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« Mann lecture at Mount Holyoake | Main | HSI and Kuhn »

Still tricking people

I was sent this presentation given by Australian scientist, Professor Will Steffen. This was apparently presented to the Multi-party Climate Change Committee (MCCC) in Canberra.

Interestingly Professor Steffen has chosen to present a copy of the spaghetti graph from Mann et al (2003). The full complement of authors is: Mann, Ammann, Bradley, Briffa, Jones, Osborn, Crowley,  Hughes, Oppenheimer, Overpeck, Rutherford, Trenberth and Wigley. In other words, the author team includes just about every scientist implicated in wrongdoing in the Climategate emails.

Here's the spaghetti graph - with a blowup of the interesting part. It's the orange line (Briffa 2001) you are interested in:

It does rather look to me as if Professor Steffen has chosen to present a spaghetti graph which truncates the divergence in Briffa's famous tree ring series.

"Hide the decline" still being used to "trick" people over a year after it was exposed.

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Reader Comments (26)

Doesn't pasta have a sell/use by date?

Apr 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Hey - you can't let a good trick go to waste.

Apr 25, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Can't blame them, can you?

a) nobody has paid a price for inventing the lie
b) the scientific and political establishment are clearly ready, willing, able and actively protecting the lie
c) the lie works well for watermelons that want to believe anyway

Until a price is exacted for lying (and shame clearly doesn't work on the amoral) things are not going to improve

Apr 25, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterGendeau

Not only that, but it is labelled as 1856-1980 and the orange line doesn't even get there. Here is a 2003 pdf with the same graph you can nicely zoom into it with CTRL-scroll wheel on your mouse. You can see the orange line disappear somewhere around mid 20th century, well before 1980.

The fact that this kind of rubbish has been out there for all to see and potentially question for years, yet no one has, shows the need for sceptics.

On Past Temperatures and Anomalous late-20th Century Warmth

Apr 25, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

With apologies to Vance Packard, this graph should be titled "THE HIDDEN PERSUADER"

Apr 25, 2011 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

A few things are strange about that graph - it shows the northern hemisphere while Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and it stops in 2000.

Apr 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSinclair Davidson

Another similar graph, from The Walker Institute and Professor Arnell (Reading Uni.)

Any thoughts on the spaghetti lines used?

I attended it last November

If you chop out the instrumental Hadcrut black line, reconstructed temps in 2011 are ONLY 0.1 C higher than reconstructed temps a thousand years ago. (if you believe that sort of accuracy)

But it is boldly labelled, the warmest for at least a thousand years, as if it it means something.

That 0.1C difference, I wonder how much of that is AGW? 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, or ALL of it..?!
the horror, 0.1C higher...

Apr 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


That's the IPCC 4AR graph - discussed ad nauseam elsewhere.

Apr 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I had never noticed what happened if you removed the black instrumental line..

ie a 0.1C difference in temp between now and a 1000 years ago!

Yet it is presented to the public as proof of something and the addition of the instrumental is very misleading

scary stuff..;) !

Apr 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

There's nothing in the proxies to suggest that tempeatures are unpreceented. You need to add the instrumental on to give that impression. It's a bit of a constant refrain at Climate Audit.

Apr 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The best way to do science is to work back from the desired result.

Thus, after admitting you don't know what is going on:

According to Sheehan, numbers of migrant birds from Africa have declined dramatically in the UK since 1995. For turtle doves the figure is 71%; nightingales, 53%; and cuckoos, 44%. "That is a very significant and very worrying decline," she added.

"The real problem is that there are so many different possible causes for these losses – which makes it difficult to tease out the factors involved in their decline and to prepare plans to put things right.

"These losses could be the result of changes in farmland use in Britain which are affecting the way these birds breed when they arrive here in spring. Or they could be due to the spread of human populations in Africa and the destruction of natural habitats where they make their homes in winter.

Decide what answer you want:

"Climate change is almost certainly involved as well.

Then ask for the money:

Our problem is to unravel those different causes and assess how they interact."

Apr 25, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

If Julia Gillard is so convinced that the case for man made catastrophic global warming is so overwhelming, why doesn't she release all of the evidance provided to the Multi-party Climate Change Committee and set up community forums with warmerist and skeptic scientists to thrash it out.

If her case is as strong as she would have us believe, then her scientists will beat the pants off the skeptics. If is can't stand up to critical scrutiny, then why the hell are killing off our kids future by 'de-carbonising' (what a stupid word) the Australian economy over the next forty years.

Apr 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohno

I think what is now required, is for William Hill, (or other BookMaker) to start taking bets as to which of these "scientists" will be the first to grass up the rest.

A substantial cash prize for the winner, would spice it up, given that none of them are likely to earn much in the future.

Knowing their normal methodology, one would expect "anomolous betting patterns", "insider dealing" and even the involvement of asian cartels.

