It's a pathetic effort on behalf of a pathetic lot from the climate science disinformation brigade.
In a repost at WUWT, Steve McIntyre (and Anthony Watts) are arguably wanting to be added to the list of people being sued. It's as if they think that if they misrepresent history often enough someone will believe them.
I don't know what point they think they are trying to make. It looks as if they are trying to resurrect "trial by email", which has been tried before and failed dismally. (Update: see especially Marco's comment below, and the links to deepclimate's damning indictments of Steve McIntyre here and here).
I've already written about the misrepresentations from John Christy, which Judith Curry resurrected recently and that is now apparently being touted again at Steve McIntyre's blog and WUWT. Anthony Watts (archived here) copies Steve McIntyre who copies Judith Curry who quoted from John Christy's misleading testimony to the US government:
Christy gave the following damning summary of Mann’s conduct as IPCC TAR Lead Author:
Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another’s result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.Three things.
1. Serengeti Strategy: Singling out one from 850 plus people
Firstly, John Christy was also a lead author of Chapter 2 of TAR, the chapter in question, so he is as culpable as any other lead author of its content. The other lead authors were: R.A. Clarke, G.V. Gruza, J. Jouzel, M.E. Mann, J. Oerlemans, M.J. Salinger, S.-W. Wang.
In addition there were two coordinating lead authors of Chapter 2, C.K. Folland, T.R. Karl, who presumably vetted the final content.
And two review editors: R. Hallgren, B. Nyenzi who would also have had a say.
Not only that but there were 140 contributing authors:
J. Bates, M. Crowe, P. Frich, P. Groisman, J. Hurrell, P. Jones, D. Parker, T. Peterson, D. Robinson, J. Walsh, M. Abbott, L. Alexander, H. Alexandersson, R. Allan, R. Alley, P. Ambenje, P. Arkin, L. Bajuk, R. Balling, M.Y. Bardin, R. Bradley, R. Brázdil, K.R. Briffa, H. Brooks, R.D. Brown, S. Brown, M. Brunet-India, M. Cane, D. Changnon, S. Changnon, J. Cole, D. Collins, E. Cook, A. Dai, A. Douglas, B. Douglas, J.C. Duplessy, D. Easterling, P. Englehart, R.E. Eskridge, D. Etheridge, D. Fisher, D. Gaffen, K. Gallo, E. Genikhovich, D. Gong, G. Gutman,W. Haeberli, J. Haigh, J. Hansen, D. Hardy, S. Harrison, R. Heino, K. Hennessy,W. Hogg, S. Huang, K. Hughen, M.K. Hughes, M. Hulme, H. Iskenderian, O.M. Johannessen, D. Kaiser, D. Karoly, D. Kley, R. Knight, K.R. Kumar, K. Kunkel, M. Lal, C. Landsea, J. Lawrimore, J. Lean, C. Leovy, H. Lins, R. Livezey, K.M. Lugina, I. Macadam, J.A. Majorowicz, B. Manighetti, J. Marengo, E. Mekis, M.W. Miles, A. Moberg, I. Mokhov, V. Morgan, L. Mysak, M. New, J. Norris, L. Ogallo, J. Overpeck, T. Owen, D. Paillard, T. Palmer, C. Parkinson, C.R. Pfister, N. Plummer, H. Pollack, C. Prentice, R. Quayle, E.Y. Rankova, N. Rayner, V.N. Razuvaev, G. Ren, J. Renwick, R. Reynolds, D. Rind, A. Robock, R. Rosen, S. Rösner, R. Ross, D. Rothrock, J.M. Russell, M. Serreze,W.R. Skinner, J. Slack, D.M. Smith, D. Stahle, M. Stendel, A. Sterin, T. Stocker, B. Sun, V. Swail, V. Thapliyal, L. Thompson,W.J. Thompson, A. Timmermann, R. Toumi, K. Trenberth, H. Tuomenvirta, T. van Ommen, D. Vaughan, K.Y. Vinnikov, U. von Grafenstein, H. von Storch, M. Vuille, P. Wadhams, J.M. Wallace, S. Warren,W. White, P. Xie, P. Zhai
And nearly 700 "expert reviewers".
So to my way of thinking, to put imagined "wrongs" of any single IPCC report (which has been twice superseded) on the shoulders of one lone individual and neglect the more than 850 other people who played a part, is a bit much! What it demonstrates is the Serengeti Strategy so beloved of disinformers and deniers. This time they try to isolate one individual from a very large herd.
2. A false claim from the disinformers
Secondly, the chapter did not misrepresent the temperature record of the past 1,000 years. At the time, arguably the paper by Mann and colleagues was indeed the "best estimate". In any case, Chapter 2 of the IPCC TAR included references to other reconstructions with citations and charts.
3. Deniers are out of touch and out of date
Thirdly, there have been two more IPCC reports since TAR and they present more recent research, which has refined knowledge with new data and multiple new temperature reconstructions, all of which lend support to earlier findings.
|Box TS.5 Figure 1 Last-millennium simulations and reconstructions Source: IPCC AR5 WG1|
Disinformers are misleading
Anthony's copy and paste misleadingly includes the following claim:
Further, both the Oxburgh and Muir Russell reports concluded that the IPCC 2001 graphic was “misleading”.
This is misleading! The Muir Russell report referred to the WMO graphic used on the cover of the 1999 report and only indirectly, in parenthesis, to the IPCC TAR, writing about "one of the series" (not the others of the series):
25. The WMO report is a short document produced annually. It does not have the status or importance of the IPCC reports. The figure in question was a frontispiece and there is no major discussion or emphasis on it in the text. The caption of the figure states: "Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records”.
26. Finding: In relation to "hide the decline" we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the TAR), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.
The Oxburgh report does not use the word "misleading" in relation to the WMO graphic or any TAR temperature reconstruction. The only relevant passage I could find was this:
Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain oversimplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors. For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined.
I think it's worth emphasising what the Oxburgh report noted. For example, one of the papers referred to in TAR emphasizes uncertainties and limitations in its title - Mann, M.E., R.S. Bradley, and M.K. Hughes, 1999: "Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations". Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 759-762. Since that paper was published there have been numerous other reconstructions. When you take them together with the instrumental records you end up with a hockey stick!
It's also worth highlighting the Addendum to the Oxburgh report, which clearly states about "any research group in the field of climate change":
For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods.
Meanwhile, the world takes its sweet time to act decisively
The main point, though, is that all this is past history. There has been a lot more work in the thirteen years since then. While climate science deniers are obsessed with misrepresenting the past, we keep marching on toward hotter global temperatures and rapidly changing climates. The world hasn't even stopped increasing annual CO2 emissions, let alone reduced them.