Saturday Silliness: Tamino aka Grant Foster fracks himself

People send me stuff.

This morning my inbox had a forwarded Twitter item about a Tammy post where supposedly none of what McIntyre discovered about the dating problems in Marcott et al hockey stick “matter”, because “Tamino” has proven otherwise, even though Marcott’s PhD thesis with the same proxy data (but not arbitrarily re-dated) does not show the 20th century uptick. But, all Tamino did is throw some artificially generated spikes into the mix, run a process where he doesn’t show the code/work, and say “trust me”. It is amusing. We’ll save that for a future examination, as I’d like to see what Mr. McIntyre has to say.

In the meantime, Josh has a cartoon about a previous episode from Tammyworld:


Josh writes:

Tamino’s recent posts on Marcott et al bear an uncanny similarity to Steve McIntyre’s work at Climate Audit. Dave Burton noticed and commented:

Grant, I find it just plain bizarre that you wrote all this and never even mentioned Steve McIntyre, who first figured out what Marcott had done wrong, and whose excellent work is the whole reason you wrote this.


This cartoon imagines Tamino, aka statistician and folk singer Grant Foster, putting things right. Do suggest some more songs that Tamino might like to try. I am sure he will be very grateful.

After getting the email this morning, I decided to look around Tammyworld a bit. What was even more amusing was his post about hydraulic fracturing aka “fracking” and earthquakes, where he tries to show a correlation between recent hockey stick style upticks in low magnitude earthquakes in Oklahoma. Of course as anyone who follows the energy debate knows, “fracking” is the recently “discovered” evil incarnate process, even though it has been in use since 1949, and prior to that they used nitroglycerine to do the same job of enhancing well production by fracturing rock nearby the well casing.

There’s another Josh cartoon in this one, read on.

Tamino leads with:

Mother Jones reports on recent earthquakes in regions not accustomed to much seismic activity, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Ohio. Much of their story consists of anecdotal evidence, particularly the strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history at magnitude 5.6 in November 2011, which happened along a fault which a Univ. of Oklahoma geophysics professor referred to as “a dead fault that nobody ever worried about.” Since this quake “injured two people, destroyed 14 homes, toppled headstones, closed schools, and was felt in 17 states,” people are starting to worry.

I’ve highlighted the stick Tamino focused on.


He plots the Oklahoma data and gosh it sure looks like another recent man-made event doesn’t it?



His conclusion:

So far, the fossil-fuel industry has denied any connection between recent earthquake activity and oil/gas production. The U.S. Geological Survey disagrees. Who you gonna believe?

At first I thought maybe he had a valid point, because the data presented sure looks convincing, and I started looking for data about the number of new wells drilled in Oklahoma to see if it supported his claim, but midway through the search process I started laughing, when I realized Tamino’s vision is just another case of this:


Thanks to Josh for allowing the borrowing and amending of his original cartoon for our entertainment today.

You see, I thought I’d have to do some data wrangling and plotting to see if Tamino’s point was really valid or not. But then, I realized that much like Mann’s hockey stick, and the Yamal incident, where some data that might not support the premise was excluded, so it was with the case with Tamino’s fracktastic analysis.

Some background. Some claim that this paper…

Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma Oklahoma Geological Survey / by Austin Holland

[From the Report]

Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located. Most of these earthquakes occurred within a 24 hour period after hydraulic fracturing operations had ceased. There have been previous cases where seismologists have suggested a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, but data was limited, so drawing a definitive conclusion was not possible for these cases.

…”proves” that there is a link between fracturing and Earthquakes. Maybe there is, but I thought to myself, “the past, like the blade of the infamous hockey stick is flat, if fracking has been around since 1949, why isn’t there more spikes in earlier data in Tamino’s plot”? Surely, there must have been some fracking going on in oil-rich Oklahoma before 2009 when the uptick started.

The USGS report on the Nov 6th 2011 quake in Oklahoma states:

The magnitude 4.7 and 5.6 earthquakes that occurred on November 5, 2011, were situated in a region located about 50 km east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Earthquakes are not unusual in Oklahoma, but they often are too small to be felt. From 1972-2008 about 2-6 earthquakes a year were recorded by the USGS National Earthquake Information Center; these earthquakes were scattered broadly across the east-central part of the state. In 2008 the rate of earthquakes began to rise, with over a dozen earthquakes occurring in the region east- northeast of Oklahoma City and southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2009 the rate of seismicity continued to climb, with nearly 50 earthquakes recorded–many big enough to be felt. In 2010 this activity continued. The magnitude 4.7 and 5.6 earthquakes of November 5, 2011, are the largest events recorded during this period of increased seismicity. Additionally, the M5.6 quake is the largest quake to hit Oklahoma in modern times.

