Cooling-gate: Easterbrook defends the indefensible

by Gareth on May 25, 2010

Don Easterbrook seems to have decided that when under pressure, attack is the best form of defence. He’s replied to my original post and Tim Lambert’s added exposure of his statistical sleight of hand in this document (pdf)apparently composed as a reply to a query from Andy Revkin of the New York TimesDot Earth blog. Here’s how he ends his piece (it’s all in caps because that’s the way it is in his document, and I wouldn’t want to alter the data…):

CONCLUSION — THE ‘FAKE DATA’ CHARGE BY THE ‘TRUFFLE GROWER’ IS A COMPLETE LIE–THE DATA COMES FROM THE WORLD STANDARD OXYGEN ISOTOPE RECORD FROM THE GREENLAND ICE CORES, AND THE RECENT TEMPERATURE DATA IS FROM SATELLITES. ALL OF THIS DATA IS EASILY AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PLOT THEIR OWN GRAPHS. THE CHARGE THAT THIS DATA HAS BEEN ALTERED IS A DISPICABLE LIE.

Unfortunately for Easterbrook’s credibility, all he’s done is confirm his own mistakes. He not only attempts to defend the wrong graph, but confuses me with Tim Lambert and underlines the considerable statistical naivety in his analysis of recent global temperatures. To make matters worse, a pixel-by-pixel comparison of Easterbrook’s slide nine and the Global Warming Art equivalent shows that they are a perfect match — confirming my original charge: that Easterbrook had crudely altered the GWA original to better suit his storyline.

Easterbrook’s reply is a classic of its kind. A blustering, intemperate attempt to defend the indefensible, he only manages to dig himself into deeper trouble. Here he goes:

The charge by ‘the truffle grower’ that I used a graph “prepared by Global Warming Art” and that I “altered it to fraudulently bolster his case” is an outright, contemptible lie.

Here’s an overlay of Easterbrook’s slide nine on the GWA original, prepared by HT reader and Photoshop expert Bill Doyle:

easterbrook-vs-GWA480.jpg

Bill describes the uncanny similarities in a comment to my original post:

I await with interest the explanations that account for its not only being in the same position as the zero line in the GWA graph, but that – even the bloody grey dashes are in the same places!

And there are the faint pixels that just happen to be faded versions of the same same colours as GWA’s original ‘spaghetti’!

And if that wasn’t enough, try examining the extreme lower right and upper right hand corner of the graph. Along the x-axis – the time scale – the ’0′ – present time – is not flush with the right-hand margin of the chart – it’s offset by a couple of pixels. This anomaly is identical in both charts!

‘Uncanny’ is a word that comes to mind! As is ‘busted’!

In other words, there can be no doubt that Easterbrook used a crudely edited version of the GWA graph in his presentation. I am not the liar — he is. He then moves on to defend the wrong graph:

This is totally false — below is the Greenland data for the past 10,000 years (Holocene) from the published paper by Cuffy and Clow (1997), two distinguished US scientists. Note that temperatures for almost all of the past 10,000 years have been warmer than present.

Let’s set aside Easterbrook’s misspelling of Kurt Cuffey‘s name: the full reference to Cuffey and Clow 1997 is Cuffey, K.M. and G.D. Clow (1997). Temperature, accumulation and ice sheet elevation in central Greenland through the last deglacial transition. Journal of Geophysical Research 102(C12), 26383-396. Regular readers will know that I had occasion to delve into that paper when investigating some Moncktonian nonsense, so what it says is not unfamiliar to me. It’s also possible to download the underlying data and graph it yourself — in fact it is one of the temperature series used in the Global Warming Art graph (but only one). Here’s Easterbrook’s plot from his “reply”:

EasterbrookGISP.jpg

Once again, he provides a baseline and labels it as present temperature, and pace Monckton, provides a helpful arrow to “present global warming”. I assume for the sake of argument that Easterbrook is telling the truth when he says his new graph is based on the GISP2 data, but he continues to hide the incline. Here’s one of the notes in the datafile:

(3) layer count ages at top depths (in yr BP) where 0 BP represents AD
1950 SUMMER to AD 1949 SUMMER

“Present” is therefore defined nice and accurately at 1950. Given what we know of global and regional temperature changes over the last 60 years, I think we can assume that Greenland has warmed. In fact there’s no need to assume anything: NASA’s GISS helpfully provides a summary. In the region where the core was drilled, there has been warming of around 1ºC. There’s no scale on Easterbrook’s graph, so it’s not clear how far above his baseline that would be — but it does suggest that his definition of “present” is not one that most people would use.

There’s another problem with his use of the Greenland ice core data. He wants it to stand as a proxy for global temperature. It isn’t. It’s a record of temperatures high up on the summit of the Greenland ice sheet. Most of the rapid changes of temperature seen in the core, and which Easterbrook analyses in great detail, are not seen in Antarctic cores, for instance.

Easterbrook’s next step is to confuse me with Tim Lambert, who is not, so far as I know, a truffle grower (though I would be glad to offer free advice should he wish to join the burgeoning Australian truffle industry). I’ll leave it to Tim to reply to that section, but it should be obvious that Easterbrook is ascribing far too much significance to short term temperature trends. The other side of the “no statistically significant warming for 15 years” coin is that there can’t be statistically significant cooling either…

Let’s return to Easterbrook’s conclusion.

THE CHARGE THAT THIS DATA HAS BEEN ALTERED IS A DISPICABLE LIE.

It is clear beyond all doubt that Easterbrook used an edited graph from Global Warming Art in his Heartland presentation, and has trouble with his spelling. His attempted defence of his position makes him look a lot more like one of Richard Lindzen’s “overt cheats” than it does an academic defending his reputation. And guess what? No sign yet of any contrition from the sceptic camp, just a few pathetic attempts at spin in the comments here. Tells us all we need to know…

*****

PS: I find it interesting that when people respond to posts here they choose to characterise me as a “truffle grower” or “trufflehunter”. In Easterbrook’s case, he calls me a “photographer and truffle grower”, a description he may have borrowed from my Linked-In profile. He’s been cherry-picking there too. The full description is “writer, photographer and truffle grower”, and I’ve been writing professionally a lot longer than I’ve been growing truffles…

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

bill May 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

ho ho – the game's afoot!…

david.winter May 25, 2010 at 2:43 am

Oh no, Easterbrook doesn't seem to realise the Greenland data he claims his graph is based on is the light blue line in Globing Warming Art graph. (It's the nice big noisey one that doesn't look at all like his graph.)

david winter May 25, 2010 at 3:01 am

…to be fair, Easterbrook cites a different source for the temperatures. But both papers used the same isotopes to calculate their temps.

My recent post Sunday Spinelessness – Attack of the Killer Sponge!

david winter May 25, 2010 at 3:21 am

..and now I see this information is already in your post.

I'll get my coat…
My recent post Sunday Spinelessness – Attack of the Killer Sponge!

Gareth May 25, 2010 at 4:00 am

:)

Raincoat on a day like this…

Steve Bloom May 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm

You grow cherries too? Versatile! :)

Gareth May 25, 2010 at 5:43 am

Damn birds get them all long before I do…

ctg May 25, 2010 at 7:45 am

Right, yes, I remember the "Curry & Clow" article – I suppose Cuffy is a bit closer than Curry, but still not quite there.

So slide 4 in Easterbrook's presentation is where he got the "reply" version from – he has chopped off the top right corner, and then filled in the area under the curve above the "present temperature" line. But slide 9 is clearly not from the same data as slide 4.

The interesting thing is that on slide 4, he has mislabelled the MWP and LIA (compare it with Monckton's version). Easterbrook has MWP on the bump that Monckton labels Roman Warm Period, and he puts LIA on the downturn between RWP and MWP, so both about 1000 years too early. I guess he was confused about where those must go – not surprising given that this is just a single central Greenland proxy, and not a global proxy.

