Okay ... here I am with a proper response. Hold on for a bumpy ride, L2.
Leeuwenhoek2 wrote: ↑
Sat May 05, 2018 9:53 am
A pretty good report of the so-called "Hockey Stick" Graph
You clarified that you are referring to this, so I will put it in its proper place:
Two Canadian researchers who found serious flaws in the “hockey stick” study’s data and methodology disputed Mann’s characterization of the graph’s legacy.
“For everyone else, the debate was about data and statistical methods,” Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at the University of Guelph in Canada.
“For Mann, judging by his rant, it was all a giant political conspiracy against him and his heroic crusade to save the planet. He still won’t acknowledge the errors in his work,” said McKitrick who co-authored a 2003 study with mining executive Steven McIntyre that challenged Mann’s work.
The Canadians’ 2003 study showed the “hockey stick” curve “is primarily an artifact of poor data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components.” When the data was corrected it showed a warm period in the 15th century that exceeds the warmth of the 20th century.
[I'd tone down that last sentence. I think it was shown that it is very plausible, perhaps more plausible, to reach a conclusion the opposite of Mann's -- that part of the 15th century was warmer than the 20th century. ]
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/30/ ... n-dispute/
It is indeed a "pretty good report" if - but only if - you're looking for a report which casts as much doubt as possible on climate science without actually lying. In fact, almost the only outright lie in it is the title, "20 Years Later, The ‘Hockey Stick’ Graph Behind Waves Of Climate Alarmism Is Still In Dispute."
The original Hockey Stick paper was never seriously disputed by anyone with good climate science credentials. It was good science to begin with - it pretty well had to be, to be accepted for Nature
- and Mann and others quickly extended it to make it even better. By now, the general shape of the hockey stick is unchanged although its 'handle' (the earliest part of the graph) is far longer.
Mann's own account of the paper's reception is far more honest than Watts' account which you (L2) commend. It's here - https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... r-message/
- and begins:
Mann wrote:Two decades ago this week a pair of colleagues and I published the original “hockey stick” graph in Nature, which happened to coincide with the Earth Day 1998 observances. The graph showed Earth’s temperature, relatively stable for 500 years, had spiked upward during the 20th century. A year later we would extend the graph back in time to A.D. 1000, demonstrating this rise was unprecedented over at least the past millennium—as far back as we could go with the data we had.
It's worth reading in full.
L2 wrote:It was 20 years ago, climate scientist Michael Mann published his famous “hockey stick” graph that he says “galvanized climate action” by showing unprecedented global warming.
A later version of the graph was featured prominently by the IPCC in it's 3rd assessment report and press conferences. The IPCC report and the heavy "marketing" of the hockey stick by the IPCC and member governments seemed to galvanized scientists to take another look at the IPCC and it's standards and procedures for creating their climate assessments reports. The latest report, AR5, is much better for it IMO.
As Gavin Schmidt said on Real Climate - here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... tructions/
- "What makes science different from politics? ... the difference is that with time scientists can actually make progress on problems."
That particular blog post takes the story forward to 2008 ...
Schmidt wrote:What makes science different from politics?
That’s not the start of a joke, but it is a good jumping off point for a discussion of the latest publication on paleo-reconstructions of the last couple of millennia. As has been relatively widely reported, Mike Mann and colleagues (including Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes) have a new paper out in PNAS with an update of their previous work. And this is where the question posed above comes in: the difference is that with time scientists can actually make progress on problems, they don’t just get stuck in an endless back and forth of the same talking points.
We discussed what would be required in an update of these millennial reconstructions a few months back and the main principles remain true now. You need proxies that are a) well-dated, b) have some fidelity to a climate variable of interest, c) have been calibrated to those variable(s), d) that are then composited together somehow, and e) that the composite has been validated against the instrumental record.
The number of well-dated proxies used in the latest paper is significantly greater than what was available a decade ago: 1209 back to 1800; 460 back to 1600; 59 back to 1000 AD; 36 back to 500 AD and 19 back to 1 BC (all data and code is available here). This is compared with 400 or so in MBH99, of which only 14 went back to 1000 AD. The increase in data availability is a pretty remarkable testament to the increased attention that the paleo-community has started to pay to the recent past – in part, no doubt, because of the higher profile this kind of reconstruction has achieved.
It's a decade old now, but progress on the issue since then has only extended and refined the original findings, as indeed progress in the first year did. In fact, Schmidt concludes near the end of his blog post:
Secondly, in comparison with previous reconstructions, the current analysis does not provide many surprises. Medieval times are warmer than the Little Ice Age as before, and a little warmer using the EIV method than was the case in MBH99. The differences in the 11th Century are on the order of a couple of tenths of a degree – well within the published error bars in IPCC TAR though. Interestingly, there are quite rapid and strong drops in temperature near 1100 AD and around 1350 AD which may make interesting case studies for attribution to solar or volcanic forcings in future. Overall, there are a few more wiggles than before, but basically nothing much has changed.
The hockey stick was challenged on several grounds including the complicated and relatively untried method of statistical analysis it replied on.
A number of climate models and data analysis are based on, and depend heavily on, statistical analysis. Because of the heavy use of statistics in such research often persons with a mathematical or statistical bent are far more qualified than the climate scientists when it comes to reviewing major portions of the studies. Thus often economists and others with a interest in applied statistics outclass climate scientists
when it comes to analyzing data.
There really are a lot of ways that smart, otherwise well educated people fool themselves with statistics.
http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2 ... paper.html
This is true enough but it fails on two separate counts in relation to the hockey stick.
(1) People who didn't like the result went to enormous
amounts of effort to discredit the methodology of the hockey stick and found only a few little picky points, none of which changed the results significantly. Schmidt outlined the pros and cons here - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... ntroversy/
- in 2005, deliberately "in language even our parents might understand."
(2) If you're sick, you are more likely to get accurate advice from a doctor with a shaky knowledge of biochemistry than from a biochemist.
A note about this wattsupwiththat.com
1) The article reflects my understanding of the hockey stick story which I followed with much interest.
You have ben seriously misled, as I hope I have shown.
2) This is the first time I've quoted from wattsupwiththat.com. It's a blog with multiple contributors and the quality varies widely. This post is one of the good ones IMO.
"Good" in the very limited sense I defined above. The quality normally varies between poor and appalling.
3) I note that persons in this forum and other prominent activists in Buddhist circles recommend thinkprogress.org. Thinkprogress.org contains a lot of partisan, sometimes sharply worded opinion -- opinion that is not surprising given it's political roots. Those who think it's OK to quote from thinkprogress.org have little ethical or principled ground to complain with an occasional piece from a blog on the "other side".
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/20/ ... wikileaks/
I will not complain (much) if anyone here posts material from
the other side
but neither will I hold back from criticism of it - as you may have noticed.
Also, I would like to say that Think Progress reports others' facts reasonably honestly, while WUWT has no respect for integrity whatsoever. (I was going to say "journalistic integrity" but decided the adjective was unnecessary.)
4) The writer, Anthony Watts, has made fundamental and objective scientific contributions to our understanding of climate.
Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website wottsupwiththat.com Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.
Anthony Watts studied Electrical Engineering and Meteorology at Purdue University, but according to correspondence between Purdue University and SourceWatch, he did not graduate. , 
... and if you don't like my references, search for your own. Please, for your own good, don't search only in the denialist community. It's an echo chamber, and it's as toxic as the anti-vaxxers, birthers, etc.
That will do for now, I think.