We’re not screwed (?)

by Judith Curry

We’re screwed: 11,000 years’ worth of ­climate data prove it.  It’s among the most compelling bits of proof out there that human beings are behind global warming, and as such has become a target on Mann’s back for climate denialists looking to draw a bead on scientists. The Atlantic, March 9th

We’re not screwed. The trouble is, as they quietly admitted over the weekend, their new and stunning claim is groundless. The real story is only just emerging, and it isn’t pretty. – Ross McKitrick

The saga surrounding the Marcott et al paper has gotten really interesting over the weekend.  Some key posts:

Ross McKitrick provides a summary of all this in an article for the Financial Post, entitled We’re not screwed?  Excerpts:

The latter was an apparent discovery that 20th-century warming was a wild departure from anything seen in over 11,000 years.  News of this finding flew around the world and the authors suddenly became the latest in a long line of celebrity climate scientists.

The trouble is, as they quietly admitted over the weekend, their new and stunning claim is groundless.  The real story is only just emerging, and it isn’t pretty.

Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.org began examining the details of the Marcott et al work, and by March 16 he had made a remarkable discovery (JC note: see original article for details).

Worse, the article did not disclose this step.  In their online supplementary information the authors said they had assumed the core tops were dated to the present “unless otherwise noted in the original publication.”  In other words, they claimed to be relying on the original dating, even while they had redated the cores in a way that strongly influenced  their results.

. . . contains a remarkable admission: “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of glbal temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

Now you tell us!  The 20th-century uptick was the focus of worldwide media attention during which the authors made very strong claims about the implications of their findings regarding 20th-century warming.  Yet at no point did they mention the fact that the 20th century portion of their proxy reconstruction is garbage.

What made their original conclusion about exceptional nature of the 20th century warming plausible was precisely the fact that it appeared to be picked up both by modern thermometers and by their proxy data.  But that was an illusion.  It was introduced into their proxy reconsruction as an artifact of arbitrarily redating the  end points of a few proxy records.

In recent years there have been a number of cases in which high-profile paper from climate scientists turned out, on close inspection, to rely on unseemly tricks fudges and/or misleading analyses.  After they get uncovered in the blogosphere, the academic community rushes to circle the wagons and denounce any criticism as “denialism.”  There’s denialism going on all right – on the part of scientists who don’t see that their continuing defence of these kinds of practices exacts a toll on the public credibility of their field.

JC comments:  This case is an interesting one in the sociology of climate science.  Some concerns and questions:

  • Are there still no checks and balances in the paleoclimate community (outside of the efforts of Steve McIntyre, JeanS et al.)?
  • In terms of the hyping of this story, I am prepared to give Marcott and Shakun somewhat of a pass given that they are recent Ph.D. recipients.  Alan Mix and Peter Clark are the senior authors.  And the paper was also hyped by a NSF Program Manager.  What kind of advice did they give Marcott and Shakun in all this?
  • Marcott scored points in my book by communicating with Steve McIntyre, and for some measure of honesty in his response.  I wonder how his response landed on RealClimate.  Here is a suspicion:  Marcott was subsequently contacted by one of the RealClimate principals, providing advice against engaging with McIntyre, sympathy that they are being attacked by deniers,  and providing support and a safe refuge on RealClimate.
  • I see this as a struggle for the souls of two young climate scientists.  Will they (i) decide to care primarily about science, and embrace the values of transparency and public accountability, answer questions about their research, and engage with skeptics in the interest of improving their research; or (ii) do they aspire to Mike Mann-style celebrity and plan to join the RealClimate warriors against auditing and skepticism?

JC advice to Marcott and Shakun: I understand how tough it is for a young Ph.D. scientist to make their mark in academia and obtain a desirable permanent position.   Celebrity can be seductive, but engaging with the media is associated with many potential pitfalls. I encourage you to read my essay published a few years ago at DotEarth entitled:  An open letter to graduate students and young scientists in fields related to climate research:   

What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values . . .

JC advice to NSF and the universities: We are not doing a good enough job in educating our young scientists about the specific ethical challenges faced by scientists working in the climate field.  Lets share/generate some wisdom and develop better guidance for dealing with these issues (something for NRC COSEPUP to take on).

JC advice to the skeptical blogosphere:  Lets get to the bottom of this, but while doing so I remind you that one element of this is the struggle for the scientific souls of two promising young scientists.   Please don’t overegg the pudding and inadvertently send them to the RealClimate refugee and training camp.  Cordially invite them to engage, and work with them to try to change the culture in the paleoclimate community.

1,247 responses to “We’re not screwed (?)

  1. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

    • David Springer

      I point out to Willis Eschanbach, who berates Marcott with vigor about a lapse in ethics, that Marcott is a young man here and essentially tell Willis that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Willis comes back saying Marcott is 30 years old implying that’s not all that young.

      I was a bit surprised at the age since Dr. Curry had said Marcott was a new PhD so I found Shaun Marcott’s CV and was enlightened by it. He is indeed at least 30 years old and Shaun has never held a job outside academia. He got a BS in Geology in 2002 at Oregon State then immediately got a teaching assistant job there and being a TA in Oregon is all he ever did until getting a PhD there in 2011. I submit that Shaun Marcott is a very sheltered 30-year old and a prime example of a product of his environment.

      I’m not certain he even realizes he did something wrong. In the land of the Gleicks and Manns and Lewendowskis scientific objectivity & ethics take a back seat behind ideology and tribalism. Is Shaun irretrievably a member of Mann’s tribe by now? I don’t know but I do know that 12+ years of isolation and behavioral conditioning in the tribe isn’t easily overcome. It probably is too late at this point and Dr. Curry should concentrate on saving freshmen not professional students like Shaun.

      • k scott denison

        David Springer | April 3, 2013 at 8:21 am | Reply
        ——–
        Just gotta say Dave, what a load of crap. Making excuses for what is very obvious misconduct is sickening to me.

        I live and work is a world where we expect 100% integrity from every 21+ year old who comes to work for us, starting day 1. And you want to forgive a thirty year old because he’s been sheltered? Makes me vomit.

      • Latimer Alder

        I laughed when I saw his entry for ‘work experience’

        2005 – present Research and Teaching Assistant – Oregon State University
        2003- 2005 Research and Teaching Assistant – Portland State University
        2002 Research and Teaching Assistant – Oregon State University

        Not exactly the wide ranging and varied perspective we normally try to cultivate in ‘thought leaders’. This guy hasn’t had the opportunity to do anything outside a very narrow academic environment. I would trust him ot judge how to cross the road alone, let alone with anything important.

        And yes, I have spent a long time reading CVs – and hiring (and occasionally firing) people in the real world.

      • As I posted elsewhere, Shaun Marcott has an earlier CV found on the Wayback Machine:
        http://web.archive.org/web/20050104175736/http://www.proglacial.com/CV/CV_Frameset_Home.htm

        Marcott did some field work for British Petroleum during the summer of 2000. From the above CV, “Data processor duties involved inputting well log data, seismic data, drill reports, and core sample information into a database (Asset DB) for British Petroleum’s ‘Charter Project.’ “. In 2001, he did summer work for Phillips Petroleum Alaska as a clerk. This info is missing from his current CV.

      • John Carpenter

        KSD,

        “I live and work is a world where we expect 100% integrity from every 21+ year old who comes to work for us, starting day 1. And you want to forgive a thirty year old because he’s been sheltered? Makes me vomit.”

        So do I, yet I can’t tell you how many 18 to 30 year olds I have dismissed because they were unable perform their jobs with integrity, among lacking other important work ethic attributes. None of them were as highly educated though, so perhaps expectations are a bit lower. A 30 year old new PhD is sheltered from the ‘real world’ as you or I know it. I know this from personal experience having earned a PhD immediately following undergraduate school. The above statement is a bit ignorant of the process by which one gets a PhD in the sciences straight out of undergraduate school. Graduate PhD’s are very much used to being guided by thier mentor(s) because that is what they have done their whole educational career. I would be much more likely to forgive a new PhD because he/she are more than likely still being guided by thier mentor(s) or senior staff i.e. trusting ther judgement of more experienced peers…. that the advice they get from them is good advice. I would be looking more closely at who was advising him to take the direction taken, that person should know better. I have to agree with JC.

      • John Carpenter

        Latimer,

        “I laughed when I saw his entry for ‘work experience”

        What are you expecting to see? CEO of a large corporation? Having gone through the process of earning a PhD myself, when I was finished and put together my inital CV after graduating, that’s pretty much what I had as well. When you are a full time graduate student, there are three things you are likely to be doing. 1) Taking classes 2) Teaching i.e. being a TA and getting a stipend (this is how you make the very little money you need to live on) 3) Doing research under the guidance of your mentor/advisor. If you do well, you might get rewarded with a scholarship so you don’t have to teach which allows you to concentrate on research and classes. After your first 2.5 years, classes are not as time consuming and you can concentrate 100% on research. So if you’re focused on doing research and preparing to defend your dissertaion, what other jobs are you going to be doing to put on your CV?

        You don’t do too much outside the narrow academic environment… it is a focused academic and reseach environment you are in. This is the norm for the majority of science graduate students and has been for at least the last 100 years. Do you know of another way it’s being done?

      • Latimer Alder

        @john carpenter

        ‘You don’t do too much outside the narrow academic environment’

        Thanks for emphasising my point for me.

        In such an environment you are very unlikely to develop many skills or sound judgement about the outside world.

        And, boy does it show in the sheer ineptitude of the handling of this fiasco.

        Anyone with sound judgement would never have got into it in the first place.

      • David Springer

        k scott denison | April 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

        “And you want to forgive a thirty year old because he’s been sheltered?”

        Where did I say I wanted to forgive the lad? I merely said he appears to have led a sheltered life. Take it for what its worth. I report, you decide. Got it?

      • John Carpenter

        Latimer,

        Well, I know I made plenty of mistakes early on when I got into the business world, which I did just after graduate school. I was especially niave wrt managing people, as I tend to be honest and give others the benefit of the doubt. I believed most other people to be as honest as I was (big mistake). I saw lots of questionable practices and had to make judgements based on my position, age and knowledge about what I was seeing and how to address it. I did not always make the best decision and had to learn the hard way by making poor judgemental mistakes. I tell people I manage that if you are not making mistakes, then you are not really doing anything or making any real decisions and therefore not learning. Sound judgement is not inherited… it’s learned…. often by making poor judgemental mistakes.

        So a mistake was made by Marcot et al on the decision to hype the recent temperature spike. It appears he included new information in the paper that he did not include in his dissertation. He made a decision to include that information in a way that it said something more than what the thrust of the paper really was about. Questions come to mind. Did he do this in a void, all alone? Did he do this as a group with his co-authors? Was he advised by other peers? Was he advised by more experienced mentors/advisors/superiors? Was there any external factors pushing him in the direction taken? Was there a combination of these factors at work?

        I would practice some charity here. Why? He finally came around to:

        “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

        He admitted to the mistake. He did not draw a line in the sand. He did not disparage SM for revealing the weakness of the analysis. He is not going to war to defend the indefensible.

        How will he show that he learned from this experience? Time will tell, except now more people are watching.

      • David Springer

        RHL | April 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

        “As I posted elsewhere, Shaun Marcott has an earlier CV found on the Wayback Machine:”

        Which lists him having summer jobs related to his major in three of four undergraduate years. I believe they call those internships. I suppose it makes him a bit less sheltered but not by very much as these positions are pretty exclusively coordinated partnerships between industry and university. It’s more like a field trip than a job.

      • k scott denison

        John Carpenter: I too earned my PhD directly after undergraduate school. And I was EXPECTED to act with integrity my first day on the job. Many of my friends went to work for top secret government installations… think they were given a pass?

    • Nancy Green

      There is a message in Marcott that I think many have missed. Marcott tells us almost nothing about how the past compares with today, because of the resolution problem. Marcott recognizes this in their FAQ. The probability function is specific to the resolution. Thus, you cannot infer the probability function for a high resolution series from a low resolution series, because you cannot infer a high resolution signal from a low resolution signal. The result is nonsense.

      However, what Marcott does tell us is still very important and I hope the authors of Marcott et al will take the time to consider. The easiest way to explain is by analogy:

      50 years ago astronomers searched extensively for planets around stars using lower resolution equipment. They found none and concluded that they were unlikely to find any at the existing resolution. However, some scientists and the press generalized this further to say there were unlikely to be planets around stars, because none had been found.

      This is the argument that since we haven’t found 20th century equivalent spikes in low resolution paleo proxies, they are unlike to exist. However, this is a circular argument and it is why Marcott et al has gotten into trouble. It didn’t hold for planets and now we have evidence that it doesn’t hold for climate.

      What astronomy found instead was that as we increased the resolution we found planets. Not just a few, but almost everywhere we looked. This is completely contrary to what the low resolution data told us and this example shows the problems with today’s thinking. You cannot use a low resolution series to infer anything reliable about a high resolution series.

      However, the reverse is not true. What Marcott is showing is that in the high resolution proxies there is a temperature spike. This is equivalent to looking at the first star with high resolution equipment and finding planets. To find a planet on the first star tells us you are likely to find planets around many stars.

      Thus, what Marcott is telling us is that we should expect to find a 20th century type spike in many high resolution paleo series. Rather than being an anomaly, the 20th century spike should appear in many places as we improve the resolution of the paleo temperature series. This is the message of Marcott and it is an important message that the researchers need to consider.

      Marcott et al: You have just looked at your first star with high resolution equipment and found a planet. Are you then to conclude that since none of the other stars show planets at low resolution, that there are no planets around them? That is nonsense. The only conclusion you can reasonably make is that as you increase the resolution of other paleo proxies, you are more likely to find spikes in them as well.

      • This strikes me as a brilliant insight. I’m guessing it’s correct.

      • Nancy Green

        Your analogy sounds very logical and convincing to me, as well.

        Max

      • Love this analogy.

      • Well said Nancy. The differing resolution problem for paleo series seems to me to be intractable however, given that the analysis of ice core samples and tree rings etc are more complex than simply improving the magnification of our telescopes as in the case of astronomy. Hence the previous spikes in the Earth’s climate that you infer may never be conclusively established.

      • Peter Davis. The wood in trees didn’t just get there by magic.
        You could actually do things like measure the isotope ratios and the Ar/N2 ratio of tree rings of trees where you have a thermometer record and then have a look at tree rings of the same species in the past.
        You can look at heavy metal accumulation. You can do all sorts of stuff.
        However, you would have to get off you fat arse and actually obtain raw data, which is a problem in the field.

      • That’s true of many of us here Doc but I still consider that the scientific work that you describe is best funded by Govt and Private Corps and performed by trained scientists that abound in Universities everywhere.

        The capital cost of the drilling machines and the ongoing travelling and accommodation expenses alone would be way outside my budget.

        The few relationships that you have mentioned as possible avenues of research still seems to me to be a long way from being spatially and temporally linked to climate change with any degree of precision.

      • John Carpenter

        Nancy, there are higher resolution proxies, such as the Vostok Ice Core, which do in fact show lots of temperature spikes. Steve Mosher has posted some graphic overlays elsewhere on this thread showing this.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/02/were-not-screwed/#comment-308698

        enjoy

  2. “I am prepared to give Marcott and Shakun somewhat of a pass given that they are recent Ph.D. recipients. ”

    Generous impulse as always Dr. C, but these are grown men. In the end, it’s just another disgraceful episode in the recent annals of climate science.
    Embarrassing own goal after embarrassing own goal.

    • “, but these are grown men”

      No. They are men who grew up in a cult. The AGW cult. And they know who the high priests are. And they know what to say to make their priests happy and the media happy.

    • David Springer

      If this had been a paper published by a skeptic Michael Mann and the usual suspects on “The Team” would have pressured the offending editor at Science into resigning to serve as a warning to other journal editors to toe the alarmist line or lose their jobs. It’s happened what, at least twice before, in recent years? I seem to recall in Climategate emails a conspiratorial discussion about boycotting a magazine for publishing a paper penned by a skeptic.

      The worst offender in my mind is Science Magazine and an editor’s head should roll over this as a warning to others. That isn’t likely to happen since Science is beholding to academia for its survival and academia is the willing source of the corrupt science. It’s a Catch 22 situation.

      • David, you will find that ‘Science’ does not only have a problem with Climate Science.
        If you look at any of the biomedical papers you notice something.
        All the papers in Science are perfect.
        Everything follows a A to B to C to D progression.
        Each experiment answers an ambiguity of the previous result.
        In every article we have an open and shut case.
        The researchers who get published in Science don’t work on messy systems.
        They have lovely tight distributions in their controls.
        Their gels are perfect.
        Typically, error bars are tight, but when there are the same control conditions in two figures you see that the means are different.

  3. Morley Sutter

    Judith: Are you implying that for recent Science PhDs, in Climatology at least, the end justifies the means?

  4. “I wonder how his response landed on RealClimate. Here is a suspicion: Marcott was subsequently contacted by one of the RealClimate principals, providing advice against engaging with McIntyre, sympathy that they are being attacked by deniers, and providing support and a safe refuge on RealClimate…….. plan to join the RealClimate warriors against auditing and skepticism?” – JC

    It’s a conspiracy!

    • Dr Curry has lots of time and energy to speculate on RealClimate with zero evidence yet sadly runs out before she can fact check any of McKitrick’s piece which she quotes from extensively.

      As for the “scientific souls” of these researchers I suppose they have a choice to make. Were they treated more fairly by:

      1. The scientific community via the journal they posted in and blogs run by the RealClimate team, skeptical science, tamino etc

      2. The “skeptic” community via articles at Forbes, McKitrick’s above and blogs such Climate Audit, WUWT, Pielke etc.

      • Number 2. Never confuse fairness with gullibility or conniving. These guys need to know there’s a key choice in front of them. None of can soften that blow, nor is it fair to do so.

      • Richard,

        “Number 2. Never confuse fairness with gullibility or conniving. “

        Let’s propose a thought experiment in which Marcott and Shakun are not guilt of misconduct or fraud. With that in mind reread the skeptic coverage putting yourself in the place of the researcher that has not committed misconduct or fraud.

        The thought experiment in which they did commit misconduct or fraud is much simpler, for who cares about their “scientific souls” in that instance?

      • It’s worse than wrasslin’ alligators.
        =======

      • Let’s add to the thought experiment that none one of the world’s media ran “We’re Screwed” headlines on the back of the release of this paper and its press release. In that case, yes, the skeptic coverage would have been way over the top. And your point is?

      • Richard,

        “the world’s media ran “We’re Screwed” headlines on the back of the release of this paper “

        Therefore Marcott and Shakun are guilty of misconduct or fraud?

        Therefore skeptics are justified in accusing Marcott and Shakun of misconduct or fraud?

        Which?

      • Ask the NSF.
        ========

      • “Therefore Marcott and Shakun are guilty of misconduct or fraud?”

        I’d say anybody who gets in front of a camera touting an upticking squiggly line drawing can be accused of fraud.

      • I think it’s interesting that there’s such difficulty establishing even a purely theoretical scenario in which Marcott and Shakun are not guilty of misconduct or fraud.

        Their scientific souls shall surely feel nourished and embraced.

      • I really do not understand this exchange. It is rather elementary to understand that the author’s did not do best practice’s in presenting this material.
        Regardless of what may be their level of misconduct if any, integrity should prevail in them speaking loud and clear as to the materials shortcomings.
        What, IMO, has become so disgusting is that, in the end, this should not be about the researchers, their needs or egos, it should be about the choices the world community will make based on climate research.
        Making mistakes is part of human nature. Not accepting responsibility for mistakes has become more the norm, (including institutions)
        There simply have been too many within the climate research community
        (but not all) that are very small people.
        Yes, credit should be given for contacting Steve McIntyre; however, much more credit would be given to many (in particular M. Mann) for contacting a statistician with superior credentials before presenting
        research.

      • Fairness? Are we 12?
        Can we just get the science right first?
        I am a complete climate layman, and even I know that you better have your data and code ready and able to support your conclusions when you publish today. Please, your argument is “not robust”…….

      • All one really needs to do here is read the first sentence of the paper’s abstract and then go to the point where the authors admit that the 20th century portion of their work is “not robust”.

        One does not require a boatload of advanced degrees to their name to recognize poor science. Claims after the fact that the paper was about advancing our understanding of the planet’s climate 10,000 years ago appear to be a case of back tracking and cover up.

      • “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.” Marcott.
        Exactly what fact checking does Dr. Curry have to do on McKitrick’s piece?

    • Steven Mosher

      The use of an FAQ to quell the publics dissatisfaction is a well known PR tool.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steve Mosher: The use of an FAQ to quell the publics dissatisfaction is a well known PR tool.

        The FAQs should be included in the supporting online material supplied by the authors to Science.

      • Reality has a well known skeptical bias…

  5. Excellent advice JC.

  6. Eh? Am not their dad. If they put money before science they deserve neither. Ask Gergis. Ask Wagner.

  7. Judy:
    Nicely said. Do you think the inappropriate and misleading PR hype of the paper has something to with Prof. Peter Clark’s role on AR5?

  8. Engaging with the media on a hot button topic such as climate change is fraught with numerous potential pitfalls, which a recent Ph.D. is most likely ill prepared to deal with. It wasn’t easy for me in 2005, when I was a full professor.

    • Point taken. I fully accept the advice to go easy on Marcutt and Shakun. Pity is, it’s unlikely their ‘friends’ will. But all the more reason for someone like me to do so.

    • “Please don’t overegg the pudding and inadvertently send them to the RealClimate refugee and training camp. ” – JC

      Too late Judith.

      Then there’s you, with your promotion of McKitricks’ steaming pile of BS above;
      “their ……claim is groundless. The real story is only just emerging, and it isn’t pretty.”
      “the authors made very strong claims…..Yet at no point did they mention the fact that the 20th century portion of their proxy reconstruction is garbage.”
      ” a number of cases in which high-profile paper from climate scientists turned out, on close inspection, to rely on unseemly tricks fudges and/or misleading analyses”.

      Hey, now there’s cordial “engagement” – promoted by you.

      So when they do decide that every negative thing they’d ever heard about ‘climate skeptics’ is proven true to them, and they go to “RealClimate refugee and training centre” (oh, nice ‘engagement’ there!! ) you can take some credit.

      • Don masks. er, dawn masques.
        =======

      • I don’t bother engaging with RealClimate et al. However, I think there is some hope for influencing Steve McIntyre in terms of how he engages with these young scientists (McIntyre was mostly the intended audience for that statement).

      • Is he supposed to teach them or are they supposed to learn from him? Let’s take roll call, and bring order. I’m not on the list; I’m just auditing.
        ============

      • Oops, two burly hall monitors just showed up and each want a word with me.
        =============

      • Judith,

        So why did you so prominently feature the false claims by McKitrick??

        How does this do anything other than the exact opposite of what you say you want?

        You say you want people to engage with these young researchers, and then you fling this cr@p in their faces.

      • blueice2hotsea

        gas masks for the stink-bomb blitz…

      • “You say you want people to engage with these young researchers, and then you fling this cr@p in their faces.”

        If the researchers in question would kindly disassociate themselves from “the RealClimate crowd” the non-binding promise of the crap flinging slowing down has been proposed.

        Nice career you got there boys, be a shame if you were to continue to be dragged publicly through the mud.

      • Yes,

        That does seem to be the threat implied.

      • Alligator Marcott and Elevator Shakun.
        ==============================

      • Michael
        Have you not learned by now to recognize what at its kindest is methodological “sloppiness” [which I don’t think it is at all] and most likely scientific misconduct in that the near vertical uptick in the Science paper [absent in Marcott’s thesis] is so out of order that it cannot be anything but a fabrication.

        This pre-Easter “resurrection” [it’s all in the timing] of the Hockey Stick story line is made all the more suspicious in terms of its climate political connotations by Clark’s presence in the picture and his involvement in the upcoming AR5.

        The climate establishment and their ideological kin are desperate to counter the 16 year “pause” or flat lining of global temperatures -which the UK Met Office now figures will continue for at least another 5 years- that has now been acknowledged even by the IPCC’s eminence railway engineer himself, Dr Pachauri.

        As far as Curryja’s benevolence towards Marcott and Shakun is concerned, I don’t share that sentiment. They are big boys now and by having a paper published in Science -which I’m sure must have been ego enhancing for them- they have entered the big leagues and have to play by big league rules -which includes having you paper scrutinized by the likes of McIntyre, McItrick and a few other sharp minds, and trashed by them if found to be deficient.

        My view is that unless Marcott and Shakun distance themselves quickly and visibly from the embrace they are now receiving from the Team and request that Science temporarily retract the paper to allow for a revision/corrigendum – crucially both where the methodology/statistical analysis and the conclusions are concerned- they will be perceived as having gone over to the “dark side” of climate science. To the “science” side, that is. And rightly so. Their academic future rides on them making the right call, and soon.

      • Judith –

        I don’t bother engaging with RealClimate et al. However, I think there is some hope for influencing Steve McIntyre in terms of how he engages with these young scientists (McIntyre was mostly the intended audience for that statement).

        Then maybe you should talk to McIntyre about his misquoting Marcott (the “troll army” quote). Seems that would be something easily checked by a skilled auditor. Perhaps not misquoting people would be a better way to “influence” them?

        lol!

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael:So why did you so prominently feature the false claims by McKitrick??

        Quoting McKitrick exactly, which of his claims to you claim is (or are) false?

      • Matthew;

        “Yet at no point did they mention the fact …..”

        Indeed, they did mention the proxy drop out issue in their paper.

        A more interestion is why Judith promotes such baseless allegations, while imploring young scientist to engage with such scoundrels.

        The phrase, talking out both sides of your mouth, resonates.

      • Care to point out where McKitricks facts where wrong on this paper has with others his taken to bits that have claimed to justify ‘the cause ‘ . Or is he just a ‘bad men ‘ for doing the critical review that should have happened in the peer review process BEFORE they where published , let alone pimped to the press , in the first place ?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael, Indeed, they did mention the proxy drop out issue in their paper.

        You truncated McKittrick.

        McKitrick’s full quote is: “Yet at no point did they mention the fact that the 20th century portion of their proxy reconstruction is garbage.”

        Unless possibly you object that “garbage” is too strong a word for their subsequent disavowal of the 20th century reconstruction, McKitrick is correct. They addressed the dropout in their supporting online material, but in a graph without commenting on how unreliable it rendered the reconstruction; that came from subsequent comments on McIntyre’s comments. (as far as I can tell — I have the documents open as I write, but I may have missed the important qualifying text. I am embarrassed that I missed important limitations of the study before Paul Matthews pointed them out. )

      • One could also object to the “at no point”, which sounds a bit strong to anyone who appreciate straightforwardness.

        Don’t you think so, MattStat?

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit): One could also object to the “at no point”, which sounds a bit strong to anyone who appreciate straightforwardness.

        Which (at least) one time did would you cite where Marcotte et al admitted that their “hockey stick” reconstruction was totally unreliable?

      • Do you notice how “20th portion” now becomes “the whole reconstruction”, MattStat?

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit): Do you notice how “20th portion” now becomes “the whole reconstruction”, MattStat?

        You made that up. McKitrick focused on the 20th century portion, which was the portion that Marcotte et al highlighted in their public comments.

      • > You made that up.

        Please explain:

        > Which (at least) one time did would you cite where Marcotte [sic.] et al admitted that their “hockey stick” reconstruction was totally unreliable?

        Maybe it’s a vocabulary thing.

      • > which was the portion that Marcotte [sic.] et al highlighted in their public comments.

        Quote and citation needed.

    • Still ain’t.

      Or do we want to do the Italian Flag Postnormal thing again?

      • The Italian Flag on this one is substantially dominated by the white part of the flag; if the authors had better taken this into consideration, they would have spared themselves alot of grief (and incidentally probably much of the publicity).

      • “is a tricolour featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white, and red, with the green at the hoist side. Its current form has been in use since 19 June 1946 and was formally adopted on 1 January 1948.[1]”

        From the Wikipedia.

      • Judith; Marcott made them do it.

      • Pere Rabu.
        =======

    • Robert Austin

      But a lot of climate “water” has passed under the bridge since 2005. Marcott and Shakun must have been aware that the production of any new proxy hockey stick would be akin to waving the red cape at the skeptic bull. Consider this along with the fact that there was no uptick in Marcott’s phd thesis on the same matter and we end up with a strong suspicion of political influence. I blame Marcott’s and Shakuns elders for encouraging them to play this game where they may end up as roadkill.

      • The Incident at Hockey Stick Bridge.
        ==========

      • If the up-kick was scientifical justifiable there would be no issue , the problem is that its not but it is an artefact of data manipulation which the authors went pimping to the press has ‘proof’

  9. I wonder about the possible timeline of ‘engagement’ by the RealClimate Team. Possibly it was, as you suggest, first after the publication of the new Marcott Hockeystick.

    But I would be very surprised if that was the first time they’d learnt about it.

