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 Jonas N
    August 19, 2010

    Chek, in case you were unaware, the use of the term ‘denialist’ is a dead givaway when discussing the merits of a paper on the statistical treatment of already available data. People who feel the need retreat to such ‘arguments’ rarely have anything original or substantial to contribute

    And trashtalk seems to abound here: BernardJ, Wow, pough, harry, MartinM, JamesA, Michael, Lotharson, Andrew Dodds, sod, Dean Morrison, Steve Reuland ..

    Why are you all so desperate about saving the stick? Hey, everybody knows it was a botch-job to start with. Even you who are looking for excuses to to avoid facing that fact. What are you all so afraid of? Losing faith? Or face?

    I just wonder …

  2. #2 jakerman
    August 19, 2010

    cohenite writes:

    >*does it ever occur to you that the internal variability is the trend*

    Does it every occur to you that making hopeful, yet baseless claims are completely unconvincing?

    Cohers proves his lack of support for his claim by producing the McLean debacle, which was so incompetent that the authors [removed the trend](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/john_mclean_hides_the_declines.php) then claimed:

    >*there is no detectable sign of any global warming driven by carbon dioxide*

    Magic, just like coher’s [chopping out years of warming](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2733969) to try and support his cliams.

  3. #3 chek
    August 19, 2010

    [Jonas N said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738692) “Why are you all so desperate about saving the stick”?

    Au contraire Jonas, the real question is why so many continued botched assassination attempts on the stick?

    And why do they all [fail so miserably?](http://deepclimate.org/2010/08/19/mcshane-and-wyner-2010/#more-2478)

  4. #4 Wow
    August 19, 2010

    “Wow. Change subject much?”

    Not as much as you, Bill.

    And newboi troll and bozo were both after that unremarked troll post I quoted.

    Funny how your sensitivities are so finely tuned to ignore certain people’s output if you happen to agree with them, yet be so very sensitive otherwise.

    “Try getting the basic reference points–read page numbers”

    Hmm. You mean like when Killie says:

    “HINT: page 19)”

    When earlier on, I had posted:

    “And page 19: “it was shown in McIntyre and Mckitrick”.”

    You mean that sort of “get the pages right” and “read”???

    Ah, but the difference is that you’re a concern troll who likes what killie says.

    Ah well, time to ignore the troll bait: you’ve nowt to add and nothing to say.

  5. #5 Jonas N
    August 19, 2010

    Chek, as far as I know, all critiques on record ‘assasinating’ the stick stand firmly. The variois M&Ms, the Wegman-report, the NAS-assessment, and now this one. They deal with partly different aspects and flavours, and phrase their criticism a little bit different. But they all hold water. And Mann’s subsequent attempts essentially confirm their validity.

    Your Deep Climate link mostly deals with other aspects. Mainly to reframe the history of the controversy. Some few points address the actual statistics, but not to the extent that they would alter the general findings. Had you even read what you referred to? Or what you think it is criticizing?

    As I said, people who feel the need to cry out ‘denialist’ rarely ever have anything original to contribute. Most often they are only cheering on ‘their cause’ from the sideline.

  6. #6 MartinM
    August 19, 2010

    And trashtalk seems to abound here: BernardJ, Wow, pough, harry, MartinM, JamesA, Michael, Lotharson, Andrew Dodds, sod, Dean Morrison, Steve Reuland ..

    I didn’t trash talk anyone until now, you utter berk.

  7. #7 Bill Walsh
    August 19, 2010

    Wow,

    No, my point has been the same all along. That you, clearly, think yourself better and smarter than anyone who disagrees with you. You have proved it thoroughly throughout this thread. Right up to, and including your last post. Can’t defend your actions, may as well go with the ad hom. Concern troll? What, are you holding back the Dunning-Kruger talking point for next post?

    Happen to agree with them? You mean when he said there was a reference to M&M on page 19? There is one. You just don’t like which paper it references.

    You seem to fail to grasp that there are those of us out there who have no stake in this, and as such, merely take in the information at face value. I, unlike you apparently, have no preconceived notion on this topic. I think there are valid arguments on both sides of the debate, not just one side. But that is likely not something you can relate to, is it? One size fits all in your world. For me, I don’t buy the doom and gloom hyperbole, but I happen to believe in environmental stewardship. This is to say–not that I owe you an explanation–I am all for conservation, but all against using fear to drive it. Sorry if you don’t like it.

    Lastly, please, again, show me where the personal attacks are coming from those with whom you disagree. I went back through, and even in “killy’s” posts I find nothing–whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant. Yet in yours I find words like trolls, shills, bozos, Brothers Dim (still ?), denialist, astroturf, and to cap it off “extremely dishonest and stupid.” I think that the proof is right there for all to read.

    Thanks for the off-handed dismissal though. I will take that to mean you have no defense for your actions as I suspected. Feel free to continue the name calling if you think it helps your cause. Hint: It doesn’t.

  8. #8 chek
    August 19, 2010

    [Jonas N said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738791)” The variois (sic) M&Ms, the Wegman-report, the NAS-assessment, and now this one. They deal with partly different aspects and flavours, and phrase their criticism a little bit different. But they all hold water”.

    Hilarious! I take it you mean in the same sense a seive holds water which is, not for very long, like all the other canards in the denialist book of mythologies.

    And in my experience people with prissy objections rarely have anything worthwhile to say.

  9. #9 Dean Morrison
    August 19, 2010

    Thanks for the clarification of the term ‘predict’ as used by statisticians Dan.

    I’d sort of twigged that myself – but in simple terms it seems to me it’s just a way of saying how good a proxy is. The length of mercury in a tube might be a pretty good proxy for temperature, the width of a tree ring less so. However since the each proxy is tested against modern day instrumental records, it seems odd that they claim that the proxies aren’t ‘predictive’ of the modern day record. If there’s no correlation, then surely they fail as proxies at the first hurdle? Perhaps they mean an amalgamated proxy in the form of a principle component or something – in which case it would seem to me they’ve lost some information along the way, or diluted good proxies with less good ones?

  10. #10 Jonas N
    August 19, 2010

    Well Chek, I have read you comments here, and on many other places, and they keep roughly the same level. I think the reflect well what is to be considered to be the extent of ‘your experience’. No real need to bother. I mean exactly what I said the first time, and any other …

    But the question still is: Why so eager to defend the already multiply failed? Hilarious or not …

  11. #11 SteveC
    August 19, 2010

    Bill Walsh @296:

    why, if it is such a throwaway, does there seem to be so much scrambling to prove it wrong rather than, even for the short term, accepting it as merely another point of view?

    Jonas N:

    Why are you all so desperate about saving the stick? Hey, everybody knows it was a botch-job to start with.

    Well how’s that for consistency…

    How either of you know from the words typed that commenters here are “desperate” and “scrambling” I don’t know, perhaps you’re both psychic, or perhaps you could see and hear the commenters as they typed. Whatever the case, by way of calibrating your classification, I’d be interested to know whether you think the comments at Watts’ thread on McS&W are at all “desperate”, “scrambling” or worse.

    Of course, you could always take your own advice and go read and digest the robust criticisms of the McS&W paper over at Deep Climate (see Chek’s link @284 above). But then I suppose that might mean you’ll have to work hard at something, rather than simply taking pot-shots at people on issues you don’t understand…

  12. #12 SteveC
    August 19, 2010

    John Mashey, many thanks for your posts and the paper trail. I wish I had the time to follow all the links and crossed paths that keep coming back to Wegman, but this comment (@290)…

    That’s right, they extracted the slides from Michael Mann’s Sept 2007 talk…

    …was a jaw-dropper. Wegman? Plagiarise? Shurely shome mishtake 8^))

  13. #13 Jonas N
    August 19, 2010

    Steve C, as you point out, I really don’t know how desperate exactly you are. But a whole bunch feel that the term ‘denialist’ is one of the main arguments here.

    I can’t speek for the WUWT commentors, but I have read what Deep Climate has to say, and it avoids most of the main thrust.

    And BTW, how come that you try to explain to me what “issues [I] don’t understand” in the light of the above where you talk of psychic capabilities?

  14. #14 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 19, 2010

    SteveC, Shure is known for microphones, phono pickups and sound reinforcement equipment…

  15. #15 Bill Walsh
    August 19, 2010

    SteveC @398,

    First question first. I say scrambling because there are well over 1000 posters–many the same–between here, Tamino, Eli, DC etc coming out of their proverbial shoes to prove this is garbage. It might be. But the sheer effort put in by some folks who show up at all those sites suggests a bit of scrambling. I didn’t use the term desperate.

    Second question. With regards to Watts, absolutely I would state the same thing. Calling this paper the death knell of anything is just as silly and over the top as saying that it is worthless to the discussion. It may prove to bring real value to the debate, but to label it as the death of AGW or even MBH for that matter is more than a bit premature. It hasn’t even been published yet.

    With that said, I tend to observe that the discussion at Watts site contains far less vitriol and ad hom attacks–i.e. “you’re an idiot, or stupid, or a troll or a denialist etc, etc.” There are posts there from Eli and others and they have been treated with respect which is more than I can say for some at other sites. That is not to say all are like that since I am not a big believer in generalizations.

  16. #16 SteveC
    August 19, 2010

    Jonas @310:

    I can’t speek for the WUWT commentors

    I didn’t ask you to. I asked, given your repeated claims of much desperation and “trashtalk” here, what you thought the tone of the comments at Watts’.

    I have read what Deep Climate has to say, and it avoids most of the main thrust

    The main thrust of what? How does DC avoid this “thrust”?

    explain to me what “issues [I] don’t understand”

    Repeating the same old “the hockey stick is broke” mantra, and when pushed relying on the serially debunked McIntyre & McKitrick paper indicates to me you’re firing blanks. Quoting Wegman as a credible source does your position on the McS&W paper (not to mention MBH08 etc.) no favours at all.

  17. #17 John Mashey
    August 19, 2010

    re: #309
    Oh, grabbing a few slides is no big deal, and I didn’t call it plagiarism. The amusement is a) showing to top expdrts, b) who it was taken from, and c) the use of it for non-exprt audiences to have different meaning.

