Understanding The Divergence Problem

An amazing story of scientific fraud. Probably the biggest scientific fraud in history.

As of 1975, both the instrumental and the tree ring data showed sharp cooling from 1940 to 1970

1975 National Academy of Sciences Surface Temperatures
ScreenHunter_166 Mar. 02 23.33
Briffa’s Trees – Showing Post-1950 Divergence From Recent Versions Of Surface Temperatures

The next graph overlays Briffa’s trees on the 1975 National Academy of Sciences graph. There was almost a perfect match, with no divergence.

ScreenHunter_168 Mar. 02 23.38

NOAA radiosonde data from the 1950’s through the 1970’s also showed sharp cooling and no divergence from Briffa’s trees.

ScreenHunter_1484 Jul. 31 23.41

The New York Times reported a unanimous consensus of scientists for global cooling

ScreenHunter_92 Feb. 03 07.49

SCIENTISTS AGREE WORLD IS COLDER – But Climate Experts Meeting Here Fail to Agree on Reasons for Change – View Article – NYTimes.com

None of this fit the global warming agenda, so the hokey team simply changed the temperature record to “remove the 1940’s blip” and eliminate the post-1940 cooling. Altering the data is what caused the divergence. There was no divergence prior to the data tampering.

ScreenHunter_1485 Jul. 31 23.46

After massively altering the temperature record, they were then able to delete Briffa’s trees – by pointing out that Briffa’s trees didn’t match the massively altered surface record. Deleting Briffa’s trees (hiding the decline) opened the door for Mikey to make his Hokey Stick, and an even larger bonus was that it gave the team an excuse to turn the US cooling trend into a warming trend – because it didn’t match their massively altered global temperature trend.

Then the final kicker was blaming their data tampering on CO2 corrupted tree rings, and naming it the “divergence problem”.

ScreenHunter_174 Mar. 03 05.09


The CO2 excuse for hiding the decline is quite remarkable, because increased CO2 would create a fake warming bias in the tree rings, not a cooling bias.  The logic behind their divergence claim is nonsensical.

Some skeptics believe they are being good citizens, by playing nicely with the crooks behind this fraud.

About Tony Heller

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38 Responses to Understanding The Divergence Problem

  1. “Some skeptics believe they are being good citizens, by playing nicely with the crooks behind this fraud.”

    Since few skeptics are mind readers, it’s more reasonable to assume stupidity first, then nefarious behaviour second, and then only after the evidence becomes overwhelming.

    • So the data altered itself, and they were stupid innocent victims. I like it.

      • So you think guys like Zeke and Mosher are crooks in it for the money? I tend to think of them more as people of average intelligence who vastly overestimate their intellectual capabilities.

        • Streetcred says:

          “Think of them more as people of average intelligence who vastly overestimate their intellectual capabilities” who are in it for the money.

        • tom0mason says:

          Alternatively if people that are doing the adjusting, already ‘know’ what they are aiming for, then maybe they will find (consciously or otherwise) their conformatory data. Neither fraud nor money need be involved just conformation bias of wanting to see what you believe should be true.
          That is why it is important to have independent, educated but disinterested people review and critique every aspect of your methods, code, and findings. Also to this end, validation and verification by external entities should be used to test and verify your results and the limits of the methods.
          The more important the result are, the more they must be rigorously reviewed, verified, and validated, failure to do so leaves all results deemed suspect and unproven.

        • philjourdan says:

          GIGO – they used the tampered data. Whether they agree with the tampering or not has no bearing on GIGO.

  2. Like Pielke Jr. Damping skeptics with (very) faint praise.

  3. Eliza says:

    “Some skeptics believe they are being good citizens, by playing nicely with the crooks behind this fraud.”

    This is what needed to be said long time ago. I notice lately WUWT is becoming a lot more “like” this site. More vociferous and straight talk with AGW frauds.