    There were more peculiar things happening well before that:

    First: The remarkable ‘transformation’ of the holocene reconstruction from Marcott’s thesis chapter (without any sharp blade/uptick) to the now published version,

    Second: Which was submitted to (at least) one high profile journal (Science), and how it managed, with all its quite visible problems to get by all the reviers there.

    Third: The media Blitz after publication, and the acclaim it received from other official quarters, and those with notable Hockeystick ideation.

    Forth: The scrutiny it recieved, and how this was handled initially, to subsequently be deferred to a forthcoming FAQ-document. Presented some days earlier (as picture file) on Marcott’s hompage. (Again redated to 2012!). To

    Fifth: The same FAQ showing up on Real Climate on Easter Sunday, whith a major fraction of the Team vigorously defending it and claiming to speak for the paper and its merits plus the FAQ. And the absence of any of the authors answering questions (either there, or the ones that the FAQ didn’t address).

    I think there is more to this sstory than meets the eye …

    • Agreed. I expect the authors had expert coaching in the wording of their abstract. It implies much, but when one reads it in detail it says very little. The reader is left to infer facts that are contradicted by the caveats within the paper itself.

      The paper reminds me of skilled legalese; where you are promised a house and a car, but end up with nothing due to the fine print.

    • There has been speculation in various quarters that Mann was a reviewer of the Marcott et al paper. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that it was Mann’s influence behind the scenes in an attempt to set and control the PR post FAQ.

  10. ‘cept for we ARE screwed. If Warming doesn’t get us, Warmers will.

    Andrew

  11. patrioticduo

    Did any of you try to read the comments under the Atlantic article? They sure aren’t about the validity, shortcomings or problems of the Marcott paper. I am so thankful that the Internet exists and still remains free. I doubt Dr JC’s blog and others would be so easily accessible to us if it were not.

  12. Please don’t overegg the pudding and inadvertently send them to the RealClimate refugee and training camp. Cordially invite them to engage, and work with them to try to change the culture in the paleoclimate community.

    Pielke Jr.’s already on that, Judith – insinuating scientific misconduct, talking about “mafia,” and impugning motivations (” exploiting climate science for political and personal gain.”)

    One of these days, Judith, you’ll step up to the plate to call out someone like Pielke, or Ross McKitrick. I won’t stop expecting that of you.

    You do remember, Judith, what you said when I asked you for your opinion on McKitrick’s insulting remarks (calling Wagner a “groveling, terrified, coward”)? Have you forgotten that you said (paraphrasing) that you aren’t interested in the opinions of those who aren’t scientists?

    Can we assume, since you have highlighted McKitrick’s article, that you have changed your mind? If so, why are you now interested in his opinions? What changed?

    And at any rate, given that Pielke Jr. is a scientist – would you care to comment on his remarks, or will you, once again, display the selectivity of your reasoning on these issues?

    • Joshua

      It is interesting that you seem to much more concerned about Judith’s responses to situations than you are about those who have made claims that they know how CO2 will harm humanity if action is not immediately taken.

      Why is that?

      • Rob –

        How do you determine what I am or am not most concerned about?

        I think that there is much uncertainty w/r/t the impact of ACO2. I think that included in that uncertainty is the chance that it may prove to significantly affect our climate, and that it makes sense to explore policy options accordingly. I think that anyone who underestimates the uncertainties is more contributing to the potential problem than to any solution to that problem.

        My interest in the selectivity of Judith’s analysis is more of an academic interest – because I think that the psychology of motivated reasoning is quite interesting. But I think that the psychology of motivated reasoning is also something that is very important – as it presents an obstacle to effective conflict resolution on any number of issues that overlap with social, cultural, and political identifications.

        Anytime you’re interested in knowing what I think, please feel free to ask.

      • “I think that the psychology of motivated reasoning is quite interesting”

        You must spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.

        Andrew

      • dennis adams

        @ Rob
        Why is that? Very clear to me and we can expect more of it as the data go against their case. The deflection will only get more frequent. First ad homs and now deflection. And then mass visits to their psychologists trying to repair their belief systems.

      • Joshua | April 2, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        How do you determine what I am or am not most concerned about?
        =============
        from your comments.

    • The vorpal blade went snicker snicker.
      ========

    • Josh,

      So, as the paper has significant problems, lets go after the people pointing them out instead of asking yourself why would the authors focus attention on the portion of their research that was “not robust”?

      Tribalism seems to be one of your things. Which tribe’s paint you wearing Josh?

      • Tim –

        I’m not going after Rohde. He expressed criticism of the paper in a scientific manner. M & M infused their criticism with tribalism. Same ol’ same ol’ ensues. Why would anyone expect anything different?

      • Josh,

        The only tribalism I see Steve McIntyre exhibiting is that of the Tribe of Statistics.

        And when people who’s ability in this field appears questionable start flinging spears and arrows, they find the return fire is in the form of magazine fed, bolt action, metallic cartridge, rifle fire. If you want to raise your head and shout encouragement to the arrow slingers, feel free.

    • Joshua

      Academic misconduct -in the private sector called fabrication or better yet, fraud- is what we are dealing with here. If that causes you cognitive dissonance, my suggestion is you go see a psychologist and work that through.

      But hey, Marcott and Shakun are dealing with decent and polite guys like McIntyre, McItrick and Pielke Jr. Yes, who call a spade a spade and then ever so politely take their “science” garbage apart.

      In the private sector -where I come from and where we tend to be somewhat less polite than the fellows mentioned above- Marcott and Shakun would not have got away with what they concocted and have been fired – on my watch for less than that, said in passing. And depending on the severity of the fall out of their cooking the data, they would wind up behind bars.

      Just a kind reality check.

      • k scott denison

        +1 In many (most?) private sector companies there is a zero tolerance policy for integrity violations. I cannot think of any circumstances where Marcott et al did not commit an integrity violation.

        Time for academics to expect more accountability from their own.

      • No PhD Left Behind.
        =============

      • In many (most?) private sector companies there is a zero tolerance policy for integrity violations. I

        lol!

        Sorry to say, but you fellas are just blinded by your private-sector fetishism.

        Do you have any idea the dollar value of corporate fraud in this country on a yearly basis? Is it your belief that (most? of) that fraud is committed by lone wolves, operating in isolation in their cubbyholes with no one else in the corporation knowing what’s going on?

      • k scott denison

        Joshua, yes there is a lot of corporate fraud that is unseen. Please point me to one case where the fraud was discovered and the perpetrator went unpunished.

    • I think you will find that the idea that all things , no matter how bad , are justifiable in the name of ‘the cause ‘ is position held by less and and less people has time moves one.

    • Your interest sur don’t sound very academic to me more ad hom I would say.

  13. fastfreddy101

    Are there still no checks and balances in the paleoclimate community (outside of the efforts of Steve McIntyre, JeanS et al.)?

    Not as long as skilled individuals like Grant Foster (Tamino) is demonizing Steve McIntyre into the Antichrist of Climatology….

  14. Judy:
    Given the shift in emphasis and methodology between the initial jointly authored papers, which constituted part of Marcott’s and Shakun’s dissertations, and the Science paper surely it is important to know who were the reviewers and what were their comments.

  15. “Lets get to the bottom of this, but while doing so I remind you that one element of this is the struggle for the scientific souls of two promising young scientists.”

    I think this is the most purely skeptical statement (in the best sense) I’ve ever seen.

  16. fastfreddy101

    @Joshua, purleeeze, have you read what the AGW mob (inc the above mentioned Tamino) have splashed over St.McIntyre? Talking about being hypocrite…. *sigh*

    • freddy –

      I don’t think that “Mommy, mommy, they do it toooo” suffices as a justification.

      • fastfreddy101

        That doesn’t make you a lesser hypocrite, Joshua.

      • In this instance Josh – Grant Foster trying to paint McIntyre as “sneering” – it is more the case of “Mommy, mommy, Steve ate all the cookies!” while he has the jar in hand and is covered in crumbs.

        It does not take a great deal of sophistication to recognize the character of comments and behaviors between Grant Foster and Steve McIntyre when reading their blogs. If the former understands how a gentleman acts, he does a fantastic job of hiding it.

  17. Dr Curry, my wife taught me the general principle of judging someone in the first thirty seconds. I didn’t like the idea when she first posited it to me but over time I have come to agree with my wife that you generally *can* judge someone in the first thirty seconds. And so, Marcott is already lost. His interview with Revkin was so condescending, smug and aloof that you could see the hidden malice. And from that starting position it is easy to see how the sequence of events of his advance through college, PhD etc culminated in him joining the team. The fact that the FAQ landed on RC is the smoking gun. He joined the dark side. Only total destruction of his career will suffice. We cannot have these Machaveilli types inhabiting science pursuits of any kind. Some branches of climate science are so corrupt that Marcott et al is the natural result. Purge them!

    • It’s your wife against Judith Curry and that doesn’t sound pretty :)

    • It is impossible to judge human beings in 30 seconds, but if forced my conclusion would be your wife is a moron.

      • I didn’t say you can judge someone in zero seconds – moron.

      • Steven Mosher

        In point of fact humans judge each other all the time in less than 30 seconds. Therefore it’s not impossible.
        science says this

        http://blogs.menshealth.com/health-headlines/you-will-be-judged-within-30-seconds/2010/12/14

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200908/you-really-truly-can-judge-book-its-cover

        ‘n an earlier post, I explain why virtually all stereotypes are empirically true. Stereotypes come from the aggregation and generalization of the daily experiences of millions of people, so they cannot possibly fail to be true. Stereotypes are based on massive empirical data, and empirical data don’t lie. However, I also explain that one of the very few stereotypes that are not empirically true is the aphorism “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Contrary to popular belief, you can very accurately judge people’s character just by looking at them.
        There have been a large number of experiments conducted in recent years to show that altruists (people who tend to cooperate in situations where self-interested behavior might benefit them personally) and egoists (people who tend not to cooperate in such situations) genuinely look different, and people can tell them apart simply by looking at them. These studies show that people pay more attention to the faces of cheaters, and later remember their faces more accurately, even when they don’t know who are cooperators and who are defectors. The latest in the series of such experiments has just been published in the September 2009 issue of the journal Human Nature, with the very descriptive title “Altruism Can Be Assessed Correctly Based on Impression.”

      • JCH,

        After reading Mosher’s comment – who’s the moron now? And a jackass to boot, for calling a woman you’ve never met a moron.

      • I don’t think JCH was expressing disbelief regarding people’s ability to judge people in 30 seconds, timg. Even if this ability was reliable, its accuracy might not be optimal, as evidenced by humans’ ineptitude to choose leaders. Besides, you have to consider the possibility that, in a comedy of menace, more than one person is a moron.

        In no way do I wish to defend JCH by my comment, BTW, in case someone would wish to over egg the pudding, go a bridge too far or stretch the limits of justified disingenuousness.

      • Scott Basinger

        Steve,

        Thank you for the links, they were very interesting and changed my perspective on a lot of things.

    • I prefer to use the term “first impressions” when assessing the characters of people YOU MEET (my Caps) and reserve judgment for much later on, when you have had the chance to see and hear what they have said and done.

    • tim,

      you’d better include patrioticduo, as that was the initial incident of someone judging a person they had never met.

      How ever did you miss that?

      • patrioticduo

        I will grant that watching a youtube video of Shakun is not nearly as information rich as meeting him in person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PgnMuKuVXzU Thirty seconds of him was all I needed. And for the record, I erred in judging Marcott, Thus, I reserve judgment on Marcott. Shakun however, is pdjudged as untrustworthy.

      • He was judging his behavior (though it was actually Shakun in the video).

        There is a difference.

      • Joshua (the nice but silly, unglued pissant progressive bacon-loving putz)

        tim –

        Why let something as irrelevant as their actual identity get in the way of forming an judgement about them? Lol!

        I just judged your character by viewing a video of Pee Wee Herman.

    • The sad reality in that in the short term this will do nothing but enhance Marcott’s career ‘the Team ‘ is out in full support , his got every chance of getting into AR5 and the press has long moved on with their last word being the BS claim .

      • My prediction is that you won’t see Shakun doing any PR work until he has done some very thorough public speech and interview training. His interview with Revkin was a body language and interviewing technique disaster.

  18. It is interesting that missed in all concernabout this paper was a relatively straight-forward exchange.

    Over at Dot Earth, Revkin noted Rohde’s criticism of the paper, and presented that criticism to Shakun, who responded. No big-time drama. No labeling of “mafia” or insinuations of “scientific misconduct.” Not cries of “denier.” Just a straight-forward discussion of the resolution of the data and their validity of the paper for inferring temperature trends in the 20th century.

    How fascinating that a straight-forward exchange about the science gets lost in all the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching. What is clear that many people engaged in this debate seem to disproportionately interested in the drama. The reason for that seems obvious – because the drama is more satisfying when people are focused on tribal identifications. Unfortunately, you seem to be a part of that group, Judith.

    • Joshua, how do you mean that this got lost? It’s been discussed all over the place. And more importantly, all kind of other aspects have been discussed too. Extensively!

      More notable would be that everything else (except soma lame excuses) “gets lost in all the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching” !?

      Why do you think so many of the alarmists so much shun dealing with the real issues?

      What is your point even: The Revikin interview som weeks ago!? Should it have been left at that? Why?

      • What did you tell the President, Elevator Litella? Never mind.
        ========================

      • Joshua, how do you mean that this got lost? It’s been discussed all over the place. And more importantly, all kind of other aspects have been discussed too. Extensively!

        What has been lost, amid all the drama, was the straight-forward exchange. IMO, all that was needed to be said was said in that exchange. Rohde’s indicated that the resolution of the data was problematic, and Shakun responded. Even someone intellectually-challenged and technically-illiterate such as myself could understand the differing perspectives. The views on the science were clearly expressed in a very straight-forward manner. No tribalism necessary.

        And instead, what we get are people on both sides of the debate creating huge drama. Same ol’ same ol’ in the climate debate.

      • Are you kidding me Joshua?

        “all that was needed to be said was said in that exchange”

        Nothing to see here, move along! ?

        IF you really cannot see even what is contentious with this paper and what it purports to show, how come you spend so much time tone trolling here?

    • Joshua,

      it’s pretty clear that once the real math problems starting coming out, the authors stopped communicating with Revkin or CA. They are now hiding behind the RC firewall. They can comment here, RC, or DE and have chosen to not do so for weeks now.

      The FAQ is fine as it is. A basic admission that the math is weak and should not be trusted. It should end here.

      It would be nice if all the media outlets who covered the paper’s misleading results ran an article on this update, but we both know they won’t. That is a problem, as is the *** fact *** that effective peer review in climate science is non-existent.

      One has to be pretty naive to be in climate science and publish an “independent” new HS based on very weak science and not expect to run into a buzz saw. One hopes that one thing people have learned is to cross your t’s and dot your i’s when it comes to HS math.

  19. First Bullet point, “Are there still no checks and balances in the paleoclimate community (outside of the efforts of Steve McIntyre, JeanS et al.)?”

    That is the problem. I read a recent paper on the SST paleo temperature derived from one of the bugs. The core sample depths can range from a few hundred meters to a few thousand, so the time and location of death of the bug to the time and location of deposit of the bug can vary by a few hundred years and many hundreds of kilometers vertically and horizontally. I think that would make paleo a pretty specialized field.

    • I also noted this first point.

      Is the field of paleoclimate science so robust that it can be relied on as a basis for making policy decisions?

      Can the average person feel confident that “proxy thermometers” can really tell us what temperatures were 500, 1000 or 10,000 years with a degree of accuracy solid enough to provide valid comparisons to today?

      Statistics is not a strong suit for me. I often can barely follow some of the discussion of methods. What I often take away is that the data has to sliced and diced to reach a point where it might tell us something. I don’t have a problem taking the word of a statistician on the validity of this. In the case of paleoclimatology, it appears that the statisticians are the ones questioning the methods.

      • Timg56, It really seems to be primarily statistics. A large number of the individual paleo calibrations have pretty large uncertainty ranges, 1.25 C in some cases. Unlike thermometers that can have a larger absolute error but still provide a reliable anomaly, paleo is a lot less useful unless all the error ranges are considered. Throwing out Mann-o-matic reconstructions without realistic uncertainty ranges is doing the actual paleo guys a major disservice.

    • The core sample depths can range from a few hundred meters to a few thousand

      Aren’t the depth units in cm?
      Vostok is the deepest proxy with a depth of 27200 (272.00 m) and age of 11642 BP.
      The MD98-2181 core has the next deepest depth of 935 (9.35 m) and age of 11659 YBP (published) or 12097 YBP (redated) (with a 1-sigma of 300 yr
      .

      • Stephan, I was referring to the bottom depth of the ocean proxies. A core can be collected in a few hundred meters depth of a few kilometers deep near trenches. Since the ocean currents vary with depth, the sediment in the cores can flow to the core location from different directions. The actual depth of the core sample of course can vary.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AeNh2OoOhrE/UVyM7f9AxhI/AAAAAAAAHs0/_oiLpKrUjMM/s800/Depths.png

        That is three ocean cores from the north Atlantic, Two are in the 400 to 500 meter depth and the other is over 1600 meters. Since the Arctic currents, gyres, are a touch unpredictable, the deep and shallow cores can be completely out of phase. To get all the good out of the proxies you would either need extremely long averaging or one kick butt ocean model.

        The shallower cores should tend to be more accurate, but are still more an indication of currents than temperatures.

      • Interesting post cptnDallas currents hmm

  20. How can one man’s audit consistently turn up so much junk?!

    How does this get published in Science, get huge attention, and no paleo is like -“well I devote my entire life to this study, let’s see if his analysis is correct?”

    Now that Mick has done all the heavy lifting, everyone jumps on board to finger wag. Where was this whole “respectable” climate establishment before?

    Pielke Jr says its a few bad apples – Sorry, the more I see of how the sausage is made, the less credibility I give to anyone from the establishment/academia. McIntyre is literally doing your job for you!

  21. Judith –

    I just read the McKitrick article.

    Do you think it is interesting that he talks of how the authors “admitted” “over the weekend” that the 20th century analysis was not “robust,” — when the paper itself contains statements about the weak statistical validity of the 20th century projections?

    Seems incredibly misleading to me. Why would McKitrick leave out that obviously relevant piece of information? Don’t you think that such a blatant oversight is worthy of comment?

    Judith, don’t forget, the soul of those young scientists is at stake.

    • So all your previous reactions were before you read it? Hey, I still haven’t read it.
      ===========

    • Joshua, the first sentence of the Marcott abstract, “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time ” Now when you dig through the paper and check the supplements you find that that statement is “not robust”. Doesn’t used car salesman come to your mind?

      • Cap’n –

        I’m not going to defend the rhetoric. I agree that it is not appropriate. That said, it is easy to go too far in the other direction,and to do so is, trivially, just more of the same ol’ same ol’.

        Along those lines, the reconstructions of the past 1500 years do suggest what they say. That is appropriate language. I even think it is fine for them to say that in the abstract, as an abstract should, appropriately, discuss the implications of the research findings. What is not OK is to de-couple the “not robust” caveat.

        That is legitimate criticism. Rohde made it well, IMO – without the petty tribal nonsense.

        Why didn’t Judith write a post about Rohde’s criticism – in the manner that Revkin did – rather than highlighting the misleading tribalism of someone like McKitrick?

      • Steven Mosher

        If Judith had written about Rohde you’d be here nit picking about her writing about one of her co authors. That’s because you dont work to find areas of agreement you choose to highlight disagreement. perhaps it is time to practice some skepticism about the effectiveness of your comments.

      • Joshua, there is no avoiding the same ole same ole. There is a battle for the media because of the political part of the science. Everyone wants to hammer another nail in the other sides coffin.

        Think about, truly ground breaking research would state, FIIK. The Green side believes FIIK means do something NOW!! and the other side believes FIIK means exercise a bit of caution, but don’t lose your cool. I am a chilled kinda guy.

      • steven –

        perhaps it is time to practice some skepticism about the effectiveness of your comments.

        Judging blog comments by measuring their “effect?” Seriously?

        What is the net cumulative effect of blog comments in any real-world sense? Much heat but virtually no light.

        Try subtracting out the obviously worthless comments from the total, and dividing that virtually no light by the remaining comments that might have some real-world measure of value.

        What do result to you get? Mostly just a bunch of wasted electrons in my estimation, but tell me, but what do you get as a “best estimate” for the value of even the most pithy blog comments?

        One of the funniest aspect of the blog comments wars is how seriously people take this stuff.

        I am sufficiently skeptical about the effectiveness of my comments. I judge them to have virtually no real world effect whatsoever. If I’m concerned about effectiveness, I shut down the blog comments sections and do something that has real world value.

      • “Joshua, the first sentence of the Marcott abstract, “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time ””
        Yes, it does. The second sentence says:
        “Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. ”

        The first sentence is clearly not referring to their reconstruction. The statement is robust.

        This crops up over and over in this argument. Skeptics are so excited about spotting the failings of this 1940 spike that they forget that there is a real modern warming that is not a figment of Marcott’s paper. And it’s what people are very often referring to when they contrast with the Holocene stability that Marcott et al have shown.

      • Nick, they have not shown Holocene stability. Their resolution is too low for that!

      • Nick –

        Thanks for that clarification. I didn’t read the second sentence, and only went from Cap’n’s excerpting the first sentence. My mistake..

      • Nick,

        Regarding this comment: “Skeptics are so excited about spotting the failings of this 1940 spike that they forget that there is a real modern warming that is not a figment of Marcott’s paper”

        I am a non-statistics guy, so it is very possible I am missing something. But my impression is that the Marcott paper talks about identifying temperatures going back 10,000 years at a scale (if that is the correct term) which allows for 50% error for periods of 1,000 years in length. How can that have any bearing on a record covering 100 – 150 years?

        Who is arguing that the “modern warming” you refer to is not real? Doesn’t one of the questions become “Is this significant when compared to past climate?”

        And isn’t paeloclimatology a development to try to answer that question?

        Now, according to the Marcott paper we are suppossed to believe that he and his co-authors have made a significant step forward in telling us about past climate – all from 73 proxy records, btw, which require exercises in statistics to be able to tell us something – and what gets talked about is the part that is statistically meaningless. I see that as a bit of a problem. What I don’t see is how the paper tells us anything about recent climate.

      • tim –

        As someone who knows even less about statistics than you, so the probability I’m missing something will be increased over your comment. But….

        Given the temperature trends that the Marcott paper shows, what do you think the probabilities might be that the low resolution in their data hides a spike of the sort we know about (from other sources) in recent time? Keep in mind the magnitude of the spike and the degree of correction that would be needed to make it disappear before the resolution of their data caught up to the appearance of the spike.

        The data they provide don’t give an direct answer to that question. This was Rohde’s criticism, as I understand it. But it seems to me that the their data inevitably raise that question, and “suggest” a meaningful answer.

        Thoughts?

        BTW – I didn’t miss the putz comment, and you should know I’ll give you a break but usually if that comments comes anyone who isn’t a tribe member (you aren’t a member of the tribe, are you?) it’s throw-down time.

      • But then, Joshua, I ask again, what did the paper add to scientific knowledge? Whats its value without the uptick and the hype about what this paper is not supposed to be?

      • sven –

        Whats its value without the uptick and the hype about what this paper is not supposed to be?

        Seems to me that the value is greater knowledge about climate in the past. Seems to me that the value of that knowledge is relatively clear. That is why combatants are willing to sustain onslaughts of Jell-O flingers to battle over proxies, as if they comprise some kind of sacred holly ground. This is a religious war.

      • Nick, the statement is a teaser. So yes, it that respect it was robust.

      • Josh,

        RE my thoughts:

        the first one is that maybe we should bet on who is more statistically challenged. I certainly wouldn’t bet any money on it being you.

        on your question about the paper – my answer is “I don’t know.” Gavin Schimdt says over at RealClimate that this paper is a real advance in understanding past climate. I’d have to take his word for it. My personal opinion is that squeezing out a record of the planet’s climate at a resolution which tells us anything useful from 73 proxy data sets contains a large dose of hope and faith. Do you think it is possible to know what the temperature was this day, 500 or 5,000 years ago? While the resolution does not have to be that fine, it has to at least approach the century level before it tells us much. At least that is my opinion. Explanations as to why I’m wrong are welcome. Despite what fan thinks, I am open to learning.

      • Joshua, what do the reconstruction for the past 1500 yes suggest? Marcott et al. mention that the lowest point was the LIA starting about 200 years ago. That that was about 0.7 Colder and the largest fluctuation was due to the North Atlantic changing about 2C degrees.

        Well, the one ocean we have the most and best measurements of temperature is the Atlantic.

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QTk99F9PJ0E/UVtpVBvH0TI/AAAAAAAAHsA/agt6QyTA0fM/s912/amo%2520with%2520giss%2520and%2520hadsst3.png

        since Marcott is comparing to “today”, specifically the past decade, those are all adjusted to the 1979 to 2010 satellite era baseline. Notice how the AMO, which is the Kapland non-detrended version, fits the NH and SH oceans pretty well. The land surface temperatures vary a lot more because air is less dense than water and lots of the air where the land surface temperatures are measured is less dense than sea level air. If the land average elivation is 2000 meters, there would be about a 17% amplification of the land “surface” temperature measurement. If you look close at the NH land and the AMO, it appears the AMO leads the land temperature change. The AMO is one of those well known natural internal oscillations that can’t have much impact on “global” climate and the recovery from the little ice age can’t have much impact on climate because that would be just plain rude and spoil a perfectly good apocalyptic theory.

        Since both the AMO and the NH SSTs extend back to the 1850s, about 170 years ago, they should start about the time of what marcott thinks is the worst of the little ice age. How much has the North Atlantic and northern hemisphere oceans warmed since then? Would you think that the North Atlantic seems to have significant impact on “global” land temperatures?

      • Matthew R Marler

        timg56: Gavin Schimdt says over at RealClimate that this paper is a real advance in understanding past climate.

        That might be true of the pre-20th century reconstructions, but not of the 20th century reconstructions. How the authors reconstructed a recent temp spike from their data, and how they produced a result different from Marcotte’s thesis remain problematical.

        This is a good time to remind everyone that Marcotte et al remain in defiance of the Science/AAAS policy that all code supporting a paper be made public as a condition of acceptance for publication. After these weeks of discussion, I consider that further cause to be suspicious of their results.

      • I agree with Tim that the resolution issue is something not well understood, even by many climate scientists. It has always concerned me whenever paleo data is spliced with modern recordings.

      • k scott denison

        Nick Stokes | April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        The first sentence is clearly not referring to their reconstruction. The statement is robust.
        —–
        If that first sentence doesnt apply to their reconstructions, where are the citations to the works the are referring to?

      • Steven Mosher

        here is what the holocene looks like

        http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/7097/marcottvostokbaselinesh.jpg

    • Joshua,

      given that Judith chose to promote this false claim by McKitrick, one can assume that her concern for these young researchers is far, far less than her obsession with bashing Real Climate.

      They were just the means to an end.

      Disgusting behaviour, I think.

      • Pranks are pranks, pretty soon we’re talking about real trillions.
        ==============

      • Perhaps if you parsed McKitricky’s comments in the same way you do RC’s, you would realise that the “no mention” part was referring to the press release, not the paper. In that context, it is 100% accurate, is it not? that’s an interesting tribal slip for you to make, is it not?

      • kneel,

        Indeed that is ‘parsing’, and to continue the theme, McK, to be 100% accurate, could have made that explicit.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Do you think it is interesting that he talks of how the authors “admitted” “over the weekend” that the 20th century analysis was not “robust,” — when the paper itself contains statements about the weak statistical validity of the 20th century projections?”

      You know what is weird.

      When the headlines came out touting the uptick, I argued that it was misleading given what the paper said and what the authors said.
      And in typical fashion you were no where to be found. But Willard was there, arguing that the headlines were not misleading and that the authors had said no such thing.

      Weird, just weird, that you can find the time to nit pick a journalist about his description of a guy, but be utterly silent when you see a misleading headline touting the uptick.

      Weird.

      • Dear Mr Mosher,

        “When the headlines came out touting the uptick, I argued that it was misleading given what the paper said and what the authors said.
        And in typical fashion you were no where to be found. But Willard was there, arguing that the headlines were not misleading and that the authors had said no such thing.”

        It is with heavy heart I must inform you I have selected your comment for auditing.

        I have attempted to replicate your results (to wit, google “Stephen Mosher uptick”) but have failed to locate your raw data.

        I must now consider you to be behaving in a manner some, not I to be sure, would characterise as fraudulent and close to, though not quite touching the realm of, misconduct.

        Though the situation is bleak I must happily inform you I see a bright future for you, free of attacks on your character and intent. Having clearly established myself as a fair minded trustworthy fellow I think you can see that if you were to hand over the data the accusation that some, not I to be sure, have leveled upon you shall surely cease.

      • Steven –

        I commented on Rohde’s criticism, and the give-and-take between Shakun and Revkin on that topic as soon as I read Rohde’s criticism – as I recall, largely because of your mention of his criticism.

