An interesting pointre TGGWS comes my way:

We have concerns regarding the use of a graph featured in the documentary
titled “Temp & Solar Activity 400 Years”. Firstly, we have reason to
believe that parts of the graph were made up of fabricated data that were
presented as genuine. The inclusion of the artificial data is both
misleading and pointless. Secondly, although the narrator commentary
during the presentation of the graph is consistent with the conclusions of
the paper from which the figure originates, it incorrectly rules out a
contribution by anthropogenic greenhouse gases to 20th century global
warming. These are detailed online at:

[Update: The Bad Science Forum have the same story but more graphically. The auditors are very forgiving of yet another dodgy graph by Durkin – apparently just another innocent mistake. I shall change the datestamp on this post to push it back up to the top :-) -W]


  1. #1 Lubos Motl

    Nathan Rive is an alarmist connected e.g. with this [incivility deleted -W] website “In the Green”, see e.g. their first text about TGGWS:

    [url re-formed to avoid odd redirect -W]

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this whole letter with Friis-Christensen were just Rive’s fraud because I know what kind of moral standards the alarmists have. There exist no polite words that could describe them accurately.


    [Well Lubos, this is clearly an unpleasant surprise for you, as you discover – or rather refuse to discover – yet more errors in TGGWS. As an exercise, why don’t you check out the data fabrication for yourself – links to the papers are available. My prediction is that you will refuse to do so, because you know what you will see and you’d rather not see it -W]

  2. #2 Nathan Rive

    Thank you Lubos for those kind words. You can email Eigil to confirm that this is a joint statement.

    Meanwhile, I suggest using the real link to my post on TGGWS, rather than your ad-laced version:

    [I re-wrote Lubos’s URL -W]

  3. #3 Lubos Motl

    I have e-mailed him long before you told me, and hasn’t yet received an answer. Whether or not he co-authored that letter, the letter has no relevant content for the big question here.

  4. #4 Lubos Motl

    I don’t know whether Durkin has presented it perfectly – he’s a producer, not a scientist – but there is a strong case behind it, stronger than I thought before I studied it in more detail. See e.g.

  5. #5 Bill Butler

    I have posted a web page that documents some of the misrepresentations in Durkin’s film. In any scientific endeavor you are allowed (and encouraged) to check out all possible interpretations of the data. However, Durkin has misrepresented the data (and the “credentials” of his “experts”) to promote his own agenda.

    “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is itself a Fraud and a Swindle

  6. #6 Hugh

    Is it me or has your folk.uio link died William?

  7. #7 Hugh

    It was me :o(

  8. #8 Lubos Motl

    Dear Nathan, I received a confirmation, and sorry for accusing you of this particular thing. Best, Lubos

  9. #9 Magnus W

    Any news on this one? Low Clouds

    Which would make the comment from Eigil Friis-Christensen (your link)less important…

    This result was later refined with more and better observations and documented that during the last two solar cycles there is a very good correlation between the solar modulation of the cosmic rays and the low altitude cloud cover (Marsh and Svensmark, 2000 [Space Science Review, 94: 215-30]).

  10. #10 Nils Simon

    I just love it how skeptics jump from one spot to the other. First it is the sun whose activity “perfectly matches” air temperatures on earth. The data then shows no unusual activity for the sun. The skeptics turn to the sun – cosmic rays connection and say yes, exactly the non-activity is proof because with less solar activity more cosmic rays can reach earth’s atmosphere. Hmm, how are cosmic rays supposed to influence air temperature? Well, they go on,they influence cluod cover. The data shows hardly any evidence supporting that far-reaching claim. Suddenly, it’s not overall cloud cover, but only low clouds that “perfectly match”. Witnessing this behaviour towards premature scientific outcomes and their ignorance of well-established findings represented in the IPCC reports, I find it ridiculous that these people even dare to call us “sensationists” or “alarmists”, not to mention our allegedly “hysteric” call for action.

  11. #11 Thom

    Stoat, sometimes I think you let Lubos post here just so he’ll embarrass himself.

  12. #12 Steve Bloom

    Nicely put, Nils. IMHO the term “climate astrologers” has become apt.

