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« The economics of biofuels | Main | Introducing 'The Scythe' - Josh 213 »
Tuesday
Apr022013

30 seconds

You turn your back for 30 seconds (well, a couple of days) and all hell breaks loose. I took some time off while we had guests over Easter and in my absence the volume of material appearing across the web has been astonishing, much of it focused on the Marcott paper.

It began when Marcott et al issue a thoroughly evasive FAQ about their "scythe" paper; McIntyre responded here. Pielke Jr took a pot shot at the integrity of the climate science field and called for the paper to be corrected, along with the press release and the newspaper reports. McKitrick published an op-ed on the subject in the mainstream media. And to round it off, McIntyre accused Tamino of plagiarising his insights into the workings of the Marcott paper (although we have seen just as bad from Tamino in the past - he clearly has issues).

Climate remains a field in which you cannot relax your concentration for a moment.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (124)

BB. Beauty is indeed of the eye of the beholder.

As a fully ordained preacher in the Church of AGW, you see beauty in the sin and corruption of climate psience as the end truly justifies the means.

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Agouts, Martin B, NBY and others

It might be true that the Marcott et al Media Blitz some weeks ago had the intended effect (then) on the intended subjects, and that what has transpired afterwards won't register quite as broadly among them and mostly remain under the radar.

But that group, those suceptible to these kinds of PR-campaigns are not increasing in numbers, rather the opposite. And those churnolists and 'scientists' who repeat them, see them as 'confirmation' do so only because they already made up their mind (meaning = chose what trench to fling the mud from), and not even confirmation but more and more reassurance that they indeed did chose the right trench when they jumped in.

Some may still have influential positions in the media (and politics, and the field called 'climate science') but their numbers are waning, as is their influence.

Those are the ones once so happy to ride the tidal wave of (perceived) righteouness and based on (assumed) first rate 'science' and thus invested heavily and emotionally in the matter. Those will probably stay there to the bitter end (albeit lowering their profile as public support dwindles)

However, there is a large contingent out there among ordinary folks, decent journalists, real scientists, physicists, engineers, professionals etc, whom you hardly ever hear from or about in the media (or on dedicated websites). But who are not impressed with the shenanigans of the climate scare and alleged dito science. And who take notice, and more and more of this seeps through to more and more of the wider public.

We can already see that some on the inside opnely denounce RealClimate and all those who want to argue 'Climate Science' in their manner. And also notice that everytime they engage with their critics, they lose, and more gapoing holes are revealed.

The tide has started to turn, more and more people know it, and in wider circles more and more are starting to notice. And most of all, it will not reverse back anytime soon ... tides don't do that ..

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Here are a few metaphors mixed together to help clarify things. Tamino backed the wrong horse a long time ago, and has painted himself into a corner from which he has less and less room to escape. Like a cornered cat, he is bold and spitting and ever-ready to lash out at whatever comes near. Only the catnip-soaked climate alarmists can get past his defences, but they helped get him into this pickle in the first place. It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that he is not a happy bunny. Would you be in his place?

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

cat rat

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The attitude at Tamino's blog turned me off the first time I went there, and I'm not much inclined to go back.

They read Steve McIntyre's blog because they know he is rarely wrong and they might learn something useful from him. But it is unlikely they will give him credit for anything substantial because they cannot forgive him for being right in public.

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Jonas N - I think what you say has merit.

However it is against that backdrop that the recent budget confirmed the Carbon Floor Price. As far as I can tell this is a Gov gtee to charge above the market rate for CO2 emissions permits in order to keep the "low carbon infrastructure led recovery" show on the road. This is where "climate impacts" are really felt and the drivers are the EU and the Global Governance movement. No amount of gnashing of teeth following a snowy March in the UK is going to change it. The only people who really understand the system and the numbers (inc tax flows) associated with it are insiders.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2258336/carbon-floor-price-launches-at-gbp16-per-tonne

"The European Commission has agreed in principle to link the ETS with Australia’s system in stages from mid-2015."

http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/linking/index_en.htm#australia

27 March 2013:

//
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Europe's dependence on foreign fossil fuels is growing every year. That means more expensive and unaffordable energy bills for Europeans. This is not very wise. It's obviously not wise for the climate, but it's also not wise for our economy and our competiveness. That is why we have decided that in Europe we want a low-carbon society for 2050. We have targets for 2020, but for most investors 2020 is around the corner. It's time to define the targets for 2030. The sooner we do that, the more certainty we get to our companies and our investors. And the more ambitious these targets are, the better for the climate."
//
http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2013032701_en.htm

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Re: Apr 2, 2013 at 2:48 PM | BitBucket

"McI's post seems like sour grapes. He's just jealous that his post wasn't referenced by Revkin. There's a good reason for that: Tamino wrote a better article! Y'all might not have dared to venture over to Tamino's site, but his post on the tick makes the statistics clear in a way that McI with his tables and obsession with individual cores never could. T shows that processing differences instead of actual values can compensate for proxy drop-out and that a similar, if smaller tick is visible. If a reader actually wants to understand what is what, Tamino wins hands-down.

