Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Another hockey stick that never existed

It’s like the anatomy of a whole scam in microcosm.

After the first famous “scary” reconstruction of historic temperatures—widely touted  by the IPCC and warmists everywhere as “proving” modern temperatures are historically unprecedented, before being exposed as fraudulent by Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre—comes another “scary” historic reconstruction purporting to show the same thing: historically unprecedented modern temperatures that are frighteningly, catastrophically, taking off. See:

Trouble is, despite this latest “hockey stick” being touted by the likes of the New York Times and Associated Press and every other sundry shout-out as showing a “heat spike unlike anything in 11,000 years” and demonstrating “global temperatures highest in 400 years,” like that earlier reconstruction this one shows nothing of the sort—because when you drill down into the data, as Steve McIntyre has done again, it’s apparent that the “blade” of the hockey stick showing the “heat spike” has been virtually pasted on.

To put it another way, the same not-so-subtle trick used in the previous reconstruction to “hide the decline” has been used in this one: using historic (proxy) temperatures from around the world, all of which in this study reach back to the end of the last glacial period, 11,300 years ago, continuing through the Holocene warming and right up to the twentieth century; then, however, when those “proxies” themselves begin to decline sharply as they reach the twentieth century he simply pastes on a contemporary temperature record to show the “heat spike” that had all the warmists excited again.

This is despite one of the study’s co-authors, Sean Marcott, admitting that his study can’t be used to say anything about twentieth-century temperatures (“…the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust [and] cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes…” (NY Times responds to the admission here.)

Take away the non-statistically robust portion then (as he should have done in the first instance) and his graph of temperatures over the last 11,300 years looks like this:

Nothing frightening about that at all, is there.

Read the whole story at Roger Pielke Jr.’s “New Climate Scandal Exposed” and Judith Curry’s summary of events at “We’re not screwed (?).”

And take home this basic lesson: if you have to lie about the facts in order to make your argument work, then maybe you haven’t got an argument.

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