Hockey stick falsification – so easy a caveman kid can do it

With apologies to the Geico caveman, paleoclimatology isn’t just for grant enabled scientists anymore.

Priceless Climategate email 682: Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that his son did a tree ring science fair project (using trees behind NCAR) that invalidated the centerpiece of Mann’s work:

‘A few years back, my son Eirik did a tree ring science fair project using trees behind NCAR. He found that widths correlated with both temp and precip. However, temp and precip also correlate. There is much other evidence that it is precip that is the driver, and that the temp/width correlation arises via the temp/precip correlation’

From email 682.txt

h/t to Tom Nelson

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DocMartyn
December 1, 2011 8:29 am

Psalm 8:2

dp
December 1, 2011 8:37 am

It is truly a tree-ring circus, then.

hswiseman
December 1, 2011 8:39 am

Anthony…your language is hurtful…you wont be seeing me at the pancake social!

Sam the First
December 1, 2011 8:45 am

Very amusing! Shame they have no sense or irony
It would be nice if they could write English – “do not be tempted to guild the
lily ” indeed!

John-X
December 1, 2011 8:45 am

There must be an email with Mann demanding ‘direct action.’ Was Eirik expelled?

December 1, 2011 8:47 am

Boy genius: Trees need water to grow.

John-X
December 1, 2011 8:47 am

We need to get science fair judges we know and trust.

Skiphil
December 1, 2011 8:48 am

maybe the Piltdown Mann is beyond parody, beyond ridicule………

Ray
December 1, 2011 8:53 am

Oh, the humanity, Tom Wigley has a denier son. I am sure MM must have responded that Tom’s son has not published his results in a buddy-peer review journal, so they must not be true.

Editor
December 1, 2011 8:54 am

Thanks to Tom for digging this tidbit up. He has a slew of interesting finds. Just keep scrolling.

pat
December 1, 2011 8:54 am

LOL. I just happened to read this email before drifting over to WUWT. But it confirms what botanists have been saying for years, to the deaf ears of Warmists.

mpaul
December 1, 2011 8:54 am

Mike should talk to some investigative journalists to see if they can dig up some dirt on these kids.

Ralph
December 1, 2011 8:58 am

.
Is this the standard kind of IPCC ‘peer’ review? Does that mean Mann is just a big kid on an ego-trip?
.

December 1, 2011 9:01 am

It is getting bad when school science projects refute your magnum opus.

Hugh Pepper
December 1, 2011 9:02 am

Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,
REPLY: Oh please, are you a paid shill for Mann or something, because you don’t seem able to assimilate new information? – Anthony

December 1, 2011 9:04 am

So easy a kid can do it?
A kid did do it.

RichieP
December 1, 2011 9:06 am

“John-X says:
December 1, 2011 at 8:47 am
We need to get science fair judges we know and trust”
Damn right! What’s the best way to get the headteacher dismissed for permitting this crap?

JeffC
December 1, 2011 9:08 am

I think Eirik (hell of a name you gave your son) may be in some trouble since it appears he published his data and formulas in direct contradiction to standing climate science standards …

David Y
December 1, 2011 9:08 am

This is OT–but Anthony, have you noticed that the nightly lows here in the Sac’to valley (I’m in Sacramento proper) have been running 6-8 degrees below normal for Nov/Dec (and no forecast change in that trend)? Short term ‘weather’, I realize, but that darn set of graphs from Rutan showing cooling have been sticking in my head….Happy Holidays to you and your Team!

David Larsen
December 1, 2011 9:13 am

Back to the planet of the apes.

jaypan
December 1, 2011 9:21 am

Good stuff.
Same email has this statement:
“By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t want to give them any way to claim credit.”
Nice colleagues, aren’t they?

OK S.
December 1, 2011 9:22 am

At 10:03 PM 6/5/REDACTED, Tom Wigley wrote:
Mike,
Well put! By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t
want to give them any way to claim credit.
Also, stationarity is the key. Let me tell you a story. A few years back, my son Eirik …
Tom.

Earlier in 682.txt:

At 05:08 PM 6/5/REDACTED, Tom Wigley wrote:
Dear all,

The bottom line is that proxy precip data *cannot* be used as a T indicator except in
the rarest of circumstances. Even in high latitudes there are problems — see, e.g.,
Bradley and England, late 1970s report (Ray, I’m sure you will remember this about the
rareness of precip events).
I think it is extremely dangerous to leave SB any loopholes here.

Tom.

The whole of 682.text would be funnier if it wasn’t so horrible for those taught the scientific method.

TheFlyingOrc
December 1, 2011 9:24 am

Did he respond? I’m very curious what his response would be.

Jimmy Haigh
December 1, 2011 9:41 am

“Global Wetting.”
It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? Wouldn’t have caught on…

Jimmy Haigh
December 1, 2011 9:42 am

No pun intended.

Bruce
December 1, 2011 9:53 am

Maybe David Suzuki will threaten to have the kid jailed.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513

awc
December 1, 2011 10:04 am

imagine that, trees grow faster if they receive more water and slower if less water.
i wonder if that explains why trees are so stunted in growth in arid areas?

