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A research paper in a prestigious journal that claimed to show a dramatic increase in global temperatures in the 20th century caused huge headlines around the world.
There’s just one problem. It’s not true.
“Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years,” blared the New York Times on March 7. The Times was reporting on what it called “the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures,” contained in a study published March 8 in the journal Science by Shaun Marcott, Jeremy Shakun, Peter Clark and Alan Mix.
However, once other scientists began looking into the data in the study, called “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years,” the reconstruction began to look far less than meticulous.
The authors of the study quietly admitted last weekend that their claim of surging temperatures can’t be supported by their data.
The establishment media outlets that reported the study with such fanfare have been largely silent on the stunning admission, although the Washington Post did report today that there is now a “controversy” over the data.
And, the New York Times has a climate blog posting that wonders “how the authors square the caveats they express here with some of the more definitive statements they made about their findings in news accounts.”
The data in the paper came from Marcott’s Ph.D. thesis at Oregon State University in 2011, which is online. But the chart in the dissertation does not show the same warming uptick seen in the paper published in Science. And the abstract to his thesis does not mention an uptick.
Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit looked into the research and found the study’s authors had re-dated some of the samples used to determine the findings. Without the re-dating, the research would have shown no upswing in temperatures in the 20th century.
McIntyre emailed Marcott to ask how he got the conclusions in the Science article from the data in his dissertation. Marcott replied that his reconstruction of 20th-century temperatures was probably “not robust.” In other words, probably not accurate.
When that revelation became public, Marcott promised to clear up things in an online post. But when it finally appeared Sunday, Marcott admitted, “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”
In other words, the 20th century portion of their findings is useless.
The authors now say there is a warming spike if a 20th-century thermometer record is grafted onto their chart. But that undercuts the original plausibility of their findings, that the warming was verified by both modern thermometers and their data.
The study was apparently an attempt to revive the now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph created by Penn State professor Michael Mann and used by Al Gore in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which incorrectly concluded that today’s temperatures are unprecedented in 1,300 years.
WND has reported the hacked Climategate emails indicated the graph was created by a “trick” used to force the data into a pattern of steadily increasing temperatures.
The debunking of the study published in Science is just the latest blow to global warming advocates. In December, WND columnist Lord Christopher Monckton told attendees at a global climate conference in Doha, Qatar, there has been no global warming in nearly the last two decades.
It took until March for the establishment media to catch onto that fact, reporting that scientists were “puzzled” by the lack of global warming for almost 20 years.