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112 responses to “New bigger, better hockey stick”

  1. Dean

    Good article – thanks.

    However, I question whether we are simply on the threshold of leaving the holocene. When you expand the anaylsis beyond climate change and include human impacts on biodiversity, nitrogen cycle and to a lesser extent land and water use it seems hard to argue that we’re in anything but the Anthropocene.

  2. paul burns

    Thanks, Brian.
    That graph from Climate Progress scares the hell out of me. The end of the world, or, at least, the end of the world as we know it.

  3. mindy

    I have now seen claims that CO2 is good for grass so we will see lots more growth which equals more productivity, so it’s all good. Unfortunately they don’t tell the full story which is that it is only good for certain types of grass, not all of which is palatable to stock so any claimed productivity gains are shaky. Even the pluses for more grass growing only last about 70 years, then the effects of the higher temperatures really start to kick in – so no worries for commenters on LP but getting nasty for our children/grandchildren/greatgrandchildren and so on.

  4. Moz (is brief on his phone)

    That’s progress for you – we look set to meet or exceed our goal of 2°! Hopefully we can do as well with CO2 concentrations. Yay us.

    Terrified, of Newtown

  5. Pterosaur

    Good to see your post Brian –
    Wrt the holocene/anthropocene transition, I too, reckon we’re on the wrong side of that transition.
    Arctic Death Spiral
    related bad news
    Climate Change leads to a “new state” in the Arctic
    The scenarios presented in these articles, in combination with the results from the studies you have posted, lead increasingly to the conclusion that Runaway Climate Change may already be underway.

  6. Doug

    Brian good to see you back. While Skeptical Science is substantial they don’t always present material in a way that enables you to get the takeaway message quickly – thanks for this even though it does scare the heck out of me.

  7. John D

    Graphing temperatures over the longer time really makes it clear how fast things are changing. Too fast for many species to adapt by moving even if the there is an escape route. Too fast for gradual human migration to filter over borders. too fast for……….

  8. faustusnotes

    Rabett Run gives a nice mashup of proxies, predictions and temperature records. Rabett is also referring to the beginning of the anthropocene. Also Neven’s arctic sea ice blog is reporting some really disturbing things from the arctic – huge (1500 km long!) cracks in the sea ice and evidence that the winter sea ice peak may have already passed …

  9. indigo

    Fortunately, I can confirm that this reconstruction of global temperature, like Mann’s “hockey stick”, has exposed as a fake:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/another_hockey_stick_smashed/

  10. Martin B

    The point of the Marcott et al reconstruction was not the ‘blade’ but rather the ‘stick’. Hint: you don’t actually use ocean cores etc to measure temperatures over the last century and a bit.

    Incidentally, it is worth remembering that the NAS panel found that the original Mann temperature record was sound, despite the problem with bristlecone pine proxies.

  11. paul burns

    indigo @ 9,
    Note to self: Must believe everything Andrew Bolt writes about climate change.
    (I also believe the sun goes round the earth, the earth is flat and was created in 7 days … Need I go on?)

  12. David Irving (no relation)

    That’s nice for you, indigo. Now, run away and play, the adults are talking.

  13. faustusnotes

    indigo, McIntyre didn’t bust the original hockey stick, he only got published through pal review, and his work has been consistently rubbished. His new work on this hockey stick is a joke, an object lesson in watching people who don’t know what they’re doing trying to teach themselves stuff they don’t understand.

    Get back to us when Andrew Bolt (or McIntyre, for that matter) has a peer-reviewed publication.

  14. Ootz

    Thank you Brian, good to see you back on the CC case.

    A complementary simple and shocking graphic.
    Information is beautiful

  15. indigo

    Sarcasm, people.

  16. nottrampis

    Blatant plug but you made it.

  17. Martin B

    Whoops, better change the batteries in the irony detector :-)

  18. Lefty E

    Brian’s climate posts are back! Much missed.

  19. faustusnotes

    sorry Indigo, that comment was just too classically like a serious denier comment, it slipped beneath the sarc radar …

  20. Joe
  21. David Irving (no relation)

    Sorry, indigo.

    What html needs is a sarcasm tag …

  22. faustusnotes

    For the same reason I’m answering your question, Joe?

  23. faustusnotes

    Tamino has a post on Marcott’s reconstruction. His comment about McIntyre’s “audit” of the results:

    [I will talk about]… the necessity for alignment with modern instrumental data, and the effect of re-calculating the ages of the proxy data (an issue which Steve McIntyre really doesn’t get — and in my opinion willfully so).

    He also puts some detailed comparisons between the uptick at the end of the Marcotte reconstruction and the modern temperature record. It’s instructive …

  24. paul burns

    Okay, so the earth goes round the sun, is round and … oh shit, I’m not even going to try to get into the apples, the tree, the snake and the apes. Except to say it all happened on the Galapagos Islands. – That should put the monkeys among the pterodactyls.
    Sorry, indigo.

