IPCC Paleoclimate Lead Author on M&M

One of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the IPCC Paleoclimate chapter (chapter 6), Eystein Jansen – the other is Jonathan Overpeck of “Get rid of the MWP” fame – was asked about the Mann Hockey Stick and M&M criticism by a Norwegian newspaper yesterday. I guess not every one is prepared to forget IPCC TAR and to “move on” quite so rapidly as the nomadic Hockey Team, who barely can rest their heads in the same place two nights in a row. The blog report here.

The UN climate researchers are totally uninterested in discussing the merits of Mann et al’s PhotoShopping of history these days, despite the “hockey stick” being the star witness for global warming a few years back. Eystein Jansen, a Norwegian climate scientist who is a leading author of the IPCC report, says evasively that the (full) IPCC report “has not done any specific evaluation of the arguments” of McIntyre and McKitrick. It is, he argues, pretty uninteresting at this point.

The newspaper article is here and if anyone can volunteer a translation of the last few paragraphs, I’d be interested.


  1. Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    That explanation makes it kind of obvious how they evaluate what is interesting and what is not. I thought that the hockey stick graph was “interesting” before it broke. 😉

  2. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    That clearly shows the bias of the IPCC Paleo group. That is one of the most important developments in their crazy science. How could they NOT discuss it? Good Grief!

  3. John A
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    I can read bits of it, and I think I can award the “Award for Most Evasive and Unhelpful Answers given by a Norwegian” to Dr Jansen.

  4. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    “Photoshopping of history….”


  5. Greg F
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    You can use this page to translate. It is not very good but is somewhat readable.

  6. Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for the link!

    Forskning.no is a better source than a newspaper. It is a science news site run and funded by Norwegian universities, with both scientists and science journalists writing. The article was written by a journalist. The site has expressed climate-scare skeptical views a number of times, which has resulted in harsh criticism from some politicians (including veiled threats to cut funding).

    Here’s a quick and badly worded translation of the last part of the article. The first question is about the new historical temperature graph journalists could see at a presentation, which shows a much more notable medieval warm period.

    “- The graph has not been released yet. We can show it at presentations, but like the rest of the [IPCC] report it will only be issued when everything is proofread, Jansen says.

    – The new graph shows reconstructions made since the previous report, including well core [borehole] data.

    – Does this mean that Mann, Bradley and Hughes were wrong?

    – The report does not conclude respectively Mann et al. It summarises status now, and the development since the previous report, Jansen says.

    Subhead: – Arguments not considered

    – Does that mean that McIntyre and McKitrick had relevant objections?

    – McIntyre and McKitrick’s objections are referred to, alongside other contributions to the debate, but the report has not made any specific evaluations of the arguments.

    – That would be going too far, and it’s not important related to IPCC’s goal of summarasing the knowledge status now. Status now exists in the conclusions in Summary for policymakers, says Jansen.”

  7. Jean S
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    I think “borehullsdata” is “borehole data” in English, but I understand neither Norwegian nor English 😉

    Does this “leaked reference” mean that the Pollack & Smerdon (2004) is the new camp site for the Team?

  8. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    The borehole curve in the spaghetti graph only goes back about 400 years or so, so it’s ridiculous for Jansen to cite it as having anything to do with the MWP. But hey, he was only the IPCC Coordinating Lead Author – why would he be expected to know?

  9. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    re: 8

    If you ever tire of auditing climate research, I think you have a career in comedy!

  10. TAC
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    #9 LOL, I agree.

    On a related topic, Princeton University has announced that it is closing its “ESP” (paranormal phenomena) laboratory (see Lubos’s post) after 28 years. Referring (I think) to ESP deniers, the lab’s director concluded:

    “If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”

  11. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Isn’t the study of paranormal phenomena being continued as “teleconnections”? Maybe they should have been studying bristlecones as examples of extra-sensory perception?

  12. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    #11 — Teleconnections — that would be ‘ParaGaian’ phenomena; not to be confused with Paraguayan phenomena.

  13. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    As far as my Norwegian goes, the beginning of the article is rather critical for the IPCC SPM, as it wonders why the new spagetti graph is not in the SPM (it is in the main report over a few months), while the Hockeystick was prominent in all presentations (and the SPM-TAR) and why the FAR goes beyond the TAR, by saying that it is now 90% sure that humans are responsible for the recent warming, against over 66% in the TAR.
    According to them, there is no evidence for that, as the spagetti graph more or less rehabilitates the MWP, compared to the hockeystick…

    Eystein Jansen, professor and director of the Bjerknescentre in Bergen, questioned on this, replied that the new spagetti graph was too complicated to explain to politicians…

    Which I can understand…

  14. Anders Valland
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Translation of the entire article, done on an airplane bound for Oslo this morning 🙂

    Translation (section headings in upper case):

    The Hockeystick from the previous report by the UN climate panel displayed the temperature development for the past 1000 years and created a lot of debate in the research community. The substitute is now hidden away in the report to be published in several months.

