Pharyngula

Since we’re arguing over global warming this week, I thought I’d post a commentary piece that was published in the Morris newspaper this week, by my colleague Pete Wyckoff. Pete is our local tree and climate expert, who works in both the biology and environmental studies discipline, and is very well qualified to describe what was going on with some of the adjustments in the climate data that have some of the nuts screaming shrilly on Fox News.

Local Commentary: Thoughts on ‘Climate-gate’: Mitigate our impact

By Pete Wyckoff

Is the planet cooling? “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick…to hide the decline,” writes climate scientist Phil Jones in a stolen 1999 e-mail which has caused a frenzy. FoxNews.com tells us that we finally have a ‘smoking gun’–proof that scientists are manufacturing a global warming crisis so that they can… they can…(I’ve never really understood the goals of the evil scientific conspirators).

The planet is warming. The data are unequivocal and based on measured temperatures (corrected for things like the “heat island” effect, so please don’t write an angry response claiming that the thermometers are wrong). What Phil Jones was referring to is something else: past temperatures estimated via tree rings. Since 1960, the rings in trees seem to have lost some of their power to record temperature.

Why should tree rings indicate temperature at all? As most of us learned in childhood, the trunks of trees at our latitude tend to put on a distinct growth ring every year. All other things being equal, when the trees are happy, they put on a large ring. When the going gets tough, the rings get thin. What makes a tree happy? Light, nutrients, lack of disease, and warmth (to a point). What do trees despise? Drought. By careful interpretation of past tree growth patterns, we can learn a lot about past climates.

Scientists have spent many years developing the techniques needed to reconstruct climate via tree rings. The problem is that in the past few decades, the tree ring-climate relationships seem to have become “decoupled” in many areas. Why? The main cause seems to be increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. While carbon dioxide is famously a gas that heats the planet (the greenhouse effect is real and uncontroversial), carbon dioxide also directly impacts plants. Carbon dioxide fuels photosynthesis, and increased carbon dioxide in the air can both speed-up plant growth and make plants less sensitive to drought.

Decreased drought sensitivity is an expected response for plants exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide. All along the underside of a plant’s leaves are little holes called “stomata.” These holes can open and close. A tree must open its stomata to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Unfortunately, plants lose water out of their open stomata. Plants growing in air that has lots of carbon dioxide can reduce the amount of time their stomata are open, thus making them lose less water and become less susceptible to drought.

Biologists call the concept here “water-use efficiency,” and it is of crucial interest to farmers and foresters alike. Carbon dioxide causes warming that will likely make west central Minnesota a drier place in the future. At the same time, increased carbon dioxide in the air makes plants growing in our region less susceptible to drought. The balance between these two forces will be crucial.

The changing relationship between climate and tree growth is a hot topic of research at your local university. Last Friday, Dr. Chris Cole and Dr. Jon Anderson, of the University of Minnesota, Morris, published a paper in the journal “Global Change Biology” showing that aspen trees in Wisconsin are growing faster than they used to, and much of the increase is attributed to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Two weeks ago, a former student and I published a paper in the “Journal of Ecology” showing that oak trees in west central Minnesota became less sensitive to drought during the 20th century. If “dust bowl”-severity droughts come again soon, we project that the local oaks will suffer 50 percent less mortality than they likely did in the 1930s.

So what does this all mean? The relationship between tree rings and climate is becoming muddied by the rapid recent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. For most of the past 10,000 years, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere remained reasonably stable. Now they are skyrocketing. Modern tree rings are no longer the reliable recorders of temperature they once were. It is a good thing that we now have thermometers.

What does Phil Jones’ stolen e-mail not mean? It does not mean that global warming is a hoax. It does not mean that there are really any cracks in the scientific consensus that humans are causing dangerous alterations to the global climate.

We humans are changing the climate, largely by emitting vast quantities of carbon dioxide via the way we heat our houses, fuel our cars, and generate our electricity. This is unwise. Yes, the future climate, along with the increased carbon dioxide, may be good for some. For most people, however, the downsides of climate change are likely to far outweigh the benefits. Don’t let Fox News mislead you. As a prudent, conservative people, we should take serious steps to mitigate our impact.

Dr. Pete Wyckoff is Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris.


The buggy comment registration bites us again. There was an interesting discussion between a reader, Don Baccus, and Pete Wyckoff about a small misconception in his editorial. Since they couldn’t post it in a comment, I’m putting it here.

I tried to post this to PZ Myers’ blog (about tree ring proxy temp reconstructs)

But it requires registration, and when I registered, the promised confirmation e-mail never arrived (not even in my junk folder).

You’ve got the “divergence problem” backwards, I think – the problem is there’s a *decline* in the tree ring widths in recent decades, while your description of CO2 effects, if I understand correctly, would lead to an *increase*.

That’s the “hide the decline” comment, “decline” in this case refers to the “divergence problem” (divergence from the instrumental temperature record).

Several leading candidates for the cause of this problem are anthropogenic, though, primarily air pollution. And apparently none of the researchers looking into this believe that the divergence problem indicates any problem with the reconstructions deeper into the past, except possibly during periods as warm as today (but other proxies tell researchers that on a global scale, at least, there hasn’t been such a period for 1,000+ years), and where the timeframes overlap, the tree ring reconstructions map other proxy reconstructions quite nicely. The leading natural, non-anthropogenic candidate appears to be drought, i.e. at a certain temperature threshold drought dominates for those locations that show the problem (BTW not all of the tree ring reconstructions show these problems).

Here’s a recent (2007) survey paper on the divergence problem:

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~liepert/pdf/DArrigo_etal.pdf

Anyway, though you might want to dig a little deeper into this …

—-
Don Baccus
http://donb.photo.net
http://birdnotes.net

http://openacs.org

This is from Pete Wyckoff:

Hey Paul (and Don),

Thanks for picking up my editorial–one of your alert readers has pointed me to an area where my thinking was perhaps muddied by my temperate forest bias. In a 2008 paper in Global and Planetary Change (vol 60, pp 289-305), D’Arrigo et al. discuss possible causes for the “divergence problem” as it applies to very high latitude tree ring records. Not only have some of those records become merely unclear (which could well be carbon dioxide-related), but the particular ring records that caused Mann et al. problems did actually show a decline in growth despite increased temperatures. (To make things even more complicated, I believe the problematic records were based on ring density, not ring width, which is the metric I use in my work). As many of your commenters have correctly pointed out, carbon dioxide fertilization and carbon dioxide-induced drought tolerance can explain the loss of a climate signal, or an artificially enhanced growth signal, but are not likely to jive with a failure to grow.

In reading D’Arrigo et al., my lay person summary for what is going on is this: the Artic is rapidly warming. The trees that we might naively expect to rejoice at this development are instead showing signs of stress. The possible reason for this (of the many presented) that I find most convincing is that the warming is changing the regional hydrology to the point where trees are drought stressed so severely that they just can’t take advantage of the warmth–despite the rise in carbon dioxide!

How did I become confused in the first place? Well, for one, I’m a scientist and I am human, and when I saw a hot topic where my own work seemed relevant (which it is), I immediately jumped to a conclusion that inflated the connection to my own work. I was also led astray by a discussion of the “hide the decline” controversy (which I found disappointingly terse) on RealClimate that linked Briffa et al’s 1998 paper “Trees tell of past climates: but are they speaking less clearly today? “

Is there a way to get this posted? I’m pretty ignorant about how the whole blog-discussion thing is supposed to work.

Back to grading. I keep resolving to give shorter finals, but I never actually follow through.

Cheers,

Pete
PS. Don Baccus seems to be both a computer guy and a excellent nature photographer. Check out his on-line galleries.

Don Baccus replies:

Thanks for the response.

The D’Arrigo 2008 Global and Planetary Change paper is probably the same paper (perhaps modified to meet reviewer critiques) that I linked to as being “in press” in 2007?

Or is it a later paper with more info? If so, I’d appreciate a URL if it’s not behind a firewall (being a humble software engineer and, as you note, photographer, I’m not plugged into the climate science/dendro/biology infrastructure and have no academic access).

It’s interesting stuff … not interesting in the way that the rabid anti-science fuckhead (pardon me!) reality-denying luddite denialsphere types are saying, though. It’s interesting in the true scientific sense … what’s going on today that causes this subset of chronologies to diverge?

Here …

” (To make things even more complicated, I believe the problematic records were based on ring density, not ring width, which is the metric I use in my work)”

Yes, “maximum latewood density” apparently jargoned into “MXD” … high altitude/high latitude trees in the right circumstances apparently (you tell me, you’re the expert!) show most growth in a few short weeks in summer, and therefore are temperature-sensitive (more weeks of sufficiently warm weather means more growth). Makes sense to me, but my professional biology experience is limited to being a field tech doing raptor migration work. All I know about plants is that sometimes they grow, sometimes they don’t, and in field camp sometimes I burn them to keep warm :) Anyway, the claim is that this is a better metric for temperature sensitivity than simple tree ring width, and I believe it, from what I’ve read. In the sense that I trust experts, just as I’d hope you’d give me similar respect if you asked me about a computer science question.

“The possible reason for this (of the many presented) that I find most convincing is that the warming is changing the regional hydrology to the point where trees are drought stressed so severely that they just can’t take advantage of the warmth–despite the rise in carbon dioxide!”

This is the leading non-anthropogenic candidate …

I think the major problem researchers are having with this, though, is that the divergence problem is sort of randomly distributed with no immediately obvious correlation with available precip info. Then again, by definition, “high latitude” means “remote” and “no nearby (usually) met stations” so microclimate etc problems are well, problems. But I do think this is a very strong candidate (and if D`Arrigo 2008 states this more strongly, beyond her 2007 draft, perhaps even stronger, I’d like to read the latest paper rather than just the 2007 draft).

But all that holds true for possible anthropogenic causes. There’s a lack of localized data, I think that’s a big problem here in terms of pinning down the cause of the divergence problem.

But none of this seriously calls into question reconstructions that match available proxy and instrument data for like 90% or so of the period in which the data overlaps. Even the recent divergence problem in areas that have long term data available overlaps with thermometers for about 2/3 of the historical record (one reason why they think that some anthropogenic cause might be there, or a temperature threshold causing drought cause (which would make the denialist claims of a “warm as today” MWP even weaker than they are now, because you don’t see divergence back then)).

And of course, there are chronologies that don’t show the divergence problem at all, something the denialists are strangely quiet about …

Anyway the rational response to the divergence problem is to research it. Not to use it as a basis for claiming that all of science that might bear on climatology is a fraud :) I know I’ll be interested in what researchers find out about this over the next five to ten years …

Thank you very much for your response, and for taking the time to do some reading based on my e-mail, and for taking the time to respond.

And, PZ, thank you for being such a bulldog for what’s right and against what’s wrong.

PS. Don Baccus seems to be both a computer guy and a excellent nature photographer. Check out his on-line galleries.

And thanks for that, too :)

—-
Don Baccus
http://donb.photo.net
http://birdnotes.net

http://openacs.org

And one more from Baccus:

On Dec 17, 2009, at 8:31 PM, Peter Wyckoff wrote:

How did I become confused in the first place? Well, for one, I’m a scientist and I am human, and when I saw a hot topic where my own work seemed relevant (which it is), I immediately jumped to a conclusion that inflated the connection to my own work. I was also led astray by a discussion of the “hide the decline” controversy (which I found disappointingly terse) on RealClimate that linked Briffa et al’s 1998 paper “Trees tell of past climates: but are they speaking less clearly today? “

Regarding the Real Climate stuff … the terseness comes, partly, I believe, from the fact that climate science is so under the microscope that the anti-science/pseudoscience and the rational people share vocabulary and background to such an extent that such terseness is perfectly clear to those of us who are fixated on it.

Not much different than the biology vs. genesis (in all its permutations) debate. We all can talk in code, now, and if you don’t know it, it can seem terse.

Oh, and I missed that Real Climate link to the 2008 paper, I’d found the D’Arrigo 2007 in press work via google …

BTW I hope you don’t think that I don’t think you or any working scientist isn’t human, and are incapable of making mistakes, or having human feelings, and all that :) Or that your response in any way reflects on your expertise in the stuff you work on.

Is there a way to get this posted? I’m pretty ignorant about how the whole blog-discussion thing is supposed to work.

The way it’s supposed to work is that working scientists are supposed to be shouted down and humiliated by torch-burning, castle-storming Rush Limbaugh-worshipping “true Americans”. Filmed in black-and-white like the original Frankenstein movie, appropriate for the anti-progress mindset of these people.

And if scientists don’t crawl away and hide their research … death threats, attempts to get them fired, censured, etc.

(I’m not kidding, one climate scientist in Texas was given a police bodyguard before giving a talk in the last couple of months because of death threats, and scientists at CRU and Ben Santer at LLNL have gotten death threats, Ben Santer as far back as 1996, and they’re not the only ones). At this week’s AGU, a scientist at Penn State said an alumni tried to get him fired for saying “there’s no peer reviewed papers that overturn mainstream climate science” (paraphrase). James Hansen reports he and his co-workers are now spending much of their time working on FOIA requests that ask for all their correspondence to be released into the public domain.

Fear for science, dudes. The far right, especially here in the US, wants to bury science in the name of both extreme biblical literalism and libertarianism.

Anyway, thanks again, Peter, for your response.

—-
Don Baccus
http://donb.photo.net
http://birdnotes.net

http://openacs.org

Comments

  1. #1 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    Nicely done.

  2. #2 Joffan
    December 17, 2009

    A clear, rational response that will probably get little attention – but every little helps.

    The word “decline” from that stolen e-mail has been focussed on to the extent of ignoring what it was that is actually declining. Not temperature, as is clear from reading the e-mail itself, even without knowing any of the context which Mr Wycoff explains so well above.

    Ho-hum. Sometimes I wish there really was a sanity clause.

  3. #3 Kel, OM
    December 17, 2009

    You can’t just explain away limbs in your backyard. Even if you can make a story that your dog dug them up in the forest and reburied them in your yard.

    If scientists had nothing to hide, then why are they defending themselves?!?

  4. #4 Joffan
    December 17, 2009

    Oops, sorry, Dr Wyckoff – I meant to go back to check your spelling & status….

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    December 17, 2009

    If scientists had nothing to hide, then why are they defending themselves?!?

    lolwut?

  6. #6 Joffan
    December 17, 2009

    Kel, I fear you are skating close to the Poe limit there ;-).

  7. #7 Lynna, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Excellent explantion. Please thank Wyckoff for all of us. Should we all forward this to Glenn Beck and to Rush Limbaugh?

  8. #8 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Thank you, Professor Wyckoff, for a straight-forward, easy to understand explanation for the change in tree-ring data.

  9. #9 truebutnotuseful
    December 17, 2009

    Pete Wyckoff wrote:

    scientists are manufacturing a global warming crisis so that they can? they can?(I’ve never really understood the goals of the evil scientific conspirators)

    Easy. Scientists are all elitist, atheist, ivory-tower, commie-pinko libruls who want to destroy capitalism and impose Teh Socialism on the world.

    At least that’s the impression that I get from my far-too-numerous AGW-denialist acquaintances.

  10. #10 Peter G.
    December 17, 2009

    A clear and concise explanation of the phenomenon. I wonder, on a global scale, how much this added biomass will help to absorb the additional atmospheric co2. A millimeter of tree ring growth here, a millimeter of tree ring growth there. It’s got to add up to some good news.

  11. #11 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Easy. Scientists are all elitist, atheist, ivory-tower, commie-pinko libruls who want to destroy capitalism and impose Teh Socialism on the world.

    At least that’s the impression that I get from my far-too-numerous AGW-denialist acquaintances.

    Then ask you denialist friends to cite the peer reviewed scientific literature on climate. Failure of them to do so means they are liars and bullshitters. Life can be simple with the proper skepticism…

  12. #12 Brain Hertz
    December 17, 2009

    …want to destroy capitalism and impose Teh Socialism on the world.

    You missed “impose a one-world government”.

    That one appears without the slightest hint of self-consciousness on Whirled Nut Daily on a fairly regular basis.

  13. #13 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    December 17, 2009

    That’s a nice piece of writing. Does UMM have a secret cabal of excellent science explainers tucked away up there? And when will the UM press publish the yummy compendium?

