Is the Hockey Stick Graph Dead?

Novice warmist debunks Michael Mann

Guest essay by David Hoffer

Image by Joanne Nova

Image by Joanne Nova

For those of us who have followed the climate debate for a long time, the notion that Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph might be dead is counter intuitive. For us, the Hockey Stick graph is central to the debate. It’s appearance in one brilliant stroke swept all discussion of the physics of climate change aside, wiped out discussion of sensitivity and natural variability, destroyed in the public’s mind any notion other than climate change was catastrophic and already upon us. Even the climate models played second fiddle to Mann’s tree ring chronology. I submit however, that the Hockey Stick is in fact dead, a symbolic (but important) final blow being struck at WUWT, not by a skeptic, but by a warmist. (Patience, I’ll get to that).

Of course Michael Mann is a major thorn in the side for most skeptics. We gnash our teeth as he takes court action to silence his critics, our blood pressure mounts as he continues to present at major climate conferences, and the increasingly shrill claims he makes drive us batty. But the truth is, the last few years haven’t been t that kind to Michael Mann. No longer does his Hockey Stick graph adorn the front covers of major WMO and IPCC reports. The Nobel Prize committee itself has repudiated his claim to a Nobel Prize. His science has been shredded by Steve McIntyre’s work on Climate Audit, and exposed as flawed in front of the Wegman congressional committee. Even his once comrade in arms, Keith Briffa, has published new tree ring chronologies that restore the Medieval Warm Period that Mann apparently worked so hard to erase. There was a brief moment when Mann thought he would be vindicated and back in the lime light with the publication of Marcott et al, but that paper was savaged almost instantly by McIntyre, Eschenbach and others, to the point that even Marcott admitted that it was not robust enough to draw any conclusions about the modern era. Mann’s presence in the climate debate is a pale shadow of what it once was, though he still shows up at speaking engagements with much the same slides, which it seems he hasn’t bothered to update since 2005. It’s like he isn’t even trying anymore.

But the most cruel blow of all (to date) was dealt to Mann’s Hockey Stick, not by some statistician, or paleo scientist, or physicist or geologist…. But by a warmist who showed up on Sept 3rd on WUWT, going by the screen name JoNovace. Her (I assume it is a “her”) screen name was an obvious play on Jo Nova’s good name, but the twist on the word “novice” turned out to be the very personification of cruel irony. JoNovace in fact exposed herself as a novice, and quite unintentionally, debunked the Hockey Stick in just two sentences.

It started in the November 2nd thread by Dr. Tim Ball titled “IPCC Prediction of Severe Weather Increase Based on Fundamental Error”. JoNovace appeared, making the usual warmist troll assertions. She skipped right into appeal to authority, citing the 97% consensus. She asked who readers would accept advice from for cancer treatment, a survey of football [fans] or from medical professionals. A commenter who pointed out the 18 year hiatus to her was rewarded with her claim that this existed only in the blogosphere and the brain dead. In short, the usual warmist talking points presented in the usual fashion sarcastic fashion. A troll so certain she was right, that anything that came out of the mouth of a skeptic must certainly be wrong. Suddenly, everything went sideways very fast for JoNovace. It started with this comment by Alan Miller which I reproduce in full here in italics:

· Alan Millar

November 3, 2014 at 5:04 am


“…..pontificate that we were actually in a declining temperature period. That is how bonkers your hypothesis is at the moment. ”
I am not as brainy as you guys think you are, I don’t have my own hypothesis plucked out of thin air, I rely on experienced scientist to guide my conclusions”

Ahh so we we have someone who admits that they are just regurgitating someone else’s thoughts and is someone of ‘the Faith’

Well done, very useful!

Perhaps you would like to address my point about the ‘hide the decline’ trees. Mann and others used this paleo record, inter alia, to establish his ‘hockey stick’ As you should know after showing increasing temperatures, in the period from 1960 a period the alarmists are largely basing their AGW hypothesis on the trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures.

They got round this by excising this part of the record and grafting on the actual temperature record. However, even you, in your lack of independent thought, can see that if we looked back at this period from the distant future, without the actual temperature record, you would assume temperatures and the trend were going downwards if you trusted the trees as Mann and his followers have declared they do.

That is why the current hypothesis is bonkers, without actual temperature records for the past, we have no real idea what was happening in such short periods of a few decades a la the period the warmists are currently relying on.

Does that make you think at all or is La La La going off in your brain at the moment?


And how did JoNovace respond to this well done summary of the “Hide the Decline” debacle? Well, she did so by dispatching Michael Mann and his tree rings to the rubbish heap with just two sentences. Here is her comment in full, in italics, bold mine:

· JoNovace

November 3, 2014 at 5:27 am

“….trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures…..”

Tree rings don’t show temperature, what is your source for this? Tree ring may correlate with temperature if other factors are removed.

“1960 a period the alarmists are largely basing their AGW hypothesis on the trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures.”

…but we know the temperatures were rising so this is nonsense. This is why tree rings dont “show temperature” as you put it.

So there you have it. Mann’s tree rings crushed in just two completely logical sentences, the Hockey Stick graph unceremoniously dumped into history’s dust bin by an erstwhile defendant of the CAGW meme itself. Confronted with Michael Mann’s “science” but without the pomp and ceremony and media spin to give it credibility derives from context and appeal to authority, even a novice to the debate could see the truth. Which is why they (apparently) aren’t including the Hockey Stick graph in Warmist Troll 101 classes anymore.

I pointed out JoNovace’s error to her, that she had just debunked giant tracts of CAGW science. To the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t been heard from since on WUWT. Once can only wonder what kind of epiphany this was for her. But as for Mann and his tree rings…. The warmists don’t drag them out to put on display anymore. Even a Novace can see right through them.

150 thoughts on “Is the Hockey Stick Graph Dead?

      • Thanks Barry. Good point that we have to throw out all the many types of proxy data if we throw out the tree rings.
        Quoting from ‘How Do Scientists Study Ancient Climates?’ at the link you provide,

        Scientists can then take the records left by many different types of natural records and combine them to get an overall picture of the global climate.

