Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Briffa "hockeystick" was based on a SINGLE TREE!

A full examination of the data chosen by the Warmists themselves shows that we live in an era of exceptional temperature stability. There has been NO global warming over the last 2,000 years -- including the 20th century.

I originally reported Steve McIntyre's demolition of the Briffa "hockeystick" on Sept. 28 but I am still catching up with some details: It seems that Briffa's Russian trees are even more unsatisfactory proof of anything than Michael Mann's Bristlecone pines. Briffa's British "Hockeystick" graph is just as deceitful as Mann's American one.

Instead of the normal statistical practice of disregarding outliers (grossly atypical cases), Keith Briffa built his entire global temperature reconstruction on one! He used just one atypical Russian tree as his basis for describing 2000 years of world climate history! He is a disgrace to science, a disgrace to Britain's Met office and (probably) a disgrace to Malta. Anthony Watts has read Briffa's lame reply to Steve McIntyre and rebuts it as follows:
1. Plotting the entire Hantemirov and Shiyatov data set, as I’ve done here, shows it to be almost flat not only in the late 20th century, but through much of its period.

(Larger graph here)

How do you explain why your small set of 10 trees shows a late 20th century spike while the majority of Hantemirov and Shiyatov data does not? You write in your rebuttal: “He offers no justification for excluding the original data; and in one version of the chronology where he retains them, he appears to give them inappropriate low weights.”

Justify your own method of selecting 10 trees out of a much larger data set. You’ve failed to do that. That’s the million dollar question.

Briffa Writes: “My application of the Regional Curve Standardisation method to these same data was intended to better represent the multi-decadal to centennial growth variations necessary to infer the longer-term variability in average summer temperatures in the Yamal region: to provide a direct comparison with the chronology produced by Hantemirov and Shiyatov.“

OK Fair enough, but why not do it for the entire data set, why only a small subset?

2. It appears that your results are heavily influenced by a single tree, as Steve McIntyre has just demonstrated here.

10 CRU trees ending in 1990. Age-adjusted index

As McIntyre points out: “YAD061 reaches 8 sigma and is the most influential tree in the world.”

Seems like an outlier to me when you have one tree that can skew the entire climate record. Explain yourself on why you failed to catch this.

3. Why the hell did you wait 10 years to release the data? You did yourself no favors by deferring reasonable requests to archive data to enable replication. It was only when you became backed into a corner by The Royal Society that you made the data available. Your delays and roadblocks (such as providing an antique data format of the punched card era), plus refusing to provide metadata says more about your integrity than the data itself. Your actions make it appear that you did not want to release the data at all. Your actions are not consistent with the actions of the vast majority of scientists worldwide when asked for data for replication purposes. Making data available on paper publication for replication is the basis of proper science, which is why The Royal Society called you to task.

Yet while it takes years to produce your data despite repeated requests, you can mount a response to Steve McIntyre’s findings on that data in a couple of days, through illness even.

Do I believe Dr. Keith Briffa? No.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Below is the "unmassaged" temperature record as seen in Russian tree rings (From here). It is as flat as a tack. Yet Briffa published many papers in learned journals over the years claiming the contrary.

He has dragged the name of the Climatic Research Unit (at the University of East Anglia) through the mud. Will CRU fire him? We will see. They are all in pretty deep there. The journals that have published Briffa's papers should certainly withdraw them if they have any respect for their own good name. It is a rarity for a journal to withdraw an article. It is normally done only where there is a case of complete fraud. This is such an case.

I reproduce the graph above simply to show Briffa's dishonesty. Using tree rings to represent temperature is very dubious. Temperature is only one influence on tree rings. Actual thermometer data does however go back 350 years in central England and it shows the 20th century average temperature to be a touch COOLER than the pre-industrial 18th century. So, on that much firmer basis, human industrial activity has had NO effect on temperature.

For all we know, however, central England may be as atypical as Briffa's tree. It is claims that "the debate is over" that are the absurdity. It was never true and there is now no trace of truth in it. We may in fact NEVER have a precise reconstruction of past global temperatures. And even the concept of a global temperature may not make much sense, considering that one place on the globe may be unusually warm while another is unusually cool.

Given that onomastics has long been a hobby of mine (No. Onomastics has nothing to do with the sin of Onan) I would be interested to hear if anyone knows the meaning of the surname Briffa. It is a Maltese name as far as I know so if you know any Maltese, ask them.


Let us start from the data. The plot of the mean global temperature anomaly in deg C for the data from the Hadley Centre from year 1850 to 2008 is shown below.

Figure 1. Mean global temperature anomaly in deg C for data from the Hadley Centre

The above graph shows a linear warming trend line given by the following equation.

