Bob Carter has a piece in the Telegraph where he claims:

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society’s continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Due to some unaccountable oversight, Carter did not include a graph of global average temperature from CRU. Let me show you what it looks like:

i-e41085efda34ceb0dcd669b1a667d11d-gat2005.png

It’s obvious to anyone who looks at the graph that temperatures have not been static for the past eight years, but have continued to increase steadily. The only way you could contrive a decreasing trend is if you just looked at the two years 1998 and 2005 (the warmest and second warmest years ever recorded in the CRU data) and ignored everything else. Is that an appropriate way to do things? Not according to one Bob Carter. In 2004 he wrote a Tech Central Station article where he claimed that satellite measurements

show little or no long-term trend of temperature change.

I emailed him to point that the satellites actually showed significant warming. He replied that this didn’t count because:

this trend is most likely produced by the single exceptionally warm 1998 El Nino year.

Meanwhile, Steve McIntyre seems to have no problem with Carter’s misleading claim, because he linked approvingly to Carter’s column.

(My thanks to Wayne Sanderson for sending me the link.)

Comments

  1. #1 John A
    April 9, 2006

    The trackback from climateaudit to this troll weblog was marked as spam, which is what it was.

    Bob Carter did not reproduce his own figure either but its here:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-images/carter14.gif

    He did not reproduce the Mann Hockey Stick, but then you knew that already. He did state (entirely correctly) that temperatures had been static for eight years. In case any of your dittoheads don’t think that’s a long time, compare that with the baseline of less than five years of ocean observations done by Hansen and Schmidt in 2005 (and miraculously stretched to a thousand years by Schmidt when he was interviewed by the BBC). Keep watching ClimateAudit where you’ll find a couple of nice diagrams showing how well Hansen and Schmidt’s model actually came to the observational record.

    Just in case your deluded brain can handle complex information, the rise in the temperature of the satellite record can be seen at: http://www.john-daly.com/nasa.gif and as Bob Carter rightly said, temperature peaked in 1998 has been static since. Still, why let a few choice facts get in the way of your delusions?

    By the way, Bob Carter has forgotten about paleoclimate, climate change and basic physics than you’ll ever know. I look forward to your first scientific presentation on climate change, statistics or thermodynamics. I’m sure Bob will turn up for a good laugh (although he might have a to wait a long time).

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    April 9, 2006

    If readers are unfamiliar with John A’s unusual beliefs about thermodynamics you can read them here. John A insists that entropy is a form of energy and he says he can prove it, but he’s just been too busy for the past nine months.

    And John A, you can, if you wish, delete critical comments and trackbacks, but such things are not spam.

  3. #3 Gavin
    April 9, 2006

    The comparisons to ocean heat content changes in the Hansen et al paper were over the last 10 years of data (not ‘less than 5′) but the results are comparable to the changes over the last 30 years of (less well constrained) observations as well.
    The original paper is available here: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    As might have been expected, John A. a little confused in referring to in my BBC interview: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4495463.stm

    Significant radiative imbalances of ~1 W/m2 cannot persist for long periods of time without substantial climate change and they only occur when radiative forcings are changing much faster than the planet can respond. There is no evidence from either millenial forcing or temperature reconstructions that such imbalances have existed in the relatively recent past. It is hardly ‘miraclulous’ that conclusions can be drawn from that…

    I look forward to John A.’s conclusive re-analysis of our results.

    PS. For 1998 to 2005, the linear least squares trend line through the annual mean temperature is still positive.

  4. #4 John Fleck
    April 9, 2006

    Re John A’s marking of the Climateaudit trackback to this post as spam, it’s worth quoting Steve McIntyre: “Unlike realclimate, opposing views are not censored here.”

    Apparently this is not always the case.

  5. #5 Hans Erren
    April 9, 2006

    John F. get real, only the subject thermodynamics is censored on CA. There is a good debate on tree proxies going on.

  6. #6 John Fleck
    April 9, 2006

    Hans -

    John A censored the trackback to this particular post. He just said so.

  7. #7 Erik
    April 9, 2006

    Good lord, this is too funny.

    Sometimes these arguments are all a bit difficult for the non-specialist; this one is of course obvious. Could cherry picking be more obvious?

    And John A., to defend it? Please tell me that you are joking. Ah, too funny. Please, really, you’re killing me. That chart does makes a good straight man to this “John A.” character, though. Good stuff.

  8. #8 Steve Reuland
    April 9, 2006

    By the way, Bob Carter has forgotten about paleoclimate, climate change and basic physics than you’ll ever know.

    This wins my sentence of the week award.

  9. #9 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 9, 2006

    Thanks for posting the CRU temperature graphic. It is very interesting and I’d like to know more. Can you point me to the raw station data that formed the basis for this chart?

  10. #10 Hans Erren
    April 9, 2006

    http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/?p=1448

    But the really interesting thing here is the evidence offered by Tim Lambert that Carter himself has complained, in other contexts, that the extreme El Nino year of 1998 is an outlier that you shouldn’t use to establish a temperature trend.

    Now which year is prominently present in the original hockeystick???
    eg http://www.mcfreedom.com/images/hockeystick.jpg

    Over to you Tim!

  11. #11 John Fleck
    April 9, 2006

    Hans -

    As I’m sure you’re aware, the original hockey stick was published in Nature in April 1998, and used instrumental data from 1902-1905.

  12. #12 John Fleck
    April 9, 2006

    Hans -

    As I’m sure you’re aware, the original hockey stick was published in Nature in April 1998, and used instrumental data from 1902-*1995*. (The previous comment was a typo.)

  13. #13 Hans Erren
    April 9, 2006

    sorry, I was referring to the IPCC TAR updated hockeystick,
    adapted from Mann et al. (1999)

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig2-20.htm

  14. #14 Dano
    April 9, 2006

    Again, why all the fetishization of an 8 year-old first paper?

    D

  15. #15 Hans Erren
    April 9, 2006

    The paper that wouldn’t replicate will be forever famous.

  16. #16 tim
    April 9, 2006

    “Is that an appropriate way to do things? Not according to one Bob Carter.”

    Isn’t it your argument that Carter does see this as appropriate?

