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Climate Hustle

Christmas cartoon on melting North Pole

Posted on 24 December 2008 by John Cook

Merry Christmas from Skeptical Science...

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Comments 1 to 24:

  1. Dear John Cook I have news for You:
    From the New York Times, December 12: Soviet scientists on board an icebreaker drifting just 300 miles from the North Pole have concluded that the world is getting hotter. Warm-water fish are appearing in increasing numbers in Arctic seas as temperatures have risen, melting the ice caps. The Russian explorers believe that very soon ships will be able to sail right ACROSS the Pole.

    This news appeared on December 12, 1938; he, he, he…
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    Response: May I direct you to the skeptic arguments Climate's changed before and Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle.
  2. John,

    Merry Christmas to you, and well done for maintaining a first class resource for addressing the salient topics of this fascinating and profoundly important issue. I've enjoyed reading your articles and has a wheeze posting here the past few months!

    and Merry XMas to everyone else ;-)
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  3. John: My daughter and I loved the cartoon. Merry Christmas to you and all your readers. We wish you all the best in the new year and look forward to more of the same quality posts we've come to expect ;-)

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  4. Happy Holidays (a little late, sorry) and thanks for keeping up a great site John :-)
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  5. Looks like Santa is OK.

    Ice coverage is above the levels in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. I wonder if we will hear about this in the media... don't count on it. Now if the levels were low... look out!
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    Response: I'll direct you to the page that poses the question Is Arctic ice-melt manmade or a natural cycle?
  6. Sure, he's OK if you carefully pick what years to compare with. NSIDC put things in perspective:
    Of course, we're not considering volume here...
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  7. 1-16-2009, MSNBC News:

    By Friday morning, cities and towns in 13 states reported temperatures well below zero, among them:

    -50 in Big Black River, Maine, in what could be a new state record
    -46 in Embarrass, Minn.
    -42 in Island Pont, Vt.
    -42 in Necedah, Wis.
    -39 in Berlin, N.H.
    -38 in Monticello, Iowa
    -36 in Sterling, Ill., possibly tying a state record
    -35 in Paradox, N.Y.
    -26 in Stambaugh, Mich.
    -20 in Valparaiso, Ind.
    -19 in Lawton, Pa.
    -16 in Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va.
    -14 in Dayton, Ohio
    In upstate New York, meteorologist Dave Sage said areas near Lake Erie were walloped by snow, with 2 inches falling per hour in some areas on Friday morning.

    As Ricky would say - Splain This Lucy
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    Response: The question of specific instances of cold weather is answered here. More generally, recent cooling across 2008 was due to the cooling effect of La Nina and to a lesser extent, the solar minimum.
  8. There is no such thing as weather anymore?
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  9. People have become so used to not have a winter that they're surprised when there is one.
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  10. John and Phillipe
    In all honesty, I sincerely hope that I am wrong and that you are correct. I have lived in temps up to 140F and down to -60F and believe me I prefer heat to cold.
    But I simply can't believe all that science pointing to another glacation is wrong and that we are attempting to encourage it's start. La Nina is not affecting this winter and that article was posted yesterday. I have not personally experienced any warming since the Plains Blizzard of 1996. 1998 was a freak rewarming due to El Nino. The warming trend was just a weather cycle IMO, the true trend is cooling, hopefully slight.
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  11. Sorry, Are we in another La Nina now?
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  12. Sear sir or madam:

    I recently came across the “great hockey stick controversy” and I am trying to find a well argued view of it from those who favour the climate consensus of human induced global warming. I came across your site and while I find it very good in its rebuttals, it does not, it would seem to me, answer what I would call the “ah buts.” That is to say you present good rebuttals, but it seems that the detail of the criticism is not addressed.

    The background here is that prior to coming across this controversy, I was leaning towards the view that global warming was human induced, but the hockey stick controversy has severely dented this view.

    So here are the rebuttals and the "ah buts" that I would be very grateful if you to please assist me by adressign the "ah buts" yourself, or pointing me to where they are addressed.


    Rebuttal 1: The NCR review initiated by the National Academy of sciences in 2006 vindicated Mann’s original 98 hockey stick work, albeit with some reservations.

    Ah but 1: The NCR panel was biased but even then they agreed with the McKittrick and McIntyre criticism that Mann’s 98 methods produced a hockey stick shape when random red noise was applied to it. I read the report and the graph showing this is in there. Surely this makes a nonsense of Mann’s 98 work.


    Rebuttal 2: The Hockey stick has been confirmed by other subsequent studies as evidenced by the NCR report.

    Ah but 2a: Most of the other studies use the same set of contested trees from the south west United States and the polar urals that the NCR panel should said should not be used. If you remove the contested trees, the hockey stick disappears and the Medievel Warm Period and Little Ice Age reappear.

    Ah but 2B: The confirmation work has all (or mostly) been done by associates of Mann.


