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Playing Hockey with the Weather

Thursday is science day on the NPR blog, so hello again, Richard Harris!

Richard has a story on All Things Considered today about a controversial report written in 1998 that attempted to reconstruct the world's climate history for the past 1,000 years. That report graphed global temperature in a way that looked a lot like a hockey stick lying on its side — a long uninterrupted straight line, then a sharp uptick representing dramatic warming in the 20th century.

That report soon took on a life of its own, says Richard. Critics of global warming tore into it, as did certain politicians. Some even asserted that the entire concept of global warming relied completely on this report. Today's story is about a new analysis from the National Academy of Sciences that's intended to settle the dispute.

You'll have to listen to Richard's story to discover whether the definitive chart of our climate history resembles a hockey stick... a foosball table... a boomerang... or a soccer ball.