The Hockey Stick is Broken

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

The Hockey Stick graph, the foundation of global warming theory, has been refuted and shown to be scientifically invalid, perhaps even a fraud.

Answer:

The first order of business here is to correct the mischaracterization of this single paleoclimate study as the "foundation" of Global Warming theory. It is anything but! What is going on today is unique and is understood by study of today’s data and the best scientific theories the experts can come up with. Reconstructions of past temperatures are, well, they’re about the past. The study of the past can be very informative for scientists, but it is not explanatory of the present nor is it predictive of the future. The scientific basis for the dangers we face and their cause is about much more than a few tree-rings and the temperature during the Medieval Warm Period. Real Climate has an interesting article about what it would mean for today’s climate theories if indeed the MWP had been warmer than today, you can read that here.

Now, about that pesky bit of sporting equipment…

The infamous "Hockey Stick" graph was featured prominently in the IPCC TAR Summary for Policymakers. It was important in that it overturned the concept of a global Medieval Warm Period warmer than the 20th century and a global Little Ice Age, both long time (cautiously) accepted features of the last 1000 years of climate history. Apparently, these periods were regionally distinct and not globally synchronized, though the LIA seems to have been more widely experienced.

This caused quite an uproar in the sceptic community, not least because of its visual efficacy. Two Canadians, an economist and a petroleum geologist, took it upon themselves to verify this proxy reconstruction by getting the data and examining the methodology used for themselves. They found that there were errors in the description of data used, as it was published in Nature, that prevented them from duplicating the study. Mann et al., the Hockey Stick’s creators, published a correction in Nature, noting where the description of the study did not match what had actually been done. The Canadians, McIntyre and McKitrick, then proceeded to publish a paper that purported to uncover serious methodological flaws and some problems with data sets used.

Everything from this point on is hotly disputed and highly technical.

All the claims made by M&M have been rebutted in detail by many other climatologists and they insist that these folks are completely in error. This of course fits nicely with the expectations of both sides of the Global Warming issue, both the conspiracy theorists and the champions of peer review. All the rebuttals have been objected to and the objections denied and the denials rejected. The specific issues are highly technical and require considerable time and energy to truly understand. Steve McIntyre has a website devoted to his continued probe of this study and Michael Mann is a contributor to Real Climate which consumes considerable web space refuting his attacks. In short, M&M raise many specific and technical objections and the climate scientists seem pretty unified in denying the charges. To my knowledge, the worst indictment from the climate science community came from a study led by Hans Von Storch that concluded M&M was right about a particular criticism of methodology but correcting it did not in fact change the study results.

If you want to try to evaluate this issue for yourself, and do it fairly, you must read the copious material at the sites mentioned above. You must also be prepared to get into dendrochronology and statistical analysis.

Where does that leave the rest of us, you know the ones with real lives and all?

For myself, I will confess immediately that the technical issues are over my head, I don’t know PCA from R^2 from a hole in the ground. But I think the most critical point to remember, if you are concerned about this for its impact on the validity of AGW theory, is that this row is about a single study that was published 8 years ago focusing on paleoclimate. This is starting to be ancient historical minutia. If you feel it may be tainted, then simply discard it.

The fact is there are dozens of other reconstructions. These other reconstructions do tend to show some more variability than MBH98 (the handle of the hockey stick is not as straight), but they all support the general conclusions that the IPCC TAR presented in 2001: the late 20th century warming is anomalous in the last one or two thousand years and the 1990’s are very likely warmer than any other time in the last one or two thousand years.

Here is a nice superimposition of numerous global, hemispheric and regional reconstructions for the last 2000 years together with an average. References are all presented at the bottom of the page in that Global Warming Art link. Regional variations are of course greater than global, so don’t be surprised by how wavy some of the lines are in there.

(Disclosure: one of the reconstructions used in that page is by the same team that did the infamous hockey stick, but it is not the same study. To the best of my knowledge, M&M have claimed no problems with that one, though they have expressed some concerns that span the entire field of dendrochronology).

Does the 20th century stand out?

Recently the National Academy of Science in the US did a report on the Hockey Stick study and found it "plausible" though more uncertain the farther back in time it went. But then, true to form for this debate, another report commissioned by another Senate committee came out right after and condemned it. Sigh.

