Fair-ish and Balanced-ish
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
An Open Letter To Professor Kellow
Dear Professor Kellow,
I read your letter in todays Higher Education supplement of the Australia on Michael Mann, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, and I feel that there are significant errors contained within it.
You state that Michael Mann and coworkers "The challenge to that orthodoxy came from the publication in 1998 by Michael Mann and collaborators of what has become known as the Hockey Stick paper, which appeared to rewrite the climate history of the millennium by grafting the actual available temperature record on to a reconstruction from proxies."
This statement is incorrect, on two points. Mann and coworkers didn't graft temperature records onto their reconstruction. Rather their reconstruction was compared with the temperature records. It is the close match of the reconstruction to the temperature records, which gives it the appearance of being grafted on. Also, Mann didn't overturn an orthodoxy. There work supported the existence of a MWP and LIA (or as Mann put it in his 1999 Geophysical Research Letter paper "Our reconstruction thus supports the notion of relatively warm hemispheric conditions earlier in the millennium, while cooling following the 14th century could be viewed as the initial onset of the Little Ice Age sensu lato").
Your letter also misses out some of the recent history of the Balinuas and Soon paper. It contained major flaws which made it's conclusions unwarranted. This lead to a string of events which lead to the resignations of five editors from the journal Climate Research. By comparison, similar hemispheric temperature reconstructions to that devised by Michael Mann, have been made by a number of other researchers.
I run a small internet diary (www.kenethmiles.blogspot.com) where I will publish this email. I would like your permission to publish any reply which you would like to make.
Thank you for your time,
PS. The paper which I quote from is:
Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 26, Pages 759-762