ClimateGate Roundup

There’s been so much ClimateGate stuff lately that it’s been hard to keep up with it all.  Below are some of the more interesting items I’ve read over the past week or two.  All of these are worth reading in their entirety but here are some quotes.

A nice non-technical overview:

Quoting Richard S. Lindzen:

Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming?  Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing.  Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally--such as for the last dozen years or so--it does little that can be discerned.

Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre.  There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century.  The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction.  Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes. [...]

The notion that complex climate "catastrophes" are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate.  Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming.  And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.

Lots of technical detail about where the "warming" comes from (hint: not from the data):

Quoting Willis Eschenbach:

So you can see why Wibjorn was concerned.  This looks nothing like the UN IPCC data, which came from the CRU, which was based on the GHCN data.  Why the difference?  The answer is, these graphs all use the raw GHCN data.  But the IPCC uses the "adjusted" data.  GHCN adjusts the data to remove what it calls "inhomogeneities". [...]

I went to look at what happens when the GHCN removes the "in-homogeneities" to "adjust" the data. [...] Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century -- but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century.  And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century -- when those guys "adjust", they don’t mess around. [...]

Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. [...]

Yikes again, double yikes!  What on earth justifies that adjustment?  How can they do that?  We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on.  They all agree almost exactly.  Why adjust them at all?  They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data!  Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right -- but a six degree per century trend?  And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven?  What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style -- they are indisputable evidence that the "homogenized" data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

One thing is clear from this.  People who say that "Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK" are wrong.  At least one part of the data is bad, too.  The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero.

More evidence that the "warming" trend is a fraud:

Quoting Charlie Martin:

The green line is the version we saw above as part of the IPCC report, and the red line is the full series -- which goes down rather dramatically, instead of up as the story suggested.  If the full Briffa series had been included, the figure would look rather different.  The hook upward, the blade of the hockey stick, would have been much less dramatic, the implied global warming much less significant.  By truncating the data as they did, the global warming looks much worse.

And as the Climategate emails show, this was the result of a long discussion of how to best deal with "pressure to present a nice tidy story."  A story that fit the IPCC’s political goals, whether it suited the science or not.

The problem with "science" today:

Quoting Jerry Pournelle:

[O]f course science is not unitary, of course there is politics including dirty tricks and outright lying, faking data, character assassination, invocation of police and military power to suppress opposition -- and none of that changes the rules, which are that scientists when they are being scientists should welcome opposition hypotheses, and must account for all the data, not just that which favors their own positions.  Of course most of the time scientists are not acting like scientists.  They are acting like advocates, or sometimes like politicians.  When they do, they should have no more credibility than lawyers and politicians.  I covered all this years ago in The Voodoo Sciences.

Because scientists do not often act like scientists and often act more like bureaucrats, it is important to set up counter-bureaucracies when the subject matter is funded by public money (controlled by a bureaucracy) and the outcome is important to public spending.  I am a supporter of the National Science Foundation, but I want it reformed: I want 10% of its budget devoted to funding contrarian science that challenges existing consensus.  That should be done through establishment of a funded bureaucracy dedicated to finding and funding such challenges.

For better or for worse, the fact is that science is a business.  Science is no less corrupt than other businesses, and it’s just as much in bed with politicians as other businesses are.  We hold businesses accountable by choosing which ones to patronize.  We need to hold scientists accountable by demanding that they show their data.  If you’re not willing to show your data and methods -- if instead you hide and destroy your actual data, leaving only your conclusions, so that no one else can verify your work -- then you’re not a scientist, you’re a fraud.

The Russians state their belief that their climate data was misrepresented by some of these "scientists" as well:

Quoting Telegraph:

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.  Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, [but] the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. ... IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations. [...]

What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock. [...]

The crux of the argument is that the CRU cherry picked data following the same methods that have been done everywhere else.  They ignored data covering 40% of Russia and chose data that showed a warming trend over statistically preferable alternatives when available.  They ignored completeness of data, preferred urban data, strongly preferred data from stations that relocated, ignored length of data set.

Finally, getting right down to the core of the matter:

Quoting Jerry Pournelle:

This means -- assuming you believe in global temperature accuracies to tenths of a degree -- that the Earth experienced a warming of 0.7 degree C over the last century [through 2010].

The idea that there is such a thing as a "global temperature" number that is not only knowable by us, but able to be accurately measured repeatedly and consistently, is a myth.  Most people would probably realize that if they were to think about it -- what was the temperature in your back yard last year?  how about in your whole town?  or your entire country? -- though few people bother to think about it.  But certainly now that the ClimateGate data is coming out, and we’re able to see just what a mess and a fraud it is, few sane people would believe in such a mythical number any longer.  Unfortunately, sanity is not a defining characteristic of global warming alarmists.

Posted by Anthony on reply

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