        If they are all combined with junk they are all calibrated on junk.
        They area all useless if the tree ring data is useless..

  1. Weren’t you ever told that it’s sadistic to torture small, defenceless creatures? One almost feels sorry for the poor creature after your dissection without anaesthetic – but only almost.

    • I know what you mean, I sort of feel sorry for JoNovace in a way.

      But I endure this kind of angry contradictory science denial so frequently on alarmist websites that the feeling quickly vanishes.

      • Anyone with a garden knows that plant growth depends on a number of factors, i.e. (inter alia) temperature, amount of rain, available UV light, level of CO2, fertility of soil, etc. The width of tree rings therefore depends on a complex mixture of all these things, not just temperature. For example a warm, but cloudy, very dry year may give rise to less growth than a cold sunny but wet year. So to rely on the width of tree rings as a proxy for only the temperature appears to be naive. Has anyone kept close records of all the variables over long periods of time to find out what actually are the best parameters for tree ring growth or is tis all based on an”old wives tale”?? Surely the wider tree rings show that the overall conditions for growth were good in that year?

      • Norbert, indeed. I pointed this out some years back, as I am a gardener when time allows. I have grown a number of trees, and they are dependent on so many variables. Two trees of the same variety, growing just a few metres apart can vary greatly. I have seen this time after time. I actually think it’s a lot to do with genetics, but sunlight, water, and wind plays an enormous part. Actually, I don’t find that temperature has anything to do with it.

      • For Norbert and Ghostly Jim:

        For many years the PFRA in Canada provided trees for shelter belts around farm houses in the wide open prairie. (PFRA= Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration). Somewhere I have several pictures that show how trees planted in a north-south line around a farm house grow tallest at the south and shortest at the north end of the line due to shading from the trees to the south. You could draw a straight line along the tree tops sloping down from south to north. In some places, the difference in growth from south to north was quite dramatic. And that is just one variable. It would be interesting to go and “assess” the tree rings in those lines using a “blind” test on someone who didn’t know the trees were all from one location and see what “temperatures” they came up with. Often there were three species of trees in three lines, Poplar, Spruce, and Willow, Caragana or Elm. I had all of them on my farm.

  2. Well there is progress of sorts. For years and years it was boldly declared that the atmosphere continues to warm. Now they seem to be admitting to themselves that the atmosphere has stopped warming for a while, because they are quick to point out that they believe that the warming has switched to the oceans instead.

    • If the land based climate record is patchy it is nevertheless far better than the ocean temperature record. We just don’t have a clue what the extent of the previous natural variation in ocean temps looked liked.

    • Why apply a marketing/PR term like ‘The Pause’ as if it’s a temporary phenomenon? It could just as well be: ‘The Retreat’, ‘The Disappearance’ or ’The Revaluation.’

      • The planet has warmed sporadically for 300+ years. Unless you can see into the future, or believe the planet is fond of the Christian calendar, the sensible assumption will be that the planet will continue to do what it’s been doing until it’s clear observationally that it’s definitely started doing something else.

      • Let me correct that for you:

        The planet has cooled sporadically for 8000+ years. Unless you can see into the future, or believe the planet is fond of the Christian calendar, the sensible assumption will be that the planet will continue to do what it’s been doing until it’s clear observationally that it’s definitely started doing something else.

      • Steve, my comment was based on the often repeated claim that the warming “stopped” in the year 2000. Over the last 10,000 years the climate has been relatively stable within 5C or less of change. I’m not sure what the 8,000+ year cooling claim is all about. Certainly on more humanly comprehensible time scales (which is what interests humans), it’s been warming for three centuries. If we look at data sets such as Greenland ice cores, it’s strongly suggestive of the possibility that we’re still in a short term cool period, so it’s reasonable to assume we will continue to warm, on and off, for a while yet.

      • Will Nitschke November 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm
        I’m not sure what the 8,000+ year cooling claim is all about.

        It’s about the ice core record showing that the ‘Holocene Optimum’ occurred immediately after the ‘Younger Dryas’ cooling. The Holocene Optimum peaked about 8000 years ago and the climate has been trending cooler since, with the occasional uptick along the downtrending trajectory. To the unbiased, it’s pretty clear we’re heading to the end of the Holocene Interglacial with a whimper not a bang. Previous interglacials showed the same general profile. A relatively quick jump in temperature out of the preceding glacial max followed by a slow but steady decline in overall temperatures, with occasional upticks, to the start of the next glacial max. Enjoy it while it lasts.

      • You don’t say what data set you’re referring to. I didn’t see that that 8000+ cooling trend in the Greenland ice cores. And I don’t see it in the Vostok station ice cores either. I’ll take your word that there is a data set out there that shows this cooling trend you’re referring to, but if it’s only in one data set and not the others, if I were you, I’d be more skeptical before jumping to conclusions like that. On the other hand, you’re also talking about time scales that have nothing to do with the subject of this post, which is the hockey stick graph, so I think you are confusing the issue rather than clarifying it.

    • Will Nitschke November 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm: “… data set you’re referring to. I didn’t see that that 8000+ cooling trend in the Greenland ice cores.”

      Really? I see it quite clearly:

      Will Nitschke “I don’t see it in the Vostok station ice cores either.”

      Really? The scale is quite different from the GISP2 core, but the trend is still clear to me:

      Will Nitschke “I’d be more skeptical before jumping to conclusions like that.”

      Hardly a jump. The Holocene Optimum is not controversial. Nor is the downward temperature trend from it through the rest of the Holocene to the present. Google it for yourself.

      Will Nitschke “… you’re also talking about time scales that have nothing to do with the subject of this post, which is the hockey stick graph…”

      I think it is always worthwhile to keep things in perspective. It clarifies issues. When you look at the Holocene as a whole, you are better able to keep that perspective when considering the past 1000-1400 years of it. Keeping the last 1000 years in perspective makes the present look pretty normal to me. Although, if you consider the following graph, you can put the Holocene in its proper perspective and note that temperature and CO2-wise we are living at the bottom of the scale.

