Open Mind

Swindler’s List

April 22, 2007 · 71 Comments

Not too long ago, British TV channel 4 aired a documentary produced by Martin Durkin for production company Wag TV, titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” The documentary claims that global warming is not caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, but by changes in the sun. It specifically attempts to relate temperature change on earth to changes in the length of the solar cycle. It also suggests that the scientific concensus that in fact it’s due to greenhouse gases, is a giant conspiracy perpetrated by scientists who are hoodwinking the world in order to gain access to research funds.

How reliable is this documentary? One of the primary bits of “evidence” put forward is a graph of global average temperature for the last 120 years, attributed to NASA:


I’ve studied temperature time series quite a bit, and this graph looks remarkably different from what I’ve seen from NASA. Here’s the current temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institude for Space Studies (GISS):


There are dramatic differences between the two pictures. Durkin’s graph indicates that from 1880 to 1940 global temperature increased by more than 0.5 deg.C, while the data from NASA GISS indicates a mere 0.3 deg.C. Durkin’s graph also indicates that from 1940 to 1975 the planet cooled by nearly 0.2 deg.C, while the NASA GISS data indicate a cooling of only 0.1 deg.C. How could these differences arise?

Here’s what the British newspaper The Independent had to say about it:

A Channel 4 documentary that claimed global warming is a swindle was itself flawed with major errors which seriously undermine the programme’s credibility, according to an investigation by The Independent.

A graph central to the programme’s thesis, purporting to show variations in global temperatures over the past century, claimed to show that global warming was not linked with industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet the graph was not what it seemed.

The programme-makers labelled the source of the world temperature data as “Nasa” but when we inquired about where we could find this information, we received an email through Wag TV’s PR consultant saying that the graph was drawn from a 1998 diagram published in an obscure journal called Medical Sentinel. The authors of the paper are well-known climate sceptics who were funded by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and the George C Marshall Institute, a right-wing Washington think-tank.

However, there are no diagrams in the paper that accurately compare with the C4 graph. The nearest comparison is a diagram of “terrestrial northern hemisphere” temperatures - which refers only to data gathered by weather stations in the top one third of the globe.

However, further inquiries revealed that the C4 graph was based on a diagram in another paper produced as part of a “petition project” by the same group of climate sceptics. This diagram was itself based on long out-of-date information on terrestrial temperatures compiled by Nasa scientists.

However, crucially, the axis along the bottom of the graph has been distorted in the C4 version of the graph, which made it look like the information was up-to-date when in fact the data ended in the early 1980s.

Mr Durkin admitted that his graphics team had extended the time axis along the bottom of the graph to the year 2000. “There was a fluff there,” he said.

Durkin now states that updated versions of his documentary will un-adjust the time axis, so that it will be correct. However, this won’t solve the problem that the data are decades out-of-date and only go up to the early 1980s.

Another very important graph in the documentary relates the idea that temperature change is correlated, with stunning accuracy, to the length of the solar cycle. The sun has a roughly 11-year cycle in which the number of sunspots increases and decreases, but the length of that cycle is not constant, it varies slightly. According to the theory, the shorter the sunspot cycle, the higher the global temperature. Durkin’s graph is attributed to Svensmark & Christensen, but actually the solar cycle length data come from Friis-Christensen and Lassen:


The agreement between the graphs is indeed stunning. But are these graphs correct? We’ve already seen that Durkin’s temperature graph is seriously incorrect. I accessed the sunspot data, as well as data for total solar irradiance (TSI), and computed the sunspot cycle length based on each. I then superimposed solar cycle length on the temperature graph, using the same relative scaling between the axes as used by Durkin:


Evidently the supposed “stunning agreement” is not there. In particular, the dramatic rise in global temperature since 1975 does not correspond to a similar increase in “inverse solar cycle length.”

How did this come about? Part of the problem is that the data reported by Friis-Christensen and Lassen were mistaken. As Damon & Laut (2004, Eos, vol. 85, pg 28) reported, their result was due to inconsistent smoothing procedures and simple arithmetic errors:


In a telling episode reflective of Mr. Durkin’s character, the Times Online reports

Two eminent British scientists who questioned the accuracy of a Channel 4 programme that claimed global warming was an unfounded conspiracy theory have received an expletive-filled tirade from the programme maker.

In an e-mail exchange leaked to The Times, Martin Durkin, the executive producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, responded to the concerns of Dr Armand Leroi, from Imperial College, and Simon Singh, the respected scientific author, by telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.

Apparently, Dr. Leroi e-mailed Durkin saying, “To put this bluntly: the data that you showed in your programme were . . . wrong in several different ways,” and copied it to Mr Singh.

Durkin replied to both, saying: “You’re a big daft cock.” Mr Singh replied to Durkin, “I suspect that you will have upset many people (if Armand is right), so it would be great if you could engage in the debate rather than just resorting to one-line replies. That way we could figure out what went wrong/ right and how do things better/ even better in the future.”

Durkin replied nine minutes later with this tirade:

“The BBC is now a force for bigotry and intolerance . . . Since 1940 we have had four decades of cooling, three of warming, and the last decade when temperature has been doing nothing.”

“Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of shit programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?”

“Never mind an irresponsible bit of film-making. Go and f*** yourself.”

Dr. Leroi had been scheduled to make a film with Martin Durkin and Wag TV, but is seriously reconsidering now. As Leroi said, “I am no climate scientist, but I was very concerned at the way that flaws in these data were brushed over.”

Me too.


A reader with the moniker “booogiemann” commented thus:

Seems somebody is lying about glaciers in Patagonia, Glacier Park, and temperatures at Kilamanjaro … some glaciers are receeding while others are advancing.

This leads me to wonder, what’s the real story of glacier changes? What’s happening on a global scale? What is the net change in glacier mass balance worldwide?

To get some information about this, I went to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, where I found this graph:


Since about 1960 global glacier mass balance has decreased by over 6000 cubic kilometers.

Al Gore shows numerous photos of shrinking glaciers in his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. This causes booogiemann to doubt Gore’s honesty and candor, because “some glaciers are receeding while others are advancing.” Unfortunately he didn’t bother to get the facts, to find out whether or not Gore’s presentation gave a realistic portrayal of the changes in glaciers worldwide. I did.

Gore’s film did indeed give a realistic portrayal of the worldwide trend in glacier changes. Durkin’s “documentary” can’t even get the global average temperature right. Yet “booogiemann,” without checking the facts, thinks Gore a liar and calls his film a “crock-u-mentary,” while saying of Durkin’s, “Overall I found this documentary very informative even if it is flawed in some ways.”

Mr. booogiemann, I make it a habit to go get the actual data and see for myself. Evidently, you don’t.


According to The Independent, even Friis-Christensen, one of the originators of the theory that changes in solar cycle length indicate solar influences which are partly responsible for climate changes, is now accusing Durkin of falsifying data for the graphs in his “documentary.”

Dr Friiss-Christensen said that a graph he had produced some years ago showing the link between fluctuations in global temperatures and changes in solar activity - sunspot cycles - over the past 400 years had been doctored.

