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  1. So… reading this means that eventually we’ll get a Briffa published response, and that response will either show:

    (a) A regional reconstruction with all the core data that will show a different result than McIntyres, but with available reproducible methodology.

    or

    (b) A regional reconstruction that selectively weights different data sets based on how well the authors think it more authentically reflects temperature trends, regardless of relative sample saizes, because of things like ‘undisturbed’, ‘declared-to-be-more-sensitive to temperature’, etc. — but one where, if everything were done as in method (a) would show a temperature reconstruction difference a little closer to McIntyres ‘insta-reconstruction’.

    Yes? No?

    It will be interesting indeed to see how these volleys go. Yamal has been a topic of intense scrutiny all throughout the CG emails, and it continues.

    [Response: Actually it won't be that interesting because I guarantee that whatever judgement calls that Briffa et al make (on the level of coherence necessary, significance levels, magnitude of common signal, statistical method etc.) they will still be accused of fudging it to produce a desired result - because that is so easy for the 'critics' to do. Every analysis involves judgement calls - even McIntyre's. And so if people don't like the result, they will attack the judgements - regardless of how they actually impact the final result or how justified they are. If you are already convinced that scientists can't be trusted, then no amount of justification from those scientists will change anything because people see nefarious intent everywhere. It is a perfect epistemic bubble - impervious to any actual contact with reality. - gavin]

    Comment by Salamano — 11 May 2012 @ 6:17 AM

  2. thanks again for balanced (have to hesitate these days before using that word) & comprehensive reporting

    I don’t follow the contrarian side very closely so had to go to Wikipedia to see who Steve McIntyre might be (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_McIntyre) – and that’s my only quibble :-)

    thanks again, be well.

    Comment by David Wilson — 11 May 2012 @ 6:49 AM

  3. Impressive, and very, very clear. Thanks.

    Comment by J Bowers — 11 May 2012 @ 7:03 AM

  4. Steve McIntyre is free to do any analysis he wants on any data he can find.

    =================

    That is the problem. Finding the data to replicated the analysis. Now who is the problem when it comes to finding the data? In the UK is Hadley.

    Secret data and secret analysis isn’t science.

    [Response: Oh please. All of this data has been available for years and the peta-bytes of stuff that is now online is actually overwhelming our ability to analyse it. None of this is 'secret science' - that's just another meme used to avoid looking at it. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 11 May 2012 @ 7:04 AM

  5. Gavin,

    Thank you for taking the time to debunk the grand conspiracy. It pains me that you had to take time out of your busy schedule to (yet again) scold the children who do not learn their lessons the first time.

    Unfortunately, this waste of your time is exactly what McIntyre, Watts, Bishop Hill, Heartland Institute, Chris Horner’s American Tradition Institute, etc., etc. etc. want when they post their blogs or send their FOIAs.

    One way we can all help to protect the scientific endeavor is by supporting the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. Donations are tax-deductible. http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/

    Comment by Scott A. Mandia — 11 May 2012 @ 7:23 AM

  6. @1 Gavin — Thank you for your responses.

    Your response is more-or-less what I expected (and you’re right). I suspect then so long as everyone’s methodology is out there (complete with all judgement calls and all that), then it would be fairly easy for the science/blog communities to examine both– it seems that perhaps the regional Ural cores data’s significance might simply comes down to various judgment calls, which is why multiple lines of dendro evidence that do not use Yamal, bristlecones, etc. need to exist (which I recall your other long-ago post may provide)…Though to McIntyre’s point it may be a small amount of vindication to see the significance of the judgment calls become the main route to the results of Yamal (though you did say that happens all the time in research).

    @4. From what I recall… it’s not exactly the data that was the subject of McIntyre’s beef, but instead the “list” of which data went into the methodology. It’s one thing to have thousands of cores publicly available all over the place for re-analysis, it’s quite another to have zero concrete, explicit, specific, exact idea of which actual cores of the total are being used for purposes of replication. I think that beef has been getting traction.

    Comment by Salamano — 11 May 2012 @ 7:31 AM

  7. “Every analysis involves judgement calls – even McIntyre’s. And so if people don’t like the result, they will attack the judgements – regardless of how they actually impact the final result or how justified they are. If you are already convinced that scientists can’t be trusted, then no amount of justification from those scientists will change anything because people see nefarious intent everywhere. It is a perfect epistemic bubble – impervious to any actual contact with reality.”

    Relevant article by Dan Sarewitz about systemic bias: http://www.nature.com/news/beware-the-creeping-cracks-of-bias-1.10600

    I submit that climatologists or any other scientists are not impervious to epistemic bubbles. This is why we need antagonistic jerks that will try to destroy our work; we will not do it on our own.

    [Response: Yes, of course. That's the way science progresses. What's at issue here is whether McIntyre is actually interested in science progressing, or merely in stopping it from progressing. Surely you would agree that there is some level of antagonism (not to mention jerkiness) that goes beyond the pale?--eric]

    Comment by Menth — 11 May 2012 @ 7:31 AM

  8. “It is a perfect epistemic bubble – impervious to any actual contact with reality.”

    A delicious and apt phrase. This exactly the problem with much of our public discourse today, IMO.

    However, real bubbles are unstable (unless frozen in!), and one hopes that epistemic ones will prove to be, too.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 May 2012 @ 7:33 AM

  9. Clearly Mr. McIntyre is suffering from data envy. Lacking the requisite skills to generate any of his own he tries to siphon it from real scientists.

    Perhaps Mr. McIntytre’s time would be better spent if he stuck to his own business. Since becoming Chairman of the Board of Trelawney Mining and Exploration, Inc. (TRR.V), the company’s stock price has declined about 42% (14 July 2011-10 May 2012, down 42.12%).

    Comment by BillS — 11 May 2012 @ 7:33 AM

  10. Isn’t it time for the scientific community to consider defamation proceedings against people such as Watts, Montford and McIntyre? In any other walk of life malicious behaviour such as theirs has consequences for the perpetrators; they’ve been allowed to believe they are immune to such consequences.

    Comment by Stewart Hunter — 11 May 2012 @ 7:46 AM

  11. Thanks. All that effort I expended trying to decipher McIntyre’s atrociously opaque ramblings confirmed to be a waste of time. I won’t bother in future.

    Comment by Paul A — 11 May 2012 @ 7:52 AM

  12. Thank you for the clear and comprehensive take down.

    I wonder if it’s because McIntyre, Watts and the people at Bishop’s Hill are feeling very marginalised these days. Maybe they are trying to recapture some of the glory days when they had their 15 minutes of fame by perving at stolen emails and harassing scientists with fake FOI requests.

    Climate change is starting to become apparent to even the sturdiest (non-fake) sceptic. Renewable energy is gaining traction. Denier organisations like the Heartland Inst are imploding. The general public is noticing droughts coinciding with flash floods, earlier spring and summer, commercial shipping and gambits for resource exploration in the arctic as the ice melts. Bloomberg is today reporting the billions being invested by oil companies in developing ‘green’ fuel. I don’t think trees in Yamal are top of mind for most people.

    I’m thinking this is an attempt to hang onto the few die-hard denier fans who wear tin foil hats: ‘look at us, we’re outwitting the scientists’. However most people would not be too impressed by their shenanigans – even if they understood what they were on about or had heard of this anti-science blogging fraternity.

    The issue would be of little interest to the general public. Regional reconstructions are of interest to science as they provide a piece of the scientific puzzle.

    It’s still important to have these facts, because every now and then someone will raise the issue. Appreciate the clarity, too.

    Comment by Sou — 11 May 2012 @ 8:07 AM

  13. McIntyre is a rent-seeker who always tries to force others to do his work. Unfortunately he is no where near as amusing as Tom Sawyer

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 11 May 2012 @ 8:26 AM

  14. ‘…he immediately thinks that Michael Mann needs to answer these accusations…’ factually, wasn’t that Revkin?

    Comment by ZT — 11 May 2012 @ 8:47 AM

  15. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!

    Comment by Walter Scott — 11 May 2012 @ 9:02 AM

  16. Actual observations, and the supporting science and math can be such a pain. As long as you don’t need to be concerned about actual observations or the science and math there are an almost infinite number of ways to prove that global warming/climate change doesn’t exist. Secret science, secret sauce, don’t ask me I’m at a loss….

    Comment by Tokodave — 11 May 2012 @ 9:16 AM

  17. 4 Nick: “That is the problem. Finding the data to replicated the analysis.”

    Rote repetition is not scientific replication.

    Comment by J Bowers — 11 May 2012 @ 9:17 AM

  18. McIntyre may be much more well-versed in statistics than I am, but his ideology drives him to make “whopper” blunders that even a non-expert can flag. Below is my take on the problems with his “hockey sticks from noise” attack on Mann’s work (hopefully in plain-enough English that non-techie can understand).

    This is copy/pasted from my reply to a negative amazon.com review of Dr. Mann’s latest book: It is my “limited expertise” view of the problems with the well-worn “hockey-sticks from random noise” claim.

    ################## Begin copy-paste #################

    “Normally I would say he is dishonest since how could any PhD with a brain cell in his head test a hypothesis w/ computer code that spits out hockey stick shape graphs when fed with random data?”

    – That particular attack on Mann’s hockey stick is incompetent on multiple levels, for the following reasons:

    1) The “random noise” used to generate those “noise-only” hockey-sticks was contaminated with hockey-stick signal, because the folks who authored the “random noise hockey-sticks” claim forgot to filter out the hockey-stick signal from the tree-ring data before they used it to “train” their random-noise generator. Dudes — if you are going to use real data to “train” a random-noise generator, you have to remove the signal from the data first! Otherwise, your “random noise” will be completely useless for testing “noise only” system behavior. Oops #1.

    2) Even with the help of that hockey-stick contamination, the hockey-sticks generated with that “random noise” were *much* smaller than Mann’s genuine hockey-stick. A quick look at the eigenvalue magnitudes is all that is necessary to distinguish a “random noise” hockey-stick from the real thing. Oops #2.

    3) Half of the “hockey-sticks” generated with that “random noise” were upside down (in addition to being much smaller than a genuine tree-ring hockey-stick). That simple fact should be a “red flag” indicating that your leading PC is an obvious noise artifact. An obvious test to see whether a PC represents a coherent signal or is just a noise artifact is to compute the inner-products of that PC against all the vectors in the input data matrix. Inner-product results that are consistently positive would indicate the presence of a real signal; results that are randomly positive/negative would indicate a noise artifact. The authors of that attack on Mann never bothered to perform that very obvious test. Oops #3.

    4) Anyone who uses SVD/PCA for “data reduction” purposes (as Mann did with some of his tree-ring data) knows full well that you can’t just focus on the single leading singular-vector/principal-component. You generally need to retain more than just one PC. But the only way to make that determination is to apply a proper eigenvalue thresholding procedure to your SVD output. If you don’t do that, you will often throw away crucial information. The fixation on a single principal component is yet another blunder. Oops #4.

    5) Mann’s eigenvalue-thresholding procedure automatically compensates for the “offset effect” introduced by his short-centering of the tree-ring data. The authors of the “hockey-sticks from noise” claim apparently didn’t realize (or chose to ignore) that simple fact. Oops #5.

    But let’s give Mann’s detractors some credit here. Aside from accidentally contaminating their “random noise” with hockey-stick signal, failing to compare their “random-noise” eigenvalues with Mann’s tree-ring eigenvalues, failing to apply a proper eigenvalue thresholding procedure to their SVD outputs, failing to compute simple “inner-product” statistical tests on their “random noise” hockey-sticks, and failing to study Mann’s methodology well enough to see that his eigenvalue-thresholding procedure automatically compensates for the effects of “short centering”, their “hockey-sticks from random noise” study really wasn’t all that bad!

    Comment by caerbannog — 11 May 2012 @ 9:21 AM

  19. Editorial nitpick: “lards” or “laces” is intended in the second sentence of the post, not “ladles.” There is no sense of the latter word that makes any sense in this context.

    Comment by Larry Gilman — 11 May 2012 @ 9:25 AM

  20. It’s encouraging and painful, at the same time, to read these responses from the realclimate team. Great because you’re fighting back, painful because I hate seeing you take this time from your research. Thanks for all your great work.

    Comment by Douglass Schumacher — 11 May 2012 @ 9:32 AM

  21. Thank you Gavin and RealClimate for once again bringing much needed clarity to the situation. The huge amount of work you do in explaining and contextualising the latest climate stories (and “non-stories” such as these false allegations of deception) is greatly appreciated by me and many others.

    [Response: Tim, I (and I think I speak for all of us here) want to thank *you* and Keith and the others for calmly and thoughtfully continuing to do the great work you're doing despite the dishonest personal attacks, and despite the concerted efforts by McIntyre and his ilk to interfere with and disrupt your efforts. -Mike]

    Comment by Tim Osborn — 11 May 2012 @ 9:56 AM

  22. #9 Bill is right, I must add, the work needed to come up to validate accusations of mis-conduct has not been met. I can say McIntyre is the tooth fairy, but where is my evidence supporting this claim?
    The chaps loving calling climate scientists liars don’t do the tedious time consuming reconstructions themselves, therefore they are tooth fairies until they actually do some climate science. By the way, hard laborious efforts deserves our attention, name callers should be left out of the debating room, perhaps stand on soap boxes in a park somewhere giving off pamphlets instead of published scientific articles.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 11 May 2012 @ 10:16 AM

  23. Dear Gavin,

    I haven’t read Steve’s latest post, and I’ve only skimmed this one. I am not deeply interested in the hockey stick and associated controversies, but I do have the distinct impression of scientists talking past each other. Steve’s recent post spoke to me of the genuine frustration, even depression, this causes him. The present post speaks of your genuine anger.

    [Response: Mild correction. I'm not in the least bit angry. I probably should be, and I know people who are, but anger is not a productive emotion. This kind of stuff is best dealt with in world-weary way. I know why it happens, and I can see how people convince themselves that they are correct, but getting angry just inflames the situation. The ironies here are more than a little amusing though - and if it wasn't for the fact that good people are being falsely maligned, I would just spend my time pointing them out. - gavin]

    I would like to make a radical suggestion – and while this could sound facetious I’d like to assure you that it’s not: why don’t you set aside some quality time to actually talk to him? Sit down over a virtual beer and work out what he wants and why. Maybe you’re right that it would be never ending. Then fine, make it a ritual.

    It was Lyndon Johnson who said of J. Edgar Hoover – ‘it’s better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in’. Does this apply to Steve McIntyre? He has expertise in this area and he evidently enjoys pulling things apart and figuring out how they work.

    You seem aware of the damage all round that this war is causing – damage to scientists’ reputations, the demands on everyone’s time, and the emotional toll. Why not just drop the guard and let him in?

    [Response: Let him in where? From the first post he ever made mentioning me he has implied I am dishonest and he insinuates that on a regular basis. I'm not sure about you, but my (limited) time is better spent talking to people who don't think that everything I say is a lie. Mcintyre has convinced himself of this and many other things that aren't actually true, but I see no evidence that he is willing to re-consider any of them. Instead, they become entwined into an ever more elaborate construction involving a wider and wider circle. Like I've said many times, if he took the effort to do something constructive that might be worthwhile and it would be a basis to have a shared discussion about what the climate history actually was (which, he might be surprised to learn, is the point). - gavin]

    Comment by Alex Harvey — 11 May 2012 @ 11:06 AM

  24. Gavin wrote: “If you are already convinced that scientists can’t be trusted, then no amount of justification from those scientists will change anything …”

    Or more to the point, if you are paid to convince the public that scientists can’t be trusted …

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 11 May 2012 @ 11:06 AM

  25. Alex Harvey,
    The scientific community would just love to have Stevie “in”, if he would just fricking publish something! A publication can be evaluated. It’s right or it’s wrong. It’s useful or it’s not. Stevie’s drive-by, rapid-fire approach is more akin to a Gish Gallop than to science. It does not advance understanding, and it generates more heat than illumination.

    I have no doubt Steve has some skill at statistical modeling. However, he applies that skill to analyzing utterly irrelevant and trivial matters until he has beaten them to death, while making outrageous claims about the significance of his analyses and the integrity of his opponents. The tent door is open, but until he chooses to walk through it by publishing, he can piss up a rope.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 May 2012 @ 11:31 AM

  26. @ Alex Harvey.

    Nature: Climate Change, August 2009

    …McIntyre’s point here is that he should be treated as a legitimate academic given his background and publication record.
    [...]
    Although Jones agrees that the data should be made publicly available, he says that “it needs to be done in a systematic way”. He is now working to make the data publicly available online and will post a statement on the CRU website tomorrow to that effect, with any existing confidentiality agreements. “We’re trying to make them all available. We’re consulting with all the meteorological services – about 150 members of WMO – and will ask them if they are happy to release the data”, says Jones. But getting the all-clear from other nations could take several months and there may be objections. “Some countries don’t even have their own data available as they haven’t digitized it. We have done a lot of that ourselves”, he says.
    [...]
    Once the data become publicly available, Jones wants McIntyre to produce a global temperature record. “Science advances that way. He might then realize how robust the global temperature record is”, says Jones. Asked if he would take on the challenge, McIntyre said that it’s not a priority for him, but added “if someone wanted to hire me, I’d do it”.

    Oh well.

    Comment by J Bowers — 11 May 2012 @ 11:35 AM

  27. Both Bishop Hill and WUWT respond:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/5/11/realclimate-on-yamal.html
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/11/gavins-big-wild-yamal-yawner/

    Comment by Jack Foster — 11 May 2012 @ 11:38 AM

  28. I take issue with one statement

    “but if any actual scientist had produced such a poorly explained, unvalidated, uncalibrated, reconstruction with no error bars or bootstrapping or demonstrations of common signals etc., McIntyre would have been (rightly) scornful.”

    I find McIntyre’s scorn to be very selective and misdirected, independent of any lack of self-critique. Where is the audit of this goofy Don Easterbrook “reconstruction”, for instance?

    http://chriscolose.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/easterbrook.jpg

    Where is the auditing, complete with character attacks, of the co2science website or Loehle’s shoddy E&E work? Then we have Lamb 1965 the defining “global” reconstruction, evidence that subsequent work is bogus and deceitful.

    Comment by MarkB — 11 May 2012 @ 11:48 AM


  29. Once the data become publicly available, Jones wants McIntyre to produce a global temperature record. “Science advances that way. He might then realize how robust the global temperature record is”, says Jones. Asked if he would take on the challenge, McIntyre said that it’s not a priority for him, but added “if someone wanted to hire me, I’d do it”.

    The CRU data in question became publicly available nearly 10 months ago. What have the folks who had been demanding access to that data done with it since then? Any of you skeptics out there who had been howling for that data have any results to share with us? How do your results compare with the CRU’s global-average temperature results?

    You’ve had nearly 10 months to come up with *something* — how about sharing it with us?

    Comment by caerbannog — 11 May 2012 @ 11:56 AM

  30. McEnttire’s continued fixation with this data seems utterly pointless to me. What is he trying to show? That the planet isn’t warming? That the land surface, sea surface and satellite data are also wrong? That the cryosphere isn’t melting?

    And does he think that the results of this dendro analysis will prove the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist? Seriously, what in the world can he hope to accomplish?

    Comment by robert — 11 May 2012 @ 12:00 PM

  31. It’s all part of a grass roots effort on the behalf of those with political views who can’t accept global warming to discredit anyone who can prove AGW exists, and also a rampant contempt for authority and expertise. Why can’t everyone have it without the mess of actual work on the subject?