  14. #14 truebutnotuseful
    December 17, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead, OM, wrote:

    Then ask you denialist friends to cite the peer reviewed scientific literature on climate. Failure of them to do so means they are liars and bullshitters. Life can be simple with the proper skepticism…

    I doubt my AGW-denier friends even know the meaning of the words ‘peer-reviewed.’ I know – time for new friends.

  15. #15 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    I wonder, on a global scale, how much this added biomass will help to absorb the additional atmospheric co2. A millimeter of tree ring growth here, a millimeter of tree ring growth there. It’s got to add up to some good news.

    Nope, not that good. Buring is overwhelming what is removed. But then, if you were up with the peer reviewed scientific literature, you would know that. Which says a lot about your knowledge and veracity…

  16. #16 Meathead
    December 17, 2009

    Kel wrote: If scientists had nothing to hide, then why are they defending themselves?!?

    Cleanup in aisle 3!

  17. #17 David Marjanovi?
    December 17, 2009

    It’s got to add up to some good news.

    Yes: it adds up to two gigatonnes of carbon per year, as far as I remember.

    That, and the ocean acidification (the remainder of what was called the “missing sink” in the 1990s), leaves… seven gigatonnes of carbon that we add to the atmosphere per year, I think.

    The actual numbers should be somewhere at Real Climate. I don’t have time to look for them now.

  18. #18 Derek
    December 17, 2009

    For most people, however, the downsides of climate change are likely to far outweigh the benefits.

    See, this is the area where I think reasonable people can still be justified in their skepticism. Yes, the earth is getting warmer. Yes, we are a significant contributing factor in that warming. Will this inevitably lead to a Bruckheimer-esque future? An Inconvenient Truth, with its movie posters with penguins walking in the desert reminded me of Erlich’s Population Bomb, which was the Chicken Little of the day, predicting mass starvations that would wipe out large swaths of humanity by the end of the century.

    Can a thinking person (even a scientist) not accept that global warming is a reality, but be skeptical about the dire predictions?

  19. #19 tyrone slothrop
    December 17, 2009

    This is a well written response to much of the nonsense now circulating about the hacked emails. Thank your colleague.

  20. #20 David Marjanovi?
    December 17, 2009

    N00bz, Kel is a regular who has demonstrated sanity for years. It logically follows that he’s joking.

    Nice illustration of Poe’s Law: any parody of a creationist [or equivalent] is indistinguishable from the real thing. Also called Ebert’s fallacy: to think that it’s possible to create an obvious parody of a creationist [or equivalent].

    The last sentence of comment 3 may seem obviously way-over-the-top, but there really are morons out there who are stupid enough to think like that.

    ======================

    Forgot to add… the Amazon rainforest is becoming drier. Imagine a wildfire there. Or rather… don’t.

  21. #21 glenister_m
    December 17, 2009

    In one of David Suzuki’s books he laments that if aliens were observing us they would have to conclude that we were an insane species.

    Reasons include:
    - if we hunt a food species faster than it can reproduce, it will go extinct and can not be used as food in the future. Yet this is what we are doing to fish and other aquatic species we depend on
    - we need clean air and water to survive, yet we contaminate both by dumping our wastes into them (eg. exhaust, sewers, pollution, etc.)
    - we are aware of health/environmental problems, (eg. ozone layer, global warming, pollution, smoking, etc.), but will actively resist stopping the causes until we are forced to
    - we are aware that exponential growth is unsustainable in any form (eg. population, crops, finances – we live on a finite planet), yet we continue to act as though it can be although that logically leads to our own destruction

    I’m reminded of an anti-smoking commerical by a former tobacco lobbyist (dying of lung cancer) who regrets that he lied and apologizes for it. I don’t find it hard to imagine that some of those who used their power/influence to fight against stopping global warming will regret it in the near future, when it is too late to do anything about it.

    It continues to annoy me that besides not getting re-elected (or simply finishing your two terms as president) that there is no accountability for politicians for the decisions they make. They could make the worst decisions, that the public has to live with, and the most that happens to them is a bad rap in future history books…

  22. #22 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    See, this is the area where I think reasonable people can still be justified in their skepticism. Yes, the earth is getting warmer. Yes, we are a significant contributing factor in that warming.

    Then you agree with us, unless you weasel out in the next sentence. As an adult, you either need to put up or shut the fuck up. I appears you can’t do either. What a wuss. (Come back only when you grow a pair to be a man)…

  23. #23 David Marjanovi?
    December 17, 2009

    Will this inevitably lead to a Bruckheimer-esque future?

    No idea who Bruckheimer is, but… the sea is rising at 3.1 mm per year now, and the rise is accelerating. If things keep going, the sea level will rise by… probably something like 2 m by the end of the century, if I’m not too tired to remember the latest extra-long Climategategate thread correctly.

  24. #24 echidna
    December 17, 2009

    It probably depends on where you live.
    In a snow-bound place, a little extra warmth many not sound too bad.
    But in drought-ridden Australia, where even the southern (cold) states are quite hot, the “dire” predictions actually sound very feasible.

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?
    December 17, 2009

    Come back only when you grow a pair to be a man

    Irrelevant.

  26. #26 echidna
    December 17, 2009

    Sorry, my comment #24 was meant to address Derek@18. Pharyngula moves very quickly…

  27. #27 Mr T
    December 17, 2009

    Yes, we are a significant contributing factor in that warming. Will this inevitably lead to a Bruckheimer-esque future?

    Can a thinking person (even a scientist) not accept that global warming is a reality, but be skeptical about the dire predictions? [my strikeout, for clarity's sake]

    Let’s leave Jerry Bruckheimer and Al Gore out of the picture for a moment. If you’re talking about the predictions of climate scientists, then what reason would there be to reject them? If you believe global warming is real, then what could possibly lead you to believe it could be a good thing?

  28. #28 FounderEffect
    December 17, 2009

    Kel’s Poe is hilarious, in a sardonic sort of way. However, it echoes a question that gets drowned-out in the explanations of “fixing” the data. Why did they need to “hide the decline”? Hide being the key word.

    Shouldn’t inconsistencies be explained, not hidden?

  29. #29 tyrone slothrop
    December 17, 2009

    In case you all missed it, former Gov. Jesse Ventura’s new show Conspiracy Theory (on TruTv, and if it has Tru in its title, well it must be true) “documented” that “global warming” is a giant global conspiracy, linking ultimately to the Rothschilds and world domination.

    The hacked emails were, of course, featured (or at least single words from the emails anyway).

  30. #30 WowbaggerOM
    December 17, 2009

    I think you mean Emmerich rather than Bruckheimer, whose speciality is overblown big-budget action films rather than environmental disaster films – the former is responsible for The Day After Tomorrow and 2012; the latter for Bad Boys, Con Air and Pearl Harbor.

  31. #31 ArmandTanzarian
    December 17, 2009

    The vast majority of people who think that the emails are an indication that global climate change is fake are those who already think the Earth is not warming. Even the efforts of every and all of the scientific community can’t convince them.

    No one on that side has even stopped to think why a global network of scientists would even come out and fake such a thing.

  32. #32 The Science Pundit
    December 17, 2009

    No idea who Bruckheimer is

    Jerry Bruckheimer is the director of this sensationalist “climate change” film (as well as the new 2012 film).

  33. #33 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    I know – time for new friends.

    Yep, sep-ar-ate the truthtellers from the liars and bullshitters. It saves time and grief in the long run…

  34. #34 The Science Pundit
    December 17, 2009

    WowbaggerOM is right; I get those two guys confused too.

  35. #35 Derek
    December 17, 2009

    MrT said: If you believe global warming is real, then what could possibly lead you to believe it could be a good thing?

    I didn’t say it was a good thing. I’m saying it should be perfectly legitimate to be skeptical that its effects are going to be apocalyptic. It’s important to prioritize threats, and while the science that global warming is real is incontrovertible, I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering. Thus, I’m not sold on the idea of investing huge amounts of political and economic power to address the problem.

  36. #36 Alyson Miers
    December 17, 2009

    Even if the dire predictions are reduced down to something simple like sea levels, that’s pretty bad, and it’s pretty bad in a really inequitable way. If the planet keeps on warming, then the ocean will inevitably continue to rise, which puts a lot of coastal areas in a tight spot. I wouldn’t want to live on the coasts of, say, equatorial Africa, or much of the Caribbean or southern Asia, if we don’t manage to rein in carbon emissions. If their coastlines encroach, then their land area contracts, and where will all those people live?

  37. #37 Kel, OM
    December 17, 2009

    N00bz, Kel is a regular who has demonstrated sanity for years. It logically follows that he’s joking.

    I was relying on that, partly. Partly was going so over the top that it could only be taken as a joke. But as you point out:

    The last sentence of comment 3 may seem obviously way-over-the-top, but there really are morons out there who are stupid enough to think like that.

    And therein lies the death of satire. One can’t be subtle in parody anymore, they have to be way over the top and even then it can sometimes be indistinguishable from the nonsense that some spew.

  38. #38 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Jebus, as a chemist I am used to something the ppm or ppt range that is required for something to happen. What part of carbon dioxide and methane don’t the AGW deiniers acknowledge…

  39. #39 A. Noyd
    December 17, 2009

    So, essentially, that bit of the hacked emails reinforces the fact of AGW. I think I might practice explaining the content of this (extremely well written) article in case I meet any outspoken stupid people who need to be shot in the face with their own “smoking gun.”

  40. #40 Robert Thille
    December 17, 2009

    I don’t deny global warming, don’t deny AGW, don’t deny it will cause massive suffering across the globe in the years to come… However, as a rich American with no children, why should I care?

    Now, I _do_ care, and have done and will continue to do my part to raise awareness of the problem and reduce my impacts. But I do see the point of some people, especially people in positions of power and wealth: “Who cares if 1 Billion people die in China and India, me and mine will do just fine.” Deeply immoral from my point of view, but not unexpected.

    Discussing AWG with my brothers over Thanksgiving surprised me though. Turns out my ‘rich-ass’ (dot-com-boom) brother is a AWG denier. I guess that’s easier on his psyche than just doing what he wants and accepting the guilt.

  41. #41 llewelly
    December 17, 2009

    David Marjanović | December 17, 2009 6:24 PM:

    That, and the ocean acidification (the remainder of what was called the “missing sink” in the 1990s), leaves… seven gigatonnes of carbon that we add to the atmosphere per year, I think.

    The actual numbers should be somewhere at Real Climate. I don’t have time to look for them now.

    Actually, I couldn’t find them on realclimate.org . There’s lots of good information there, but for some reason google finds RC a difficult place to search (as it does scienceblogs.com). Here is what I did find:
    Wikipedia gives 7.75 GtC (or 28.4 Gt CO2) for 2006.
    IEA gives 7.9 GtC or 28.96 Gt CO2 for 2007. (Wikipedia gets its 2006 numbers from the IEA.)

  42. #42 Meathead
    December 17, 2009

    FounderEffect wrote: Kel’s Poe is hilarious, in a sardonic sort of way. However, it echoes a question that gets drowned-out in the explanations of “fixing” the data. Why did they need to “hide the decline”? Hide being the key word.

    Shouldn’t inconsistencies be explained, not hidden?

    Did you actually read Wyckoff’s article? I’ll summarize it: tree ring data no longer track temperature due to higher CO2. Since we have temperature records for the modern period and that’s what we’re interested in relying on tree ring data would have been the wrong approach.

  43. #43 HenryS
    December 17, 2009

    I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering.
    ********
    It is my understanding that the warming data now coming out of the Arctic circle, especially the melting Tundra and Methane release, isn’t yet included in the warming predictions. I think that the tipping point for drastic climate change occurred decades ago.

  44. #44 Kel, OM
    December 17, 2009

    No one on that side has even stopped to think why a global network of scientists would even come out and fake such a thing.

    That’s the sad reality of this situation, that for the general public there is a capacity to posit a mass conspiracy despite the implausibility of a mass conspiracy. That one can posit that aliens can travel light years to get here to mess with crops or molest sleep paralysis sufferers, yet ignore the implausibility of space travel or even intelligent aliens. That if Uri Geller bends spoons, it’s with his mind instead of a magic trick. That 9/11 was an inside job, a big bad government somehow more plausible than some determined jihadists. That the jews pretended there was more victims in the holocaust to steal the land back from the Palestinians. JFK was knocked off by a 2nd gunman and Oswald was a patsy.

    It seems that there’s a tendency to posit something even more implausible to explain the implausible, without reflecting one moment on the implausibility of said explanation. Like positing the a greater order (God’s mind) to explain why there is order in the universe.

  45. #45 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering

    Then you’re an ignoramus.

    Thus, I’m not sold on the idea of investing huge amounts of political and economic power to address the problem.

    Bully for you. But you show your hand too readily, since inevitability of large-scale destruction and suffering need not be demonstrated in order to justify such investments. And that’s just one of several indications that you are not among the reasonable.

  46. #46 Meathead
    December 17, 2009

    Thanks Kel, I rather suspected you were joking but thought I would have a bit of fun to see how long you would keep it going. Guess I need something to laugh at lately.

  47. #47 Joffan
    December 17, 2009

    While “hide the decline” can appear to be a damning piece of cover-up (of, er, something or other), I can also see it as shorthand for “avoid confusing the graph with a proxy that stops working in 1960″. I very much doubt that this particular data set was a major focus of the paper in question, rather it would have been part of the whole picture, and the “trick” could even have included a footnote. (Did it? does anyone have a link to the paper that was being discussed?)

  48. #48 Alyson Miers
    December 17, 2009

    “Who cares if 1 Billion people die in China and India, me and mine will do just fine.”

    I can answer that question on their terms: those 1 billion people in China and India aren’t all going to die at once; sure, lots of people are going to die, but they’re going to die while at least as many of their neighbors emigrate to more stable climes. Specifically: they’re going to immigrate to our areas, at much, much higher rates than we’re currently integrating, and many of them will not be prepared to adjust to their new surroundings to the extent that we’d like. We will have to deal with the plight of other parts of the world, one way or another. Their problems will be our problems, no matter how far into the sand we bury our heads.

  49. #49 Kel, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Thanks Kel, I rather suspected you were joking but thought I would have a bit of fun to see how long you would keep it going.

    Unlike someone like say Smoggy, I’m not really good at doing this sort of stuff. It’s much easier to parody a particular aspect of a position than it is to parody the position as a whole.

    Guess I need something to laugh at lately.

    The best you’re going to get out of me is this.

  50. #50 destlund
    December 17, 2009

    @Kel, 44

    If you’re going to tell a lie, make it a big one.

  51. #51 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    JFK was knocked off by a 2nd gunman and Oswald was a patsy.

    That turns out to be false but it wasn’t implausible, especially not if we disentangle your false dichotomy and recognize that there could have been a 2nd gunman without Oswald being a patsy. Interestingly, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded (correctly) that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President and (incorrectly) that Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy.

  52. #52 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    Kennedy thread?!
    Excellent!!

  53. #53 Chris
    December 17, 2009

    I actually think Wyckoff’s letter is somewhat damning for Mann. He points out that there IS an understood mechanism (decreased temperature sensitivity that’s a function of CO2) that depresses temperature effects on tree ring growth. As a data modeler (although fortunately not in this political fraught field!), I can certainly say that a far more scientifically responsible course of action would have been to incorporate this mechanism into their regression model. Smoothing two temperature series the way they did is NOT kosher, whether or not they got the right curve in the end.

  54. #54 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Erlich’s Population Bomb, which was the Chicken Little of the day, predicting mass starvations that would wipe out large swaths of humanity by the end of the century.

    Look, moron, just because we managed to (somewhat) avert disaster doesn’t mean we didn’t face one. People as stupid as you are also believe that we didn’t come within a hair of catastrophe due to nuclear weapons just because we didn’t suffer a catastrophe due to nuclear weapons (yet).

  55. #55 Carlie
    December 17, 2009

    It’s important to prioritize threats, and while the science that global warming is real is incontrovertible, I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering.

    Allow me to smack you in the pocketbook, then. I don’t want to assume that you live in the United States, but I’ll make the assumption that wherever you do live, agriculture is probably a pretty important part of the economy. Global warming raises us a little, and guess what happens to that agriculture? It moves a few degrees of latitude away from where it is now. That, in many cases, means to a different country. Bye, export of agriculture! Time to import your food instead. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases it also means that it moves to areas that don’t have rich enough soils to support it for very long. Bye bye, food! Oops.

