The McIntyre – The Bane of Climate Dogma and Mighty Slayer of Hockey Sticks

Steve McIntyre is

known in particular for his statistical critique, with economist Ross McKitrick, of the controversial hockey stick graph, which shows a sharp, and arguably unprecedented, increase in late 20th century global temperature.

He is at his sleuthing best again and Science will soon have to retract this new “hockey stick” paper

A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years, by Shaun A. Marcott, Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark and Alan C. Mix, Science 8 March 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6124 pp. 1198-1201 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026

This paper is apparently based on Marcott’s PhD thesis but the thesis contains no hockey stick!

By the time the paper was published a hockey stick had appeared.  In the most generous interpretation  the paper was “modified” to fit in with global warming dogma before being published in Science. A less generous – but more likely –  interpretation is that this is just fraud instigated probably by the global warming pundits who were the reviewers of the Science paper.

McIntyre’s latest post is a breathtaking indictment of the paper:

Marcott, Shakun, Clark and Mix did not use the published dates for ocean cores, instead substituting their own dates. The validity of Marcott-Shakun re-dating will be discussed below, but first, to show that the re-dating “matters” (TM-climate science), here is a graph showing reconstructions using alkenones (31 of 73 proxies) in Marcott style, comparing the results with published dates (red) to results with Marcott-Shakun dates (black). As you see, there is a persistent decline in the alkenone reconstruction in the 20th century using published dates, but a 20th century increase using Marcott-Shakun dates. (It is taking all my will power not to make an obvious comment at this point.)
Figure 1. Reconstructions from alkenone proxies in Marcott style. Red– using published dates; black– using Marcott-Shakun dates.

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The media went bonkers in reporting the Marcott paper  and this diagram will now go down in infamy:

marcott et al

This scandal is causing much attention ( here and here) but there is a deafening silence from the authors, from Science and from the – no doubt – anonymous reviewers.

I cannot draw but I have a clear image of a lone McIntyre battling against the Hockey Sticks. Perhaps a Josh can do justice to the image in my head.

The McIntyre slaying the Hockey Stick

The McIntyre slaying the Hockey Stick


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5 Responses to “The McIntyre – The Bane of Climate Dogma and Mighty Slayer of Hockey Sticks”

  1. citizenschallenge Says:

    Science in a vacuum is a beautiful.
    Let’s see McIntyre explain it in paper that will stand up to expert review, rather the review of his adoring uni-directional-skeptical public.

    PS /2013/03/watts-is-whopping-crazy-after-marcott.html

    and /2013/03/19/the-two-epochs-of-marcott/

    • ktwop Says:

      Perhaps Marcott and Mann first need to explain the manipulation and the faking of data.
      Is it your point that fakery and cheating can only be determined by a “peer review”? Where the “peers” have probably participated in the “fakery”.

      • citizenschallenge Says:

        Ktwop say: “Where the “peers have probably participated in the fakery”
        ~ ~ ~
        That is conspiracy ideation. Easy to imply – but where is any evidence?

        But speaking of peers, what about the under-educated “peers’ McIntyre and Watts depend on to validate their work?

        Where is the objectivity of non-experts evaluating experts – when those non-experts have an ax to grind ?
        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

        I read Watts’ blog and there’s always tons of emotion and spin and melodrama mixed in.
        Then I read stuff like Jos Hagelaars review; and it’s sober, informative and melodrama free.
        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

        Ktwop asks: “Is it your point that fakery and cheating can only be determined by a “peer review”?”
        ~ ~ ~

        Well actually to a certain extent, yes.
        Non-experts are often incapable of recognizing the difference between the real mistakes and mistakes based on their own misunderstanding.

        Especially when those non-experts do their evaluation with a predetermined goal in mind.

  2. citizenschallenge Says:

    My point is that skeptics for the sake of skepticism {and climate science denialists} assessment that Marcott and Mann have “manipulated” and “faked” data is a false self-serving charge.
    ~ ~ ~

    How about the fraud on the part of McIntyre and Watt’s that Suo does such a clean job of exposing at:
    ~ ~ ~

    Oh and re: Marcott et al, what’s with the obsession over past couple hundred years (when they themselves clearly indicate that most recent data isn’t robust) when the focus and importance of the study is the past nearly 11 thousand years?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    But since you brought up Mann, can I ask something that’s been bugging me a long time. Mann’s 1998 study was titled: “Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations” with the first sentences out of the abstract clearly state:

    “Building on recent studies, we attempt hemispheric temperature reconstructions with proxy data networks for the past millennium. We focus not just on the reconstructions, but the uncertainties therein, and important caveats. Though expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest that the latter 20thcentury is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. . . ”

    ¿ WHY, HOW was that study transformed into this supposed great Mannian fraud – even though subsequent independent studies continue to produce results that are consistent with Mann’s pioneering effort?

    • Steve Crook Says:

      You are missing the point. Look at the publicity surrounding the paper. Almost all of it focussed on the up-tick, the *confirmation* that the warming of the last ~100 years was exceptional. Didn’t Mann himself refer to it as a scythe?

      Look at some of the quotes from Marcott et. al, they didn’t exactly go out of the way to disabuse interviewers of their misunderstanding of the (lack of) significance of the up-tick.

      Read the original Revkin piece on the paper. He’s a journalist that’s well informed and has access to top climate scientists, and even he thought the up-tick was significant.

      If the up-tick hadn’t been there then the paper would have got the publicity that it deserved, which was probably not much. It’s only confirming something we already know. The up-tick made it NEWS, and I suspect that it was *only* reason for including it. After all, if the authors KNOW the data isn’t robust, why include it? What point *are* they trying to make?

      Fraud? Not so much, but it’s sharp practice or a publicity stunt that’s backfired rather badly. I’d imagine that Revkin feels that he’s been used.

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