    Comment by Mark A. York — 11 May 2012 @ 12:19 PM

  32. > The CRU data in question became publicly available
    > nearly 10 months ago.
    > Jones wants McIntyre to produce a global temperature record….
    > Asked if he would take on the challenge,
    > McIntyre said … “if someone wanted to hire me, I’d do it”.

    Nobody wanted to hire him to do it?
    Heartland has money for their billboard campaign, but not for McIntyre?

    Or has someone hired him, gotten a result, but not published?

    The BEST lesson may have been a painful one.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 May 2012 @ 12:19 PM

  33. Gavin:

    Instead, they become entwined into an ever more elaborate construction involving a wider and wider circle.

    He’s become a full-blown conspiracy theorist.

    He’s always been a bit delusional, IMO – remember the incident where he wget’d a NASA website, got blocked by the sysadmin because he was spidering the site, and he responded by be absolutely convinced that the sysadmin did intentionally because it was Steve McIntyre, not as a routine block of a spidering effort that ignored the site’s robot.txt file? And the ensuing discussion at CA where several of his tech-savvy supports tried to get him to see that the sysadmin’s response was totally appropriate and his claim that he’d never heard of McIntyre completely believable?

    That’s when I realized he really does have a “they’re out to get me” world view, that he’s the kind of person that sees a conspiracy behind every bush.

    It’s just gotten worse. His fixation on issues from the 90s, etc, makes it obvious that he can’t, and never will, let go.

    robert:

    McEnttire’s continued fixation with this data seems utterly pointless to me. What is he trying to show? That the planet isn’t warming? That the land surface, sea surface and satellite data are also wrong? That the cryosphere isn’t melting?

    My own opinion is that at this point, he’s so fixated on the notion that there’s an international conspiracy among climate scientists to hide … something … that the goal has become as much to prove the existence of that conspiracy as it is to prove any particular outcome that has resulted from the conspiracy.

    And, as was the case with the hapless NASA sysadmin who had the temerity to block his spidering of a web site until he explained what he was up to, McIntyre is convinced that the conspiracy is at least partly *personal*, pointed at *him*.

    Jack Foster:

    Both Bishop Hill and WUWT respond

    Who cares? Seriously?

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 May 2012 @ 12:40 PM

  34. Gavin writes:

    McIntyre then quotes an email from Osborn sent in 2006 in support of his claim that the reconstructions were finished at that point, but that is again a very strained reading. Osborn only lists the areas (and grid boxes) in which regional reconstructions might be attempted since “most of the trees lie within those boxes”. It makes no statement whatsoever about the work having already been done.

    To me, McI’s (as well as anyone who follows him) accusations have to show that Gavin is wrong here. Otherwise, his entire argument crumbles into nothing. He has an subsection in his post called “Insufficient Time” which he claims the emails show:

    They had already calculated a Yamal-Urals regional chronology: they could have used the one at hand? And why did they tell Muir Russell that couldn’t “complete” the chronology in time, when they had already done the calculation. If they felt that there were technical issues that disqualified the regional chronology calculated in 2006, why didn’t they report these problems (along with the regional chronology itself) in the article itself and/or to Muir Russell.

    I have to ask anyone defending McIntyre to prove this. Otherwise, he should withdraw his accusations, which amount to scientific malfeasance, if true.

    Comment by grypo — 11 May 2012 @ 12:40 PM

  35. Excuse the fractured english above, shouldn’t try to post while holding a conversation at the same time…

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 May 2012 @ 12:42 PM

  36. Why did the University of East Anglia FOI refuse the FOI requests for both the Yamal-Urals regional chronology and a simple list of sites used in the regional chronology, if they were publicly available as you write?

    [Response: The raw data is and was available, and if anyone wants to put a group of them together they can. FOI exempts 'work in progress' and so scientists don't have to tell people exactly what they are working on and what the results are before they have finished. Remember this is unpublished work, and I can't think of anything more likely to turn academics off the whole idea of FOI than if competitors were able to get their latest data or measurements before the originators were able to publish them. - gavin]

    Comment by A.Ashfield — 11 May 2012 @ 1:32 PM

  37. Question. What is meant by the term “regional chronology”?

    I can imagine that a local chronology might be established from an overlap of distinct tree ring patterns in fossil trees of overlapping ages. If the tree ring record within this chronology satisfies particular properties (concordance with an independent validated measure of temperature over a “training” period), a local temperature reconstruction might be established.

    Several local temperature reconstructions might be combined to determine a regional temperature reconstruction.

    But what does a “regional chronology” mean? If we want a “regional temperature reconstruction” what’s the point of a “regional chronology”, when it seems to make more sense to combine local temperature reconstructions from local chronologies to generate a regional temp reconstruction?

    [Response:As used by Briffa et al., (2008), the term basically refers to the result of fitting a regional curve to the tree ring series of a given species over some regional area (of typically several hundred miles in linear extent). That is, the expected ring response for each year, each tree core, is determined by the group (= "regional" = group central tendency) response of all the cores in the region (dozens to hundreds of tree cores). The deviation from that expectation, for each individual ring, is then computed and all such are then averaged over all the trees at a particular site (not region), to give the estimate of the climate anomaly at that site for that year (after calibration with the closest climate station or estimated climate grid box). In other words, it refers to the fact that the expected response of any given tree ring is derived from all the trees in some larger regional area.--Jim]

    Comment by chris — 11 May 2012 @ 2:20 PM

  38. I don’t think I’ve heard of McIntyre before, certainly I’ve never paid attention to him, but now I know a bit more about Yamal, Siberia and regional reconstructions. Briffa 1998 keeps coming up, so I picked up the PDF here and I’ll have to digest this paper some point soon. I should probably read through Briffa’s online response too.

    Thanks for the signal, I’m leaving the noise behind.

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 11 May 2012 @ 2:40 PM

  39. > if competitors were able to get their latest data or measurements
    > before the originators were able to publish them

    Not “if” !

    The mining/fossil fuel industry can and does get such data
    in the US, for federally funded research — they got a
    court order allowing them to do so.

    They’ve worked to suppress publication of scientific work
    embarrassing to the industry — for years.

    In recent news:

    “… lawyers representing the Mining Awareness Resource Group, which works on behalf of the mining industry, sent letters to a number of scientific journals, including Occupational and Environmental Medicine and The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, suggesting they “reconsider” publication of articles submitted by the National Cancer Institute or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study …
    … the most recent effort by the mining industry to derail and delay this $11.5 million publicly-funded study of the relationship between exposure to high levels of diesel exhaust that occur in and around mines and lung cancer. It began in mid-1990s ….”
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/13/442106/war-on-science/

    Remember: Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 May 2012 @ 2:55 PM

  40. Salamano, it’s not easy to see what McIntyre “is trying to show”…. if he doesn’t actually knuckle down and publish something. Otherwise it looks like yet another episode of rabble-rousing. All the things that you suggest he might be “trying to show…” are pretty meaningless if he doesn’t actually do some science and publish it. [moderator's note: that rant was moved to the 'borehole']

    Comment by chris — 11 May 2012 @ 3:46 PM

  41. You’re clearly right about Watts and his leading of the Two Minute Hate against Professor Mann. The wee small problem being that every time he puts finger to keyboard Watts merely reveals the depth of his ignorance. Take this double swipe at Mann and Hansen on the occasion of Dr Hansen presenting to the AGU on climate sensitivity

    Hansen makes a bold statement that he has empirically derived CO2 sensitivity of our global climate system. I had to chuckle though, about the claim “Paleo yields precise result”. Apparently Jim hasn’t quite got the message yet that Michael Mann’s paleo results are, well, dubious, or that trees are better indicators of precipitation than temperature.

    That’s right, Watts can’t tell the difference between a reconstruction going back 2,000 years and the Pliocene, still this unqualified blogger feels entitled to snigger at professional scientists.

    And this buffoon is the proprietor of the leading ‘sceptical’ website ….

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/21/jim-hansens-agu-presentation-hes-nailed-climate-forcing-for-2x-co2/

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 11 May 2012 @ 4:01 PM

  42. Thanks for the housekeeping here, Gavin. Watts has already been thoroughly discredited through continued post-BEST flogging of his Temperature Station Project, while Lomborg, Lindzen, Michaels etc. have been shown to be empty vessels.

    I’m with Scott Mandia in believing that the time is right for serious and concerted pushback against the deniers, who continue to muddle the conversation on Fox and elsewhere. Millions of Americans still believe them. This pushback could take the form of defamation suits, but a comprehensive media campaign might accomplish more. Scientists such as yourself will need boots on the ground, willing to confront editorial boards and television station advertisers. The deniers are in retreat, and it’s time to press the advantage. If scientists would rather do something else,

    [Response:You mean, like say, doing science Mike?--Jim]

    you need to find informed and determined troops.

    Comment by Mike Roddy — 11 May 2012 @ 5:52 PM

  43. [edit]

    You know the lack of disclosure of data not used, is nearly equivalent to the regression methods which automatically reject data not preferred. The mere fact that the reconstruction with ALL of the data wasn’t published is not enough to counter the obvious possibility of pre-selection.

    [Response: In any statistical analysis there is always a possibility of pre-selection to get a signal, or the possibility of trying different combinations until the signal disappears depending on what the conscious or unconscious bias might be. Yet the scientific literature is not full of people saying that other authors are deceptive or guilty of misconduct because they got a different result. No one can ever prove that they didn't do a calculation, and ever more insistent demands that they must, are pointless. McIntyre is dead wrong here - both in his conclusions and his conduct. - gavin]

    Comment by Jeff Id — 11 May 2012 @ 5:58 PM

  44. Thank you for your hard work and explanations. I’ve blogged on Climate Audit’s latest, but my contribution was mostly a copy of an email between Ed Cook and Keith Briffa. How can you accuse me of being a bad person by repeating what is now in the public domain?
    Incidentally, I would not call a person who freely posts his moderately complex working code for others to use a “rent-seeker.”
    The bottom lines are twofold, a. what are the regional recorded thermometer temperatures used for calibration at Yamal and elsewhere discussed within 400 km? b. which tree ring records, once processed (as is on the record), were rejected for public/scientific presentation and for what reasons?

    Comment by Geoff Sherrington — 11 May 2012 @ 7:47 PM

  45. Gavin,

    It is so cute to see you in full damage control spin mode. Don’t get too dizzy with your spinning.

    Cbone

    Comment by cbone — 11 May 2012 @ 8:15 PM

  46. Re: Jeff Id — 11 May 2012 @ 5:58 PM, currently at #43. \

    In science the way in which specific analyses and conclusions are challenged is to take the raw data and make ones own analysis and conclusion. This would include the decision of what raw data to include or reject. Redoing someone else’s analysis accepts their methods and just checks their math, a trivial pursuit, while doing ones own analysis checks everything. In my area I would additionally collect a new data set to do this, but I realize that climate data is a bit more expensive to generate

    So, your and/or McIntyre should make your own analysis from the raw data, which I believe is readily available, and then make your complaint with a published paper for support. Otherwise, you are just another science denialist pissing in the wind. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 11 May 2012 @ 8:42 PM

  47. @caerbannog (#18)

    Not only did McIntyre base his red noise simulations on data with climate signal in it, but he also way over-cooked the red noise. He used ARFIMA, which IIUC has a decorrelation time that is about the same as AR1 with a coefficient of .9, so: (1 + .9)/(1 – .9) = 19 years!

    This does not in any way simulate what might happen in nature with non-climatic effects on trees such as insect infestation, which is the very purpose of adding a bit of noise to the signal: to verify that your PCA can still pick out the signal. It is generally accepted that AR1(.2), with a decorrelation time of (1 + .2)/(1 – .2) = 1.5 years produces more realistic red noise. This concept is discussed here on RC in a guest post by David Ritson:

    How Red are my Proxies?

    And then, McIntyre cherry-picked the top 100 most ‘hockey stick-like’ PC1s mined out of 10,000 simulation runs (that used the aforementioned over-persistent red noise). 12 of these found their way into the Wegman Report, which is shown here to be a complete stitch-up of MBH98:

    Replication and due diligence, Wegman style

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 11 May 2012 @ 8:48 PM

  48. I’m grateful for recent insights provided by Gavin, and agree with the person who suggested WWGS as a technique: “What would Gavin say” (h/t Radge Havers)

    I’m not in the least bit angry. I probably should be, and I know people who are, but anger is not a productive emotion. This kind of stuff is best dealt with in world-weary way. I know why it happens, and I can see how people convince themselves that they are correct, but getting angry just inflames the situation. The ironies here are more than a little amusing though – and if it wasn’t for the fact that good people are being falsely maligned, I would just spend my time pointing them out. – gavin]

    No to mention the presence of real scientific looksee.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 11 May 2012 @ 8:50 PM

  49. Reading this and following casually the this FOI strategy a bit, it’s easy to be dismissive of McIntyre, et.al. Including agenda, methods, conclusions, message dissemination, etc. Is there anything in law, now or plausibly in the future, that could put reasonable legal contraints on what clearly is an intrusive, political abuse and subversion of an important procedure and safeguard (FOI)?

    Comment by Shelama — 11 May 2012 @ 9:08 PM

  50. In response to Jim, yeah, like doing science- but I did not mean to show any disrespect. Slogging it out in public is not for everyone.

    Comment by Mike Roddy — 11 May 2012 @ 9:31 PM

  51. The only thing wrong with RealClimate data is that there is too much of it. It is impossible to handle without a huge amount of computing power and mass storage. Computer programming skill is required, along with a lot of time to devote to the process. The user may have to learn a new computer language once in a while.

    [Response:There's no such thing as RealClimate data. There is real climate data, which is presumably what you mean. ;) --eric]

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 11 May 2012 @ 10:34 PM

  52. And the end result of the concerted global efforts of the deniers is:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    CO2 April 2011: 393.28 ppm
    CO2 April 2012: 396.18 ppm

    Thanks.

    Comment by Nigel Williams — 12 May 2012 @ 12:34 AM

  53. Are Steve McIntyre’s accusations false and unjustified? Thanks to Steve’s persistence, a journal editor required Briffa to release information showing that his Yamal reconstruction used an unreasonably small number of cores to reconstruct recent temperature. Briffa’s Yamal reconstruction (not that of his Russian colleagues) has been a key component of numerous global climate reconstructions and McIntyre believes that its unusually warm current temperatures have often been essential to concluding that current global temperatures are unprecedented. From Osborn’s email (which you don’t link or quote; 1146252894.txt), we know that CRU has been working on a regional chronology that includes Yamal since at least 2006, but still has not been published. FOIA has pried lose a list of 17 sites used in this regional reconstruction; perhaps some version of that study will be next. The key dilemma is this: Scientists have an undoubted right to complete their work without being forced to release an incomplete and possibly misleading draft of their work. The public has a right to know if the CRU scientists they support have suppressed a study which contradicts the hypothesis that current temperatures are unprecedented in the past millennium and misled the Muir/Oxburgh investigation. One of those scientists is a Lead Author for the Paleo section of AR5 and another was the Coordinating Lead Author for AR4. However, these CRU scientists could have delayed publication because they don’t trust their regional reconstruction and are searching for solutions to the divergence problem before releasing it. On the other hand, would they have held back if their older, limited study showed a warmer MWP and the new one a colder MWP?

    You should have said that McIntyre is perfectly capable of performing and publishing his own reconstruction of temperature in the vicinity of Yamal and that CRU deserves to be scooped by him if they have been holding back their work. There are scientific answers to the questions that both sides are attempting to settle by personal attacks. (You could even offer to help.)

    As for me, I’ve read that Briffa’s Russian co-workers collected fossil wood from the MWP from NORTH of the current tree line. This information is not quantitative; it doesn’t offer annual or even decadal resolution of time. Was today’s tree line determined by temperatures 20 years ago, 40 years ago, or more? The MWP was certainly warmer than it was then, whenever then was. Unprecedented today? Unlikely.

    [Response: You are guilty of the same pre-conceived notions and false certainty as McIntyre. You posit hypotheticals and use your imagination to prove to yourself that Briffa et al would have acted unethically, and then you conclude something is 'certainly' the case. This is just rhetoric. Additionally you appear to think that a single location at a single time is determinative of the whole hemisphere or globe over a much greater time period. It is not. Neither does the level of warmth in medieval times (which was assessed to have been likely cooler than the late 20 th C in AR4) have much bearing on anything. As we have discussed at numerous times, given the uncertainties in the forcings (particularly solar) and the temperature reconstructions, it just isn't that much of a constraint on sensitivity. If you want time periods warmer than today, there are plenty to choose from. Your comment is a textbook case of confirmation bias. - gavin]

    Comment by Frank — 12 May 2012 @ 4:12 AM

  54. “UK FOI legislation (quite sensibly) specifically exempts unpublished work from release provided the results are being prepared for publication.”

    Gavin, this is simply untrue.

    [Response: You are incorrect, see Section 22. It is not an absolute exemption (it can be overridden by a great enough public interest), but the text is quite clear that: "Information is exempt information if— (a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not)". Please look stuff up before accusing people of lying (that would be the lesson all around actually). - gavin]

    [After-thought: The deleted text was not called for - apologies. - gavin]

    Comment by Jason — 12 May 2012 @ 5:05 AM

  55. [Response: The raw data is and was available, and if anyone wants to put a group of them together they can. FOI exempts 'work in progress' and so scientists don't have to tell people exactly what they are working on and what the results are before they have finished. Remember this is unpublished work, and I can't think of anything more likely to turn academics off the whole idea of FOI than if competitors were able to get their latest data or measurements before the originators were able to publish them. - gavin]

    It would seem the ICO disagrees with you on this point (or at least with something).

    [Response: I have not seen the ICO ruling, but Section 22 of FOI is clear. If the ICO overrules that on the basis of 'public interest', that will set an extremely low bar for subsequent requests to any researchers working on anything where there is any public discussion and controversy. - gavin]

    There obviously must be some sort of ground where the non-inclusion of a accumulated larger set of data while publishing about a subset forces a scientist to specifically identify which is which so that the work can be appropriately replicatable.

    [Response: There is no such rule, nor is it remotely enforceable (since the scientists would be forced to prove a negative, and of course the amount of data one could use in any study is unlimited). Whether a study is reproducible (i.e. that the calculations were done correctly), and whether the conclusions are replicable (using different methods, different data, different analysis, etc) are completely different issues. The latter is far more important, but is not within the purview of a single paper (or researcher or group), rather it emerges from independent studies (who can use whatever data, or judgements they like). Assessments of those studies then takes issues like data selection, appropriateness of methods etc. into account in weighting them. You cannot ask that every paper include every conceivable variation. Science is a work in progress, and intermediate progress has to be reportable, because if all researchers had to wait until they were 'done', we'd never be able to publish anything. - gavin]

    Hopefully there will be room in the literature for works that make diverse ‘judgment calls’ about what constitutes a robust regional dendro-reconstruction of the greater Yamal/Ural area, instead of just one, as it would appear the data selection process becomes the most important variable to the conclusions (is this why the ICO ruled in appeal that perhaps simply making the data available without the selection elements is not enough?). Even though that would put uncertainty into the literature, it would still better characterize the available impressions of the data for scientists to cite.

    [Response: Of course - that is precisely the point. Instead we have McIntyre short-circuiting the system and using differences to impute dishonesty. If he wants to show that his reconstruction is better, he needs to write a paper documenting it and demonstrating to more than just the blog commenters that he is justified in claiming it. As Phil Jones once said "I wish they'd just write a paper". - gavin]

    [Response: Though of course when McI does involve himself in the process of writing an actual paper, it doesn’t stop him from continuing to make things up about its contents, nor to use it to continue to defame people. Publishing alone won’t save him (though it would be a very good start). -eric

    Comment by Salamano — 12 May 2012 @ 5:12 AM

  56. Surely a “judgement call”, such as, for example, selecting a very small sample from more than 400 available cores, should be explained in the paper? Did I miss it?

