Open Mind

Message to readers

September 30, 2009 · 149 Comments

Thanks to all for continuing to visit in spite of the absence of posts. My injury was more severe than I thought at first. However, my wife is willing to help with typing so I hope to post something before too long … I can’t yet say exactly when, but possibly soon.

As for Steve McIntyre’s latest: I’m really not that interested. He just doesn’t have the credibility to merit attention. I have way better things to do.

Categories: Global Warming

149 responses so far ↓

  • Adrian Burd // September 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply

    Wishing you a speedy and full recovery.

    All the best.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // September 30, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Reply

    Tamino, get well soon!

  • dhogaza // September 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply

    Well, let’s hope for a speedy recovery.

    I think McIntyre’s really lost it. His obsession with tree rings and his insistence that any potential errors in analysis by Briffa and Mann disproves all of climate science is really a bit crazy.

    • TrueSceptic // September 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply

      The way I see it is that the deniers are becoming frantic because:-

      1. Copenhagen is imminent;

      2. Obama is POTUS so they can’t rely on Bush’s delays any longer;

      3. It’s been 10 years since MBH98/99 and they see something important in trying to discredit it before the decade is out.

  • caerbannog // September 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply

    A quick visit to news.google.com shows that McIntyre is getting just a little more attention than he deserves. A search on “McIntyre” “Briffa” brings up a total of 5 hits, all of them leading publications like Examiner.com and the Canada Free Press.

    However, if WingnutDaily.com picks this up, then Briffa’s career could be in jeopardy.

    • Biker Trash // September 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Reply

      Get well soon.

      Google News: mcintyre yamal

      Results . . . of about 3,850

      Simply supplying an update for the denizens of the echo chamber.

      oh, a brilliant analysis, tamino. as usual

  • Curious // September 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Reply

    Oh no! I didn’t have a clue, Tamino, I wish you a speedy recovery. My thanks to your wife and your devotion, guys.

  • CapitalClimate // September 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Reply

    Get well soon!

  • Ray Ladbury // September 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Reply

    Tamino, your wife sounds as saintly as my own–offering to help out in an endeavor that inevitably steals you away from her more (I’m sure) than she’d like. Get well soon.

  • TCO // September 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Reply

    If McI has something, he can write it up in a normal format. I’m too tired to wiggle through his meanders (I did skim the posts). He has a 5 year history of teases, since his only one real paper (GRL05).

  • Dan L. // September 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Tamino.

  • nanny_govt_sucks // September 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply

    Get well soon, Tamino.

    3. It’s been 10 years since MBH98/99 and they see something important in trying to discredit it before the decade is out.

    LOL! The Yamal data was just released last week!

    • TrueSceptic // September 30, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Reply

      Yeah, whatever. There’s always something for them to be hysterical about, to the point that they are beyond parody.

  • Hank Roberts // September 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Reply

    … adding to that tip jar again, hoping an extra-large mistletoe fund accrues for this season ….

  • Gunner // September 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply

    I agree that McIntyre isn’t worth responding to, but in that case why respond to the drivel put out by Anthony Watts and Lucy Skywalker? What’s the difference?

    [Response: Sometimes something is just so stupid (like implying the arctic isn't warming) that it pisses me off.]

  • Kevin McKinney // September 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Reply

    I’ve just got to throw another virtual “get-well” on the pile. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

  • sod // September 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Reply

    best wishes!

    the Yamal story fell apart all by itself. just another 2death of the hockey stick” hysteria among denialists.

  • Adam // September 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Reply

    “Sometimes something is just so stupid”

    Never underestimate the learning potential from answering or correcting stupid questions or statements.

    Maybe only at the lower end of the ladder, but that’s where most of us are.

    • TrueSceptic // September 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Reply

      I sometime skim Watts. I’ve just today found the D’Aleo farce. If that “Adam” is you, well done, but I couldn’t last long there without calling those lying morons what they are.

      It seems that no matter how gross the lie or cock-up, they just won’t recognise it.

      • Adam // October 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

        No not me. There’s a few “Adam”s that post on climate science and climate anti-science blogs. One of whom’s a denier, I think (I vaguely remember from RC).

        Makes it a little confusing, even for me. ;)

  • David B. Benson // September 30, 2009 at 9:15 pm | Reply

    You certainly do have better things to do, Tamino.

    Such as recover.

    Maybe even eventually a post on AIC, which I dearly want to read…

  • Ian // September 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Reply

    Tamino My best wishes for your rapid return to health and many thanks to your wife for filling the breech. It is of course your blog so you can choose your discussion topics but I wonder if you would reconsider addressing the claims from Steve McIntyre regarding the hockey stick data. He does appear to have made a prima facie case for the sceptical pont of view. I note dhogaza comments that this is decade old material but of course McIntyre has only just gained access to the data as Dr Briffa has refused to releasae it for 10 years. That in itself of course arouses suspicion that there may be something to hide. Given the current furore your considered opinion would, I think, be invaluable

  • Ian // September 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    Apologies dhogaza I misquoted you

  • Deep Climate // September 30, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Reply

    caerbannog said:

    A search on “McIntyre� “Briffa� brings up a total of 5 hits, all of them leading publications like Examiner.com and the Canada Free Press.

    There’s now a hit for a piece by James Delingpole of the UK Telegraph, entitled “How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie “. This is presumably being read by a lot more people than Canada Free Press.

    I must warn you though, this is over-the-top stupid and nasty. I thought Lorne Gunter (National Post) was bad …

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100011716/how-the-global-warming-industry-is-based-on-one-massive-lie/

    So there’s another liar who smears reputable scientists. Apparently, Delingpole and his ilk will say or do anything. It’s absolutely disgusting.

    • TrueSceptic // September 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Reply

      I assume you already know Delingpole from the Monbiot/Plimer show?

      Yes, stupid and nasty. Perhaps as bad as Booker.

    • Adam // October 1, 2009 at 8:25 am | Reply

      Delingpole is a juvenile idiot who “likes war”.

      He’s one of those people who knows nothing about anything but gets paid lots of money to demonstrate that fact week in, week out.

  • Hank Roberts // September 30, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Reply

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2009/09/that-yamal-reconstruction.html

    An invaluable blog, click the link.

    He begins:

    “I heard that people on the science-side are looking at Steve McIntyre’s accusations about the Yamal reconstruction, so just wait for it….

    It’s hard to take seriously, though, if you’re a journalist, because ….”

    Go for it.

  • Michael hauber // September 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Reply

    So does anyone know of a rebuttal to Steve’s latest finding?

    From what I have been able to figure out it appears that if certain trees are included in the recontruction, then the hockey stick falls apart, and there is no increase in temperature in the modern period.

    However assuming we trust the temperature record (which I certainly do), then we know these trees need to be excluded, as we know the temperature increased significantly in the modern period.

    But then we have an interesting question on the trees that were included – how do we know that they were good at measuring temperature only for the modern period but were bad at measuring trees in previous centuries. If some trees are good at matching the temperature record, and some trees are bad at matching the temperature record, isn’t it possible that the trees may change from bad to good in their life time?

    I haven’t seen much evidence of a serious attempt to adress this question, I get the impression that the feeling is that it is up to ‘team’ to prove that the trees work as thermometers.

    And then of course there is the issue that in Manns 08 hockey stick paper he also does a reconstruction without the tree ring data and gets much the same result, so even if the tree ring data is unasable we still get a hockey stick….

  • Ray Ladbury // September 30, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Reply

    Michael Hauber,
    If the only proxies we had were trees, that might be a worry. However we have bore holes, stalactites lake sediments… All of these give roughly the same form. As to the trees, McI et al. have been telling us for years that more affects growth than temperature. He seems to have conveniently forgotten that when it no longer served his argument. After all, facts are such inconvenient things.

  • Nexus 6 // September 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Reply

    Tom P over at Watts’ Homeopathy Blog has shown that McIntyre has to cherrypick to remove the blade of the hockeysitck. When all the data is included the blade remains.

