Sunday, September 16, 2007

Deniers Rediscover The Hockey Stick!

Ultra deniers Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre have been hard at work. Anthony Watts has ranked about one third of U.S. surface stations according to the new CRN siting guidelines. Meanwhile, Steve McIntyre and several of his commenters have graphed the resulting temperature trends from the "good" (CRN class 1 and 2) stations as well as the "bad" (CRN5) stations. It would be fair to say that both expected the warming trend apparent in the GISSTEMP (Goddard Institute For Space Studies) data set to disappear once this had been done. As Anthony has written, "you have to wonder if the whole house of cards isn't about to start falling down". It would be fair to say, however, that they have both been disappointed. Their preliminary results are given in the above graph, provided by one John V (a frequent poster on Climate Audit), who writes:

The first plot shows the 5yr average temperature for the lower 48:- red line is for stations with CRN=1 and CRN=2 (CRN12, the good stations).- green line is for stations with CRN=5 (CRN5, the bad stations).- blue line was downloaded from GISS on Sept 14, 2007 (GISS).
The agreement between the results is very good for all sets.

And concludes (emphasis mine):

I think these plots speak for themselves, but here are my conclusions:- There is good agreement between GISS and CRN12 (the good stations)- There is good agreement between GISS and CRN5 (the bad stations)- On the 20yr trend, CRN12 shows a larger warming trend CRN5 in recent years.

To be honest, this is starting to look like a great validation of GISTEMP.

If the Deniers can't deny it, then I think we're on pretty solid ground. But McIntyre's not giving up yet. He's standing on his head and looking at the data all squinty eyed, to see if he can't make the numbers go in another direction. So far, however, the resemblance is astonishing.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt! No more appearances on Rush Limbaugh for these two.


Anonymous said...

hey - does your boy Steffi still believe in Kyoto . . must be tough to keep the Faith, to Believe, when you are caught with your pants down.

OTTAWA -- Federal bureaucrats questioned whether Canada could meet its Kyoto Accord commitments even before the Conservatives took power, according to a ministerial briefing obtained by Sun Media.

The paper copy of a power-point presentation assembled for incoming Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn specifically addresses whether Canada's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels during the next four years and when Canada can pull out of the accord.

One page raises the question, "Whether/when to acknowledge Canada will be very unlikely to meet target?"

It goes on to state the government "Cannot formally 'de-ratify' (Kyoto) until 2009."

The document,dated Feb. 3, 2006, was only days before Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet was sworn in after the Conservatives' election victory. Less than two months earlier, the former Liberal environment minister Stephane Dion hosted a conference on climate change.

"Once again, the Liberals have been caught misleading Canadians," said environment minister John Baird's communications director Garry Keller. "This document clearly shows that in the dying days of the Liberal government they were fully aware that Canada had no chance of meeting our Kyoto targets."

Ti-Guy said...

Shaddup, Ding Dong.

Anonymous said...


well that's responding to the point with facts and logical arguments.

bigcitylib said...

Anti-guy wrote:

"...well that's responding to the point with facts and logical arguments."

Yeah, Ti-guy, find something to cut and paste.

Anonymous said...

This is not a hockey stick. The slopes are roughly the same during the two periods that T increases and the high T's are about the same (30's and late 90's).

Anonymous said...

It's never been a hockey stick.

It's a scythe.

Anonymous said...

BigCityLib - John V has ammended his comments regarding GISTEMP and your above quote is now inaccurate.

Please update your post to reflect the update by John V.

EliRabett said...

Well, if you had read the 2001 GISTEMP manuscript, what did you expect??

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:42 PM, I rushed over to look and... what update? I saw several comments by John V., but nothing in the way of a substantial amendment. Link to whatever you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

When irony fails:

Having had to read that entire thread trying to find anon 1:42 PM's reference, I notice that Steve M.'s fallback position is to say that the USHCN stations are indeed "high quality" after months of pouring derision on NOAA for having done the same. He says that they've obviously passed a quality test that the GHCN stations in the rest of the world, in particular China, haven't been subjected to. Desperate scramble, anyone?

