesty and it goes unpunished because of the politics of the issue and the politics of nice people like you. And yes, if these guys came and wrote their side of the story, everyone here would be reading it. It would be quite a read – but we will never see this. I will applaud you however for even joining this thread. The usual AGW supporters who comment frequently here, as expected, will stay away in droves because they don’t want to acknowledge that this malfeasance truly stinks.

David L
March 24, 2011 10:51 am

And yet these bozos won’t be called on it. Their ivory towers will shield them. Their disciples will fight for them. They will never have to answer for it. And if they do, it will be made-up lies.

Grumpy Old Man
March 24, 2011 10:52 am

I cannot believe these comments. Genedoc says ‘training in research ethics’ LOL. What does it take? If you tell lies, you are a liar. If you fudge your results, you are a liar. This an absolute standard for those of us brought up in the NW European culture. You don’t need training in honesty. It’s there in your culture.

Sundance
March 24, 2011 11:01 am

“…where are the academic cops?”
On the take. No one funded by the government is willing to end their career defending open and honest science.

Martin457
March 24, 2011 11:02 am

I so do wish to believe in a science of the real and not the paranoid. All I know is that Greenland was green when the vikings found it. They had to move when it got cold again.

March 24, 2011 11:11 am

Let me see if I have this right. According to the team, trees are good proxies for temperatures, except when they aren’t.
And how do you determine when they are and when they aren’t? Apparently, when the proxy shows what you want to see, they are valid. When they don’t, they aren’t.

… Well, Duh!

Theo Goodwin
March 24, 2011 11:17 am

David L says:
March 24, 2011 at 10:51 am
“And yet these bozos won’t be called on it. Their ivory towers will shield them. Their disciples will fight for them. They will never have to answer for it. And if they do, it will be made-up lies.”
The whole bunch of them are now communists. All of them fancy that they belong to Lenin’s “avant-garde” that must deceive the masses (unenlightened) for the sake of the masses. See Bertolt Brecht’s play “The Measures Taken.”

Editor
March 24, 2011 11:18 am

My comment pointing out the Supreme Court decision was serendipitous….it was temporally associated. But the point is interesting.
If the Supreme Court rules that Matrixx can be sued for fraud for failing to reveal adverse information about their product — information that was in their possession — to their investors, which Matrixx claimed to withhold because it was ‘not statistically significant’ — a plausible and possibly reasonable excuse, then how much more so can Mann et al’s deletion(s) be reasonably considered fraud or, at the very least, scientific impropriety.

Dave Springer
March 24, 2011 11:22 am

Phillip-Morris scientists could learn a thing or two from these guys.
Thank you for smoking.

Andrew30
March 24, 2011 11:23 am

Grumpy Old Man says: March 24, 2011 at 10:52 am
“This an absolute standard for those of us brought up in the NW European culture.”
Yes, but 2,500 km smoothing means that ivory tower NW European culture is the same as ivory tower culture in Tropoli (Libya) and after homogenization it averages out to Corleone (Sicily).
So when you say “You don’t need training in honesty” you are not thinking like a climate scientologist.
/sarc (I wish)
PS.
They lie and they know that they lie, and we know it too.

Scott Covert
March 24, 2011 11:33 am

Guh! This is so sad. It looks like Briffa was more complacent than I thought. I could understand someone snowing him on the decline but you HAVE to know the correlation is spurious with the knowledge of the older data.
Heck, the correlation for the data they kept is poor by my eye. It’s really depressing to see the breadth of corruption.
Could someone find me a nice hole in the earth to live in?

R.S.Brown
March 24, 2011 11:35 am

This work, Briffa and Osborn (1999), fits right into the time
frame Mike Mann was at the University of Virginia.
One wonders if there’s dialogue between Briffa, Osbone and
Mann lurking in the UofV Mann emails from back then.
The academic watchdogs and peer reviewers back then didn’t
know what to watch for, didn’t know what they were seeing,
or were, hopefully, unwitting accomplices just going with the
flow set in motion by the all star Team.
Steve McIntyre seems to have been one of only a few who
consistantly paid attention back then.
paying attention

Mac the Knife
March 24, 2011 11:36 am

Ahhhhh – Climate-gate: The gift that keeps on giving……..
Big ‘Thanks!’ to Steve McIntyre, for supplying further evidence of scientific malfeasance by these AGW charlatans! I assure you, Steve, I will put this to good use!

John Crane
March 24, 2011 11:40 am

@Bushy
I know this is way OT but I too noticed yesterday on my cheapish compass that the poles have flipped. Checked today on marine compass off an ocean going catamaran and had the same results, aprox. 180 degree flip.
WOW!

Jit
March 24, 2011 11:40 am

Maybe there was a “justification” of sorts for the deletion. If say the no. of available sites to base the proxy series on falls with age, and there aren’t many pre-1550. But they would have had to state the reason in the paper. And they would have had to choose their cut-off limit before doing any analysis.
The robust answer would have been to show error bars widening as the number of proxy sites and thus certainty declined.
Of course, that would have disagreed with the other proxies. Seems they deliberately cut it to make the graph look good – just as at the other end of it.

John A
March 24, 2011 11:41 am

I decided to rebroadcast Steve’s post because a) Steve doesn’t get enough credit fir uncovering things like this and b) I nearly ruined a laptop when I first read it.
I’m amazed these people are still employed.

Peter Miller
March 24, 2011 11:45 am

Anyone seen any alarmist comments on this?
They should make an amusing read.

Micky H Corbett
March 24, 2011 11:50 am

I’m going to stick my neck out here and make a prediction for the coming weeks as to what the pro-AGW message will be of this:
1) The trivial solution 😉 – nothing
2) The “30% chance of cold, 40% chance of average, 60% chance of hot” misdirection – ie the following (or similar)
“As you can see the Briffa series shows good fidelity with the other proxy series from the late 1500s to the 1960’s, hence it is reasonable to assume that there were other external influences on this proxy outside of the period…and with this assumption we can justifiably truncate the proxy to only this time period.
As there is this agreement with other proxies it is reasonable to assume that we can then use the truncated Briffa series in the period from the late 1500s to the 1960s to add weight to the argument that warming in the latter 20th century is unprecedented.”
Now these may not be the words but you get the gist. I can see the spin coming.
Of course there will be no mention of the fact that all the proxy characterisation is poor (tree rings are really poor in fact – tea leaves are better). And also I suspect there will be obfuscating around the central issue that it doesn’t even matter if other proxies agree with each other for certain time periods, they could ALL be wrong as you haven’t done the proper characterisation in the first place.

Noelle
March 24, 2011 11:54 am

Gary Pearse wrote :
There is no benefit of the doubt possible here; it is pure scientific dishonesty and it goes unpunished because of the politics of the issue and the politics of nice people like you.
So the scientific community is guilty until proven innocent? (And that includes the authors, reviewers, and editors of Science.) No chance for the scientists involved in the research to even respond? This paper is 12 years old and it takes until now to report this? I find your accusation of politics hard to digest when your comment points grand conspiracy that is more than twelve year old .

mpaul
March 24, 2011 11:54 am

Kip Hansen says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:18 am
“If the Supreme Court rules that Matrixx can be sued for fraud for failing to reveal adverse information about their product — information that was in their possession — to their investors, which Matrixx claimed to withhold because it was ‘not statistically significant’ — a plausible and possibly reasonable excuse, then how much more so can Mann et al’s deletion(s) be reasonably considered fraud or, at the very least, scientific impropriety.”
Unfortunately, we’ve arrived at a point in the US where the private sector is held to an entirely different set of standards from the public sector. For example, its not against the law for a politician to lie to get himself elected yet there are stiff penalties for relatively minor inadvertent mis-statements by a public company CEO. A scientist who works for a public sector company can go to jail for *not* publishing data that he thought was insignificant, but a scientist working for a publicly funded university can seemingly publish data whose only purpose is to mislead the public and suffer no consequences.

1DandyTroll
March 24, 2011 11:56 am

How would such mashed potatoing work in the car manufacturing industry?
I tell you, potential buyer, the statistical modeling don’t lie, the Tata Magic really can withstand a frontal collision with a Sherman tank. Just model the Sherman as being on the moon, and model the Tata Magic as being on a virtual surface on Jupiter. Mix match and patch it together just so and so and, et voila, pow wow unequivocal consensus proof that it is truth.
What do you mean, billion mile reach fallacy? No, no, it’s the Mike’s nature’s magical trick.

GeneDoc
March 24, 2011 12:01 pm

Grumpy Old Man says:
March 24, 2011 at 10:52 am
I cannot believe these comments. Genedoc says ‘training in research ethics’ LOL.

Grumpy,
I agree that lying should be obvious to anyone. But there are shades of grey (is “not telling the whole truth” the same as lying?). The point I was trying to make is that training is useful to help people understand that not only are these practices unethical and should not be done, but that they also have an obligation to report potential instances of misconduct. And that there are mechanisms designed to protect the whistle blower and to carry out the investigation. That aspect can get lost.
Oh, and at least at my shop, not everyone has a “NW Europe” origin. You might be surprised to learn that plagiarism is considered a high form of flattery in some parts of the world, for example.

Alan
March 24, 2011 12:05 pm

Meanwhile, on my regional newspaper’s website today (in Calgary), I see front page an article which uses the phrase in a big headline: “climate change denial”. Do they know that they actually *are* the ones who deny the science by selectively ignoring what they don’t want the layman to know?

dave ward
March 24, 2011 12:08 pm

@ Jenn Oates – just 5 miles from the UEA they are brainwashing primary school children with taxpayers money. Our battle is far from over…
http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/03/under-cloak-of-climate-change.html
and
http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/lingwood_children_visit_strumpshaw_fen_1_839612

Don B
March 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Bob Carter writes about Noble Cause Corruption in his recent book.
Apparently these “scientists” believe if they are saving the planet it is OK to fudge the facts to make a nice, tidy story.

Jimmy Haigh
March 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Please Sir? Can we use the “f-word” now Sir?
REPLY: shout them into your monitor but don’t write them, yet. The day may be coming though – A

John A. Fleming
March 24, 2011 12:12 pm

What makes this significant, is that these Mannian graphs show up everywhere. In the March 2011 issue of SciAm, Julian Sachs, et. al., who nd-of-rain”> document their measurements over time of the latitude location of the ITCZ rainfall bands, rather than plot their data, they just copy in Mann’s latest version. Apparently, the ITCZ location is not a good proxy for temperature, yet.
It’s in Science, been there for ten years, constantly updated, it must be good.

Editor
March 24, 2011 12:23 pm

Peter,
The alarmists spin will be: “See! The hockey stick began even earlier, as a result of the Rennaissance and discovery of the New World, its a complete indictment of white patriarchal european civilization!”

John A. Fleming
March 24, 2011 12:37 pm

Oops, sorry about that. SciAm link here.

Ian
March 24, 2011 12:46 pm

Unfortunately no one much is really listening or interested in this anymore. MSM certainly have no interest which means the mass of people don’t know and/or don’t care. Sreve McIntyre seems to be becoming obsessive about this which is unfortunate. The sceptics, of which I am one, are not going to have serious impact on mainstream opinion without some input from the MSM despite the popularity of blogs such as this and climate audit

pwl
March 24, 2011 12:47 pm

Excellent sleuthing Steve McIntyre.
Not only did Briffa and Osborn hide the decline in the blade of the Mannian Hockey stick, they also hid the decline in the data in the shaft of the hockey stick… much more data… than in the blade… data that clearly shows that tree rings are all but useless at being temperature proxies. Mann shafted us too. Toss the lot in jail for fraud since they’ve taken lots o’ money based upon their scientific hiding of adverse data fraud.

jorgekafkazar
March 24, 2011 12:49 pm

RayG says: “As I suggested on CA, the paleodendochronologists (aka pseudo-science, IMO) should switch from bristlecones…”
Ray, dendrochronology has been valid, established science since the early 20th Century and is quite accurate. The problem is with dendroclimatology, or tree-mometry, which, as you state, is largely pseudoscience, as currently practiced. Tree growth is a function of soil, temperature, humidity, surrounding terrain, clouds, rain, CO2, animal activity, shade, microclimate, subsurface water, ambient albedo, and elevation. Thinking they can pick a reliable temperature signal out of all that is utter lunacy.
“Whom the gods would destroy they first drive mad.”

Frank K.
March 24, 2011 12:58 pm

John A says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:41 am
“I’m amazed these people are still employed.”
While we can shine a light on unethical behaviors by the team such as this, the reality is that they will be gainfully employed for some time to come, unless someone decides that the bloated NASA/NSF/DOE budgets can better spent on other activities. I believe NASA, for one, has a huge budget increase slated for this year.

jorgekafkazar
March 24, 2011 1:02 pm

Jimmy Haigh begs plaintively: “Please Sir? Can we use the “f-word” now Sir?”
REPLY: shout them into your monitor but don’t write them, yet. The day may be coming though – A
Best laugh I’ve had so far all day, Anthony.

Jeremy
March 24, 2011 1:10 pm

GeneDoc says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:48 am
I chair our school’s Committee on Scientific Integrity, which investigates all allegations of misconduct in our sphere.
Training in research ethics is common in the US in biological and medical sciences, but I’m not sure how common it is outside of these disciplines. It’s clear from these examples in climate science that there is a need outside of the medical/biological community for such training.

The pharmacology side of those disciplines taints and corrupts whatever training those people get. I know people who research new drugs daily. Their advice to me: do not take (not avoid, DO NOT TAKE) any medication released to the public in the last 20 years. Claims of effectiveness of any ethical training students get are usually exaggerated, money corrupts regardless. Proper auditing from a neutral party is the only way to root out and minimize such nonsense.

Noelle says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
So the scientific community is guilty until proven innocent? (And that includes the authors, reviewers, and editors of Science.) No chance for the scientists involved in the research to even respond? This paper is 12 years old and it takes until now to report this? I find your accusation of politics hard to digest when your comment points grand conspiracy that is more than twelve year old.

The “old” argument is old. If new evidence came to light that Newton was wrong, would we change textbooks? Yes, in fact we did just this a long time ago. Your insinuation that because this paper is old, it shouldn’t be questioned is ridiculous. As to scientists being guilty until proven innocent, actually I favor this. The reason I favor this is because scientists are humanity’s gatekeepers of knowledge. If they’re corrupt, human knowledge goes into the sh***er fast.

Cog
March 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Trees, like other plants, use CO2 to grow. Has anyone considered the possibility that using growth rings on trees to determine the temperature might introduce a confound?

jorgekafkazar
March 24, 2011 1:14 pm

It’s the not the divergence problem; it’s the perversion problem.

James Sexton
March 24, 2011 1:23 pm

Dave Springer says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:22 am
Phillip-Morris scientists could learn a thing or two from these guys.
Thank you for smoking.
=====================================
That’s not tobacco they’re smoking.

March 24, 2011 1:26 pm

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James Sexton
March 24, 2011 1:27 pm

Noelle says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
“………. This paper is 12 years old and it takes until now to report this?….”
================================================
No Noelle, it took them 12 years to uncover it. You may not have noticed, but Steve Mc, has been busy uncovering other things, writing papers, breaking hockey sticks, etc….. Of course, you’re the only one that it has escaped the fact that it shouldn’t have to be uncovered or revealed. It should have been plainly discussed.