      Keeping things in perspective, I’d hazard the assertion that a warming climate and increasing CO2 are nothing to worry about. Which is why I advise you to enjoy it while it lasts. We are still in the Pleistocene which doesn’t look likely to end any time soon.


      • Sorry I don’t know where you are getting the GISP2 graph from, you don’t offer a citation. But did you go to the actual web site of the researchers who created GISP2 and look at their graphs?

        Because they don’t look like what you are showing here.

        And the graph you show of the Vostok ice cores contradict your claim that we’re in an 8,000 year cooling trend as far as I can see. Looks relatively stable to me with no trend in that data set for the last 10,000+ years.

      • Will Nitschke November 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        The citations of the graphs are on the graphs, with the exception of the one I got from Jo Nova and I don’t think she made it up.

        Look more closely at the Vostok graph (open it in a new tab and it will enlarge itself for your benefit); you will see that the trend is down from about 8k years ago. It even has temperature spikes corresponding more or less to the Minoan, Roman and MWP (apparently). The scale is quite different, as I mentioned, but you can still see the downward trend to present.

        What we’re talking about here is the Holocene Climate Optimum and it petered out 8k years ago. I didn’t just make it up to try to fool you. Google it for yourself if you don’t like what I’m showing you.

      • I’m sure you’re not making it up, but random googling on the internet is not particularly useful for obvious reasons. I’m just pointing out that the GISP2 graph you found looks nothing like the GISP2 graphs made by the researchers who collected and analysed the actual GISP2 data. There could be a valid reason for the difference but until I know what it is, I wouldn’t give the uncited graphic any credibility.

        The other point, although I’m repeating myself, is that when we’re talking about trends, it’s reasonable to talk about trends in the context of the hockey stick graph which is the subject of this post. Such proxy reconstructions tend to cover 1-2 thousand years, so when we’re talking about trends, we should be talking about things that are likely to happen in hundreds of years. You’re citing data that looks at trends in tens of thousands of years. Obviously you’re going to get different answers, depending on what the trends are for hundreds of years, thousands of years, tens of thousands of years, or millions of years.

      • Will Nitschke November 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        Maybe you’ve forgotten that this little side show started with YOUR November 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm:

        I’m not sure what the 8,000+ year cooling claim is all about.

        I’ve addressed your obvious ignorance of the Holocene Climate Optimum, first very simply then in detail. Yet, instead of saying “thank you, Mike”, you troll on. Well, you can troll on as long as you like. I’m over and out.

      • Actually Michael, your own data refuted your claim. The only graph I saw (unless I missed something) was uncited and contradicted the graphs I pointed you to, which were probably cited. You’re the one who wanted to argue that we’re in an 8000+ year cooling trend. I didn’t bring this up, you did. When I asked for how you arrived at this information, you failed to produce, so far, any credible sources for the claim. No point calling me names because I’ve embarrassed you. It’s only the comment section of a blog posting and it’s not likely that many people are still paying attention to this exchange except me and you.

  3. Typo:- Once can only wonder –

    Back when I still believed in Global warming doomsday, I went to edit Wikipedia global warming. After finding it impossible to add even one sensible link (to peak oil), I realised that there was a huge problem between these groups we now call alarmists/academics (by the bucket full) … and a few individual sceptics.

    And they were arguing about this thing called the “HockeyStick”. And reading up on it, there was clearly a good case to have the issue included in the article, but no matter how I tried to act as a go between, the warmists would not let anything through. I literally spent a few weeks trying to encourage common sense on a single sentence, which the alarmists just sabotaged.

    And that is the type of behaviour which forced me to say “unless I can show for myself this global warming is true, I cannot trust these alarmist/academics”.

    The moral: When you confront someone with the truth about the hockey stick, even in 2007 you had to accept the sceptics have a strong point.

    • I had a similar experience. As I was looking into the veracity of the alarmist claims and trying to understand the actual science, according to all the evidence, instead of the cherry-picked bits from either side, alongside applying the pure Feynman approach to hypothesis vs evidence… I soon discovered to my disgust that the Alarmist side simply would not entertain the scientific approach at all. The only side who engaged in rational analysis, with an open mind, with the ability to look at evidence in itself AND entertain the scientific approach of “what else could it mean” and recognise where evidence is suggestive of different things, and look at how any evidence effects the veracity of the hypothesis, was the sceptical side of the argument.

      When the alarmists relied on models of their hypothesis, and deleted any data which contradicted it, I knew they were a religion. I noted how the alarmist’s manufactured falsities to spread alarm with blowing up children, polar bears falling out of the sky and deserts with monkeys starving to death. I stuck by the evidence, while alarmists stuck by photoshop and fairy tales.

      Now we can look back over the last 20 years of predictions when we “months from the tipping point” and yet we are still supposed to believe the appeals to those same authorities who kept making all these palpably absurd predictions which have still not happened over a decade after we were “months from catastrophe”

      Oh… and I am still waiting for the precise mechanism by which increasing heat magically decided to switch from the surface temperature to the seas. Oh… and how this heat knows where the satellites are looking, so can keep hiding from them in the troposhere and where the ARGO buoys are so that they can be avoided too while all this massive amount of very clever, intelligent heat sinks so deep into the oceans where it can hide.

      Occam’s razor tells us that a simpler answer is that all this excess heat simply is NOT there! More heat is escaping back into space by unknown mechanisms that we are conveniently not measuring… or wilfully avoiding…. one or the other.

  4. The hockey stick was debunked by Tom Wigley’s son :-)

    Climategate Email 0682.txt

    (Wigley writing to Mann)

    A few years back, my son Eirik did a tree ring science fair project using trees behind NCAR. He found that widths correlated with both temp and precip. However, temp and precip also correlate. There is much other evidence that it is precip that is the driver

    • Precip as a driver of ring growth would certainly be true at NCAR, but not necessarily true in a more humid and less UV intense environment. The amount of humidity as well as ground moisture is the limiting factor on tree growth in the mountain west.

    • Michael Mann’s tree proxy graph showed 1934 (US) as a down spike. 1934 is one of the hottest years in the US.