To suggest that two highly experienced statisticians cannot independently come to the same conclusions about a paper is foolish."


Interesting, BitBucket, when you claim on another thread not to have read McIntyre's posts ie

In response to
"Apr 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM | steveta_uk
BB, you appear to be demonstrating that you've not read any of Steve Mc's postings on this issue. He quite clearly explalins why the Marcott redating issue for some of the cores presents a ridiculous result for exactly the reason that you've presented here."

Your reply was -

"Apr 2, 2013 at 2:58 PM | BitBucket
Does he really? I don't read him, as you say. Pharos quotes McI (yesterday 10:21PM) saying that a bomb-test spike 3cm down proves something or other. As I say, the top Ncm are likely to be hopelessly confused; and hence so is the assertion by Pharos/McI."

So don't you think it somewhat foolish to claim that "Tamino wins hands-down" when you haven't actually read McIntyre's posts on the subject!!

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Richard Drake writes

'A weekend of considerable damage being done to the warmist narrative and the confidence of its proponents.'

I was thinking exactly the same.

Reading through the comments at the NYT, there's little there to get Alarmist sinews stirring or their blood racing. Just a few second- or third-raters going through the motions. No conviction in their offerings, not even much of an attack on McSteve. Like watching a team who know they are relegated but still have to play out the last five games of the season....

Seems to me that the Marcott debacle has been a really severe blow. It is indefensible - and they know it. MSM journos may have found the fuss over Yamal difficult to understand and/or convey to their general readership. And maybe that is why it has gone unremarked for so long.

But Marcott is different. From a day-to-day journalist's view the story is now 'climate scientists tried to dupe us'. And that will not go down at well with the thundering herd. They're never short of self-regard at the best of times and this will hurt them. Those who were so duped will be embarrassed in front of their peers. And they will take a lot greater care over what they believe so easily in the future.

Meanwhile, in UK the unseasonable cold continues. Public belief in 'global warming' must be plummeting still further.

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

BB. I wouldn't worry. There are a lot of far smarter people than you who have been totally hoodwinked by the bunch of charlatans known as "The Ho(c)key Team" and now as the "Climate Mafia". The smarter victims are now sceptics like the vast majority of people here. You'll maybe realise round one day too. If you are smart enough...

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

@Jiminy @TerryS @Mailman @GrantB @jones

Foster felt Steve McIntyre was being deliberately obtuse, hence the reason why he originally cited his analysis. In order to prove plagiarism, you must show that Foster is incapable of discerning the strengths and weakness of the Marcott paper without assistance. Again, foolish.

Apr 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid


This has got to be that a$$h$ole Appel. !!!!! Total idiot.

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

A poster called windy2 on the McKitrick article put this link to a rather excellent and neat graphic summary of what the Marcott paper tells us about 20th century warming

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22384025@N08/8612653500/

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:59 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Latimer - "Those who were so duped will be embarrassed in front of their peers. And they will take a lot greater care over what they believe so easily in the future."

Dream on Latimer - Revkin stands by his view of RC being "an invaluable online touchstone" and cites Tamino apparently in ignorance of Steve Mc's analysis. This is after one of his responses to the original fallout on Marcott was to claim he was working behind the scenes to broker a dialogue between SMc and the authors.

From his original article:
//
March 16, 10:21 a.m. |Update

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has been dissecting the Marcott et al. paper and corresponding with lead author Shaun Marcott, raising constructive and important questions.

As a result, I sent a note to Marcott and his co-authors asking for some elaboration on points Marcott made in the exchanges with McIntyre. Peter Clark of Oregon State replied (copying all) on Friday, saying they’re preparing a general list of points about their study:

After further discussion, we’ve decided that the best tack to take now is to prepare a FAQ document that will explain, in some detail but at a level that should be understandable by most, how we derived our conclusions. Once we complete this, we will let you know where it can be accessed, and you (and others) can refer to this in any further discussion. We appreciate your taking the time and interest to try to clarify what has happened in our correspondence with McIntyre.
//
Andy Revkin
Dot Earth blogger

I'm testing whether I could get the Marcott et al. authors and McIntyre engaged in an exchange.

