Validity of Marcott et al. PART II

Validity of Marcott et al. contention that “Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” and “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years”

Guest post by Dr. Don J. Easterbrook

Part I of this series looked at the validity of conclusions for the 11,300 time span covered in Marcott et al. “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years.” This segment (Part II) analyzes conclusions in the Marcott et al. paper in which they contend that “Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” and “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years”

As in Part I, this segment analyzes the Marcott et al. conclusions using the scientific method of Feynman in which conclusions are checked against well-established data from other sources,. As Feynman points out, if a hypothesis (conclusion) disagrees with observations and data, it is wrong. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful the hypothesis (conclusion) is, how smart the author is, or what the author’s name is, if it disagrees with data or observations, it is wrong.

So let’s check the Marcott et al. conclusions against several of the best data sets available.

For this exercise, we’ll use (1) the GISP2 oxygen isotope data of Stuiver and Grottes (1997), (2) the GISP2 paleotemperature data of Cuffy and Clow (1997) and Alley (2000), and (3) temperature reconstructions from Chinese tree rings. Among the many data sets that could be used, the GISP2 ice core data have been selected because (1) the ice core data is based on thousands of isotope measurements that quantitatively reflect paleo-temperatures, (2) the chronology is accurate to within about 1-3 years, (3) even small fluctuations of ice core paleo-temperatues can be clearly and unequivocally correlated with advance and retreat of glaciers globally, confirming that the ice core data mimic global temperatures, and (4) Greenland temperatures measured over the past century match global temperature trends almost exactly, confirming that Greenland temperatures march in lock step with global temperatures. Thus, the GISP2 ice core data provides an excellent check against conclusions about global climate—it is quantitative, chronologically accurate, and representative of global climate. Keep in mind, however, that the magnitude of temperature fluctuations generally increases with latitude, i.e., the higher the latitude the greater the temperature fluctuations are likely to be, so Greenland temperature variations are likely to be greater than global averages. It also means that we are more likely to see details of temperature changes in the Greenland data than in global averages.

Figure 1 shows a comparison of the Marcott et al. temperature curve for the past 4,000 years (1A), the Greenland GISP2 temperature curve of Alley (2000), based on the data from Cuffy and Clow (1997) (1B), the Greenland GISP2 and Δ18O (the ratio of oxygen 18 to oxygen 16 relative to a standard) from isotope data measured by Stuiver and Grootes (1997)(1C), and a temperature reconstruction based on Chinese tree rings (1D) (included as an example of the good correlation of the GISP2 data to places far away from Greenland).

Several things are worth noting about the Greenland data. There are two kinds of temperature data: (1) figure 1B, which shows temperatures from borehole measurements, and (2) figure 1C, which shows variation in oxygen isotope ratios. The significance of this is that temperature variations in both curves are essentially the same, confirming one another. The Little Ice, Medieval Warm Period, Dark Ages Cool Period, Roman Warm Period, and other temperature peaks show up equally well in both types of curve.

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Figure 1. Comparison of the Marcott et al. temperature curve (A); the Greenland GISP2 temperature curve of Alley (2000) based on data from Cuffy and Clow (1997) (B); Greenland GISP2 oxygen isotope ratios (delta 18O) from ice core data measured by Stuiver and Grootes (1997)(C); and temperature reconstruction from Chinese tree rings (D) (Liu et al., 2011).

The Marcott et al. curve shows a nearly vertical line for recent warming, which they claim puts present temperatures above any in the past 4,000years. This nearly vertical part of their curve apparently comes not from their proxy data, but is pasted on from elsewhere and plays a central role in their contention that present temperatures and the rate of warming are ‘unprecedented in the past 4,000 years.’ Let’s test both of these assertions against ice-core and global glacial data.

Both the Greenland GISP2 temperature curve (Figure 1B) and the oxygen isotope curve (Figure 1C) clearly show that except for the Little Ice Age and Dark Ages Cool Period, temperatures for all of the past 4,000 years have been warmer than the end of the ice core (1950 AD). The Medieval Warm Period was 1.1° C warmer than the top of the core (1950) and at least four other warm periods of equal magnitude occurred in the past 4,000 years; four other warm periods were ~1.3°C warmer; two other warm period were 1.8-2.0°C warmer; and one warm period was 2.8°C warmer. At least a dozen periods more than 1°C warmer than 1950 occurred, clearly contradicting the Marcott et al. conclusions.