  17. #17 Peter Hollo
    April 9, 2006

    Tim (Blair): No, Tim (Dunlop)’s point is this: He says the only way Carter could derive a downward trend is to use only the data from 1998 (an anomalously high year against the surrounding ones) and 2005. He then points out that Carter argued against deriving trends from anomalous years in the following quote.

  18. #18 tim
    April 9, 2006

    Peter,

    Oh, I see. Thank you. Hey, how did Dunlop get in here? We’re close to violating the ALP’s three Tims policy.

  19. #19 Peter Hollo
    April 9, 2006

    Argh… Too many Tim’s! You have a point. Maybe I was confused because I thought “Hm, wonder if anyone will confuse me with my brother (another Tim) because of my surname?”

  20. #20 frankis
    April 9, 2006

    aarrghhhh! JohnA you’ve just done in my credibility around here! Tim Lambert wins, I concede complete defeat:

    “Mildly amusing anyway that JohnA has at least gotten a bit shy about trumpeting his ummmm mastery of thermodynamics (I infer from his neglecting to rubbish it above as one of Tim’s areas of expertise). “While we live we grow” and all; good for him.

    Posted by: frankis | April 4, 2006 09:30 PM

    frankis, I think that you are overestimating John A. If you are wondering what his comment is about, he has been deleting all the comments I post at climateaudit.

    Posted by: Tim Lambert | April 4, 2006 10:36 PM ”

  21. #21 James
    April 10, 2006

    Tim, you are being disingenous. It’s perfectly clear that Carter is using the 1998-2005 “trend” as an example of cherry-picking the start point:

    “In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say “how silly to judge climate change over such a short period”. Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.”

    It’s a fair point and leads itno a discussion of how much natural variability there is in the climate system.

  22. #22 Tim Lambert
    April 10, 2006

    No James, it’s not a fair point, it’s a straw man. Mainstream science does not say that CO2 is the only factor affecting climate. If you look at the black line on the graph you’ll see that there has not been a cooling trend since 1998. Carter isn’t presenting his cheery picking as an example of doing something wrong, he is falsely claiming that there has been such a trand. And notice that John A repeated the claim citing CArter as an authority and ignoring what the graph showed.

  23. #23 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 10, 2006

    But Tim (Lambert), aren’t you cherry picking your global temperature chart? There are a few that I know of, the CRU chart is just one. Why did you pick that temp chart over any of the others?

  24. #24 Tim Curtin
    April 10, 2006

    The message I derive from Tim Lambert’s pretty graph is what a fuss about nothing: the blues are up to 0.5C below an average over an unstated period, and the reds are up to 0.6C above that average. We did not freeze to death during the blues, and we are not roasting in the reds. If we were how come the main population migratory trend in Australia is from relatively blue south-east to much warmer red west and north-east, with similar long term trends for people to seek out warmer areas in the UK, France and USA. In short, what’s wrong with even a 2C increase? Of course some like the mad monk Lord May will bleat about extinctions, but then what became of Lambert’s credo, survival of the fittest? But I predict that most species will adapt to that shocking 2C as they mostly have to the +0.6C shown by Lambert – and that homo sapiens will live longer and eat better as temperatures rise.

  25. #25 James
    April 10, 2006

    Tim , you are wrong.

    Carter is right, the trend 1998-2005 is downward. But it’s a nonsense trend based on cherry-picking the start date. That’s his point, is it so hard to understand?

  26. #26 fatfingers
    April 10, 2006

    Tim Curtin (no, not another Tim!), humans will deal fine with 2 degrees warming, or even more. It is the highly sensitive ecosystems that humans rely on that will most likely suffer.

    “survival of the fittest” – the problem being that climate change is faster now than it has ever been, so species might not have the chance to adapt, and we could see mass extinctions.

  27. #27 James
    April 10, 2006

    Tim Lambert,

    The trend 1998-2005 is clearly downward. That doesn’t mean anything, but that’s Carter’s point.

  28. #28 Tim Lambert
    April 10, 2006

    nanny, I didn’t pick the CRU data, Carter did. That’s what he was referred to in his article. If Carter had chosen to use GISS, then, even with his cherry picking he would have got an increase because in the GISTEMP data, 2005 is the record high.

    James, are you blind? The black curve shows the trend and it goes up from 1998 to 2005.

  29. #29 Brian J
    April 10, 2006

    Dano: “Again, why all the fetishization of an 8 year-old first paper?”

    It’s just a red herring to distract from Bob Carter’s blatant cherry-picking. Plus, it’s all they have left.

  30. #30 Robert
    April 10, 2006

    James wrote:
    >The trend 1998-2005 is clearly downward. That doesn’t mean anything, but that’s Carter’s point.

    James, we discussed this in June 2005. Have you done the little calculation I suggested back then? BTW, I note that back then (three posts above the one I just linked) you said Carter was wrong about a cooling trend and that you’d describe it as flat. You’ve changed your mind and now you think it’s “clearly downward”?

  31. #31 James
    April 10, 2006

    Tim,

    If you pick 1998 as your start, the trend is down. That’s Carter’s point. It doesn’t “mean” anything, but highlights the importance of the time-scale with which you choose to highlight a trend.

  32. #32 Jeff Harvey
    April 10, 2006

    What fatfingers said (well done).

    As I have discussed about a million times before, but is constantly ignored by the environmentally and ecologically illiterate sceptics (Tim Curtin comes to mind), two things:

    1. A mean increase of 2 C in global temperature over the coming century constitutes a serious problem across much of the planet. In rate of change, it is unprecedented for perhaps hundreds of thousands of years; moreover, humans have already slashed and burned their way across much of the biopshere already, simplifying natural systems which are thus already severely stressed. Climate change thus represents another enormous constraint on complex systems whose functioning we barely understand. Furthermore, there will be regional increases in temperature that far exceed 2 C; there already are areas in higher latitudes where this is the case.

    2. Instead of parroting unscientific garbage from the think tanks, corporate-funded lobbying groups, and other sceptics, learn some basic ecology. To reiterate: HUMANS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE LAWS OF NATURE. Tim Curtin, repeat that phrase 50 times each night before bed. Over variable spatio-temporal scales, conditions emerge from natural systems that enable human society to exist and persist. Climate change threatens to simply complex systems by exerting disproportionate effects on species and populations in food webs; the result is that these webs unravel and, over time, critically valuable ecosystem services disappear.