I have read as much about this controversy as I ever intend to, and I have come to the firm conviction that I do not have the technical background and/or time required to make a scientific judgment on this issue one way or another. That is the best objective opinion I can offer you. I suspect 95% of the people you will come across arguing about this have chosen their position ideologically and will not really be able to explain the merits of the various arguments.

So while MBH, in my mind, are in no way guilty of fraud or incompetence (many of the accusations do go this far), the judgement of their research must be approached in reverse: given any reason to doubt, I will reject it until it is proven to me that the criticisms are invalid. Neither case can I decided for myself until I devote the required time to both the statistical background and the technical details of M&M vs MBH98. That isn’t going to happen!

So where does that leave me and I suspect most of you?

Well, it leaves me with the dozens of other proxy reconstructions, some by the same team or involving some of its members, some by completely different people, some using tree rings, some using corals, some using stalagmites, some using borehole measurements, but all of which support the same general conclusion. And it is that general conclusion which is important to me, not whether or not one Bristlecone pine was or was not included correctly in a single 8 year old study.

The general conclusion is:

"Although each of the temperature reconstructions are different (due to differing calibration methods and data used), they all show some similar patterns of temperature change over the last several centuries. Most striking is the fact that each record reveals that the 20th century is the warmest of the entire record, and that warming was most dramatic after 1920."

End of story. I would just like to conclude where I started: the study of the past can be very informative for scientists, but it is not explanatory of the present nor is it predictive of the future. The scientific basis for the dangers we face today and their causes today is rooted in what we know about today.

Now, can we all get off of the hockey rink and back into the lab?


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“The Hockey Stick is Broken” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

298 thoughts on “The Hockey Stick is Broken

  1. So you are a seahawks fan are you? I remember watching US football with Don Lane (do you know him?) was a big tall american over here, he became a very popular TV personality we kind of accepted him as one of our own, anyway i digress he used to do a US footy show in the wee hours. Being an avid sporting teenager i used to watch. I saw team play once and thought that will be the team i will support, so how are we looking this year Skip?

    How are the seahawks looking this year?

    Ugly.

    Just IMHO.

    Like

  2. We have 3 people, one is called Monckton who you suspect is dumber than Crakar however it is obvious that Craker is dumber than Monckton (which makes Crakar the smartest of the 3?), but to say this is not fair on Crakar or Monckton?

    Crakar scores on a typo! Impressive! All of science is clearly a fraud …

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  3. ok Crakar now we’re getting somewhere. so you’re saying Monckton is giving us “facts.”

    with this in mind and established i will dutifully read and give my assessment.

    re: the Hawks. we blow. we can’t stop the run and our starting QB is out.

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  4. Sorry Chris S i did miss your question, i had a look at the PP and got this

    “WMO website structure has changed
    The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed or is temporarily unavailable.”

    Will try again later OK. Apart from that i saw what he said but have since lost the link and only have snippets. I understand your line of questioning and agree we must ensure he is not taken out of context.

    Chris O,

    Now that we have established Moncktons state of mind how about commenting on the article he wrote?

    Dogaza,

    Thats a good one, really it was. They do look quite ugly (whats with the lime green shirts), i may have underestimated you a bit. Its nice to see your more humorous side keep it up.

    Skip,

    Monckton has given us facts by reiterating a sequence of factual events, you or i could have written the same thing and it would still be fact.

    By the way the reason why i follow the seahawks is because at the time i got interested in US football i was working on the sikhorsky seahawk helicopters so it seeemed appropriate.

    I nearly lived in Seattle once, there was a job going there with a company but at the last minute it fell through i ended up working in Saudi Arabia which at the time sounded ok (compared to Seattle) but once i got there i realised it was equivalent to winning the booby prize in the local chook raffle, SA can only be described as the worlds largest out door prison, but thats a story for another time.

    By the way my US geography is a little rusty but i thought Reno was in Nevada? How come you follow the seahawks then?

