Monday, May 28, 2012

'Oh, that tree-ring data...'

Andrew Montford and Harold Amber have a great post explaining the cherry-picking of tree ring data that was used to fabricate the global warming hoaxers "hockey-stick" graph.

If Briffa and and his fellow scientists had done this in the business world, rather than in the scientific world, they'd be in prison. 


  1. Michael,

    You still don't get it, do you?

    AGW isn't based on reconstruction of preinstrumental global temperatures based on proxy measures or on complex statistical analyses of temperatures from multiple recording sites in the era of instrumental measurements.

    It's based on the known physical properties of greenhouse gases in absorbing infrared radiation and hence retaining heat and causing global warming.

    It's well known that without greenhouse gases and with an albedo of 0.30, with the current distance to the Sun and the solar surface temperature, the average global temperature would be -18 degrees Celcius. This is basic physics, known since the 1830s.

    Arrhenius calculated the expected effects of doubling the CO2 level in 1896. Increasing greenhouse gases will cause increased absorption of infrared radiation and increased retention of heat, and hence will cause global warming. Humans are burning enormous quantities of fossil fuels, which has increased from 1 billion tonnes of carbon in the form of CO2 per year in the mid twentieth century to currently 9 billion tonnes per year, and CO2 levels are increasing at the rate of 2-3 ppmv as CO2 levels have increased from 270 ppmv in the preindustrial age to 390 ppmv now, an increase of around 40%. And the changing isotope composition of atmospheric CO2 reflects that of fossil fuels, which are richer in C12 than C14, so we know that the increasing CO2 levels is due to human burning of fossil fuels.

    This is simple and basic science. Temperature curves are just commentary and irrelevant to AGW. Admittedly, the statistics are difficult for a lay person to understand ... But AGW isn't based on them.

    It's a red herring pointing to the MWP, and claiming that it was warm then, without industrialization, therefore industrialization can't be causing warming now. That's a straw man argument. Even if it was warmer, and it's still disputed, no climatologist claims that greenhouse gases is the only factor affecting climate.

    1. <...CO2 levels are increasing at the rate of 2-3 ppmv...>

      Gee wiz bach, you sound like a broken record!

      You should abandon your scientism because AGW is as big a hoax as Darwinism, unless you prefer living your life with a shutdown mind.

      Reading your constant whining shows how perverse the consequences of atheism can be!

  2. The National Review article starts “Climategate, the 2009 exposure of misconduct at the University of East Anglia, was a terrible blow to the reputation of climatology”.

    “Climategate” was a smear-job based on stolen out of context e-mails, and multiple investigations found no evidence of “misconduct”. The National Review is apparently a rag, no better than Fox News or Rush Limbaugh when it comes to simply lying. It’s a sad that even the most prominent conservative publications have been taken over by the far-right alternate reality.


  3. Facts do not matter to Egnor. His brain is literally impervious to any reason that contradicts his previously-held view. He is the perfect Christian.

    1. Care to discuss the cherry-picking of data and the evasion of FOIA requests for years?

      Why don't you address the actual issues raised in the article.

      Oh... that's why.

    2. You're an idiot, Michael Egnor. A complete dork. Yamal data are about the recent temperature records, for which there is ample support from other sources. The temperature has been measured by many other means, for fuck's sake. There is no doubt about what the recent temperatures were.

      The fact that Egnor is ready to parrot whatever silliness comes from half-educated conservative writers is not exactly surprising. He drinks their Kool Aid without stopping to think for a moment.

    3. Michael,

      Care to address the science of AGW? Most denialists chose to attack the global temperature graphs, whether instrumental or reconstructed on the basis of proxies, thinking that they're visually easy to understand, and if they cast enough doubt on them, then they've cast enough doubt on AGW, and doubt is their aim.

      I prefer to look at other graphs; the graph of the spectrum of light emitted by the Sun with its surface temperature of 6,000 Kelvin (a lot of infrared, visible and ultraviolet light, but maximal in green); the graph of the Sun's spectrum on the surface of the Earth after it has passed through the Earth's atmosphere (most of the ultraviolet blocked by the ozone in the stratosphere, most of the visible light transmitted, certain frequencies of infrared greatly reduced due to greenhouse gases); the spectrum of light emitted by the Earth after it has been absorbed and heated the Earth - all in the infrared band - which greenhouse gases then act to retain a large percentage of causing the Earth to be much warmer, rather than being immediately radiated into space and lost.

      If you doubt the physics of greenhouse gases, then have you ever wondered why it isn't much colder at night and in Winter? The average temperature of the Universe is 2.73 Kelvin, after all. The Sun manages to heat only a minute thickness of the Earth's surface which would be radiated away very quickly if there were no greenhouse gases.

      It's only logic that if humans persist in dumping enormous quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels (around 30 billion tonnes of CO2 per year) then we will cause increased global warming.

