Steven McIntyre vs. the Spawn of Yamal

Stephen McIntyre’s tweet thread is a delight for old timers of the Climate Wars and has resurrected the issue, or at least the region, of the Enchanted Larch of Yamal.

For those who wish to catch up or refresh themselves, here is the post that launched a lot of hilarity and unadmitted embarrassment for the Climate Consensus Community.

If you want to see a bevy of posts on this subject use this search string in your favorite search engine.

enchanted larch of yamal

And here is the current Twitter thread.

Originally tweeted by Stephen McIntyre (@ClimateAudit) on August 30, 2022.

last week, a new article… on Yamal tree rings, co-authored by Osborn and Melvin of East Anglia, claimed “recent Siberian heating unprecedented in past 7 millennia”. @climateofgavin snickered because results similar to prior UEA.

Schmidt illustrated his snicker with seemingly dramatic hockey stick from Hantemirov (Nature 2022). Neither Schmidt nor Nature showed an even more remarkable figure from Hantemirov thesis showing a remarkable southward movement of Yamal treeline thru Holocene, with tiny recent HS

the dramatic southward movement of Yamal treeline in Holocene (observed by Hantemirov) is consistent with long-term decrease in Greenland d18O values (Vinther 2009).

Nor do Hantermirov (or Schmidt) reconcile the seminal findings of Esper et al (Nature 2012) showing lack of responsiveness of tree ring chronologies to the huge changes in high latitude JJA insolation over Holocene (up to 48 wm-2 vs 1.5 wm-2 CO2 forcing)

despite the statement in Nature on supposed data availability, Hantemirov (2022) did NOT archive the underlying measurement data. About 600 of the ~1600 cores were previously used in Briffa et al (2002,2009, 2013) and grudgingly made available.

there is some new and interesing information in Hantemirov (2022)- long sought data on lat-longs of the samples – see Samples tab on spreadsheet at

Hantemirov illustrated the locations of their samples in figure shown below (which shows sites on Tanlova, Khadyta, Yada and Portsa rivers). The color pattern doesn’t show any biasing pattern.

Here’s my plot of same location data, coloring by time period – blue oldest subfossil, red modern (living in 1980-2020). An obvious point: modern samples are to far south of range, oldest samples to the north. Note a very ancient Yuribey River sample to north, not shown in Nature

another representation of same location data, showing latitude vs pith (start) year. The modern treeline is far to the south of Holocene treelines and modern (living) samples taken to south of majority of mid-Holocene samples. Note early report of 70N early Holocene treeline

Schmidt and other publicists show the highly smoothed version of the Yamal data. The unsmoothed version (unsurprisingly) is considerably less dramatic.

I was able to replicate their Lowess100 smooth (of the KMean_Reconstruction series) in the Kmean tab of archived spreadsheet in first try (a Wordle eagle, so to speak) by using lowess span f=100/7368. Enabling me to comment quite precisely on similar spline smooth that they show.

the KMean_Reconstruction is linear (100% correlation) to underlying CRN shown below. The blade of the smooth begins ~1750 and, on its face, simply shows recent decades continuing trend that began ~1750.

in detail, the most recent “chronology” values (from the southerly part of Yamal) are slightly elevated from values earlier in 20th and late 19th, but no particular HS.

and, needless to say, Hantemirov and his East Anglia coauthors made NO attempt to differentiate any additional growth in Yamal resulting directly from late 20th century CO2 “greening”, though such greening is shown in Yamal along with most other locations

Originally tweeted by Stephen McIntyre (@ClimateAudit) on August 30, 2022.

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Fred Hubler
September 1, 2022 9:45 am

An October 1998 Climategate email to Keith Briffa of the Univ. of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), from Russian scientist R. M. Hantemirov, states that there is no evidence of movement of polar timberline (on the Yamal Peninsula on the Eastern slope of the Ural Mountains) in the past century.  

In 2005 the Canadian Journal of Forest Research published a paper on Arctic tree lines from the same area that claims that a large number of well-preserved tree remains can be found up to 60 – 80 meters above the current tree line and that the earliest distinct maximum in stand density occurred in the 11th to 13th centuries, coincident with Medieval climate warming. The paper was based on work done by the same Russian scientists, S.G. Shiyatov and R. M. Hantemirov, that were providing tree ring data to Keith Briffa of the Univ. of East Anglia’s CRU.

