Dec 11 2009

Climate Detective Steve McIntyre Solves Another “Hide The Decline” Coverup

Folks, editing this into real English!

Steve McIntyre, a retired business man from Canada who is well versed in statistical methods, has been uncovering a number of serious and fatal flaws in the science of global warming. One of his most famous is where he showed how warmists (and Al Gore) were splicing two data  sets onto a graph to create the mirage of rampant global warming (the infamous Hockey Stick). This is scientific fraud my friends – plain and simple.

Today McIntyre treats us to a detailed and technically rich forensic report on how Mann, Jones and others were pressured by the IPCC to make current climate look much more dramatic than it was (or is). They needed to show unprecedented warming, and they data was not giving them what they needed.

Steve is a very detailed oriented fellow, and his methods are complete and extremely well documented. Which means they don’t translate well into the sound bite thinking of the news media (who can barely grasp what this is all about anyway). So while I was reading his post I wanted to show a synopsis of his findings, and I found something extremely disturbing and what I see as the end of the global warming myth as we know it. Scientifically it is dead due to the rampant fraud we now see in these newly disclosed efforts to hide the decline.

Let be begin with the first graph produced by the alarmists in 1999 for a meeting in Tanzania, where the IPCC complained the climate change being shown was not dramatic enough.

One thing to note here is how the modern day spike is not much warmer than previous warm periods (the blue region, not the line!). The graph clearly shows the world coming out of the Little Ice Age which ended around 1800-1850. And while this is not very dramatic warming, it does already include an early version of Michael Mann’s “Nature Trick” highlighted in the CRU emails made public.

I have blown the last bit of the graph up to illustrate how these alarmists were already splicing raw data onto statistical data (which, being averaged will have much less variability and therefore lower peaks and shallower valleys than the raw data).

This is a con, a lie,  a deliberate effort to make the current temperatures look dramatic. I call this “Hide The Decline 1” – for Mann’s first effort to appease the IPCC.  We can clearly see the instrument record (red) being used to create a false temperature peak beyond Mann’s statistical model (blue).

Let me illustrate this using a CRU graph of monthly temperature indices verses a trend line (the statistical model of the values – click to enlarge):

See how the black and purple trend lines reside well inside the black and purple ‘raw’ data they represent? This is why you don’t mix the two to create a hybrid (and deceitful) line. You can distort the statistical model (trend) anyway you like by adding in the raw data it is meant to model. That is cheating.

From McIntyre’s investigation the IPCC was not happy with this first attempt to hide the decline with Mike’s Nature Trick. So the ‘scientists’ went back and created a better fiction. Here is their later chart, with the new numbers and a more dramatic rise in modern temperatures.

I wanted to highlight the changes so I laid the charts side by side with the intent of running horizontal lines for comparison. First thing I noticed is the “y” scale in the later graph is 0.5°C higher than the original! They had to raise the scale to absorb their data manipulations and do a better job of making modern climate look unique. That in itself is very telling.

Here is what I finally came up with:

Sort of stunning, isn’t it.

Mann and Jones did something to that original temperature record to push its peak a good deal more beyond the end of the statistical record than in their first try. This is much more than just adding the temperature record to the statistical model as in Hide The Decline 1 – that is shady and fraudulent enough. This is further ‘adjusting’ the temperature record to make it look even more dramatic – a good 0.4°C more dramatic.

What is settled is this is not science, this is a charade. And it would be very difficult to have proven this without the CRU emails and documents dumped late last month.

Through much of this Keith Briffa appears in many of these emails to want to let the data speak for itself. He is constantly badgered to make adjustments, but in the end Mann and Jones simply stop using his data past 1960. I think this is why Briffa may have went searching for the magic larch in Yamal, Russia. The tree that could put his tree ring research back into the IPCC fold (and funding).

If I had to guess who could be a candidate for the whistle blower, right now my money is on Briffa and a band of CRU employees whose conscience finally got the better of them (or the FOIA efforts were going to tip his hand anyway).

I think it is safe to speculate that Mann and Jones were at the center of running the con with a tight group of useful idiots willing to help out (and become famous for their efforts). Then you had a sea of scientists who just wanted to believe the AGW myth and never even attempted to challenge it. Add in gullible journalists and pols without any skill or education to know better one way or the other and you have the current AGW fad.