    No, the plagiarism is in the 10 pages found by DC,
    and the 25 I’ve found since, although the plagiarism is just the tip of the iceberg… the errors, meaning changes and especially the obvious biases are much more fun.

    Here’s the WR.
    Here are a few nice exercises:

    1) How often in the Summaries of Important Papers, while doing cut-and-paste, do they forget to change “our” or “we” to “their”, or XXX, et al…? Even undergrads know to fix that. One expects more similarities from sumamrizations, but this goes way beyond.

    2) In how many places do MBH do something, but that turns in to “attempt” to do?

    3) Is there anything strange about the Mann, et al(200) Summary? Hint: consider the MBH98 Summary.

    4) MBH99 is a paper of some importance to the WR. Want to guess:

    a) What fractions of the words are exact word-for-word cut-and-paste, in order? [That's relatively algorithmic, doing a local approximations of UNIX "diff", somewhat more conservative than DC, who counts obvious moves.]

    b) How much more of it is trivial changes, reorderings, simple rewords that a copy editor might do? I.e., text of striking similarity? This is slightly more subjective… although not really in this case.

    M&W certainly referenced the WR a bit, I think it may be one of their main sources for paleoclimate knowledge, starting with “artifact.”

  18. #18 Lotharsson
    August 19, 2010

    > There must be more there than nothing, otherwise, why all the concern?

    Because denialism relies on “lies getting half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on”.

    Oh, and because if someone *really* disproves AGW, they would be pretty much universally hailed as scientific heroes – but to get to that point, their disproof would have to stand up to scrutiny, no? Scrutiny is *an essential part of the process* of finding out what’s right, not a sign of desperation.

    > And trashtalk seems to abound here

    Interesting. What definition of the word “trashtalk” are you using? Does it include disagreeing with positions and advancing evidence and logic to support that disagreement? Since you called me out as engaging in trashtalk, **would you mind quoting an example**?

    > Chek, as far as I know, all critiques on record ‘assasinating’ the stick stand firmly. The variois M&Ms, the Wegman-report, the NAS-assessment, and now this one.

    Hmmmm, not so much, IIRC. The NAS assessment essentially validated it, although they indicated that some things could have been done better but they *would not have materially changed the result*. M&M’s initial critique relied on an erroneous procedure which *invalidated the conclusions they drew*, which you rarely if ever see acknowledged by those touting it. Wegman was an … interesting approach, but (a) significantly flawed, and (b) IIRC did not show that the result of improved procedures would have resulted in any significant change to the outcome.

    The subsequent work over 10+ years has only strengthened the science.

    It will be interesting to see if this new critique stands up to scrutiny, but based on the initial trajectory I would say it’s just like many other works highly celebrated in denialist circles – it is over-hyped at first before serious publication review can be undertaken, and significantly under-delivers on the hype once the dust settles.

  19. #19 Bill Walsh
    August 19, 2010

    Steve @398,

    I missed this first time round. Perhaps you could share with me the pot shots I have taken and exactly what issues I fail to understand. I had no idea you know so much about people you have never met. Quite a skill.

    BTW I read the “robust” critique at RC. Wouldn’t call that “working hard” at something. Much harder responding to the litany of holier-than-thou preaching from folks like yourself.

  20. #20 Lotharsson
    August 19, 2010

    > But a whole bunch feel that the term ‘denialist’ is one of the main arguments here.

    Given the history of denialism and how long many of the commenters here have been following/analysing it, I suspect much of the use of the term “denialist” here is by now not so much an argument as an observation.

    That, and in my experience the vast majority of those who appear to be engaging in denialism are quite unwilling or unable to defend their case using evidence and logic. And when called upon to do so, many of them resort to complaints about tone and the descriptive terms used…

  21. #21 Lotharsson
    August 19, 2010

    > well over 1000 posters

    I haven’t looked, but seriously? Over 1000 different individuals (or screen names)?

    I’d guess there probably aren’t even 100 on this thread. Anyone care to count?

  22. #22 SteveC
    August 19, 2010

    Bill Walsh @316:

    BTW I read the “robust” critique at RC. Wouldn’t call that “working hard” at something. Much harder responding to the litany of holier-than-thou preaching from folks like yourself

    So instead of jumping on the snark button, how about you share with me (and anyone else reading) the fruits of your skills and knowledge, and tell us what’s wrong with Deep Climate’s critique? Who knows, some of us may even stop “scrambling” all over the internets long enough to learn something.

  23. #23 Michael
    August 19, 2010

    Bill @ 296;
    “What I did ask was why, if it is such a throwaway, does there seem to be so much scrambling to prove it wrong…”

    Well, that is a fundamental of science – while proof is rarely certain, disproof is, and we move closer to the truth by tossing out what is known to be wrong.

    It’s looking like it might be the latter for this paper.

  24. #24 Bernard J.
    August 19, 2010

    Jonas M [at #298](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738692):

    And trashtalk seems to abound here: BernardJ, Wow, pough, harry, MartinM, JamesA, Michael, Lotharson, Andrew Dodds, sod, Dean Morrison, Steve Reuland ..

    Thanks for including me with the others – it’s a compliment to be associated with folk who rely on science when assessing climatological claims.

    Of course, I suspect that flattery was not your intention, and thus implicit in your claim is an oxymoronic internal inconsistency…

    If by “trashtalk” you were not referring to the patronising portions of my first paragraph of post [#286](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2737690), but to my points of science throughout this thread, then perhaps you would care to explain why such are incorrect. Indeed, this is exactly what I have been attempting to elicit from you and your newly-apparated troll-brethren, but the only response so far has been cohenite’s vaguely homo-erotic slight [at #206](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2734186).

    Please, if there is a fundamental flaw in the interpretation of the blossom-burst data, and what it implies about McShane & Wyner vs Mann et al 2008, then roll out your detailed analysis. I’m inclined to suspect that no credible rebuttal will be forthoming, which leads me to paraphrase your own comment…

    Why are you all so desperate about [denying] the stick? Hey, everybody knows the [denial] was a botch-job to start with. Even you who are looking for excuses to to avoid facing that fact. What are you all so afraid of? Losing faith? Or face?

  25. #25 Bill Walsh
    August 19, 2010

    SteveC @319,

    There are no fruits my snarky friend (without trying to be of course.) I read the critique, and that was what I was referring to as not working hard. As in it only took 15 or 20 minutes to digest. Not difficult. So you misunderstood or jumped to a conclusion, or both. My apologies for not being more clear.

    Frankly I am not qualified to assess the quality of the paper or the critique, and I have never stated otherwise. I did find it odd that DC placed a lot of weight on the so-called reliance of the M&M and Wegman reports, when they, M&W, don’t rely on those papers so much as they reference them as another source. Your opinions on those sources are yours. I personally think they are more valuable than you do, and less so than, say, Mr. Watts does.

    You seem to miss the point. I have nowhere stated I endorse this paper, nor any of the other papers associated with this discussion. I read them, take from them what I can. What I find distasteful is the general knee-jerk reaction by those on the AGW side to berate those with a differing opinion. Yes, some are deserving, but not all. And the arrogant attitude adds to the opinion that something is amiss. There should be no need to constantly act superior because you think you have all the answers. Nobody has all the answers.

    Lotharsson @318

    As to the comment about 1000 posters, that would be a typo on my part. I meant to say posts. That would have been more clear had you noticed the next part of the sentence where I state that many were from the same person. But thanks for taking yet another unwarranted pot shot.

    Stay the course I guess.

  26. #26 jakerman
    August 19, 2010

    Bill writes:

    >*I am all for conservation, but all against using fear to drive it. Sorry if you don’t like it.*

    Are you against presenting evidence that indicats a serious threat to millions of lives?

  27. #27 Paul K2
    August 20, 2010

    I hesitate to interrupt such a polite productive conversation between people who have such a high regard for each other, but I do have a question on the science involved here. Now I know that this paper is by a couple of clearly incompetent “scientists” who really are business “experts” whose motivations seem to be drawn from their free market business beliefs and aided by their training in complex statistics. One is clearly ‘wet behind the ears’, fresh and sure of his omniscient understanding of the universe… And the other bears the heavy burden of a teacher who must now in the real world, demonstrate his teachings to his student.

    And clearly, this dynamic duo haven’t bothered to read and clearly understand the climate science papers they are criticizing. After all, they are in a rush to make a name for themselves and bask in the publicity (or notoriety) that their work will bring to them… and after all, studying climate science seems like such a dead end career move for either a future business leader, or a teacher of future business leaders… So who can blame them for cutting a few corners on their way to fame (and fortune??).

    Lets put all that aside for the moment, and consider whether the sloped hockey stick shown above (based on their work) just possibly might be correct. Let us assume that the world was in a cooling phase for the last thousand years. This means that prior to anthropogenic releases of fossil fuel CO2 and impacts from agricultural practices, the Earth was cooling. This makes the recent rise in temperatures all the more clear a signal of AGW, since the world was clearly in a cooling mode for a long time before the anthropogenic impacts were felt.

    From the standpoint of AGW theory, we know the rise in temperature that can be expected directly from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere; the key problem is the positive feedback from increased water vapor in the warmer atmosphere etc. We may be able to estimate the positive feedbacks more accurately if we knew the condition of the Earth in the thousand years before major AGW impacts from rising GHGs.

    The worst case for estimating AGW impacts, would be a rising global temperature BEFORE any AGW impacts, since some of the recent warming could be ascribed to the warming trend already in place. A neutral case for estimating AGW impacts, would be to assume the Earth was at equilibrium in terms of the carbon distribution between the sea, soils, and atmosphere, and in terms of the distribution of thermal energy between the oceans and atmosphere (and maybe the ice caps), and that the absorption of solar radiative energy was in balance with outgoing long wave radiation. This is the Earth’s energy state consistent with Mann’s Hockey Stick reconstruction.

    But the M&W downward “Tilted Hockey Stick” indicates that the world was cooling… that the likely energy balance was negative, with more OLR than absorbed solar radiation. To turn this around requires a large AGW effect than the steady state implicit in the Mann Hockey Stick view of the planet.

