Is climate change controversy good for science?

By Craig Idso

In the title of their newly published article in the journal Scientometrics, Jankó et al. (2017) ask the important question “Is climate change controversy good for science?”

Their answer, which we will divulge later, came about via a somewhat unique analysis, which compared the reference lists of two major reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; AR4 and AR5) with that published by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC; Climate Change Reconsidered (CCR) and Climate Change Reconsidered II (CCRII)). More specifically, the comparison involved (1) entering all references from the four reports into a database, (2) sorting them by author and by journal, (3) comparing the overlap and differences in citations between the two publishing entities and (4) examining the evolution (i.e., similarities and differences) of citations by each entity between their two reports. And what did these several actions reveal?

Not surprisingly, there were some similarities and differences among the references cited in the IPCC and NIPCC reports. In terms of differences, the IPCC tended to favor citations from journals that are focused more on the modelling enterprise, whereas the NIPCC tended to favor publications in the paleo-sciences. By way of similarity, when comparing the AR4 and CCR reports, both organizations derived references from an overlapping set of 126 journals, which number increased to 198 for the ensuing AR5 and CCRII tomes. However, Jankó et al. report that “the sceptics have broadened their spectrum of journals more than the IPCC,” as the NIPCC added 170 new journals to their citation list between their two reports, while the IPCC added only 158.

Another interesting finding is seen in their examination of who each organization was citing. In-text analysis of the IPCC’s AR5 report revealed that 19 out of the 20 most frequently cited authors in that report were directly involved in the compilation of it. And though the remaining person, J. Hansen, was not officially involved in producing AR5, he participated in the production of at least one prior IPCC report (Third Assessment) as a Contributing Author. Similar analysis of the AR4 report revealed that 14 out of the 16 most frequently cited IPCC authors were involved with the writing of that report. Yet, here again, the remaining two individuals were directly involved in the production of the IPCC’s preceding Third Assessment Report. Such findings indicate the IPCC report authors are most intent on citing their own work, thereby promoting their own interests and findings above the work of others. In contrast, only four of the 18 most frequently cited authors of CCRII, and only one of the 13 most frequently cited authors of CCR, were involved in the compilation of those reports. Thus, the NIPCC reports present a greater degree of independence among its authors and the material they produce and cite than that of the IPCC.

Finally, returning to Jankó et al.’s question posed in the title of their paper — “Is climate change controversy good for science?” — in summing up their analysis they write that “the competitive situation created by the publications of the NIPCC reports … is beneficial for climate science in general; it fosters knowledge creation, i.e. the reviewing process, mobilizing a growing number of references into review.” And while this knowledge creation is important, Jankó et al. caution that “without an explicit dialogue between the [NIPCC and IPCC] reports, there is no chance to mitigate climate change controversy itself.” In other words, (1) there is no scientific consensus, (2) the debate is not settled, (3) nor will it ever go away until the closed-minded circular group-think of the IPCC authors properly recognize and address the counter-theories presented by the NIPCC in its reports. Good luck getting that to happen!

Paper Reviewed
Jankó, F., Vancsó, J.P. and Móricz, N. 2017. Is climate change controversy good for science? IPCC and contrarian reports in the light of bibliometrics. Scientometrics 112: 1745-1759.


79 thoughts on “Is climate change controversy good for science?

  1. I’ll bet that a study of who peer reviewed what papers would show the same kind of incestuousness among the papers written by the most frequently cited authors in IPCC reports.

    • Lindzen’s quote:

      “What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world – that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.”


      • Few promoters of CAGW actually believe what they’re touting, and most laymen are skeptical and/or indifferent. I prefer to call it a hoax and a conspiracy on the part of the promoters, and a collective shrug on the part of the masses.

  2. “Is climate change controversy good for science?” – of course it is. Any controversy, thoughtfully debated, is good for science. Time, and/or further factual observations, will prove one or the other opinion correct. The only danger we face is if one side unilaterally declares that “there is no controversy”.

    • How do you come clean when there is a trillion dollar industry based upon this shaky science?

      It would cause a financial crash as all the green companies folded as subsidies are withdrawn.

      It would cause huge black holes in the government finances as green taxes are withdrawn and would need to be replaced with some other revenue stream/new tax (since Governments never reduce spending or the size of the State),

      And not forgetting that there are hundreds of developing nations (and the dictators of some of these) starved of cash, and how will they buy weapons from the West if the West does not give them money to buy these weapons?.

      It is naive to think that the science will come clean, or be allowed to come clean. It will limp on, the data will continue to be be massaged etc., until it is absolutely impossible to deny the facts thrown at it by mother nature.

    • This may the best chance for science to come clean!

      In a sense, science has come clean. The knowledge of science’s problems is widely published. The issue is whether anyone can do anything to fix those problems.

      The replication crisis is widely acknowledged. It affects all areas of science, even engineering.

      The problem is most obvious in medical research. That’s because, when a drug company finds promising research, the first thing it tries to do is to replicate the research. The vast majority (as much as 90%) of the time the published results can’t be replicated or reproduced. A large fraction of the time the original researchers can’t even reproduce their own results.

      Reports have been published by drug companies. A popular press book, Rigor Mortis, lays out the problem in all its gory detail. It really is the elephant in the room.

      I haven’t seen anyone try to refute the fact that most published research findings are false. link Some folks will insist that it isn’t a problem because science is self correcting. The problem with that is that the corrections can take decades. Other folks, Dr. Michel Mann being a prime example, will ignore the problem and insist that science is infallible. He doesn’t actually make any arguments that refute the reproducibility crisis. In fact, public statements by scientists usually demand that we use science ‘facts’ as the basis for public policy. IMHO, that’s close to criminal because they know better.

      The problem is that the foundations of modern science guarantee bad science. Scientists compete for grants and they compete to get their research published. There are rewards for interesting results. There are no punishments for being wrong.

      Medicine is the one branch of science where people are trying to reproduce and replicate research. In most other branches, there is no incentive to do that. Anyone who thinks the problem doesn’t pervade all of science, especially climate science, is living in cloud cuckoo land.

      The problem is exacerbated because aggressive, prominent, scientists can shut down research and publications that conflict with their own. The self correcting nature of science can’t kick in until those folks are dead and buried.

      Scientists know the problems. The problems are widely published. How we solve those problems is beyond me.

  3. Citing each others publications is good for their science citation index and list and puts money in your pals wallet as he puts money in yours, and yours,…
    This is so common in some most scientific fields and universities. This practice is phony and lets all n of the authors get a citation and they in turn cite all the same n authors… and the groups builds up its citation index very fast, especially for large n of 6,8,10, 15, or 20…
    Unless I really need something from one these large number of authors papers, I usually skip it and only read the papers with 1 or a few authors.

  4. Applied science is engineering now we are basing our energy policies on it so normal engineering practices of quality control should be applied and not mere peer review which is subject to far too much crony backscratching . The moment we are forced to spend money on any physical constructs then science should be properly vetted by engineers for data quality and computer model quality at the least and I think it should be additionally vetted for the method used to predict normal climate progression which I think most engineers would consider unduly primitive.

