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« UK energy policy faltering | Main | Maddox prize »
Tuesday
Jun262012

Gergis to resubmit at end of July

The University of Melbourne's page on the Gergis paper has been updated:

An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study, "Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium" by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Stephen Phipps, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate. 

The authors are currently reviewing the data and methods. The revised paper will be re-submitted to the Journal of Climate by the end of July and it will be sent out for peer review again.

I do think that this time around the Journal of Climate should ask the authors to archive the data series that didn't pass the screening as well as those that did.

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Reader Comments (87)

am more concerned that in australia we now have had 3 desal plants (sydney, melbourne and gold coast, queensland) mothballed cos the usual cyclical rains are back, despite Tim Flannery's CAGW predictions, and the cost to the taxpayer runs into multi billions of dollars and is ongoing.

yet the anti-carbon tax party now running new south wales doesn't think it's wasted money, while the Greens are getting away with being more critical of the waste! meanwhile the MSM has barely covered the latest mothballing, and even this little bit of coverage does not link the 3 plants nor combine the costs to aussie taxpayers, nor link their construction to CAGW alarmism in any way:

26 June: News.com.au: AAP: Desal plant closure not waste: NSW govt
Sydney’s desalination plant will be mothballed this weekend even though taxpayers will keep having to pay off its construction costs.
BUT NSW Finance Minister Greg Pearce says the $2 billion development hasn’t been a waste of money.
“The fact that the desal plant will be turned off from the first of July will save Sydney Water customers $50 million a year,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
“But we’ll still have the security if we ever or when we eventually need to turn the desalination plant back on again.”…
Mr Pearce confirmed the government was still paying $16 million a month for the cost of building the plant and pipeline.
Greens MP John Kaye told ABC Radio the plant was expensive and completely unnecessary.
“The problem we have now is that we’re paying tens of billions of dollars to keep this plant when we don’t even want to operate it,” he said…
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/desal-plant-closure-not-waste-nsw-govt/story-e6frfku9-1226408627988#ixzz1yr7T5aet

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

I am very ignorant, but I think I understand that the Bishop’s expectations in respect of the archiving of data may not be the only area in which Gergis may have an interest in being coy. Maybe methodologies will also be obscured.

So consider the following as background. Type 1 scientists want to find out about how ‘nature’ works, and Type 2 use science to achieve an objective. Cognoscenti here are typically type 1, Gergis type 2.

The dispute goes thus:

Type I scientists want full disclosure of data and methodology. Including those that were considered and abandoned and the reasons for adoption and abandonment. That’s what Type 1 scientists need to evaluate whether work contributes anything to how knowledge of how nature works.

Type 2 scientists investigate data and methodologies from an almost infinite universe until they find examples that contribute to their objective, which is to show something (In this case maybe a South side hockey stick with no MWP), and they are probably proud to display the data and methods that allowed them to reach their proof. Why should they display the rest? Where to draw the line? The outer boundaries of what they considered were not important parts of the work. Variations in thickness of kangaroo hair across the seasons and the continent? Thought of that in my bath but dismissed it.

Type 2 scientists simply do not understand the gripes of Type 1 scientists. It is not necessary to show a lot of data that did not help to achieve the objective. We explained how the job was done. That is surely our obligation and is enough.

Both types just doing their jobs.

Type 1 scientist hold the moral high ground, I think, but Type 2 scientists will often believe in the absolute value of the objective they serve and want to dispute Type 1’s occuptation of that position.

[Snip -Godwin]

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

[Snip - response to snipped comment]

Dr. Gergis(and the others) are green activists trying to play our their role in persuading the politicians that there is a catastrophic crisis looming. I have my own views about green activists, one of which is that they make excellent Type 2 scientists.

I seldom make predictions because I have a rap sheet of failures as long as my arm. (I predicted Coronation Street would last only six episodes), but I'd hazard a guess and say that Steve McIntyre and (let's not forget Jean S and the others over at CA) will not be asked to review the paper. That the data and methods will not be put in a public archive, That the proxies not selected and the reasons for the non-selection will not be made public. And that the paper will be widely quoted and highly publicised in the upcoming AR5 report.

I also predict that the AR5 will tell us it's worse than they thought in AR4.

Now there's a bunch of predictions I won't mind getting wrong, alas, I think I'm on the button this time.