    But what’s the point reiterating this basic message? Tim Curtin and his ilk contine to perpetuate the “AGW is good for us” myth while having no clue whatsoever about the effects (already documented, with a growing data base) of warming on natural systems and on a suite of interacting biotic/abiotic processes. I have said this before in response to TC’s utterly simplistic nonsense, and then he comes back with it in another thread.

  33. #33 z
    April 10, 2006

    Furthermore, the average temperature in Australia has been dropping since December!

  34. #34 Ian Gould
    April 10, 2006

    “If we were how come the main population migratory trend in Australia is from relatively blue south-east to much warmer red west and north-east, with similar long term trends for people to seek out warmer areas in the UK, France and USA”

    Which happen to coincide with the emergence of low-cost domestic airconditioners onto the market.

    I wonder how the inhabitants of Kalgoorlie; Mount Isa and Brken Hill would regard a 2 degree increase in peak summer temperatures.

  35. #35 z
    April 10, 2006

    Meanwhile:
    “GE supports congressional action now,” David Slump, the top marketing executive in GE’s energy division, said at the hearing.
    “It is critical that we start now,” said Elizabeth Moler, an executive vice president for Exelon. “We need the economic and regulatory certainty to invest in a low-carbon energy future.”

    Tuesday saw a tectonic shift in the climate-change debate during an all-day Senate conference on global-warming policy. A group of high-powered energy and utility executives for the first time issued this directive to Washington: Bring on the carbon caps!

    The Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard statements from leaders representing eight big energy companies, including General Electric, Shell, and the two largest owners of utilities in the U.S., Exelon and Duke Energy. Six of the eight said they would either welcome or accept mandatory caps on their greenhouse-gas emissions. Wal-Mart too spoke in favor of carbon caps. The two outliers from the energy sector, Southern Company and American Electric Power, delivered pro forma bids for a voluntary rather than mandatory program, but they, too, broke with tradition by implicitly acknowledging that regulations may be coming, and offering detailed advice on how they should be designed.

    The conference was “remarkably devoid of the climate-skeptic malarkey that usually derails the debate at these sorts of events,”

    < http://grist.org/news/muck/2006/04/06/griscom-little/index.html>

  36. #37 Chris O'Neill
    April 10, 2006

    “The paper that wouldn’t replicate will be forever famous.”

    Funny how Hans uses the word “forever” in anything. That is, after saying:

    “Why is it that we worry about temperature in 2100?
    The effects in 2100 are caused by emissions in 2080.
    Everybody in this forum will be dead by then, and also their children.”

    to which Eli Rabett replied:

    “Hmm…it seems that Hans Erren has adopted the French king strategy, apres moi le deluge. This tends to end badly, cf 1790.”

    BTW, speaking of hockeystick replications, how’s you reading of Wahl and Amman’s replication going Hans?

  37. #38 Dano
    April 10, 2006

    The paper that wouldn’t replicate will be forever famous

    But Chris, it WON’T replicate – even though the dozen-ish or so papers afterward show 20th C temps unprecedented, the ‘blade’ is not straight.

    By gum, that’s good enough, don’tcha think? They have to have _some_ straw to grasp at, let them have it. Meanwhile, the rest of humanity on the planet has moved on. Let the dead-enders crow about their little perceived victory. I like the picture of some nerd walking around with his chest all puffed out, acting important. It’s amusing.

    Best,

    D

  38. #39 Chris O'Neill
    April 10, 2006

    Tim Lambert stated:

    “Is that an appropriate way to do things? Not according to one Bob Carter.”

    Tim Blair asked in response:

    “Isn’t it your argument that Carter does see this as appropriate?”

    Sometimes Carter does and sometimes Carter doesn’t. His choice depends on the conclusion he wants to reach.

  39. #40 jerry
    April 10, 2006

    uh oh

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4880328.stm

    “Reduced air pollution and increased water evaporation appear to be adding to man-made global warming.”

    Is all the clear air doing us in?

  40. #41 TallDave
    April 10, 2006

    So, no global warming from 1860 to 1920 and 1940 to 1980? Guh?

    Plus, what’s the deal with this?

    Our article, has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, copyright 2005 American Geophysical Union (doi: 2004GL012750). Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.

    This article identifies what is almost certainly a computer programming error in the principal components method used in MBH98. The error causes their PC method to nearly always identify hockey stick shaped series as the “dominant pattern” in a data set (the so-called “first Principal Component” or PC1), even when the data are just random numbers. We carried out 10,000 simulations in which we fed “red noise”, a form of trendless random numbers, into the MBH98 algorithm and, in over 99% of the cases, it produced hockey stick shaped PC1 series. The figure below shows 3 simulated PC1s and the MBH98 reconstruction: can you pick out the reconstruction?

    http://www.climate2003.com/

  41. #42 Paul G
    April 10, 2006

    Does anyone know what the final outcome, if there was one, of the accusations of academic misconduct and fraud leveled against Mann and his refusal to release the details of his hockey stick model work for investigation?

  42. #43 brokenlibrarian
    April 10, 2006

    “his refusal to release the details of his hockey stick model work for investigation”

    Er. Does the original raw data and the source code used for the analysis not count as “details”?

    Really, this story is a new one on me. How could McIntyre and McKitrick have even made their argument that MBH98 used a flawed methodology in the first place if the “details” of MBH98 weren’t available?

  43. #44 Anonymous
    April 10, 2006

    “nanny, I didn’t pick the CRU data, Carter did.”

    But he cherry picked the period 1998-2005, and you cherry picked the period 1850-2003. The “black line” for the two periods is not the same, and wouldn’t line up exactly if the two charts were overlaid.

  44. #45 SimonC
    April 10, 2006

    “you cherry picked the period 1850-2003″ – that’s all the data that’s available – if you use all the data how is that cherry picking?

  45. #46 James
    April 10, 2006

    “Really, this story is a new one on me. How could McIntyre and McKitrick have even made their argument that MBH98 used a flawed methodology in the first place if the “details” of MBH98 weren’t available?”

    Because they took a couple of years figuring out what Mann had done, until they had a very close emulation. A process that would have taken a week, if the “details” had been available.

  46. #47 Robert
    April 11, 2006

    James wrote:

    The trend 1998-2005 is clearly downward.

