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Hey Ya! (mal)

Filed under: — group @ 30 September 2009

Interesting news this weekend. Apparently everything we’ve done in our entire careers is a “MASSIVE lie” (sic) because all of radiative physics, climate history, the instrumental record, modeling and satellite observations turn out to be based on 12 trees in an obscure part of Siberia. Who knew?

Indeed, according to both the National Review and the Daily Telegraph (and who would not trust these sources?), even Al Gore’s use of the stair lift in An Inconvenient Truth was done to highlight cherry-picked tree rings, instead of what everyone thought was the rise in CO2 concentrations in the last 200 years.

Al Gore apparently confusing a CO2 curve for a tree

Who should we believe? Al Gore with his “facts” and “peer reviewed science” or the practioners of “Blog Science“? Surely, the choice is clear….

Yamal sub-fossil larch trees in river sedimentMore seriously, many of you will have noticed yet more blogarrhea about tree rings this week. The target de jour is a particular compilation of trees (called a chronology in dendro-climatology) that was first put together by two Russians, Hantemirov and Shiyatov, in the late 1990s (and published in 2002). This multi-millennial chronology from Yamal (in northwestern Siberia) was painstakingly collected from hundreds of sub-fossil trees buried in sediment in the river deltas. They used a subset of the 224 trees they found to be long enough and sensitive enough (based on the interannual variability) supplemented by 17 living tree cores to create a “Yamal” climate record.

A preliminary set of this data had also been used by Keith Briffa in 2000 (pdf) (processed using a different algorithm than used by H&S for consistency with two other northern high latitude series), to create another “Yamal” record that was designed to improve the representation of long-term climate variability.

Since long climate records with annual resolution are few and far between, it is unsurprising that they get used in climate reconstructions. Different reconstructions have used different methods and have made different selections of source data depending on what was being attempted. The best studies tend to test the robustness of their conclusions by dropping various subsets of data or by excluding whole classes of data (such as tree-rings) in order to see what difference they make so you won’t generally find that too much rides on any one proxy record (despite what you might read elsewhere).


So along comes Steve McIntyre, self-styled slayer of hockey sticks, who declares without any evidence whatsoever that Briffa didn’t just reprocess the data from the Russians, but instead supposedly picked through it to give him the signal he wanted. These allegations have been made without any evidence whatsoever.

McIntyre has based his ‘critique’ on a test conducted by randomly adding in one set of data from another location in Yamal that he found on the internet. People have written theses about how to construct tree ring chronologies in order to avoid end-member effects and preserve as much of the climate signal as possible. Curiously no-one has ever suggested simply grabbing one set of data, deleting the trees you have a political objection to and replacing them with another set that you found lying around on the web.

The statement from Keith Briffa clearly describes the background to these studies and categorically refutes McIntyre’s accusations. Does that mean that the existing Yamal chronology is sacrosanct? Not at all – all of the these proxy records are subject to revision with the addition of new (relevant) data and whether the records change significantly as a function of that isn’t going to be clear until it’s done.

What is clear however, is that there is a very predictable pattern to the reaction to these blog posts that has been discussed many times. As we said last time there was such a kerfuffle:

However, there is clearly a latent and deeply felt wish in some sectors for the whole problem of global warming to be reduced to a statistical quirk or a mistake. This led to some truly death-defying leaping to conclusions when this issue hit the blogosphere.

Plus ça change…

The timeline for these mini-blogstorms is always similar. An unverified accusation of malfeasance is made based on nothing, and it is instantly ‘telegraphed’ across the denial-o-sphere while being embellished along the way to apply to anything ‘hockey-stick’ shaped and any and all scientists, even those not even tangentially related. The usual suspects become hysterical with glee that finally the ‘hoax’ has been revealed and congratulations are handed out all round. After a while it is clear that no scientific edifice has collapsed and the search goes on for the ‘real’ problem which is no doubt just waiting to be found. Every so often the story pops up again because some columnist or blogger doesn’t want to, or care to, do their homework. Net effect on lay people? Confusion. Net effect on science? Zip.

