Domenico Fetti, Flight to Egypt, circa 1621-1623, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna During the flight to Egypt, the Holy Family passes the bodies of two of the innocents massacred by Herod
Those of us who remember the Climategate scandal of 2009, when Russian Intelligence released damaging emails exchanged between Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Center and other principal figures like Penn State’s Michael Mann, will recall Jones promising Mann on July 8, 2004, that he and Kevin Trenberth (of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research) would keep dissenting papers out of the next IPCC report by hook or by crook:
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
A year earlier one of Phil Jones’ emails addressed to a wider group of colleagues promised a boycott of the Journal Climate Research, guilty of publishing an important paper by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics injurious to the cause of Warmism, if the editor responsible was not replaced.
March 11, 2003—“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”
The Soon-Baliunas paper is described by Wikipedia as having “reviewed 240 previously published papers and tried to find evidence for temperature anomalies in the last thousand years such as the Medieval warm period and the Little Ice Age. It concluded that ‘Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest or a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.’ ”
The upshot of the 2003 Climate Research publication of a paper challenging the Warmist Industry consensus was a successful crackdown by Phil Jones and his allies.
Climate Research’s chief editor, Hans von Storch, was persuaded to torpedo the offending paper in the same journal which had published it: The review process had failed. An unworthy paper had been published which did not adequately taken into account opposing arguments. The editorial policy of board editor Chris de Frietas responsible for its publication was insufficiently rigorous.
Storch then announced in the same editorial that he intended to impose a new regime giving himself final say on any paper’s publication. The publisher refused to accept the proposed dictatorship, and Storch and four other editors subsequently resigned in a thorough bloodbath.
Universal denials were issued concerning reports that Messrs. Jones, Mann, and Trenberth had been responsible for all this. Storch publicly denied that the fix had been put in. It was just a case of “a bad paper.”
Well, what do you know? Here we are in 2011, and it’s déjà vu all over again.
Fox News identified the new paper’s significance in the world of climate science:
Has a central tenant of global warming just collapsed?
Climate change forecasts have for years predicted that carbon dioxide would trap heat on Earth, and increases in the gas would lead to a planet-wide rise in temperatures, with devastating consequences for the environment.
But long-term data from NASA satellites seems to contradict the predictions dramatically, according to a new study.
“There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans,” said Dr. Roy Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. science team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer—basically a big thermometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” he said. The planet isn’t heating up, in other words.
But, what do you know? Instead of another important paper challenging one Anthropogenic Global Warming’s central tenets, we have another case of the editor of the same journal in which the dissenting paper appeared, reversing course, denouncing the recently published paper, and resigning!
The staggering news today is that the editor of the journal that published the paper has just resigned, with a blistering editorial calling the Spencer and Braswell paper “fundamentally flawed,” with both “fundamental methodological errors” and “false claims.” That editor, Professor Wolfgang Wagner of the Vienna University of Technology in Austria, is a leading international expert in the field of remote sensing. In announcing his resignation, Professor Wagner says “With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements.”
In his editorial resignation, Professor Wagner says the paper was reviewed by scientific experts that in hindsight had a predetermined bias in their views on climate that led them to miss the serious scientific flaws in the paper, including “ignoring all other observational data sets,” inappropriate influence from the “political views of the authors,” and the fact that comparable studies had already been refuted by the scientific community but were ignored by the authors. He summarizes:
In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief―to make clear that the journal Remote Sensing takes the review process very seriously.
Isn’t it amazing? For the second time in under a decade, some feckless scientific journal has published a paper offering conclusions deeply injurious to AGW, and again, in otherwise unprecedented reversals, the journal’s editor has attacked his own journal’s paper ex post facto for alleged lack of rigor and for purportedly failing to do justice to its opponent’s arguments, and resigned.
Presumably, we can look forward momentarily to the next development: the denials by Wolfgang Wagner that Messrs. Jones, Mann, and Trenberth, and the other principals of the Catastrophist Industry had anything to do with any of this.
