Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.” — John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
The 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report included evidence in the form of a “hockey stick” graph, showing that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) did not exist. Less prominent, but just as wrong, was erasure of the Little Ice Age (LIA). Proponents of the IPCC hypothesis that human CO2 is causing global warming were mainly connected with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Leaked CRU emails, beginning with 1000 in late 2009, exposed the corruption of climate science of the IPCC. CRU people controlled critical portions of IPCC Working Group I. They set up procedures to control the peer-review process, control data, and attack any who challenged, especially if it was with contradictory evidence.
This was necessary because they deliberately thwarted the scientific method by presenting an hypothesis and blocking normal and essential skepticism. They determined to prove rather than disprove the hypothesis. As Richard Lindzen correctly observed decades ago, the consensus was reached before the research had even begun. Evidence emerged, despite their efforts, so they created pseudoscientific vehicles to counterattack.
One vehicle was William Connolley’s control of over 500 Wikipedia articles.
Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period.
The web site, RealClimate, was another major vehicle created by Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, who invented the name.
A group of scientists established themselves as the palace guard for the gang at the CRU. Mann and Schmidt led and quickly earned reputations for aggressive, assertive, replies to challenges. They saw them as threats rather than contributions. It was the attitude that if you are not with me you must be against me. On December 10, 2004 Schmidt set the tone when he wrote,
Colleagues, No doubt some of you share our frustration with the current state of media reporting on the climate change issue. Far too often we see agenda-driven “commentary” on the Internet and in the opinion columns of newspapers crowding out careful analysis. Many of us work hard on educating the public and journalists through lectures, interviews and letters to the editor, but this is often a thankless task. In order to be a little bit more pro-active, a group of us (see below) have recently got together to build a new ‘climate blog’ website: RealClimate.org which will be launched over the next few days:
It sounds innocent but was used in a very different manner. Schmidt’ phraseology is revealing.
The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds and give more context to climate related stories or events.
The phrase “working climate scientists” was used frequently as a put down, such as by Andrew Weaver in his public attacks against me. Unless you are one, you have no credibility or right to an opinion. It reflected concern about the growing group of qualified, but older climate experts, speaking out about what the IPCC was doing. It was a deliberate attempt to marginalize.
What is a “bombshell” paper? Invariably, it was one that contradicted their claims. Normally, these were ones that showed current climate is well within natural variability and not linked to human activity. The fundamental objective of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis is to show human behavior and particularly industrial development is unnatural and creating unnatural changes. This illusion allows them to point to any natural event and imply it is unnatural. Skeptical evidence consistently showed it was not, but most people didn’t know, so, sadly, it was effective.
Examples of Spin
Temperature range in the Antarctic ice core record (Figure 1) is approximately 12°C and the three previous Interglacials were warmer than today. Both facts were effectively ignored by diverting attention to the apparent relationship with CO2. Within five years it was shown to be opposite to the assumption in the hypothesis because temperature changed before CO2.
The Holocene Optimum, formerly called the Hypsithermal and/or the Climatic Optimum, was a warm period during which most of ice from the last Ice Age phase melted. Several have written effectively about AGW claims for this period, including Steve McIntyre and. Anthony Watts. Michael Mann’s comment was an attempt to deflect the evidence.
This [Holocene Climatic Optimum] is a somewhat outdated term used to refer to a sub-interval of the Holocene period from 5000-7000 years ago during which it was once thought that the earth was warmer than today. We now know that conditions at this time were probably warmer than today, but only in summer and only in the extratropics of the Northern Hemisphere.
Mann is incorrect because most of the last 10,000 years was warmer than today as the Greenland ice core shows.
Figure 2; Composite PowerPoint slide. Source: The Author
Two indicators of the temperature range are the Greenland ice cores and the global sea level increase. Figure 2 is a slide linking R. B. Alley’s temperature plot with a photograph of a fossilized 4940-year-old White Pine located 100 km north of the current tree line. Graph temperature range is approximately 4°C.
Sea level rise is compiled in Figure 3 and shows most occurred between 15,000 and 7,000 years ago. It is not a sub-interval as Mann claims.
Determination to rewrite history and “prove” the claim that current climate is unnaturally warmer than ever, really became focused after the 1990 IPCC Report.
It contained the illustration 7 (c) that showed the MWP and the LIA (Figure 4) and contradicted the IPCC hypothesis.
My discussions with Lamb about the graph involved the beginning and ending points of both the MWP and the LIA. It was crucial because my period of study potentially covered the end of the MWP and the onset of the LIA. Those questions didn’t concern the IPCC because for them they didn’t exist. He said the graph was of temperatures for the Northern Hemisphere and the dotted line represented the average temperature of the 20th century. Lamb defined them by the dotted line on the graph, as the labeling indicates.
It was also in a region, central Canada, were transition was important because it covers the annual shift of the Circumpolar Vortex (CV). The average latitude changes in mid continent seasonally from approximately 30° to 65°, but these latitudes change as global climate changes. The latitude shift in the CV was captured in my analysis of wind directions, among other variables. This was included in my doctoral thesis (1982) and peer-reviewed papers.
Figure 5 shows changing percentages of southerly winds at York Factory for two decades: 1721 -31 was within the LIA and 1841 – 1851 apparently not.
Source: Ball,.T.”A Dramatic Change in the General Circulation on the West Coast of Hudson Bay in 1760 A.D.: Synoptic Evidence Based on Historic Records”, Syllogeus Climatic Change in Canada 5: Critical Periods in the Quaternary Climatic History of Northern North America, Editor, C.R. Harington, National Museums of Canada, 1985, Vol. 55, pp. 219-229.
Fewer than 10 percent were southerly winds in the decade 1721 -1731 but they were more than 10 percent between 1841-1851.
The IPCC claimed the MWP and LIA did not exist. This allowed them to avoid the real issue, which is not whether the warmer and cooler periods occurred, but when they began and ended. That question requires an explanation of the mechanism of change. Consider the debate going on today about the changes in the Circumpolar Vortex. Saying they don’t exist eliminated the need to consider evidence of solar causes of changing CV latitude and the shift of patterns between Zonal and Meridional Flow. This, by default, narrows the focus on human production of CO2 as the cause of change.
A general synopsis of Lamb’s views on the MWP and LIA from our discussions is that they both occurred and were global. Dates of onset and termination varied, often significantly, depending on dominant factors in different regions. He identified land – water juxtapositions and topography as two major factors with these being of greater import in Polar Regions.
The IPCC set up a system to prove the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. They created a false imagery, supposedly verified by computer models, orchestrated to produce predetermined results. They made valiant efforts to control the entire climate research area, from funding through peer review and publications. Despite these efforts, evidence kept emerging that disproved the hypothesis. Instead of accepting and accommodating, they set up agencies to counter and hopefully negate them. This paralleled their practice of changing names from global warming to climate change, when temperatures leveled after 1998, while CO2 continued to rise. They effectively blocked advances in climate research for 30 years. They had sufficient success to fool the world into unnecessary energy and economic policies that have cost billions so far and it is not over yet, as the Obama administration attacks on coal illustrate.