    [Response: Obviously. The Yamal cores were selected by the Russians to include only the long ones (see Hantimernov's comments in email 1548). As for the selection of cores that will make it into a regional reconstruction, I suggest you wait for that to be published. - gavin]

    Comment by Jason — 12 May 2012 @ 5:38 AM

  57. Small typo. Should ladles be lards

    Comment by Sceptical Wombat — 12 May 2012 @ 7:45 AM

  58. The level of unfounded accusation, the ridiculous demands for data and methods and selections to be released even before publication, shows the true colors of the fake skeptics. It’s sickening.

    Their efforts are not an inquiry — it’s an inquisition.

    Comment by tamino — 12 May 2012 @ 8:18 AM

  59. [Response: Of course - that is precisely the point. Instead we have McIntyre short-circuiting the system and using differences to impute dishonesty. If he wants to show that his reconstruction is better, he needs to write a paper documenting it and demonstrating to more than just the blog commenters that he is justified in claiming it. As Phil Jones once said "I wish they'd just write a paper". - gavin]

    So then the question becomes… If such a publication attempt is made, will it survive peer-review? Presumably the people who would be looking at it will be precisely the ones with the difference in judgment calls that we’re discussing. Could this lead to rejection?

    [Response: It's possible of course, but just assuming that it would is just speculation. There are huge numbers of people who could review such a submission, and constructive papers that spend their time discussing why a methodology is appropriate, have a much easier time of it than papers that criticise other people's work without showing something better. - gavin]

    Is it possible that a reconstruction with ‘all the data’ would pass muster? (particularly with the methodological assumption that the anomalies, sensitivities, etc. would all essentially balance themselves out, much like other areas of climate science have variables that even out in the wash) … I’m just talking about making it to publication in the first place, not being accepted as ‘I agree with this’ by peer-reviewers.

    [Response: 'all the data' is meaningless. There are *always* filters - distance, coherence, replicability, species, record length etc. So the idea that you can do something useful that is without any judgement calls is a fantasy. I have been a reviewer on many papers that I didn't particularly agree with but accepted as long the argument was made coherently, likewise I have rejected many papers whose conclusions were in line with my on thinking but whose arguments or analyses were inappropriate or misleading. This is pretty much standard operating procedure. - gavin]

    We already have the makings of a rough-draft of such a publication that has been discussed here– I’m sensing some pushback already ;)

    [Response: Not even close. But the push back you are sensing has nothing to do with the McIntyre reconstruction, and everything to do with his unjustified and false allegations. Why people are unable to think about results independently of what they think of the authors baffles me. - gavin]

    Comment by Salamano — 12 May 2012 @ 8:57 AM

  60. @58.

    Clearly someone in a position to arbitrate FOI claims disagrees with you, and that there is at least some level of legitimacy there. Perhaps the bar is low.

    In a world where some scientists are struggling to get published at all, it can’t be all bad that there is now an ‘insta-demand’ for a specific publication from specific researchers. “I’ve got better things to do than publish a more-robust dendro-rendering that arrives at the exact same conclusions as the original paper” … maybe so, but maybe not (in the eyes of the policy-making world, or a few skeptics)

    [Response: Having discussed climate change with many policy makers at all levels over many years, I can assure you that tree ring reconstructions from Siberia are not high on their agenda. I think I could safely say they have never been raised as an issue of interest. - gavin]

    Comment by Salamano — 12 May 2012 @ 9:04 AM

  61. Three/Bob C in response to your boreholed statements.

    You can be an “honest man with honest questions” and still delude yourself into doing a hell of a lot of damage to other honest folks. IMO Steve Mc is doing damage for a delusion.

    Comment by Utahn — 12 May 2012 @ 9:04 AM

  62. So still awaiting the evidence that the reconstruction was ready for publication in 2008 (or anytime for that matter), and therefore substantiating McIntyre’s serious allegations. Anyone? Has anyone actually challenged this very important premise besides Gavin? Everything else is a side issue until this is resolved.

    Comment by grypo — 12 May 2012 @ 10:11 AM

  63. Re- Comment by grypo — 12 May 2012 @ 10:11 AM currently at #62:

    Please explain what you think is so important about the Yamal reconstruction that you think McIntyre’s very inappropriate behavior is OK?

    Let’s suppose that Briffa et.al. decide that the analysis is not important enough to trump more interesting work, or they think the data are inadequate, or they do the analysis and it turns out to be different than all the other reconstructions, what would be the impact on anything of significance? If you and McIntyre think these data are so important then just do the analysis yourselves. On the basis of his behavior I suspect that McIntyre is not capable of doing the analysis.

    Please answer the questions. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 May 2012 @ 11:28 AM

  64. Grypo@62,

    “So still awaiting the evidence that the reconstruction was ready for publication in 2008

    They don’t have the evidence Grypo, but they do have innuendo and paranoia, sadly that seems to be all that Steve McIntyre and his uncritical followers need. Alas, feeding fodder to the rabid “skeptics” is far, far too easy.

    This CA vendetta and their attempt to create the illusion of debate/uncertainty/fraud became passé and a (bad) circus a long time ago– that is supported by the fact that CA’s web traffic has been on a steady decline since mid 2020, people have been rightly losing interest and that is perhaps why we have this latest ridiculous “attack” from Steve.

    There was I time that such BS that is currently going on would make me mad as hell. But with time I have come to learn that McIntyre and his pals in his small echo chamber are just in constant search of validation and engaging in a very nasty witch hunt. Steve has dug himself in so deep and now he can’t turn back, so ever deeper down he goes; eventually into obscurity one hopes.

    One almost feels pity for them, McIntyre et al. are angry and obsessed, while also continually to failing to publish anything of substance or compelling with regards to an independent chronology. All that energy and angst wasted…

    Gavin and Mike, thanks for showing yet again that McIntyre and his echo chamber are no more than mean-spirited bullies. I have nothing but admiration and respect for you guys. Thanks for all that you do– your science, your courage.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 12 May 2012 @ 11:41 AM

  65. @62 (Steve Fish)
    One of the reasons they are so after Briffa et al is that ‘they’ think the current world energy poltics is based on this publication and on Mann et al 1998 alone.

    Comment by JvdLaan — 12 May 2012 @ 11:43 AM

  66. Steve Fish,

    I think you misread Grypo’s comment. There is nothing sympathetic to McIntyre in his comment. He is working on a different problem, a tentacle about a date being exploited. Grypo talks a lot of sense here and elsewhere.

    The mud disguised as questions being hurled from all corners from the notskeptics tends to allow these little chinks room to those who might be addled by the avalanche and think there is something there. If I’m wrong, Grypo, please correct me.

    Change of subject: I continue to be in awe of Gavin’s responses; this demonstrates true scientific procedure and holds “skepticism” to the light:

    There are *always* filters – distance, coherence, replicability, species, record length etc. So the idea that you can do something useful that is without any judgement calls is a fantasy. I have been a reviewer on many papers that I didn’t particularly agree with but accepted as long the argument was made coherently, likewise I have rejected many papers whose conclusions were in line with my on thinking but whose arguments or analyses were inappropriate or misleading. This is pretty much standard operating procedure. – gavin]

    Why people are unable to think about results independently of what they think of the authors baffles me. – gavin]

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 12 May 2012 @ 11:47 AM

  67. > evidence that the reconstruction was ready for publication

    “ready” would be evidence that an editor of a journal was satisfied that the paper had satisfied several peer reviews.

    A real journal. Real peers. Real reviews.

    Not Energy and Environment, mind you, nor the rapidly growing flock of crap journals — which may publish some good work but aren’t reliably edited.

    Cautionary, mentioned earlier:

    “… There is another citation gaming tactic that is much more pernicious and difficult to detect. It is the citation cartel.
    In a 1999 essay published in Science titled, “Scientific Communication — A Vanity Fair?” George Franck warned us on the possibility of citation cartels — groups of editors and journals working together for mutual benefit…. this behavior has not been widely documented; however, when you first view it, it is astonishing.”
    http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/04/10/emergence-of-a-citation-cartel/

    And you thought it was only financiers who could package and sell toxic waste? Nope, publishing companies are creating new ways to do the same thing.

    Why would anyone publish unreliable crap as “science” you ask?
    Because people will buy it, of course.

    People who believe, politically, that “science progresses when everyone can buy the type of science they like” ….
    The Rise of the Dedicated Natural Science Think Tank

    It’s easy to publish bad work these days.
    Almost as easy as blogging your opinions.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 May 2012 @ 12:14 PM

  68. Steve, I don’t think McI’s behavior is ‘Okay’. He’s using distrust of his opposite to make a point, but his premise that he uses to show his opponent distrustful has no evidence to back it up. We can disagree about what should be freely available to the public and it’s importance, we can disagree over the science used in creating tree thermometers, but we cannot get to either of those things if there is a questioning of the credibility of one of the actors. So until this assertion is backed up, getting to the other points is futile.

    We should be getting evidence or a correction forthcoming.

    Comment by grypo — 12 May 2012 @ 1:00 PM

  69. 54 “Please look stuff up before accusing people of lying (that would be the lesson all around actually). – gavin]”

    Um, he didn’t do that. He said it was untrue, but gave no moral judgement. Perhaps your admirable attempt to suppress/prevent anger isn’t quite completely successful.

    This is a strange and dark thread. The core issue is the danger presented by a scientist finding information critical to public understanding and then not sharing her insight and hurting her own career by not publishing. The data is not involved, but only the scientist’s personal take on the issue.

    It boils down to whether we treat scientists as hostile witnesses or helpful searchers. The McIntyres of the world will always be able to provide an anecdotal example where “hostile witness” hypothetically could have provided the best result. The mere ~99.9999% of the time “helpful searcher” works best, well, that’s a bit harder to defend.

    Do people really forget high school so quickly? The guys who were going into science and related fields were soooooo easily stereotyped. Did they lie, or did they ramble on with caveats and such inanities to ensure a complete rendition of the truth? Did they shoplift, or were they the goody-goody-two-shoes? If I had to pick a set of people who were least likely to engage in the types of activity McIntyre is accusing to be widespread, I’d say scientists would be right up there with nuns.

    [Response:Hmm. The science-oriented kids I hung out with were driving at night with the lights off, stoned, to get to the local rock climbing area. They were bored with school because it was too easy, but goody two shoes they were not (not most of them, anyway). Not sure I see how your repeating of stereotypes is helpful here. --eric]

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 12 May 2012 @ 1:10 PM

  70. Lacking a scientific case of their own, astute PR lawyers like Horner and Taylor naturally look for the weakest link in the case of those they are retained to oppose.

    They arguably found it a decade ago in the unenviable necessity of splicing proxy data gathered from a diversity of natural sources , an enterprise clearly more hazardous than recourse to the instrumental record. Having turned a single chink in a single paper into a faux synechdoche for the whole of palaeoclimatology McIntyre has provided Horner and his K-Street pals with all they need to conduct an intellectually downmarket ad campaign masquerading as a legal inquiry.

    Note that for all the FOI barratry, they are not anxious to get into court with the scientists themselves- the Heartland billboard testifies to levels of misrepresentation that might risk disbarment.

    That leaves them with McIntyre , who is not about to let go of the handle of the wedge whose thin edge he inserted over a decade ago- one advertising point is all he needs to ride the yack TV lecture circuit indefinitely.

    Contemporary science affords vistas far more interesting and attractive. Gore and his cohort have their Speech, and Horner and Watts their Tree, and woe to anyone left or right who observes that declining interest in the climate wars reflects the tedium of polemic repetition that is their common denominator of their obsessions.

    Comment by Russell — 12 May 2012 @ 1:21 PM

  71. Re- Comment by Susan Anderson — 12 May 2012 @ 11:47 AM, currently at #66:

    So Susan (quoting from Grypo (~#62), I ask you- What are “Mcintyre’s serious allegations” and the “very important premise” such that “[e]verything else is a side issue until this is resolved”? If you think this is a fair and important question, as does Grypo, then you tell me what is so important.

    I assert that this issue was artificially created just for the purpose of badgering real scientists. I want to know why anybody thinks that it is important and if they do, why they don’t just do their own analysis.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 May 2012 @ 1:22 PM

  72. Hank,

    Egads, I found this quote interesting…

    … [as] David Michaels puts it, they learned that debating the science turned out to be
    easier, cheaper and more politically effective than directly debating the policies
    themselves. We might rephrase it that they came round to accept that scientific
    debate was engagement in politics by other means

    But this is a pretty frightening little article.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 12 May 2012 @ 1:32 PM

  73. Gavin:

    [Response: I have not seen the ICO ruling, but Section 22 of FOI is clear. If the ICO overrules that on the basis of 'public interest', that will set an extremely low bar for subsequent requests to any researchers working on anything where there is any public discussion and controversy. - gavin]

    But remember this is the same ICO that applied the Sir Francis Drake Doctrine to Polish meteo data…

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 12 May 2012 @ 1:49 PM

  74. Re- Comment by grypo — 12 May 2012 @ 1:00 PM, currently at #68:

    My disagreement with what you are saying is that you think that anyone who questions the integrity of a scientist before actually publishing should be accommodated. This is just dumb. Scientists are judged on the basis of their published output and it doesn’t matter at all what their motives for doing the research are or if they do it at all. This is especially true when the raw data are available so competing experts can do their own analysis. This issue would only arise to to the level of FOI requests and accusations of dishonesty if the analysis was of immediate important to a research area, public policy, or the public. I don’t think so. For the second time- Please tell me why you think that this issue is so important.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 May 2012 @ 1:53 PM

  75. Steve Fish:

    My disagreement with what you are saying is that you think that anyone who questions the integrity of a scientist before actually publishing should be accommodated.

    Well, I read it as being a slightly long-winded version of saying that McIntrye should put up or shut up.

    Let’s not repeat the Democratic party’s perpetual failure to fight one’s enemies because we’re too busy devouring our friends.

    Comment by dhogaza — 12 May 2012 @ 2:50 PM

  76. Gavin,

    Thank you for a rebuttal that is probably as close to an outright calling out as a legitimate, polite scientist can get without using at least somewhat pejorative, if truthful and honest, language.

    As you know, I am convinced that direct, no-nonsense calling out is necessary. Either that, or ignored outright.

    I deeply appreciate this response as a human being, a father, an activist and designer of sustainable systems.

    Cheers

    Comment by Killian — 12 May 2012 @ 4:23 PM

  77. Similarly, McIntyre recently accused Eric Steig of suppressing ‘inconvenient’ results from an ice core record from Siple Dome (Antarctica). Examination of the record in question actually demonstrates that it has exceptionally high values in the late 20th Century

    That was a quote from GS. Can we see the examination?
    Show us the plot and let everyone decide for themselves if it looks like a hockey stick or not.
    That would help greatly.

    [Response: The data from the archived file are plotted below, annual data and loess smooth (span ~ 30 years). The 20th Century is warmer than the long term mean in both dD and d18O (as with the figure in Mayewski et al), and the late 20th century appears somewhat exceptional in the d18O record. It's worth pointing out that this data got McIntyre's attention because they were used in a reconstruction by Neukom, not really something one would expect if people were suppressing the data.

    - gavin]

    Comment by björn — 12 May 2012 @ 5:17 PM

  78. Steve Fish. You are still reading Grypo as supporting McIntyre. As long as you do that, you are not reading what he said correctly. Please stop with the circular firing squad; neither he nor I is attacking you or real climate science. Grypo was just addressing a different aspect of the dishonesty. We all need to broaden our understanding, not narrow it. You’ve become wedded to your version of what he read. Please try again, and remember the word “irony” which may or may not be applicable.

    dhogaza is correct.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 12 May 2012 @ 8:54 PM

  79. The McIntyre/Denialosphere red herring or Yamal/Briffa is a wonderfully misguided distraction for those that choose not to see past their own bias confirmation to avoid looking at the reams of analysis and peta bytes of information from elsewhere than the Urals (such as the rest of the world) including physics, maths and models that solidly confirm that human influence on the climate is occurring.

    A couple of things come to mind. A paraphrase from the movie 2001

    “My god, it’s full of BS”

    and of course

    Let me remove the reality from your eyes, since I can’t see past my own lack of understanding.

    Anyone care for another pitcher of Dunning/Kruger? It’s one of the finest ales to sooth that nagging feeling that you’re narrow-minded view is right. And after a few pitchers with friends, who cares about truth anyway.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 12 May 2012 @ 9:10 PM

  80. In Gavin’s plot, for dD/8 the highest value apparently occurred in 1620, and for d180 the highest value occurred in 1870. So ‘exceptionally high values in the late 20th century’ could be viewed as not an accurate description. (Depending on the interpretation of ‘exceptionally high’). Perhaps ‘high values in the late 20th century, but not beyond typical historical fluctuation’ could be substituted?

    Comment by ZT — 12 May 2012 @ 9:31 PM

  81. Hi everyone !

    A friend of mine invited me to comment the graph of #77. As he says, i know nothing of the climate science debate so i may not have a bias opinion.

    Here is what is see / understand :

    The 1950-1980 years seem a little warmer than the rest of the graph. The very end of the 20th century seems quite normal. The very final uptick is similar to the one in 1870. Nothing “exceptional”, i would say.

    To me, what seems the “less normal” of the entire graph is the coldness of 1780-1810. What happened then ?

    Am i seeing the same thing as everyone ?

    Cheers.

    [Response: Good Lord. Don't you have something better to do? The issue at hand is not whether Gavin was strictly correct in saying that the late 20th century in one particular record was exceptional. (Of course, he *was* strictly correct, as usual, because the highest single annual value is in fact around 1980.) The issue at hand is whether it is appropriate for Steve McIntyre to be accusing people of intentionally hiding data for some nefarious purpose, and whether his paranoid fantasites about the reasons they might do so stand up to scrutiny. The point is that they don't. Why the heck would I have hidden these data when the are actually identical to those on line (check out the low resolution Siple Dome A core data, easily found on line and available for at least the last decade, and compare them with the data McI is complaining about), and when in fact they do show that the 20th century was more elevated than most other decades in the last 1000 years, if 'suppressing non-hockey stick graphs' were the goal? And why would Raphael Neukom, who McIntyre also accuses of suppressing data for nefarious purposes then have used these data in the first place, if they *don't* show a hockey stick shape. None of this makes any sense.--eric]

    Comment by David — 12 May 2012 @ 9:43 PM

  82. #81 David

    Care for another pitcher of Dunning/Kruger?

    Wow! Could anyone have given us a better example?

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 13 May 2012 @ 12:22 AM

  83. A shame you have to waste your time on tedious rubbish like this. The McIntyre obsession with topics such as Yamal could indicate an underlying OCD disorder. It adds nothing to the science, and just creates more noise to drown out the signal.

    Comment by Merve — 13 May 2012 @ 2:33 AM

  84. Gavin said.

    [Response: Let him in where? From the first post he ever made mentioning me he has implied I am dishonest and he insinuates that on a regular basis. I'm not sure about you, but my (limited) time is better spent talking to people who don't think that everything I say is a lie. Mcintyre has convinced himself of this and many other things that aren't actually true, but I see no evidence that he is willing to re-consider any of them. Instead, they become entwined into an ever more elaborate construction involving a wider and wider circle. Like I've said many times, if he took the effort to do something constructive that might be worthwhile and it would be a basis to have a shared discussion about what the climate history actually was (which, he might be surprised to learn, is the point). - gavin]

    You couldn’t put it any better than that. He demands respect, yet he gives none, unless it is to people who agree with him, no matter how nonsensical their ideas are.

