Last year, the famous “hockey-stick” graph by researchers Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes, came under fire when it was deemed inaccurate by two Canadians – Stephen McIntyre, a minerals and oil consultant, and Ross McKitrick, and economist – neither of whom have any background in climate science.Their critique was cited by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx), a conservative congressman whose campaigns have been heavily financed by oil interests, to minimize the reality of climate change. Barton also cited Michael Crichton's fictional novel to discredit the work.
The graph, which reflects a reconstruction of global temperatures since the year 600 A.D., shows a dramatic increase in the rate of warming beginning in the early 20th Century. Following the attack by the Canadian skeptics, a number of respected researchers re-examined the data underlying the graph and found it to be accurate. Their findings were published in two studies in the peer-reviewed journal, Geophysical Research Letters.Now Barton is re-raising the issue – forcing yet another review of the high-profile study by the US National Academies of Science, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 10.