A fad now being forensically dissected scientifically, possibly exposing a fraud.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Climate Detective Steve McIntyre Solves Another “Hide The Decline” Coverup”

  1. mikegoad says:

    Thanks for this synopsis. I read through Steve’s post, but, as you say, he is very detailed and I would have had to do a lot more studying of what he wrote the really understand it.

    I also watched, this morning, a 1990 Australian documentary posted on The Dog Ate My Data. It’s nearly a full hour, I believe, in 6 YouTube segments, and much of what is in it holds true to day. What was new to me was what the head of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit said about funding.

    According to Professor Tom Wigley, “My organization has only one permanent university funded scientist — and that’s me. I have about a dozen research workers with PhDs who are working in the Climatic Research Unit and they’re all funded on so called soft money. Their existence requires me or us jointly to get external support.”

  2. mbabbitt says:

    I’m finally able to log in, AJ. Thanks. Last night I went to an American Society for Quality (ASQ) monthly meeting in our local chapter. The featured speaker had been trained by W. Edwards Deming and she talked about the PDSA cycle as related to problem solving and as taught by Deming. What stood out for me was Deming’s insistence that not only do you need to have a theory for creating a solution but you need to continuously go back and try to break the theory — maybe you are creating a solution for the wrong problem. And it only takes on significant piece of evidence to invalidate it. Apply this to the CAGW science. Just imagine if the mainstream scientific community honestly (there’s the catch) followed this principle and didn’t leave the attempt to break their theories to the so-called skeptics.

  3. crosspatch says:

    I will repost here what I wrote on Jeff Id’s blog:

    The entire chain of events is sadly disturbing. It looks like Briffa was interested in showing modern temperatures in their proper context WRT warm periods in the past and was interested showing natural climate variation outside of those possibly caused by orbital dynamics. Now, we can’t know what other communications ensued (e.g. telephone calls) but the change in tone within 24hrs from Briffa is interesting.

    It seems as though it was very important for him to remain in the good graces of Jones and the others in the IPCC circle and in order to do so, had to accept that his work would be “filtered” to show only what they (Jones et al) wanted it to show. He allowed his work to be “cherry picked” where the information was “on message” and allowed any data counter to the message to be clipped without formal protest.

    I suppose the pressure can be great. Particularly when it comes to being associated with those who collect all of the research grants.

    It is sad because it appears that he obviously felt pressured to sacrifice his personal integrity in order to remain “in” and protested initially but obviously relented in the end. What if he had dug his heels in? My guess is that he risked having his input dropped completely in order to maintain the “consensus” of the larger group and then possibly being ostracized in the future. That might have a serious negative impact on his ability to obtain research grants (or at least a sacrifice of the positive impact that being cited by the IPCC might have) and could impact review results of any future research.

    I feel a little sorry for Briffa at this point in the same way I feel sorry for a “good” kid who falls in with a bad crowd and allows himself to be influenced by them to do things he knows is wrong.

    It is almost like a gang and sometimes you have to do things you know aren’t right in order to stay in the gang.

  4. AJStrata says:

    Well stated CP. I do think if Briffa was the whistleblower he will upend the entire apple cart. I can’t help but notice he is the only one of the ‘gang’ not out playing defense with the media.

  5. Redteam says:

    mbabbitt, having working in manufacturing for many years, I’m very familiar with Deming and quality cycles.

    you’re right, there was none of that going on in the IPCC work.

    I believe that all they were interested in was ‘getting their story’ out so that the research dollars kept rolling in.

    CP, well said. I worked for a short time (while in college) in a research lab that got dollars from industry to do research for them. We did their projects as they asked us to do and reported ‘exactly’ the results we got to those people. We didn’t alter the results in any way to make them come out a ‘predetermined’ way. I believed then that they wanted accurate results to make determinations on how best to proceed on some of their projects.

    I don’t believe accuracy was ever an objective in IPCC.

  6. mbabbitt says:

    I am hopeful that in the future, we will learn the real story behind the leaked files. “A miracle just happened.” Wasn’t that the statement made by an “RC” when the release occured? That should be the book’s title. Either a simple blunder by the CRU staff with their security and permissions or someone inside took great pains to get the truth out. Right now, it doen’t seem to be a gross hack by a cracker. In any case, it will make a great story of how the Great Climatology Fraud at the turn of the 21st century was cracked wide open and helped prevent not only the financial destruction of the modern, civilized world but also prevented the oppression of the developing world by mad Watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside).