In reply to Bob
March 18, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.
//

From his second article:

//
[April 1, 12:17 a.m. | Insert | Roger A. Pielke, Jr., of the University of Colorado has compared the new output from the authors with the paper and related news releases and coverage (including mine) and finds some very big differences.]

The managers of RealClimate offered their own reaction to the paper and the authors amplification on their methods and conclusions:

Our view is that the results of the paper will stand the test of time, particularly regarding the small global temperature variations in the Holocene. If anything, early Holocene warmth might be overestimated in this study.

[April 1, 9:25 a.m. | Insert | They also helpfully point to three illuminating posts on the paper at the Open Mind blog (by "Tamino").]
//

Revkin's reply to SMc pointing out Tamino's work was based on his own:

Steve McIntyre
Toronto, Canada

Andy,
The ideas in Tamino's post purporting to explain the Marcott uptick,http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-tick/ which you praise as "illuminating", was shamelessly plagiarized from the Climate Audit post How Marcott Upticks Arise. http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/15/how-marcottian-upticks-arise/

It's annoying that you (and Real Climate) would link to the plagiarization and not to the original post.

April 1, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.
Recommended44

Andy Revkin
Dot Earth blogger

I had no idea this was an issue until you commented here just now -- which is one reason I blog. As David Weinberger has written, the room is indeed smarter than anyone in the room.
In reply to Steve McIntyre
April 1, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.
//

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

@Paul Matthews - I'd have thought that Easter was a bad time to bury anything, since it's sure to rise again some days later

@Latimer Alder - quote is from David Niven's excellent "Bring on the Empty Horses"; Director Mike Curtiz to David Niven & Errol Flynn: "You lousy bums, you and your stinking language, you think I know fuck nothing, well let me tell you - I know FUCK ALL!”

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterrussep3

not banned yet: The funny thing is, Latimer didn't even mention Revkin. He's not the critical piece here. You may wish to stay deep in gloomy slumbers yourself but why project that the other guy is dreaming on when he's not said anything you've even vaguely refuted?

Jonas and Latimer: Yes. There are many, many wheels of influence, overlapping and interlocking. Nobody can say for certain how it all works but the overall trend seems clear enough to me. Having said that, the dark extremes will come to light more as they realise they're starting to lose their grip. A reason to hold on tight.

russep3: Thanks for both of those!

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

NBY

Well, now you are talking about another equally dirty (or even worse) game: Politics!

They will remain sordid and dirty, and most often deliver zip value at great cost and incurred damaged. They will only occasionally change pretence reason and excuses for their demands for power and money

That game will not change anytime soon. But I think the CAGW meme and bandwagon are slowly slowing down, even coming to a halt in some parts ... But politics? No!

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Richard Drake - did you read this post by Latimer Apr 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder?

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Yeah, I read it. I thought it made a very convincing case about journos generally and it didn't mention Revkin, who is, in the world of climate in the MSM, a very special case. I don't personally think Revkin is beyond redemption but that's not the point here. I didn't think you were engaging with Latimer's wider argument, which I thought was highly realistic, and thus I objected, strongly, to your 'dream on'.

Apr 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The Leopard In The Basement: Fantastic illustration you found there! Love it. Send to everyone.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterpax

Ah ok, so Revkin isn't a journalist if it doesn't suit Dickie. I see. Far less an influential one who works as an educator in the relevant field. I'll go back to sleep - see you in dreamland.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/my-second-half/

http://earthjournalism.net/

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

@Apr 2, 2013 at 5:03 PM | pax

Yeah I though it was pretty breathtaking - at the level of the Emperors new clothes of revelation if you ask me.

I've been tweeting it and put it in a comment on the latest CA post asking if anyone thinks it is too outrageously simple.

I have to say that is how I understood the problem described perfectly in a simple graphic form, but from my layman perspective could never have expressed it as succinctly.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The Met Office, on its My Climate and Me website, acclaimed* the Marcott paper, linking to a magazine with the screaming headline:

"Scientists say Earth is hotter today than it has been for nearly all of the last 11,000 years

And it's only getting hotter"

After a comment pointing out that the result appeared to have been fabricated, the Met Office came up with the comment:

"The authors’ 5°latitude×5°longitude resolution is the same as that of the global Climate Research Unit and Met Office instrumental data sets. The authors’ procedure therefore appears to be sound."