Linear Warming Component of Anomaly in deg C = 0.44(Year-1850)/100 - 0.52

Superimposed on this linear warming component of mean global temperature anomaly (linear anomaly), there is an oscillating component of the mean global temperature anomaly (oscillating anomaly) that moves up and down about the linear anomaly line given by the equation:

Oscillating Anomaly = Anomaly - Linear Anomaly.

Now, the question that must be answered is that after significant increase in human emission of CO2, do the temperature anomaly data show a shift in mean global temperatures in the last century?

In order to answer this question, let us address the following three questions:

1. How does the linear warming in the last century of 0.44 deg C/100 years, shown above, compare with the linear warming two centuries ago?

2. Is the oscillating anomaly in the last century, after widespread use of fossil fuels, unusual?

3. What is the current trend in the mean global temperature anomaly?

Global cooling by 0.71 deg C from 1878 to 1911, for 33 years.

Global warming by 0.53 deg C from 1911 to 1944, for 33 years.

Global cooling by 0.48 deg C from 1944 to 1976, for 32 years.

Global warming by 0.67 deg C from 1976 to 1998, for 22 years.

It was unfortunate that the maximum of the oscillating anomaly occurred in 1998 near the end of the last century. This was just a coincidence. At the end of the last century, if the oscillating anomaly had been at its minimum, as in 1911 with an oscillating anomaly of -0.33 deg C, there would not have been any significant change in mean global temperature (0.44 - 0.33 = +0.11 deg C) in the last century.

Science is about the data. Science is not about consensus or authority. The linear global warming of the last century was similar to that of two centuries ago. CO2 driven global warming is not supported by the data.

Much more HERE

To rebut Gore, filmmakers go grassroots

Unable to get Hollywood studio backing for their new documentary, "Not Evil Just Wrong" - an answer to Al Gore's climate-change lecture "An Inconvenient Truth" - husband-and-wife filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have taken matters into their own hands.

Hoping to tap the surge of populist anger and activism on the right, they are bypassing traditional distribution avenues and bringing their film directly to motivated audiences through "cinematic tea parties," their term for the patchwork of grass-roots screenings in living rooms, campus auditoriums and rented theaters across the country that they have scheduled for Oct. 18.

Mr. McAleer and Ms. McElhinney are part of a new breed of guerrilla documentarians across the political spectrum. Taking advantage of cheaper, more accessible video-production technology and innovative, Internet-based direct marketing and distribution techniques, they are assembling new audiences for their films from the ground up - without the studio middlemen.

The average documentary is never seen by audiences outside of film festivals: Because of advertising, theater rentals and print costs, the price of putting movies in front of audiences across the country is prohibitive, and documentaries in particular are widely viewed as box-office poison. Even the exception to the rule, Michael Moore, is coming to be seen as a one-hit wonder. His most recent film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," tanked at the box office when it hit wide release, and his previous release, "Sicko," failed to gross his reported salary of $25 million.

"If you don't have $10 million, if you don't have a studio behind you or a massive budget behind you, it just can't be done," Mr. McAleer said of a wide release. It doesn't help that the sort of picture that he and his wife are selling - an expose of the negative consequences of drastic carbon reduction that questions the conventional wisdom regarding climate change - is political anathema to most of Hollywood. "No big studio would come behind us, even though the film has very high production values," Mr. McAleer said.

Effectively denied a theatrical release, the filmmakers have chosen a more direct approach: cinematic tea parties. The filmmakers have offered the organizers of the screening with the highest attendance a trip to their native Ireland. A $500 prize is awarded for the screening with the "most original" theme. Visitors to their Web site can pick up single DVDs for $19.99 or "premiere party packs" for $10 more; the party packs will include a poster, invitations and a piece of red carpet.

Mr. McAleer and Ms. McElhinney have experience with this sort of event: More than 100,000 copies of their previous feature, "Mine Your Own Business," were shipped through direct sales.... Mr. McAleer and Ms. McElhinney have taken the more direct approach in spreading the word about "Not Evil." "We're doing direct mailing, we're sending out lots of e-mails, we're doing lots of social networking," said Ms. McElhinney. "We're reaching out to groups around the country that feel that this is an important story, and we're asking them to help in a kind of grass-roots effort as well."

The directors hope those grass-roots efforts will lead to a total audience reaching the six figures at the premiere parties on Oct. 18. One party is being hosted by Casey Jo Cooper, a student at the University of Central Florida. Her premiere will feature "paparazzi" taking pictures while bouncers ensure those in attendance are "VIPs." The dress will be formal, and audiences will arrive on a red carpet.

