The Mark Boslough Affair

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

mb_version_r1998_fig2_small

The Mark Boslough Affair or Who is Misrepresenting Whom?

Who is Mark Boslough anyway?   He is a “physicist. He is a member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, an adjunct professor at University of New Mexico.”  And is best known for his “work on airbursts [which] challenged the conventional view of asteroid collision risk and is now widely accepted by the scientific community. He was the first scientist to suggest that the Libyan Desert Glass was formed by melting due to overhead heating from an airburst. His hypothesis was popularized by the documentaries “Tutunkhamun’s Fireball” (BBC) [wiki].

[Note for those involved in the Climate Wars – Yes, strictly speaking, this all means that he is, like myself,  “not a climate scientist”.]

So why has he spent over a decade (he admits to at least 13 years)  attacking an obscure 1998 paper by Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Zachary W. Robinson titled “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”?  [hereafter R98, shortened from ‘Robinson et al. (1998)’].  Why did he  launch an attack on this very same paper as recently as 17 January 2017 in a post at  the RealClimate blog titled “Non-condensable Cynicism in Santa Fe”?  He has, in fact, made a sort-of sub-career out of attacking this particular paper – for example:  here and here.

I must admit it is a continuing mystery to me, though I have been looking into this affair for the last 48 hours.  My attention was drawn to it by a guest post here at WUWT by Trond Arne Pettersen titled “Friday Funny – ‘RealClimate’ gets shipwrecked in the Sargasso Sea”.   At first my interest was that Mr. Pettersen had so misunderstood why Mark Boslough was saying the graph had been doctored.  Pettersen had it wrong, the issue wasn’t that the time axis has been reversed.

But there was something that struck me odd.  It is 2017 (the year Two Thousand and Seventeen, a fact that still seems unlikely to me) and yet here is a current blog post on RealClimate that is attacking a paper published in 1998, nearly 20 years ago.

Mark Boslough says in his blog post that:

“I attended the Third in the series [of the “Santa Fe Conference on Global & Regional Climate Change”], which was held the week of Oct 31, 2011. I reported on it here in my essay “Climate cynicism at the Santa Fe conference”. Lloyd Keigwin, a senior scientist and oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and another top-of-his-field researcher. We submitted an abstract together about his paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature.”

“We submitted an abstract together about his paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature…. 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.

My purpose here in this essay to try to discover:

Who is Misrepresenting whom?

Now, in the present, Boslough repeats the same attack, five and a half years later, at RC, showing the following two images:

mb_version_keigwin_original

mb_version_r1998_fig2

While attempting to find the original R98, I stumbled on Robinson et al. (2007) [hereafter R07], which has the same title and cites R98 [imagine how this confuses search engines…].  Robinson et al. (2007) is a “ten-years-later” review of the original R98, with some additional data and re-writing to bring it up to date.  The image and caption in R07 for the contested graph is this:

r07_fig1

 “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.”

That caption seems pretty clear to me, there is no “misrepresentation” as to what the graph is intended to show and the data is properly attributed to the original source, Keigwin (1996) (the footnote 3), with a note about the 2006 temperature datum.

The textual information in R07 about this graph is given as:

Atmospheric and Surface Temperatures

“Atmospheric and surface temperatures have been recovering from an unusually cold period. During the time between 200 and 500 years ago, the Earth was experiencing the “Little Ice Age.” It had descended into this relatively cool period from a warm interval about 1,000 years ago known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum.” This is shown in Figure 1 for the Sargasso Sea.”

“During the Medieval Climate Optimum, temperatures were warm enough to allow the colonization of Greenland. These colonies were abandoned after the onset of colder temperatures. For the past 200 to 300 years, Earth temperatures have been gradually recovering. Sargasso Sea temperatures are now approximately equal to the average for the previous 3,000 years. The historical record does not contain any report of “global warming” catastrophes, even though temperatures have been higher than they are now during much of the last three millennia.”

There is nothing amiss in the image or the caption.

Boslough responds to my comment pointing this out with this:

Mark Boslough says:    4 Feb 2017 at 1:43 PM

….

Kip Hansen’s link is not to the 1998 version of the paper, but to Robinson’s (colorized and slightly-rewritten) 2007 version that he republished only *after* I confronted him in 2004 about his 1998 misrepresentation. For the 2007 paper he added the fabricated 2006 temperature data that he compared to the paleotemp data in order to claim temps are below the 3000-year mean. He simply made up the 2006 temperature data point.

