A warped hockey stick

The L-shaped centerpiece of climate-change politics is getting warped. Since 2001, a temperature plot called “the hockey stick” has girded claims that humans have warmed Earth and therefore must change behavior. But the hockey stick has encountered problems.The temperature pattern in question appeared in scientific papers published in 1998-99 by climatologist Michael Mann and colleagues. Its implications were huge. Prior temperature records, all but the last 150 years of which rely on proxies such as tree rings and ocean sediments, indicated a warm period during roughly 1000-1400 followed by a cool period in 1400-1900. The variation supported arguments that at least some of th...

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