That also explains why there is no vertical scale on this graph. I think even Easterbrook would find it difficult to explain why the current mean global temperature is apparently -33ºC.

But trying to pass off this botched-up version of slide 4 as if it were the graph Gareth originally blogged about is possibly an even bigger peccadillo than the original fraud. I emailed Andy Revkin to make sure he knows that he is being conned.

bill May 25, 2010 at 9:47 am

Well spotted! How extraordinary – the chart from slide 4 has indeed apparently been cropped and infilled to achieve another 'striking similarity' – this time to the actual graph in question in Gareth's posting!

The red infilling is a real mess – the uncharitable might speculate that it was done rather quickly, but this is, of course, an unknowable – and even a couple of small segments of red lines (indicating warming trends) from the original have been converted to black – the curve colour of the 'original' graph – whereas the blue (cooling) ones haven't.

Gone are all the circled numbers, any reference to the 8200 year cooling, and 'Present temperature' has been shifted right to fit within the cropped frame, plus we get to keep the little arrow pointing out 'Present global warming' – a synonym of present temperature, apparently – that wasn't in the actual chart under discussion.

And yes, with the nicely cropped version we're spared the confusion of being told that both 'Present temperature' and 'Present global warming are about -33C!

Not a lot to add, really… just that it was a pleasure to be re-acquainted with Old Scrotum, the wrinkled retainer. (See Gareth's link re Monckton)

Is it just me, or is there a truly deafening silence from some quarters around here?

J Bowers May 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

bil: "Is it just me, or is there a truly deafening silence from some quarters around here?"

It's pretty spooky. I think Steve McIntyre and others at the Heartland jamboree basically saying the accusations have gone too far has temporarily knocked the wind out of their sails, with McI even saying Climate Audit has fulfilled its purpose and he doesn't actually like libertarianism. The religion ad homs and blatant rudeness are also flying thick and fast, which I personally think is a sign of something, as the science certainly isn't being chucked out, and what is being thrown about is being kicked into the bin almost immediately and rather efficiently.

Great debunking Gareth.

Gareth May 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thanks. You're right about the silence. The real story here is not Easterbrook's incompetence, though it is rather striking, but the incredible asymmetry of response. If this were a graph concocted by an "IPCC scientist" there would be a cacophony of outrage from the usual suspects.

dappledwater May 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Actually what intrigues me, is these self described former skeptics, gather at this conference, and they trundle out people who continually contradict each other.

Richard Lindzen, he thinks climate sensitivity is very low – the climate can't change because of negative feedback in the form of his invisible friend, Iris – the effect. Roy Spencer thinks it's high, because he's spotted short term cooling cooling in the warmest decade on record. McIntyre thinks sensitivity is high because he doesn't like hockey and like the medieval warm period, he's stuck in the past and can't move forward. Monckton thinks climate sensitivity is low because, well he doesn't need a reason, any gish gallop will do.

I bet all those villages, will be very disappointed when their idiots return.

Hank Roberts May 26, 2010 at 3:06 am

Yep. The WTF crowd now is trying to associate the name "Romm" with someone who fought for the Nazis in WW2. They've run out of even bogus arguments and have nothing left but slime.

Gareth May 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

Nicely spotted ctg. Easterbrook has the Little Ice Age happening before the MWP… Perhaps it's a major discovery…

AndrewH May 25, 2010 at 8:05 am

your renown as a truffle grower is growing

Gareth May 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

If only the same were true for my truffles… ;-)

MartinM May 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

(3) layer count ages at top depths (in yr BP) where 0 BP represents AD
1950 SUMMER to AD 1949 SUMMER

It's both better and worse than that.

Better, because the GISP2 data includes negative dates; the last measurement on file is actually from 1986. However, the raw isotope data doesn't look much like Easterbrook's graph.

Worse, because, the GISP2 temperature reconstruction only goes up to 1905. If you plot it out, it's pretty clear that this is the dataset used to produce the graph Easterbrook references, not the raw isotope data.