There have been dozens of aftershocks recorded following the shallow November 5, 2011 magnitude 5.6 earthquake and its magnitude 4.7 foreshock that occurred on the same day. These aftershocks will continue for weeks and potentially months but will likely decrease in frequency. This is not an unusual amount of aftershock activity for a magnitude 4.7 to 5.6 earthquake sequence. There is always a small possibility of an earthquake of larger magnitude following any earthquake, but the occurrence of the magnitude 5.6 earthquake, and the increase in activity in recent years does not necessarily indicate that a larger more damaging earthquake will occur.

The word “fracking” or any reference to injection wells or drilling as a possible cause or enhancer is completely absent from the USGS report. Even Scientific American doesn’t buy the hype saying:

Did Fracking Cause Oklahoma’s Largest Recorded Earthquake?

Probably not, as the gas drilling practice tends to be associated with minor quakes, not big ones, seismologists say

It seems simply like just another few and far between earthquake event in the Midwest, like the New Madrid Earthquake, which had it occurred today, some activist would most certainly try to find a fracking connection.

Back to Oklahoma. I mused that Oklahoma really wasn’t in “boom” mode recently (compared to its past drilling history), so why the recent uptick in seismic activity? Was it natural, or enhanced by fracking? And then it hit me; I was looking at the wrong state.

Where is the biggest “boom” in fracking enhanced oil production occurring? North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken formation seen in the map at right.

Map of Bakken Formation reservoirs in the US portion of the Williston Basin (Saskatchewan is north border). Most oil comes from Elm Coulee Oil Field. Image: Wikipedia

From this article in Bloomberg news:

To reach the Bakken formation, a 360-million-year-old shale bed two miles underground that geologists say holds a 15,000 square-mile region of oil, companies must use a drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. With fracking, water is pumped down a well with sand and chemicals to crack rock and release oil. Officials estimate the field could be productive for as long as 25 years.

Wikipedia says:

New rock fracturing technology available starting in 2008 has caused a recent boom in Bakken production. By the end of 2010 oil production rates had reached 458,000 barrels (72,800 m3) per day outstripping the capacity to ship oil out of the Bakken.[8][9] The production technology gain has led a veteran industry insider to declare that the USGS estimates are too low.[10]

It stands to reason that with this much fracking going on in the biggest oil boom region in the USA in a short and recent time span, surely there must be some seismic effects as a result of it. Surely there must be a cluster of small quakes around the Bakken region?


Locations of earthquakes with magnitude 3 or greater



I have to wonder why Tamino didn’t plot the USA with magnitude 1 or greater quakes, since that dataset is what he focused his main analysis on? Just looking at magnitude 3 and greater, there isn’t much of a signal in Oklahoma anyway, and the nearby New Madrid fault seems to have more.

So, what does the USGS earthquake data that Tammy plotted say about eastern Montana and North Dakota where the big fracking boom is happening (highlighted in yellow)?



The earthquake data for the Bakken region is as flat as the plains of North Dakota itself.

So on the question of “does fracking causes earthquakes”, “Who you gonna believe?”.

I think I’ll pass on Tamino’s visions.

UPDATE: Tamino has responded,

He shows that a Scientific American article suggested that fracking was probably not the cause of Oklahoma’s biggest quake on record. And by God, if fracking isn’t wreaking seismic hell in Nebraska then Anthony Watts won’t accept that there’s any evidence of its having an impact anywhere.


He predictably ignores the issue I point out with Bakken and lack of earthquakes there. but doubles down on Oklahoma, and then despite the act that his previous post title says:

Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?

…he goes to plan B “look a squirrel!” and goes to the wastewater injection well argument.

Anthony Watts pushes the idea that there’s no relationship between fracking and increased earthquake activity, he won’t even consider an indirect relationship due to the wastewater injection which fracking requires. Both the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Research Council disagree. Who you gonna believe?

