This is a guest post by "Lone Wolf", who is an academic at a UK university.
A few years ago, I was looking for something for a final year student project/dissertation where the student did some statistical modelling type work on a large dataset. I came across the CDIAC data for the Vostok Ice Core. I looked at it myself first, and decided there was enough there for the student to get their teeth into.
During the analysis, we noticed many interesting features, especially during the present interglacial, which seems to have a 'seasonality'. We estimated the seasonality and proceeded to remove it, using a technique I teach in their course, in order to find the underlying trend.
Having done this, we noted that not only was there underlying further seasonality and cycles, but that firstly the temperature according to the proxy record was considerably below its maximum and also secondly that the temperature was rapidly decreasing.
Next we looked at the carbon dioxide content. The CO2 data was quite sparse, and certainly not enough for a final year student to conduct any form of correlation with the temperature, which followed each other. On researching this correlation, we were surprised to learn that the change in CO2 lags the change in temperature by between 200 and 1000 years.
These findings were presented at a small conference at one of the major learned societies. You must remember that I am not a climatologist or bona fide weather expert, and approached this topic from a purely statistical point of view. I mentioned that according to the proxy record the temperature was considerably lower that it has been and that it is decreasing. I then proceeded to comment on the lag between temperature and carbon dioxide and explained that it seemed 'incorrect' to blame temperature rises on CO2 when clearly the CO2 rises lag temperature increases, also noting that you can't really develop a mathematical time-dependent model that allows CO2 to force temperature rise, when the temperature has stopped rising up to 1000 years prior to the CO2 rising. There must be something 'missing' that we don't understand.
During the question time that followed my talk, I was strongly criticised, with audience members suggesting that I didn't know what I was talking about. Afterwards, one audience member told me that I had actually insulted a 'scientific religion' and that I should expect further criticism. The following day, I had several polite emails pointing out what were claimed to be the errors in my work (but which actually had nothing to do with it).
Several months afterwards, the society's ‘newsletter’ was published. It contained a special section on the conference at which I had spoken, with a brief description of each talk, the work behind it, and with thanks offered to each speaker. I searched for my name – nothing. My presentation was ignored in its entirety.
"Disheartening" isn’t the term I would use, and I seriously considered giving up on the entire idea of academia, and getting a nice little 9-5 job. But, I am still here, still working on the problem, still uncovering, lets call them ‘anomalies’, in many areas, which the scientists involved have no clue how to explain, but about which they will hear no view other than their own.
I was told by a teacher of mine that science describes what is going on in the world, and that if a theory doesn't explain what we observe, then that theory is wrong. It is interesting to note that no one on the IPCC has any credible explanation for the 'pause' as they call it. We currently have no confirmed mechanisms for many climate phenomena, such as El Nino, the NAO, the Madden Julian Oscillation etc and of the 'pause'. Yes, we know what they are, but we have little or no idea how or why.
It baffles me how scientists can hold such faith in a model that disagrees so much with the actual phenomena it is supposed to be representing.