    In short, if by some sheer luck, M&W did get this curve right, in spite of their ignorance, laziness, and incompetence, then they have just made a strong supporting case for a stronger AGW impact!!

    Do I have this correct?

  28. #28 John Mashey
    August 20, 2010

    re: #324 Paul K2
    Yep, sans humans, the Earth should have been on a long slow slide into reglaciation, albeit with the usual jiggles and interesting discussion over orbital effects, for which I recommend Dave Archer’s fine book, “The Long Thaw.”
    Ice-age termination is a fairly sharp rise, but return to the bottom takes ~90K years. it is clear that the bottom is ice age, it is clear that the top is not, exactly where interglacial ends and ice-age begins, I’m not sure. Start of glacier regrowth is clear when it happens, but nobody would call a bit more ice on Baffin Island and Ice Age.

    As it is, absent nuclear war or other bad things, we won’t have another ice age for a 10s of thousands of years, and likely not for as long as humans can maintain a high-tech civilization – SF6 is a terrific GHG.

    While these are still hypotheses of Bill Ruddiman’s, I think evidence is piling up that humans have been modifying the climate for thousands of years, via deforestration (CO2), cows & rice paddies (CH4), so that population growth and its effects have tended to cancel the usual orbital effects.

    As for some of the jiggles since 1000AD, some of that is surely solar and volcanoes plus usual ocean oscillations, but some may be human-caused as well, from plagues. This is Law Dome CO2 record. Notice the red section, the unusual sharp dip of CO2 into ~1600AD.
    Ruddiman (and others) hypothesize that’s from a 50M die-off in post-Columbus Americas, allowing massive reforestration and accounting for (some of) the CO2 drawdown. Given all usual effects, CO2 changes get magnified poleward (esp. North) from the Equator.

    Hence, it is slightly ironic that European smallpox, etc wiped out a lot of native Americans, but then got the Little Ice Age in return. There’s an issue of The Holocene coming out later this year with some interesting papers. We’ll see if they stand up.

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    August 20, 2010

    > That would have been more clear had you noticed the next part of the sentence where I state that many were from the same person.

    Not so.

    Your “many the same” in the context of your typo should mostly likely be read as (because it relates to “posters”) claiming that there are many **posters** posting on multiple sites rather than implying that perhaps you didn’t say what you meant to.

    > As to the comment about 1000 posters, that would be a typo on my part. I meant to say posts. … But thanks for taking yet another unwarranted pot shot.

    So, you made a typo – fair enough and no worries. But if responding to the evidence (or claims) *as presented* constitutes an “unwarranted potshot” in your book, then I will interpret any future claims coming from you of unwarranted potshotness in that light.

  30. #30 Marco
    August 20, 2010

    Bill Walsh: I strongly recommend you read Eduardo Zorita’s commentary on the paper (my previous post on this thread). Eduardo is no friend of Mike Mann, he and Hans von Storch had their share of conflicts with Mann. But that does not prevent Eduardo from being honest about the paper.

    His criticism is devastating, and very relevant to the references to M&M and the Wegman report: on many an occasion, McShane and Wyner misrepresent(!) what has been done by Mann et al. They misrepresent various other aspects of climate science. Their knowledge, as Eduardo indicates, appears to come from “blog science”, rather than from actually reading the papers they cite. This also explains their blind acceptance of the criticism by M&M and the Wegman report (even using the same odd “artifact”-term used by the Wegman report), despite the various criticisms of M&M in particular (can’t blame them for not knowing the criticism of the Wegman report, that is mostly on blogs they clearly do not read).

    In essence Eduardo shows McShane and Wyner attacked strawmen. Question is, where did they get their strawmen?

    And Jonas N might do well in reading the NAS report. They made their own reconstruction. Have fun identifying the enormous differences (regardless of how ‘wrong’ short-centered PCA may be, using other methods didn’t change much).

  31. #31 Paul UK
    August 20, 2010

    Paul K2@324

    I said much the same thing in one sentence @ 10.

  32. #32 harry
    August 20, 2010

    Tr Sptc wrt: “s xpctd frm n rrgnt gnrms” nd nthr brb frm Dv H. t sms tht t s tm fr th sl nd vr brng d hms t strt. Srr, n tm t pl wth chldrn. hv t mn f m wn. ff t th bch fr fw dys. Hv t t, prhps y nd t vnt fr whl, shk blf systms tnds t rqr ngr tbrsts vr s ftn.

    [*DNFTT - Tim]*

  33. #33 Wow
    August 20, 2010

    And as expected, another abuse of the english language by harry.

    Harry, me old mucker, that wasn’t an ad hom.

    Dave HAS proven himself an ignoramus. therefore he’s called such.

    Or do you complain when “habitual thief” is brought to light when sentencing criminals?

  34. #34 chek
    August 20, 2010

    Don’t let the door knock your ignorant, hypocritical old ass on the way out, Harry. And take a crash course in logic while you’re away, because a two position freezing or not freezing thermometer is only of some limited use in a freezer.

    Recap Harry @166 “Harry pray tell us how, without instruments or checking the weather bulletin, how you would expect your 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.

  35. #35 Mike G
    August 20, 2010

    Ok Bill, specifically what “real value” may this paper bring to the debate?

    Does it show that proxies don’t track temperature? No, it shows that proxies which are predictive of local temperatures aren’t predictive of global temps. Duh. Who cares? That’s not how climate scientists are using proxies anyway. The title of the paper suggests that they’re aiming to test whether proxies are reliable predictors of temperature, so why not at least test that in a manner that’s consistent with the way climatologists have actually used the proxies?

    Does it show that Mann’s reconstructions are wrong? No, it uses an entirely different method which induces more uncertainty.

    Does it show that reconstructions can’t capture abrupt changes? No, it shows that this method can’t. Given that no one has used that method before, who cares?

    Does it show that interpolation with synthetic data is better than the proxies? Sure, if you limit the interpolation to short windows and compare proxies that are predictive of local temperatures to the global average.

    So you have a paper that shows that a method that no one used creates large uncertainty and doesn’t capture abrupt changes. Further, they demonstrate what climatologists have been saying for years, that local proxies aren’t good at capturing global trends. Duh. The value of the paper is hidden where?

  36. #36 Dave R
    August 20, 2010

    >The value of the paper is hidden where?

    Like the recent crocks by McClean, Lindzen etc, its real value is in its potential for PR purposes.

  37. #37 MadScientist
    August 20, 2010

    Ah, using *their* model – but model results are not to be believed unless they are proven to be reliable, such as in the case of Newton’s laws of gravitation (and we know they’re not reliable at high speeds or with massive objects orbiting eachother). Without evidence that the model makes correct predictions which are better than chance (and not random, that’s chance given any apriori data which goes into the model), then the model is simply bogus. In short, the paper should probably not have been published. If someone publishes a paper demonstrating that a certain proxy technique was defective and gave entirely the wrong results, then I’ll be more inclined to look into it and believe the result. However, the word “model” usually has me laughing; until the model is shown to be valid, I make the assumption that it is rubbish.

  38. #38 Wow
    August 20, 2010

    “until the model is shown to be valid, I make the assumption that it is rubbish.”

    And this is why the statisticians need the climate scientists.

    Climate science (heck, all science) comes with some statistics, but how much climate science does a statistics course come with?

    Therefore a science paper without a professional statistician may be improved, but a science paper without a scientist is flawed.

  39. #39 Paul K2
    August 20, 2010

    John Mashey and Paul in UK; thanks for the confirmation that a downward tilted hockey stick as Tim Lambert shows in this post, actually would mean the impact of GHGs on heating the planet in the last 150 year is even stronger than we supposed. It would mean the greenhouse gas forcing had to overcome an negative energy balance that had been in place for over a thousand years.

    I suspect that when it dawns on the rather “thick” skeptics that a tilted hockey stick is worse for their cause, they will abandon their support for M&W. In a rational discussion, they would begin to support the level handled hockey stick of MBH (and many others since then), but I doubt they can walk away from all the negative energy they invested in beating on that stick.

  40. #40 Bill Walsh
    August 20, 2010

    Jakerman @323,

    Interesting question. At least it is civil.

    No.

    With that said, define evidence and what period of time this extinction will occur.

    Can I guess the evidence is the standard scientific explanation and prediction of AGW? Can I guess the time frame to be roughly in the range of 100-150 years? Can I guess you’re baiting me with this question?

    Lotharsson @326

    I never used the term “unwarranted potshot” with regards to anyone here. I did use the term “condescending” with regards to Wow, mostly because that term fits when discussing his method of posting.

    Mike G @332

    Read more closely. I never said this paper brought value, I stated it *might* have value, and that time would tell if that was the case. I am not qualified in statistics so I cannot state one way or the other what value this paper brings to the discussion. I will say that it seems clear that the publishers of the journal seem to disagree that it is worthless else it would not have passed review and would not be scheduled for publication.

    And finally, Marco @327

    I did read that review and you have yourself to thank for that. I went there due to your post. Never been before. Again, I cannot say it enough, I do not endorse this paper as anything more than what it is–a statistical paper. Nowhere here, or elsewhere, have I stated anything different. I will digest all I can and follow where it heads from here.

    Not sure how it came to be that I am somehow here to try to prop this up as something it isn’t. I am not. I entered this thread because I grow quite tired of the arrogant and self-important attitude many seem to have, even when it is clearly not justified. I addressed one person, and one person only. He then chose to escalate that into any number of unrelated topics which finds us here.

    With that, I have to be done playing for now. Work to do and all. Good luck.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    August 20, 2010

    > I never used the term “unwarranted potshot” with regards to anyone here.

    Well, except when you [used it with regards to me](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2739296):

    > But thanks for taking yet another unwarranted pot shot.

  42. #42 Marco
    August 20, 2010

    Bill Walsh: you were surprised that this paper was attacked, and linked it to undue defence of Mann. The fact is that this paper is a mirror of what it pretends to debunk: bad statistics by scientists. It became bad science by statisticians. Rather than resolve anything, it has shown something that Hans von Storch also noted was a problem with statisticians (self-acknowledged by some statisticians, it should be said): they have trouble understanding the science. You can’t choose the right methodology if you do not understand the science. You can’t have a science paper by statisticians reviewed by statisticians. This is what happened and should be criticised.

