Putting the Hockey Stick in a Proper Context

Climate Change In Perspective

If you’ve been living under a rock, then you probably haven’t heard of the (now famous) “hockey stick graph.”


‘Hockey Stick’ was coined by the climatologist Jerry Mahlman, to describe the pattern shown by the Mann, Bradley & Hughes (MBH99) reconstruction, creating a graph that is relatively flat with a downward trend to 1900 which looks like an ice hockey stick’s “shaft” followed by a sharp, steady increase corresponding to the “blade” portion.  The hockey stick graphs have featured in the IPCC reports as evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW.

Note that the time frame of this graph is for 1000 years. That’s barely the blink of an eye in terms of the Earth’s 4.5 billion year existence. Also note that everything prior to 1855, the start point of the red line in the graph above, is not actual direct measurement of temperature, but inferred by proxy.

Greenland Ice Core Proxies

The compacted snow in Greenland Ice Cores above the 1855 level is too recent and not compacted enough to be usable in ice core proxies. But everything prior to that is usable, and goes back nearly 52,000 years.  Greenland ice core data doesn’t go back any farther than that. Temperature estimates are determined by analysing the ratio of Heavy Oxygen and Heavy Hydrogen to normal O and H in the samples of ice.
“Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in the ice are analyzed to determine hemispheric temperatures because heavy water (water with deuterium instead of 1H), as well as heavy oxygen water, (water with 18O instead of 16O), have higher boiling points than regular water, and more heavy water gets into the atmosphere when global temperatures are high. The warmer the earth, the more heavy isotopes wind up in the ice. This has nothing to do with the temperature of the ice, it has to do with the temperatures at the evaporation sites.” [The evaporation sites from which the ice originated, which for this hockey stick graph are primarily from locations all over the Northern Hemisphere.] – scroll down to ‘Modern Warming’ at this link for a more detailed explanation of Greenland Ice Core Proxy derivations.

The Hockey Stick In Context

If you were startled or alarmed at the original Hockey Stick graph above then you may be even more shocked at what I will show you now! The graphs below will show you this ‘hockey stick’ in a proper context to human and geological history:

Original Hockey Stick (proxy data of Temperature) Graph 1 – 1400AD to 1855AD


The Red arrow points to the blade of the ‘stick.’  The ‘blade’ starts at about 1780.  Coal was only just beginning to be used in industrial applications: it was 1781 when James Watt patented his first continuous motion steam engine.  But not until 1804 when the first railway using a steam engine in Wales took place. 

Graph 2 – looking back to 800AD


Here we see the Medieval Warm Period Circa 1000AD, when the Vikings settled Greenland, and the Little Ice Age, late 1300’s to late 1700’s.

Graph 3 – going back to 2700 BC


1400 BC was even warmer than Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. And look what has happened to the ‘hockey stick!’

Graph 4 – Back to 11,000 BC, the last full-on Ice Age


You should be starting to get the picture by now, but we have two more graphs to go:

Graph 5 – 50,000 Years Ago


Here you can see that the ice-age is punctuated by a wildly fluctuating climate pattern with extreme swings between very cold and not so cold periods. You can bet on it that many violent weather events occurred that dwarf anything of the Holocene, which is roughly the last 1/5th of the graph above.

Graph 6 – 425,000 Years Ago [The Last Four Major Glacial Epochs]  Reconstructed global temperature over the past 420,000 years based on the Vostok ice core from the Antarctica (Petit et al. 2001).


The ‘Hockey Stick’ is now an invisible blip in that little red outlined rectangle on the right, which is our current interglacial period. Previous interglacials(Red Spikes) were all warmer than our current one. 

The clock is ticking…

“A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

And this model is probably correct in ignoring anthropogenic effects because they really don’t amount to much in the long run. And I haven’t even touched on the effects from possible future volcanism which are known to have worldwide repercussions.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the Graph at the top of the post.
Thanks to Morgan Wright’s page: “Global climate change from a realistic, non-political point of view.” for the graphs 1 through 5.

Popular Delusions… and Climate Alarmism

In 1841 Charles Mackay first published ‘Memoirs of Historical Popular Delusions.’