  13. #13 mugwump

    Nils, for every nutty statement from the sceptical camp I could count at least 1000 from the alarmist camp.

    There is plenty of valid grist for the sceptic mill. In my 20 years as a scientist I have never encountered a more evasive field than climatology when it comes to archiving data or revealing methods. What are they hiding?

  14. #14 Nils Simon

    mugwump: ok, I’ll make it easy for you. Name just a tenth of what you promised, but this please three times (once for the direct sun-temperature connection, once for the cosmic rays-overall cloud connection, and once for the cosmic rays-low cloud connection).

    While you prepare three hundred “nutty statements from the alarmist camp” I go and prepare some tea. Should be fun.

  15. #15 mugwump

    Alrighty, but don’t expect it all in one post. For the hiding of data, pop on over to and read pretty much any post.

    As for dumb alarmist statements, how about “polar bears will be extinct within 25 years” from Tim Flannery. You back that one Nils? Just say yes or no, and I’ll give you the next one…

  16. #16 Dano

    Why, mugwump? Do you have evidence from the future? You have peered forward in time and know this?

    That’s excellent. Excellllent…yesssss…saaaay, mugwump, pal. Buddy, do you have the PowerBall numbers for, say, next week, friend?



  17. #17 mugwump

    No Dano, unlike Flannery, in the absence of supporting evidence I don’t claim to know the future.

    But I tell you what, ask Flannery for next week’s powerball numbers. If he turns out to be right, I’ll certainly start listening more carefully to his special brand of BS.

  18. #18 Chris O'Neill

    “For the hiding of data, pop on over to and read pretty much any post.”

    Posts such as this one, where McIntyre comes perilously close to understanding Wahl and Ammann‘s point about Bristlecone proxies but then suddenly recalls that the NAS panel said that Bristlecone proxies ‘should be “avoided” in temperature reconstructions’. Phew, that was a close one for McIntyre. Thank heaven for the NAS panel. Makes careful thinking unnecessary. The point is, McIntyre is clinging desperately to the notion that it’s impossible to make a valid temperature reconstruction that depends on Bristlecone proxies and he’ll latch on to anything, such as the NAS panel statement, that provides any sort of support for his belief. His belief is based on the well-known fact that the Bristlecone proxies have a growth bias caused by increasing CO2 levels since 1850. But there’s no law of physics that says it’s impossible to use these proxies, biased as they are in nature, to determine a valid temperature reconstruction. There are obvious ways to avoid the problem such as only calibrating the proxy before 1850 or determining the degree of bias by comparing with other proxies since 1850 and removing the bias. The latter is done in MBH99. The proof that this works is the consistency of reconstructions obtainable during the time that there are plenty of proxies to choose from (as shown in this paper. This issue has been dealt with but all McIntyre can do is dismiss it out of hand. So in spite of McIntyre’s incompetent objections, valid temperature reconstructions can be made using Bristlecone proxies. Wahl and Ammann’s paper is simply another example of proof that Bristlecone proxies can be used to produce valid reconstructions, in their case they have the ability to prove, based on checking against independent proxies, that a Bristlecone proxy-dependent reconstruction is valid from 1900 back to 1450. If such a proxy is valid all the way back to 1450 there is no objective reason why it should suddenly become invalid before that. McIntyre just doesn’t get the logic but I’d agree that Wahl and Ammann don’t put it very well. It’s no surprise that research scientists are not highly motivated to supply their programs to incompetent critics with pre-determined conclusions.

  19. #19 mugwump

    Chris O’Neill, correct me if I am wrong, but I assume you are referring to this snippet in McIntyre’s post:

    Wahl et al.:

    These results enhance the validity of the MBH assumption that proxies used in the reconstruction process do not necessarily need to be closely related to local/regional surface temperatures, as long as they register climatic variations that are linked to the empirical patterns of the global temperature field that the MBH method (and other climate field reconstructions) target.


    While there might be a certain perverse amusement in dissecting the above WA argument, this is made unnecessary by the finding of the NAS Panel that strip-bark samples should be “avoided” in temperature reconstructions.