    Oh and one more thing we just watched the first episode of “what did you see” i suspect this show has aready aired in the US and probably Canada/Britain. Can anyone tell me if it is any good? I noted that it was produced by the same people that did LOST so is suspect it will drag on with little or no direction and very quickly get shifted to the 1030pm time slot. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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  5. Monckton has given us facts by reiterating a sequence of factual events, you or i could have written the same thing and it would still be fact

    Monckton has a history of claiming facts that aren’t in existence, so, sorry, I really have no reason to expect this to be any different. The only references google gives me to the wahl amman paper and timing regarding the last ipcc report appear to be denialist sites all trumpeting the same stuff. Again, given the denialsphere’s history of claiming facts that aren’t in existence, there’s no reason to trust such sources.

    (whats with the lime green shirts)

    The NFL’s came up with a brilliant scheme to sell team jerseys to fans: allow teams to have an “alternate” uniform along with the base one. Then they have two colors to sell.

    They’re also allowing older franchises to sell “throw-back” jerseys in color schemes from the 1960s, 50s, etc (many have changed uniforms drastically over the years).

    Even more things to sell!

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  6. crakar14:

    Chris O,

    Now that we have established Moncktons state of mind how about commenting on the article he wrote?

    You may be able to while away your hours reading things by nutcases but I have better things to do with my life.

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  7. Dogaza,

    Ah yes of course the old lets change the jumper so we can sell more scam, they do the same thing over here. We have what is called a “clash jumper”. The away team wears its alternative strip when it is believed their jumper will clash with the home teams jumper. Strangely the jumpers have not changed very much for over 100 hundred years and never clashed in the past but now they suddenly do. If you think the seahawks jumper looks bad you should see some of ours.

    Back to Monckton, so i take it that no matter what he writes no one here will read it (or at least admit to reading it) because he is a liar and a nutjob.

    But if you dont read it how do you know he is lying or suffering dellusions? Is it because you trust Tim Lambert and he told you so? Are you now trusting a computer scientist from Uni NSW to guide you through life? Do you know where uni NSW is? or indeed NSW?

    Thats OK if you are, there is no shame in leaving difficult life decisions to someone else.

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  8. Back to Monckton, so i take it that no matter what he writes no one here will read it (or at least admit to reading it) because he is a liar and a nutjob.

    That pretty much sums it up for me at least. Why do you want to read and reference liars and nutjobs?

    But if you dont read it how do you know he is lying or suffering dellusions?

    There are so many quality sources of information out there that once one establishes a particular source as a lying nutjob there is little reason to ever revisit it. If you were to tell me that Monckton has fundamentally changed his positions or otherwise has something new to offer I might then go have a look. Absent such a change, why should anyone ever again expect some value or even some sense in what he writes?

    Is it because you trust Tim Lambert and he told you so?

    I have yet to come accross an instance where Tim Lambert misrepresents material he quotes in any significant way, and yes I do frequently check. I always check if it is regarding someone I have never heard of before or about an interesting or complicated issue. However, regarding Monckton, I have read enough of his stuff first hand to know that liar and nutjob ar very reasonable descriptors.

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  9. crakar14:

    But if you dont read it how do you know he is lying or suffering dellusions? Is it because you trust Tim Lambert and he told you so?

    No. If you actually read my link you might find out that it’s not an assertion about Monckton by Tim Lambert. It is a list with references of Monkton’s lies, misrepresentations and errors.

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  10. Good morning fellas:

    Hey Crak I only read the first half so far of Monckton.

    Its clear the guy either sincerely constructs the world as one in which a few noble skeptics like himself are nobly fighting the sniveling liars behind the AGW plot and its phony hockey stick or he’s just a mercenary who knows what to say to the already convinced. Its like reading the transcript of a speech by Adolf Hitler. Maybe under his leadership the AGW legions will be crushed under a skeptical wave of blood and iron but for now I’ll take my chances with an apparent scientific consensus.

    Had some personal grief and my real work is suffering and I just can’t invest the time and effort I initially promised based on my initial perceptions of this. Will have to get back to this later but man I would be really leery of pointing this fellow out as a credible source in the future.

    Your understanding of American geography is sound but I grew up a Seattle kid (UW/WSU grad) so maintain my boyhood sports allegiances.

    Skip

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  11. Back to Monckton, so i take it that no matter what he writes no one here will read it (or at least admit to reading it) because he is a liar and a nutjob.

    Just because I said I no longer read his shit doesn’t mean I’ve not read his shit in the past.

    But if you dont read it how do you know he is lying or suffering dellusions?

    Reading his stuff is how I learned that he’s lying or suffering from delusions, or both.

