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« Josh 27 | Main | McIntyre in Die Weltwoche »

Tamino on the Hockey Stick Illusion

Tamino has a rave review of the Hockey Stick Illusion up at Real Climate. I'm reading it now.

A few initial observations - there is a lot of discussion of proxy selection rules in Tamino's piece. This is complex for those who aren't embedded in the nitty gritty of the science, but stand back and ask yourself this: if you have over 100 series in your database, and one of these is the fourth most important pattern in the tree rings of a couple of closely related tree species in one area of the western USA, how comfortable are you that this series should form the basis of the temperature reconstruction for the northern hemisphere? The idea that you can reconstruct hemispheric temperatures in this way is deeply unsatisfactory.

Tamino doesn't try to defend the use of the bristlecones. It's not clear why it's worth arguing about PC retention if everyone (including the NAS and Wegman panels) agrees that bristlecones are inappropriate.

The observation that "McIntyre argued that the entire Gaspe series should be eliminated because it didn't extend all the way back to 1400" is wrong. MBH had its steps starting at 50-year intervals. Gaspe should therefore have been in the 1450 step not the 1400 one. There is probably an argument that Gaspe should be excluded because the update that was taken didn't show the same shape (although it was never published and everyone seems to have subsequently forgotten where the actual location of the trees is).

There's a lot of discussion of reconstructions being hockey stick shaped. The critical issue is of course the relative warmth of the medieval and modern periods.

Remembering Matt Ridley's article about straw men? I am criticised for complaining that hockey stick shape proxies dominate reconstructions and apparently I imply "unfairly" so. I explain how the hockey stick shaped series come to dominate the reconstruction, but I don't imply unfairness as far as I remember. Of course, since Tamino doesn't actually quote anything I said that implies unfairness, it's hard to respond in a precise way.

I'm accused of quote mining re the "better for our purposes" quote. Given that I start by saying that an innocent explanation is possible, I'm not sure this is reasonable criticism. I don't think it's a "killer quote" but it was there and McIntyre raised it in his correspondence with Nature, so it needed to be discussed.

There are very few quotes of any kind from the book (go figure), but certainly some I'd like to use on the cover of the next printing:

"A narrative worthy of the best spy thrillers"

"...spins a tale of suspense, conflict and lively action, intertwining conspiracy and covert skullduggery, politics and big money".

My publisher is going to love it.

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Reader Comments (229)

Hey Phil I am still here to explain the questionable proxies mate?

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

BP, this is for sediments in a Chilean lake, with a very similar pattern than the Alps.

May be it is only in the Alps and in the Andes, but I can remember that there are data for New Zealand as well. The AR3 comment above refers to a very large collection of sites, so may be it is only in mountain ranges.... or may be your own peculiar version of G is getting very narrow, indeed.

But you see, I was trained as a scientist and unlike other more recent approaches I still respect Hume's problems of induction. Even if I find corroborating results in every single mountain range of the world, I would be careful to say that they represent a universal global truth.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Er Phil you need to remember the geographical location of the Bristlecone Pines in the Hockey stick GLOBAL paleoclimate reconstruction :)

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Of course, the one thing beyond the parrots' comprehension would be why the proxies would be questionable (other than that any historical reconstruction isn't what you want to hear about).

I'll allow you extra time to confer with Uncle Steve.

July 23, 2010 | Bishop Phil

Ok, BP (cool choice of initials BTW) I'll don my Gavinesque personna and respond thus.
Choice One- better a Parrot than a lap-dog
Choice Two- I'd rather be a Parrott than a Pratt
or, and just 'cos you're so much more steeped in the culture,
Choice Three-
(don't be shy now, fill in the blanks old bean)

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr


All your comments are excellent but I particularly agree with:

"The Hockey Stick as investigated by Steve McIntyre fails on a number of tests. The most convincing for me is the red noise test. If you put random data through Manns model you still get a hockey stick..

This is the killer argument for me to. I specialise in spatial/temporal autocorrelated time series analysis. Wahl and Amman 2007 try to claim the red noise used by MM2005 contains the "climate signal" and therefore is not a valid test. This is nonsense in my view. Gavin just cited it at RC to me. I have just posted my reply...I am interested to see what he makes of it.