    What a yawn.

  • arch stanton // September 30, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Reply

    Tamino – I’m sorry to hear of your injury. My best wishes for a speedy recovery, and my sympathy goes out to Mrs. Tamino who now shoulders the burden of extra hand duty. Your posts will be missed, but as David B Benson said you have better things to do. When you are ready we look foreword to your return.

  • dhogaza // September 30, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Reply

    And then of course there is the issue that in Manns 08 hockey stick paper he also does a reconstruction without the tree ring data and gets much the same result, so even if the tree ring data is unasable we still get a hockey stick….

    The value of the tree ring data is it allows one to push the temperature reconstruction further back in time.

    The problem – which has always been fully acknowledged – is that many factors can impact growth rings, and finding trees that provide a good temperature proxy is tricky.

    So the PNAS review of the original Mann paper said that the work was almost certainly sound for the last 400 years, and (as explained after the denialsphere tried to spin the choice of wording) more likely right than wrong for the 1000 years previous.

    That’s because there’s a lot of instrumental data for the last 400 years.

    Now Mann 08 used a bunch of other proxy data that pushed the reconstruction back 1300 years *without any tree ring data at all*. He used tree ring data to push it back a further 400 years.

    With caveats. That’s one problem with McIntyre and the rest of the gang. They ignore the “caveats” bit, pretending that the claim’s been made that the tree ring reconstruction’s infallible, 100% above reproach, etc in order to further bash Mann et al. This alone is disgusting and dishonest.

    And then of course there is the issue that in Manns 08 hockey stick paper he also does a reconstruction without the tree ring data and gets much the same result, so even if the tree ring data is unasable we still get a hockey stick….

    And lots of other stuff such as the recent paper demonstrating a modest arctic cooling trend until relatively recently and then boom! up it goes.

    And an even more recent paper (which someone referenced with a link in one of these threads here) showing a “hockey stick” in the eastern tropical pacific.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, climate science has more hockey sticks than are used in the National Hockey League. Even if the denialists break one, it’s meaningless.

    Even if all were to be broken, it wouldn’t change the physics or the modern temperature record or the changes we’re seeing in ecosystems etc.

  • Steve Bloom // September 30, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Reply

    Unsurprisingly, Biker Trash is unclear on the whole intertubes thing. Plain google results have plenty of hits going back for years (McIntyre’s been whining about this stuff for quite a while), but Google News? Not so much.

  • Hank Roberts // October 1, 2009 at 12:26 am | Reply

    Michael Hauber, click here:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2009/09/that-yamal-reconstruction.html

  • Eli Rabett // October 1, 2009 at 12:40 am | Reply

    Basically (and I think one of the people on climate audit pointed this out first), to be useful a proxy has to be calibrated against a local instrumental temperature record. Since the additional Yamal tree cores don’t show the same rise as the instrumental record they are not useful for proxy reconstructions, which is almost certainly the reasons they were not used.

    Best wishes Tamino.

  • Deech56 // October 1, 2009 at 12:46 am | Reply

    Wolf! Haven’t we heard this story before?

  • Joel Shore // October 1, 2009 at 1:11 am | Reply

    Re Dellingpole: Is he even right when he claims that Al Gore used the lift while standing in front of the Hockey Stick curve? I had sort of remembered it being used when he showed the graph of CO2 and temperature vs time over the last several hundred thousand years and then the dramatic spike in CO2 since the industrial revolution (i.e., that was the near-vertical line that Dellingpole mentioned).

    I admit this isn’t too big a deal given the disaster that is the rest of the article, but it does seem to me that it may be part of a general re-writing of history so that all of AGW now revolves around the Hockey Stick graph.

  • Ray Ladbury // October 1, 2009 at 1:17 am | Reply

    Tamino,
    Like David Benson, I, too am looking forward to your AIC post. I mentioned earlier that I had a reviewer try to get a paper of mine rejected because it used this “obscure” metric. In my efforts to refute this charge I learned that H. Akaike’s 1972 paper has been cited on average once every 1.7 days since its publication! Not bad for an obscure technique.

  • Joel Shore // October 1, 2009 at 1:27 am | Reply

    Whoops! I guess I threw an extra “L” into Delingpole’s name.

    And, I also wanted to add my best wishes to you, Tamino, for a speedy recovery!

  • Rattus Norvegicus // October 1, 2009 at 1:45 am | Reply

    McI seems to rerun his greatest failures time after time, thinking that if he just says it once more it will make it so. Kind of like believing in Tinkerbell, except in the real world Tinkerbell doesn’t exist.

  • TCO // October 1, 2009 at 2:52 am | Reply

    A. I think we should respect Tammy’s wishes re McI tree windfall.

    B. If he has something, he should state it clearly and simply and in a sensible format. I’m not even requiring peer review, just a well done white paper. Not the meandering juvenile silliness full of evasions and fake lawyer stuff…but missing footnotes and properly labeled axes and figures…that is actually hard to read, versus a normal paper.

    C. If we ARE going to discuss the actual findings: if population screening with 20th century is used as the mechanism, then it would throw out an fossil samples (and I think there were some river recovered ones, no?) Also, if you can’t say from site locations which trees are expected to be responsive based on a physical argument (treeline, etc.) there is a danger of selecting a few that match a recent trend and thereby data mining.

  • TCO // October 1, 2009 at 2:57 am | Reply

    C. continued…and of course it would be better to describe the population selection and calibration within the article so others can judge if this was a wise reduction of sample. Can see how it works with different assumptions, etc.

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 3:28 am | Reply

    to be useful a proxy has to be calibrated against a local instrumental temperature record. Since the additional Yamal tree cores don’t show the same rise as the instrumental record they are not useful for proxy reconstructions, which is almost certainly the reasons they were not used.

    Yes, but now they’re claiming that a poster paper at a 2008 conference shows that there’s no instrumental record showing warming.

    Which, as I mention elsewhere, would also skewer McI’s claim that proxies show a huge dive in temps.

    This is all very weak shit. Nothing here is going to be submitted for publication.

    McI doesn’t seem to even bother himself to get a piece in the denialist-reviewed E&E.

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 3:37 am | Reply

    I admit this isn’t too big a deal given the disaster that is the rest of the article, but it does seem to me that it may be part of a general re-writing of history so that all of AGW now revolves around the Hockey Stick graph

    Oh, yes, this is the argument, but this is an old thing.

    McI’s been obsessed with it for the last decade.

    He (and the rest) really seem to think that if the “hockey stick” can be “debunked” then the AGW hypothesis (which, after all, is based on physics, not paleoclimatology) will be proven false.

    Or at least will lead to a failure to take political action in their lifespan.

    I’m sure you realize that political monkeywrenching, not advancing knowledge, is the goal here…

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 3:51 am | Reply

    Also, if you can’t say from site locations which trees are expected to be responsive based on a physical argument (treeline, etc.) there is a danger of selecting a few that match a recent trend and thereby data mining.

    How would you compare this with McI’s insistence that those samples which *don’t* match a recent trend are more credible?

  • TomG // October 1, 2009 at 5:37 am | Reply

    As with the others I wish you a speedy recovery.
    But do it right.
    Get proper care and don’t rush things.
    I broke my hand over 30 years ago and the bone wasn’t set properly and now that hand reminds me of that mistake every day.

  • Paul // October 1, 2009 at 6:14 am | Reply

    The Salehard weather station within 100 miles of Yamal shows no late 20th century warming as exhibited in the Yamal proxy, so I would wonder what temperature record was used to filter out trees, if that is indeed what happened.

    [Response: The Salehard station shows very strong late 20th century warming. The net warming since 1880 is about 2.5 deg.C, the rate since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century and is statistically significant. I wonder where you got such an incorrect idea.]

    • Robert // October 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Reply

      [Response: The Salehard station shows very strong late 20th century warming. The net warming since 1880 is about 2.5 deg.C, the rate since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century and is statistically significant. I wonder where you got such an incorrect idea.]