Bob Rogers
December 1, 2011 10:07 am

I think I was in first grade when we did an experiment on how water impacts growth of plants…

jono
December 1, 2011 10:11 am

Engineers tend to keep things, like sheared bolts, left hand thread taps, front silvered mirrors etc , one thing I kept for many years was a humble piece of structural (C24) timber (lumber) about 100mm (4 inches) wide cut across the grain, just over 50% of its width the growth rings were widely spaced, the remainder were very tightly packed. It always reminded me that either the climate had changed very rapidly over 1 year and stayed there for about 35 years consequtively or that tree ring data simply indicated availability of moisture give or take a bit of something else.
Its just too easy to prove the effect, but then who would listen, believe and accept it amongst the AGW group
regards.

December 1, 2011 10:11 am

The best snippet about tree growth was the way Ray Bradley plagiarised all of the list of factors affecting tree growth except co2 from a figure caption in a 70’s textbook.

December 1, 2011 10:18 am

So, when a kid points out an inconvenient truth, it really is a case of the The Emporer’s New Clothes.

Paul Martin
December 1, 2011 10:21 am


“It’s so simple, so very simple, that only a child can do it.”

B.O.B.
December 1, 2011 10:25 am

Talking about kids invalidating theories with experiments; for a Science Fair, my daughter grew bean plants in 3 “biospheres” . Each biosphere was made from two – 2 litre pop bottles with the tops cut off where they tapered, then taped together at the open ends where they were cut. This created a tall, skinny growing chamber. One bioshpere was completely sealed (= low CO2) one had small holes to let in a bit of CO2 from the house (= moderate CO2), and the third had large holes (= high CO2). It was winter and parents and a number of kids and a dog occupied the house, so indoor CO2 was higher than the great outdoors.
The low CO2 plant sprouted but eventually withered away once it used up all the CO2, the moderate CO2 plant grew long and spindly, and the high CO2 plant was lush, green and grew much more extensive roots. My daughter even corresponded with the Idzo’s of the CO2Science website (where we got the idea for the experiment.)
Compared to the usual fare, I thought it was a unique and delightful experiment. We don’t know why (and I didn’t make a big deal of it), but it didn’t advance to the next round. One thing I do know; there was a well-known “warmist” (activist) on the team of judges!

Will Delson
December 1, 2011 10:37 am

I hope Tom Wigley’s son made it out of that incident unscathed since Mann doesn’t react well to people criticizing his work. We’ll probably find more email whereby The Team conspires to get a paper fast-tracked into the Science Fair to rebut the experiment and maybe even get some pressure on the principal and school board to have the science teacher removed from his post. Sounds about right.

Manfred
December 1, 2011 11:12 am

Two things are needed to restore justice:
1. A witness protection program in climate science, which includes corrupt journals and media.
2. An organization to support the victims in legal matters.

kwik
December 1, 2011 11:12 am

Maybe Eirik wad a friend of this little scientist?

I guess they are both on the Black-List now. Remember the Black-List, folks?

treegyn1
December 1, 2011 11:16 am

jono says:
December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am
“…one thing I kept for many years was a humble piece of structural (C24) timber (lumber) about 100mm (4 inches) wide cut across the grain, just over 50% of its width the growth rings were widely spaced, the remainder were very tightly packed. It always reminded me that either the climate had changed very rapidly over 1 year and stayed there for about 35 years consequtively or that tree ring data simply indicated availability of moisture give or take a bit of something else.”
More likely this was simply a board cut from a tree that grew in an unmanaged stand, and had reached the point where competitive effects from the other trees in the stand started to slow radial growth. Many tree species can hang on for years in such overstocked stands, growing very little each year and thus, laying down the very tight growth rings you observed. Similar growth patterns are seen in stands that have been attacked by defoliating insects for multiple years running.

Brian D
December 1, 2011 11:21 am

This statement buy Kevin Trenberth I take exception to: “Maybe we can say womething like this:
It is well established in current climate studies that warm conditions tend to accompany
wet conditions in the extratropics in winter owing to the dominant role of the
atmospheric circulation so that southerlies are warm and moist in the northern
hemisphere while northerlies are cold and dry. But in summer, the weaker atmospheric
circulation means that moist thermodynamics is more important so that dry conditions
favor warm spells and heat waves, as heat from the sun no longer evaporates moisture and
instead increase temperatures.”
Sorry but that is just false. Temps and precip just don’t correlate like that. You can look at any climate map from the past and falsify this statement. The only truth here is dry conditions in summer do lend themselves to a greater likely hood of heat waves. But you also have to define a heatwave for a particular region. And that region may experience one with higher humidity as well.

Ed Caryl
December 1, 2011 11:35 am

Mann knew exactly what he was doing. He believes that rainfall follows temperature, so that tree growth should likewise follow temperature. When it doesn’t, that data is excluded. He cut off the Briffa data after 1940 because the local temperature in the Urals started falling at that time, and didn’t rise again untill well after 2000. (See the Ostrov Dikson and Dudinka temperature records.) This didn’t match his world view so got excluded. The whole hockey stick is a huge example of cherry-picking. The Tiljander series part of it is just another huge inverted cherry. The whole thing has now been SO thoroughly falsified that this writer can’t see how Michael Mann can still have ANY scientific standing.

Pete Olson
December 1, 2011 11:36 am

@dp: ‘It is truly a tree-ring circus, then.’
Good one!