    The Hockeystick was given a very prominent position in the Summary for Policymakers in 2001.

    It became an icon for global warming, because it was used in all presentations given by the IPCC report.

    The new version of the graph is only to be found in the main report of 1600 pages, to be published in April or May this year.

    -Why is this figure omitted from the Summary for Policymakers?

    -The figure is omitted due to limitations of space. It is a bit complicated to explain for politicians, says Eystein Jansen, professor and executive director of the Bjerknes center in Bergen.

    He is one of the leading authors behind the IPCC report, and paleoclimate is his profession.


    There is at least a 90% probability that the last 50 years have been the warmest of any 50-year period for the past 500 years in the northern hemisphere. This is the conclusion of the UN climate panel presented last week.

    In addition, the climate panel says it is at least a 66% probability that this period was the warmest in the past 1300 years.

    [FIGURE OF NEW STICK, caption: This is the so-called Hockeystick as it is presented in the 2001 report from the IPCC (Third Assessment Report). The grey areas show the uncertainties. It is given the name due to its resemblance with a hockey stick lying horizontally.]

    The previous report concluded that the warming in the 20th century probably (66% – 90% probability) was the warmest century in the last 1000 years.

    In addition the scientist concluded that the 1990s were probably the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year during the past millennium.

    In all we can say that the wording of the new report is more dramatic than the previous.


    When it comes to the graphic display of temperature development there has been a few modifications, though.

    The Hockeystick, previously discussed by forskning.no [hyperlink provided], created a lot of scientific discussion after the criticism by the two Canadian researchers Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

    One of the objections was that the Hockeystick probably trivialized the medieval warm period.

    The researchers behind the Hockeystick – Mann, Bradley and Hughes – reacted dismissively to the criticism.


    In the new report from the UN climate panel the graph of temperatures for the past 1000 years (possibly 1300) looks a bit differently.

    Forskning.no was given a glimpse of the graph at the press conference for the release of the IPCC-report, given in Oslo last Friday. Eystein Jansen did show the graph in his presentation.

    As far as forskning.no can tell, the medieval warm period is more prominent in this graph.


    -The figure is still not released. We can show it at presentations, but as with the rest of the report it will be published after proofing, says Jansen.

    -The new figure shows reconstructions that have emerged after the TAR, including bore hole data.

    -Does that mean Mann, Bradley and Hughes were wrong?

    -The report does not conclude with respect to Mann et.al. It summarizes the status as it is now, and the development since the previous report, says Jansen.


    -Does that mean that the objections of McIntyre and McKitrick were relevant?

    -McIntyre and McKitricks objections are referred to, together with other important contributions to the debate, but the report has not performed any specific evaluation of the arguments.

    -It would be to go too far, and it is not important in view of the IPCC goal of summing up the current status of knowledge. That status is found in the conclusions of the Summary for Policymakers, says Jansen.

    End translation


    Anders Valland

  15. PaddikJ
    Posted Mar 6, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    The short phrase “Jonathan Overpeck of “Get rid of the MWP” fame” caught my eye immediately. Does this reference David Demming’s claim that in 1995 he received an astonishing email from a well-known climate change researcher, to wit: “We have to get rid of the MWP.” I’ve seen this quoted in many places and always wondered why he didn’t name the sender (it seemed a little suspicious). Has Overpeck finally been outed as the author? Is it confirmable?

  16. BobFJ
    Posted Oct 28, 2007 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    I admire your work Steve,
    Regards, BobFJ

  17. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 29, 2007 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    Some circumstantial evidence is here. I have had no direct personal contact with Deming and, to my knowledge, Deming has not publicly identified Overpeck as the person involved. If you’re interested, maybe you could send Overpeck an email asking him.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” Solution? Eliminate the fact. Professor Deming reported receiving an email that said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” Deming didn’t name the sender, but we now know it was Jonathan Overpeck, a lead author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. […]

  2. […] have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” Deming didn’t name the sender. It was later speculated that it was Jonathan Overpeck, a lead author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) […]

  3. […] “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” Deming didn’t name the sender. It was later speculated that it was Jonathan Overpeck, a lead author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) […]

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