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Figure 2. Peak temperatures warmer than 1950 in the past 4,000 years.

The top of the GISP2 ice core is 1950 AD, so we need to look at more recent temperatures in Greenland in order to get to the ‘present temperature’, i.e., has the temperature in Greenland risen since 1950? Figure 2 shows 1880 to 2004 temperatures in Greenland (Chylek et al., 2004, 2006). Temperatures in 2004 were slightly lower than in 1950, so temperatures at the top of the Greenland ice core are not significantly different than those ‘at present.’

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Figure 3. 1880 to 2004 temperatures in Greenland (Chylek et al., 2004, 2006).

The Marcott et al. conclusion that Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” is clearly contrary to measured real-time data and thus fails the Feynman test, i.e., it is are wrong.

Marcott et al. contend that “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years. “If any period in time had a sustained temperature change similar to what we have today we would have certainly seen that in our record.” Let us test this conclusion against real-time data. First, their statement that “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century is not true. The coldest part of the Little Ice Age occurred about 400 years ago, during the Maunder Minimum, so right off the bat, their conclusion is flawed. They appear to be unaware of the cyclic nature of temperature change and use the low point of the 1880-1915 cool period as their starting point for assessing the rate of warming over the ‘past century,’ rather than 1913-2013. Comparing the depth of cooling in a cool period with a warm period peak is comparing apples and oranges. It distorts the real rate, which should be measured from cool peak to cool peak or warm peak to warm peak. The 1880-1915 cool period was followed by the 1915-1945 warm period, the 1945-1977 cool period, and the 1978-1998 warm period (Figure 4). The rate of warming from 1913 to 2013 is about 0.7°C per century (which is about the same as the warming rate over the past 400 years as we have been thawing out of the Little Ice, long before atmospheric CO2 began to rise significantly).

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Figure 4. Global temperature during the past century.

So let’s compare this rate (0.7°C per century) to rates of temperature increase in the past 11,300 years. Figure 5 shows rates of temperature change in the Greenland GSP2 ice core from the end of the last Ice Age through the Holocene (Figure 4A). Figure 4B shows some of the higher rates of temperature change in Figure 4A. The highest rates occurred at the transition from the Ice Age to Holocene when warming rates in Greenland were 20 to 24°F per century and the huge continental ice sheets that covered large areas of North America and Eur-Asia melted dramatically. As shown in Figure 4B, the rate for the past century (0.7°C) is puny indeed compared to late Ice Age/early Holocene rates.

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Figure 4. A. Temperature changes in the Greenland GISP2 ice core from the end of the last Ice Age through the Holocene. (Easterbrook, 2011 modified from Cuffy and Clow, 1997). B. Rates of temperature change. (Easterbrook, 2011)

Holocene rates of warming and cooling were not as profound as those at the end of the last Ice Age, but were nonetheless greater than or equal to recent warming rates. Marcott et al. contend that “If any period in time had a sustained temperature change similar to what we have today we would have certainly seen that in our record” As shown in Figure 4A, we do indeed have a record of warming rates far in excess of those in the past century.

The Marcott et al. conclusion that “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years” is clearly contrary to measured real-time data and thus fails the Feynman test, i.e., their conclusion is wrong.

Next, in Part III, we’ll analyze the Marcott et al. conclusions that “Over the coming decades we are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age.” “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.” Our global temperature reconstruction for the past 1500 years is indistinguishable within uncertainty from the Mann et al. reconstruction”

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Mark Bofill

Amazing how the MWP manages to disappear right in time for an IPCC AR isn’t it. I’m not indulging in conspiritorial ideation or any counterfactual claims or anything nefarious like that, I’m just sayin.

John Tillman

Talk about your greedy, lying bastards! Time to juice the watermelons, add rum & make daiquiris, with a blender powered by fossil fuels & ice made with energy from the same sources. For the children, since the more CO2 the better, up to the point at which humans suffocate (7000 ppm?).

Camburn

The Marcott et al. paper is junk.
Nough said.

GoodBusiness

If one is to use Ice cores or tree rings would one not be required to have some from the South pole, some from the north poles, some from Europe some from Alaska. Then would they not need to meet the same criteria so that one could then feel more comfortable making a statement about the GLOBAL climate and temperature? Isolated areas are isolated areas and can not be used to provide a PROOF.

