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Science Marches On

Razor's Edge
It's all a matter of perspective

NOAA ice core data presented in successively longer time frames.

h/t Wattsupwiththat
The source images can be found here:

Note: Ice core data is no more recent than 1900 for the excellent reason that more recent snow has not fully compacted into ice yet. The instrumental record has been added in red and is labeled. This differs from "Mann's Nature trick" in that no data has been suppressed.
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And can someone explain this?

Orland CA has a long record of observation and an excellently sited station, not engulfed by urbanization. A capture of the data was done in 2007 by people who were checking the quality of the stations. Just recently, the data was pulled up again and was found to have been changed. This shows the before and after:

The pre-1900 data has disappeared entirely and the warm temperatures prior to about 1950 have been "adjusted" to appear cooler. This transforms an apparently stable series into one showing a modest increasing trend. The alteration seems to have been performed in September, prior to the leakage of the East Anglia emails. One possibility is the mindless use of a new computer program that inadvertently eliminated the raw data and replaced it with adjusted data that coincidently supported the consensus. If so, the Team needs a good PR flack to advise them how not to give the appearance of malfeasance.

The newer version has more recent points for the obvious reason that there have been more recent years.


A commboxer on WUTW commented that is was "hard to believe" that so many scientists could be involved in a conspiracy to fool the public. To this another commboxer names Paul Vaughan replied as follows:

Personal anecdote:
Last spring when I was shopping around for a new source of funding, after having my funding slashed to zero 15 days after going public with a finding about natural climate variations, I kept running into funding application instructions of the following variety:
Successful candidates will:
1) Demonstrate AGW.
2) Demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of AGW.
3) Explore policy implications stemming from 1 & 2.

Follow the money — perhaps a conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice.
Opposing toxic pollution is not synonymous with supporting AGW.

Hmm. Publish a paper finding natural climate variation and lose your funding. Self-interest will do in place of a conspiracy; esp. if those who don't go along wind up with no funding in the long run. And what's with that 3) above? That's not science; that's politics.

What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year.
And that which was prov'd true before
Proved false again? Two Hundred more.
-- Samuel Butler, Hudibras


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
I own a copy of a book that does for price data what those charts do for global temperatures. David Hackett Fischer's The Great Wave. His date runs clear back to the Middle Ages. If you look at the 20th century price wave, the Greap Depression is barely a blip in the more-than-century-long inflationary pattern.

Just goes to prove the Great Depression was nonexistent, just an artifact of junk economics. Doesn't it?
Dec. 13th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
Not necessarily. It's problematical enough to reconstruct temperatures into eras when they were not measured. Prices are almost impossible. A few things, maybe, like a bushel of wheat. But then a bushel of wheat did not mean the same thing in an agricultural society as in an industrial society or a service society. For one thing, the bushel did not have near as many other products jostling in the market place.

John Lukacs once wondered what the GNP meant when the value of tons of steel poured was added to the value of the gallons of martinis poured for the businessmen at lunch. It was not, he said, that the figures were meaningless, but that they might not mean what we think.

So, too, even in modern times. We can compare the price of a new Ford automobile in 2009 with a new Ford in 1959, but they are not really the same thing. A day in a hospital is not the same kind of service in 2009 as in 1959. A new house. Etc. That is, the qualities possessed by these things are different, more numerous, and more complex. How legitimate is it to compare the price of a light bulb with the price of the candles with "equivalent" lighting?

Lots of fun.
Dec. 13th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
IIRC, he used basic commodities. Wheat or the equivalent grains. I noticed a major and very brief price spike in Ancient Greece on one of his charts (he had charts for the well-recorded parts of the Classical Era) and that one stood out profoundly. I checked the period on the X-axis.

His data had picked up the only thing it could be in that period, the Siege of Athens. That impressed ME! But yes, I hear you about the equivalence of the steel poured in the factory and the martinis poured in the lounge.

And don't get me started on the liquid manure poured in the corridors of power.
Dec. 14th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
No, but it does prove that any economic theory which denies that a Great Depression can occur is junk economics. And that still doesn’t address the question of how and why the inflationary pattern happened, about which any number of junk theories can be proposed.

Mann’s infamous graph pretends that the Mediaeval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and the cooling trend of 1940-1970 were all nonexistent. The IPCC models attempt to account for this bogus description of the data by ascribing all climatic variation to anthropogenic causes. Solar variability was not taken into consideration, and no attempt was made to model cloud cover. Water-vapour forcing was taken, ignorantly, to scale proportionally with CO2 forcing. The Pacific heat-engine effect had not even been studied at the time the IPCC did its first report, and has never been taken into account in the models. In short, every factor but CO2 was eliminated from consideration. It is obvious why the models concluded that CO2 forcing causes all climate variation: they brought that conclusion to the argument. The entire process was a gigantic exercise in petitio principii — and that, ma’am, is junk science.
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
AGW notes...
M_Francis, I'm not sure if you've seen this blog before - but if not, I think you'd find it of interest.

In particular the data about October AGW in the US states is interesting.

(Personally, I've never taken a side in the AGW debate - I've always focused on the policies, most of which I think are inane or illegitimate. But, lately, the data's making me think twice about the reality of AGW.)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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