Michael Mann's new 'trick', pulled off at the American Geophysical Union Convention – exposed by McIntyre

Mike’s AGU Trick

By Steve McIntyre

There has been considerable recent discussion of the fact that observations have been running cooler than models – see, for example, Lucia’s discussion of IPCC AR5 SOD Figure 9.8 (see here). However, Michael Mann at AGU took an entirely different line. Mann asserted that observations were running as hot or hotter than models. Mann’s assertion was taken even further by Naomi Oreskes, who asserted that climate models were under-estimating relative to observations. Oreskes squarely placed the blame for the supposed underestimates on climate skeptics.

In today’s post, I’ll look closely at the illustration in Mann’s AGU presentation, an illustration that gave an entirely different impression than the figure in the IPCC draft report. The reason for the difference can be traced to what I’ve termed here as “Mike’s AGU Trick”. 

The IPCC AR5 SOD Graphic

An excerpt from IPCC AR5 SOD Figure 9.8 is shown below, clearly showing that the multimodel ensemble (red) is running noticeably hotter than observations (black). In my opinion, the difference is not merely “noticeable” but “statistically significant”, but that’s a story for a different day.

figure9.8 excerpt-rescaled

Figure 1. Excerpt from IPCC AR5 SOD Figure 9.8, comparing model ensemble to observations.

Mann’s AGU Presentation

However, Mann at AGU asserted that observations were running as hot or hotter than models. Mann’s model comparandum was Hansen’s Scenario B, which is widely regarded as the most reasonable scenario to use to interpret Hansen’s “forecast” – see past CA points on this issue.

mann-agu

Figure 2. Mann’s AGU slide comparing observations to Hansen’s 1988 Scenario B projection.

I took the photo with a new phone, with which I was then unfamiliar and unfortunately can only provide a muddy zoom on the graphic. Despite the muddiness, you can see that observations (red) appear to cohere with Hansen’s 1988 forecast (blue). In the loop below, I’ve overplotted data for models and observations to show more clearly what was shown to the AGU audience. (There was a bit of detective work in figuring this out – see below.) Click on the figure below for a loop illustrating the components of the zoomed figure). (Note: see below for Mann’s use of his AGU Trick to hide the divergence in a presentation a few months earlier at Rutgers).

mann-agu-loop Figure 3. Blowup of Mann’s slide comparing Hansen’s Scenario B to observations. Blue – Hansen’s Scenario B; red – “observations”.

Mann’s AGU slide obviously has a completely different rhetorical impression than the IPCC graphic. Whereas the discrepancy between observations and models was immediately noticeable in the IPCC graphic, Mann’s AGU graphic showed no such discrepancy. There were two reasons for the difference, the combination of which I’ll call “Mike’s AGU Trick” and will analyse below.

==============================================================

Read the full post here: http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/02/mikes-agu-trick/

Reading the comments is also entertaining, particularly in watching Nick Stokes trying to defend the Mann, while McIntyre wipes the floor with his argument.

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MattN

Comical. Just change the data….

MattN

I’m glad Mann does not work in pharmaceuticals. With the way he blatantly changes data, he could wind up killing more people than smallpox…

janama

What is it with these guys – why are they determined to undermine anyone who says the world is NOT heading for global catastrophe?
Surely any sensible thinking person would be relieved that the doomsday projections of the past are not going to be realised yet these people persist in their pathetic excuse for notoriety.

Skiphil

Mann, Gleick, Oreskes, Lewandowsky…… the AGU has been reduced to a parade of clowns.
What a disgrace!

Fred from Canuckistan

Steve at his best!
But he seems surprised that the likes of Mann et al would plummet to such depths of chicanery and deceptions when it has been their operating mode since the get go.
We should actually expect much more such behaviour from The Team. As their 15 minutes of fame fades away, as the global attention they invented and so desperately crave wanes, as their careers, once so shiny and precious, accelerate down the slippery slope of academic malfeasance and invented hysteria, their desperation will know no bounds.
History will be very cruel to these pretenders to academic excellence, very, very cruel. They will leave a tainted, putrid personal and institutional record for future studies of how and why they could be so wrong, for so long.

Athelstan.