Lance Wallace

I’ve graphed all 73 proxies and uploaded to Dropbox:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/75831381/Marcott.SM.database.S1–law.xlsx
The graphs are on sheets 5-77 of the Excel database provided by Marcott.
Seems amazing that anyone could try to make something of the “dog’s breakfast” to quote Steve McI.
I chose to graph the published age (column E) as the x-axis. It may be that I should have used the “Marine 09” age, whatever that is. That includes an estimate of the 1-sigma error, usually in the range of a few hundred years. Plotting these horizontal error bars would add to the confusion in the most delightful way.
See also the graph of the last 300 years by Paul Matthews in the Bishop’s blog.

“Feyerabend was also critical of falsificationism. He argued that no interesting theory is ever consistent with all the relevant facts. This would rule out using a naïve falsificationist rule which says that scientific theories should be rejected if they do not agree with known facts. Feyerabend uses several examples, but “renormalization” in quantum mechanics provides an example of his intentionally provocative style: “This procedure consists in crossing out the results of certain calculations and replacing them by a description of what is actually observed. Thus one admits, implicitly, that the theory is in trouble while formulating it in a manner suggesting that a new principle has been discovered” Against Method. p. 61. Such jokes are not intended as a criticism of the practice of scientists. Feyerabend is not advocating that scientists do not make use of renormalization or other ad hoc methods. Instead, he is arguing that such methods are essential to the progress of science for several reasons. One of these reasons is that progress in science is uneven. For instance, in the time of Galileo, optical theory could not account for phenomena that were observed by means of telescopes. So, astronomers who used telescopic observation had to use ad hoc rules until they could justify their assumptions by means of optical theory.
Feyerabend was critical of any guideline that aimed to judge the quality of scientific theories by comparing them to known facts. He thought that previous theory might influence natural interpretations of observed phenomena. Scientists necessarily make implicit assumptions when comparing scientific theories to facts that they observe. Such assumptions need to be changed in order to make the new theory compatible with observations. The main example of the influence of natural interpretations that Feyerabend provided was the tower argument. The tower argument was one of the main objections against the theory of a moving earth. Aristotelians assumed that the fact that a stone which is dropped from a tower lands directly beneath it shows that the earth is stationary. They thought that, if the earth moved while the stone was falling, the stone would have been “left behind”. Objects would fall diagonally instead of vertically. Since this does not happen, Aristotelians thought that it was evident that the earth did not move. If one uses ancient theories of impulse and relative motion, the Copernican theory indeed appears to be falsified by the fact that objects fall vertically on earth. This observation required a new interpretation to make it compatible with Copernican theory. Galileo was able to make such a change about the nature of impulse and relative motion. Before such theories were articulated, Galileo had to make use of ad hoc methods and proceed counterinductively. So, “ad hoc” hypotheses actually have a positive function: they temporarily make a new theory compatible with facts until the theory to be defended can be supported by other theories.”
contrary to Popper and Feynman, when theory and data come into collision ( they are always in collision) the experimenter has three choices:
1. Conclude the theory is wrong. This is almost never done on the basis of a single experiment since it is impossible to isolate a single aspect of a theory to test it. And it’s rarely done unless one has a replacement theory that is as good as the theory it replaces.
2. Conclude the data is wrong. Since all data is theory laden, this becomes an even thornier problem. For example temperature “data” from a satellite is “theory” laden as it is produced from a sensor measurement and a physics theory. Such that a conflict between theory and data in the end is a conflict between two theories. The theory being tested and the measurement theory embedded in the observation.
3. Provide auxilliary hypothesis that reconcile the data with the theory.
One should not appeal to the authority of Feynman especially since he was factually wrong, and historically wrong, and ironically blind on the renormalization issue.