Bernie in Pipewell
March 24, 2011 1:28 pm

@UnfrozenCavemanMD
I agree with you absolutely, unfortunately western governments have seen the extra tax take from carbon. They believe it will dig them out of their current financial hole.

Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2011 1:30 pm

Yesterday I remarked about the vernacularization of science language and discipline.
Today it is worse. Science as a word is going to end up in the thesaurus with words like:
abracadabra, alchemy, astrology, augury, bewitchment, black art, conjuration, conjuring, conjury, devilry, diabolism, divination, enchantment, exorcism, fascination, foreboding, fortune-telling, hocuspocus, horoscopy, illusion, incantation, legerdemain, magnetism, necromancy, occultism, power, prediction, presage, prophecy, rune, science, sleight of hand, soothsaying, sorcery, sortilege, spell, superstition, thaumaturgy, trickery, voodoo, voodooism, witchcraft, wizardry
Look it is already there!!
See what they have done?

ShrNfr
March 24, 2011 1:35 pm

The “f-word” for these people: fools.

Alexander K
March 24, 2011 1:36 pm

More great Sherlocking, Dr M.
To those who suggest the long, long detedting road to disclosure is obsessive; ‘dogged’ seems accurate to me, ‘obsessive’ is derogatory of Dr M.

Petro
March 24, 2011 1:37 pm

Hide the Incline!!

SSam
March 24, 2011 1:45 pm

Mark T says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:56 am
“…Uh, they do use rocks (sediment deposits) in some reconstructions…”
And, if I remember correctly, the researchers who collected that data complained that their dataset had been inverted before it’s inclusion in this … Frankenstein’s monster of proof. (an arm here, a toe there, a couple of pieces scrounged out of a refuse bin at a local restaurant, etc.)

And overheard on the radio today, in the background while rummaging the garage… ‘this winter wasn’t so cold after all, in fact, it was quite warm as winters go.’
*sigh…

March 24, 2011 1:47 pm

I see the problem !!!
The pink line needs to be inverted !!
Team problem solved.

kwik
March 24, 2011 1:56 pm

McIntyre could ask Black Debbath for help;

kramer
March 24, 2011 2:14 pm

I’m not surprised:
I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.
– James Lovelock, TheGuardian, March ’10
The other activist ‘scientist’ who said they need to get rid of the medieval warm period also comes to mind.

Bulldust
March 24, 2011 2:25 pm

Hang on a minute … that’s not a hockey stick, it’s a boomerang!

Nolo Contendere
March 24, 2011 2:27 pm

What Jorge says is true. Dendrochronology is well established, whereas using trees as proxies for temperature is fraught with so much difficulty that it is at best pseudoscience, even when the charts aren’t being fudged.
I was fortunate enough to have J. C. McGregor, one of the inventors of dendrochronology, as one of my professors back in the day. He was nearing the end of his career at the time and, indeed, retired and was granted emeritus status while I was in school. He maintained an office after retirement and made himself available to graduate students for some womnderfully informative conversations. He was a fine and gracious gentleman, well loved by his students, and a great contributor to his field. So no allegations of pseudoscience, please.
jorgekafkazar says:
March 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm
RayG says: “As I suggested on CA, the paleodendochronologists (aka pseudo-science, IMO) should switch from bristlecones…”
Ray, dendrochronology has been valid, established science since the early 20th Century and is quite accurate. The problem is with dendroclimatology, or tree-mometry, which, as you state, is largely pseudoscience, as currently practiced. Tree growth is a function of soil, temperature, humidity, surrounding terrain, clouds, rain, CO2, animal activity, shade, microclimate, subsurface water, ambient albedo, and elevation. Thinking they can pick a reliable temperature signal out of all that is utter lunacy.
“Whom the gods would destroy they first drive mad.”

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 2:31 pm

When I look at the data this seems more than reasonable. Tree ring data is a “proxy.” They are not actual thermometers. So, it’s a bit like a detective game where you’re trying to piece together a wide range of information and which clues are valuable and which are not in your quest to locate the actual temperature.
In this one diagram you can see that there are three data sets that are in agreement and one that is anomalous. Does it add value to leave in the anomalous information?
No, it does not.
Analogy: Four friends tell you through a game of Chinese whispers that they want to meet you at a movie theater to see a show next week. One piece on information says, Sat 1:20pm. A second says, Sat 1:30pm. A third says, Sat 2:00pm. A fourth says, Fri 9:00am.
What do you do with with fourth bit of information? Are you going to mark Fri 9:00am on your calendar because it is information that “should be seen by others?” Seems a bit silly, don’t you think?

March 24, 2011 2:37 pm

ShrNfr says:
March 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm
The “f-word” for these people: fools.

We can’t use “fraud” yet?
Are we getting close?

March 24, 2011 2:38 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm
When I look at the data this seems more than reasonable. …information that “should be seen by others?” Seems a bit silly, don’t you think?

Rob:
You have got it — I really think that you have got it.
Well done old man…. except — that all the data says it’s anything but 1:30PM for the movie…
Aw shucks — back to the ol’ drawing board…

March 24, 2011 2:42 pm

Steve McIntyre does such a beautiful deadpan expression job on (bad) data assassination that he needs a slapstick comedian to side with him and deliver the other half to his deadpan punch lines. Maybe the person who said the following needs another job as a vaudeville comedian.
In this one diagram you can see that there are three data sets that are in agreement and one that is anomalous. Does it add value to leave in the anomalous information?
It would certainly add value to the three way comedy act.

Buddenbrook
March 24, 2011 2:45 pm

Steve McIntyre really is the superstar of the climate realist movement. Would we be anywhere near where we are now in terms of solid criticism if not for his untiring efforts? Truly admirable. I hope he stays in good health to recieve his well deserved Nobel Prize in 20 years time, when the fraudulent madness has finally been exposed and made clear to the larger society and genuine science vindicated.

March 24, 2011 2:47 pm

Ian says:
March 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Unfortunately no one much is really listening or interested in this anymore. MSM certainly have no interest which means the mass of people don’t know and/or don’t care. S[t]eve McIntyre seems to be becoming obsessive about this which is unfortunate.

I fully agree that the MSM is ignoring the issue, but why would the obsessive behaviour of Steve McIntyre be unfortunate? I applaud him for his tireless efforts at exposing these charlatans. Notice he is ever polite, ever rigorous, and almost always right. What could be better than that? If there was a warmist with half of his dedication and honesty, I would listen to them just as much as I do Steve, as we all should.

bob paglee
March 24, 2011 2:48 pm

If there are any real cops around, are they all asleep in the global warmth?

TimTheToolMan
March 24, 2011 2:51 pm

They had their chance to come clean when focus was at the 1960 end of the reconstruction.
Why, oh why didn’t they admit, to doing the same thing at the other end too. Had they done that, after the intial outrage, they may have eventually regained some level of public (scientific) trust but not now.
Now their actions have confirmed that they will continue to intentionally hide problems with the science.

Coalsoffire
March 24, 2011 2:53 pm

Rob Honeycutt
The better analogy would be this. You have 3 clocks. One is stopped and the other two are running well. Plotting the time you discover that the broken clock matches the other two exactly twice a day and is wildly out of sync the rest of the time. Can you use the two matching data points from the broken clock to bolster the time data from the other clocks?
The tree ring data is like the broken clock.

March 24, 2011 2:53 pm

Anthony,
I have post a link to the story at NC Media Watch. I agree with John A, Steve needs more recognition for his excellent investigation and analysis of sloppy climate science.

TimTheToolMan
March 24, 2011 3:00 pm

Rob Honeycutt writes : “What do you do with with fourth bit of information? Are you going to mark Fri 9:00am on your calendar because it is information that “should be seen by others?” Seems a bit silly, don’t you think?”
And what happens when you actually turn up at the theatre at 1:30pm on Saturday only to find the real time your friends went along was Thursday at 4pm. Should you be surprised given the data you were working with?

Espen
March 24, 2011 3:01 pm

Rob Honeycutt: Or you could compare it to a trial of a new kind of pain relief pill. 30 of 40 testers report good results, while the last 10 die of internal bleedings. It would be silly to mention those 10 in the report, don’t you think?
(/sarc)

David S
March 24, 2011 3:04 pm

Rob I like your analogy but not your reasoning nor your conclusion. There are not four sets of information, there is one – there is no inherent difference between the records before 1550 or after 1960 and those in between those dates, just the coincidence that there seems to be a rough match with the instrumental record – to the extent that it exists and is reliable – during the in-between years and not before or after.
You can either use the tree ring data, or reject it, depending on whether it is a good enough fit across the whole instrumental record to be relied upon for earlier years. (It clearly isn’t.) Putting in a little bit of code that allows you to pick the years that suit your argument (as Steve’s reader PaulM spotted in the code) is quite simply dishonest and unscientific, and renders B & O 1999 and any other work that depends on it entirely useless.
By the way, Noelle, there are Cold Case Units in many jurisdictions that use modern technology to investigate unsolved crimes, and in quite a few cases they have led to the apprehension of criminals or the overturning of wrongful convictions. Very few people seriously argue that their work is of no value, and that we should let sleeping dogs lie. Like justice, truth is too important.

DAVID SPURGEON
March 24, 2011 3:04 pm

Sam Parsons says:
March 24, 2011 at 10:01 am
‘There is no question that this is scientific misconduct. There is no question that “hiding the decline” is scientific misconduct. The people who did these things and everyone in the publication process who wasn’t deceived are guilty of serious moral error.
Dr. Muller in his Youtube video says that “hiding the decline” was deception but not morally wrong. Puhleeese Dr. Muller, if we accept that point then we accept the point that scientific publications can contain deliberate deception regarding the main point of the article but the authors have done no moral wrong.’
My friend Michael Turley says:
“Dr Muller’s comment is indicative of humanistic relative morality….he believes the metaphysical religion of global warming, therefore any LIE told to promote the religion is moral in relativistic terms…..darwinism uses this relative morality when known frauds (piltdown man, Nebraska Man, Haekle’s Embryos) are presented in text books to promote that unscientific position, and you see it in marxist societies as the relative morality is that any atrocity in the defense of the religion of marxism is “moral”, they justified the murder of over 100 million people like this…….these people are fundamentally, ideologicaly insane.”

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 3:08 pm

In regards to…
<blockquote cite="The Supreme Court has said that companies may be sued under the securities law for making statements that omit material information, and it has defined material information as the sort of thing that reasonable investors would believe significantly alters the ‘total mix’ of available information.”>
What you are going run into is the definition of “material information.” Not all information is material information. If part of data is clearly not in agreement with most of the other data that it would be reasonably considered immaterial to the broader evidentiary conclusions.

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 3:22 pm

David… Your argument suggests that you can never use tree ring data as proxies because you can never expect to get a perfect picture of temperature. It’s an unreasonable conclusion if you are endeavoring to learn something about climate.
Look, I don’t think that anyone working in the dendro world is going to tell you that tree rings are a wonderful proxy. Hence all the papers on the NH divergence problem. But they do provide a great many clues and collectively help to paint a broader picture of historic temperatures.
Do you abandon an area of research because it’s hard or has challenges? Of course not. But you do take the data with a modicum of skepticism and place it in the context of all the other data that is available.

David S
March 24, 2011 3:26 pm

Sorry Rob, you really don’t get it, do you? Try to stick with the subject – it may prove more helpful than analogies.
You have a dendro record that runs from 1404 to 2000, and the bits between 1550 and 1960 appear to correlate with the temperature record, while the rest doesn’t. So you conceal the bits that don’t suit your argument. You don’t of course, have any good reason to remove the first or last parts of the record – you can’t prove that forest fires or inadequate measurement mean that they are inherently unreliable – you just don’t like them, and to use a hackneyed phrase, they represent an inconvenient truth.
So you airbrush them away and then cover your traces for 12 years, until Steve uncovers them.
And you see nothing wrong with that? Really? Or are you just being tribal and they are your sonofabitches?

Retired Dave
March 24, 2011 3:31 pm

Eric Anderson
“Amazing that at some point one of them didn’t wake up one night thinking, “Wait a minute, this is wrong.””
Maybe they did – someone put the ClimateGate material out in the wild, and it hasn’t been shown to be a hack job.

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 3:32 pm

TimTheToolMan says:

And what happens when you actually turn up at the theatre at 1:30pm on Saturday only to find the real time your friends went along was Thursday at 4pm. Should you be surprised given the data you were working with?

Absolutely. But given the data available, when are you actually going to show up at the movie? It’s a game of Chinese whispers so for all you know all the data may be wrong. But it’s your job to make a guess as to when to show up.
Same with dendro proxies. Their job is to make a best guess as to what the data represents.

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 3:33 pm

Moderator: Sorry I keep messing up the blockquotes. (blah!)
REPLY: Then stop using them, I’m tired of cleaning up messes – Anthony

James Sexton
March 24, 2011 3:35 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm
“If part of data is clearly not in agreement with most of the other data that it would be reasonably considered immaterial to the broader evidentiary conclusions.”
===============================================
Rob, if I’m not mistaken, the data is pretty much the same(same tree rings), the interpretations are what is different. But then, that’s probably for another query, wouldn’t you say?

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 3:42 pm

[penalty snip for screwing up the entire thread with messed up bolding – Anthony]
See this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/my-biggest-pet-peeve-on-running-this-blog/

Paul
March 24, 2011 3:43 pm

Analogy. Four friends are trying to prove that the world is warming. Three live next door to each other in the city and have similar measurements showing warming over the past 50 years. The fourth is living on a golf course and has measurements showing no warming over the past 50 years. Seems rather silly not to kill the guy on the golf course and replace his measurements with an average of the other 3.

JBW
March 24, 2011 3:52 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Matt that these so-called scientists should be stripped of their ‘qualifications’ and publicly dishonoured. Spending some time in a pillory would allow them to reflect on the enormity of the harm their actions have caused, and continue to cause. Given that public policy decisions involving many tens of billions of dollars have been made on the basis of the so-called “sound science” spewed by these charlatans, they would deserve every minute spent in such contemplative thought.

Robert Christopher
March 24, 2011 4:01 pm

Sam Parsons, March 24, 2011 at 10:01
Dr. Muller in his Youtube video says that “hiding the decline” was deception but not morally wrong.
Please note: irony – the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
Richard Muller said, “They deceived the public, and they deceived other scientists but they did nothing that was immoral, illegal or anything like that.

Alex
March 24, 2011 4:02 pm

When will other scientist speak up and say: this is pretty f%&¤#n far from ok?