After that I think I have to go to bed...time for a beer first though.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

I endorse thinking scientist's comments, but could any of you elaborate a bit on gavin's criticism:

the amplitude of such an artifact is an order of magnitude smaller than the actual HS in the data?

Is that right? does it make the artifact comparable to noise?

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

If it helps you out BP, no need to further weaken your faith by me whispering about the sensational collapse of certain, swinging sixties, poxy proxies.
Stick with the ad hominem, cognitive dissonance and mantra-repetitions so beloved by the beloved leaders.
Take your time mate but try to phrase your answer without too many RCs,
Repulsive Cliches.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

@Patagon, similar but not contemporaneous, thus negating the global claim. Sorry, but no cigar.

"starting with a sharp drop between AD 1350 and AD 1400 (−0.3°C/10 yr, decadal trend) followed by constantly cool (ΔT = −0.70 to −0.90°C wrt twentieth century) summers until AD 1750."

"In contrast, periods of high d18O are visible between 7.9 and 7.5, 5.9 and 5.1, 3.5 and 3 kyr, and during the LIA between 600 and 150 yr.(BP)"

1400-1850 ain't 1350-1750 no matter how hard you wish.

And remember folks, its the 'G' in AGW that points to the present condition.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Phil

Hey Phil :)

What is your opinion on the fact that the warming that started all the interglacials in the current Ice Age was not caused by CO2?
What is your opinion on the posts on Realclimate by Jeff Severinghaus and Eric Steig on this subject?
Both say that they dont know what caused the warming. Both accept that for the first 800 years CO2 was not causing the warming. Both then have a huge leap of faith (hope you can explain this to me scientifically) and say that after 800 years whatever caused the warming stops and that the next 5000 years or whatever is caused by CO2. If you can explain this I am sure the Bish will hand the site over to you np.
However then we come to the tail end of the interglacial. after the highest temperature in each interglacial is reached, CO2 continues to rise but temperature falls (In some cases for up to 2500 years)
Really looking forward to you explaining this stuff to me Phil?

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung


I am not entirely certain what Gavin is referring to when talking about the amplitude of the artefact. The problem with Mann's uncentred method is that the variance associated with anything that remotely resembles a hockey stick drags everything in that direction no matter how small the effect.

I think the amplitude comment is a red herring, but I need to check it further hence I haven't commented at RC on it.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Hey Phil I am still here to explain the questionable proxies mate?

July 23, 2010 | Dung

He's off watch at the moment Dung. He's high-fived, had his shot of the Kool-Aid and been replaced on stag by another troll.
He'll be in the land of Nod, just now, dreaming pleasurably of hellfire and climactic damnation.
He needs his sleep mate.
He works hard does our Phil.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

BP, very unconvincing. Different starting times of a trend does not make it flat.

Anyway, bedtime.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Night night Thinking Scientsist and enjoy your beer :)

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

And remember folks, its the 'G' in AGW that points to the present condition.

Oops, sorry Dung. I'd underappreciated the restorative powers of the Kool-Aid.
BP, I'll credit you with a typo so that you don't get pulled up by your team members.
Repeat after me, Phil, it's the A that matters.
Once more mate, it's the A that matters.

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Dung: Cheers Mate!

Your spelling of scientsist almost looks like a tipsy slur...keep off the hard stuff eh? :-)

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist


Many, many thanks for your extended and patient rigorous discussion of PCA with Gavin over at RC. It seems to me that in teasing out of Gavin and others their understanding of what Mann and others actually did with their PCA methods you have uncovered something significant. Given your expertise, perhaps Andrew Montford would allow you to summarize the discussion in simpler terms and draw your conclusions as to the extent to whcih they actually understand the strengths and limitations of using PCA to analyze time series data, i.e., tree ring width/density data that reflect complex biological processes. Hopefully Steve, Ross, Jeff and other regression experts can chime in. Hint: The response to your request for an authority on RE was very revealing.