      Bristlecone Pines: Treemometers or rain gauges ?
      It looks like, at least for 1934, BCP’s in the USA desert southwest are better at being rain gauges than “treemometers”. Given “Liebig’s barrel”, it makes one wonder whether BCP’s are a good proxy for temperature at all.
      Here’s the MBH98 PC1 (bristlecones) again marking 1934. Given that bristlecone ring width are allegedly responding positively to temperature, it is notable that the notoriously hot 1934 is a downspike.

      No wonder JoNovace called the Hockey Stick nonsense from 1960.

  5. This is happening more and more on social media and discussions “down the pub”. Those of the alarmist persuasion try to bully and bullshirt their view at people – and then when people politely but firmly point out the facts – they melt away.

    There will be lots of mutual admiration society meetings where they try to prop themselves up by excluding any dissenting voices – but the wheels are definitely coming off the gravy train.

    • Doug, I see it too. When I first questioned, researched and concluded that AGW was a scam, I viewed the ‘debate’ between both sides much like a sophisticated, intelligent and strategic game such as backgammon, bridge or chess.

      The AGW ‘game’, however, has gradually changed in the last eighteen months. Whilst us sceptics continue to try and play the best game of chess we can, the alarmists now want to play tiddlywinks or ‘Twister’* – games which are simpleminded and frivolous.

      *For those who can’t remember the game ‘Twister’, see link:

      Read it. The description is pretty accurate for warmists.

      • I think Whac-A-Mole

        The term “Whac-a-mole” (or “Whack-a-mole”) is used colloquially to denote a repetitious and futile task: each time an adversary is “whacked”, it only pops up again somewhere else.[5][6] In a military context, the term is used to refer to ostensibly inferior opposing troops who keep re-appearing,[7] while in a computing and networking context, it refers to the process of fending off recurring spammers, vandals or miscreants. Whac-A-Mole

        is a better analogy because no matter how many papers are shredded, discredited or retracted, they just keep coming.

  6. The (in)existence of god is not based on who wins an argument.

    The fact is that temperatures have stalled (so far). All else is noise, amusing at times, but noise.

    • A couple of warmish days, but far from record breaking, here in Oz land and the warmists are frothing at the mouth. The poor dears are working themselves into heart attack territory. I can only hope.

    • Brute says “The (in)existence of god is not based on who wins an argument.”

      Its definition, however, DOES depend on winning an argument.

  7. Makes me smile when I see that Mann, has juggled with figures, deleted some and added others to make his theory appear to be correct, but was wrong on the basic supposition that it is only temperature that influences tree ring growth. A sixth former involved in a science project wouldn’t have made an error as huge as this. However as we all know,promoting and defending the “Cause”, does not rely on science!

  8. It may well be that the “hockey stick” is dying, but I know for a fact that it is still shown to youngsters in schools. The most mythical and unscientific versions of the alarmist religion are spewed forth in schools by teachers who are convinced by the “experts” that the magic molecule CO2 is going to fry us all and do that sooner rather than later. Heck, even using the term “the greenhouse effect” plays into the hands of the master propagandists on the alarmist side. Rather than some neutral phrase such as “the atmospheric effect” we see people on both sides talk about hot-houses and blankets of CO2.

    It is going to take a long time before science returns to the study of climate.

    • Mark, is that secondary schools? Certainly in primary education (in the UK anyway), it is not compulsory to teach pupils AGW. My wife’s primary school refuses to have anything to do with the subject.

      PS My last post (see above) went in to moderation – probably because I used the word ‘sc@m’. Sorry Mods.

      • I was referring to both private and public schools. I know Catholic schools the best, but hear reports from the public schools also. (via teacher friends)

    • There is a Greenhouse effect. Market gardeners pump several times atmospheric CO2 content into their greenhouses to produce bigger, better, healthier crops. By a process which is beyond me, the effect of increased CO2 levels on the burgeoning plant growth planet-wide becomes evil.

  9. Try extending the hockey stick graphs. I mean REALLY extending them. Take their catastrophic predictions of another 2-4C rise when CO2 doubles to 560ppm and keep going! Follow the mathematical line along its trajectory past 1000ppm, past 2,000ppm. Watch as the mean temperature rises compound themselves the further you go along the mathematical line.
    By the time your graph line is predicting earth’ surface temperatures higher than those on the surface of Venus, you should be wondering to yourselves why you wasted so much time arguing hard core physics with these people, when falsification was just a simple line of a pencil away!

  10. Although the Hockey Stick was an attempt to wipe out the Medieval Warm Period, you could accept that it was borne through sheer incompetence. Some may consider it fraud but seeing Mann’s lack of p anything remotely scientific, I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

    However, “Hide the Decline” cannot be viewed in that way and I believe that was a deliberate attempt at deception.

  11. …Even a Novace can see right through them….

    No, she can’t!

    Warmist supporters do not ‘see through’ anything. As Jo herself says, their ‘conclusions’ (read ‘beliefs’) are ‘guided’ (read ‘provided’) by ‘experienced scientists. The warmist supporters DO NOT THINK. They are TOLD what to say.

    What has been brought into sharp focus here is the process of ‘doublethink’ which is used to support warmist arguments. The tree rings are treated both as undeniable proof of warming when they show warming, and as poor proxies which can be ignored when they show cooling. In microcosm, this is the entire warmist argument. Any area of the world which is warming is comprehensive proof of AGW, while any area which is cooling is a minor weather-related glitch.

    There is a sub-set argument which states that cooling is also proof of warming, but that is advanced doublethink, and I won’t go into that here…

  12. And of course tree rings and tree growth rates are also greatly affected by atmospheric CO2 levels..

    Oh Dear, poor mickey mann.

  13. I hink there are many scientists who do a good job with tree rings. They know that there are many factors affecting them. There will be better analysis of these factors. So I hope that tree rings as proxies will contribute to our knowledge. The last 50 years are most uncertain, with increased CO2 level, acid rain in forests, and pollutions that affect tree growth in Asia. My Primary question is what knowledge JoNovace has of tree rings proxies. Has she better undersanding of this than of climate change?