I would say it is remarkable that, even after their exposure in 2009, the Global Warming gangsters still have the chutzpah, along with the remaining prestige and power, to successfully arrange the strangling in the cradle of significant dissenting publications, smearing their adversaries with accusations of bad science and lack of rigor.
The scholar who knows himself to be in possession of the facts does not lose sleep at night over the threat of the public being persuaded by the inferior reasoning and bad scholarship of rivals who have embraced error. On the contrary, the happy researcher who knows that he is right will smile with condescending pity at his adversaries’ folly, knowing perfectly well that the validity of his own position will inevitably ultimately be confirmed and his rivals’ errors toppled to lie discarded in the dust.
What he does not do is try to block the publication of opposing opinions or disseminate lists of adversaries or argue that he has more people with better credentials on his side.
But the “there are more of us, and we’re bigger cheeses” argument has actually been advanced in all seriousness by (Stanford graduate student) William R. L. Anderegg, (University of Toronto Senior Systems Programmer) James W. Prall, Jacob Harold (grant officer at William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), and (prominent warmist) Stephen H. Schneider in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, no less.
Frank J. Tipler expresses some satisfaction at finding himself in distinguished company on the Warmist Enemies List, and notes a certain correlation between the firmly established (by leaked East Anglian Climate Unit emails) Warmist policies of removing less-than-completely-loyal journal editors and blocking publication of opposing papers and Warmist pointing to quantity of published papers as evidence of an established scientific consensus.
The National Academy of Sciences, in its official journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has just published a list of scientists whom it claims should not be believed on the subject of global warming. I am number 38 on the list. The list of 496 is in descending order of scientific credentials.
Professor Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Royal Society, is number 3 on the list. Dyson is a friend of mine and is one of the creators of relativistic quantum field theory; most physicists think he should have shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Richard Feynman. MIT professor Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist who is also a member of the National Academy, is number 4. Princeton physics professor William Happer, once again a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is number 6.
I’m in good company.
The list is actually available only online. The published article, which links to the list, argues that the skeptical scientists — the article calls us “climate deniers,” trying to equate us with Holocaust deniers — have published less in climate “science” than believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
But if the entire field of climate “science” is suspect, if the leaders of the field of climate “science” are suspected of faking their results and are accused of arranging for their critics’ papers to be rejected by “peer-reviewed” journals, then lack of publication in climate “science” is an argument for taking us more seriously than the leaders of the climate “science.”
“There goes my life’s work.” George Monbiot (the original moonbat) laments the impact of Climategate. The experts, he observes, are “Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more.”
The recent New Yorker profile of Paul Krugman features some particularly fine examples of superbia.
“We were the only textbook that incorporated the financial crisis, as we were chronically late. We were supposed to have the manuscript delivered in August or September, and by October we were still working, and we just said, ‘We can’t send it out like this, too much is going on.’ We were really in nail-biting territory, because you have to get it to the printers by a certain date or you miss the academic year.”
“We were right in the middle of that when the Nobel Prize committee called, and Robin’s reaction was ‘We don’t have time for this! ...
“Paul is really averse to being drawn into a social network, to being groomed,” Wells says. “He doesn’t go to Washington because he doesn’t want to fall into that. As a spouse, you have your little list of things that you jokingly won’t forgive your spouse for. Right after he started writing for the Times and attacking George Bush, we got an invitation to have dinner with Paul Newman and his wife, but he wouldn’t go. And now he’s dead.”
“It was inconvenient,” Krugman says. “I just don’t get any joy out of thinking, Oh, here I am with the movers and shakers. It would have required really discombobulating my schedule just to be able to say I’d had dinner with Paul Newman, and it’s not worth it.”
Tory parliamentary candidates have undergone training by a rightwing group whose leadership has described the NHS as “the biggest waste of money in the UK”, claimed global warming is “a scam” and suggested that the waterboarding of prisoners can be justified.
