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« Great pictures of Afghanistan | Main | Obama is learning, right? »

November 22, 2009



McIntyre, a global warming skeptic, reviewed the data presented by Briffa, a global warming theorist, and concluded Briffa had “cherry-picked” trees.

This statement is incorrect. McIntyre never actually made such a conclusion. However, given that McIntyre's computations of the full set of trees produced opposite results of Briffa's subset of trees, this was the implication. McIntyre left room for Briffa to provide some explanation for his tree selection. We're all still waiting for that explanation.

Frank Warner

OK, corrected. He might have cherry-picked his trees.


Sorry to nitpick, Frank, but McIntyre made no conclusion regarding cherry picking; he even went as far as to say that there may be some sort of explanation. He simply presented the evidence. What was clear was that Briffa had some 'splainin' to do. It was intuitively obvious that cherry picking was certainly one possible explanation.

The other part of this discovery is that, even if Briffa somehow has a valid explanation for choosing the trees that he did, this data can no longer be used to support global warming as, now that we have seen the entire data set, it is evident that there is no consensus among the tree rings. Some go this way and some go that way.

Frank Warner

No problem with nitpicking on this. That helps clarify the real questions. So would an energetic public debate.

My initial description of McIntyre's position was influenced by Tim Osborn's characterization of McIntyre's position as “The tree ring data was hand-picked to get the desired result.”

jj mollo

I have to agree to this extent. I saw a fair amount of academic distortion, bias and self-promotion when I worked in that environment. Most of the deception is self-deception, but it is there. Other more deliberate deception has been out there since the days of Paracelsus. The famous Cyril Burt fraud led to long-lasting fundamental policy in British education during the 20th century. Some people were suspicious even at the time. His fraud was generally accepted because of his respected position in Science and society.

Science does, obviously, make progress in spite of these events. We need to apply skepticism, but I don't think you have a smoking gun in the case of climate fraud conspiracy. Scientists tend to be very competitive, gossipy and even catty. They will go to great lengths to put spin on their viewpoints, but not because they are determined to perpetrate a fraud.


Except for the conspiracy aspects of the contents of, exactly why was all this stuff secret in the first place ?

Likewise, if the part of the theory that says this was put together as part of the review to Steve McIntyre’s FOIA request, exactly what contained with, aside from the embarrassing conspiracy perpetrated by CRU employees, were the CRU officials trying to protect by denying the request.

Finally, the legal department of CRU found nothing strange reading this material that obviously reveals many unethical, if not illegal, acts by CRU employees ?

Frankly, the best course for the CRU and the University of East Anglia is to announce that a ongoing probe had been started on Nov. 12, 2009 into the actions of various employees of the CRU, from material that came to light because of a FOIA request.


Michael Mann told me this when I was in HS, but I never believed it. Because he was so creepy and cryptic. He said*:

Tree rings to rule them all,
Tree rings to find them,
Tree rings to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them
In the UN, where the Shadows lie.

Frankly, I'm amazed that any scientist not in the pay of the alarmists give these guys any credence at all. Oh yeah, we don't.

* - what I mean by 'he said' is that 'they all said' bullsh*t. There's nothing to this climate crap. It's just a way to make money off of others without actually producing something. I hate this BS, and have said so on this very blog since 2004.

Frank Warner

I think that was Gandalf Mann, Michael's older brother.

Frank Warner

As the Germans are saying, Es war eine Frage der Zeit, dass dieser grösste Betrug in der Geschichte der Menschheit auffliegt.

It's the worst scandal in Geschichte.

Carbon Advice Group

HI Friend,

How is Briffa different from Al Gore. Has Briffa has more data's with him to put forth his views.

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"...moving money from those that have it to those that need it."

I need some money. Can you give me some?

John P A

One of the main questions from the tree ring case, which IMHO deserves to be repeated a bit more is:

If climate science 'works', then how come it was Steven McIntyre who discovered this problem with the tree rings?

It has been asserted to us that McIntyre is nothing but a fraud ('flat-earther', 'saboteur'), furthermore that climate science is driven by thousands of expert, well educated and extremely critical scientists who cross-examine all evidence and is very conservative in the conclusions that they draw.

If that is the case, how come that nobody out of those thousands of scientists spotted the problem before McIntyre?


Excellent point.

McIntyre found:
1) enough errors in Mann's "peer reviewed" hockey stick paper that Mann was forced by the publisher to write a corrigendum (correction).

2) a bug in Hanson's NASA/GISS temperature computations such that Hanson was forced to restate the warmest year of the 20th century. It changed from 1998 to 1934.

3) that the subset (12 out of 30) of Yamal tree rings chosen to be used in Briffa's "peer reviewed" paper provided opposite results to the 18 tree rings he omitted without explanation and kept from public view for nine years.

These "scientists" have nothing on McIntyre. You can understand why they hate him. He shows these "experts" to be nothing more than a bunch of bumbling idiots.


My two cents: Multiple tree ring chronologies were not a prlobem til Mann began reinterpreting them and creating his own to show new, exciting results for largescale warming. Boring, pre-1998 chronologies (Huber Lamb, for example) pointed toward a localized: warm Roman Period, warm Medieval Period between the 11th and 14th centuries, cooling Little Ice Age, and slightly warmer 20th century. In other words, just what other proxies and historical records already showed.Steve McIntyre documents in his article how Mann went from his position as a young climate researcher to a known figure in 1998 when he began to prominently featured his own graphs of unprecedented 20th century warming, using principal component analysis. IPPC appointed him to a lead author position for that year's report and Briffa was left behind, apparently out of workMann’s newfound prominence enabled him to escape the precarious life of a post-doc, receiving a faculty position at the University of Virginia a couple of months later. The modern divergence quandary seems less a prlobem if we remain skeptical of the instrumental temperature record as well as the tree ring records. If the e-mails show one thing, it is that ALL the records have issues if they've been created in an atmosphere of agenda-building. Flags for such issues probably first appeared with the first proclamations that global warming and global cooling were, in fact, prlobems .


Kate (02:10:11) : Lord Stern is not a scientist, let alone a climate scientist. Although frequently called an economist, he isn’t, and he’s not even an environmentalist. He is actually a banker, and as such is up to his neck in the global warming industry and “green” investments. Banker?I'd be very tempted to substitute the capital letter, however we rise above it.Lord Stern is a player and I cannot fathom why.At least when I call the Met Office and the CRU, they have some semblance of quasi credibility. If they had at their collective heart, the pursuit of veritable/verifiable pure science as Mr. McIntyre undoubtedly has, I would give them more credence but the ugly face of politics and government grants/research funds colour their judgements/data. I congratulate Mr. McIntyre (and this lot here) for their doggedness and objectivity. If it were not for them and notable other sites, the battle for the scientific truth may already have been yielded to the Alarmists, ecofascists and worst of all 'do gooder' and sanctimonious self aggrandizing politicians.

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