    James, how do you smooth the CRU data so that the 1998-2005 trend is “clearly downward”?

  47. #48 James
    April 11, 2006

    Robert, you get a downward trend if you cherry-pick 1998 as a starting point. Which is Carter’s point.

    I do agree that it’s fair for Tim to quote the whole CRU record. It’s hardly cherry-picking to cite the entire instrumental record.

  48. #49 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 11, 2006

    But the instrument record has an arbitrary starting point in climactic history. There’s no justification in “because that’s where we started” if you’re trying to prove a point. There’s always the question of “what was happening before that?”. At least Carter is saying “let’s see what happened since the peak in 1998″. And Mann also claimed, I beleive, that 98 was the warmest of the millenium. So that has some justification as a starting point.

  49. #50 Robert
    April 11, 2006

    James answered:

    Robert, you get a downward trend if you cherry-pick 1998 as a starting point. Which is Carter’s point.

    Well, I’ve been trying to find a simple smooth that makes the 1998-2005 trend “clearly downward” and I’m having difficulty, which is why I asked.

    And, if you’re saying Carter’s point was that the only way to be able to say that global temperature had stopped its increase (he didn’t claim a clearly downward trend) was to cherry-pick the endpoints, then I’d say he chose an odd way to make it.

  50. #51 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    Nanny (and Tim), IPCC TAR cited MBH1999 as claiming 1998 was the hottest year using the hockeystick.

    Mann et al. (1999) concluded that the 1990s were likely to have been the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the past millennium for at least the Northern Hemisphere.

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/069.htm#fig220

  51. #52 brokenlibrarian
    April 11, 2006

    “Because they took a couple of years figuring out what Mann had done, until they had a very close emulation. A process that would have taken a week, if the “details” had been available.”

    You mean like these “details”, which include all of the original data, the matrixes used for the analysis, and a complete description of the algorithm?

  52. #53 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    That ain’t complete,

    because there was a corrigendum which showed that some datasets were wrongly quoted,

    and also some essential algorithm steps were not documented.

    dream on…

  53. #54 Tim Lambert
    April 11, 2006

    Note that even if you cherry pick 1998 as the starting point anc compute the least squares trend, it is is still increasing. To get a decreasing trend you have to cherry pick 1998 and ignore all the years between 1998 and 2005.

  54. #55 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    MBH will be forever famous as an example how cherrypicking data lead global decision making astray.

    BTW McIntyre is continuing to show that even the hockey stick shaped treering proxies themselves cannot be replicated when the sites are revisited…

    Let alone the fact that hockeystick shaped bristlecones proxies do not agree with local temperatures.

  55. #56 William Connolley
    April 11, 2006

    Gosh, it *is* amazing how the septics steer every discussion to the hockeystick. Not long ago, all were being steering to the satellite “cooling” until that disappeared and turned into warming once we had a few more years and RSS corrected S+C’s algorithm. Notice how none of these so-called “audit” folk have the least interest in auditing S+C’s processes, now why might that be?

    Anyway, W+A is now available: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimChange2006.html “demonstrate that the Mann et al. reconstruction is robust against the proxy-based criticisms addressed. In particular, reconstructed hemispheric temperatures are demonstrated to be largely unaffected by the use or non-use of PCs to summarize proxy evidence from the data-rich North American region. When proxy PCs are employed, neither the time period used to “center” the data before PC calculation nor the way the PC calculations are performed significantly affects the results, as long as the full extent of the climate information actually in the proxy data is represented by the PC time series” and so on.

  56. #57 brokenlibrarian
    April 11, 2006

    I seem to have walked into one of Hans Erren’s favorite talking points (yay Google), and given that others have already made all of the arguments I could make and they haven’t done any good, I will not attempt to repeat them. Luckily, MBH98 isn’t actually terribly important.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that MBH98 is somehow methodologically flawed and therefore not useful to cite. Do you or M&M have anything to say about all of the other various papers which replicate the “hockey stick” using different methodologies?

    I can give you a list.

  57. #58 Louis Hissink
    April 11, 2006

    Tim,

    Your reference to the Jones et al “temperature” graph is a furphy.

    As a “Temperature Anomaly” representation, it merely graphs departures from a predetermined mean, and enhances the effect by referencing them from zero.

    Que?

  58. #59 brokenlibrarian
    April 11, 2006

    “As a “Temperature Anomaly” representation, it merely graphs departures from a predetermined mean, and enhances the effect by referencing them from zero.”

    You could completely remove the mean line and Tim’s point would still stand: “temperatures have not been static for the past eight years, but have continued to increase steadily.”

  59. #60 Chris O'Neill
    April 11, 2006

    “you get a downward trend if you cherry-pick 1998 as a starting point.”

    Wrong. A regression starting from 1998 and going to 2005 gives a small upward trend.

    “Which is Carter’s point.”

    Carter’s claim that there was a slight decrease is simply based on two years, 1998 and 2005. Out of 150 years that he could have chosen from the instrument record for the first year in his argument he just happened to choose the only one that may be warmer than the last year. What is the chance he made the right choice? One in 150 (if he’s lucky I’d say).

    Alternatively, maybe Carter’s title is correct, i.e. global warming stopped in 1998. Gee we’re so lucky. We can forget about it now.

  60. #61 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    brokenlibrarian:

    RE your ‘redirection’ point, you also get a clue as to what poor hapless Hans wishes for when he wrote: forever famous as an example how cherrypicking data lead global decision making astray.

    Just fear leaking out and projecting…

    Best,

    D

  61. #62 Robert
    April 11, 2006

    Louis Hissink wrote:

    As a “Temperature Anomaly” representation, it merely graphs departures from a predetermined mean, and enhances the effect by referencing them from zero

    Aha. So you’re saying this is a better representation? Well, that would explain things.

  62. #63 Stephen Berg
    April 11, 2006

    To Nanny, Anonymous, and others who are complaining about the CRU and the “hockey stick” data:

    The 1850-2003 record in the CRU data is completely logical, since this is the whole of the reliable instrumental record. Bob Carter’s cherry-picking of the 1998-2003 is absolutely unscholarly and throws his whole argument into disrepute.

