We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period?

[Guest post by John Mashey]

This is a second follow-up to the original falsification, flat-earth maps and dog astrology. Flat-earth is discussed here in More use and abuse of IPCC 1990 fig 7.1(c). This post explores the other topic:

David Deming, "dog astrology journal" and then Jon Overpeck This started with quote of David Deming's comments in the Journal of Scientific Exploration(JSE), or "dog astrology journal." JSE was first brought to my attention by Eli Rabett in 2008, relevant in an Wikipedia talk page on Hockey Stick Illusion, and further in 2010. That discusses the journal issue in which Deming's article appeared, plus his earlier articles, all of which appeared in 2004-2005, about the time Deming was on the parent organization's Council. See p.17, but a quick perusal of the entire issue may be informative, including a talk by Michael Lemonick explaining to them why mainstream media doesn't pay attention, written up in Time.

On 03/16/05, McIntyre quoted Deming, linking twice to Fred Singer's 3-month-early preprint. One might wonder if Singer helpfully offered any advice to Deming in the writing. The key quote was:

' …With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."'

Of course, "major" was vague, no evidence was offered ("the dogs ate my emails") and no one was named. For context, see also Deming 2006 testimony written or better video. See also Why I Deny Global Warming. However, since Deming's quote was deemed to be Truth, people tried to figure out the identity of the purported emailer.

McIntyre on Deming and Overpeck
12/11/05 Overpeck: “You didn’t really believe everything that I said, did you?”

'He has been proposed as the most likely person to have uttered the phrase “We have to get rid of the MWP” and Overpeck et al [1997] was one of the early entries in the multiproxy endeavour.'

02/13/07 IPCC Paleoclimate Lead Author on M&M

'One of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the IPCC Paleoclimate chapter (chapter 6), Eystein Jansen – the other is Jonathan Overpeck of “Get rid of the MWP” fame...'

05/08/07 Swindle and the Stick

'After the graphics about the MWP and LIA, you can turn back to the graphic and observe — if this is what specialists thought in 1990, it certainly doesn’t convey any sense of urgency. It must have been hard/impossible to convey alarm with this as a sales graphic. You need good graphics to sell stock and this graph won’t sell stock. Then you segue into David Deming and “Get rid of the MWP”. Deming said [note - see his Senate testimony in 2006 here] (and he’d probably make an interesting interview):
"With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said – We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."
Maybe Jonathan Overpeck could be asked on the record about this quote.'

10/26/07 More on Arabian Sea G. Bulloides

'(Overpeck, the second author of this article, has been rumored to be the person who told David Deming about “getting rid of the MWP”.)'

SO, a few questions for Stoat readers.
1) Have you found any earlier mentions in 2005 of Overpeck as the phantom emailer, either at CA or elsewhere?
2) And then, through early 2008, any other mentions? That brings us to:

02/19/08Sussman Interview With Deming Brian Sussman: Climategate: A veteran meteorologist exposes the global warming scam (2010). Global warming is Marxist plot, UN is evil, one-world government, etc, which might relate back to conspiracy research by Lewandowsky et al. I own a copy of this for my collection of such things. He is a TV weather guy, turned talk-radio host.

BUT, he has an interview with Deming, prefaced with the following (bold mine):

p.18: 'Again, as you will discover later, Stephen McIntyre is a brilliant researcher who has wholly discredited some of Mann's most significant work...'

p.30: 'UNITED NATIONS OF MARX' and shows yet another variant of Fig 7.1(c), claimed to be sourced from WSJ, 06/21/05, but actually, it's a different version than that used by Daly/McIntyre and the WSJ.

p.31: ‘Enter a PhD from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Geosciences, David Deming. In 1995, Deming had concluded extensive climate research on ancient tree rings. Boring minute holes into the trunks of trees, Deming examined growth patterns relative to past weather and climate.

He writes glowingly about Deming, then quotes him and continues:

pp.32-34: ‘In 1995, I had a short paper… (NPR reporter, etc) So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”’
‘Since then, Deming has shared the account before a Senate committee in Washington, DC, accurately referring to it as “historical revisionism.” But I wanted the rest of the story, specifically the name of the emailer who desired to subterfuge history.'

