Judith Curry Scores Own Goal in Climate Hockey

Did you ever read a textbook on economic history, or an in-depth article on the relative value of goods over the centuries expressed in current US dollars? Have you ever encountered a graphic that shows long term trends in rainfall patterns or other climate variables, using a couple of simple lines, designed to give a general idea of relative conditions during different eras? Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about.

This is a graphic made by a major investment firm culling information from dozens or perhaps hundreds of sources into a single graphic. This is the graphic as it was initially provided by the researchers

The value of gold in US dollars since the 14th century, from the Bank of England, Goldman Sachs Global ECS Research. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/charting-price-gold-all-way-back-1265 The value of gold in US dollars since the 14th century, from the Bank of England, Goldman Sachs Global ECS Research. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/charting-price-gold-all-way-back-1265

This is a graph of oxygen concentration in the Earth's atmosphere. It is culled from a large number of different sources. This is the graphic, based on numerous proxyindicattors, as published in a peer reviewed paper:

This is a compilation from many different sources of stock market values assembled to show waves in stock market behavior over the last few centuries:

This is a set of climate related variables show in relation to human "civilization" over 18,000 years (n.b.: the term "civilization" is reserved in archaeology and prehistory for specific phenomena which did not occur before about 10,000 years ago).

Various climate variables in relation to human civilization (sic) over the last 18,000 years, from: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/17/climate-and-human-civilization-over-the-last-18000-years/ Various climate variables in relation to human civilization (sic) over the last 18,000 years, from: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/17/climate-and-human-civilization-ov…

In all these cases complex sources were culled in the peer reviewed literature 0r professional research literature, and turned into summary views of something happening over time. The graph itself is meant to show a derived variable, not the underlying complexity of the data. The graph is the sausage. The making of the sausage is laid out in the original documents, in some case in the peer reviewed paper the graphic appears in.

Here, Judith Curry makes the argument, in an excessively tl;dr blog post, that climate scientist Michael Mann acted inappropriately, perhaps fraudulently, or perhaps as a matter of scientific misconduct, when the IPCC published a version of his famous Hockey Stick Graph that instead of looking like this:

The famous Hockey Stick Graph with pretty colors and labels indicating which part of the data come from instrumental records and which parts come from proxies.  The famous Hockey Stick Graph with pretty colors and labels indicating which part of the data come from instrumental records and which parts come from proxies.

Looked like this:

Dumb old black and white version of the Hockey Stick Graph that shows the key point of the graph but does not indicate the different origins of the numeric values being plotted.  Like the graphs above.  Dumb old black and white version of the Hockey Stick Graph that shows the key point of the graph but does not indicate the different origins of the numeric values being plotted. Like the graphs above.

For the record, here is the original version of that graphic from the peer reviewed paper. Note that it indicates where the data come from but that was back in the late 20th century when in order to have color graphics in your paper you had to hire monks to draw them and there weren't any monks available.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 7.09.15 PM

And here is the same graph in a similar updated paper a year later, looking much better:

From Mann, M., Bradley, R and Hughes, M. Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 26, NO.6, PAGES 759-762, MARCH 15, 1999. From Mann, M., Bradley, R and Hughes, M. Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 26, NO.6, PAGES 759-762, MARCH 15, 1999.

And, at the time of the publication, owing to the costs of monks and such, color versions of the graphics were made available. This is what anyone who wanted to could look at at the time:

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 9.19.50 PM

Mann's graphic representation of climate change, the Hockey Stick, is not fraudulent. But it is verified, real, and important. There are people in the climate discussion who make up graphs, of course (see this) but Mann is not one of them.

So Judith Curry and the flock of winged monkeys and child molesters that comment on her blog are arguing that Mann carried out scientific misconduct when he did something that is normal to do, and in fact, that he didn't actually do. This is an "own goal" for Curry because it is a clear cut case of making up a version of reality in order to denigrate a fellow scientist and discredit his research on the basis of color coding rather than the science. Curry has credentialed herself a denialist.

(Related: Curry's Credibility Crumbles by Climate Hawks.)

That. Is. Science. Denialism. Welcome to the list, Judith.

By the way have a look at this image:

wp32765e9f_0f

If you ever see an image like this used by a climate science denialist, ACCUSE THEM OF FRAUD AND MISCONDUCT because this graph shows NOTHING about the multiple sources used to create the single black line squiggle therefore it is ILLEGAL.

Sorry... I get carried away sometimes. Anyway, I have a pro tip for those who are following along with the climate change discussion: Individuals who study climate change from any perspective (as a climate change scientist, some other kind of scientist, policy maker, communicator, interested citizen) should realize that some depictions or summaries are underlain by extensive and complex literature. A proper scholarly approach, even by an avocational scholar or journalist, requires keeping that in mind and digging beneath the surface where needed. So if you see a monochromatic hockey stick like curve, or any climate squiggle, hopefully there is a reference to where it comes from and then you can dig around and reconstruct the scholarship, if you are reasonably smart, reasonably diligent, not lazy, and well intentioned.

Or you can be one of Judith Curry's followers and just whine about it.

Finally, here's a recent version of the Hockey Stick Graph showing the many ways it has been verified. Checkmate, denialists.

HockeyStickOverview_html_6623cbd61

Added: Judith Curry Picks A Cheery...

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I agree with the points made in this post, but I would hesitate before using the Elliot wave stuff as an argument. I know you were just interested on the portrayal of data, but the "cyclic" stock market interpretations that those guys make are unscientific and comparable to pseudoskeptic "analyses" of climate data (the "I just see cycles here!" attitude)

By Kartoffel (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

I also use a currently unacceptable climate squiggle graph (second from the last in the current iteration of this post). You are right, I'm talking about the nature of making these graphs rather than the nature of the study of the data. The various non-climate examples AND the climate and civilization examples were chosen because they were the first examples of usable graphics I found that illustrated the point (to avoid cherry picking). I'll take your word for it on the bogus-osity of the stock market studies!

1) I think the child molester slur speaks more about the quality of your argument than anything else.

2) you previously thought that two data points may indicate a something factual where clearly there would be no student-t test statistic to support your Ebola suppositions. You have modelled disease transmission as a polynomial where clearly it is a transcendental function. How can you regard yourself as a credible commentator on statistical matters? Your self confidence to rubbish PhD's is rather displaced.

This is about the worst piece of journalism I have ever seen. What a pathetic fool you are.

By Ron Hotchkiss (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

I hope everyone notices the source of the climate and human civilization graph which conflates and concatinates all sorts of data without indicating much about where it is from or how it got there. Look who is using that graph. Ha.

Ron, yes, I got your message on Twitter as well, where you are an egg with ten followers. Keep up the good work!

1.) Hey, child molesters can have an opinion about climate change, too, can't they? I re-read this and I STILL cannot find any wording amounting to a slur against these climate-concerned child molesters who favor Judith Curry's blog... Do you?

2.) Even math tyros know that polynomial functions can provide a very good model fit to segments of --yes!-- transcendental curves... However, in light of your accusations, please attach your evidence, analysis, and other proof that shows your contention that this particular disease transmission is "clearly" a transcendental function. Make sure you include all second-order effects, and account for confounding influences that produce not only the noise we see in any of the provided data sets, but also for the polynomial-like effects on the growth curve. Otherwise, we're all going to doubt that you have any credibility to comment on anyone commenting on statistical matters. Or perhaps your self-confidence in trashing PhD's is rather displaced..?

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Hmm, maybe readers can guess where that exact image entitled Year actually came from. (well, it is a stretched version of it.)

By John Mashey (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Greg, you obviously missed the lineup for the At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit. I think Judy signing on to this event was tantamount to a public admission of joining the deniers.

Here's the "star-studded" list:
Matt Ridley (“The Rational Optimist”)
Roy Spencer (UAH)
Judith Curry (GaTech)
Hal Doiron (The Right Climate Stuff)
Zong-Liang Yang (U. Texas – Austin)
Eric Groten (Vinson & Elkins)
Marlo Lewis (CEI)
Mike Nasi (Jackson Walker)
Rupert Darwall (“The Age of Global Warming”)
Stephen Moore (Heritage)
Marc Morano (Climate Depot)
Mark Mills (Manhattan Inst.)
Rob Bradley (Inst. for Energy Research)
Peter Grossman (Butler U.)
David Kreutzer (Heritage)
Calvin Beisner (Cornwall Alliance)
Kathleen Hartnett White (Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment)
Caleb Rossiter (American University)
H. Leighton Steward (Plants Need CO2)
Frank Clemente (Penn State)

'nuf said.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

John, are you seeing something strange? I don't see that. There have been some server issues here and odd things, very odd things, happened when I was inserting graphics into this post. I don't see anything odd now though.

Thanks for the post, Greg. However, I'm not quite sure what "excessively tl;dr" is (although I'm sure it's bad). Could you elucidate?

By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Excellent job, Greg

Tip of the iceberg, read Curry's previous post by her co-author Vitaly where they furiously backpedal from an IronSun-like theory they put in their just-published textbook on clouds.

By WebHubTelescop… (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

@climatehawk1 #12: "tl;dr" is a neologism from the current generation of millisecond-scale attention span, who can't be bothered to type a three letter word when one letter can be substituted (yeah, u know who I'm talking about...). It stands for "too long; didn't read." Apparently it can be applied, without irony, to any written communication longer than 140 characters.

By Michael Kelsey (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

At this stage, Greg cannot believably claim he isn't already fully aware that hockey stick "science" is a brazen scam, for the latest Michael Mann promoted hockey stick was quickly discovered to have no blade in any of the noisy input data:

http://s6.postimg.org/jb6qe15rl/Marcott_2013_Eye_Candy.jpg

The blade was obtained as a pure artifact of proxy data re-dating that afforded sudden data drop-off at the end. Yet a coauthor described it on archived video chat as a "super hockey stick" with a swoosh gesture. If that's not fraud, what is, Greg?

By NikFromNYC (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Kevin #10 yes that's some group
it is interesting to see the rapid promotion of:
Rupert Darwall (“The Age of Global Warming”)
Lord Lawson and James Delingpole praise that book.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

At least the Lamb plot for English temperatures (with its many caveats and limitations) was once in the literature several decades ago.

For a true anthropogenic climate change denial plot check out the plot (doodle) I reposted at

https://twitter.com/MJIBrown/status/497284950186405889

which has no y-axis, contravenes much of the literature, has rapid recent cooling, and has the 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption at x~1950. Some climate change deniers actually use this plot as "evidence".

By Michael Brown (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Ron said #3

"This is about the worst piece of journalism I have ever seen. What a pathetic fool you are"

What exactly makes Greg's piece bad journalism, apart from the fact that it doesn't agree with your ideological bent? Could you point to some error of fact with the post perhaps Ron? Insults and valueless comments just stamp you as the pathetic fool.

The idea that any graphic is "ILLEGAL" if it omits contain data on underlying sources, and posting it is "FRAUD" seems like an assertion that should be subject to its own standard.

Where might one find such laws?

By Buck Field (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

This is willful ignorance and obfuscation.

By ZootCadillac (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

If they were regulated and had a code of standards and ethics, such as engineers. That would be where it would be found. Without that, then hyperbole, even using "illegal" and "fraud" will probably be accepted by the court as opinion by the court. This is especially true for those scientists who enter the public arena as advocates. It is unlikely the court will let them have their cake and eat it too. By entering the public fray, they are or should be subject to those rules. Especially since they do not have the regulations and codes that are legally enforced that other professionals do.

By John F Pittman (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Posted at JC's

Professor Curry, are you being paid to attend the Marshall Institute and Texas Public Policy Foundation events? Aren't both of these groups overtly political and overtly partisan?

Prior to the Montreal Protocol do you believe that CFCs were affecting ozone in the atmosphere? Was the Marshall Institute fraudulent(?) for claiming otherwise? Do you believe that secondhand-cigarette smoke has deleterious health effects? Was the Marshall Institute fraudulent(?) for claiming otherwise.

Recently Dr Roy Spencer, one of the "star studded" (sic) experts who will also be at the TPPF event, questioned whether the global increase in atmospheric CO2 was anthropogenic. Was Dr Spencer being fraudulent(?) with this claim? Is it not easily shown that the increase is anthropogenic? Shouldn't we characterize anyone that questions the nature of the atmnospheric CO2 increase as either ignorant, a charlatan, or a fraud(?)? And anti-science too - since multiple lines of scientific evidence show the anthropogenic origins?

