Introducing the anti-hockey stick – 'The Scythe"

We already are well familiar with the shape of the hockey stick, so familiar in fact it has become an icon.

Josh writes:

It has already been concluded by Marcott et al that their results should now show no modern uptick i.e. no Hockey Stick blade. As Richard Drake notes at Climate Audit the new look graph is like a scythe. An appropriate metaphor for those who are now reaping what they sowed for so many years.


Then of course there is the specter of what happens to humanity when the world cools.

Cartoons by Josh

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Jimmy Haigh.
April 1, 2013 11:08 am


April 1, 2013 11:13 am

“The New climate ICON” – dare you click on it???? Beware, the Bogey-Mann will get you!!

April 1, 2013 11:23 am

Great illustration!
If the long cooling trend of the “scythe” is finally reversing back to a warmer climate, what’s wrong with that? Would climate scientists prefer for the cooling to continue?

April 1, 2013 11:24 am

Here’s a suggestion I sent to CFACT (and which Josh is welcome to as well):
Here’s an idea for a billboard (or coffee mug or T-shirt):
Image: A gently upsloping hockey stick-shaft at about 15 or 20 degrees from left to right. Its blade, rather than turning upward, turns flat. (The conventional hockey stick has been in effect flipped over.) The stick is translucently superimposed on a line chart of global temperture since 1976 or so.
Upper caption: “Here’s the LATEST “hockey stick.””
Lower caption: “15 years of no warming. An Inconvenient Truth.”
I think this is superior to the billboard you are currently using, because of its clever turning of the tables on the hockey stick icon.

April 1, 2013 11:37 am

I have always been saying that the most important trend (the most probable to continue and speed up) is the ~10 ka cooling trend.

R. Shearer
April 1, 2013 11:38 am


April 1, 2013 11:39 am

How far are we from full glaciation?

April 1, 2013 11:41 am

Snotrocket, don’t you mean the Bogus-Mann?

John Tillman
April 1, 2013 11:42 am

It will be a cold day in Hell before Manniacs admit the decline.

Bloke down the pub
April 1, 2013 11:43 am

Does he come on an horse called Binky?

April 1, 2013 12:20 pm

The MSM is busily touting a Green Arctic scenario for positive-feedback climate catastrophe. Ah… really? The thinning of Arctic ice is at least 75% governed by the integration-of-exsolation over the arctic winter months. The #1 exsolation (IR radiation) blanket isn’t CO2, but Chinese sulfate/SO2 aerosols. They nucleate near-stratospheric cloud-hazes, which in turn markedly decrease radiation. Air temperature remains low though. Just not enough IR leaving to create the DEPTH of sea ice that used to happen regularly. One needs an analogy no deeper than “thick frost on windshield” of car in winter mornings … when the air temperature clearly did not get below 3 to 4C. Mechanism for freezing? Well, its always the same. IR radiation leading blackbody cooling. Windshield drops to -3C to -10C depending on wind. Moisture condenses as frosts. The New England ponds and lakes all respond to the same phenom. When there’s even modest high hazes … ice thickness doesn’t increase, even when air temp is in the not-too-minus C regime. But, come crystal clear nights … and that ice thickens up quick. Good IR radiator.
At some point, the Chinese will have to be held accountable for their culpability in the Arctic Ice loss saga. Its not CO2… its just hazes and noctilucent-type cloud nucleation enhancement from overloads of SOx aerosols. Thanks China. Y’ bunch of environmentally irresponsible, face-saving, behind-the-curtain cheating bums. Thanks.

April 1, 2013 12:34 pm


April 1, 2013 12:38 pm

But, but, but, it doesn’t look like that if you graft the “modern instrumental record” on it!
Never mind that many of the proxies don’t track the modern instrumental record (ignore divergence; use Mikey’s nature trick, hide the decline). Never mind that Mikey Mann previously stated “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction.”
All of a sudden it’s A-OK to graft the intrumental record onto a proxy data reconstruction? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

April 1, 2013 12:39 pm

Hey, what’s up with the sea ice 30% or greater graphs on the sea ice reference page? We had a sharp drop. Bad equipment?

April 1, 2013 12:56 pm

If the ice age comes we can move deep into the sea, were the missing heat is hiding.