This is the reality of the libertarian right – openly hostile to humanity at large, embracing abuses of human rights, putting profits before else, contemptuous of the needs of the majority, denying facts when it suits them, seeking to destroy society as we know it, and wishing to make life for most considerably worse than it is now to advance their own enrichment.
That’s why I take them on here – and the bogus economics some of them use to support their arguments.
Gaunt and nervous, with trembling hands, former head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) Phil Jones faced some uncomfortable questions from a parliamentary science committee yesterday. The Guardian seemed to think he got off more easily than he might have done, because the members felt sorry for him.
Jones did his best to persuade the Commons science and technology committee that all was well in the house of climate science. If they didn’t quite believe him, they didn’t have the heart to press the point. The man has had three months of hell, after all.
Jones’s general defence was that anything people didn’t like – the strong-arm tactics to silence critics, the cold-shouldering of freedom of information requests, the economy with data sharing – were all “standard practice” among climate scientists. “Maybe it should be, but it’s not.”
And he seemed to be right. The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said.
He gave a little ground, and it was the only time the smile left the face of the vice-chancellor, Edward Acton: “I’ve written some awful emails,” Jones admitted. Nobody asked if, as claimed by British climate sceptic Doug Keenan, he had for two decades suppressed evidence of the unreliability of key temperature data from China.
But for the first time he did concede publicly that when he tried to repeat the 1990 study in 2008, he came up with radically different findings. Or, as he put it, “a slightly different conclusion”. Fully 40% of warming there in the past 60 years was due to urban influences. “It’s something we need to consider,” he said.
Nor did the MPs probe how conflicts of interest have become routine in Jones’s world of analysing and reconstructing past temperatures. How, as the emails reveal, Jones found himself intemperately reviewing papers that sought to criticise his own work. And then, should the papers somehow get into print, judging what place they should have in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where he and his fellow emails held senior positions.
But the committee will be hard pressed to ignore the issue after the intervention of no less a body than the Institute of Physics. In 13 coruscating paragraphs of written evidence to MPs, it spoke of “prima facie evidence of determined and coordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law”, “manipulation of the publication and peer review system”, and “intolerance to challenge … which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process.” Ouch.
Phil Jones, the former director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) who resigned in the wake of the leaked Climategate emails, along with a Chinese-American colleague, Wei-Chyung Wang, of the University at Albany in New York, is the target of a major investigation by the Guardian.
Jones et.al. published a paper in Nature in 1990, addressing concerns that temperature data might be being inflated by the location of sensors in urban locations which dismissed those concerns, assuring readers that he and his colleagues had examined the data and analysed the impact of urban settings, concluding that “The results show that the urbanization influence in two of the most widely used hemispheric data sets is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale.”
The 1990 Nature paper became a key reference source incorporated in the conclusions of succeeding reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –- including a chapter in the 2007 report of which Phil Jones was a co-author.
Climate skeptics, not surprisingly, found the paper’s conclusion counter-intuitive. Brick, asphalt, and cement absorb and retain heat, and centers of human population and economic activity generate considerable heat as byproducts of the warming and cooling of interior spaces and as the result of transportation and industrial production.
Jones responded to requests for information on the locations of 84 Chinese weather stations used in the study negatively, claiming that supplying that information to critics would be “unduly burdensome.”
Finally, in 2007, Jones responded to continuing pressure by releasing the data he had available, which proved to be startlingly incomplete. 49 of 84 Chinese weather stations had no location histories or other details, including all but 2 of 42 stations listed as “rural.” 18 other stations had been moved, possibly compromising the validity of thie data, including one which had been moved 5 times over a distance of 41 kilometers.
Douglas Keenan, a retired British banker and independent climate analyst, published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Energy & Environment openly lodging an accusation that fraud had occurred. Keenan’s paper is much discussed in the Climategate emails.
The Guardian has allocated major coverage. 1, 2
————————————————————————— Fort Morgan, Colorado US Historical Climate Network Station. It is easy to see how urbanization can impact recorded temperature data.
