Paleoclimatology isn’t just for grant enabled scientists

Russ Steele

How easy was it to invalidate Michael Mann Hockey Stick? It can be done by a student doing a tree ring science fair project.

Climategate email 682: Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that his son did a tree ring science fair project (using trees behind NCAR) that invalidated the centerpiece of Mann’s work:

‘A few years back, my son Eirik did a tree ring science fair project using trees behind NCAR. He found that widths correlated with both temp and precip. However, temp and precip also correlate. There is much other evidence that it is precip that is the driver, and that the temp/width correlation arises via the temp/precip correlation’

Oh, it was precipitation, and not temperature that is reflected in the tree ring widths.  That was what my Uncle Frank told me when I was 10 years old, he had live in the woods for over 90 years and had cut down thousands of trees.  He matched the tree rings to the weather he lived through in many of those 90 years. He used to tell us about the dry years and stories about 14 feet of snow in Nevada County when he was a boy in the early 1900s.  He showed us those years in the tree rings. No wonder Mann had to hide the  temperature decline, the trees were not responding to temperatures, but moisture.

H/T to Whats Up with That .  NCAR= National Center for Atmospheric Research


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

2 Responses to Paleoclimatology isn’t just for grant enabled scientists

  1. steve enos says:

    Try this on for size. Here’s the latest about what is really going on in the Arctic:

  2. Sean says:


    You might find this interesting. Apparently the guy who wrote the USA Today story did not read this article from Los Alamos National Lab that relates the arctic ice extent to the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, or the AMO. Here is the link,

    The summary paragraphs is as follows “[20] Our analysis suggests
    that the ratio of the Arctic to global temperature change varies
    on multi-decadal time scale. The commonly held assumption of a
    factor of 2–3 for the Arctic amplification has been valid only for
    the current warming period 1970–2008. The Arctic region did
    warm considerably faster during the 1910–1940 warming
    compared to the current 1970–2008 warming rate (Table 1).
    During the cooling from 1940–1970 the Arctic amplification
    was extremely high, between 9 and 13. The Atlantic
    Ocean thermohaline circulation multi-decadal variability is
    suggested as a major cause of Arctic temperature variation.
    Further analyses of long coupled model runs will be critical
    to resolve the influence of the ocean thermohaline circulation
    and other natural climate variations on Arctic climate
    and to determine whether natural climate variability will
    make the Arctic more or less vulnerable to anthropogenic
    global warming.

    Since the AMO is near its peak in its positive phase, expect things to grow colder again within 10-15 years when the cycle takes it to its negative phase.

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