007
December 1, 2011 11:41 am

I don’t really see how anyone can get past this:
“By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don’t
want to give them any way to claim credit.”

George E. Smith;
December 1, 2011 11:42 am

Hopefully, Sam The First will not be the last to catch Briffa in a fox pass.
So Keith; just which Guild were you contemplating elevating that Lily too; and what is the occasion for such recognition.
Just don’t go Gold plating anything during that august ceremony.

DirkH
December 1, 2011 11:49 am

Hugh Pepper says:
December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am
“Are you serious? Dr Manns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years […]”
You’re saying MBH 98 is bogus? Oh, nice that you’ve seen the light.

DickF
December 1, 2011 12:06 pm

How much did Exxon pay that kid?

terry a
December 1, 2011 12:06 pm

obviously the kid is bought and paid for by Shell or Petrocan …poor boy ..oh well every one needs a few shekels to get a bit of bread .

NK
December 1, 2011 12:27 pm

Ed Caryl @1135: agree completely. Ural Bristlecone Pines made the cut for Mann because they correlated to the statistic profile he neededfor his “reconstruction”. That correlation was all but random based on the rainfall, cloud cover, temps, drought history etc etc in that location, but the profile fit up until 1940 — then came Mann’s fraudulent exclusion of data to keep his chart going. Climategate II has moved this from opinion to fact.

jorgekafkazar
December 1, 2011 12:31 pm

PhilJourdan says: “It is getting bad when school science projects refute your magnum opus.”
It’s getting even worse when Bill Nye, The Science Guy, confirms it. It’s like being praised by Al Gore.
Jimmy Haigh says: “Global Wetting…” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?”
Global Inundation?

Latitude
December 1, 2011 12:41 pm

How odd……
….plants in arid places grow when it rains
and the PDO shifts
Who’d a thunk it……….

Robert Austin
December 1, 2011 12:45 pm

Hugh Pepper says:
December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am
“Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,”
Hugh, your ignorance of Dr, Mann’s work is astonishing in light of the enlightened and detailed dissection of his work available on the web. The climategate emails even show some of those devoted to the “cause” have concerns about Mann’s reconstructions. The caliber of trolls parachuting into the skeptical sites is in precipitous decline. Alas,it even makes one yearn for the posts of R Gates who at least tested our knowledge and reasoning.

Ninderthana
December 1, 2011 12:52 pm

Look, I am an out-and-out skeptic, however, even I can’t stomach this simplistic argument.
It is true that people have used generic tree-ring widths as temperature proxies without thinking a about the fact that the width of tree rings are often controlled by multiple factors. So point taken
when this is the case.
However, it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using specific tree species that are located in environments that ensure that only one of the many factors controlling tree-ring width dominates over all of the others.
For instance, this true of the mountain hemlock which are located along the Pacific coasts of Canada and Alaska. This is a species whose tree-ring widths are very temperature sensitive. The mountain hemlocks get all the precipitation that they need to grow. However, there location near the tree-line of the coastal Rocky Mountains means that that their growth is severely limited by seasonal variations in marine air temperature. This means that that they are ideal for studying long-term variations in the pattern of seas surface temperatures (SST) in the North Pacific such as the PDO.
This is confirmed by the fact that SST’s that are derived using the Sr/Ca ratios measured in corals at Rarotonga in the South Pacific, show essentially the same long-term variations in the PDO proxy record as those derived from PDO reconstructions based upon the tree-ring widths of mountain hemlock along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska (D’Arrigo et al. 2001).
So there is a place for tree rings widths to be used a temperature proxies if care is taken to think about the factors controlling tree-ring width.

RockyRoad
December 1, 2011 12:53 pm

Hugh Pepper says:
December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

Are you serious? Dr MAnns work does not rely on tree ring data, which at most would allow a backcast of a few hundred years and would not in any way allow a measurement,

Actually, Hugh, I suppose in a way you’re right. But I could let Mann’s hockey stick program work on my bank account numbers (and I can assert since I’m now unemployed they have NOT been going up recently), and it would STILL show the “hockey stick” signature curve.
I’m sure if you wanted to make money, simply take the reciprocal to flip that “hockey stick” curve upside down and use it as the basis of an on-line diet center; whatever people put in as their weight will show as a weight loss curve. Everybody will be “happy”, ’cause it absolutley won’t matter what their true data shows.
…tree ring data; my bank account; your weight; what’s the diff? (ATBSWD*)
*Any time-based series will do!

December 1, 2011 1:09 pm

jorgekafkazar says:
December 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Jimmy Haigh says: “Global Wetting…” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?”
Global Inundation?

Global Incontinence?

RockyRoad
December 1, 2011 1:13 pm

Ninderthana says:
December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm


So there is a place for tree rings widths to be used a temperature proxies if care is taken to think about the factors controlling tree-ring width.

Point well taken, Ninder, as long as you DON’T use Mann’s program to calculate the curve.

