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Auditing the auditors

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Per

unread,
Jul 4, 2004, 7:28:11 AM7/4/04
to
we had an interesting discussion about the Mann, Bradley and Hughes
article, which uses proxies to map earth's surface temperature for the
last ~500 years. Another paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, tried to
replicate the MBH results from their published paper, and claimed to
be unable to do so. On this board, a whole host of contributors
claimed to be able to replicate the original MBH article, and some
provided ad hominem abuse of M&M.

You may be interested to read that Mann, Bradley and Hughes have now
published an extensive correction in Nature (Vol. 430, p.105),
apparently in response to a complaint.

I post the following from Ross McKitrick's website:

UPDATE: July 1 2004:
The Corrigendum in Nature today (July 1, 2004) by Professors Mann,
Bradley and Hughes is a clear admission that the disclosure of data
and methods behind MBH98 was materially inaccurate. The text
acknowledges extensive errors in the description of the data set. Even
more important is the new online Supplementary Information (SI) site,
which concedes for the first time that key steps in the computations
behind MBH98 were left out of (and indeed conflict with) the
description of methods in the original paper.

These items were published on the instruction of the Editorial Board
of Nature in response to a Materials Complaint that we filed in
November 2003. That our
complaint was upheld and the Corrigendum was ordered represents a
vindication of our view that, prior to our analysis, there had been no
independent attempt to verify or replicate this influential but deeply
flawed study, something which was forestalled, at least in part, by
inadequate and inaccurate disclosure of data and methods.

This is only the first step in resolving the dispute we initiated last
fall. The Corrigendum and the SI contain the gratuitous claim that the
errors, omissions and misrepresentations in MBH98 do not affect their
results. If this were true, then a simple constructive proof could
have been provided, showing before and after calculations. This is
conspicuously missing from the Corrigendum and the new SI. We have
done the calculations and can assert categorically that the claim is
false.
We have made a journal submission to this effect and will explain the
matter fully when that paper is published.

Further, detailed comments on the Corrigendum and new SI will be
released shortly.


************************
per

Ian St. John

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Jul 4, 2004, 8:29:26 AM7/4/04
to
Per wrote:
> we had an interesting discussion about the Mann, Bradley and Hughes
> article, which uses proxies to map earth's surface temperature for the
> last ~500 years. Another paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, tried to
> replicate the MBH results from their published paper, and claimed to


Why the focus on a single early result? Sure there were slips in the
preparation. No paper if perfect, and usually any 'replication' leads to
discussions of a cordial nature that resolves any confusion on the details.
It was the confrontational nature of M&M from the getgo ( and illustrating
both their incompetence and their agenda ) that led to their failure, not
the paper itself.

Of more importance is the fact that there are dozens of papers on
reconstructing the NH temperature from such proxies and all of them agree in
large part on the results. There seems to be some sort of attempt to attack
this one preliminary result in order to cast doubt on the entire field. It
will fail. Too many competent researchers have cross checked the data.

Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC results
which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999 with most of the
early stumbles fixed.


David Ball

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Jul 4, 2004, 9:09:27 AM7/4/04
to
On 4 Jul 2004 04:28:11 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:

>we had an interesting discussion about the Mann, Bradley and Hughes
>article, which uses proxies to map earth's surface temperature for the
>last ~500 years. Another paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, tried to
>replicate the MBH results from their published paper, and claimed to
>be unable to do so. On this board, a whole host of contributors
>claimed to be able to replicate the original MBH article, and some
>provided ad hominem abuse of M&M.
>
>You may be interested to read that Mann, Bradley and Hughes have now
>published an extensive correction in Nature (Vol. 430, p.105),
>apparently in response to a complaint.
>
>I post the following from Ross McKitrick's website:
>

Tell me, does E&E have a similar process to their peer-review
process. It would be interesting to take M&M to task for their shoddy
"audit". Imagine claiming to audit a paper by patently not following
the author's methodology.

w...@bas.ac.uk

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Jul 4, 2004, 3:22:03 PM7/4/04
to
Per <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>These items were published on the instruction of the Editorial Board
>of Nature in response to a Materials Complaint that we filed in
>November 2003. That our
>complaint was upheld and the Corrigendum was ordered represents a...

All of this appears to be a twisting of the facts to make M&M appear
more powerful than they are...

>The Corrigendum and the SI contain the gratuitous claim that the
>errors, omissions and misrepresentations in MBH98 do not affect their
>results.

According to quark soup http://davidappell.com/archives/00000149.htm
MBH are saying that the corrigendum makes no difference because all it
affects is the listing of the datasets, a point M&M don't seem to have
understood.

-W.

--
William M Connolley | w...@bas.ac.uk | http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/wmc/
Climate Modeller, British Antarctic Survey | Disclaimer: I speak for myself
I'm a .signature virus! copy me into your .signature file & help me spread!

Per

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Jul 5, 2004, 12:46:43 PM7/5/04
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"Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message news:<GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Of more importance is the fact that there are dozens of papers on
> reconstructing the NH temperature from such proxies and all of them agree in
> large part on the results. There seems to be some sort of attempt to attack
> this one preliminary result in order to cast doubt on the entire field. It
> will fail. Too many competent researchers have cross checked the data.

there are dozens of papers on such proxies ?
MBH'98 is now a PRELIMINARY result ?
There have been "cross-checks" of the MBH data set ?
waiting eagerly for the references which validate these assertions :-)



> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC results
> which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999 with most of the
> early stumbles fixed.

So perhaps you can tell me where it says that early stumbles were
fixed in the '99 paper, or anything remotely similar ?
per

Per

unread,
Jul 5, 2004, 12:54:30 PM7/5/04
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e8...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...

> All of this appears to be a twisting of the facts to make M&M appear
> more powerful than they are...

you know, I don't have the data to be able to evaluate that claim.
Perhaps you have access to the correspondence between Nature, and
either M&M or MBH ?

> >The Corrigendum and the SI contain the gratuitous claim that the
> >errors, omissions and misrepresentations in MBH98 do not affect their
> >results.
>
> According to quark soup http://davidappell.com/archives/00000149.htm
> MBH are saying that the corrigendum makes no difference because all it
> affects is the listing of the datasets, a point M&M don't seem to have
> understood.

err, that would be the listing of the datasets, new datasets not
previously disclosed, datasets being excluded, and start and end dates
which were not previously disclosed ? And that's not even beginning to
cover the "enhanced" coverage of the methods they have now provided ?

I have a slightly different analysis to yours. I think that M&M
understand perfectly well the words that MBH have used, because they
cite them. Moreover, I think they are attempting to directly
contradict MBH.

I look forward to a resolution :-)
per

w...@bas.ac.uk

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Jul 5, 2004, 5:29:33 PM7/5/04
to
Per <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e8...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...
>> All of this appears to be a twisting of the facts to make M&M appear
>> more powerful than they are...

>you know, I don't have the data to be able to evaluate that claim.
>Perhaps you have access to the correspondence between Nature, and
>either M&M or MBH ?

No, hence "appears". M&M are trying to say that Nature "ordered" MBH to
do something. There is nothing to support that claim.

>> >The Corrigendum and the SI contain the gratuitous claim that the
>> >errors, omissions and misrepresentations in MBH98 do not affect their
>> >results.
>>
>> According to quark soup http://davidappell.com/archives/00000149.htm
>> MBH are saying that the corrigendum makes no difference because all it
>> affects is the listing of the datasets, a point M&M don't seem to have
>> understood.

>err, that would be...

Sigh, lets try again: MBH are saying that the corrigendum that they have
just published doesn't affect the results as previously published. And QS
is saying that the reason for that is that the corrigendum is just about
correcting the list of datasets to be the same as the ones actually used.

