Mann's Hockey Stick Goes Zombie

Nuclear war simulation forgets the Medieval Climate Optimum

Story submitted by P. Wayne Townsend

Yesterday’s Daily Mail carried an article about a simulation of the climate consequences of nuclear war.  The paper Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict is not paywalled gives the usual horror stories (nuclear winter, crop failures, etc.).

What caught my eye was this idea intellectual relic found in both the Daily Mail article and here quoted from the abstract of itself. 

Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20%–50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years

.

1000 years would be 1014, during the Medieval Climate optimum.  Digging deeper we find that, indeed, Michael Mann’s discredited hockey stick is the zombie reference for this claim.

The severe increases in UV radiation following a regional nuclear war would occur in conjunction with the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years [Mann et al., 1999].

Of course, this is a model of climate after a nuclear wars so, perhaps these may be disciples or wannabes of the distinguished Mr. Mann.   With a reference to Mann this long after refutation, will we ever be able to get rid of this zombie science, or are we doomed to living in the land of the walking dead papers?


 

The paper is available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/abstract

Abstract

We present the first study of the global impacts of a regional nuclear war with an Earth system model including atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics, and interactive sea ice and land components. A limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side detonates 50 15 kt weapons could produce about 5 Tg of black carbon (BC). This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere. Using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric BC compared to 4–6.5 years for previous studies. Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20%–50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years. We calculate summer enhancements in UV indices of 30%–80% over midlatitudes, suggesting widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10–40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine. Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today.

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A nuclear winter would have to be pretty impressive to beat the “year without a summer” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

J Murphy

Perhaps you might have to acknowledge that Mann is ‘refuted’ only in your particular corner of the rarely-visited edges of the internet, and not in real life or the real world? In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher -http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/about/cv.php
Maybe everyone should accept reality and move on to the next obsession from the distant past…

Konrad

“Mann’s Hockey Stick Goes Zombie”?
Well just how do you tell the difference between a zombie and someone who short centrers data prior to principal component analysis?
They are both staggering around seeking “brains…brains…”
So are the authors of this sadly Sageneque study. Volcanoes put the lie to the nuclear winter tripe.

@Konrad

Well just how do you tell the difference between a zombie and someone who short centrers data prior to principal component analysis?
They are both staggering around seeking “brains…brains…”

But one is looking for one to use, the other to eat.

Konrad

J Murphy says:
July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
———————————-
“Maybe everyone should accept reality…”
Are you prepared to accept that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability?
Just how long can you deny reality?

HomeBrewer

What seems more probable in the near future is an eruption of the icelandic vulcan Katla.
That will lower the global temperatures about 2C and then we’ll long for some warming again.

NikFromNYC

“With a reference to Mann this long after refutation, will we ever be able to get rid of this zombie science, or are we doomed to living in the land of the walking dead papers?”
But don’t you see, Mann’s schtick has been resurrected as a “super hockey stick” in 2013 so all that ancient history was just technicalities in early work as climate “science” moved on to today‘s newfangled right-in-your-face fraud instead of yesterday’s statistical black box magic:
http://s6.postimg.org/jb6qe15rl/Marcott_2013_Eye_Candy.jpg
Science has nothing to do with the odd practice of climatology. It’s not so much fraud as much as a social science agenda masquerading as physical science. It’s not even in the same ball park as hard emperical science. Enter psychologist Lewandowsky featured on a climate model paper this week. It’s no different in scope or kind from the last hundred years of an upside down toilet as being the pinnacle of fine art. It’s not about climate. It’s about destroying the authority of objective facts and intuition in favor of the purely arbitrary power of state sponsored facts.

One of Mann’s walking dead zombie minions seems to have got hold of an internet connection and posted a brain dead comment here. Speaking of Walking Dead, season 5 starts in October:-)

You can simulate a nuclear explosion with enough dynamite. All dynamite must be eliminated.

David A

J Murphy says:
July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
Perhaps you might have to acknowledge that Mann is ‘refuted’ only in your particular corner of the rarely-visited edges of the internet..
======================================================
Sorry J; Mann was heavily dissed by his peers, or did you not read what they said about him in “Climate-gate” ?
They have spent the last decade plus slowly erasing his work, at the same time trying not to give up the ghost, at the same time admitting the know “fuck-all” about 100 year periods, even if they did their best combined work. Did you read the Wegman report? Even NAS admitted the Wegman report was essentially correct.