However, Dr Friiss-Christensen has issued a statement with Nathan Rive, a climate researcher at Imperial College London and the Centre for Climate Research in Oslo, distancing himself from the C4 graph. He said there was a gap in the historical record on solar cycles from about 1610 to 1710 but the film-makers made up this break with fabricated data that made it appear as if temperatures and solar cycles had followed one another very closely for the entire 400-year period.

“We have reason to believe that parts of the graph were made up of fabricated data that were presented as genuine. The inclusion of the artificial data is both misleading and pointless,” Dr Friis-Christensen said.

“Secondly, although the commentary during the presentation of the graph is consistent with the conclusions of the paper from which the figure originates, it incorrectly rules out a contribution by anthropogenic [man-made] greenhouse gases to 20th century global warming,” he said.

This means that TWO of the graphs used in Durkin’s “documentary” are not just mistaken, they are actually fraudulent. After his first fraud was uncovered, Durkin responded, “there was a fluff there.” About the second, he says, “It is an annoying mistake which all of us missed.”

Stretching the time axis on the temperature graph, and fabricating data for the solar-cycle graph, are not “fluffs” or “annoying mistakes.” They’re deliberate lies.

Categories: Global Warming · climate change

71 responses so far ↓

  • Peaseblossom // April 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I read an article once on discerning actual science from “junk science”. One of the key things it mentioned, not surprisingly, was checking the source. Scientists are all too willing to share their sources, sometimes so much so that it becomes overwhelming to laypeople like yours truly. If on the other hand you’re led on a wild goose chase by the author to find the source after extensive legwork, there’s a good chance that the author just may be trying to deceive the reader and stretch the facts to fit his own agenda.

    And–mind you, I don’t know many scientists–but I’ve never known a scientist to present a work and then say “Oh, I just fudged the data for the last twenty years here.” That is not the work of a real scientist, plain and simple. If that was done by a middle school student, he’d likely get an “F” for it!

  • anthony // April 22, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks for posting a link to this page on the article I posted today on Suzie-Q. I have found what you have to say interesting. If you would like me to post it on Suzie-Q, please send the HTML code to my e-mail address and I will do so. My e-mail address is [edited for the privacy of the poster].

  • Glen Raphael // April 22, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Peaceblossom wrote “Scientists are all too willing to share their sources”.

    The scientists behind the IPCC consensus have often proven unwilling to share their sources. When skeptics ask for the data sources to be identified, they tend to get stonewalled. It can take years of asking authors, asking journals, even filing legal claims before data can be obtained. Then when the data finally is obtained and analyzed and errors are found in it, the skeptics are told “oh, you’re just criticizing an old, outdated paper; we’ve moved on.”

    Read for a while.

    Want to try to reproduce the Hadcrut3 temperature series? CRU claims they don’t have a list of what stations were used or a way to connect the station list to the raw data.

    Want to examine the most prominent Urban Heat Island effect study and try to verify its conclusions?
    they don’t have a copy of the station data used in the study. And so on.

    Here’s a nice (sarcastic) list of apparent consensus principles with regard to long-term temperature proxy studies.

    [Response: I don't know about HadCRU, but the NASA GISS temperature data are all freely available for download from the internet -- both the corrected and unadjusted data. In fact it amazes me how vast are the climate data available from the internet.

    Your characterization of climate scientists keeping their data secret because the results are flawed is false. Some keep the data under wraps because it takes a vast amount of *work* to accumulate, and they want the "first crack" at analysis for their own research. I don't blame them, but I prefer the open approach taken by NASA GISS and *many many many* other researchers.

    And frankly, I wouldn't trust anything on climateaudit.]

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 22, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    And frankly, I wouldn’t trust anything on climateaudit.

    Why not?

  • plum // April 22, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Great post! I’ve seen this info here and there, but never in one place. Very telling reading.

    I’m struck at how quickly and strongly the global warming denial crowd have veered into conspiracy theorizing. In particular, they appear to have built up a mini-universe of pseudo-scientific literature that they can wave around to impress reporters and fellow conspiracy theorists. But this parallel is almost completely disconnected from the real peer-reviewed one.

  • george // April 23, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Glenn said:

    “The scientists behind the IPCC consensus have often proven unwilling to share their sources.”

    Often? How often? How many scientists are we talking about here out of the thousands that make up the IPCC?

    Please make a list of those who have refused to share their sources and the specific person(s) with whom they have refused to share.

    I’m looking for more substantial evidence than “Read for a while”.

    And no, I have no desire to read through thousands of pages on Climate Audit to find the information that you claim is there.

    You made the claim, so you be so kind as to provide the list. That way all I need to do is verify with the scientists themselves if the claim is true.

    If there are indeed cases, I’d also like to know if the people with whom the IPCC scientist(s) refused to share the data were actually scientists with the qualifications and a legitimate reason to review the data. Hence my request for those names as well.

    If you can’t or won’t make such a list, I would suggest you cease and desist from such claims in the future because without proof, such claims are just so much unsubstantiated nonsense.

    You also might want to bear in mind that not sharing data is hardly new. In fact, many scientific giants (from Tycho Brahe and Newton to Watson and Crick) have refused to share their data with colleagues over the years (and it had nothing whatsoever to do with fraud or trying to hide mistakes, as some seem to imply) .

    Kepler could not get most of Tycho’s data until Tycho died, for goodness sake! And Isaac Newton did not share his results with anyone ! (for decades, in the case of gravitation!)

    It’s downright hilarious to imagine someone in Newton’s time trying to tell Newton that “Isaac, you need to share with Bobby” [Hooke]. It’s the right thing to do.”

    As Tamino says, scientists like to get credit for their hard everyone else and don’t want to get scooped on some important find.

    Besides, most people are simply not trained to understand, so it’s not really clear what scientific purpose it would serve for scientists to share their data with every Tom Dick and Henrietta who asked to see it.

    It is also not unreasonable to assume that there may be some out there whose interest in the data is (how shall I put it?) “not purely scientific” — but in fact, much closer to “spreading mis-information” concocted from the data to make it appear plausible.

  • Glen Raphael // April 23, 2007 at 4:21 am

    [I broke the html with a typo in the last message; please try this one instead]

    george: One person trying to get the data is Steve McIntyre, in order to verify results the IPCC is relying on in reaching its conclusions. (McIntyre was even an IPCC reviewer during some of his efforts to obtain data. )

    The scientists who resisted for years providing the information required to verify their published studies have included: Michael Mann, Lonnie Thompson, Phil Jones, Briffa & Osborne, and too many others to conveniently list here, so you can start with those if you’re planning to do anything.

    Tamino: I agree with you that the failures to provide data haven’t been motiviated primarily by any knowledge that the studies are flawed. One motivation is keeping control over the data for a while to wring all the useful publishable information one can out of it. But there are two things to say about that:

    (1) Once a paper has been *published* based on the data, that data should be made available. Otherwise there’s no way for third parties to verify the accuracy of the paper. Good journals require data archiving as a condition of publication, but the requirement in practice seems to have been largely ignored.

