Cooling-gate! Easterbrook fakes his figures, hides the incline

by Gareth on May 21, 2010

Don Easterbrook, the retired geology professor who predicted that the world was headed for decades of global cooling at the recent Heartland climate sceptic conference, appears to have crudely faked one of the key graphs in his presentation in order to reduce modern temperatures and make historical climate look warmer than justified. Looking through Easterbrook’s slides, it seems he has taken a graph of Holocene temperature variations prepared by Global Warming Art (used at Wikipedia), and altered it to fraudulently bolster his case.

Here’s Easterbrook’s graph (slide 9, ppt file available here):

Easterbrookholocene.009.jpg

When I saw that graphic, it struck me as strangely familiar. The typefaces and presentation are reminiscent of graphs prepared by Robert A Rohde for Global Warming Art. So I checked, and this is what I found:

GWAHolocene.jpg

Here’s the source page. Note that the typeface and scaling of the axes are identical, save for the y-axis being swapped over to the left. The thick black curve, the median of the reconstructions Rohde has used, is identical. Here’s a “blink” comparison:

GWAHoloceneanim.gif

Easterbrook has altered the graph considerably. The dotted line across the graph marks the zero anomaly, which Rohde has set at the mid-20th century average values. To put current temperatures in perspective, he has provided an arrow indicating 2004’s temperature and a box providing an expanded scale for the last 2000 years. Easterbrook has erased that arrow, all the individual reconstructions and the detail box, and drawn a new line at 0.25ºC below zero. This he labels “present day temperature”. Areas above the new line are infilled in red, those below in blue. Easterbrook has quite deliberately altered the graph to reduce “current temperatures” by 0.75ºC and make the curve fit his storyline. The original suggests that current temperatures are comparable to, perhaps higher than the warmest period of the Holocene, the post-glacial climatic optimum 8000 years ago. Easterbrook’s version gives the impression that for most of the last 10,000 years temperature has been warmer than today. It’s interesting to note that Easterbrook has added a pointer to the Younger Dryas, but has managed to misspell it “Dyas”.

The hypocrisy inherent in Easterbrook’s approach to scholarship is shown in sharp focus by his slide 15, in which he discusses “Climategate”:

Easterbrook15.015.jpg

What has Easterbrook done? He has constructed a climate history that exaggerates the Medieval Warm Period, doctored climate data to suppress global warming and increase global cooling, and deleted data that doesn’t support his beliefs. The climate change fraud is Easterbrook.

This is a telling moment for the Heartland group of “sceptic” scientists and lobbyists. They have been loud and persistent in their attempt to demonise the scientists whose emails were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Richard Lindzen has gone so far as to accuse them of “overt cheating”. If they do not now demand an immediate apology from the cheat in their own midst, and withdraw and apologise for their promotion of his flawed scholarship, then they will stand revealed as a bunch of hypocritical charlatans. Either you live by the standards you demand of others, or you shut up. I look forward to the detailed coverage of Easterbrook’s cavalier approach to evidence from Watts Up With That, Climate Audit, Delingpole at the Telegraph and Leake at the Sunday Times. But I won’t be holding my breath.

{ 170 comments… read them below or add one }

bill May 21, 2010 at 9:46 am

…and we look forward to our in-house 'skeptics' being scandalised, rushing to denounce this evident fakery and manipulation of data etc. etc.

&nbsp:

yeah, I don't think so, either!

AndrewH May 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

Nice catch Gareth…this story should get spread around

Richard Christie May 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Yes and keep looking Gareth. I suspect that's not the only example of fabrication you'll find in the conference material.

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Easterbrook is a geologist and based his graph on the Greenland ice core
data, the same as Richard Alley did in his 2004 Scientific American article (which is listed as a reference in Easterbrook's GLOBAL WARMING: ARE WE HEADING FOR GLOBAL CATASTROPHY IN THE COMING CENTURY? paper). Just by looking at the plot, it's pretty obvious that the horizontal reference line you choose is arbitrary and depends on where you choose to start and end…and that line has nothing to do with how current temps relate to historic temps…there is no controversy that historic temps (climate optimum) were as warm or warmer than today's temps. That's what your graph shows. That's what the ice core record shows.

Richard Alley's 2004 SciAm paper:http://www.chicagocleanpower.org/alley.pdf
There are lots of web resources which cover the Greenland Ice Core projects, if you can't find one, I'll help you.

If you want to argue about something, how about the validity of averaging noisy spaghetti graphs (noisy temporally and in amplitude) and then appending (or overlaying as Dr. Mann prefers to put it) contemporary instrumental records. How you can justify that, I do not know.

Deep Climate May 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

It's worth pointing out what the 0 line represents, according to the "source" link.

"The records are plotted with respect to the mid 20th century average temperatures".

Easterbrook has a pretty interesting definition of "present day"; presumably it goes back to the 19th century or more.

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Look, it's no secret that I like and respect Dr. Easterbrook. I don't agree 100% with his ideas, but he's a sharp guy who studied the records and data very thoroughly. I've looked over what you're saying and I see small differences in interpretation, but where is the fraud? Everything in his slide can be backed up by information from the Climategate e-mails. The two graphs are based on the same data, so it would be unusual for them to look much different, right? I've exchanged many e-mails with Dr. Easterbrook and his spelling skill is poor, he'd be the first to admit it. So what?
Again, where is the fraud? If you can't back it up, then please delete the word and apologize to Dr. Easterbrook.

Gareth May 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Easterbrook took/borrowed a graph from Global Warming Art — there can be no doubt that it is the same, the blink comparison shows that even the dots in the dotted line are the same as in Rohde's original, and there are slight gaps where Easterbrook has erased the coloured lines showing the different proxies. He then altered it in such a way as to totally alter its intended meaning. This is clearly fraud, and I make no apologies for pointing it out.

ianam May 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

"he's a sharp guy"

Wouldn't it take one to know? You've demonstrated that you aren't.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

> where is the fraud

See the arrow labeled "2004" in Robert Rohde's original? Where is it in Easterbrook's chart?
Look at Richard Alley's work — look at the time scale of the chart you point to, focusing on abrupt climate change in the deep past. Where is today's temperature, on that chart? It's a vertical line at the margin.

Look at what Richard Alley says: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture

The fraud is ignoring the facts and picking images that can confuse people who don't understand what you're doing.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Deep, the "mid-Twentieth-Century" likely refers to one commonly used baseline — 1950, or the 1900-1950 average. This does confuse people outside the field. I recall Gavin pointing it out to someone a long time ago at RC, that by definition in a paper being asked about the "present" meant up to 1950.

That could be how Easterbrook manages to ignore the current temperature — I'm not sure what he's doing.
But he could be, technically, correct, and hiding the increase by using the very precise definition of "present day" from some source without explaining it so ordinary people can understand what he's leaving out.

Clever trick, perhaps.

Googling, I find mention that something in AR4 Chapter 9 uses a baseline of 1900-1950, amid complaints and confusion on blogs about people trying to fool them by changing the baselines.

I'll try to figure it out, but hope someone else understands it already and will fill us in on what "today" means in Easterbrook's graph and where the last 60 years or so show up in his source and his chart.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm

PS, Ken, I call baloney on your claim Easterbrook's relying on Alley's paper or on the Greenland ice core data.
The Greenland ice core data doesn't go up to the present day.
The Alley and Easterbrook charts don't match.

The black line in Easterbrook exactly matches the one Rohde created — using eight specified proxies — for the image that Gareth points out on the page at Globalwarming art.

Different choices from the available proxies would give somewhat different results, as Rohde states among the caveats on his copyright page: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocen

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I'm trying to follow your argument. Are you saying that Dr. Easterbrook is a fraud because he lifted Rohde's blend of climate proxies without proper attribution? Or, are you saying that…if someone does NOT append (or overlay) instrumental data to proxy records…they are a fraud? I don't know where Dr. Eastebrook grabbed that graphic (though I'll be happy to ask him), but I know that many of the proxy blends show that general shape (including Alley's), with warm middle ages followed by the little ice age (LIA)…but naturally they aren't useful for high resolution and up-to-the-last-minute data. I'll be specific, if you append an instrumental record…with different sample sizes and resolution…to a proxy mix…and hide any divergence…and pretend the ugly mix is coherent…then you're the fraud. I don't even like the averaging of proxies. I don't think you can get intelligence by mixing data with so much temporal and amplitude noise…pick one you think is accurate and we can talk about it.

ianam May 22, 2010 at 6:24 am

"then you're the fraud"

No, you're the fraud — you're pretending to have intellectual integrity.