Ian
March 24, 2011 4:11 pm

Dear Moderator. I see my post that was somewhat critical of Steve McIntyre was deleted. I expect that sort of behaviour from RealClimate but am surprised it occurs on WUWT. If sceptic sites exclude all unfavourable comments their credibility may suffer
REPLY: I didn’t see it, some other moderator may have deleted it, or it is possible it may have ended up in the spam filter and got deleted. But you are welcome to submit it again. Be mindful of blog policy, put my name to attention- Anthony

AusieDan
March 24, 2011 4:20 pm

GeneDoc you said on March 24, 2011 at 9:48 am
“I chair our school’s Committee on Scientific Integrity, which investigates all allegations of misconduct in our sphere.”
The answer is to insist that all the data, metadata and programs are properly archived at the time of publication and that this all should be freely and publicly accessable to all interested parties.
Total visability will not only make continued deception much harder to maintain, but it will make it much less likely to occur in the first place.
Nobody wants to be seen to be incompetent (at best) – at worst – I’ll leave that for others to express.
You should teach that to your students.
Hammer it in until they understand.
If they do not disclose what they do, then they will eventually fall into traps and will be failures.

David Byrd
March 24, 2011 4:22 pm

We need to call this what it is. This is fraud and lies used in an attempt to influence and support a fraudulent theory. McIntyre has yet again done the heavy lifting that has either been neglected by the lazy scientific peer review process or willfully ignored by partisan scientific hacks.
Because of the profound implications of much of this research with respect to national economic policies, I believe the time has come to prosecute those who have willfully perpetrated this fraud through the criminal judicial system. A good starting point would be to contact the appropriate prosecuting attorney in the country of the fraudulent “scientist”. It unfortunately appears that neither the Universities nor the Periodical Publishers have the will to honor their obligation to the integrity of scientific progress.

mpaul
March 24, 2011 4:34 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm
“You do NOT include those pieces of information that so obviously do not agree with all the other available data.”
This is total hogwash. What you are saying is that scientists should only publish data that agrees with the consensus because all other data is obviously wrong. This is corrupt and dishonest.

AusieDan
March 24, 2011 4:35 pm

UnfrozenCavemanMD – you said in part, on March 24, 2011 at 10:47 am:
“These folks are either corrupt to the core, or so blinded by their belief in their noble cause that no depth of conduct appears too low if it serves their agenda.”
I believe that for the most part it is a case of “nobel cause corruption”.
There is a lot of cognitive dissonance as well.
Some part of their brain is telling them that what they are doing is wrong and morally corrupt.
But they have nailed their flag to the mast and cannot retreat without complete loss of face and probably career, income and fringe benefit overseas trips to luxurious places and other nice perks as well.
We should pitty them really.
A whole generation of scientists will be disgraced when the day of reckoning comes and the world realises that the emperor CO2 has no clothes.

AusieDan
March 24, 2011 4:39 pm

As far as climate science is concerned, the whole scientific method has been corrupted.
In place of a fearless search for the truth, they have subsituted the legal barrister’s method of cherrypicking from all the data, thet best pieces of evidence to further the political objective they are supporting.

peter_dtm
March 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm
…….Same with dendro proxies. Their job is to make a best guess as to what the data represents.
Surely NO.
Their job is to make an educated guess; and know and recognise when they have to junk the junk.
Surely they should INVESTIGATE why that data set that is supposed to agree with the other data sets; doesn’t ?
Either explain it – or develop a new theory that does explain it.
And the new theory that does explain it would appear to be : tree rings are NOT good proxies for temperature.
Picking a sub-set of the data that happens to match is a lie; presenting any conclusions based on such a lie is dis-honest.
Or is climate ‘science’ some how different from Engineering and normal science ?

RockyRoad
March 24, 2011 4:41 pm

Blockquotes

are

easy

guys!

AusieDan
March 24, 2011 4:55 pm

Ian
Steve McIntyre is not becoming obsessive.
He is being thorough.
He is knitting the web so tight around these rather slippery gentlemen that eventually they will not be able to slip through.
Other people are taking different approaches.
Steve is doing what he does best – a thorough forensic examination.

Green Sand
March 24, 2011 4:57 pm

AusieDan says:
March 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm
“I believe that for the most part it is a case of “nobel cause corruption”

You may well be right in your conclusion, however the following has always disturbed me greatly:-
From: Phil Jones
To: Tom Wigley
Subject: Re: MBH
Date: Fri Oct 22 15:13:20 2004
Cc: santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
“Bottom line – their is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and varaibility.”
“no science”

David S
March 24, 2011 5:00 pm

Sorry Rob, wrong. The other proxies only agree with the truncated dendro record if you include the Tiljander series upside down, as Mann did. Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate admitted as much.
I know nothing, and presume nothing, about the accuracy of the measurements in the dendro records for any period. However I expect any selection from the period to be supported by convincing arguments in its favour, not half-hearted footnotes that do not make it into the IPCC reports, and to be based on observations about the quality of the measurements or clearly identifiable confounding variables, not the fact that they do not agree with the instrumental record.
The dendro proxies diverge sufficiently from the instrumental record since 1960 to be discarded without further discussion – the new exposure of the deception over the 1404-1550 period adds little to the science, but provides another window into the methods and motivations of the Team.

Cold Englishman
March 24, 2011 5:01 pm

At first, I had a bit of a soft spot for Briffa, because the emails showed him to be a bit concerned about his work being unhelpful to the cause, and then after the team ‘discussed it’ with him, he managed to go along with Mike’s Nature trick.
It seems I was wrong, and he must have been at it before they worried about the decline, or did he do it all at once?
Hmm, anyone find an email that now fits with what Steve has diligently discovered.
How many more ‘errors’ is he going to find? No doubt members of the team remain uncomfortable!

Darren Parker
March 24, 2011 5:04 pm

[/b] Hopefully that turns off bold.
Q: Why has this article got such a low rating? Are we being trolled?
[Reply: This site uses HTML, so you need to use the arrow brackets, not the square brackets. ~dbs, mod.]
REPLY: see this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/my-biggest-pet-peeve-on-running-this-blog/

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 5:07 pm

mpaul said…

This is total hogwash. What you are saying is that scientists should only publish data that agrees with the consensus because all other data is obviously wrong. This is corrupt and dishonest.

It’s not a matter of “agreeing with the consensus.” It’s a matter of trying to identify that data that is a response to temperature rather than other stimuli. If you look at Briffa’s (try 2001)work you see that there are wide bands of uncertainty. If all the other data is going left and one set goes right then you can probably conclude the one that’s off by itself is a poor indicator.
Now if McIntyre can come up with a valid reason that Briffa should have left that part of the data in, then he should present it. Is there are reason that all the other data is the anomaly while this one set is correct?

Gnrnr
March 24, 2011 5:09 pm

Switching off bold and italics aparently escapes most though 🙂

Rob Honeycutt
March 24, 2011 5:15 pm

David S… Nope, sorry. You guys are just looking for dirt where there is none.
Your arguments are saying that because there is a scuff in the paint the car is not road worthy. Over-the-top reactions like this suggesting conspiracy and academic misconduct over the tiniest of details in the long run undermine your position.
REPLY: You truly are delusional. Crap like this in the stock market lands people in jail. It is not “tiny details” when whole nations pay attention to the findings of the IPCC report, and the omission of these details changes the graph in a conclusive way. – Anthony

Luther Wu
March 24, 2011 5:24 pm

But what about all of the other hockey sticks over at RC? They roll out a new hockey stick as ‘evidence’ with monotonous regularity. Doesn’t matter that many have demonstrated that hockey sticks can be created from just any old data- bunch o’ pucks.

KD
March 24, 2011 5:40 pm

@Rob Honeycutt said:
Now if McIntyre can come up with a valid reason that Briffa should have left that part of the data in, then he should present it. Is there are reason that all the other data is the anomaly while this one set is correct?
———
I can only hope you are being sarcastic here. If not, you are surely showing ignorance.
It is up to the original authors to: 1) show the entire proxy record; 2) make a case for excluding sections of the proxy; and, 3) clearly state what they did and why. None of this was done.
By the way, what is your explanation for throwing away some data and retaining the rest?

Manfred
March 24, 2011 5:42 pm

The good news is probably that these persons ended up in climate science and not in the nuclear power industry.

Green Sand
March 24, 2011 5:51 pm

@ Rob Honeycutt
You are a flying a plane, the flight plan logs mountain peaks on route at 10,000 feet on approach to the peaks data from 3 instruments show your altitude to be 11,000 feet, however one instrument shows 9,500 feet? Do you ignore the “outlier” and go with the consensus? Fairly sure you will climb until all instruments show that you will clear the peaks.
I am also sure that on touch down you will report the “outlier” instrument and insist on a full report as to the reason for the difference, rather than just insisting that the “outlier” instrument be removed?

danj
March 24, 2011 5:55 pm

Noelle says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
“This paper is 12 years old and it takes until now to report this? I find your accusation of politics hard to digest when your comment points grand conspiracy that is more than twelve year old .”
———————————————————————————–
Alger Hiss’s “grand conspiracy” was more than 12 years old when it was exposed by KGB files. Data embedded in the Climategate files helped McIntyre fill in even more of the blanks about this fraud beyond what he had already quite effectively exposed…

jaymam
March 24, 2011 5:58 pm

Perhaps Science magazine has an explanation. I’ll give them a week, then I’ll make this extremely well known.
Otherwise Science can say that they will withdraw Briffa and Osborn (1999), or rename their magazine.

MattN
March 24, 2011 6:02 pm

Rob Honeycutt:
If I did ANYTHING like this in my job, I would be fired. In fact, most people would.
I do not see how ANYONE with any significant knowledge of science and/or statistics can view this as anything but illegitimate. Worst. Science. Ever….

jcrabb
March 24, 2011 6:06 pm

Interesting how statistically insignificant is acceptable when talking about Climate reconstructions but not when talking about recent Global temperature rise, what happened to scientific consistancy?

Theo Goodwin
March 24, 2011 6:08 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm
“Over-the-top reactions like this suggesting conspiracy and academic misconduct over the tiniest of details in the long run undermine your position.”
I have been teaching university courses in ethics, among others, for just over forty years. I understand that most people do not have the luxury of studying ethics. I give most people a pass on their failure to make ethical distinctions just as I give most people a pass on their failure to understand the limitations of computer simulations. However, when scientists conspire to hide forty years of evidence that their tree ring data cannot serve as a proxy for temperature and they do so because they want people to believe the falsehood that their tree ring data shows that temperatures are rising rapidly, the only possible conclusion is that THEY LIED TO PEOPLE ABOUT THE SCIENCE AS A MEANS OF PROTECTING THEIR GLOBAL WARMING NARRATIVE. There is no other way to slice it. Honest scientists would have published an article explaining that they had forty years of evidence that the tree ring data was unreliable. Honest scientists in possession of Briffa’s data would never have given their permission for publication of the hockey stick and would have sued Gore for his uses of it.
What has been done in reconstructing the hockey stick is totally irrelevant to moral judgement of The Team’s behavior as revealed in the Climategate emails. The immoral acts committed by the team were immoral at the moment they occurred and nothing that followed them can make them morally right.

Queen1
March 24, 2011 6:12 pm

Jeremy at 1:10: your characterization of the pharma industry is insulting and wrong. Feel free not to avail yourself of modern medicine, but keep your opinions about other-than-climate-science to yourself.

Theo Goodwin
March 24, 2011 6:16 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm
mpaul said…
“If all the other data is going left and one set goes right then you can probably conclude the one that’s off by itself is a poor indicator.”
If this was the situation, then Briffa or The Team simply had not completed their analysis of data. They had no right to publish their article. If you have FORTY YEARS of data which indicates that your tree-ring data is no longer reliable then you must deal with that problem before you can use the tree-ring data as evidence in a publication. One thing you could do is publish the FORTY YEARS of evidence in the hockey stick article. But then no one would have given the time of day to the hockey stick.

son of mulder
March 24, 2011 6:20 pm

“Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm
………..It’s not a matter of “agreeing with the consensus.” It’s a matter of trying to identify that data that is a response to temperature rather than other stimuli.”
And Steve McIntyre has clearly identified another example why it is unreasonable to believe tree ring data is a credible proxy for reconstructing a temperature record.
The only correlation for the credibility of tree ring data is with the credibility of the ‘scientists’ cherry picking subsets of it to provide a narrative to support the global warming hypothesis.

Latitude
March 24, 2011 6:35 pm

jcrabb says:
March 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm
Interesting how statistically insignificant is acceptable when talking about Climate reconstructions but not when talking about recent Global temperature rise, what happened to scientific consistency?
================================================
amazing, isn’t it

Theo Goodwin
March 24, 2011 6:36 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm
“Over-the-top reactions like this suggesting conspiracy and academic misconduct over the tiniest of details in the long run undermine your position.”
There is no question that “hiding the decline” was morally wrong. They had FORTY YEARS of evidence that tree ring data was an unreliable proxy for temperature. Having such evidence they should not have used the tree ring data AS EVIDENCE that temperatures are rising. In creating the hockey stick, they lied about the evidence for rising temperature when they “hid the decline” and replaced the tree ring data with temperature data. That substitution was a lie. They made the substitution for the purpose of supporting the global warming narrative that temperatures are rising. When they committed the act, it was morally wrong and nothing that followed that act can make it morally right. Later reconstructions of the hockey stick are irrelevant.
They could have published the article and not hidden the decline. That is, they could have shown the actual tree ring data and not substituted the temperature curve for it. They could have explained that the actual tree ring data DIVERGES from the temperature data and no longer supports the global warming narrative. That would have been truthful. They chose not to tell the truth.

Geoff Keane
March 24, 2011 6:37 pm

I watched a British archeology programe some time ago (sorry I can’t recall the name of the program).
In this program, the archeologists had a theory that an ancient causeway built over a marsh was rebuilt at intervals governed by elipses, as the dates they had determined seemed to align very well.
The program covered them doing lot more work to recover more buried wood from the peat. When the new dates came back the correlation of some of the data disagreed with their cherished theory.
I’ll never forget the comment of the bitterly disappointed archeologist – “Well, back to the drawing board”. That was the mark of a true man of science.
I wondered at the time what the “Team” would have done when presented with conflicting data. I think I know now.

Alan Clark
March 24, 2011 6:48 pm

I simply can’t do the detailed scientific scrutiny that you guys do. I’m just not qualified. What I do have is a very highly developed bullshit detector and it has been blaring like a British ambulance for more than a decade now over this AGW business. So while I have nothing to add to bring the truth to the fore, the least I can do is provide this site and McIntyre’s and a few others with a hundred bucks every month or so, that they might not starve while fighting the good fight. And I would hope that thousands like me would do the same. It’s VITAL that thousands do the same.
Thank you Anthony, Steve, Willis, Joe D., Monckton and the rest. You’ll win-out in the end and I’ll be proud to have done my part. I feel like I’m buying Victory Bonds!

jae
March 24, 2011 6:53 pm

Theo is CORRECT! ONLY an unscientific end-justifies-the-means blind LIBERAL would say otherwise. No real scientist would agree with Rob, et. al. If I’m wrong, please explain why. State your basis for truth.

apachewhoknows
March 24, 2011 7:15 pm

Now, if they just supply a tree with say a 2,000,000 year ring history, well better they supply a represenative sample of the tree population of the earth, say,, 200,000,000 trees with 2,000,000 year tree ring histories.
They can study that information until the oil, gas, coal, and nuke plant material runs out and then get back to us.