Gareth May 26, 2010 at 2:05 am

Thanks Martin. So the "present global warming" is over 100 years out of date. I might have a play with those numbers…. ;)

Gneiss May 26, 2010 at 2:29 am

Martin's absolutely right, the GISP2 temperature reconstruction ends in 1905, which would make that the right-hand boundary if you're just graphing GISP2. Hardly "present day" or the era of global warming.

You don't have to read far to find this. The dataset's time index is thousands of years before 2000, and the very top value is .0951409, i.e. 1905.

But when I graph the GISP2 data it looks a lot more ragged than either of Easterbrook's figures, so there's smoothing involved too. Did we lose any more years from the endpoint by smoothing, as visibly happens with Easterbrook's RSS graph in this talk?

ctg May 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

I think the "smoothing" relates to the width of the paintbrush tool that was used to trace over the original graph :-)

So if the x-axis is in years before 2000, starting at 95 (i.e. 1905), that puts Easterbrook's MWP arrow at the year 379 A.D., with the LIA reaching its minimum in 793 A.D.

Yes, obviously he knows something we don't.

Glacier Guy May 28, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Actually, I'm fairly certain that the "smoothing" is a result of Easterbrook simply copying the graph accompanying the NOAA web page on Richard Alley's 2000 summation of late-Pleistocene and Holocene Temp and accumulation data for GISP2: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/
If you plot the actual data (which are available there as well) you get a significantly more detailed curve. I'd say Easterbrook was just being lazy.

ctg May 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Is there a higher resolution version of that graph? If not, then Easterbrook's graph is certainly not a copy/paste of it. I had to scale up the Alley graph to get it to line up with Easterbrook's, and then it appeared significantly more pixelated than the Easterbrook graph. It is possible that someone then traced a line on top of the scaled up Alley graph, and that would account for some of the artefacts in the Easterbrook graph, but I don't think Easterbrook himself took the Alley graph as his direct source.

Apart from anything else, the MWP and LIA are correctly identified in the Alley graph, so Easterbrook would have had to erase those markings and deliberately move them back, which seems a bit implausible. It is much easier to imagine starting with a trace of the line, then adding in his own labelling – making a mistake in the position of the MWP/LIA labels in the process.

Glacier Guy May 30, 2010 at 1:58 am

Actually, his own web page shows he does just that (traces other people's graphs, then takes the result as his own (or unreferenced) examples of some original data). Case in point: you can download his powerpoint presentation from the GSA National convention in 2007 (linked at the bottom of his abstract at: http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/research/global/dje_a
The graph is of Global Warming Art's multi-proxy Holocene global temp record. On it, he's clearly traced over the "Average Temp." curve, and created a line he later calls "today's temperature" in subsequent talks (he colors the areas above the line red, and below the line blue, implying warmer and cooler than "today," respectively).

This is the same tracing that Easterbrook subsequently described in his recent Heartland talk (and others as well) as the "Greenland ice-core temperature record of global temperatures." The same graph Gareth started this whole thread on exposing Easterbrook's fraud.

Glacier Guy May 30, 2010 at 1:58 am

In no way does Easterbrook have to "erase" anything…he just has to trace out the line in one layer of a graphics program (like photoshop), and then omit the other layer (with the original graph). I believe that in doing this, he seems to forget both where he got the data, and also what the significant wiggles relate to climatically (e.g., MWP/LIA). Given everything else he is eggregiously sloppy on, why would it surprise anyone that he misses that stuff too? He doesn't seem to realize any of this, and that is most damning of all.

Scott Mandia May 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

A few days ago I wrote a letter to every major news outlet including Fox News, and I also contacted Rachel Maddow, John Stewart, and Colbert and told them that it was their duty to "out" Fox for not correcting this obvious fraud.

Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
Selden, NY
Global Warming: Man or Myth?
My Global Warming Blog
Twitter: AGW_Prof
"Global Warming Fact of the Day" Facebook Group

Gareth May 26, 2010 at 2:06 am

Thanks Scott. Not much sign of coverage, however…

Scott Mandia May 26, 2010 at 5:18 am
TrueSceptic May 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I find it interesting that Easterbrook refers to you (or Tim, it's hard to tell) as the 'truffle grower', i.e., he suggests that you only call yourself that and you aren't a real truffle grower.

It's only fair to call him the 'professor', given that he has demonstrated none of the abilities and behaviour expected of a real professor.

I'll also mention that the deniosphere is very fond of falsely accusing people who point out their incompetence and dishonesty of using "ad hominem" attacks. Referring to you as a truffle grower is, of course, an actual ad hominem attack, i.e., a truffle grower can't know anything about science so what he says is rubbish.

On this evidence, we can say that the truffle grower knows far more about science and its conduct than the 'professor'.

TrueSceptic May 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Has anyone else been unable to get the GWA original, or even reach the GWA homepage? I hope this is just a coincidence!

(There's a similar graph available at Wikipedia but it's reversed and is also slightly different in other ways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temper… )

Hank Roberts May 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Not likely a problem, it's been down temporarily from time to time over the years; not long ago, Robert Rohde posted that he was starting to update the site after several years of being distracted (getting his PhD finished as I recall).

Hank Roberts May 26, 2010 at 7:08 am

Not likely a problem, it's been down temporarily from time to time over the years; not long ago, Robert Rohde posted that he was starting to update the site after several years of being distracted (getting his PhD finished as I recall).
EDIT five minutes later:
works for me now: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocen

bill May 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm
TrueSceptic May 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Bill,

Thanks. Will have a close look.

TrueSceptic May 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

There can be no doubt that Easterbrook edited the GWA graph to produce his own slide 9. There's a minute difference in the image scaling, and the slide image contains messy artifacts, presumably due to JPEG compression, but the similarity is, as they say, striking.

It shouldn't matter which image viewer/editor you use, but just for the record I used Preview on a Mac.

Gareth May 26, 2010 at 2:07 am

I suspect that Easterbook has forgotten more science than I've ever learned. But I have the better memory…

bill May 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

Amazing, isn't it!

Catch a denier out in something as blatant as this, and all our regular captious nit-pickers and self-righteous denouncers of the sins of others are suddenly off washing their hair for the week!

Not to mention the singularly-focussed inattention of all those otherwise ever-vigilant, 'brook no nonsense' 'skeptical' 'scientists'.

It's literally pathetic.

Shame on you all.

ctg May 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I thought at least Gosman would be along to express his disappointment in Easterbrook's lack of professional integrity. Gosman doesn't like that sort of thing, you know, and expects better things from scientists.

Bryan Walker May 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Yes, and I expected a congratulatory comment from Gosman for reviewing The Clean Industrial Revolution, which clearly doesn't question economic growth. Perhaps he's on holiday.

Gosman May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Give me a chance Bryan ;-).

I was going to do that a coup[le of days ago to be honest but my wife has had me busy doing stuff around the house while I am off work for a couple of weeks.

i was most impressed actually but I thought it would have generated more comments, (other than from me I mean).

William May 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm

He can't even spell DESPICABLE :-(
My recent post Eric Fnorrd and his Ouija Board?

TrueSceptic May 26, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Yes but a geology 'professor' not being able to spell "Dryas"? In a slide presented at a conference?

If all those SEPP corpses appeared at the board meetings, that would make SEPP the greatest stink tank ever?

bill May 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

Ah, you're Stoat! Yes, I enjoyed this piece on SEPP's posthumous expertise! I notice they expanded the set of directors pretty promptly, but the deceased Seitz is still there.

Love your title and the 1st comment suggestion: 'SEPPtic Fred – He Talks To The Dead' – they do indeed sound like a great couple of Viz strips (from back before it was crap, of course!)

(Pity about Mickey and his MSM: You can still get The Vibrating Bum-faced Goats, though, which is a low-brow surrealist masterpiece.)