To which a commenter replied

"I have just read the comment saying that the Marcott et al paper is sound because it uses a 5×5 grid.
I think this is the most idiotic comment yet from myclimateandme."


The Met Office's posting remains in place, as does its link to the screaming headline article. What does this say about the Met Office's attitude to science?
____________________________________________________________________________________________

*archived at http://www.webcitation.org/6Fa7FaJsa (with formatting scrambled, though readable)

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Actually I think the illustration is too kind. As I understand it the uptick wasn't even in the original data, but was caused by improper data processing and re-dating.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterpax

Come on, NBY, Revkin and The Team have been in cahoots since some of us have been in short trousers. He's a special case, as I've already said. The fact he hasn't come out and said "There is one God and Steve McIntyre is his prophet" doesn't prove anything either way. Others with much less invested - take Andrew Sullivan for an interesting example I only noticed yesterday - may well be feeling sore about this episode, exactly as Latimer says. In the UK Booker, Delingpole and Rose - and now John Parker - may prove to be the tip of an increasingly angry iceberg. That's not dreaming on, it's hope with a firm grounding in reality. Something some sceptics never seem able to cope with, for some reason.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

David at 11:33 am wrote: "Foster felt Steve McIntyre was being deliberately obtuse, hence the reason why he originally cited his analysis. In order to prove plagiarism, you must show that Foster is incapable of discerning the strengths and weakness of the Marcott paper without assistance. Again, foolish."

First off, anyone who labels McIntyre's analysis "obtuse" doesn't know the meaning of the word.

What you write is your interpretation and I'm sure Tamino will post it at his blog while censoring all other comments to the contrary. The fact is you don't know what McIntyre knows. McIntyre is familiar with Tamino, is fully capable of discerning what he is capable of and would not make charges of journalistic plagiarism falsely. I remember posting with McIntyre at Tamino's blog back in 2007, so he has been familiar with him for at least that long. Tamino has attacked McIntyre relentlessly over the years, in effect specializing in the same behavior for which he is now criticizing McIntyre. McIntyre rarely responded and when he did it was mostly in passing.

If Tamino had an ounce of courage, he would go to McIntyre's blog and demand column space to respond and defend himself. That's not going to happen for the same reason he has censored every post that even hints at criticism of him on this subject at his blog while publishing nearly every post that contains an attack on McIntyre: he's a coward and a fraud. His blog has been among the most vicious amongst the AGW cultists who write them. In general, his repulsive behavior at his blog far exceeds the incisive lampooning you will find McIntyre posting at ClimateAudit,

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

For clarification, I didn't particularly have Andy Revkin in mind when I wrote my post above.

But more the generality of journalists who have been treated to the smoke and mirrors of Doctor Marcott's Travelling Damnation Show. And who took it - and the message therein - at face value.

I can't say that I'd blame them...with the imprimatur of the 'prestigious' Science magazine and the NSF behind it, it would be a brave hack who told her editor that she wasn't going to run a story that all the competitors had got.

But that is what makes it such a problem for them. In all good faith they have had the wool pulled over their eyes. And it's taken less than a month for the paper to go (in journalistic terms) from Hero to way less than Zero. That's embarrassing. And that's what's going to make every journo a lot more suspicious of anything people say about climate in the future. Nobody is going to take their words as unchallenged gospel ever again.

Already in the UK the Telegraph, Mail and Express are turning sceptical. The Times and Independent are pretty neutral, whihc leaves only the grauinad on the consistently alarmist side. They are on their won..and their constituency is falling fast.

Annoying the press - or even worse - making fools of them - has never been a wise strategy. One has to wonder why folks who - we are led to believe by their own publicity - are extremely smart do such things. Either they thought they could get away with it...in which case they were sadly naive. Or they didn't realise their peril. In which case they were extremely dumb. Take your pick.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Jonas N:

Decent points but you still have to confront the reality of governments across the globe that are wholly wedded to the notion of CAGW, to say nothing of the UN, entire university departments and, almost most sinister of all, an all-enveloping left-liberal bias in the West that has been growing for 50-plus years and which has at its core the absolute belief that precisely because it is so enlightened, precisely because it is privy to insights about human behaviour denied to every previous generation, and precisely because in its own terms it is so wholly reasonable that it can never be wrong. And of course one that believes in its own warped way that the society that has made it so privileged is also uniquely to be despised.