Hans Henrik Hansen

“1000 years would be 1014, during the Medieval Climate optimum” – correct, but the (quoted) statement was: “…in the last 1000 years”, i.e. a time interval including the LIA.

Sleepalot

I estimate it would take 10-40% of the energy of each bomb (assuming 15kt = 63TJ) to put 0.05Tg of black carbon into the stratosphere (10 – 50km up). That seems a lot. All the mushroom clouds I’ve seen portrayed were white.
(But I’m a relative dumbass: someone smart should have a go.)

Travis Casey

I’m going to need a lot of popcorn for this thread. Hehe.
Here is my comparison to illustrate what kind of statistical trickery was used to create the hockey stick graph. Imagine if we could take the average gain of every running back in NFL history. We take the yearly avg. starting in the modern pro football era. I will speculate that the number will be between 2 and three yards for the last hundred years or so. Then we take the avg. gain of each rookie running back’s first carry in the last 10 years. Let’s say that number comes out to be 8.7 yards. Small sample with some break away gains that skew the avg. Next we splice together the two data sets to produce a hockey stick graph. OMG, it’s worse than we thought. Running backs are taking over the NFL. HS and college coaches will start training their QBs to run as well. (Feedbacks). By 2100 there will be no more passing because the avg. run will be 80 yds. after we pass the tipping point. There were some tackles for a loss in the recent 10 year data set, but those were ignored so that only positive gains were considered. In this way we “hide the decline.”

The old saying about a bad penny comes to mind.

M Seward

J Murphy says regarding Michael Mann ” In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher “. and J Murphy is quite correct. God is also a highly cited source as are the various prophets not to mention dictators and despots throughout history,. The Buddha gets many mentions as does Sun Tzu. And so what? We are supposed to slavishly follow all their peachings and teachings like robots? I refer J Murphy to the comments by Professor Richard Muller of the BEST project etc ( hardly a ‘denier’ and the mildest of skeptics I think but eminently qualified to comment) regarding Michael Mann and what he thinks of the Hockey Schtick and Hiding the Decline.

Sweet Old Bob

And how do they “model” this nuclear war? Ground bursts? Air bursts? Looks to me to just be a whole bunch of suppositions packed into a group think grant search.
Or just sucking up to other alarmists.

Doug

J Murphy is right and it’s not fair that he, and people like him, should suffer climate catastrophe because the rest of us won’t face up to the truth.
We should divert global warming research funding to the construction of a giant spaceship, perhaps captained by Dr Mann, that can take those who realise we are doomed to a new planet, This new planet can then be populated by those who understand the importance of living in an environmentally sustainable way.
The rest of us will be stuck on Earth to suffer the hell of our own making.

@ Doug – Can you pick out Mann in this video?
http://youtu.be/NON4hksO77I

philjourdan says:
July 22, 2014 at 4:06 am
The old saying about a bad penny comes to mind.
– – –
Ah yes, Pennywise the evil clown. Scary movie filmed in one of my old neighborhoods I used to haunt (one scene anyways). I don’t remember the old saying though.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099864/

@Garymount – ““A bad penny always turns up” is a very old proverb that dates back to at least the mid-18th century and is probably much older. ” – From http://www.word-detective.com/2010/03/bad-penny/
Mann’s hokey stick is like a bad penny.

M Courtney

J Murphy, it doesn’t matter if people still cite Mann’s hockeystick, phlogiston or that the world is flat.
It ain’t so.
It sure ain’t proven to be so.
And It’s not justified to say it is so because you won’t make it so by doing so.
Citing it discredits the fools who do so. It doesn’t add support to the folly. Reality exists whether you wish it were so or no. Unless you are Dumbledore in disguise.
If you aren’t a wizard I hope you haven’t made the blunder of citing it yourself.

Joseph Murphy

J Murphy says:
July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
————————————
Mann’s claims are demonstrably false but, you are correct that his work is probably well accepted in most climate circles. Although, encouraging people to follow a false path in order to fit in is a questionable line of reasoning at best.
-The Real J Murphy 😀

Bill Illis

Above ground nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were many times higher (number and power) than this simulation and nothing like the consequences proposed in this study occurred.

Billy Liar

Mann often comments on blogs using the alias ‘J Murphy’.

we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric BC compared to 4–6.5 years for previous studies.

