24 Hours of Climate Reality: Gore-a-thon – Hour 8

A new post containing a cartoon from Josh will appear every hour. At the end of the 24 hours, everything will be collated on a single page. Readers are encouraged to post skeptical arguments below, as well as offer comments on what has been seen from the Climate Reality Project so far.


Hockey sticks anyone?

The famous hockey stick graph was all about tree rings, and making the Medieval Warm Period disappear:

There is a new and important study on temperature proxy reconstructions (McShane and Wyner 2010) published in the Annals of Applied Statistics  According to Steve McIntyre, this is one of the “top statistical journals”. This paper is a direct and serious rebuttal to the proxy reconstructions of Mann. It seems watertight on the surface, because instead of trying to attack the proxy data quality issues, they assumed the proxy data was accurate for their purpose, then created a bayesian backcast method. Then, using the proxy data, they demonstrate it fails to reproduce the sharp 20th century uptick.

Now, there’s a new look to the familiar “hockey stick”.


Multiproxy reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperature variations over the past millennium (blue), along with 50-year average (black), a measure of the statistical uncertainty associated with the reconstruction (gray), and instrumental surface temperature data for the last 150 years (red), based on the work by Mann et al. (1999). This figure has sometimes been referred to as the hockey stick. Source: IPCC (2001).


FIG 16. Backcast from Bayesian Model of Section 5. CRU Northern Hemisphere annual mean land temperature is given by the thin black line and a smoothed version is given by the thick black line. The forecast is given by the thin red line and a smoothed version is given by the thick red line. The model is fit on 1850-1998 AD and backcasts 998-1849 AD. The cyan region indicates uncertainty due to t, the green region indicates uncertainty due to β, and the gray region indicates total uncertainty.

New paper makes a hockey sticky wicket of Mann et al 98/99/08

R expert replicates McShane and Wyner hockey stick analysis

McShane & Wyner Hockey Stick Smackdown – redux

And then there’s Yamal.

The pre-Climategate issue that is the issue

Yamal treering proxy temperature reconstructions don’t match local thermometer records

United Nations Pulls Hockey Stick from Climate Report

Music of the rings: the Yamal tree ring controversy continues

One tree made the Mann Hockey Stick:

MIRROR POSTING: YAD06 – the Most Influential Tree in the World

And, can you even measure temperature with trees?

A look at treemometers and tree ring growth

Tipping helps:

For the behind the scenes climate maneuvering that went into this, and why many people doubt the Hockey Stick, I highly recommend reading Caspar and the Jesus Paper as well as The Hockey Stick Illusion:


Josh put a lot of work into these, so if you like the work, drop by the tip jar. Unlike Gore’s CRP, he won’t spam you asking for more. Buy him a beer, he’s worked a long time bringing us enjoyment with only some “attaboys” sent his way.

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September 15, 2011 12:27 am

Hmm… I would have to disagree with the statement in regards to the new graph “Then, using the proxy data, they demonstrate it fails to reproduce the sharp 20th century uptick”. The new graph has a Y axis in 1 degree increments instead of half. There is definitely a sharp uptick in temperatures starting around 1900. The temperatures appear to have been slowly and fairly steadilly cooling from the MWP up until 1900. However, what it does show that is majorly different from the old graph is that the Medieval warming period was warmer than today.

Scottish Sceptic
September 15, 2011 12:36 am

Are you sure it’s on today
To say I’m not interested in the boreothon is an understatement, so I never did check the day, but I can’t find ANYTHING in the news about it. They are:
Top: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming
2. New map shows global warming???
3. Scientists to create artificial volcano for climate change experiment
‎4. Movie Review: Al Gore’s Polarizing, Misleading ‘Climate Reality’
5. Global Warming Beneficial for Human Health: Study
‎6. Scientists to Test ‘Artificial Volcano’ to Counteract Global Warming
OK, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it seems none of the newsmedia are taking a blind bit of notice, but as I didn’t …
…. Is it really today?