    (2) UNTIL the data is available, the IPCC should not rely on claims made in papers referencing the data. The IPCC consensus should reflect the state of published papers and available data, not unpublished papers and unavailable data.

    Do you agree with these two points? If so, you and McIntyre are on the same page.

    [Response: I would much prefer that the data be made available. But I don't agree that should be a prerequisite for publication. I'd rather have the results without data access, than not have the results at all. The same is true for preparing IPCC reports; if I were on one of the working groups, I'd rather have the results than not at all.

    I personally like to get the data and analyze it (I'm an analysis junkie), and results I can confirm myself I regard as more trustworthy. Also, it's my opinion that making data freely available actually increases the benefit to one's scientific reputation.

    But it should be emphasized that a great many researchers *do* make their data freely available. Temperature data from NASA GISS, greenhouse-gas concentrations, sea level measurements, time series for earth's orbital parameters, Vostok and GISP ice core data -- they're all sitting on my hard drive because I got them free from the internet.]

  • aphriza // April 23, 2007 at 5:58 am

    Thanks for publicizing this. I picked this up for reflection over at surf.bird.scribble. It’s not acceptable to come to a debate with made-up information. Let alone host a one-sided TV show that doesn’t even start with facts. I guess once that’s been exposed, expletives are all you have left.

    [Response: I read the piece you track-back from, and I have to say, you're an outstanding writer. I highly recommend that interested readers take a look.]

  • Let's Get Back to Being Critical (Thinkers) « surf.bird.scribble. // April 23, 2007 at 6:21 am

    [...] takes unsavoriness one step farther. In “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” Durkin falsified data on temperature graphs and claimed they came from NASA when in fact they came from an obscure journal populated by other [...]

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 23, 2007 at 6:26 am

    I’m looking for more substantial evidence than “Read for a while”.

    Try clicking the “Archiving” category at ClimateAudit. The link is on the left below the calendar.

  • booogiemann // April 23, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Uh, I will have to look at this Graph more. Anything else in the Video incorrect or exaggerated?? How about in Algore’s documentary??

    [Response: There are so many mistakes in the video than it'd be quite a chore to list them all. Example: they state that more CO2 enters the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions than from human activity. Not only false, but anybody who checks the numbers will discover it isn't even close.

    The climate scientists who run the blog RealClimate reviewed Al Gore's film, and although they had some quibbles with a few details, overall they considered it to be a fair and accurate representation of the science of global warming.]

  • George // April 23, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Glenn said:

    “The scientists who resisted for years providing the information required to verify their published studies have included: Michael Mann, Lonnie Thompson, Phil Jones, Briffa & Osborne, and too many others to conveniently list here, ”

    So 5 names is all you can give me out of the thousands in the IPCC?

    That’s pathetic.

    Your “too many others to conveniently list here” is a real hoot.

    Sure, it’s convenient for you to claim that “The scientists behind the IPCC consensus have often proven unwilling to share their sources.”

    But somehow, when it comes to providing the actual names, it ain’t so convenient. How convenient is that?

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 23, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    George, aren’t Michael Mann and Phil Jones pretty BIG names when it comes to the IPCC and claims of AGW? Shouldn’t these two above all others be the MOST transparent when it comes to revealing their raw data, site selection and methods?

  • fergusbrown // April 23, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    ngs; this may be a dumb question, but have you read the papers you refer to above? If so, is there something in the methodology or the data as described with which you would like to take issue.

    Please do not refer me to Steve McIntyre’s work; I am perfectly capable of reading CA for myself; I want to know what your challenges are?

    Sorry; does this sound a bit snarky; not deliberate, honest;

  • george // April 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm


    I was responding to Glenn Rapael’s claim that “The scientists behind the IPCC consensus have often proven unwilling to share their sources.”

    The evidence that Glenn has provided thus far for that claim is seriously lacking, to say the least.

    Now you are trying tell me that only two “big names” (whatever that means) is all the proof one needs for Glenn’s statement?

    So, what you are saying is that Michael Mann and Phil Jones are “behind the IPCC consensus [and] have often proven unwilling to share their sources.”

    That does not sound like consensus to me (but it does sound like conspiracy theory).

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 23, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Well fergus, I didn’t refer to any papers, but if you’d like to know there are still quite a few mysterious issues surrounding Mann’s MBH98/99 with regard to the method behind his principal component selection. It appears to be quite random. Also there’s the non-climactic “adjusment” to Bristlecone pines in MBH99 which declines in the 20th century, seeminglycounter to the known path of CO2 increases during that time. I’ve questioned Dr.Mann directly about this on his blog and he stumbled and evaded and censored my follow up questions. Jones has not revealed his raw data or even the list of stations he uses for the CRU temp record. The temp record we’re all familiar with showing warming is completely unreplicable! Jones should resolve this immediately.

  • george // April 23, 2007 at 8:39 pm


    “there are still quite a few mysterious issues surrounding Mann’s MBH98/99″

    The biggest mystery of all is that anyone with a legitimate interest in climate science would still continue to beat this dead horse, given that the conclusion that AGW is real is not contingent upon the results of Mann et al.

    The authors of the latest NRC Report actually went out of their way to comment that the temperature reconstructions of Mann et al were not the primary evidence for AGW.

    On the other hand, it is not the least bit mysterious that those with no legitimate interest in climate science would continue to beat this dead horse. It’s all they have left to beat at this point.

    “I’ve questioned Dr.Mann directly about this on his blog and he stumbled and evaded and censored my follow up questions”

    Oh, my, there’s proof positive that the man is trying to hide something.

    [Response: I'm not convinced that ngs doesn't have a legitimate interest in climate science. I certainly disagree with him (her?) on almost every point, but until I have absolute proof otherwise, I'll apply the "benefit of the doubt" principle.]

  • booogiemann // April 23, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Interesting how the host here distinguishes between “RealClimate” and “ClimateAudit” … one being more reputable. I will have to check for myself. AlGore’s movie is fantastical at best, nobody is predicting 20ft sea level rises and such huge devastation. Seems somebody is lying about glaciers in Patagonia, Glacier Park, and temperatures at Kilamanjaro … some glaciers are receeding while others are advancing.

    Both sides are selective with their presentation, but the Global Warming crowd owes it more to the people of the World to be forthcoming with their findings and data. These people are trying to enact policy that affects EVERYONE !! So clouding the facts, pointing out only glaciers which are receeding, ignoring the Sun and labeling people skeptical of their agenda as “denial” is devious at best. There is a lot of money involved in this Global Warming debate, do not dismiss that or the testimony of many distinguished scientists who question GW, who thus have been ostracized by the GW Club.

    George: You lost dude … Glen did provide a few big names. Since this issue is so Global the IPCC needs to be more transparent with its data and sources.

  • booogiemann // April 23, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Also, even if this chart was skewed the data shows a drop in Temp followed by an increase. How could this happen if Industry and Man had not paused but increased our CO2 creation during this time??

    Overall I found this documentary very informative even if it is flawed in some ways.