What’s that? This paper is worth the respect to dig that up, I assume it’s the time period or just the time for all that black carbon to settle out of the stratosphere.
Volcanic aerosols settle out over a year or two, those are tiny droplets of sulphuric acid. I suspect soot and other structures will settle out pretty well too, IIRC, that’s one of the reason Sagan’s nuclear winter hypothesis is little heard from these days. I suppose some heating at the topmost soot might be able to cause some convection and keep soot suspended a while longer, but that’s an awfully strong temperature inversion to break.

The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine.

Oh Noe – not the dreaded global nuclear famine! Let’s hope it’s not as bad as the frumious Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Nuclear Famine or the odd Weirdly Global Nuclear Famine.

MarkW

I thought the Kuwait oil fires put to rest the “theory” that fires alone could loft soot to the stratosphere.

MarkW

J Murphy says:

Wow, all the talking points. Nice job.

J Murphy
“In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher ”
– Can you explain how this is in anyway synonymous with being correct?

“…J Murphy says: July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
Perhaps you might have to acknowledge that Mann is ‘refuted’ only in your particular corner of the rarely-visited edges of the internet, and not in real life or the real world? In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher -http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/about/cv.php
Maybe everyone should accept reality and move on to the next obsession from the distant past.”

Cites are a popular opinion poll saying that someone else’s research supports the opinion holder’s research.
Science requires full disclosure and independent replication. Mann’s research has neither, only clowns dancing and saying they love his research even if it has been profoundly rebutted and dismantled by numerous researchers.
The fact that the owner of the hockeystick refuses to acknowledge his errors, mistakes and failed predictions is embarrassing to science. Researchers citing such flawed science should be similarly embarrassed; most should realize that at some future point they will face withdrawing their research if they’ve based it on such flawed foundations.
History is already demonstrating hockeystick irony with the entry of new adjectives and verbs into our languages; reference the Urban Dictionary’s addition of the adverb ‘mannian’ tracking mannian’s entrance into common usage.
Another interesting note for those defending themselves from Mann’s legal abuses; just how unknown and honest is someone whose devoted adoring fans have caused new words to enter our languages?

rgbatduke

Sometimes I wonder how people come up with this sort of idiocy. They are asserting this is the inevitable result of exploding only 100 “small” nuclear weapons? Obviously, they’ve never watched this:

This is a lovely, graphical illustration of the 2053 nuclear tests that occurred from 1945 to 1998, almost all of them above ground at first. Pay close attention to e.g. 1959 and 1961/1962. The above ground “Tsar Bomba” at Novoya Zemlya in 1961, at roughly 55 Megatons, was by itself well over 100 500 kiloton bombs, and a 500 kiloton bomb (necessarily fusion) is by itself 25 to 50 times a “small” (fission) nuclear device such as the ones used during WW II or extensively tested by the US throughout the 50’s and 60’s.
If atmospheric explosions of nuclear weapons in aggregate quantities of (say) 100 megatons — not exactly small explosions — were going to cause either nuclear winter or ozone depletion, they would have done so from testing alone back in the early 60’s before the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963 (which was probably partly motivated by the Tsar Bomba, which devastated the Soviet Union’s own breadbasket with its fallout even though it was designed and tested as a relatively “clean” bomb with no outer Uranium casing.
Then, of course, there is the 1815 Tambora eruption:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora
Tambora was an estimated 800 megaton explosion — that is, 16 times the Tsar Bomba. It did, in fact, cause a “volcanic winter” event — the Earth cooled between 0.4 and 0.7 C over the following decade, led off by “The year without a summer” (1816).
Krakatoa, in comparison, was only around 200 megatons — a paltry four Tsar Bombas (TB) if one makes superbombs into a scale. It, too, caused a 1.2 C “volcanic winter” of somewhat shorter duration (as might be expected) than Tambora in the five years following 1983. Both Krakatoa and Tambora mucked up the stratospheric chemistry big time — huge amounts of water, sulphate aerosols, and dust/soot, warming the stratosphere and cooling the troposphere.
With this historical data about the effects of massive gigaton scale explosions — three or four orders of magnitude larger than any of the bombs likely to be used in any nuclear exchange in the post MAD-world, and two or three orders of magnitude more megatonnage than is at likely to be delivered in the post MAD world — and with the direct experimental evidence that 100+ atmospheric bombs in the 10 kiloton to 5 megaton range in a year do not suffice to trigger either nuclear winter or ozone depletion — why would they claim either one?
One can argue that a full-scale MAD-level nuclear exchange between the US and the USSR in prime cold war territory might have burned a gigaton or more and triggered an event worse than Tambora. It is difficult to argue for any event now that would even equal Krakatoa. Don’t get me wrong — nuclear war is bad for puppies and small children — but nuclear winter isn’t the major risk. It is the fact that they are dropping all of those bombs straight down onto cities and incinerating (or causing to die from sequellae such as fallout or famine) anywhere from 100 million to a billion people in the process.
Next you’ll hear people calling for building a Tsar Bomba level bomb to “cure” CAGW, and that way madness lies. Heck, why not go all the way and set it off in Yellowstone and try to revive a supervolcano in the process? Insane.
rgb