Oregon State University will host another of the premiere parties. After seeing "Not Evil Just Wrong" at a conference in August, chemistry professor Nick Drapela thought it was imperative for those on his campus to check out the picture. "Seven years ago, I was teaching global-warming theory to my students," he said, "and there are no facts that substantiate the theory. There are a lot of things that are said, and there are a lot of models, but there are no facts."

After talking with the directors, Mr. Drapela offered to host a screening and began working with student Will Rogers to make that happen. "We're renting one of the auditoriums, and it holds at least 500-some people," said Mr. Rogers, executive director of the Liberty, a libertarian student-run newspaper at Oregon State. "I would hope for 150 people, but it depends on what sort of advertising we get."


Three Decades Of Global Cooling

As a Colorado Rockies playoff game is snowed out, scientists report that Arctic sea ice is thickening and Antarctic snow melt is the lowest in three decades. Whatever happened to global warming?

Al Gore wasn't there to throw out the first snowball, er, baseball, so he might not have noticed that Saturday's playoff game between the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies was snowed out — in early October. The field should have been snow-free just as the North Pole was to be ice-free this year.

It seems that ice at both poles hasn't been paying attention to the computer models. The National Snow and Ice Data Center released its summary of summer sea-ice conditions in the Arctic last week and reported a substantial expansion of "second-year ice" — ice thick enough to have persisted through two summers of seasonal melting.

According to the NSIDC, second-year ice this summer made up 32% of the total ice cover on the Arctic Ocean, compared with 21% in 2007 and 9% in 2008. Clearly, Arctic sea ice is not following the consensus touted by Gore and the warm-mongers.

This news coincides with a finding published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters last month by Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. He reported that ice melt on Antarctica was the lowest in three decades during the ice-melt season.

Each year, millions of square miles of sea ice melt and refreeze. The amount varies from season to season. Despite pictures taken in summer of floating polar bears, data reported by the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center at the beginning of this year showed global sea ice levels the same as they were in 1979, when satellite observations began.

At the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by the Heartland Institute, the keynote speaker, Dr. Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute and the University of Virginia, debunked claims of "unprecedented" melting of Arctic ice. He showed how Arctic temperatures were warmer during the 1930s and that most of Antarctica is indeed cooling.

At the other end of the earth, we are told the Larsen B ice shelf on the western side of Antarctica is collapsing. That part is warming and has been for decades. But it comprises just 2% of the continent. The rest of the continent is cooling.

A report prepared by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research for last April's meeting of the Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington notes that the South Pole has in fact shown "significant cooling in recent decades."


Al Gore's First (and Probably Last) Q&A

Gore looked quite shaken by a critical question --JR

Before President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize, the real signal that the Norwegian Nobel committee had become politicized was its 2007 prize to Al Gore, largely for his global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth."

For a public figure, Mr. Gore has been strangely reluctant to answer questions or debate the more controversial parts of his work. But over the weekend, he deigned to take a few questions during a meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Madison, Wisconsin.

Irish documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer was in the line. A former Financial Times journalist, his new film, "Not Evil, Just Wrong," is a direct refutation of Mr. Gore's thesis and warns that rushing to judgment in combating climate change would threaten the world's poor. When his turn came, Mr. McAleer asked Mr. Gore about a court case in Britain in which a parent had objected to "An Inconvenient Truth" being shown to British schoolchildren because it was largely propaganda, not science.

Mr. Gore swatted away the question by claiming the judge had found in favor of his film. He also briefly addressed one of the objections to his film by scoffing at claims that polar bears weren't an endangered species. Mr. McAleer tried to follow up by pointing out that polar bear populations were increasing, but his microphone was quickly cut off. Organizers insisted that several other people were waiting with questions and they had to move on.

In fact, Mr. Gore didn't answer Mr. McAleer's question and was wrong on the facts. The British court found that An Inconvenient Truth "is a political film" riddled with scientific errors. The judge also held that requiring the film to be shown in schools would be a violation of law, unless accompanied by "guidance" pointing out its errors. The judge concluded that the claimant who objected to the film "substantially won this case by virtue of my finding that, but for the new guidance note, the film would have been distributed in breach of sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act."

As for polar bears, Mr. McAleer was correct: Surveys show their numbers are increasing.

Mr. McAleer, whose film premiers this weekend, says he's more disappointed in the environmental journalists who give Mr. Gore cover than in the former vice president. Mr. Gore is simply doing what any propagandist with a weak case would do -- avoiding serious debate or exchange. To quote the late William F. Buckley, "There is a reason that baloney rejects the grinder."