It has been re-published many times since, and the title changed to “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”
Here is an excerpt from the Foreward:

All economic movements, by their very nature, are motivated by crowd psychology. Graphs and business ratios are, of course, indespensable in our groping efforts to find dependable rules to guide us in our present world of alarms.   Yet I never see a brilliant economic thesis expounding, as though they were geometrical theorems, the mathematics of price movements, that I do not recall Schiller’s dictum: ” Anyone taken as an individual, is tolerably sensible and reasonable–as a member of a crowd, he at once becomes a blockhead,” …

Were this book written today, a whole chapter would have to be added that would be devoted to climate alarmism. And most specifically to the recent (late 20thC to now)  alarmism of the Global Warming variety. Though, to be fair and honest the 20th C. saw from time to time, alarmism of both the Warming, and Cooling varieties, of late, it is the Global Warming variety that has captured the fancy of the crowd much more so than the idea that Earth could be just around the corner from some prolonged cooling event. Indeed, Global Warming/AGW[anthropogenic global warming] terms have been replaced by the current popular term of ‘Climate Change’, which would seem to be a catch-all for whichever way the climate may swing.

Now, you may be thinking that climate change isn’t an economic movement, but you will have a tough time reconciliing that with President Obama’s war on Coal and his statement that electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket under his plan. If Obama actually cared about the economically disadvantaged , he would not be engaged in such an endeavor as a war on coal, or petroleum, or natural gas.  In addition to hurting the poor, Obama’s policy has had the unpleasant side effect of further politicizing science.  Frederick Colbourne has written a guest post at the Ice-Age Now blog that puts the magnifying glass to this more recent Popular Delusion of  Climate Alarmism.

Climate Alarmism an Extraordinary Popular Delusion

by Frederick Colbourne

In my opinion, climate alarmism would be just another example of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” rather than a ‘hustle’.  Except that climate alarmism is supported by governments that have aligned on the side of the promoters of the delusion and in so doing have politicized the science. State power is what makes climate alarmism a ‘hustle’, corrupting science in the process.Recently, the US lent its immense power to a global climate treaty intended to reverse global economic development by reducing access to cheap energy. The EU and Britain have signed on to promote and enforce what seems to me a cultish form of Luddism. While there have been Luddite movements since the early days of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, these movements were never popular in America, until now.

The nostalgia for pristine Nature that inspired Thoreau’s Walden and now inspires an influential minority of Americans was not popular in the past, but has become a pillar of the modern cult and delusion. The cult of Nature as Mother Earth is about as remote from Earth science as it is possible to get, which probably accounts for the number of Hollywood celebrities who act as acolytes.  The root of the delusion is that Nature is benign. Three days in the wild without the products of agriculture and industry would convince most True Believers that Nature is hostile, when in reality, Nature is indifferent to Mankind. (Perhaps Thoreau was able…  Continue reading

Looking Beyond the El Nino Hype

With the Sun continuing its descent into a Grand Minimum, we can expect global cooling to continue. El Nino is a manifestation of this cooling where warmer ocean waters give up their heat to the atmosphere. The wild swings in the jetstream(Meridional Flow pattern, as opposed to the more benign Zonal[W. to E.] flow) help to take that additional atmospheric warmth to the polar regions where the excess heat is more readily radiated away to outer space.

Meridional flow also leads to more extremes in weather patterns which is the direct opposite of the claims of the Global Warming/Climate Change alarmists. If it were my choice to make, I would take Global warming any day over global cooling, as it: 1. makes the planet as a whole more livable, 2. makes for better crop yields through, a) more dependable rainfall, and b) more vigorous plant growth via increased atmospheric CO2, and c) is characterized by the dominance of the jetstream’s Zonal flow component which lends itself to a reduced frequency of weather extremes.

The general cooling trend is expected to continue to around 2050 or longer and as a result, we can expect more droughts and floods, i.e.: a continued increase in weather extremes, more crop failures, more cows getting snowed over and freezing to death. And whatever any government entities decide we should do about dreaded ‘Climate Change’, it will have little to no effect on what mother nature has in store for us.
So, like the article says, don’t get too used to El Nino.
“Additionally, the Northern United States has more frequently observed brutally cold and snowy winters during La Niña events than El Niño ones.”

Read more here:

Grand Solar Minimum Alert

A spotless Solar disk 10/09/15

An interesting Update from ‘Suspicious Observers’ Ben Davidson, caught my ear this morning.

