September 29, 2009

The Day the Hockey Stick Died

Mark this day down on your calendar, September 27th will forever be the day that the Hockey Stick died, unless incredibly convincing explanations are forthcoming ... and it was a Canadian who killed it:

The next graphic compares the RCS chronologies from the two slightly different data sets: red – the RCS chronology calculated from the CRU archive (with the 12 picked cores); black – the RCS chronology calculated using the Schweingruber Yamal sample of living trees instead of the 12 picked trees used in the CRU archive. The difference is breathtaking.
... and even more details.

Update: Taken from Climate Audit Comments by Ross McKitrick

Here's a re-cap of this saga that should make clear the stunning importance of what Steve has found. One point of terminology: a tree ring record from a site is called a chronology, and is made up of tree ring records from individual trees at that site. Multiple tree ring series are combined using standard statistical algorithms that involve detrending and averaging (these methods are not at issue in this thread). A good chronology–good enough for research that is–should have at least 10 trees in it, and typically has much more..

1. In a 1995 Nature paper by Briffa, Schweingruber et al., they reported that 1032 was the coldest year of the millennium - right in the middle of the Medieval Warm Period. But the reconstruction depended on 3 short tree ring cores from the Polar Urals whose dating was very problematic.

2. In the 1990s, Schweingruber obtained new Polar Urals data with more securely-dated cores for the MWP. Neither Briffa nor Schweingruber published a new Polar Urals chronology using this data. An updated chronology with this data would have yielded a very different picture, namely a warm medieval era and no anomalous 20th century. Rather than using the updated Polar Urals series, Briffa calculated a new chronology from Yamal - one which had an enormous hockey stick shape. After its publication, in virtually every study, Hockey Team members dropped Polar Urals altogether and substituted Briffa's Yamal series in its place. PS: The exception to this pattern was Esper et al (Science) 2002, which used the combined Polar Urals data. But Esper refused to provide his data. Steve got it in 2006 after extensive quasi-litigation with Science (over 30 email requests and demands).

3. Subsequently, countless studies appeared from the Team that not only used the Yamal data in place of the Polar Urals, but where Yamal had a critical impact on the relative ranking of the 20th century versus the medieval era.

4. Meanwhile Briffa repeatedly refused to release the Yamal measurement data used inhis calculation despite multiple uses of this series at journals that claimed to require data archiving. E.g.

5. Then one day Briffa et al. published a paper in 2008 using the Yamal series, again without archiving it. However they published in a Phil Tran Royal Soc journal which has strict data sharing rules. Steve got on the case.

6. A short time ago, with the help of the journal editors, the data was pried loose and appeared at the CRU web site.

7. It turns out that the late 20th century in the Yamal series has only 10 tree ring chronologies after 1990 (5 after 1995), making it too thin a sample to use (according to conventional rules). But the real problem wasn't that there were only 5-10 late 20th century cores- there must have been a lot more. They were only using a subset of 10 cores as of 1990, but there was no reason to use a small subset. (Had these been randomly selected, this would be a thin sample, but perhaps passable. But it appears that they weren't randomly selected.)

8. Faced with a sample in the Taymir chronology that likely had 3-4 times as many series as the Yamal chronology, Briffa added in data from other researchers' samples taken at the Avam site, some 400 km away. He also used data from the Schweingruber sampling program circa 1990, also taken about 400 km from Taymir. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of pooling samples from such disparate locations, this establishes a precedent where Briffa added a Schweingruber site to provide additional samples. This, incidentally, ramped up the hockey-stickness of the (now Avam-) Taymir chronology.

9. Steve thus looked for data from other samples at or near the Yamal site that could have been used to increase the sample size in the Briffa Yamal chronology. He quickly discovered a large set of 34 Schweingruber samples from living trees. Using these instead of the 12 trees in the Briffa (CRU) group that extend to the present yields Figure 2, showing a complete divergence in the 20th century. Thus the Schweingruber data completely contradicts the CRU series. Bear in mind the close collaboration of Schweingruber and Briffa all this time, and their habit of using one another's data as needed.