[ paragraphs  snipped – to be revealed later on ]

Clearly, Boslough does not like the updated R07 version any better than R98 and makes a new accusation – “He simply made up the 2006 temperature data point.”  R07 clearly explains the origins of the 2006 datum and characterizes it as “approximately equal to the average for the previous 3,000 years.”   Deep reading into this more-than-a-decade long attack reveals that there seems to be some  uncertainty about the calculation of the 2006 datum on that graph – but a reading of the text shows that it is not in any way a major point of the paper.  Further, Boslough has elevated R98 to new heights of influence – in the same comment linked above, he says:

“By 2007 Robinson had already conned most of his victims into signing the Oregon petition. …. I was hoping for a chance to explain all this in Santa Fe to those like Hansen who are still confused by Robinson’s trick.”

“Already conned” PhDed scientists into signing the Oregon Petition – and even managed to “confuse”  …whom?  He says “in Santa Fe to those like Hansen who are still confused by Robinson’s trick.”    Now I am confused…but not by Robinson, but by Boslough….does Boslough mean me?  (my name is Hansen, but I’m wasn’t going to Santa Fea) or does he mean some other Hansen who was likely to be at Santa Fe for the meeting?

What we do know is that Boslough has made a many-years-long effort attacking an obscure paper published in an open source minor league journal – all on two little points – all about a single graph, which is 1 out of 23 in the paper.

  1. The claim that R98 “deleted instrument data” from a graph produced by Keigwin (1996).
  2. The claim that R98 misrepresented “local temperature” as “global temperature.
  3. And, when R98 is re-worked 9 years later, Boslough throws in another claim that a single datum (2006 Sargasso Sea Surface Temperature) was “simply made up.”

So, Who is Mispresenting Whom?

Let’s take the points one by one:

Point # 1:  The claim that R98 “deleted instrument data” from a graph produced by Keigwin (1996).

Here is Figure 2 from R98 with its original caption, as an image from the pdf file at the publishing journal: (heading at the top is mine)

r1998_medicalsentinal

This is obviously not what Boslough uses in his presentation when he claims “misrepresentation”.  The caption is straightforward, describing the data shown and crediting it to Keigwin (1996) in the footnote.   We note that there is no “instrumental data” shown on this graph, but it is not Keigwin’s graph, just Keigwin’s paleo-data.  The R98 graph is clearly and only about the paleo-data – so though the graph of the paleo-data in Keigwin’s paper had instrumental data added on, there is no fault to be attached to not using it when showing only the paleo-data.  To say it has been “deleted” would only be true if R98 had represented the graph as being copied from Keigwin (1996), which it certainly isn’t.  Keigwin’s graph looked like this (the graph in question is the lower of the two):

keigwin_1996_graph

Keigwin’s associated text (the very last paragraph of Keigwin (1996)), which is in general agreement with the point being made in R98,  reads:

“Because climate events like the LIA and MWP were of long enough duration (decades to centuries) to be resolved in Bermuda Rise sediments, and because the changes described here for surface waters over the Bermuda Rise are probably typical of a large part of the western Sargasso Sea, they most likely reflect climate change on the basin or hemispheric scale. Regardless of the exact cause for the LIA, the MWP, and earlier oscillations, the warming during the 20th century (0.5°C)2  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.”

[Note:  The cite  #2 is to:    P. D. Jones, T. M. L. Wigley, P. B. Wright, Nature 322,430 (1986); B. D. SanturetaI., Clim. Dynam. 12, 77 (1995); B. D. Santer et al., Nature 382, 39 (1996).”]

 

You decide:  Who is mispresenting whom?  Does R98 misrepresent the paleo-data of Keigwin ’96?  Does correctly referring to data from a colleague’s paper, properly cited, require one to actually copy the original graph image?  Is it scientific misconduct to re-graph properly credited, properly cited and properly labelled data to suit one’s own paper?

 

Point # 2:  The claim that R98 misrepresented “local temperature” as “global temperature.”

The image of the graph and its caption are shown in Point # 1.  The caption does not misrepresent anything, but clearly describes the data graphed and credits Keigwin.

So where does Boslough get the misrepresentation claim shown in his image (far above, labelled in red, as Figure 2 of Robinson et al. (1998)), which shows, appearing visually as if it were the caption, “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering.  As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.” (highlighted words are shown in red in Boslough’s image).

This is not the caption seem in R98, nothing even close.  So where does it come from?  It is an excerpt from the text of the paper in the  section headed “Atmospheric and Surface Temperatures“:  (I have highlighted the text excerpted by Boslough)

“In any case, what effect is the rise in C02 having upon the global environment? The temperature of the Earth varies naturally over a wide range. Figure 2 summarizes, for example, surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea (a region of the Atlantic Ocean) during the past 3,000 years.’ Sea surface temperatures at this location have varied over a range of about 3.6 degrees Celsius (°C) during the past 3,000 years. Trends in these data correspond to similar features that are known from the historical record.”