Deep Climate May 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm

In my opinion the fraud is identifying "present day" level in a way that is highly misleading. Most people would assume that means "now", or perhaps the last decade or two.

But it's clearly something else – perhaps the last two centuries average. That doesn't correspond to a reasonable definition of "present day" in the context of a discussion of global warming.

Also the original chart on which Easterbrook based his, clearly indicated that recent temperatures (in the 2000s) were well above the baseline (which in turn is identified as "mid twentieth-century"). That information has been carefully excised, as far as I can see.

My recent post How to be a climate science auditor, part 2: The forgotten climategate emails

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Ken, what's the source of that image? Ask yourself how it was produced, what the source data is, and what the error ranges are. Ask how you'd find the work done to create the image.
Where's today's — or the most recent available — temperature, on his image?
What's he pointing to with his arrow, and how does it compare to the "2004" on Rohde's image?
You don't get today's — or the last decades' — temperatures from an ice core proxy.
You use thermometers.

> then you're the fraud
Wiggle, wiggle …. obfuscating won't help. Let the man speak for himself about where he got his picture.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Wow. Deltoid catches more fakery in other graphs Easterbrook made up: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/don_easte

Gareth May 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Nice to see my suspicions confirmed. Easterbrook is happy to play fast and loose with the data in order to bolster his argument.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

For Ken Coffman — Richard Alley had already rebutted the claim you're making about his work, here:
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/rich

"February 8, 2010, 3:36 pm
Reality Check on Old Ice, Climate and CO2
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Richard Alley’s name has been thrown around a bit by bloggers asserting that ice-core records from Greenland show that carbon dioxide has scant, if any, influence on climate….

I sent a query to Dr. Alley about such interpretations of his work and the ice-core record and he sent a reply, the heart of which is pasted below…."

Robert May 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Regarding Richard Lindzen's charge of "overt cheating": over on Deltoid we uncovered something pretty suspicious in his work a few years ago. Here's a link:http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/05/richard_l

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The only claim I made about Alley's work is that the ice core data shows it's been as warm or warmer than today. I also claimed that Easterbrook's graph looks similar to Alley's (and Rodhe's and any other proxy graph I've seen).
I think I get your point, you believe Dr. Easterbrook commits fraud when he doesn't append instrumental records to the proxy mix. Interesting.

Gareth May 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

No, Easterbrook's fraud lies in his crude manipulation of someone else's graph, much as Monckton did with his alterations of Curry/Cuffey & Clow's graph of Greenland temperatures from the GISP2 core (which Easterbrook also uses — slide 4 — and plays the same Monktonian game, pretending that the graph extends to the present day).

RW1 May 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm

It's tough being a denier these days – all they have left is lies and distortions.

bill May 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Easterbrook is a geologist and based his graph on the Greenland ice core

I also claimed that Easterbrook's graph looks similar to Alley's

No, you didn't, you said, with bland confidence, that they both based their graphs on the same greenland data – if this is so how do you account for the inexplicable persistence of the dashed grey '0' line in Easterbrook's version? Present day temperatures are 0.25C cooler than what? 'A realistic value for 20th century temperature that was in the graph I culled this from that I don't happen to like', surely?

And as for not bothering to mention the mere technical detail of where actual present day – as in now – temperatures lie!… well, what can you say?… remind me again how dishonest Mann and Jones are?

I don't agree 100% with his ideas

'Um, I've realised I'm on a very slippery slope here'

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Well, you know what? I think you're right and I would argue with Dr. Easterbrook that he should credit his sources with due diligence. I jumped to a conclusion…I'm familiar with the ice core data and that's what it looked like to me, but I was wrong. I will scold him and hang my own head in shame on that point.

ianam May 22, 2010 at 6:26 am

Hang it on all points, denier.

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I think you don't get the point, and you know better than the distortion you post.
There's an arrow and line of text on Easterbrook's chart.
It says "Present day temperature"
What does it point to?

There's an arrow and line of text on the original from Globalwarming art.
It says "2004"
What does it point to?

Know why they differ?
Know where Easterbrook gets his information?
Know why Easterbrook's "present day" is sometime around 1950?
Fooled you once, shame on him.

Ken Coffman May 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Isn't it obvious that the horizontal line you draw depends on where you start and is arbitrary? The point I take from the graph is that in history, temperatures were both above, equal to and above our current temperature. Because you can move the line around is meaningless, it is simply a convenience. Sometimes a line is just a line. No one is making any claim about the location of that line. I could make a case for moving up up or down, who cares? The intelligence of the graph is to show the historic variation of the proxy which we think is related to temperature. There's no fraud in the location of that red line.
The 2004 arrow points to a spot on the instrumental temperature record that was artificially appended to a meaningless composite of proxies. If you want to get upset about something, why not that?

Hank Roberts May 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm

So now you're telling us that Dr. Easterbrook has stolen without attribution from a meaningless composite, thrown part of the stolen material away, and presented the rest as his own meaningful work. And do you say the same about the charts he faked up as described athttp://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/don_easte… where Easterbrook claimed to have done the statistics, but put the lines where he wanted them?

So your thesis is that the published data is meaningless, but his copies of other people's work, improved by his added hand-drawn lines, are reliable because they show what you want to believe is true?

You should go away and let him defend himself if he can.
Your notions are making him look really bad.
If someone can defend him, or if he can defend himself, you're not helping him at all.

Hank Roberts May 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

Is this the same Ken Coffman found at Easterbrook's web page?
myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/research/global/interview3_27_08.pdf
Interview Transcript with Ken L. Coffman, Burlington, Washington – March 27, 2008

ianam May 22, 2010 at 6:32 am

There's plenty of fraud right there in that interview. And Coffman says he respects Easterbrooke? Enough said.

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Yeah, that's me. I often wonder who the biggest critics of the human-caused warming theme are…geologists like Dr. Easterbrook who know how dramatic and extreme things can get or engineers like me who know something of heat transfer and the limitations of modeling.

ianam May 29, 2010 at 8:28 am

The biggest critics of AGW are the biggest liars and stupes — people like you and Easterbrook.

Hank Roberts May 22, 2010 at 12:23 am
Nelthon May 22, 2010 at 12:31 am

Or the same Ken Coffman who's reviewed The Hockey Stick Illusion at Amazon: 'Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (and Andrew Montford), with patience, penetrating thought, and wit, present a water-tight case and will leave no doubt, to anyone with an open mind, about the dishonesty and incompetence of the climate science cabal'.

The reviews go downhill from there.

Great work Hank and Gareth, a beautiful exposition of mendacity.

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I imagine you're much more supportive of the harsh reviewers who did not read the book…

ianam May 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

One doesn't have to "imagine" that you're a thoroughly dishonest person.

Girma May 22, 2010 at 3:32 am

Easterbrook is correct.

Projection of global mean temperature by the IPCC is incorrect as shown in the following chart:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/0

Note that the observed temperatures are LESS than projection if CO2 emission had been held constant at the 2000 level.

Projection of global mean temperature by Hansen et al 1998 is also incorrect as shown in the following chart:
http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/h

Note that the observed temperatures are LESS than projection if CO2 emission had been held constant at the 2000 level.

The pattern of global mean temperature is cyclic as shown in the following chart:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/0

As a result, the effect of CO2 on global mean temperature is nil, zilch, naught.

As shown in the above chart, the global mean temperature has started its cooling phase until 2030.

As a result, Easterbrook is correct.

Gareth May 22, 2010 at 4:01 am

Not impressed. Anyone can draw lines on a graph, as Easterbrook demonstrates, but they don't necessarily mean anything. Your last graph is interesting. If the effect of CO2 is "nil, zilch, nada", why is the "cycle" overlaid on a rising trend? I'm afraid if you want to show that CO2 has no effect you'll need to rewrite physics, right down to the quantum level.

We'll wait, shall we?

Girma May 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

The linear trend is only 0.6 deg C in a century. Nothing to be scared about.

TrueSceptic May 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I have 2 $100 (US) bets with Girma about temperatures over the next 10 and 20 years. I think he writes nonsense, but he is one of very few "sceptics" who will put their money where their mouth is.

Phil Scadden May 22, 2010 at 5:00 am

"Easterbrook is correct" – well as becomes obvious over the next 10 years that Easterbrook isnt, I hope you will change your mind. And of course, I will to should he be correct.

