Behind The Black Postings By Robert Zimmerman

More fraud in climate science

Fraudalent data

Steve McIntyre, the man who had demonstrated that Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph was a fraud, has now demonstrated that the work of a group of climate scientists attempting to resurrect it is even more fraudulent. It seems that in order to recreate the illusion of warming in the past four hundred years, the scientists, led by geologist Shaun Marcott, changed the dates on a series of ocean cores in order to get the results they wanted.

McIntyre found that Marcott and his colleagues used previously published ocean core data, but have altered the dates represented by the cores, in some cases by as much as 1,000 years.

Most significantly, the scientists made no explanation for changing these dates. It is as if they wanted to hide this decline, y’know?

The chart on the right, by McIntyre, illustrates the fraud. The black line shows the temperature numbers of the ocean cores used by Marcott. The red line shows the temperature numbers, as originally published in the scientific literature, for these ocean cores.

The discrepancy here is so egregious that it screams at you. More important, as John Hinderaker says,

The publicly available evidence suggests that alarmist scientists have repeatedly committed fraud in research conducted and papers published that were paid for by United States taxpayers. It seems inconceivable that felonies have not been committed in connection with those frauds. Are there not criminal statutes that prohibit the publication of fraudulent data in taxpayer-supported research?

To my mind, the best way to correct this situation is for climate scientists to come forward and demand an explanation, and if they don’t get it, to ostracize these scientific frauds. Up to now, unfortunately, that has not been the attitude of most climate scientists. Instead, they have circled the wagons and acted to protect these hacks, producing investigations that were nothing more than whitewashes and using the power of their community to attack the skeptics.

Until the climate science community begins to clean up its act, no one is going to believe anything they say. Worse, we will be faced with an inability to really find out what is going on with the Earth’s climate.

Some additional thoughts: The red line in the graph does not prove that the climate has been cooling the last 400 years. What it does indicate is that this particular proxy that scientists have been using to estimate the global temperature in the past is not very reliable.

In addition, the Marcott paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal, illustrating once again that peer review is not a guarantee of quality scientific work.

28 Comments
  1. D. K. Williams says:

    The real “inconvenient truth” behind the global warmists’ dogma is that ideology trumps scientific findings. Unfortunately, too many people swallow this nonsense unquestionably, because it has become a core principle of liberalism.

  2. jwing says:

    The title of “scientist” no longer holds credibility, especially if government funding flows into said scientist’s paycheck.

    Instead, the title of overpaid, over-credentialled propagandist should be professed.

  3. Jim says:

    They are getting an explanation. There is no cover-up here, or intent to deceive. In fact, the authors of the paper (Marcott, et. al.) published their data knowing full well it would be subject to scrutiny and refutation, such as that provided by McIntyre. This is how it is supposed to work. If they did something that is not statistically viable, then we will know, because nothing was hidden.

    I took a look at the response toward the Marcott study from Robert Rohde, who was the chief data analyst from the Koch funded Berkley Earth Surface Temperature project, which much to the chagrin of some global warming skeptics had a similar finding. He said this about the Marcott study:

    “I have long believed that the last 10,000 years was a time period ripe for further study, and the authors seem to have approached the problem in much the same way I might have imagined doing it myself.”
    “The Marcott et al. results may refine our understanding the last 10,000 years; however, the broad picture of Holocene climate does not seem to have been significantly changed by their findings.”
    “The scientific community has also known for some time that the predicted future global warming in most climate models (more than 2 degrees C.) would probably be well above the long-term average temperature present at any time during the Holocene. Hence, the Marcott et al. results are for the most part not surprising, and generally confirm the previous understanding of the Holocene.”
    “Because the analysis method and sparse data used in this study will tend to blur out most century-scale changes, we can’t use the analysis of Marcott et al. to draw any firm conclusions about how unique the rapid changes of the twentieth century are compared to the previous 10,000 years. The 20th century may have had uniquely rapid warming, but we would need higher resolution data to draw that conclusion with any certainty.”