Having said that, it does appear that McIntyre did not directly instigate any of the ludicrous extrapolations of his supposed findings highlighted above, though he clearly set the ball rolling. No doubt he has written to the National Review and the Telegraph and Anthony Watts to clarify their mistakes and we’re confident that the corrections will appear any day now…. Oh yes.

But can it be true that all Hockey Sticks are made in Siberia? A RealClimate exclusive investigation follows:

We start with the original MBH hockey stick as replicated by Wahl and Ammann:

Hmmm… neither of the Yamal chronologies anywhere in there. And what about the hockey stick that Oerlemans derived from glacier retreat since 1600?

Nope, no Yamal record in there either. How about Osborn and Briffa’s results which were robust even when you removed any three of the records?

Osborn and Briffa (2006) Supplemental Material

Or there. The hockey stick from borehole temperature reconstructions perhaps?

No. How about the hockey stick of CO2 concentrations from ice cores and direct measurements?

Err… not even close. What about the the impact on the Kaufman et al 2009 Arctic reconstruction when you take out Yamal?

Oh. The hockey stick you get when you don’t use tree-rings at all (blue curve)?


No. Well what about the hockey stick blade from the instrumental record itself?

And again, no. But wait, maybe there is something (Update: Original idea by Lucia)….


One would think that some things go without saying, but apparently people still get a key issue wrong so let us be extremely clear. Science is made up of people challenging assumptions and other peoples’ results with the overall desire of getting closer to the ‘truth’. There is nothing wrong with people putting together new chronologies of tree rings or testing the robustness of previous results to updated data or new methodologies. Or even thinking about what would happen if it was all wrong. What is objectionable is the conflation of technical criticism with unsupported, unjustified and unverified accusations of scientific misconduct. Steve McIntyre keeps insisting that he should be treated like a professional. But how professional is it to continue to slander scientists with vague insinuations and spin made-up tales of perfidy out of the whole cloth instead of submitting his work for peer-review? He continues to take absolutely no responsibility for the ridiculous fantasies and exaggerations that his supporters broadcast, apparently being happy to bask in their acclaim rather than correct any of the misrepresentations he has engendered. If he wants to make a change, he has a clear choice; to continue to play Don Quixote for the peanut gallery or to produce something constructive that is actually worthy of publication.

Peer-review is nothing sinister and not part of some global conspiracy, but instead it is the process by which people are forced to match their rhetoric to their actual results. You can’t generally get away with imprecise suggestions that something might matter for the bigger picture without actually showing that it does. It does matter whether something ‘matters’, otherwise you might as well be correcting spelling mistakes for all the impact it will have.

So go on Steve, surprise us.

Update: Briffa and colleagues have now responded with an extensive (and in our view, rather convincing) rebuttal.

759 Responses to “Hey Ya! (mal)”

  1. 601
    Hank Roberts says:

    CM, Google’s native language search tool keeps getting better. Write your question as a sentence ending with a question mark like this and you’ll get a fairly good simulation of an intelligent response, though wisdom is still not available and you have to read and think about what it gives you. But this should help:

  2. 602
    CM says:

    Jim (#593), thanks for your time!

  3. 603
    stevenc says:

    Still, there is a difference between public commenting and an expert reviewer. The expert reviewers were invited to make comments by the IPCC. These people were selected based upon their knowledge in the selected areas. I believe page 235 of “changing the atmosphere: expert knowledge and environmental governance”, the book that Hank previously linked, explains the process of appointing expert reviewers as part of the peer reviewing process. If just anyone could become an expert reviewer then probably the IPCC would be saying they had 500,000 or 5,000,000 expert reviewers. But that would be rather rediculous wouldn’t it.

  4. 604
    stevenc says:

    As a follow-on to my last comment, if you are trying to make people wonder if the IPCC reports have any validity at all then I can’t think of a better way then propogating these self-appointed expert reviewer myths. Perhaps I am wrong. If so then what were the people selected by the criteria on the page I referenced called exactly?

