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Topic: Pathological Science (Read 124174 times)
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #150 on:
November 11, 2009, 04:04:09 AM »
heck with the discussion over the model, look at another aspect of this game. China roughly 1 billion people is installing coal plants and doubling their capacity. USA about 400 million people is installing solar plants and doubling their capacity at the same rate.
Look at the proportionality- the energy needs of the 400 million will be met by the solar capacity way before the same will happen with 1 billion. Therefore there is no way that the "industrial wealthy west" will ever be able to balance off the developing countries.
Simple High School Math put the lie to the alleged global warming fix, if global warming exists, and needs fixed at all. When the western nation were developing we did not have knowledge of this issue, but we did know that open sewers and untreated water were probably a source of disease, most of our big cities were built with this in mind, while europe had to refit. We did not ask europe to balance of a "diesease factor' did we? At the time the sanitation issue was somewhat in question, but steps were taken.
Right now we do not know for certain if we are influencing the environment, I suspect we are, bust this "Carbon" is only a small part of the picture. we have deforested vast stretches, and "greened" large areas, this has to have an effect, and not just in "carbon release". We simply do not know enough, so we can start to take steps. Part of that is encouraging the developing countries to build a green infrastructure in the first place while we refit (which is happening). the exemption under the international green intitiative- whatever it is called this time- is not the way to go.
Any computer modelling is capable of being adjusted, anyone who has played MMorpg's knows how to min/max the game they play, and even a 1% adjustment in the right place can make a disproportionately large outcome in several other places. That 1% can easily be hidden in error factor, but if you consistantly "round up" or toward the result you want, you can get numbers out of a model/simulation that do not match reality. That is why they have real life testing of stuff ranging from nukes down to popsickle sticks, to keep the simulations calibrated. I am suspect of any simulation that they cannot calibrate by repeatable experiment.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #151 on:
November 11, 2009, 12:08:50 PM »
"China roughly 1 billion people is installing coal plants and doubling their capacity. USA about 400 million people is installing solar plants and doubling their capacity at the same rate. Look at the proportionality- the energy needs of the 400 million will be met by the solar capacity way before the same will happen with 1 billion. Therefore there is no way that the "industrial wealthy west" will ever be able to balance off the developing countries."
The conclusion is true and exemptions make no sense, we will never 'balance off' their CO2 increases no matter our effort. I didn't follow you on the part before that regarding solar. I assume you are being illustrative, but we now get roughly 0% (with rounding) of our total energy from solar. After we double that, solar production will grow to roughly 0% of total energy requirements.
If manufacturing is made to be even more prohibitive in the west, it will continue to shift to where the restrictions don't exist.
We can dabble in solar at 15 times the cost of current electricity, we can dabble with wind at 5 times the cost of unsubsidized electricity and we can pursue other hobbyist sources. But we still will need the energy to drive the economy unless we just accept economic failure as is the policy of the current leftist machine.
Ethanol steals farm land from our food supply. Natural gas at the electric plant level is a complete waste because it can be piped to location eliminating the transmission loss. Both still involve carbon release. Also gas taken for electricity drives up the cost to heat homes and makes it less available for a transportation substitute.
New carbon-free power in any real quantity will come from nuclear, and there is about a 10 year delay to get a new plant producing. Or it will come from some other method not yet invented, but it is more likely to get invented after we quit subsidizing known failures and crippling our economy. (MHO)
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #152 on:
November 13, 2009, 01:05:43 PM »
we are wandering here into Green Energy. I am starting a new thread under that title. Linky:dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1959.0
Great Global Warming Swindle
Reply #153 on:
November 18, 2009, 12:46:18 AM »
Wow, Sundance Channel is playing
The Great Global Warming Swindle
. If those granola crunchers are playing this bit of apostasy can this sky-is-falling scam be maintained much longer?
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #154 on:
November 18, 2009, 09:42:25 AM »
A couple hours poking around on the internet starting at wikipedia make one all to aware of the fact is that we do not know either way. That makes plenty of room for political causes to expliot for a living, and that is the rub.
There are other more practical reasons for pursueing "greeness" aside from global warming tho'. They range from the simple "I do not want to expend anymore of our heroes so I can fill my gas tank" to "I do not want to use more energy than any other citizen on the globe". When you think about it those are political statements too. Go Figure.
Meantime there is money being spent to prove of disprove the theory- that is a good thing because eventually we will have it figured out like we have fire figured out, and THAT could be very useful.
Affect v. Impact
Reply #155 on:
November 18, 2009, 10:05:53 AM »
Yes, we don't know what we don't know, but only one side of the issue is trying to stampede governments world wide to commit trillions of dollars to their dubious end. We are only tugging on the corner of a incomprehensibly vast tapestry; pretending we have enough of a handle on the climate to make informed decisions is the height of arrogance. Add to that one side of the issue actively suppresses information that does not conform to their apocalyptic ends and I have a hard time pretending that side of the issue is at all interested in having an honest debate or is deserving of being treated as though there are honest brokers among them.
The whole "Green" thing also causes dyspepsia. A lot of "green" efforts embrace unmitigated stupidity, with recycling being at the top of that list. That don't keep "green" folks from copping all sorts of attitudes about their putatively noble mewling. Seem like a lot of these boneheads figure mouthing the right platitudes beats actual involvement in effective environmental science and action. Seems to me a lot of "green" foolishness is more about affect than impact.
Climate Skeptics Abuzz
Reply #156 on:
November 19, 2009, 10:37:14 PM »
Though confirmation is doubtless in order and skepticism should be embraced, climate skeptic circles are abuzz with news that many scientists who support AGW theory have had their email hacked and docs posted on an FTP server in Russia. The emails are detailed and damning, indicating that a lot of books have been cooked over the years. Most succinct story I can find is posted below; note that the story has links to the blogs mulling this info:
Hadley CRU hacked with release of hundreds of docs and emails
November 19, 9:42 PMEssex County Conservative ExaminerTerry Hurlbut
The University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Centre appears to have suffered a security breach earlier today, when an unknown hacker apparently downloaded 1079 e-mails and 72 documents of various types and published them to an anonymous FTP server. These files appear to contain highly sensitive information that, if genuine, could prove extremely embarrassing to the authors of the e-mails involved. Those authors include some of the most celebrated names among proponents of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
The FTP link first appeared on a blog called The Air Vent. The blog's owner, identified as "Jeff Id", downloaded the file, examined it, and posted a brief summary on his blog. Another commenter, identified as "Steven Mosher," passed the information on to Steven McIntyre's Climate Audit blog and to another blog, The Blackboard, run by a blogger identified as "Lucia." Most recently, blogger Anthony Watts, who runs a blog titled "Watts Up With That?" mentioned the FTP archive in his own blog.
Commentary on all the blogs involved has been brisk, except, oddly enough, at The Air Vent, where only seven comments have been received.
The FTP server is in a Russian domain and uses the anonymous FTP protocol, which does not require a pre-registered user account or password for downloading. The file is named FOI2009.zip, an apparent reference to US Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 383, the Freedom of Information Act.
Several commentators have expressed skepticism as to the authenticity of the archive, pointing to its lack of clear provenance and suggesting that someone was attempting to embarrass, either directly or indirectly, the dignitaries attending the upcoming climate-change conference in Copenhagen. Other commentators who have examined the e-mails in the archive conclude that the header and other information that they contain is too detailed to be a hoax. Thus far, no commentator has found anything in the e-mail headers that appears to be mistaken.
Some of the most embarrassing e-mails are attributed to Philip Jones, the Director of the CRU; Keith Briffa, his assistant; Michael E. Mann of the University of Virginia; Malcolm Hughes at the University of Arizona; and others. One such e-mail makes references to the famous "hockey-stick" graph published by Mann in the journal Nature:
I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline. Mike's series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
The emphasis in the above quote was added.
Mr. Mosher offered this summary of the rest of the e-mails that he had found:
And, you get to see somebody with the name of phil jones say that he would rather destroy the CRU data than release it to McIntyre. And lots lots more. including how to obstruct or evade FOIA requests. and guess who funded the collection of cores at Yamal.. and transferred money into a personal account in Russia[.] And you get to see what they really say behind the curtain.. you get to see how they “shape” the news, how they struggled between telling the truth and making policy makers happy. [Y]ou get to see what they say about Idso and pat micheals, you get to read how they want to take us out into a dark alley, it’s stunning all very stunning. You get to watch somebody named phil jones say that John daly’s death is good news.. or words to that effect. I don’t know that its real.. But the CRU code looks real
John Daly (not to be confused with the professional golfer of the same name) is identified in one of the e-mails as a global-warming skeptic who died in January of 2004.
As embarrassing as the e-mails are, some of the documents are more embarrassing. They include a five-page PDF document titled The Rules of the Game, that appears to be a primer for propagating the AGW message to the average subject/resident of the United Kingdom. The document suggests that it is a precis of a longer document housed at the Web site of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Reply #157 on:
November 20, 2009, 12:22:04 PM »
Australian publication claims that the East Anglia Climate Research Unit's email hack has been confirmed by the hacked organization and that the materials released are authentic. Ought to be amusing to see what subtexts arise in Copenhagen over this:
Climate Centre hacked
Thousands of files leaked on internet
By Ian Wishart
The internet is on fire this morning with confirma¬tion computers at one of the world’s leading climate research centres were hacked, and the information released on the internet.
A 62 megabyte zip file, containing around 160 megabytes of emails, pdfs and other documents, has been confirmed as genuine by the head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, Dr Phil Jones.
In an exclusive interview with Investigate maga¬zine’s TGIF Edition, Jones confirms his organiza¬tion has been hacked, and the data flying all over the internet appears to have come from his organisation.
“It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”
“Have you alerted police?”
“Not yet. We were not aware of what had been taken.”
Jones says he was first tipped off to the security breach by colleagues at the website RealClimate.
“Real Climate were given information, but took it down off their site and told me they would send it across to me. They didn’t do that. I only found out it had been released five minutes ago.”
The files were first released from a Russian file¬server site by an anonymous tipster calling him or herself “FOIA”, in an apparent reference to the US Freedom of Information Act. The zip file con¬tains more than a thousand documents sitting in a “FOIA” directory, and it prompted speculation that the information may have been in the process of being compiled for consideration of an informa¬tion act request.
Jones, however, says the files were not contained in a “FOIA” directory at the Climate Research Unit.
“No. Whoever is responsible has done that them¬selves.”
“I’m not sure what we’re going to do. I’ll have to talk to other people here. In fact, we were changing all our passwords overnight and I can’t get to my email, as I’ve just changed my password. I’ve gone into the Climate Audit website because I can’t get into my own email.
“It’s completely illegal for somebody to hack into our system.”
In one email dating back to 1999, Jones appears to talk of fudging scientific data on climate change to “hide the decline”:
From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@[snipped], mhughes@ [snipped]
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998. Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit
TGIF asked Jones about the controversial email discussing hiding “the decline”, and Jones explained he was not trying to mislead.
“No, that’s completely wrong. In the sense that they’re talking about two different things here. They’re talking about the instrumental data which is unaltered – but they’re talking about proxy data going further back in time, a thousand years, and it’s just about how you add on the last few years, because when you get proxy data you sample things like tree rings and ice cores, and they don’t always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years.”
Jones told TGIF he had no idea what me meant by using the words “hide the decline”.
“That was an email from ten years ago. Can you remember the exact context of what you wrote ten years ago?”
The other emails are described by skeptic com¬mentators as “explosive”, one talks of stacking the peer-review process to prevent qualified skeptical scientists from getting their research papers con¬sidered.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #158 on:
November 20, 2009, 12:46:06 PM »
Good play by play of the hacked doc drama can be found by scrolling down to the comments here:
Some of the tidbits I'm culling include this tidbit to AGW panic monger in chief Michael Mann:
From: Phil Jones
To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Perhaps GM can put on his LEO hat and tell us why people ask others to delete specific emails.
Another tidbit unearthed:
This is fun! There is even a connection to BIG OIL. See the “uea-tyndall-shell-memo.doc”
“2. Shell’s interest is not in basic science. Any work they support must have a clear and immediate relevance to ‘real-world’ activities. They are particularly interested in emissions trading and CDM.”
After all the sanctimonious bits I've seen written where anyone with a fleeting association with an energy company has their research dismissed because the fail to mouth AGW orthodoxy, it is very amusing to read about AGW zealots trying to cater to selfsame.
Like the guy combing the stuff said, this is fun. . . .
Anti-Endorsement Kyoto Screed
Reply #159 on:
November 20, 2009, 07:26:52 PM »
And yet another post. These hacked documents are the gift that keeps on giving. A very sternly worded email follows taking various zealots to task back in 1997 for allowing their political desires to taint there work where Kyoto protocols are concerned. Please note all the docs are now searchable here:
This doc speaks to the house of cards AGW is built on:
Alleged CRU Emails - 880476729.txt
Enter keywords to search
The below is one of a series of alleged emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, released on 20 November 2009.
From: Tom Wigley To:
, Klaus Hasselmann , Jill Jaeger ,
Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto. Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST) Reply-to: Tom Wigley Cc: Mike Hulme ,
I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the IPCC "view" when you say that "the latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions." In contrast to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3 review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting arguments in support of both "immediate control" and the spectrum of more cost-effective options. It is not IPCC's role to make "convincing cases" for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your statement.
This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed, balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.
Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science -- when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords with IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on the subject.
Let me remind you of the science. The issue you address is one of the timing of emissions reductions below BAU. Note that this is not the same as the timing of action -- and note that your letter categorically addresses the former rather than the latter issue. Emissions reduction timing is epitomized by the differences between the Sxxx and WRExxx pathways towards CO2 concentration stabilization. It has been clearly demonstrated in the literature that the mitigation costs of following an Sxxx pathway are up to five times the cost of following an equivalent WRExxx pathway. It has also been shown that there is likely to be an equal or greater cost differential for non-Annex I countries, and that the economic burden in Annex I countries would fall disproportionately on poorer people.
Furthermore, since there has been no credible analysis of the benefits (averted impacts) side of the equation, it is impossible to assess fully the benefits differential between the Sxxx and WRExxx stabilization profiles. Indeed, uncertainties in predicting the regional details of future climate change that would arise from following these pathways, and the even greater uncertainties that attend any assessment of the impacts of such climate changes, preclude any credible assessment of the relative benefits. As shown in the WRE paper (Nature v. 379, pp. 240-243), the differentials at the global-mean level are so small, at most a few tenths of a degree Celsius and a few cm in sea level rise and declining to minuscule amounts as the pathways approach the SAME target, that it is unlikely that an analysis of future climate data could even distinguish between the pathways. Certainly, given the much larger noise at the regional level, and noting that even the absolute changes in many variables at the regional level remain within the noise out to 2030 or later, the two pathways would certainly be indistinguishable at the regional level until well into the 21st century.
The crux of this issue is developing policies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions where the reductions relative to BAU are neither too much, too soon (which could cause serious economic hardship to those who are most vulnerable, poor people and poor countries) nor too little, too late (which could lead to future impacts that would be bad for future generations of the same groups). Our ability to quantify the economic consequences of "too much, too soon" is far better than our ability to quantify the impacts that might arise from "too little, too late" -- to the extent that we cannot even define what this means! You appear to be putting too much weight on the highly uncertain impacts side of the equation. Worse than this, you have not even explained what the issues are. In my judgment, you are behaving in an irresponsible way that does you little credit. Furthermore, you have compounded your sin by actually putting a lie into the mouths of innocents ("after carefully examining the question of timing of emissions reductions, we find the arguments against postponement to be more compelling"). People who endorse your letter will NOT have "carefully examined" the issue.
When scientists color the science with their own PERSONAL views or make categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is, in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics, Michaels, Singer et al. I find this extremely disturbing.