March 24, 2011 7:18 pm

Steve McIntyre uncovers another hockey stick trick – where are the ……
Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

Policyguy
March 24, 2011 7:24 pm

Let’s face it, the Team, in this case Mann, Jones and Briffa, purported to be tree rings experts able to show global warming. That’s the reason their “science” was funded. To have been honest and objective would have cut their gravy train. As Steve points out, this practice of writing code to specifically delete certain data sets is misleading and deceitful and was apparently done with the intention to mislead.
How much more is in the climategate release?
Please also note that the 225 voters (to date) only gave this post 2 1/2 stars. Is that congruent to the high post listing, or are there other factors at play in this voting?

TimTheToolMan
March 24, 2011 7:49 pm

“Absolutely. But given the data available, when are you actually going to show up at the movie? It’s a game of Chinese whispers so for all you know all the data may be wrong. But it’s your job to make a guess as to when to show up. ”
Science doesn’t work like that. Either the method gives a verifiable answer or it doesn’t. Where it doesn’t, the assumptions and confidences MUST be stated because thats part of the result and what makes it science.

J. Felton
March 24, 2011 7:59 pm

John A Fleming says
“What makes this significant, is that these Mannian graphs show up everywhere. In the March 2011 issue of SciAm, Julian Sachs, et. al., who nd-of-rain”> document their measurements over time of the latitude location of the ITCZ rainfall bands, rather than plot their data, they just copy in Mann’s latest version. Apparently, the ITCZ location is not a good proxy for temperature, yet.”
Scientific American has now removed the graph and cut half the article after numerous commenters pointed out the copied hockey stick, plus the inaccuracy of the study. No reason, no excuse.
I stopped paying attention to them after the Bjorn Lomborg fiasco. They should be called Pseudoscientific American.

TimTheToolMan
March 24, 2011 8:02 pm

Rob writes : “It’s a matter of trying to identify that data that is a response to temperature rather than other stimuli.”
…but doesn’t appreciate this is precisely what confirmation bias is.

Mescalero
March 24, 2011 8:08 pm

Although he doesn’t come out and say it, Steve McIntyre is pointing the accusing finger at a technical peer review process that is failing miserably. The kinds of things he has been digging up ordinarily wouldn’t come up during the normal 45 or so day technical peer review of a submitted paper. Steve goes far deeper than that, and his revelations amount to the kind of peer review my professors at UC Berkeley warned me about back in the early 1970’s — that’s why they demanded total transparency of data, analysis codes and analyses in my PhD thesis.
Will the editors of Science magazine take these revelations seriously? Don’t count on it — they didn’t when it was shown that the infamous Oreskes article on “global warming consensus” in the December, 2004 issue of Science could not be replicated by independent investigators, myself included. As a member of AAAS, I’m getting sick and tired of seeing this organization demanding more of the peer review process when it comes to medical research, but, at the same time, not demanding the same for climate research.

Robert Kral
March 24, 2011 8:08 pm

In my field, drug development, it’s quite possible to go to jail for pulling this kind of stunt. At the very least you’d be out of a job and subject to all kinds of litigation. I am afraid the people at Science and Nature have completely lost their sense of objectivity and professional rigor. When the “narrative” becomes more important than the facts, things go sour in a hurry.

March 24, 2011 8:10 pm

[…] And now another climategate followup…. Steve McIntyre uncovers another hockey stick trick – where are the academic cops? | Watts Up With That?: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/steve-mcintyre-uncovers-another-trick/#comment-628210 […]

jeb
March 24, 2011 8:11 pm

Quote
Queen1 says:
March 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Jeremy at 1:10: your characterization of the pharma industry is insulting and wrong. Feel free not to avail yourself of modern medicine, but keep your opinions about other-than-climate-science to yourself.
End quote
I apologize for the OT response but outrage requires it.
The “pharma industry” is notorious for:
a. funding research which is designed to provide desired results
b. cherry-picking the data for positive results and eliminating that which shows serious/lethal side effects
c. performing the typical musical chairs game of industry-regulatory agency job swaps, e.g., bank industry-Dept of Treasury
d. spending billions to influence legislation, e.g., health care reform w/Baucus as head of the subcommittee
e. and to my mind the most infuriating: medicines designed to treat symptoms rather than to cure, this to maintain a stable market
As another tidbit, do a search for FDA, Rumsfeld, aspartame
jeb

OssQss
March 24, 2011 8:16 pm

The question remains as to where we find the pure energy, that impacts nothing, that is desired by everyone. Is it not? 🙂

March 24, 2011 8:25 pm

but also a substantial early segment from 1402-1550
How can these guys looks themselves in the mirror? Do they avoid eye contact when shaving?

Alan McIntire
March 24, 2011 8:30 pm

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Climategate
“Much of the furor is over the scientists’ use of the word “trick,” such as when one of the scientists wrote: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” While the denialists see this as some sort of conspiracy, it is really a mathematical way of dealing with a problem (a mathematical “trick”) and reflects scientists interacting with each other.”
Edward Thorpe of “Beat The Dealer” fame described a “mathematical trick” of cheating blackjack dealers. Cheaters would peek at the top card. If the card helped the dealer or hurt the player, the dealer would honestly deal out the card. If the top card hurt the dealer or helped the player, the cheating blackjack dealer would hold back the top card and deal a second card. The net result was dishonest dealers winning more than normal chance.
Mann’s mathematical trick is exactly equivalent to dishonest dealers withholding bad cards (data) and dealing seconds

Rob Z
March 24, 2011 8:55 pm

Ian says:
March 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Unfortunately no one much is really listening or interested in this anymore. MSM certainly have no interest which means the mass of people don’t know and/or don’t care. S[t]eve McIntyre seems to be becoming obsessive about this which is unfortunate.
Ian, I think you’re missing the point. Mike Mann proclaimed “regret” that his hockey stick had become the iconic symbol of the climate debate. More like he was irritated that he was being blamed for coming up with the “decline”. Perhaps there is some truth to Mann’s vehement protestations at being the instigator of the decline. What SuperMac has done is root out the initial instigators. I find it amazing that no one on “The Team” has broken ranks with a tell all book entitled, “How We Tried to Screw the World and Why”. Although, I think it might be coming just in time for Christmas.
With regard to your “obsessive” comment. Don’t confuse that with thoroughness and completeness. Rest assured that if SuperMac suddenly finds out that the decline hide was a result of a careless typo in a computer program, you’ll hear it from him first.

Regg
March 24, 2011 8:59 pm

Steve.. I can’t believe you’re still spinning that news. The method is called removing outliers. Basic stuff, for a mathematician or statistician, i’m not impressed.
REPLY: You really have no idea what you are talking about do you? Datapoints are one thing, entire decades and centuries worth of data are something else altogether.
Read the section on exclusion
“Deletion of outlier data is a controversial practice frowned on by many scientists and science instructors; while mathematical criteria provide an objective and quantitative method for data rejection, they do not make the practice more scientifically or methodologically sound, especially in small sets or where a normal distribution cannot be assumed
In regression problems, an alternative approach may be to only exclude points which exhibit a large degree of influence on the parameters, using a measure such as Cook’s distance.[11]
If a data point (or points) is excluded from the data analysis, this should be clearly stated on any subsequent report.”
If you can demonstrate that they have a document basis, such as Grubbs’ test for outliers, you might have an argument, as it stands you are just blowing noxious gas – Anthony

Roger Carr
March 24, 2011 9:02 pm

Dan Lee responds (March 24, 2011 at 9:26 am) to Jenn Oates:
Just remind your students that they are witnessing history being made. …
A beautiful comment, Dan, with a crystal clarity and display of wisdom. My respects, sir.

ew-3
March 24, 2011 9:04 pm

“Jenn Oates says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:02 am
And yet still my students bring in their weekly science articles–ever more and more shrill–that proclaim that the world is coming to an end because it’s warming. No matter how many times I refute it they just don’t believe it because they don’t read it on yahoo news.”
Spot on. There is a large chunk of the population that is media driven. Yahoo is part of that media. Just as Wikipedia is. The idea of honest rational debate does not fit into this situation. We need to change the politics first.

Regg
March 24, 2011 9:09 pm

To complete my previous post… Removing outliers, is exactly what Ross McKitrick suggested to do to straighten the hockey stick in his analysis in ”A TALE OF DUE DILIGENCE”.
So again, it’s not new and came from a well known statistician.

John Crane
March 24, 2011 9:13 pm

While Steve McIntyre and a multitude of others are doing tireless work without the massive funding and exposure that the Believers enjoy, I feel it incumbent that the more erudite and articulate among you do as much as you can to get the message outside the blogosphere and into the arenas that have the greater effect. As great a venue for communication as it is, you are largely preaching to the choir.
This scam is not the first one perpetrated by this same ideological ilk. CFC, silicone implants, asbestos, second-hand smoke, chromium 6 and others where achieved by the same processes. Cook the books, toss out tons of questionable pal-reviewed papers, do some judge shopping throw in a liberal dash of anecdotal, heart rending fluff to stay atop the moral high horse and lo and behold with a free pass from a mass media that votes and donates 90% your way, your rich, famous and a hero in the weeping eyes of the guilt-ridden festering mass of anthro-apologists. All of this has given them whatever confidence they needed to not give up. Let alone the penalty incurred when this house of cards collapses (but then the public and the media has such short attention spans).
Our good friend John Coleman proposed class action lawsuits. While the mass-media had no trouble at all ignoring Climategate and anything else that questions the Belief, a litigation that forced the principles to put up or shut up might force their hand. Meanwhile the rest of you that have credentials and the abilities to convey rational and civil discourse to the public at large need to hit all of the MSM outlets that allow comment in as large of numbers as possible.
Oh. we also need leadership and organization.

philincalifornia
March 24, 2011 9:24 pm

jeb says:
March 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm
Yes, jeb at 8:11 pm: your characterization of the pharma industry is insulting, wrong and also clueless.
You’re posting on a blog that has real scientists contributing, from all disciplines.
Your stupid, flippant comments are, well ………. stupid and flippant.
If the principle cadre of climate “scientists”, and we all know who they are, had been audited by the FDA, they would not be in business now. Not even close. If they continued to practice their s**t, as they have, they would probably be looking at some serious repercussions under FDA scrutiny.
I’m guessing that you firmly believe that the plot of the movie “The Constant Gardener” is somehow connected with reality ??
….. and the GD Searle, aspartame, Rumsfeld thing, that was 1980-ish. I was there (literally), and aspartame is still on the market. You think the FDA is conspiring with Donald Rumsfeld in 2011 ??
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

Ronan
March 24, 2011 10:29 pm

Erm…passing aside the issue of whether or not this is bad practice (full disclosure: it seems sensible to me, and what surprises me, actually, is that any of the data series was left in at all; were I in Briffa’s place, I would have probably ended up removing the entire series due to the possibility that its intersection with the rest of the tree series was just a coincidence, and made a note to that effect in the paper. If you disagree with me and want to say so, by all means go ahead, but do me the courtesy of responding to the rest of my post, as well), am I the only one who’s really curious about WHY, exactly, this particular tree series is behaving in such a weird way? I mean…That’s really quite bizarre. I do note that the proxy temperature derived from it appears to nosedive during warmer periods (that is, now-ish and towards the tail end of the MWP), which might or might not be telling; perhaps warm periods are associated with an odd shift in precipitation patterns in the area? Is there any way to check that (historical records, ideally, but if that’s not an option surely there must be some other proxy for rainfall available).

John Whitman
March 24, 2011 10:46 pm

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm
“Over-the-top reactions like this [ suggesting conspiracy and academic misconduct over the tiniest of details in the long run undermine your position.”
– – – – – – – –
Rob Honeycutt,
By your own above statement, I see that your premise is:

[my words for your premise] It just does not matter what the group of scientists associated with the iconic graph did in preparing it for the IPCC assessment report because you think those scientist’s ends and the IPCC’s ends are ‘a priori’ true. So, by your premise, those posited truths entirely justify the means used by the scientists to manage the data to conform with their ‘a priori’ truth.

That kind of premise is a consequent of the concepts of the failed ethics of the non-rational philosophy of pragmatism. Also, is it a coincidence that your kind of premise is consistently included in discussion about the ideology called PNS?
John

March 24, 2011 11:37 pm

[…] Your Ad Here Steve McIntyre uncovers another hockey stick trick – where are the academic cops? | Watts Up W… I wonder if this is why Clippo has gone into hiding. Believe those who are seeking the truth. […]

March 24, 2011 11:48 pm

Rob Honeycutt;
If all the other data is going left and one set goes right then you can probably conclude the one that’s off by itself is a poor indicator.>>>
No, that is NOT what you conclude. What you conclude is that there is some factor or factors that result in some of the data going right instead of left, and you proceed to determine why. If you find out why, and the reason justifies dismissing the data, then all you need to do is document the reason and exclude the data. If you can’t find the reason, then there’s something about the drivers behind the data you don’t understand and your theory doesn’t accomodate. You can exclude the data if you want, but not without disclosing that fact in big bold print that the peer reviewers and publishers see. Anything less is a lie by omission.
To use your own analogy, if three of your friends say one time and the fourth a different time, the answer is NOT to decide its 3:1 for the first answer so let’s go with that. What the data is telling you is that 3 friends gave you one answer, and one another answer, which suggests you need to find out WHY one answer is different. You call them all to confirm. Your friends may have changed their mind after they spoke with you, but forgot to call back, while friend number four was late enough in the cycle when he spoke to you that the time had already changed, so 3/4 of your info is wrong.
Or maybe three of your friends have gotten tired of explaining simple logic to you and aren’t really your friends, and they all lied to you.
When a big chunk of data goes the wrong way, you do the exact same thing as when your friends report different movie times to you. Start asking why.

March 25, 2011 12:05 am

Theo Goodwin says:
March 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm
“They could have published the article and not hidden the decline. That is, they could have shown the actual tree ring data and not substituted the temperature curve for it. They could have explained that the actual tree ring data DIVERGES from the temperature data”
Yes, they could and they did. The Science paper in question looked at results from several papers, and for Briffa’s they referenced (available here):
K. R. Briffa et al., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol.
Sci. 353, 65 (1998).

And in that they devote a who;e section to the decline, which begins:
“In s4, we referred to a notable correspondence between ‘hemispheric’ MXD series (averaged over all sites) and an equivalent `hemispheric’ instrumental temperature series. Despite their having 50% common variance measured over the last century, it is apparent that in recent decades the MXD series shows a decline, whereas we know that summer temperatures over the same area increased.”
And they went on to examine this in great detail, including Fig 6, which showed just what is shown here, but also broken down into contributing factors (with actual treering data). And yes, they go on to say:
“The implications of this phenomenon are important. Long-term alteration in the response of tree growth to climate forcing must, at least to some extent, negate the underlying assumption of uniformitarianism which under-lies the use of twentieth century-derived tree growth climate equations for retrodiction of earlier climates. At present, further work is required to explore the detailed nature of this changing growth – climate relationship (with regard to species, region, and time dependence). It is possible that it has already contributed to some degree of overestimation in published reconstructed temperature means – more likely only those that attempt to reconstruct long time-scale information.”
So what else should they have said?

Al Gored
March 25, 2011 12:36 am

Just gets more and more like Watergate as more gets uncovered.
Can it get any worse than this?
I see reverse hockey stick in the credibility of the Gang – Team is far too charitable – once this gets out. Hope Senator Inhof goes full tilt with it.

