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Mann Climate Tree Ring Studies Falsified Data ^ | 9/29/2009 | Joanne Nova

Posted on 09/30/2009 9:48:08 AM PDT by brookwood

A big news day. It appears Steve McIntyre (volunteer unpaid auditor of Big-Government-Science) has killed the Hockey Stick a second time.

The details are on the last three days of Steve McIntyre’s site Climate Audit, and summed up beautifully on Watts Up. The sheer effrontery and gall appears to be breathtaking.

The Briffa temperature graphs have been widely cited as evidence by the IPCC, yet it appears they were based on a very carefully selected set of data, so select, that the shape of the graph would have been totally transformed if the rest of the data had been included.

Kieth Briffa used 12 samples to arrive at his version of the hockey stick and refused to provide his data for years. When McIntyre finally got hold of it, and looked at the 34 samples that Briffa left out of his graphs, a stark message was displayed. McIntyre describes it today as one of the most disquieting images he’s ever presented.

Background Since 1995 Kieth Briffa has been publishing graphs about temperature of the last thousand years. Like Michael Manns’ famous (and discredited) Hockey Stick graph, Briffa’s graphs were based on tree rings and appeared to show dramatic evidence that the current climate was extraordinarily warm compared to previous years. They were used in the infamous spagetti plots, and the IPCC 3rd Assessment Report, and recycled in other publications giving the impression they had been replicated. His work has even made it into school resources (Cimate Discovery, p4). His publications since 2000 are listed here.

Unaudited science Suspiciously Briffa refused repeated requests to provide the Yamal data that his analysis was based on (something about the data belonging to the Russians). As Steve McIntyre points out, this kind of data should be archived and freely available after any peer reviewed paper is published.

Last year Briffa published a paper in a journal (Philosophical Transactions of Biology, the Royal Society) that did maintain basic standards (after being prodded) and a few days ago McIntyre noticed the data was finally up. This data had been used in papers going back as far as 2000. (And no one thought to politely inform McIntyre that the information he’d requested for years was now available?)

Hiding data in science is equivalent to a company issuing it’s annual report and telling the auditors that the receipts are commercial in confidence and they would just have to trust them. No court of law would accept that, yet at the “top” levels of science, papers have been allowed to sit as show-pieces for years without any chance that anyone could seriously verify their findings. In science, getting the stamp of Peer Review has become like a free pass to “credibility”.

Science is broken

So much for the repeat claims that peer review is a “rigorous process”. Those who keep telling us we have to “listen to the experts” and who put so much stock in a peer reviewed paper have been left hanging out to dry. Even if Briffa has a reason to exclude 2/3rds of the samples and somehow it's just a coincidence that the ignored data were from slower growing trees, nothing changes the fact that he didn't mention that in the paper, and nor, damningly, did he provide the data. It only takes a sentence to say (for example) “ABC tree chronologies excluded due to artificial herbicide damage” and it only takes a few minutes to email a data file.

Now we know why he might not have been so forthcoming with the data.

If all the tree rings are combined, the graph looks like this below. (I’ve added the black thick line to the original to make the merged data stand out). Obviously today is not as warm as things were 1000 years ago (at least not in far north Russia), and it’s also clear things have been warming since 1800 in Yamal. (image here)

Here’s a map to help put places to the names. These are the four sites mentioned as sources of the tree ring data. Yamal and Taymir are roughly 400 km apart.

In the mid 1990's the Polar Urals were the place to be for interesting tree rings, but then as the data got updated and yielded a medieval warm period that Team AGW preferred to ignore, they moved their focus to the Yamal Peninsula. There was plenty of data to pick from, but that’s the point. They chose 10 data sets from 1990, and only 5 post 1995. Which seems curious as presumably there is no shortage of 20 year old trees on the Yamal Peninsula. As Ross McKitrick notes, a small sample may have been passable, but it appears that these trees were not selected randomly.

McKitrick expands:

Thus the key ingredient in a lot of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series (red line above) depends on the influence of a thin subsample of post-1990 chronologies and the exclusion of the (much larger) collection of readily-available Schweingruber data for the same area.