J Murphy,
Mann’s Hokey Stick has been thoroughly debunked. It is nonsense. Deal with it, sycophant.

Mark Bofill

Hey, this isn’t snark, honest question. How come both the U.S. and the Soviet Union were able to test substantially larger nuclear devices without triggering a nuclear winter?

Mark Bofill

LOL. I should have read the comments more carefully. Thanks Dr. Brown!

Mann does not allow for replication of his shoddy work. For fifteen years Mann has withheld his methods, data, methodologies, and metadata from other scientists. That is not science; that is merely assertion that what he says is legit. But it isn’t.
Mann hid data that would have destroyed his hockey stick in an ftp file labeled censored. If he had used that data, his work would have been debunked. Some scientist, eh?

Steve McIntyre

In your headline, you say “Nuclear war simulation forgets the Medieval Climate Optimum.” According to my reading of the newspaper article, the relative differential of the modern warm period and medieval warm period is irrelevant to their claims. They argued that nuclear winter would have global temperatures 1.5 deg C colder than the present and thus colder than the Little Ice Age (and obviously the medieval warm period). Based on 1.5 deg C, Hubert Lamb would not have disagreed. None of this had anything to do with “forgetting” the Medieval Climate Optimum. Nor is it a given that the medieval warm period was warmer than the modern warm period. Obviously I disagree with Mannian statistics, but flaws, even gross flaws, in calculations by Mann and similar studies do not establish the opposite result. The rhetoric in this article should be dialed way back.

Robert of Ottawa

J Murphy July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher
Highly cited by similar rent seekers, but proven wrong.

J Murphy
Once upon a time I was uncertain as to whether AWG was correct or not. I felt certain that solar activity was the main driver of climate. All I did was ask questions about previous changes in the climate.
One would have thought that I was out to destroy the world. None of the simple basic questions have yet to be answered. Whether some people are quoted or not is irreverent if they are wrong. Increasingly as the temperatures and co2 are taking different paths, arguments by AGW look ludicrous. Often in science I heard the phrase, ” this is what was once thought, but not anymore”. AGW will end up in the dustbin of history.

J Murphy – compare your vision of past climate based on the hockey stick fabrication to the reality, then perhaps join the discussion in a meaningful way.
Here’s a link one of many actual paleoclimate reconstructions based on the best science that shows our little blip of warming coming out of the little ice age is neither odd, nor correlated to human injected C02 into the atmosphere.
http://www.iceagenow.com/Now_colder_than_during_most_of_the_past_7000_years.htm

Robert

The Zombie reference is not nearly interesting as the WACCM Survival Guide:
https://bb.cgd.ucar.edu/please-read-known-problems-and-suggestions-running-waccm

Bulova

This paper seems to have serious flaws. The Russians alone detonated 224 nuclear weapons at Novaya Zemlya in the high arctic. The single Tsar Bomba test was 58 megatons and created a cloud 35 miles high. That one test far exceeded the numbers cited in the study. It didn’t have any affect on climate or event short term weather.

rgbatduke

Obviously I disagree with Mannian statistics, but flaws, even gross flaws, in calculations by Mann and similar studies do not establish the opposite result. The rhetoric in this article should be dialed way back.

And I agree. Indeed, rhetoric in general should be dialled back unless it is backed by numbers. For example here:
http://www.brookings.edu/FP/PROJECTS/NUCWCOST/TESTS.GIF
or here:
http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datab15.asp
Note that in two separate years the threshold of 100 atmospheric bombs/year was exceeded, and these were not small bombs — in the 1961/1962 tests the largest bombs ever exploded were set off. I have no idea what Mann asserted or why, but we (humanity) has already performed the “experiment” that basically refutes much of what is asserted above in his name.
However, everything is a matter of scale. There is, no doubt, a scale for nuclear war that would affect weather. It’s just that by the time we reach that point, weather is the least of our concerns. It would almost certainly not affect climate — even Tambora had effects that only lasted a decade, Krakatoa only five years.
rgb

Chris B

I googled, “mrs murphys cow chicago fire”, and got 327,000 references. Mmmm, must be true.

