A lot of folks have asked me why I wasn’t more energized initially about the climate emails. One reasons is that they don’t really reveal much that I and others who did not go along blindly with the orthodoxy knew for years. The emails are kind of like getting a written confession from OJ Simpson to Nicole Brown’s murder- newsworthy, but it wouldn’t be confirming anything I didn’t already know.
Here is a good example. I wrote this November 10, 2007:
By the way, here is a little lesson about the integrity of climate science. See that light blue line [in this graph from the IPCC Fourth Assessment]? Here, let’s highlight it:
For some reason, the study’s author cut the data off around 1950. Is that where his proxy ended? No, in fact he had decades of proxy data left. However, his proxy data turned sharply downwards in 1950. Since this did not tell the story he wanted to tell, he hid the offending data by cutting off the line, choosing to conceal the problem rather than have an open scientific discussion about it.
The study’s author? Keith Briffa, who the IPCC named to lead this section of their Fourth Assessment.
The recent data release apparently includes this chart of Briffa’s proxy data discussed above (from Steve McIntyre via Anthony Watts):
For the very first time, the Climategate Letters “archived” the deleted portion of the Briffa MXD reconstruction of “Hide the Decline” fame – see here. Gavin Schmidt claimed that the decline had been “hidden in plain sight” (see here. ). This isn’t true.
The post-1960 data was deleted from the archived version of this reconstruction at NOAA here and not shown in the corresponding figure in Briffa et al 2001. Nor was the decline shown in the IPCC 2001 graph, one that Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were working in the two weeks prior to the “trick” email (or for that matter in the IPCC 2007 graph, an issue that I’ll return to.)
A retrieval script follows.
For now, here is a graphic showing the deleted data in red.
Figure 1. Two versions of Briffa MXD reconstruction, showing archived and climategate versions. The relevant IPCC 2001 graph, shown below, clearly does not show the decline in the Briffa MXD reconstruction.
Contrary to Gavin Schmidt’s claim that the decline is “hidden in plain sight”, the inconvenient data has simply been deleted.
I think his hockey stick looks a little flacid. Fortunately someone invented Tiljander sediments, a form of data Viagra (as long as one flips it upside down) and such games were no longer necessary.