Hockey Stick Groundhog Day

by P. Homewood, August, 1, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

Some ancient history

Fifteen to twenty years ago, Michael Mann and colleagues wrote a few papers claiming that current warming was unprecedented over the last 600 to 2000 years.  Other climate scientists described Mann’s work variously as crap, pathetic, sloppy, and crap.  These papers caught the interest of Stephen McIntyre and this led to the creation of his Climate Audit blog and the publication of paperspointing out the flaws in these hockey stick reconstructions. In particular, Mcintyre and his co-author Ross McKitrick showed that the method used by Mann and colleagues shifted the data in such a way that any data sets that showed an upward trend in the 20th century would receive a stronger weighting in the final reconstruction.  With this method, generation of a hockey-stick shape in the temperature reconstruction was virtually guaranteed, which M&M demonstrated by feeding in random numbers to the method.