    • Perhaps she was really ‘she who is best ignored’. Her degree was Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours).

  14. I remember that interchange, and wondered what JoNovace’s stand was after the last post, which seemed to contradict the previous ones..

  15. By the way, this is why I keep saying that MOST warmists simply need a single, solitary fact to get them on the road to recovery.

    Most will recognize BS (bad science) when they first grasp UHI, or the “sea level rising” myth, or the “Antarctic melting” myth, or the “heat is hiding in the deep ocean” myth, or any of the other key things. Once one of these falls, any person of average or better intelligence will eventually make the logical leaps required to figure out the lie.

    As I’ve pointed out many times: the majority of regulars here at WUWT used to be believers. So when a believer thinks they know better, they need to be aware that we had our intellectual conversion, and they likely will as well.

    • One more super cold, super long winter over 90% of the US will drive the warmists to move to California where they can happily whine about how warm it is.

    • I wouldn’t say the majority were believers, but perhaps assumers. Prior to late 2007, I simply assumed that all I’d been hearing on the news about manmade warming was true. I wasn’t even aware that there was another side debunking the whole thing. It wasn’t until I searched on the web for arguments to counter someone I considered a climate crank, a task I thought would be easy, that I started seeing problems with the Warmist claims. Believers have an emotional and psychological stake in Warmism, which is why it is so difficult for them to see facts.

      • For me it was Al Gore. I already had a distrust for him based on his politics, but when he started in on CAGW , I started to do my own research. With my geology background I studied paleo climates and compared atmospheric gases and found that suddenly it was all on man, and the history of climate was all wrong.
        Then it went from Man to Mann and my own records and CLIMATE AUDIT and WUWT and my many questions to qualified experts, and their kind answers (without showing impatience ) directed me to more papers and sources. Through all of this since 2004, my opinion became that any human influence on the atmospheric changes were too small to measure, if they exist at all.
        Thank you all for the free education….and thank you Real Science for showing me that even simple physics that dispute their POV, were censured. I learned through this that they had created a religion and true believers only need comment.

      • For me it was CO2 fertilization. My degrees are in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry and as soon as I heard the words CO2 induced “global warming” in the mid 1990s, I wondered about CO2 fertilization.

        The fertilization effect is extremely clear and important. It is supported both by theory and a massive number of experiments. Those experiments can be done by gold standard, controlled experiment methodologies. By comparison the climate models are incredibly complex, and with no way to test the model by true controlled experiments. The only way to really test the GCMs is by waiting a few decades to see whether the model predictions agree with observations.

        Despite this obvious rejoinder to the alarmist claims, there was, and largely still is, an almost perfect blackout of public commentary on CO2 fertilization. That made me very suspicious indeed. A conservative estimate is that the biosphere is 10% more productive because of CO2 induced fertilization. With 7 billion people on the planet, in strictly human terms it means that 700 MILLION people are currently being fed as a consequence of CO2 fertilization. Nonetheless we are supposed to freak out about dubious claims of 10s of thousands of “climate change victims” with the huge benefits completely ignored. Not buying it.

  16. Using medical professionals as an analogy for climate scientists was unwittingly self-defeating. Very few orthodox physicians have done any original research or any critical thinking. They don’t even understand the nature of the medications they prescribe.

    If your profession is all training and no thinking, it is not worth much. I’ll go with the football fans.

    • No – the essential difference between cancer doctors and climate “scientists” lies in the simple fact that cancer therapy is guided by double blind studies, or evidence based medicine. Climatology is not. If it was, then the fact that there has been zero warming with CO2 increased by about 10% over the past 18+ years would be regarded as conclusive evidence.

      • Medical Science is “evidence based science”? I will bet “news” reporters raved about “Dr.” potty…

        “… Dr. Anil Potti … became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke … when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors… Duke’s so-called breakthrough treatment wasn’t just a failure — it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever.”

    • I just listened to a review of a survey of medical practitioners (GP’s) versus the public on allergies and other medical conditions this week. It turned out that the GP’s got a LOWER mark on what to do or take or what caused allergic reactions than the general public. So every time I hear that comment about who would you believe, a medical practitioner or the general public, it gives me pause. More so since I have been misdiagnosed by both heart and cancer specialists. But… “It’ll be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

  17. While we’re pointing out the errors of others, the graphic in this post depicts a polished tomb stone with raised lettering which is impossible. It should have sunken lettering. Unless it was a subtle way to expose Mann’s fraud, in which case, I missed it. Must be the early snow fall looking to form the same horrible winter as last year. If you want your warming, you can keep your warming.

    • Most folks will look at the illustration and get the disquieting feeling that something is wrong but not be able to say why.

      It’s a lot like CAGW. It doesn’t look quite right to most people.

      The IPCC doubled down on alarmism just before the election, and I wonder if it didn’t cost the Democrats a lot of votes. Many voters felt like they were being lied to, even if they couldn’t say why, so they stayed home or voted Republican.

      • “Most folks will look at the illustration and get the disquieting feeling that something is wrong but not be able to say why.

        It’s a lot like CAGW. It doesn’t look quite right to most people.”
        Yep, I felt “it”.
        What is “it”, a sixth sense ?, survival instinct ?, or just the BS meter pegging ?

  18. Doug L. Hoffman, you wrote about JoNovace, “To the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t been heard from since on WUWT.”

    JoNovace appeared here at WUWT from November 1 through November 7. JoNovace’s last appearance was on the thread of the post “ClimateProgress’s Joe Romm Translates the IPCC’s 2014 Synthesis Report”. See the comment here:

    JoNovace was from Australia…from a town southeast of Adelaide. I’ll leave it to others to speculate about the true identity of JoNovace.

  19. Is Mann really present plots that are only updated through about 2005? What kind of scientist does he think he is? I spent an hour updating my plots for a internal grant at my university to be reviewed by mostly non-scientists. What the heck? I wouldn’t even consider presenting anything without going over the recent results and updating my plots including discussion on the most recent publications.