  56. #56 Douglas Watts
    December 17, 2009

    I’m saying it should be perfectly legitimate to be skeptical that its effects are going to be apocalyptic.

    Ahh. The Fallacy of Ignorance. Because I know very little, it’s reasonable for me to dismiss the significance of what I don’t know.

  57. #57 amphiox
    December 17, 2009

    those 1 billion people in China and India aren’t all going to die at once

    In addition to the points made in #48, I will also add that at some point in time before they all die, perhaps when some of have died, and some more are dying, the rest are going to get very pissed, and they will have another 1-2 billion friends and families and allies who will be equally pissed.

    And both of their nations have nuclear arms.

    There are a number of small Pacific island nations who could stand to lose significant chunks of their habitable land area, up to 90%+ in some cases, if the sea levels rise even a small amount. Some of them made a diplomatic plea regarding this in Copenhagen recently, and they were summarily ignored by the industrial and oil-producing nations.

    There are other nations who might lose most or maybe even all of their readily accessible fresh water supplies, others that stand to lose much of their arable land.

    These nations are primarily small nations that have done almost nothing, nothing, to contribute to AGW.

    From their perspective, what is it that the rich industrial world has done to them, if not an act of war?

  58. #58 Joffan
    December 17, 2009

    Chris: Did they smooth two together, or just switch over? If the model was not largerly dependent on the tree ring data set, they could just lose it out of the time period when it no longer appeared applicable. “Adding in” the temperature could plausibly mean that they’d use thermometer data to make up for the missing weight of the tree data. I don’t know, but I am willing to hold a number of possibilities until some more evidence is available.

    I’d also observe that what is understood now may not have been as clear ten years ago. Again – further input welcome.

  59. #59 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    I actually think Wyckoff’s letter is somewhat damning for Mann.

    That’s pretty stupid; Michael Mann isn’t Phil Jones.

  60. #60 Biology Blogger
    December 17, 2009

    PZ,

    Has Markuze come after Pete? (author of the article)?

  61. #61 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering

    That’s right! Our unprecedented uncontrolled experiment in planetary-scale atmosphere/ocean chemistry/thermodynamics might turn out just fine!!!!

  62. #62 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Ahh. The Fallacy of Ignorance. Because I know very little, it’s reasonable for me to dismiss the significance of what I don’t know.

    Indeed. By Derek’s idiotic reasoning, skepticism of the Holocaust and of evolution is also “legitimate” as long as one willfully remains sufficiently ignorant (even when it requires active denial of facts one has encountered).

  63. #63 FounderEffect
    December 17, 2009

    Yes, Meathead, I read the piece and probably understand the science better than you do. I even use the term “trick” frequently to describe cleaning up data. However, cleaning up data should not mean to put or keep out of sight; to conceal intentionally from the view or notice of others; to conceal from discovery, to secrete (OED’s definition of hide) a possible conclusion.

    I agree with the science, but I see why people are up-in-arms about the intent of these researchers.

  64. #64 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Did they smooth two together, or just switch over?

    Y’know, you don’t have to work for the NSA to find out.

    http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=greenfyre.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Farticle%2F2009%2F11%2F20%2FAR2009112004093.html

    Mann said the ?trick? Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. ?It?s hardly anything you would call a trick,? Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.

  65. #65 amphiox
    December 17, 2009

    I’m saying it should be perfectly legitimate to be skeptical that its effects are going to be apocalyptic.

    It doesn’t have to be “apocalyptic” to still be very bad.

    Would you stick your bare hand into a blender? It’s not going to be “apocalyptic” you know. You’ll probably heal, and even if you lose your arm, it’s just an arm. You probably won’t die from it.

    And why do you assume that “dealing with the problem” is guaranteed to be costly and painful? There’s no evidence whatsoever that, when all the costs and benefits are added up and tallied, that mitigation of AGW will have a net cost of a single red cent.

  66. #66 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    However, cleaning up data should not mean to put or keep out of sight; to conceal intentionally from the view or notice of others; to conceal from discovery, to secrete (OED’s definition of hide) a possible conclusion.

    And does “probably understand the science better than you do” mean “am a moron who leaps to unwarranted conclusions based on overly literal interpretations of casual emails”?

  67. #67 FounderEffect
    December 17, 2009

    Joffan–good point. I was assuming that “adding in” meant adding to and averaging (or something similar). If it’s hiding the decline of valid data–not of temperature–that’s a different story.

  68. #68 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    I even use the term “trick” frequently to describe cleaning up data.

    Really?
    You do?

  69. #69 Douglas Watts
    December 17, 2009

    It’s important to prioritize threats, and while the science that global warming is real is incontrovertible, I don’t think the case has been made that it will inevitably lead to large-scale destruction and suffering.

    You fail to recognize that there is no one “thing” called “global warming.” The issue is how many degrees C global temperature will increase and at what rate. Each degree increase in C carries with it a different scenario, and each larger increase is more severe. The effects are not linear. For example, if the permafrost in the Arctic fully melts, an enormous amount of trapped methane will be released, which itself is a powerful greenhouse gas, thus pushing temperatures much higher than what they would be solely due to increased CO2. The IPCC reports and other sources contain reams of info. on this if you care to educate yourself on the topic.

  70. #70 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    I was assuming

    There’s a lot of that going around.

    a different story

    No, it’s the story, idiot. Where have you been?

  71. #71 Meathead
    December 17, 2009

    FounderEffect wrote: Yes, Meathead, I read the piece and probably understand the science better than you do. I even use the term “trick” frequently to describe cleaning up data.

    Oh this should be fun. And your qualifications are what exactly. Funny, I’m a scientist too. Enlighten me about this oh great one.

    You know when I read your post I thought – “there’s maybe a 10% chance this guy is a noob who just doesn’t get it”. Now I see my 90% hypothesis was borne out. You’re a dishonest little wanker who is here to play semantic games with the word “hide”.

  72. #72 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Let me again post this link (cleaned up): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112004093.html

    This article was published nearly 4 weeks ago, so there’s no excuse for all this idiotic “assuming”:

    Michael E. Mann, who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said in a telephone interview from Paris that skeptics are “taking these words totally out of context to make something trivial appear nefarious.”

    In one e-mail from 1999, the center’s director, Phil Jones, alludes to one of Mann’s articles in the journal Nature and writes, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    Mann said the “trick” Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. “It’s hardly anything you would call a trick,” Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.

  73. #73 amphiox
    December 17, 2009

    #21:

    In one of David Suzuki’s books he laments that if aliens were observing us they would have to conclude that we were an insane species.

    I remember it was once theorized (probably superceded by now) that the reason our ancestors survived and our Neanderthal cousins did not, is that the Neanderthals never demonstrated the ability to plan ahead, while our ancestors did, on average to the tune of 1-5 years.

    Perhaps, several hundred million years from now, some Neoteuthis holosapiens will contemplate our bleached fossil bones and the few scattered relics of our crumbled civilizations and think to themselves “poor ancient chordates, just couldn’t manage to plan ahead for more than ten years. Tsk. Tsk. There but for the grace of Cthul go we.”

  74. #74 TigerHunter
    December 17, 2009

    So wait, what was the “trick” that was used? And what was he hiding? It’s an educational read, but it doesn’t seem to answer those questions at all.

  75. #75 Feynmaniac
    December 17, 2009

    In case you all missed it, former Gov. Jesse Ventura’s new show Conspiracy Theory….

    Ours is a very strange country.

  76. #76 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    A fair explanation, but with all due respect, troubling questions remain:
    1. If trees are subject to ‘decoupling’ (where they no longer accurately record temperature data) due to CO2, rainfall, etc. they obviously make poor temperature proxies. Why is the theory of man made global warming based on tree ring temperature proxies?
    2. The climate researchers used approximately 1,000 years of tree ring data that agreed with their hypothesis. They only used the “trick” to hide data from the last decade+ that didn’t agree with their hypothesis. How do we know the other 1,000 years of data wasn’t decoupled somehow as well? How good is that data?
    3. If “trees? are growing faster than they used to, and? the increase is attributed to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide”, why did the climate researchers use the “trick? to hide data that showed their trees grew SLOWER than normal, indicating COOLER temperatures? Your explanation indicates increased atmospheric CO2 would make them grow faster. And if they had grown faster, (due to increased atmospheric CO2) the authors would have concluded the faster growth indicated even MORE global warming – No?

  77. #77 Mr T
    December 17, 2009

    Derek:

    I didn’t say it was a good thing. I’m saying it should be perfectly legitimate to be skeptical that its effects are going to be apocalyptic.

    Oh yes, my mistake. I should have been more careful to accurately portray the claims you haven’t explicitly made…

    So, correct me if I’m wrong: according to you, it will be somewhere between “not good” and “not apocalyptic”. If you’re trying to be a “thinking person”, you’re doing it wrong.

    Dire prediction: you will provide no evidence supporting the claim that the effects of global warming will not be “dire”.

  78. #78 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    So wait, what was the “trick” that was used? And what was he hiding? It’s an educational read, but it doesn’t seem to answer those questions at all.

    If by “it” you mean what I posted in #72, then your statement is absurd, since Mann stated explicitly what the “trick” was, and what was hidden has been explained over and over and over again: it’s the decline in temperature as inferred from proxy tree ring data — a bogus inference for the reason explained above by Pete Wyckoff.

  79. #79 AJ Milne
    December 17, 2009

    …they obviously make poor temperature proxies. Why is the theory of man made global warming based on tree ring temperature proxies?

    Gee. Never heard that one before…

    (/Shorter: it isn’t. Multiple, correlated methods are used for reconstruction.)

  80. #80 PZ Myers
    December 17, 2009

    Mr Hooffsteter: you used the word “proxy”. Do you know what that means?

    The old tree ring data is corroborated by data from other proxies, and in later years, data from these fancy devices called “thermometers”. The data from tree rings since the 1960s was observed to depart from all the other measurements — it stopped being a good proxy. Pete explains why. Tree ring growth rates were also affected by CO2 levels, which confounded their use as a proxy for temperature as CO2 levels rose.

    You might argue that maybe there were all kinds of spurious CO2 events in the past that means the tree ring data before 1960 is also lousy. However, we have other proxies that could be used (and show that the tree ring data was in alignment with them), and we also have measurements of CO2 levels before 1960.

  81. #81 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    Hey AJ Milne, check out this link:
    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/McKitrick-hockeystick.pdf
    especially note Fig. 7.

  82. #82 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    No, Mr. Hooffsteter (P.G.?), tree-rings are not direct indicators of temperature (“their trees grew SLOWER than normal, indicating COOLER temperatures”). They are primarily indicators of water stress–drought. That’s why they are a “proxy” instead of a living thermometer. Dr. Wyckoff’s point is that higher CO2 levels break the correlation between drought and temperature. Fast-growing trees indicate non-water-stressed trees, which used to mean cooler temperatures but now means higher CO2 instead.
    Your first two points are both the same point. I don’t know much about the intricacies and calibration of tree-ring proxies for temperature, but I bet if I wanted to I could find out here, you know, on the Internet.

  83. #83 amk.myopenid.com
    December 17, 2009

    Somewhat on topic, AGW proponent journalist George Monbiot pwns AGW skeptic geologist Ian Plimer here. The most damning bit of Plimer is towards the end, concerning satellite data. The questions Monbiot put to Plimer and that Plimer declined to answer are here.

  84. #84 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    PZ Meyers:
    You are correct, there are other proxies that work MUCH better. And NONE of them correlate well with Dr. Mann’s tree ring data. All other proxies show a pronounced Medieval warm period, which Dr. Mann’s tree ring proxies do not.

    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

  85. #85 Sven DiMilo
    December 17, 2009

    he spelled your name right, dude

  86. #86 Douglas Watts
    December 17, 2009

    Why is the theory of man made global warming based on tree ring temperature proxies?

    It’s not.

  87. #87 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    If trees are subject to ‘decoupling’ (where they no longer accurately record temperature data) due to CO2, rainfall, etc. they obviously make poor temperature proxies

    Did you even read the “fair explanation”? “Scientists have spent many years developing the techniques needed to reconstruct climate via tree rings.” So they were good proxies. But “The problem is that in the past few decades, the tree ring-climate relationships seem to have become “decoupled” in many areas. Why? The main cause seems to be increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

    The climate researchers used approximately 1,000 years of tree ring data that agreed with their hypothesis.

    No, they used data that is well-established to be a good proxy of temperature — which isn’t “their hypothesis”.

    They only used the “trick” to hide data from the last decade+ that didn’t agree with their hypothesis.

    No, they hid the inferred decline that didn’t agree with thermometers.

    How do we know the other 1,000 years of data wasn’t decoupled somehow as well?

    Uh, because we’re scientists and we’ve examined the evidence. (See #79.)

    If “trees? are growing faster than they used to, and? the increase is attributed to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide”, why did the climate researchers use the “trick? to hide data that showed their trees grew SLOWER than normal, indicating COOLER temperatures?

    They used the “trick” to hide a decline due to a bogus inference; they didn’t hide “data” — see,, the email says “hide the decline”, not “hide the data”. As for “their trees” and “grew SLOWER than normal” and “indicating COOLER temperatures”, I must admit that I can’t manage emulating a confused person well enough to quite figure out how you got there.

    Your explanation indicates increased atmospheric CO2 would make them grow faster. And if they had grown faster, (due to increased atmospheric CO2) the authors would have concluded the faster growth indicated even MORE global warming – No?

    The rate of warming in recent decades is determined by thermometers; the faster growth of trees is consistent with that. The problem for Phil Jones et. al. is that the established model for inferring climate from tree rings is based on “most of the past 10,000 years”, when “carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere remained reasonably stable”. There’s a pretty good explanation of all this … by Pete Wyckoff; see above.

  88. #88 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter, P.G. @ #84 outs himself as an idiot denier troll.

  89. #89 Douglas Watts
    December 17, 2009

    I believe you’ll find the Medieval Warming was a regional phenomenon, focussed in the Northern hemisphere, and was not a global phenomenon. As such, the “signal” from this warming would tend not to be very strong in an analysis designed to examine global trends.

  90. #90 redrabbitslife
    December 17, 2009

    That post is a pretty succinct explanation, and that, combined with Mann’s statement, quoted a couple of times above, more or less laid to rest any questions I had.

    Armand @31 wrote:

    No one on that side has even stopped to think why a global network of scientists would even come out and fake such a thing.

    …which was my thought exactly through this whole nonsense.

  91. #91 tresmal
    December 17, 2009

    Was the Yamal region of Russia where the trees in question were sampled part of the MWP region?

  92. #92 bad Jim
    December 17, 2009

    It is a little frustrating to read another clear, concise explanation by one of our commenters, only to find another visitor immediately raising the same question again. However much the comment threads read like conversations, not all of the commenters are actually participating.

  93. #93 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine:
    Yes, the rate of warming in recent decades is determined by thermometers. The trees used by Mann and Jones in the study are from the Yamal penninsula of Siberia. The problem Phil Jones and Micheal Mann faced was that neither the thermometer data, nor the tree ring data showed the amount of warming Mann claimed for the past 10+ years. Here are the temperature station locations:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/
    Here is the raw data from these stations:http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Images/Yamal/GISS-stations.gif
    That is why they needed a ‘trick’. They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!

  94. #94 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine:

    Louis: you’re an idiot and a liar. Fuck off.

  95. #95 Celtic_Evolution
    December 17, 2009

    Louis Hooffstetter is one of the dumbfuck signers of the Petition Project…

    Although I doubt this idjit is the same person, since he apparently can’t spell his own name correctly.

  96. #96 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine:
    You got me! I’m a mouth-breathing, flat earth neanderthal, redneck, Luddite.

    I’m simply someone who believes in the basic principles of the scientific method:
    Gather data. Crunch data. Develop conclusions / hypotheses. Publish papers. Let other researchers replicate your results (or not), then be vindicated (or shot down) based on your data and methods.

    Douglas Watts and tresmal:
    The MWP was a global phenomenon well documented by numerous proxies:
    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    however, tresmal, none of these proxies are from the Yamal region of Siberia.

  97. #97 Celtic_Evolution
    December 17, 2009

    That is why they needed a ‘trick’. They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!

