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on tree-ring data and peer-reviewed studies

“Here's what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by "peer review". When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann "consensus," Jones demanded that the journal "rid itself of this troublesome editor," and Mann advised that "we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers.” [Quoted from ocregister.com]

Mark Steyn is free to write for whom he wishes, so why not Jones and Mann?

Meanwhile, just about no-one is meeting Kyoto. Do you really believe Copenhagen will pan out much differently?

Anyone who believe the tosh about the reliability of ‘peer review’ has never done serious research. The ‘peer reviewed journals’ are just specialist and in-house magazines. If someone doesn’t get their rubbish published, they are just as likely to start another magazine with them as editor! And then try to charge outrageous amounts for copies or articles.

You cannot rely on anyone, let alone the ‘peer reviewed mag.s’. You have to cross check and cross check and cross check and still you canno't be certain sure.

In this situation, that there are some idiots behaving like idiots does not ‘disprove’ anthropogenic global warming [AGW] any more than it ‘proves’ it, and Steyn falls straight into that mind trap. Good science and reasoning is hard. That is why so few are much good at it, and Steyn is not one of them. He is just a useful voice among millions.

Go spend a few months reading the psychological ‘journals’ or the pharmaceutical ‘journals’, or the logic ‘journals’. It’s the same the whole world over, most of it is pap.

Or go and look at publishing 300 years ago. Much of it is fourth form schoolboy tripe, most of it has long been burned. All most people now remember is Shakespeare and a few others. It will be exactly the same with the ‘journals’. Only some nerd like me will still be hunting out or collecting such stuff in 300 years, long after a bit of allegedly ‘lost’ data from the CRU is long forgotten. Why those reading this article in 300 years will not even know what CRU stands for, and that will be really irritating!

From the article by Mark Steyn:

“And that's what Andrew Revkin did, week in, week out: He took the words out of Michael Mann's mouth and served them up to impressionable readers of the New York Times and opportunist politicians around the world champing at the bit to inaugurate a vast global regulatory body to confiscate trillions of dollars of your hard-earned wealth in the cause of "saving the planet" from an imaginary crisis concocted by a few dozen thuggish ideologues. If you fall for this after the revelations of the past week, you're as big a dupe as Begley or Revkin.”

Is that dishonesty or merely hysterical foolhardy blather?

“..."Who peer-reviews the peer-reviewers?" Mann peer-reviewed Jones, and Jones peer-reviewed Mann...”

And most of the tripe that is published day by day is puffed by their mates in the game, just like Tracy Emin and Saatchi tell each other that rubbish is ‘art’ and worth good money from dopes.

The readers of this in 300 years will also scratch their heads and wonder ‘Tracy Emin’, ‘Saatchi’ - who?

And by the way, delenda est socialismus.

Marker at abelard.org

no, it isn’t about computer models [uea.ac.uk press release]

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 4th Assessment Report (AR4) published in 2007 concluded that the warming of the climate system was unequivocal. This conclusion was based not only on the observational temperature record, although this is the key piece of evidence, but on multiple strands of evidence. These factors include: long-term retreat of glaciers in most alpine regions of the world; reductions in the area of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) snow cover during the spring season; reductions in the length of the freeze season in many NH rivers and lakes; reduction in Arctic sea-ice extent in all seasons, but especially in the summer; increases in global average sea level since the 19th century; increases in the heat content of the ocean and warming of temperatures in the lower part of the atmosphere since the late 1950s.

“CRU [Climatic Research Unit] has also been involved in reconstructions of temperature (primarily for the Northern Hemisphere) from proxy data (non-instrumental sources such as tree rings, ice cores, corals and documentary records). Similar temperature reconstructions have been developed by numerous other groups around the world. The level of uncertainty in this indirect evidence for temperature change is much greater than for the picture of temperature change shown by the instrumental data. But different reconstructions of temperature change over a longer period, produced by different researchers using different methods, show essentially the same picture of highly unusual warmth across the NH during the 20th century. The principal conclusion from these studies (summarized in IPCC AR4) is that the second half of the 20th century was very likely (90% probable) warmer than any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely (66% probable) the warmest in the past 1300 years.”