Greenie garbage tyranny in Britain

£1,000 fine for putting any food scraps in the dustbin as 'zero waste' policy could lead up to five-bin headache

Householders could be fined £1,000 if they throw food scraps and potato peelings into the dustbin under a Government 'zero waste' policy. They will be forced to sift through their rubbish for anything that can be recycled, reused, rotted or burnt for electricity. The crackdown will create so much recyclable material that homes could be given five wheelie bins and waste boxes to cope.

The controversial zero waste policy - part of the Government's drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions - will be unveiled tomorrow by Environment Minister Hilary Benn. The plans are due to be outlined at a 'waste summit' aimed at finding new ways to halve the 62million tons of rubbish sent to landfill each year. Ministers will discuss the issue with councils, businesses and waste experts.

Yesterday, Mr Benn said the Government would launch a consultation early next year into banning food, cans, paper and glass from landfill. Homes that persistently break the rules by putting food waste in the ordinary dustbin could face fines of £1,000 or more. 'One that we are going to consult on around the turn of the year is banning certain things from going into landfill,' he told the Politics Show on BBC1. 'Because does it make sense to put food into landfill? No it doesn't.' By 2020, all councils will be forced to offer a full recycling service, he said.

But the plans were condemned by critics. Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, said: 'Voters are sceptical about recycling policy - particularly when they see recyclables being thrown on the same bins as landfill waste. 'The Government should sort out the current recycling policy before starting on new barmy ideas. 'The fact that food waste could be banned from landfill - effectively treating it as a kind of toxic waste - is a recipe for disaster.'

Under the Government's zero waste strategy, due to be phased in over the next few years, only items that have 'absolutely no other use' would be allowed to be buried. Slop buckets - already used to collect food scraps in millions of homes - would be extended across the whole country, adding another bin to the three or four in use in parts of the UK. Councils that collect paper, plastic, glass and cans in one bin will be encouraged to give homes more bins to reduce contamination and reduce the amount of recyclable waste that ends up being burnt or thrown onto rubbish tips.

Mr Benn also wants a crackdown on food packaging in shops. He will urge businesses to remove cellophane from vegetables and fruit and encourage people to bring jars to shops for top ups of coffee. He is also expected to draw up plans to generate electricity from waste. Rotting food releases methane - a potent greenhouse gas which can be burnt to create electricity. The Government will also announce six pilot schemes to cut waste and boost recycling.

Councils taking part in the experiment - in Suffolk, Oxfordshire, London and Shropshire - will be set tough recycling targets. A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: 'We won't be telling them what to do, but the idea is to encourage them to come up with innovative ideas.'

Some councils are already close to handing out five wheelie bins and recycling boxes. In the North London borough of Brent, householders face fines of up to £1,000 if they don't recycle. Householders are given a standard black dustbin for ordinary waste, a green compost bin for garden waste, vegetable peelings and cardboard and a green box for 12 types of recyclable. A fourth bin will be needed for kitchen slops to generate renewable energy from methane.

Earlier this year, the Daily Mail highlighted how the rise of wheelie bins is blighting British streets and homes and fuelling arson attacks. The Not in Our Front Yard campaign won the backing of English Heritage boss Simon Thurley, the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, the TaxPayers' Alliance and the National Pensioners' Convention.



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Anonymous said...

Tree rings? Wait a second. Temperature effects trees...uh...somewhat, I guess. Which way might depend on the species. It's not like heat makes them grow faster because heat makes chemistry go faster! They are living organisms.

But what DOES make trees grow faster, in a very direct manner?

Fertilizer in the form of CO2!

So if CO2 spikes in the modern era, as we know it indeed does, then tree rings will suddenly start going crazy.

So you would have to subtract out the effect of CO2 on tree growth if you are ever to use tree rings to compare old temperatures with modern era ones.

To measure the plant fertilizing effect of CO2 and then call that signal "temperature" is very odd indeed!

Trees are PLANTS!! You can't use trees, thus, to measure the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere and the oceans since trees themselves respond to CO2. Right?

What else could you measure besides CO2 itself that is so utterly and completely a measure *of* CO2 itself?!

I have heard that tree rings are not just temperature proxies, but rely also on rainfall. Yeah, whatever. In the PAST, fine. But if the UPTURN is made to also rely on tree rings and the theory is that that upturn is due to plant fertilizer, then it becomes comical.

Just substitute "CO2" with "plant food" to make claims seem quite silly:

"Due to rising amounts of atmospheric plant food, tree rings have been getting larger each year. This means temperature is going up."


John A said...

"'zero waste' policy could lead up to five-bin headache"

Optimist. Last year there was an article about a Japanese vilage that went with "zero" waste. Once a week residents take their trash to the town centre and sort it into over 100 bins. True, there are such things as a bin solely for used razor blades, but this is the way such nonsense is trending.