'Sussman: Did you know the emailer?
Deming: No. You must understand that following an article being published in a journal like Science, it’s quite common to receive emails from colleagues working in similar fields.
Sussman: So, you didn’t know this guy.
Deming: No.
Sussman: Did his suggestion that somehow the record of the Medieval Warming Period had to be altered struck you as odd?
Deming: Yes. I didn’t really think people would take this nonsense seriously.
Sussman: Nonsense? Is that how you thought of anthropogenic global warming back then?
Deming: it wasn’t as big an issue then. I’m a geologist. I am used to observing events over long periods of time. Everyone talks about the [computer] models. I understand the atmosphere is a very complex system, and a system that is categorically impossible to replicate in terms of future predictions. So, I have to rely on what we know and what we don’t know. That’s why it’s important to study past climate. In fact, I have something I call Deming’s 10 Rules of Science. One of them is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” What we do know is that the climate of the earth has undergone major changes. What we do know is that after the last ice age the temperature of Greenland increased by perhaps as much as 50 degrees in a period of perhaps 10 years. Why did that happen? We don’t know – but it happened.”
Sussman: Back to the email. Many of us have heard the rumor that it was Jonathan Overpeck, the NOAA scientist, who has been on a tear for years to rid the books of the Medieval Warm Period, but I’ve been unable to find a record of you publicly admitting as such. Was it Overpeck?
Deming: It’s been many years, and I’ve long since deleted the email, but to the best of my recollection it was sent by an Overpeck.’
p.34: ‘Sent by an Overpeck. Dr. Deming claimed he was unable to recall the first name, and I didn’t want to press this good man any further. However, if it were Jonathan Overpeck, it would make good sense. Overpeck is a government apparatchik working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and has made quite a name for himself speaking at conferences and writing research papers belittling those who disagree with the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.’
‘My suspicions about Jonathan Overpeck being the guy who contacted Deming were confirmed in a 2008 email unearthed in the CRU leak. During the exchange with Phil Jones and others, Jonathan Overpeck, clearly agitated all these years later by the comments made by Dr. Deming before the Senate (even though Deming never mentioned Overpeck by name), denies making the “we must get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” statement:
The email states:
“I googled….Any idea what my reaction should be?”'

‘I would recommend Overpeck and his selective memory take an early retirement. Through he denies the statement made to Dr. Deming, I discovered an official 1998 government press release regarding the MWP, quoting Jonathan Overpeck. It seems crystal clear that by 1998 his mission to see the record revised was accomplished, as he declares, “the so-called Medieval Warm Period did not exist.”’* *”’Twentieth Century Global Warming Unprecedented’ NOAA Scientist reports,” NOAA Press Release, December 7, 1998, http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/pr98/dec98/noaa98-88.html'

[Needless to say, the actual quote does not say this.]

p.35: ‘Seems like somebody’s pants are on fire.’
‘And to whom shall we give credit for the climate lobotomy that supposedly killed the “so-called Medieval Warm Period”? Enter Doctor Leaky: Michael Mann.’
‘Mann apparently inputted data collected by Dr. Shaopeng Huang of the University of Michigan, who examined 6,000 tree-ring boreholes from around the world…

p.40: ‘In hindsight, it makes me wonder … where were Mann, Jones, Overpeck, Gore and a host of other climate clowns during their science fairs?’

People may notice some inconsistencies in all this, especially when played versus IPCC history. (Hint: Overpeck was one of two Coordinating Lead Authors for the 2007 AR4 paleo chapter, along with Norwegian Eystein Jansen. People might check the extent of Overpeck's roles in IPCC {1990, 1992, 1995, 2001}.

Deming was astonished (in 1995) to receive a message from somebody he knew was a “major person," but when he wrote about it for in 2005 JSE, didn't check who it was and was vague by 2008, except to allow it might have been some Overpeck.
One might wonder how well any of this would actually stand up in court... Enough for now.

More like this

Somewhat tangentially, there seems to be some confusion in the Sussman interview, which claims "Deming had concluded extensive climate research on ancient tree rings" and "Dr. Shaopeng Huang of the University of Michigan, who examined 6,000 tree-ring boreholes from around the world".

