Circling Yamal 1- delinquent treering records?
Treering proxy temperature measurements from
Yamal have a pronounced upturn that helps to create a hockey
stick shape with the blade rising in the 20th Century. These
were used in Kaufman 2009 to show the Arctic apparently warming
fast after 2000 years of steady cooling. This warming starts
after thermometer records started. The pattern should therefore
show in the thermometer records, especially around Yamal. But
it does not. Read more at Circling
Yamal 2 * Circling Yamal 3
Update 13th Oct: new page with details from Briffa's work here,
including the 12 trees and map of proxy sites.
This article was posted at Jeff
Id's Air Vent; at the same time, Steve MacIntyre found the
Briffa data, and laid
Newcomers can learn the full story with Bishop
Hill. Look for UHI effects here.
This is more work in progress, following Circling
the Arctic, in particular I was inspired by Bill Illis
(05:42:38 on WUWT,
9/9/09) who provided links to the Yamal
material and Kaufman's
data. I am still learning a lot, and am open to being
corrected / improved (email preferred). My motivation for doing
this was my certainty that Briffa's Yamal data should never
have been used in Kaufman 2009, and that visual comparison to
thermometer data can help people see this easily. John
Daly collected NASA
GISS records that were reliable, longstanding, not-moved
rural stations: the Vardo group, the Kanin Nos group, and the
Salehard group. Today the NASA records all start at 1880, thereby
losing a vital cornerstone of information I find trustworthy.
For the early Arctic records were kept by those who had a big
reason to get them correct: the life of their community.
I've been accused of cherry-picking, but I maintain
that Daly's criteria are actually good science. Understanding
is helped by individual stations, names, places, and pictures,
not just nameless averages. And "auditing" climate
science is about reconnecting professional standards and the
best specialists with basic principles and good amateurs and
commonsense, where user-friendliness is essential. But to forestall
objections, I've included records here from four Russian cities
that were specified in response to "Circling the Arctic"
at WUWT. This lengthens the discussion but does not undo the
conclusion, in fact it makes it more - what - "robust".
There are a number of important details to glean
from these records. On first sight, it looks as if the treering
proxy record (the "rearing snake" shaded faint against
each thermometer record) is way out of kilter, excessive by
comparison with all thermometer records, and patterned differently,
but it's good to look at details with an open mind. The treering
record shows temperatures relative to a mean, not an absolute
level. All my thermometer records with treering record faint
overlays are identical scale, with 10-year divisions from 1841
to 2011, and 2ºC divisions from -18ºC to +4ºC.
There is one interesting piece of evidence
from this Hockey Stick, that
the Air Vent
shows even in assemblages of less-distorted
proxy records. The pattern
of temperature change still
make a sort of Hockey Stick: slower fall, faster rise. Now
observe: this pattern appears again and again in the
ice ages temperature sequence
. Temperatures in general
appear to rise rapidly, compared with rates of temperature
decline: a natural pattern.
- What the Yamal treering evidence shows, however, appears to
be a very exaggerated distortion.
- Moreover, the statistics method used by Mann et al appears
to be capable of producing a hockey stick out of any data -
see Jeff's June series of posts starting with Hockey
Stick Revisited part 1.
Now to the thermometer records.
Savour the environment
, just north of the Arctic Circle. It is flattish,
watery, permafrosted tundra with trees in a few places, fairly
maritime, bordering a sheltered area of the Arctic Ocean to
the north and the Siberian landmass to the south.
- Bjørnøya, Vardø and Murmansk are surprisingly
warm - Murmansk has a similar latitude to Ostrov Dikson and
Hatanga. Perhaps proximity to Gulf Stream waters, and distance
from continental centre of mass, raise their mean temperatures.
Siberia has an extreme annual temperature range due to landmass;
and the greatest departure from "norm" is the winter
cold, not the summer warmth.
- Vardø: the record shows virtually no trend at all,
certainly no marked change into uplift from 1900 or so. But
its detailed patterns correspond very well with those of nearby
Murmansk, and reasonably well with Bjørnøya. Vardø
lacks the decadal fluctuations shown by Bjørnøya,
but Murmansk, that resembles Vardø very closely otherwise,
shows decadal fluctuations.
- Kanin Nos, Ostrov Dikson and Ostrov Vize temperature patterns
all have high correlation with those of Bjørnøya
and Murmansk, both short-term and over decadal fluctuations.
