Friday Funny – ‘RealClimate’ gets shipwrecked in the Sargasso Sea


Trond Arne Pettersen writes via Tips and Notes:

Something (funny) for you? On realclimate there is a guest post by Mark Boslough. He writes about the cynicism of the deniers and presents two graphs.

The first is of paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature. And the second one he claims is a doctored version that is a misrepresentation of Sargasso Sea temperatures by global warming doubters.

But actually the two graphs are exactly the same. The second is just a mirrored version, the time axis is turned the other way around. He says that the second one falsley claims that the global temperatures were higher 3000 years ago (something other sources say the were). So who has missed the point here, I or Mr Boslough?



Link to realclimate:

Archived here:

non-condensable-cynicism-in-santa-fe-realclimate (PDF)

Link to my cut and paste of the graphics:


118 thoughts on “Friday Funny – ‘RealClimate’ gets shipwrecked in the Sargasso Sea

  1. Well, yeah, but you cherry picked the data on that second graph.

    (Just trying to second guess RC’s response.)


    • All this proves is that we are all doomed by rent seekers and the system that leads to rent seeking, namely, democracy. Democracy is a LCD system, Lowest Common Denominator. The real issue is that despite several thousand years of political development we are unable to come to a better system or even refine the existing one to prevent LCD doom.

      • Think Electoral College. Ours is the most evolved democracy yet. Our forefathers knew well the pitfalls of Greece and Rome and especially England. Our democracy in its infancy would see the French Revolution revert to Napoleon.

        We are seeing a correction based on their wisdom (and ours). There I hope yet.

      • @ gymnosperm February 3, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        While I agree that the USA attempted to create a government system that improved on the historic norms I would point out that Great Britain was in no way a democracy in the 1780s where only 3% of the population could vote in parliamentary elections.

      • You might look into the development and history of Mob Rule from the beginning in Ancient Greece. Aristotle addresses it in Politics IV about Bekker 1294 IIRC, where the tyrants enjoyed majority rule, while the citizens elected volunteers by lot.

        Consider the difference in error propagation between a random process and a corrupt and precise process.

      • Seems to have worked admirably in America recently. I might have shared your view if felonious HRC had gotten in.

    • Izzit true that the Sargasso Sea is where all eels go to breed ??

      Place must be crawling with them.


      • George it is indeed true. The young are born in rivers and lakes thousands of miles away and find their way ‘back’ to Sargasso where they never have been before.

    • “dumb ass” does not do his utter stupidity real justice.

      According to Wikipedia:-
      “Boslough is a vocal critic of pseudoscience and anti-science and has written about climate change denial in the Skeptical Inquirer in reference to “Climategate” conspiracy theories.[17] He is also active in uncovering scientific misconduct.[18][19]”

      and he is also given to April Fool’s jokes and other hoaxes.

      Is this another one?

  2. I think Boslough objected to deleting the instrumental data from Kegwin, and calling it GLOBAL temps. Both valid points, BTW.

    • Les Johnson February 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I think Boslough objected to deleting the instrumental data from Kegwin, and calling it GLOBAL temps. Both valid points, BTW.

      Thanks, Les. You are correct that Boslough is not confused about the timescale as the author seems to think. And you are correct about the nature of his objections … but neither point is valid.

      First, regarding “deleting” the instrumental data, the shoe is on the wrong foot. Kegwin has SPLICED instrumental and paleo data, a definite no-no in any graphic presentation, even Michael Mann agrees. So it is totally valid to remove it. It is in there to muddy the waters.

      Second, read what was said:

      “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering.”

      No disagreement here with that statement. It did NOT say that the graph was of global temperatures. It said what most everyone agrees with, that global temperatures have gradually risen in the three centuries since the Little Ice Age.

      And it goes on to say that based on that graph in Figure 2, we’re not yet back to the mean temperature of the whole period … also true.

      So I’d say that Boslough is wrong, but not for the reasons the author of the head post says.


      • Yes, I agree that Boslough is wrong, but not for the reasons in the post.