    • Dmh says:

      Good to know. Long time I didn’t go there, because I could not bear their “neutrality”. There are also similar problems in solar physics, cosmology, particle physics, etc.
      Neutrality is the last thing we need in times of obvious “paradigms shifts” in many areas of science, concurrently. Even the CO2-climate connection can be thought as a reasonable idea in the 1980’s-90’s that became a paradigm at that time, but now needs to be reviewed, “shifted” away.

  4. omanuel says:

    Thanks to Climategate e-mails that surfaced in late Nov 2009 and a few brave souls like you, we now know many puppets worked for the alliance of capitalists and communists welded together in late August 1945 by CHAOS and FEAR of nuclear annihilation.

    “Better red than dead!” was one of their chants.

    They formed the United Nations and tried to hide the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima – neutron-repulsion in cores of uranium atoms. Government-financed science was corrupted after the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945.

    Since neutron repulsion is also the source of energy in stars, nuclear and stellar physics textbooks were changed immediately after 1945:

    1. The interior of the Sun and other ordinary stars was abruptly changed:

    _ a.) From mostly iron (Fe) in 1945
    _ b.) To mostly hydrogen (H) in 1946

    2. Einstein’s basic definition of mass (m) as stored energy (E) was subtly altered in textbooks of nuclear physics:

    _ a.) Francis W. Aston’s “nuclear packing fraction”, correctly showing neutron-repulsion, was replaced with
    _ b.) Carl von Weizsacker’s “nuclear binding energy”, which makes neutron-rich atoms appear more stable than they are; proton-rich atoms appear less stable than they are.

    E.g., these three spontaneous nuclear decays
    a.) H-3 => He-3; t(1/2) = 12 yrs
    b.) C-14 => N-14; t(1/2) = 5,700 yrs
    c.) I-129 => Xe-129; t(1/2) = 16,000,000 yrs

    Francis W. Aston’s “nuclear packing fraction” correctly predicts each decays.

    Carl von Weizsacker’s “nuclear binding energy (B.E.)” incorrectly predicts the reverse: Proton-rich atoms decaying to neutron-rich atom:

    _ a.) He-3 => H-3 because B.E.(H-3) > B.E.(He-3)
    _ b.) N-14 => C-14 because B.E(C-14) > B.E.(N-14)
    _ c.) Xe-129 => I-129 because B.E.(I-129) > B.E.(Xe-129)

    3. The AGW campaign by the UN’s IPCC and Al Gore was modeled after the campaign to frighten people away from nuclear energy with wildly exaggerated claims of radiation danger:


    4. This new paper documents sixty-nine years (2014 – 1945 = 69 yrs) of public deception and concludes (p. 13) that the United Nations cannot succeed in hiding the Creator, Destroyer and Sustainer of every atom, life and world in the Solar System!


    Thanks for allowing me to share.

    With kind regards,
    – Oliver K. Manuel

  5. jlc says:

    not clear why they would suggest the divergence since 1960 might be due to increased CO2.

    CO2 increased from 1960 to the present day and higher CO2 (plant fertilizer) would lead to more plant growth (wider rings) rather than the smaller rings at any given temperature, as shown on the graph from 1960-1998.

  6. Chewer says:

    Hey, this is the same story I’ve been seeing on CNN and NBC 😉
    I do wonder what the world will look like when the majority of its inhabitants have been woken???

  7. Cheshirered says:

    As stated before many times, the complete silence from accused parties and government agencies is both deafening and devastating. Under any normal circumstances following allegations like these libel writs would be flying like confetti or hi-level legal investigations would be instigated. Yet the US government looks the other way while utterly rumbled climate-fraudsters offer up less resistance than tumbleweed….

    • Yes, “the complete silence from accused parties and government agencies is both deafening and devastating” confirmation that the entire scientific edifice is corrupt from top to bottom, including leaders of the National Academies of Sciences worldwide.

      They only foolishly believed they could hide the Creator, Destroyer and Sustainer of every atom, life and world in the Solar System !

