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« That's telling him | Main | Gatekeeping continues »

Tim Osborn responds to the Yamal furore

I've just noticed that UEA has posted a response to the recent flurry of postings about Yamal, both at Climate Audit and here.

It's authored by Tim Osborn and can be seen here.

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Reader Comments (85)

May 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Michael Larkin

"Don, no relation to christine ?"

That would be Christine Keeler, not Keiller. :-)

I nearly met a bloke once who was a cousin of what's her name? That actress that used to go out withHugh Grant.

May 30, 2012 at 6:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh


What the f@£k has any of that got to do with climate science? Perhaps the end game is finally being publicly unveiled???


May 30, 2012 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Surely that whole hockey stick thing doesn't matter any more? My professor told me so.

May 30, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

RE: Jimmy Haigh,

I don't think any actresses have been out with Hugh Grant.

May 30, 2012 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

So Briffa fails to use all the data (for some unknown reason) but we now know that even a "quick look" approach demonstrates that if all the data are used the hockey stick disappears. So what work have these people actually been doing for the last 6 years since Tim Osborn admitted looking at the data in 2006? Steve McIntyre shows that these calculations don't take very long to make to get a sense of what the data would show.

I mean, its not like these findings are important is it? /sarc. If we carefully select the data then the world's about to end and we must spend trillions of dollars and the science is settled, but if we use all the data, then it appears that either trees are not thermometers, or the response curve is multivalued, or possibly the tree rings disagree with temperature rise in the modern period becuase the temperature data is wrong, or...clearly the science is not settled. This data almost certainly gives lie to the claim made by politicians following publication of TAR (2001) that the 1990's were the warmest decade for a thousand years.

I just cannot understand how it can take so long to process this data. In a proper paid job this would all be wrapped up in a few weeks, surely? What do CRU actually do for a living at taxpayer largesse? It clearly isn't working on important data sets and publishing papers quickly.

May 30, 2012 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

"I just cannot understand how it can take so long to process this data. In a proper paid job this would all be wrapped up in a few weeks, surely? What do CRU actually do for a living at taxpayer largesse? It clearly isn't working on important data sets and publishing papers quickly."

Watching the sunset in Tahiti or Bali or where ever must slow down the data processing somewhat.

May 30, 2012 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndyS

Isn't Osborn the Lead Author for paleo in the next IPCC report?

May 30, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

Bernard Cribbins Tim Osborn sings the classic climate science theme tune...

....There I was, a-digging this hole....A hole in the ground, so big and sort of round...

May 30, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

When ever I see Peer-Review mentioned I always picture the clouds parting and a heavenly light descending to Earth and fat little cherubs floating gently down playing heavenly music on their heavenly harps....

....While in the real world.

May 30, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Keiller/Keeler- relation?
Not that I know of.
Pity I could do with a bit of notoriety :-)

May 30, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Everyone makes mistakes eh Tim ? even the team are fallible.
So why not pick out a mistake, write it up, stick a pseudonym on it and try to get it published

May 30, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Quote of the year so far- from Donna yesterday:-

In sum, climate science is a small, incestuous, inbred little community. In no way does it represent the world’s finest scientific minds.

May 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

I find it interesting that there are links to all sorts of things in that PDF, but not where it would make most sense, i.e.

The raw tree-ring data used in our published work are available.

The suggestion, presumably, being that it's up to the reader to go find that data themselves.

May 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterThrog

"Guess what, the lead author for the chapter is from the UEA !!" Ross, May 30

I've just e-mailed Donna, who is normally so careful in her checks, to let her know that somehow she has confused the University of East Anglia with the University of Exeter:

(Adger looks like a decent bloke, but sounds like a complete eco-loon).

She is, after all, in Canada, and probably less familiar with these institutions than UK residents.

May 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterCassio

we simply did not consider these [Khadyta River] data at the time

This statement is accurate: “at the time” referred to CRU’s work for these two publications in 2000 and 2008.

In other words: "at the time" referred to a time including 2000 and 2008.

So, let us add this detail into the original: "we simply did not consider these [Khadyta River] data during a time which includes 2000 and 2008".

But we NOW know they used the data in 2006!

So, how can this statement possibly be true?

Perhaps the word "simply" might save them?

According to OED: Simply: With simplicity (of mind) or sincerity; in an honest or straightforward manner; also, in later use, unaffectedly, artlessly.

Now we can rule out "in an honest or straightforward manner" by the way this information had to be torn from them piece by piece by FOIs and a ruling of the information commissioner.

So could they be pleading: "simplicity of mind"?

... "we were so stupid that we did not consider these [Khadyta River] data at the time"?

But if they are really pleading stupidity, this makes their grandiose statements in their grant applications of being a premier institution .... fraud!

The only sense of "simply" (in the OED) which makes sense is this:

We say this "Without addition or qualification" ... what follows is the complete story.

But it was not the complete story. It was not without qualification. It was not true they did not consider the Khadyta River data "at this time" ... a period which Mr Osborn admits includes both 2000 and 2008 and one when they clearly considered it for the 2006 paper.

Tim Osborn has issued a statement that is provably false and if it were a genuine mistake he would come here and apologise.

May 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottish Sceptic

Briffa recently placed the following dataset online within the last month or so:

The data was in Climategate documents, but otherwise was not available until my FOI request, despite CRU's pretence otherwise.

