Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hockey Stick Snapped?

There has been an inordinate amount of crowing from various dark corners of climate-change skepticism in recent days, with the Wall Street Journal publicising an analysis of the statistical methods used in compiling data for the 'hockey-stick' Global Climate Reconstruction.

In essence, the 'hockey-stick' has been used a lot by mainstream media as a quick and effective method of demonstrating a touted upswing in global temperature, ostensibly demonstrating that we have entered a period of warmth unprecedented in the last thousand years.

At this point I should note that I have no scientific credentials for understanding the mechanics of the 'Hockey Stick,' nor have I sufficient understanding of statistics at the level that the Wegman paper operates (although I found Chefen's critical analysis by way of reproducing the outcome using white noise at Sir Humphrey's fairly compelling from my lay perspective).

The issue I have is the painting of this by Team Right Wing as the silver bullet for the concept of anthropogenic global warming. There is an ever-growing body of data, independent of the Mann 'Hockey Stick' which points to "the strong likelihood that human influences on climate play a dominant role in the observed 20th century warming of the earth's surface". There is some excellent material on this here at RealClimate -essential reading for any excitable wingers gearing up to prematurely dance on graves...

The message is - strongly - that the conception of anthropogenic global warming does not require the 'Hockey Stick' as an essential prop.


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