  43. #43 Ian Forrester
    August 20, 2010

    Bill Walsh said:

    What I find distasteful is the general knee-jerk reaction by those on the AGW side to berate those with a differing opinion.

    The “debate” between deniers and scientists is not a debate about “opinions”, it is a discussion of the facts of climate science and the dishonest ramblings of anti-science syndrome sufferers (ASS’S). You deniers never offer any scientific evidence for your opinions but talk about world wide conspiracies and world government take overs. It is no wonder that serious scientists get so ticked off at your nonsense.

  44. #44 John Mashey
    August 20, 2010

    re: #339 marco
    Let us not get carried away over-generalizing about “statisticians”, who as a group likely cover and even wider range than climate scientists. The point is, you have to get the *right* statisticians, and if the “right” statisticians had reviewed this, it might be different.

    M&W were/are statisticians in a (top-notch) business school.
    Some statistical methods are common, but this is yet another example of overconfident generalist statisticians jumping int an area they don’t know. Most do not do that. Good ones don’t. Go back to that NCAR meeting I mentioned and look at the participants.

    Of that list, Berger, Berliner, Bloomfield, Cressie, Dominici, Guttorp, Stein, Tebaldi are all statisticians. All have published at least one (usually more) serious climate-related papers.

    Some applied-statistics journals may have the problem that they cover a wide domain, and if they do not have a similar breadth of editorial board coverage, they may get papers that sound OK statistics-wise, but not domain-wise. If they can’t get a proper review, they need to say “not here.”
    They didn’t seem to, although the allowance of the obvious political junk seems really odd.

    The awful Said, et al(2008) article in CSDA may have had similar problems, only worse. It was a Social Network Analysis (SNA) paper sent to a journal that didn’t really handle SNA, rather than Elsevier’s sister journal Social Networks. Of course, this was likely a wise choice, especially to get the article acepted in 6 days:

    -Wegman had been CSDA advisor for 20 years

    -Said was then an Associate Editor

    and then

    -Social Networks’ editorial group included one of the authors plagiarized, and two more who were coauthors of authors who were plagiarized, all re-using text in the WR that was taken from Wasserman&Faust(1994), of de Nooy, Mrvar, Bateglj(2005). The paper may not have been received well there.

    As one more example of this, I offer Anderson, et al (2005), a Federal Reserve Bank Working Paper (i.e., taxpayer-funded). Take a look at the footnote on p.3. Is there anything strange about this in an economics paper?

    Where might that have come from? A hint may be gained by noticing the uncited reference:
    McKitrick, Ross (2004). “The Mann et al. Northern Hemisphere ‘Hockey Stick’ Climate Index: A Tale of Due Dilgence,” mimeo, Department of Economics, University of Guelph, October. A mimeo??

    Q: Do any of the authors have any obvious paleoclimate expertise?

    A: None that I could find.

    Q:(US taxpayers): aren’t we *pleased* that our economists do this?

  45. #45 Bill Walsh
    August 20, 2010

    Lotharsson @338,

    Apologies for denying my use of that term. I did. And in retrospect it was accurate since you chose to attack the semantics of my post rather than the substance. Seems unwarranted to me.

    And Ian @340,

    Same Ian Forrester who claims over at RC that the journal publishing this paper is now bunk as a result? Don’t like the message, must be a crappy messenger, eh? Peer review only works one way I guess.

    Regardless, absolutely none of your claims regarding my posts are accurate. None. Denier? Nope. World wide conspiracy? Nope. One world governments? Fail again.

    But you already knew that.

  46. #46 Ian Forrester
    August 20, 2010

    Bill Walsh you need to take a course in interpretation of the English language. You are completely wrong in your interpretation of my comments.

    You are denying that my opinion of you is accurate, how appropriate for a denier.

    By the way why don’t you learn the difference between RC (Real Climate) and DC (Deep Climate)? You are pathetic but are a good example of the lack of educational ability of the typical denier. Lack of education must be a necessary (but not sufficient) condition to become a denier.

  47. #47 jakerman
    August 20, 2010

    Bill:

    >*I am all for conservation, but all against using fear to drive it. Sorry if you don’t like it.*

    Are you against presenting evidence that indicats a serious threat to millions of lives?

    >*Interesting question. At least it is civil. No.*

    What a relief!

    >*With that said, define evidence and what period of time this extinction will occur.*

    I was referring to threat to millions of human lives (this will bite progressively deeper as the century progresses, and for centuries to come). Not Extinctions, that said extinctions are a huge risk for many alpine species and more, the current extinction rate s already more than 50 time greater than that to of the paleo record.

    >*Can I guess the evidence is the standard scientific explanation and prediction of AGW?*

    Together with the evidence and that informs the he scientific explanation and prediction of AGW. Does that make a difference to your answer?

    >*Can I guess the time frame to be roughly in the range of 100-150 years?*

    No, mega floods, mega fires and crop failures, and threat “multipliers” occurring already are consistent with predictions.

  48. #48 Bill Walsh
    August 20, 2010

    Ian @ 343,

    Oh you got me there Ian. Sorry, RC, DC, yet another typo. Better get a new keyboard.

    Let’s take a look at your comment from DEEP CLIMATE (better?)…

    Ian wrote…

    “Is this journal, “Annals of Applied Statistics”, to be taken seriously when it accepts such editorializing and political posturing? It seems that it may be vying with E & E as the most discredited so called “science journal”.”

    So, exactly where am I wrong in stating that your opinion is that this journal is now a rag because they have the audacity to publish a paper you disagree with? Hard to interpret your comment otherwise. And do you not see the irony in calling out a publication for “editorializing and political posturing” when science journals such as Nature and Science could be called out for the very same offense on any number of occasions? Perhaps I am wrong as those journals are far too pure for such things, yes?

    As for the rest of your personal attacks and weak rhetoric, you only serve to prove my point that arrogant and full of yourself is no way to go through life and serves no purpose when trying to make a valid point. In this case you have no point. All you do is call me names. Sad really.

    Do tell, how do you rate “educational ability?” Can you even define that term? Doubtful.

    Oh I do wish I could be a smart as you Ian. Really, I do. But then apparently I would have to become a first class d-bag.

  49. #49 Ian Forrester
    August 20, 2010

    Bill Walsh yo ustill don;t get it.

    I have never heard of “Annals of Applied Statistics” so I have no preconceived idea of its standing. However, reading the paper discussed did not look like the type of paper I am familiar with in the decent scientific literature. I did not call the journal a rag I asked a legitimate question on its scientific merit.

    Deniers like you are always jumping to conclusions and putting words in peoples’ posts and deliberately misinterpreting what they say. That is not how real scientists discus things. Therefore you are not a real scientist but a typical denier.

    The reason I questioned this journal is that I am not used to seeing political posturing in a scientific paper. Perhaps you know of others, I don’t. Science and Nature have editors and they write the occasional editorial. That is completely different from putting political comment in a paper. You do understand the difference between an editorial and a science paper, don’t you?

    You also do not seem to be able to understand the difference between honest comment in reputable journals and the rubbish found far too frequently in the denier blogs you seem to spend your time on.

    I call a spade a spade, get over it. If you continue to spread denier misinformation you will be called worse than what I have called you.

    You deniers seem to have very thin skins.

    You are the one who is using insulting and disparaging language. There is a difference between calling some one a liar or a denier when it is obvious to any intelligent person that it is a true statement. You, on the other hand use such profanities as d-bag. Very childish indeed.

  50. #50 Michael
    August 20, 2010

    John @341

    No sign of the Anderson paper via that link.

  51. #51 Wagathon
    August 20, 2010

    The McShane and Wyner paper is the chalkboard squeak heard ’round the world. Referenced earlier, the paper debunks again MBH98/99/08 (aka, the `hockey stick’ graph) and is inspiring other statisticians to examine the silly science of Mann and his sycophants and then pick up the chalk and outline the dead bodies.

    These statisticians don’t even have to take sides. There are so many ways to kick this cat, it’s becoming a fun pastime for geeks. That global warming is a hoax is not even the issue because the math isn’t a debate.

    The “Medium is the Message,” and that message is now very clear. There is absolutely no ‘signal’ in Mann’s proxy data. The ‘consensus’ is shot to schitt.

    The claimed ‘consensus’ concerning global warming is really just the opinion of those who have been destroying the culture and the society all along. And, all of them who sign on to that anti-America/anti-capitalism bandwagon are outing themselves as science pariahs.

    Support for the global warming agenda is being lifted from websites. “The White House has recently revised its energy and environment website, stripping references to a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases and a pledge to funnel $150 billion into clean energy research. Gone from the site is a section titled ‘Closing the Carbon Loophole and Cracking Down on Polluters.'” (Energy & Environment)

    Very exciting, huh?

  52. #52 Chris O'Neill
    August 20, 2010

    Wagaton:

    The claimed ‘consensus’ concerning global warming is really just the opinion of those who have been destroying the culture and the society all along. And, all of them who sign on to that anti-America/anti-capitalism bandwagon

    Get to a hospital as soon as possible. Your frothing-at-the-mouth is a bad sign.

  53. #53 John Mashey
    August 20, 2010

    michael @ 347, re #341
    Oops, sorry, that’s: this or this, as it has been revised a few times.

    This paper, which may have gotten the odd footnote from McK, is then discussed by McI, a clever style of meme-laundering.

  54. #54 Bernard J.
    August 20, 2010

    [Wagathon](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2741466).

    You’ve missed the whole point of the dissections on this thread. I’m sorry to tell you, but the chalk board squeak is the one where all of BlogScience winces at a massive own-goal.

    First, as a number of commenters here and elsewhere have indicated, if the data really do describe the trajectory that McShame and Wyner produced, then climate sensitivity to anthropogenically-produced greenhouse gases is greater than previously supposed, and the whole issue of current warning is of greater concern than has been currently suggested.

    Second, and again as commenters on Deltoid, Rabbet Run, and elsewhere have explained, M&W made errors in their process, rendering their output flawed.

