Admitting mistakes in a ‘hostile environment’

by Judith Curry

Reflections on Nic Lewis’ audit of the Resplandy et al. paper.

In response to Nic Lewis’ two blog posts critiquing the Resplandy et al. paper on ocean temperatures, co-author Ralph Keeling acknowledges the paper’s errors with these statements:

Scripps news release:   Note from co-author Ralph Keeling Nov. 9, 2018: I am working with my co-authors to address two problems that came to our attention since publication. These problems, related to incorrectly treating systematic errors in the O2 measurements and the use of a constant land O2:C exchange ratio of 1.1,  do not invalidate the study’s methodology or the new insights into ocean biogeochemistry on which it is based. We expect the combined effect of these two corrections to have a small impact on our calculations of overall heat uptake, but with larger margins of error.  We are redoing the calculations and preparing author corrections for submission to Nature.

From the Washington Post:

“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”

“I accept responsibility for what happened because it’s my role to make sure that those kind of details got conveyed,” Keeling said. 

“Maintaining the accuracy of the scientific record is of primary importance to us as publishers and we recognize our responsibility to correct errors in papers that we have published,” Nature said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Issues relating to this paper have been brought to Nature’s attention and we are looking into them carefully. We take all concerns related to papers we have published very seriously and will issue an update once further information is available.”

From the San Diego Tribune:

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”

Ralph Keeling prepared a guest post at RealClimate, explaining the issues from their perspective.

We would like to thank Nicholas Lewis for first bringing an apparent anomaly in the trend calculation to our attention.

Ralph Keeling behaved with honesty and dignity by publicly admitting these errors and thanking Nic Lewis.

Such behavior shouldn’t be news, however; it is how all scientists should behave, always.

Imagine how the course of climate science and the public debate on climate change would be different if Michael Mann would have behaved in a similar way in response to McIntyre and McKitrick’s identification of problems with the hockey stick analysis.

Hostile environment

In the WaPo article, Gavin Schmidt made the following statement:

“The key is not whether mistakes are made, but how they are dealt with — and the response from Laure and Ralph here is exemplary. No panic, but a careful reexamination of their working — despite a somewhat hostile environment,” he wrote.

“No panic.” Why would anyone panic over something like this? After a big press release, the magnitude of such an error seems substantially magnified. Embarrassing, sure (a risk of issuing a press release), but cause for panic?  Keeling is right, best to fix as quickly as possible.

The Climategate emails revealed a lot of ‘panic’ over criticisms of hockey team research. The motives for the panic appeared to be some combination of fears over threats to careerism ambitions, potential damage to a political agenda, and basic tribal warfare  against climate skeptics that they regarded as threatening their authority.

“Hostile environment.” Exactly what is ‘hostile’ about an independent scientist auditing a published paper, politely contacting the authors for a response and then posting the critique on a blog?

Perhaps Gavin is referring to the minor media attention given to their mistake, after their big press release and substantial MSM attention?  GWPF is bemoaning the lack of attention to this error in the British media [link].

Or perhaps this is a figment of Gavin’s personal sensitivities, and the general strategy of the RC wing of the climate community to circle the wagons in the context of an adversarial relationship with anyone from outside the ‘tribe’ that criticizes their science. I know how this all works, given their ‘help’ during the hurricanes and global warming wars circa 2005/2006. All this made me feel rather paranoid about being criticized by the fossil fuel funded deniers and all that.

Gavin seems to be ‘managing’ the Resplandy situation to some extent (Ralph Keeling has not hitherto posted at RealClimate), and this management does not include any cooperation with Lewis, although Keeling was gracious enough to thank Nic.

Gavin’s views on hostilities is illustrated by Nic’s critique of the Marvel et al. paper,  responded to in a rather contentious blog post with two subsequent updates that admitted that Lewis was partially correct. Two errors in the Marvel et al. paper were subsequently corrected. Was Lewis thanked? No way, he is treated to classic Gavin snark:

But there has also been an ‘appraisal’ of the paper by Nic Lewis that has appeared in no fewer than three other climate blogs (you can guess which). 

I should be clear that we are not claiming infallibility and with ever-closer readings of the paper we have found a few errors and typos ourselves which we will have corrected in the final printed version of the paper. 

Lewis in subsequent comments has claimed without evidence that land use was not properly included in our historical runs [Update: This was indeed true for one of the forcing calculations]

When there are results that have implications for a broad swath of other papers, it’s only right that the results are examined closely. Lewis’ appraisal has indeed turned up two errors, and suggested further sensitivity experiments. 

According to Nic, Gavin’s assertion that Nic’s claim regarding land use forcing in their historical runs was made without evidence was blatantly untrue; Nic had published a detailed statistical analysis indicating, correctly, that land use forcing had been omitted from their total historical run forcing values.

Subsequently, the LC18 paper provided a published critique of key aspects of the Marvel et al. paper.

This blog post by Gavin provides a sense of the ‘hostile environment’ faced by independent scientists who evaluate climate science papers.  Scientists should welcome discussion of their research and being pointed to any errors.  Disagreement should be the spice of academic life; this is what drives science forward.  However, when a political agenda and careerism enters into the equation, we have a different story.  For an overview of the really hostile environment faced by McIntyre and McKitrick re the hockey stick, see Andrew Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion.

So please, lets stop whining about ‘hostile environment’ and get on with our research in an open, honest and collegial way, giving credit where due.

Peer review

From the SD Tribune article:

While papers are peer reviewed before they’re published, new findings must always be reproduced before gaining widespread acceptance throughout the scientific community, said Gerald Meehl, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

“This is how the process works,” he said. “Every paper that comes out is not bulletproof or infallible. If it doesn’t stand up under scrutiny, you review the findings.”

Of course this is how things are supposed to work. This whole episode is being held up as an example of the self-correcting nature of science.

When I first saw the Resplandy paper, it didn’t pass the sniff test from my perspective in terms of a new and inexact method coming up with estimates that exceeded the ranges from analyses of in situ observations of ocean temperatures. Apparently the coauthors and Nature peer reviewers had no such concerns.

The Resplandy paper lists 9 coauthors, presumably all of who read the entire paper and were prepared to defend it. Other than Keeling, I am not familiar with any of these coauthors, but it seems that none have any expertise in data analysis and statistics.

From my own experience, particularly when I have a mentoring role with the first author (e.g. my postdoc or other young scientist), as a co-author I am trying to help them get their paper published preferably in a high profile journal and get some publicity for their work, so that they can advance their career and be successful with their job applications. Young scientists seem to think (probably correctly) that having a senior, well-known coauthor on their paper helps the chances for publication and publicity. I have to say that in my mentoring role as a faculty member, I ended up feeling conflicted about several papers I was coauthor on, with a conflict between my role as a mentor versus my duty to be able to defend all aspects of the paper. At some point, I started declining to add my name as coauthor and donated my time to improving the paper. Career suicide, but at that point I already had one foot out the academia door.

Now for the external reviewers selected by Nature. Imagine if the Resplandy paper identified a smaller trend than identified from conventional observations – the reviewers would have been all over this. Roy Spencer writes:

If the conclusions of the paper support a more alarmist narrative on the seriousness of anthropogenic global warming, the less thorough will be the peer review. I am now totally convinced of that. If the paper is skeptical in tone, it endures levels of criticism that alarmist papers do not experience. I have had at least one paper rejected based upon a single reviewer who obviously didn’t read the paper…he criticized claims not even made in the paper.

Early in my career I spent a great deal of time reviewing papers and grant proposals, and actually put considerable effort into making constructive suggestions to help make the paper/proposal better. Why? Because I wanted to see the outcomes and learn from them, and for science to move forward. I had a cooperative and helpful attitude towards all. In the mid-90’s, my rose-colored glasses got busted, when I was working on a committee and did 90% of work on a major document, only to end up as second author and squeezed out of the major funding. I realized that I was in competition for credit, recognition and funding, and that my ideas and hard work could be effectively stolen. This changed a lot of my attitudes, and looking back this is when I first stopped liking my job as a professor so much.

Frank Jablonsky tweets:

Effective peer review is usually very time consuming & uncomfortable, so it isn’t often done outside of conflicts between keen adversaries.

The ‘keen adversaries’ is key; papers supporting consensus perspectives pretty much get a free ride through the peer review process. Anything challenging the consensus gets either a rigorous review or rejected (or not even sent out for review), often for ancillary reasons not directly related to the substance of the paper.

At this point in my career, I respond to relatively few requests to review journal articles; since I am only publishing ~1 paper per year at this point, I figure I don’t owe the ‘system’ more than a few reviews per year. If I do accept a request to review a paper, it is probably because I know of the author and like their work; I am interested to see what they have to say and happy to help improve the paper if I can.

I probably review more papers for journalists, who send an embargoed copy of a ‘hot’ new paper and ask for my comments. I respond to as many of these requests as I have time for; these requests seem to come in spurts (I haven’t had any in awhile, now that I am ‘retired’). I am typically sent these papers to review since the journalist is interested in an adversarial perspective. And these reviews are prepared after the horse has left the barn (i.e. the paper is already published).

Much has been written about the problems of peer review. There is an interesting new paper: In peer review we (don’t) trust: how peer review’s filtering poses a systemic risk to science.

This article describes how the filtering role played by peer review may actually be harmful rather than helpful to the quality of the scientific literature.

Well, I have to say that I don’t know what is actually accomplished by journal peer review at this point. Academic scientists don’t get any credit or kudos for reviewing, so many  do a quick and shoddy job. The end result in the climate field is gatekeeping and consensus enforcement, which is detrimental to the advancement of science.

Extended peer review

Owing to the relative free ride that consensus supporting and the more alarming climate science papers typically seem to get in the review process, particularly for high profile journals having press embargoes, etc., critical scrutiny is increasingly coming from technically educated individuals outside of the field of professional climate science, most without any academic affiliation.

Of course, the godfather of extended peer review in the climate field is Steve McIntyre. It’s hard to imagine what the field of paleoclimatological reconstructions for the past two millennia would be had not McIntyre & McKitrick happened onto the scene.

Regarding Nic Lewis, the extended peer reviewer du jour, he states it best himself in the WaPo article:

Lewis added that he tends “to read a large number of papers, and, having a mathematics as well as a physics background, I tend to look at them quite carefully, and see if they make sense. And where they don’t make sense — with this one, it’s fairly obvious it didn’t make sense — I look into them more deeply.” 

Here is the issue. There are some academic climate scientists that have expertise in statistics comparable to Nic Lewis. However, I will wager that exactly none of them would have the time or inclination to dig into the Resplandy paper in the way that Nic Lewis did. While many scientists may have reacted like I did, thinking the paper failed the sniff test, nothing would have been done about it, and people that liked the result would cite the paper (heck, they ‘found’ Trenberth’s missing heat).

So Nic Lewis’ identification of the problem does not imply that the so-called ‘self-correcting process’ of institutional science is working. It is only working because of the highly-skilled and dedicated efforts of a handful of unpaid and unaffiliated scientists auditing those papers that come to their attention and they have time to investigate. Erroneous papers outside their fields of interest or which do not make the necessary data available are likely to escape detailed scrutiny. Moreover, in many cases it is impracticable to audit a paper’s results unless the computer code used to produce them has been made available, which is very often not the case. The single most important way of making institutional science more self correcting would be for all journals to insist on turnkey code, with all necessary data, being publicly archived by the time the paper is published online by the journal

A large number of articles have been written about this incident (very few in the MSM tho). Nic is referred to as a lukewarmer, a skeptic, a denier, a fringe scientist, etc. There is an apparent need to label Nic with an adversarial moniker, in spite of complimenting him for his work. The same for Steve McIntyre, and anyone else who criticizes a paper that feeds the consensus or alarmist narratives. McKitrick and I are in a slightly different category in terms of labeling owing to our academic positions.

Science as a tribal activity with adversarial tribes fighting for the dominant narrative so as to influence global climate and energy policy is not a healthy narrative for science. Speaking for myself and based on my impressions of Nic Lewis and Steve McIntyre over the past decade, there is no ‘activist’ motivation behind our critical evaluation of climate science in general or auditing of particular papers, beyond a general sense that good policy is based on accurate science and an appropriate assessment of uncertainty.

An interesting comment appeared at RealClimate:

Finally, this episode demonstrates as many others over the last 30 years the role of “gentleman” scientists. In the 18th century most scientists were of this type. As science got bigger, Universities became the preferred profession of those aspiring to be scientists. After WWII science became big business and scientists were often a blend of entrepreneur, public relations flak, and managers of large teams of postdocs and students, with little time left over for actual technical work. The most prolific publishers can not even have read all the papers on which they are authors much less checked any of the results.

Perhaps the scientific community needs to more wisely use the often free services of “gentlemen” scientists, those who are in retirement, and particularly professional statisticians. It continues to amaze me that most science outside medicine seems to avoid placing a professional statistician on the team and listening to him. 

Franktoo writes in the CE comments:

IMO, the fact that auditing by Nic Lewis and Steve McIntyre has turned up so many problems (real problems as best this biased individual can tell) suggests that you and the whole climate science community should be deeply concerned about confirmation bias during peer review. However, that is another subject that can’t be publicly discussed without it reaching the conservative press and skeptical blogs.

Virtually all peer reviewers don’t have time to do even a cursory check of the work other than reading it for obvious problems and conflicts with already published papers. If peer reviewers were paid and expected to devote at least a couple of weeks to each review, the quality would be higher. The real problem here is that 90% of what is published is not worthy of the paper its printed on.

That’s why citizen scientists are exceptionally valuable.

The value of such analyses being conducted by independent scientists is substantial. Although the heyday of the technical climate blogs seems past, they remain the essential forum for such discussion and auditing. Efforts to institutionalize this kind of effort with a recognized red team were thwarted by politicization of the issue, and a failure to recognize what really drives the auditing of climate research and what makes it work. The Resplandy et al. paper seems to have revitalized the technical climate blogosphere somewhat; it is been ages since I visited RealClimate.

Fixing it – or not

Resplandy et al. are to be commended for jumping on this and addressing the problems as quickly as they can (apparently, the RealClimate post contains the essence of what they sent to Nature). It remains to be seen how Nature addresses this, particularly as Nic has identified at least one problem not dealt with by the authors in their Corrigendum (Part 3).

While on the topic of ‘fixing it’, I must mention Steve McIntyre’s latest post PAGES2K: North American Tree Ring Proxies. I have long declared CE to be a tree-ring free zone, basically because I have not really delved into this topic and SM has done such a good job. But here is what caught my attention. PAGES  is an international group of paleoclimatologists that is a partner of the World Climate Research Programme and funded by US National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Science. The 2017 PAGES paper  lists about 80 coauthors. After auditing this paper (and the 2013 PAGES paper) and the proxies used, McIntyre concludes the following

  • PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017 perpetuate the use of Graybill stripbark chronologies – despite the recommendation of the 2006 NAS Panel that these problematic series be “avoided” in future reconstructions.

There is no hockey stick without the Graybill stripbark chronologies. Without having the background or putting in the effort to personally evaluate any of this, I’m asking if can anyone explain how and why the PAGES team has justified using bristlecone strip bark chronologies, given the 2006 National Academies Panel recommendation that they not be used (not to mention MM criticisms)? If this problem is as bad as stated by SM, the whole field of tree ring paleoclimatology appears to be deluded (or worse).

Conclusions

By quickly admitting mistakes and giving credit where due, Ralph Keeling has done something unusual and laudatory in the field of climate science. If all climate scientists behaved this way, there would be no ‘hostile environment.’

I find it to be a sad state of affairs when a scientist admitting mistakes gets more kudos than the scientist actually finding the mistakes. But given the state of climate science, I guess finding mistakes seems to be a more common story than a publishing scientist actually admitting to mistakes.

Given the importance of auditing climate research  and independent climate scientists working outside of institutional frameworks, I wish there was some way to encourage more of this. In the absence of recognition and funding, I don’t have much to suggest. Other than providing a home for such analyses at Climate Etc.

My huge thanks to Nic Lewis for his efforts, the other guest posters at CE, and to all the denizens who enrich these analysis with their comments and discussion.

 

257 responses to “Admitting mistakes in a ‘hostile environment’

  1. I agree that the authors should be commended for their response, although I am disappointed that they did not release their code, still leaving us guessing what they really did.

    Nature’s response will be interesting. The original paper had a new method, a new estimate that was different from previous estimates, and significant results. The revised paper has a new method, but the corrected estimate is much like previous ones, and the results are no longer significant.

    While the original paper was rightly published in Nature, the revised paper belongs in a lower-tier journal.

    • My thought exactly, and I have no professional right to have a thought in this highly complex matter. But then you don’t need to understand the science to know that if the heart is cut out of a paper, and all that’s left is a repeated production of the consensus, then the paper does not belong in one of the world’s most prestigeous science journals. Had the apparently obvious (to Nic, not me) error been caught in review, it should never have been published, no matter what fixing they did.

      Personally, were I the editor, I would let them publish their correction, with a statement that the paper did not deserve to be published. That would be a serious – and deserved – slap, without the official drama of pulling the paper. And the paper certainly couldn’t be used at grant proposal/promotion time.

      Thank you to Dr Curry for her usual thoughtful discussion – what a woman! There’s your role model for women entering STEM fields.

      • “and all that’s left is a repeated production of the consensus”

        That pretty much summarizes what happens in a solid science. Many decades of research in this topic and there’s still hope from some people that there will be a reversal of the settled portions. See also: the earth is about to cool because of the sun.

      • > “and all that’s left is a repeated production of the consensus”
        Scott Koontz > That pretty much summarizes what happens in a solid science.

        Also in solidified junkscience.

    • Interesting point. The best policy is for the paper to remain at the top journal, if no fraud was involved. This reduces the journal’s reputation, but that’s good, because it’s refereeing is weak and its reputation ought to fall a notch. It makes the vitae of the author look better than it should, but in close cases of tenure, etc., evaluators ought to look at paper quality as well as publication outlet. What is more important is that we need to avoid a strong disincentive for authors to admit error, which would happen if htey had to withdraw it.

