Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is the Hockey Stick "flaccid?"

Mark Steyn writes:
Mann at least sues to inject a little court-ordered Viagra into his ever more flaccid hockey stick.
I think it would behoove Steyn to learn just a little climate science -- it would help his case.

If nothing else, it would keep him from shooting into his own foot.

Instead, he repeatedly illustrates his ignorance of climate science -- which speaks poorly for his claim that the hockey stick is "fraudulent."

Steyn wants to paint his case as being one of free speech -- even though the judge seems to have more than that in mind -- and doesn't seem able to understand anything more.

Then again, when your career depends on insulting people in an ever more clever fashion, "free speech" is about all you have to hang on to.

But Steyn should know by now that many other studies have replicated the Mann et al results, some using complely independent mathematical techniques.

There's all of these. Wahl and Ammanm. There's Marcott et al 2013. PAGES 2k. Tingley and Huybers.

If I was a judge or on a jury, that would matter to me. A lot.

The more scientists that have replicated Mann et al, the less likely it seems there was any "fraud" involved. It would matter that, for all Steyn's claims of "fraud," many other scientists have reached the same conclusion.

Steyn should also know that the Mann et al analysis doen't extend past about 1980, because of the so-called "divergence problem" -- tree ring density proxies in the far northern hemisphere do not accurately correspond to surface temperatures, for reasons partly unkown -- perhaps air pollution, perhaps even climate chagne itself.

So writing "ever more flaccid," perhaps due to (Steyn thinks) the pause, is quite meaningless. The MBH results don't extend to now.

Steyn is in serious need of not only legal counsel, but scientific counsel as well. He looks weak on all fronts. And the fact that he can't keep his mouth shut -- nor can Rand Simberg -- looks dumb even to people whose only conception of US courts comes from television.

I just don't see Mann needing to defend himself on twitter or blogs, or having to reassure people he's going to win.

3 comments:

RobertW said...

I'm no legal scholar so maybe someone can enlighten me. What I don't understand is this: Let's give Mann the benefit of the doubt and say that his work is pure, un-politicized science. If that is the case, why does there even have to be a "discovery" period? Why doesn't Mann just voluntarily lay everything out on the table and say "Here are the unedited raw data, here are my methods, and here are my conclusions."? Then he would have even more ammunition to go after detractors, right? I'm thinking there must be more to the story, otherwise it should have been over long ago. Why is Mann suing people who question him rather than demonstrate that there is nothing to question?

David Appell said...

Robert: Mann et al's data and methods have been available for years:
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/research/MANNETAL98/

as it has for followup work:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/supplements/MultiproxyMeans07/

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/supplements/MultiproxySpatial09/

tonylearns said...

David,

What really amazes me about this question is that so many people seem to beleiv it is possible that literally hundreds of scientists would not be outraged if Mann had really done something floes to fraudulent.
It fascinates me that it is even considered a remote possibility that Mann purposely "tortured" data in order to prove that there was no MWP.
when a MWP that was similar to current temps would not disprove anything about ACC.