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« Comedy climate | Main | Lew two in doo-doo »
Wednesday
Apr032013

Spiking the Marcott hockey stick

Spiked magazine has taken a look at the Marcott hockey stick and is singularly unimpressed:

On Easter Sunday, Marcott and his colleagues published a response on the Real Climate blog. Most notable was this comment: ‘Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the twentieth century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the twentieth-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.’

Wow.

In other words, all that stuff about having the highest temperatures for millennia and about eye-popping warming over the past 100 years appears to have no basis in the paper’s actual temperature reconstruction.

I get a mention too.

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Reader Comments (108)

This is the emperor, when confronted by the boy about the true nature of his attire, flipping off the boy.

Apr 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Marcott, Lewandowsky, Gergis, Gleick, Mann, Steig, Doran & Zimmerman, Pachauri - with advocates like these, who can doubt the veracity of 'consensus science'?

Apr 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

Stunningly good account, precisely because it doesn't overstate the sceptic case.

The lesson from this particular episode is the need for scepticism about any claim being made right now about the world’s climate. The issue is highly politicised, with each side in the argument leaping on every new study in an attempt to prove, once and for all, whether humans are influencing the climate and to what extent. The best antidote to such partisan thinking is the fullest and most open debate possible. Current temperatures, for example, might be unusual by historical standards, but that is something that needs to be demonstrated, not merely asserted.

Interesting that Paul Matthews, on this blog, and Willis Eschenbach, on WUWT, are given as critics of Marcott, without any need for McIntyre this time around, before and after the Easter Sunday climbdown. But that's fine. The authors and their media acolytes are condemned out of their own mouths. It's what Rob Lyons writes in the light of this that is both powerful and convincing. Please read.

Apr 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The Spiked piece is a good column, and so are others, particularly the concluding observation of the one quoted below, in explanation of why despite repeated exposures of dodgy science, the bandwagon rolls on. I think its quite profound really-

'Yet such over-eager triumphalism on the part of climate-change sceptics is misplaced. This is not because advocates of climate change are not frequently making mistakes. And it is not because the climate-change narrative, demanding so many facts to fit its story of manmade doom, is not fundamentally flawed. No, the problem with celebrating every scientific, factual refutation of the climate-change thesis as the beginning of the end for what remains the dominant narrative of our times, despite growing public indifference, is that climate change is not primarily a scientific issue. It was not born in science labs or in meteorology centres. And likewise, it will not be defeated by scientists or meteorologists, either.

That is because climate change is principally a political issue, not a scientific one. Climate-change alarmism is about channelling a vision of the future in which man, producing too much and consuming far more, is conceived as a problem. And the only way to challenge this widespread political and moral outlook is by coming up with something a little less human-hating – a political vision in which humanity’s needs and desires, our productive capacities and our consuming wants, are championed rather than denigrated. To rely on the mistakes of climate-change advocates to undermine their own cause is no substitute for the long-awaited, never-seen political debate about climate change.'

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11100/

Apr 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Comparing resolutions?

Marcott et al appear to claim therefore that their conclusions regarding the early 20th being cooler and the late 20th century being warmer than most of the Holocence is based on a comparison of their proxy graph with instrumental data.

I've had some blog discussions on this with me stating that to compare one-year resolution (instrumental) data with 100-year (proxy) resolution data is not scientifically valid. (Marcott el al resolutions range from 20 to 500 years, with average of 120 yrs).

I then get silly comments back saying I don't understand statistics or don't understand the paper, and of course, how can I dare to disagree with the 'consensus'.

Any further thoughts in this data resolution issue?

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

OT

From Forbes:

Harry Binswanger: Global Warming: Was It Just A Beautiful Dream After All

http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/04/03/global-warming-was-it-just-a-beautiful-dream-after-all/

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Rob Lyons' final sentence in that Spiked article really gets to the point:

"To turn round Lynas’s phrase, what if there is no Holocaust to come? Without such discussion, we’ll be left with bad science and bad policy - and the real damage will have been done by those clamouring for action."