      The more 'intelligent' of the denialists agree that global warming is happening, but that it will be good for humans. If you're right, and the MWP was warmer than today, then why wasn't the medieval period paradise for humans, and why did the flowering of European culture start during the Little Ice Age?

      We know that AGW is happening because the troposphere is continuing to warm and the stratosphere is cooling, the smoking gun of greenhouse gases. If the Sun was causing the warming, then the stratosphere would also be warming too.

    4. [Yamal data are about the recent temperature records, for which there is ample support from other sources. The temperature has been measured by many other means, for fuck's sake. There is no doubt about what the recent temperatures were.]

      And the composite tree ring data for the past half-century does not correlate well with instrumental data. So that calls into question the left side of the hockey stick graph, which makes it appear that warming is unprecedented.

      So Briffa cherry-picked the tree ring data to make sure the graph showed a hockey stick. McIntyre ran all of the data-- data that Briffa had previously published that was not cherry-picked, and the hockey stick disappeared.

      This is about cherry-picking data. It is criminal.

      I should also note that the instrumental data is also massaged, extensively. Sites have changed location dramatically since mid-century, with a preferential loss of high-altitude/remote sites (ie colder sites). The heat-island effect also matters. All instrumental data is massaged, as well.

      Face it. The hold thing is marginal science, and some parts of it are obviously fraud.

    5. Michael,

      Face it ... When are you eventually going to face facts and address the science instead of just pandering to your prejudices. The heat island effect has been addressed. Supposed low quality weather stations in which the heat island effect would be expected to be greater correlate well with high quality stations and the correlation persists even on windy days when the heat would be expected to have blown away.

      Another example of your dishonesty is that whenever scientists adjust the data set by deleting a weather station, if they correct the temperature curve by removing its data from previous years and changing the curve, then you accuse them of fraud.

      Temperature curves are difficult to understand for a lay person. You need sophisticated statistics and computer processing. But AGW isn't based on temperature curves or modeling. It's based on the well known physics of greenhouse gases. Address the science, else you're just a crank.

  4. "So Briffa cherry-picked the tree ring data to make sure the graph showed a hockey stick. McIntyre ran all of the data-- data that Briffa had previously published that was not cherry-picked, and the hockey stick disappeared."

    No. You are spewing sheer nonsense. The recent rise in temperatures has been detected by every means available. Removing the Yamal data does nothing to it.

    "Face it. The hold thing is marginal science, and some parts of it are obviously fraud."

    If it were obvious fraud, its perpetrators would be easily convicted. No climate scientist has gone to jail as far as I know. Keep dreaming.

    1. what? tell me the names of scientists convicted for fraud or scientific misconduct...

    2. Moving the goal posts, Domicus? The Economist article does not name any climate scientists convicted for fraud.

      But let's take those cases of scientific fraud that are discussed in the article. We know that Jan Hendrik Schön made up his "discoveries" in condensed matter physics. It happens to be my field of research. I am familiar with Schön's case and observed how his fraud was uncovered in real time. What does this particular case mean? Would you like, on the basis of Schön's actions, to declare the entire field of condensed matter physics illegitimate? I don't think you would be justified in doing so.

      But that's precisely what conservative opponents of climate science and their fans would like to do with climate science. They launch fishing expeditions to find any indication of misconduct by anyone in the field. So far they have not succeeded. And even if they succeed and find one dishonest scientist among thousands, this would not invalidate the fact of global warming. You will lose this battle as you have lost the battle for tobacco.

    3. I put the Economist article to show that the phenomenon is widespread according the same scientists.

      I was asking for names after reading Anonymous saying 'If it were obvious fraud, its perpetrators would be easily convicted'.
      As far as I know scientists who defraud are only sometimes fired up.

    4. Domics,

      You have avoided answering my question. Here it is again.

      Schön's action were clearly fraudulent. He was drummed out of science. He was stripped of his PhD. He is no longer employed in physics research. That's as clear a case of misconduct as the conservatives can hope to find. Does that discredit the entire field of condensed matter physics? Will you throw out your laptop and iPad because they are based on "fraudulent science?"

      Bonus question: who turned up Schön's fraud?
      (a) Andrew Breitbart.
      (b) Michelle Malkin.
      (c) Fox News.
      (d) His science colleagues.

    5. AGW is not as the condensed matter physics. AGW is not a scientific field but a scientific theory. If AGW were a fact nobody would need to forge a research.

    6. Weak tea, Domics. If you insist, let's compare AGW with high-temperature superconductivity (a subject on which Schön worked). Does his fraud invalidate other findings in that area? Which ones?

  5. Schön was not trying to prove the existence of the high-temperature superconductivity (we know that there are such materials) but the existence of his own theory of single-molecule semiconductors. If 'single-molecule semiconductors' are a fraud this does not mean that the others superconductive materials are a fraud too.
    But in the AGW scientist are trying to prove the existence of the same AGW. There is not the AGW of a scientist and a different AGW for an other.