    Simple question P.G. (what the fuck is that anyhow, Public Greenskeeper? Pontificating Goober? Prickus Giganticus?)…

    WHY did they do this? To what end? What’s the payoff for such action… for them and the thousands upon thousands of others who are all pulling the wool over your eyes…

  98. #98 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine:
    Prove me wrong.

  99. #99 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    You got me! I’m a mouth-breathing, flat earth neanderthal, redneck, Luddite.

    That’s quite right, except that

    I’m simply someone who believes in the basic principles of the scientific method

    you’re also a pathetic liar, and

    They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!

    you’re too profoundly stupid to understand just how profoundly stupid this demonstrates you to be.

  100. #100 Celtic_Evolution
    December 17, 2009

    I’m simply someone who believes in the basic principles of the scientific method:

    No you fucking don’t! Demonstrably! You have lapped up this denialist bullshit like a lapdog, while willingly ignoring every single piece of the mountains of evidence that all independently come to the same conclusions. You’re a fucking conspiracy theorist and nothing more. You’ve shown nothing from your comments to show you have even the slightest appreciation for the scientific method.

  101. #101 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    Prove me wrong.

    That isn’t necessary, moron.

  102. #102 Celtic_Evolution
    December 17, 2009

    Prove me wrong.

    Is that how you think this works? Explains much…

  103. #103 bad Jim
    December 17, 2009

    Conspiracy theories don’t typically make sense. In fact, they thrive on contradictions: Communism doesn’t work and it’s going to conquer the world. God is all-powerful and demons are everywhere.

    If anyone stopped to wonder who benefits from the climate change debate it would be immediately obvious that the oil and coal companies have a lot to lose from efforts to reduce carbon emissions. They’re the ones with an incentive to confuse the issue. Most of the denialists aren’t aware that they’re serving some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet; they are just happy to be useful idiots.

  104. #104 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    Celtic Evolution:
    P.G. stands for (Registered) Professional Geologist
    I look at data objectively and ask questions for a living. In my professional opinion, from what I have seen, the methods used by the Hadley CRU, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) to process temperature data, are suspicious. They don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.

  105. #105 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    That is why they needed a ‘trick’. They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!

    Yawn, idjit denier. Shut the fuck up until you cite the peer reviewed literature. What a loser…

  106. #106 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    You’ve shown nothing from your comments to show you have even the slightest appreciation for the scientific method.

    He has, however, shown that he is incredibly stupid. He asks me to prove him wrong — I already did that in #87, with concurrence from #79, #80, and #82. But nothing could be so blitheringly idiotic and provably wrong as “They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!”, whether by “bogus data” he means thermometer data or tree ring proxy data. A standard-level idiot would mean the former, since it’s what “hides the decline”, but Louis is an extra-special idiot, and he apparently means the latter, because he thinks, moronically, that “there are other proxies that work MUCH better. And NONE of them correlate well with Dr. Mann’s tree ring data”. It still isn’t clear just what it is he thinks was “made up”.

  107. #107 Douglas Watts
    December 17, 2009

    Louis, I’m not sure of your point. What has the MWP to do with climate conditions today?

  108. #108 amk.myopenid.com
    December 17, 2009

    The CRU’s press release re: “trick” is here.

    The data was being prepared for a WMO press release, not a paper.

    The link includes the graph included with the press release including a citation where Jones et al explain the “decline” problem.

  109. #109 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    P.G. stands for (Registered) Professional Geologist

    Ah, you’re in the oil industry.

    I look at data objectively

    Liar.

  110. #110 AJ Milne
    December 17, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter, P.G. @ #84 outs himself as an idiot denier troll.

    Actually, I’d argue he outed himself somewhat earlier.

    His response to me at #81 was actually (amusingly enough, given his setup and my punchline) a link to a McKitrick ’05 thing, his own helpful suggestion pointing out specifically a rather hot button at the time re alleged sampling protocol problems… also discussed in a McIntyre/McKitrick thing around the same time…

    Funny, that in a few ways…

    One interesting one: he seemed to think he could use such a link to ‘answer’ a 2009 post… Yes, with links to papers done since said criticisms were absorbed, discussed. Papers, yes, as recent as 2009…

    We are amused. You almost think he didn’t so much read that link as spout off his own as a reflex…

    (Or, say, he ran from it like a vampire from garlic, but hey, tomato, tomatah…)

    Oh, and speaking of, and more to the point, it really ain’t much of an answer in the context, in any case, since my point was: tree rings are only part of the picture… And implying it’s all down to these is a pretty stupid bullshit move (and do follow that first link of mine, on said subject, come for the data, stay for the richly-earned snark, which was the point, given his incredibly stupid insinuation, in the first place….)

    Oh, and also speaking of, isn’t that McKitrick ’05 PDF an interesting thing to have at your fingertips as a distraction, too, when you’re trying to imply initially you’ve no idea it’s not just about single sources of data, with so faux-naive a question as his kicking this thing off…

    (Shorter: wow, what a lyin’ sack o’ shit…)

    (/Oh, and see also RealClimate’s take on McIntyre and McKitrick ’05.)

  111. #111 TigerHunter
    December 17, 2009

    @truth machine RE: #78
    By “it” I meant the article PZ posted. Thank you for drawing my attention to your post, I understand now.

  112. #112 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    To clarify:
    Neither tree ring data from the Yamal peninsula trees (used by Mann)nor the temperature data from surrounding climate data stations showed the warming trend Mann (and Jones) wanted. So they ‘processed’ the temperature data and TA DA! suddenly, it showed the warming they wanted. Unfortunately, Mann and Jones refuse to release the algorithms they used to process the data. They then grafted their ‘processed’ temperature data (that doesn’t match the real temperature) onto the tree ring data that supported their hypothesis. That’s the trick! This is why their methods don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Other researchers can’t reproduce their results. Since they refuse to release the algorithms used to process the data, they might as well just have MADE IT UP!

  113. #113 Pygmy Loris
    December 17, 2009

    I had an epiphany while reading this thread!

    AGW deniers are most common in the good ole USofA because scientists keep talking about global temperature rising by degrees Celsius. Everyone knows that the Celsius scale is a dirty, commie pinko plot to destroy the USofA. All we have to do is start talking about AGW using the Fahrenheit scale.

    Fahrenheit is, of course, the scale used by freedom loving people. :)

  114. #114 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine:
    I’m an Environmental Consultant. I clean up the environment for a living.

  115. #115 Thorne
    December 17, 2009

    I long ago came to understand that Global Warming was, indeed, happening. I was more skeptical of the role of mankind in that warming, but over the years I’ve gradually (and reluctantly, I’ll admit) turned away from the dark side towards a better understanding of AGW. I still have some questions, and I’m still seeking answers, but there is little doubt in my mind that AGW is a reality.

    But when I read the OP one of the first questions I had was almost identical to those put forward by Louis Hooffsteter regarding the “decoupling” of tree-ring data. He expressed his questions more effectively, and thoroughly, than I could. Thank you, sir.

    There have been several good explanations given, but unless I missed it, none have explained why we should still trust tree-ring data from the distant past, when there were no thermometers with which to correlate.

    What I have seen a lot of, and not for the first time, is some commentors calling those who disagree with their own prejudices names such as “idiot denier troll” or “moron” or worse. Sometimes these fools sound as bad as, or worse than, the creotards/deniers/conspiracy-nuts they so obviously despise.

  116. #116 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    By “it” I meant the article PZ posted.

    Oops, sorry.

  117. #117 amk.myopenid.com
    December 17, 2009
  118. #118 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    unless I missed it, none have explained why we should still trust tree-ring data from the distant past, when there were no thermometers with which to correlate

    Uh, did you miss #79 and #80?

    What I have seen a lot of, and not for the first time, is some commentors calling those who disagree with their own prejudices names such as “idiot denier troll” or “moron” or worse. Sometimes these fools sound as bad as, or worse than, the creotards/deniers/conspiracy-nuts they so obviously despise.

    Oh fuck off, you pathetic tone troll. Denialists like Louis Hooffsteter who claim “They grafted bogus data to show warming. They made it up!” do not simply “disagree with their own prejudices”. AGW is not a “prejudice”, it’s a fact, and that Jones et. al. did not graft bogus data and did not make anything up is not a “prejudice”, it’s a fact.

  119. #119 Mr T
    December 17, 2009

    They then grafted their ‘processed’ temperature data (that doesn’t match the real temperature) onto the tree ring data that supported their hypothesis.

    Let me get this straight. They took some tree-ring data, found that it didn’t match well with recorded temperature data from thermometers, then used that tree ring data in some secret algorithm to change the temperature data, all in some plot to support their hypothesis that the temperature increased.

    Since we all know the temperature data, can’t we extrapolate back to figure out what their mysterious commie-algorithm must have been? Further, since we all know that the temperature increased according to thermometer readings, ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?

  120. #120 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    P.S. to the tone troll: did you also miss “Scientists have spent many years developing the techniques needed to reconstruct climate via tree rings”? Do you think Wyckoff is lying? Do you think that, just because he didn’t compress years of development of modeling techniques into a short explanation that there are none? Hooffsteter’s questions were disingenuous, because they were intended to imply that the tree ring data isn’t a valid proxy — you’re surely not as stupid as he is?

  121. #121 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    Douglas Watts:

    The MWP was at least several degrees F warmer than today. Exactly how much is uncertain, but clearly the MWP had nothing to do with CO2 emissions. Climatologists can’t adequately explain the MWP, but Mann completely removed the MWP from his proxy temperature re-contruction. He denied (no pun intended) it ever existed. That looks like scientific fraud.

  122. #122 bad Jim
    December 17, 2009

    Thorne, the explanation you request was provided in Wyckoff’s article. Tree rings are useful as a proxy for temperature only so long as the carbon dioxide concentration is constant.

    The abusive language is the result of impatience with the irremediable arrogance of ignorance which is characteristic of creationists and AGW “skeptics” alike and with which we are all too familiar.

  123. #123 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    Mr. T:

    You’re close. They ‘processed’ temperature data that didn’t show the warming they wanted so that it DID show what they wanted. Then they threw out the recent tree ring data (that DIDN’T show what they wanted) and grafted their ‘processed’ (made up) temperature data onto older tree ring data. The ‘processed’ data is ‘made up’ because they won’t tell anyone how they did it, and no one else can reproduce their results (without making it up).

  124. #124 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    The abusive language is the result of impatience with the irremediable arrogance of ignorance which is characteristic of creationists and AGW “skeptics” alike and with which we are all too familiar.

    As David Marjanovi? has said, “scientists do not undergo the full kolinahr as part of their training”.

  125. #125 truth machine
    December 17, 2009

    #121 = a pack of lies.

  126. #126 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    Yawn, uncited claims to the “literature”. What a loser…

  127. #127 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 17, 2009

    I don’t mean TM, I mean you Louis. If you don’t supply a citation, you have nothing but blather. Lots of blather so far. Which gets you nowhere…

  128. #128 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    truth machine: RE: #125

    Again, here are graphs from peer reviewed literature that show conclusively that the Medieval Warm Period was a world wide phenomenon. They all show the planet was several degrees F warmer than today, without the influence of CO2. Some of the proxies are even tree ring studies like the one that sparked this debate.

    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    Prove me wrong.

  129. #129 llewelly
    December 17, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter’s claims rebutted here.

  130. #130 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    llewelly: RE #129: good research but…

    RealClimate was founded by these guys:

    ? Michael E. Mann
    ? Gavin Schmidt
    ? Caspar Ammann
    ? Raymond S. Bradley
    ? Stefan Rahmstorf
    ? Rasmus Benestad
    ? Eric Steig
    ? Thibault de Garidel
    ? David Archer
    ? Raymond Pierrehumbert

    These are the climate researchers whose work makes up the backbone of the IPCC reports. Some of them wrote whole chapters of the IPCC reports. Micheal Mann is the author of the fraudulent paper we are discussing. Needless to say, I find his arguments unconvincing.

  131. #131 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnzYFSRFGBVc7i7Ah_p05XVo1r8TIQ4dn8
    December 17, 2009

    I find his arguments unconvincing.

    I find his expertise and data more convincing than your incredulity.

    [d?id=AItOawnzYFSRFGBVc7i7Ah_p05XVo1r8TIQ4dn8 is a sucky name. I prefer DaveH_of_Lundun]

  132. #132 Thorne
    December 17, 2009

    @truth machine:
    There you go, calling names again. Well, so be it.

    Yes, I saw those two posts. Neither of them explain WHY we should trust tree ring data from the past when we know that such data COULD be corrupt (decoupled is the term used). Yes, I understand that this data is not the primary source of temperature data for the past, but it has been used to corroborate other data. I only question the validity of using this data for such corroboration.

    And no, I don’t consider myself to be stupid, though I am certainly not as well educated as most of the people I’ve read here. My background is in chemistry, and in my work, many years ago, there was little room for “massaging” data. In fact, whenever I hear of someone manipulating data I am leery of their results. Temperature data would seem to be rather straightforward: 25º is higher than 24º, and lower than 26º. Why the need for algorithms?

    bad Jim said: “Tree rings are useful as a proxy for temperature only so long as the carbon dioxide concentration is constant.”
    Yes, I saw that, and understand it. But isn’t it true that tree ring data has also been used to help calculate CO2 concentrations in the past? Or am I misunderstanding this?

    As for the reasons for the abusive language, I can certainly understand your point. But in this case I didn’t see any reason for it, especially so soon after Hooffsteter’s questions. And especially since the same question occurred to me when I read the OP. I was always taught that you catch more flies with honey. But I suppose a good bug zapper will do the job quite nicely.

  133. #133 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 17, 2009

    Dave H_of_Lunden:

    I can’t argue with that. But here is related information to consider.

    Mann, Bradley, & Hughes committed scientific fraud twice with their MBH98 reconstruction, prominently featured in the 2001 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR):

    First: they removed the entire Medieval Warming Period (Despite its? prior presence in a 1990 IPCC report):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ipcc7.1-mann-moberg.png
    The IPCC 1990 curve is shown in red, Mann, et al., 1998 is in blue, and Moberg et al., 2005 id in black. In one of the leaked emails Mann said ?it would be nice to try to ?contain? the putative ?MWP??:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=319&filename=1054736277.txt
    The existence of the MWP is indisputable:
    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    Second: They created a Hockey Stick from ?Red Noise? (random yet somewhat linear, low frequency data, like the staggering of a drunk):
    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/McKitrick-hockeystick.pdf especially note Fig. 7.

    That’s all for now folks, its’ bedtime. Just keep an open mind. If AGW turns out to be real, I will be leading the pack to limit CO2!

  134. #134 bad Jim
    December 17, 2009

    Thorne:

    But isn’t it true that tree ring data has also been used to help calculate CO2 concentrations in the past?

    Not as far as I know. We have ice cores going back thousands of years for that.

  135. #135 AJ Milne
    December 17, 2009

    I find his expertise and data more convincing than your incredulity.

    Some other things I find more convincing than Louis Da Liar’s little dance o’ bullshit here:

    - The laugh track on Friends
    - Most porn orgasms

    … ‘kay… umm… let’s see… this list is likely to get kinda long… Sooo… Umm… Things I find less convincing than Louis…

    Yeah. Right. Umm…

    (/Well, I guess it’s good he’s dumped his last loud of bullshit and left for a bit, then… As finding somethin’ for this latter category is apparently gonna take some thought…)

  136. #136 amk.myopenid.com
    December 17, 2009

    If AGW turns out to be real, I will be leading the pack to limit CO2!

    What evidence of AGW would you accept?

  137. #137 martinkulp
    December 17, 2009

    They all show the planet was several degrees F warmer than today, without the influence of CO2. Some of the proxies are even tree ring studies like the one that sparked this debate.

    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    Prove me wrong.

    OK. First of all, many of the graphs on that map stop before present day. Second, many of them are in the form of absolute temperatures, NOT temperature anamoly compared to the 1961 to 1990 baseline that is generally used.

    And third, and most important, WHY are you skeptics so obsessed with temperature MAGNITUDE. You do realize that temperature magnitude does not inform you of temperature CAUSE, right? That even if it were warmer in the MWP, that that has no bearing on what is causing warming since 1980, right?

