Feeds

Treemometers: A new scientific scandal

If a peer review fails in the woods...

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Hokey hockey sticks

Mann too used dendrochronology to chill temperatures, and rebuffed attempts to publish his measurement data. Initially he said he had forgotten where he put it, then declined to disclosed it. (Some of Mann's data was eventually discovered, by accident, on his ftp server in a directory entitled 'BACKTO_1400-CENSORED'.)

Tree data was secondary in importance to Mann's statistical technique, which would produce a dramatic modern upturn in temperatures - which became nicknamed the "Hockey Stick" - even using red noise.

Similarly, all the papers that used the Yamal data have the same point to make. All suggest recent dramatic warming. Having scored a global hit with a combination of flawed statistics and dubious dendroclimatology, the acts repeated the formula.

"Late 20th century warmth is unprecedented for at least roughly the past two millennia for the Northern Hemisphere," wrote the two authors of Global Surface Temperatures over the Past Two Millennia published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2003 - Mann, and Phil Jones of CRU.

For example, Briffa's 2008 paper concludes that: "The extent of recent widespread warming across northwest Eurasia, with respect to 100- to 200-year trends, is unprecedented in the last 2000 years."

The same authors in 2004:

It continues to this day. A study purporting to show the Arctic was warmer now than for 2,000 years received front-page attention last month. Led by Northern Arizona University professor Darrell S Kaufman, and including dendro veteran Mann, this too relied heavily on Yamal, and produced the signature shape.

Now here's Yamal.

And when Yamal is plotted against the wider range of cores, the implications of the choice is striking:

A comparison of Yamal RCS chronologies. red - as archived with 12 picked cores; black - including Schweingruber's Khadyta River, Yamal (russ035w) archive and excluding 12 picked cores. Both smoothed with 21-year gaussian smooth. y-axis is in dimensionless chronology units centered on 1 (as are subsequent graphs (but represent age-adjusted ring width).

"The majority of these trees (like the Graybill bristlecones) have a prolonged growth pulse (for whatever reason) starting in the 19th century," wrote Canadian mathematician Steve McIntyre on his blog on Sunday. "When a one-size fits all age profile is applied to these particular tries, the relatively vigorous growth becomes monster growth - 8 sigma anomalies in some of them."

McIntyre's determination to reproduce the reconstructions has resulted in the Yamal data finally coming to light.

All the papers come from a small but closely knit of scientists who mutually support each other's work. All use Yamal data. And without the Yamal data, the temperature record shows a very different shape.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: What went wrong?

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.