On Tue, 11 Nov 1997, Tim Mitchell wrote:
> Reference: Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect > Global Climate > > Dear Colleague, > > Attached at the end of this email is a Statement, the purpose of which is > to bolster or increase governmental and public support for controls of > emissions of greenhouse gases in European and other industrialised > countries in the negotiations during the Kyoto Climate Conference in > December 1997. The Statement was drafted by a number of prominent European > scientists concerned with the climate issue, 11 of whom are listed after > the Statement and who are acting as formal sponsors of the Statement. > > ***** The 11 formal sponsors are: ***** > > Jan Goudriaan Hartmut Grassl Klaus Hasselmann Jill J�ger > Hans Opschoor Tim O'Riordan Martin Parry David Pearce > Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber Wolfgang Seiler Pier Vellinga > > After endorsements from many hundreds of other European climate-related > scientists are collected (and we hope that you agree to be one of these), the > Statement will be brought to the attention of key decision-makers (e.g. EU > Kyoto negotiaters and Environment Ministers) and other opinion-makers in > Europe (e.g. editorial boards of newspapers) during the week beginning 24th > November. The UK and other European WWF offices have agreed to assist in > this activity, although the preparation of the Statement itself has in no > way been initiated or influenced by WWF or any other body. This is an > initiative taken by us alone and supported by our 11 Statement sponsors. > > WHAT WE ASK FROM YOU > > We would very much like you to endorse this Statement. Unfortunately, at > this time we can no longer take into account any suggested modifications. > Nevertheless, we hope that it reflects your views closely enough so that > you can support it. If you agree with the Statement, then: > > 1. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY FILL OUT the form below and either reply via email > (preferably) or telefax (only if necessary) to the indicated fax number. > Replies received after Wednesday 19th November will not be included. If > replying by email please do not use the 'reply all' option. If this > invitation has been forwarded from a colleague, please make sure your reply > is directed to the originators of this invitation, namely: >
(on behalf of Mike Hulme and Joe Alcamo). > > 2. We have identified about 700 climate-related scientists in Europe who > are receiving this email directly from us. If you feel it is appropriate, > PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to up to three colleagues in your country who > are working in climate-related fields, who you think may support the > Statement and whom we have not targeted. To identify colleagues whom we > have already invited you can examine the email address list we have used > for your country in the email header (or else appended to the end of this > email). > > We realize that you are very busy, but this action may have a very positive > influence on public discussions during the critical period leading up to > Kyoto and during the Conference itself. > > With best wishes, > > Michael Hulme, Climatic Research Unit, UEA, Norwich > Joseph Alcamo, University of Kassel, Germany > > (On behalf of the other signatories of the Statement) > > > ____________________________________________________________________________ > > I agree to have my name placed on the list of scientists that endorse the > Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect Global > Climate. > > Full Title and Name > > Affiliation Country > > Signature (for fax replies only) > > Date > > Other comments: > > ____________________________________________________________________________ > > We would prefer you to return this email message to us by email, having > duly completed the form above. You should be sending the form to: > > **************************** > ** ** > **
** > ** ** > **************************** > > If you would rather not use the email reply function, then please print out > the form above and fax it (filled in) to: > > "Attention: European Climate Statement" > Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia > Telefax: +44 1603 507784 > > ____________________________________________________________________________ > > > Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect Global Climate > ============================================================================= > > In 1992, the nations of the world took a significant step to protect global > climate by signing the Framework Convention on Climate Change. This year, > at the coming Climate Summit in Kyoto*, they have the chance to take > another important step. It is our belief that the nations of the world > should agree to substantive action for controlling the growth of greenhouse > gas emissions. > > Our opinion is bolstered by the latest assessment of scientific knowledge > carried out by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The > IPCC reported that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human > influence on global climate". They also gave examples of observed climate > change up to now, including: > > � Global mean surface air temperature has increased by between 0.3 to 0.6 > degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, and recent years have been the > warmest since 1860. > � Global sea level has risen between 10 and 25 centimeters over the past > 100 years. > > Based on estimates from computer models, the IPCC also maintained that > humanity will have a continuing and cumulative effect on climate in the > future. Future society may find that some climate impacts are positive, as > in the possible increase in rainfall and crop yield in some dry regions; > and society may be able to adapt to some impacts, such as by building dikes > against rising sea level. But many, if not most, climate impacts will > increase risks to society and nature, and will be irreversible on the human > time scale. Among the possible changes are further increases in sea level, > the transformation of forest and other ecosystems, modifications of crop > yield, and shifts in the geographic range of pests and pathogens. It is > also possible that infrequent but disastrous events, such as droughts and > floods, could occur more often in some regions. At particular risk are > people living on arid or semi-arid land, in low-lying coastal areas and > islands, in water-limited or flood-prone regions, or in mountainous > regions. The risk to nature will be significant in the many areas where > ecosystems cannot quickly adapt to changing climate, or where they are > already under stress from environmental pollution or other factors. > > Because of these risks, we consider it important for nations to set limits > on the increase of global temperature due to human interference with the > climate system. We recommend that European and other industrialized nations > use such long-term climate protection goals as a guide to determining > short-term emission targets. This approach has been adopted, for example, > by the European Union and the Alliance of Small Island States. > > Some may say that action to control emissions should be postponed because > of the scientific uncertainties of climate change and its impact. Our view > is that the risks and irreversibility of many climate impacts require > "precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent, or minimize the causes of > climate change", as stated in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. > > We also acknowledge that economic arguments have been put forward for > postponing the control of emissions in Europe and elsewhere. However, after > carefully examining the question of timing of emission reductions, we find > the arguments against postponement to be more compelling. First, postponing > action could shift an unfair burden for more severe reductions of emissions > onto future generations. Second, it will lead to a greater accumulation of > greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and hence make it more difficult to > prevent future climate change when action is finally taken. Third, the > latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate > control of emissions. > > Rather than delay, we strongly urge governments in Europe and other > industrialized countries to agree to control greenhouse emissions as part > of a Kyoto agreement. Some controls can be achieved by reducing fossil fuel > use at little or no net cost through accelerated improvements in the > efficiency of energy systems, the faster introduction of renewable energy > sources, and the reduction of subsidies for fossil fuel use. Moreover, > reducing the use of fossil fuels will also reduce local and regional air > pollution, and their related impacts on human health and ecosystems. > > We believe that the European Union (EU) proposal is consistent with long > term climate protection. This proposal would reduce key greenhouse gas > emissions by 15% from industrialized countries (so-called Annex I > countries) by the year 2010 (relative to year 1990). Although stronger > emission reductions will be needed in the future, we see the EU, or > similar, goal as a positive first step "to prevent dangerous anthropogenic > interference with the climate system" and to lessen risks to society and > nature. Such substantive action is needed now. > > *Third Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate > Change, Kyoto, Japan, December, 1997. > > Signed: > > Jan Goudriaan Hartmut Grassl Klaus Hasselmann > Jill J�ger Hans Opschoor Tim O'Riordan > Martin Parry David Pearce Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber > Wolfgang Seiler Pier Vellinga >
Re: Affect v. Impact
Reply #160 on:
November 21, 2009, 09:01:48 AM »
Quote from: Body-by-Guinness on November 18, 2009, 10:05:53 AM
Yes, we don't know what we don't know, but only one side of the issue is trying to stampede governments world wide to commit trillions of dollars to their dubious end. We are only tugging on the corner of a incomprehensibly vast tapestry; pretending we have enough of a handle on the climate to make informed decisions is the height of arrogance. Add to that one side of the issue actively suppresses information that does not conform to their apocalyptic ends and I have a hard time pretending that side of the issue is at all interested in having an honest debate or is deserving of being treated as though there are honest brokers among them.
The whole "Green" thing also causes dyspepsia. A lot of "green" efforts embrace unmitigated stupidity, with recycling being at the top of that list. That don't keep "green" folks from copping all sorts of attitudes about their putatively noble mewling. Seem like a lot of these boneheads figure mouthing the right platitudes beats actual involvement in effective environmental science and action. Seems to me a lot of "green" foolishness is more about affect than impact.
Agreed! As far as I am concerned we may as well continue building lanfills, they will be "materials mines" in another couple of generations. We only need to figure out how we will separate out all of the toxic stuff that is ending up in there. The first person that figures that out will make a bundle. There is a firm out there that is currently mining old computers for their raw materials, and making a killing. I figure that your average dump has more of the minable type materials per ton than raw ore.............
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #161 on:
November 21, 2009, 09:11:47 AM »
Cue Dr, Who "This is gonna be FUN!' /cue
Oh, OH boy. I would LOVE to be doing fly on the wall work in the "poli-green" and "energy giant" offices right now!
Reply #162 on:
November 21, 2009, 01:19:57 PM »
Nice job following an email chain from the purloined source to demonstrate the AGW books are being cooked:
A Real Hockey Stick Graph
Reply #163 on:
November 21, 2009, 01:51:30 PM »
This is doubtless petty and cruel, but it made me laugh and, as such likely demonstrates I'm a deeply flawed human being. With that said, one of the websites looking most at the hacked CRU data has discovered a true hockey stick graph:
Based on the number of web hits they've been receiving since the story broke, they are now the most active WordPress site, bwahahaha.
Quite a Catalog of Book Cooking
Reply #164 on:
November 21, 2009, 04:21:15 PM »
Found a blog that is doing a great job of summarizing the findings in the CRU emails and docs:
Climate cuttings 33
Welcome Instapundit readers! Hope this is useful for you. If you are interested in more on global warming material, check out Caspar and the Jesus Paper and The Yamal Implosion, or check out the forthcoming book.
General reaction seems to be that the CRUgate emails are genuine, but with the caveat that there could be some less reliable stuff slipped in.
In the circumstances, here are some summaries of the CRUgate files. I'll update these as and when I can. The refs are the email number.
Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".
Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)
Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)
Kevin Trenberth says they can't account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can't.(1255352257)
Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi's paper is crap.(1257532857)
Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)
Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)
Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it's insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre's sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many "good" scientists condemn it.(1254756944)
Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)
Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)
Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)
Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be "hiding behind them".(1106338806)
Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period". Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)
Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)
Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)
Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)
Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the "increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage" he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)
Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman's admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings.(1252164302)
Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)
Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)
Reaction to McIntyre's 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper's editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460) [Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]
Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)
Jones says he's found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)
Wigley says Keenan's fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)
Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)
Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)
Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn't be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don't want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)
Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of "apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data". [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)
Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)
Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)
Funkhouser says he's pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn't think it's productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)
Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)
Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)
Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)
Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)
David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn't be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698)
Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)
Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr "I'm not entirely there in the head" will not be at the AGU.(1233249393)
Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306)
Sue Al Gore!
Reply #165 on:
November 21, 2009, 06:34:28 PM »
Here's a Shoe on the Other Foot
Reply #166 on:
November 22, 2009, 12:48:14 AM »
CRU Files Betray Climate Alarmists' Funding Hypocrisy
By Marc Sheppard
It seems that while scientists who accept funding from oil companies are branded as bought-and-paid-for shills, those financed by renewable energy interests remain unchallenged authorities in their fields. Words can’t adequately express my astonishment.
Amid the thousands of files apparently misappropriated from Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) last week sit two documents on the subject of the unit’s funding. One is a spreadsheet (pdj_grant_since1990.xls) logging the various grants CRU chief PD Jones has received since 1990. It lists 55 such endowments from agencies ranging from the U.S Department of Energy to NATO and worth a total of £13,718,547 or approximately 22.6 million USD. I guess cooking climate data can be an expensive habit, particularly for an oft-quoted and highly exalted U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief climatologist.
But it’s actually the second document (potential-funding.doc) that tells the more compelling tale. In addition to four government sources of potential CRU funding, it lists an equal number of “energy agencies” they might put the bite on. Three -- the Carbon Trust, the Northern Energy Initiative and the Energy Saving Trust -- are UK-based consultancy and funding specialists promoting “new energy” technologies with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The fourth -- Renewables North West -- is an American company promoting the expansion of solar, wind and geothermal energy in the Pacific Northwest.
Needless to say, all four of these CRU “potential funding sources” have an undeniably intrinsic financial interest in the promotion of the carbochondriacal reports CRU is ready, willing, and able to dish out ostensibly on-demand. And equally obvious is that Jones is all too aware that a renewable energy-funded CRU will remain the world’s premiere authority on the subject of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) despite any appearance of conflict.
And yet, no such latitude has ever been extended to scientists in the skeptical camp.
For instance, when MIT’s Richard Lindzen delivers one of his trademark brilliant presentations leading to the conclusion that climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is about 0.5°C, not the 1.5°-5°C predicted by IPCC models, all we hear from alarmists and complicit media types is that the professor once charged oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services and is therefore an unreliable big-oil hack.
Or when S. Fred Singer challenges the IPCC to explain whether water vapor and clouds represent positive or negative feedback or stands before a graph depicted temperatures decreasing over the past 10 years while CO2 climbed and declares that “the relationship is meaningless,” his words are similarly dismissed based solely on the fact that he has received funding from ExxonMobil.
Let’s set aside the fact that Lindzen had actually accepted a total of $10,000 in expenses and expert witness fees from such interests on the day he ceased such activities two decades ago. And that Singer has received only $20,000 from ExxonMobil. And that climate realists are out-funded by alarmists by several orders of magnitude, which leads to the artificial expansion of the number of scientists who appear to support alarmist views. And even that monies paid to either side of the debate have zero impact on the science of whether or not 20th century warming was caused or exacerbated by manmade CO2 emissions. And don’t get me started on carbon-millionaire Al Gore.
The issue is this – Just how is it that funding from renewable energy interests evades charges of bias yet subsidies from traditional power entities scream bloody-conflict when each is equally friendly to the recipient’s cause?
As with all things AGW, the alarmist quick-draw-canard that the science is settled but for a few outlying scientists in the pockets of the fossil-fuel industry is quickly losing whatever civic support it may have had. And the scientific subterfuge surfaced last week by the CRU emails and documents represents but the latest of many recent outrages sure to accelerate the ongoing public awakening to the hoax which has been perpetrated upon them.
In the broader scheme, the credibility blow the IPCC will likely suffer because the majority of those data manipulation revealing emails flowed from the fingertips of its senior authors and editors will weaken and perhaps ultimately break the AGW orthodoxy spine its politically-charged assessments have erected. And that can only serve to further declaw their fellow alarmists and media minions – which of course would be nothing short of stupendous.
For as Lord Christopher Monckton emphasized in his rousing speech to close the second International Conference on Climate Change in New York City last March:
“There is no climate crisis. There was no climate crisis. There will be no climate crisis.”
And it has become abundantly clear that it is not, nor was it ever, the AGW skeptics who have been the liers. Or the cheaters.
Or the bought-and-paid-for hypocrites.
Page Printed from:
at November 22, 2009 - 01:47:08 AM EST
Reply #167 on:
November 22, 2009, 10:40:10 AM »
Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean?
Posted By Charlie Martin On November 22, 2009 @ 1:40 am In . Column1 01, . Positioning, Uncategorized | 83 Comments
Late on the night of of November 19, news broke on PJM and elsewhere that a large amount of data had been stolen from one of the major climate research institutions by an unknown hacker and made available on the Internet. The institution is the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, home institution for Dr Phil Jones and one of the world’s centers of research into anthropogenic global warming (AGW), or “climate change.”
The hackers released about 172 megabytes of data, and we can be sure examining it closely will take some time. But after a few days, certain things are beginning to become clear.
The data appears to be largely, perhaps entirely, authentic.
The emails are incendiary.
The implications shake the scientific basis for AGW, and the scientific reputations of some of AGW’s major proponents, to their roots
Let’s look at the files and emails first. (For a running list of the interesting emails, see Bishop Hill’s list .) As I wrote earlier, you have to be really careful with this sort of thing, because it would only require salting a few really inflammatory fakes through a collection of otherwise real emails to make a convincing hoax (think Rathergate.) But since the data first came out, a number of the emails have been corroborated by recipients, and none of them have been refuted. So, at least tentatively, I think we need to accept them as authentic.
If we do accept them as authentic, though, they truly are incendiary. They appear to reveal not one, not two, but three real scandals, of increasing importance.
The emails suggest the authors co-operated covertly to ensure that only papers favorable to CO2-forced AGW were published, and that editors and journals publishing contrary papers were punished. They also attempted to “discipline” scientists and journalists who published skeptical information.
See for example emails 1047388489 , 1256765544 , 1255352257 , 1051190249 , 1210367056 , 1249503274 , 1054756929 , 1106322460  and 1132094873 . Also see email 1139521913 , in which the author discusses how the comments at RealClimate.org are moderated to prevent skeptical or critical comments from being published. RealClimate advertises itself as a scientific blog that attempts to present the “real case” for AGW.
The emails suggest that the authors manipulated and “massaged” the data to strengthen the case in favor of unprecedented CO2-forced AGW, and to suppress their own data if it called AGW into question.