Regarding the test, what test? If he's referring to the COOP station standards, IIRC the bulk of the USHCN stations pre-date those.

bigcitylib said...

Steve, Anon 1:42. The problem is that all the graphs McIntyre has generated come out looking pretty much like the official record.

All that work to reinvent the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, bcl. What's most amusing are the cries of "Stop the analysis before it's too late!" :)

Also, I'd really like to know who John V. is, although I suppose I never will. Possibly it's a play on John A.? Did John V. appear just recently, BTW?

Anonymous said...

CA does get a *lot* of posts so it is easy to lose track. Here is the correction from John V:

Both Steve Mc and John V admit the analysis is in the very early stages for this particular puzzle.

For those not regular readers of CA, there are multiple puzzles being simultanously analyzed. There are even more in the "todo" list. It's quite amazing to watch.

Anonymous said...

BCL and Steve B.

You are both missing the point entirely. The point is not at the moment what the temperature record shows. The point is

(a) the stations do not conform to the operating body's standards.

(b) the adjustments have been done improperly and non-transparently

(c) the code has only been released reluctantly and under pressure, and has turned out to not be as robust as represented

(d) the station record has been shown to be so unreliable that the temperatures from the thirties we had thought established for good have been moving up and down several times over the last month. Again, with not notice of why or how.

Now, the US station record never supported a hockey stick or AGW or even GW to start with. So that is not the point.

The point is, we have had bad science coupled with obfuscation of the badness. This is what you guys need to confront. It is about the quality of the science that goes into AGW theory. At the moment, what CA has done is convince a lot of us that we can only trust Hansen, Mann, Jones, Briffa, Esper and so on's work just as far as we have personally verified every single piece of it. This is a dreadful position for them and us to be in.

This was not where we all came in. I at least came in taking it all at face value, including the proxy record. Its only when one thing after another has been blown up that I have started to think the whole thing is a crock.

Let me point out one other thing. If there really is AGW, and if it really is a threat to the planet, and if we really have a limited time to act, and we do not, the main culprits will be the above with their sloppy work, bad statistics and concealment. They will be the main reason we distrust the whole thing. If you like, they will be the prime culprits in the promotion of disbelief.

Think about it, the next time one of them refuses to reveal some dodgy data. Ice cores anyone?

What we need to see is an admission, perhaps in bold face on Real Climate, that MBH98 was wrong, that Jones' Chinese stations were not as represented, that the GISS adjustments were wrong. The ice core data must also be revealed, or it must be forthrightly condemned for not. CA says Esper has a backlog of requests too that must be dealt with. Then, and only then, can we move forwards from a basis of credibility. We are not going to believe you until something like this is done.

Now, do you want to convince us, or not?

Anonymous said...


you are really nuts, Steve McI and Anthony Watts are not deniers. But your brain is maybe to small to understand this...

Marion Delgado said...

anonymous troll-shill, I do not want to convince you of anything. I want to go past you to the public and expose you. Your lying crap sold better 10 years ago.

Now it's simply an attempt to delay, delay, delay until - you hope - nothing can be done. You're despicable. On second thought, I would like to convince you not to reproduce.

Anonymous said...

My dear marion delgado, do you or do you not admit that Wegman showed MBH98 to be garbage? Do you or do you not admit that GISS has been revising its data recently? Do you or do you not admit that Jones only released his Chinese station data under FOI proceedings, and then it turned out the metadata was missing?

Do you not agree that this is a pattern?

Anonymous said...

1) The NRC report showed that Wegman was garbage. All bluster and no content, which is par for the course in this "debate." The fact that the "auditors" haven't submitted their own temperature reconstruction to a credible journal despite nearly 10 years to work on it tells us everything we need to know.
2) NASA has made adjustments in the past and will continue to make adjustments in the future.