    Somewhat like Coby says above, if there’s evidence that Monckton has re-entered the reality-based world, I may pay attention. Though beyond that he’d also have to learn some science. On the science front, there’s nothing for me to learn from him, because he shows no sign of knowing even basic science.

    Is it because you trust Tim Lambert and he told you so? Are you now trusting a computer scientist from Uni NSW to guide you through life? Do you know where uni NSW is? or indeed NSW?

    I have no idea where New South Wales is, nor Australia, which is amazing since I’ve actually been there …

    Lambert’s a straight shooter. He’s right about Monckton. But he’s not the reason I know Monckton’s a lying sack of shit.

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  12. Krakar,
    Have you read everything on the internet regarding global warming?
    http://tiny.cc/Vwlg9
    Obviously you haven’t. So what strategy do you employ to decide what is worth reading on the subject?
    In my case, eliminating demonstrable liars with no refereed publishing record or applicable education, still leaves far too much to read in the time I have available.

    Coby,
    Great Blog.
    Small world – Holberg 9(4)? Hard to believe it’s that long ago. Still have the chickens?

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  13. I have noticed that all the alarmist sites have been avoiding the issue but it appears that quite of bit of “peer reviewed” science is going to be re-examined now that Briffa(2000) data has been posted.

    Without Briffa(2000) the Arctic does not have exceptional warming… and the rest of the studies that used Briffa’s Yamal set, come to think of that it would be just about all of them.

    Oh, and dhogaza, good catch not that you care – actually intended to say PDO only – IRT the warm water from the Pacific. So go ahead and say something demeaning.

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  14. I’m so relieved to learn that all the recent warming measured up there, the ecosystem changes being seen, and the steadily decreasing trend in the summer minimum and winter maximum arctic sea ice extent isn’t real.

    Of course even without Briffa, Mann 2008 shows a hockey stick. We have the recent Nature piece showing the same for the arctic alone, no tree data there. There’s a brand-new paper on the east Pacific – no arctic tree ring data there.

    There are more hockey sticks out there than there are in the NHL, and McIntyre’s still going on about Briffa and Mann 98?

    And then there’s the interesting discovery that combining the data excluded by Briffa with the series used by Briffa also results in a hockey stick. McIntyre’s rational for excluding those 12 trees used by Briffa seems lame, especially given that the original argument was that “by excluding the other data, Briffa cherry-picked trees that would result in the hockey stick”. But um hmm using the full set results in a hockey stick.

    And, of course, you’re going to tell me that every paper published that shows exceptional, recent, warming has been refuted by blog scientists who don’t need to publish their results because ummm …. well, they don’t need to. You *know* they’re right!

    My guess is that the scientists involved are probably going to just ignore the bullshit and get on with their jobs.

    Science is all about moving forward, not myopically focusing on an old paper.

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  15. Phew i am glad we have that all cleared up, i am however left with one lingering doubt.

    If we dismiss what is said based on who said it then i feel we may not be getting all the information required to make an informed decision.

    For one of many examples, in Moncktons article he states that Mann used tree rings as a proxy for measuring the temp even though the IPCC warned that this type of proxy can be inaccurate and should not be used as tree rings are effected by other environmental aspects.

    Now if this is true then Manns results must be treated with a degree of scepticism, but we would not be aware of this because we have already closed our minds to what he has written.

    I look at Gore and Hansen in the same light as you view Monckton but i do not ignore/not listen to what they say. The fact that none of thier doomsday predictions look like comming to fruition reinforces my views on thier knowledge of the subject or possibly thier agendas but i only know this because i take the time to listen to what they say.

    As they say ignorance is bliss.

    Special note to Lenny,

    You raise a very good point how do you sort the wheat from the chaff, i suspect most people choose a side based on preconceived ideas/ideals or upbringings. They may be of an enviromental or political persuasion, they may feel threatened (fossil fuel industry) and the list goes on. In the end they will tend to ignore the truth in an effort to maintain thier beliefs. Galileo was locked up by the church for his views remember.

    So in the end what we do here whilst at times can be fun we will not change anyones minds because our minds are made up regardless of who says what. AGW has gone way beyond mere science it is now a way of life “we must save the planet” is the new catch cry and by God it will be saved and common sense will be the first casualty.