See especially 2:09 to 2:37 of the following video:

System Shift Update, Solar Eruptions | S0 News October 14, 2015

Ben Davidson says,
“Let’s move over to our top story, a major long-term update. We again confirm Jupiter is changing rapidly.
Remember we’ve seen evidence that the Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are all changing, much faster than Earth is, and boy, that’s not our pollution, It’s the coming Grand Solar Minimum.
Red spot still shrinking, losing color. Stripes still moving, and all indicative of increased storm activity, cyclones and anticyclones, climate chaos on Jupiter.”
This ‘evidence’, though not yet widely accepted or talked about, seems to indicate that the much talked about ‘climate change’ is not limited to Earth’s ecosphere, but is a Solar-System-Wide phenomenon! Additionally, it makes sense(to me) that changes on the Gas-giants: [Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus] would be more noticeable, and on a larger scale, due to their large surface areas and active atmospheres, than on smaller planets like Earth. But we also have evidence, though much more recent and of statistically meaningless time duration(to be fair, or is it just a temporal coincidence that the Hubble series from 2002-2003 can now be compared to the more recent images from the New Horizons Mission 2015 flyby? ), that changes on Pluto are also much faster and more dramatic than previously understood: http://www.universetoday.com/54114/new-hubble-images-show-pluto-is-changing/

What Is The Real Cause of Severe Weather?

Claims from the ‘Global Warming/Climate Changers’ side of the ‘debate’ about ‘Earth’s climate’ say that a warmer world has more severe weather. This is a misdirect, and is wholly untrue. The main cause of extreme and severe weather is an increased difference between warm regions and cold regions. When considering Earth’s overall climate(the Earth actually has many climates, but that is a different discussion), the warm regions are the Tropics, and the cold regions are the Poles.
It is the temperature gradient between these two regions that dictate the severity of weather in a given location.

Even during intense Glacial epochs, the Tropics remain relatively warm, simply because of their location close to the equator and the fact that they receive more sunlight and hence more warming than do the Arctic and Antarctic, but because of the tight temperature gradient, a cooling overall climate is more likely to have severe weather. In a world where warming was ubiquitous, there would be a decreased Pole to Tropic temperature gradient, and therefore less extreme weather occurrences. Perhaps that is what we have seen with the last few years of very low Hurricane activity especially noted in the Atlantic activity.

Severe weather is more likely to be seen during transitional Cooling periods, as well as transitional Warming periods, but not as likely during the stasis periods between.
Although severe weather can happen anytime conditions are right.

Dr. Tim Ball, Ph.D. (Doctor of Science), Queen Mary College, University of London (England), 1982, has written a concise article exploring the claim that ‘a warming world will have more severe weather,’ and the historical evidence that demolishes it.

Here are a few teasers, and below is the link to the article by Dr. Tim Ball:

“Every day we hear that storms of greater intensity than ever before are occurring, and it will get worse because of global warming. These claims contradict the current and historic evidence and the mechanisms of formation for mid-latitude…”

“There is no doubt the IPCC set climate research back almost 30 years. They became the central authority on climate change and directed all the focus of research to anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

“The IPCC anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis says the Polar air will warm more than the Tropical air resulting in increased storminess. In fact, this reduces the ZI and, therefore, the frequency and intensity of storms.”

“Their theory of future increased storminess contradicts the physics of the formation mechanism.”

 See more at: http://drtimball.com/2015/how-does-the-ipcc-explain-the-severe-storms-of-history/#sthash.VUZDG8ZQ.dpuf

Illinois’ Sudden Change of 1836

The following is an historical account of a severe change in the weather which occurred in Illinois and much of the midwest on December 20, 1836:

“In 1836 The State of Illinois was less than two decades old. A young Abraham Lincoln of New Salem had just been reelected to the state legislature and had recently obtained his law license. As the Winter Solstice approached in late December, so did a cold front, which local frontiersmen called a “sudden change” (the term cold front would not be coined for many decades). No ordinary cold front, for when it had passed, December 20, 1836 would go down in the memories of many Illinois residents as The Sudden Change Day, Cold Tuesday and The Cold Day in Illinois.

On that afternoon, an intense cold front swept across much of Illinois bringing a prodigious and rapid temperature drop. At 2 pm, the thermometer of Dr Samuel Mead of Augusta had recorded a drop from 40 oF to zero Fahrenheit in less than 8 hours. Many say that drop was nearly instantaneous.

Although actual weather data in the early nineteenth century is rather scarce across much of middle America, oral and written accounts of the event have been passed down in the reminiscences of those living in the state. We are fortunate that some weather observations were made: two individuals residing in Illinois had thermometers and recorded daily readings, and regular thrice-daily observations were taken at a series of US Army posts scattered across the Midwest.”


“Washington Crowder started a trip from Sugar Creek near Chatham to Springfield to obtain a marriage license. Riding horseback, he left in a steady rain. Midway through his journey, he noticed a dark cloud coming from the northwest toward him. Suddenly, a freezing cold wind gust struck him. By the time he was able to reach for his reins, the water soaking his clothes had…”

Read the entire fascinating account here.