If a scientist publishes a paper accusing other scientists of "circular reasoning" - but it is then shown the reasoning is *not* circular, is the original charge just wrong or fraudulent(?)? In either case, should the scientist then cite the paper to others - say for instance congress - without including the caveat that parts of the paper have been shown to be in error? Is failing to do so fraudulent(?).

Is making an accusation by including a question mark a coward's way of avoiding responsibility?

Does Greg Laden wins the internet today?

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Well said Kevin. Wonder if her moderation policy will become like Watts'?

Meanwhile Shollenberger and McIntyre are over there trying to resurrect the r2 verification zombie the NAS dispensed with almost a decade ago. Kinda pathetic, really.

By Sebastian Sassi (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Jason, it wasn't my slur, and I, not sure if a slur needs to be non factual. Please document what you are talking about with two data points and Ebola. Don't know what you are talking about.

@Michael Kelsey #14: Thanks for the info. "tl;dr" has all the earmarks of one hand being off by one on the keyboard, but I wasn't able to identify a plausible word that might have been intended. I'm surprised by the semicolon--obviously an ADHD pedant somewhere in the world. :)

By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Climatehawk 12, it refers to the post being excessively long with insufficient content.

"Sorry… I get carried away sometimes." At least you recognize it so any comment on the quality of your article becomes superfluous.

NikFromNYC (15): I am aware that the hockey stick research is well done and in the subsequent decade and a half has been verified!

The answer to your question about the swoop thing can probably be found by reading this.

Michael (17) that is a good example. There was a time when vague up and down squiggles to make a general point were normally used and were not really wrong, just vague. But now that we know there is a general upward trend in, eg., temperature, they are misleading.

climatehawk1 (28) The term actually has a slightly complex history. Too long; didn't read. is a good compound sentence, so tl;dr is good, also does not require shift keys.

But it really means two different things. tl'dr could mean your post was too long I didn't read it (in my case, here, it meant "your post was unnecessarily too long considering what I said, I read it and now my face hurts from all the face palms").

But it also means "summary." So I could say "The tl;dr on Curry's post is that she's saying that Michael Mann is wrong for doing what everyone has already done" while Curry leaves it unsaid that he didn't even do that."

Please explain why Mann needed to deviate from tree rings when Liu, etal do not. Why is Liu's study which shows the warming occurring now via the same proxies that showed it before, not credited, when Mann, who switched measuring techniques ( and by the way you did not show the decline that occurred in the rings, that Lius plainly does not)?

http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/china/liu-2011-tibet-tree-rings-2…

SO explain, why is Lius study in AGREEMENT with instrument observed warming and Manns are not. My point why are you trusting the study that CHANGED the method of measurement, when the study that agrees with the warming has the same proxies all the way through. Could it be because Manns code wipes out warming and Lius does not.. In addition if the medieval warm period was local, how do you get away with not telling us where it was colder. You cant just assume it was, especially given the decline the tree rings show going on in the current age of warming.

So are you going to trash Liu too?

By Joe Bastardi (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Joe: If Liu used the part of the tree ring record that demonstrates a decline in sensitivity to temperature, then the answer to that question is that Liu should learn some new tricks because he did it wrong.

I don't think you've characterized the differences between the studies accurately, but if you take the two, take them as alternate hypotheses, and see how they do after repeated testing from other studies, Liu's is rejected, Mann's is not.

I don't recall saying anything about the MWP.

NikFromNYC, again, makes an exemplary climate "skeptic" by linking to a graph. And that below a post that explains that there is always a story behind a graph and that you need to read that if you really want to understand it well what the graph tells you and what are its limitations.

Congratulation, NikFromNYC, you have won the WUWT/CE award for September 2014. Or maybe just for today, there is so much nonsense on WUWT, CE and Co.

Greg Laden, your post would have been a lot stronger without the molester link.

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Victor, you and a few others have missed what the link is really about. So, perhaps my post could have been stronger if I had been explicit about that. But I chose to keep it subtle.

Greg Laden, I had seen the tweet yesterday already and the criminal history of the child molester that comments on CE. And I know that climate "sceptics" like to compare Mann to a child molester.

Still, I would prefer there to be a clear difference in tone. As long as the tone from the other side is that ugly. I still have some hopes for humanity and hope that this behavior turns normal people and real Christians and real conservatives off.

And fortunately there is still a good difference in tone; it was just this one sentence.

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

My tax to the tone argument was to make it an offhand reference. I appreciate that tone and framing are important. As a writer I try to set my tone arguments to the right level. I'm satisfied with this particular level.

One problem is that down-toning that is too much is almost always ignored or not even noticed. Down too much and you become Revkin or the likes. In other words, it is a two-edged sword.

If that’s not fraud, what is

Well, history indicates anything you post is fraudulent NFNYC.

Joe Bastardi... Please explain to me why all these people who complain about the hockey stick have never been able to produce a multiproxy reconstruction that shows anything OTHER than a hockey stick.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Bastardi's comments makes no sense whatsoever. Liu et al is a single proxy in Tibet, MBH99 et al looked at multiple proxies all over the Northern Hemisphere.

Also, MBH99 went back to 1000 AD. In Liu et al, the temperatures after 1000 AD are all around 2 degrees *lower* than those around 2000, which is *twice* as much as the difference MBH99 found!

Bastardi also hides the fact (or simply is too ignorant to see it) that proxies all around the world have their "MWP" at different time points. I've even seen people claim "look! MWP" with the dating of that supposed MWP around 1300-1400 AD. Compare that to the Tibet tree rings, and Joe Bastardi probably starts screaming that those Tibetan tree rings must be wrong...

NfNYC, the fraud is all yours, misrepresenting the paper and what the co-authors have said. The hockeystick part in Marcott et al comes from the instrument record, the size of the "uptick" in the proxy data is irrelevant.

Nik @15... Regarding your link. Just a suggestion here. Try pulling all those data sets into one set, then append the modern temperature record to that data.

See what you get.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

This is a good example of a test of the Hockey Stick graph:

"The past 2000 years of climate change have now been reconstructed in more detail than ever before by the PAGES 2k project. The results reveal interesting regional differences between the different continents, but also important common trends. The global average of the new reconstruction looks like a twin of the original “hockey stick”, the first such reconstruction published fifteen years ago."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/08/2261531/most-comprehensive-…

During last year's SalbyStorm, among my favorite comments was:
"NikFromNYC says:
July 9, 2013 at 2:21 am
He is Rosa Parks. He is Timothy Leary. He is Murry Salby."

By John Mashey (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Nicely done, Greg.

For anyone wondering about the child molestation thing, it's a matter of public record in Missouri. I saw the docs ~ 5 years ago, and they shouldn't be hard to locate now.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Well, dang! Nik, it looks like someone already did your work for you. Marcott himself. You should consider sending him a thank you note. ;-)

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Judith Curry's blog post is not about the hockey stick as such, but about the Mann vs Steyn legal proceedings. So the present blog post is fairly misleading and you won't understand much of what is going unless you click the link to judithcurry.com and read it. Steyn has said that Mann's hockey stick is fraudulent; Mann has sued Steyn. Dr Curry reports, quotes, discusses the issue of fraud in general terms and mentions parts of the hockey stick saga which spans many years. To say that her blog post is about making an argument about the hockey is only slightly less misleading than saying that the present blog post is about the price of gold.

You probably should have read her post before writing this.

Curry scores own-goal? Did you actually read the article? She's talking about the Mann vs Steyn lawsuit, and she doesn't take a strong position herself, but rather discusses relevant definitions (fraud, defamation, fabrication . . .) and simply shines a light on the issue. And the issue isn't exactly the hockey-stick itself; it's the "hide the decline" issue. Proxies show a decline in modern temperature, while measurements show a rise. Mann curtailed the graphed data to keep from showing this discrepancy . . . and then lied about it in his legal pleading!

"Now Climategate emails (especially CG2) showed that Jones had corresponded with Mann in the preparation of the WMO cover and that Mann had signed off on both Jones’ splicing of proxy and instrumental records and Jones’ truncation of the Briffa reconstruction. So Mann’s outrage seemed pretty stretched.

But Jean S has found something even more damning. In Mann’s own CV, Mann lists himself as a coauthor of the WMO 1999 diagram."

Talk about an own-goal!!

I urge people to actually read Curry's article.

http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/11/fraudulent-hockey-stick/

(As an aside . . . if proxy data (the decline) isn't reliable in modern times when it can be verified or contradicted, how do we trust historical proxy reconstructions that aren't verifiable?)

By Jack Foster iii (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

NikFromNYC, what's your PhD in again? It appears to be in Nonsense, but that's only going by your typing on this here blog.

No, the issue is not about the hockey stick itself, and that is certainly not what I've said here. Her post covered more than one thing. Here I focus on one aspect of it: that the way Mann either directly or indirectly presented the hockey stick graph is fraudulent, which in turn is related to the law suit.

On the Internet and elsewhere sometimes someone writes a post or article about a few things and then someone might take issue with one of those things and then write about it. Apparently some of you folks did not know that, but now you do! Yay!

“tl;dr” is a neologism . . . . it stands for “too long; didn’t read.”

Oh. So you didn't it. (that explains it.)

By Jack Foster iii (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Jack Foster @53... "(As an aside . . . if proxy data (the decline) isn’t reliable in modern times when it can be verified or contradicted, how do we trust historical proxy reconstructions that aren’t verifiable?)"

Do you understand what "the decline" is? The decline is a known phenomenon with specific high latitude tree ring series that don't track the temperature record after 1960. Lots of research out on that subject, even well before the WMO report in question.

What does the decline NOT do? It doesn't put ALL tree ring series in doubt, because all those other series are supported through other data, including actual temperature records, as well as other proxy records.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

What Curry's blog post is, it's borderline insanity. Take this for example:

"Mann’s intentional failure to disclose and efforts to hide the “dirty laundry” could be argued to be fraud. However, the arguments for ‘fraud’ are more convincing in context of the communication of the hockey stick to the public – the infamous ‘Mikes Nature trick’ to ‘hide the decline.’ Background on this issue is discussed at length in my previous post Hiding the Decline. I concluded:

There is no question that the diagrams and accompanying text in the IPCC TAR, AR4 and WMO 1999 are misleading. I was misled."

First of all, that has nothing to do with anything related to the Steyn case! The WMO cover was something that Phil Jones was doing. And what she's complaining about being "mislead" about is omitting irrelevant data. Since when is it fraudulent to not include information that is widely known to be wrong?

Essentially, Curry is complaining that she hadn't read the research on the divergence problem prior to seeing Mann and Jones' work, when Mann and Jones clearly had and already understood the issue.

Give. Me. A. Break. That's not fraud. That's Curry being lazy, uninformed, and forming erroneous conclusions to fit her preferred conclusions.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Let me try to be more specific. I don't think your argument is relevant to hers, to the extent that it actually concerns the hockey stick. This is a bit hard to prove since you didn't put it into words. But guessing from those graphs, you seem to be implying that she is objecting to the splicing of the instrumental record onto the proxy paleo data. That's not it.


From JC's post:

"Nevertheless, accusations of data cherry picking and flawed statistical analyses and interpretations seem to be justified

The most serious issue for Mann’s case is mentioned briefly in Mann’s brief, as described in this post at Climateaudit [link]:

Mann’s brief: “In their brief, the CEI Defendants suggest that the University of East Anglia’s investigation actually found that the hockey stick graph was “misleading” because it did not identify that certain data was “truncated” and that other proxy and instrumental temperature data had been spliced together. ... This allegation is yet another example of Defendants’ attempts to obfuscate the evidence in this case. The “misleading” comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report’s comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.41 Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous.”

McIntyre: CEI had raised both the WMO 1999 and IPCC 2001 diagrams, but Mann ignored the finding in relation to the IPCC 2001 diagram (where he could not dispute his association) and fired back only on the WMO 1999, claiming with faux outrage that Mann had had nothing to do with the WMO 1999 and was merely an attempt to “obfuscate” – a somewhat ironic accusation given the massive misrepresentation of the inquiries by Mann and his lawyers.