        I agree that pasting 2 types of records together is objectionable, especially when it is not obvious in the chart, or mentioned in the caption.

        I think its is confusing at the least, to put “global” in the caption box, in Robinson 1998.

        Both papers suffer from defects. I don’t think either paper deserved a posting at RC or even here, detailing these defects.

      • Willis, “even Michael Mann agrees”. The splicing of instrumental data onto proxy data was one of the big problems with the hockey stick wasn’t it? Has he now recanted on Mike’s nature trick?

      • “Kegwin has SPLICED instrumental and paleo data, a definite no-no in any graphic presentation”
        We all seem to have a different objection. I don’t think it is unreasonable to show and compare two different representations of the same thing on a graph. It’s important to compare. What is not so good here is that he is comparing with a fixed “station” (a buoy, I think) at Bermuda, 700 km away. But that isn’t so bad either, and he looks carefully into the issues. His paper is here.

        Boslough’s objection is rather specific, and orthogonal to this article:
        “(1) omitted Station S data, (2) incorrectly stated that the time series ended in 1975, (3) conflated Sargasso Sea data with global temperature, and (4) falsely claimed that Keigwin showed global temperatures “are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.””

        (2) and (4) are justified. The caption to the Fig in question says:
        For the past 3000 years, globaltemperatures have been gradually recovering. As shown in Figures 2 they are still below the average for the past 3000 years.
        My bold reflects emphasis in the original. The Keigwin data obviously doesn’t give information about modern warming. The first actually dated point is 320+-150 years bp, although he applied a dating correction of 400 years to bring it to present. Everything is expressed as 50 yr averages.

        His objection isn’t just to Robinson 1998. He says it was used in an Exxon advertisement, and:
        “Various mislabeled, improperly-drawn, and distorted versions of K4B have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, in weblogs, and even as an editorial cartoon—all supporting baseless claims that current temperatures are lower than the long term mean, and traceable to Robinson’s misrepresentation with Station S data removed. In 2007, Robinson added a fictitious 2006 temperature that is significantly lower than the measured data. This doctored version of K4B with fabricated data was reprinted in a 2008 Heartland Institute advocacy report, “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.” “

      • The Robinson captions and bolding got messed up. It should show as
        For the past 3000 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering. As shown in Figures 2 they are still below the average for the past 3000 years.

      • ” The first actually dated point is 320+-150 years bp”
        Correction, that was only for series A. For series D, (which he merged) the earliest date measured is 115 +-30 years BP (before 1950).

      • Global Temperatures have generally stayed between -94 deg. C and +60 deg. C

        That’s for surface Temperatures.


      • What is the issue with combining instrumental and paleo data on the same graph? Would you
        object if someone said it was warmer now than during the last ice age? And if not would you
        object to that information being presented on a graph?

      • This is just a tip and far from a complete edit. But when Boslough says the second graph is doctored it sounds a bit serious. And at first glance it can look a bit confusing to the common reader, the graphs really look different. But to be fair, he says that he presents them “as presented” in two different papers. But in spite of pointing out the issue of instrumental data, it could leave some doubt about the whole graph. (Still I did not doubt for a second that Boslough actually was unaware of the opposite direction on the time axis.) So after some cut and paste I found them to be similar, which was not very easy to see in the first place. But this is more than 95% of a tiny graph, where the doctorizing pointed out by Boslough is just a tiny vertical line to the very left in the first graph. For the presentation as a whole, I find it at least a bit funny. And If the splicing is accepted, it still shows that SSTs in The Sargasso Sea was quite a bit higher 3000 years ago than present. And since the Sargasso Se is a fairly large region of the North Atlantic I tend to believe it would have effected global mean temperature quite a bit even if the graph is not a GMT graph. Not to mention other documentations of the Minoan warm period. So a bit funny still. But maybe it is a little bit too much both here and on RC, it can certainly become “Much Ado About Nothing” :-).

    • It seems the only thing holding back full planetary support for the Global Warmist cause these days, (other than continual record cold temperatures and snowfall tallies being set), is the consistent lack of warming as evidenced by both the UAH and RSS satellite temperature records.