    Climate change is already bad for science as some very able young people who are not brainwashed by climate dogma are avoiding the subject as they are unwilling to promote climate change belief by spouting it in their exams as required for a good grade. Not spouting the dogma lowers the exam grade to one that precludes higher education.

    There should be no controversy on climate change. We now have hindsight to say that the claims were either incompetence or overt fraud. The hundred months is up and they were simply wrong. We were rushed into an expensive and inadequate replacement for fossil fuels that again hindsight has proved to be expensive and unreliable.
    Climate scientists have no right to even expect to believed on any new claims without total external examination by an aggressively enquiring group of disbelievers being convinced they have learned from their mistakes. One of the most important lessons they should but clearly have not is humility to accept there are specialists in overlapping fields with knowledge far greater than theirs. They are merely climates jobbing builders with little specialist knowledge in many areas.

  5. I believe that ultimately the controversy will be good for science. While it will be way beyond my lifetime, the day will come when this debacle will be studied in universities as an example of how the scientific method can be hijacked and misconstrued. It is also a fine example of the power of group-think and how so many in society cannot think in a quantitative or logical manner. The very creation of the scientific method was due to a desire to cut through all this stuff. So sad that so many don’t understand or care about its true value. But, I truly believe that in the end it will prevail, as though it may be rather wobbly, it walks hand-in-hand with truth.

    • The longer this controversy persists, the worse it will be for science. Many who don’t understand science already distrust it. Just wait until the depth of the deception comes to light and the level of distrust will jump through the roof.

      • If the climate scientists are wrong Michael is spot on, it will become the most cited example of how to pervert science and fool yourself. I disagree with you CO2isnotevil, science has endured periods of very little trust by public and on far more important concepts than climate science. At the end of the day science provides answers based on knowledge, it takes just one person knowing a vital science fact the entire world doesn’t for that person to have huge science value. That is why great science men in history have triumphed over churches, kings and public opinion.

      • And who are the greats of science?

        Generally, it is either those that showed us what we thought was true, was in fact wrong, or those that showed us something new and not previously known.

        Whilst Climate Science is trivial in the scientific sense, in the overall scheme of science, never before has any one scientific theory (and of course AGW is conjecture, not theory) had so much money spent on it, and had society change for the worse.

        Climate Science has hampered growth, wealth creation and money being spent on more useful and important causes. Whilst it is naive to think that all the money wasted on Climate Science and the green renewable industry would have been spent on good causes, even if just a fraction of this money had been spent on good causes, it would have saved millions of lives, or at any rate brought a far better quality of life to many.

      • LdB: science has endured periods of very little trust by public and on far more important concepts than climate science. At the end of the day science provides answers based on knowledge, it takes just one person knowing a vital science fact the entire world doesn’t for that person to have huge science value. That is why great science men in history have triumphed over churches, kings and public opinion.

        What if “the end of the day” is a new dark age?

      • PS: “What if “the end of the day” is a new dark age?” As Robinson Jeffers wrote, in “Teheran”:

        How rapidly civilization coarsens and decays; its better qualities, foresight, humaneness, disinterested
        Respect for the truth, die first; its worst will be last

      • “Roger Knights” – What if “the end of the day” is a new dark age. During recorded, civilised history we have for ever suffered returns to “darker ages”. We are slow learners. Back-tracking on periods of enlightenments happen all the time. The sudden, amazing Greek Civilisation soon crumbled, suffering “death by a thousand cuts”, the Roman likewise, our own “Enlightenment” (18th century’s Europe) has experienced lots of localised returns to “darker ages”, e.g. slavery in America, Nazism, Lysenko in Russia, McCarthyism in U.S., etc., etc. We must be forever on guard – and forever aware of “dark forces”.

    • We’ve already got Lysenko as an example of political corruption of science.
      While it is studied, it doesn’t seem to impact any of the major players in this drama.

  6. A better question would be, is the practice seen in climate ‘science’ good for science in general. The answer to which is a big fat no. Pal or self ‘review’ seen in this article is merely one of the many problems that has meant that poor scientific practice is no merely acceptable but positively rewarded.

  7. Science doesn’t care for debates nor does it care for opinions or qualifications. Throughout history there have been Popes, Churches, Kings, Despots, Nobel laureates, Science Leaders and public opinion against findings of science and it did not care a less. General Relativity and QM are examples of theories are the establish science theories despite what probably most of the world population and some scientists think of them. No body has ever been able to prove them wrong and they have made predictions classic physics gets totally wrong so they stand.

    Where climate science is failing is it is trying to force closure of argument based on what is really a political agenda. You see scientists still having to talk to audiences about QM and it is coming up to 100 years since it’s discovery and is the most proven theory we have in science, which has no competing theories to it. Yet probably 90% of the audience will still not believe and we don’t call for rounding up or prosecution of the non believers.

    What is strange is watching something that calls itself a science acting in a way that is unscientific and dare we say dictatorial way.

  8. Really, this kind of corruption can only happen when the activity is funded by the state. It is a kind of rent-seeking behaviour. In the UK we had the same corrupting influence via the state-funding of the Arts. Proving it was a relatively simple exercise, and the result has been a severe reduction in state funding, a consequent pruning of the Arts-funding apparat, and a consequent improvement in the health of the Arts per se.

    Andrew Pinnock’s brilliantly simple and unassailable procedure, described in his paper “The Gramppian Hills: an empirical test for rent-seeking behaviour in the arts” met with no serious opposition from those most affected by the reduction in funding, despite the huge power of their lobby.

    I recommend a read of his report, as it might provide inspiration for a latter-day Luther to nail those who are corrupting the scientific process.

  9. Science is supposed to be self-correcting. Therefore, each more recent science controversy is less good for science then the previous e.g. phlogiston.

    The novelty in this latest controversy is it tests the code of ethics by those demanding public funds on controversial grounds (i.e. fighting anthropogenic climate change or whatever they’ll settle as a name for it one day.)

    The UN code of ethics
    i) lists the following values: independence; loyalty; impartiality; integrity; accountability; respect of human rights. I’ve observed more loyalty than any other value so far.
    ii) list the following principles: conflict of interest; abuse of power; gifts, honours, favours or other benefits; UN resources; confidentiality of information; post-employment.
    iii) applies to UN staff, volunteers and experts as well as
    iv) includes an obligation to whistle-blow.

  10. There is the problem of political influence by “scientific” advocates of one position over funding of anyone else investigating the general subject. An extreme is Lysenko having such political support that his opponents were purged, to use a nasty euphemism.
    This was an extreme of politics in “research”, where the goal is reinforcing an orthodoxy found useful by the funding agencies. I would argue it is also no longer actual research, hence use of sarcastic scare quotes.

  11. The paleoclimatic research that Fred Singer and I cited in Unstoppable Global Warming shed vastly more light on the history of earth’s climate- – and its likely future – – than anything else we could present.