I’ll believe the data, and the data says there are NOT swarms of Earthquakes in the Bakken formation, but there are some in Oklahoma. This difference is an issue, and he’s offered no explanation for this conundrum. 

Does fracking and its byproduct wastewater cause some earthquakes? Maybe – but correlation is not causation, much like the correlation lie activist Josh Fox made in Gasland about flammable gas in well water, which turned out to be there long before fracking. It may simply be that some areas are more sensitive than others, or some processes are better than others, but it certainly doesn’t suggest that all fracking and its byproduct wastewater injection causes earthquakes as activists would like you to believe. It has only been recently an issue since global warming “concerns” have turned it into a potential tool to shut down energy production.

So if there some small magnitude 1-3 earthquakes in Oklahoma, are they big enough to worry about, much like the small earthquakes around mining operations known for decades? Probably not. I sure don’t, only the activists seem to get upset about this.

Since Tamino cited an event in the UK, (although Wales was claimed) it is instructive to have a look at what they say on page 40 of The Royal Society report (h/t Miguelito):  Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing June 2012 (PDF)

5.3 Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing

There are two types of seismicity associated with hydraulic fracturing. Microseismic events are a routine feature of hydraulic fracturing and are due to the propagation of engineered fractures (see Chapter 4). Larger seismic events are generally rare but can be induced by hydraulic fracturing in the presence of a pre-stressed fault. The energy released during hydraulic fracturing is less than the energy released by the collapse of open voids in rock formations, as occurs during coal mining. The intensity of seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing is likely to be smaller due to the greater depth at which shale gas is extracted compared to the shallower depth of coal mining. Magnitude 3 ML may be a realistic upper limit for seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing (Green et al 2012). If a seismic event of magnitude 3 ML occurs at depths of 2-3km, structural damage at the surface is unlikely.

On 1st April 2011, the Blackpool area experienced a seismic event of magnitude 2.3 ML shortly after Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall well in the Bowland Shale was hydraulically fractured. Another seismic event of magnitude 1.5 ML occurred on 27th May 2011

following renewed hydraulic fracturing of the same well.

Analysis of the seismic data suggests that the two events were due to the reactivation of a pre-stressed fault. In abscence of further data it is difficult to  determine whether the fault was directly intersected by the well, or whether hydraulic fracturing led to pressure changes that induced a distant fault to slip.

Note this: “Magnitude 3 ML may be a realistic upper limit for seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing (Green et al 2012).” That supports what has been said about the November 5th, 2011 magnitude 5.6 earthquake it Oklahoma – it doesn’t seem likely that it was connected to fracking, though many people (Tamino included) want it to be, because then it becomes a political tool if they can prove it.

So has this event in Blackpool stopped anything in the UK? No, the UK Shale Gas Boom is going ahead, because rational people realize that the risks are small and the benefits far outweigh those risks:

Earlier this month the UK gave the go-ahead to hydraulic fracturing, under tight regulatory conditions, a year after the practice was suspended when an exploration company triggered two small earth tremors in Lancashire.

Problem solved.

But Tamino hates fracking, hates “deniers”, and generally is just an unpleasant bloke about anything that has to do with talking point issues pushed by the left. I find him and his irrational hatred of anything associated with oil extraction wholly amusing, and it’s the best free Saturday entertainment you could ask for.

So who you gonna believe? Well I believe fracking, like any process, has some risks, and the benefits far outweigh the highly publicized events used as political tools. I also believe I’ll go fill up my gas tank and turn on my natural gas powered fireplace. – Anthony

UPDATE2 4/7/13: From a guest post last year by David Middleton:

Frohlich, 2012 found no correlation between fracking and earthquakes… NONE, NADA, ZIP, ZERO-POINT-ZERO…

Most earthquakes identified in the study ranged in magnitude from 1.5 to 2.5, meaning they posed no danger to the public.

I didn’t find any higher risks from disposal of hydraulic fracturing fluids than was thought before,” says Frohlich.”My study found more small quakes, nearly all less than magnitude 3.0, but just more of the smaller ones than were previously known. The risk is all from big quakes, which don’t seem to occur here.”

All the wells nearest to the eight earthquake groups reported high injection rates (maximum monthly injection rates exceeding 150,000 barrels of water). Yet in many other areas where wells had similarly high injection rates, there were no earthquakes. Frohlich tried to address those differences.