Honest scientists who believe in there is a crisis in carbon must surely be starting to ask questions about what's going on with their colleagues. If the evidence is so strong, so undeniable; if the warming recently has been so unprecedented, why won't people offer their data up freely so that science can progress as fast as possible? When is deluding the public, other scientists and our elected representatives ever a useful thing to do? People have invested money and careers, governments have paid millions for reports, and billions for research; and companies have planned years ahead, all partly based on the Hockey Stick Graph.

If the data had been archived immediately for the public, the world could have had access to better information for nearly a

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agw; climatechange; globalwarming; scam; treerings
Astounding evidence of junk science.
1 posted on 09/30/2009 9:48:09 AM PDT by brookwood
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To: brookwood; rdl6989; Little Bill; IrishCatholic; Normandy; According2RecentPollsAirIsGood; ...

Beam me to Planet Gore !

2 posted on 09/30/2009 9:49:36 AM PDT by steelyourfaith (Limit all U.S. politicians to two terms: One in office and one in prison!)
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To: cogitator; Old Professer

Ping of interest.

3 posted on 09/30/2009 9:52:33 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (Liberals have an inability to value good character or to desire it for themselves.)
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To: brookwood

This isn’t even “junk science”. It’s outright fraud!.........................

4 posted on 09/30/2009 10:01:34 AM PDT by Red Badger (The Zero has more airtime than Michael Jordan...........)
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To: brookwood

Scientists have been aware of this problem for decades.

It’s only government and the media who refused to acknowledge it.

5 posted on 09/30/2009 10:04:27 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: brookwood

Go Steve, GO!!!

he’s getting a little play:

How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie

6 posted on 09/30/2009 10:05:39 AM PDT by Bulwinkle (Alec, a.k.a Daffy Duck)
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To: brookwood

Some page Barbie Boxer and John effin Kerry so they can pull their bill!!

I KNOW they wouldn’t want to proceede now.....


7 posted on 09/30/2009 10:06:38 AM PDT by Adder (Proudly ignoring Zero since 1-20-09!)
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To: brookwood

I’ve been following this and waiting for Joe Romm to weigh in with his ‘stupid skeptics’ take; the issue is moot at this point having been filed under ‘old news.’

The focus now is on the 95% excess CO2 being stored in the oceans claimed by NASA and NOAA (in conflict with the latest 1997 carbon cycle diagram) published by government researchers and being used as the ‘pent-up’ warming soon to burst upon the climate in the next 15 years.

You notice we just had two damaging earthquakes not even a month after the UK Met Office warned of such events resulting from the recently discovered ‘Runaway Melting” didn’t you?

And don’t forget the 300 Phillipine extreme weather deaths from the same typhoon about to destroy the whole eastern coast of Vietnam, the list of currently observed damage from climate change grows by the day — who cares about a few chicken scratches on a couple of scraps of dead tree byproduct?

8 posted on 09/30/2009 10:09:38 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Bulwinkle

Go to climate progress and listen (read) to his take on this heresy, he handles that issue through CO13/CO12 ratios.

All that need be known can be divined from perfect tree-ring samples.

Just like fingerprints.

9 posted on 09/30/2009 10:13:50 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: brookwood

“Sep 24, 2009
Opinion: The Dog Ate Global Warming

By Patrick J. Michaels

Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr. (and Anthony Watts), many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6 +/- 0.2C in the 20th century.

Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/-” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.

Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all, saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very vague language.

It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by 50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).

Enter the dog that ate global warming.

Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:

Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.

The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.

If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall - whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.”

10 posted on 09/30/2009 10:38:39 AM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: brookwood

Yep...more coverage:

Treemometers: A new scientific scandal

By Andrew Orlowski • Posted in Environment, 29th September 2009 16:03 GMT

11 posted on 09/30/2009 10:41:15 AM PDT by Bulwinkle (Alec, a.k.a Daffy Duck)
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To: brookwood

Ping for later.

12 posted on 09/30/2009 10:50:44 AM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough!)
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To: aflaak


13 posted on 09/30/2009 10:56:17 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 ("A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom." - Ayn Rand)
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