    As someone who is interested in the facts I feel that the Public is being lied to and manipulated. Surfing through information is difficult and time-consuming. Al Gore and the GW believers want to alter the lifestyle of developed nations and keep 3rd worlders in peasantry. To get me to go along Algore will have to present something more credible than his “Inconvenient Truth”.

    Seriously though this Durkin film does indeed provoke thought. If Algore’s crock-u-mentary is so important that schools are showing it, scaring our kids with it, . .. well … they need to balance it out with a film like Durkin’s.

  • guthrie // April 23, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Boogieman, it’s not about Al Gore. I’ve gotten into discussions about global warming sometimes, and often the skeptical people will say something along th eline sof “Al gore is a big fat lying politician, how cna you trust anything he says!”

    To which I reply something along the lines of “I’ve never seen his film, never read anything he’s written. I just read what the climatologists have to say”. ANd it’s true. People like to get so stuck on a hate figure they forget that actually there are plenty of people doing work on climate and Gore is merely a populariser.

    Ignore Al Gore. Look at the science.

  • fergusbrown // April 23, 2007 at 10:18 pm


    Alas, if you think that TGGWS is thought-provoking, you’ve been had. It wasn’t simply ‘flawed’, the case it attempted to present as fact was a downright falsehood; neither solar output nor cosmic rays account for global warming; there is no conspiracy to repress Africa; think about it: why the heck would Gore, or any sane person, for that matter, think it was a good idea to make people suffer? This is a classic piece of role-reversal, where the people who are trying to stop the planet from going to hell in a hand-basket are now suddenly conspiring to injure others.

    Gore’s film wasn’t perfect, sure, but most of what was in it was at least based on science.

    Yes, trawling through information is time-consuming, but if I can do it, it can’t be that difficult. Also, if you don’t trust what the media are telling you, it ’s about the only way you’ll get closer to the truth.

    The drop followed by an increase is known as ‘global dimming’. There should be something about it on Wikipedia.

    Why do you believe the public is being lied to? What is the purpose of such a lie? Who is lying?

    It doesn’t even matter what you think of Gore, just don’t imagine that TGGWS is anything other than the conflation of lies, deceit and misrepresentation that it so evidently is.

    If you are interested in the facts, as you say, ask away; there are plenty of experts who visit this site who will provide you with the facts you want. What was the question?

  • fergusbrown // April 23, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    NGS; further to our discussion; this should kink you to the NAS report ‘Temperature reconstructions of the last 2,000 years, which covers an in depth discussion of MBH and other proxies:

    It is a long read but an interesting one. You should be able to get a flavour from the summary at the start or end (or both). I believe it answers satisfactorily the challenges made to the reconstruction you refer to.
    I hope you find this useful,

  • tamino // April 23, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Climate scientists do not ignore the sun. It’s one of the forcings included in all computer models, and is one of the causes of early-20th-century warming. Whoever told you this is either abysmally ignorant or an outright liar. Or both.

    Unfortunately for those who attribute modern warming to solar variations, neither total solar irradiance nor galactic cosmic rays have shown any trend since 1950.

  • george // April 23, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    There was a time when I did give this “nanny_govt_sucks” fellow the “benefit of the doubt”.

    I guess I am just unable to do so any longer after reading so many of his posts on other blogs.

    I am assuming, of course, that it is is the same person using that moniker in each case, but if that it is not the case, it is a striking coincidence indeed that they share virtually identical positions (and arguments) in both cases. If they are not the same person, they should be.

  • fergusbrown // April 23, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Aha! Potato-print scepticism. Just what every blogger needs. Well, I suppose it ups the read count…

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 23, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Fergus - yes I’m familiar with the NAS report, and no it does not address Mann’s Principal Component selection nor his non-climactic “adjustment” to the Bristlecone Pine proxies.

    “Global dimming” appears to be a hypothesis with little support. Areas of the Earth that today produce aerosols show warming not cooling. Also the Southern Hemisphere experienced mid-century “Global Dimming” in the absence of any significant human sources of aerosols.

    Gore’s film presented Mann’s “Hockey Stick” (from MBH98/99) graphic pretty prominently. In your opinion, is that good or bad science?

  • Eli Rabett // April 23, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Actually George, lots of folk are predicting ~20 ft of sea level rise, the question is how long it will take. Optimists think several hundred years, pessimists one to two hundred years. Once the globe warms 3 C or so, the polar regions will warm ~twice as much and the ice caps will melt.

    From the WGII Summary for Policy Makers

    There is medium confidence that at least partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, would occur over a period of time ranging from centuries to millennia for a global average temperature increase of 1-4°C (relative to 1990-2000), causing a contribution to sea level rise of 4-6 m or more. The complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet would lead to a contribution to sea-level rise of up to 7 m and about 5 m, respectively [Working Group I Fourth Assessment 6.4, 10.7; Working Group II Fourth Assessment 19.3].

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 23, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Unfortunately for those who attribute modern warming to solar variations, neither total solar irradiance nor galactic cosmic rays have shown any trend since 1950.

    I’ve always wondered about this statement, as I’ve heard it elsewhere, I think from Gavin Schmidt.

    When one talks about cosmic ray trends, it can be cosmic rays approaching the Earth, or cosmic rays that actually make it through our magnetosphere to our atmosphere where they would theoretically have an effect on cloud cover. It might be easy to confuse the issue by referring to one when it is presumed that one is talking about the other. Certainly a trend in the strength of Earth’s magnetosphere would be important to factor in here as well.

    So which is it? Is there no trend in cosmic rays approaching the Earth, or no trend in rays that may affect cloud cover? A reference would be helpful.

  • george // April 23, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    booogiemann said:

    “Seems somebody is lying about glaciers in…. Glacier Park,”

    Perhaps somebody is lying, but I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty: it’s not the people claiming that glaciers in Glacier national park are retreating and have been since 1850 (US Geological Survey).

    I visited Glacier Park 20 years ago and again just recently and the glacial retreat was obvious even over that fairly short time span.

    wikipedia has more to say about the retreat of glaciers in Glacier Park in particular and the retreat of glaciers worldwide.

  • tamino // April 24, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Seems somebody is lying about glaciers …

    See the UPDATE to this post.

  • ks // April 24, 2007 at 3:25 am

    ngs -

    if you look at the historical timeline for the AGW theory and you look at what is known about cosmic rays (it is a proposed mechanism that has a lab experiment proving it is not impossible) you would see that it is at a stage comparable to the AGW theory in 1859.

    to think that cosmic rays as an equally acceptable explanaition requires a much higher level of skepticism for AGW than the cosmic ray theory. and as has been argued “skepticism has to be applied uniformly” otherwise you wouldn’t be a true skeptic… you’d be a contrarian. and nobody wants that.

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 24, 2007 at 4:18 am


    My question is a simple one: When Gavin and Tamino say there’s no trend in cosmic rays, are they referring to rays that arrive at Earth’s magnetosphere or arrive at a point where the rays may affect cloud formation? I have not seen any specifics on this claim and I am hoping for some clarification.

