The ‘Tree Ring Circus’: what does ‘divergence of the proxy’ mean?

With the ‘leaked emails’ confirmed as authentic, many experts are sifting through the materials and analyzing them.

One thing which has been highlighted was the discussion about tree ring studies, from which the (now infamous – you can get T-shirts with it) ‘hide the decline’ phrase comes from. Here, I would like to explain what the ‘tree ring’ and ‘multi-proxy reconstruction’ thing is all about, and why it really, really matters.

When constructing the graphs of global temperatures, the scientists ran into a tiny little problem:  how do we know what the Earth’s temperature was like, say, 1 500 years ago? There were no ‘standardized measurements’…. So, how do we ‘know’?

Aside:  my explanation is going to be a simplification for the sake or clarity, which runs the danger of being an over-simplification.  Please, consider it to be a starting point for your own inquiry, not anything more.

The idea is that there are other ‘indicators’ of the Earth’s temperature than just ‘direct measurements’, like we can make today.

For example, ‘tree ring data’.  Each year’s growth can be measured on each tree, because tree-trunks grow radially outwards:  the latest year adds the newest (out-most) ring to the tree.  By looking at the rings, scientists can see which ones are thicker (meaning that the tree added ‘more growth’ that year) and which ones are thinner (meaning the tree grew less that year).

The reasoning goes something like this:

  1. The years when the weather is nice and warm, plants do well and grow more.
  2. Trees are plants, therefore trees do well grow more:  the warmer a year it was, the bigger the tree’s growth ring for that year will be!
  3. Therefore, looking back and comparing the size of tree rings will tell us when it was warmer and colder.

Sounds good, right?

So, that is what they did.

(By ‘they’, I mean the scientists who promote the ‘Anthropogenic Climate Change’ agenda and on whose scientific work the current political policies are based.  I shall refer to them as ‘the IPCC cabal’.)

They took core samples of very, very old trees and looked at their rings, counted the years and centuries, compared them, analyzed them, assigned temperature values to various ring thicknesses – and they came up with a nifty little graph. Because it does not measure the temperature directly, but uses a ‘proxy’ (a substitute) – the growth of trees – this nifty little curve was included on the graph they submitted to the IPCC report as one of the ‘proxies’ for actual temperature records from long ago.

Except that….

During the time period when we have had the most reliable, actual temperature readings, say, from 1960 to now, the tree ring growth did not correspond to the temperatures the scientists measured!

To the contrary:  while these scientists measured an in increase in temperatures, the tree ring ‘record’ from 1960 to now shows a DECLINE in temperatures!

The scientists did notice this divergence:  one set of readings went up, the other down. That can clearly be seen from the email exchanges between them – and from the graphs they exchanged, which I linked to above. Now, at this point, a real scientist would look at their data and say:  “We have actual, measured temperatures going up, while the temperatures reconstructed from tree-ring temperatures are going down!  Obviously, there are other factors at play here:  either some of our measurements are wrong, or the method how we are using to figure out temperatures from tree rings is wrong.  Therefore, either have to figure out what we are missing or figure out where we have made a mistake:  either way, this data cannot be used as is!”

Alas, that is not what happened.

Instead, they decided that since the first ‘divergent’ year that the ‘common data’ was available for both the actual measured temperatures and the tree-ring proxy temperatures was 1960nto now, they would simply stop showing the tree-ring data from 1960 on!!!

Then, nobody could tell that the tree-ring data showed something different than what they were claiming! This is hard to believe.  Please, consider the picture below:

get_th31.jpg get_th32.jpg

The bigger graph was what these people submitted to the IPCC thing.

The picture on the right (or below – depending on your browser and settings) is a close-up of the last few decades of the graph.  It shows the actual temperatures measured in modern times (black), and the ‘proxy’ temperatures as they were gleaned by the ‘scientists’ for the past dozen or so centuries.

The ‘tree-ring data’  – the temperatures they figured out the Earth ‘had to have been’ based on the thickness of the tree-rings from those years – is the pale blue line.

When one looks at the enlarged view of the graph, it becomes obvious that that line stops a few decades before the other ones do:  1960, to be exact…. And, the email exchanges show that the only reason that this data was excluded – why the line was not continued – was not because they did not have the data….it was because they did not like what the data showed!!!


By excluding the data, by stopping the blue line on that graph in 1960, even though the data since then exists, the IPCC Cabal of scientists PROVED they knew they were committing fraud!

And THAT is why so many respectable scientists are so very, very angry.

Disappointed, and angry.

Note:  the formatting of this post got ‘messed up’, so, I edited it to fix it.  Aside from formatting (and this note), the post has not been altered.

3 Responses to “The ‘Tree Ring Circus’: what does ‘divergence of the proxy’ mean?”

  1. Steynian 399 « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    […] XANTHIPPA– The ‘Tree Ring Circus’: what does ‘divergence of the proxy’ mean?; Feynman says: […]

  2. Steynian 400 « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    […] XANTHIPPA: ACC is real – just not the way IPCC claims; The ‘Tree Ring Circus’: what does ‘divergence of the proxy’ mean? …. […]

  3. dixon Says:

    Pictures are not showing

    Xanthippa says:

    And, the formatting looks all messed up – even though it worked earlier. My apologies! I’ll fix it as soon as soon as I figure out what happened…

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