“For example, about 300 years ago, the Earth was experiencing the “Little Ice Age.” It had descended into this relatively cool period from a warm interval about 1,000 years ago known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum.” During the Medieval Climate Optimum, temperatures were warm enough to allow the colonization of Greenland. These colonies were abandoned after the onset of colder temperatures. For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering.11 As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years. The human historical record does not report “global warming” catastrophes, even though temperatures have been far higher during much of the last three millennia.”

[Note:  Footnote 11, to which the sentence including the words “global temperatures” refers, is a cite “11. Lamb, H. H. (1982) Climate, History, and the Modern World, pub New York: Methuen.”]

The first paragraph of the text clearly states that “Figure 2 summarizes, for example, surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea (a region of the Atlantic Ocean) during the past 3,000 years.7”   The footnote 7 cites Keigwin 1996.   I would have certainly worded the second sentence of the highlighted portion a little differently, just for clarity sake…in fact, in Robinson et al. (2007), they do so, using this in its place:  “For the past 200 to 300 years, Earth temperatures have been gradually recovering26. Sargasso Sea temperatures are now approximately equal to the average for the previous 3,000 years.”  [Footnote 26 cites Lamb’s book as above.]  But, taken in its context in the two paragraphs above,  there is clearly no misrepresentation of Figure 2 as being global temperatures.  Boslough has stripped two sentences out of their context to make the claim.

You decide:  Who is mispresenting whom?       Does R98 “misrepresent” “local temperature” as “global temperature”?  Is the R98 graph mislabeled?  Does the caption in R98 state that the data is “global”?  Or does Boslough misrepresent R98 with his images, with a textual excerpt made to appear as if it were the original caption?  Does Boslough take text out of context to make a poorly worded phrase seem like a “misrepresentation” and a “trick”?

 

Point # 3:  When R98 is re-worked 9 years later, and published as Robinson et al. (2007) Boslough claims that a single datum (2006 Sargasso Sea Surface Temperature) was “simply made up.”

The image of the 2007 graph and its caption is above, but digital space is cheap, I show it again for your convenience:

r07_fig1

And its 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.”

Boslough has strongly contested the accuracy of the 2006 Sargasso Sea Surface temperature datum included by Robinson et al. in this re-writing and update of the 1998 paper.  Boslough and Keigwin tried to present a refutation of R2007 (on this point) at the Third Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change (2011) but reports that they –

“…received a rejection letter from [Petr] Chylek, who told us,

“This Conference is not a suitable forum for type of presentations described in submitted abstract. We would accept a paper that spoke to the science, the measurements, the interpretation, but not simply an attempted refutation of someone else’s assertions (especially when made in unpublished reports and blog site).”

In the same link, Boslough talks about emails with Robinson, Soon, and a personal conversation with Fred Singer on the issue, which apparently has been left unresolved, sat least for Boslough.

 You decide:  Who is mispresenting whom?    Does  the R07 graph caption – attributing the 2006 data point to “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.” – evidence that it was “simply made up.”?  Is Boslough’s dissatisfaction with the answers he has received (over the now many years) proof of anything? Even if the datum is in fact incorrect, does that justify the years of accusations?  Would that one datum, in 1 figure in a paper containing 23 figures, even if incorrect, change the over-riding message of Robinson et al. (2007)?

YOU DECIDE:  Does any of the data presented here justify in any way Boslough’s years of repeated and continuing attacks on Robinson et al. (1998)?  

 My Opinion:  Mark Boslough’s attacks, as I have documented, are themselves gross  misrepresentations of Robinson’s work.

* * * * *

It gets worse:  I have saved this bit from Mark Boslough’s recent comment at RC for last:

“The 1998 version seems to have been swept under the rug, and I only have the hard copy that came to me in a mass mailing with the Oregon Petition. It was published in a “Medical Sentinal” which was the pamphlet distributed by a political pressure group called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Since it is not a science publication and is neither peer reviewed nor archived, it may not be available online.”

By his own admission, Mark Boslough has never seen nor read a real copy of the paper he has been publicly attacking, apparently at every chance, for years and years-for far more than a decade.    He has been relying on “the hard copy that came to [him] in a mass mailing with the Oregon Petition.”    His idea of a reliable source for copies of scientific papers, one important enough for him to stage years and years of [false and misleading] attacks, is, apparently,  JUNK MAIL. 

junk_mail

* * * * *

Author’s Comment Policy:

This essay is about Mark Boslough’s seemingly never-ending attack on a rather obscure (and since updated) paper — Robinson (1998) – to which Boslough attaches almost supernatural powers of influence.  I am happy to discuss and respond to comments about the very narrow issue here:  Boslough’s false and misleading attacks on Robinson (1998).

I am not interested in discussing the further details any of the papers under discussion – I have provided links to pdfs of the actual journal pages to ensure accuracy in reporting.  Feel free to carry on about their contents but know I will not join in.

I do not engage in arguments about Climate Science, which I find boring.