  • george // April 24, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Let us ponder for the moment what would happen if a single experiment found a disagreement with the predictions of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

    Though the Gravity B Probe has apparently confirmed the “curved space-time” (geodetic) prediction of Einstein’s theory to within 1%, the so-called “frame dragging” results of the probe are still in question (NASA says more analysis is needed to extract the frame-dragging signal [if it exists] from the data).

    But just suppose that the frame dragging results of the probe are eventually found to disprove Einstein’s theory (ie, to show that there is no frame dragging, at least not of the magnitude that Einstein predicted.)

    Do you suppose that all physicists throughout the world would simply accept the result of that single experiment without question, jettison General Relativity and immediately embark on a mad search for a new theory of gravitation?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    While it is certainly true that a single experiment can disprove a theory (that’s how science works, after all), in a case where there are multiple independent lines of evidence supporting a theory (including other experiments that have shown frame dragging), one has to be very careful not to be overly quick to accept the results to a single experiment that might seem to disprove that theory.

    Lots of things can (and do) go wrong in an experiment to lead to fallacious results.

    Besides, the cosmic ray theory of climate warming has virtually no experimental support at this stage. Showing in the lab that something is possible in principle is hardly the same as showing that it is true (or even probable). It may be possible that I will be abducted by aliens from the Alpha Centauri star system, but it ain’t particularly probable.

  • Mike // April 24, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    My question for NGS is how he is differentiating the levels of Cosmic Rays.

    As I understand it (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) the “edge” of the magnetosphere is farther out than any satellites normally reside.

    So how would one measure Cosmic Rays “outside” (or on the edge of) the magnetosphere since all of the information is coming from “inside”?

    It seems like a bit of a stalling tactic.

  • nanny_govt_sucks // April 24, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Mike, I simply don’t know, that’s why I’m asking. There are certainly probes outside of our magnetosphere - I’m sure you’ve heard of Pioneer, Voyager, and of course there are many others. I’ve read a bit since my original post on this subject and it seems as though the rays are being measured inside the magnetosphere but it would still be nice to have a solid reference for the claim.

  • cce // April 24, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    The data showing reduction in low level clouds is partially or entirely due to the addition of more satellites. With fewer satellites, measurements exaggerate the cloud cover because the clouds at viewed at greater angles.

  • ks // April 25, 2007 at 4:46 am


    gavin and tamino are saying that while temp has shown an upward trend, GCRs have been all over the place.

    as for where the GCRs are being measured… it seems the answer is in the following - Benestad, R.E. (2002) Solar Activity and Earth’s Climate, Praxis-Springer, Berlin and Heidelberg, 287pp, ISBN: 3-540-43302-3

  • ks // April 25, 2007 at 5:09 am

    after reusing the google tools it looks like an answer can be found on page 168 (cosmic ray flux [CRF] = galactic cosmic rays [GCR]). GCRs as measured at the surface inversely correlate to sun spot activity. I also found a paper talking about measuring C14 and Be10. Unless someone else knows better, it seems that determining the GCR cycle is measured at the surface.

  • J // April 25, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    NGS wrote:
    “Gore’s film presented Mann’s “Hockey Stick” (from MBH98/99) graphic pretty prominently. In your opinion, is that good or bad science?”

    Actually, I don’t believe NGS is correct. Gore’s book shows a hockey-stick-like graph, but it’s not from MBH, it’s from Thompson et al’s ice core data. (See pp. 64-65 of the book).

    I haven’t gone back to check the film version, but in most cases the figures from Gore’s book are the same as the ones in the film.

  • George // April 25, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Yes, the latest analysis of the satellite data indicates that cloud cover may not have decreased enough (or at all) in recent times, in order to account for all the warming.

    Details, details.

    Real Climate talks about the problems (and there is a veritable piñata of them) with drawing far-reaching conclusions about the earth’s climate system from simple lab experiments like those of Svensmark .

    To interpret the Svensmark lab experiments to mean that cosmic rays (or more precisely, a reduction in cosmic rays) are behind the recent warming is, as they say, a bit of a stretch.

    Just a bit mind you. Showing that the Svensmark results actually apply to the Earth’s atmosphere (where the chemical and physical conditions may differ dramatically from the experimental ones) and that the reduced cloud cover that would have been necessary for the recent warming actually occurred are merely minor details.

    Of course, that does not mean that (a reduction in) cosmic rays can not lead to warming. Just that no one has demonstrated that it might have — or even can, under real atmospheric conditions.

  • George // April 25, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    J said: “Actually, I don’t believe NGS is correct. Gore’s book shows a hockey-stick-like graph, but it’s not from MBH, it’s from Thompson et al’s ice core data.”

    What’s this — they found hockey sticks in the ice cores?

    Hockey pucks I might buy, but certainly not hockey sticks.

    Clearly, someone (Michael Mann?) must have put them there.

  • ks // April 26, 2007 at 12:17 am


    could you provide a link for the satellite data for cloud cover? i’ve got a denialist friend who would love to see it.

  • George // April 26, 2007 at 1:25 am

    cce provided the link above, but here it is again

  • cytochrome_sea // April 28, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Tamino, in your response to the third comment:
    “And frankly, I wouldn’t trust anything on climateaudit”

    That’s precisely the point. As a matter of fact, there’s not much ‘trust’ necessary at all, as all of his papers, data and even code are archived and easily accessible on his blog.

    Conversely, in another response you state, “I would much prefer that the data be made available” and then also, (at the end of your update to this thread)”I make it a habit to go get the actual data and see for myself.”

    I see in the update an illustration by Mark Dyurgerov depicting a ‘global’ glacier mass balance (depicted by volume) change estimation
    from about 1961-~current, then an unequivocal statement from you, “Since about 1960 global glacier mass balance has decreased by over 6000 cubic kilometers.”

    I suppose my question to you would be, where is the actual data that you have “seen for yourself” upon which you present such a claim? (granted, I don’t consider it to be a wild claim by any means, but you haven’t presented the data that you’ve *stated* you’d prefer to see made available, have you?

    From your source (NSIDC) website it seems to me as if the graph you present is an illustration of about 40 glaciers representing a worldwide (NSIDC) estimate of about 160,000, I could be very well mistaken however, after all, it’s a friday night and I’m drinking a ton of cab sav…

    I’m also wondering how much data you will actually provide here on your blog.

    [Response: How foolish of me to consider the National Snow and Ice Data Center more reliable than a blog comment from booogieman with no data or references!

    In fact booogieman's comment piqued my interest, so I've been collecting actual data in preparation for a post on the topic of glacier mass balance.]

  • cytochrome_sea // April 30, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Tamino, thanks for the response. I wasn’t defending the reply you were responding to with your update, I was just tweaking you about making such a strong statement without any caveats.
    (After all, what is this blog entitled?)

    I’ll look forward to your glacier mass balance post. Thanks,


  • ks // May 8, 2007 at 12:47 am

    I know this is probably bad form, but I walked over to climate audit and started commenting. In examining McIntyre’s misrepresentation of complaints against GGWS as incorrect, I was able to get him to update and remove parts of his post. If anyone wants to lend a hand real quick, it’d be great. I know that trying to change the minds of deniers is futile, but I just couldn’t help myself.

    comment #90 was the one that caused him to change his post

    [Response: I congratulate you! You certainly walked into the lion's den.

    The main reason I won't be going to climateaudit is that I try to spend my words on those who will actually listen. McIntyre's comments are littered with accusations of "point-shaving" by GISS and HadCRU, when he's trying to defend the temperature graph in Martin Durkin's documentary -- when Durkin himself has admitted to stretching the time axis, which is outright fraud! It's indicative both of his insulting attitude and of his intransigence. He's more interested in bickering than in truth, and well he should be; bickering muddies the issues and serves his purpose, while truth clarifies and serves ours.

    But if any readers want to join in the brawl, good luck to ya.]

  • ks // May 8, 2007 at 2:20 am


    have you seen any discussion of either of the following

    - arguments supporting changes in the GISS data

    [Response: Are they bickering at climateaudit about why GISS makes adjustments? It merely shows their folly. The purposes of adjustments are: to correct for errors and to correct for known biases (including urban heating). They'll sure complain night and day about urban heating, but object when it's corrected for! And how stupid is it, to want to keep errors and known biases?

    You can find information about GISS procedures on their website. They also have links to the scientific papers describing the adjustments made, and the reasons for them (Hansen et al. 1999 and Hansen et al. 2001). It's a lot of material to digest, but once you read it you'll understand the reason for the adjustments, and why it is that without them, the data aren't nearly as good.

    This makes me consider doing a post on the topic. It's worthwhile taking the time to do right, but I wouldn't recommend scrambling to find a refutation of the climateaudit garbage; why let them set the agenda?]

    - arguments against the Soon 1998 paper?

    [Response: What are they trotting out now? I'm not sure which Soon paper you're referring to, but for more information about the quality of his climate-related work, check out wikipedia on Soon, Baliunas, and especially Hans von Storch, the editor-in-chief of the journal which published their 2003 paper, who resigned in protest (along with four other editors) over the failure of the peer-review process which allowed the Soon & Baliunas paper to get published. You might even find a copy of von Storch's letter of resignation online (try google). You can also find some information in a RealClimate article.

    It was the Soon & Baliunas paper which really got me interested in the global warming issue. Since it was based on data analysis (rather than climate physics), it's right up my alley. Their paper is so bad, it made me want to find out the *truth* about global warming. So in my case, their strategy backfired; instead of making me doubt, it's turned me into an advocate -- and here I am blogging about it.]

  • nanny_govt_sucks // May 8, 2007 at 3:18 am

    Actually, I don’t believe NGS is correct. Gore’s book shows a hockey-stick-like graph, but it’s not from MBH, it’s from Thompson et al’s ice core data. (See pp. 64-65 of the book).

    I stand corrected.

    In your opinion is it good or bad science to use Thompson’s unreplicable ice core data?

    [Response: I don't know anything about Thompson's data, so I can't comment on the value of using it. I think it's preferable to use multi-proxy reconstructions for several reasons. They include multiple lines of evidence, they have been strongly validated by the National Academy of Sciences study of paleoclimate reconstructions, and there are several to choose from (Mann Bradley & Hughes, Mann & Jones, and Moberg et al. seem to be the most cited).

    But Gore's graph is certainly in qualitative agreement with other reconstructions (so much so that you mistook it for the MBH hockey stick).]

  • nanny_govt_sucks // May 8, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I think it’s preferable to use multi-proxy reconstructions for several reasons. They include multiple lines of evidence,

    Not really. Many of the same proxy series are used over and over again in the different multiproxy reconstructons. Also it is only a handfull of proxy series that have “hockey stick” shapes, the rest of the series serve as white noise, allowing the few outlying shapes to dominate the merged graphic.

    they have been strongly validated by the National Academy of Sciences study of paleoclimate reconstructions,

    What “study”? They just had 12 people around a table and “just kind of winged it” ( They “did not dissect each and every study in the report to see which trees were used. ” (

    The “validation” that you speak of is only for about 400 years of “paleo”climactic reconstructions! Gore certainly attempted to show more than just the last 400 years.

    and there are several to choose from (Mann Bradley & Hughes, Mann & Jones, and Moberg et al. seem to be the most cited).

    Isn’t the Moberg reconstruction the one that shows medieval temperatures on par with today’s temps?

    [Response: Have you even read the NAS report, or are you just echoing the crap they're spewing at climateaudit? You *certainly* haven't looked at the actual reconstructions, or you would never say, "only a handfull of proxy series that have "hockey stick" shapes," (they all do) or ask whether the Moberg reconstruction is, "the one that shows medieval temperatures on par with today's temps." (it doesn't). Take a look.

    And that's another reason it's not a good idea to waste your time at climateaudit. NGS: I know you want to discredit global warming -- but I don't think you want to do it with *lies*. So, don't trust what they say at climateaudit.]

  • Dano // May 8, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Isn’t the Moberg reconstruction the one that shows medieval temperatures on par with today’s temps?

    Here’s one of thousands of clues that a bot hasn’t read the actual work, but instead FUD purveyed by anti-virnmintulists.



    [Response: In defense of NGS (never thought you'd hear me say that, did you?), although he hasn't looked at the actual Moberg reconstruction, I'm not absolutely convinced he doesn't want to know the truth. If he just wanted to accept the Climateaudit FUD, why would he be here?]

  • Dano // May 8, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    If he just wanted to accept the Climateaudit FUD, why would he be here?

    Well, sir, the short Dano answer is: FUDbot.

    But I think the premise that someone visits your site to learn has a good chance to be incorrect. I’d fall back on the 80:20 rule for that.

    I find commenters of this sort are out to spread their FUD, esp. na_gs, who has been given the information 477 times and still spouts the same stuff. Hence my no longer offering ideologues the climate information because it only interferes with their belief system.

    Besides, he’s still nitpicking the science, and society has moved beyond that. We’re discussing adaptation and mitigation these days.



  • nanny_govt_sucks // May 9, 2007 at 3:08 am

    [Response: Have you even read the NAS report, or are you just echoing the crap they’re spewing at climateaudit?

    So now it's a "report" not a "study"?

    The quotes are from Gerald North, NAS comittee chair!

    You *certainly* haven’t looked at the actual reconstructions, or you would never say, “only a handfull of proxy series that have “hockey stick” shapes,” (they all do)

    You may be confusing "proxy series" with "multi-proxy reconstructions". A proxy series is an individual proxy in a multi-proxy recon. Perhaps it is you that has not looked at these series closely.

    or ask whether the Moberg reconstruction is, “the one that shows medieval temperatures on par with today’s temps.” (it doesn’t). Take a look.

    OK, I did (again). I can clearly see that the red line (Moberg's reconstruction) has medieval values that are close to modern values. So it appears your chart supports my claim.

    And that’s another reason it’s not a good idea to waste your time at climateaudit. NGS: I know you want to discredit global warming — but I don’t think you want to do it with *lies*. So, don’t trust what they say at climateaudit.]

    From climateaudit I got North’s quotes, and the Moberg series, by itself. These things are not subject to any possible bias by the blog author.