  138. #138 Utakata
    December 17, 2009

    We will Louise. But we won’t let our brains fall out either.

    And while between the bathroom to brush your teeth and and the pillow in which you lay your head, you might want work on an explanation as to why these people you cited would fraud their data? You’re insite into this would be most interesting…since there has to be real some motive behind their evil deeds. Don’t forget to bring hard evidence though, we are skeptics for a reason.

    …and pleasant dreams. <3

  139. #139 redrabbitslife
    December 17, 2009

    Ok. I’m no expert and have only been following this fairly loosely but even *I* know to what the “contain the MWP” comment refers. They’ve gone over and over it.

    Louis the expert doesn’t? FFS.

  140. #140 llewelly
    December 17, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter, P.G. Author Profile Page | December 17, 2009 11:40 PM:

    First: they removed the entire Medieval Warming Period (Despite its? prior presence in a 1990 IPCC report):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ipcc7.1-mann-moberg.png

    That graph was made by William M. Connolley, also a founder of RealClimate. Why do you accept this graph, and yet reject other articles from RealClimate?

  141. #141 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    amk.myopenid.com: Positively last post for tonight.

    I would accept a temperature database generated from raw Hadley CRU and GISS data that had been carefully screened and assesed by a group of independent statisticians and climate scientists. Their methods would have to be public and open to comments from scientists in other fields: engineers, geologists, meteorologists, biologists, mathematicians and the like. The algorithms would have to be public as well.

    Basically, it would be like your math teacher told you: “Show your work”

    If, after the selected data was openly processed, there was evidence that CO2 emissions are warming the planet, I would believe it.

    The problem with the Hadley CRU and NASA’s GISS is that the researchers who work there don’t show their work. Phil Jones at the CRU and Jim Hansen at the GISS refuse to release raw data, and won’t show the algorithms used to convert apparent cooling trends into warming ones. When independent statisticians try to reproduce their data, they can’t.

    That in a nutshell is what drives ‘Skeptics’ insane. SHOW YOUR WORK! Then we’ll believe the results!

  142. #142 AJ Milne
    December 18, 2009

    Ok. I’m no expert and have only been following this fairly loosely but even *I* know to what the “contain the MWP” comment refers. They’ve gone over and over it… Louis the expert doesn’t? FFS.

    I strongly doubt he doesn’t know. I expect it’s more: he’s slinging manure, figures he’ll just go for volume, hope something sticks.

    Anyway: pro forma link:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/michael-mann-his-own-words-stolen-cru-emails?page=1

    (/… so, personally, my take from his performance here so far is: if Louis tells you someone’s conduct is ‘fraudulent’, that’s the someone you trust alone in a room with your open safe and your nubile daughter.)

  143. #143 amk.myopenid.com
    December 18, 2009

    Raw data for Hooffsteter. Get to work!

  144. #144 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 18, 2009

    What constitutes independent? Hasn’t everyone NOW picked a side, so people who did their work prior to doing so would no longer count?

  145. #145 truth machine
    December 18, 2009

    Yes, I saw those two posts. Neither of them explain WHY we should trust tree ring data from the past when we know that such data COULD be corrupt (decoupled is the term used). Yes, I understand that this data is not the primary source of temperature data for the past, but it has been used to corroborate other data. I only question the validity of using this data for such corroboration.

    And no, I don’t consider myself to be stupid

    Nonetheless you are, as your comment above amply demonstrates.

  146. #146 bad Jim
    December 18, 2009

    Whether it’s evolution or global warming, the denialists assert that the scientific consensus is always maintained by a conspiracy whose motivation is obscure.

    In this case it’s blindingly obvious that the “skeptics” are doing the bidding of some of the wealthiest and most powerful companies on the planet, the oil and gas interests, even if they aren’t doing so intentionally and are merely their “useful idiots.”

    I think what we need to hammer is cui bono and follow the money, to ask the denialists “Where is the payoff?”

    Are we Communists or Satanists? Is there a shadowy cabal of international bankers rubbing their greasy Jewish hands over the prospect of a market in emission credits?

  147. #147 truth machine
    December 18, 2009


    Again, here are graphs from peer reviewed literature that show conclusively that the Medieval Warm Period was a world wide phenomenon. They all show the planet was several degrees F warmer than today

    Blatant transparent liar.

    without the influence of CO2

    Fallacy of denial of the antecedent: that X didn’t cause Y has no bearing on whether X caused Z.

  148. #148 cyan
    December 18, 2009

    Global warming will/would have detrimental future economic and lifestyle effects on many people. Efforts to decrease the rate of it will/would have a more immediate detrimental effect on the economy and lifestyles of many people. The scientific consensus is that the former will be more severe than the latter.

    It seems to me that those who are unwilling to change their current lifestyle in any matter, even if to do so would benefit many others in the future by that change now, are the ones who refuse to acknowledge the scientific consensus. Yet, any scientific consensus on a subject that causes a benefit to their current lifestyle and/or income: they have not the same problem with that all science is inferences about the most logical conclusions based on the date, that it cannot ever be proven, but is the best model to date. Funny how some people “believe” in science as long as it agrees with them and adds to their comfort level, but if the opposite occurs, suddenly “well, THIS ISN’T science”

    Even though the same process of gathering and analyzing data and making logical inferences from it is occurring, any outcome which threatens what they have always believed or the current coziness of their living standard must be discredited, in order to maintain internal integration rather than compartmentalization.

    It is understandable as a first reaction. To keep on acting on that initial visceral reaction, though, how the heck has denying reality ever benefited anyone except for a short period of their life, after which you have to try to repair the damage that such denial caused?

    If there were a large schism among climate scientists about IF in fact GW is occurring and/or if it were influenced by human activities, then I would not conclude that AGW is occuring. Since there is, instead, a consensus among those who make it their life’s work to gather and evaluate data that relates to past and current temperatures and climate, I place more value on that consensus than the opinion of any person who is a (self-interested) on-looker, whether that person is a “Professional Geologist”, a talk-radio host, a magician, a biologist, etc, no matter how many of these secondary-sourcers sign a petition or how forcefully they proclaim.

    The points in this post are painfully obvious & elementary to those who try to understand, in every instance, how the world works, but perhaps someone reading this thread who is at the visceral, immediate-self-preservation reaction stage on this topic will have a moment of pause and reflection.

    If not, at least its allowed me to again analyze why I think as I do.

  149. #149 damianphipps
    December 18, 2009

    Thorne:

    As has been remarked, there are lots of ways that we can understand temperatures in the past. All of them agree with each other, which is obviously crucial. It is only in 1960 when a particular subset of tree rings (that is, not all tree rings, only some) become decoupled.

    Given that all other methods agree with thermometers in the present (except a subset of tree rings), and given that they all agree with each other in the past, and given that we now have an explanation for the decoupling, there is no reason to believe that all of the other methods could have been simultaneously affected, and yet still all agree with each other.

    There’s just no reason to believe that happened, and plenty of reasons to believe that they are providing us with an accurate picture.

  150. #150 madbull
    December 18, 2009

    Shouldn’t the real issue be about who hacked so many professional emails and the legality of such hacking ?

  151. #151 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Well FounderEffect seems to have foundered off but thankfully Louis is still around. Let’s see, he seems to have two arguments. One is that the Yamal treering AND temperature records showed a decline and some sort of algorithmic conspiracy to hide that exists. His entire evidence consists of this link. This piece contains lots of colorful graphs and such but it’s not a peer reviewed piece. The only links or references in it seem to be to other crackpot denier sites and individuals. The site owner is a fucking TV weatherman and the author of the “paper” is someone who lacks the courage to use her own name but goes by “Lucy Skywalker”. May the power of the dark side be with her.

    Then there’s his “evidence” for the MWP being global. It’s a fucking world map with some graphs stuck on. Some reference legitimate literature but many are unsourced. There is no analysis whatsoever so we have no idea of statistical strength, relevance or indeed, even validity (due to lack of citations) of any of it.

  152. #152 engineer
    December 18, 2009

    This is my favorite so far: http://www.gilestro.tk/2009/lots-of-smoke-hardly-any-gun-do-climatologists-falsify-data/

    Shortly, if scientists were just making it look like global warming, the corrections made to raw data would be way more often towards warm than cold. Actually, there are practically as many positive adjustments as there are negative adjustements. This is, as often as scientists are “hiding the decline” are they also “hiding the warming”.

  153. #153 llewelly
    December 18, 2009

    The email in question was written in 2003. What it actually says:

    1) A plot of various of the most reliable (in terms of strength of temperature signal and reliability of millennial-scale variability) regional proxy temperature reconstructions around the Northern Hemisphere that are available over the past 1-2 thousand years to convey the important point that warm and cold periods where highly regionally variable. Phil and Ray are probably in the best position to prepare this (?). Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back [Phil and I have one in review--not sure it is kosher to show that yet though--I've put in an inquiry to Judy Jacobs at AGU about this]. If we wanted to be fancy, we could do this the way certain plots were presented in one of the past IPCC reports (was it 1990?) in which a spatial map was provided in the center (this would show the locations of the proxies), with “rays” radiating out to the top, sides, and bottom attached to rectanges showing the different timeseries. Its a bit of work, but would be a great way to convey both the spatial and temporal information at the same time. 2) A version of the now-familiar “spaghetti plot” showing the various reconstructions as well as model simulations for the NH over the past 1 (or maybe 2K). To give you an idea of what I have in mind, I’m attaching a Science piece I wrote last year that contains the same sort of plot.

    In other words, Mann expressed a desire to show the MWP in the graph that would be produced. Furthermore – he refers material which will go into an article which would be published in 2003 in EOS forum, not an article published in 1990.
    My guess is that Mann refers to this article.
    Which says:

    In a similar vein, the specification of a warm period requires that warm anomalies in different regions should be synchronous, and not merely required to occur during any 50-year period within a very broad interval in time, such as AD 800 – 1300, as in SB03. Figure 2 demonstrates the considerable spatial variability in temperature variations of the past millennium, and the false impression one might gain regarding hemispheric-scale temperature changes from the apparent temperature changes in any particular region.The specific notions of the “Little Ice Age” and “Medieval Warm Period”arose, understandably, from the Euro centric origins of historical climatology [e.g., Lamb, 1965].While relative hemispheric warmth during the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries, and cool conditions during the 15th to the early 20th century are evident from reconstructions of hemispheric-mean temperature (Figure 1), the specific periods of coldness and warmth differ from region to region (Figure 2) from those for the northern hemisphere as a whole. Rather than indicating inconsistency, the difference between such regional and hemispheric-scale anomalies follows naturally from the physics governing atmospheric variability.

    That is to say – the MWP does indeed appear in the graph. However, the graph shows it as a regional phenomena, rather than a global phenomena – as it should.

    Similar material about the medieval warm period was also published in the IPCC AR4:

    The evidence currently available indicates that NH mean temperatures during medieval times (950-1100) were indeed warm
    in a 2-kyr context and even warmer in relation to the less sparse but still limited evidence of widespread average cool conditions in
    the 17th century (Osborn and Briffa, 2006). However, the evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that hemispheric mean
    temperatures were as warm, or the extent of warm regions as expansive, as those in the 20th century as a whole, during any period in
    medieval times (Jones et al., 2001; Bradley et al., 2003a,b; Osborn and Briffa, 2006).

    (Page 469, Chapter 6 See also the graph on page 467, which clearly shows the medieval warm period.)

    When I look at the graphs Mann has produced, and the papers he has written, I see no evidence he has tried to remove the MWP.

    In any case … the temperature reconstructions of Mann and is colleagues have been vindicated; see The NAS Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

  154. #154 llewelly
    December 18, 2009

    madbull | December 18, 2009 1:12 AM:

    Shouldn’t the real issue be about who hacked so many professional emails and the legality of such hacking ?

    It’s ok to commit crimes when you’re trying to prevent the black-helicopter-flying commie-fascist enviro-nazi IPCC from taking over the world.

  155. #155 Richard Eis
    December 18, 2009

    There is one good thing to come from all this stirring up. When everything settles, a lot more people are going to be more aware of climate science and what it really says.

    The fact that tree ring data had to be discarded because it was warped beyond use by our effect on the earth in just 50 years is going to surprise a lot of people.

  156. #156 evil9000
    December 18, 2009

    I think the focus of the debate has moved away from what the sceptics are saying. What we dont understand is how these data series are created to form the graphs.

    From reverse engineering the data it seems to the community that the graphs are created using multiple series of data at opportune points:
    1. Use trees proxies from 1850 until 1960
    2. Stop using trees because they act funny, use thermometers from 1960 until 1990
    3. From 1990, don’t use thermometers and use 9 tree proxies from Yamal in Siberia

    For me, alot of the ‘science’ between the people making the IPCC diagrams and the rest of the world enquires additional questioning.

    Until all the data has been released for the open community to analyse as freely as their 60 peers can do at any time, the more questions there are for the rest of us.

  157. #157 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    evil9000 wrote: 3. From 1990, don’t use thermometers and use 9 tree proxies from Yamal in Siberia

    Yes, that’s it, the whole world temperature record since 1990 is from 9 trees in Russia. You’ve found us out evil. What will we do now that you’ve exposed the hoax.

  158. #158 Richard Eis
    December 18, 2009

    -3. From 1990, don’t use thermometers and use 9 tree proxies from Yamal in Siberia-

    Wow, thermometers started acting funny in 1990 so we all had to stop using them too?

  159. #159 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Richard Eis:Wow, thermometers started acting funny in 1990 so we all had to stop using them too?

    Yes, the President of Thermometers issued an executive order to that effect. There are still rogue scientists out there using them though. Those people are terrorists.

  160. #160 negentropyeater
    December 18, 2009

    Until all the data has been released for the open community to analyse as freely as their 60 peers can do at any time, the more questions there are for the rest of us.

    here you go, mountains of pages of data…

  161. #161 Carlie
    December 18, 2009

    Oh, negentropyeater, how silly and naive you are! That’s obviously the fake data, the stuff they generated to fool us all into thinking there’s AGW, because they’ll profit off of that by…by… um,…..yeah, they’ll profit!

  162. #162 Richard Eis
    December 18, 2009

    Yes, the President of Thermometers issued an executive order to that effect. There are still rogue scientists out there using them though. Those people are terrorists.

    Clearly since thermometers go up and down on different days that shows they are unreliable and shouldn’t be used by scientists in ANY data. The fact that scientists are now relying on 9 trees in Siberia rather than thermometers proves this.

    And anyway, its not going up constantly so global warming MUST be a lie.

    Therefore I have proved that I should replace Glen Beck…I can also cry on demand and pull sad faces.

  163. #163 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 18, 2009

    Possibly ignorant question (and if so, I trust one of you lunatics to let me know).

    To my best understanding growth (incl. secondary growth) of plants is not carbon limited in most terrestrial environments. Water, nitrogen, and phosophorus are more limiting. Therefore, I am surprised that an increase in atmospheric carbon alone would result in enough growth to confound tree-ring temp proxies. Can anyone explain this to me?

  164. #164 Sven DiMilo
    December 18, 2009

    A.E., no offense, but did you read the OP?
    Briefly, the carbon fertilization effect results indirectly from improved water use efficiency.

  165. #165 Knockgoats
    December 18, 2009

    Antiochus Epiphanes@163,

    It’s explained above in various comments I think: increased CO2 means fewer stomata open, means less water loss, means more drought-resistant. All other things being equal, which, of course, in general, they’re not!

  166. #166 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 18, 2009

    At Sven and Knockgoats: Thanks. Makes sense now. I try to read the comments thoroughly, but I go long periods without looking at all and you guys just made it a lot easier to catch up.

  167. #167 Thorne
    December 18, 2009

    (from truth machine):

    And no, I don’t consider myself to be stupid
    Nonetheless you are, as your comment above amply demonstrates.

    Well thank you! That was quite helpful. Now, at least, I can see the forest through the tree rings.

    (from damianphipps):

    there are lots of ways that we can understand temperatures in the past. All of them agree with each other, which is obviously crucial.

    I understand this, and I agree, it is crucial.

    It is only in 1960 when a particular subset of tree rings (that is, not all tree rings, only some) become decoupled.

    THIS explains a lot more. Obviously, I was misunderstanding something. What I read seemed to have implied that tree ring data from 1960 on was suspect, and my question was in reference to that.