September 1, 2022 10:00 am

Tree ring alarm and hockeysticks = statistical jabberwocky.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anthony Watts
Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Anthony Watts
September 4, 2022 11:52 am

Fred Huber , Anthony , it must logically follow that the southward retreat of the Yamal larch treeline since the Holocene Thermal Optimum corresponds to warmer Arctic / Siberian temperatures prior to the early Bronze Age . Tony Heller displayed an old photograph of a sub fossilized tree stump that once grew on the periphery of the Arctic ocean during the HTO ..Then there are the PIP -25 sea ice proxies derived from sediment cores that show there was considerably less ephemeral sea ice covering the Arctic ocean 6000 – 8000 years ago – at times mostly ice free year round – than exists in the modern era . Once again the data signifys warmer Holocene Optimum temperatures correlating well with the results of the Esper et al [ Nature 2012 ] Figure S1 graph………….. It is not conceivable that recent Siberian ‘heating ‘ is unprecedented over the past 7 millennia comment image?ssl=1

Rud Istvan
September 1, 2022 10:20 am

My goodness. A blast from the past. McIntyre has not lost his mojo.
Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Wars is still a good read.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 1, 2022 12:02 pm

True, Rud, Steve McIntyre is one of the most knowledgeable climate researchers around. Can’t tell you how much I learned from his work, as well as from his accessible style.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 2, 2022 1:02 am

Old Man Winter
September 1, 2022 10:42 am

Basing a professional career on treemometers is very risky as there are
many other major inputs beside temperature that can affect tree growth &
eventually cause its temperature correlation to fail, as it did post 1961.
The MannChild™ got on a horse that went lame. His Team™ then spent the
past 20 yrs adding heavy weights to competing horses & making false
claims of competitors’ cheating just to slow them down enough or to get
them scratched just so he can claim victory. What a jerk!

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Old Man Winter
September 1, 2022 10:47 am

A Disgrace to the Profession.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 1, 2022 11:15 am

I agree. At the time his horse pulled up lame, he was both young
enough & bright enough to have found another horse & had a
stellar career. Instead, he stuck with his horse & wasted
his time & energy on taking the low road.

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 1, 2022 3:22 pm

A disgrace to the human race !

john harmsworth
Reply to  Old Man Winter
September 1, 2022 12:21 pm

Unfortunately, Mann’s academi8c course has been very good to him. The only other fields that reward pathological lying so richly are used car sales and politics. Virus science might be up there, too! It’s all in picking the right political angle and being utterly immoral and unethical.

Reply to  john harmsworth
September 1, 2022 10:40 pm

Wind and solar developers must be up there too, and they’re backed by politicians.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  john harmsworth
September 2, 2022 11:16 am

The only other fields that reward pathological lying so richly are used car sales and politics.”

Actually I’d say advertising is at the top of the list.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Old Man Winter
September 2, 2022 11:15 am

It’s funny. The vast majority of published research turns out to be wrong. But not the Hokey Team! No sirree! Their research is all perfect and should never be questioned!

Old Man Winter
September 1, 2022 10:55 am

Two insightful comments from YAD06…

dearieme Sep 30, 2009 7:04 PM
So one jolly lumberjack could have changed the Earth’s climate

AJStrata Sep 30, 2009 9:51 PM
You summed up fate perfectly. But I would note that for those determined
to find a preferred results, there were plenty of YAD06’s out there to
“fit the proper curve”. An army of lumberjacks (why is Monty Python now
running through my head) could not stop a determined illusionist.

September 1, 2022 10:58 am

Go Baby Larches, Go!

September 1, 2022 12:16 pm

I despise dishonest people. The more educated they are the more I despise them.

September 1, 2022 12:22 pm

Terribly written post.
I guess it is meant for insiders only.
No units or concepts are explained for the various figures.
“underlying CRN.”
“high latitude JJH insolation”

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 1, 2022 1:17 pm

In a way, yes. The newly revealed old data is truly a blast from the past.
The Hockey Stick Wars were fought over for about a decade, ending over a decade ago. A bunch of paleotemp people on one side (Mann, Briffa, Gergis, and many more) versus McIntyre alone by himself on the other. In addition to YAD06, there were stripbark bristlecones, upside down Tiljander sediments, and many other paleoproxy battles like Hide the Decline’ and ‘Mike’s Nature trick’, up thru Marcott’s proven scientific misconduct in Science in 2013. (Essay ‘A high stick foul’ in ebook Blowing Smoke.)
CRN is the high quality Climate Research Network for surface temp.
JJA is summer—June, July, August. Only time Yamal larch grows that far north.