        At that point I learned, what IMO,is scientifically relevant about the paper and the relevance to the climate wars. All the rest has been noise, or as Judith referred to, more heat than light. That includes Pielke Jr.’s petty self-serving nonsense and McKitricks follow-on misdirection about that the authors “admitted” in an email to Stevie-mac.

        But people on both sides of the debate are far more interested in the noise – and apparently for Judith too, the Jell-O in the sparkling sunlight of the junior high school cafeteria food fight is what is catching her eye.

        Same ol’ same ol’

      • Steven Mosher

        dulleroo
        Audit fail

        “I have attempted to replicate your results (to wit, google “Stephen Mosher uptick”) but have failed to locate your raw data.”

        my name would be steven not stephan. dulleroo -1
        a better google would have been ‘headline’ ‘misleading’ dulleroo – 2

        Funny analogy: neither marcott nor dulleroo know how to look for things

        “What is misleading about the headline is the word “fastest”
        “fastest” implies a RATE of change. A rate of change requires a time scale.
        the problem is this: In the current day estimates they have high resolution data. so we can see say 1C in 100 years. Thats a rate: 1C per century.
        In the past, their resolution is worse. they cant even see data at 100 years so they cannot measure rates at 100 years and cannot make the comparison that the title implies. Their charts give the perception of a fast rate of increase because the resolution is different in the present than in the past
        It’s not really defensible.”

      • “Audit fail”

        I rather think my audit is going quite well.

        Why are you against releasing the data Mr Mosher? Some quotation marks in a comment are not data, an auditor needs to see independent verification and that requires links.

        Links you could easily have furnished.

        From an auditing perspective ideally you’d fail to respond, in which I win. Produce another response which somehow manages to not be fully appreciative of my attention in auditing your work and I win. Produce the raw data and, well, there are always other comments to be audited.

        p.s. googling your quotes produces no results. The only correct auditor response is to accuse you of fabricating them. Though some, not I, would say I have accused you of fabricating them I assure you I simply want the raw data.

      • ­> But Willard was there, arguing that the headlines were not misleading and that the authors had said no such thing.

        Quote and cite, pretty please with sugar on it.

      • steven mosher

        did you find the quote from the authors I left you willard? you know the one where they say their result is not robust?
        you know, the underlying reason for calling the headline misleading?

        I knew you could.

        @dulleroo. #Si

      • > did you find the quote […]

        A quote and a link, please.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        we may or may not screwed – but wee willie certainly is.

      • I saw moshers comment appear, It was notable to me because it confirmed an observation I had posted a short time priorly to this same issue. You are in error Sharperoo

      • Do you have the link, dalyplanet?

        Due diligence and all.

    • You’re such a nasty putz, Joshua. it’s in the paper yes, but they conveniently ignored that fact when talking to the press. just as you conveniently ignore what’s important here.

      “Incredibly misleading” you say? As in, it’s so misleading we literally can’t believe it?

      Please. As I said, nasty putz.

      • Putz Josh certainly may be at times. But calling him nasty is going over board.

        Grant Foster is nasty. He often comes across as someone you’d refrain from introducing to your mother. Hell, I would refrain from introducing him to his own mother. Josh doesn’t come within a country mile of Tamino.

      • Joshua is OK. He just gives as good as he gets, which probably is not a good idea IMO but its his call. Also wonder sometimes if he is on topic but again, if Judith lets these comments go through its a simple matter to pass over them to the next comment.

    • The misleading bit is presenting the paper to the media as proof of unprecedented catastrophic Mann Made Global Warming ™ when the authors state in their own paper that the 20th century component is in reliable and not robust.

      Now it seems to be that you con only have one or the other BUT you most certainly cannot have both!

      Mckin was correct in his article, Marcott et al trumpeted the paper around the world as conclusive proof of Mann Made Global Warming ™. It wasn’t until the anti-Christ (McIntyre) got involved that the inconvenient fact that destroyed the paper came to light.

      Now you can bang on as much as you want about what a big bad meany McIntyre and co are for asking the questions the reviewers should have asked but that does not change the fact that the claims made to the media CANNOT be supported by the actual paper itself.

      I’m struggling to understand where your confusion is coming from Joshua.

      Mailman

  22. … when the paper itself contains statements about the weak statistical validity of the 20th century projections?

    It doesn’t – that’s one of biggest misconceptions around, as Dr McKitrick pointed out on Climate Audit on Sunday (third paragraph). Indeed, this sleight of hand by the authors is one of the biggest reasons to mistrust them. But I bow to Dr Curry’s instincts here. Let’s give these young fellows a certain amount more rope and hope they extricate themselves. We don’t want any more budding Michael Manns out there.

  23. The real story is only just emerging, and it isn’t pretty.

    Meanwhile, the role of the dollar as the world’s store of value — an ersatz substitute for gold — has been destroyed (that was the Left’s free money and instead they boiled and ate the golden goose). Recall the old refrain, invented by the Eurocommies –e.g., “Oh no, we love Americans, it’s the US government we hate.” Of course they love Americans just like crooks love your wallets.

  24. All they have to do is be accurate. If you want to compare todays temperature with our reconstruction you would have to average out the last ~ 300 years. If they want to add on that it is their opinion that temperatures will rise and the data will eventually show that today’s climate is unusual in comparison to the reconstruction that would be fine. Many people hold that opinion. The problem is the blending of the study results and the opinions of the authors when communicating to the public. If the people they consider their mentors do not understand this is a problem then there is another problem.

  25. Marcott et al, out of Peter Gleick (school of ethics), by Mike Mann (proxy manipulation) and half brother to Grant Foster (statistical sleight of hand) with post parturition care from Joshua

    It’s enough to make one take syrup of ipecac

  26. I vote they do what all scientists should do.

    Join neither team and simply publish the science in an unbiased manner,

  27. Dr. Curry,

    Since you are giving a lot of advice this morning, I’d like to offer a bit of my own to you. I have been following this story this weekend and while I generally like to read comments on the blogs, its gotten so petty and personal it is almost impossible to pick out any interesting technical information that actually teach us something. In other words, there is a lot of noise but little light. Would it be possible to host a debate of sorts on this blogs between the principles in this dispute to educate regular readers like me who come to this blog to see how the science is sorted out.

    • Sean, this particular topic is outside of my expertise, so I can’t undertake to do what you ask. McKitrick’s summary is the best one I’ve seen. A previous thread at Climate Etc. by Rud Istvan hosted some scientific debate on this:
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/19/playing-hockey-blowing-the-whistle/

      • I have read both Ross’s and Rud’s posting. I would hope that you’d give the authors of the paper a chance to post here (as opposed to real science) and heavily moderate comments to those with the appropriate technical expertise plus strip out anything that could be perceived at personal jabs.

      • Anyone is welcome to post here, and I would have welcomed a post by Marcotte et al. In fact, I am sort of surprised that they did not send their response to be posted at the range of major blogs that discussed their paper. Rud Istvan emailed his essay and I agreed to post it (that is how the system here usually works). My post today is an attempt to stimulate discussion on the broader issues that have arisen over the weekend, of which the RC post by Marcott et al. is just one element.

        Also, I do not have time to do heavy moderation in the comments. The trademark of Climate Etc. is that freewheeling discussion is allowed, unlike nearly all other climate blogs. As a result, the discussion can get heated and I do try to moderate to some extent. The dialogue here is a bit messy, which pretty much reflects the debate surrounding climate science and policy.

      • fastfreddy101

        Sean, by now you may have noticed that the authors choose Real Climate as their spin doctors. Methinks that they could not have stand the heat when they would have done what you suggested. I’m pretty certain that Judith would have given them every chance. But they choose Real Clmate, which is telling enough.

      • Curry: “…this particular topic is outside of my expertise.”

        Well I guess so. That you could find “McKitrick’s summary…the best one I’ve seen” puts this post among the most egregious I’ve seen at this site.

      • Well I guess so. That you could find “McKitrick’s summary…the best one I’ve seen” puts this post among the most egregious I’ve seen at this site.

        Indeed. A modicum or research would reveal the tribalism of his “over the weekend” “admission” in an email misdirection.

        My dear “skeptical” friends – you are being played.

      • Judy:
        I think you are especially well placed to facilitate a virtual symposium to bring together the major parties guided by a knowledgeable, “honest broker” moderating. Technically these things are so simple to create by way of an online teleconference. I’d thing Ga. Tech would jump at the chance to virtually host such an event that can be streamed worldwide then archived. I’m sure any number of reliable people on this thread would volunteer their assistance, including me.

      • Pat, You are welcome to your opinion, but Judith’s post is not “egregious.” The world is not Real Climate where you can get away with this kind of bull (if you are in the right tribe that is). It’s a big world and not everyone who is influential is going to agree with you. It doesn’t take “expertise” in paleo climate to see what the problem with the Marcott paper and press coverage is. It shows Judiths maturity that she lets you say this here. At Real Climate you would be treated to the bore hole or a sarcastic put down.

      • David,

        The hand-wringing and fainting spells are very interesting.

        More so when you consider that people heavily involved in this (let’s call them Willard Tony and Steve Auditor), were recently heavily involved in a strange little fracas, where possibly slightly over-hyped claims regarding the earth shattering importance of some new paper were made. Said paper was duely shown to be a steaming pile of BS, not even fit for the bottom of a bird cage.

        But nevermind, all the faithful acolytes who swallowed that nonsense, are now running around simply aghast at the ‘press coverage’ / PR over the Marcott paper.

        What an amusing performance.

      • David Young

        Michael, You are going to have to talk plainly if you want me to understand what in the world you are talking about. I’m just a little put off by Pat’s insulting drive by comment. He can say whatever he wants and Judith is very tolerant of this type of BS, even about her. But its rather strange when compared to Pat’s worshipful attitude to the Team and their transparent attempt to justify Marcott et al’s hyping of their paper. In justice, Marcott has tried to corrent the most egregious press coverage, for example at Discover blogs where he said exactly what I have said about it: It is impossible to speak of relative rates of change when comparing two records whose time resolution differs by 5 orders of magnitude. Thermometers have at least daily resolution in the 20th century. Their proxy reconstruction has resolution on the order of centuries. Looking at other records such as ice cores shows very large and sharp spikes in the Holocene that cannot be squared easily with the assertion of an essentially constant temperature as given ex cathedra to us by Marcott et al.

      • David Young

        By the way, I have noted a notable loss of interest in Real Climate recently. There are not very many comments and the posts are becoming less and less frequent. I hypothesize that the dogmatic approach is starting to seem a little strained even for the faithful. Marcott is one of the few pieces of debri to latch onto.

      • Plainly – sure.

        The skpetics have been all over this Marcott pape,espiacilly tut-tuttng what they cliam to be ‘hyping’, or whatever, in the press.

        Yet, less than a year ago at WUWT, Watts closed his blog fown with great fanfare in prepartion for some tremondously important paper. There were emails to the press, and then press realea- all before publication! Talk about hype!! The ‘skeptics’ were all agog. McIntyre gave it his seal of approval. The claimd were complete rubbish ,of course, as was clear as soon it was subject to a bit of real scrutiny as opposed to fawning.

        And now these same characters are running around lecturing others.

        The ‘skeptic’ crowd haven’t been much better – praising Watts for the similiar but far more excessive actions that they criticise Marcott for. A regular denizen on this very thread is pearl-clutching over Marcott, yet can be found praising Watts for his pre-pub PR blitz in June last year.

        Re: RC – I think you misunderstand the different purposes of various blogs. RC is mostly science and the frequency of posts has always varied quite a bit. Months with only 2-3 posts are not at all uncommon.
        Others blogs, well, they have other priorities, A primary one would seem to be entertainament/PR, where maintaining an audience is paramount and the number of comments on a post is a measure of worth. And in blog land the golden rule is; post often to keep the eyeballs engaged. No fresh post – eyeballs wander off. So, post daily, if you can, multiple posts a day is ‘best practice’.
        So no ,RC does not concern itself primarily with blog stats.

      • Revkin asks for questions. Jean S & Roman M supply some. Pat Cassen blithers.
        ==============

      • “Yet, less than a year ago at WUWT, Watts closed his blog fown with great fanfare in prepartion for some tremondously important paper. There were emails to the press, and then press realea- all before publication! Talk about hype!! The ‘skeptics’ were all agog. McIntyre gave it his seal of approval. The claimd were complete rubbish ,of course, as was clear as soon it was subject to a bit of real scrutiny as opposed to fawning.”

        Yes there was the hypocrisy in the acceptance of publishing-by-press-release when skeptics have criticized others for doing just that.

        But perhaps even more staggering, did you know that Watts repeated the rubbished claims of the “paper” just a month ago in an interview, as if the flaws found in the paper hadn’t even happened? He even reproduced an image from the flawed press release conveying the flawed results. All so he could claim warming was half of what the NOAA claimed.
        http://oilprice.com/Interviews/Climate-Change-without-Catastrophe-Interview-with-Anthony-Watts.html

        It seems skeptics are more than happy to engage and support PR as soon as they get in front of a camera. They’ll BS to high heaven to help their cause. You only have to look at some of the junk science coming out of people like Burt Rutan on the subject and how the WUWT crowd clap to see either they are totally ignorant of the subject, or a bunch of hypocritical bstards.

      • lolwot,

        Didn’t know about that……but can’t say I’m surprised.

      • lolwot: “It seems warmists are more than happy to engage and support PR as soon as they get in front of a camera. They’ll BS to high heaven to help their cause. You only have to look at some of the junk science coming out of people like Foster on the subject and how the SkS crowd clap to see either they are totally ignorant of the subject, or a bunch of hypocritical bstards.”

        There, fixed it for you.

        Or were you trying to make an actual point? Saying that people who criticize papers you like are being hypocrites because they don’t criticize papers you don’t like is meaningless from a truth/science viewpoint.

        If you admitted that F&R was ridiculous, that the hockey sticks of Mann and Marcott are ridiculous, etc, THEN you’d have a leg to stand on. You could say, “Hey, I call trash trash, wherever it comes from. We need to sweep the trash out of the House of Science!” Instead, you apparently think you can defend the indefensible by criticizing the messenger rather than the message.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Summary Part I  Denialists are 100% correct that:

        • some climate-change scientists sure ain’t saints (or even wise), and
        • the weakest climate-change science sure ain’t strong.

        Summary Part II  The Vatican is 100% correct that:

        • wise & saintly climate-change scientists sure ain’t required, and
        the strongest climate-change science sure ain’t weak.

        Conclusion  The scientific, economic, and long-term moral realities of climate-change science sure ain’t simple … and sure are sobering … eh Climate Etc readers!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Whoops! Here’s a working (hopefully!) link to the strongest climate-change science sure ain’t weak!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Sean: I can’t agree that it’s impossible to learn because “its gotten so petty and personal”. Climate Audit has led the way, for me, and Steve McIntyre stills cuts out both the nasty and non-essential. Self-control is required not just of contributor but reader. And why turn this around and ask: when before in history could I learn as much about a new paper in three weeks from the moment Science and the NSF fired the starting gun?

    • Sean, I think a debate would be useless. Think about what averaging paleo does. As long as you use averages you will always be surprised, there will be “unprecedented” events. Marcott et al are using a method that averages say winter and spring and finds it shocking that summer is greater than their average. The more they average the more shocking every bump will be.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/04/marcott-flaws-simplified.html

      Would you be surprised to find August is warmer than May or one spring may be warmer than one fall?

      Well Marcott et al. found exactly what they were looking for, now they can enjoy constant surprises.

  28. One notes zero actual substantiation for the many allegations. No smoking gun emails, no confessions of actual wrongdoing, no whistleblowers or leaks or hacks or original notes showing intentionality or malice.

    Peter Clark’s role in AR5?! What about Ross McKitrick’s role in the Fraser Institute? Implying guilt by association is the stuff of propagandists and demagogues, not scientists. What next, a blood test for publication?

    The McIntyre & Istvan analyses show gross prejudice and even pride in putting a lawyerly bowtie (did we not learn from the Skydragon Slayers’ lawyering?!) on what amounts to outright attack on science. Do we really want this to go the path of Skydragon Slaying?

    There are valid questions. Learn from the past, where all these tactics have been tried again and again in the past, and other than building unity among loose affiliations of the disgruntled all that came of the ‘audits’ was a fraction of the correction that came out of other sources, generally the original authors themselves, or their peer reviewers, or critics whose papers survive peer review and publication and withstand public criticism.. which McIntyre & McKitrick only made past two of those three hurdles before crashing on the test of ‘does it work’? Learn from BEST, and how — while rejected and denied and scandalized by people who had been all for it until the answers that popped out of the scrupulous methods disagreed with their foregone conclusions — to approach problems like this: just do more science. While I disagree with much of what Muller and Mosher say on many, many things, they are knights in shining armor as far as BEST is concerned. Istvan and McIntyre are sharp businessmen. There’s no reason sharp businessmen can’t contribute to valid analyses and new work. Wouldn’t it be great to see someone broker an agreement by Muller, Marcott, Mosher, McIntyre, McKitrick, Curry & Istvan to do a Holocene-spanning BEST? And who knows, perhaps that work will tell us something new.

    Does Marcott et al 2013 work? Possibly not on endpoints, and it is open to some measure of the criticism of it in public — most of which the authors themselves join in — but in the main, the infographic is a brilliant and useful tool that provides a basis for validating Holocene-spanning GCM runs, and the importance of the work is being obscured by the unfortunate circumstances of its portrayal as a propaganda tool in this rush to entrench hardened opinion.

    • BartR: You make good points. If some non-“mafia” team (just poking fun at RPjr) as you suggest does a Holocene BEST effort, it won’t get published in any meaningful journal. These critics have published papers in second, third and fourth tier rags and have had little impact. 97.5% of their impact has been via blog posts, so they are sticking to what works. What you suggest is a huge time waste that will have zero impact.

      However, the added non-robust blade added at the end based on poorly documented age adjustments does not pass the straight face test. This non-robust blade was the only reason it made it into Science. That level of “bait and switch” marketing has no place in academic or professional science.

    • Steven Mosher

      I’m down for it. I suspect Rohde would be on board as well.
      Some folks just want to work on tough problems. It’s kinda like working in defense ( which I did) . You can’t concern yourself with what people will do with your solution.

      • I had Rohde in mind, but since you beat me, how about Andy Revkin?
        ============

      • Sounds like the gauntlet is thrown on Dr. Curry’s home ground.

        How about it?

        Will people put their ‘money where their mouth is’ and ‘put up or shut up?’

        This is an exciting opportunity to open a new generation of Climate Science, with much greater scope and impact and promise than any prior analysis of proxy records.

        Catch this ride before it leaves without you.

      • That’s great to hear. I hope you can rope one or more paleoclimatologists on board. Of course you and I both know if you do it and can find a way to append instrument to proxy temperatures, the plot will look like some sort of hockey stick, or at least a low-backed wheelchair (h/t E. Fudd’s nemesis).

      • BEST was introduced with a hint of “we are going to correct the corrupt record” and ended with “well, we always knew the record was right.”

        When it comes to Kock kash, it’s best to waste it so go for it.

      • Steven Mosher

        “BEST was introduced with a hint of “we are going to correct the corrupt record” and ended with “well, we always knew the record was right.”

        Well, actually not. Bill Clinton recently spoke about BEST and Rich Muller at Stanford. He started his speech by saying that ‘one of my heros is in the audience; Rich Muller” He then explained Muller’s concern better than any climate scientist I have read. Paraphrasing, “Muller was concerned about the reliability and accuracy of the record and the problem of UHI. You know Hillary and I own a place in the country and this concern made sense to me as I can fell the difference between temperature in the city and in the rural areas.” He then went on to explain that Muller was a rather conservative guy but that he put that all aside and did science and announced results no one would expect from a Koch funded organization.

        Further, some of us on the team expected to find no difference but wanted instead to expand and refine the record, which we did.

      • Sounds promising Steve. Science by committee. Here is my guess – you will do the lion’s share of the work. You goal is to get the Holocene right once and for all. End result – you discover the optimal pH for digestion myosin in the small bowel of the Tasmanian devil. Write it up, rejected everywhere but persist nonetheless and it ends up as Vol 1, page 1 in Gastointestinal Physiology of Obscure Mammals, at $1000/page. Mosher, not an author.

      • “Well, actually not. Bill Clinton recently spoke about BEST and Rich Muller at Stanford.”

        Bill Clinton? Seriously? The impeached president who was disbarred for perjuring himself, is a go to authority on BEST? In a thread about honesty in climate science?

        Seriously?

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Sounds promising Steve. Science by committee. Here is my guess – you will do the lion’s share of the work. You goal is to get the Holocene right once and for all.”

        hardly. Let me explain how things work. I will use the work that Zeke, Nick, Menne and Williams and I did.

        At the very start roles are assigned.

        Mosher: does data.
        Zeke: does analytical approach.
        Stokes: Maths.
        Menne and Williams: consult and criticize.

        Not really a committee and I certainly dont do all the work. Not by a long shot. I’d call it a small role, next to the real brain work.

        So if we did a recon I’d focus on what I do. Get the data, share the data, factor OPC. For me that’s the key to keeping personality and emotion out of a project. I just do data. Along the way I might make some arguments.
        Not into writing stuff up, Id rather do a good tool.

        Getting the holocene right? Not the goal. Doing a more complete job is just fine.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Bill Clinton? Seriously? The impeached president who was disbarred for perjuring himself, is a go to authority on BEST? In a thread about honesty in climate science”

        In terms of describing the concern we addressed, yes. On the facts, he did a good job. Go figure, when you stick to facts you can actually say true things.

        Amuse me. What do you think the purpose of doing the study was?
        Since I know the facts, we’ll consider this your intelligence test.
        I suspect you’ll run away or change the subject. or redefine the meaning of “is”. or lie. But you will never answer a simple question.

      • Steven Mosher,

        I think Muller coordinated BEST because Anthony Watts was in the midst of completing a non-consensus controlled evaluation of flaws in the temperature record.

        I believe this not because of anything he said, but because of what he did. I learned long ago to ignore what people say when their actions conflict. Science by press release, claims of newly discovered attribution from analysis of temp data; revelation of data supposedly given in confidence; and a race to the microphone – are not suggestive of a calm, rational, unbiased piece of science. But highly consistent with PR.

        By all means, show me the error of my ways. Give me a list of the actual skeptics who were involved in BEST. You and Muller don’t count.

        But forgive me if I question your ability to test anyone’s intelligence. You are as blinded a tribal partisan as anyone who comments here.

        But I must say, in a way Clinton is a good match for Muller. If you look at what Clinton said, he was a conservative Democrat. Until you look at what he actually did – Hillarycare; massive tax increases; vast expansion of federal regulation (not to mention his serial abuse, and in at least one instance rape, of women). Muller similarly claimed to be a “skeptic,” but never did anything to reject the political consensus of CAGW.

        So I stand corrected. Great choice.

      • This project would be a great step forward for climate science. Mosher once suggested that some form of external peer review should be a given with any database work to ensure that the functional specs are adequately covered. Does he have people in mind for this role?

      • Steve, will you make sure you have the proxy selection criteria posted before any proxies are collected?
        The very act of looking at proxies before choosing a criteria invalidates them.

        If you want to look at what Earth shatter result and how it is dealt with:-
        ‘A prospective randomized trial of perioperative seizure prophylaxis in patients with intraparenchymal brain tumors’
        Wu et al., (2013) J Neurosurg 118:873–883, 2013.
        Background
        81% of neurosurgeons reported that they prescribed prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) to patients without a history of seizures. Phenytoin is the most commonly administered anticonvulsant.

        Abstract Result
        The trial was closed before completion of accrual because Bayesian predictive probability analyses performed by an independent data monitoring committee indicated a probability of 0.003 that at the end of the study prophylaxis would prove superior to observation and a probability of 0.997 that there would be insufficient evidence
        at the end of the trial to choose either arm as superior. At the time of trial closure, 123 patients (77 metastases and 46 gliomas) were randomized, with 62 receiving 7-day phenytoin (prophylaxis group) and 61 receiving no prophylaxis (observation group). The incidence of all seizures was 18% in the observation group and 24% in the prophylaxis group (p = 0.51)….

        The prophylaxis group experienced significantly more adverse events (18% vs 0%, p < 0.01)

        Conclusion
        Although the lower-than-anticipated incidence of seizures in the control group significantly limited the power of the study, the low baseline rate of perioperative seizures in patients with brain tumors raises concerns about the routine use of prophylactic phenytoin in this patient population.

        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
        So a type of drug treatment, used for 40 years to control seizures was found to do more harm than good. The results are quite stark, but no one spliced in better, feelgood, datasets.

      • Steven Mosher

        GaryM

        I think Muller coordinated BEST because Anthony Watts was in the midst of completing a non-consensus controlled evaluation of flaws in the temperature record.

        #####################

        Wrong. You can see the general idea of BEST laid out in a blog comment made by me (at Lucias) to a question asked by Judith; What do skeptics want to see. Go find it. Second, When I first met with Muller he cited two people as being instrumental in his motivation to do this work. He was impressed with Anthony’s work and thought it merited further investigation
        and Anthony shared data with him. The second person he cited had c-authored a book on climategate.

        “I believe this not because of anything he said, but because of what he did. I learned long ago to ignore what people say when their actions conflict. Science by press release, claims of newly discovered attribution from analysis of temp data; revelation of data supposedly given in confidence; and a race to the microphone – are not suggestive of a calm, rational, unbiased piece of science. But highly consistent with PR.”

        The data shared ( a station list) was not revealed. It was not shared with anyone. I didnt even have access to it. The data was used to write a paper. Anthonys paper was already written and in final review. Anthony was upset with Muller for other reasons. You want that email ?

        Race for the microphone?
        I’ve seen that on all sides. I dont like it and wrote a piece critical of it.
        IN FACT, if you find that comment at Lucias you will see that my idea for the BEST project ( before it was ever formed) was a project with no PR. period.

        “By all means, show me the error of my ways. Give me a list of the actual skeptics who were involved in BEST. You and Muller don’t count”.

        As you well know one skeptic is enough to keep a project from going forward, but here is a short list of those involved in some way or another.

        1. Anthony Gave us data
        2. Our chief statistician consulted with his lifetime friend, whom you
        may know as RomanM (of climate audit fame)
        3. Judith Curry. depends on who you ask
        4. Jonathan Wurtle.
        5. The Koch brothers.

      • Actually, Climategate was a strong motivator for BEST, with the concerns over transparency and reliability of the surface data sets.

      • Love the historical details of BEST, especially the link to RomanM. Small world, inevitably.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes Richard, what very few people remember the key Idea that RomanM developed, that of estimating the answer using all the data
        without creating a baseline. Since the problem is a temporal and spatial problem prior methods focused on FIRST reducing the temporal problem by creating anomalies to a base period.. or creating artifically long stations with the reference method. Second many people forget all the voices at CA clamoring for kriging. Third, folks forget the idea floating around of scalpeling stations when they changed. Actually to his credit Willis praised this aspect.

        Its very difficult to sort out who thought what first. I would rather be generous with credit than stingy. For example on the UHI paper there were several comments at CA and WUWT and lucias that drove us to do some sensitivity testing. That said there were concerns that probably still
        need to be fully addressed, however, I find arguments about what matters
        and what doesnt matter to be tedious and when time permits the goal is to address every concern or give people the tools to attack the work by using the very code we deliver

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Steve, will you make sure you have the proxy selection criteria posted before any proxies are collected?
        The very act of looking at proxies before choosing a criteria invalidates them.”

        I’d probably start by using all the proxies. always. no redating, no exclusions. and get the garbage in, garbage out answer.

        that way it is clear how your data choices thereafter impact the final result. Once you have the full data answer then muck about
        as much as you like with the pile, but understand that you are not really
        doing testing like one does in the medical field. I’m always amused at the selection criteria folks come up with after the fact.. I want to see the garbage in answer first.. then you go pick whatever subset you want and we have a good fight.

        The end result of that fight, I suspect, would be good directions for better data collection.

        Thats why I would not see it as getting the holocene “right”. rather doing EDA to understand how best to collect more better data.

        the big problem is this. Doing this job “right” won’t get you published.

      • Mr. Mosher, funny, I just happened across your 2010 comment at Lucia’s reading that old thread the other day, the one listing “what would skeptics like to see” in improved handling of data and stats etc. I wondered if it had influenced Muller et al. and BEST, since the similarities were so striking, but of course I had no way (at that moment) of knowing whether Muller or Rohde etc. had even seen that comment. Congratulations on that line of useful influence. I don’t know all of Anthony’s issues with BEST (or others) but I think at least it is a very good thing that the project exists. One can argue about how the PR or congressional testimony has been handled etc., but I certainly do want to see the BEST results in the mix of climate discussions.

    • Bart:
      I will bite. What about Prof. McKitrick’s role at the Fraser Institute? How does his role as one of 45 senior fellows affect his perspective on the statistical issues and viable conclusions from Marcott et al’s Science paper?