    (from engineer):

    if scientists were just making it look like global warming, the corrections made to raw data would be way more often towards warm than cold. Actually, there are practically as many positive adjustments as there are negative adjustements.

    This is where I get concerned/confused. Why should there be any need for corrections to the raw data, regardless of which way the corrections are going? That almost sounds, to me, like they are using the proverbial “fudge factor” to make their data fit. Why is this necessary?

  168. #168 Mr T
    December 18, 2009

    Why should there be any need for corrections to the raw data, regardless of which way the corrections are going? That almost sounds, to me, like they are using the proverbial “fudge factor” to make their data fit. Why is this necessary?

    Because, like, things change, shit happens, and stuff. Please read the page engineer linked @#152. From the first paragraph:

    Adjustments are necessary in order to compensate with changes the happened over time either to the station itself or to the way data were collected: if the weather station gets a new shelter or gets relocated, for instance, we have to account for that and adjust the new values; if the time of the day at which we read a certain temperature has changed from morning to afternoon, we would have to adjust for that too. Adjustments and homogenitations are necessary in order to be able to compare or pull togheter data coming from different stations or different times.

  169. #169 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    This is where I get concerned/confused. Why should there be any need for corrections to the raw data, regardless of which way the corrections are going? That almost sounds, to me, like they are using the proverbial “fudge factor” to make their data fit. Why is this necessary?

    In my experience, it’s generally the result of an honest attempt to come to accurate conclusions despite meaningful changes in the way the data is collected or presented…

    Corrections and adjustments are a normal part of the research process. When you are working with several sources and types of data collected in various ways and in different places with different conditions, it’s only logical that as researches discover discrepancies or changes in the data collection and / or presentation methods, adjustments to the larger data set must be made to reflect these conditions as accurately as possible. Sometimes, this even includes discarding certain subsets of data in favor of more accurate, less compromised data.

  170. #170 negentropyeater
    December 18, 2009

    Why should there be any need for corrections to the raw data, regardless of which way the corrections are going?

    because, over time, a given weather station :

    1. might move to a different location
    2. or their specific location might become more urbanized, thereby affecting the surrounding temperature
    3. or might change the instruments used
    etc…

    Using raw data without taking into account these changes is worthless.

    That’s what this nutcase Anthony Watts (at Watts Up With That, one of the stupidest denialist blog) doesn’t seem to understand.

  171. #171 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Thorne asks: “This is where I get concerned/confused. Why should there be any need for corrections to the raw data, regardless of which way the corrections are going? That almost sounds, to me, like they are using the proverbial “fudge factor” to make their data fit. Why is this necessary?”

    OK. Let’s say that your an alarm clock that loses 2 minutes per day. It’s an OK alarm clock otherwise, so why replace it. You just get used to doing the math in your head. After awhile, your alarm clock dies, and you buy a new one. This one gains a minute per day. Now you could take it back, but the next one would probably have troubles, too. So, again, you apply a correction. Now if you keep a journal where you give date and time of various events, it would be important to keep a record of the corrections.

    Meteorological instruments are imperfect and tend to be expensive. Meteorological sites change over time as do the instruments used. If you do not correct for known errors, then you are knowingly entering wrong data into your database. Now for a global climate network, the number of stations is large and the corrections don’t make that much difference. However, what if climate models improve to the point where we can make local and regional predictions. Now errors in a few data stations could assume much more importance.

    Really, this is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you put the corrections in, the denialists will claim they are fudge factors. If you leave them out, they will claim the temperature increase is all due to data artifacts. Best to simply say “Fuck the D and F students,” and do what’s right.

  172. #172 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    evil 9000: RE #156
    You are absolutely correct.

    Meathead: RE #151
    Thank you for reposting the link to the evidence for the Medieval Warming Period. This site has links to 43 graphs from 43 peer reviewed papers, all of which show the MWP was a global phenomenon well documented by 43 other climate researchers. Click on any graph and it takes you to a page with an abstract of the paper and a button that says “Link to Paper”.

    And Meathead: RE #157
    Yes, you are correct, Michael Mann tried to recreate the whole world temperature record since 1990 from 9 trees in Russia. Good eye.

  173. #173 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 18, 2009

    Yawn, Louis is still not citing the peer reviewed literature. That is the only evidence that will convince this bunch.

  174. #174 negentropyeater
    December 18, 2009

    Thorne,

    on the need for raw data homogenization adjustments, please read this blog post :

    The denialosphere and the ?winger echo chamber would like you to believe that a weather station in Darwin, Australia is Undeniable Proof of Something Nefarious regarding the global temperature record. Their evidence is that the GHCN raw station data have been *gasp* adjusted.

  175. #175 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    Antiochus Epiphanes@163:
    Here is an interesting link regarding trees near the Yamal area:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/04/trees-named-tyranny-and-freedom-which-tree-in-the-photo-below-is-the-older-one/

  176. #176 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    Hooffsteter –

    Continuing to use wattsupwiththat as a source will only continue to reinforce our belief that you are a dimwitted denialist with an agenda and a list of conspiracy talking points and nothing more.

    It’s akin to using AnswersInGenesis as a source for facts about evolution.

    Cite credible, scientific sources or fuck off.

  177. #177 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter says, “Yes, you are correct, Michael Mann tried to recreate the whole world temperature record since 1990 from 9 trees in Russia. Good eye.”

    Uh, no.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

  178. #178 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    NerdOfRedhead #173:
    The link sites graphs from papers published in the journal GEOLOGY, Quaternary Research, nature, Geophysical Research Letters, etc, etc, etc. Last time I checked, these were all peer reviewed journals.

  179. #179 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    arids #177-

    come on… that realclimate site is one maintained by (several) actual climatologists and scientists with actual knowledge of the subject matter and resources and data to back their claims… you really think that’s more reliable than the website of a local weatherman who like, just knows stuff?

    You must be kidding… Hooffsteter isn’t going to trust those guys over the weatherdude.

  180. #180 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 18, 2009

    Louis, that is a denialist site. The creditability of what is found there is zero, just like AIG for real science. Try the peer reviewed primary science literature, or shut the fuck up. I don’t even look at non-peer reviewed papers. They are worthless except as toilet paper.

  181. #181 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space #177:
    Your link is Mann’s explanation. Here is an alternate one that I find more plausible:
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/9/29/the-yamal-implosion.html

    The question is “who do you trust?”

    My posts show that in his MBH98 reconstruction, Mann removed the Medieval Warming Period and created his Hockey Stick from ?Red Noise? (random yet somewhat linear, low frequency data, like the staggering of a drunk). Needless to say, I don’t trust him.

  182. #182 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    The link sites graphs from papers published in the journal GEOLOGY, Quaternary Research, nature, Geophysical Research Letters, etc, etc, etc. Last time I checked, these were all peer reviewed journals.

    Missing the point, Louis…

    So, it’s 43 points on a map that show a short-term warming for 43 sites on the entire planet (of which all bu 7 are in the Northern Hemisphere, but hey, what could THAT possibly mean)… the analysis of which means WHAT, as analyzed by WHOM in the climatology field?

    Well?

  183. #183 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 18, 2009

    Needless to say, I don’t trust him.

    Louis, needless to say we don’t trust you. Or give a shit about your “scientific” opinion, since you don’t have one. You fail basic science. You are wasting your time, not ours.

  184. #184 Strangest brew
    December 18, 2009

    Apart from the hysterical paranoia displayed by the usual wingnuttery with kneejerk instead of brain waves… what actually would be the advantage of faking data?

    If the faked data is believed what would be the response…gasp!…not responsible waste and energy production surely!…and this is bad err!… how?

    If the data is not faked that would lead to what gasp!…not responsible waste and energy production surely!…and this is bad err!… how?

    In the extremely unlikely situation that the data is faked and has been revealed as such….what then…zilch!…nada?…pick our noses?…scratch our sweaty derrières or do we all hold hands and praise jeebus until all the glaciers completely melt and taxi is via boat in down-town Manhattan?

    Less CO2 skywards…less Pollution…these goals are apparently what… bad things?

    Could not give a happy monkeys left…or right hairy bollock whether it is AGW or natural climatic global cycle…is it not about time some industries grew up a bit and became responsible instead of puppetmasters to deniers?…cos that is what it is about after all!

    If it is not fuelled by human jiggery pokery then fine…but just because it is not human slapdash jiggery pokery does not mean it can be ignored and we all go home for tea and biccies…. and pumping thousands of tons of crud and carbon into the atmosphere is what?…helping?…fucking get real!

    Some of us seem to be up the dark alley without a clue…but we ALL know whatever the point that it is just not sustainable whatever side of the ‘debate’ that the bogeyman looms from!

  185. #185 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    My posts show that in his MBH98 reconstruction, Mann removed the Medieval Warming Period and created his Hockey Stick from ?Red Noise? (random yet somewhat linear, low frequency data, like the staggering of a drunk). Needless to say, I don’t trust him.

    Whew… then I guess it’s a good thing that Mann isn’t the only climatologist out there saying the same thing, and that his is hardly the only research used for the overwhelming majority of climatologists to all come to the same conclusions… otherwise you might be an irrational denialist…

    Oh… wait…

  186. #186 MartinM
    December 18, 2009

    The problem with the Hadley CRU and NASA’s GISS is that the researchers who work there don’t show their work. Phil Jones at the CRU and Jim Hansen at the GISS refuse to release raw data, and won’t show the algorithms used to convert apparent cooling trends into warming ones. When independent statisticians try to reproduce their data, they can’t.

    Liar. Both the data and the source code for GISTEMP are freely available, and the Clear Climate Code group have successfully reproduced their work.

  187. #187 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter, Do you trust the National Academy of Sciences? How about the American Physical Society? American Chemical Society? How about the American Association of Petroleum Geologists? Even the last have given up opposition to the consensus theory of Earth’s climate? And NAS has specifically found now wrongdoing in Mann’s 98 paper–calling the reconstructions compelling going back 400 years and plausible going back 2000 years. And the 20 or so constructions since then–most completely independent of Mann–are consistent. Oh, and speaking of Mann and the one NAS report that was critical of him, it turns out that Wegman didn’t even write much of it:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/17/wegman-report-ghostwriter-revealed/

    Yup, it was written by a well known denialist. Plus ca change.

  188. #188 MartinM
    December 18, 2009

    Oh, and speaking of Mann and the one NAS report that was critical of him…

    The Wegman report wasn’t an NAS report. It was commissioned by a couple of Republican senators.

    It’s also misleading crap, oddly enough.

  189. #189 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Martin M., Read the Deepclimate entry. It is astounding. It shows the extent of the infinite chain buttfuck that is the libertarian, anti-science movement!

  190. #190 llewelly
    December 18, 2009

    Apart from the hysterical paranoia displayed by the usual wingnuttery with kneejerk instead of brain waves… what actually would be the advantage of faking data?

    The privilege of flying about in an official IPCC black helicopter.

  191. #191 MartinM
    December 18, 2009

    Read the Deepclimate entry. It is astounding.

    Oh, I have, and it certainly is. But regardless of who wrote the report, its content is sufficient reason to dismiss it.

  192. #192 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    To all:

    The people posting to this site obviously have strong science backgrounds and should be able to objectively asses scientific data. You have all basically told me to “Put up or shut up” (good for you, that makes you all ‘skeptics’). All of my postings have been attempts to “put up”.

    Now some of you ask “to what end, or why would climate scientists make up data?” I honestly don’t know. But in the end, their motives aren’t relevant. Here is what is relevant. Here is my point:

    Science is about reproducibility. Scientific work lives or dies based on other scientist’s ability to verify it. Irreproducible results (i.e. cold fusion) wind up in the dumpster of science history. The climate work by Mann in MBH 98 is irreproducible. His results were not reproduced in any way, shape, or form by 43 other climate scientists who published their data in peer reviewed journals. Mann’s work belongs in the dumpster. Phil Jones’ work at the Hadley CRU and Jim Hansen’s work at GISS are irreproducible. Both defy repeated FOI requests and refuse to release their raw data and their methods. That’s not how you do science. They’re doing it wrong.

    Here’s where all of you should step in. Don’t be sheeple. Demand from Jones and Hansen what you demand from me. Hold them to the same standard ALL scientists should be held to. Until Jones and Hansen “Put up or shut up” by releasing their raw data and methods, their work cannot and should not be trusted. THAT’S THE POINT! And based on your posts to me, you, of all people, understand that.

  193. #193 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter,
    You know, an interesting thing about your little map of the world showing a “global MWP”. I’m sure it’s just an oversight on the part of the figure’s authors, but with all those little tiny graphs spread all around the page, it’s difficult to tell that the timelines given for the MWP don’t line up. So it’s anomalously warm around the North Atlantic at one period and in South America at another and in China still another. Now if you take those proxy reconstructions and add them all together, what do you think happens to the GLOBAL MWP? Voila! It goes away. It’s only looking at the local data–and not too closely–that it LOOKS LIKE a global MWP.

    Sorry, Louis, but nice try.

  194. #194 physicalist1
    December 18, 2009

    Louis Hooffsteter:

    You keep going on about the Medieval Warm Period as if that establishes something.

    No one denies that some temperatures were higher in some places in the centuries around 1000 C.E. Look here for example, or in the latest IPCC report.

    The fact that you think you’re proving something by claiming that there’s evidence for medieval warming just demonstrates (to me at least) that you really don’t understand the claims made by climate scientists (as reported by the IPCC, for example).

    The relevant points that you seem to be ignoring include the following:

    1. The warming that we see in the MWP seems to be local in space and time. That is, the warming in different places doesn’t happen at the same time. So this gives us reason for thinking that the Earth as a whole wasn’t warming as much as you might think if you looked only at particular local temperature proxies.

    3. Current global temps are higher than the MWP, even if we’re generous with how warm the globe was then.

    3. We have excellent reasons for believing that the current skyrocketing of temperatures is due to the observed increase in C02. This core fact is completely untouched by all the denialist claims you link to.

    4. You continually reference MBH 98 as though this is the whole of climate science. In reality, it is just one blip in a huge growing collection of scientific research that tells us that warming is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous.

    It is a standard denialist tactic to focus in on some possible scientific misstep and pretend that it captures the entire body of scientific evidence. Your moves here seems (to me) to be just like the creationists’ fixing on Nebraska Man or Piltdown.

    If a couple of potentially weak trees (pun intended only if you think it’s clever) prevent you from seeing the forest of a scientific consensus well supported by evidence, then we’re not going to be able to help you.

    (And you really should be more careful about taking denialists like Watts at face value. If you were half as skeptical of him as you were of Mann, you’d never link to his site again.)

  195. #195 Jadehawk, OM
    December 18, 2009

    oh wow, those charts for a “global” MWP are pretty shitty… but even so, it seems no two of them actually happen at the same time. some indicate short spikes before around 800CE, some indicate longish warming periods peaking in 1000CE, some indicate longish warming periods peaking around 1200CE, one had a peak around 600CE and below-average temperatures by 1000CE, one shows an increase beginning around 1200CE with a peak around 1400CE… etc.

    IOW, the thing is completely random, with no indication of a global increase of temperatures within a well-defined time-period.

  196. #196 Celtic_Evolution
    December 18, 2009

    All of my postings have been attempts to “put up”.

    And each one has thoroughly refuted… but do you acknowledge that at any point? No… of course not… you simply dismiss it and move on to the next denialist talking point on your checklist, which we dutifully refute and you then ignore that and move on. Your “put ups” have been shown to be wrong… so maybe now it’s time you “shut up” and learn.

    But in the end, their motives aren’t relevant.

    WTF? How are they not relevant? That’s bullshit dismissal on your part. It is one of the most relevant questions in the whole fucking AGW-denial argument. What is the fucking motive? If you can’t even imagine why so many scientists would so willfully and knowingly lie about something so vitally important, there absolutely HAS to be a motive for it, otherwise what’s the fucking point? But no… you can’t answer that… you can’t even come up with a plausible guess, so you’re just going to wave your hand and say “bah, not important”. Fuck that.

    The climate work by Mann in MBH 98 is irreproducible.

    Liar. Did you actually read any of the links you were given? Seriously… repeating a lie often doesn’t increase it’s truthfulness.

    His results were not reproduced in any way, shape, or form by 43 other climate scientists who published their data in peer reviewed journals.

