Emissions halt but atmospheric levels keep rising

I must tear myself away from the Regional cooling paper to throw this together. It’s too fascinating and too much a potential salve of our collective climate dread to ignore.

The IEA has announced that, since 2014, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have not increased. They have flatlined. Our emissions in 2016 were the same as in 2014 (last three columns–click to enlarge):

Co2 data

Actually, since the increase from 2013 was so tiny, we could say four years of practically no increase. Anyway, thinking this might have been confirmed by a reduction in growth of atmospheric levels of CO2, I checked the latest Mauna Loa observations:

CO2 Trend for Mauna Loa

The black line shows monthly mean values after correction for seasonal variations (the big waves in the red line). There’s no sign of a slowdown. In fact, almost giving the lie to my thinking, there’s a clear surge in early 2016 (easier to see in the black line), during the northern spring. These figures show that so far nobody has thought to inform the climate of our unprecedented halt in emissions.

Brief amusement

The IEA emission figures are for energy-related use of hydrocarbons, which represents just under half the crude oil produced, with the remainder (more than half) used for non-energy purposes including feedstock for material production, such as plastics. For your brief amusement, here is a partial list (pdf, 44.3 KB) of 280 products out of more than 6000 made from crude oil (referred to here as petroleum).

These emission figures probably account for most of our energy-related hydrocarbon use. The only remaining emission source is agriculture, forestry and other land use, which is responsible for about a quarter of global emissions. Could that affect this report of stalled emissions?

The magnitude of the natural CO2 flux completely overwhelms anthropogenic emissions and because of that a lot of people think we’re wasting our time trying to limit emissions. But nobody really knows until we discover the climate sensitivity to CO2; though the indications are that it’s very small.

Where to now with the consensus on climate sensitivity? During the long hiatus in temperature, emissions climbed rapidly; but during this brief hiatus in emissions, temperature has climbed. This experiment seems to indicate a loose correlation at worst (some warming effect), no correlation at best (no anthro effect on temperature).

What has the temperature done now?

Someone said it’s climbed a little,
Someone said it’s not.
Others said no, look at this:
El Nino did the lot.

Back soon. Keep well, everyone.

Visits: 186

67 Thoughts on “Emissions halt but atmospheric levels keep rising

  1. Mike Jowsey on 18/03/2017 at 6:21 pm said:

    “a lot of people think we’re wasting our time trying to limit emissions”
    – US administration thinks it is a waste of your money too!

  2. Richard Treadgold on 18/03/2017 at 6:24 pm said:

    I like it! Thanks!

  3. Robin Pittwood on 18/03/2017 at 7:41 pm said:

    Mickey and Donald still keeping us amused.

  4. Simon on 20/03/2017 at 10:26 pm said:

    There are so many misconceptions in your blog post that I don’t know where to start. Let me try and explain things simply:
    1. 2016 was one of the highest years ever recorded for CO2 emissions.
    2. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will not decrease until emissions approach zero.
    3. Even if total emissions were zero, the temperature would continue to increase until equilibrium is reached.
    4. Scientists believe that equilibrium is somewhere around 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for 400ppm of CO2.

  5. Andy on 21/03/2017 at 9:40 am said:


    “I’m worried having a baby will make climate change worse”

    Sydney Morning Herald


    “Think of the children”

  6. Richard Treadgold on 21/03/2017 at 10:21 am said:


    You claim misconceptions in my post, yet your corrections are unrelated to what I said. Oh well, I’ll comment on those instead.

    1. (High emissions in 2016) It’s worse than that. Over 30% of our total emissions occurred in the last 20 years or so, yet the temperature rose only slightly. This global warming is not the crisis some claim it is.

    2. (Atmospheric levels won’t decrease for ages) This is of no concern and I hate the idea of trying to cool the climate. Cold is bad, warm is good. The temperature is slightly up and it would be great if the CO2 remained — like a man-made Medieval Warm Period. Lovely! More growth, more productivity, less fighting, better holidays.

    3. (Temperature will increase to equilibrium) You don’t mention the magnitude of this possible temperature rise, but that’s the only important aspect. Any idea or are you just trying to frighten us?

    4. (Equilibrium will be 1.5°C above 1750) We’re nearly there. IIRC, only 0.3°C to go, something like that. But nobody knows when we’ll get there, it depends on the climate sensitivity to CO2, and you’ve heard the argument thundering around that one!

    Don’t complain to me about misconceptions, Simon, explain them. But if you want to prove me wrong, you really must address the things I’ve said that are wrong.

  7. Richard Treadgold on 21/03/2017 at 10:22 am said:


    “I’m worried having a baby will make climate change worse”

    Heh, heh.
    They’re called snowflakes for a reason.

  8. Simon on 21/03/2017 at 11:03 am said:

    Richard, It really is impossible to understand what you are thinking when you write things like this:
    Actually, since the increase from 2013 was so tiny, we could say four years of practically no increase. Anyway, thinking this might have been confirmed by a reduction in growth of atmospheric levels of CO2, I checked the latest Mauna Loa observations:
    Do you not understand the difference between change and rate of change? There will not be a reduction in growth of atmospheric levels of CO2 until net emissions are below the long-run average. This should be obvious to you.

    Note: There are complicating factors, e.g. net outgassing of CO2 from warming oceans, but lets try and keep this discussion simple.

  9. Douglas on 21/03/2017 at 1:35 pm said:

    Red face AGAIN for Angela – coming after her disaster of a meeting with Trump. Can she get anything right?