    Also, the criticism of the “hockey stick” is completely off-base. McIntyre and McKitrick argue against it and have come up with a different graph. However, you must ask yourselves, why it isn’t published anywhere but the non-peer-reviewed journal “Energy and Environment”. Is it because it is flawed beyond recognition?

    You must also ask yourselves how the MBH studies have successfully passed the peer-review test. Is it because it is statistically accurate and correct beyond any reasonable doubt? As far as anyone knows, YES!

    Quit acting like a little kid who can’t get their way!

  63. #64 Chris O'Neill
    April 11, 2006

    “MBH will be forever famous as an example how cherrypicking data lead global decision making astray.”

    Sure, and there’s hasn’t been another El Nino year like 1998 in the last 1000 years.

    “BTW McIntyre is continuing to show that even the hockey stick shaped treering proxies themselves cannot be replicated when the sites are revisited…”

    Yes just like he showed results from using Principle Components Analysis are sensitive to choice of centring.

    “Let alone the fact that hockeystick shaped bristlecones proxies do not agree with local temperatures.”

    No-one ever said they were just thermometers. In spite of being sensitive to other conditions as well as temperature, reconstructions using bristlecones proxies give a very good result when compared with reconstructions not using bristlecones proxies that go back to 1450, as Wahl and Ammann show in their paper. I made this point and others in the “Which global warming skeptic are you” thread but apparently that was ignored. I think Hans and other skeptics should spend less time writing ill-informed comments on blogs and more time reading professional scientific soure material like Wahl and Ammann’s papers.

  64. #65 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    In honor (honour) of reading all the pathetic rube comments in this thread, I have introduced the following:

    _______________

    Willful Misleader Index (WMI)

    Scale: 1-10

    1 = Ideologue who selectively reads work with words that appeal to narrow worldview; dimwit or semi-intelligent.

    5 = Innocent, new to issue, seeking information.

    10 = Shill, paid mendacicizer, employee of PR/fossil energy firm.

    _______________

    Best,

    D

  65. #66 Brian S.
    April 11, 2006

    By the way, Carter refuses to bet over his statement that temperature changes are random. I offered 2:1 odds that temperatures will increase in 10 years, and he won’t take the bet. More info here:

    http://backseatdriving.blogspot.com/2006/04/bob-carter-wont-bet-over-global.html

  66. #67 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    Steven Berg:

    If I may, I respectfully disagree with your ‘you must ask yourselves’ argumentation.

    They must NOT ask themselves, as that would disagree with their already-chosen worldview and their self-identity, chosen as a component of that worldview.

    Rationalism isn’t an effective strategery against such a wall, sir.

    Best,

    D

  67. #68 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 11, 2006

    William,

    “Notice how none of these so-called “audit” folk have the least interest in auditing S+C’s processes, now why might that be?”

    Perhaps it is because the S+C chart was not highlighted about 5 different times in the IPCC TAR which was used as a justification for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and continues to be used by fearmongering politicians to destroy free-society economies and impoverish people all over the world?

    “Anyway, W+A is now available:”

    And this “replication” shows dismal r2 values in table 1S. How does provide us with any more confidence in Mann’s claims about anomalous warmth in the 20th century?

  68. #69 Stephen Berg
    April 11, 2006

    Re: “How does provide us with any more confidence in Mann’s claims about anomalous warmth in the 20th century?”

    Nanny, if you do not have “confidence in Mann’s claims” that the 20th century is anomalously warm, then I don’t know how anything could convince you. All the data is there and available.

    You can check out the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html and see for yourself. Essentially every study in the database shows what the “hockey stick” study shows.

    As for this comment:

    “Perhaps it is because the S+C chart was not highlighted about 5 different times in the IPCC TAR which was used as a justification for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and continues to be used by fearmongering politicians to destroy free-society economies and impoverish people all over the world?”

    Completely wrong.

  69. #70 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 11, 2006

    “All the data is there and available.”

    And now the r2 values are there and available, but will you bother to look at them? See Table 1S in W&A.

  70. #71 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    .
    nanny (apparent WMI = 1.78)**:

    aside from the fact that the ants here wish to quibble about an old first paper to make a picnic out of a crumb,

    MBH98 had a figger that showed where the r^2s were very low and not worth mentioning. Your dupedness about their not publishing the value is noted.

    Any non-layperson reading the paper would have phoned M, B, or H and asked for the data & likely got it.

    It’s not that hard, really.

    Best,

    D

    **Willful Misleader Index (WMI)

    Scale: 1-10

    1 = Ideologue who purposely selectively reads work that contains words that appeal to narrow worldview.

    2.5 = Rube/dupe.

    5 = Innocent, new to issue, seeking information.

    7.5 = Wordsmith, ex-journo., spreading the gospel, not paid.

    10 = Shill, paid mendacicizer, employee of PR/fossil energy firm.

  71. #72 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 11, 2006

    “quibble about an old first paper ”

    We’re talking about http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimChange2006.html from Feb 28, 2006. Not old at all. Are W&A “quibbling”? They seem to think it was important enough to attempt to replicate.

    “MBH98 had a figger that showed where the r^2s were very low and not worth mentioning.”

    We’ve been through this before Dano, and I’ve seen you go through it before with others as well. You’re talking about a different step entirely. Where is the table analgous to W&A’s Table 1S in MBH98/99? Please share.

  72. #73 Stephen Berg
    April 11, 2006

    Nanny, your citing of the W&A paper does not do much to support your points. The paper’s conclusions, which are graphed on pp. 70-74 here

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimaticChange_inPress.pdf

    throw out most of McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticism of MBH. Also, Figure 5a shows that the W&A results are almost identical to those of MBH98.

    As well, on every W&A graph, a similar scenario plays itself out. Over the last 100-150 years, an alarming temperature increase (and rate of increase) occurs. What has happened in the last 150 years? Industrialisation!

    NOBODY CAN DENY THIS IS HAPPENING WITHOUT LYING!

  73. #74 nanny_govt_sucks
    April 11, 2006

    Stephen, one of the primary criticisms by M&M of MBH98/99 is the failing r2 values. How did those stack up in W&A? Have you bothered to look at Table 1S yet?

  74. #75 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    What has happened in the last 150 years? fertilisation!
    All nutrition poor bogs are flourishing.