      I would appreciate a graph of the temperature from Salehard (and source) that supports your response – the graph at http://www.john-daly.com/stations/salehard.gif doesn’t seem to support your response to Paul – are you saying that is in error?

      [Response: Temperature data are here.

      As I pointed out in this post and this post, the graphs produced by John Daly are misleading by virtue of the scale of the y-axis, the utter lack of any analysis, and other factors. It's rather like this.

      Paul's claim is in error.]

  • Gavin's Pussycat // October 1, 2009 at 6:28 am | Reply

    If some trees are good at matching the temperature record, and some trees are bad at matching the temperature record, isn’t it possible that the trees may change from bad to good in their life time?

    Yep.

    Repeat after me: always use more than one tree.

    ;-)

  • Gavin's Pussycat // October 1, 2009 at 6:40 am | Reply

    Quoth the Wabett:

    to be useful a proxy has to be calibrated against a local instrumental temperature record.

    That’s one simple test for usefulness… more generally, when using climate field reconstruction, you want to establish correlation with an instrumental-record mode of interest. That could mean a dependence, e.g., on local precipitation…

    That’s how I understand CFR.

  • John VanderLane // October 1, 2009 at 7:21 am | Reply

    Basically (and I think one of the people on climate audit pointed this out first), to be useful a proxy has to be calibrated against a local instrumental temperature record. Since the additional Yamal tree cores don’t show the same rise as the instrumental record they are not useful for proxy reconstructions, which is almost certainly the reasons they were not used.

    Exactly! What is even more, the data showed by McIntyre still shows a long shaft – virtually the same as the Briffa’s – but a downturned blade in recent times.
    But if we replace that McI blade with the instrumental temperature data (and I assume these were used to select the data), we get Briffa’s original figure.

    However, the damage is already done. I see the Watts/McI version exploding now on the blogosphere.

  • Deech56 // October 1, 2009 at 9:37 am | Reply

    RE: dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 3:37 am |

    McI’s been obsessed with [the hockey stick] for the last decade.

    And just one proxy that contributes to the temperature reconstructions. What’s amazing is that all of the other confirmatory evidence is ignored. If, through rigorous study (a blog post ain’t it), tree rings are shown to be a poor temperature proxy, the most this would mean is that tree rings are a poor temperature proxy – not that there is no “hockey stick.”

    But somehow, this analysis is touted as a smoking gun by people whose grasp of real science seems tenuous.

  • Scott A. Mandia // October 1, 2009 at 10:10 am | Reply

    Tamino,

    Another get well from me. I am greatly missing your posts.

    I intend to post a response to the stick controversy at WUWT and will post a link here so that those of you who are more knowledgeable can help me where I need it.

    In an earlier post at WUWT, I dismissed the latest controversy by mentioning Mann et al. (2008) and SM himself replied claiming that somehow the Ziljander proxy invalidated the study. So now I am doing a quick study on this whole stick/proxy data issue.

    I am learning a lot thanks to this controversy so it does have a rainbow for me. :)

  • Barton Paul Levenson // October 1, 2009 at 10:54 am | Reply

    Very sorry to hear about your physical ailments, Tamino. I continue to pray for your recovery.

  • Gunner // October 1, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Reply

    Young McIntyre: “Mr. Scientist, I want to drive your car. Give me the keys.”

    Scientist: “No. You don’t know how to drive a car. You need training and driver’s ed.”

    McIntyre: “I drive cars in video games all the time. I know how to do it. Give me the keys.”

    Scientist: “No.”

    McIntyre: “Why won’t you give me the keys? You’re trying to cover up something, aren’t you? I’ll bet the car is defective! You don’t want me to know that, do you!?!”

    Scientist: “You’re an idiot. Come back when you know how to drive. In the meantime, I’m going to leave the keys on the counter here so my fellow scientists can drive the car if they need to.”

    \McIntyre takes keys, gets into car, starts driving. Mistakes gas pedal for brake pedal, wraps car around a tree.

    McIntyre: “See, I told you the car was defective!!”

    • Former Skeptic // October 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Reply

      I second Philippe’s comment – this is the best summary of McI’s “career” as an auditor.

      I wonder if, one day, he will crash into a tree that stops him from getting out of the wreck. He’s coming pretty close with the Yamal screw-up…

    • TrueSceptic // October 2, 2009 at 11:32 am | Reply

      As others have already said, this is brilliant :D

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Reply

    Briffa politely suggests McI is full of it.

  • Joel Shore // October 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply

    Real Climate has also now put up a post in response to the Yamal thing: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

  • Joel Shore // October 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply

    …Oh yeah, and I was happy to see that they confirmed my suspicion that Al Gore used the lift to illustrate the rise in CO2 levels, not the Hockey Stick graph.

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply

    Here’s a graph of Salehard station data through 2002, with a trend line

    Line goes *up*.

  • jl // October 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Reply

    tamino wish you and your family well.
    get well soon
    thanks jacob l

  • TCO // October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply

    Dhog said “How would you compare this with McI’s insistence that those samples which *don’t* match a recent trend are more credible?”

    A. I don’t “compare” in the same manner that you do. I’m not on a “side”. I am capable of seeing errors either way and on both sides. I am COMPLETELY capable of disagreeing with one critique of McI and agreeing with another.

    B. There may or may NOT be a case for subsample screening. That case needs to be made. There is a potential danger from it (always is) and a potential benefit from it. Go read some classical marketing or polling literature to help you with the concept. The subject will have nothing to do with a side of the climate battle, but just an examination of surveying methodology for making predictions.

    C. I’m not aware that he said his trees were “better”. I think he did a robustness test with a change in population. That does not make a statement which is better, other than perhaps implicitly that they are similar in “betterness”.

  • Scott A. Mandia // October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply

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

    Sweet!

  • dhogaza // October 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    I don’t “compare� in the same manner that you do. I’m not on a “side�.

    We know that, TCO. I’m on the side that knows WTF they’re talking about, and proud of it.

    It turns out that McI has totally misrepresented the selection criteria used by Briffa. He who casts stones from glass houses should first understand what stones, glass, and houses are.

    So McI is just wildly guessing then letting the hordes read between the lines screaming “fraud! fraud!” based on a totally inaccurate description of how the series were selected.

    Nice. Real nice.

  • Philippe Chantreau // October 1, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Reply

    Brilliant Gunner. Just about the best summary of McI’s “work” I’ve ever seen.

  • Scott A. Mandia // October 2, 2009 at 1:14 am | Reply

    A person at RC posted an interesting observation. CA, and subsequently WUWT, got into a tizzy because it appeared that only a subset of tree data was being used to reconstruct past climate. Posters at these two sites asked why not use ALL of the tree data instead of a subset?

    Shouldn’t all of the data be better than a small subset?

    Now let us think about surfacestations.org. The claim there (and often at WUWT) is that the full NOAA station record is contaminated by UHI and we should only use a SUBSET of validated rural stations. I think it was 70 out of 1221?

    So is this cherry-picking (according to CA and WUWT) or is this just using the “best data� (Briffa) to get the correct reconstruction?

    Touche’

  • Brad Hudson // October 2, 2009 at 4:04 am | Reply

    I hope you recover soon Tamino. I’ve been a regular reader from the start and have found your blog to be one of the most useful blogs around.

  • Deech56 // October 2, 2009 at 9:31 am | Reply

    RE: Scott A. Mandia // October 2, 2009 at 1:14 am

    You bring up a good point. To take this even further, one difference in the data sets is that, from what I read, Briffa used criteria that would select for trees that would give a good temperature signal; the selection of stations apparently makes less of a difference, because temperature is a direct measurement, not a proxy. The fact that McI’s selection does not reflect the temperature record tells us that the selection criteria he used were faulty.

    The RC thread is very enlightening, and Gavin’s in-line comments are essential reading.

    • Paul Tonita // October 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Reply

      Is it that McIntyre’s selection doesn’t match the global temperature record, or the Yamal temperature record?