  12. The Scientific review process in climate science should be under severe scrutiny. The editors of most of the top ranking journals are from IPCC author list. They hardly consider any publication that has a slightest opposing view about the scary CO2 theory. They try to suppress the actual truth from publishing by any means. If the first two reviewers give revision comments, editor invites one reviewer from the editorial board who put few lines comment to reject the publication. The comments are usually out of context and show that reviewer is not much familiar with the area of study. This is one example of discouraging that publication. Even to get a response for the first review report takes an unusual delay. I have a number of practical experiences of receiving even first review report from top journals in one year time and also had to write several reminders for that. On the contrary, some of my colleges, who are involved promoting CO2 agenda can publish unusually fast. To put fairness in the system, few points:
    1. There should be an open list to check who is getting favour from the Editors.
    2. Some forum where scientists can raise their personal issues relating to the unfairness of peer review system.
    2. The journals involved in such practice of suppressing the scientific truth in climate science should be marked in public. The editor/ chief editor responsible for such practices should be named and they should clarify their position to an independent body.
    3. In every top-ranking journal, a section of publication should cover areas of natural influence.

    Many of my colleagues in climate science are very frustrated about such biases in peer review systems. It is very unfair on them who are putting hard effort for the scientific truth. Those top-ranked journals who are only in favour of promoting scary CO2 theory and suppressing the opposing view should be identified and such issues need to be addressed seriously for the credibility of the peer-reviewing system.

    • What’s needed, maybe, is a “science court” to which appeals can be made when the scientific process is not, allegedly, working properly.

      • Who guards the guardians?
        What happens when the members of this so called court get taken over the way so many journal editors have been?

      • @MarkW: The decision of the judges wouldn’t necessarily be the only point of a science court. (Google for it for more details.) The point would be that it would be a forum in which group-thinkers could be forced to defend their case and submit to cross-examination and “disclosure” (or their supporting materials, lab notebooks, etc.). A transcript of the proceedings would be very valuable, regardless of whether the judges were corrupted.

        It’s unlike the judges, selected from the national pool of the most renowned and respected retired scientists, would ever get nearly as badly blinkered and corrupted as members of a niche group of group-thinkers and crusaders.

    • You might be interested in the email I send Donna Laframboise (after her posting on GWPF) to which she never responded

      I read “PEER REVIEW Why skepticism is essential” this weekend and feel the need to comment.

      You state “If half of all peer-reviewed research ‘may simply be untrue’, half of all climate research may also be untrue. ” While you present many examples from fields such as medicine, physics, etc., you do not include one specific documented example from the field of climate science. Let me provide some.

      1) Soon and Baliunas, 2003
      2) Spencer and Braswell, 2011

      As you must know, in both cases editors resigned after it was realized that the peer view process was seriously flawed.

      In the Spring of 2003, Soon and Baliunas, with three additional co-authors, published a longer version of the paper in Energy and Environment. When asked about the publication in the Spring of 2003 of the revised version of the paper at the center of the Soon and Baliunas controversy, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen said, “I’m following my political agenda — a bit, anyway. But isn’t that the right of the editor?”
      In another case the publisher of a journal ceased publication after it was clear that the peer-review process for a special edition of the journal was highly flawed.
      From the Copernicus Publications website.
      Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.
      Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).
      Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.
      In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.
      Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

      You further state “Reproducibility is the backbone of sound science.” I agree. The hockey stick has been reproduced at least 38 times using different data sets and different methodologies by different researchers.

      While these examples of flawed peer-review come from “denialists” (to use the term employed Dr. Carl Mears of RSS), I am sure with your investigative skills you can find similarly egregious examples by “affirmers” of climate science. I would appreciate seeing those.

  13. Controversy, per se, is never bad for science. It just shows that the process is working as designed.
    Now the ways in which the warmists have abused the process is bad for science.

  14. The fact that the IPCC authors tended to cite their own work, rather than the work of others, is also evidence of how small the circle of warmist scientists really is.

    • Genuine questioning of assumptions is good for science. Disingenuous manufactured controversy, however, is not — it only indoctrinates the lay public, and because it is based on unsound reasoning and already discredited notions, is useless at best (and a diversion of time and resources at worst) to those actually doing the science.

    • But surely the citations are even more important if they refer to the greatest scientists in the word, evah!

      And that’s what these scientists are doing.
      (In their opinion).

  15. I used to have great respect for Scientist, believing that they would settle any questions using facts, not feelings or emotions.

    The entire global warming/climate change issue dealt that image a huge blow that it will not recover from.

    There is one good thing about all this: I’m now deeply skeptical of anything anyone claims on any subject.

    I’ve been lied to, too many times, by too many people and too many organizations I once respected.

    • “There is one good thing about all this: I’m now deeply skeptical of anything anyone claims on any subject.”

      I think that is the proper attitude to have, Steven. :)

  16. The academic scam is healthy and growing where you review my work favorably and I review yours the same – it’s called ‘pal review’. Also, I bestow honors upon you and you return the favor; I create symposia and invite you to deliver the keynote address and you reciprocate, always at some exotic location with travel paid for by govt. grants. We provide each other with endless opportunities to engorge our bogus bio’s making it easy to receive grant $$$ and get promotions and awards. An on and on until retirement. The academic scam paradigm is passed on to our graduate students who proceed to perfect it.

    Enough already!

  17. Number of science academies representing millions of scientists in any country on the planet that dispute the conclusions of the IPCC = 0

    Number of science academies representing millions of scientists in any country on the planet that endorse the conclusions of the NIPCC = 0

    • Number of science academies representing millions of scientists in any country on the planet which can provide a clear, quantified, falsifiable hypothesis of climate change = 0

      Number of science academies representing millions of scientists in any country on the planet that can point to a replicable, controlled experiment or evidence to support this non-existent hypothesis = 0

    • Jack,

      Consensus fallacies is a mark of the illiterate,which is what you make clear here.

      I think I already told you that there are a few thousand published science papers that doesn’t agree with the so called consensus anyway.

      • You may wish to read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, especially the postscript, to understand the role of consensus on scientific paradigms. Here is the Cliff’s Notes version:
        Please take note of how many times the term “consensus” is used.

        Yes, you have told be about a few thousand papers that do not support the consensus. I am skeptical of your assertion. Please show me the DOIs of those papers.

    • Jack, there is plenty of evidence that doesn’t support the AGW conjecture:

      You write,

      ” Tony if you think there is no evidence to support AGW, you are living a highly sheltered existence here and other similar sites.”

      Here is one from the IPCC report that most warmists long abandoned,because it gravely damages the AGW conjecture.

      IPCC 2007,

      “For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.”

      They predict the same .30C PER DECADE rate based on the “business as usual” scenario as they did in the 1990 IPCC report.

      Satellite data says:

      1990-2017 about .14C per decade rate.

      2001-2017 about .10C per decade rate.

      Not even close,Jack.