This should not be be taken as a rascist comment. Cartels opperating out of the UK, US, EU etc, have been scamming the public for years about AGW

Apr 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

The amazing thing is that they are still at it -- I would have bet that they would come up with something new by now. I guess they just lack imagination.

Apr 25, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Here is what the The Hon Greg Combet AM MP, the Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, had to say on April 4th, 2011 concerning climate science.

Robust science is vital to understanding, and therefore appropriately managing, the impacts of climate change. Communicating climate change science accurately and effectively is equally important. We must move beyond the baseless attacks on the science of climate change, and enable this fundamental issue to be better understood across our community. The Australian public deserves better.

Using the discredited hockey stick in one of its many forms to communicate climate change means the deserving Australian public are not receiving robust, accurate and effective science.

Apr 25, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermac

Michael Mann is still tricking in his latest speech as well (April 21)

Apr 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBatheswithwhales

What's the old saying about old dogs and new tricks?

Apr 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

@mac 4:19pm:

The quote you provide is another example of an attempt to frame the issue in terms of "communication".

Do they all get a memo or something?

Apr 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

One thing great about a lie is that it never goes out of date. If you can cook up a good one, you'll never need another; and this is one of the finest.

Apr 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

"Professor" Steffen has gone in for some good cherry-picking with his dates (no pun intended). Sea ice ends 2007/8, Australian rainfall 2005. Of course, according to the prof, climate change has caused the droughts in Australia and now it has caused the floods. It's really pathetic to see the behaviour of these people.

Apr 25, 2011 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

With your flock uttering soothing words, I say you did not do enough Bishop. You should have done book tours, radio inerviews, TV interviews. Evrywhere English is spoken. Arranged of cours by your poblishers. It is not enough to write a clever book. The world is stupid and lazy.

Apr 25, 2011 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

DPDLS Apr 25, 2011 at 2:22 PM :

The amazing thing is that they are still at it -- I would have bet that they would come up with something new by now.

Considering the fanfare - not to mention the Nature cover - it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Steig et al's venture into Antarctic alarmism was intended to ... uh ...fill this gap. Alas, it didn't quite, well, do the trick for them.

I guess they just lack imagination.

Au contraire! It seems to me that they are constantly attempting to bring to the fore the figments of their imagination ;-)

Apr 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Apr 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Anoneumouse
Doesn't pasta have a sell/use by date?

Only if it hasn't been cooked.

Apr 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonasM

Truncating anomalous data seems to be standard practice. Remember 2010 being proclaimed the warmest year on record? Not accroding to Met Office / Hadley Centre data - it only ranks third after 1998 and 2005. So the NASA Earth Observatory misses the 2010 data point this from a graph. Particularly revealing when considering this record was pre-announced in May 2010 by the James Hansen, head of NASA GISS.


Apr 25, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

More on Prof Steffen's presentation and the one sided advice he has been giving to the Oz government in this Quadrant essay yesterday from Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks, Bill Kininmonth & Des Moore.

Apr 26, 2011 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce of Newcastle

Several points missing from the discussion so far.

First, Steffen's Slide#1 shows "average temperature" of the Earth from 1880 to 2000, and is a gross deception because the tropics are completely absent from the record before 1910, and only spottily there before 1950, while since 1990 high latitude met. stations in Canada and former USSR have been disappearing or migrating south, so Steffen understates global temperatures before 1950 and exaggerates them since 1990. The NOAA provides maps showing met station coverage since 1880 and a graph of the number of met. stations worldwide, still below 5,000 in 1950, peaks at 6,000 in 1970 and is now less than 1,500, the level in 1910.
Another deception is Steffen's photo of Brisbane airport today, and depiction of it in 2100 with sea rise PLUS a high tide. But then who am I to challenge a scientist of renown who constantly compares apples with oranges. But Steffen is right about one thing, his pic shows the good folk of Queensland simply do not have the nous to build a sea wall of even one metre to keep the sea at bay, as they will all be so green by then that the future of the periwinkle will be enough for them not to allow it.

But the biggest porky in Steffen's show is his Slide showing
“Emission reduction strategies: cumulative emissions approach”.

This slide is based on the meretricious paper in Nature (April 2009) by the Meinshausen family including no doubt their baby sitter (Will Steffen, because he cites them). That paper like Steffen’s slide implies that it is GROSS emissions that add to the atmospheric concentration of CO2, when of course it is only the airborne proportion (44% on average since 1958) that does and produces some warming. Steffen’s slide claims that all 305 GtCO2 emitted from 2000-2009 stayed aloft, when even CDIAC data for [CO2] at Mauna Loa show an increase of only 18.2 ppm = 38.63 GtC = 141.8 GtCO2.

That is 46.5% of Steffen’s grossly misleading figure, but he knew none of the MCCC were up to checking his data and sources, least of all any of his peers/pals at ANU’s Crawford School and Climate Change Institute where he hangs out.

Apr 26, 2011 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Curtin

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