See for example emails 0938018124 , 0843161829 , 0939154709  (and the graphic here) , and 0942777075  (and the discussion here ).
The emails suggest that the authors co-operated (perhaps the word is “conspired”) to prevent data from being made available to other researchers through either data archiving requests or through the Freedom of Information Acts of both the U.S. and the UK.
See for example 1106338806 , 1228330629 , 1212063122 , 1210367056 , and 1107454306  (again!).
Email 1107454306 is particularly interesting. In it, Dr Jones writes:
The two MMs [McKittrick and McIntyre] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.
What makes this interesting is that the CRU, in later years, announced that they had “inadvertently deleted” their raw data  when they responded to an FOIA request from … McIntyre. Now, I’ve purposefully not included much of the text from these emails, both for reasons of space and because I want people to read them for themselves. But, at least on this first look, it appears that the three scandals are:
First, a real attempt by a small group of scientists to subvert the peer-review process and suppress dissenting voices. (For another look at this, by a respected climate scientist who was one of the targets, see these  posts  on Roger Pielke Sr. ’s blog.) This is at best massively unethical.
Second, a willingness to manipulate the data to make a political case. This is certainly misconduct and possibly scientific fraud. This, if it proves true, should make these scientists subject to strong disciplinary action, even termination of their tenured positions.
Third, what gives every appearance of an actual conspiracy to prevent data from being released as required by the Freedom of Information Acts in the US and UK. If this is proven true, that is a federal crime.
These emails and the data associated, taken together, raise really important questions about the whole scientific structure of AGW. Is the data really valid? Has the data been effectively peer reviewed and have attempts to falsify been fairly treated? Is CO2-forced AGW really the best hypothesis?Until these questions are answered, the various attempts to “deal with the climate change crisis” have no acceptable scientific basis.
Article printed from Pajamas Media:
URL to article:
URLs in this post:
 Bishop Hill’s list:
 announced that they had “inadvertently deleted” their raw data:
 Roger Pielke Sr.:
WSJ's Take on Climategate
Reply #168 on:
November 23, 2009, 09:59:48 PM »
Global Warming With the Lid Off
The emails that reveal an effort to hide the truth about climate science.
'The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone. . . . We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind."
So apparently wrote Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) and one of the world's leading climate scientists, in a 2005 email to "Mike." Judging by the email thread, this refers to Michael Mann, director of the Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center. We found this nugget among the more than 3,000 emails and documents released last week after CRU's servers were hacked and messages among some of the world's most influential climatologists were published on the Internet.
The "two MMs" are almost certainly Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, two Canadians who have devoted years to seeking the raw data and codes used in climate graphs and models, then fact-checking the published conclusions—a painstaking task that strikes us as a public and scientific service. Mr. Jones did not return requests for comment and the university said it could not confirm that all the emails were authentic, though it acknowledged its servers were hacked.
Yet even a partial review of the emails is highly illuminating. In them, scientists appear to urge each other to present a "unified" view on the theory of man-made climate change while discussing the importance of the "common cause"; to advise each other on how to smooth over data so as not to compromise the favored hypothesis; to discuss ways to keep opposing views out of leading journals; and to give tips on how to "hide the decline" of temperature in certain inconvenient data.
Some of those mentioned in the emails have responded to our requests for comment by saying they must first chat with their lawyers. Others have offered legal threats and personal invective. Still others have said nothing at all. Those who have responded have insisted that the emails reveal nothing more than trivial data discrepancies and procedural debates.
Yet all of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: That these scientists feel the public doesn't have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.
Consider the following note that appears to have been sent by Mr. Jones to Mr. Mann in May 2008: "Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. . . . Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?" AR4 is shorthand for the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, presented in 2007 as the consensus view on how bad man-made climate change has supposedly become.
In another email that seems to have been sent in September 2007 to Eugene Wahl of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Paleoclimatology Program and to Caspar Ammann of the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Mr. Jones writes: "[T]ry and change the Received date! Don't give those skeptics something to amuse themselves with."
When deleting, doctoring or withholding information didn't work, Mr. Jones suggested an alternative in an August 2008 email to Gavin Schmidt of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, copied to Mr. Mann. "The FOI [Freedom of Information] line we're all using is this," he wrote. "IPCC is exempt from any countries FOI—the skeptics have been told this. Even though we . . . possibly hold relevant info the IPCC is not part of our remit (mission statement, aims etc) therefore we don't have an obligation to pass it on."
It also seems Mr. Mann and his friends weren't averse to blacklisting scientists who disputed some of their contentions, or journals that published their work. "I think we have to stop considering 'Climate Research' as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal," goes one email, apparently written by Mr. Mann to several recipients in March 2003. "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal."
Mr. Mann's main beef was that the journal had published several articles challenging aspects of the anthropogenic theory of global warming.
For the record, when we've asked Mr. Mann in the past about the charge that he and his colleagues suppress opposing views, he has said he "won't dignify that question with a response." Regarding our most recent queries about the hacked emails, he says he "did not manipulate any data in any conceivable way," but he otherwise refuses to answer specific questions. For the record, too, our purpose isn't to gainsay the probity of Mr. Mann's work, much less his right to remain silent.
However, we do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page 13
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #169 on:
November 24, 2009, 12:43:15 AM »
Thanks for staying on top of this.
PS: Glenn Beck had a good time with all this today.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #170 on:
November 24, 2009, 01:08:37 PM »
Likewise, Thanks BBG for covering this. I have traveling, reading about it here, and wondering when the so-called mainstream will be forced to cover it.
There will be a response. Usual is shoot the messenger, in this case the 'hacker'.
Looks more to me like a whistleblower (hero) than a hacker.
I wonder if any of this will be followed with legal action. Against the hacker? What about charges regarding the fraud committed on the public or on the funders of the tweaked data and faulty work, for example the 'scientist' who promised to delete the data before he would release it for McIntire's request under the Freedom of Information Act...
Will these frauds be fired or have credentials and appointments pulled?
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #171 on:
November 24, 2009, 01:30:48 PM »
When it comes to what we should do in Afghanistan BO takes his time - I mean we should think this through - but when it comes to thinking through the claims of climate change - well that is defferent.
I mean why call into question the whole theory of climate change just because some of its promoters are clearly perpetuating a giant fraud on all of us?
I mean why do this when we can exponentially expand governement control and further the demise of American leadership in the world? Is not BO exposed over and over and the mainstream press still calls those who call THIS fraud on it's face value fringe of the fringe?
"Obama says 'step closer' to climate deal
Nov 24 12:25 PM US/Eastern
US President Barack Obama said Tuesday the world has moved "one step closer" to a "strong operational agreement" on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #172 on:
November 24, 2009, 03:02:11 PM »
Another inconvienient truth on the man made global warming hoax.
Apparently NASA and the Goddard institute are about to be sued for not releasing data under the freedom of info. act .Now remember NASA is were James Hanson(sp) works. He is the climatologist that got caught falsifying data twice .The latest being, he reported sept 2008 temps for oct 2008 to show a warming trend when there wasn't one.
PS he was one of Al Gores big sources for his movie.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #173 on:
November 24, 2009, 03:57:36 PM »
"PS he was one of Al Gores big sources for his movie."
Boyo, You are correct; these are the lead scientists of the IPCC. These are the guys that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. I hope that doesn't diminish the accomplishments of this year's winner...
The US EPA categorized CO2 as a toxin based on their work. Anyone committed to honest and accurate science would demand immediately that ruling be revisited.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #174 on:
November 24, 2009, 05:41:00 PM »
DougMacG, These guys also should be fired with out hesitation.I work as a chemist in an eviromental lab and if I ever got caught falsifying data or omitting data to get a result.I wouldn't even be shown the door ,I'd be thrown thru it.LOL maybe.Now these guys have been doing this apparently for the better part of 20 years.
I do wonder if this will have any effect on any policy decision coming up.You know cap and trade or the Copenhagen thing.I also hope they bring back real light bulbs.LOL
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #175 on:
November 24, 2009, 06:32:54 PM »
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #176 on:
November 25, 2009, 07:13:19 AM »
That was VERY funny.
Investors Business Daily
The Day Global Warming Stood Still
Posted 11/20/2009 07:46 PM ET
Climate Change: As scientists confirm the earth has not warmed at all in the past decade, others wonder how this could be and what it means for Copenhagen. Maybe Al Gore can Photoshop something before December.
It will be a very cold winter of discontent for the warm-mongers. The climate show-and-tell in Copenhagen next month will be nothing more than a meaningless carbon-emitting jaunt, unable to decide just whom to blame or how to divvy up the profitable spoils of climate change hysteria.
The collapse of the talks coupled with the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put off the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, the Senate's version of Waxman-Markey, until the spring thaw has led Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the leading Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, to declare victory over Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the triumph of observable fact over junk science.
"I proudly declare 2009 as the 'Year of the Skeptic,' the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard," Inhofe said to Boxer in a Senate speech. "Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked."
Inhofe added: "Today I have been vindicated."
The Ada (Oklahoma) Evening News quotes Inhofe: "So when Barbara Boxer, John Kerry and all the left get up there and say, 'Yes. We're going to pass a global warming bill,' I will be able to stand up and say, 'No, it's over. Get a life. You lost. I won,'" Inhofe said.
Now we have the German publication Der Spiegel, which is rapidly becoming the house organ for climate hysteria, weighing in again with the sad news that the earth does not have a fever so we really don't have to throw out the baby with the rising bath water.
In an article titled, "Climatologists Baffled By Global Warming Time-Out," author Gerald Traufetter leads off with the observation: "Climatologists are baffled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years." They better figure it out, Der Spiegel warns, because "billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations."
We are told in sad tones that "not much is happening with global warming at the moment" and that "it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year." But how can it be that the earth isn't following all those computer models? Is the earth goddess Gaia herself a climate change "denier"?
Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 09:41:12 AM by Crafty_Dog
Reply #177 on:
November 25, 2009, 12:13:51 PM »
Tracking this a bit while out on the road in support of non-massaged science:
Climategate: Violating the Social Contract of Science (Updated)
Posted By Charlie Martin On November 22, 2009 @ 6:06 pm In . Column1 08, Environment, Media, Politics, Science, Science & Technology | 46 Comments
Updated: Chris Horner and CEI today announced their intent to file suit  if necessary to force NASA to release documents relating to the ongoing Climategate controversy.
Today, on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, I filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies’ refusal — for nearly three years — to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
The information sought is directly relevant to the exploding “Climategate” scandal revealing document destruction, coordinated efforts in the U.S. and UK to avoid complying with both countries’ freedom of information laws, and apparent and widespread intent to defraud at the highest levels of international climate science bodies. Numerous informed commenters had alleged such behavior for years, all of which appears to be affirmed by leaked emails, computer codes and other data from the Climatic Research Unit of the UK’s East Anglia University.
This is especially interesting:
[CEI is requesting files] relating to the content, importance or propriety of workday-hour posts or entries by GISS/NASA employee Gavin A. Schmidt on the weblog or “blog” RealClimate, which is owned by the advocacy group Environmental Media Services and was started as an effort to defend the debunked “Hockey Stick” that is so central to the CRU files. RealClimate.org is implicated in the leaked files, expressly offered as a tool to be used “in any way you think would be helpful” to a certain advocacy campaign, including an assertion of Schmidt’s active involvement in, e.g., delaying and/or screening out unhelpful input by “skeptics” attempting to comment on claims made on the website.
On November 19, 2009, climate science was severely shaken by the release of a collection of email messages, together with a collection of data and data processing programs, that were alleged to have been stolen, or hacked, from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit  (CRU). (See here  and here  for previous Pajamas Media coverage.)
So what is this “climate science” of which we speak? Trimmed down to the essentials, what scientists really do comes down to these steps:
Look at something happening.
Think of a way to explain what’s happening.
Make a convincing case, based on evidence and experiment, that this is the best known explanation. Part of this “convincing case” is providing enough information so that a knowledgeable person could, if necessary, perform the same experiments and get the same results. (This should really include some weasel-wording about “within experimental error,” but that’s a technical detail. What’s important is that the knowledgeable third party can get close enough to the same results to satisfy that third part.)
Submit that convincing case to other knowledgeable people to review, in order to see if they also find it convincing. This is what is called peer review.
Publish that convincing case for the rest of the world, where the results can be seen, commented upon, and challenged.
Every so often, others perform the same experiments and confirm or question the results.
Step 4, peer review, is essential to this whole process. To be useful, a peer review should:
be done anonymously, so that reviews are uncolored by fear of retribution or expectation of reward.
be done independently, by disinterested third parties; it’s generally bad form to have close associates of the authors doing the reviews.
This is really all about trust. If Professor A. Einstein publishes E=mc2, the fact that the publication has been peer reviewed, the publication includes enough detail that you feel confident it could be replicated, and the results are then subject to challenge means that you can trust what’s in the publication. “Science” is a social contract — an agreement that allows scientists to trust what they’re told by their fellows.
So let’s look at a few of these emails. (All links are to email texts in the searchable index  on the website anelegantchaos.org.) Here’s an email from Phil Jones at the CRU to Ben Santer at Lawrence Livermore (quoted in Santer’s reply, email # 1233249393 ):
With free wifi in my room, I’ve just seen that M+M have submitted a paper to IJC on your H2 statistic — using more years, up to 2007. They have also found your PCMDI data — laughing at the directory name — FOIA? Also they make up statements saying you’ve done this following Obama’s statement about openness in government! Anyway you’ll likely get this for review, or poor Francis will. Best if both Francis and Myles did this. If I get an email from Glenn I’ll suggest this.
This appears to be Jones informing Santer of the contents of a submitted paper ahead of time, which would seem to say it’s not really an anonymous process. What’s more, the paper criticizes Santer’s own work, and this email appears to suggest that Santer will be a reviewer; this doesn’t seem very independent.
Then there is this email from Tom Wigley to Tim Carter (email # 1051190249 ):
PS, Re CR [the journal Climate Research] I do not know the best way to handle the specifics of the editoring. Hans von Storch is partly to blame — he encourages the publication of crap science “in order to stimulate debate.” One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word “perceived” here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.
I think we could get a large group of highly credentialed scientists to sign such a letter — 50+ people.
Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones. Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not work — must get rid of von Storch too, otherwise holes will eventually fill up with people like Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Michaels, Singer, etc. I have heard that the publishers are not happy with von Storch, so the above approach might remove that hurdle too
Hans von Storch  is a well-known climate scientist who has been critical of some aspects of the global warming debate. This email appears to suggest that he was seen as too favorable to other opinions; they are discussing how to “get rid of von Storch.” Remember that the reason for independence is to ensure that there’s no fear of retribution nor expectation of reward.
It’s interesting to note that Hans von Storch actually was made editor in chief of Climate Research and then resigned soon after. The reason: he wasn’t allowed by the publisher to publish an editorial critical of the very paper this email discusses.
Von Storch has responded to the email releases on his web page :
As far as I myself can judge, and according to responses by others, the files are authentic, but not complete. …. There are a number of problematic statements, which will be discussed in the media and the blogosphere. I found the style of communication revealing, speaking about other people and their ideas, joining forces to “kill” papers, exchanges of “improving” presentations without explaining.
Others have noted that the review process for climate change research seems flawed. In the Wegman report , prepared for the Committee on Energy and Commerce by a committee selected under the auspices of the National Academy of Science, a section is included on the connections among the reviewers of various papers, with the interesting observation that published papers are nearly always reviewed by the same small group of people, and almost all of these people are also co-authors on other papers.
The effect is that climate research is produced by a small “in group” who insist on a particular model, and apparently reviewed by the same group. Critics of the particular model, even if they agree in general with the notion of anthropogenic global warming, are then relegated to an “out group.”
Roger Pielke, Sr. of the University of Colorado is a notable climate scientist who has been relegated to the “out group.” Dr. Pielke was the lead author of part of the most recent IPCC  report, until the section he was writing was replaced at the last minute. At the time, Dr. Pielke wrote  (PDF):
The process that produced the report was highly political, with the Editor taking the lead in suppressing my perspectives, most egregiously demonstrated by the last-minute substitution of a new Chapter 6 for the one I had carefully led preparation of and on which I was close to reaching a final consensus. Anyone interested in the production of comprehensive assessments of climate science should be troubled by the process which I document below in great detail that led to the replacement of the Chapter that I was serving as Convening Lead Author.