  5. 605
    Tony says:

    Guys, I need a steer.

    I see the summary view is that CO2 was 280 ppm but is now 380 ppm in the atmosphere. Also that Anthropic CO2 production estimates based on carbon use indicates that CO2 concentration should have been around 480 ppm, but that ~100ppm has been absorbed by the oceans & greenery.

    But I can’t seem to find the definition of the ‘ppm’ units used. Is that by mass, or by volume?

    Can anyone advise ?

  6. 606
    Hank Roberts says:

    It’s no myth that any wacko out there can call himself an ‘expert reviewer’ — those words simply do not mean what you think they mean.

    “If you buy an outfit, you can be a cowboy too” in the words of the children’s song.


  7. 607
    Hank Roberts says:

    Look stevenc, you’re way off topic, and you’re chasing a hobbyhorse that’s not going to be worth riding if you catch it. Look this stuff up, there’s nothing there to squawk about. Anyone added to the comment process who wanted to.

    From one of the old flyers early on, pointing out that the material would be circulated so anyone could comment:

    “… Both expert reviewers and governments are called upon to comment on scientific and technical matters. A wide circulation process ensures contributions from independent experts in all regions of the world and all relevant disciplines. Differing views are reflected in the documents….”

  8. 608
    Mark says:

    stevenc, there is nothing damaging about showing how saying “McI is an IPCC reviewer” has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on whether McI knows what the heck he is talking about.

    It’s a bare statement of fact.

    Likewise, IPCC authors may have some autority, but only about the sections the work they authored was on about.

    There’s one submitter who is a CEO of an aluminum smelting factory and asked to write a piece of the IPCC report on it. They were listed along with another person.

    That was all.

    Yet despite having no knowledge of climate or the science involved, he is touted by denialists as credible when he says “there is no warming” and promote him as the lead author of AN ENTIRE SECTION of the IPCC report.

    1) It wasn’t an entire section. It was a sub-sub section.
    2) He wasn’t even “lead author” on that small section (never mind the work he’s being attributed with)
    3) The work he was writing about was about his job, which has NOTHING to do with climate science

    Now is saying “that IPCC author has no authority with the climate science” weakening the authority of the authors that wrote about the climate science sections in the IPCC report?


    But you’d like that to be drawn so that you and your pals can manage to tout your “experts” as far more expert than they deserve.

  9. 609
    Mark says:

    “Still, there is a difference between public commenting and an expert reviewer. The expert reviewers were invited to make comments by the IPCC.”

    And that invite can be “you’ve asked to review the IPCC report. Here’s a copy. Please let us know you comments”.

    And anyone can get that.

  10. 610
    Hank Roberts says:

    See the “expert and government review comments” — here:

  11. 611
    Mark says:

    “But I can’t seem to find the definition of the ‘ppm’ units used. Is that by mass, or by volume?”

    And do you know what the difference in that is? For 1ppm CO2 by volume, what would that be in ppm by mass?

  12. 612
    t_p_hamilton says:


    380 ppm by volume.

  13. 613
    Deep Climate says:

    Not sure if anyone else has noted this yet, but apparently updated Yamal reconstructions, using more live-core data, were made available by Rashit Hamerintov last summer. The information comes in an email to an anonymous third party that was released by Steve McIntyre today.The Yamal hockey stick is alive and well, apparently …

    Let the backpedalling begin …

    The charts I show are from this PDF (in Russian of course).

  14. 614
    Tony says:

    Thanks t_p_hamilton

  15. 615
    stevenc future IPCC expert reviewer says:

    Hank, then why does the IPCC talk about how it has been reviewed by 2500 expert reviewers if the comment has no meaning? Try putting the SM controversy aside for just one minute and think of this statement in its entirety. If this is actually true then how many expert reviewers were actually experts? Why should I have any faith that the IPCC report was properly reviewed? If I’m just squaking so beit but it seems to me to be a much larger issue then just if SM is qualified to be an expert reviewer or not.