Exactly so, sir. If the AGW theory is wrong then the actions proposed will cause harm to many, harm that could have been avoided by doing...nothing. Why are so many people blind to this possibility?

There are many other excellent sentences in the article, I particularly like this one:

"It is plausible that humans might be having an effect on climate, but plausible is not the same as true."

Well written, a great article. Rob Lyons clearly understands the issue and reports it very clearly and in an even-handed way. Proper, neutral journalism. If only some of the BBC reporters could take note...

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Phaors link to the Spiked-online conclusion is one of the best I have yet read on the true nature of this dispute.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

artwest

thanks for that article.
Brilliant (in my humble opinion)

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The real damage is already being done. Millions worldwide are suffering from food poverty due to insane renewables policy. Thousands are dying prematurely due to lack of affordable electricity. Crimes against humanity are resulting from these alarmists.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Good articles at Spiked and Forbes (h/t artwest's link above). IME asking the generation who have grown up with global warming "where do they see the evidence?" usually draws a blank.

The policy is the issue though - that and the people driving it hard in the face of obvious uncertainty. That's what sets the Spiked apart from the Economist.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

oakwood,

Would a piccie help?

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

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

If the AGW theory is wrong then the actions proposed will cause harm to many, harm that could have been avoided by doing...nothing.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM | thinkingscientist

And if the AGW theory is correct? What harm will have been caused by doing nothing?

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Pharos,
Much of what you say is correct. But the mantle of scientific respectability has been purloined by Greenpeace et al for their own nefarious purposes. It is necessary to confront their half-baked thinking in the technical arena as well as the political one, and they have a head start running into decades.

They got themselves invited into my school in the 1970's to spout some truly unbelievable BS about nuclear power. All too easy to believe during the cold-war years, but it has left a lot of untreated intellectual waste and sloppy thinking that needs decontaminating.

That is partly why we have such diluted scientific ethics that bring us Marcott's hockey stick. The lead author did not have the "up-tick" ('blade') in his thesis and admits that the addition is essentially crap but claims it doesn't affect the conclusions of the paper. But that's not what was told to the mainstream media. So why is it there? It draws the eye and distracts the reader from what is an otherwise unremarkable piece of work.

In layman's terms it was added to "sex-up" the document, and did so in a highly questionable manner, to put it mildly. The authors understand very well what they have done, and appear to think this is ethically acceptable. I don't think it acceptable.

When was the up-tick added? Was the paper first rejected by Nature because it was submitted without the up-tick? We may never know. What exactly was said or suggested by all reviewers who saw the submissions? Again we may never know. But a few years ago many other scientists would have felt a lot more confident about due process and standards being applied correctly. These kind of ethics are dragging publicly-funded science into a crisis that will reach far beyond climate-science

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Entropic man,

It's far from clear that the actions put in place so far can even potentially have a useful effect on the problems they are intended to fix, and may be making them worse as well as having other unwanted effects. E.g. biofuels, wasting energy to produce substandard fuels and causing food price increases.

Doing nothing is an attractive alternative to making things worse at great effort and expense.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Oakwood- "Any further thoughts in this data resolution issue?"

Its much worse than you thought.
Fortunately the paper's supplemental information, available for free, spells it out very clearly. The reconstruction is completely insensitive to temperature variations faster than 300 years. It only captures 50% of the temperature variation at 1000 year periods, and achieves 90% efficiency at 2000 year periods.

So, comparing their reconstruction with a modern temperature record that captures 100% of temperature variations over a 1 year period is complete bunk.

But its worse than that.

Mann went on to claim that the rate of change of temperature in the recent 150 years is unprecedented in the last 11,400 years. Given that the paper states that its reconstruction has no, as in ZERO, sensitivity to temperature changes over a 150 year period, it is hard to exaggerate the moral bankruptcy that leads a subject expert to make such an on-its-face idiotic claim.

But such is life in climate science.

Apr 3, 2013 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

cosmic

You are very keen to bet your civilization's future on the correctness of your opinion. Hope you're right.

michael hart

There's a considerable time gap between Marcott's thesis and the Science paper. Several other workers have contributed to the latter. It will have also gone through peer review. New data, new ideas, editorial requests and suggestions from reviewers will all have contributed to the updating. The simplest explaination would be that Nature asked for all data to be included.

It is clear from the thesis and subsequent comments that Marcott himself regards the 20th century part of his analysis as having the highest uncertainty, and that the meat of his paper is in the 11,000 year curve and not the uptick at the end. It is McIntyre and Watts who have stirred up the uptick fuss, for reasons of their own.

I put Jos Hagelaars' "wheelchair" graph on another thread here.

http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b017ee9bca1cf970d-pi

http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-two-epochs-of-marcott/

I suspect that the way the modern end of the Marcott Holocene curve plugs into the instrument record and highlights the latter's unusual nature is the true reason why the sceptics have gone apeshit.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

plot your annual average current account since you started work and end it with the daily balance for the last week before you get paid.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

Pharos' link in fact led to an article by Tim Black from 2011 — though none the worse for that!
It is one of the best reasoned articles arguing the case that many of us have been trying to make virtually since the scare began, namely that the science was never robust and the objective was always, as Tim said, "about channelling a vision of the future in which man, producing too much and consuming far more, is conceived as a problem.".
Michael hart is, therefore, quite correct when he says that "the mantle of scientific respectability has been purloined by Greenpeace et al for their own nefarious purposes." And yet the eco-activists are notorious for having barely a dozen scientific brain cells between them. Lots of "sciency" stuff but nary a reasoned scientific case for anything from nuclear power to genetically modified crops.
I have my doubts about arguing the science frankly. I think there is probably traction in sticking with a simple "show me the empirical evidence and I'll consider it. Until then don't waste my time."
Making the scientific, political, and humanitarian case for cheap, reliable and abundant energy at every available opportunity, on the other hand, is a different matter. And since the whole eco-argument is based on making sure that energy is not cheap nor reliable nor abundant we could be onto a winner.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@James Evans - thanks. Those graphs explain the resolution fallacy very well. That's how I've tried to explain it, but the image really helps.

@chris y. Thanks also. I get comments saying 'it's accepted by consensus peer review, so for your comments to have validity, you need to submit them for peer review too. Let me know when its publisjed'. But that would be like using peer review to show 2+2 = 4 and not 5.

Yes, such is life in climate 'science'.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Entropic,

The PR effort behind Marcott's work is scientific crap. It says nothing worthy of anything. Rather than impugn people's motives for pointing out that crap is crap, why don't you start at the beginning -- the work is crap.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

And if the AGW theory is correct? What harm will have been caused by doing nothing?
Depends which AGW hypothesis you're talking about, EM. There are so many.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

So, will Marcott also be informing the Associated Press & NPR about the lack of Robustness of the "Recent Heat Spike" where he was quoted as saying "In 100 years, we've gone from the cold end of the spectrum to the warm end of the spectrum," Marcott said. "We've never seen something this rapid. Even in the ice age the global temperature never changed this quickly."

"http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=173847109"

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRogue

Depends which AGW hypothesis you're talking about, EM. There are so many.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Mike Jackson

Use IPCC A1b. It's the one which best fits the observations.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

plot your annual average current account since you started work and end it with the daily balance for the last week before you get paid.
Apr 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM DocMartyn

I daren't. There is always too much month left at the end of the money.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

DocMartyn:

Very nicely, very precisely put. Even the mathematical challenged journalists at the BBC, certain they must always be right, wholly ignorant of almost everything that matters in the wider world, congratulating themselves not just on their superior wisdom but their superior salaries, might, given a fair wind, be able to understand the fundamental dishonesty of Marcott when explained in such simple terms.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

@ Entropic Man; Apr 3, 2013 at 6:32 PM

IPCC? Bwhahahahahah!

Thanks for the laugh.

Cheers.

NicG.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicG.

Of course, if Marcott's reconstruction were to turn out to be correct despite its dodgy methodology, it would show we are a degree and a half or so warmer than if the uptick had not happened. I wonder who in the world of AGW would say that is a bad thing.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Unfortunately,those who think that the Emperor is finding his spectacles are deluding themselves. If you view the Guardian's environment online page you will find the biggest obstacle - a religious adherence to AGW whatever the evidence to the contrary. These people could teach nothing to the propagandista of the erstwhile Warsaw Pact and in the meantime children are indoctrinated and pensioners shiver to an early death. The government is culpable in refusing to even amend the sorcery of the Climate Change Act or proceed at the same speed as the rest of Europe. I'm afraid no one with influence is listening to Spiked online however gratifying that would be.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

Entropic Man -
"And if the AGW theory is correct? What harm will have been caused by doing nothing?"
I accept the AGW theory as correct; that is, I accept that anthropogenic activities, including ghg emission, have a warming effect. You seem to want to put viewpoints into "all" or "nothing" pigeonholes. The truth of the matter is that, on the matter of warming, there is a continuum of opinions, from zero to OMG.

You suggest the A1B scenario. OK, then: my understanding of the science is that under that emissions scenario, average surface temperature will rise by between 1 and 2 K over the 21st century. Harm from doing nothing, which is a potential risk which I accept is present, is less (imo) than the actual harm by running around like headless chickens doing lots of unproductive things such as biofuels, all in the name of "we've got to do *something*."

In further detail, my opinion is that the current paradigm of predominantly fossil-fuel energy generation will not persist until 2100. Even without subsidies. Technology is fluid. In which case, negative-return actions now do not contribute to reducing future risk; they become merely sunk (lost) expenditures.

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Trefjon: I fear you're right, the CAGW meme is too good a chance for politicians who believe they should control the people rather than serve the people, and the environmentalists who want to control everything about our lives. It won't go away easily.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

not banned yet:

Good articles at Spiked and Forbes ...

Glad to hear you say that. The one at Spiked arises directly from the Marcott PR disaster of just three days ago. I have vague memories of someone on a recent thread downplaying any optimism about journalists post-Marcott as 'dream on'. I know this isn't The Economist saying the game's up for any and every form of carbon control/climate mitigation. But it's not nothing either - it's a lot better than that, after just three days. And I'd be unsurprised to see more of the same in the MSM in the coming days, even in the Economist.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Entropic one,

"I suspect that the way the modern end of the Marcott Holocene curve plugs into the instrument record and highlights the latter's unusual nature is the true reason why the sceptics have gone apeshit."

Try reading chris y above. It's easy peasy.

I'm not detecting too much monkey poo here. I think we're rather enjoying the fun.

Toodles.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

EM.

"And if the AGW theory is correct? What harm will have been caused by doing nothing?"

None, even if we could stop the temperature rising there is no known way of forecasting the future state of the climate. Moreover most people, you included, seem to believe that any ill effects, if there are any, will happen instantaneously. They won't, they'll happen over many decades, centuries and millennia. You're just being kidded by people who want to control your life, and you can't see it.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Entropic Man,
You seem to labouring under a common misapprehension about what peer-review can, and cannot, achieve.

"Cold Fusion" by Pons-Fleischman is a good example of peer-review limitations and the perils of science-by-press-release. It did not stand up to review by sceptics, and the unsubstantiated claims damaged that area of research for years.

Roger Pielke, Jr (no big-oil-funded-denier, he) is no less scathing about the latest hockey-stick incarnation:
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/fixing-marcott-mess-in-climate-science.html
His article also has a good visual demonstration of what should, and should not, have been presented in the Marcott paper.

Rather than denigrating sceptics, I suggest you try cultivating a little scepticism of your own in the area of pathological-science.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathological_science

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Pharos writes:

"It was not born in science labs or in meteorology centres. And likewise, it will not be defeated by scientists or meteorologists, either."

Hart and Jackson have made important comments on Pharos' post. My contribution is just a matter of emphasis. All of the reasons that have been offered in support of CAGW are from theoreticians or modelers. This point must be emphasized. There has been no support from the common man. That is, we have not seen masses of farmers, truck drivers, or others asking their governments for help with problems that they believe to be caused by climate change. If the pseudoscience that underpins IPCC reports is removed, all that remains is a moral vision of mankind. Note that I wrote "moral vision" and not "policy vision." Our governments have enacted a "policy vision" but not a moral vision. If the pseudoscience is removed there is nothing - nada, zip, zero - that supports that policy vision. The argument against the pseudoscience is not only fundamental but overriding.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Any further thoughts in this data resolution issue?
Apr 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered Commenter oakwood

Yes, NASA tells us that the average global temperature in 2012 was about 58.3F. I didn't see an error margin stated but let's say it +/-0.5F for discussion. I'd like to compare that figure to the year 1198. Can anybody help out?

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

A temperature rise of about 0.2 °C per decade is projected for the next two decades for all SRES scenarios
Well that's that prediction out of the box, EM. Want another go?
And, as geronimo points out, when we start to see some real evidence of the theoretical downside of (A)GW becoming a practical reality there will be plenty of time for those of us who will be around then (which will probably exclude a good 50% of those posting here) to take the necessary adaptive action.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:36 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

It is McIntyre and Watts who have stirred up the uptick fuss, for reasons of their own.
Apr 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Entropic man

Here everybody can clearly see EM's incredible bias in the AGW issue!
He is blaiming McIntyre for the fuss......

Apparently he missed all the MSM headlines about the uptick, and only about the uptick. the Guardian, the New York Times, The Atlantic, the full page headlines in three major Dutch Newspapers about the "uptick fuss", long before the auditors even got involved.

EM finally shows his true colors, and they are a very nasty brownish crappy kind of colour....

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

It should be realized and remembered that the handle of the "hockey stick" is just as important as the blade. The straight handle provides justification to delete any influences on climate for solar activity. The straight handle justifies the small coefficients in the 20+ general circulation computer models for solar activity.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterNucEngineer

Apr 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Entropic man

You weren't addressing me but I can add a different perspective.

As a "lukewarmer" and partial skeptic, what I am "very keen on" in 2013 is to avoid making any big expensive bets on alarmism in the near future.

I prefer to give this all a decade more or less for (1) further study of earth's climate, and (2) further development of the best most cost-effective energy technologies.

What I am "very keen on" is that by 2023 or so we will be better positioned to judge all the risks and benefits, and much more can be done rapidly in the decades after that if really needed.

This option poses no risk to civilization as we know it, on even the most alarmist scenarios.

Apr 3, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Entropic Man-
"It is McIntyre and Watts who have stirred up the uptick fuss, for reasons of their own."

Oh, really??!!!???

Dot Earth, March 7, 2013-

Michael Mann bloviates with vuvuzelan panache:

"The key take-home conclusion is that the rate and magnitude of recent global warmth appears unprecedented for at least the past 4,000 years and the rate at least the past 11,000."

Candace Major, program director at National Science Foundation, which paid for the research, said:

"The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age…. This research shows that we’ve experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly."

QED.

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

MikeC-

"Yes, NASA tells us that the average global temperature in 2012 was about 58.3F. I didn't see an error margin stated but let's say it +/-0.5F for discussion. I'd like to compare that figure to the year 1198. Can anybody help out?"

Sure. I have applied some inverse scattering algorithms to the Marcott curve to extract yearly temperature data. To create an ensemble of solutions, I ran the algorithm 1 Billion times, generated 1 Billion unique solutions, and then selected the best solution based on yesterday's horoscope for Gemini.

Using this robust technique, I have 95% confidence that the temperature in 1198 averaged 25.34 F. As I am reporting to the nearest hundredth of a degree, its accuracy is obvious to the most casual observer.

By the way, my result has been verified through more traditional tele-connected proxy measurements of rodent coprolite shapes found scattered among Bristle cone pine trees in the US southwest.