Ian St. John

unread,
Jul 5, 2004, 5:32:44 PM7/5/04
to
Per wrote:
> "Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message
> news:<GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>> Of more importance is the fact that there are dozens of papers on
>> reconstructing the NH temperature from such proxies and all of them
>> agree in large part on the results. There seems to be some sort of
>> attempt to attack this one preliminary result in order to cast doubt
>> on the entire field. It will fail. Too many competent researchers
>> have cross checked the data.
>
> there are dozens of papers on such proxies ?
> MBH'98 is now a PRELIMINARY result ?
> There have been "cross-checks" of the MBH data set ?
> waiting eagerly for the references which validate these assertions :-)

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/067.htm#232

Actually, they had one earlier paper in 1995. You seem to forget that all
science is 'preliminary' in terms that each new paper improves on the past.
As to the other papers, you can start at the page above which gives
reference to some of them..

>
>> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC
>> results which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999
>> with most of the early stumbles fixed.
>
> So perhaps you can tell me where it says that early stumbles were
> fixed in the '99 paper, or anything remotely similar ?
> per

Time to move on Mr. Per. You are obviously not interested in the progress of
science, but exist to spin and shit.


Psalm 110

unread,
Jul 5, 2004, 7:51:28 PM7/5/04
to
perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote in message news:<bd7c1148.04070...@posting.google.com>...

> we had an interesting discussion about the Mann, Bradley and Hughes
> article, which uses proxies to map earth's surface temperature for the
> last ~500 years. Another paper, McIntyre and McKitrick, tried to
> replicate the MBH results from their published paper, and claimed to
> be unable to do so. On this board, a whole host of contributors
> claimed to be able to replicate the original MBH article, and some
> provided ad hominem abuse of M&M.
>
> You may be interested to read that Mann, Bradley and Hughes have now
> published an extensive correction in Nature (Vol. 430, p.105),
> apparently in response to a complaint.

Here are the Global Warming counterfacts (partial list):

* 1992 -- "Warning to Humanity" petition circulates, signed by
1,700 working CREDIBLE scientists.
* 1992 -- Oil, Coal, pollution-industries counter-attack at Rio
conference, fake Heidelberg Appeal circulates with their funding,
using their paid-science-traitors, like the documented corrupt Fred
Singer, documented corrupt Fred Seitz, documented corrupt Bruce N.
Ames.
* 1997-1998 -- hottest ocean temperatures ever recorded in human
history.
* 1998 -- hottest year in recorded human history.
* 1998 -- 86% of all corals bleached, came 2 degrees from known
heat-death of species, and 10 days away from known heat-associated
digestion failure starvation deaths. No fossil record shows such
massive simultaneous incident ever in global geologic history other
than 5 mass extinction incidents.
* 1999 -- strongest super-cyclone (310km/h winds) in human
recorded history hits Orissa, India. 1.9 million houses damaged or
destroyed, 10,000 people swept out to drown at sea.
* 2002 -- Severe droughts on five continents simultaneously -- at
one moment the crops to feed one sixth the human race are threatened
by brutal killing weather.
* 2002-2003 -- Worst drought in Australia recorded human history
leads to wildfires invading Austrialian capital city and burning down
hundreds of city blocks. At one moment not long afterwards a 250
kilometer firefront threatened to engulf the entire largest city in
that country, Sydney.
* 2003 -- More people displaced by flooding than any year in
recorded human history, over twice the geographical area flooded than
second-worst flood disaster year in recorded human history.
* 2003 -- 562 tornadoes sweep the USA in ten days -- largest swarm
of tornadoes ever recorded in US history, almost three times worse
than previous historical record.
* 2003 -- Largest hailstone in human recorded history falls in
Nebraska, 18 inches diameter, "cannonball size" which denialists say
is impossible according to THEIR understanding of physics.
Canteloupe-sized, softball-sized, baseball-sized, golf ball-sized all
fell in 2003 hell storms.
* 2003 -- Weeks of unrelenting pounding of constant storms finally
break northeast US power grid, 50,000,000 utility customers blacked
out in US and Canada. Indiana governor, Frank O'Bannon, dies of heart
attack from stress of one declared sequential "state of emergency"
after another. Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Toronto
especially hit hard.
* 2003 -- Worst forest firestorms in Portugal's recorded human
history, blamed on excessive heat and changed air currents denying
rainfall.
* 2003 -- 20,000 forest fires in Russia, 16,000 of them before the
heat of summer, the largest number in human recorded history.
* 2003 -- 1,400 heat-stroke deaths in Andhra Pradesh, India from
sustained heat wave and delayed monsoon -- largest mass heat-killing
in local recorded human history.
* 2003 -- 35,000 excess heat-stroke deaths across Europe, largest
mass heat-killing in European recorded history.

http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/ADTI_Frauds_01.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/AdTI_Villians.htm
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Pelosi.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Singer-1993-1994.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Singer-Seitz.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Singer-Nightline.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Stohrer-Singer.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Hazeltine-Singer.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Heidelberg-Appeal.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Confronting_AdTI.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Seitz_Tobacco_Crimes.html
http://www.ecosyn.us/adti/Becky_Norton_Dunlop_AdTI.html

James

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Jul 5, 2004, 11:15:20 PM7/5/04
to
So, were those lies peer reviewed Ian?

"Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message
news:GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com...

James

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Jul 5, 2004, 11:17:30 PM7/5/04
to

"David Ball" <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:6a0ge0df82j2dkfnv...@4ax.com...

LOL


Per

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Jul 6, 2004, 5:55:33 AM7/6/04
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"Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message news:<%NjGc.9773$JG5.3...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Per wrote:
> > "Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message
> > news:<GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> >> Of more importance is the fact that there are dozens of papers on
> >> reconstructing the NH temperature from such proxies and all of them
> >> agree in large part on the results. There seems to be some sort of
> >> attempt to attack this one preliminary result in order to cast doubt
> >> on the entire field. It will fail. Too many competent researchers
> >> have cross checked the data.
> >
> > there are dozens of papers on such proxies ?
> > MBH'98 is now a PRELIMINARY result ?
> > There have been "cross-checks" of the MBH data set ?
> > waiting eagerly for the references which validate these assertions :-)
>
> http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/067.htm#232
>
> Actually, they had one earlier paper in 1995. You seem to forget that all
> science is 'preliminary' in terms that each new paper improves on the past.
> As to the other papers, you can start at the page above which gives
> reference to some of them..

so far, you have managed to cite a paper with 8 references, 4 of which
belong to Mann. That's kind of falling short of your assurance that
there are dozens of papers, and that there are cross-checks on the MBH
data set.

You have a fascinating perspective on the "preliminary" nature of
science. My view is somewhat different; when authors publish a paper,
it should be robust and reproducible.


> >> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC
> >> results which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999
> >> with most of the early stumbles fixed.
> >
> > So perhaps you can tell me where it says that early stumbles were
> > fixed in the '99 paper, or anything remotely similar ?
> > per
>
> Time to move on Mr. Per. You are obviously not interested in the progress of
> science, but exist to spin and shit.

fascinating logic. I trust you are able to read from the exchange
above that I made no spurious assertions, nor did I spin or shit. I
merely asked if you could justify your claims, in the hope that I
might learn something. It was in fact yourself that made the assertion
that there were early stumbles, and that the later paper fixed those
early stumbles.

I note that you haven't answered the question.
per

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 6:12:22 AM7/6/04
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e9...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...

> Sigh, lets try again: MBH are saying that the corrigendum that they have
> just published doesn't affect the results as previously published. And QS
> is saying that the reason for that is that the corrigendum is just about
> correcting the list of datasets to be the same as the ones actually used.

you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
needed to be provided.

It would appear that this corrigendum vindicates an important aspect
of the M&M paper; MBH have accepted the validity of the charges above,
and have brought their work up to the minimum standard required for
publication with this corrigendum.

I don't see there is anything trivial about this, and Nature wouldn't
have published the correction if it was trivial. For a data analysis
paper, actually listing the datasets used, as opposed to a half-baked
fudge of datasets with incorrect listings, missing data and incorrect
data, seems to me to strike to the very heart of the integrity of this
scientific publication.