Jul 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Seems to me we had a good night P:)
Me plus my beer plus Patagon fought off idiot Bishop Phil here at our home base while the rest of you guys blew the crap out of Real Climate hehe

Jul 24, 2010 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Even so, it is incorrect. The Pacific coast of South America has cooled in the last decades due to increased Humboldt circulation. So much for the GW.
References tomorrow. N. Night folks, P.

Jul 24, 2010 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Patagon and Dung, thanks so much for your input. Very useful. It's been an interesting day to check in from time to time with this blog. Will be back. Pleasant dreams, and good beer!

Jul 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterC Johnson

I am really sorry about this and maybe it is the beer. I have been trying to maintain the standards that the Bish would like to be followed on this site but I have been worn down today.
Bishop Phil was a total ????ing asshole.
No science, no discussion and no respect.
Sorry if I let you down Bish in which case get the snippers out.

Jul 24, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Heh, insulting and wrong at the top of his lungs. I'm reminded of spoilt children.

Jul 24, 2010 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I too have had frequent comment deletions and edits at RealClimate. I’m talking rational; polite; technical postings. Strangely, there was a period shortly after climategate when inconvenient truths were allowed, but last I checked they had reverted to normal policy. It’s rather annoying when one or more comments are initially accepted, maybe with edits, but are then ridiculed by the regulars, and any follow-up is then deleted in moderation, giving the impression of defeat.

Here is a thread on “rcrejects” devoted to this problem.
Also, Bart Verheggen runs a pro-CAWG open thread, which allows posting of deleted RC comments. He also allows strongly critical technical comments.

However, they are both relatively low traffic sites and may not be all that productive.
I would like to see a high volume blog such as here or WUWT to run a thread on this.

Jul 24, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob_FJ

Bishop Phil

Good to hear that you made it back safely with Pastor Diana on your trip of discovery to Israel. However, may I suggest that you fixed the broken record on your website -- it sound just like you --repetitive and going no where.

Bishop Phil

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

RC is a World Heritage Site. It really is!
Forget the facts, these guys just keep banging the rocks together
Awesome, simply superb,but these leaf-munchers are so determined that they'll be there ar the end of the Universe that it's problematic to dismiss them as totally irrelevant but, instead, we should award them the laurel of "best of breed"

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr


I can hardly wait to see your "Bishop Phil" cartoon. May I suggest he have a chainsaw and cutting down trees looking for the perfect "ring data" that Dung is still waiting to explain to him?

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


Sorry I was away for several hours this afternoon (my time). But I think "Bishop Phil" will get the message. If not, I do have a few more "Don Pablo's" for him. God! How I love troll hunting!

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

To get a balanced judgement it is necessary to compare and contrast Tamino's critique with the actual book.

Gaspé series is a good example.
- It was the biggest hockey stick in MBH98;
- Was used twice/
- The lack of an MWP was due to a sample of one or two trees;
- There was a much better series, available from mid-Alaska (Gaspé was supposed represent the northern treeline.
- An unpublished, updated, study showed a less favourable picture

For those interested, I have listed the referances to the Gaspé series in HSI at

Incidently, Steve Mcintyre has form with Tamino over Gaspé.

McIntyre nicely explains the problems with the series as well, so worth a read.

Jul 24, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Thanks for that link ManicBeancounter to your blog and to Steve M's 7-point rebuttal of Tamino and use of the Gaspé series. As you say, well worth reading again.

Tamino is like a needle stuck in the groove. Same old same old same old......

Jul 24, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Don Pablo..

As a psychologist, which I do have some small knowledge in, you are wearing him down. Gavin is on the defensive now, looking over his shoulder. He knows he has made serious mistakes in his previous flippant remarks to both you and JC.

Which is probably why RC discourages any real debate. Stock psychological test of character is to put people in stress situations and see how they respond under pressure, and real character emerges. Fenton/EMS should have considered doing that kind of exercise before encouraging RC to become a climate PR site.

Tamino's 'robust' rebuttal is also a good example of climate magic. He seems to focus on the illusion that MBH and related hockey sticks are statistically robust, overlooking more basic problems. Like

How globally representative or statistically significant are 22 proxies, especially given the lack of proxies extending back to, or beyond 1400?