Location of Barnett Shale and area covered in accompanying map

Texas map showing the Barnett Shale (gray) and rectangle indicating region mapped in figure 2. Credit: Cliff Frohlich/U. of Texas at Austin.

“It might be that an injection can only trigger an earthquake if injected fluids reach and relieve friction on a nearby fault that is already ready to slip,” says Frohlich. “That just isn’t the situation in many places.”

Hydraulic fracturing is an industrial process in which water and various chemicals are pumped deep underground in order to fracture rock, allowing oil or gas to more easily flow to a well. As petroleum is produced at the surface, most hydraulic fracturing fluids return to the surface too. Frohlich is careful to point out that he did not evaluate the possible correlation of earthquakes with the actual hydraulic fracturing process, but rather the effects of disposing of fracturing fluids and other wastes in these injection wells.

And finally, as I have previously posted, the induced seismicity from fracking and most injection operations is almost entirely nonpalpable.


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P Walker

How about Hank Williams’ ” You Win Again ” ?

cui bono

Brilliant investigation Anthony! Lovely cartoons Josh.
Tamino isn’t anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is.
Then again, nobody in human history has ever been as smart as he thinks he is.

Peter Miller

I think you have to be a little careful about the subject of fracking and ‘earthquakes’.
There is little doubt fracking causes the premature movement of minor faults under pressure, creating minor tremors. Most of these tremors are never be felt as they score very low on the Richter Scale.
If you live in an area of active underground mining, minor tremors – never dangerous – become a way of life and are just ignored. So it is with fracking, despite what the goofy greenies try and persuade the gullible.
I may be wrong, but I do not believe that any tremor of over magnitude 3.5 (just noticeable) has ever been attributed to fracking, but there have been plenty of less than magnitude 2.
Here is something for conspiracy theorists: Those who believe passionately in global warming almost always believe that fracking is bad/evil/whatever as well.


Actually those small earth tremors almost all seem to be related to disposal wells where large volumes of liquid is permanently injected into permeable rock formations.
Fracking is by definition used where there aren’t any fractures in the rock and are therefore much less likely to release any pre-existing strain.


The largest fracking operation in the contiguous 48 states and possibly the western hemisphere is the caldera at Yellowstone Park. In the graphics it is conspicuous by its flat line trend.

Svend Ferdinandsen

Who is fracking in Iceland?
Must be a very big operation.


I wonder how long it will be until the Alarmists claim the fracking teleconnects with ENSO?


Heh, I can remember feeling the need to make cryptic jokes about seeing through a glass darkly.

Jerome Hudson

Clive Best has had a look into Tamino’s allegation that Marcott’s methodology would have revealed large spikes in the historical record. See:
I find Best’s arguments pretty convincing. Smoothing, especially with time axis shifting, knocks down spikes pretty well.
– Jerry Hudson

Bryan A

Do your Frackin in the Bakken
you’ll be shaken never more
Do your Frackin in the Bakken
and the Oil runs to your door


There’s always a question whether fracking couldn’t have some consequences afters some time passes. Perhaps created ruptures need a few years to propagate to allow some stresses on them to build or whatever. So if fields in Montana are quite new, there may not be any effect yet, while in Oklahoma the effect might be starting to appear despite recent decline in fracking. But even if all that was true, an effect which only can be found in “magnitude >=1” earthquakes does not sound very scary, Anything below 2 is only detectable using seismographs.

When the Yellowstone caldera had it’s last eruption….it sent 240 cubic miles of granite into space and covered the Great Plains with 6 feet of ash….try to OUT FRACK that !

Hoi Polloi

“Who You Gonna Believe, Me or Your Lying Eyes”


Injection of used fracing fluids into deep wells has cause lubrication of fault lines and induced minor tremors. This is documented in Denver in the 60’s at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.


Smells Like Team Spirit


Tamino is looking for a cause that does not exist in reality.
Being I live in ND, the increase in earthquakes caused by fracking has been front page news. We are still waiting for the 1st page tho, as there has been NO news.


Tears of a Clown
… that old Smokey Robinson classic.


