first published as weblog three hundred and fourteen on Friday 10th November 2006.

In 2004 John Youngdahl was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with Securities Fraud and Insider Trading. In October 2001 Youngdahl found out that sales of the Treasury Department’s 30-year bonds were going to be cut off. He found this out before the news was made public…and gave his firm’s Bond Traders the tip-off. In a matter of minutes they made a killing estimated at £3.5 million.

Youngdahl was working for Goldman Sachs at the time and is now behind bars...incarcerated in the Land of Striped Sunshine. Ways need to be found to put scientists in the dock too. They have their own forms of Insider Trading and need to be held publicly accountable for their Scientific Fraud. So far they have had an easy ride.

This particular buck starts and stops at the top with the United Nations and its corrupt Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which stands accused of knowingly undervaluing the sun’s effects on historical and contemporary climate, overstating the past century’s temperature increase, arbitrarily repealing a fundamental law of physics for political convenience and tripling the man-made greenhouse effect to shoehorn its computer data into its prejudices.

medievalperiod

IPCC’s third assessment report released four years ago is a Scientific Fraud…right up there with the Blair Dodgy Dossier on non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. The report implies that carbon dioxide ended the last four ice ages by displaying two 450 000 year graphs…a sawtooth curve of temperature and a sawtooth of airborne CO2 that is scaled to look similar. Usually similar curves are superimposed for comparison. The IPCC Report didn’t. If it had the truth would have shown…the changes in temperature preceded the changes in CO2 levels.

In 1995 David Deming…a geoscientist at the University of Oklahoma…reconstructed North America’s historical temperatures from borehole data. He later wrote: ‘With the publication of my article in Science I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them…someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes.’ One of the more important players foolishly let his guard slip and sent Deming an email that said ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.’ So they did.

ipcchockeystick

The second IPCC Report in 1996 showed a 1000-year graph demonstrating that temperature in the Middle Ages was warmer than today. But the third IPCC Report in 2001 contained a new graph showing no medieval warm period. It concluded that the 20th century was the warmest for 1000 years. This is wrong. Here is how it was done.

Firstly IPCC gave one technique for reconstructing pre-thermometer temperature four hundred times more weight than any other…and omitted to mention the fact. The overweighted technique was one which IPCC’s second report had said was unsafe…measurement of tree-rings from bristlecone pines. Tree-rings are wider in warmer years because temperature speeds up growth. But tree fertiliser speeds up growth too and one of them is carbon dioxide so this distorts the calculations unless some way is found to make allowance for shifting carbon dioxide levels.

This might be bad science but need not be criminal. But closer scrutiny shows that the deception goes deeper…a domain of barefaced lying and Scientific Fraud. [1] IPCC stated that 24 data sets were included going back to 1400. But without saying so they left out the set showing the medieval warm period...tucking it away in a folder marked ‘censored data’.

IPCC then used a computer model to draw the graph from the data. Now anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of statistics knows you can best fit data to any curve. Give it a=x+b and you will get a straight line. Give it a=x to the power of b and you will get a curve. IPCC asked for hockey-sticks so it got them…even from random electronic ‘red noise’ you will get your hockey stick by best-fitting it to the hockey stick equation. [2]

The large full-colour hockey stick was the only graph to appear six times in the IPCC Third Report in 2001. The Canadian Government copied it to every household. It is a lie. It took four years for a leading scientific journal to publish the truth. It was ignored. The Canadian Government did not apologise...and IPCC still uses it.

The good news is that the US Senate investigated. They unearthed a conspiracy, labelling the graph ‘meretricious’ and noted that known associates of the scientists who had compiled the graph wrote many of the papers supporting its conclusions. Peer Review is review by cronies who agree with your prejudices. Bad scientists make a big deal of peer view. Good scientists like nothing more than to hear the results of their research argued with reckless bias for and against.

IPCC…and the Stern Report…pretend the graph is not important. But scores of scientific papers show the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than now. [3] There were no glaciers in the tropical Andes, Viking farms in Greenland and little ice at the North Pole when a Chinese naval squadron sailed round the Arctic in 1421.

more from Shepherd on Climate

End Notes

[1] All good stories have their heroes and villains. In the case of The Hockey Stick Saga the chief villain is a young scientist working out of the University of Massachusetts at the time...just across the hall from Lynn Margulis (so he should have known better)...by the name of Michael E. Mann, who was just starting out on his scientific career receiving his PhD in 1998 at the age of 33, when the world-renowned scientific journal Nature published Global scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries on 23rd April 1998 with his UMass colleague Ray Bradley and the University of Arizona’s Malcolm Hughes as co-authors. The heroes are many. There is Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen, Editor of the obscure (but peer-reviewed) scientific journal Energy and Environment and a diverse bunch of scientists and non-scientists behind the Climate Skeptics website. Chief among these was one of the website’s mainstays a brilliant mathematician and by trade a semi-retired Canadian mining engineer, Steve McIntyre. It was McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph who did the detective work that led eventually to the publication on 27th October 2003 in Volume 14, Issue 6 of Energy and Environment of the most influential scientific whistle-blowing article of the past hundred years entitled Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) proxy data base and northern hemisphere average temperature series (Energy & Environment 2003; 14: 751-771). The rest, as they say, is history. If scientific detective stories intrigue you, then the manufactuing of a scientific consensus will also be of interest at http://climate.blog.co.uk/2006/11/13/consensus_statistics~1324679 .

[2] The Hockey Stick Illusion by A.W. Montford provides a thrilling non-scientific narrative that digs deep into the science wars behind the Hockey Stick saga; published by Stacey International and available from UK bookshops. My copy came from Blackwells in Oxford and cost me £10.99 (ISBN: 9 78-1-906768-35-5). Money well spent for anyone intrigued by what lies behind this remarkable tale of ‘scientific misconduct and assiduous sleuthing’...to quote the blurb on the cover.

[3] Two other books published last year that provide an excellent treatment of this subject are Chill: a reassessment of global warming by Peter Taylor (Clairview; ISBN 978 1 905570 19 5) and The Real Global Warming Disaster by Christopher Booker (Continuum; ISBN 978-1-4411-1052-7).