    Third, one needn’t look to the various Mann permutations of proxy analysis to see a hockey stick. As I keep harping on about on this thread, a simple analysis of meticulous millenium-long (and longer) records of Prunus blossom burst, a phenomenon which is closely correlated with temperature, [shows a hockey stick](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2737690) too, albeit a regional one for Japan. And if this doesn’t suit, then hit the scientific literature covering phenology – it contains hundreds of examples of range shifts and alterations in phenological timings that also describe, or at least directly imply, a hockey stick trajectory for global temperature over the last 1000 years.

    You can scream “neener neener neener” as much as you like, but is won’t change the fact of empirical evidence.

  55. #55 Mike G
    August 20, 2010

    Bill, the key point that you seem to be missing is that this is a paper published in a statistics journal. It was presumably reviewed by statisticians, not climate scientists. It’s acceptance means that it didn’t have glaring statistical errors that would preclude its publication, not that it adds anything useful to the scientific discussion. The stats in the paper are valid (as far as I see), they just ignore the underlying physical reality of what the data mean and how climatologists are actually using them in the real world. They got the right answer to irrelevant questions that no one asked- though they pretend that Mann asked.

  56. #56 Lotharsson
    August 21, 2010

    > And in retrospect it was accurate since you chose to attack the semantics of my post rather than the substance. Seems unwarranted to me.

    Then I beg you to reconsider. Let us review:

    At #291 [you wrote](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738505):

    > I do find it more than a little interesting the amount of time and energy this paper seems to be taking from the AGW devotees–especially from the likes of the omniscient Mr. Mashey who seems to have spent quite some time on this here and at myriad other blogs. There must be more there than nothing, otherwise, why all the concern?

    To which [I replied at #315](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2739097):

    > Because denialism relies on “lies getting half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on”.

    > Oh, and because if someone really disproves AGW, they would be pretty much universally hailed as scientific heroes – but to get to that point, their disproof would have to stand up to scrutiny, no? Scrutiny is an essential part of the process of finding out what’s right, not a sign of desperation.

    This seems to address the earlier version of your key substantive point. Admittedly it’s not the same *statement* of your argument that you complained about lack of substantive response to, so let’s continue the review.

    In a separate flow of blog conversation, at #296 you responded to chek by [introducing the "scrambling" term](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738659):

    > …why, if it is such a throwaway, does there seem to be so much scrambling to prove it wrong…

    SteveC in #308 pointed out that [it's rather difficult for anyone to know who else on a blog is "scrambling" or not without being psychic](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738875), to which [you responded in #312](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2738980):

    > I say scrambling because there are well over 1000 posters–many the same–between here, Tamino, Eli, DC etc coming out of their proverbial shoes to prove this is garbage. It might be. But the sheer effort put in by some folks who show up at all those sites suggests a bit of scrambling.

    To which I responded [at 318](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2739115) pointing out that **the substance** of this version of your argument based on supplied evidence (rather than psychic ability) doesn’t seem to hold up because the evidentiary claims (“well over 1000 posters”) appear quite likely to be incorrect.

    Given that the only change in this particular point in #312 compared to #291 is the evidence supplied, it seems ridiculous to argue that your argument’s substance has been ignored in favour of an “unwarranted potshot” – especially as:

    a) the “unwarranted potshot” was in fact an accurate critique of the essential change in the argument between #291 and #312.

    b) the key point – which had not changed from #291 to #312 – had already been addressed.

    So, now that you’ve corrected the “1000 posters” error and complained that I haven’t addressed your substance, to ward of further complaint:

    I don’t see any point responding to your claims that there was a lot of “scrambling” going on, nor the claim that “sheer effort” (of 1000+ comments by a whole bunch of different people) **implies** “scrambling” in the first place, because those claims are opinion that (based on pretty much the same evidence) I don’t happen to share). **And** more importantly because the **essential substance** of this new and corrected version of your argument [is also (and already) addressed by my response in #315](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2739097).

  57. #57 Lotharsson
    August 21, 2010

    Bill Walsh, Wagathon provides a [perfect example](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2741466) of why people in the climate science and science blogging worlds are interested in whether they can figure out if there’s any **scientific** merit to this paper sooner rather than later. (And that’s disregarding the entirely normal genuine scientific interest in finding out what’s real and what’s not.)

    Why the interest? Because – before it’s even published – this paper is being used to pronounce the death of AGW and push for rapid change to policies that would attempt to deal with it.

    This tactic of hyping a paper for political reasons before post-publication review can thoroughly assess it has been done over and over again. If the paper doesn’t actually have any impact on the science impact, then you want to find out as soon as possible because the truth is still getting its boots on when lies are half way around the world.

    (I can’t tell whether Wagathon is a Poe or not – but that doesn’t change the point…)

  58. #58 John Mashey
    August 21, 2010

    re: #347 Michael
    Oops (and sorry if this is a duplicate):
    See this or this.

    After you see the amusing footnote, very likely gotten from McK, then see McI on this paper.

  59. #59 Bill Walsh
    August 21, 2010

    Ian @346,

    You’re right, I don’t get it. I don’t get how you can accuse me of putting words in your mouth when I quote you directly. No, you don’t call it a rag, but you insinuate as much. And for the record, I know nothing about it other than it seems to have a reasonably good reputation although I believe it is rather new. As for the rest of your immature rant, I really think it stands all on its own as a testament to why folks like yourself aren’t helping the cause. If I am Mr. Lambert, I am not excited about having your input.

    MikeG @351,

    Sorry, incorrect. I know where it *will be* published. It hasn’t been published yet. But what you don’t seem to understand is that I don’t, nor have I ever said I do, understand the statistical value of this paper. I have not once stated that I endorse the findings. I simply read it and noticed a glaring error a poster here made and pointed it out. Other than that, I leave it open to judgment once it is actually published if and when that actually happens though it would appear to be soon.

    Lotharsson @352,

    You know what, I completely agree. But I never questioned the interest. It’s more what I see as mild panic over a potential chink in the proverbial armor. If the science is sound, then it should stand scrutiny on its own merit. Why worry? Let it be published and respond accordingly, if at all. What I see with some here is the “bizarro” Wagathon.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    August 21, 2010

    > I don’t get how you can accuse me of putting words in your mouth when I quote you directly.

    I think it may have been this, which struck me as putting words in someone’s mouth:

    IanF [my emphasis]:

    > Is this journal, “Annals of Applied Statistics”, to be taken seriously **when it accepts such editorializing and political posturing**? It seems that it may be vying with E & E as the most discredited so called “science journal”.

    Bill Walsh [my emphasis]:

    > So, exactly where am I wrong in stating that your opinion is that this journal is now a rag **because they have the audacity to publish a paper you disagree with**?

    Your emphasised statement does not seem to be a fair reading of IanF’s quoted statement, especially the emphasised part.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    > It’s more what I see as mild panic over a potential chink in the proverbial armor.

    OK, I’m fine with you thinking that, but you don’t seem fine with people disagreeing.

    *You* see mild panic about a “potential chink in the armour”; others *don’t* see that. They point out:

    a) reasons why the actions you observe and see as evidence of “mild panic” may in fact not be generated or motivated by “mild panic”, and

    b) reasons why this may be mild panic, but NOT about a “chink in the armour” but rather a set of claims that may not/will not stand up to scrutiny, but are useful in the meantime for the denialists and propagandists.

    I guess we’ll have to disagree on that view.

    > If the science is sound, then it should stand scrutiny on its own merit.

    That is correct, as long as you *limit your concern* to merely the impact of a paper on the science.

    If you widen your concern to the impact of a paper on public perception, politics and policy and ultimately people and the ecosystem (as I’ve pointed out a number of times), then figuring out fast whether there’s an actual scientific issue or whether it’s just the latest in a loooooooooooong line of “nails in the AGW coffin” that don’t stand up to extended scientific scrutiny is kind of important – and the quicker the better. The impact of the initial hype can be way out of proportion with the *scientific* impact of the paper itself – as we have seen any number of times in the past.

    What part of that don’t you get or think should be handled differently? Or are you actually advocating ignoring how papers that may in fact turn out to be crap are used to influence politics/perception/politics?

  61. #61 chek
    August 21, 2010

    [This description](http://deepclimate.org/2010/08/19/mcshane-and-wyner-2010/#comment-5156) of the problems with M&W2010 is one I found particularly clear and well expressed. Thanks to Timothy Chase.

    Temperatures and proxies are represented by numbers but they themselves are not numbers. They are aspects of a physical system. And a large part of the problem with a statistician attempting to do statistical analysis in climatology without the benefit of a climatologist will stem from his lack of knowledge of physics, chemistry and possibly even biology.

    For example, it has already been pointed out that in their analysis they did not take into proper account how polar amplification results in larger swings in temperature at higher latitudes — and that when estimating temperature variation at lower latitudes on the basis of proxies at higher latitudes one has to scale down the variation, that is recognize that the swings in temperature will be smaller at those lower latitudes. Likewise, a statistician will not automatically be aware of the difference between proxies of low resolution (which may be good at estimating average temperature on a decadal or even centennial scale) and proxies of high resolution that are good at estimating temperature at a yearly level.

    For example, stoma count (where stoma are the holes in leaves where leaves engage in respiration) is apparently has a resolution no better than the lifetime of the plant. Or borehole temperatures with which one estimates surface temperatures, but where heat diffusion into the lower layers of the earth involves a progressive, laregely linear, loss of resolution with depth — which will also be dependent upon geological factors.

    Lacking a background in climatology or plant physiology a statistician is unlikely to be aware of this. Judging from the evidence, the two authors were unaware of polar amplification and what this implies in terms of how one derives information from proxies at different latitudes. Likewise they appear to have been unaware of how different proxies will have different resolution — and therefore attempted to judge models based upon an annual resolution when the proxy-based model was not designed for this.

    Furthermore, a statistician who is unfamiliar with climatology may be inclined to treate its problems as exercises in curve-fitting instead of as problems that are ultimately physics problems. Some suggestion of this exists in McShane and Wyner’s testing of proxy-based and noise-based approaches by means of problems in which the endpoints are known and the approach is used to fill in the middle.

