Oh Mann! Paper demonstrates that tree-ring proxy temperature data is ‘seriously compromised’

This is potentially a huge blow to the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Tree-rings have been used as proxies, in lieu of having direct instrumental measurements of temperature change in ages past. They’ve been foundational to the assertion of a connection between CO2 levels and warming, and thus as evidence that Man has accelerated that warming. And if it turns out the tree-ring analysis was severely biased…. Well, Al Gore won’t be pleased at all.

Watts Up With That?

Michael Mann won’t be happy about this.

A new paper now in open review in the journal Climate of the Past suggests that “modern sample bias “has “seriously compromised” tree-ring temperature reconstructions, producing an “artificial positive signal [e.g. ‘hockey stick’] in the final chronology.”

Basically, older trees grow slower, and that mimics the temperature signal paleo researchers like Mann look for. Unless you correct for this issue, you end up with a false temperature signal, like a hockey stick in modern times. Separating a valid temperature signal from the natural growth pattern of the tree becomes a larger challenge with this correction.

Here is a relevant excerpt:

Much of the work in dendrochronology, and dendroclimatology in particular, relies on accurate, unbiased reconstructions of tree growth long into the past. As a result, a great deal of effort has been put into trying to isolate important trends and identify potential 5…

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