  7. Steve WH says:


    An aspect of the “hockeystick” graph that has often bothered me. Note that the rapid increase starts at ~ 1900 and is as large as the later 20th century increase. The first increase could not have possibly been caused by CO2 or by human influence. Why should the second? If you cannot explain the first increase, no worthwhile scientist would dare claim they know what caused the second.

    What am I missing here? If this cannot be explained, are not the claims emanating from this graph nonsensical? Never mind the atrocious statistics.

  8. Layman says:

    I’m trying to understand this and put it into as simple language as possible. When I look at the first graph the very first thing I notice is the variability in the raw data range. There is a step function change about 1800 where the variability of the data greatly decreases. I assume this is a change from 100% proxy data to actual temeperature measurements in the “modern era”. There is another step function change beginning at about 1960 which I assume is the advent of even more modern land sensing stations.

    Note that at the 1800 mark the range in the data decreased (actual measurements) but that the trend stayed pretty close to the mean line. However, from 1960 forward there is a discontinuity in the trend line. Any one with just a slight knowledge of statistics would see that there is either a change in the data population or in the measuring system. Either one of these invalidates the approach of splicing the records together. If you want to use the post 1960s data it must stand alone, and certainly 40 years is not enough time to proclain any climate trend.

    Its interesting that the spread in the data appears to be about the same from 1800-1960 and 1960-2000, with just a shift in the mean. For fun I overlayed two copies of the graph so I could splice the means of the two groups together. I don’t think it matters if you shift the earlier data up or the latter group down. It shows absolutely no trend toward warming from 1800 onward. A.J. Maybe you could do this with your data file and post it?

  9. scaulen says:

    AJ, would Al Gore have started this whole fraud while he was still in office? And if so wouldn’t a freedom of information act request for all his emails be in order? After all as every one knows, the real money from time spent in politics doesn’t come around until years later when it’s time to call in all those makers.

  10. AJStrata says:


    Gore just isn’t that smart. I think he looked at his ruined political career after giving cover to Clinton and decided to do something important with his life. Sadly, his ego outstrips his intelligence by about 1000:1 and he has mucked his green efforts as well. He must be the only person in history who has had a judge determine his documentary is a patchwork of lies.

  11. […] were Briffa’s work was actually the monkey wrench standing in the way of AGW for a decade (my take on this discovery is here). It now seems that Briffa’s tree ring work was a stubborn outlier which had to be hidden […]

  12. SteveGinIL says:

    mikegoad – I have never forgotten that East Anglia was one of two institutions in the mid-to-late 1970s that was spreading the word that we were entering a new ice age. When I found out they were one decade later pushing global warming, I got really suspicious. It doesn’t prove anything, but your info about them having only one permament paid position – if that isn’t motive for doing something funny, I don’t know what is. Once they found funds coming there way, it was pedal to the metal.

    mbabbitt – The “so-called skeptics” is SUPPOSED to be the rest of the scientific community. SUPPOSEDLY that is what peer review is. Recall the flack Pons and Fleischman had with cold fusion in 1989… everybody and his brother was out there trying to replicate their work to debunk it. The science journals in this are simply pathetic – actually refusing to publish research papers unfriendly to the AGW bandwagon. Their editors should simply be canned.

    Layman – Are you sure that first graph is raw data? I have always read those bands as being AFTER processing. The “wow” in them is simply the uncertainty. There isn’t any uncertainty in raw data – it is what it is. And the raw data is much more wildly erratic than that. Somebody tell me I’m wrong…

    Steve WH – I think Michael Crichton in “State of Fear” pointed out that the temps after the 1940s declined, even though the CO2 was going up. That alone showed (at least very strongly suggested) there was no link between CO2 and temps. RIP, Michael… You were a good sort. When this is all over, there should be an award named after him; he fought the good fight right up until the end.

    For anyone who isn’t aware of it, I’d love to see people putting funding into checking out the impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A climatic phase change for almost the entire northern Pacific, it is many times bigger than the ENSO, if the early numbers check out. That encompasses about 20% of the planet, so there is no way humans are affecting it. It took a biologist to discover it in the 1990s, though George Taylor in Oregon found it earlier and did nothing with it, by his own admission (per a private communication with me).

    So many climate things haven’ been funded because AGW was sucking up every dollar that was available.