  18. Jack, here are some examples of consensus that was overturned by a single person,but sometimes took decades to a century for Consensus error to be noticed:

    J.Harlan Bretz is one such man who had to fight for FIFTY years against the prevailing UNIFORMITARIANISM doctrine (Consensus), to show what caused the Channeled Scabland in Eastern Washington,

    1) J Harlen Bretz

    And The Great Scabland Debate
    Sean D. Pitman, M.D.
    © April 2004

    “One of the most interesting debates in the history of geology has to do with the origins of the Channeled Scabland region in eastern Washington State – so named by J Harlen Bretz because of the region’s distinctive channels with intervening “scabs” of loess or soil covering the underlying basaltic rock. But how, exactly, were these channels and scabs formed? Were they formed over millions of years of time by process of erosion currently active in the region or were they formed by some other means?

    By the time of the early twentieth century, the most prominent scientists of the day were decidedly “uniformitarian” in their thinking.1,2 That is, they believed that the regular observed processes of usual geologic events acting over vast periods of time were able to explain most if not all of the observed geologic record. J Harlen Bretz, who earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Chicago, was the first geologist to seriously challenge this notion, but it was by no means an easy. The process to change the prevailing dogma of the day was a tremendous struggle for Bretz despite his use of a great deal of very good evidence – and that is what is most interesting about this story.

    Many people think that scientists are dispassionate in their investigations, conclusions and their general search for truth. As we will soon discover, most scientists have always been very passionate people who, just like most of the rest of us, do not like to admit a long-held error even in the face of otherwise overwhelming evidence.”

    Harlan had to fight against that long held consensus,which he succeeded after a few decades with evidence that became so overwhelming that it was finally admitted even by the most dogmatic geologists of the day as show here when he was recognized for his work:

    “Bretz’s remarkable work was built painstakingly over many years, but he had to fight great opposition for many decades for its final acceptance. Finally, in 1979, the geological establishment publicly acknowledged Bretz’s work by awarding him the prestigious Penrose Medal – the most prestigious honor in the field of geology.3 Bretz was in his late 90s, and had been holding the line for more than 50 years before finally realizing general acceptance of his “insane” catastrophic model for the formation of the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington State.”

    2) When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience

    By Richard Conniff

    Smithsonian Magazine
    June 20012

    “It was a century ago this spring that a little-known German meteorologist named Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents had once been massed together in a single supercontinent and then gradually drifted apart. He was, of course, right. Continental drift and the more recent science of plate tectonics are now the bedrock of modern geology, helping to answer vital questions like where to find precious oil and mineral deposits, and how to keep San Francisco upright. But in Wegener’s day, geological thinking stood firmly on a solid earth where continents and oceans were permanent features.

    We like to imagine that knowledge advances fact upon dispassionate fact to reveal precise and irrefutable truths. But there is hardly a better example of just how messy and emotional science can be than Wegener’s discovery of the vast, turbulent forces moving within the earth’s crust. As often happens when confronted with difficult new ideas, the establishment joined ranks and tore holes in his theories, mocked his evidence and maligned his character. It might have been the end of a lesser man, but as with the vicious battles over topics ranging from Darwinian evolution to climate change, the conflict ultimately worked to the benefit of scientific truth.

    The idea that smashed the old orthodoxy got its start on Christmas 1910, as Wegener (the W is pronounced like a V) browsed through a friend’s new atlas. Others before him had noticed that the Atlantic coast of Brazil looked as if it might once have been tucked up against West Africa, like a couple spooning in bed. But no one had made much of it, and Wegener was hardly the logical choice to show what they had been missing. He was a lecturer at Marburg University, not merely untenured but unsalaried, and his specialties were meteorology and astronomy, not geology.

    But Wegener was not timid about disciplinary boundaries, or much else. He was an Arctic explorer and a record-setting balloonist, and when his scientific mentor and future father-in-law advised him to be cautious in his theorizing, Wegener replied, “Why should we hesitate to toss the old views overboard?”

    He cut out maps of the continents, stretching them to show how they might have looked before the landscape crumpled up into mountain ridges. Then he fit them together on a globe, like jigsaw-puzzle pieces, to form the supercontinent he called Pangaea (joining the Greek words for “all” and “earth”). Next he assembled the evidence that plants and animals on opposite sides of the oceans were often strikingly similar: It wasn’t just that the marsupials in Australia and South America looked alike; so did the flatworms that parasitized them. Finally, he pointed out how layered geological formations often dropped off on one side of an ocean and picked up again on the other, as if someone had torn a newspaper page in two and yet you could read across the tear.

    Wegener called his idea “continental displacement” and presented it in a lecture to Frankfurt’s Geological Association early in 1912. The minutes of the meeting noted that there was “no discussion due to the advanced hour,” much as when Darwinian evolution made its debut. Wegener published his idea in an article that April to no great notice. Later, recovering from wounds he suffered while fighting for Germany during World War I, he developed his idea in a book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, published in German in 1915. When it was published in English, in 1922, the intellectual fireworks exploded.

    Lingering anti-German sentiment no doubt intensified the attacks, but German geologists piled on, too, scorning what they called Wegener’s “delirious ravings” and other symptoms of “moving crust disease and wandering pole plague.” The British ridiculed him for distorting the continents to make them fit and, more damningly, for not describing a credible mechanism powerful enough to move continents. At a Royal Geographical Society meeting, an audience member thanked the speaker for having blown Wegener’s theory to bits—then thanked the absent “Professor Wegener for offering himself for the explosion.”

    But it was the Americans who came down hardest against continental drift. A paleontologist called it “Germanic pseudo­-science” and accused Wegener of toying with the evidence to spin himself into “a state of auto-intoxication.” Wegener’s lack of geological credentials troubled another critic, who declared that it was “wrong for a stranger to the facts he handles to generalize from them.” He then produced his own cutout continents to demonstrate how awkwardly they fit together. It was geology’s equivalent of O.J. Simpson’s glove.”

    It took FORTY years before his basic hypothesis gained support,but ONLY after those Consensus loving old geologists died off.

    “The turnabout on his theory came relatively quickly, in the mid-1960s, as older geologists died off and younger ones began to accumulate proof of seafloor spreading and vast tectonic plates grinding across one another deep within the earth.”

    There are many more examples of Consensus failures. I never read Thomas Kuhn talking about consensus failures in his book,have you Jack?

    Science runs on Reproducible research,not Consensus.That is what many science illiterates like you never understand.

      • I gave you several examples of failed consensus,you didn’t accept the well supported evidence. That means your consensus claims are not a valid measure for advancing science. It is published reproducible research that drives science forward not consensus pablums.

        There are many more examples of Consensus that were wrong,you ignored it. I have already proved that Consensus is a NOT a valid measure in support of science research. It doesn’t shed light on a science subject,reproducible research can do that,it takes just ONE paper, to overturn a dogma, Bretz and Wegener did just that.

        You can’t ignore it,Jack.

