Steam rising as the sea level hockey stick is published, in pronto timescales

24 Jun 2011

Over at ... Steve McIntyre is critical not just at the ease at which the Team paper went through peer review at PNAS, in stark contrast to their treatment of Lindzen (see post a week ago) but the contents itself - which he thinks are misleading. For example, the proxy data has been smoothed by Bayesian methodology - in a way statisticians would not encourage. It seems they also exclude sea level data before AD1000 yet claims it is a seal level record over the last 2000+ years. They appear to have encountered problems so down weighted a large lump of the data because it did not fit their preconceived pattern. In addition, the data is not archived and cannot be checked out - therefore the so called peer review process could not have run such a check.

At is the German view and makes the point that the claims that sea level is rising faster that it has for 2000 years, according to Mann and Rahmstorf, is bogus according to some scientists - it is slowing down, not going up. This is based on tidal gauge measurements, the accepted method. German coastal locations show no evidence of increased sea levels over the last 100 years. NASA also says no acceleration in sea level, and sea temperature are at the moment are in decline (as a result of the big La Nina). However, Mann and Rahmstorf are celebrated alarmists - or doomsayers of long standing.

Over at claims Stanley Riggs (his personal web site is at ) is a specialist on the geology of the North Caroline coast in which the Team dipped their toes. He also understands the geology behind the barrier islands offshore and it seems the thrust of the work of Riggs, and his fellow geologists, is completely at odds with the new hockey stick - so where is it coming from?

Meanhwile, at is an excellent guest post by Willis Eschenbach, somewhat tooth in cheek, on what he describes as the sea level hockey stick model wherein the data is missing or hidden from view. It seems the model has used the infamous Tiljander sediment core that keeps on popping up in Team papers, used upside down as it enables them to get a warming signal when the opposite is happening (see various earlier posts on Tiljander and especially see the Steve McIntyre archive at Willis goes on to examine the foraminifera (plankton) proxy data, and explains it in a quick manner for readers, and then looks at tidal gauge data from the delta (we are talking about sea level derived from a river delta with sand bars and barrier islands beyond) and satellite data of sea levels over the last 20 years. None of it is consistent with the confidence claimed for the hockey stick the Team has invented. The area they decided to research was subject to the river regularly cutting new channels, sand bars forming and then being swamped, and  a region subject to the occasional hurricane churning and stirring up the waters and barrier islands. What chance the foraminifera proxy being untouched by outside forces? Not exactly the idea place to get at the truth of sea level - but an ideal location for alarmists to have fun. Some of the comments are  well thought through and an exchange is developed between Willis and his readers that is quite sparky.