Hmm, again creative accountancy and the miracle of figures who lie.
Charlatan.

Ed Reid

I believe it is important to note that the “actual” anomalies, plotted here against the model outputs, are based on “adjusted” numbers, rather than actual DATA; and, thus, are likely to be closer to the model outputs than the underlying data would have been. If Anthony’s recent draft paper (Watts et al 2012) is correct, the difference could be as much as a factor of two.
I object to the use of the term “observations” to refer to “adjusted” numbers, rather than to the DATA. The term “obscurations” might be more appropriate for the “adjusted” numbers.

I looked at the meta data of your picture Steve and I see it is a iphone 4s. Setting the pixels setting to the maximum will get you the best image that you can then crop later, as the digital zoom does not improve image quality.

JPS

one thing i have always found fascinating about these “prediction” plots is why to they jog around so much?? is it to give the illusion that they have accounted for natural variability? for example, in the IPCC figure, what is it that causes the jumping up and down in say, the light green line? are they predictng a volcano for that year? an el nino event? iguess if their prediction was a straight line it wouldnt be that impressive.

Perhaps you are a traditional scientist, stuck in the lab gathering data the old fashioned way, envious of those high flying Climatologists. The one’s who seem to cook their numbers with such ease. While they earn green beaufication, you sit green with envy, wishing you had such success. Well, wish NO MORE ! ! !
With the amazing, new WRONGO PROXY CROCK can cook your numbers with ease. You can now sit around buffing your nails and soaking your fine hand washables while your Proxy Crock does ALL the work. Wrongco can’t promise every scientist a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award winning documentary film, but we can eliminate those ancient and burdensome hypothesis-data-proof cycles of yore.
Amazing ! New ! Wrongco’s Proxy Crock ! ! !
WARNINGS & LIMITATIONS: The Proxy Crock is intended for use only among those who are untutored in science. If demonstrated before those who have been adequately trained in science and have existed for an extended period of time outside the government-academia echo chamber, then there is the risk of accidental disclosure of the proxy secret. At some point, these individuals may stand up and yell “THAT’S A CROCK!” This would be using the term ‘crock’ in a second defination of that term that would NOT be considered an endorsement.
If used properly the Proxy Crock will deliver years of cooked data with satisfaction conforing with the motto for all our company products:
YOU CAN’T GO WRONG….WITH WRONGCO ! ! !
[full article posted at Canada Free Press archive]

Luther Wu

Fred from Canuckistan says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:19 am
History will be very cruel to these pretenders to academic excellence, very, very cruel. They will leave a tainted, putrid personal and institutional record for future studies of how and why they could be so wrong, for so long.
_____________________
You are counting your chickens… what difference has the truth made, so far?

Now what does Flim-Flam rhyme with?

Latitude

Ed Reid says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:32 am
I object to the use of the term “observations” to refer to “adjusted” numbers, rather than to the DATA.
========
agree 100%

Harry van Loon

“Figures don’t lie, but liars figure”

Sam the First

We have to bear in mind that, as much as we can see the fallacy and chicanery at work here (and in most of the Team’s work), opinion formers in education and the media cannot. Politicians cannot – and will not. There is too much money and reputation invested in their preferred outcome.
We can talk to one another on WUWT day in day out – but convincing those who form policy to to take the science seriously is still an uphill task which has hardly begun. The people who need to listen will still not read WUWT nor the other sceptical blogs; they believe the Team’s propaganda.

Bill Illis

Hansen updates his 1988 prediction track semi-regularly on his own website. 2012 is included now.
http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/PNAS_GTCh_Fig2.gif

Sam the First

Something else we need to bear in mind is that schools nowadays don’t teach kids how to read a graph, and probably haven’t for many years. I went to Grammar School in the 1960s and have no problems in this respect, nor in following the basic science since I studied maths, biology, physics and chemistry to ‘O’ level standard. Much of the ability to follow climate science rests on the ability to read graphs.
Children in much of the world are no longer given the tools to follow complex arguments of this kind – and then become environmental activists or journalists spouting all the rubbish they were taught [or indoctrinated with] in their turn.

Happy to see this cross posted here. These are intentional efforts to mislead by the climate science community. They need lots of exposure. Somehow a good portion of the public finds Michael Mann and his cronies to be credible. Amazing.