        Then you run on about ‘Hockey Stick” paper that doesn’t even cover the Southern Hemisphere,was convincingly exposed to use improper statistical methods and relied on a poor database of tree rings,which wasn’t even based on temperature at all.. He published a later paper that restored the well supported MWP and LIA.

        The Wegman and NAS reports both substantially agree that it was a deeply flawed paper. Mann was forced to post a errata after McIntyre and McKitrick published a paper showing the obvious flaws of the paper.

    • Having read “Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth” by James Powell ( I am well of aware of individuals who have challenged the consensus.

      If you are interested in those who challenge consensus, it is quite readable.

      One individual you seem to conveniently forget is Guy Callendar who challenged the existing paradigm on climate change

      You also could have included Einstein. Kenneth Richards at your beloved onetrickzone reminds me of Philipp Lenard.

    • The continental drift hypothesis gained very little acceptance, largely because nobody, including Wegener, could conceive of a mechanism that would cause it.

      What presaged the acceptance of continental drift was the International Geophysical Year in 1957, which (among many other things) led to widespread magnetic surveys of the oceans and the recognition of those remarkable offsetting faults that couldn’t be explained.

      Then in 1965, J. Tuzo Wilson became aware of the Matthews-Vine hypothesis, based on their work on the Red Sea rift, that new oceanic crust was being formed at mid-ocean ridges. Wilson developed the theory of transform faults, that what looked like right-handed displacements of the oceans’ magnetic stripes were actually left handed displacements (and vice versa). He also asked the really key question – if new crust is formed at mid-ocean ridges, what happens to old oceanic crust? And plate tectonics was born. Just like that. The mechanism that drives continental drift was explained.

      The point of this comment being that Wegener simply had no data that would have allowed him to hypothesize a mechanism for drift, so his theory was marginalized until the data was available. That’s why the consensus was maintained, although the ridicule was superfluous. When Wilson laid out his ideas in a series of seminars (Geophysics Department, Cambridge, 1965, I was an undergraduate and I was there, and you could feel the excitement and Wilson is still my hero), everyone said “OMG why didn’t I think of that?” regardless of their ages. It had nothing to do with “older generations dying off”.

      “Wegener’s discovery of the vast, turbulent forces moving within the earth’s crust”

      is a bit of a reach. He didn’t discover any forces, although he (erroneously) postulated some. In fact, those forces (in the mantle, not the crust) are still not fully understood. For example, there is an active debate going on about the existence of mantle “hot spots” with a consensus that says hot spots exist, and a much smaller group of skeptics, who say they don’t. The debate is played out in journals and symposia, and it’s done with politeness and respect from both sides, no insults, no calls for prosecution of skeptics, no spurious assertions of funding from sinister corporations. When you see a debate like that, you realise that anyone calling the AGW fracas a “debate” hasn’t really looked at it. It has more in common with the battle of the Somme than a debate.

      Sorry for going on, but when you’ve seen a scientific revolution up close, it makes an impression that tends to stay with you.

      • That is a fine comment,Smart Rock.

        However Wegener was initially correct that there obvious evidence of continents drifting,but never really could explain HOW they drift. What he did was show clear evidence that at one time continents were joined,using several lines of evidence of plant/animal species,and rock formations. This was met with hostility,as shown in the article:

        “…Later, recovering from wounds he suffered while fighting for Germany during World War I, he developed his idea in a book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, published in German in 1915. When it was published in English, in 1922, the intellectual fireworks exploded.

        Lingering anti-German sentiment no doubt intensified the attacks, but German geologists piled on, too, scorning what they called Wegener’s “delirious ravings” and other symptoms of “moving crust disease and wandering pole plague.” The British ridiculed him for distorting the continents to make them fit…..”

        They had ignored evidence he presented that made his claim that continents were once connected in the past.

        The article had pointed out,that he knew this in 1912,published the book in 1915,and translated into English in 1922.

        “He cut out maps of the continents, stretching them to show how they might have looked before the landscape crumpled up into mountain ridges. Then he fit them together on a globe, like jigsaw-puzzle pieces, to form the supercontinent he called Pangaea (joining the Greek words for “all” and “earth”). Next he assembled the evidence that plants and animals on opposite sides of the oceans were often strikingly similar: It wasn’t just that the marsupials in Australia and South America looked alike; so did the flatworms that parasitized them. Finally, he pointed out how layered geological formations often dropped off on one side of an ocean and picked up again on the other, as if someone had torn a newspaper page in two and yet you could read across the tear.”

        The consensus of that times was in “…Wegener’s day, geological thinking stood firmly on a solid earth where continents and oceans were permanent features.”,which is amusing since they never had evidence that their position was scientifically supportable.

        The consensus were wrong,while Wegener who wasn’t even a Geologist, was correct that they do drift. Modern plate tectonics filled in what Wegener couldn’t do,is explain what made them move.

        Consensus of his day said they didn’t move,Wegener a single person said there is good evidence they DO move.

  19. Incredibly Jack,didn’t understand his own words as being contradictory,but here is my reply:

    Jack writes,

    “Yes, you have told be about a few thousand papers that do not support the consensus. I am skeptical of your assertion. Please show me the DOIs of those papers.”

    1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarmism

    100+ Papers – Sun Drives Climate

    65 Papers: Low Sensitivity

    Global Warming Disputed: 350 Graphs

    You need to drop your Consensus DOGMA,since it holds back research freedom and reduces constructive debate.

    Both Bretz and Wegener were treated really bad, because they dare to dispute the Consensus.

    Science is NEVER settled Jack,you need to understand that.

    • Not a single DOI. I want you to show me original sources, not contextomized misrepresentations.

      Get your our Kenneth and Pierre’s butts, try reading actual science.

      I know that science is never settled. I learned much from Thomas Kuhn. The concept of paradigm shifts is his.

      • Jack,if you bothered to look around in the link, you would know WHERE all those 1350 paper were posted in.

        Here is an example:

        What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979? (PDF)
        (Remote Sensing, Volume 2, Issue 9, pp. 2148-2169, September 2010)
        – John R. Christy, Benjamin Herman, Roger Pielke Sr., Philip Klotzbach, Richard T. McNider, Justin J. Hnilo, Roy W. Spencer, Thomas Chase, David Douglass

        Kenneth and Pierre did the same thing,show WERE the papers were published in.


        Florides and Christodoulides, 2009 (2X CO2 = ~0.02°C)
        A very recent development on the greenhouse phenomenon is a validated adiabatic model, based on laws of physics, forecasting a maximum temperature-increase of 0.01–0.03 °C for a value doubling the present concentration of atmospheric CO2. Moreover, data from palaeoclimatology show that the CO2-content in the atmosphere is at a minimum in this geological aeon. Finally it is stressed that the understanding of the functioning of Earth’s complex climate system (especially for water, solar radiation and so forth) is still poor and, hence, scientific knowledge is not at a level to give definite and precise answers for the causes of global warming.

        Your objections are absurd.