April 1, 2013 1:06 pm

Nice April Fool’s joke. Now maybe you should restore the uptick at the end of the graph.

Gunga Din
April 1, 2013 1:16 pm

Don’t let Mann leave the country! He’ll probably try to fertilize Yamal06 with Viagra.

April 1, 2013 1:18 pm

Ok does that mean that instead of a climate denier I am now a Scyther – sounds a lot cooler (npi)

Chris @NJSnowFan
April 1, 2013 1:36 pm

Is this true article about C02, something I have been saying for years?
If you take away all the BTU heat mankind dumps into the atmosphere (static) every day global temps could fall hard? Can see it in global temps chart in 2008 when world economy came to standstill with releasing BTU heat energy for short time.
Arctic in N hem will continue to melt fast every year because of BC from jet exhaust.

April 1, 2013 1:38 pm

fyi, Revkin at DotEarth/NY Times is getting attacked for even allowing discussion of criticisms of Marcott et al. (2013). Now that he’s been blindsided, sideswiped, and trampled on (mixed metaphors intended) by the Alarmist faithful, perhaps he will start to realize that the religious movement associated with Alarmist is not doing real science any favors:

April 1, 2013 1:39 pm

1 half…of one degree
all of this fuss is over 1/2 a degree….
…and if there wasn’t a retroactive ice age in the early 1900’s…you wouldn’t even have that

William Astley
April 1, 2013 2:01 pm
The extreme AGW paradigm pushers have no explanation and have conveniently ignored the fact that the paleoclimatic data shows the Arctic cyclically warms and cools. Interesting the Antarctic also warms and cools, however, the Antarctic warming and cooling is out of phase with the Arctic warming and cooling. The out of phase warming and cooling of the two poles is called by the specialists ‘the polar see-saw’. (i.e. Exactly what we are observing now, a polar see-saw.)
The 20th century warming follows the same pattern as previous warming and correlates with a significant increase in solar magnetic cycle activity. There was also a significant increase in solar magnetic cycle activity during the other polar see-saws.
Altering data to create a hockey stick graph does not change the fact that observations do not support the extreme AGW theory. The predicted tropical troposphere hot spot is not observed. The majority of the 20th century warming occurred in the North hemisphere and in the Arctic which has not predicted by the AGW theory.
I am truly interested how the key climate scientists and the media who are pushing the extreme AGW paradigm will attempt to explain a cooling planet.
Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock by Stefan Rahmstorf
Many paleoclimatic data reveal a approx. 1,500 year cyclicity of unknown origin. A crucial question is how stable and regular this cycle is. An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system; oscillatory modes within the Earth system can be expected to be far more irregular in period.
The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays
Borehole temperatures in the ice sheets spanning the past 6000 years show Antarctica repeatedly warming when Greenland cooled, and vice versa (Fig. 1) [13, 14]. North-south oscillations of greater amplitude associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events are evident in oxygenisotope data from the Wurm-Wisconsin glaciation[15]. The phenomenon has been called the polar see-saw[15, 16], but that implies a north-south symmetry that is absent. Greenland is better coupled to global temperatures than Antarctica is, and the fulcrum of the temperature swings is near the Antarctic Circle. A more apt term for the effect is the Antarctic climate anomaly.
Attempts to account for it have included the hypothesis of a south-flowing warm ocean current crossing the Equator[17] with a built-in time lag supposedly intended to match paleoclimatic data. That there is no significant delay in the Antarctic climate anomaly is already apparent at the high-frequency end of Fig. (1). While mechanisms involving ocean currents might help to intensify or reverse the effects of climate changes, they are too slow to explain the almost instantaneous operation of the Antarctic climate anomaly.
Figure (2a) also shows that the polar warming effect of clouds is not symmetrical, being most pronounced beyond 75◦S. In the Arctic it does no more than offset the cooling effect, despite the fact that the Arctic is much cloudier than the Antarctic (Fig. (2b)). The main reason for the difference seems to be the exceptionally high albedo of Antarctica in the absence of clouds.
The following is a link to Bond’s paper “Persistent Solar influence on the North Atlantic Climate during the Holocene”
Excerpt from the above linked paper:
“A solar influence on climate of the magnitude and consistency implied by our evidence could not have been confined to the North Atlantic. Indeed, previous studies have tied increases in the C14 in tree rings, and hence reduced solar irradiance, to Holocene glacial advances in Scandinavia, expansions of the Holocene Polar Atmosphere circulation in Greenland; and abrupt cooling in the Netherlands about 2700 years ago…Well dated, high resolution measurements of O18 in stalagmite from Oman document five periods of reduced rainfall centered at times of strong solar minima at 6300, 7400, 8300, 9000, and 9500 years ago.”