Now Climategate emails (especially CG2) showed that Jones had corresponded with Mann in the preparation of the WMO cover and that Mann had signed off on both Jones’ splicing of proxy and instrumental records and Jones’ truncation of the Briffa reconstruction. So Mann’s outrage seemed pretty stretched.” etc etc

-gtl

Rob Honeycutt: "And what she’s complaining about being “mislead” about is omitting irrelevant data." It's not irrelevant because it casts doubt on the reliability of the proxy data, since it doesn't match the instrumental temperature record.

I missed your comment where you claim that it doesn't. I find it obvious that it does.

I have the faint suspicion that you may have missed the intent of the post by Curry at Climate Etc. Dr. Mann's defamation lawsuit law suit caused a very intense legal and professional battle. And as you probably know the ACLU weighed in against Dr. Mann because it felt his position stifled free speech.

I tend to agree with the ACLU after I myself was subtly threatened by a Mann supporter (I like to focus on criticizing his "False Hope" article in Scientific American, however, the author's self positioning as a communicator advocating policies I can't support cause me to make raspberries at the hockey stick).

The threat concerned me enough I consulted with a couple of lawyer friends, one here in Spain, and one in the USA.

Thus the main emphasis in the Curry post is to seek out a discussion on the legal merits of the Mann lawsuit, as well as understand what's the overall impression about the hockey stick controversy.

I find many of you to be quite ineffective when it comes to advocating policy to deal with the green house effect. I tend to think this is caused by a fairly inbred or inward looking focus on your own scientific apparatus. But that apparatus has to reach beyond your fortress, and I just don't think you are capable to move beyond articles like the one above.

I suggest you really ought to look beyond your self imposed boundary and analyze why some of you are becoming such radicals you have to propose civil disobedience and the government's take over. Think about it.

By Fernando Leanme (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Fernando, what do you think I posted about here, if not the legal merits? Think about it.

Dagfinn.... " It’s not irrelevant because it casts doubt on the reliability of the proxy data..."

No it does not. Like I said, the other proxy records are confirmed through other methods. Please go read a few papers on the divergence problem.

What you're doing is trying to conveniently eliminate all tree ring series due to a problem that only exists with a very few high lat series, and only after 1960. That does NOT mean that all the other series are in doubt. Not even close.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Dagfinn... "I missed your comment where you claim that it doesn’t. I find it obvious that it does."

Please show me one piece of peer reviewed research that supports that position.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

@60, Dagfinn, since when is a paper's author required/expected to include anything in their paper that is widely agreed upon to be incorrect?

Your statement says, in effect, that Mann (and by extension, every other climate science paper author) is required/expected to add any/every argument/material put forth by science denialists to their papers when publishing.

Of course, if the data in question is widely accepted to be correct data, they perhaps should include it. But you want incorrect data to be included...?

Okay, of the thousands of denialist "data" that are widely accepted to be incorrect, which (and how many) of these should Mann pick out and append to his paper?

You fail to give a reason why a specific set of incorrect/irrelevant data "is relevant" other than you say "it casts doubt on the reliability". But many sets of "incorrect data" can be put forth to cast doubt and spread confusion and malign researcher's results, so why pick one and ignore others that can do as good a job?

Why not argue to include them all?

Better yet, to avoid the very lengthy paper that would result: Why not allow Mann to only include the "widely-accepted as correct" data to support the conclusion he's come to when publishing HIS findings -- and let the argumentalist deniers publish their own papers airing their "findings"?

...which is what he did. Which is normal practice.

Wait, what's your REAL complaint here??

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

John Mashey wrote:

September 13, 2014
During last year’s SalbyStorm, among my favorite comments was:
“NikFromNYC says:
July 9, 2013 at 2:21 am
He is Rosa Parks. He is Timothy Leary. He is Murry Salby.”

Riding in the back of the bus, stoned, and delusional

Laden has all the scientific acumen of a ten year old special ed. student. The climate cult is a pathetic joke.

By Tom Currie (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Nice Straw Man, Greg. The fraud was in the truncation of data (both Briffa's and instrumental) which shows very clearly that the proxy data was highly unreliable.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas @70...

That's not a multiproxy reconstruction, Mike. It's the GISP2 ice date. It's a single regional proxy for the Greenland summit.

Try again.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

'scuse me. I meant "GISP2 ice core data."

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

I comment on Judith Curry's weblog. I am not a child molester nor do I associate with them. Being falsely labeled as such affects my reputation, employability, opportunities for promotion, ability to publish in my chosen field.

But then, that's what you do, isn't it? That's 'how you roll.'

It's also why you're losing the fight for public opinion regarding effective action to deal with climate change.

You see, you idiot, I am not a skeptic. I firmly believe and have frequently published that climate change will be a large scale problem for us that we would do well to begin addressing now.

But because the discussion is dominated by idiots like you, puffed up incompetents like Michael Mann, thieves like Peter Gleick and clueless airheads like Stephan Lewandowski, the science is hidden behind your collective and recurrent brain farts.

Would you please do the cause of climate change a big favor and shut up forever?

By thomaswfuller2 (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Ah, yes. Censorship makes life so much easier for you.

By thomaswfuller2 (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Nice straw man, Mike Jonas. The fraud was in the truncation of data (to a single regional proxy) which shows very clearly that cherry picking proxy data is highly unreliable for disproving climate change science.

But please, try again.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Posted at Climate Etc.

Kevin O'Neill | September 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Judith, when real fraud has taken place you have called those exposing it “reprehensible.” Not only that, despite the fact the expose led to a university letter of reprimand and the retraction of a paper, you have never apologized .

Some of us don’t forget – and will remind those that do. Judith Curry on Edward Wegman: “Let me say that this is one of the most reprehensible attacks on a reputable scientist that I have seen, and the so-called tsunami of accusations made in regards to climategate are nothing in compared to the attack on Wegman.”

From John Mashey’s guest post at DeepClimate, September 26, 2010 regarding The Wegman Report:

“[It] was promoted to Congress by Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.

A Barton staffer provided much of the source material to the Wegman team. The report itself contains numerous cases of obvious bias, as do process, testimony and follow-on actions. Of 91 pages, 35 are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning. Its Bibliography is mostly padding, 50% of the references uncited in the text. Many references are irrelevant or dubious. The team relied heavily on a long-obsolete sketch and very likely on various uncredited sources. Much of the work was done by Said (then less than 1 year post-PhD) and by students several years pre-PhD. The (distinguished) 2nd author Scott wrote only a 3-page standard mathematical Appendix. Some commenters were surprised to be later named as serious “reviewers.” Comments were often ignored anyway. People were misused.

The Wegman Report claimed two missions: #1 evaluate statistical issues of the “hockey stick” temperature graph, and #2 assess potential peer review issues in climate science. For #1, the team might have been able to do a peer-review-grade statistical analysis, but in 91 pages managed not to do so. For #2, a credible assessment needed a senior, multidisciplinary panel, not a statistics professor and his students, demonstrably unfamiliar with the science and as a team, unqualified for that task. Instead, they made an odd excursion into “social network analysis,” a discipline in which they lacked experience, but used poorly to make baseless claims of potential wrongdoing.

In retrospect, the real missions were: #1 claim the “hockey stick” broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole. All this was a facade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC “think tanks” and allies, underway for years.”

Wegman never caught on to McIntyre’s 100:1 cherry-pick. Wegman never caught on to what was actually behind McIntyre’s “trendless red noise” scheme. Wegman deceptively displayed only upward-pointing ‘hockey sticks’ – though half of them would have had to be downward pointing.

The list of errors, deceptions and plagiarisms probably takes up more space to document than the report itself. None of this is ever acknowledged by Professor Curry. No, instead the people who revealed these egregious errors are called “reprehensible”. Apparently Professor Curry doesn’t even recognize real fraud.
________________________________________

I didn't bother going into the fact that Curry's defense of Wegman was a knee-jerk tribal response; she had no clue on the actual issues. Going back and reading some of her statements all you can do is go, "Huh?"

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

thomaswfuller2 (74)

"I comment on Judith Curry’s weblog. I am not a child molester nor do I associate with them. Being falsely labeled as such affects my reputation, employability, opportunities for promotion, ability to publish in my chosen field."

Good thing you weren't thusly accused, then, isn't it?

Otherwise, though, you are kind of a jerk, so that may affect your promotion and job related options.

(75) And to what does this refer?

His post didn't appear right away, so he thought you were censoring him. (Obviously he doesn't read much of this blog...)

(I figured this out based on the timing of my post of #76 and when his showed up.)

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas @69... "The fraud was in the truncation of data (both Briffa’s and instrumental) which shows very clearly that the proxy data was highly unreliable."

The instrumental data was not truncated. Briffa's data was truncated because the data after 1960 is known to be wrong, which is openly discussed in the published literature. Are you honestly complaining that Jones didn't include WRONG data in the WMO cover graphic?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob, "Are you honestly complaining that Jones didn’t include WRONG data in the WMO cover graphic?" Of course he is. From a position of ignorance no less. Judith makes the same complaint. She should/does know better. Don't expect reasoned logic - if you do your face will bear a look of continual incredulous surprise :)

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Kevin... Yeah, I guess it was more of a rhetorical question. ;-)

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Never been to this website before. This example convinces me that you are a partisan who doesn't bother to understand both sides of an issue. Your whole post is based on a careless reading of Curry's post. Your every comment seems to be based on taking one side's opinion for granted, and scorning to learn about the other. I can't imagine why you would think this could help your side.
Do you know the biggest problem AGW supporters have had since I've been following the issue? It's that they managed to convince the rest of us that they are partisans, not scientists. Scientists have a presumption of trust. Partisans don't.
Please understand: the other side is mostly partisans too. So what? You aren't going to win our trust just because the other side is not more trustworthy. You had a presumption of trust, and you've thrown it away. You'll never get it back until you stop sneering and start looking at issues seriously.

All those who claimed Mann truncated data are just repeating a lie. Rob, please be careful with responding to those who makes this claim. MBH99 did not include any truncation of data. Briffa's divergence problem in the Yamal data is completely unrelated to the data Mann used.

And as I pointed out elsewhere, if leaving out information is misleading, perhaps those who defend Curry can explain why she twice cited her "climate science and the uncertainty monster" paper in written testimony, but *did not cite the comment on that paper showing an important criticism was fundamentally wrong*. I personally was not mislead, because I knew of that comment, but I am sure a lot of people reading that testimony were not aware of it, and were thus mislead.

Rob Honeycutt #80 : You say "The instrumental data was not truncated. Briffa’s data was truncated because the data after 1960 is known to be wrong, ".

There were three tuncations. The early part of the instrumental data was truncated, and both ends of Briffa's proxy data were truncated. Briffa's data quality after 1960 was identical in all respects to Briffa's earlier data. It was judged 'wrong' and truncated because it did not match the instrumental data. That is absolute malpractice. The correct approach would have been to include all the proxy data and all the instrumental data, and then to explain why there were differences.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike # 85

What is your scientific background? Have you ever written a scientific paper yourself? Who are you to set yourself up as an adjudicator of scientific malpractice?

What the hell is the point of including data widely known to be wrong by all your peers, who also know the reasons why it is wrong, just so that people like you (who would never bother to read it), can be brought up to speed? The malpractice lies only in your imagination, because you don't know what you are talking about.

Non-Scientists doing Science. This pretty much sums up the whole denialist mentality.

Laden, you're a barrel of laughs. You're also one of the pack dragging down the goal of doing something meaningful about climate change.

You join the pack yowling about non-existent Xtreme Weather, back up the buffoons that are trashing the reputation of climate science and defending a Hockey Stick that climate scientists laugh at in emails leaked to the public.

There is one message that you should be focusing on in the era of the pause: Despite all the stars being aligned to push temperatures down, from ENSO/ AMO to solar radiance, temperatures are not declining.

That is all. I wrote five years ago that this would be the toughest decade for those defending the concept of climate change as a political issue. It is--surprise!

Focus on the facts, not the hysterical mythology.

By Thomas Fuller (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Chuck #87 - My background is in maths. Any mathematician can tell you that it is malpractice to truncate data as Briffa's data was and as the instrumental data was. If you are showing data series over a certain period, then all of the data within that period needs to be shown. [It goes further than that, but that is enough].

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 13 Sep 2014 #permalink

Yes Mike,

And any mathematician can tell you that Maths is not Science. There are a whole different set of standards in writing a maths paper and a scientific one. My point stands. There is no point in including data known to be wrong, when everybody knows it is irrelevant. It is just common sense and certainly not malpractice. As I said, you are a non-scientist attempting to do science and failing miserably.