    That was said back on March 9, so even then questions were raised about how the data was used, but even Rohde believed that it was still an addition to the field, and showed the need for further study. I also note that McIntyre and Marcott have exchanged communications, evidently, so I see no hiding of analysis from the authors. In fact, Peter Clark of Oregon State said they’re preparing a general list of points about their study:

    “After further discussion, we’ve decided that the best tack to take now is to prepare a FAQ document that will explain, in some detail but at a level that should be understandable by most, how we derived our conclusions. Once we complete this, we will let you know where it can be accessed, and you (and others) can refer to this in any further discussion. We appreciate your taking the time and interest to try to clarify what has happened in our correspondence with McIntyre.”

    So we will see what their response is. Should be interesting.

    • Jim,

      As you know, I welcome your comments and criticisms. As you also know, I insist upon civility. Because of this, I am telling you now that if you use the word “denier” again for those who express skepticism about global warming, as you do above, you will be banned from this site and your comments deleted.

      For one thing, it is personally offensive to me, as I lost relatives in the Holocaust, and the term was originally invented to describe those who refused to admit that the Nazi effort to wipe out the Jews even happened. To apply this same term to skeptical scientists angers me more than you can imagine.

      More importantly, the most fundamental and important element of science is skepticism. To call someone names because they express that skepticism distorts and literally robs science of its greatest gift to the human race.

      You have been warned. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I want you to remove the term from you comment. If you can’t edit it, I will.

      • jwing says:

        Amen…I second your comment, Robert.
        Never again my brother.

        Jim, please never forget the fact that in the USA we have the constitutional unalienalbe right to personal opinion/thought(i.e. religion), speach and assembly. You’ve become a smug thug hiding behind a politically correct group think. I like to think for myself and let others do the same, respectfully.

        • As I mentioned to Thomas, my newest critic on Behind the Black, I agree with him that calling Jim a “smug thug” is here going over the top and is inappropriate. I would appreciate it if you could reword you criticism of him. If you can’t do it, please let me know how you want to rewrite this and I’ll do it for you.

    • I should add that if you can’t edit your comment, you should tell me how you want it changed, and you should do so within the next 24 hours.

      • 1unclefred says:

        Methinks Zimmerman is W-A-A-A-Y out of L–I–N–E. Not jewst overdone about ‘the holocaust’ however its now bandied SO carelessly -even by YOU in a TOTALLY needless and UTTERLY irrelevant UNscientific way, And, jewst how NAZI YOU ARE:- change your MIND -and WORDS too- or I’ll do it for you….! How BLIND DAMFOOL JEW can you GET -yes, Zimmerman THAT trait IS what TAUGHT the Germans their BLINDNESS ON PURPOSE!

        • Words fail me.

        • jwing says:

          How about an avatar change to, hmm…let’s see how about: 1UncleAdolph, or 1UncleJoe, or better yet, 1uncoolposter.

  4. Jim says:

    Fair enough. I have appreciated you letting me comment here all these months, you’ve been a gentleman, so remove my comments if you must. Its offensive to me to be linked in any way to the holocaust, as I never was aware that the word ‘denier’ did that.
    I wish you all the best.

    • I have edited your comment.

      You might want to read the following posts on Behind the Black again, all of which point out the close-mindedness of those who use the term “climate denier.” The second notes the Holocaust connection, which I would have thought you were aware of.

      Al Gore and the silencing of debate

      Holdren of the Obama administration: Deniers no, Ignorant yes!

      Avoiding the facts in the climate debate

      Deniers of science

      • Jim says:

        Alas, no. There is an old Buddhist adage, “Open mouth, already big mistake.” Should be updated to our times, maybe to “Type words and post, already big mistake.” Being offensive is never one of my intentions, but its always good to take note of when it happens anyway. Thanks again, Robert, for having allowed me into your ‘home’ these last few months. Peace.

  5. Phil Berardelli says:

    Jim, I remember during one exchange that you told me you became open-minded AFTER being a climate-change skeptic, to which I responded that you lacked a fundamental understanding of your terms — that the skeptic is the open-minded one, because that is who remains amenable to changing a viewpoint based on further evidence. Have you now revealed yourself to be a closed-minded ideologue with your term “climate denier?” What the heck does that mean, anyway? Someone who denies there’s a climate?

    In any event, I’d like to challenge you to do something. Please explain to the rest of us what possible use it would be for the researchers to mislabel the core samples and produce the blackline result, when sticking to the proper order yields the red line. That’s all — just explain the reason for producing those two, significantly different, results.