How did an NH paper become the poster child for 'global' warming? Why is it only now that the team start to say the HS was overexposed and overpromoted? Why didn't the Team object sooner to it being misrepresented, especially when used without it's error bars?

How were the proxies calibrated and validated, and do those still hold up if the instrumental record they've been calibrated and validated against has subseqently been altered?

Quite impressed Tamino managed to hook Snider's testimony into his review though, but not convinced by his explanation in #37-

"The false accusation is fine example of someone finding evil, not because it’s there but because that’s what they’re looking for."

replace evil with hockey sticks, may be that was their problem.

Jul 24, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Manicbeancounter: I forgot to say, good blog you have there.

Jul 24, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

After several hours my comment appeared over RC soon followed by Tamino's "reply". Since fate of my comments over RC has been uncertain in the past, here's my reply:

Jean S says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
24 July 2010 at 5:11 AM

Tamino: “I thought you wanted to get the facts straight. It is described in MBH98, Methods Section, sub-section “Calibration,” 3rd paragraph, lines 6-11, which states:”

Yes, that is my intention. I’m not sure what is yours. As you well know (it’s even in the name of the subsection!) the passage you quoted describes part of the MBH9X _calibration algorithm_ which completely different matter than the tree ring PC selection under discussion. The tree ring selection is described in MBH98 (first paragraph of the second column in the first page) simply as

“Certain densely sampled regional dendroclimatic data sets have been represented in the network by a smaller number of leading principal components (typically 3–11 depending on the spatial extent and size of the data set). This form of representation ensures a reasonably homogeneous spatial sampling in the multiproxy network (112 indicators back to 1820).”

I have no clue how “Rule N” is supposed to take into account “the spatial extent and size of the data set”.

Tamino: “Didn’t you just say you wanted to get the facts straight? The code is (and has been for five years) available at

It’s not that hard to identify the section preceded by these comment lines:”

Again, I do not know what your intention is. The quoted selection of the _part_ of the full MBH98 code, which has been available only due to pressure of congress hearings at the time, is describing the same calibration procedure you referred earlier. (A lot of?) actual MBH9X tree ring PCA code is available in CRU files, nothing about Preisendorfer there.

Tamino: “Did you miss the part about getting a hockey stick with no PCA at all?”

Did you miss the part sayig MBH9X PC1 is nothing but masked bristlecones? Garbage in, garbage out.

Tamino: “You don’t flatter yourself repeating this argument. The NoAmer ITRDB tree ring series are not in common units — they’re not in any units at all.”

C’mon. They are all describing the same thing – treering growth, so there is no reason to use correlation PCA. If something should be done to that dataset, I would suggest log transform as the tree ring indecies are rather multiplicative than additive, but that is a different story.

Tmino: “Normalization is the right thing to do. You really fumbled this one.”

No, it is not. You would get F on this in my class.

Tamino: “Missing 4 years out of 580 is not a valid reason to require removal of the Gaspe series.”

Where did you get the idea that Gaspe seires was left out in the last 530 years of the reconstruction? It is used in every step starting AD1450. But unlike every other series in the MBH9X dataset, the Gaspe series was not used starting at the first step _after_ the beginning of the series (i.e., AD1450). Instead ad-hoc extension was applied to it in order to get it included to a previous (i.e., AD1400) step.

Tamino: “they got the right answer” “We’ll be interested in your answer to the question: if their work is so horribly wrong, how did they get the right answer?”

This is what sets us apart. Scientists do not have predetermined idea what is the “right answer”. They only have hypothesis which should be backed up by evidence. In my view MBH9X does not provide any evidence for _any_ hypothesis concerning past temperatures. And BTW, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Jul 24, 2010 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

Just posted to RC:

Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel, my original drive-by is admittedly insufficient, so I am taking a few moments to clarify the weaknesses in Tamino’s review. Note, this is off the top of my head, I don’t have the HSI book with me.
First, Montford’s book clarifies three weaknesses in the paleoreconstructions, from MBH 98/99 through Mann et al 08. These include problems with tree rings, the centered PCA analysis, and the R2 issue. The tree ring issue is admittedly murky, but unless the dendro community becomes more objective in its analysis, tree rings will become irrelevant. The centered PCA and R2 issues are much more straightforward. The centered PCA is bad statistics, and just because no single significance test is objectively the best in all circumstances does not mean that you can cherry pick significance tests until you find one you like and ignore R2.
The key points of Montford’s book that Tamino ignores are:
1. The high level of confidence ascribed to the hockey stick inferences in the IPCC TAR, based upon two very recent papers (MBH) that, while provocative and innovative, used new methods and found results that were counter to the prevailing views. Plus the iconic status that the hockey stick achieved in the TAR and Al Gore’s movie.
2. The extreme difficulties that Steve McIntyre had in reproducing the MBH results. Any argument that defends these difficulties by saying that Steve McIntyre is incompetent or lacking in persistence is just plain counter to the evidence that Montford provides. Science needs to be reproducible. Period. And authors need to provide all of the data and metadata needed to reproduce the results, not just draft or incomplete datasets
3. The NAS North et al. report found that the MBH conclusions and “likely” and “very likely” conclusions in the IPCC TAR report were unsupported at that those confidence levels. How the hockey team interpreted the North NAS report as vindicating MBH, seems strange indeed.
4. A direct consequence of the North NAS report is that the conclusions in the IPCC AR4 essentially retracted much of what was in the IPCC TAR regarding the paleo reconstructions. This is the only instance that I know of where the IPCC has reduced a confidence level or simply left out a conclusion that was in a previous IPCC report. This is discussed in the CRU emails.
5. Even with this drawback in the AR4 conclusions and confidence level, somehow what was left was judged to hinge on the unpublished Wahl/Amman papers, one of which was having difficulty surviving peer review in GRL for a period of several years, and was finally pushed through quickly by Steve Schneider in Climate Change. IPCC deadlines were violated, and peer review in the context of the papers publication in Climate Change was a joke (all of this is described in the CRU emails). So all of these shenanigans to get these papers into the IPCC, papers that some have judged to have more methodological problems than the original MBH papers, have seriously degraded trust in the IPCC consensus, once this was illuminated in the CRU emails.
6. The dependence of the various proxy reconstructions used in the AR4 on essentially the same datasets is described, it is difficult to judge these reconstructions as independent.
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.
8. The divergence problem is clearly explained, including how the graphs in the IPCC report were misleading, and how the splicing of the historical records with the paleo records is misleading. I.e., the trick to hide the decline. Why should we have confidence in paleoproxies that show a temperate decrease in recent decades, in contrast to historical measurements?
9. Finally, Montford asks the question as to why the scientists and the IPCC promoted the hockey stick at such a high confidence level so prematurely, and why such extraordinary efforts were made to defend it when it arguably isn’t a critical piece of the climate puzzle, rather than to learn from outside statisticians and do a credible error analysis on the data and the inferences.

I’ve probably missed a few things, but those are the key points raised in the book that have stuck with me. I’ve tried to follow the debate by reading the journal articles and posts at both RC and CA. I was very frustrated in trying to sort all this out. Montford’s book sorted everything out into coherent, well argued and well documented arguments. There is a certain element of spin, so I wanted to see what RC had to say about all this. On the RC side, we have the outdated Dummies Guide to the Hockey Stick and Tamino’s review, plus the snarky replies to serious posters that include statistician Jean S. You need to do better than this to counter Montford’s book. Failing to do so will just push more people into the Montford/McIntyre corner of the ring. And how and why this issue has become so contentious and stayed so contentious is a serious issue in the field of climate science.

Jul 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudith Curry

And the world's politicians are totally oblivious to the debate!!!
Thanks fro trying Judith.

Jul 24, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterbarry woods

I have long found the RC site to be somewhat repulsive. The snarky, spoilt-brat, got-to-get-a- riposte-in-first (or we won't post any comments which bite) atmosphere created by the principals is far from congenial.

What strange warp went on in the mind of the PR agency which set it up? That attack is the best form of defence when you are promoting a shaky shambles of a proposition built on speculative computer models, the over-inflated self-importance of a few climate prophets, stroked and exploited by some UN-system-savvy conspirators?

