Climate Science Scandal – will Paleo Dendrochronology survive?

For new readers please NOTE  that I am NOT a climate skeptic, I am just wondering why groupthink seems so pervasive in the climate science community, especially over at the key climate blog RealClimate .

Update: Two very thoughtful and balanced pieces written – by climate scientist Judy Curry – and by Peter Kelemen at Popular Mechanics .

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take on this.

Here are the infamous hacked emails.

There’s a remarkable development today on the climate front [thanks to Glenn for the link in the earlier post].   A huge amount of climate data, including some remarkable emails between scientists, have been hacked from the University of Anglia in England.   These mails and data may shed some light on some of the more contentious points in climate science.

The odd methods and math seem especially conspicuous in tree ring studies of climate trends.   Called Paleo Dendrochronology, these studies are VERY often used either alone or with other data in climate studies and often are used alone or with other data to make the case that global climate change is potentially catastrophic.

The best scientific work critical of global warming science seems to focus mostly  on attacking this weakest link – or should I say the weakest rings – over at

Here is a great balanced view at UK Guardian of the story so far:

A critical view of the implications of this data is here at ClimateAudit

A sympathetic view is here at RealClimate where   I tried to post I posted this comment and I appreciate the good sportsmanship of them letting it through moderation.   When they do allow me to post this type of comment I wonder if I’ve been too hard on them for what seems like censorship, but possibly could be the crappy posting system they have over there where moderation, timestamps, and other factors seem to confuse everybody.

Somebody naively wondered why there are so few comments on this post. IMO the answer is that RealClimate is effectively content-censored to a large degree for conformance with the prevailing ideas here.

Uninformed dissenters are sometimes let in so the comment crew can bash them around, but reasoned dissenters are usually banned outright. Many don’t bother trying to post here for that very reason.

Gavin in the interest of transparency would you at least roughly estimate how many of the comments have been moderated out for this post? I would guess 95% have been zapped.

<i>[RealClimate wrote]  Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem” </i>

Could you give a few examples? I searched right here at Realclimate for uses of that term they tend to relate to “trickery”, not good science.

More climate updates:   Here’s the Copenhagen Diagnosis,  an excellent summary of the latest climate science  since the last big IPCC report.    For the record I do think this does suffer from the prevailing “somewhat alarmist” tone in some of the interpretations of the research.   For example a key observation is the current pause in warming noted by satellite measures, and this is given short shrift here.

More clear thinking about climate change from Bjorn Lomborg

In the Washington Post today Bjorn Lomborg has a  nice short article about why the climate conference in Copenhagen is falling short of expectations and why it’s time to start focusing on different approaches to limiting global warming.

As one of the most articulate folks working to fight the alarmism about climate change, Lomborg is often spuriously called a “climate skeptic” when in fact he has always accepted the excellent IPCC work and the obvious fact of global warming and even accepted the likelihood that most of the observed warming is caused by humans.  But Lomborg rejects the many misguided, expensive approaches alarmists are suggesting to mitigate these changes.

If we are to respond effectively to global warming then we don’t need any more feel-good summits, or exaggerated but empty declarations of success from politicians. We need action that actually does good.

Yes Mr. Lomborg.   But there is no climate Santa Clause, and ironically we’ll see that the inaction continues in the political arena.    Hopefully innovation will trump all the inaction and hype and we’ll have some major energy breakthroughs, but I’m not going to hold my breath.