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Wonder What Al Gore Has to Say About This

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:45 pm - April 15, 2010.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

‘Hockey stick’ graph was exaggerated:

The “hockey stick” was used to warn the world of the threat of global warming by numerous individuals and organisations, including Al Gore in his oscar-winning film an Inconvenient Truth and UN body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Sonicfrog who alerted me to this article has more:

The head of the Royal Statistical Society Professor David Hand adds weight to Steve McIntyre’s long held assertion that the infamous Hockey Stick is statistically flawed!

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8 Comments

  1. Professor David Hand said that the research – led by US scientist Michael Mann – would have shown less dramatic results if more reliable techniques had been used to analyse the data.

    Prof Hand was among a group of experts charged with investigating the “climategate” email scandal that engulfed the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) last year.

    Sceptics claimed that the hacked messages showed scientists were manipulating data to support a theory of man-made global warming.

    However the review, led by Lord Oxburgh into the research carried out by the centre, found no evidence of ”deliberate scientific malpractice”.

    Lord Oxburgh said the scientists at the research unit arrived at their conclusions ”honestly and sensibly”.

    But the reviewers found that the scientists could have used better statistical methods in analysing some of their data, although it was unlikely to have made much difference to their results.

    He said the graph, that showed global temperature records going back 1,000 years, was exaggerated – although any reproduction using improved techniques is likely to also show a sharp rise in global warming. He agreed the graph would be more like a field hockey stick than the ice hockey blade it was originally compared to.

    In my experience reading The Daily Telegraph, their summaries tend to leave out very important details that they’re unable to gloss over in the main article.

    Comment by Serenity — April 15, 2010 @ 4:01 pm - April 15, 2010

  2. … And then Serenity goes and glosses over more details by leaving details out. Here is the rest of the article:

    “The particular technique they used exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick. Had they used an appropriate technique the size of the blade of the hockey stick would have been smaller,” he said. “The change in temperature is not as great over the 20th century compared to the past as suggested by the Mann paper.”

    … And thus, not as scary.

    The “hockey stick” was used to warn the world of the threat of global warming by numerous individuals and organisations, including Al Gore in his oscar-winning film an Inconvenient Truth [which Al Gore tried to deny] and UN body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    But sceptics immediately pounced on the graph and whole books have been written questioning its key finding.

    The graph used data from hundreds of studies of past temperatures using tree rings, lake sediment, and glacier ice cores and then merged these with more reliable recent temperature records.

    Prof Hand said many of the reproductions of the graph do not make clear when these different sets of data are used.

    “It is only misleading in the sense they merged two different things,” he said.

    Prof Hand praised the blogger Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit for uncovering the fact that inappropriate methods were used which could produce misleading results.

    “The Mann 1998 hockey stick paper used a particular technique that exaggerated the hockey stick effect,” he said.

    Prof Mann, who is Professor of Earth System Science at the Pennsylvania State University, said the statistics used in his graph were correct.

    “I would note that our ’98 article was reviewed by the US National Academy of Sciences, the highest scientific authority in the United States, and given a clean bill of health,” he said. “In fact, the statistician on the panel, Peter Bloomfield, a member of the Royal Statistical Society, came to the opposite conclusion of Prof Hand.”

    So you have the head of the Royal Statistical Society saying that the stats were misused, and you have an underling of Hand and Mann who says nah, all is OK in the world of hockey sticks. The science seems very… unsettled.

    Oxburgh did not really delve into the details of the scientific question raised by the more level headed skeptics, so what else do you expect the results to be. I know you won’t do it, but I would suggest that you read Steve Mc’s response to some of the points in the report. And yes, I’ve already read Real Climates posts on this.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 15, 2010 @ 5:09 pm - April 15, 2010

  3. Dan, please delete the first version of this post. I screwed up the blockquotes.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 15, 2010 @ 5:10 pm - April 15, 2010

  4. Tanned-O to the AGW rescue in three…. two…. two and three-quarters……..

    Comment by Otter — April 15, 2010 @ 5:36 pm - April 15, 2010

  5. The liberal reaction to this news will be the same as it was when CBS was proven to be using forged documents to slander President Bush, the same as their reaction ALWAYS is when the facts prove them wrong: “The facts may be wrong, but the narrative is right”

    Comment by American Elephant — April 15, 2010 @ 7:08 pm - April 15, 2010

  6. I still think liberals should ‘pretend” the world is coming to an end and start conserving, not flying ,not driving, not washing their clothes, not cutting their lawns, using bicycles, not using toilet paper etc.
    liberals can still act like the data wasn’t faked. They can act like they are going to save us all.
    Go ahead. Just start.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — April 15, 2010 @ 9:36 pm - April 15, 2010

  7. Al Gore has nothing to say. He has always refused to debate his critics.

    Comment by V the K — April 16, 2010 @ 10:22 am - April 16, 2010

  8. Gene, I believe the best line comes from professor reynolds: I will believe it [Global warming/Climate change/whatever name they give it next weeek] when the people supporting act like it’s a crisis.

    here’s a quick thought: On manhatten, all the news reporters from CNN, ABC, NBC, NYT, etc. et. al. all worry about climate change…..why don’t they leave manahatten island if they think it is true?

    They don’t, so why should the general public?

    Game, set, match.

    Comment by JSF — April 16, 2010 @ 5:44 pm - April 16, 2010

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