Shifting that immense dead-weight will take years. It's not a question of right and wrong. It's one of entrenched certitudes.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I post at Climate Audit and WUWT as "pottereaton" and yesterday Anthony took a tip of mine and turned it into a post on the subject of McIntyre's accusation of journalistic plagiarism against Tamino. I would have written it up differently if I'd known he was going to post it in full, but for those interested, here's the link to that post and discussion:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/01/mcintyre-charges-grant-foster-aka-tamino-with-plagiarism-in-a-dot-earth-discussion/#comment-1263896

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM | pax

Actually I think the illustration is too kind. As I understand it the uptick wasn't even in the original data, but was caused by improper data processing and re-dating.

Yes that's true. But as an introduction to the uninitiated the graphic is ideal for illustrating the slight of hand about not comparing like with like resolution. Moving onto the flakiness of the tick when they have hardly got anything after 1950, and most of global warming is supposed to have happened in the latter half of the 20th C, is the next step ;)

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM Latimer Alder


I'll go for both naive and dumb.

Plus willing victims of groupthink where external reality dims from view. The prospect of becoming Climate Science™ superstars must have been irresistibly attractive for weak and foolish young PhD's.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Further to: not banned yet Apr 2, 2013 at 4:11 PM |

"...The managers of RealClimate offered their own reaction to the paper and the authors amplification on their methods and conclusions:

Our view is that the results of the paper will stand the test of time, particularly regarding the small global temperature variations in the Holocene. If anything, early Holocene warmth might be overestimated in this study..."
////////////////////////////////////////////
Proxies should be taken with a pinch of salt. They contain huge error bars and at best they may form some ball park indicator, but nothing more. One has to be extremely cautious with proxies, because:

1. Proxies respond to environmental conditions in general and it is extremely difficult to properly extract signal from noise, in this case, the proxy response to temperature from the more general response to environmental conditions in general.

2. It is difficult to tune proxies. The proxy may tell you something about trend, and shape, but unless there is good overlap with a reliable thermometer record, they cannot be tuned on the basis of present temperatures and therefore can tell us nothing about the relationship with present temperatures. This was, of course, a problem for Mann. He tuned his tree rings to the 1910 to 1960 thermometer record, but with this tuning it was apparent that his proxies were diverging from the post 1960 thermometer record. Had he tuned his tree rings to the post 1960 thermometer record, a very different proxy reconstruction would have resulted.

As we all know, global warming is not a global event but at best a local or regional phenomena. In the case of the Marcott proxies, it is possible that the geographical location from where the proxies were taken have depressed temperature range because in those geographical areas, temperature changes are dampened and not so large. It may be that the reconstruction of the Holocene temperatures have been depressed because of this. Of course, it may just be a resolution issue.

The FAQ response is interesting in that it contains a plot of temperature anomalies based upon thermometer records from the sites (or near to the sites) from which the proxies in the Marcott paper were taken. The Thermometer record covers the period 1880 to 2010. It can be found set out at WUWT (see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/31/marcott-issues-a-faq-on-thei-paper/#more-83216) See figure 1.

It will be noticed from the temperature anomaly plot (Figure 1) that temperature anomaly from 1880 to date is rather flat and nothing like the usual plot seen from GISS of Hadcrut etc . This suggests that temperatures in the geographical sites from which the Marcott proxies were drawn may be rather dampened, so I question whether the statement "..the results of the paper will stand the test of time, particularly regarding the small global temperature variations in the Holocene..." is sound and whether the Marcott reconstruction accurately reflects temperature changes during the Holocene.

Further, it will be noted from the figure 1 temperature anomalies that;

1.
The temperature anomaly in the year 2000 to date is only about 0.5degC warmer than the 1880s.

2.
The Team estimate that Krakatoa depressed global temperatures by up to about 1.2degC for 3 to 5 years. If you take into account the effect of the claimed cooling caused by Krakatoa, then the 1880s would be warmer than the 2000s. In fact if Krakatoa depressed global temperatures by only 0.6degC then but for Krakatoa the mid 1880s would have been warmer than today

3.
The temperature anomaly in the year 2000 to date is only about 0.2degC warmer than 1940.

Obviously it is completely inappropriate to graph/splice on a thermometer data set onto a different proxy data set, but if this were to be done, with a view to putting matters into perspective, then one would splice on the thermometer record taken only from stations in the same geographical area as the proxies used in the Marcott proxy study. If the figure 1 temperature anomaly is spliced onto the Marcott Holocene proxy reconstruction, there is no uptick and it does not appear that current temperatures are warmer than 75% of those in the past 11,000 years of the Holocene.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Leopard: I was less taken with it, for the reason pax gives. But I agree with the need for a simpler presentation. That's worth thinking about, maybe with Josh's help too.