Anonymous said...

Verbatim Quote from Wegman:

In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and
the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling. We also comment that they were attempting to draw attention to the discrepancies in MBH98 and MBH99, and not to do paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction. Normally,one would try to select a calibration dataset that is representative of the entire dataset. The 1902-1995 data is not fully appropriate for calibration and leads to a misuse in principal component analysis.

However, the reasons for setting 1902-1995 as the calibration point presented in the narrative of MBH98 sounds reasonable, and the error may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. We note that there is no evidence that Dr.Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature
reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. This committee does not believe
that web logs are an appropriate forum for the scientific debate on this issue.

It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

Anonymous said...

"Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis."

Well the committee was wrong about that, weren't they.

Anonymous said...

"All that work to reinvent the wheel."

That's always been the point of this. To verify and validate that what is said to be true is. McI has said that NASA's U.S. network and methods look good so far. And that NOAA has different results.

My question to you is if a time with 90 ppmv less CO2 had basically the same temperature as now, what explains that, if CO2 is the primary driver? The answer is, it isn't, and even the IPCC has gotten it - land use changes and the properties of the surface. "...the concentration of atmospheric constituents or properties of the surface that absorb or scatter radiant energy..."

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous...

Mann's purpose was to represent a subset of data by PCA, not, as is commonly the case, to isolate a particular signal within the data to be subject for further analysis.
By this criterion, correct application of PCA should not alter the shape of the final reconstruction... MBH and also Wahl and Amman 2006 have shown that this is true for MBH98 but not for M&M.
M&M's claim that the hockeystick is an artefact of PCA is therefore entirely false and should have been withdrawn yonks ago... how can he claim that the hockey stick is an artefact of PCA if using no PCA at all generates the same result? How can he be amazed that the climate science community continue to treat MBH98 as valid?
Rather it is M&M's use of PCA which substantially alters the shape of the reconstruction, renedering a result which has no climatological skill. M&M used PCA to incorrectly eliminate a substantial part of the data without valid a priori reason.
McIntyre continued dodging fails basic logic.
As someone pointed out, he can do the maths (sometimes), but he has problems relating the numbers and procedures to the real world... viz his terrible confusion over global temperature averages.
The above is of course the elephant in the room which Wegman failed to notice.
He also failed to pick up on M&M's incorrect generation of red noise to test the RE significance.

Anonymous said...

What the frauditors never seem to pick up on (since they all agree that they're too smart to be suckered) is that Wegman is an NAS insider and his involvement was intended from the start to give Inhofe and Barton enough to shut them up.

They also have a poor memory. While the specific conclusion of MBH about the then-most recent decade having been the warmest in a millenium is an arguable matter of scientific judgement (noting that MBH did not state it without a caveat), their more general conclusion that the surface temp plot of the the last thousand years was more or less flat was the major finding and the reason why it was heavily featured in the SPM.

Anonymous said...

12:55 PM anon: You guys just can't keep the forcing/feedback thing straight. During most of climate history CO2 hasn't been the primary driver (i.e., has been a feedback rather than a forcing). Occasionally it has been the primary driver (forcing), with unpleasant consequences. The past episodes have been due to vulcanism, but now we're the ones generating the CO2 pulse. The other GHGs, black carbon and land use changes aren't helping.

It's important to keep in mind that even during the times when CO2 is mainly a feedback it still acts to keep the planet much warmer than it would otherwise be. This is basic atmosphere physics that nobody but a few crackpots disputes. Take the CO2 away and you get Snowball Earth.

Anonymous said...

One more time: what was Wegman's bottom line? and why don't certain people ever quote it?

I think Wegman [3] got it right:

'As we said in our report, "In a real sense the paleoclimate results of MBH98/99 are essentially irrelevant to the consensus on climate change. The instrumented temperature record clearly indicates an increase in temperature." We certainly agree that modern global warming is real. We have never disputed this point. We think it is time to put the "hockey stick" controversy behind us and move on.'