    Wait… this refers to your worldmap for the MWP? Are you kidding? That’s your supporting argument? That’s it?

    Mann’s work belongs in the dumpster. Phil Jones’ work at the Hadley CRU and Jim Hansen’s work at GISS are irreproducible. Both defy repeated FOI requests and refuse to release their raw data and their methods. That’s not how you do science. They’re doing it wrong.

    Lies, lies, and more lies… as has been pointed out to you before, and many times to many other denialists… the fucking data is readily available, and the only data they wouldn’t release was data they did not own and was not theirs to release. And read #187 again. The NAS and every other serious scientific agency that has anything to do with Climate research says you’re full of shit. But you believe you’re right because a local weatherman says so…

    Guess which authority I’m more likely to trust, and guess why.

    Don’t be sheeple.

    Oh, the irony is delicious… ok, “hero for the PEOPLE”, tell us, did you do all the research to come to these earth-shattering conclusions on your own, or are you simply taking the word of the denialist websites you are getting your (many times refuted) talking points from? Many of us here (not myself) are actual scientists and some even involved in climate research. Who’s the sheeple, here? Open up and say “baaahhhh” Louis.

    Demand from Jones and Hansen what you demand from me. Hold them to the same standard ALL scientists should be held to. Until Jones and Hansen “Put up or shut up” by releasing their raw data and methods, their work cannot and should not be trusted. THAT’S THE POINT!

    Yup… keep pretending that this is an actual issue, that the data is not readily available and closing your ears and eyes when it is repeatedly shown to you will make your accusations somehow magically truthful. Pathetic, Louis… just pathetic. The data is there… spend some time at some actual sites and reading journals where scientists write and people with actual knowledge of climatology regularly contribute. If this is SO obvious… why is it only obvious to the very smallest percentage of actual scientists? Why do you not bother asking yourself that question?

  197. #197 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 18, 2009

    Louis, As a professional scientist for 30+ years, you are full of shit, lots of blather, and have no citations to the peer reviewed literature. Stop trying to tell me what science is. I’ve lived it, and still am. Which is why you are dismissed as a twit, and rightfully so. Science is not done in blogs, although it may be explained there. Science is done in the literature. And having that literature vetted by fellow scientists via peer review assures the quality of data, and that the interpretation follows the rules of science.

    Don’t be sheeple.

    The only sheeple are the deniers. Scientists are an independent bunch, but the evidence usually speaks for itself. AGW is occurring. If you think otherwise, the data and journals are there for your paper. Just make sure you follow the rules of science in writing it.

  198. #198 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis,
    Actually, when you are making accusations of fraud by the entire scientific community, motivations are VERY important. Why, for instance, would more than 20 independen research groups risk their careers to fraudulently reproduce the results of Mann et al.? Why do 4 independent temperature reconstructions–one done by “skeptical” scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer–all show about the same amount of warming in the last 30 years or so? Why would the National Academy of Sciences risk its prestiege by validating the work of climate scientists if there were any doubt about it? And likewise all the other honorific and professional organizations of scientists.

    Louis, you denialists are siding with known frauds–like Steve Milloy–and known incompetents–like Anthony “Micro”Watts–and accusing the overheleming majority of scientists of being frauds and fools. Now really Louis, does that seem plausible to you? Were you the sort of guy who, when he decided to cheat on a test, copied answers off the paper of the stupidest guy in the class?

  199. #199 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Jadehawk says of Louis’s smoking gun for a global MWP: “IOW, the thing is completely random, with no indication of a global increase of temperatures within a well-defined time-period.”

    And we have a winner. And did you notice how carefully they position the graphs and how tiny you make the type so you can’t quite compare any two graphs? Gee, I’m sure that was just an oversight by the good people over at CO2 Science. I’m sure they wouldn’t be that dishonest.

    Louis, are you really that fucking gullible when it comes to believing what you want to believe?

  200. #200 MartinM
    December 18, 2009

    The climate work by Mann in MBH 98 is irreproducible. His results were not reproduced in any way, shape, or form by 43 other climate scientists who published their data in peer reviewed journals. Mann’s work belongs in the dumpster. Phil Jones’ work at the Hadley CRU and Jim Hansen’s work at GISS are irreproducible.

    Liar. Mann’s work has been explicitly reproduced by Wahl and Ammann, a report by the NAS supported Mann’s findings, and other reconstructions using other datasets and other methods agree with his. The data and source code for GISTEMP are still available, and it has still been replicated by the Clear Climate Code group, and this will not change, no matter how much you lie about it.

  201. #201 David Marjanovi?
    December 18, 2009
    Is there a way to get this posted? I’m pretty ignorant about how the whole blog-discussion thing is supposed to work.

    The way it’s supposed to work is that working scientists are supposed to be shouted down and humiliated by torch-burning, castle-storming Rush Limbaugh-worshipping “true Americans”. Filmed in black-and-white like the original Frankenstein movie, appropriate for the anti-progress mindset of these people.

    :-D

    As David Marjanovi? has said, “scientists do not undergo the full kolinahr as part of their training”.

    Thanks, but, while I’ve said it a few times recently, I didn’t come up with it. I just forgot who did (slightly earlier). I didn’t even know the name of the kolinahr before that.

    But isn’t it true that tree ring data has also been used to help calculate CO2 concentrations in the past?

    Not as far as I know. We have ice cores going back thousands of years for that.

    Almost 800 thousands of years?

    Beyond that, there are stomata densities in fossil Ginkgo and Metasequoia leaves (throughout the last 60 or so million years), and a few other proxies that are less precise.

  202. #202 David Marjanovi?
    December 18, 2009

    “Professional Geologist” as an official title that you put behind your name? The oil industry has strange traditions. ~:-|

    Mann’s work has been explicitly reproduced by Wahl and Ammann

    Link doesn’t work.

  203. #203 Thorne
    December 18, 2009

    To those who answered my questions about why corrections are needed, my thanks. I understand better now. What you, and the climatologists, are calling corrections, I would call (in a quantitative chemical lab) calibrations. Simplistic, perhaps, but it gets the point across. Thanks again.

  204. #205 Strangest brew
    December 18, 2009

    #196

    ” ‘But in the end, their motives aren’t relevant.’

    WTF? How are they not relevant? That’s bullshit dismissal on your part. It is one of the most relevant questions in the whole fucking AGW-denial argument. What is the fucking motive? ‘

    Seems to stink of creotard thought pattern…what there is of it!
    They dismiss glaring holes in their ‘theories’ with a ‘not relevant’ aside!

    Classic shift of goal posts and damn the survivors attitude!

    Hacking into a computer data base of an institute involved in the research to find a ‘smokin gun’ e-mail did not turn out as well as you had hoped hey Sherlock!
    All clandestine and criminal and for what and …actually WHY?
    So it is the very opposite of ‘not relevant’,it is the actual basis of the whole argument of the denialists, that is presumably…why it is avoided.

    In fact I have never heard one reason for the falsificationn of data in this subject, okay you have Fox news, but we are talking grown up here, so let us put that comic aside and concentrate on the real reason.

    oh!…there is none!..well well well…must do a tad better Louis

  205. #206 Strangest brew
    December 18, 2009

    #196

    ” ‘But in the end, their motives aren’t relevant.’

    WTF? How are they not relevant? That’s bullshit dismissal on your part. It is one of the most relevant questions in the whole fucking AGW-denial argument. What is the fucking motive?’

    Seems to stink of creotard thought pattern…what there is of it!
    They tend to dismiss glaring holes in their ‘theories’ with a ‘not relevant’ aside!

    Classic shift of goal posts and damn the survivors attitude!…certainly damn the truth!

    Hacking into a computer data base of an institute involved in the research to find a ‘smokin gun’ e-mail did not turn out as well as you had hoped hey Sherlock!
    All clandestine and criminal and for what and …actually WHY?

    So it is the very opposite of ‘not relevant’,it is the actual basis of the whole argument of the denialists, that is presumably…why it is avoided.

    In fact I have never heard one reason for the falsification of data in this subject, okay you have Fox news, but we are talking grown up here, so let us put that comic aside and concentrate on the real reason.

    oh!…there is none!..well well well…what a shocker.

    Psssst…
    (must do a tad better Louis your prejudice is showing dear!)

  206. #207 Strangest brew
    December 18, 2009

    apology offered for double bubble…I just lurve’ typepad registration…tis a fucking joke above and beyond!

  207. #208 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 18, 2009

    they’ll profit off of that by…by…

    By George Soros, well-know anti-capitalism billionaire, giving them secret mansions.

  208. #209 Sili
    December 18, 2009

    I, too, can’t recall if tree rings have been used to measure CO2 concentrations, but I’m pretty sure there used to determine the atmospheric ratios of C-12, 13 and 14.

    This is how C-14 dating is corrected for the variable concentrations of C-14 in the atmosphere due to the varying degree to which cosmic rays reach the atmosphere.

    I suspect that the C-13/C-12 ratio has been measured as well to compare it to the one from ice cores. (Fossil fuel, being floral in origin, is enriched in C-12, thus burning coal &c decreases the ratio of C-13 in the atmosphere).

  209. #210 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Oh My! Now that we’ve spotted the “CO2 Science” behind the curtain, Louis seems to have buggered off to consult the denialist mother ship. No doubt we’ll see him later on the denialist blogs declaring victory.

  210. #211 Sili
    December 18, 2009

    “Professional Geologist” as an official title that you put behind your name?

    Of course. One needs to be able to show off one’s authority when dealing with these upstart ‘continental drift’ people.

    “Drifters’ we call those nutters.

  211. #212 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Louis H.:evil 9000: RE #156
    You are absolutely correct.

    Hahahahah

    Meathead: RE #151
    Thank you for reposting the link to the evidence for the Medieval Warming Period. This site has links to 43 graphs from 43 peer reviewed papers, all of which show the MWP was a global phenomenon well documented by 43 other climate researchers. Click on any graph and it takes you to a page with an abstract of the paper and a button that says “Link to Paper”.

    Guess I missed that, well it was late. So yes, we have links to papers here. We also see that all the links are controlled by co2science.org which appears to be a crackpot denierland site. This suggests that they went through the literature picking proxies they liked that seemed to “prove” this. What you need to show us though is a legitimate peer reviewed paper that, you know, integrates (non-cherry picked) data with a title like “Evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was a Global Phenomenon”. See if a student handed in a term paper that was just a bibliography (like this), well I’d give em an F+. The plus is for eFFort.


    And Meathead: RE #157
    Yes, you are correct, Michael Mann tried to recreate the whole world temperature record since 1990 from 9 trees in Russia. Good eye.

    Just keep saying it. And click your heels three times too. I’m told it worked for Dorothy.

  212. #213 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Louis H: ?Red Noise? (random yet somewhat linear, low frequency data, like the staggering of a drunk). Needless to say, I don’t trust him.

    Red noise…like the staggering of a drunk… I don’t trust him. Yeah, that about sums up Louie-Louie’s posts and my attitude to him.

  213. #214 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    Back again for more punishing abuse. I’m not really enjoying this, but I think skeptics and true believers should exchange ideas (civilly if possible).

    I usually read climate blogs that contain data, not opinions or politics. These include Real Climate, Watts Up With That, Climate Progress, Climate Audit, and The Blackboard. I try to ignore the political bias of a site, and judge them based on the quality of data posted there. Martin M #200, thanks for the link to Clear Climate, it looks like a promising site. I happened to stumble upon Pharyngula and posted a legitimate point, which turned out to be akin to throwing a rock at a hornet’s nest. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but school me with good science and not BS hype.

    A couple of comments: First, no one, myself included, should exclude the opinions or work of any scientist based solely on what websites they visit or what they do for a living. Do they reveal bias? Of course, but we’re all biased. Anyone who thinks they’re not, is naive. Researchers should be judged based on data and methods.

    Second, the link I posted to the 43 temperature proxies is a collection of papers from peer reviewed journals, showing original graphs from the original papers. The proxies include ice cores, stalactites, tree rings, and both freshwater and marine sediments. Click on any graph and you can follow a link the original paper. There, you can read the paper and see the graph unedited. It couldn’t be more straight forward: The original, unedited, peer reviewed work is at your fingertips – just ‘click’. All 43 papers clearly show the MWP was a global phenomenon during which, the world was much warmer then than today. (Don’t take my word for it, check the papers and graphs for yourself). Anyone who can’t or won’t comprehend this, shouldn’t be posting on a ‘scientific’ website such as Pharygula. My opinion that MBH98 belongs in the dumpster is based on two undeniable facts. It completely removed the undisputed MWP, and it uses an algorithm that makes hockey sticks from red noise. The fact that Wahl and Ammann can replicate fraudulent research just makes me question their research abilities and motives.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

    Third: It’s clear that many posters are suspicious of motives. Fair enough. I said motives are irrelevant. To be clear, in science, motives SHOULD be irrelevant. If the science is bullet proof, motives don’t matter. You can see through them and expose them. We can all agree politics have influenced the scientific debate on global warming way too much. Some readers think I’m some corporate shill (which I’m not) and I think it’s very likely that Jones and Hansen are cooking the data. But in the end, the data and methods can (SHOULD) be examined to determine what is and is not good science. If the science is good (reproducible, like the 43 temperature proxies showing the global MWP), then let the chips fall where they may. Screw motives; lets strive for the scientific truth, whatever it may be.

    Last: I reject ‘consensus’ science. We should all reject it as there is no such thing. Einstein stated it best. When he learned of a paper entitled “100 Scientists Against Einstein”, he replied, “Why do they need 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.” Good science is based on replication – period.

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space#198: Can you provide a link to the papers you mentioned by John Christy and Roy Spencer? I would like to see their reconstructions. And for the record, I didn’t have to cheat on tests in class. The cheaters copied off of ME.

  214. #215 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 18, 2009

    All 43 papers clearly show the MWP was a global phenomenon

    Then you need to show that the temperatures were contemporaneous with the proper time period. It appears you lied about that from reports of people I trust upthread. The times are scattered all over hell and back, and are well outside of your window. And you wonder why we don’t believe you?

  215. #216 John Morales
    December 18, 2009

    Louis H @214:

    I happened to stumble upon Pharyngula and posted a legitimate point, which turned out to be akin to throwing a rock at a hornet’s nest.

    From your first post here: Why is the theory of man made global warming based on tree ring temperature proxies?

    Bah.

  216. #217 Louis Hooffsteter, P.G.
    December 18, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead, OM
    The papers speak for themselves. You know as well as I do that temperature proxies from different mediums (stalactites, ice cores, sediments) don’t match up exactly, which is why different proxies should never be grafted together (like in MBH98). But you’re not seeing the point. How did 43 peer reviewed researchers confirm the MWP yet Mann et al failed to show it? Ocams razor says fraud is the simplest and most likely answer.

  217. #218 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis, OK, let’s look at the phrase Medieval Warm Period. I notice that “Period” is in the singular–implying that there was a single such time with a beginning and an end. Now you are contending that such period was Global. To me this would imply that GLOBALLY the temporal bounds of said period ought to coincide at least roughly. However, by your own references, I see that this was not the case. Some run from 800-1000 CE. Others 800-900 CE. Some 1000-1200 CE and a couple of periods don’t even start until AFTER 1200 CE.

    I also note that the authors of the figure (the Idsos, I think) seem to have gone out of their way to make the scales on the graphs hard to compare. I had to copy the figure and blow it up 4x to read some of those labels! Louis, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you’ve been had. CO2 Anti-science is a pretty sophisticated group of charlatans. But your mistake has been pointed out to you now. You don’t have that excuse anymore.

    And actually, this is precisely the utility of a multi-proxy reconstruction–it ensures that the phenomenon is in fact GLOBAL, because after all it is GLOBAL climate change we are talking about.

    Louis, I’m

  218. #219 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis, The various reconstructions of temperature are

    HADCRUT and GISTEMP (ground-based)

    and

    UAH and RSS (satellite)

    Note that some caution is advised in comparison. You have to use the lowest of the satellite reconstructions. Otherwise you sample the stratosphere (which is cooling) as well). Also the normalization periods are slightly different. That said, the 4 series agree as near as makes no difference:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/plot/gistemp/plot/uah/plot/rss

    BTW, do you know about woodfortrees? It’s a pretty useful tool. Have fun.