    • Dr. Tol and I are in complete agreement.
      There is no reason not to share the code and remove the guesswork.
      Second, when I first read the paper my reaction was how can people regard a proxy reconstruction with more weight than an estimate derived from direct observation.
      Third, since the result (now) merely confirms the existing estimates it doesnt belong in Nature.
      4th I would suggest another round of peer review

    • @erasmuse
      As Cruyff said, every pro has a con.

      If Nature retracts the paper, it signals to future authors that it is best not to admit to a mistake.

      If Nature does not retract the paper, it signals to future authors that exaggeration pays.

    • Richard Tol (@RichardTol) wrote:
      If Nature retracts the paper, it signals to future authors that it is best not to admit to a mistake.

      Absurd and ridiculous. No scientist wants to publish a paper with errors. You antagonism has gone overboard.

      • “No scientist wants to publish a paper with errors. ”

        Touching and childlike.

        It would almost be a sin to explain the real world to such an innocent.

        So go on, David. Keep on thinking that.

      • @david
        Some scientists publish papers they know are wrong.
        However, I referred to inadvertent mistakes. We all make those, I certainly have, and we should feel free to admit to those, also when on tenure-track.

    • The real problem seems to be shoddy / biased peer review. Hiding behind anonymity ?

  2. Judith, this goes both ways. As I wrote on my blog, Nic Lewis made an unprofessional comment to Reason magazine that was wholly uncalled for:

    https://davidappell.blogspot.com/2018/11/nic-lewis-owes-resplandy-et-al-apology.html

    • Good point, but what about Judith Curry’s comment regarding Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick and the Graybill stripbark chronologies? That is an outstanding issue that the Resplandy paper brings back into focus.

    • That is not an unprofessional comment. It is more or less true. Journals are very reluctant to retract. Even on retracting they may not correct: http://retractionwatch.com/2018/03/27/caught-our-notice-yes-a-20-year-old-article-is-wrong-but-it-wont-be-corrected-online/

      • It absolutely wasn’t true — the authors clearly read Lewis’s blog posts and were working through his claims. That takes more than 2 days — science isn’t done on a blog time scale, but Nic Lewis couldn’t give them that time. It’s a dark spot on some otherwise great work.

      • David,
        they were mailed on Nov 1.
        Having seen no reply, Nick went live on the 6th.

        Once pointed out the problem was obvious in 30 seconds.

        The right response on Nov 1. would have been this.

        Dear Nic,
        Thank you. we confirm that the uncertainties were not calculated
        correctly. Please accept our invitation to work with us on a correction

      • Steven M: that doesn’t change my opinion at all.

        Nic couldn’t resist giving them a kick instead of giving them time to come forth with a thorough, meaningful analysis. It is not how a real scientist acts, it’s how an amateur acts. Lewis blew his big chance to be taken seriously.

        1 week, or 2 weeks, is certainly not too long for a measured, serious reply.

      • Provide the evidence of Nic’s state of mind and his motivation. Any Journalism 101 student would know you can’t. No legitimate journalist would write such an absurd statement. More editorializing by another pseudo scribe. The once proud profession of journalism has had it’s standards collapse and allowed yet another hack activist into its ranks.

      • David.
        The numbers speak for themselves.
        You ignore Nics work at your peril

      • From Appell:

        “Steven M: that doesn’t change my opinion at all.”

        Of course not David. Lord forbid you consider changing your mind. We all know that whatever you conclude is always scientific certainty. In fact I heard a rumor that people are advising you to legally change your name to Jesus Appell, seeing as how you are always perfect.

    • Well the point is this. The independent scientists aren’t whining about hostilities. Here I am merely pointing out that the whining by consensus establishment scientists is unjustified, particularly given the hostilities that they dish out.

      • Another point: when you issue a press release, you need to respond quickly. 2 days is not a short time under these circumstances.

      • And another point should be that this simply cannot happen with an issue that is supposed to be this big.

        We are now more than 30 years and billions of dollars into the review and improvement of consensus science around what we’re told is the most important issue of our century.

        Why are we catching errors of this magnitude in blogs?

        This isn’t some academic disagreement over what happened to Easter Island, it’s the claimed basis for prompting every world government to undertake significant, expensive regulatory and financial action. Extraordinary claims will draw extraordinary scrutiny. They must if they will be taken seriously.

      • Judith, you frequently complain about hostilities. I don’t think that’s unwarranted, but let’s admit that scientists on both sides encounter hostilities. Michael Mann was put through the ringer, and not just survived but became a prominent spokesman because he survived. Look at Phil Jones. Hans Schellnhuber, greeted in Australia with a hangman’s noose. Ben Santer has received death threats.

        There is plenty of hostility to go around. And hardly just in climate science. But that now seems to be the world the Internet has created.

      • To equate at all how Judith was openly attacked for not toeing the line on climate to Mr Mann being the poster boy for CAGW is moronic David. This is why we cannot have nice things. As I recall, no one has accused you or Mr. Mann of being a holocaust denier and Hitler’s best friend. To even THINK of submitting a paper without the code is unbelievable. If you (warmists) can’t agree on that, there is no need to talk at all.

      • David, please a short answer on a short question: Do you hold on this sentence of your blogpost: ” So only two days after he pointed out what he thought was an error, Nic Lewis was already castigating Resplandy et al for not acknowledging his analysis.” or do you reject this untrue statement? We all know that Mrs. Resplandy was informed about the issues on November 1st. There was much more time than 2 days!

      • Dave, no one has accused anyone of being a “Holocaust denier” — the word “denier” had a perfectly good meaning before the Holocaust, and it has the same definition afterward.

      • Judith wrote:
        Another point: when you issue a press release, you need to respond quickly. 2 days is not a short time under these circumstances.

        So no time for a thorough analysis, no time for one’s other responsibilities (like teaching), no time to communicate with the team spread around the world, everything has to be in blog time.

        Blog time would be the ruination of science. Science isn’t done on spreadsheets over a weekend. A reply in 2 weeks was exemplary.

      • “curryja | November 19, 2018 at 10:54 am |
        Another point: when you issue a press release, you need to respond quickly. 2 days is not a short time under these circumstances.”

        I’m puzz;ed Judith. I thought you were opposed in principle to science by press conference .

        _Nature_ is a weekly that takes half a week to hit most library shelves, and its production cycle, including permissions and copyright forms, generally precludes responses appearing sooner than two issues later.

        I was pleased as punch my last two responses in its pages appeared just a month after submission

        In contrast, Reslpandy’s detailed response, prefiguring the Nature correction, appeared as the lede in RealClimate on November 14, just days after Nick sent the authors his critique of

        Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition
        , Nature, vol. 563, pp. 105-108, 2018.

      • The problem Russell as you know if you read the post here is that the press release was badly wrong on the implications of the work and those falsehoods were quickly echoed in the media. That would I think call on the authors to issue a new press release outline how badly the original was wrong.

        Unless that is Russell you are fine with falsehoods with big implications just being allowed to stand in print.

      • Re: “Here I am merely pointing out that the whining by consensus establishment scientists is unjustified, particularly given the hostilities that they dish out.”

        I’d love to know when “consensus establishment scientists” insinuated that you, Lindzen, Spencer, etc. are making stuff up (or going along with a narrative) just in order to keep your jobs. Because until that point, they haven’t engaged in the sort of “hostilities” you have:


        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/28/atlantic-vs-pacific-vs-agw/

        Re: “To equate at all how Judith was openly attacked for not toeing the line on climate to Mr Mann being the poster boy for CAGW is moronic David.”

        People shouldn’t use sexism to attack Curry or those who defend her work. Similarly, people shouldn’t use homophobia to attack Mann or those who defend Mann’s work. Unfortunately Mark Steyn doesn’t follow that principle when it comes to Mann’s defenders and some folks still let that slide:

      • Sorry to interrupt your daydream dpy, , but the correction you’re denying is already in the press !

      • Russell, Are you thinking clearly? The corrected paper is in the works. I don’t think there has been a new press release saying “oops, our previous press release was wrong on virtually everything it said.”

    • David, as I wrote: “The two days to respond” are not true! The lead author was informed about the issues with the method on the 1st. of November, please read Nic’s 1st post relating Resplandy et al. where he wrote:”…so later on November 1st I emailed Laure Resplandy querying the ΔAPOClimate trend figure in her paper…”. In reality it took not two days to react but 2 weeks. But we can make ist short: When looking at Fig.3 b of the paper

      it should take only 2 minutes to see that the dAPO trend estimation of more then 1 meg/year can’t be correct.

      • Science is not a blood sport – it is a fruitful, creative and collaborative enterprise created over millennia by toilers in the vineyard of knowledge. The climate war has done us a great disservice. It is tales told by idjits to themselves and others superficially in the objective idiom of science.

        At most there are dinosaurs and upstarts – and paradigms change one funeral at a time. Do we want to wait that long? Perhaps we should just put them up against a wall?

      • “… And what is it with this whining about “hostility”? Science is not all touchy-feely, it is a blood sport….”
        Willis below…

      • 2 minutes! Absurd. Resplandy et al did a great job of responding and correcting their mistake. (How long did it take Christy and Spencer to correct their sign error?) But Nic had to rub their face in it a little with that comment to Reason mag. I think that’s a smudge on what was good work.

      • David: You’re telling lies, this is the core after all.

      • frank: How long did it take Christy and Spencer to correct their egregious sign error?

    • David, you’ve complained in a claim above that Nic only gave Resplandy et al. two days to respond before he criticized their lack of response. You’ve also written a whole blog post about it.

      However, that is NOT TRUE. In fact, the lead author was informed by Nic of the error on the 1st of November, and he gave the authors an entire week to get back to him before he commented on their lack of response.

      So now YOU are in the position of the Resplandy authors … how long are we going to have to wait before YOU retract your untrue assertions, both here and on your blog?

      The world is watching … can you live up to the high standards you demand of others?

      w.

      • Willis, I brought to attention the fact of “Davids alternative facts” 3 days ago : https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/#comment-883727 and he holds on to publish lies, I can’t interpret it otherwise.

      • Thanks, Frank. I figure he’s unwilling to admit mistakes in a so-called “hostile environment”, so he’s waiting for it to get less hostile … not realizing that every day he waits the response will only get more hostile.

        And what is it with this whining about “hostility”? Science is not all touchy-feely, it is a blood sport. You can’t knock big holes in someone’s well-publicized claims and expect them to rub your tummy and blow in your ear … I’d say “man up, suckas”, but that would be politically incorrect and would no doubt engender hostility …

        Wait … can I still say “engender” in this most gender-conscious of worlds? This is all getting too confusing.

        w.

      • Willis: “It’s all getting too confusing”: I’m afraid it’s not, it’s simpe- he won’t response once more and holding on to publish lies. And he’ll think he’s right… in his own universe only.

      • Wow, an entire week. Wrapped up in two weeks.

        How is that at all unreasonable? What was the harm in Resplandy et al analyzing the claims closely and thinking it all through? They were scattered around the globe, and some no doubt had teaching responsibilities.

        Science isn’t done in blog time. It requires thinking and working and calculating and struggling to get things right. If that didn’t meet your blog mentality, too bad.

      • David, it’s easy to lie? It’s easy to perform your alternative facts? It’s not!

      • In response to me pointing out that David Appell was lying about the “2 days” and wondering how long it would take for him to admit it, he gives us this:

        David Appell (@davidappell) | November 19, 2018 at 4:19 pm |

        Wow, an entire week. Wrapped up in two weeks.

        How is that at all unreasonable? What was the harm in Resplandy et al analyzing the claims closely and thinking it all through? They were scattered around the globe, and some no doubt had teaching responsibilities.

        Miss the point much, David? The issue in this part of the thread isn’t Nic or Resplandy, it is your lies.

        w.

      • I was wrong (didn’t lie) about 2 days — it was a week. So what? Nic Lewis’s comments to Reason were still unprofessional.

      • WHAT WAS THE HARM in a 1-2 week reply? What was the harm to let Resplandy et al do a thorough analysis of their mistake? How long did it take Nic Lewis to find an error?

      • David Appell | November 20, 2018 at 11:19 pm |

        Willis Eschenbach wrote:
        November 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        “The world is watching”

        Someone (…) has a vastly inflated sense of their own importance.

        My own importance? I didn’t say I was watching, or that I was important. That’s just the voices in your head—ignore them and things will get better.

        I said the world is watching, and given the importance of Dr. Judith’s blog in the world of climate science, you’re making an unpleasant, arrogant fool of yourself in front of a whole lot of folks who actually are important … you’ve acted like an absolute prick to both Dr. Judith, by falsely accusing her in an email to her boss, and to Nic, by falsely claiming that he only gave the authors two days to reply.

        That kind of viciousness is not a good look on you, David …

        w.

      • David Appell | November 21, 2018 at 12:19 am

        Nobody but deniers who need constant reassurance read this deep into the blog’s comments.

        And yet … here you are, reading away …

        w.

      • David Appell, You would have more credibility in your claim that your falsehood was an error and not a lie if you actually appended a correction/apology to your blog posting. As of now, your false claim remains uncorrected. Kinda ironic given the topic of this very blog post….

      • David, Nic took about 10 minutes to realise that there is something wrong and then about 8 hours to work it out. It was my honour to be a whitness in real time ( see footnote 15). And I brought your “mistake” ( 2 days…)to your attention 5 days ago and the wrong claim is still a part of your blogpost up to now. I can’t say it in another way: You had the chance to correct your “mistake” but you didn’t. There is no other way to describe this: intentionally. And an intentionally “mistake” is a lie. And a person that lies is a lier. That’s it!

      • David Appell | November 21, 2018 at 10:46 pm |

        Believe me, Willis, my regard for your opinion of me is much less than zero.

        I am devastated by my loss …

        w.

    • Whataboutism is painful It does not reflect well on you as a serious person. Don’t respond – just think.

    • Here is an example of a professionalism:

      David Appell (@davidappell) | October 15, 2016 at 6:36 am |
      Sent this to the chair of Judith’s department, cc’ing the two associate chairs. Will send to her Dean, and University president, if necessary.
      ————————-
      Dr. Huey,

      As Chair of Georgia Tech’s Dept of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, are you aware that one of your faculty members, Judith Curry, has made an amusement of sexual assault?

      Atop her blog of 10/14/15, she included this quotation:

      “Some new batch of hacked emails is saying Trump groped Bob Dylan according to Putin.” – David Phinney

      https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/14/week-in-review-politics-edition-13/

      As you are aware, Donald Trump has recently admitted to sexually assaulting women. I fail to see the humor in his actions or in this quotation, which minimizes the severity of sexual assault, and I am dumbfounded as to why Judith Curry would include this quotation on her blog.

      Judith Curry clearly thinks sexual assault is a joke.

      Do you?

      Sincerely,
      David

      • Curious George, do you have a link to back that up? Because if so, although I’d thought David couldn’t sink any lower, that’s got to set a new personal worst.

        w.

      • Thanks, Andy. I previously thought David Appel was pond scum. Now I see that he is vicious, vile, vindictive pond scum who will go a long ways out of his way to make false defamatory accusations against a decent woman scientist.

        Despicable.

        w.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Willis,
        “Despicable”

        My guess is that Appell is so driven by his Mathusian/green delusions that he is simply doesn’t care about reasonable or despicable behavior. Climate Jacobins like Appell give no quarter on any subject, and consider themselves above any requirement of civil interaction, or even honest behavior….. saving the world allows those who know they are absolutely right any behavior needed to achieve that goal. Appell is, in my experience, rarely worth responding to; the green equivalent of a Sky Dragon Slayer, but better educated and far more repugnant. I am actually a little surprised Judith allows him to comment at all.

      • David Appel, considering your just cited past act, I hope you are self-aware enough to concede you are not going to be persuasive toward repairing the “hostile environment.” Perhaps hand that one off.

      • I’m a journalist and writer. Journalists often have to ask tough and unwanted questions — it’s part of the job description.

      • Ron Gaf: I’m not interested in repairing any “hostile environment.”

      • I suppose it’s your right to test the limits of decency. I hope you discover a better aim at some point.

        I know you would never have anything to learn from Dr. Curry or Dr. Spencer, but you might consider that they are principled enough to continue to welcome you on their hosted blogs – for now.

      • Another Appell gem:

        “I’m a journalist and writer. Journalists often have to ask tough and unwanted questions — it’s part of the job description.”

        Who tries to get someone fired because he doesn’t like her opinions and influence. I don’t think you are tough at all David. It shows in how you constantly shift the topic of discussion when you get called out. Coward seems the more appropriate term.

    • Huh?

      he wrote to them on Nov 1st.
      5 days later he does a blog post.
      and his insult? well its actually a fact, neither they nor nature had any INCENTIVE to do anything.

      Nic didnt say anything about them. He said there was No incentive for them to do anything.

      That FACT, makes their admission and correction all the more commendable. There is no incentive for correcting your errors.
      there is no incentive for nature to force a a correction or to retract.

      • David A, Regardless, your post contains a falsehood and you need to correct it. Journalistic ethics requires it. Unless you are not a professional journalist.

    • But David why post on your blog an article besmirching Nic Lewis for his comments, instead of covering the science of his findings and the impact on our current knowledge?

      • Lewis’s science has already been covered. My contribution was to note that his comment to Reason was unprofessional.

      • David, how is it un professional to note that scientists and journals have
        NO INCENTIVE to correct things.

        what part of NO or Incentive are you missing.

        Now, in the real world we offer bounties and rewards for people who find mistakes.

        Lets take your post. You have yet to correct it. You have NO INCENTIVE
        to correct it. Thats not aslam against you that a comment on the incentive structure of publishing.

    • Lewis’s “unprofessional” remark Appell cites
      > I’ve had no substantive response from Professor Resplandy, just a non-committal reply saying that they were looking into the questions I had raised and if they found anything that needed correction they would address it. Unfortunately, they have every incentive to conclude that they don’t need to take any action! So do Nature; journals don’t like being made to look foolish.

      Appell’s take
      > This insult takes the feather out of Lewis’s cap.