  25. TerjeP

    Steve McIntyre is a mathematician. In so far as he writes articles looking at the mathematical and statistical basis of climate papers he is engaged in peer review. Just because he doesn’t do his own data gathering field work doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to review the maths and statistics of scientists that do. Just because he self publishes his review and his review isn’t reviewed before it is publushed some people seek to dismiss his work. I find it disturbing that people that claim to favour a scientific approach based on peer review are so quick to dismiss Steve McIntyre whenever he does such a review. It’s as if they are groupies that can’t stand the work of their heros being analysed and critiqued. I think Steve McIntyre brings an extremely valuable voice to the discussion, but if you never bother to listen to it then you would never notice.

  26. Roger Jones

    TerjeP,

    McIntyre is an axegrinder, a serial and vexatious FOI merchant who tries to prove that every palaeo and historical temperature curve is shonky (except for the ones that show current warming is unexceptional that somehow also fail to make it through scientific peer review). What are the odds he is correct and the people who worked on them are not?

  27. faustusnotes

    McIntyre is an engineer not a mathematician, and he clearly doesn’t understand what Marcotte did – this is obvious in his fumbling post on the matter. He doesn’t do reviews, he does audits – a completely different thing – and most of his auditing involves baseless accusations of fraud. He couldn’t reproduce Lewandowsky’s work for a week, when I could do it without any code from Lewandowsky in a few minutes. His critique of the original hockey stick was a shonky trick with a major mistake that rendered it meaningless, and he couldn’t get it through peer review: he instead rushed it through a mate’s journal (3.5 weeks from submission to publication, really?)

    He should spend more time teaching basic statistics methods to the idiots who run WUWT, and less time criticizing scientist who have already passed peer review.

  28. TerjeP

    I would regard somebody that tries to poke holes in the mayhematics and statistics behind every temperature reconstruction anybody publishes to be a very useful person. As for all the petty name calling you engage in I think it is rather meaningless blabber.

  29. TerjeP

    Wikipedia says he is a mathematician:-

    Education:-
    BSc (mathematics)
    MA (philosophy, politics, and economics)

  30. TerjeP

    p.s. Steven McIntyre that is.

  31. paul burns

    Mathematicians, TerjeP, IMHO, can be very, very strange people indeed.

  32. jumpy

    TerjeP

    holes in the mayhematics and statistics behind every temperature reconstruction

    Great word and very apt.

  33. TerjeP

    Well then we better abandon the mathematics discipline entirely. We can’t be associated with strange people now can we.

  34. Roger Jones

    And what’s more, I’ve got chops in the systems that McIntyre purports to audit (climate data, palaeoclimate data and quality control) and know that he spends a great deal of time barking up the wrong tree. If he was interested in the truth he’d spend more time with it.

  35. Roger Jones

    Hi Brian, Hi everyone,

    welcome back

    just so people are warned – I have been working on two projects for the last year with people who haven’t pulled their weight and have suffered greatly for it, so if I go the poison keyboard, you know why. It’s time to put paid to rogues and fools.

  36. David Irving (no relation)

    Terje, you probably need to know that faustusnotes is also a statistician.

  37. TerjeP

    David – so is he therefore correct when he says Steve McIntyre is an Engineer?

  38. Katz

    What does Marcott mean when he says that some of his results are “probably not robust”?

  39. Martin B

    Different data sets and/or different analyses might produce significantly different results. Not to be relied upon. As I said upthread, this is not the important part.

  40. Katz

    Thanks Martin B.

    Does that mean that the “stick results” are robust.

    And if so, how do Marcott’s results contribute to our knowledge about AGW?

  41. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, how can McIntyre be a mathematician when he has no higher qualifications in mathematics, has never worked in any capacity as a mathematician, and has no history of peer-reviewed articles in mathematics journals? By this standard, Margaret Thatcher was a chemist, I’m a physicist and Paul Keating is a music industry executive.

    Also, how is it that when I or Roger criticize McIntyre’s abilities, we’re “name-calling” but when McIntyre criticizes Marcott (or directly accuses Lewandowsky of fraud) he is “a very useful person”?

    Roger Jones points out that McIntyre doesn’t understand paleo stuff. My one run-in with McIntyre was over Lewandowsky’s work. It took me a few hours to reproduce Lewandowsky’s work, produce an alternative analysis, and post a properly written report on my blog. In a week covering several posts, McIntyre managed to consistently accuse Lewandowsky of fraud but showed repeated inability to reproduce his work and couldn’t find any flaws in it. Furthermore, he was so focused on “auditing” the work – i.e. trying to get the exact same numbers – that he failed to see an obvious theoretical critique that could be identified just from reading the methods. So his “audit” failed to produce the review that would be required to improve Lewandowsky’s work.

    He obviously didn’t know what he was doing, and in a very partisan way managed to spin his ignorance into accusations of dishonesty against Lewandowsky.

    In the same week that he has been failing to “audit” Marcott, over at WUWT (which is breathlessly reposting his work) Willis Eschenbach has written some posts containing absolute statistical howlers – an analysis of storm surge data that falls at the first hurdle and a calculation of autoregression parameters that is fatally flawed, for example – but McIntyre hasn’t bothered teaching them how to do it properly, even in private email. He’s not even an auditor, just a hack.

  42. faustusnotes

    Katz, Tamino explains what this means and gives some estimates of the extent to which different methods would change “the tick.” In short: no matter how you slice it, it goes up.