      • bernie1815 | April 2, 2013 at 11:34 am |

        To explain the role of rhetorical questions in communicationab initio would take too long.

        Why don’t we go straight to administering the blood tests, instead?

      • Bart:
        I have no idea as to the relevance of a blood test.
        My contention is that Peter Clark played a significant part in the wholly unjustified and, for me, hard to explain visibility of this particular paper.
        Somebody launched an effective PR campaign. Brand new PhDs are unlikely to set this kind of effort in motion.
        It is hardly guilt by association. Prof. Clark in a highly productive researcher and, not surprisingly, appears to be a highly influential player both around the NSF, the IPCC and in the climate science field in general. Let’s see how this paper is cited in AR5. If its use is limited strictly to the Holocene then any role he might have had in the hyping of this paper will be of little consequence. If, however, it is used in AR5 to buttress proxy studies with supposedly much higher frequency measures then I think there is a problem.

      • bernie1815 | April 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

        Alternate theory: the Marcott et al method is patently brilliant and ought be a central topic of climate science conversations for the next decade, as close to an observation of the Big Bang for Holocene-like weather in the world of climate cosmology as we yet have.

        No PR campaign necessary.

        And really, having some minor experience in PR, I have to say if this is had PR in it, it was nursery school grade PR. “Appears to be a highly influential player…” That is just rich.

        Why not judge AR5 based on the contents of AR5, and Marcott et al 2013 on the merits of Marcott et al 2013 and leave the conspiracy theory ‘team’ talk to the non-science crowd?

      • Bart:
        I do not understand your alternative theory. What could possibly make the Marcotte et al method brilliant? Nobody to my knowledge has suggested this. Is that your explanation for the PR effort?

      • bernie1815 | April 3, 2013 at 9:57 am |

        What makes the method brilliant is the need it fills for statisticians.

        Prior to Marcott et al, there was no suitable and sufficient dataset or other mechanism to really validate GCMs. A climate is 30 years. We have at most in the instrumental record six or eight discrete data points even regionally. A statistician distrusts such low numbers. It didn’t really matter much as technology is challenged to produce very long GCM runs anyway, or at least was up to recently, but we’re seeing progress on that side too.

        While the Marcott infographic cannot deliver much granularity, GCMs can (indeed, to work, rather must). While GCMs can never provably recover exactly what really happened before instrumental records, because we can demonstrably derive from them simulations of what paleo proxies ought look like for any particular run, we can validate the runs sufficiently to establish true pdfs for weather under the most similar conditions to the modern Earth we could wish.

        We go from six or eight discrete points to over 350. That is huge. We can know really how likely any particular weather event or temperature might be, compared to the whole Holocene. We can compare this millennium, century, 30-year-span, decade, year, season, month, day to all other suitable comparators to reliably make claims about trends. We’ll have a large enough span of pdfs to establish climate sensitivity to most of those forcings which now are in greatest doubt.

        The Marcott infographic on its own? Not sufficient. But taken as a piece of the greater whole, integrated with the sum of knowledge and put to effective use? It’s of immeasurable value.

      • Bart:
        I still do not get how this helps GCMs. The resolution is entirely insufficient to do anything except rule out tendencies for large 1000 year oscillations of more than 2C. (Of course, greater swings within that period would be allowed but are invisible in the Marcott et al reconstruction.)
        In addition, others, including Mann, have already pointed to issues at the hemispheric level because of the geographic spread of proxies. Then we have the unexplained behavior of similar proxies that are geographically proximate to each other but show a very different signal. There are after all only 73 proxies and while that is way better than one or two inconsistencies among them raises different questions. (Nick Stokes tool at his site ( http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com/2013/03/proxy-viewer-with-choice-of-dating-and.html#more ) is very useful for quickly looking at the individual proxies.)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bart R: Alternate theory: the Marcott et al method is patently brilliant and ought be a central topic of climate science conversations for the next decade

        Patently. That’s good.

      • bernie1815 | April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |

        Yes, yes. The resolution of the Marcott Infographic is very low, but it creates a substantial comparator to validate Holocene-spanning GCM’s.

        Simply run a GCM, derive what the proxies would look like, and — just as when MM03 was rejected for being outside the accepted range — reject runs that cannot generate derived proxies fitted to the actual outputs in the Marcott infographic.

        The GCMs thus validated could be run ad infinitum, and create pdfs right down to the daily, gridded level. They couldn’t recreate an actual instrumental record, but these pdfs are not just the second best thing: they are a thing we would want and be able to make use of even if we did have such an instrumental curve.

        For example, we could know how commonplace rises like the GMT has had in the past half century are. We could know how likely a fifteen-year flat five-year mean trend would be to reflect an end to the 30-year warming trend. We’d have a tool to focus our attention on questions in climate that really matter, while quashing error.

        Don’t you want to quash error?

      • Bart:
        Everyone wants to reduce errors. I doubt very much that Marcott is going to enable that except in the most trivial ways. You say:
        “For example, we could know how commonplace rises like the GMT has had in the past half century are. We could know how likely a fifteen-year flat five-year mean trend would be to reflect an end to the 30-year warming trend. We’d have a tool to focus our attention on questions in climate that really matter, while quashing error.”
        Why on earth do we need a 11000 year aggregation of 73 proxies which are not ideally spatial dispersed and with an average resolution of 250 years to look at 50 year and 15 year trends? We have proxies with much higher resolutions covering the last 2000 years and they are proving to be quite variable if I read Figure 5.7 in AR5 SOD correctly.
        I can see the relevance of the profile for examining long cycle events like glaciation, which is Peter Clark’s specialty, but I do not see how this particular analysis can help answer the important and interesting questions you raised and that we all would like to be answered.

      • Bernie1815 | April 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |

        Why 3,500+ discrete data points (11,300/30) over six or eight or 66 (2,000/30)?

        That’s a serious question?

        Why a method to derive a valid comparator for GCM runs is better than cramming together a handful of short proxies and hoping for the best?

        I’m not saying there isn’t work to be done. There’s a great deal of work to be done to make this advancement practical when GCMs get to the point it’s plausible to contemplate multiple Holocene-spanning runs.

        I’m suggesting this is an arrow pointing the way.

      • Bart:
        The presenting issue was why the fuss about this particular paper. Even if this paper “points the way” for validating and exercising GCMs – to my knowledge you are the only person who has said this explicitly. The authors certainly do not allude to it in the article. So why your idea might have merit, at this moment it is your idea.

      • bernie1815 | April 4, 2013 at 9:06 am |

        If, at this point, it is my idea, then I give credit where credit is due:

        Marcott et al, Muller et al.. are a good start.

        We see farther by standing on the shoulders of giants.

        Though what makes some idea belong to a person in science, to my likes, isn’t their chronological order of arrival but their actual advancement of it.

        This isn’t an idea at all without a dedicated and competent group to do the considerable work necessary.

      • Bart: Where do Marcott et al voice this benefit of their Holocene proxy work? Do you have a reference?.

      • bernie1815 | April 4, 2013 at 10:35 am |

        You’ve made me the reference, by crediting me with the idea.

        No one asked Einstein where Newton .. hrm.. perhaps a slightly too elevated analogy for this case. ;)

      • Bart R | April 4, 2013 at 1:48 am |

        Persian Flaw #2:

        Why 3,500+ discrete data points (11,300/30)..

        Does no one check math any more?

        Small wonder it’s impossible to have a cogent discussion of Marcott’s methods with his innumerate critics.

    • Bart R, not an attack on science. Only an attack on palpably bad, and (given Marcott’s statement to McIntyre and more formal FAQ) apparently knowingly misleading ‘science’. It is not possible to reconcile the first sentence of the Science Abtract with either the paper SI figure 18c or with the ‘unofficial’ FAQ to which no negative observations are being allowed by moderation.
      When you defend the indefensible, it does not strengthen an observers confidence in the validity of the rest of your views, no matter how pompously expressed.
      First rule of holes when you are in one and want to get out is to stop digging.
      Rud

      • Rud Istvan | April 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

        I’ve been aware of your name for some time, first while studying BCG in introductory business courses back in the days I had to top up my scholarships to college (I graduated from a small, ivy-covered school in the Northeast with a fair reputation for business) working as a gravedigger — so I believe either I am well-qualified in the rules of hole digging, or I can say that I’m one of the denizens familiar for the greatest length of time with your work prior to your first post here, or both — and laughed out loud reading your online trouncing of phony capacitor claims at a much later date, as I’d been the type of geeky teenager who programmed in assembler on Motorola OS/9 on the MC6809 & 6803 controllers on home-built multi-user systems for fun.

        As you earlier implied I should get to know your background better. In business, in electronics, you are unto a mythic figure striding above the horizon like Colossus, and $11 billion in influence sells you far short.

        All science is tinged with the palpably bad; with very few exceptions. Most of it becomes apparent almost immediately, while some takes time before its folly is revealed. Brilliance in science is to find its value proposition and add value to that as an investor.

        Marcott recognized there were weaknesses in his infographic; he said so early on, and seemed to be, as you say, knowing of the weaknesses, which he asserts he did not rely on for his conclusions. Looking closely at his work, we find that indeed this is so. The blade, while referenced, isn’t the foundation for the major conclusions of the paper.

        So weak, confusing or possibly even mischievous, focus on this is not going to help find the real genius of the method Marcott’s stumbled onto.

        Take a look with fresh eyes, ignoring the blade, and I think you might understand how valuable a Holocene-length tool competent to validate GCM runs would be, if properly executed. That’s something we don’t have now, and that would give us pdfs we could apply today for much more than navel-gazing about the nonexistence of sport equipment.

        In a number of fields you are an unquestioned top rung expert; no one questions how much you bring to any intellectual pursuit.

        You would certainly outshine most if you put your considerable skills and talents behind a Holocene-spanning BEST-like project. I expect if you expressed interest, the quality of volunteers to collaborate would be high. And you would never again be compared to the ‘lawyer’ for the Skydragon Slayers.

        What do you say? Are you in?

      • blueice2hotsea

        “What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”

      • blueice2hotsea | April 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm |

        Ah, yes. The Marxist line, number 6 most commonly heard remark a sexton hears upon mention of his profession.

        Number one of course being, “Well, that’s a dead-end job,” or variants thereof.

      • If science advances forward one funeral at a time, Bart R could claim some authority.

        ***

        Besides, let’s remind ourselves the first sentence of M13’s abstract:

        > Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

        The emphasized word suggests that to claim irreconcilability might be going a bridge too far, yet again, whence auditors should stick to dog whistling.

        ***

        Also note the adjectives:

        – “palpably bad”
        – “apparently knowingly misleading”
        – “no negative observations are being allowed by moderation”
        – “indefensible”
        – “pompously expressed”

        Hasty generalization, intentional speculation, Yes But RC moderation, bandwagoning, begging the question, and tone trolling.

        Not an attack on science alright.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | April 4, 2013 at 10:32 am |

        Okay, I have to admit, I’ve never heard that particular line about the job.

        #19.

      • Joshua (the nice, but silly, pissant progressive, bacon-loving putz)

        “But RC moderation,” is, and always will be, my favorite. It captures the je ne sais quoi of victim mentality so perfectly.

      • Are we angels or are we dancers?
        ==========

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R
        I realize that flattery is sometimes intended as a compliment. However when praise is troweled on thick and accompanies a proposal, it becomes an obsequious insult. Maybe you overdid it with Rud Istvan.

        OTOH it looks like Mosher will carry the torch to Rhode. But that is another matter. Rhode has already done a similar thing and with 300 yr. resolution.

      • blueice2hotsea | April 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm |

        Flattery?

        Perhaps you don’t understand the language of business. I doubt Rud Istvan took that harsh admonition as flattering. Being reminded that one was formerly better than one’s present behavior, that one is a giant in unrelated and distant fields and a peon in the one they currently thrash about senselessly out of their depth in.. how is that a flattering image?

        There’s nothing obsequious in the patent reproval, and there is no proposal, only a double dare.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Double-Dog-Dare you to show your comment to friends or colleagues and then ask for confirmation that it is: “harsh admonition”, “nothing obsequious”, “patent reproval”, “no proposal” and “only a double dare”.

        p.s. I predict Mr. Istvan won’t be inviting on as a member of the team now that he knows you better.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.’ Richard P. Feynman

        Minding your knitting is a principle that is best observed in the breach bt one wonders if bart can knit anything at all.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart r
        Get it, yet? No? Read a book

        Nope. Still don’t get it. And don’t get which book you are hinting at.

        Oh well. At least Generalissimo Skippy is making sense. Think I’ll check that out.

    • Bart

      Time to get real.

      Marcott quote @RC yesterday: “the 20th century portion of the paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions”.

      So, pray tell:
      1] on what then are their conclusions -aka a major case of hockey stick resur-erection- based? Any good suggestions?

      2] what if anything am I missing in this perfectly pretty straight forward admission? I am sure there are many others here who like to understand that.

      3] why did Science ever see fit to publish this travesty? That’s hard to fathom, unless of course you accept that Science [and Nature] have for a long while been part and parcel of the climate establishment -the curia of the IPCC church, if you prefer.

      Look forward to your explanation for ##1 and 2

      • tetris | April 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

        Marcott’s been saying the same since before yesterday. He said the same last week to Revkin. The construction of his thesis, which left out the blade, tells us he didn’t need to rely on it to form his conclusions. You’re asking for an education in advanced statistical methods there is not the space for in a blog comment, if you are seriously willing to understand the answers to your questions #1 & 2.

        To make it more brief, even in the thesis the changes in behavior of curves generated from proxies were themselves enough to draw some conclusions about change in forcing. While the infographic can’t yank what precisely the change in forcing may have been, scientists are allowed to stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before them. I’d have to believe Marcott did that, though I question some of his footnoting and citation as lacking in the Science article, possibly.

        And really, Science would have been fail to not have published, even if they’d left off the last 120 years, it’s still a brilliant, game-changing tool that Marcott’s produced in his infographic.

    • Repeated for emphasis:

      … the importance of the work is being obscured by the unfortunate circumstances of its portrayal as a propaganda tool in this rush to entrench hardened opinion.

      • The importance of the work was betrayed by its unwise use as a propaganda tool in this rush to entrench hardened opinion.
        ==============

      • Not the real Shaun Marcott

        Translation:

        ‘We tried to hype this entirely unremarkable piece of work from my unremarkable thesis by jamming a hockey stick onto it with Blutack and getting it published before the AR5 deadline.

        And we nearly succeeded! Lots of lovely press about warming and the resurrection of the HS. I was on the telly and Mum says I looked very scientific and earnest about Saving the World!

        But then those Denier bastards like McIntyre spotted our little subterfuge How do they keep rumbling our plans? And everytime we fiddle the statistics they find out within a week. Maybe there’s a mole somewhere funded by the Big Oil Denier Conspiracy. That nutter in Australia with the beard and the funny name might be it. Or Joelle. She’s been very quiet since her paper got the ‘Jean S’ treatment. Maybe that was all a plant designed to lull us into a false sense of security. What about Andy Revkin? He doesn’t seem to love us as much this week as last.

        So I guess we;re just about f…ked in this climatology lark. I’ll hav eto try something else. Anybody know if MacDonald’s are hiring? They want what? I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y? Never heard of it. I’ll try KFC’.

        …as told to LA.
        .

      • In Recent Comments

        Not the real Shaun Marcott on We’re not screwed (?)

        has just about the right amount of uncertainty and mystery for me :)

      • Not the real Shaun Marcott | April 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |

        Mebbe you footsoldiers didn’t get the message from Rud Istvan: this is not an attack on science.

        So cease firing.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Science seems more the camp follower than enemy – collateral damage.

    • Bart R: “Does Marcott et al 2013 work? Possibly not on endpoints”. You mean “not even close at the endpoint, which is a minor note in the paper, but the point that was emphasized by the paper’s authors and sponsors”.

      As long as you waffle on the blade of the hockey stick — which had nothing to do with the paper’s conclusions and has been noted by the authors as “non-robust” — you’re calling into question your own scientific judgement. No reason to talk about “possibly”, unless there’s more than science at stake here.

      • Wayne2 | April 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

        I have scientific judgement?

        Where have you seen citation of “Bart R” in any peer reviewed published scientific paper?

        Where have I presented any credentials in science?

        Where have I argued my judgement is superior, established, authoritative or exceptionally reliable in science?

        Also, where the heck have I waffled about the blade? The infographic — see, I don’t even make the mistake of many of calling it an average or plot or graph, because it isn’t — doesn’t especially evoke confidence in the endpoints, and that much I’ve been saying since first having the chance to read the paper, so I don’t see much basis for you guessing what I mean, and would suggest maybe trying plain reading instead of constructing straw men.

        Your wild conspiracy theory implications? Just the echoes of the deluded, propagandists and demogogs.

      • You seriously don’t get that it’s not the paper that is deceptive, it’s the media circus – interviews and so on where the lead author of the paper not only failed to divulge the limitations, he actively encouraged the belief that those limitations did not exist. IMO, that is scientific misconduct, pure and simple.

      • kneel | April 4, 2013 at 2:53 am |

        Your independent and unbiased, balanced, considered view with all the facts and evidence and a fair hearing of all defenses, circumstances, and objections?

        Or, just, like, your opinionated guess?

        Because tossing around “scientific misconduct” may be pure something, and indicate simple something, but the unselfconscious irony of doing it in this manner, the hypocrisy, the flat out gall, does nothing to improve it.

      • Bart R: “Your wild conspiracy theory implications? Just the echoes of the deluded, propagandists and demogogs.”

        Please point out my conspiracy theory implications. Perhaps you should follow your own advice and read the straightforward meaning of what was written?

        “Also, where the heck have I waffled about the blade?” In the exact quote I quoted in my posting. Did you read it at all? I’ll quote it AGAIN for you…

        You say: “Does Marcott et al 2013 work? Possibly not on endpoints.” That’s waffling. You don’t say, “Not on the endpoints”, but “possibly not”. Which means you’re not sure that it does not work, but it’s a possibility. That’s waffling.

        This was from your full paragraph which read: “Does Marcott et al 2013 work? Possibly not on endpoints, and it is open to some measure of the criticism of it in public — most of which the authors themselves join in — but in the main, the infographic is a brilliant and useful tool that provides a basis for validating Holocene-spanning GCM runs, and the importance of the work is being obscured by the unfortunate circumstances of its portrayal as a propaganda tool in this rush to entrench hardened opinion.”

      • ‘its portrayal as a propaganda tool in this rush to entrench hardened opinion’. It will be a fine, rational, day in Hell when the alarmists quit projecting their madness on the rest of us.
        ================

      • kim | April 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

        I’m not sure which gives one greater pause: the idea anyone would care to project anything on you, or the notion of some group not yet mad proclaiming, “kim speaks for us.”

      • Wayne2 | April 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm |

        Please point out my conspiracy theory implications.

        From Wayne2 | April 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply “No reason to talk about “possibly”, unless there’s more than science at stake here.” It is a statement with no other power than implication, and does not allow one to apply any rules of plain reading, as you don’t plainly say what the “more” that is “at stake here” might be.

        This line you’ve used is a well-documented technique of propaganda. It’s a classic of the practice. You waffling about it now does not excuse it.

        ..Which means you’re not sure that it does not work, but it’s a possibility. That’s waffling.

        You’ve picked an odd forum to come out against the Italian Flag Model, and recognizing Uncertainty in Science.

        The Endpoint Problem has its roots in the very beginning of chartsmanship. It’s why we know the red line is a representation of the climate as 30-year running means, the green line to about 95% reliable as a predictor of the part of the climate trend past the endpoint, and the blue and purple lines are completely meaningless with regard to climate trends.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:191/mean:193/plot/gistemp/mean:101/mean:103/last:96/plot/gistemp/mean:29/mean:31/last:84

        Either we treat Marcott et al the same (absent a compelling case being accepted by the scientific community for accepting infographic evidence in a novel way) and recognize endpoint problems in it, or we say the blue line indicates no LIA and the purple spike is acceptable evidence of where the 30-year climate is trending.

        Probably doesn’t indicate waffling. It indicates probabilities pertain.

      • Actually Bart, the available evidence (the NSF press release) seems pretty straightforward to me – go read it, especially the part regarding what the authors are said too say about the paper. Either the authors of the paper made misleading, comments about it, or the press release writer distorted what the author said. Either way, someone needs to get fired, because of this textbook example of misconduct.

      • kneel | April 5, 2013 at 2:53 am |

        Sorry, no sale.

        I just don’t find the critics credible in their drama queen over-the-top arguments that bear little resemblence to what was actually said in the NSF press release pilloried by Watts, PielkeJr et al.

        All I see is a propaganda campaign forming an attack on science by trumping up charges against a paper in Science.

        For this reason alone, Marcott et al deserve the most vigorous defense by the scientific community from these defamatory, premeditated and simply wrong assaults

        Which is unfortunate. At this early stage, given the immense value of the Marcott method, real, valid criticism and an ordinary scientific exchange of intensive relevant and accurate criticisms is prudent.

        Shame so few caught up in the demagog’s snares have the competency to tell the difference.

      • BartR, Marcott is not “robust” That is polite to F-ed up from start to finish. That is not a bad thing though. It reveals flaws in common assumptions. One of the more interesting is potential errors in Monte Carlo analysis. The dating issue is just an embarrassment that Marcott’s “mentors” could have saved.

        http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/04/marcott-monte-carlo/ That is RomanM’s take on the Monte Carlo. Lucia has run into a similar situation and Tamino unwittingly seems to have proved their points.

        You should be careful what you ASSUME.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |

        Took them long enough to start wrapping their heads around the reason the Marcott images must be regarded as infographics, and what they should be talking about, distracted as they were by being busy attacking science before they thought about it.

        Give them a couple more weeks at this rate and they might actually grasp what they’re reading and why it’s so significant.

        Mindless kneejerk responses to new work is the surest sign an academic ready to become emeritus.

      • BartR, Generally, the louder barkers should be ignored. There are some major flaws or gaps if you prefer in the “Sensitivity” issue. That is the data is more sensitive to analysis than the climate is forcing. :)

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R –

        All I see is a propaganda campaign forming an attack on science by trumping up charges against non-robust end-points in a paper in Science.

        There. Fixed that for me.

        The problem here is that a large part of the paper’s (non-scientific) value is tied to its flaws. Analogize a construction flaw which is “overlooked” by a housing appraiser, not mentioned by the Realtor and the later basis for rejection of unrelated valid insurance claims which combined with the “overlooked” flaws in credit-worthiness leads to default. All these flaws are part of a package deal from which which many profited including bankers, brokers and law-makers.

        What about home-owners and tax-payers? They got screwed!

      • blueice2hotsea | April 5, 2013 at 11:23 am |

        All endpoints are not robust. That is the Endpoint Problem.

        It’s not news, and it’s not new.

        Anyone arguing over the robustness of endpoints as if it were a surprise to them that endpoints are problematic is either utterly inexperienced in chartsmanship, or scamming, or both.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R | April 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |

        All endpoints are not robust. That is the Endpoint Problem.

        It’s not news, and it’s not new.

        Non-robustness would be news to purchasers of higher priced carbon emissions. Similar to construction and credit-worthiness flaws were news to purchasers of repackaged debt.

      • “All endpoints are not robust. That is the Endpoint Problem.”

        And we live at the endpoint. That is Our Problem.

      • The globe has been cooling for thousands and thousands of years, Nick, but for how much longer even kim doesn’t know.
        =================

      • Nick Stokes, “We live at the endpoint.”

        Yep. Looking at the Marcoot endpoints, the Mediterranean must have lept up by 4.25 C in the past 60 years, I am sure that was nearly as shocking as the south Atlantic 4.1 C plummet since 2001. It is just remarkable to me how paleo reconstructions were so much more accurate during his selected baseline than they are today.

      • blueice2hotsea | April 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

        Seems we’ll have to list you under ‘both’ inexperienced and scammer.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R –

        Seems we’ll have to list you under ‘both’ inexperienced and scammer.

        Well, I am inexperienced at scamming, so you almost got it right. Nevertheless, we’ll have to list you as inexperienced at listing. You have been demoted.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | April 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:191/mean:193/plot/gistemp/mean:101/mean:103/last:96/plot/gistemp/mean:29/mean:31/last:84/plot/gistemp/last:12/trend

        Persian flaw #3: there was no purple line.

        Now, what am I to ASSUME about someone who contrives to respond to a chart while missing the fact that a key point referred to in the narrative is missing?

        Why.. is it that they have preconceived notions they know no amount of evidence will dislodge, so they don’t even go to the trouble of holding up the charade of examining the evidence?

        No, wait.. that’d be inference.

      • Neil Fisher

        Bart:”All I see is a propaganda campaign forming an attack on science by trumping up charges against a paper in Science.

        For this reason alone, Marcott et al deserve the most vigorous defense by the scientific community from these defamatory, premeditated and simply wrong assaults”

        You defend the indefensible then.

        You may defend the paper if you wish – I have NO issue with that. My issue, as I clearly stated, is the attendant media circus.

        Here is a quote from the NSF press release:
        “What that [temperature reconstruction] history shows, the researchers say, is that during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.”

        Here is a quote from the FAQ in RC:
        “Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

        Here is what Revkin says about this:
        “…room for more questions — one being how the authors square the caveats they express here with some of the more definitive statements they made about their findings in news accounts.”

        The press release, which refers to the paper itself, is clearly misleading in light of the the FAQ answer, as Revkin suggests.

        Who is responsible for this clear violation of NSF policy?
        Why have they not been disciplined or the matter investigated?
        Why do you defend these clearly deceptive and unethical practices?
        Why does pointing this out constitute “anti-science” behaviour?

      • Neil Fisher | April 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

        You attack a particular thing that does what all others do, in the way they do, and with utmost hypocrisy in this particular arena.

        Endpoints not robust? Can’t rely on them to tell you what they seem to be indicating reliably? Hrm. Where have I heard this very issue lately in MSM?

        Ah yes. Where MSM claims of “no global warming in 15 years” are made.

        Show me where you have identified that no global warming claim, and said of people who defend it that they defend the indefensible?

        It is the same. Only the media circus attending the no-global-warming claims is easily a thousand times that dealing with a single otherwise obscure paper in an otherwise (to the general public) somewhat obscure journal.

        You want it both ways. To be able to rely on endpoints and 5-year running means to represent 30+ year trends, while applying wildly exaggerated and patently speculative accusations against a mathematically indistinguishable case.

        Except that when Marcott is asked, he immediately clarifies for those people too inexperienced in chartsmanship that of course his endpoint is not robust, and it’s not the foundation of his conclusion.

        Good science relies on good criticism, vigorous problem-seeking, ample skepticism of new ideas. People who go to the trouble of providing this service to authors and publishers are to be commended. There is little commendable in most of the rubbishing going on of the Marcott paper, which is a real shame considering how much value there is in the Marcott method.

      • Neil Fisher

        Bart, you ignore the issue I raise and create a straw-man about the PAPER ITSELF, rather than considering the press release (quoted for you) and the latter “clarification” (also quoted for you) even where Revkin seems to be suggesting there is an inconsistency (as quoted from his dotEarth blog).

        So let me make it easy for you:
        1) do you acknowledge what appears to be a violation of published NSF policy with respect to the press release for this paper?

        if you answer “yes” to 1):
        2) Do you know of anything that excuses these actions?
        3) Do you think these policies do not or should not apply to this or any other paper and if so why?

        if you answer “no” to 1):
        3) on what grounds is this not a violation of published NSF policy?
        4) do you think the policy needs to be more explicit and clear so that people like me who feel it IS such a violation will be better informed?

        For me, I see it as a government rule and while such rules do not always seem to make much sense, those subject to them need to obey them or pay the prescribed penalty. They need to be enforced to the letter and without fear or favor. If you (or I, or anyone) feels that they are wrong, that person should make an effort to change them, but they need to be obeyed – they exist for a reason (no always cogent, but a reason none the less).
        In this particular case, I personally feel they are correct and need to be enforced rigorously at all times – we cannot have the science which we depend on for public policy distorted by the scientists, no matter their motivations; the politicians and advocates can, have and will attempt to distort things – that is expected. What is NOT expected is that the facts will be misrepresented by those we consider – and pay to be – “honest brokers”.

        Mistakes can be made and should be allowed to be corrected in a timely manner once pointed out, yet I see no evidence of that in this case – please point out the corrective NSF press release and media conference if I have missed it, and I will be happy to drop this line of argument.

      • Neil Fisher | April 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

        Look, if you’re merely regurgitating PielkeJr, say so.

        That way, I can offer you some Quark Soup to settle your tummy. http://davidappell.blogspot.ca/2013/04/is-marcott-et-al-gross-misrepresentation.html

        PielkeJr.’s clarification includes such gems as: “Just because there is a legitimate argument that could have been made does not justify an illegitimate one. Did I really just write that?”

        If these are actually your own thoughts imagined all by your lonesome:

        1. No. What an odiously defamatory claim.

      • Bart:1. No. What an odiously defamatory claim.

