Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Monday, December 7, 2009

An amazing email from...

...paleoclimatologist Ed Cook to the CRU's Keith Briffa:

Hi Keith,

After the meeting in Norway, where I presented the Esper stuff as
described in the extended abstract I sent you, and hearing Bradley's
follow-up talk on how everybody but him has fucked up in
reconstructing past NH temperatures over the past 1000 years (this is
a bit of an overstatement on my part I must admit, but his air of
papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times), I have come
up with an idea that I want you to be involved in. Consider the
tentative title:

"Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Over The Past Millennium: Where Are
The Greatest Uncertainties?"

Authors: Cook, Briffa, Esper, Osborn, D'Arrigo, Bradley(?), Jones
(??), Mann (infinite?) - I am afraid the Mike and Phil are too
personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL paper that is
probably the worst paper Phil has ever been involved in - Bradley
hates it as well)
, but I am willing to offer to include them if they
can contribute without just defending their past work - this is the
key to having anyone involved. Be honest. Lay it all out on the table
and don't start by assuming that ANY reconstruction is better than
any other.

Here are my ideas for the paper in a nutshell (please bear with me):

[Ed Cook describes his idea]

Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I
almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will
show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year
extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we
believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what
the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know
with certainty that we know fuck-all).



Amazing. These guys admit privately that they can't say anything meaningful about the environment looking back more than 100 year ago, but yet some of them state publicly that they are "dead certain" that continued CO2 omissions will be the end of us.

Hat tip: Bishop Hill

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