    Comment by Merve — 13 May 2012 @ 3:26 AM

  85. “In a world where some scientists are struggling to get published at all”.

    Hmm, perhaps these “scientists” that are having trouble getting published and think they are unfairly treated would like to share reviewers comments on the blogs as well? Or is it a case of trying to get a footnote of obscure relevance published in Nature?

    Paper rejection is normal. You look at the reviewers comments, fix it, and try again, or try a more appropriate journal.

    On the other hand, pseudo-skeptic sites (eg icecap) are full of unpublishable rubbish because it IS rubbish. Tinfoil hat country rubbish in some cases.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 13 May 2012 @ 3:45 AM

  86. From 7. “[Response: Yes, of course. That's the way science progresses. What's at issue here is whether McIntyre is actually interested in science progressing, or merely in stopping it from progressing. Surely you would agree that there is some level of antagonism (not to mention jerkiness) that goes beyond the pale?--eric]”

    Thanks for taking the time to engage. From what I have observed, I suspect there is much mutual misunderstanding of underlying motives. I don’t know Steve McIntyre but from my impression he is not interested in “stopping science from progressing” if by that you mean hindering a more complete understanding of the earth’s climate and its history. It seems to me that the assumption that Steve is politically motivated -while understandable, given many critics are- is ultimately unfounded. He was not well received at Heartland, has stated he is a Liberal and said that he believes the government has a role in mitigating environmental risk to the public. Now, is he being swayed by personal vendetta after a long and antagonistic history with you guys? That seems more likely. As much as the peanut gallery wishes to see a simplistic “good guys v. bad guys” version of things, reality -as it often is- is more complicated than that.

    [Response:Yes, I agree with that last statement. There is a certain unfortunate tendency in some people to always want to portray things as good versus evil when the reality is much more complex and subtle. This often leads to more problems than the intitially perceived problem itself. And it's not just confined to the "peanut gallery"--Jim]

    You are all gifted researchers, you wouldn’t be in the places you are now if you weren’t. It’s easy to understand the frustration and suspicion that would come with some random a&^hole off the street critiquing your work. That said, and to reiterate what I’ve said previously; we must be willing to destroy our own work and because we cannot do this on our own, we need others to do it for us. This for obvious reasons leads to strained relationships and even the making of enemies. I know you don’t think Steve has the requisite skills or earned the right to do this but I think you know he’s not an idiot and frustrating as it may be he’s within his rights to use the FOI process.

    [Response:He has the quantitative skills. That's not the issue.--Jim]

    [Response: Hold up a second. Every scientist is well used to people criticising their work - your model doesn't have the right physics, your resolution is too low, you didn't take X, Y, Z into account, etc. This is part and parcel of ever piece of work we put forward. It is a little discomfiting at times, but it also provides the impetus to make progress next time - and make progress we do. However, it is completely different for people to start saying I disagree with what you did in that paper, and so you must have been deceitful, or you are fraud, or you suppressed data, or you are dishonest - and for good measure I'm going to report you to the FBI, the attorney general of Virginia, etc. etc. Especially when those claims are based on biased readings of old emails, overinterpretations of casual comments, and, quite frankly, ridiculous caricatures of what the scientists involved are like. The problem isn't criticism - the problem is the axiomatic assumption of bad faith. - gavin]

    My question to you is: when reviewing a paper, can you honestly say you try to destroy it if it’s inline with your own research or by a friend? I’m not saying you don’t, but it seems apparent in many of the sciences that this is not the case as often as we’d like it to be.

    [Response: Nobody should ever have the intent of "destroying" a research paper--that's not a good word choice at all. The anonymity of the peer reviewers is designed at least in part so that one doesn't have to be worried about making honest comments on a paper submitted by a friend. Also, as in many things in life, you have to try to separate your job from your personal relationships. And everybody involved in the process needs to acknowledge that this is the way it is.--Jim]

    This is why we need enemies. I think it’s possible (and of course preferable)to do it in an amicable way but when you’ve drawn a line in the sand with somebody, the mind is incredibly vigilant at scrutiny. The key is not letting it devolve into nitpickery which I don’t think it has but think and could understand why you may.

    [Response: This does not accord with my experience. One of the main reasons I maintain anonymity in reviewing is precisely because one can distinguish criticisms of the science and method and argument from personal relationships. Everyone occasionally writes a duff paper, and it's much better for this to be picked up by reviewers than later on. The anonymity allows the social aspect of science (which is crucial for many reasons) be divorced from scientific critique. What we have seen here is a huge shift towards the inappropriate personalisation of scientific disagreements and that's a disaster. - gavin]

    “Everybody needs a nemesis. Sherlock Holmes had his Dr. Moriarty, Mountain Dew has its Mellow Yellow, even Maggie has that baby with the one eyebrow.” -Lisa Simpson

    [Response: Only in fiction. - gavin]

    [Response: To answer your question to me, yes, I am extremely non-partisan when it comes to reviews. You only need to look up my name and "IPCC" to find solid evidence of this (my reviews of the IPCC 2007 paleoclimate chapter are ironically touted in the denialosphere as evidence that 'even mainstream scientists are negative about the IPCC!'). And I have personally had reviews that I (initially) thought were completely over the top in their negativity. At least some of these have been from people that I consider friends. It can be a frustrating process, but in the end the papers that result from it are invariably better. It happens that on one occasion when I wrote a very negative review, and I signed that review, several years later the author (whom I didn't know) came up to me at a meeting and thanked me (he said that the new version of the paper was much better, and he was in retrospect glad the original wasn't published. Just compare that with McIntyre's claims about me as a reviewer.--eric]

    Comment by Menth — 13 May 2012 @ 10:17 AM

  87. Re- Comment by Susan Anderson — 12 May 2012 @ 8:54 PM, currently at #78:

    I will take your and Dhogaza’s word for what Grypo said but you guys all need to work on your communication skills. I am just an interested reader here and not a member of some inner group of understanding, but I am no dummy.

    As you may have noticed, I am very pissed over someone, especially one who claims to be a scientist, who demands and badgers a real scientist for unpublished analysis for no good reason whatsoever. This is just outrageous. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 13 May 2012 @ 11:01 AM

  88. Menth@13 May 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Thanks for taking the time to engage. From what I have observed, I suspect there is much mutual misunderstanding of underlying motives. I don’t know Steve McIntyre but from my impression he is not interested in “stopping science from progressing” if by that you mean hindering a more complete understanding of the earth’s climate and its history.

    Here’s a document that contains the paper-trail left by an FOI “storm” unleashed by McIntyre: http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/FOI%20requests_CRU_revised_DP.pdf

    Take some time and read through it.

    Let me emphasize — anyone who has spent time analyzing the public-domain GHCN raw temperature data knows full well that the CRU’s global-average temperature work can be independently confirmed with data, documentation, and computer code already freely available to the public. None of the material demanded in those FOI requests is necessary for an outside party with the requisite programming/analysis skills to conduct his/her own independent verification of the CRU’s work.

    In light of this, can you can posit an honorable motive for McIntyre’s behavior?

    Comment by caerbannog — 13 May 2012 @ 11:59 AM

  89. Typo correction — “Take some *time* and read through it”

    Comment by caerbannog — 13 May 2012 @ 12:01 PM

  90. “Nobody should ever have the intent of “destroying” a research paper–that’s not a good word choice at all.” -Jim

    “What we have seen here is a huge shift towards the inappropriate personalisation of scientific disagreements and that’s a disaster.”-GS

    I agree with both of these statements and regret having overstated my position with stronger than necessary language. When I say “destroy” I merely mean subject it to the same scrutiny you would if it were an outlier paper or one counter to the “consensus”. One of the oft trotted out quotes from the e-mails is a scientist saying they were “going to go to town” on a paper, meaning really tear it up and find its faults; I think that’s great! That’s what’s supposed to happen ALL the time. Again, I am not saying that this is not done in climatology just that it happens in other fields.

    I have merely been a bystander and only in the recent few years so I wont pretend to have been privy to all the history and behind the scenes goings on. That said, the following statement is to my eyes extremely well put and likely applies to both parties:

    “The problem isn’t criticism – the problem is the axiomatic assumption of bad faith” -GS

    [Response: Your perspective is appreciated. However, I find your sense that there is somehow an equivalent "assumption of bad faith" on "both sides" a little, um.. charmingly. Gavin's post starts out this way:

    By rights we should be outraged and appalled that (yet again) unfounded claims of scientific misconduct and dishonesty are buzzing around the blogosphere, once again initiated by Steve McIntyre, and unfailingly and uncritically promoted by the usual supporters.

    There is simply no equivalent behavior from the scientists' side.--eric]

    Comment by Menth — 13 May 2012 @ 12:04 PM

  91. ZT wrote:

    “In Gavin’s plot, for dD/8 the highest value apparently occurred in 1620, and for d180 the highest value occurred in 1870. So ‘exceptionally high values in the late 20th century’ could be viewed as not an accurate description.”

    Let me suggest that spotting the two highest values is not necessarily a good way of deciding trends.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 13 May 2012 @ 12:06 PM

  92. Re: Salamano at #59

    “So then the question becomes… If such a publication attempt is made, will it survive peer-review? Presumably the people who would be looking at it will be precisely the ones with the difference in judgment calls that we’re discussing. Could this lead to rejection?”

    In my very limited experience some journals upon submission of a paper will actually ask you to suggest names of people you do and do not want to review the paper. Don’t know whether the assistant editors pay any attention to such requests but the offer is made.

    If you are submitting a paper with multiple authors long before you get to the formal review process you must suffer the slings and arrows of your fellows authors — that can be a very chastening experience!

    Bottom line: You’ve got to write and submit something in order to get it accepted or rejected. Just running your mouth like McIntyre simply gets you rejected.

    [Response: And submitting it to a leading journal and having it reviewed by (gasp) someone who is affiliated with RealClimate gets it accepted! --eric]

    Comment by BillS — 13 May 2012 @ 12:23 PM

  93. Menth@86,
    I do not recognize your portrayal of the review process. First, when I review a paper, I start with the assumption that there is at least a grain of something worthwhile in it and try to find it. I try to make constructive comments. I try to ask questions that the authors might not have thought about.

    If I cannot find anything worthwhile, I look through the literature some more to see if I am missing something. I may discuss issues raised in the paper with colleagues (while maintaining confidentiality as to the paper and its authors). I have had colleagues go so far as to identify themselves as reviewers and offer advice on problematic areas in papers I have written.

    If I still find a paper to be fatally flawed, I will try to point out the flaws in a constructive manner. I may suggest resolutions. Or I may simply say that I find the research so flawed that it doesn’t belong in the literature. It doesn’t matter whether the research agrees with what I have published previously, with my opinions or with my pet theories. It doesn’t even really matter whether the research is 100% correct (a famous example would be the alpha-beta-gamma paper, so-called because the authors included alfven, Bethe and Gamov). What matters is whether it provides enough that is interesting, perhaps a glimpse of a way forward.

    I extend these courtesies and this hard work to my colleagues because they are taking part in a difficult game–publishing one’s own work in a way that one’s colleagues can evaluate it. Publishing is an absolute prerequisite to being a scientist. If you don’t publish and choose instead to pontificate on blogs or in Opinion pieces, you are a bullshit artist masquerading as a scientist.

    Science is ultimately a curiosity-driven enterprise. We do it because we want to understand. It’s nice if we, ourselves, prove to be right, but that is secondary, and any satisfaction such a pat on the back provides is a poor motivator indeed compared to the pleasure of finally understanding something we have worked long and hard to understand.

    Bottom line: To be taken seriously, a scientist must publish his or her work.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 13 May 2012 @ 1:26 PM

  94. #86 re. Gavin’s response:

    However, it is completely different for people to start saying I disagree with what you did in that paper, and so you must have been deceitful, or you are fraud, or you suppressed data, or you are dishonest – and for good measure I’m going to report you to the FBI, the attorney general of Virginia, etc. etc. Especially when those claims are based on biased readings of old emails, overinterpretations of casual comments, and, quite frankly, ridiculous caricatures of what the scientists involved are like. The problem isn’t criticism – the problem is the axiomatic assumption of bad faith. – gavin

    This is an excellent summary of the problem. It is not about good vs. evil in my opinion. I honestly believe that Steve McIntyre (and many others), for various reasons, believes he/they is/are on the right track. And McIntyre is a good statistician. But that’s not the point. The point is that improving statistical analytic’s is generally a good thing, as long as it is not used to degrade inappropriately the relevance of the bigger picture that is built on ‘much more’ than Yamal tree rings.

    In other words uncertainty out of context distracts from the relevant certainties in other areas that he/they are not shining the spotlight on.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 13 May 2012 @ 2:07 PM

  95. The authors of the famous alpha-beta-gamma paper were Robert Alpher (not Alfven, another famous physicist), Hans Bethe (didn’t contribute to the work; Gamow put him on the paper as a joke) and George Gamow (though Gamov would be an acceptable transliteration). I’m bringing this up because Alpher felt aggrieved that he (and Robert Herman, who later worked on Big Bang theory) never got the credit they deserved, though he did get the National Medal of Science.

    Comment by ralbin — 13 May 2012 @ 2:13 PM

  96. Noticing Menth’s hoped for good faith on the part of McIntyre- let me observe the following- not having had to review a paper in 35 years, but having had a paper recently reviewed.

    1) McIntyre is asking, nay demanding to be inserted in the peer review process on his say so, prior to publication at this point and apparently at points in the past. What can justify this sense of privilege? Can anyone imagine a system of scientific publication working on this basis? What’s to stop 1000 McIntyre’s from totally gumming up the works, never mind the obvious competitive threats.
    2) I don’t work in reconstructing paleoclimate data…but it is obvious that that assembling such data into a coherent record will require judgment calls. In the laboratory, when we were running certain experiments we somewhat arbitrarily chose to reject any experiment’s data for inclusion in the results pool leading to critical kinetic expressions if the mass balance was less the 95%. (3 different methods were used to assemble components of the total, and proportional error could not be assumed. Even if the run was a replicate and the proporionality was identical to prior runs, if the mass balance wasn’t good enough that data was ‘discarded’. But 95% was an arbitrary criteria. Yes, you can do signficance testing, error analysis, impact analysis etc. but at the end it comes down to making a judgement about the largest tolerable error that won’t impact the data. (I’m assuming that Tamino would have done a far better job….but he wasn’t available to consult on this back then)

    And then there’s this: You are known by the company you keep. McIntyre keeps company with WUWT…and his co-author McKitrick. McKitrick is a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance declaration on Climate Change…that basically says “anthropogenic climate change can’t happen because our reading of the Bible says so”. Motive enough in my view for a politicized version of things. If it’s fair game to assume a cabal of self-interested people here at RC…then what is the yardstick for evaluating McIntyre?

    Comment by Dave123 — 13 May 2012 @ 2:19 PM

  97. Steve Fish tells Grype, Dhogaza and Susan to work on their communication skills. From where I’m sitting I see Steve Fish being very judgmental, even remaining so after it’s been pointed out to him how a comment was meant. A case of the pot and the kettle.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 13 May 2012 @ 3:13 PM

  98. McIntyre responds, describing this post as a ‘rant’ and ‘fulmination’ (I think he needs to get out more, this would have been a very different post if I was in full rant mode ;-) ).

    In his response he insists, again with no evidence that CRU finished the Yamal regional reconstruction in 2006 (and note that all his claims of ‘deception’ revolve around this). They did not, and his quotes on the topic are not in the least bit conclusive – though McIntyre claims that this is the ‘End of story’. Umm… Not really.

    Curiously, to support his claim that the Osborn email in 2006 was proof of the existence *in 2006* of an already completed reconstruction, he points to a further reply from UEA, which contains an very explicit statement from Osborn making it clear:

    Thus [the email] was not referring to chronologies but to groups of trees.

    It is only an inference that a regional chronology was later produced for the URALS group of trees. Our initial search for information relevant to this request suggested that this inference was false.

    (I should have linked that in the top post). How this is proof that the reconstruction existed in 2006 is unclear. The statement from Osborn goes on to clearly describe the subsequent work that was ongoing over 2006/2007/2008 and later: “This research project is due for completion in October 2012 and the requested information will be made available in finished form at the time of publication of the results which is expected to be no later than October 2012.”.

    Also of interest is that McIntyre doesn’t even mention the main point I brought up. That this is ongoing and *unpublished work*, and there is a clear FOI exemption for this (for obvious reasons), that can only be trumped by a clear public interest – and despite the endless exaggerations by McIntyre about the importance of these reconstructions, that bar is nowhere close to being met. And neither are they for his accusations of ‘deception’.

    Comment by gavin — 13 May 2012 @ 3:41 PM

  99. Re- Comment by Bart Verheggen — 13 May 2012 @ 3:13 PM, at currently #97:

    Bart, the communication problem is that exaggeration for effect, irony and sarcasm don’t work well in an online comment context. In this instance this problem is greatly exaggerated by the fact that the better one is at this type of humor the more it mimics comments by the science denialist conspiracy nuts. Don’t worry, you too can be a member of the black pot and kettle club. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 13 May 2012 @ 4:55 PM

  100. I’m getting the feeling that Mr. McIntyre doesn’t understand how the whole premise-logic-argument thing works, or he is too invested into this to comment fairly. In order for his conclusion (CRU scientists hiding data) to work, the premises must 1) be in-line with the conclusion and 2) have evidence to support them. He needs to understand that he must have evidence that there was a publishable piece that wasn’t used for publications after 2006. His letter suggests the exact opposite, to me. I would say it would be worth it for him to seek out other opinions on this letter. He therefore has to drop his conclusion, or merely continue to believe it in the face of counter evidence.

    Comment by grypo — 13 May 2012 @ 5:48 PM

  101. @98.

    There seems to be some sort of difference of opinion on what ‘calculations’ means… From what I’m seeing, Steve is refering to at least going down the road to a regional chronology (making initial ‘calculations’, perhaps generating an ‘insta-reconstruction’ on the back of an envelope, enough to know at least ‘something’) — but you keep drawing it back as if it’s to mean that there was some “finished Yamal regional reconstruction”. I don’t think Steve is claiming that sort of fullness.

    [Response: McIntyre is claiming that the reconstruction was in the same state as the others in the 2008 paper but was not included because in was inconvenient. It beggars belief to claim that all he wants is the first calculation that anyone did regardless of whether it made any sense. - gavin]

    Also, there’s still got to be something in the FOI request that disagrees with your perception that all of this is ‘nowhere close’ to the “bar” upon ICO appeal. People disagree with rulings/appeals all the time. It doesn’t mean their reasonings are 100% fabrications or falsities.

    [Response: There are a number of issues where I think the ICO has made errors - for instance ruling that official-duties related emails on non-official servers (like gmail) are releasable. This is opposite of the rulings in the US Federal FOIA, which by and large are a very solid body of case law. Similarly, the ICO has missed opportunities to define what the lines are related to unpublished work that is likely never to be published (in the QUB case), or what aspects of the peer review process (for papers, grants, positions etc.) are properly exempt. So I don't expect perfection. But on the issue of unpublished academic research, I think this is an important enough principle that it should be taken up at the next level if the ICO rules against UEA in any general way. - gavin]

    Finally, this paper is due to be published in October 2012… Isn’t the AR5 deadline at the end of July?

