Seems that there’s some excitement about a new paper A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000 Years Reliable? to be published in Annals of Applied Statistics. Their reconstruction appears to be closest match to a hockey stick shape yet seen:

i-1d91f371ed0bb1448203df8697493ae7-mcshanewynerhockey.png

Also:

Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years.

Discuss.

Update: Deep Climate on M&W is worth a read.

[Update 2: Eduardo Zorita.

Comments

  1. #1 jakerman
    August 17, 2010

    >*There have been runaway glaciations though. If there’s a tipping point its a tipping point to a snowball earth*

    And without GHG feedbacks show us the math of how the earth got out of that one.

    Now add higher solar insolation from a maturing Sun, then add a large part of 300 millions years worth of fossilised carbon. That will give things a kick along.

    8 degrees C you say. That would be catastrophe. You are a moron Dave. You’ve done more than jump the shark.

  2. #2 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    If the worst happens in either cooling or warming we get permafrost in Kansas or orange groves in Montreal respectively. Which should we prefer?

  3. #3 mb
    August 17, 2010

    Was this digression with DaveScot ever related to the subject at hand?

  4. #4 jakerman
    August 17, 2010

    >If the worst happens in either cooling or warming we get permafrost in Kansas or orange groves in Montreal respectively. Which should we prefer?*

    Or mass death is Asia, South America, African, and Mass migration in flight.

    Or we could put a price on carbon to bring forward innovation, and efficiency to model a new economy that is sensitive to environmental feedback.

    Which would you prefer?

  5. #5 Dave R
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Springer
    >There is no such thing as a runaway greenhouse caused by CO2, or methane, or anything else in the history of the earth.

    And as you’ve already been told, there’s no such thing as a climate scientist making any such claim.

    So why are you continuing with the same straw man. Are you extremely stupid, or just extremely dishonest?

  6. #6 Warmcast
    August 17, 2010

    It’s interesting that this paper has focused peoples minds on science rather than politics!

    I’m intrigued by this notion that ‘random’ data can produce similar results to the ‘hockey stick’.

    But what random data?

    I assume any random data used would have an ‘amplitude’ limit?

    Many people are mislead about what ‘random data’ really means, more often than not rules are applied to control random data so that it conforms to the limits expected of real world data.

    But then the reality is that it isn’t really so random, you are bound to get similar results to a real world situation.
    So it shouldn’t be surprising that similar results are achieved, in fact the random data would confirm there is a ‘signal’ or trend over a long period. I guess it depends on the nature of the random data and the context of the environment.

  7. #7 Marco
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Springer notes (#74):

    “privately of course because there can be no public questioning of the dogma”.

    Gee:
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf

    Trenbert PUBLISHED his concerns. So, it was all really private…

    It’s like all those “hide the decline” screams (“never published!” “the populace was not informed!”), regardless of people pointing out papers in the scientific literature in the late 1990s discussing the divergence problem, and the AR4 extensively discussing that, too.

  8. #8 Dan
    August 17, 2010

    @sod: Sorry, only just noticed your comment. Thanks, between your comment and this comment at Policy Lass, I think I figured out the gist of the complaint. The impression I’ve got is that for a lot of the proxies, there’s actually additional prior data that you can use to constrain your parameter estimates. One of the main complaints with McShane and Wyner’s analysis seems to be that they don’t use this extra data. I can see why that could be an issue: with so many proxies relative to years of instrumental data (i.e., the p>>n problem) estimating your regression weights from only part of the available data doesn’t seem ideal. I suppose the natural way to extend the Bayesian analysis M&W would be to have specific priors for each proxy, each of which could be estimated from the available auxiliary data regarding that proxy. Actually, that might make an interesting analysis, come to think of it. In any case, ta.

    @John Mashey: Yes, I’m looking forward to reading the discussion by the serious quant geeks. Not sure I understand why people are so down on their section 3.6 and section 4 yet, since as far as I can tell the paper does have analyses that fit local temperature data, and they seem to be selecting the number of principal components in both Z and X on the basis of optimising holdout RMSE, which seems quite sensible. But that’s very much a view from a non-expert, so I’ll be happy to sit and listen now that I understand the terms of the argument. And of course, I very strongly agree with your basic point of not overinterpreting findings from a single reanalysis by statisticians.

    @cohenite: Cute. I can imagine that if there were only 12 proxies, and you didn’t take care in how you estimated the model, YAD061 could be a real problem. But there are 90 proxies going back to 1000, and if I understand correctly, the usual approach is to apply PCA. If YAD061 doesn’t correlate strongly with the other proxies, it’s not likely to be weighted strongly in the top few components. I’d actually imagine that YAD061 would present a bigger issue for a regression model applied to the raw proxies, since it might get assigned a high regression weight all by itself, whereas PCA is more likely to dump YAD061 into the lower components. But to be honest that’s pure speculation on my part… having not run the analyses myself, I think I’ll shut up on this topic.

    @Dave Springer: Okay, one last go. First, of course it’s the case that if it really does turn out that we’re not headed for a catastrophe, I’ll be relieved and embarrassed to have been wrong. But like most people, I can worry about more than one thing. It’s true. I have that capacity. I can also worry about having written incorrect things, or having recommended the wrong things, and so on. In fact, when you think about it, the old advice about “changing what you” can be made to cut the other way too: the basic physical laws regarding climate systems can’t be changed. They are what they are. The only thing we can change (and by the logic of the old prayer, the things we should worry about) is what we believe about those laws and what we do on the basis of those beliefs. If so, worrying that you might have been wrong is sensible. But this is all besides the point. Maybe it would be more productive to acknowledge that it’s okay for people to worry about many different things for many different reasons, all without it saying anything whatsoever about whether they harbour a secret desire for the apocalypse.

  9. #9 TrueSceptic
    August 17, 2010

    62, 69 Dave Springer,

    “each doubling of atmospheric CO2 causes a 1.1C increase in surface temperatures absent feedbacks.”