    Tim Flannery (2007 Australian of the year) who’s expertise is in marine biology says we must lace the atmosphere with sulphur as it is our only hope. The fact that this will produce acid rain and kill most plant life etc does not seem to bother him “we must act now!!!”

    Then we have iron fillings dumped into the oceans, crushed glass spread through the atmosphere, cloud making ships and lets not forget giant mirrors suspended in space to reflect sunlight.

    The latest idea that defies any sense of logic is that some mad scientist somewhere has found a way to genetically engineer sheep to produce less GHG’s (it would be cheaper to just sow up its arse)

    The list goes on, the question that has not/cannot and will not be asked is “How can increasing CO2 by 110ppm over a 259 year period require such extravagant unrealistic stupendously stupid ideas like this to fix it” but a lot of people which i suspect have lost the ability of free thought believe this crap.

    In other words they have lost the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff.

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  16. “Moncktons article he states that Mann used tree rings as a proxy for measuring the temp even though the IPCC warned that this type of proxy can be inaccurate and should not be used as tree rings are effected by other environmental aspects.” – Crakar

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

    “Our results extend previous conclusions that recent Northern Hemisphere surface temperature increases are likely anomalous in a long-term context. Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years WHETHER OR NOT TREE-RING DATA ARE USED. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats”

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  17. Craker said:

    i suspect most people choose a side based on preconceived ideas/ideals or upbringings.

    What a load of rubbish. Sensible, intelligent and logical people read the scientific literature and make up their minds based on the science. AGW deniers read rubbish on denier websites and if the rubbish supports their political, ideological and economic mindset they “believe” it.

    You are a typical denier with your insulting comments about competent scientists and your support for lying scumbags like Monckton, Plimer et al.

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  18. “You raise a very good point how do you sort the wheat from the chaff…”

    No, it’s not really not that hard. But then, as you go on to explain, you’re not really interested in doing so.

    And speaking of credibility, you said:

    “Tim Flannery (2007 Australian of the year) who’s expertise is in marine biology says we must lace the atmosphere with sulphur as it is our only hope. The fact that this will produce acid rain and kill most plant life etc does not seem to bother him “we must act now!!!”

    I count three lies there. Are they all yours or did you credulously reproduce them from somewhere else?

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  19. McIntyre is definitely a liar, not a nutjob like Monckton, which makes him worse in my book.

    “Briffa – his specialty is in dendroclimatology which uses tree ring data to reconstruct past climate records.”

    Mann et al (2008)

    “Our results extend previous conclusions that recent Northern Hemisphere surface temperature increases are likely anomalous in a long-term context. Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years WHETHER OR NOT TREE-RING DATA ARE USED. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats”

    How sad, no tree-ring data and still a hockey stick. No doubt deniers like Crakar will not understand.

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  20. Thanks for that DW, i am just now adding Mc Intyre to the list of liars but not the nutjob list as you suggested.

    I would like to ask two questions, firstly can you supply me with your list of liars and nutjobs, this will make debate easier in the future. Secondly if as you claim the hockey stick lives on regardless of what proxies are used, can you supply a link to where you most likely quoted out of context, cheers.

    Now onto the “son of hockey stick”, it would appear that after many years of refusing to supply any data, Briffa had up to 46 samples of data at his disposal and he only chose to use 12 which gave his graph the now infamous uptick.

    But of course it turns out that if you use the remaining data the uptick infact turns into a down tick.

    This can be clearly seen on the YAMAL RCS chronology graph in the link i posted previously.

    Now lets look at this from an unbiased, logical POV. Lets assume that the unused data was/is rubbish and merely gives us a false result (down tick) the question that springs to mind is why was Briffa not forthcoming with this info?

    Has he got something to hide? Why did he fight for so long to keep his data a secret? Is it possible that the unused data was in fact good but if included would reduce not reinforce the “there was no global MWP” mantra?

    Do you know why he has behaved in this way DW? I think i need to add Briffa to my list of liars dont you?

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  21. On a final note i am going to copy and paste a quote from another blog because i think it sums up this entire farcical fraud better than anything i could type

    “Can anyone imagine any reason that Briffa could have selected trees that had larger recent growth rings (other than the obvious). Could there be any possible reason for ruling out trees that coincidentally have grown more slowly lately? Briffa apparently is unwell at the moment, so he can’t comment, and we hope he returns soon. I do want to hear what he has to say.