        Defamatory? To say that it APPEARS to a breach of published NSF policy? When Pielke Jr and Revkin BOTH appear to believe there is some explaining to do? You make no defense – you do not even bother to post even one plausible explanation for the dichotomy between paper and press release. The link you provided suggests that it may be journalists asking “what does it mean?” etc, but this in NO WAY is applicable to the NSF press release as far as I can see.

        If asking for an explanation of such, if saying that this appears to a breach of NSF policies, make me a denialist in your eyes, then so be it. That doesn’t excuse or explain these actions though. It certainly appears that, despite your claims to want honesty to prevail, you do not believe that such rules apply to scientists, only the rest of the plebs. You are clearly a “Team Player” here Bart – and as seems usual in this business, you can’t even admit there is an explanation deserved here or that there is even anything wrong. Sickening, really. The only real surprise for me is that you take this stance – you never seemed to me to be such an advocate, but you are certainly showing your stripes now, aren’t you?

      • Neil Fisher | April 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm |

        Oh look. More defamation and smear. What a surprise.

        Equating Pielke Jr.’s and Revkin’s positions is so wildly inaccurate as to beggar the process of refutation. Here’s a like to Revkin’s: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/scientists-find-an-abrupt-warm-jog-after-a-very-long-cooling/

        “This work is complicated, involving lots of statistical methods in extrapolating from scattered sites to a global picture, which means that there’s abundant uncertainty — and that there will be abundant interpretations.” I believe this line fairly represents Revkin’s fairly neutral reportage.

        “I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct, as defined by the NRC.” This seems the strongest candidate for identifying Pielke Jr.’s point of view, and as Neil Fisher deigns not to clarify, to spare him charges of plagiarism (which would, by the way, be scientific misconduct), we’ll just say Neil obviously confused the link to Pielke Jr. with Revkin due the difficulty in editing on WordPress, but that this Pielkeism represents Neil Fisher’s argument too.

        The two claims are entirely different. You do Revkin grave wrong, as his impartiality and fairmindedness are to be admired, not tarnished with straw mannish facsimiles.

        This word you use, ‘dichotomy’. I do not think it means what you think it means. As ample clarifications by the author to bridge the poor reading ability of the general public, the MSM, and Pielke Jr. that lead to ambiguous or malicious interpretation, I have no need to “bother to post even one plausible explanation,” .. and I don’t see where you ever asked me to, either. Not as part of #1, or #3, or #4.

        Perhaps you lost the question due WordPress editor glitch?

        There’s always more explaining to do when a paper is published. New knowledge is not the end of the process in science, but the next stepping stone. Revkin gets this right; Pielke Jr. does not. So no “defense” is needed for science that creates more questions, it is its own shield.

        Also, as a digression: did I use the word “denialist”? While many times some repugnant labels describe the same category, not all always do. There are plenty of defamers who are not deniers. Did I talk about my eyes at all? Your eyes? Anyone’s eyes? No, the sensory organ offended was the nose.

        Let’s examine your question, “1) do you acknowledge what appears to be a violation of published NSF policy with respect to the press release for this paper?”

        Oh hey. We need to refer to the NSF policy and the press release to understand what two things are being compared.

        Misconduct in science is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reporting research. Misconduct in science does not include errors of judgment; errors in the recording, selection, or analysis of data; differences in opinions involving the interpretation of data; or misconduct unrelated to the research process.

        And the press release in question (www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127133)

        So when we take the entire context of all things into account, where do we find gross misrepresentation (Pielke Jr.’s term) or appearance of violation?

        Is it the headline? “Earth Is Warmer Today Than During 70 to 80 Percent of the Past 11,300 Years” — yes, I get that’s not what you’re saying, Neil, but I believe I’ve earned a bit of lattitude considering the many things you’ve claimed I’ve said that I have not.

        Well, no. The headline is an accurate representation of a conclusion one may accurately infer from the paper. It isn’t plagiarism, it isn’t false, and it is based on reasonable evidence.

        Is it “The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age…. This research shows that we’ve experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly.”

        No. Resoundingly no. For the same reason as for the headline.

        Marcott et al shows a range of temperature change over 11,000 years.

        We have an instrumental record of temperature for the last 200 or so years.

        The range of temperature change in Marcott is about the same amplitude as the range of temperature change in the instrumental record.

        The patent fact that one range is a smoothed representation over fifty times the span of the other smoothed representation ought warn anyone who has ever compared inchworms to wolfhounds or wolfhounds to whales or done the least work with statistics or charts or fractals or Chaos — in other words the expected target audience — that there are scale-dependencies to be taken into account. It is usual to write to the standards of expected audiences in technical and scientific journals, and the fault of misreading is on the reader.

        Requiring the authors of either the paper or the press release to anticipate every possible malicious or unschooled or lawyerly or idiotic reading of their words is too strict a condition; no reasonable arbiter would ever hold any writer to such a standard, thus no arbiter of the NSF policy would find wrongdoing.

        This is not a “Team” (any team that would show the poor judgement to want me, I would certainly never join) analysis. This is simply what any objective reader who takes pains to be honest would say.

      • Bart, read your own quotes! Misconduct includes “misrepresentation…reporting science”. “20th century…not robust”. “what the paper shows…until the last 100 years…”. My intent in the brevity of these quotes is not to take anything put of context for the purpose of deception, but rather to attempt to show you where I believe the problem is.
        A press release is clearly not created for a technical reader – rather the opposite. That is why the rules regarding misconduct specifically refer to press release.
        Are you seriously suggesting that the press release is not misleading as to what the paper shows?
        Are you seriously suggesting that this is irrelevant?
        If this turns put to be a mistake on sometimes part, then I am fine with that providing there is an apology and correction issued.

      • kneel | April 10, 2013 at 4:04 am |

        How to read for intention and meaning:

        Step 1. Start thoughtfully at the first word.

        Step 2. Read the next word with goodwill.

        Step 3. Repeat Step 2 without malicious introduction or bias while there are more words.

        Step 4. Stop.

        See, that’ll work out much better for you.

        If at Step 4 you still are so muddled and confused, one suggests repeat steps 1-4 harder.

  29. In a recent interview with Hans von Storch, Julia Hargreaves said:
    “In order to publish in high impact journals the numbers must keep getting bigger and the outcomes more scary.”

    She was then attacked on her own blog by the usual subjects:
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2013/03/anthropological-data-point.html

    Marcott et al inclusion of a non-robust blade previously missing from his thesis and subsequent media hype of a super hockey stick in high impact Science journal makes Hargreaves point appear quite prescient.

    • Vermillion balloons,
      Verdigris bicycles.
      ============

    • Steven Mosher

      thingsbreak, albatross, steve Bloom.

      They specialize in creating new skeptics. And now they hit girls.

      • Scott Basinger

        Wow, quite the thread. James Annan wades in as a bit of a reluctant good guy, but Albatross, etc. are relentless.

      • Scott Basinger

        Carrick left me reeling in laughter in the comments section with:

        “Paul S: Ooops, wrong thread. And boy is it the wrong thread.

        Yes it is. Please keep it down.

        You’re making their work more difficult for the caricatures-of-human-beings hair pulling crowd.

        The behavior of these sh*t flinging monkeys on this comment thread could so easily be turned into a faux Monte Python skit. “

      • > Albatross, etc. are relentless.

        Indeed, see for yourself:

        Well, I sincerely apologize. In hindsight my criticism should probably have occurred in proportion to the amount of content in the interview I disagreed with.

        A lot of agreement and praise mixed with a single sharp disagreement would have been both fairer and probably easier to take seriously on your end.

        Apologies.

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.ca/2013/03/anthropological-data-point.html?showComment=1363699131576

        Auditors ought to ask: has thingsbreak ever claimed to be perfect?

      • Willard:

        OK, fine. All is forgiven, it’s a blog, no worries. I don’t fall for the picking on a girl thing. Although, a fair reading of the venom indicated she hit close to home. That’s the lovely bit of human psychology data.

        Do you think Julia Hargreaves comment that elicited responses harsh enough to apologize for has validity? Do you think that M et al might be an example of what she was meaning?

      • Howard,

        Quite frankly, I thought Jules’ remark was quite unremarkable. While I can fathom why people could worry about its possible misinterpretations, getting all worked up by this does not seem to me to be fruitful, more so that it does seem to rest on a misconception of the publishing business. Contrarians will always have enough material for all the concerns they could fancy anyway.

        The audit never ends.

      • Read on, parochial student of broken irony things.
        ==============

      • I’ve read Annan’s blog for years and honestly did not know the wife who was posting pictures and sewing garments was the scientist named Hargreaves who sometimes appears as a co-author with Annan until the article in question was posted.

        I would say ask her if Marcott et al is an example of what she was talking about. I doubt it is, but she may disagree.

        That would be preferable to just drafting her to your cause without her permission.

      • Hah! We need permission now to discus remarks by someone else! Nice way to avoid the point. The exaggeration of scientific results is not exclusive to climate, so you don’t really need to contort your logic to fit inside your per-concieved box.

      • Howard,

        If you wish Jules’ opinion, ask her. If you wish my own opinion on something that was not the subject of my comment, try straightforwardness. That does not guarantee that I will respond in kind (you know me), but that would improve your chances.

        Please honor the word of the week in the auditing sciences.

      • ‘Try straightforwardness’. Hahdit! Hahdit!
        ================

      • Speaking of straightforwardness, here’s James who does not show much:

        > Ah, the Curry Comparison. You really know how to flatter the ladies….

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.ca/2013/03/anthropological-data-point.html?showComment=1364941552064

        Jules’ answer was a bit more straightforward.

      • Steven Mosher

        I dunno willard, my audit of GISS ended.
        my audit of CRU ended.
        my audit of the temperature record ended.
        UHI.. one more problem to solve
        microsite.. two more problems to solve.

        Of course, dialogue never closes, words cannot put an end to more words…except by imposition of the ultimate sanctions.

        Morse peckham. explanation and power. All explanation is subject to infinite regress. The meaning of the sign is the response to the sign and the stimulus does not determine response. Consequently, meaning can only be inforced at the limit by the application of ultimate sanctions.

        practically that means you do better in engaging in dialogue or audits when the other party will specify in advance the conditions required to end the audit. otherwise the dialogue can continue forever or one party can impose ultimate sanctions on the other party. lets step outside.

        For me that is simple; show me your data, show me your code and I’ll be 100% satisfied, you wont have to answer any more questions. our dialogue can end.

      • Steven Mosher

        Scott Basinger | April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        Wow, quite the thread. James Annan wades in as a bit of a reluctant good guy, but Albatross, etc. are relentless.

        ###################################

        since watching Judith and Lucia first venture on to blogs and watching the male reactions I wasn’t too surprised by their behavior. Now, to be sure when they were called out by Hans ( Hans is a great dinner companion and extremely bright .. and tough ) the little puppies behaved. Jules got a taste of what came Judith’s way. Petty men in academia who fight over nothing but reputation have no idea how to wield power. That’s why fights in academia are so nasty.
        Funny story one day I ask a colleaque why academic fights are so nasty.
        As a feminist she had an interesting answer. “men in academia fight like girls. most of them haven’t played sports and learned how to battle in a civilized manner.”

      • > Now, to be sure when they were called out by Hans ( Hans is a great dinner companion and extremely bright .. and tough ) the little puppies behaved.

        Indeed, see for yourself:

        von Storch,

        You are engaging in some serious and unfounded innuendo. I do not know whether to laugh out loud at the inanity of your suggestion or accuse you of slander in what appears like an attempt to fabricate a strawman argument.

        That was a silly mistake on my part that is easy to explain. Jules does not post very frequently on “James’ empty blog”. So I tend to associate posts on “James’ Empty blog” with, well, James. Additionally, I simply did not see the small footnote saying that Jules had posted the content. It is that simple. Regardless, I sincerely apologize to Jules if she was offended by my mistake.

        Please note that once Jules made a post that all subsequent posts were addressed to her when relevant.

        I’m terribly sorry to disappoint you von Storch, but I can guarantee you that you really are barking up the wrong tree here. In fact, I would very much appreciate an apology from you for insinuating that I am a male chauvinist.

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.ca/2013/03/anthropological-data-point.html?showComment=1363699131576

        Let’s not wonder why we’re asking black hat marketers for links and quotes.

      • Goose or gander, don’t confuse sauces.
        ============

      • Joshua (the nice, but silly, pissant progressive, bacon-loving putz)

        After heaving read the various comments here, I am impressed and dismayed about such a comical group of shouting and posturing males confronting a female, who has supposedly said something stupid.

        Indeed. Much better it would have been if, instead of treating her exactly as they might have a male, they had deferred to her being a “ady scientist, such as Judith. As Mosher has pointed out previously, anyone who vigorously disagrees with a lady scientist obviously has “issues.”

        And I am impressed that Mosher has dined with “Hans.” So impressed.

        Almost as impressed that “Hans” is “tough.” Must be real men, Mosher and “Hans.”

      • Joshua (the nice, and unglued but silly, pissant progressive, and bacon-loving putz)

        Sorry – forgot to update the monicker. It’s getting hard to keep track.

      • It takes a man to take his finger out of the dike he put it into as a boy.
        ==============

      • The modifiers appear to be approaching truth as a limit.
        ========

      • Joshua (the nice, and unglued but silly, pissant progressive, and bacon-loving putz)

        And indeed – As James points out, mosher can give Chief a run for his money (as Chief of unintentional irony).

        Ah, the Curry Comparison. You really know how to flatter the ladies….

        Spectacular.

      • Whoa, how can it not be nice so near to the limit?
        =========================

      • Steven Mosher

        willard,

        of course in shame they switch their focus to Hans.
        snivelling little twerps

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua its not the vigorous disagreement. That’s what I would expect.
        It’s the tone and the tactics. condescending, belittling. and then the over compensation is absolutely hilarious and switching to size up hans.

        classic..

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua,

        Yes hans was a dinner companion. That is important for ONE and only one reason; so you know my data on his character does not stem soley from a pixel interaction, but we met in the meat world.
        I’ve also met john Cook in the meat world. 30 second appraisal I will with hold. Scott Mandia as well. I will withhold the judgment I formed. I’ve met Gavin in the meat world he is way more personable in person than through the screen. Peter Webster.. On sight likeable, tough funny, happy,, probably played sports. Steve Mcintyre very different in person than on screen. tallbloke, gosh, within 15 seconds I realized I owed him an apology for being such a prick. Nick stokes, kind considerate gentleman. Willis, thoughful caring, absolutely different from the fire breathing you see here.

        The other reason for letting you know, is this. you are such a putz that if I said hans was tough, you would probably ask for evidence. I tried not to make un supported statements…. except went I want willard’s attention.
        It usually works.

      • Steven Mosher

        kim | April 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        It takes a man to take his finger out of the dike he put it into as a boy.
        ===

        wow, did I misread that.

        totally off topic Kim.

        wonderful movie.

      • > of course in shame they switch their focus to Hans.

        Hans acted like a prick.

      • I was trying to distract from the awkward metaphor with a bad pun. It worked!
        ==============

      • Back to the point. But for the fabricated elevator, historically known as a high impact icon, Marcott would not have been published in a high impact journal.

        Subconscious auditing creeps into the minds of the alarmist climatologists, like H7N7 creeps into pigs and ducks.

        Apparently a sensitive issue. Hmmmm.
        ==========

      • If so, then so. Have some deep philosophy.
        ========

      • Hmmm.

        Big hmmm.

      • All climatology is divided into two classes, those trying to understand it and those trying to explain it. Those trying to explain it are at a lethal disadvantage, because they don’t understand it.
        ============

      • Jules excuse could be embraced, but nooooo. It’s an excuse other than ignorance or disingenuousness, and more plausible to hoi polloi.
        ============

      • Does Jules need an excuse?

        You really want me to quote her, kim…

      • Ah, silly, I mean Jules’ excuse for the excess.
        =============

      • Dichotomies oftentimes lead to excess.

        Oups! Our cold one just did it again.

      • Hey, it’s a hint; take it or leave it. Speaking of leaving, the more exits the better.
        =============

      • What’s not to like about ‘the Devil made me do it’? Broad based appeal, there.
        ========

      • Dichotomies are great marketing tools
        They cause so much splash
        Wink wink.

        Too bad they’re mostly false.

      • just every now and then I get the idea that you and I are not on the same page.
        ===========

      • Of course we are, Cold One.
        You are recto, I am verso.
        Or vice versa.
        In which case you are versa.

      • Lol! Again with the “dinner companion.”

        In my manly world, you go out to eat with someone or buy them a beer.

        I hope you had your pinkies raised as you sipped tea wine you dined with your companion, steven.

        It’s the tone and the tactics. condescending, belittling. and then the over compensation is absolutely hilarious and switching to size up hans.

        You read more into what people write than what exists, steven. It’s a classic sign of “skepticism” The tone of belittling and condescension is the typical discourse of blog banter. Try to find one thread at Climate etc., where no women have participated (a large majority), and you will see that to be the norm. The fact that you distinguish it when it is directed towards a woman is what betrays your “skeptical” tendencies, steven.

        As James and Jules so underlined with their responses to you.

        Good think you weren’t within beershot of Jules when you typed your condescending remark, steven.

        I know, I know, some of your best friends are women

      • It’s amazing how quickly wine multiplies my typos (not that I don’t make plenty pre-wine). It’s kind of funny, actually – and provides interesting insight into my mind works.

      • And I also love how in response to my laughing at your name-dropping, you go into a monologue of name-dropping as a response. Don’t ever change, my friend.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Hey Joshua –

        Since you’re the mood for self-revelation, here one. I have noticed that whenever you use the phase “I love”, it would make more sense to substitute the words “I am contemptuous of”.

        Oh, and I am Ashkenazim – through both parents – and have never called you a putz and even though you have granted me the right.

      • bi2hs.

        Contempt? Certainly not. I’m not wired that way. I don’t take this stuff that seriously. I will grant you that “love” is not accurate either. Try again, this is interesting, and if you find the write adjective I will use it henceforth.

      • …er…verb…

      • blueice2hotsea

        Joshua –

        Since you are sensitive to motivated reasoning, you may be aware that Freud believed that mistakes in writing are motivated. (see <a href="http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Freud/Psycho/chap6.htm"Psychopathology of Everyday Life).

        I wonder what Freud would have concluded about an educated person who read ‘I love’ and then doubly mis-identified that usage of ‘love’ as “the write adjective“?

        ‘Lovely’ is the adjective form, which usually refers to visual, physical aesthetics. The verb form has several meanings ranging from emotional (cherish) to physical (copulate). There might be something there. And I wonder about the frequency of this slip by gender.

        Any thoughts?

      • blueice2hotsea

        Psychopathology of Everyday Life

        Next up – analysis of my motivated mistake.

      • David Young

        Yea, Bloom is a fine piece of work. Basically, he poses as trying to help you when he has already decided you are worthless. And he seems quite ignorant of science, but specializes in sarcastic irrelevant jibes.

        The Jules and James thread is illuminating too. James has been in a little trouble with true believers recently with his statements about uniform priors and the IPCC. However, he hasn’t gone as low on sensitivity as some of his recent LGM work might indicate.

      • bi2hs –

        Since you are sensitive to motivated reasoning, you may be aware that Freud believed that mistakes in writing are motivated. (see <a href="http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Freud/Psycho/chap6.htm"Psychopathology of Everyday Life).

        I wonder what Freud would have concluded about an educated person who read ‘I love’ and then doubly mis-identified that usage of ‘love’ as “the write adjective“?

        Not sure what Freud might have made of that. I find that I often use misplaced homonyms in my blog comments. In fact, I’ve made note of it in these comments sections a couple of times in the past. I do find it fascinating, but don’t have a clue as to any deeper meaning – particularly in this case. My guess is that it happened this time because I was “writing” and made some vague mental connections there.

        ‘Lovely’ is the adjective form, which usually refers to visual, physical aesthetics. The verb form has several meanings ranging from emotional (cherish) to physical (copulate). There might be something there.

        That I wrote “adjective” instead of “verb” initially? Again, seems to me like a pretty simple error – mostly a reflection of not being very careful. Maybe I used “adjective” because it is actually more accurate to say that I find comments such as mosher’s to be “lovely” in that I think there is an aesthetically pleasing aspect to unintentional irony as perfect as reflected in his comments.

        And I wonder about the frequency of this slip by gender.

        Slip by gender? What slip by gender?

        So anyway, I asked you a question – care to try to answer it? Contempt is certainly wrong (and we might investigate why you so confidently made a wrong assertion – one for which you obviously had insufficient evidence).. Love is wrong as well. Again, if you can come up with the something closer, I’d be happy to substitute it instead of commenting on how I “love” unintentional irony from “skeptics.”

      • Steven Mosher

        Willard.

        Hans did not act like a prick. Hans either was a prick or was not a prick. In either case, it got the job done and the puppies went after the big dog.

        dicotomies are neither true nor false, and dicotomies about dicotomies ( ie they are mostly false ) are neither true no false. They are useful or not useful. Sometimes, you market by differentiation, sometimes you market by similarity, it depends on your share. When you have market dominance focus on the differences. When you lag, lead with the similarity.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        “In my manly world, you go out to eat with someone or buy them a beer.

        I hope you had your pinkies raised as you sipped tea wine you dined with your companion, steven.”

        Hans and Peter had beer. German versus Aussie. It was lovely.

        this is lovely too.

      • Steven Mosher

        “It’s amazing how quickly wine multiplies my typos (not that I don’t make plenty pre-wine). It’s kind of funny, actually – and provides interesting insight into my mind works.”

        Who thought your mistakes could be amplified

      • blueice2hotsea

        Joshua: ‘Love’ is the write adjective.
        bi2hs: I smell a Freudian slip.
        Joshua: No. My mistakes are always stupid.

  30. Latimer Alder

    How old do you have to be in academia before you’re considered to have reached the age of maturity? 30? 35?

    These guys are 25+. In any other walk of life they’re thought to be mature adults. I see nothing that gives them special age-related dispensation here.

    • about 50 Latimer, about 50.
      Then you have seen one full cycle first hand.
      I sent some cells to a collaborator in Colorado a little while ago and we have both recently measured the toxicity of a compound, DSF. I found that 10 microMolar DSF caused a drop in cell numbers of about 15%.
      He found that he got a 50% drop at 250 nM, 40 times less than my concentration; so who do you think is correct?

      • Latimer Alder

        @docmartyn

        I think I’d do the experiment again. I wouldn’t use ‘age of the experimenters’ as a measuring stick.

        And if your results can vary that much, I’d be very suspicious of the methods and validity anyway!

        I still see no justification for pussy-footing around with these guys because they are ‘young scientists’. In UK we had a Prime Minister who was younger. And he wouldn’t have expected special treatment if his lack of years caused him to act like a dickhead.

      • Latimer, on July 1st, 1916, the men with their Webley revolvers and whistles, clambering out of the trenches and walking to the German machine-guns were on average 20.
        I find the image puts ‘over the top’ into perspective.

      • Latimer Alder

        @docmartyn

        And I remember my much-loved great uncle telling me a little of his experiences in those awful days at the Somme. He was just a young infantryman …but somehow he survived while so many of his comrades did not…..and he still felt guilty about that sixty years later.

        The contrast between the courage of those young men and the indulgence shown to the privileged and cossetted ‘fresh PhDs’ is quite remarkable.

      • With numbers that different, you both need to repeat it about 4 times each and make sure you are both really working with the same cells or that they did not get contaminated with something else that contributed to the killing. Send him the cells again as well.

  31. In so many ways, Marcotte is not to blame. The blame lies with the learned organizations, headed by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society. On the subject of CAGW, these bodies have taken such a grossly unsicentific stand, that people like Marcotte think that being unscientific is the right thing to do when it comes for “climate change”. It is not.

    However, I fear that until all these learned societies go back to the fundamental principles of science, like Nullius in Verba, Marcotte and people like him will think that, when it comes to climate change, the right thing to do is forget science, and just present the propaganda that supports The Cause and The Team.

    Until the scientific community starts at the top, and forces the RS and APS to publish proper science with respect to CAGW, there will be lots and lots more Marcottes. I feel sorry for them if it costs them their scientific careers; but I am afraid life is not fair.

    • Yes, and his mentors and the reviewers and editors at Science should have played a moderating role rather than a PR role. The rush to get it in before the IPCC deadline may have also contributed.

  32. Judith, I admire your instinct to save the souls of these young Ph.D.’s. Let’s remind ourselves of a few things, however.
    1. They were both college grads when they chose to go to grad school.
    2. They chose as mentors people in the ‘warmist ” camp.
    3. They willingly chose paleo, and should have been aware
    that at that time it was a controversial field.
    4. To be granted their degrees, they must have been put through a grueling oral comprehensive defense, and they survived. They are not delicate orchids. I was 25 when I received my Ph.D., a time when my ego, as well as my IQ was twice what it is now.
    5. In numerous radio spots and videos they touted the unsupported portions of their paper. Shakun even asked Revkin about advice on how to handle the inevitable onslaught.
    6. If they were as mature as a newly minted should be, they could have chose independence from Clark and the “team” and directly engaged with McIntyre on a continuing basis, instead of seeking shelter behind the RC wall. Geez, when I defended my thesis, I would have engaged anyone in the world – it was my life and world 20 hours/day for 4 years.
    7. Having said all that, however, I think your advice is wise. For their careers, I hope they find the wisdom to crawl from under Gavin’s and Mann”s skirt and experience what it feels like to be an independent Ph.D.

    • Latimer Alder

      Eloquently put, Bob.

      But they are old enough to have fought and died in battle several times over. Old enough to have sat on a jury that passed a death sentence. Old enough to have fathered numerous children. Old enough even to have bought and consumed alcohol without supervision. And can probably be sold cigarettes without either party being prosecuted.

      And by this age, they are the only ones capable of saving their own souls. If they haven’t already realised the trouble their Faustian pact has got them into, then they are simply too naive for the big wide world and shouldn’t be allowed out in traffic unsupervised….

      • k scott denison

        +1

        The idea that so many want to give the “boys” a mulligan is depressing.

        “It was the system, the mentors, the deniers, the press what dunnit!”

        Blame everyone but those responsible. Disgusting, really.

  33. Fred from Canuckistan

    “Marcott scored points in my book by communicating with Steve McIntyre, and for some measure of honesty in his response. ”

    “the bank robber scored points in my book by communicating with police, and for some measure of honesty in his response. ”

    Marcott needs a big ethical whup up side his thick head for going along with this tawdry, sleazy, cheap scheme. Fame is tempting to everyone but doesn’t excuse the very few who weaken at the moral knees and take cheap fraudulent short cuts to get the first class seat on the Academic Fame and Gravy train.

    He could have a long and promising career ahead of him, but he has some serious repentance to take care of first. Not a good first career move and a window into his moral compass room that must remain open and crystal clear if he wants to restore his severely wounded credibility.

  34. Every time a food fight like this erupts, it is the behavior of the alarmist scientists and their defenders on blogs which does the most damage to their cause. The stench is overwhelming.

  35. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry asserts: “What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values.”

    It is true that ethical affirmations are notably sparse within the “bubble” of the denial-sphere, yet outside the denial-sphere bubble responsible discourse regarding the science/ethics boundary is readily found:

    •  Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature (2012).

    •  Joint Workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences: Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature (2014).

    These are serious, interdisciplinary, on-the-record public dialogs, in which hundreds of researchers participate.

    In effect, the 2014 Vatican Workshop will debate the key question: is the 2012 Hansen et al article correct scientifically, correct morally, and correct economically?

    It is striking that the denial-sphere bubble declines to engage the key scientific, moral, and economic issues that the above two dialogs tackle directly, responsibly, and openly. Why is that, the world wonders?

    After all, scientists have published many past climate-change hockey-sticks, and many more climate-change hockey-sticks are in-the-pipeline.

    So hasn’t hockey-stick quibbling become merely a particularly juvenile stratagem of climate-change denialism?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Steven Mosher

      Fan.

      The planet is at risk.
      This calls for the very best that science can do.
      Do you believe this? or will you risk destroying your grandchildrens future with shoddy science done today? can you take the long view?

      • It’s not only Fan. Will the following unequivocally condemn, as unethical, the NSF press release accompanying Marcott et al?

        James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato, Frank Ackerman, Paul J. Hearty, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Shi-Ling Hsu, Fred Krueger, Camille Parmesan, Stefan Rahmstorf, Johan Rockstrom, Eelco J. Rohling, Jeffrey Sachs, Peter Smith, Konrad Steffen, Lise Van Susteren, Karina von Schuckmann, James C. Zachos

        I know they care about the kids. But how much?

      • Steven,
        100 years from now we will have lots of technology changes. Going back to 1912 who could anticipate cell phones, space travel, nuclear power, plus all the other goodies. Oh right, scientists and writers did.
        Fusion power, deeper space travel, efficient solar will come. I expect wind will drop away because of bird kills. That we did not expect. We all liked wind but now we see unanticipated problems.