Some people are trying to make a whole mountain (malpractice) out of a molehill (cover art).

Of course, truncation and censoring are quite common in statistics, a subbranch of math, but a mathematician will never be able to determine whether it is appropriate, unless that mathematician actually understands the science. Thus, Mike Jonas' claim that any mathematician can say it is malpractice is, well, simply not true.

Yes Marco,

All this fake indignation whipped up by so called skeptics about what is perfectly normal and sensible scientific practice, reminds me of the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch. The Parrot is well and truly dead, and in fact was never alive to start with, being a fake stuffed Parrot, but skeptics keep insisting till they are blue in the face that it is alive and well.

Meanwhile, there is narry a peep out of them when one of their own, the clueless Anthony Watts, fiddles outrageously with a graph (surely tantamount to malpractice) like this one:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/noaa_upper_ocean_hea…

and draws a fake horizontal trendline (certainly done in such a way that it will be interpreted as a real trendline), on data that is clearly trending upwards.

When this was pointed out to him he weakly replied he was merely "highlighting" that area of the graph. None of his followers complained much about this at the time though it is clearly fraudulent. What have you to say about this Mike?

Chuck #89 and Marco #90 : A graph is a mathematical construct. The collection of data for a scientific paper is a part of science, but the processing and mapping of that scientific data uses mathematics. I explained how that graph broke the rules.

Chuck #91 : "draws a fake horizontal trendline (certainly done in such a way that it will be interpreted as a real trendline) ". Anyone can draw any type or shape of trendline for any part of any data (trendlines don't have to be straight). The idea is generally to highlight an aspect of the data, a kind of mathematical analogy. Sometimes they can be useful, and sometimes they can be misleading, but there isn't such a thing as a "real trendline". As he indicated, Anthony Watt was merely highlighting that area of the graph. That's fair enough, but it's only one way of seeing the data, you have seen it differently and that's fair enough too. Here's another way of seeing the data (Hadcrut4) over a longer period:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~jonas1@westnet.com.au/Hadcrut4MultiPhaseTr…
The trendlines are a least-squares fit of multiple straight-line segments, optimised both vertically (temperature) and horizontally (time). They simply make it easier to see a particular pattern in the data. They aren't "real", they are just trend lines, but if for example they relate well to some physical processes such as ocean oscillations then they may be a useful way of seeing the data. If they don't, then they might still be a useful clue for finding a physical process. The same applies to Anthony Watts' trendline.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

This is getting funny. Complaining about a cover art(!) graph breaking mathematical rules, and then draw arbitrary trend lines to "make it easier to see a particular pattern". Mathematical rules include not drawing arbitrary trend lines based on eyeballing a graph, Mike Jonas.

Mike #92

Now you really are showing that you don't know what you are talking about. It is standard scientific convention that a line through data is a trendline, arrived at by some sort of mathematical algorithm, rather than merely eyeballing it.

If you want to highlight an area of the graph you draw an oval or a circle around it, so that it cannot be mistaken as a trendline. Thusly:

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/search?updated-max=2014-06-30T20:06:00%2B10:…

Anthony not only drew a line in such a way so that it would be mistaken as a trend line (and indeed, many denizens at WUWT were taken in by it - including yourself), he cherry picked the start point to make it easier from him to try to get away with it.

Whatever happened to the "no warming" for 16/17/18 (insert year) meme?. To be consistent, he should have picked 1998 or thereabouts. Ah! but then then there is no way he would have got away with his deception. Instead, he chooses 2003 (I wonder why?) as his start point & even then he fails, as a fair trend depiction would still be positive.

And yet you defend this fraudulent and reprehensible behavior by a scientifically illiterate blogger whilst railing about some imaginary "malpractice" by professional scientists following standard (peer reviewed) scientific methods.

When in a hole.... You really need to give up on this Mike, you are convincing nobody and just holding yourself up to ridicule.. Admit you are wrong (at least on this minor point), and get on with the rest of your life.

Greg Laden, a post intended to discuss the legal issues doesn't usually display paleo climatology. I tend to base myself on the amicus brief prepared by the ACLU, but I do like to read both sides of the story. It seems to me one can visit either side and read a coherent version of reality. Therefore the curves themselves hold little value if one wishes to have a useful dialogue.

Focusing on the legal issue itself , as I mentioned I do side with the ACLU. This feeling is definitely reinforced by the threats in the air.

Regarding the hockey stick itself, my opinion has been shaped recently by "False Hope". That article sure is weak.

Which takes me back to my initial point...if the article was on the legal issues, then what's the point? Are you trying to rehash the technical debate to prove the case is valid?

Do you understand what I meant that you tend to take refuge in a scientific fortress you have created, which serves as a base for catapults launching political nonsense? Why do you think Kyoto failed, and why you will fail again in Paris?

By Fernando Leanme (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

@Chuck #88
Is Richard Muller enough credentials for you? An important physicist, an outside auditor of practice in the field (on the NRC council that re-examined the hockey stick), and now the head of the BEST project, he says that McIntyre and McKitrick's criticisms were valid, and that the omission of Briffa's data was malpractice that anyone in the field should recognize.
Or how about Robert Way? A major climate scientist, contributer on Skeptical Science, he says that McIntyre refuted Mann's work. http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/20/behind-the-sks-curtain/ - just read anything there.
But only when he thought no one was listening.
As I said before, this kind of defense just makes you look worse. I don't understand why people who care about global warming don't realize that. You need to stop defending bad actors. As long as you keep acting like it's your team against theirs - instead of trying to find out what's true on each particular issue - the rest of us who can't follow the math and have to decide who to trust will not chose you.

There have been 7 reconstructions of the "Hockey Stick" since Mann's original paper. They all confirm, pretty much the Hockey stick shape. The fact that Mann may have made some statistical mistakes originally, does not appear to have changed the final result much. Errors can happen in all science. It's this constant "malpractice" refrain from skeptics that pisses me off.

Muller was a skeptic for ages before the data bit him in the face. Now he says he accepts the fact of Global Warming, about 30 years too late. Big deal. He is still trying to keep a foot in both camps, even lauding Anthony Watts on occasion, when the man is clearly a scientifically illiterate buffoon. With respect, he is only one researcher, and few share his opinion on "malpractice" in this regard.

Robert way, is a PHD student and different standards may indeed apply for his research thesis. My point always has been that if data from a source over a specific period is known to be suspect amongst a peer group of researchers, then omitting that data is just common sense and a time saving measure. One does not need to show over and over again that it is irrelevant, so omitting it does not constitute "fraud" or "malpractice". In a Phd thesis you may well be required to list all data sources, but I am not sure the same applies for practicing scientists.

The fact is though, that all of this self righteous posturing has made bugger all difference. The Hockey Stick is still there, despite the legions of deniers who have tried to chase it away.

Mike Jonas @90... "Any mathematician can tell you that it is malpractice to truncate data as Briffa’s data was and as the instrumental data was."

Question: You have two data sets. One measured by instruments, one measured by proxy. ALL the proxy data is validated by the instrumental readings except for a section where the proxy data diverges.

You have a few choices. You know the good proxy data is good because if follows good instrumental readings. You know the bad section of data is bad because it doesn't. You can't leave the bad data IN because that is going to pollute your results. But the good data is still good and well validated. You know essentially why the bad data is bad because there are a number of research papers on the issue.

Keeping all the data in is the wrong answer.
Throwing all the data out is silly because the good data is clearly good.

There is only one reasonable answer. And that answer is what both Mann and Jones did. What they did was standard practice. It's been investigated numerous times at this point and everyone has agreed there was nothing wrong with what they did.

Maybe you think none of these investigations included any mathematicians? (sarc)

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas @87... Briffa's paper from 1999 is rather an act of reaching back into history and ignoring the present.

That paper was in press around the same time as MBH98/99. And Mann's work is inclusive of Briffa's. Briffa's includes a small number of proxies. Mann's includes a large number of proxies.

What happens as you add more and more temperature series is, you find out how anomalous current warming is in the past 2000 years. This has been pointed out between the PAGES2K project and MBH comparisons.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/08/2261531/most-comprehensive-…

Mike, I would bring up again here, you're talking out of your hat on all this. You were the one trying to present GISP2 as a global representation of temperature up thread. You never acknowledged that you were utterly wrong on this point. Thus, you're clearly not fully informed on any of these issues and yet you're coming here trying to act as if you have a high level of expertise. That is, by definition, Dunning-Kruger syndrome.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas @94... " I explained how that graph broke the rules."

Then perhaps you can give us citations as to where these rules are written and how they were broken.

Or are you just saying they broken YOUR interpretation of what you think the rules are?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR @98... "As I said before, this kind of defense just makes you look worse. I don’t understand why people who care about global warming don’t realize that. You need to stop defending bad actors."

And you're defending McIntyre? Will ironies never cease?

The fact is, Mann's original work has been investigated probably more than any other research in history. Do remember a few years ago the big hubbub about Andrew Wakefield and his research linking the MMR vaccine to autism? That research was investigated and found to be fraudulent. Wakefield is now serving time in jail. THAT is what happens when research actually is fraudulent. Mike Mann's research has seen many more investigations than Wakefield's and none of them (a grand total of ZERO) have found his work to be fraudulent.

Not only this, but every subsequent study looking at the same question as Mann's original work has turned up the exact same answer as MBH98/99. Are you trying to make the utterly insane claim that Mann fraudulently came up with the correct answer?

If you honestly cannot see the insanity of the position you're hawking then there is really not much else that can be said.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MikeR, Richard Muller would not be enough credentials for me. He was wrong, and badly so:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-1-confusing-Mikes…
He made the same mistake as a lot of people: confusing MBH99 (which did not involve removing any data whatsoever) with Briffa's Yamal data, where there was a clear divergence problem leading to a decline.
Muller was one of many reviewers of the North report, but clearly he didn't read it well, or he would not have made this mistake.

Your comments about Way just show there is criticism of the methods, but this is not the same as claiming "fraud" or "misconduct". If it were, we can have an interesting discussion on whether Zorita & Von Storch's comment on the MBH99 and M&M was "fraudulent". After all, they later admitted (notably, in another and rather obscure journal) that they did not properly initialize their climate model...

Rob, Wakefield is not in jail. In my opinion (and many others, including Brian Deer) he should be, but he isn't.

Marco... You're right. My error. He's not in jail.

But his paper was retracted for being fraudulent. As well, multiple other studies have looked into the same question and none have show any link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MikeR

If you are so concerned about "bad actors" please have a look at my post #96 above. Follow the link and scroll down to the second graph you see. If you don't think Watt's post is fraudulent, please let me know why not?

You may not agree with my brusque delivery, but at least I am honest. Besides, I am not asking you to chose me, but to to choose science. If you can't tell the difference between what Watts & Mcintyre practice and science, then you need to seriously bone up on what science is about.

MikeR, Tom Curry, and Mike Jonas -- you guys need to read this post.

The McIntyre/McKitrick/Wegman trio really screwed the pooch in their "analysis" work that supposedly debunked Mann's hockey-stick.

Here's a summary of the screwups:

1) "Hockey sticks from random noise" screwups.

1.1) Random noise hockey-stick results were subjected to a 100:1 cherry-pick of the most "hockey-stickish" results. Those 100:1 cherry-picked results were presented as typical.

1.2) The "random noise" they generated was contaminated with hockey-stick signal statistics. What they did was to compute autocorrelations from tree-ring data and then use those autocorrelations as a "template" for their synthetic random noise. But they forgot to filter out the hockey-stick signal from the tree-ring data first! If you are going to use real data as a noise model "template", you first must be sure that all signal components have been removed (leaving only noise). Otherwise, your noise model will be contaminated with those signal components, rendering it useless for its intended purpose. Failing to filter out the hockey-stick signal from the tree-ring data before using it as a noise "template" was a very big screwup on the part of M&M&W.

1.3) They failed to compare the *size* of the random-noise hockey-sticks they generated with the *size* of Michael Mann's tree-ring hockey-stick. Had they done so, they would have seen that their noise hockey-sticks were tiny in comparison to Mann's tree-ring hockey-stick.