We’re only beginning to analyze and understand the full implications of these emails and the associated data. Among other things, however, these emails suggest that a number of highly reputable climate scientists had been conniving for years to prevent other researchers from obtaining the data needed to replicate climate science results. At the same time, these scientists appear to have colluded to subvert the whole peer review process in order to prevent critical or contradictory results from being published.
This violates the whole social contract that is the basis of what we call science.
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Breaking the Code
Reply #178 on:
November 25, 2009, 01:09:59 PM »
November 25, 2009
CRU's Source Code: Climategate Uncovered
By Marc Sheppard
As the evidence of climate fraud at the University of East Anglia’s prestigious Climactic Research Unit (CRU) continues to mount, those who’ve been caught green-handed continue to parry their due opprobrium and comeuppance, thanks primarily to a dead-silent mainstream media. But should the hubris and duplicity evident in the emails of those whose millennial temperature charts literally fuel the warming alarmism movement somehow fail to convince the world of the scam that’s been perpetrated upon it, certainly these revelations of the fraud cooked into the computer programs that create such charts will.
First -- Let’s briefly review a few pertinent details.
We reported on Saturday that among the most revealing of the “hacked” emails released last week was one dated November 1999, in which CRU chief PD Jones wrote these words to Hockey-Stick-Team leaders Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes:
“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd (sic) from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
Predictably, the suggestion of a climate-related data-adjusting “trick” being employed by such alarmist bellwethers 10 years ago instantly raised more than a few eyebrows. And with similar alacrity, the Big Green Scare Machine shifted into CYA gear.
Almost immediately after the news hit on Friday, Jones told Investigative Magazine’s TGIF Edition [PDF] that he “had no idea” what he might have meant by the words “hide the decline” a decade prior:
“They’re talking about the instrumental data which is unaltered – but they’re talking about proxy data going further back in time, a thousand years, and it’s just about how you add on the last few years, because when you get proxy data you sample things like tree rings and ice cores, and they don’t always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years.”
Mere hours later, Jones’s warmist soul mates at RealClimate offered an entirely different explanation:
“The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.”
And later that day, Jean S at Climate Audit explained the reality of the quandary. In order to smooth a timed series, it’s necessary to pad it beyond the end-time. But it seems however hard they tried, when MBH plotted instrumental data against their tree ring reconstructions, no smoothing method would ever undo the fact that after 1960, the tree ring series pointed downward while the instrumental series pointed upward – hence the divergence:
“So Mann’s solution [Mike’s Nature Trick] was to use the instrumental record for padding [both], which changes the smoothed series to point upwards.”
So the author of the email claimed the “trick” was adding instrumental measurements for years beyond available proxy data, his co-conspirators at Real Climate admitted it was actually a replacement of proxy data due to a known yet inexplicable post-1960 “divergence” anomaly, and CA called it what it was – a cheat.
The next day, the UEA spoke out for the first time on the subject when its first related press-release was posted to its homepage. And Jones demonstrated to the world the benefits a good night’s sleep imparts to one’s memory, though not one’s integrity:
“The word 'trick' was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.”
Of course, RealClimate also avowed there was “no evidence of the falsifying of data” in the emails. But as Jones chose not to walk back his statement that the “tricks” were rarely exercised, and even assured us that he was “refer[ring] to one diagram – not a scientific paper,” his explanation remained at–odds with that of his virtual-confederates at RC.
And as Jones must have known at the time -- such would prove to be the very least of CRU’s problems.
Getting with the Green Program(s)
One can only imagine the angst suffered daily by the co-conspirators, who knew full well that the “Documents” sub-folder of the CRU FOI2009 file contained more than enough probative program source code to unmask CRU’s phantom methodology.
In fact, there are hundreds of IDL and FORTRAN source files buried in dozens of subordinate sub-folders. And many do properly analyze and chart maximum latewood density (MXD), the growth parameter commonly utilized by CRU scientists as a temperature proxy, from raw or legitimately normalized data. Ah, but many do so much more.
Skimming through the often spaghetti-like code, the number of programs which subject the data to a mixed-bag of transformative and filtering routines is simply staggering. Granted, many of these “alterations” run from benign smoothing algorithms (e.g. omitting rogue outliers) to moderate infilling mechanisms (e.g. estimating missing station data from that of those closely surrounding). But many others fall into the precarious range between highly questionable (removing MXD data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line).
In fact, workarounds for the post-1960 “divergence problem”, as described by both RealClimate and Climate Audit, can be found throughout the source code. So much so that perhaps the most ubiquitous programmer’s comment (REM) I ran across warns that the particular module “Uses ‘corrected’ MXD - but shouldn't usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.”
What exactly is meant by “corrected” MXD, you ask? Outstanding question -- and the answer appears amorphous from program to program. Indeed, while some employ one or two of the aforementioned “corrections,” others throw everything but the kitchen sink at the raw data prior to output.
For instance, in subfolder “osborn-tree6mannoldprog” there’s a program (Calibrate_mxd.pro) that calibrates the MXD data against available local instrumental summer (growing season) temperatures between 1911-1990, then merges that data into a new file. That file is then digested and further modified by another program (Pl_calibmxd1.pro) which creates calibration statistics for the MXD against the stored temperature and “estimates” (infills) figures where such temperature readings were not available. The file created by that program is modified once again by Pl_Decline.pro, which “corrects it” – as described by the author -- by “identifying and “artificially” removing “the decline.”
But oddly enough – the series doesn’t begin its “decline adjustment” in 1960 -- the supposed year of the enigmatic “divergence.” In fact, all data between 1930 and 1994 are subject to “correction.”
And such games are by no means unique to the folder attributed to Michael Mann.
A Clear and Present Rearranger
In 2 other programs, briffa_Sep98_d.pro and briffa_Sep98_e.pro, the “correction” is bolder by far. The programmer (Keith Briffa?) entitled the “adjustment” routine “Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!” And he/she wasn’t kidding. Now, IDL is not a native language of mine, but its syntax is similar enough to others I’m familiar with, so please bear with me while I get a tad techie on you.
Here’s the “fudge factor” (notice the brash SOB actually called it that in his REM statement):
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
These 2 lines of code establish a 20 element array (yrloc) comprised of the year 1400 (base year but not sure why needed here) and 19 years between 1904 and 1994 in half-decade increments. Then the corresponding “fudge factor” (from the valadj matrix) is applied to each interval. As you can see, not only are temperatures biased to the upside later in the century (though certainly prior to 1960) but a few mid-century intervals are being biased slightly lower. That, coupled with the post-1930 restatement we encountered earlier, would imply that in addition to an embarrassing false decline experienced with their MXD after 1960 (or earlier), CRU’s “divergence problem” also includes a minor false incline after 1930.
And the former apparently wasn’t a particularly well-guarded secret, although the actual adjustment period remained buried beneath the surface.
Plotting programs such as data4alps.pro print this reminder to the user prior to rendering the chart:
“IMPORTANT NOTE: The data after 1960 should not be used. The tree-ring density records tend to show a decline after 1960 relative to the summer temperature in many high-latitude locations. In this data set this ‘decline’ has been artificially removed in an ad-hoc way, and this means that data after 1960 no longer represent tree-ring density variations, but have been modified to look more like the observed temperatures.”
Others, such as mxdgrid2ascii.pro, issue this warning:
“NOTE: recent decline in tree-ring density has been ARTIFICIALLY REMOVED to facilitate calibration. THEREFORE, post-1960 values will be much closer to observed temperatures then (sic) they should be which will incorrectly imply the reconstruction is more skilful than it actually is. See Osborn et al. (2004).'
Care to offer another explanation, Dr. Jones?
Clamoring alarmists can and will spin this until they’re dizzy. The ever-clueless mainstream media can and will ignore this until it’s forced upon them as front-page news, and then most will join the alarmists on the denial merry-go-round.
But here’s what’s undeniable: If a divergence exists between measured temperatures and those derived from dendrochronological data after (circa) 1960 then discarding only the post-1960 figures is disingenuous to say the least. The very existence of a divergence betrays a potential serious flaw in the process by which temperatures are reconstructed from tree-ring density. If it’s bogus beyond a set threshold, then any honest men of science would instinctively question its integrity prior to that boundary. And only the lowliest would apply a hack in order to produce a desired result.
And to do so without declaring as such in a footnote on every chart in every report in every study in every book in every classroom on every website that such a corrupt process is relied upon is not just a crime against science, it’s a crime against mankind.
Indeed, miners of the CRU folder have unearthed dozens of email threads and supporting documents revealing much to loathe about this cadre of hucksters and their vile intentions. This veritable goldmine has given us tales ranging from evidence destruction to spitting on the Freedom of Information Act on both sides of the Atlantic. But the now irrefutable evidence that alarmists have indeed been cooking the data for at least a decade may just be the most important strike in human history.
Advocates of the global governance/financial redistribution sought by the United Nations at Copenhagen in two weeks and the expanded domestic governance/financial redistribution sought by Liberal politicians both substantiate their drastic proposals with the pending climate emergency predicted in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Kyoto, Waxman-Markey, Kerry-Boxer, EPA regulation of the very substances of life – all bad policy concepts enabled solely by IPCC reports. And the IPCC, in turn, bases those reports largely on the data and charts provided by the research scientists at CRU – largely from tree ring data -- who just happen to be editors and lead authors of that same U.N. panel.
Bottom line: CRU’s evidence is now irrevocably tainted. As such -- all assumptions based on that evidence must now be reevaluated and readjudicated. And all policy based on those counterfeit assumptions must also be re-examined.
Gotcha. We’ve known they’ve been lying all along, and now we can prove it. It’s time to bring sanity back to this debate.
It’s time for the First IPCC Reassessment Report.
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at November 25, 2009 - 02:08:23 PM EST
A Couple William Briggs Pieces
Reply #179 on:
November 25, 2009, 08:53:10 PM »
Yet more climategate posts. I've enjoyed this statisticians' pieces before. Got a feeling he's gonna be driving some serious stakes through alarmist hearts:
The CRU “climategate” proxy code: a primer
Published by Briggs at 8:24 am under Bad Stats, Climatology
I’m just getting into the CRU code: it’s a lot of material and everything I say here about it is preliminary. Some of you will know what I’m going to say about proxies, but stick with me, it’s important. I apologize for the length: it’s necessary. Please help by linking this around to other sites which discuss the proxy data or code. I’ll make corrections as we go.
How do we know the temperature?
We have no direct observations of temperature—neither at the Earth’s surface or in the atmosphere—for the vast majority of history. So how can we know what the temperature used to be in the absence of actual measurements?
We can’t. We can only guess.
That’s right, all those squiggly-line pictures of temperature you see from before roughly 1900 are reconstructions; the lines are what is spit out of statistical models. They are therefore merely guesses. Even stronger, we have no way to know exactly how good these reconstructions are. If we did, then, obviously, we would know the actual temperatures, because the only way to know the actual model error is to compare the model’s predictions against the real data (which we don’t know).
To emphasize: the actual—as opposed to theoretical model—error is unknown. But we must try and estimate this error—it is of utmost importance—otherwise we cannot make decisions about the reconstructions.
How do we create a reconstruction? By using proxies, which are not temperatures but are observations of physical entities thought to be related to temperature. Tree ring widths are one well known proxy; bore-hole, ice core, and coral reef measurements are others.
Focus on tree rings, because CRU does. Through various methods, we can generally guess how old a tree is; or, that is, the years the various rings were grown—but sometimes this is a guess, too, but not a bad one. When it’s warmer, trees grow better—on average—and have wider rings; when it’s colder, the don’t grow as well—on average—and have narrower rings. The idea is sound: correlate (I use this word in its plain English sense) tree ring widths with temperature, and where we only have tree rings, we can use them and the correlation to guess temps.
(Incidentally, I find this correlation amusing. Can you guess why?)
Proxy reconstruction mechanics
Here’s how proxies work. We have some actual temperature measurements, call them yt, which overlap proxy measures, call them xt, where the subscript represents time. The next step is to build a model
yt = m(β, xt) + error
which says that yt is modeled as a function m() of the proxies xt and (multi-dimensional) parameter β, plus some error.
The model m() is not given to us from On High. Its form and shapes are a guess; and different people can have different guesses, and different models will give different reconstructions.
Once a model is stated, statistical procedure (frequentist and Bayesian) then makes a guess about β and the error. The error guess allows us to say how good the guess of β is given m() is true. The parameter guess and values of xt where we do not know and values of yt are plugged back into the model, which spits out guesses of yt.
Pay attention: we all know that these guesses of yts are not 100% accurate, so uncertainty about their values should be given. All those squiggly-line plots should (ethically) also contain an indication of the error of the lines. Some kind of plus/minus should always be there.
The huge problem with this is that the plus/minus lines around about the guess of β, which we don’t care about. We want to know the value of the temperature, not of some parameter. Technically, the uncertainty due to estimating β should be accounted for in making guesses of the temperature. If this is done, then the range of the plus/minus bands should be multiplied by from about 2 to 10! (Yes, that much.) And remember, all this is contingent on m() being true.
But if there is no plus/minus, how can we tell how confident we should be about any reconstructed trends? Answer: we cannot be confident at all. Since we typically do not see indications of uncertainty accompanying reconstructions, we have to hunt for the sources of uncertainty in the CRU code, which we can then use to figure our own plus/minus bands.
One example from something called a “SOAP-D-15-berlin-d15-jj” document. A non-native English speaker shows a plot of various proxy reconstructions from which he wanted to “reconstruct millennial [Northern Hemisphere] temperatures.” He said, “These attempts did not show, however, converge towards a unique millennial history, as shown in Fig. 1. Note that the proxy series have already undergone a linear transformation towards a best estimate to the CRU data (which makes them look more similar, cf. Briffa and Osborn, 2002).”
In other words, direct effort was made to finagle the various reconstructions so that they agreed with preconceptions. Those efforts failed. It’s like being hit in the head with a hockey stick.
Sources of reconstruction uncertainty
Here is a list of all the sources of error, variability, and uncertainty and whether those sources—as far as I can see: which means I might be wrong, but willing to be corrected—are properly accounted for by the CRU crew, and its likely effects on the certainty we have in proxy reconstructions:
Source: The proxy relationship with temperature is assumed constant through time. Accounted: No. Effects: entirely unknown, but should boost uncertainty.
Source: The proxy relationship with temperature is assumed constant through space. Accounted: No. Effects: A tree ring from California might not have the same temperature relationship as one from Greece. Boosts uncertainty.
Source: The proxies are measured with error (the “on average” correlation mentioned above). Accounted: No. Effects: certainly boosts uncertainty.
Source: Groups of proxies are sometimes smoothed before input to models. Accounted: No. Effect: a potentially huge source of error; smoothing always increases “signal”, even when those signals aren’t truly there. Boost uncertainty by a lot.
Source: The choice of the model m(). Accounted: No. Effect: results are always stated the model is true; potentially huge source of error. Boost uncertainty by a lot.
Source: The choice of the model m() error term. Accounted: Yes. Effect: the one area where we can be confident of the statistics.
Source: The results are stated as estimates of β Accounted: No. Effects: most classical (frequentist and Bayesian) procedures state uncertainty results about parameters not about actual, physical observables. Boost uncertainty by anywhere from two to ten times.
Source: The computer code is complex. multi-part, and multi-authored. Accounted: No. Effects: many areas for error to creep in; code is unaudited. Obviously boost uncertainty.
Source: Humans with a point of view release results. Accounted: No. Effects: judging by the tone of the CRU emails, and what is as stake, certainly boost uncertainty.
There you have it: all the potential sources of uncertainty (I’ve no doubt forgotten something), only one of which is accounted for in interpreting results. Like I’ve been saying all along: too many people are too certain of too many things.
Second Briggs Post:
- Pajamas Media -
What Is — and What Isn’t — Evidence of Global Warming
Posted By William M. Briggs On November 25, 2009 @ 12:22 am In . Column1 02, Blogosphere, Media, Science, Science & Technology, US News, World News | 40 Comments
“Climategate” has everybody rethinking global warming. Many are wondering — if leading scientists were tempted to finagle their data, is the evidence for catastrophic climate change weaker than previously thought?
Actually, the evidence was never even evidence.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding — shared by nearly everybody about the nature of anthropogenic global warming theory (AGW) — over exactly what constitutes evidence for that theory and what does not.