C3P0 May 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Gareth: Do you think that the global warming art graphs use of the instrumental data without marking as being from a different source is good practice?

Do you think it is fair to compare the data point '2004' to the historical record presented in the global warming art image?

Thanks.

Gareth May 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Since thermometers are just another form of temperature proxy, using data from them in the context of a multi-proxy reconstruction is perfectly valid. GWA's inclusion of a "2004" point provides valuable context for the rest of the graph. But you should note that the GWA graph is an illustration, not the product of a peer-reviewed study. It was assembled with great care (see the notes accompanying it at the GWA site) — a great deal more care, it would appear, than anything else in Easterbrook's presentation.

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 2:32 am

But it is an inconsistent proxy. Thermometers are very different to the proxies that are used for comparison.

For example: the time resolution on thermometers can be presumed to be 100% accurate. The reading for 1988 in New Zealand will surely be the same year as the reading for 1988 in Britain. With ice cores or tree rings 1088 in one sample may not be 1088 in another as errors can creep into the record.

So any warming or cooling in the record will naturally be somewhat muted as the warmest years or decades will be averaged with less warm years and decades.

To me it is obvious that the only way to conclude modern warming is extraordinary is to use a consistent measurement method for the entire comparison period. As we all know the instrumental record only goes back 150 odd years this means we need to use another proxy.

I have yet to see a proxy that uses a consistent methodology and shows a hockey stick shape. They usually show warming in the last 200 years, but rather than an exponential rise most of the warming usually happens early rather than later.

philscadden May 27, 2010 at 3:04 am

Huh? modern warming is extraordinary because it is being caused by increased GHG in the atmosphere rather than other natural causes and because the rate of warming is so fast. Unlike say a change in insolation, we can do something about it and prudence tells us we should because rapid change stretches our capacity to adapt.

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 3:10 am

Sorry, I meant extraordinary in magnitude.

philscadden May 27, 2010 at 4:10 am

Well this is the strawman the denialist try to push. The science position is that warming may or may not be extraordinary for holocene (certainly not before that) (IPCC AR4, Chpt 6). Possibly it was warmer 3000BC. However the cause is different and rate is high. Furthermore models predict we will get worse and models are accurate so far.

The graph kerfuffle is that Easterbrook hides both magnitude and rate by failing to show where 2004 temperature is on that graph. The temperature at "zero" on that graph is NOT current temperature. Join the dots to get an idea of magnitude of the warming rate.

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 4:23 am

Yeah. Well, actually Gareth is the one trying to push the idea that todays warming is extrodinary in the above post.

I am defending the use of modern average in the context Easterbrook is using it as he is comparing to proxy, so the modern average should use the same method, not an alternate method as is done in the GWA graph.

The rate is compartive and can not be concluded as being high by comparing instrumental data to proxy data.

Phil Scadden May 27, 2010 at 5:11 am

Well in terms of GISP2 proxy, it IS higher. And if you treat the instrument data in same way as GISP2 proxy, (this is very high resolution data after all), then I dont think you can escape the fact that it is high. Your argument might apply to other proxies but surely not this one.

All of which is secondary to the main point on this blog – the cause of warming. The paleo data is entirely consistent with the current theory of climate and while it cant "prove" AGW, it certainly adds collaborative evidence.

TrueSceptic May 29, 2010 at 12:40 am

Easterbrook has already lied about this, or he is too incompetent to read simple references. Are you ignoring what he did or too stupid to notice?

Beyond any reasonable doubt he copied and altered a graph from GWA. He inserted an unsupported baseline yet somehow left the original dashed zero line representing an average of recent temperatures.

Please stop trying to change the subject and address what Easterbrook did.

ctg May 27, 2010 at 11:14 am

Um, how exactly do you think the proxies are calibrated?

Take the ice core data that is the basis of Easterbrook's "rebuttal" graph. This proxy is calculated by measuring the ratio of O18 to O16 in the ice. The theory is that water containing O16 will evaporate preferentially to water containing O18 (and conversely O18 will condense preferentially to O16), therefore ice containing more O18 will represent cooler temperatures. So an ice core proxy is expressed as the ratio of O18 to O16. But Easterbrook's slide 4 graph has the vertical axis in ºC.