May 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

May 30, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist
"Everyone makes mistakes eh Tim ? even the team are fallible.
So why not pick out a mistake, write it up, stick a pseudonym on it and try to get it published"

Peter Gleik already did that.

May 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Since one of Dr. Osborn's primary pieces of advice (and argumentation) is that now all the data is online and 'anyone' can do a temperature reconstruction (and submit it for publishing).

...what if one of the primary criticisms (as SM's has said before) is that dendro-reconstructions are inherently not robust to begin with? How can this be addressed by publishing a reconstruction? Or, has the "literature" successfully dealt with this robustness issue following the acquiesced feebleness of the original MBH papers?

Also, "technically" SM had indeed created a 'back-of-the-envelope' reconstruction using 'all the data' from the Polar-Urals/Yamal region. It has been thoroughly decried for not following proper selection methodology-- yet this methodology has not been explained in the literature at all, other than to say "chronologies that support the observed record are to be selected" ... which side-steps the question of whether or not they actually are good proxies. Thus far, using such methodology, just a handful of cores are left, which themselves can't be too proven to be beyond random luck, yes?

This forthcoming publication by Dr Osborn (and presumably Briffa) MUST delve greatly into the selection methodology in order to actually get past the same arguments that have dogged the other papers. Otherwise, we'll still be down to a few percent of cores that "truly show temperature" with 90+% that apparently don't, with the same overall signature.

May 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalamano

It is a simple case of non-reproducibility of (highly convenient and useful) scientific findings. As we all know, this has happened in science many times before. The strategy is to throw up as much mud in the air as possible, reach the comfortable end of one's careers and then retire.

Who cares about science?

May 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

@ Cassio

Regarding Neil Adger's affiliations:

The link in my post (on his name) takes us to a bio that says he's with the UEA. You can see it here.

The UEA website features a number of videos of Adger, including this one dated last year.

This news article, dated last month, identifies him as being from the from the UEA.

It appears the good professor has multiple affiliations.

May 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDonna Laframboise

Cassio, says it's East Anglia.

May 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

It seems he moved to Exeter in April, and UEA has failed to update their records.

May 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

"Off Topic but quite a good laugh: "--Jamspid

From the irish times article:

"Rio has 33,000 beds available for visitors, according to the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association, while Rio+20’s organisers expect up to 50,000 to attend next month’s event."

And these are the people who want to run the planet?

May 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

surely by now the next climate conference is done via teleconferencing, as it is all worse than we expected??

Or do they not feel constrained by showing a little consistency

they want us to shower less, but for themselves that should not mean they should jet less around the world, fancy hotel , diners on the water side, being the pompous fart ..lots of CO2 expended there.

I hope a day by day gauge is taken of the CO2 expense of the conference and compared with what could have been saved by using off the shelf existing products re teleconferencing.

May 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

@ Donna Laframboise

So it seems that relevant websites had not reported Neil Adger's very recent move to Exeter. I withdraw any possible or inferred slur on your knowledge of UK geography. (NB to all male readers; this is not the time, therefore, to make any skittish comments on the fair sex and map reading).

May 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterCassio

"Rio has 33,000 beds available for visitors, according to the Brazilian Hotel Industry Association, while Rio+20’s organisers expect up to 50,000 to attend next month’s event."

And these are the people who want to run the planet?
May 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM jorgekafkazar

Any news on the learjet/limo/hooker statistics yet?

I always look forward to those.

May 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Adger makes a guest appearance in Climategate 2011 email 2639 among others; see

May 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

... and on the thread linked by Jonathan there is a fascinating link to a post by Lucy Skywalker on WUWT detailing some of the UEA/CRU emails wrt Neil Adger and Alan Kendall...... Prof. Adger does not come across as any model of academic freedom and open mindedness I would say......

Summary of UEA emails wrt Neil Adger and Alan Kendall

May 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

The "Times" has an 8 page insert extolling the benefits of offshore wind energy.
Apparently supported by "Green Giraffe"

I wonder how much this propaganda extravaganza cost (us)?

May 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Why is George Marshall (COIN, Rising Tide, Campaign Against Climate Change, etc) video 'How to Speak to a Climate Denier' appearing on a DEFRA )government ) website..

George, communication person that he is, deletes all my comments from his blog on this topic (I pointed out calling people deniers, and linking to Halls of Shame, may just irritate people, and not think he has much goodwill.

My comment has been reproduced (eventually, after a twitter chat asking where my comment went) on the Talking Climate website

May 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I came across this temperature reconstruction from 400 away from Yamal.

Comparing the figures is rather striking

May 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

DocMartyn...can you supply any insight as to where Staudinger and Strunk got it so wrong?

May 30, 2012 at 11:50 PM | Registered Commenterdiogenes

When Obama was told that another Secret Service guy was caught with Brazilian whores he said: 'Hey, I really gotta meet this guy. How many is a brazillion, anyway?'

May 31, 2012 at 4:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

>Staudinger and Strunk got it so wrong?
Perhaps they employed the discredited artifice of using more than one tree or an wizened savant learned in the ways of 'The Excel'.

May 31, 2012 at 5:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

@diogenes - I believe it's possible that they followed that horribly discredited process known as the 'scientific method'.

May 31, 2012 at 7:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

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