      Considering that literally trillions of dollars in annual profits and complete global control over energy resources are now at stake, how difficult would it be for some unscrupulous entity to alter some lines of computer code or the black body calibration procedure to create a steady annual rise in recorded satellite temps of a barely noticeable .04-.05 degrees C. per year?

      Now I’m not suggesting that either Hansen or Schmidt at NASA GISS would ever dare compromise science in order to achieve a political objective… but if someone or some entity was…

      What would stop them?

    • It’s a common trick of alarmists to tack on the alleged surface instrumental data on the end of very low resolution paleo-temperature graphs.
      It’s a point made strongly by Professor Humlum at climate4you:
      “The fact remains, however, that extending smoothed graphs beyond their formal endpoints represents an unfortunate habit which should be avoided in the analysis of meteorological data series” (climate4you: data smoothing).

      • Smoothed graphs are fake news anyway. So extending them only compounds the felony.

        The raw data is all the real information you will ever have. The rest is fiction.


  3. No doubt sabotaged by a denier to make the warmist look bad. Maybe one of those right-wing Breitbart stooges that shut down the speech at Berkeley according to Robert Reich?

    /sarc (Just in case)

    • Wasn’t RR’s nutter effort hilarious. The masked leftist thugs were summoned by indelible social,media. Berkeley police apparently knew this was coming and did not stop it. Then RR tries to blame the right in a double pretzel conspiracy theory. They really are losing it.

    • Is that Robert Reich IV ? would make sense. National Socialism is socialism, and socialism is totalitarian. The Fascists are Far Left, the Far Right are the Libertarians, only the Extreme Left propagandists in the media see the Far Left as ‘far right’ because everyone is to the right of the extremist collectivists (who also run the UN and form the political component of the IPCC).

      • Moa says: “socialism is totalitarian” .. That is not true. Take for example Norway. It is a democratic socialist state. You seem to be confusing the structure of government with the economics.

  4. Yep. That ol’ Warmist Cognitive Dysfunction/Denial really blocks the ol’ observational skilz. They only see what the want to see – even when it isn’t there.

  5. If you have to call people “climate deniers” and impugn their honesty because they don’t think an instrumental record should be pasted onto the end of a proxy series and mislabel a popular local proxy as global (like that doesn’t happen twenty times a day in various alarmist publications), then you fail at science and are little more than a political hack in a lab coat.

    • Talk about “political hack”(s), I wonder how many scientists will be in the “scientist protest” are actual scientists or is this going to be “they have white lab coats on, they must be scientist” protest thing.

      • The latter. Everyone knows a white lab coat makes you a scientist. Didn’t you watch those old horror movies with the mad scientists in white coats?

      • Kenji may be there. $ome “green” was sent in his name. That seems to the only requirement for the “Union of Concerned Scientist” for one to be declared a “scientist”. (If you have or used to have a TV show, then it would be “scientist” with a capital “S”.)

      • Check to see which ones have the white coats on the right way round and which ones have arms that tie in the back!

      • Hey now, don’t mock those wearing self-hugging jackets.

        We may be crazy, but we’re not crazy enough to believe CO2 levels 10% of historical maximums will end civilization or life on Earth. ^¿^

      • Lab coats are somewhat like Kimonos.

        You can wear them either way round; depending on your intentions.


  6. Deleting instrumental data, was pointed out as a complaint.
    But the instrumental data is a modern record they spliced onto a proxy reconstruction going back 3000 years. (I would delete the spliced data too.)
    Now, who else do we know did that dirty little trick, and got nailed for it? Hockey sticks, anyone?

    Anyway, from 1996 and 1998, twenty years old news.

    • A ‘dirty little trick’ indeed, I (as a layman) don’t understand how those proxy-based low resolution paleo-temperature records can possibly be reliably correlated with the past 100 year or so instrument data.

      • It sounds reasonable. After all, why wouldn’t you want to use the most accurate data available?

        Most people will look at proxy data and not know that it isn’t the same as temperatures measured with a thermometer.

