Friday, April 20, 2012

Eli Is a Straightforward Bunny

Those with an eye for farce have been watching the Weasel play with his food (weasels do that you know) and show no sympathy whatsoever for Craig Loehle, who is very sad, and the Watts Up gang over at Watts Up.
CL is sad because Mann has been cwuel to him, or about him, in his book. Though this seems to have been more exciting for CL than Mann, since he doesn't make it in until p 187, and its just about CL's rubbish temperature reconstruction (see-also Tamino on the "vindication" version).
But the centerpiece of CL's recent post, which conclusively demonstrates how Mann is wrong and... well, you get the idea, is the one I've inlined here. Its from which isn't a good source. I wondered what the data sources were for the figure, and what "Current Warm Period" (CWP) might be, exactly. No-one seemed to be able to find an answer; a person calling themselves Richard S Courtney was pretty sure it meant 1998 (actually very un-pretty, but never mind [Update: I gave up too soon; even the mods got bored with him]), but that makes no sense - the ice cores don't go up to 1998, in general (I'm assuming there are some ice cores in there, though with no info as to the sources, its hard to say). Its likely that CWP means something like 20th-century average, but as far as I can tell it isn't possible to be sure; I think they are being deliberately vague. 
and it's true, go read the train wreck over at Tony's and read the comments at the Weasel's.  This from Stoat captures the gist of it
Over at my blog we’ve been looking a bit at some of the studies that the Idsos pic shows large MWPs from. We think we’ve found the 4.75 oC one ( and predictably enough, when you check it out it doesn’t add up.
First of all, even from the CO2 science link, you can see immeadiately that the peak warmth was only for one brief period – 5 years – which is hardly a “MWP”. But its more interesting to look at the actual paper itself ( If you read the abstract, you’ll find:
“At High Medieval Times, the amplitude in the reconstructed temperature variability is most likely overestimated”
Oddly, CO2science didn’t have space to mention that. For more details, you need to read section 5.2 and the discussion of figure 5, which contains text like:
“During High Medieval Times lasting from the 10th to 13th century, our reconstruction shows evidence for above-average temperatures, whereby the amplitude in the reconstructed temperature variability is most likely overestimated. However, temperatures were not high in general; rather distinct warmer episodes lasting a few decades are demonstrated…” and “Despite the overall relatively high uncertainty in our reconstruction and the certainly overestimated temperature variability particularly at High Medieval Times…”
Finally, although you can read a peak out of that record, there is no clear “current warm period” in their record, and 1998 is certainly not included. So anyone who thought that “current warm period” meant 1998, or that the CO2science figure comparison is MWP-vs-1998, will have to reconsider.
Courtney finally cuts and runs to catch a plane (kind of the Tom Fuller gambit, welcome back Bart), but Eli, Eli is a very straightforward Bunny, so he wrote the Idsos and asked

A number of people are interested in how you define the Current Warm Period
as shown discussed in

and got a reply he expects will be diced and sliced
For the Level 1 and 2 studies, the point of comparison that we use for the CWP is the period of highest proxy temperature value during which time the IPCC and other climate alarmists claim the planet experienced unprecedented global warmth, i.e., since the 1980s.  Hope this helps.

-Craig Idso
cause frankly see Stoat's comment.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful. The Medieval Warm Period is obviously what is known in musical comedy as "Camelot"

It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear.
The climate must be perfect all the year.
A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.

Maybe its when deniers go when they depart for the Great Heartland Institute in the Sky.

Anyway, here Richard Harris sings about it:


John Mashey said...

Yes, but when translated through WUWT, SPAMalot seems a more appropriate musical, even if the Black Knight scene was hard.

Anonymous said...


Yes Eli. I spent a long time over at WUWT trying to get them to see that: 1 the MWP (and LIA) weren't globally coincident, and 2 if they were, this would imply high sensitivity. Mr Courtney especially didn't like this.

Anonymous said...

Idsos' explanation is rather clumsily worded. Does he mean he compared the maximum estimated Medieval temperature at each location to the highest recent annual temperature at those sites as estimated by proxy, the highest actual annual temperature, the highest recorded temperature, the mean over a number of years or any of a number of other possibilities? How does this fit in with the description he wrote of a paper he used (Tyson et al, 2000), where he said "the Current Warm Period (AD 1961-1990 mean)"?

I suspect he is making up the definition post-publication.

Richard Simons

Anonymous said...

My oh my.

Tom Fuller is having rather a hissy fit over at Bart's, all because those nasty consensus scientists and their supporters won't play nice and let pseudoscientific ideologues attempt to distract from the fact that humans are warming the planet with their carbon emissions.

Apparently when one doesn't want to hear and discuss the truth, especially when it's bitterly unpalatable to one's ideology, the messengers must be shot. Fuller would make a very fullsome Cleopatra...

And it seems that bunny most especially sticks in the fellow's craw.

Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Former Skeptic said...

Tom Fuller is still full of $#it.

Always has been, always will.

Dick Courtney may intentionally mislead folks with his qualifications, but I doubt he's lied about military service as oh-so-civil Tommy Boy did.

EliRabett said...

Well Richard, now the bunnies get to play auditor

Unknown said...

Fuller has just gone into hissy overdrive over at Bart's place when I exposed what a liar he is by linking to his fictitious Navel career as described on this very blog.

He even told me to "Bugg*r off".

Ian Forrester said...

Mmmm seems like Google doesn't know who I am. The above post was from me.

Ian Forrester

dhogaza said...