    “CO2 level has been up to 20 times higher in the past yet temperatures were never more than 7-8 degrees higher.”

    Let’s follow this step by step.

    +1.1 °C for x2 CO2

    +2.2 °C for x4 CO2

    +3.3 °C for x8 C02

    +4.4 °C for x16 CO2

    +5.5 °C for x32 CO2

    Doesn’t work, does it? In fact, we get

    +4.75 °C for x20 CO2

    To get

    +8 °C for x20 CO2 we need

    +1.85 °C for x2 CO2

    Mind you, this is all off-topic! The topic is the latest Hockey Stick.

    But when has any AGW “Sceptic” ever paid any attention to the topic?

  10. #10 JamesA
    August 17, 2010

    > I guess it depends on the nature of the random data and the context of the environment.

    One key mistake that the denialists routinely make – along with many statisticians who should really know better – is that if a statistical treatment comes up with a null result when trying to identify causes of a trend, it does not necessarily mean that there is no cause or that the cause is completely unpredictable. All it means is that the statistical model does not adequately describe the situation, which could just as easily be the fault of the model as much as the lack of a relationship. In the case of analysing climate trends, the inadequacy is usually from not including enough knowledge of the science. Whether that is the fault of the climate scientists or the statisticians is up for debate.

  11. #11 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    100

    We’re still not at equilibrium. Your figures include only those feedbacks which operate on short timescales.

    Posted by: MartinM | August 17, 2010 7:01 AM

    Exactly. Presumably the CO2 concentration of the global ocean had reached equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 level of 280ppm because before we came along atmospheric CO2 had been stable for thousands of years. Because the ocean holds vastly more CO2 than the atmosphere,mostly at great depth, it sets the equilibrium point over the long haul (the tail doesn’t wag the dog). So unless we keep pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at an exponentially increasing rate the ocean is going to drive it right back to the prior equilibrium point of 280ppm.

    Oh wait. That wasn’t the equilibrium you had in mind was it? I bet you thought atmosphere/ocean equilibrium was a single edged sword that cuts only one way.

  12. #12 JamesA
    August 17, 2010

    DS’s rant may be OT, but I think it illustrates my point about maths without science very well. c.f.:

    >The only exacting numbers we have are very recent and must embody two complete multidecadal SST oscillations so we measure from trough to peak to eliminate the cyclic component.
    >25ppm increase 1880-1940 caused 0.4C rise
    >50ppm increase 1940-2000 caused 0.4C rise
    >Projecting forward:
    >100ppm increase 2000-2060 causes 0.4c rise
    >100ppm increase 2060-2090 causes 0.2C rise
    >That brings us to an approximate doubling (280ppm to 555ppm) for a grand total of 1.4C rise per doubling.

    This shows a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to making the distinction between equilibrium and transient climate forcing, along with the fallacious notion that CO2 is considered to be the only long-term athropogenic climate forcing agent (it just happens to be the biggest). As a result, he gets the wrong answer. If he’d actually bothered to read the section of the IPCC report I’d pointed him to, he’d know this.

  13. #13 MartinM
    August 17, 2010

    So unless we keep pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at an exponentially increasing rate the ocean is going to drive it right back to the prior equilibrium point of 280ppm.

    Sure, if you don’t mind waiting a few thousand years.

  14. #14 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    How about some economic reality in this conversation.

    Exponentially increasing fossil fuel consumption is what drives exponentially increasing global gross domestic product. It’s the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Before we throw that goose under the bus because it’s shitting up the place we had damn well better have a another goose that doesn’t shit so much ready to start laying those eggs.

    We don’t have that replacement goose. Not by a long shot. If we kill the extant goose prematurely and hobble global economic growth then we no longer have the excess capital we need to fund our quest for our cleaner goose.

    The CAGW crowd is putting the cart before the horse. Get the alternative up and running first then, and only then, trash the old one. Any other course of action is irrational.

  15. #15 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    07

    Dave Springer notes (#74):

    “privately of course because there can be no public questioning of the dogma”.

    Gee: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf

    Trenbert PUBLISHED his concerns. So, it was all really private…

    It’s like all those “hide the decline” screams (“never published!” “the populace was not informed!”), regardless of people pointing out papers in the scientific literature in the late 1990s discussing the divergence problem, and the AR4 extensively discussing that, too.

    Posted by: Marco | August 17, 2010 7:24 AM

    Trenberth published his concerns 60 days before they were published without his consent. One might reasonably wonder if he saw the writing on the wall and decided to be proactive about it. Meanwhile the rest of the Hockey Team was still trying to figure out how avoid FOIA requests and blackball peer-reviewed journals that dared to publish anything that might cast doubt on the dogma. Nice.

  16. #16 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    112

    So unless we keep pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at an exponentially increasing rate the ocean is going to drive it right back to the prior equilibrium point of 280ppm.

    Sure, if you don’t mind waiting a few thousand years.

    Posted by: MartinM | August 17, 2010 7:58 AM

    It only seems fair since I’m going to have to wait thousands of years for the ocean to fully equilibrate with CO2 forcing of temperature.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  17. #17 Michael
    August 17, 2010

    Satified with his crimes aainst maths, science and logic, Dave Springer moves on to routine denialist tropes.

  18. #18 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    105

    Dave Springer

    There is no such thing as a runaway greenhouse caused by CO2, or methane, or anything else in the history of the earth.

    And as you’ve already been told, there’s no such thing as a climate scientist making any such claim.

    So why are you continuing with the same straw man. Are you extremely stupid, or just extremely dishonest?

    Posted by: Dave R | August 17, 2010 7:17 AM

    I’m extremely tired of hearing about a huge feedback that somehow triples warming in coming decades yet has somehow not manifested itself in prior decades.

    Does that clear it up for you any?

  19. #19 pough
    August 17, 2010

    OMG! DaveTard, is that [you](http://www.antievolution.org/aebb-archive/aebbarchive_dave_tard_memorial_thread.html)? What happened to your pseudonym? Did Watts teach you that being onymous and ignorant carries more weight than being pseudonymous and knowledgeable?