  16. 616
    stevenc future IPCC expert reviewer says:

    I never once, in the couple of years since I have been reading on this topic, suspected that I would be on Real Climate trying to support the integrity of the IPCC report from Real Climate regulars. Yet here I am and even I, skeptic that I am, do not believe that the IPCC could have possibly been as sloppy as you want to make them sound. But perhaps you are right and they were. I have nothing more to say on the matter until I, or someone else,comes up with the IPCC definition of an expert reviewer.

  17. 617
    Hank Roberts says:

    Steve, put “vincent gray” or “richard courtney” in the Harvard archive search box and look at what they wrote.
    Then look at the right hand column vetting their squaking.
    It was done, you can see how. You can work it out.

  18. 618
    Deep Climate says:

    Close up of Yamal temp recon using larger data set from Hantemirov:

    Also note that Hantemirov is co-author of the paper that I and others have been recommending to McIntyre et al

    I wonder if there are more hockey sticks lurking in there …

  19. 619
    CM says:

    Hank (#601), I meant no personal distrust (sorry if you, or anyone, got that impression). I just wondered if what everybody was repeating was technically accurate and could be sourced (apart from desmogblog citing
    citing Stoat). I agree that it’s not even much of a point to be right about and that it’s way off topic. Let me just clarify, since I think you must have misunderstood me, and I’ll shut up about it and get back to tree rings.

    The issue: How one got listed as an IPCC reviewer in the back of the IPCC Assessment Report. Wackos claiming to be IPCC reviewers, but not listed, are irrelevant.

    Common ground: It’s an open process; nearly anyone could be a reviewer; it required no particular scientific qualifications and bestowed no particular recognition nor authority. (None of this is meant to disparage the process or the many perfectly competent scientists who took part. But some screwballs got in too.)

    I doubt: That anyone could get themselves listed just by unilaterally requesting a copy of the draft and signing some confidentiality clauses.

    I think: IPCC reviewers were, according to procedure, nominated by governments, IPCC authors, and organizations taking part in the process; nominees were more or less automatically accepted, and got letters inviting them to take part (case in point: McIntyre).

    The link you gave: Yes, there anyone could ask for a copy and send comments. But that was the U.S. Government soliciting comments in spring 2006 to inform the development of the Government‘s review of the AR4 second order draft. It explicitly said not to confuse this with submitting comments to the IPCC TSU. The individual IPCC reviewers were long since named and had started reviewing the first order draft the previous fall.

    Sorry about the excursion. Back to Yamal.

  20. 620
    CM says:

    Re: Deep Climate’s #614,

    A 7,000-year hockey stick! That’s nice. My Russian is a bit rusty, but I note that next week Hantemirov will be defending his PhD thesis, “Dynamics of tree growth (?) and climate change in the north of Western Siberia in the Holocene”, of which the PDF is a summary. Reason enough to be nervous, even without the blogosphere watching and furiously google-translating McAuditors on his case… I wish him well.

  21. 621
    Deep Climate says:

    Maybe there are not more hockey sticks in Esper et al 2009 (it’s more methodology focused), but very interesting none the less. The authors claim to have resolved the “divergence problem”. Sounds like a great future post idea for RC.

    Anyway, there already are plenty of hockey sticks to go round.

  22. 622
    Deep Climate says:

    CM, Hank,
    I wouldn’t mind getting to the bottom of the Expert Reviewer process, although it’s not the be-all and end-all for me.

    Is it possible that self-nominated TAR reviewers got invitations for AR4? Undoubtedly, there are different ways in, and there does seem to be a distinction between first-draft and second-draft reviewers. So it’s not very clear to me.

    Leaving McIntyre aside, how the heck did AR4 get saddled with Vincent Grey?! He takes the cake for convolution of idiocy and sheer volume of comments.