September 15, 2011 12:57 am

Posting all hours on twitter and twitpic!
Keep on the good work

September 15, 2011 12:59 am

Lol, good one Josh. You still printing T-shirts?

Beth Cooper
September 15, 2011 1:09 am

Witty 8th hour cartoon from Josh . A the climate ‘science’ graph measuring ‘Stuff by Time.’ 🙂
I take that to mean ‘Dubious Stuff by Adjustable Time.’

September 15, 2011 1:11 am

The method how hockey stick graphs are created is rather simple: Take a proxy record which comes out rather constant, then delete last few years of it and replace them by instrumental record.

September 15, 2011 1:14 am

Tshirts? Of course! Might have to be a v big Tshirt to get all 24 cartoons on.

September 15, 2011 1:21 am

As I have said before:
You see One Tree
You’ve seen Yamal

September 15, 2011 1:23 am

Only a third of the way thru, but it’s already time to change the name: It’s now the Bore-a-thon (yawn).

John Marshall
September 15, 2011 1:54 am

Where is the troposphere hot spot that the models predict is due to GHG input? It ain’t there because those models are wrong.

September 15, 2011 2:22 am

So let me summarise this Solomon Islands hour –
Pick some guy from the other side of the planet and fly him in for a fake effect of global participation.
Give him a bunch of weather event slides to agonise over, despite the fact that most of the major ones (Pakistan flooding, Moscow heat wave and Brisbane flooding have already been assumed in peer reviwed papers to be part of natural variation).
Show only one graph of things getting worse – in this case it was heavy precipitation days – and ignore all those other graphs showing things exactly the same or better.
Mention record events eg Tennessee floods being a 1000 year event – despite there not being records for more than a few hundred years.
Quotes from dubious sources like K Trenberth and J Hansen, as if that was proof of anything
Include computer fabricated ‘graphs’ and charts for an imaginary future.
Make a bunch of sceptic strawmen and knock them down eg claim that sceptics say it’s not warming and show the entire temperature record and not the last ten years.
Bring up smoking – surely they could have come up with a new smear for this event?
Are all these people just working from the same set of slides? Because if this was a school project, they’d be failed for collaborating and having no original input.
Spout some irrelevant information about what countries are doing eg China having loads of solar panels and the US cancelling coal fired power station plans – how about reversing that and marking China’s new coal fired power stations on a map and listing the US solar panel business failures?
Then get down to what watchers can do about AGW.
Speak up – yes, this seems to be their best effort and if this event is a good example they’re pathetic at that. Debate – Anyone using this hour to debate with me would get their ass whupped.
Do stuff – AGW believers are pretty poor at cutting CO2, they couldn’t even arrange this event without flying people to the US rather than involving them from their homes. FAIL.
The last one was ‘Don’t give up’ which asked people to lobby their representatives – isn’t that the same as ‘speak up’? So in fact they’d only got 2 actions.
Finally hold a discussion with a very small number of people including the speaker and the host. Spout a load of irrelevant stuff about possible AGW effects while only using local environmental damage and weather events to illustrate it. Include lots of personal experiences and feelings, as if they’re a measure of any significance.
How can anyone watch more than an hour of this?

Chris D.
September 15, 2011 8:27 am

And there’s also the Upside-down Tiljander. Anyone can understand that one.

Lady Life Grows
September 15, 2011 4:41 pm

I lasted about 3 minutes. Some of you endured an HOUR or more?
Don’t you have anything to do all day?

September 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Suppose the M & W Fig 16 represents accurate data. Since I can draw a horizontal line across the graph entirely inside the gray area, I can just as honestly assert that global temperatures have remained precisely constant for the last 150 years.
The red line and black lines, then, have no more meaning than my assessment, even if they showed a 150 degree increase over 150 years. Unless, of course, you hold a superstitious belief in statistics.
You too can read a graph. I wish my kids were old enough for graph reading, just so I could explain in detail the evil that is promulgated by these people, and how they do it.

September 16, 2011 8:46 am

The last one was ‘Don’t give up’ which asked people to lobby their representatives – isn’t that the same as ‘speak up’? So in fact they’d only got 2 actions.

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