10. Combining the CRU and Schweingruber data yields the green line in the 3rd figure above. While it doesn't go down at the end, neither does it go up, and it yields a medieval era warmer than the present, on the standard interpretation. Thus the key ingredient in a lot of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series (red line above) depends on the influence of a thin subsample of post-1990 chronologies and the exclusion of the (much larger) collection of readily-available Schweingruber data for the same area.

Posted by Cjunk at September 29, 2009 1:49 AM

Yeah but none of the nimrods who should be paying attention to this will...

Posted by: Soccermom at September 29, 2009 12:02 AM

Read this last night. As soccermom says,they will totally ignore it.After all,the "science"is settled.Check out the Spanish result a couple of posts down from this one on Anthony's site.Forrest Gump spoke very true words...stupid is as stupid does.
But how does one kill the cult?

Posted by: Justthinkin at September 29, 2009 12:21 AM

Yup, it's a cult alright. All the world's leaders have the glazed eyes to prove it.

Posted by: Soccermom at September 29, 2009 12:29 AM

Unfortunately this will be discredited,not with hard data,but with the usual ' extreme right-wing extremist denier' jargon which is used in place of facts. Just like the polar bears are in grave danger,yet there are more now than ever before,and if you bring up this simple truth ,you obviously hate polar bears,and the planet,and are a prime candidate for sterilization,but can't be sterilized because BIG OIL controls the clinics and they only sterilize brown people,but you deserve it you racist a-hole, and you're probably a nazi too who supported Bush even though he stole an election from a really great guy just so he could steal the oil from the Iraqi's and pipe it through Afghanistan killing about a gazillion innocent muslims along the way by convincing them to blow each other up in schools and supermarkets just because you don't like windmills or Obama or even Michael Moore who is like the smartest man on the whole planet that you don't care about,and NO,he doesn't have to explain why he makes movies about capitalism being bad so he can make more money,you just can't see the big picture or ever understand artists,that's why Roman Polanski is being persecuted,because you sheeple voted for Harper....Rant over.

Posted by: wallyj at September 29, 2009 1:19 AM

wallyj...LOL...thanks dude.Saved me the rant.

Posted by: Justthinkin at September 29, 2009 1:23 AM

a world economy turned upside down because of a few tree rings. we will get what we deserve when the world gets cold and we are breaking the icicles off the trillion dollar windturbine projects that wont be turning.

Posted by: cal2 at September 29, 2009 1:29 AM

What I found most interesting from this article is that tree ring data records are used to determine what the global temperature was in the far distant past.

Think about that for just a minute. What could possibly go wrong?

And then, from what I read, it seems they spliced readings from thermometers from the last 100 years or so to the tree ring temperature records to build a hockey stick.

/Mama Mia!

Posted by: foobert at September 29, 2009 1:38 AM

This response on WUWT sums up what I was thinking:

crosspatch (22:18:24) :

Imagine you have a tree growing in alkaline soil. A volcano erupts down wind a few hundred miles. Rain becomes a little more acid, the tree is able to absorb more nutrients, maybe for several years. Or maybe a heard of elk get caught in an early storm and freeze to death. Or maybe there is a massive battle between two clans of humans leaving hundreds of dead scattered on the ground. Or maybe a skunk dies in the root zone of that tree. Maybe a nearby tree to the south of the target tree fell over giving the target tree more sunlight or maybe a tree grew upwind causing more snow to drift at the target tree resulting in more water in Spring. Or maybe there is a long period drought such as happens in California which can experience droughts that last centuries.

There are just too many variables and there are too many ways they can vary. Maybe one year the constraining factor was phosphorus. Maybe the next year it was water, maybe the next it was temperature, maybe the next it was pH and the next it was nitrogen.