Marker at abelard.org

for anyone caring about tree ring data [chapter 6 of IPCC 4]

This is a 466 page .pdf and has enough for all but the most enthusiastic excavator.
you can search it on terms like ‘tree’ or ‘tree ring’ or ‘Mann’ if you don’t want to read 466 pages

“McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) reported that they were unable to replicate the results of Mann et al. (1998). Wahl and Ammann (2007) showed that this was a consequence of differences in the way McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) had implemented the method of Mann et al. (1998) and that the original reconstruction could be closely duplicated using the original proxy data. McIntyre and McKitrick (2005a,b) raised further concerns about the details of the Mann et al. (1998) method, principally relating to the independent verification of the reconstruction against 19th-century instrumental temperature data and to the extraction of the dominant modes of variability present in a network of western North American tree ring chronologies, using Principal Components Analysis. The latter may have some theoretical foundation, but Wahl and Amman (2006) also show that the impact on the amplitude of the final reconstruction is very small (~0.05°C; for further discussion of these issues see also Huybers, 2005; McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005c,d; von Storch and Zorita, 2005).”

“ Much of the evidence used by Lamb was drawn from a very diverse mixture of sources such as historical information, evidence of treeline and vegetation changes, or records of the cultivation of cereals and vines. He also drew inferences from very preliminary analyses of some Greenland ice core data and European tree ring records. Much of this evidence was difficult to interpret in terms of accurate quantitative temperature influences. Much was not precisely dated, representing physical or biological systems that involve complex lags between forcing and response, as is the case for vegetation and glacier changes. Lamb’s analyses also predate any formal statistical calibration of much of the evidence he considered. He concluded that ‘High Medieval’ temperatures were probably 1.0°C to 2.0°C above early 20th-century levels at various European locations (Lamb, 1977; Bradley et al., 2003a).

“A later study, based on examination of more quantitative evidence, in which efforts were made to control for accurate dating and specific temperature response, concluded that it was not possible to say anything other than ‘… in some areas of the Globe, for some part of the year, relatively warm conditions may have prevailed’ (Hughes and Diaz, 1994).”

And much much more to delight those who prefer reality to fossil media and denialist hysteria.

IPCC comparisons of tree ring data from 100 AD

Note the black lines towards the end of the tree ring surveys, which represent real temperatures. This represents attempts to examine the viability of tree rings as surrogates/proxies for measured temperatures.

Marker at abelard.org

And on that alleged deleted data
For further reverberations on the disputed Briffa tree data.

Two versions of Briffa MXD reconstruction, the portion that was deleted from the NOAA archive in red. Source: climateaudit.org
Two versions of Briffa MXD temperature reconstruction, the portion that was deleted from the NOAA archive in red.
Source: climateaudit.org

Here is the so-called ‘deleted’ data, from NOAA.

Meanwhile, from UEA [University of East Anglia]

“Over 95% of the CRU climate data set concerning land surface temperatures has been accessible to climate researchers, sceptics and the public for several years the University of East Anglia has confirmed.”


“The University will make all the data accessible as soon as they are released from a range of non-publication agreements. Publication will be carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre.”

end note

  1. “As McIntyre points out: “YAD061 reaches 8 sigma and is the most influential tree in the world.” ”[Quoted from wattsupwiththat.com]

    More on the tree ring saga:
    “ McIntyre therefore prepared a revised dataset, replacing Briffa's selected 12 cores with the 34 from Khadyta River. The revised chronology was simply staggering. The sharp uptick in the series at the end of the twentieth century had vanished, leaving a twentieth century apparently without a significant trend. The blade of the Yamal hockey stick, used in so many of those temperature reconstructions that the IPCC said validated Michael Mann's work, was gone.”

related material
misuse and corruption in science
global warming
anthropogenic global warming, and ocean acidity


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3-d folding of dna helix understood, or how to fit two metres into a cell

Image: Bang Wong, Broad Institute“ "We've long known that on a small scale, DNA is a double helix," [...] "But if the double helix didn't fold further, the genome in each cell would be two meters long. Scientists have not really understood how the double helix folds to fit into the nucleus of a human cell, which is only about a hundredth of a millimeter in diameter. This new approach enabled us to probe exactly that question."

“The researchers report two striking findings. First, the human genome is organized into two separate compartments, keeping active genes separate and accessible while sequestering unused DNA in a denser storage compartment. Chromosomes snake in and out of the two compartments repeatedly as their DNA alternates between active, gene-rich and inactive, gene-poor stretches.”