Deming's (and Dr. Shaopeng Huang's) climate work was related to borehole paleothermometry -- "direct measurements of temperature from boreholes drilled into the Earth crust" (NOAA) -- which is quite distinct from tree-ring paleoclimatology, of course. Sussman seems to have gotten this confused. Deming didn't publish anything on dendrochronology.

Yes, I couldn't resist quoting those.
It calibrated Sussman's expertise well.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 17 Oct 2012 #permalink

Kevin: thanks, yes, I'd seen it.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 17 Oct 2012 #permalink

"but to the best of my recollection it was sent by an Overpeck.’ . Or .. maybe I dreamed it, Your Honour.

Always a pleasure to follow your revealing detective work, Dr. Mashey "An Overpeck" is a classic line on so many levels.

Interesting timing of Jonathan Overpeck's talk, MBH98 had been published in April 1998, followed a couple of months later by the George C. Marshall Institute alleging that it had deliberately omitted an earlier period: "Go back just a few hundred years more to the period 1000 - 1200 AD and you find that the climate was considerably warmer than now. This era is known as the Medieval Warm Period."

However, in May 1998 Jones et al. had published a 1000 year reconstruction, inspiring MBH to extend their own reconstruction back: this was submitted for publication to GRL in October 1998. Whether or not Overpeck knew of this study, his December 7, 1998, presentation indicated that "recent record high hemispheric temperatures are probably unprecedented in at least 1200 years" and exceeded the MWP. The MBH study (MBH99) published in March 1999 covered 1000 years.

All of which rather destroys the narrative that everyone loved Lamb's MWP until that nasty Mann and the IPCC conspired to get rid of it, a plot revealed to Deming by his unnamed informant some time after his 1995 Science paper. Odd how the deniers are so keen to blame Mann for "getting rid of the MWP" that Jones and Overpeck had already shown to probably fall below late 20th century temperatures.

Hmm, two different Kevin's here (me, the 1st comment, but I didn't make the 3rd with the youtube link).

Fair cop , John- Having established that Deming's methodology is right up there with the Vanity Fair school of historiography., what do you propose to do about the latter ?

End of snark- when will the incensed parties give Braudel a good read, and realize that the slow revolution in navigation that culminated in the age of exploration began wihen the norse enetered the Mediterranean world via the Byzantine Black Sea .

It is easy to confuse the consequences of advances in shipbuilding and seamanship with those of milder sailing conditions- insurance rates , if you can find them in medieval banking archives, could be an intriguing meta-proxy for marine climate change.

Please always use the accurate term North Atlantic Medieval Warm Period

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 17 Oct 2012 #permalink

What Medieval Warm Period? Didn't notice it here in the Pacific Northwest.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 17 Oct 2012 #permalink

Historical usage, worth noting that the UMass press release for MBH99 concluded that it "supports earlier theories that temperatures in medieval times were relatively warm, but 'even the warmer intervals in the reconstruction pale in comparison with mid-to-late 20th-century temperatures,' said Hughes."

Mann et al. 2009 discuss the Medieval Climate Anomaly, though Ljungqvist 2010 sees the MWP in the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (90–30°N). More generally, MCA better.

Dave s:
It is always worth noting that extra tropical (30degN-) NH is 50% of the NH. Any graph that shows multiple reconstructions really ought to include a legend that shows the fraction of NH or Earrh claimed to be represented.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

Odd indeed that Deming doesn't have a more complete recollection of the alleged “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”‘ email, or indeed the email itself. Hackers illegally obtain emails from CRU servers in an attempt to discredit climate scientists yet here we have a "sceptic" not helping at all.

I agree with Tom Curtis in the recent Climate Fraudit thread: this is hearsay until Deming comes up with actual evidence (and isn't it weird how some of the Fraudit denizens don't understand the meaning of the word?).

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

True Skeptic:
Deming claims:
1) In 1995, he got an email from a "major person" in a field not his own. he cited IPCC(1990) and some climate papers, none of which included Overpeck as an author..

