The Scientific Activist

The National Academies today released their report on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. The verdict? “High confidence that planet is warmest in 400 years; less confidence in temperature reconstructions prior to 1600.” The reviews from around the web are equally mixed, although generally agreeing that the report vindicates Mann’s hockey stick model. Tim Lambert offers a round-up of them over at Deltoid.

I also noticed one familiar name in the list of the report’s authors: Gerald North (the committee’s chair), who’s a meteorology professor at my alma mater, Texas A&M University. I interviewed North back in the spring of 2005, when I was writing a story on some of the latest developments in climate change research. Although the topic was probably too broad, the story turned out well, and you can read it here.


  1. #1 Dennis
    June 23, 2006

    Not to sound like one of these C02 is life people, but being the warmest since 1600 isn’t really saying much. I thought even most of the anti-regulatory hacks accept that we’re currently in a warming period, the question seems to be whether this warm period is warmer than other ones. Seeing how 1600 was around the peak of the Little Ice Age doesn’t do much to improve the argument. I would guess the temperature reconstructions prior to 1600 (especially during the Medieval Warm Period) would be much more important to the debate.

  2. #2 Nick Anthis
    June 23, 2006

    I would disagree. I think the facts that temperatures have risen so dramatically in recent years and that this rise is correlated with increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are more significant.

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