6,000 boreholes – Nova’s 100 years too short

Simply put, Nova thinks the data in the HP97 graph she uses dates to 2000, when in fact it only goes to 1900; it doesn’t include the last 100 years of warming. And although the original authors have explained this, and Nova is fully aware, she chooses to ignore any science which disagrees with her own agenda and political motives.

That’s no exception in Nova’s look at the Medieval Warm Period, although she takes it ups it a notch. Not only does she incorrectly use Huang & Pollack 97 (HP97), she goes on to ignore very clear statements by the authors which explain why Nova (and others) misinterpret their HP97 results.

Lewandowsky – we’ve more data for you!

Previously we examined her reliance on CO2Science’s analysis and how it is flawed, this time we examine Nova’s claim that “6,000 boreholes told us that the world was warmer a 1,000 years ago.”.

It seems strange that Nova is presenting the work of Pollack since, for those that aren’t aware, Pollack shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Gore and has been quite outspoken about our need to act on AGW (see herehere and here). So how is it Nova uses his evidence in support of her argument?

Lets be kind and say that initially Nova saw a graph (probably via Monckton) with data that made it look like the MWP was warmer than today and immediately grabbed it for her blog. Whoops, she didn’t read the fine print and had now painted herself into the corner of a borehole. If you read the paper HP97 state …

We excluded data with representative depths less than 100 m . . . [because] . . .the uppermost 100 meters is the depth range most susceptible to non-climatic perturbations. . .; moreover, subsurface temperature measurements in this range yield information principally about the most recent century

The authors of the 97 paper then go on to provide another couple of papers and in the 2008 paper they again specifically go to lengths to explain why it is incorrect to use the HP97 as evidence of a warmer MWP.

So why does Nova not accept their work? Nova says “Huang published another in 2008 where he discounts the meaning of his earlier work” and that they only modified their work so as to be included in the IPCC report (huh? A 2008 paper in the 2007 IPPC report???).

But they don’t discard their work at all! In S. P. Huang H. N. Pollack and P.Y. Shen 2008, they clarify why the 1997 paper can’t be used as a comparison against today’s warming …

The fundamental difference between HPS97 and HPS00 is that they do not analyze the same data. Below we describe their respective datasets, and show why the results of HPS97 cannot be used for comparing MWP warmth to the 20th century. We then proceed to integrate the two datasets into a new reconstruction …

The consequence of excluding the upper 100 meters is that the 20,000 year reconstructions in HPS97 contain virtually no information about the 20th century. As the authors of HPS97 we can be criticized for not stating explicitly in the abstract and figure caption that the ‘present’ (the zero on the time axis) really represents something like the end of the 19th century, rather than the end of the 20th century.

They also say:

These reconstructions show the warming from the last glacial maximum, the occurrence of a mid-Holocene warm episode, a Medieval Warm Period (MWP), a Little Ice Age (LIA), and the rapid warming of the 20th century. The reconstructions show the temperatures of the mid-Holocene warm episode some 1–2 K above the reference level, the maximum of the MWP at or slightly below the reference level, the minimum of the LIA about 1 K below the reference level, and end-of-20th century temperatures about 0.5 K above the reference level.

Despite being fully aware that the authors of the papers that Nova is listing do not agree with her, Nova goes ahead and deliberately misleads her readers. Another disgraceful and pathetically deceptive act!

Thanks to “Nice One” for pointing this out and doing the research into Nova’s deception.


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3 Responses to “6,000 boreholes – Nova’s 100 years too short”

  1. Nice One Says:

    Glad to help! 🙂

    She won’t accept my comment unless I provide my email address (
    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/medieval-warm-period-found-in-120-proxies-roman-era-similar-to-early-20th-century/#comment-1137913 ) as if somehow the ability to create a hotmail account validates an argument.

  2. John Mashey Says:

    The Huang(1997) stuff came from Essex & McKitrick(2002), originally as best as I can tell, then McKitrick and McIntyre were using it in the presentations in 2005 that became the blueprint for the Wegman Report.
    See PDF @ Strange Scholarship pp.138-139, which goes through the borehole material.
    The same research group clarified the issue in 1998 and 2000, then added the comment in 2008, in part because of the mis-use of their earlier work.

  3. Nice One Says:

    Oh and something else I notice, Nova doesn’t use the graph from the HPS97 report – she’s using one from another source. The one from HPS97 looks quite different.


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