2) Overpeck was not a contributor to either IPCC(1990) or IPCC(1992).

3) IPCC(1995) actually came out in 1996, well after Deming(1995). Overpeck was one of ~29 contributors to one section, but not one of the 97 contributors to the apleo section.

3) IPCC(2001)'s paleo section ahd ~140 contributors, of which Overpeck was one.

4) In IPCC(2007), Overpeck was one of two Coordinating Lead Authors of the paleo section. The other was Norwegian Eyestein Jansen.

Overpeck was certainly a "major person" in 2005, and McIntyre certainly beat the drums to paint hims as the phantom emailer, on zero public evidence. But by 2008, Deming could only vaguely remember "an Overpeck." Right.

Overpeck (and others) had every reason to push back against the MWP-big that had been increasingly marketed from 2001 onward, with the big push in 2005, as the Lamb schematic was rediscovered and promoted by McIntyre, McKitrick, the GMI+CEI/CHC crowd, and the Wall Street Journal. If one does the whole timeline, people had scrambled from 2001-2004 to find a graph to counter the TAR hockey-stick, and they finally found one by manufacturing history via falsification.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

The most interesting point here is the blatant inconsistency in Deming's account. He claims to both remember that the mystery emailer was a major person in the field, but also to not remember their exact identity, but to remember their surname.

If he cannot remember their exact identity, how can he possible remember that they were a major person in the field?

If he can remember that it was an Overpeck, how many Overpecks are there in climate science, and particularly Overpecks who can be described as "major people in the field" so that he cannot remember their first name?

This inconsistency means that, at best, the identification of "an Overpeck" as the source of the email is a case of false memory, ie, an instance where later thoughts or recollections have been incorporated a prior memory, changing its content.

Given that Demming is prone to false memories, it is liklely that a memory of an email from ten years prior after much heated debate on the topic of the email, from an committed ideologue should itself be prone to unintentional embellishment (ie, is a false memory).

That, I believe, is the best that can be said for Deming's memory on this matter. The possibility of outright fabrication cannot, of course, be excluded.

By Tom Curtis (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

In realms of fantasy, all things are possible.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

Were turn of the second millennium temperatures high enough for Martha's Vineyard to pass for Vinland, the Vikings swarming ashore to pillage the Wampanoag's clambakes and loot their wampum would also have encountered a bumper crop of poison ivy.

Their lack of native immunity would explain their retreat to the Greenland's blissful botanic austerity, never again to trouble our shores .

Russell --- Wrong. Vinland was/is in northern Newfoundland. The Skralings were too much for the Norsemen (not Vikings) who proceeded to return to Greenland. It is possible there were later expeditions to Labrador, probably for wood.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

John, Tom,

Exactly. Deming's story is so implausible for so many reasons that it must be dismissed.

Overpecks? The place is teeming with them! ;)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 18 Oct 2012 #permalink

Tom Curtis,

The most interesting point here is the blatant inconsistency in Deming’s account. He claims to both remember that the mystery emailer was a major person in the field, but also to not remember their exact identity, but to remember their surname.

Indeed. Yet we are told

"I would recommend Overpeck and his selective memory take an early retirement."

By andrew adams (not verified) on 19 Oct 2012 #permalink

David, viking is what Norsemen do on vacation.

The rest is a joke, like the Norumbega Tower built to celebrate thier victory over Yale.

Nearly a year ago, I followed-up on a more recent post Dr. David Deming made at WUWT after noting a pointer to it in a comment elsewhere.

He takes issue with a strawman of his own creation over a Purdue press release. His trek ’or the grounds of his estate snapping images is a prelude for where he’s really going, a plunge into the swamp after those manipulative warmest leaches sucking precious bodily fluids.

After many paragraphs describing the heat travails the Black Walnut trees in his central Oklahoma yard survived during the summer 2011 and touting the all around hardiness of this particular species, he goes after the press release as being, “... not just tendentious and misrepresentative. It was plainly deceptive”.

He quotes from the release’s 1st sentence but elides a meaningful part of the quote. Purdue’s “Warmer, drier summers and extreme weather events considered possible as the climate changes would...” becomes Deming’s “warmer, drier summers and…climate changes would...”