  43. David Irving (no relation)

    Who cares, Terje? I’m merely pointing that he’s well placed to determine whether or not McIntyre is a bullshitter.

  44. Martin B

    The important part of the Marcott result is confirming/extending the temperature record all the way back to the end of the last glaciation. Our temperature record is pretty good for the last ~2000 years. The record earlier than this has been patchier. This study reduces the uncertainty in the middle part of the time period and provides one of the few good studies of the early part of the time period.

    The very end of the time period is included, but is really not that important. As I suggested, you use thermometers to measure the temperatures of the last ~150 years, not these kinds of proxies. (Obviously modern proxies are important, to calibrate with the instrumental record, but that’s a somewhat different issue.)

  45. TerjeP

    TerjeP, how can McIntyre be a mathematician when he has no higher qualifications in mathematics, has never worked in any capacity as a mathematician, and has no history of peer-reviewed articles in mathematics journals?

    On what basis did you call him an Engineer?

  46. TerjeP

    p.s. I don’t think accusing somebody of fraud is petty name calling. It’s a substantial accusation.

  47. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, as I understand it McIntyre has worked as a mining engineer for most of his career. Therefore …

    … do you have any response to the substance of the points made against McIntyre, or are you just going to fight a rearguard action in defense of your argument from authority?

  48. Roger Jones

    So Terje, McIntyre is making such accusations (not faustusnotes if you read carefully) of whole communities of scientists. They are serious accusations and don’t seem to be backed up by serious evidence.

  49. Joe

    So let me get this straight. Martin B says the last bit of the stick ( the bit going vertical ) isn’t important (post 49) , Murcott says that bit isn’t robust (23) yet Brian shows scary graphs with a vertical uptick at the end that get Paul (2), Moz (4) and others in a lather? This is a joke, surely?

  50. Roger Jones

    Joe,

    careful – you’ve verballed Martin B because he said it isn’t important in the analysis because by the modern era there are multiple lines of evidence – he was just using shorthand. Marcott says the proxy evidence over the past 150 years isn’t strong. I’ll back that. But it doesn’t mean that the proxy-instrumental correlations aren’t valid. Why use proxies when you have direct measurements?

    So what is the concern about the recent increases? It’s because we have actual climate measurements, not proxies, that say it’s warming rapidly on Holocene timescales. The other thing is that the warm conditions ~11,000 years ago and for a while after were due to an orbital radiation max in the northern hemisphere where the amount of land will magnify temperatures. The delay after the radiation max was because the ice sheet was still retreating and reflecting all that radiation.

    At 3,500 years before present, radiation hit a max in the S Hemisphere. Not such a big impact on global temps because it’s mostly ocean.

    If you’re going to make a point, isn’t evidence so much better than imputation?

  51. Roger Jones

    Brian,

    snap

  52. zoot

    Terge @50 – If it’s any help, from Sourcewatch:

    Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. “I’ve spent most of my life in business, mostly on the stock market side of mining exploration deals,” he said in 2009.

    They also note Deep Climate’s observation, “McIntyre and McKitrick have published exactly one – that’s right, uno – peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal.”
    This indicates to me that his mathematical ability is accurately summed up by faustusnotes and Roger Jones.

  53. Katz

    Thanks, folks for your careful answers to my questions. You have explained patiently and well the status of Marcott’s findings, and by implication the cynical opportunism of McIntyre’s pretended critique.

  54. murph the surf.

    I have a couple of questions for the knowledgeable readers here- first though would I be able to direct you to read a link to a critical piece from someone who appears to be a peer reviewed performer of some substance.
    http://www.vkooten.net/?p=469
    .
    As you can determine from his commentary the problem he sees is with the validity of the predictions. The blades of the various sticks so to speak.
    The graphs Brian uses are using history and then showing the dynamic which will lead to the tipping point of reinforcing cycles of heat gain.
    My question is therefore regarding the criticism made by Van Kooten . Does he have a reasonable argument( models using other models to reinforce their validity)on this point?

  55. TerjeP

    Okay lets see if I have this right. Even though he has no Engineering qualification it is okay to call McIntyre an Engineer. But he isn’t a mathematician because even though he did a maths degree he practiced as an engineer. And even if he used lots of maths as an engineer he didn’t publish any maths papers so he is can’t review maths work done by scientists. Even scientists that don’t have a maths degree I’m guessing. This sought of elitism seems a bit complicated.

    By all means attack McIntrye’s work but please spare us this nonsense about review work only being acceptable if the review is published in a journal and before it is published it itself must be reviewed and the reviewer can’t be trusted if he has used FOI to try and obtain raw data.

  56. faustusnotes

    There’s no elitism here, TerjeP: I didn’t raise McIntyre’s qualifications, you did. I was simply heading off your argument from authority. I note you still haven’t had anything to say on the actual criticisms offered by me and others of McIntyre’s work.

    As for publishing reviews: yes, outside of the peer review process, a review of an article is expected to be submitted to peer review, and the authors of the original article offered an opportunity to read the review and reply. This is absolutely standard practice in all branches of science as far as I’m aware. The one article McIntyre published was a critique of Mann, but it slid through peer review and Mann et al never got a chance to read it and rebut its obvious errors. So, even his one article in a peer-reviewed journal doesn’t cut the mustard.