    • there have been two posts here, in recent years – far more recent than 2005, like 2012 and 2014, separated in time by a year or more, documenting a WUWT person attending a Michael Mann presentation.
      The Mann talk presented the Hockey Stick with data up to 2005.

      If someone knows how to search, please do. It is totally genuine to say that Mann has in recent years told his compelling story, with hockey stick up to 2005 but not further.

  20. The truth behind Mann’s hockey stick!
    ‘They said the hockey stick was a fiction, because there was virtually no trace of the MWP. They accused Mann of using faulty data and dodgy statistics to rewrite history, The hockey stick still provokes strong reactions today, what is your reaction when you see that, the most famous graph in the world…[what a shame…it’s a scandal]…[this has been discredited]…[well the first thing is great dis-belief]…some even accused him of the ultimate scientific crime, fraud [If it’s fraud they should be in jail]…(I never expected the sort of attacks we were subject to)…[this was clearly and I’m going to say it bluntly, deliberately bent]…(if you {they} can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win on deformation, slander, rhetoric…which has no basis in fact)…M Mann was attacked in print and on the web…but while the sceptics were busy attacking Mann, other researchers were doing there own science, hunting for more proxies and using different methods to work out past temperatures…soon M Mann’s graph was joined by many others, all reconstructing the past 1000 years of temperature, the question was would they back up M Mann or prove him wrong? It might look confusing but this graph has a really clear message, the red line is M Mann original hockey stick graph, very flat and hardly any MWP…the other lines are the reconstructions done since, there is a big spread in other words scientists disagree about a lot of the temperature, that’s not really surprising, because working out the temperature for the last couple hundred years…but the crucial part…this is 1000AD…M Mann probably under estimated…what these lines all agree on…there is evidence nowhere in any period of past 1000 years that is as warm as the second part of the 20th century. In other words the end of the 20th is really unprecedented, once again the sceptical attacks has made this science stronger, we now have a whole hockey team of graphs, they make a very convincing case that global warming…really is unusual’ Dr Iain Stewart.

    Now watch for yourself:-

    • You don’t think that a natural variation explains the range of the graph? Perhaps you’ll be less concerned a 1,000 years from now when it is colder/warmer/about the same.

      • Yes, they end with the punch line. Forget that the MWP was warmer than now, as proven by the regularly appearing Viking settlements that emerge from permafrost. That shows the past was as warm as the present — and those settlements are still appearing, indicating that the past was warmer than now.

        And the MWP was only the most recent warming. Even warmer episodes preceded the MWP.

        So the laugh at the end — the flaming red globe — shows this video to be just more warmist propaganda.

        But thanx BA4, you had me fooled — for the first 4 minutes.

    • Sorry, all real unadjusted records prove you wrong. We are not even close to past highs, and the relationship of temperature to CO2 is that CO2 ALWAYS FOLLOWS temp change.
      Prove me wrong!

      • Only 500 million years of evidence that CO2 is a GHG and therefore currently heating up the planet!

        ‘looking back at the effect co2 had in the past and these estimates should show a doubling in co2 we should see rise in global temperatures between 2 and 4.5 degrees, now that’s all basic physics…if basic physics is correct we should see a good correlation between temperatures and co2 over the past 500 million years. Well here is the data for temperatures and we get a very clear, oh dear…but it’s the climate science critics, politicians, the bloggers, amateurs, who showcase this graph that completely ignore the role of Sun and it is the climate researchers who factor it in. Over the last 500 million years solar output has being getting slowly stronger, but of course on its own it doesn’t show any better correlation with global temperature than co2 on its own. But if the co2 temperature levels link is correct then when we factor in both co2 and solar radiants which are the long time drivers of climate we should get a good correlation with global temperatures and we do! And the third piece of evidence from our geological past are the so called snowball Earth conditions…Earth should have being covered in ice and it was, several times…the only thing that changed during the snowball period was the co2 levels rose dramatically due to volcanic activity. The thawing of the planet fits perfectly with the role of co2 as being a powerful GHG…but during snowball Earth that kind of weathering did not happen…yes even with the Sun being about 6% weaker than today but with co2 level 25 times higher, the earth was much hotter than today. His amounts to our fourth piece of evidence that co2 is a powerful GHG…and the process repeated itself…so when I hear the argument the climate always changes and this is perfectly natural…then of course it is. There is absolutely no difference of the co2 bring added to the atmosphere now and the co2 that was added to the atmosphere in the past, it‘s the same stuff. Coming to the recent past climatologist agree that the amount of forcing from the Earth’s change in orbit though to be the initial trigger for deglacierization had no where near enough…I covered this in my video the 800 year lag unravelled…so before you claim co2 only lags temperature…so we have now seen how basic physics should warm the earth and we have seen…consistent with co2 as a powerful GHG…then there is no reason to believe co2 has reformed its behaviour because it has come from burning fossil fuels… Is there any evidence that co2 is causing any warming now. Back in the 1950s, 60s, 70s scientists saw no reason why co2 should change its properties and they predicted as co2 levels rose and aerosols cleared we would start to see warming. Over the last 35 years the atmosphere has being warming…of course not all of the heat goes into the atmosphere. Most of it goes into the oceans and evidence shows the deep oceans are absorbing a lot of the extra heat…’ Potholer54.

      • BA4,

        That is a mighty big list of assertions.

        Nary a “proof” in there, even though he asserts ‘proof’.

        Do us a favor, please don’t link to the propagandist potholer. He has zero credibility among thinking readers.

        ‘K thx ‘bye

    • Any reconstruction based on proxies will not have the fine detail we see during the sensor period. At best these records have a single yearly data point interpreted as temperature from yearly proxies such as growth rings in flora and fauna sources, not a set of monthly (or even finer) values averaged to a single one which describes the observation data. In addition, there are different sensitivities in growth rings. Small differences of the kind we get our knickers in a twist over today may not be reflected in growth rings because flora and fauna response to these small differences are decidedly less sensitive than temperature sensors. In other words, it is possible that in the past, there are record hot days, months, or even years that growth rings cannot reflect. Therefore you should not splice the two together, nor should you use proxies to say there were no unprecedented hot days, weeks, or years in the past 1000 years compared to today. It is a stretch too far.