"Global temperature is cyclic". Because Watts says it is doesnt make it so. Try some decent analysis cyclical. Your critique?

"Hansen's projection".- well that is an interesting take on it. Now try reading Model data comparisons. I'd say Hansen did pretty well really for a model as primitive as the 1988 paper used. What do you think of the IPCC model ensemble instead?

Girma May 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

With a high correlation coefficient of 0.88, the pattern of global mean temperature is cyclic as shown in the following chart.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/0

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Thank you, Phil. I was trying to remember the elegant word used to describe the mixing of proxy data…this is also done with different models and model runs with different initial conditions. Ensemble. It would be nice if the "ensemble" was more like Bach than some kind of musique concrete collected from noisy, random notes, but it's still a great word.

diessoli May 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

Hey Girma,

Why does that last graph not show 1850-1880?

D.

Girma May 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

According to Phil Jones, "Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

TrueSceptic May 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Easterbrook concocted a fraudulent graph. He's a geology prof who can't spell "Dryas". How about addressing the points instead of being such a predictable denialist?

Thehaymarketbomber May 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

"Either you live by the standards you demand of others, or you shut up."

Come now, the only thing that will shut these people up is an end to the checks that come in the mail from Exxon.

Bernard J. May 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

If Girma Orssengo says something remotely pertainly to science or to statistics, you can be sure that the opposite is true.

Witness the travesties of scientific and statistical bastardry Orssengo engaged in last year.

It'll make one shake one's head in abject bemusement…

Girma May 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

Bernard, you can't refuse this bet if you are a true believer.

Warming or zero warming for you, but cooling for me!

For years from 2010 to 2020, if the global mean temperature trend for the hadcrut3 data is positive or zero, you win $1000AUD. Otherwise, I win $1000AUD.

Is this okay?

Phil Scadden May 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

Girma, do you have a science degree? In which subject?

dappledwater May 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

Scatology, apparently.

bill May 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

For the patient that link was actually quite 'rewarding', in a perverse kind of way.

@ comment #95

Man Made Global Warming is a position that calls a gas called CO2 a pollutant, but actually it is plant food and is naturally released every second in volcanoes along the edges of tectonic plates of the continents as well as in forest fires started by lightning strike.

..and then we're off! DK all the way, I say! Trying to persuade some people would be like training the cat to touch-type…

TrueSceptic May 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Bernard,

Yes, we remember it well. :) A great example of Dunning-Kruger.

Mike May 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Holy crap. Just browsed that thread.

Girma's maths is……ummmm……intriguing.

mspelto May 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

It is always interesting to watch the metamorphosis of a scientist you know. I have had two graduate students of Easterbrook's work with me in the field on Mount Baker glaciers in 1987 and 1990. He was a good glacial geologist, and has done much on the history of glaciation in the Pacific Northwest. This of course indicates nothing in terms of climate understanding. I do have a snippet of an email from a colleague at the U of Washington that suggests a tendency to borrow material…."I'm sure. I may contact Don Easterbrook and see what happened to the ones he stole from UW. He returned much of what he had taken, but none were north of Rainier."
What is amazing that the very glaciers on Mount Baker he has observed are retreating so rapidly and this makes no impression on his ideas

dappledwater May 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

Must a surreal experience Mauri, it's one thing to have a different scientific opinion based on evidence, but fraud and quackery is another kettle of fish.

TrueSceptic May 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Easterbrook can't spell "Dryas" and he presents a fraudulent graph. Why would any honest, rational person take any notice of someone who is both incompetent and dishonest, in fact a typical climate science denialist?

That he is a retired geology professor only makes it worse. It makes it impossible to excuse him on on the grounds of ignorance: he is either senile or a brazen liar.

Hank Roberts May 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Waitaminnit — he hasn't been here to speak up.

Don't judge him based on the enthusiasm of his fans.

I don't like what I see attributed to him — but that's stuff on blogs.

He ought to be able to speak for himself about the work under his name.

So far, the only explanations I've seen are fanboys who make unbelievable excuses.

But I'd rather hear from some scientist anywhere who knows him. Judith Curry has spoken up for him over at Kloor's blog, not supporting everything he's done, but saying there's something good there somewhere and encouraging people to look for it.

Yeah, I know that's the "promise of a pony"and I've urged her to be specific about what she thinks is good.
What we see here doesn't look good except to people who are obviously uncritical fanboys so far.

But give the man a chance to show something that real scientists respect, don't just let a wave of people like the fans who've showed up ruin his reputation by _their_ nonsense. He hasn't endorsed _their_ comments.

People get old, people make mistakes, stuff happens. Let's find out what Dr. Curry thinks for example, and if there's another scientist somewhere who sees something good in Easterbrook's work, what it is.

ianam May 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

You're so naive.

Hank Roberts May 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Curry on Easterbrook's presentation: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/05/18/why-cli

"Judith Curry Says: May 21st, 2010 at 6:02 pm
Easterbrook’s presentation certainly has some very bizarre plots. But in the context of my proposed exercise of trying to find something of interest even in a presentation that is mostly wrong, there is one issue raised by Easterbrook ….."

Gareth May 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

It's remarkbale… but was her comment posted before new of Easterbrook's fakery broke? It would be interesting if she still feels he's worth supporting.

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Dr. Curry's reply was posted after pointers to the problem, starting with this one: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/05/18/why-cli

She describes Easterbrook’s "very bizarre plots …. in a presentation that is mostly wrong" — so it seems to me she was aware of the problems.

Remember she's not defending those, she's trying to find one good thing to say. It's not yet clear what– still waiting for some supportinging cite for the "one issue" (which seems to be something about PDO cycles, but I can't figure out what exactly). She's not supporting the "presentation that was mostly wrong" — just supporting some idea she found in something he said. Not clear what yet.

ctg May 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm

She's obviously not familiar with the legal principle of falsus in unum

Bernard J. May 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Sorry, but Curry's finally lost me.

Her "proposed exercise" is a bridge too far, unless selling a broken analog watch to a punter is AOK because the thing is "right twice per day"…

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 8:58 am

> no one has refuted
Use Google Scholar and click on the citing papers; you're trying to keep fighting over ancient history.
Science doesn't rely on a great single founding paper on which all else relies that can be knocked over.
Science works at the edges where the new papers are being written.
Occasionally you find major summaries that bring you up to the recent work, e.g. http://www.epa.gov/oppeoee1/climatechange/endange
see Response (2-66) to the commenter who brought up Wegman.

Girma May 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

CO2 is a gas that you exhale every second. CO2 is the gas that is released every second along a millions of km long edges of tectonic plates and millions of square km of world’s forest fires. How are you going to TAX nature for realising CO2 every second?

If you are not going to stop nature from releasing CO2, I am not willing to pay a CO2 tax. Imagine taxing the air we breathe out. Just imagine it!

I worship CO2. It has lifted man from the brutish and short life shown in the following photograph.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/05/tea-hor

The global temperature pattern is cyclic as shown in the following data:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/0

As a result, the effect of CO2 on global mean temperature is nil, zilch, naught.

I pay my homage to fossil fuels for making life liveable.

Fossil fuels might save us from the coming BIG FREEZE.

CO2 is also a plant food (CO2 + Sun Light + Soil + Water => Plant Food). That is, it is a foundation of life, not a pollutant.

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I'm with you, Girma. Anyone who looks at the Vostok ice core record and is still worried about a bit of incidental warming…well, I'm terrified of cold and that's clearly more of an existential threat than warming. 10,500 years ago, the location I live at was covered by ice almost a mile thick. I like it much better now and I'll take some additional warming, no problem. If I believed CO2 had anything noticable to do with our surface temperature, I'd form a CO2_1000 group and beg everyone to drive Hummers.

Phil Scadden May 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

Ken, you need to look at that timescale. If you think we can have an iceage with this level of CO2 then you should be for conserving every ounce of stored CO2 for the generations thousands of years into the future that need it. Compare the rate of change in temperature in the natural cycle with current rate of change. Scary?

But I cant see how you can make the physics work to have an ice age if we get CO2 much over 400.

Ken Coffman May 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

You can't get high frequency information (like you can with the last 150 years of instrumental record) from the proxy data. That's one problem with the appending of instrumental data onto a proxy ensemble. The sample rate, amplitude measurement and temporal accuracy of the proxy records is very crude, highly integrated and has a very low signal-to-noise ratio. In some cases there is no measurable temerature signal at all. You can't, with any scientific integrity, say "OMG look how fast the temperature is changing…this has never happened before."