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

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climanrecon
February 6, 2017 5:25 am

I find Robinson et al 2007 to be a ludicrous “paper” that Willie Soon should not have put his name on. C’mon children, either write a proper paper dealing ONLY with local phenomenology, or a general essay about how wonderful it is to live in the Climate Optimum of today, but this attempt is neither one nor the other, and fully deserves the attention of what remains of the Hockey Team.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 11:45 pm

Kip, I find it shameful that all this time and effort was paid for by taxpayers.
Maybe if he were a consultant and had to produce usable results he wouldn’t have time to carry on like this so long. Another example of government workers abusing the tax payers. I know he is from Sandia, but that National Laboratory is funded almost entirely by tax payer money.

Robinson
February 6, 2017 6:19 am

I still don’t understand what’s going on here. Is the added data point a marine organism isotope ratio or not? If it isn’t, where does it come from? I would be equally sceptical of it as I am of surface data spliced into a proxy reconstruction.
Can someone explain it to me?

Robinson
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 9:24 am

Thank you. Now I understand.

billw1984
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 7, 2017 5:40 am

Do they reference how they got that 0.25 C or from where? Of course, if it was really 0.2 or 0.3, it would not matter at all to the argument being made. I don’t understand why it is that big of a deal. I assume they took it from either more paleo data or more likely from thermometer measurements of the sea surface. Do they elaborate on that?

commieBob
February 6, 2017 6:19 am

One way to get up the nose of activist scholars is to quote their own words back at them. The examples I am thinking about are men’s rights activists quoting the words of feminist scholars but the basic principle should apply to climate alarmist scholars who are quoted by skeptics. In that regard, Keigwin should be the one who is affronted and horrified.
Why Mark Boslough decided to stick his oar in is a mystery to me.

Reply to  commieBob
February 6, 2017 9:18 am

My best guess is Boslough was horrified that both the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age was presented as a wide spread phenomena and even worse was the use of a 3 millennium average for temperatures! All of that substantially weakens the premises that the current warming was dramatic, unprecedented, caused by anthropogenic CO2 and a hazard to the environment.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Paul Jackson
February 6, 2017 3:37 pm

Wow, Kip! The plot thickens…

JohnWho
February 6, 2017 6:22 am

“… this all means that he is, like myself,  “not a climate scientist”.”
Well, to supporters of CAGW, he is a “climate scientist”,
but you are not.
/cynic

schitzree
Reply to  JohnWho
February 6, 2017 7:52 am

If you accept the consensus then you are a Climate Scientist, even if you are a Historian, Psychologist, or Cartoonist. If you don’t, then you aren’t, even if you are a Marine Hydrologist, Atmospheric Physicist, or NASA Astronaut.

gnomish
February 6, 2017 6:25 am

bozzy:
a poor actor struggles to command a moment of celebrity and suffers the mortal butthurt of knowing not even his mama cares.

February 6, 2017 6:27 am

Talk about confusing:comment imagecomment image

JohnWho
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 6:31 am

Um, I’m confused: what is confusing about those two graphs?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 6:34 am

.. point is that both graphs are now attributed to Robinson et al., but even they appear to have reversed the time axis in the update, and did that funky thing with the “zero” near the middle — why ?
Consistency guys, come on!

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 6:37 am

Sure, the graphs convey the same message, but they are NOT consistent visually.

Phoenix44
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 7:00 am

Not sure I understand. “O” is obviously simply O AD (not that that existed) and -1000 is 1000 BC,
So the graphs are identical.

Udar
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 7:04 am

Sure they are. I see no difference between them – they are identical if you simply ignore colors and look at shape alone.
You also conveniently omitted caption to figure 2 – which explains where the dot for 2006 came from.
You might need to spend about 30 sec to figure things out – but it’s supposed to be a science paper, not children’s pop-up book, readers are expected to actually try to understand what it is they are reading…
As to why, I assume that authors thought that this makes it easier to understand. You disagree? It’s your opinion, you are entitled to it.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 7:51 am

Robert, it has the same 3,000 years time frame on it,despite the zero being moved to the middle. The chart is otherwise identical.

schitzree
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 8:02 am

Leftists are required by Law to find even the most miniscule reference to Christianity confusing and offensive. And in accordance to victimhood politics, inform everyone around them of their feeling about it. >¿<

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 9:24 am

They now anticipate the graph will be used, and possibly have data added to in the future. By referring to a well known date as zero, this will be less ambiguous now.