  23. 623
    Brian Dodge says:

    @ Snowman — 6 October 2009 @ 12:32 PM
    “Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, often simply called Liebig’s Law or the Law of the Minimum, is a principle developed in agricultural science by Carl Sprengel (1828) and later popularized by Justus von Liebig. It states that growth is controlled not by the total of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor). This concept was originally applied to plant or crop growth, where it was found that increasing the amount of plentiful nutrients did not increase plant growth. Only by increasing the amount of the limiting nutrient (the one most scarce in relation to “need”) was the growth of a plant or crop improved.”

    Your observations indicate that water was the limiting factor in the growth of those trees during droughts. The exceptional growth of the orange tree planted over the dead donkey indicates that perhaps N (from donkey proteins) and/or P(from donkey bones) were limiting in that grove. The comparisons performed by Briffa, Hamerintov, and other paleoclimatologists of tree rings ant the instrumental temperature record show that their trees growth is (in aggregate) temperature limited. McIntyre’s results show that if you pile enough random data onto your analysis, you can bury the truth.

  24. 624
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    My guess is that to get listed in the “official” list of AR4 reviewers you had to have: both submitted a comment and not had said comment laughed at. After all, even a jerk like Grey can find a spelling or punctuation error.

    As far as McIntyre goes, here is my speculation. McIntyre had a paper published in 2005 which was pretty high profile and was picked up by both the media and the US Congress. Because of his paper, he was instrumental in getting an NRC panel (I’ll ignore the Wegman work, since it was worthless since the author clearly lacked domain knowledge) to investigate the claims of his paper. Because of his notoriety the IPCC invited him, since he might have constructive comments.

    On the other hand, because of his attempted abuse of his “status” as an “expert reviewer”, I strongly doubt that he will be invited back again. He does have an amazing was of making enemies.

  25. 625
    Hank Roberts says:

    Deep, you’ll find Marhoasty and Morano making much of ‘IPCC expert reviewer’ stuff recently. Maybe that’s where these questions are arising. I don’t think helping the amateurs add their opinions to the next round would be a service, though likely they’ll find a way.

    Last round the Bush (US) government flooded the IPCC in amateur opinions, which I don’t think any other government did — by publicly posting the draft, giving a password to anyone who asked, to send in comments, and pointedly telling people to keep separate any other opinions they might have emailed directly to the IPCC, hint hint. Duh.

    The info is all there for anyone willing to read the docs.
    which references
    That’s what the opinion letters are.

    Enough homework help, the kid must have enough to get an A by now.

  26. 626
    Tom P says:

    I detect more than a hint of backpedalling from Steve McIntyre over at Climate Audit. He’s certainly confusing his usual camp followers with his latest post:

  27. 627
    stevenc says:

    Great job Hank you do get an A. It is clear from the definition of expert reviewer that they must be nominated and that should put to rest the myth that anyone can declare themselves an expert reviewer and be listed by the IPCC as one. This has always bothered me when I have seen it written since it woud have shown a complete breakdown in quality control.

  28. 628
    stevenc says:

    OK Hank I see your argument a bit more clearly now. You are saying that the US government allowed anyone to make themselves a designated expert by posting the access to getting a password. Clearly this was not the intent of the IPCC but I can see how it could work that way. I suspect that this is not how it worked but if you wish to hold on to this belief then you have found a method that it could have.

  29. 629
    Igor Samoylenko says:

    CM says: “My Russian is a bit rusty, but I note that next week Hantemirov will be defending his PhD thesis”

    It is not his PhD thesis actually; he already has a PhD (he must be already a “kandidat nauk” in Russian). The referenced manuscript is in support of his application for the degree of doctor of science (DSc), the highest post-graduate academic degree in the Soviet Union. See Doktor nauk for more info.

    Also, your translation of the manuscript’s title is close but to be precise it is: “Dynamics of tree vegetation and climate change in the north of Western Siberia in the Holocene”.

  30. 630
    Mark says:

    That isn’t right stevenc.

    The US government allowed anyone to make themselves a designated expert.