The SVD algorithm that Mann used (a bog-standard tool available in most data-crunching packages) provided information not only about the *shape* of that hockey-stick leading singular vector, but also its *size*. M&M&W never bothered to look at that aspect. Had they even taken a quick look at the singular-value magnitudes associated with their noise hockey-sticks and compared them with the singular value associated with Mann's hockey-stick, they would have seen a huge difference in the noise vs. real data cases.

2) "Short centering mines for hockey-sticks" screwup.
Here' M&M&W committed a very basic error of the type that Mann would ding his undergrad students for. When they changed the data centering procedure from Mann's "short centering" convention to "full centering", they failed to recalculate how many singular vectors aka principal components to retain. Mann's singular-vector (SV) selection algorithm, when run on his short-centered data, tells you to retain at least two SV's in order to capture the climate signal. However, with full-centering, Mann's selection algorithm tells you to retain at least *5* SV's.

M&M&W blindly retained only 2 SV's with their full-centered data (instead of 5 that the selection recalculation would tell you to retain). As a result, the hockey-stick "disappeared" from their results. They reported that short-centering = hockey stick and full-centering = no hockey stick. But this wasn't because Mann's short-centering "mined" the data for hockey-sticks (as they claimed); it was because they screwed up!

I certainly hope that Dr. Mann has taken the above lemons and turned them into lemonade in the courses he teaches. These M&M&W screwups contain some great material for homework assignments and exam questions for students.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

A lot of these responses seem to be changing the subject. Where did I claim "fraud" or "misconduct"? Richard Muller, though, thinks that "hiding the decline" is enough to disqualify the people who did it. Way just thinks the work is wrong.
Muller believes in Global Warming? So? You just changed the subject. We're discussing Mann's work, which he continues to believe is wrong.
The post from Skeptical Science makes a lot of assertions about "Muller's mistake" based on semantics of this phrase and that. It's not very convincing. I think watching the videos of his actual comments makes it perfectly clear that he understood that there were two separate "tricks" - one was the faulty statistics of Mann's paper which claimed that you could rely on reconstructions back to 1000, where you really can't get the Middle Ages, and one for Briffa's data deleltion. He clearly understands both well, and rejects both. This kind of ad hominem only works for people who just take SkS's word for it. Those of us who look up what he actually said will conclude that Muller knows what he's talking about and that SkS can't be trusted very much.
There haven't been numerous investigations of Mann's work, there have been few or none. McIntyre has examined them in detail, one at a time. Those who don't follow his blog continue to repeat talking points that only convince partisans who read nothing but sites they like, and take their word for everything.
Same for the "many follow-up studies that confirm Mann's result." They are all of them built on the same data that Mann used. All of them still rely on the same bad proxies. None of them deals with the problems of inconsistent results from neighboring sites. All these issues have been examined by McIntyre as each new study arrived, including PAGES2K. At each of them, supporters had and have a chance to answer his objections. Instead, they post "refutations" at places like RealClimate and SkS where only their version of the issues is seen, and they can control the comments.
Those of us who look at both sides watch this and judge.
One reason I have a lot of respect for Robert Way is that when his paper (Cowtan and Way) was published, he went straight to Curry's site and McIntyre's site and answered objections there. Did a good job at it, too.
@Honeycutt #103 "Are you trying to make the utterly insane claim that Mann fraudulently came up with the correct answer?" That's silly. Just rerun the subsequent studies without bristle-cones and upside-down Tiljander and you get a different answer, with no hockey stick at all. But anyhow it's silly. Why can't his work and methods be wrong, even fraudulent if he tries to crush opposition after it's clear that he's wrong, and still get the right answer accidentally? It's not like the answer was complicated: pretty flat temperatures for a thousand years. That's either true or it's not, and he could very easily have claimed it on insufficient data and no clue. Go argue with Way and Muller, not with me. "Utterly insane?"
"And you’re defending McIntyre? Will ironies never cease?" No, Way is: see that link. He says M&M did good work, correct work, work that refutes Mann's work. He doesn't like them at all, but says he doesn't want to write the Hockey Stick section on SkS because it's not defensible. Sorry, I trust him more than whichever partisan did write the section in the end.
@Chuck #107 - changing subject. Did I claim that Watts was a reliable scientist? I don't read his site and don't care what he says. Or maybe he is for all I know; I didn't read your link either, since it's off topic. Remember, no one needs to claim that the skeptic crowd are all reliable scientists. You lose if people conclude that neither side is reliable. "A plague on both your houses." You can't afford that.

MarkR... "Where did I claim “fraud” or “misconduct”? "

Ah, Mark, take a look at the title of Curry's article. That is the very essence of what is being discussed.

Do you reject the idea that Mann's work was fraudulent or contained any misconduct?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR... "Just rerun the subsequent studies without bristle-cones and upside-down Tiljander and you get a different answer, with no hockey stick at all."

That is wrong. Please show me anywhere there is a multiproxy reconstruction that includes the modern era that does not show a hockey stick.

In fact, Mann's 2002 paper specifically removed many of the series that were questioned by M&M and they still showed a hockey stick.

The larger relevant fact here is that there is an overwhelming amount of publicly available information showing that Mann's work was NOT fraudulent, and thus Steyn and The National Review acted with "reckless disregard of facts."

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR... "Go argue with Way and Muller, not with me."

Muller is merely commenting outside his area of expertise without fully informing himself. Muller has been critical of the WMO cover from 1999. Big deal. That was a graphic for a lay audience whom would not grasp the nuances of the divergence problem. Muller is complaining (outside of his area of expertise) about removing data that is wrong, without having ever even read the research or attempting to contact the scientists to inquire what was going on. Even then he never directly accuses Mann or Jones of fraud or of misconduct.

Robert Way, if you read through this comments on McI's site, is supportive of Mann. He's a student doing what a good student should do, explore ideas in private with trusted colleagues. He was NOT making public statements about Mann. It was McI who brazenly thrust his private comments into the public sphere. Robert, also, does not accuse Mann of fraud or misconduct. His only complaint was with the level of defense for his work that Mann applied.

Look, science is an iterative process. No research paper is perfect. No statistical tests are perfect. All of science is a matter of improving and better understanding what is known. MIke's work was the first to take on such a large task, to pull together a large number of proxies to build a reconstruction of NH temps.

Even if you don't like Mike's methods it doesn't really matter. Lot's of other people have looked at his methods and believe differently. There is nothing there that rises to the level of fraud or misconduct and that has been confirmed over and over and over.

What you are left with, MarkR, is an echo chamber of misinformation that endlessly argues what you prefer to believe, regardless of the facts.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

@caerbannog #108. I'll just repeat what I said before:
1) Argue w Robert Way, not with me. I'm not working through the math, so your comments have no relevance to me. Those who did work through the math seem to feel that M&M were right.
2) Post on climateaudit and make your points there. Why in the world should I take anything seriously that doesn't address the principals directly?

@Honeycutt.
1) I answered this already. Most of the reconstructions, minus the bad proxies, show no hockey stick. They are published. The fact that the authors, all of whom tend to be from the SkS group, continued to insist on publishing them with the bad proxies doesn't have to impress me. It shouldn't impress anyone. First develop the trust that scientists are supposed to have, then impress me by telling me that all the scientists in that area agree. They did it the other way round: hide and deny bad mistakes, circle the wagons, denounce critics, and demand trust. Not gonna work.
2) "...the WMO cover from 1999. Big deal. That was a graphic for a lay audience whom would not grasp the nuances of the divergence problem." Again, a comment that only knows one side of an issue. http://climateaudit.org/2014/09/10/inventory-of-hide-the-decline/ - see there an extensive list of publications. _Every_ published graphic that includes Briffa, from then till now, fails to show the divergence problem. Did you know about this post? Who are you to talk about echo chambers?
2) "Do you reject the idea that Mann’s work was fraudulent or contained any misconduct?" For sure. I think he was an incompetent statistician who refused to admit that his work was incorrect, and tried to destroy others who said so. Which is what Way said. (If you read past the title in Curry's post, you'd see that Curry meant that too, because that's pretty obviously what a shock jock like Mark Steyn meant as well. It matters little how academics use the phrase.) Which brings me to
"Robert Way, if you read through this comments on McI’s site, is supportive of Mann... He was NOT making public statements about Mann..." Exactly. He supports Mann, but feels his work was wrong. Was told by his advisors that Mann's work was wrong. And he and they refused to say so in public. See his comments in the comment section at that link: he was quite upset to be caught, but withdrew nothing. A reasonable person would conclude that SkS's _public_ statements are the ones you can't trust.
Let others (like you) complain about the immorality of publicizing private admissions of partisans. SkS and their friends were very happy to publicize Heartland revelations, and had no moral qualms. They felt that all is fair in war, and I agree with them, and probably you do too. You just don't like losing.

Rob Honeycutt #102 "perhaps you can give us citations as to where these rules are written and how they were broken".

Here's a reasonable effort at documentation of the rules:
http://www.rosebt.com/blog/open-for-comment-proposed-data-science-code-…
Rule 8 (j) : "A data scientist shall not engage in "Cherry picking" (pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position) when conducting data science. The data scientist understands that engaging in "Cherry picking" may constitute scientific fraud, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence. "
By truncating Briffa's post-1960 data, the "divergence problem" was concealed. And don't forget that the earlier instrumental data was truncated too.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob Honeycutt #100 "You know the good proxy data is good because if follows good instrumental readings. You know the bad section of data is bad because it doesn’t. You can’t leave the bad data IN because that is going to pollute your results.".

That is at the heart of the problem. You can't treat proxy data like that, because you end up with confirmation bias. You have to keep or discard the whole proxy. It gets worse : if you have a number of proxies obtained in the same way (eg. tree-rings) then you can't select the ones that match an instrumental record and discard those that don't. You have to retain the lot or discard the lot. [There can be valid reasons for discarding some data, but this is not one of them].

The major problem with the hockey-stick was that inclusion of all the data (both proxy and instrumental) would have shown that the proxy data was a useless proxy for temperature. The scientists involved showed in the climategate emails that they understood the problem - they called it the "divergence problem" - and that the trick of truncating the proxy data and including a bit of instrumental data would conceal it.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Chuck #92 - The algorithm used is usually a least-squares fit, and Anthony Watts would undoubtedly have used it. But that's not the issue. Selection of the graph section for the trend is an issue, and you need to know how the selection was done in order to assess the validity of any interpretation of the trendline. It is quite legitimate to challenge it, as you have done with Anthony Watts, but it would help if you knew what his criteria were in the first place. I suspect that he was illustrating how far back you could go without a warming. That's legitimate but like any trend line is of limited use.

Some years ago, a graph was produced (sorry I can't find it quickly) showing that the linear temperature trend for the last x years was higher than for the last y(>x) years and higher again for the last z(>y) years, and was described as showing that temperature rise was accelerating. Trouble is, you can get that result from a trendless sinewave. So treat any trend line with caution, and understand first the nature of the data and how the trend period was selected.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Greg Laden #116 - Maybe you didn't notice that they defined "Cherry picking".

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR... "1) I answered this already. Most of the reconstructions, minus the bad proxies, show no hockey stick."

Wrong.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR... "_Every_ published graphic that includes Briffa, from then till now, fails to show the divergence problem. Did you know about this post? Who are you to talk about echo chambers?"

Because, the divergence is from the instrumental record. That means there are actual measured temps to replace the erroneous data with. Why the heck would you use wrong data when correct data is readily available?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

MarkR... "Exactly. He supports Mann, but feels his work was wrong."

No. I don't believe Robert is saying Mann's work is wrong. I can ask him, since I know him fairly well, but Rob almost certainly believes the hockey stick is correct.

The fact is well established that modern temperature very likely exceeds that of any time in the past 2000 years.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "You have to keep or discard the whole proxy."

According to whom?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas.... "Rule 8 (j) : “A data scientist shall not engage in “Cherry picking” ..."

Okay, Mike. If MBH had randomly discarded Briffa's post 1960 data just because it didn't agree with the conclusion they were looking for, that would be cherry picking.

The fact is, when you read the existing research from that period, is it well accepted that post-1960 NH series were problematic for a number of reasons and SHOULD NOT BE USED post 1960.

That's just like carbon dating. There are various circumstances where carbon dating doesn't work, and doesn't work for known reasons. So, there is research out there telling other researchers not to use carbon dating in those specific circumstances. That does NOT mean you discard all forms of carbon dating. It just means you have to watch out for those circumstances where you get misleading data.