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:15 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

RoyFOMR - your suggested course of action doesn't make sense. It has been known for a while that the optimal strategy is to start positive but respond in kind. So if you don't up the antes first but if your opponents' honesty is found wanting to the point of cheating, then you respond hard and literally start splitting hair (theirs).

Your opponents have only themselves to blame and if they want to restore trust they'll have to show the humility and brainpower needed to get it back. End of story. If they don't get as much, in fact, either they're dishonest by nature, or saving energy by having the lights firmly off "upstairs".

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:13 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

This whole debacle is taking on all the aspects of some kind of ritual dance, it seems to me. Almost all of the commenters here seem to be too close to the subject to recognise this.

Where can the science be when a team of scientists, headed by an activist, sets out on a paper like this?

Does anyone seriously believe that the end result would be anything but one that supported the theory of "dramatically" rising recent temperatures and minimisation of the MWP etc. If it did not, it just would not be published.

If the data cannot at first "legitimately" (i.e. capable of passing considerably more stringent peer review) be shown to produce the desired effect, then a "trick" acceptable to the climate community will be employed...and if there is no way that such an acceptable fig-leaf "trick" can be found then the paper will be (eventually) retracted or indefinitely delayed until the hoo-hah dies down.

As an outsider to these circles, I would have no confidence in the results of this paper now unless the whole project were at the very least turned over to a different set of people. Perhaps the rest of the commentators here can assure me that good science can be carried out by people with palpable bias when it relies so heavily on the dismal science of statistics to produce results.

What kind of faith can anyone have in a scientific experiment (which after all is what this is) when the scientific community cannot agree on whether or not the actual "method" is correct?

To move from the scientific ( if indeed it is scientific ) to the political.....does anyone really think that the future outcome of this paper will have ANY EFFECT WHATSOEVER on the various entrenched positions of the parties in the paleotemperature debate? What possible chance is there of a definitive answer to the paleo question when the scientific community cannot even agree on the significance or accuracy of the RECENT actual surface temperature or atmospheric records?

As an outside observer it is increasingly obvious to me that any signals are obscured by the noise and that the quality of data so far is simply not sufficient to formulate an experiment that could come to any definitive conclusion.

I should be grateful for a brief explanatory reassurance that this is not the case.

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Godwin,
Bishop Hill management.

Yes, OK, I did wonder if I was raising the ante too much. My apologies.

Geronimo

Of course, climate scientists like Ms Gergis and the UEA people (and probably Mann) (What about our Richard?) are Type 2 scientists –they are paid to help the government with an established policy and not to find out how the climate actually works, which has far lower priority. So not a matter of opinion but a sine qua non.

Your prognostications seem likely to be right. The government juggernaut, including bodies like the IPCC, will role on carrying all before it, wallowing in the wholly satisfactory achievment of a logically perfect structure that requires only a little easily ignored cherypicking to support it.

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Ecclesiastical Uncle

The climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre, including myself, are paid to understand the climate, in order to inform decisions on forming policy. We are definitely not paid to "help the government with an established policy".

Doug McNeall has a nice post on this, following a presentation from the guy at Defra who part-funds our work.

Cheers

Richard

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

The climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre, including myself, are paid to understand the climate, in order to inform decisions on forming policy. We are definitely not paid to "help the government with an established policy".

This sounds like the high and mighty claim at the end of the NOAA reports. So from this statement, Richard, we can assume that you (the MO) do not advise the government in any way shape or form? Correct. You do not influence the government and you do not distort the facts, omit the certainties when demanding more taxes for your work and tools.? The government, therefore, does not use the work of the MO to reinforce their green agenda.

[Snip. Unnecessary.]

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Type 1 scientists think politicisation of science is bad.

Type 2 scientists think 'scienticisation of politics' is good.

While Type 2 scientists typically scream about looming climate catastrophe, Type 1 scientists twiddle their thumbs in silence.

I respect neither Type 1 nor Type 2.

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

So Richard, you can't see, or you can totally explain, all the variations of climate in the ice cores? You see, I don't think you have anything like the data you'd need to map 'natural variation'. I also think as explained in my best evidence post that there is potential to measure radiative forcing and heating taking place in the real world but such measurements are not used in the case to support AGW. My conjecture is that the measurements have been made but can't be made to support the case and have been, not suppressed, just kinda left out. After all, you can't publish a paper that says 'nothing much is happening'.