    Embarrassment for Merkel as Germany admits CO2 rise on same day as Berlin climate summit

    ANGELA Merkel’s Government made an embarrassing admission that their country has seen a rise in CO2 emissions on the same day Berlin hosted a climate summit.The Environmental Agency published figures today showing that emissions of CO2 in 2016 in the country were still rising.
    It is the seventh year in a row that CO2 emissions have not been reduced in the European country.

    The news will be of acute embarrassment to Mrs Merkel’s administration as it was announced on the same day more than 1,200 experts from 93 countries travelled to Berlin for talks at a climate summit, according to Die Welt.
    Despite the enormous green electricity subsidies, the country of the ‘Energiewende’ has not been able to reduce its own CO2 emissions even slightly for seven years in a row.
    However, the summit ”Berlin Energy Transition can, of course, also be seen as a success if countries learn not to follow Germany’s example.

    Germany also looks likely to miss its self-imposed target of cutting the carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.
    Environmentally friendly cars you may be FORCED to replace your diesel with
    A list of low emissions environmentally friendly cars to replace your diesel with.
    Renewable energies must cover two thirds of global energy needs by 2050 if the goal of the World Climate Conference is to keep global warming “well below two degrees Celsius” this century.

    According to Irena (International Agency for Renewable Energies) chief executive Adnan Amin, the share of renewable energies in the global energy mix will have to rise by 1.2 per cent a year, which is a sevenfold increase of the rate of growth so far.As a first substantial step, it has been recommended to discontinue subsidies for fossil fuels, in particular petrol, fuel oil and gas, which are common in many countries.
    The energy consumption of the entire global economy should be reduced by 2.5 per cent per year, which is three times the average of the past 15 years.
    The global investment in the energy sector of today will have to increase from an annual budget of $1.8 trillion on average to $3.5 trillion per year, according to a report jointly published by the German economics and environment agencies.

    Expenditure would also increase global economic growth by a factor of one percent in the middle of the century and, according to the study’s authors, create six million new jobs worldwide in the energy sector alone. This would more than offset job losses in the coal and oil industry.

  10. Richard Treadgold on 21/03/2017 at 3:19 pm said:

    Simon, you’ve done it again. You’ve ignored my carefully crafted reply on your four points to raise yet another topic. If you want a discussion, why not participate?

    As to rate of change in emissions. If you understand why, as our emissions increase by leaps and bounds, the atmospheric fraction is maintained at a constant 45% (approx) and why, despite papers over the last few years speculating that it’s increasing, it hasn’t, then you’ll perhaps acknowledge the depth of our ignorance about what we call the carbon cycle.

    So your confident assertion that “there will not be a reduction in growth of atmospheric levels of CO2 until net emissions are below the long-run average” is not as self-evident as you claim.

  11. Michael Kelly, University of Cambridge on 21/03/2017 at 4:55 pm said:

    From the iea website:
    “Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency, signalling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity. ”
    What about all the non-energy related emissions – agriculture, transport, communications, ….?

  12. Richard Treadgold on 22/03/2017 at 11:56 am said:

    Yes, thanks for pointing this out, Michael, I’ve slipped up. The bar graph labelled ‘Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions 1980-2016’ doesn’t mention, as the story does, that it’s only ‘energy-related’ emissions. It’s quite clear in the text, but I overlooked it when importing and handling the graph, so I created a storm in a teacup. Thank heaven for clear-minded readers prepared to comment frankly.

    However, my post isn’t entirely wrong. Though this IEA report doesn’t tell us, there has indeed been a hiatus in total global emissions, though only for 2015. TRENDS IN GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS, 2016, from PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, says “After a slowdown in growth, global CO2 emissions stalled in 2015.”

    It’s interesting to remember that these emissions are not measured but calculated according to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines, under which emissions from most categories of fossil fuel use are calculated by mathematical expressions. Measured confirmation that the calculations match real-world emissions from cannery, cruise ship and coal mine (etc.) awaits, I suppose, the granting of substantial research funds. Strangely, though, there seem few scientists prepared to trust their precious AGW hypothesis to the iron rule of science—at least, I haven’t heard of a queue forming. That marks yet another piece in the AGW jigsaw that eludes precise definition.

    So for now, whether increasing or standing still, whether our emissions explain the growth in atmospheric concentration and their subsequent influence on global mean surface temperature is at best hazy, at worst unknowable.

  13. More growth, more productivity, less fighting, better holidays.

    The new motto for my new company!

  14. Richard Treadgold on 23/03/2017 at 8:33 pm said:

    Heh, heh!

  15. Maggy Wassilieff on 24/03/2017 at 2:45 pm said:

    Bit off topic , I know

    British schoolboy finds massive flaw in NASA radiation data.

    NASA has been recording “negative radiation” multiple times a day.

  16. Mike Jowsey on 24/03/2017 at 7:29 pm said:

    Negative energy is experienced before espresso. Or two.

  17. Maggy Wassilieff on 24/03/2017 at 8:12 pm said:

    @Mike Jowsey

    For a wee fee, I can provide you with some Black Tourmaline.

    (Do not substitute with coal)

  18. Richard Treadgold on 24/03/2017 at 9:46 pm said:

    If they sell Black Tourmaline for negative energy, then negative energy must be a thing, right?