    The IPCC guidelines allows anyone to make themselves a designated expert.

    Because here “designated expert” means that they have designated themselves an expert and used the fact that they asked to review the IPCC report as their note of expertise.

    I can just as well call myself a statistical expert after having compared myself with Girma’s “statistical” work on deltoid. As long as you don’t check how low that bar of expertise is, you may give me near oracular power wrt statistics, even though undeserved.

    But both the US government and the IPCC intended that experts would ask to review and, being expert, have something worthy to add.

    Denialists don’t care to add anything and don’t care they have not shown expertise.

    And they hope you won’t check the level of expertise.

  31. 631
    Mark says:

    “My guess is that to get listed in the “official” list of AR4 reviewers you had to have: both submitted a comment and not had said comment laughed at.”

    In the case of Steve McI, his comments were laughed at.

    He still demands recognition as an IPCC expert reviewer.

    What you suggest would be a good filter.

    But that filter is not in place.

  32. 632
    Mark says:

    CM read again what you wrote:

    “The link you gave: Yes, there anyone could ask for a copy and send comments. But that was the U.S. Government soliciting comments in spring 2006 to inform the development of the Government’s review of the AR4 second order draft. ”

    Now, where does Steve McIntyre live?


  33. 633
    Mark says:

    “I never once, in the couple of years since I have been reading on this topic, suspected that I would be on Real Climate trying to support the integrity of the IPCC report from Real Climate regulars.”

    Because you want to let Steve McI keep his unwarranted authority as an “IPCC expert reviewer” to lend credence to his inane speculations.

    Fairly easy to predict.

  34. 634
    Mark P says:

    Jim Bouldin – re 598, thanks very much, interesting and highly useful answer. I had actually got of my behind and read up on RCS so I now think I understand. Nice to hear how a branch of science (dendro) deals with the same kind of problem we all face.

    But it still makes me itchy:- a handful of trees to represent the properties of a huge set of trees.

    I could understand it if these were widgets coming off a production line. In that case we could say “we measured 12 widgets, they all showed identical responses, therefore we can be confident that thousands or millions of widgets will show the same response”.

    But these are some trees responding to “all kinds of stuff”. From eyeballing McIntyre’s plots of individual trees within the calibration set, and from deletion of the strongest contributor, they do seem to show a wide variability, not like the widgets.

    Hence my itchiness about such a small set saying anything “useful” about the huge set.

    Thanks for your time over the last few days. Sorry you seemed to get somewhat flamed at CA. Reinforces your point 9 from above – whether the peer reviewed literature is the best place to do this (would love to debate this with you!)

    Over and out!


  35. 635
    stevenc says:

    Mark, you always try to place motives on my comments when it seems to me my only motive is accuracy. As far as SM goes my impression was that he was Canadian. I’m not sure that would prevent him from being listed as a US expert however.

  36. 636
    Jim Eager says:

    No, Mark, McI lives in Canada.

  37. 637
    stevenc says:

    As far as the US government allowing anyone to make themselves an expert reviewer, I have no evidence that this didn’t happen other then the lack of numbers does not support the hypothesis but rather then picturing president Bush deciding who can or can not comment as an expert reviewer I picture some career GS-7 being told to sit there and sift through the names and affiliations that were asked for by the form to decide who should be allowed a password. I guess that’s just the difference in how we think our government works.

  38. 638
    Hank Roberts says:

    stevec replies to each response and pointer by restating the talking point. Eschew.

  39. 639


    ppm is just “parts per million.” For gases, it usually refers to volume, and is more properly abbreviated ppmv.

    CO2 in the atmosphere is presently 387 ppmv. The atmosphere, with a mass of 5.14 x 10^18 kilograms, cannot be multiplied by that fraction to give the mass fraction, however. You would also need to multiply by the ratio of mass of the carbon dioxide molecule (44.0098 AMU) to that of the mean molecule in Earth’s atmosphere (usually about 28.92 depending on how much water vapor is present). There is thus 5.14 x 10^18 x 0.000387 x 44.0098 / 28.92 or 3.03 x 10^15 kilograms of CO2 in the air.