Graeme W

My main reservation with this article is the leap from Greenland temperatures (as seen in the ice cores) to global. Yes, they appear to have correlated well for the last century, but is that correlation robust?
The Greenland ice cores certainly put doubt into the Marcott et al. conclusions, but to say that they prove that the Marcott et al. conclusions are therefore wrong is, I believe, stretching matters. Evidence to suggest that the conclusions are wrong: yes. Evidence to prove that the conclusions are wrong: no.

tckev

Just another Mann-made warming deception me too paper. Has all the credence of revealing truth as the original Mann paper did.
Peer-reviewed failure yet again.

populartechnology

Who is Steve Mosher?
Steven Mosher, B.A. Philosophy and English, Northwestern University (1981); Director of Operations Research/Foreign Military Sales & Marketing, Northrop Aircraft Northrop Aircraft (1985-1990); Vice President of “Engineering” [Marketing], Eidetics International (1990-1993); Director of Marketing, Kubota Graphics Company (1993-1994); Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Criterion Software (1994-1995); Vice President of Emerging Technology [Marketing], Creative Labs (1995-2006); Vice President [Marketing], Openmoko (2007-2009); Marketing Consultant, Qi Hardware Inc. (2009); Marketing Consultant (2010-Present); [Marketing] Advisor, RedZu Online Dating Service (2012-Present)
…and why is he so obsessed with defending Marcott et al.?

john robertson

You are all correct/wrong, this is a masterful work of Climatology.
It follows the rigorous logic of this pastime.
1 Choose the conclusion you desire.
2 Collect data sets that might support chosen conclusion.
3 Massage data to suit.
4 Publish, through friendly propagandists & press release.
5 Data and methods paywalled or not “yet” available.
If reality contradicts my model output, reality is at fault.
Climatology 101.

Mark Bofill

Steven Mosher says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm
———–
Steven, if I ever commit a heinous crime and get caught, I want you representing me instead of a lawyer.

MarkW

GoodBusiness says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Once again you have failed to read the paper in which they demonstate that the Greenland ice data is a good proxy for global temperatures.

MarkW

populartechnology says:
March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Mosher has been obsessed with defending the global warming orthodoxy in general for quite some time.

“temperatures for all of the past 4,000 years have been warmer than the end of the ice core (1950 AD)”
Check the axis on your plot, which is in any case mis-labelled. It says “years before 2000 AD” when it should be years before 1950. But further, the most recent data point is 95 years BP – ie 1855. That is about what Marcott et al said was the coldest time.

Mark Bofill

populartechnology says:
March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm
————
PopularTechnology I wish you wouldn’t do that. Who gives a $#!% what Mosher’s resume says, what’s that got to do with anything? The guy is sharp. I don’t care if he studied beer and pretzels and worked as a basket weaver for his entire career. I think he’s wrong sometimes (like now), but I don’t see dismissing anybody based on what they studied or what they’ve done for a living as terribly sensible.
~shrug~

re Steven Mosher’s comments on Feyerabend, and more generally the homilies about scientific method we frequently have to read in posts, he and others may enjoy this funny send-up of “linguists doing bad philosophy of science instead of linguistics:”
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/PullumMoaners.pdf
A taste: “I discern three main factions in philosophy of science… The third faction consists of Paul Feyerabend. What Feyerabend offers is not so much philosophy as guerilla theater for philosophers. His work is marvellous reading: bubbling wit, boiling invective, deep erudition, a constant twinkle in the eye – to read Feyerabend is to experience an intellectual analog of what dogs seem to enjoy when they get a chance to roll on their backs in a patch of fresh, crisp grass. But make no mistake: reading Feyerabend without appreciating that he is sending the whole business up is like mistaking Monty Python’s Flying Circus for the Ten O’Clock News. In his celebrated book Against Method, for example, Feyerabend offers, tongue in cheek, a recipe for the destruction of science. Deadpan, he presents a purported methodology for modern scientists that will allegedly take them in the footsteps of their great heroes such as Galileo: develop theories that are in conflict with known facts; lie about the observational support for them; maintain them stubbornly in the face of objections; defend them by means of dishonesty and bluster. Feyerabend seems to be alternately amused and disgusted to see that there are people who read his satirical proposals as if seriously put forward (see e.g. his ‘Marxist fairy tales from Australia’ (1978)). He would really get a kick out of seeing how linguists are solemnly citing him (see Hornstein and Lightfoot 1981, p. 29, note 5, for a wholly serious reference to Against Method), and how some seem to be actually trying to live by his ironically proposed principles.”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

John Tillman says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm


For the children, since the more CO2 the better, up to the point at which humans suffocate (7000 ppm?).

Low by about a factor of 10. See here.
The relevant extract is:

In concentrations up to 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[78] Concentrations of 7% to 10% may cause suffocation, manifesting as dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour.