    A proxy-based approach does not actually work on the basis of such interpolation as the very point of using proxies is to be able to extrapolate beyond what is known — beyond the instrumental period. But a noised-based approach using the Lasso method often quite similar to or even reduces to simple linear interpolation — and given largely linear trends over an especially brief amount of time a noised-based largely interpolating method will “do well” in a way that is quite irrelevant — where the “best method” would simply be to connect the dots by means of a straight line.

    Nothing mystical or magical about it. Simply a matter of background knowledge, familiarity and expertise.

    There are a number of problems with their reliance on grey literature.

    First, rather than attempting to familiarize themselves with the field by means of peer reviewed literature they rely upon grey literature, then there isn’t much of any assurance of quality to that information. Their sources may be prejudiced, slanted or simply uninformed — and there won’t be even the most basic checks in place to suggest otherwise. And having relied upon such grey literature for their background regarding the technical issues that are involved, it would seem that they haven’t done any of the homework prior to taking the test.

    Second, such grey literature may appear to justify a given methodology when the proper methodology actually has to be justified by other means. The proper methodology is not a matter of pure mathematics but is largely grounded in empirical science, e.g., the temporal resolution of borehole temperature measurements at different depths as a proxy of surface temperature at earlier times.

    Third, misinformation is misinformation. If they are including misinformation in their essay, then they are responsible for spreading that misinformation. And this is most certainly something that should be critiqued — irrespective of what it might have to say regarding their math.

    Fourth, it suggests a certain lack of professional and academic standards that have been put in place in order to preserve a level of objectivity and quality — which suggests that they may be granting something else precedence. It further suggests that in their view it is OK for others to grant such things precedence.

    Fifth, it pollutes peer-reviewed literature by allowing material which has not been quality checked to enter peer-reviewed literature by means of a back door. Which means that at later points their peer-reviewed article may be referenced by other peer-reviewed literature for precisely those points that did not in fact pass peer review.

  62. #63 Wagathon
    August 21, 2010

    Well, I guess insofar as my motives have been impugned, you could call this a response. But, I really don’t care about the opinions of climate science authoritarians who believe Mann can be right even if the math is erroneous. Even the IPCC knows that is pure lunacy.

    We already know enough to model the climate. And, we can do so with astounding accuracy and not just 100s of years out but even billions of years into the future.

    The variation in cosmic ray flux is a key independent variable. Related to that is the sun’s solar cycle which effects cosmic ray flux and also the climate in ways that we capture with factoring in the changes in the polarity and the variability of the Earth’s magnetic field. Related also to the variation in cosmic ray flux is the changes in the amount of cosmic rays that bathe the Earth, like being hit by a galactic gravestone that falls on your toe, as the Earth dashes through the leftovers of busted stars.

    There’s only one problem. We humans don’t have the ‘computation power.’

    The UN-IPCC admits on page 40 of the, “Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report,” that, “[i]t is not formally known if today’s climate models are a suitable basis for projecting climate.” What that means, of course, is that GCMs lack substance – they are illusory and are not to be considered as conforming to a proper methodology and therefore more social than natural and having an obviously insubstantial character.

    Why is the UN-IPCC forced to admit this simple truth? For starters, it is because the grid blocks that are used in the constructions of GCMs are too large to accurately simulate real-world climate conditions such as thunderstorms, hurricanes and other natural processes that transfer huge amounts of energy from the surface of the Earth to the stratosphere. Accordingly, various `parameters’ to account for what cannot be conceptualized and captured and, in any event, cannot be be quantified due to the limitations of the computing power that Earthlings have at their disposal. As a result, simple approximations of real-activity are used because the ability of GCMs to accurately represent actual, observable physical processes is impossible.

    Moreover, because these various `parameters’ are selected simply to make the model agree with empirical data, the resulting models cannot be used to as evidence of reliability in capturing reality or forecasting the future. And, the UN-IPCC admits that the usefulness of such parameterization is unproven and the use of GCMs generally is unjustified because We cannot assume that a “model that has been `tuned’ to give a good representation of certain key observations,” may actually provide any predictive ability when such `closely tuned’ models have not been formally evaluated to assure that such “tunable parameters” not exceed “the number of degrees of freedom in the observational testing scheme for the GCMs.” The UN-IPCC admits that too: “There has been no formal evaluation of the extent to which current GCMs satisfy this requirement.” (Id. at 40)

    Again, the UN-IPCC admits all of this: “`parameterization’ is the process of constructing empirically-based procedures that account for the significant large-scale effects of processes that cannot be resolved (i.e., represented within the computational scheme) because of basic limits in computational power. These limits are induced by the scope of the climate modeling problem. Empirical parameterizations are not unique. Because empirical parameterizations can be invented to force a model to match observations, the ability of a model to represent observed conditions cannot be cited as grounds for confidence in the model’s physical realism.” (Id. at page 39)

  63. #64 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon, are you perhaps confused? The real IPCC summary or policymakers has only 18 pages. Perhaps you were referring to the tripe produced by the Fraser Institute and dubbed the NIPCC.

  64. #65 Chris O'Neill
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon:

    I really don’t care about the opinions of climate science authoritarians who believe Mann can be right even if the math is erroneous.

    And you believe Mann can’t be right even when the maths is correct as it has been in every paper after 1999. That makes you a denialist authoritarian.

  65. #66 frank
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon, what on earth does Mann’s paleoclimate work have to do with climate modeling?

  66. #67 Dave R
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon, your off topic talking points are answered [here](http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php). If you don’t have anything to say about the topic of the thread, then STFU.

  67. #68 Ian Forrester
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon what you have written is complete nonsense. As noted above, The SPM for WG1 is only 18 pages long. [Here is what it actually says about climate modeling](http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf):

    Analysis of climate models together with
    constraints from observations enables an assessed
    likely range to be given for climate sensitivity for
    the first time and provides increased confidence in
    the understanding of the climate system response
    to radiative forcing.

  68. #69 Dave H
    August 21, 2010

    @Bill Walsh

    Why are commenters at anti-AGW spots like WUWT “scrambling” to make hay out of this particular paper? By your logic they should shut up and let the science stand on its own merit, no? By your logic, the fact that there are many times *more* comments of that ilk than those you pointed to surely indicates that there is some massive flaw in their position that they are desperately trying to cover up, no? If I went over to these places would I find comments from you critical of their mad dash to slay MBH98 yet again?

  69. #70 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2010

    234 Dan

    Thanks. I was not familiar with that usage. I can see that it makes sense in a way, but is that still true if there is no way of testing the “prediction” other than by making other “predictions”?

  70. #71 Wagathon
    August 21, 2010

    Just so there’s no confusion about what the IPCC admitted you can verify the legitimacy of what i quoted by comparing them for yourself in the “Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.”

    Whether the confustion is by those who genuinely fear polar bears falling from the sky whenvever some right wing oil company executive lights a pipe or simply out of superstitious ignorance, the McShane and Wyner paper is not about using GCMs to predict runaway global warming. It is about the use by others of such GCMs who have no understanding of the statistics underlying the GCMs.

    Those who are interested in using GCMs to identify long term trends will not want to ignore statisticians like Wegman, McShane, Wyner, McIntyre and McKitrick and the debunking of MBH98/88/08 (the ‘hockey stick’ graph). Hans von Storch said, “Die Kurve ist Quatsch.” McShane & Wyner are not breaking new ground with respect to debunking that.

    The only thing the staticians have to do is stick to the math. The truth will speak for itself and even the IPCC admits as much.

    Errors, misinformation, bias and distorted reporting of natural events is the problem today, not the weather, not the climate and not the relentless barrage of ‘climate porn’ like receding glaciers, melting icepacks and polar bears falling from the sky.

    Ignorance of history and statistics is the problem facing humanity, not CO2. Showing the misuse of statistics by the deceivers is the best plance to start and the statiticians do not even have to take sides on the political debate: the ‘Medium is the Message.”

    “… Western education about science and especially the environment assumes uniformitarianism. This is the concept that change is gradual over long periods of time. In fact, significant change occurs all the time. For example, the orbit of the earth changes every single year primarily because of the gravitational pull of the planet Jupiter, a scientific fact we have known for approximately 150 years, yet until recently most school texts said the orbit was a fixed unchanging slightly elliptical orbit. Similarly, few people are aware that four temperature trend changes have occurred since 1900. The world warmed from 1900 to 1940, ooled from 1942 to 1980,warmth from 1980 to 2000 and has cooled from 2000 to the present.”

    The UN-IPCC admits in the “Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report,” that, “[i]t is not formally known if today’s climate models are a suitable basis for projecting climate.” What that means, of course, is that GCMs lack substance – they are illusory and are not to be considered as conforming to a proper methodology and therefore more social than natural and having an obviously insubstantial character.

    That is what the McShane & Wyner paper is about. And, that is why global warming alarmists oppose it.

  71. #72 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2010

    242 Dan,

    the use of a standard stats term in a stats journal is evidence of bad behaviour.

    Did anyone say that? Some certainly questioned the usage, just as they did the use of “artifact”.

    The actual complaints have been of the generally odd nature of the paper. Much of it reads like tabloid journalism rather than a serious paper. And that is to ignore the problems with the actual statistics, as shown by Martin Vermeer and others.

  72. #73 Lee
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon:

    “The UN-IPCC admits in the “Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report,” …”

    The ‘Independent’ SPM was not written by the UN or by any team associated with the UN. You keep claiming that in it, “the UN admits…” This is false.

    This is also dreadfully easy to know or find out – which means you are either being willfully ignorant, or dishonest.

  73. #74 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon,

    Dude you are one sorry SOB. You are *not* quoting the IPCC, you are quoting the Fraser Institute’s NIPCC, just as I thought.

    Everything else you say is contributing to global warming because it is just so much hot air.

  74. #75 chek
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon @367 said: “That is what the McShane & Wyner paper is about. And, that is why global warming alarmists oppose it.”

    No, what M&W’s paper is about is misusing statistics as detailed in posts [no.5](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2729979) and [no.357](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2741973) which clearly explain their problems in layman’s terms.

    That you’re dripping eager and willing to accept sub-standard falsities in support of what you believe says more about your own standards than anything else.