  7. Embarrassing to make such an elementary mistake. Astonishing that not one of the comments on realclimate points it out.

      • If they think they can twist a comment for mockery purposes, it goes to the borehole. If it hits to close to the truth, it disappears without a trace.

      • If they think they can twist a comment for mockery purposes, it goes to the borehole. If it hits to close to the truth, it disappears without a trace.

        Right on. Inconvenient truth. The mods there are part of a mob for the cause. It’s a very common way on keeping appearances on some extreme pc sites.

    • Any post pointing out their errors would be instantly deleted,
      Can’t have the faithful doubting the priesthood.

    • Actually, I pointed it out quite politely. My comment has not appeared. And the article is still up…

  8. Below is one chart that skeptics didn’t doctor.

    But NASA and NOAA have doctored almost everything:

    Above NASA eliminated “the 1940s cooling blip.”

    Just as suggested by a top warmist climate “scientist” (leftist activist) in a ClimateGate email:
    Warmist Tom Wigley proposes fudging temperature data, then, as you see in the graph above, that exactly the fraud that was committed:

    2009: “Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with ‘why the blip.'” [Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer:

    Btw, include the cooling blip, and add all their data manipulations, and the urban heat effect, and you get a picture of a world where, actually, the 1930s were hotter than today!

  9. RealClimate posts something and it’s noticed?

    I thought it only existed to provide legal cover. “I did publicise it, My Lud. It was on the prestigious RealClimate blog”

    No-one pays attention to that zombie blog.
    Ever since they failed to be honest about the hockeystick and were caught being naughty in the Climategate emails… they have been ignored.

    So why embarrass them now? If the words were meant to be important they wouldn’t be published on RealClimate in the first place.

    • Why embarrass them now?
      Because there some youngsters and others out there that are curious that might think that ‘RealClimate” might be more than just a name. They might think what is there is “Real” rather than just another source of information to evaluate.
      (Do schools still teach kids how to “evaluate” rather than just “accept”?)

    • Perhaps to show some sympathy, or is that better described as pity for those disagreeable antisocial twits.

      At any moment, someone is going to pull that plug.

      If not the plug, then the official NOAA employees will not be allowed to “monitor and manage” such a shamefully biased fake news web site during working hours.
      Even participating at the RealClimate web site after working hours is likely to be viewed as confrontational and dispiriting to honest hard working NOAA employees without activist agendas.

  10. I’m fascinated that you can reproduce Boslough’s graph complete with his highlighted objections (instrument data deleted and local temperature misrepresented as global) and the denizens mostly don’t seem to notice. I wonder sometime if this site is some grand experiment to see how much you can put over on an uncritical audience..

    • MarkB

      Your comment “…grand experiment to see how much you can put over on an uncritical audience…” is a 14-word definition of CAGW.

    • Several commenters above did say he had some valid points. But then, most later commenters said it was good to remove the instrumental splice, so they did notice what he wrote. It is possible that Boslough misread 300 as 3000 since I would think that most people would agree that the LIA was colder than the present. The only reason we have a “global” record now is to the efforts to process the data (homogenization, etc) to give us one. This is fine. But most proxies will be local or regional and there were no thermometers to give us a global to compare to today. The best you can do is to compare lots of different local/regional proxies and call it global. But, here is my point: The LIA is referred to as mostly NH and regional. This is mostly Europe and USA – the places with the most and best temperature measurements at the time. But, it is widely acknowledged that the biggest changes today are largely NH and regional and these are still the places with the best temperature measurements. So, putting together a “global” number and then saying these other measurements are not “global” is a bit disingenuous. Both the LIA and today’s warming are largely NH and temperatures have gone up in the last several hundred years. The fact that someone can’t even state an obvious fact agreed on by most without being called out as being wrong and a “denier” is what is really fascinating. Even more fascinating is that we used to have most societies on earth (fewer now) organized around the idea that there were central truths that only the guardians could interpret and if someone varied from these points, they were called blasphemers and deniers and only these special guardians of knowledge could properly interpret the data and since they all agreed, it had to be true. Then came the Enlightenment. Sadly, now some seem to be reverting back to pre-Enlightenment ideas and think that certain topics are above debate.