Neo
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 12:01 pm

I assume that since some time had past since the original had been produced, using years before present might not be correct, so the graph was switch to a BC/AD scale.

schitzree
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 1:41 pm

Especially since even when Keigwin published it in 96 ‘0’ wasn’t the actual current year, but apparently 1975.
That’s the problem with dating something from a ‘current’ time. ‘Now’ isn’t fixed.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 6, 2017 1:56 pm

The graphs are from different papers published in different decades (not to mention millennia). I’ve been reading similar works for over 50 years, and the graphs are fully consistent with publication standards that Mr. Kernodle is evidently not familiar with on a day-to-day basis.

billw1984
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 7, 2017 5:43 am

They probably wanted to change it up a bit for the new paper, instead of being lazy and just copying their own figure from years earlier.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks kip,
At … http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/01/non-condensable-cynicism-in-santa-fe/?wpmp_tp=1 … Mark Boslough
presented the following graph (also featured in the recent Friday Funny article here at WUWT:comment image
Next, you (Kip Hansen) posted a link (in another recent article here at WUWT) attributed to Robinson et al. 1998, where we find
the following graph:comment image
The URL of the link you direct us readers to is … http://www.jpands.org/hacienda/robinson.pdf
I went to http://www.jpands.org, and what I found is that jpands.org is the website of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
What? … are there two websites getting confused here?
Well, I tried to find another place online where the 1998 version of Robinson et al. paper appeared, and I found the following link:
http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net/Archives/archive_21_Mar_2007_of_www.oism.org.pproject.review.pdf
… and in THIS version attributed as the 1998 version, I found the following graph:comment image
This is NOT the same graph that you (Kip Hansen) attribute to Robinson et al. in your link to what claimsis a copy of the original Robinson et al. paper
So, my question is: Does ANYBODY know where that blasted zero was in the original Robinson et al. paper? … on the left?, on the right?, somewhere in between?
If we can quibble about portions of a degree within a one-degree range, then we can quibble about the consistency of placing a “zero” on a graph attributed in different ways by different people to the same original authors.
I have no trouble seeing that the graphs communicate the same information. The issue is EXACTLY, … VISUALLY, what did the original Robinson et al. graph look like the way it was originally published?
If the guy at RealClimate can make an issue of the order of the timeline (which, yeah, is irrelevant as far as meaning goes), then, at least, we can confirm that HIS claim of reversal is true or not, in order to have an even stronger basis for saying that his critique is lame. At least, we will have preserved the EXACT ORIGINAL and not fudged it ourselves to bolster our own claim, which stands alone without any fudging.
If I am missing something here, then apologies. My confusion now is in respect to the exact visual appearance of the original Robinson et al. graph. I am a visual artist, so these things matter to me.

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 1:53 pm

I see the problem, Robert. That second graph ISN’T from Robertson 98, it’s from Robertson 07. The updated version they made later. That’s why it’s different from the other graph.
check the URL. It even says 21 March 2007 in it.
kipper mentioned in the article that having both papers share the same title made looking them up difficult. Looks like he wasn’t kidding. They really should have given it a new name.

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 1:58 pm

No, wait. That one doesn’t have the dot at the end. So it is a whole new graph from the first two.
Ok, now I’m confused too. I’ve downloaded that pdf, Robert. Thanks for the link.

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 2:26 pm

Hmm. My last comment seems to have gone poof.
What it said was basically that I was wrong. That can’t be the graph from 07 because it doesn’t have the ‘Dot’ at the end.

Richard M
February 6, 2017 6:39 am

The OISM petition has always been a thorn in the side of alarmists. It torches their consensus claims. I think that is the reason this paper has gotten so much attention from the team. When propaganda is easily refuted it makes those pushing the propaganda look silly.
In addition, the logic of the paper is pure simplicity. It really isn’t different now than it has been for thousands of years. This destroys yet another of their propaganda points that today is somehow different. They simply cannot think rationally when faced with reality.

graphicconception
Reply to  Richard M
February 6, 2017 2:23 pm

“The OISM petition has always been a thorn in the side of alarmists. It …”
Richard M: I agree with your first paragraph. It coincides with my take on the situation exactly.

February 6, 2017 6:48 am

I never heard of Dr Boslough before, but I don’t normally read the Huffington Post ‘science’ pages. He appears to be a regular ‘sciency guy’ there eloquently writing on some (I have to admit) interesting subjects, I intend to eventually take a look at one or two more articles.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/mark-boslough-593.
On the subject of ‘graph’ misrepresentation it appears to me to be some kind of personal vendetta of a someone who may have minor mental disorder.
From wikipedia: “…. He used this experience to argue that the “right to radiate” is a prescriptive private property right, and that carbon polluters must compensate individuals for degrading their personal cooling capacity.”

gnomish
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 9:11 am

they all get repetitious because the words aren’t used for reasoning but as incantations in a ritual of magical thinking.
when the attempt to cast a spell fails, they do it again louder and/or form a prayer circle and hold hands while they chant.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 1:24 pm

anyone who bothers to read the original papers.

I imagine that is the key. The average Huffpo reader does not read original papers.