It strikes me that M&M have actually provided an important public and
scientific contribution already.

per

NobodyYouKnow

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 6:43:17 AM7/6/04
to
Per wrote:
> w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e9...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...
>> Sigh, lets try again: MBH are saying that the corrigendum that they
>> have just published doesn't affect the results as previously
>> published. And QS is saying that the reason for that is that the
>> corrigendum is just about correcting the list of datasets to be the
>> same as the ones actually used.
>
> you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
> no-one had any reservations.

And still don't. It passed peer review and there has not been shown to any
substantive errors. The trouble with two clowns trying to reproduce the
paper and the methodology is mostly the problem of the two clowns.


Ian St. John

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 6:57:13 AM7/6/04
to

There are a lot more references than that, and you forget I said 'start'.
Guess even that is beyond you.

>
> You have a fascinating perspective on the "preliminary" nature of
> science. My view is somewhat different; when authors publish a paper,
> it should be robust and reproducible.

Such as the MBH'98 paper which is both robuts and reproducable. This has
nothing to do with glitches in the listing of files. As time passes, such
things become moved, updated, etc. Any real audit should have taken place
during the peer review. The problems are the M&M are not educated in the
field of multiproxy dendrochronology and haven't a clue how to use the
knowledge that is given. Nor are their motives beyond question which is why
they published such a half assed job in journal dedicated to promotion of a
warped viewpoint.

>
>
>>>> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the
>>>> IPCC results which were *derived* from a later paper published in
>>>> 1999 with most of the early stumbles fixed.
>>>
>>> So perhaps you can tell me where it says that early stumbles were
>>> fixed in the '99 paper, or anything remotely similar ?
>>> per
>>
>> Time to move on Mr. Per. You are obviously not interested in the
>> progress of science, but exist to spin and shit.
>
> fascinating logic. I trust you are able to read from the exchange
> above that I made no spurious assertions, nor did I spin or shit.

On the contrary. All of your claims are basically shit disturbing with no
real purpose in terms of the science or understanding.

> I
> merely asked if you could justify your claims, in the hope that I
> might learn something. It was in fact yourself that made the assertion
> that there were early stumbles, and that the later paper fixed those
> early stumbles.

And manage not even to find the first paper in a long series of similar ones
that reach the same conclusion from the same data. The 'cross checking' is
crucial to knowing that the finding are solid.

>
> I note that you haven't answered the question.

I answered all questions. I notice that you have nothing to offer. That is
not surprising since your whole post is based on other peoples spin and
shit.


Thomas Palm

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 7:15:01 AM7/6/04
to
perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote in
news:bd7c1148.04070...@posting.google.com:

> w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e9...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...
>> Sigh, lets try again: MBH are saying that the corrigendum that they
>> have just published doesn't affect the results as previously
>> published. And QS is saying that the reason for that is that the
>> corrigendum is just about correcting the list of datasets to be the
>> same as the ones actually used.
>
> you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
> no-one had any reservations.

Contrarians had complained about it since it first appeared, but only in
general terms. Either all other contrarians were so incompetent they
weren't able to check the result even if they didn't believe it, or M&M
have done something wrong.

Even in serious science the MBH paper has been discussed and people have
argued about the difference between this and other reconstructions. These
differences are a lot smaller than claimed by M&M, though, and are more
of an academic interest.

> It would appear that this corrigendum vindicates an important aspect
> of the M&M paper; MBH have accepted the validity of the charges above,
> and have brought their work up to the minimum standard required for
> publication with this corrigendum.

What do you think is a "minimum standard"? That you get everything right?
(M&M certainly didn't) Sorry, almost no papers do that, even very famous
papers tend to contain lots of errors, some of them even significant. As
long as the main result stands the test of time the paper still is
considered relevant. By the time the science has been rehashed a couple
of times and starts appearing in textbooks the errors may have been
sorted out so you get the real truth.

> I don't see there is anything trivial about this, and Nature wouldn't
> have published the correction if it was trivial. For a data analysis
> paper, actually listing the datasets used, as opposed to a half-baked
> fudge of datasets with incorrect listings, missing data and incorrect
> data, seems to me to strike to the very heart of the integrity of this
> scientific publication.

I think anyone who has published any paper of his own will understand. I
even discovered an error in the erratum of one of my advisor's most cited
papers. (Not that either the erratum or the error in it changed the
result).

> It strikes me that M&M have actually provided an important public and
> scientific contribution already.

Had they done an independent analysis and come up with a different and
correct result they would have done an important service. As it is they
have been more interesterd in muddying the water than with improving the
science, and any benefits are purely incidental.

w...@bas.ac.uk

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 8:38:25 AM7/6/04
to
Per <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>...and Nature wouldn't have published the correction if it was trivial.

True.

>For a data analysis
>paper, actually listing the datasets used, as opposed to a half-baked

>fudge of datasets...

But here you start ranting.

Note that you have ignored my (QS's) point: the corrigendum *doesnt
change the results* just the dataset listing.

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 11:50:37 AM7/6/04
to
"NobodyYouKnow" <TheVoice...@nowhere.com> wrote in message news:<8nvGc.22730$JG5.5...@news20.bellglobal.com>...
> Per wrote:
<snip>

> > you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
> > no-one had any reservations.
>
> And still don't. It passed peer review and there has not been shown to any
> substantive errors. The trouble with two clowns trying to reproduce the
> paper and the methodology is mostly the problem of the two clowns.

On the contrary; I know for a fact that the original methodology
section in the MBH paper was inadequate, and in some instances, plain
wrong. I know this for a fact because MBH have now published a
corrigendum, which corrects and extends what was in their original
paper.

You may sneer at "two clowns"; but one of the principal conclusions
from M&M was that the methodology of MBH as reported was inadequate.
MBH agree with that conclusion, because they have issued a
corrigendum.

Now the funny thing is that you want to insult two guys who have made
a valuable contribution to the scientific process. Perhaps this is
"shooting the messenger" ?

per

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 11:55:55 AM7/6/04
to
David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<6a0ge0df82j2dkfnv...@4ax.com>...
> Tell me, does E&E have a similar process to their peer-review
> process. It would be interesting to take M&M to task for their shoddy
> "audit". Imagine claiming to audit a paper by patently not following
> the author's methodology.

Just out of interest, you do realise that this thread is a result of a
corrigendum by MBH ? And that MBH specifically clarify what their
methodology was in this corrigendum ? You do realise that there is a
whole load of methods which wasn't in the original paper ?

You do realise that MBH are effectively admitting that that their
original description of their methodology was not adequate ?

You do realise that you cannot follow an inadequate methodology ?

just checking
per

David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 2:43:03 PM7/6/04
to
On 6 Jul 2004 03:12:22 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:

>w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e9...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...
>> Sigh, lets try again: MBH are saying that the corrigendum that they have
>> just published doesn't affect the results as previously published. And QS
>> is saying that the reason for that is that the corrigendum is just about
>> correcting the list of datasets to be the same as the ones actually used.
>
>you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
>no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
>specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
>not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
>of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
>needed to be provided.

It still is unimpeached and M&M did no audit of any kind. That
would have required them to follow the author's methodology which they
clearly didn't do.

>
>It would appear that this corrigendum vindicates an important aspect
>of the M&M paper; MBH have accepted the validity of the charges above,
>and have brought their work up to the minimum standard required for
>publication with this corrigendum.

>
>I don't see there is anything trivial about this, and Nature wouldn't
>have published the correction if it was trivial. For a data analysis
>paper, actually listing the datasets used, as opposed to a half-baked
>fudge of datasets with incorrect listings, missing data and incorrect
>data, seems to me to strike to the very heart of the integrity of this
>scientific publication.

Interesting. I wonder why that same standard isn't applied to
what E&E published?

>
>It strikes me that M&M have actually provided an important public and
>scientific contribution already.
>

How? Nothing that has happened has invalidated MBH and
certainly nothing that has happened has validated the efforts of M&M.

