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Fred Pearce

Fred Pearce has one of the more interesting responses to the Parliamentary report, picking up on some interesting omissions and contradictions in what our elected representatives had to say.

His points on the "Nature trick" are less informative though. He points to statements by Sarah Palin and Senator Inhofe on the subject and rightly points out that the idea that CRU were trying to hide the "fact" that temperatures are not rising is false.

Of course they weren't.

So. Now we have, yet again, disposed of this canard, can we get on to the real accusation, namely that Jones hid the decline from policymakers so as to make the proxy reconstruction of the Medieval Warm Period look more reliable than it actually is?


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Reader Comments (6)

.............but has this planet warmed over the last 60-70 years?

Does the thermometer raw data show this? No, not really.

We know the 'adjusted' thermometer data does, but the basis to the 'trick' was to delete the proxy data that showed marked cooling since 1960 and replace it with the 'adjusted' thermometer data. Ever since the 'trick' appeared certain climate scientists have been trying very hard to 'adjust' the proxy data to fit with the 'adjusted' thermometer data in order to fix the 'divergence' problem.

The only truly independent sources are the satallite data, which over the last 30 years have only shown slight warming rise compared to the 'adjusted' thermometer data.

The main concern is the data covering the 1940 to 1980 period. We know form GISS that a series of 'adjustments' turned a decline from 1960s on, that originally inspired the alarm over a New Ice Age, into an increase that allowed scientists to claim 'unprecendented' warming over the last 20 years.

As I queried, has the planet really warmed over the last 60-70 years?

Also, do we have confidence in climate science to actually investigate the 'nature' of the claim of 'unprecedented' warming?

The science is far from settled.

Mar 31, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

An article about this on Spiked which hits the nail on the head for me.

Investigations that are meant to serve as a ‘corrective’ to people’s misguided or immoral sentiments used to be called rituals. And that is what this the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s ‘limited inquiry’ was mostly about: a ritualised pseudo-investigation aimed at correcting people’s allegedly backward views.

Mar 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2


Of course they weren't.

So. Now we have, yet again, disposed of this canard

Mac's comment gives the lie to that. This canard is alive and well and will apparently never go away. Yes apparently, some still believe that 'adjustments' are made to the data to show unambiguous warming and yet somehow Jones et al forgot to do it for the last 15 odd years.

That could have something to do with the fact that your 'yet again' is entirely false. This is in fact the first time I have seen any sceptic take that lie on (and kudos for doing so).

Perhaps if 'sceptics' more vigorously eliminated the BS from among their ranks then the best of their arguments would be taken more seriously (and would indeed be more visible above the out-and-out denialist noise). Otherwise you should not be surprised if people lump you in with Palin and Inhofe.

Just a suggestion.

Now I know this is what you really wanted to talk about and I don't mean to distract from it:

can we get on to the real accusation, namely that Jones hid the decline from policymakers so as to make the proxy reconstruction of the Medieval Warm Period look more reliable than it actually is?

Which figure in the IPCC report are you talking about? And what has Jones got to do with it?

Mar 31, 2010 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer


This thread is about the Nature trick. If you are not familiar with the details, use Google.

Mar 31, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


It is for you to support your claims, not me. Why should I use google - it's your accusation, a serious accusation at a named individual. Those are your words.

I am well aware you're talking about the 'trick' and I am more familiar with the details than probably anyone needs to be and certainly more than I ever intended to be. There are two IPCC reports with (at least) two diagrams that 'sceptics' don't like in those reports. By your use of the term 'policymakers' I assume you refer to one of these. I understand your issue with those diagrams is that you think that they don't flag the divergence properly and you think this overstates the reliability of those proxies.

What I don't understand is why you claim Jones is the source of them. I'm not sure that is true and that is why I asked.

Mar 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

I don't have too much of a problem with people saying hide the decline refers to hiding a decline in temperatures. They are hiding a decline in the value of a proxy. It is called a proxy for a reason. It is being used as a proxy for temperature. So they are in fact hiding a decline in a proxy for temperature.

Apr 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

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