    [Response: Science is not determined by ad hoc deadlines from IPCC, and I don't think this will be a big issue in the report in any case. There simply isn't the space to devote to examinations of single proxies - even regional ones. - gavin]

    Comment by Salamano — 13 May 2012 @ 6:22 PM

  102. he points to a further reply from UEA, which contains an very explicit statement from Osborn

    Wow. Not only does that reply show McIntyre’s insinuations of dishonesty (and Watts’ explicit accusations) to be baseless, it is nine pages that document CRU bending over backwards to try and identify and supply a dataset based only on McIntyre’s misreading of a leaked internal mail. I am not sure, as a UK taxpayer, that I appreciate public employees being diverted from useful work in this way.

    [Response: Ah, but you are forgetting how much tax money would be saved if only Britain just stopped supporting science altogether! --eric]

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 13 May 2012 @ 6:50 PM

  103. Steve, asking for evidence is not evidence of support, in this forum.
    Nor is it done as irony, sarcasm, poe’ing, or mimicry.

    It’s what it says — asking a cite, or to show the work if it’s unpublished.

    Remember, an audience of new readers will be coming along.
    Many of us have strong feelings that aren’t showing all the time, here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed
    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/wikipedian_protester.png

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 May 2012 @ 6:55 PM

  104. It doesnt matter if the chronology was done by 2006. If it was done by the time of the FOI/EIR request then it is disclosable (and previous ICO cases against UEA have held that if that “part” of some alleged future publication was finished then that “part” is disclosable. The chronolgy is itself a discrete piece of information. The fact that it might be included in some future publication doesn’t matter).

    The FOI/EIR request must be dealt with based on the information held at the time of the request and so the 2006 email of Dr Osborn is only a reference used to identify the chronolgy which, I think it is accepted, existed by the time of the request. So if it was completed post 2006 but before the request it is still subject to the request. Whether it existed in 2006 is completely irrelevant. Whether it existed at the time of the FOI/EIR request is entirely relevant. Schmidt’s and his commentators’ demands at RC for proof that the chronology existed at the time of the 2006 email are simply displaying ignorance of FOI/EIR legislation. No surprise there.

    [Response: You need to disagregrate the two issues. First, has there been 'deception'? - it should be clear that I am mostly objecting to McIntyre's flinging around of accusations of misconduct without anything like the requisite evidence. This rests entirely on whether this reconstruction existed in 2006. I maintain, following the evidence, my knowledge of the parties involved, the general context, and the copious statements on this point from UEA that the answer is no - I don't know why you think this is 'accepted'. Second, is there a reconstruction now? - that is entirely another matter, and the statements from Osborn and others indicate that there is now (or very close to it) a finished product. But the issue on whether this is releasable depends entirely on whether there is a 'public interest' in superseding exemptions for work that is intended to be published. The case for that overriding public interest has been made in large part on a) a mix of innuendo and accusation of misconduct, and b) the importance of this single reconstruction. Neither of these hold water. - gavin]

    Comment by RB — 13 May 2012 @ 7:17 PM

  105. Gavin,

    If I understood your most recent comment, Steve McIntyre exaggerates the importance of reconstructions that are ongoing work intended for future publication.

    Which begs, how unimportant must reconstructions be to merit publication?

    DGH

    [Response: There are thousands of papers published in climate every year, very few have any 'public interest', let alone public interest at a high enough level to trigger an exemption to the FOI exemption. So to answer your question, much less important. Remember most science is evolutionary, not revolutionary. - gavin]

    Comment by DGH — 13 May 2012 @ 7:48 PM

  106. Wow! Rant? Fulmination?

    To quote Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 13 May 2012 @ 8:12 PM

  107. And so the tennis match proceeds, with the by now familiar highly selective quotation. McIntyre is now tilting at the straw man that Gavin claimed that a Yamal reconstruction was never calculated, when what he actually wrote was that the Yamal regional reconstruction was not finished in 2006. ‘Finished’ in context must mean no longer in an unpublished form and therefore capable of being FOI-ed.

    Remembering that the request was for the specific reconstruction mentioned in the mail, I don’t quite get the siginificance of the ‘single (nonbootstrap) chronology’ produced weeks after the mail from a group of trees that may (or may not) have been the same set of trees referred to?

    But this is presented as the ‘smoking gun’, along with another extract from the CRU FOI response:

    Regional chronologies have subsequently been produced from various data in the ‘greater Urals’ area of northern Siberia,

    Curiously, our brave auditor stops the quote mid-sentence. After the comma we have and one of those might be based on the URALS group of trees referred to in the email. (My bold)

    One can just imagine the drippng sarcasm had CRU released a chronology without being certain it was the one being requested…. yet somehow McIntyre just knows that CRU calculated a Yamal-Urals regional chronology in 2006. They didn’t like the result for some reason

    He is what we would call ‘a piece of work’.

    All these different versions, all these different tree sets … doesn’t sound like a ‘finished’ reconstruction to me. Sounds more like a work in progress.

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 13 May 2012 @ 8:17 PM

  108. We can break it down for him if necessary.

    His argument is thus:

    Had their Yamal-Urals regional chronology had been in accordance with their previous results, I am completely convinced that they would have used it in Briffa et al 2008 and/or their October 2009 online article without a second thought. My surmise is that the apparent failure of the (still withheld) Yamal-Urals regional chronology to accord with their expectations caused CRU not to use it in Briffa et al 2008.

    So in the first sentence, the “Yamal-Urals regional chronology” is what showed up in an email in 2006. As said by all, there was ‘a composite’ done then. There is conflation as whether the composite 1) should be freely available and 2) helps McIntyre’s argument that the results were withheld because “the apparent failure of the (still withheld) Yamal-Urals regional chronology” was not in “accord with their expectations”. We are discussing #2.

    The letter that McIntyre uses a his important exhibit tells us why the “Yamal-Urals regional chronology” was not used.

    The text of the stolen email shows that the aggregation and processing of data for the greater Urals region was being proposed as part of ongoing research and discussion about the representation and assessment of uncertainty: in tree-ring chronologies themselves and with regard to their value as indicators of regional temperature change. The production of the particular aggregate or composite chronology (i.e. for which the bootstrapped series were to be produced) was not being proposed as one likely to represent a reliable, or the most reliable, indication of tree-growth changes over the second millennium CE. The production of the series was merely being suggested as one possible aggregation of regional data that would offer insight when investigating the methods of regional chronology production and aspects of associated statistical uncertainty

    and

    As part of this research some composites may be created that are sub-optimal and these need to be explained. We maintain that a completed composite is not just a series of data but also includes the associated metadata descriptors; this would include formal written explanation of how the composite was derived along with a candid critique of its value. In this sense the composite that you have requested is not complete.

    He repeats that ‘a composite’ was done in the comment section without realizing he is not adding to his argument. So we again, are left to trust his intuition that the results were not used for reasons other than said in the letter (that he supplied as evidence), and that reasoning being that scientists were hiding it because the results failed “to accord with their expectations”.

    In the comment section, McIntyre says:

    CRU calculated a Yamal-Urals regional chronology in 2006. They didn’t like the result for some reason. But it’s shall=we=say disingenuous – to use RC vocabulary = for Schmidt to continue to pretend that the CRU calculation was never consummated.

    Of course it is crucial to the argument what “reason” that was, or even showing how “they didn’t like the result” because the conclusion that has been drawn is accusing scientists of not disclosing results due to it not being “in accordance with their previous results”, not for the reasons disclosed to McIntyre in July 2011. This is how it should be reported. Whether this behavior is because of a misunderstanding, stubbornness, or malice is yet to be established.

    Comment by grypo — 13 May 2012 @ 8:41 PM

  109. Looked for it again … can’t find it. It’s a statement by Planck Institute’s Von Storch around 2004. He was venting his frustration at the incredible nagging by McIntyre whenever SM wanted something (legit or not). There was even a swipe when he removed the single science credit he gave to SM, for something that turned out to be a minor stats tweak. It’s relevant here because it’s another example of SM’s whining pattern. And it’s a pattern that precedes a claim of non-cooperation (picture of Phil Jones goes here)with tin-can ties to the ‘conspiracy’.

    Mr McIntyre’s one challenge in the climate science field was the claim that the MBH formula would produce a hockey stick using any data. To repeat – any data. Didn’t his own attempt at reconstruction make the Little Ice Age disappear? Since the formula-fallacy fell apart, his agenda has been all data challenges.

    He has no scientific standing, no preeminent rights, and certainly nothing he has done could be considered progress, or helpful. If there’s a salute due to him, it’s his ability to somehow have his right to any cooperation considered legitimate.

    Comment by owl905 — 13 May 2012 @ 9:20 PM

  110. Gavin,

    Thanks for the quick reply on a Sunday evening.

    Paraphrasing Dr. Mann you wrote, “[it] doesn’t actually impact that much.” It’s rather hard to believe that this data has no import and no impact given the amount of attention it is receiving.

    I am looking forward to seeing the publication of this Yamal work in progress. Maybe then we will know what this fuss is truly about.

    DGH

    Comment by DGH — 13 May 2012 @ 9:23 PM

  111. #105:

    So if I understand correctly, it is being argued here that we all, the entire world … all of humanity … have to just sit tight and wait until October of 2012, to get our answer as to whether the 2006 composite is superior to what was published. And that having to suffer this delay is completely fair and just, and anything else would be a miscarriage of justice.

    [Response: Yes. Thats precisely right. Well actually no.. You might have to wait forever. Sorry, but most of humanity could not possibly care less. And what gives you the right to declare it some important that some government agency should declare otherwise (that's what the FOI request amount to). What right do you have to make demands like this on speculative things about possible data that someone might or might not think is worth putting their time into? Ever heard of George Orwell? Go read him. --eric]

    Comment by Richard T. Fowler — 13 May 2012 @ 9:52 PM

  112. Actually, my comment was meant to reply to #106.

    RTF

    [Response:Probably #104 actually. But my response to you stands. What kind of society do you want, exactly? One in which harassment by one individual leads to a group of government bureaucrats telling independent scientists what to do and when to do it. That's the result of what McIntyre is trying to accomplish, if he is successful. Given the libertarian streak of many of McIntyre's supporters, the irony is stunning.--eric]

    Comment by Richard T. Fowler — 13 May 2012 @ 9:55 PM

  113. #112 re. Eric’s reply

    I find it both stunning and astounding that libertarians are so interested in quelling liberty. Irony is an awfully nice word for this… I can think of others.

    Oh, why not: foolish, ridiculous, hypocritical, counter-productive, obtuse, confounding… oh my, let’s not go too far down that rabbit hole.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 13 May 2012 @ 10:39 PM

  114. Eric,

    Regarding whether I want a society “in which harassment by one individual leads to a group of government bureaucrats telling independent scientists what to do and when to do it.”

    I am not insensitive to the risk you raise. But there are property rights to consider. The information is the property of those who pay for it. Bureaucrats may be prone to getting out of control, and when that happens it is a tragedy. But then, is it really necessary to FOI that bureaucrats have the power to tell scientists what information they have to release? They set up rules for what has to be released, and when. That is not the same as setting up rules for what exact information they have to produce, right? So there is a distinction to be drawn.

    Frankly, your reference to Orwell seems backwards to me, because here individuals are going up against a monolithic, all-powerful, multinational government bureaucracy that literally holds almost all the cards, and are being told “trust us, you don’t need to see the information, it doesn’t say what you fear it might say.” THAT, to me, is the most Orwellian thing about all this. Sorry if you disagree. But I do not see the government funded scientists as being in the slightest way independent. Regardless of how they may want to see themselves, they are not.

    RTF

    [Response:I am pretty sure are delusional, but let me see if I can get this straight. You think that the "world government" is hiding things from you via its scientist minions. And so you are appealing the government to make the scientist minions release the data? Presumably they will do so if asked by their totalitarian overlords, but why on earth would the overlords ever do that? By the way, what "multinational government bureaucracy" are you talking about? Whoever they are, if they indeed exist, the folks at UEA certainly do not work for them.

    Look: your understanding of the situation is complete fantasy. These are not "government scientists" we are talking about. These are independent scientists who work for a university. Much of their funding comes from the government, to be sure, but these are very very separate things. The government doesn't tell the university what to do; and indeed, the university doesn't generally tell the scientists what to do.

    As for "property rights", I'm not sure what the U.K. laws are on this, but in the U.S. it is very clear. The intellectual property rights are actually those of the independent researcher, not of the "people" nor of the government. Certainly their are rules about availability of data and all that. McIntyre is asking for an exception to those rules, not that the rules be followed.--eric]

    Comment by Richard T. Fowler — 13 May 2012 @ 10:46 PM

  115. “It’s rather hard to believe that this data has no import and no impact given the amount of attention it is receiving.”

    Really? In the world I live in, inordinate amounts of attention are devoted to what the darling of the moment wore to the ball last night–and more to the point, perhaps, there are people who devote serious attention (or at least claim to do so) to the magnum opus of Herr E.G. Beck.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 13 May 2012 @ 11:10 PM

  116. because here individuals are going up against a monolithic, all-powerful, multinational government bureaucracy that literally holds almost all the cards

    Well, greece pretty much tosses that one into the toilet, even if you’re delusional enough to believe it was true at some point.

    “all powerful, multination government” ??/

    God, how delusional can one be?

    Comment by dhogaza — 13 May 2012 @ 11:41 PM

  117. “The information is the property of those who pay for it.”
    By that logic, all the source code for the F-35 should be FOI available.

    “individuals are going up against a monolithic, all-powerful, multinational government bureaucracy”

    Caution, windmill under lance attack.

    “we all, the entire world … all of humanity … have to just sit tight and wait until October of 2012″

    (very good example of hyperbole – except for a few blogs, it’s getting less attention than Sunspot 1476.)

    Why not? The authors have put in the research, and you want a world where that research can be snatched by someone else. That’s just … strange. That’s usually the perspective of people who got through school having someone else do their homework.

    And October is about 150 days … then it’s all there for you. Maybe too many McIntyre apples in someone’s diet.

    Relevant evidence – NOAA used to publish the monthly global summaries 48 hours after month-end. It worked until there was a data-blip “scandal”. The tempest-in-a-teapot was Russian stations transmitting some bad spreadsheet data. McIntyre and Co. jumped all over it. Everyone lost – now the summary is more expensive, more scrubbed, and gets released two weeks later. That’s the real result Mr. McIntyre appears to produce just about every time out.

    Comment by owl905 — 14 May 2012 @ 12:31 AM

  118. Eric — “As for “property rights”, I’m not sure what the U.K. laws are on this,…”

    With regards to scientific data:

    Crown Copyright in the Information Age

    For example, the Met Office is a Trading Fund which has to turn in a profit to pay its own way (a libertarian’s ideal government department?) and its parent, the Ministry of Defence, dividends each year. No mystery as to why they license their data commercially and are touchy about its dissemination. According to the report above, the Met Office made almost £22m.

    Comment by J Bowers — 14 May 2012 @ 2:55 AM

  119. RTF:

    Property rights? That’s good. Who owns the property rights to the atmosphere? We all need it to survive. Who will defend against the destruction of the atmosphere? Do you mean to imply that it is the “monolithic, all-powerful, multinational government bureaucracy that literally holds almost all the cards” that is trying to save the atmosphere, at the expense of your property rights? Boy, that has really worked out well, hasn’t it?

    All governments are flawed. Scientists, however, are mostly just curious people who are trying to get at the truth. Scientific communities and governments are two completely different things. Governments cannot control science, or it ceases to be science. That is why America generally outperforms more repressive countries in scientific discovery. It is also why, ironocally, that a principled scientist in the most repressive system can still produce good work. You can deny that all you want. But if you would actually take some time to get to know a scientific community, you would see how completely paranoid you really are.

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 14 May 2012 @ 3:57 AM

  120. @RTF “individuals are going up against a monolithic, all-powerful, multinational government bureaucracy that literally holds almost all the cards, and are being told “trust us, you don’t need to see the information, it doesn’t say what you fear it might say.”

    You don’t actually know anything about universities or scientists do you? Universities are private institutions that receive funding from multiple sources including state funding. Your tin-foil helmet fantasies about a monolithic state machine for which we work in obeisance is hilarious. Given climategate there’s enough email data in the public domain for you to prove this connection. Be careful though as the black helicopters might get to you first.

    Comment by Dr Tom Corby — 14 May 2012 @ 4:30 AM

  121. RTF,

    But there are property rights to consider. The information is the property of those who pay for it.

    No, it really isn’t. You might think you have some kind of moral claim to it, but you don’t own it any any legal sense and if you are going to make this an argument about the primacy of property rights over other considerations then you are on to a loser because the property rights of UEA and/or the scientists involved would logically trump your rights under FoI.
    Luckily they don’t and it is recognised that public institutions should be accountable to those who ultimately pay for them, through FoI and other mechanisms (and there are good reasons for this other than the fact that such institutions are paid for with our taxes). Personally I’m a strong supporter of FoI and I’m in favour of the laws being strictly applied. In general I take a very liberal interpretation of what should be released (although I have stronger views on this when it comes to those in authority than WRT academic institutions). But that doesn’t mean that scientists should have the public looking over their shoulders all the time – they should be allowed to get on with their work and then release it at the appropriate time, and if that means in October 2012 rather than May 2012 then, unless there is some overwhelming reason why the information is especially urgent, so be it. It’s not like the case we had in the UK with the NHS risk register where it was relevant to impending controversial legislation (unfortunately in that case ministers still refused to release the information despite being ordered to by the ICO).

    I would take issue with Gavin on one point though, which is about the ICO ruling that emails on non-official servers should be releasable. We had a case recently in the UK where ministers and officials in the Education Department were using private email accounts to discuss departmental business and the ICO ruled that the emails should be released under FoI. I think this is 100% right – otherwise it would be possible to use such channels for any discussions on matters which were likely to be controversial and thus escape proper scrutiny. And if it applies to the Education Department then by extension it has to apply to other institutions covered by FoI law, although there obviously has to be a distinction made between what actually constitutes “departmental business” and what is just people privately bitching about work. I appreciate that the US authorities take a different view, different countries may well have different rules in these kind of cases. I do think the ICO generally does an excellent job. If anything it does tend to err towards siding with complainants but I don’t have a problem with that and I think it’s important to consider what it does in the context of the many other cases totally unrelated to climate science where it has made rulings very much in the public interest.

    [Response: The problem with declaring that private email accounts should be included in FOI searches is that it is completely unenforceable. No FOI officer has the right to access private email accounts, no-one can search them independently, and none of the ISPs can be compelled to provide access. Thus the system is both open to abuse and vulnerable to endless appeals (how can the FOI officer demonstrate that an appropriate search was done?). The US FOIA has a very clear precedent that official records are records determined to be related to official duties and are under the control of the agency themselves. It simplifies proceedings amazingly. If you want to ensure that people do not use private email accounts for official work, then the way to do that is to mandate it - as in the Presidential Records Act for all White House related communications. Demanding that FOI itself substitute for unclear directives on records management is a very poor solution. - gavin]

    Comment by andrew adams — 14 May 2012 @ 7:42 AM

  122. Folks, remember, you can always ‘oogle

    Search: “that name” climate government warming

    Following the person’s posting encourages the person to elaborate.

    Ask yourself — predict — whether it will be a good use of your time (and the readers’ time) to follow the path across that particular bridge.