Latimer Alder

Janama says

What is it with these guys – why are they determined to undermine anyone who says the world is NOT heading for global catastrophe?

Life as a debunked doomsday prophet isn’t likely to be a bed of roses. And if you have an ego the size of a small galaxy (or Zaphod Beeblebrox) you need to keep your ever-dwindling band of faithful acolytes still needing your pronouncements.
‘Come and hear Jim Hansen and Mike Mann – discredited one-time soothsayers’ will not generate the adulation they crave.

I have always suspected that Mr. Mann was more than a one-trick pony. Perhaps his next field could be Magic.

Ed Reid says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:32 am
I believe it is important to note that the “actual” anomalies, plotted here against the model outputs, are based on “adjusted” numbers, rather than actual DATA
============
True. And Mann’s graph showed GISS Land Temp only. Ignoring the facts that land only makes up 30% of the surface, and is mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. While the models are projecting land and sea temps combined.
Isn’t science supposed to present both sides of the argument in an objective fashion? At what point does cherry picking become scientific fraud?

David Ball

Mann is speaking at the University of Victoria on Monday. This will likely be the same presentation.

David Ball

University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

I’ll repeat a comment I made at ClimateAudit:
Steve writes: “Mann and Kump used Land-Only data (which runs hotter)…”
They definitely would not have wanted to present a sea surface temperature model-data comparison. During the satellite era, the simulated warming rate of CMIP5-modeled sea surface temperatures are almost twice the observed warming rate:
http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/05-global.png
The graph is from my most recent model-data sea surface temperature comparison:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/cmip5-model-data-comparison-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/
Regards

Kurt in Switzerland

“Mike’s AGU Trick”. – I love it! But there are 3 elements, not 2.
Kudos to the indefatigable Steve McIntyre for pointing out yet again how deceptive Mann can be.
Any casual observer can see that actual temps most closely match Hansen’s Scenario C, while emissions have been higher than Scenario A (1.9% annual Anthropogenic CO2 increase vs. 1.5%). From Hansen et al 1988, “Scenario B has decreasing trace gas growth rates, such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains constant at the [1988] level.” Instead, siince 1988, human GHG emissions have grown > 50%! Clearly, Scenario B didn’t happen.
Scenario C corresponds to a CESSATION of additional CO2 forcing post 2000 (which Hansen himself said was highly unlikely).
So comparing “actual temperatures” with B instead of A is a third element of the trick. Likely, the ever-flexible aerosols will be hand-waved into arguing why forcing due to CO2 was different than envisaged. But he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this, as Hansen accounted for aerosols (using 1958-1985 measurements as a baseline for the future). One has to show measurements of increased aerosols beyond that baseline.
I wonder what Hansen, Pierrehumbert and Muller will say about Mann’s presentation. Remember Muller lambasted Mann for pasting actual temperatures onto proxy reconstructions. Orestes is a cheerleader for the cause and thus provides essentially only comic relief.
The wall of consensus is crumbling – Mann’s presentation is a desperate effort to paste in new mortar while nobody is looking.
At best, Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is 1/2 of Hansen’s model (which called for 4.2ndeg C warming per doubling of CO2), but it’s quite probably lower — even much lower.
Kurt in Switzerland

Gary Meyers in Ridgecrest

This has to be illegal somehow. Lord Monckton should look into this!

Pamela Gray

All Ph.D. candidates who seek a career in research should be required to attain at least a Master’s level amount of coursework in statistics. Even better, should be required to hold a BS in statistics. I have two masters degrees and was not required to take a statistics math course in either one. So I crashed a master’s level math course at Oregon State University in statistics with the professor’s invitation of course (and thank you by the way for allowing me to sit in on your class). Got no grade for it. Took all the tests anyway. Did all the required coursework. Got an A but it never appeared on my transcripts because it was not on the “Education” menu. Even better, I didn’t have to pay for it. Good thing. I was dirt poor and already had a full course load.
So why would this little no-account, bottom rung on the ladder, pee-on take it upon herself to gain a level of understanding of statistics so that she can report data to parents that is valid and reliable, but the idiot Ph.D. mann apparently thinks he can attempt to influence governments with “air-brushed” statistics that clearly are not valid or reliable? Have Ph.D. dissertation committees become that bad at weeding out this kind of riff raff?

pat

If one uses adjusted data and compares it to speculative ‘models’, you can can demonstrate just about anything. But it means absolutely nothing.