    This is why McIntyre sticks to poor-quality, often flawed audits on his blog: no peer review, and his admiring (but very bullying) fans can’t see the obvious problems in his work. He can poison the well without interference from his personal bully pulpit.

  57. faustusnotes

    murph the surf, there seems to be a lot wrong with that article you link to. Its first sentence, for example, is misleading. The author states

    It puzzles me that funding by energy companies in support of skeptical climate research continues to be an issue; the amount of money that these private companies have contributed to skeptic research is miniscule.

    but this is wrong on multiple fronts. First of all, skeptics don’t do research, they do propaganda, and this is what energy companies fund. Secondly, most energy company is not donated to skeptic bodies directly but comes through front charities (the Guardian reports on these innocuously-named behemoths).

    In his point 1 the author uses the usual “models are not science” shtick, but this is also misleading: all science is based on models, i.e. predictions that are validated by experiment. In the case of climate, we obviously only have a natural experiment, so the concept of “validation” outside comparing model results to observation doesn’t exist. I don’t know how well the validation results for climate models compare to other fields, but the instrumental record shows rapid, sustained temperature increase. This is what the models predict.

    His point 2 suggests that he is convinced the sun is the cause of warming: this is largely dismissed by climate science.

    His point 4 is wrong in many, many ways, rhetorical and factual. First of all, he assumes there is no low-carbon way to produce energy for the poor, which is rubbish: nuclear is the obvious bet. Second, he claims that all future effects of climate change will be small and he would be happy to live in a world that is 5-8 C warmer. The effects of climate change are obvious and happening now: the collapse in sea ice, occurring far faster than the models predict, is driving the wild weather afflicting the atlantic Northern Hemisphere now. This is not some kind of future terror, it’s happening now. Contrary to his protestations, it’s likely that hurricane Sandy only made landfall because of the changes in the arctic. Also, an 8C warmer world is likely to see regular widescale collapses in agriculture, huge population movements, and other large scale collapse in ecosystem services. The author seriously understates the possible risks to the ecosystem, and minimizes the damage that AGW will cause.

    Finally in point 5, he sets up a range of strawmen (climate scientists only support a carbon tax) and again raises the false dichotomy of carbon vs. energy.

    He seems to have some interesting points about ecosystem services and valuation of carbon sinks, but overall it seems like he has a very skewed view of the research on AGW, overstates the costs of mitigation and significantly understates the threat. He also overstates the uncertainty in climate science (e.g. claiming the hockeystick has been “trashed” when nothing like that has happened). I think that post is largely wrong.

  58. Roger Jones

    murph @62,

    had a quick read. His objections are pretty much political and ideological. His claim that because the models cannot be validated, they are no good waves away all of the science on a non-sensical objection.

    No complex model can be validated in the strict sense of the term, they can only be evaluated (this conclusion is from the social sciences), and the climate models have been widely evaluated. The criteria are subjective and based on scientific conventions. This is not unique to climate models. There is not one economic model on the planet that would pass his criteria. Do we have any dynamic economic models that reproduce the economy of the 20th century? I don’t think so.

    He claims that Stern based his conclusions on elicited values of willingness to pay. Stern gave three levels of damages: direct economic, direct plus indirect economic, then total value including the value of extinction. At the direct economic cost, the lowest estimate, Stern’s conclusion that it was worth acting still held. This objection is straightforward cherry-picking.

    And the methods I use for attributing climate change don’t use climate models. He overlooks all such techniques to make people think all climate change is based on the models that he waved away in his first few paras.

    Some of his stuff on rorting may be accurate but it doesn’t disprove the science. This is reverse causality.

    All in all, pretty standard hands over the eyes and ears and head-in-the-sand type criticisms.

  59. faustusnotes

    On model validation, Eli Rabett today has a cute post looking at how well the 1990 IPCC projections stand up. He compares it with “skeptical research” and makes it pretty clear that the models are better than most of the skeptical alternatives …

  60. Martin B

    I have a couple of questions for the knowledgeable readers here

    There will be others better placed than I am to comment but my observations are as follows:

    a) He is probably on reasonable ground on the criticisms within his area of expertise ie the economics of climate policy, specifically problems with international linking, but is on extremely shaky ground the further he goes outside this area

    b) It is just wrong to say climate models aren’t validated by data, they are validated by hindcasting with both historical and paleoclimate data. Now there are certainly issues that can be raised here, but to say that it doesn’t happen seems to me to be somewhat polemical.

    c) If he is convinced by ‘astrophysical’ explanations of recent temperature data then he might be a candidate for strong confirmation bias. No one denies the connection between solar activity and climate but there is simply no evidence for the existence of direct or indirect effects of the strength that would be required, and most of the models (ooh er) that have been proposed are essentially ‘here is a mechanism that in principle seems able to explain the effect (but the mechanism hasn’t been proven and we have no evidence that it has been in operation)’. I don’t think there are any that could go beyond ‘speculative’.

    d) I’d be personally surprised if there is a major university anywhere in which a majority of vaguely relevant academic staff are “skeptical about the human origins of supposed global warming” but obviously that’s just an opinion.