Christopher Booker, in the Telegraph, adds another glaring example to what is becoming an ever-growing list of exposed scientific falsehoods and wholly-fabricated claims of dire climactic effects.
This time it is the same Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that asserted that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 on the basis on a phone conversation has been found to be basing its claims concerning the Amazon rainforest on environmentalist agitprop.
The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report… citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger “up to 40 per cent” of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain’s two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.
A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC’s report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of “extreme weather events” such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.
Little of this has come as a surprise to those who have studied the workings of the IPCC over the years. As I show in my book The Real Global Warming Disaster, there is no greater misconception about the IPCC than that it was intended to be an impartial body, weighing scientific evidence for and against global warming. It was set up in 1988 by a small group of scientists all firmly committed to the theory of “human-induced climate change”, and its chief purpose ever since has been to promote that belief.
If Scott Brown wins on Tuesday, you can bet he’ll arrive in DC the next morning waiting to be sworn in. And there’s just not much precedent for any real delay of swearing in the winner of a special election, as long as the election result is not in dispute. (Oddly, there haven’t been that many Senate special elections—as opposed to appointments until the end of a given senate. So we’re actually trying to figure out now what precedent would apply.) At that point, Health Care Reform will be dead unless the House agrees to pass the Senate bill verbatim—which I really wonder about, given how dug in the progressives in the House are. Barney Frank doesn’t seem to think it’ll happen.
At that point, how incredibly stupid is the dawdling over the last few weeks going to look? The work of a year, arguably the work of a few generations, let go needlessly over a single special election?
It’s really almost beyond comprehension.
Late Update: TPM Reader VL responds …
Not only that, but how cruel – not only for us here in MA but for the whole country – for it to be Kennedy’s seat itself that kills health care, the cause of his life.
IPPC 2007: Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.
Himalayan Glaciers not vanishing. No science was ever behind IPCC report’s assertion that they were. How embarrassing! London Times.
Lucianne describes last minute democrat health care desperation: Like trying to put an oyster into a slot machine, Nelson tries to give back his bribe. Associated news agency story.
In the Wall Street Journal, Patrick J. Michaels notes that some of the Climategate emails vividly illustrate behind-the-scenes efforts by prominent warmist scientist to wield control of peer-reviewed publications in order to exclude dissent. The same prominent climatologists systematically proceeded to employ their opponents’ non-appearance in the journals they controlled to de-credential their rivals’ scientific authority.
Messrs. Mann and [Tom] Wigley also didn’t like a paper I published in Climate Research in 2002. It said human activity was warming surface temperatures, and that this was consistent with the mathematical form (but not the size) of projections from computer models. Why? The magnitude of the warming in CRU’s own data was not as great as in the models, so therefore the models merely were a bit enthusiastic about the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” he wrote in one of the emails. “We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”
After Messrs. [Phil] Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn’t toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones’s line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results.
This happened to me and to the University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer, who also hypothesized that global warming is likely to be modest. Others surely stopped trying, tiring of summary rejections of good work by editors scared of the mob. Sallie Baliunas, for example, has disappeared from the scientific scene.
GRL is a very popular refereed journal. Mr. Wigley was concerned that one of the editors was “in the skeptics camp.” He emailed Michael Mann to say that “if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official . . . channels to get him ousted.”
Mr. Mann wrote to Mr. Wigley on Nov. 20, 2005 that “It’s one thing to lose ‘Climate Research.’ We can’t afford to lose GRL.” In this context, “losing” obviously means the publication of anything that they did not approve of on global warming.
Soon the suspect editor, Yale’s James Saiers, was gone. Mr. Mann wrote to the CRU’s Phil Jones that “the GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there.”
It didn’t stop there. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complained that the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) was now requiring authors to provide actual copies of the actual data that was used in published papers. He wrote to Phil Jones on March 19, 2009, that “If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available—raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations—I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.”
Messrs. Jones and Santer were Ph.D. students of Mr. Wigley. Mr. Santer is the same fellow who, in an email to Phil Jones on Oct. 9, 2009, wrote that he was “very tempted” to “beat the crap” out of me at a scientific meeting. He was angry that I published “The Dog Ate Global Warming” in National Review, about CRU’s claim that it had lost primary warming data.