        Keep up the honest science. Lots to be done.
        Scott

      • Steve:
        The whole point is that to make sound decisions, one must have sound advice.
        The last decade of published papers, in ref to climate science, has been such a distortion of known facts, verses “potential” facts, it is not funny.

        There are us out in the real world that depend on science to make decisions that affect not only our short term life, but our long term life.

        Refusing to acknowledge error bars, actual probability, etc…is just astounding.

        What has happened, is that any 1/2 way intelligent person sees the poor quality of the published literature.

        And such folks are crying for science, not garbage.

        Marcott getting published, as it was, is another 10 year confidence breaker.

        And there are some that would call this science?????????

      • This is one of the worst cases of Skeptical Science Syndrome I have observed in awhile. The sickness is spreading, sadly.

      • “The planet is at risk,” is actually untrue and propagandistic in its intent. (i.e. it’s obvious hyperbole intended to stir emotions.). The planet earth will survive nicely even if temps go up substantially.

      • blueice2hotsea

        pokerguy =-
        “The planet is at risk,” is actually untrue and propagandistic in its intent.

        No. It says nothing conclusive about beliefs or intent. Given Mosher’s academic background, it’s likely a philosophical logical argument.

        e.g.
        1. Planet is at risk.
        2. Risk management demands strategy.
        3. Effective strategy requires science.
        4. Misleading science is unacceptable.
        5. Marcott et al is misleading.
        6. Reject Marcott et al

        So, if fan disagrees, fan is illogical or has dishonest concern for planet. see? (Not saying mosher agrees with all this)

      • Steven: exactly, that is the point. Very well said. We need the best of science, not the worst.

      • Steven Mosher

        Naw, Mosh.

        The “planet is” NOT “at risk”.

        Never was.

        Never will be (at least not from human CO2 emissions).

        Our “grandchildrens’ future” can be “destroyed” much more easily by irresponsible fiscal policies and soaring debt than by shoddy science.

        But, despite this, we still need the “very best that science can do” and no “shoddy science”.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        blueice.

        That is not my argument.

        My question this.

        FOMD.

        1. Granted: the planet is at risk ( I accept my opponents position)
        2. Given the risk, we want the best from science.

        True or false?

        And the stupid skeptics on this thread have no idea that the best way to attack an argument is to invade and occupy one of the premises, So I grant FOMD his risk, and what follows from that risk should be a call for the best of science, not a defense of second rate work.
        marcott is not so much misleading as it is incomplete. We need not reject it, rather it needs to be improved. And we need to STOP defending work merely because we like the answer

        for example,

        here is a plot using marcot data.. except instead of smoothing the high frequency temperature data from the past, its presented in its raw form

        http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/7097/marcottvostokbaselinesh.jpg

        Now if a skeptic did that plot what would you say

      • It’s sad that skeptics would consider their wealth more important than the lives and future of their children.

      • “It says nothing conclusive about beliefs or intent.”

        Yes it does. It’s a generalization presented as if it has meaning by itself. There are problems with the specifics related to it. In other words, it’s a euphemism. Politicians present euphemismd. Scientists don’t. You can deduce from there.

        Andrew

      • “Now if a skeptic did that plot what would you say”

        I’m not sure what to say whoever does it, because I don’t see why it’s surprising.

        Vostok was one of the Marcott proxies. You can see it plotted here against the rest. It’s about mid-range variability.

      • lolwot | April 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

        “It’s sad that skeptics would consider their wealth more important than the lives and future of their children.”

        How dare you. Your failed progressive policies have done more to impoverish people than anything short of pure communism. Get educated, bupkiss.

      • Steve Mosher, with all due respect the planet is not at stake. it has been here about 4.5 billion years, and given its mass, orbital velocity, and angular momentum will for about another 5 billion until the Sun gives it up as a Red giant.
        What is at stake might be the human species (not all life, which has admirably survived several mass extinction events).
        Now I don’t even think that, since Homo spiens survived a glacial epoch and thus far an interglacial.
        What I do think is that there are grave carrying capacity issues concerning the number of humans, and their present consumption of planetary resources. And even that is not imminently critical. See my ebook Gaia’s Limits. And if one looks at the likely eventual constraints, projected climate change ( crop yields posted here last year, sea level, ocean acidification) are so far down the list of real possible concerns they don’t make the first page.
        Realism about real, science and fact based futuristic issues has never been an AGW strong suit. As you have just demonstrated again.

      • Rud Istvan

        You are right: “the planet” is not in any danger at all.

        But you touch on the point of global crop yields, an important aspect of human survival, quality of life and life expectancy on this planet.

        As we all know, all plants, including all crops, need CO2 to exist. We are now at a relatively low CO2 level compared to earlier periods in our planet’s geological past

        Greenhouse operators often enhance CO2 levels to increase plant growth and yields, since the “natural” CO2 level appears to be suboptimal.

        The data out there tell us that increased CO2 levels act to enhance crop yields of both C3 and C4 crops, with a higher impact for C3 crops, which include 95% of all plants and most crop plants. Interestingly, most weeds are of the C4 variety, which show somewhat lower response to increased CO2.

        As a side benefit for regions suffering from chronic water shortage or droughts, both C3 and C4 plants improve their water-use efficiency significantly with increased CO2 levels while reducing evapotranspiration. So this should result in some “greening” of existing deserts.

        http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/photosynthesis-and-co2-enrichment/

        The study also shows that at higher levels of CO2, the optimal temperatures for photosynthesis increase.

        And, at slightly warmer temperatures, arable land surface area in higher latitudes should increase, as should growing seasons.

        But how has this worked out in practice?

        Over the period 1970-2010 we had the following observed changes:

        1970
        Population: 3.7 billion
        Global temperature (HadCRUT3 anomaly, 10-year average): -0.12 °C
        Atmospheric CO2: 324 ppmv
        Global yields of major crops (million tons corn/wheat/rice): 788

        2010
        Population: 7.0 billion (up 1.9x)
        Global temperature: +0.42 °C (up 0.54 °C)
        Atmospheric CO2: 390 ppmv (up 66 ppmv or 20%)
        Global yields of major crops (million tons): 1912 (up 1124 Mt or 2.4x)

        In addition, global starvation rates were down significantly and (despite HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) world average life expectancy increased from ~55 years to ~68 years (up by 13 years).

        So over 40 years with a 20% increase in CO2 we’ve seen a 140% increase in crop yields!
        http://bigpictureagriculture.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-does-need-to-double-world-crop.html

        More food per capita means less starvation, to be sure.

        As a result, a continued increase of atmospheric CO2 plus a continuation of the past warming should actually be beneficial for plant life as well as humanity.

        Max

      • blueice2hotsea

        Steven Mosher

        My point to pokerguy was that it’s not obvious you are planting a flag with “Planet is at risk”. It is common to grant an unrealistic premise for the purpose of furthering discussion to see what follows.

        Still, I cautioned PG that you would not necessarily agree with my interpretation (I suspected gratuitous insertion of “misleading” and “reject” would be a problem). Regardless, if you really hold to “best”, then you do not accept “misleading”.

        And I find the paper to be part of a misleading package. Revkin quotes Robert Rhodes:

        In essence, their reconstruction appears to tell us about past changes in climate with a resolution of about 400 years.

        With a 400 year resolution, cold from the Dark Ages and and LIA is mixed into the MWP. To then compare the MWP to the current temps has the potential to be misleading because it contains the hidden premise that temp rise over the last 200 yrs. will continue for a couple more centuries. We need to mix +- 200 years to compare apples to apples, do we not? The hidden premise compels comparing apples to oranges. Therefore, REJECT!

      • Rud Istvan | April 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm |

        See? Mosher and Istvan have opened a dialogue!

        This bodes well for the founding of a Holocene-spanning BEST-like project involving both these exceptionally qualified and highly-regarded contributors.

        How’s the rest of the list of participants rounding out?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Of course a simple explanation of a complex system is very wrong in principle – as Murray Salby said in today’s Australian.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/plot/best/from:1979/plot/rss

      • Steven Mosher

        Rud.

        “Steve Mosher, with all due respect the planet is not at stake. it has been here about 4.5 billion years, and given its mass, orbital velocity, and angular momentum will for about another 5 ”

        i didnt say it was at stake. I said it was at risk

        It’s at risk from a asteroid strike
        its at risk from global warming.
        get it?

        Now, if you read carefully, you will understand where I am going.

        FOMD thinks the risk is high. you think the risk is low. Unless you want to PROVE that there is zero risk. If you do want to prove that then submit your syllogism, otherwise accept that there is a risk, perhaps low, but a risk nonetheless.

        To continue, you think the risk is low FOMD thinks it is high. Shouldn’t he want the best from science? That’s an open question.

      • Simple here. To evaluate risk you need to know two things, the course and projected end of Holocenic temperatures, and the fact that warmer is better than cooler, for the Earth and its biome(us, too). The only real risk under this simple evaluation is if the Earth doesn’t warm.
        ==============================

      • David Springer

        The planet is at risk?

        That’s absurd. At risk is disruption of human civilization. But that’s always at risk and there’s a plethora of more pressing concerns than CO2 from fossil fuels.

    • Curious George

      Nice to see that the Vatican will resolve scientific and moral questions again. They have a glorious history including but not limited to Galileo Galilei. Dr. Hanson et al. article could well serve as a starting point for a 21st century Climatic Inquisition.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: So hasn’t hockey-stick quibbling become merely a particularly juvenile stratagem of climate-change denialism?

      No.

      The most important “result” in the Marcotte et al paper was not substantiated by their data and analyses.

    • Fanny

      You ask:

      “hasn’t hockey-stick quibbling become merely a particularly juvenile stratagem of climate-change denialism?”

      The answer is: “NO”.

      Any more questions?

      Max

      PS My opinion: “hockey-stick quibbling” has become a “sauve-qui-peut” strategem of a rapidly unraveling CAGW movement to distract attention from the fact that the warming projections of the GCMs have failed miserably and the warming of the 1980s/1990s has stopped.

  36. “JC advice to the skeptical blogosphere: Lets get to the bottom of this, but while doing so I remind you that one element of this is the struggle for the scientific souls of two promising young scientists. Please don’t overegg the pudding and inadvertently send them to the RealClimate refugee and training camp. Cordially invite them to engage, and work with them to try to change the culture in the paleoclimate community.”
    =====
    People have to stop confusing the comment section with the blog. This has nothing to do with climatology, and everything to do with the nature of the internet. If you’re going to be anything in the 21st century, you have to understand the nature of the internet, because the world is only going to get more and more online with time.
    I’m sure the door’s open here, at Climateaudit, and WUWT, and pretty much anywhere else M&S want to engage critics. But it’s necessary to understand in this century that some rotten tomatoes and some invincible ignorance are to be expected as simply the ways of the internet. If somebody makes a rude and/or stupid comment, the proper response is to ignore it. Only engage comments that show some sense of comprehension and good faith. The rest of it is just the din of the internet; it’s there, and that’s just the way this medium is.

    • Harold, good statement

    • Second that Judith. Unfortunately, blog commentary is taken far too seriously by many participants and that the choice of language used is often inappropriate in a civilised discussion. That’s the territory and we all must make our own adjustments as we go along.

  37. I think a lot of people are missing the boat here by focusing on the persons of Marcott and… Hey, can’t even remember the name of the other co-author…. Not a good sign for Marcott as he’s going to take most of the flack if this thing gets retracted.

    The problem isn’t with the authors per-se. It’s the publishing system and the over reliance on peer review, which is often presented as the divine reveler of TRUTH scientific. Peer review, in my opinion, has been elevated to a higher standard than it really should represent. It should be just one step in the process of verifying or rebutting a scientific hypothesis. It’s now being used to prop up political agendas attached to the field of climate science (I wonder how many “attaboys” James Hansen got when he told his colleagues he was leaving NASA to become a full-time activist?). In my opinion, peer review, especially in climate science, has been with the help of the media abused for a long time now. It should be look as as just a step in the process, instead of something to generate publicity and headlines.

    Hope this makes sense. I’m in a fat hurry to get out the door…. Shouls have been out 20 minutes ago!

    Mike.

    • That is really quite interesting Mike. As you may recall, Mike Mann was a post doc with Ray Bradley when MBH was published, yet he got the target painted on him. Both Bradley and Hughes had and have serious reputations but shied away from the spotlight. IEHO people (Hi Steve) went after Mann because they thought him a softer target, but, in the words of the old saw, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

      Bradley only engaged when attacked by the Congressional Committee and Wegman, and he only became fully involved with the unmasking of the deception in the Wegman report and then in the McIntyre calculation.

      • Please explain “the deception in the Wegman report” in some detail…

        NSF stated that they were in fundamental agreement with Wegman.

        Or have you been reading Connolley’s Wiki pages again???

      • NAS, not NSF. My bad.

      • The defamation of Steve Mc does nothing to enhance your credibility. Assuming you still have any.

      • As Yogi Berra once said, we have all passed a lot of water since then.

        1. Contrary to his testimony Wegman never created his own code. There is good grounds to believe that he simply used McIntyre and McKitrick’s code or simply copied their results.

        2. It is conclusive that the claims about the ability to produce a “hockey stick” from noise were “aided” by cherry picking From the link about the Wegman report:
        —————–

        the HS PC’s shown were anything but random samples. In fact, the 10000 simulations had been pre-sorted by HS index, and the top 100 selected. A choice was then made from this top 100.

        Although Wegman had said that “We have been able to reproduce the results of McIntyre and McKitrick (2005b)”, the PC in Fig 4.1 was identical to one in MM05b. Since the noise is randomly generated, this could not have happened from a proper re-run of the code. Somehow, the graph was produced from MM05 computed results.

        The red noise used in the program was very different to that described in the caption of Fig 4.4.

      • As you may recall, Mike Mann was a post doc with Ray Bradley when MBH was published, yet he got the target painted on him. As you may recall, Mike Mann was a post doc with Ray Bradley when MBH was published, yet he got the target painted on him.

        That seems a bit disingenuous. If memory serves, when MBH came out, it was instantly known as the Mann Hockey Stick”. Googling it even today, it’s the Mann H.S, not the Bradley or Hughes one. As you know, he was the lead author of MBH, and didn’t exactly shy away from the spotlight as such. He embraced the rising star status, and became one of the 8 lead authors of the 2001 IPCC report, in part at the very least because of the status gained from MBH98.

        As far as being a target. McIntyre didn’t come along for 5ish years. He didn’t become a “tagret” really until he refused to release all of his data. But to pretend he was not out in the public arena, taking full advantage of the publicity he got from being the Mann with the Mann Hockey Stick, riding the “stick portion of the coat-tails, as it were, is simply dishonest. Yes. I absolutely agree that some of the criticism toward him has been / is unfair. But, by subsequently accusing everyone under the sun of being “climate change deniers”, of being in the pocket of evil “big oil”, and maneuvering behind the scenes to manipulate the peer review process (as shown in the climate gate emails), even if it was just a little, he has over the years earned some of the enmity he receives.

        OK. So now that that is out of the way, something which had little to do with my point about the over-valuation of peer review, can you comment on that, instead of throwing out the victimization of Mann red herring.

        Here is the relevant part

        The problem isn’t with the authors per-se. It’s the publishing system and the over reliance on peer review, which is often presented as the divine reveler of TRUTH scientific. Peer review, in my opinion, has been elevated to a higher standard than it really should represent. It should be just one step in the process of verifying or rebutting a scientific hypothesis. It’s now being used to prop up political agendas attached to the field of climate science (I wonder how many “attaboys” James Hansen got when he told his colleagues he was leaving NASA to become a full-time activist?). In my opinion, peer review, especially in climate science, has been with the help of the media abused for a long time now. It should be look as as just a step in the process, instead of something to generate publicity and headlines.

      • Doug Badgero

        Garbage, Mann’s statements to the press were the basis for the Congressional investigation. He painted the target on himself.

      • No one ever explained to Eli why McIntyre, when he was having a fit about the trees, didn’t get after Malcolm Hughes who was the tree guy.

    • Mike, the problem with the present state of review is that critics are shunned rather than courted. With most of the important things in life — like safety inspections, jury decisions, health examinations, etc. — we want things done thoroughly and with all angles examined. Why not the same with scientific research? Why do we leave initial review at the level of the local newspaper’s movie critic’s efforts? If getting the answers right is so important, why haven’t the professional organizations created a rigorous system with high standards that must be met before publication? Rigor doesn’t mean every criticism must be refuted, but it does mean that every criticism must be acknowledged and where gaps exist an explanation of what they are and what they imply must be made. We impede the advance of understanding by fussing with each other rather than contending on level terrain. Why are we so foolish that we ignore the Biblical proverb: “As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17)?

      • Latimer Alder

        To carry on your theme, out here in reality, auditors are not meant to be loved. They are there to be respected and feared. The system is set up that way. We call it a separation of powers. The auditors are there to make sure the staff aren’t screwing the public or the company. And they put their professional reputations on the line when they sign off on a set of accounts.

        When this separation of powers breaks down, the auditing system no longer works. The most prominent example is Enron..and both sides collapsed in ignominy.

        Now let us look at academe. Is there any equivalent mechanism to make sure that ‘science’ is honest? The nearest we get is ‘peer-review’, which is a ramshackle, voluntary, bias-laden and ‘anonymous’ system. No separation of powers, no professional reputation at stake..and absolutely no checks that the reviewers aren’t as ‘deluded’ as the principals. It might prove adequate to check the tea money account for a small parish council but beyond that it is as full of holes as a colander.

        And yet, and yet, it is brandished by those within the system as if it was somehow The Sword of Truth. Ridiculous.

        The inadequacies are then compounded by the IPCC process which is little more than an extended self-assessment exercise leading to the inevitable conclusion that ll the papers published by IPCC authors are tophole first class science and that it is the national governments’ duties to fund yet more from the same sources.

        What would be remarkable would be if any such organisation ever came up with any different conclusions. It s designed to produce those results and so it does,

        Out here, we know an awful lot about building organisations to solve problems and (as far as possible) to reduce the effect of human frailties on the results. But academe is stuck in one particular mindset using a not very effective organisational model (the primacy of few people contributing to ‘the paper’), totally inadequate quality control and no visible ethical grounding at all,

        I wonder if all three can survive many more episodes like Marcott et al?

  38. The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) sand castle was built by smoothing all the oscillations in Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) before 1970s, leaving the warming phase of this oscillation since then untouched and calling it man-made, as shown in the chart below:

    IPCC Chart => http://bit.ly/OaemsT

  39. If we imagine for a few moments that except for the last 100 years or so, the reconstruction is correct.
    Why did the temperature rise and fall by a degree over the time frame?
    No CO2, no change in the Sun, no land changes. What are the, shudders, forcings?

    • Doc,
      It is the slow recovery from the last ice age of 18000 yrs before present. Really started to get warmer in 8000 ybp. Temperature has gone up and down but it is difficult to measure precisely with the proxy records of ice cores the Anarctic and Greenland and sediment cores in the ocean.
      As you know already. Hard to isolate the changes outside of orbital.
      Scott

    • Milkanovitch cycles do change the insolation slowly. Doc, either you are having serial brain farts or you are not the Doc Eli knew and loved. This is silly.

      • David Springer

        Milankovich cycles don’t change total insolation one little bit. They change its distribution spatially and seasonally in equal but opposite ways in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. If the land masses were allocated and distributed equally between in NH and SH Milankovitch cycles wouldn’t do a damned thing. Milankovitch cycles have been happening for billions of years and didn’t do anything most of that time. It’s only the current arrangment of the continents that makes it matter.

      • Cold 11,000 years-ago, warms to a new steady state lasting from about 9,000 to 4,000 years ago, then the long freeze throughout recorded history.

        Lapin a La Cocotte
        http://www.food.com/recipe/lapin-a-la-cocotte-french-rabbit-stew-114799

      • David, you should know that isn’t in the 1/(1+f) equation.

      • Milkanovitch cycles are in phase with change sometimes and out of phase with change other times. They most likely do not have much influence.
        Milkanovitch cycles have been in phase for five of the last 9 cycles. Something much more powerful is in control.

      • David Springer

        Herman I figure orbital mechanics are one piece of a perfect storm that ends an interglacial with the other pieces being grand solar minima and strato-volcanoes.

      • You might have a point except that except that Greenland and Antarctic cores show the same ice ages, and that they follow the Milankovitch cycles

        Doc, you are losing your game.

      • “No CO2, no change in the Sun, no land changes. What are the, shudders, forcings?”
        Fig 2 in their paper has good stuff on this.

      • David Springer

        DocMartyn | April 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

        “David, you should know that isn’t in the 1/(1+f) equation.”

        Yes of course an elliptical orbit gets a fraction more energy than a perfectly circular one but the eccentricity is so small in this case that it’s insignificant. What’s not insignificant is the change in insolation between perihelion and aphelion where one loses almost precisely what the other gains. When in phase with axial precession so NH winters are mild and summers cool freezing precipitation is greatly favored and the cooler summers less able to melt the accumulation near the the perennial snow line so season by season the perennial snow line advances which is a positive feedback in and of itself as season by season the hemisphere’s albedo is reduced by the greater snow coverage. Perennial snow lines of course are aided by increasing altitude as well as latitude so the NH, having twice the land mass, has twice the anchors for perennial snow cover and by that attribute is the initiator with 65N latitude being the most susceptable due to a combination of more higher altitude anchors and being near to freezing mean annual temperature even at sea level to begin with by virtue of being just inside the polar climate region.

      • David, Anchors are an important point. Snow and ice are the strongest feedback/forcing and they need a firm foothold to grow. That gives tidal forcing a variable impact and gravity a negative feed back to prolonged cooling/ snow accumulation. That is likely why volcanic events seem to have inconsistent impacts.

      • David

        so season by season the perennial snow line advances which is a positive feedback in and of itself as season by season the hemisphere’s albedo is reduced [?] by the greater snow coverage.

        You were doing better than usual until you got to this bit. Keep copying out the right bits of the textbook and you will get there eventually. But it helps if you *understand* what you are copying first. That way, you spot and correct obvious and major errors before hitting the comment button…

  40. The “Journal Science” and climate peer review has lost all credibility. This ridiculous journal should not publish rubbish, at the least not publishing junk science would offer some protection for neophyte PHD’s.
    Marcott et al. were probably completely naive regarding skeptical AGW science due to their cAGW brain washing in university.

  41. And what exactly is the value of the paper other than the hype and the headlines (that, as we hear, don’t matter because we should not look at it as that all is not the conclusion of the study)? According to the RC logic the study showed that the current (rate of the) warming is unprecedented for 11500 years, but it really did not because of its proxies’ low resolution, but it did not have to because we know that the spikes did not exist (as there was no mechanism for that) in the past and the current warming, the spike, though a product of dubious procedures and “not robust” that, as claimed, was CLEARLY stated in the study though, in fact, it was not, but all of this this does not matter because we know from instrumental records that there’s a spike, that is unprecedented, because we know it is (and we know why and we already know that it’s gonna continue and get worse, not that the study says so, but we know)… So what exactly did this “excellent study” add to the knowledge when all that it was supposed to add, it did not, but it does not matter as we already know all of this without the study… What interesting but sad times we (and science) live…

  42. David Springer

    Marcott and Shakun have no choice at this point if they want tenure, or even decent jobs, in their field. Practically all the power in academia is in the hands of warmists. If they rat out the senior scientist(s) who convinced Marcott to convert his PhD thesis into an indefensible propaganda piece they’re screwed, blued, and tatooed. No one on the team will give them succor in that case and non-warmists in the field are too few to provide refuge. The only refuge they have is with the team. Who else except others like them would hire them knowing that their integrity is for sale? They’d better hope that the expression “honor among thieves” holds true here or the team won’t want them either. In other words they made their bed now they have to lie in it.

    • Latimer Alder

      They could always get out of academia and go and do something useful instead. Judith keeps telling us how young they still are.

      If they’ve any ethical standards at all they will surely have seen enough to want no further part in corrupting themselves with academic gravy.

      • David Springer

        The noble lie is a miracle worker in rationalizing the unethical. And you know the old saying If you’re young and conservative you have no heart. If you’re old and liberal you have no brain.

      • I agree. Couldn’t care less about this concern for “the trade”, what also Pielke Jr seems to be into.

    • Latimer Alder

      @david springer

      You seem convinced that it was other ‘senior scientists’ that convinced Marcott to sell his soul. Is there any evidence for this? Or was it an idea all of his own making?

      I wonder (rhetorically) if history tells us anything about obscure newly-minted PhDs with big egos and thin skins being catapulted to world-wide fame and ‘glory’ on the back of controversial climate-related graphs?

      And if Marcott – in contemplating the future trajectory of his career – had ever noticed such an example? The cynics among us might think that it was fairly well-known in paleoclimatological circles………..

  43. Progressives are progressives first, and everything else, including scientists and PhD candidates, second.

    Steve Mosher is right, the Marcott FAQ was a piece of PR. But then so was the hockey stick, the defenses of Hansen ’88, the dead polar bears, the disappearing rain forest, the disappearing glaciers.

    Critics of this paper are acting like they actually expected impartial, clearly thought out science. Shame on you. That’s like expecting the IPCC to do an objective analysis of the general field of “climate science.” That is not what they are paid to do. (The IPCC literally, and the two Mann wannabes figuratively.)

    CAGW is political; has been since Hansen made those pudgy congressmen sweat in ’88. So Michael Mann has two Minnie Mes. They will not be the last.

    There is nothing new in the climate debate.

  44. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Steven Mosher asserts “The planet is at risk. This calls for the very best that science [and skepticism] can do.”

    Your post is 100% correct, Steven Mosher!

    A Natural Question  Is critiquing the weakest scientific “hockey-sticks” the best that contemporary climate-change skepticism can accomplish?

    If so, then with very many, very strong, climate-change hockey-sticks already in the scientific literature — and with multiple further hockey-sticks foreseeably in-the-pipeline — then realistically there can be only one rational end-point:

    RESOLVED  Three decades of scientific research have demonstrated that James Hansen’s 1981 worldview is substantially correct — scientifically, economically, and morally —and the 2014 Pontifical Academy Workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature should affirm this three-fold scientific, economic, and moral conclusion.

    This common-sense conclusion is sobering yet not complicated, eh Steven Mosher?

    Other conclusions — in particular, focusing upon the tail-end analysis of Marcott et al as a weak shibboleth for non-rational climate-change skepticism — amount to disgraceful demagogic denialism-via-quibbling, isn’t that correct?

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    • Fan

      Surely the most interesting part of the study is that Marcott et al shows the very same 300 year warming trend from 1690 that I noted in my study and was confirmed by BEST.

      I have asked you before to supply Dr Hansens paper on ‘Warming started 200 years before my Giss figures’ but to date you have not supplied it. He can not failed to have noticed that his record was only a staging post in the temperature uptick.. He must have written about it as it included temperature upswings greater than we are currently seeing.

      Whether the current sharp downturn in temperatures that CET shows-which seems to be a precursor to global temperatures-is long term or will revert to the very long warming trend is a difficult one to call. What do you think?

      tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TonyB, most of your post is unintelligible (to me or AFAICT to anyone). It might be helpful if you studied James Hansen’s recent Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications with particular attention to Hansen’s deliberate emphasis upon high-accuracy measures, that are global in extent, and long-term in duration, of thermodynamically conserved quantities (chiefly energy). This three-fold scientific strategy (global, long-term, conservative) naturally allies Hansen’s scientific objectives with the Vatican’s compatibly long-term social and moral objectives.

        As for climate-change skepticism that is low-accuracy, local, short-term, and contingent … well … that brand of climate-change skepticism is destined to become irrelevant, eh?

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      • fan

        Perfectly intelligible question unless once again you want to duck the question. I think this is the fifth time you have done so.

        The world has been warming since way before 1880. I would have expected a scientist of Hansen’s stature to have noted this and explained why.
        Rubbishing CET and the numerous scientists who see it as a reasonable (but by no means perfect) proxy for the NH or a wider area is no sort of response to a civil question.
        tonyb

      • You are wasting your time Tony. Fan doesn’t answer direct questions with direct answers. I doubt it is because he can’t. I suspect he is extremely intelligent. Which makes one wonder at his reply below. I didn’t have a problem understanding what you said.

      • Tonyb
        most people understand your question. a while back you asked is fan trying to distract or waste my time? Answer is yes.
        Good news if Hansen left NASA Goddard. That could free up some scientists.
        CET shows a sharp downturn or just level for 15 years?
        Scott

      • Scott

        CET has shown a precipitate decline over the last decade or so
        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        Britain has the finest climate records in the world both instrumental and observations. They tell us of a gradual increase in temperatures over the last 300 years, that current weather extremes are nowhere near as bad as many in the past and that there have been some surprisingly warm periods in the last 500 years. Its all very well for Fan to try to ignore them or demean them, but those are the facts a I can testify after having read tens of thousands of them in such places as the Met office archives.
        Whether the current temperature decline is short or long term I don’t know but we can all testify to it

        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The fundamental forcings – the energy imbalance that Trenberth claimed – is obviously there in the CERES data. It should however prompt a fundamental rethink of top of atmosphere radiant flux.

