Sunday, May 5, 2013

Warmest Temperatures In 4,000 Years? Not So Fast!

Last month the mainstream media (read ''lamestream'') were reporting on another Hockey Stick -- this one billed as ''scarier'' then Mann's in breathless fashion about a new paper claiming the current temperatures are their warmest in 4,000 years. The message afraid, very afraid, of the ''unprecedented'' (there's that word again in the abstract) 0.7C temperature rise!  Already, however, objective scientists are reporting serious flaws in the paper. The media may wish to paint a picture of runaway global warming, but the science tells a completely different story.

Recently graduated Ph.D student Shaun Marcott has published this paper claiming he compiled a proxy temperature reconstruction indicating current temperatures are their warmist in at least 4,000 years. Mr Marcott didn't even give a nod to the years around 850AD to 1050AD when it was three degrees warmer than today, when the Viking were running around  raping and pillaging and all the while finding a green land west of Iceland which they called Greenland! Over a period of 200 years they established about 80 settlements for farming and livestock. The warmth didn't hurt them and it really was a godsend for them.

Proxy temperature reconstructions require careful scrutiny because the proxies are not direct temperature measurements, but represent other data and factors that may or may not have a close correlation with past temperatures. Also, an agenda-driven researcher can easily cherry-pick certain anomalous proxies that support a predetermined conclusion while ignoring a much larger set of proxies that tell a different study. I'm referring to the most notorious of agenda-driven proxy reconstructions that was published by global warming alarmist Michael Mann. As a relatively unknown recent Ph.D graduate, Mann attained wealth, fame and adulation among global warming alarmists after assembling a temperature reconstruction that he claimed showed global temperatures underwent a steady, roughly 1000 year decline followed by a SHARP rise during the 20th century.

The media reported on the Mann Hockey Stick as if it settled the global warming debate, but objective scientists pointed out several crucial flaws that invalidated Mann's claims. After assembling a blue ribbon panel of experts to study Mann's reconstruction, distinguished statistician, Edward Wegman, reported the criticisms of Mann's Hockey Stick were ''valid and compelling.''  The Marcott proxy reconstruction Hockey Stick shares much in common with Mann's version. Marcott is also a recently graduated Ph.D student whose asserted temperature readings has launched him out of obscurity into media fame. Unfortunately, also similar to the Mann Hockey Stick, the media is ignoring the devastating critiques of Marcott's reconstruction and misleading the public into believing the global warming hysteria has a solid basis. This is in spite of the recent chart by the United Kingdom's Met Office showing there has been no warming for over 15 years now! (chart left)

Don Easterbrook, geology professor emeritus at Western Washington University, (right) has published two papers summarizing and documenting many of the already discovered flaws in Marcott's reconstruction. In spite of Marcott's defensive response on the RealClimate website, Easterbrook and other scientists are finding more flaws and areas of concern in Marcott's reconstruction. Easterbrook points out that 80% of the data used by Marcott reflect oceanic data, not atmospheric temperatures. ''Thus they reflect any one of of a number of ocean variations not related to atmospheric climates,'' Easterbrook writes. He also notes that Marcott recycled Mann's proxies to help compile the small portion of Marcott's land-based proxies. ''Discredited proxies by any other name are still discredited proxies,'' he states. Perhaps most damaging, Easterbrook observes that many published studies and data, including analysis of extremely reliable Greenland ice core data, completely contradict Marcott's asserted proxy data.

The Way I See It.....when many temperature studies, including studies presented by the U.N.'s I.P.C.C., indicate current global temperatures are cooler than the vast majority of the 4,000 years, and then an outlier study with quickly identified serious flaws claims exactly the opposite, one would think the media would make a note of the discrepancies. Unfortunately, the media has demonstrated little interest in doing so. There are several reasons for this:
  1. The news media is prone to overhype the news events of the day. Hype sells newspaper and attract viewers. This is the case for all news topics and certainly applies to global warming.
  2. Fear captivates people. This is one of the reasons why TV and print media news contains so much bad news and so little good news. A single breathless report of impending global warming doom is going to rope in more viewers and readers than a whole collection of reports explaining that current temperatures are actually quite cool in historical perspective.
  3. It is no secret that the media drifts left on many issues, and drifts left on environmental issues, catering to the ''watermelons'' in particular.
Combine these 3 factors and you have a textbook recipe for yellow journalism; a perfect storm representing all the reasons why people no longer trust the mainstream media to be fair, balanced and accurate. Global warming alarmists put their trust in the media, while global warming realists put their trust in the science.

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