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Hockey Stick Controversy: The Hockey Stick Controversy involved debates over a graph depicting a sharp rise in global temperatures in the 20th century, challenging traditional climate reconstructions. Criticisms targeted data sources and statistical methods used by Michael Mann and colleagues in their 1998 study, igniting disputes on climate change evidence reliability within the scientific community and among skeptics. See also Climate Change, Method.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Paul N. Edwards on Hockey Stick Controversy - Dictionary of Arguments

Edwards I 576
Hockey Stick Controversy/climatology/Edwards: Climate Audit emerged from a controversy over the “hockey stick” graph (…) originally published in 1998 by a group led by the University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann. A version of the same graph featured prominently in the 2001 IPCC Second Assessment Report.(1) This graph combined data from thermometers with proxy measures of temperature from tree rings, ice cores, corals, and historical records to chart temperature changes over the past 1000 years. Stephen McIntyre, a former mining industry executive and government policy analyst with a background in mathematics and economics, and Ross McKitrick, an economist, challenged one of the statistical techniques Mann’s group had used to analyze the data. This challenge led to a long and bitter controversy involving Mann, the US Congress, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Science Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, and numerous other entities and individuals. Across this period, McIntyre, McKitrick, Mann, and various other parties published a series of exchanges in peer-reviewed journals and in more partisan venues.(2)
Edwards I 577
Auditing/internet activities/publicity: Essentially, Stephen McIntyre requested the original data that had been used to construct the graph. Michael Mann provided most of the data, but not all. McIntyre pursued the missing data, but Mann rebuffed him.
Edwards I 578
In 2005, during the “hockey stick” controversy, McIntyre began to use his Climate Audit blog to promote the idea of “auditing” climate data and even climate models. He sought to audit, among other data, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies’ surface-temperature data set. He began to request, politely but insistently, that the institute release both the raw observations and its data-analysis model. Because McIntyre chronicled all of his requests and GISS’ responses on the Climate Audit blog, his efforts gained a degree of publicity they probably would never have received otherwise. GISS resisted McIntyre’s requests at first, but after some negative press coverage it complied. In 2007, McIntyre’s “audit” discovered an anomaly in the GISS data set involving corrections GISS had applied to records from the US Historical Climatology Network. The blog provided an unprecedented forum for any interested party to signal audit-worthy issues, and Climate Audit and other blogs uncovered further errors made by GISS in an early release of October 2008 data. GISS thanked McIntyre publicly for these contributions. In response to the calls of Climate Audit and other blogs for greater transparency, many climate centers have begun mounting data and even some climate models on public web servers. >Citizen science/Edwards.
Edwards I 581
Citizen science/Edwards: (…) the value of citizens’ interventions in the “hockey stick” controversy is not clear. The National Research Council concluded that the critique by McIntyre and McKitrick helped to improve temperature-reconstruction methods. But it also noted that, in practice, the “principal-component analysis” method used by Mann et al. “does not appear to unduly influence reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperature; reconstructions performed without using principal component analysis are qualitatively similar to the original curves presented by Mann et al.”(3) Furthermore, other scientists had noted most of the issues raised by McIntyre and McKitrick; had scientific review processes been allowed to proceed normally, without public uproar, the ultimate outcome would probably have been much the same.

1. M. E. Mann et al., “Global-Scale Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing over the Past Six Centuries,” Nature 392, no. 6678 (1998): 779–; Mann et al., “Northern Hemisphere Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations,” Geophysical Research Letters 29, no. 6 (1999): 759.
2. P. Huybers, “Comment on ‘Hockey Sticks, Principal Components, and Spurious Significance’ by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick,” Geophysical Research Letters 32, no. 20 (2005): L20705; M. E. Mann et al., “False Claims by Mcintyre and McKitrick Regarding the Mann et al. (1998) Reconstruction,” www.; Mann and P. D. Jones, “Global Surface Temperatures over the Past Two Millennia,” Geophysical Research Letters 30, no. 15 (2003): 1820; S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick, “Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series,” Energy & Environment 14, no. 6 (2003); McIntyre and McKitrick, “The M&M Critique of the Mbh98 Northern Hemisphere Climate Index: Update and Implications,” Energy and Environment 16, no. 1 (2005): 69–; H. Von Storch and E. Zorita, “Comment on ‘Hockey Sticks, Principal Components, and Spurious Significance,’ by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick,” Geophysical Research Letters 32 (2005): 20.
3. Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2000 Years et al., Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2000 Years (National Academies Press, 2006), 113.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Edwards I
Paul N. Edwards
A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming Cambridge 2013

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