Thursday, October 25, 2018

Manufacturing the finest hockey sticks since 1998

Dr. Michael Mann - he of climate "Hockey Stick" fame - is a scientific fraud.  Worse, he's a one-trick pony: all his frauds are done exactly the same way. He's not even a good scientific fraud as all of his hockey stick games are busted the exact same way.

For those of you who have not been following along at home, I originally posted about this ten years ago in a post called Scientific Fraud:
Orson Scott Card discussed this some time ago.
What's crucial is that Steve now understands why the "censored" data sets are smaller than the ones Mann used. The full source data includes those misleading results that shouldn't have been used. But the "censored" data sets leave it out.
This means that Mann knew exactly what he was doing. This was not an accident. Mann ran the program on the data without the misleading numbers, and then he ran it with the misleading numbers. What he published was the results that made his ideological case. 
This is background to the "Jesus Paper" post. It's more accessible (not much discussion of statistics, for example), and more entertaining, but both describe the same fraud. I'd like to think that this is an isolated incident, but it's not.
I didn't have any idea just how "not isolated" this was.  First, a little background.  1998 saw the publication of a blockbuster scientific paper, one that showed that a climate that had been stable for a thousand years had suddenly begun to overheat.  Dr. Mann was the lead author, and this is the famous image from the article:

This picture was not only used in Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth", it was sent to every household in Canada by the Canadian Government.

As my post from 2008 says, it was a fraud, and Mann knew it was a fraud.  But he's done it twice more since then.  I'd like to explain how so you see just how deep the rot goes.

The picture above does not rely on thermometer data, since the thermometer wasn't invented until the 17th century.  Instead, it is proxy temperate data, relying on measurements of other things that are related to temperature: ice cores, corals, and most especially tree rings.  You can get more background on this here.

The problem is that trees are not thermometers.  While a wide ring may mean that the temperature was warm, it may mean other things - more rainfall after a period of drought, more sunlight after a taller tree in the forest fell, etc.  You can get a lot more on this subject (and how it is abused) here.  Yes, I've been writing about this for a long time.

One thing that effects tree ring proxies is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Some species of trees are effected more than others by this.  It has been well known for decades (really since the 1980s) that bristlecone pine trees use atmospheric carbon dioxide as fertilizer and so cores from these trees can't be used accurately as temperature proxies.  Well guess what Mann did in his 1998 paper?

Mann got busted by a fellow named Steve McIntyre, who has busted each of Mann's papers.  He has a must-read article that slices the guts out of Mann's old and new papers.  Here's the bit about the 1998 deception:
Mann had, of course, done a principal components analysis of his North American tree ring network withoutstripbark bristlecones – an analysis not reported in his articles, but which could be established through reverse engineering of his now notorious CENSORED directory – see CA post here. ) These non-descript PCs further illustrate the non-HSness of the Mann et al 1998 North American tree ring network without strip bark bristlecones.
Figure 2. Plot of five principal components in MBH98 CENSORED directory i.e. without Graybill stripbark chronologies, mainly from bristlecones, but a couple of limber pines. 

Do you see a hockey stick?  I don't.  Mann had to add the bristlecone pine proxies to get the graph at the top of this post.  He had two data files, one of which was labeled CENSORED, that did not include the pines.  He published the other one.  So he knew what he was doing here.  Read the links above for a lot on the old 1998 paper.

One fallout from this was that the National Academy of Sciences had a panel look into this, and in 2006 said ix-nay on the istlecone pine-bray.  The science, you might say, is settled on this.

Anyway, Mann has a new paper out, which - surprise! - shows a hockey stick.  And guess what?  Mann manufactured the hockey stick the exact same way that he did twice before:
The PAGES (2017) North American network consists entirely of tree rings. Climate Audit readers will recall the unique role of North American stripbark bristlecone chronologies in Mann et al 1998 and Mann et al 2008 (and in the majority of IPCC multiproxy reconstructions).  In today’s post, I’ll parse the PAGES2K North American tree ring networks in both PAGES (2013) and PAGES (2017) from two aspects:
  • even though PAGES (2013) was held out as the product of superb quality control, more than 80% of the North American tree ring proxies of PAGES (2013) were rejected in 2017, replaced by an almost exactly equal number of tree ring series, the majority of which date back to the early 1990s and which would have been available not just to PAGES (2013), but Mann et al 2008 and even Mann et al 1998;
  • the one constant in these large networks are the stripbark bristlecone/foxtail chronologies criticized at Climate Audit since its inception. All 20(!) stripbark chronologies isolated by Mann’s CENSORED directory re-appear not only in Mann et al (2008), but in PAGES (2013). In effect, the paleoclimate community, in apparent solidarity with Mann, ostentatiously flouted the 2006 NAS Panel recommendation to “avoid” stripbark chronologies in temperature reconstructions. In both PAGES (2013) and PAGES (2017), despite ferocious data mining, just as in Mann et al 1998, there is no Hockey Stick shape without the series in Mann’s CENSORED directory. [red bold text is my emphasis - Borepatch]
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Bristlecone pine proxies are shown in red; other proxies are shown in blue, green, and yellow here.

Other than the red bristlecone pines, so you see any hockey stick?  I don't.  Remember, everyone knows that you don't use those as temperature proxies because (duh!) the NAS said they weren't fit for purpose that way.

And this was peer reviewed (so much for peer review, I guess) and published in Nature magazine - one of the top scientific journals (so much for scientific journals, I guess).

We hear that there is consensus among scientists that the climate is dramatically warming and we all have to pay trillions of dollars to the UN because of this (no, I'm not making this up).  Does that scientific consensus include the conclusion that it's just dandy to ignore the National Academy of Science guidelines on bristlecone pine as a temperature proxy?  If yes, then just what do we mean by the term "science"?  If no, then how did this pass peer review and get published in Nature?  For like, the third time?  What else has gotten past peer review that is now part of the "consensus" that is based on a crock of hooie?

Actually, to ask these questions is to answer them, especially the last.  The conclusion - if you actually look at the underlying science - is that Climate Science as practiced today is a swamp of fraud.  Don't believe me?  Here's another post from the archives: NASA Scientists: 'We're not allowed to publish papers that go against the 'scientific consensus'".

UPDATE 25 October 2018 11:26: A quick dig through my archives shows that I'm not the only one who has been writing about this, or using the term "corrupt".  Boy, howdy.


MaddMedic said...

Dammit!! I thought this was going to be about hockey sticks, Christian Brothers type hockey sticks!! I am Minnesotan, we ice skate, play hockey or ice fish 6 months of the year....At least we lead you Southerners to believe that!!

ProudHillbilly said...

Do you have a copy of the images of what they say Africa's temps are as opposed to where they actually have data? I thought you did a blog on it but didn't find it when I looked through your old ones.

Borepatch said...

ProudHillbilly, I don't remember posting much (or maybe ever) about temps in Africa - the continent has had very sparse coverage by weather stations. I do remember posting about a controversy in New Zealand 8 or 9 years ago.

Can you help me narrow down what you're looking for?

ProudHillbilly said...

Hm. I know I saw it somewhere over the last year or so...

Basically, there was a map of supposed temps in Africa to show HOTTEST EVAH! But someone found the info to create a similar map showing the data points used, which showed that the only data available is in the very north and very south of the continent. I spent years processing data - a different kind of data, true, but still using data points. It's not valid to do it as one set when the clusters are disconnected like that. It introduces so much error that it invalidates it all. Whoever published the HOT! map should have been beaten with a stick.