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Ken, a _thermometer_ is a proxy.
A proxy changes in a way somehow corresponding to temperature.
A proxy is calibrated carefully.
Didn't you ever make a thermometer in grade school, using alcohol or, in the good old days, mercury in a glass tube, sealing the ends, then sticking it into ice water and marking the point, sticking it into boiling water and marking the point, and interpolating the rest? That's not going to give you a really accurate thermometer — it's a teaching exercise in how a proxy (expansion of the fluid in the tube) gets calibrated against physical reality (water by definition at zero and a hundred Celsius).

The thermometer record is known to be accurate, each instrument is calibrated; those records overlap the _other_ proxies by several hundred years.

If you just don't like science, there's no convincing you of this. But if you can, please consider how it's actually done. You can understand it. When you do you will give up this silly argument that somehow the thermometer is impossible to relate to the other temperature data proxies. That's not Easterbrook's argument, and it's just embarrassing to have it thrown out as though it were something Easterbrook could believe.

Talk to the man like you said you're going to. Ask him where his "present day" temperature came from, and where he got the line he draws on his picture and how he did the work to get it.

Facts have to be treated the same way no matter whose they are. You've claimed access to this guy and obviously do have access to him. So do the brave thing, get the facts and invite him to come present them, or get him to publish them in a journal article if the picture is actually his own work and just purely coincidentally a perfect match for the one from Rohde's site.

I expect he'll acknowledge where he got the picture.

Ken Coffman May 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I love science and engineering and technology…in fact, you could say they are my religion. That's why I get so offended when the scientific method is abused by lefty activists. I'm okay with proxies for temperature, though I'd say a tree is a poor thermometer…and I don't like ensembles (pick one and we'll talk about it) and I don't like high-resolution temperature records appended (or overlaid) on proxy spaghetti graphs and I don't like "Mike's Nature trick" "to hide the decline" when proxies diverge from the temp record.
Dr. Easterbrook has responded to Andy Revkin about your challenge…I'll post a link in a bit.

TrueSceptic May 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

And no problem with the fact that the current spate of ASS (anti-science syndrome), particularly in the area of climate science, is almost exclusively a libertarian/right wing obsession?

Some of your posts show that you are open to evidence. Please stay on-topic and examine Easterbrook's graph, as presented at Heartland. Compare it with the Global Warming Art graph, and with Easterbrook's graph in his "rebuttal". An engineer is not easily fooled by displays (meters, dials) that do not fairly represent the data. What do you see?

philscadden May 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

You can from the ice core record.

Richard Christie May 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

If you are not going to stop nature from releasing CO2, I am not willing to pay a CO2 tax.
That has to be one of the most vacuous statements I've ever read in here.

bill May 23, 2010 at 8:37 am

That's a big statement, Richard! I ask you to consider the following –

I worship CO2.

I pay my homage to fossil fuels for making life liveable.

Fossil fuels might save us from the coming BIG FREEZE.

Why did they change the term “Global Warming” to “Climate Change”? Why do they state the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere as 380 parts per million, but never as 0.038%? In their mean global mean temperature graph, why don’t they show the temperature as it is, say, as 14.3 degree centigrade for one year and 14.6 for the next (a true small change of 2.1% on the graph), but they show only the decimals of the temperature as 0.3 degree centigrade for one year and 0.6 for the next (an artificial massive change of 100% on the graph)?

In this “Global Warming Swindle” an organization called the Inter GOVERNMENT Panel on Climate change was formed by GOVERNMENTS to summarize the so called “peer reviewed” papers written and reviewed by people whose projects are all funded by GOVERNMENTS to come up with results that give GOVERNMENTS more economic power and revenue. Would you believe the summaries if I replaced GOVERNMENT in the above sentence with BUSINESS? Why?

It is position that started with “Global Warming” but changed the term to “Climate Change” when the trend is for cooling.

(That's quotes culled in less than a minute from 2 comments made by le troll du jour via Bernard J's link!)

(oh, and just for variety and a change of cast let's add –

If I believed CO2 had anything noticable to do with our surface temperature, I'd form a CO2_1000 group and beg everyone to drive Hummers.

but I digress)

Now, if someone on 'my side' of this argument carried on like this I'd be genuinely embarrassed and want them to shut the hell up! Like the not-good Dr. Checkzor (and his various sock-puppet aliases) who haunted us until recently, this guy doesn't get that he's only reinforcing the morale of his opponents with a witless barrage of weak-dissonant arguments.

(Perhaps he's a subtle double-agent?)

But, just as 'skepticism' is selectively applied to one side's charts – as the deafening silence on the chart above from our otherwise 'quick to contradict' regulars reminds us – weak consonance doesn't appear to phase deniers either! No, it's 'I'm with you, Girma'! Pass 'round the tin-foil hats!…

Conclusion: accusations of swallowing any-old distortion that supports your case and groupthink coming from deniers are projections, pure and simple,,,

Carol C May 23, 2010 at 3:11 am

Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing.

Girma May 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Here is the brutish life without fossil fuels:
http://photo.blog.sina.com.cn/list/blogpic.php?pi

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I suppose I should focusd on defending my own work–assuming it needs any.
I was rather proud of this post and I'm sure y'all will like it too.
Ha!
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleI

Ken Coffman May 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Oh, I should mention that I make a little bit of money when you click on those Gather links. Not much, a fraction of a penny, but none-the-less, thank you guys for the clicks. I appreciate it.

dappledwater May 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Ken, I remember reading one of Hank Robert's comments about having too open a mind and people using it to dump their garbage. Nice line. So no thanks Ken, you can keep your garbage.

Hank Roberts May 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Gareth, have you ever asked if Killfile could be implemented for your blog software?
It's a kindness to anyone who uses Firefox. http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/4107

Gareth May 23, 2010 at 7:42 am

Comments are handled by Intense Debate (a Wordpress company), but on their servers. I think the nearest thing to a killfile is the thumbs up/down voting. If a commenter gets enough negatives, I believe its possible to hide their posts… I'll check.

C3P0 May 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

Is the difference here that the Global Warming Art graph uses the average from the instrumental record as the modern temperature while the other graph uses the average from modern proxies from modern temperature (and contains no reference to the instrumental record).

I note the global warming art graph uses the term 'recent proxies' for the inset but then does not label the steep line as being from instrumental records. Perhaps Gareth you should take a look at that graph if there is a discrepancy between the two.

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

C3PO, are you claiming you know where Easterbrook got his picture, or are you just asking _if_ "the other graph" comes from the sources you list?

Are you saying you think Easterbrook's graph gets the "Present day temperature" from something other than a thermometer?

Seriously, if folks are just guessing about ways to redeem Easterbrook's picture, you're probably going to make him look worse by guessing. Ken Coffman above said he's a friend of Easterbrook's and would ask where Easterbrook got his picture, it makes sense to wait for a real fact. Any answer yet?
Judith Curry's opinion was quite blunt, as quoted above.

C3P0 May 24, 2010 at 3:30 am

I should have put a question mark on the first sentance.

"Are you saying you think Easterbrook's graph gets the "Present day temperature" from something other than a thermometer?"

Yes. It is possible to use the final data point (as it appears Easterbrook has done) as present temperature. In my view this is more accurate for use as a comparison to historical temperatures than using the instrumental record.

I also point out that the other graph provided is misleading as it appears in the graph that proxy records show current temperatures to be historically warm when they do not. This can only be achieved by comparing the current instrumental record to historical proxies.

JasonB May 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

If Easterbrook was using the GISP2 ice core data then "the final data point" would be over 100 years ago, right?

Are you saying that in an attempt to show modern temperatures are unremarkable, it is acceptable to use the phrase "Present day temperature" to designate a temperature *before* the 20th century warming began?

If he changed the "Present day temperature" label in his graph to "Temperature prior to 20th century warming" it would be a lot more accurate but probably a lot less interesting for his audience.

Gareth May 23, 2010 at 11:19 pm

The point you seem keen to avoid, C3, is Easterbrook's modification of someone else's material without explanation, credit, and — one might assume — permission.

C3P0 May 24, 2010 at 3:31 am

Did you ask Easterbrook for permission to use his material?

Gareth May 24, 2010 at 7:59 am

The material was posted for public download by the Heartland Institute.

ianam May 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

Funny denier clown.