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

"We are definitely not paid to "help the government with an established policy"."

You may think that Richard, but does the Government? Does Mr. Napier? Does Julia Slinger? Does Vicki Pope? All three are activist environmentalists determined to make the government follow a cause of action put forward by the environmental NGOs.

One of the things that you're definitely paid to do is give us reasonably accurate weather forecasts,
And they're lamentable, you've just forecast 3 month of drought on 23 March which was followed by three months of intermible rain, setting 100 year records. That the forecast was 180 degrees out of kilter with the reality and made only 8 days before the the start of the period I have to say that if you are paid to understand the climate you've a long way to go if you can get weather forecasts where you can see most of the parameters so wrong.

And yet you'd have us believe you can forecast the weather conditions 50 or 100 years out?

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

The Gergis paper is, like Mann's hockey-stick, an artificial attempt to airbrush the MWP [and earlier WPs] from History. The reason is the revelation in 1997 that Vostok ice cores at high resolution showed [CO2] following T at the end of ice ages therefore CO2-GW was not the cause of the warming.

Thus it was that 'the team' set out to prove modern warming gave the same CO2 climate sensitivity. This is not science but politics. The real science [Stott 2007] is that the onset of melting of the Antarctic sea ice is 1300 years before warming of the tropical sea surface and it takes another 700 years before [CO2] rises. Who will drive the new 'money-changers' out from the Temple of Science?

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

quote
3. Keep the de-trending and hunt up some new proxies somewhere, anywhere that will give them the "right" answer.
unquote

I can give some advice here, an unusual circumstance as I know little about proxies.

Speleotherms. These are perfect for the methods employed by Gergis et al in their research: they vary a lot so they can be sifted to find the data. If one stalagmite gives you a wrong response, another only inches away might reflect the true climate signal. All they will need to do is find a few good men and their paper will be saved. Throw away the data that you didn't use -- it's rubbish anyway because it doesn't give you the true signal -- and there you are. Research accomplished.

Saved under 'Good Grief speleotherms on my computer is this quote about speleotherms:

quote
A USEFUL STARTING POINT FOR SPELEOTHEM CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION
IS TO ASSUME THAT:
· every sample has a different response to climate, and that even two stalagmites ten cm apart in the
same cave will have different climate signals.
· that non-linear responses should be expected due to the inherently non-linear hydrology of karst
· deeper, slower dripping samples will show more linear responses, but will also be lagged and
maybe even have no response to surface climate. In contrast, shallow and fast dripping stalagmites will be
very responsive to climate but will be more difficult to calibrate and understand.
· Most climate proxies preserved in stalagmites are a complex mixture of soil, vegetation, rainfall,
evaporation, hydrological and geological processes.
unquote

If they can't make a climate signal out of that then they are not true climate scientists.

JF

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Nobody where I work supports the "Occupy" movements.

This doesn't mean we are paid to help the financial sector with an established policy. It only means that people who support the "Occupy" movements seldom apply, and even more rarely pass selections to work in this sector.

Likewise I can code alright, plus am familiar with weather forecasting, atmospheric sciences and physics in general: but for obvious reasons I would not be employed by the Met Office. Nor would I want to be.

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Dr Betts

I am sorry that I dragged you into these troubled waters. But the afflictions that beset outside subsidiary.organisations like the IPCC and the UEA also beset internal government organizations like, I suppose, the Hadley Centre . Hence the shorthand of my mention of you. With a few more words I could have avoided the personal reference and I repeat my apologies.

I am unsure, however, how you can be confident that the Hadley Centre staff are definitely NOT paid to help the government with an established policy. Is there actually a Whitehall document that lists what Centre staff shall definitely NOT do?

You are what I was- a faceless bureaucrat (No doubt you are a lot better and more senior one than I ever was). Your job description will be similar to what mine was. But I never had the potential dilemma you now have: how to advise a government on a matter on which it already has a policy. What do you do to be right? Do you go with what they overtly ask you to do? Maybe tell them there are huge faults in their policy? Who does that help? Or do you confine your work to matters that will help them to do what they genuinely believe in? Maybe it is your duty to do so - after all they do pay the money.