      Lewis was clearly speaking the truth, and Resplendy was being dismissive. Without prodding, the issue would likely have been quietly buried by a reactionary establishment. Appell apparently prefers polite ignorance to rude truth,

  3. This is a powerful article, and Curry puts this in the larger context of modern academic-driven science.

    But there is another dimension to this, one that provides a deeper challenge: the replication crisis. The biomedical sciences often have the tightest protocols for conducting and publishing research (as part of the approval process for drugs and medical devices) — yet are among worst affected.

    I wonder if in a decade or two, when the climate has answered many of the current debates, if the climate sciences will join the biomedicals as examples of dysfunctional physical sciences.

  4. There are so many thing that are right in this particular blog I hardly know where to begin. I had a paper based on the Hardy–Weinberg principle of genetic equilibrium rejected because the reviewer had never heard of the principle which I taught my students in second year undergraduate genetics. I did a few reviews myself and I suddenly found myself being inundated with review requests including on topics I had no expertise on. It was like giving one review meant I was now on a reviewers spam list. I sent a grant application to a senior colleague for a presubmission review she suggested to help me improve my chances of getting funded since she was on the committee. I was then rejected for the grant, but her own proposal to the same agency was funded, even though it contained entire pages lifted from my proposal, verbatim. My own work as a scientist clearly shows the morphogen gradient model of embryogenesis taught in every textbook and referenced in the preface of every journal article as gospel is clearly inadequate but I could never get funding to do more work because the prevailing model is assumed to be the correct one so why fund anything else? The system stinks in so many ways that I now regard deciding to go into early retirement after too much running the postdoc rat race as a blessing not a failure. I dodged a bullet. I must admit I was absolutely delighted by the response Ralph Keeling. That was the response of true scientist. They are rare birds. The rest of academia is just a cult.

    • @tumbleweedstumbling

      Having infected the arts, humanities and ‘social sciences’, moving onwards through psychology, then to biology, and thence to the so-called ‘hard sciences’ (climate science having fallen a long time ago). You may be interested in: –

      On the latter, see: –

      You may well be better off out of it.

  5. David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

    Kudos to Nic Lewis for his exemplary review effort – in the face of severe opposition. Nic Lewis, Judity Curry, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, John Christy, Roy Spencer, Anthony Watts et al., are doing an exemplary job at upholding the scientific method so eloquently described by Richard Feynman in Cargo Cult Science, 1974.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. . . .
    We’ve learned from experience that the truth will out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science. . . .
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. . . .
    I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.
    If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing—and if they don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.
    One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of result.

    http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm

    • We’ve learned from experience that the truth will out.

      Truth is in history and historic data. Warm times with warmer oceans and oceans that are more thawed, produce more precipitation, rain and snow and more measured ice accumulation in ice core records, more sequestering of ice in cold places that later advances and causes colder. Yes oceans do get warmer until that causes enough ice sequestering and ice advance to cause cooling. Oceans were supposed to warm like in the Roman and Medieval times and promote more ice sequestering and ice advance and cooling which will come in a few hundred years.

      So far, more credit is given to flawed theory and flawed model output. Even if calculations are corrected, the correct calculations are based on assumptions that have not been proven to be correct.

    • you realize that anthony has refused to share his data with me for 6+ years running.

      • Was it something you said?
        Or was it your previous act of bad faith?
        When he shared data with you believing in you?
        Trust broken cannot be easily restored.
        His comments suggest he is still very happy with all the good work you did prior.

  6. Nice overview, Judith, and kudos again to Nic. Pity that there are so many more bad papers with grievous errors that remain uncorrected. I called out four in essays By Land or by Sea and Shell Games in ebook Blowing Smoke.

  7. Judy: A truly excellent post and an exceptionally useful commentary on the peer review process and agenda driven science.
    I like your championing of “independent scientists” and I wonder how many will catch the irony, intended or not.

  8. What ever happened to when, you name the discipline, that the investigator gathered the data and handed it over to the Mathematics’ Dept. so trained statisticians can do the proper analysis of the data.

  9. Jeff Severinghaus (et al), also at Scripps, published in Nature earlier this year an evaluation of sea temperature rise based on inert gas isotopes that showed very modest increase. I believe a Keeling was a co author. Perhaps I missed it, but have not seen any attempt to reconcile these conflicting results.

  10. If science really is self-correcting, it starts here with this post.

  11. Excellent post.

  12. It’s very rare to see the fragile thing that is truth in statu nascendi.
    So many thanks for this kind of case study of how things actually work today and to all the exceptional people involved. The normal background myth of science for normal people is probably more of the magical Star Trek kind that effectively reaffirms the authority of the label “scientific” that is so much misused for political reasons today.

  13. Pingback: Admitting Mistakes | Transterrestrial Musings

  14. Poor alarmist scientists.

    They call us deniers, and then find themselves obliged to admit mistakes “in a hostile environment.”

    They just can’t win.

    I mean, short of NOT calling us deniers, what could they possibly have done to avoid their plight?

    Damned if they do, …

    • David, your 9% value is misleading. Using the same methodology and data as in their original paper, its north of 20%. In their revision, they also changed another parameter that caused the rate to be higher! Of course when your error bars are so huge, you can get any answer you want by “correcting” the parameters of the method.

      And that why you are misleading us, the main point of Lewis’ analysis is that the error bars were dramatically understated. This means that the main consequence of the paper (explicitly stated) was that “its worse than we thought” is not wrong. The new paper tells us nothing that is new about ECS, carbon budgets, or anything else really.

      It’s unprofessional of you to attack Nic Lewis for correcting an error with large consequences. But then again I guess journalistic ethics is passe in the return of yellow journalism.

      • Well, the error bars are so large, one can get almost any result by changing the parameters of the method. 9% is misleading. Using the same data as the original paper (without skewing the result by changing other parameters) its over 20%.

      • And you have actually done this? Show us your code.

      • dpy: What is 1.21 compared to 1.33?

      • DAppell, I explained this in a comment at Real Climate. If you had actually read the post you would know this:

        “In the updated calculations we now also allow apply the OR range (1.05 ± 0.05) to the APO calculation which by itself increases the APOClimate trend by 0.15 ± 0.15 per meg/y­r relative to an estimate using 1.1.”

        1.15 – 0.15 = 0.90. They changed the parameters of their calculation in addition to correcting their bad statistics.

        More importantly, the main point here is about the huge underestimation of uncertainty. With the new and accurate uncertainty range, you can get any number you want by adjusting assumptions and constants. So your 9% number is just a bumper sticker covering up your ignorance of the real issue.

  15. Judith

    Very nice article

    “The Climategate emails revealed a lot of ‘panic’ over criticisms of hockey team research”

    I have had a number of direct dealings with Phil Jones over the last year who has been very helpful with some rather arcane data I needed for a future article on Winds, their longevity, direction and their importance in influencing the climate. HIs work is often very very good. His colleagues at CRU have also been helpful, as has the Met office.

    I get the impression that academics are often out of their depth when exposed to ‘publicity’ (let alone the MSM and sceptical blogs) and the word ‘panic’ is very apt. The other thing is that some scientists (no names) have such a solid reputation with their peers that anything that comes from them is considered to be gospel and not to be questioned.

    This is reflected in the ironic Moroccan proverb along the lines of ‘if the Sultan says it is night, then behold the stars shining brightly, even if it is clearly a sunlit day’.

    The other interesting aspect is that scientists have become afraid of associating or engaging with ‘the other side.’ for fear of opprobrium being heaped on them by their academic colleagues, some of whom are rather messianic in their beliefs.

    I well remember being with Anthony Watts (and NIc Lewis) the day after they had dinner with Richard Betts of the Met Office (we sent you a postcard Judith!)

    Richard made some efforts to communicate and respond to the sceptical view point (as he has done with me) He was corruscated as a ‘traitor’ by various parties on ‘his’ side. Presumably many like him, who are open minded or interested, will think twice about questioning the current dogma and reaching out to try to understand others viewpoints.

    Sceptics don’t help by often being so hostile and voicing constant accusations of fraud, which rarely seems to be backed up by proper evidence. WUWT in particular is often a hot bed of angry condemnation of people they disagree with, although on their day the site can be thoughtful and insightful.

    Hopefully Nic will help to build some sort of bridge with the climate establishment that will demonstrate the uncertainty inherent in this very young and over confident industry and show that ‘independent scientists’ might have something interesting to contribute.

    BTW Keeling also deserves praise for his gracious response.

    As for tree rings…well let’s not go there, other than to say that its status as one of the gospels will no doubt come under the astonished and incredulous scrutiny of future researchers..

    tonyb

    • tonyb wrote:
      “As for tree rings…well let’s not go there, other than to say that its status as one of the gospels will no doubt come under the astonished and incredulous scrutiny of future researchers..”

      Which parts of the science of dendrochronology do you say are wrong, and why?

      • Try this part of of the science of dendrochronology ” tree-ring data were required to correlate positively (P<0.05) with local or regional temperature (averaged over the entire year or over the growing season). Of the 641 records that together comprise the previously published PAGES2k datasets, 177 are now excluded, of which 124 are tree-ring-width series that are inversely related to temperature."
        Chucking out what does not agree [known as a Ghergis], is wrong.

  16. Judy,

    people like me (human beings) can’t read whole paragraphs of italics.

    “Italic” is not a body-text style. This typographic law of nature has been known for hundreds of years. If there are no scientific papers confirming it, it’s only because it’s too obvious to study.

    Please stop setting slabs of text in italics! If you need to differentiate a paragraph from the rest of the post, then use blockquotes, regular quotes, indentation, a different color, anything…. but don’t use italics!

    I wouldn’t give up my time to tell you this, except that your post is so interesting and important that I really hate having to skip half of it.

    (Ditto for the previous occasions on which I’ve whinged about this.)

    From the bits I’ve read, what I can say is: outstanding post, Judy. Very timely and very well put.

    • I’ve commented on some blogs that have italics but not block quotes. I find it helps quite a bit to include quote marks around italicized quotes.

      • Alas Canman, man can not read italics, quoted or not.

        In typographical terms we’d say italics are perfectly legible (see what I did there?); they’re just not readable.

        As you suggest, quotation marks do have a rôle in demarcating, well, quotes—though indentation is equally effective. What is a quote, after alll? It’s just text referred to by other text. So quotation marks and indentation are functionally equivalent by virtue of nesting the quoted text within its meta-text.

        But using both indentation *and* quotation marks is confusing, unless you intend the reader to think it’s a quote within a quote.

      • “Alas Canman, man can not read italics, quoted or not.”

        Huh, for typesetting italics started to be used for block quotation in the mid 16th century.

      • We’ve actually learned a few things since the 16th century, Steven.

        As a climate scientist you may find that hard to believe, but it’s true.

      • Try harder Brad; Italics are perfectly readable .

      • Mosher

        After an operation for cataracts lense implants the surgeon tested my eyes and I told him I still couldn’t see the eye chart. In a reaction of disbelief he said “try harder”. If I couldn’t see I couldn’t see. Only I knew that.

        There is a rare syndrome which prevents some people from recognizing and in fact not being able to see faces. If they can’t see they can’t see. Only they know what they can do.

  17. The bottom line from realclimate?

    “I, with the other co-authors of Resplandy et al (2018), want to address two problems that came to our attention since publication of our paper in Nature last week. These problems do not invalidate the methodology or the new insights into ocean biogeochemistry on which it is based, but they do influence the mean rate of warming we infer, and more importantly, the uncertainties of that calculation…

    We quickly realized that our calculations incorrectly treated systematic errors in the O2 measurements as if they were random errors in the error propagation. This led to under-reporting of the overall uncertainty and also caused the ocean heat uptake to be shifted high through the application of a weighted least squares fit. In addition, we realized that the uncertainties in the assumption of a constant land O2:C exchange ratio of 1.1 in the calculation of the “atmospheric potential oxygen” (APO) trend had not been propagated through to the final trend…

    We recomputed the ΔAPOClimate trend and its uncertainty based on the distribution of the unweighted least square fits to each of the 106 ensemble realizations of ΔAPOClimate generated by combining all sources of uncertainty, with correlated errors now treated as systematic contributions to the trend. The resulting trend in ΔAPOClimate is 1.05 ± 0.62 per meg/y­r (previously 1.16 ± 0.18 per meg/yr) which yields a ΔOHC trend of 1.21 ± 0.72 x 10^22 J/yr (previously 1.33 ± 0.20 x 10^22 J/yr), as summarized in the updated Figure 1:”

    “The revised uncertainties preclude drawing any strong conclusions with respect to climate sensitivity or carbon budgets based on the APO method alone, but they still lend support for the implications of the recent upwards revisions in OHC relative to IPCC AR5 based on hydrographic and Argo measurements.”

    One side leaped to the conclusion that this was a dramatic increase in ocean heat uptake – up to 600% i noted without trying. The other that that some relatively minor corrections – albeit with a large increase in uncertainty – in a new and interesting method heralds the demise of the climate hegemony. Neither is remotely the case. Systematic errors are not – btw – discoverable by statistical analysis.

    • The revised Figure 1 included all the points Nic made in his 3 posts ( in the conclusion of post no.3):

      The real uncertainty is drawn shaded.
      The mean is there where also the in situ data find the best estimate. The paper says NOTHING new, albeit bigger uncertainty as one would await it from a proxy.

      • We should make a distinction between Nic’s revisions and panel b above.

        The new is not ocean heat content – that remains pretty much the same – but the biogeochemical insights that may prove to be very fruitful.

      • Robert: yes, this is right. The method is clever indeed and worth of a published paper. But nothing more.

      • After Lewis’s correction, the heat uptake rate only declined by 9%. It’s still large.

      • David Appell (@davidappell) After Lewis’s correction, the heat uptake rate only declined by 9%. It’s still large.

        and after considering the gigantic increase in uncertainty the heat uptake could have declined by over 100%, would I be right in saying therefore by over 109%?

  18. A hostile environment is one where some people who dare to disagree with me are still alive.

  19. Excellent post Judith. I was struck by your comment “the heyday of the technical climate blogs seems past”. I think I understand why and would like to know what others think. It starts with Bandolini’s BS asymmetry principle “the amount of energy necessary to refute BS is an order of magnitude greater than to produce it”. It ends with the vast amount of BS we hear every day related to climate. Even if you try to focus on one narrow area it just keeps coming and every time I see some example of that I sigh and think do I want to fight this battle? Steve McIntyre’s meticulous and detailed evisceration of the tree ring proxies is a shining example for any of us that aspire to be a citizen scientist. Sadly the fact that the flawed work continues to be referenced with energy policy implications is not an incentive to continue.

  20. It’s hard to imagine what the field of paleoclimatological reconstructions for the past two millennia would be had not McIntyre & McKitrick happened onto the scene.
    That’s far to much credit fir Steve, he has only been on the scene for the last two decades. ;-)

  21. “Imagine how the course of climate science and the public debate on climate change would be different if Michael Mann would have behaved in a similar way in response to McIntyre and McKitrick’s identification of problems with the hockey stick analysis.”

    McIntyre and McKitrick behaved very differently to Nic Lewis, McIntyre and McKitrick implied that the Twentieth Century warming in Mann’s graph was a product of faulty methodology, it was not, Mann knew it, now we all know it.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Andrew Worth writes “McIntyre and McKitrick implied that the Twentieth Century warming in Mann’s graph was a product of faulty methodology”.

      McIntyre and McKittrick made many criticisms of the Mann et al work, over different matters like hiding the decline, selecting proxies with favourable shapes, questioning reproducibility of tree ring methods, of its variants, using doubtful home-made statistics, throwing doubt on use of strip-bark trees etc.
      Mann et al made a hockey stick with a comparatively smooth handle. That has not been shown correct. The M&M commentary about recent temperature levels was about tacking a hi-res instrumental record onto the end of a proxy reconstruction whose high-frequency excursions were attenuated.
      IIRC, M&M did not claim that the instrumental record was wrong. They claimed strongly that the smooth handle was wrong. They did not imply that the “Twentieth Century warming in Mann’s graph was a product of faulty methodology”. They did criticise the graphical presentation methodology. That is an important distinction.
      As an active participant on Climate Audit at the time, I was presuaded by M&M that their analysis was sound and would stand the test of time. Yet, these days, I see frequent assertions that RealClimate articles demolished M&M, that their work has been rebutted by many others since then and so on. One could infer a propaganda campaign was active to downplay the quality, the importance and the lessons from their work.
      So why do you make your strange claim as if you are part of this propaganda machine? Why not come back with some actual M&M quotes? Geoff.

      • Great elevator version Geoff. Thanks!

        For those who don’t believe it here is the book mentioned in the post. As Judith points out, the National Academy of Sciences admonished the use of Graybill’s stripbark bristlecone pines. Graybill himself warned in his paper not to use them for a temperature proxy due to signs of CO2 sensitivity. Yet, the world’s climate science authorities in the area of tree rings refuse to give them up, presumably because without them they would need to move to another field of work. The story of McIntyre and McKitrick would make a great documentary.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        I confirm that . I have also been active on CA back then and the M&M criticism was all about the handle . And the handle was indeed a wrong product of a faulty methodology and the disparition of the stick from the piblications demonstrates that even the staunchy Mann supporters understood that the handle could not be defended .
        Somebody saying that M&M were criticizing the instrumental record has neither read nor understood their arguments (this is an understatement) .

      • In doing a quick search for Graybill’s paper I stumbled onto something more interesting. The year before the birth of the hockey stick Jacoby and D’Arrigo paved the way for Mann et al by publishing a paper disputing the CO2 fertilization effect here.

        Jacoby and D’Arrigo acknowledge this:

        A contrasting view is presented by Graybill (26) and Graybill and Idso (27), who argued that CO2 fertilization is detectable in certain pine species growing at high elevations of the southwestern United States, but only if they show a strip-bark growth form.

        Of course, the authors don’t mention that these strip bark trees show great acceleration in their ring growth for first half of the 20th century as compared to most other tree ring studies. And thus, MBH98 does not discard them but weighted above all others to the extent that they create their hockey stick, (along with another study that get similar treatment) since they prove themselves extra worthy by matching the “known” temperature trend in the early 20th century. This creates the blade of the stick up to 1960, after which the worthy proxies decline, diverging from the instrumental record. This “divergence problem” is fixed, first by truncating and later by replacing the post 1960 with the actual instrumental record itself. This last part was done by Phil Jones to “hide the decline” to duplicate “Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick,” as seen years later in the Climategate emails.