Shub Niggurath May 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Oh! You mean…even the skeptics are using 'tricks' and such?
My recent post Climate Fudge – Captain Photoshop strikes again

Ken Coffman May 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Dr. Easterbrook has penned a response to the claims above, but I did not find a link to it being online yet. Here is a clip from his repsonse:

The data in my paper comes from oxygen isotope analyses of ice cores in Greenland made by Dr. Minze Stuiver and Dr. Peter Grootes, long recognized as the world standard for accurate paleotemperatures over thousands of years and used by thousands of scientists all over the world. This data is readily available for anyone to use so my graphs can be reproduced by anyone. 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. I have the entire Greenland oxygen isotope data in my computer and use it extensively to plot data, so why would I use anything else? The data I use has never been altered in any way.
– Dr. Don Easterbrook

I'll e-mail his complete response to anyone that gives me an e-mail address.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 8:04 am

When you find yourself in a hole, keep digging…

Gareth May 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Ken Coffman: Please ask Dr Easterbrook to explain the striking similarities between his graph – typeface, scale, plot etc, and the original GWA version. Why did he choose to use the same typeface, for instance? And the curve generated in the GWA is the mean of a multi-proxy ensemble, not a single Greenland isotope curve…

ctg May 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

Also, Gareth did not suggest that Easterbrook altered the data, but that he altered the graph – specifically to introduce a "present day temperature" line that bears no relation to the actual temperature record.

BTW, the reference to "truffle grower" would seem to suggest that Easterbrook has some strong social networks with certain NZ "skeptics". So, there you are – prima facie evidence of a conspiracy right there, then.

ianam May 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

"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"

Easterbrook has hung himself.

Ken Coffman May 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I've looked at many proxy plots and many of them have gray dashed lines marking some sort of calculated zero. Based on the form of the dashes, I have changed my mind and I DO NOT believe his chart is simply a copy of Rohde's composite.
In addition, I think this is unimportant. I don't care about any horizontal line on the graph, if you want one, put it where you want or don't use one at all. The intelligence in these graphs is to compare historic temperatures. In history, it has been warm and it has been cold. Right now we are in a warm period…and I suggest you relax and enjoy it because sometime in the next 5,000 years or so (perhaps tomorrow), the next 85,000 year ice age will start and I can assure you times will get very hard.

ctg May 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

It's not a "calculated zero". The dashed line represents the baseline that the anomalies relate to. It is not arbitrary. You have said this a couple of times now, which indicates that you really don't understand how anomaly graphs work.

You can't simply redraw the zero line somewhere else. The fact that the zero line still appears on Easterbrook's graph is the key. To what baseline does that refer? In the original graph, it is clearly stated that the zero line represents the mid-C20 average.

For Easterbrook to have "present day temperatures" some 0.25ºC below the mid-C20 average means that his definition of "present day" means some time about the 1880s. If you cannot see that this is patently dishonest, then there is no point talking to you.

bill May 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Richard Christie, may I also draw your attention to –

In addition, I think this is unimportant. I don't care about any horizontal line on the graph, if you want one, put it where you want or don't use one at all.

Richard Christie May 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Thanks Bill. I withdraw my previous assessment as one will only run into difficulty measuring relative absurdity. Absolute absurdity is easier, perhaps the +, -, flags could be replaced with an absurd-o-meter. Readers could then enter their assessment of the number of irrational statements made in each post.

Ken Coffman May 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

The anomoly is determined with respect to something. There is no physical meaning to your anomoly zero…it is based on when you think a sample period should start and when you think it should end. Undoubtedly, you think there is some stable period that we can compare temp data to, but that is nonphysical nonsense. Move your start and end points and the line moves around. I don't care about your judgement about where the line should be. Put it where you like, there is no intelligence in its placement. Anomoly with respect to what? An imaginary line some climate scientist dreamed up? Peddle your twaddle somewhere else…there are plenty who will believe in some imaginary period of climate stability that is upset by your fellow man. Try moving your starting point back 1,000 years, then 2,000 years, then 3,000 years, then 10,000 years, then 100 thousand years. See how your magic horizontal line moves around? What does that tell you?

ctg May 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

You could not be more wrong. You could try, but you would not succeed.

In the original graph, the anomaly baseline is very clearly stated as being the mid-C20 average temperature from the instrumental record. The way that was done was by comparing the average of the long-term proxies against the short-term proxies, which themselves are calibrated against the instrumental record.

Therefore, the line marked "0ºC" on both graphs is not some arbitrary line, but the average temperature of the mid-C20 from the instrumental record.

The fraud lies in the fact that the red horizontal line in Easterbrook's graph is labelled "present day temperatures". As this line lies 0.25ºC below the mid-C20 average temperature, the only way that can be an accurate description is if you consider the late C19 to be "present day".

Are you in fact living in the 19th century, Ken? That might explain a lot, but for the rest of us, "present day" means the 21st century, and the temperatures now are quite considerably warmer than that.

Maybe you should consider reading a text book or two before you reply, because you're starting to look a bit silly.

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 10:44 pm

"Present day temperature" on Easterbrook's chart refers to — to what, again? I didn't see your answer to that yet. You don't mean that "present day temperature" can be set to anything you like, do you?

You think maybe Easterbrook is referring to one of these papers?
Which one of them has the data, any idea? http://crawl.ncdc.noaa.gov/search?q=stuiver

Ken Coffman May 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

He says he plotted the data from Cuffey and Clow data (JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 102, NO. C12, PAGES 26,383-26,396, NOVEMBER 30, 1997) This paper does not show any horizontal lines labeled Present Day Temperature, so I imagine that is something Don dreamed up–perhaps based on what he thinks is a present day endpoint? There are no horizontal lines in the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 data. He liked the line and thought it illustrated something about current and historical temps. Move the line, delete the line, love the line, hate the line…do as you wish. Does the data indicate the earth has been somewhat warmer than now and very much colder than now? That's what I take from the plot.

Gareth May 24, 2010 at 12:47 am

Ken: the curve in the graph featured in this post (slide 9 in Easterbrook's presentation) is not a plot of GISP data, and is certainly not a plot from Cuffey & Clow 1997 (I have a copy of that paper in front of me, and the GISP data — when I have time I will plot that GISP data and compare it with Easterbrook's graph). Please ask him to explain the uncanny resemblance between his slide 9 and the GWA graph. The evidence of the blink comparison above cannot be ignored or denied. Was his choice of typeface serendipity?

ctg May 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

Um, what units are the GISP2 data measured in?

Is it ºC?

No? Well, then, what did Easterbrook do to convert the GISP2 dO18 data to ºC?

So, how did Easterbrook convert the raw ice core data into temperature proxy data? What baseline period from the instrumental temperature record did he use to do the conversion?

How many ice cores were involved in Easterbrook's plot. and how he average the data?

Glacier Guy May 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

In his talk, Easterbrook clearly says that the line refers to "modern-day temperature." To anyone, scientist or otherwise, that means today's climate, not 50 or 100 yr ago. Easterbrook is clearly misrepresenting the data, both graphically (by shifting the line from Rhode's original graph) and verbally by claiming it represents "modern temperatures."

This misrepresentation is important on two accounts: 1) it is clearly wrong (therefore calls into question all the inferences Easterbrook makes subsequently), and 2) it indicates either intellectual dishonesty (if done on purpose) or shocking lack of scientific rigor (if done unintentionally). Either one is enough on its own to make Easterbrook's assertions not worth considering.

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm

This maybe?http://gcmd.nasa.gov/records/GCMD_NGDC_WDCA_PALEO

It says at that page:
Greenland Ice Sheet Project II (GISP II) Ice Core Oxygen Isotope Data, NOAA/NCDC/WDC-Paleoclimatology
Entry ID: NGDC_WDCA_PALEO_GISP2_D18O

[ Get Data ] [ Update this Record ]
Summary
This data set contains the Greenland Ice Sheet Project II (GISP2)
delta 18O (oxygen isotope) vs. depth as well as age at 2m intervals.

NOTE: PLEASE CITE ORIGINAL REFERENCES WHEN USING THIS DATA!
——————————

If that's what he used, he'd presumably have cited it. Or maybe not.
If this is right, how did he go from one single location's oxygen isotope data to chart "Holocene" temperature?

The whole point of the globalwarmingart chart is that it merges eight different proxies and tells the reader where they came from and how much uncertainty was involved.

If Easterbrook has discovered that the GISP oxygen data is somehow a perfect proxy that gives the same information as the various different proxies Rohde combined, and does so point for point, all the way through that long timeline, he should publish this. It would be a remarkable discovery.

