The Great Global Warming Scam (ctd)

Friday 2nd October 2009

Yet another scientific scandal has come to light which knocks another whopping crater in the already shattered theory of anthropogenic global warming. Eight peer-reviewed studies, which for years have played a significant supporting role behind the IPPC’s claims of AGW, have been shown to be fraudulent.

As Andrew Orlowski reports in The Register, the issue is the use of tree rings as a temperature proxy in order to ‘reconstruct’ past temperatures. The papers in question  incorporated data from trees at the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia:

This dataset gained favour, curiously superseding a newer and larger data set from nearby. The older Yamal trees indicated pronounced and dramatic uptick in temperatures.

How could this be? Scientists have ensured much of the measurement data used in the reconstructions remains a secret -- failing to fulfill procedures to archive the raw data. Without the raw data, other scientists could not reproduce the results. The most prestigious peer reviewed journals, including Nature and Science, were reluctant to demand the data from contributors. Until now, that is.

At the insistence of editors of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions B the data has leaked into the open -- and Yamal's mystery is no more. From this we know that the Yamal data set uses just 12 trees from a larger set to produce its dramatic recent trend. Yet many more were cored, and a larger data set (of 34) from the vicinity shows no dramatic recent warming, and warmer temperatures in the middle ages.

In all there are 252 cores in the CRU Yamal data set, of which ten were alive 1990. All 12 cores selected show strong growth since the mid-19th century. The implication is clear: the dozen were cherry-picked.

A small ‘but closely knit’ number of scientists all used the misleading Yamal data to claim that today’s temperatures were unprecedentedly hot. Orlowski notes:

Controversy has been raging since 1995, when an explosive paper by Keith Briffa at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia asserted that that the medieval warm period was actually really cold, and recent warming is unusually warm. Both archaeology and the historical accounts, Briffa was declaring, were bunk. Briffa relied on just three cores from Siberia to demonstrate this.

Three years later Nature published a paper by Mann, Bradley and Hughes based on temperature reconstructions which showed something similar: warmer now, cooler then. With Briffa and Mann as chapter editors of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this distinctive pattern became emblematic - the ‘Logo of Global Warming’.

But as the heroic mathematician Steve McIntyre – who helped demonstrate the fraudulence of the even more seminal AGW claim of the ‘hockey-stick curve’ of historic global temperatures – has finally managed to winkle out, their premise was false and their claim was untrue.

Ross McKitrick, who worked with McIntyre in exposing the ‘hockey-stick’ fraud, here emphasises the way in which the AGW industry concealed the truth about the tree-ring data:

Over the next nine years, at least one paper per year appeared in prominent journals using Briffa's Yamal composite to support a hockey stick-like result. The IPCC relied on these studies to defend the Hockey Stick view, and since it had appointed Briffa himself to be the IPCC Lead Author for this topic, there was no chance it would question the Yamal data.

Despite the fact that these papers appeared in top journals like Nature and Science, none of the journal reviewers or editors ever required Briffa to release his Yamal data. Steve McIntyre's repeated requests for them to uphold their own data disclosure rules were ignored...Whatever is going on here, it is not science.

And yet:

When the IPCC was alerted to peer-reviewed research that refuted the idea, it declined to include it. This leads to the more general, and more serious issue: what happens when peer-review fails -- as it did here?

Indeed. What price any ‘scientific’ assertions, such as anthropogenic global warming, when the system of peer-review on which it rests its authority is as bent as a corkscrew? The scandal not only shows once again that AGW is a fraud but shoots to pieces the integrity of scientific peer-review. In other words, a huge story. So huge that, as far as I can see, not one mainstream UK media outlet has touched it – and according to blogger Bishop Hill:

The reaction of the Guardian - to delete any mention of the affair from their comment threads - has been extraordinary.

It’s no use. The seas are rising over their heads.


Spectator      Melanie Phillips