The Forbes editors seem to be operating on the curious belief that if you shove an obscure Canadian has-been into the headline it's suddenly a must-read. I am apparently to Forbes sales as putting a Kardashian on the cover is to People. So far this week:
History Says Tom Cotton And Mark Steyn Shouldn't Be Confident About Intervention In The Middle East
A British Equity Story So Bullish That It May Even Make Mark Steyn Optimistic
In next week's Forbes:
Kate's Baby Unlikely To Be Named Mark Steyn
~Also in the news, Mike Pearl at Vice is eagerly contemplating my downfall:
I can't claim I know how this lawsuit is going to shake out, but one possible outcome is that Steyn might suddenly have to, say, publicly apologize to his arch nemesis, Michael Mann, and then write him a huge check.
That sh*t would be hilarious. And I would feel great about it.
I'd be hard-pressed to be as hilarious as Michael E Mann's latest paper, which purports to prove that the Gulf Stream is slowing down - using Mann's usual method of toss the tree-rings into the woodchipper and see what comes out:
What is new is that we have used proxy reconstructions of large-scale surface temperature (Mann et al, 2009) previously published by one of us (study co-author and RealClimate co-founder Mike Mann) that extend back to 900 AD (see "What we can learn from studying the last millennium (or so)") to estimate the circulation (AMOC) intensity over the entire last 1100 years (Fig. 3). This shows that despite the substantial uncertainties in the proxy reconstruction, the weakness of the flow after 1975 is unique in more than a thousand years, with at least 99 per cent probability. This strongly suggests that the weak overturning is not due to natural variability but rather a result of global warming.
So, if you use Michael E Mann's magical "proxy reconstruction" of the last 1,115 years, we're all gonna die. On the other hand, if you just take actual measurements of the real Gulf Stream, it's all rather less queenily hysterical:
"The ADCP measures currents at very high accuracy, and so through the repeat measurements we take year after year, we have a very powerful tool by which to monitor the strength of the current," said Rossby. "There are variations of the current over time that are natural — and yes, we need to understand these better — but we find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down."
Steve McIntyre observes:
The new article by Rahmstorf and Mann (see RC here) has been criticized at WUWT (here here) for making claims about Atlantic Ocean currents based on proxies, rather than measurements. (Also at Judy's here) But it's worse, much worse than we thought.
Rahmstorf and Mann's results are not based on proxies for Atlantic current velocity, but on a network consisting of contaminated Tiljander sediments (upside-down or not), Graybill's stripbark bristlecone chronologies, Briffa MXD series truncated to hide-the-decline and hundreds of nondescript tree ring series statistically indistinguishable from white noise. In other words, they used the same much-criticized proxy network as Mann et al 2008-9...
After so much controversy about Mann's prior use of contaminated data, it defies credulity that he and Rahmstorf have done so once again.
And when the National Research Council panel recommended in 2006 that stripbark bristlecone chronogies be "avoided" in temperature reconstructions, they can scarcely have contemplated (let alone, endorsed) their use in reconstruction of Atlantic ocean currents.
Seemingly leaving no stone unturned, the Rahmstorf and Mann dataset even truncates the Briffa MXD chronologies in 1960, thereby hiding the decline (see here for a discussion of MXD truncation in Mann et al 2008 in September 2008, long before we learned from Climategate emails that they were using a trick to "hide the decline").
Steve reminds us that the people who absolutely loathe Mann with a vengeance are, pace Mike Pearl, not me and other deniers but the scientists who've worked most closely with him - and know him too well. Keith Briffa:
I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of regressing these data again any other "target" series , such as the increasing trend of self-opinionated verbage he has produced over the last few years , and … (better say no more)
As Steve McIntyre says:
Using Mannian RegEM with the Mann et al 2008-9 network of 1209 "proxies", one can probably "reconstruct" almost anything. Are you interested in "reconstructing" the medieval Dow Jones Index? Or medieval NFL attendance?
Percentage of medieval fake Nobel Laureates from medieval Pennsylvania?
As John Hinderaker puts it:
The blunt truth is that climate alarmism isn't science at all. It is a combination of politics, religion and–perhaps most of all–financially self-interested hucksterism.
~This seems as good a time as any to put in a word for the brand new paperback Climate Change: The Facts, which includes contributions from Ross McKitrick (Steve McIntyre's co-author in their devastating analysis of Mann's "hockey stick") as well as many other scientists - and, er, me. And, if you order the book from the SteynOnline bookstore, I'll be happy to autograph it for you personally. Simon Brockwell writes from Sydney to put in a word for his favorite chapter (so far):
I went to Ian Plimer's essay first which was a very wise use of a very small amount of time. One need go no further than read his six pages for a magisterial summation of the history of the world's, highly variable, climate and its impact on humanity. I had been aware of the Medieval Warm Period and the "Little Ice Age", but Plimer puts those events in context and the puts the extraordinary hullabaloo surrounding the two periods of warming in the 20th century into very stark relief.
How Plimer's history primer on the earth's climate, which so thoroughly undermines the plausibility of the notion of AGW, has failed to gain traction in the media and the political establishment is mind-boggling.
Sydney, New South Wales
~Tomorrow, Wednesday, I'll be starting the day with the great John Oakley live on Toronto's AM 640 at 8.30am Eastern. Hope you'll join us.