      • Pamela

        Yours is a point that isn’t made often enough

        Coarse proxy reconstructions bear little relationship to the fine grain of highly variable annual instrumental records, especially when the regional record is considered rather than an imperfect global one.

        Here are ‘spagetti’ paleo proxy reconstructions graphed over annual CET which are so variable they stretch outside of the scale used


      • It’s funny how Mann could not find the Medieval Warm Period. I maybe mistaken but I do believe that Mann’s bristlecones were from the White Mountains of California.

        Abstract – March 1994
        Major wet interval in white mountains medieval warm period evidenced inδ 13C of bristlecone pine tree rings
        Abstract – March 1994
        Glacial geological evidence for the medieval warm period
        ….. The results suggest that it was a global event occurring between about 900 and 1250 A.D., possibly interrupted by a minor readvance of ice between about 1050 and 1150 A.D……

        hockeyschtick – 5 November, 2014
        New paper finds bristlecone pines (used for Mann’s hockey stick) grow at significantly different rates & often not related to temperature

    • To be an honest graph it should show graph work from ALL studies done on the MWP, otherwise it is just cherry picking. The good Dr. also did this for a BBC documentary which means that a warmist viewpoint was an upfront requirement. In addition, because of the tainted way that climate “studies” have to be done to receive recognition and grant funding, the graphs would need to be examined for scientific accuracy by unbiased authorities.

      • BFL says:November 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm Sorry, this wound up in the wrong place as it was a reply to
        “Blackadderthe4th says:November 15, 2014 at 5:49 am” concerning the video by Dr Stewart

        [We have seen that happen before, and are troubleshooting it. No clear answers right now. .mod]

  21. “1960 a period the alarmists are largely basing their AGW hypothesis on the trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures.”

    Well, I would like to issue a warning not to oversimplify the debate about the HS!
    S. McIntyre, R. McKitrick and others pointed out a lot of flaws in the various methods used to extract a temperature signal from proxies.
    (My personal all time favorite is from J. Id: )
    However there might be assumption based perfectly logical choices not to consider a certain proxies in a certain time range and the sentence as cited above does oversimplify. The way I understand Steve’s work, he, rather than criticizing a certain decision (replacing tree ring proxies with measured temperature after 1960 or so), tries to understand and collect all underlying assumptions (which in some cases might not even been clear to the creator of the reconstruction) and then to inconsistencies and implications of teh assumptions. On that path he also finds a lot of flaws or even likely mistakes, for example Mann’s decission to use decentered PCA without a proper justification for it. (I. Jolliffe says to that “It gives situations where uncentred or doubly-centred versions might conceivably be of use, but especially for uncentred analyses, these are fairly restricted special cases. It is said that for all these different centrings ‘it’s less clear what we are optimising and how to interpret the results’.”

  22. The next big thing in Climate Science will be finding a way to hide the pause. I think I know how to do it.

    Starting with 1998, we no longer need to use land, sea, or atmospheric temperature data. Instead, we will substitute the appropriate proxy data. How about we use Mauna Loa CO2 data from 1998 on, and then proxy it with the proper model.

    Yeah. That ought to do it. I bet the abstract has already been submitted.

  23. Tree rings are great……………………for telling you how much growth was put on during individual growing seasons.

    An astute dendrochronologist might be able to detect the likelihood that more than one ring appeared during a particular year from extremely adverse conditions mid season, that caused dormancy, there are numerous weather elements that can have a similar effect on tree growth(good or bad). So its impossible to tease out the individual contributions. This is especially so with temperature and precipitation.

  24. To me this is completely amazing.
    Mann speaking a few months ago defending the hockey stick.
    At 38:00 he addressed why he used tree rings to 1960 and then surface temp.’s afterwards.

    “certain types of tree ring data become unreliable and don’t track temperatures properly
    we shouldn’t be showing misleading data, an artificial decline, it will mislead people”
    How did this study possibly get published in a leading joural? Didn’t the scientist reviewers even understand kindergarten Science? The tree ring control data would have been 1960-present where we supposedly? have reliable data, yet that data was in the opposite direction of supposedly accurate surface temperatures. How could he possibly say that tree rings were accurate in the 1700’s but they are not accurate from 1960 on. But we can use them to accurately measure the past? And the world went along with this charade?

    And in the video above speaking at a University, with likely many scientists in the audience, he sticks out his chest and states he didn’t want to “mislead” anyone???

    • He’s got so brazen he just doesn’t care anymore. He sees many senior politicians and political appointees making the same sort of outrageous statements. If it works for them, why shouldn’t it work for him?

    • If you can’t trust the tree ring temperature proxy after 1960 you can’t trust it before 1960. It’s as simple as that. Hiding the decline didn’t hide 1934 down turn when it was a notoriously hot year in the USA. Precipitation? I vaguely recall California suffered a few droughts in the 1960s.

      • Mann’s tree ring temps may in fact predict future temperatures! If we continue the proxy up to 2050, the downturn in 1960s may reflect the great cooling that appears to have begun. The apparent fit pre 1960s was from the previous cycle.

  25. The hockey stick is not dead. It is the reason why AL Gore walks so stiffly when erect and upright. This “rear” insertion is the only value the hockey stick ever had …

    • Thanks for that link. I’ve gone through a lot of Climate Audit stuff and somehow missed that great summary. McIntyre also has some YouTube presentations that are prety good.

  26. I never believed in his Hockey Stick,because I knew for 20 years before 1998 that MWP and LIA were real and supported by a lot of published papers in several disciplines,such as History,Geology,Farming,Architecture,Archeology and so on. It was too well established by facts to be taken down so easily.

    It was published specifically to advance a politically based environmentalist propaganda,it is why it got undeserved attention by the IPCC,a political body running on a set prior i,that mankinds CO2 emissions are really bad for us,therefore we must accept only those papers that advance the pre- conceived position against a trace gas.

    It was deliberate junk science from the start.

