Monday, 5 October 2009

Hot air on Global Warming

Cabalamat's Britblog roundup tipped me off to one of those storm in a tea-cup debates on Global Warming...  Steve McIntyre, a long term climate sceptic, has made analysis of tree ring data used as a basis for claiming significant temperature rise in modern times.. and concludes that by substituting other tree ring data the apparent rise disappears. 

I don't have the statistics or knowledge of dendrochronology to know whether his analysis is accurate or pertinent. Whether it is evidence of a 'global warming hoax' I very much doubt (by which I mean whether the results have been skewed deliberately to mislead)- but if this genuinely shows problems in the previous data or analysis it is a valuable contribution to the debate. 

Reading Keith Briffa's response to the post you could almost wonder though if it isn't McIntyre that's guilty of selecting the data to exclude to substantiate his scepticism.  Briffa promises a more detailed review of McIntyre's analysis.  In the meantime RealClimate's response puts the argument into perspective by showing a range of other indicators of long term climate all with the same trend - none of them reliant on the Yamal peninsular tree-ring data.

Getting down to hard facts is important and not easy to do.  Nobody wins and nobody loses by establishing the truth... which is why it's a little sad to see the climosceptic crowing that accompanies this type of report. If someone categorically proves that there is no global warming we will all be able to celebrate...  but don't you think it's time we all started thinking about plan B?

No comments: