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« Mothballed plant | Main | Sans raison - Josh 228 »
Saturday
Jun292013

Yamal no more

Steve McIntyre has released a sudden flurry of blog posts on the subject of the Briffa et al 2013 paper. Today's offering contains the eye-opening news that CRU have finally backtracked from the Yamal hockey stick of "most important tree in the world" fame. The new version of the series is no longer hockey stick shaped and the modern portions resemble closely the versions of Yamal posted at Climate Audit as long ago as 2009, for which McIntyre was resoundingly condemned by mainstream climatologists.

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Reader Comments (105)

I see no hockey stick. Apologies will be posted all round. The BBC will be ecstatic that the world is not going to fry and it will be headline news. The Climate Change Act will be repealed and renewable energy will be confined to the dustbin. Sanity will prevail.

Now back to the real world.

Jun 29, 2013 at 8:45 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Ian888 postulated in a post that the only way this could have come about is if Steve McIntyre had plagiarised Briffa's 2103 paper in his (Steve's0 2009 and .2012 papers).

Jun 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Well done Steve McIntyre for seeing the truth in the confusion of data and reconstructions.

Well done Keith Briffa for back tracking, especially after being swept along a particular path, so publicly and for so long. Another man might have just dropped Yamal as a subject and pretended the original reconstruction was still valid.

I don't think this would have been so long in coming if certain menn hadn't stirred up antipathy towards Steve and sceptics in the first place.

So (rubs hands briskly) does this mean we are almost at the point of laying to rest the idea that current temperatres are unprecedented or rising at a rate never sen before? Will the MWP ever be firmly placed in history. If not, what will it take?

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Ian888 postulated in

Is he serious or just a total nutter. I had been following Steve for some time before the Yamal paper and hve followed him ever since (as have many many others). Steve's work has been second to none. Immpeccably accurate and precise and guarded with his comments.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

This only proves that phil Jones was absolutely spot on when he witheld his data.
All people like Steve Mac want to do is find something wrong with it.
If I was Biffa I would want to introduce the backs of my envelopes (my research) to a certain part of
Steve's anatomy.
To produce work prior to original work is just outrageous.
Briffa is to be congratulated for this stirling and painstaking work that was so necessary to prove that
Steve was correct./ sarc

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

I think he may have been joking Steve.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Isn't this all a bit premature? We cannot celebrate victory until the Mann concedes defeat.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

It was brave of Briffa no doubt about that. And he shows a MWP in his paper, as does Esper 2012, I sensed at the time that there was a "pulling back from forward positions". I am of the opinion that Michael Mann cast a spell on the CRU with his combination of toadying and bullying and during the ten years, or so, they indulged in a "folie de plusieurs" where the weaker boys taken under the wing of the school bully dropped their usual caution.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Roy - why would anybody care what Mann's opinion be, I will never understand.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

..does this mean we are almost at the point of laying to rest the idea that current temperatures are unprecedented or rising at a rate never seen before?
Jun 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM TinyCO2

At the risk of my being repetitious, I'll point out Professor Murry Salby does this pretty convincingly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROw_cDKwc0

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@omnologos

"why would anybody care what Mann's opinion be, I will never understand."

Because his "iconic" Hockey Stick is what gave legs to the whole AGW shebang.

I hope (but don't expect) that all the previous papers using the Hockey Stick version of Yamal will not be corrected/withdrawn.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Re: Stephen Richards

Here is Ian888's comment in full:

@Steve McIntyre

From Fig. 4 above:

it’s quite obvious that in 2009 and again in 2011, you shamelessly plagiarised Briffa 2013

Easily the worst sin in the academic book, run a close second only by disrupting the space-time continuum in order to perform the plagiarism

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Turning Tide: Mann's opinion on hockey sticks is bound to be polluted.

All: these graphs by Osborn confirm that yes, one single tree was used to change the climate history of the world.

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/img/keep/yamal2008_yad061.png

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

@TT - oops - dreadful typo in my above post. Of course, I meant to say:

I hope (but don't expect) that all the previous papers using the Hockey Stick version of Yamal will NOW be corrected/withdrawn.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Martin A - by 'we' I mean wider society not the sceptic community. We (sceptics) have known for ages the temperatures fall well within normal.

Jun 29, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The most apposite thing to say is the much used quote:
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

Yet again, Steve McIntyre has proved that he has more intellectual horsepower that the whole hockey team. I just wonder if there is a frantic rewriting of AR5 going on.

Jun 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

I welcome the fact that Briffa et al. have taken the trouble to update and clarify previous analysis and I think everybody will admit that the latest version is more robust. It might not be the final story for this region as there appears to be more data out there, but that is another story.

HOWEVER - despite what you all think, Yamal alone was NOT the lone driver of the basic shape of NH reconstructions. If you don't believe me, go to the following link:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/darrigo2006/darrigo2006.html
download the TR data used for the DWJ06 NH RCS reconstruction and create your own NH series - one with Yamal and one without.
Rob

Jun 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Wilson

The final comment on the "Real Climate" post linked to by The Bishop is this:


grypo says:
4 Jun 2012 at 2:13 PM

McIntyre is back [edit. we don't care]

The Team are one Real Classy bunch of dudes.

Jun 29, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

Speaking of Mann. This may impact his two court cases. I've not seen anything on them for weeks.

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Is it time for a revised 2nd edition of HSI?

[Already done that! 3rd edition maybe]

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

@ Rob Wilson

"I welcome the fact that Briffa et al. have taken the trouble to update and clarify previous analysis and I think everybody will admit that the latest version is more robust."

Oh, well done you, so that's alright then.

But did I miss you popping up with an endorsement several years ago when McIntyre was posting almost identical 'robust' results?

As someone just said over on WUWT (and it's entirely apposite to your comment) : "There’s no doubt about it: Steve McIntyre has more intellect and integrity that the whole of the hockey team, and all of their lackeys and apologists, combined."

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

Rob

Sure it wasn't the sole driver of HS shapes - how could it be in a multiproxy reconstruction? - , but I hope we agree it should never have been used in the first place.

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

JerM
actually, Steve Mac gave me a hard time for using Yamal and not the Polar Urals update. Keith's later work has validated that my choice of using Yamal infused much less bias in the NH composite than the use of the Polar Urals data with the root collar bias in the medieval.
R

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Wilson

I had a quick peek over at RC, lots of slagging of McIntyre but for some reason they don't mention that their new charts are exactly (effectively) the same as his.

For all their talk a picture can still be worth a thousand words.. . .

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Andrew
actually - with the information I had back in 2005, I believe I made the correct decision.
I would of course use the newer version if I ever devloped a new update NH series.
R

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Wilson

JimmyH,

McIntyre never left.

As I've said countless times before, the real tragedy here is that so called climate scientists like Mann, Jones, Briffa et al have conspired together to keep their discipline firmly rooted in the Stone Age.

Had these guys been open to challenges against their work from the get go the likelihood is our understanding of the worlds climate would most likely be decades more advanced than it is now.

Thank god for people like McIntyre!

Regards

Mailman

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Rob Wilson,
Unlike you I cannot speak for all people on this blog, but I guess many of us already knew that Yamal was "not the lone driver of the basic shape of NH reconstructions" because papers like Marcott et. al. are still trying to synthesise hockey sticks using other "Nature-tricks".

I'll now make the tentative assumption that Briffa was not one of reviewers that might have approved the Marcott hockey-stick.

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Ian888's says (quite brilliantly I might add):

"It’s quite obvious that in 2009 and again in 2011, you shamelessly plagiarised Briffa 2013
Easily the worst sin in the academic book, run a close second only by disrupting the space-time continuum in order to perform the plagiarism"

Could Steve's work be, in fact, an "adjustment"- so beloved of the holders of the Holy Records (CRUTEM) where the past is continually rewritten to make the present agree with the GIGO produced by climate muddlers (sorry, modellers)?

Jun 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

More importantly we can all hear and see the increasing signs of withdrawal from alarmist scenarios.
Those with a modicum of intelligence have woken up to reality.

Hopefully these brave souls will be the beginning of the end of the many fraudsters, scamsters, politicians (think Troffa and Oxbung) and assorted "green" energy sharks who have profited handsomely, at our expense.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I think he may have been joking Steve.

Jun 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Happily you are all correct. I went to Steve's place for a look and found it as Ian8888

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Mailman

Had these guys been open to challenges against their work from the get go the likelihood is our understanding of the worlds climate would most likely be decades more advanced than it is now.

But they would not be as rich and famous, soon to be infamous, as they are now.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Steve McIntyre, he's not a scientist - no - he's just a fella who gets it right.

Strike one for Canada and with grateful thanks from the little guys!

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Crybaby Osborn complains McI tried to badmouth them, then confirms it wasn't badmouthing at all as they're indeed doing lower-standard science, of the kind where none has the courage, sincerity and perhaps honesty. to publicly admit what's happened.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Rob Wilson says:

actually, Steve Mac gave me a hard time for using Yamal and not the Polar Urals update. Keith's later work has validated that my choice of using Yamal infused much less bias in the NH composite than the use of the Polar Urals data with the root collar bias in the medieval.

D'Arrigo et al 2006 stated that they used the Polar Urals series but actually used the Yamal data. I thought that Rob and coauthors should issue a corrigendum on this point as it was misleading. Rob and coauthors refused to issue a corrigendum. I was indeed critical of them on this point and remain disappointed at this refusal.

Briffa's Yamal superstick is also impacted by inhomogeneity that is as severe as the root collar inhomogeneity but in a different period. Briffa et al have already walked back from much of the blade of the superstick. Methodologically, Briffa's work remains flawed by inhomogeneity, e.g. between the YAD river valley and the KHAD river valley, and Briffa et al 2013 does not present or use statistical tools that address inhomogeneity. The endless unintelligible squiggles of Briffa et al 2013 do not constitute statistical analysis and should embarrass practitioners rather than reassure them.

Jun 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Here is an email I sent to Briffa back in 2009- and jones' response.

From: Keiller, Donald
Sent: 02 October 2009 10:34
To: ‘ k.briffa@uea.ac.uk’
Cc: ‘ p.jones@uea.ac.uk’
Subject: Yamal and paleoclimatology

Dear Professor Briffa, my apologies for contacting you directly, particularly since I hear that you are unwell. However the recent release of tree ring data by CRU has prompted much discussion and indeed disquiet about the methodology and conclusions of a number of key papers by you and co-workers.

As an environmental plant physiologist, I have followed the long debate starting with Mann et al (1998) and through to Kaufman et al (2009). As time has progressed I have found myself more concerned with the whole scientific basis of dendroclimatology. In particular;

1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed

2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies

3) The concept of “teleconnection” by which certain trees respond to the “Global Temperature Field”, rather than local climate

4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature in a linear manner.

Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers.

As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do not agree with the accepted science.

There is a saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers, further detailed explanation is urgently required.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Don Keiller.
date: Wed Oct 28 16:04:00 2009
from: Phil Jonessubject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
to: k.briffa@ xxxxx
Keith,
There is a lot more there on CA now. I would be very wary about responding to this
person now having seen what McIntyre has put up.
You and Tim talked about Yamal. Why have the bristlecones come in now.
This is what happens – they just keep moving the goalposts.
Maybe get Tim to redo OB2006 without a few more series.
Cheers
Phil

Jun 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

"The endless unintelligible squiggles of Briffa et al 2013 do not constitute statistical analysis and should embarrass practitioners rather than reassure them."

In other words, I told you so again and again and again but you never listen because you are charlatans not professionals.

Jun 29, 2013 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Firstly we all owe a vote of thanks to Steve McI. Secondly, this latest U turn needs to be publicised, especially for our politicians. Members of the last Labour government, and senior Toies always used the hockey stick as evidence of the unprecedented global temperatures. It was totemic to all main political parties.

Jun 29, 2013 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

This story won't be complete until all the temperature graphs show no significant global warming at all since 1850. A quite stable global mean surface temperature, period. Don't say that's unlikely to happen. My Venus/Earth temperatures comparison, which confirms the Standard Atmosphere precisely, absolutely demands it must and will be found to be the truth. There are no competent climate scientists today, because the consensus science they all follow is wrong and incompetent, and that too must be faced sooner or later.

Jun 29, 2013 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

Bish

I followed the link (resoundingly condemned) in your post to Real Climate. RC clearly had quite a love affair with anything hockey stick shaped. It seems incestuous at best, fraudulent at worst. Hope there are screen captures available as it will likely soon disappear.

Steve McIntyre's little army of one delivered quite a defeat to the hockey stick while only armed with the truth. The "team" is not happy with McIntyre. Actually the "team" is not happy at all now with the truth coming at them from so many angles and from so many informed researchers.

Jun 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

The "you all" language from Rob Wilson is unbecoming. Forgotten the costs the university ran up defending similar statements already?

Moreover, I am among those who entered the online debate as the Yamal story was already some way through, and I haven't had the time to look and take in the whole story myself. I know about it from various scattered posts and THSI. At least on a enpirical basis, I am open to see the opposite viewpoint, though the effect of any power to convince me of it, may be severely lacking. If I am lumped as a 'you all', I'll inclined to think maybe, ... they must have a case then.

Jun 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM | Registered Commentershub

The post by Uncle Steve in this thread should be read and more importantly UNDERSTOOD by all on this blog. Briffa has now produced a result that is very close to Steve's own calculation but Steve is not celebrating. Far too many times people on BH celebrate papers and opinions that coincide with their own position, without questioning how the result/opinion was arrived at. Steve shows his true integrity by rejecting Briffa's new paper because it was a shoddy bit of statistical analysis. Hats off to you Mr McIntyre.