        The shaft of the hockey stick was easy. The combined plot of random squiggles approaches a straight line.

  22. Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum and commented:
    Where Gavin does “damage control” instead of doing what he should be doing, helping the scientific community prevent errors like this from happening again. Sad.

    Kudos to Ralph Keeling, he demonstrates how science is supposed to work when confronted with an error. Gavin should take heed of Keeling’s example, but he won’t.

  23. A fine post. I’m reminded by most comments here of a quotation familiar to all of you, I’m sure:
    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

  24. I am looking for more raw data. Supposing the 31000+ Petition Project scientists alone are the entire dissenting 3%. Algebra tells us the 97% who claim mankind is warming the planet has to comprise 1,033,333 scientists. That is five times the combined membership both the American Physical Society and American Chemical Society. Enrico Fermi would ask: Where are they? Where is any list of these “consensus scientists” listed by name and by state?

    • “Supposing the 31000+ Petition Project scientists alone are the entire dissenting 3%. Algebra tells us the 97% who claim mankind is warming the planet has to comprise 1,033,333 scientists.”

      Or…. the 31,000 “scientists” include many who aren’t scientists.

      As well as — the petition was started in the late ’90s, right? And now we have 20 more years of research, which is definitely enough to often change more minds. (I would have signed the petition when it came out; I would not now).

  25. Geoff Sherrington

    Judith,
    Your summary is exquisitely good.
    It stops just short of what I would offer as a conclusion anout climate papers in general. It is –

    This matter of errors by Resplandy et al is the norm, not the exception.

    Dig and you will find.
    There is little chance that volunteer reviewers like Nic Lewis will suddenly proliferate and spread more benefit. There has to be some form of enforcement of standards for error analysis. It would also help to require professional statisticians to be engaged as co-authors for some classes of climate papers, as is noted above and before. I dislike these types of regulatory mechanisms, but the climate industry has long shown an inability and unwillingness to heal itself by internal action.
    Citizens fund most climate work. Citizens should have some input to improve the quality. The whole reputation of science is being debased. Geoff.

    • Geoff:
      In the physics class (“O” level) next door to mine, the teacher always brought a Mars bar to his lessons. Anyone spotting a mistake in his working or deductions would earn themselves the Mars bar.
      Suppose Nature offered an equivalent prize for readers who spotted mistakes in published papers? (I’m not suggesting chocolate.)

  26. Good post Judith. This is a topic that it takes courage to engage. It is important to try to learn from mistakes and improve in the future. The only way to make that happen is to keep talking about the problems, despite resistance.

    I actually think things are improving because there is still a critical mass of scientists who care about truth and accuracy. Gavin’s so called “hostile climate” has decreased a lot in hostility over the last couple of years. Since Real Climate in the past has been a perpetuator of the “hostile climate” it is quite ironic for Gavin to be whining about something he helped to create. But I haven’t seen any hostility towards you in the last year even from those who openly tried to demonize you in the past such as our friend Ken Rice, who has turned over a new leaf and actually is contributing something to the discussion. Of course, the yapping stray dogs in the media and lobbying sector will always be rabid.

    You have been a rich source of my collection of articles and editorials about what is wrong with science. These articles taken as a whole are really quite striking in the severity of their indictment. One of the strongest is one in PLOS about preregistration of trials leading one scientists to comment that there is a “massive false positive bias in the literature.” https://www.nature.com/news/registered-clinical-trials-make-positive-findings-vanish-1.18181

    So most scientist have heard something about the crisis. Even if they are publicly unwilling to say anything (being perhaps a little cowardly) they may be internalizing it to some extent. This helps them overcome their bullying and consensus enforcement tendencies, but does not change the underlying dynamic of what Nature called “the natural selection of bad science.”

    That can only be addressed with systematic reforms which can only happen if senior scientists step up and advocate for and enforce the reforms. Senior scientists are usually those who have worked the flawed system well to their advantage and may even not consciously realize the biases in their work. In any case, calling attention to the rottenness of some of the institutions would to some extent decrease their own status. So it will require real virtue for them to speak out.

    Peer review is really broken as you say. There is vastly too much being published and probably vastly too much being spent on “science” much of which turns out second rate or just plain wrong. Whacking budgets a factor of 2 would not harm many fields.

    Like the Catholic church in the face of the Reformation, science as an institution has several choices. Doubling down and refusing to admit error is one of them. Instituting strong reforms is another. Scientists will have to choose.

    In my field, there is a very strong culture of positive results and false belief in the models that is very troubling because it can mislead those making life and death decisions. Fortunately, despite lies and propaganda to the contrary, flight testing is still required by the FAA for all situations within the certified flight envelop. That said, there has been some marginal improvement with a few code and model comparison workshops where codes are run blind and then compared.

    What is certain is that if people stop speaking out, nothing will be reformed. So keep up the good work.

  27. Re: “So please, lets stop whining about ‘hostile environment’ and get on with our research in an open, honest and collegial way”

    “Nature strikes out again”. Really? That’s not hostile? That’s “open, honest and collegial”?

    Oh, give me break.

    • We could take snippets from WUWT or even some of JC’s ClimateEtc. posts and easily show that sometimes a hostile environment exists. Or look to major politicians and what they say about mainstream climate science.

      It takes a special skill of irony to host a site like this and then say that there’s no hostile attitude towards mainstream climate science.

    • There is a difference between scientific criticism of someone’s work and attacking them personally. Judith has criticized mainstream climate science and as a result gotten many personal attacks from them. That’s so typical however of the politicized field of climate science. Climate scientists are very sensitive to criticism and don’t respond scientifically very well. They usually just fall back on their own authority. My favorite is “the GCM’s agree with ‘simple physics'” whatever that means. It of course has nill scientific content. Oh and then they call you a denier.

      • There is a difference between scientific criticism of someone’s work and attacking them personally.

        Indeed there is. A difference, as we can both attest, you have struggled yourself to maintain at times. Given that struggle might a little more reflective tone from you be worth striving for?

        Shall I post links, or shall we leave it at that?

      • VTG, You have done this at least 4 or 5 times in the past. It’s a pattern for you, for which there is no explanation other than consensus enforcement.

        As I said above, Dessler’s science was weak and he has a past history of personal attacks and nasty name-calling. His response to a very mild questioning was to call me a denier on twitter. Any credibility his science had in my book is gone now because of his obvious activism.

        Anything of substance perhaps about science??? I thought so.

      • dpy,

        I enjoy reading your posts. But your own advice. Do try to follow it.

      • Re: “Judith has criticized mainstream climate science and as a result gotten many personal attacks from them.”

        Not really. Curry did things like insinuate that mainstream climate scientists were just making stuff up (or going along with a narrative on greenhouse gases having an effect) in order to keep their jobs. Making that sort of baseless attack is going to justifiably annoy many people, on par with saying that doctors only claim that smoking affects people’s health, because doctors want to keep their jobs:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/28/atlantic-vs-pacific-vs-agw/

        So no, please don’t act if all Curry did was fairly criticize the science. She also did things like unjustifiably attack the integrity of scientists, and then she acted shocked when they were annoyed by that.

        Re: “Climate scientists are very sensitive to criticism and don’t respond scientifically very well. “

        Nonsense. I suggest you spend more time reading the peer-reviewed scientific literature, instead of reading contrarian talking points you hear on faux “skeptic” blogs.

        For instance, there was a polite and informative back-and-forth between Santer, Fu, Thorne, and some of the other central scientists involved in examination tropospheric warming trends. They made cogent responses to criticism, suggested future lines of research that could address those criticisms (that research was subsequently done), etc. No one seemed overly sensitive:

        There are numerous other examples of this occurring the climate science literature. So try actually looking them up.

  28. Re: “Roy Spencer writes:
    If the conclusions of the paper support a more alarmist narrative on the seriousness of anthropogenic global warming, the less thorough will be the peer review. I am now totally convinced of that. If the paper is skeptical in tone, it endures levels of criticism that alarmist papers do not experience. I have had at least one paper rejected based upon a single reviewer who obviously didn’t read the paper…he criticized claims not even made in the paper.”

    Would this be the same Roy Spencer who published research in the 1990s and early 2000s that challenged the mainstream evidence-based scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?
    Research in which he (falsely) claimed that the troposphere was not warming?
    Research that made it through peer review, even though it did not account for orbital decay, diurnal drift, etc.?
    Research he followed up with subsequently peer-reviewed research in which he got the sign of the diurnal drift correction wrong in a way that conveniently (and erroneously) lowered his lower tropospheric warming trend?

    And he’s really now saying that research “skeptical” of AGW has a harder time getting through peer review and undergoes more thorough peer review?

    My goodness, it’s like people either don’t remember history, or they’re simply acting like they don’t remember.


    [from: “Correcting Temperature Data Sets”]

    “Although concerns have been expressed about the reliability of surface temperature data sets, findings of pronounced surface warming over the past 60 years have been independently reproduced by multiple groups. In contrast, an initial finding that the lower troposphere cooled since 1979 could not be reproduced. Attempts to confirm this apparent cooling trend led to the discovery of errors in the initial analyses of satellite-based tropospheric temperature measurements.”
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/334/6060/1232

    • yup, multiple groups

      Land Surface Air Temperature Data Are Considerably Different Among BEST‐LAND, CRU‐TEM4v, NASA‐GISS, and NOAA‐NCEI.

      The mean LSAT anomalies are remarkably different because of the data coverage differences, with the magnitude nearly 0.4°C for the global and Northern Hemisphere and 0.6°C for the Southern Hemisphere. This study additionally finds that on the regional scale, northern high latitudes, southern middle‐to‐high latitudes, and the equator show the largest differences nearly 0.8°C. These differences cause notable differences for the trend calculation at regional scales. At the local scale, four data sets show significant variations over South America, Africa, Maritime Continent, central Australia, and Antarctica, which leads to remarkable differences in the local trend analysis. For some areas, different data sets produce conflicting results of whether warming exists.

      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018JD028355

    • Atomsk’s, how long ago did the UAH error occur?

      The most complete archive for uncovered climate science errors and their responses is climateaudit.org. Reading the their archives I have found some gems, like this one where James Hansen is given a heads up in 2007 by CA that the US historical climate record seemed to go screwy around 2001. Hansen, responded to inquiring reporters “that perhaps a light was not on upstairs,” dismissing the troublesome blog post. However, the apparent panic that set in when Hansen realized there was a serious problem is funnier than any Keystone Cops bit ever done. https://climateaudit.org/2007/08/11/lights-out-upstairs/

      • My provided link was to the original event. The Keystone Cops is revealed years later when Steve got his FOIA of NASA’s internal emails for the event.
        Here is Hansen’s assistant introducing Steve McIntryre to his boss:

        Steve is the person who appointed himself auditor of all web sites and organizations that have to do with global warming in order to debunk this “hoax”. He is maintaining a blog – a website called climateaudit.org , a site containing among justified concerns (caveats that we stress in all our papers) obvious fabrications and vicious attacks … I expect only a minor effect since the offsets average out to ~0 over all USHCN stations”

        A day or so later they realize there is a serious error, and in trying to fix it before fully comprehending they think they may have written over data. Hansen is told and is stunned. He tries to retain his cool sorts out the problem in an internal email (which he realized is a non-destroy-able doc), so he communicated in code (hilarious).

        There has been some turmoil yesterday on the leaderboard of the U.S. (Temperature) Open and there is a new leader.
        A little unexpectedly, 1998 had a late bogey and 1934 had a late birdie. (I thought that they were both in the clubhouse since the turmoil seemed to be in the 2000s.) In any event, the new leader atop the U.S. Open is 1934.
        2006 had a couple of late bogeys and fell to 4th place, behind even 1921. I think that there’s a little air in the 2006 numbers even within GISS procedures as the other post-2000 lost about 0.15 strokes through late bogeys, while it lost only 0.10 strokes. It is faltering and it might yet fall behind 1931 into 5th place.
        Four of the top 10 are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999). Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900.

        https://climateaudit.org/2010/01/23/nasa-hide-this-after-jim-checks-it/
        https://climateaudit.org/2010/11/11/y2k-re-visited/

      • Re: “Atomsk’s, how long ago did the UAH error occur?”

        Which errors? Because UAH has been making errors from their first analysis right up to UAHv6. That’s covered in sources such as:

        “A comparative analysis of data derived from orbiting MSU/AMSU instruments”

        There’s a reason UAHv6 looks so different from other tropospheric analyses:


        [page S17 of: “State of the climate in 2017”]

        There’s a reason that UAHv6 shows about as much lower tropospheric warming as ERA-I, even though the ERA-I team admits ERA-I under-estimates said warming.

        And how long ago the errors occurred is irrelevant to the point. The point is that Spencer shouldn’t use one case to claim their systematic bias against “skeptical” papers. Folks like Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, Curry, Lewis, etc. co-authored papers. Many of them co-authored papers that contained errors that later needed to be corrected. For instance, Lindzen literally co-authored a paper he admitted contained “stupid mistakes”. Yet I don’t see Spencer inferring from that that there’s some plot to get flawed “skeptical” papers through peer review. So he’s engaging in special pleading when he uses the case here to claim that’s some plot or bias to get mainstream AGW papers through.

        Re: “My provided link was to the original event”

        Have fun digging through scientists e-mails. Sensible folks will be reading published research.

        Re: “yup, multiple groups”

        Yes, multiple groups.

        Anything else?


        [from: “Recent United Kingdom and global temperature variations”]

      • Atomsk, You continue to dig the hole. RSS for decades was very similar to UAH in its warming rate. Within the last couple of years they changed their processing algorithm which resulted in a large increase in the warming rate so that RSS is now warmer than HADCRUT. You can see this clearly at climate4you global temperatures article.

        There is no evidence UAH’s current processing method is in error.

      • Re: “RSS for decades was very similar to UAH in its warming rate. Within the last couple of years they changed their processing algorithm which resulted in a large increase in the warming rate”

        RSS and UAH “both” changed their homogenization methods between the most recent versions of their analyses and the versions immediately before the most recent versions. This results in an increase in RSS’ lower tropospheric trend trend and a decrease in UAH’s trend. You left out UAH’s changes to their homogenization:


        [from: “A satellite-derived lower tropospheric atmospheric temperature dataset using an optimized adjustment for diurnal effects”]

        Note that in doing this, the RSS team addressed an issue that Spencer himself pointed out, when he noted a cooling bias in RSSv3.3 that cause RSS version 3’s trend to be cooler than that of UAH version 5. And unlike you, Spencer admitted that the RSS analysis diverged from the UAH analysis before RSS made their recent changes for version 4:

        “On the divergence between the UAH and RSS global temperature records
        […]
        Anyway, my UAH cohort and boss John Christy, who does the detailed matching between satellites, is pretty convinced that the RSS data is undergoing spurious cooling because RSS is still using the old NOAA-15 satellite which has a decaying orbit, to which they are then applying a diurnal cycle drift correction based upon a climate model, which does not quite match reality.”

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/on-the-divergence-between-the-uah-and-rss-global-temperature-records/

        Re: “so that RSS is now warmer than HADCRUT.”

        If that was the case, then that would necessarily not be a problem, unless you’re begging the question by assuming that satellite-based lower tropospheric analyses must show less warming the near-surface / surface analyses. Anyway, HadCRUT4 is already known to under-estimate recent surface warming due to it’s poorer coverage. See, for instance:

        “Arctic warming in ERA‐Interim and other analyses”
        “Recently amplified arctic warming has contributed to a continual global warming trend”
        “Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends”
        “Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends. UPDATE COBE-SST2 based land-ocean dataset”
        “Contributions of atmospheric circulation variability and data coverage bias to the warming hiatus”

        Re: “You can see this clearly at climate4you global temperatures article.”

        I don’t rely on only faux “skeptic” blogs to learn about climate science, anymore than I rely on anti-vaxxer blogs to learn about immunology. So please don’t cite Climate4You to me as a credible source.

        Re: “There is no evidence UAH’s current processing method is in error.”

        Nope. Evidence was already cited to you; you’re simply ignoring it. For example, I cited a paper to you pointing out issues with the UAH analysis in comparison to the RSS analysis. And I pointed you to a recent report showing that UAH is an outlier among the lower tropospheric analyses. Only ERA-I showed as little lower tropospheric warming as UAH, and ERA-I is already known to under-estimate the warming. So that points to the UAH analysis being flawed. RSS’ Mears and others made a similar point in a recent conference abstract release before the report:

        “Understanding and reconciling differences in surface and satellite-based lower troposphere temperatures”

        You’re also in a bit of a bind. After all, as I pointed out above, UAH changed their homogenization methods, reducing their lower tropospheric warming trend. So that means you either need to think UAH’s current homogenization is wrong, or that there homogenization from not too long ago (within the last few years) was wrong. That means I could technically use UAH version 6 to object to the current UAH analysis. Fun times.
        ;)


        (from: “UAH Version 6 global satellite temperature products: Methodology and results”

      • Brandon, thanks for you patience to educate those who did not fully appreciate Mann and the hockey team’s audacity.

        I did think your original comment was taking Dr. Curry to task for not mentioning the foxtail pines, which as you point out are close neighbors to the bristlecones. When you say later that they accounted for 100% of the hockey stick shape I presume you meant since both proxies were from Graybill and Idso (1993), as I realized that after I found their paper here. Also, I am shocked to read the title of their paper: “Detecting the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment in tree-ring chronologies.” How ironic that the only tree-rings that produce a hockey stick were collected and studied specifically to place a hazard sign for dendrochronolgists to avoid these.