Ed Reid

Pamela Gray @ March 3, 2013 at 8:12 am
“Have Ph.D. dissertation committees become that bad at weeding out this kind of riff raff?”
Surely you are not suggesting this is another incarnation of “pal review”!

Bob Tisdale says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:59 am
Somehow a good portion of the public finds Michael Mann and his cronies to be credible.
=============
Mann and Co have taken advantage of some twisted reasoning that comes out of applying political correctness to the environmental movement.
Most people would agree that:
fossil fuels = air pollution = bad
Political Correctness prevents critical examination of the above equation.
Therefore, once you consider history:
fossil fuels = low cost production = end to poverty
From this we get,
end of poverty = low cost production = air pollution = bad
Therefore
end of poverty = bad
Conclusion:
no end of poverty = no air pollution = good

Luther Wu

Kurt in Switzerland says:
March 3, 2013 at 8:11 am
I wonder what Hansen, Pierrehumbert and Muller will say about Mann’s presentation. Remember Muller lambasted Mann for pasting actual temperatures onto proxy reconstructions. Orestes is a cheerleader for the cause and thus provides essentially only comic relief.
________________
Many agree with your assessment.
Muller stands alone in that group and shows signs of coming awake. The rest… the word ‘maddening’ comes to mind, or ‘sickening’, when one considers how much press they are given with so little questioning or afterthought.

Bill H

Pamela Gray says:
March 3, 2013 at 8:12 am
“So why would this little no-account, bottom rung on the ladder, pee-on take it upon herself to gain a level of understanding of statistics so that she can report data to parents that is valid and reliable, but the idiot Ph.D. mann apparently thinks he can attempt to influence governments with “air-brushed” statistics that clearly are not valid or reliable? Have Ph.D. dissertation committees become that bad at weeding out this kind of riff raff?”
===============================================
I believe the words your searching for is “ETHICAL BEHAVIOR”
Something Mann has no clue about…

Kon Dealer

There is a politically incorrect way to describe the Nobel Peace Prize winner we all know and love.
A Spiv- a purveyor of shoddy and counterfeit goods- a con-artist.
Mike (Mann) if you are reading this, I am calling you a liar. Please feel free to sue.

DirkH

“Naomi Oreskes is an American science historian, and Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California San Diego.”
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Oreskes )
It’s good to see that finally the Global Warming Consensus Movement accepts that laypeople, even without any mathematical education, are entitled to partake in the discussion about the allegedly catastrophic CO2 greenhouse effect.

Stephen Wilde

ferdberple says:
March 3, 2013 at 8:44 am
“no end of poverty = no air pollution = good”
A neat summation.
That really is how they think but they suppress the inconvenient truth by asserting that renewable energy can immminently be made more cost effective than continuing fossil fuel use.
Emotions rather than facts are in control and whenever that has happened in human history death and destruction soon follow.
I pray that this time it might be different but am not confident.

Theo Goodwin

At McIntyre’s site (link above), he references Oreskes and Pielke Jr’s article about her. Oreskes published an article in which she argued that “climate scientists” had begun pulling their punches to avoid the criticism of being drama queens. Now that we have McIntyre’s article on Mann, I am thinking that Oreskes had in mind exactly the kind of “tricks” that Mann continues to use. If so, she has joined Lewandowsky in the gutter.

Ed Reid

Maybe we could give Mann the nickname “Tricky Mickey”.

Jimbo

The 7 year itch?

Mcintyre
“The staleness of Mann’s temperature data in his AGU presentation was really quite remarkable: the temperature data in Mann’s presentation (December 2012) ended in 2005! Obviously, in the past (notably MBH98 and MBH99), Mann used the most recent (even monthly data) when it was to his advantage.”