  75. #76 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    and when dano runs out of arguments he reverts to adhomming

    tsss

  76. #77 brokenlibrarian
    April 11, 2006

    ngs: “Stephen, one of the primary criticisms by M&M of MBH98/99 is the failing r2 values. How did those stack up in W&A? Have you bothered to look at Table 1S yet?”

    Have you actually read Appendix 1 yet?

    Hans Erren: “What has happened in the last 150 years? fertilisation! All nutrition poor bogs are flourishing.”

    Is this a serious argument? I honestly cannot tell anymore.

  77. #78 Hans Erren
    April 11, 2006

    “Luckily, MBH98 isn’t actually terribly important.”

    not so important to publish about it in 2006 in peer reviewed journals, and to spend in 2006 a two day workshop on it at NAS, (on which realclimate is extremely silent).

  78. #79 brokenlibrarian
    April 11, 2006

    Hans: “not so important to publish about it in 2006 in peer reviewed journals, and to spend in 2006 a two day workshop on it at NAS, (on which realclimate is extremely silent).”

    I repeat.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that MBH98 is somehow methodologically flawed and therefore not useful to cite. Do you or M&M have anything to say about all of the other various papers which replicate the “hockey stick” using different methodologies?

    Seriously, I’m giving you MBH98. You now get to move on and tell me what’s wrong with the other papers. I can give you a list.

  79. #80 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    I’m really against letting the dissemblers and obfuscators return the dialogue to a first paper. When are we going to stop this? This is my last post on an old first paper on this thread. It should be yours too, as it distracts away from the fact that the dead-enders have nothing left.

    ______________

    Han fetishizes:

    not so important to publish about it in 2006 in peer reviewed journals, and to spend in 2006 a two day workshop on it at NAS, (on which realclimate is extremely silent)

    I’ll try monosyllables:

    First paper (oops. Failed already).

    It is clear the first paper missed the variability. All the subsequent papers, as bl says, get it. They all say the recent temps are unprecedented.

    There. Tell the melting permafrost that the 380 ppmv atm CO2 is natural.

    Best,

    D

  80. #81 Dano
    April 11, 2006

    Han (apparent WMI = 7.205)** tried:

    and when dano runs out of arguments he reverts to adhomming

    There is no evidence on this thread that I reverted to ad hom absent an argument. I appreciate you having to try, tho…

    Feeling perky because they needed warm bodies to sign a letter, are we?

    Best,

    D

    **Willful Misleader Index (WMI)

    Scale: 1-10

    1 = Ideologue who purposely selectively reads work that contains words that appeal to narrow worldview.

    2.5 = Rube/dupe.

    5 = Innocent, new to issue, seeking information.

    7.5 = Wordsmith, ex-journo., spreading the gospel, not paid.

    10 = Shill, paid mendacicizer, employee of PR/fossil energy firm.

  81. #82 Stephen Berg
    April 11, 2006

    Re: “Stephen, one of the primary criticisms by M&M of MBH98/99 is the failing r2 values. How did those stack up in W&A? Have you bothered to look at Table 1S yet?”

    I have. However, the only failing “experiments” identified in W&A were M&M curves. Therefore, M&M are not able to criticise if their own work is fatally flawed.

  82. #83 James
    April 11, 2006

    Oh come off it Stephen. M&M didn’t propose alternative reconstructions. M&M’s “curves” are used to demonstrate the sensitivity of the MBH reconstruction to methodology and selection of proxies. They don’t claim any “skill” for these curves, just as there is no skill in the MBH reconstruction for the 15th century step.

    This is the central misrepresentation of the W&A paper, and it doesn’t withstand even the slightest scrutiny.

  83. #84 Stephen McIntyre
    April 12, 2006

    One more time, we have never proposed an alternative reconstruction. The so-called M&M reconstruction is MBH with the reduced weights from centered PC methodology; MBH without bristlecones is similar. W&A asserted in effect that the MBH98 reconstruction without bristlecones lacks statistical or climatological merit. We agree.

    However, this simply calls into question the validity of all the other proxies or the multivariate method or both. If the reconstruction using all the other proxies is no good, there must be something wrong with them.

    While we strongly agree with Wahl and Ammann on the lack of merit of MBH with reduced bristlecone weights, we do not agree that MBH98 with increased bristlecone weights has statistical merit. This is evidenced by the failed verification r2 statistic. The failure has been confirmed by Wahl and Ammann, who show that many other MBH steps fail statistical cross-verification besides the 15th century step discussed in our GRL article.

    Wahl and Ammann do not report verification r2 statistics for their various attenmpts to salvage MBH, but I predict that every one of their salvage efforts will fail a verification r2 test as well.

    I met with Ammann in December in San Francisco and explained to him very clearly that we categorically did not purport to make any alternative reconstruction and had said so very clearly and that the so-called “M&M” reconstruction is MBH with reduced bristlecone weight. Ammann had been informed of this previously by me in my capacity as a reviewer.

    In the face of this, Ammann continued to misrepresent our position. This is incomprehensible to me as, in my opinion, an honorable person would have removed the misrepresentations. However, Ammann told me in San Francisco that these papers were important for his “career advancement”.

    BTW the Ammann and Wahl GRL submission was rejected. This included their attempt to provide an RE benchmark in an MBH98 context. As a result, all of their supposed significance testing in Climatic Change is premised on benchmark from a rejected paper. In other walks of life, this rejection would require a major re-write of the Climatic Change paper, but not apparently in climate science, where academic cheque kiting is tolerated.

  84. #85 Tim Lambert
    April 12, 2006

    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

    Steve M, you don’t get to redefine what the word “reconstruction” means.

    Oh, and if I acted like you, I would have deleted your comment because it is off topic.

  85. #86 James
    April 12, 2006

    Is that the best you can do, Tim?

  86. #87 brokenlibrarian
    April 12, 2006

    McIntyre:

    However, Ammann told me in San Francisco that these papers were important for his “career advancement”.

    I was under the apparently mistaken impression that this argument was about the quality and accuracy of published papers and not heresay about people’s motives for publication.

    McIntyre:

    BTW the Ammann and Wahl GRL submission was rejected. This included their attempt to provide an RE benchmark in an MBH98 context. As a result, all of their supposed significance testing in Climatic Change is premised on benchmark from a rejected paper. In other walks of life, this rejection would require a major re-write of the Climatic Change paper, but not apparently in climate science, where academic cheque kiting is tolerated.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but what parts of the W&A “Climate Change” paper are dependent on the unpublished GRL paper?