  20. #20 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    112

    So unless we keep pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at an exponentially increasing rate the ocean is going to drive it right back to the prior equilibrium point of 280ppm.

    Sure, if you don’t mind waiting a few thousand years.

    Posted by: MartinM | August 17, 2010 7:58 AM

    Seriously, Martin, the global ocean sinks 60% of all the anthropogenic CO2 we through at it every single year. If we stopped emitting its reasonable to assume it would only be a matter of a few decades for it to sink most of the excess above pre-industrial levels. Not thousands of years, tens of years.

    Meanwhile, with the ocean at an average temperature of 4C and a thousand times the heat capacity of the atmosphere it will take next to forever for a few degree rise in surface air temperature to be reflected in global ocean temperature. As soon as the exponential CO2 increase stops the global ocean will pull the surface air temps back down so fast it’ll make your head spin.

    The ocean is what drives the atmospheric temperature and CO2 content not the other way around.

    The big picture is the sun heats the ocean, the ocean heats the air, and the cold void of empty space cools the air. The small but rapidly added anthropogenic CO2 effect (rising concentration and rising surface air temp) is transitory and will disappear very quickly once the exponential increase in anthropogenic emissions halts. We can’t keep up the exponential increase for long – there just isn’t enough fossil to dig up to keep up the pace for long. We’ve already reached peak oil for Pete’s sake. Coal reserves won’t last long if we keep using it at an exponentially increasing rate. Where is all the anthropogenic CO2 supposed to come from 50 or 100 years from now?

  21. #21 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “Seriously, Martin, the global ocean sinks 60% of all the anthropogenic CO2 we through at it every single year.”

    Indeed.

    “If we stopped emitting its reasonable to assume it would only be a matter of a few decades for it to sink most of the excess above pre-industrial levels. Not thousands of years, tens of years.”

    Fail.

    The reason why there is a net uptake is because we’re increasing the atmospheric concentration far too quickly for the oceans to reach notional equilibrium.

    If we stopped completely, the surface waters would not take more up because the atmospheric concentrations are not increasing. So the oceans would not be taking up our previous releases.

    How would it know?

    After all, if the oceans COULD have held an extra 40% of the CO2 in the atmosphere (the amount we’ve increased atmospheric concentrations), why didn’t it absorb 110ppm of the pre-industrial level?

    But don’t let facts get in the way of your beliefs, Dave.

  22. #22 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “I’m extremely tired of hearing about a huge feedback that somehow triples warming in coming decades yet has somehow not manifested itself in prior decades.”

    It did.

    But when your increase of CO2 is 0%, you get a temperature increase of 0C when you triple it, you get 0C.

    This change is not observable.

  23. #23 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    118

    OMG! DaveTard, is that you? What happened to your pseudonym? Did Watts teach you that being onymous and ignorant carries more weight than being pseudonymous and knowledgeable?

    Posted by: pough | August 17, 2010 9:03 AM

    OMG! Pugugly is that you?

    I’m sure you can understand a desire to have a modicum of anonymity when political considerations force you to show some respect for the idea that the earth is 10,000 years old. I never resorted to pseudonyms outside that realm.

    I see you still do though. I understand completely. I’d be anonymous if I were you too.

  24. #24 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “Are you extremely stupid, or just extremely dishonest?

    Posted by: Dave R ”

    How about “both”?

    I vote he’s both.

    Extremely dishonest and stupid enough to think he’ll get away with it.

  25. #25 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “Dave is here reminding you that nothing in the past, including far more CO2 than we can ever pump into the atmosphere”

    How do you know that this is far more CO2 than we can ever pump into the atmosphere?

    Does combustion stop at some point or not?

  26. #26 John Whitman
    August 17, 2010

    Posted by: Dean Morrison | August 16, 2010 8:25 PM

    I’m also puzzled about their worries about the lack of ‘predictive’ power of proxies. If we had a perfect instrumental record for the last thousand years, that wouldn’t predict anything either.

    Dean Morrison,

    Based on the following quotes from M & W 2010, I conclude that we see in their paper only the most obvious tip of the ice burg. I think there will be a deluge of critical papers from the statistics (econometrics) departments of very well-known universities and research institutes on the subject of endemic problems with the analyses in the past 20 years in climate science. Finally, we will have significantly more rigour.

    McShane and Wyner 2010 say that in order to “focus on the substantive modeling problems encountered in this setting” they make two “substantial” assumptions:

    One assumption : “We assume that the data selection, collection, and
    processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”

    Second assumption: “We further make the assumptions of linearity and stationarity
    of the relationship between temperature and proxies, an assumption
    employed throughout the climate science literature (NRC, 2006) noting
    that ”the stationarity of the relationship does not require stationarity of the
    series themselves” (NRC, 2006).”

    It does not get any better than this for intellectual stimulation.

    John

  27. #27 Jeff Harvey
    August 17, 2010

    I was just wondering myself from under which algae-covered rock Dave Springer crawled. He starts off as a concern troll and then, once that is exposed, he starts baiting and switching *ad nauseum*.

    For example, he writes this patent nonsense: *If the worst happens in either cooling or warming we get permafrost in Kansas or orange groves in Montreal respectively. Which should we prefer?*

    This is a strawman if ever there was one. It is like asking if I prefer to drown or be burned to death, and that we should prefer the latter, if DS’s logic is to be believed.

    As I said above, if the planet warms at a rate by which oranges could be grown in southeastern Canada within the time frame I believe that DS is alluding to, then we would be just speeding up the rate at which species and genetically distinct populations are being lost. Species exist within well-defined climate envelopes, outside of which they must expend more energy to survive. Certainly adaptation via migration and physiological processes is possible, but within a century? Out of the question. Problem is that intellectual lightweights like DS think that a human lifetime represents ‘deep time’ in an evolutionary sense. That eighty years is a long, long, time. For an individual human, perhaps. But for complex adaptive systems it is a nanosecond, much too short for species and communities to repsond. And bear in mind that interactions reinforce the strength and resilience of food webs and ecosystems, thus we will see nature unraveling in ways that we hardly believed were possible.