    Call me perverse, but I do find Wahl and Ammann’s argument highly amusing. Frankly, I don’t see how you can read them as saying anything other than:

    “It’s ok to include a proxy that is not a good indicator of temperature, provided it still supports the 20th-century AGW hypothesis.”

    What’s your interpretation?

    [I think you are confusing local and hemispheric temperature. A proxy that responded to, say, El Nino might be a poor proxy for local temperature but nonetheless useful in constructing a larger scale index. From the above, it looks like McI doesn’t understand this, which is a bit odd -W]

  20. #20 mugwump

    Hmmm, a proxy for El Nino. How does that work exactly? Last time I checked trees can only respond to local things like temperature, precipitation, etc.

    [Exactly. So a proxy responding to ppn in one location may be recording El Nino, which is a proxy for T in other locations -W]

  21. #21 Magnus W

    Is that a comment added to my post -W?

    Do I understand it correct if I say that the paper I linked to is incorrect and there are good correlation between modulation of the cosmic rays and the low altitude cloud cover? Is there a new published paper on that? Would be glad to have it in my “collection”…

    [I’m not sure how the paper you linked to affects the various correlations. As I understand it, the Svensmark idea breaks down in 1993-4 *unless* you modify the series after then in a way that only he seems to believe. Whether this paper suggests that the std series does need some mod, and if so whether in the S direction, I don’t know -W]

  22. #22 Chris O'Neill

    “correct me if I am wrong”

    Shall do. In response to WA’s:

    “Over 1450-1499, the bristlecone/foxtail pine proxies neither enhance nor degrade reconstruction performance when PC summaries are used. Thus, in this situation, it is logically appropriate to retain these proxies over the entire 15th century, since they are necessary for verification skill in the first half of this period and have no impact on calibration and verification performance in the later half”,

    McIntyre said: “A little underwhelming as a statistical argument, to say the least” which means he didn’t understand the significance of the point. The statement about proxies not necessarily needing to be closely related to local/regional surface temperatures was referring to WA’s preceding sentence which says:

    “These results are valid notwithstanding issues concerning these proxies’ empirical relationship to local/regional surface temperatures after 1850, noted by MBH in previous work (MBH99; cf. MM05a/b; Hughes and Funkhouser, 2003; Graybill and Idso, 1993).”

    This refers to the CO2 fertilization effect on bristlecone proxies which as I pointed out earlier has been dealt with in this paper.

    Frankly, I don’t see how you can read McIntyre as saying anything other than:

    “It’s OK to exclude a proxy that can be used to make a good reconstruction of temperature as long as I credulously fail to understand any way this can possibly be done.”

  23. #23 Magnus W

    My take was that if he has to make “new” corrections to his correlations even the hardest believers of the Svensmarks theory would have to surrender?

    [I’m not sure… it could be that whatever changes are implied by that study go in his favour. But S doesn’t tend to mention his corrections, at least not in the article I saw, so his followers probably wouldn’t notice a new correction anyway. Just look at peoples reactions to S+C continually correcting the UAH dataset -W]

  24. #24 mugwump

    “Exactly. So a proxy responding to ppn in one location may be recording El Nino, which is a proxy for T in other locations”

    This sounds awfully close to circular. Say you’re trying to measure NH T by averaging proxies from a bunch of different sites. But some of those proxies are ppn proxies (maybe you know which, maybe not). The only justification for including a ppn proxy is that it correlates with NH T proxies. But that’s begging the question: NH T is what you are trying to measure in the first place.

    The most likely outcome is that you just get some kind of weird ppn-T mix, that may or may not tell you much about average T.

    OT: William your habit of posting comments in-line makes it hard to track comments on the home page of this blog.

    [Its not circular because the NH temps are known during the training period – same as for any other proxy. However, don’t let me give you the idea I unserstand all this – some of it I’m guessing. Inline comments… ah well -W]

  25. #25 mugwump

    “NH temps are known during the training period”

    Which would be when? 1900 onwards? Awfully short training period. And what were the cross-validation results for that period? Would that have something to do with the near-zero R2 values not reported by Mann et al.?

