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National Academy Report affirms Hockey Stick: Late 20th Century Temperatures were unprecendented  
 
The National Academy of Sciences released their report today, on "Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years". This was requested by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) to clarify the controversy over the so-called "hockey stick" temperature reconstructions of the last 1000 years, by Michael Mann (Penn State University), Raymond Bradley (University of Massachusetts) and Malcolm Hughes (University of Arizona). These scientists concluded that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1000 years.  
 
This drew the ire of Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who claimed the research was misleading.  
 
The NAS report concluded that, the Mann et al. study "has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence". They find it plausible that "the northern hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the twentieth century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium". They note that confidence in the record decreases back in time, especially before A.D. 1600, in agreement with the original conclusions reached by the University researchers.  
 
The Academy panel also concluded that, "Surface temperature reconstructions for periods prior to the industrial era are only one of multiple lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that climatic warming is occurring in response to human activities, and they are not the primary evidence."  
 
Raymond S. Bradley
Director, Climate System Research Center
Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts
Morrill Science Center, 611 North Pleasant Street
AMHERST, MA 01003-9297
Phone: 413.545.2120 or 413.545.0659
Fax: 413.545.1200
rbradley@geo.umass.edu
 
 
Other Reactions
Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) (June 22, 2006)
 

 
Copies of the report are available from the National Academies Press (1.202.334.3313 or 1.800.624.6242) or at http://www.nap.edu.

 


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