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 3:32:15 PM7/6/04
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40ea...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...

> Per <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> >For a data analysis
> >paper, actually listing the datasets used, as opposed to a half-baked
> >fudge of datasets...
>
> But here you start ranting.
>
> Note that you have ignored my (QS's) point: the corrigendum *doesnt
> change the results* just the dataset listing.

Dear W
if you think you can replicate a data analysis paper WITHOUT knowing
what the datasets used were, you are entirely entitled to call the
above "a rant".

For the record, it is not *just* the dataset listing; it is also a
considerable amount of methods information which wasn't originally
included.

Also for the record, I have cited MBH's claim that the corrigendum
doesn't change the results. Didn't QuarkSoup also carry some extremely
scathing commentary before on this issue before, which was shown to be
wholly wrong ?
yours
per

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 3:36:54 PM7/6/04
to
Thomas Palm <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message news:<Xns951E86CDBEFAAT...@212.83.64.229>...

> What do you think is a "minimum standard"?
the issue is that MBH accept with their corrigendum that what they
previously published was not at that minimum standard.

> > It strikes me that M&M have actually provided an important public and
> > scientific contribution already.
>
> Had they done an independent analysis and come up with a different and
> correct result they would have done an important service. As it is they
> have been more interesterd in muddying the water than with improving the
> science, and any benefits are purely incidental.

M&M did an independent analysis of the MBH paper
They came up with results which differ from MBH.
They also concluded that the dataset description and methodology of
mbh were inadequate.
This latter has been shown to be true with MBH's corrigendum.
I think you don't like the message.
per

David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 3:34:59 PM7/6/04
to
On 6 Jul 2004 08:55:55 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:

>David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<6a0ge0df82j2dkfnv...@4ax.com>...
>> Tell me, does E&E have a similar process to their peer-review
>> process. It would be interesting to take M&M to task for their shoddy
>> "audit". Imagine claiming to audit a paper by patently not following
>> the author's methodology.
>
>Just out of interest, you do realise that this thread is a result of a
>corrigendum by MBH ? And that MBH specifically clarify what their
>methodology was in this corrigendum ? You do realise that there is a
>whole load of methods which wasn't in the original paper ?

Just out of curiosity, why is your approach to the science so
uneven? What's sauce for the goose. If you are willing to take MBH to
task for disclosure problems, why aren't you taking M&M to task as
well?

>
>You do realise that MBH are effectively admitting that that their
>original description of their methodology was not adequate ?

So what? That's always the danger when experts are writing for
other experts. There's a tendency to gloss over what you assume to be
trivial points. Sometimes those trivial points aren't. I notice you've
been ducking the issue of the validity of MBH. Why?

>
>You do realise that you cannot follow an inadequate methodology ?
>

No, YOU cannot follow an inadequate methodology. The
methodology of MBH has been used since then. Apparently, those authors
had no trouble. What you're really saying is that non-scientists
cannot follow the methodology. OK. Since the paper was not produced
with them in mind, I have little trouble with it. That they've
hopefully filled in some of the blanks will make it a little easier to
follow, but that doesn't for a second invalidate the RESULTS of MBH
nor does it validate those of M&M, something you patently refuse to
address.

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 3:39:15 PM7/6/04
to
"Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message news:<eAvGc.18556$WM5.8...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Such as the MBH'98 paper which is both robuts and reproducable.

will you please cite the reference which has independently reproduced MBH '98 ?
Perhaps you are all abuse, and no citation ?
per

Thomas Palm

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 5:12:28 PM7/6/04
to

> Thomas Palm <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message


> news:<Xns951E86CDBEFAAT...@212.83.64.229>...
>> What do you think is a "minimum standard"?
> the issue is that MBH accept with their corrigendum that what they
> previously published was not at that minimum standard.

No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained essentially
no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about corrections depend
on whether they see there is an interest for one. Had Nature withdrawn
the paper it would have showed it was below the minimum standard.



>> > It strikes me that M&M have actually provided an important public
>> > and scientific contribution already.
>>
>> Had they done an independent analysis and come up with a different
>> and correct result they would have done an important service. As it
>> is they have been more interesterd in muddying the water than with
>> improving the science, and any benefits are purely incidental.
>
> M&M did an independent analysis of the MBH paper
> They came up with results which differ from MBH.

The analysis M&M did was a lot more flawed than the one by MBH so that
isn't much of an achievement, nor was it independent, they just took the
description by MBH as they understood it based on no knowledge in the
field and plugged in the numbers. To make it truly independent they would
have to choose their own datasets and how to analyze them. This has been
done, but not by M&M.

> They also concluded that the dataset description and methodology of
> mbh were inadequate.

Most of their complaints were just silly, because they didn't know the
field and were too lazy to read the references supplied by MBH.

> This latter has been shown to be true with MBH's corrigendum.
> I think you don't like the message.

What message? That MBH are humans and make mistakes, yes, I can accept
that. That their result is wrong as M&M claims? No that hasn't been
shown.

If you want a howler of a mistake, have a look at this blog, entries from
mid May about the book "Taken by Storm" by Essex and McKitrick:
http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/blog/?_start=21
For a starter they deny there is a well defined concept of how to take an
average temperature:
"In the absence of physical guidance, any rule for averaging temperature
is as good as any other. The folks who do the averaging happen to use the
arithmetic mean over the field with specific sets of weights, rather
than, say, the geometric mean or any other. But this is mere convention."

Really? Shouldn't you learn high school science before writing a book
about science?

Bill Corden

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 5:34:07 PM7/6/04
to
It is true that I am largely ignorant about the particulars of the science
being discussed here, but I would like to point out some general criticisms
of credentialed science as compared to a simple search for truth.

I am an expert in some fields of accounting and programming. When I am
talking to an intelligent person who asks intelligent questions of my area
of expertise, I don't tell them that their questions are not worth answering
because they are not qualified to understand the answer. I get very
suspicious when people who are part of the "in" group ridicule thoughtful
people just because they in the "out" group. Fools are everywhere and
credentials don't protect from being a fool.

So the question is, why are people who seek to discuss these issues attacked
for who they are, rather than the weight of their argument? Should not the
truth of an argument be the important thing? Fine, some of you are
scientists. Is it really asking too much for you to show a little patience
in explaining why what appears to be true is not true in your view? Must
you treat non-scientist like inconsequential children? I will tell you that
I believe there are a number (I am still trying to decide how many) of
scientist that get lost in the trees of details and miss the big picture.
And for goodness sake, environmental science has been major league wrong
before. When I see personal attacks in response to rational questions, I
have to wonder if truth is taking a second seat to posturing.

For the sake of the laymen lurking, please try to patiently explain your
reasoning. When you refer to common knowledge or consensus, post a link or
two that illustrates the point.

In case you have not noticed, politics is a pretty major component in
environmental science today. I am quite sure that the rules of politics
require that people be treated with respect if you are going to be
persuasive.

George Burt


"Per" <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:bd7c1148.04070...@posting.google.com...

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 6:25:09 PM7/6/04
to
"Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message news:<GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC results
> which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999 with most of the
> early stumbles fixed.

Actually, it seems that there is an important point here, and I am
glad it has been brought to my attention. The IPCC relies heavily on
MBH '99, and the promotional graphics for IPCC are in some cases
allegedly derived directly from MBH '99.

Yet the point of MBH '99 is that it does not change the MBH'98 data/
methodology for post-1400; MBH'99 extends the record earlier to cover
the period 1000-1399.

So it seems that Ian St. John's point above is directly wrong; that
the IPCC results 1400-2000 are derived in large part from MBH '98. If
MBH '98 goes down, it would appear that the credibility of IPCC may be
at stake.

is this analysis wrong ?
per

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 7:52:04 PM7/6/04
to
David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<surle0d4m7gvmnd02...@4ax.com>...