        ‘The precision achieved by the most advanced generation of radiation budget satellites is indicated by the planetary energy imbalance measured by the ongoing CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instrument (Loeb et al., 2009), which finds a measured 5-year mean imbalance of 6.5 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). The problems being addressed with this tuning probably involve the high variability and changes of the angular distribution functions for outgoing radiation and the very limited
        sampling of the radiation field that is possible from an orbiting satellite, as well as, perhaps, detector calibration. There can be no credible expectation that this tuning/calibration procedure can reduce the error by two orders of magnitude as required to measure changes of Earth’s
        energy balance to an accuracy of 0.1 W/m2.’ Hansen – cited by FOMBS

        ‘While the new satellite instruments discussed in this study have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in cloud-radiation observational capabilities, there is a critical need to extend the length of these records over multiple decades and further improve their accuracy in order to quantify how clouds are changing in a warmer climate and how cloud changes impact the Earth’s radiation budget. One key observational requirement to address longterm climate change is an improvement in instrument calibration, particularly for the imager and radiation budget instruments. While the estimated stability of the CERES TOA radiation record of roughly 0.5 Wm-2 per decade is a factor of 3–4 better than anticipated prior to the launch of CERES, there is a need for another factor of 2–3 improvement in order to constrain cloud feedback.’ Loeb et al 2012

        ‘When the four ERBS error sources are combined, the total stability uncertainty (1-sigma) in the 60°N to 60°S and tropical annual mean radiation for the ERBS WFOV 15-yr dataset from all three sources combined is on the order of 0.3 to 0.4 W m2. Time sampling uncertainty
        dominates SW and net flux stability, while calibration uncertainty dominates LW flux stability.’ Wong et al 2006 Have we gone backwards?

        While Hansen is technically correct – it is not the metric of most interest or usefulness. Stability is – and that determines the veracity of changes over time. The shorter the time frame the less of a factor is the stability of the instrument. Thus the influence of Mt Pinatubo can been seen or interannual cloud changes. Over a slightly longer period – it seems important to constrain the record with comparisons with ocean heat content. The CERES record seems consistent with ocean heat changes and is the most accurate means yet of ‘estimating’ changes in the toa radiant energy imbalance. The CERES record shows a dominace of clouds in the toa record. As indeed did ERBS and ISCCP-FD data before.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

        We suspect that there is ‘natural low-frequency variability of the climate system’. To the extent that they are real – cloud changes caused all of the recent warming. Now you might put that down to sulphate/cloud feedbacks – if this was a smoother function. And we should then be giving a far bigger role for sulphates in climate – as Hansen suggests – than CO2.

        Hansen is fundamentally wrong in neglecting emergent behaviour in the Earth system. At the time frame of climate shifts – there is no substitute for measurement.

        Check out the 1998/2001 changes in Fig. 3 – http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/ – measured in 2 different ways.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Climatereason asserts: “Britain has the finest climate records in the world both instrumental and observations.”

        When it comes to global energy budgets, no amount of measurement quality can compensate for measurement locality … isn’t that right TonyB?

        The British Isles encompass less than one-tenth of one percent of the earth’s surface area, right?

        Isn’t that rather a small sample area, of such a vast planet?

        Perhaps climatologists are correct, in assessing climate-change, to focus upon global measures?

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      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist argues: “Hansen is fundamentally wrong in neglecting emergent behavior in the Earth system.”

        Chief Hydrologist, you will be gratified to read the closing discussion of Hansen, Sato, Russell, and Kharecha Climate Sensitivity, Sea Level, and Atmospheric CO2 (2012):

        “Our climate simulations, using a simplified three-dimensional climate model to solve the fundamental equations for conservation of water, atmospheric mass, energy, momentum, and the ideal gas law, but stripped to basic radiative, convective and dynamical processes, finds sharp upturns in climate sensitivity at the same forcings as found with a more complex global climate model … already at 16×CO2 Earth is a different, essentially uninhabitable, planet, with global mean warming of 30°C, much larger warming at high latitudes, the tropopause eliminated, the stratosphere filled with water vapor, and the ozone layer undoubtedly destroyed.”

        Chief Hydrologist, it’s mighty good to see that James Hansen and his scientific colleagues are arriving at similar conclusions to yours, and to see also that the Vatican is taking proper notice too, eh?

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      • Generalissimo Skippy

        FOMBS – it is encouraging to see that Hansen can predict a climate with 16xCO2. I stand corrected.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Generalissimo Skippy says: “I stand corrected.”

        Generalissimo Skippy, everyone who similarly reads Hansen, Sato, Russell, and Kharecha Climate Sensitivity, Sea Level, and Atmospheric CO2 (2012) will join you in appreciating (in Hansen’s closing words)

        “Recent updates of potential fossil fuel reserves (EIA, 2011), including full exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels (tar sands, tar shale, hydrofracking and other technologies to reach gas deposits) in addition to conventional oil, gas and coal, suggest that 16×CO2 is conceivable, but of course governments would not be so foolhearty as to allow or encourage development of all fossil fuels.”

        and these same Climate Etc readers will join both you and the Vatican in devoutly hoping too, that humanity will not foolishly deny these risks, eh Generalissimo Skippy?

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      • Generalissimo Skippy

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’ TAR 14.2

        ‘Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted, in different fields of medical research, rates of wrongness roughly corresponding to the observed rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials.’
        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/

        Simply put we suggest that 80% – that sounds about right – of climate science is simply wrong. And it seems that the IPCC were once right – but now are so politicised as to be absolutely wrong – aye FOMBS. Hansen is now so far out on a limb that he cannot move without falling. That is as much reason as needed to hang on tightly and hope for the worst. What is your reason FOMBS?

      • Fan

        In citing to me an irrelevant (in this circumstance) Hansen study you again disparage the merits of Cet as a wider proxy and in doing so you are flying in the face of solid scientific evidence

        I cited some of this in ;
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

        “Section 3 What is cet

        Due to its longevity CET is probably the most scrutinized instrumental data set in the world, which makes it especially valuable as a useful resource. As much of this paper is concerned with instrumental records deriving from thermometers it should be noted that in Chapter 5 of his book ’Climate History and the Modern World’, Lamb makes many good points about the relatively limited accuracy of instrumental records. As observed in my own article on the same subject, at best we can believe in the general direction of travel of the local instrumental record-especially when backed by such things as crop records/ observations-but not in their accuracy to tenths of a degree (17)”

        And……

        ‘Global’ records are much less reliable than local ones due to the manner in which they are assembled, and the reality of a meaningful single global temperature is the subject of much debate, as observed by French climatologist Marcel Leroux. ‘Yet, they know very well that there is not one “global” climate, but a large variety of climates, depending on latitude, geographic conditions, and atmospheric dynamics.’ (18) “

        I continued;

        “Section 6; Can CET represent a wider geographic area and establish the existence of a Hemispherically significant cooling period?

        “Lamb believed CET (and other reliable records) had a much wider relevance beyond that of the central portion of England. He observed in Chapter 5 of ‘Climate History and the Modern World’;

        ’…that the last centuries (CET) records ‘have been highly significantly correlated with the best estimates of the averages for the whole Northern Hemisphere and for the whole earth ‘

        In Table 4 page 281 of his book Lamb explores the correlations he had established. (44)

        He further commented;

        ‘…over the 100 years since 1870 the successive five year values of average temperatures in England have been highly significantly correlated with the best estimates of the averages for the whole Northern Hemisphere and for the whole earth’ (In this last comment he is no doubt referring to his work at CRU where global surface records back to 1860 or so were eventually gathered) he continued; ‘they probably mean that over the last three centuries the CET temperatures provide a reasonable indication of the tendency of the global climatic regime.’

        ‘Tendency’ is a very good word and is preferable to precision.

        Many luminaries agree with him of the value of CET, including E W Bliss, Mike Hulme, Elaine Barrow, Mike Lockwood and Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of KNMI

        In this study by Phil Jones and Michael Mann Figure 2 demonstrates that CET is a good proxy for much of the time for the Northern Hemisphere (49a)

        In the study referenced below CET trends are overlaid on to some of the oldest instrumental records available, and graphically demonstrate that there is considerable correlation in data sets as diverse as New York City to Geneva ..”

        We also usefully saw the correlation here in this study comparing CET to the BEST Global temperature reconstruction.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-historic-variations-in-temperatures-part-3-best-confirms-extended-period-of-warming/

        Now, I am sorry that Dr Hansen does not appear to have studied CET but that makes no reason to dismiss it in favour of a composite global data base that ignores that not all the world is behaving in the same way, that is to say that some parts are warmimg, some cooling and some are static, a feature that I suspect could be traced back through the Ho,ocene.

        CET imperfectly gives us a reasonable proxy as far as a global composite has a value.

        Now, what does Dr Hansen think about the last 300 years or so of Warming? Was Co2 the mechanism or is some other factor at work?
        tonyb

      • Fan: you talk about how little of the earth CET covers. Please explain how much of the earth any proxy used in paleoclimatology uses. No, let me save you the time: about the same.

        CET is a proxy, and its actual conditions are known much better than any other proxy. Much better known. Making it one of the most reliable/interpretable proxies in existence. The fact that you’d write it off shows you care little for the truth.

        Yes, there are many proxies from many places and of many types. Not every single one is great, and we can write off some as less reliable than others, or more open to interpretation as to what they are actually indicating. (E.g. that tree lines change and hence the conditions under which the tree rings grew were not temperature-driven.) But writing off CET, an actual temperature record?

      • tony b

        Fanny apparently has difficulties understanding your past comment.

        I don’t.

        The question to Fanny at the end of your comment is pertinent, so I will repeat it:

        “Whether the current sharp downturn in temperatures that CET shows-which seems to be a precursor to global temperatures-is long term or will revert to the very long warming trend is a difficult one to call. What do you think?”

        Max

        PS You will probably not get a straight answer from Fanny to your question, but I personally think there is a very good chance that we are, indeed, seeing a possible “preview of coming attractions” in the recent CET record. I seriously hope this is NOT the case, however, because the historical record shows that periods of extended cooling would be much more harmful for humanity and our environment that a resumption of the 20thC warming. The big climate risk we face is another mini Ice Age, not global warming.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Other conclusions — in particular, focusing upon the tail-end analysis of Marcott et al as a weak shibboleth for non-rational climate-change skepticism — amount to disgraceful demagogic denialism-via-quibbling, isn’t that correct?

      Is this your way of acknowledging that the author-promoted media hype surrounding the paper was false, and that the paper provides no justification for the claim that Earth mean temperature has recently increased?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The scientific community, the Vatican, the mediac … and (increasingly) the general public … have grasped the main ideas of climate-change science 100% correctly, eh Matthew R Marler?

        Which is more than one can say for non-rational denialists!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: The scientific community, the Vatican, the mediac … and (increasingly) the general public … have grasped the main ideas of climate-change science 100% correctly, eh Matthew R Marler?

        Your argument seems to be that the paper was worth publishing because evidence not in it is popular.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … practicing scientists appreciate that 90 percent of published articles could be expunged without notable loss to science … if only reliable means existed to identify which articles were in that 90 percent!

        It’s reasonable to foresee that the Marcott et al. article will not rank among the “immortal 10%” … and so the caravan of science travels on, eh?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: A Natural Question Is critiquing the weakest scientific “hockey-sticks” the best that contemporary climate-change skepticism can accomplish?

      It is definitely worthwhile to point out that a widely cited result is baseless. Your word “weakest” hardly does justice to the case that the particular “hockey-stick” in question does not exist.

      Your entire contribution to the discussion of Marcotte et al is to redirect attention away from their most interesting but unsubstantiated claim.

  45. Reading the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is much like reading Pravda during the Cold War

     

    “Scientists know that only logic and evidence apply. The evidence causing great grief is the refusal of the global temperature to increase for the past 15 years. It sloshes back and forth as one would expect on a planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are never in equilibrium, but does not warm as some claimed it would with slowly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Consequently, cracks are developing in the scientific facade supporting the dogma…

    … climate simulations are failing badly.

    Perhaps this is what prompted the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to insert a sentence in its most recent draft report saying that the sun is more important than it previously realized. With NOAA now admitting that the present solar cycle will finish far below most in the Grand Maximum of solar cycles over the past two centuries, with American solar physicists William Livingston and Matthew Penn pointing to a collapsing solar magnetic field, and with Russian astrophysicist Habibullo Abdussamatov saying that carbon dioxide is “not guilty” and predicting a prolonged cooling this century, it is about time.

    The previous warm periods (Medieval, Roman and Minoan) likely had the same natural origin as the present one. Hence, we should expect a century of cooling that essentially reverses the warming of the 20th century. This is what the Greenland ice core temperature reconstructions show happened previously.

    Although the public has little knowledge of science and too easily falls for scams, scientists know that they cannot hold onto theories in the face of contravening evidence, even with vast government largess hanging in the balance. Those who have struck a Faustian bargain are beginning to worry that the devil may one day come to collect.”

    ~Gordon J. Fulks and

     

  46. The reactions are totally our of proportion, just like so many other reactions from both sides of the debate have been totally out of proportion.

    The text of the Science paper has very little to complain.

    Someone raised the point that the abstract starts:

    Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.

    indicating that the sentence would claim something about the paper that’s not correct. The next sentence is, however,

    Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records.

    That makes it completely clear that the first sentence is background information, not claimed to be their result.

    Similarly the text of the paper makes nowhere claims that are clearly wrong.

    The only thing that’s clearly misleading in the paper is the graphics in Fig 1. That’s stupid and I have written many times that they should not have presented the uptick from their analysis. The uptick is an outcome of the analysis, but it should have been totally clear from early on that it’s an artifact of the analysis, not real result. One reason that should have made this fact clear to them is that the uptick was created by the changes done after the thesis was published. Their reservation

    However, considering the temporal resolution of our data set and the small number of records that cover this interval (Fig. 1G), this difference is probably not robust.

    is not satisfactory, but a serious understatement, when the truth seems clearly be that it’s an artifact rather than “not robust”.

    Presenting the instrumental curve in the old hockey stick style is better justified, but that should have been done stating fully explicitly that their analysis tells nothing about that part.

    The real content of the paper is interesting enough. it’s also necessary to relate its results in some way to the present temperatures. Telling that it’s higher than 95% of the record is significant and it’s right to tell that both somewhere in the paper and in discussing it elsewhere. They should have, however, emphasized more the fact that they cannot tell anything about variability over periods of about 300 years or less. That’s reported clearly in the paper, but forgotten sometimes when the results are discussed.

    I agree that it’s difficult to believe that they have done everything in good faith. It’s more likely that they wanted to raise the attention given to their paper. It’s not the first climate science paper that adds comments not really supported by the results of that particular study. It’s quite possible that Science is supportive for such additions, as I my impression is that such comments are more common in Science than elsewhere. That’s a very bad practice, and this case tells, what it may lead to.

    • “Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios. ”

      fine print, However, our results may not be particularly robust?

      They actually could have had a great paper had they focused on the regional portion. That amazing seesaw between hemispheres and the Atlantic.

    • Pekka, don’t you really see that without the hype there is no (added) value in the paper? So that uptick was not an unfortunate artifact, but it was meant to be like it is. And the use of the paper for propaganda was quite logical.

      PS. The quote about the “difference” not being robust, in the context, really does not say (not even to mention CLEARLY as suggested in the e-mail to McIntyre by Marcott) what is said now – that the uptick is not robust. That’s really just playing with the language after the fact and probably added to the text in anticipation of critisism. It’s not science, it’s PR, and unfortunately much too typical and that’s why all this the “out of proportion” fuss that you are suprised about.

      • Sven,

        No I don’t see.

        I would rather ask: How can it be that you don’t see the value of the paper?

        I have a guess. Perhaps you don’t see any value in a paper that just advances knowledge without causing a controversy.

      • Sven,

        They don’t say specifically that the uptick is not robust, but they don’t mention the uptick in the text at all. Uptick is, however, within that part of the data that’s covered by the statement about lack of robustness.

        Isn’t it curious that the text of the paper doesn’t even mention that part that all the furor is about. They did consider it so meaningless that it was not worth a word.

      • No, Pekka, wrong guess. I’m not a fan of religious fights. Science should not advance through controversy only. But my question is sincere – what is new, what is the scientific value then? I have not seen it mentioned so far. All I have seen is the hype – that the paper shows that the current rate of warming is unprecedented (and a vehement defence by the RC crowd of whatever has been written or said). What it does not. When we abolish the uptick, what does the study tell us, what is new considering the low frequency of the 73 proxies (for global temperature of 11300 years?!)? There have been aknowledgements even by the proponents of the study that without the uptick and the “message” the paper probably would not even have been published.

      • It was worth a graph and a media hype (where they participated themselves) and they clearly must have known that. Especially knowing the history of the paper without the uptick.

      • They haven’t ever referred to the uptick that I would have noticed. They did consider the instrumental record, and they did refer to the rapid rise in that, but they have neglected the uptick in their presentations.

        That would be fine, if others would have done the same. When others didn’t, they should have come out and tell very clearly that their uptick is an irrelevant artifact. Then they could have continued with all their arguments as before.

      • Sven,

        The easy thing to say is that the authors discuss only their results on earlier holocene. Every scientific article emphasizes those results the authors consider most important. Hiding the message in a figure and saying nothing about it in the text tells most clearly that there’s nothing of scientific interest there in the view of authors.

        I’m not an expert on earlier papers on holocene temperatures, but no one has protested (as far ad I know) on their claim that their paper is the first to present results of comparable quality. They have also applied several methods that are not in regular use, and again without protests. All that is well enough for a scientific paper.

      • Pekka: You say that the uptick is nothing because they didn’t refer to it in the paper. But in interviews and press releases, the authors and sponsors of the paper talked about ONLY that point. That has stirred up the hornets nest.

        It’s all fine and good to talk about the paper in isolation. If it had been presented in isolation. But it was placed by its authors into the middle of a context that dwarfs the paper itself, and thus the paper is due for harsher criticism than if third parties had randomly picked sentences here and there out.

    • Pekka

      Have another hard look at the graph/curve in Marcott’s PhD thesis.

      Forget the text/language/phraseology and whatever interpretation you wish to read into it.

      That long term graph/curve continues clearly downwards, the coldest period of the entire Holocene is now. There is no indication of any trend in that data- nor is there in the instrumental data for the past 150 years for that matter- of any runaway global warming actually happening or credibly projected.

      Only in the minds of the feverishly apocalyptic CAGW crowd.is there the conviction of a hockey stick resur-erection.

      • You exceed the worst denialists I have seen before. You are the first to claim that there has not been warming since LIA.

      • The proxy go down the hole; therefore, we must ride the decline into the frozen lake in hell.

        Or, we could go with the thermometers.

      • Pekka,

        Re your response to tetris.

        Are you sure? As you are aware, I have held the view for over twenty years years that the Earth has been cooling since its creation.

        Basic physics should indicate to you that surrounding an object without an internal heat source with anything at all, (let alone a mixture of low density gases), will not raise the temperature of the object.

        Nonsensical claims that purport to measure the the temperature of the Earth’s surface seem to fall at the first hurdle. Try to get these measurebators to define this “surface”, and you will rapidly discover that that they all have to rush off to very important meetings, so sorry!

        Yes, I have to come clean, Pekka. I’m a denier.

        I deny the Earth is the centre of the firmament.

        I deny the Earth is flat.

        I deny the existence of phlogiston.

        I deny that the luminiferous ether is necessary for the transmission of electromagnetic radiation.

        And so on.

        Whether you or I affirm or deny anything, alters reality not one whit, in my frame of reference. Phrases such “you exceed the worst denialists I have seen before” can be excused. I am aware that your grasp of English is imperfect, and not your mother tongue.

        In any case, please endeavour to get your facts straight. If you have evidence that supports your contention that tetris is the first to claim that there has not been warming since LIA, I will, of course, offer you a fulsome and complete apology.

        Lastly, you might care to defined “warming” in the context in which you used it. I don’t think you can, but heigh-ho, maybe I’m wrong!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Pekka

        Pls take a pill. I have never “denied” that there has been no warming over the past 150 years. Just that plus 0.8C over that period -with several clearly distinct ups and down in the graph- including crucially the ongoing 16 year flat lining is not a reason to jump out the window screaming nor change the socio economic make up of the world to stop “catastrophic man-made global warming”.

        I repeat that the graph in Marcott’s original work shows a continued downward and no upward trend. We are and until further notice remain in the coldest part of the entire Holocene.

    • Great points Pekka!

  47. It is of minor value beyond the present news cycle.
    In around fifteen years it will be just one early, and slightly flawed, paleoclimate reconstruction that has subsequently been 90% validated by later and better studies.
    Just as with the original Mann98.

    Amid all the objections to this paper one fact stands out. there is no credible way for the paleoclimate to be very different from what has been described so far. Large temperature spikes like the current global warming would have shown up in the proxy record as changes in the type of plants growing in the mid latitudes as is seen with the northward shift of the growing regions at present. Sea level rise and ice-cap melt would also appear in the geologic/archaeological record.

    Marcott et al will be just another minor footnote, a small piece of the total puzzle within a few years. Subsumed under an avalanche of new and better studies.

    As others have noted before, while paleoclimate is useful to gauge the envelope of climate change that is possible, the thermodynamics of rising CO2 in the atmosphere make some impact inevitable. The greater the amount of past variation then the greater any new perturbing force will change the climate in the present.

    izen

    • Changes on a time scale of 30 years would be hard to see in most proxy records, particularly if they are preceded and followed by 20-50 year oscillations. The change in plants would be seen then as a gradual increase as the planet gradually warmed, much as it would look in another 50 years as we have had several periods of warming and several flatter (or in some cases slight cooling) since 1800 (probably) and certainly since 1900. Especially if the time resolution is 150 years. But even if the resolution was 30 years, if the data was smoothed over 5 points, you would not see any sharp features. We don’t know what the temperatures will do over the next 50 years. But only if the continued to increase fairly sharply without features like the current flattening for 50-100 years would you see it in most proxy data.

  48. Willis Eschenbach

    Two years ago, Marcott, working with his adviser Peter Clark, first did the analysis with the 73 proxies, and found absolutely no hockeystick. This was Marcott’s PhD thesis, and in his thesis he shows that there was no evidence in those proxies of a recent huge rise in temperature.

    Then they re-did the analysis with the exact same 73 proxies, and they found an astounding hockeystick, the diametric opposite of his thesis, and the Marcott/Stott hockeystick was published and hyped around the planet.

    Ya think they should have maybe mentioned the first analysis in there somewhere, and not waited for a commenter on ClimateAudit to bring it up after the fact?

    In my view, their failure to prominently disclose and discuss the first analysis, and their failure to highlight and discuss the reasons for the differences between the two opposing conclusions, is at best deliberately deceptive and disingenuous scientific malfeasance.

    It is the scientist’s responsibility to point out exactly these things as regards his research. Failure to do so is a form of scientific lying. The scientific obligation is not just to tell the truth. It is to tell the whole truth, and as the courts recognize, not doing that is deception.

    It is deliberately deceptive because it is absolutely not ascribable to ignorance. Marcott wrote both papers. Clark was his thesis advisor.

    Judith, you say:

    In terms of the hyping of this story, I am prepared to give Marcott and Shakun somewhat of a pass given that they are recent Ph.D. recipients. Alan Mix and Peter Clark are the senior authors. And the paper was also hyped by a NSF Program Manager. What kind of advice did they give Marcott and Shakun in all this?

    I see this as a struggle for the souls of two young climate scientists. Will they (i) decide to care primarily about science, and embrace the values of transparency and public accountability, answer questions about their research, and engage with skeptics in the interest of improving their research; or (ii) do they aspire to Mike Mann-style celebrity and plan to join the RealClimate warriors against auditing and skepticism?

    I don’t understand this. First you look to minimize and smooth over Marcott and Shakuns’ actions because they’re hanging out with the wrong crowd, bad older boys, and presumably they’re smoking cigarettes and being advised on how to deceive people in order to Save The World™.

    Then you say the struggle is whether they “plan to join” the bad older boys or not?

    “Plan to join”?

    Judith, that ship has sailed. Why do you think they nailed their manifaqsto to RealClimate’s mast? You go to some lengths to hypothesize that they were seduced by the Mann side AFTER their paper was published … seems doubtful, given the deception in the initial publication.

    Can their souls be saved, as you ask? Sure, they could decide to save their own souls, although we can’t save them. They could stand up and take the heat, answer the questions, embrace transparency and public accountability.

    Given the bad boys that they are hanging out with, and more importantly, given the lack of any negative consequences for the Peter Gleicks in the field of climate “science”, it seems pretty doubtful.

    They see that their “elders” don’t get punished in the slightest for deliberate deception, even when they commit actual crimes in the name of Saving The World™.

    Why would they not want such a cushy deal? Heck, even now you’re already justifying their actions, Judith … they won’t find that kind of warm welcome for deliberate deception in the real world, as they’ve found out already to their cost. But in the world of climate science, a couple of thirty-year-old men are just young innocent lambs led astray by bad companions …

    To me the most amazing thing is that they thought nobody would notice, that no one would find out that Marcott/Scott had come to the opposite conclusion just a few years before, that they wouldn’t be subject to the most minute scrutiny for such an outrageous claim. How could they not have expected myself and others to not put their claims under the microscope?

    Ah, well. I do love watching the circus, popcorn sales are breaking all records, it’s a popcorn hockeystick …

    w.

    • Latimer Alder

      @willis

      I absolutely agree with everything you say.

      I’ve never worked in academia, and – from what I’ve seen of the ethical standards on display in this tawdry episode – I’m very glad I haven’t.

      The commercial world is squeaky clean by comparison while these guys are merely shabby. I wouldn’t buy a used car from them so see no reason to buy their climatology.

      And I am very disappointed that Judith – for whom I normally have immense respect – is being so indulgent towards them. They drag her name through the mud by association too.

    • Why do you think they nailed their manifaqsto to RealClimate’s mast?

      Lol. Neologism or tongue-twister, either way you win. I’m happily on both sides of the argument here now. But what you point out about the leniency of the climate world to gross malpractice cannot be gainsaid Willis. It’s a rotten environment to expect conscience, let alone repentance, to arise.

    • Willis

      Didn’t Trenberth do a ‘reanalysis’ of his previous work which was the subject of his recent paper? Perhaps the climate funds are drying up and reanalysis will become the vogue.
      tonyb

    • David Springer

      And the captain keeps spinning in his grave…

      • Willis Eschenbach

        David Springer, if you have a point, please quote my words that you object to and specify your objections. Right now you’re just throwing mud and hoping something sticks. Frequently it does stick … to the person throwing the mud.

        All the best,

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        David Springer | April 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

        You complaining about a young man’s unethical conduct broke my irony meter. Maybe he needs to up his game and fake a suicide before you can identify with him. Of course you knew what I was talking about and were just being deliberately obtuse.

        Young man? He’s 30, I was a teenager when I was in the army. Get a sense of time here, my friend.

        I understand that you think it would have been more ethical for me to enthusiastically join in with the crew destroying entire villages in order to save them and raining hellfire on young Vietnamese girls … sorry, I don’t see it that way. I took what I saw as the least unethical path open to me. Your patronizing and pathetic attempt to jam the Vietnam war into a “RIGHT vs WRONG” box is a joke.

        No mud sticking to me. I served honorably.

        I was talking about your dishonorable mud slinging today, soldier, tossing around accusations without citation … are you ever going to get past the Vietnam War? I’m glad you served honorably. So what?

        I love guys like you who have never made mistakes.

        w.

      • David Springer

        @Willis Eschenbach

        Serving in the military during the Vietnam war is a classic case of “it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it”. Some other young man went in your place. How you justify that as “the right thing to do” is beyond me.

      • David Springer

        What?

        No retort describing the virtuous aspects of letting someone else go to war in your stead while you live on enjoying the benefits of citzenship in a country whose call to duty you refused. There is no defense for that. Only shame.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        David Springer | April 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

        What?

        No retort describing the virtuous aspects of letting someone else go to war in your stead while you live on enjoying the benefits of citzenship in a country whose call to duty you refused. There is no defense for that. Only shame.

        Indeed, I answered yesterday downthread. Sorry you missed it.

        Your constant harping on the war indicates unresolved issues, David. Which is OK until you try to pretend they are my issues.

        I’m at ease with what I did regarding Vietnam. I fought as hard and as well as I could to make it so no one would have to go to that war. I am proud of the fact that I did not go. You may be proud of helping to pour burning napalm on little girls in a futile and unwinnable war, David.

        Me, I’m proud I had nothing to do with that war, and that I did what I could to stop it rather than doing what I could to further it.

