January 26, 2010


by John P. Costella

March 2, 2001: email 0983566497

Chick Keller, of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California at San Diego, United States, writes to Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Tom Crowley, Jonathan Overpeck, Tom Wigley, and Mike MacCracken, pointing out problems in the historical temperature estimates obtained from individual “proxy” methods:

Anyone looking at the records gets the impression that the temperature variation for many individual records or sites over the past 1000 years or so is often larger than 1°Celsius. … And they see this as evidence that the 0.8°Celsius or so temperature rise in the 20th century is not all that special.

He then makes note of a trick that they have used to mask this effect:

The community of climate scientists, however, in making averages of different proxies gets a much smaller amplitude of about 0.5°Celsius, which they say shows that reasonable combinations of effects can indeed explain this and that the 20th century warming is unique.

Keller realizes the mistake inherent in this trick shortly. First, he provides an excellent summary of the debate:

Thus, the impasse—one side the skeptics pointing to large temperature variations in many records around the globe, and the other side saying, “Yes, but not at the same time and so, if averaged out, is no big deal.”

He then points out that this glib brush-off is simply not valid:

But, just replying that events don’t happen at the same time (sometimes by a few decades) is the reason might not be enough. It seems to me that we must go one step further. We must address the question: what effects can generate large … temperature variations over hundreds of years, regional though they may be (and, could these occur at different times in different regions due to shifting climate patterns)? If we can’t do this, then there might be something wrong with our rationale that the average does not vary much even though many regions see large variations. This may be the nub of the disagreement, and until we answer it, many careful scientists will decide the issue is still unsettled, and that indeed climate in the past may well have varied as much or more than in the last hundred years.

This remarkable statement—mailed to all of the key players in this scandal—shows that they knew, clearly, more than eight years before the Climategate whistle-blower released these emails, that the entire basis of their claims was on shaky ground.

In his last paragraph, Keller points out the elementary mathematical error in the “averaging trick”:

Also, I note that most proxy temperature records claim timing errors of … 50 years ahead or behind the correct date or so. What is the possibility that records are cancelling each other out on variations in the hundred-year timeframe due simply to timing errors?

There are, in fact, many more mathematical reasons why the “averaging trick” is completely wrong; but Keller’s observation is completely correct, and by itself discredits the entire discipline of work establishing these “multi-proxy” historical temperature estimates

1 comment:

  1. This is MediaGate, not ClimateGate! Are you angry about this obvious RICO Act fraud and the national media's complicity in the cover-up, misinformation, reframing and misdirection of the issue and the related “carbon derivatives” market Obama’s Administration is spinning up? Why pay for propaganda? Take responsibility and take action. STOP all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. STOP donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The World Wildlife Fund. They have violated the public trust. KEEP donations local, close to home. MAKE donations to Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe, the only politician to stand firmly against this obvious government/media coordinated information operation (propaganda) targeted at its own people. People that government leaders and employees are sworn to protect. WRITE your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. Carbon is the stuff of life. He (Obama) who controls carbon, especially CO2, controls the world. Think of the consequences if you do nothing! For one, the UK is becoming the poster child for George Orwell’s “1984” and the US government’s sponsorship of this worldwide Global Warming propaganda campaign puts it in a class with the failed Soviet Union’s relentless violation of the basic human right to truthful government generated information. Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?