> On 6 Jul 2004 03:12:22 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
> >
> >you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
> >no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
> >specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
> >not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
> >of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
> >needed to be provided.
>
> It still is unimpeached

This is not true. We now KNOW that the MBH'98 paper had errors and
omissions, because MBH themselves have made this statement in their
corrigendum.

> and M&M did no audit of any kind.

Strangely enough, when I have to choose between your baseless
assertion, and the M&M audit paper, which was reviewed by an expert
peer reviewer and an editorial board, I know which viewpoint I would
choose.

> How? Nothing that has happened has invalidated MBH and
> certainly nothing that has happened has validated the efforts of M&M.

This is the start of the text of the corrigendum; I think wmc may also
be interested in this text:
"It has been drawn to our attention (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick)
that the listing of the 叢roxy' data set in the Supplementary
Information published with this Article contained several errors.
In Table 1 we provide a list of the records that were either
mistakenly
included in the Supplementary Information, or mistakenly left out."

Just in case you missed it, MBH have published this corrigendum
BECAUSE errors were drawn to their attention by M&M; i.e. this
corrigendum is a direct result of M&M. I think that validates M&M
straight off the bat.

yours
per

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 8:01:08 PM7/6/04
to
David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<surle0d4m7gvmnd02...@4ax.com>...
> On 6 Jul 2004 03:12:22 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
> >you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
> >no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
> >specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
> >not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
> >of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
> >needed to be provided.
>
> It still is unimpeached

not at all. We now know that the original publication had errors and
omissions in its description of the methodology and dataset used. We
know this, because MBH have published this in a corrigendum.

> and M&M did no audit of any kind. That
> would have required them to follow the author's methodology which they
> clearly didn't do.
>

<snip>

> How? Nothing that has happened has invalidated MBH and
> certainly nothing that has happened has validated the efforts of M&M.

Well, whether you like it or not, M&M published in the peer-reviewed
literature an audit of the MBH '98 paper. That means expert
peer-review, and an expert editorial board- which ranks somewhat
higher in my opinion than your baseless assertion that they "did no


audit of any kind".

wmc seems to share your view that MBH's corrigendum had no relation to
M&M, and maybe he even believes that MBH's corrigendum would have
appeared if there was no M&M. In fact, the corrigendum explicitly
refers to McIntyre and McKitrick:


"It has been drawn to our attention (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick)
that the listing of the 叢roxy' data set in the Supplementary
Information published with this Article contained several errors.
In Table 1 we provide a list of the records that were either
mistakenly
included in the Supplementary Information, or mistakenly left out."

This corrigendum is a direct result of the M&M paper. I think that
validates the M&M paper per se.

yours
per

David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 8:09:00 PM7/6/04
to
On Tue, 6 Jul 2004 17:34:07 -0400, "Bill Corden" <Cor...@somwhere.com>
wrote:

>It is true that I am largely ignorant about the particulars of the science
>being discussed here, but I would like to point out some general criticisms
>of credentialed science as compared to a simple search for truth.
>
>I am an expert in some fields of accounting and programming. When I am
>talking to an intelligent person who asks intelligent questions of my area
>of expertise, I don't tell them that their questions are not worth answering
>because they are not qualified to understand the answer. I get very
>suspicious when people who are part of the "in" group ridicule thoughtful
>people just because they in the "out" group. Fools are everywhere and
>credentials don't protect from being a fool.

Here's part of the problem, Bill, at least how I see it. There
is a lot of native experience on this forum in a variety of
disciplines. I don't think I've ever seen a single one of those people
take a newby to task for asking a question. Ever. The problem we have
is that many laymen arrive here with a lot of preconceived notions,
notions that don't have any validity, and it is almost impossible to
change their minds.
Look at a couple of recent threads started by someone calling
himself Adrian Vance. This person, obviously literate, knows little or
nothing about the atmospheric sciences, and instead of coming here and
asking a few questions, he proceeded to tell everyone here that he
knew the way of things and everyone else was wrong. That is entirely
the wrong approach to take. It took a lot of time and effort on the
part of a lot of people trying to correct the errors he was posting
and what was the result? He went away.
There's vast quantities of useful information made available
here, but unfortunately, it is covered in layers of mis-information,
dubious posts, op-ed pieces, and outright stupidity. That makes it
difficult for anyone to get at the real information.

>
>So the question is, why are people who seek to discuss these issues attacked
>for who they are, rather than the weight of their argument? Should not the
>truth of an argument be the important thing? Fine, some of you are
>scientists. Is it really asking too much for you to show a little patience
>in explaining why what appears to be true is not true in your view?

Patience is shown, but patience only lasts for so long.

>Must
>you treat non-scientist like inconsequential children?

Only if they insist on behaving like children.

>I will tell you that
>I believe there are a number (I am still trying to decide how many) of
>scientist that get lost in the trees of details and miss the big picture.

I doubt it. This is a science forum. The science deals with
the details and how those details fit into the big picture.

>And for goodness sake, environmental science has been major league wrong
>before. When I see personal attacks in response to rational questions, I
>have to wonder if truth is taking a second seat to posturing.

Give me an example of this happening.

>
>For the sake of the laymen lurking, please try to patiently explain your
>reasoning. When you refer to common knowledge or consensus, post a link or
>two that illustrates the point.

It's done all the time.

>
>In case you have not noticed, politics is a pretty major component in
>environmental science today. I am quite sure that the rules of politics
>require that people be treated with respect if you are going to be
>persuasive.
>

Incorrect. There are policy aspects to the science and that is
where the politics comes in. The science itself (i.e. understanding
the physical systems and how they work) has nothing to do with
politics. That comes later.

Per

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 8:17:29 PM7/6/04
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e9...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...

> Per <perox...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> >w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in message news:<40e8...@news.nwl.ac.uk>...
> >> All of this appears to be a twisting of the facts to make M&M appear
> >> more powerful than they are...
>
> >you know, I don't have the data to be able to evaluate that claim.
> >Perhaps you have access to the correspondence between Nature, and
> >either M&M or MBH ?
>
> No, hence "appears". M&M are trying to say that Nature "ordered" MBH to
> do something. There is nothing to support that claim.
>

You know, Nature says it won't print trivial corrections; it will only
print corrections which are thoroughly serious (e.g. scientific
integrity of paper, etc). So this correction can only have occurred
two ways.

1) MBH approached Nature, and asked to make the correction. Nature
would then have to form a view yes or no.
2) Nature formed a view that the correction was required, and then
told MBH.

Procedure 2 seems quite possible to me, especially if M&M approached
Nature to catalyse their review of the issue in the first place.

The only public information I have seen is mcKitrick's text that
Nature ordered the corrigendum, and this appears to be a statement of
fact. When you say that the McKitrick text "appears to be a twisting
of the facts", you have no facts to contradict this, and yet; you are
contradicting McKitrick's statement of fact.

hmmm
per

David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 8:18:49 PM7/6/04
to
On 6 Jul 2004 16:52:04 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:

>David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<surle0d4m7gvmnd02...@4ax.com>...
>> On 6 Jul 2004 03:12:22 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
>> >
>> >you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
>> >no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
>> >specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
>> >not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
>> >of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
>> >needed to be provided.
>>
>> It still is unimpeached
>
>This is not true. We now KNOW that the MBH'98 paper had errors and
>omissions, because MBH themselves have made this statement in their
>corrigendum.

No. We know that they did not describe their methodology as
fully as some might wish. That is a far cry from invalidating their
results.

>
>> and M&M did no audit of any kind.
>
>Strangely enough, when I have to choose between your baseless
>assertion, and the M&M audit paper, which was reviewed by an expert
>peer reviewer and an editorial board, I know which viewpoint I would
>choose.

LOL. Per, get a grip. An audit would have required them to
precisely follow the author's methodology. They didn't. They made it
up as they went along. The M&M paper was no more reviewed by an expert
than I can fly to the moon. The very first thing any half-decent
reviewer should have noticed was the warming that occurred in the
middle of the bloody Little Ice Age. And E&E's editorial board? Don't
make me laugh. It's pretty hard to take you seriously when you posture
like this.