April 1, 2013 2:10 pm


April 1, 2013 2:50 pm

bibliovore says:
April 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Nice April Fool’s joke. Now maybe you should restore the uptick at the end of the graph.

Irrelevant, biblio–and the joke’s on you, us, and everybody, unfortunately.
Because that’s the type of temperature trend seen in every Interglacial–it cools progressively towards the end then drops off the temperature cliff as the Earth plunges into another 100,000 years of miserable ice.
And from geologic indicators, it happens quickly–in as little as 2-3 years based on Alpine palynology, or 9-12 months based on peat bog palynology.
I’m afraid your little temperature up-tick tantrum isn’t going to thwart Earth’s progression into the next Ice Age one bit. In fact, for you CAGW people, I propose a name for the next Ice Age to help you understand it better. We’re currently in the Holocene; next will be the Obcene!
It will be that devastating.

April 1, 2013 3:01 pm

The grim reaper has this week visited a flea circus in AGW-devoted Germany, freezing to death 300 circus fleas in transit to a performance.
In Terry Pratchet’s Discworld there was a Death of rats – it follows that there must be a Ctenocephalide version also – the Death of fleas.

April 1, 2013 3:12 pm

Great cartoon Josh. The likes of Marcott and Shakun, Hansen, Mann etc. might be advised to take a look over their shoulder.

John F. Hultquist
April 1, 2013 3:16 pm

Bloke down the pub says:
April 1, 2013 at 11:43 am
Does he come on an horse called Binky?

The rider of a pale horse is death.
. . . Revelation 6:7-8 NIV
. . . the Clint Eastwood movie.
Josh, well done!

Steve from Rockwood
April 1, 2013 3:16 pm

Skiphil says:
April 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Revkin interviews Shakun. Shakun says:
“Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century.”
and then he says:
“We showed that no temperature variability is preserved in our reconstruction at cycles shorter than 300 years”
And they wonder why we don’t believe in their “science”.

April 1, 2013 3:17 pm

Blackadder figured it out back in the Elizabethan era:

April 1, 2013 3:31 pm

Josh is on a roll…

April 1, 2013 3:35 pm

April 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Mike McMillan
April 1, 2013 4:21 pm

GoatGuy says: April 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm
… At some point, the Chinese will have to be held accountable for their culpability in the Arctic Ice loss saga. Its not CO2… its just hazes and noctilucent-type cloud nucleation enhancement from overloads of SOx aerosols. Thanks China. Y’ bunch of environmentally irresponsible, face-saving, behind-the-curtain cheating bums. Thanks.

Sticks and stones, GoatGuy. An ice free arctic means the Northwest and Northeast Passages will be open, which saves about 2000 miles when they’re shipping goods from China to Europe and the US east coast. All roses, no thorns from their viewpoint.

April 1, 2013 5:00 pm

Love the smile on the grim reaper Josh, made me laugh out loud!

April 1, 2013 5:22 pm

Oh, THAT scythe! I knew they were calling it a scythe but they didn’t have it oriented that way.

April 1, 2013 5:35 pm

Might I humbly suggest that, for the other side of the story, one check out the FAQ on Marcott, et al at RealClimate. The headline writers at the New York Times are nowhere to be found. After reading the comments above, it would appear most have a beef with the latter and not Marcott, et al. JP

April 1, 2013 6:37 pm


Lew Skannen
April 1, 2013 6:38 pm

You are going to kick off a whole new round of allegations of “Death Threats” amongst any timid little Australian climate ‘scientists’ who see this cartoon!!

