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WSJ: In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off

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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 01:15 PM
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WSJ: In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off
Global Warring

In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off

Nonscientist Assails a Graph Environmentalists Use, And He Gets a Hearing
Defenders Call Attack Political

By ANTONIO REGALADO
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
February 14, 2005; Page A1

One of the pillars of the case for man-made global warming is a graph nicknamed the hockey stick. It's a reconstruction of temperatures over the past 1,000 years based on records captured in tree rings, corals and other markers. The stick's shaft shows temperatures oscillating slightly over the ages. Then comes the blade: The mercury swings sharply upward in the 20th century.

The eye-catching image has had a big impact. Since it was published four years ago in a United Nations report, hundreds of environmentalists, scientists and policy makers have used the hockey stick in presentations and brochures to make the case that human activity in the industrial era is causing dangerous global warming.

But is the hockey stick true?

According to a semiretired Toronto minerals consultant, it's not. After spending two years and about $5,000 of his own money trying to double-check the influential graphic, Stephen McIntyre says he has found significant oversights and errors. He claims its lead author, climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia, and colleagues used flawed methods that yield meaningless results.

Dr. Mann vigorously disagrees. On a Web site launched with the help of an environmental group (www.realclimate.org1), he has sought to debunk the debunking, and counter what he calls a campaign by fossil-fuel interests to discredit his work. "It's a battle of truth versus disinformation," he says.

But some other scientists are now paying attention to Mr. McIntyre. Although a scientific outsider, the 57-year-old has forced Dr. Mann to publish a minor correction. Now a critique by Mr. McIntyre and an ally is being published in a respected scientific journal. Some mainstream scientists who harbored doubts about the hockey stick say its comeuppance is overdue.

(snip)

Write to Antonio Regalado at antonio.regalado@wsj.com

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110834031507653590,0...

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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 01:26 PM
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1. The WSJ would say that.
I don't think Mann is the only one with a study that shows this.

But sure - the WSJ would love to confuse the global warming issue.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 03:07 PM
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2. ground-truthing using ecological impacts ...
We're seeing things like species ranges expanding northward -- which suggests to me that there are changes going on, and they're significant enough to show up "where the rubber meets the road".
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