Reply to  vukcevic
February 6, 2017 10:20 am

I believe he was the guy that with his “Airburst ” theory explained why nobody had found any traces of a meteoroid or asteroid in the 1908 explosion over Siberia.There was a documentary recently in which there were about 4-5 theories explained , his is now fairly widely seen as the most likely one. There are people that looked for decades to find traces of a meteoroid but never found a thing even the Russian government spend a long time looking thinking it could find rare metals and even diamonds in large quantities.

Robert Sheaffer
Reply to  vukcevic
February 6, 2017 2:04 pm

Boslough is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, publisher of the Skeptical Inquirer, oroginally an organization of “skeptics,” but has now morphed into a left-wing advocacy group (and from which I recently resigned as a longtime Fellow). He is very influential with that crowd, who steadfastly refuse to even consider the possibility that climate advocacy might be other than ‘pure science.’. I have had ongoing arguments with Boslough on Facebook, where he echoes the pronouncements of his good friend Michael Mann. He is tricky, do not expect a sincere discussion or argument, you will get rhetorical tricks and ad hominems. When I pressed Boslough about activists and politicians who wanting to lock up climate skeptics, he refused to condemn it, suggesting that they deserved it.

Jerry Henson
February 6, 2017 6:59 am

Mark Boslough uses the the same method that liberal supported
websites use while making the claim that they are “fact checking.”
They take some statement that they don’t like, change part of it,
then call it a lie, as in changing the graph caption.
This is aimed at the MSM and the “low information voter” who
usually never read or saw the the original.

TDBraun
February 6, 2017 7:15 am

My layman’s opinion on this:
Boslough is saying when you add Keigwin’s 1996 “Station S” data from the last few decades to the graph it shows an especially sharp uptick, indicative of something more than a natural rise — he says it shows anthropogenic warming ON TOP OF natural warming trends. Yet the R98 paper leaving this off, and the R07 paper just putting one data point for 2006, both mask this interpretation of what the graph shows. This is why he thinks that data point is “made up” and he has been attacking it so long because the original paper is otherwise evidence useful to skeptics of AGW theory. I think he has a good point, but I would like to see exactly what the graph would look like if it is possible to accurately add real data since 1975 to the end of the graph. Is there an anthropogenic signal there or not?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 8:11 am

“The instrumental data should never have been shown on the same figure with the same scale — they are can not correctly be related that way.”
Yes, you can not mix paleo data and an instrumental record in one plot without calculating a long term average for the instrumental record. In this case, the paleo resolution was 50-100 years which means that each sample is the AVERAGE of 50-100 years of climate, so the instrumental record must be averaged across 50 to 100 year chunks, which likely exceeds the period that we have an instrumental record for. It should be obvious that the volatility and p-p variability of a 50-100 year average will be far less than the volatility and p-p variability from instantaneous samples, or even 1-5 year averages.
This is something that the warmists do over and over. Didn’t any of them ever take a course in basic statistics? For example, the DomeC ice core record shows that the RMS rate of change in 50-100 year averages over the last 100K years is comparable to the rate of change seen in contemporary short term averages of instrumental measurements. This means that historical short term rates of change, which we can not distinguish from the ice cores, were necessarily far larger.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 8:37 am

Kip,
“The paleo-data is 50 year running average,”
Is it even a running average? That would imply shorter term samples that were averaged. If the sample width is 50-100 years, it can’t be a 50-100 year running average, but just static averages of 50-100 years of data. You can perhaps do a running 500 year average, but that would smooth out nearly all the bumps in the graph …

crosspatch
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 11:11 am

co2isnoteval “Didn’t any of them ever take a course in basic statistics?”
That has been the entire foundation of Steve McIntyre’s blog (Climate Audit) from “day 1”. The answer is “no, apparently not”. Dr. Judith Curry has also tried to point out uncertainty in this area which has not been well-received by the climate “scientists”.

February 6, 2017 7:21 am

Thee problem with climate change/global warming as related to co2 is and always will be the MWP and the LIA. Skeptics shouldn’t have to prove anything. It’s the warmist theory,( AGW) . Other than dismissing that they didn’t exist, or now admitting they existed but weren’t that warm or cold, they have never explained how they occured in the absence of elevated or decreased levels of co2.
Is this just an argument of the subset of basic temperature increase or decrease during that time ?

schitzree
February 6, 2017 7:43 am

Mark Boslough’s problem is one suffered by many of the Climate Faithful. He clearly has a narcissistic personality disorder. Just as Gleick’s forged Heartland memo revealed that he believed the whole Climate issue revolved around him and his blogging at Forbes, Boslough’s obsession shows he think the whole Climate Skeptic movement is based on the one bit that he had something to do with. So obviously if he can just get everyone e to accept HIS version of the Sargasso Sea data, Climate Skepticism would end.
And from reading between the lines on his Real Climate article I’d say even many on the Believers side are getting tired of him. The whole reason for that article (and the one from last time he links to) is that the people who run the San Francisco convention he’s writing about have stopped letting him give the same boring presentation about this minor issue from 98 over and over again.
I’d like to say I’m surprised RC gave him a soapbox to stand on, but frankly this is about all they have left. And they know THEIR readership sure won’t look to hard into this or hear anything from outside the echo chamber. ~¿~

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 8:27 am

He has some standing as a physicist along those lines.