Same with tree rings. Don't use high lat tree ring series post 1960 because the data diverges from the actual temperature record. The rest of the data is fine. You don't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater (unless you're a climate denier that wants to cast doubt on everything related to global warming).

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jones... "The major problem with the hockey-stick was that inclusion of all the data (both proxy and instrumental) would have shown that the proxy data was a useless proxy for temperature. "

According to you, Watts, McI, et al. But everyone else who has done an investigation (I think there are about a dozen now) have come to the opposite conclusion.

YOU and your lot are biased toward one conclusion regardless of data. The other investigations have been by well established scientific authorities, whom people should trust.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

@Honeycutt "...Wrong"
Let's let Robert Way speak again (same link):
"Under either method (CPS or EIV) it is not possible to get a validated reconstruction to before 1500 without the use of tree rings, or the Tijlander sediments."

@Honeycutt "Why the heck would you use wrong data when correct data is readily available?" I take this as an agreement that your previous comment, that this was nothing but some obscure WMO graphic for a lay audience, is withdrawn. But
:O
Your actual comment! Wow. I can only conclude that after all this discussion, you have no idea what the divergence problem is. The researcher needs to convince himself and his audience that the proxy is actually a thermometer for temperature, and not just a result of numerous confounding factors. We are not interested in estimates of recent temperature. We are interested in knowing whether your supposed proxy is garbage. If it fails on modern temperatures when we know the right answer, what justification do you have for using it in the past?
Personally, when I look at the various PAGES2K proxy time series, I get the same general feeling. Some go up, some down, even when coming from nearby to each other; they wander around. Then you average them together, and presto! a nice flat blade to the hockey stick - i.e., all the variation averages out. QED - temperature did not vary much!
No. First you need to prove that the proxies work. If they don't match modern temperatures, and you don't know why, you have nothing at all, no matter how many times you publish.

I really don't know what you want me to do. I am not going to work through the math details; I don't have time even though I might have the training. My impression from all that I see is that you and your cohorts are the ones trying to mislead. You continually say things that I can easily check are false. Perhaps you don't even know it; perhaps you are just quoting sources you trust. That would mean to me is that your sources can't be trusted. But you're not going to convince anyone this way, unless they only read the sources you like.

MarkR... " I can only conclude that after all this discussion, you have no idea what the divergence problem is."

I've read the papers on the divergence problem. Being that you're incapable of explaining why you made this statement, I'm going to assume that you haven't.

"If they don’t match modern temperatures, and you don’t know why, you have nothing at all, no matter how many times you publish."

[facepalm] Okay, now you're just being deliberately obtuse.

"I am not going to work through the math details..."

Um, if you hadn't noticed, I'm the one who is agreeing with all the dozen investigations into the hockey stick and you are the one holding the position that contradicts all those folks who DO have the training and expertise and background to fully evaluate the research. Perhaps you believe you understand more than all those folks, who sure add up into the 100's, who've done those investigations.

"You continually say things that I can easily check are false."

Quick rephrase: "You continually say things that I can quickly wave my hands at and ignore in order to hold my confirmed bias."

"But you’re not going to convince anyone this way..."

I don't need to. The overwhelming body of scientific research does that just fine without me. I just enjoy pointing out how fantastically absurd people like you are.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

My Great Aunt Tillie failed to match the instrumental record even though she went back to the 1870's. She, too, was left out of the mixed proxy analysis.

"I’ve read the papers on the divergence problem. Being that you’re incapable of explaining why you made this statement, I’m going to assume that you haven’t."
Being that I did explain it, in the very next paragraph, and apparently you didn't understand that, I'm going to assume that you haven't read the papers.

"Um, if you hadn’t noticed, I’m the one who is agreeing with all the dozen investigations into the hockey stick and you are the one holding the position that contradicts all those folks who DO have the training and expertise and background to fully evaluate the research." I've answered this already above.

MikeR... "Being that I did explain it, in the very next paragraph..."

Um, no you did not do anything of the sort.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob Honeycutt #122 - Confirmation bias, as per my #115 : "That is at the heart of the problem. You can’t treat proxy data like that, because you end up with confirmation bias. You have to keep or discard the whole proxy.".

Rob Honeycutt #123 - you say "Same with tree rings. Don’t use high lat tree ring series post 1960 because the data diverges from the actual temperature record. The rest of the data is fine.". But the fact that the tree ring series post 1960 diverges from the actual temperature record tells you that the series is unreliable as a temperature proxy. That means that the whole series is unreliable, regardless of the fact that for part of the series it happened to produce a good match. ie. that part fluked it.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "But the fact that the tree ring series post 1960 diverges from the actual temperature record tells you that the series is unreliable as a temperature proxy."

Wrong. The fact that tree ring series diverge post 1960 tells you that the data post 1960 is unreliable, not that the data prior to 1960 is unreliable.

I'll offer you the same paper I gave MarkR:

http://webcenter.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/fac/trl/downloads/Publications/d…

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

And, Mike Jonas... I'm still waiting for you to acknowledge that you were wrong to present GISP2 as a global temperature record. It is, in fact, a regional temperature record for the Greenland summit.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Regarding the divergence problem, there are ways to verify that data-sets suffering from post 1960 divergence are valid pre-1960.

One way, of course, is to compare the problematic data with the pre-1960 temperature record. That will verify the validity of the data for the time-period where you have instrumental temperature data.

But what about the data prior to the beginning of the instrumental temperature record? Well, we have lots of proxy data-sets that *don't* suffer from the divergence problem. So scientists will compare pre-temperature-record divergent data-sets with pre-temperature-record non-divergent data-sets. If the divergent data tracks the non-divergent data, then scientists can be confident that the divergent data-sets are valid prior to the instrumental temperature record.

Paleoclimatologists have collected and analyzed a wealth of data, so there are lots of ways to perform data cross-checks.

Not using divergent data post-1960 is *not* scientific malpractice, because scientists have performed extensive checks per above to verify the validity of the divergent data for times during and prior to the instrumental temperature record.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

It just occurred to me that there may be a basic misunderstanding of now proxindicators work that could explain what otherwise looks like a certain amount of dimwittedenss.

True fact: For most proxyindicators, there is not an assumption of sensitivity (that the indicator will track something) of correlated variability (that the indicator will go up and down with the thing being indicated) will not have too high of an input from other factors, random or not, or that it will work across the full range for which it is sampled the same way, or even at all.

When you walk into the lab with your core or tree ring sample or datable material or paleomag samples or whatever, and you say "I have a proxy indicator now all I have to do is measure the values and I will know the truth!" you get fired because you are being stupid. Every single sampling of a record has to be checked and verified and put through the paces before it can be used, and then, often by chopping off parts of the record that seem unreliable, or making some kind of adjustment or alignment.

Your typical lake core sediment, for example, often has a top and a bottom that, because they are on the top or bottom, are messed up and you have to decide where to chop. Better to chop off some good data than keep in some good data.

Isotopic signatures are potentially contaminated in ways you can't detect independently, so you may have to use the better behaved sections.

Listen carefully: If you write a paper that presents a dated single proxy sequence without reference to calibration, verification, etc. it will be sent back to you unless it is part of a very very stable and well behaved system and you have no choice. I scanning the literature you may not even noticed this because it is sometimes routine. I.e., looking at Fe in a sample where you are looking for pollen, to see if sedimentation rates are steady ,might be little more than a foot note and nota major graph or something.

Now, pay attention to this as well. What are tree rings for? Measuring temperature over time, right?

No. They are not. They are for measuring growth rate over time which is usually correlated to rainfall patterns. But, now and then, a tree ring record ... just the right species in the right setting, trees of the right age, local ecology at a certain equilibrium, at the right altitude and with the thing being measured within a certain range ... comes along that can measure temperature. There is of course a set of such records, and they all have their problems and limitations.

We are lucky we have what we have, and it has to be handled properly.

tl;dr - proxies are not soothsayers. They are lying bastards that we need to trick -- yes trick -- to get them to give up the truth. And we can do this. We have ways of making the proxies talk. And if you did not know that this is the case, you have no business telling people that they are doing it wrong, and even less business telling them how to do it.

Rob Honeycutt #134 - you say "I’m still waiting for you to acknowledge that you were wrong to present GISP2 as a global temperature record. It is, in fact, a regional temperature record for the Greenland summit.". The discussion was on multiproxies, and I posted the GISP2 link in #70 : "All you have to do is to leave trees out of the multiproxy [GISP2 link]". So it wasn't posted as a global temperature record, it was posted as a single proxy. Sure it's a single location. So is every tree ring.

Rob Honeycutt #133 - the paper you link to says :

"An anomalous reduction in forest growth indices and temperature sensitivity has been detected in tree-ring width and density records from many circumpolar northern latitude sites since around the middle 20th century. This phenomenon, also known as the “divergence problem”, is expressed as an offset between warmer instrumental temperatures and their underestimation in reconstruction models based on tree rings. The divergence problem has potentially significant implications for large-scale patterns of forest growth, the development of paleoclimatic reconstructions based on tree-ring records from northern forests, and the global carbon cycle. Herein we review the current literature published on the divergence problem to date, and assess its possible causes and implications. The causes, however, are not well understood and are difficult to test due to the existence of a number of covarying environmental factors that may potentially impact recent tree growth."

So, far from identifying specific reasons why the proxy record should be inaccurate after 1960, it gives a very clear "don't know". Therefore the whole proxy record is unreliable.

When you look at the last sentence - "the existence of a number of covarying environmental factors " - it really isn't surprising that the whole proxy record is unreliable. It is obviously difficult for tree rings to be a proxy for temperature when there are other major factors such as precipitation.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "When you look at the last sentence – “the existence of a number of covarying environmental factors ” – it really isn’t surprising that the whole proxy record is unreliable."

[sigh] The paper is talking about the late twentieth century data (post 1960) not the entire proxy record.

You guys really are thick.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... In your earliest comment presenting GISP2 you stated, "Rob Honeycutt #41 “people who complain about the hockey stick have never been able to produce a multiproxy reconstruction that shows anything OTHER than a hockey stick.”.
All you have to do is to leave trees out of the multiproxy." And then you linked to the GISP2 graph at climate4you.com.

GISP2 is not a multiproxy. GISP2 is not a tree ring series. GISP2 is not a NH reconstruction. GISP2 is merely a single regional proxy for the Greenland summit. GISP2 is a single ice core record from well above the Arctic circle.

You cannot infer anything about global temperature using GISP2 alone.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Another bit about GISP2 -- the GISP2 data record ends at about 1855. So it does not capture the 20th-century warming.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

I don't think the GISP2 core starts in the mid nineteenth century.

Yup. GISP2 start (or ends, depending on how you want to look at it) 95 years before present, where "before present" uses the standard 1950 to mean "present."

Mark Jonas... You didn't know that, did you.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob Honeycutt:
In your arguments with Mike Jonas, you might want to consider his comment on the Salby affair, found in PDF attached to Psueoskeptics Exposed, at WUWT

"03{Mike Jonas} says
July 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm
In line with comments by some others, and in view of the shellacking being dished out here to MacQuarie University, I suggest that Anthony should formally contact MQ and invite them to defend themselves here.
And that really is a serious suggestion, not a sarc."

I was unaware that WUWT was an Australian court.. :-)

By John Mashey (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Well, there you go, that's an example of what I was talking about.

John Mashey #143 - That was an unnecessarily snide and superficial comment. If my memory serves me correctly, Macquarie Uni was taking a verbal beating in comments on WUWT - all one-way traffic. I didn't much like what was happening, and felt that it could be helpful to invite M.U. to put their side of the case so that both sides would be heard.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

re #139-142 (GISP2) : The point I was trying to make was that not all proxies show a hockeystick. In GISP2 the current warming period had started, but looking left in the graph it was not going to make a hockeystick. Mann's hockeystick blade was about 1deg, way less than earlier warmings in the GISP2 record. Marco #85 linked to more extreme recent warm points, but I haven't checked them.
Anyway, in #87 I posted a link to some other non-hockeystick proxies that may be more to your liking.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Re 138: The conclusion to the paper cited states: "For example, reconstructions based on northern tree-ring data impacted by divergence cannot be used to directly compare past natural warm periods (notably, the MWP) with recent 20th century warming, making it more difficult to state unequivocally." So the whole proxy must be thrown out.
that the recent warming is unprecedented.