  87. #88 Stephen McIntyre
    April 12, 2006

    RE statistics do not have a distribution. In their GRL submission, they attempted to overthrow our criticism of RE benchmarks in an MBH context and relied on the rejected results to establish significance. For example, W&A (CCC) say:

    In MM05a/b, the authors also examine two issues concerning validation statistics and their application by MBH. The first issue concerns which statistics should be applied as validation measures; the second issue concerns estimating appropriate threshold values for significance for the reduction of error (RE) statistic, which is commonly used as a validation measure in paleoclimatology (Fritts, 1976; Cook et al., 1994). …We consider the issue of appropriate thresholds for the RE statistic in Appendix 2, based on analysis and results reported elsewhere (Ammann, C.M. and E.R. Wahl, ‘Comment on “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance” by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick’, in review with Geophysical Research Letters). p. 10

    See http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=592 for a more detailed discussion. My criticism of W&A pertains to not simply to their misrepresentation of our position, but their misrepresentation given that they knew the misrepresentations to be false. I find this behavior to be reprehensible. As to whether or not they are misrepresentations, James Lane, who has followed these issues for some time, recognized the misrepresentations right away. realclimate has acknwoledged that we do not purport to make “alternate” climate reconstructions. New Scientist said this in an article recently.

    If this is understood by realclimate and New Scientist, what does it say about the peer review process at Climatic Change – either it is incapable or unwilling to deal with the misrepresentations – which have not been made inadvertently, but have been made either recklessly or maliciously in the face of explicit notice that the misrepresentations were false.

    As to whether motive “matters” – in most walks of life, there is a difference between a misrepresentation being inadvertent or being reckless or being malicious. Obviously, motive is irrelevant to whether or not something is a misrepresentation, but it is relevant under most codes of conduct.

  88. #89 C Sparre
    April 12, 2006

    Here’s a bit of controversy to throw into the mix. I read on sourcewatch that Bob Carter has been selected as a Judge for the Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism, appointed by Ian Campbell, our Federal Environment Minister. I’m wondering if entrants taking a dim view of greenhouse gas emissions should save their postage.

    See: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bob_Carter

  89. #90 Tim Lambert
    April 12, 2006

    Steve M, your complaints about misrepresentations would have a tad more credibility if you ever corrected your own misrepresentations.

  90. #91 Stephen Berg
    April 12, 2006

    Re: “Here’s a bit of controversy to throw into the mix. I read on sourcewatch that Bob Carter has been selected as a Judge for the Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism, appointed by Ian Campbell, our Federal Environment Minister.”

    Sounds as ridiculous as having fossil fuel company executives helping a government construct energy policy. (Gee. Does that sound familiar to anyone?)

  91. #92 Jack
    April 13, 2006

    Chris O’Neill said:

    Sure, and there’s hasn’t been another El Nino year like 1998 in the last 1000 years.

    How soon they forget! (I’m not sure if the comment was meant in jest or not). The 1982-1983 El Nino was as big, if not bigger than, the 1997-1998 event. And sho’ ‘nuf, if you look at the CRU plot, just after it turns red there’s a big spike corresponding to the 82-83 event, and a few cool years thereafter (possibly caused by the coincident El Chichon eruption, which probably delayed the onset of temperature effects from that El Nino and definitely capped the full warming response from it).

    So a similar “interruption of the warming trend” happened in the years subsequent to 82-83.

    Same for the effect of the Pinatubo eruption, which is a decrease in the anomalies from 1992 through 1994.

    There is a way to stop this whole global warming thing in its tracks; just figure out a way to trigger some minor flood basalt action somewhere that very few people are living. Maybe drop a bomb down the throat of Erta Ale and make a little crack in the Earth??? (Surely you can’t be serious! Of course I’m not serious — and don’t call me Shirley.)

  92. #93 Hans Erren
    April 13, 2006

    Jack,

    Flood basalts emit co2, they are hot and low in explosives, therefore they don’t emit that many aerosols and they don’t cool the atmosphere.

    You want Yellowstone to explode.

  93. #94 Chris O'Neill
    April 13, 2006

    Steve McIntyre writes: “One more time, we have never proposed an alternative reconstruction.”

    This is the same Steve McIntyre who in 2003 had a paper published called: “Corrections to the Mann et al (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series”.

    I don’t know how something can be a correction to a reconstruction unless it is actually also a reconstruction.

    Steve McIntyre also writes: ” The so-called M&M reconstruction is MBH with the reduced weights from centered PC methodology”.

    Actually it’s a botched variation on MBH that was intended to show that the MBH reconstruction is sensitive to choice of centering but produced a different result because of a botched variation on MBH.

    Steve McIntyre also writes: “W&A asserted in effect that the MBH98 reconstruction without bristlecones lacks statistical or climatological merit.”

    With more context the above should be ” W&A asserted in effect that the MBH98 reconstruction before 1450 without bristlecones lacks statistical or climatological merit.”

    When reading anything McIntyre says about verification statistics, bear in mind that, in addition to the above, in their rejected comment to Nature, McIntyre and McKitrick incorrectly calculated all of their verification statistics.

  94. #95 Stephen Berg
    April 14, 2006

    Re: “Chris O’Neill said:

    Sure, and there’s hasn’t been another El Nino year like 1998 in the last 1000 years.

    How soon they forget! (I’m not sure if the comment was meant in jest or not). The 1982-1983 El Nino was as big, if not bigger than, the 1997-1998 event. And sho’ ‘nuf, if you look at the CRU plot, just after it turns red there’s a big spike corresponding to the 82-83 event, and a few cool years thereafter (possibly caused by the coincident El Chichon eruption, which probably delayed the onset of temperature effects from that El Nino and definitely capped the full warming response from it).

    So a similar “interruption of the warming trend” happened in the years subsequent to 82-83.”

    Jack, you’re correct. As well, the El Nino I am studying for my honours thesis, that of 1877-78, was likely stronger than the 1982-83 and the 1997-98 episodes.