  61. Martin B

    There will be others better placed than I am to comment

    Hmm, and one of them just did ;-)

  62. TerjeP

    There’s no elitism here, TerjeP: I didn’t raise McIntyre’s qualifications, you did. I was simply heading off your argument from authority.

    Actually you did. You said:-

    Get back to us when Andrew Bolt (or McIntyre, for that matter) has a peer-reviewed publication.

    That implied to me that their arguments are dismissed by you because they don’t have the relevant authority to comment. It is your prerogative to disregard opinions that you believe lack authority. But it is a bit rich to then accuse others of making appeals to authority. My comment defending McIntyre was in direct response to your implicit claim that he had no business making comments at all. It was you that started making arguments on the basis of authority. I stand by what I said.

  63. faustusnotes

    There’s no elitism in demanding peer review, TerjeP. Good quality journals don’t demand any special qualifications or achievements, they don’t charge to publish, it’s simply a question of getting your work past peer review. It’s telling that you think demanding work be of a publishable standard is a sign of elitism. Those poor dears in the skeptic community, being excluded from the debate because they can’t do basic science … how our hearts must bleed for them!

    Demanding work be peer reviewed is not an argument from authority. It is simply a demand for the argument to be assessed on its own merits. Isn’t that what you libertarian types always demand when you argue against requiring people to declare their funding sources? But now when it’s used against feeble climate skeptic science, it’s elitism?

    No, the argument from authority was your implication that we should listen to a man with no publications, no experience in the field and no qualifications, because (in your words) he’s a mathematician.

  64. FDB

    Terje – anyone at all can have a paper reviewed and published. In theory at least, qualifications have nothing to do with it – though of course they will help get past the initial barrier of being read seriously by reviewers.

    You brought up qualifications, end of story.

  65. jumpy

    FDB

    You brought up qualifications, end of story.

    No, @13 did.
    But what amazes me is we can be positively sure what global temp was 10,000 years ago to the 10th of a degree.
    In fact I find it incredible.

  66. FDB

    Jumpy, did you read what I wrote?

    If so, try again. It’s pretty clear.

  67. faustusnotes

    jumpy, at 13 I brought up the fact that McIntyre et al have never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Once again for the gallery: the demand that people be published in a peer-reviewed journal has nothing to do with qualifications.

    The first person to raise qualifications in this thread was TerjeP.

  68. Roger Jones

    To follow up on the “no qualifications” tag. I am finalising a high level report with a colleague who has “no qualifications”. We have written two context papers that have been well received. My colleague has won prizes for conference presentations. What my colleague has, is lots of experience, a very quick mind and is a systems thinker.

    We are embarking on a series of peer reviewed papers that I have no doubt will be published because of the quality of the content. There will be a vigorous response from reviewers, all the same.

    That’s all that is needed: a bit of grey matter and a bit of nous.

  69. Roger Jones

    Jumpy @73,

    now you are making yourself look really silly.

    Whoops! Uncertainty bands. Oh noes, who put them there?

  70. jumpy

    Roger
    Some of the graphs in the opening piece and the links don’t have them uncertainty bands dagnamit. Please, by all means, apply for some tax dollars to get to the bottom of it.
    My question to you, oh venerable one, is do you consider the graphs above as FACT ? Rock solid?

    Yours respectfully
    Jumpy ( the non- condescending, inquisitive and polite gentleman )

  71. jumpy

    Anyway, forgetting Rogers crankiness ( we were warned @40 :) )
    Does Allan Savory stand up to the ” qualification test ” and the ” peer-review test” ?
    I found his talk informative, thought provoking and constructive
    (22 mins)

  72. duncanm

    Nice that the Tamino graph stops at -20k years, wot?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

    (hint: don’t look back 125k yr)

  73. TerjeP

    I mentioned qualifications @29. This was in response to @13. And @13 was an argument by authority.

    As I said it is a bit rich to accuse people of argument by authority when you are busy dismissing arguments on that very basis.

  74. TerjeP

    Terje – anyone at all can have a paper reviewed and published.

    Yes and anybody can publish a criticism of a paper. And the criticism is not invalid simply because it didn’t go through the peer review process.

  75. Roger Jones

    Jumpy, you were the one claiming false precision. The second graph should put paid to that.

    And no, don’t go down the “fact” route, false precision again. These are estimates, but as faustusnotes says, they are fairly insensitive to choice of method, as was the original hockey stick.

    And I find this paper interesting, but not a smoking gun for anything. They confirm a bunch of other stuff. But the world of 11,500 ybp is not a good analogue for now – its orbital characteristics were very different. Today’s world should be cooler, but it’s not any more. They do point this out.

  76. faustusnotes

    TerjeP, 13 was the opposite of an argument from authority. It was an argument about the quality of McIntyre’s work. He’s welcome to get his work published but he can’t because people find obvious flaws in it.