      As to the differences between Briffa and the H&S dataset, is Briffa’s standardization technique meant to give a better signal to noise ratio?

  • Eli Rabett // October 2, 2009 at 9:48 am | Reply

    Scott, GISSTEMP actually only uses a subset of non-urban stations to calculate the global temperature anomaly. Other stations are corrected with a hinged spline to match nearby rural stations.

    Of course Watt &Co don’t like the stations that GISS calls rural…..

  • Bart Verheggen // October 2, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply

    Scott Mandia, Very good point!

    Eli, I have the same impression as you stated above:

    “Basically (and I think one of the people on climate audit pointed this out first), to be useful a proxy has to be calibrated against a local instrumental temperature record. Since the additional Yamal tree cores don’t show the same rise as the instrumental record they are not useful for proxy reconstructions, which is almost certainly the reasons they were not used.”

    But from RC’s thread I get a different feeling, see eg Gavin’s answer to this question:

    “Is it true that Briffa’s work gives more weight to tree ring cores that match the instrumental records than those that do not?

    [Response: Presuming you are discussing the Yamal chronology, no it is not. - gavin]”

    Confusing.

    Tamino, hope you recover soon.

  • Oak // October 2, 2009 at 11:56 am | Reply

    Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery

  • Kevin McKinney // October 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    Bart, as I read the RC thread, there’s a distinction between “the Yamal chronology”–not selected for specific sensitivities, and available to all for various purposes–and a subset selected by Briffa to be temperature-sensitive and hence “good thermometers.”

    What McIntyre did was to select another set based only upon location, not sensitivity to temperature, and reached the stunning conclusion that when you do this the “hockey stick” goes away.

    Do I have this right?

  • jr // October 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Reply

    Bart: My impression is that when constructing chronologies you select purely to make a good chronology. Once you have your chronology you then wonder if it can be used as a proxy for rainfall, temperature or whatever.

    I could be completely wrong of course.

  • Kevin McKinney // October 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Reply

    Here’s what Keith Briffa wrote about selection (URL given above, in Dhogaza’s 10/1, 1:58 PM post):

    We do not select tree-core samples based on comparison with climate data. Chronologies are constructed independently and are subsequently compared with climate data to measure the association and quantify the reliability of using the tree-ring data as a proxy for temperature variations.

  • Bart Verheggen // October 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply

    So I guess the tree ring data that were eventually used as a temperature proxy were indeed ‘callibrated’ against the instrumental temperature record (which would make perfect sense to me)?

  • Scott A. Mandia // October 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply

    I cannot take credit for the apparent hypocrisy about surfacestations.org.

    That credit goes to this post on RC:

    spilgard says:
    1 October 2009 at 5:17 PM

    BTW, I am certainly NOT stating that UHI is causing an apparent global warming. :)

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply

    Bart …

    McI’s claim has been that Briffa et al select individual trees based on their apparent tracking of the recent instrumental record. These trees are then used to pick the chronologies used for the reconstruction.

    Briffa’s saying that the chronologies – sets of trees in one area that lived and died at various times in the past and younger trees, with overlapping rings that allows one to build a series longer than the life of a single tree – aren’t chosen that way.

    But the resulting chronologies – which extends much further in the past than the instrumental record – is compared to climate data – including other proxies. I looked briefly at Briffa et al 2001 and they mention lake sediment proxies, for instance.

    This is my layman’s understanding from doing some reading yesterday. I may have it wrong.

  • Dean // October 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    Tamino,

    I wish you a speedy recovery! Thanks for taking your time in the Unthreaded discussion.

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    Ross McKitrick accuses Briffa of outright scientific fraud (though he doesn’t use the phrase) in Canada’s Financial Post.

  • David B. Benson // October 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply

    What a tempest in a teapot!

    GIS keeps melting away; CO2 concentrations keep rising…

  • Ray Ladbury // October 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Reply

    Dhogaza says “Ross McKitrick accuses Briffa of outright scientific fraud (though he doesn’t use the phrase) in Canada’s Financial Post.”

    Well, there’s a shocker. But then, since he doesn’t have science on your side, what else can he resort to but calumny?

  • Deech56 // October 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Reply

    RE: dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    So what would one call implying that the “hockey stick” shape depends solely on tree-ring data?

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Reply

    So what would one call implying that the “hockey stick� shape depends solely on tree-ring data?

    Sound RWnut extremist anti-science ideology?

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply

    Hmm, apparently Canada’s laws on defamation follow the English model (not like our first amendment protection).

    This kind of accusation should really be met with action.

  • t_p_hamilton // October 2, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Reply

    Tamino asks Paul a question: “The Salehard station shows very strong late 20th century warming. The net warming since 1880 is about 2.5 deg.C, the rate since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century and is statistically significant. I wonder where you got such an incorrect idea.”

    I think it is very rude not to answer.

  • Kakashka // October 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply

    Typically in dendrochronology mean site chronologies are constructed from many cores from many trees. Hypothetically, say you are collecting samples for a dendroclimate study and you collect cores from 50 trees. Lets say after you crossdate and measure them, ring widths from the cores from 40 trees are agreeing well with each other (strong common variance) and for some reason 10 trees are not agreeing so well with the rest. It could be that at some point in their long lives, these trees had been hit by lightening, or had porcupine damage, or suffered from some parasite, or were growing in different microtopographical locations that rendered their growth response to climate different from the rest. So, you would not want to use these 10 trees for a climate study because their growth patterns aren’t like the majority. Hence, you exclude these 10 and build a mean chronology from the 40 where the common variance is high – variance assumed to be related to climate. At this point, after the mean chronology is built, you then compare it to instrumental climate data. This is maximizing climatic signal in your mean series while reducing noise.

  • Scott A. Mandia // October 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Reply

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/01/response-from-briffa-on-the-yamal-tree-ring-affair-plus-rebuttal/

    See my comment on post dated 10/2 at (03:31:13).

    I was discussing consensus in science and why we need to trust the experts. I used a medical analogy that I thought was appropriate. I said:

    “Doctor #1 through Doctor #9 say: “You have cancer and you must quickly start chemotherapy. It will not be pleasant but it can cure you. If you wait you will surely die.�
    Doctor #1 – #9 are well-respected and well-published in the field of oncology.

    Doctor #10: “You have bad allergies that will likely not continue if you wait a few years. Waiting will not kill you and it might actually help you. There is no cure but you will save money by taking no action.� Doctor #10 is well-respected and well-published in the field of allergies.

    So who are you going to listen to?�

    Watts snipped my comment and stated: “[snip - Scott what kind of insensitive dolt are you? Briffa's seriously sick and you use this sort of analogy? Don't do this again - Anthony]

    Watts also sent me an email telling me that I must apologize if I wished to continue to post there.

    My apology posted at (08:45:04) :

    “Anthony asked me to make an apology and that is why I am posting this comment.

    There has been serious cancer in my family (father-melanoma, brother – cat 3 brain cancer, mother – brain tumor) so I am well aware of the issue. I chose cancer as the ailment because it is a well known serious condition that must be treated immediately. That seems to me to be an appropriate analogy to the dangers of climate change and the various choices we face.

    IN NO WAY WAS THIS INTENDED TO BE INSENSITIVE TO DR. BRIFFA’S CONDITION. I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE TO HIM OR TO ANYBODY ELSE THAT WAS OFFENDED.

    Now I ask for fair play. To Anthony W, Steve M, and everybody else who has been directly or implicitly calling Dr. Briffa a cheat or a fraud while he was too sick to respond to these false allegations, you owe him a public apology.

    Step up to the plate, folks.�

    So it would appear that calling Briffa a liar, cheat, and a fraud before he even gets a chance to defend himself is OK but when somebody defends the science that Dr. Briffa uses but happens to use a medical analogy, he is required to apologize.

    BTW, nobody at WUWT has stepped up to the plate.

    [Response: Don't hold your breath.]

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Reply

    Kakashka – thanks for your detailed explanation. It makes a lot of sense.

  • dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Reply

    And, also, Scott, remember that WUWT, unlike Open Mind and Real Climate, NEVER censors posts …

    They tell us that all the time.

  • Hank Roberts // October 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Reply

    Scott, another example here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/09/open_thread_33.php#comment-1976529

  • Rattus Norvegicus // October 3, 2009 at 2:34 am | Reply

    Scott, I think you missed it with Dr. #10. Try Dr. #10 is a homeopath or a Christian Science practitioner and you might have a closer analogy.

  • Kon Dealer // October 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply

    Tamino, there does appears to be a tension between the climate record as reconstructed using tree rings and that from tree lines.

    Rashit M. Hantemirov* and Stepan G. Shiyatov (2002) A continuous multimillennial ring-width chronology in Yamal, northwestern Siberia. The Holocene 12,6 pp. 717–726
    http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/PDFs/papers/Holocene_v12a.pdf

    Page 720 shows how tree lines have moved South over the last 7000 years, reflecting decreasing temperatures at the Northern tree line.
    Conversely the tree ring data, from the same location, says that 20th Century temperatures are unprecedently high.

    What’s going on?

  • Kakashka // October 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply

    Kon, no tension there – treelines decline over much of the Holocene reflecting cooling from orbital forcing in the N Hemisphere. 20th C is warm from greenhouse gas forcing.

  • dhogaza // October 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Reply

    Michael Mann answered you over at RC, but I’ll give you a short and simple answer …

    Trees don’t walk or fly. Migration is slow. Tree lines move slowly in response to climate warming making more northern latitudes friendly habitat. The nearest redwood (say) might be hundreds of miles south, and the forest will very slowly creep northwards and seeds that are dispersed find favorable habitat, grow to maturity, cast seeds themselves, etc.

    The seeds of most tree species, in particular those that form “tree lines” up to the edge of suitable habitat, aren’t dispersed far from the mother tree. Those that are – such as pinyon pines, which get an assist from pinyon jays and clarke’s nutcrackers (which cache seeds far from the mother tree) – appear in odd pockets in odd places where microclimate favors their growth, often surrounded by hostile habitat (i.e. small stands in sheltered areas in mountains).

    An individual tree, on the other hand, will respond *immediately* to greater warmth and precipitation, in its very next growth seasons.

    Because it’s already there.

  • dhogaza // October 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    “creep northwards and seeds”

    and->as

  • mariana // October 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Reply

    I didn’t realize you were injured, Tamino. Get well soon.

    I see RC has already been linked in the comments. I just want to encourage people to go back and read the comments every once in a while. They’re a great place to learn new things, find missed links and stories. Plus you often get a legitimate question (or denialist question), and people will post the response. In that way, you’re prepared in case you hear that same question again.

  • Ben Lankamp // October 3, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply

    Get well soon, Tamino! Just leave all that gibberish put out by a certain Canadian. Speaking of which, when reading his prose I keep seeing the image of a self-appointed IRS inspector , demanding access to all corners of certain file cabinets. So likely, his ‘revelations’ will only keep giving you additional headaches ;-).

  • Hank Roberts // October 3, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    Kon:
    Decreasing temperatures since the peak after the last ice age, typical of how it’s been after ice ages:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_png

    Sudden increase very rapidly and very recently; the arrow points to the 2004 number at the right side of the image.

  • Paul Tonita // October 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm | Reply

    Tamino did respond to the Salehard station data earlier. Relatedly I think, I’m wondering in all this kerfluffle how the data Steve M picked would compare to the Yamal chronology? Specifically, if one is in better agreement with modern temperature data, then it would at least appear to be a better proxy?

    I remember someone asking about AIC above. From what I have read about it, that might be a good analysis to use for these competing datasets? Though I should mention I’m only taking my third stats class right now, and I’m sure there is probably something I might be missing.

    Apologies if someone already mentioned this, but I think this is very relevant, especially with all this inuendo circulating about Briffa’s motives and whatnot. I think it’s reprehensible to suggest such a thing, or to allow such comments to go without correction by the owners of the website.

    Get well soon Tamino! I have learned quite a bit from your examples, and I sometimes find myself wandering off in class when the lecture seems like relevant information to that which I’ve read here, and elsewhere on this subject.

  • thefordprefect // October 4, 2009 at 12:35 am | Reply

    dhogaza // October 2, 2009 at 10:50 pm And, also, Scott, remember that WUWT, unlike Open Mind and Real Climate, NEVER censors posts …
    They censor posts and posters very regularly.
    I have been banned for saying that contributors to his blog are more concerned with money than the planet. An apology was requested but not given.

    With regard to defamation the UK laws are draconian. You are guilty until you can prove your innocence and it cost little to bring the case and a fortune to fight your position (it is all high court stuff)- I know (see smith v advfn)!

    Briffa would have a good case, and if his reputation and earning ability are hit by this attack it could be worth going the defamation route.

    The whole CRU data FOI request and this Briffa all smell of McIntrye trying for maximum press and Blog coverage. The number of anti-AGW sites that picked up on the Briffa affair and added their own comments of Fraud/the end of AGW is large. To ignore McIntyre is in my mind dangerous!
    However, I also think that data and methods should be released as soon as possible after publication.

  • Ray Ladbury // October 4, 2009 at 1:06 am | Reply

    Paul Tonita, I’m not sure how AIC would be useful in a comparison of datasets. It really makes sense only when you have the same dataset interpreted by two different statistical models. It might be useful if you wanted to know how two datasets performed in discirminating between two models, though. In that sense, it could be a tool in experimental planning or developing a plan for analyzing data.

  • Deep Climate // October 4, 2009 at 1:35 am | Reply

    If you can all stand it, here’s my take on the McIntyre-Briffa controversy. Wading through McIntyre’s tiresome posts and comments was tough, but I figured somebody should do it. It should put paid to suggestions that McIntyre did not make explicit accusations of cherry-picking.

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/10/04/climate-auditor-steve-mcintyre-yamal/

    Some sample quotes (the last one is the best one, but you’ll have to go to the post to read it, since it’s definitely a spam filter risk).

    One doesn’t expect Team adjustments to leave even small scraps on the table and this proved to be the case here as well – the added data substantially increased 20th century values and substantially lowered 1150-1250AD values, thereby altering the medieval-modern differential in favor of the 20th century.

    =========

    I’d be inclined to remove the data affected by CRU cherrypicking but will leave it in for now.

    =========

    Jacoby, D’Arrigo, whatever other faults they may have, use the entire crossdated population from a site. (They cherry pick sites, but don’t cherry pick trees within a site.)
    =========

    I’m assuming that CA readers are aware that, once the Yamal series got on the street in 2000, it got used like ***** ******* by paleoclimatologists.

  • thefordprefect // October 4, 2009 at 1:45 am | Reply

    McIntyre seems to be on a damage limitation exercise:
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5389461/the-great-global-warming-scam-ctd.thtml
    post at October 3rd, 2009 3:26pm
    And he claims to have written to dellingpole at the telegraph to correct comments in:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100011716/how-the-global-warming-industry-is-based-on-one-massive-lie/

  • t_p_hamilton // October 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply

    McIntyre could have avoided all this by writing a peer reviewed paper, and when it was published complain about how the mainstream media keeps getting the story wrong.

  • dhogaza // October 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply

    They censor posts and posters very regularly.

    Well, I’d hoped that the sarcasm in my comment was obvious … :)

    Yes, they do. Several people here have personal experience with that.

  • dhogaza // October 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Reply

    If you can all stand it, here’s my take on the McIntyre-Briffa controversy. Wading through McIntyre’s tiresome posts and comments was tough, but I figured somebody should do it

    Deep Climate – I, for one, appreciate your having done this.

    What kind of soap did you use in the shower afterwards to remove the stench? Must be damned powerful stuff.

  • dhogaza // October 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Reply

    Lord, McI’s “notpology” essentially accuses climate scientists, rather than himself, for being focused on the hockey stick, while he himself thinks quantifying feedbacks to CO2 forcing is the important issue.