The IPCC venture which resulted was a spectacular PR success for a long time, so I suppose the RC site was just part of a multiple-front, multiple-means plan. In what I hope turns out to be the denouement of it in Copenhagen, the campaign went off the rails in such a dramatic way that spin doctors took months to salvage something. A 'something' which has failed to sustain the US climate bill, nor the generous subsidies for renewables in Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and France, nor any further support for various climate-related agencies in the UK.

And slowly and surely the insights captured in the Hockey Stick Illusion are becoming more widely known. The climategate revelations confirmed the poor public behaviour with insight into tawdry private behaviour. I hope we shall in due course see many more HSIs, one for each of the alarums raised and devices used by the IPCC, and complemented by a few learned tomes on the socio-psychological phenomena/flaws that allowed this latest example of 'the end of the world is nigh' to gain such traction.

The climate prophets are becoming more muted. And more physicists seem to be engaging with an area too long left as a playground for speculative geographers, computer programmers, and sundry activists in various guises. They do so, I suppose, out of a sense of civic duty since the physics is not very interesting. The colossal social and economic transformation proposed in response to the IPCC reports, the harm that will be done in particular to the poorest people, the damage to progress with conventional energy supplies, the guilt and fear being imposed on children and other vulnerable groups, and the diversion of research funds away from serious science, must give pause to anyone paying attention to politics and the mass media.

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Just testing whether this will appear at RealClimate as well....

And 99.99% plus, of the world's population is oblivious to the existance of RealClimate, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, etc.. and any debate.

I wonder what the 'unenlightened' masses, by these websites, will be saying to the politicians if we have another 1, 2 or 3 cold winters! Regardless of weather is not climate, or vice versa.

Where will we be then.

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

To return to my very worn record. It is about rhetoric, not facts.

Why did the Hockey Stick become such a powerful icon? IT IS VISUAL!!!!

Over 99% percent of the people don't read, they look. That is particularly true of politicians. Just look at all the totally stupid and counter-productive legislation passed in the US Congress. Ask them if they read the bills and they give you a dumb look. Only the Irish Dáil has done worse.

We need VISUAL icons as well. That is why Josh is so valuable to us.

Atomic Hairdryer

I agree with your points up and down. As noted by several others in days past, the AGW cheerleaders, such as Tamino, are incompetent incompetents. However, they are effective cheerleaders and so sway the crowd with their images of hockey sticks, drowning polar bears, melting glaciers and flooded coastal cities. Very much like Obama.

Yesterday you did an excellent job of walking into their nest and making Tamino look the fool he is. Congratulations!

And the same goes for our ladies, Jean S and Judith Curry. Not as effective as a visual icon, but their words were effective nonetheless. Tamino has basically made a fool of himself -- in front of his own constituency.

Jean S

It's been over 40 years since I stopped doing statistics, but I would have given him an "F" as well. Both Gavin and Tamino have no clue what statistics is about. To them, it is something that comes out of a computer. They have no idea what is the theory or logic behind statistics, and most importantly, the assumptions made that must be met.

Jul 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Nice summary. I am going to wait a couple of hours before seeing how they respond to your clear and succinct summary.

Jul 24, 2010 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Don Pablo, Jean S is a gentleman, not a lady.

Jul 24, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

Dr Curry
I would like to bring to your attention, as Don Pablo observes, as many of us know, that the visual impact of the hockey stick helped AGW make the great leap..

The need for such an icon was predicted and anticipated.

S Ungar. Social Scares and global warming: The Rio Convention. Society and Natural Resources, Vol 8 443-456

Jul 24, 2010 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Interesting to see how cross posting to this thread appears to have solved the Real Climate 'Your comment is awaiting moderation' problem. Gosh - what a pest openness is.

I feel a climatological prediction coming on - in a few hours Judith's post will appear at Real Climate complete with Gavin or Tamino's blustery rebuttal.

I have a lengthy Fortran-77 program which tells me such things. (I cannot distribute it as it is non-portable.) Mind you, if the prediction is incorrect, this is as expected, as the immediate future is not an indicator of the long term trend.

Now, I just need a nice visual image...I'm thinking of a flat line with a precipitous drop on the right.

