A group of prominent paleoclimatologists has written a paper rebutting one of Michael Mann's recent contributions to the scientific literature. The new paper was announced on the ITRBD Forum by Rob Wilson. The list of authors of the new paper is very long. Almost looks like they are ganging up on him. ;-)
In February of this year, Mike Mann and colleagues published a paper in Nature Geoscience entitled, "Underestimation of volcanic cooling in tree-ring based reconstructions of hemispheric temperatures". Their main conclusion was that a tree-ring based Northern Hemisphere (NH) reconstruction of D'Arrigo et al. (2006) failed to corroborate volcanically forced cold years that were simulated in modelling results (e.g. 1258, 1816 etc). Their main hypothesis was that there was a temporary cessation of tree growth (i.e. missing rings for all trees) at some sites near the temperature limit for growth. This implies Dendrochronology's inability to detect missing rings results in an underestimation of reconstructed cold years when different regional chronologies are averaged to derive a large scale NH composite.
We scrutinized this study and wrote a response to Nature Geoscience. We are pleased to announce that our comment, along with a reply by Mann et al., was finally published on Nov. 25, 2012 (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html) -- 8 months after submission. Our comment focuses on several factors that challenge the Mann et al. (2012) hypothesis of missing tree rings. We highlight problems in Mann et al.'s implementation of the tree ring model used, a lack of consideration for uncertainty in the amplitude and spatial pattern of volcanic forcing and associated climate responses, and a lack of any empirical evidence for misdating of tree-ring chronologies.
We look forward to a continued discussion on this subject.
Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Petra Breitenmoser, Keith R. Briffa, Agata Buchwal, Ulf Büntgen, Edward R. Cook, Rosanne D. D'Arrigo, Jan Esper, Michael N. Evans, David Frank, Håkan Grudd, Björn Gunnarson, Malcolm K. Hughes, Alexander V. Kirdyanov, Christian Körner, Paul J. Krusic, Brian Luckman, Thomas M. Melvin, Matthew W. Salzer, Alexander V. Shashkin, Claudia Timmreck, Eugene A. Vaganov, and Rob J.S. Wilson