  75. #76 Wagathon
    August 21, 2010

    The great thing about getting the greater community of statisticians involved in this matter is that they don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. “You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.”

    IPCC

    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007

    Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

    8.1.3.1 Parameter Choices and ‘Tuning’ Parametrizations are typically based in part on simplified physical models of the unresolved processes (e.g., entraining plume models in some convection schemes). The parametrizations also involve numerical parameters that must be specified as input. Some of these parameters can be measured, at least in principle, while others cannot. It is therefore common to adjust parameter values (possibly chosen from some prior distribution) in order to optimise model simulation of particular variables or to improve global heat balance. This process is often known as ‘tuning’. It is justifiable to the extent that two conditions are met:

    1. Observationally based constraints on parameter ranges are not exceeded. Note that in some cases this may not provide a tight constraint on parameter values (e.g., Heymsfield and Donner, 1990).

    2. The number of degrees of freedom in the tuneable parameters is less than the number of degrees of freedom in the observational constraints used in model evaluation. This is believed to be true for most GCMs – for example, climate models are not explicitly tuned to give a good representation of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) variability – but no studies are available that formally address the question. If the model has been tuned to give a good representation of a particular observed quantity, then agreement with that observation cannot be used to build confidence in that model. However, a model that has been tuned to give a good representation of certain key observations may have a greater likelihood of giving a good prediction than a similar model (perhaps another member of a ‘perturbed physics’ ensemble) that is less closely tuned (as discussed in Section 8.1.2.2 and Chapter 10).

    Given sufficient computer time, the tuning procedure can in principle be automated using various data assimilation procedures. To date, however, this has only been feasible for EMICs (Hargreaves et al., 2004) and low-resolution GCMs (Annan et al., 2005b; Jones et al., 2005; Severijns and Hazeleger, 2005). Ensemble methods (Murphy et al., 2004; Annan et al., 2005a; Stainforth et al., 2005) do not always produce a unique ‘best’ parameter setting for a given error measure.

    —–
    i.e., The UN-IPCC admits that, “[i]t is not formally known if today’s climate models are a suitable basis for projecting climate.” (see, ‘Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report’)

  76. #77 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2010

    312 Bill Walsh,

    With that said, I tend to observe that the discussion at Watts site contains far less vitriol and ad hom attacks–i.e. “you’re an idiot, or stupid, or a troll or a denialist etc, etc.”

    Why do you suppose that is?

    I’ll give you a clue: “sceptics” often claim than Watts, McIntyre, etc. do not censor; only the “alarmist” bloggers do that. What do you think the truth might be?

    Oh, and just how do you define vitriol? Perhaps you self-edit as you read? I suggest you read [this thread](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/15/comment-of-the-week/).

  77. #78 chek
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon, you’re a liar, delusional and unable to address yhe issues with M&W that have been raised.

    Maybe they’ll adopt you as their poster child.

  78. #79 Eli Rabett
    August 21, 2010

    Perhaps a sock puppet?

  79. #80 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2010

    336 Paul K2,

    You got the quotes the wrong way round. It should have read
    thick “sceptics”

    Yes, they are thick; no, they are not sceptics. Sceptics look at the evidence and employ critical thinking. They do not display obvious ideological bias in every sentence they write.

  80. #81 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2010

    348 Wagathon,

    Thanks. Brilliant Poe test.

  81. #82 Hank Roberts
    August 21, 2010

    ‘Wagathon’ seems to have copied something from some guy posting at Amazon– here’s the only source found by Google’s search for the chunk at the end of his last huge text dump:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22formally+known+if+today%27s+climate+models+are+a+suitable+basis+for+projecting+climate

  82. #83 Paul Henry
    August 21, 2010

    @wegman:

    >>i.e., The UN-IPCC admits that, “[i]t is not formally known if today’s climate models are a suitable basis for projecting climate.” (see, ‘Independent Summary for Policymakers – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report’)

    You are not quoting the IPCC report, which is why you did not provide a link. You are putting in quotes something not in the IPCC report, and something the UN never said.

    You seem to admit your mistake in your last post by actually quoting the IPCC, but then include an “i.e.” statement, with quotes, as if the IPCC backs up your erroneous quote.

    It does not. The only thing the IPCC admits here is that “the tuning procedure can in principle” cannot “be automated using various data assimilation procedures.” The IPCC states that the tuning process cannot be “automated”–not “is not formally known if today’s climate models are a suitable basis for projecting climate.” Comment 364 sums up what the IPCC says about the climate models.

  83. #84 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 21, 2010

    Wagathon,

    Here is what the IPCC says in the executive summary for chapter 8:

    Climate models are based on well-established physical principles and have been demonstrated to reproduce observed features of recent climate (see Chapters 8 and 9) and past climate changes (see Chapter 6). There is considerable confidence that Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental and larger scales. Confidence in these estimates is higher for some climate variables (e.g., temperature) than for others (e.g., precipitation)

    If you chose to read the actual Chapter 8 Executive Summary, you will find that models have both strengths and weaknesses which are readily admitted. Regional changes on subcontinental scales are pretty iffy, but using regional climate models fed with input from AOGCMS seem to provide better information. The crap about parametarizations is pure BS. What parametaizations in AOGCMS provide is modeling of sub gridscale processes which are based generally on theory and observation. There are not many, for example GISS Model E has about 6 and all of them are constrained by physics.

    You might read the real thing rather than the shit from the NIPCC. I don’t really feel like rereading all of chapter 8 to refute your points since hot air is hot air. Welcome to the big leagues — the NIPCC has exactly 0 people who know anything at all about climate modeling.

  84. #85 Bill Walsh
    August 22, 2010

    To DaveH @365,

    I think I have made it clear. I am equally against anyone celebrating this paper as more than it is. Which is to say, I am not enamored with the rah rah love over at WUWT. It is what is it is. A paper. We shall see. But, the logic is the same. Which is to say I agree with you. I am as much against the love there as I am the hate here and other similar places.

    And yes, I think you would find that my only post there, under the name “BPW”, is supportive of an open-minded approach to the issue. I endorse Deech56 though perhaps in a different way than he meant it. I use a different name there to remain consistent with earlier posts.

    Answers to the rest tomorrow (and by the rest I mostly mean Lotharsson. I am puzzled by your defense of Ian, Loth. Really. But I will answer in full tomorrow. I have a daughter who is requesting my presence and it is late here).

    But I will answer.

  85. #86 Bill Walsh
    August 22, 2010

    And to those that care, BPW at RC is me too. Like I say there, I am looking forward to their honest opinion on this and am happy they are taking their time.

  86. #87 Bill Walsh
    August 22, 2010

    Wow, more than I thought. I will follow up, especially Lotharsson’s reasonable questions.

  87. #88 Wow
    August 22, 2010

    Wow. Bill, you’ve posted such a flurry of comments here in defense of the criticisms of these papers, there MUST be something to these criticisms.

  88. #89 Wagathon
    August 22, 2010

    Thr s smthng t ll f th crtcsms. Tht smthng s wht mks th glbl wrmng hx s ntrstng t std bt ths mst ntrstd n stdyng t nw r n th rs f psychlg, sclg nd phlsph.

    ll f ths wth n rpttn t prsrv hv btn pths twrd th N xts lng g. Bt, th rfsncks wh cntn t spprt th ndfnsbl kp prtndng MBH// (k, th ‘hck stck’ grph) hs nt lrd bn shwn t b prvn scntfc frd.

    McShn nd Wynr r nt vn ddrssng th mttr f dt mnpltn nd crrptn. ll th’r syng s tht thr s bsltl n ‘sgnl’ n th dt–nt bsd n n dlgcll-mtvtd prcncptn bt bsd n thr sttstcl nlyss f t.

    Wht’s ntrstng t sttstcns s nt th fndng bt th w th rsrchrs rrv t th prf. nd, tht s wht th d hm ttckrs f McShn & Wynr fl t rlz: thr r mn mr wys nd t sttstcns, fndng thm s mr ntrstng t thm thn th fndngs. Tht s wht scnc s rll bt.

    nd w’v sn bfr th mthds ths scnc thrtrn dfndrs f Mnn nd hs crcl-jrk clt f sychphnts s whn t cms t sttstcns wh ctll ndrstnd mth tht ndrls th nvrfblt f th lng trm prjctns f GCMs, .g.,

    BS ND CNCLMNT N TH PCC PRCSS: TH HCK-STCK FFR ND TS MPLCTNS Dvd Hllnd BSTRCT

    Th clmtc hck stck hypthss hs systmc prblms. rvw hw th PCC cm t dpt th hck stck s scntfc vdnc f hmn ntrfrnc wth th clmt. rprt ls n ndpndnt pr rvwd stds f th hck stck tht wr nstgtd b th S Hs f Rprsnttvs n , nd whch cmprhnsvl nvldtd t. Th dvrgnc prblm nd th slctv nd nrlbl ntr f tr rng rcnstrctns r dscssd, s s th nstsfctr rvw prcss f th PCC Frth ssssmnt Rprt tht gnrd th nvldtn f th hck stck. Th rrr fnd rcntl n th GSS tmprtr srs s ls ntd. t s cncldd tht th PCC hs nthr th strctr nr th ncssr ndpndnc nd sprvsn f ts prcsss t b ccptbl s th mnpl thrt n clmt scnc. Sggstns r md s t hw th PCC cld mprv ts prcdrs twrds prdcng rprts nd rcmmndtns tht r mr scntfcll snd. (nrg & nvrnmnt (), Vl. , N. +, -)

  89. #90 Wagathon
    August 22, 2010

    The above is interesting but it is very hard to read something that has no vowels, no? I will try again and may the ‘a’ and ‘e’ and I be with ‘u’ this time:

    There is something to all of the criticisms of the McShane & Wyner paper referenced below. That something is what makes the global warming hoax so interesting to study but those most interested in studying it now are in the areas of psychology, sociology and philosophy.

    All of those with any reputation to preserve have beaten paths toward the UN exits long ago. But, the refusnicks who continue to support the indefensible keep pretending MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) has not already been shown to be a proven scientific fraud.