J Murphy says:
July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am
In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher

Uh, so was Sir Arthur Smith Woodward.
What’s your point?

M. Jeff

Concerning reality: Murphy’s Law. Murphy was an optimist.

Tim OBrien

In WWII, numerous cities in Germany and Japan were fire-bombed out of existence with massive effects equaling or exceeding nuclear bomb strikes. Funny, but there is no historical evidence that those massive fire storms affected the weather…

Dire Wolf

Doug says: “We should divert global warming research funding to the construction of a giant spaceship, perhaps captained by Dr Mann”
Are we talking the “B ark”? Is that you, Douglas Adams?

@ Dire Wolf
Let’s not be too hasty.
Not all of that plan is bad.
In fact, over the door to the entrance to the giant spaceship, we could hang a sign:
“To Serve Mann”.
(Cue Twilight Zone music)

brentharg@aol.com

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network. From: Watts Up With That?Sent: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 12:01To: brentharg@aol.comReply To: Watts Up With That?Subject: [New post] Mann’s Hockey Stick Goes Zombie
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Guest Blogger posted: “Nuclear war simulation forgets the Medieval Climate Optimum
Story submitted by P. Wayne Townsend
Yesterday’s Daily Mail carried an article about a simulation of the climate consequences of nuclear war.  The paper Multidecadal global cooling and unpr”

ICU

This is just another in a long recent series of papers starring Alan Robock;
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/robock_nwpapers.html
This goes back to the TTAPS paper.
The Nuclear Winter stuff mostly disappeared ~1998.
Dr. Robock started back on the regional aspect ~2007.
In between? Almost absolute dead silence.
The subject matter is very broad and very deep, but basically it’s all about either buoyant plumes of carbon black (heated by the sun) and/or pyrocumulonimbus cluods from the ground based firestorms (that would follow a regional nuclear conflict) reaching into the stratosphere.

Gary Pearse

Bill Illis says:
July 22, 2014 at 4:46 am
“Above ground nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were many times higher (number and power) than this simulation and nothing like the consequences proposed in this study occurred.”
And we even had a nuclear war in 1941.

In reality, whether you like it or not, he is a highly cited researcher
============
I’m reminded of Bertrand Russell’s lecture on belief. That if you accept just one thing to be true that is in fact false, then you can prove that anything is true.
This is the danger to climate science and science in general. Once a false paper is believed to be true, all sorts of erroneous conclusions follow. Thus the current epidemic of diabetes, following the cherry picking of 7 country’s health data from the 20 countries studied (A Keys 1980).
Calibration of tree rings is the same statistical nonsense. Similar to cherry picking 7 countries from 20, drawing bulls-eyes after the fact around tree rings that happen to match global temperature records ignores the large number of tree rings that don’t match. These mismatched tree rings are telling you that the ones that match are likely accidental matches, the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in action.
As a result, millions of people are now suffering from diabetes, that should otherwise be healthy. While research into the adverse health effects of artificial (hydrogenated) fats was largely overlooked. Yet the data was all there, in the Korean War cadavers of US Servicemen. Why were they showing advanced heart disease, while WWII cadavers of US Servicemen did not? What had changed? It certainly wasn’t saturated fats.
Now we have a similar situation with global warming. Tree rings were cherry picked to “improve” the signal to noise ratio, without first considering that this would amplify the noise outside the calibration period. As a result we have a generation of wasted science, blindly following down a false trail.

“The severe increases in UV radiation following a regional nuclear war would occur in conjunction with the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years [Mann et al., 1999].”
I’m no fan of Mann, but this statement seems logically consistant on its face. If Mann places the temperature at that time at X, when it should have been X+Y, and you’re comparing to Z (temp at time at nuclear winter)…
Z < X
Z < X+Y
Both statements are true, right?

on an encouraging note, I’m told by the assistant dean of medicine at our local research university that they have now confirmed the US Korean War data, so maybe in Canada at least we may eventually reverse the faulty “food pyramid” preached by health officials. science truly advances one funeral at a time.
the problem for the hockey stick is of course “the pause”. climate science is now falling all over itself to explain this in terms of natural variability. but the hockey stick shows that there was no variability prior to industrialization. this was the argument that global warming must be due to humans, because natural variability was so low. the hockey stick proved it.