    Here’s the last two paragraphs of his post to the register:

    In retrospect, the “hockey stick” studies that I’ve criticized have been used by climate scientists, journals and IPCC to promote concern, but the most important outstanding scientific issue appears to me to be the amount of “water cycle” feedback, including clouds as well as water vapor. This controls the “climate sensitivity” to increased CO2.

    In my opinion, scientific journals reporting on climate and IPCC would serve the interested public far better if they focused on articulating these issues to the scientific public at a professional level than by repeatedly recycling and promoting some highly questionable proxy studies that deal with an issue that interests me, but which is somewhat tangential to the large policy issues.

    Lies in order to minimize the dishonesty of his other lies.

  • Eli Rabett // October 5, 2009 at 1:39 am | Reply

    It looks to Eli as if someone, maybe a couple of someones, got a letter, certified, signature required.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // October 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply

    > …got a letter, certified, signature required.

    Eli, lovely! ‘Bout time. Hmmm. Anything more specific?

  • Eli Rabett // October 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply

    Nope, just a speculation

  • Kevin McKinney // October 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Reply

    I presume, Eli, you’re thinking it’s not the “blue plate special” that has been served.

    Well, time will tell, I suppose.

  • Steve Bloom // October 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Reply

    Hmm, are any of the fingered dendros Canadian? OTOH this slight back-pedaling might just be a result of McI having noticed that he got zero mainstream media pick-up this time around.

  • dhogaza // October 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Reply

    Hmm, are any of the fingered dendros Canadian?

    It would certainly make the arrangements for delivering such a letter easier. Also, apparently Briffa is, or recently has been (not quite clear to me) quite ill.

  • dhogaza // October 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Reply

    McI’s argument that he’s correct has taken a strange turn:

    First, let’s observe the continued silence of field dendros on the dispute. None have stepped forward so far to support Briffa’s use of 10 cores in 1990 (and 5 in 1995). As others have observed, their silence is rapidly becoming loud.

  • Hank Roberts // October 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Reply

    Well, perhaps it’s simply that it’s time. There’s a consensus about humidity,
    http://tamunews.tamu.edu/archives/article.php?articleid=7364&month=2&year=2009

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/323/5917/1020

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/227/2009-JAMC_dry.pdf

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dennis/Zelinka_Hartmann_subm.pdf

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/m2054qq6126802g8/
    Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data
    J. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, October, 2009
    DOI 10.1007/s00704-009-0117-x

    And so forth.

    So who but McI could prove them all wrong by the power of Assertion Blog Science?

    Step Zero — ignore the science;
    Step One — assert the uncertainty;
    Step Two — blog for additional study; ….

  • Curious // October 6, 2009 at 1:01 am | Reply

    I’m confused by the conflicting trends stated for Salekhard

    Tamino says “The net warming since 1880 is about 2.5 deg.C, the rate since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century”

    But the image dhogaza linked to says the trend is +1.12 deg. C as of 2002.

    Is it a problem with terms (i.e. “net warming” vs. “trend”)?

  • Rattus Norvegicus // October 6, 2009 at 2:07 am | Reply

    Net warming and trend are different. Net warming it the total warming since a given date. Trend is the rate of warming as of a given date, using a given dataset.

  • Deep Climate // October 6, 2009 at 4:10 am | Reply

    Well, there’s someone with more than a passing acquaintance with dendrochronology who doesn’t think too much of McIntyre’s analysis.

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/10/06/delayed-oscillator-on-divergence/

    New blog called delayed.oscillator

  • Dean // October 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Reply

    Rattus,

    But Tamino claims that there’s a 5°C/century trend and that is not supported by the plot. The trend is closer to 1°/Century and most of that warming occurs in the pre-1930 time period.

    In fact, if you take a 5 year centered average of the data, the current time period is slightly warmer than the 40s. If you take a 9 year centered average, the 40s are warmer.

    [Response: I said the trend since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century. Which is true.

    Not only have you shown poor reading skills, you keep trying to deny the trend in the region (which I've already explored in detail) simply so you can raise the Yamal issue. All I care to say about it is that McIntyre's character assassination of Briffa is beneath contempt -- which for him is par for the course.]

  • Dean // October 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Reply

    Tamino,

    [Response: I said the trend since 1970 is 5 deg.C/century. Which is true.]

    Yes, it is true, but isn’t it misleading? The trend, looking only at the 1970-present, is 5°C/century. But I could just as correctly say that the trend since 1920 is -0.12°C/century! And Dhogaza has shown that the total record shows a trend of a little over 1°C/ century!

    What makes a 40 year trend more useful in analyzing data than a 90 year trend or a 130 year trend??

    [Response: Is reading comprehension impossible for you? I gave that "factoid" (along with 2.5 deg.C net warming over the record) simply to show how the claim that Salehard shows no late-20th-century warming is not just wrong, it's foolish.

    You have consistently taken the most misleading interpretation possible -- of everything.]

  • Nathan // October 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Reply

    Dean,
    You don’t live in Western Australia do you?

  • Ray Ladbury // October 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply

    Dean,
    Think about this. If you look at a curve, you can draw a trend line between any two points–essentially a chord. If you want the true derivative, you have to keep shrinking the interval to zero. Problem: At very short intervals, your result will be dominated by noise. However, the noise tends to be on a short time scale, while relevant climatic trends occur over much longer timescales. At the same time, climateic influences could be changing, and a really long-term trend might not reflect this. What you want is the shortest time interval where the long-term influences dominate the noise. That’s in the 30-40 year timeframe. Does that make sense?

  • Igor Samoylenko // October 6, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Reply

    McIntyre: “First, let’s observe the continued silence of field dendros on the dispute.�

    Well, it is possible of course that they have nothing to say to support Briffa. It is also possible that they don’t give a rat’s arse about McIntyre and his latest manufactured controversy and choose instead to focus on actually doing some field science. I wonder which one it is…

  • dhogaza // October 7, 2009 at 1:02 am | Reply

    Heck, it’s still October, maybe they’re still in the field!

  • Ray Ladbury // October 7, 2009 at 1:48 am | Reply

    Igor Samoylenko says, “Well, it is possible of course that they have nothing to say to support Briffa. It is also possible that they don’t give a rat’s arse about McIntyre and his latest manufactured controversy and choose instead to focus on actually doing some field science. I wonder which one it is…”

    My guess is that demand for rat’s tuckuses will not increase significantly.

  • dhogaza // October 7, 2009 at 4:07 am | Reply

    There’s interesting psychology at work …

    McI claims that the lack of response from dendro types proves he’s right …

    In other posts, i.e. Revkin’s blog, he’s quoted as bleating “is anyone else in the field subjected to as much scrutiny as I?”

    Well, yes, all those McI accuses in public as being fraudulent. And McI is the source of such scrutiny.

    The man is certifiable, he truly is.

  • Jim Bouldin // October 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Reply

    It was his statement that no dendros were responding that caused me to post there, and someone to re-post my RC response to Mark P. Baited maybe, and I’m a half-assed dendro, but so what, I couldn’t let it slide.

    None of us have the time Igor. I spent well over a day researching the details of the issue and writing comments, time I didn’t have to give. Somebody has to respond.

  • Hank Roberts // October 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply

    > couldn’t let it slide

    But be wary of being drawn into discussion at unmitigated denial sites. They love that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_baby

  • Igor Samoylenko // October 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Reply

    Jim,

    It was (my attempt at) sarcasm – I certainly do not think dendros have nothing to say. It is ridiculous for McIntyre to imply that the lack of response validates his (unpublished) claims. It is the opposite of course – no one in the field takes his “analysis” seriously (and those who did look at it – you, delayed oscillator – don’t think much of it)! If there was substance in his claims – any substance – there would have been a response. But if there was substance, he would have published. But that would have been science as usual and it wouldn’t have been McIntyre, would it?