Anonymous said...

I should add to my penultimate comment:

... enough to shut them up until the AR4 came out or they were out of power, which turned out be near-simultaneous events.

Anonymous said...

I'll do better using the word "forcing" from now on. The point is that land use and pollution of air/land shows whatever degree of GW is due to A. The calls to reduce the amount of CO2 shows some believe it to be the main cause. Whatever you call it. I say nobody knows for sure, but the signs are there it's warming, and it's time to clean up our act, us A, all of us.

M. Simon said...

Yeah, time to clean up our act.

However, if temperatures are falling despite increased CO2 concentrations maybe we are not pumping it out fast enough.

We could be cutting back on CO2 output just when we need it most.

M. Simon said...

Just remember Galileo was a denier.

Anonymous said...

Lazar: "By this criterion, correct application of PCA should not alter the shape of the final reconstruction..."

and then

"Rather it is M&M's use of PCA which substantially alters the shape of the reconstruction, renedering a result which has no climatological skill. M&M used PCA to incorrectly eliminate a substantial part of the data without valid a priori reason."

Hah, that's the best I read for a while :) M&M's textbook use of PCA eliminates the data but Mann's selfinvented method somehow preserves the signals :) I'm gonna pass this to my students, thanks for the laughs!

Another classic in the same short comment:

"He also failed to pick up on M&M's incorrect generation of red noise to test the RE significance."

Take Statistics 101 and learn some basics before making yourself look like an idiot. Oh well, it's already too late.

Anonymous said...

Jean S: "Hah, that's the best I read for a while :) M&M's textbook use of PCA eliminates the data"

'it says so in a textbook'... I wonder what 'it' 'says' or how you think 'it' relates to MBH98.

"but Mann's selfinvented method somehow preserves the signals :)"

It appears you're confusing normalization with retention, but I can't be sure, and I'm not sure you know either.

"I'm gonna pass this to my students, thanks for the laughs!"

No problem.

"Take Statistics 101 and learn some basics"

Which indicates you haven't read Huybers or McIntyre's response.

"before making yourself look like an idiot. Oh well, it's already too late."

It seems you're a rather angry person who writes rather contentless missives.

Dano said...

Jean S:

Let us know when your debunking gets published in a peer-reviewed journal.



Anonymous said...

This question of principal components analysis is actually very simple. Steve Bloom ridicules Wegman on (mistaken) personal grounds, but there is no answer to the statistical point.

That is the following. When you do PCA, for some of your calculations you must use the mean of the series. In a similar way, when you do very basic stats, sometimes you have to use the sum of the squares of the values.

Now, if one fine day you wake up and decided that its sunny out, and you will use the mean of part of the series, that is just wrong. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. It is as wrong as if you were to use any other number out of your hat. Its just wrong. There is only one right answer, and that is the mean of the series.

Similarly, were you one day to decide to do your basic stats using the cube of the series values or the log base 10 of the series values, that too would be wrong. That is not the procedure.

If this were psychology, drug effectiveness appraisal, any other field of science, no-one would bother arguing this.

For Steve Bloom and others to defend a study in which the basis of the results was using a number other than the mean in PCA, well, it is Lysenkoism. It is like feeling you have to defend Piltdown man to defend evolution. Its like feeling you have to defend Marxism by denying the existence of the Soviet camps and purges. Its completely absurd, and it does more harm than good to the cause.

This is why the smart thing to do, for defenders of AGW, is to admit Mann's work is discredited, admit that the withholding of data is unjustifiable, admit that Jones' Chinese stations were, for whatever reason, not as represented, and now admit that Hansen's adjustments to the US record, and probably the ROW record as well, are distortions. Get the ice core records published. Get the Briffa series complete in IPCC, and not truncated. Get Esper's stuff out in the open, as requested on CA. Or if its already there, tell us all where it is.