      • Then it is clear you have no counterpoint to the proven examples of Consensus failures. You behave like a troll when you keep ignoring all the evidence I post that you don’t counter. You keep right on supporting Consensus fallacies,your desperate appeal to Thomas Kuhn, who doesn’t defend your Consensus nonsense.

        Exposed your ignorance of Dr. Crichton’s career,exposed your lack of defense over your Consensus fallacy. Exposed your ignorance of nearly 2,000 published science papers and presentations,that doesn’t support AGW conjecture.

        It is YOU who is the fool,I merely exposed YOU as a fool in it, with a lot of evidence,you provided no evidence at all,just a lot of bluster.

        I posted evidence of disputing published science papers. You came back with the worn out boring ad hom fallacy.

        “Not a single DOI. I want you to show me original sources, not contextomized misrepresentations.

        Get your our Kenneth and Pierre’s butts, try reading actual science. ”


        I posted well supported examples of consensus failures. You came back with… he he… Thomas Kuhn,which means you don’t have an answer to my supported consensus failure examples. He can’t wish it away with his PHILOSOPHIC musings. You can’t be that dumb?

        “You may wish to read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, especially the postscript, to understand the role of consensus on scientific paradigms.”

        No thanks.

        I invoke an appropriate verse just for you,it pegs you extremely well, since you offered no rational defense of your silly consensus claims. You never post any counter to my examples of Consensus failures of which there are many. You completely ignored the IPCC Per Decade post I made, to show a glaring example of the AGW conjecture predictive failure

        Hebrews 5.

        “11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

        Why are you still drinking Butter Milk?

  20. Here is more about the worthlessness of Consensus paradigms:

    This is a PARTIAL quote from a Speech Dr. Crichton made at Caltech in 2003

    The speech was titled,

    Aliens caused global warming

    ” I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

    In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases.

    In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever.

    In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.

    In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.

    In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent “skeptics” around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

    There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the “pellagra germ.” The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory.

    Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called “Goldberger’s filth parties.” Nobody contracted pellagra.

    The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

    Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

    And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.”

    Jack, you need to drop the Consensus baloney.

    • Really – a science fiction writer?

      But since you quoted him “What is relevant is reproducible results.”

      Here are over 3 dozen hockey sticks by different researcher using different data set and different methodologies:

      Crowley, T. J. 2000. Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years. Science 289:270-277: Used both his own and Mann et al. (1999)’s hockey sticks to examine the cause of temperature changes over the past 1,000 years. Found that natural forcings could not explain twentieth century warming without the effect of greenhouse gases.

      Huang, S, H. N. Pollack, and P. Shen. 2000. Temperature Trends over the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures. Nature 403:756-758: Reconstructed global average temperatures since AD 1500 using temperature data from 616 boreholes from around the globe.

      Bertrand, C., M. Loutre, M. Crucifix, and A. Berger. 2002. Climate of the Last Millenium: A Sensitivity Study. Tellus 54A:221-244.: Reconstructed solar output, volcanic activity, land use changes, and greenhouse gas concentrations since AD 1000, then computed the expected temperature changes due to those forcings. Compared the computed temperature changes with two independent temperature reconstructions.

      Esper, J., E. R. Cook, and F. H. Schweingruber. 2002. Low-frequency Signals in Long Tree-ring Chronologies for Reconstructing Past Temperature Variability. Science 295:2250-2253: Reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperatures between AD 800 and AD 2000 using tree ring chronologies.

      Cronin, T. M., G. S. Dwyer, T. Kamiya, S. Schwede, and D. A. Willard. 2003. Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Temperature Variability from Chesapeake Bay. Global and Planetary Change 36: 17-29: Reconstructed temperatures between 200 BC and AD 2000 around Chesapeake Bay, USA, using sediment core records.

      Pollack, H. N. and J. E. Smerdon. 2004. Borehole Climate Reconstructions: Spatial Structure and Hemispheric Averages. Journal of Geophysical Research 109:D11106: Reconstructed global average temperatures since AD 1500 using temperature data from 695 boreholes from around the globe.

      Esper, J., R. J. S. Wilson, D. C. Frank, A. Moberg, H. Wanner, and J. Luterbacher. 2005. Climate: Past Ranges and Future Changes. Quarternary Science Reviews 24:2164-2166: Compared and averaged five independent reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere temperatures from AD 1000 to AD 2000.

      Moberg, A., D. M. Sonechkin, K. Holmgren, N. M. Datsenko, and W. Karlen. 2005. Highly Variable Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Reconstructed from Low- and High-resolution Proxy Data. Nature 433:613-617: Combined tree ring proxies with glacial ice cores, stalagmite, and lake sediment proxies to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures from AD 1 to AD 2000.

      Oerlemans, J. 2005. Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records. Science 308:675-677: Reconstructed global temperatures from AD 1500 to AD 2000 using 169 glacial ice proxies from around the globe.

      Rutherford, S., M. E. Mann, T. J. Osborn, R. S. Bradley, K. R. Briffa, M. K. Hughes, and P. D. Jones. 2005. Proxy-based Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature Reconstructions: Sensitivity to Method, Predictor Network, Target Season, and Target Domain. Journal of Climate 18:2308-2329: Compared two multi-proxy temperature reconstructions and tested the results of each reconstruction for sensitivity to type of statistics used, proxy characteristics, seasonal variation, and geographic location. Concluded that the reconstructions were robust to various sources of error.

      D’Arrigo, R. R. Wilson, and G. Jacoby. 2006. On the Long-term Context for Late Twentieth Century Warming. Journal of Geophysical Research 111:D03103: Reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperatures between AD 700 and AD 2000 from multiple tree ring proxies using a new statistical technique called Regional Curve Standardization. Concluded that their new technique was superior to the older technique used by previous reconstructions.

      Osborn, T. J. and K. R. Briffa. 2006. The Spatial Extent of 20th-century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years. Science 841-844: Used 14 regional temperature reconstructions between AD 800 and AD 2000 to compare spatial extent of changes in Northern Hemisphere temperatures. Found that twentieth century warming was more widespread than any other temperature change of the past 1,200 years.

      Hegerl, G. C., T. J. Crowley, M. Allen, W. T. Hyde, H. N. Pollack, J. Smerdon, and E. Zorita. 2007. Detection of Human Influence on a New, Validated 1500-year Temperature Reconstruction. Journal of Climate 20:650-666: Combined borehole temperatures and tree ring proxies to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures over the past 1,450 years. Introduced a new calibration technique between proxy temperatures and instrumental temperatures.

      Juckes, M. N., M. R. Allen, K. R. Briffa, J. Esper, G. C. Hegerl, A. Moberg, T. J. Osborn, and S. L. Weber. 2007. Millenial Temperature Reconstruction Intercomparison and Evaluation. Climate of the Past 3:591-609: Combined multiple older reconstructions into a meta-analysis. Also used existing proxies to calculate a new Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction.