  11. “(something other sources say the were)”

    The chart is embarrassing to say the least. But remember, if you are giving others a hard time for inaccuracy, carefully proof read your own writing. Your quoted line makes no sense.
    On the other hand, we’ve all done it.

      • It is indeed!
        That’s why I ended by writing the phrase, “On the other hand, we’ve all done it” If you look carefully, you can see the words just at the end of the posting. It means, don’t take it harshly, all of us are guilty of the same crime. Maybe by self deprecating humour is a little to obtuse at times?

    • Yes. I was looking at both charts and thinking, “Hmmmm, the Medieval Warm Period is showing. It’s even warmer than the present (even with the instrument data tacked on). Heresy alert!!! Heresy alert!!!”

      Didn’t this set off any alarms at Real Climate? Or do they just excuse it by automatically thinking, it’s not global, it’s just a local phenomenon. If you add up enough of these world-wide local points that show a warm period, it just might cover the globe better than a larch in Yamal.

  12. As others have commented the deletion of instrumental data is an improvement, as is the reversal of the horizontal scale. When time is the independent variable I have a strong preference for graphs which run left to right. The new “global” caption was sloppy work.

  13. Also, as the author of the CA piece (John A) notes, it’s not crazy to think the Sargasso Sea proxy might represent global conditions, as it has oceanic inputs. So even that complaint is not as strong as you might think from the RC article.

    As far as Keigwin 1996 is concerned, it is an interesting proxy study which is based far from land-based influences and has high resolution. I said only “conceivably” a proxy for the world. It is certainly not a “Bermuda-only” proxy, since its inputs are oceanic in scope.

  14. Figure 7 in the guest post here shows the only time in all of history (to my knowledge) that the Keigwin d-O18 Sargasso Sea proxy was plotted with physically real error bars.

    They sort of put the RealClimate objections in their proper context (i.e., meaningless).

  15. Every now and then, the ecoloons publish information that on deeper inspection disproves what they are saying. For example, National Geographic Sept 2004 Global Warming had this picture. The caption said [paraphrasing], “climate can be reconstructed from tree cores, like this one under the ice, burred for millennia. At last check, a millennia is a 1000 years ago.
    On closer inspection, WHAT THE HECK is a tree doing at the top of a mountain without a tree in sight only a 1000 years ago. Obviously it was warmer back then. Presumably is came from further up the mountain, carried down by the glacier.

    • Yes.

      And as others have pointed out recently, the tree line is again moving higher on mountains as the quantity of CO2 at altitudes enables successful plant growth again.

      • More interesting correlations that require serious research, without basing the research on assumptions, preconceived notions and jumping to climate troughers’ magic budget summations.
      • Genuine tests and complete observations.
      • No models! i.e. unless fully verified and validated by observations.
      • Full test structure along with research success or failure metrics decided before initializing the tests.
      • True controls and control groups; with before during and follow-up studies.
      • etc. etc.
      • Complete ban on waffle words or the research gets filed in the circular file, emptied every Monday with the empty coffee/tea cups.
      • Researchers who continue to use waffle words, activist assumptions, unworkable code/formulae, badly maintained data, misrepresented data, etc., should immediately lose funding, allocated resources, staffing.
      • No more holidays while allegedly working in some world renown vacation spot for conferences without practical or functional purpose.
      • • e.g. American scientists working for an international working group whose purpose is to blame an atmospheric gas, rather than conduct genuine science. Especially given that what passes for IPCC science is rewritten by politicians, without any concern for science.

  16. Duncan, as glaciers retreat in the European Alps, they are exposing 5000 year old wood. 5000 years ago those valleys were not only free of ice, they were free of ice long enough to become forested. Also, nobody denies climate is warming, we are denying that human CO2 emission is the control knob for climate.

  17. The RealClimate piece is in error, but not exactly for the reason stated here at WUWT.

    I commented at RC:

    “Something a bit wrong in the article above. [referring to the RealClimate article linked — kh ] Robinson 1998 does not use the caption claimed in the image supplied by Mark Boslough.