December 1, 2011 1:30 pm

Yvo de Boier, Revkin, Jones whoring science behind the curtain.
As I, said, i invited a to found “hidden files”, but who cares,
ilkka,mononen@gmail.com
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1267.txt&search=Yvo+de+BOER
*******************************************************************
“date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 10:49:05 -0500
from: Andrew Revkin
subject: Re: NYTimes.com: Dot Earth: Climate Panel May Not Have Time to
to: Phil Jones , ???@nytimes.com
don’t suppose you’d be willing to post that as a comment, phil?? : )
would help jog folks a bit.
At 10:37 AM 12/6/2007, Phil Jones wrote:
Andy,
You hit the nail on the head in your last few sentences.
There will be less science done on climate change if govts of the
world ask for another review. Hardly any of the scientists
who did the last one will want to do it again.
Also the conclusions aren’t going to change. This talk just
seems like a delaying tactic to put off decisions till a later
date. The message isn’t going to change. It’s about time they
started doing something as opposed to talking about it.
The issue isn’t like most normal things they deal with. Let’s
set up a committee and wait for it to report. The issue might then
go away and our electorate think we’re doing something. They have
the report now – 2007 – they need to act.
Cheers
Phil
At 15:18 06/12/2007, you wrote:
[]
[1]The New York Times E-mail This
This page was sent to you by: ???@nytimes.com
Message from sender:
Don’t spend too much time in those tuxedos, all ye Nobelists.
SCIENCE | December 6, 2007
[2]Dot Earth: Climate Panel May Not Have Time to Celebrate
Andrew C. Revkin
Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary managing the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, gave his latest update to the press today in Bali on negotiations over
next steps under that faltering 1992 climate treaty. Some excerpts are here: Among other
things, he said, several countries suggested that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, which […]
[]
[]
Most E-mailed
1. [3]Op-Ed Columnist: Intercepting Irans Take on America
2. [4]Mind: Unhappy? Self-Critical? Maybe Youre Just a Perfectionist
3. [5]A Liquor of Legend Makes a Comeback
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» [8]Go to Complete List
[9]Copyright 2007 [10]The New York Times Company | [11]Privacy Policy
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 ???
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 ???
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email ???@uea.ac.uk
NR4 7TJ
UK
————————————————

NK
December 1, 2011 1:33 pm

Ninderthana– fair points, except the gratuitous shot at “simplistic”. The reality is all of the public evidence at this point is that Mann did not control for all of the variables that contribute to tree rings, in fact the evidence is the opposite, he looked for a time series that fit the profile he was looking for, and then he culled out of that database the inconvenient information post-1940. If you think commenters are being too ‘simplistic’ or otherwise being unfair to Mann, urge him to respond fully to the FOIA requests and show the careful controls for all of ther variables. Because, the reality is mann is fighting tooth and nail to refuse to show his work. I think he’s a fraud, and until he shows his work, he has no credibility.

Scott Brim
December 1, 2011 1:46 pm

Ed Caryl says:
“Mann knew exactly what he was doing. ……..The whole thing has now been SO thoroughly falsified that this writer can’t see how Michael Mann can still have ANY scientific standing.”
=====================================================
Mann is simply manufacturing an analytical product to fit a market-driven requirement, which is the overwhelming need to get rid of the Medievil Warm Period.
In the opinion of his customer clientele in the AGW industry, Mann has succeeded admirably, in that his analytical product gets rid of the Medievil Warm Period while also having the outward look and feel of real science to those who don’t know the difference.

LazyTeenager
December 1, 2011 1:57 pm

Must be missing something here.
Tree ring widths are being used to infer the local tree temperature.
Which means that there must be conceptually some calibration curve. Presumably linear.
For a particular location:
If temperature is linearly related to rainfall and rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width. So the calibration curve is valid though with possibly with too much uncertainty.
So logically this is fine and so what exactly is the problem?
Cause and effect is not the issue.
The classic example of “correlation is not causation” is the very high correlation between apple sales and the divorce rate.
However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.

Vince Causey
December 1, 2011 2:11 pm

LazyTeenager,
“For a particular location:
IF temperature is linearly related to rainfall and [IF] rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width.”
That’s right Lazy. As they used to say, if my aunt had wheels she’d be a tea trolley.

Theo Goodwin
December 1, 2011 2:20 pm

Ninderthana says:
December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pmf
Sure. However, as your reading applies to Mann’s case, what you are asking is not different from asking that we accept proxy data taken only from river banks.

December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

Some trees, and hidden MWP.
“date: Tue Jun 6 14:30:55 2006
from: Tim Osborn
One can see that the MWP and the Roman warm epoch were warmer then the current climate.
But one can see some delta-like peaks in the reconstruction by the reasn of poor
sampling for respective time moments.
Therefore, the second and third reconstruction are created with use the only cases when
more than 3 or 5 tree-rings
exist for a year. All peaks are absent in the third reconstruction, but some gaps exist.
Green line shown in the third reconstruction represent an estimation of temperature
variations BP”
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=3620.txt&search=moerner

December 1, 2011 3:03 pm

Bob Rogers says:
December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am
I think I was in first grade when we did an experiment on how water impacts growth of plants…
=========================================================================
I need to get a gov’ment grant, but I think I can prove water makes my yard grow.