  6. Thomas says:

    Climate change denier: a person who cherry picks facts, introduces false and misleading data, all in the effort to sow doubt about a well established science.
    also, a person who attacks others as liars, progagandist, and criminals, yet whose feeling are hurt, when its pointed out that he is in DENIAL of well-established scientific consensus. (for reference, see evolution denier, also known as creationists). To call people who are in DENIAL, a skeptic, misrepresents the word ‘skeptic’.

    Fascist- a person who censors free speech, free expression, and free thinking- under the banner of ‘civility’.

    Hitler would be proud.

  7. Thomas says:

    I am telling you now that if you use the word “denier” again for those who express skepticism about global warming, as you do above, you will be banned from this site and your comments deleted- Robert Zimmerman

    All any bully would need to do to silence his critics would be to complain about the inflammatory nature of their statements.- Robert Zimmerman

    • Hey, you are welcome to your opinion. You can even post those opinions here as much as you want. However, note that Jim himself had no objections to my objections, quickly recognized the distinction between civil debate and name calling, and agreed to have the term removed as inappropriate.

      Note also that Jim and I disagree on many issues, but have always maintained a civil tone in our debate. He is free to comment here whenever he wants, to point out my errors (if he can find them), and to clarify issues where he feels my own biases have led me astray. For this I am grateful.

      As for bullying him, or trying to silence him, note that after I insisted that his reference to “denier” be removed, he agreed to remove the entire comment, which disagreed with my assessment of the situation quite strongly. I did not do this, however. Instead I replaced “denier” with a more civil and accurate term and kept his comment alive on my webpage, for everyone to read. To me, this is hardly the behavior of a bully who wishes to silence his critics.

      I call some scientists frauds because the data shows them to be frauds. I don’t simply call them names. In this I am very careful. You might not like it when global warming scientists get called out for their bad or dishonest work, but that’s both your and their problem, not mine.

      • Thomas says:

        Yes, name calling is very disrepectful…. but only when applied to ‘deniar’. Its perfectly ok to include quotes where scientists are dismissed as ‘ALARMIST’. But thats because, according to you, they are also ‘FRAUDS’ and “Hacks’. Note the civil tone . And maybe they have committed felonies too!, Which make them criminals. Of course, when they are investigated, and found innocent of wrongdoing, and their findings confirmed, its all a ‘WHITEWASH’. No disrespect intended!

        And, Its perfectly ok for one of your posters to call Jim a ‘SMUG THUG’. How very civil.

        • I repeat, I outline first the reasons why I call them frauds or hacks. In other words, I back up my opinion with facts.

          As for calling the investigations whitewashes, I only did this after reading the investigation reports myself and finding them to be absurd. For example, the investigation into Michael Mann interviewed no one but Mann himself. They asked him if he did anything wrong, he said he did not, and they then declared him innocent. That is hardly a fair and honest investigation.

          You should understand that I base what I write on many years of research as a science journalist. For example, I have actually done the tedious job of reading all the IPCC reports since 1994, not just the executive summaries (which is where most reporters end their research) but the entire science working group sections where the science is described in detail. In doing so, I consistently find that the science of climate remains confused, difficult, complex, and decidedly unresolved. There are too many uncertainties in too many areas for anyone to draw solid conclusions about what is going in with the climate.

          It is from this that I base my skepticism. And I have interviewed numerous climate scientists who agree with me, and are repeatedly distressed that their field has been hijacked by scientists who refuse to recognize this uncertainty.

          Moreover, we are in complete agreement about name-calling. It is absolutely inappropriate if it is used as an argument in the debate. However, if the facts prove that a person is lying, or cheating, or doing dishonest or shoddy science, than it is perfectly reasonable to call them a liar, a cheater, dishonest, or a hack.

          In my case, I, along with many others, have only raised questions about the validity of the global warming theory. We don’t deny it might be true, only that we have problems with many of its assertions, which appear not yet proven.