    We already have accumulating evidence of mismatching in important predator-prey-foodplant interactions as a result of recent regional warming involving both vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. Scale this up and there could be serious repercussions for the systems in which these organisms are embedded. As I said before, ecology is the study of scales, and of interactions that reinforce stability by permitting alterate pathways for the flows of nutrients, energy etc. through the system. Humans have been tinkering with these systems quite dramtically for more than a century now, and at an exponential rate with time. It constitutes a global experiment on systems whose functioning we barely understand but which sustain life in a myriad of direct and indirect ways (aka ‘ecosystem services’). It gets under my skin when people like DS and the aforementioned TC, people who lack any acumen in the relevant fields, come parading in here with simple little ideas about the benefits of warming or increasing atmospheric C02 levels, whilst not having an even basic understanding of the underlying science.

    When they are caught out, they either belittle the messenger or the message, or else ignore their critics entirely. DS made a stupid point about ecosystems in high latitudes benfitting from warming, and when this was demolished, he moves on to something else, such as the economics of fossil fuel use.

    I just wonder why DS has decided to pop up now into a Deltoid thread. I guess his absence until now should be seen as something of a blessing.

  28. #28 Paul UK
    August 17, 2010

    Springer:

    >You got it right. The gist of the paper is that the proxy record can’t pick up temperature increases as rapid as what occurred in the latter half of the 20th century.

    So what?

    I don’t think this is all that surprising and I don’t think anyone is expecting a proxy temperature record to be accurate over a short period.

  29. #29 Tim Lambert
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Springer, your comments have been consistently off topic. No more comments on this thread, please. Everybody else, please do not respond to him.

  30. #30 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    It appears obvious that no one is changing anyone else’s beliefs in this forum. I didn’t expect anyone would be moved. Arguing with you boys is like arguing with young earth creationists. You got your dogma and you’re sticking with it. It was fun but tiring hijacking the thread all night long. Ultimately the response to global warm… er “climate change” will be decided in democracies by the voters and in dictatorships by the dictators, and so forth. I’m sure by now you realize unless there’s some seriously bad climate change that adversely effects the planet in a clear and unambiguous manner real soon now the CAGW movement is dead in the water. Thanks for playing. Mabye I’ll see some of you in the voting booth in November when I do my part to throw out the loony left morons who are supporting this eco-religion called climate change.

  31. #31 Chris O'Neill
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Springer:

    The small but rapidly added anthropogenic CO2 effect (rising concentration and rising surface air temp) is transitory and will disappear very quickly once the exponential increase in anthropogenic emissions halts.

    No it won’t.

    Is there anything you’ve actually got right Dave? So far you’ve just been another Gish-galloping troll.

  32. #32 Øystein
    August 17, 2010

    You gotta love a guy like Dave Springer!

    There are too few people out there who has as little intelligence and self-knowledge. His presence in this thread is a source of amusement. Why not keep him? Surely he could be the court jester – he just lacks the hat!

  33. #33 Dave Springer
    August 17, 2010

    You read my mind, Tim. I was just collecting up me hat and coat and announcing my departure in the same minute that you asked for it. Thanks for the bandwidth. I figured you had plenty to spare after the pepsi fiasco. :-)

  34. #34 Paul UK
    August 17, 2010

    Springer:

    >I should think you’d be worried that Mann is right and the earth is warming at an unprecedented rate. This paper reveals that Mann showed no such thing and that the earth could have warmed at this rate many times in the past.

    Erm, both Mann and this as yet unpublished paper acknowledge unprecedented warming.

    From the conclusions in the unpublished paper:

    “Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the SHARP RUN UP IN TEMPERATURES recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample.”

  35. #35 MFS
    August 17, 2010

    Wow, I have an afternoon off and look at this! That is one successful attempt at derailing the conversation! :)

    Anyhow, regarding whether the paper is or is not yet peer-reviewed: The PDF linked to even from the journal page says “Submitted to…”, which suggests this is the submitted manuscript. The obvious typos and evident need of proofing supports this.

    On the other hand the fact that the PDF IS linked to from the journal webpage on their ‘Next Issues’ section seems to suggest that the journal has at least accepted it, which means it could be at any stage between the reviewers reports recommending it be published being in and nothing else, to it being at the proof stage or beyond.

  36. #36 Billy Bob Hall
    August 17, 2010

    What a pathetic joke. Where has the medieval warm period gone – again ?
    And more fostering of ‘open debate’ at #129 Tim ? You are a champion.

  37. #37 Magnus W
    August 17, 2010
  38. #38 barry
    August 17, 2010

    Sorry for the O/T, but the very obvious mistakes in a recent post at WUWT are worth mentioning.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/16/is-hansens-recent-temperature-data-consistent/

    Goddard is comparing the recent GISS 12-month running mean with the calendar-year records without distinguishing them, and telling readers that HadCRUt 2010 is looking cooler than 1998 – by showing a HadCRUt graph ending in 2009.

    The current HadCRUt graph is showing 2010 hotter than 1998.

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

    My post on it has been allowed and I expect Steve Goddard will do the right thing.

  39. #39 Jonas N
    August 17, 2010

    Tim Lambert

    Your post about McShaun and Wyner, as well as many of your commentor’s have been consistently off-topic. But I encourage you to continue posting. All of you!

    I’m sorry to see you all are so rattled by this. It is only stating the obvious. It doesn’t even shatter your belief system. Only that one artifact you held as a holy relic …

    Why not address real issues instead?

  40. #40 SteveF
    August 17, 2010

    I was just wondering myself from under which algae-covered rock Dave Springer crawled.

    He used to be a head honcho (under the name of DaveScot) at the intelligent design creationism blog Uncommon Descent. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about his ability to evaluate evidence.