It's amazing nobody noticed it before.

Anyone want to chart the GISP data and do an overlay, just to verify the claim made?

Gareth May 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Well, that would be interesting, wouldn't it? ;)

Ken Coffman May 24, 2010 at 12:49 am

The only reason for averaging proxies into an ensemble is if you're mining for hockey sticks. You take one strand of spaghetti going up and average it with a strand spaghetti going down and get a meaningless plot that looks stable. I don't buy the idea of combining data to isolate a signal–if the universal signal is present in each dataset, then you can isolate it in the individual datasets. If they are clearly divergent from each other, then mixing them together is a bad idea…you're creating a "global" signal that was not present in the original data. That's politics, not science.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

Bollocks. You are demonstrating your utter lack of understanding of how science proceeds, but very little else.

The original graph at GWA makes it very clear that it is presenting an average of only 8 proxies, whereas real multi-proxy reconstructions will typically use dozens of individual proxy reconstructions in order to draw meaningful conclusions about global or hemispheric temperatures. It goes to great lengths to stress that this particular graph should not be relied upon as a "true" reconstruction of the last 10,000 years.

In a way, you have just confirmed how serious a fraud Easterbrook was attempting. The graph that was the basis of his slide was already not a reliable indicator of the temperatures of the last 10,000 years. The fact that he took this unreliable graph, represented it as the "truth", then altered the meaning of "present day" to make his point just shows how deceptive the slide is.

And the fact that you are overlooking all of the flaws in Easterbrook's "science" to defend him speaks volumes about you as well.

TrueSceptic May 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm

That's it. You've blown it. You are a denidiot, a dishonest arrogant ignoramus.

I withdraw my earlier question: you are incapable of applying any real scepticism, or even just normal intelligence, to this issue.

Hank Roberts May 23, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Then, someone should look at the other charts Deltoid has called out, for example http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/upload/2010/05/ea

See anything funny about how much of the temperature is on one side or the other of that 'trend line' there?

Hank Roberts May 24, 2010 at 1:29 am

> I don't buy the idea of combining data to isolate a signal–
> if the universal signal is present in each dataset, then you can isolate it in the
> individual datasets.

Magical thinking? It's basic to signal processing as well as many other kinds of analysis. It works.

> If they are clearly divergent …

The words 'clearly' and 'divergent' do not mean what you think.

If Dr. Easterbrook comes up with a clear answer or someone who can provide one shows up, I'll come back. Bye for now.

Gareth May 24, 2010 at 2:14 am

Easterbrook's talk at the Heartland conference is now available here (scroll down and click on his talk to load it into the main window).

When showing slide nine he says:

This is the modern day temperature [...] from 10,000 to 3,000 years ago it was actually warmer than it is now.

That is not what the original Global Warming Art graph shows. Easterbrook has changed the graph to suit his narrative. He should own up to his deception and apologise for it.

C3P0 May 24, 2010 at 3:37 am

The original global warming art only compares instrumental data with proxy data, but does not reconcile modern proxy data with instrumental data to ensure they agree.

Easterbrook's statement is more accurate than MBH's equivalent statement from their paper.

Gareth May 24, 2010 at 7:58 am

So, you think Easterbrook is right to reinterpret the graph? To fundamentally misrepresent the data upon which it is based? To effectively assert that the temperature in the middle of the last century is equivalent to now?

A pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible. If Easterbrook wants to make a case that the Holocene optimum was warmer than now, he should make that case in the peer-reviewed literature, not by taking the digital equivalent of Tippex to someone else's graph.

diessoli May 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

If you zoom deep into Easterbrook's graph you also find at least one notch in the black curve that looks like the eraser nicked it, but also lots of pixels in the colours of the "spaghetti lines" that are very faint but still visible (easier to see if you replace the white background by transparency).

D.

Gareth May 24, 2010 at 9:43 am

The clearest is probably a stray pixel or two at the arrowhead of his "Little Ice Age" line.

This is why I described the effort as "crude". It certainly is not a clean new plot.

bill May 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Ah, Photoshop – the software with which I make a substantial portion of my living! Why didn't I think of that!…

A quick excursion and comparison of GWA and Easterbrook at 600% with each image in a separate layer in a PSD file is most illuminating. Try it if you get the chance!

Switching between the two charts or changing the layer opacity of one enabling the other to show through below it enables a comprehensive comparison.

Firstly, the curve is, indeed, identical. I think the phrase we are looking for here is 'striking similarity'!

Secondly, as Gareth points out, the title of the graph and the X-axis caption are in the same font and in the same position. This isn't just close – it's uncanny! The digits on the x-axis are in the same font and in the same places.

Thirdly, 'present day temperature', as represented on Easterbrook's version is ~ 0.28% cooler than what? A dashed grey line – the unnaccountable '0' mark of the Easterbrook graph – which represented a realistic value for 20th C temperatures in the GWA chart.

One not favoured by Deniers, of course, and hence we've been treated to several of the – predictable – magical explanations for it. 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'!

TrueSceptic May 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

What does this tell us about the "professor's" rebuttal?

Glacier Guy May 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm

What this tells us about Easterbrook's rebuttal is that he's either completely deluded if he honestly has convinced himself that he used "original GISP data," or that he is consciously lying. Period! there is no other option.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

Crap, C3. You'd be better off sticking to economics, as you actually know something about that.

The GWA original says that the mean line of the 8 proxies (i.e. the thick black line that Easterbrook copied) was aligned to modern day temperatures by comparing them to the short-term proxies. The short-term proxies themselves are calibrated by being expressed as anomalies relative to… the frikkin' instrumental record.

So, no, Easterbrook's statement of "present day temperatures" is completely wrong.

The fact that you feel the need to defend Easterbrook speaks volumes about your motivations, though.

Girma May 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Easterbrook is right.

Global cooling trend of 0.3 deg C per decade from 2002 to 2009 as shown in the following chart:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2002/to

ctg May 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Ooh, yummy cherries. What about this:http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2000/to

Girma, I really think that Easterbrook doesn't want you on his side; he's not a complete moron after all. But you are. A complete moron, that is.

Funny, when you first started posting here, I thought your name was Grima – which would have been very appropriate. Wormtongue describes you very well.

Girma May 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Global cooling of the last eight years:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2002/to

bill May 24, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Girma, isn't your village missing you?

Girma May 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

ctg

Once you reached a maximum, you reset your starting point to the maximum point when calculating your future trends.

The trend before the maximum point is for global warming.

The trend after the maximum point is for global cooling:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2002/to

Are you enjoying eight long years of global cooling?

ctg May 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm

So what exactly is making the Arctic ice melt, then, Grima?

dappledwater May 25, 2010 at 1:59 am

What village are you from Grima?.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/temp-an

"2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, also shows that in the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year since modern records began in 1880. "

"Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade — due to strong cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean — 2009 saw a return to near-record global temperatures."

"There’s always an interest in the annual temperature numbers and on a given year’s ranking, but usually that misses the point,” said James Hansen, the director of GISS. “There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Niño-La Niña cycle. But when we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find that global warming is continuing unabated."

"January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record."

Yes, we know that by cherry picking short periods from all the temperature records, and ignoring reality, you can pretend that warming isn't happening, but isn't that just denial?. Or is this the imagination game?.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/1005

"Ocean Stored Significant Warming Over Last 16 Years, Study Finds"

"The upper layer of the world's ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet."

dappledwater May 25, 2010 at 2:15 am
TrueSceptic May 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

The 'professor' has replied. http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5761

Note in particular that the graph in the linked PDF is not the same as the one Gareth shows at the top of this thread.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Indeed – it is so crude it looks as though he put it together in about 10 minutes.

Also, he uses the graph that Tim Lambert prepared to show that he cheated on the RSS trend as well. The man has no shame.

Has someone contacted Andy Revkin to point this out?

Richard Christie May 24, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I'm a layperson trying to follow this. From reading Easterman's response I conclude one thing for sure, Easterbrook's continual use of 'truffle grower' instead of Gareth's name appears as snide and ad hominem, it speaks volumes regarding Easterman's character and integrity.

JasonB May 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

There are two strange things about the professor's reply. (Three if you count his hatred of truffles!)

I'd like to ask him to clarify but I don't really want to register on that site.

The first is that he claims he used Stuiver and Grootes' oxygen isotope analyses data to create his graph. By this does he mean the GISP2 ice core data? (ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt) I tried to use that data to recreate his graph and I can't even come close. You can actually see that data on the Global Warming Art graphic in light blue, and it doesn't look much like the thick black line at all — which, as shown above, *does* look exactly like his graph.