      Wahl, E. R. and C. M. Ammann. 2007. Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperatures: Examination of Criticisms Based on the Nature and Processing of Proxy Climate Evidence. Climatic Change 85:33-69: Used the tree ring proxies, glacial proxies, and borehole proxies used by Mann et al. (1998, 1999) to recalculate Northern Hemisphere temperatures since AD 800. Refuted the McIntyre and McKitrick criticisms and showed that those criticisms were based on flawed statistical techniques.

      Wilson, R., R. D’Arrigo, B. Buckley, U. Büntgen, J. Esper, D. Frank, B. Luckman, S. Payette, R. Vose, and D. Youngblut. 2007. A Matter of Divergence: Tracking Recent Warming at Hemispheric Scales Using Tree Ring Data. Journal of Geophysical Research 112:D17103: Reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperatures from AD 1750 to AD 2000 using tree ring proxies that did not show a divergence problem after AD 1960.

      Mann, M. E., Z. Zhang, M. K. Hughes, R. S. Bradley, S. K. Miller, S. Rutherford, and F. Ni. 2008. Proxy-based Reconstructions of Hemispheric and Global Surface Temperature Variations over the Past Two Millenium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:13252-13257: Reconstructed global temperatures between AD 200 and AD 2000 using 1,209 independent proxies ranging from tree rings to boreholes to sediment cores to stalagmite cores to Greenland and Antarctic ice cores.

      Kaufman, D. S., D. P. Schneider, N. P. McKay, C. M. Ammann, R. S. Bradley, K. R. Briffa, G. H. Miller, B. L. Otto-Bliesner, J. T. Overpeck, B. M. Vinther, and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members. 2009. Recent Warming Reverses Long-term Arctic Cooling. Science 325:1236-1239: Used tree rings, lake sediment cores, and glacial ice cores to reconstruct Arctic temperatures between 1 BC and 2000 AD.

      von Storch, H., E. Zorita, and F. González-Rouco. 2009. Assessment of Three Temperature Reconstruction Methods in the Virtual Reality of a Climate Simulation. International Journal of Earth Science 98:67-82: Tested three different temperature reconstruction techniques to show that the Composite plus Scaling method was better than the other two methods.

      Frank, D., J. Esper, E. Zorita, and R. Wilson. 2010. A Noodle, Hockey Stick, and Spaghetti Plate: A Perspective on High-resolution Paleoclimatology. Climate Change 1:507-516: A brief history of proxy temperature reconstructions, as well as analysis of the main questions remaining in temperature reconstructions.

      Kellerhals, T., S. Brütsch, M. Sigl, S. Knüsel, H. W. Gäggeler, and M. Schwikowski. 2010. Ammonium Concentration in Ice Cores: A New Proxy for Regional Reconstruction? Journal of Geophysical Research 115:D16123: Used ammonium concentration in a glacial ice core to reconstruct tropical South American temperatures over the past 1,600 years.

      Ljungqvist, F. C. 2010. A New Reconstruction of Temperature Variability in the Extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere During the Last Two Millenia. Geografiska Annaler: Series A Physical Geography 92:339-351 : Reconstructed extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere temperatures from AD 1 to AD 2000 using historical records, sediment cores, tree rings, and stalagmites.

      Thibodeau, B., A. de Vernal, C. Hillaire-Marcel, and A. Mucci. 2010. Twentieth Century Warming in Deep Waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence: A Unique Feature of the Last Millenium. Geophysical Research Letters 37:L17604: Reconstructed temperatures at the bottom of the Gulf of St. Lawrence since AD 1000 via sediment cores.

      Tingley, M. P. and P. Huybers. 2010. A Bayesian Algorithm for Reconstructing Climate Anomalies in Space and Time. Part I: Development and Application to Paleoclimate Reconstruction Problems. Journal of Climate 23:2759-2781.

      Tingley, M. P. and P. Huybers. 2010. A Bayesian Algorithm for Reconstructing Climate Anomalies in Space and Time. Part II: Comparison with the Regularized Expectation Maximum Algorithm. Journal of Climate 23:2782-2800. Both Tingley and Huybers papers revolved around the same reconstruction, in which they derived and used a Bayesian approach to reconstruct North American temperatures.

      Büntgen, U., W. Tegel, K. Nicolussi, M. McCormick, D. Frank, V. Trouet, J. O. Kaplan, F. Herzig, K. Heussner, H. Wanner, J. Luterbacher, and J. Esper. 2011. 2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility. Science 331:578-582: Used tree ring proxies to reconstruct Central European temperatures between 500 BC and AD 2000.

      Kemp, A. C., B. P. Horton, J. P. Donnelly, M. E. Mann, M. Vermeer, and S. Rahmstorf. 2011. Climate Related Sea-level Variations Over the Past Two Millenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:11017-11022: Reconstructed sea levels off North Carolina, USA from 100 BC to AD 2000 using sediment cores. They also showed that sea levels changed with global temperature for at least the past millennium.

      Kinnard, C. C. M. Zdanowicz, D. A. Fisher, E. Isaksson, A. de Vernal, and L. G. Thompson. 2011. Reconstructed Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Over the Past 1,450 Years. Nature 479:509-512: Used multiple proxies to reconstruct late summer Arctic sea ice between AD 561 and AD 1995, using instrumental data to extend their record to AD 2000.

      Martín-Chivelet, J., M. B. Muñoz-García, R. L. Edwards, M. J. Turrero, and A. L. Ortega. 2011. Land Surface Temperature Changes in Northern Iberia Since 4000 yr BP, Based on δ13C of Speleothems. Global and Planetary Change 77:1-12: Reconstructed temperatures in the Iberian Peninsula from 2000 BC to AD 2000 using stalagmites.

      Spielhagen, R. F., K. Werner, S. A. Sørensen, K. Zamelczyk, E. Kandiano, G. Budeus, K. Husum, T. M. Marchitto, and M. Hald. 2011. Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water. Science 331:450-453 : Reconstructed marine temperatures in the Fram Strait from 100 BC to AD 2000 using sediment cores.

      Esper et al. 2012: Used tree ring proxies to reconstruct Northern Scandinavian temperatures 100 BC to AD 2000. May have solved the post-AD 1960 tree ring divergence problem.

      Ljungqvist et al. 2012: Used a network of 120 tree ring proxies, ice core proxies, pollen records, sediment cores, and historical documents to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures between AD 800 and AD 2000, with emphasis on proxies recording the Medieval Warm Period.

      Melvin, T. M., H. Grudd, and K. R. Briffa. 2012. Potential Bias in ‘Updating’ Tree-ring Chronologies Using Regional Curve Standardisation: Re-processing 1500 Years of Torneträsk Density and Ring-width Data. The Holocene 23:364-373: Reanalyzed tree ring data for the Torneträsk region of northern Sweden.

      Abram, N. J., R. Mulvaney, E. W. Wolff, J. Triest, S. Kipfstuhl, L. D. Trusel, F. Vimeux, L. Fleet, and C. Arrowsmith. 2013. Acceleration of Snow Melt in an Antarctic Peninsula Ice Core During the Twentieth Century. Nature Geoscience 6:404-411: Reconstructed snow melt records and temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula since AD 1000 using ice core records.

