MA (philosophy, politics, and economics)
|Alma mater||University of Toronto
University of Oxford
|Known for||Critique of the hockey stick graph|
Stephen McIntyre (born c. 1947) is a Canadian mathematician, former minerals prospector, and semi-retired mining consultant who is best known as the founder and editor of Climate Audit, a blog devoted to the analysis and discussion of climate data. He is most prominent as a critic of the temperature record of the past 1000 years and the data quality of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He is known in particular for his statistical critique, with economist Ross McKitrick, of the controversial hockey stick graph, which shows a sharp, and arguably unprecedented, increase in late 20th century global temperature.
Early life and education
McIntyre, a native of Ontario, attended the University of Toronto Schools, a university-preparatory school in Toronto, finishing first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965. He went on to study mathematics at the University of Toronto and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1969. McIntyre then obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1971. Although he was offered a graduate scholarship, McIntyre decided not to pursue studies in mathematical economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
McIntyre worked for 30 years in the mineral business, the last part of these in the hard-rock mineral exploration as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He was a policy analyst for several years for the governments of Ontario and of Canada. He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003. McIntyre says that during his career his skills in statistical analysis enabled him to analyse mineral prospecting data and out-bet his rivals.
Prior to 2003 he was an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies. He retired from full-time work, but still sometimes engaged in mining consultancy. He is an active squash player and once won a gold medal in the World Masters Games in squash doubles.
In April 2011, Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. of Toronto, Ontario announced the appointment of McIntyre to their board of directors and then later to chairman in June 2011. In September 2011, McIntyre was appointed to the board of directors of Augen Gold Corp. which was shortly acquired by Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. in November 2011. In October 2011, McIntyre was appointed to the board of directors of Southeast Asia Mining Corp. and later resigned in May 2012. Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. was acquired by Iamgold Corporation in June 2012.
The Hockey stick controversy
In 2002, McIntyre became interested in climate science after a leaflet from the Canadian government warning of the dangers of global warming was delivered to his residence. McIntyre states that he noticed discrepancies in climate science papers that reminded him of the false prospectus that had duped investors involved in the Bre-X gold mining scandal.
Upon reading the IPCC Third Assessment Report, he noticed the prominent display of the hockey stick graph in the report and began studying Mann's research which had produced the graph. With Ross McKitrick, McIntyre co-authored two papers questioning the validity of the "hockey stick" graph first presented in a 1998 journal article by Michael E. Mann and co-authors. McIntyre has remarked on how his suspicions of this graph were aroused: "In financial circles, we talk about a hockey stick curve when some investor presents you with a nice, steep curve in the hope of palming something off on you."
McIntyre & McKittrick's papers were investigated by the US National Academy of Sciences, which issued a report in 2006 that affirmed the hockey stick graph while acknowledging statistical shortcomings of the original Mann et al. analysis. A 2006 report to Congress by a team of statisticians led by Edward Wegman found the criticisms of the hockey stick graph by McIntyre and McKitrick to be "valid and compelling."
McIntyre's blog has as a recurrent topic the struggle to obtain underlying data from peer reviewed papers. McIntyre has stated that he started Climate Audit so that he could defend himself against attacks being made at the climatology blog RealClimate. An earlier website, Climate2003, provided additional information for papers co-written by McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, including raw data and source code. Climate Audit was co-winner of a 2007 Weblog Award for "Best Science Blog", receiving 20,000 votes in the online poll.
In 2007, McIntyre started auditing the various corrections made to temperature records, in particular those relating to the urban heat island effect. He discovered a discontinuity in some U.S. records in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) dataset starting in January 2000. He emailed GISS advising them of the problem and within a couple of days GISS issued a new, corrected set of data and thanked McIntyre for "bringing to our attention that such an adjustment is necessary to prevent creating an artificial jump in year 2000". The adjustment caused the average temperatures for the continental United States to be reduced about 0.15 °C during the years 2000-2006. Changes in other portions of the record did not exceed 0.03 °C; it made no discernible difference to the global mean anomalies.