G. Karst

I thought academia had enough of Mann made warming. Apparently not. GK

Ed

I’m surprised no one has pointed out that comparisons to Hansen’s B scenario are disingenuous – part 2 of Mann’s trick so to speak.
In scenario B, CO2 concentration increased until 2000 then leveled off – this did not happen. Rather, the fair comparison is to scenario A in which CO2 continued increasing at the same rate as before. In fact, what actually transpired was that CO2 increased *faster* after 2000 (until the recession of course).

Mindert Eiting

Ed Reid at 7:32 am. Agree. I have never understood adjustments. In the best case it could mean that additional factors influence the observations. In that case you make the factors explicit in your analysis. This is the common scientific procedure. Altering the observations, usually in a way nobody can check, is data fraud. Perhaps you are too kind.

Camburn

The larger question is……….Why was Dr. Mann allowed to present ANYTHING? His current literature is so bad, I fear the poor feller has suffered numerous strokes.

Ed

Apologies to KiS. I guess I should have read the rest of the comments before posting mine. In my defense, I started it much earlier then had to do something else.

Nik Marsall-Blank

One thing is certain. The “models” did not predict the 17 years of no warming, and they do not include any adjustments to the model which incorporate the non warming.
Double strike for the models.

DaveG

MattN says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:16 am
I’m glad Mann does not work in pharmaceuticals. With the way he blatantly changes data, he could wind up killing more people than smallpox…
OR Engineering for Cars, planes, trains, bridges, baby strollers. He might be OK in the BOMB design business, they all blow up eventually!

Theo Goodwin

Luther Wu says:
March 3, 2013 at 9:00 am
“Orestes is a cheerleader for the cause and thus provides essentially only comic relief.”
In Greek mythology, Orestes was the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. It seems to me that Oreskes is more of a mythical drama queen than Orestes. 🙂

artwest

Bob Tisdale says:
March 3, 2013 at 7:59 am
Somehow a good portion of the public finds Michael Mann and his cronies to be credible.
———————————————-
Most of the population haven’t even heard of them. It’s easy to forget when you spend time on climate blogs that most people don’t.
They’ve never heard of Mann, Hansen, Jones, Briffa etc etc. They’ve heard of Gore because of the extra publicity due to his his former occupation.
Most people eg in the UK hear the drip, drip of climate change mentions in half the output of the BBC. Some, but a smallier proportion, see some of the hysteria in the print media but most flick over such articles.
Most either take no notice of CAGW , assume it’s true because “everyone” says it is but still do little or nothing about it or look at the weather, shrug, and think it’s bollocks. Very few are interested enough to be either raving eco-nuts or read WUWT. or Bishop Hill.
I suspect that the majority of scientists are barely more interested unless it directly affects their field (to the extend of having to include “in relation to climate change” in any grant application).
I suspect that most scientists know so little about climate “science” that they assume it’s run properly and that anyone sceptical is an anti-science crazy.
I suspect that most politicians wouldn’t care less if it a) wasn’t useful to them and b) they weren’t being badgered by NGOs with their snout in the trough and delusions of grandeur.
Part of the problem we have I think is that few people are really that interested unless they have an axe to grind. Of course if companies close through carbon taxes, people go bankrupt or die because of rising fuel bills and especially if the lights go out then maybe there will be an impetus for people to take notice.

Greg Goodman

Camburn says:
The larger question is……….Why was Dr. Mann allowed to present ANYTHING? His current literature is so bad, I fear the poor feller has suffered numerous strokes.
More professional malfeasance.
To judge by how many of the the hundreds of delegates the attend AGU fall conference Mann managed to “pack” into this small conference room, it looks like not many are listening to him any more.
It seems that AGW scientists not only have tenure of position but also protection from criminal prosecution . The ultimate death knell of a scientist is when no one takes you seriously any more.
The attendance here looks like the funeral service attendance for an old lady with no relatives.

Ed Reid

Mindert Eiting @March 3, 2013 at 9:47 am
It seems that the climate science community views itself as the modern day, real world incarnation of Rumpelstiltskin, not only able to spin straw (bad data) into gold (good data), but also able to spin nothing (missing data) into gold (good data) as well. That suggests to me that the current state of climate science is “Grimm”.

Go Home

“In scenario B, CO2 concentration increased until 2000 then leveled off”
I think that is scenario C.
Can anyone state what each of the scenarios had CO2 levels at for 2012?