    Yes, anyone can put their criticism on a webpage. But as WUWT shows, without passing through peer review they’re often just posting up transparently stupid, clearly wrong material. I have given you examples, which you refuse to engage with because you can’t. None of the work I referenced could possibly be published in a peer reviewed journal because it is wrong. This is not an argument from authority, but a simple statement that these people are doing it wrong. That you think peer review is not a useful way to adjudicate the quality of scientific work speaks volumes about how you are engaging with scientific debate.

  77. murph the surf.

    Thank you for the responses.
    I wasn’t so much interested in the economics and politics of the piece rather the argument he made about models being used to validate other models.
    Roger mentions economic modelling but as Paul Frijters has been discussing over at Troppo try as they might economists can’t produce an effective predictive model I think due to the complexity and vast number of variables involved.
    Martin B mentions the results for the models re hindcasting but is this suitable? By that I wonder if the models haven’t used this very data to derive their formulation.
    When the Berkeley project started I naively thought it would resolve a lot of the past conflicts.
    I have been coming from a more applied approach to this matter ( agriculture and chemisty)so the idea that adding more and more of an active agent into a closed system can be done without consequences never convinced me anyway!Really I’m happy with thermometer records from 1860 ( or 1880?) and these convoluted arguments about proxies do seem aimed at obfuscation and distraction.

  78. faustusnotes

    murph, the arguments about proxies are aimed at investigating past weather, and I think they’re important because they help us to understand whether changes happening now are unprecedented. They’re very far from obfuscatory, but some skeptics want them to be seen that way as a rhetorical basis for the “climate change is natural” argument.

    As I understand it the models are not built on past data per se, but on systems of differential equations that are solved numerically from assumed values. The hind-casting would, I’m assuming, be part of the process of calibrating parameters and model structure before running forward. It’s perfectly possible to calibrate a model on one data set and check its predictive accuracy on another (in fact, since we observe new observations after the model generates predictions, this always happens).

    TerjeP, my response to you is trapped in the filter.

  79. BilB

    To save me some typing this is a comment from another spot.

    Following a recent comment from Tim Flannery it has become pretty clear in my mind on how global warming will progress. Flannery pointed out that a key element in the process is the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. Spot on.

    So while global average temperature is climbing steadily, Global Warming at this stage does not appear locally in the form of day time temperature so much as it does in humidity. With the warming oceans humidity rises in the tropical band which extends further poleward. That humidity releases its huge amount of energy and moisture content in the increased storm activity and at night. The temperature rise is most evident in the average night time temperature. The other energy dynamic, I believe, is in the rate of atmospheric circulation, ie evidenced in the Hadley Cell performance.

    The Polar ice is under attack in the Northern Hemisphere from intensified atmospheric and solar activity largely, and in the South by intensified ocean current activity. Each affecting the weather in different ways, the common factor being an increased movement of colder water and air towards the equator to provide a seemingly contradictory array of weather events.

    I had to endure a tirade from a Monktonite who claimed to have temperature records going back to the year dot, And I have no doubt that he did. But it was in pondering his claim that I realised the significance of Flannery’s comment. The increased energy in the atmosphere is in the form of humidity which does not necessarily affect the daytime temperature, but it does have a huge impact in the rarely mentioned night time temperature, sustaining the high temperature from the day till much later in the morning. Where it is most dramatically and visibly evident is in weather event intensity which even the most indolent of news feeds are recognising as being a significant change from the past.

    I would have thought that a US scale tornado charging along the Murray river would be all that was needed to demonstrate that there is real change underway, but again the “its not in my back yard” syndrome prevails. So the Jumpys of the world who I believe live in the north would not feel an increase in humidity, but those of us in the south who got a massive dose this summer certainly did. It wasn’t actually hotter, but it certainly felt it. And it is always important to keep an eye on that BOM Southern Oscillation Index Graph Archive which at the moment appears determined to stay neutral.

  80. Mark

    Just for the sake of keeping your readership fully informed, we should note that following intense pressure from McIntyre and the internet peer review system, these authors have now admitted that “the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes . . “. Soooo…. when looking at the graph at the top of this article, you should now ignore the last 100 yrs. Therefore this, despite the advanced publicity, is not a hockey stick and isn’t in the slightest a confirmation of Mann’s discredited graph.

  81. Fran Barlow

    Roger:

    If {McIntyre} was interested in the truth he’d spend more time with it.

    Harsh. I’m sure he still likes the odd booty call: “truthiness” is the term IIRC.
    ;-)

  82. Paul Norton

    Mark, take your hand off it.

  83. faustusnotes

    Mark, they stated that clearly in the original paper. Perhaps, like McI, you didn’t read it?

    Or perhaps you’re plagiarizing McI’s stupidity …

  84. Martin B

    The ‘hockey stick’ shape consists of a flat stick anx a rapidly increasing blade. This study isn’t so much about the blade but it does confirm that the ‘stick’ is flat.

  85. Mark

    faustusnotes wrote:

    Mark, they stated that clearly in the original paper. Perhaps, like McI, you didn’t read it?

    Yes they did, sought of, say it in the original paper, which I did indeed read.