There are some good discussions on the subject at the Oklahoma Geologic Survey site.
Their view is that the main risk is from injection of waste waters into the Absaroka Fm which is close to swarms of known faults.
Also it is important to consider that for this to happen you need to have pre-existing faults in the subsurface and the wellbore has to communicate with that fault in some manner. As a consequence you wouldn’t expect this to be possible in North Dakota where there is little in the way of subsurface faults. There are a lot in Oklahoma, hence the history of earthquakes in the area. There are a very few cases where it looks like very minor faults have been triggered by the fraccing process….generally due to poor operator controls in first not identifying that the well may have crossed a fault and secondly not recognizing from the pumping pressure response that you are connected to a fault conduit rather than creating new fractures. This was the story with the company Quadzilla in the UK which is probably the best investigated example.

“Here is something for conspiracy theorists: Those who believe passionately in global warming almost always believe that fracking is bad/evil/whatever as well.”
Very simple explanation – both involve the violation of precious Earth Mother Gaia by despicable, money grubbing humans. Further proof, as if any was needed, that we aren’t dealing with any logical or scientific processes here – this is a Cult, plain and simple.

Kurt in Switzerland

Merle Haggard might want to be consulted regarding the great state of Oklahoma…
Kurt in Switzerland


Question to ask is why Germany has not had these problems with fracking including earthquakes,methane gas pollution in water when they have been doing it since the early 60’s!!

Sam the First

Ref “Your Cheatin’ Heart” – surely Josh meant “Your Cheatin’ Graph” ?
Here are a few more songs for the Tammy Manns to sing:
Always the Last to Know
Between the Cheats
Cheater Cheater
Cookie Jar
Hole in the Head
I Don’t Wanna Know
It Wasn’t Me
Would I Lie to You?
Should’ve Said No
Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm
Party’s Over

This is likely to get more air-time in the UK as exploration increases. I have a handy defence when an alarmist brings up this straw-man objection.

View from the Solent

The commenters at are busily building a Greatest Hits playlist for Tamino


I’m also looking for a hockey stick in Pennsylvania, and not seeing one.


More songs for Tammy Manns:
Chuck Berry – My Ding a Ling (hokey sticks)
Steve Miller Band – The Joker
The Isley Brothers – (Hokey sticks) It’s Your Thing
The American Breed – Bend Me Shape Me (into a hokey stick)
Beatles – The Fool on the Hill
Simon & Garfunkel – Fakin’ It
BTO – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Pointer Sisters – Yes we can can (make hokey sticks)
Dave Clark Five – Catch Us If You Can
The Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself (from seeing hokey sticks)
Gladys Knight & the Pips – I’ve Got to Use My Imagination
Carly Simon – You’re so Vain
Elvis Presley – Burning Love (for hokey sticks)
Johnny Nash – I Can See (hokey sticks) Clearly Now
Temptations – Just My Imagination
Vanity Fair – Hitchin’ A Ride (on the hokey stick train)
Delphonics – Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time
5th Dimension – Puppet Man
Glen Campbell – It’s Only Make Believe
The Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun (to make hokey sticks)
Guess Who – These Eyes (are seeing hokey sticks)
Nilsson – Everybody’s Talkin’ (about hokey sticks)
Edwin Hawkins Singers – O Happy (hokey stick) Day
Gary Wright – (Hokey Stick) Dream Weaver
Rita Coolidge – Higher & Higher (hokey stick temps)
Linda Rhonstadt – It’s So Easy (to make hokey sticks)
Beatles – (Hokey Sticks) With a Little Help From My Friends
Spinners – Joe South – Games People Play
Linda Rhonstady – Heat Wave
Van McCoy – The Hustle
Three Dog Night – The Show Must Go On
Classics IV – Spooky (hokey sticks)
The Monkees – Daydream Beleiver
Nancy & Frank Sinatra – Something Stupid


Why are persons like Tamino willing, nay eager, to make a laughing stock of themselves again and again? More and more, this scaremongering seems to be intended for internal congregational use, and never mind the rest. Does that mean they have given up the effort to win the public debate? Do they feel the tormenting pain of internal, doubt-driven fracking deep inside?


By the graphic it appears that fracking in Oklahoma is causing eathquakes in Ontario since fracking is not allowed in Ontario. From Anthony’s assessment it appears that fracking actually reduces tremors. Be nice to see the Alberta data as the entire northern half of the provience is full of holes!! Can’t figure out where to put the sarc on or sarc off indications on this comment :-/ But then again when it comes to ‘climate science’ it is hard to tell what is real, made up or sarcastic comment….sigh.