As others have posted at WUWT nuclear submarine crews are exposed to CO2 levels of 7000 ppm or higher for extended periods of time (months). Of course, submarine crews are not representative of the population as a whole. YYMV.
US air quality standards for commercial buildings (ASHRAE) accept indoor CO2 concentrations up to 2100 ppm above outside ambient levels (which would typically equate to ~2500 ppm). But in this context CO2 is used as a proxy for a whole host of “bio-effluents” and other indoor pollutants (and also an inverse proxy for O2 levels), so this does not establish a CO2 level which is unhealthy on its own.
The only way I can imagine getting anywhere near 7000 ppm CO2 in any of our lifetimes is from some truly massive and sustained increase in volcanic activity, at which point 7000 ppm of CO2 would be way down on our list of problems.

Doug Proctor

The ice core show 1-3 year layers, BUT, due to breathing of ice, [I think] the temperature and gas content represents about 70 years of averaging.
Got this from some ice core explanation, Antarctica, I think.
So we still have a smoothing function going on with the ice core, something that the temp data does not have.

I would suppose that thousands of studies showing the existence of more dramatic global warming and cooling periods than Marcott et al. demonstrate should present a high bar to Marcott’s conclusons. Marcott et al. use methodology quite similar to previous studies showing different warming and cooling patterns. Therefore, Marcott’s burden is two-fold: demonstrate validity while showing how other studies were wrong. With their lack of sample definition and long-period averaging, it does not seem that they have much with which to demonstrate superiority over previous work.

Martin

Are you saying Earth is actually at -30 degrees now? Doesn’t seem plausible to me.

You know something is wrong when a branch of science can only produce drawings that look alike.
Obviously a lack of imagination going on.
Andrew

knr

Its hilarious that someone claims to produced a measurement to a claimed accuracy of .01 when all they have to measure with is a device that can only be accurate to 10.00 , which in effect is what Marcott is doing with their claims over recent warming . Do that in any other area , especially engineering , and you lucky if they just laughed at you. So you have to ask , just how low are the standards within climate ‘science’ , that such approaches are acceptable ?

“…One should not appeal to the authority of Feynman especially since he was factually wrong, and historically wrong, and ironically blind on the renormalization issue”

Steve, this is the funniest thing that you’ve written and that I got to read.
Feynman was factually wrong? Got proof? Especially got any proof that he reviewed the alleged error and stayed in error? Or is this a slime swipe to try and minimize Feynman’s brilliance?
Feynman was historically wrong? What? Did he get his birth or death dates wrong? Again, the same questions as the previous question about factually wrong.
Feynman was ironically blind on re-normalization issue? Seriously? This kind of claim must have some sort of verified research behind it right?
Feynman in error on mathematics…? I’d like to see this proof. I’d also like to see all exchanges between Feynman and whoever claimed Feynman was in error.

Leo Smith

“Its hilarious that someone claims to produced a measurement to a claimed accuracy of .01 when all they have to measure with is a device that can only be accurate to 10.00”
All you have to do is measure it 10,000 times and take the average. Sheesh, I am no climate believer, but that was moronic.

Gene Selkov

populartechnology says:
> Who is Steve Mosher?
It does not matter a single bit who Steve Mosher is or what positions he held. We know he is a nice guy, but even that does not matter. Most of us here are officially nobodies (or even wrong-bodies), but that does matter. What matters is whether our ideas or the ideas we quote hold water.
Renormalisation is not a scientific theory. It does not explain anything; it does not predict anything; all it does is it matches some data — just enough to please Feynman (who nonetheless told us it was just a hocus-pocus, and no, Mr. Feynman was not joking when he said that). Beyond that, it is just as bad as the infamous hockey stick. The only difference is that the hockey stick supports fraudulent politics, while renormalisation supports carrer pseudoscientists.
I agree that matching data is not a sufficient test for a scientific theory, but let’s see an example of a good theory that does not match data. I can’t think of one off-hand.

Andrew Kerber

So, what has happened is that he is comparing temperature changes that have been averaged and smoothed over decades intervals, and comparing them to single year temperatures, then claiming that the averaged data is less than the data collected at single year intervals. It would be interesting to calculate how high the temperature needed to get, and how long it needed to be there to be averaged higher than the 21st century measure, my swag suggests an order of magnitude higher and and an order of magnitude longer would be required for it to average the single year numbers.