“The specific architecture the scientists found, called a "fractal globule," enables the cell to pack DNA incredibly tightly -- the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip -- while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell's ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.”


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climate modelling and beautiful images

“In preliminary testing of Discover’s Nehalem processors, NASA climate simulations performed up to twice as fast per processor compared with other nationally recognized high-end computing systems. The new computational capabilities also allowed NASA climate scientists to run high-resolution simulations that reproduced atmospheric features not previously seen in their models.

“For instance, "features such as well-defined hurricane eyewalls and convective cloud clusters appeared for the first time," said William Putman.”

“In August, Goddard added 4,128 new-generation Intel "Nehalem" processors to its Discover high-end computing system. The upgraded Discover will serve as the centerpiece of a new climate simulation capability at Goddard. Discover will host NASA’s modeling contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading scientific organization for assessing climate change, and other national and international climate initiatives.

“To further enhance Discover’s capabilities, Goddard will install another 4,128 Nehalem processors in the fall, bringing Discover to 15,160 processors.”

What 4,128 Intel Nehalem processors do for a climate model:

New high-resolution climate simulations reproduce atmospheric features not previously seen in NASA computer models.
27-kilometer resolution to left, 3.5-kilometer resolution to right. Images:

Meanwhile, the UK has been using a another giant computer complex to calculate global climate variability.

Meanwhile, the UK has been using a another giant computer complex to calculate global climate variability.

“The HiGEM model [...] run[s] on HPCx supercompter (see www.hpcx.ac.uk ) which comprises of 50 IBM POWER4+ Regatta nodes, i.e. 1600 processors, and delivers10.8 TeraFlop/s[1] peak or 6 TeraFlops/s sustained . It is currently the most powerful computer in Europe.”

An abstract of HiGEM’s work, the full text is paywalled - $29.50.

Shaffrey, L. C. et al. (2009), U.K. HiGEM: The New U.K. High-Resolution Global Environment Model—Model Description and Basic Evaluation, Journal of Climate, 22(8), 1861-1896.

Thanks to Lazar for leads.

end note

  1. A teraflop is a trillion floating point operations per second, where a trillion is a million million.


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yet again, war proves good for humanity - and as a bonus, socialist madsam is gone

While the medieval Taliban are being castrated, so’s that females may come and men may enter the 21st century...

“Nine years ago, Robert J. Nowak, an electro-chemicals expert for the Defense Dept., learned that senior generals weren't happy with their troops' electronic gear. While the night-vision, laser, and GPS devices worked well, the batteries that powered them weighed some 25 pounds per soldier, heavy enough to hurt some of the troops.

“So Nowak, who worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Dept.'s famous research branch, solicited bids for a new device that would power a soldier's gear at a tenth of the weight and a fraction of the $100 cost of the batteries. Today, the original 18 companies that took up Nowak's challenge have been whittled down to two: Livermore (Calif.)-based UltraCell and Adaptive Materials of Ann Arbor, Mich. Their solution: small, sturdy fuel cells that can power a soldier's clutch of mobile devices for a week on a gallon or so of methanol or propane. Battle-ready versions of the fuel cells will be available this year.”


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intelligent plants?

  • do some trees like being burned?

    “But here’s the odd thing. Many plants that live in places prone to fire are highly flammable - more flammable than plants that live elsewhere. This has led some to speculate that these plants have actually evolved to cause fires: that they 'want' fire, and have evolved features that make it more likely that a spark will become a flame, and a flame will become a fire. I call this the torch-me hypothesis.”

  • rhubarb rhubarb
Desert rhubarb. Image: Gidi Ne'eman, University of Haifa-Oranim
Desert rhubarb. Image: Gidi Ne’eman, University of Haifa–Oranim

    “...ridges in the plant’s giant leaves actually collect water and channel it down to the plant’s root system, harvesting up to 16 times more water than any other plant in the region.”

    “Some scientists say the desert rhubarb isn’t all that [unusual], however. “Many plants channel water to their base to be absorbed by the root,” Lindy Brigham, a plant ecologist from the University of Arizona, wrote in an email. “Just look at the way plant leaves are shaped and how they branch from the base in many cases.” The architecture of the desert rhubarb’s leaves is unusual, she said, but not necessarily the only example of this adaptation.”

No, it isn’t! Temperate, domestic rhurbarb [Rheum rhaponticum] also has water-conserving attributes.

related material
Other examples of plant water conservation.


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