Roger Knights
March 25, 2011 12:37 am

They gave us the shaft!

Peter Miller
March 25, 2011 12:49 am

There have been a couple of comments here that Team members did disclose some of the shortcomings in their pseudo-science of tree ring interpretation.
I guess that’s either true or not.
However, no Team member is on record as stating the ‘science’ behind the Hockey Stick is at best thin and at worst is a complete fraud.
If you know one set of statistics is so wrong, or that it is completely meaningless, and you then attach another set of statistics from a completely different source, because part of the first set produces inconvenient results and you do not make this 110% clear, then you are committing scientific fraud. It is no wonder the Team members went to such lengths to hide the methodology of their ‘science’.
Anyhow, it is amusing to see the various alarmist comments defending the indefensible.

Patrick Davis
March 25, 2011 1:21 am

I can understand why the Australian Govn’t is breaking its neck to get a carbon tax in place, with a view to migrating to an ETS in 3 years, the “science” is falling apart faster than a Lancia.

March 25, 2011 1:39 am

Astrology and alchemy were not sciences but fields of study based on religion and superstition. In spite of that, they eventually gave rise to real scientific disciplines – astronomy and chemistry. (Disturbingly, 39% of the population still believe that astrology has a scientific basis)
Climatology likewise is not a science but a field of study in its infancy – and like astrology and alchemy, it has a palpable religious component, and lacks scientific rigour. Its practitioners do use and misuse scientific techniques.
Worse than that, as Steve McIntyre’s investigations reveal, they deliberately misuse them.

March 25, 2011 1:52 am

Lies, damn lies and tree ring data.

March 25, 2011 1:54 am

As one poster said, why is this rated as a 2 star affair!? seems odd, is someone in the opposition playing with the figures?

March 25, 2011 2:03 am

[…] Steve McIntyre uncovers another hockey stick trick – where are the academic cops? […]

Scottish Sceptic
March 25, 2011 2:09 am

Eric Anderson says: March 24, 2011 at 9:03 am
“It is hard to know whether they were intentionally deceptive or just so caught up in the “rightness” of their cause that they literally couldn’t see the discrepancies or couldn’t understand the implications.”
In the last few days I’ve been in the unfortunate position of having to read hours and hours of this climate modelling material in the hope of answering a simple question and from this I have drawn the following conclusions:
1. Before modern climate “science” there were a group of people involved in a very different kind of problem. That was how to interpret the new satellite imagery. Numerous papers from the 1960-70s seem to be premised on the need to try to make some sense of a thermal and visual images that began deluging the academics.
2. For obvious reasons, as the majority of these “pixels” were of open land and sea, the main groups interested in these pixels were those using the pixels to try to tease out information on the marine and terrestrial ecologies. So there are numerous papers trying to relate vegetation, desertification, change in landuse, etc. etc. to a pixel of information on a thermal/visual image.
3. It is also quite noticeable how many times the basic information on thermal “temperature” would be reinterpreted as indicating … water loss, disease, change in landuse. One reading interpreted to predict to up to a dozen different even contradictory outputs. Or to put it another way, the groups using this imagery seem to have been free to draw whatever conclusions they wanted so long as they could fill their papers with copious equations to impress the grant funding bodies.
4. Being “remote imagery”, there was very little attempt to verify the results of this “science” by direct experiment, and those that did do experiments provided very nebulous results (i.e. big clouds of mosquito dots on a graph where many lines could have been drawn through the cloud). Moreover, the simple nebulous linear relationships of the experimental results bore little relationship, both mathematically & in terms of complexity, with the complex equations that they were supposed to be demonstrating.
5. As a simple observation this pre-climate “science” provided next to no practical or useful information (at least I can’t use their stuff practically!)
So, in the 1970s we had a group of ecologically minded people, who loved big equations, but were short on tying this to actual experiments who were pre-occupied with interpreting satellite thermal data and trying to infer something about the environment. And then some bright spark must have realised that the relationship:
thermal data -> environment
could be written the other way
environment -> thermal data
And instead of using thermal data to predict the environment using their complex untested equations, they began using their complex untested equations to predict how changes to the environment would affect the thermal data and that opened up a whole new field which led to the global warming scam.
Key problems
1. It seems to me the political needs of NASA to try to find a civil excuse for its expensive satellite program ended up with a massive data push with little or no money to verify the results of the analysis. Megabucks for sticking a new satellite in space, minibucks for verifying any interpretations of this data.
2. The unquestioning adoption of “ecology” type methods and ethics (like removing outliers or is that outliars) and almost encouraging bias by those involved or at least seeing science as being part of politics.
3. The complete divergence of “theory” and theoretical modelling from experimental practice from real experience. The concept that you could create a theory and not need to test it in the field because it would just be too expensive to send people all over the world to check out what was happening in the field.
4. The unquestioning faith in the reliance of instrumentation … presumably stemming from the infeasibility of actually checking the thermal data from satellites. Because it was “too costly” became in this area “it is not scientifically necessary” to check your instrument sources, from which it became common practice just to accept the global temperature data without checking its provenance.

Jimbo
March 25, 2011 2:17 am

Below are a number of reminders about what the Team wants you to forget. It relates to CO2 and temperature.

Dr. James Hansen et. al.2000
“A common view is that the current global warming rate will continue or accelerate. But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting.”

Dr. James Hansen et. al.2003
“Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature.”

Dr. Phil Jones email – July, 2005
“The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

Dr. Kevin Trenberth – October, 2009
“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Dr. Phil Jones interview – February, 2010
Q. Roger Harrabin
“Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
A. Phil Jones
Yes, but only just.”

If in the next few years we enter cooling then these climate scientists need to come out in the open and be honest and simply say that AGW has been falsified OR re-write the theory.

Hector Pascal
March 25, 2011 2:35 am

I’ve just had a play in photoshop. Here (hopefully) is the Briffa series. All I have done is flip it horizontally, vertically and move the layer around.

It’s worse than we thought: they haven’t yet mastered photoshop.
Now may I have my Nobel Prize, please?

TimTheToolMan
March 25, 2011 2:38 am

Nick Stokes wonders “So what else should they have said?” and the obvious answer is that they should have mentioned the truncation in the earlier years too.
They didn’t mention it in the paper and therefore the results back to 1402 should have stood. Under what circumstances should those results have been dropped from that paper and any subsequent reconstructions (such as the IPCC report) in your mind?

Richard S Courtney
March 25, 2011 2:42 am

Nick Stokes:
Your comment at March 25, 2011 at 12:05 am is silly: it is a proof that the ‘Team’ – and specifically Briffa – acted in a deliberately dishonest manner.
A lie that is often loudly stated is not corrected by the liar once having whispered the truth. The whisper only prooves that the liar knew he was lying.
Let me explain the matter in a manner that even you may understand.
The’divergence problem’ demonstrates that
(a) the tree-rings’ indications of temperature are wrong
or
(b) the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are wrong
or
(c) the tree-rings’ indications of temperature and the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are both wrong.
These are important findings because they indicate a need to determine which of the indications is wrong and why.
So, any paper that reports work which indicates the ‘divergence problem’ needs to provide a clear report and explanation of the the divergence together with a recommendation for work to obtain an understanding of the cause of the divergence.
But Mann, Braley, Hughes, Briffa, etc. did not provide that clear report and recommendation in their papers which presented the ‘hockey stick’ graphs. Instead, they tried to ‘hide the decline’. In other words they pretended that their work said the tree-rings’ indications of temperature and the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are both right. THAT WAS AND IS A LIE.
And – knowing they had lied – they needed to cover their nether regions in case the truth came out. So, as you report, they did. In the obscure paper you reference
(K. R. Briffa et al., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 353, 65 (1998).)
they published a description of the divergence. So, now, whenever their lie is pointed out there are shills willing to say – as you do – that they did not lie because they published the truth in another paper.
I repeat, a lie that is often loudly stated is not corrected by the liar once having whispered the truth. The whisper only prooves that the liar new he was lieing.
Richard

Hector Pascal
March 25, 2011 2:47 am

Try again, sigh.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

clarence wilson
March 25, 2011 2:51 am

I asked this a little while ago, but my comment appears to have disappeared.
Can someone please tell me what is teh thick black line asceding from the end of the dataset right hand end of graph (ascending rapidly hockey-stick like)?
Thanks

clarence wilson
March 25, 2011 2:52 am

sorry, I forgot to mention that is referring to Figure 1

Alexander K
March 25, 2011 3:07 am

I was trained, many years ago, to teach small children. One of the things I learnt during this process was that small children have their own version of morality; If a child breaks one of his mum’s good tea cups, that’s not a biggie to a child, who reasons that it was just one cup, right?. If the same infant has an accident carrying a tray of teacups for his mum and break ten cups, that’s huge to the child that breaks them. Ten times worse than breaking one cup, in fact.
The Honeycutt version of morality is childish; the various members of the Hockey Team who indulged in those acts of fakery were adults at the time, so pleading a childish morality should apply for them is, well…childish.
And adults also learn to follow simple instructions, too 🙂 sarc off.

tango
March 25, 2011 3:51 am

lock them all up

Perry
March 25, 2011 3:55 am

matt says:
March 24, 2011 at 9:06 am
My god they should be stripped of their qualifications and dishonoured publicly!
Perry says:
My god they should be stripped of their qualifications and dishonoured pubicly!
What? The ‘l is missing?

John Angelico
March 25, 2011 4:24 am

Noelle says:
March 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
So the scientific community is guilty until proven innocent? (And that includes the authors, reviewers, and editors of Science.)

Noelle, you have it backwards. Those involved in this were accepted as innocent until the evidence proved them guilty.

SteveE
March 25, 2011 4:52 am

They do actually mention these parts in the paper though.
“However, additional uncertainty may come from the earlier sections of the tree-ring data, because treering chronologies often exhibit a progressive degradation in statistical quality further back in time, a product of their diminishing internal replication (that is, series are often made up of fewer samples).”
and
“Unfortunately, these trees display a progressive increase in growth from the middle of the 19th century, which may be wholly or partly due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels. How can we distinguish the growth-promoting effects of warm temperatures from the possible influence of increasing CO2 and perhaps even other anthropogenic growth enhancers such as nitrogenous pollution? All show positive trends over the 20th century, and each has the potential to increase tree growth alone or in combination with others (regardless of whether that growth is limited by moisture availability or temperature).”
I personally don’t see what the problem is, perhaps someone can explain?

Ian W
March 25, 2011 4:55 am

Nick Stokes says:
March 25, 2011 at 12:05 am
Theo Goodwin says:
March 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm
“They could have published the article and not hidden the decline. That is, they could have shown the actual tree ring data and not substituted the temperature curve for it. They could have explained that the actual tree ring data DIVERGES from the temperature data”
Yes, they could and they did. The Science paper in question looked at results from several papers, and for Briffa’s they referenced (available here):
K. R. Briffa et al., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol.
Sci. 353, 65 (1998).
And in that they devote a who;e section to the decline, which begins:
“In s4, we referred to a notable correspondence between ‘hemispheric’ MXD series (averaged over all sites) and an equivalent `hemispheric’ instrumental temperature series. Despite their having 50% common variance measured over the last century, it is apparent that in recent decades the MXD series shows a decline, whereas we know that summer temperatures over the same area increased.”
And they went on to examine this in great detail, including Fig 6, which showed just what is shown here, but also broken down into contributing factors (with actual treering data). And yes, they go on to say:
“The implications of this phenomenon are important. Long-term alteration in the response of tree growth to climate forcing must, at least to some extent, negate the underlying assumption of uniformitarianism which under-lies the use of twentieth century-derived tree growth climate equations for retrodiction of earlier climates. At present, further work is required to explore the detailed nature of this changing growth – climate relationship (with regard to species, region, and time dependence). It is possible that it has already contributed to some degree of overestimation in published reconstructed temperature means – more likely only those that attempt to reconstruct long time-scale information.”
So what else should they have said?

They should have said that:
“A similar significant divergence is apparent in the period 1400 to 1550 where using our temperature methods the tree rings indicated very much colder temperatures than other proxies. The tree ring temperature inference only appears to correlate with temperature in the middle part of the period of interest. We are investigating why this occurs. However, for this paper, the temperature series from these tree ring proxies will be excluded until the variance from known temperatures is understood.”

Instead they deliberately hid the -larger- early variance as it showed the total invalidity of the tree ring data as indications of just temperature.

SteveE
March 25, 2011 4:59 am

clarence wilson says:
March 25, 2011 at 2:51 am
I asked this a little while ago, but my comment appears to have disappeared.
Can someone please tell me what is teh thick black line asceding from the end of the dataset right hand end of graph (ascending rapidly hockey-stick like)?
Thanks
———–
According to the original paper it is:
“Instrumental temperatures (1871-1997) are in black”
However the paper mentions that other temperatures go back further in to the 17th and 18th centuary that aren’t included on that line:
“Others also incorporate the longest instrumental series stretching back into the 17th and 18th centuries.”
They shuold probably be sent to jail for not showing these older temperature records as well based on the majority of comments on this blog.

Orkneygal
March 25, 2011 5:16 am

All on that day-

March 25, 2011 5:19 am

Want a peer reviewed compilation of tree ring data showing the effect of temperature? Click here.
Want a peer reviewed compilation of tree ring data showing the effect of CO2? Click here.
Tree ring climate prognostications are the modern equivalent of phrenology.

David, UK
March 25, 2011 5:33 am

I see the trolls have voted this piece down to a 2-star rating. Oh, how they must wish it would just go away.

Richard S Courtney
March 25, 2011 5:42 am

SteveE:
At March 25, 2011 at 4:52 am you say:
“They do actually mention these parts in the paper though. ”
No! They do not.
Indeed, you quote the pertinent “mention” in their paper: it says;
“However, additional uncertainty may come from the earlier sections of the tree-ring data, because treering chronologies often exhibit a progressive degradation in statistical quality further back in time, a product of their diminishing internal replication (that is, series are often made up of fewer samples).”
This does NOT say they deleted earlier data which did not conform to what they wanted: it says they have less certainty in the earlier data which they did present.
And, as you say, they wrote:
“Unfortunately, these trees display a progressive increase in growth from the middle of the 19th century, which may be wholly or partly due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels. How can we distinguish the growth-promoting effects of warm temperatures from the possible influence of increasing CO2 and perhaps even other anthropogenic growth enhancers such as nitrogenous pollution? All show positive trends over the 20th century, and each has the potential to increase tree growth alone or in combination with others (regardless of whether that growth is limited by moisture availability or temperature).”
That is a ‘get out clause’ because it does not report the decline. Far from the paper explaining the importance of a difficulty in determining “the growth-promoting effects of warm temperatures from the possible influence of increasing CO2 and perhaps even other anthropogenic growth enhancers such as nitrogenous pollution”, the paper hid the divergence.
And you ask:
“I personally don’t see what the problem is, perhaps someone can explain?”
Please read my post at March 25, 2011 at 2:42 am and the post by Ian W at March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am . They explain it.
Richard

DJ
March 25, 2011 5:46 am

….Just thought I’d share this….
–As T.H. Huxley once observed, there is nothing more tragic than “the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

rararabbit
March 25, 2011 5:47 am

One day, maybe, in the future a bust will be engraved…
“Steve McIntyre – The man who saved the world.”
God bless him. Send him money.