Perhaps Stuiver and Grootes have *other* ice core data which, purely by luck, manages to recreate a temperature record exactly the same as the *average* of eight different temperature records that Rohde generated?

Secondly, if he did use the GISP2 data, then I note that it ends at 0.0951409 thousand years before present, which, given the publication date, I take to mean 1905 AD. I am interested to know how he calculates the "Present day temperature" on the same scale so he could add it to a graph of data that ends over 100 years ago. Knowing the answer to that might explain the difference between Rohde's "2004" arrow and Easterbrook's "Present day temperature" line. Given that the entire *point* of that graphic in his presentation is that modern temperatures are supposed to be *lower* than most of the Holocene, surely accurately determining the comparable modern temperature for that data is critical?

I wonder if he'll release his code and data so we can check.

ctg May 25, 2010 at 9:47 am

Oh, I'm sure Steve McIntyre will be auditing his data and methods even as we speak…

Glacier Guy May 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

I know all the real scientists that Easterbrook refers to (Cuffey, Stuiver, and Grootes), and I'm sure they'd take exception to Easterbrook's misrepresentation of their work. But more to the point, the graph that Easterbrook shows in his "rebuttal" (purportedly "Greenland data" from Cuffey and Clow, 1997) is actually a modification of a graph by Richard Alley, summarizing late-Pleistocene and Holocene data from GISP2:http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/all
I copied Alley's graph, stretched it out a bit to compare to Easterbrook's graph, and it's a perfect fit, right down to the "0" year on the graph.

The data are linked to that web page also, and as JasonB points out, they end in 1905. As he also points out, there is no way to make these data match the graph that was originally called into question by Gareth (which Easterbrook claims as "created from original greenland data"). Either Easterbrook is confused by his own graphs, or he is being disengenuous (again).

Gareth May 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Thanks, GG. I'll have a post up on the Alley data, with home-brewed graph showing the hidden incline, later on today.

bill May 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I look forward to it!

Ken Coffman May 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Well, this is funny, but I've changed my mind again. Despite what Dr. Easterbrook said, the graph in his Heartland presentation is the Rohde composite. He made a mistake…I'm sure he meant to use the graph in the "reply" (see link above) when he gave his presentation. Are the graphs similar enough that we're willing to forgive this error?

If it was me, I'd thank you guys for your careful reading, correct the presentation, credit you guys for discovering the errror, and then continue with my merry mockery of hockey sticks.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm

But he didn't do that, did he? When his original fraudulent graph was discovered, he hastily composed a brand new – but still fraudulent – graph to try and cover his tracks. And you think that is just an innocent mistake that should be laughed off?

Yeah, right.

bill May 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm

The charge… 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.

Strong words!

Note that he publishes, by way of refutation, a different graph than the one he actually originally presented. How does that score on your credible-ometer, dear reader?

He then goes on to say –

I have the entire Greenland oxygen isotope data in my computer an use it extensively to plot data, so why would I use anything else? The data I use has never been altered in any way.

That leaves us with his own good question: well, 'why didn't you'? Please note that he's only actually saying that he has other 'correct' data on his machine, and that he's never altered that.

And what is it with deniers and showing contempt for people by either getting their names wrong or calling them something like, say, 'the truffle grower'? (Remember Moncktonhausens' "You're the Hitler Youth'?) Over and over?

He's not a mite agitated, is he?

'Methinks thou dost protest too much!'

Overall, Ken, this is not a red-letter day for your side of the argument.

ctg May 25, 2010 at 7:58 am

See my post on the other thread – he did use that graph in his presentation – it was slide 4. However, it was quite a bit larger, and didn't have the red/blue infilling.

What's your oh-so-innocent explanation for that, then?

Ken Coffman May 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I don't have one. I think he screwed up and I hope he'll own up to it, apologize for his sloppiness, correct the record and carry on. Whether he will or not, I don't know.
I'm not sure what intelligence you guys take from the proxy records. In recent history, it was warmer than today. It was also colder (often, much colder). Does Dr. Easterbrook's error change that knowledge in any way?

Hank Roberts May 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm

> similar enough
To what? The 'reply' image appears to be a cleaned-up improvement of the erasing job he did on the earlier copy.

I'd be delighted to be convinced it's really from his claimed source for his new chart.

If you're looking to check his work, he's spelled one author's name wrong, it's "Cuffey" not "Cuffy" — online references here:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=1110365
A copy of the actual paper costs $9. Did they publish same chart shown in Easterbrook's new picture
If not, someone might want to check which data set it references and try charting that to see how it matches up.

Various GISP data sources and related papers are identified here; I don't find Cuffey and Clow mentioned. Anyone know?
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/allhttp://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland/

Ken Coffman May 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Using the forensic technique of using Windows picture editor to try to match the sizes of the Cuffey-Clow and Easterbrook graphs and holding them up to the light to compare them, I'd say the graphs are similar, though there are some differences. He says he plotted his graph from the data, but I can't verify or deny that. I don't see any difference that leads me to believe the current warming is unprecidented…you have to mix up a big old batch of data spaghetti to arrive at that conclusion.

ctg May 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm

These aren't the droids you are looking for. Move along.

Hank Roberts May 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Still looking for the data. Could it be one of these? http://nsidc.org/data/gisp_grip/document/gispisot
Cuffey and Clow's data doesn't appear to be archived under their names.
Where did Easterbrook get it? Surely someone who knows him has asked him to cite his source?

I'm swearing off. This red herring is losing its attractiveness.

Ken Coffman May 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Cuffey is (was?) a geologist at the University of Washington, so they probably know each other. Bellingham is a hundred miles or so north of he UW.

Glacier Guy May 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Yes, Kurt (Cuffey) knows who Don (Easterbrook) is. They are as different as night and day. Kurt is extremely bright, rigorous, quantitative, and driven by scientific discovery. I'll leave it at that.

Hank Roberts May 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Oh, Ken, if you want to be a better skeptic, this is an incredible learning opportunity.

Easterbrook's reply to the criticism of the other charts is even worse. He doesn't explain why he got his trend line wrong. (He trimmed the ends off the available data to get the short timespan he chose to be able to claim a downward trend (which he hand-drew wrong instead of doing the statistics).) His response is that the correctly calculated trend Deltoid provide him for his cherrypicked timespan is still down, as though getting the result right doesn't matter, and he ignores the trend he'd get if he included a longer timespan.

On combining proxies, here's a good example of how to pull good signal out of noisy data, when you know the original is really exactly the same and have several noisy versions transmitted:
"The entire transmission was relayed to Earth in real time, and also replayed from digtal tape recordings onboard the Venera spacecraft. This permits the reconstruction of an almost noiseless version from the multiple transmissions." http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogVenus.htm
(That's the site that refutes the nitwit's claim that it's pitch dark on the surface of Venus, if you've been following the guy at WTF who thinks there's no greenhouse effect there).

Really, you can look this stuff up. If you develop the habit of looking each claim up, it takes 30 seconds nowadays from the convenience of your own chair, you can be skeptical too. It's good for you.

Admittedly it was healthier when we had to bicycle over to the library to check stuff.

TrueSceptic May 24, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Bill,

Easterbrook is even worse than I suspected.

I suggest that we call him "The Professor" from now on. The quotes are somehow fitting, yes?

bill May 25, 2010 at 12:00 am

Oh, I'll also note that Easterbrook is apparently conflating his targets in his response – referring to Tim Lambert as 'truffle grower' as well as Gareth!

For example –

'Did the truffle grower happen to notice that the trend is down in his graph?<blockquote</blockquote>

Well, yes he did –

Note that Easterbrook's fake trend exaggerates the decrease. More importantly, despite talking about what the IPCC models predict for 2000-2010, he has only shown cherry picked temperature data for 2002-early 2009. Look at what happens if you use the data for 2000-2010:[emphases mine]

And I suggest you do!

Easterbrook also has a go at Lambert -the 'other truffle grower', I suppose we'll have to think of him as now (that's the ANZAC spirit!) – over his post re James Taylor's snowpack data, without pausing to note that Lambert has already refuted the same snowcover arguments that he – Easterbrook – simply restates.

bill May 25, 2010 at 12:02 am

Sorry, bodged the coding there!

Oh, I'll also note that Easterbrook is apparently conflating his targets in his response – referring to Tim Lambert as 'truffle grower' as well.

