UK Daily Mail: Special Investigation into Climategate

At least the UK gets the story

At least the UK gets the story

This is what we should be reading in Australia. But the ABC and Fairfax won’t touch it (because it rains on their global socialism warming parade), and The Australian is broadly in favour of tackling climate change. So read it here instead:

There could be no simpler or more dramatic representation of global warming, and if the origin of worldwide concern over climate change could be traced to a single image, it would be the hockey stick.

Drawing a diagram such as this is far from straightforward.

Gabriel Fahrenheit did not invent the mercury thermometer until 1724, so scientists who want to reconstruct earlier climate history have to use ‘proxy data’ – measurements derived from records such as ice cores, tree-rings and growing season dates.

However, different proxies give very different results.

For example, some suggest that the ‘medieval warm period’, the 350-year era that started around 1000, when red wine grapes flourished in southern England and the Vikings tilled now-frozen farms in Greenland, was considerably warmer than even 1998.

Of course, this is inconvenient to climate change believers because there were no cars or factories pumping out greenhouse gases in 1000AD – yet the Earth still warmed.

Some tree-ring data eliminates the medieval warmth altogether, while others reflect it. In September 1999, Jones’s IPCC colleague Michael Mann of Penn State University in America – who is now also the subject of an official investigation –was working with Jones on the hockey stick. As they debated which data to use, they discussed a long tree-ring analysis carried out by Keith Briffa.

Briffa knew exactly why they wanted it, writing in an email on September 22: ‘I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more”.’ But his conscience was troubled. ‘In reality the situation is not quite so simple – I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.’

Another British scientist – Chris Folland of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre – wrote the same day that using Briffa’s data might be awkward, because it suggested the past was too warm. This, he lamented, ‘dilutes the message rather significantly’.

Over the next few days, Briffa, Jones, Folland and Mann emailed each other furiously. Mann was fearful that if Briffa’s trees made the IPCC diagram, ‘the sceptics [would] have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith [in them] – I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!’

Finally, Briffa changed the way he computed his data and submitted a revised version. This brought his work into line for earlier centuries, and ‘cooled’ them significantly. But alas, it created another, potentially even more serious, problem.

According to his tree rings, the period since 1960 had not seen a steep rise in temperature, as actual temperature readings showed – but a large and steady decline, so calling into question the accuracy of the earlier data derived from tree rings.

This is the context in which, seven weeks later, Jones presented his ‘trick’ – as simple as it was deceptive.

All he had to do was cut off Briffa’s inconvenient data at the point where the decline started, in 1961, and replace it with actual temperature readings, which showed an increase.

On the hockey stick graph, his line is abruptly terminated – but the end of the line is obscured by the other lines.

‘Any scientist ought to know that you just can’t mix and match proxy and actual data,’ said Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

‘They’re apples and oranges. Yet that’s exactly what he did.’

Read it here. (h/t Climate Depot)


  1. Tom J. Arnold. says:

    The met office came out with the old chestnut unparalled warming this last 160years.
    The IPCC went much further, saying the present warming was unprecedented in the last 1000years and a much greater and erroneous boast and just a massive lie.
    They outrageously ignore the medieval warming and if one looks further back, the ‘Holocene’ warming C12000toC5000 BC, when temperatures were far warmer than today (and regularly referred to by Archaeologists – they do not deny the medieval warming either), We can see that the hot air boast of unprecedented late C20th warming is false.
    See here;

    All singing from the same hymn sheet but Briffa was uneasy about this obvious lie but hey!! – who lets real data get in the way of “what we want to hear and what the politicians want to lie about” disinformation.
    It is quite scandalous, just amazing arrogance and how can they call themselves SCIENTISTS??
    Particularly Mann, Jones and the CRU, they want tarring and feathering, chicken sh** liars.
    Vexed Pommie,

  2. You don’t believe that all this is just a whim of a few mad scientists,
    Look at the Billions to be traded in carbon,It is much deeper than than
    Anglia and NASA. Who gains by it!

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