A few years ago I did an analysis of proxie data for temperature changes with time. I’ll bet my projections are closer to the truth than these authors. http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf.

temp

Steven Mosher says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm
“So, “ad hoc” hypotheses actually have a positive function: they temporarily make a new theory compatible with facts until the theory to be defended can be supported by other theories.”
Is this a joke post?
Hypotheses are guesses based on FANTASY. A “theory” as you put forth is a collection of guesses based on FANTASY. A hypotheses is unproven. A “theory” based on a collection of hypotheses is unproven.
It doesn’t matter how many hypotheses compose said “theory” it doesn’t matter the computer power used to create said fantasy…it doesn’t matter if 97% of people in that field believe said fantasy.
FANTASY is unproven… Science requires evidence based in observational or experimental data. Hypotheses are not evidence except of a flights of fancy. Learn some basic science please… a guess can not be used as proof another guess is correct… nor 100 guesses nor 100,000 guesses. Using guesses upon on guessing to prove something is a realm of religon.

Louis Hooffstetter

fhhaynie says:
“A few years ago I did an analysis of proxie data for temperature changes with time. I’ll bet my projections are closer to the truth than these authors. http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf.”
Very Nice! Thanks for sharing. I hope everyone follows this link.

TRM

Thanks again for another interesting read. Pity that the ClimateGate3 stuff is hitting now and limiting the amount of views your fine articles are getting.
Their graph may be self defeating. It shows us inexorably heading into an ice age only to be rescued by the industrial revolution and its CO2. If CO2 isn’t the cause then we’d better figure out quickly what is doing it and keep doing it.

Mark Bofill and Gene Selkov, sorry if I don’t look for opinions on climate science from English majors with careers in marketing [Mosher].

Mark Bofill

Poptech says:
March 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm
——-
Just thought I’d mention it, since I generally appreciate and respect your comments. I’m just a software engineer BTW; doesn’t really qualify me to talk about climate science either. Not that I’m going to let that shut me up. Oh well, whatever. 🙂

Thank you, Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, for taking the time to rebut the Marcott et all paper.
I find it somewhat irksome that the Marcott paper is so flippantly published, despite the trampling of known facts, and yet gets so much cheering and acclaim. Then, when people go “cough-cough. Excuse me, but…” and point out the trampled facts, there is so much booing, and even smearing attacks.
At times it hardly seems worth putting up with all the smearing and booing. Who the heck needs it? However backing down only gives Alarmists the floor, and has resulted in Alarmist activists taking over some formerly decent environmental organizations.
There comes a time to take a stand. After all, perhaps all the yelling is because sometimes truth hurts the mistaken. However “tough love” confronts the mistaken with the facts, for to do otherwise would be to encourage delusion.
It’s a thankless job, but you’re doing well, Dr. Don.

Henry

The delicious hypocrisy of FlopTech challenging Mosher’s credentials when he goes to such lengths to hide his own.
Immediate 80% discount applied to credibility from PopTart…

exSSNcrew

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
March 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

As others have posted at WUWT nuclear submarine crews are exposed to CO2 levels of 7000 ppm or higher for extended periods of time (months).

I was an Atmosphere Control Technician on a fast attack sub ’79 – ’83 (among other duties). We never let CO2 get that high. 1500 PPM maybe, if the scrubbers need maintenence and where offline for days. CO2 level was a setpoint you could dial in and the scrubber ran as needed. That 7000 PPM number was a monitoring sensor high alarm level, not a routine level. We used bromine as the working agent back then, but this link gives you the basic idea:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_scrubber.
EM1/SS

“populartechnology says: March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm
Who is Steve Mosher?…”