Or maybe the increase in atmospheric CO2 is causing plants to grow better and so you have a feedback loop where increased CO2 causes better growth but is interpreted as higher temperature and yet more CO2 is released and you get even better growth again misinterpreted as temperature increase.

Its just plain nuts, the whole mess of it.

Posted by: foobert at September 29, 2009 1:48 AM

Even as a technical person, that "update" by Ross McKitrick made my head hurt. I can only imagine how Joe Sixpack will react:" Hey, that's not what that fruitfly science guy on TV said". They are called sheeple for a reason. Cults and shysters thrive on these folk. It is the primary reason why virtually every product or service now has a "eco" or "green" in it's name. P.T. Barnum was right.

btw, just how many trees were cut down to gather all this tree ring data? Just askin'

Posted by: Texas Canuck at September 29, 2009 6:11 AM

Goreacle Report: Cherry tree? What cherry tree?

"Now lets have a look at the data for the last 200 years where that hockey stick lives (and dies):"

"Update: A zoomed look at the broken hockey stick"

Posted by: maz2 at September 29, 2009 7:02 AM

"a world economy turned upside down because of a few tree rings."

cheer up cal 2

Some new lyrics:

Who wants to buy some old tree rings?
He took them off their graph, now they don’t mean a thing
These old tree rings don’t shine for them anymore
And these old tree rings don’t mean what they did before
So if you've got someone whose love is true, let them shine for you

Posted by: Cal at September 29, 2009 7:04 AM

"a world economy turned upside down because of a few tree rings."

cheer up cal 2

Who wants to buy some old tree rings?
He took them off their graph, now they don’t mean a thing
These old tree rings don’t shine for them anymore
And these old tree rings don’t mean what they did before
So if you've got someone whose love is true, let them shine for you

Posted by: Cal at September 29, 2009 7:08 AM

"I think that I shall never see
A thermometer as broken as a tree . . . . "

How do we get Steve M nominated for the Order of Canada ?

I seem to recall Canada's Head Warmonger, Dr. Fruit Fly got one. Steve has actually done something honest and richly deserves the OoC.

Anyone know the process ??

Posted by: Fred at September 29, 2009 8:07 AM

Wow. Such solid, clear writing!
(Sounds like bull*hit baffling brains to me.)

Posted by: Harry J. Balsac at September 29, 2009 8:51 AM

unfortunately it will be the poor who suffer the most , the same ones that Al Gore and Dr. Mengel Suzuki already threw under his tour bus. you know the ones that he said were practicing sustainable agriculture in Cuba , whilst starving themselves. wait till the one legislates 10% of all crops goes to biofuels , one quick famine and Dr. Megels experiment with the poor and sustainability will be a success. the greenies will start the depopulation of the world. it wont start on Wall Street but back on the home continent of Africa. the greens will be happy .

Posted by: cal2 at September 29, 2009 8:59 AM

Google needs another smack upside with a hockeystick.

Posted by: Curious at September 29, 2009 9:01 AM

I can just never get past the whole idea of picking your sample sets.

When I was running the sampling section in a gold mine 20 years ago, if we did not take the sample exactly correctly (1 metre off the floor, 30 cm high, full width of the working face, between 5 and 8 kg of material), they would have fired my backside.

Using the "method" that the Hockey Team used I could have made a fortune by making sure any visible gold on the working face made it into the sample. Then buy up a bunch of the company's $0.30 stock and just wait for the reaction to the sampling results when they report 3 ounces/tonne vice the real number of .5 ounces/tonne.

Would have been so easy. Sigh.......

Posted by: AtlanticJim at September 29, 2009 9:34 AM

the 27th won't go down as the day the hockeystick died. It's the day Pres Obama decided his wife was too inadequate to support Chicago's olympic bid.


Posted by: the bear at September 29, 2009 9:36 AM

You're all correct. What the MSM fails to report doesn't exist.

Might I suggest that we all forward the link to our local papers and attempt to get a groundswell going? Much like the ACORN debacle, we might be able to embarrass the big dailies and networks into coverage. Believe I'll also send an email to the paper of record, the Wall Street Journal.