So what are the units of the ratio of O18 to O16? Okay, trick question – a ratio has no units. So clearly there was a conversion from this ratio to ºC. There is a formula that will tell you for a given change in the ratio, what this change would be in ºC, but that still doesn't give you an absolute temperature such as is on Easterbrook's graph – those are the actual temperatures in Greenland.

What happens is that the proxy is compared against the instrumental record for the period that they overlap. This helps identify both the temporal resolution of the proxy, and the magnitude (and absolute values) of the proxy temperatures.

Time and again I have seen this assertion that you can't plot the instrumental temperatures on the same graph as a proxy that is calibrated against the self-same instrumental temperatures. I have never yet seen an explanation as to why this is not allowed.

So please, C3, can you explain to us exactly why it is that you can't plot instrumental temperatures on the same graph as a proxy calibrated against instrumental temperatures?

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I have above. I understand how a ratio is converted to temperature, but the units, be them ratio O16 to O18, celcius or kelvin doesn't really matter, its the comparison between todays variance and historical variance. So where are the proxies that show today as extreme?

ctg May 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

Don't dodge the question. You started off by saying

Do you think it is fair to compare the data point '2004' to the historical record presented in the global warming art image?

So obviously you think it is not fair to compare instrumental temperatures to proxies, but you haven't said why.

So go on, tell us.

Macro2 May 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm

The devil is in the scale! A graph with a scale of 150 years as opposed to a scale of 10,000 years will always show a less steep rise for periods of rapid change. The simple fact remains that when the present rate of change of temperates are compared with previous warming rates there is no comparison.

C3P0 May 28, 2010 at 12:34 am

Compared how?

Macro2 May 28, 2010 at 5:08 am

The rate of change……..
It's warming up way quicker than ever before.

Hank Roberts May 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm

> use of the instrumental data without marking as being from a different source
Bullshit. You can, when you decide to quit lying about it, cite the exact information you pretend isn't there: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocen

Gneiss May 28, 2010 at 12:58 am

C3PO:
"Do you think that the global warming art graphs use of the instrumental data without marking as being from a different source is good practice?"

But they did. The GWA box with recent data is titled 'Recent Proxies.'

C3PO:
"Do you think it is fair to compare the data point '2004' to the historical record presented in the global warming art image?"

The GWA graph says '2004', no deception there. Whereas Easterbrook labels 1905(!!!) as 'present day temperature' without hinting at the date, and then uses that as the baseline for coloring most of his graph red to make a fake case for 'global cooling.'

Apparently he and other denialists have been getting away with this for a while, to judge from the second graph Easterbrook supplied with his switcheroo rebuttal, and the similar ones in Monckton's slide shows.

None of the skeptics were skeptical enough to notice, it seems.

C3P0 May 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm

The recent proxies title is above a graph that contains both recent proxies and a thin black line that represents instrumental records. If you look at the graph again you may notice that the recent proxies and the instrumental data line show little correlation.

Was the last data point on the Easterbrook graph 1905?

Gareth May 28, 2010 at 3:36 am

That's the whole point of the most recent cooling-gate post!

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Heavn and PreEarth were planets, a binary system orbiting the Sun. This happy arrangement continued for countless years, until, some unfortunate circumstance caused Heavn to collide with PreEarth, forming the Earth.

We investigate the evidence that the Earth is the child of such a collision. We show that the planets Heavn and PreEarth were of similar size and mass. We show that many of the Earth's topographical features, such as mountain chains and ocean basins, were created during the collision. We show that certain hard to explain features of the Earth, such as its magnetic field, can now be more easily understood. And, in establishing all this, we uncover a new theory on the origin of the Moon.