    McShane and Wyner are not even addressing the matter of data manipulation and corruption. All they’re saying is that there is absolutely no ‘signal’ in the data–not based on an ideologically-motivated preconception but based on their statistical analysis of it.

    What’s interesting to statisticians is not the finding but the way the researchers arrive at the proof. And, that is what the ad hom attackers of McShane & Wyner fail to realize: there are many more ways and to statisticians, finding them is more interesting to them than the findings. That is what science is really about.

    And we’ve seen before the methods these science authoritarian defenders of Mann and his circle-jerk cult of sychophants use when it comes to statisticians who actually understand the math that underlies the unverifiability of long term projections based on GCMs, e.g.,

    BIAS AND CONCEALMENT IN THE IPCC PROCESS: THE “HOCKEY-STICK” AFFAIR AND ITS IMPLICATIONS by David Holland

    ABSTRACT The climatic “hockey stick” hypothesis has systemic problems. I review how the IPCC came to adopt the “hockey stick” as scientific evidence of human interference with the climate. I report also on independent peer reviewed studies of the “hockey stick” that were instigated by the US House of Representatives in 2006, and which comprehensively invalidated it. The “divergence” problem and the selective and unreliable nature of tree ring reconstructions are discussed, as is the unsatisfactory review process of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that ignored the invalidation of the “hockey stick”. The error found recently in the GISS temperature series is also noted. It is concluded that the IPCC has neither the structure nor the necessary independence and supervision of its processes to be acceptable as the monopoly authority on climate science. Suggestions are made as to how the IPCC could improve its procedures towards producing reports and recommendations that are more scientifically sound.

    (Energy & Environment (2007), Vol. 18, No. 7+8, 950-953)

  90. #91 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 22, 2010

    It is amazing how little information is lost by disemvoweling one of Wagathon’s posts.

  91. #92 Lotharsson
    August 22, 2010

    > It is amazing how little information is lost by disemvoweling one of Wagathon’s posts.

    I think there’s probably a net information increase ;-)

  92. #93 Lotharsson
    August 22, 2010

    > I am as much against the love there as I am the hate here and other similar places.

    Perhaps it would help if you defined what you mean by the “hate here” that you see, as opposed to skepticism, disagreement, critique…and the like?

    Because I don’t recall perceiving anything I would call “hate” (although I may have read and dismissed it), but I’m seeing plenty of skepticism, disagreement and critique – which are traditional and valued attributes of scientific discourse – and that seems to be occurring even though this is merely a blog about science frequented by a mix of non-scientists and scientists, rather than a scientist-only forum.

  93. #94 Bill Walsh
    August 22, 2010

    Wow @384,

    No, there is nothing that dictates that there MUST be something to the criticisms. There MAY be something to them, I defend the criticisms because to not do so would be hypocritical. What I don’t defend is knee jerk reactions that are useless until some thorough study has been done. This goes for Mr. Watts et al as well. And I suspect, when the code is explored more deeply by others who are qualified, faults will be found. Whether they dismiss the paper, or are inconsequential remains to be seen.

    TrueSceptic @373,

    Why do I suppose that is? Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with censoring. I know Watts seems to snip ad hom attacks, but by no means do I think his is a perfect world. But sorry, my impression is that there does not seem to be the same level of hostility. I see posts from Eli, Deech and others and the tone in general towards those folks is usually pretty fair.

    How do I define vitriol? How about…

    n. Sharpness or bitterness of feeling, as in speech or writing; venom

    And if your point is that there are those at WUWT who engage in this, no doubt you are right. But that isn’t the point. Because someone else does something doesn’t make it alright.

    More to answer Lotharsson’s questions @356 in a few. First day of school tomorrow. Gots to prep the kids.

  94. #95 John Mashey
    August 22, 2010

    1) I mentioned this briefly before, but found more and took a quick look.

    McShane&Abraham references: Green, Armstrong, Soon “Validity of Climate Change Forecasting for Public Policy Decision Making” (2009).

    All may be pleased to know that they forecast that every year for the rest of the century to be within 0.5C of 2008.
    Take that, laws of physics!

    2) This may be just a coincidence, but Armstrong and Abraham do work in the same building (but not same department) at Wharton.

  95. #96 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 23, 2010

    Bill Walsh,

    I think the criticisms fall into a few categories:

    1) (and my pet peeve) They didn’t benchmark a new method, well actually a couple of new methods, against synthetic data which is common practice in the field today. As a result we have no idea whether or not they produce reconstruction that are in the ballpark.

    2) These were a couple of statisticians who waded into complex waters w/o knowing (or apparently even trying to understand) the issues faced in paleoclimate reconstructions.

    3) Weaknesses in the verification methodology. It is interesting that proxies outperformed the noise they generated (and it has been a lot) only during the first and last verification blocks. These blocks are interesting because they are the only ones which do not have the two endpoints constrained. I also think, although I have not confirmed, that they did not detrend the temperature series before figuring out the noise function. This was a mistake which M&M made in their papers. The actual noise function can only be adduced after detrending. Letting the longer term climate signal into the noise generating process adds a big hint as to what answer the noise should produce. (If I am wrong, someone out there please correct me).

    Quite frankly, M&W would have done better by writing two papers. The first should have examined the performance of their method against synthetic proxy data. This could have included their investigation of verification performance of noise (w/o the signal) vs. synthetic proxies. The second should have been further investigation, if their method had any validity at all, of the performance on actual proxy data. Obviously this would have entailed a lot more work and probably actual collaboration with scientists who work in the area — one of the barriers to entry which both myself and John Mashey have highlighted earlier in this and other threads. As it stands, the work seems rather shoddy and is at odds with work by other statisticians (see the Li, et. al. papers cited in M&@) using similar methods.

  96. #97 cohenite
    August 23, 2010

    eli’s drop-in critique of M&W at Watts seems to be the most substantial; eli said this:

    “It looks like the basic error on this one is that by calibrating against the hemispheric average, rather than smaller grid cells, they loose information and kill the signal to noise. Averaging out the local signal means that noise looks better than signal and in their words, noise provides a better fit than the proxys.”

    This is not true and there is a good thread at Jeff ID’s which shows it; amongst other parts of the paper section 3.6 seems to be germane. At least eli has conceded the paper does have some value.

    Someone raised Ruddiman above in some context; Ruddiman’s thesis about the long-term effect of AGW is egregious and I’m [not] surprised it is still making the rounds. Sage notes that human agriculture and therefore humanity got a kick along 15000-12000 years ago when CO2 levels went from 200 to 270ppm:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.1995.tb00009.x/abstract;jsessionid=9CC4DAD9763D002A05A95EF2EDDF45F9.d03t01

    The point here is that if CO2 went to 270 ~15000bya and CO2 levels were 280ppm when AGW allegedly kicked off in 1900 then Ruddiman has ~ 10ppm to work with in the meantime to substantiate his thesis of the long-term AGW influence of humanity; that’s 10ppm over about 5000 years.

  97. #98 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 23, 2010

    That is an interesting link cohenite. But I can’t read the paper since I don’t have a sub. The abstract doesn’t say how they came up the 200 number, but it does seem to be at odds with the commonly accepted numbers of 260-270.

    However, this really doesn’t have much to do with Ruddiman’s hypothesis which involves land use changes as a human influence on climate in the early holocene.

  98. #99 cohenite
    August 23, 2010

    I think Sage is right:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/291/5501/112

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/fig_tab/nature06949_F2.html

    And Ruddiman talks about the late Holocene after the sharp increase in CO2; the point is the CO2 increase came before the human activity which, Sage argues, could only happen because CO2 levels assisted the development of agriculture.

  99. #100 Bernard J.
    August 23, 2010

    [Cohenite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/a_new_hockey_stick_mcshane_and.php#comment-2745424).

    Someone raised Ruddiman above in some context; Ruddiman’s thesis about the long-term effect of AGW is egregious and I’m [not] surprised it is still making the rounds.

    Assuming a mean global temperature of 15 C at the commencement of the Industrial Revolution, and a sensitivity of 3 C, the 10 ppm increase to which you refer represents an increase of 0.16 C. Whilst this is not a biosphere-threatening increase in and of itself, it is still sufficient to shift the distribution ecosystems and the phenologies of species.

    More importantly, if one considers [the Petit Vostock data](http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Vostok_Petit_data.svg), one can see that without the almost immediate (in geological terms) biospheric and lithospheric drawing-down of CO2 from the atmosphere, temperatures since the last glacial event have similarly resisted their typical decent toward a new glacial event.

    In this light, if the effect of humans during the Holocene has been to raise atmospheric CO2 concentration by 10 ppm, in the face of having it otherwise decrease as it is mineralised by the lithosphere or sequestered in biomass, then humans have indeed had a profound effect on Holocene climate, and most especially on modern climate. It is completely irrelevant to your criticism of Ruddiman that the original increase in CO2 concentration preceded human influence on it.

    Given humanity’s reliance on the current mild global climatic conditions in order to achieve its extraordinary global dominance, Ruddiman is bang on the money making the claims that he does.

    Without it, we might be living in a very different cultural world. Shifting toward a glacial event now would alter how we live near the poles: just as warming the planet will greatly alter how we live in equatorial and in arid areas. And this is to not even touch on the profound biospheric effects which will ripple around the planet.

    Quite simply, cohenite, your point about Ruddiman is a strawman – a ruddy great – egregious, in fact – and ill-informed strawman.

    Further, your argument about the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration from 200 to 270 ppm enabling the expansion of human agriculture ignores the contemporary increase in global temperature as the planet emerged from the last glacial event, and the fact that it was only after the last glacial event that humans learned to domesticate food crops, and how to cultivate them. By the time they had done both, they were largely already working in a modern CO2 concentration environment.

    As much as you might wish it otherwise, in order to make your “climate sceptic” claims, there are other factors beside CO2 concentration that influence the developement of human agriculture.

    The other thing about the [historical CO2 level](http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png) is that is shows that our biosphere is adapted to a range of 180 to 300 ppm – so Tim Curtin’s hysteria, and that of his sympathisers, that the biosphere cannot function without elevating atmospheric CO2 is entirely misplaced.