Posted by: Mazzuchelli at September 29, 2009 10:13 AM

AJim: no one should be surprised at selective use of data. It's been a feature of activist science for decades, prominently so in the case of the Leeper study in 1977 which started the craze about cancer induction from electromagnetic fields. All of us have been highly suspicious that this was the case, given the refusal of any members of The Team to release any of their data. Now we have the proof.

Posted by: cgh at September 29, 2009 10:14 AM

This should have been a h/t to the commenter foobert.

Posted by: Aaron at September 29, 2009 10:28 AM

The problem with your outline, foobert, is that you are introducing random variables, e.g., that skunk, that herd of elk (elk?) etc that are, well, your variables are all random. They are 'noise' and do indeed interfere with tree growth.

Random variables always exist and what dendrochronology is based on, is the study of non-random processes, that is, the study of the basic non-random causes of tree growth. These are basic variables and must have been the same 'back then' as now, e.g., sun, water, nutrients, temperature.

The random variables are factored into the study; for example, an insect outbreak that defoliates the trees so they can't access energy; a local human or animal interference, and so on. A large enough sample has to be taken to reduce the effect of random variables. And, the sample chosen has to be from a wide enough range to exclude these random variables.

What the scientist does is to study these basic variables that enable tree growth, see how these are expressed in the tree (tree ring growth) and then, he can analyze what happened in the past to trees that are expressed in their tree rings.

It's a science and has been proven to produce legitimate data results.

Posted by: ET at September 29, 2009 10:28 AM

Wow, just wow.
The trouble is, most people won't be able to wrap their minds around this and will therefore happily continue to get their "info" from 15 sec soundbites (even 15 sec is taxing their short attention spans), and will continue to base their decisions on the tiny little spoonfuls of BS that MSM feeds them.

Posted by: Edward Teach at September 29, 2009 10:35 AM

Not so random, ET (or is it someone impersonating ET?).

The study deals with changes in t° as short as 50-100 years. This is exactly what foobert is alluding to! All factors that he mentioned basically disqualify the trees from being good thermometers.

Your argument for large sample is void, as only 10 trees were used in Yamal study, out of much larger sample that was gathered.

If you bothered to read the posts at WUWT and CA, you'd noticed that it's not science - it's fraud.

Posted by: Aaron at September 29, 2009 10:49 AM

I'm not all that surprised I guess, it is just that the one thing that was HAMMERED into us on the mining technologist course I spent two years sweating through, is that sample bias was only slightly less repugnant than animal abuse. A huge part of our training was proper methods to ensure that bias did not occur.

I just don't get how anyone who has been trained in proper scientific method, as ALL of these creeps had to have been, can look at themselves in the mirror. It is, quite literally, a complete betrayal of the science for personal gain.

I guess I was just brought up wrong. Those Judeo-Christian ethics still sit strong in this atheist.

Posted by: AtlanticJim at September 29, 2009 10:53 AM

aaron - I wasn't supporting or rejecting the Yamal study.

I was referring to foobert's introduction of random variables as if they were non-random and his using this to discredit the whole science of dendrochonronology.

Trees don't measure just temperature; they measure variables that create growth. These include temperature, water, sun, nutrients. Since these variables are interrelated, then, the tree rings can be analyzed to determine the temperature in that growth period.

Dendrochronology is a valid empirical science.

Posted by: ET at September 29, 2009 11:15 AM

I really think its all about putting the cap and trade system in place,which benifits alot of giant business, after it passes the big players will back off and global warming will die.

Posted by: bob at September 29, 2009 11:26 AM

ET: I think that the point is that it is impossible to adjust for unknown variability ... and attempting to do so leaves all sorts of room for corruption.