McIntyre later commented:
My original interest in GISS adjustment procedures was not an abstract interest, but a specific interest in whether GISS adjustment procedures were equal to the challenge of "fixing" bad data. If one views the above assessment as a type of limited software audit (limited by lack of access to source code and operating manuals), one can say firmly that the GISS software had not only failed to pick up and correct fictitious steps of up to 1 deg C, but that GISS actually introduced this error in the course of their programming. According to any reasonable audit standards, one would conclude that the GISS software had failed this particular test. While GISS can (and has) patched the particular error that I reported to them, their patching hardly proves the merit of the GISS (and USHCN) adjustment procedures. These need to be carefully examined.
Role in the Climatic Research Unit controversy
Colby Cosh, writing for Maclean's magazine, believes McIntyre's criticisms of climate science are at the heart of the Climatic Research Unit email controversy in November–December 2009. McIntyre is mentioned over 100 times in the hacked emails. In the emails, one climate researcher dismisses him as a "bozo". Others speculate over his funding, and argue about whether to ignore or counterattack him—although, according to Cosh, some unnamed scientists acknowledge that his criticisms have merit.
The Associated Press analysis of the CRU e-mails stated: "Some e-mails said McIntyre's attempts to get original data from scientists are frivolous and meant more for harassment than doing good science. There are allegations that he would distort and misuse data given to him. McIntyre disagreed with how he is portrayed. 'Everything that I've done in this, I've done in good faith,' he said."
BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin wrote that McIntyre "arguably knows more about CRU science than anyone outside the unit - but none of the CRU inquiries has contacted him for input." New Statesman named McIntyre one of its "50 People Who Matter 2010", citing his role in the Climategate controversy.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (2003). "Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series". Energy & Environment 14 (6): 751–771. doi:10.1260/095830503322793632.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (2005). "The M&M Critique of the MBH98 Northern Hemisphere Climate Index: Update and Implications". Energy & Environment 16 (1): 69–100. doi:10.1260/0958305053516226.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (2005). "Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance". Geophysical Research Letters 32 (3): L03710. Bibcode:2005GeoRL..3203710M. doi:10.1029/2004GL021750.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (2009). "Proxy inconsistency and other problems in millennial paleoclimate reconstructions". PNAS 106 (6): E10. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106...10M. doi:10.1073/pnas.0812509106. PMC 2647809. PMID 19188613.
- McKitrick, Ross; McIntyre, Stephen; Herman, Chad (2010). "Panel and multivariate methods for tests of trend equivalence in climate data series". Atmospheric Science Letters 11 (4): 270–277. Bibcode:2010AtScL..11..270M. doi:10.1002/asl.290.
- O'Donnell, Ryan; Lewis, Nicholas; McIntyre, Steve; Condon, Jeff (2011). "Improved Methods for PCA-Based Reconstructions: Case Study Using the Steig et al. (2009) Antarctic Temperature Reconstruction". Journal of Climate 24 (8): 2099–2115. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3656.1.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (2011). "Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?". The Annals of Applied Statistics 5 (1): 56–60. arXiv:1105.0524. Bibcode:2011arXiv1105.0524M. doi:10.1214/10-AOAS398L.
See also↑Jump back a section
- Pearce, Fred, The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming, (2010) Guardian Books, ISBN 978-0-85265-229-9, p. VII.
- Cosh, Colby (December 13, 2009). "Centre of the storm". Maclean's. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- McIntyre, Stephen (October 25, 2003). "Short Bio: Steven McIntyre". Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Stephen McIntyre (22 March 2006). "Blog comment". Climate Audit. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "Stephen McIntyre". George C. Marshall Institute. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "Consolidated Statements of Operations & Deficit" (PDF). cgxEnergy. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Pearce, p. 14.
- Montford, A.W. (2010). The Hockey Stick Illusion. London: Stacey International. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-906768-35-5.