        How careful was Mann? McIntyre and McKitrick (2005):
        “Out of 70 sites in the network, 93% of the variance in the MBH98 PC1 is
        accounted for by only 15 bristlecone and foxtail pine sites collected by Donald Graybill [Graybill and Idso, 1993] (see Table 1). The weights in the MBH98 PC1 have a nearlylinear relationship to the hockey stick index. The most heavily weighted site in the MBH98 PC1, Sheep Mountain, is a bristlecone pine site with the most pronounced hockey
        stick shape (1.6 s) in the network; it receives over 390 times the weight of the least weighted site, Mayberry Slough, whose hockey stick index is near 0.”

  29. I’ll be sharing this post with my poor friends and family on Facebook who probably think I talk to much about the climate. I’ll be portraying it as inside Climate as well as easy to follow, not involving math. It addresses a current issue while giving it background exceeding almost anything in the MSM. It addresses the Schmidt/RealClimate situation that I think most are unaware of. I consider Schmidt worthy but biased. Predictable. He’s a good summary of the situation. Keeling’s going there now is an example of something. A place where he has cover and some of Schmidt’s authority. Same as skeptics communicating from here but a little less so in Climate Etc’s case. This Lewis example also summarizes the larger picture, but I might just be a lukewarming hack with that opinion. The first part of this post is good describing the problem using the current situation with references to the past. It’s targeted at a broad enough audience. We all know to varying extent, some version of that part of the post. But it doesn’t do well in our soundbite world. Imagine Judith back on Tucker Carlson explaining it. Wouldn’t work. I bring this up as a way of mentioning, what are the better ways to deliver the lukewarm point of view? It might involve you. With a simple Facebook share. Or Twitter which someday I’ll have to get around to participating in that. It is an unfair request to Judith. For her to provide a major part of the lukewarm message. All those involved with this, you’ve been consistent and durable and worked hard with these issues. Your work is doing good. You have helped policies be better than they otherwise would be. Thank you.

  30. This post contains an inaccurate statement in its discussion of hockey sticks:

    There is no hockey stick without the Graybill stripbark chronologies.

    Michael Mann’s original hockey stick, which for years was used as the symbol of global warming, did dependet entirely upon a small number of tree rings from one region in North America. Mann’s temperature reconstruction was dependent entirely upon giving a tiny portion of his data enormous weight while the rest of his data was rendered effectively irrelevant.

    However, 20 years have passed since that paper was published. In that time, another dozen or so proxies with hockey stick shapes have made their way into the literature. Many of them have severe problems, like the Iiljander series whose modern portion was contaminated by human development yet used to in calibration steps (sometimes resulting in the series being used upside down). Some of them, like series by Gordon Jacoby, were openly stated to be cherry-picked, with series giving the “wrong” result not even being archived. Pretty much every single one has significant problems.

    Still, there are in fact other proxies that can lead to a hockey stick shaped temperature reconstruction. The number is small, significantly smaller than the number of papers claimed to have found a hockey stick (as the same series get reused over and over). Still, it is not all about the one set of tree rings Michael Mann relied on 20 years ago. That set is still highly influential (even though it is known to be a bad proxy), but there are other proxies which matter as well.

    • Brandon S coyly omitted that he has written two short books on the hockey stick, which I have read and recommend for laypersons. They are less than a buck here (for the Kindle version).

      I will also vouch that Brandon S is no conspiracy buff and most times sober. ;)

      • I hate advertising, especially when it’s for myself so I rarely mention those. But in addition to being available in Kindle versions, they are available for free in PDF versions for anyone who doesn’t want to spend money. I don’t have the links handy offhand (and am out of the house), but I can dig them up if anyone wants them.

    • Brandon S? This post contains an inaccurate statement in its discussion of hockey sticks “There is no hockey stick without the Graybill stripbark chronologies.”

      Inaccurate?

      Wrong on 2 grounds, linguistically as you must surely appreciate [your forte as I remember].
      Wrong if you state “However, 20 years have passed since that paper was published. In that time, another dozen or so proxies with hockey stick shapes have made their way into the literature.”
      Most of those so called proxies were just a reiteration of the Mann papers, some with his name on then, others by his acolytes alone.
      As McIntyre said other methods with tree rings fail to yield useful proxies.

      Right on the specious grounds that any 1900’s proxy would by default have a hockey blade when you add in the thermometer records but I assume you are referring to the part before the added on record, correct?
      The irony is that you should be right, any large series of proxy records must show 10-20% with an upwards blade just by sheer probability.
      The fact that none do says we do not have a large field of reliable proxies for this time period. If we had 100 proxies you could expect 10 to be starting a hockey stick and 10 to be going the other way.
      With a mere dozen or so it might statistically just not happen [sorry there is an upside down set somewhere perhaps?].
      So a challenge. list all your dozen or so proxies, show all those with M Mann on, and show that the ones with tree rings are not hopelessly Graybill entangled. Heck shoe even two reliable other non tree ring proxies.

      ” our 2005 articles, Ross and I pointed out that the Mann’s hockey stick is merely an alter ego for Graybill’s stripbark bristlecone chronologies and that the contribution from all other proxies was nothing more than whitish noise. We noted that Graybill himself had attributed the marked increase in late 19th and 20th century bristlecone growth to CO2 fertilization,

      In a CA blogpost here, I further illustrated the unique contribution of bristlecones by segregating the additive contribution to the MBH98 reconstruction of bristlecones (red) and other proxy classes (e.g. ice cores, non-bristlecone North American tree rings, South American proxies, etc. in blue, green, yellow ). This clearly showed that (1) the distinctive MBH98 Hockey Stick shape arose entirely from bristlecones and that (2) all other proxy classes contributed nothing more than whitish noise”

      Go ahead, prove him wrong, 13 years sinc he wrote that.

      • angech, I’m afraid I couldn’t follow half of what you wrote. For instance, you say:

        Wrong if you state “However, 20 years have passed since that paper was published. In that time, another dozen or so proxies with hockey stick shapes have made their way into the literature.”
        Most of those so called proxies were just a reiteration of the Mann papers, some with his name on then, others by his acolytes alone.
        As McIntyre said other methods with tree rings fail to yield useful proxies.

        I fail to understand how the dozen or so proxies I referred to could possibly be “reiteration of hte Mann papers.” Proxies are data series. Mann’s original hockey stick relied entirely upon one proxy (though technically he duplicated and extended it to use it twice). That proxy was usedi n many other papers.

        However, that proxy being used in other papers has no bearing on the fact othe proxies were found/created with hockey stick shapes.

        Right on the specious grounds that any 1900’s proxy would by default have a hockey blade when you add in the thermometer records but I assume you are referring to the part before the added on record, correct?

        I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. I don’t know what “any 1900’s proxy” would be, nor do I know what part is supposed to be “before the added on record.” Proxies do not (typically)) have sections added to them. They are (typically) calibrated against an instrumental record by comparing that to their modern portion, a step which has usually been implemented in a way which gives additional weight to hockey stick shapes.

        But if a proxy doesn’t have a hockey stick shape, it will not produce a hockey stick. As I said in my comment, there are about a dozen proxies which do have a hockey stick shape. If you use any of them with a methodology that gives them undue weight, you can come up with a hockey stick shaped reconstruction.

        Go ahead, prove him wrong, 13 years sinc he wrote that.

        This challenge especially confuses me. I specifically noted Mann’s original hockey stick was dependent entirely upon tree ring series from one region. You quote Steve McIntyre saying the same thing. Why would I try to prove McIntyre was wrong when he made the same point I’ve made here?

        To be frank, I can’t follow your thoughts in this comment. Maybe there is some deeper meaning that I’m missing. If so, I’m happy to try to understand what you mean if you’ll go into some detail.

      • Brandon S? (@Corpus_no_Logos) Good to see you up and commentating here
        ” angech, I’m afraid I couldn’t follow half of what you wrote. Wrong if you state “However, 20 years have passed since that paper was published. In that time, another dozen or so proxies with hockey stick shapes have made their way into the literature.” Most of those so called proxies were just a reiteration of the Mann papers, some with his name on then, others by his acolytes alone. As McIntyre said other methods with tree rings fail to yield useful proxies.

        “I fail to understand how the dozen or so proxies I referred to could possibly be “reiteration of the Mann papers.”

        My fault perhaps, I did not notice you grace any of them with a name or author. My understanding of the claim that Mann had been verified was that he and other others had published supporting papers which basically used [reiterated] his original work. Examples from our friend David Appell.
        Note extreme cherry picking.

        Re “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries, Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes, Nature 392, 779-787 (23 April 1998). [Funny to see that nature magazine pop up again].
        So for instance,
        “Northern hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitations,” Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes, Geophysical Research Letters”
        “Crowley 2000: Used both his own and Mann et al. (1999)’s hockey sticks
        Esper et al. 2002:using tree ring chronologies.
        Esper et al. 2005: averaged five independent reconstructions
        Moberg et al. 2005: Combined tree ring proxies with glacial ice cores,
        D’Arrigo et al. 2006: multiple tree ring proxies
        Hegerl et al. 2007: borehole temperatures and tree ring proxies
        Juckes et al. 2007: Combined multiple older reconstructions
        Wahl and Ammann 2007: Used the tree ring proxies, glacial proxies, and borehole proxies used by Mann et al. (1998, 1999)
        Wilson, et al. 2007: using tree ring proxies
        Mann et al. 2008: 1,209 independent proxies ranging from tree rings
        Kaufman, et al. 2009: Used tree rings,

        Most of those so called proxies were just a reiteration of the Mann papers, some with his name on then, others by his acolytes alone. I hope this is clear now.

      • Cherry picking?

        Studies like PAGES 2k include far more proxies than do MBH. Many studies have used different mathematical techniques. Yet all come up with a hockey stick.

        That’s not surprising — the hockey stick is required by basic physics.

        The surprise would be if it WASN’T true…..

      • Brandon S? (@Corpus_no_Logos)
        “However, that proxy being used in other papers has no bearing on the fact other proxies were found/created with hockey stick shapes.”

        ” our 2005 articles, Ross and I pointed out that the Mann’s hockey stick is merely an alter ego for Graybill’s stripbark bristlecone chronologies and that the contribution from all other proxies was nothing more than whitish noise.” If McIntyre is right it must have all of the bearing, agreed?

        . I don’t know what “any 1900’s proxy” would be, nor do I know what part is supposed to be “before the added on record.”
        Disingenuous. You yourself state
        “other proxies were found/created with hockey stick shapes.”
        You know that Mann’s graph used proxy tree rings through the 1900’s to show a hockey stick developing to which he then attached an even sharper instrumental blade. Despite you then stating
        ” Proxies do not (typically) have sections added to them.”
        Of course they do, whenever an incomplete [missing] segment exists segments are commonly added to give an impression of completeness.

        “They are (typically) calibrated against an instrumental record by comparing that to their modern portion,”
        Fat chance of that happening here was there? Once the series deviated downwards from the modern portion it was being compared with Mann stepped in and replaced the proxy entirely.
        A thoroughly despicable way of him to do science.

        You say ” a step which has usually been implemented in a way which gives additional weight to hockey stick shapes.”
        Yes it did, counter to the proxy direction completely. A blatant lie in other words.

        ” As I said in my comment, there are about a dozen proxies which do have a hockey stick shape.” “the dozen or so proxies” is not strictly a dozen, it implies one to 2 dozen I guess.

        “If you use any of them with a methodology that gives them undue weight, you can come up with a hockey stick shaped reconstruction.”
        Undue weight should not a hockey stick make of white noise. On the other hand if you throw a bristlecone or 2 into a pal’s reconstruction you will get one any time.-

        “This challenge especially confuses me. I specifically noted Mann’s original hockey stick was dependent entirely upon tree ring series from one region. You quote Steve McIntyre saying the same thing. Why would I try to prove McIntyre was wrong when he made the same point I’ve made here? I’m happy to try to understand what you mean if you’ll go into some detail.”

        No that is great.
        “(2) all other proxy classes contributed nothing more than whitish noise”
        Is where you have expressed differing views

      • angech: the hockey stick is required by basic physics:

        1. temperature change is proportional to forcing change.
        2. CO2 forcing change is proportional to log(CO2).
        3. CO2 has been increasing exponentially.

        => hockey stick.

      • David Appell (@davidappell) | November 21, 2018 at 11:00 pm |
        “angech: the hockey stick is required by basic physics:
        1. temperature change is proportional to forcing change.
        2. CO2 forcing change is proportional to log(CO2).
        3. CO2 has been increasing exponentially. => hockey stick.”
        Very true.
        Agree with you.
        Are you sure you are not Mosher. You use the same logic. Memo, must check their handwriting.

      • angech, I find your latest comments nightmarish to read due to your failure to quote things in anything resembling a clear manner. I’m not going to try to figure out just what you said and what you quoted. Instead, I’ll just highlight two examples of you seeming to have a faulty understanding of things. First:

        ” our 2005 articles, Ross and I pointed out that the Mann’s hockey stick is merely an alter ego for Graybill’s stripbark bristlecone chronologies and that the contribution from all other proxies was nothing more than whitish noise.” If McIntyre is right it must have all of the bearing, agreed?

        I can’t tell if this is you indicating you think all that matters is Mann’s original hockey stick or if you just don’t understand what I’ve been saying. It is indisputably true Mann’s original hockey stick was dependent entirely upon a small number of tree ring series from a single region (while some people still deny this, even Michael Mann himself has admitted it). That is the point McIntyre referred to in the quote you provide there.

        However, twenty years have passed since Mann published his hockey stick. There have been dozens of other studies. Those studies have sometimes involved other proxies. These other proxies sometimes have hockey stick shapes. The ones which do invariably have their own issues, but they do in fact exist. If you doubt this, just do a search of McIntyre’s blog for proxies like Yamal, Tiljander, Dunde, Dulan and Taimyr.

        Fat chance of that happening here was there? Once the series deviated downwards from the modern portion it was being compared with Mann stepped in and replaced the proxy entirely.
        A thoroughly despicable way of him to do science.

        Assuming I understand what you mean here, it simply did not happen. Mann did not do what you claim. It sounds like you are referring to matters with “hide the decline.” If so, that was Keith Briffa with a series that had nothing to do with Mann. Phil Jones also did something similar to what you describe, and in fact even worse, but again that wasn’t Mann (though Mann didn’t complain when he saw it).

        And on a largely unimportant but methodological note:

        Undue weight should not a hockey stick make of white noise. On the other hand if you throw a bristlecone or 2 into a pal’s reconstruction you will get one any time.-

        This just isn’t true. Giving undue weight to series with a proxy shape can create a hockey stick out of white noise. By the nature of randomness, some white noise series will happen to have a hockey stick shape. Given them undue weight, and your reconstruction will be biased toward having a hockey stick shape. The same thing is true for noise, just even moreso.

        As a final note, everything I have said on this post today is perfectly in line with what Steve McIntyre would say. If you think anything I have said here is wrong, I’m confident it is because you have misunderstood something McIntyre said.

      • For anyone who might wonder why I’m not responding to David Appell’s comments, that would be because they’re ridiculous. There is nothing about basic physics which would cause a hockey stick shape in temperature reconstructions. There are many factors which go into temperature changes over the last ~1000 years (remember, a hockey stick has a flat shaft and a curved blade).

        It’s amusing Appell trivializes the work of tons of climate scientists by making this claim. If basic physics was all that is needed to prove something, what value is there in writing dozens of papers to try to prove it through evidence? According to Appell’s depiction, this work which was the central image of the global warming movement did nothing but tell us what we already knew.

        And that is the quality Appell’s contributions to discussions. He can’t discuss things in any detail or with any substance because he doesn’t know enough. All he has are thin talking points about issues he doesn’t understand. If you doubt this, try this simple challenge. Ask him to find any single factual, claim I’ve ever made that is incorrect. I can point to dozens of specific, factual claims by him which are wrong. The reverse is not true.

      • Brandon

        Thank you for the comments about Appell

      • Re: “If basic physics was all that is needed to prove something, what value is there in writing dozens of papers to try to prove it through evidence?”

        You mean like the numerous scientific papers written that confirm the predictions of relativity theory? Or which confirmed the existence of the so-called “tropospheric hot spot”, that is predicted by basic physics regarding moist convection and latent heat release? Or the numerous scientific papers confirming basic physical theory regarding the greenhouse effect? Basic physics is often confirmed through evidence. In fact, basic physical theory is often initially made to explain observational evidence.

        The lesson here is: scientists can still publish evidence showing X, even if X is a prediction of basic physics.

        Re: “According to Appell’s depiction, this work which was the central image of the global warming movement did nothing but tell us what we already knew.”

        Your political rhetoric is leaking through again with your use of the “global warming movement”. The idea of CO2-induced global warming dates back to at least 1896 with Arrhenius’ work, through the early 20th century with Callendar, etc. That’s decades (or in Arrhenius case, around a century) before the hockey stick. So claiming the hockey stick as being “the central image of the global warming movement” is a bit like saying images of epigenetic histone modifications are “the central image of the evolution movement”.

      • Brandon S said “And on a largely unimportant but methodological note:
        ” Undue weight should not a hockey stick make of white noise. On the other hand if you throw a bristlecone or 2 into a pal’s reconstruction you
        will get one any time.” This just isn’t true.”

        Two part comment. I take it you agree with ” On the other hand if you throw a bristlecone or 2 into a pal’s reconstruction you will get one any time.” Perhaps I should have said every time.

        But your saying
        “Giving undue weight to series with a proxy shape can create a hockey stick out of white noise.”
        is not true.
        This leads to one of those tedious discussions of intent and meaning.
        In which case I must point out that white noise by definition, should not have a trend. This is the way I presume that McIntyre intends the term white noise to be used. It is he way I use the term. It is the way in which you should consider using the term. Not in some drilling down exercise on a part of the noise.
        “By the nature of randomness, some white noise series will happen to have a hockey stick shape”
        No, never, you see white noise must have no trend. Picking a hockey stick shape out a portion of white noise series is not using the series [trendless] just a specific part of the series and saying here it is loud or here it is soft. If a series has a hockey stick by definition it has trends and is not ever white noise series. You have conflated two different things.

        Hence ” your reconstruction will be biased toward having a hockey stick shape. because you have added in a portion with a hockey stick.

        Appreciate your work and blog by the way.