  • tamino // May 9, 2007 at 4:44 am

    NGS, you said:

    What “study”? They just had 12 people around a table and “just kind of winged it”

    Then you said:

    So now it’s a “report” not a “study”?

    The quotes are from Gerald North, NAS comittee chair!

    So you think 12 people sat around a table and “just kind of winged it”? Here’s a quote from the preface:

    Finally, let me thank the members of the Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. The committee worked tirelessly over the last few months to assess the status of this field of research so that the public can see exactly what is involved, what we currently know about it, and what the prospects are for improving our understanding. We have tried to make clear how this piece of the climate puzzle fits into the broader discussions about global climate change.

    Gerald R. North, Chair
    Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

    In addition to the 12 authors and 7 NRC staff members, two other scientists were charged with the responsibility of distributing the draft copy for independent review by yet another 13 scientists:

    This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

    Peter Huybers, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Carl Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Connie Woodhouse, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Julia Cole, University of Arizona
    Lonnie Thompson, The Ohio State University
    David Chapman, University of Utah
    Ricardo Garcia-Herrera, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    David Brillinger, University of California, Berkeley
    Robert Stine, University of Pennsylvania
    Alexander Flax, Independent consultant
    Claus Frohlich, PMOD Technologies
    Richard Muller, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
    Thomas Crowley, Duke University

    The result of their efforts was a 141-page report. Does that sound like 12 guys sat around a table and “just kind of winged it”?

    You then say:

    I can clearly see that the red line (Moberg’s reconstruction) has medieval values that are close to modern values. So it appears your chart supports my claim.

    Are you insane? Or are you blind? The highest medieval temperature in the Moberg reconstruction is 0.37 deg.C in the year 1105. The highest in the HadCRU series (northern hemisphere, just like the Moberg reconstruction) is 0.83 deg.C in 2003. The highest medieval 10-year smoothed value in the Moberg reconstruction is 0.07 deg.C, the modern value is 0.48. According to Moberg’s reconstruction, the 10-year smoothed modern value is higher than the highest single year in the previous 2 millenia.

    Furthermore, the difference is plainly visible in the graph I referred you to.

    From climateaudit I got North’s quotes, and the Moberg series, by itself.

    I said earlier that I wasn’t absolutely convinced that you’re not interested in the truth. I take it back.

  • nanny_govt_sucks // May 9, 2007 at 6:18 am

    So you think 12 people sat around a table and “just kind of winged it”?

    It doesn’t matter what I think. The quote is from Gerald North, the committee chair. He’s the one that said they “just kind of winged it”.

    [Response: It is absolutely evident (if you bother to read it) that the NAS report was a major study involving months of work by the committee members and a sizeable review committee. To characterize it as "12 guys winging it" is simply an attempt to denigrate the report by those who don't want to accept its conclusions. Which is not only patently false, it's an insult to the massive amount of work and careful thought that went into it.

    EVEN IF North at any time said anything like that (I'm skeptical, since your "source" is climateaudit), his quote was taken WAY out of context, which is the kind of dishonest tactics I expect from climateaudit -- exactly on the level of Martin Durkin stretching a time axis and fabricating solar-cycle data. If you were interested in the truth, you'd have actually read the report and you'd know this.]

    Re Moberg:

    In the chart you linked, it is clear to see that the red line (Moberg’s reconstruction) reaches around 0.0 in medieval times, falls, then climbs back up to almost 0.0 in modern times, then drops at the end to -0.2.

    [Response: The Moberg reconstruction ends in 1979. Today is almost 30 years later, and temperatures have climbed WAY above anything in the Moberg series. You must have ignored the marker on the graph indicating the temperature in 2004. So you're not interested in the truth.]

    I said earlier that I wasn’t absolutely convinced that you’re not interested in the truth. I take it back.

    The way you’ve gone on and on about North’s quote, seem to have been unaware of the tendencies of individual proxies in the multi-proxy reconstructions, and seem to continue to support the bad science of M. Mann, and P. Jones makes me think that it is you who are not very interested in the truth.

    [Response: The level of delusion it takes not only to hold your opinion, but to make the statements you've made, is staggering. You're on the same pathetic level as creationists; I'm done with you.]

  • Dano // May 9, 2007 at 1:08 pm


    This rhetorical tactic just bobs and weaves and makes you chase down open-ended kweschins until you get frustrated. Then the rhetoritician will declare you intolerant of reasoned discussion and label you the fashionable namie-name of the week, as distributed by the noise machine.

    We’ve all seen it 942 times before. Do what you do best: explain stuff. Stop wasting your time.

    Ignore those whose minds will never change, ever, never, no way no how as long as the information is delivered by those who the ideologues have been taught to disparage at best and hate at worst. Your statist enviroweenie alarmist global warming information is tainted.



  • Eli Rabett // May 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Reconstructions are calibrated against instrumental records exending back 1 to 1.5 centuries. No reconstruction shows ANY year with a higher global temperature than any year’s temperature measured in the past decade. That goes back two millenia or so.

  • ks // May 10, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Yeah, these guys at climateaudit are a joke. McIntyre recently tries to cast doubt on the recorded temperature record by suggesting changes in the chemicals of the white paint on the measurement stations are partly to blame. Not sure how a change in paint would demonstrate a significant trend…

  • Ninderthana // May 19, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Here is a dirty little secret that the climatologists want to keep under raps.

    The inter-decadal World’s mean air temperatures between 1850 and the present have faithfully followed the changes that have occurred to sea surface temperatures in the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. It is reasonable to conclude that they will continue to do so over the coming decades.

    The North Pacific Ocean’s sea surface temperatures follow a natural cycle of
    warming and cooling that roughly repeats it self once every 50 - 70 years. This cycle is called
    the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and we are currently in a warming (positive) cycle that
    began in 1977. The PDO should flip into a negative (cooling) phase sometime before 2012.

    Hence, logic tells you that, sometime in the next 5 years, the sea surface temperatures
    surrounding Hawaii should start cooling and the sea surface temperatures just to the south of the Aleutian Islands should start warming as we slip into the next negative phase of the PDO. This will start a gradual cooling (or leveling) off of the world’s mean temperatures.

    The effects of the PDO on the World’s mean temperatures are moderated by the sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean. These temperature changes are well represented by variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) index. Like the PDO, the AMO undergoes natural cycles of warming and cooling that last for roughly 60 to 80 years.

    Since, 1995, we have been in a positive (warming) phase of the AMO. This has been
    reinforcing the warming caused by the PDO.
    However, the AMO will most likely flip back in a negative (cooling) phase sometime between 2025 and 2035. This means that sometime in the late 2020’s or early 2030’s, both the PDO and AMO will be negative and we will have a decade or two of generally cooler world mean temperatures.

    So get out your woolies and enjoy the ride.