December 1, 2011 3:29 pm

http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?search=%3D%3Fgb2312%3FB%3FJUQ1JUM1JUMwJUYyJUMzJUY0IA%3D%3D%3F%3D
Hockey teams “Mitrokhin Papiers.
“Hockey teams email “Mitrokhin Papiers” , code book.
*****************************************************
“e) p16 – an operations timetable – need to specifically mention the setting
up of a comprehensive WWW site with public and private pages….
f) on page 3 of the call- para 3 starting Global climate models… it says
that a significant challenge for the new centre is …. I am NOT sure we
have explicitly addressed the question – esp local and regional scales, cut
down model etc
g) perhaps in Suggested Research Agenda intro need to specifically mention
existing close links with Hadley, UGAMP, UKICP, IPCC….. and say will work
closely with and compliment …
The list of typos and small changes(done on John Shepherd’s version of the
draft) :
1)p3, line 1 – double comma ,,
2)p3, line 7 – major cultural divides -> major cultural and organisational
divides
3)p3, last line – double full stop ..
4)p4, list of names -Markvart – Dr not Prof
5)p7 – management structure : bullet point one : line 2 scientists We ->
scientists. We
6)p7 – management structure : bullet point 2 : delete open square bracket [
7)p7 – management structure : bullet point 3 : need a little explanation
after the Programme Leaders if only to say ‘whose role is described below’
8)p7 – management structure : text after bullet points : Council’s ->
Councils
9)p7 – ditto – ditto : if the Soton & UMIST reps are well known figures then
I think they should be named now
10)p7 – ditto – ditto – need to define the Centre’s Science Co-ordinator and
Communications Manager – is this one post or two ? what are their role’s ?
how is the Science Co-ordinatoir different from the PL’s or the ED ?
11) p8 – line 1 – I thought the Management Team mtgs should be MUCH MORE
FREQUENT than every six months, if not then what body/person is running
things in the interim ?
12) p8, para 2, line 3 ‘responsible to implement’ -> ‘responsible for
implementing’
13) p8 ditto, last line – double full stop ..
14) p8, para 3, line 2 : this JIF -> a recent JIF
14) p8, ditto, ditto, office accommodation has -> office accommodation has
already
15) p9, para 2 line 2 – double full stop ..
16) p9, challenge 1, para 2, line 3 double full stop ..
17) p10, challenge 2 line 2 delete [and alternative]
18) p12, challenge 5 para 1, line 5 double full stop ..
19) p12, ditto, ditto, line 9 ?. to ?
20) p13, para 2 methodsl -> methods
21) p19, Jim Halliday, line 2 Director, Energy -> Head of the Energy
22) p20, Nick Jenkins, email address -> ???@umist.ac.uk
23) p21, Jonathan Kohler, email address -> ???@econ.acm.ac.uk
24) p21, Tom Markvart : details are School of Engineering Sciences,
University of Southampton email ???@soton.ac.uk”
**********************
Ilkka

Theo Goodwin
December 1, 2011 4:33 pm

Ninderthana says:
December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm
“However, it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using specific tree species that are located in environments that ensure that only one of the many factors controlling tree-ring width dominates over all of the others.”
You really want to be careful with this idea. From another point of view, you are selecting experimental subjects for the purpose of maximizing the change caused by the one factor that you selected as the most important before designing the experiment. This approach screams “confirmation bias” and might be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Reed Coray
December 1, 2011 4:36 pm

Several commenters on this thread have in one way or another made the claim that water affects plant growth. That sounds plausible; but didn’t a group of scientists (Italian, if I remember correctly) recently refute the equally plausible claim that water can prevent dehydration in humans? Since some of those scientists may now be out of a job, I recommend the “team” hire them to prove that water doesn’t affect plant growth. In today’s post-normal science world, that proof should be a piece of cake.

Paul Coppin
December 1, 2011 4:49 pm

You guys are being way too simplistic about the tree rings. Every tree grows in its own unique highly variable ecosystem. It takes a lot of trees to make a statement about climate – like a whole forest’s worth. Briffa and Mann’s sampling was absolutely without meaning, too few trees, too many uncontrolled variables, not enough like variables. That’s the world of a tree. If you want to look at climate and trees you look at the movement of forest boundaries, and even then…

December 1, 2011 4:51 pm

If yu are intrested in decrypted emails, im´joying > >

December 1, 2011 5:13 pm

“WWF takes Japan & EU, to dance.
Correspondents Club of Japan last Friday I described the proposal as a
“joke”. This was well picked up by the written press here.
Now more details have emerged, the proposal is even weaker than first
thought. We are faxing a press release out this afternoon to Japan-based
agencies and press with WWF?s reaction (see below). You might like to join
in the condemnation of what Japan is proposing and ensure that your country
flatly rejects the proposal.
Japan?s Special Ambassador, Toshiaki Tanabe, is on a world tour canvassing
for the support of other industrialised nations. After visiting Washington
DC he moved on to Hawaii a few days ago for an informal conference”
including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Today’s Yomiuri
Shimbun gave front-page coverage to Australia?s outrage over the stringency
of the Japanese proposal!”
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0876250531.txt&search=%40post4.tele.dk
And, the case;

Barbara Munsey
December 1, 2011 5:14 pm

I just read something hilarious in the comments on a political blog, that I had to bring it here as a small and insignificant gift:
A discussion was underway on the new study from a doctoral candidate (in social psychology) at the University of British Columbia that seems, with a very small statistical sampling and some VERY strange questions, to “prove” that there is reason to consider atheists a class worthy of protection from discrimination.
Someone responded “Isn’t this how global warming started? Someone just made a bunch of stuff up?”
Here’s the money response to that, which had me laughing out loud: “Yes–the global warmists used the social scientific method”.
Enjoy!