John Parsons AKA atarsinc
Just curious if you compared the geology of OK and ND. If the geology is not similar, then it seems the comparison would mean little. A cursory look at the USGS Earthquake hazard map appears to show a far greater likelihood of earthquakes in the Anadarko Basin (OK) than the Williston Basin (ND). JP

George Turner

In the map you provided, the new Texas shale areas (Eagle, etc) are also devoid of earthquakes.


How about a few Elvis suggestions for Tamino’s new album?
You’ve Lost That fracking Feeling
All Shook Up
I feel my temperature rising – (Burning Love)
Mean McIntyre Blues
There Goes My Hockey Stick – (There Goes My Everything)
I Really Don’t Want to Know
(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I


The Beatles: “A Taste of Money”, “Twist and Shout”
Procul Harum: “Whiter Shade of Shale”
Alfred Neuman: “It’s a gas”
Orbison: “Green Baby”
Elton John: “Warm Love in a Cold World”
Stay Cool!


John Parsons AKA atarsinc
rockdoc says:
April 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Nice work Doc.


Mycroft says:
April 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm
“Question to ask is why Germany has not had these problems with fracking including earthquakes,methane gas pollution in water when they have been doing it since the early 60′s!!”
Methane in ground water would not be pollution. It is called natural gas because it occurs naturally.


There are really only 2 persons who will pay “legally” heavily for this whole AGW scam
Number 1 M Mann
Number 2 Gleick
The rest P Jones, Hansen and all the others including journalist etc are actually persons who really believed or had some sort or ideology. The above noted are just fraudsters and have made Marcott et al fall into their trap. I would ask that we leave all the others alone but M Mann is a person who can be identified as the ONE person who fraudently committed a crime(Hockey stick) that has cost humanity billions of loses and misery he needs to go to jail. Gleick has actually committed a crime but it is less serious. (BTW how dare he even accuse Freeman Dyson what a creep!)


M 1? That’s nothing. When my son was a teen, he’d create bigger quakes just getting out of bed in the morning.

Thanks, Anthony.
This is funny!

Steve from Rockwood

How about “cull of McIntyre” with apologies to Paul McCartney.

Jeff L

I am sure most who follow this blog can see what is happening – Fracking is becoming the latest green cause – as the data, with some help from us skeptics – systematically dismantle the CAGW hypothesis, they need to move on & they are moving on to Fracking. We need to continue posts like this & actively dismantle this anti-fracking movement before it gets any more entrenched in the MSM than it already is.

Jesus Green

In addition to the excellent apposite song titles already suggested I’d like to add:
The Only Way is Up – Yazz
Up, Up and Away – 5th Dimension
The Heat is On – Glen Frey

Mike McMillan

“Do suggest some more songs that Tamino might like to try …”
Okey Dokey:
Johann Sebastian Bach, “Toccata and Fraud”
Maurice Ravel, “Pavane pour un Thesis Defunte”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Requiem” (K626)
Sergei Rachmaninoff, “Isle of the Redated”
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Pirates of Penn State (OT, sorry, but I couldn’t resist)

chris y

I posted this at Clive Best’s site regarding the Tamino analysis-
“Have you looked at the supplemental material from the Marcott et al. paper? It is available for free. Pages 23-26 are quite revealing-
“9. Signal retention-
Numerous factors work to smooth away variability in the temperature stack. These include temporal resolution, age model uncertainty, and proxy temperature uncertainty. We conducted a synthetic data experiment to provide a simple, first order quantification of the reduction in signal amplitude due to these factors.”
“The gain function is near 1 above ~2000 year periods, suggesting that multi-millennial variability in the Holocene stack may be almost fully recorded. Below ~300 year periods, in contrast, the gain is near zero, implying proxy record uncertainties completely remove centennial variability in the stack. Between these two periods, the gain function exhibits a steady ramp and crosses 0.5 at a period of ~1000 years.”
Figures S17 and S18 are unambiguous regarding the frequency response of the reconstruction. By the way, when they say the gain is ‘near zero’, they mean it is one percent or less of the actual signal amplitude.
So, apparently Tamino argues that Marcott’s spectral analysis of Marcott’s reconstruction is wrong, in order to defend Marcott’s initial claim that modern temperature trends are unprecedented, even though Marcott later backed off that claim. Who’s on first again…?