  95. #96 Stephen Berg
    April 14, 2006

    [Edited]

    “As well, the El Nino I am studying for my honours thesis, that of 1877-78, was likely stronger than the 1982-83 and the 1997-98 episodes.”

    Should read:

    As well, the El Nino I am studying for my honours thesis, that of 1877-78, was likely stronger than the 1982-83 and the 1997-98 episodes, at least in terms of anomalies.

  96. #97 Stephen McIntyre
    April 17, 2006

    The verification statistics in the 15th century step reported in MM05 (GRL) are virtually identical to the statistics reported in Table 1S of Wahl and Ammann. The verification r2 statistics are identical (MM 0.02; WA 0.02); the CE statistics almost identical (MM -0.26; WA -0.24) and the RE statistics almost identical (MM 0.46; WA 0.47). Wahl and Ammann do not claim that our calculations were incorrect, since their results were almost identical. No Nature referee ever suggested that our calculations were invalid; that’s just hyperventilation by Mann.

    It’s not just the verification statistics. I pointed out last May at climateaudit that the our calculations reconcile almost exactly to Wahl and Ammann calculations using apples and apples, and that the emulation codes reconcile almost exactly – a point which Wahl and Ammann unscrupulously fail to note.

    You say that our calculations are a “botched” variation on MBH. That’s nonsense. Even WA agree that high 15th century results are “computable using the MBH algorithm” and grudgingly admitted in their revision that “A similar, but less elaborated, examination of differing scenarios for possible reconstructions using the MBH method is provided in MM05b”. Wahl and Ammann nowhere assert that our emulation was “botched”. They can hardly make that claim since our methods reconcile so exactly. B├╝rger and Cubasch 2005 cited our studies approvingly and generalized our observations about MBH non-robustness to demonstrate non-robustness to many other issues.

    You stated: “With more context the above should be ” W&A asserted in effect that the MBH98 reconstruction before 1450 without bristlecones lacks statistical or climatological merit.”" OK, let’s build on that. That in itself is enough to refute any ability to make claims about the 20th century in a millennial context using MBH98 proxies and methods – which is what we stated in the first place. Second, the issues affecting the early 15th century step also affect the step from 1000-1399, so there’s an important shoe to fall. Third (and this is a less important point), I’m not convinced that their claims about the 1450 step are correct, but I haven’t reconciled their 1450 step calculations yet.

    We’ve made it clear on many occasions that we did not present an alternative reconstruction of climate history. This is acknowledged by even New Scientist and realclimate. In MM03 stated:

    “Without endorsing the MBH98 methodology or choice of source data, we were able to apply the MBH98 methodology to a database with improved quality control and found that their own method, carefully applied to their own intended source data, yielded a Northern Hemisphere temperature index in which the late 20th century is unexceptional compared to the preceding centuries, displaying neither unusually high mean values nor variability. More generally, the extent of errors and defects in the MBH98 data means that the indexes computed from it are unreliable and cannot be used for comparisons between the current climate and that of past centuries, including claims like “temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century were unprecedented,” and “even the warmer intervals in the reconstruction pale in comparison with mid-to-late 20th-century temperatures” (see press release accompanying Mann et al 1999)”

    When some misunderstands arose at the time, we issued an FAQ stating explicitly:

    “Your graph seems to show that the 15th Century was warmer than today’s climate: is this what you are claiming?

    No. We’re saying that Mann et al., based on their methodology and corrected data, cannot claim that the 20th century is warmer than the 15th century – the nuance is a little different. To make a positive claim that the 15th century was warmer than the late 20th century would require an endorsement of both the methodology and the common interpretation of the results which we are neither qualified nor inclined to offer. http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trcqa.html

    Mann et al represented that their reconstruction had statistical skill (including r and verification r2) and that it was robust to the presence/absence of “all” dendroclimatic indicators. Both claims are false.

  97. #98 brokenlibrarian
    April 17, 2006

    I just realized why something seemed so familiar here.

    Why all this activity directed at MBH98? It’s coming up on ten years old, and there’s been a huge amount of activity since then which confirms and extends the original hypothesis. MBH98 is not the sole source of the “hockey stick” and it hasn’t been for quite some time. So why does it get all the attention?

    I think it’s the same reason that the Creationists like to attack Darwin’s Origin. There’s a perception that these scientific fields are somehow built on top of a critical piece of “canon”, as it were. That somehow, if this foundation document is found to have flaws, then the entire edifice will come crumbling down.

    The flaw in this “reasoning”, of course, is that (to continue the metaphor) further scientific research adds to the foundations of the hypothesis. The edifice becomes stronger at the bottom, not more unbalanced at the top. One can point out exactly how much crap Darwin got completely wrong and it doesn’t affect modern biology much at all; MBH98 could be full of methodological flaws and it matters not a whit unless one can find the same flaws in all of the other research which has come to identical conclusions. Even if there’s something horribly wrong with MBH98, obviously it ended up with the correct results because those results have been independently confirmed. I expect this sort of thing has happened before.

    I’m not trying to attribute this stance to McIntyre, by the way. It’s mostly found in the folks who point to MM03 and yell that “global warming is bunk”, as if somehow MBH98 is it. It would be nice if McIntyre was somewhat more specific about whether he believes that his criticism of MBH98 casts doubt on the whole of modern climate science; a simple “no” would be nice.

  98. #99 Dano
    April 17, 2006

    bl:

    Welcome, bl! Glad to have you in the rationalist camp.

    Remember: Everything Must Be Redirected To The Totem. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated [if you are a rube].

    Anyway, if you want an interesting exercise, tell the totem fetishizers that their totem doesn’t matter, that the science has moved on to greater understanding.

    The webmaster of the totem fetishizer site even uses scare quotes these days around “science has moved on” when bamboozling the audience.

    Best,

    D

  99. #100 Hans Erren
    April 18, 2006

    bl:
    “I’m not trying to attribute this stance to McIntyre, by the way.”

    sure, why mention it then?

    If you read CA carefully – and I know you do, being a librarian – you’ll find out that MBH was the first paper to analyse, and it took seven years to get all detail on the table. Other multiproxy studies use the same data (as there aren’t that many proxies available, and the mantra is: where is the underlying data, and how was it selected. Grey datasets, subjective selection, and even when sites are revisited unreproduceble source data.

    Just makes one think.