  8. tom0mason says:

    Strange how they try to prove that CO2 is harmful by using the very evidence in tree ring growth that shows what good CO2 does. It makes plants grow better.
    Strange logic of these CAGW crowd.

  9. emsnews says:

    This constant rewriting the past is now totally epidemic in ‘climatology’. And yes, it is driven by money. The government loves the CO2 taxes because it is a hidden tax and everyone must pay it and few can see why it. Hidden taxes!

    So the foolish climatologists are dutifully rewriting history to prove that we will roast to death if we don’t pay CO2 taxes. Meanwhile, it is cold and wet here on my mountain. We really had no summer so far and it is getting colder and colder.

    The highs this week will barely reach 75 degrees! Incredible.

  10. hifast says:

    The time frame (x-axis) for the Angell and Korshover graph is ~1958 to ~1976.
    This paper published in 1978 was widely cited (25 times) prior to 1998 and only twice since then.

    There’s another figure in this paper (page 768) showing the global decline in temperatures combined with increasing [CO2] readings at Mauna Loa and Antarctica.

    Also, Angell and Korshover were NOAA scientists in the Silver Spring, MD facility.

    The full AMS publication is here:

    In school (~1980) we frequently referenced this paper. I remember my professors using this graph to dismiss the notion that we could pump out CO2 to prevent an ice age–the imminent catastrophe-du-jour.

    Hifast–skeptic since 1980.

    • hifast says:

      Global Temperature Variation, Surface-100 mb: An Update into 1977
      J. K. Angell and J. Korshover
      Air Resources Laboratories, ERL, NOAA, Silver Spring, Md. 20910
      Based on a network of 63 well-spaced radiosonde stations around the world, the global temperature within the surface to 100 mb layer was lower in 1976 than in any year since commencement of the record in 1958, and the 1976 surface temperature equated the global record for the lowest temperature set in 1964; but even so the trend in global temperature since 1965 has been small compared to the 0.5°C decrease during 1960–65. Between 1958 and 1976 the surface to 100 mb temperature in north extratropics decreased by about 1°C, with the decrease twice as great in winter as in summer, and in 1976 this region was 0.2°C lower than in any previous year of record. During the northern winter of 1976–77, both temperate zones were very cold but the polar and tropical zones were quite warm, so that in the hemispheric or global average the season was not anomalous. In the Eastern Hemisphere of the northern extratropics there has been considerable surface warming during the past decade (although a cooling aloft), and this may explain the Soviet concern with warming related to carbon dioxide emissions. There has been a slight overall increase in temperature in the tropics since 1965, mostly in the Western Hemisphere, on which have been superimposed large and significant temperature variations of about a three-year period. These variations, probably related to the Southern Oscillation (and recently not so pronounced), extend in obvious fashion also into north extratropics, and should be taken into account for diagnoses and prognoses in northern latitudes. The rate of increase of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa and the South Pole is augmented in the warm phase of the tropical oscillation, presumably because of a relation between atmospheric and oceanic temperature. There is evidence for a consistent quasi-biennial variation in temperature at all latitudes, with the temperature approximately 0.1°C higher than average about six months prior to the quasi-biennial west wind maximum at 50 mb in the tropics. The spatial and temporal variability in temperature have tended to increase over the period of record, in accord with the increase in meridional temperature gradient in both hemispheres and the indicated increase in lapse rate in the Northern Hemisphere.

      Received: December 27, 1977; Final Form: March 7, 1978

  11. Dmh says:

    Thanks for saying these things, repeatedly, Steve.
    For as long as the warmists continue to spread their diseased pseudo-science, our fight agaisnt them is one of the most important things that we, as rational people, can do in the present times.
    The fight against “pseudo-science”, not only in AGW/climate but in general, has become the modern version of a “soft” world-war.
    Interesting that it’s all tied to politics and the conflict between free-thinkers and burocrats, it’s everywhere like a modern spiritual disease.

