High Scientific Style Courtesy of Dr. Tim Ball

This contest was clearly too easy. As the first respondent pointed out, I telegraphed the answer by calling the author of this graph, Dr. Timothy F. Ball, a “distinguished” Canadian climatologist. it seems that sarcasm CAN translate to the printed page once in a while.

The graph, complete with a trend line from the top of one peak to the bottom of the next valley, was taken from a lecture that Ball gave to the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy, which can be found here.

Regardless of the “credit etched on the graph,” I have not been able to find anything quite like it in the 1995 IPCC report.

So, if Steve Bloom and Geoff would like to send us their size and address, we'll pop a couple of DeSmog t-shirts in the mail.


At the risk of sounding stupid, the descending trendline should touch the top of all peaks on the way down, correct?

BCL, there shouldn’t really be another trendline. The graph is already smoothed (not annual scale variation). To obtain a curve with less temporal resolution, the author should go back to the original estimates and re-draw with a larger number of points in the smoothing function. That said, with these historical reconstructions it’s not recommended to draw a single line (representing just the best estimate, if that’s what this truly is) because the uncertainty increases as you go back in time (and the methods are often different for different periods).
I’m no expert in historical reconstructions, but it is always wise to view them with a healthy dose of skepticism (although not ideologically-motivated close-mindedness).

In my view the trend lines in this graph are a lot lesser problem than the way it has been completely altered from the one from the IPCC report (First AR, 1990 not from the 1995 report as Ball indicates). Here is a quote from the testimony of Dr. Jay Gulledge, Senior Fellow at the Pew Institute for Climate Change, to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, July 26, 2006:

“The scientific debate over the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) has been on the same trajectory for at least 20 years, with early indications that the MWP was not a globally coherent event becoming more solid over time. The MBH99 reconstruction represented an evolutionary step—not a revolutionary change—in this established trajectory. The 1990 IPCC figure that Mr. McIntyre, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and Dr. Wegman have used in their own assessment of past climate is a cartoon, as stated by Dr. Wegman in his testimony last week. I have confirmed this with a number of individuals who were involved with the 1990 IPCC report or with versions of the schematic that pre-dated the 1990 IPCC report. The schematic is not a plot of data and is inappropriate as a comparison to MBH. The text of the 1990 IPCC report clearly states that the figure is a “schematic diagram” and that “it is still not clear whether all the fluctuations indicated were truly global” (p. 202)”.

There were no numbers on this graph; it was merely a schematic representation of what might have happened.

For Ball to insert numbers and claim that it is the graph produced by the IPCC is a serious example of scientific fraud, but is what we have come to expect from him.

The complete testimony from Dr. Gulledge can be found at: http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_congress/7_27_06.cfm

You surely make it a pleasure to read comments. And I never thought to look to the 1990 IPCC for something that Ball labelled 1995. Silly me.

Per a comment from another knowledgeable science type: it's a wonder that the smart deniers (if that's not a contradiction in terms) still let Ball out without a minder.

Here is where Ball changed Doctor of Science, to Faculty of Science. He knows that he does not have a Doctor of Science degree (a degree which is granted by the University of London, but which is granted to those with records far, far exceeding anything that Ball could come up with).


Here are examples of people who hold both the PhD and the Doctor of Science, including an example from the University of London.

Example 1. J.R. Vane. PhD, 1953; Doctor of Science, 1970. http://hcr3.isiknowledge.com/author.cgi?&link1=Browse&link2=Results&id=422

Example 2. O.C. Zienkiewicz. PhD, 1945; Doctor of Science, 1965 (University of London).


Not even close…

Excuse me but where did he get his data? He surely didn’t use proxies al la Dr Mann. That would be a no no as that approach is totally refuted [NOT]. Don’t tell me the Illuminati have been running a system of world wide temperature stations for the last thousand years.