    The actual caption (and it is Figure 1 in the paper) in the Robinson 1998 [ available at ] uses this caption:

    “Figure 1: Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea, a 2 million square mile region of the Atlantic Ocean, with time resolution of 50 to 100 years and ending in 1975, as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea (3). The horizontal line is the average temperature for this 3,000-year period. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Optimum were naturally occurring, extended intervals of climate departures from the mean. A value of 0.25 °C, which is the change in Sargasso Sea temperature between 1975 and 2006, has been added to the 1975 data in order to provide a 2006 temperature value.”

    The graph in the original Robinson paper (as noted in the caption) includes a derived 2006 value, which appears to have been removed in the images used here.

    As for “instrument data deleted”, there are two points of interest. It is almost never correct to compare paleo-proxy data to modern instrument data on the same graph…they are not compatible data. Keigwin did it so he could make this point, from his original caption “… it is clear that on centennial and millennial time scales, SST variability as been greater than has been measured over the past four decades at Station “S”.” The caption for the graph in Robinson 1998 correctly states what data is shown in their version — which did not include the Station S data as it was not paleo data.

    Mr. Boslough should be more careful and check original sources before making accusations that are easily shown to be incorrect.

    Someone has altered a graph and caption, but it is not Robinson et al.”

  18. ‘paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature’

    Sorry, I’m skeptical of such a reconstruction. And even if they could, what relevance it would have?

  19. Has not Mr. Bouslough read what the axes are saying?

    Well, obviously NOT. But just to help him out:

    In all fairness, the year “0” in the bottom version raises a question in my mind. What is year zero ? Why put the zero there? Is that Jesus?

    I think he might have a valid gripe about the “0’s” representing different things, which adds to the confusion of reversing the direction of the time axis. But saying that the graphs are saying different things in regard to temp and time is clearly somewhat “dumb ass”, as someone else not-so-politely put it.

    This is desperation illustrated at its finest.

    • Year 0? I’m not sure what is wrong with this. Doesn’t nearly every western nation use this calendar? Any place that calls this year ‘2017’ has that same year 0.

      Now, I know not everyone uses the same dating system. Most Islamic countries use a different calender. China has its own calender. The Hebrew calender. Probably many more. And every one of them has a different year 0. But just the fact this one ends at 2000 tells you it’s probably the western one that will be used by most English speakers, the caption being in English anyway.

      Sure, having a ‘years from present’ format makes it more accessible to a wider international audience, but using a common calender dating system instead hardly seem like a real issue. I don’t see the problem.

      Unless you’re just naturally ‘Triggered’ by even a passing reference to Christianity. I’ve known people like that. ~¿~

      • The real thing that is wrong with the numbering is that 0 BP is not 2000AD. It is 1950. But in fact the resolution is so coarse that this hardly matters.

      • Yes, “the resolution is so coarse”…yet the RC folks want to compare it to Station S and it’s much different resolution, as if its apples-to-oranges.

        Even if one accepts that the timeline was read in the proper direction, this is an embarrassment and absolute failure.

      • “…this hardly matters…”

        That always seems to be the excuse in the case of warmista errors. Christy, McIntyre, etc, make a minor error, and they’re portrayed as incompetent boobs.

        You are always here rushing to point-out typos and argue semantics that “hardly matter.”

  20. Even so, visually I see little difference in one’s ability to arrive at basically the same conclusion.

    The switched axis direction and the different meaning for “0” on the graphs somehow distract from that explicitness.

  21. Perhaps a contest can be started?

    Who will become the last person banned from RealClimate before the plug is pulled, or perhaps when RealClimate is turned into a legitimate Federal website with RealClimate forbidden from banning polite commenters; just for simple, contrary, complex or opposing positions.

    A second winning position could be based on previously and unjustifiably banned commenters requesting and receiving public apologies from specific RealClimate offenders.

    It would give me quite a tickle,
    to hear RealClimate in a pickle,
    when persons offended by RC Team fickleness,
    receive kindness, and honest climate cycle reports,
    Surely I thought, Hades froze over at Gavin’s NOAA/GISS.

