Rewriting the decline

Rewriting the decline“. Anthony Watts’ friends have been down in their basement and found a 1976 issue of National Geographic with a temperature history chart of North America that looks different from current global temperature histories! Could there really be a decline in temperatures since the 1960’s that evil climatologists have tried to hide from us?

After admitting that “the global records are not available to check, it’s impossible to know how accurate or not this graph is” they proceed to make the usual speculations and accusations ( including the suitably Orwellian “history has been rewritten”) based largely on a digital photo of a squished magazine illustration. (The version I post here includes more of the original figure than the denialists revealed.)

Art illustrations as scientific evidence. Note: chart in the lower left, excluded from the discussion, is apparently NOT evidence.

The j’accuse comes pretty quick: “the data had been adjusted (surprise)“, backed by this supporting evidence:

But, as usual, the adjustments were in favor of the Big Scare Campaign, and the reasons and the original data are not easy to find.

So in other words, they have no idea why the modern, global, chart differs.

Anthony compounds this ignorance as usual by failing to understand the term “accuracy”, but he really got my attention with his sudden conversion to dendrochronology.

Many tree rings showed a decline after 1960 that didn’t “concur” with the surface records. Perhaps these tree rings agree with the surface records as recorded at the time, rather than as adjusted post hoc?  Perhaps the decline in the tree rings that Phil Jones worked to hide was not so much a divergence from reality, but instead was slightly more real than the surface-UHI-cherry-picked-and-poorly-sited records??

Anthony, do you really think that the temperature records were maliciously altered around the world to suit an implied political agenda? And that now we should trust the innocent, uncorrupted, tree rings?

3 thoughts on “Rewriting the decline

  1. Is he still going on about UHI and poorly-sited stations? You would think that after his own cherry-picked best 70 stations showed the same warming trend as the other thousand plus stations, he’d have distanced himself from those claims.

    [Yeah, but that would require a smidgeon of intellectual honesty. – Ben]

    • Also note that the old graph is in absolute temperatures, and CRU calculates anomalies. How you can ‘overlaid’ the two is completely beyond me.

  2. 1. We need help here. Techno-bents lack the proper vocabulary to do justice to this situation: challenging the current global temperature record based on an old issue of National Geographic.
    We need one of Garrison Keillor’s English Majors to step forward and help us out with some suitable adjectives, and an appropriate blogpost. In return he/she gets the raw materials for a short story or a long mystery.

    2. In the meantime I’ll recycle a description from “o’s” first comments: “self-parody.” This article is how the National Lampoon or The Onion would portray them.
    Are they aware of how much of a credibility gap this kind of silliness puts between them and any serious readers?

    3. In the continued absence of such literary help, we could in time mine “o’s” comments ourselves, to put together a list of adjectives and catch phrases. Browsing the blogroll would also be productive.
    Then we could assemble them together into our own “WUWT” (what it means to me) Thesaurus entry.
    From which we could then quickly choose the best modifiers to round out the next comment.

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