    • omanuel says:

      I agree, Dmh. The modern “soft” world-war is a battle to restore:

      1. The integrity in government science, that collapsed in late 1945 with
      2.The collapse of integrity of constitutional limits on our governments.

      Today many ordinary citizens realize our government is now the ruler, rather than a servant, of the public.

      • Dmh says:

        Totalitarian forces against freedom now as 100 years ago, but using different “weapons”.
        Life, and true science is part of it, cannot be “controlled”.

  12. DedaEda says:

    I am afraid that the problem is much deeper than money. Unfortunately, there are a lots of people who genuinely believe that the world needs saving and their duty is to lead humanity to the bright future. They are absolutely outraged that there exists a bunch of optimists unconcerned about upcoming Armageddon and are of the opinion the future does not need any brightening. If you are petrified that the world is coming to the end, the facts are meaningless. God save us from do-gooders!
    Then there are those who at some point believed that the global warming is real, changed their mind later, but are afraid to go public. Who rides a tiger, can’t get off.
    The rest are cynics and careerists, who really don’t care one way or the other. They simply go where the grass is greener.

  13. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Another fraud is the fiction that renewables like wind, solar and biofuel are viable replacements for fossil fuel. http://youtu.be/v6uVnyjTb58

  14. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction Blog and commented:
    By a thousand small cuts and adjustments the party line will stay strong…

    “The Ministry of [C(LIE)mate] Truth is involved with news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history to change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that turns out to be wrong, the employees of the Ministry of Truth go back and rewrite the prediction so that any prediction Big Brother previously made is accurate. This is the “how” of the Ministry of Truth’s existence. Within the novel, Orwell elaborates that the deeper reason for its existence is to maintain the illusion that the Party is absolute. It cannot ever seem to change its mind (if, for instance, they perform one of their constant changes regarding enemies during war) or make a mistake (firing an official or making a grossly misjudged supply prediction), for that would imply weakness and to maintain power the Party must seem eternally right and strong.”

    Minitrue plays a role as the news media by changing history, and changing the words in articles about events current and past, so that Big Brother and his government are always seen in a good light and can never do any wrong. The content is more propaganda than actual news”


    • omanuel says:

      Thank you for the excellent post.

      The remarkable coincidence is that George Orwell started writing his futuristic prediction, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in 1964, . . .

      The same year the composition of the Sun and other stars was changed from
      _ a.) Mostly iron (Fe) in 1945 to
      _ b.) Mostly hydrogen (H) in 1946!

      Who told George Orwell what Fred Hoyle was doing in 1946?

      • craigm350 says:

        Think there’s a typo there Oliver – 1946! ?

        I know Orwell was in the Fabian society at the time and Huxley was with him. Curious how their warnings have come to fruition.

        • omanuel says:

          Thanks, craigm350, for catching the typo:

          Correction: The remarkable coincidence is that George Orwell started writing his futuristic prediction, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in 1946, . . .

        • craigm350 says:

          Lol. Typos are the bane of the blog sphere!

        • omanuel says:

          The missing communications link is between Fred Hoyle and George Orwell.

          George Orwell had already written “Animal Farm” before George suddenly became aware in 1946 of the threat of a new tyrannical government based on official misinformation disguised as factually correct information !

          Did Fred Hoyle tell George Orwell – a fellow writer of science fiction – that Fred had been compelled in 1946 to use his writing skills to lay the foundation for the new tyrannical Standard Models of Cosmology and Stars?

  15. suyts says:

    Reblogged this on suyts space and commented:
    So, I went to see if I could get any ideas about a climate post, to write. I think I don’t have to …. Steve nails it!!!!

  16. kuhnkat says:

    I think I was rude enough to suggest that Briffa’s trees were the real deal and not a divergence on one of Steve McIntyre’s posts on the Hockey Stick years ago. Did not go over too well!!


    Thank you for another great post Steve.

  17. Brian H says:

    I think I may have less respect for Lukewarmists than Alarmists, due to their pusillanimity (gutlessness, in the vernacular).

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