    Then they went out into the real world and said:

    “What we found is that temperatures increased in the last 100 years as much as they had cooled in the last 6,000 or 7,000,” – Marcott

    “Since then, temperatures have been increasing at a dramatic clip: from the first decade of the twentieth century to now, ” Nature

    “Then, in the late 19th century, the graph shows temperatures shooting up, driven by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions.” New Scientist

    And in myriad other locations, the ‘uptick’ was written up and spoken of as the crux of the graph by both the authors, science publications and the non-scientific press. Nowhere did the authors rush to set these non-scientific publications right. They clearly stoked the view that they had found a new HS. Marcott even asserted that his graph confirmed MBH98.

    Its a clear case of science by press release where the aim is to get the word out that the alarmists are right whether or not the data supports that assertion. Its going to be interesting to see just how many of those people and publications who gleefully carried the original story now report the author’s ‘clarifications’. Not too many I’d venture.

    Just as with Gergis et al, where people were left with the impression that they’d found something real because the paper’s withdrawal wasn’t reported anything like as well as its original release, this one will also enter the alarmist folklore as a true representation of 20th century temps.

    “Mark, take your hand off it.”

    Brilliantly argued Paul. A concise, fact-filled demolition of my views. How can I proceed in the face of such intellect?

  86. Paul Norton

    Now take your other hand off.

  87. Paul Norton

    And the correct spelling is “sort”, not “sought”.

  88. faustusnotes

    So you read the paper, you knew that they said it in the paper, but here you wrote:

    following intense pressure from McIntyre and the internet peer review system, these authors have now admitted that …

    So you did here exactly what you accused the authors of doing. Does this strike you as in any way hypocritical.

    Also Mark, unless you deny the instrumental record, the uptick is irrelevant and (as has been observed multiple times) in their paper the authors make clear that their conclusions about warming in the past 100 years are drawn from the instrumental record, not their research.

    Of course, you probably do deny the instrumental record, don’t you?

  89. Mark

    “The sort of garbage you are bringing here isn’t welcome. Please deposit it somewhere else to save me the trouble of putting you in automod.”

    Yes, I’d read that contrary views weren’t permitted on this site.

  90. faustusnotes

    No Mark, contrary views are welcome. But mindless regurgitation of lies is not.

  91. Mark

    OK, let me clarify…its all the rage.

    You seem to have adopted the view that what’s in the paper has to be seen in isolation and that anything said by the author’s elsewhere is to be ignored or is superseded by the paper.

    But in a world where climate science is as much about the politics as about the search for truth, what the author’s have said about the paper is as important as what they say in the paper. At no time, outside the paper, did they point out that the ‘uptick’ had no validity. Nor did they try to disabuse others of that notion. Its only now that their position is becoming untenable that they are try to walk it back.

    What the author’s said in releasing the paper and what others said upon its release leaves no doubt that they were suggesting (or saying outright) that the ‘uptick’ was the crux of the matter.This is why people like Revkin are saying “there’s also room for more questions — one being how the authors square the caveats they express here [in the FAQ] with some of the more definitive statements they made about their findings in news accounts.”

    If you think its OK to just tack the instrument record onto the end of the graph then clearly you’re not as well versed in these issues as you think. On the other hand, that methodology is a great way to “hide the decline”.

    Equally, you really ought to know that using the instrument record with a resolution of days or less in conjunction with proxy records with a resolution of ~300yrs is,shall we say, a bit naughty.

  92. faustusnotes

    Mark, do you accept the finding of the paper, that temperatures were hotter in the holocene and cooled over the period to 1950?

    Do you accept the instrumental record, that modern temperatures have increased since 1950?

    Can you put those two facts together?

  93. faustusnotes

    … and regarding resolution, you’re confusing frequency space and time. Tamino has a post today about how silly the resolution claims are, go and check it out.

  94. Martin B

    Then they went out into the real world and said:

    “What we found is that temperatures increased in the last 100 years as much as they had cooled in the last 6,000 or 7,000,” – Marcott

    Indeed. Technically, they should have said: “What we found is that temperatures cooled in the last 6,000 or 7,000 as much as they have increased in the last 100 years.”

    “Since then, temperatures have been increasing at a dramatic clip: from the first decade of the twentieth century to now, ” Nature

    Tim McDonnell wrote that. There is no evidence that Marcott et al said any such thing.

    “Then, in the late 19th century, the graph shows temperatures shooting up, driven by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions.” New Scientist

    Michael Marshall wrote that. There is no evidence that Marcott et al said any such thing.

    Marcott even asserted that his graph confirmed MBH98.

    Which is true, because the study (basically) confirms the ‘stick’ shape back ~7000 years, and the instrumental record over the last 100 years is common knowledge.

    Its a clear case of science by press release

    No, SbPR happens when a PR is issued before a study is published and thus before its claims can be scrutinised. In this instance the study was published in a peer-reviewed journal before the PR were issued, allowing everyone to scrutinise its claims.

    At no time, outside the paper, did they point out that the ‘uptick’ had no validity.

    Given that the above comments indicate that you are complaining mostly about what other people wrote, this claim would require you to have knowledge of the contents of all of their discussions with these writers. I suspect you can’t sustain this.

    Its only now that their position is becoming untenable that they are try to walk it back.