>
>> How? Nothing that has happened has invalidated MBH and
>> certainly nothing that has happened has validated the efforts of M&M.
>
>This is the start of the text of the corrigendum; I think wmc may also
>be interested in this text:
>"It has been drawn to our attention (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick)
>that the listing of the 叢roxy' data set in the Supplementary
>Information published with this Article contained several errors.
>In Table 1 we provide a list of the records that were either
>mistakenly
>included in the Supplementary Information, or mistakenly left out."
>
>Just in case you missed it, MBH have published this corrigendum
>BECAUSE errors were drawn to their attention by M&M; i.e. this
>corrigendum is a direct result of M&M. I think that validates M&M
>straight off the bat.
>

Are you daft? All they said was that some omissions were
identified in the Supplementary information. That doesn't mean that
the information wasn't used in their study. It doesn't invalidate
their methodology. It doesn't affect their results. What's more, it
does absolutely nothing to show that M&M did their work properly and
it in no way validates M&M's results.

David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 9:01:26 PM7/6/04
to
On 6 Jul 2004 17:01:08 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:

>David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<surle0d4m7gvmnd02...@4ax.com>...
>> On 6 Jul 2004 03:12:22 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
>> >you know, until M&M published, the MBH paper stood unimpeached and
>> >no-one had any reservations. When M&M published their audit, the
>> >specific charges they made included : that the dataset MBH used could
>> >not be established from the paper, and that there were a whole variety
>> >of data problems, and a whole variety of methods information that
>> >needed to be provided.
>>
>> It still is unimpeached
>
>not at all. We now know that the original publication had errors and
>omissions in its description of the methodology and dataset used. We
>know this, because MBH have published this in a corrigendum.

Incorrect. We now that the supplementary information was not
complete. That is not an error, but an omission.

>
>> and M&M did no audit of any kind. That
>> would have required them to follow the author's methodology which they
>> clearly didn't do.
>>
><snip>
>> How? Nothing that has happened has invalidated MBH and
>> certainly nothing that has happened has validated the efforts of M&M.
>
>Well, whether you like it or not, M&M published in the peer-reviewed
>literature an audit of the MBH '98 paper. That means expert
>peer-review, and an expert editorial board- which ranks somewhat
>higher in my opinion than your baseless assertion that they "did no
>audit of any kind".

Bullshit. They claim to have published an 'audit'. Further
inspection shows that clearly not to be the case. The peer-review was
shoddy. There's a reason they published in E&E. As for experts, a rank
amateur should have spotted the problematic nature of M&M's results.

>
>wmc seems to share your view that MBH's corrigendum had no relation to
>M&M, and maybe he even believes that MBH's corrigendum would have
>appeared if there was no M&M. In fact, the corrigendum explicitly
>refers to McIntyre and McKitrick:
>"It has been drawn to our attention (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick)
>that the listing of the 叢roxy' data set in the Supplementary
>Information published with this Article contained several errors.
>In Table 1 we provide a list of the records that were either
>mistakenly
>included in the Supplementary Information, or mistakenly left out."
>
>This corrigendum is a direct result of the M&M paper. I think that
>validates the M&M paper per se.
>

LOL. I write a paper and have it published in Science. You
write a paper on a similar topic, but the work is questionable at
best. You then proceed to tell me of a typo that appears in my paper.
I thank you for correcting the error. Tell me:

a. How does this invalidate my results
b. validate yours.


Bill Corden

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 9:07:36 PM7/6/04
to
"Thomas Palm" <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message
news:Xns951EEC1676A1T...@212.83.64.229...

> No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained essentially
> no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about corrections depend
> on whether they see there is an interest for one. Had Nature withdrawn
> the paper it would have showed it was below the minimum standard.

Is it at least possible that M&M had some small part in correcting the
imperfections? Would acknowleding that contribution kill you? I understand
that you must think M&M is some kind of danger, but it hurts your
credibility when you don't grant them what they objectively deserve.

> The analysis M&M did was a lot more flawed than the one by MBH so that
> isn't much of an achievement, nor was it independent, they just took the
> description by MBH as they understood it based on no knowledge in the
> field and plugged in the numbers. To make it truly independent they would
> have to choose their own datasets and how to analyze them. This has been
> done, but not by M&M.

So, M&M are completely irrelevant? Doesn't ring true. In fairness to you,
you did characterize it as an "achievement", but is it necessarily as small
as you say? What does this make you so angry? (this is a scencere
question).

> > They also concluded that the dataset description and methodology of
> > mbh were inadequate.
>
> Most of their complaints were just silly, because they didn't know the
> field and were too lazy to read the references supplied by MBH.

Ok, you might be right, but how should I know? You don't support the
contention with a single specific. Show how it is silly.

> What message? That MBH are humans and make mistakes, yes, I can accept
> that. That their result is wrong as M&M claims? No that hasn't been
> shown.

Do we not inherit an extra burden when we make mistakes? Is it
unreasonable, given that mistakes were made, that these scientist release a
complete record of data and methods? Or is it your contention that the data
has been release. M&M have asked very specific questions of the authors.
Either they will provide the data to answer the questions or they won't.
From my perspective, they screwed up and must now come clean and answer
their critics. And if they are unwilling, I will not believe the results
because they are acting as if they have something to hide.

> If you want a howler of a mistake, have a look at this blog, entries from
> mid May about the book "Taken by Storm" by Essex and McKitrick:
> http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/blog/?_start=21
> For a starter they deny there is a well defined concept of how to take an
> average temperature:
> "In the absence of physical guidance, any rule for averaging temperature
> is as good as any other. The folks who do the averaging happen to use the
> arithmetic mean over the field with specific sets of weights, rather
> than, say, the geometric mean or any other. But this is mere convention."
>
> Really? Shouldn't you learn high school science before writing a book
> about science?

Thank you for posting this link. It does appear that that McKitrick made a
mistake and the blog detailed that mistake. Your last statement seems
overly harsh to me considering what was said in the blog. Maybe the method
of averaging is valid and maybe it is not. I don't doubt that it is the
best that current science can do. But, that is a long way from metaphysical
certainty. You have not the formula for the devine and it is possible that
the methods used are not reliable.

McKitrick replied: "Thanks for pointing this out. It implies there are now 4
averages to choose from, depending on the formula used and how missing data
are treated, and there are no laws of nature to guide the choice. The
underlying point is that there are an infinite number of averages to choose
from, quite apart from the practical problem of missing data."

I think he is spinning when he says there are now 4 averages that can be
used. He should admit his mistake, mea culpa. But, seeing how you extend
this minor mistake into disqualification, I can understand his being a
little defensive. Go back and read the exact quote. There are an infinite
number of averages to chose from. Read the weather guy "Dano" and you
realize how simplistic these averages are compared to what is _really_ going
on. It might be the best we have, but it is hard to argue an
"understanding" from this data.

Finally, there are a lot of references to "right-wingers" and disparaging
comments about the Republicans and the current administration. Is this
politcal, or is this science? I know how to deal with politics. Science is
supposed to be about truth regardless of politics.

George Burt


David Ball

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 10:14:52 PM7/6/04
to
On Tue, 6 Jul 2004 21:07:36 -0400, "Bill Corden" <Cor...@somwhere.com>
wrote:

>"Thomas Palm" <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message


>news:Xns951EEC1676A1T...@212.83.64.229...
>> No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained essentially
>> no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about corrections depend
>> on whether they see there is an interest for one. Had Nature withdrawn
>> the paper it would have showed it was below the minimum standard.
>
>Is it at least possible that M&M had some small part in correcting the
>imperfections? Would acknowleding that contribution kill you? I understand
>that you must think M&M is some kind of danger, but it hurts your
>credibility when you don't grant them what they objectively deserve.