    P’raps we could have a chat about the Brooklyn Bridge…

  19. Magoo on 28/03/2017 at 10:25 am said:

    NOAA’s satellite data shows that long wave radiation escaping to space is increasing, contrary to predictions it should decrease due to it being trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, i.e. NOAA’s own data disproves AGW theory:


  20. Alexander K on 29/03/2017 at 3:42 pm said:

    Sometimes those that express themselves here provide comedy gold, such as Simon, who cannot ever answer simple bullet points but always goes on a tangent. I have been absent since having an extreme cataract removed and replaced with a tiny perspex lens. This has made me very aware that science and engineering are marvelous when they work in tandem. And how awkward it can be when one’s Keypad
    won’t work on some letters!

  21. Richard Treadgold on 29/03/2017 at 3:50 pm said:

    Welcome back, Alexander. That must have made you anxious for your vision, but I hope you’re happy with your new lens. What’s a Keypad, or do you mean your keyboard?

  22. Andy on 29/03/2017 at 3:59 pm said:

    Trump has dumped all of Obama’s climate policies, and the UK triggers Article 50 tomorrow, to leave the EU

    Expect a major meltdown on social media

  23. Richard Treadgold on 29/03/2017 at 4:06 pm said:

    Yes, probably — they’re quite delicate. Not sure they can take this taunting. Hope you have an unlisted number.

  24. Andy on 29/03/2017 at 4:17 pm said:

    Yes I’m getting called “racist” at Hot Topic quite a lot, even though my comments are not visible to the reader, having been snipped (we went off on a tangent about the rape epidemic in Sweden)

    If you want a bit of light relief, this video by the young and talented Chris Ray Gun is good

    it sums up the crazy world of “anti-trumpers” quite well. I am been called many of the names in this video

  25. Andy on 29/03/2017 at 9:03 pm said:

    I find it interesting observing the correlation between rape deniers and followers of the warmist creed.

    My reasonable deduction is that they are mentally ill.

  26. Simon on 29/03/2017 at 10:50 pm said:

    Yet another tangent for you. I went to a talk tonight by Gary Wilson from NZARI showing results from the McMurdo ANDRILL project. In a nutshell, the ice shelf is being severely undercut, we are close to a tipping point. Naively assuming future linear sea level rise is incorrect. At some stage there will be a sea level rise in the order of multiple metres in a single century. NZ is more affected by Greenland ice melt than Antarctic because of gravitational effects. Christchurch South Brighton has favourable sedimentary feedback processes but South Dunedin does not.

  27. Simon on 30/03/2017 at 6:10 am said:

    But why listen to the experts when the oil lobby tells you there is nothing to worry about?
    Perhaps because they successfully lobbied to keep lead in petrol until 1996 in NZ, resulting in a measurable decrease in intelligence and socio-economic status for those exposed to higher levels of exhaust fumes.

  28. Dennis N Horne on 30/03/2017 at 7:38 am said:

    The CO2 level is still rising because we are still adding CO2 to the atmosphere, and in human terms that CO2 lasts forever. We have increased the CO2 level from under 280 to over 400ppm: 40%. Does an increase of 40% suggest to you our CO2 is “completely overwhelmed by the natural flux”? It doesn’t to me.

    More CO2 in the atmosphere means Earth retains more energy.

    More than 90% of that “extra” went into the oceans, which are warming.

    Some energy caused the surface to warm more than 1C, mean global. Most of that warming in the last 50 years. The graph is a hockey stick. There was no statistically significant “pause”. That’s wrong. There was some internal variability in this very large complex “natural” system, with energy moving around. But no pause.

    Arctic temperatures are very high; sea ice is vanishing. Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice, hundreds of cubic kilometres per year.

    In the past when the CO2 level was 400ppm it was warmer and the sea level 10m higher. Or more. At times the SLR was several metres per century. At present the SLR is approaching 4mm per year, up from around 1mm pre-industrial.

    Who doesn’t think it would be a good idea to try to slow global warming, by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel, especially coal?

    Well, the pig-ignorant lying narcissist in the White House, and his psychopathic minders, obeying the fossil fuel billionaires.

    Anyone else?

  29. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 8:59 am said:

    Well, lads it’s election year. We can vote for an intellectual like Gareth Morgan who thinks North Korea is a good place and is obviously concerned about “climate change” too

    Maybe if he gets elected, we can dispense with democracy, and send all those racists and bigots like me to concentration camps and start with the important task of shutting down the NZ economy and returning to an agrarian workers paradise

  30. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 9:43 am said:

    Simon says

    ” Naively assuming future linear sea level rise is incorrect ”

    I thought it was supposed to be accelerating, even though we can’t see it in the instrumental record.

  31. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 9:52 am said:

    Dennis asks:

    “Anyone else?”

    yes, of course it’s the people that vote for Trump. You know, the racists, the white supremacists (some of whom are black) the Islamophobes, the homophobes. The “morons”. The untermenschen.
    The same people that voted for Brexit (Article 50 today!)

    People like ex-punk Johnny Rotten, who apparently supports Brexit and Trump

    If only we could make all these deplorable people disappear and live in a socialist paradise where everyone read the Guardian

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful?

    Except, who would make the sandwiches?

  32. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 9:56 am said:

    Here’s the footage & testimony of Drs Judith Curry, John Christy, Michael ‘hide the decline’ Mann, and John Pielke Jnr. at the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology:


    John Christy’s testimony starts at 40.30′

    Michael ‘hide the decline’ Mann got caught out blatantly lying to the committee. Now why would he do that I wonder?:


  33. Dennis N Horne on 30/03/2017 at 12:05 pm said:

    Professor Michael Kelly was on the committee that vindicated the “Climategate” scientists.

    Distinguished Professor Michael Mann explained the “hide the decline”. He applied the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. Necessary when dealing with mentally deficient deniers.

    Judith “Gold standard satellites” Curry. Ha ha ha.
    John “Still cooking the data” Christy. Ha ha ha.
    Magoon “Anything But Carbon Dioxide” Magoof. Ha ha halfwit.

    I guess academics at Florida Atlantic University are a bit touchy about climate change and rising sea levels nuisance flooding…

  34. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 12:24 pm said:

    “Distinguished Professor Michael Mann ”


  35. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 12:52 pm said:

    Dennis dear boy,

    Your graph shows a doubling of CO2 levels results in a 1C temperature rise. Strangely enough that’s the conclusion Christy & Spencer have arrived at as well, confirmed also by the radiosonde record. The ocean level rise slows down as the CO2 doubles also.

    Two own goals there dear boy, LOL!

  36. Richard Treadgold on 30/03/2017 at 12:57 pm said:

    Well, it’s right, just that he’s distinguished for all the wrong reasons.

    Magoo: I haven’t watched the video you cited. How did Mann mislead the hearing?

    We should note that the committee containing Mike Kelly came under strong criticism for its apparently weak decision and I suspect Mike would acknowledge that, while reminding us it was a committee; I don’t know how he voted.

  37. Richard Treadgold on 30/03/2017 at 1:05 pm said:


    The CO2 level is still rising because we are still adding CO2 to the atmosphere

    I offer a slight correction: “still rising partly because”. If you know your gases, you’ll know the absorption of a gas by a liquid is proportional to the temperature of the liquid — the lower it is, the more gas it can absorb, the warmer it is, the less. If the oceans are warming, they must be outgassing CO2 and thus contributing to its rising atmospheric concentration.

    You have stated several things incorrectly; I’m sorry I don’t have time to address the other points.

  38. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 1:06 pm said:


    ‘Hide the decline’ Mann lied when answering the following question:

    CONGRESSMAN CLAY HIGGINS: “Are you affiliated or associated with an organization called the Climate Accountability Institute?”

    DR. MICHAEL MANN: “No. I mean I may have corresponded with people.”

    CONGRESSMAN CLAY HIGGINS: “You’re not affiliated nor associated with them?”

    DR. MICHAEL MANN: “I can provide– I’ve submitted my CV you can see who I’m associated with and who I am not.”

    CONGRESSMAN CLAY HIGGINS: “These two organisations, are they connected directly with organised efforts to prosecute man influenced climate sceptics via RICO statutes?”

    Michael ‘hide the decline’ Mann is listed on the Climate Accountability Institute website as being on their board of advisors. Check it out, the video is only 1.25′ and Mann’s blubbering & squirming as he repeatedly lies his ass off is hilarious:


  39. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 1:22 pm said:

    Michael ‘hide the decline’ Mann got caught lying to the committee again:

    ‘She [Dr. Judith Curry] pointed to the way she and Mann have clashed, saying the Penn State professor wrongly called her a climate denier, when she acknowledges that the world is warming and humans play a role. She disagrees with mainstream climate science over implications of global change, the size of the warming, how much is human-caused and its certainty.

    At first Mann said he didn’t call Curry a denier. But in his written not oral testimony he called Curry “a climate science denier.” Mann said there’s a difference between denying climate change and “denying established science” on how much humans cause climate change, which he said Curry did.’


    One wonders why Michael ‘hide the decline’ Mann has to lie all the time?

  40. Richard Treadgold on 30/03/2017 at 1:28 pm said:

    Thanks, Magoo. That’s magnificent. Clear desperation, isn’t it? All ad hominem and not a climate fact in sight.

  41. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 3:10 pm said:

    ‘Clear desperation, isn’t it? All ad hominem and not a climate fact in sight.’

    Much like Dennis. Wait a minute … I see a pattern emerging.

  42. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 5:17 pm said:

    Why did Dennis post a graph showing correlation between CO2, temperature and sea level?

    Surely he knows that the CO2 lags the others in these graphs

  43. Dennis N Horne on 30/03/2017 at 5:39 pm said:

    Richard Treadgold. Are you telling me you cannot understand the simple fact that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere can rise while the emission level stays the same or decreases slightly?

    Well, I could explain it to you using the analogy of filling a bucket with a small hole in it. But I don’t I’ll bother.

    Curry testified the satellite temperature record is the gold standard while Christy was still cooking it, after others explained where he had fcuked it up completely. Thick as a plank.

    Magoof: When you stop laughing at something you don’t understand, have a look at a graph of the temperatures from different agencies. See the hockey stick? Of course not. Denier-induced blindness.

  44. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 5:58 pm said:

    Dennis, why did you post that graph of CO2 vs Temps. Are you thick, dishonest, or both?

  45. Mike Jowsey on 30/03/2017 at 8:26 pm said:

    Well this has become such an entertaining channel! Dennis the Menace has causation-correlation-deficiency-syndrome. Magoo has a great sense of LOL. And Andy has a bash-a-fash-a-fobia. And RT has an all-pervasive omniscience. I love dropping in! Do carry on up the river!

  46. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 8:26 pm said:

    “New Zealanders’ beliefs in climate change increasing”

    Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are those that believe

  47. Andy on 30/03/2017 at 8:51 pm said:

    “And Andy has a bash-a-fash-a-fobia.”

    It’s true Mike, I am a universal-phobic

    Deplorable, racist, bigoted, wife beater.