    A way you could say the same thing from a different point of view is that “It’s only now that their work has been so repeatedly misrepresented that they are trying to be as clear as they can possibly be about their findings.

    in a world where climate science is as much about the politics as about the search for truth

    Sadly for some people the subject seems to be more about politics than any search for truth.

  95. Martin B

    Seem to still be in the spambucket, probably for putting in three links…

  96. Mark

    Come on Martin B. Clearly I wasn’t saying Marcott directly said those things. I even noted where they were written. But these and many other publications were paraphrasing what they were told the research revealed and Marcott et al failed to disabuse them of their erroneous understanding until their position became untenable.

    Mark, do you accept the finding of the paper, that temperatures were hotter in the holocene and cooled over the period to 1950?

    Yep…well to 1800 -1900 or so and also remembering the resolution scale of 300 yrs or so. So yes the trend line was a cooling through to the last century or so.

    Do you accept the instrumental record, that modern temperatures have increased since 1950?

    Yep…even back to 1850 or maybe further if you accept the CET data.

    So putting it together we have a cooling which may or may not contain many, many periodic warmings within it, followed by a relatively short warming (relative to their resolution of 300yrs).

    upshot… we have a warming that may or may not have been repeated many many times in the past 6000yrs. The data in the paper is unable to resolve that issue despite what they originally intimated.

    And despite what Tamino might try to ‘prove’. His reconstruction is just too cute, assuming a warming from out of the blue followed by a cooling which miraculously takes the same amount of time as the warming and is of the same magnitude. Consider what would happen if the warming follows a cooling like, say, a warming recovery from the LIA.

    But don’t take my word for it. Lets listen to the newest junior members of the Hockey Team…

    “the smoothing presented in the online supplement results in variations shorter than 300 yrs not being interpretable”

    .

    That is, there could have been lots of 100yr warming periods interspersed with the overall cooling period. Anyone ever heard of the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period?

  97. faustusnotes

    Mark 1 (my emphasis):

    So putting it together we have a cooling which may or may not contain many, many periodic warmings within it

    Mark 2:

    [Tamino's] reconstruction is just too cute, assuming a warming from out of the blue followed by a cooling which miraculously takes the same amount of time as the warming and is of the same magnitude

    Do you not understand how statement 2 is criticizing the exact thing you claim might be happening in statement 1?

    Also, once again: you are confusing the frequency and time domains. The resolution of the proxies is ~120 years.

  98. Mark

    Do you not understand how statement 2 is criticizing the exact thing you claim might be happening in statement 1?

    um, yes. That rather was my point.

    Marcott says they can’t interpret anything shorter than 300yrs. Tamino tries to show how indeed they could. But the scenario he sets up is entirely unrealistic.

    Also, once again: you are confusing the frequency and time domains. The resolution of the proxies is ~120 years.”

    Don’t tell me, tell Marcott who wrote:

    “Any small “upticks” or “downticks” in temperature that last less than several hundred years in our compilation of paleoclimate data are probably not robust, as stated in the paper.”

  99. Martin B

    Marcott says they can’t interpret anything shorter than 300yrs. Tamino tries to show how indeed they could. But the scenario he sets up is entirely unrealistic.

    Mark, sorry, but I don’t think you are getting this.

    Either there are no century-scale rapid warming events (like we have seen in the last century) in the paleohistory, or there are but they have been missed because the temporal resolution (~300 years) is too coarse.

    If there is not a century-scale rapid warming event in the paleohistory then the ‘stick’ shape is confirmed and the current warming is indeed unprecedented since the last deglaciation.

    If there is a century-scale rapid warming event in the paleohistory but it has been missed because the temporal resolution is too coarse then we know two things about this warming event:

    a) the warming lasted for only a century (or just more than) and
    b) it was followed by a cooling of the same amount.

    We know a) because if the warming was much longer than a century it would show up at the 300 year resolution, which is contrary to hypothesis.

    We know b) because if the warming and cooling were not of the same amount we would see a significant step-like change in the temperature record, which is contrary to fact – we do not see any such changes in the record.

    The scenario Tamino sets up may look ‘cute’ and ‘unrealistic’ but it is the only way that a rapid century-scale warming could have escaped detection in this analysis. Far from being too kind to Marcott et al by constructing this scenario, he is going out of his way to construct the kind of ‘cute, ‘unrealistic’ scenario that your friends are suggesting might have happened.

  100. Mark

    a) the warming lasted for only a century (or just more than) and
    b) it was followed by a cooling of the same amount.

    Or was preceded by a cooling event. Let’s, just for the heck of it, give it a name…the Dalton Minimum perhaps? (queue protests that the Dalton minimum was a localised event).

    I really admire the way you guys are determined to square the circle, but, in the end,there is no way to use this paper to show that the 20th century warming was/is unprecedented.

  101. Martin B

    Come on Martin B. Clearly I wasn’t saying Marcott directly said those things. I even noted where they were written. But these and many other publications were paraphrasing what they were told the research revealed and Marcott et al failed to disabuse them of their erroneous understanding until their position became untenable.

    And as I pointed out making that claim relies on knowledge that you cannot possibly have – the specific content of conversations between the authors and the reporters – so you are making assumptions and making them in bad faith.