Posted by: Cjunk at September 29, 2009 11:42 AM

foobert- It seems a lot of people are missing the forest for the trees. You are correct to suggest that tree rings are not exclusively influenced by temperature. One of the most important factors in the yearly growth is rainfall. That is the most logical explanation for this:

1. In a 1995 Nature paper by Briffa, Schweingruber et al., they reported that 1032 was the coldest year of the millennium - right in the middle of the Medieval Warm Period. But the reconstruction depended on 3 short tree ring cores from the Polar Urals whose dating was very problematic.

During a warm spell, it is not unusual for trees to suffer from lack of drinking water. It could be considered a "random variable", but then, so could temperature. When dealing with small changes in temperature, the effect on tree growth is not all that significant. Sunshine, and rainfall are much bigger factors.

Posted by: dp at September 29, 2009 11:50 AM

CJunk, you are da Man, this is great info.

I don't have all the acronym's down yet, but I'll get em.

I never understood why they went for the Hockey Stick Graph in the 1st place, I mean comon, if you are gona lie then lie a lil bit, something that is kindof believable, don't go hogwild and tell a whopper where most folks are skeptic and a few are gona check your facts, then it's game over. Unless, Mann, Griffa and Gruber were told their theory was un-empeachable, or would not be contested, especially if the AGW Media got the Fax.

Only Problem; Steve McIntyre.

Auntie Em,,,,,, Auntie Em,,,,,,,,

Posted by: Ratt at September 29, 2009 11:58 AM

Wow. Such solid, clear writing!
(Sounds like bull*hit baffling brains to me.)

Posted by: Harry J. Balsac at September 29, 2009 8:51 AM

Well,you got the solid,clear writing part correct,hairyballs.
But you see,your type can't be baffled by BS,because you lack the brains to have anything baffled.Next time we'll see if Steve can put his findings in kindergarten level language.
(Harry J. trying to look smart?)

Posted by: Justthinkin at September 29, 2009 12:18 PM

Justthinkin, Harry is someone Kate punted a couple weeks ago for not even bothering to make an attempt at not swearing. Forget who it was now, one troll begins to look much like another after a while.

Wasn't new though.

Posted by: AtlanticJim at September 29, 2009 12:29 PM

The are common themes to AGW practices. To determine past and future events they use methods that are open to interpretation (dendrochronology and models). Then, to further their cause, they add in "adjustments" and "corrections". Now they seem to have deliberately cherry-picked data that supports their theory while suppressing inconvenient data. Finally, they consistently refuse to open up their raw data and methods for scrutiny and replication.

Science? No.
Political science? Yes.

Atlantic Jim is absolutely right. Any lab practicing this kind of data collection and reporting would be fired in the real world. Any business that allowed or encouraged it would be charged with fraud.

Posted by: LC Bennett at September 29, 2009 12:33 PM

LC Bennett, the only difference between Mann, Gore, Suzuki etc and Bre-X is that Bre-X had the honesty to admit they were smokin' the numbers for a profit.

Posted by: AtlanticJim at September 29, 2009 12:45 PM

Here's a rather good, somewhat less technical summary of Steve's research:

Balsac, your comment is more descriptive of your apparently easy-to-baffle brain than the quality of the research that baffled it. Actually I'm kind of embarrassed for you.

Posted by: Darrell at September 29, 2009 12:50 PM

The proof is in.
The proof is settled.
Now let the fraud suits begin. There is a lot of money to be recovered.

The unnecessary angst the warmongers caused our children to endure is a stain on the scientific community - a stain that will take generations to fade.

This all would never have happened if our beloved media had any intelligence at all.

Posted by: ron in kelowna at September 29, 2009 12:52 PM

Absolutely fantastic work by Watts and McIntyre.

McIntyre deserves the Nobel prize for his work. If Gore can get one for his fraudulent work, McIntyre should get one for (hopefully) saving governments billions of dollars around the world, exposing fraud.