March 25, 2011 5:53 am

David UK,
No problem. The denizens of the realclimate and climate progress echo chambers tiptoe out occasionally to try and make a difference here, but all they’re really doing is adding to the amazing traffic stats of WUWT: over 70 million unique hits, and more than 560,000 reader comments in only four years.
People like to comment here because they know that their opinions will be read by many thousands of interested readers, instead of languishing in endless realclimate censorship/moderation. WUWT’s zero-censorship pollicy is a major reason that it has won the Weblog Awards category for “Best Science” site twice in a row.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 6:19 am

Ian W says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am
“So what else should they have said?”
They should have said that tree ring data for the last forty or fifty years diverges from temperature data. At this time, we do not know how to explain the divergence. Until we have a scientific explanation of the divergence, which will include explanatory physical hypotheses about this kind of tree rings, we cannot use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature.
Regarding the graph which shows rising temperature, and does so by replacing tree ring data with temperature data in a seamless fashion, it is just a joke. Scientists are like everyone else and enjoy a joke at times. You like a joke, don’t you?
Signed: The Team.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 6:28 am

SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:52 am
They do actually mention these parts in the paper though.
“How can we distinguish the growth-promoting effects of warm temperatures from the possible influence of increasing CO2 and perhaps even other anthropogenic growth enhancers such as nitrogenous pollution?”
“I personally don’t see what the problem is, perhaps someone can explain?”
In asking the question above, The Team reveals that they do not understand their own data. That would be OK if they had also published that for forty or fifty years, years in which they collected the data, the tree ring data diverged radically from thermometer temperatures and, therefore, can no longer be used as a proxy for temperatures. What about that do you not understand?
Failure to publish that fact is failure to publish the most important result of their research. They did so to protect the global warming narrative.

pascvaks
March 25, 2011 6:43 am

“Where are the Academic Cops?”
There are NO Academic Cops! If there were, Mann, Jones, et al, would have been burned years ago. Science and the World of Academia rely on “time” to tell the truth of anything and everything. It may take a month or two, it may take a year or two, or a decade, or a century, or a millenia or two. But eventually, the truth will out. (Or so goes the popular myth.) There are no academic cops. But… the way the federal government has been taking over and managing everything, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have some soon and people like you and me and McIntyre aren’t sent to some issolated Yukon Gulag to learn how wrong we’ve been. Ever get the impression we were in “The Twilight Zone”?

Paul Hamer
March 25, 2011 6:49 am

Isn’t the real question, what is their motivation or who are they working for, to what end?

Scottish Sceptic
March 25, 2011 6:51 am

Here’s a joke for you:
How many climate papers do you have to read to find an equation predicting the surface temperature of the earth?
Hint: the answer is in the space above! I.e. you don’t get an answer.
Honestly, I’ve now got a pile of papers around an inch thick, every single book that Glasgow University Library has on climate modelling, and I eventually found an equation that I could use not in any of the above papers or books, but in a project to calculate the temperature of gutter water.
I wonder how with such a low opinion I could be any more horrified than before, but they’ve done it I am even more horrified by the state of this “science” not because their maths is often carp, nor because the models have massive changes from one to another which just defies belief in a “settled” science … no it’s the way they simply seem institutionally incapable of providing basic information – anything that you or I could actually use for any good purpose other than getting them a grant.
The only paper that really make sense in the whole pile of waste paper is this one: What surface temperature is your model really predicting for which I’d thank Roy Clark if I knew how to contact him

Ralph
March 25, 2011 6:53 am

And the flip-side to this is: If tree rings are not a good proxy for temperature and climate, then tree ring widths are not overtly governed and influenced by temperatre and climate.
If that is so, then perhaps the entire tree ring chronological record is also bogus. If trees are responding more to local nutrient, overcrowding, and parasite issues, than global temperatures, how on earth can you compare tree ring series going back thousands of years. Is the science of dendrochronology also a wishfull thinking fabrication?
.

Ralph
March 25, 2011 7:08 am

>>jorgekafkazar says: March 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm
>>Ray, dendrochronology has been valid, established science since the early
>>20th Century and is quite accurate. The problem is with dendroclimatology.
But dendrochronology depends on the ancient trees in your wood sample behaving and growing in the same way as the reference sample (bristlecones or Irish bog oaks).
But the trees in your sample may have grown many thousands of kilometers away, and will have had the many different influences you listed acting upon them, from nutrients to microclimates. So if trees are not growing continent-wide to global climatic influences, and are responding instead to local influences, then you cannot compare your sample with the reference samples of bristlecones and Irish bog oaks. The widths of the tree rings will record local issues, and not global or continental issues.
Thus the entire concept of dendrochronology becomes bogus. You cannot compare ships timbers grown in Holland with reference bristlcones from California or Irish bog oaks from County Cork.
.
.

SteveE
March 25, 2011 7:09 am

Richard S Courtney says:
March 25, 2011 at 5:42 am
It’s well documented that the tree ring data doesn’t fit the the modern temperature record so it’s hardly needed to re-explain it. Papers published 20 odd years ago mention it so why reinterate something that is common knowledge and well published?
They also don’t include the full dendrochronology record all the way back to ~11,000 years ago. The reason being it’s meaningless.
This is hardly a big scandal that you’re trying to whip it into.

SteveE
March 25, 2011 7:13 am

Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 6:19 am
Ian W says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am
“So what else should they have said?”
They should have said that tree ring data for the last forty or fifty years diverges from temperature data. At this time, we do not know how to explain the divergence. Until we have a scientific explanation of the divergence, which will include explanatory physical hypotheses about this kind of tree rings, we cannot use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature.
———–
They did.
They also explained the possible cause of this and referenced sources.
Read the paper.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 7:14 am

Because this forum is on ethics, I would like to make a comment that is about ethics but a bit off topic. The Diversity Dean at my institution has just been given the new title of: Dean of Equity and Diversity. Dean of Equity??? I am thinking that I will demand to be declared Dean of Ethics or Dean of Scientific Method or Dean of Logic.
The Left engages in semantic warfare all the time. We must resist.

James Sexton
March 25, 2011 7:15 am

This has been touched upon, but not expanded upon. This isn’t simply an indictment of Briffa’s work, but rather the entire body of work leaning on dendrochronology. It isn’t believable that 1) the others didn’t know about this, and 2) the others didn’t get similar results.
Who are the “others”? Start on page 38 of the Wegman report.
“Michael Mann is treated as a separate block because he has connections with every one of the other 42 researchers.”
“However, it is immediately clear that the Mann, Rutherford, Jones, Osborn, Briffa, Bradley and Hughes form a clique, each interacting with all of the others.”
“Figure 5.6: The social network of the 75 most frequently published authors in the area of climate reconstruction.
Discussion: There are some interesting features. Although Michael Mann remains an
author with high centrality, Tett, Briffa and Cook emerge as belonging to their own
cluster and they also exhibit high centrality.”

75? Isn’t that pretty much the 97% consensus?
“Figure 5.8 illustrates the proxies that are used more than one time in
twelve major temperature reconstruction papers.”

SteveE
March 25, 2011 7:17 am

Just out of curiosity what would happen if you remove the light blue line from that graph entirely?
Doesn’t every other line on there show pretty much the same trend?

Jeremy
March 25, 2011 7:19 am

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm
In this one diagram you can see that there are three data sets that are in agreement and one that is anomalous. Does it add value to leave in the anomalous information?

Yes, it does. If you value your reputation as an honest researcher, it definitely adds value.

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm
What you are going run into is the definition of “material information.” Not all information is material information. If part of data is clearly not in agreement with most of the other data that it would be reasonably considered immaterial to the broader evidentiary conclusions.

You know how I know you’re not a scientist? You just suggested that it’s fine to hide data that is not in “agreement” because agreement is the sole or primary condition on which evidence is judged to be material/immaterial to the “broader evidentiary conclusions”. If every researcher in the world worked like this, we would have never discovered, X-rays, Penicillin, Artificial sweeteners, Vulcanized rubber and hundreds of other physical phenomena that were a result of data that was not in “agreement” with the “broader evidentiary conclusions”. People with your mindset would have the whole world simply accept a fixed set of beliefs with regards to how the universe works and never embrace unknown or unpredicted results.

Jeremy
March 25, 2011 7:29 am

Rob Honeycutt says:
March 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm
David S… Nope, sorry. You guys are just looking for dirt where there is none.
Your arguments are saying that because there is a scuff in the paint the car is not road worthy. Over-the-top reactions like this suggesting conspiracy and academic misconduct over the tiniest of details in the long run undermine your position.

Looking for dirt where there is none? Scuff in the paint?
The world was told the world was warming in an *unprecedented* manner. The star evidence for this “unprecedented” warming were primarily tree-ring proxies that we were told showed us a world temperature that doesn’t vary much over the last 2000 years, and then shoots up dramatically. Now the very same spaghetti plots that were put front-and-center in the reports to illustrate how stable the earths climate has been are shown to not be in agreement amongst themselves, and in fact it’s looking very much like the period of best agreement was chosen rather arbitrarily to coincide with the thermometer record.
If this is a scuff in the paint, I’ve got to see what you drive to work. I’m imagining it’s a toyota prius with 500,000 miles, no paint, no working doors, and a smoky 1950s diesel engine implanted where the entropy-inefficient toy hybrid drive sat.

JDN
March 25, 2011 7:47 am

@Scottish Sceptic says:
March 25, 2011 at 2:09 am
That’s a fantastic summary. I would love to read an expanded version. Are you blogging this somewhere?

Pamela Gray
March 25, 2011 8:10 am

I suggest a crash course in floor sweeping. Pity the custodial manager that must put these people to work, given their tenure may deny they be fired.

Pamela Gray
March 25, 2011 8:33 am

When I did my study on auditory brainstem responses to auditory signals, I chose subjects who readily demonstrated a strong auditory brainstem signal to white noise, and said so in my paper. I also stated my reasons. Some people (like my own brain) have rather busy brains that are quite difficult to read, even when asleep. The auditory brainstem response is very tiny compared to other brain signals. If one can mathematically eliminate random strong synaptic brain signals, one could find out if the auditory brainstem area is sensitive to frequency-specific signals. The problem is finding subjects whose strong random signals can be eliminated, because in some people, they are not random. Some folks just have high levels of regular synaptic energy, and cannot be used to study the auditory brainstem. So I had to choose subjects that readily demonstrated an easily identifiable auditory brainstem response to broad band white noise, and THEN I measured their brains with frequency specific signals. I did not eliminate any subjects after I gathered my data.
The point of my post is this: If subjects are not chosen randomly, you must state this very clearly in your methods. I eliminated all potential subjects but those with auditory brainstem signals that could be measured at such a fine 5 to 6 synaptic peak level, THEN I did my study on frequency specificity. All subjects demonstrated auditory brainstem specificity at each synaptic peak. Had they not shown this (or if some subjects did and some did not, or if parts of the brainstem did and parts did not), I would have had to say the results were not significant across all 5 to 6 peaks, in that frequency specificity was not consistently demonstrated.
The researchers being criticized in this thread eliminated their subjects (or in this case, part of the data collected from their subjects) AFTER the study was completed, and then had the audacity to say that there was significance.
Bad form.

Ian W
March 25, 2011 8:34 am

Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 6:19 am
Ian W says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am
“So what else should they have said?”
They should have said that tree ring data for the last forty or fifty years diverges from temperature data. At this time, we do not know how to explain the divergence. Until we have a scientific explanation of the divergence, which will include explanatory physical hypotheses about this kind of tree rings, we cannot use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature.
Regarding the graph which shows rising temperature, and does so by replacing tree ring data with temperature data in a seamless fashion, it is just a joke. Scientists are like everyone else and enjoy a joke at times. You like a joke, don’t you?
Signed: The Team.

I think you missed the /sarc 😉
Dendrothermometry based on tree rings must be the most unreliable method of assessing ‘temperature’ that there is. Did anyone bother to speak to a botanist? Or even to a jobbing gardener?
Outside the office where I am typing at the moment are three identical species trees. The closest is very big growing well next to it is a more medium size tree smaller trunk and then same distance away from the smaller tree is a wimp of a tree smaller trunk not growing so well at all.
The medium tree was planted first about 10 years ago. A year later both of the other trees were planted the large one and the wimp. So now a dendrothermometrist can choose which ‘temperature’ is required by choosing trees. At one end there is a history of warm weather and at the other end there is cold weather and in the middle temperate conditions pertained.
On a larger scale anyone who has been in forests knows of some stands of trees that do well and others that for no obvious reason do not. So even large scale cherry picking is possible for the dendrothermometrist.
So ‘cherry pick’ trees to get the results wanted. Then if even those results inconveniently don’t show what is required just use them where they support the hypothesis and auto-discard any that do not.
So it appears that the entire economy of the world depends on reports generated by misused statistics based on selective use of choose your own trees invented data.
And politicians find this acceptable?

Creepy
March 25, 2011 8:40 am

This all is very convincing to me.
But there is one question left:
Would it be possible, that the other lines in that diagram (Jones, Mann, etc.) are also wrong, – truncated or massaged?
Has someone checked all the other data?
At least they are from the same CRU gang…

March 25, 2011 8:48 am

This is the difference between fact-based policymaking and policy-based factmaking.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 9:25 am

SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 7:13 am
Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 6:19 am
Ian W says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am
“So what else should they have said?”
They should have said that tree ring data for the last forty or fifty years diverges from temperature data. At this time, we do not know how to explain the divergence. Until we have a scientific explanation of the divergence, which will include explanatory physical hypotheses about this kind of tree rings, we cannot use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature.
———–
“They did.
They also explained the possible cause of this and referenced sources.
Read the paper.”
I won’t say that you lie; rather, I will say that you interpret them overly generously. By the way, don’t assign me work that you should be doing. You produce the quotations.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 9:28 am

SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 7:09 am
Sir, there are incredible questions and rumors about the judgement of Barack Obama. However, if I lie to you about the judgement of Barack Obama, that moral wrong is not made to disappear or diminished by the fact of questions or rumors. Take an Introduction to Ethics course. You are out of your league.

JPeden
March 25, 2011 9:40 am

SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:59 am
“Instrumental temperatures (1871-1997) are in black” [quote from the paper]
However the paper mentions that other temperatures go back further in to the 17th and 18th centuary that aren’t included on that line:
“Others also incorporate the longest instrumental series stretching back into the 17th and 18th centuries.”
They shuold probably be sent to jail for not showing these older temperature records as well based on the majority of comments on this blog.

SteveE, you are changing the topic. So is there some reason we should consider your otherwise illogical diversion onto the admittedly not shown older instrumental records? Maybe there is something not shown that should be shown, or maybe not. But what does that have to do with the fact that the paper already does not show the proxy divergences, whose divergent function means and proves that the proxy displayed there simply cannot be used as temperature and raises the question as to why the authors used it at all and falsely portrayed it as “temperature”?

kwik
March 25, 2011 9:46 am

As soon as the name of a Team-member is recognised as an author of a paper, the automatic reaction will be; Hmmm, I wonder ………??
It will be the same reaction as when you see the name of that stoat-guy….what was his name again? The Wikipedia bully? Hmmmm. I have forgotten it.