  • Glen Raphael // May 20, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    For what it’s worth, the “just kind of winged it” quote comes from North’s summary of how the NAS committee reached their conclusions as to what the science said and with what degree of certainty. It’s in his presentation at this URL:

    Starting at 55 minutes and 10 seconds: “So what did we conclude? Well, we tried to make some statements that, uh - you know, we didn’t do any *research* in this project. We just took a look at the papers that were existing and we tried to draw some kinds of conclusions from it and so here we had 12 people around the table, all with very different backgrounds from one another and we kind of winged it to see. So, that’s what you do in that kind of expert panel: you don’t try to put error bars in the usual sense. ”

    Regarding the moberg reconstruction, if you extend the reconstruction to 2004 and find it agrees with the temperature record, then maybe you’ve got something. But as I understand it, when you bring the proxies up to date you find that most of the reconstructions have lagged well behind the actual temperature record in the last 20 years. If the proxies don’t indicate extra-high temperatures now, why would we expect them to be any more accurate in the past? For all we know, if we had an instrumental record during the MWP it may have diverged from the reconstruction as much or more than it is doing right now.

    To compare like to like, you need to compare the reconstruction to itself, not to itself plus the instrument record. So, IMHO, ngs is correct to ignore the tacked-on temperature record in evaluating what moberg says.

    [Response: It never ceases to amaze me how some people will make a huge deal about a casual remark 55 minutes into a presentation, in order to rationalize ignoring the conclusions of the *report itself*.]

  • peter simic // July 15, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Whatever happened to talk about the hole in the ozone layer? According to scientists ten year’s ago we were all doomed. And let’s not mention the Y2K bug!

    Now, according to the Science Daily Report, scientists from Chicago University say that all is back to normal, actually better than normal, with the ozone layer now in good shape.

    With this global warming almost non-debate (to bring up any questions is like criticising motherhood) is this the latest doom prophesy?

    I was interested to listen to the professor of marine biology at Newcastle University say on ABC radio that nothing he has analysed is outside the parameters of normal climate change when looked at over thousands of years. Interestingly, I was recently in New York and visited the Universtity of Natural Sciences (yep, that was the one in the movie). They have a wall which shows world temperature variations over thousands and millions of years. Interestingly the past 800 years shows wildly oscillating swings within a broad band.

    It seems to me that the hundreds/thousands of environmental scientists look at the past hundred or so years whist the the geologists look at thousands/millions of years.

    [Response: The hole in the ozone layer is still there, but "healing" more slowly than hoped. The reason it didn't turn into a massive problem is that governments organized to address the problem; the Montreal protocol limited the use of ozone-depleting chloroflourocarbons.

    Curiously, a google search for "university of natural sciences" found only one: in Ho Chi Minh city.]

  • peter simic // July 16, 2007 at 3:55 am

    Oops. Let’s make that the American Museum of Natural Science in New York.

    It never ceases to amaze me that if if something is bad in nature it is man’s doing, if something is corrected in nature it is to man’s credit. I find that incredibly arrogant; nature is far more pwerful than anything we can come up with!

  • Swedenborg // August 9, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    EVEN IF North at any time said anything like that (I’m skeptical, since your “source” is climateaudit), his quote was taken WAY out of context, which is the kind of dishonest tactics I expect from climateaudit …

    The kind of dishonest tactic you’d expect is to accurately quote him in the correct context? I guess the next logical step is to smear North….

  • Jonathan Gardner // August 15, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Tiny note: NASA’s data has been updated. 1934 is now the hottest year on record.

    [Response: This (1st place for 1934) only applies to the lower-48 statest of the U.S. For the globe, the hottest year on record is 2005 (according to the latest from NASA GISS) or 1998 (according to HadCRU). See this post.]

  • Brian Bonner // August 22, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    You eco-nuts crack me up. CO2 follows Global climate change up and down. That is shown in the glacial ICE the Gore sites as a direct correlation and he is right there is a direct correlation global warming leads CO2 levels.

    Watch the documentary for free and decide for yourselves.

    [Response: Only denialists believe that "temperature increase raises CO2" and "CO2 increase raises temperature" are mutually exclusive. Both factors are both cause and effect. Raise the temperature, the solubility of CO2 in ocean water decreases and its concentration goes up. Raise the CO2 level, the infrared absorbtion of the atmosphere increases and the temperature goes up. It's a classic "feedback phenomenon." I'm sorry it's just too complicated for you to wrap your mind around.]

  • wildifer // August 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Jonathan, for that to be “absolutely” true, rather than a tie between ‘34 and ‘98, would need photos of the 1934 sites. Well?

  • papertiger // September 1, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    About that GISS temperature record.

    Three stations to cover all of Africa in the 30’s.
    Eight stations to cover all of South America in the 30’s.
    Zero stations to cover all of Antarctic in the 30’s.
    All of Russia combined station record becomes colder than any of the measurements in the period.
    Yes there is a swindel being perpetrated, but you people are looking in the wrong direction.

  • Hank Roberts // September 2, 2007 at 1:10 am

    > ozone

    Source, please? Nothing for “American Museum of Natural Science” except some Xrefs to the Museum of Natural History.

    Lots of ozone news, none of it remotely like the claim above from papertiger.

    Many reports of this story:

    Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:23PM BST

    GENEVA (Reuters) - A hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has appeared earlier than usual in 2007, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday.

    The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said it would not be clear for several weeks whether the ozone hole, which is expected to continue growing until early October, would be larger than its record size in 2006….

  • Hank Roberts // September 2, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Ah, papertiger, were you looking at an actual story, or someone’s second-hand report of something they believed?

    They reported a Chicago study in August — of 2005 — offering the possibility that the rate of ozone loss is decreasing. Not getting worse as fast as before, that means.

    What’s your actual source for believing what you wrote? Pointer, please.

    You can look these things up:

    [Response: I believe the ozone stuff was from Peter Simic, not papertiger.]

  • Hank Roberts // September 2, 2007 at 3:12 am

    Yep, my mistake, thanks for catching that.

    I’ve kept looking, can’t find anything that might be the source of that story.

  • papertiger // September 2, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Three stations to cover all of Africa in the 30’s.
    Eight stations to cover all of South America in the 30’s.
    Zero stations to cover all of Antarctic in the 30’s.
    All of Russia combined station record becomes colder than any of the measurements in the period.

    In light of the vast amounts of Earth where there is null data in the 1930’s and before, what information is your GISS Temp Anomoly Chart based on?
    Since we kn0w that the Great Depression was a world wide event caused by a glut in farm produce, I would say that is a fair proxy that sunshine was on the rise globally, and that the GISS Temp Anomoly records are the conjurings of biased men, who long ago gave up the persuit of truth in favor of a steady paycheck.

    [Response: Increase in solar output is indeed believed to be one of the causes of the early-century temperature increase, as discussed in this post. But it can't be responsible for post-1975 warming, as discussed in that, this, and this post.

    Your comments about using a glut in global farm produce as a proxy, indicate that you're not really very savvy as to what's known about solar activity. Your comments in general indicate you're poorly educated on the topic of global warming, and your beliefs are rooted in ideology rather than science. Your personal insults regarding the GISS people have no basis other than your own warped imagination. Further such insulting remarks will be deleted.]

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    [...] sent me a link to an entry on his blog where he discusses some interesting fact shuffling in this documentary.   While there are still [...]

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