ClimateGate scandal says that contrary to what Al Gore and many in the media claim, the debate concerning manmade global warming is not over.
"There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well," Phil Jones, the former head of Britain's Climatic Research Unit told the BBC.
In a lengthy Q&A published at BBC.com Saturday, Jones also said: the recent warming trend that began in 1975 is not at all different than two other planetary warming phases since 1850; there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and; it is possible the Medieval Warm Period was indeed a global phenomenon thereby making the temperatures seen in the latter part of the 20th century by no means unprecedented.Now comes the part of the Q&A many will find most interesting:
K - How much faith do you have - and should we have - in the Yamal tree ring data from Siberia? Should we trust the science behind the palaeoclimate record?
First, we would all accept that palaeoclimatic data are considerably less certain than the instrumental data. However, we must use what data are available in order to look at the last 1,000 years.
I believe that our current interpretation of the Yamal tree-ring data in Siberia is sound. Yamal is just one series that enters some of the millennial long reconstructions that are available.
The current interpretation of the tree-ring data is "sound." Yet, Jones earlier said (emphasis added), "There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well."This seems especially important given how the "decline" Jones wanted his colleagues to "hide" came from this paleoclimatic data:
Q - Let's talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a "trick" which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned "hiding the decline" (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?
This remark has nothing to do with any "decline" in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.
The phrase 'hide the decline' was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.
This "divergence" is well known in the tree-ring literature and "trick" did not refer to any intention to deceive - but rather "a convenient way of achieving something", in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.
I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time - an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.
This is important, for most people still don't understand what the decline they were trying to hide was.
As Marc Sheppard wrote in December, "[T]he decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists -- those determined by proxy reconstructions." He continued:
Jones was working on a cover chart for a forthcoming World Meteorological Organization report [PDF], "WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1990," when he wrote the e-mail. As the graph would incorporate one reconstruction of his own plus one each from Michael Mann and Keith Briffa, Jones was informing them that he had used the trick on Mann's series at the same 1980 cutoff as MBH98, but found it necessary to use 1960 as the cutoff on the Briffa series.
Now, Jones has admitted this to the BBC: "[It] was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were."
In simple terms, Briffa's tree-ring data showed a decline in temperatures between 1960 and 1999 that weather stations around the world disagreed with. So, Jones spliced into Briffa's data set the real "instrumental" numbers for that period thereby hiding the decline.
This should raise eyebrows for a number of reasons ....
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Video Hat Tip: Neocon Express, "Too Much Snow? It's GW. Not Enough Snow? It's GW":
You cannot win with the 'Global Warming' crowd. Now that everyone is buried in snow, they claim 'Global Warming' causes too much snow ...