          For example, I challenge you to read this post, “Al Gore and the silencing of debate,” and then watch the hour long presentation by physicist Jason Kirkby posted the end of the essay. He outlines in great detail many of the links that exist between the behavior of the sun and the climate’s variations. He then describes results that might explain those links, which in turn will make the sun a much bigger player in influencing the climate than any climate scientists has so far expected or predicted. And if that ends up to be so, then the warming we have seen in the last four hundred years might have very little to do with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If you are open-minded about science, you have to consider this as a possibility.

          One last thing: you accused me of being a bully and censoring people. Yet, there is no evidence of this, especially since I have done nothing to censor you, someone who is apparently not much of a fan of my writing and has a lot to say that is critical of my work. The worst I did was insist that one of my commentators refrain from using name-calling as a device to prove his point, an act on my part that is, if anything, an effort to make us more civilized.

          Your point about calling Jim “smug” is valid however. It was inappropriate. I will make this point to the person who wrote it. Like I said, my main goal here is for us to have a civil debate.

  8. Thomas says:

    Thanks for your thoughful reply. For some reason, though, you keep missing the point. My original point is that it IS bullying to threaten someone with permanent banishment from your blog AND removal of his comments if he does not kowtow to your dislike of the term ‘denier’.
    You claim the proof that you did not bully him is that you kept his comment intact. But the fact is, he did kowtow to you, and you did edit his post. I’m betting he will not use the phrase again- since I’m assuming that the threat still stands of banishment and removal of comments if he does. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    You say the word ‘denier’ originally was used in reference to the holocaust, and that is the reason you object to it. That may be. But I also think, in the context of his post, it is a bit of a stretch to imagine that he was making a holocaust denier allusion. Do people really need to type out ‘global warming denier’ every time, in a discussion on global warming? It makes no sense.

    “Global warming denier”, is a term that has been in common use for some time. There are hundreds of articles on the web which use the term. I can even point you to a wikipedia article which uses the term. You may prefer the term ‘global warming skeptic’, or just ‘skeptic’. And perhaps you are a skeptic. But not everyone is. There are undoubtably a number of people who are not merely skeptical, as you are, but DENY that global warming is happening. Unlike you, they have hardened their position where skepticism no longer applies. Since there are people who DENY it is happening, I see no good reason not to refer to them as ‘deniers’. It is these people I assume Jim was referring to. I see no reason to threaten him with banishment, simply because he referred to these people. I see no reason to edit his post.

    BTW, I actually AM a fan of yours. I listen to you on the radio on John Batchelor whom I’m also a fan of. I appreciate what you have to say about space, and your knowledge of NASA and space travel. But you are right, I am not a fan of your views of global warming.

    • I get your point but you don’t get mine.

      The reason I did not want Jim to use the term “denier” is that the term was created and is used as a slander against anyone that expresses any skepticism of human-caused global warming, no matter how reasoned or educated that skeptic might be. The slander is then used as a justification for discrediting and ignoring the opinions of these individuals — some of whom are very important climate scientists — since they are obviously no different than the holocaust deniers who deny that Hitler killed any Jews.

      See for example this post, Deniers of Science, where I take to task the American Geophysical Union and its editors for allowing use of the term in a peer-reviewed climate paper. This is the kind of uncivil debate that I wish would cease in our general society, and I especially do not want to see on this website. If you disagree with me, do with facts and reason, not name-calling. Jim does understand this.

      I have the right to police the civility of the debate on my website. For this reason, I demand this kind of name-calling not go on here. I am not preventing anyone expressing an opinion, only demanding that they do so in a respectful way.

      Finally, I wonder if you ever read the post I recommended in my last email, as well as viewed Dr. Kirkby’s presentation provided in that post. I’d be curious to hear your comments on it. It describes very clearly some of the reasons of my own skepticism.

      • Thomas says:

        I have no problem with avoiding name calling. I can avoid calling you a denier, but I would suggest that to be fair, you avoid the term ‘alarmist’ which is also name calling. I also suggest you avoid terms like ‘fraud’ unless you can show a person has actually been CONVICTED of fraud. I suggest that while calling someone a hack might make perfect sense to you, I would say, does the word ‘hack’ lend itself to civil debate? I do not think so.

        So I think it best to avoid name calling altogether, no matter how justified you think it is.

