Monday, December 21, 2009

Trouble over tree rings

Excellent summary of the climategate battles regarding tree ring proxies of temperature from a prominent Canadian Newspaper, The National Post. 

In the thousands of emails released last month in what is now known as Climategate, the greatest battles took place over scientists' attempts to reconstruct a credible temperature record for the last couple of thousand years. Have they failed? What the Climategate emails provide is at least one incontrovertible answer: They certainly have not succeeded.
In a post-Copenhagen world, climate history is not merely a matter of getting the record straight, or a trivial part of the global warming science. In a Climategate email in April of this year, Steve Colman, professor of Geological Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, told scores of climate scientists "most people seem to accept that past history is the only way to assess what the climate can actually do (e. g., how fast it can change). However, I think that the fact that reconstructed history provides the only calibration or test of models (beyond verification of modern simulations) is under-appreciated."

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