    I did see your posts at CA. I don’t think he merits a response to be honest. It will be a waste of your time – he will give irrelevant answers, ignore your questions, or simply decide to “move on” (see McIntyre’s response to Tom P’s specific questions at the end of the thread. He basically said: “go and look at previous threads” – a neat way to avoid answering when cornered). If he does not publish, he’s got nothing to say on the topic. End of story. As Ray suggested, science should be above that. I strongly agree with that. I know it is hard and I would have probably done the same if I were you but still…

    I don’t go there often and the thread where you commented was the first I looked in quite a while. One thing that struck me was that the general level of comments seems to have gone down over the last year or so and is now not far above the level of those at Watts’ blog (with a handful of exceptions). Watts’ blog is no longer the main magnet for idiots, it seems…

  • Deep Climate // October 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Reply

    Not sure if anyone else has noted this yet, but apparently updated Yamal reconstructions, using more live-core data, were made available by Rashit Hamerintov last summer. The information comes in an email to an anonymous third party that was released by Steve McIntyre today.The Yamal hockey stick is alive and well, apparently …

    Let the backpedalling begin …

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/10/07/let-the-backpedalling-begin/

    The charts I show are from this PDF (in Russian of course).

    http://vak.ed.gov.ru/common/img/uploaded/files/vak/announcements/biolog/2009/13-07/KHantemirovRM.pdf

  • dhogaza // October 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    A recent post by McI:

    In response to your point that I wasn’t “diligent enough” in pursuing the matter with the Russians, in fact, I already had a version of the data from the Russians, one that I’d had since 2004. What I didn’t know until a couple of weeks ago was that this was the actual version that Briffa had used.

    Got that from Deep Climate’s backpedalling thread, and Deltoid’s got a new thread up on the issue.

    So all of this screaming about fraud, secret data, stonewalling, refusal to share, and he had the bleeping bits five years ago.

    What a lying ass.

    [Response: The Rabett has an excellent post on the subject.]

  • Jim Bouldin // October 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Reply

    Igor, whether we like it or not, people listen to McIntyre, people who are genuinely not sure about a particular topic he posts on, or about AGW in general, some of whom will take a lack of a detailed response by some ‘expert’ (whatever image they have of what that is) as a sign of lack of confidence in the science. Now we can either pretend they don’t exist, or we can try to respond as specifically as possible to the scientific issues raised. Unlike many there, those people don’t want to see mud-slinging and name calling, and I’m talking primarily to THOSE people when I post, even if the subject matter discussed is partially opaque to them. And there’s also always the chance that McIntyre himself will pay some heed–few are truly beyond reaching. For the minion-types who want to ensnare and divert, I can handle them.

  • Kevin McKinney // October 8, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Reply

    Jim, yes–when a topic is “hot” there is an enhanced opportunity to get the good info out there and have someone pay attention.

  • Hank Roberts // October 8, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Reply

    Well said, Jim Bouldin.
    Better you than me (grin).
    Thank you.

  • Timothy Chase // October 9, 2009 at 5:31 am | Reply

    Jim Bouldin wrote:

    Igor, whether we like it or not, people listen to McIntyre, people who are genuinely not sure about a particular topic he posts on, or about AGW in general, some of whom will take a lack of a detailed response by some ‘expert’ (whatever image they have of what that is) as a sign of lack of confidence in the science.

    Two websites that are very good at addressing the science first but which do not remain entirely silent with respect to what the facts imply regarding motives (at least at a tacit level) are:

    The Global Warming Debate
    http://cce.890m.com

    and,

    Skeptical Science
    Examining the science of global warming skepticism
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

    Both do quite well at focusing on the facts and the science — and they make the dishonesty of the “skeptics” plain to see at least with respect to particular issues. This would probably be more than enough for most people who are genuinely interested and have no prior commitments. However, there is another category I would also consider: those who identify with McIntyre and are following down the same politically-motivated path. They too require some form of argument regarding the science, but I believe they also require someone to throw light on those who they regard as their leading lights.
    *
    Jim Bouldin wrote:

    And there’s also always the chance that McIntyre himself will pay some heed–few are truly beyond reaching.

    I wouldn’t ever argue that it is impossible. However, for McIntyre to genuinely change, he would have to be willing to admit not simply that he was wrong, but in no small part the extent to which he has been wrong, and in my view for him that would require almost superhuman powers.
    *
    Jim Bouldin wrote:

    For the minion-types who want to ensnare and divert, I can handle them.

    Eli has expressed somewhat similar thoughts recently…

    It appears to Eli that you need to feed the trolls to the bird while being helpful to onlookers. His adventures in ACS land have reinforced this to him. At a minimum this requires building trust with the lurkers first by being initially helpful and polite, and then by outing the trolls in a way that the lurkers see that they are being disruptive. Among other things, especially in a one on one, it really helps to find a trusted intermediate. You do have to give the trolls a fair amount of rope but you should never give way to their moaning and never let them change the subject.

    Motivated Reasoning
    26 Sep 2009
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/09/motivated-reasoning-lane-wallace-writes.html

    Incidentally, he links to the following article — but the link he gives is temporary whereas this is the permanent link:

    In a recently published study, a group of researchers from Northwestern University, UNC Chapel HIll, SUNY Buffalo and Millsaps College found that people often employ an approach the researchers called “motivated reasoning” when sorting through new information or arguments, especially on controversial issues. Motivated reasoning is, as UCLA public policy professor Mark Kleiman put it, the equivalent of policy-driven data, instead of data-driven policy.

    All Evidence to the Contrary
    Lane Wallace, Sep 25 2009
    http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/lane_wallace/2009/09/all_evidence_to_the_contrary.php

    Quick aside… Personally, I believe that all reasoning is motivated, but appealing to the principle “identification precedes evaluation,” I would argue that reasoning in recognition of this principle — is reasoning in which the identification of (or alternatively, adherence to) reality takes precedence over all other motives. (Incidentally, for those who might be interested I have expressed some further, related thoughts here: 1, 2, and 3.)

  • Ray Ladbury // October 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply

    Jim Bouldin, Tim, Igor et al.,

    I’m not sure I see any advantage to engaging McFraudit, microWatts and the other denialists, any more than we pay attention to any other anti-science crackpot. Attention from legitimate scientists is oxygen to these guys . It allows them to pretend to some level of importance and legitimacy that they do not merit. In over a decade of gadflying, McI has not had one iota of influence on the science. I would contend that anyone still listening to him is a lost cause.

    It is better to let McFraudit, Watts-up-his-arse and other such sites serve their true purpose–as an asylum for the nutjobs so that those really interested can learn the science from actual scientists.

    The real issue raised by all anti-science sites is not whether they raise any points worthy of rebutting, but rather whether policy should be science/reality based or driven by politics and wishful thinking. That is the unresolved issue that will determine the future of human civilization.

  • Timothy Chase // October 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply

    Ray Ladbury wrote:

    I’m not sure I see any advantage to engaging McFraudit, microWatts and the other denialists, any more than we pay attention to any other anti-science crackpot. Attention from legitimate scientists is oxygen to these guys . It allows them to pretend to some level of importance and legitimacy that they do not merit. In over a decade of gadflying, McI has not had one iota of influence on the science.

    MarkB recently the same sort of argument regarding legitimacy as part of a longer nine-step analysis of their strategy.

    Please see MarkB’s step 5 in his comment at DeepClimate.org:

    5. If Targets of attack do respond, Followers of Leader declare that is evidence that the charges against them have merit and celebrate their humble Leader’s ability to rile up the Targets. If Targets denounce attacks against them, Leader and Followers attempt to portray themselves as humble victims, and it becomes further evidence of charges against Targets.

    *
    Ray Ladbury wrote:

    I would contend that anyone still listening to him is a lost cause.