The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.
Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.
On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century. ...
IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
Steve McIntyre, at Climate Audit, highlights the Russian report by quoting a pertinent Climategate email:
An email from Jones to Mann in March 2004 stated:
Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.
Iowahawk offers readers “a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called “Climategate” scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used.”
It takes 30-60 minutes, along with modest math & spreadsheet skills, he promises.
My goal was to provide interested people with a hands-on DIY example of the basic statistical methodology underlying temperature reconstruction, at least as practiced by the leading lights of “Climate Science.”
If you’ve followed all this, it should also give you the important glossary terms that should help you decipher the Climategate emails and methodology discussions. For example “instrumental data” means observed temperature; “reconstructions” are the modeled temperatures from the past; “proxy” means the tree ring, ice core, etc. predictors; “PCs” mean the principal components.
Is there anything wrong with this methodology? Not in principle. In fact there’s a lot to recommend it. There’s a strong reason to believe that high resolution proxy variables like tree rings and ice core o-18 are related to temperature. At the very least it’s a more mathematically rigorous approach than the earlier methods for climate reconstruction, which is probably why the hockey stick / AGW conclusion received a lot of endorsements from academic High Society (including the American Statistical Association).
The devil, as they say is in the details. In each of the steps there is some leeway for, shall we say, intervention. ...
(If you run a few tests,)
(C)ontrary to Mann’s assertion that the hockey stick is “robust,” you’ll find that the reconstructions tend to be sensitive to the data selection. M&M found, for example, that temperature reconstructions for the 1400s were higher or lower than today, depending on whether bristlecone pine tree rings were included in the proxies.
What the leaked emails reveal, among other things, is some of that bit of principal component sausage making. But more disturbing, they reveal that the actual data going into the reconstruction model—the instrumental temperature data and the proxy variables themselves—were rife for manipulation. In the laughable euphemism of Philip Jones, “value added homogenized data.” The data I provided here was the real, value added global temperature and proxy data, because Phil told me so. Trust me!
The DailyMail explains why the Climategate scandal is real, and why nobody should trust adjusted data from the world’s leading climate research centers after this.
The claim was both simple and terrifying: that temperatures on planet Earth are now ‘likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years’.
As its authors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must have expected, it made headlines around the world.
Yet some of the scientists who helped to draft it, The Mail on Sunday can reveal, harboured uncomfortable doubts.
In the words of one, David Rind from the US space agency Nasa, it ‘looks like there were years around 1000AD that could have been just as warm’.
Keith Briffa from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which plays a key role in forming IPCC assessments, urged caution, warning that when it came to historical climate records, there was no new data, only the ‘same old evidence’ that had been around for years.
‘Let us not try to over-egg the pudding,’ he wrote in an email to an IPCC colleague in September 2006.
‘True, there have been many different techniques used to aggregate and scale data – but the efficacy of these is still far from established.’
But when the ‘warmest for 1,300 years’ claim was published in 2007 in the IPCC’s fourth report, the doubters kept silent. ...
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 the whole thing, which includes accounts of climate change activists successfully strongarming the press into altering news reports and which reports that the Russian State Security Service (FSB) has denied responsibility for the leaked emails.
As soon as McAleer’s question is recognized as critical, Professor Schneider’s assistant sends a pretty young female UN employee to try to take away the microphone from McAleer, while using her cell phone to summon security.
Schneider snarls in response: “I don’t make comments on redacted emails presented to me by people whose values I don’t trust. ... What I can say is that private communications which people have between each other are certainly not public documents.”
McAleer is just trying to ask a followup question, when he is interrupted by Schneider’s assistant breaking in (inaudibly on the video). Schneider responds, “I agree. We’ll make it short.”
There is to be no followup. An armed UN Security Guard soon appears, menacing McAleer and his cameraman, and McAleer is ejected.