Before going on about how the Walnut genus, Juglans, is geographically distributed very widely on the planet and that J nigra, the subject of the press release paper, has a native geographic range over much of the eastern US woodlands, he carefully quotes a snippet from the release as saying the species “has an extremely narrow range” as evidence of deception.

The full passage in the press release has Douglass Jacobs (2nd author of the paper and a Perdue prof) saying, “‘Walnut is really restricted to sites not too wet or dry. It has an extremely narrow range.... We suspect and predict that climate change is going to have a real impact on walnuts. We may see some type of decline of the species.’” The release goes on, “Specifically, walnuts would have difficulty tolerating droughts that could be associated with a changing climate. ‘Changes in moisture could restrict its ability to survive without irrigation...’”

The first hit on Google for the search “black walnut native range” yielded a US Dept of Ag manual page (apparently also a Deming source as he lifts exact quotes, though he cites another source) were I found that Black Walnut’s native range is limited to areas with a minimum average annual precipitation of 25 inches, and optimally greater than 35 inches. That the species has a large root system that’s both wide and deep, as Deming notes as evidence of the tree’s general hardiness when coping with water stresses, rather than as one of several mechanisms that different evolutionary paths have led to, and in this particular case depend on specific sites conditions. That Black Walnut typically grows in small groups or as scattered individual trees which Deming studiously avoids any mention.

In addition to his many words and cites of authority, to complete the sale, belt and braces fashion, he has two pictures of Black Walnuts standing in specimen splendor isolation on his property’s ample and well mown lawn.

The season of the photos is late autumn/early winter, and the deciduous plants and grass are leafless or brown and dormant. The picture showing walnuts at the base of a tree shows a bit of green however, and the height and uniformity of Deming’s lawn strongly argue for the trees receiving summer irrigation along with the grass.

Dirty (the swamp will do that to ya) doc Dave Deming:

The Perdue press release:

The Annals of Forest Science paper:

By SplatterPatterns (not verified) on 19 Oct 2012 #permalink

Great read, and blackly funny - but isn't some of your own commentary stuck in quote italics at the end there?

I just got my copy of Deming;'s Blaks & White: politically Incorrect Essays on Politics, Culture, Science, Religion, Energy, and Environment.

51 essays, 138 pages, self-published $12.95
1-7 on goodness of oil
8-20 on global warming (hoax, collapses, Inhofe right).

and much more, but this may offer a taste:

"This book is dedicated to all the skeptics and heretics. It is dedicated to Pyrrho, Socrates, and Jesus Christ. To Roger Bacon, Martin Luther, Paracelsus, and Peter Ramus. I make my dedication to Galileo, and all the victims of narrow-minded intellectual bigotry and intolerance. It is the unreasonable men who are the guidng lights of the human race. For knowledge begins with skepticism and ends with conceit."

By John Mashey (not verified) on 19 Oct 2012 #permalink

Russell --- No, Norsemen never took vacations in the modern sense. Some went a-viking, a form of banditry. That ended with the introduction of Christianity in the Northland.

Therinafter it was called something else, but a bit more moderated. Consider the history of the Russ and of the Normans.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 19 Oct 2012 #permalink

"Therinafter it was called something else, but a bit more moderated. Consider the history of the Russ and of the Normans."

D- please see my first remark, I commend Memeory and the Mediterranean especially

> While the identity of Deming’s correspondent remains uncertain, a Climategate letter from January 13. 2005, written as an instruction from Overpeck as Coordinating Lead Author to IPCC Lead Authors Briffa and Osborn (cc Jansen, Masson-Delmotte), states that Overpeck wants to “deal a mortal blow” to the MWP (and Holocene Optimum) “myths” (480. 1105670738.txt).


Please note the update.

> [To Dano:] I don’t know all the back history. However, there seems to have been a viewpoint after IPCC 2AR that they had to “get rid of the MWP” in order to sell Kyoto. (Andre at UKweatherworld speculated that Overpeck was the source of this phrase, not attributed by Deming more specifically than someone important in the AGW industry.)


Me emphasis.

Nice comment thread, btw.