Posted by: sf at September 29, 2009 1:10 PM

dp - water, temperature, sun, soil, are not, ever, random variables to tree growth. They are basic variables. Small changes in these basic variables can be dealt with by adaptive processes, but large changes in any one of them, can be deadly. Nor can you say that only two of them, sun and water, are primary. All four of them play a vital role and none are random variables.

Plants require nutrients which they obtain from the soil (and water); they require water, they require sunlight - and a certain number of hours of that; and they operate in reaction to sunlight and temperature. Cooler temperatures slow down metabolic processes in plants.

I repeat, dendrochronology is a legitimate and valuable climate analytic tool. If you misuse it, by which I mean if your data sampling is wrong, then your results will be invalid, and that's the same in any and all scientific studies.

As for models - e.g., the 'hockey stick model'is, of course invalid as a reliable indicator of climate activities because it is not based on hard data but on speculative data.

Posted by: ET at September 29, 2009 1:13 PM

Seems that the Gore Hansen Suzuki crowd is awfully quite these days.

Oh, and if someone was to use a fake, anonymous name, would it be wise to use very common words to hamstring a google search?

Example; john and cross yields 187 million results.

Posted by: ron in kelowna at September 29, 2009 1:15 PM

Cloudiness is also a factor. Trees and plants in general can photosynthesize scattered light, light that hits them from all angles, more efficiently than direct sunshine.

ET, the point of these objections is that there are a lot of "random variables" which can produce red noise, noise that is autocorrelated from year to year. The existence of these factors means that spurious matches to the current temp record are likely to exist in a large data set just by random chance. The whole principle components methodology depends on an assumption that any noise will be "white", that is randomness will not carry over from year to year. This makes cherry picking a special no no for this method. I agree with you that dendroclimatology is a valid science. It is just that it must be treated with extreme care to honor its implicit assumptions before drawing conclusions from it.

The hockey stick people were not practicing the real science, in this case, which is what Steve at climateaudit has pointed out repeatedly.

Posted by: tim in vermont at September 29, 2009 1:22 PM
Wow. Such solid, clear writing! (Sounds like bull*hit baffling brains to me.)

Hairy Scrote can't understand this argument because it isn't based on rhetoric, but actually depends on logic and evidence. We might as well be talking Greek in front of a liberal like him.

Posted by: tim in vermont at September 29, 2009 1:27 PM

ET: I just felt that you were arguing for the sake of the argument. I failed to identify anything in your posts that contradicted foobert's assertions. So, it seems that only the grammar in your posts is argumentative. Do you understand? In plain English, you told him 'no' but the arguments you've used did not contradict his ones.

Tim in vermont: We have no way of knowing whether dendroclimatology is valid or not due to it's ridiculously short life span. Although the same problem exists in many areas of science, human arrogance dismisses that consideration.

Posted by: Aaron at September 29, 2009 1:41 PM

The Global warming pll have a Social Engineering think tank.

Columbia Research Labs: David H. Krantz … Elke Weber
Project:[quote] to assemble an interdisciplinary group of economists, psychologists and anthropologists from around the world who would examine decision-making related to environmental issues. Aided by a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, CRED has the primary objective of studying how perceptions of risk and uncertainty shape our responses to climate change and other weather phenomena like hurricanes and droughts. The goal, in other words, isn’t so much to explore theories about how people relate to nature, which has been a longtime pursuit of some environmental psychologists and even academics like the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. Rather, it is to finance laboratory and field experiments in North America, South America, Europe and Africa and then place the findings within an environmental context.