Sir, are you familiar with the paper in question? It's
history? Until you are, perhaps you should refrain from taking sides.

>
>> The analysis M&M did was a lot more flawed than the one by MBH so that
>> isn't much of an achievement, nor was it independent, they just took the
>> description by MBH as they understood it based on no knowledge in the
>> field and plugged in the numbers. To make it truly independent they would
>> have to choose their own datasets and how to analyze them. This has been
>> done, but not by M&M.
>
>So, M&M are completely irrelevant?

Yes. The author's were extremely sloppy in their methodology
and analysis and their results are highly questionable. They show, for
example, strong warming having taken place during The Little Ice Age,
a period of known cooling. Had they followed MBH's methodology
properly they might have been able to make some statements, but their
paper is a mess.

>Doesn't ring true. In fairness to you,
>you did characterize it as an "achievement", but is it necessarily as small
>as you say? What does this make you so angry? (this is a scencere
>question).
>
>> > They also concluded that the dataset description and methodology of
>> > mbh were inadequate.
>>
>> Most of their complaints were just silly, because they didn't know the
>> field and were too lazy to read the references supplied by MBH.
>
>Ok, you might be right, but how should I know? You don't support the
>contention with a single specific. Show how it is silly.

Go back through the archives and look for "Auditing the
Auditors". Josh Halpern and others clearly documented M&M's inability
to even read the references provided by MBH.


Ian St. John

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 11:43:07 PM7/6/04
to
Per wrote:
> "Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message
> news:<eAvGc.18556$WM5.8...@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>> Such as the MBH'98 paper which is both robuts and reproducable.
>
> will you please cite the reference which has independently reproduced
> MBH '98 ?

It was reproduced by a number of other researchers using similar but not
identical methods and data selection. However, you have decided to remain
'permanently ignorant' so your failure to comprehend is excused.

> Perhaps you are all abuse, and no citation ?

I'm getting there are you illustrate that you are all hot air and no
substance.

> per


Ian St. John

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 11:49:51 PM7/6/04
to
Per wrote:
> "Ian St. John" <ist...@noemail.ca> wrote in message
> news:<GKSFc.73$JG5....@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>> Note as well that the Mann,et al 1998 paper was not used in the IPCC
>> results which were *derived* from a later paper published in 1999
>> with most of the early stumbles fixed.
>
> Actually, it seems that there is an important point here, and I am
> glad it has been brought to my attention. The IPCC relies heavily on
> MBH '99, and the promotional graphics for IPCC are in some cases
> allegedly derived directly from MBH '99.

No. The IPCC relies on all of the research on the past 1,000 years as an
illustration of how 'out of character' recent warming is. They just selected
to use a variation of Mann, et al 1999 because it included all of the NH and
was by far the most competent analysis. Most researchers in the field find
Mann to be the 'top dog' in dendrochronology reconstructions and the
methodology. It was, in fact, way too much for amateurs like M&M to follow,
much less critique.

>
> Yet the point of MBH '99 is that it does not change the MBH'98 data/
> methodology for post-1400; MBH'99 extends the record earlier to cover
> the period 1000-1399.

And clearly had the methodology checked by the IPCC when they recreated the
results and then modified the procedures to more suit their own needs.

>
> So it seems that Ian St. John's point above is directly wrong; that
> the IPCC results 1400-2000 are derived in large part from MBH '98.

That is wrong. I said it was derived from MBH '99, a different paper. Are
you really that clueless or just playing dumb?

> If
> MBH '98 goes down, it would appear that the credibility of IPCC may be
> at stake.

Not likely. But this may be the reason for the bullshit and bafflegab over
MBH '98

>
> is this analysis wrong ?

Yes. The IPCC is not dependent on an illustration of the comparitive global
temperature stability from Mann, or even from dendrochronology. It has beeen
established by a number of other proxy methods as well. Nor would even
elimination of this 'visible comparison' affect the major findings.
> per


Ian St. John

unread,
Jul 6, 2004, 11:54:52 PM7/6/04
to
Bill Corden wrote:
> "Thomas Palm" <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message
> news:Xns951EEC1676A1T...@212.83.64.229...
>> No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained
>> essentially no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about
>> corrections depend on whether they see there is an interest for one.
>> Had Nature withdrawn the paper it would have showed it was below the
>> minimum standard.
>
> Is it at least possible that M&M had some small part in correcting the
> imperfections? Would acknowleding that contribution kill you? I
> understand that you must think M&M is some kind of danger, but it
> hurts your credibility when you don't grant them what they
> objectively deserve.

They failed to include some of the data from MBH. They failed even to
question the discrepancies between the input data in their attempted
analysis and the documentation from MBH. They went ahead anyway while not
understanding the basics of the methodology. They got a totally wrong result
which divered in the area from which they excluded data. What is surprising?

As to what they objectively deserve, don't get me started...


Thomas Palm

unread,
Jul 7, 2004, 2:19:32 AM7/7/04
to
> Well, whether you like it or not, M&M published in the peer-reviewed
> literature an audit of the MBH '98 paper. That means expert
> peer-review, and an expert editorial board- which ranks somewhat
> higher in my opinion than your baseless assertion that they "did no
> audit of any kind".

All "peer reviewed" litererature is not created equal, and when a journal
isn't even listed in Science Citation Index it is obviously not among the
more respected. E&E is not your average scientific journal, it has an
outright policy of publishing anything critical to the warming theory and
an editor who is quite open that she will publish basically anything in
that area and then let the readers decide if it makes any sense or not. In
case you have access to the journal read "The Greenhouse Effect as a
Function of Atmospheric Mass" by Hans Jelbring, v14 number 2&3, 2003. Come
back once you stopped laughing.

> This corrigendum is a direct result of the M&M paper. I think that
> validates the M&M paper per se.

The corrigendum is probably a result of M&M sending a message to Nature. It
says nothing at all about whether or not M&M were right in their "audit",
they weren't, only that MBH weren't perfect in describing the method and
data they used.

Thomas Palm

unread,
Jul 7, 2004, 2:48:02 AM7/7/04
to
"Bill Corden" <Cor...@somwhere.com> wrote in
news:s2IGc.105$F16...@fe39.usenetserver.com:

> "Thomas Palm" <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message
> news:Xns951EEC1676A1T...@212.83.64.229...
>> No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained
>> essentially no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about
>> corrections depend on whether they see there is an interest for one.
>> Had Nature withdrawn the paper it would have showed it was below the
>> minimum standard.
>
> Is it at least possible that M&M had some small part in correcting the
> imperfections? Would acknowleding that contribution kill you?

Yes, M&M caused this correction, but was it an important correction? Does
it really matter that much at this point that MBH was a bit sloppy in
listing the data series they had used? Had the result been wrong it might
have mattered, but this does not seem to be the case.

> I
> understand that you must think M&M is some kind of danger, but it
> hurts your credibility when you don't grant them what they objectively
> deserve.

They are a danger only because of the propaganda value being spun into
their erroneous result. When it comes to the contrarians it doesn't
really matter if the result is right as long as you can convince a
sufficient number of people who know very little about the issue that it
is, or even that the matter isn't settled. Scientifically M&M are totally
insignificant since they don't understand the science.

>> > They also concluded that the dataset description and methodology of
>> > mbh were inadequate.
>>
>> Most of their complaints were just silly, because they didn't know
>> the field and were too lazy to read the references supplied by MBH.
>
> Ok, you might be right, but how should I know? You don't support the
> contention with a single specific. Show how it is silly.

As David responded, the article by M&M has been discussed a lot in this
forum, for example in the original "Auditing the Auditors" thread. Some
of the posters here even at least partially reproduced the MBH result and
in in the process discovered a number of errors by MBH.

> From my perspective, they
> screwed up and must now come clean and answer their critics. And if
> they are unwilling, I will not believe the results because they are
> acting as if they have something to hide.