    If ‘oogle finds “that name” posts lots of red herring (primarily at denial sites, tens of thousands of responses, buzzwords) –

    Eschew.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 May 2012 @ 7:42 AM

  123. To Craig Nazor and Dr. Tom Corby,

    I attended university and was well-liked by the professors in my chosen field of science. Unfortunately, I was informed in very clear terms by certain of them that if I didn’t change my beliefs (beliefs, mind you) about AGW, that I would never work in research. Consequently, to this day I do not.

    So call it what you will; the point is, not only do I have personal experience with the monolithic bureaucracy and its effects on research, but I have it straight from the horse’s mouth: from professional university scientists that I used to study under in a field of Earth science.

    Furthermore, I posted a reply already explaining that I was not talking about “world government” but about U.S. and U.K. players working in tandem. But that comment was “disappeared” by Big Brother without explanation as to why. So there is further evidence for you of a lack of scientific independence.

    To Owl905 re: 150 days, my original post expressed concern that the information wouldn’t be made available then. That was also “disappeared”, but Eric’s reply explicitly states, “Well actually no.. You might have to wait forever. Sorry, but most of humanity could not possibly care less.”

    RTF

    [Response: I am sorry to hear that some professor made you feel you could not succeed in research. This is still not the 'bureaucracy' though -- it's one professor's opinion about you. And my apologies for deleting that email -- but it's actually not gone, it's just in the borehole where I put it because I could not possibly imagine you were being serious. In any case, I really do not mean to be rude but... what on earth are you on about? Any of you regular readers? Does this guy think Gavin Schmidt is 'part of the executive branch' of the U.S. government? What am I missing here?--eric]

    Comment by Richard T. Fowler — 14 May 2012 @ 7:48 AM

  124. The text of the stolen email …

    Well, let’s look at the bright side, McI states that the CRU e-mails were stolen, in other words that a crime was committed. Next time someone tries to claim that it wasn’t a crime, quote McI to the contrary …

    Comment by dhogaza — 14 May 2012 @ 8:24 AM

  125. RTF: “The information is the property of those who pay for it.”

    It always kind of amazes me when a tiny subculture of monomainics arrogates to itself the responsibility of speaking for the people so it can stop the work of civil servants serving all the people.

    And Richard, I rather resent the implication that by accepting a gummint paycheck I abandon my integrity. My first duty is to the truth of my discipline–it’s actually in my job description, and I get fired if I deviate from the truth. Yes, Richard, I get paid to tell the truth, not to lie. The only hold the gummint has on my scientific investigations is in terms of what they will pay me to investigate. However, if I feel a topic is worthwhile, I can continue to investigate on my own dime to the extent possible–and I have done this. Ultimately, if the investigations prove fruitful, my employer is usually more than happy to pick them up and claim credit for them.

    Richard, my oath was to the Constitution of the United States. I don’t remember anything in there about lying. Maybe you can refresh my memory.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 May 2012 @ 10:44 AM

  126. Gavin,

    Fair points – I agree that ultimately the best solution is for it to be mandated that the business of public bodies is conducted via “official” channels. WRT the UK Education Department I do think the ICO was right in the particular circumstances to rule that the emails should be released but it’s a situation which should not have occurred in the first place. UK FoI law is still relatively new and some institutions are still not fully adapted to it, so I think these kind of issues will iron themselves out once a clear precedent is set. I would guess that this, rather than any malicious intent, is also largely responsible for the failings at UEA/CRU in respect of FoI.

    Comment by andrew adams — 14 May 2012 @ 11:08 AM

  127. Eric, look him up. You’ll get a different selection from day to day and from different search engines, but there’s a theme that emerges over time.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22Richard+T.+Fowler%22+climate+government
    https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=“Richard+T.+Fowler”+climate+government

    [Response: OK, let's not make this personal though. I was just giving him the benefit of the doubt that he knew something I didn't. --eric]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 May 2012 @ 11:11 AM

  128. People may recall that the 2006 Wegman Report was:
    -done by request of Joe Barton for Congress
    -gave George Mason University affiliation for Ed Wegman

    but sadly, Wegman had mostly stopped using his GMU email in mid-2005, so the email one would really want was not FOIAble.

    Comment by John Mashey — 14 May 2012 @ 11:51 AM

  129. dhogaza – That quote is from the letter to McIntyre.

    Comment by Paul S — 14 May 2012 @ 11:53 AM

  130. #123 Richard T. Fowler

    So what your saying that because some lilly livered liberal said you have to ‘believe’ in global warming or you won’t progress, you now ‘believe’ global warming science is unfounded because you ‘believe’ he was wrong, or wrong to say that? There’s a lot of belief going on there it seems.

    That’s a pretty weak argument. It’s also called a non sequitur since you are presenting a logical fallacy.

    You see math and physics don’t give a damn about your beliefs, or their beliefs.

    And who are these horses you are referring to. Name them. If you are telling the truth they would likely own up to what they said, unless of course there is some misinterpretation based on confirmation bias involved. You may have misread what they said, or they may have been trying to convey to you that you don’t get the math yet and therefore won’t do well in that field, possibly because they sensed that you were too steeped in your own confirmation bias. What University at least?

    Please do visit the borehole

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/the-bore-hole/

    where bizarre comments go, not because of ‘big brother’ but because they have little to do with how actual science is performed on a day to day basis.

    I’ve worked in, out, and around government all my life and I can say with reasonable confidence that they could not pull of such a grand conspiracy even if they tried. There are just too many countervailing mechanisms at work that disprove such a thesis. Like math for example.

    4 pi r^2 is not subject to conspiracy, it just is.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 14 May 2012 @ 12:13 PM

  131. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/a-global-standard-for-peer-review.html

    “There may be haggling over how to handle intellectual property and access to data, for example, but … the biggest bugaboo is often agreeing on common standards for peer review.

    …. a meeting of 47 leaders of research funding agencies from 44 countries. And tomorrow, at the conclusion of closed-door sessions, the group will issue the first-ever global statement on the principles of merit review. Although the actual statement is embargoed until then, it is expected to touch on the importance of using experts in conducting a confidential yet transparent process to identify the highest-quality proposals.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 May 2012 @ 2:16 PM

  132. 114

    Multinational as the Libertarian bureaucracy may be, it is insufficiently monolithic to know whether to break into choral laughter at RTF’s paranoia , Mcintyre’s monomania, or, ceteris partibus, Eric’s invocation of libertarians at large.

    No law of nature defends data splicing debates against turning silly when villainous lawyers from central casting appear on the scene.

    [Response:When I talk about "McIntyre's liberation supporters", I'm merely repeating what McIntyre himself has said. I'm not making any comments (negative or positive) about libertarians in general.-eric]

    Comment by Russell — 14 May 2012 @ 2:32 PM

  133. re: 132 and “Eric’s invocation of libertarians at large”

    I looked back through the thread since I didn’t remember any invocation of libertarians at large. I’m not really sure what that means except I sense that you find it comic and pernicious. And I really have no idea what your last sentence means. It sounds like “a pox on both your houses” but that’s just a guess.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 14 May 2012 @ 2:49 PM

  134. Owl905:

    By that logic, all the source code for the F-35 should be FOI available.

    If we were being logical, folks keen on abolishing arguably fraudulent waste of taxpayer dollars would first focus on badgering defense contractors rather than guileless absent-minded professors. The F-35 would be an excellent starting point; $162 million per aircraft copy at a total program cost of at least $1.5 trillion even though nobody can agree on what it’s for other than creating jobs for employees of the 5th branch of government, Lockheed (the same outfit that got gravity backwards on the Genesis spacecraft).

    If we were being logical. Logic has nothing to do with the dish at hand, which is instead a strange salad of hobbyist enthusiasts, paranoid psychotics and political romantics, tossed with an oil-and-coal dressing.

    Comment by dbostrom — 14 May 2012 @ 5:40 PM

  135. #132–Russell, you must be bucking for the Bill Buckley Creative Vocabulary Award.

    “ceteribus partibus” = “other details (topics)”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 May 2012 @ 5:52 PM

  136. McIntyre (unusually) has made a correct point in his latest post. I made an error in citing UK FOI legislation in the top post, when this case is being contested under the EIR legislation instead. There are a lot of similarities, but the rules are not quite the same. Instead of section 22 of FOI applying, effectively the same exemption is outlined in section 12 (4) d of EIR:

    4) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that—

    (d)the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data;

    This makes no difference at all regarding the principle, and the difference in practice is slight. But I have edited the top post in two places where I made this error – see if you can detect where it impacts the substance.

    Comment by gavin — 14 May 2012 @ 5:56 PM

  137. RTF – if you insist on holding “beliefs” that are inconsistent with data, and hold ideological viewpoints as more important than data, then your professors were right – you will not get a job in science.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 14 May 2012 @ 6:16 PM

  138. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 May 2012 @ 6:25 PM

  139. RE: 138 …. :-) and with McIntyre all we have is his ipse dixit

    Comment by BillS — 14 May 2012 @ 6:50 PM

  140. Gavin,

    SM denies any insinuation vis-a-vis the works in progress on the reconstructions in dispute. Certainly he’s made no such statement – explicit or implied – in his blog. You acknowledged same with respect to one of his recent posts.

    This should be an easy point to clarify. Exactly what did he write in the EIR appeal on that issue?

    DGH

    [Response: You are right, this is not an insinuation, it is an explicit statement. First he makes two statements that admit no uncertainty (but are not true): "A URALS regional chronology had been calculated as of April 2006. This was a version of the regional chronology which remained unchanged for many years" and then he 'concludes': "The regional chronology has not been a “work in progress” for years." This is a very clear statement that of what he thinks (or rather he thinks he knows). But the reality of science is that finished products do not simply spring out of the first calculation one does. People generally try something, find something wrong, try something else, fix one problem, test something else, deal with whatever comes up next, examine the sensitivities, compare with other methods etc. etc. All of those steps contribute to the final product, and it is clear that the work on this reconstruction is indeed ongoing. For an analogous example, the idea that the first simulation from a climate model would be a finished product is laughable - regardless of the existence of that original output file. It would obviously be part of the work in progress. Although science is always in a work in progress in some sense, it is punctuated by milestones related to the papers that get published. They stand as the marker of whether a stage has been reached where something can be considered finished (though of course, it is always subject to revision). In summary, McIntyre is wrong in his premise, wrong in his interpretation, and wrong in his accusations of malfeasance. - gavin]

    Comment by DGH — 14 May 2012 @ 8:59 PM

  141. 135 ,138

    Ceteris partibus anglice normaliter sic:

    all things being equal.

    Comment by Russell — 14 May 2012 @ 9:54 PM

  142. @Gavin 136 – Nice correction update. Hopefully you washed your hands after visiting his website … you never know where it’s been.

    The EIR appears to have an even louder door-slam on his attempt to nick someone else’s efforts:

    “(4) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that—

    (d)the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data;


    and from 5:

    (c)intellectual property rights;”

    The data is part of the research in progress. How does the latest Mac Attack dance past that one?

    [Response:None of these exemptions are absolute - thus a 'public interest' can be weighed against the interests academic have in being able to do their work and publish their results normally. McIntyre consequently exaggerates the 'public interest' related to disclosure and attempts to diminish the 'academic interest' related to not disclosing. It makes sense from a lawyerly point of view, but he goes too far, for instance, in describing the academic interest as mere 'grant-grubbing' 'grant-seeking' rather than acknowledging that there is a legitimate interest (as reflected in the FOI and EIR exemptions). - gavin]

    [Update: Quote corrected. - gavin]

    Comment by owl905 — 14 May 2012 @ 10:15 PM

  143. #122 Hank Roberts

    Gesundheit ;)

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 14 May 2012 @ 10:51 PM

  144. partibus =/= paribus

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 May 2012 @ 12:14 AM

  145. RTF,

    I have a doctorate (not in science), and have spent many years in an academic setting. But I also have spent a bit of time outside of academia. I can be outspoken about what I believe, and have occasionally offended people. But I have always been able to find allies and support for my best work. I have never allowed someone else’s opinion of me define who I am or what I do.

    So if you do not “believe” in the science that supports anthropogenic global climate change, what do you believe is causing the recently observed warming? Or do you believe that it isn’t actually warming? A career is not made by what you disbelieve; it is made by what you believe, and what you can convince others is true.

    Truth be told, I would bet that the AGCC deniers of the world make far more money than all the researching climatologists put together, but they don’t make their money from climate research. Why would that be? Do you really believe that the vast wealth of the dirty carbon corporations couldn’t find an alternative scientific explanation for the observed warming if one was out there to be found?

    By the way, I have read your “boreholed” comment. Your comment says nothing and provides no evidence (other than your own opinion) that convinces me that there is any lack of scientific independence in climate science.

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 15 May 2012 @ 12:49 AM

  146. Eh, ceteris paribus. But my latin is rather rusty after never learning it or speaking it and only writing it to impress ;-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 May 2012 @ 1:02 AM

  147. #144, 146–All of which proves that “diabolus in partibi est.” Or something like that.

    Especially when it comes to parsing Steve M, where the ‘partibi’ are both endless and little illuminating.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 May 2012 @ 5:59 AM

  148. Gavin,

    It’s hard to square SM’s absolute denial with the year old documents that you cite and it was naive for me to think that this issue might be easily resolved.

    His May 2011 appeal to Mr. Palmer continued, “Otherwise, the implication would be that institutions could permanently withhold tree ring chronologies as always being ‘work in progress’, leading to an absurd result.”

    [Response: It would also be absurd if there were no protections for work in progress at all. Clearly neither absolute position makes sense, but to claim that all protections of work in progress are absurd, is itself, absurd. So what should be the guidelines? I think evidence of active progress would count for a lot, as would drafts, publication schedules etc. The QUB case shows that this is necessary, and that without it, you'll probably lose. It did not show that academics would always lose in exerting their right to the exemptions. - gavin]

    His point that your scientific method doesn’t square well with the more discrete requirements of FOI/EIR rules seems fair. Academicians may not like the rules requiring disclosure of publicly funded research – you clearly don’t – but the rules exist.

    [Response: Not at all. My arguement here is nothing to do with the principle of FOI for research. My argument is related to the abuse of these rules, by people who want all the exemptions undermined via innuendo and false accusation. There is a difference. - gavin]

    A Tribunal gets to make the call in this instance. It will be interesting to see if/how they deal with the issue of “work in progress.”

    DGH

    Comment by DGH — 15 May 2012 @ 8:56 AM

  149. The plain fact is that McIntyre is engaged in slandering and defaming climate scientists, as part of a deliberate campaign to deceive the public about the reality of anthropogenic global warming.

    All of his dishonest BS about FOI requests is merely an attempt to gloss over that plain fact with a veneer of respectability. The attempt fails.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 May 2012 @ 10:06 AM

  150. In trying to find more evidence for his accusations, McIntyre is now onto another idea which we are supposed to take without evidence, and it is this:

    A related point that I’m probably going to work up into a post. My original question – why didn’t Briffa do the regional chronology at Yamal in the same way as he’d done it at Taimyr? – is a question that a journal peer reviewer might have asked (if he’d been aware of what Briffa had done). The poor documentation of the article makes the question hard to ask, but that’s different.

    Asked by a journal peer reviewer, Briffa would have given a measured answer. I’m not sure what the answer would have been, but it wouldn’t have been along the lines of the RC Hey Ya-mal post, or the Yamalian yawns post. If he said that he hadn’t completed the Yamal analysis, the reviewer would undoubtedly have said: well, finish it.

    Now, is this an accurate portrayal of what the review process should have been? I wonder what the scientists who read here would say?

    [Response:No reviewer except Steve McIntyre himself would have said anything of the sort. Unlike McIntyre, most reviewers recognize that the world does not revolve around them.--eric]

    Comment by grypo — 15 May 2012 @ 10:16 AM

  151. one last digression, to share this wonderful resource:

    paribus
    partibus

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 May 2012 @ 10:52 AM

  152. “The weak in courage is strong in cunning.”

    McIntyre should make specific accusations. Not insinuations.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 15 May 2012 @ 11:17 AM

  153. “Otherwise, the implication would be that institutions could permanently withhold tree ring chronologies as always being ‘work in progress’, leading to an absurd result.”

    It wouldn’t be an absurd result. It would be NO result. Why does McIntyre feel he should have the power to compel the release of unfinished work? Briffa’s not keeping anyone else from the raw data like the Biblical scholars who kept the Dead Sea Scrolls locked from view for 40 years. Whoever wants to can fiddle with the Yamal data till the cows come home.

    I believe it was Gertrude Stein who said, “Remarks aren’t literature.” Unfinished work isn’t Science.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 15 May 2012 @ 11:26 AM

  154. Reading McIntyre I get the feeling that his idea of how this should work looks something like – go out and do the measurements I want you to do and then give me that data. Then do the analysis of that data and keep it posted on-line or some place else where I have access so I can see exactly what you are doing and tell you everytime I disagree with something that you did. You should then immediately change to do it just the way that I want. Then you should do the work to get the paper published but you must let me edit as I see fit. If you don’t work this way then you are obviously up to no good. Oh and if you got bored or interested in something else so that you did not immediatly work on what he wants you to work on – that is also not allowed and must be a sign of nefarious intent.
    I’m not sure if having an idea needs to get his review and approval (no idea may be had unless you share them with me and I get to review and tell you why the idea is ok/not okay)- but I suspect that if he could get a FOI request for every idea so he could check to see if you ever thought of something that might prove something or other, he would do it in an instant. Not sharing all idea is also a sign that you have something to hide.

    Comment by Donna — 15 May 2012 @ 12:17 PM

  155. Gavin:

    grant-grubbing

    It appears as if this is now changed to ‘grant-seeking’ in the post, a correcting not acknowledged with cross-outs.

    [Response: I don't think this isn't fair comment - I probably mis-rembered what was written. Corrected above. - gavin]

    But let’s look at the quote he uses, as it once again shows the logic of someone convinced of his own fantasies

    In passing, given the usual vehemence with which climate scientists reject suggestions that alarmism is affected or influenced by grant-seeking, it’s ironic that CRU’s primary argument in this case depends on grant-seeking.

    It’s actually not ironic, given the meaning of the word irony. Getting grants because of unpublished results is very different from getting grants for “alarming” results. See the hidden accusation? It’s not the first time he’s suggested this. And it only works logically if his initial accusations were shown to be true, but his own evidence suggests they are not.

    Comment by grypo — 15 May 2012 @ 12:35 PM

  156. #153 Jeffrey Davis

    As I recall, it was only the cave 4 scrolls that were kept secret. The E’cole Biblique (catholic church/school in Jeruselum) kept them hidden (mostly under the control of Ratzinger), apparently because they wanted to control the message or origin.

    All the other scrolls from all the other caves were translated, published and open for review after publishing for other scholars.

    Funny how it turned out. All the other cave scrolls were dated to the time of Jesus at Qumran using all standard techniques; and only the cave 4 scrolls were dated prior to that time using only orthographic technique.

    Since the text of the scrolls indicated evidence counter to the belief structure it seems they may have had motive to control the message.

    The interest of certain groups to confuse what the science indicates may have similar motives. In either case there is a lot of money involved. Funny that fossil fuel interests making billions are accusing scientists who are on salary of getting rich through disinformation.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 15 May 2012 @ 12:47 PM

  157. Gavin @ 136;
    “But I have edited the top post in two places where I made this error – see if you can detect where it impacts the substance. ”

    Ha!

    You think that will matter to Steve ‘The Tiresome Quibbler’ McIntyre!!

    Just the opposite – the less substance it has the more he will go on and on about it.

    Comment by Michael — 15 May 2012 @ 12:56 PM

  158. McIntyre’s view of the publication process is distorted to say the least–but then given the thinness of his publication record, one would hardly expect him to have a decent understanding of it.