“More or less, people have agreed on that. That means it’s caused by human behavior. That’s not to say that engineering solutions aren’t important. But if it’s caused by human behavior, then the solution probably also lies in changing human behavior.” Weber

CRED’s researchers consider global warming a singular opportunity to study how we react to long-term trade-offs, in the form of sacrifices we might make now in exchange for uncertain climate benefits far off in the future. And the research also has the potential to improve environmental messages, policies and technologies so that they are more in tune with the quirky workings of our minds

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness,” written by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein when they were academics at the University of Chicago. (Sunstein later moved to Harvard Law School and has since been nominated as the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.) Frames and nudges are not precisely the same; frames are just one way to nudge people by using sophisticated messages, mined from decision-science research, that resonate with particular audiences or that take advantage of our cognitive biases (like informing us that an urgent operation has an 80 percent survival rate). Nudges, more broadly, structure choices so that our natural cognitive shortcomings don’t make us err. Ideally, nudges direct us, gently, toward actions that are in our long-term interest… [/quote]

My Comment:
Data Models, I find that, analog like, harmonics
suggest a flawed mathematical model. When you look at digital Chaos the harmonic content looks like common feedback....JMHO

Posted by: Phillip G. Shaw at September 29, 2009 2:17 PM

For the numerically challenged among us there are a couple of interesting summaries on ICECAP which go a long way to explaining the complex minutae of this subject.

Posted by: Free Thinker at September 29, 2009 2:25 PM

tim in vermont - exactly; that's my point.

Dendrochronology is a valid scientific method and like any scientific process, if you use incorrect methodology, and that includes both considering random variables to be basic, and 'cherry-picking', then, your results are invalid.

I agree - one has to be very careful about spurious correlations - that's valid in any and all science.

Aaron - my reading of foobert was that he was denying the viability of dendrochronology because of the presence of random events.

Posted by: ET at September 29, 2009 2:27 PM

Has Hell frozen over !?

A major Media org in Canada has allowed this to be circulated - about 5 years after Kate started posting on the subject.

[ “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principle risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment? Will they do it? Will the rich countries agree to reduce their impact on the environment? Will they agree to save the earth?

“The group’s conclusions is ‘no.’ The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”]NP

Posted by: ron in kelowna at September 29, 2009 2:49 PM

Ratt nails it "I never understood why they went for the Hockey Stick Graph in the 1st place, I mean comon, if you are gona lie then lie a lil bit, something that is kindof believable, don't go hogwild and tell a whopper where most folks are skeptic and a few are gona check your facts, then it's game over. Unless, Mann, Griffa and Gruber were told their theory was un-empeachable, or would not be contested, especially if the AGW Media got the Fax."

As in any, ANY Kult, the end justifies their means.

A clearly fraudulent graph is ok cause it is good theatre, good shock value.

But in time it will be proven a fraud ? Sure, but the fraudsters hoped by then all would be in place(cap&trade only has to clear the US senate)

But how could 'the graph' ever get away with something so blatant as erasing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age !? Simple - if the Media doesn't report it, it is not there.

When Mann et al started their little Kult they had no idea the internet and blogs would foil the whole thing.

Posted by: ron in kelowna at September 29, 2009 3:08 PM

Will there be criminal charges for fraud?

Posted by: grok at September 29, 2009 3:33 PM

from above:

Aaron - my reading of foobert was that he was denying the viability of dendrochronology because of the presence of random events.

First of all, I am not a scientist, but I think I have learned something from a lifetime of reading, listening and observing.

I do not deny the usefullness of dendrochronology and actually believe it can be usefull to gain a big picture view of past events. However, I also believe that it is a very blunt instrument for the purpose of obtaining a reasonably accurate temperature reading from specific points in time hundreds and thousands of years past.

We are being told we need to stop the globe from warming more than 2 degrees C in order to stop a certain calamity in as little as 50 years from now. This is based on output from computer models that have done multiple computations on the inexact temperature and other derived data from a multitude of proxies.

To me, the use of tree ring data to derive anything near to a useful temperature record is like using a chain saw to do brain surgery.

Posted by: foobert at September 29, 2009 3:57 PM

"Will there be criminal charges for fraud?"

I think Crimes Against Humanity would be more fitting....

Posted by: Soccermom at September 29, 2009 4:04 PM

But it is true that the random events make trees poor thermometers. I did not see a denial of dendrochronology - just questioning it's application to thermal measurements.