  41. #41 Dave H
    August 17, 2010

    @Jonas N

    Ah, my killfile grows fat today…

  42. #42 John Whitman
    August 17, 2010

    @Jonas N

    Ah, my killfile grows fat today…

    Posted by: Dave H | August 17, 2010 10:41 AM

    Dave H,

    Is that some kind of veiled physical intimidation toward Jonas N?

    If so, is that kind of thing allowed here?

    John

  43. #43 Michael
    August 17, 2010

    John W – is that a joke?

  44. #44 SteveF
    August 17, 2010

    Is that some kind of veiled physical intimidation toward Jonas N?

    No. It refers to an ignore option on usenet.

  45. #45 barry
    August 17, 2010

    Perhaps John W doesn’t know what a killfile is.

    “I expect Steve Goddard will do the right thing.”

    I said. I was wrong.

    Unbelievable that he didn’t at least amend the Hadley graphic. It’s a glaring error.

    < /off topic >

  46. #46 John
    August 17, 2010

    Hockey stick is still hockey stick.

    Next.

  47. #47 John Whitman
    August 17, 2010

    Is that some kind of veiled physical intimidation toward Jonas N?

    No. It refers to an ignore option on usenet.

    Posted by: SteveF | August 17, 2010 10:58 AM

    SteveF,

    I did not know what a killfile is. Thanks for the help.

    John

  48. #48 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “Is that some kind of veiled physical intimidation toward Jonas N?”

    Yes it is. There is a secret society of Thuggi murderers who use only nailfiles to kill.

    If you have a problem, and you can find them. Maybe you can hire them…

    “If so, is that kind of thing allowed here?

    John”

    It’s allowed everywhere. If if were ever banned, then the blog owner would wake up one morning WITH A MYSTERIOUS MANICURE!!!

  49. #49 frank
    August 17, 2010

    Off-topic discussion on killfiles continued on the Open Thread

  50. #50 Steve Reuland
    August 17, 2010

    Oh wait. That wasn’t the equilibrium you had in mind was it? I bet you thought atmosphere/ocean equilibrium was a single edged sword that cuts only one way.

    I know DNFTT and all that, but this demonstrates a comical inability to follow a simple plot.

    The equilibrium he was referring to is temperature. Since the ocean is a giant heat sink it slows down the rate at which the atmosphere reaches equilibrium temperature due to increased GHG forcing.

    So doubling of CO2 is expected to happen sometime around 2050. It will be some decades after that when equilibrium temperature is reached. You’ve stated that this value should be 1.1 degrees C. You’ve also admitted that current temperatures are already 0.8 degrees above preindustrial levels. This is vastly higher than what it should be if we won’t be reaching 1.1 degrees until the year 2080 or so, given that most of the increase should be on the back end. Obviously, the climate sensitivity you predict is thoroughly contradicted by the evidence.

  51. #51 Visiteur du Soir, Espoir
    August 17, 2010

    Just so we are clear:

    To “prove” that proxies can’t beat “random” sequences at predicting temperatures, they test the performance of random-based and proxy-based fitted models (which tends to make them a bit less random) at interpolating a smooth trend over a short period?

    As in, fitting both the random-based and proxy-based model to instrumental record minus a 30 year chunk in the middle, and then triumphantly pointing out that proxies don’t do better at following the almost-straight line in the middle?

    The money shot is the passage where they point out that proxies do beat random in the extremities – when they have to actually predict stuff, instead of just hugging a smooth line from given point A to given point B. Somehow they manage to see this as a proof of the researchers’ carelessness.

    Folks, it seems our world-wide conspiracy to convince the world that proxies can resolve minute variations around the long-term trend (as opposed to, you know, the long-term trend
    itself) has been foiled! All hail our new line-fitting overlords!

  52. #52 Marco
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Springer is doing the Gish Gallop:
    “One might reasonably wonder if he saw the writing on the wall and decided to be proactive about it.”

    Right. The paper was published 2 months before the UEA e-mails were made available. This means it was likely written more than 3-4 months before that. Trenberth has supernatural powers!

    In the meantime, Jones was resisting frivolous FOIA requests, considering that anyone could ask for the raw data from the holders of said data. But as we know, that’s too much work for the deniars.

  53. #53 dhogaza
    August 17, 2010

    Yes, Dave Spring/DaveScot/DaveTard is the notorious creationist who used to be co-moderator of “Uncommon Descent”, Dembski’s blog.

    Arguing with him about climate science is as productive as arguing with him about biology.

    So Tim Lambert’s admonishment to not respond to him is the perfect response to his dribble.

  54. #54 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “It will be some decades after that when equilibrium temperature is reached. You’ve stated that this value should be 1.1 degrees C.”

    Nope, it will be ~3.3C.

    “This is vastly higher than what it should be if we won’t be reaching 1.1 degrees until the year 2080 or so,”

    Except it will be 3.3 degrees by then. So 0.7-0.8 at the moment is quite within the realms of possibility.

  55. #55 Vorlath
    August 17, 2010

    @52 (Stephen Gloor):

    Vorlath – “They don’t. The proxy reconstruction was done to show what it’s supposed to actually look like using correct methods.”

    So you are now saying that the MWP and LIA did not happen? Remember MBH99 was first criticised by M&M for not showing these two events and now here you are saying that a reconstruction using ‘correct’ methods does not show them and cannot show them – hmmmmm interesting.

    The reconstruction cannot be used to determine anything about the past 1000 years because there is too much uncertainty. It is a 100% useless model. So no, I am not saying that the MWP and LIA did not exist. I am saying that the correct reconstruction wasn’t meant to show it or not show it. It was meant to show the huge uncertainty, even when the correct methods are used, where it cannot model the reality of the past 1000 years (where the MWP and LIA actually DID exist).

  56. #56 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “The reconstruction cannot be used to determine anything about the past 1000 years because there is too much uncertainty”

    That is incorrect.

    The determination of whether you can determine something or not is a statistical test.

    And according to that test, you CAN say something about the past 1000 years.