By Phillip Williams (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Fixing my error in the quotation - Re 138: The conclusion to the paper cited states: “For example, reconstructions based on northern tree-ring data impacted by divergence cannot be used to directly compare past natural warm periods (notably, the MWP) with recent 20th century warming, making it more difficult to state unequivocally that the recent warming is unprecedented .” So the whole proxy must be thrown out.

By Phillip Williams (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... How the heck can GISP2 show a hockey stick when the data ends at 1855? No the current warming had not started because the data series ends at a point that is, for all intents and purposes, pre-industrial.

If you look at current temperatures for the Greenland summit they rise ABOVE all the other previous temps in the GISP2 record.

http://static.skepticalscience.com/pics/c4u-chart7.png

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... Look very closely at the graph that Ole Humlum created. He puts the end of the GISP2 data in middle of what he calls the "modern warm period."

The GISS data doesn't even start until 1880 (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/200711_temptracker/giss_temp…) , so I don't know how anyone could possibly locate 1855 at the MIDDLE of the "modern warm period." At best, that little blip you see at the end of the GISP2 is a regional temperature anomaly that has no bearing or relation to the modern warm period.

Whether or not you want to append the modern record, when you look at Humlum's graph, it's best to make a little mental adjustment and shift that green band over to the right so that the modern warm period starts AFTER the GISP2 data ends.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas - has anyone said that *all* proxies carry the hockey stick shape? I don't think so. You seem to believe that finding one or two makes some kind of major statement. It doesn't. But in fact the vast majority of phenological studies *do* show a hockey stick shape.

For instance: “Freeze and breakup dates of ice on lakes and rivers provide consistent evidence of later freezing and earlier breakup around the Northern Hemisphere from 1846 to 1995. Over these 150 years, changes in freeze dates averaged 5.8 days per 100 years later, and changes in breakup dates averaged 6.5 days per 100 years earlier; these translate to increasing air temperatures of about 1.2ºC per 100 years. Interannual variability in both freeze and breakup dates has increased since 1950. A few longer time series reveal reduced ice cover (a warming trend) beginning as early as the 16th century, with increasing rates of change after about 1850.” Historical Trends in Lake and River Ice Cover in the Northern Hemisphere, Magnuson et al, Science VOL 289 8 September 2000.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of these phenological studies that say the same thing. A temperature reconstruction that disagreed would immediately be suspect – not because of who made it or how it was done, but because it would be in disagreement with too many other lines of evidence.

BTW, the GISP2 record has been widely used on many denier/pseudoskeptic sites. There are two possible explanations:
1) They never realized that it ended in 1855.
2) They knew it ended in 1855 and just wanted to mislead their readers

#1 means they never read or understood the source material. This is often what pseudoskeptics do - they look for evidence they like and quote it - without ever reading the full paper to see what caveats or cautions might be involved.

#2 means they don't care for the truth

Neither explanation is very complimentary, but we see it over and over again from people who get their information from pseudoskeptic sources. So you'll have to forgive us if we think you're just full of it.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

"But, now and then, a tree ring record … just the right species in the right setting, trees of the right age, local ecology at a certain equilibrium, at the right altitude and with the thing being measured within a certain range … comes along that can measure temperature. There is of course a set of such records, and they all have their problems and limitations." Jeepers. I read the link that Honeycutt posted, and now this comment. Hard for me to believe that scientists could write this stuff. I have to believe that real scientists in the field are more competent. You are building all this upside down. You absolutely are not allowed to find temperature proxies that "now and then, a tree ring record … just the right species in the right setting, … comes along that can measure temperature." We have a name for that. It is called data snooping, overfitting. You look at a bunch of tree ring series, and lo and behold, you find a couple that match temperatures. Then you claim you now know that they are proxies.
Not allowed. Your training data has to be validated. You either have to start with a presumption that you know from theory that a certain time series should track temperature - and then you can validate it against known temperatures. Or, you can have several series of the same type and situation of data, form your theory on one of the sets, and validate on the others.
If you do it the second way, and your trees fail validation, that means that your proxy is invalidated. You can't ignore them; you don't have a proxy any more. That is the divergence problem - exactly as I explained. The problem is not that you can't get post-1960 temperatures. The problem that you don't have a proxy.
If the proxies were chosen by the procedure you suggested - and many proxies that presumably failed are still unpublished - then you have no reliable proxies at all. Curve-fitting, nothing more.

MikeR... Do you, for some reason, believe that you are more capable of grasping the nuances and implications of these data than the researchers who work with them every day?

My suggestion would be for you to spend time learning how the data are compiled and validated, from the people who do the actual work, before assuming that the people doing the work that you don't understand are wrong.

If you do that, and then still have concerns, you have yourself a good reason to produce some research papers. Short of that, you're just trying to wave off what you can't be bothered to understand.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Miker, how is it that me saying that to use proxy data it has to be validated causes you to get all screechy about how your data has to be validated?

Rob Honeycutt and Greg laden:
why are you wasting your time?
1) Join my crowd-sourced complaint about the ’97% consensus’</a. by Christopher Monckton of Benchley.

" Mike Jonas says:
September 21, 2013 at 12:56 am
Please add me."

2) Monckton responds to Peter Hadfield aka “potholer54″ – plus Hadfield’s response

"Mike Jonas
January 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm
The fact that the argument that the IPCC presumably considers their most compelling for high climate sensitivity has been found to rest on “feedback” speculations rather than science, it must be inferred that all of their arguments are likely based on nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The only interesting question for further speculation is whether the IPCC is truly this ignorant in their understanding of the scientific process or whether they know they are incorrect but continue makingg an argument that is scientifically invalid for other reasons. I will not speculate on the answer to this question."

"Mike Jonas
January 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Fred Hillson – Lord Monckton was and still is a Viscount (Lord). The House of Lords Act 1999 purported to remove his right to sit in the House, as explained here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-09-29a.398.0
However, there is a constitutional argument about the Act. As Baroness Ashton explained

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80929w0…

“The effect of Letters Patent creating peerages can he changed by legislation which has that specific effect. It cannot be changed by legislation of general application.”.

The problem is that the 1999 Act can be considered to be of “general application” because (as I understand the argument) it did not refer explicitly to those letters patent which it sought to overturn.

As a result, there is an ongoing constitutional argument, which not many of us here, I suspect, are qualified to pass judgement on.

In the meantime, it might be a good idea to stop the petty personal attacks and address the actual science. I suspect that it is Lord Monckton’s effectiveness in addressing the actual science that makes people like you resort to ad hominems."

By John Mashey (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob Honeycutt #155 - I'm not quite sure what you are getting at, presumably that Arctic and Antarctic temperatures are out of phase with each other. What is known as the Polar See-saw. Henrik Svensmark suggested an explanation for it, to do with clouds being less reflective than ice&snow. Interestingly, the IPCC predict that their warming will occur at both poles. That doesn't appear to be happening, with the Antarctic sea ice extent just hitting a since-records-began high.

I suggest we move on from GISP2, agreeing that it is no more than indirectly relevant to the context here, and take a look at the several non-hockeystick proxies that Briffa referred to (Figure 1, see #87).

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas #117

Pull the other one. I think it is quite clear how Watts arrived at the start point of his trend line. A massive, blatant cherry pick. Look at that graph again. If he had picked any other year, he would have had warming... Heaps of it. 2003 was the only year he could have picked that would yield even close to a horizontal line. Even then, had he calculated a proper trend, it would still have been going up. It was a blatant attempt to mislead.

All your pious waffle and attempts to explain to me the subtleties of trend line selection do not conceal your failure to call out one of your own for what is self evidently fraudulent behavior.

Boy, am I glad I slept through all this!

Mike Jonas, MikeR and Phillipe Williams,

Uninformed, Unskilled and Unaware of it. Classic Dunning Kruger; and I might add, just a bit thick. It is quite clear that you guys don't know what you are talking about, yet you persist, and when you are shown to be wrong, you never admit it but move on to something else.

It reminds me of some people I have seen go through pilot school. Just because they had learnt how to land a Cessna they thought they could handle a jumbo jet as well.

Here's a thought. Why don't you stop spending inordinate amounts of time on pseudo skeptic sites like WUWT and bone up on Dendrochronology. Maybe Coursera has an online course. That way, you wouldn't be wasting your own, and everyone else's time

Chuck #160. Fact-free I see.

Kevin ONeill #151 - you say "Mike Jonas – has anyone said that *all* proxies carry the hockey stick shape? I don’t think so.". I was replying to Rob Honeycutt #41 “people who complain about the hockey stick have never been able to produce a multiproxy reconstruction that shows anything OTHER than a hockey stick.”

Chuck #159 - you say "All your pious waffle and attempts to explain to me the subtleties of trend line selection do not conceal your failure to call out one of your own for what is self evidently fraudulent behavior.". I have had a look back at the original AW post (something that both you and I should have done earlier), and the blurb with the diagram says "Sure looks like a pause to me, especially after steep rises in OHC from 1997-2003. Note the highlighted period in yellow: [diagram]". http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/25/fact-check-for-andrew-glickson-oc… So the yellow line wasn't a trend line at all. it was simply highlighting a period. And of course that's why it's horizontal. It might also be worth noting that the graph is in units of a zeta-joule. In deg C the range of the entire graph would be of the order of 0.1 deg C, and of the yellow highlighted period around a fifth of that. Not exactly worth getting excited about.

NB. What I said about trend lines all stands. Trend lines are not data. Anyone can draw any trend they like, line or curve, but that doesn't mean it will have any value.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Kevin ONeill #151 (again) - A hockeystick consists of both blade and handle. By concentrating on dates after 1855, you are looking only at the blade. What GISP2 suggests is that there isn't a (horizontal) handle.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Well Mike,

You have shown yourself to be uninformed,unskilled in the area of tree ring dating and blissfully unaware of it. You have done it publicly on this blog, which seems pretty factual to me.

As for Anthony's fraudulent little graph; he has a history of altering posts after the event when he is pulled up on one of his little gaffes. The "highlighted period" line was added in later, after a commenter pointed out to him that his "trend line" was baseless.

As I pointed out, the accepted method of highlighting is to draw an oval around the data in question, so it cannot be mistaken for a trend line, even by accident.

Chuck #163. You say " The “highlighted period” line was added in later, after a commenter pointed out to him that his “trend line” was baseless.". Evidence please.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 14 Sep 2014 #permalink

Sorry, I thought I had an original screen grab of that page. But I can't find it. In light of that, I withdraw the comment.

However, I stand by my original criticism of that graph.

In response to my "plain English" explanation of M&M's errors -- written in language that a high-school student should understand -- I get this response from MikeR (#113):

@caerbannog #108. I’ll just repeat what I said before:
1) Argue w Robert Way, not with me. I’m not working through the math, so your comments have no relevance to me. Those who did work through the math seem to feel that M&M were right.

I didn't ask MikeR to "work through the math", but simply to try to understand some basic concepts at a very high level. Well, it looks like that ain't gonna happen..

By caerbannog (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas #161

I was replying to Rob Honeycutt #41 “people who complain about the hockey stick have never been able to produce a multiproxy reconstruction that shows anything OTHER than a hockey stick.”

and by presenting a single proxy reconstruction that did not cover the last 150 years I think you ably demonstrated his point.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "I suggest we move on from GISP2..."

Okay. Once you acknowledge that GISP2 is NOT a proxy for global temperature.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "Interestingly, the IPCC predict that their warming will occur at both poles. That doesn’t appear to be happening, with the Antarctic sea ice extent just hitting a since-records-began high."

Sea ice is not a measure of temperature. The fact is, both poles ARE losing ice mass. Both poles ARE warming, and, consistent with AGW, the Arctic is warming faster.

http://1.usa.gov/1BGddQj

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas... "I was replying to Rob Honeycutt #41 “people who complain about the hockey stick have never been able to produce a multiproxy reconstruction that shows anything OTHER than a hockey stick.”"

Just to hammer home Richard Simons' point. You don't seem to understand the difference between a proxy series and a multiproxy reconstruction.

So far, no one has been able to produce a MULTIPROXY reconstruction of the past 2000 years that shows anything other than a hockey stick. So, the very worst complaint anyone could possibly have related to Mann's original work was that he used bad methods to get the right answer. And that's just silly beyond belief.