Well, you can't please everyone, I guess. As it happens many scientists
are too busy trying to do new research to answer all questions asked by
non-scientists, especially when said non-scientists seems to have a
strong political agenda and doesn't even try to understand the methology
before complaining that it has to be wrong. (Several of the mistakes done
by M&M had nothing to do with omissions by MBH but simply came from their
own inability to comprehend the methods used. Beeing an accountant
doesn't automatically make you an expert in climate science.)

>> If you want a howler of a mistake, have a look at this blog, entries
>> from mid May about the book "Taken by Storm" by Essex and McKitrick:
>> http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/blog/?_start=21
>> For a starter they deny there is a well defined concept of how to
>> take an average temperature:
>> "In the absence of physical guidance, any rule for averaging
>> temperature is as good as any other. The folks who do the averaging
>> happen to use the arithmetic mean over the field with specific sets
>> of weights, rather than, say, the geometric mean or any other. But
>> this is mere convention."
>>
>> Really? Shouldn't you learn high school science before writing a book
>> about science?
>
> Thank you for posting this link. It does appear that that McKitrick
> made a mistake and the blog detailed that mistake. Your last
> statement seems overly harsh to me considering what was said in the
> blog. Maybe the method of averaging is valid and maybe it is not. I
> don't doubt that it is the best that current science can do. But,
> that is a long way from metaphysical certainty. You have not the
> formula for the devine and it is possible that the methods used are
> not reliable.

There are technical issues on how to calculate the average temperature in
the best way given the limited data, but there is no uncertainty
whatsoever as to what "average temperature" means. Taking the geometric
mean to calculate it is simply wrong, not just "another convention", and
a stupid mistake at that. Have you even read any thermodynamics?

> McKitrick replied: "Thanks for pointing this out. It implies there are
> now 4 averages to choose from, depending on the formula used and how
> missing data are treated, and there are no laws of nature to guide the
> choice. The underlying point is that there are an infinite number of
> averages to choose from, quite apart from the practical problem of
> missing data."
>
> I think he is spinning when he says there are now 4 averages that can
> be used. He should admit his mistake, mea culpa. But, seeing how you
> extend this minor mistake into disqualification, I can understand his
> being a little defensive.

It is not a minor mistake, especially when he repeats and even enhances
it with his response. This mistakes shows a fundamental ignorance about
physics, and even data handling. If he doesn't know the physics, how do
you think he manages the much more specialized climate science?

> Finally, there are a lot of references to "right-wingers" and
> disparaging comments about the Republicans and the current
> administration. Is this politcal, or is this science? I know how to
> deal with politics. Science is supposed to be about truth regardless
> of politics.

For M&M it is definitely political. That's the only reason they started
to investigate an article so far outside their own competence, and it is
the only reason the erroneous results of a couple of amateurs have gotten
the publicity it has. Had they tried to do the same to something a bit
less politcally sensitive, like some particle experiment over at CERN
they would simple have been ignored or told to come back once they had
learned the basics. There are no special journals to publish any article
regardless of quality as long as it contradicts what is published from
CERN.

Per

unread,
Jul 7, 2004, 3:51:38 AM7/7/04
to
Thomas Palm <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message news:<Xns951EEC1676A1T...@212.83.64.229>...

> perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote in
> news:bd7c1148.04070...@posting.google.com:
>
> > Thomas Palm <Thoma...@chello.removethis.se> wrote in message
> > news:<Xns951E86CDBEFAAT...@212.83.64.229>...
> >> What do you think is a "minimum standard"?
> > the issue is that MBH accept with their corrigendum that what they
> > previously published was not at that minimum standard.
>
> No, it only proves it wasn't perfect. As I already explained essentially
> no paper is perfect. To what extent people worry about corrections depend
> on whether they see there is an interest for one. Had Nature withdrawn
> the paper it would have showed it was below the minimum standard.

Nature categorically states that it will not publish trivial
corrections, only corrections that are (and I paraphrase) substantial,
going to the scientific integrity of the paper, or the like.

You seem very confused. Retractions are when the whole paper has been
busted. Corrigenda are corrections. I have not suggested that the
whole paper has been busted. MBH have admitted that they made errors
and omissions in MBH'98, and these were not trivial errors. The
corrections bring the paper back to the minimum standard required for
publication.

> > M&M did an independent analysis of the MBH paper
> > They came up with results which differ from MBH.
>
> The analysis M&M did was a lot more flawed than the one by MBH so that
> isn't much of an achievement, nor was it independent, they just took the
> description by MBH as they understood it based on no knowledge in the
> field and plugged in the numbers. To make it truly independent they would
> have to choose their own datasets and how to analyze them. This has been
> done, but not by M&M.

This is bizarre. M&M set out to audit MBH'98 by attempting to
replicate the study; this was their (limited) goal. That would be an
independent replication (or analysis) of MBH'98- which is what I said.

If you want to claim M&M is a lot more flawed, perhaps it would help
if you could specify, rather than just throwing brickbats ?
per

Per

unread,
Jul 7, 2004, 4:08:23 AM7/7/04
to
David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<qrfme0p7qdirjd42e...@4ax.com>...

> On 6 Jul 2004 16:52:04 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
> >
> >This is not true. We now KNOW that the MBH'98 paper had errors and
> >omissions, because MBH themselves have made this statement in their
> >corrigendum.
>
> No. We know that they did not describe their methodology as
> fully as some might wish. That is a far cry from invalidating their
> results.

These are the words of MBH, and they directly contradict you:
"that the listing of the 'proxy' data set in the Supplementary


Information published with this Article contained several errors."

I have not charged that their corrigendum invalidates their results !
Though I can understand why you might think so :-)

> LOL. Per, get a grip. An audit would have required them to
> precisely follow the author's methodology. They didn't. They made it
> up as they went along. The M&M paper was no more reviewed by an expert
> than I can fly to the moon. The very first thing any half-decent
> reviewer should have noticed was the warming that occurred in the
> middle of the bloody Little Ice Age. And E&E's editorial board? Don't
> make me laugh. It's pretty hard to take you seriously when you posture
> like this.

David
you are reckless with the truth. You have no idea who peer-reviewed
M&M, yet you make statements such as the above; that it effectively
did not receive expert peer-review. That is a baseless assertion.
And yes; M&M set out to follow MBH's methodology, which is an audit.



> Are you daft? All they said was that some omissions were
> identified in the Supplementary information.

Dear David
I understand you find it difficult to understand the relevance of a
dataset to final results. Nonetheless, most scientists find it quite
helpful to have the correct dataset to work with. The supplementary
information described the dataset of MBH'98. If you think that is
trivial, you differ from the editors of nature, and MBH.

yours
per

Per

unread,
Jul 7, 2004, 4:17:35 AM7/7/04
to
David Ball <wra...@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<bkime0hiuih73tg7t...@4ax.com>...

> On 6 Jul 2004 17:01:08 -0700, perox...@ntlworld.com (Per) wrote:
>
> >not at all. We now know that the original publication had errors and
> >omissions in its description of the methodology and dataset used. We
> >know this, because MBH have published this in a corrigendum.
>
> Incorrect. We now that the supplementary information was not
> complete. That is not an error, but an omission.

So let me get this right; an omission is not an error ?

>
> Bullshit. They claim to have published an 'audit'. Further
> inspection shows that clearly not to be the case. The peer-review was
> shoddy. There's a reason they published in E&E. As for experts, a rank
> amateur should have spotted the problematic nature of M&M's results.

You have no knowledge of what happened during M&M's peer review; your
claims to the contrary reveal you as a fantasist and liar.

> > In fact, the corrigendum explicitly
> >refers to McIntyre and McKitrick:
> >"It has been drawn to our attention (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick)

> >that the listing of the ?proxy' data set in the Supplementary


> >Information published with this Article contained several errors."
> >

> LOL. I write a paper and have it published in Science.

Dear David
READ the text of the corrigendum. I have stripped it down so you only
have to parse one sentence for its content. See if you can understand
the text.
good luck.
per