    Let’s get creative, is there any situation where you could rule out 2/3rds of the data for a legitimate reason and therefore get a graph that was wildly different from what you would have otherwise got. Soil conditions? Rainfall. Altitude. Artificial fertilizing programs. Other trees were downwind of herbicide spray?

    (But of course, if there was a legitimate reason… presumably you would note that in the paper eh?)”

    Thanks goes to Joannenova.

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  22. crakar14:

    If we dismiss what is said based on who said it

    on what they do, actually, e.g. lie,

    then i feel we may not be getting all the information required to make an informed decision.

    Yes, courts make this mistake all the time and have the hide to call liars “unreliable witnesses”. Of course crakar14, with his superior intelligence, knows when everyone is or is not telling the truth.

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  23. Let me guess Mc Intyre is a liar and a nutjob also.

    Well, he’s certainly lied in the past and his manic obsession with Mann 98 is … umm … a bit unhealthy.

    Regarding Mann and tree ring data, you’re aware that the 98 paper was full of caveats, right? And that the IPCC didn’t say “tree ring data shouldn’t be used” as you suggest Monckton claims. The data is difficult to use and subject to problems, which is why so much work has been done the last decade to find MORE PROXIES.

    The problem for you, Monckton, and McIntyre and the rest is that each proxy, when studied, is in agreement with the claim that recent warming is happening much faster than has been seen in the last one or two thousand years.

    As I said above, there are more hockey sticks in climate science than in the entire NHL, and breaking Mann 98 (which has been superceded by many other studies including Mann’s last year) means nothing (not that it’s actually been broken).

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  24. Can anyone imagine any reason that Briffa could have selected trees that had larger recent growth rings (other than the obvious). Could there be any possible reason for ruling out trees that coincidentally have grown more slowly lately.

    Yes, of course. If they’ve grown more slowly while temps have been rising, then these particular trees are being limited by other resources. Ground nutrients would be a good guess, but I’m not familiar with those tree series.

    Why would you use trees that show themselves not to be good temperature proxies?

    Briffa is being accused of “cherry-picking” trees which match the available instrumental record, as though these are worse proxies than those that don’t match the available instrumental record.

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  25. That graphic would be more impressive if it actually showed what Tom P claimed it did. He reduced the smoothing to increase the noise, he did not end at 1990 so the end of his graph is comparing Briffa’s picked trees to Briffa’s picked trees which you should know if you actually read the thread where this was posted. When you stop the comparison at 1990 you get:

    Oh, and again your wrong. The trees picked by Briffa match the “global” record but unhappily, they do not match the local temperature record. So Briffa’s picked trees teleconnect to global temperatures but not to local temperature.

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  26. Oh, and again your wrong. The trees picked by Briffa match the “global” record but unhappily, they do not match the local temperature record. So Briffa’s picked trees teleconnect to global temperatures but not to local temperature.

    Says who? Watts? McIntyre? An unrefereed poster at AGU?

    When it comes to betting on clowns vs. scientists, I bet on scientists.

    But you’re a true-blue denialist who has a habit of claiming papers that support the AGW hypothesis do the opposite due to your inability to understand what they say, so I don’t expect much critical thinking from you.

    Love it … “He reduced the smoothing to increase the noise” … they bitched because of his previous smoothing, so he reduced the time period, now they’re bitching because he reduced it.

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  27. Well, you could just look at the temperature readings for the stations at Yamal and then look at what the Briffa says those trees show in his 2000 paper. I suppose you do not consider that acceptable unless it is posted in a peer reviewed journal?

    Please get your defense of the faulty chart right, he was told he was wrong for not ending the comparison in 1990, which in his second attempt, he still did not do. He did not even get slammed for the error the first time once it was determined what he did wrong. The second time he does not have that excuse. He produced a noisy chart and mis-represented what was being presented, either intentionally or unintentionally.

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  28. Well, you could just look at the temperature readings for the stations at Yamal and then look at what the Briffa says those trees show in his 2000 paper. I suppose you do not consider that acceptable unless it is posted in a peer reviewed journal?

    Well, you could just look at the temperature readings for the stations at Yamal and then look at what the McInthre says those trees show in his 2000 paper. I suppose you do not consider that acceptable unless it is posted in a peer reviewed journal?