I’ve not met nor do I know Steve personally; but I do recommend visiting his blog and hanging around Lucia’s blackboard for some of the math discussions he engages in, as well as a number of others. (check for the links under lukewarmers on Anthony’s blog links)
(minor confession, I stopped visiting both Steve’s blog and Lucia’s several years ago; I didn’t like the skeptics are idiots views and statements at Steve’s nor did I particularly fancy how the regulars at Lucia’s treat the mathematically weak, (though I never read any post of Lucia’s where she embarrassed someone who was genuinely interested but struggling). I’m not as innocent as implied by my critique in that I didn’t feel sorry for the bozos and bozo-ettes who want everything explained repeatedly but they have no intention to learn math.
I am impressed with Steve’s math skills and his knowledge of atmosphere dynamics comes across to me as darn solid.
In some instances Steve comes across as a skeptic, but quite often Steve defends the orthodoxy which makes him appear to be a CAGW alarmist. I think Steve classifies himself as a lukewarmer.
I pick on Steve’s fly by dumps but I do read his posts.
Steve Mosher is Steve Mosher and as irritating as he can be at times there is no reason to resort to personal character insinuations and insults. Instead appreciate the knowledge Steve does display when he wants to. Read through his posts and learn when Steve has laid out science or pick apart his less than well thought out posts and take him to task.
Just saying my opinion.

Theo Goodwin

Steven Mosher says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm
This stuff from Feyerabend, Kuhn, and others made interesting exercises for students in the seventies. It might serve that purpose today. But no one who is a serious student of scientific method today would take this material seriously.

vigilantfish

@ NW says:
March 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm
Thanks for a rich chuckle about the ‘moaners’. This is a new dimension in the (mis) application of the philosophy of science for me. And the material was quite apposite to Stephen Mosher’s comment on Feyerabend. Some of Feyerabend’s writings, btw, helped propel me out of biology and into the history of science.
@ Stephen Mosher:
You seem to be quoting some source on Feyerabend (removed a comment as I’ve just discovered it’s Wikipedia. Amazingly William Connolley seems to figure fairly large in the discussion page).
I am not sure that Galileo makes a good example for Feyerabend’s argument here. Please note that Galileo was actively rejecting Aristotelian theory throughout his professional life. He was using data to falsify Aristotelianism. He did not rely on one or two experiments or a few points of data, but much like Darwin centuries later, built his arguments to disprove Aristotle by accumulating case after case (especially with regard to planetary motion and the solar system), and unlike Darwin, by undertaking systematic and repetitive experiments. Yes, data and observations are never theory-free (except, perhaps, at the hands of bored science undergrads) but there is no doubt that Galileo, from the moment he embarked on his motion studies, was keen to falsify Aristotle. Yes, he developed ad hoc theories, was partial to circular motion and rejected elipses, but generally was more concerned with observational accuracy and mathematical description.

Theo Goodwin

Steven Mosher says:
March 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm
“2. Conclude the data is wrong. Since all data is theory laden, this becomes an even thornier problem. For example temperature “data” from a satellite is “theory” laden as it is produced from a sensor measurement and a physics theory. Such that a conflict between theory and data in the end is a conflict between two theories. The theory being tested and the measurement theory embedded in the observation.”
This could serve as a confession of Mosher’s deepest views in scientific methodology. He really cannot get his mind around the idea that there are observable facts that are independent of theory. He finds it hard to believe that there is a world that exists apart from his theory.
Let me ask you, Mosher, what is the purpose of theory? Could we get along without theory? Has humanity ever gotten along without theory?
The purpose of theory is to specify all the facts, the infinity of facts, through a finite collection of hypotheses that are simple enough to be manageable, for the seasoned Phd, and intuitive enough to be learned by the young genius who will become the seasoned Phd.
All of physics works on the assumption that there is a world that is independent of the mind and that there are true observation statements that describe facts in that world. If the world that interests us were no more than carts and horses and such then we would need no theory at all. The facts could be surveyed on their own.
We need physical theory because the facts are infinite in number and there is no easy way to manage an infinite number of facts except by appeal to theory. See, Mosher, theory exists not in its on right but because the facts, which are infinite in number, exist independently of theory.
The first duty of physical theory is to specify all the facts in the area of science that its hypotheses purport to describe. The Theory of Everything that is the end point of physics must specify all the facts that exist.
Notice that climate science has no theory that specifies all the facts of the climate. There might be piecemeal theories here and there but there is nothing that describes the entire climate. Accordingly, there is nothing that specifies all the facts of the climate. Models are not theories at all and do not describe facts in the world. Scientists with integrity would inform the people of the world that there is no climate science that is useful for policy decisions at this time.