April 1, 2013 7:09 pm

Russia has to use icebreakers to maintain navigable channels in Arctic waters along its Northern coastline. Wikipedia may be a poor source but this is not controversial data and I found it in thirty seconds:
“Russia is planning to start building new icebreakers (Project 22220 or ЛК60Я) after 2010. In June 2008 the head of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said “It is important to not only use the existing fleet of icebreakers, but also to build new ships, and the first nuclear icebreaker of a new generation will be built by 2015. This should be an icebreaker capable of moving in rivers and seas”, he said. He went on saying that the Iceberg Design Bureau in St. Petersburg would prepare the design of the icebreaker by 2009.[3] According to the BBC the LK-60 (ЛК60Я) will be the biggest nuclear-powered icebreaker that was ever built.[4] Vladimir Putin said in 2010, Russia builds at least three nuclear icebreakers of the new generation in the period from 2012 to 2020. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom ordered the responsible operator Atomflot to build up to three nuclear icebreakers until 2016. The construction of a nuclear-powered icebreaker takes eight years, the battery life is about 25 years and can be renewed. According to the Transport Ministry, Russia needs six new icebreakers in the future.”
For anybody to prattle on about a “ice free Arctic” in spite of such abundantly andinstantly accessible realities to the contrary is like someone shoving their fingers in their ears and going “lalalala I dont hear you lalalal”.

April 1, 2013 8:16 pm

Because an ice-free Arctic isn’t going to last year-round, Wamron.
Anthony, are you suggesting that there is no modern warming trend? That is what your comic there suggests.

Eugene WR Gallun
April 1, 2013 8:23 pm

Great cartoon — so simple yet says so much.
Eugene WR Gallun

Gail Combs
April 1, 2013 8:47 pm

omnologos says:
April 1, 2013 at 11:39 am
How far are we from full glaciation?
It is not full glaciation that is the problem it is the very bumpy ride on the way down. This is the point that everyone who figures the descent into full glaciation is slow and takes thousands of years misses. Those abrupt temperature changes ( up to 16°C) in a few years are a real witch.

WUWT: The Antithesis
Higher resolution proxy studies from many parts of the planet suggest that the end interglacials may be quite the wild climate ride from the perspective of global climate disruption.
Boettger, et al (Quaternary International 207 [2009] 137–144) abstract it:

“In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”

WUWT: On “Trap-Speed”, ACC and the SNR

Perhaps one of the more poignant moments in all of climate science occurred in 1992, documented by John D. Cox, writing in “Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate Change and What it Means for our Future (John Henry Press, an imprint of the National Academies Press, ISBN: 0-309-54565-X, 224 pages, 2005), which describes the initial discovery of Abrupt Climate Change (ACC) and also introduces a main character, Dr. Richard B. Alley….

….“’You did not need to be a trained ice core observer to see this,’ recalled Alley.
…“It slides across in front of me and I’m trying to identify years: ‘That’s a year, that’s a year and that’s a year, and—woops, that one’s only half as thick.’ And it’s sitting there just looking at you. And there’s a huge change in the appearance of the ice, it goes from being clear to being not clear, having a lot of dust.”

Paper after paper began to roll off the scientific presses from 1992 on, and just like the unfolding recognition of plate tectonics which preceded it by a few decades, it was literally riveting for all of us geologists fascinated by the Quaternary. So we get our first trap-speed: climate can switch abruptly from its cold to its warm state in just one year….

McClenney has gathered together information from several papers that show the climate can change very abruptly Glacial => interglacial in just one year.

Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps.”
“The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.” (“Abrupt Climate Change – Inevitable Surprises”, Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, 2002, ISBN: 0-309-51284-0, 244 pages, Richard B. Alley, chair).

WUWT: Can we predict the duration of an interglacial? Perspective by William McClenney on the paper of the same title by: P. C. Tzedakis, E.W. Wolff, L. C. Skinner, V. Brovkin, D. A. Hodell, J. F. McManus, and D. Raynaud
That paper says that the reappearance of the bipolar seesaw means we have ALREADY made the transition
“…thus, the first major reactivation of the bipolar seesaw would probably constitute an indication that the transition to a glacial state had already taken place….”
WUWT: The End Holocene, or How to Make Out Like a ‘Madoff’ Climate Change Insurer
Many thanks to William McClenney for the information. (I am still busy reading the papers)

April 1, 2013 8:57 pm

“Ryan Gainey says:
April 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm
Anthony, are you suggesting that there is no modern warming trend? That is what your comic there suggests.”
There is no modern warming trend using their data. Their century smoothing resolution is too coarse and the warming at present too brief to be visible.