    Now, even absent that, what’s the point? If you don’t know what’s happened over the last 1000 years, CO2 is still a greenhouse gas and it’s still 40% up.

    “where it cannot model the reality of the past 1000 years (where the MWP and LIA actually DID exist).”

    Were you alive then?

    No.

    Were there thermometers then?

    No.

    Therefore how can you say they really existed without using proxies?

  57. #57 Steve Reuland
    August 17, 2010

    Wow @151:

    Nope, it will be ~3.3C.

    To be clear, it is Dave Springer who believes climate sensitivity is 1.1 degrees, and I was responding to him. For my part, I have no reason to doubt that it’s closer to 3. As you correctly point out, the current temperature increases we’ve experienced are consistent with that higher number (and inconsistent with Dave’s).

  58. #58 Steve Reuland
    August 17, 2010

    It was meant to show the huge uncertainty, even when the correct methods are used, where it cannot model the reality of the past 1000 years (where the MWP and LIA actually DID exist).

    Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence that these things existed? Apparently paleoclimate modeling can’t detect them. So what does that leave?

  59. #59 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    Fair enough, Steve. Apologias.

  60. #60 pough
    August 17, 2010

    Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence that these things existed?

    Just like when you want to know the official time of the Earth, you look to [England](http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/06/ipcc_1990_fig_71c_again.php) for the temperature.

  61. #61 guthrie
    August 17, 2010

    Humph, I don’t bump into Dave Springer for years, then he goes and gets warned for being off topic. The internet isn’t that small a place, so its fun to see someone from after the bar closes here.
    Even if they are wrong on everything. His post at #120 is a msterpiece of creationist thinking, seeing the trees but not the wood. (Obviously he knows nothing about oceanic circulation)

  62. #62 J Bowers
    August 17, 2010

    61 Wow: “Of course, McI, Right S Fred, Monkey and Watts never do this.”

    That should be ‘Wrong S Fred’?

    Thanks to everyone for discussing this paper at length. It’s soooooo the new meme from our favourite pretend sceptics that it puts the nail in the coffin of the hockey stick and jumps up and down on the headstone.

  63. #63 harry
    August 17, 2010

    Wow wrote:
    “where it cannot model the reality of the past 1000 years (where the MWP and LIA actually DID exist).”
    Were you alive then?
    No.
    Were there thermometers then?
    No.
    Therefore how can you say they really existed without using proxies?”

    Apparently back then there were these people that wrote about stuff. I know it sounds crazy, but they made observations of what was going on around them. Apparently they didn’t have some computer model to tell them the “truth”. Crazier still, speech and writing was well established, and this thing called “history” emerged. This meant that these crazy people wrote down what was happening around them. I understand that this is a revelation to you.

    Apparently another stats person has weighed in, and found the paper sound. Best start an attack on their reputation now, Tally ho!

  64. #64 Dave H
    August 17, 2010

    @Harry

    > This meant that these crazy people wrote down what was happening around them. I understand that this is a revelation to you.

    Of course, given that they did not have the tools to perform any actual measurements, all we can do is look at these many and diverse accounts and attempt to infer from that piecemeal and unreliable record what the temperature may have been – ie, a proxy.

  65. #65 chek
    August 17, 2010

    Harry pray tell us how, without instruments or checking the weather bulletin, how you would expect you’re scibes to tell the difference between a July afternoon that’s 26C and one that’s 30C?
    Or a winter morning that’s 2C or 6C?

    And then please tell us precisely which written records you’re alluding to, because you’re not actually referencing anything so far.

  66. #66 chek
    August 17, 2010

    re #162
    You’re = your
    Do that again and I’ll sentence myself to two days reading Bishy Hill’s blog.
    Deterrent enough by any standard.

  67. #67 ScaredAmoeba
    August 17, 2010

    Does anyone consider it strange that having mentioned bubbles and Antarctic ice-cores in the introduction, that they make no further mention of them. Since the study is all about accuracy, it seems most peculiar, unless there was an intention to mislead.

    Why do they mention this? (Bottom of page 5.) Is it scientific? -Erm, sounds political to me!

    The furor reached such a level that Congress took up the matter in 2006. The Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

    A little digging reveals:
    In 2006 (109th Congress) the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce was Joe Barton, R-TX, Dirty Energy Money rated Barton No.1. Then it was $370,600 (Today it’s $1,707,173) (43% Coal: 57% Oil) (Barton’s Dirty Money)]
    The chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce ,
    [Ed Whitfield Funding Then it was $47,825 (Today it's $360,051) 58% Coal: 42% Oil (Whitfield's Dirty Money)]

  68. #68 pough
    August 17, 2010

    It’s soooooo the new meme from our favourite pretend sceptics that it puts the nail in the coffin of the hockey stick and jumps up and down on the headstone.

    I’m beginning to think that Final Nail is a brand name and not a description.

  69. #69 harry
    August 17, 2010

    “Harry pray tell us how, without instruments or checking the weather bulletin, how you would expect you’re scibes to tell the difference between a July afternoon that’s 26C and one that’s 30C? Or a winter morning that’s 2C or 6C”

    I’d argue that this isn’t required, as we are dealing with a denialist site where people are attempting to eradicate the MWP and LIA from history and to burn a few statistician heretics at the stake. So we are dealing with the reality of rather large events, not the quibbling over decimal points.

    The LIA didn’t require finely tuned thermometers because the population notice the preponderance of white cold stuff around them. They noted that it was sufficiently abundant as to cause them to get really cold and make it difficult to gather enough food for themselves. Others, also quite hungry, noticed that it was rather difficult to grow the same crops that had been farmed there for centuries. Egads! they thought to themselves, I wonder if this is different to before, could it be colder? No, of course not! I don’t have a finely tuned thermocouple and a laptop showing me the thickness of a North American bristlecone, my eyes must be deceiving me. Apparently, in bye-gone times, the man on the land was able to discern the opposite effect during the MWP. Who’d have thunk!

    By the way, a thermometer is a proxy too! So your argument is rather silly. You’d best return to the bonfires folks. Plenty more science to burn.