Apr 2, 2013 at 5:54 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The comments for Revkin's most recent column at DotEarth on the subject of Marcott et al are very interesting and running strongly in favor of what might be labeled the skeptical view.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/fresh-thoughts-from-authors-of-a-paper-on-11300-years-of-global-temperature-changes/#more-48887

For example, blogger Michael Tobis wrote a comment to which I responded as theduke at 5:11 pm yesterday. My comment has gotten 26 "thumbs up," while his original comment at 4:01 pm has gotten only 9 of same. For a NYT blog, that is noteworthy since it suggests that there are far more people skeptically inclined and actively participating than there are for the RealClimate/Tamino side. When compared to comments on political editorials that I've read there for over 15 years,-- which would almost always be something like 5 to 1 in favor of the liberal/left/green side-- it suggests a sea change of some kind on the issue of AGW is going on. It could be anomalous, but I don't think so.

Here's the link to Tobis' blog:

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/

Apr 2, 2013 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

I think we have to accept that it is still the MSM that shapes public opinion more than blogs can so I await with pregnant anticipation the front page headline from David Rose at the mail. "World Misled by Climate Science'. Lets be having it David.

Apr 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Richard - is there a retraction or modification piece from Andrew Sullivan? Whoever he is, The Dish item is completely uncritical of Marcott et al. Your link to John Parker goes to Judith Curry's blog (?) and if you are trying to claim that Booker, Delingpole and Rose have formed their position as a result of Marcott you really have been asleep. Type Marcott into google news and see how many modified/updated stories you get. It was the same with the Steig paper. Like the Economist editorial - No matter how things shake out the mantra is the same.

Type Marcott into the BBC search and you'll end up at Revkin - without the headline "I've been had and I well and truly p*ssed off".

Whilst you are "hoping with a firm grounding in reality", the truth is the legislative machine is grinding on and it ain't showing any signs of a reverse gear.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/on-edge-pushing-statistics-and-climate-basics/

nTropywins - quite, and as I recall the Express ran a similar frontpage over Climategate. Has anything changed? Was Carbon Trading dropped or propped? Public opinion is pretty much irrelevant.

Apr 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"The Independent is pretty neutral"

Really? Steve Connor is neutral? You must have access to a different version than the one I read, Latimer.

He leapt in with both feet on the Marcott issue, and there are no updates or addenda that I can see.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-world-is-hottest-it-has-been-since-the-end-of-the-ice-age--and-the-temperatures-still-rising-8525089.html

Apr 2, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

From: Freeman Dyson

To: Steve Connor

My three days of silence are over, and I decided I have no wish to continue this discussion. Your last message just repeats the same old party line that we have many good reasons to distrust. You complain that people who are sceptical about the party line do not agree about other things. Why should we agree? The whole point of science is to encourage disagreement and keep an open mind. That is why I blame The Independent for seriously misleading your readers. You give them the party line and discourage them from disagreeing.

With all due respect, I say good-bye and express the hope that you will one day join the sceptics. Scepticism is as important for a good journalist as it is for a good scientist.

Yours sincerely, Freeman Dyson
************
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/letters-to-a-heretic-an-email-conversation-with-climate-change-sceptic-professor-freeman-dyson-2224912.html

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/2/25/freeman-dyson-interview.html

Apr 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

NBY: Of course there isn't a retraction from Andrew Sullivan. Not yet. He needs, like many others, to get his head around what really happened in this case. And nobody is expecting 100% of journalists across the world who went with the lie to get their boots on and search out the truth. What I think Latimer is saying that a few now will and will gradually break cover. It doesn't take many to make a profound difference.

On the policy front there have been good signs and less good ones. The links between what happened this weekend, the media and politics are complex indeed. It's not 'dreaming on' to see some movement in the right direction in each sphere right now. It was that trite dismissal that I've been objecting to.

steveta: On The Indie, don't forget Simon Carr's groundbreaking Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake? after listening to Richard Lindzen last year. The picture, as always, is very mixed. I'd let Latimer through the gatekeepers on all this. What exactly will happen next is hard to know. There's a hard core that I believe is extremely displeased by recent events and would like to trigger a nasty backlash using Lewandowsky-type poison. For that we need courage, as we do for all of it. But hope, grounded in reality, is also vital, as any sergeant-major - or football manager - will tell you.