December 1, 2011 5:27 pm

Wanna more proofs? They are watrproofs.
Mike, Ray and Malcolm,
The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here ! Maybe we can use
this to our advantage to get the series updated !
Odd idea to update the proxies with satellite estimates of the lower troposphere
rather than surface data !. Odder still that they don’t realise that Moberg et al used the
Jones and Moberg updated series !
Francis Zwiers is till onside. He said that PC1s produce hockey sticks. He stressed
that the late 20th century is the warmest of the millennium, but Regaldo didn’t bother
with that. Also ignored Francis’ comment about all the other series looking similar
to MBH.
The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick.
Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !
Cheers
Phil
PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.
Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !
X-Sender: ???@pop.uea.ac.uk
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 6.1.0.6
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:40:05 +000 ???
To: ???@uea.ac.uk
*******************************************************************************’

Ian Hoder
December 1, 2011 5:30 pm

John-X says:
<>
Lol… Erik is hurting the cause.

AlexS
December 1, 2011 5:31 pm

There are trees only in about 15% of earth. 70% is water, then we have deserts, mountains.
How that matters for the so called “world temperature” when we are a talking about variations of 0.XCº …

December 1, 2011 5:45 pm

Greenpeace betting money from UAE,s Mike Hulme to campaign agaist “skeptics”
(Jo Nova?).
Results are seen on John Cookse “Skepticalscience”.
“Dear Mike,
I am wondering whether you could help us with some urgent (paid) work we
need doing for Kyoto. Or perhaps you can recommend someone else?
We want to produce a briefing that replies to all the usual climate
‘sceptics’ arguments, in the form of short questions and answers. The
work would involve supplying short (single paragraph) answers to a list
of about 15 to 20 questions. Unfortunately, we have (as usual!) a very
tight deadline – Friday 3 October. We could pay standard rates for the
work, and it would be fine to have a number of different people helping
with the answers, provided one person could be responsible for meeting
the deadline. The report would be published as a Greenpeace
International one.
If you are unable to help, perhaps you could suggest someone else in
your department who could – maybe with help from postgrads/postdocs in
your department?
Thanks in advance for your help, I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,
Helen Wallace
Dr Helen Wallace
Senior Scientist
Greenpeace UK
Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London, N1 2PN
Tel: +4 ???-171???
Fax: +4 ???-171???”
*******************************************************’
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2099.txt&search=%40ams.greenpeace.org
Video.
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2099.txt&search=%40ams.greenpeace.org

Ninderthana
December 1, 2011 5:47 pm

NK, Rocky Road,
I am in no way supporting the pseudo-scientific studies of Mann et. al. and the like. If you are going to use tree-rings as proxies for temperature you better be sure that that is in fact what they are measuring.
Theo,
There is absolutely no confirmation bias in using the tree-ring widths of trees whose growth is critically dependent on air temperature, to measure air temperature. All you have to do is show that it is reasonable to assume that the strong dependence on air temperature persists through-out the period that the proxy applies. I think that if you are using trees that are on the verge of freezing to death on or near the tree-line of the coastal Rock Mountains, you are probably making a reasonably safe bet.

JJB MKI
December 1, 2011 5:55 pm

@lazy teenager
“However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.”
I think you just broke my brain. Rather than ask how and risk further damage I’m just going to have a cup of tea.

Mooloo
December 1, 2011 6:04 pm

LazyTeenager says:
The classic example of “correlation is not causation” is the very high correlation between apple sales and the divorce rate.
However the lack of causation does not prevent an accurate inference of apple sales from a known value of the divorce rate.

This is the sort of lousy thinking that got us into this pickle.
You cannot make an accurate inference of apple sales from divorce rate from a known correlation outside the period of that correlation. Things change too much.
And this is precisely what Mann did (and does). Take a known correlation and extrapolate it ludicrously to cover periods for which we have not the slightest idea whether the correlation still holds.
What is worse, he even omitted any evidence that showed the correlation was, in fact, weak (the “divergence problem”) and also any evidence that didn’t match the required answer (even going to the extent of inverting one series).
We understand the concept of proxy measurements. We aren’t stupid. We contest that tree rings are remotely accurate enough to be a proxy over centuries.

December 1, 2011 6:28 pm

“A general comment:
The paper has two main parts: 1) clarifying the importance of the step in 1945 and 2)
providing new insight into the climatic impacts of volcanic eruptions.”
The holy story since 2007.”
*******************************************’
Caution, if you copy/paste, text is an active HTML document!
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0010.txt
And some tree, on stage.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=anna+puu+c%27est+la+vie&oq=anna+puu&aq=2&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=3985l7469l0l11594l8l8l0l0l0l0l344l2001l0.1.5.2l8l0

Pamela Gray
December 1, 2011 7:24 pm

I’ll bet someone within the email treasure trove ratpack wants to beat that little kid up.

Pamela Gray
December 1, 2011 7:35 pm

Lazyteenager, depending on the tree and where it is planted, roots can grow wide, more restricted, shallow, and/or deep. I say and/or because slope will affect root characteristics. Underground bedrock and soil characteristics are also very important in terms of bringing ground water to roots. In temperate forests (where things can get pretty dry or pretty soggy depending on weather whims), trees can withstand quite a bit of weather related ups and downs if ground water is available, which boils down to snowpack. So things are not as simple as you might think.