Lucky, but maybe just a little less stimulated, me!

But your personal dilemma is a consequence of the larger institutional dilemma. If the Centre’s job is as you say, there is at least the possibility of a conflict with Government. Such conflicts are, of course, routine in Government - the stuff of interdepartmental politics (For every Government policy there shall be an equal and opposite government policy.) And there is probably no way of avoiding them, but IMHO the way all this has turned out with respect to energy and climate is especially unfortunate.

So are you a Type ! or a Type 2 scientist? I do not know and I strongly suspect that you do not either – not really. Hence the question mark in my original piece.

Jun 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Dear Uncle: I suspect there are quite a few at Hadley who have serious reservations about the climate models. I shan't go on about what major problems exist because that would incur the displeasure of BH. However, you can tell that the people who have derived the heat generation and transfer in the models are insecure from the frenzied attempts to prevent discussion.

In time, the dam will burst and I sincerely hope there will be a Public Enquiry to establish how objective science was displaced by activism in what used to be a respected scientific civil service.

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Doug McNeall's posterous

"... The decision makers were the governments of the world, the question was “do we really need to stop emitting so much CO2?”, and the answer was, broadly, “yes”..."

Should have replied, broadly, "don't know".

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Alan - both answers aren't meaningful per-se. We have a 100% consensus on "Do we really need to stop making so much war?" and still wars are being fought.

There is a lot we really need to stop doing, and it's a policy (non-scientific) choice to prioritise one or another.

Jun 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Now that the IPCC accepts non-peer reviewed work that provides them with the "right" answers, presumably they will also accept peer reviewed work that similarly gives the "right" answers even if proven wrong. It would be entirely consistent.

Jun 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Ward

Interesting discussion, thanks to all participants (not forgetting the moderators). May I add that I am always pleased to read Richard Betts' calm, polite and positive comments here and elsewhere online? Some of us may need reminding that not all climate insiders are dull and arrogant bigots, even if some appear to be. It's a credit to the Met Office that they have Richard on the staff.
Gergis et al seem sure that they will resubmit. And Steve McI says he's prepared to be a peer reviewer. Now there's a challenge and a half. They must expect that Steve will insist on seeing the data from the missing 62 minus 27 proxies (or however many it was). If the owners of that data all have to be contacted that could take some time. And Steve may insist on inclusion of more of the Law Dome series. But if Steve does get asked, I hope he will make an effort to get something by Gergis et al into print, even if it turns out to lack HS’s and doesn't tell us anything much about the MWP.

Jun 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterColdish

There's lots of mythology about peer review - including many confident statements about precise rules governing how it functions. In truth, there are very few rules that are followed in practice in all cases - the system relies on sensible unbiased behaviour by editors, at least on average.

My point: PR people like Realclimate may try to state with confidence that the resubmitted paper 'has to' have the same referees as the original version. Poppycock. Commonsense dictates that the views of Steve M (or Jean S) be sought, albeit not necessarily followed.

Jun 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Jeremy,

Indeed. Also, in this particular case, it should also be remembered that the original reviewers completely failed to pick up the error(s?) in the paper and, therefore, ought not to be asked to review the re-submission.

Jun 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterLC

My sarcastic answer to this because you know all they will do is hide their methodology better so Mr McIntyre cannot do his usual brilliant stuff.

'They'll just change the font and bobs me uncle it's in AR5.'

Jun 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Actually, it's all academic because Nahle's experiment apparently shows there is no direct thermalisation of the absorbed IR in a modified 'PET bottle' experiment....: www.slayingtheskydragon.com/images/PDFs/BERTHOLD-KLEIN.pdf

[GHG warming is probably indirect and much lower than claimed therefore there is no traction in falsifying a hockey stick yet again.]

Jun 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

I'm a lot less interested in whether the statistical games played with the various proxies end up being judged within the rules or not than I am that Karoly and Gergis not be allowed to get away with ridiculous sweeping "findings" based thereon. No matter what proxies get cobbled together, it is sheer madness to think that the magic wand of a little PCA turns it all into an ironclad scientific proof of past temperature history. At best, it would be some interesting evidence on the subject.

And as for the claims that a study like this proves CAGW .....