Philip in New Zealand
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 1, 2022 3:23 pm

For those new to the subject tree ring proxies represent the very short growing season in summer in these extreme sites which can be as short as a few weeks or even less, they do not represent the annual temperature. The same is true for lake sediments which are dependent on the summer melt to give run off.

David McKeever
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 1, 2022 1:40 pm

high latitude JJA insolation (not JJH) is the amount of sunlight at high altitudes june july august.
Don’t know what CRN is.

David McKeever
Reply to  David McKeever
September 1, 2022 1:41 pm

Sorry, latitudes, not altitudes.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  David McKeever
September 2, 2022 11:20 am

Same letters, lol. Just swap the first two.

paul courtney
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 1, 2022 3:01 pm

Mr. LastDemocrat: You are truly a fortunate man, because you can read McIntyre’s work from the early 2000’s on, and your world will open before you as you realize just how Mann did it, and how they do it now. I learned about CliSci from a guy named Mark Steyn, who was being sued, and he noted Climate Audit and WUWT as sources for his “truth” defense- Mann was indeed a fraud (though McIntyre has been unwillling to use the term). If you read, you will enjoy seeing McIntyre deconstruct the hockey stick.

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  paul courtney
September 1, 2022 10:21 pm

Do note that Steyn’s book ‘A Disgrace to the Profession’ collects devastating opinions about Mann from one hundred world class scientists.

paul courtney
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
September 2, 2022 7:43 am

Mr. Lion: Thank you for reminding us of another valuable resource that even a last democrat will find interesting.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  paul courtney
September 2, 2022 11:21 am

A great number of links on Climate Audit haven’t worked for almost a decade. A real shame.

Reply to  paul courtney
September 2, 2022 8:05 pm

P Courtney – the post is oblique.
I discovered MBH98 from discovering this website. In 2008.
And, I partly can tell MBH98 was sus, if not garbage, because long before then I was trained in how to run a PCA.

And so I can appreciate MM2003.

When I have to, or want to, believe me I can run down each and every acronym and technique.

There are a couple peer review requests waiting for me right now, so I am not going to dig in and decipher this cryptic post.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 1, 2022 3:45 pm

Climategate emails show that Phil Jones of the Univ. of East Anglia repeated “Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline”. But there is no branch of science in which it is legitimate to replace inconvenient data with data you like to get the result you want.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Fred Hubler
September 1, 2022 11:16 pm

Ancel Benjamin Keys who just used the data that gave the answer he wanted and threw the rest away

Reply to  Fred Hubler
September 2, 2022 1:19 pm

No scientist should ever use the word “hide” in that way.

It’s that word that Jones and his crew should be ashamed of.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 1, 2022 7:10 pm
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 2, 2022 10:53 am

Go to climateaudit, McIntyre’s site.

Start at the beginning and get up to date on all of his auditing of “climate research”.

His greatest contributions, in my opinion, is his ability to recreate the “data” the climate fraudsters use to produce their “pal reviewed” published papers since they almost never provide access to the data.

The most important thing I got from Steve is the fact that the fraudsters would gather a bunch of data, review the data to see if it fit their desired result, delete all the data that did not fit, then do their “study”. They would not provide ALL the data they started with, and often not even the data they ended up using.

Ex post facto selection. WHY almost all “climate science” is fraudulent.

September 1, 2022 1:47 pm

I keep waiting for the publication of Keith Briffa’s book, “A Tree Grows in Yamal”

Reply to  Ed Reid
September 1, 2022 2:22 pm

LOL x10^6

Reply to  Ed Reid
September 1, 2022 10:21 pm

Iirc Keith Briffa died a while back?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Mr.
September 2, 2022 6:01 am

But still funny comment

September 1, 2022 3:21 pm

Trees in borderline conditions really do respond very well to increased CO2, don’t they ! 🙂

September 1, 2022 4:33 pm

While your at it – read Gavin’s tweets in general not just about climàte- urgh!!!!!