RockyRoad
December 1, 2011 8:02 pm

NK, Rocky Road,

I am in no way supporting the pseudo-scientific studies of Mann et. al. and the like. If you are going to use tree-rings as proxies for temperature you better be sure that that is in fact what they are measuring.

Indeed, I agree; and that makes two of us.

December 1, 2011 8:18 pm

Didn’t Cleese, Idol, et.al. have this discussion about 30 years ago?

December 1, 2011 8:21 pm

I got all important & hudden FOIA emails.
“> 5) How will we make the chosen SCM suitable for use by the
> policy-making community. At the very least IPCC would have to pay for
> someone to design a user-interface and guidance material so that the model
> is easy to use.
>
> 6) How will IPCC disseminate the model, presumably it could be put on a
> web site and distributed on CD-ROM.
>
> If we are able to overcome any difficulties it would certainly be another
> way in which IPCC could be of use to the Convention process. I would be
> grateful for your views on how we might implement this proposal,
> particularly 1 ñ 4 as 5 and 6 would come after the TAR has been accepted.
>
> I look forward to hearing from you.
>
> Regards
>
> Dave
>
> ——————————————————
> Dr David Griggs
> IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit
> Hadley Centre
> Met Office
> London Road
> Bracknell
> Berks, RG12 2SY
>

DJ
December 1, 2011 8:36 pm

Simplicity escapes us.

December 1, 2011 11:47 pm

Isn’t Tom/Eirik here saying that width *can* be used as a temp proxy, though width really depends on precipitation, because precip can act as a proxy for temp? I.e. much precipitation means warm weather.
I suppose the validity of temp/precip correlation depends on the local climate/geography. There’s surely a such correlation here in Scandinavia. Warm, wet air usually comes from the south, cold, dry air comes from the north, though the correlation seems higher during the winter.

davidmhoffer
December 1, 2011 11:50 pm

But, but, but…
I thought that warming causes droughts and desertification….
So how to the trees grow more when it is warmer but the area turns into a desert? I thought deserts were places where it was really warm but nothing grows?
I was really confused about this until I read an article about water. Seems the darn stuff is reusable. Seriously. For example, one bucket of water can, in theory, be used to drown everyone on earth.
‘splains everything!

wayne Job
December 2, 2011 12:05 am

TREE FELLERS NEEDED Said the sign the sign in the shop window, thats no good to us Paddy theirs only two of us.
When the people opposed to anything are in high spirits and humour is the prevailing conversation, the end is nigh for the opposition. Satire and humiliation is the best option to combat BS.

Cecil Coupe
December 2, 2011 12:48 am

“My daughter even corresponded with the Idzo’s of the CO2Science website (where we got the idea for the experiment.)”
I assume you meant Idso’s The important point is your child learned about experiments and that she can talk to scientists if she wants to and nice scientists reply. What a wonderful lesson! IPPC enabling scientists gave up teaching for their advocacy. When the internet arrived and email was easier and faster than comments to journals, they only thought about how easier it was for them to gatekeep and never realized it was now open to all to participate. With FOI laws, some eventually learned where their paycheck comes from and who owns their work. Some scientists still don’t understand that the ground shifted while they were snarking a paper in peer review with their buddies.
Some scientists and educators do understand and communicate here, I thank you. Some want to put the genie back in the elite bottle (for their eyes only). Ironically, that’s the last thing needs and the least likely to occur.

J Bowers
December 2, 2011 12:57 am

“I’ll bet someone within the email treasure trove ratpack wants to beat that little kid up.”
$1000 says they don’t.

lateintheday
December 2, 2011 12:59 am

Lazyteenager – I think you’ll find that the first thing people tend to do after a divorce is to try to regain some self respect. In my humble experience, many folks do this by trying to lose weight, get fit so as to generally increase their attractiveness as they search for another partner. My next paper intends to show how this leads to an increase in healthy eating and clearly the correlation with apple sales, demonstrates irrefutable evidence of my theory. I have discussed this in depth with a number of my mates and we have reached a consensus – this is settled science.

bananabender
December 2, 2011 1:49 am

Dendrochronology tells us only one thing with any precision – how old the tree is.
When I was a child we had two silver birch trees in our front yard about 4m apart. They were planted on the same day, received the same water and sun. After 20 years one tree was around twice the diameter of the other. Go figure.

ThinkingScientist
December 2, 2011 2:18 am

The more I am seeing posted from the emails the more it looks like SB03 was good paper that was right on target.

December 2, 2011 2:44 am

FOIA unreadable data is not crypted, its´only MIME format, and is easily converted back
to TXT mode.
i´took a sample, where Mike Hulme writes that only reason is to curb emissions,
politics as usual.
http://www.motobit.com/util/base64-decoder-encoder.asp
My pc systems are under firing, i cant´ send visual description

J Bowers
December 2, 2011 5:53 am

Anthony, what’s the significance of using mixed ponderosa and scrubland at an elevation of about 6,000 feet from the Front Range conifer forest belt? People are wondering.

Mark T
December 2, 2011 7:36 am

Sigh… where have you been getting the dope you’ve been smoking Lazy?