For example –

'Did the truffle grower happen to notice that the trend is down in his graph?

Well, yes he did –

Note that Easterbrook's fake trend exaggerates the decrease. More importantly, despite talking about what the IPCC models predict for 2000-2010, he has only shown cherry picked temperature data for 2002-early 2009. Look at what happens if you use the data for 2000-2010:[emphases mine]

And I suggest you do!

Easterbrook also has a go at Lambert -the 'other truffle grower', I suppose we'll have to think of him as (that's the ANZAC spirit!) – over his post re James Taylor's snowpack data, without pausing to note that Lambert has already refuted the same snowcover arguments he – Easterbrook – simply restates.

bill May 25, 2010 at 12:03 am

D'oh! – see below!

Glacier Guy May 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

One thing no one has mentioned yet is Easterbrook's persistent equating of the temperature record from the GISP2 ice core to the average global temperature! The Greenland Summit site is in the middle of a polar ice sheet, in the middle of the North Atlantic. Any half-way decent climate researcher will tell you that the temperature record in GISP is a LOCAL record. Yes, it reflects global influences too, like any temperature record, but fundamentally it is a record of temperature change in the middle of Greenland. Ice core temperature records aren't like the CO2 gas records (preserved in bubbles in the ice, which DO reflect a global average, because the atmosphere is well mixed). Easterbrook seems completely ignorant of this really serious gaffe on his part.

it's also an ironic aspect of his having copied the GWA graph (which as a compilation of proxy records attempts to represent a global average) while claiming it's a Greenland ice core record (which is a single, local temperature record). His rebuttal then portrays the actual GISP2 temp record (proper citation would be Alley, 2000, not Cuffey and Clow, 1997), which in the end, is a worse record for representing GLOBAL temperatures for the Holocene.

Glacier Guy May 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I'd be LOL except that Easterbrook gets so much press time, despite the fact that he's never published anything on climate science in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Ken Coffman May 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I was curious about what Dr. Easterbrook said while the Rohde chart was being displayed at the Heartland conference…what points he was trying to make and what intelligence he took from the graph.

"During the Holocene, which is the time since the last ice age, this is the modern day temperature, warm is up, cold is down, this is coming out of the last ice age, from 10,000 years to about 3,000 years, the temperature was actually warmer than it is right now. And then it cooled for over about the past 3,000 years, with some ups and downs…we’ll talk about these little squiggles in a bit, here is the medieval Warm Period, here is the Little Ice Age right and we’re right about in here…but look at most of the last 10,000 years and the polar bears survived that, so I’m not too worried about the polar bears."

ctg May 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

In other words, he did lie. Thanks for pointing that out, Ken.

Ken Coffman May 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm

He definitely made an error and as far as I know has not owned up to it yet.

Would you say we're in a cooling trend that will continue for a while?

ctg May 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm

No, I would say we're in a warming trend that will continue for as long as people like Easterbrook keep lying about it, and preventing the action that is required to stop the warming.

Glacier Guy May 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

So just to put the nail in the coffin on this one, you can simply go to Easterbrook's own web page to see where he got his "Greenland Temperature record" graph (his slide 9 from his Heartland talk). If you go to his "Research" page, then his "Climate Change" research, you can download a PDF of his abstract given at a Geol. Soc. of America meeting in 2007, including a link to the Powerpoint slides he used there: http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/responses/2007AM/280.pp

The figure shows the GWA graph (w/ all the different curves), along w/ his line overlain on the composite line, as well as his revision of the "modern" climate. Clearly the same graph he used at his Heartland presentation and represented as the GISP2 record, clearly copied and traced off of GWA's multi-record composite, and clearly revising (with no justification) the "modern temperature."

Case closed. someone post this to ClimateRealists and see how they defend him this time!

bill May 30, 2010 at 12:38 am

And there's more interesting stuff in that presentation.

Why does the Medieval Warm Period chart – slide 19 – terminate half-way through the 20th century?

Why do we not see the extent of the Easton or Boulder Glaciers beyond 1979? Why pick a range from 1940 – 1956 and then '56 – '79? Might this happen to be the dates that best fit a 'cyclic' model?

There's an obvious question here – what happened to the glaciers over the course of the century? Is the overall retreat (if any) consistent with the warming trend?

I notice the photograph of Boulder Glacier that I assume was taken in 2007 shows a retreat of 1560' (475m) from 1977-

SINCE THE LAST GLOBAL WARMING CYCLE (1977-2007).

But I though the global warming cycle was supposed to have ended around the turn of the century? Aren't we cooling? Shouldn't the glacier be advancing again now?

Gareth May 29, 2010 at 4:40 am

Caught red-handed! Great research, GG. I think I might demand an apology… It's also worth noting that he steals another Global Warming Art graph in that presentation – it's slide 18, a "spaghetti" graph showing MWP and LIA.

bill May 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

..and slide 15 – complete with the red infilling and here clearly labelled at left as 'temperature in central Greenland' – is also the basis for the 'answering' graph he used in THAT indignant response! So it's well done to the G's, here – Gareth and GG!

bill May 29, 2010 at 6:29 am

Having just had GG nail this one completely, and with Gareth fully-entitled to the apology he's probably unlikely to ever get, let's have a quick CCS (Contrarian Credibility Scoreboard) wrap-up on this one after a week, shall we?

Visiting Team

Ken Coffman: 1

I don't have one [an explanation]. I think he screwed up and I hope he'll own up to it, apologize for his sloppiness, correct the record and carry on. Whether he will or not, I don't know.

Home Team

Gosman: 0 (washing hair?)
C3PO: 0 ('wait, did you say 1905? oh look, something shiny!')
Wrathall: 0 (angry elsewhere)

A surprise but well-deserved victory to the visitor there, though heavily outnumbered.

Bernard J. May 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

What humiliation for Easterbrook.

If he was still actively working in academia he would probably find himself turfed out for his fraudulent representation of the data. At the very least, in the insititutions in which I have worked, he would be called before a panel in order to "please explain".

It would be useful for folk reading up on the emeritus if this thread was linked to his wikipedia page…

Glacier Guy May 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

He's officially retired, and I think is mostly trying to make a legacy for himself, or gain some sense of self-importance, sadly. He once did some decent work on glacial geologic problems (NOT climate!), but it was long ago, and he's contributed little of substance since the 60's. None of his climate blather will ever be published in a scientific journal because it's so full of gaping holes, disinformation and outright errors. But the media, and the broader public, have little sense of any of that, or it's importance. Sigh…makes working to a solution that much more difficult!

bill May 30, 2010 at 4:05 am

Surely these yawning crevasses in this case are a clear reminder the reason we have peer review? We hear a lot of complaints about it from the other side, but really, there's got to be some means to stop blatant nonsense before it gets started.

I suspect PR is a bit like Churchill's assessment of democracy; 'The worst system we have, apart from all the others.'

I'm genuinely curious about the fate of the Mount Baker Glaciers, incidentally: those were'nt merely rhetorical questions I asked earlier. It also strikes me that the post-'77 retreat shown in the 2007 photo Easterbrook presents – slide 27 – would appear to be greater than 475m. Unless perhaps it's by elevation? (Surely not? But what do Aussies know of Glaciers?)

eric June 6, 2010 at 4:49 am

I'm not going to get into bashing Easterbrook here, but I will bash those of you that can't keep your references straight. At least Don got that part right. Richard Alley had nothing to do with the oxygen isotope data, which were measured in the lab of my advisor Minze Stuiver, and his co-worker Pieter Grootes. I did a lot of the measurements myself, as a grad student.
Some actual relevant reference include:
Grootes et al., 1993
Steig et al., 1994
Stuiver and Grootes, 1995

And yes, Richard and his student (at the time) Kurt Cuffey used the oxygen isotope data, combined with borehole thermometry data, to get the best conversion of oxygen isotopes to temperature. A good reference is Cuffey and Clow, 1997, as someone above mentioned. But the more primary one is Cuffey et al., 1995.

Getting this right isn't hard folks. Ever heard of Google, Expedia, or Yahoo?

For those of you who can't even handle that (and I'm taking both 'skeptics' and others to task here), a nice list is here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland/

Click on "Citation search" and type in "Stuiver" and you might learn something.

But of course the key point is that Easterbrook is a fool for thinking that the oxygen isotopes from Greenland are anything but a local record, as Glacier Guy notes above. Of course, he may not actually think that. In that case, he's no fool. He's just dishonest. I won't bother trying to figure out which.

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