Jun 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

Richard Betts

Richard

After your defence of the Slingo letter and the climategate scientists in the previous thread, you didn't respond to several folk who tried to point out to you that the issue there wasn't the science - but rather the trust in scientists.

IMHO this has now become the main arena for this debate and you shouldn't ignore it. The recent problems with Gergis et al and Forest have brought the credibility of climate scientists to a new all time low.

Every week we seem to discover new evidence of your science being infiltrated by political activism to the point where laymen like me simply don't know who they can trust anymore.

A completely non-scientific analogy -

Imagine your house is for sale and I turn up to buy it - with a large suitcase stuffed with £20 notes. I show you the money and you notice that the first few notes you look at are crude forgeries. You point this out to me and I respond "Don't worry about that - there are thousands of perfectly good ones in there too".

Would you feel like pursuing the transaction - or showing me the door?

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Your analogy, Foxgoose, is apposite but Richard has little leeway to answer. The climate models are objectively wrong simply from one aspect, first revealed in 2010 by the US' top cloud physicist, G. L. Stephens. Like me he realised that the cloud physics is wrong and quantified it.

All climate models use double real low level cloud optical depth to offset exaggerated warming from the incorrect IR and heat transfer physics, then fine tune with variable net AIE justified by modelling.

So, they have no chance of predicting the future at all. In essence, the Met Office is driven by momentum. it can't admit failure: http://climaterealists.com/?id=9851

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Spartacus. - please assign yourself a quota eg 3 times a week and only repeat the same argument as many times as the quota allows ;)

thanks!

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Jun 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM | David Lilley says

ManicBeancounter's website has a number of good articles pointing out these problems.

Thanks for the reference.

It is worth bringing together the long list of criticisms that have been made of the paper. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before Gergis et al 2012 (Mk2) should qualify the status of a scientific paper.

In summary my criticisms :-
1. Too few proxies for such a large area – 27 for > 5% of the globe.
2. Even then, 6 are well outside the area.
3. Of these six, Gergis’ table makes it appear 3 are inside the area.
4. Despite the huge area, there are significant clusters – with massive differences between proxies at the same or nearby sites.
5. There are no proxies from the sub-continental land mass of Australia.
6. Need to remove the Palmyra Proxy because (a) it has errant readings (b) fails the ‘t’ test (c) > 2000km outside of the area, in the Northern Hemisphere.
7. Without Palmyra the medieval period becomes the warmest of the millennium. But with just two tree ring proxies, one at 42 O South and the other at 43 O S representing an range from 0 to 50O S, this is hardly reliable.

On top of this are Steve McIntyre’s (with assistance from JeanS and RomanM) criticisms.
1. The filtering method of Gergis excluded the high quality Law Dome series, but included the lower quality Vostok data, and the Oroko tree ring proxy. McIntyre notes that Jones and Mann 2003 rejected Oroko, but included Law Dome on different criteria.
2. Gergis screening correlations were incorrectly calculated. JeanS calculated properly. Only 6 out of 27 proxies passed. (NB none of the six proxies outside the area passed)
3. The Gergis initially screened 62 proxies. Given that the screening included proxies that should not have included 21 proxies, but should it have included some of the 35 excluded proxies. We do not know, as Gergis has refused to reveal these excluded proxies.
4. Screening creates a bias in the results in favour of the desired result if that correlation is with a short period of the data. If the proxies randomly show C20th warming or not, then you will accept proxies with a C20th uptick. If proxies show previous fluctuations randomly and (to some extent) independently of the C20th uptick, then those previous fluctuations will be understated.

I have enlarged on these points here with links and graphs.

These lists are not exhaustive by any means. Maybe others can find more, or restate in more succinct terms.

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Foxgoose

After your defence of the Slingo letter and the climategate scientists in the previous thread, you didn't respond to several folk

I think I'm going to have to impose a rule that I won't respond if people start saying I haven't responded within just a few hours :-) As Rhoda correctly pointed out on that thread, I was busy at the climate communication meeting (see the discussion thread for my quick overview). Then I had to cook tea, operate Dad's Taxi, and make arrangements for our trip to Manchester on Friday for the Stone Roses rock concert - which sadly looks like being a bit damp and windy for an outdoor gig, but hey ho... :-)

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes - I have now responded on the previous thread, despite the fact that on that thread you advised me not too :-)

If I get time I'll try to respond to other points on this thread tomorrow, but I may not get time because I've got lots to do before being off on Friday.