If he got the right answer, you should consider the the strong probability that Mann's methods were correct. And, as seen in the PAGES2K data, it's very likely his methods have been as robust, if not more so, that subsequent work. There is a strong likelihood that the handle is pretty darn straight and the blade has a very abrupt uptick.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

I dont see anything that warmists have predicted actually coming to pass. No warming fingerprint over the tropics, no ice free artic and in fact no warming for 18 years. Other than Human caused UHI effects what is abnormal about the slight gradual warming we have experienced since the end of the little ice age? Nothing. As for Mann, well it's been shown that using his methodology random numbers will generate a hockey stick. Hardly a basis for re-ordering the world's economy.

Mike Jonas @162 "What GISP2 suggests is that there isn’t a (horizontal) handle."

Read carefully, Mike.

The hockey stick is a multiproxy reconstruction. It is a reconstruction of either NH or global temps based on a wide range of proxy series combined together.

GISP2 is one SINGLE proxy series that represents the Greenland summit. The Greenland summit is NOT representative of the NH or the globe.

A single proxy will fluctuate quite a bit, especially high latitude proxies, but larger numbers of proxies will cancel each other out, as with the bi-polar seesaw shown earlier. What you are left with when you combine large numbers of proxies is, a very straight handle and an abrupt blade starting in the late 1800's.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Rob: how far do you expect to get with someone who looks to Monckton for science?

By John Mashey (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

John... Oh, I never expect to get anywhere with guys like this. But there are other readers who will see exchanges like this and see how absurd are the positions of people like MikeR and Mike Jonas.

It also serves as a record of my position on this issue. Decades from now when our progeny are combing through the internet, my grandchildren will see that I fought the good fight and fought on the right side of this issue.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Clarification on the GISP2 core in relation to this topic.

First, the GISP2 core runs from 1988 back in time. One data set that is relatively well known and that was developed to look at the younger dryas and last interglacial happens to start at -95 years, but the core runs closer to the present.

Second, the GISP2 core, as RH has pointed out several times, is not a multi proxy, and in fact, is a lousy record in and of itself of global climate, being located on a glacier and all. It is important as part of the larger reconstruction.

Third, Mann et al in the original hockey stick work did not use GISP2 per se. This can be verified by looking at the actual papers. They used delta-18 data from the "Greenland stacked core" which is a composite. I recently had a look at the actual data set and it is a big huge complex thing, not a single core.

The fact that we are arguing over a study that if done today would be considered less than adequate as a look at global temperature change, given that numerous additional paper building on that and independent have been done, is interesting. We should, rather, be in awe of the ability of a handful of proxies (ice core and tree rings) just in the Northern Hemisphere, to have indicated a pattern of warming that has been repeatedly verified (while also refined) by subsequent studies.

Another key point here is, of course, that older time periods are now put in better context, various secular excursions now known to be of lower magnitude than others have suggested, and/or regional.

Finally, recent re-dos of the Mann et al study, and reasonable adjustments to the record, have indicated that the blade of the hockey stick is, if anything, more dramatic.

Greg... "One data set that is relatively well known and that was developed to look at the younger dryas and last interglacial happens to start at -95 years, but the core runs closer to the present."

That makes so much sense!! The data for Alley 2000 is presented on the NOAA website as an ftp, but has little discussion attached to it. It seems to me that certain people have latched onto that data set for GISP2, which was developed for the purposes of looking at the past 50,000 years, and was not really meant for evaluating the late holocene.

The only reason it gets so much traction is that 1) it's easy to paste into a spreadsheet, and 2) it presents a misleading message about holocene temps.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

There are many levels at which one needs to be familiar with one's proxyindicators else one risks saying things like ... Many things that are said.

Rob Honeycutt #176 - You sound more like an evangelist than a scientist.

Greg Laden #177 - Well, of course the GISP2 core isn't a multiproxy, and yes it has limitations, but do I detect a bit of confirmation bias going on in your comments? You say GISP2 "is a lousy record" and you keep turning to Mann for your proxy analysis and for confirmation of the hockeystick, yet Mann's hockeystick depends very heavily on tree rings which themselves are necessarily a lousy record. You seem to think that proxies that confirm the hockeystick are better than those that don't, but that isn't scientific. You should be looking at all proxies on their scientific merits, and you should be looking for independent confirmation or otherwise of Mann's hockeystick. I note that no-one took me up on the proxies that I linked to in Briffa's paper. None of those showed a hockeystick. There are more if you are interested.

I get very tired of the ad hominem approach that so many CAGW advocates take. Certainly some scientists and some people seem to be more reliable than others, but my philosophy is that virtually no-one is always right, and virtually no-one is always wrong, so everything must be taken on its own merits. I also operate on the principle that I always have to be prepared to change my mind according to the evidence. Wrt to the hockeystick, and wrt CAGW generally, the evidence is unconvincing at best. I see many people desperate to believe in them, and consequently being very selective in the evidence that they choose to see [*]. NB. It is well established, to my mind, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that more CO2 warms more. I have no argument with that. The argument is about how much.

[*] Science might seem a bit unfair at times, but the reality is that every significant factor has to be right for a hypothesis to succeed, and only one significant factor has to be wrong for it to fail (Einstein's "one fact"). That effectively makes life easier for sceptics of a hypothesis because they can home in on a single fact, while advocates of a hypothesis have to be prepared to defend it on all fronts. Advocates of CAGW often seem to confuse that with cherry picking. My feeling is that advocates of CAGW are badly overdoing the defence by trying to claim certainty in many places where there is none - Mann's hockeystick for example - and a more open approach with greater acceptance of the uncertainties would help everybody.

Anyway, the dialogue here has been interesting, I have learned things and hopefully others have too. Time will tell how the CAGW hypothesis stands up.

By Mike Jonas (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike Jonas, how dare you cherry pick my words on my own blog right there in front of everyone to see! I did not say GISP2 is a lousy record. It is a great record. Do I need to explain what I said or can you just go back and read it more carefully.

No one is repeatedly "returning to Mann" for confirmation or the proxy record. And there is no point at which I or anyone else have suggested that proxies that do not confirm the hockey stick are somehow lesser. As I noted, GISP2 is a great proxy, for what it is a proxy for, and it happens to have severe limitations for reconstructing global warming, as I said and as you ignored.

Your concept of a hypothesis is really great for, say, middle school physical science. Has absolutely nothing to do with anything we are talking about here.

"Time will tell how the CAGW hypothesis stands up."

You do realize, right, that Mann et all was 16 years ago. There has been study after study, as stated here on this thread numerous times, that confirm it. Time has told, Mike. And it will keep telling.

Greg:
Mike Jonas looks to WUWT and Lord Monckton for science, not you or the IPCC or the National Academies of Science around the world, etc.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

It never ceases to amaze me that pseudo skeptics can (with a straight face), lecture scientists about how science should be conducted, despite not being scientists themselves. Witness the Einstein "one fact" meme.

They don't seem to understand that some theories cannot be disproved by a single fact. With AGW, because it is dealing with a very complex and noisy environment, with a staggering number of variables, no single fact is either going to prove or disprove the theory. You have to look at the totality of observations in a bunch of different areas, over many years. It is not enough to look at one very narrow line of evidence which appears to confirm your viewpoint (talk about "confirmation bias"!), and then pronounce that GW is dead.

There is another quote from Einstein that they don't seem to be aware of :

“At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.” 12th Sept 1920

If you insert "taxi driver" for coachman, you get an idea of the standard of "debate" we have today.

By Chuck (not verified) on 15 Sep 2014 #permalink

In reply to by John Mashey (not verified)

I've been lurking this thread for a while now, but wanted to weigh in to respond to the "Einstein's Quote" thing. I have a background in atmospheric science, teach it at an undergrad level, and am actively involved in researching questions that involve climate-biosphere interaction. I'm not a climatologist in the sense that Michael Mann is, but I do understand the system fairly well. I was also skeptical of AGW, until about ten years ago. What changed my mind was that the AGW hypothesis is the only one that can fully explain all the observed and observable changes we are currently seeing in the real earth system. The reason why the AGW skeptics\deniers are losing the argument isn't because of some conspiracy, it's because they have failed to advance a hypothesis that explains these observations. There are a limited number of things that can cause change in the climate system, and so far all of them, except for enhanced greenhouse gases, fail to explain not just the temperature\energy increase in the atmosphere and the oceans, but all of the other changes (like ocean chemistry) that we are currently observing. Variation in solar output doesn't. Orbital variations don't. Changes in the earth surface composition don't. Invoking Einstein in this case kind of misses the point. The case for AGW hypothesis does not rest on the hockey stick, although the hockey stick does provide strong evidence supporting it. In my opinion the strongest evidence for AGW didn't come 16 years ago from Mann, it came 155 years ago from Tyndall. It's old, well-supported science.

It's fascinating to me how deniers continue to wait with bated breath for that "one" Einsteinian fact that's going to save us from disaster.

In the meantime, we have a century and a half of research, consisting of over 100,000 research papers, where that one fact has never shown up. All the while, the reality of AGW has become ever more certain and well understood.

Mike Jonas can rosin up his bow and fiddle away while Rome burns, but I'm going to listen to the scientists, communicate the challenges we face, and work on solutions.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 16 Sep 2014 #permalink

Mike said... "I also operate on the principle that I always have to be prepared to change my mind according to the evidence."

I wish that were true, Mike. I really do.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 16 Sep 2014 #permalink

Doug, right. I would also add this speculation: If Einstein was around today, he would not be a climate change denier.

Einstein alive today would be saying, "The definition of insanity is to keep pouring gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere and insisting that this has no impact on the climate."

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 16 Sep 2014 #permalink

Chuck "They don’t seem to understand that some theories cannot be disproved by a single fact. With AGW, because it is dealing with a very complex and noisy environment, with a staggering number of variables, no single fact is either going to prove or disprove the theory. "

Absolutely. It's the house of cards can be knocked down by the merest whisper of a breeze approach. My puny factoid or graphic can destroy the whole of oceanography or physics. When the correct approach is to be constantly correcting a huge jigsaw as more details of the picture become clearer.

The fact that a few jigsaw pieces that were originally placed in a roof in a picture's background turn out to belong on one of the boats in the foreground ... doesn't alter the fact that the whole of the picture is coming together pretty well. GW happens to be a jigsaw with an unimaginable number of pieces, but the picture we've so far assembled is looking pretty good.

I like the jigsaw analogy because anyone who's ever been faced with putting together the cloudy sky in a 4000+ piece jigsaw has a personal, but not scientific, experience of what it's like when you're nearly there but all these pieces Look The Same. Seems to be the play table equivalent of accounting for the mixed effects of clouds on global climate - but super complicated by being one of those jigsaws with two different pictures on the two surfaces and both of them have to be right.

Yes Adelady,

The jigsaw analogy is a good one. Though I do think that there is a particular class of educated person who seems more susceptible to the denier mentality. Retired engineers, people with some maths background (Mike Jonas), and computer programmers, like Eric Worral. These are all people who are used to precise answers, and if the answer is not precise enough (in their opinion), then it is wrong. Hence the "Einstein one fact" meme.

They are not used to dealing in the probabilities, which a large portion of Science routinely deals with. (such as the large spread of ECS values), and regard that as a weakness of the theory. Hence their penchant for always choosing the lowest value as being equally probable, whereas it is as improbable as the highest value. The median of 2 to 3 degrees being highly probable. The uncertainty being exaggerated by people who really should know better, like Judith Curry.

That and the inability of these people to realise and acknowledge their lack of expertise, to be totally ignorant in a subject and yet make confident pronouncements. To maintain the pretense of being objective and claiming to be prepared to modify their stance when presented with better evidence, but somehow, the evidence is never good enough, or fraudulently obtained.

It is an interesting psychological conundrum. I once had an argument with Eric Worral about Polar ice, where I asked him if total loss of summer polar ice would convince him that AGW really is a serious issue. He allowed that it would. The fact that 80% of it being lost in the past 30 years though, obviously didn't register with him. Using his logic, he would wait until his child was killed at the crossing opposite the school before campaigning for speed bumps or warning lights.

You just have to shake your head in disbelief. They would rather wait until everything is 100% certain before doing something about it, by which time of course, it will be too late.

Try this Tweet and the GoogleEarth zoom-in it links to as another analogy like putting together puzzle.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 17 Sep 2014 #permalink