  219. #220 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Louis H:How did 43 peer reviewed researchers confirm the MWP yet Mann et al failed to show it?

    These people confirmed no such thing. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you the various proxies are all over the place in time and results. You have made no attempt to integrate them into a single coherent picture that would show your point. That is how real science is done.

    Ocams razor says fraud is the simplest and most likely answer.

    No, Occam’s razor suggests that the simplest explanation is that you don’t understand the first thing about the scientific process.

    BTW, still telling the lie about the 9 trees or have we given up on that one now?

  220. #221 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 18, 2009

    Louis says, “Ocams razor says fraud is the simplest and most likely answer.”

    When you accuse a scientist of fraud, you had better be holding 4 aces and a derringer. You have nothing. This makes you a lying sack of rodent feces.

    We have shown you repeatedly that for your MWP to have been global, you would have had to assume some really interesting properties of time.

    And to say that the “hockey stick” is an artifact is a gross over-exaggeration. Yes, red noise produces a hockey stick, but a much, much smaller one than we see in MBH98 (as McI and McK found out the hard way). And if you don’t like MBH98, fine. It’s ancient history. You’ve got about 20 independent reconstructions since then that all look pretty much the same.

    And as to consensus–you don’t even know what scientific consensus is. How can you disagree with it?

  221. #222 Meathead
    December 18, 2009

    Just noticed this little gem from Louie-Louie

    A couple of comments: First, no one, myself included, should exclude the opinions or work of any scientist based solely on what websites they visit or what they do for a living.

    Unless the web links they post, instead of legitimate peer reviewed science, are to websites owned by some random dumbfuck TV weatherman and professional denialists in the pay of right wing “think” tanks and what they do for a living is try to impress people in a debate over climate with their impressive credentials in ejaculating Professional Geolojism.

    Researchers should be judged based on data and methods.

    We’re still waiting for you to provide some.

  222. #223 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 18, 2009

    Ocams [sic] razor says fraud is the simplest and most likely answer.

    First, there’s the glib, simple answer.

    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” -Robert J. Hanlon

    Now for the real answer.

    If you make a claim of fraud then you had better have tons of evidence to show fraud. Just because you don’t like the conclusion someone culls from the data you can’t accuse them of fraud. If the conclusion is wrong (something you’ve yet to prove) then perhaps they were lacking certain data or perhaps they misinterpreted the data.

    No, Louis, I don’t think there’s fraud here. I think you’re trying to handwave AGW away by any means, fair or foul, that you can think of. Since you’re lacking fair means, you’re resorting to cries of fraud.

  223. #224 Jadehawk, OM
    December 19, 2009

    All 43 papers clearly show the MWP was a global phenomenon during which, the world was much warmer then than today.

    they do no such thing.

    they show that in some select places, temperatures were warmer at some random time in the past than at some other time in the past. The warming periods are non-overlapping.

    I also note that if this chart were a real scientific review, it would list how many papers the authors have looked at, and in how many of those a warming period could be shown at all. to merely present us with 43 positive(-ish) results is the very definition of cherry-picking.

  224. #225 truth machine
    December 19, 2009

    Ocams razor says fraud is the simplest and most likely answer.

    Ockham’s Razor says that the most likely explanation of your behavior is that you’re an idiot, an ignoramus, and a liar.

  225. #226 destlund
    December 19, 2009

    Wow. Thanks, Hooffsteter, for your inestimable fraudulence. Thanks, everyone else, for your illumination. I can only type this, knowing that this will only reinforce Hooffsteter’s bias, because I know that there is nothing that will not reinforce Hooffsteter’s bias. And that makes me very sad. But at least I know this: the more I learn, the better I can prevent such sad failures in the education of people beyond self-confirming conspiracist paranoia.*

    *That is assuming they’re not a fossil fuel shill.

  226. #227 MartinM
    December 19, 2009

    My opinion that MBH98 belongs in the dumpster is based on two undeniable facts. It completely removed the undisputed MWP, and it uses an algorithm that makes hockey sticks from red noise.

    Wrong on both counts. The MWP is not undisputed, and the algorithm used in MBH98 does not make hockey sticks from red noise. It produces hockey sticks in the first principal component of a PCA, which would be of concern were the first PC the only significant one. But of course, it isn’t.

    The fact that Wahl and Ammann can replicate fraudulent research just makes me question their research abilities and motives.

    Since there’s nothing even remotely fraudulent about MBH98, your opinion doesn’t really count for much. I’ll reiterate that the NAS supported Mann’s findings, and many independent reconstructions produce the same results.

    The link you gave is short on substance; mostly just innuendo about ordinary features of the publication process, and a general ignorance of basic statistics.

  227. #228 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawl2hu5CdfEermzc1FZmBuyXwtle2sX-83o
    December 19, 2009

    PZ wrote

    The data from tree rings since the 1960s was observed to depart from all the other measurements — it stopped being a good proxy. Pete explains why. Tree ring growth rates were also affected by CO2 levels, which confounded their use as a proxy for temperature as CO2 levels rose.

    Is there good evidence that the divergence of tree rings post 1960 is due to increased CO2 concentrations rather than some other confounding factor? It seems likely something has changed, but if the result is _reduced_ growth, I’d be hesitant to conclude that this factor must be C02.

    Pete seems to have concluded the same in his followup, blaming drought: “The possible reason for this (of the many presented) that I find most convincing is that the warming is changing the regional hydrology to the point where trees are drought stressed so severely that they just can’t take advantage of the warmth–despite the rise in carbon dioxide!”

    Was your comment written before his update? Does his update change your conclusion?

    —–

    On a related note, I found the back-and-forth between Don and Pete to be wonderfully readable and educational. It was also civil and polite. Your response to Louis was also enjoyable, but many of the comments that followed were rough going.

    Based on the quality of the header your own response, I’d guess that the refrain of “moron”, “liar, liar” and associated obscenities isn’t your personal style, but allowing it without edit or comment makes it look like you condone it. Do you?

    Nathan Kurz (not sure if the login mangled my name)

  228. #229 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 19, 2009

    Nathan, our esteemed leader wants us to be rude, lewd, and crude. Besides, that is also truthful. People lie, and we call them on it. They do or say something stoopid, they get called on it. If they don’t want us to say they are stupid, they need to back up what they say with the proper evidence. The peer reviewed scientific literature is the gold standard in any scientific argument. And is totally absent with creationists and AGW deniers. But there are known creationist/anti-AGW sites where they manufacture, twist, and distort data, and these twits try to cite them, that draws our raspberries and other forms of derision.

  229. #230 Sven DiMilo
    December 19, 2009

    hmmmmmm

    Appears I was WOTI @#82.
    I hate it when that happens.

  230. #231 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 19, 2009

    I really hope people will take a look at the website Louis posted on the Medieval Lukewarm Period, as it is an education in exactly how mendacious these folks are.

    Go look at it in detail. You’ve got some charts on there that say the MWP was from ~800-1000, some from 1000-1200, and some as late as 1200 to 1400. The references are equally problematic. Several of the quotes are taken out of context.

    What this shows is not just that the MWP was not global, it also shows that the good folks at CO2-anti-science are pretty much lying scum. Now ask yourself, why folks choose to get their information from such lying sacks of rodent feces instead of the scientists who actually publish on the subject. Make you wonder what else they are lying about?

  231. #232 windy
    December 20, 2009

    People lie, and we call them on it. They do or say something stoopid, they get called on it.

    It would help if they didn’t get called stupid or confused for saying something that happens to be correct. Louis was right that slower growth would normally indicate cooler temperatures in the datasets where the decline/divergence problem has been described.

    From the exchange between Pete Wyckoff and Don Baccus:

    “(To make things even more complicated, I believe the problematic records were based on ring density, not ring width, which is the metric I use in my work)”

    Yes, “maximum latewood density” apparently jargoned into “MXD” … high altitude/high latitude trees in the right circumstances apparently (you tell me, you’re the expert!) show most growth in a few short weeks in summer, and therefore are temperature-sensitive (more weeks of sufficiently warm weather means more growth).

    Thanks for the clarifying comments Don, they were very helpful to understanding the issue.

    It appears that the problem can occur in both ring width and ring density data. This blog post has a graph from Briffa et al -98 indicating that both of them used to be positively correlated with temperature. This may be confusing because a lot of people might be familiar with situations where faster growth means less dense wood! But apparently in boreal conifers, although most of the increase in width is laid down early in the season (the light part of the growth ring), warm conditions increase the density of the darker “latewood” and therefore “MXD” is (or used to be) a better proxy for summer high temperatures?

  232. #233 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 20, 2009

    Windy, No one is contending there is no divergence post 1960. What they are contending is that given the very different conditions post-1960, this is not surprising.

    What is more, this affects just one of many, many proxies, all of which paint a more or less consistent picture of global temperature over the centuries. The “stupid” is looking at an issue with one dataset and the reasonable way in which scientists dealt with that issue and concluding there was fraud. THAT is stupid.

  233. #234 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 20, 2009

    Windy,

    In my case I was annoyed that Louis looked at an explanation for a change in data interpretation and denounced it as fraud. Accusing people of deceit is bad enough. When it’s obvious that Louis’ accusation was based on ideological bias then it shouldn’t be surprising that we discard everything Louis said.

  234. #235 Sven DiMilo
    December 20, 2009

    Here’s what appears to be the current bottom line (from the excellent post linked by windy above):

    *The divergence problem is a physical phenomenon – tree growth has slowed or declined in the last few decades, mostly in high northern latitudes.
    *The divergence problem is unprecedented, unique to the last few decades, indicating its cause is anthropogenic.
    *The cause is likely to be a combination of local and global factors such as warming-induced drought and global dimming.
    *Tree-ring proxy reconstructions are reliable before 1960, tracking closely with the instrumental record and other independent proxies.

  235. #236 mythusmage
    December 20, 2009

    So, in other words, tree ring width and density indicates general conditions in the immediate area at the time when the ring was laid down. Using tree rings as an accurate, reliable indicator of temperature is not advisable because other factors can, and do, have an effect on tree growth.

    An apparent decline derived from the interpretation of data gained through the study of tree rings is contradicted by direct observations and measurements of temperature, and people would rather trust less reliable information. If that’s not a sign of denial then Patty does have a zipper on her back.

  236. #237 negentropyeater
    December 20, 2009

    Windy,

    I don’t know if you have seen this recent documentarydenialist propaganda piece on Finnish TV ? (video with user selectable subtitles).

    It talks a lot about the whole tree ring “controversy”, with interviews of Steve “Hockey stick slayer” McIntyre and various other finnish guys.

    I wonder, did you know about this ? Was there much reaction in Finland ? Is there a strong denialist movement in Finland ? Do you know who has made this ? How serious is this ?

    I was very surprised to see this comming from this country.

  237. #238 windy
    December 21, 2009

    Windy, No one is contending there is no divergence post 1960. What they are contending is that given the very different conditions post-1960, this is not surprising.

    I’m not sure how this relates to what I said. I was just pointing out that we shouldn’t dismiss facts when they happen to come from people like Louis. Even a stopped clock, and so on.

    I wonder, did you know about this ? Was there much reaction in Finland ? Is there a strong denialist movement in Finland ? Do you know who has made this ? How serious is this ?

    It’s just a show called MOT, they bring up contrarian or controversial arguments about everything, so it’s not surprising. And one of their reporters likes to go after climate/environmental issues. It’s not even the first program about global warming they have made, but it’s weird that they’re suddenly all over the internet!

    The Finnish scientists interviewed are not climate change deniers- I haven’t really been following this argument, but apparently they object to what they see as misleading publicity surrounding the results and sloppy use of some data collected from Finland. I don’t know if they’re being naive (maybe they are ignoring the strength of the denialist movement), or prudent (maybe we should be more careful about the arguments).

  238. #239 negentropyeater
    December 21, 2009

    but it’s weird that they’re suddenly all over the internet!

    That’s because they interviewed the Pope of the deniers (McIntyre), who put it on his blog. Then it gets very quickly around the denialosphere and it ends up being seen by more people around the globe than probably any other YLE programme before.
    AGW-denial is like religion, very efficient at spreading their message around. When the Pope talks on TV, the faithfull listen.

    (maybe we should be more careful about the arguments).

    I’ve spent days reading McIntyre’s blog and the whole Yamal story, the exchanges with Briffa, RealClimate and Deltoïd’s take on this, it gets unbelievably complicated. In the end, my conclusion is that McIntyre doesn’t have a worthy argument.

  239. #240 Dr. Fill
    December 21, 2009
  240. #241 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 21, 2009

    McIntyre’s whole modus operandi is to take results out of context, exaggerate the issues, stop just short of outright accusations of fraud and then let his lackeys get on with the character assassination. But, then given that he has only 2 publications to show for his efforts–none well recieved–character assassination is about all he has.

    What we’re seeing is a all out assault on climate science timed to coincide with Copenhagen so that spineless politicians would have some sort of support for their inaction, regardless of how feeble that support might be.

    At least McIntyre isn’t stupid, unlike Anthony “Micro”Watts, whose blog is a black hole of stupidity. Climate Fraudit is sort of like Answers In Genesis, while Watts-up-’is-arse is like one of those self-parodying creationist blogs–and Watt’s beat out PZ for “science blog of the year”. Oi!

  241. #242 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 21, 2009

    @Dr. Fill #240.

    Rick Perry can be counted on to put the “goober” in “goobernatorial”. Alone, the Statehouse in Austin generates enough wind to power 4 industrial nations, or alternatively, 1/2 of the Hummer 2 douchemobile’s traversing I-45 daily.

  242. #243 destlund
    December 21, 2009

    Antiochus,
    Luckily here in Texas, being Governor is the least powerful such position in all 50 states. I say that with the greatest relief.

  243. #244 windy
    December 22, 2009

    I’ve spent days reading McIntyre’s blog and the whole Yamal story, the exchanges with Briffa, RealClimate and Deltoïd’s take on this, it gets unbelievably complicated. In the end, my conclusion is that McIntyre doesn’t have a worthy argument.

    In the case of the Finnish lake core sediment data, both the criticism and the defense leave something to be desired, IMO. (Some discussion on Scienceblogs here and here, it also gets unbelievably complicated). It’s true that putting a predictor in the analysis “upside down” is not necessarily a flaw, as long as it’s used consistently. But it does matter whether high values of the measurement were taken to imply high temperatures, or low ones. It shouldn’t be so hard to answer that question.

  244. #245 https://me.yahoo.com/a/TpZZ1WE.ufaHAOcfKRGWx77beAEcyw--#c3d21
    April 25, 2010

    Hello, I am late to this discussion. However, I would like to point out that it is well established in published research that tropospheric ozone is toxic to vegetation.

    When I first noticed that trees are in rapid decline (that’s a euphemism used by foresters which actually means, they are dying) I attributed it to long-term, gradual drought from a warming climate.

    However last year even young irrigated trees in nurseries, annuals being watered in pots, and aquatic plants such as lotus and water lilies exhibited the identical foliar damage as all species of trees of all ages, in all situations, whether indigenous wild forest or suburban landscape. Leaves look wilted, then singed and stippled turn brown and drop off prematurely. Needles turn yellow and fall off.

    Thus, only the composition of the atmosphere can account for the empirical evidence. It could be ozone (and acid rain), ozone + higher CO2, and/or the government mandated addition of ethanol to gasoline, which produces peroxyacetyl nitrates and acetaldehyde. Virtually NOBODY is investigating what effect those ethanol emissions have on plants. It could be a synergy of those volatile organic compounds and a global disruption of the nitrogen cycle.

    There are those who claim trees should benefit and grow faster in higher levels of CO2, which to my mind is about as lucid as predicting a healthier human population when they consume more calories – and we’ve seen the result of that experiment with higher rates of diabetes and heart disease.

    I’m not a scientist so I am not capable of analyzing the chemistry and how it affects trees. But I am quite certain, from just doing an inventory of trees up and down the East Coast, and reading the literature, that trees will go extinct if we don’t stop burning fuels.

    I’ve been posting photographs and links to research at http://www.witsendnj.blogspot.com and would be very grateful for any links or information on this topic.

    Gail Z.
    Oldwick, NJ

  245. #246 brendaelva
    November 11, 2011

    Took a lot of time to read but I really found this very interesting and informative, thank you buddy for sharing.

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