      • angech, I’m going to stop responding to you in this thread now. You say:

        In which case I must point out that white noise by definition, should not have a trend. This is the way I presume that McIntyre intends the term white noise to be used. It is he way I use the term. It is the way in which you should consider using the term.

        Which convinces me we’re never going to get anywhere. White noise series can, and often do, have trends. Those trends simply cancel out as you average multiple white noise series. The point of white noise series is not that each series is so random they cannot have any trend at all. The point of them is they’re random (within bounded constraints). The nature of randomness is sometimes you get a trend. By random chance.

        That said, I don’t know why this would even matter. A hockey stick shape doesn’t involve a long-term trend. Hockey sticks have flat shafts followed by a curved blade. That means you don’t need a long-term trend, just values at one end that are higher than the mean. Create enough random series, and that will happen.

        To be clear, you can test this for yourself. Take a methodology that mines for hockey stick series like Mann’s 1998 faulty implementation of PCA did. Run both both white and red noise series through it. You’ll get results biased toward a hockey stick shape in both cases. The bias will be stronger with the red noise series (with the size of the difference depending on how “red” those red noise series are), but it’ll be present in both. And it doesn’t even require you use a methodology as biased as Mann’s. You can do the same just by screening noise series based on their correlation to the modern instrumental record.

        So I’m going to stop here. I don’t care to spend an inordinate amount of time being told I’m wrong about things by a person whose source on these matters says the exact same things I say. I literally wrote a (very short) book on the hockey stick, one which McIntyre praised. I think he and I are on the same page on these issues.

    • Re: “This post contains an inaccurate statement in its discussion of hockey sticks:
      “There is no hockey stick without the Graybill stripbark chronologies.””

      Curry has made this type of inaccurate statement before, despite Gavin Schmidt correcting it:

      Curry’s statement:
      “7. The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.”
      Schmidt’s response:
      “[Response: Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers? There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all. And this figure shows the difference between reconstructions without any tree ring data (dark and light blue) compared to the full reconstruction (black). (This is a modified figure from the SI in Mann et al (2008) to show the impact of removing 7 questionable proxies and tree ring data together). In addition, there are many papers that deal with issues raised by MM – Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc.
      Judith, I implore you to do some work for yourself instead of just repeating things you read in blogs. (Hint, not everything on the Internet is reliable). ]”

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/comment-page-4/#comment-181895

      The paper in question (Mann et al. 2008) is below, in case people wanted to check it to see if Curry or Schmidt is right. It’s quite easy to see which of them actually did their homework:

      “Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia”
      http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252.full?sid=bbf71278-5f2a-461f-b9a3-6aacaabb0e6b

      • McIntyre says something pretty plainly:
        https://climateaudit.org/2018/10/24/pages2k-north-american-tree-ring-proxies/
        “PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017 perpetuate the use of Graybill stripbark chronologies – despite the recommendation of the 2006 NAS Panel that these problematic series be “avoided” in future reconstructions.”
        I get it in that when one kind of thing makes the difference, you have to wonder about that one thing? When mulitple things support the warming of the climate system, you don’t say, when we leave one thing out, or add one thing, the whole answer changes to cooling. It could be that McIntyre has wandered into the wilderness and is barking at the moon. I don’t happen to think that has recently happened. I was able to follow the gist of the linked post. I would think, given McIntyre’s history, someone would have shot down his simple point about Graybill stripbark chronologies by now.

        “The stripbark bristlecone chronologies which give rise to Mann’s hockey stick were originally published by Graybill 1985 (Sheep Mountain) or Graybill and Idso as evidence of CO2 fertilization, with the original authors specifically saying that their growth increase was NOT due to temperature. IPCC AR2 (1995) included a caveat on this sort of problem.”

        “Mann et al 1998 introduced Graybill’s bristlecone chronologies into multiproxy studies despite prior warnings. This was probably his main “contribution” to climate science. Mann et al 1998 not only did not “correct” the bristlecone chronologies for CO2 fertilization, but interpreted the bristlecones as a unique world thermometer.”

        “In Mann et al 1999, he purported to “correct” for CO2 fertilization, but, as Jean S described in CA posts years ago, his “correction” was a fudge, the purpose of which appears to have been to “improve” the verification RE statistic.”

        So if X is Y instead, the results materially change. So when CO2 is high, it rains more or whatever I want it to be.

        We seem to be at, Schmidt said/McIntyre said. I am not buying your ‘before’ approach that you have used before. I do expect it.

      • Schmidt’s response: [2008?]
        “Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers?…”

        Brandon S’s response yesterday: “This post contains an inaccurate statement in its discussion of hockey sticks:”

        First to Brandon. I think what you meant is that Graybill’s CO2 confounded trees were one of two (out of 22) locations that produced a hockey stick, and thus were rewarded with huge amplification to gain the desired statistical result.

        To Atomsk’s and Scmidt, Steve McIntyre posted here very recently:
        “Because of persistent criticism over the impact of these flawed proxies, Mann et al (2008) made the grandiose assertion that he could get a hockey stick without tree rings (and thus, a fortiori, without stripbark bristlecones) – a claim credulously promoted by Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate. However, it was almost immediately pointed out at Climate Audit (here) that Mann’s non-bristlecone hockey stick critically depended on a Finnish lake sediment “proxy”, the modern portion of which (its blade) had been contaminated by modern agriculture and road construction and which had been used upside-down to its interpretation as a temperature proxy in pre-modern times. Mann was aware of the contamination of lake sediments, but argued that his use of contaminated (and upside down) data was legitimate because he could get a HS without them – in a calculation which used stripbark bristlecones. When challenged to show results without either stripbark bristlecones or upside-down mud, Mann (and Gavin Schmidt) stuck their fingers in their ears, with the larger climate community obtusely refusing to understand a criticism that was obvious to any analyst not subservient to the cause.

        In the weeks prior to Climategate, I used increasingly harsher terms for the addiction of the paleoclimate community to the data-snooped stripbark chronologies, describing them as “heroin for paleoclimatologists”, with Briffa’s spurious Yamal chronology as “cocaine” (e.g. here here), occasioning much pearl-clutching within the hockey stick “community”.”

        Atomsk’s, you need to go notify Gavin immediately to straighten Steve (and Judith) out — again.

      • Atomsk’s Sanakan, while you refer to “Gavin Schmidt correcting” matters, the truth is Gavin Schmidt has rarely given an fully accurate description of anything regarding the hockey stick debate. For instance, what you quote Schmidt saying there is highly misleading:

        [Response: Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers? There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all. And this figure shows the difference between reconstructions without any tree ring data (dark and light blue) compared to the full reconstruction (black). (This is a modified figure from the SI in Mann et al (2008) to show the impact of removing 7 questionable proxies and tree ring data together). In addition, there are many papers that deal with issues raised by MM – Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc.
        Judith, I implore you to do some work for yourself instead of just repeating things you read in blogs. (Hint, not everything on the Internet is reliable). ]

        It is true tree ring data was not needed for Mann’s 2008 temperature reconstruction to get its results. However, this is only true because Mann used two Tiljander series a total of four time (yes, he double-counted them), often upside down (but not always, he used the same series upside down and right-side up in the same reconstruction), despite the fact the authors he got the series from explicitly said they could not be calibrated to the modern temperature record, which his methodology required, due to contamination from activity.

        If you remove the Tiljander proxies which were impossible to calibrate, double-counted and used both upside down and rightside up, then Schmidt’s description becomes false. Mann’s 2008 paper could get a hockey stick by using the same tree ring series he used to get it in his 1998 paper, and it could get ah ockey stick by (completely mis)using the Tiljander proxies. If you do neither, his “hockey stick” disappears and his reconstruction fails all statistical verification tests. This is an indisputable fact, one Schmidt has even acknowledged since he made that response to our hostess.

        If you want to cherry-pick claims by Mann’s friends as demonstrations that his critics are wrong, you can, but all that’ll do is show when you cherry-pick to only represent one side of an argument, you can make that side seem right.

      • Ron Graf:

        First to Brandon. I think what you meant is that Graybill’s CO2 confounded trees were one of two (out of 22) locations that produced a hockey stick, and thus were rewarded with huge amplification to gain the desired statistical result.

        No, that’s not what I mean. First, I don’t believe CO2 fertilization was a meaningful factor in those series at all. Graybill suspected that might be the case and warned people about interpreting the rise in the series as temperature related, but I suspect the actual cause is something else entirely (it’s about how the trees grow faster when rebounding after damaged). So does Steve McIntyre.

        Also, I don’t believe there were two locations which produced a hockey stick. One could argue the foxtail and bristlecone chronologies were taken from different locations, but those locations were quite close to one another. I don’t think that’s what you meant though. What I assume you’re referring to is the fact there were two proxies which a hockey stick shape. Those were both from the same area though. In fact, the second proxy (Gaspe) was included in the data set for the first proxy (NOAMER PCs).* Mann simply took one of the tree ring chronologies from a data set and duplicated it as its own, individual proxy. Him using it twice doesn’t change that it was taken from the same region though.

        *NOAMER PCs were principal components created from a data set of North American tree ring chronologies. The PCs were created to combine a large number of tree ring series into a smaller number of proxies (though Mann created his PCs incorrectly and in a biased manner). The Gaspe series was one of the tree ring chronologies that made up the NOAMER network. Mann took the Gaspe series, duplicated it and used it both in the NOAMER PC calculations and separately as its own proxy. That was completely inappropriate. To add to the inappropriateness, Mann artificially extended the second copy of the Gaspe series back four years so it could be used in his calculations of temperature back to 1400 AD (without this, his methodology would have required him not use the series for results further back than 1450 AD). This was all highly inappropriate, and the Gaspe series should never have been, nor should it ever be, treated as a separate proxy.

      • Brandon, I commend you for being able to recite all that. But Judith’s comment can hardly be called incorrect. For example, many people will read your books and want to tell somebody about what they read and digest the point. They would be OK to mention only bristlecones even if they only accounted for half of the deceptive hockey stick shape. The bristlecones, after all, were proscribed by the NAS after their investigation.

      • Re: “If you want to cherry-pick claims by Mann’s friends as demonstrations that his critics are wrong, you can, but all that’ll do is show when you cherry-pick to only represent one side of an argument, you can make that side seem right.”

        It’s not cherry-picking to expect Curry to read, and accurately represent, the contents of the paper’s she discusses. She has repeatedly failed to do that, both on this issue and on quite a number of other topics.

        Re: “If you remove the Tiljander proxies which were impossible to calibrate, double-counted and used both upside down and rightside up, then Schmidt’s description becomes false. Mann’s 2008 paper could get a hockey stick by using the same tree ring series he used to get it in his 1998 paper, and it could get ah ockey stick by (completely mis)using the Tiljander proxies. If you do neither, his “hockey stick” disappears and his reconstruction fails all statistical verification tests. This is an indisputable fact, one Schmidt has even acknowledged since he made that response to our hostess.”

        And you’ve shown evidence for this claim where again? Since the hockey stick also shows up in a number of regional temperature patterns that don’t use tree rings, I tend not buy people’s claim that the hockey stick requires tree rings. For example:

        “Recent warming reverses long-term Arctic cooling”

        Re: “To Atomsk’s and Scmidt, Steve McIntyre posted here very recently:”

        McIntyre can post whatever claims he wants on his non-peer-reviewed blog, just like a flat Earther can on their own blog. I’ve learned not to trust McIntyre given his history of false claims (such as his claims on tropical tropospheric warming trends). If his objections have merit, then he can submit them for peer review as a comment on the paper, as he had done on previous occasions for Mann’s research. I don’t hold out much hope on the subject, since his co-authored work with McKitrick in Energy and Environment didn’t hold up well to scrutiny. I don’t know of anyone who’s managed to replicate it’s result in the published literature.

      • Hockey sticks in the scientific literature:

        http://www.davidappell.com/hockeysticks.html

      • “angech – the hockey stick is required by basic physics:”

        David Appell, I saw that you identify as a journalist student. You might want to study the hockey stick is before proceeding further. You can read Brandon’s books in a couple of hours and be good to go. If you don’t have the few dollars he said he will post a link for free. You might be shocked at what you find. At the least you can then talk about dendrochronology (hockeystickology).

      • Ron Graf:

        Brandon, I commend you for being able to recite all that. But Judith’s comment can hardly be called incorrect. For example, many people will read your books and want to tell somebody about what they read and digest the point. They would be OK to mention only bristlecones even if they only accounted for half of the deceptive hockey stick shape.

        You seem to have missed the points of what I’ve said in my comments. I have not challenged Judith’s claim in regard to the original hockey stick. In that regard, her claim is true. I don’t know why you suggest the series in question “accounted for half of the deceptive hockey stick shape.” They did not. They account for 100% of it. My latest response to you spent some time explaining how the “two” proxies Mann relied on were from the same data set, with one proxy simply being a duplicate of a series used in the other proxy. Duplicating a series and using it as a separate proxy doesn’t change the fact it is still the same data.

        However, Mann’s original hockey stick is not the only temperature reconstruction which is stated to give a hockey stick shape. We can’t simply ignore 20 yearsr of publications. The point of my initial comment was to highlight the fact there are other proxies which can be used to create a hockey stick. They all have their own problems, but they exist.

      • Atomsk’s Sanakan:

        It’s not cherry-picking to expect Curry to read, and accurately represent, the contents of the paper’s she discusses. She has repeatedly failed to do that, both on this issue and on quite a number of other topics.

        No. What is cherry-picking is to selectively quote one side of a disagreement and claim it proves one side is correct. You’re demanding Curry “correct” things which were not false by ignoring everything which shows what she said to be true. That is cherry-picking.

        And you’ve shown evidence for this claim where again? Since the hockey stick also shows up in a number of regional temperature patterns that don’t use tree rings, I tend not buy people’s claim that the hockey stick requires tree rings. For example:

        We were discussing a single paper. What I said is undeniably true for that paper, as attested to the fact Gavin Schmidt himself has acknowledged the reconstruction fails all verification tests (prior to 1500 AD) like I said and Mann has published a figure showing the shape of his reconstruction changes like I said if you exclude those series. The fact your response to this discussion of the problems of a specific paper is to change the subject to papers in general suggests you don’t actually about that though. That makes it seem you just want to mindlessly repeat tired talking points.

        If you’d like to discuss specific issues, I’m happy to. I can pull up the links to Schmidt’s comments which I have referred to and Mann’s published figures verifying what I’ve said. However, if your response is going to be to ignore evidence supporting Curry’s claims about a specific paper by changing the subject to all papers in general, there is no point. Doing so would prove you have no interest in having an actual discussion. It would prove you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

        I don’t hold out much hope on the subject, since his co-authored work with McKitrick in Energy and Environment didn’t hold up well to scrutiny. I don’t know of anyone who’s managed to replicate it’s result in the published literature.

        Nobody has even attempted to replicate the work in question in published literature because nobody wants to. On the other hand, plenty of people have replicated his conclusions. It takes less than an hour to do. It’s quite easy.

      • Re: “If you’d like to discuss specific issues, I’m happy to. I can pull up the links to Schmidt’s comments which I have referred to and Mann’s published figures verifying what I’ve said.”

        Cite the evidence then.

        Re: “However, if your response is going to be to ignore evidence supporting Curry’s claims about a specific paper by changing the subject to all papers in general, there is no point. Doing so would prove you have no interest in having an actual discussion. It would prove you’re just wasting everybody’s time.”

        What’s a waste of time is continuing to make claims for which you’ve provided no evidence, and then side-stepping the evidence cited to you. As I asked you before:
        “And you’ve shown evidence for this claim where again?”

        I’ve read the paper. It matches what Schmidt said, not what Curry said. No comment, corrigendum, etc. was attached to the paper to change it to match what Curry said. Given that fact (and Curry’s past history of distorting what papers say), I’m not just going to swallow your claim that Curry was right about the paper. I expect you to cite some actual evidence.

        Re: “Nobody has even attempted to replicate the work in question in published literature because nobody wants to. On the other hand, plenty of people have replicated his conclusions. It takes less than an hour to do. It’s quite easy.”

        Really? Because I’ve actually read much of the literature that shows a hockey stick. Yet I’ve yet to read any paper that replicated McKitrick and McIntyre’s result below:


        [from: “Corrections to the Mann et. al.(1998) proxy data base and northern hemispheric average temperature series”]

        And no, that isn’t because “nobody wants to.”

      • If McIntyre and McKitrick had been presenting themselves and dendrochronologists (tree ring sequencers) with a competing view then you would be correct that their chart is not valid science. But they were not in fact presenting this chart as truth. That is intentional dis-information, originally created by the defenders of an invalid paper published in Nature, MBH98. The purpose of M&M’s chart was to show an alternate chart achievable with MBH98’s methods to demonstrate them invalid.

        Atomsk’s, did you know this?

      • Atomsk’s Sanakan:

        What’s a waste of time is continuing to make claims for which you’ve provided no evidence, and then side-stepping the evidence cited to you. As I asked you before:

        You’ve provided absolutely no evidence of anything that contradicts what I say. All you’ve done is quote the claims of Gavin Schmidt. That offers no more basis for what you say than I’ve offered for what I’ve said. As for me providing evidence, the simple reality is it takes time to dig up links. If the person I’m talking to won’t be interested in them, there’s no reason for me to spend that time. It’s natural in an online discussion to wait to see what claims people would like references for before providing them. Here is a quote from Schmidt about Mann’s 2008 paper failing verification without bristlecones if you also exclude the Tiljander series:

        Since the no-dendro CPS version only validates until 1500 AD (Mann et al (2008) ), it is hardly likely that the no-dendro/no-Tilj CPS version will validate any further back, so criticising how bad the 1000 AD network is using CPS is hardly germane. Note too that while the EIV no-dendro version does validate to 1000 AD, the no-dendro/no-Tilj only works going back to 1500 AD (Mann et al, 2009, SI).

        Which prompted a response:

        So just to be clear with regard to your response to 525. Under either method (CPS or EIV) it is not possible to get a validated reconstruction to before 1500 without the use of tree rings, or the Tiljander sediments.

        Which got him to confirm:

        That appears to be the case with the Mann et al 2008 network.