    None of my friends or family know this, but it is on the internet, so it must be true


  48. Magoo on 30/03/2017 at 11:05 pm said:

    Ah Dennis dear boy , you’ve discovered an El Nino on the end of the temperature graph. Congratulations & well done, you get a star!

    But look dear boy, here’s a magic trick – the temperatures are falling & are back to normal now the mean old El Nino has mysteriously disappeared:


    Spooky possums.

    I wonder why Real Climate (snigger) haven’t updated their graphs, perhaps they’re afraid of the boogey-man called inconvenient data. We know NASA’s GISS might as well not bother updating their dataset as they’re in the process of being shut down. LOL! (that last LOL is especially for you Mike). 😉

  49. Richard Treadgold on 30/03/2017 at 11:32 pm said:


    Richard Treadgold. Are you telling me you cannot understand the simple fact that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere can rise while the emission level stays the same or decreases slightly?

    But that simple fact is precisely what I understand. If our emissions stay the same, atmospheric levels might well increase, since the oceans are outgassing CO2. Which I think you’ll find is what I just said.

  50. Dennis N Horne on 31/03/2017 at 9:44 am said:


    We are ADDING the gas CO2 to a mass of mixed gases, the principal non-condensing gases being nitrogen, oxygen and helium, so of course the proportion of the gas CO2 increases, even if we add less this year than last. (That CO2 is removed only slowly, that’s why the level is up >40% due to human activity.)

    Nothing to do with outgassing. In fact the oceans are acidifying, despite warming, so still absorbing CO2.

    The atmosphere will keep taking as much CO2 as we can generate; the limit being only the amount of fossil fuel we can find and burn.

    Take a glass of water. Add some whisky. Keep adding whisky incrementally, smaller and smaller amounts each time. What happens? The drink gets stronger.

  51. Dennis N Horne on 31/03/2017 at 9:51 am said:

    Magoof. Choose either:


    The “hockey stick” is settled science. Suck it up.

    The energy of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs added to the climate system EVERY DAY! It’s a grand experiment and well worth living longer to see.

  52. Andy on 31/03/2017 at 10:14 am said:

    The “hockey stick” is settled science. Suck it up.

    The hockey stick isn’t even science, let alone settled science

    We know the story of the Stick from Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion” and Steyn’s “A Total Disgrace to the Profession”

    Anyone peddling this rancid piece of pseudo-science is on very suspect ground

  53. Dennis N Horne on 31/03/2017 at 5:01 pm said:

    What do you mean, “isn’t science”. Science is evidence, explanation and knowledge.
    ‘Hockey stick’ climate scientist quietly vindicated for the umpteenth time

    National Science Foundation (NSF) inspector general: “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

    Two things we know with extremely high confidence:

    Recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause (so the temperature history looks like a hockey stick).

    Michael Mann, the lead author on the original hockey stick paper, is one of the nation’s top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis.

    We know these things because both the hockey stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below). [continues]

    You remind me of a hen running around after its head has been chopped off.

  54. Andy on 31/03/2017 at 7:00 pm said:

    When I say it “isn’t science”, I am referring to the various essays in the Steyn book ” A total disgrace to the profession”,

    This is a collection of essays from various scientists (many from the AGW “consensus”) that state that the Hockey Stick isn’t science. Many also state that Mann is a bully.

    This is clear to me, but I’m relieved that there are still scientists out there that are prepared to call out bullies, SJWs and liars.

  55. Dennis N Horne on 31/03/2017 at 7:05 pm said:

    Hand waving.

    In your underpants.

  56. Andy on 31/03/2017 at 7:25 pm said:

    I can find some data to support theory X and ignore data the doesn’t support theory X

    This is what Mann did with his Bristlecone data.

    It isn’t science

  57. Richard Treadgold on 31/03/2017 at 8:22 pm said:


    We know these things because both the hockey stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist

    Trouble is, that’s from six years ago and it’s time you caught up. I’ll show you how the IPCC has changed its thinking about Mann’s hockey stick.

    It was first used in the Third Assessment Report (TAR), 2001, where it appeared in all its familiar glory on page 134. It was used in all the publicity material, too, so it quickly became familiar to a worldwide audience. The MWP (mediaeval warm period) had been obliterated, producing the familiar more-or-less straight, downward-pointing shaft with the modern period represented by the upward-pointing blade.

    It was used again in AR4, in 2007, but this time buried on page 467, with a different shape. The MWP was reasserting itself, rising from the shaft like a mountain range. But it was sharing the graph space with twelve other proxy reconstructions of the last 1300 years and was a shadow of its former self.

    Finally, it was brought thoroughly up to date in AR5 by being, apparently, omitted. I can see no sign of MBH1999 being used. And the MWP is rehabilitated, which stops people calling the current warmth “unprecedented”.

    So please stop claiming that the hockey stick has been vindicated because it hasn’t. If it had been, it would still be in the IPCC assessment report, you’d think.

  58. Dennis N Horne on 31/03/2017 at 9:11 pm said:

    The “hockey stick” is just a name someone gave to the graph. The data are accepted. Look:



    We are adding energy equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima bombs to the climate system every day.

    Growing greenhouse effect. And out of control.

  59. Magoo on 01/04/2017 at 6:55 pm said:

    Mann’s hockey stick is such ‘accepted science’ it’s completely ignored in the last IPCC AR5 report & replaced with real science. LOL!

    Junk science discarded to the trash.

  60. Magoo on 01/04/2017 at 7:11 pm said:

    Michael Mann is such a idiot – he lied about being associated with the Climate Accountability Institute in his testimony to the recent congressional hearing, but lists himself as being on their advisory board from 2014 to the present in his CV (pg.12):


    In fact Mann got caught out lying 4 times:


  61. Dennis N Horne on 02/04/2017 at 8:14 am said:

    The so called ‘fake’ hockey stick was proven correct. “An independent assessment of Mann’s hockey stick was conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Wahl 2007). They reconstructed temperatures employing a variety of statistical techniques (with and without principal components analysis). Their results found slightly different temperatures in the early 15th Century. However, they confirmed the principal results of the original hockey stick – that the warming trend and temperatures over the last few decades are unprecedented over at least the last 600 years.”

    http://environmentalforest.blogspot.com/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html – “Enough hockey sticks for a team”
    One of the persistent denier myths is that the Hockey Stick has been discredited. Not only is that myth false but Mann et al. (1999) has been validated through the publication of numerous hockey stick graphs since 1999. Here is a brief list:

    Crowley, T. J. 2000. Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years. Science 289:270-277:

    Huang, S, H. N. Pollack, and P. Shen. 2000. Temperature Trends over the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures. Nature 403:756-758:

    Bertrand, C., M. Loutre, M. Crucifix, and A. Berger. 2002. Climate of the Last Millenium: A Sensitivity Study. Tellus 54A:221-244.:

    Esper, J., E. R. Cook, and F. H. Schweingruber. 2002. Low-frequency Signals in Long Tree-ring Chronologies for Reconstructing Past Temperature Variability. Science 295:2250-2253:

    Cronin, T. M., G. S. Dwyer, T. Kamiya, S. Schwede, and D. A. Willard. 2003. Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Temperature Variability from Chesapeake Bay. Global and Planetary Change 36: 17-29:

    Pollack, H. N. and J. E. Smerdon. 2004. Borehole Climate Reconstructions: Spatial Structure and Hemispheric Averages. Journal of Geophysical Research 109:D11106:

    Esper, J., R. J. S. Wilson, D. C. Frank, A. Moberg, H. Wanner, and J. Luterbacher. 2005. Climate: Past Ranges and Future Changes. Quarternary Science Reviews 24:2164-2166:

    Moberg, A., D. M. Sonechkin, K. Holmgren, N. M. Datsenko, and W. Karlen. 2005. Highly Variable Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Reconstructed from Low- and High-resolution Proxy Data. Nature 433:613-617:

    Oerlemans, J. 2005. Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records. Science 308:675-677:

    Rutherford, S., M. E. Mann, T. J. Osborn, R. S. Bradley, K. R. Briffa, M. K. Hughes, and P. D. Jones. 2005. Proxy-based Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature Reconstructions: Sensitivity to Method, Predictor Network, Target Season, and Target Domain. Journal of Climate 18:2308-2329:

    D’Arrigo, R. R. Wilson, and G. Jacoby. 2006. On the Long-term Context for Late Twentieth Century Warming. Journal of Geophysical Research 111:D03103:.

    Osborn, T. J. and K. R. Briffa. 2006. The Spatial Extent of 20th-century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years. Science 841-844:

    Hegerl, G. C., T. J. Crowley, M. Allen, W. T. Hyde, H. N. Pollack, J. Smerdon, and E. Zorita. 2007. Detection of Human Influence on a New, Validated 1500-year Temperature Reconstruction. Journal of Climate 20:650-666:

    Juckes, M. N., M. R. Allen, K. R. Briffa, J. Esper, G. C. Hegerl, A. Moberg, T. J. Osborn, and S. L. Weber. 2007. Millenial Temperature Reconstruction Intercomparison and Evaluation. Climate of the Past 3:591-609:

    Wahl, E. R. and C. M. Ammann. 2007. Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperatures: Examination of Criticisms Based on the Nature and Processing of Proxy Climate Evidence. Climatic Change 85:33-69:

    Wilson, R., R. D’Arrigo, B. Buckley, U. Büntgen, J. Esper, D. Frank, B. Luckman, S. Payette, R. Vose, and D. Youngblut. 2007. A Matter of Divergence: Tracking Recent Warming at Hemispheric Scales Using Tree Ring Data. Journal of Geophysical Research 112:D17103:

    Mann, M. E., Z. Zhang, M. K. Hughes, R. S. Bradley, S. K. Miller, S. Rutherford, and F. Ni. 2008. Proxy-based Reconstructions of Hemispheric and Global Surface Temperature Variations over the Past Two Millenium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:13252-13257:

    Kaufman, D. S., D. P. Schneider, N. P. McKay, C. M. Ammann, R. S. Bradley, K. R. Briffa, G. H. Miller, B. L. Otto-Bliesner, J. T. Overpeck, B. M. Vinther, and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members. 2009. Recent Warming Reverses Long-term Arctic Cooling. Science 325:1236-1239:

    von Storch, H., E. Zorita, and F. González-Rouco. 2009. Assessment of Three Temperature Reconstruction Methods in the Virtual Reality of a Climate Simulation. International Journal of Earth Science 98:67-82:

    Frank, D., J. Esper, E. Zorita, and R. Wilson. 2010. A Noodle, Hockey Stick, and Spaghetti Plate: A Perspective on High-resolution Paleoclimatology. Climate Change 1:507-516:

    Kellerhals, T., S. Brütsch, M. Sigl, S. Knüsel, H. W. Gäggeler, and M. Schwikowski. 2010. Ammonium Concentration in Ice Cores: A New Proxy for Regional Reconstruction? Journal of Geophysical Research 115:D16123:

    Ljungqvist, F. C. 2010. A New Reconstruction of Temperature Variability in the Extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere During the Last Two Millenia. Geografiska Annaler: Series A Physical Geography 92:339-351

    Thibodeau, B., A. de Vernal, C. Hillaire-Marcel, and A. Mucci. 2010. Twentieth Century Warming in Deep Waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence: A Unique Feature of the Last Millenium. Geophysical Research Letters 37:L17604

    Tingley, M. P. and P. Huybers. 2010. A Bayesian Algorithm for Reconstructing Climate Anomalies in Space and Time. Part I: Development and Application to Paleoclimate Reconstruction Problems. Journal of Climate 23:2759-2781.