PS: I missed that John already gave the quote of my earlier comment. Only scanned the dates and the day and month were reversed in John's presentation.

As touched upon at the end of my post. Look at the relevant sections:

1990 IPCC
3 lead authors, 40 contributors to relevant section..No Overpeck.

1992 IPCC
6 leads, ~36 contributors. No Overpeck.

Deming(1995), appeared in June 1995, referenced IPCC(1990), but not 1992. None of the papers referenced included Overpeck as an author.

IPCC(1995) actually was published ~June 1996.
6 Leads, 6 key contributors to Section 3 "Observed Climate Variability and Change", ~97 contributors, No Overpeck.

Section 9 "Terrestrial Biotic Responses to Environmental Change and Feedbacks to Climate." had 5 Leads and 29 contributors, of which Overpeck was one of the latter.

IPCC(2001) Section 2 "Observed Climate Variability and Change":
2 Coordinating Lead Authors (Folland & Karl), 8 Leads, ~140 contributors, of which Overpeck was one.

Deming(2005) says a " major person" sent him email in 1995.

IPCC(2007) Overpeck is one of two Coordinating Lead Authors, with 14 Leads, 33 contributors.

Now, we might add a few more relevant dates:

2001.03.20 Fred Singer spoke at U of Western Ontario, Christopher Essex helped with arrangements. (Recall Essex&McKitrick(2002) "Taken by Storm", the first place I've seen the MWP variant of Huang(1997) that was obsolete by 1998.)

2003.10 Heartland Environment and Climate News, "Abundant Reserves Show Petroleum Age Just Beginning.", by David Deming. From Fake science .... p.89 Fred Singer was listed as a "Contributing Author" from mid-2002 onward and wrote articles in 6 (of 9) issues in 2003. Fred has always had a keen eye for recruiting talent.

2003.11.18 M&M get trip to Washington to talk for CEI+GMI, get coached by Singer, Michaels, et al. Singer, in annotated PDF, well worth reading the light of things to come:

'I have found more than half a dozen proxy data between 1980 and 2000, none of which showed an increase in temperature. Some showed a decrease in temperature. I then started to pursue this subject and I am now focusing my efforts on trying to see what all the proxy data show after 1980. Steve McIntyre has been very helpful in sending me a whole bunch of data. I have not found any yet that show an increase in temperature. In other words, the proxy data disagree with the thermometer data in the last twenty years; they do not show a warming.'

2004.05.06 Singer runs Is The Oil Spigot Running Dry?" by Michael Fumento, mostly quoting an NCPA report by David Deming.

2005.02.12 Singer TWTS:

'We then continue with the never-ending saga of Global Warming. Prof David Deming gives short shrift to the absurd claim by UCal San Diego science historian Naomi Oreskes that she has found unanimous consensus about Global Warming (Item #2). '

Then includes an article of Deming's.

2005.02.19 TWTS

'Please note that Professor David Deming's comments on "scientific consensus" posted on Feb. 12, 2005 are copyrighted material and must not be used in any form without prior permission.'

I guess Singer had permission.

2005.03.05 Singer TWTS
Singer published a 3-month-early preprint of Deming's piece destined for JSE, my favorite dog astrology journal.

2005.03.16 McIntyre, The Significance of the Hockey Stick quoted Deming, and reprised Daly's original comparison of the hockey stick and (not-quite) FIg.7.1(c) that cited IPCC(1995). Sadly McIntyre could not recall where he picked up" the not-quite Fig.7.1(c) image< that he used in the post. Wherever it came from, it certainly did look identical to that of Western Fuels science advisor John Daly, and it did get used in M&M talks, and then the WSJ, always labeled as IPCC(1995) or later IPCC(1990). It may have traveled through others.

Of course, all this is may be merely coincidence.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 21 Oct 2012 #permalink

Deming(2005) says a ” major person” sent him email in 1995.

IPCC(2007) Overpeck is one of two Coordinating Lead Authors, with 14 Leads, 33 contributors.

I think the timeline of these assessments is such that Overpeck would have been named as an AR4 CLA around 2003/2004.

