The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Follow the "hockey stick" debate

There is a great new website for following the current debate over the proxy temperature record.

The site is run by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, the authors of the recent paper which challenged the research methods and results of Mann, Bradley and Hughes. Under fire is the "hockey stick" model so popular with the IPCC and those who would have us believe that the 1990s was the hottest decade for a thousand years.

The issue is pretty technical - concerning the extraction of Principal Components in analysing tree ring data - but not beyond the understanding of general readers with a mathematical background, and, of course, the issue is of supreme importance in the context of the political debate overy Kyoto: if McIntyre and McKitrick are correct, the supporters of anthropogenic climate change must have greatly exaggerated the warming effects of carbon emissions.

They offer a helpful introduction to the issue which they call non-technical. Judge for yourself how non-technical it is!


At 22 February 2005 at 09:12, Blogger Jorgen said...

I would have thought the global arctic winter they were bleating about in the 60ies(?) would make up for the global warming they are bleating about now, giving a big zero worries as result. But unfortunately not so.

I also remember that a well-known researcher suggested to melt the arctic ice to prevent the arctic winter - noone were worried about the sealevels then!

At 22 February 2005 at 09:51, Blogger rexie said...

It is astonishing how confident people can be about future weather. We were only into the second week of February when the first predictions that 2005 would be the warmest year ever started coming out -

As I have suggested before, this confidence indicates an attachment to a favoured hypothesis at odds with a truly scientific attitude.

Meanwhile, in the UK the big freeze continues. Frankly I was sceptical that Kyoto would deliver the goods this quickly.


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