Baa Humbug

“You can’t hide your lying declines” (and your Yamal is in disguise)
“Hit me with your hockey stick” (hit me, hit me, HITTT MEEEEE)
“Let’s hockey stick together” (c’mon c’mon let’s hockey stick together)
“Total eclipse of the chart” (every now and then I fall apart)
“Unskinny plot”

Louis Hooffstetter

To add to what Peter Miller says April 6, 2013 at 11:24 am and what rockdoc says:April 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm:
The injection of fluids into a known series of faults in Oklahoma may indeed be causing minor earthquakes there. But instead of automatically branding fracking and underground waste water injection “Bad” or “Evil” we should learn from what is occurring there. Could it be possible to utilize fracking techniques to lubricate major faults like the San Andreas and/or the New Madrid fault zone such that they slip gradually over time rather than accumulate so much pent up stress that they only produce major devastating earthquakes? Maybe it’s possible to utilize this technology to prevent the “Big One” from ever happening again. Food for thought.

May as well add the two I suggested over at the Bish’s
SinnerMann (Nina Simone)
Secondhand News (Fleetwood Mac)

Nancy Green

Tamino has played a magician’s trick in claiming to have added 3 spikes to the proxies. He hasn’t added the spikes to the proxies at all. That would have required him to travel back in time and change the temperature of the earth. What he has actual done is drawn three high resolution spikes on top of the low resolution proxies. To understand this by analogy, consider this:
Adding additional planets around stars does not make them detectable to astronomers 50 years ago. These additional planets would be real spikes. However, drawing picture of planets on the old photos will certainly make them detectable! These are Tamino’s spikes. Your half blind old granny could detect them!! So, no surprise Marcott was able to do the same.
What Tamino has actually done is to confirm my prediction in an earlier post. That as you increase the resolution of the proxies you are more likely to find spikes,


Tamino’s scholarship leaves a bit to be desired. He cites “Mother Jones” and what they call anecdotal evidence and his citation to the USGS “study” is not a USGS publication, it is an abstract published by USGS authors (Ellsworth et al. 2012 )
(and yes there is a difference; abstracts are not peer reviewed and their conclusions do not necessarly reflect the opinion of the USGS).
At that, Ellsworth et al. conclude” “While the seismicity rate changes described here are almost certainly manmade, it remains to be determined how they are related to either changes in extraction methodologies or the rate of oil and gas production.” This differs significantly from Tammy’s conclusions about the abstract: “…attributing it to oil and gas production” and “So far, the fossil-fuel industry has denied any connection between recent earthquake activity and oil/gas production. The U.S. Geological Survey disagrees”. Those statements in an abstract “almost certainly” and “remains to be determined” are remarkably non-definitive.
Additionally, Tammy’s graph for M>=1 in Oklahoma has a peak in 2010, a decline in 2011 (which was the year of the 5.6 earthquake) and a distinct downtick in 2012. What’s up with that, a hockey stick that goes down? The USGS web page indicates that additional seismographs were installed after the 5.6 in 2011. If there is a truism is seismology, it’s that there is a distinct correllation between the number of small earthquakes detected and the number of seismographs. So why the decrease?


Louis Hooffstetter says: “…Could it be possible to utilize fracking techniques to lubricate major faults like the San Andreas and/or the New Madrid fault zone such that they slip gradually over time rather than accumulate so much pent up stress that they only produce major devastating earthquakes?”
The result would be unpredictable and the liability gargantuan. Who would be foolish enough to try? Oh. Yeah, Tamino’s friends, who think we should inject CO2 into the planet, SO2 into the air, and iron into the ocean.

Steve from Rockwood

It’s not really meaningful to call these micro-seismic events (or MSEs) “earthquakes”. It is meaningful to expect fracking to cause such MSEs just as in hardrock mining we record them when mine workings are expanded changing the local stress fields. Is it something to worry about? No. Not any more than MSEs from hydro reservoirs or deep mines.

Mark T

We’ll save that for a future examination, as I’d like to see what Mr. McIntyre has to say.

Hard to say. I don’t know what his filtering theory background is.
Either way, in order for the spikes to even show up in the proxy, they would need to be muuuuch larger (as noted by others in this thread). Tamino should know this. Egg on his face, again. I used to think he was competent, but biased towards silliness. I now believe the reverse is true.