Tree ring widths are being used to infer the local tree temperature.
Which means that there must be conceptually some calibration curve.

Inferred from statistics, yes, but never empirically determined. This is where circular reasoning is applied.

Presumably linear.

Assumed, yes, but known not to be true.

If temperature is linearly related to rainfall and rainfall is linearly related to tree ring widths then temperature must be linearly related to tree ring width. So the calibration curve is valid though with possibly with too much uncertainty.
So logically this is fine and so what exactly is the problem?

Logically it is not fine. You started with three false premises. None of the relationships can be assumed linear (correlated and linear are not the same, either) without some form of justification, and the last relationship is known NOT to be linear. And, in fact, the correlation of the latter is poor since, well, 1940 as we now know.
Mark

Rod Everson
December 2, 2011 7:37 am

bananabender says:
When I was a child we had two silver birch trees in our front yard about 4m apart. They were planted on the same day, received the same water and sun. After 20 years one tree was around twice the diameter of the other. Go figure.
The main driver of tree growth between trees of identical species planted together in a stand is sunlight. I’m betting that the smaller tree grew in the shade of the larger one initially, and that this disadvantage increased over time as the one tree became dominant.
In a stand of trees, the stems per acre start out extremely high (thousands of stems – trees – per acre.) By the time they are mature trees, the dominant trees in an unmanaged stand will have killed off hundreds of trees, literally, by depriving them of sunlight. A forester, managing a stand of planted trees, will examine the growth rings of trees in the stand, and will order a thinning of the stand when the growth rings begin to show slower growth. Following the thinning, the trees left in the stand have less competition for sunlight and the growth rings will increase in size for several years after which the process will repeat itself.
A tree can survive for decades in the shade of a dominant tree, and if that dominant tree is removed, usually by a storm or just toppling with age, the growth rings of the smaller, surviving, tree will often increase in size and the tree will eventually become a dominant tree, assuming it managed to maintain decent health while overtopped.
This is why the growth ring business always bothered me. It’s sunlight, not precipitation nor temperature, that determines growth rings in individual trees in a stand of trees, and how do we know what the condition of the stand was hundreds of years ago. Was it a lone tree, a dominant tree, a tree in an even-growth stand, an overtopped tree for a decade that was then released by removal of a dominant one? I can see the case if the “stand” generally consisted of single, isolated, trees on a mountaintop, but even then, what was the case 200 or 400 years ago?
And on top of all this, we have the absurdity that the tree growth record didn’t fit the known instrumentally-measured record? This is approximately equivalent to claiming cigarettes were good for you 200 years ago (based on the same sort of evidence, i.e., none) but discarding recent data because it doesn’t fit the “modern record” where we have statistically, and medically, determined that cigarettes shorten, not lengthen, lifespans. Put another way, the kid was right; Mann was wrong. Unfortunately, Mann had better funding for getting his “ideas” across.

AusieDan
December 2, 2011 7:08 pm

Young Eirik has illuminated much more than she realises.
I believe that it is very likely that rainfall controls the temperature.
And that rainfall is a good proxy for the percentage of cloud cover.
And cloud cover is controlled by ——— (fill in at your taste).

AusieDan
December 2, 2011 7:10 pm

Andrew,
We need a seperate post for Illka and Jim and the encripted emails translated into English.

bananabender
December 2, 2011 8:24 pm

@Rod,
the trees didn’t shade each other at any stage.
I should add that in any wild plant or animal population there is a considerable amount of genetic diversity. This will effect the growth rate of individuals.
Modern tree plantations normally consist of tissue cultured clones. One of the reasons is to eliminate variations in growth rates.

December 3, 2011 4:28 am

Criticism by proxy.
How convenient!
LOL

sherlock
December 3, 2011 7:21 am

“… in a buddy-peer review journal…”
I would like to see that phrase employed every time someone pontificates about “peer-reviewed science”. As in, “Wait, was it peer-reviewed, or buddy-peer reviewed?”

Olen
December 3, 2011 10:59 am

Sometimes the acorn does fall far from the tree.

Bill Hopkins
December 4, 2011 10:04 am

I’ve been troubled by tthe reliance on tree ring data as a temperature proxy since I first heard of Mann’s hockey stick. The truth is that the kid’s experimenta;l conclusions are quite correct – you can’t, without significant supporting evidence from other sources, rely on tree ring data as a temperature proxy. If it means anything, I spent my entire working carreer studying, publishing, and teaching plant phsiology. I have also written several textbooks on the subject. The uptake of water is the driving force for plant cell expansion (i.e., growth) and it is quite plausible that trees may produce larger rings during a cool, wet season than during a warm or hot, dry season. In brief, water is the limiting factor in plant growth, not temperature. Regardless of temperature, the width of the rings is ultimately dependent on the availability of water.

Brian H
December 8, 2011 11:25 am

I note that no one has suggested tree ring width as a proxy for CO2 concentration and availability. In thick stands of trees and vegetation, I believe that when the sunlight is brightest, the CO2 levels can fall steeply, absent a strong air flow from elsewhere. Like a cornfield that stops growing at midday for lack of food gas.

Resourceguy
January 8, 2012 6:44 am

Clearly the kid got funding from big oil behind his old man’s back.

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