        This is also something Mann confirmed in the Supplementary Information for a later paper which was a convenient way of acknowledging the problem while not having to do so in a manner that people reading the 2008 paper would actually see. Figure S8 shows Curry is correct, with the medieval temperatures of the reconstruction without bristlecones (or Tiljander series) not only failing verification tests prior to 1500 AD, but also having temperatures be higher than they were in any modern portion of the reconstructed record.

        Now, it is true Mann and Schmidt refer to a “no-dendro” network where they excluded all tree rings not just the bristlecone series in question, but that was their choice. Mann’s paper specifically said it didn’t need tree ring data, and he was the one who chose to not do sensitivity tests with just bristlecones removed. Similarly, they exclude 7 series as questionable, not just the 4 Tiljander series, but again, that was their choice. If the results would have been different with only bristlecones/Tiljander removed, they would have said so. So while you can say:

        I’ve read the paper. It matches what Schmidt said, not what Curry said. No comment, corrigendum, etc. was attached to the paper to change it to match what Curry said. Given that fact (and Curry’s past history of distorting what papers say), I’m not just going to swallow your claim that Curry was right about the paper. I expect you to cite some actual evidence.

        It is just absurd. Of course the paper doesn’t say the same thing Judith Curry says. Curry criticized the paper for being wrong and flawed. You won’t find a paper saying that about itself. And while you say you didn’t see any update to the paper, Mann did in fact publish an update showing exactly Curry’s point. The fact he attached that update to a different paper may have made you miss it, but if so, that only shows his deception worked.

        That should deal with what you said on Mann 2008. I’ll address MBH in a separate comment.

      • Really? Because I’ve actually read much of the literature that shows a hockey stick. Yet I’ve yet to read any paper that replicated McKitrick and McIntyre’s result below:

        And no, that isn’t because “nobody wants to.”

        I’m intrigued by how you could possibly know that’s not the reason. It’s not like you cite any evidence of people attempting to replicate the work in question but failing. Since you aren’t providing evidence, here’s a bit of my own showing that yes, those results have been replicated. From RealClimate, here’s replication of McIntyre and McKitrick’s results:

        Posted by Gavin Schdmit himself (and Caspar Amman). You see, while you make claims about nobody having replicated McIntyre and McKitrick’s results, the truth is those results are not in dispute. It is so not in dispute Michael Mann himself (in his book) acknowledges his results were dependent entirely upon the two proxy series McIntyre and McKitrick say they’re entirely dependent upon.

        The climate scientists involved in this dispute don’t argue the points you argue. Only you do. It’s kind of weird. I’m more in line with what Mann and Schmidt say than you are. They don’t deny the results Mann published were entirely dependent upon a small fraction of the data. They’ve acknowledged that is true. What they do is try to offer reasons for why that isn’t a problem.

        Now, if you’d like to offer any substance, detail or even evidence showing I’ve gotten any facts wrong, I’d be happy to hear it. However, so far you’ve offered absolutely nothing beyond “Gavin Schmidt says so.” Given I’ve just shown he and I agree on where Mann’s results come from, for both papers, I’m not sure what more there is to say.

        These are factual matters that can be verified by anyone with data and code that has been made available. Anyone who thinks McIntyre has got things wrong could and should point to what portion of the data/code is wrong. No one does. They won’t because everyone who studies the issue knows he is right. Mann’s original hockey stick was dependent entirely upon a small number of tree ring series from one region in North America, and his 2008 follow-up was the same in this regard except that it inappropriately added the Tiljander proxies. Remove just those series, and Mann would not have gotten a hockey stick reconstruction in any of these papers.

      • Good comments Brandon. Just wanted to drop a reference on nutrition science where it seems the past 60 years of research is useless. They even invented proxies for dietary intake since it is really hard to measure accurately. Perhaps a cautionary tale for paleoclimate.

        https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00105/full

      • My comment is here. (I missed the thread, ouy!)

      • Re: “It’s not like you cite any evidence of people attempting to replicate the work in question but failing. Since you aren’t providing evidence, here’s a bit of my own showing that yes, those results have been replicated. From RealClimate, here’s replication of McIntyre and McKitrick’s results:
        […]
        Posted by Gavin Schdmit himself (and Caspar Amman). You see, while you make claims about nobody having replicated McIntyre and McKitrick’s results, the truth is those results are not in dispute.”

        First, did you actually compare the two graphs? They don’t exactly match. For example, the graph I posted has over a 0.4 degree C difference at 1400, while the graph you posted had less than a 0.3 degree C difference.

        Second, Schmidt+Ammann aren’t confirming McIntyre+McKitrick’s work. They’re rebutting it by, for example, showing that McIntyre+McKitrick’s conclusion depends on illegitimately throwing out data. They even made this clear in the RealClimate post you cited. I already know that since I’ve read some of Amman’s work on this, where he rebuts the criticisms made by McIntyre+McKitrick. For instance:

        Re: “Given I’ve just shown he and I agree on where Mann’s results come from, for both papers, I’m not sure what more there is to say.”

        Nice try, but no you didn’t. The RealClimate post you cited is from 2005, before Mann’s 2008 paper. What I asked you was to support your claim regarding what Schmidt said on Mann’s 2008 paper. So no, your link to RealClimate doesn’t make that case.

        Re: “Anyone who thinks McIntyre has got things wrong could and should point to what portion of the data/code is wrong.”

        You literally just cited a post where Schmidt+Amman explain where they thought McIntyre got things wrong. Did you miss that?

        Re: “his 2008 follow-up was the same in this regard except that it inappropriately added the Tiljander proxies”

        Once again: please provide evidence for your claim that Schmidt admitted to this. If you can do that, then I’ll be happy to concede your claim on Schmidt’s position. Or cite in what publication you presented evidence for your claim.

        And no, your RealClimate link from 2005 does not count. Unless you’re claiming that Schmidt+Amman are psychic, and thus in 2005 can know what Mann’s 2008 paper will show.

      • Alright Atomsk’s Sanakan, I think it’s clear you have nothing to contribute. You just said:

        First, did you actually compare the two graphs? They don’t exactly match. For example, the graph I posted has over a 0.4 degree C difference at 1400, while the graph you posted had less than a 0.3 degree C difference.

        As though this is some sort of “Gotcha!” argument, but you completely failed to note the two grpahs in question use different smoothing algorithms. McIntyre and mcKitrick used a 20 year window for theirs while the RealClimate graph used a longer period (there are also a couple other differences). That’s why McIntyre and mcKitrick’s curve has notably more variance and is less “smooth.”

        Oh my god, two lines created with different smoothing algorithms have small differences in values! Clearly, Michael Mann’s work was sound!

        Second, Schmidt+Ammann aren’t confirming McIntyre+McKitrick’s work. They’re rebutting it by, for example, showing that McIntyre+McKitrick’s conclusion depends on illegitimately throwing out data.

        And now you’re just changing the subject. The claim in question was that Mann’s original hockey stick depended entirely upon a small amount of tree ring data, a claim he explicitly denied in his 1998 paper. You responded to that claim by saying it was false. I cited a RealClimate post proving that claim was true. Your response was to simply stop talking about that subject we had been discussing.

        This dishonesty would be bad enough on its own, but you follow it up with outright stupidity:

        Nice try, but no you didn’t. The RealClimate post you cited is from 2005, before Mann’s 2008 paper. What I asked you was to support your claim regarding what Schmidt said on Mann’s 2008 paper. So no, your link to RealClimate doesn’t make that case.

        I wrote two comments. The first was about Mann’s 2008 paper. The second was about Mann’s MBH. I cited things said by Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann in both cases. You responded to my second comment, ignored the first then tried to make a point of how what I said couldn’t apply to the 2008 paper.

        It is undeniably true you can find “errors” in what people say if you pretend half of what they say doesn’t exist. You can even come up with snarky responses like:

        And no, your RealClimate link from 2005 does not count. Unless you’re claiming that Schmidt+Amman are psychic, and thus in 2005 can know what Mann’s 2008 paper will show.

        But the only people who will be convinced by anything you say are the people who are willing to willfully pretend large amounts of text present on their computer screens simply don’t exist.

        I am done responding to you now. You’re clearly incapable of discussing points, no matter how simple, in anything resembling a reasonable manner. As a final remark, I’ll note your latest response does not claim McIntyre and McKitrick were wrong when they said Mann’s results were dependent entirely upon a small amount of tree ring data. That is progress as it shows you realize that is true, even though you won’t come out and say it. Admitting mistakes in a hostile environment may be hard dude, but it is what any intellectually honest person would do.

      • Ron Graf | November 22, 2018 at 1:01 am |
        David Appell, I saw that you identify as a journalist student. You might want to study the hockey stick is before proceeding further.

        I’ve never formally studied journalism. I have a PhD in theoretical physics.

        Prove me wrong, instead of just spouting off.

      • David Appell: “prove me wrong…”

        The MBH98-99 hockey stick, for which the term was coined, was about tree rings and bore holes and such that purportedly demonstrated that past century’s climate was near static while the 20th century experienced an unprecedented rise. It had nothing to do with CO2, atmospheric physics or station temperatures. It took dozens of proxies that meandered up and down, behaving like white noise, through the centuries and down-weighted all but two proxies, both from a study by Graybill and Idso (1993) that were purported to demonstrate examples of tree-rings being influenced by CO2 fertilization. One of these tree-ring studies, Sheep Mountain, was taken by MBH98 (Mann) and weighted 370X higher than the lowest weighted proxy used. And, Brandon can correct me if I’m wrong, but another Graybill proxy, Gaspe, was used twice, once solo and again as part of an ensemble. The was all done since they known few anomalous proxies in the USA southwest could be camouflaged to look like they were a consensus of a group of worldwide proxies.

        Adding to this deceit, the post 1960 decline of these Graybill anomalous proxies was truncated off by Mann. I one thinks about that one realizes that even if they were miraculous “tree-mometers” up to 1960’s temps in the USA southwest they fail to be able to detect warming beyond 1960’s baseline. So, even if they worked as well as actual thermometers, any past centuries warming above this point would have been recorded as cooling by the Graybill proxies. That is why it was so important to “hide the decline.”

        Now do you understand why critics see MBH89 so dimly?

        Do you understand why there have been books written just to point out this travesty? That one cannot find the truth in conventional sources speaks to another serious problem: censorship. Nevertheless, you have no excuse, being a theoretical physicist/ climate blogger/ Journalist.

        David Appell wrote above: “I’m a journalist and writer. Journalists often have to ask tough and unwanted questions — it’s part of the job description.”

        David Appell: “angech: the hockey stick is required by basic physics:
        1. temperature change is proportional to forcing change.
        2. CO2 forcing change is proportional to log(CO2).
        3. CO2 has been increasing exponentially.
        => hockey stick.”

        Will you admit that the original hockey stick was MBH98-99?
        If so, please show how your claim is true that it was basic physics.

    • The hockey stick has been confirmed many times by now, using different mathematical techniques. It is also required by the laws of physics:

      https://davidappell.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-thing-is-hockey-stick-isnt.html

      • David Appell 9:17 pm “The hockey stick has been confirmed many times by now, using different mathematical techniques.”
        Data not technique is the question David. Glib parroting of the word mathematical technique cannot be a confirmation and an explanation at the same time.

        David Appell 10:29 pm | “Cherry picking? Studies like PAGES 2k include far more proxies than do MBH. Many studies have used different mathematical techniques. Yet all come up with a hockey stick.”
        Not without the bristlecones

        “That’s not surprising — the hockey stick is required by basic physics.”
        The surprise would be if it WASN’T true….. ”

        The irony is that you should be right, any large series of proxy records must show 10-20% with an upwards blade just by sheer probability.
        The fact that none do says we do not have a large field of reliable proxies for this time period. If we had 100 proxies you could expect 10 to be starting a hockey stick and 10 to be going the other way.
        With a mere dozen or so it might statistically just not happen [sorry there is an upside down set somewhere perhaps?].

      • David

        “The hockey stick has been confirmed many times by now, using different mathematical techniques.

        If only you knew how you sound to a scientifically-literate person!

        The fact that they don’t just pick the RIGHT mathematical technique and stick to it doesn’t set off even the faintest alarm bells for you, does it?

        Bless.

        You think it actually makes the results MORE convincing the MORE the algorithms chop and change from one paper to the next, don’t you?

        To you, the fact that these people apparently grant themselves a whole smorgasbord of data-analytical techniques to select from makes for BETTER science, doesn’t it?

        You think you know how science works, don’t you?

        That’s why you keep attempting science journalism, isn’t it, and without the slightest embarrassment?

        You don’t think it really matters that much that you’ve NEVER STUDIED how science works, do you?

        You’re NEVER going to study how it works, are you?

        As far as you’re concerned, you come across as perfectly scientifically-literate, don’t you?

        The possibility that you’re oblivious to your own incompetence on scientific topics isn’t one you’ve wasted much time considering, is it?

        You’re never going to learn what’s so amusing (to a scientist) about the sentence I quoted above, are you?

      • There has never been a hockey stick result where the result wasn’t dependent on one of the bad proxies. Ever. As each one was published, McIntyre has pointed this out, in great detail. Those of us who follow him have watched this happening for much more than a decade.
        So no, it has not been confirmed. Each new study just reshuffles the bad proxies and adds some more for padding.

      • miker613 | November 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm |

        There has never been a hockey stick result where the result wasn’t dependent on one of the bad proxies. Ever. As each one was published, McIntyre has pointed this out, in great detail. Those of us who follow him have watched this happening for much more than a decade.
        So no, it has not been confirmed. Each new study just reshuffles the bad proxies and adds some more for padding.

        Fact Check: True.

        w.

      • “True.” Although anyone who has heard both sides of the story knows that it is true but any lay fact checker looking at Wikipedia’s hockey stick page would find no mention of Graybill bristlecone pines or Gaspe foxtails or upsidedown lake sediments. The would find that all attacks on the hockey stick were spurious and that scientists know the 20th century was warmer than any other in the last 1300 years. (Why 1300?).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy
        “More than two dozen reconstructions, using various statistical methods and combinations of proxy records, have supported the broad consensus shown in the original 1998 hockey-stick graph, with variations in how flat the pre-20th century “shaft” appears.[12][13] The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report cited 14 reconstructions, 10 of which covered 1,000 years or longer, to support its strengthened conclusion that it was likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the 20th century were the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.[14] Over a dozen subsequent reconstructions, including Mann et al. 2008 and PAGES 2k Consortium 2013, have supported these general conclusions.”

      • Some have said the debate is over and we skeptics have lost. Reading the Wikipedia page on the hockey stick I can’t help but wonder how chilling it must be for an honest but quiet scientist who knows better to see only Mann’s version of history regarding the hockey stick in print. And, its not a question of whether the Roman Warming Period, Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age were true events or flat, like a hockey stick shaft. We know the methods that created MBH98-99 charts are invalid, while history currently records them as validated.

        It must take a special kind of person in a climate science career to stand up against that, to being called a science “denier” by Mann in front of national cameras at the congressional witness table.

        If a lie a making it halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on is normal perhaps there is still has hope for the truth to win out. Right now its up in the air.

      • Re: “It must take a special kind of person in a climate science career to stand up against that, to being called a science “denier” by Mann in front of national cameras at the congressional witness table.”

        You’re unjustifiably smearing mainstream climate scientists (like Mann) in the same way you smeared mainstream medical scientists, doctors, etc. who accepted the evidence-based scientific consensus on vaccination:

        https://judithcurry.com/2018/08/25/week-in-review-science-edition-85/#comment-879687
        https://judithcurry.com/2018/08/25/week-in-review-science-edition-85/#comment-880662

        Do better.

      • Atomsk’s: “You’re unjustifiably smearing mainstream climate scientists …”

        And, you are justifiably smearing critics. I think I understand. Since we all agree admitting mistakes in a hostile environment is laudable what we need to figure out is the proper way to address those that try to conceal mistakes. Do you agree this is not good? Do you agree that changing the subject is one tactic used to accomplish this? How about changing the subject to a personal attack on the critic? What should be the rules in order for us all to “do better”?

      • Re: “And, you are justifiably smearing critics. I think I understand. Since we all agree admitting mistakes in a hostile environment is laudable what we need to figure out is the proper way to address those that try to conceal mistakes. Do you agree this is not good? Do you agree that changing the subject is one tactic used to accomplish this? How about changing the subject to a personal attack on the critic? What should be the rules in order for us all to “do better”?”

        Let me know when you have a shred of evidence for your smears of scientists working in mainstream climate science and mainstream vaccine science. Until you do, I suggest you stop smearing them.

      • Brad Keyes | November 22, 2018 at 9:40 am | wrote:
        “The fact that they don’t just pick the RIGHT mathematical technique and stick to it doesn’t set off even the faintest alarm bells for you, does it?”

        What’s the evidence anyone did that?

        If so, then YOU should be able to pick a different mathematical technique and disprove the hockey stick.

        Show me where you’ve done so.

  31. Geoff Sherrington

    Apologies for responding to a Mann et al diversion. It is about errors.
    Why am I so vocal about proper error analysis in climate papers?
    The hockey stick papers are excellent examples of what should not have been published. They relied on a close association of local air temperature with tree ring growth. Even Blind Freddie already knew that tree growth also responded to moisture, insolation, fertilizers, etc.
    Mann et al made virtually no attempt to quantify the errors these factors produced. Dendroclimatologists continue to ignore these blatant errors.
    It truly is a disgrace to scientists in all fields of science when authors of papers know of the existence of substantial, even dominant errors which they fail to treat. (All is not lost, there is still some beautiful science around us.)
    What could be a more simple case of scientific failure than the hockey stick papers?
    These authors should not have published if they did not know beforehand about these gross errors.
    The question is, why did they submit papers they must have known were deficient? Geoff

    • Money.

    • Geoff – do you think dendrochronologists don’t realize that tree rings depend on more than air temperature? Yet they find them good proxies regardless. Why?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        DA writes “Yet they find them good proxies regardless. Why?”