Much of PreEarth's crust survived the impact and is today the continental crust of the Earth. Although broken and contorted, giant pieces of the ancient crust acted as ships floating on a newly molten interior, insulating, and protecting, life from the fires below. Heavn itself, together with its crust, if it had one, disappeared into the interior of the PreEarth, never to be seen again. If we put the broken pieces of PreEarth's crust back together, we obtain the following map….

From: http://preearth.net/

WORTH A LOOK.

Marion Delgado June 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Filthy Truffle-hunting bastards! Wait till I tell Ian Wishart on you! The baby Jesus will send demons into your truffle-hunting swine and drive them over a cliff for this outrage! I told everyone Darwinism would lead to believing in CO2, which no one can see, and no one would listen!

TrueSceptic June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Marion,

This is OT but I hope no one minds.

Mike Kaulbars's Greenfyre blog is currently unmoderated. As you recently had a guest post there, I wonder if you can contact Mike or S2? I've tried the address given for Mike but have had no reply. I thought S2 was standing in but I can't find an email address for him/her at all.

Thanks.

David June 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

The guy, Kevin Mansfield, who wrote the article at http://preearth.net/ is a New Zealander.

He is a graduate of the University of Auckland with a PhD from the University of New South Wales in mathematics.

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

The above post is about paleo climate – so this blog gets into both

C3P0 May 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Phil, thanks for directing me to the GISP2 proxy. Can you please elaborate a little on your thoughts here. I really am interested in finding proxy evidence that proves (or disproves) the instrumental record. I can only find GISP2 data that begins at -95 years. Can you please direct me to the data for the last 95 years?

Thanks.

Here is one of the links I have found:
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Greenland_GI

philscadden May 28, 2010 at 12:46 am

How can you use a proxy to "prove or disprove" the instrument record?? How do think a proxy is calibrated? Every proxy has problems – the ice cores would be least of all but no shortage of literature on them. The problem to be is way proxy data is used.
Ideally you want to take you current model of climate, feed in past forcing and see whether it reproduces past temperature. A no. of hassles with this – proxies are measures of temperatures at points at best (except for past sealevel). Most models used for this really output global temperature only (though there are higher resolution runs). More major, is estimating past forcings for the input and then there are the problems with the error bounds inherent in the proxy temperature record you are comparing with. Net result is large error bounds but the models do remarking well (ch6, IPCC WG1 for example but also more recent work). Proxies dont invalidate the models – thats about as far as you can say. If you want to know whether AGW ( or more accurately the current theory of climate) is valid, then look to the direct evidence instead – its a lot more informative. Obsessing about proxies is because the uncertainties allow a lot doubt-spreading not because there is much science to be gained.

ctg May 29, 2010 at 9:06 am

If you want to assess the validity of the instrumental record (i.e. land-based thermometers), then you would have to use something that is independent of those thermometers. As Phil says, proxies can't do that, as they are calibrated using the same thermometers, and are therefore dependent on the thermometers. If the proxies proved the instruments to be wrong, then the proxies themselves would also be wrong, and would not therefore prove anything one way or the other.

So what alternatives to land-based thermometers are there? Well, satellites for a start. So do the satellites show that land-based thermometers are wrong?

You tell me, C3.

TrueSceptic May 29, 2010 at 12:15 am

"proxy evidence that proves (or disproves) the instrumental record"

I'm calling Poe on this.

ctg May 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Not at all. C3 has asked a perfectly valid question – is it possible to prove or disprove the instrumental record? That, in itself, is a perfectly healthy, skeptical question that I would hope all climate scientists ask themselves on a regular basis.

I do think that C3 was rather hoping that the divergence problem in certain proxies would be able to disprove the instrumental record at large, but that is not the case.

That is certainly no reason to mock or insult C3, so perhaps you should take that back.

TrueSceptic June 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I don't see why. The instrumental record is what proxies are calibrated against. How can the reverse work?

Perhaps thermometer records since 1960 are unreliable because some tree-ring data disagrees?

ctg June 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I don't disagree that C3P0 is wrong. I don't think you need to be insulting about it, that's all.

ianam June 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Tone trolling FTL.

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