And the magnitude of those events can be on the scale from a butterfly waving its wings to Vredefort asteroid impact, with almost no expectation of accuracy in dating and even detecting those!

> To me, the use of tree ring data to derive
> anything near to a useful temperature record is
> like using a chain saw to do brain surgery.

I think this is a very fitting definition of Yamal study.

Posted by: Aaron at September 29, 2009 4:37 PM

ET- I understand your assertion that certain variables seem to be interrelated. My point was that this relationship is never a certainty. By assigning rigid behaviour to a set of variables, you run the risk of creating an unrealistic model. Modelling seems to be what got us into this argument, in the first place.

Studying tree rings can only tell you one thing, for certain. That is, whether the tree had good growing conditions that year. The reason for its rate of growth are still debatable.

Posted by: dp at September 29, 2009 6:31 PM

foobert at 3:57 PM

yup, the base line established by this method should be accompanied by an explanation as to it's probable accurracy (it's +/- %)

Posted by: GYM at September 29, 2009 8:24 PM

more on global warming from the MSM:

Posted by: curious_george at September 29, 2009 8:38 PM

Of interest to ET and others:

Posted by: Cjunk at September 29, 2009 11:54 PM

I'm not sure this is necessarily a knock-down of using dendrochronology for temperature records, it just highlights that we're missing an important step in the logic:

1. Mercury thermometers show recent warming
2. You can cherry-pick the subset of chronologies that reproduce exactly this warming profile. In other words you are making a hypothesis that those trees are 'good thermometers'.
3. To prove this hypothesis, you find out what geographical or physiological features are unique to that sample, and prove that these features cause them to be 'good thermometers'
4. Then you can select the earlier chronologies that also have these features, and you'll have yourself a fair comparison.

There is nothing necessarily illogical or misleading in the four steps above, and this may well be the method that was used. However, we don't know, because apparently nothing has been published to justify Step 3.

I'm only a rough-and-ready engineer rather than a rigorous scientist, but if I presented my work without referencing the data that I had used, then I'd be sent back to the drawing board.

I wonder if the same standards will apply to those scientists who are informing governments on multi-trillion dollar decisions?

Posted by: neutral at September 30, 2009 9:31 AM

neutral, mercury thermometers mostly show that climate monitoring sites have been biased hot in the last 20-30 years. I commend to your attention the considerable work at Climate Audit on this problem.

Engineers are held to a different standard than climate scientists. When engineers screw up something usually falls down. When a climate scientist screws up, he gets a brown bag full of money from the Algore foundation for convenient truths.

Posted by: The Phantom at September 30, 2009 11:31 AM

Very wise words Phantom

Posted by: Free Thinker at September 30, 2009 12:47 PM

While what you say is likely true, those were not the steps followed by Mann. They substituted for your step 3, "Assume they are good thermometers".

Craig Loehle did a study in which he only used proxies that had been independently validated as temperature proxies in the peer reviewed literature, and lo and behold, the hockey stick went away. And the Medieval Warm Period, which we can read about in the historical record, magically re-appears.

Also, the American Geophysical Union is backing up McIntyre, and also no says the hockey stick is a bust. In case you need authority to make you feel better.

Posted by: tim in vermont at September 30, 2009 1:17 PM

If we assume that, as ET says, dendrology is a valid science, one could ask why Mann and his Hockey Team grafted actual instrument records onto a proxy graph. If the proxy evidence is so conclusive of past stability and current warming, why not let the proxy evidence speak for itself? The answer as far as I can determine is that if you remove the instrument readings, you don't get a hockey stick, you get a rather unimpressive graph that shows today being no warmer statistically than the past.

If you use the thermometer data to calibrate the proxy data, that would be valid, their use of the instrument data is not.

Posted by: jnicklin at September 30, 2009 2:04 PM

“I bought my childhood home. ”

This made me tear up.......

And that is some serious paneling, my friend.thank u post.....

Posted by: Hockey Picks at October 3, 2009 12:59 AM