Remember when we heard that the icebergs were melting, that polar bears were decreasing in number, that some places were drier than usual and that others were wetter, that the ocean was growing saltier here and fresher there, and that hurricanes were becoming more terrifying? Remember the hundreds of reports on what happens when it gets hot outside?
All of those observations might have been true, but absolutely none of them were evidence of AGW.
Diminishing glaciers did not prove AGW; they were instead a verification that ice melts when it gets hot. Fewer polar bears did not count in favor of AGW; it instead perhaps meant that maybe adult bears prefer a chill to get in the mood. People sidling up to microphones and trumpeting “It’s bad out there, worse than we thought!” was not evidence of AGW; it was evidence of how easily certain people could work themselves into a lather.
No observation of what happened to any particular thing when the air was warm was direct evidence of AGW. None of it.
Every breathless report you heard did nothing more than state the obvious: Some creatures and some geophysical processes act or behave differently when it is hot than when it is cold. Only this, and nothing more.
Can you recall where you were when you heard that global warming was going to cause an increase in kidney stones, more suicides in Italy, larger grape harvests in France, and smaller grape harvests in France? How about when you heard that people in one country would grow apathetic, that those in another would grow belligerent, and — my favorite  — that prostitutes would be on the rise in the Philippines? That the world would come to a heated end, and that women and minorities would be hardest hit?
Not a single one of these predictions was ever evidence of AGW.
For years, it was as if there was a contest for the most outlandish claim of what might happen if AGW were true. But no statement of what might happen if AGW is true is evidence for AGW. Those prognostications were only evidence of the capacity for fanciful speculation. Merely this and nothing more.
So if observations of what happens when it’s hot outside don’t verify AGW, and if predictions of what might happen given AGW were true do not verify AGW, what does? Why did people get so excited?
In the late 1990s, some places on Earth were hotter than they were in the late 1980s. These observations were indirect — and not direct — evidence of AGW. The Earth’s climate has never been static; temperatures sometimes rise and sometimes fall. So just because we see rising temperatures at one point does not prove AGW is true. After all, temperatures have been falling  over the last decade, and AGW supporters still say their theory is true. Rising — or falling — temperatures are thus consistent with many theories of climate, not just AGW.
Climate scientists then built AGW models, incorporating the observed temperatures. They worked hard at fitting those models so that the models could reproduce the rising temperatures of the 1990s, while at the same time fitting the falling temperatures of the 1970s, etc. They had to twist and tweak — and with the CRU emails , it now appears they twiddled. They had to cram those observations into the models and, by God, make them fit, like a woman trying on her favorite jeans after Thanksgiving.
They then announced to the world that AGW was true — because their models said it was.
But a model fitting old data is not direct evidence that the theory behind the model is true. Many alternate models can fit that data equally well. It is a necessary requirement for any model, were it true, to fit the data, but because it happens to is not a proof that the model is valid.
For a model to be believable it must make skillful predictions of independent data. It must, that is, make accurate forecasts of the future. The AGW models have not yet done so. There is, therefore, no direct evidence for AGW.
The models predicted warmer temperatures, but it got cooler. One of the revealed CRU emails found one prominent gentlemen saying, “We can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
It is. But only if you were concerned that the AGW theory will be nevermore.
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Re: Pathological Science
Reply #180 on:
November 26, 2009, 03:59:52 AM »
tree growth is affected by a bunch of stuff. so the temperature could be the same, but there was less water (rain) this year. The tree survived a forest fire and goes thru slow growth while the scorch heals. heck various levels of undergrowth might have an effect too. Krakatoa probably skewed some of the temperature results for the model too. both from dust shade, and temperature adjustment of all the plants.
do the rings on fir trees across the world vary the same amount for that particular year? If not, what is causing the variation?
How accurate were the thermometers used to read temperatures back then too?
AGW Litigation and Ethics Issues Loom
Reply #181 on:
November 26, 2009, 01:04:58 PM »
'You've Taken the Words Out of My Mouth'
"Peer review," scientific corruption and the New York Times.
By JAMES TARANTO
(Editor's note: We plan to take off the Friday after Thanksgiving. See you next week.)
The massive University of East Anglia global-warmist archives are now searchable at this site, and one particular email demonstrates the nexus between the scientific shenanigans and the popular press, on which most people rely for their information on global warming. This email, dated Sept. 29, 2009, is from Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University to New York Times warm correspondent Andrew Revkin. The crucial exchange begins with this question from Revkin (quoting verbatim):
I'm going to blog on this as it relates to the value of the peer review process and not on the merits of the mcintyre et al attacks.
peer review, for all its imperfections, is where the herky-jerky process of knowledge building happens, would you agree?
And here is Mann's response:
Re, your point at the end--you've taken the words out of my mouth. Skepticism is essential for the functioning of science. It yields an erratic path towards eventual truth. But legitimate scientific skepticism is exercised through formal scientific circles, in particular the peer review process. A necessary though not in general sufficient condition for taking a scientific criticism seriously is that it has passed through the legitimate scientific peer review process. those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.
In principle, Revkin and Mann are quite right. But as we noted Monday, one of the most damning findings in the archives concerns the corruption of the peer-review process.
In one email, under the subject line "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL," Phil Jones of East Anglia writes to Mann: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow--even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
In another, Mann--discussing a journal that has published a paper by skeptical scientists, puts forward a plan for such a redefinition:
This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the "peer-reviewed literature". Obviously, they found a solution to that--take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board...
The scare quotes around "peer-reviewed literature" are Mann's. And it hardly needs to be said that peer review is a sham if papers that present alternative hypotheses are not even allowed into the process.
So how does Revkin, who two months ago took the words out of Mann's mouth, deal with this problem? Barely at all. In a Sunday amendment to a Friday blog post, he mentions it and quickly changes the subject:
[UPDATE, 11/22: Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post explores some email exchanges criticizing certain peer-reviewed papers and journals and focused on excluding the papers from inclusion in the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change report. I'm running down tips and assertions related to the theft and hackings. It remains interesting that before they were placed on an ftp site and dispersed across the Internet, someone tried to plant them on Realclimate.org and publish a mock post linking to them. Needless to say, if anyone has information or ideas, feel free to email dotearth AT nytimes.com.]
Yesterday, he had another post, titled "Report Aims to Clarify Climate Risk for Diplomats." Here's how it begins:
A team of climate scientists, seeking to remind the negotiators who will hammer out a new climate treaty of what is at stake, has produced The Copenhagen Diagnosis, a summary of the latest peer-reviewed science on the anticipated impacts of human-driven global warming.
Revkin reports that the "latest peer-reviewed science" shows that "the case for climate change as a serious risk to human affairs" is "clear, despite recent firestorms over some data sets and scientists' actions."
What we now know about the "peer review" process in this field indicates that this is a predetermined conclusion. Revkin misleads his readers by describing it as if it were a real finding.
The Litigation Begins
Yesterday "the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies' refusal--for nearly three years--to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act," CEI fellow Christopher Horner announces at Pajamas Media:
The information sought is directly relevant to the exploding "Climategate" scandal revealing document destruction, coordinated efforts in the U.S. and UK to avoid complying with both countries' freedom of information laws, and apparent and widespread intent to defraud at the highest levels of international climate science bodies. Numerous informed commenters had alleged such behavior for years, all of which appears to be affirmed by leaked emails, computer code, and other data from the Climatic Research Unit of the UK's East Anglia University.
All of that material, and that sought for years by CEI, goes to the heart of the scientific claims and campaign underpinning the Kyoto Protocol, its planned successor treaty, "cap-and-trade" legislation, and the EPA's threatened regulatory campaign to impose similar measures through the back door.
A lawyer writes us that "'the purloined 'global warming emails' suggest several lines of legal inquiry":
Tortious interference. For researchers and academicians, publication in peer-reviewed journals is important to advancement, raises, grant funding, etc. Wrongful interference with the ability to publish has monetary and reputational damages. If that interference is based not on editorial judgment of worthiness for publication, but rather on protecting reputations, scientific positions, political goals or "places in history" (as mentioned in one email), then it could give rise to liability in tort for the individual scientist and possibly for the university or organization for which he works.
Breach of faculty ethics standards or contracts. Most universities and research organizations have ethics clauses in their faculty/employee manuals and in their contracts with faculty/researchers. If (as suggested by the purloined emails) these individuals cooked data or manipulated assumptions to achieve preferred outcomes, or denied others access to data essential for replication of result that is essential to the scientific method, they could have violated university or organizational ethics standards.
State-chartered universities. Some of these individuals appear to work for state-chartered and state-funded institutions, and might well be classified as state employees (and thereby eligible for generous state benefits). The conduct suggested by the purloined emails might violate state ethics or funding policies. State governments and legislatures therefore might have a basis for inquiry and oversight.
Federal grants. Federal grants typically have ethics/integrity clauses to assure that the research funded by the grant is credible and reliable (and to assure that the agency can avoid accountability if it isn't). As noted, the purloined emails suggest that data might have been cooked and assumptions might have been manipulated to generate a predetermined outcome. If true, and if the work in question was funded by federal grant, the researchers in question might well have violated their federal grant contracts--for which there are legal consequences. Inspectors general of the grant agencies should be in position to make inquiry if the data/assumptions in question could be linked in time and topic to a contemporaneous federal grant to the researchers in question.
This promises be a boon for comedians as well as lawyers. Here's our first effort:
Q: How many climate scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There's a consensus that it's going to change, so they've decided to keep us in the dark.
Basic Premise Demonstrated False
Reply #182 on:
November 27, 2009, 02:41:45 PM »
November 27, 2009
Politics and Greenhouse Gases
By John McLaughlin
Advocates and sympathetic politicians claiming that man-made global warming from use of carbon-based energy sources mandates international controls on economically prosperous nations were already worried that their victory is slipping. Now another blow has been struck against the basic "science" used to support their case. Following an extensive theoretical analysis, two German physicists have determined that the term greenhouse gas is a misnomer and that the greenhouse effect appears to violate basic laws of physics.
To briefly review, the entire argument for immediate political action on carbon-based emissions rests upon three premises, formulated over the last twenty years by scientists affiliated with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):
1. The planet is experiencing worldwide atmospheric warming, threatening life as we know it.
2. This warming is unprecedented because average worldwide temperatures for at least a thousand years have shown no significant variation until the last seventy years, which correlates with a thirty-percent increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) gas generated by industrial activity.
3. Invoking a "greenhouse effect" model, the IPCC claims that CO2 exhibits a property involving special characteristics of long-wave energy absorption and radiation with altitude (called "radiative forcing") which accelerates near-surface warming and, as the CO2 quantity increases, spells planetary disaster unless reversed.
In an AT article posted September 27, I laid out the case for why the first two premises were flawed, if not outright fraudulent. Now, the IPCC "consensus" atmospheric physics model tying CO2 to global warming has been shown not only to be unverifiable, but to actually violate basic laws of physics.
The analysis comes from an independent theoretical study detailed in a lengthy (115 pages), mathematically complex (144 equations, 13 data tables, and 32 figures or graphs), and well-sourced (205 references) paper prepared by two German physicists, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner, and published in several updated versions over the last couple of years. The latest version appears in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics. In the paper, the two authors analyze the greenhouse gas model from its origin in the mid-19th century to the present IPCC application.
The Greenhouse Model
The paper initially tackles the concept of thermal conductivity of the atmosphere (vital for any discussion of radiative heat transfer) and how it is affected by carbon dioxide, which, they point out, is a trace gas. The current estimated concentration of CO2 is 0.04% by volume and 0.06% by mass. Gerlich and Tscheuschner show that even if CO2 concentrations double (a prospect even global warming advocates admit is decades away), the thermal conductivity of air would not change more than 0.03% -- within the margin of measuring error.
The authors then devote nearly twenty pages to a detailed theoretical and experimental model analysis of the classic glass greenhouse. This model posits that glass surrounding a large volume of air allows solar radiation to pass through to heat the greenhouse surface and then selectively blocks resulting infrared energy from escaping. However, calculations show that no property of glass can adequately explain the temperature rise. Normal glass assumed in the model just cannot selectively screen and filter sufficient radiation energy by spectral absorption or reflection. Thus, assumption of a dominant radiative heating model must be incorrect.
Gerlich and Tscheuschner rely on referenced experimental evidence to show what is really going on. The dominant heat transfer mechanism is not radiation, but convection. Experimental evidence shows a greenhouse interior warms merely because the glass physically traps interior rising air, which then becomes warmer and warmer relative to air outside the greenhouse, which conversely can rise and cool unimpeded.
If the classic glass greenhouse model is obviously wrong, then this raises suspicions about the atmospheric "greenhouse effect" itself. The authors examine definitions of "greenhouse effect" by three respected sources (the Dictionary of Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Astronomy; the Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics; and Encyclopedia Britannica Online). They show how each uses ill-defined global concepts (such as "mean temperature"), confuse infrared radiation with heat (they're different), incorrectly describe the physics inside a glass greenhouse, and use other terms unsupported by the laws of physics.
Surprisingly, the authors find that the term "atmospheric greenhouse effect" does not occur in any fundamental work or text involving thermodynamics, physical kinetics, or radiation theory. They then attempt to fill that void. They first derive the generalized equations a computer would have to solve to calculate an average radiative temperature for a rotating smooth globe without oceans (half exposed to the sun and half not) and inclined relative to the sun (as is Earth). They show that for a globe the size of Earth, even this simple non-convection model would be unsolvable by the most powerful computers available today or for the foreseeable future -- not only because of the quantity of calculations required, but also because of the impossibility of setting the initial boundary conditions at every point needed to even begin the calculation process.
Relevant Atmospheric Physics
Gerlich and Tscheuschner next show that even the simplest forms of the special equations needed for a true analysis of magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) relationships involved in planetary atmospheric heating cannot be solved -- even for small-space regions and small-time intervals -- because of the inhomogenities of each fluid involved and relevant solid, liquid, and gaseous phases to be considered. The real world is just too complex.
However, they are able to show that MHD-type equations offer no terms corresponding to absorption of electromagnetic radiation, do not include equations for "radiative transfer," and give no indication of the point where the concentration of carbon dioxide would even enter into the computations. Further, they go on to show that any mechanism whereby CO2 in the cooler upper atmosphere could exert any thermal enhancing or "forcing" effect on the warmer surface below violates both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.
There are too many different transfer phenomena (radiative transfer, heat transfer, momentum transfer, mass transfer, energy transfer, etc.) and types of interfaces (static or moving) between solids, fluids, gases, plasmas, etc. for which no applicable scientific theory nor ability to determine boundary conditions exists. "Hence, the computer simulations of global climatology are not based on physical laws," the authors conclude (their emphasis). "Nevertheless, in their summaries for policymakers, global climatologists claim that they can compute the influence of carbon dioxide on the climate."
Dr. Roy Spencer, in his book Climate Confusion, points out how man-made global warming alarmists attempt to mislead the public by claiming that global CO2 emissions total about 50 billion tons per year while failing to acknowledge that the total weight of the atmosphere is 5 quadrillion tons. In other words, the 50 billion tons adds to 5 million billion tons, or a mere 10 parts per million -- relatively speaking, a trivial change each year.
Spencer shows how with oceans covering nearly seventy percent of Earth, water vapor and ocean currents totally dominate our global climate. He attributes oceanic and atmospheric circulation in the North Pacific as the dominant modern climate forcing mechanism. As for infrared radiation, Gerlich and Tscheuschner agree with earlier studies that water vapor is responsible for most of the IR absorption in the Earth's atmosphere. Thus, any infrared radiation absorbed by carbon dioxide represents only a tiny part of the full IR spectrum and is affected little by raising CO2 concentration.
Gerlich and Tscheuschner state without equivocation that there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effect which explains the relevant physical phenomena. They call the terms greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases "deliberate misnomers" and a "myth beyond physical reality" and conclude:
The point discussed here was to answer the question, whether the supposed atmospheric effect has a physical basis. This is not the case. In summary, there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect, in particular CO2-greenhouse effect, in theoretical physics and engineering thermodynamics. Thus it is illegitimate to deduce predictions which provide a consulting solution for economics and intergovernmental policy.
