In an interview on the BBC on 13 February 2010, Phil Jones admitted that (here and here):
- There has been no "statistically significant" warming since 1995.
- The warming periods of 1860 to 1880, 1910 to 1940, and 1975 to 1998 were very similar and could all be explained by natural forces.
- The data and papers the hockey stick graph used prominently in the last two UN IPCC reports is based on has been lost. The hockey stick temperature record was the basis for a claim of unprecedented warming recently, which was attributed to man's CO2 emissions due to using fossil fuels.
- The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) may have been warmer than now and recently, but there is insufficient data from the tropics and the southern hemisphere to be sure of that. He says the MWP is best expressed in North America, the North Atlantic and Europe, and parts of Asia.
Strangely enough, though Phil Jones concedes that the warmings from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998 are remarkably similar and may be entirely natural events and he says that no statistically significant warming has occurred since 1995, he also claims that only man-made warming effects can explain the warming since 1998! Now this is a simple breakdown of logic and reveals how strongly the religion of man-made global warming has its claws sunk into him.
Note also that the warmth of the MWP can hardly be ignored for the North Atlantic, Europe, and parts of Asia, because there are plentiful human records of the crops grown, the extent of glaciers, and the natural flora and fauna of the time from those areas. North America and many of those areas have been particularly subject to scientific studies as well. But, there is much less land in the Southern Hemisphere, especially if the unpopulated Antarctica is discounted, and none of it was settled by advanced civilizations that kept significant written records. His claim that warming in the tropics should also be shown before the MWP is thought of as a global warming is actually showing ignorance of the science of the Earth's climate. When the Earth warms from temperatures similar to those we have now, the temperature in the tropics is hardly changed at all. The reason is that water evaporates so much more quickly there with any warming. In evaporation, the absorption of heat from the environment to turn liquid water into vapor has a counteracting cooling effect. This effect is large, since it takes a lot of heat to vaporize water. As a result, the temperature of the tropics tends to be quite stable even when the warming at higher latitudes is significant.
Prof. Phil Jones wrote in a dumped e-mail that he would destroy the temperature data before he would turn it over in response to freedom of information act requests. Is losing the data the same as destroying it? Maybe he lost it in a trash dumpster in Northumberland. He claimed in the interview that his office was so piled with papers that maybe it was lost there. He admitted that he was not a good record-keeper.
Dr. Benny Pieser, director of the skeptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, noted that Prof. Phil Jones had shared his data with colleagues and 'mates', so the claim that he had lost the data did not ring true. He went on to say that this was Phil Jones' first admission that the science of global warming was not settled.
Folks, it is much worse than that. Phil Jones was one of the most cited scientists in the scientific literature as an authority on catastrophic man-made global warming. Now, he clearly has no evidence for any warming since 1995 and he has said the earlier warming from 1975 to 1998 was no different than that from 1910 to 1940, so there is simply no longer any late 20th Century warming that can be claimed to be unprecedented and/or due to man's use of fossil fuels! Whether he lost the hockey stick data or not is now irrelevant with respect to the catastrophic man-made global warming argument. He has already logically admitted that the hockey stick temperature graph is wrong! And prior to this, every effort was made by the scientists in his alarmist cabal to erase the Medieval Warm Period, but now we have his confession that he is not at all sure that it can be erased!
The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (AGW) science house of cards has collapsed very rapidly. Unfortunately, it is hanging in there in much of the media and in the Democrat Party. The Economist and even Forbes Magazine have had recent articles assuming its truth. The EPA has failed to reopen consideration of its foolish recent declaration that CO2 is a pollutant which it must regulate tightly under the Clean Air Act. The Obama administration has announced the formation of a new department under NOAA to serve as a central government advocate for catastrophic man-made global warming, though they name it as simply a climate research and study department. The momentum of the religious movement for catastrophic AGW rumbles on, even after its obvious scientific collapse.
But, fewer independents and fewer Republicans now believe in it. Even among Democrats, some have now become atheists or agnostics. It will take time for the media and the politicians to correct themselves, but most of them will either do so or simply stop advocating it. I am sure the latter option will be the more popular. We can expect to hear few apologies from those who so strongly advocated shutting off our inexpensive fuel supplies, making our electricity system much less reliable and much more expensive, causing coal miners and oil refinery and pipeline workers to lose their jobs, many a manufacturing industry to move abroad, and many homes and workplaces to be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The false claims of catastrophic AGW will simply fade away. Eventually.
We should remember who took the wrong side on this very important issue. People such as Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, Markey, Waxman, McCain, Lieberman, Bayh, Boxer, Feingold, Gillibrand, Inouye, Leahy, Mikulski, Murray, Schumer, Specter, Wyden, Edwards, Hoyer, Kratovil, and Van Hollen should all be thrown out of office as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma has been a long-time foe of the hypothesis of catastrophic AGW and this should be remembered to his advantage.