April 1, 2013 9:16 pm

Nice cartoon Josh.
I need a catch phrase.
Return of the Sythe?
Marcottgate and the Lost Blade?
Blade Ruiner?
Blade in a Sling?
Where’s the Blade?
Where has all the warming gone?

April 1, 2013 10:37 pm

Josh, outstanding.
Let’s hope it doesn’t prove too prescient.

John Galt
April 1, 2013 11:39 pm

The best and brightest of us should get together and buy madagascar and move there and then just let the rest of the world go to hell in a handbasket.

April 2, 2013 2:35 am

At April 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm you say

Might I humbly suggest that, for the other side of the story, one check out the FAQ on Marcott, et al at RealClimate.

With no humility of any kind I suggest that
only a fool would trust anything said on that pseudoscience propaganda blog
an advertisement for that blog from an anonymous source is disingenuous and not “humble”.
Marcott et al. is either scientific fraud or gross scientific incompetence,. There are no other possibilities.
You don’t cite any other possibilities because there are none and, instead, you advertise a climate porn cite.
Have you no shame?

Robert of Ottawa
April 2, 2013 12:10 pm

This cartoon highlights what always puzzled me about the import of this paper. If it’s been as hot in the past as it is now, what’s the big deal?

April 2, 2013 4:05 pm

Yet another occasion Michael Mann could have refrained and a Livescience journalist, Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer case of being in cahoot:
“4. Skeptic
When people don’t accept human-caused climate change, the media often describes those individuals as “climate skeptics.” But that may give them too much credit, Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, wrote in an email.
“Simply denying mainstream science based on flimsy, invalid and too-often agenda-driven critiques of science is not skepticism at all. It is contrarianism … or denial,” Mann told LiveScience.
Instead, true skeptics are open to scientific evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.
“All scientists should be skeptics. True skepticism is, as [Carl] Sagan described it, the ‘self-correcting machinery’ of science,” Mann said.”
Marcott that one in my books!

April 2, 2013 7:20 pm

John Parsons AKA atarsinc
richardscourtney says:
I’m “a fool”, that I’m “disingenuous” and that I have “no shame”. And what did I do to deserve this bitter, angry ad hominem barrage? I suggested that folks look at what the authors have to say for themselves. I didn’t say to like it, or even believe it. Just take in the information and make up your own mind. If all you want is the echo of your own voice, by all means look no further. JP

Sam the First
April 3, 2013 5:45 am

@ John Parsons: I’m sure any of us following this story (ie everyone reading this thread) has already looked at the FAQ – AND at the critique of its shortcomings and obfuscations already published in various places, inc at Climate Audit.
As for RealClimate, why would anyone trust a source which routinely censors comments and even legitimate corrections of error, when they fail to support the AGW mantra? This censorship alone renders them redundant, for purposes of information or debate.
Why would any of us wish to read anything on a blog where scientists and skilled amateurs we respect for their dedication to revealing the truth, are routinely insulted and blocked? The posting of this ‘FAQ’ – which fails to answer any of the important questions raised esp at CA – behind the most notorious ‘Team’ censorship wall, already tells us all we need to know concerning its integrity.

April 3, 2013 7:11 am

I’m waiting for John Parsons to answer Sam the First’s (April 3, 2013 at 5:45 am) questions.
Apparently, John Parsons isn’t willing or able to, which points directly to his and The Team’s lack of integrity as described by Sam.
Such is the sorry state of the CAGW cult.
John–I don’t visit RealClimate because it is nothing more than self-aggrandizing propaganda by Genocidal Warmistas. They do that because they are egotistical advocates of something that’s a false assumption and are blinded by pay exceeding their integrity (every man has his price).
Or do you have any proof CO2 is bad for the climate or biosphere? (You’re not putting your CO2 footprint above those dying daily because you’ve been brainwashed, too, have you?)

April 3, 2013 7:20 am

“Simply denying mainstream science based on flimsy, invalid and too-often agenda-driven critiques of science is not skepticism at all. It is contrarianism … or denial,” Mann told LiveScience.
The specific man in denial is the one who still advocates a fraudulent hockey stick. (Mann’s another guy whose ego and pay has destroyed his integrity. Such is the fate of many self-serving “saviors” of mankind.)

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