Thus, scientific support for the man-made global warming hoax slowly collapses while politicians rush to lock in massive international wealth-redistribution in its name. Those pesky "greenhouse gases" just don't behave in a politically correct manner.
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at November 27, 2009 - 03:40:44 PM EST
Re: Pathological Science, Washington Post on the Emails
Reply #183 on:
November 27, 2009, 10:24:29 PM »
This should really be in 'Media Issues' since the silence of the "Lamestream Media" on the biggest story of the decade has started to become the story and the piece has no science or substance. The Editorial has to explain about the email leak since the news department seemed to miss it, then explain that the conclusions remain the same, obviously, even though all the supporting data is now in doubt. That makes sense to them, I suppose.
I post this both to rip them and to cover what the 'other side' is saying in the absence of dissent on the forum.
Like most liberal pieces, it starts with a lie in the first sentence and throws in a name-call for good measure: "Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers."
In fact, the hyperventilating is coming from the alarmists, 'we must act now or the planet will die of a fever' and the people he calls deniers of a normal cycle, climate change are climate change rationalists, not deniers. The reality deniers are the ones who see a 0.5 degree rise over a century and call it 'unprecedented'.
E-mails Don't Prove Warming is a Fraud
By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud.
If I'm wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they're free to stop melting.
That said, the e-mail episode is more than a major embarrassment for the scientists involved. Most Americans are convinced that climate change is real -- a necessary prerequisite for the kinds of huge economic and behavioral adjustments we would have to make to begin seriously limiting carbon emissions. But consensus on the nature and scope of the problem will dissipate, and fast, if experts try to obscure the fact that there's much about the climate they still don't know.
Here's what happened: Someone hacked into the servers at one of the leading academic centers in the field -- the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England -- and filched a trove of e-mails and documents, which have been posted on numerous Web sites maintained by climate skeptics.
Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well." That would be an example of British understatement.
In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a "trick" with recent temperature data to "hide the decline." The word "trick" is hardly a smoking gun -- scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data. But the "hide the decline" part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the "divergence problem."
To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years -- long before anyone was taking measurements -- you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings correlates well with observed temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar "hockey stick" graph -- fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.
But beginning around 1960, tree-ring data diverges from observed temperatures. Skeptics say this calls into question whether tree-ring data is valid for earlier periods on the flat portion of the hockey stick -- say, 500 or 1,000 years ago. Jones and others acknowledge they don't know what the divergence means, but they point to actual temperatures: It's warmer now than it was 100 years ago.
Another e-mail -- from Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. -- is even more heartening to the skeptics. Trenberth wrote last month of the unusually cool autumn that Colorado was experiencing, and went on: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."
He appears to be conceding skeptics' claim that over the past decade there has been no observed warming. In truth, though, that wouldn't be much of a concession. At issue is the long-term trend, and one would expect anomalous blips from time to time.
From my reading, the most damning e-mails are those in which scientists seem to be trying to squelch dissent from climate change orthodoxy -- threatening to withhold papers from journals if they publish the work of naysayers, vowing to keep skeptical research out of the official U.N.-sponsored report on climate change.
In his statement, Jones noted that the e-mail hack occurred just days before the climate summit in Copenhagen. "This may be a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change," he said. There's that understatement again.
The fact is that climate science is fiendishly hard because of the enormous number of variables that interact in ways no one fully understands. Scientists should welcome contrarian views from respected colleagues, not try to squelch them. They should admit what they don't know.
It would be great if this were all a big misunderstanding. But we know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and we know the planet is hotter than it was a century ago. The skeptics might have convinced each other, but so far they haven't gotten through to the vanishing polar ice.
One Man's Search for AGW
Reply #184 on:
November 28, 2009, 06:35:18 PM »
Climategate: The Travails of a Global Warming Hobbyist
Posted By Terry Hughes On November 28, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, Computers, Environment, Internet, Politics, Science, US News | 68 Comments
In 2006, when we were being absolutely inundated by the shrill voices of global warming both pro and con, I, like a great many Americans, didn’t know exactly what to believe. I wasn’t ready to don my aluminum foil hat and go sit at the table where the voices cried out “global one world government conspiracy.” Neither was I ready for hemp clothing, joining the folks over at Al’s table to denigrate the “flat earth global warming deniers.”
So what’s the average guy to do? Geek that I am, I started downloading a hundred years worth of temperature data from the government web site, and built my own dataset, for my hometown of Phoenix.
Now bear in mind I’m not a climate researcher. I have no credentials that would lend any credence whatsoever to anything I might discover one way or the other. I simply figured I can look at numbers as well as the next guy, and go from there. And voila! I got a hockey stick !
Well, sort of. The numbers went kind of flat around 1998, but then I was only looking at one city, and not the world. I had neither the climate expertise nor the statistical background to fully understand what it was I was seeing, but I figured it should pretty much parallel the famous graph. Shouldn’t it?
As a sanity check, I pulled the data for a town fifty miles west of Phoenix for a hundred years, and no hockey stick. I must have hosed something up somewhere. I double-checked both datasets, double-checked my graphing technique, and couldn’t find any errors. So I pulled the data for a town fifty miles east. It looked just like the western set. Then north and south, which looked like the east and west sets. Not a hockey stick in sight. Just meanderings, a slight climb to 1998, where again, it leveled off. I did notice that 1939 seemed to be the high point, but that wasn’t what the NASA guy was saying; he said it was 1998.
Again, I’m only looking at one little spot, so let’s look at Dallas and surrounding areas. Same results as Phoenix. More research revealed the urban heat island phenomenon , first explored and explained by Luke Howard  in 1810. A ton of work has piggybacked onto that over the years, with algorithms that correlate square miles of asphalt to the corresponding temperature rise. I didn’t know about that before. Well, as I said, I’m not a climate researcher, just a regular guy wondering what the real story is. The urban heat island data sort of gets you the hockey stick, particularly in the Sunbelt cities.
Now it’s 2007. Up to this point, I hadn’t even looked at CO2, but I figured I should since that was what seemed to be getting the lion’s share of press. Again, off to the government site, where I grabbed a bunch of numbers and started graphing. A pattern emerged, and I got all excited thinking I’d found the answer, when 1998 again raised its ugly head. For about 22 years, the rise in CO2 and the rise in temperature paralleled each other, starting in roughly 1976. But in 1998, the temperature turned right, while CO2 kept right on climbing.
I’m not doing something right, I told myself. I started searching the internet for the model data that these guys at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR ), and NASA were using, and came up empty.
Since the CRU was British, maybe they would have something posted somewhere. What I discovered was the “Maxwell Smart cone of silence” had been lowered around any information concerning how the calculations had been prepared. I was, and still am, astounded at how this is being handled to this very day. A number of these institutions are funded completely with public money, and yet they refuse to provide any data whatsoever. How is this possible?
My patient wife has given herself migraines from the extreme eye rolling she engages in while I’m fooling with this. “Why can’t you go bowling or duck hunting like the other guys?” she’ll lament.
Nobody ever said it was going to be easy for a wanna-be researcher.
I can tell you, from the years I’ve spent both modeling and 5-axis programming airfoils, that different mathematical techniques yield different results. The sum of least squares will give a slightly different result than cubic squares when analysis of surface data is the exercise. I get all that. But I just couldn’t seem to make my tiny little experiment fit the pattern I was being told was the truth, and it didn’t matter what city I used.
Now it can probably be successfully argued that a guy with a laptop searching the internet on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings isn’t really engaged in research, so I’ll call it research by proxy. The people who actually do the research tend to have their papers published online, for people like me to look at. And more than likely there will at least be references to where you can find the data if you’re so inclined. Not so with the whole global warming thing. It was glasnost lite — you simply trust, with no attached verification.
Then 2009 rolled around, and I was no closer to a definitive answer in my own mind about the anthropogenic global warming exercise than when I started. I remembered hearing on the news that the average daytime temperature of Mars was rising. Fine. I set off in search of information on the sun’s radiance and found a whole complete new can of worms to deal with. The sun guys had gobs and gobs of published data showing a correlation between sunspots and atmospheric temperatures on planet Earth.
Now the truly odd thing was they seemed for the most part to agree with each other concerning the relationship of spots to temperature. Where they seemed to differ was the causes of the spots and how to accurately forecast the coming ones. Their charts for the last one hundred years all pretty much agreed with each other. Counterintuitively — the more spots the higher the temperature, the fewer spots the lower the temps. Nowhere did I find sites voicing alternate views on sunspots. Not a tinfoil hat in sight.
So here we are in the closing months of 2009, and we’re hearing that probably a lot of the data in this whole AGW fiasco is now highly suspect, and at no point did I ever see where any of these guys ever talked to, or considered, what the sun guys were saying. For many years I’ve maintained that if there are 1,000 factors governing weather, we make all our forecasts and predictions based on the nine that we know. (Make that ten. The sun guys should be credited with spots.)
The more I’ve seen, the more convinced I’ve become that the global warming crowd latched onto the parallel rise in temperatures and CO2, and built what has essentially become a religion around it. For 22 years it appeared to have been a solid conclusion that they were indeed tied together. Then the inescapable truth of the matter made itself clear in 1998 that they are not necessarily linked in the fashion that was first thought. Entire professional careers have been built around, and on, the premise that man-caused CO2 raises temperatures, and it’s too late to turn back now for most of them.
It appears that Jones and the CRU folks didn’t simply massage the data. As other pundits have pointed out, they waterboarded it. There are several blatantly obvious conclusions to be drawn here. First, any group receiving public money for research must make their data available to all. Even to guys with laptops on Saturday afternoons. Second, it seems that peer review means next to nothing. In the whole AGW thing, collaborating researchers apparently became co-conspirators. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge has no place in honest scientific endeavors. Third, science in general has taken a huge hit, making the average guy wonder if large grants create large lies and vice-versa. Fourth, where the heck has our media been? Menus at the White House are more important than what is possibly the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American public? Apparently, only FOX got the memo. Fifth, school children need to be re-educated that CO2 is not the same as phosgene and sarin.
As for this disenfranchised independent voter, I’m thinking about taking up bowling and duck hunting. This climate researcher gig isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
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The Bad Kind of Data Dump
Reply #185 on:
November 28, 2009, 10:13:38 PM »
November 29, 2009
Climate change data dumped
Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.
In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”
The CRU is the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.
Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. “The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.
Jones was not in charge of the CRU when the data were thrown away in the 1980s, a time when climate change was seen as a less pressing issue. The lost material was used to build the databases that have been his life’s work, showing how the world has warmed by 0.8C over the past 157 years.
He and his colleagues say this temperature rise is “unequivocally” linked to greenhouse gas emissions generated by humans. Their findings are one of the main pieces of evidence used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says global warming is a threat to humanity.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #186 on:
November 29, 2009, 10:46:07 AM »
The dog ate my global warming evidence.
Climategate's Impact on Science
Reply #187 on:
December 01, 2009, 06:41:40 PM »
The Scientific Tragedy of Climategate
Can climate change science recover from the damage done by leaked emails?
Ronald Bailey | December 1, 2009
Climategate. What a hot mess. Researchers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and their colleagues around the globe may have fiddled with historical climate data and possibly the peer review process to ensure that publicized temperature trends fit the narrative of man-made global warming—then they emailed each other about it. Now those emails and other documents have been splashed all over the Web. Revelations contained in the leaked emails are roiling the scientific community and the researchers may be in pretty serious trouble. But the real tragedy of the Climategate scandal is that a lack of confidence in climate data will seriously impair mankind's ability to assess and react properly to a potentially huge problem.
Consider researcher Tom Wigley’s email describing his adjustments to mid-20th century global temperature data in order to lower an inconvenient warming "blip." According to the global warming hypothesis, late 20th century man-made warming was supposed to be faster than earlier natural warming. But the data show rapid "natural" warming in the 1930s. Adjusting the 1940 temperature blip downward makes a better-looking trend line in support of the notion of rapidly accelerating man-made warming. Collecting and evaluating temperature data requires the exercise of scientific judgment, but Wigley's emails suggest a convenient correction of 0.15 degree Celsius that fits the man-made global warming hypothesis. The adjustment may be reasonable—changes in instrumentation might need to be accounted for—but all raw data and the methodologies used to adjust them should be publicly available so others can check them to make sure.
In another set of troubling emails, the CRU crew and associates discussed how to freeze out researchers and editors who expressed doubts about the man-made climate change. For example, an email from CRU’s leader Phil Jones saying that he and Kevin Trenberth would keep two dissenting scientific articles out of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s next report "even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" In addition, the CRU crew evidently plotted to remove journal editors with whom they disagreed and suppress the publication of articles that they disliked. If they actually succeeded, this compounds the tragedy. Eliminating dissenting voices distorts the peer review process and the resulting scientific literature. The world's policymakers rarely enjoy access to complete information, but the Climategate emails suggest they have been robbed of the chance to get the best information available.
In the wake of the Climategate leaks, some researchers are openly decrying the scientific censorship exercised by powerful gatekeepers associated with the CRU. Climatologist Eduardo Zorita at the German Institute for Coastal Research has publicly declared that "editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed." Zorita adds, "In this atmosphere, PhD students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the 'politically correct picture'." Zorita evidently believes even after the email scandal that he will be punished by editors and reviewers for denouncing the CRU crew: "By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication."
Now under pressure, the CRU has finally agreed to publicly release all of its temperature data. Just how valuable this will be has been thrown into doubt, however, since the CRU has admitted, "We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data." This raises legitimate scientific questions about how the lost original data were manipulated to produce the "value-added." The Times (London) reported that Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. "The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science," he said.
Phil Jones, the embattled head of the CRU tried to put to rest concerns about the integrity of his center’s data by issuing this statement:
Our global temperature series tallies with those of other, completely independent, groups of scientists working for NASA and the National Climate Data Center in the United States, among others. Even if you were to ignore our findings, theirs show the same results. The facts speak for themselves; there is no need for anyone to manipulate them.
It is reassuring to think that even if the CRU data are shown to be distorted (either wittingly or unwittingly) other independent sources of data are at hand. But that belief may not be entirely accurate. Besides the CRU temperature data, there are two other leading sources used by the IPCC, one created by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), and the other by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).
While it is true that the scientific groups are independent, as University of Colorado climatologist Roger Pielke Sr. (and father of Pielke Jr.) observes, the temperature data sets are not all that independent. Pielke cites the 2006 U.S. Climate Change Science Program report which noted, "Since the three chosen data sets utilize many of the same raw observations, there is a degree of interdependence." The report further observed, "While there are fundamental differences in the methodology used to create the surface data sets, the differing techniques with the same data produce almost the same results." In 2007, Pielke and his colleagues reported, "The raw surface temperature data from which all of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same. The best estimate that has been reported is that 90–95 percent of the raw data in each of the analyses is the same (P. Jones, personal communication, 2003). That the analyses produce similar trends should therefore come as no surprise."
One of the leaked emails from CRU’s Phil Jones appears to confirm this data interdependence: "Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center." Given this interdependence, Jones’ appeal to correlation with other data sets to support the validity of the CRU data is less convincing than one would hope. To the contrary, the fact that the three data sets correlate so well may instead provoke concerns about the validity of all three.
In an email to University of Alabama climatologist John Christy I asked, "Is there a possibility that the teams that compile temperature data could all be making the same set of errors which would result in them finding similar (and perhaps) spurious trends?" Christy replied that he believed this was possible and cited some recent work he had done on temperature trends in East Africa as evidence. In that article he found that using both the maximum and minimum temperature rather than the mean temperature (TMean) used by the three official data sets gives a better indication of actual temperature trends in the region.
Christy found that the maximum temperature (TMax) trend has been essentially zero since 1900 while the minimum temperature (TMin) trend has been increasing. In his email to me, Christy explained, "As it turns out, TMin warms significantly due to factors other than the greenhouse effect, so TMean, because it is affected by TMin, is a poor proxy for understanding the greenhouse effect of 'global warming'." Or as his journal article puts it, "There appears to be little change in East Africa’s TMax, and if TMax is a suitable proxy for climate changes affecting the deep atmosphere, there has been little impact in the past half-century." So if Christy’s analysis is correct, much of the global warming in East Africa reported by the three official data sets is exaggerated. Christy has found similar effects on temperature trend reporting for other regions of the world.