MarkW
March 25, 2011 10:48 am

Ralph, you need to research what dendro chronology is. As you mention, trees respond to many things, however trees that grow in the same area often have wide and narrow rings in synch with each other, since they are facing pretty much the same climatic conditions.
Dendrochronology takes many trees of known ages, and constructs a pattern of wide and narrow rings. Then when a tree of unknown age is found, it’s ring pattern is compared against the standard. If a match is found, that is the time period during which the tree grew.
The key is that you must have a unique standard for every area you want to investigate. A tree from England cannot be compared against a standard from Germany for example.

Ralph
March 25, 2011 11:54 am

>>MarkW says: March 25, 2011 at 10:48 am
>>Ralph, you need to research what dendro chronology is.
I know very well what dendrochronology is – and you are wrong.
Firstly, you DO need to compare with trees outside your reagion, because very few areas have trees that go back thousands of years. That is why bristlecone and Irish bog rings are in great demand.
Secondly, the whole isue with YAD061 (hide the decline) is that this tree was different to all the other trees innthis region, so all trees do NOT grow in the same way. Competition for light and nutrition being prime reasons why some trees will have different bands of large and small rings.
But if trees are responding to VERY local growth issues, such as crowding from other neighbour trees, then they will not be reflecting the wider climatic issues of the day. And if trees are not reflecting wider climatic issues, as YAD061 was clearly not, then you cannot use tree ring widths to determine a chronologicsl sequence, and you cannot use tree rings to determine an age for a particular wood sample.
Even if the bristlecone sequence was reasonably reliable, because the trees were widely spaced and in similar conditions, the wood sample you are trying to date may be a YAD061 – a non-regular tree that had a stunted youth and old age, but a vibrant middle age, and thus a tree ring sequence that has nothing to do with wider climatic conditions, and nothing to do with the wonderful chronological sequence you have derived.
.

david
March 25, 2011 11:55 am

Steve McIntyre is a genius.
Anything short of “Einstein of the 21st century” is not giving enough credit.
I have trouble just keeping up, backtracing this fraud is astonishing.
12 years, i’ll bet they thought they had gotten away with it.
peace

el
March 25, 2011 12:04 pm

SteveE says, “They should probably be sent to jail for not showing these older temperature records as well based on the majority of comments on this blog.” — Can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t believe they deserve to be in jail. Here are a few other places I don’t believe they should be: in academia teaching our young; in pharma; on wall street; in the clergy. They should be working in professions where their particular skills are valued and admired, such as politics, law, advertising and selling used cars.

mpaul
March 25, 2011 12:22 pm

The Yamal series has played a key role in this drama. Here are the GPS coordinates for the site in which the Yamal trees were cored: 67 08’N, 69 57’E. If you use Google Earth to visit this location you will see that it is a barren landscape where the only trees that grow there grow immediately on the banks of the rivers. It is obvious from the conditions at Yamal that the growth patterns of these trees are highly influenced by annual flooding. Nowhere has the Team established that they can reliably recover a temperature signal from these tree rings (an no peer review has ever bother to ask them to justify this audacious claim). Given the tenuous nature of the treemometer claim, it is incumbent on the Team to fully disclose any and all adverse data that could shed light on the suitability of these tree ring series as temperature proxies. To do otherwise is simply dishonest and intentionally misleading.
What the Team is claiming is that the trees were temperature responders from 1550 to 1960 but not from 1402 to 1550 and from 1960 to 2000. Based on what!?!?! It is more likely that any correlation between temperature and tree rings is purely coincidental.

Colin
March 25, 2011 12:26 pm

All of which means nothing, Mark W. Yes, tree rings may all vary consistently within a given area, but that in no way means that temperature is the driver of the variance. Trees respond to many stimuli from year to year. Depending on the species, temperature is one of the least significant of those drivers.

Julian in Wales
March 25, 2011 1:55 pm

This is more than just and everyday scandal, it is proffessional misconduct with intent to push the political aganda into areas where money was to be wasted on a colossal scale and livelyhoods ruined. It is something that every scientist should stand up and distance themselves from, that goes for the IPCC too.
Don’t hold your breath, they will try to sweep it under the carpet and deny it and censor it. I never use the word conspiracy, but somehow if they do not withdraw and apologise for the way this pseudoscience was used, I cannot find a more apt word.

APACHEWHOKNOWS
March 25, 2011 2:05 pm

Bunch of “jackwaggon” CO2 con-men.

Joey Tavares
March 25, 2011 2:33 pm

Not long, now. The Interweb is going to do to Scientific Doctrine what the engine did to the horse and buggy.
Which is GETTING THE HORSE OFF THE FRONT OF THE BUGGY.
What a disgustingly greedy and adolescent self-professed ‘brain’ of the social body.

Stephan
March 25, 2011 2:42 pm

I think this only the tip of the iceberg. Once they begin to decipher all the comments in the code (they are already starting to see fishy notes). more artificial declines/omissions will be seen probably mainly in the adjusted global temperatures. One wonders if the mole was not Harry……

stephan
March 25, 2011 3:27 pm
stephan
March 25, 2011 3:29 pm
David T. Bronzich
March 25, 2011 3:45 pm

I think that there are two answers to the central question: “Where are the academic cops?” Answer 1. Having academic doughnuts at the metaphorical coffee shop.
Answer 2. It’s a citizen militia, go look in the mirror.

Theo Goodwin
March 25, 2011 3:51 pm

TallDave says:
March 25, 2011 at 8:48 am
“This is the difference between fact-based policymaking and policy-based factmaking.”
Very clever play on words, TallDave. The policy-based factmakers are usually communists who are quite eager to mold science to fit their policies.

March 25, 2011 4:00 pm

What disappoints me are the so-called “inquiries” which ended up being nothing but EPIC whitewashes.

Richard S Courtney
March 25, 2011 4:26 pm

SteveE:
At March 25, 2011 at 7:09 am you say to me:
“This is hardly a big scandal that you’re trying to whip it into.”
Say what!
I am not trying to “whip” this into anything. I do not need to because it is the greatest scientific scandal since the Piltdown Man. Historians of science, of scandals, and of frauds will study it for generations to come.
Indeed, the similarities to Piltdown Man are striking: i.e.
(a) the unjustifiable stitching together of parts of two different artifacts
(b) in attempt to claim that the resulting construct provides a single indication,
(c) followed by strong assertions that there was nothing wrong with the construct.
Richard

Richard S Courtney
March 25, 2011 4:28 pm

Moderators:
My recent response to a comment to me from SteveE seems to have disapeared perhaps because it includes the f word. I would be grateful if you were able to retrieve it.
Richard

Richard M
March 25, 2011 4:40 pm

So, when will we see all this on MSNBC? /sarc
Maybe Fox?

Jimmy Haigh
March 25, 2011 4:56 pm

JDN says:
March 25, 2011 at 7:47 am
@Scottish Sceptic says:
March 25, 2011 at 2:09 am
That’s a fantastic summary. I would love to read an expanded version. Are you blogging this somewhere?
Yes – click on Scottish Sceptic and it will take you to his site.

cohenite
March 25, 2011 4:58 pm

YAMAL, Hide the Decline, McShane and Wyner, yet we still have AGW groupies baying the mantras; this isn’t science anymore, it is a pathology.

Queen1
March 25, 2011 4:58 pm

PhilInCalifornia,
Thanks. This is not the place to get into a mud-slinging contest about pharma, but blithering idiots sometimes evoke an involuntary response from me. I compare what the Team has done with their data to medical clinical trials and can’t believe they get away with their assertions of significance and certainty. And pharma years ago went to archiving ALL trials done–whether positive or negative for a drug. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Team had to call a government agency and report whenever a citizen had a complaint about their “product?” Wouldn’t it be funny if the government could fine them billions of dollars for making claims based on scientific data that the government hadn’t approved in advance?
Yes, people’s lives are at stake with the pharma industry–are they not also at stake with the AGW industry? And in far greater numbers, with no oversight, and government complicity. It sickens me.

onion2
March 25, 2011 5:14 pm

Richard S Courtney says:
“Indeed, the similarities to Piltdown Man are striking: i.e.”
You forgot two:
(d) The fraud does not detract from the related scientific theory (evolution)
(e) The scientific theory turned out to be true

Green Sand
March 25, 2011 5:18 pm

David T. Bronzich says:
March 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Answer 2. It’s a citizen militia, go look in the mirror.

Yup, dead right, I for one am punching below my weight in this.
Up to now my MP has ignored my emails, so now is the time to “gain people’s attention”

March 25, 2011 5:25 pm

onion2 says:

(d) The fraud does not detract from the related scientific theory (evolution)
(e) The scientific theory turned out to be true…

…(f) Unlike CAGW which has been debunked.
There. Fixed.

John M
March 25, 2011 5:31 pm

onion2 says:
March 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

You forgot two:
(d) The fraud does not detract from the related scientific theory (evolution)
(e) The scientific theory turned out to be true

Ah yes…the ole “fake but accurate” defense.

philincalifornia
March 25, 2011 6:57 pm

Queen1 says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm
PhilInCalifornia,
Thanks. This is not the place to get into a mud-slinging contest about pharma, but blithering idiots sometimes evoke an involuntary response from me. I compare what the Team has done with their data to medical clinical trials and can’t believe they get away with their assertions of significance and certainty. And pharma years ago went to archiving ALL trials done–whether positive or negative for a drug.
———————————————————————–
I actually think that this is somewhat on-topic (independent oversight of critical data and conclusions). The taxpayer pays for FDA oversight, by people like Steve McIntyre (albeit not as heroic) with regard to the data for even a $10 million per year diagnostic device.
You’ll like this one Queen1. It’s a powerful recent example of their correct handling of what is now a $3-4 billion/year drug when under criticism. It’s a zinger, and it’s not behind a paywall.
http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp1008502
No doubt about it, the FDA is light years ahead of the EPA and the team when it comes to handling of data. “Death train” Hansen being in charge of the GISS record is beyond farcical.

Jack
March 25, 2011 7:25 pm

Now, I’m just spit balling here, but can careerism, money, influence, self-interest, etc., all of the banal things, in all of the possible combinations that we know motivate human beings, really be the motivating factor in what the Warmist Scientists have been doing?
In other words, is the reason they have been lying due to internal, selfish reasons?
If that is the reason, then what they have done is simply astounding as to the ratio of personal gain/wasted resources. They have cost all of us dearly. But that isn’t my point.
What if they actually do have motivations (and goals) that are beyond the banal? Seriously. There seems to be a tremendous amount of uniformity in communication strategy from the warmist side which is, I am sorry to say, is on the same level as a deceitful, unscrupulous salesman. Is there some hidden reason? Could it be the Warmist agenda is merely a means to an end? The idea seems fantastic and I don’t give it much credence.
Yet think of the damage the CRU, IPCC, Profs. Mann, Jone, Briffa, et. Al Gore, and a host of un-named others, have done! They have deceived the entire human species for personal gain? Could some one actually commit such a heinous act? Again, I find it hard to believe.
But I wonder, Why would the Aussie PM, Gillard, campaign on no carbon dioxide tax, and then implement a carbon dioxide tax.
Why would she do that? It is a negative issue for her. So what is her motivation?
It isn’t a position that’s working for her. Has some one got a sort of hold on her?
We are missing data.
Or we have reached a new low in “Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”
What if there was a group who planned to profit by keeping all of us ignorant of an impending ice age? Think of the callousness of such an action! We could have prepared and they worked to prevent us doing so.
And again, I find it hard to believe that some one could be so evil.
And here is the thing, as the Warmist authored papers are subjected to analysis, their data/algorithms as well, it becomes clear that they lied. Why?
Why did they lie? I just don’t understand. How could some one do this?

Steve Oregon
March 25, 2011 7:48 pm

“The Piltdown hoax is perhaps the most famous archeological hoax ever. It has been prominent for two reasons: the attention paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time (more than 40 years) that elapsed from its discovery to its full exposure as a forgery.”
40 years?
So did the AGW forgery roll out around 1990?
I’m trying to figure out if I’ll live to see it’s full exposure.

March 25, 2011 8:13 pm

[…] that is discussed in the climategate emails, and the central deleted data is the latest revelation. Anthony Watts, on the Watts up with that blog, reasonably has the following to say of this new example of […]

stupidboy
March 25, 2011 8:19 pm

Curious timing. ‘Seeing The Wood From The Trees’ was published in ‘Science’ on May 7th 1999. In September 1999 the IPCC Lead Authors met in Tanzania where a draft of AR3 was discussed.
On September 22nd 1999 Briffa wrote: “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple….”
(Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)
Also in 1999 Briffa had published in Quaternary Science Reviews 19 (2000) 87-105 a paper headed, ‘Annual climate variability in the Holocene: interpreting the message of ancient trees’, in which ‘Figure 1’ illustrated “Northern ‘high-latitude’ temperature changes over the last 2000 years”.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/qsr1999/
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/qsr1999/fig1.pdf

JRR Canada
March 25, 2011 8:32 pm

Alan Clark speaks for me as well. As Anthony says, fling funds, do not let poverty divert WUWT or Climate Audit from their work. I contribute as I can and hope that between us this effort for commonsense and sanity will prevail. Seems right now its the threadbare wallets, of the believers in science as a methodology, are all thats stemming the crusade of the climatologists, and our own tax money is used to push propaganda at us. Just think CBC is celebrating 50 years of financing Rabid Suzuki programming, oh joy, I want my money back. On the bright side as we progress into the negative phase of the approx 60 year weather cycle for North America it appears reality is working for us. Can we sue for non global warming? My govt promised it , threatened it and proclaimed it, so could I claim it is real, and as a non event I have been denied my rightful place in the sun? Sarcasm fully intended.

climatebeagle
March 25, 2011 8:53 pm

A thought experiment for those that believe it’s ok to hide this data.
Imagine Briffa and Osborn only had the data for 1551 onwards and publish the same paper. Sometime later the additional data is uncovered from 1402-1550 and has the divergence, would it have any affect on the validity of the paper?

tregembo
March 25, 2011 10:12 pm

I think the real nature of this travesty is that they should be called out for having erased the MWP from existence…tree rings have an optimum temperature for maximum growth, deviation either colder or warmer from the optimum temp band results in lower ring growth, the perfect mechanism to erase the MWP…oops…until of course it started to erase the current warming period. A travesty that…or should I say…inconvenient.
Personally, I’m still waiting for a negative AMO, which will be even more fun to watch as the erasure of the oceanic cycles will come back to bite these guys BIG time! Funny part will be when they say that these negative trending temps are caused by an anomalously negative AMO which is masking GW which will of course come roaring back with a vengeance (*100) when this is over….and yet no mention of a warming phase…another inconvenience.
It’s a travesty…
Hide the incline/decline…incline/decline…incline/decline…
every 60yrs…incline/decline…incline/decline…incline/decline…
It’s a travesty…incline/decline…incline/decline…

Rolf
March 25, 2011 11:29 pm

Unscientific comment but not the less interesting, made of a 90 !! year old man.
Taxation have destroyed a lot of things, now even science !