    • the change of the graph from lambs reconstruction to the mann one gave the game away for the IPCC. everyone could see that they were no longer about the science. the vast majority of proxies show the medieval warming period was warmer, or close to current temps and a global event. it just backs up the anecdotal evidence of things like the viking farms –

  27. JoNovace

    November 3, 2014 at 5:27 am

    “….trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures…..”

    Tree rings don’t show temperature, what is your source for this? Tree ring may correlate with temperature if other factors are removed.

    “1960 a period the alarmists are largely basing their AGW hypothesis on the trees actually started to show a sharp decline in temperatures.”

    …but we know the temperatures were rising so this is nonsense. This is why tree rings dont “show temperature” as you put it.

    JoNovace should have read this too from Climate Audit.

    Climate Audit – Mar 17, 2008
    Steve McIntyre
    Here’s the MBH98 PC1 (bristlecones) again marking 1934. Given that bristlecone ring width are allegedly responding positively to temperature, it is notable that the notoriously hot 1934 is a downspike.


    WUWT – March 19, 2008
    Bristlecone Pines: Treemometers or rain gauges?

  28. I have to say I was a true believer, but then thought for myself a moment and independently dreamed up UHI (I had no idea what to call it). Why was it not ever mentioned, it had to logically be present?

    That set me on the road to discovery.

    And then came TELECONNECTIONS – especially as related to tree rings.

    So…. for all practical purposes, trees are allowed to use ESP. We know that humans saying they can use ESP are all cranks or frauds. So why is OK for trees but not humans?

    Teleconnections was one of those head slapping “oh you have to be joking” moments for me.

  29. This absolutely does not mean the hockey stick is dead. It is only proof that the hockey stick means what ever people like JoNovace think it should mean. Since half the people in the world are below average there will be no shortage of interpretations of what the HS means. None will accurately portray the real meaning.

    Unfortunately we know everything we need to know about JoNovace, a blog commenter who has no significance at any level, but nothing of what we need to know about Senator Inhofe who is now very important to the climate debate. Time to get focused on the near future and leave discredited events of the past in the past or we’re going to lose this thing before the next election.

    • Four possibilities:


      The name “Mann” was chosen as a play on the dark side of human (mankind’s) nature.


      ‘Mann’ is intentionally poking fun at MM, as the director Nolan has left similar messages in other films. For example, the exchange between Alfred and Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight, concerning how to deal with terrorism, was largely supportive of the policies then pursued by the Bush administration.


      Nolan intended for both of the above.

      It’s all just an accidental coincidence that this name was chosen.

      • It may also be significant that, despite all the natural disasters the Earth goes through in the movie, the words ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Climate Change’ are not mentioned once (as I was expecting). Neither was any attribution made to mankind AT ALL! I wonder if anyone has asked the Nolan brothers about this? In my experience of Nolan’s movies (The Prestige and Inception are in my top ten), he plots things out in great detail.

  30. Whether or not the Hockey Stick is dead in the minds of activists is still an open question. But one thing is clear, the beloved tactic of latching onto a new study (typically involving models + proxies) to ‘refute’ decades of earlier well established research, is still the tool of trade of the climate activist troll.

  31. I have said this before, but…..

    If tree rings are not recording temperature, but a whole host of other environmental factors (as we know they are), then the whole of dendrochronology dating goes into the same dust bin of history.

    If there is not a global or continental climate signature in tree rings, you cannot compare a ship’s beam grown in Spain, with a reference tree grown in California (bristle cones) or in Ireland (bog oaks). And if you cannot compare the two (because the environmental factors that govern growth were completely different in these far-flung regions), then you cannot compare the rings and so you cannot compare the dates.

    An El-Nino bringing rains to California (bristle cone reference trees), will bring dry conditions to the US northeast (the sample to be tested). So the bristle cone will have good growth during an El Nino, while the east coast tree will have reduced growth. So how can you compare the northeast timbers with bristle cones, when they will have totally the reverse signature? So how on earth can you derive a date from these transposed tree-ring records? Its impossible.

    It would seem to me that dendrochronology is as much of a fraud as climate alarmism – just a convenient bandwagon for ‘scientists’ to jump upon. How many double-blind control tests, were ever done on the dendrochronologists? I have not seen any reference to the testing procedures. There must be many houses in the UK where the age of the timbers are known, back to the 16th century. Were they ever double-blind tested, alongside other control samples? And what were the results of these tests?


  32. As Prof Lindzen stated recently climate science, as it is currently organised, favours the mediocre and Dr Mann is the ultimate illustration of mediocrity.

  33. Perhaps it’s time to switch from discussing Mann to discussing what Steyn is going to do with Mann’s money. He certainly won’t win the full $20 million from Mann’s deep-pocketed backers, but it’s interesting to think about what a wickedly satirical man might devise as a monument to tweak the warmists.

  34. It’s amusing when a supporter of whatever shoots their own argument in the foot, so to speak. Some years back, during the call for a ban on fox hunting here in Britain, we were treated to the cries from the supporters of hunting. Their principle argument was that fox hunting was needed to keep their numbers down, and that without hunting, farms would be overrun with crafty foxes. When questioned about the morality of wilfilly killing an animal in such large numbers, they stated that vehicles kill far more foxes than hunting does…thereby dismantling their core argument for keeping fox hunting! It was extremely funny that they just didn’t see their what would happen when you urinate into the wind.

  35. Anyway, Mann will have the last laugh. He did one measly thing in his life, was paid millions for it and made the A list in Hollywood and he will retire on a large pension. Sure, Mike said when interviewed in 2030, its a crock, but, hey, the timing was right, Jessica and I are still seeing each other, the IPCC is long dead, but here I am. Sorry, can we finish this interview, I have a plane to catch for Jamaica.

  36. I can’t help but think this is rather petulent and childish. Who really cares about some novice troll has to say, let alone thinks that helping them make a fool of themselves says anything about Mann’s hockey stick.

    WUWT plays in the big leagues. This is like gloating over a score in a Pop Warner game.

    • I suggest timg56, that you read a story called “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. The novice in this case is the child, who in complete innocence, points out to the crowd bedazzled by “the story”, the simple truth. The Mann is naked.

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