  70. #70 MartinM
    August 17, 2010

    Apparently another stats person has weighed in, and found the paper sound. Best start an attack on their reputation now, Tally ho!

    And there’s the difference between science and denialism in a nutshell. On one hand, we have numerous coherent criticisms of the paper, and on the other: ‘an unnamed statitician said it was good.’

  71. #71 t_p_hamilton
    August 17, 2010

    harry said:”By the way, a thermometer is a proxy too!”

    That is precious. Keep posting!

  72. #72 Shorter Harry
    August 17, 2010

    You’re absolutely right folks, I’ve got nothing to offer except venting my own spleen with no evidence whatsoever

  73. #73 TrueSceptic
    August 17, 2010

    165 pough,

    The Final Nail would be a good name for a (thrash) metal band.

    (Sorry, OT).

  74. #74 harry
    August 17, 2010

    “You’re absolutely right folks, I’ve got nothing to offer except venting my own spleen with no evidence whatsoever”

    Perhaps you might review the posts on this site. A bunch of children waiting for someone to tell them this paper is flawed in some way and that they can go back to believing again, Mashey drops in having trawled some garbage bins, hoping to find some distant relationship to a discredited right-wing politician, but it’s early days, so he makes do with some astro-turfing about lying with statistics. Then we get the same chorus proclaiming with certainty that these proxies as are accurate as a scientific thermometer despite requiring the rejection of most samples (apparently only the trees that John West doesn’t reject are thermometers) because the average of the spaghetti we get leads to a relatively flat and convenient graph.

    The paper deals with the statistical methods used by Mann, it isn’t a political document. If there are flaws with it, then find them, and by all means criticise its shortcomings, but do so with the same zeal that you look for the shortcomings in those papers you find convenient to you belief system. I’m guessing with such an approach, the methods of non-statisticians like Mann might be a tad more troublesome.

    Oh, and once your done teasing out the fine points, have a thought on how bad that graph’s uncertainties would look when the proxies that Mann removed in his “hidden” corrigendum aren’t there.

  75. #75 dhogaza
    August 17, 2010

    Harry …

    The LIA didn’t require finely tuned thermometers because the population notice the preponderance of white cold stuff around them. They noted that it was sufficiently abundant as to cause them to get really cold and make it difficult to gather enough food for themselves.

    Were these people living in north america, south america, africa, or asia? Help me out, I forget which continent(s) they were living in that prove these events were global…

  76. #76 TrueSceptic
    August 17, 2010

    166 harry,

    Ignoring your amusing little story-telling, perhaps you could tell us all where and when all this noticing of, and writing about, the weather was done.

  77. #77 harry
    August 17, 2010

    MartinM said:
    “And there’s the difference between science and denialism in a nutshell. On one hand, we have numerous coherent criticisms of the paper, and on the other: ‘an unnamed statitician said it was good.’”

    Golly you guys don’t like doing your own research … best look before pontificating, oh sorry, I forgot, you guys don’t read inconvenient things. http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2773

    I must say, climate science graphs look much neater without the confidence bands.

  78. #78 chek
    August 17, 2010

    In other words Harry, you have a head full of unreferenced twaddle and some twaddle web site to direct us to.
    Pretty much as expected.

  79. #79 MartinM
    August 17, 2010

    Golly you guys don’t like doing your own research

    Yeah, because I could totally have found that on the strength of ‘a stats guy looked at it!’

  80. #80 Didactylos
    August 17, 2010

    I started reading these comments, but then I realised they are a waste of time, since the Watts crowd are just repeating their talking points and pretending they read the paper.

    I wish they would go away. Or better yet – read the paper, and find the flaws. “Climate Audit”? Go on – I dare you!

  81. #81 harry
    August 17, 2010

    dhogaza wrote:
    “Were these people living in north america, south america, africa, or asia? Help me out, I forget which continent(s) they were living in that prove these events were global…”

    In questions such as these, where you clearly have a lack of knowledge, I’ve always advised a first look at the wikipedia entry.
    Although it may contain some biased writings, you can scour through the references and make your own mind up. And then, should you be motivated, conduct some of your own research. As for the entry that exists to-date on the LIA, it seems to make reference to a diversity of coldness throughout the planet … Africa, South America and of course lots of evidence in the northern hemisphere, where as we all know the greater land mass should amplify climate changes. It is curious that these pseudo-science denialist sites invert the logic of northern hemisphere land-mass amplification by claiming that the greater prevalence of reports from the northern regions indicates it might be a local event. Crazy stuff huh!
    Oh, and there’s probably a little amplification between North-South by the greater emphasis on a recorded literary tradition, but that’s probably inconvenient too, so it’s best ignored.

  82. #82 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “The LIA didn’t require finely tuned thermometers because the population notice the preponderance of white cold stuff around them.”

    Really? So the Amazon basin was snow covered during the LIA.

    There’s interesting…

  83. #83 harry
    August 17, 2010

    MartinM wrote: “Yeah, because I could totally have found that on the strength of ‘a stats guy looked at it!’”

    Strangely I had this expectation that when conducting a criticism of a science publication, you would have conducted a wider reading than just this site. Apologies.
    Apparently there are search engines available which have indeed indexed this publication and a variety of comments on it – though the ones with “real climate scientists” tend to lose lots of posts.
    A quick search would have revealed that statisticians are commenting on it. Something that I would have expected to have some relevance prior to tossing it on your bonfire, but alas, what would I know …

  84. #84 Wow
    August 17, 2010

    “Apparently back then there were these people that wrote about stuff.”

    Ah, so when written down, something isn’t a proxy.

    Well guess what, shylock, the tree ring data has been written down too.

    So I guess that makes them just as reliable!

  85. #85 Short Harry
    August 17, 2010

    [Shorter Harry said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2733211) “Don’t ask me! Check wikipedia!

  86. #86 harry
    August 17, 2010

    Wow wrote:
    “Really? So the Amazon basin was snow covered during the LIA.

