PAGES2K: North American Tree Ring Proxies

by Steve McIntyre, October 24, 2018 in ClimatAudit

The PAGES (2017) North American network consists entirely of tree rings. Climate Audit readers will recall the unique role of North American stripbark bristlecone chronologies in Mann et al 1998 and Mann et al 2008 (and in the majority of IPCC multiproxy reconstructions).  In today’s post, I’ll parse the PAGES2K North American tree ring networks in both PAGES (2013) and PAGES (2017) from two aspects:


  • ex post screening based on recent proxy trends necessarily biases the resulting data towards a Hockey Stick shape – a criticism made over and over here and at other “ske;ptic” blogs, but not understood by Michael (“I am not a statistician”) Mann and the IPCC paleoclimate “community”;

  • the PAGES 2017 North American tree ring network has been severely screened ex post from a much larger candidate population: over the years, approximately 983 different North American tree ring chronologies have been used in MBH98, Mann et al 2008, PAGES 2013 or PAGES 2017. I.e. only ~15% of the underlying population was selected ex post – a procedure which, even with random data, would impart Hockey Stick-ness to any resulting composite

  • despite this severe ex post screening (in both PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017), the composite of all data other than stripbark bristlecones had no noticeable Hockey Stick-ness and does not resemble a temperature proxy.