        Now, I see you don’t like my choice, and that’s fine with me. As I said, every man had to make his own choice … but what the heck does that have to do with science today? Your monomoniacal focus on what I did forty years ago is pathological, my friend. Maybe you’re not as proud of helping to bomb peasants and poison the Vietnamese landscape as you claim to be. I don’t know, that may not be the issue at all … but whatever the issue is, I know it’s your issue, not mine.

        w.

    • Steven Mosher

      Quoting your words:

      ” He asked me what had happened, so I told him the entire story of tropical crime. He asked me what I thought should be their punishment. I looked him in the eye. He was seriously asking, and my sense was he didn’t know a lot about the islands, so I took it seriously.

      I considered his question for a while, and I said I thought that what was important, to them and to the village where they lived, was that they had been caught and put in jail. That’s what counted, not the time served, because the tropical islands conception of time is elastic, one year and three years and ten years don’t seem a whole lot different when every day is the same. And yes, to answer his point, I knew it was an armed invasion and takeover of the island, and armed robbery is not something to sneeze at, and the islands still have the strict British gun regulations, and crimes involving guns there draw long sentences, and ordering us at gunpoint from my house to the office is technically kidnapping … but still, I said, these are not hardened criminals.

      Plus, I said, you don’t want to take people out of the village for too long. It is crucial that they not “lose their place” in some sense, that they not be forgotten or have lost their homes in some larger sense upon their return. If they could not return to and be accepted by their village, they would be lost, they would indeed become hardened criminals. I explained to the magistrate that in the islands the true punishment was not the jail, but the shame—first the shame of having done the crime, and then the shame of being caught, and finally the shame of having to publicly plead guilty. Those were the real punishment, and what the magistrate would do when he sentenced them to jail would not change or add to that a whole lot.”

      Like the magistrate you don’t know a lot about the island that Judith lives on.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | April 2, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        … Like the magistrate you don’t know a lot about the island that Judith lives on.

        Thanks, Steven. You are absolutely right. The island where a 30 year old man with a PhD is absolved of knowingly hyping false results because of his youth and inexperience is not a part of the planet that I inhabit. The island where you post an FAQ, walk away, and leave Gavin to guess at what you meant is assuredly not where I reside.

        How is science supposed to “self-correct” when this kind of duplicity and lack of responsibility is waved away as the inexperience of youth?

        I suppose you could make a case for considering their “youth” it if the supposed elders and wisers, Peter Clark and Alan Mix, received some well-deserved censure for their role in the farrago.

        But once again it’s more of the “nothing to see, move along” stuff we’re oh-so-familiar with at this point in the century … they’ll continue with no consequences, like Peter Gleick, they’ll be invited to give speeches at the meetings.

        What do you suggest we do about knowingly bogus studies and the scientists that promote them, Steven? Because all the while since Climategate 1 I’ve been saying people should speak up, and you’ve been opposed to that, as in this instance.

        So how is not speaking up working out for the world of climate science?

        Or do I misunderstand you, do you suggest some other means to get Science up off it’s dead ass and get it moving along the path of self-correction? I’m happy to listen to any ideas, because as this case proves once again, what we got ain’t workin’ …

        … which wouldn’t be a big issue but the poor are dying today from this BS. Old Brits are shivering and taking ill and pining for the fjords as a result of the fuel poverty from this kind of unbridled alarmism. That might not matter to some, but I think it’s important. It means to me we can’t just sit around and say oh, it’ll all self-correct in a few short decades …

        Regards to you,

        w.

      • Willis, ” How is science supposed to “self-correct” when this kind of duplicity and lack of responsibility is waved away as the inexperience of youth? ”
        Thanks for pointing out what should be patently obvious to all. Here is what I posted earlier at RC:

        Gavin, Ray, and others. The authors chose your site to post the FAQ’s. Why is it that you don’t insist on having them answer questions, rather than the sometimes ambiguous answers you are forced to give. Not sarc, a serious question.

        [Response: I’ve asked them to chime in when they can and hopefully they will. I’m not quite sure why you think we can ‘insist’ on anything though – blogging and/or commenting here or elsewhere is a voluntary activity and sometimes other things take precedence. I would much rather have a few considered responses come in slowly than hurried responses to dozens of queries. -gavin]

        Marcott et al made a calculated decision to post the FAQ’s at RC and Gavin doesn’t think he has a responsibility, as a prerequisite for posting there, to insist that they personally answer questions. How can science self correct if this continues. Answer, it can’t. Willis, I find this kind of stall, delay, obfuscate, and indecisiveness to be characteristic of Lukewarmers. The true alarmanati don’t give a damn if they are wrong, they are just driven by ideology. The lukewarmers might give a damn, but I suspect they enjoy the hunt, not the actual kill. They covet the debate over anything else. They like to mix it up, procrastinate, fidget here and fidget there, pontificate, some seem to quest for rent-seeking opportunities, some wallow in their fickleness, but most, if not, all Lukewarmers will never take a firm stance. Heck, even at 95% confidence they will never be satiated. They have the genetic makeup of a bureaucrat. Nice post Willis.
        Comment by Bob — 2 Apr 2013 @ 6:31 PM

      • Willis, way past my bedtime. My musings were meant to be a nuanced shot at the Moshpit.

      • k scott denison

        Mr. Mosher, you are clearly an intelligent individual. Which is why it is so disappointing when you write a comment like this. Where is the outrage? Where is YOUR outrage? This paper has been so discredited it is now a total laughing stock. Yet the PR aspect of the paper was successful. Where are the *real climate scientists* like yourself and our host screaming at the top of their lungs about this?

        Instead what we read is “give the boys a break, they’re young.” Pathetic.

      • Scott Basinger

        Willis,

        I feel that Mosher hits the nail on the head here – using your own words. Both sides of this debate could use some compassion.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mr. Mosher, you are clearly an intelligent individual. Which is why it is so disappointing when you write a comment like this. Where is the outrage? Where is YOUR outrage? This paper has been so discredited it is now a total laughing stock. Yet the PR aspect of the paper was successful. Where are the *real climate scientists* like yourself and our host screaming at the top of their lungs about this?”

        I used to breath fire about this stuff. Then I read Willis’ piece. At that point I realized that I had not lived on their island long enough to
        make a definitive statement. I know on my island, in engineering, they would be shot. But on their island, I have an opinion, but I have no standing and I think we need less grandstanding. I don’t approve of what they did. Their community will deal with it as they see fit. I will have an opinion about that. I will either keep it to myself or try to express it in such a way that would convince them to at differently. I will not stand and shout at them or try to guilt them. That doesnt work. I know, I tried it. Above all I believe in what works. Expressing outrage does work. Its a falsified theory. Now it may make you feel better to get your rage on. For me, at this point, I have compassion for them. I don’t approve of what they did. I pray that they learned a lesson. I wont carry a torch and demand that they be burned at the stake. I resigned from being god.

      • Marcott and Shakun are more likely pawns in this entire episode – which I assume is Judy’s point. They were both Peter Clark’s doctoral students. Peter Clark is a co-author of all of the relevant chapters in the two theses. He is a heavy hitter at NSF and has played this PR type of game before. In addition he is a contributing lead author for AR5. It was he who proffered the FAQ. I am not giving Marcott and Shakun a pass but the toughest questions should be directed at the guy who essentially directed and oversaw this work.

  49. Here’s what I love.

    For all the concern about the paper, and the rhetoric of the authors (some of which I think is ligit, btw), and the reaction of the authors to the criticism – for all the hand-wringing, pearl clutching, and moaning from fainting couches, what we get in the end from “skeptics” is something like this – a comment I’m borrowing from Climateaudit:

    RJ Hendrickson
    Posted Apr 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just took a look at Pielke’s post, and realized, once the uptick is removed from Marcott’s graph, it plainly shows that we are headed into a new ice age.

    lol!

    This is the upshot. The net effect is that we have some “skeptics” who, by virtue of their shock and horror about the Marcott paper, react in such a way to conclude that, “we are headed into a new ice age.” All we need to do is unpack the deception from the Marcott paper, and we see the truth!!!!!1!!!1!!!111!!!

    Now certainly the rhetorical and methodological choices of the authors are not free from responsibility here. This whole process is a dynamic. It is a give and take, a thrust and parry, a jab and a cross, a blog and a counterblow. It is all trivially predictable. Much “outrage” to be had all around.

    But isn’t it a sad state of affairs? Are we doomed that reasonable discussion of the science of climate change will get reduced to such nonsense? Is this nonsense inevitable, until such time that enough years have passed that virtually no one will be arguing about the magnitude or lack thereof, of the climactic impact of ACO2?

    If so, given my age (fortunately less decrepit than the average Climate Etc., contributor) I suspect I will never see any reasonable change in the signal/noise ratio.

    Then again, maybe people will come to there senses? Well, I just consulted my Magic 8-ball. Guess what it says…

    • True, true there is one of two permissible conclusion and a third that one that no one is allowed to consider–e.g., “We’ve invested a lot of time and money and we’re still clueless as a roomful of monkeys throwing darts at charts. All of the models are quatsch according to scientists like Hans von Storch who actually understand statistics. For all we know, the Earth may not even have a climate, at least not on any timeline that humans can appreciate.”

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Joshua | April 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply

      Here’s what I love.

      For all the concern about the paper, and the rhetoric of the authors (some of which I think is ligit, btw), and the reaction of the authors to the criticism – for all the hand-wringing, pearl clutching, and moaning from fainting couches, what we get in the end from “skeptics” is something like this – a comment I’m borrowing from Climateaudit:

      RJ Hendrickson
      Posted Apr 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Just took a look at Pielke’s post, and realized, once the uptick is removed from Marcott’s graph, it plainly shows that we are headed into a new ice age.

      lol!

      This is the upshot. The net effect is that we have some “skeptics” who, by virtue of their shock and horror about the Marcott paper, react in such a way to conclude that, “we are headed into a new ice age.” All we need to do is unpack the deception from the Marcott paper, and we see the truth!!!!!1!!!1!!!111!!!

      Google knows nothing about the post, likely because it’s so recent … do you have a link?

      In any case, it sure sounds like that bane of the internet, sarcasm without the /sarc tag … that would be my first take on it, at least.

      But since you haven’t linked to it, and google knows nothing, well, neither do it …

      w.

      • Google knows nothing about the post,

        Good god, Willis – search at Climateaudit by the time/date stamp… are you really that limited in your research skills that you’d need me to do your work for you?

        In any case, it sure sounds like that bane of the internet, sarcasm without the /sarc tag … that would be my first take on it, at least.

        Oh yes, the famous “bane of the internet.” Lol!

        Once again, we see in Willis the power of motivated reasoning. Imagining a scenario of a forgotten sarc tag instead of the obvious interpretation. And on top of that, creating his very own “bane” to explain it.

        And Willis, it is hardly an unprecedented argument in the “skept-o-sphere,” Remove your outrage-tinted glasses and you will see more clearly.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Hey Joshua. I think it’s a sarcastic joke (about alarmism) which you are unable to get. Don’t worry, it’s not that funny.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joshua | April 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm |

        Google knows nothing about the post,

        Good god, Willis – search at Climateaudit by the time/date stamp… are you really that limited in your research skills that you’d need me to do your work for you?

        Joshua, dial back the attitude. I searched for “Posted Apr 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM” on both google and ClimateAudit and got nothing. You are the jerk who posted it without a link. Find me a link or go away, I’m tired of searching because you’re too slovenly to post a link.

        w.

      • Willis, I went to Climate audit, opened the obvious (given the date) thread, and put the time stamp in my “find” text box. Took all of about 5 seconds. But then again, I don’t have a 1-freakin-80 IQ! That must explain it.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joshua | April 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm |

        Willis, I went to Climate audit, opened the obvious (given the date) thread, and put the time stamp in my “find” text box. Took all of about 5 seconds. But then again, I don’t have a 1-freakin-80 IQ! That must explain it.

        So are you just going to boast about how big your dick is, or are you going to post a link for those not as gifted as you are?

        w.

    • Joshua,

      First, try to calm yourself. All the exclamation marks and hyperventilating do nothing to benefit your case. 2nd, your comments about one comment from a RJ Hendrickson are, well, spurious. The comment which has you so excited is (a) probably sarcastic, and (b) about what the MARCOTT study might imply without the uptick. It is not about skeptic views in general, it is about the Marcott curve.

      So no, this is not some reduction ad absurdism of all “skeptic” arguments as you seem to be saying (I’m not quite sure what you think you are saying, but that is one guess). Here are some of the weaknesses of you trying to put so much weight on one (casual, probably sarcastic) comment:

      1) The comment doesn’t necessarily represent what you think it says about the view of one RJ Hendrickson (I’m guessing it’s sarcastic);

      2) He (RJ Hendrickson) speaks only for himself — certainly not for me and I doubt for all skeptics as your comment assumes;

      3) I don’t think there is any consensus skeptic position on when the next ice age is likely to occur (so far as I’ve read it may well be some millennia away, but humans don’t know and that is certainly a dismal prospect for humanity which needs to be studied closely);

      4) I had not seen anyone suggest (prior to that comment you quoted) that the Marcott study could imply anything at all about the imminence or not of the next ice age;

      5) fwiw, I actually did post a comment at Bishop Hill weeks ago, soon after the Marcott study came out, suggesting VERY flippantly that IF the uptick should fall apart the Alarmists would start talking of an imminent ice age…. as the author of that comment I can assure it was meant in a jesting spirit, not representing my own views and certainly not speaking for anyone else.

      Anyway, I don’t see how that RJ Hendrickson comment reflects anything about “skeptic” views in general. (Fwiw, I define myself as more of a ‘lukewarmer’ since I see reasons to be concerned about warming and climate issues, but I think the imminence and magnitude of any civilizational ’emergency’ are being exaggerated in many quarters — I’m more of a “policy skeptic” about the steps being proposed, if you care).

    • k scott denison

      Joshua | April 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      Here’s what I love.
      ——
      Here’s what I love: that Joshua has no sarcasm detector.

    • Good idea. Take one comment from one blogger, one that is probably meant to be tongue-in-cheek, and use that as you example. That has nothing to do with the serious questions about scientific ethics being discussed on this topic

  50. All this faux outrage at the scientific integrity of the paper and its authors only plays to the fringe denialists. Any one with familiarity with other ares of scientific publishing will know that when it comes to press releases that make implied claims way beyond the content of the paper, abstracts that put a gloss in the mundane or inconsequential and the multiple presentation of positive results with the omission of negative results, climate science is a realm of purity and innocence compared to medical and drug research.

    To (over)extend the wonderful metaphor of the hockey game with players and referees that emerged from a previous thread;
    Marcott et al made a good run from deep within their own half, the shot at goal might have been weak, and claiming the credit from a deflection off another player (instrumental record) is a bit… self-promoting? But instrumental record is generally regarded as a reliable player despite the quibbles some raise so either way it stands as a goal whoever gets the credit. perhaps it should be shared…

    However a number of would be referees and armchair coaches have emerged claiming that the doubts over who can legitimately claim the credit disqualifies ALL play made by Marcott et al. Some even assert that the horrendous duplicity in claiming a goal that was not all their own work not only disqualifies the goal, but negates any value in the game of hockey entirely. The majority just follow the game, only a shrinking fringe regard the whole game as corrupt and want it stopped.

    Especially when their team is several goals down, very weak with few strong players but a dirty defence.
    The problem is that most seem to want to blow a whistle rather than wield a stick.
    (it was too good a metaphor not to revisit! grin)

    izen

    • Seriously – if anyone is “concerned” about the misleading upshot of the paper – wouldn’t they be concerned that “skeptics” read McIntyre’s blog and the take home message is that he can “plainly” see that “we’re headed into new ice age?”

      Too funny.

      I will remind my much beloved “skeptics” that I have been told, over and over, that “most” “skeptics” don’t doubt that the earth is warming. Also, please don’t forget that Judith “doesn’t listen to” anyone who doubts the GHE, and that ACO2 is, to at least some extent, warming the climate.

      • So you see no difference between a paper published in Science and an unsolicited comment on someone’s blog?

        Josh, I have no problem pointing out to someone when they go overboard in calling you nasty. Neither do I have a problem with pointing out you really are the putz pokerguy thinks you are when you make this argument.

        And btw – the argument with the proxies is that they are indicating a cooling. That doesn’t mean we are cooling, as we have other means to measure temperature. It might mean that proxies are not that reliable. That is the point, not how one commentor on a blog interprets it.

        You do not have to be technically expert to get the basic drift. How do we know how the modern temperature record compares to past periods when we don’t have a record of past temperatures? Answer – we have what we believe to be accurate proxies which allow us to decern what temperatures were going back in time. Well, what happens when those proxies don’t match up well with what our modern instrucments tell us?

    • Latimer Alder

      @izen

      ‘Any one with familiarity with other ares of scientific publishing will know that when it comes to press releases that make implied claims way beyond the content of the paper, abstracts that put a gloss in the mundane or inconsequential and the multiple presentation of positive results with the omission of negative results, climate science is a realm of purity and innocence compared to medical and drug research’

      You dig your hole even deeper. I was of the impression that the disregard e to scientific integrity was limited only to climatology. But now you tell me it is rampant throughout the paper-writing classes!

      As an outsider, I find absolutely no reassurance in your claim that somehow the antics of climatologists should be excused because (in your opinion) there are even bigger malefactors elsewhere.

      Sorry pal, it doesn’t work like that.

      The standards are absolute not relative. That ‘Big Drug John Doe’ is known to be a crook does not mean that ‘Warmist Jane Doe’ goes unexamined. We have the capacity to condemn both.

      • Indeed. The argument that these scientists being lying SOBs about a highly charged political issue that is eating up tens of billions of govt funding and costing trillions in regulatory costs shouldn’t be considered a big deal because some other scientists are even bigger lying SOBs in other fields somehow doesn’t win me over. I’d love to see some fool try to sell it to a jury though. That would be fun to watch.

    • izen,

      in the game of hockey, this is more a case of them shooting, missing and then trying to kick the puck in while the clock is stopped and then running to the reporters and claiming they scored.

      The purusers of the sports pages who take only a passing interest will read the score and move on. They are unlikely to discover it was not really a valid goal.

    • Yes, medical and drug studies are worse. But that’s sort of like saying “my profession isn’t so bad: people think less-highly of used car salesmen and congressmen than they do of my profession.” Not too meaningful.

      And no drug or medical company that I’m aware of has tried to have a law passed requiring everyone to take a particular drug or undergo a particular medical procedure. Nor advocating that doctors who don’t prescribe their drug/procedure are frauds who should be tried as criminals.

      So, yeah, climate over-the-top PR is more affective than medical/drug over-the-top PR. To use your analogy, the paper is a goal that was scored, but they committed a foul along the way. The goal doesn’t stand. 90% of the hard work to get the puck from one end of the rink to the other, then into the goal, were legitimate. But the 10% is serious enough offense that the goal is rescinded.

      That’s what penalties in sports are all about: if you allow the goal to stand with no penalty, you will get more and more cheating until it’s 90% cheating and 10% accomplishment rather than the 90% accomplishment and 10% cheating we now have. There’s no other way, considering human nature, to deal with it.

  51. The 11,000 year long hockey stick is still bouncing around the MSM …

    “Meantime, the Earth is hotter now than during three- quarters of the 11,300 years since the most recent ice age, according to researchers at Harvard and Oregon State universities. By 2020, U.S. oil output may surpass that of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top producer, the Paris-based International Energy Agency says. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-02/republican-born-roosevelt-digs-deep-for-texas-oil-found-with-co2.html

  52. No one is has predicted a coming “ice age” since the 70s and those who did are the same people most recently were forecasting runaway global warming. Looking at the temperature record of the Earth over the last million the only real truth is, the number of years of “ice age” plus years of “global warming” divided by 1 million equals < 0 °C.

  53. “Please don’t overegg the pudding and inadvertently send them to the RealClimate refugee and training camp.”

    They are already part of the Team. Do you think the PR launch of their paper -hyping what they now say it is rubbish- with connections to all mainstream media was what?
    The FAQ in RealClimate don’t tell you anything too?

    ———
    I will remind my much beloved “skeptics” that I have been told, over and over, that “most” “skeptics” don’t doubt that the earth is warming.

    I could care less of what you have been told. There is no evidence that earth is either cooling, getting warm or in between, because it is something impossible to measure with the tools we have available for 0.x degrees. Today, This Year. I will not even talk about the Past. So yes, who claims to know if we are getting hotter is just lying or is an ignorant.
    Same if they are saying we are getting colder but those are rare..
    The truth is we don’t know and don’t have a way to know when the change up or down is so tiny. The city near where i live(less then 1 million) have probably 10 areas with different temperatures sometimes with differences more than a degree at same time of the day.
    We just don’t know and don’t have way to know.

  54. If skeptics were genuinely after establishing the scientific facts and criticizing shoddy science they be surely be criticizing junk science like this:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/30/crowdsourcing-the-wuwt-paleoclimate-reference-page-continued/

    The WUWT paleoclimate reference page is a smorgasbord of errors and data mishandling.

    And they even do some of the acts they accuse others of, such as splicing instrumental data onto the end of proxy records!

    Then we have blatent junk science being promoted such as this:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/26/another-wuwt-tv-segment-engineer-and-aviation-pioneer-burt-rutan-on-why-he-doubts-global-warming/

    All this is met with clapping by the usual suspects.

    • David Springer

      Watts didn’t get published in Science. Apples and oranges.

      • It’s not Watts is it. It’s almost all of them over there. The comments ring praise for blatantly flawed arguments and work.

        Either they are able to spot and understand errors in the science, or they are not. It doesn’t make sense to say that they understand the science eg when it comes to Marcott or something, but can’t spot their own very trivial errors in the two links I just posted.

        Why can’t they get to the bottom of what date the last datapoint of GISP2 represents for example? Why do they keep messing that one up post after post?

        Why do they praise Burt Rutan’s presentation without nary a word about the various bizarre errors?

        They seem perfectly able to pass judgement on eg Marcott. There’s no ambiguity when it comes to a subject like that. But the worse stuff they publish, for example if it comes to Ernst Beck’s flawed CO2 graph, or illogical graphs of temperature vs CO2, they seem unable, or perhaps unwilling, to call out the flaws.

      • lolwot: Sounds to me that you’re saying that skeptics have the same kind of confirmation bias that the Establishment has. I’d buy that: you find errors when you look for them and you don’t find errors when you don’t look very hard.

        That’s human nature. The question is, which side’s confirmation bias is worse? Which side is getting hundreds of millions of dollars in funding? Which side is proposing trillions of dollars of economic realignment? Which side is officially Peer Reviewed? Which side has failed to stop its partisans from calling for crimes-against-humanity trials and even the death penalty?

        Seems like the two confirmation biases aren’t equally affective. It doesn’t mean that the Establishment is evil — as some skeptics would allege — or that skeptics are hypocritical — which you are apparently alleging. Both wrong.

      • “The question is, which side’s confirmation bias is worse?”

        That’s easy, the skeptics. By far.

      • Mind you, lolwot is free of “confirmation bias” when he opines that the skeptics’ confirmation bias is worse that that of the warmists.

        Duh!

      • David Springer

        Blog science is imminently ignorable.

        Write that down.

      • David Springer

        Plus I’m banned at WattsUpWithThat for doing precisely what you accuse me of not doing.

      • lolwut: You don’t understand context, do you? Pull a sentence out of a paragraph and think you’ve answered the question?

      • Steven Mosher

        David, you are banned there for being a putz.

      • David Springer

        If by putz you mean someone who calls a spade a spade then I agree.

    • lolwot

      Nice attempt to change the subject.

      Didn’t work.

      Max

      • I am very much on topic.

        When I see people acting concerned about the science while promoting far worse junk science themselves, I will point that out.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      lolwot | April 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply

      If skeptics were genuinely after establishing the scientific facts and criticizing shoddy science they be surely be criticizing junk science like this:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/30/crowdsourcing-the-wuwt-paleoclimate-reference-page-continued/

      The WUWT paleoclimate reference page is a smorgasbord of errors and data mishandling.

      And they even do some of the acts they accuse others of, such as splicing instrumental data onto the end of proxy records!

      Why on earth would you whine and bitch about that in this unrelated thread, instead of going to the page itself and pointing out the exact problem you see? This is just vague accusation, go over there and get precise so we can see what you are on about.

      Regarding “splicing” instrumental data onto pale, are you talking about this graph called “GISP2, Moberg, Keigwin, and HadCRUT3” with the instrumental data in bright yellow? Because that’s not splicing four datasets, that’s displaying four datasets.

      Seriously, lolwot, if there’s bad data in there I want to know it, I’m on your side if that’s the case. Go over there and point it out specifically and in detail, that’s the place for it. Vague handwaving about it here doesn’t cut it.

      w.

    • lolwot – could you point to specific comments or segments of the post? It’s kind of long. Or do you contend that everythiing on WUWT paleo post is wrong?

  55. Judith,
    You raise interesting points, specifically should the two young post-docs get a pass. I agree that to place the blame solely on them is churlish and there should be a greater debate publically within the academic community that address exactly what forces a couple of young scientists to act the way that they did. Leave aside the massive over-production of young PhD scientists for the number of jobs available and the shrinking pool of research funds. This case has more interesting details that should be pursued:
    a) How is it that in the case of Marcott, you go from a solid and scientifically justified thesis with chapter 4 apparently not acceptable to Nature to a clearly hyped and distorted presentation of the data in the Science publication, with orchestrated press-release and media focus? Who was responsible for that – did the young pups independently decide this was the only means for advancement, or were they talked into it and by whom?
    b) What is the role of NSF in this distortion of the scientific process? Quite visible in the media cycle that was arranged to accompany the publication of the paper was NSF Program Manager Candace Major. Why is she not being questioned in this process? Does NSF evaluate research proposals based on the political favorability of the results. Does NSF evaluate research based on media coverage?
    What is truly shocking about the many, many insights provided by the climate science establishment over the past decade is the lack of comments from established, tenured faculty who are specifically granted that privilege to defend unpopular views without fear for their career. I note that Roger Pielke, Jr. and yourself have tried to provide an example, but the silence of your colleagues throughout the Academe is an embarrassment. Can you explain why this is?

    • good points, I have a draft post ‘macroethics vs microethics’ that explores these kind of issues, hopefully i can get back to that one soon.

      • I look forward to it. The admirable intent of your original post on this thread has been entirely high jacked by did so/ did not, he said/she said, and the usual ad hominems which outside academia are termed slurs and name calling. Rather disappointing.

        You raised thoughtful, serious questions on what enabled this mess to happen, and what might be done to prevent a recurrence. A very important set of structural questions about the post-modern practice of science, and problems seen most frequently in climate, medicine, and then energy research. Since climate appears to have the biggest political winds behind it, perhaps it makes the best arena for thoughtful discussion since there is much rich data to be mined.

      • Joshua (the nice putz)

        Rud –

        …and the usual ad hominems which outside academia are termed slurs and name calling. Rather disappointing.

        Have you ever considered that your selective outrage about ad homs undermines the strength of your protestations?

      • Joshua

        What is a putz and why are you a nice one?
        tonyb

      • Joshua (the nice putz)

        Rud –

        …and the usual ad hominems which outside academia are termed slurs and name calling. Rather disappointing.

        And what does this mean, anyway? Does the question of whether it might be described with different terms have any implications of substance? Are you arguing that the same terms should be used? Are you arguing that inside academia should be expected to be different than “outside academia” w/r/t slurs and name-calling?

        Perhaps you’d like to talk to Roger Pielke Jr.,who, when he writes posts impugning the “integrity” of other scientists, offers the justification that (paraphrasing) academics can get nasty with each other?

        Since you are concerned about the nasty tone – please give me some examples were you’ve called out “skeptics” on that issue. Given that you’ve expressed this concern on more than one occasion – I’d imagine that you must have many examples. If you don’t have such examples, then don’t you think that focusing your efforts along those lines would contribute more to solving this problem than your expressions of outrage about how “disgusting” you find it to be?

        Maybe you could write a book about it?

      • Joshua (the nice putz)

        tony –

        Putz is a Yiddish expression, typically used as a synonym for “dick.” I just looked up the etymology – and it’s quite interesting, as it seems that it derives from a word meaning “finery, adornment.” Not sure how the common usage was derived from the original usage.

        I only heard it used by Jews when I was growing up, but apparently it has crossed over into the basic American vernacular – kind of like how now you can find bagels in the supermarket in Omaha.

        As for why I’m a “nice one,” I have no real idea – but there was a discussion yesterday where tim and PG agreed that I am a putz, but disagreed as to whether I am a nasty putz. Another denizen requested that my name appear as “Joshua the nice putz.”; I thought I’d comply, at least for a while.

        FWIW – I’d say that just about everyone here qualifies as a putz. A pretty dickish crowd all-around, I’d say. There are a few exceptions – Pekka comes to mind, BillC and John Carpenter also – although they’ve been scarce recently. I used to put you in the non-putz category also – but lately your comments do have a bit more of a dickish quality. The jury’s still out…