    There’s interesting…”

    Actually ‘d be expecting more of an effect on Patagonia and the Andes, Equatorial regions wouldn’t be my first place to look for this type of effect. Interesting approach indeed.

  87. #87 Dave H
    August 17, 2010

    @Harry

    Golly, I forgot you don’t like truth or facts or inconvenient stuff like that! Golly, I forgot you like to equate a paragraph of your own fictitious ramblings with actual evidence! Golly, I forgot you swallow anything you’re fed as long as it sounds like what you want to hear! Golly, do you think if you pile enough wrong statements into one space you might actually come out the other side and be right? Only in your own mind.

  88. #88 TrueSceptic
    August 17, 2010

    177 harry,

    As expected from an arrogant ignoramus, you have responded with nothing more than vague references and straw men.

    Just cut the bluster and show some analysis. (If the information is so accurate and plentiful, why hasn’t it been done before?)

  89. #89 Bud
    August 17, 2010

    The LIA didn’t require finely tuned thermometers because the population notice the preponderance of white cold stuff around them.

    You mean like they did the previous northern hemisphere winter, before the actual recorded temperatures came to light?

  90. #90 Shorter Short Harry
    August 17, 2010

    … because unless you scour every moonbeam website there is out there, you people obviously aren’t interested in research!

  91. #91 TrueSceptic
    August 17, 2010

    182 harry,

    Your punctuation is so bad that this is ambiguous. Are the Andes not Equatorial, even in part?

  92. #92 John Mashey
    August 17, 2010

    thank you harry, you’ve reminded me to add another name, Willaim Briggs.
    He sometimes writes for Pajamas Media,
    specifically his posts, which can be used to calibrate his views.

  93. #93 cohenite
    August 17, 2010

    The hockey stick purports to do 2 things; show the current temperature rate of increase is unprecedented and that current temperatures are unprecedented; the first is rebutted by this:

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hadley/Hadley-global-temps-1850-2010-web.jpg

    The second here, Figure 3 is good:

    http://dahuang.dhxy.info/ClimateChange/940.pdf

  94. #94 jakerman
    August 17, 2010

    Dave H nails harry’s argument:

    >*Of course, given that they did not have the tools to perform any actual measurements, all we can do is look at these many and diverse accounts and attempt to infer from that piecemeal and unreliable record what the temperature may have been – ie, a proxy.*

    And harry’s method is to read wiki entries to find bits he likes. I.e. cherry pick. This is not a valid way of compiling a proxy temperally and spacially.

    But given harry’s invalid (cherry picked) method you’d expect he’d at least present some anecdote to support his hypothesis of less snow during the MWP.

    Even reconstructions published in in the IPCC’s report shown there could have been a MWP a little warmer than adjacent centuries. Why hasn’t harry confirmed this with his cherry picking proxy?

  95. #95 Stephen Gloor (Ender)
    August 17, 2010

    Vorlath – “So no, I am not saying that the MWP and LIA did not exist. I am saying that the correct reconstruction wasn’t meant to show it or not show it. ”

    So how do you know they do exist. A few vague references to grapes somewhere does not constitute objective evidence. So the LIA and MWP might be just figments of some imaginative chronicler.

    Also the ice cores are obviously bogus as well as they rely on calcium proxies to get temperatures. So there goes all the past ice ages and the denier ‘factoid’ that temperature leads CO2 rises. So really we cannot possibly say, because we are relying on, in your words, bogus proxies to determine the past whether there were any previous ice ages or warm periods. So this one might be the only one according to you. Even sea levels rely on proxies of shell densities etc and ice age/warm periods information are proxies, as are the stalactite records that you people like to trot out as evidence of the global nature of the MWP. They are all out now according to you.

    How about you go away and have a chat with the crowd at WUWT and CA and decide amongst yourselves which proxies are OK and which are not.

  96. #96 Nick
    August 17, 2010

    Fig.3 in Zhang et al 2008 is no help to you,cohey. Oh,and the paper is about the history of the Asian Monsoon as can be divined from one proxy/location,not about hockey sticks and precedents. The warmth around 600AD does coincide nicely with the last time,before the present,when parts of southern Greenland were ice free. How mobile should we make the MWP?

  97. #97 jakerman
    August 17, 2010

    cohenite confirms [increasing rate of warming](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1860/to:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1975/trend)

    1860 t 1880 (20 years) Least squares trend line; slope = 0.104956 per decade.

    1910 to 1940 (30 years)Least squares trend line; slope = 0.152788 per decade

    From 1975 to Presnet (35 years sustained) Least squares trend line; slope = 0.171348 per decade

  98. #98 MFS
    August 17, 2010

    [cohenite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2733496), as usual, also shoots himself in the foot.

    [The reference he gives](http://dahuang.dhxy.info/ClimateChange/940.pdf) states clearly:
    >”This anomaly suggests that the dominant forcing of AM variability changed from natural to anthropogenic around 1960″

    Do you have a point to make about this paper, cohenite, or are you just trying to derail / send the conversation off-topic, as usual.

  99. #99 Lotharsson
    August 18, 2010

    > I’m beginning to think that Final Nail is a brand name and not a description.

    It’s not a brand name, it’s a contraction of a longer one – “**I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Final Nail**”.

  100. #100 cohenite
    August 18, 2010

    MFS; read what I said which I’ll repeat: “show the current temperature rate of increase is unprecedented and that current temperatures are unprecedented;” the Zhang paper shows clearly that current temperatures are not unprecedented; they do say AGW is responsible for the post 1960 increase; good for them, that’s another argument.

    jakerman; I’m not sure where you get your decadal trend lines; the HadCrut one I posted had a trend equivalence between 1860-1880 and 1975-2009; there’s no doubt the 1990s had the highest trend but 1910-1940 was a more rapid increase then from 1976-1998:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1976/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1860/to:1880/trend

    There’s nothing exceptional here; decadally, 2000-2010 had asharp decline in rate of increase compared with 1990-2000; if AGW is getting worse why would that be?