Ah, yes, his naval career when he intentionally sabatoged the sea surface temp data collected by his US Navy ship, using buckets to collect sea water and then measuring the temperature ...

Except that was the British, not the US, Navy using bucket data rather than measuring at sea water intake ports ...

Good times were had, exposing Fuller's live. I almost miss those times, though I don't miss Fuller ...

EliRabett said...

Hmm, rereading (always a good idea) what Craig Idso wrote, they are using the highest value in the PROXY record (which ones are not mentioned) between well, ok that is not very clear, but as written it means SINCE the 1980s, or 1990 on

This presents a number of problems. First, what about those records that do not extend to 1990? Second, since the proxys are calibrated to temperatures using the instrumental data, well you know.

In essence this is a durian pick, a large fruit that smells like dead animals when ripe..

dhogaza said...

"In essence this is a durian pick, a large fruit that smells like dead animals when ripe.."

stink they do, but some people swear they taste better than cherries!

Anonymous said...

"as written it means SINCE the 1980s, or 1990 on"

Except that in at least one of the references, they seemed to be comparing it with AD 1808-2000.

"stink they do, but some people swear they taste better than cherries!"

I once took a durian to a school where I gave a talk on the uses of plants to 3 different groups. By mid-day you could smell it through the whole school. One girl compared the smell to the inside of her hockey bag and it tasted like a blend of pineapple and garlic.

Richard Simons

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

On Durian. I first had it in Singapore and enjoyed the first 2 bites. After that, I wanted nothing to do with it.

I have since tried it several times, and I am convinced that if you can put aside all your prejudices of what food should taste or smell like, it can be pretty good.

I'd still take cherries over durian any day.

Russell said...

In a ripe durian related incident, reports of Steve Godddard's brain death have been somewhat exaggerated- he has merely suffered website infarction , with WUWT telling us :

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that the report of the death of Steve Goddard is somewhat premature. When I first e-mailed Anthony with this news, his first response was “I don’t know this might be a fake is real name is ….” a subsequent e-mail responding to a link to the Real Science site noted “some of it jibes with what I know it some does not I’d be cautious…” then he asked me to post the link to the notice with a notice that we could not confirm anything. Apparently his caution was justified and WUWT readers can be assured that Anthony keeps a close watch on his interns even when he takes a rare few hours off.


Steve Goddard himself appears to have weighed in here at WUWT:

I’m fine. I was off at a soccer game when this happened. Basically, someone I trusted went insane and took control of the site. I still don’t have access, as my IP address has been blocked."

Lionel A said...

Goddard's IP address has been blocked - how terrible. Does the same go for his IQ work space?

On this MWP & LIA troublesome, as a keen maritime history looker-into I cannot help but note that records of shipbuilding in England during the late 1600s oft-times mention troubles with high temperatures and droughts causing related issues with ship's seams opening up whilst in 'ordinary'.

1666 (the year my old school was founded) saw an unusually warm summer which was instrumental in the severity of the Great Fire which took hold in London.

On a related note I was wondering if anybody has done a trawl ('scuse pun) through maritime records and ships logs for weather and climate related information. Defoe wrote a book about the Great Storm of 1703 and I know that the year the Titanic went down had unusual weather early on with hurricane force winds in mid January which caused trouble for a squadron of US TB-destroyers in the Caribbean and many ships to near founder each side of the North Atlantic. Then there was the unusual behaviour of icebergs in the Labrador current which was probably instrumental in the Titanic tragedy. Sudden encounter of below freezing water causing metallurgical trouble with the ship's structure and a temperature inversion which caused strange, for those out there, atmospheric optical effects leading to unfortunate belief in a vessel being nearby thus rescue near.

Just thinking.

Anonymous said...


The Normans invaded Ireland in 1179, and in their wake came a Welshman called Gerald de Barry. Gerald left a valuable record of Ireland in the 1180s called Topographia Hibernica. He mentions in regard to climate and crops:

- a windy and rainy climate, much like the 20th century.
- specifically says that vines are not grown there, though Ireland has a milder climate than England.
- says that the grain sometimes does not ripen.

These last would have been a weaker strain of wheat or oats than modern crops.

A contemporary account of Greenland in the 13th century says that the inhabitants "did not know bread", and only a few grains from the Norse period have been found, in a dunghill. Probably, the Greenland Norse grew a little grain for personal use in small gardens, but the main Greenland Norse crop was hay. No remains of barnyard fowls have been found in Norse sites, suggesting the winters were too cold for them.

On the whole, the literary or archaeological evidence of the period does not support the more extravagant claims made for the Medieval Warm Period.

J Bowers said...

"On a related note I was wondering if anybody has done a trawl ('scuse pun) through maritime records and ships logs for weather and climate related information."

Phil Jones and CRU. For almost forty years ;)

J Bowers said...

Lionel A -- "Then there was the unusual behaviour of icebergs in the Labrador current which was probably instrumental in the Titanic tragedy."

Cold mirage seems to have been the main culprit, brought about by the Jet Stream hitting the cold air brought down by the pattern you mention. The lookouts wouldn't have been able to see the icebergs against starlight as the horizon would have been lifted by the refraction. If you haven't seen it, a fascinating NatGeo docu based on Tim Maltin's exhaustive research of shipping weather data, called Titanic: Case Closed (not my title) is a must see.

Belette said...

> This presents a number of problems. First, what about those records that do not extend to 1990?

That would seem to be a problem (though you might mean 1980). Since you're doing the investigative-reporter bit, I think its your duty to pose this further question to Idso.