- "Trelawney Intersects 304.00 Metres of 1.65 g/t Gold in 200-Metre Step-Out Hole From the Cote Lake Deposit; Appoints New Director and Grants Stock Options". Marketwire. April 4, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "Trelawney Announces Appointment of Officers and Grant of Stock Options". Marketwire. June 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
- "Augen Gold Announces Appointment of New Directors and Management". Marketwire. September 23, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "Trelawney Completes Compulsory Acquisition of Shares of Augen Gold". Marketwire. November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "Southeast Asia Mining Closes $3.4 Million Private Placement". Marketwire. October 13, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "Board Resignation". Marketwire. May 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "IAMGOLD Corporation Completes Acquisition Of Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc". Reuters. June 21, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- Montford, A.W. (2010). The Hockey Stick Illusion. London: Stacey International. pp. 30–40. ISBN 978-1-906768-35-5.
- McIntyre, Stephen; McKitrick, Ross (February 2005). "Hockey Sticks, principal components, and spurious significance" (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters 32 (3): L03710. Bibcode:2005GeoRL..3203710M. doi:10.1029/2004GL021750. Archived from the original on 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Evers, Marco; Stampf, Olaf ; Traufetter, Gerald (April 1, 2010). "Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm for Global Warming Research". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, National Research Council (2006). Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the last 2,000 years. National Academies Press.
- Wegman, Edward J. (2006). Ad hoc committee report on the 'hockey stick' global climate reconstruction. United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Retrieved 2012-06-29. Text " coauthors et al. " ignored (help)
- Stephen McIntyre (March 23, 2006). "Blog comment". Climate Audit. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
- Aylward, Kevin (November 1, 2007). "Best Science Blog - The 2007 Weblog Awards". Wizbang. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "Climate Change Emails Reveal Rigged "Consensus"". The Wall Street Journal. November 27, 2009.
- "GISS Surface Temperature Analysis: August 2007 Updates to Analysis and Effects". NASA. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- McIntyre, Steve (August 11, 2007). "Does Hansen's Error "Matter"?". Climate Audit. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- Borenstein, Seth; Satter, Raphael; Ritter, Malcolm (December 12, 2009). "AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-12-25.
- Harrabin, Roger (May 29, 2010). "Harrabin's Notes: Getting the message". BBC. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- "50 People Who Matter 2010 - 32. Stephen McIntyre: Climategate keeper". New Statesman. September 27, 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- McIntyre's websites and publications
- ClimateAudit — McIntyre's blog
- Publications by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (at McKitrick's site).
- Article detailing the Wegman and North Reports with links and summarization
- McIntyre's biography (.doc file, last updated in 2003)
- The M&M Project: Replication Analysis of the Mann et al. Hockey Stick at McKitrick's website
- "The IPCC, the 'Hockey Stick' Curve, and the Illusion of Experience by McIntyre and McKitrick, Marshall Institute, 18 November 2003
- Publications by McIntyre at the Marshall Institute's website
- McIntyre's interview on BBC
- Articles about McIntyre and responses
- "Kyoto Protocol Based on Flawed Statistics" by Marcel Crok with English translation by Angela den Tex, Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, February, 2005
- "In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off", Antonio Regalado, The Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2005
- "Global-Warming Skeptics under Fire", Antonio Regalado, The Wall Street Journal, 26 October 2005.
- Video of talk by Gerald North (head of the NRC committee) regarding their report.
- Global warming? Look at the numbers by Lorne Gunther, National Post, August 13, 2007.
- Red faces at NASA over climate-change blunder by Daniel Dale, The Toronto Star, August 14, 2007.
- Nasa climate change error spotted by blogger, Natalie Paris, Daily Telegraph, 16 August 2007.
- New York Times article on the NAS report
- The National Academy of Sciences report: Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years (2006)
- "Revenge of the Climate Laymen", Wall Street Journal Europe article on McIntyre & Climate Audit, November 18, 2009.
- "Climate science's PR disaster", Margaret Wente's column for November 30, 2009, The Globe and Mail
- Profile of McIntyre at the Toronto Star, December 12, 2009
- A Superstorm for Global Warming Research, Part 3: A Climate Rebel Takes on the Establishment by Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter, Spiegel Online International, April 1, 2010.