    Rebuttal 3: If you remove the contested trees from the analysis, yes the medieval warm period exists, but the late 20th century is still significantly higher than it was then.

    Ah but 3: The studies maintaining this splice the instrumental record on to the tree ring record from about 1980 on. If the tree ring record was continued to today, the tree ring proxies would show a fall in temperature. I.E. they would diverge giving us what is called the divergence problem in the debate.


    Rebuttal 4: Amman and Wahl’s paper from 2006 (or was it 2007) was a key piece of confirmatory evidence.

    Ah but 4a: The IPCC bent the rules to allow it into the Fourth Assessment report.

    Ah but 4b: Amman and Wahl refused for three years to release the R2 statistic that would have shown that their study was unreliable. Eventually they came up with a mumbo jumbo justification to say that the R2 statistic was irrelevant.


    Rebuttal 5: Mann’s 2008 paper has reproduced the hockey stick using 96 different proxies.

    Ah but 5b: If you take out the contested trees from the south west United States and the proxies from the Tiljander lake whose original authors said were corrupted, then the hockey stick disappears and the Medievel Warm Peirod and Little Ice Age come back.


    One other point that you might help me to address is to come up with a justification for the reluctance of climate researchers to release their data, method and source code other than “do your own research”. If this could be justified for publicly funded research, even better.

    Many thanks
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    Response: Discussion on the hockey stick is best conducted on the hockey stick page. And yes, that page does need updating considering the latest study on the topic coming out last year (it's on my to-do list).
  13. You can try leaving tree rings out altogether, there are other methods:

    The latest Mann paper has all data and code available. GISSTEMP code was made available a long time ago.
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  14. Philippe
    The tree rings aerve a better indicator of time of drought and times of plentiful rainfall. When there is plenty of moisture they grow faster and sequester more carbon via CO2 intake. In times of drought they can't.
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  15. OK. I'm aware of that. In temp reconstructions, they are used somewhat differently, as temp proxies. Sjkhayes had a problem with dendro data as temp proxies. I just pointed that there are other proxies.
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  16. Philippe
    My point was if we use the Rainfall/Drought data it contradicts the use in the ol' hockey stick.

    This is interesting:
    NASA's James Hansen calls climate skeptics court jesters
    In the face of this growing surge of scientific research and the increasing number of scientists speaking out, NASA scientist James Hansen wrote this past week that skeptics of a predicted climate catastrophe were engaging in “deceit” and were nothing more than “court jesters.”
    “The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present,” Hanson wrote on August 16, 2007.
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  17. Marc Morano is a politician of the worst kind: a PR professional. I don't trust anything he writes. The so-called "growing surge" exists only in his pathetic mind manipulation effort. Morano is scientifically illiterate, so is Inhoffe.

    If you don't even trust Wikipedia because, in your own words, it is too politicized, why would you give any attention to Morano and Inhoffe, who are about nothing but politics and have not a clue about science? Hansen is entirely justified to denigrate nincompoops who have no idea of what they're talking about and merrily go on accusing him of fraud every time they have a chance.
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  18. re #16:

    Not really Quietman, the essential conclusions of the original Mann et al. palaeoproxy analyses in relation to the anomalous nature of late 20th century and contemporary warming are independent of whether or not tree ring proxies are used:

    e.g. M. E. Mann et al. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 105:13252-13257

    In which over 1,200 proxy series were used to assess millenial scale temperature. In fact the data are now rather firmer in relation to our understanding of the anomalous nature of current warming compared to the last 1300 years.

    The conclusions are prety much the same if the tree ring series are left out, except that they don't extend back to 1700 years into the past (which is possible using tree ring data).

    And of course tree ring proxies are only used under specific conditions that the tree species and locales are not moisture-limited but are temperature-limited (generally highish latitudes and highish altitudes...
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  19. chris
    So you expect me to believe that there are no climate cycles, no medieval warm period, no little ice age, no 60 year PDO cycle, no ENSO, no AMO, no changes in the earths orbit or axial tilt, no changes in the suns effect or the planets effect on the sun and no volcanic or tectonic activity on this planet?
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  20. What a strange notion Quietman. What lends you to come to that conclusion? Any non-greenhouse contributions to climate/weather variations always apply whether or not the greenhouse effect is augmented, reduced or stays the same.
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  21. chris
    RE: What lends you to come to that conclusion?
    The statements of AGW alarmists.
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  22. Quietman Re: #21
    Perhaps you could give specific examples where "AGW alarmists" have engaged in denialism w.r.t. any of the list of items you give in post #19. Otherwise it becomes mere cant on your part, and I'm sure you would not wish to be accused of that.
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  23. John M.
    Once you catch up on reading through ALL these threads you will have your answer. Every item mentioned has been denied here at this site by alarmists. See for yourself.
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  24. I don't see it, Quietman. I'd like to see an example of Chris denying those things as you've indicated in your post #19. Please give evidence.
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