Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
The quote above is from Lord of the Rings, an exchange between Gollum and Smeagol, and it encapsulates my latest results from looking into the Shakun 2012 paper, “Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation” (paywalled, at Nature hereinafter Shakun2012). I discussed the paper in my post “Dr. Munchausen Explains Science By Proxy“. Please see that post for the underlying concepts and citations.
When I left off in that post of mine, I had investigated each of the 80 proxies used in Shakun2012. I plotted them all, and I compared them to the CO2 record used in their paper. I showed there was no way that the proxies could support the title of the paper. Figure 1 recaps that result, showing the difficulty of establishing whether CO2 leads or lags the warming.
Figure 1. All proxies (green dots) from Shakun2012 (Excel spreadsheet). CO2 values digitized from Shakun 2012 Figure 1a. There is pretty good agreement between the warming and the changes in CO2.
Note that the proxies say the earth generally warmed from the last ice age, starting somewhere about 15,000 BC, and the warming lasted until about 9,000 BC. Since then, the proxies have the greatest agreement (darkest green). They say that the globe generally cooled over the length of the Holocene, the current interglacial period since the last ice age.
Today I was thinking about that single record that they used for the CO2 changes. I got to wondering what other ice core CO2 records might show about the change in CO2. So I went and downloaded every ice core CO2 record that I could find that covered the time period 26,000 BC to modern times. I found a number of ice core records that cover the period.
Then I collated all of them in Excel, saved them as a CSV file, opened the file in R, and plotted every ice core CO2 record that covered the record from 26,000 BC up to the present. I standardized them over the same period covered by the Shakun2012 CO2 data. There was excellent agreement between the Shakun2012 data and the ice core records I had downloaded … but there was also a surprise.
Figure 2 shows the surprise …
Dang, I didn’t expect that rise in CO2 that started about 6,000 BC. I do love climate science, it always surprises me … but the big surprise was not what the ice core records showed. It was what the Shakun2012 authors didn’t show.
I’m sure you can see just what those bad-boy scientists have done. Look how they have cut the modern end of the ice core CO2 record short, right at the time when CO2 started to rise again …
I leave the readers to consider the fact that for most of the Holocene, eight
centuries millennia or so, half a dozen different ice core records say that CO2 levels were rising pretty fast by geological standards … and despite that, the temperatures have been dropping over the last eight millennia …
And I leave everyone to ponder how far climate “science” has fallen, that a tricksy study of this nature can be published in Nature, and can get touted around the world as being strong support for the AGW hypothesis. The only thing this study supports is the need for better peer review, and at a more basic level, better science education.
My best to all, stay skeptical,
[UPDATE] A hat tip to Jostein, in the comments he points out that the original Shakun Nature paper is here (pdf).