  22. Well, I read the actual article at Real Climate, and from what I can gather it’s just Mark whining about how he tried to submit some abstracts for a climate party conference, One being this thing on how contrarians ‘misuse’ the Sargasso Sea proxy by NOT applying Mike’s Nature Trick to it, and how they refer to this proxy as if it represents global temperature. (I mean really, who would do such a thing? ^¿^ ).

    His other abstract was apparently Lew paper psycho smears or attempts to do a Consensus counting survey at the conference. Anyway, the abstracts were rejected because they were nothing new (no, really <¿<).

    Needless to say, Mark was incensed. Nobody EVER rejects abstracts from him.

    Oh, he also mentioned that he went because he wanted to talk to Skeptics.

    My main motivation for attending was to engage in dialogue with the contrarians and deniers, to try to understand them, and to try to get them to understand me.

    Of course, when the Unbelievers didn’t convert in mass after hearing his wisdom, he decided that the only possible explanation is that they were all just too cynical.

    I concluded after the 3rd Santa Fe conference that cynicism was the only attribute that was shared by the minority of attendees who were deniers, contrarians, publicity-seekers, enablers, or provocateurs.

    ~¿~ He really does live in his own little world, doesn’t he.

  23. Okay, I really tried to give Mark Boslough the benefit of the doubt. I went over to RealClimate, I read his comments, I found a copy of the Keigwin paper, I read it as best I could, I reconsidered his comments, and I came up with the same basic reaction, namely head shaking smirky face.

    He writes:

    . . . and in our abstract we pointed out that it [Keigwin’s paleoclimate time series] had been misused by contrarians who had removed some of the data, replotted it, and mislabeled it to falsely claim that it was a global temperature record showing a cooling trend.

    I say:

    But it DOES show a cooling trend from past eras to the present era !

    He further writes:

    (the inconvenient modern temperature data showing a warming trend had been removed).

    I say:

    inconvenient? — “inconsequential” might be the better word. Am I correct in thinking that he is trying to elevate the trend of a tiny segment of time above the trend of a huge segment of time that contains that tiny upward trend as STILL COOLER than in the past ?

    And continuing, he says:

    Taken together, Station S and paleotemperatures suggest there was an acceleration of warming in the 20th century, though this was not an explicit conclusion of the paper. Keigwin concluded that anthropogenic warming may be superposed on a natural warming trend.

    I say:

    Can you BE any more ambivalent in your flaccid attempt to counter skepticism? Obviously, … this was not an explicit conclusion of the paper.

    In fact, if a person actually reads the paper, which is here:
    Keigwin, L. (1996). The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period in the Sargasso Sea. SCIENCE, 274(5292), 1504-1508.

    Go to page 1507, and notice what the conclusion of that paper REALLY seems to be, namely

    Regardless of the exact cause for the LIA [Little Ice Age], the MWP [Medieval Warm Period], and earlier oscillations, the warming during the 20th century (O.5°C) is not unprecedented. However, it is important to distinguish natural climate change from anthropogenic effects because human influence may be occurring at a time when the climate system is on the warming limb of a natural cycle.

    See the phrase … “not unprecedented”? — this means warming has happened before, Mark.

    See the phrase, “may be occurring”? — this indicates either uncertainty or an unsubstantiated assumption or both, Mark.

    See the phrase, “warming limb of a natural cycle”? — if it is warmING, then this means it is still cooLER than at some other time in the past, Mark.

    Hopefully, I have not made a bigger fool of myself than Mark did. If so, then, oh well, learning can be painful.

    • Some instances of self-righteous arrogance just stick with you, and this is one of those instances that caused me to focus a bit more on Boslough’s comments at RealClimate:

      We submitted an abstract together about his [Lloyd Keigwin’s] paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature …

      How impressive, to collaborate with a known pioneer in the field.

      I had updated it with modern SST measurements, and in our abstract we pointed out that it had been misused by contrarians who had removed some of the data, replotted it, and mislabeled it to falsely claim that it was a global temperature record showing a cooling trend.