Jun 29, 2013 at 3:25 PM | Registered CommenterDung

It seems to me (armed only with my 2:2 in Agricultural Engineering) that this should be a 'shout from the rooftops' moment - right up there with Climategate.
It's huge....isn't it?

Jun 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Steve Mc an amateur doing all this in his spare time for the love of the challenge? And aren't all the other guys "professional" climate scientists doing this as part of their presumably lucrative careers?

In what other profession could an enthusiastic amateur (albeit one with the brain the size of a small planet) so comprehensively take to the cleaners the full-time protagonists? I'm not surprised they are not enamoured with him.

As with so much of the climate debate, the "big oil funded denial machine" feeding disinformation about the robust science is the exact opposite of the truth. Time and again it's a flipping amateur doing science properly showing up the flakey "science" of the highly paid mob.

Steve Mc, you're a hero mate. That's worth much more than any ill gotten financial gains.

Jun 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonW

SimonW

Calling someone who gained multiple degrees (including one at Oxford) and who won prizes as a Mathematician "an amateur" is probably stretching it a bit hehe. However I echo your views mate ^.^

Jun 29, 2013 at 3:44 PM | Registered CommenterDung

SimonW: it is my understanding that most astronomical discoveries are made by amateurs.

Stephen Richards: really, you did not get that as a joke immediately... plagiarizing something published 4 years in the future? Tsk, tsk.

Mark

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

It seems to me (armed only with my 2:2 in Agricultural Engineering) that this should be a 'shout from the rooftops' moment - right up there with Climategate.
It's huge....isn't it?

Jun 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Your are right of course but the roof tops are all occupied by AGW supporters.

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

You will notice, too, that even Rob Wilson, one of the "better" treemometerists, spins things in way designed to slander Steve, then does not bother to respond to Steve's explanation, which we can bet he has read. An explanation, I recall, that Steve has reiterated many times, apparently falling on deaf ears in each case. Classless field chock full of a lack of professionalism and incompetence I cannot begin to describe.

Mark

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

"It was brave of Briffa no doubt about that. And he shows a MWP in his paper, as does Esper 2012, I sensed at the time that there was a "pulling back from forward positions". --geronimo

Is this a "pulling back" from shoddy science? Or an attempt to distance themselves from the political and economic consequences of their pseudoscience? Have they finally realized what happens to "useful idiots" when they're no longer useful?

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Pointman has a new essay up which is well worth a read.

I’d like to preface this piece by saying there are a number of scientists doing significant work in the field of climate science whom I deeply respect. They have all along raised the balanced doubts about the supposedly “settled” science and I’ve no doubt taken some easily avoidable professional damage for doing so. I don’t necessarily see eye to eye with all of them over every aspect of the climate debate, but high-profile people of courage, integrity and reason, prepared to speak out are all too scarce in an area so brutally controlled by a thought police and are therefore to be prized even more highly.

They are the brave few who for years have put themselves into a very real danger zone, while everyone else kept their mouths shut and their heads down. Over the years more than a few of them, like Prof. Bob Carter this week, have paid the price for such integrity. For what it’s worth, they have my lasting admiration and if you’re a true skeptic, they should have yours as well.

Posterity will one day exonerate them, and it will be at the expense of those shadowy creatures who had them removed from their positions.

Climate alarmism was, and could only have been, a child born of good times. In the midst of an extraordinarily long fifteen year economic boom when most people had jobs, money, houses and not many real concerns, it was something that a number of people actually needed to invent. The politicians needed a danger they could save us from and as it happened, a few scientists raised some genuine concerns over the slight temperature uptick that occurred in the closing decades of the previous century. The political activists of the well left of centre group, still reeling from the double whammy of the death of the liberal dream in the eighties and the collapse of Soviet communism in the nineties, needed it even more desperately.

That little spark of concern was deliberately fanned into a raging inferno that reached its peak at the end of the opening decade of this century.

It heats up even further later on!

It all reinforces my overall impression that we have endured decades of overblown alarmism promoted, aided, or abetted by some pretty unimpressive scientists and other academics. The sharper, better minds and stronger, straighter characters of such as Carter and McIntyre have been a saving grace in the midst of an avalanche of half-baked dross dressed up with portentous drivel about the end of the world.

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Yeah. Imagine you thought you were practicing a real dynamic science and then seeing that most of the efforts from your respected elders in your chosen *science* were actually depressingly directed at controlling the PR to ignore some middle aged Canadian amateur.

[snip] imagine that.

Wouldn't that be weird?

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

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