Jul 24, 2010 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

ZT: ".I'm thinking of a flat line with a precipitous drop on the right."

The plot you'd get if the sign of the varve proxy value was inverted?

Jul 24, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson


Thank you -- my bad. Forgot about the French version of John.

Jean S

S'il vous plaît excuser mon erreur. [If you are French. Otherwise, Sorry, my bad! :( ]

[BH adds: Jean S is for Jean Sibelius - a Finn, not a Frenchman]

Jul 24, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


visual impact of the hockey stick helped AGW make the great leap..

I just came back from my morning walk (I am presently in California) and it suddenly dawned on me that we could have a visual icon as well. One suggested by our own Jack Hughes several weeks ago.

Remember his suggestion that you get a wash tub, half fill it with water, and drop in a large block of ice which floats? This is an analog of the Arctic ice floating in the Arctic Ocean.

You mark the water level on the side of the tub and get a number of people to guess how high the water rises when the ice is melted and then let it melt.

It would make a perfect YOUTUBE video if there is someone with the video equipment. Even better if you could get one of the friendly MPs to drop by and watch.

Just a suggestion, but I think Jack had a brilliant idea. Naturally, we have a few physicists involved. I can think of one or two who might be willing to explain the science.

Make a circus out of it.

Jul 24, 2010 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

j ferguson: Indeed, though I am sure we'd here a great deal about the power of PCA to divine such necessary (if counter intuitive) sign inversions.

Perhaps there should be a competition in climatology dedicated to the production of the most innovative/interesting/iconic graph using PCA from a set of tree ring chronologies(?)

There would be categories for top hat functions, sawtooths, hockey sticks, etc. Would be a good use of all that grant money. A special category would be for the most blustery defense of shoddy statistics.

Oh - excuse me - I just realized that is what has been going on.

Jul 24, 2010 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Judith's review received a very sharp and deceptive response from Gavin. He makes some very definitive statements that seem to be at odds with what has generally been asserted. I assume you are monitoring it. It undoubtedly deserves some response from both Judith and you. Steve McIntyre and Ross may also want to chime in.

Jul 24, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Well I did have an idea that instead of a graphic symbol, we could take lines that keep cropping up in warmist blurb, then make it look ridiculous.
It would need Josh to do cartoons and I think it would help if we also picked on one alarmist scientist, preferably one that Josh can make look very stupid while still recognisable.
Two of my ideas so far:

Title "Holcene Period finally ends"
I see Bob Watson outside an igloo.
He is sitting in a deck chair in swiming trunks and there is a snowman nearby.
Bob has an icicle on his nose.
Close by are 2 gauges, a temp gauge going through the floor and a CO2 gauge going through the roof.
He is on the phone.
He says "Trust me, the science is straightforward, when you add CO 2 to the atmosphere it always warms!"

Second idea:

Title "No warming since 1998"
A media man is holding a microphone to Bob Watson.
Bob yays "Yes we have reached a consensus. It can only be explained by too many people leaving their fridge doors open."

Jul 24, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Hey, the Fortran-77 program turned out to be correct (who said there are no testable predictions in climatology?).

After much shuffling of the punched cards - the new predictions are in: sustained personal attacks, avoidance of chronology selection discussion, and decreasing mention of the divergence problem (from Gavin).

Jul 24, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I am also quite fond of this idea (hope you have seen the film "Hancock")

Mike Mann and Steve McIntyre are face to face. Steve is concealing a quivering hockey stick b ehind his back.
Steve says "Call me a climate more time?"

Jul 24, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

FYI - Judith's post is #167 on the "Tamino Bashes the Bishop" thread.
Gavin basically goes ballistic. Mind you, he'd been given a hard ride by Jean S and Thinking Scientist before that and as he's a full-time NASA employer probably had to skip lunch to compose his answer!

Jul 24, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Not a bad idea Dung but I think that a scene from Crocodile Dunde may prove funnier,
Cue Mann brandishing a piece of paper with a scribbled HS on it. SMc, sporting a bush hat, pulls out a real HS saying "No mate, this is a Hockey Stick" or similar

Jul 24, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

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