Apr 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Authors: "Look at our new paper - we're all doomed!"
SM: "Hold on - this paper is crap"
Authors: "Well - technically we never really said it wasn't"
Tamino: "This paper is crap - and I said so before SM - so there"
SM: "Errr..."
Tamino "LALALALALALA...."

Apr 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJud

There is still no in house report on either the BBC or the Guardian about Marcott. They've been burned before. Revkin must be stinging from this and may well respond differently next time. They will never be on our side but they may form a new side. Warmists, sceptics and... hmmm... responsible journalism? Nah.

Apr 2, 2013 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

@jud

Nice explanation.

But I think you missed out the bit of

'Fooled you - you didn't read the small print. And we had our fingers crossed. So there!'

Why such immature childish antics are looked upon with such indulgence by academics is a mystery. Is it because they too have never left the nursery?

In the real world people trying to pull such stunts would be in court, in gaol or in hospital. Unless they had managed to become politicians first.....

Apr 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Tamino is just spouting post modernist garbage, which is the latest morph of the age old mantra: The ends justify the means."

Apr 2, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterNoblesse Oblige

Why would Marcott et al choose RealClimate to publish their explanation? Instead of a university/academic journal clarification? Rather identifies them with agenda more than corrigenda.

Apr 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Apr 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Latimer Alder

Seems to me that the Marcott debacle has been a really severe blow. It is indefensible - and they know it. MSM journos may have found the fuss over Yamal difficult to understand and/or convey to their general readership. And maybe that is why it has gone unremarked for so long.

Yes, but defending the indefensible seems to be their forté - somewhat fortified by the old hands on the green dream Team!

But Marcott is different. From a day-to-day journalist's view the story is now 'climate scientists tried to dupe us'. And that will not go down at well with the thundering herd. They're never short of self-regard at the best of times and this will hurt them. Those who were so duped will be embarrassed in front of their peers. And they will take a lot greater care over what they believe so easily in the future.

Sorry, Latimer, but I respectfully disagree. Marcotte is simply the latest to take the shortcut of "science by press release", knowing full-well (and/or having been so advised by the old hands!) that the journo-advocates will carry their PR water for them. Consider their responses to Mueller, Gleick, Gergis, & Lewandowsky for example.

And, although you didn't mention him, Revkin, IMHO is among the guiltiest of 'em all. By the time the history of this sorry era is written, as I think I've mentioned previously, Revkin may well have earned himself the sobriquet of the Albert Speer of climate science. If there's any excuse he can possibly dig up to continue to keep his eyes wide shut, he'll find it!

Not only did he feed the quasi-literate Shakun the "Super hockey stick" line, but he had the utter chutzpah to play the innocent when Steve McI. challenged him re Tamino.

On his original article, Revkin gave Mann and his effusions oodles of unchallenged airtime - and he bent over backwards to get further explication and explanations from Marcotte et al. Not surprisingly, he seemed quite content to wait for IPCC-nik Clark's announced FAQ, didn't he?!

But even though Revkin had acknowledged Steve's work, to the best of my knowledge he didn't show him the courtesy of asking for further details. I wonder why.

At one point, early in the revelation game, he mentioned that he was trying to arrange a "debate" between Marcotte and McIntyre. But then, nothing further was heard. I wonder why.

But most of all, I wonder why the best excuse Revkin could conjure up - when challenged by Steve re his glorification (my word not Steve's) of Tamino the copy-cat - as not banned yet had noted above:

Andy Revkin
Dot Earth blogger

I had no idea this was an issue until you commented here just now -- which is one reason I blog. As David Weinberger has written, the room is indeed smarter than anyone in the room.

In reply to Steve McIntyre
April 1, 2013 at 5:25 p.m. [emphasis added -hro]

Talk about eyes wide shut, eh?! Perhaps Revkin thinks that by making such choices - and let's face facts, it is a choice he's making - he can hold back the turning tide.

But, yes, notwithstanding any and/or all of the above, I do believe that the tide is turning. Not because any of these journos feel "duped". I mean, how much more "duped" could they have been than by Gleick?! And if that wasn't a loud and clear wake-up call, I doubt that anything will stir Revkin, Hickman et al from their green dreams!

Fortunately, though, more and more people are realizing how little credence these advocate-journos deserve, and so they are choosing to think for themselves and do their own due diligence.