    In most fields of science there are long-term “projects” that require many years to complete. Often, if these efforts are of sufficient interest to the community, it is customary to update the community on progress. Frankly, I think McIntyre’s antipathy toward the climate science community has to do with the need to serve up red meat to his clientele than to any actual substance. He doesn’t understand the science well enough to even see where it fits in the overall scheme of things. How could he possibly have any understanding of norms of publishing.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 May 2012 @ 1:09 PM

  159. It’s quite obvious to even a layperson like myself who’s done a lot of reading – on both the climate science-oriented sites and also the contrarian sites – that Steve McIntyre’s raison de’être is to get rid of the ‘hockey stick’ no matter what it takes. He’s been chipping away at it in one form or another for the better part of a decade now, but primarily with the ‘blog science’.

    So why not have a go at it formally, Steve? You seem to have sufficient stats fu. With all that raw tree ring data you’ve accumulated over the years, you must by now be able to produce your own re-analysis that shows the hockey stick to be an artefact of the heretofore faulty statistical methods (or, of course, *cough* ‘biased’ regional selections) that were used by climatologists to produce it? Give us that long-forthcoming *non* hockey stick via publication in a reputable journal. Then the community can at least see if there’s any substance to your claims or whether, to paraphrase your own words, you’re just shooting ‘spitballs’ across the classroom.

    Just remember, though. There are valid reasons, perhaps only understood by scientists who are well versed in dendrochronology, for including or excluding particular regional chronologies.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 15 May 2012 @ 4:22 PM

  160. “Unlike McIntyre, most reviewers recognize that the world does not revolve around them.”–eric

    And in one sentence, Eric has, I think, deftly pinpointed a key factor in all this: narcissism. Some of these folks like McIntyre and Watts seem to imagine themselves as renaissance men, leading the world away from the oppression and tyranny of scientists and their governmental overlords. Pathetic, really.

    Comment by Charles — 15 May 2012 @ 7:29 PM

  161. “[Response:He has the quantitative skills. That's not the issue.--Jim]”

    And Jack the Ripper had surgical skills.

    [Response:I suppose in your mind this seems funny.--Jim]

    googling around I found -

    “Your search – mcintyre yamal site:cnn.com – did not match any documents.”
    “Your search – mcintyre yamal site:msnbc.com – did not match any documents.”
    “Your search – mcintyre yamal site:fox.com – did not match any documents.”
    “Your search – mcintyre yamal site:foxnews.com – did not match any documents.”
    “mcintyre yamal site:heartland.org” 4 results
    “mcintyre yamal site:thegwpf.org” about 21 results

    “mcintyre yamal site:wattsupwiththat.com” about 750 results

    “It’s rather hard to believe that this data has no import and no impact given the amount of attention it is receiving.”
    Dude – get out much?

    Oh yeah – 8 hits on realclimate

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 15 May 2012 @ 11:28 PM

  162. Well, McIntyre got some data from Hantemirov, and it’s only taken him one day to invalidate the entire field of dendroclimatology </sarc>

    New Data from Hantemirov

    But as far as I can determine from that post (and it’s not exactly clear, so I may well be wrong), the data consists of 120 cores, apparently all from the same site #25 in Yamal (70E, 67.5N). So, one would expect them to exhibit roughly common behaviour. And it looks like they might be showing the northern latitudes ‘divergence problem’, because there is an upward trend until about 1960.

    So I’m not sure exactly what value this one particular site’s chronology brings to the debate… but I’m quite sure someone is going to try to tell me :-)

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 16 May 2012 @ 7:45 AM

  163. A poster naming himself Rashit Hantemirov comments at CA :- Steve, I’m horrified by your slipshod work. You did not define what you compare, what dataset used in each case, how data were processed, and what was the reason for that, what limitation there are, what kind of additional information you need to know. Why didn’t you ask me for all the details? You even aren’t ashamed of using information from stolen letters.
    Do carelessness, grubbiness, dishonourableness are the
    necessary concomitants of your job?
    With disrespect…

    Of course on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog so these may or may not be the words of the distinguished dendrochronolgist.

    But it is not entirely implausible….

    [Response: Hantemirov is a Russian tree ring expert that has worked in the Yamal region. See e.g. paper here for example.--eric]

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 16 May 2012 @ 9:09 AM

  164. In his response, McIntyre doesn’t seem to understand what Hantemirov is saying he did wrong. This does not surprise me because he still doesn’t understand why the other series in question isn’t published by the CRU. He also doesn’t seem to understand what the word “stolen” means.

    Comment by grypo — 16 May 2012 @ 11:05 AM

  165. Conspiracy theory again, on McI’s part:

    He [Hantemirov] has to coexist with Briffa, Schmidt and those guys. I suspect that he’s received criticism for providing me with data.

    It can’t possibly be that Hantemirov’s post expressed his true feelings. He’s gotta “pretend” because he has to coexist with the Corrupt Hierarchy.

    [Response: For the record, I have never met or corresponded with Hantemirov about this or any other topic. - gavin]

    Comment by dhogaza — 16 May 2012 @ 11:36 AM

  166. @Phil Clarke (#163) and grypo (#164):

    You just have to love McIntyre’s reaction to Hantemirov’s criticisms – which are all very legitimate if you’re trying to do science instead of smear – that is (and he did confirm that it is actually Hantemirov). He just blows right by every one of them and says:

    Steve: all graphics and results in these posts have been supported by turnkey code, showing the precise calculations for an interested reader (other than the calculation from your living data set which I showed the calculation method.) Some of the steps have been shown in recent or linked posts and the present post is not self-contained. But the steps are all shown

    He’s like a delinquent schoolboy who’s left a trail of destruction behind, culminating in burning down the school. And then he’s all defiant, like: “What? What did I do wrong?”.

    He just doesn’t (want to) understand that you can’t do statistics in complete isolation of the supporting dendrochronology work. But even statistics-wise, how can you justify taking one regional chronology in isolation, and comparing it to a mix of other regional chronologies? ‘Blog science’ at its best, I tell ya! And Steve McIntyre is the reigning champion.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 16 May 2012 @ 12:08 PM


  167. He [Hantemirov] has to coexist with Briffa, Schmidt and those guys. I suspect that he’s received criticism for providing me with data.

    Doesn’t this seem a bit backwards? I mean, Hantemirov is the dude whom Briffa and others depend on for the data — wouldn’t they be inclined to *avoid* criticizing him? Or will something bad happen to Hantemirov if Briffa, Schmidt, et al. refuse to take any more tree-ring data off his hands?

    Of course, I’m not a professional conspiracy theorist — so I probably don’t fully understand the intricacies of the grand AGW conspiracy that Briffa, Schmidt, and Hantemirov (along with the rest of the international cast of evil scientists) have cooked up.

    Comment by caerbannog — 16 May 2012 @ 12:25 PM

  168. Start Audit Mode

    McIntyre has published (well, posted on his blog) a graphic produced from measurement data for the Yamal region supplied by Rashit Hentemirov, hastily generated in under a day after receiving the data. McIntyre has not archived any details of the justification for the sample selection, error bars, validation, acceptance critria or indeed anything more than the bare source code used to plot the curves. Nor apparently has he performed due diligence and approached the data curator for these background details, which some might argue are key to placing the curve in context. Hey he’s a climate auditor – important things to do, people to see.

    Remarkably the plot has no hockey stick curve, something which those sceptics addicted to these flat plots as if they were crack cocaine have welcomed warmly. On receiving his fix, Heartland expert Anthony Watts felt moved to assert…

    Give it up fellows, your cover’s blown.

    An over-reaction perhaps. Indeed Team scientist Hentemirov is less impressed, categorising the work as ‘slipshod’, charging McIntyre with ‘carelessness, grubbiness, dishonourableness’ and pointing out the lack of data definitions, processing specifications, rationale, limit descriptions and consultation with the data provider. Loyalty to the Team runs deep.

    End Audit Mode

    Sorry, cannot keep it up …

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 16 May 2012 @ 12:54 PM

  169. It’s interesting to note the degree to which the denialist propaganda machine depends on cranks.

    Of course the fossil fuel corporations can, and do, pay people to simply lie.

    But for some things, you really need a genuine, paranoid, conspiracy-theorist True Believer. They will say and do things that the plain old liars cannot pull off with a straight face. And you don’t have to pay them. Much.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 16 May 2012 @ 1:08 PM

  170. “…details of the justification for the sample selection, error bars, validation, acceptance critria…”

    This is why the forthcoming paper on Polar Urals/Yamal regional dendro reconstruction is going to (and has been) taking so much time. I suspect the paragraphs on these topics will be of more interest than the data or conclusions themselves.

    Comment by Salamano — 16 May 2012 @ 1:30 PM

  171. Secular Animist – you don’t have to pay them in money. Ego stroking is also acceptable. As is the feeling that they are striking back against evil communists/ greens/ liberals etc.

    Comment by guthrie — 16 May 2012 @ 1:43 PM


  172. [Response: For the record, I have never met or corresponded with Hantemirov about this or any other topic. - gavin]

    Ohhh, so you are giving him the silent treatment. Is that one of the ways you enforce discipline amongst your minions?

    Comment by caerbannog — 16 May 2012 @ 4:25 PM

  173. #172–Verrrry amusing!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 May 2012 @ 6:50 PM

  174. Me thinks this will be the last time H. sends any data to McI. Color me skeptical…

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 16 May 2012 @ 7:28 PM

  175. I’ve just had a look at data for the tempertature station closest to Yamal with long term data. Salehard is at 67N 67E (Yamal is at 71N 71E) and has data from 1883 to the 2011. The observed temperature shows no sign of a ‘hockey stick’.
    http://www.climatedata.info/Discussions/Discussions/opinions.php?id=3283134733594426905

    Comment by Ron Manley — 16 May 2012 @ 8:16 PM

  176. I find it sad that people will go out of their way to berate or attempt to refute peer reviewed research (or pre-published work) on a blog while not submitting a peer review paper rebuttal themselves. Someone that uses a blog for influencing the public, while not participating in the peer review process is bypassing the scientific process.

    Keep up your spirits, guys, and keep working on your research. I look up to your skill as scientists, and your integrity.

    Comment by Ryan Otte — 16 May 2012 @ 8:19 PM

  177. His new post drags Jacoby, D’Arrigo, and Thompson into the fold. He still thinks that the stories he is telling leads to conclusions such as:

    My surmise at the time was that the results were “bad” (i.e. did not have elevated O18 values in the 20th century.)

    By saying this, I am not saying that climate scientists are less honorable than mining promoters. Only that there are great human temptations to delay reporting “bad” results. And, after a while, delay can turn into neglect, without any explicit decision ever having been made not to report the “bad” results.

    and

    Six years later, Bona Churchill results remain not only unarchived, but unpublished. At this point, one cannot say that the Bona Churchill results have been “suppressed” for good; but they have clearly been delayed. A graphic in a workshop shows that my surmise was correct: contrary to Thompson’s expectation, 20th century O18 values were not elevated. They are “inconvenient”.

    You’d think the Hantemirov situation today may have made him think more introspectively on the “dirty laundry” story, but nope. Still insinuating the climate scientists hiding non-hockey-stick data. Still not getting that he is jumping logical steps to get this narrative.

    But in the Jacoby story, you see his final argument.

    The incident also sheds light on the question of when data is “used”. I plan to cite this incident in another forthcoming post. No statistician would accept Jacoby’s argument for a minute. By examining 36 series and picking 10, all 36 series were “used”. I find it hard to believe that Jacoby’s position has any traction whatever, but I was unsuccessful in persuading Schneider.

    He goes on from there. So to a statistician, there is no bad data? This is a really easy but illogical jump to impugn scientists, and the entire field in general. It just brings us back to my original point. He has yet to get to the step where is able prove malice by knowing “why” data isn’t used. The conspiracy tin-foil hat stuff is that he really thinks he knows, and we are supposed to trust his intuition. What more can be said?

    Comment by grypo — 16 May 2012 @ 8:23 PM

  178. TSABS

    Comment by Jbar — 16 May 2012 @ 9:08 PM

  179. #178–

    “Thyroid-Stimulating Antibodies?”

    “The Super Anti-bullying Squad?”

    “True Science Ain’t BS?”

    Wha–?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 May 2012 @ 10:47 PM

  180. Errr… grypo @177, this argument is coming from the statistician who ran a code which selected the top 1% of hockeystick shapes, without mentioning so?

    Comment by Marco — 16 May 2012 @ 11:54 PM

  181. @Marco (#180):

    Well observed: McIntyre doesn’t just use bad (or out of context) data, he also *manufactures his own* if bad data aren’t readily available:

    Replication and due diligence, Wegman style

    Because you can’t link to that article often enough. Speaking of which, why does no one ever comment on Deep Climate’s analysis of the McIntyre/Wegman stitch-up of MBH98? It’s based on McIntyre’s own archived code that was used in the production of the Wegman Report. Is the analysis flawed in some fundamental way?

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 17 May 2012 @ 6:45 AM

  182. Regardless of what McIntyre says and Gavin rebutts, the real problem with the Hockey Stick prediction of Mann’s is that it simply isn’t happening. We can talk about the Aliens coming on such-and-such a date, but when they never show a discussion about how the arrival time was calculated is rather beside the point.

    [Response: Actually the real problem may be that you have no idea what you are talking about. Proxy-reconstructions are trying to assess what happened in the past. They are not predictions for the future. - gavin]

    Comment by Mike Sigman — 17 May 2012 @ 8:09 AM

  183. For Steve Metzler:

    * Ch.1: Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 1: In the beginning
    * Ch.2: Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 2: The story behind the Barton-Whitfield investigation and the Wegman Panel
    * Ch.3: McClimategate continues: Yet another false accusation from McIntyre and McKitrick
    * Ch.4: Wegman and Said on social networks: More dubious scholarship
    * Ch.5: How to be a climate auditor, part 1: Pretty pictures
    * Ch.6: How to be a climate science auditor, part 2: The forgotten climategate emails
    * Ch.7: Mann exonerated by PSU inquiry: �No substance to the allegation�
    * Ch.8: Wegman Report update, part 1: More dubious scholarship in full colour
    * Ch.9: What have Wegman and Said done � lately?
    * Ch.10: Wegman report update, part 2: GMU dissertation review
    * Ch.11: John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report
    * Ch.12: Wegman under investigation by George Mason University
    * Ch.13: David Ritson speaks out
    * Ch.14: The Wegman report sees red (noise)
    * Ch.15: Replication and due diligence, Wegman style

    Addenda:

    * USA Today: Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized
    * Gerald North dishes
    * A Dummies Guide to Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report
    * A Dummies Guide to Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report II
    * A Dummies Guide to Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report: The Shorter Version
    * Climate study gets pulled after charges of plagiarism

    Comment by J Bowers — 17 May 2012 @ 8:34 AM


  184. It’s based on McIntyre’s own archived code that was used in the production of the Wegman Report. Is the analysis flawed in some fundamental way?

    Adding to #183 — Earlier in this thread, I put up a “dummy’s guide” summary of the problems people found with McIntyre’s earlier hockey-stick “work” — see comment #18.

    Comment by caerbannog — 17 May 2012 @ 9:21 AM

  185. Mike Sigman wrote: “the real problem with the Hockey Stick prediction of Mann’s is that it simply isn’t happening”

    As Gavin points out, the so-called “Hockey Stick” is a reconstruction of the past, not a prediction about the future.

    However, what “IS happening” in the world today, right before our eyes, is entirely consistent with what the “Hockey Stick” portends.

    So are doubly mistaken — first, about what the “Hockey Stick” represents; and second, about the reality of ongoing anthropogenic warming in the world today.

    You might wish to ask yourself, who is giving you the misinformation on which your mistaken claims are based? Why might they be misinforming you? Why do you believe them? Should you perhaps be a little more skeptical of their claims?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 17 May 2012 @ 9:46 AM

  186. Mike Sigman,
    Wow! So confident and yet so wrong! It is clear that you don’t even know what the “hockeystick” is, what it is based on or even the difference between a prediction, and observation or a reconstruction. Way to go, dude!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 May 2012 @ 10:36 AM

  187. Questions — the same for everyone with an opinion — worth asking:

    Where did you find what you believe?
    What source are you relying on?
    Did that source give you a cite to an original source or is it second or third hand opinion?
    Have you checked any quotations against the original?
    (Be wary of the ellipsis, especially if it was omitted.)
    Why do you trust the source you rely on for what you believe?
    And for the scientists, where is your work published ….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 May 2012 @ 12:13 PM

  188. @J Bowers (#183):

    Thanks for the data dump. I’m a fan of both Deep Climate and John Mashey, so I thought I had already read most of the relevant blog posts concerning McIntyre, McKitrick, Wegman, and MBH98. But I haven’t read about a third of those. That’s the way it goes with this stuff: if you’re not in at the beginning, you’re only just scratching the surface. In this case, though, maybe that’s no bad thing :-) Life is too short, and all that.

    @caerbannog (#184):

    I think you misunderstood what I was asking. I *know* that McIntyre’s hockey stick work is seriously flawed. What I was asking is: is Deep Climate’s analysis of what McIntyre did for Wegman in any way itself flawed, or is it iron-clad proof of McIntyre’s machinations/deceptions? For instance, I got into a pissing contest a few months back with a person that insisted the non-centred PCA used in MBH98 generated an up-tick at the end of any random noise series. You know how these things go. They will try to nitpick even the tiniest point. So I want to assure myself that Deep Climate’s analysis is fundamentally sound.

    Funny thing, whenever you point a denier at that ‘Replication and due diligence, Wegman style’ post, you never hear anything back. They most likely don’t even read it. But if they did, would it change the way they perceive ‘Mr. Audit’ in any significant way? I suspect not. The D-K effect/cognitive dissonance is strong in your average AGW denier.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 17 May 2012 @ 12:55 PM

  189. There’s an Australasian hockey stick out now.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00649.1

    More in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/may/17/australasia-hottest-60-years-study

    Comment by Sou — 17 May 2012 @ 1:17 PM

  190. re: 175
    See pp.207-208 of Fake science and section 3.5.1 of Glaciochemical reconnaissance of a new ice core from
    Severnaya Zemlya, Eurasian Arctic”
    by Weiler, et al in 2005.
    “Assuming that the hypothesis of regional industrial
    sources in Siberia being the dominant influence on sulphate
    deposition on Severnaya Zemlya is correct, the measured
    reduction in sulphate snow concentrations over recent
    decades would also imply a decrease of emissions from
    these sites, possibly related to an economic decline of the
    companies in Norilsk and the Kola peninsula.”

    This is not a claim that heavy industry contributed to the dips seen in the stations near Yamal … but one should never leap to conclusions without understanding the regional effects of heavy sulphate-emitting industries that come and go. I think Yamal is closer to those than the site in the paper.

    [I grew up near Pittsburgh, PA, before collapse of steel industry. Downtown, the Sun was a rare sight and it was usually cooler than where I lived.]

    Comment by John Mashey — 17 May 2012 @ 4:07 PM

  191. “…the Hockey Stick prediction of Mann’s…”

    Computer–$1000.

    ISP–$50/mo.