Roger Pielke Jr. notes, "If it turns out that the choices made by CRU, GISS, NOAA fall on the 'maximize historical trends' end of the scale that will not help their perceived credibility for obvious reasons." On the other hand, Pielke Jr. adds that Climategate could dissipate if probing by outside researchers finds that CRU, GISS, and NOAA researchers made temperature data adjustments "in the middle of the range or even low end, then this will enhance their credibility." The good news is that a truly independent set of temperature data has been produced over the past thirty years by NOAA satellites. In general, the global satellite temperature trends tend to be on the low end of the climate computer model projections.
The more benign interpretation of what has been going on in climate change science is that as the man-made global warming narrative took hold among climatologists, research that confirmed the dominant paradigm had a much easier time getting through the peer review process. Meanwhile research that contradicted the paradigm was subject to much greater scrutiny and thus had a harder time making it through the peer review sieve. Scientists are human too and not free from confirmation bias.
But for now, regardless of the motivations of the researchers, damage has been done. How can the world of climate science recover? First, carry out independent investigations of the activities of the researchers involved. Pennsylvania State University has announced that it will investigate the activities of researcher Michael Mann who worked closely with the CRU and several times expressed in the leaked emails his desire to stifle the scientific work of researchers with whom he disagreed. In Britain, Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, has called for an independent investigation of the CRU. Tireless journalistic global warming scold George Monbiot has declared, "It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow…. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign."
Another important step to recovering from the tragedy of Climategate is to institute the kind of research transparency that should have been happening in the first place. "Climate data needs to be publicly available and well documented," argues Georgia Tech climatologist Judith Curry. "This includes metadata that explains how the data were treated and manipulated, what assumptions were made in assembling the data sets, and what data was omitted and why."
In a BBC News article, Michael Hulme, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia and Jerome Ravetz, who is associated with an institute at Oxford University, warn that the tribalism revealed in the leaked CRU emails is damaging public trust in climate science. In addition, they believe that the usefulness of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which relied heavily on the work of CRU scientists, may have run its course. Hulme and Ravetz worry that the IPCC’s "structural tendency to politicize climate change science…has helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production—just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive."
And greater transparency should not be limited to just temperature data, but to all aspects of climate science. In an email response to me, climatologist Pielke Sr., argues, "I completely support the view that the computer software [of climate models] must be available for scrutiny by independent scientists. Otherwise these models should not be used in climate assessment reports." Only through such transparency can other researchers determine whether or not climate models are adequate forecasters of future climate change or are merely prejudices made plausible.
One thing more transparency won't fix: the complications and uncertainty inherent in the policy debate about global warming. "In the end, I would hypothesize that the result of the freeing of data and code will necessarily lead to a more robust understanding of scientific uncertainties, [and] that may have the perverse effect of making the future less clear," emails Pielke Jr. "The inability to tolerate dissent has unfortunately destroyed the credibility of climate change science and I don’t know how it’s going to come back," laments climatologist and free-market Cato Institute fellow Patrick Michaels, who was frequently reviled in the CRU emails. "I don’t know how the public and policymakers will ever trust what climate scientists say in the future."
In their zeal to marginalize and stifle their critics, this insular band of climate researchers has damaged the very science they sought to defend. We all now are the losers. That’s the true tragedy of Climategate.
Ronald Bailey is Reason's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is available from Prometheus Books.
Jon Stewart Piles On
Reply #188 on:
December 02, 2009, 10:24:53 AM »
The Daily Show's take:
Grr, can't embed this video so double click on it to watch it on YouTube.
Caught Green Handed
Reply #189 on:
December 02, 2009, 10:52:24 AM »
A long, authoritative examination of Climategate and it's implications by non-alarmist gadfly Lord Monckton:
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #190 on:
December 03, 2009, 06:42:37 AM »
well, there goes a lot of funding for green projects, which we still need since they are efficient and sustainable. Everything is going to snap back into trading blood for oil it looks like. I really really dislike these guys, they will be doing more to damage science, progress, and general reasoning than the inquisition ever did.
they would have been better to just be saying "we don't know for sure yet, but this is something that needs addressed." and then worked like every other scientist does.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #191 on:
December 03, 2009, 08:04:00 AM »
Many "green projects" are boondoggles so I'm not exactly crying about this prospect. Ethanol production is an energy Ponzi scheme, recycling, as mentioned elsewhere often does more harm than good, solar and wind energy are not particularly scalable and cost a lot more per kilowatt to produce energy, and so on.
My perspective is that there are a lot of people out there who have a desperate need to tell others how to live and so have latched on to various green scams to get their busybody yayas out. The hell with them if then now have to find other forms of manipulation and amusement.
Shills for Big Oil
Reply #192 on:
December 04, 2009, 08:54:15 PM »
Ever notice how any scientist that doesn't agree the sky is falling where AGW is concerned is called a shill for big oil as a prerequisite to dismissing anything they have to say? Well note the following bon mots in the CRU emails:
Climategate: CRU looks to “big oil” for support
One of the favorite put-downs from people who think they have the moral high ground in the climate debate is to accuse skeptics with this phrase: “You are nothing but a shill for Big Oil”
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) from Flixter - click for details
Who amongst us hasn’t seen variants of that pointed finger repeated thousands of times? The paradigm has shifted. Now it appears CRU is the one looking for “big oil” money. See the email:
See the entire email here:
click to enlarge
But wait that’s not all!
Further down in that email, look at who else they were looking to for money. Oh, this is horrible, it just can’t be, they wouldn’t. They were looking to not only BP but, but EXXON in its Esso incarnation:
See the entire email here:
Now who is the shill for Big Oil again? Next time somebody brings up that ridiculous argument about skeptics, show them this.
h/t and thanks to WUWT reader “boballab”
Paleoclimatologists Gone Wild, I
Reply #193 on:
December 05, 2009, 02:19:10 PM »
Scientists Behaving Badly
A corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists are exposed by a massive document leak.
by Steven F. Hayward
12/14/2009, Volume 015, Issue 13
Slowly and mostly unnoticed by the major news media, the air has been going out of the global warming balloon. Global temperatures stopped rising a few years ago, much to the dismay of the climate campaigners. The U.N.'s upcoming Copenhagen conference--which was supposed to yield a binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction treaty as a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol--collapsed weeks in advance and remains on life support pending Obama's magical intervention. Cap and trade legislation is stalled on Capitol Hill. Recent opinion polls from Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, ABC/Washington Post, and other pollsters all find a dramatic decline in public belief in human-caused global warming. The climate campaigners continue to insist this is because they have a "communications" problem, but after Al Gore's Nobel Prize/Academy Award double play, millions of dollars in paid advertising, and the relentless doom-mongering from the media echo chamber and the political class, this excuse is preposterous. And now the climate campaign is having its Emperor's New Clothes moment.
In mid-November a large cache of emails and technical documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain were made available on a number of Internet file-servers for download by the public--either the work of a hacker or a leak from a whistleblower on the inside. The emails--more than 1,000 of them--reveal a small cabal of scientists who, in the words of MIT's Michael Schrage, engaged in "malice, mischief and Machiavellian maneuverings." In an ironic twist, one of the frequent correspondents in this long e‑trail (University of Arizona scientist Jonathan Overpeck) warned several of his colleagues in September, "Please write all emails as though they will be made public." Small wonder why. It's being called Climategate, but more than one wit is calling them "the CRUtape Letters."
As in the furor over Dan Rather's fabricated documents about George W. Bush's National Guard service back in 2004, bloggers have been swarming over the material and highlighting the bad faith, bad science, and possibly even criminal behavior (deleting material requested under Britain's Freedom of Information Act and perhaps tax evasion) of a small group of highly influential climate scientists. As with Rathergate, diehard climate campaigners are repairing to the "fake but accurate" defense--what these scientists did may be unethical or deeply biased, they say, but the science is settled, don't you know, so move along, nothing to see here. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Guardian columnist George Monbiot, who in the past has trafficked in the most extreme climate mongering: "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," Monbiot wrote in a November 23 column. "The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. . . . I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them. . . . I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely." Monbiot has joined a number of prominent climate scientists in demanding that the CRU figures resign their posts and be excluded from future climate science work. The head of the CRU, Phil Jones, announced last week that he will temporarily step down pending an investigation.
As tempting as it is to indulge in Schadenfreude over the richly deserved travails of a gang that has heaped endless calumny on dissenting scientists (NASA's James Hansen, for instance, compared MIT's Richard Lindzen to a tobacco-industry scientist, and Al Gore and countless -others liken skeptics to "Holocaust deniers"), the meaning of the CRU documents should not be misconstrued. The emails do not in and of themselves reveal that catastrophic climate change scenarios are a hoax or without any foundation. What they reveal is something problematic for the scientific community as a whole, namely, the tendency of scientists to cross the line from being disinterested investigators after the truth to advocates for a preconceived conclusion about the issues at hand. In the understatement of the year, CRU's Phil Jones, one of the principal figures in the controversy, admitted the emails "do not read well." Jones is the author of the most widely cited leaked e‑missive, telling colleagues in 1999 that he had used "Mike's Nature [magazine] trick" to "hide the decline" that inconveniently shows up after 1960 in one set of temperature records. But he insists that the full context of CRU's work shows this to have been just a misleading figure of speech. Reading through the entire archive of emails, however, provides no such reassurance; to the contrary, dozens of other messages, while less blatant than "hide the decline," expose scandalously unprofessional behavior. There were ongoing efforts to rig and manipulate the peer-review process that is critical to vetting manuscripts submitted for publication in scientific journals. Data that should have been made available for inspection by other scientists and outside critics were released only grudgingly, if at all. Perhaps more significant, the email archive also reveals that even inside this small circle of climate scientists--otherwise allied in an effort to whip up a frenzy of international political action to combat global warming--there was considerable disagreement, confusion, doubt, and at times acrimony over the results of their work. In other words, there is far less unanimity or consensus among climate insiders than we have been led to believe.
The behavior of the CRU circle has cast a long shadow over the entire climate science community, and many honest scientists will now undeservedly bear the stigma of Climategate unless a full airing of the issues is conducted. Other important climate research centers with close ties to the CRU--including NASA's Goddard Institute and the Climate Change Science Program at NOAA--should not be exempt from a full-dress investigation. Such a reevaluation must begin with an understanding of the crucial role the CRU circle has played in the global warming drama.
In the larger world of climate science, the Climate-gate story is overwhelmingly about one small but very important subfield--paleoclimatology, the effort to reconstruct the earth's climate during the vast sweep of time before humans began measuring and recording observations about the weather. That turns out to be a massively complicated exercise in statistical manipulation of huge amounts of raw data. Because the gap between observation and conclusion in this subfield is so dependent on statistical techniques rather than direct measurement, it was bound to be a matter of intense controversy and deserved the most searching review by outside scientists. It is exactly this kind of review that the CRU insiders acted to prevent or obscure.
Because the earth's climate is a complex system, the effort to understand why and how it changes is arguably the largest undertaking ever conducted by the world's scientific community. The Climate Research Unit at East Anglia is not just an important hub of climate science, but one whose work plays a prominent role in the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body that every five or six years since 1992 has produced a massive report on the international "consensus" in the field of climate science. This is the body typically said to comprise 2,000 of the world's top scientists, though there are many thousands more scientists working on aspects of climate change who do not participate in the IPCC process, many of whom dissent from the rigid "consensus" the process produces. One of the things the CRU emails prove is that the oft-cited figure of 2,000 top scientists is misleading; the circle of genuinely active scientists in the work of CRU and related institutions in this country is very small. Nonetheless, Al Gore and other climate campaigners have leaned heavily on the IPCC process as proof for their assertions that human-caused global warming is a matter of "settled" science. This, even though, in the last IPCC report on the science of climate change in 2007, the terms "uncertain" or "uncertainty" appear over 1,300 times in 900 pages, and the report describes our level of scientific understanding of key aspects of climate as "low" or "very low." The IPCC chapter on the climate models that are the principal tool predicting our future doom refers to "significant uncertainties" in all the models, and admits that "models still show significant errors."
There have been rumors for years about political pressure being brought to bear on the process to deliver scarier numbers, because the effects of a 2-3 degree increase in temperatures just weren't going to be enough to justify the kind of emission reductions the greens want. And one of the largest uncertainties in the whole climate story is whether we can determine if the warming of the last 150 years (about 0.8 degrees Celsius) is outside of the long-term historical range, which would lend powerful confirmation to the computer climate models that spit out projections of unprecedented and potentially dangerous temperature increases in the decades to come, caused by the greenhouse gases produced by industrial societies.
It has long been thought that over the last thousand years the earth experienced two significant natural climate cycles: the "medieval warm period" (MWP) centered around the year 1000 and the "little ice age" (LIA) from about 1500 to 1850 or so. The first report of the IPCC in 1992 displayed a stylized thousand-year temperature record showing that the MWP was warmer than current global temperatures, but this was mostly conjecture. Yet it was a huge problem for the climate campaigners: If the medieval warm period was as warm as today, as some scientists believe, it would mean that today's temperatures are arguably within the range of normal climate variability, and that we could not yet confirm greenhouse gas emissions as the sole cause of recent increases or rely on computer climate models for predictions of future climate apocalypse. There had long been rumors that leading figures in the climate community believed they needed to make the medieval warm period go away, but until the CRU leak there was no evidence besides hearsay that scientists might be cooking the books.
The evidence for the medieval warm period and the little ice age is mostly anecdotal, since there were no thermometers in the year 1000. Is there a way we could determine what the temperature was a thousand years ago? Calculating the average temperature for the entire planet is no simple matter, even today. This is where the paleoclimatologists at the CRU enter the picture. The CRU circle set out to "reconstruct" past temperature history through the use of "proxies," such as variations in tree rings, samples of centuries-old ice drilled out of glaciers and polar ice caps, lake sediment samples, and corals from the ocean. Using a variety of ingenious techniques, it is possible for each of these proxies to yield a temperature estimate at a particular location. Tree rings are thought to be the best proxy, because we can count backwards and establish the exact year each ring formed, and by its width make temperature estimates. But tree ring data are very limited. There are only a few kinds of trees that live a thousand years or more, mostly bristlecone pines in the western United States and a few species in Siberia. The thousands of data points that emerge from these painstaking efforts are not self-explanatory. They need to be adjusted and calibrated for latitude, altitude, and a number of other factors (such as volcanic activity and rainfall during the period). Even the most rigorous statistical methodology will generate estimates with large margins of error. One of the striking features of the CRU emails is how much time the CRU circle spent discussing with each other the myriad problems with processing these data and how to display them to a wider world. On the one hand, this is typical of what one might expect of an evolving scientific enterprise. On the other hand, these are the selfsame scientists who have insisted most vehemently that there is a settled consensus adhered to by all researchers of repute and that there is nothing left to debate. Another striking thing that emerges from the emails is that the climate modelers don't have a high regard for paleoclimatology, and the paleos have a palpable inferiority complex. Judging by the length of many of the email chains kvetching about their problems, it is a wonder this small group had time to do any actual research.
In 1998 three scientists from American universities--Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes--unveiled in Nature magazine what was regarded as a signal breakthrough in paleoclimatology--the now notorious "hockey stick" temperature reconstruction (picture a flat "handle" extending from the year 1000 to roughly 1900, and a sharply upsloping "blade" from 1900 to 2000). Their paper purported to prove that current global temperatures are the highest in the last thousand years by a large margin--far outside the range of natural variability. The medieval warm period and the little ice age both disappeared. The hockey stick chart was used prominently in the 2001 IPCC report as "smoking gun" proof of human-caused global warming. Mann and his coauthors concluded that "the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium."
Paleoclimatologists Gone Wild, II
Reply #194 on:
December 05, 2009, 02:19:58 PM »
Case closed? Hardly. The CRU emails reveal internal doubts about this entire enterprise both before and after the hockey stick made its debut. In a 1996 email to a large number of scientists in the CRU circle, Tom Wigley, a top climatologist working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, cautioned: "I support the continued collection of such data, but I am disturbed by how some people in the paleo community try to oversell their product." Mann and his colleagues made use of some of the CRU data, but some of the CRU scientists weren't comfortable with the way Mann represented it and also seemed to find Mann more than a bit insufferable.
CRU scientist Keith Briffa, whose work on tree rings in Siberia has been subject to its own controversies, emailed Edward Cook of Columbia University: "I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative) tropical series," adding that he was tired of "the increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage [Mann] has produced over the last few years . . . and (better say no more)."
