I had recently posted an excerpt from a New York Times article on new global warming research which suggested that, but for man-made global warming, the Earth would be stuck in a new ice age. In my post, I raised concerns that the research was viewed favorably by Michael Mann, a global warming proponent whose so-called "hockey-stick" graph had long been discredited.
My suspicions were justified. Powerline Blog explains the problem:
Now Steve McIntyre, who was principally responsible for showing that Mann’s original hockey stick was a fraud, has gone over Marcott’s data on the key proxies he uses for 20th century temperatures, ocean cores. McIntyre found that Marcott and his colleagues used previously published ocean core data, but have altered the dates represented by the cores, in some cases by as much as 1,000 years. Anthony Watts sums up:
It seems the uptick in the 20th century is not real, being nothing more than an artifact of shoddy procedures where the dates on the proxy samples were changed for some strange reason.McIntyre’s post on his research is here. This chart shows how critical Marcott’s re-dating was to his conclusion that temperatures spiked in unprecedented fashion in the 20th century. The red line shows ocean core temperatures using the original dates under which the data were published: it shows cooling during the 20th century. The black line shows the same data, only with the dates changed by Marcott. It shows temperatures rising significantly, rather than declining:
If this is not flat-out fraud–which, sadly, has come to typify the climate alarmism movement–then what is the justification for Marcott’s wholesale re-dating of samples? We are reminded of the NOAA/NCDC weather data on the U.S., which are routinely relied on by alarmists who claim that the last few years have been the warmest ever. In order to justify this assertion, NOAA has gone back and revised the data for prior decades. Instead of reporting temperatures for prior decades, like the 1930s, as it did at the time and for many years thereafter, NOAA has now changed those temperatures downward to support the politically-motivated claim that the last years of the 20th century were the warmest ever. If you look at NOAA data today for the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, etc., you will have no idea that the numbers NOAA now reports are not the ones that were measured by thermometers at the time.Read the whole thing. As the adage goes, "if you torture the data long enough, it will confess."
In short, the global warming movement is corrupt to the core. Billions of dollars in government funding–I am too polite to say “bribes”–have bought not just the acquiescence but the eager collaboration of many scientists in a massive fraud. If Marcott wants to distinguish himself from fraudsters like Michael Mann, he has a great deal of explaining to do.
Except this goes beyond mere torture of the data. This is the 21st Century's "Piltdown man"; except that trillions of dollars and the future of the West's economy was not at risk with the Piltdown man fiasco.
Update (4/12/2013): Rebuttal article at Ars Technica.