There is apparently a strange thing called the Wegman report. Sadly that link only contains Smokey Joe Bartons comments on selected extracts (does anyone know where the full thing is? Is it published? Also quite what the committee/panel is, is rather vague. [Update! Aha... I should have known: since it was Per who commented on it, and since it reads like it was written by M&M, the dark side pointed me towrds the full thing]). Still, what did they say? (BTW, in case you hadn’t realised, this is yet more HS stuff :-)
the paleoclimate reconstruction… does not provide insight and understanding of the physical mechanisms of climate
change… What is needed is deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms of climate change Yup, nothing like stating the bleedin’ obvious. Anything better in there?
evaluation by statisticians should be standard practice. This evaluation phase should be a mandatory part of all grant applications and funded accordingly. Aha! He wants more money and more work for statisticians. Not a particularly odd thing for him to say, but I don’t see hard-pressed cliamte researchers wanting to give up their grant money. Unless there is extra available, perhaps from cancelling the “war on terror”.
authors of policy-related documents like the IPCC report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, should not be the same people as those that constructed the academic papers.” Sounds good, but probably naive expressed like that. Who else, apart from people who write climate papers, can assess and synthesise the science?
As statisticians, we were struck by the isolation of communities such as the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods, yet do not seem to be interacting with the mainstream statistical community. The public policy implications of this debate are financially staggering and yet apparently no independent statistical expertise was sought or used.” Dubious. It gets said again and again that the HS isn’t a major part of attribution, but no-one listens. Probably a good argument for not letting people who know nowt about climate too close to it. I’m not sure about the isolated bit… maybe it just means Wegman doesn’t know Mann. But then Mann doesn’t know Wegman… does that make W isolated?
As mentioned earlier in our background section, tree ring proxies are typically calibrated to remove low frequency variations. The cycle of Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age that was widely recognized in 1990 has disappeared from the MBH98/99 analyses, thus making possible the hottest decade/hottest year claim. However, the methodology of MBH98/99 suppresses this low frequency information. This is weird, and appears to mix up different things. I haven’t seen anyone previously claim that the MBH method suppresses low-f info thats in the proxies. If tree rings don’t have the info, it can’t create it. The assertion about what was widely recognised in 1990 is dubious, and appears to be a re-run of the IPCC ’90 fig 7.1 stuff again (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MWP_and_LIA_in_IPCC_reports).
Um… so, that was fun, but the full report would be more interesting.
OK, picking a bit from that:
[M&M 2003] … claimed that using the MBH98 methodology and the Northern Hemisphere average temperature index for the period 1400-1980 shows that temperatures in the 15th century exceeded those of the late 20th century. In particular, they claim that MBH98’s incorrect usage of PCA alone resulted in the well-known “hockey stick” shape. This is a bit weird. If using MBH98 produces a warm 15th C, how can they also claim it always produces a HS?