    Tingley, M. P. and P. Huybers. 2010. A Bayesian Algorithm for Reconstructing Climate Anomalies in Space and Time. Part II: Comparison with the Regularized Expectation Maximum Algorithm. Journal of Climate 23:2782-2800.

    Büntgen, U., W. Tegel, K. Nicolussi, M. McCormick, D. Frank, V. Trouet, J. O. Kaplan, F. Herzig, K. Heussner, H. Wanner, J. Luterbacher, and J. Esper. 2011. 2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility. Science 331:578-582

    Kemp, A. C., B. P. Horton, J. P. Donnelly, M. E. Mann, M. Vermeer, and S. Rahmstorf. 2011. Climate Related Sea-level Variations Over the Past Two Millenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:11017-11022

    Kinnard, C. C. M. Zdanowicz, D. A. Fisher, E. Isaksson, A. de Vernal, and L. G. Thompson. 2011. Reconstructed Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Over the Past 1,450 Years. Nature 479:509-512

    Martín-Chivelet, J., M. B. Muñoz-García, R. L. Edwards, M. J. Turrero, and A. L. Ortega. 2011. Land Surface Temperature Changes in Northern Iberia Since 4000 yr BP, Based on δ13C of Speleothems. Global and Planetary Change 77:1-12:

    Spielhagen, R. F., K. Werner, S. A. Sørensen, K. Zamelczyk, E. Kandiano, G. Budeus, K. Husum, T. M. Marchitto, and M. Hald. 2011. Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water. Science 331:450-453 :

    Esper et al. 2012

    Ljungqvist et al. 2012

    Melvin, T. M., H. Grudd, and K. R. Briffa. 2012. Potential Bias in ‘Updating’ Tree-ring Chronologies Using Regional Curve Standardisation: Re-processing 1500 Years of Torneträsk Density and Ring-width Data. The Holocene 23:364-373:

    Abram, N. J., R. Mulvaney, E. W. Wolff, J. Triest, S. Kipfstuhl, L. D. Trusel, F. Vimeux, L. Fleet, and C. Arrowsmith. 2013. Acceleration of Snow Melt in an Antarctic Peninsula Ice Core During the Twentieth Century. Nature Geoscience 6:404-411

    Marcott, S. A., J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, and A. C. Mix. 2013. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science 339:1198-1201

    PAGES 2k Consortium. 2013. Continental-scale Temperature Variability During the Past Two Millennia. Nature Geoscience 6:339-346

    Rohde, R., R. A. Muller, R. Jacobsen, E. Muller, S. Perimutter, A. Rosenfeld, J. Wurtele, D. Groom, and C. Wickham. 2013. A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011. Geoinformatics and Geostatistics: An Overview 1:1-7

    Wilson, R., K. Anchukaitis, K. R. Briffa, U. Büntgen, E. Cook, R. D’Arrigo, N. Davi, J. Esper, D. Frank, B. Gunnarson, G. Hegerl, S. Helama, S. Klesse, P. J. Krusic, H. W. Linderholm, V. Myglan, T. J. Osborn, M. Rydval, L. Schneider, A. Schurer, G. Wiles, P. Zhang, and E. Zorita. 2016. Last Millennium Northern Hemisphere Summer Temperatures from Tree rings: Part I: The Long Term Context. Quarternary Science Reviews 134:1-18.

  62. Magoo on 02/04/2017 at 9:02 am said:

    The IPCC AR5 report shows temperature reconstructions of the past 2000 years:


    Source: Fig 5.7, page 407, Chapter 5, Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis, IPCC AR5 report, 2013.

    Sorry Dennis dear boy, the IPCC & mainstream science have discarded the thoroughly debunked & discredited hockey stick, and have reinstated the medieval warm period (in both hemispheres). The hockey stick is redundant & relegated to the trash where it belongs.

  63. Andy on 02/04/2017 at 10:15 am said:

    Dennis debunks his own argument by stating that the warming is unprecedented in the last 600 years

    Manns hockey stick gets rid of the MWP
    That is the problem, not the current small amount of warming compared to a couple of hundred years ago

  64. Richard Treadgold on 02/04/2017 at 1:52 pm said:


    Andy’s right; 600 years is a very short time. When we can see higher temperatures in the 15th century, nobody can claim today’s are unprecedented. But the “principal results” of Mann’s graph went further, by removing the MWP and by showing general cooling between 1000 AD and 1900 AD — if you force yourself to look past the extraordinarily broad error limits, which leave plenty of room for several MWPs and LIAs. Also, I hope you realise the hockey stick is a graph of northern hemisphere temperatures, not global. Its utility in addressing this post is not obvious.

    I wanted to sample the reliability of these papers as validations of the hockey stick so I had a closer look at two of them. You cite 38 papers; one of them twice, four of them co-authored by Mann, which don’t count — of course he would validate his own work — which leaves 33. I took the list of papers from your source for accuracy.