Then you can move on. It may be that there is a case that warming is happening, and it may be human caused, and it may even mainly be CO2. But until you clean out the stables, no-one is listening to anything you are saying. With good reason. Defending the indefensible like this is actually promoting skepticism, whether that is what you intend or not.

Anonymous said...

Bigcitylib, do you have an R-script for that graph?

And, can you show a version with 1901-1930 as reference period?

Anonymous said...

McIntyre was right; the NASA data was in serious need of adjustment in order to make valid comparisons over time. In other words, McIntyre was right, you blind-faith believers are wrong.

Funny that you make fun of Christians because of their so-called blind faith, but you do the exact same thing with poor scientific data. And the point is that religion is not science; faith is perfectly acceptable in religion, but is absurb when applied to science, as you are finding out.

Anonymous said...

M. Simon said...

Just remember Galileo was a denier.

Just remember, so was Lamarck.

And countless other cranks.

bigcitylib said...

Actually, Galileo was in no sense a denier. Copernicus had already written, Kepler had already written. The science was "settled" or "settling". It was the Church that had problems with Heliocentrism, not astronomers.

If anything, Galileo's modern analogue is probably someone like Hansen, who the Bush administration has been trying to silence.

Anonymous said...

I meant Lysenko above, not Lamarck, of course.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:41 AM, I think you have a reading comprehension problem. I said nothing about Wegman personally (other than to point out his obvious status as an NAS insider), nor did I ridicule him in any way. Regarding the rest, I would just point out that your premise is wrong. AGW denialism has little to do with the facts of the matter, and the supply of supposed reasons for denial is endless. As for whether denialism is being promoted by these debates over the details, the polling trends would seem to indicate the opposite. I would agree that the debates are retarding progress, but again the content of the debates is somewhat beside the point. Consider, e.g., the amount of media attention that wholly ludicrous (scientifically) works like the recent Avery and Singer book remain capable of drawing. OTOH I think there is a downward trend in the attention received by such things, although that would be difficult to prove.

Regarding the value of McIntyre's contribution to the "hockey stick" debate, I would refer you to von Storch.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not whether Wegman is an NAS insider. Von Storch has done as much to discredit MBH98 as anyone. The issue is not whether Von Storch thought highly of McIntyre's contribution.

The issue is very simple. Do you think that you can do PCA while using a number other than the mean of the series? If you do, what makes you think it? If you do not, how can you defend MBH98?

Wegman, whether an NAS insider or not, is a competent and eminent statistician. Wegman found that M&M's criticism of the statistical procedures in MBH98 were correct. Every competent statistician who has looked at it has found the same thing.

MBH98 is totally discredited by this. It is, in the phrase, time to admit it and move on. Oh, and publish the ice core data while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

So, BCL, no published smack down yet on my "misuse" (your word) of the climate site rating system?

I've been waiting patiently. Looking forward to reading it.



Anonymous said...

Take Statistics 101 and learn some basics before making yourself look like an idiot. Oh well, it's already too late.

The bottom line is that MBH used a sufficient number of principal components to capture most of the information in the data, while M&M didn't.

When you choose your principal components, don't forget that you gotta take a good look at those eigenvalue magnitudes first!

BTW, when Mann and co revisited their data and performed the reconstruction without using PCA, they got essentially the same result. Obviously then, the hockey-stick shape was *not* a PCA artifact.

Anonymous said...

"Every" credible statistician might believe that the use of PCA was wrong, just as "every" credible statistician has said that it does not affect the conclusion.

What I want to know for the truly faithful out there is if they still believe that the MWP was widespread and warmer than today. I suspect that this remains a de-facto assumption of the anti-agw croud despite the non-existence of a stastical basis for their claim.

bigcitylib said...


The paper suggests the MWP was not quite as warm as sometimes suggested.

Anonymous said...

the analysis has "moved on" ;-D

here is a plot of the updated data referenced to 1901-1930

Anonymous said...

where's my picture?