    A clue–priceless.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 May 2012 @ 8:20 PM

  192. Kevin you got those figures wrong…

    Computer at pawn shop – $50
    ISP – $20/mo

    Well, the price of a clue? That was correct.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 17 May 2012 @ 9:55 PM

  193. #182 Mike Sigman

    I know a really interesting book that you might enjoy:

    Exposing The Climate Hoax: It’s ALL About The Economy

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 17 May 2012 @ 10:52 PM

  194. To the McIntyre-Hantemirov kerfuffle, I’m late to the game here but not quite sure why, if McIntyre has made a pig’s breakfast of the data he requested, Hantemirov (or some scientist here who knows how to do it) does not simply correct McIntyre’s work. I could make a guess, that people here don’t like McIntyre and would prefer the satisfaction of piling on, with justification, but that guess is as beside the point (the science) as the piling on. Like it or not, McIntyre and McKitrick are part of the hockey stick story, and I would think with the stakes being as high as they are that refuting their results is far more important than attacking their characters. Whistleblowers are famously obnoxious, and I believe that by paying so much attention to McIntyre’s personal attributes one gives credence to the notion that he is indeed a whistleblower rather than a poor scientist. In the ideal, everyone would swallow their pride and work under the same tent, taking advantage of whatever statistical expertise McIntyre can bring to bear to further the science. While we are waiting in vain for that ideal to become a reality, though, why not simply stick to the data, the graphs, and the science? I can anticipate at least one response: Yes, but McIntyre has impugned the good names of X, Y and Z. And that he has, but by impugning his in return, are we taking our eye off the ball?

    [Response: Your view on this is appreciated, and I agree with most of what you say. However, while the commenters at RC may get a bit impugnable (I think that is the right use of the word!), and we may join them a bit in the inline comments, the actual article Gavin wrote does not do that at all. It points out where McIntyre is wrong in his methods, and wrong in his character attacks. As for the science, that has been addressed in numerous occasions.--eric]

    Comment by Mertonian Norm — 18 May 2012 @ 8:02 AM

  195. Mertonian Norm:

    To the McIntyre-Hantemirov kerfuffle, I’m late to the game here but not quite sure why, if McIntyre has made a pig’s breakfast of the data he requested, Hantemirov (or some scientist here who knows how to do it) does not simply correct McIntyre’s work.

    Maybe Hantemirov already has a job, the description of which doesn’t include “you shall do McIntyre’s homework for him, so he can ignore it and while doing so personally abuse you”.

    Maybe he’s working on the data for publication and doesn’t want to participate in blog science.

    Comment by dhogaza — 18 May 2012 @ 8:37 AM

  196. Mertonian Norm: “Like it or not, McIntyre and McKitrick are part of the hockey stick story,…”

    Actually, no, he is not. He has not advanced the understanding of proxies or of the paleoclimate one iota, mainly because he does not publish.

    Mertonian Norm: ” I believe that by paying so much attention to McIntyre’s personal attributes one gives credence to the notion that he is indeed a whistleblower rather than a poor scientist.”

    Actually, no. He’s not a scientist at all. Scientists publish.

    And sticking to the data is precisely what the real scientists have done–publishing and advancing when they can, while McI merely continues to “audit”.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 May 2012 @ 8:56 AM

  197. #194 eric’s response
    “As for the science, that has been addressed in numerous occasions.” But then Steve McIntyre writes another blog claiming the same science is wrong in some other way, and that’s all that is needed to maintain the belief that there is significant doubt. One blog cancels the science again, until someone re-asserts the science. What we need is a website, along the lines of Skeptical Science, that actually keeps score in all these battles. A place where we can go to see the current score for the Yamal complaint: How many times McIntyre was right about Yamal vs how many times he was wrong about it.

    Comment by Martin Smith — 18 May 2012 @ 9:10 AM

  198. 196 Ray Ladbury — “while McI merely continues to “audit”.”

    Here’s the thing: ask for a defintion of a ‘climate audit’, as in how it would read in a dictionary…. tumbleweed or “Unh, dontcha even know what an audit is?”. They can’t even define it, but they’ll defend it to the death.

    Comment by J Bowers — 18 May 2012 @ 10:45 AM

  199. #194 Mertonian Norm

    Another few points to consider is that the original M&M work, that ‘proved’ the hockey stick and it’s tree ring analysis was flawed, was actually scientifically inappropriate in the sense that the application weakened the model.

    Statistical methods are wonderful tools, when applied to achieve relevance in context.

    But to make a statistically insignificant correction that weakens a model and then to hold that argument up for the denialosphere to claim science is a sham…

    Well, that is ludicrous.

    Besides. Drop all the dendro hoopla and you can still see the hockey-stick in multiple analyses.

    So what’s all the fuss about. Seems to me M&M made a mountain out of a molehill and then zoomed the camera in to make it look like a mountain.

    Reminds me of the news stations in California in summertime during a slow news day. A small fire crops up somewhere. They show up, zoom in on the flames and speak in apocalyptic terms about how this fire might swallow the state if…

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 18 May 2012 @ 10:48 AM

  200. The main point being driven in this thread is that McIntyre’s logic regarding scientists integrity is a mess, relying on his intuition – which is basically a conspiracy theory. The “McIntyre-Hantemirov kerfuffle” just reinforces this. It shows he just doesn’t get it or refuses to believe it in the face of reality (it being ‘why do scientists do what they do with THE data and calculations?’) even after having it explained to him in the letter he used for his own evidence. So when Hantemirov told him off, what did mcIntyre do? — He resorted to conspiracy theory — “He has to coexist with Briffa, Schmidt and those guys. I suspect that he’s received criticism for providing me with data.”

    I don’t see much wrong in this thread.

    [Response:Exactly.--eric]

    Comment by grypo — 18 May 2012 @ 11:09 AM

  201. Mertonian Norm @ 194

    Hmm. Eric’s response is concise and to the point as are others that follow, so I’ll try not to pile on– even though there’s something troubling about your comment that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ll just recapitulate and riff a little on the area that bothers me and see if that clarifies.

    That is to say it’s better not to be too distracted by the heat generated in a conflict, except to note that in a less than ideal world, anger may indicate the stakes and is sometimes justified sometimes not. There are ways to tease that out (see for example: Is the holocaust denial/climate change denial comparison apt? which puts the focus on the definable tactics used to mislead).

    However, you won’t find whistle blowers by reading angy tea leaves and making facile generalizations. And yes, tone is something we should all consider when pounding the keyboard, but tone trolling is a definite no-no.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 18 May 2012 @ 11:46 AM

  202. To Eric [my apologies, I thought I had posted this clarification earlier but apparently not!]

    I was not referring to Gavin’s excellent piece but to the latest exchange between McIntyre and Hantemirov that Phil Clarke mentioned earlier here. (“horrified by your slipshod work”, etc.)

    Comment by Mertonian Norm — 18 May 2012 @ 11:58 AM

  203. #194 Mertonian Norm

    Another way to put this is Mike Mann’s work was incredibly well done with respect to the data; and McIntyre’s ‘audit’ of the work was incredibly insignificant regarding what the Hockey-stick indicates.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 18 May 2012 @ 12:10 PM

  204. > impugnable
    impugnacious?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 May 2012 @ 1:08 PM

  205. >impugnacious
    impugnafragalisticexpialidocious?

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 18 May 2012 @ 1:50 PM

  206. An even simpler case needed no knowledge of statistics or tree rings in far places.

    On 10/08/10, Dan Vergano wrote University investigating prominent climate science critic, after Dan had asked Ray Bradley if he’d filed a plagiarism complaint. (He had.)

    On 10/18/10, Steve McIntyre published Bradley Copies Fritts #2 and then on 10/20/10 Bradley Copies Fritts #2.

    This was demonstrable nonsense, quickly discernable in a minute’s look at my own copy of Bradley(1999). It was clear in the first case that SM hadn’t bothered to read pp.595-599, Copyright Acknowledgements. A long discussion ensued in which SM’s followers all agreed that Ray Was Bad, many revealing total ignorance of the whole plagiarism/copyright/textbook domain. Nick Stokes tried valiantly to straighten them out, but Dunning-Kruger was strong.

    At various times, several of us contacted Hal Fritts, who had not the slightest problem with Ray’s use of his figures, which certainly were certainly Acknowledged and used within normal *textbook* construction.
    Fritts was *rather* irked at the absurd attack on Ray.

    This was spread widely: Google: “bradley copies fritts” typically by people equally clueless on publishing.

    Finally, George Mason University blamed Ray, See No Evil at GMU, p.26.

    Hantemirov may well get the same treatment.
    In any case, I was amused to see that a Google search for Yamal tree rings offered a few images, not of McIntyre, but including MckItrick, who recently withdrew from speaking at Heartland’s ICCC-7, but remains a Heartland Expert,A.B.*

    Actually, Google image search for yamal tree rings is recommended.

    SO, presumably

    Comment by John Mashey — 18 May 2012 @ 3:20 PM

  207. Steve Metzler #188 – yes, you are correct about how difficult it can be if you come along half way through, trying to understand what happened before.
    In the case of the PCA, my memory is that yes, there is a small uptick at the end. But it is at least ten time less than the actual warming seen. To repeat- one or two little bits of Macintyres critiscism are correct, but the outcome is still the same!
    there’s a real climate post from 4 or 5 years ago at least that shows the hockey stick before and after all the corrections anyone ever wanted. It is still a hockey stick.

    Comment by guthrie — 18 May 2012 @ 4:23 PM

  208. Oops, mis-edited 205.

    A.b. = After Billboard, i.e., someone who has *not* asked to be removed from Heartland Experts List.

    Comment by John Mashey — 18 May 2012 @ 5:22 PM

  209. To the McIntyre-Hantemirov kerfuffle, I’m late to the game here but not quite sure why, if McIntyre has made a pig’s breakfast of the data he requested, Hantemirov (or some scientist here who knows how to do it) does not simply correct McIntyre’s work.

    You could argue that Hantemirov did correct McIntyre – back in 2009! This post discusses a Yamal reconstruction by Hantemirov using the same 120 “live core” data set McIntyre now has for the modern period.

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/10/07/let-the-backpedalling-begin/

    Here’s a link to Hantemirov’s fig 5:
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/khantemirovrm-fig-5.jpg

    Here’s a link to the 1000-2000 portion of that reconstruction.
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/khantemirovrm-fig-5-zoom.jpg

    Comment by Deep Climate — 18 May 2012 @ 7:50 PM

  210. @guthrie (#207):

    In the case of the PCA, my memory is that yes, there is a small uptick at the end. But it is at least ten time less than the actual warming seen. To repeat- one or two little bits of Macintyres critiscism are correct, but the outcome is still the same!

    Thanks for the confirmation. That is my understanding as well, with what little stats fu I have gleaned from RC, tamino, et. al.

    I have been programming computers since 1974 or so; thus, I was able to mostly follow DC’s walkthrough of McIntyre’s R code fragments.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 18 May 2012 @ 9:57 PM

  211. Ray Ladbury and: “Like it or not, McIntyre and McKitrick are part of the hockey stick story.”

    I was not clear. I should have said that if Wikipedia entries reflect peoples’ views on issues, like it or not — I don’t — McI. & McK. are a part of the hockey stick story. But there is no question McI. should stop complaining about how hard it is to publish and just publish. It’s supposed to be hard.

    “Auditing” is a distinct second- or third-best option, but these blogs are part of the equation now, informing public opinion as they do. I still think the man needs to be constructively engaged.

    Comment by Mertonian Norm — 19 May 2012 @ 7:24 AM

  212. Mertonian Norm @ 210

    “I still think the man needs to be constructively engaged.”

    Sounds nice.

    Based on what?

    And how? By forking over lunch money to the bully? Exactly what technique won’t enable, i.e., stoke the megalomania?

    And at what point will we be able to say that climate science just can’t cure what ails some people?

    Comment by Radge Havers — 19 May 2012 @ 9:53 AM

  213. McIntyre is attacking the integrity of climate scientists. His justifications for attacks seem to be conspiracy theories. I see no way someone like him can be constructively engaged most of the time.

    Occasionally his nit-picking can come up with something that had been overlooked. IIRC he was responsible for finding a discontinuity in some historical temperature data. He correctly spotted the error of wrongly centering a PCA but did not understand and still does not understand why this made very little difference to the final result. In his critique he made a more serious mistake than Mann et al. by using a too small number of principal components and does not understand the significance of this.

    As I understand it he is not a statistician but rather a mathematician with some statistical training and experience. But not as much as he seems to think he has.

    Climate scientists seem to see him as an egomaniac who is trying to big note himself by attacking them. Given that I see little for them to gain from any engagement. As far as I can tell that opinion of him is probably justified. I do not see accusations of dishonesty as something to be made lightly and he has been making such accusations with no justification that I can see.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 19 May 2012 @ 10:59 AM

  214. I should have added, it is time that McIntyre came up with a temperature reconstruction himself. He has been paying little attention to more recent multi-proxy reconstructions even though the all show the hockey stick. Harping on the flaws of one paper and ignoring everthing else does not look like the behaviour of someone who wants to know what happened. Let him show how he thinks it should be done?

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 19 May 2012 @ 11:20 AM

  215. Mertonian Norm:

    McIntyre had been treated well twice by Hantermirov.

    McIntyre then treated Hantermirov badly twice.

    Exactly how do you engage with someone like that?

    Comment by rumleyfips — 19 May 2012 @ 11:41 AM

  216. #210/v211
    McI and McK were almost certainly recruited to this whole thing via conservative thinktanks as part of a strategy created in an American Petroleum Institute-led effort in 1998.
    See Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony,
    pp.19-28. The early connections were made via Myron Ebell (who was at Frontiers of Freedom in 1998, but moved to CEI). Later on, CEI and George Marshall Institute jointly managed them.
    Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report pp.27-32 shows how the thinktanks+ McI+McK helped the creation of the Wegman Report, whose blueprint was an McI+McK presentation for CEI+GMI in May 2005, covered pp.185-186. The Powerpoint slides (not the publicly-available PDF) was later given to Ed Wegman via Joe Barton’s staffer Peter Spencer, see Strange Tales and Emails, p.17 … from FOIA information.

    Finally, please read my comment at 206: I assert that McI spent time to make up a baseless attack on Ray Bradley. Did he ever apologize?
    I suggest people read that material carefully to asses McI’s credibility. The thinktanks were likely happy to find someone willing to devote his life to such attacks, who fit well into the 1998 strategy.

    Comment by John Mashey — 19 May 2012 @ 12:07 PM

  217. I have to agree – there is no form of truly constructive engagement that will work with McIntyre – he has proven unwilling to engage in it before. You would have to somehow change his mind as to the correctness of climate science and improve his approach to it somehow, but nobody seems to know how. Feel free to post on his blog trying to be constructive.

    Comment by guthrie — 19 May 2012 @ 12:38 PM

  218. Radge, who cares how he’s engaged? I certainly don’t care how, but here’s a guy who appears to have some talent, is passionate about the subject, and spends his time alternately flipping the bird or receiving one in return. If I were a climate scientist, I’d hire the guy to beat up my findings, as hackers are hired to improve security to prevent hacking. Pie in the sky? Probably, but just about anything would seem to beat this tiresome pissing contest that seems never to end.

    [Response: You are assuming two things, both patently false. 1) Climate scientists have money for this sort of thing 2) McIntyre would actually be useful, as opposed to taking whatever bits of data this gave him access to and running with them to further his warped agenda. The idea that McIntyre can be engaged constructively is nice. For anyone to take that idea seriously would require a significant show of good faith on his part, first. I have personally offered him more than one opportunity to do this: for example I did specifically and politely ask him to remove the post he hosted on his blog, in which he made false accusations against me regarding the "corrupt" peer review process. This was after his colleague ODonnell wrote to him cc: to me saying that he (O'Donnell) agreed with me. McI's repines: "How about changing the title of the blog post from "Steig's Deception" to "Steig's Trick". That was really constructive, eh?--eric]

    Comment by Mertonian Norm — 19 May 2012 @ 12:59 PM

  219. “I still think the man needs to be constructively engaged.”

    How do you engage constructively someone who accuses scientists of incompetence/malfeasance while committing serial errors in his own “audits” (per comment #18 above) of those scientists’ work?

    Comment by caerbannog — 19 May 2012 @ 1:20 PM

  220. I still think the man needs to be constructively engaged.

    Norm, I have some Nigerian friends in my spam folder who would really like to meet you

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 19 May 2012 @ 3:29 PM

  221. Mertonian Norm,
    You are presuming all parties here ultimately have the same goal. The goal of climate scientists is to understand climate. Period. McI’s goal is to glue eyeballs to his webpage. How long do you think denialists would continue to read his rather…turgid prose if he wasn’t telling them what they wanted to hear.

    The name Richard Muller ring a bell? Heard the denialati singing his praises lately? In the real world, we can’t all just get along. That is especially true when one group is committed to arriving at the truth, while the other is committed to auditing it. Or to put it another way, how do you think he’d respond to LBJ’s offer to come into the tent he’s just pissed all over?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 May 2012 @ 5:22 PM

  222. Erm, Mertonian Norm , this is just starting to sound like false balance tone trolling — either that or laziness. Why else resist defining a problem that you plainly don’t understand very well, only to treat a vaguely stated goal as though it were a solution.

    “who cares how he’s engaged?”

    All negotiators have methods for doing what they do. It’s not easy. If all you have up your sleeve are the lyrics to “Kumbayah” then you’re no better than arch hand-waver Joe Pitts.

    Look. Either you do the science using the best standards and methods available (or a reasonably close approximation) or you don’t. It’s not the job of climate scientists to waste time baby sitting a guy who’s big goal in life seems to be wasting people’s time. Nor is it their job to give him a lollipop if he doesn’t feel validated, or a trophy for trying really hard, not that those would make a difference anyway. As for employing him like a cracker, now given what’s already been pointed out here about him and what you should be able to figure about how science works, just think for a minute about why that would be unnecessary…

    But hey, maybe you can set up a deal. For example, climate scientists can have the theory of gravity to play with, and McIntyre can make up lies about thermodynamics and then everybody can play happily together. Then you can do similar deals with the all the other dime-a-dozen cult leader wannabes out there. That would be good for you because it would be peaceful?

    [Response:To be fair, I'm not aware of McIntyre having made up lies about thermodynamics. Just about people. Of course his followers love to "raise questions" about thermodynamics, but technically that is not the same thing as lying about it (though the effect may be the same if the questions are posed just so.).--eric]

    Comment by Radge Havers — 19 May 2012 @ 6:18 PM

  223. Eric, Point taken. I was going for something more arbitrary. I had an inkling that it should have been rewritten or deleted, and instead I just whiffed. Sorry if it added to the noise.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 19 May 2012 @ 8:40 PM

  224. Gavin,
    sorry, but in my opinion Steve makes a perfect job.
    His work is necessary, as the past showed. So i cannot understand your reaction.
    BR from Germany, Martin

    Comment by Martin — 25 May 2012 @ 3:53 PM

  225. 224 Martin claims, “sorry, but in my opinion Steve makes a perfect job.
    His work is necessary, as the past showed.”

    Uh, I don’t agree. Steve’s work consumes more external resources than the total benefit resulting from his efforts. I believe this is true even if one ignores the negativities resulting from his work, which far exceed the minimal benefits from his work. So Steve is of negative worth, even if one ignores most of his negativity. Just my opinion, of course…

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 25 May 2012 @ 10:52 PM

  226. Martin,
    Just what “work” would that be? I’m aware of one publication on climate science in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal–and that is not even worthy of a footnote. Perhaps you know of others.

    Bloviating on a blog is not science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 May 2012 @ 5:36 AM

  227. Just read the definition, eh?
    McI has to publish if he wants this kind of treatment:
    http://sci.mercer.edu/handouts/mertonian_norms.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 May 2012 @ 9:33 AM

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

    Comment by grypo — 4 Jun 2012 @ 2:13 PM

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