Geoff Sherrington
September 1, 2022 6:35 pm

Yes, I remember some comments by Steve McIntyre about this tree in the context of a dozen CA posts about Russian and related dendro work. I commented about scope for errors on the Yad 06 post, but the Steve comment that followed was:

Steve McIntyre Posted Oct 1, 2009 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

‘IMO one of the biggest problems with Team reconstructions is faux confidence intervals – using incorrect methods or false assumptions, they claim much narrower confidence intervals than their methods and data permit. UC’s view is that the confidence intervals go from the “floor to the ceiling” using Hegerl’s phrase. We observed this in respect to Mann 2008 in our PNAS 2009 Comment.’

I am still writing on WUWT about this very topic of confidence limits today (this time for temperature measurements).
How long does it take for a simple message to penetrate?
Geoff S

Geoff Sherrington
September 1, 2022 6:59 pm

Russian scientists Shiyatov and Hantemirov later became quite senior in Russian circles. They did get a lot of mentions in the Climategate scandal, where they were concerned for the future of their work in Yamal as they cited instances of promised monies being late from their masters in the UK and much more.
Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick wrote about Climategate and Yamal. Here is a short extract.

‘The first email in the Climategate archive, dated March 6 1996, was from a Russian scientist (Shiyatov) to Briffa requesting money to support their efforts to collect more tree ring data from the Yamal peninsula. One of the last Climategate emails (dated October 5, 2009, just a month before the Climategate release) was from scientist Rashit Hantemirov to a UEA colleague asking for advice on how to respond to a Finnish journalist who was investigating Briffa’s use of the Yamal data, based on findings Steve had published at Climate Audit. Yamal was, in fact, the most-repeated theme in the emails, even though it never captured public attention. The emails provided extensive context for a controversy that had long been raging.’

As I thought at the Climategate time, if these scientists were messed around so badly with administration, what might happen to their data?

If you can search Climategate, there is interesting reading under their names.

Geoff S

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 2, 2022 11:40 am

Good summary, Geoff.

Many people here often conflate Yamal with Mann’s bristlecones. It’s too bad people can’t take the time to educate themselves on the details.

September 1, 2022 7:29 pm

Our alarmist friends discount any data that contradicts their suppositions because the data are just “local”, yet they base their global claims on tree ring data from a small number of trees in the Arctic region of Russia.

September 1, 2022 8:50 pm

Steve is tweeting climate gold!

another representation of same location data, showing latitude vs pith (start) year. The modern treeline is far to the south of Holocene treelines and modern (living) samples taken to south of majority of mid-Holocene samples. Note early report of 70N early Holocene treeline”

This accurate portrayal of the data is scarier than any CAGW prediction to date.

Unlike what snickering Schmidt claims, their alleged Global warming anomaly is not causing the treeline to grow in Northern Hemisphere’s more northern latitudes again.

Hantemirov 2022 modern Yamal samples starting approximately 2005 look very dubious.

Coeur de Lion
September 1, 2022 10:06 pm

What should receive wide publicity is McIntyre’s recent exposure of the fraudulent hockey stick on the frontispiece of AR6 Guide for Policymakers which with unbelievable effrontery is not part of AR6 workings. IPCC FRAUD. See his site and scroll down

Gunga Din
September 2, 2022 5:25 am

As long as CliSci is doing another rerun …

Stopping By Yamal One Snowy Evening

What tree this is, I think I know.
It grew in Yamal some time ago.
Yamal 06 I’m placing here
In hopes a hockey stick will grow.

But McIntyre did think it queer
No tree, the stick did disappear!
Desperate measures I did take
To make that stick reappear.

There were some corings from a lake.
And other data I could bake.
I’ll tweak my model more until
Another hockey stick I’ll make!

I changed a line into a hill!
I can’t say how I was thrilled!
Then Climategate. I’m feeling ill.
Then Climategate. I’m feeling ill.

Reply to  Gunga Din
September 3, 2022 8:32 am

Last edited 29 days ago by yirgach
September 3, 2022 7:51 am


Does he get a broad audience or just Twits?

(Yeah I’m prejudiced against attempts at communication using a path that was not intended for communicating much as it limits post length severely.)

McIntyre’s blog is till up to read history but is not active.

September 3, 2022 8:55 am

September 3, 2022 6:48 pm

The map of trees tapped for core studies was very pretty. I also think it shows an ignorant way of choosing samples. A more reasonable method would be making random selection of trees. Apparently they were virtually all on the peaks of hills and mountains. From various readings that mostly guranteed a wildly wide range of possible trees, and also usually a difficulty in finding adequate control samples.

That is the same problem that showed up in the hocky stick of Climate fame.

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