YouAreWrong Again

Clever misuse of quotes…
The paper by Marcott et al is behind a paywall for now, but, thankfully, I have access so I can see your quote placement in your opening paragraph dutifully misleads your readers to believe that Marcott et al state “A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years”. That sentence, and conclusion, is NOT part of the paper. The paper doesn’t even use the word ‘spike’.
Then you go through a painfully wrong comparison (apples to oranges my friend) to show just how misguided the Marcott authors are. Please Dr. Easterbrook. Attempt to get your comparison published. Would be great to have the reviewers response posted here.
Your opening paragraph… Part I of this series looked at the validity of conclusions for the 11,300 time span covered in Marcott et al. “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years.” This segment (Part II) analyzes conclusions in the Marcott et al. paper in which they contend that “Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years” and “Global temperature….. has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century.” A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years”

Theo Goodwin

vigilantfish says:
March 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm
Good to read you again, Vigilantfish. Galileo invented scientific method. Kepler had used it but failed to articulate it. Galileo created his experiments to show it off.
My favorite example is Galileo’s experiment of dropping a stone from the mast of a moving ship. The stone impacts the deck directly beneath the point of release. This proves that the experiment cited by Aristotelians, dropping a stone from a tower, does not provide evidence that the earth stands still.
Yes, you can play tennis on the deck of a moving ocean liner and you do not have to compensate for the ship’s movement.

D.B. Stealey

YouAreWrongAgain is wrong again:
“Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years.”
This tells us that 4,000 years ago temperatures were higher than they are today. Note that 4,000 years ago CO2 was much lower than now, indicating that CO2 is not the cause of global warming.
Now, CO2 may be a cause of some very minor warming. But the fly in that ointment is the lack of any mesurable confirming evidence. It must be embarrassing that the climate alarmist crowd cannot provide any credible measurements of AGW. That means that AGW is merely a conjecture. Further, all official AGW predictions have failed.
Please explain: why are we wasting $Trillions on an unproven conjecture, which is unable to make correct predictions?

populartechnology

Mark Bofill says:
March 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm
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Mark, it has nothing to do with whether you should comment or not, it has to do with the weight that should be given to such opinions. I get tired of people believing him to have some sort of scientific background. Unlike those who don’t know any better I recognized this early on by his comments.

populartechnology

Henry says:
March 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm
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My credentials are all computer and technical related, I don’t claim to be a scientist. Which is all irrelevant to the fact that he does not have a scientific background.

populartechnology

atheok says:
March 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm
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I have found nothing useful at his blog and while Lucia has actual scientific qualifications I found no reason to frequent her site either. I actually found her recent obsession with someone “hacking” her site to be ridiculous.
Nothing Steve Mosher has done has impressed me, even though I do give him credit for Gleick but there in is my problem – outside of posting incoherent gibberish comments here and the Gleick memo I have no idea why anyone takes him seriously? It is almost as if people are suckered by him posting evasive nonsense as if he has something “deep” to say. No he doesn’t, he has the same delusional belief that he is so much more rational then everyone else and mimics psuedo-intellectual gibberish from philosophers like Derrida. The king really does not have any clothes.
The one thing Mosher is good at is marketing himself, surprisingly this is his profession.

johnmarshall

Thanks Dr. Easterbrook, look forward to episode III.
Steve Mosher— dropped objects fall vertically when viewed on earth but viewed from a stationary position in space they fall diagonally in a curve. It is all motion relative. And CO2 does not drive climate.

Those who complain that it is wrong just to look at Greenland data are missing the point.
The Greenland data is extremely reliable, accurate and datable. It is also extremely well supported by a wealth of similar data from other Arctic and high latitude regions. (And of course by historical evidence in the MWP).
To prove that global temperatures were lower than now, at the same time as the Arctic and much of the NH was clearly much warmer, needs a host of equally hard evidence to show that the rest of the world was much cooler.
I simply do not see this evidence anywhere in Marcott.

BTW even NIWA agree that NZ was much warmer than today during much of the holocene.
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/warmer-holocene-confirmed-in-new-zealand/

And Lonnie Thompson is now finding plant remains reappearing, as the Quelccaya glacier in Peru recedes, which are carbon dated to 3000BC
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/another-wild-alarmist-prediction-bites-the-dust/

“To prove that global temperatures were lower than now, at the same time as the Arctic and much of the NH was clearly much warmer,”
The Greenland data, or at least GISP2 shown here, ends in 1855. All that is shown here is that past periods were warmer than 1855, which I think Marcott et all don’t dispute.