Don Easterbrook, the retired geology professor who predicted that the world was headed for decades of global cooling at the recent Heartland climate sceptic conference, appears to have crudely faked one of the key graphs in his presentation in order to reduce modern temperatures and make historical climate look warmer than justified. Looking through Easterbrook’s slides, it seems he has taken a graph of Holocene temperature variations prepared by Global Warming Art (used at Wikipedia), and altered it to fraudulently bolster his case.
Here’s Easterbrook’s graph (slide 9, ppt file available here):
When I saw that graphic, it struck me as strangely familiar. The typefaces and presentation are reminiscent of graphs prepared by Robert A Rohde for Global Warming Art. So I checked, and this is what I found:
Here’s the source page. Note that the typeface and scaling of the axes are identical, save for the y-axis being swapped over to the left. The thick black curve, the median of the reconstructions Rohde has used, is identical. Here’s a “blink” comparison:
Easterbrook has altered the graph considerably. The dotted line across the graph marks the zero anomaly, which Rohde has set at the mid-20th century average values. To put current temperatures in perspective, he has provided an arrow indicating 2004’s temperature and a box providing an expanded scale for the last 2000 years. Easterbrook has erased that arrow, all the individual reconstructions and the detail box, and drawn a new line at 0.25ºC below zero. This he labels “present day temperature”. Areas above the new line are infilled in red, those below in blue. Easterbrook has quite deliberately altered the graph to reduce “current temperatures” by 0.75ºC and make the curve fit his storyline. The original suggests that current temperatures are comparable to, perhaps higher than the warmest period of the Holocene, the post-glacial climatic optimum 8000 years ago. Easterbrook’s version gives the impression that for most of the last 10,000 years temperature has been warmer than today. It’s interesting to note that Easterbrook has added a pointer to the Younger Dryas, but has managed to misspell it “Dyas”.
The hypocrisy inherent in Easterbrook’s approach to scholarship is shown in sharp focus by his slide 15, in which he discusses “Climategate”:
What has Easterbrook done? He has constructed a climate history that exaggerates the Medieval Warm Period, doctored climate data to suppress global warming and increase global cooling, and deleted data that doesn’t support his beliefs. The climate change fraud is Easterbrook.
This is a telling moment for the Heartland group of “sceptic” scientists and lobbyists. They have been loud and persistent in their attempt to demonise the scientists whose emails were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Richard Lindzen has gone so far as to accuse them of “overt cheating”. If they do not now demand an immediate apology from the cheat in their own midst, and withdraw and apologise for their promotion of his flawed scholarship, then they will stand revealed as a bunch of hypocritical charlatans. Either you live by the standards you demand of others, or you shut up. I look forward to the detailed coverage of Easterbrook’s cavalier approach to evidence from Watts Up With That, Climate Audit, Delingpole at the Telegraph and Leake at the Sunday Times. But I won’t be holding my breath.