Cheers

Richard

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:37 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Sorry Richard - I didn't mean to ruin your day.

You're being a little bit disingenuous again though.

By keeping quiet, I meant resist the temptation to defend the indefensible by trotting out the official party line - we expect better of you than that.

I know it's very difficult to criticise colleagues - but someone honest on your side has to start calling time on the "dog ate the homework" and "lonesome pine" merchants - otherwise climate science will become a joke.

Sceptics don't really mind whether the science becomes honest or a joke, frankly - as long as the legislative punishment beatings stop.

Jun 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Richard, the following would have dismissed, out of hand, by my old boss as "shop floor excuses":-

"I was busy at the climate communication meeting (see the discussion thread for my quick overview). Then I had to cook tea, operate Dad's Taxi, and make arrangements for our trip to Manchester on Friday for the Stone Roses rock concert - which sadly looks like being a bit damp and windy for an outdoor gig, but hey ho... :-)

Anyway, where was I?"

And he was right!

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:41 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

It is worth listing the long list of criticisms that have been made of the paper. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before Gergis et al 2012 should qualify the status of a scientific paper.

In summary my criticisms :-
1. Too few proxies for such a large area – 27 for > 5% of the globe.
2. Even then, 6 are well outside the area.
3. Of these six, Gergis’ table makes it appear 3 are inside the area.
4. Despite huge area, there are significant clusters – with massive differences between proxies at the same or nearby sites.
5. There are no proxies from the sub-continental land mass of Australia.
6. Need to remove the Palmyra Proxy because (a) it has errant readings (b) fails the ‘t’ test (c) > 2000km outside of the area, in the Northern Hemisphere.
7. Without Palmyra the medieval period becomes the warmest of the millennium. But with just two tree ring proxies, one at 42 O South and the other at 43 O S representing an range from 0 to 50O S, this is hardly reliable.

On top of this are the Steve McIntyre’s (with assistance from JeanS and RomanM) criticisms.
1. The filtering method of Gergis excluded the high quality Law Dome series, but included the lower quality Vostok data, and the Oroko tree ring proxy. McIntyre notes that Jones and Mann 2003 rejected Oroko, but included Law Dome on different criteria.
2. Gergis screening correlations were incorrectly calculated. JeanS calculated properly. Only 6 out of 27 proxies passed. (NB none of the six proxies outside the area passed)
3. The Gergis initially screened 62 proxies. Given that the screening included proxies that should not have included 21 proxies, but should it have included some of the 35 excluded proxies. We do not know, as Gergis has refused to reveal these excluded proxies.
4. Screening creates a bias in the results in favour of the desired result if that correlation is with a short period of the data. If the proxies randomly show C20th warming or not, then you will accept proxies with a C20th uptick. If proxies show previous fluctuations randomly and (to some extent) independently of the C20th uptick, then those previous fluctuations will be understated.

http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/06/27/gergis-2012-mark-2-hurdles-to-overcome/

Jun 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Dr Richard Betts

I have given my previous speculation about your position further thought. I now conclude that your circumstances will very likely ensure that the issue of whether you are a Type ! or a Type 2 scientist may not be answerable. Your work will, I expect, be subject to some sort of managerial constraints and I doubt you will be granted facilities to enable you to pursue matters unwelcome to the Government. This could make you a Type 2 scientist, but does not preclude the possibility that you are also Type 1.

Clearly the sets of work of Types ! and 2 scientists may overlap, and I expect you will feel that your work lies in the common area. So I anticipate you find the question I left you with misconceived

However, IMHO the disputes you find yourself in in this blog seem to revolve around whether items of work you do are in the common ground or not. These are scientific questions that I am totally unequipped to address.

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Green Sand

Sure, but here on a blog, which I post on through my own choice, I don't even need to offer any excuses! :-)

Cheers

Richard

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Thanks, ManicOne, for the list and links. Nice work.

I think the study should be retitled "blah, blah, blah for the Antarctic, and Australasian, region (excluding mainland Australia and most of Antarctica)."

Jun 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Anyone report any info on the revision of this paper?

I'm guessing they may prefer to try to slip it through quietly this time....

Jul 30, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

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