High Sticking: The Flaws of the IPCC and the Hockey Stick Model

Nicolas Loris /

Rajendra Pachauri , chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), responded to the errors exposed in the IPCC report saying that “Scientists are demonised because of one error in 3000 pages of evidence.” Truth be told, there were several errors uncovered in the report including questionable sources in the assessment of mountain ice reduction in the Andes, Alps and Africa as well as acknowledged overstating crop loss in Africa, Amazon rain forest depletion, sea level increases in the Netherlands. But Pachauri only acknowledges that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 or sooner was speculative at best. The reality is the IPCC reports have significant flaws; they simply aren’t picked up by the mainstream media.

Take the hockey stick theory, for instance. The theory is best explained by a graph that shows a time-series of global temperatures with current and future temperatures increasing at such rapid rates that it resembles the blade of a hockey stick. The graph appeared six times in the IPCC’s 2001 report. Andrew Montford’s new book, The Hockey Stick Illusion, reveals that the problems with the hockey stick theory go back much further than Climategate. In a review of the book, the Prospect Magazine’s Matt Ridley writes:

“The emails that were leaked from the University of East Anglia late last year are not proof of this; they are merely the icing on the lake, proof that some of the scientists closest to the hockey stick knew all along that it was problematic. Andrew Montford’s book, despite its subtitle, is not about the emails, which are tagged on as a last chapter. It is instead built around the long, lonely struggle of one man— Stephen McIntyre—to understand how the hockey stick was made, with what data and what programs. A retired mining entrepreneur with a mathematical bent, McIntyre asked the senior author of the hockey stick graph, Michael Mann, for the data and the programs in 2003, so he could check it himself. This was five years after the graph had been published, but Mann had never been asked for them before. McIntyre quickly found errors: mislocated series, infilled gaps, truncated records, old data extrapolated forwards where new was available, and so on.