- Salehard, Turuhansk and Hatanga likewise show short-term and
decadal fluctuations similar to Bjørnøya and Murmansk.
- From such similar patterns - with fluctuations but without
sudden large upswing around 1900 - one can IMO reasonably infer
from Vardø the sort of pattern all these other stations
- The uniquely steady temperature at Vardø puzzles me.
Does it indicate comparative freedom from Arctic sea ice?
- The Irkutsk group: these are similar to each other, both in
short-term fluctuations and in overall pattern; they resemble
all the other records less, both in details and in overall pattern.
Do they indicate continental, rather than Arctic maritime patterns?
Is this difference also a hint about (delayed) effects of PDO
and AMO on Arctic maritime temperatures?
- The Irkutsk group were chosen, with records since 2002, to
answer allegations of cherrypicking. They are furthest away
and their environment is very different - mid-continental. All
these cities lie on major railway lines. Recent years since
2002 are actually irrelevant since the big proxy upsurges started
around 1920, 1950, and 1980. But even with their steady rises
since 1950 or so, Irkutsk, Omsk, Barnaul and Krasnoyarsk all
show considerably less warming than the Yamal treerings, and
a different pattern.
- Note the typical interannual variation of temperatures: the
colder the mean, the bigger the fluctuations in general - and
the harder to eliminate "noise" signals. Or perhaps
those fluctuations are evidence to a different beat, that of
cycles? Would they yield significant correspondence to solar
cycles? Ocean cycles?
- There is close correspondence of temperature patterns in each
of these four groups, thus confirming the trustworthiness of
- "Fluctuation" is far more striking than "trend".
Any trend measurement must take full account of natural fluctuations
in the Arctic.
- Salehard borders on Yamal, yet its thermometer record is
strikingly different from the treering record. And since
the pattern at Salehard is backed up by Murmansk, Bjørnøya,
Vardø, Kanin Nos, Turuhansk, Ostrov Dikson, Ostrov Vize,
and Hatanga, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Yamal
treering record is the one that is suspect.
The tree ring proxy temperature record stands out by being utterly
different. It would not matter that several years are effectively
smoothed into each record; what matters is the range, and the
comparisons of its downs and ups with the temperature records.
It is wildly higher than even the biggest fluctuations. Salehard
should show a very similar temperature pattern. Imagine if the
Salehard record were smoothed to the level of smoothing of the
Yamal proxies, its range of fluctuations would largely disappear.
So the Yamal fluctuations are even further out of order.
Omsk, Barnaul, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk show
a similar longterm pattern - level until 1950 or so, then
a rise of ~2ºC to 2008. Short-term, the patterns sometimes
match and sometimes diverge. The longterm rise could be
UHI. Or it could be a natural temperature rise that has
occurred, that the continental landmass reflects but the
maritime locations, influenced by oscillating ocean currents,
do not. It is still not the IPCC
graph pattern, which rises from 1900, dips from
1940, and rises again from 1970.
Omsk and Irkutsk are completely different to the pattern
of all the other stations here from John Daly: Vardø,
Murmansk, Kanin Nos, Salehard, Turuhansk, Ostrov Dikson
and Hatanga. These stations show very similar cycles that
appear to be within range of the cycle that is visible below
in the Bodø record, which closely fits the IPCC graph,
and also fits a 60-year solar cycle. In the unadjusted Bodø
record, the 1930's were warmer: this suggests UHI contaminating
an otherwise reasonable IPCC record.
|This has been adjusted 0.5ºC downwards in false compensation
||These records show a 2ºC divergence that is probably
I'm not able to do trend lines and smoothed graphs. But these
graphs speak volumes. Sun, sea, and continental effects are obvious
factors to examine further. Temperatures in maritime locations
are strongly moderated by the oceans, rather more so, it seems,
in the Arctic winters than in the Arctic summers. We are learning
about the effect on land temperatures of ocean currents oscillating
between warm and cool, and the lag between equatorial seas warming,
at least correlating to the Sun (even if mechanisms are lacking
so far), and warming at higher latitudes due to ocean currents
The puzzle is, what actually happened to distort the Yamal treering
records - assuming it was not just a fluke or mistake? The
Siberian larches are sensitive not only to temperature but also
to moisture and CO2 and a whole host of other known factors and
microclimate issues. Go here
to explore the puzzle further.
Page updated 8th October 2009