    The first (after MBH1999 itself) was Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years, by T.J. Crowley, 2000. He compares Mann’s hockey stick with his own reconstruction, which looks quite similar, but by no means identical, so it looks as though he’s used the same data but handled them differently. Crowley claims to have given “a slightly better fit than the original” when splicing his version into the “smoothed instrumental record” in the “interval in which they overlap”, which covers about the most recent 20 years or so but sounds more like graphic arts than science, but never mind.

    The aim of Crowley’s paper was to examine the causes of global warming by peering into computer climate model output and removing bits to see what changed. His own temperature reconstruction was cited as How Warm Was the Medieval Warm Period, T.J. Crowley and T.S. Lowery, 2000. I can’t locate a copy to download. But Crowley (2000) does not validate the hockey stick, he simply compares it with various model outputs. This paper does not validate the hockey stick.

    The second work you cite, Temperature trends over the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures, Huang, Pollack & Shen, 2000, shows no reconstruction resembling the hockey stick. This paper does not validate the hockey stick.

    So the first two out of 33 fail completely. I’ll leave the rest up to you and I strongly suggest you exercise a little rigour before flicking us your citations. This was poor work, which cost me a few hours I won’t get back. But don’t listen to my moans; spending my time on this was like having a mini holiday, so thank you.

  65. Dennis N Horne on 02/04/2017 at 4:30 pm said:


    The “hockey stick” describes a reconstruction of past temperature over the past 1000 to 2000 years using tree-rings, ice cores, coral and other records that act as proxies for temperature (Mann 1999). The reconstruction found that global temperature gradually cooled over the last 1000 years with a sharp upturn in the 20th Century. The principal result from the hockey stick is that global temperatures over the last few decades are the warmest in the last 1000 years.

    A critique of the hockey stick was published in 2004 (McIntyre 2004), claiming the hockey stick shape was the inevitable result of the statistical method used (principal components analysis). They also claimed temperatures over the 15th Century were derived from one bristlecone pine proxy record. They concluded that the hockey stick shape was not statistically significant.

    An independent assessment of Mann’s hockey stick was conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Wahl 2007). They reconstructed temperatures employing a variety of statistical techniques (with and without principal components analysis). Their results found slightly different temperatures in the early 15th Century. However, they confirmed the principal results of the original hockey stick – that the warming trend and temperatures over the last few decades are unprecedented over at least the last 600 years.

    While many continue to fixate on Mann’s early work on proxy records, the science of paleoclimatology has moved on. Since 1999, there have been many independent reconstructions of past temperatures, using a variety of proxy data and a number of different methodologies. All find the same result – that the last few decades are the hottest in the last 500 to 2000 years (depending on how far back the reconstruction goes). What are some of the proxies that are used to determine past temperature?

    Changes in surface temperature send thermal waves underground, cooling or warming the subterranean rock. To track these changes, underground temperature measurements were examined from over 350 bore holes in North America, Europe, Southern Africa and Australia (Huang 2000). Borehole reconstructions aren’t able to give short term variation, yielding only century-scale trends. What they find is that the 20th century is the warmest of the past five centuries with the strongest warming trend in 500 years.

    Stalagmites (or speleothems) are formed from groundwater within underground caverns. As they’re annually banded, the thickness of the layers can be used as climate proxies. A reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature from stalagmites shows that while the uncertainty range (grey area) is significant, the temperature in the latter 20th Century exceeds the maximum estimate over the past 500 years (Smith 2006).

    Historical records of glacier length can be used as a proxy for temperature. As the number of monitored glaciers diminishes in the past, the uncertainty grows accordingly. Nevertheless, temperatures in recent decades exceed the uncertainty range over the past 400 years (Oerlemans 2005).

    Of course, these examples only go back around 500 years – this doesn’t even cover the Medieval Warm Period. When you combine all the various proxies, including ice cores, coral, lake sediments, glaciers, boreholes & stalagmites, it’s possible to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures without tree-ring proxies going back 1,300 years (Mann 2008). The result is that temperatures in recent decades exceed the maximum proxy estimate (including uncertainty range) for the past 1,300 years. When you include tree-ring data, the same result holds for the past 1,700 years.

    Paleoclimatology draws upon a range of proxies and methodologies to calculate past temperatures. This allows independent confirmation of the basic hockey stick result: that the past few decades are the hottest in the past 1,300 years.

    The “hockey stick” is just a name someone gave to the graph showing a rapid rise in temperature since we started puffing insulation into the atmosphere. It has no deeper significance, it’s just a shape.

    If the sea level rose 10 metres you’d still argue it wasn’t man-made global warning.

    A B C D: Anything But Carbon Dioxide. WRONG! Here it is again:
    Richard Alley – 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2
    National Academy of Sciences

  66. Seumas MacLaren on 17/02/2019 at 1:07 pm said:

    Ljungqvist, F. C. 2010, and recent data from Usoskin Et Al., 2014 related to the ‘Modern Grand Maximum’ of the sun, suggest that Earth is now entering a cooling period. We may need a bit of warming to offset the cooling that may cause another mini ice age. This could well last 50 to 100 years, and reduced crop outputs could be the result, depending on the patterns of weather.
    During the last 12 years, the ocean temperature measurements in the large array of 4000 sensors employed by one study suggest that the top half of the oceans has increased in mean temperature by a mere 4/1000 of 1 degree C. I.e. 0.004 Celsius.
    There were significant increases in the 1970s and 80’s but this slowed and the result has been no significant increase, as above.

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