  40. 640
    CM says:

    Igor (#629), thanks for the correction. My apologies to Dr Hantemirov for understating his academic credentials. It was a late night, but I should have checked. I’ll try to correct it if my mistake gets quoted elsewhere.

  41. 641
    CM says:

    Hank (#625), your latest homework help (ouch!) raises a new question that needs clearing up. Why do you suggest that Annex 2 of the IPCC procedures document (on unpublished/non-peer-reviewed sources) is about “opinion letters” from would-be reviewers? Isn’t it about how lead and contributing authors should deal with “industry journals, internal organisational publications, non-peer reviewed reports or working papers of research institutions, proceedings of workshops etc” that they think are relevant to cite in the report? What does this have to do with unsolicited reviews, or even about the review process at all? Does it have any relevance to the review process except (a) that review editors are charged with ensuring consistency in use of such sources across the report and (b) that reviewers may request copies of such sources?

    [editor-we’re going to let this be the last word on this off-topic subject]

  42. 642
    stevenc says:

    And what talking point [edit–that’s enough of this thread]

  43. 643
    Deep Climate says:

    #629 Igor Samoylenko
    I was wondering how someone who had been publishing for that long could be a PhD candidate. DSc makes sense of course.

    When I have a chance I’ll update my post (with hat tip) with the additional information concerning this manuscript. Also, if someone could translate the captions on the charts, I would be much obliged.

    Once again, the post on the Hantemirov “report” (his word) and Yamal results is at:

    P.S. Sorry I asked an OT question before. Mea culpa.

  44. 644
    Mark says:

    Stevenc, may you then strive for such accuracy in all endeavours on this site.

  45. 645
    Phil. Felton says:

    Deep Climate says:
    8 October 2009 at 12:21 PM
    #629 Igor Samoylenko
    I was wondering how someone who had been publishing for that long could be a PhD candidate. DSc makes sense of course.

    I recall from a visit to Moscow that it was a very big deal and one of my colleagues there was about submit his thesis for it. He was very nervous because in the true Russian style the examination was very confrontational (but buddies over vodka afterwards). I remember a similar style with my seminar there although I was fortunate to have the buffer of a translator to slow things down. ;-)

  46. 646
    Cake says:

    Say humans are to blame. How are you going to going to stop people all over the world from using fossil fuels to heat their homes and drive their cars and use their computers to bicker about warming?

    You may be right, but your efforts are futile. Nothing will change. CO2 will continue to increase until supply runs dry. Temperatures will continue to increase regardless of carbon credits or limits on emissions. And there is not a damn thing any of you people here can do about it. Cry and blow your whistles while you feel energetic…but it will not change anything.

  47. 647
    Mark says:

    By not using fossil fuels, Cake. That would be how. It is going to have to happen anyway, when fossil fuels run out. But that will be preceeded by a huge scrabble for resources (see the old Chris Roberts game, Strike Commander)

    But you also forget we are no longer in the stone ages where the only way to get heat is to burn something. This is the 21st Century. We are smart enough to do better.

    And the same complaint can be made about drug addiction or unwanted pregnancies. These problems will NEVER stop.

    But we don’t stop trying to crack down on heroin (no pun intended).

    Do we.

  48. 648
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Cake, You know, the thing I don’t understand about idjits like you is that you refuse to consider what would happen to human civilization when fossil fuels run out even if climate change were not an issue. In effect, what you are saying is that affluence is a temporary condition. Given your extreme myopia, why should we give any weight to what you say.

  49. 649
    Jim Bouldin says:

    CM, Mark P: Glad to help, if in fact I did.

    Mark btw, forgot to mention this foundational ref you might like:
    Cook, E.R., 1987, The decomposition of tree ring series for environmental studies, TRB 47:37- (doesn’t cover RCS, but lays all basic foundations):

  50. 650
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Hey Cake, fatalistic much?