      Marcott, S. A., J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, and A. C. Mix. 2013. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science 339:1198-1201: Reconstructed global temperatures over the past 11,000 years using sediment cores. Data ended at AD 1940.

      PAGES 2k Consortium. 2013. Continental-scale Temperature Variability During the Past Two Millennia. Nature Geoscience 6:339-346: Used multiple proxies (tree rings, sediment cores, ice cores, stalagmites, pollen, etc) to reconstruct regional and global temperatures since AD 1.

      Rohde, R., R. A. Muller, R. Jacobsen, E. Muller, S. Perimutter, A. Rosenfeld, J. Wurtele, D. Groom, and C. Wickham. 2013. A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011. Geoinformatics and Geostatistics: An Overview 1:1-7: Used proxy and instrumental records to reconstruct global temperatures from AD 1753 to AD 2011.

      Wilson, R., K. Anchukaitis, K. R. Briffa, U. Büntgen, E. Cook, R. D’Arrigo, N. Davi, J. Esper, D. Frank, B. Gunnarson, G. Hegerl, S. Helama, S. Klesse, P. J. Krusic, H. W. Linderholm, V. Myglan, T. J. Osborn, M. Rydval, L. Schneider, A. Schurer, G. Wiles, P. Zhang, and E. Zorita. 2016. Last Millennium Northern Hemisphere Summer Temperatures from Tree rings: Part I: The Long Term Context. Quarternary Science Reviews 134:1-18. Introduces and details the new N-TREND2015 temperature reconstruction using 54 proxy records.

      Links available here:

      Yes, I have spend some time confirming them.

      The PAGES 2k Consortium. 2013 is probably the most comprehensive. This is a more recent study

      “Here we present a community-sourced database of temperature-sensitive proxy records from the PAGES2k initiative. The database gathers 692 records from 648 locations, including all continental regions and major ocean basins. The records are from trees, ice, sediment, corals, speleothems, documentary evidence, and other archives. They range in length from 50 to 2000 years, with a median of 547 years, while temporal resolution ranges from biweekly to centennial.”

      The PAGES 2k Consortium authoring this study is a subgroup of the larger PAGES 2k Network. It comprises 98 regional experts from 22 countries.

      • I see that Jack,failing to counter my central point that Consensus errors are many and provable,rushed in defending a paper that even DR.Mann partially abandoned years later.


        Consensus has been wrong many times,which you didn’t counter at all.

        This article shows that Dr. Crichton was a very talented,intelligent man:

        “Michael Crichton dies at 66; bestselling author of ‘Jurassic Park’ and other thrillers

        Crichton was still in Harvard Medical School when he wrote his first bestseller: “The Andromeda Strain,” a fast-paced, scientifically and technologically detailed 1969 thriller about a team of scientists attempting to save mankind from a deadly microorganism brought to earth by a military satellite. It was made into a movie in 1971.

        With his success at writing thrillers, Crichton abandoned medicine to become a full-time writer whose novels in the ’70s and ’80s included “The Terminal Man,” “The Great Train Robbery,” “Eaters of the Dead,” “Congo” and “Sphere.”

        Crichton made his feature film directing debut in 1973 with “Westworld,” which he also wrote, about a fantasy theme park for wealthy vacationers whose fun is spoiled when malfunctioning androids turn deadly.

        He directed five other movies in the ’70s and ’80s: “Coma,” “The Great Train Robbery,” “Looker,” “Runaway” and “Physical Evidence.”

        As a novelist, Crichton came back stronger than ever in the 1990s with bestsellers such as “Jurassic Park,” “Rising Sun,” “Disclosure,” “The Lost World,” “Airframe” and “Timeline.”

        During the same decade, he co-wrote the screenplay for “Jurassic Park,” the 1993 Spielberg-directed blockbuster hit; and he co-wrote the screenplay for the 1996 action-thriller “Twister” with his fourth wife, actress Anne-Marie Martin, with whom he had a daughter, Taylor.

        Crichton also created “ER,” the long-running NBC medical drama that debuted in 1994 and became the No. 1-rated series the next year.

        Dubbed “the Hit Man” by Time magazine in a 1995 cover story chronicling his “golden touch,” Crichton had more than 100 million copies of his books in print at the time. Indeed, the prolific writer who closely guarded his private life had become a dominant figure in popular culture.

        His books, as Washington Post writer Linton Weeks once wrote, “are often dark portraits of science gone awry and technology that brings out the rot in the human heart.”

        They also occasionally spurred controversy over significant current issues, including sexual harassment in the workplace in “Disclosure,” Japanese business practices in “Rising Sun” and global warming in “State of Fear.”

        Known for his intellectual curiosity, energy and drive, Crichton was a self-described workaholic.

        “He works hard,” Martin told Vanity Fair in 1994. “Toward the end of a book, it’s like living with a body and Michael is somewhere else. Then, when the book’s finished, Michael comes back.”

        When he wasn’t writing fiction, Crichton periodically turned to nonfiction, including “Jasper Johns,” a 1977 portrait of the artist; and “Travels,” a 1988 collection of autobiographical tales spanning his medical-school days to his adventures scuba diving and climbing mountains.

        He also wrote a book on information technology, “Electronic Life” (1983), formed a small software company in the early ’80s, designed a computer game and shared a 1995 Academy Award for technical achievement for pioneering computerized motion picture budgeting and scheduling.

        “What I admire about Michael is the way that he can so easily do so many things and do them all so easily well,” Sonny Mehta, Crichton’s editor at Alfred A. Knopf his longtime publishing house before he moved to HarperCollins earlier this decade, told the Washington Post. “There are not too many people who are polymathic these days.”


        “In third grade, he wrote a nine-page play for a puppet show. At 13, he started submitting short stories to magazines, and he sold a travel article to the New York Times when he was 14. He also covered high school sports for the local newspaper and later wrote for the Harvard Crimson.

        Intending to become a writer, he entered Harvard as an English major in 1960.

        But after his professors criticized his writing style, he changed his major to anthropology.

        After graduating summa cum laude in 1964, he spent a year on a fellowship as a visiting lecturer on anthropology at Cambridge University in England.

        Returning home, he entered Harvard Medical School and was soon writing paperback thrillers under the pen names John Lange and Jeffery Hudson.

        His 1968 medical thriller “A Case of Need,” written under his Hudson pseudonym, won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel from the Mystery Writers of America.

        His 1969 novel “The Andromeda Strain” was his first book published under his own name.

        He also co-wrote “Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues,” a 1970 novel with his brother Douglas under the name Michael Douglas.

        After receiving his medical degree in 1969, Crichton spent the next year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla.

        But he continued to write, including “Five Patients: The Hospital Explained,” a 1970 nonfiction book that earned him a writer of the year award from the American Medical Writers Assn.

        His most recent novel, “Next,” which dealt with genetics and the law, was published in 2006.”

        Your consensus argument is feeble.

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