Cook replied: "I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in Mike's recon[struction], particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his letter. It would be too aggravating. . . . It is puzzling to me that a guy as bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit more objectively."
In yet another revealing email, Cook told Briffa: "Of course [Bradley] and other members of the MBH [Mann, Bradley, Hughes] camp have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective, i.e. the cup is not only 'half-empty'; it is demonstrably 'broken'. I come more from the 'cup half-full' camp when it comes to the MWP, maybe yes, maybe no, but it is too early to say what it is."
In another email to Briffa, Cook complains about Bradley, too: "His air of papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times."
Even as the IPCC was picking up Mann's hockey stick with enthusiasm, Briffa sent Mann a note of caution about "the possibility of expressing an impression of more consensus than might actually exist. I suppose the earlier talk implying that we should not 'muddy the waters' by including contradictory evidence worried me. IPCC is supposed to represent consensus but also areas of uncertainty in the evidence." Briffa had previously dissented from the hockey stick reconstruction in a 1999 email to Mann and Phil Jones: "I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago." Even Malcolm Hughes, one of the original hockey stick coauthors, privately expressed reservations about overreliance on their invention, writing to Cook, Mann and others in 2002:
All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like. None of the datasets used so far has anything like the geographical distribution that experience with recent centuries indicates we need, and no one has yet found a convincing way of validating the lower-frequency components of them against independent data. As Ed [Cook] wrote, in the tree-ring records that form the backbone of most of the published estimates, the problem of poor replication near the beginnings of records is particularly acute, and ubiquitous. . . . Therefore, I accept that everything we are doing is preliminary, and should be treated with considerable caution.
Mann didn't react well to these hesitations from his colleagues. Even Ray Bradley, a coauthor of the hockey stick article, felt compelled to send a message to Briffa after one of Mann's self-serving emails with the single line: "Excuse me while I puke." One extended thread grew increasingly acrimonious as Mann lashed out at his colleagues. He wrote to Briffa, Jones, and seven others in a fury over their favorable remarks about a Science magazine article that offered a temperature history that differed from the hockey stick: "Sadly, your piece on the Esper et al paper is more flawed than even the paper itself. . . . There is a lot of damage control that needs to be done and, in my opinion, you've done a disservice to the honest discussions we had all had in the past, because you've misrepresented the evidence."
To Briffa in particular Mann wrote: "Hopefully, you know that I respect you quite a bit as a scientist! But in this case, I think you were sloppy. And the sloppiness had a real cost." Mann's bad manners prompted Bradley to reply: "I wish to disassociate myself with Mike's comments, or at least the tone of them. I do not consider myself the final arbiter of what Science should publish, nor do I consider what you did to signify the end of civilization as we know it." Tempers got so out of hand that Tom Crowley of Duke University intervened: "I am concerned about the stressed tone of some of the words being circulated lately. . . . I think you are all fine fellows and very good scientists and that it is time to smoke the peace pipe on all this and put a temporary moratorium on more email messages until tempers cool down a bit." Mann responded with his best imitation of Don Corleone: "This is ultimately about the science, it's not personal." If the CRU circle treat each other this way, it is no wonder they treat skeptics even more rudely.
One of Briffa's concerns about Mann's hockey stick is that some of the tree ring data--Briffa's specialty--didn't match up well with other records, so Mann either omitted them (in some versions of the hockey stick) or changed their statistical weighting in his overall synthesis to downplay the anomalous results of the raw data. This, by the way, is the origin of Phil Jones's "hide the decline" email; after 1960 tree ring data suggest a decline in temperatures, while other datasets show an increase. (This is one of many sources of intense controversy about temperature reconstructions.) Jones's and Mann's treatment may be defensible, but is problematic to say the least.
Starting in 2003 two mild-mannered Canadians, retired engineer Stephen McIntyre and University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick, began making noises about serious problems with the by-then iconic hockey stick graph. The dispute between McIntyre, McKitrick (M/M as they became known in the shorthand of the climate science world) and the hockey team was highly technical, involving advanced methods of data selection and statistical analysis that are almost impossible for a layperson to follow. But one key point was access to the original raw data and complete computer codes that Mann and CRU had used, rather than the adjusted data reported in their final studies.
To extend the sports equipment simile, Mann and the hockey team responded with the scientific equivalent of high-sticking. It was McIntyre's requests for raw data and computer codes that prompted the numerous emails from Jones and other CRU people about "hiding" behind technicalities to refuse freedom of information requests or even destroying data, codes, and emails to stymie McIntyre. Prior to this time, most of the complaints about outsiders in the leaked emails dealt with such well known skeptics as the University of Virginia's Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer, MIT's Richard Lindzen, and journal editors who didn't toe the line. After 2003 the CRU crew became obsessed with McIntyre above all others. He appears in 105 of the emails by name (in some others, he's referred to as "a certain Canadian"), usually with a tone of resentment and contempt.
McIntyre is not a climate-science insider, with peer-reviewed articles in journals that the hockey team firmly controlled. He's an amateur with mathematical chops, with a serious track record for spotting statistical funny business. McIntyre, who spent decades in mineral exploration, was involved in exposing the Bre‑X fraud in Canada several years ago. Bre‑X was a gold mining company promising fat profits on a new proprietary technology for ore deposits in Borneo; McIntyre smelled a rat and demanded the raw data. Bre‑X collapsed shortly after. And McIntyre scored a major hit against NASA's chief climate alarmist James Hansen, discovering significant errors of overestimation in Hansen's temperature reconstruction of the 20th century. (NASA's Goddard Institute website publicly thanked McIntyre, no doubt through gritted cyber teeth, for pointing out their error.) The hockey stickers' obsession with McIntyre seems out of proportion if there was nothing amiss in their work.
McIntyre and McKitrick may have made mistakes in their critique of the hockey stick--the charges and countercharges are difficult for nonspecialists to sort out--but they were sufficiently persuasive that the National Academy of Sciences appointed an expert review panel to look into the dispute. The NAS reported its findings in 2006, and the language was sufficiently hedged in diplomatic equivocations that Mann and the media claimed the hockey stick had been vindicated. But a close reading shows that the NAS report devastated the hockey stick. While the NAS said the hockey stick reconstruction was a "plausible" depiction of 20th-century warming, the report went on to state clearly that
substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that "the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium." [Emphasis added.]
One of the NAS committee members, physicist Kurt Cuffey of the University of California, was more direct in remarks to Science magazine: "The IPCC used [the hockey stick] as a visual prominently in the  report. I think that sent a very misleading message about how resolved this part of the scientific research was." Mann's hockey stick, a centerpiece of the 2001 IPCC report, did not appear in the 2007 IPCC report.
The NAS report, it should be added, included an implicit rebuke of Mann and his colleagues for their reluctance to share their data with other researchers:
The committee recognizes that access to research data is a complicated, discipline-dependent issue, and that access to computer models and methods is especially challenging because intellectual property rights must be considered. Our view is that all research benefits from full and open access to published datasets and that a clear explanation of analytical methods is mandatory. Peers should have access to the information needed to reproduce published results, so that increased confidence in the outcome of the study can be generated inside and outside the scientific community.
Paleoclimatologists Gone Wild, III
Reply #195 on:
December 05, 2009, 02:20:21 PM »
Despite this criticism and rebuke from the NAS, the Climate Research Unit hockey team continued refusing right up to this month to share its raw data and computer codes with McIntyre and McKitrick or anyone else. Mann continued to insist that the medieval warm period was overestimated, and he keeps on producing more new hockey sticks than the NHL (he has another one out this week in Science magazine). Some of the egregious emails in the stash include suggestions that everyone delete emails related to their work on the IPCC process to shield them from FOIA requests (possibly illegal) and, according to one of Jones's emails, actually destroying the raw data in the face of a successful FOIA requisition. Jones writes to Mann in one 2005 message: "Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites--you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs [McIntyre and McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone." Jones now claims no emails were deleted, but he'll need to explain his December 3, 2008, message to Ben Santer--a climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory--about a new FOIA request from McIntyre: "I am supposed to go through my emails and he can get anything I've written about him. About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little--if anything at all."
Under the pressure of Climategate, the CRU has finally agreed to release its raw data and computer codes. But now we learn that some of the raw data have been lost, and while Jones should be asked blunt questions about whether he made good on his threats to delete data, it is possible that the data were lost through sheer sloppiness. The most devastating document in the CRUtape letters may be not the egregious emails that have drawn most of the public attention but the detailed notes of a CRU programmer, Ian "Harry" Harris, assigned the task of sorting out the handling of the raw data and computer files.
The HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, over 100,000 words long, paints a picture of haphazard data handling that would get almost any private sector researcher fired. Among the many damning items included in Harris's narrative are more instances of "hiding the decline" such as "Specify period over which to compute the regressions (stop in 1940 to avoid the decline)" and "Apply a VERY ARTIFICIAL correction for decline!" Worse are Harris's notes of improperly coded data (or data without codes at all), computer subroutines that don't work, and near complete chaos: "I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. . . . Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. . . . Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!! . . . " On and on goes Harris's catalogue of software bugs and data horrors. Finally, this: "OH F-- THIS. It's Sunday evening, I've worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I'm hitting yet another problem that's based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found."
No drug company could get through the FDA approval process with data handling this slapdash, yet the climate policy process contemplates trillions of dollars in costs to economies around the world based partially on this incompetent work. Worse, it suggests the possibility that the CRU circle might not be able to replicate its own findings from scratch, let alone outside reviewers. No wonder Mann keeps issuing new versions of his hockey stick.
But the frustration of the hapless Harris points to a more fundamental problem: The extreme politicization of climate science this episode reveals will discourage the best graduate students from entering the field. Judith Curry, chairman of Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences--not a climate skeptic by any stretch--published online a letter she had received from a graduate student pondering whether to enter the field of climate science: "I am a young climate researcher (just received my master's degree from [redacted] University) and have been very troubled by the emails that were released from CRU. . . . The content of some of the emails literally made me stop and wonder if I should continue with my PhD applications for fall 2010, in this science." Scientists at top universities have been telling me privately for several years now that their best graduate students are avoiding climatology because they dislike how politicized it has become and consider it a dead-end field. Unfortunately this means many students who take up the field are second-raters or do so out of ideological motivation, which guarantees that the CRU scandal won't be the last.
The CRU scandal is only the tip of an unmelted iceberg of politicized science, though the "hard" sciences until recently have been generally thought immune (or at least resistant) to the leftist bias and political correctness of the universities. Some scientists are quite open about their leftward orientation. In 2004, Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin wrote in the New York Review of Books: "Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals, although it is by no means obvious why this should be so. Despite the fact that all of the molecular biologists of my acquaintance are shareholders in or advisers to biotechnology firms, the chief political controversy in the scientific community seems to be whether it is wise to vote for Ralph Nader this time." MIT's Kerry Emanuel, as "mainstream" as they come in climate science (Al Gore references his work, and in one of his books Emanuel refers to Senator James Inhofe as a "scientific illiterate" and to climate skeptics as les refusards), nonetheless offers this warning to his field:
Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.
Perhaps the most damning email from the CRU circle is this July 2005 message from Phil Jones to climatologist John Christy of the University of Alabama: "As you know, I'm not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn't being political, it is being selfish." Jones's attitude may not be exactly political, but it is certainly unscientific. The denial of political bent is also hard to square with the emails revealing that several of these scientists worked closely behind the scenes with alarmist advocacy groups such as Greenpeace, which really deserves to be shunned by serious scientists.
Such is the volume of material leaked from the CRU that it may be many months before all of its implications for the underlying climate science are fully digested. But a few preliminary conclusions can be reached. First, we still don't know whether the medieval warm period was comparable to or even much warmer than current temperatures, and we probably never will know with confidence. So the validating or refining of today's climate models will have to go forward without this piece of the puzzle being filled in. Second, a close reading of the entire email archive allows some distinctions to be drawn among the CRU circle. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore seem indisputably to be the bad actors (it was Santer who said he was "very tempted" to "beat the crap out of" skeptic Pat Michaels). Others in their circle, such as Keith Briffa, Tom Wigley, and Mike Hulme, appear much more scrupulous and restrained about handling the data, uncertainties, and conclusions they put into print. Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and key IPCC contributor, comes out somewhere in the middle, writing recently, for example, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment [since 1998], and it is a travesty that we can't." But Jones also suggests in one email that he and Trenberth will help keep contrarian climate research out of the IPCC process "even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
The distinction between utterly politicized scientists such as Jones, Mann, and NASA's James Hansen, and other more sober scientists has been lost on the media and climate campaigners for a long time now, and as a result, the CRUtape letters will cast a shadow on the entire field. There is no doubt plenty more of this kind of corruption in other hotbeds of climate science, but there are also a lot of unbiased scientists trying to do important and valuable work. Climate alarmists and their media cheerleaders are fond of warning about "tipping points" to disaster, but ironically this episode may represent a tipping point against the alarmists. The biggest hazard to serious climate science all along was not so much contrarian arguments from skeptics, but rather the damage that the hyperbole of the environmental community would inflict on their own cause.
Climate change is a genuine phenomenon, and there is a nontrivial risk of major consequences in the future. Yet the hysteria of the global warming campaigners and their monomaniacal advocacy of absurdly expensive curbs on fossil fuel use have led to a political dead end that will become more apparent with the imminent collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process. I have long expected that 20 or so years from now we will look back on the turn-of-the-millennium climate hysteria in the same way we look back now on the population bomb hysteria of the late 1960s and early 1970s--as a phenomenon whose magnitude and effects were vastly overestimated, and whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil (such as the forced sterilizations of thousands of Indian men in the 1970s, much of it funded by the Ford Foundation). Today the climate campaigners want to forcibly sterilize the world's energy supply, and until recently they looked to be within an ace of doing so. But even before Climategate, the campaign was beginning to resemble a Broadway musical that had run too long, with sagging box office and declining enthusiasm from a dwindling audience. Someone needs to break the bad news to the players that it's closing time for the climate horror show.
Steven F. Hayward is the F.K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, coauthor of AEI's Energy and Environment Outlook, and author of the forthcoming Almanac of Environmental Trends (Pacific Research Institute).
Reply #196 on:
December 07, 2009, 01:42:10 PM »
Graphic intensive and fairly dense examination of the header and file structure of the CRU data that concludes it's release was an inside job:
Another Reason to Hate these B@st@rds
Reply #197 on:
December 07, 2009, 07:26:14 PM »
Climate of fear
December 6, 2009
I've had some correspondence over the last few days with a well-known writer. We've been discussing people who might want to review my book, but it has not been an easy task. I thought his comments on this problem were illuminating and I'm reproducing them here (with permission). As you will see, as well as not being able to name my correspondent, I have had to redact a name from the quote as well to protect the identity of the person named. Here's what my contact said when asked for suggestions for reviewers:
Asked for names of potential writers, I feel like an early Lutheran asked to identify his fellow readers of English bibles and knowing that Sir Thomas Gore, sorry More, is reading my letters and tightening his thumbscrews in Chelsea. In other words, like you, I know lots of people who are on side privately but daren't say so publicly. The other day I bumped into ************** at an event and said something about his global warming views (sceptical) and he froze and said `I don't do that stuff now - people would not touch me if I did'.
What can one say to that? I now live in a country where people are afraid to state their opinions on a scientific question. They will have their livelihoods taken away from them if they do.
I sometimes have to pinch myself to ensure that this really is happening and I'm not just living in a bad dream.
Re: Pathological Science
Reply #198 on:
December 07, 2009, 07:32:22 PM »
The AGW mafia can glower and threaten all they want, but the fact that they are frauds is seeping into the public consciousness. The big loser in all of this is real science.
Sky Ain't Falling, Nor the Sea Rising
Reply #199 on:
December 08, 2009, 12:42:56 PM »
Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told'
The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker.
Published: 6:25PM GMT 28 Mar 2009
Comments 150 | Comment on this article
If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.
Although the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.
But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".
When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.
Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.
One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a trend".
When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an "expert reviewer" on the IPCC's last two reports, he was "astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one". Yet the results of all this "deliberate ignorance" and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.
•For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview "Claim that sea level is rising is a total fraud"; or email him –
– to buy a copy of his booklet 'The Greatest Lie Ever Told
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