        Answer. Because they look good until you do a proper error analysis. Then they fail big time.
        For example, we know that fertilizer affects the tree growth response and could be confused with temperature.
        To correct for the effects of fertilizers, you need to know how much was there, and when, and the specific response relationship as in X kg per metre2 of urea as a one-shot application causes a growth ring to widen by Y mm in a given tree at a given location.
        Unless you have the metrics for fertilizer (also rainfall, shadowing, diseases, etc) you cannot deal properly with this error.
        You might think that you are relating a tree ring property to a temperature cause, but in reality you simply do not know.
        How much more elementary do errors have to be before people start to protest? How many more schoolboy howlers?
        Any scientist qualified in the field would have known that you cannot use tree rings in the manner described, to estimate temperature. Error analysis, done properly, would have revealed that truism before a start was made on writing the paper. Error analysis is a useful screen sometimes. Geoff.

    • Geoff Sherrington wrote:
      “Mann et al made virtually no attempt to quantify the errors these factors produced.”

      That’s a bald-faced lie. See MBH Figure 5b and its 2-sigma error bars.

      It’s a stupid claim — very easy to prove otherwise.

      MBH, Nature v392, 23 Apr 1998.
      http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/mbh98.pdf

      • Geoff Sherrington

        DA,
        Read what I wrote. “virtually no attempt to quantify the errors these factors produced”.
        There is an elementary difference between inventing a relationship and quantifying it by actual measurement. I see no evidence of these authors measuring (quantifying) the pertinent nutrient regimes present at the relevant past and present times. The basis of the papers thus fails.
        Geoff.

  32. There are many proxies and they are all approximate and
    conditional.


    A simple mechanical climate analogy (Source: NAS Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, 2002)

    Many simple systems exhibit abrupt change. The balance above consists of a curved track on a fulcrum. The arms are curved so that there are two stable states where a ball may rest. ‘A ball is placed on the track and is free to roll until it reaches its point of rest. This system has three equilibria denoted (a), (b) and (c) in the top row of the figure. The middle equilibrium (b) is unstable: if the ball is displaced ever so slightly to one side or another, the displacement will accelerate until the system is in a state far from its original position. In contrast, if the ball in state (a) or (c) is displaced, the balance will merely rock a bit back and forth, and the ball will roll slightly within its cup until friction restores it to its original equilibrium.

    In (a1) the arms are displaced but not sufficiently to cause the ball to cross the balance to the other side. In (a2) the balance is displaced with sufficient force to cause the ball to move to a new equilibrium state on the other arm. There is a third possibility in that the balance is hit with enough force to cause the ball to leave the track, roll off the table and under the sofa.

    “Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/3#13

    On the ground it is the old battles of climate memes fought over and over again with little to no understanding of complexities and uncertainties that is the Earth system. What we find is that a single quibble is sufficient to discredit science and scientists. You just have to find that one point – I have seen someone say just that. You can be an instant internet expert – I have seen that said too – and defend your tribal confirmation bias. Either side it matters little – there is zilch difference.

  33. The primary purpose of peer review was never intended to be a certification of scientific validity. Its main function was to provide advice and oversight in areas of knowledge where editorial staff lack the needed expertise. Scientific validation is a different matter and is only determined well after publication by replication, further evidence and verification of predictions.

    The booming of interest in, and funding for, climate studies has resulted in a flood of publications in what was previously an area of very limited activity. This boom in activity has overwhelmingly focused on the existence of purported anthropogenic effects on climate and the environmental detriment they present.

    For peer review scientific journals tend to call upon authors they have published in relevant areas of knowledge. In controversial matters this tends to result in the dominance of peer review by one side or the other at particular journals. The result in climate studies has been an almost complete dominance of both research activity and acceptance for publication by the alarmist perspective. Adding further to this bias is the very important incentive to journals of significant publication charges readily covered by the generous funding for climate studies but limited or unavailable on the sceptical side.

    When criticism of the errors, exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright fabrications in support of anthropogenic CC began to be expressed the exclusion of dissent from the mainstream scientific journals through peer review was as easy as a wink and a nod between the leading alarmists. However, the specious inference that scientific validity depends on and is provided by peer review only serves to display the corruption of science which has occurred and is made more obvious by the obvious alarmist pap which now receives peer approval and degrades the integrity of what were formerly prestigious journals.

    • Fake science and fake news, phony solutions to phony problems and for that we get a phony 97% consensus of opinion out of Western academia about the inevitable doom we all face due to AGW and the EU hands out Nobel prizes for fabricating ever more alarming global warming prognostications in fifty years, no matter what we do, all supported by unverifiable mathematical models… what a racket.

      • See how easy denialism is? You don’t have to disprove any results, or present any of your own, you just have to mouth off about consensus and doom and fabricating this and that. Blah blah.

        And you wonder why no one takes you seriously.

      • Denialism…? Is that some sort of social disorder or psychological disorder, or Left vs. right political disorder or is supposed to be some great insight that science isn’t really based on skepticism but rather blind adherence to unprovable hypotheses?

      • Just curious, do you need to be working on your PhD in journalism before being allowed to use an erudite phrase such as “Blah blah”?

        And you wonder why no one takes you seriously.

    • “The primary purpose of peer review was never intended to be a certification of scientific validity.”

      Exactly correct.

      • Passing peer review means a paper is not obviously wrong, and that it adheres to basic scholarly standards, esp in terms of citing prior work. That’s all. And journalists are certainly not the gatekeepers on the veracity of scientific papers.

  34. The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain – especially of the 20 gazillion Hiroshima kind.

    This idea is the most modern – and powerful – in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate last century, this century and beyond. A mechanical analogy might set the scene… What? I have already done that? And before #atomski claims that this antiquated committee of relic but illustrious climate scientists is no longer relevant… I am not sure half of them ain’t dead… bleh. There are plenty of other upstarts to challenge the AGW dinosaurs. Paradigms shift of course one funeral at a time – I am prepared for my own slow demise – with Appell it is a matter of urgency.

    But I promised economics. The rules of free markets are fairly simple really. All bubbles chaotically burst. Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context. Politics provides a legislative framework for consumer protection, worker and public safety, environmental conservation and a host of other things. Including for regulation of markets – banking capital requirements, anti-monopoly laws, prohibition of insider trading, laws on corporate transparency and probity, tax laws, etc. A key to stable markets – and therefore growth – is fair and transparent regulation, minimal corruption and effective democratic oversight. Markets do best where government is large enough to be an important player and small enough not to squeeze the vitality out of capitalism – government revenue of some 25% of gross domestic product with balanced budgets and an inflation target of 2 to 3%. Markets can’t exist without laws – just as civil society can’t exist without police, courts and armies. Much is made of a laissez faire concept of capitalism – but this has never ever been a model of practical economics. It is far from the classic liberal model. And as I have said to someone who suggested I pull the other leg – I am so socially liberal I have bells on both legs.

    Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems. (IPCC 2013)

    Electricity and heat is some 25% of global emissions – with the rest spread across diverse sectors – including 25% from land use. Forgive me – but as a matter of practicality might it not be a better idea to ‘incentivise’ – is that even a word – innovation across sectors than to reduce productivity and growth at the core of modern economies by taxing energy? That way we can continue the economic miracle of bringing billions of people out of hunger and need. And face it – nature loves rich economies more than poor. Trust me on this – I’m an environmental scientist.

    • Re: “The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations.”

      Looks like you (once again) need to be reminded what the National Academy of Sciences wrote in 2010 about the settled facts on anthropogenic climate change:

      “From a philosophical perspective, science never proves anything—in the manner that mathematics or other formal logical systems prove things—because science is fundamentally based on observations. Any scientific theory is thus, in principle, subject to being refined or overturned by new observations. In practical terms, however, scientific uncertainties are not all the same. Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities [pages 21 – 22].
      […]
      Most of the warming over the last several decades can be attributed to human activities that release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere [chapter 2, page 28].”

      https://www.nap.edu/read/12782/chapter/4#21

      • He wants me to play his silly little game? Look at the 2018 studies I cited elsewhere this morning. Looks like the committee of illustrious climate scientists were right all along – as if there was much doubt – and the collectives of political drones from the IPPC down can be relegated to dinosaur status where they belong. .

        What else did I say? Ah yes – they get both science and policy wrong.

  35. Pingback: Admitting mistakes in a ‘hostile environment’ | Watts Up With That?

  36. Pingback: Admitting mistakes in a ‘hostile environment’ |

  37. Unfortunately not all mistakes have gotten admitted or corrected such as Parmesan’s and the AMS on extreme weather extinctions

    http://landscapesandcycles.net/American_Meterological_Society_half-truth.html

  38. Settled science and a broken hockey stick? My interest in decadal climate variability (DCV) was triggered in the 1980’s by a study by Australian geomorphologists Wayne Erskine and Robin Warner – Geomorphic Effects of Alternating Flood- and Drought-Dominated Regimes on NSW Coastal Rivers, 1988. An immense literature on this has emerged over the decades – yet it continues to be little regarded or understood by those outside the field.

    “While the major oceanic basins are usually examined separately when identifying the main climate variability phenomena, what stands out is the related nature of the global patterns and some similarities in their temporal evolutions. Specifically, large-scale, long-term SST variability in one ocean basin is associated with variability in other basins. The global view of these patterns reveals a “network of teleconnections,” linking neighboring ocean basins, the tropics and extratropics, and the oceans and land regions (Fig. 1). The two most prominent patterns in this respect are associated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO; Figs. 1b,d) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO; Figs. 1a,c) or its nearly interchangeable companion referred to as interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO; Han et al. 2014; Dong and Dai 2015),1 although none of these are true ‘oscillations’.” https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0286.1


    “Spatial and temporal characteristics of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) variability in selected ocean basins. (left) Global SSTA (°C) regression maps based on the (a) leading principal component of North Pacific SSTA and (b) North Atlantic SSTA. All indices were standardized prior to computing the regression maps. Index regions are outlined by black boxes. (right) Standardized 3-month running-mean time series of the (c) leading principal component of North Pacific SSTA and (d) North Atlantic SSTA. The global-mean SSTA was removed prior to computing the time series and regression maps. Figure adapted from Deser and Phillips (2017), CLIVAR exchanges.”

    The IPO tripole index brings in centers of action in the north and south Pacific. Shown here in it’s positive mode. The positive mode involves a positive PDO and more frequent an intense El Nino – and vice versa.

    SST modulates cloud cover in both observational (e.g. Clements et al 2009) and theoretical evidence (e.g. Koren 2017). Cool surfaces are coupled to an increase in cloud cover – and warm to a decrease. The effect of low level marine stratocumulus can be seen in satellite data showing IR cooling and SW warming over warm ocean surfaces – and vice versa. Important in this are the upwelling zones of the eastern and central Pacific where SST changes most dramatically over a large part of the global tropics and sub-tropics and at decadal to millennial scales. .

    The gyre hypothesis (e.g. Oviat et al 2015) is that more upwelling emerges from enhanced flow in the great ocean gyres. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006) Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the world’s oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

    Changes in SAM and NAM are measured as surface pressure variations between polar and sub-polar regions. This has been linked to solar UV/ozone chemistry (Ineson et al 2015) – and the Hale pseudo cycle of solar magnetic reversal jumps out as a potential origin of the 20 to 30 year periodicity in the Earth system. But isolating particular factors in these most fundamental geophysical processes from globally coupled feedbacks remains a task so daunting that contemplating it is genuinely amusing.

    A cooling sun seems associated with cold and stormy winters in North America and Central England (Lockwood et al 2010), a decline in AMOC (Smeed et al 2014), less SW warming of the oceans (Koren 2017) and changing hydrology across the planet – including mega-drought in the US (Burgman et al 2017).

    Warm regimes add to global ocean and atmospheric temperature – but it seems churlish to guess how much. Satellite evidence suggests that it is the dominant mode of recent warming. Making – inter alia – the broken hockey stick moot.

    Shift again it will – within a decade if it is not happening now. A reversion to the mean seems on the radar. Yes Scott – the science is settled – it is just a trifle uncertain and AR5 is looking stupendously irrelevant.

  39. OT, twitter feed at top:

  40. I am thankful for the things I’ve learned at Climate Etc and the work many of you have done. For the movement that balances some of the less efficient ideas that are proposed. For those that seem grounded in science and economics. And for all those Minnesota farmers with their turkey barns, let’s not forget that.

  41. JCH
    I have gone bannas since I believe the earth began GLOBAL ICE MKING 18,000 years ago.

  42. Western public-funded academics of a government education complex who wish to continue living the lifestyle that they blame on others for increases in human-caused CO2 now point to record N.E. cold as further evidence of global warming. Socialists have trouble admitting mistakes.

    • Waggie: Would you change your opinion about your work’s findings for the sake of a paycheck?

      • When anyone eagerly sacrifices the constitution, the country, the economy, capitalism, individual liberty and the scientific method on the altar of global warming alarmism because they read in the NYT that humanity’s CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that causes global warming [i.e., AGW theory] should give rise to scientific skepticism. For those of who are skeptical of official government-blessed knowledge, there are higher authorities: integrity, honor and respect for the scientific method.

        The one field where the science must be “settled,” of course, is global warming. Or is it “climate change,” when clearly no skeptic doubts climate changes? Why the alteration in terminology? Perhaps because, in 2007, the world’s leading experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] reported its “central forecast” for long-term warming to be 3 degrees C. Yet, since then its reports have not listed a single central estimate but did reduce its minimal expected warming down from a 1.5-degrees rise to only a 1.0-degree temperature increase… As climatologist Judith Curry testified to Congress, IPCC models have forecast surface temperatures to increase 0.2 degrees C each 21st century decade. But during the first fifteen years, actual temperatures only increased 0.05, four times lower than predicted. And the models cannot explain why more than 40 percent of the temperature increases since 1900 took place between 1910 and 1945, which produced a mere 10 percent of the carbon emissions. ~American Spectator, ‘Treating science with the respect it requires’

  43. Has there ever been a time when the scientific environment was non-hostile? From Newton/Leibnitz through Fisher/Neyman and Guillemin/Shally there has always been acrimony. Isn’t that so?

  44. All terribly idealistic self-regulation stuff.

    I have seen academia in a rather more brutal light, namely that senior academics are all involved in widespread computer hacking, behaving like mafioso plagiarisers.

    Remember all those threats of eternal damnation as undergraduates/ graduate students about plagiarism? But Vice Chancellors and Professors get unrestrained access to private personal computers within the homes not of employees but those working with them but not for them. The absolute antithesis of the so-called academic values drilled into youngsters 25 years ago.

    It is about time that employment contracts contain clauses whereby Professors party to hacking computers without informed consent pay their entire salary for three years to those they were hacking, face a 20 year ban from receiving any grant income (career suicide) and are named in the most prestigious research journals of their field as a disgrace to the scientific profession.

    Medical doctors are the same: you cannot be a consultant physicisn in London without working with the security services. The punishment for that lot should extend to violence requiring surgery, which can be performed by someone with a suitably second rate reputation. As well as being struck off for behaviour incompatible with practicing medicine. It might teach those criminal doctors how to behave.

    I will not discuss how sexual favours can expedite entry into prestigious ‘old boys’ clubs’, but it certainly goes on. In the most prestigious Universities in the land….

    We are way beyond academia being some enlightened culture superior to the rest of the country.

    Academia is dog-eat-dog, me-me-me, get-hold-of-the-loot just like the rest of society.

    It is just that the Academic Trade Union has not yet had the media shine the light on them yet….

  45. Not sure anyone is still reading this thread, but I wanted to add that it strikes me as quite remarkable how a lot of the last decade of climate science has focused around Nic Lewis’ work and looking for various reasons why his ECS and TCR numbers are not correct. Nic has done an admirable job of responding to many of these attempts.

    The pattern of warming argument is one of the most common arguments, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Basically, AOGCM’s have performed poorly in getting the current pattern of warming right, but despite that they must be right in the long run.

    It’s remarkable because Nic is an outsider with no formal training in geophysics or climate science, but also because Nic’s work seems to have stood up pretty well under scrutiny by virtually the entire field.

    The only other comparable example I can think of is the continuous adjoint mistake in CFD. Hundreds of past papers are wrong or misleading and people are hesitant to openly criticize the method or retract the papers despite some recent publications showing its inferiority and lack of convergence. Virtually all the best people in the field know its an inferior method but none want to say so in print or clean up the literature.

  46. Judith, why do I have to log out before every comment I make and then log back in again?

  47. Gavin has laudably clarified the Consensus position on peer review : anything that uncovers errors in consensus-supporting papers is hostile. To be a peer you must first learn to agree.

  48. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #336 | Watts Up With That?

  49. The idea of being more stringent and even biased against nonconforming views while being lenient toward consensus viewpoints is absolutely hurtful to scientific advancement and learning in general. This is NOT how science should be done. It would not surprise me if this is a problem in most if not all scientific fields.

    It is a problem that needs to be rectified. It certainly makes consensus views more suspect in the eyes of laymen, yet most dangerously makes the consensus difficult to properly challenge–a critical part of the scientific method. Opposing viewpoints and challenges are supposed to be railed against a consensus view, which either then answers the challenges with its system or adopts a new part of the system or abandons the system altogether for a better, more explanatory one. This critical part of science cannot be done if adequate challenges are excused out of hand or never even make it to publishing.

  50. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #336 |

  51. Pingback: L’Appell du Vide | Climate Scepticism

  52. Great piece — Mann should indeed learn a useful lesson here.

    Gavin’s plaint of a hostile environment can hardly be taken seriously when he’s used his position of authority at a government agency with a $20B budget to inveigh against critics he labels “deniers” and promote a political agenda rather than embracing objectivity, skepticism, even-handedness, civility, and inclusion. The claims that the ends of “saving the world” justify throwing out such basic precepts of good science are sadly typical of the Gramscian “long march” to subvert deeply respected institutions into broken tools of progressive policy, and we are all made worse off thereby.

  53. Judith, I highly recommend taking 15 minutes to review this popularized presentation on the reproducibility crisis in modern science… and a simple yet effective reminder of what science is really all about.
    This post of yours is a cogent reminder that too many scientists have actually forgotten the process.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/reproduce-science.html
    (The “editor’s note” provides some good background links as well)

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