I see I'm not the only person who wades through the dross over at WTFUWT... thanks for correction the Wiki page on forcing. Though it does show how Mr. Watts is woefully ignorant of the science - did he really think that CH4 + N2O also had logarithmic forcing? Moreover, does he really think that the logarithmic CO2 forcing function holds true when CO2 is below a few ppm???

I repeat:

'Deming was astonished (in 1995) to receive a message from somebody he knew was a “major person,” but when he wrote about it for in 2005 JSE, didn’t check who it was and was vague by 2008, except to allow it might have been some Overpeck.'

The anti-science campaign to insist on MWP-big hadn't really gotten going by 1995. It was certainly rolling after 2001, but really swung into high gear in early 2005.

Deming(1995) covered last ~150 years, which has rather little to do with any MWP.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 22 Oct 2012 #permalink

> Of course, all this is may be merely coincidence.

Perhaps it's just a matter of style, John, but I rather express the conclusion by using this rhetorical pattern from the auditing sciences:

> A closer re-examination of the documents adds circumstantial support against Deming’s recollection.


We emphasize "circumstantial" and "against", of course.


The transition from Deming to Huang supports most of our beloved Bishop's political hit job. (As a side note, it seems that we get the Bishop's karaoke in a pamphlet by a Tom Shipley (2011).) We do need to note this interesting parsing match with Bob Ward on his blog:

> [I]t is not me that claims [that a paper by Shaopeng Huang and colleagues “never appeared in print”.], but David Deming.]


Here's what the Bishop says instead on p. 29:

> This difficulty in getting into print any result that went against the idea of catastrophic global warming was to be a consistent complant among sceptics [.]

This seems to go well with this other idea we read on p. 30, with our emphasis:

> Climate science wanted big funding and big political action and that was going to require definitive evidence. In order to strengthen the arguments for the current warming being unprecendented, there was going to have to be a major study, presenting unpeachable evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was a chimera,

So not only Deming says so, but the stars were aligned to make it so.

I'm not sure that the Auditor ever went as far as as to surmise about what climate science wants. Only some hints related to stock promotion (in a technical sense).


In the best tradition of the auditing sciences, we ought to wonder about the best metaphor to express the relationship between the Deming affair and the narratives sold by the Auditor. Cocaine would be tempting, but it's already taken.

To keep with the tradition of hockey, I suggest foil:


PS: I really like the presentation of your last comment, John. Note that there's no need to use quotation marks if you use italics.

Why does Eli feel that these clowns are Catch 22 re-enactors?

Deming(2005) says a ” major person” sent him email in 1995.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 23 Oct 2012 #permalink

I wonder if it was a major major person or a minor major person? He doesn't specify.

I love the way the title to McIntyre's post was: "“Dealing a Mortal Blow” to the MWP" when it should have been: “Dealing a Mortal Blow” to the MWP Myths

Way to cut out just one word in order o twist the meaning and avoid understanding that the man is actually talking about the misuse of the MWP by people... well, people like McIntyre

By Holly Stick (not verified) on 24 Oct 2012 #permalink

Having a free examplar of **CLIMATEGATE: The CRU Tape Letter**, courtesy of John F. Pittman, I am glad to report that the MWP has finally been almost eliminated:

> Mann's work served to flatten the temperature record for the past 1,000 years, almost eliminating both the [MWP] and the [LIA]. In particular, this buttressed the IPCC claims that the current warming is greater than any seen in the history of man [p. 41-42].

In fact, the word "unprecedented" is so important in this political hit job that this is repeated over and over again. See for instance just a bit before, on the same page 41:

> Recall that from a political perspective it is important to show that the recent rise in temperature is unprecedented, which means that the [MWP] (which for generations was thought of as warmer than today) is more than inconvenient.

Our emphasis.

In fact, it's even more important than that, as we read on p. 32:

> The IPCC was founded to advise politicians on how bad global warming was going to be and based on the assumption that recent warming was the most extreme in history.

Our emphasis.

I'm not sure if the predicate "being extreme" entails "being unprecedented", nor that if this way of portraying the IPCC's raison d'être is accurate.

It might arguably (h/t Fred Pearce) be just another karaoke.