2011-06-09 09:24:29Anyone want to hit the 'you can get a hockey stick out of red noise' climate myth?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

I'm not sure this myth is even in our database but on a google group of climate scientists that I'm on, this topic has come up and Michael Mann suggested this would be a good topic for SkS to cover. I reckon it would work as a stand-alone blog post, possibly as a rebuttal to that specific argument and part of it could be integrated into our hockey stick argument. It has been covered at Deep Climate (and possibly elsewhere but DC is a good place to start):

http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/
http://deepclimate.org/2010/10/25/the-wegman-report-sees-red-noise/
If anyone wants to tackle this, I'd suggest doing a blog post draft first then we can pass it onto Mike Mann for feedback (as well as the usual SkS peer review process). There's nothing like having your content grilled by Mike who knows this stuff better than anyone - now there's a genuine skeptic!
I would also suggest writing an Intermediate level then we can parse it into a Basic version afterwards.
2011-06-09 21:26:38stats of large numbers
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.77.236.152

i'd say just that listening to red/brownian noise for UFO-signals might be a better waste of time... or that making noise with true hockey sticks will produce red noise, so it's circular reasoning to claim one sees a hockey stick when listenig to red noise...

2011-06-11 17:12:00shortest simplest rebuttal?
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.76.109.64

Well, to be more serious, noise in statistical samples is by definition up and down in equal amounts and claiming 'you can get a hockey stick out of red noise' is technically true. What the denier is doing here is playing on the meme 'hockey stick' which some people have gotten used to connect specifically to the temperature reconstructions, The rise on the temperature reconstructions is to higher temperatures and not 50/50 to higher/lower temperatures as it would be if the denier in question would be truthful in his/her claim. No noise can produce a signal.

If one wants to go deeper in rebutting this claim, there will be some difficulties. One would be that the standard gas laws normally used also in the industries (well maybe not in the Deepwater Horizon -case) aren't fully expaining the behavior of the atmosphere, so one question directed to the denier in question could be "so, are you claiming earth's atmosphere behaves like a random atom?"