      Well, it AGREES with other known assessments showing a global cooling trend over this long span of time. People probably use the Robinson et al. article to beef up this fact. Finding supporting evidence, however, is NOT “misrepresenting”. At most, it might be leaving out an underlying assumption that an author assumes (perhaps incorrectly) that a reader already knows.

      I found the Robinson et al. article here:

      . . . and the version of the graph in question that Robinson et al. used, which was THIS one:

      Figure 1: Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea, a 2 million square mile region of the Atlantic Ocean, with time resolution of 50 to 100 years and ending in 1975, as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea (3). The horizontal line is the average temperature for this 3,000-year period. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Optimum were naturally occurring, extended intervals of climate departures from the mean. A value of 0.25 °C, which is the change in Sargasso Sea temperature between 1975 and 2006, has been added to the 1975 data in order to provide a 2006 temperature value.

      Now, while I still think the placement of that “0” point is sort of confusing (Jesus? or the past point where temperature was at the average of the whole time span and temperature of today?), the graph still seems to capture the significant long-term trend of Keigwin’s original graph. And as Willis pointed out, any “conflating” that was done was done by Boslough, in trying to splice a short-term instrumental series onto a long-term paleo-climate series. As I said earlier, “inconsequential”, as opposed to “inconvenient”, or better still, INCORRECT.

      Keigwin’s Fig. 4B (K4B) shows a 50-year-averaged time series along with four decades of SST measurements from Station S near Bermuda, demonstrating that at the time of publication, the Sargasso Sea was at its warmest in more than 400 years.

      Even if you allowed this INCORRECT splicing procedure, still I ask, “Does the choice of 400years, as opposed to 500 years strike anyone as arbitrary?, to the point of being meaningless?” Why not 500 years? Why not 1000 years or 2500 years?, when temps were as high or markedly higher? Of course, you have to choose a convenient low point in a progression of cyclic lows and highs to create a case of alarmism:

      I think that I have pretty much proven to myself now that this guy is a scam artist, whether he realizes it or not.

  24. OMG!!! “Climate Science from Climate Scientist.” This Mann guy needs to get over himself. Even his intro smacks of egotistical arrogance. BTW, didn’t he get his education at Berkeley? That center of higher learning that riots each time someone says something offensive to the snowflake liberals? Where are the “safe spaces” for Conservatives out there? Anyway, here is the kind of “science” this global warming nonsense has created. Ironically it features a chemistry professor at Berkeley.

    Climate “Science” on Trial; Confirmed Mythbusters Busted Practicing Science Sophistry

  25. When the subject of the data being the same in the two graphs is brought up in the comments section of that Real Climate article one response (from gavin?) is that the point is not that the axis were reversed, its that the newer measurements that were plotted along with the reconstructed data was deleted in the re-printing, and that the plot of sea surface temperature is presented as global average temperature, with the conclusion that global average temperatures are cooler now than they were 3000 years ago. He does have a point that the title of the re-printed graph makes a statement about global temperatures, but the axis label on the plot clearly says sea surface temperature, same as the original printing.

    As for the newer data being deleted, the newer data looked too compressed to tell any trends (looks like a band), but you can see it is consistently warmer than the reconstructed data over the 50 years that there is data from both sources. The author is concluding the new warmer data implies the warming trend is even greater than the reconstructed data shows, but I asked (in the comments) if there is any reason to think the newer data would show any different trend if the newer measurements were available for a longer period. It seems like the newer data would show warmer temperatures overall, but I don’t see why he thought that meant the warming trend would be greater. My comments were up this morning but have since been deleted, without any answer. I thought it was a valid question.

    I also commented that it seemed appropriate to me for someone to re-use the older, reconstructed data without the newer data included because the newer data covers too brief of a time period (last 50 years) to contribute any meaningful information if your purpose is to look at temperature trends over 3000 years. That comment was deleted too. I was polite, really, but I guess when you think the debate should be over and you run the blog, then the debate is over, at least on your site.

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