February 14, 2020 JV

Get the Puck out of here!

Harder than a smash; quicker than a fast-ball – the slap shot is arguably, the most feared strike of any bat vs ball sport.  It’s the most effective “don’t argue” way to get the hockey puck out of play in a hurry. 

The UN IPCC’s First Assessment Report (1990) recognised a paleoclimate record that included both a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and a Little Ice Age (LIA) (first graph).  Then Michael Mann et al published the “Hockey Stick” Graph in 1988 (second graph) and voila, from that point onwards, the previously agreed paleoclimatic “puck” simply disappeared, not just into the back of the climate change net but also from many climate historical records. 


While the earlier articles in this series described some of the events and decisions that have influenced the recent (instrumental) temperature record (the “blade”), it was Mann’s work that straightened the “shaft” of the Hockey-Stick.  The third graph contains the data used (and omitted) when building the Hockey Stick (discovered in Climategate documents).

Many scientists including Dr. Tim Ball requested Mann’s regression data so they could review and verify his work.  After all, many other peer-reviewed reports demonstrated considerable proxy, fossil record and historical evidence for both the MWP and LIA.  Quizzically, Mann refused to release his data and Dr. Ball made the comment “Michael Mann should be in the State Pen, not Penn State.” 

In March 2011, Mann sued Ball for libel, focusing on that quote, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver.  As part of this ongoing trial, Mann was required to submit his Hockey Stick data to support his case.  In 2017 Mann actually agreed (under court pressure) to produce to Ball within 21 days, the key technical information about construction of the Hockey Stick graph.  However, the information was not produced.  The libel case against Ball was dropped in August 2019, with court costs awarded to Ball.  Mann continues (to this date) to challenge the Canadian contempt of court ruling for failing to release his data.

What is most disturbing is the secrecy that cloaks the “alarming” warming trend.  Mann’s regression remains hidden, but thankfully, Climategate emails reveal some of the motivation behind the Hockey-Stick.  Perhaps the most famous of these is the following:

On November 16, 1999, Phil Jones, the Director of the CRU, sent an email containing the following statement to the three co-authors of the hockey stick graph (and also copied two of the authors of the chapter about proxies in the 2007 IPCC report):

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

In the text of this email:

  • “Mike” refers to Michael Mann, lead author of the hockey stick graph.
  • “Nature” is the scientific journal that published the paper on which the hockey stick graph is based.
  • The “real temps” are modern instrument-measured surface temperatures.
  • “Keith” refers to Keith Briffa, the Deputy Director of the CRU, a lead author of the chapter about proxies in the 2007 IPCC report, and the lead author of one of the papers cited in the report’s spaghetti graph.

In a 2004 blog post, Mann wrote that proxy studies which use:

“evidence incapable of resolving trends in recent decades … cannot meaningfully address the question of whether late 20th century warmth is anomalous in a long-term and large-scale context.”

In the same post, Mann also stated that

“No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction.  It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.”

In 2018, Mann was forced to release (via a US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) court ruling) further information regarding the construction of the Hockey Stick graph.  Here are some excerpts from letters and emails:

Email from Keith Briffa to Michael Mann et al (March 2, 2001):

“I don’t like this letter but I have agonized over the best course of action…If a response is merited, it simply needs to hammer home that the Mann et reconstruction (and others) DO INDEED show evidence of Medieval warmth.”

Email from Michael Mann to Ray et al (date unknown):

“we are actually screening all proxies to see if they have a verifiable signal (temperature or precip) against the instrumental record.”

In other words, Mann pre-screened and rejected proxy data that didn’t support his current warming position.

Global Warming ate my Data

Quoting from an August 2009 article “Global Warming ate my Data” published by the UK Register:

“The world’s source for global temperature record admits it’s lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record.  The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – permitting it to snub Freedom of Information requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection – except to hand-picked academics – for several years.  Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form.  NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC.  So, any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of “the science”.

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data.  Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004:

“Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data.  We have 25 or so years invested in the work.  Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Perhaps Mr. Jones has forgotten the roles of scientific endeavour.

Make it so

In Star Trek TNG, once the captain and his staff had agreed on the best course of action, Picard would add his stamp of approval by stating “Make it so!”  After decades of controversy regarding LST measurement – UHI effect, missing data, loss of stations, homogenisation etc., was anyone going to address this using modern, high quality weather stations?  Well, NOAA made it so, when they finally established the US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) in 2008.  According to Anthony Watts, a long-term critic of NOAA:

“This data is from state-of-the-art ultra-reliable triple redundant weather stations placed on pristine environments.  As a result, these temperature data need none of the adjustments that plague the older surface temperature networks, such as USHCN and GHCN, which have been heavily adjusted to attempt corrections for a wide variety of biases.  Using NOAA’s own USCRN data, which eliminates all of the squabbles over the accuracy of and the adjustment of temperature data, we can get a clear plot of pristine surface data.”

The adjacent photo displays a typical CRN level 1 weather station, showing what it takes to measure LST to the levels of precision that could discriminate between AGW and natural warming.

So, what is the past decade or so of high-quality US LST data telling us?  Well, there has been very little, if any warming across the USCRN during this time.  This is despite the fact that CO2 levels have continued to rise (by approx. 10%) over the same period.  The broader, homogenised GISSTEMP data may display more warming, but the issues with that data set have already been established.

There is no evidence of correlation between CO2 and LST temperature in the last decade.

A very recent report from “Philosophical Investigations” states: “An independent and objective review of the NOAA data used as input to the NOAA/NASA Annual Global Analysis for 2019 reveals that temperatures have been on a cooling trend over the past five years 2015 to 2019. The case against NASA is that Its reporting of Climate Science data is unbalanced. It shows a bias towards only reporting results that support one climate hypothesis, while refraining from publishing results that deviate.”

Three regions of the world warmed over this period: Europe, Australia and Hawaii.  However, every other region has cooled over the past five years, some at rates many times more than the previous warming rate.  One great example is that of North America, which is NASA’s own backyard.  The author has used the same statistically methods used by NASA in generating their graphs.

It is obvious that five years is too short a time to prove anything about long-term climate trends…other than the fact that climate models have failed, utterly.


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