    On this point I would have to disagree. There are those whose thinking is largely driven by ideology, but who are new to this issue and who haven’t actively participated in the denialism — much like the Young Earth Creationists who eventually drift away — oftentimes rather dramatically from their beliefs — although to a much smaller degree. (I touch on the topic with respect to Young Earth Creationists here.) However, the main question with respect to such individuals is to what extent (if any) we should devote resources to trying to change their minds.
    *
    Ray Ladbury wrote:

    The real issue raised by all anti-science sites is not whether they raise any points worthy of rebutting, but rather whether policy should be science/reality based or driven by politics and wishful thinking. That is the unresolved issue that will determine the future of human civilization.

    Understood and agreed.

    However, in a world where politics is often a matter of majority rule and the majority view is often quite fluid one could easily argue that to properly direct the policy (towards being reality-based rather than based upon wishful thinking) one must at least in part address the arguments of the anti-science sites. But if so the question becomes how — particulary if one is to do so without granting people like McIntyre the appearance of legitimacy.

    I would argue that it is a mistake for scientists to openly and directly engage people like McIntyre, particularly where such denialists determine the rules of engagement. Furthermore, even with a set-up similar to Real Climate I would argue that at the very least they have to be careful in how they choose to respond. However, those who respond to the denialists do not have to be scientists themselves.

    One component might be a website/blog similar to Skeptical Science that analyses the scientific arguments first in terms that a layperson may understand, then identifies what websites/denialists make use of those arguments much like:

    Skeptical Science
    Examining the science of global warming skepticism
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

    … but then analyzes this within the broader context of the arguments being made like:

    The Global Warming Debate
    http://cce.890m.com

    … but performing this latter analysis while focusing on the individual websites and denialists themselves. Address the arguments first — without respect to the individual websites and participants. Then perform the later analysis and hyperlink to the first — in a way that is similar to but on a far less ambitious scale than ExxonSecrets.org.

    Identification beginning with reality forming the basis for evaluation of the participants. This would probably be more work than any one individual could perform, but I believe it would be doable by a group (perhaps along the lines of the Real Climate wiki) and devastating as far as the denialists are concerned if approached methodically and given the proper degree of prominence by the pro-science side in this “debate.”

  • Timothy Chase // October 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply

    PS

    When I wrote:

    … but performing this latter analysis while focusing on the individual websites and denialists themselves. Address the arguments first — without respect to the individual websites and participants. Then perform the later analysis and hyperlink to the first — in a way that is similar to but on a far less ambitious scale than ExxonSecrets.org.

    … I was thinking specifically of the way in which they hyperlink between organizations and individuals, not the scientific issues and the individuals — as they don’t really deal with the scientific issues themselves.

  • Deech56 // October 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply

    Timothy, glad you are recovering and thanks for the link to Skeptical Science. John has been running a very good series of articles recently.

  • Timothy Chase // October 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Reply

    If I may be permitted a sales pitch…

    Setting aside everything else, I would strongly recommend looking at both “The Global Warming Debate” by cce and “Logical Science” by John Cook.

    *

    Regarding…

    The Global Warming Debate
    A Layman’s Guide to the Science and Controversy
    http://cce.890m.com/

    This is virtually an online book along with videos. I have not yet looked at the videos — I personally prefer text. However, to get an idea of what cce has accomplished I would suggest looking on the right hand side under “choose a section.” You will see forteen sections. Each is divided into roughly as many titled subsections.

    The sections (and the number of subsections to each) are: Introduction (23 subsections), Primer and History (21 subsections), The Scientific Consensus (22 subsections), A New Ice Age (14 subsections), The Temperature Record (16 subsections), Temperature Reconstructions (21 subsections), Solar & Cosmic Rays (17 subsections), Attributing Mankind (14 subsections), Climate Models (15 subsections), Hansen’s ‘88 Scenarios (12 subsections), A Changing World (19 subsections), “Who Cares?!” (14 subsections), “Why Now?” (14 subsections), Facing the Problem (12 subsections), Technologies and Strategies(20 subsections). The subsections are brief and to the point (occasionally just a sentence, often one or several paragraphs), easy to understand, backed up with references where many of the references are online, and illustrated with relevant pictures, diagrams and graphs. This resource is well organized. I would highly recommend it and linking to it.

    *

    Regarding…

    Skeptical Science
    Examining the science of global warming skepticism
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

    Unlike “The Global Warming Debate,” this is still a blog, and thus lacks the sort of coherent overarching structure found in a well written book. Nevertheless I regard it as something quite special, and I believe many of you will as well. If you go to the home page, it states near the beginning:

    Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports anthropogenic global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.

    So this website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

    This largely encapsulates John Cook’s approach. However, after looking at the home page, I would strongly recommend checking out:

    Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    It lists all of the major arguments by name. It summarizes what science has to say. Then it links to the individual posts for each argument.

    Currently he has 70 major “skeptical” arguments that he addresses with individual posts. The post will begin with a brief statement of the argument that “skeptics” make, give a brief statement of what the science actually says, then give a much more detailed, often illustrated response with links and references to the relevant scientific papers. Afterwards the post is followed by blog comments and responses. Then at the bottom there is generally an extensive list of links to where the argument that Cook has just critiqued has been used on the web. As such he is not only researching the science but extensively researching the “skepticism.”

    Both websites pack a great deal of punch. I consider them important resources, well worth visiting and exploring, and well worth linking to.

  • Timothy Chase // October 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    PS

    Anyway, the reason for my pitching those two sites (besides the fact that each truly deserves it) is that I have vaguely suggested on a number of occasions that they are “good.” I have even gone ahead and used them to pitch an idea of mine which may or may not be the half-baked idea of someone in a slightly hypomanic state, but I haven’t indicated just how good they are or why I think they are so good. And frankly I found that a rather shameful omission — and wanted to remedy it as soon as I could.

  • Tenney Naumer // October 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply

    Hope you are well on your way to full recovery, Tamino! We need you!

  • Jim Arndt // October 16, 2009 at 3:00 am | Reply

    Hi Tammy,

    God’s speed on your injury. I injured my whole right arm in an auto accident. I could not even pick up a piece of paper with my right arm. Hope you are well soon.

  • David // October 21, 2009 at 6:26 am | Reply

    Kate at ClimateSight sent me… I have a friend who questions the accuracy of data so he is skeptical of global warming because he thinks a lot of the data from years back could be wrong… here is what he wrote to me – note the “john Daly link he refers to. I don’t know who Daly was… I am not knowledgeable enough to understand what Daly is talking about… is he wrong? How so?

    Thanks,

    David

    A couple of weeks ago, I raised some some points of concern regarding data integrity on the basis of accuracy and precision. As I mentioned then, I am a firm believer of the concept of “Garbage In – Garbage Out� especially when it comes to analyses based on any kind of long term data records. (BTW, my points were inclusive of all the historical data including terrestrial data, not just SST’s). I came upon the following discussion on the data being used by the scientific community to propagate the global warming hysteria. I found it interesting and am forwarding it on to you in case you are interested as well. It is a bit long, but very eye-opening.

    http://www.john-daly.com/ges/surftmp/surftemp.htm

    [Response: The fact that your friend refers to "global warming hysteria" indicates that he's nowhere near being objective about it. I also doubt that he has really studied climate data; he's just parroting junk he's heard, which has raised doubt in his mind so he flatters himself that he's competent to judge its accuracy. I'd also guess that
    he lacks the expertise to understand the data even if he did study it.

    For just a little bit on the error of John Daly's ways, see this.]

  • Ray Ladbury // October 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    David, OK, if you think your watch might be in error, what do you do? You check another watch or clock. We have phenological data going back 2-300 years in Europe and data on when the Japanese Cherry blossoms bloom going back 500 years–and guess what. It’s quite consistent with a significant warming trend. You don’t have to trust any one data type. Look at all of them and see what they’re telling you. Science–it’s the biggest advantage the reality-based community has.

  • Kevin McKinney // October 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply

    Was it Daly who propagated the idea essentially to redefine absorptivity? (The meme, IIRC, was that if liquid water absorbs wavelength x efficiently, it will also radiate it efficiently, and therefore re-emission will be nearly instantaneous.)

    Hey presto, absorption=reflection.

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