        Finally, no I have not viewed you video as yet. I am debating whether to, as I tend to avoid getting sucked into these types of ‘my film vs your film’, and my article vs your article strategies. My general reason is that AGW theory , like evolution, is not built upon a single set of facts, but upon many sets of facts from many disciplines, and there is broad consensus on it, and its causes. The chances of it being undermined by any one controversy is about as great as a controversy about a winged dinosaur undermining the theory of evolution.

        So, now I am done with this topic, and you get the last word.

  9. Jim says:

    To Robert and Thomas-
    Since I am the one who started this brou-ha-ha (?), I thought I would share a couple of thoughts.

    I do not like starting brou-ha-ha’s. Its pointless. When I used the term “denier,” I had no ulterior motive. It was a label for a group of people. Labels can at times be inflammatory. Please take note of the fact that I told Robert he was free to remove all my comments if he thought he should, but you should also know that I am not a fan of editing, particularly when I had no nefarious intent. So everyone must do what they must, which is one of the reasons I won’t post here anymore. But also understand this- I also believe that because this is Robert’s site, he has the right to do as he feels he must. I wish he might have said, in response to my comment, “hey, Jim, I do not like the label “denier,” so I would appreciate it if you would not use it anymore.” And you know what? I never would have used it again. If we all get lost in arguing about labels rather than rising temperatures, all of us have failed. But it is also for that reason that I do not think jwing should edit his comment about me…it does not bother me. Believe me, I have been called much worse.

    Thomas, I would encourage you to re-think your comment that I kow-towed on this issue. You are right that I would not have used the term again, but only because it has offended people. And that is something I have no interest in doing, even though I know I have offended people here before. The fact is that I do not have to use the term “denier” to advance this debate. You may want to go back and look at all the raging debates I have had here, particularly about global warming, and I think you will clearly see that I have never kow-towed, and never will, on topics like global warming. I actually came here about a year ago because I heard Robert on the radio speaking about global warming and I wanted to confront him on it. I since have learned to try to be less confrontational, but alas, it seems I keep on keepin’ on.

    We all have to get beyond inflammatory discussions if we are ever going to seriously take on this issue. I like this website- I think its name is brilliant, I like Robert’s posts on music (anyone who posts a Dylan song is OK in my book), and Robert and I even found some common ground on fiscal issues. What happened here on this thread went beyond the pale. And I will take my share of the blame. Quite honestly, Thomas, I hope you keep posting…the other side in the global warming debate needs to be heard here, I believe.

    The trick, for ALL of us, is to have positive intention.

    • Thomas says:

      Kow-tow!! Ok, maybe not. Thanks for your thoughts. I do hope you stick around.

    • I am sorry you have decided not to post comments here any more. It is your decision, but I want you to know that I always appreciated hearing your perspective.

  10. Scott says:

    I enjoyed reading through the comments above and rediscovering something I learned years ago. It is the reason I stopped listening to “talking head” TV “debates”. It is why the “debate” in question is never concluded. It is, in fact, the reason why the exchanged comments – above – sum to zero. It is, in a word, “definition.” We are losing the language – specifically, the definitions of words. When the words “denier”, “alarmist”, “fraud”, and “hack” become the focus of discussion, we are no longer in the realm of climate change. After reading 25 posts I learned more about the ideology of the participants than the topic of discussion.

    I believe that ideological positions have been primary, or central in this debate – not science. The science is beyond the grasp of the public at large, yet they – the public – pay for most of the research and will be called upon to bear the cost of implementing corrective actions if required. As a result, the extreme positions of both parties are trotted out before us in an effort to win public support. This is not science – it’s politics, pure and simple.

    There’s a textbook I used in a philosophy course back in the 60′s titled “The Politics of Science”. Sorry, but I can’t seem to find it in my collection to provide the author’s name. What I remember about the contents most vividly is the way social and political movements through the centuries have used science to advantage or disadvantage one another. Generally, the object of the exercise is increased wealth or political power for the participants. We are no different in 2013.

    • Scott,

      You are 100 percent right. This was why I kept trying to get Thomas to watch that Kirkby video, which had nothing to do with labels or ideology. It was an example of a good scientist outlining in detail the known facts and uncertainties. Sadly, he apparently decided the possibility that these facts and uncertainties might challenge his dearly held ideologies was too risky and refused to watch it.

  11. There is certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I like all the points you have made.

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