    Oh, wait, you do accept McI’s reconstruction.

    Why?

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  29. So you agree that the chart you linked to was wrong for the reason’s I stated. Now that is out of the way…

    First, Steve M did not do a reconstruction, he did a sensitivity test. Since he did not do a reconstruction, then your question is meaningless.

    The sensitivity test showed that Briff’s results could only be obtained by cherry picking the trees he used. That when all the Peer reviewed denro samples on file for Yamal were used, there was no up tic at the end. That would be the green line on the chart I linked to.

    Do you actually know what the problem that Steve’s sensitivity test presents for Briffa and the other papers that are based on his Yamal(2000) work.

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  30. #255 crakar

    I get the same message, the ppt was there when I posted the link, a shame that it’s no longer there. The audio however was all you needed though. Here’s the all important exerpt from the transcript where Latif makes the “claim” you ascribe to him: (h/t to thingsbreak)

    “It may well happen that you enter a decade, or maybe even two- you know- when the temperature cools- alright- relative to the present level- alright?

    And then- you know- I know what’s going to happen -you know? I will get- you know- millions of phone calls- you know:

    “Eh, what’s going on? So, is global warming disappearing?” You know? “Have you lied on [sic] us?”

    So- you know- and therefore this is the reason why we need to address this decadal prediction issue.”

    Note the first four words “It may well happen” – hardly “conced[ing] that we are LIKELY entering “one or even two decades during which temperatures cool” is it?

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  31. First, Steve M did not do a reconstruction, he did a sensitivity test. Since he did not do a reconstruction, then your question is meaningless.

    Of course he did. And Briffa’s already pointing out where he erred. And TomP’s back with a similar conclusion.

    Go read some more, Vernon. McI’s blowing smoke out his ass and y’all are falling for it once again.

    Here’s the Salehard station data, within a 100 miles of the Yamal area.

    The trees picked by Briffa match the “global” record but unhappily, they do not match the local temperature record.

    Umm, see, in reality the local station data shows a statistically significant rise … Here’s the Salehard station data, within a 100 miles of the Yamal area.

    Briffa’s responded, apparently McI totally misrepresents why these series were chosen in the first place. He makes the same point others have made, McI’s exclusion of those series is totally arbitrary. McI’s replacing a series which was picked because it included long-lived trees.

    Briffa promises more analysis to come … though I’m sure deep inside he’s sighing “shit, there goes the next month of real research, now I have to waste my time proving ideological idiots wrong”. But when you’re being accused of scientific fraud, I guess you have no choice.

    And the denialsphere marches on, deluded as always.

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  32. #288

    Yup, that’s the one. The audio file is linked at comment #170

    As for the Yamal kerfuffle, Real Climate have a post up now.

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  33. Coby:

    A proposal for your consideration . . .

    I have concluded that I am out of my league with respect to the technical aspects of this forum. I haven’t the endurance for the likes of Crakar (although I still say I could drink you under the table, mate) or the ability to contribute analysis beyond what Dhogaza and the other warmists already provide.

    One thing that has struck me though, through reading as much of this as I can and in my own experiences arguing with deniers, is the importance of *narratives*. As a social scientist (although not much of one I should hasten to add) I am keen to how we interpret the world through stories and myths at least as much as through empirical data. We have a very easy time seeing “facts” and believing “information” that fits our narratives while often things that don’t slip past us–no matter how obvious.

    Part of the narratives/stories/myths we live by is our interpretation of *others’* narratives/stories/myths–what us artsy fartsies call “attribution.” (“The reason they believe this is because they are [insert narrative interpretation here].”

    Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t really see a link on A Few Things Ill Considered that is specific to this issue. Maybe something like “The Global Warming Theory is Just a Pretext for More Taxes and Government by Crypto-Socialists Who Hate Freedom and Capitalism.”

    I fully confess I have my own narrative interpretations that attach to AGW, and I think our denier friends in their better moments would admit the same.

    Its an issue that is dear to my heart and one I would feel more comfortable contributing to were it part of the forum, so it would gladden my heart if you would consider setting up a link for it.

