Thursday, October 01, 2009

An Apology for the Yamal Accusation?

I still think Steve McIntyre owes Keith Briffa an apology. Now he is (of course) picking through Briffa's comments, looking for inconsistencies and starting to play the victim. This whole episode has all been very unseemly.

McIntyre complains that
Briffa's comment leads off with the accusation that I had implied that the recent data had in this chronology had been "purposely selected" by Briffa "specifically because they exhibited recent growth increases". I want to dispense with this up front. While I expressed surprise that there were so few cores, not only did I not imply that Briffa did any sub-selecting, but I specifically said the opposite.

But here's what he did write, on Sept 26:
Unfortunately, to date, people in the field have not honored this responsibility and, to an outside observer, seem to have done no more than pick the version (Yamal) that suits their bias.

That certainly confirms Briffa's accusation, it seems to me: "pick the version" = sub-selecting, and "bias" = data that would imply an upturned blade. You can put a bow-tie on a snake, but it's still a snake.

14 comments:

rhhardin said...

I don't care who calls who what names. Why is it even an issue?

Just show how selection changes the result; then the selection has to be justified.

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Jonas N said...

David, you need to be more careful when reading other peoples statements:

What Steve M expicitly is refering to is that it seems as if other researchers pick the (already picked) Yamal-series by Briffa because they like it (and/or know of it, wheras other series also are not picked)

Nowhere does he state or imply that Briffa had been picking the particular trees in question with the purpose of creating a wanted result.

How and why Briffa made his selections is still an open question, to which only Briffa knows the answer. He gives some vague clues and says something about 'requires further investigation'. But if he indeed cherrypicked those few trees for a specific reason, we will never know of it.

Jason S said...

Is there any doubt that Briffa did in fact pick the set of 12 trees from Yamal out of multiple choices that were available at the time?

This isn't an accusation by Steve. It is a cold hard fact, and I'd be shocked to see Briffa say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

What Jonas N says is exactly correct; other researchers chose whether to use Yamal, or different chronologies. That is different from whether Briffa cherry-picked 10 modern trees in his Yamal reconstruction.

You have misrepresented Steve McIntyre, and you owe him an apology. Surely that is just good journalism ?

per

Anonymous said...

"Now he is (of course) picking through Briffa's comments, looking for inconsistencies and starting to play the victim. "

How sad that immediately after saying this, you proceed to do exactly that. Worse, you seem blind to the text you are quoting, and as others have pointed out, have completely misinterpreted in your desperate effort to find something negative to say.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, to date, people in the field have not honored this responsibility and, to an outside observer, seem to have done no more than pick the version (Yamal) that suits their bias."

fred said...

Commenters on blogs such as this one have a responsibility to get the point.

Unfortunately, to date, skeptics on the internet have not honored this responsibility and, to an outside observer, seem to have done no more than backpedaling.

Ezzthetic said...

He seems to have fallen back on claiming that "bias" is just a term of art in statistics. He's not to blame if that was lost on people...

Hank Roberts said...

Ah, the concern trolls. McI being their model and major example. Tsk, tsk, tsk ....

And we're still months from Copenhagen. I expect more sock puppets and more copypasters to be coming out of the fog every week.

By the last week or two it'll be teaparty blogging everywhere all the time.

Pity.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, and Jonas, you're calling McI a liar above. Do you realize you're disagreeing with McI about who may have selected what? Hint: read what the man wrote -- not the slimy implications, which he denies are his, but the actual words, which are weasely enough to make people like Jonas _think_ they know what McI meant, but still allow McI to deny he said any such tsk thing oh my no not at all it was them pesky Rooshians maybe who might have done some such selectiong could be yeah.

But the camels were packed and the tents taken down long ago and the caravan has moved on, long since.

http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2009/10/a_simple_climate_model_to_the.html

http://www.unep.org/compendium2009/

Jonas N said...

Hanj, I am not calling anyone a liar. I am certain some people are disingeneous, but they will never tell us.

And I'm sorry, I don't follow most of your implications about what you think you can extract from other peoples written words ...

(And neither am I very worried I'd be missing some very profound thoughts)

Anonymous said...

You only have to know 3 things abuot this issue:

1/ Briffa presented a tree-ring series which matches reality, as measured by satellites, etc..

2/ McIntyre presented a different tree-ring series which doesn't in any way shape or form match reality.

3/ McIntyre quite explicitly accuses Briffa in numerous comments of having cherry-picked his data.

The above three points are all you will ever need to know in assessing what weight to put on anything McIntyre publishes in his favourite Petro-trade journals.

Anonymous said...

Rule #1: You can never ask too many questions

- unless the science is "settled" it seems

Doh