Hope that helps :-)

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

It should be realized and remembered that the handle of the "hockey stick" is just as important as the blade. The straight handle provides justification to delete any influences on climate for solar activity.

No it doesn't. It provides some evidence (not justification) that there has been a major change in something. Notice the hump in the middle? How do you explain that?

The graph itself is so smoothed out that nothing at all can be said about changes in short time spans. Nothing about solar activity that might last for a century, for example.

You need to understand what averaging does. It removes information as well as, potentially, adding it. This real climate science (TM) love of averaging shows just how low down the food chain they are intellectually.

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Entropic Man,

Even assuming some scary figure for climate sensitivity, the measures put in place in the UK to tackle climate change (biofuels, windmills, solar panels a carbon floor price and all the rest) are useless, they distort and damage the economy to no good purpose, and therefore the CCA should be scrapped. It's an obvious case of the cure being worse than the illness. There's certainly no evidence that the rest of the world sees us as taking a moral lead. Sly laughter while they sell us the useless rubbish required by our foolishness is more the story,

Now I don't accept that the IPCC, the CRU the various climate modellers and all the rest, have any clear idea of what drives the climate; they are pushing a speculative hypothesis, little more than dressed up guesswork. There's also clear evidence of a political agaenda being pursued under a ruse. Even more reason not to subscribe to panicky and obviously useless legislation forcing things onto us such as the clear and wicked nonsense of biofuels.

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Richard Drake - no problem, in case you didn't see them there have been good articles in the past too, inc the front pages given to UEA's email activities (Mirror or Express I think).

However, the point I was making to Latimer, which was the one I joined the 30s thread on, was that nothing changes. The MSM do not stop and check before hitting "create post". For example look at the recent wall to wall coverage given to John Beddington's press release views and compare that to the reach of Spiked. The only mainstream outlet (non blog) with any counter view on the std. patter was BBC kids newsround.

No more from me on this thread. If you really want to pursue it, I'll be sleeping on the 30s thread.

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"vuvuzelan panache"

See, Entropic thing, if it wasn't for the marvelous Marcott, I might never have discovered that phrase. How is that not worth it?

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

NucEngineer-
"The straight handle provides justification to delete any influences on climate for solar activity."

Not so fast. Unique solutions from my inverse scattering reconstructions of annual temperatures from Marcott's curve have an r^2 =0.999 when correlated with any solar proxy of your choosing.
This flexibility highlights the robustness and power of my technique.

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

nby: thanks, points taken, except i'd say that not enough changes, not nothing. the lower case denotes i've gotta get outta here and do other work. it's been an exciting few days on the climate blogs. over and out, as mr foia would say - but with much less credibility than he

Apr 3, 2013 at 8:56 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

oakwood:

You can come back at your "skeptics" by citing the Nyquist Sampling Theorem, one of the most basic ideas in digital (sampled) data processing. It states that a sampled signal cannot tell you anything about components in the signal with a frequency more than half of the sampling frequency, or to put it another way, it cannot tell you anything about components in the signal with a period less than twice the sampling period.

So if the data was sampled at 300 year intervals, it cannot tell you anything about components in the signal with periods of less than 600 years. This information is irretrievably lost in the sampling process, and no amount of mathematical trickery can get it back.

The average sampling interval in the Marcott study is 160 years, so in the bulk of the reconstruction, nothing can be said about components with a less than 320-year cycle. In the depths of the article, they do mention this, and include the (valid) disclaimer that the magnitude of components of up to 2000 years is reduced by the sampling.

At the modern end, there are some components with 20-year sampling, which in theory could capture shorter-term events. But even leaving aside the redating issues, it is completely invalid to compare high-frequency rates of change from these (or the even higher modern direct measurements) to those from the main body of the reconstruction.

Even assuming they did everything right in the proxy reconstructions, it is the height of scientific irresponsibility to make the comparisons they did between recent changes and older changes in the abstract of the paper and in public statements for the media. There is absolutely nothing in the study that supports those conclusions.

Apr 3, 2013 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurt

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