Oh, sure. He probably is a fine scientist in his own right, and in his sphere. A lot of scientists are narcissistic or egotistical.
Hell, I’ll go one further. The BEST scientists (the ones that change the direction their fields are going in, or revolutionize how we see the world) are usually extreme egotists. You have to be to face a huge consensus of earlier scientist and say ‘Nope, it really goes like THIS!’. Think Galileo.
Of course, it also works in reverse. Once an Ego happy scientist thinks he knows how things are, it’s hard to convince him of something else. Which is why, as they say, ‘Science advances one funeral at a time’. ^¿^

schitzree
Reply to  schitzree
February 6, 2017 8:47 am

Whoops, just noticed it was Santa Fa, not San Francisco.

Reply to  schitzree
February 6, 2017 10:34 am

You are right about his personality schitzree, just read his list of documentaries and films he has “participated in” I have seen some of them and it is his way or the highway. You should read the chapter about private property rights.

Reply to  schitzree
February 6, 2017 10:36 am

schtzree that is according to Wikepedia of course and you know which way they lean on this debate.

Jerry Henson
February 6, 2017 7:51 am

Algore, et.al. have always found past reconstructions of temperature
an inconvenient truth.
In Algore’s original movie of that title, he showed the very much enlarged
and elongated temperature graph of the northern hemisphere which we
would all recognize, but flashed through it too quickly for the viewer to
be able to resolve the Medieval Warm or the Little Ice Age. The focus
stopped on the bit of the graph which showed temperature recovery
since start of the industrial revolution.
When Algore and company realized that digital video recorders and
dvd players had the capacity to slow motion and stop motion, they changed
later copies of the movie to use Mikey’s Hockey Stick.
I screened both copies for my nieces, nephews, and grand children
and explained the “real inconvenient” truth.

angech
Reply to  Jerry Henson
February 6, 2017 12:36 pm

Jerry had not heard of that before.
If true is a very inconvenient truth. Will have to get my old cd out. You should let Anthony know, if he does not know already .too late for great value but still a very important fact.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  angech
February 6, 2017 2:11 pm

Never too late to reveal an incovenienter truth.

February 6, 2017 8:02 am

I found the article intriguing, but thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot more from the inline responses of Kip to questions from others. Thank you for providing the additional explanations.

M Courtney
February 6, 2017 8:03 am

The R98 graph is clearly and only about the paleo-data – so though the graph of the paleo-data in Keigwin’s paper had instrumental data added on, there is no fault to be attached to not using it when showing only the paleo-data.

So his complaint is that the paper does not splice apples with oranges?
Are you sure you understand him correctly?
Or are you sure this guy is not a false flag sock-puppet?

schitzree
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 8:40 am

It takes chutzpah to accuse someone of FAILING to apply Mike’s Nature Trick. •¿●

beng135
February 6, 2017 8:52 am

Boslough is an obvious obsessive-compulsive/single-issue fanatic (in this case, a graph). Needs psychiatric help.

michael hart
February 6, 2017 9:45 am

This is why “climate science” is not a science. Too many of them spend too much of their time simply re-writing qnd re-interpreting history, so that they they never get to be wrong.
experimental synthetic chemist gets to be wrong every day, if they are hard working. And they learn science from the experience of being wrong.
Climate science has clearly learned next to nothing in the past 30 years and should be defunded.

Retired Kit P
February 6, 2017 9:50 am

I have been an AGW skeptic since the spring of 2001. At the time, I was working on nuclear power and renewable energy. Because of my work it was convenient to credit reductions in CO2.
You can tell how old people are by the significant emotional events. For my generation, it was the assassination of JFK and the shuttle disaster. Shared with my children 9/11.
While attending a renewable energy conference in Seattle, I listen to a presentation by a lawyer who claimed that he gave the presentation in the Whitehouse to Clinton/Gore. I became a CAGW believer. Before that I thought that the science was still out.
A few days later I had a chance to look closer at the notes and read some of the references on detail. I am ashamed to admit that I was bamboozled by a slick lawyer.
From that point on, I was an ardent AGW skeptic.
AGW is a theory about the future. Not a very good one when we look at the most recent million years of geological data. When considering the Medieval Warm or the Little Ice Age, there is a simple commonsense explanation. If it is warmer than average, the next trend will be cooling. If it is cooler than normal, the next trend will be warming.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 10:34 am

You might be interested in this memorandum from Russian Academy of Science, published today.
http://klnran.ru/2017/02/memorandum02-homeopathy/
I couldn’t find English language version, however https://translate.google.com/ gives a coherent translation.