Roger Carr
March 26, 2011 12:38 am

philincalifornia (March 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm) notes to Queen 1:
     You’ll like this one Queen1. It’s a powerful recent example of their correct handling of what is now a $3-4 billion/year drug when under criticism.
And also says something to climate panic and response (thanks, Phil):
The Safety of Tiotropium — The FDA’s Conclusions

We have entered an era of increasingly frequent publication of meta-analyses, some of which identify potential safety signals. Such publication commonly leads to urgent calls to take immediate regulatory action, without acknowledgment of potential pitfalls in the interpretation of data from meta-analyses and pooled analyses, such as those encountered in the tiotropium evaluation. We must use measured restraint

R Stevenson
March 26, 2011 3:41 am

The omissi0ns are clearly fraudulent when one takes into account what influence these mushroom* scientists have with EU and UK governments through the IPCC.
There are two apple trees, two eucalypts, two false false acacias, several rohan trees and fir trees in my garden (yard) which clearly show that the mediaval warm period was much warmer than today, the mini ice age around 1750 was really cold and that the recovery from this has been slow. These trees also show that global warming due to anthroprogenic CO2 is competely untrue. Similar but opposite conclusions by CRU et al are applauded by politicians in the UK.
*Keeping client politicians in the dark and feed them manure.

Vince Causey
March 26, 2011 5:11 am

onion2 says:
March 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm
Richard S Courtney says:
“Indeed, the similarities to Piltdown Man are striking: i.e.”
You forgot two:
(d) The fraud does not detract from the related scientific theory (evolution)
(e) The scientific theory turned out to be true
==============================
Actually, the Piltdown man hoax was an attempt to show that huminoid evolution went in the sequence of ape, ape with increased cranium capacity and then bipedal locomotion. The reality was that bipedal locomotion came before increased cranium capacity. In this sense, the Piltdown man model of human evolution turned out to be false.
BTW, what happened to Onion1? Any relation?

March 26, 2011 5:16 am

The AGW promoting, carbon tax toting, Australian NSW Labour government has just been virtually annihilated in the State elections – there is hope folks.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/coalition-romps-to-victory-in-nsw-20110326-1cbbt.html

EternalOptimist
March 26, 2011 5:52 am

Jack
Why did they lie? I just don’t understand. How could some one do this?
=================================================
They didnt lie.
My brother is a devout christian, in fact he is a vicar in England in charge of 5 parishes. We have totally opposite and incompatible beliefs, neither can shift the other from their position. We are both 100% convinced in our belief system yet neither of us is lying to the other.
but one of us is wrong
EO

don penman
March 26, 2011 6:18 am

If these scientists have falsified data then they should be prosecuted and not only them the academics who cleared those involved in the climate-gate affair of any wrongdoing should also be prosecuted .We need to send a message to these people that they can’t corrupt data to achieve their political aims.

walt man
March 26, 2011 6:34 am

A simple question:
What is the provenance of this data?
McIntyre points to the second sheet of a excel document uploaded by Jones.
The same FTP site has a text version of the first sheet but not the second.
The headings on the second are simply:
Year Jones et al Mann et al Briffa et al
No dates – no source
Were these pre-release data, RAW data of width, Uncorrected for age of tree, etc.
Were these even temperatures?
Was the data even for trees?

Jose Suro
March 26, 2011 6:37 am

Thanks to Steve’s relentless hard work I am now convinced that the validity of the research in question is a notch below Chicken Bone Divination…..
Thanks Steve!!!
Best,
J

DirkH
March 26, 2011 7:18 am

Jack says:
March 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm
“Why did they lie? I just don’t understand. How could some one do this?”
It’s very easy to understand. When you work in an organisation, you will either work to further the goals of that organisation or work against them. It’s your decision. Most people, including me, will do the former, as long as they are part of the organisation. The “objective scientist” can only exist when he is financially independent. These climate scientists are not; they depend on attracting funding. They did what worked best for them and their institutions.

DirkH
March 26, 2011 7:25 am

onion2 says:
March 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm
“Richard S Courtney says:
“Indeed, the similarities to Piltdown Man are striking: i.e.”
You forgot two:
(d) The fra*d does not detract from the related scientific theory (evolution)
(e) The scientific theory turned out to be true”
Interestingly, onion2 does not dispute the fact that the Hockey stick scientists did assemble a piltdown man like artefact and sold it as science. So i guess there’s a consensus, then?

Pamela Gray
March 26, 2011 7:35 am

What is more revealing, and similar to today’s issue, about Piltdown Man is the extent to which doubting scientists at the time were reluctant to voice those doubts, due to the enormity of public celebration and heightened interest in all things science, and perceived acceptance by their also doubting peers. Which leads me to propose the real reason we had apparent initial broad acceptance of global warming theory: If every doubting scientist is quiet about it, then it must be true.
It took 30 years for the few early courageous doubters to be redeemed by the turn of public opinion. We are maybe a third of the way regarding the hoax of catastrophic tipping point global warming.
However, an earlier commenter said that the over-riding theory of emotion was not unduly harmed by the hoax. True, evolution theory continues unharmed by the hoax and those who genuinely believed in the hoax. Just as greenhouse gas theory will continue unharmed by the hoax of catastrophic tipping point global warming.

Pamela Gray
March 26, 2011 7:37 am

how in the heck did my fingers type …emotion…? I meant for my fingers to type “…evolution…”. Must have more coffee. Must have more coffee.

Will Black
March 26, 2011 7:39 am

It’s all part of this “agenda” that “they” seem to so easily be able to “put over” on the American public.
Perhaps it’s not only the faux scientists who are “guilty” here. Perhaps the easily duped American people play a role. If this stuff weren’t so easily gobbled up and digested, perhaps “they” wouldn’t have been able to get as far with it as they have.
It’s all about sensationalism, which of course has totally taken over the media. Who cares whether the implications are true or false, or WHAT the implications are. As long as it takes people’s breath away, let’s do it. Remember Y2K??

DirkH
March 26, 2011 7:42 am

Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 6:28 am
“SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:52 am
They do actually mention these parts in the paper though.
“How can we distinguish the growth-promoting effects of warm temperatures from the possible influence of increasing CO2 and perhaps even other anthropogenic growth enhancers such as nitrogenous pollution?”
“I personally don’t see what the problem is, perhaps someone can explain?”
In asking the question above, The Team reveals that they do not understand their own data. ”
No; in asking this question, they reveal exactly what would be a problem for them. It is not a problem for them that the influence of CO2 cannot clearly be distinguished from other factors; but it would be a problem if the produced result would endanger the global warming narrative. So, for them, the dendro reconstruction is only a means to an end – they reveal themselves as social engineers, not natural scientists.

Noblesse Oblige
March 26, 2011 7:44 am

If the data don’t fit, you gotta aquit.

Roger Knights
March 26, 2011 7:53 am

Why did they lie? I just don’t understand. How could some one do this?

I could go on for pages, but here are a few answers:
They think alternative energy is economically feasible, or would be soon with a little governmental jump-starting. They think our society is wasteful, so trimming its consumption wouldn’t really hurt it, it would just trim the fat. They think we’ll have to transition away from fossil fuels fairly soon due to their increasing expense, so the earlier we start the transition the lower the long-term costs. They like the idea of redistributing wealth to the 3rd world. They like the idea of “Science” and especially “concerned scientists,” having a leading political role.
Basically, they think they’re doing the right thing, if you look at it from the right perspective. What is truth, after all, but a matter of perspective?
Plus, it’s a fad in academia, and they’ve got swept up in it and are in too deep now to back out. Etc.

Dave Springer
March 26, 2011 7:55 am

Zorro says:
March 26, 2011 at 5:16 am

The AGW promoting, carbon tax toting, Australian NSW Labour government has just been virtually annihilated in the State elections – there is hope folks.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/coalition-romps-to-victory-in-nsw-20110326-1cbbt.html

Congratulations are in order. Well done, mate.

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2011 10:13 am

Roger Knights says:
March 26, 2011 at 7:53 am
“Basically, they think they’re doing the right thing, if you look at it from the right perspective. What is truth, after all, but a matter of perspective?”
Good old Leninist-Stalinist dogma or “perspective.” Who has the right perspective? The Communist Party, of course. That is, as soon as the Communist Party eliminates all other perspectives found among humanity. This dogma survives as Post Normal Science. Its popularity has an easy explanation. When you are a university professor, nearly a god in your domain, but you are limited by the dictates of scientific method and you want to burst free and live life largely, then become a member of the Leninist “avant garde” and lie to the masses for the good of the masses.

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2011 10:22 am

Zorro says:
March 26, 2011 at 5:16 am
“The AGW promoting, carbon tax toting, Australian NSW Labour government has just been virtually annihilated in the State elections – there is hope folks.”
Thanks. A ray of sunshine is really nice. Everyone pass on this information to your US representatives and senators who are set to vote on removing EPA’s power to regulate CO2. The vote is early in the week, Tuesday I think.

Solomon Green
March 26, 2011 11:26 am

The trouble with all you skeptics is that you do not understand Climate Science. In order to qualify as a peer-reviewed climate scientist one must be able to adapt the facts to fit the theory. Briffa and Osborn are to be congratulated, not condemned, for their skill.

March 26, 2011 11:41 am

Isn’t it really the same – or equivalent – data as those in Mann’s “censored” directory?
http://climateaudit.org/2006/03/28/the-censored-directory/
Those people are dirty, indeed.

Queen1
March 26, 2011 11:51 am

Thanks Phil. A great example of good corporate citizenship and thorough data analysis. I believe the quasi-adversarial relationship of the FDA and pharma leads to better scrutiny of data. Just the opposite of what is happening in climate where the government has made an investment in a certain interpretation of the data.

Phil.
March 26, 2011 12:43 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 9:25 am
SteveE says:
March 25, 2011 at 7:13 am
Theo Goodwin says:
March 25, 2011 at 6:19 am
Ian W says:
March 25, 2011 at 4:55 am
“So what else should they have said?”
They should have said that tree ring data for the last forty or fifty years diverges from temperature data. At this time, we do not know how to explain the divergence. Until we have a scientific explanation of the divergence, which will include explanatory physical hypotheses about this kind of tree rings, we cannot use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature.
———–
“They did.
They also explained the possible cause of this and referenced sources.
Read the paper.”
I won’t say that you lie; rather, I will say that you interpret them overly generously. By the way, don’t assign me work that you should be doing. You produce the quotations.

The paper was called “Reduced sensitivity of recent tree-growth to temperature at high northern latitudes” by Briffa et al., the abstract reads:
“Tree-ring chronologies that represent annual changes in the density of wood formed during the late summer can provide a proxy for local summertime air temperature1. Here we undertake an examination of large-regional-scale wood-density/air-temperature relationships using measurements from hundreds of sites at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. When averaged over large areas of northern America and Eurasia, tree-ring density series display a strong coherence with summer temperature measurements averaged over the same areas, demonstrating the ability of this proxy to portray mean temperature changes over sub-continents and even the whole Northern Hemisphere. During the second half of the twentieth century, the decadal-scale trends in wood density and summer temperatures have increasingly diverged as wood density has progressively fallen. The cause of this increasing insensitivity of wood density to temperature changes is not known, but if it is not taken into account in dendroclimatic reconstructions, past temperatures could be overestimated. Moreover, the recent reduction in the response of trees to air-temperature changes would mean that estimates of future atmospheric CO2 concentrations, based on carbon-cycle models that are uniformly sensitive to high-latitude warming, could be too low.”
So Briffa et al. did publish a paper in Nature showing that the tree-ring data diverged over the last 40-50 years and that they didn’t know the cause.

John M
March 26, 2011 1:16 pm

…they didn’t know the cause.

Which didn’t stop them from loudly braying “it could be worse than we thought!!!!”

March 26, 2011 1:46 pm

A little of my perspective if you don’t mind Anthony:
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/peanuts/

Latitude
March 26, 2011 1:47 pm

ok, so tell the truth…
…did any of you actually believe they could get past temperatures from trees?
I know, they started out saying they were getting past climate, and morphed that into temperatures…..
…but did any of you actually fall for it in the first place?

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Latitude says:
March 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm
“ok, so tell the truth…
…did any of you actually believe they could get past temperatures from trees?
I know, they started out saying they were getting past climate, and morphed that into temperatures…..
…but did any of you actually fall for it in the first place?”
What a wonderful question. I did not. Could have as easily believed that the cow jumped over the moon. But I have an advantage over most others, I grew up on a working farm and my father bought and sold timberland. There is just too much weather. Finding a temperature signal in tree rings would be exceedingly difficult.

Udar
March 26, 2011 2:23 pm


Phil. says:
March 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

but if it is not taken into account in dendroclimatic reconstructions, past temperatures could be overestimated.


Do I read this correctly? Are they saying that temperature in the past is probably lower than they think? As in it is even warmer now than in the past?
My understanding was that trees had been showing lower temperatures that reality, can someone explain to me how that could be translating in overestimating temperatures in the past?
Am I correct to interpret their “explanation” as it IS worse then we thought?

Udar
March 26, 2011 2:31 pm


Phil. says:
March 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

but if it is not taken into account in dendroclimatic reconstructions, past temperatures could be overestimated.


After rereading this, I am pretty sure that what they implying here is very different from what they should – instead of saying that their data is total garbage and can not be used, they saying that it is possible that modern temperatures are even hotter than their reconstruction indicates, it’s just they are not sure enough to claim it.
Do you agree with my interpretation, Phil?

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2011 2:32 pm

Phil quotes:
“During the second half of the twentieth century, the decadal-scale trends in wood density and summer temperatures have increasingly diverged as wood density has progressively fallen. The cause of this increasing insensitivity of wood density to temperature changes is not known, but if it is not taken into account in dendroclimatic reconstructions, past temperatures could be overestimated.”
Where in there does it say that this divergence is powerful evidence for the claim that, for the past fifty years, tree rings have proved to be unreliable as proxies for temperature? Nowhere!
Where does it say that this divergence is clearly shown (or will be clearly shown) in our published graph. Nowhere! Why? Because they did not show it.
Where does it say that in our important hockey stick paper we have (or will) replaced this divergent data with thermometer temperatures but have not revealed that fact in the body of paper. Nowhere!
You want to use this paper to defend the team from my charges. The existence of this paper provides no statement to the effect that their evidence has been called into question. Where do they recognize that their evidence is questionable? Nowhere!
Reading this paper and the hockey stick paper one could only conclude that the divergence turned out to be nothing. Suggesting such a conclusion is a lie.

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2011 2:48 pm

DirkH says:
March 26, 2011 at 7:42 am
“No; in asking this question, they reveal exactly what would be a problem for them. It is not a problem for them that the influence of CO2 cannot clearly be distinguished from other factors; but it would be a problem if the produced result would endanger the global warming narrative. So, for them, the dendro reconstruction is only a means to an end – they reveal themselves as social engineers, not natural scientists.”
Spot on. These people do not even possess the native instincts of scientists. They find something interesting, a problem, but instead of investigating it and reporting on it, as genuine scientists would, they hide it and continue uninterrupted with the global warming narrative! Astounding!