    [You have mistaken this for a place to re-hash all the old anti-MBH arguments… I recommend CA for that -W]

  26. #26 Nathan Rive

    Hi William, you may be interested that the Independent picked up the statement story this morning:

    Some interesting additional quotes from FC there.

    (I was told the Guardian were going to print it last week, but it was pushed out by the Lord Browne story.)

  27. #27 Eli Rabett

    Corrections^n are a tradition in the cosmic ray-cloud hobby. The idea keeps coming up (since the 1950s in fact) because it is an obvious thing to look at, but the predictions always fail. People who know about cosmic rays don’t know about clouds and aerosols and visa versa. The CERN experiment is a joke, because as was shown by the latest “experiment” they don’t even know what questions to ask, and have no idea of what the data base is. It reminds me of the cold fusion business.

  28. #28 Munin

    At least Durkin has admitted his error (well, one of them). From the Independent article:

    Martin Durkin … admitted in an email to Mr Rive that the graph was wrong. “Thank you for highlighting the error on the 400-year graph. It is an annoying mistake which all of us missed and is being fixed for all future transmissions of the film. It doesn’t alter our argument,” Mr Durkin said.

    He’s also admitted another error: “I wrongly said that volcanoes emit more than humans.”

    So the man’s not entirely immune to reason. However, I suspect that Satan shall be skating to work before Mr Durkin sees fit to “alter” his argument.

    [Durkin has grudgingly admitted those distortions that were too blatant to deny; this gets him no credit – pretending to know something about climate and making, for example, the volcano assertion is just not plausible -W]

  29. #29 Dean Morrison

    Of course there are a stack of ‘errors’ that Durkin simply ignores.

    Like claiming that Fred Singer was the ‘Former Director of the US National Weather Service’ when he has never held the position, and is not qualified to do so:

    According to Hamish Mykura channel 4 conducted a rigorous ‘fact check’ before broadcast – which opens questions about their competence and integrity, as well as Durkin’s.

    According to Durkin’s chums at ‘Spiked’ its scientists that should be ashamed of themselves for asking for corrections:

    It seems that according to Living Marxism “Freedom to Lie” is an important component of ‘Free Speech” – after all controversy is a ‘good thing’….

  30. #30 Nathan Rive

    After Durkin sent me the email that is quoted in the paper, I responded to him – challenging him that it was highly dubious to claim it was just an honest mistake:

    With all due respect, Martin, I struggle to imagine how this could have simply been an error. Given the way the solar activity line is drawn (dropping *vertically* in 1600 to hit the exact temperature trough, making the double peak around 1640, and hitting a trough again in 1650), it has all the hallmarks of cooked data.

    He of course didn’t respond to that comment, but instead claimed that making the film was a stressful time, that the graphs were not drawn in-house, and that he otherwise has a good reputation in the science documentary community.

    There was a further exchange regarding the solar data, where he actually appeared to understand that the science was only based on correlation, not physics – and that it warranted more investigation. The fact that he decided in the documentary to abandon the IPCC science for the solar explanation is merely another unsurprising confirmation of his agenda.

    [I’m not sure if I can post his emails, but if someone thinks its better (ethically, legally, etc.) than me describing them, I’ll consider it.]

  31. #31 Philip Martin

    For the record…Martin Durkin does not have a good reputation in the science documentary community. Channel 4 are using him to stir up controversy. Anyone who responds to scientific concern by writing ‘go and fuck yourself!’ doesn’t care about having a good reputation. I wish he’d take his own advice…

  32. #32 John A

    We’ll expect a full audited explanation from Stoat for the claims of the Mann Hockey Stick (including fabricating data into a series (Gaspé) and an explanation of the CENSORED directories), oh any decade now.

    Its interesting that TGGWS exercises the muscles of scientific skepticism that otherwise appeared to have atrophied.

    [So you, like McI, despite displaying an intense interest in auditing temperature records are for some reason totally uninterested in auditing this one? How very odd -W]

  33. #33 Konrad Fischer

    Good to know, that guys like Nils Simon exterminates critical comments from his alarmistic blog. Thats the way discussion is ‘made’ in Germany.

    And what I can see here – more freedom of speech. That’s great, even if it comes from ecos. Thank you!

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