February 6, 2017 10:52 am

Udar — February 6, 2017 at 7:04 am said

I see no difference between them – they are identical if you simply ignore colors and look at shape alone.
You also conveniently omitted caption to figure 2 – which explains where the dot for 2006 came from.
You might need to spend about 30 sec to figure things out – but it’s supposed to be a science paper, not children’s pop-up book, readers are expected to actually try to understand what it is they are reading…
As to why, I assume that authors thought that this makes it easier to understand. You disagree? It’s your opinion, you are entitled to it.

I think that I understand things pretty well here, Udar. I gave up children’s pop-up books years ago, be assured. (^_^)
In my post that you were referring to in this comment, I did not “conveniently forget”, but rather I was NOT focusing on the caption, but the lines and scales of the graph.
I am now questioning the attribution of a name to a specific visual appearance. Maybe this will help clear up my query:comment image

hunter
February 6, 2017 11:27 am

Asbergers syndrome?

Anonymoose
February 6, 2017 11:36 am

“For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering.11 As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.”
These two statements are indeed comparing global temperatures and Sargasso Sea temperatures, but no reason to consider them comparable is presented in the surrounding two paragraphs.
The graph only shows that Sargasso Sea temperatures are still a little below the average, while “they” seems to refer to global temperatures. Perhaps some people are interpreting the pronoun “they” in two different ways.

Ore-gonE left
February 6, 2017 1:22 pm

Kip Hansen, thank you for your assiduous work here. Your column, and your answers to questions, is highly appreciated!

schitzree
February 6, 2017 3:54 pm

I just got done reading the article over on skeptical science by Boslough that was written in 2012. The thing that most sticks with me is this part of an email from Richardson to Boslough that he quoted.
My bold

Regarding the world data. We clearly labeled this data location. Since virtually all other available dats (sic) from other locations (see Soon and Baliunas) is similar, providing this example was entirely ethical.
It is too bad your employers could not find an objective scientist for this task. I will not be providing any additional comments, since I am quite sure they would not be presented in their enirety (sic) to your employers, any more than will those I have already written. You are clearly devoted to lifting selected things from their context.

This was apparently in response to this from Boslough

You incorrectly represented the graph as global temperature.  You stated, “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.”

This is precisely the issue Kip outlined as #2 above. And as Kip showed, Richardson is right, Boslough IS lifting selected things from their context.
Now, maybe I’m reading to much into this, but it looks to me like Boslough has been making a big stink over this for over a decade. And (I could be wrong here, but I don’t think I am) it looks like Richardson et al got sick of it long ago and already rewrote their paper so there couldn’t be any misunderstanding about what was being presented. They literally answered all of Boslough’s red marked complaints, even though the only things wrong with them was they could be twisted by a nasty little troll to say things the paper clearly doesn’t.
In 2007. A Decade ago.
So why the hell is Boslough still writing articles and submitting abstracts and god knows what else about this.
(yes, I obviously know why he’s doing it. he’s an obnoxious troll)

Malcolm Carter
February 6, 2017 6:32 pm

The repeated attacks by Boslough have the familiar feel of attacks by creationists on evolution. Find that single flaw in your opponent even if it is small or conflated and keep working it. That flagellor motor or misplaced fossil or ‘human’ footprint. Keep working it hoping that you can bring down the entirety of the oppositions credibility and theories.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 6, 2017 7:11 pm

Oh my! You must read more about that quagmire of Intelligent Design’.

February 6, 2017 9:11 pm

What it boils down to is a sicko called Boslough spending two decades fighting to defend Mike’s Nature Trick.
(He attacks Robinson et al for failing to tag instrumental data to a palaeo proxy.
Sicko Boslough and his companions at the realclimate asylum are in denial that the excellent Sargasso Sea sediment isotope proxy kills AGW stone cold dead.

J. W. Eingarten
February 7, 2017 8:39 am

I have the same question for the man who criticizes the paper as I do for all other FAKE, PSEUDO-SCIENCE atmospheric chemistry and radiation frauds:
either talk to me/us at length about the law of thermodynamics for solving the temperature of some atmospheric air,
tell me the equation and what each of the five factors in it stand for, – or you’re another FAKE pseudo science
or you’re just another in the long, LONG line of FAKE, PSEUDO-SCIENCE barking FRAUDS
who derailed science by trying to drive all the REAL scientists like me, and hundreds of others, out.

M Courtney
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 7, 2017 3:15 pm

If I were him I would be searching Google and Amazon just to break you. It must be available somewhere.
But perhaps he has more integrity than me.

Goutboy2
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 10, 2017 12:05 am

It’s all about cognitive dissonance.

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