    Skip in Reno

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  34. Looked at the pdf (thanks ATHiker #288), from what i read decadal changes need to be considered a lot more and the models have large biases in them. If we have a better understanding of decadal changes then the large bias in the models will be removed (or words to that effect)is that how you read it Chris S? It may well happen (cooling that is) a bit like the models predict (insert your favorite disaster here) may well happen does not mean it actually will does it?

    To Skip,

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/arts/comedy-festival/seeing-is-deceiving/2009/04/11/1239223104700.html

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  35. Skip,

    Sorry i screwed up the last bit

    To Skip,

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/arts/comedy-festival/seeing-is-deceiving/2009/04/11/1239223104700.html

    Should have been followed by this,

    You raise some very interesting points and whilst i agree with you this is not my area of expertise. The link i supplied is about a guy who can read other people and travels the world making money from his skill.

    He was interviewed the other day (on TV) and he said some people like me call themselves psychics and profess to talk to spirits and what have you. He says he can just read people and he went on to say you can tell someone a lie and they will believe it as long as they want to believe it.

    Which gets us back to your post, i have long thought that people “believe” in AGW because its what they want to believe. I know many people that simply believe even though they know next to nothing about the theory of AGW. The most common reason they simply believe is because they wish to save the planet, unfortunately for them reducing our CO2 emmissions will do virtually nothing (as shown in my deleted post in another thread).

    When you explain how reducing CO2 emissions will do virtually nothing the words denier and skeptic start emerging (as you say they have thier own narrative interpretations that attach to AGW) but some take the time to listen.

    By the way you said

    “I fully confess I have my own narrative interpretations that attach to AGW, and I think our denier friends in their better moments would admit the same.”

    I dont need a better moment to admit mine, if you want it just ask me.

    Cheers

    Crakar

    PS Agree you should have a link to discuss this.

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  36. Crakar,

    I’m not sure if this is the sort of thing Skip was looking for, but narratives about how the other side works are, to me anyway, an interesting sort of narrative that plays a big part in shaping people’s beliefs, and you started to touch on that here:

    Which gets us back to your post, i have long thought that people “believe” in AGW because its what they want to believe. I know many people that simply believe even though they know next to nothing about the theory of AGW. The most common reason they simply believe is because they wish to save the planet.

    I was hoping you could elaborate more, because I’ve really never understood denier views on motivations for believing in global warming. I sort of see what you’re getting at here, but it doesn’t seem to me that that many people actually work this way. For one thing, if you really do have a need to save the Planet, there are so many different problems to choose — the oceans, endangered species, the rainforest, etc., you don’t need any specific problem to exist to give yourself a planet-saving problem to work on. But the main reason I don’t buy it is that these are precisely the sort of problems people are least motivated to solve. My day job involves solving problems that I can tackle largely by myself or with a few other people and point to my solutions as things I plainly accomplished, and this is rewarding. But Global Warming? I can switch to flourescent lights and get a hybrid and ride the bus, but ultimately I’ve made hardly any difference, and without collective action that spurs significant global emissions cuts, none of it will matter. So I guess I can be an activist to push for legislation, and that can be rewarding too, but once again, why not invest my energy in health care or education or civil rights or world peace or crime or any of lots of other issues? It’s not like without global warming no one would be able to find a cause to get behind.

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  37. Hi Eric. Let me suggest a reason for a preference for AGW activism among people who are disposed to save the world. The other issues you raise – the rain forest, endangered species and the like – are doubtless important; but none has quite the end-of-time, apocalyptic, rapturous, Hollywood-disaster-movie appeal.

    These other matters simply do not provide the same frisson, the same tingle of anticipation, that arises from the contemplation of armageddon. That is what is unique about the AGW scenario. It is a perfect storm in which guilt over western materialism and a slightly hippyish mother earthism combine with – dare I mention it? – a dash of political correctness to bring about this thrilling doomsday cult.

    Here in the UK it is instructive to contemplate the people who are most prominent in the AGW ranks. By and large – not exclusively, but mainly – they are those who until recently poured their energies into socio-political activism, generally viewing the world from a leftish perpective. But the collapse of socialism and the triumph of capitalism – recent market turmoil notwithstanding – left them bereft of a cause. Then, like manna from heaven, along came AGW.

    That, at any rate, is how it seems to me Eric. Perhaps you see things differently, and I will be interested in reading your further thought.

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