Apr 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

@Leopard et al.,

There are in fact two upticks to consider. The explicit uptick occurs in the Marcott et al. paper, and is an artefact arising from dodgy processing. Everybody agrees that this is not robust. But beyond this there is the implicit uptick which occurs when you in effect splice the high temporal resolution thermometer record onto the low temporal resolution (never mind the other issues) proxy record. Almost every one (even Michael Mann) agrees that you shouldn't do that, for the reasons elegantly depicted in the figure, and for that reason Marcott et al did not do an explicit splice but just an interpretational splice, in which they talk about the two things in the same breath and hope that you will mentally join them up.

Determining why Marcott et al adopted such a confusing approach is left as an exercise for the reader.

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:02 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

@hilary ostrov

I see your point. There are plenty of useful idiots in journalism who have long been wedded to the alarmist cause. And it used to pass unchallenged by the editors and policy makers of those papers.

But take the Daily Telegraph for example,

Though Gray and Lean (the ostensible environment correspondents) are irredeemably alarmist in their contacts and their outlook) the editorial team is not. They have just called for the repeal of the Climate Change Act! And an increasing number of 'general journalists' are writing the climate stories. They are the ones I had in mind. They will not take kindly to the antics of Marcott et al.

And if they do start to investigate properly - what a story there is to tell!

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Hmm, interesting discussion re the media.

Revkin's "I didn't even know it was an issue" indicates that he is willfully blind or incompetent, or perhaps both. How long would it take him to skim through the post headings at places like CA and WUWT - say, once a week - given the number of times this has happened before? Most people who publish in the mass media don't like being perceived as idiots, which this episode in particular has done to him. There have been multiple posts on Marcott at both those sites, as well as elsewhere that he ought to have on his Favourites list if he doesn't want to look like a goose in full view of his readers.

Regarding Latimer's point, I am not sure that it applies across the board, though. For example, the demolition and sinking of the Gergis paper was not reported in the MSM in Australia, while the original release was on every front page. It is as though they tacitly agreed Not To Mention The War. That kind of blackout is harder to pull off in larger and more diverse markets like the UK and the US, I suppose.

Over at Pielke Jr's, those who enjoy a good dose of the Black Knight sketch reinterpreted with a modern actor should read David Appell's comments in the main Marcott thread. Hilarious.

But Pielke makes a sound point, I think, when he says that the public debate has moved on from focusing on 'the science' to more pragmatic concerns like energy policy and the economy. It is these concerns which are driving a lot of the shifts in public opinion. Indeed, many of us here at BH might argue that it was never about 'the science' in the first place. So, these rather arcane disputes, while far from irrelevant, are perhaps less important than we think - and that applies equally to the gross exaggerations and downright lies as to the belated refutations later published in 6 point on page 37, if at all.

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

@ Jonathan Jones

"Marcott et al did not do an explicit splice"

Well, they sort of did it. The post 1850-part of Mann et al (2008) in their graphs is nothing but CRUTem3 slightly exaggerated with the usual mannipulation.

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

"And if they do start to investigate properly - what a story there is to tell!"

This may happen if the powers in the machine pick out some bodies to be thrown under the bus/sacrificed to the gods. That's how you keep the gears greased.

Andrew

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Apr 2, 2013 at 10:02 PM | Jonathan Jones

"...they talk about the two things in the same breath and hope that you will mentally join them up."

Yes when I watched the interview with Revkin that's definitely the impression I got from Shakun. Though I have to credit Revkin for being diligent and drawing out the fact that there could be equally high peaks missed by their studies resolution. So even when Shakun kept on about todays temps and talked about projections about the future anthopocene being maintained at an elevated level it didn't distract from my focus about the only thing they could actually say about *todays* temps.

That's why I like the toy graphic I linked to, it summed it up for me. I think it shows something quite simple that whatever you fantasise about the future projections, right now we are still in a period of temp rise that is not strange or out of the ordinary compared to the last 11,000 years.

The fact that such an obvious point was being obfuscated by a scientist in preference for projected scenarios not shown in his study was bad enough for me, then I later hear the stuff about the previous thesis and the data manipulations.

As I said on another thread I reckon this paper is going to end up as some sort of benchmark that will be referenced in future debates about the history of problems in climate science.

Apr 2, 2013 at 11:00 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Over at Pielke Jr's, those who enjoy a good dose of the Black Knight sketch reinterpreted with a modern actor should read David Appell's comments in the main Marcott thread. Hilarious.

Yes, I've just been reading that. A perfect illustration of "When you are in a hole, stop digging". Appell doesn't even realise he is in the hole, everyone else is faintly embarrased that he keeps proving that he doesn't understand the basic maths of the situation.

Apr 2, 2013 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

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